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Onward Nation

America's best podcast for learning how today's top business owners Think, Act, & Achieve. Onward Nation is a five-day-a-week podcast hosted by Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI. Business owners share the most influential lessons learned throughout their careers, including insights into their daily habits, their most vital priorities that have contributed to their business and personal success, and the most challenging time or situation that could have devastated or even ruined their businesses or careers. Business owners share their "recipes for success" including those systems they wish they had put into practice inside their business when first starting out. Each episode concludes with guests sharing two or three practical and tactical strategies they would recommend to brand new business owners in order to best ensure success in their new business and careers. Onward Nation provides business owners with the strategies and tactical step-by-step "recipe" that will help anyone make their business more systematic, predictable, measurable, and repeatable.
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Now displaying: October, 2015
Oct 30, 2015

Justin Roff-Marsh is the founder and president of Ballistix and the author of the new book, "The Machine: A Radical Approach to the Design of the Sales Function". Justin is a thought leader in sales management, a radical new approach to the management of the sales function. He is also the editor of the popular Sales Process Engineering blog, read by thousands of people around the world. Over the past decade, Justin has presented Sales Process Engineering at events to tens of thousands of executives the world over. He has been guest speaker at scores of industry events, conferences and association meetings, and has facilitated workshops to hundreds of companies in a variety of industries throughout North America and Australia.

Secret – timesaving technique

Justin has an executive assistant plan every minute of his day – focus on what you’re good at, not planning. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Outer your competition – Justin reads a lot and listens to podcasts – usually at 1.5-2 times their normal speed.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Justin had to turn his back on what was making him money – and Justin tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Manage technology and developers – be able to communicate clearly with your developers.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“You need to get the hell out of your office – if you spend all your time in the office, all you’re ever going to have is a small business.”  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would avoid ever billing clients on a time and materials basis – sell your services as if access to them were memberships.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Treat your team like a machine – focus employees on things that increase sales.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would focus on increasing sales numbers.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Know what you’re getting into – don’t romanticize or simplify business.
  2. Figure out what is right for you – owning a business may not be for you.

How best to connect with Justin:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 29, 2015

Stephen Woessner is the host of this great podcast, but before Onward Nation, Stephen served in the military, worked for several advertising agencies, taught at the University of Wisconsin, and then formed his own agency Predictive ROI. At Predictive ROI, he and is team currently help clients from coast to coast understand their customers better and leverage technology smarter so they can more effectively generate leads, sales, and repeat business.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Stephen uses daily systems – he starts every morning in the gym, has three vital priorities each day that he reviews with his team, and has checks and balances for his clients. ONWARD!

System that helps run a virtual business

In addition to lots of emails, phone calls, and Zoom meetings, Stephen and his team have a daily kickstart where they each answer four questions:

  1. These are my three vital priorities today
  2. What I didn’t get done yesterday but should have
  3. This is where I need help
  4. Do I have any available time today

Daily habit that contributes to success

Be consistent in your prayer/meditation – Stephen spends 30 minutes every day marinating on what he needs to do today.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Stephen’s $2 million event sold three tickets – and Stephen tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Be disciplined – it’s so easy to just give up – don’t let anyone get in your way.”

Something all Onward Nation guests have in common

Every guest has had amazing mentors – and they themselves are good mentees.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Show me a person’s friends – and I will know everything about that person.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have been quicker to implement the Predictive ROI system on ourselves – not just on our clients.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Make 60 cold calls every single day and interview people on a podcast or blog – grow your sphere of influence.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be a proactive teammate – they need to jump in and help their teammates.

Why do you treat your employees like your family?

I can’t be somebody at work and somebody different at home. Loving my team is just who I am.

What is one thing you’re doing different because of an Onward Nation guest?

Just keep moving forward – don’t pay attention to negative talk.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Be excellent at your own marketing – no matter how busy you are – always have a sales driving machine
  2. Never stop looking for mentors – find models in other industries – you don’t have to know your mentors personally
  3. Pay attention to the vital metrics – don’t mistake activity for accomplishments

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 28, 2015

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.

 

Good Morning Onward Nation…Stephen Woessner here.

Last week, in episode 93, I shared that after 20+ years of owning five companies, and having an opportunity to work with and interview some of today’s top business owners here on Onward Nation, I’ve noticed 12 reoccurring themes – or Master Success Strategies of today’s top business owners — that come up over and over again because they have contributed to the success of our amazing and incredible guests at Onward Nation.

I shared 5 of the master success strategies as well as some of the key insights learned from our first 99 guests along this great journey that has been Onward Nation.

Wow…I am still getting used to the fact that tomorrow will be episode 100.

100 went by so quickly — and we are just getting started, Onward Nation! There is so much more to come.

The feedback after sharing five of the success strategies was awesome — that the solocast was a helpful resource.

And speaking of resources…did you download our 12 Success Strategies of Today’s Top Business Owners eBook? If not…why not?

You can still download it here.

 

For today’s solocast…I selected 5 more of the 12 master success strategies — and we are going to do a deep dive.

So that when we are done with today’s episode, you will have last week’s solocast to pair up with today’s, and you will have deep dives into 10 of the 12 strategies.

Plus, the eBook we created for you contains all 12 success strategies.

But…before we dig into today’s 5 strategies…I owe you and everyone in Onward Nation a very big thank you.

If you are listening to your first-ever Onward Nation episode — I want to say thank you — and let you know how much it means to me that you decided to share your precious time with the ever-growing Onward Nation…today.

Look, I know there are lots of excellent podcasts you can choose from — and I am grateful you chose to be here…right now.

And if you have been listening to Onward Nation for a while now…you may already know how I feel about the sacredness of your time.

We all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day — and I consider you being here — in this moment — right now — to be a sacred exchange of time and value.

You are generously giving me your precious time — and in exchange — right now — I have to be at my best to deliver the value you expect.

I know that I have to be at that quote – unquote “next level” to ensure you come back and continue to listen. So if I am serious about your time being sacred — then me going all-in and working hard at making this episode excellent is the best way for me to express my gratitude for you being here.

And at any point — if you think I’m missing the mark — or — if I shared something helpful to you and your business — please let me know. I love feedback because it is the only way for me to get better.

My email address is stephen @ onwardnation.com — and yep — that is my actual email address.

No fancy filters. You send me an email and it will come right to my Inbox. I answer every single email.

So please let me know — any time — thumbs up or thumbs down. Deal?

 

Okay, Onward Nation…here we go…a deep dive into 5 bonus master success strategies from today’s top business owners.

Some of the strategies are simple and will only take a minute or two to cover, which also makes them easy to put into practice inside your business.

But there are also several strategies that will require a deeper explanation. I will guide you through the step-by-step to putting each strategy into practice.

And I’m also going to share the links to some of my favorite resources with you in today’s Show Notes.

 

Let’s dive into Strategy #4. Look for feedback

Onward Nation…you will find success by looking for constructive feedback. All the time.

The relentless pursuit of feedback as Joel Boggess, my guest during episode 4 of Onward Nation described.

You must swallow your pride. You have to set your ego aside and then recognize that getting better is a process.

As Vince Lombardi said, “The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

And the only way to climb that mountain is to push your way up the side of the mountain — one step at a time. To conquer your fear of criticism.

Because it is the fear of criticism that keeps you — that prevents you from asking for feedback. Fear prevents you from getting real — getting honest with yourself — getting honest with your performance — and getting honest with your scorecard.

Looking for feedback takes guts, Onward Nation.

It takes guts to seek out and listen to feedback. It is the only way to improve what is otherwise unknown.

The relentless pursuit of feedback is not about seeking out compliments — it rests solely on seeking out how to get better.

You cannot get to that next level — to move onward to that next level — until you start asking those who you currently serve — how you can get better — how you can do better for them — how you can deliver more value to them.

Feedback is a critical ingredient for your entrepreneurial recipe.

So what is the process to look for feedback?

First…you need to surround yourself with mentors, books, training resources, and a trusted network of advisors. They will be invaluable to you in sharing the feedback you need to grow.

Second…Onward Nation…you need to have the guts to ask customers

Third…you need to ignore the fear of criticism.

Fear is self-imposed. You are the one who creates it.

Fear doesn’t actually exist but in your own mind. So don’t let fear keep you from asking for feedback, Onward Nation.

You already know that owning a business is not always pretty — but everyone has to start somewhere — so don’t compare yourself to others who have been doing it longer than you.

Cody Foster, my guest on episode 80 of Onward Nation taught me that very powerful lesson. I was in Topeka spending some time with Cody and his team at Advisors Excel and one night at Cody’s house he shared some stories from the early days of Advisors Excel — what it was like when there were only the three co-founders…and how they grew the business…and now…to look at Advisors Excel…it’s a multi-billion company with 350 employees and a 100,000 square foot office — and then compare their “front-of-stage” with your “back-of-stage” — or your present day reality.

That is not a fair comparison.

Now that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t seek out and use models of other successful companies to improve our own trajectory.

But to compare your current state with a company that has been doing for 10-years longer than you can destroy the amazing, wonderful, and beautiful things you are presently working on. Comparisons are not feedback.

Instead, look at their path and let that serve as inspiration of what is possible and not a comparison of where you are currently at. Don’t turn their path of success somehow into a mirror to see that you are underachieving.

Remember, Onward Nation, “Limits like fears are often just an illusion.”

So go out — set the fear of criticism aside — and look for feedback.

Jim Rohn said,

 

If you help enough people get what they want — you will get what you want.

 

And the only way you can help them get what they want is by asking them — look for feedback — to learn how you can serve — how you can give.

 

Let’s keep that momentum of giving going…because strategy #6 is Give until there is nothing left

Have you watched the movie “Pumping Iron” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno?

It’s more than a movie, Onward Nation — it’s more like a powerful documentary — an illustration of what it is like to give and give and give until there is nothing left — and just when you think you cannot give any more toward the pursuit of your dream — you reach down deep — and you find a way to give just a bit more.

I’ve studied the sport of bodybuilding and Arnold is the only competitor I have ever heard describe the intensity of his workouts to where he would push, and push, and push until he literally vomited in a trash can at the gym.

So he would sit and rest for a few minutes. Then he would get up and get back to work. Right back at it.

What was the result outcome for Arnold after all that intensity?

He won the Mr. Olympia competition 6 times in a row.

Then he took 5-years off from bodybuilding — but surprised the sport when he came back in 1980 and won the title again — just to show he could and that he was still the best. Even after taking 5-years off.

Shane Stott, my guest for episode 8 of Onward Nation, said to me,

 

Stephen, the only way a successful individual will get off the entrepreneurial treadmill is when they fall to the floor dead.”

 

You, Onward Nation, have to be that committed to your treadmill — that committed to your success.

There is no such thing as an overnight success.  You have to willing to conquer the twist and turns through faith — the faith in knowing you are on the right path — and that you will not change course.

As John Lee Dumas said in episode 38…you need to F.O.C.U.S…which stands for Follow One Course Until Success, Onward Nation.

So don’t think small when you CAN and SHOULD think BIG!

I am going to link in the Show Notes one of the best motivational videos that I have ever watched. I have listened to it hundreds of times. I shared it with Shane Stott a couple of years ago and he converted it into an MP3 file and now listens to it every morning on his drive to work. It is part of his pre-work morning ritual.

Watch the video — listen to the message — and when you do — ask yourself this question…“Have I given all that I can give toward being successful?”

I guarantee that your answer — if you are honest with yourself — is no — there is still more you can give.

You still have more, Onward Nation! You are well able to give more and become more.

How Bad Do you Want to Succeed Motivational Speech

 

And now I will move to strategy #7: Eliminate distractions and then DO IT!

In episode 9, Afraa Zammam — who joined me on Onward Nation from her office in the countryside outside of Berlin, Germany — said to me,

 

Stephen, you must get rid of any distractions in your environment — because distractions aren’t just wasting your time — they are diminishing — they are wasting away your ability to accomplish your goals.”

 

Here’s the reality…if you are spending an hour checking Facebook every day — or Twitter — or watching 40-hours of TV each week (which is the average of the US population by the way) — if that is what you’re doing — you are not only distracted — but you are investing heavily toward your failure — versus investing heavily toward your success!

You must eliminate the distractions and sometimes the distractions are not Facebook, Twitter, or putting a better time management system into place.

Sometimes the greatest distractions are people on your team who are not moving at the pace and tempo you need them to.

Remember Onward Nation, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Wise words from Jim Rohn.

So release the non-performers — they are a distraction to you and your team of A Players. And by releasing them…you will empower your A Players to perform at the level they want to.

Now, once you eliminate the distractions — you need to stop making excuses and get back to the business of hard work by putting your mind to the task at the hand…and just do it.

If you want a great resource on excuses…flip to page 189 of Think & Grow Rich and you will find a list of 57 excuses that we all tell ourselves every day — and those excuses are robbing you, Onward Nation of your future.

Excuses like:

  • If I had the money to invest
  • If I had a good education
  • If I only had the time
  • If other people understood me
  • If conditions around me were only different
  • If I could only do what I want
  • If I could meet the right people
  • If I could just get a break

And the list goes on. There are 57 of them.

Read the list — study the list — and then don’t let yourself use those excuses. You are better than that, Onward Nation.

In this section of today’s Show Notes…I am also going to include a link to another resource — a well-known speech by Art Williams, entitled Just Do It.

Art’s words will make you laugh and he may even call you on the carpet in a few areas because his words might expose some of the excuses you have been telling yourself. And how you have allowed yourself to become distracted.

Watch it. Study it. You will be glad you did.

 

Okay, Onward Nation… 2 more strategies to go…let’s power through…now on to Strategy #10: Decide if this is right for you

Marianne Williamson said…

 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

 

Onward Nation, there will be days when you question your sanity for doing what you are doing. Today may be one of those days for you.

The first step to you being successful is simply deciding that this is the right thing for you. Is it? Or isn’t? If you are in — then be all in. Burn the boats — eliminate any chance of retreat — and be all in.

And as I learned from Tony Robbins…we all have the power to decide — to decide to make a radical change. Change doesn’t have to take a long time — change can happen in an instant when the decision you make is a MUST.

It is completely within our ability to harness the power of decisions that guides our trajectory, Onward Nation.

Does that mean that being successful is as easy as making the decision to be successful?

No, but making that decision — a true decision — is the critical first step — and then you have to work your face off, like Gary Vaynerchuk says…my guest for episode 42 of Onward Nation.

With that said…if you want some insights — some quotes — to carry you through the rest of the day…then I have another resource for you. It is an incredible video compilation and I will include it in today’s Show Notes.

 

Now, Onward Nation…it is time for the final master success strategy. It is Strategy #11: Do it the right way

Larry Broughton, my guest for episode 18 on Onward Nation taught us much about excellence…perseverance…tenacity…and always working to do the right thing…and not giving up.

You see…Larry spent nine years in the U.S. Army Green Berets where the words “quit” or “half-way” were not part of the vocabulary. In fact, Larry said to me, “Stephen, you have choose to do the hard right over the easy wrong.” An anthem — a mission — the Green Berets use every day to guide their work — their pursuit of excellence.

What a powerful lesson about doing it the right way. The right way is the only way, Onward Nation.

David Mammano, my guest on episode 17 of Onward Nation, believes that success will come to business owners if they stay committed to implementing excellent standards and developing a pristine culture.

So be committed, Onward Nation, to building a culture of greatness within your company.

How?

You need to coach your team on how to do it the right way — you set the pace — you must show them how to do it the right way — how you manage your time with excellence — but if you suck at those things or are average — then don’t expect your team to be excellent.

How can you expect them to do it the right way when you don’t do it the right way?

Don’t take shortcuts — shortcuts will inevitably lead to failure.

Remember, you set the pace…you are the example of excellence in your company…you must be committed to doing it the right way…and if you are…your team will do it the right way and you will succeed at strategy #12.

 

Okay, Onward Nation – I hope those 5 master success strategies shared in this solocast were valuable to you.

Please drop me a line and let me know what you thought. You can share your comments at the bottom of the show notes for this episode – or – you can email me anytime at Stephen @ onwardnation.com and yes – that is my actual email address – comes directly to me – no fancy filter, routing, or sorting…comes right to my Inbox.

Feel free to use it anytime.

Let me know…thumbs up or thumbs down?

We will be back tomorrow with episode 100 — a very special episode — a special milestone. It is such a privilege to be here with you — to have been here for 99 episodes — thank you, Onward Nation.

Until tomorrow…onward with gusto!

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 27, 2015

Larry Winget is a bestselling author, television personality, social commentator and internationally acclaimed speaker. His newest book, Grow A Pair: How To Stop Being a Victim and Take Back Your Life, Your Business, and Your Sanity is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. He has also written five additional New York Times / Wall Street Journal bestselling books that have been translated into over 20 languages including Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get A Life; You’re Broke Because You Want To Be; It’s Called Work For A Reason; People Are Idiots And I Can Prove It; and Your Kids Are Your Own Fault. Larry is a regular contributor on many national television news shows on the topics of success, business, personal finance, and parenting. He is also a member of the Speaker Hall Of Fame and is the trademarked Pitbull of Personal Development®.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Larry doesn’t listen to the motivational mumbo jumbo people believe – work hard, pull in profits, and you’ll achieve success. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Do the one thing every day that you MUST get done – Larry focuses on his number one vital priority each day.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Larry came on hard times and had to mow lawns for extra income – and Larry tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Customers want honesty, authenticity, and integrity – don’t focus on the hyperbole.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

”What is easy to do is just as easy not to do.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have become more authentic quicker – be transparent.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Get out three sheets of paper – and write down where you are, where you want to be, and what you’re going to give up.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Work your ass off every single day – just do it
  2. If you’re working on the wrong thing – you’ll figure it out
  3. Do what you said you would do – when you said you would do it – the way you said you would do it

How best to connect with Larry:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 26, 2015

Dorie Clark is an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the author of “Reinventing You” and “Stand Out”. A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, she is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, TIME, and Entrepreneur. Recognized as a branding expert by the Associated Press, Inc., and Fortune, Clark is a marketing strategy consultant and speaker for clients including Google, Microsoft, Yale University, Fidelity, and the World Bank. You can download her free 42-page Stand Out Self-Assessment Workbook at dorieclark.com.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Dorie uses ScheduleOnce – have an online calendar that allows people to book time with you. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Stay informed – Dorie reads the newspaper everyday, and it helps her business relationships.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Dorie suddenly wasn’t getting any new business – and Dorie tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Form positive relationships with customers – and seek out those relationships.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

Current relationships lead to future relationships – be cordial to those around you.

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have built up my email list – you own those relationships.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Keep in touch with your most important professional relationships – and use Contactually to do it.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual will succeed – but you need to spend dozens of hours to allow them success.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Establish what you’re going to be known for – then work on getting known for it
  2. Get inside peer groups – they’ll help you grow your business

How best to connect with Dorie:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

 

Oct 23, 2015

Kara Ronin is an Australian entrepreneur, social skills expert, and founder of Executive Impressions. Passionate about teaching people the social skills to thrive in any business or social situation, and in any country, Kara created Executive Impressions, an online education platform that receives thousands of visits every month. Kara has spent over 10-years living an international life in Japan, the United States, and Europe including Tokyo, New York, and Lyon, and speaks Japanese as well as French. At one stage, Kara moved countries or cities every year for 10 years straight. Now she lives in France, just two hours from the French Alps, where she took a leap of faith and created her own business.

 

Secret – timesaving technique

Kara checks her email and social only twice a day – it’s too easy to waste time. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Go for a run three times a week – Kara finds that exercise helps her motivation and energy.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Kara’s business wasn’t growing at all – and Kara tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Persevere – things aren’t going to work immediately.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“You can only grow as far as your biggest fear – there’s always going to be fear that will limit you if you let it.”

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have made a schedule for my blog – my non-plan didn’t work.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Refine and polish your appearance and your interpersonal skills – this soft skill needs to be polished.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would persevere – they need to keep their eyes on the end goal.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Don’t give into your own self-doubt – come up with a strategy and a plan
  2. Don’t give into other people’s self-doubt – don’t let other people stop your dreams

How best to connect with Kara:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 22, 2015

Amber Lambke is the president of Maine Grains located in Skowhegan, Maine. The company is housed at the Somerset Grist Mill. The Mill provides a space for farmers, entrepreneurs, and community members to assemble and operate a variety of programs and businesses. The Somerset Grist Mill is nationally recognized as one of the country's emerging rural “food hubs.” Amber is also the executive director of the Maine Grain Alliance Market, a mom, wife, former speech-language pathologist, home baker and passionate gardener.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Amber surrounds herself with mentors – find those with experiences you haven’t had. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Engage in self-talk – Amber encourages herself through the rough times.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Amber had grain that wasn't performing for her customers – and Amber tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Overcome your self-doubt and fear of failure – try new things.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Don’t be afraid to think large – analyze your competitors and see your strengths.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have imagined five years out – imagine what your dream team looks like.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Communicate with your team – be clear with you mission.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be one with our goal – they need to be heading the same direction we are.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Solve problems one step at a time – every step forward is a step forward
  2. Celebrate the small successes – these successes are the way forward

How best to connect with Amber:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 21, 2015

Mitch Matthews is a keynote speaker, a success coach, and a best-selling author. His new podcast, “DREAM. THINK. DO.” is at the top of the iTunes charts. Mitch has worked with leaders and teams from organizations like NASA, Disney, Booking.com, and the Principal Financial Group. Plus, Mitch speaks on college campuses around the country.

 

He’s passionate about helping entrepreneurs and leaders to dream bigger, think better, and do more of the stuff they were put on the planet to do! Mitch has built three successful businesses himself including one fully automated online training-based business that has helped coaches around the world and brought in over a million dollars in revenue. 

Most importantly, Mitch lives a “highly-caffeinated” lifestyle in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, Melissa and their two sons. And for those animal lovers… the Matthews also currently have 1 dog, 1 “cat with OCD,” 8 fish and a snail named “Steve Dangerous.”

 

Secret – timesaving technique

Mitch has a calendar driven to-do list – don’t put things on your list that you don’t have time for.ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Ask yourself affirming questions – Mitch searches for the answers to the most important questions.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Mitch had very low turnout to a big live event – and Mitch tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Be intentional in directing your thinking – our outcomes come first through our thoughts.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Be interested, not interesting – you have to connect with customers.”

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have started the “Dream. Think. Do.” process earlier – dream first, think second, and then do it.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Get clear on success – and have effective feedback loops.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would learn fast and limit risk – they need to be good communicators.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Ask yourself what success looks like for you personally – focus on yourself and you business
  2. Direct your thinking – ask yourself what you want to do today
  3. Ask yourself who you’re going to learn from – and answer the question every single day

How best to connect with Mitch:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 20, 2015

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.
 

Good Morning Onward Nation…Stephen Woessner here.

We all know that building and scaling a business is hard work…but when you have the right strategy — the right recipe for success to follow — the action steps become more like “ingredients” and can be added systematically into your business — one ingredient at a time.

After 20+ years of owning five companies, and having an opportunity to work with and interview some of today’s top business owners here on Onward Nation, I’ve noticed 12 reoccurring themes – or master success strategies — that come up over and over again because they have contributed to the success of our amazing and incredible guests at Onward Nation.

During today’s solocast, I am going to share the 5 of the 12 strategies with you. Unfortunately, I cannot cover all 12 due to time constraints — but — we created a free eBook to go along with today’s episode that covers all 12 strategies and how to apply them right away. You can download the 12 Success Strategies eBook here.

Some of the strategies are simple and will only take a minute or two to cover, which also makes them pretty easy to put into practice inside your business.

And there are several strategies that will require a long explanation. But I will guide you through the step-by-step to putting each strategy into practice.

I decided to dedicate today’s solocast to these Success Strategies because during each episode of Onward Nation — our guests share lessons with you on how to make your business more systematic, repeatable, measurable – and successful!

But, as Onward Nation has grown and enjoyed some success — and thank you for listening and being part of the ever-growing nation — the amount of data and recommendations is starting to grow rapidly. The eBook represents a distillation of some of the best strategies shared by our incredible guests — from episode 1 to episode 92.

So let me know what you think of this solocast — please download the 12 Success Strategies eBook — and drop me a line.

I recognize that getting better is a process. As Vince Lombardi said,

“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

So I would greatly appreciate your feedback — thumbs up or thumbs down. Your feedback helps us get better every day so please keep it coming.

Okay, Onward Nation…here we go…the 5 Success Strategies of Today’s Top Business Owners.

 

Strategy #1: Fire the Destructive Customer

Way back in episode #1, Scott McKain shocked me when he said,

“Stephen, a business owner will find success if they are willing to fire the ‘destructive customer’.”

Which if you have studied Scott’s books and curriculum — you know this is a rather counterintuitive thing for him to say. Scott is all about exceeding a customer’s expectations — creating that distinctive experience so customers are compelled to come back instead of visiting your competition.

So firing a customer — where did that come from?

Scott when on to explain to me that destructive customers want to buy products or services outside of your company’s core offering. And they push you to deliver.

Destructive customers are demanding and time-consuming.

Oftentimes, this becomes detrimental to your company’s ability to serve other customers because you are spending so much time trying to satisfy one set of needs.

And when he said that…I thought… “Oohhhh. Darn it. Been there. Scott is so right.”

But Scott took it deeper by also sharing how each of us can protect or business from The Destructive Customer.

According to Scott…most business owners aren’t willing to say “no” to a destructive customer.

Why?

Because the fear of losing those sales is a near and present danger to cash flow. And by the way, Onward Nation…the fear of losing sales is the Fear of Poverty creeping back in. If you are listening for the first time, the Fear of Poverty is one of the 6 fears we all struggle with from time to time — sometimes consistently — throughout our business and life.

All 6 Fears are documented and explained in depth by Napoleon Hill in his groundbreaking book, Think & Grow Rich, published in 1937 and still just a relevant today. I also do a deep dive into the Fear of Poverty in episode 65 of Onward Nation.

So how do we protect ourselves?

You as the business owner have to be bold and courageous enough to go an “Inch wide and a mile deep” with your company’s expertise instead of trying to be everything to everyone.

Developing deep expertise will give you the ability to command a premium price for what you do at your company – and in the process – you will attract the right customers.

And then you will be better equipped to say no to the destructive customer because you will no longer be in a position of need to take on whatever business you can get.

 

Strategy #2: Become a Master Storyteller

Business owners will find success if they become master storytellers through mentorship…and that is another powerful lesson I learned from one of my mentors, Don Yaeger.

You hear me talk about Don and his influence on nearly every episode of Onward Nation. AndDon is the one who said during episode #2,

“Stephen, the reality is…whoever tells the best story wins.”

Onward Nation, learning the principles of storytelling will help you clearly articulate your journey to yourself, to your employees, to customers, and to all of the stakeholders in your business.

Mentorship is an invaluable asset that directly correlates and strengthens your ability to storytell because of the experience sharing and growth you will go through when you find the right mentor.

ROADBLOCK…don’t get stuck in the mental trap of thinking you need to find mentors exclusively from within your industry.

One of my closest and most trusted advisors at Predictive ROI is John Lyche — and he does not come from the digital marketing space. He has built a career in excellent in manufacturing, distribution, and product innovation.

And he is an expert in scaling a small company into a large company.

Oh, awesome — I want to learn those things…and he has been an incredible mentor and teacher. Because the lessons of how to scale effectively transcend industry — so don’t make the mistake — don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your business — your industry is so unique and different and no one outside of it could offer valuable insights.

And that is why Don shared that oftentimes the most enlightening lessons are learned from those who can offer you a completely different perspective.

 

So how do you find the right mentor? Here’s a quick checklist.

  1. Think about your own talents and the skills you would like to strengthen – areas of your business you would like to improve, etc.
  2. This process will help you identify the person you need to become to take your business to the next level.
  3. This is really hard because you have to take a critical look at yourself. Most people are not willing to get honest with themselves and that is one of the major reasons they never grow.
  4. Once you have the list — look for people who are crushing it in these areas. The same areas where you need to grow.
  5. Contact those people. Invite them to lunch. Let them know you are packed full of questions for them. Be very prepared — and they will love the fact you took the time with them seriously enough to do your homework.
  6. Interview them and put what they share with you into practice.
  7. Turn it into a blog post and your clients will love you for it because you just shared some critical insights with them, too.
  8. Then loop back to your mentors and share your success.
  9. When you do, they will invite you to sit down so they can share more with you.
  10. Soak it all up — then put more of it into practice.

Remember Onward Nation…a good mentee takes action on what is learned!

 

Strategy #3: Eat Rejection for Lunch

So many of our Onward Nation guests have this strategy in common.

The reality is Onward Nation, we will find success by eating rejection for lunch and ignoring the naysayers. Ignore the doubters. Ignore the people who say you’re not good enough — that you can’t do it — that you don’t have the pedigree, the education, the background to get it done.

My grandfather immigrated to this country from Istanbul, Turkey in 1920…couldn’t speak the language and he had $10 in his pocket. He cut lettuce and washed dishes on the night shift at a Canton, Ohio restaurant…gritted it out…then moved to the day shift as a cook so he could make more money. And in 6 years…he had saved enough money to open his own restaurant…that he ran for over 40 years…including running the business through the Great Depression.

Onward Nation…you have to refuse to take “NO” for an answer — you have to break through the fears, doubts, worries, struggles – those pits in your stomach.

And as Stacey Alcorn shared with us in episode #3….she said…

“Stephen, when you feel that fear and doubt are creeping in – let them be your signs – that you are headed in the right direction – and it is time to slam the gas down on the floor!”

One of my favorite quotes of all time is “Fear and procrastination are the enemies of success”.

My cousin, Dean Bacopoulos shared that with me when he and I were partners in a dot com together back in the late nineties. And I never forgot it. I have it now framed in my office as a constant reminder to the great wisdom in those words.

So how do we break through the fear of rejection?

Here are three simple steps.

Step #1: Refuse to accept “NO” as an answer.

Step #2: See step 1. Rinse and repeat.

Breaking through the initial stage of dismay will allow you to pursue your biggest dreams.

Success, Onward Nation, will come to those who refuse to accept “NO” as an answer.

You will overcome your apprehension and gain the freedom to decide that NOW is your time — it’s time to take action toward your dreams.

It’s not rocket science. The only way to truly ensure success is to “work your face off”. As Gary Vaynerchuk likes to say.

There are no shortcuts. This is not an easy way to conquer and achieve your biggest goals. It takes persistence and tenacity.

Success takes GRIT, Onward Nation.

Surround yourself with mentors, books, training resources, and trusted networks will be invaluable to getting the feedback you need to grow your business.

Owning a business is not always pretty — but everyone has to start somewhere – so don’t compare yourself to others who have been doing it longer than you.

In the interest of time…I’m going to fast forward to Strategy #9: Good Execution Ensures Success.

[Remember…we will email you the entire eBook that has all 12 Success Strategies. You can request it here.]

Steve Olson, our guest on episode 15 said to me, “Good execution ensures success. Plain and simple.”

A simple but very powerful lesson.

Onward Nation…you can read all the books, craft an incredibly detailed business plan, and put all of the pieces into place for that product launch…but unless you execute and do the good work…you will not be successful.

Jerry Rice, the hall of fame NFL wide receiver famously said…

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

And yes to say, it’s all about commitment to sound cliche — but it is the truth.

So should we approach this — what are the tactical steps to ensure success? Here are four to put into practice right away?

  1. Seek out advisors who are specialized and can help support the development of the most vital functions in your company.
  2. Continually evaluate your business plan because conditions are changing in our rapidly evolving business environment.
  3. Take rapid action, find a way to get results, and be able to learn from the mistakes.
  4. Ask your clients how to improve a product because they know best.

Remember, your success depends upon your ability to convert the recommendations from your advisors, and the strategies you develop, into actionable items.

 

Strategy #12: Build Your Network

Two really amazing guests, Stacey Alcorn…episode #3 and Nancy Marshall…episode 19 are the queens of building impressive networks!

Both Stacey and Nancy shared how business owners can and will find success by building their network of personal relationships — and — by being strategic about who you meet and who you spend your time with.

During my interview with Nancy…she shared a very powerful story about how when her agency, Nancy Marshall Communications had lost a key account, it was her network that pulled her through those dark times. And now that once lost client — is back at her agency — and business is better than ever. But without a strong network in place — the temporary loss could have been devastating.

So how should we go about building a network?

Pay close attention to the little details, show gratitude, and make sure to nurture your relationships over time.

Focus on clients, vendors, and most importantly family.

Keep a gratitude journal to remain consistent with your relationship building.

Plan strategically, identify your goals, and then measure your success along the way and then follow the interview and publish the recipe that Stacey Alcorn mapped out for you in episode 3. Put that into practice and you will see your network, your platform, and your influence grow…nearly exponentially.

 

Okay, Onward Nation – I hope this solocast was valuable to you.

Please drop me a line and let me know what you thought. You can share your comments at the bottom of the show notes for this episode – or – you can email me anytime at Stephen @ onwardnation.com and yes – that is my actual email address – comes directly to me – no fancy filter, routing, or sorting…comes right to my Inbox.

Feel free to use it anytime.

Let me know…thumbs up or thumbs down?

I will be back tomorrow with my interview with Mitch Matthews — and oh my word — it is a conversation you don’t want to miss.

Until then…onward with gusto!

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 19, 2015

John Gumas is a veteran of the advertising and interactive marketing industry. John founded GUMAS in 1984. Today, the award-winning firm is consistently named as one of the top branding and interactive marketing firms by the San Francisco Business Times.

John is recognized as one of the country’s foremost authorities on challenger brand marketing. He is the author of the popular book “Marketing Smart”, which describes how challenger brands can effectively develop marketing strategies to take on their larger competitors. John is an adjunct professor of branding, advertising and interactive marketing, a sought-after speaker and a regular columnist for several publications and blogs.

John was recently inducted into the San Francisco State University Hall of Fame, recognized for his community service and leadership by the U.S. Senate, the San Francisco Giants, and was selected as the Man of the Year by The Elios Society.  

Secret – timesaving technique

John sets one goal a day – accomplishing the daily keeps him positive and moving forward. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Engage with your key employees – John keeps his team motivated.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

John had to make tough employment decisions – and John tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Create the right company culture – your employees need to be proud to come to work each day.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Don’t get burnt out – delegate what you don’t like to do.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have had a realistic business plan – stay focused on realistic goals.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Have a perfect elevator pitch – you can’t be everything to everyone.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have a good heart – they need to be caring individuals.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Think like a challenger brand – focus on what makes you unique
  2. Create a concise, compelling message – and make sure everyone in the company knows it
  3. Love what you do – make your job not feel like work

How best to connect with Olie:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 16, 2015

Eric Douay started his career in the hospitality industry, for the French multi-national hotels company, Accor Group, in Paris and progressed quickly to open their first sales & marketing office in Canada.

In 1997, he created D-TOUR MARKETING Inc., a company specialized in sales & marketing for international hotels chains that wanted to be present in Canada, without all the headaches of opening their own Canadian offices. The company was also involved in property development in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean.

In 2007, Eric created a new core business, on top of his existing business, by offering payments solutions to the hospitality, travel and tourism industry. His company now optimizes payment processing systems for private clients and has helped hundreds of merchants collectively generate over $1 billion of accumulated transactions volume, while saving serious money in the process.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Eric visualizes his two or three actions – be productive. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Express gratefulness – Eric thanks God everyday for giving him the new breath of life.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Eric lost 50% of his business – and Eric tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Reinvest in knowledge – school only prepares you to be on the team – get on the field and score.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have delegated, automated, and eliminated – learn what you need to take off your plate.  

 

You can find us here: ------OnwardNation.com------

Oct 15, 2015

Olie Jentzsch is the president of Flitz International, a family-owned business based in Wisconsin. Flitz serves customers around the world by supplying a variety of high-quality cleaners, polishes, and protectants for applications in automotive, marine, sporting goods, aviation, and household-related industries. Over the last 37 years, Flitz has made a name for themselves with customers who want to do it the right way — the first time. Olie and his team have steadily grown the company into an international leader within their industry.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Olie uses a day-timer – stay organized. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Review your goals – Olie writes out his goals at least biweekly.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Olie made a mistake – and Olie tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Get to know your customers – and listen.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Make the right introduction – be a chameleon.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have had a formal education – learn the foundations of business.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Change – you either grow or you die.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would pick up new rocks – they think outside the box.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Surround yourself with the best – and trust those you surround yourself with
  2. Stick with it – don’t give up
  3. It takes money – there are ways to get money

How best to connect with Olie:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 14, 2015

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.  

Good Morning Onward Nation – I am so excited for today’s solocast!

I’m excited because we are going to continue the momentum we have been building over the last several solocasts where we have begun to uncover what I call the Money Draining Mistakes.

These are the mistakes that we all make – yes, everyone one of us from time to time – have made these mistakes in our business – and the net result is that cash has been literally sucked right out of our companies.

Very expensive.

And yes, I know that sounds a bit overly dramatic but when I share today’s Money Draining Mistake with you – by the end of this episode – my hope for you is that you will see why I consider this one – this mistake – to be one of the most expensive.  

It is a silent killer for most businesses.

But before we jump into this one – I want to go back to the two biggest challenges that are preventing you from moving your business onward to that next level because those challenges – those barriers to your success have nothing to do the business climate, the economy, the skill level of your employees, the location of your business, your pricing strategy, your current customer base, the size of your marketing budget, the quality of your products, your distribution channels, or the myriad of other reasons we are given today by the media and government as to why businesses fail at such a staggering rate in this country.

The obstacles in your way have nothing to do with any of those things.  

Your two biggest obstacles are the Fear of Poverty and the Fear of Criticism.

I am not going to dissect both of these Fears here – instead, I encourage you to go back and re-listen to episode 65 to understand both fears more deeply – but what I will say is that the Fear of Criticism will directly impact your ability to stay plugged in to this episode and push forward to really want to master the recipe that I share with you during our time together this morning.

I guarantee you...if you are like most business owners…as soon as I say the words “Bounce Rate” as part of today’s recipe – you will begin to tune out and lose interest.

Or, as I share “data points”...as I discuss things like the “psychology of your customer”, or need to create “clear calls-to-action.”

It will be real easy for you to say something like, “I have someone on my team who does that, Stephen...I don’t have to know it.”

Why do I think you will say or at least think that?

Because you – me – we are all afraid of the unknown. We are uncertain – we are afraid we might fail to understand the concept – the lesson. And so the best way for us to defend against that fear – to protect ourselves – is for us to say, “Oh Stephen, I don’t need to know that because someone on my team gets it...they have it down. I’m all set.”

Do they?

Do they really?

And if you don’t understand it – how can you possibly hope to measure their success in it?

Discounting the potential knowledge without really understanding the value of the knowledge is sort of like when we were all back in high school and it came time for Algebra or Biology class – or insert the name of your scary class here – and we tried to convince ourselves that we would never need to have access to that knowledge in our lifetime. Somehow we felt prepared to make that decision at 16 or 17 years old.

And yet, if you were to sit down with someone like Mark Cuban, one of the acclaimed investors from Shark Tank and ask him what he wishes he would have done a better job of learning along the way…he readily admits…that he would have done a better job studying those things that he quickly discounted – that he told himself he would never need – and now he wishes he had mastered those skills early on…things like Algebra, Biology, and so forth.

So this episode – episode 89 – you need to know that I am likely going to push you...to push your Fear of Criticism.

But in full transparency – I think that is part of my job to help you grow – to help you become more certain – to help you reach that next level.

And as my drill instructor said to me once – well, he actually shouted it to me one morning – I think he just wanted to be sure I heard him and never forgot the message – he stood over top of me as I was doing sit ups during PT one morning in basic training…it was June of 1990 at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas...5:00 in the morning and it was already about 90 degrees – how was that even possible – and as I was doing each repetition – St. Hodge looked down at me and yelled, “Airman Woessner, you are required to perform 25 repetitions of this exercise.

HOWEVER...you are encouraged to do more.” He set the standard of excellent for me that morning. The standard was not the bare minimum of doing what was required – knowing what you had to know – or doing the least possible with as little effort as necessary.

No, the standard was more – a lot more – and undefined – my standard – my bar was to do the most repetitions that I could possibly do – my personal best – to pursue excellence – and I never forgot the message – and now I pass it on to you.

So to get that next level – you need to learn things you didn’t think you needed to learn – to master skills that someone on your team may also know – and to execute and implement with a standard of excellence – not the bare minimum.

You Onward Nation are not average.

You Onward Nation have a different standard.

You Onward Nation are moving your business to that next level. And you do that by pushing past the Fear of Criticism – the fear of failure – the fear of not thinking you are worthy or smart enough.  

Because you are smart enough – you can absolute master this...and this...Onward Nation...is Money Draining Mistake #3...High Bounce Rate.

Are you ready to move onward with gusto?

Let’s start this off with a scenario that happens every day within a typical business…

Someone visits the website’s home page, a product page, or perhaps a blog post the business owner wrote.

The person quickly scans the page from top to bottom, left to right, and after a second or two, they decide they hate it. They puke in a bucket and then immediately leave.

And they continuing searching...except they continue searching SOMEPLACE ELSE.

That person “bounced” because he or she was not motivated enough to make one single click within the site.

Bounce rate is one of the most powerful metrics we have because it gives us insight into whether or not our customers believe we are delivering the value they want and need.

Most un-optimized websites have a bounce rate between 50 to 60 percent (this represents huge opportunity for you if you apply steps 1-2-3 below).

In other words, after all of the hard work you put toward building traffic through trade shows, advertising, public relations, email campaigns, content development, social media, and search engine optimization, between 50 and 60 percent of the people you attract will immediately leave without making one single click.

And that is why I called this mistake the silent killer way back in my introduction to this episode.

Let’s do a quick test. Pause this episode, open your Google Analytics dashboard, and check your bounce rate.

If it 30 percent or less, give yourself a pat on the back because that is the target you should strive to reach.

But if your bounce rate is above 50 percent, then the rest of this article will provide you with three steps you can apply to drive down bounce rate while converting more of your traffic into leads and sales.

Let’s first calculate the dollar value that bounce rate is currently costing you.

Say your website attracted 12,539 unique visitors during the past 12-months.

And let’s say your website bounce rate is currently right in the middle of the 50 to 60 percent range (54.88 percent to be exact).

That means 6,881 site visitors immediately bounced from your website during those 12-months (12,539 x .5488 = 6,881).

The remaining 5,659 were the suspects you could attempt to convert into a lead or sale through some form of call-to-action, such as a phone call, visit to your store, etc.

Now, let’s say your call-to-action process has been fine-tuned over the years so 4.77 percent of your suspects are converted into leads (between 2 to 4 percent is the global standard).

This means 270 leads, phone calls, store visits, etc. were generated during the 12-months (5,659 suspects x .0477 conversion rate = 270).

And lastly, let’s assume you have a history of converting 50 percent of your leads, such as inquiries, phone calls, store visits, etc. into sales, and each sale has an average value of $500.

The revenue generated via your website should have been approximately $67,500 (270 x .5000 = 135 sales x $500 value = $67,500).

Now, let’s lower bounce rate to the target level of 30 percent.

I first learned about the 30 percent target from my friend and mentor, Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist for Google and co-founder of Market Motive.

You can learn more about Avinash in episode 40 of Onward Nation.

Now only 3,761 of the visitors bounce during the same 12-month time period (12,539 x .3000 = 3,761).

You now have 8,778 suspects instead of 5,659. Big difference.

Let’s also assume you maintained your 4.77 percent conversion rate into leads and your average order remained at $500.

Your 8,778 suspects would convert into 418 leads, and those leads would convert into 209 sales, which would result in $104,500 in revenue (418 x .0477 = 418 x .5000 = 209 x $500 = $104,500).

This represents a 54.81 percent increase in sales. Awesome.

And the only thing that changed was bounce rate.

Here’s the good news...any business owner can apply three simple steps to reduce bounce rate.

At the bottom of this today’s Show Notes you will find a mini-class I recorded to provide some additional bounce rate insights. Free video training resource – I hope you find it valuable.

So what is the first step?  

We – and our business – must be distinctive.

Now, distinction is not just about being different.

Distinction creates loyal customers who continue coming back to you over and over again.

If you want to learn more about distinction – go back to episode 1 and listen to the words of wisdom from Scott McKain, the leading authority on the topic of distinction and its importance in your business.

And one of the very best recipes for how to create distinction is one that I learned from Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS Magazine.

Darren calls it the X-Y-Z Exercise and there are 3 simple steps.  

Step 1: Complete the X-Y-Z Exercise

Just answer three questions and blend the answers into a clear and concise statement. Caution: the questions are simple but they are not easy to answer. It will likely take you and your team about 60 to 90-minutes to complete this exercise with excellence.

  1. We do X (X equals the products and services your business provides to customers)
  2. For Y (Y equals the profile of your typical customer)
  3. So that they can Z (Z equals the result outcomes your customers receive from your products or services)

Then place your X-Y-Z statement on your website above the fold – meaning – so the visitors to your website do not need to scroll in order to read it. Why above the fold?

So your visitors will see it right away and they will know they are in the right place.

When that happens, bounce rate goes down.  

Step 2: Eliminate Visual Clutter

The January-February 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review reported the results of a study on consumer choice, which confirmed that providing more options did not increase choice. In fact, more options actually decreased choice.

So instead of having 15 options on your website, i.e. photos, copy blocks, or calls-to-action, just have three easy-to-understand options and eliminate all the rest. Your customers see a multitude of options as visual clutter and that encourages bounce.  

Step 3: Create Clear Calls-to-Action

Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, director of Marketing Experiments once said to me, “Clarity always trumps persuasion.”

So are you being clear with customers regarding the steps they need to take along the decision-making path?

Have a clear and concise path to purchase. That’s all you need.

Okay, Onward Nation – that was Money Draining Mistake #3…High Bounce Rate.

Now, if you if you are hearing those voices in your head – if you are having thoughts that are even remotely similar to what I described at the beginning of this episode – don’t run -- let those thoughts be your litmus test – they are telling you that you are heading in the right direction.

Push forward – don’t stop – don’t let your fear hold you back from breaking through to that next level.

And remember, you are the average of the people you spend the most time with…and look who Stacey Alcorn from episode #3 is spending the most time with.

She refers to herself as “A billionaire in the making.” And in order for that vision for her life to become a reality – she knows that she needs to spend as much time as possible with other billionaires.

Well, I will let you in on a secret she told me during our interview – Stacey didn’t have those connections several years ago.

But she DECIDED that was going to change and then she took action to make it happen.

I hope that makes sense.  

 

Okay, Onward Nation – I hope this solocast was valuable to you.

Please drop me a line and let me know what you thought. You can share your comments at the bottom of the show notes for this episode – or – you can email me anytime at Stephen @ onwardnation.com and yes – that is my actual email address – comes directly to me – no fancy filter, routing, or sorting…comes right to my Inbox. Feel free to use it anytime.

Let me know…thumbs up or thumbs down?

Drop me a line.

I will be back tomorrow with another amazing interview with one of today’s top business owners.

Until then…onward with gusto!  

Stephen  

 

You can find us at: -----OnwardNation.com------

Oct 13, 2015

Todd Kim has helped personal clients, business owners, professionals and financial institutions reach and maximize their financial goals for over 20-years. As a trusted financial advisor, Todd has worked with many retirees and pre-retirees in the construction and implementation of secure retirement income plans avoiding risks and maximizing full income potentials. Todd is considered a specialist in his field, coaching and training other advisors and financial and legal professionals seeking direction in the design and execution of well-crafted, defined benefit plans.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Todd visualizes what will happen each day – focus on the outcome. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Separate your negative energy – Todd uses visualization to achieve objectivity.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Todd lost 70-80% of his business fast – and Todd tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Have a good succession plan in place – have a strong retirement cash flow.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Do the job right the first time – put yourself in the place of the business owner.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have put in a higher quality system of checks and accountability – define roles and responsibilities.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Consistently survey your clients – find out what they’re interested in.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would focus, focus, focus – and give them a permission slip to give complaints without penalty.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Keep your overhead low – don’t dream too big
  2. Be focused on your marketing – market your product in a way that’s not expensive
  3. Be in tune with what your clients want – what they want may be different than what they say they want

How best to connect with Todd:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 12, 2015

Cathy Mendell has an extensive background in business development and growth management. Her roles have included 25-years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 company. Additionally, she has been a founder and Vice President of Sales in two startup companies. Cathy has taken her passion for business growth to a new level in assisting individuals in their financial success. Cathy is also the Fundraising Chair for The Orphanages of Kenya. She is responsible for the funding resources of the orphanage — and through her efforts — 36 children now have a home to call their own, loving guardians, medical care, and are receiving an education.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Cathy keeps the main thing the main thing – don’t get distracted. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Find your quiet time – Cathy gets up early and focuses.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Cathy had to back away from her business – and Cathy tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Success is the result of your daily actions – the compound effect of what you do daily brings success.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Change the word ‘but’ to ‘and’ – it changes a wall into a door.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have been more focused – concentrate on your goals.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Decide what you want – find what doesn’t work – pay the price.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual matches your own commitment – and don’t hire too soon.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Believe in your mission – understand your impact
  2. Spend the time you need to train – find the people that can make you better

How best to connect with Cathy:

 

You can find us here: ------OnwardNation.com------

Oct 9, 2015

Patricia Fripp is one of the few professional speakers who can transform the presentation skills of others — she is an executive speech coach and sales presentation skills trainer. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance wrote that “one of the best investments in your career is Patricia’s presentation skills training.” She is now virtually everywhere with her interactive training, FrippVT.com.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Patricia is disciplined – and she lives a good, clean life. ONWARD!

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“You need to be able to tell your story effectively – answer the question of what do yo do in an interesting and not a dull, predictable way.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Don’t concentrate on making a lot of money – concentrate on becoming the type of person people want to do business with and you most likely will make money.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

How do you make the audience the hero of the presentation?

Find the heroes in your own life – talking about them will earn you respect with your audience

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Take advantage of all the digital tools that are available to you today that weren’t around when I stated
  2. Target the people you already know for future business
  3. Stop considering customers your customers – they’ll leave

How best to connect with Patricia:

 

You can find us here: ------OnwardNation.com------

Oct 8, 2015

Anthony is the Managing Director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting firm. Anthony works with Fortune 500 sales organizations like Accenture, Abbott Laboratories, and CH Robinson. He helps companies produce increase sales by improving individual sales representative performance, providing tools and methodologies for more effective sales management, and through executive level coaching to senior managers. Anthony is a prolific writer, posting daily to his personal blog: The Sales Blog, which was named the #1 sales blog in the world in 2010. Anthony was named one of the 50 most influential people in sales and marketing in 2012. He also publishes a bi-monthly column in the Think Sales Journal and is a Contributing Editor at SUCCESS Magazine.

 

Secret – timesaving technique

Anthony spends Saturday organizing his life and Sunday planning his week – be proactive, not reactive. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Have coffee and head to the gym – Anthony creates the energy he needs to succeed each day.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Anthony had his revenue cut by 45% in one day – and Anthony tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“You have to figure things out – answer the questions that haven’t been asked yet.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Your job is to go out and create as much value as you can in the area where you can make the greatest difference.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have figured out who my dream clients are very early – don’t get distracted by “opportunities.”

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Businesses exist to create customers – take care of sales and marketing first.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual is resourceful – and has the initiative to get it done.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Focus on sales and marketing – feed your marketplace with the “why” you are different
  2. Make sure your employees understand the “why”
  3. Become a sales leader

How best to connect with Anthony:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 7, 2015

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.  

Good Morning, Onward Nation…I’m Stephen Woessner.

Since the advent of the commercial Internet…I have collected tens of thousands of data points that have given me the ability to identify what I call the 8 Money Draining Mistakes. These are the things that literally cause a business website – like yours – to leak serious money every day.

You may remember that I mentioned the Money Draining Mistakes during episode #68…but we didn’t have time to dig deep.

So for today’s solocast, I decided to loop back around and dedicate today’s episode toward how to fix one of the most expensive mistakes.

It’s Money Draining Mistake #5…and I call it “Not Knowing Your Customer.

I am excited to share this strategy and recipe with you because every time I sit down to prepare for a solocast…I think about you…and what I hope will be the result outcomes for you as a result of you listening and applying what you learn.

Why do I do this?

Because we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day and I take it very seriously that you chose to share some of your invaluable time with me today. As a result…I put in the time – the hard work to ensure that I deliver significant value.

It needs to be a fair trade of your time for the business value I deliver. I consider your time investment to be sacred.

So here it is – for this episode – we are going to dig deep into why most companies do not know their customers – how they miss the single WORD that could completely alter the customer relationship – and I am going to give you a specific step-by-step strategy or recipe for understanding exactly how to connect with your customers on a different and more valuable level than what you may be doing currently.

My hope for you is that you will take this recipe – apply it – and see predictable, measurable, and repeatable increases in sales inside your business as a result.

This episode represents such a significant opportunity for you and your business because only about 5% of the business owners listening right now will take action on the steps I share. You may nod your head in agreement – maybe even take some notes – or share this episode with a colleague.

But ultimately, your inaction will signify your acceptance of operating your business – and maybe even your life – at the level of the status quo. Onward Nation – please don’t let this be you!

Don’t fall into the trap of procrastination. My hope for you is that you will take the notes – have the discussions with your team – and then put the steps into action – swiftly.

This strategy has the potential of being a game-changer for you.  

Let’s begin.

First…I will ask you a question.

What’s the number one reason people buy anything?

I will give you a hint. It has nothing to do with the features, advantages, or benefits of the product or service.

In fact – it has everything to do with just one, four-letter word.

And that word is “HOPE.

The only reason we buy anything is because we HOPE that tomorrow will somehow be better than today as a result of buying the product or service we are considering. That’s it – HOPE.

So in order for you to fix this Money Draining Mistake you need to understand how to make an emotional and empathetic connection with your prospects and customers.

You do this by becoming a HOPE Dealer to your customers.

Let’s take this a little bit deeper with another question.

What percent of people make a purchase decision based solely on emotional reasons?

Would you guess 20%? 30%? 50%?

The answer is 100%.

Yes, 100%. We like to think that we are such rational creatures and we only make decisions based on objective data and thoughtful analysis. But the reality is that all of our decisions – yes, 100% of them – are made for purely emotional reasons.

I explain why within the solocast.

This is an incontrovertible fact. Therefore, you need to understand your prospects and customers from an emotional perspective.

You need to understand their challenges.

You need to understand their pain points.

And as one of my mentors, Darren Hardy likes to say, you need to metaphorically “Lay in their bed at night” to understand what is causing them pain.

So during this solocast, I share eight specific questions you and your team need to ask each other and then go out and ask your prospects and customers the same questions.

Once you have collected that data – you will have all you need in order to create your customer or client “Avatar.”

CAUTION!

Your avatar is one person. Not an email list of 20,000 people. One person and you give him or her a name, a personality, you hang a photo of her on your conference room wall, and every time you write an email campaign, shoot a video, etc. you speak directly to your avatar.

For example...when I am not interviewing today’s top business owners for Onward Nation episodes, I am the CEO of Predictive ROI…a digital marketing agency that specializes on delivering guaranteed sales and financial return on investment for our clients, or our work is free.

So at Predictive ROI…our client avatars are “Harry” and “Sally” (we chose those names because “When Harry Met Sally” is one of my favorite movies of all time).

And this is Sally:

  • Sally and her team are ambitious and want to learn new things
  • She knows there is more opportunity and growth “out there” and is frustrated she does not know how to capitalized on it, faster
  • She reads lots of books but doesn’t know a good idea from a bad one
  • She is uncertain and afraid to fail
  • She has been fooled before and does not know who to believe
  • Everything sounds too good to be true
  • And Sally has said to me…“Stephen...I want to trust you...that you can do what you say you can do...show me the evidence quickly that it is working and that you are delivering on your promises”.

During more than one prospect client presentation, “Sally” has said to me – “My goodness, that is me.” I smile when it happens because I know we just made a powerful connection.

You can too if you answer the eight questions in this episode and apply what you learned.

In closing…remember this reality…you are the average of the people you spend the most time with.

So you need to spend your time with people you have a common future with – not a common past.

And by consistently listening to Onward Nation – you are spending time with today’s top business owners…the people who are crushing it and already at the next level…the people whose recipes and strategies can help you grow your business, make your network more robust, and become more influential.

All so you can reach your goals and move your business onward to that next level.

I hope that makes sense.

Okay, Onward Nation – my hope is this solocast was valuable to you.

Please drop me a line and let me know what you thought.

Keep the feedback coming.

You can reach me directly at stephen at OnwardNation.com and let me know -- thumbs up or thumbs down?

Onward with gusto!

-- Stephen  

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 6, 2015

Payman Taei is the founder of Visme and HindSite Interactive. In late 2001 he started creating websites for businesses to pay his way through college. With $170 and a vintage Pentium processor in the corner of a small apartment, over the last 14 years he grew HindSite to a stable award winning web consulting company with two profitable divisions; a web consulting firm and a Software as a Service (Visme) which allows 250,000 businesses and individuals to create professional presentation and infographics right in their browser.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Payman has a daily task/goal list to stay focused – be productive every day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Be consistent – Payman sees success by keeping clear, consistent goals in sight.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Payman’s nine-month developed product wasn’t being used – and Payman tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“You need to have passion to be a business owner – you’ll only get so far without it.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“There is no shortcut – extremely hard work allows you to achieve your goals.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have listened to my instincts – be grounded.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Listen to your customers – but know when to say no.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual is in line without vision – and is passionate about our business.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Be ready to change angles at any given time
  2. Create a product you know there’s a need for – and make it the best product you can
  3. Differentiate yourself from the field

How best to connect with Payman:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 5, 2015

Dr. Marcie Beigel has been redesigning behavior for professionals, families, schools, and businesses for over 15 years. Her specialty is engaging with behaviors directly and giving clear and insightful directives to clients ­­ who are oftentimes ­­ business owners looking for balance at home to help create balance at work or new approaches to become better leaders. Her approach is heartfelt, but filled with tough love. You can get her weekly behavior newsletter at BehaviorAndBeyond.net. Dr. Marcie is also featured on NBC's Parenting Toolkit.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Dr. Marcie delegates tasks so that she has the time to do the things she loves – hire employees that love the tasks you don’t. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Never stop learning – Dr. Marcie continues to learn so she can share her knowledge with others.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Dr. Marcie had to completely rehaul her business model – and Dr. Marcie tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar – find the positive way to get it done.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“It’s never personal.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have scheduled everything – my calendar used to only include my appointments with other people.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners need to lead by example – actions speak louder than words.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual treats the business as their own – and brings their own dreams to the table.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Mean what you say and say what you mean
  2. Take massive action – actions speak louder than words
  3. Treat everyone around you with amazing gratitude and appreciation

How best to connect with Dr. Marcie:

 

You can also find us at: ------OnwardNation.com------

Oct 2, 2015

Cody is one of the three Founders of Advisors Excel. In 2004, after leaving a corporate job to partner with David Callanan to be financial advisors, they decided there was an opportunity in the marketplace. So, in 2005, along with Derek Thompson, they formed Advisors Excel. Currently, Cody plays an integral part in the development and execution of the revolutionary marketing and training systems that Advisors Excel continues to bring to the table for their advisors.

Advisors Excel has become one of the fastest growing insurance marketing organizations in the country, and their story has been featured in SUCCESS Magazine, Cody was interviewed by Darren Hardy publisher of SUCCESS who also profiled Advisors Excel in his latest book The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster. Cody and his organization were also featured in Tony Robbins' #1 New York Times bestselling book, Money -- Master the Game.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Cody focuses on three priorities that align with their organizational model. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Cody likes to wake up early to exercise, which fuels his energy for the rest of the workday.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Cody dealt with a family member running into financial trouble -- and Cody tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Business owners need to provide a clear corporate vision -- only the owner is responsible for this vision.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Nothing beats hard work -- success comes to those who put the hours in -- serve the client"

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and implemented a team-building system versed in unity and collaboration.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners need to create a favorable client-experience -- it’s about a personalized positive impact.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who is honest -- trustworthy -- and has an unwavering attitude due to their effort.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Accept Responsibility
  2. Simplify your Business

How best to connect with Cody:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 1, 2015

Misty is the founder, president, and energized force behind More Than Just Great Dancing. Her mantra that drives her and her team of 39 is “We don’t teach kids to make great dancers, we teach dance to make great kids.

Misty’s studio is frequently recognized as one of the best in the dance studio industry. Her Performance Companies have performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, on Carnival Cruise Lines, and at Walt Disney World. Misty is a sought after mentor, speaker, and recently shared her business methods as a guest blogger for SUCCESS.com.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Don’t look in the rearview mirror -- look forward -- make a calendar -- own your time. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Misty likes to wake up early -- eat the biggest frog first and everything else will become much easier.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Misty opened a second location after quick success -- and Misty tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Business owners need to limit interruptions and regain their focus so they can work towards a goal.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Leave a great taste -- the customer needs to either touch, taste, or feel a difference.”

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have went back and implemented a CRM system to help with our personal data collection.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners need to have a JAM session -- this uninterrupted session helps to move the ball forward.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who understands everyone is self-employed -- we can’t write a check if the money’s not coming in.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Overcome the battle
  2. The wolf you feed the most wins

How best to connect with Misty:

 

You can also find us here: ------OnwardNation.com------

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