Personal branding is often badly misunderstood or taken out of context. Similarly, people think of influencers as driving fancy cars and getting freebies. If that’s your perception then you’re probably missing out.
Andy Storch is what I’d call a nano influencer or micro famous. He’s very visible online and to a very small audience he’s a strong authority and his business reflects that and in this episode he’s going to unpack it all for you.
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Personal Branding is often badly misunderstood or taken out of context. Similarly, people often think of influencers, as driving fancy cars and getting freebies. And if that's your perception, you're probably missing out. And the storage is what I call a nano influencer, or micro famous, is very visible online and to a very small audience. He's a strong authority, and his business reflects that. And in this episode, he's going to unpack it all for you. Hi there and welcome back to amplify the digital marketing entrepreneur podcast. I'm Bob Gentle, and every Monday I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show, then take a second right now to subscribe and your player so you don't miss new episodes. And you can dig into some older ones. When you finish this one. Don't forget to join our Facebook community just visit the shortcut URL, amplify me.fm forward slash insiders and you'll be taken right So welcome along and let's meet Andy. Hello, and this week I'm delighted to welcome Andy storage to the podcast, Tandy. Hello.
Hello, Bob, thank you so much for having me on. This is quite a pleasure to daughter.
Ya know, I've been a fan of yours for a long time. And we've met a couple of times in London. But for those people who don't know you, do you want to maybe just start by introducing who you are, where you are and the kind of work you typically do?
Sure, yeah, so I am mainly a talent development consultant. I connect companies with exceptional learning solutions to help them turn strategy into action and get their people doing the best work of their lives. And I work primarily in areas like leadership development, business documents, I run business simulations, teaching Strategy and Finance, sales training, innovation. Essentially, at the end of the day, I sell and run training and development to big companies. And along the way. I've also started a couple of podcasts. One is called the talent development hot seat, which is about corporate talent development, and that serves my main business. And I also have another podcast which you have been on recently called the Andy Stuart show, which is more about personal development and building a personal brand entrepreneurship, that sort of thing. I also hosted a conference recently called the talent development Think Tank. We sort of came from the podcast and we can talk about that in the whole journey there. And finally, I am a husband and a father. I've got two kids and I live in Orlando, Florida, USA, and I am kind of obsessed with my personal mission, which is to get the absolute most out of life, fulfill my true potential, and inspire other people to do the same.
That sounds like the most polished practice answer I've ever heard. I was really really good.
Thank you. It sounds like I went to like a paid boot camp or something. But I really have been. I mean, I I study like you I study You know, personal development, I study like things like purpose and like all these things about how can you be successful in building a business and a brand new stuff. And then I practice a lot. I go on other podcasts, I have my podcast. And then you know, when you practice a lot, eventually you almost sound like you know what the hell you're talking about?
My audience might not think so.
Right. I'm talking about me now. Okay.
So anybody listening, there is a chance that this is a two part podcast. And you may have heard on the interview me, which for me was a very strange experience, but actually quite enjoyable, which I wasn't expecting. I'm not somebody who really enjoys talking about themselves that much. And one of the things I I actually really admire when I see it being done, is people confidently doing that. And I follow you on social media because I know you and I really admire how comfortable you've come across on social media. Has it always been like that for you? Or is that something you really had to work on?
I don't know. I don't think so I think Well, to answer the question, I think it is like many things, something that I have built confidence through practice and experience, much like with, you know, describing what I do, or you know, when when we were doing our other interview, we talked a lot about how people are very uncomfortable doing video, and how I've gotten very comfortable that through practice. I found my voice originally I'm I've been on social media for a long time. I was just looking at it the other day, and it said, You know, I joined Facebook in 2005. So I've been on there for a long time and on LinkedIn since it started. But as far as like actively creating content and building a brand, probably about three years, and it actually started when I joined a dad's group. There's a guy named Larry hagner who has a podcast that used to be called the good dad project now it's called the dad edge. And he has an absolutely huge community. The free Facebook community has like, I don't know 30,000 people or something but then he has a paid community that has about 300. And I was in that for two years. And it was like a zoo mastermind group and then, and then a Facebook group. And I got to know a lot of people really well. And I started really like sharing, I found that I had a lot of wisdom, even though I'm a relatively new Father, I mean, Bob, you've been a father a lot longer than me if my kids are six and four. But just when it comes to life, and you know, personal development and business and things, I had a lot of things to share. And I started sharing more and more, and built a lot of confidence and experience doing it within a closed group, which, you know, you and I talked before about how to kind of build that muscle build that practice, whether it's video or anything else. And so it started happening there. And then starting my first podcast three years ago, which used to be called the entrepreneur hot seat, and then eventually turned to the Andy Stuart show, where I was only interviewing other people. I didn't do many, hardly any solo episodes for a year or two, but still started finding my voice and sharing more and that's started happening more and more. And then I've been in some other groups where I've learned so much from people and I've shared stuff and found that I had interesting things to share. And then as I, I would branch off of the groups and then just start sharing stuff publicly. I've also, as I mentioned to you in a previous conversation, because I'm a b2b sales, I spent a lot of time on LinkedIn. And I set a goal early on, when I left the consulting company I was with to go independent about two and a half years ago, I, for some reason, I just knew I needed to build a brand on LinkedIn. So and I needed to do that through creating content. And I hadn't really done much before, I didn't know what to do. But I set a goal that I would post on LinkedIn every single weekday. And I've pretty much stuck to that for two and a half years. I have missed a few days here and there. But I've been posting on LinkedIn, like five, six days a week. And, you know, they're probably been plenty of bad posts that people are like, what is that? I don't care about that. Right? But I've learned so much and found my voice and built experience which has built confidence where I can now shoot a video in one take throw it up. Now I know I have some natural skills to like I'm very I know, I'm good. Like our mutual friend Lauren Davis told me a couple times, like, Oh my gosh, you're so good at video. So I have some natural skills for that. But I also have built the confidence where like, I can shoot something, or write something, you know, I'm in line at the grocery store. And I'll just, I think of something and I'll write it down in the Notes app, and then just post it later, and not worry about it so much. I don't worry about the judgment anymore, like I used to. I'm someone who grew up being incredibly afraid of judgment, rejection, that sort of thing. And that lasted into my 20s and 30s. And so I've had to make a huge pivot there to be the person now that you see that. I will throw stuff up on social media all the time, and sometimes I get nervous about it. But for the most part, I'm like, whatever, you know, see what happens. And I think that that's probably what you're seeing is the confidence that comes from building all of that experience. I think
one of the things lots of people worry about when They really started to express themselves or share of themselves. More importantly, I think I create a distinction between people who post business crap on social media and people who express themselves there's a clear distinction for me a picture of your desk with a cup on it. For me, that's not social media. Yeah, that's, that's like turning up at a networking event and just handing out your business cards and and not actually engaging in a conversation or right what you do, you express yourself and you do that visibly in video, you do it in pictures. All you're very, very visible in that. And I'm wondering, there's a, I'm expecting to you'll get a kind of polarized reaction, but do you get very many people actively? I think the word I can think of is trolling you or react to getting any kind of negativity overtly.
You know, I haven't I'm not big enough that I've really had any any quote haters, but I I have had some people who are close to me or previously close to me, you know, kind of making snide remarks, you know, a little bit here and there. My brother is one of them, we have a good relationship. But you know, he'll make fun of me for stuff sometimes. And I've had to learn to to get over that and and tell myself, you know, in part one, in our conversation we did for my podcast, we talked a lot about how you need to remember who your stuff for your content is for, right. So the thing I'll start saying to myself is, this is not for him, right. And I used to post I don't do this as much anymore, but I used to post a lot of fitness stuff. And I'm not a fitness coach, but I'm really into health and fitness and I want to inspire other people to be healthy and stay in shape. And so I would post a lot of stuff about the gym and pictures from the gym and stuff like that. And, you know, people will make remarks and a lot of my wife's friends would make remarks to her about like, Oh, your husband's always posting from the gym, like making fun of me or whatever. And I have to kind of tune that out because I would also get messages from friends who would say things like You inspired me to start working out more, I really appreciate your posts about this. And that, because of like, people have told me like, because of you I've lost, you know, 10 pounds or whatever, like, I've been working out more that sort of thing. And that is, what is my fuel. That's what keeps me going. So I gotta remember that, you know, like we talked about before, whenever we put anything out there, you know, probably a third of it is going to land with some people, you know, a third of people are going to go Wow, that is for me, that's awesome. A third of people are going to go that is stupid. And then a probably a third of people are just going to ignore it and be like, I don't care that and that's of the people that even see it. Right. So I think we have to keep that in mind. And so I haven't had really haters or trolls, but I have, you know, a couple people. There's one friend from Business School, who will never comment on my stuff, he'll just send me a text and like, make fun of me, like make some joke about whatever I post and it's and it's honestly like, it has really annoyed me. I've let it really bother me and I've and I've thought so many You know, we here in this being in this personal development community, and I've talked about this, that it's so important to think about the friends you surround yourself with. And you know, Jim Rohn said, You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You know, Tony Robbins says, We rise to the level of the peers, you know, the average level of our peers that are around us. And I think about all the time when I try to surround myself with really awesome ambitious entrepreneurs, people like you who are doing cool things and will like pick me up and support me. So it's jarring when you have that one or that one friend who's like, texting you making fun of your stuff you put out there and I've debated in my mind so many times, just like unfriending him, you know, even though he's like a long time, real life, right? It's hard dealing with that stuff. But it's that's really like, you know, one or two here and there that haven't been that many.
I think it's it's so hard because we react on an emotional level, to the smallest bit of criticism. Yeah, because we feel quite vulnerable and we're intentionally going out of our way to make ourselves vulnerable because we know that it's What people connect most with, right? I guess the flip side of that is your ideal customer, audience member, whatever you want to call them. They're looking for integrity. Yeah. And if you express yourself, you're are expressing that integrity. If you didn't have that integrity, you wouldn't be making yourself vulnerable. Right? And so you're attracting that ideal person to you. So what I'd like to dig into a little bit is, if you maybe just walk us through your business, so to speak. So what is it? I guess that you get paid for it? What do you get paid for?
And I'd love to do it in the context of something that can be helpful for your listeners, because I don't want to bore people, you know, all the details of my business, but I am kind of like a broker or independent agent in the talent development space. So I have partnerships with about 15 different learning solution providers, these are people and companies that have created Really cool learning solutions to help people learn how to become better leaders, better managers learn how business runs. I mentioned, I run business simulations. And I sell those to big companies and I get a commission. And then sometimes I actually implement or facilitate those as well. I'm a certified facilitator for many of the solutions I run. I've been facilitating workshops all over the world for about nine years. And I love doing that. So sometimes I'm facilitating workshops for clients, or my clients where I've sold the workshop. And other times, other people or companies sell workshops, and they either don't know how to facilitate it or don't know how I don't have time, and they'll bring me in as a contractor to fly to that city and go facilitate that workshop for them. So I sell and run the training programs, I do a lot of facilitation. And my primary client that I'm working with is someone who is like a director or head of talent development or learning and development at large companies. And if you're a small on Winner, you haven't worked in a big company, maybe you're not a lot of I find a lot of people in this space are not that familiar with that kind of concept. But, you know, most big companies have people, they usually sit with an HR thinking about how do we help our people become better? How do we help them both with technical skills, but also the, quote soft skills, you know, personal skills to help them become better leaders, better managers? And then is that creating in person training? Is it online training is it you know, resources they can go to whatever it is, they're figuring out what all those things are. And sometimes they have a full team and they build all that stuff in house. And sometimes they outsource it and hire outside providers and I, you know, my goal is to be their go to outside provider to bring that training to them. And so I've been, I was part of a consulting company for seven years that was in that space, and then I joined a smaller company about two and a half years ago, that is in that space, but we do it as Through, like I said, independent agents. So I work, you know, independently as an entrepreneur running my own business, making those connections and then getting commissions on that stuff. And also, either getting paid more to implement it or just letting someone else do it. And when I came into it, about two and a half years ago, there were it's a business been around for about 30 years, people kind of staying in their lane and their market doing like traditional networking type stuff. And I came in like a tornado. Doing all my LinkedIn marketing, I started a podcast. And it's allowed me to connect with so many people and build this brand within the space. And also I've started to get clients from it. It's been a lot slower than I thought it was going to be. In our last conversation, or one, we talked a lot about patience. I've needed that because it hasn't gone as fast as I wanted to go. But I'm starting to see things really pay off now, from all the work and the foundation I've built over the last two years of doing this.
I think you're absolutely right. I think instinctively In that kind of business, you would straightaway you would think LinkedIn networking events, sort of pretty high level networking events, not not the bargain bin stuff. But what inspired you to move into the podcast space because that's a big investment of time. It's a big commitment. And it's not normal in your space. So what was it that led you to think you know, what, podcast?
It's so interesting, like, how did it you know, how do people come up with these ideas? I originally got into podcasting. When I was in that dad's group I was in the very first it was the second mastermind group I ever joined. So it was part of the dads group. They announced at a mastermind I joined it was the biggest investment I've ever made in terms of like personal development. And so it was like 10 dads meeting weekly zoom. And the guy who ran it, Larry hagner came like the second week and said, everybody's got to set an aggressive 90 day goal and we're going to help hold you accountable. That I've never really had that before with anything. And so I don't know where the idea came from. But I basically said, well, I've been listening to podcast for like 10 years, maybe I should start one. And so that sort of idea came from for the entrepreneur podcast. And I had great accountability and help from people in that group who also had podcasts. And so I lost that podcast and it opened my eyes to how much access you talked about this too, with your own. How it allowed me to build a network and get conversations with, you know, people that I wouldn't normally get to talk to successful entrepreneurs, that kind of thing. I remember a moment where like, it kind of hit me, I was like, Oh my gosh, I can't believe I'm getting to talk to these people. And I said something to my wife, who's a former journalist, and she was kind of like, yeah, duh, I people want, you know, they want promotion, they want platform, they want PR, so of course, they're gonna say yes, I was like, Oh, I didn't really think about that. So that was a big lesson. And then so when I made this move, like I said about in 2017 to Go independent. I was actually at a podcast conference, podcast movement, which is the largest podcast conference, I've been the last three years in a row. And I was at the one in 2017 in Anaheim. And I don't know, it's just one of those things like, you know, same reason with you, you go to these conferences, you're not gonna remember everything, but there's always like, some lightning bolt moment, or it's like, oh, somebody said something, you're like, yeah, I should start a podcast in the talent development space and use that to meet prospective clients. And so it took me a little bit longer Actually, my route. My first idea was executives, and then I was going to focus on health care, you know, talking about niches, and then eventually I settled on not going to do corporate talent development. And so I started that. And it was beautiful, because I didn't know if it was going to work because I, you know, most people doing interview podcast, interviewing other entrepreneurs, influencers, authors, that sort of thing. I didn't see hardly anybody interviewing people who worked for large companies. I remember there was a moment I posted in One of the big podcast communities on facebook live in podcast movement or one of the other ones. And I said, as anybody else started the podcast where they're interviewing people, from large companies from corporations, and do you have any recommendations or advice, and I basically got crickets, except for, you know, a couple people said, I've never seen that before. And one person said, I wouldn't do it'll never work. And I was like, What the hell? Like, are you serious? Like, no, I think this will work. But I was really worried. Most people would say no, because they couldn't get permission, you know, from their boss or their company or something like that. So I put it out there to a few people. And I remember this woman named Amy Dunn, who I connected with at, she worked at a discount marketing company in Atlanta, connect with our LinkedIn, I put it out there and I said, would you do this? And she said, Yeah, of course. And I was like, cool. And then we did the interview. And she was my first interview from you know, big company that came in for the town development hot seat. And, by the way, two years later, that was in like April 2018, for coming up on two years. Two years later, she are still in touch. She now works for another company, Mercedes Benz USA. She came to my conference recently. She's about to become a client. We're going to do some work there. And it all came from the podcast. And then I started seeing the thing that I thought could happen did happen, like I said, the sales and the business has taken a lot longer than I thought it would. But as far as building the network, it started happening. And I point to that a couple great examples. But one of the biggest is this guy who worked for a huge retailer in the US. I had sent him several messages on LinkedIn, you know, targeting him as a potential client asked him if he would meet with me, ignored me probably seven times I probably or more probably messaged this guy. You have been sales for a while, right? And he's ignored me every time. He worked. He made a move to this big airline here in the US, and I sent him a message and I said I had messaged him a couple times. Congrats on the new job ignored me. Then I sent a message and I said, Hey, I started this podcast on talent development. Would you like to be interviewed? Here's a link to book the interview. And he booked it like that. And then we got on zoom like you and I are on now. And we built a personal relationship. And it took a little while about eight months later, so, but he became a client. And we did some work with them last year, and we're talking about doing more work now. And like I said, corporate world, if you work with corporate, I know you do a little bit of that Bob, man things moves so slow, people cannot make decisions quickly. A lot of bureaucracy. So that's why I said things are going slower than I wanted them to. But that, you know, he became a client. I've got a couple other new clients now that have come from the podcasting got some huge proposals out there. And so the podcast has paid off in terms of building the network, finding prospective clients, and then also growing a brand and an audience in that space. And one of the beautiful things about it is that I think people don't think about when they're starting their podcast or naming it is knowing the niche. You know, the people that you want to target Making sure that is in the name. And so I get so many new people finding that podcast all the time. And I always ask them, you know, they messaged me on LinkedIn and asked me, How do you find it? And they're like, well, I, I'm in talent development, I wanted to find something to learn. So I just searched iTunes, and, you know, there was and I started listening, and I loved all your interviews, and then I went back and listened to more and, and, you know, that's, that's kind of how it grows, but because they have that niche, whereas my other show the Andy Stuart show, I made it that just so I can do whatever I want with it, but nobody's going to find that unless they go me. Right.
Yeah, but I guess you'll probably have some bleed across from one podcast to the other. I think there's a secret power in a podcast that you've discovered. And it's twofold. Number one is access. If you want to speak to somebody, you have a route in that nobody else has. Yep. And the other side of it is similar to YouTube, but almost more so because I think podcasting isn't inherently professional. platform a lot of the time, it's not like, it doesn't carry some of the stigma of the YouTuber being the hip kids, it's a bit more serious. And back in the day, if you were sitting behind a microphone like this, you are either on radio or TV. And we're unconsciously programmed to imbue those people with authority. They know what they're talking about, because somebody put them on that seat with a microphone. That's right. So when you turn up, or when you try to go and speak to somebody, you're coming with this unconscious authority. That just means the doors will open for you naturally. And it's a very strong point of difference. Competitive Advantage point of difference. It's very powerful. And I think that's something you're starting to see. Working really strongly now.
Yeah, totally. I agree. I mean, I, I listened to a lot of podcasts I look up to, you know, you build those personal relationships, sort of with people that don't even know you, you get to know them. And yeah, I'm seeing that in the time. Development space people listen to me, they use the podcast for all kinds of stuff to help them with their jobs and, and education. I get those messages. It's amazing. And it's because of all the interviews I do, but just by being around them, they call because the halo effect, right, I'm now considered an expert, as well, because I'm hanging around with all these experts. And by the way, I've built such a great network within that space as well. Not just prospective clients, but thought leaders, authors, you know, people I can call on and when I went to host with my friend Bennett Philips went to host our first conference in January, we had access to some really great speakers. And part of it is the network we already had, that we were building over the years. But you know, now as we're planning the next one, I've got a whole list of great potential speakers who have been on my podcast and I know them and I know they have great stuff. And it's because I've had that experience of going out and you know, building that network and talking to people
and that personal brand, to the topic of personal branding around this topic of talent. element, how much does that personal branding knowledge that you have fit into the talent development work that you do with where I'm coming from is a lot of corporates instinctively like to keep their stuff locked away? Yeah, let the corporate brand shine. Yeah. Are you finding that when you work with organizations that they start to change that?
I think Well, I mean, I don't necessarily teach or preach that at all. It's not part of any of my work. I might have those conversations with some people. I think some companies are realizing that some people are realizing that I'm seeing a lot of people especially in the talent development space, who are learning and development practitioners by day full time jobs and then have like a side gig doing a little bit of consulting on the side. And I think they want to learn how to do more of what I'm doing maybe. And that could be an opportunity for me down the road is just to like teaching and coaching on that. Even just within that niche for people. I just had to convert We yesterday with a guy who works full time for a big insurance company in Texas. And he also has this little side gig doing like storytelling stuff coaching, and he's coming out with a book. And he's like, I don't know, when the book comes out, like what I'm going to do, I'm going to keep my full time job or go with this, you know, try to make a real business out of this site thing. There's a lot of people doing that. So I think there's an opportunity to help them. And I think, you know, the world is changing. And this idea of personal brand is is really hot right now in the entrepreneur space. And you and I study it, of course, you know, we follow lots of people who are doing it really well. And try to practice those things and do it well ourselves. We know we can help a lot of entrepreneurs, but I think in the future, it's becoming more and more important in the corporate space as well. And I'm actually writing a book right now on career development and how to help people take ownership of their career. And one of the components of it came from a talk I gave at an HR conference last year, called preparing for your next career change. And in that I advocate very heavily that I think people, even if you're never going to be an entrepreneur and you are very happily and employee, you just want to be successful, that people need to be thinking about how to build their personal professional brand. And I've given that advice to a lot of friends to that asked me like, hey, how do I prepare for a career change down the line? Because, you know, you might be happy now, but maybe two or three years later, you're thinking about making a job change. And you know, or maybe a recruiter comes your way, you start working with a recruiter, or even a new company is looking to hire you, where are they going to go? They're going to go on LinkedIn, they're going to first of all, just see what your background and stuff are. And then they're going to see, you know, have you posted any content? Have you shared stuff? And they might look into that to get a glimpse of who you are? What do you know, and you could be showing off all kinds of, you know, expertise, not even by creating your own content just by sharing articles, you read stuff like that. And I think that's all going to pay off down the line as we get into more of the quote, gig economy, and people are moving into and, you know, people talk about the gig economy in terms of like freelancers and coaches like us who are like doing consulting gigs and stuff like that, but I think even within big companies, people are gonna start moving around more and take like project based jobs instead of this long term career that, you know, defines them by their, their title or something like that. And who's going to get the best jobs, the people with the reputations are the brand that they can get stuff done. Right. So I think there's huge advantages to doing that in the corporate space.
I think in addition to that, you and I spoke previously that and this was my opinion, that business community can often act like a little bit of a pack of wolves. And an organization is very much the same, that an organization will go out of its way to support an animal that they see as a strong. So part of your job with building that personal brand is is to position yourself as an authority so that when times are tough in your company, you have a competitive advantage. There's a point of difference your perceived value is higher. Obviously, you need to be genuinely valuable. Perception is a large part of reality. And the same goes for if you want to make that move, people will recruit the person with the highest perceived value the person is coming with the most brand collateral. Yep, I agree with you.
I want to make one small correction, though, I think the perception, perception is reality. It doesn't matter what you think of yourself, and what you are really capable of. The only thing that really, I mean, that's unfortunate, but the thing that matters, what people think, that you can do, or who you are or what you are, and the only way to change that is by intentionally changing their perceptions by changing your brand by how you show up whatever it is, right. So, you know, just like the very first beginning of this interview, you asked me a question about, you know, how did I become so looking so confident and comfortable on social media? Even if inside I'm nervous and afraid and going, Oh, my God, I can't believe you're doing this. If I'm outside. I'm confident and comfortable. That is the reality for all the people who are watching and seeing it. And it doesn't matter that I'm I mean, hopefully I can get over it because I don't want to like stress myself to death, but it doesn't matter. It's the same thing like I talked to people about I do a lot of, you know, facilitation of public speaking. And I, one of the things I've noticed over time when I talk to people about when they get into speaking is, even if you're nervous, no one knows you're nervous unless you let them know. So don't hold the pen and start fidgeting, right? Drop the pen because people fidget with when they have things in their hands and they're nervous. But if you don't, no one knows you're nervous. So you don't have to tell them you know?
That's where I've been going wrong.
Right Jonathan? Get rid of the pen, your sales people that like click click click in the meeting or like for you, please stuff.
So I'm curious to know, because like you said, you come across as very confident in social media in particular. Where in your business do you actually struggle? Where do you find difficult?
Ah, there's a few places So number one, probably the biggest thing from a business perspective is I said earlier that I grew up having, you know, the long history of being afraid of judgment and rejection. You know, I didn't even talk to any girls in high school. I was definitely afraid, right of you know, I had a couple girlfriends but it's only because they asked me out. It wasn't because I actually approached them because that would be too much. Right? Eventually, I approached a girl, and we're still married today. But my bank you My point is that I've always been afraid of rejection, and I still struggle with that. And it's ironic because I've been in sales for nine years. But I, I'm so big on building the brand and giving value. A lot of people talk about serve before you sell and give a lot of value before you ask for anything or charged for anything. I'm great at all that when it comes to the ask, I still struggle with that. And so that's why I have You know, hired coaches and mentors, I mentioned to you before, I'm in a mastermind group run by a woman named Jessica, Laura Moore, who's there in the UK. She's fantastic at sales and making the ask and growing corporate business. And so I love having her as a coach, because she pushes me and she told me a couple times, after we've been working together for a year now, she was like, you're so giving You're so kind all your clients, you need to ask more, you need to stop giving and start charging. So it was like, Okay, I'm gonna start asking more. And she gave me more of the questions to ask. So I've been working on that. That's, that's probably been the biggest struggle, and like pushing more and not trying not to worry as much about the rejection because you know, what's going to happen, like, the worst thing I can do is say no, and then we move on to the next thing. And part of that also is like, vetting things out to see if it is a real opportunity, or if we're just having a conversation, and stop wasting time. I'm all about keeping in touch and building relationships for the long term. You never know what's going to happen. But I would often in the past, like have a conversation with a person client, it's probably pretty clear to an outsider that nothing's going to come from this but I'd see some glimmer of hope and like keep bugging them and keep in touch with them. And who knows how much time I wasted right by following up and following up when I could have just let it go and said, Hey, come back to me whenever you're ready. And so I do more of that now. I suffer a little bit with the you know, imposter syndrome of like, you know, a lot of people look to me and say, I follow you and it's awesome all the stuff you're doing and I still think of myself as just, you know, a regular guy like anybody else who happens, just be really active and just share a lot of my thoughts on social media. But I'm starting to come more to grips with the kind of the influencer, title mindset, whatever it may be. I put that in air quotes because I don't ever want to refer to myself, sir or an expert. But people may see me that way. We said perception is reality. I think an easier way to look at it these days is nano influencer. That's what the cool kids are calling nano influencer. Well, I just think about it is like, are you influencing people and I know I am. Right. And then the third thing, I would say Say is I've, I've been building this business in the corporate space I had been doing that it's taking off, it's working well. At the same time, it's kind of a side project almost like a Gary Vee kind of thing. I've been building a personal brand on, like the personal development side of things for the last couple years sharing things on social media, the podcast, that sort of thing. And as I told you, in our previous conversations, I've never really tried to monetize that. And I have a dream that I will turn that more into coaching, speaking, you know, events, things like that. But I have a real fear in my mind that I'm going to attempt to do that nobody's going to show up because people are going to say like, Oh, it's cool to follow you online, but I'm not actually going to pay you money to you know, to learn from you as a coach, speaker, whatever it is, so I definitely struggle with that a little bit. But the more I stuff I do and have conversations I have, you know, it builds the experience and I realize I have a tagline for my podcast you've probably seen me post about it. starve your fears. I coach other people on that all the time. I really say it for myself. And so like, if I want to go host a mastermind retreat or workshop, I've got to just try to do it, and then see what happens. And, and if it doesn't work, then I've got to learn from it. But I just got to start my fears and do it.
Yeah, I absolutely relate to that. I mean, from much the same reason I've never, never offered anything through the podcast because it just would feel weird. I think I was speaking to somebody recently. The name escapes me, which is very embarrassing. But one of the things she was saying that salespeople often struggle with is actually seeing the price. And you need to practice that you need to practice saying, This is the price. And same you need to practice saying this is the this is the offer. And so many people build a big strong personal brand corporate brand. Yeah, they never actually say, this is what I'm selling. This is how much it cost would be like
yeah, the so afraid to put a price on it? What if I get rejected? Just before we recorded this, I was listening to a podcast, the total life freedom podcast that my friend Vincent puglisi puts out. It's a daily short podcast and he did an episode about this. And he said, someone should offer a service to be like an agent for entrepreneurs, like athletes, you know, how sports eight you know, sports agents that work their contracts, to just like, negotiate deals for you take a percentage, but they'd probably get you so much more than you would get for yourself because you're so afraid to ask for what you're really worth. So if you had an agent, and I actually remember, Chris Ducker had a woman on his podcast, a long time back the foreigner podcast, who does like runs a VA business. And she was saying one of the benefits of having a VA and I've had a VA for I've never asked my VA to do this, is that when you get those like offers for speaking engagements or work or something is like you can loop them in and have them, negotiate on your behalf and I've heard of even people doing that themselves and pretending to be an asset. sent an email, you know, to kind of say like, Oh, this is Bob's rates are $1,000 a day, an hour a day, whatever. Something you would never say as yourself. But as you know, Jennifer, Bob's assistant, you would be happy to put that out there. And maybe it works for us. I haven't tried it. But
you know, I'm totally going to do that.
You should give it a shot.
Yeah, great. Reminds me I heard a documentary on the radio, about a company in Japan. And this company's only function is you can hire them to quit your job.
Oh, yeah, I've heard of that.
Yeah. Because Yeah, there's a stigma around, actually a frantic competition of jobs
even though even though I hated the job, I desperately wanted to leave to walk in that office and say I quit. I mean, that's that's a hard thing to do.
So the name came back to me as Victoria Fleming I would have felt terrible if I hadn't given Victoria a name check for that. Because, Victoria, the sales trainer, I guess we're probably coming up towards the end. of the time we should sensibly be spending. Because obviously, this is our second interview. We've been going for a while now. Yeah, I would like to know, okay, you've, you've got the corporate business, you've got the podcasts. One of the things with a podcast is because you spend so much time speaking to great people like you, you learn a lot, and there's a personal transformation that bleeds back into your business. Definitely. So I'm curious to know where you want the business to go next. And you mentioned the personal development side of things. Yeah. What are you doing about it?
It's a good question. So I'm clear on the vision. Am I taking enough action? What am I doing about it? I don't know. My, my long term vision goal is that, you know, I want to be on stages everywhere. I want to inspire and impact the lives of thousands, if not millions, of people, really to take ownership of their life and live more intentionally be more fulfilled, like I am, and I want to do that through speaking writing. Sharing. workshops, conferences, whatever it may be, I think I'm on my way. I think I've reconciled. That that personal side of things with the work I do in corporate because I'm able to impact people with some of the workshops, I run on leadership, helping people become better leaders, better managers lends well to this. I'm also, you know, creating a lot of content in that space that's being seen by a lot of people in corporate. I've also, you know, started writing this book, about halfway through writing it right now. And I think when I publish that hopefully later in 2020, that will get me in front of more people get that idea in front of more people get me on more stages. And I've hosted my first conference with a with a partner in the talent development space. I definitely want to do more in like the personal space entrepreneur space as well. And that's something that I haven't started doing yet, but I have so many ideas and plans that I can do down the line. And I think there's this there's this like struggle and balance always in my mind, it probably isn't yours and others of like, I probably should be doing more moving faster, because I don't want to live life with any regrets or leave anything on the table. But at the same time, you know, following the teachings of someone like Gary Vee, who's a big time mentor of mine, not that he knows me, but he is one of my biggest mentors, right? And he always preaches patience. Like, look, you're, you know, about turned 40 years old, which some people think is old, I feel like I'm so young, like, there's just so much time, right? To do stuff. And it's like, I'm gonna retire at 60. If I'm doing what I love, I know I'm gonna keep working, especially if I'm impacting people's lives. I'm going to keep going as long as I have the energy. So there's a lot of time left, but I want to make sure I'm using that time wisely. So that's why I do the podcast. The speaking I'm writing the book, I've hired a coach to help me with my marketing plan for that to make sure I get the biggest you know, bang for my buck impact on that. I've got a whole plan for it. So I don't know if I'm taking enough action on it. But that's, that's my vision and I want to be on you know, bigger stages all over the place, whether that's metaphorical stages, you know, plants forms or literal actual stages in front of people speaking and impacting people's lives?
Or make the world a better place? Do you have a name for the book yet?
Yeah, the book is called Own your career Own your life. So I don't know when will be published. But if you're listening to this, several months down the road and late 2020, it might be on Amazon. So go check it out.
And if it is, I'll put a link in the show notes. So just go and look there. Cool. Andy, we should probably bring it to a close. But I have one question that I'm trying to remember to ask everyone. And that's what's one thing you do now that you wish you'd started five years ago?
Yeah. I'm going to give you a couple things. So about I really started getting into a really discover the world of personal development and investing in yourself and spending time thinking about these things in earnest about four years ago. So my biggest thing is I'm going to say, I wish I started five years ago would be number one. getting more into personal development, self awareness, thinking about where I want to go and starting to take action on that. Number two is?
you know, it's not a big leap, because I'm going to say my morning routine has been a big, big factor. I practice the Miracle Morning, created by Hal Elrod, I discovered him and his book four years ago, I wish I would have started that five years ago, you know, my life would be so much better as a result.
And then number three, I would say,
just taking more chances, trying things, because there's still so much time to recover, and figure things out if things don't work and everything, you know, with a growth mindset. I really believe that there are no failures are only learning opportunities. And so I wish I had more of that mindset five years ago, and I was just figuring out what I wanted to do or just trying more things because the more I try stuff, you and I talked about this before, like your pivot with your podcast, and everything else. You know, the more things you figure out, the more progress you make. And most of the time it's not stuff that's set in stone, you can always change directions again.
That's a fantastic answer. So I mean, anybody listening you had no warning for that. So that's pretty good.
And if people want to get in touch with you, how would you like them to do that?
The best thing is on social media I'm you know, I'm on LinkedIn all the time, Andy storage sto rch. I'd love for you to connect with me and follow me there. I'm on Instagram as well. And my podcasts are again the talent development hotseat and the Andy Stuart show,
and the source from hundy storage.com.
And our website at storge. com. It's very outdated, but you can go there and there's links to all that stuff there as well.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, Bob. This has been awesome. It's been so much fun and it's been an honor to be on your show.
Like it said, it's often only when you start moving or acting, you discover what's possible, remaining open to the opportunities that present themselves when you start building your personal brand is really important. Remaining fixed in your thinking might lead you to miss your biggest opportunities. Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe and if you haven't already, then join our Facebook group. You can find a link in the show notes or just visit amplify me.fm forward slash insiders. I would love for you to connect with me on social media. You'll find me everywhere at Bob Gentle and if you do then message me and I'll follow you back. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love for you to review on iTunes. It means so much to me. And it's the best way to help me reach more subscribers. My name is Bob Gentle thanks again to Andy for giving us his time this week, and to you for listening. And see you next week.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai