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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: 2015
Nov 17, 2015

Adam Carroll is quickly being recognized as one of the top financial educators in the country with his core message being "You are the architect of your own life and that starts with your behavior around finances.” Having presented at over 500 colleges and universities nationwide, hundreds of leadership symposiums, and countless local and regional organizations, Adam’s message of “Building A Bigger Life, Not a Bigger Lifestyle” has been heard by over 200,000 people.

Adam successfully crowd-funded a documentary on student loan debt, raising nearly $70,000 in 45-days. The film, “Broke Busted & Disgusted” will soon be released and is already garnering critical acclaim following Adam’s recent TEDx talk at UW-Milwaukee. The mission of the film is to start a national debate about changing the way we fund college and not crippling 20 somethings with mountains of debt.

To stop the problem before it starts, Adam's book, Winning The Money Game, and curriculum, are being used in high schools and colleges as a financial literacy supplement. Students and educators are calling it a “game-changer” when it comes to handling money.

Secret – timesaving technique

Adam starts every day by writing his Power Priority List – and separates these into three different categories. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Meditate – Adam listens to his inner-knower, the part of your body that knows what you should be doing.

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

Adam's wife got pregnant right as he was taking a huge new business risk – and Adam tells the whole story here.

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

"The ability to see systems within your business is critical."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"My dad help me understand that there are things that I would want to in in life, but if I waited and held back a little I would make a better decision."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had a much more robust CRM system.

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

Get really good at clarifying your expectations daily – of yourself and your team.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would effectively communicate my brand – maybe even better than I do.

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

  1. Surround yourself with a mastermind group and an accountability partner
  2. Get in contact with your "why" – why do you do what you do?
  3. Create a power 100 list – the people that like and respect you – and be in at least quarterly contact with them

How best to connect with Adam:

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

Nov 16, 2015

Joe Calloway helps business leaders, entrepreneurs, and owners improve performance and grow their businesses. He helps organizations focus on what is truly important, inspires new thinking about challenges and opportunities, and motivates people to immediate action. Joe has been a business author, consultant and speaker for 30 years and his client list reads like an international Who’s Who in business, ranging from companies like Coca Cola and IBM to Cadillac and American Express. Joe is the author of “Be the Best at What Matters Most” and five other ground-breaking business books including “Becoming A Category of One” and his newest book “Magnetic: The Art of Attracting Business”.

Secret – timesaving technique

Joe is very intentional about staying focused – you can't just give focus lip service. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Get up early – Joe gets up no later than 5 AM every day.

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

Joe's consulting business evaporated after the 2008 recession – and Joe tells the whole story here.

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

"Listen and understand what the market is saying."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Successful people say yes a lot. Extremely successful people say no to almost everything."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

I would have had a system for filtering the kind of business and clients we take on.

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

Respond immediately to customers, potential customers, partners, and those people that are essential to your business – this is the most overlooked competitive advantage out there.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would stay relevant to your business.

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

  1. Get as clear as you can on the value of your product or service – who's going to buy it?
  2. Make it really easy for people to do business with you
  3. When in doubt – take action

How best to connect with Joe:

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

Nov 13, 2015

Randy Pennington is an award-winning author and respected authority on how leaders deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. He's author of three books, "Make Change Work," "Results Rule!", and "On My Honor, I Will." Randy has earned 17 outstanding teacher awards as an adjunct instructor in the Cox Business Leadership Center at Southern Methodist University. His clients range from the Fortune 10 to companies as small as 25 employees, and he's worked with government agencies and elected officials at the local, state, and national level. Randy's life has taken him from a locker room attendant at a public swimming pool to the Board rooms of corporate America to stages throughout the world.

Secret – timesaving technique

Randy keeps a running list of what needs to be done – writing these all down helps him focus. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Exercise your mind and your body – Randy reads and exercises every single day.

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

Randy had his business completely evaporate in a couple of months – and Randy tells the whole story here.

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

"If you're in a business with employees – build a culture."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"The most decision we ever made in our business was the decision to be the best."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have focused on lead-capture – capture leads systematically rather than accidentally.

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

Pursue what is best – not what is easy.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would care about the work – and they do work that delivers value.

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

  1. Get your mindset right – wherever you are is where you've earned the right to be
  2. Figure out the processes and systems that allow you to execute every single day
  3. Focus on the culture – make sure your culture allows you to sustain and grow

How best to connect with Randy:

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

Nov 12, 2015

Mitch Stephen is a nationally known real estate entrepreneur, trainer, and consultant who has purchased over 1,300 houses in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. He is also the author of two books, “Failing Forward to Financial Freedom” and “200+ Ways to Find Bargain Properties.” Mitch is a high school graduate who never stopped learning from books, seminars, and webinars, a graduate of "La Calle U" (which means “The Street" in Spanish), and a fine example of what “on-the-job-training” can produce in a person. Mitch now teaches others how to become financially independent and invest for more than just the typical lump-sum check.

Secret – timesaving technique

Mitch lightens his load by delegating to others – you have to finish the job, even if it's not you doing the finishing. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Work on your networking – Mitch takes long lunches every day with people he wants to network with.

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

Mitch sat on $1 million worth of lots that nobody would look at – and Mitch tells the whole story here.

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

"The ability to establish the value of your product accurately."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"When you change your self-talk you change the path of your life."  

Final Round – "Breaking Down the Recipe for Success" 

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

I would have watched my finances and known where my money was going sooner.

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

The owner-financier strategy is the best strategy in the world – and Mitch spelled out the entire strategy here.

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

  1. Have a round table – consult them when you need to.
  2. Always continue your education

How best to connect with Mitch:

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

Nov 11, 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. This is Stephen Woessner.

I am grateful you decided to be here this morning — to be here right now –– to share your most precious resource with me and Onward Nation –– your resource of time. We all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day and I consider it a sacred exchange of time and value — so I am delighted you and I can have this time together today.

Let’s start off by considering some difficult questions — and then as I always try to do — I’ll leave you with some action steps that you can apply into your business to move onward to that next level.

How do we become great?

How do we achieve greatness in all we do?

How do we realize our full potential — your dream for success?

Les Brown said, “I don’t believe that any of us are giving dreams that we cannot accomplish. It is possible. You can have your dream as you run toward it.

So why can’t you be the best in your industry? Why? Why not you?

You may have heard these words from Sylvester Stallone…

Let me tell you something you already know. The world is not all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place. And I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth — then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers and saying you ain’t where you want to be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that, and that ain’t you. You’re better than that.

Onward Nation…even some of the people who are closest to you — want you to fail. It isn’t because they are bad people. It’s because they love you and don’t want to lose you. But you can’t let their fears stop you. You have to decide that no matter what — no matter what you have to sacrifice in order to achieve greatness — you simply have to decide and finally agree with yourself that you are worthy to pursue your dream. That your dream — that deeply personal dream you are scared and afraid to be bold enough to chase with all of your gusto — that you are worthy to achieve that dream. That you will SHOW the world how great you are.

Playing small does not serve your purpose — does not serve your WHY — and certainly does not serve God with all of the abundance of talents you were blessed with so you could build an extraordinary life for you, your family, and leave your impact on this world.

If you are not making someone else’s life better — then you are wasting your time.

Onward Nation…pain is temporary — it may last for a hour, day, a week, or even a year. But it will subside and be replaced by something else. But if you quit…your pain of regret will last forever.

Instead, I encourage you to dig deep and pursue greatness like Bryan Arzani did. Bryan was my guest on episode 75 of Onward Nation.

Bryan was broken…he was beat down by circumstances…by the fear of failure. He nearly went bankrupt twice. But he had the guts to keep moving forward. He said no to the fear and said “I WIN” and now he has. Because he decided greatness and success would be his fate.

Or maybe you a listening to my voice right now and thinking to yourself…easy for you to say, Stephen…I just got served with this lawsuit from someone I trusted…a family member…or a business partner. How can I possibly go on?

And if that is you…then do what Tim Fargo, my guest for episode 64, did. Tim shared the story of when he was at a Christmas party with friends and business associates and was served papers for a $10 million lawsuit — while he was at the party. Who was suing him? His former business partner — who also happened at the party! Did he quit? No. Why? Because Tim wanted to succeed as bad as he wanted to breathe. He dug deep — he fought — he won — and went on to great success when he sold his company.

Oftentimes, one of the keys to success is being all-in on what you working so hard to accomplish. Eliminating any path of retreat. So Onward Nation, are you financially all-in with your business like Cody Foster? Cody was my guest during episode 80. Cody and his two co-founders at Advisors Excel invested everything they had 10 years ago to create the company. And it was not millions of dollars. It is was a modest amount while sitting at Cody’s kitchen table. Cody, Derrick, and David were all in ten years ago — and now they have built a company that will achieve over $5 billion this year.

Or how about Carl Wright, my guest on episode 45 of Onward Nation. After the real estate market crashed…Carl was $14 million in debt. $14 million! He didn’t quit — instead — he took a few days to sit, think, and let the plan come to him. And then he decided he would make it happen. He would do it. And then he did it. He pursued it with all the energy he had — to make his vision a reality.

You, Onward Nation, need to be the only person who you give permission to tell you what is so. And that is what Carl did, and now his company has built a real estate portfolio worth $100 million. All because Carl had the desire to be great and the will to win that pushed him forward. Carl was willing to pay the price and a little bit more.

You have to do whatever it takes to get the job done. In the words of Art Williams… “Just do it, and do it, and do it, and do it, until the job gets done,” Onward Nation.

The real challenge of greatness comes when you get knocked down and how you respond. Do you remember the story of Larry Winget, my guest in episode 98? He went to work, rich — and then by the time he left to go home that same day, he was poor and had lost everything. Not because of anything he did but because of circumstances outside his control in his industry.

What did Larry do? Did he feel sorry for himself? Did he gather around a support group to listen to all of his misfortune and tell him it would be better someday? No. He developed a training program that contained four modules and then he started at the “A’s” in the phonebook selling the modules. Was it a glamorous way to make money? No. Was it effective? Yes. Why? Because no one else is willing to make that sacrifice — that same level of commitment. But that is what Larry did, and he won.

Or how about David Mylrea, my guest on episode 35. At the beginning of his career, he was selling cars at a small town dealership in the heart of Wisconsin. When the gas crisis of the late 70s hit — and the country seemingly was no longer in the market for large gas guzzling cars, and the foot traffic at the dealership slowed –– did David quit? No. What did he do? He and his wife sat at their kitchen table…and typed letters to people right out of the phonebook…and mailed them. And what happened? People brought the letters into the dealership to see David and bought some cars. Why? Because no one had ever done that before.

Onward Nation…it would have been easy for David, Larry, Carl, Bryan, and Tim to quit. But they didn’t. They allowed their pain to be part of their prize — to be part of their journey. They harnessed their will and challenged themselves to be successful.

Just like Stacey Alcorn, my amazing guest for episode 3. When she had lost it all she could have given up and no one would have blamed her for quitting. But she didn’t. Instead she said yes to her dreams, she said yes to her unfolding future, instead of saying no. Now Stacey is a billionaire in the making and dominating the real estate industry in Massachusetts.

Failure is the an ingredient to the recipe for success and greatness. Just listen to the stories of all the amazing and incredible business owners who have graced this show — the one thing the majority of them have in common is some sort of failure and sometimes a cataclysmic collapse — an epic failure of massive proportion.

The loser is the one who fails and then quits.

The loser and the winner have both failed. The difference is that the winner got back up again — got back into the ring — and pushed forward — learning from the past. While the loser sat there feeling sorry for himself or herself — making excuses why it didn’t work out, looking for a sympathetic ear, looking for a shoulder to cry on…anything to point to so that it didn’t have to be them who had failed.

Fear kills dreams, Onward Nation. Fear kills hope. Fear puts people in the hospital. Fear can age you. Fear can hold you back from doing something that you know within yourself you are capable of doing but it will paralyze you.

You are an incredible child of the most high God. You have every talent and skill already inside you that you need in order to be successful.

It’s not easy. This road — this journey to success. But success leaves clues so let me share with you what I learned from Don Yaeger, one of my closest friends and most trusted mentors. Don created a list that he calls the 16 Characteristics of Greatness that he built after interview the most successful champions of our time. And then Don took the list deeper by creating the “Greatness Action List”.

Step 1: I will not make excuses. Michael Jordan said, “A loss is not a failure until you make an excuse.

Step 2: I will constantly evaluate my inner circle, surrounding myself with those headed someplace special.

Step 3: I will set aside time each day to re-center myself.

Step 4: I will encourage at least one person each day.

Step 5: I will do the necessary “homework” to make each day — each meeting — as productive as possible.

Step 6: I will seek out a new opportunity for personal or professional growth every day.

Step 7: I will envision success – actually see it in my mind — in all I do.

Step 8: I will be better, not bitter, in moments of adversity.

Step 9: I will not be intimidated by taking thoughtful risks.

Step 10: I will stay open-minded, not allowing old patterns or habits to hold me back.

Step 11: I will point out the contributions of others.

Step 12: I will consider what I can do or sacrifice to help strengthen my team.

Step 13: I will do something today for someone who cannot give me anything in return.

Step 14: I will act all day as if my son or daughter (or my future child) were sitting by my side.

Step 15: I will relish the chance to be a standard for others.

Step 16: I will remember that my life requires balance.

Put those characteristics to work in your business — in your life. And if you want a daily dose of greatness…go to DonYaeger.com and subscribe for his daily dose of greatness email — it is amazing.

So, before I leave you today…there is one last point I want to make. Our time here on this Earth is limited — so please don’t waste it living someone else’s life. We all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day so make sure, Onward Nation, that you are living the life you want to live and building the business you want to build and pursuing the dreams you want to pursue. That your dreams are big enough, bold enough, courageous enough, so you can look back on your life with no regret.

Please don’t settle. Have the courage to follow your heart. You are going to experience a lot of setbacks, a lot of pain…but you are more powerful than you could ever imagine. You are greater than your circumstances.

You can look at that snooze button and go back to bed…or you can get up at 4:00 in the morning and get a 4-hour start on most of your competitors…get a half-day’s work in — 50% more strategy, 50% more content written, 50% more sales calls, 50% more emails to prospects…all of that — 50% more of your vital metrics by just getting up early.

You can lay there in bed and dream about your dreams — fantasize about them — or — you can punch that clock, get up, and go pursue them. There’s a reason why we release all of our daily episodes at 4:00 in the morning, Onward Nation.

One last quote…and I have this hanging on one of my office walls… “Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up and knows that it must run faster than the fastest Lion that day, or it will be killed and eaten. Every morning in Africa, a Lion wakes up and knows that it must run faster than the slowest Gazelle that day, or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter, Onward Nation, if you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

Decide to make a great day. And I look forward to being with you again tomorrow when we share my interview with Mitch Stephen.

Until then…Onward with gusto!

------ OnwardNation.com ------

Nov 10, 2015

Aaron Walker is a businessman and life coach. Aaron helps business owners reach their full potential and discover their identity, how to live a successful and significant life, and how grit and determination pay off. He has inspired many through his leadership, mentorship, and consistent pursuit of excellence. He enjoys helping others and believes experience is a great teacher. 35 years of entrepreneurship and marriage have given Aaron a wealth of experience. Aaron continues to reach new heights and broaden his perspective of the terrain by examining his experiences and growing from them.

Secret – timesaving technique

Aaron focuses blocks of time – productive multitasking is a myth. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Start every day early – Aaron wakes up between 4 and 5 AM and spends his first hour to an hour and a half in prayer.

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

Aaron made a decision that almost cost him his family – and Aaron tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Fear missing an opportunity more than you fear failure.”  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have started each day figuring out how to make someone's life better.

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

Figure out how to do things differently – there are some things in every industry that need changing.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would look outward – they need to have an abundance mentality.

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

  1. Get involved in a mastermind group – there's wisdom in the council of multitudes.
  2. Read Charles Duhigg's book "The Power of Habit."
  3. Read Greg McKeown's book "Essentialism."

How best to connect with Aaron:

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

 

Nov 9, 2015

Gene King is the Senior Managing Director of Sequence Holdings. He has been involved diverse industries, such as Construction, Banking, Insurance, Securities, Human Resource Outsource Management, Consulting, Real Estate, and Investment Banking. Gene has more than 40 years of practical business experience as a serial entrepreneur primarily focused on the hunt - Business Development / Revenue Production.

Secret – timesaving technique

Gene is persistent and patient – these two traits need to be worked on every day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Get up and go, no matter what – Gene doesn't let the little things get in his way.

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

Gene had to completely scrap his business model in one board meeting – and Gene tells the whole story here.

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

"Understand the mastermind theory in Napoleon Hill's 'Think and Grow Rich.'"

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Every time I need mentoring I go back to Napoleon Hill's 'Think and Grow Rich.'"  

Final Round – "Breaking Down the Recipe for Success"

 

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

I would immediately know and understand and have a CP set up my financials and have a cash flow analysis on a daily basis in my hand – your income statement and balance sheet are incredibly important.

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

Have an annual strategic plan – and have day-to-day and month-to-month achievable goals.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would exactly how successful they can be – and I'd help them have a plan to achieve that success.

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

  1. Passion – unwavering, first kiss passion
  2. Patience – the patience it takes to wait on a baby to come out of the womb
  3. Persistence – the persistence to get up – every day – and go
  4. Planning – you have to have a plan
  5. Perspiration – you have to do what it takes – no matter what
  6. Prayer – it doesn't matter what you believe in – believe in something – believe in yourself

How best to connect with Gene:

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

Nov 6, 2015

For five years in a row Jim Cathcart has been selected as one of the Top 5 Speakers on Sales & Service in an online survey of over 14,000 people. With over 39 years of professional speaking around the world, Jim is one of the best known and most award-winning motivational speakers in the business. He has delivered more than 3,000 presentations to audiences in every state of the US, most provinces of Canada and countries from Scotland to Singapore. A business strategist, psychological researcher and philosopher at heart, Jim is also a down-to-Earth regular guy. He has worked in warehouses, driven trucks, sold donuts door-to-door, been a bank teller, plays guitar in night-clubs and pubs, and has toured much of the world on a motorcycle.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jim starts his day without external distractions – start the day with a fresh mind. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Do the things you want to do as the person you want to be – Jim stimulates himself by trying to be his ideal self.

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

Jim made an incredibly bad business deal – and Jim tells the whole story here.

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

“The more effectively we learn to think, the more successfully we will live our life – take charge of your own thinking.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Spend one hour a day studying in your field – you'll be an expert in five years.”  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have been more disciplined about saving money – no one gets rich from what they earn – they get rich from what they keep.

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

Spend time in the next month writing down what you want your future to be like – reach farther than you'd ever hope of achieving – it's possible.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would take personal responsibility for the achievement of the outcome – they do their job and do it well.

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

  1. Build habits.
  2. Notice more than anyone else.

How best to connect with Jim:

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

Nov 5, 2015

James Goebel is a founding partner of Menlo Innovations. Menlo uses highly collaborative project teams to design and implement innovative products for clients that place high value on user adoption. Representatives from start-up companies as well as large Fortune 500 firms routinely tour Menlo's Software Factory environment to study its implementation of agile. James has worked in a variety of environments, from two employee startups, up to billion dollar organizations. As a coach and change agent, James has helped organizations achieve dramatic transformations in both process and culture. He enjoys speaking at conferences, teaching classes, and speaking to small local groups in order to share the lessons he has learned.

Secret – timesaving technique

James and his team sit together and plan their tasks together – the simple things save the most the time. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Spend time with your team and customers – James gets to know his people and understands their needs.

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

James' business changed its model and dropped significant revenue – and James tells the whole story here.

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

“Communications – if I can form a picture in my head, how well can I help you form a picture in your head?”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Ask 'why am I doing this?' – if the answer is 'make money' – something is wrong.”  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

I would have completely redone the way we used our systems – give all your employees access.

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

Set your business free through risk – but don't let your employees live in fear.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would put the needs of others ahead of their own – they are true team players.

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

  1. Develop a peer group – share the downs with them – don't scare your employees.
  2. Have an obvious purpose/mission – define it as clearly as possible.
  3. Learn to articulate clearly what the future holds – pick a specific day and describe what that day is like

How best to connect with James:

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

Nov 4, 2015

Tom Schwab is an accomplished Inbound Marketer, speaker, entrepreneur, and author. At the peak of the recession in 2009, Tom transformed his business from a regional player to a national leader using an Inbound Strategy. One of the earliest e-commerce users of HubSpot, he also realized he had a passion for empowering entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and small business owners. He built an inbound marketing agency focused on working with high potential entrepreneurs and small business owners to take them beyond just an efficient transaction to become a profitable lifetime brand. He helps them easily understand and use digital tools to build a scalable automated sales and marketing machine. 

Secret – timesaving technique

Tom figures out his one most important thing every day – take 5-10 minutes and figure this out every day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Schedule time where it matters – Tom looks long term when planning his calendar.

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

Tom's website was hacked – and Tom tells the whole story here.

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

“Tactics don't win wars – strategy wins wars – go back to the basics and get your strategy right.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Nobody cares about your product – focus on a need, not a product.”  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

I would have put in systems to analyze feedback – customers vote with their dollars.

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

Use a system and track your Net Promoter Score – this number is the only number you really need to grow.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have a business mindset – they don't do just what you tell them.

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

  1. Define who your ideal customer is – you don't need to thrill everyone in the world – focus on them

How best to connect with Tom:

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

Nov 3, 2015

Lisa Ford is a speaker and author on helping companies create customer focused cultures. She is the author of a best selling dvd series, “How to Give Exceptional Customer Service.” Lisa provides highly customized content for clients such as Edward Jones, Kaiser Permanente, Allstate, Motel 6, and Verizon Wireless.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Lisa creates to-do lists the night before – focus and attitude helps her hit the ground running. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Get your exercise in – Lisa starts every morning with a walk while listening to podcasts.

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

Lisa speaking opportunities dried up – and Lisa tells the whole story here.

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

“Focus on the customer – someone on your team has to be the customer champion.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Ask for business – and aim high.”  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have built my email list – do it faster, smarter, and better.

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

Be consistently reliable on behalf of the customer – focus on the fundamentals that your customer needs.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would understand their purpose – they need the right attitude and motivation.

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

  1. Do the hard work.
  2. Deliver the value your customers need – make your customer your partner.
  3. Have a sounding board – find someone to be transparent with.

How best to connect with Lisa:

 

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

Nov 2, 2015

Steve Goldstein is a proven leader who has held executive positions with leading global brands, such as Chairman and CEO of American Express Bank, President of Sears Credit, and Citigroup, as well as several early-stage enterprises. Steve has been an investor, advisor, and interim CEO for more than 10 venture backed e-commerce companies. He currently works in the private equity industry as a Senior Advisor with the consulting and advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal, serves as Chairman of US Auto Sales, serves as a Senior Advisor to Milestone Partners and an Industrial Advisor to EQT Partners (a global private equity firm based in Stockholm).

He has also advised CEOs and private equity owners providing counsel on performance improvement with their companies in addition to acquisitions and merger integration opportunities. His talks are based on his Five Principles of Engagement and are interwoven with stories from global companies to mid-size companies to startups.

Secret – timesaving technique

Steve make a list of what people owe you and what you owe them – stay on top of what moves the needle. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Get a good workout in – Steve starts every morning with exercise and is ready to go.

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

Steve thought he was going to be fired – and Steve tells the whole story here.

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

“The most important thing is engagement – roll up your sleeves – look ahead and make sure obstacles don't get in your way.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Everyone has value in an organization – regardless of the role they have.”  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had a maniacal focus on cash – don't allow your business to become vulnerable.

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

Treat every day like a new adventure – constantly innovate and be creative.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be independent – they will figure things out and not wait around for you.

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

  1. Make sure you're really, really committed – it's hard running a business.
  2. Raise more money than you think you need to – don't lowball what you need to get started.

How best to connect with Steve:

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

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------

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