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Onward Nation with Stephen Woessner | Interviews with today’s top business owners | Careers

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: February, 2016
Feb 29, 2016

Susan RoAne was a teacher, laid off in a massive budget cut, then created a career change workshop, started her business and authored the book, “How To Work a Room” and 7 other books. Susan now speaks globally for Fortune 20 to Fortune 500 companies, universities, and associations…plus she doesn’t have to grade papers anymore!

Secret – timesaving technique

Susan meets her deadlines -- you get more done when you give yourself deadlines. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Hire someone to do what you don't want to do -- Susan focuses on what she's good at -- like social media -- and delegates the rest.

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

Susan had to take a lot of time off to write a book -- and Susan tells the whole story here.

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

"The buck stops with you."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"My mentor told me to get out from behind a lectern."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Know what you're going to do -- know your expertise
  2. Have a kitchen cabinet

How best to connect with Susan:

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

Feb 26, 2016

Lee Caraher started Double Forte in 2002 as a new kind of communications firm designed to provide the best service in the business. Previously Executive Vice President at Weber Shandwick, president and founder of Red Whistle, and Vice President of SEGA, Lee has managed multiple offices and hundreds of people of all ages and was named in the 40 under 40 by PRWEEK Magazine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in medieval history -- which she finds useful every day. She lives with her husband and two sons on the San Francisco Peninsula.

Secret – timesaving technique

Lee starts every day by looking at her calendar -- batch your work as much as possible. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Move every day -- Lee moves around if she's been sitting still for more than 45 minutes.

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

Lee lost her biggest client who represented a third of her income -- and Lee tells the whole story here.

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

"The most important thing business owners need to be good at is listening."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Reset every day so that you don't walk into it with false expectations and assumptions." 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have put in more discipline reporting -- even though we had nothing to report.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would ask for help because they know that their work can be improved on.

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

  1. Understand what your special gifts are
  2. Spend your time where it's most viable
  3. If you told yourself that it's too hard -- it's time to do it

How best to connect with Lee:

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

Feb 25, 2016

Matt spent the first nine years of his career as an Air Force pilot before entering the private sector to work in both the medical device and advertising industries. While a top performer in the corporate world, his long-term desire was to be his own boss. A good friend one day mentioned the gumball machines he and his young daughters owned, and that conversation began a 10-year business quest that has brought Matt's company, School Spirit Vending, to the cutting edge of both the vending and school fundraising industries. Today, School Spirit Vending's franchising program provides a proven and profitable business system for busy professionals and their families looking to develop secondary income streams with a limited time commitment.

Secret – timesaving technique

Matt uses an Excel spreadsheet to manage his priorities -- look at your priorities in 90-day increments. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Get up early -- Matt starts focusing on his priorities by getting up before everyone else in his household.

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

Matt had his commission and bonuses cut by $80,000 -- and Matt tells the whole story here.

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

"Hands down -- it's communication."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"There's value in building and maintaining relationships."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have begun promoting and marketing what we do much, much sooner.

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

No doubt about it -- it's keeping your pipeline full.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have an entrepreneurial mindset themselves.

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

  1. Get started immediately -- stop thinking about it

How best to connect with Matt:

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

Feb 24, 2016

Craig Cody is a Certified Tax Coach and the owner of the New York Accounting Firm, Craig Cody and Company. As a Certified Tax Coach, Craig belongs to a select group of tax practitioners who’ve undergone extensive training and continued education on various tax planning techniques and strategies. Craig is passionate about helping business owners understand the difference between tax planning and tax paying and helping them save significant money. Craig is the co-author of the Amazon bestseller, "Secrets of a Tax Free Life."

Secret – timesaving technique

Craig turns off his email service off at certain times in the day -- take time and turn off the outside world. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Protect your schedule -- Craig blocks out time to do certain tasks.

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

Craig had to fire a very valuable client -- and Craig tells the whole story here.

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

"The ability to multitask but prioritize."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"One word: systems."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have gotten an all-encompassing piece of software.

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

Integrate marketing into your everyday ideas -- marketing is like breathing -- if you stop, you die.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have a focused team approach.

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

  1. Keep more of what you make

How best to connect with Craig:

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

Feb 23, 2016

Nathan Latka is the host of the brilliant and top ranked podcast The Top and continues to take iTunes by storm. He grew up in Northern Virginia where he learned to love to build things, and he went to Virginia Tech to study architecture. After realizing that nobody was hiring architects after the financial crash of '08-'09, Nathan quickly pre-sold $70,000 worth of Facebook fan page tabs at $700 each. He then learned to code, launched Heyo, raised $2.5 million and increased the revenue to $5 million, grew the team to 25 people, and just sold the company.

Secret – timesaving technique

Nathan pays for people to do tasks that aren't worth his time -- delegate the tasks that you don't need to do yourself. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

You have to batch like tasks -- Nathan records 15 podcasts a day, two days a month.

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

Nathan got major backlash for an email he sent -- and Nathan tells the whole story here.

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

"Delegation."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Ask good questions and trust that you're going to learn something important."

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

None -- I think I am maybe the smartest in the world at building systems.

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

You can't build systems around the things that you're doing unless you know what you're doing.

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

  1. Don't invent a problem just to be an entrepreneur -- focus on a problem that you face

How best to connect with Nathan:

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

Feb 22, 2016

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker, and bestselling author who works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of "Moments of Magic, The Loyal Customer" and the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestsellers, "The Cult of the Customer" and "The Amazement Revolution," which was also recognized as a New York Times bestseller, and, his latest book, "Amaze Every Customer Every Time." He is also the creator of The Customer Focus program which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset.

Secret – timesaving technique

Shep is handed tomorrow's schedule today -- have a daily plan -- and delegate the creation of that plan out to people better at creating it than. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Use a "daily reflector" -- Shep uses a daily planner and writes down something good that happened to him today, both personally and professionally.

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

Shep's company was sold and his job was gone -- and Shep tells the whole story here.

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

"Delegation."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"The job isn't doing the speech -- it's getting the speech."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have written a book much sooner -- I don't know if I was capable at that time -- but it would have helped my credibility.

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

Get everyone into alignment through communication.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would love their job.

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

  1. Love what you do
  2. Surround yourself with really, really smart people -- both mentors and employees
  3. Create a 10-year plan

How best to connect with Shep:

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

Feb 19, 2016

Shawn Casemore is the President and Founder of Casemore and Co Inc., a management consultancy helping business owners and executives enable their teams to participate in accelerated growth. Shawn is the author of “Operational Empowerment: Innovate, Collaborate and Engage to Beat the Competition” from McGraw Hill. He travels the globe speaking on topics related to improving business performance -- and -- capitalizing on employee empowerment.

Secret – timesaving technique

Shawn notes his three most critical priorities every day -- make sure you've got your priorities straight. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Exercise, call people you don't know, and have a meaningful conversation with someone -- Shawn does all these activities daily to work on his health -- both physical and mental.

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

Shawn parted ways with a company he was doing business with -- his income slowed way down because of it -- and Shawn tells the whole story here.

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

"You need to become adept at prioritizing time."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Build and sustain confidence -- be comfortable being bold."

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have been much more diligent at sustaining and keeping in touch with relationships that I've built -- as well as being bold and reaching out directly to people that I could help.

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

Communication is missing in most organizations -- keep the communication flowing by having regular meetings.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would demonstrate caring for the customer.

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

  1. Always be clear on what the fundamentals are for growing your business -- and make sure someone is always focused on them
  2. Be genuine
  3. Be persistent -- you can never, ever, ever give up

How best to connect with Shawn:

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

Feb 18, 2016

Stacy Tuschl is a speaker, business coach, and the owner of The Academy of Performing Arts in Wisconsin. She is the author of “Is Your Business Worth Saving” where she reveals proven strategies for pulling entrepreneurs out of a rut and launching them toward business success. She is the host of the brilliant podcast Business Rescue Road Map.

What do you do in the first 60 minutes of your day?

Stacy wakes up before her husband and kids, eats breakfast, drinks tea and an apple cider vinegar drink, does her morning stretches, listens to a podcast, and dives into priority #1 -- take care of yourself physically and mentally right away each morning. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it away from you." - Mark Cuban

How do you define success?

Success is the ability what you want, when you want -- the more successful you are, the better your work-life balance will work for you.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Stacy believes realizing that things are harder than we realize is a good thing -- and Stacy tells the reasons why here.

What makes as "A player" an "A player"?

An "A player" is smarter than you in their specific area -- and extremely loyal.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Give mentees the skills to help them long-term, not just right now
  2. Lead by example

How can we build an audience?

  1. Practice and get proficient in video -- it's the easiest way to connect
  2. Collection, engagement, and conversion -- these three steps are key for platform building

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Get out of your comfort zone -- go somewhere new by yourself
  2. Go somewhere to clear your mind -- take some time to think

How best to connect with Stacy:

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

Feb 17, 2016

Good Morning Onward Nation...this is Stephen Woessner, host of America’s best podcast for learning how today’s top business owners Think, Act, and Achieve. And when I am not interviews today’s top business owners -- I am serving as the CEO of Predictive ROI.

I am thankful, Onward Nation, that you have made the decision to be here -- with me -- right now.

Why?

Because we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day -- we all have the same number of sacred seconds -- so I consider you being here a sacred exchange of time for value. And I know that I need to be excellent during each and every solocast. In order to be excellent, Onward Nation -- I have to put in the effort -- because it is only through effort can I hope to deliver enough value necessary for you to consider this to be a worthwhile exchange for your time.

But let me share a secret with you. There is an additional motivation -- an additional force that pushes me -- that drives me to be excellent during each and every episode. Working hard -- demonstrating what it takes to be excellent -- not only provides you with value -- but it publicly sets a standard of what is acceptable here at Onward Nation and Predictive ROI. My team sees that -- our clients see that -- and they see what it means to be commitment to being outstanding, every day, without exception. A standard of excellence -- a standard of awesome.

That is how committed I am today solocast topic -- how to be a great mentor.

My most vital priority within Predictive ROI is mentorship -- I am fully committed, Onward Nation, to being the mentor our team members need each day. My greatest gift that I can offer my team is mentorship. To be there to praise them when they need to be praised. To be there to kick them in the pants when they need to be kicked. To be there to hug them when they need to be hugged. To be a friend -- to be a motivator -- to ask them hard questions -- to help them see they can be more powerful than they could ever possibly imagine. To help show them the abundance of God given talent they already possess.

And Onward Nation -- that is your role as a business owner, too. So we are going to focus today’s discussion toward the critical topic of mentorship.

Because whether you want to be one or not -- whether you have accepted the tremendous responsibility that mentorship represents or not -- whether you focus on mentorship as your most vital priority -- you are one, Onward Nation.

Just like in parenting -- right now -- there is someone on your team who is watching your every move -- and your actions -- your actions are showing them your standard -- your standard of you deem to be acceptable. Are you setting excellence as your standard -- or something else? Are you showing them how to become more? Or are you showing them how to become or remain average?

With all of that said -- I don’t consider myself a great mentor -- but I am striving to get better every day. How or from whom do I learn from in order to make this pursuit of excellence a reality?

I work hard and learn every day by studying the incredible wisdom shared by our amazing Onward Nation guests. And during today’s solocast, I am going to share with you several very specific ingredients I have learned from our guests so you can be a great mentor. Please take and apply these ingredients within your company -- so you can create Mentorship Excellence with your team.

Over the past several weeks, I have conducted eight ENCORE interviews with Onward Nation alums. So far, eight guests have already come back to Onward Nation to share their insights on how to be a great mentor. I am grateful for their extreme generosity and demonstration of what it means to be excellence. I love that.

So, my special thanks to...

  • Scott McKain, episodes 1 and 136
  • Don Yaeger, episodes 2 and 160
  • David Long, episodes 5 and 139
  • Shane Stott, episodes 8 and 150
  • Marty Wolff, episodes 7 and 143
  • David Mammano, episodes 17 and 145
  • Larry Broughton, episodes 18 and episode 166
  • Nancy Marshall, episodes 19 and 135
  • Drew McLellan, episode 32 and 167
  • Dr. Marcie Beigel, episodes 82 and 144

Thank you, Onward Nation alumni -- you inspire all of those around you each and every day -- and it is an honor to call you friends -- to call you “mentor.” You have taught me so much.

Okay, Onward Nation -- without further adieu -- let’s dig in. Here’s how to become a great mentor.

Ingredient #1: “Be willing to have difficult conversations” -- Drew McLellan

We as mentors need to have the courage -- be brave enough -- to ask better questions. Don’t be dispensers of advice -- instead -- resist the temptation to give your mentees all of the answers. Ask open-ended questions. Press them to think and find their own solutions.

Drew has taught me that a great mentor is present. A great mentor is present to celebrate. But it is easy to be great when it is all sunshine and rainbows -- when there is something to celebrate. But greatness is also having the courage to be present to commiserate -- to share in the losses -- to show your team how to bounce back into the light. To climb out of defeat -- even if it is one inch at a time, Onward Nation.

Drew also taught me how to be regular -- to be consistent with your mentorship. Mentorship is not a part-time vital priority. It is your most vital priority, Onward Nation. It is not a sometimes thing -- it is an all the time thing.

Ingredient #2: “You have to have a mentor to be a mentor” -- Larry Broughton

In order to be a great mentor -- you have to humble yourself and realize that you in fact need a mentor. Every great business leader -- every great person -- is able to point back to the mentor or mentors he or she had to push them along their journey. And one of the most important skill that we as leaders -- as mentors must possess -- is the drive -- the hunger -- to keep learning. Your ongoing education from podcasts, books, conferences, mentors, represent a body of knowledge and experiences you can then share with your mentees.

And lastly, Larry taught me the importance of just starting. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the mistake of thinking there are people who are better than you and that you don’t have anything to offer as a mentor. Those thoughts, Onward Nation, are the imposter syndrome rearing its ugly head. Don’t listen -- press on!

Ingredient #3: “Your mentees must be active participants” -- Don Yaeger

Don has been one of the most influential mentors in my life. During our encore interview, he shared how he frequently receives requests for his mentorship. He always replies to each request with the framework and expectations he has for an excellent mentee. And then majority of people never reply. Why? Because being an excellent mentee is hard work -- but most prospective mentees have the perception that getting a mentor is a way to find someone to do the work for you. No! A great mentors will force their mentees to be an active participant in the mentor-mentee relationship — otherwise you can’t mentor them, Onward Nation!

Ingredient #4: “Be the change you want to see” -- Carl Wright

Carl taught me how great mentors are fully transparent with their team -- they allow their team members to see the wins and to see the losses. We should alway strive for excellence -- 100 percent of the time. But winning 100 percent of the time will never happen. Each loss can be used as a wonderful learning experience -- to give us that pit in our stomach -- that bitter taste in your mouth -- that you never want to experience ever again. And part of being transparent with your team is consistent communication with your entire team -- your entire business -- Carl taught me to allow your team to see your mindset -- to let them behind the green curtain -- or better yet -- raise the curtain. And let your team inside -- they will love you for it.

Ingredient #5: “Set the example” -- Shane Stott

I have seen first hand how Shane leads his team. I have spend many days on-site with him and his team -- watched as he facilitated meeting with his team -- watched as he committed the resources necessary to achieve big goals within his companies. Inspiring to watch. Leading and making the initial decisions is the easy part, Onward Nation. But Shane showed me the critical importance of staying connected with those who you are mentoring -- it is a consistent process of checking in -- mentoring up -- making adjustments -- and continual guidance.

Ingredient #6: “Your mentees are watching your every step” -- David Mammano

Dave stressed to me the importance of being cognizant of what you’re doing -- just like in parenting. Your teammates, Onward Nation, are watching your every step. So if you are not committed to excellence -- and you do it half-way -- don’t be surprised when you get a half effort. If you are not willing to take out the trash -- don’t be surprised when others on your team don’t think it is their responsibility either. If you are not willing to work late -- you are setting an example. Dave taught me the critical importance of not just saying what your mentees should do -- but -- be the example -- by doing it yourself.

Ingredient #7: “Be clear on how your mentee can do it better” -- Dr. Marcie Beigel

Dr. Marcie’s two interviews were powerful. She is a behavioral expert so our conversations along with the lessons learned dug deep into the psychological motivations of mentees and mentors alike. For example...one of Dr. Marcie’s principles is to say what you mean and mean what you say -- which is one of the best ways to ensure you are being clear with your expectations of mentees. How can you expect to hold your mentees accountable when you have not provided clear expectations? If you have not done that, Onward Nation -- you need to know that is on you -- not your mentees. And yes, it will be scary to work through the details -- to provide that level of precise mentorship when you may have never done it before. But, as Dr. Marcie so eloquently said to me, “Stephen -- be scared and do it anyway.” BAM!

Ingredient #8: “Model the behavior you expect of others” -- Marty Wolff

Marty taught me how to be a great mentor from the perspective of integrity. How can someone be a great mentor without integrity -- without being the shining example of what is ethical? And yet, business leaders attempt to do it -- yet -- eventually it catches up to them. Marty stressed to Onward Nation that a great mentor needs to be of high integrity all the time, always look for an opportunity to help someone, and help their mentees see all their possibilities. Help them, Onward Nation, see how they can become more -- and -- are capable of just that. That they have been blessed with an abundance of God given talents -- and your greatest gift to them as their mentor -- is to help instill in them the guts and courage to apply all of their gifts and talents.

Ingredient #10: “Be the mentor you’d want to mentor you” -- David Long

I absolutely love this lesson from David. If you want to be a great mentor to your mentees -- think about the kind of mentor you would want to mentor you. What would he or she do -- teach you -- how would that person push you -- encourage you -- and help you grow? Part of being great is to analyze -- diagnose -- identify all of these points -- and then you push yourself to become more to embody those things. Being a great mentor is also the perfect opportunity to groom your team to take over for you -- so you can exit the day to day operations of the business giving you the time to focus on your most vital priorities -- like being a great mentor.

Ingredient #11: “Walk the talk — so people know whether or not you can do it” -- Scott McKain

Scott teaches us the ultimate in credibility indicator. This lesson of greatness is more than being willing to perform the day-to-day tasks in your company as a good leader -- or a good example should. Instead, it is about you holding your team accountable by walking the talk. For example, great mentors beget great mentors. You must encourage and push your mentees to also be great mentors -- to get out there and find mentees of their own. That is how they learn a completely different level of awesome then they could have learned from you. They need to be in the trenches all on their own. I have several mentors who hold me accountable to walk the talk -- and I walk the talk with my mentees every day -- and I hold them accountable so they walk the talk with their mentees. So walk the talk, Onward Nation.

Ingredient #12: “Spend time with your employees — both in and out of the office — this is how they’ll learn” -- Nancy Marshall

And bringing us home with this very important discussion is the lesson from Nancy -- how can you expect, Onward Nation, for your team to learn from your when your on-boarding process is a baptism by fire. When on their first day at your company -- they have a client meeting that afternoon? That is not setting your team up for success -- that is setting them up for horrible failure. Instead, take them under your wing -- show them how it is done -- that is how they will learn your standards of excellence -- and your employees want your time. The time you can spend with them -- one-on-one is treasured and can be special opportunities for not just mentorship -- but also relationships. If you don’t invest in your team -- don’t expect them to invest their hearts and minds into your business. Spend the time, Onward Nation -- being a great mentor is not something you do as you run past someone’s office -- or the occasional high five in the hallway. Nancy’s emphasis on teaching is an excellent principle -- because being great requires that we teach -- everything we know. That is how you help create A Players, Onward Nation.

So with that...I want to say thank you again for taking the time to be here with me today. It is an honor to have you here -- thank you for tuning in -- I am delighted you chose this episode to be what you listen to, study, and take with you on your morning run, or maybe Onward Nation has become part of your daily commute, or in some other way has become part of your morning routine.

However our daily podcast fits into your daily routine -- I want you to know how much I appreciate you sharing some of your invaluable 86,400 seconds you have in your day with me and the strategies we learn and share each day from today’s top business owners.

And please continue to let me know what you think of Onward Nation...good or bad...I always want your feedback. My direct email address is stephen@onwardnation.com -- and yes -- that is my actual Inbox. No fancy filters or filing system and I read and reply to every single email.

So please let me know how you think we are doing. I look forward to hearing from you.

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible ENCORE interview with Stacy Tuschl, the author of the book “Is Your Business Worth Saving?” and the host of the amazing brand new podcast Business Rescue Road Map.

Until then, onward with gusto!

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

Feb 16, 2016

The Wall Street Journal calls Chad Hymas one of the 10 most inspirational people in the world! In 2001, at the age of 27, Chads life changed in an instant when a 2,000-pound bale of hay shattered his neck leaving him a quadriplegic. But Chad’s dreams were not paralyzed that day he became an example of what is possible. Chad inspires, motivates, and moves audiences, creating an experience that touches hearts for a lifetime. Chad is a best selling author, president of his own Communications Company, Chad Hymas Communications, Inc. and is a world-class wheelchair athlete. Chad’s speaking in the areas of leadership, team building, customer service, and mastering change has brought him multiple honors. He has graced the stage of hundreds of professional and civic organizations including Wells Fargo, Blue Cross Blue Shield, AT&T, Rainbird, IHC, American Express, and Prudential.

Secret – timesaving technique

Chad puts his daily tasks into four different categories -- organize your tasks so that they'll get completed at the right time. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Start the day off right -- Chad says a prayer every morning and reads verses from the bible.

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

Chad's dad walked away from him -- and Chad tells the whole story here.

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

"You need to realize you have the ability an influence over other people."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Go find someone to serve without being asked to do so and watch what happens."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have taken more risks.

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

Have a strategic plan, make it simple, and break it into parts.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would realize the people we serve are our greatest assets.

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

  1. Hang out with people more successful than you
  2. Focus on what you have, not your losses

How best to connect with Chad:

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

Feb 15, 2016

Dr. Carri Drzyzga is known internationally as The Functional Medicine Doc the go-to expert on finding the root causes of health problems so you can feel normal again. She is a chiropractor and naturopathic doctor, host of the popular podcast The Functional Medicine Radio Show, and author of the hit book, “Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again! Fixing the Root Cause of Your Fatigue with Natural Treatments.” Dr. Carri is the creator of Entrepreneurial Fatigue: How to Fuel Your Brain & Body for Entrepreneurial Success. Her private practice is Functional Medicine Ontario located in Ottawa, Ontario.

Secret – timesaving technique

Dr. Carri wears a sleep mask over her eyes every night -- you need great sleep to maximize your energy. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Take care of yourself -- Dr. Carri suggests eating a healthy breakfast full of protein and good, healthy fat.

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

Dr. Carri realized that she didn't love being a chiropractor -- and Dr. Carri tells the whole story here.

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

"You need to know where your strengths and weaknesses are -- and where your weaknesses are, hire people that have those strengths."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Take it day-by-day and step-by-step."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

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

I would have gotten the advice of a mentor or coach really early on.

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

Have really great communication with your team.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would take the things off my plate that I don't need to be doing.

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

  1. Read the book "The Slight Edge"
  2. Read the book "Think and Grow Rich"
  3. Surround yourself with people that are better than you

How best to connect with Dr. Carri:

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

Feb 12, 2016

David Covey is the 3rd son of Stephen R. Covey, author of the groundbreaking book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” David was the chief operating officer of FranklinCovey. He then left Franklin Covey to start his own company, now called SMCOV. SMCOV works with the best intellectual property content experts on the planet and helps distributes their content globally through licensees. David loves working with impactful IP and setting up distribution systems around the globe.

Secret – timesaving technique

David gets his email inbox empty at least once a week -- you've got to have a system. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Take the time to ask for help -- David prays and reads scripture every morning and night.

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

David faced tremendous challenges in starting over and beginning his business -- and David tells the whole story here.

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

"Perseverance and focus."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"My father was the most influential person in my life -- and I try to live the Seven Habits."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would do a lot more trial and error and experimentation -- it takes a lot of time to get things right.

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

You need to create something unique.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be truly passionate.

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

  1. Make sure being an entrepreneur is the right fit for you emotionally
  2. Make sure you have a unique strategy
  3. Experimentation and failure is part of the process

How best to connect with David:

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

Feb 11, 2016

John Warrillow is the author of books “Built to Sell” and “The Automatic Customer” and founder of The Value Builder System™ where advisors help company owners increase the value of their business. Previously, he founded Warrillow & Co., a subscription-based research business dedicated to helping Fortune 500 companies market to small business owners. A sought-after speaker and popular Inc.com columnist, John lives in Toronto.

Secret – timesaving technique

John writes in his gratitude diary every morning -- do this right away every morning. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Do the big projects first -- John saves the small projects for the end of the day and starts on the big ones early in the day.

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

John had to realize the hard way that your employees are not your friends -- and John tells the whole story here.

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

"Inbound marketing and the ability to change your marketing."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Never share equity with employees."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Blow up your business plan and go sell something

How best to connect with John:

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

Feb 10, 2016

author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.

Good Morning Onward Nation...I’m Stephen Woessner. And I have to say -- today’s solocast topic has me so fired up because over the last couple of weeks -- we have been delving deep into some critical topics likes excuses -- or alibis as Napoleon Hill describes them -- and the week earlier -- I shared with you how destructive the imposter syndrome can be -- and -- how easy it can be to allow that to happen.

Yesterday, Jodi Flynn -- one of our Onward Nation guests -- and the host of the brilliant podcast, Women Taking the Lead, invited me to be a guest on her show to discuss leadership, mentorship, and some of the influential women who have been powerful mentors in my life. The conversation was off the charts -- Jodi had me teary eyed with her very first question -- no joke. The interview goes live in late March and we will be sure to share the link. During the conversation with Jodi we talked about the imposter syndrome -- about the constraints the syndrome can place us under -- about how the syndrome can grip us in what seems to be paralyzing fear -- and then procrastination sets in. Lack of performance sets in -- loss of relationships can set in -- all the while -- the whirlwind of compounding negativity can easily swallow us up -- if we let it.

And Jodi had a different term for the imposter syndrome, which I thought was spot on -- so I wanted to share it with you. When she is working with her coaching clients -- or even keeping herself on the right track moving onward with gusto -- she refers to the syndrome as her inner critic. She said that and I thought -- oh -- now that’s a perfect description. She made me laugh when she said, “Oh yeah, and my inner critic is mean -- she has a foul mouth and disposition.” I laughed -- but then I thought, wow -- this is such a brilliant point because our inner critic can get away with saying things to us that we likely would never allow another human being to say to us -- but those comments are going on in our heads every minute of the day. Why?

The imposter syndrome works because the person’s words that have the most influence over you -- and that don’t have to ask your permission to speak up -- are yours, Onward Nation. You are the one who is speaking over and over again -- whispering in your own ear -- throughout the day -- day after day -- month after month -- year after year.

So for today’s solocast topic...thanks to the inspiring conversation with Jodi Flynn...I am going to show you how your words become your reality. Your words are what empowers your inner critic. Your words, Onward Nation, are what empowers -- or -- disempowers your entire life.

Every aspect. It is not some mystic dark magic voodoo -- luck -- destiny -- the winds of fate -- the power that someone else possesses and wields it for your misfortune. Well, actually -- that last part isn’t entirely true. Because the power to control your destiny is in someone’s hands -- your hands -- or more accurately said -- in your mind.

And I will show you how during today’s topic -- your words become your reality.

Let’s dig in by starting with a quote from Henry Ford.

He said, “Whether you think you can -- or you think you can’t -- you’re right.”

Success -- or accomplishing that which you seek and desire, Onward Nation, is oftentimes the result of simply deciding and being committed to the result outcome you want to produce. And believing -- and understanding -- it is up to you to make it happen for you. It is not someone else’s responsibility. It is your own.

So if you have an idea you want to pursue -- a new product -- a new business -- a new service -- a once in a lifetime vacation -- and you begin to craft a plan -- your inner critic may try to derail your planning process right away with thoughts of self doubt, fear, you’re being too ambitious, what would your family think when you share the news with them, and so on. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t -- you’re right. Isn’t it fascinating that before you have even collected any data from the market -- given your idea of any sort of litmus test -- you already encounter obstacles. In my opinion, more than half the battle of being successful is getting the right words to yourself down on paper so you can retrain your brain -- your subconscious mind on what the plan of action will be. Again, Onward Nation, whether you think you can or you think you can’t -- you will be right.

So let’s take this deeper.

I have studied and continued to study Napoleon Hill’s timeless work, "Think & Grow Rich." Hill includes a verse that speaks directly to how your words become your reality, so I wanted to share it with you, Onward Nation. Hill writes:

Please download the episode to hear Hill's verse.

The words you speak to yourself -- the building blocks of the thoughts you think to yourself -- eventually become your actions. And your actions direct your destiny. So if you can get the words you speak to yourself correctly aligned with where you want to go -- then you will realize your full potential.

Hill dedicates a full chapter to the technique of autosuggestion -- which is the process of getting the words you speak to yourself correctly aligned with your purpose -- your mission in life -- your most vital priorities -- what you are striving to accomplish. Tony Robbins also addresses autosuggestion -- although differently -- he calls the process “Incantations.” What I love about Tony’s process of incantations is how he breaks down the word when he is teaching this powerful technique because he ties it back to the Henry Ford quote I shared with you earlier… "Where you think you can or you think you can’t -- you’re right."

Just look at the word incantation. You can either emphasize the “can” in the word...In - CAN - tation when you pronounce it. Or you can emphasize the word can’t...In - CANT - tation. And even just that subtly could tell you where your thought process is currently.

But neither Tony Robbins or Napoleon Hill were the ones who discovered the power of autosuggestion or incantations. I will argue it comes from the book of Matthew -- but will also give you a more modern or recent example.

Let me introduce you to Dr. Emile Coue, who was a French psychologist and pharmacist. It is he who introduced autosuggestion as a form of psychotherapy and self-improvement. Dr. Coue lived from 1857 to 1926. Napoleon Hill first published his Laws of Success in 1925 and then later refined the manuscript into Think and Grow Rich in 1937.

In addition to his discoveries around autosuggestion, Dr. Coue also discovered what became known as the placebo effect.

He became known for reassuring his clients by praising each remedy's efficiency and leaving a small positive notice with each given medication.

His book, “Self-Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion” was first published in England (1920) and then in the United States (1922).

Many American thought leaders of the time adopted his ideas and methods, such as Norman Vincent Peale, Robert H. Schuller, and W. Clement Stone, and then became famous in their own right by spreading his words.

Dr. Coue developed what he later called, “The Coue Method”.

The application of his mantra-like conscious autosuggestion, “Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better.” It is sometimes quoted as saying, “Day by day, in every way, I'm getting better and better.” Or, “Day by day, in every way...I’m getting stronger and stronger,” which is similar to the Tony Robbins version.

The Coué Method centered on a routine repetition of this particular expression according to a specified ritual—preferably as much as twenty to 100 times a day, and especially at the beginning and at the end of each day. And expressed out loud -- with full emotional power and belief.

When asked whether or not he thought of himself as healer, Dr. Coué often stated that “I have never cured anyone in my life. All I do is show people how they can cure themselves.”

Coué believed that curing some of our troubles requires a change in our unconscious thought, which can be achieved only by using our imagination -- and getting our thoughts correctly aligned with our goal.

Coué noticed that in certain cases he could improve the efficacy of a given medicine by praising its effectiveness to his patients. He realized that those patients to whom he praised the medicine had a noticeable improvement when compared to patients to whom he said nothing.

This began Coué’s exploration of autosuggestion. The good doctor certainly believed in the effects of medication. But also believed that our mental state is able to affect and even amplify the action of these medications. By consciously using autosuggestion, he observed that his patients could cure themselves more efficiently by replacing their "thought of illness" with a new "thought of cure". According to Coué, repeating words or images enough times causes the subconscious to absorb them. The cures were the result of using imagination or "positive autosuggestion" to the exclusion of one's own willpower.

Coué thus developed a method which relied on the principle that any idea exclusively occupying the mind turns into reality, although only to the extent that the idea is within the realm of possibility. For instance, if a person firmly believes that his or her asthma is disappearing, then this may actually happen, as far as the body is actually able physically to overcome or control the illness. On the other hand, thinking negatively about the illness (for example, "I am not feeling well") will encourage both mind and body to accept this thought.

Likewise, when someone cannot remember a name, they will probably not be able to recall it as long as they hold onto this idea (for example, "I can't remember") in their mind.

Coué realised that it is better to focus on and imagine the desired, positive results (i.e. "I feel healthy and energetic" and "I can remember clearly").

So the experiment that lead to the discovery of the placebo effect went like this. Coue was making his rounds with patients and providing them with their medication. He also instructed each patient to say out loud to themselves with full enthusiasm, belief, and faith -- “Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better.” And to repeat the process 100 times a day -- with conviction.

What Coue noticed was an increase in the efficacy of the medication as a result outcome of the words his patients were audibly saying to themselves each and every day. So then Coue tried something even more radical. He replaced the medication with a placebo -- while instructing his patients to continue with the autosuggestion as they had been doing.

And the result outcome was staggering. His patients continued to recover despite the absence of medication.

Onward Nation...your words affect your thoughts...your thoughts affect your actions...and your actions affect the trajectory of your life.

How often do we see professional athletes walking into a stadium before a big game listening to their noise cancelling headphones? Why are they doing that? To block out the distractions and to listen to music to increase their concentration -- their mood -- tempo -- their thinking.

Or, how often do we see Olympic athletes getting ready to ski jump, race downhill, snowboard, do a gymnastic routine, and we can see them visualizing the result outcome -- rehearsing over and over in the mind the moves they need to make -- the result outcome they want to see.

That is the power of visualization, Onward Nation. And it is a visual version of the principle of autosuggestion developed by Dr. Coue. Elite athletes know they need to get their words right -- their visualization right -- in order to direct the actions they take during their performance or competitive event.

Well, if autosuggestion and visualization can be used to increase the efficacy of medication -- or to guide the performance of Olympic athletes -- and used by Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Andrew Carnegie, JP Morgan, and many of the other industrial giants interviewed by Napoleon Hill to direct and influence the words they spoke to themselves...then why not you, Onward Nation?

I mentioned earlier that autosuggestion can be connected back to the book of Matthew in The Bible. And perhaps in a future solocast -- we will dig deeper -- but for now -- let me just share with you...Matthew chapter 7 versus 7 reads, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

These are the power of your own words, Onward Nation. When mixed with faith and the belief that the result outcome will occur -- if we ask -- by conditioning our minds that the result outcome is indeed possible.

But many of us don’t ask. Why?

The fear of rejection. “What if I don’t receive what I have asked for?”

Or, pride. “I don’t want to sound silly for asking.” Or, “I cannot ask because if I do ask, that means I am less because I was forced to ask -- or forced to submit.”

Don’t fall into the mental trap that is as old as time itself, Onward Nation.

Instead...realize that your inner critic attempts to derail you every day -- but -- as in all aspects of your life -- you have the power to change the outcome.

Your inner critic will listen to you -- but -- you need the right script. You need to give conscious thought to the words that will create the right thoughts -- then the right actions. Your thoughts become your reality -- and the origin of your thoughts are the words you speak to yourself throughout each and every day...and what you ask for.

Remember Dr. Coue’s autosuggestion… "Day by day...in every way...you are getting stronger and stronger,” Onward Nation!

So with that...I want to say thank you again for taking the time to be here with me today. It is an honor to have you here -- thank you for tuning in -- I am delighted you chose this episode to be what you listen to, study, and take with you on your morning run, or maybe Onward Nation has become part of your daily commute, or in some other way has become part of your morning routine.

However our daily podcast fits into your daily routine -- I want you to know how much I appreciate you sharing some of your invaluable 86,400 seconds you have in your day with me and the strategies we learn and share each day from today’s top business owners.

And please continue to let me know what you think of Onward Nation...good or bad...I always want your feedback. My direct email address is stephen@onwardnation.com -- and yes -- that is my actual Inbox. No fancy filters or filing system and I read and reply to every single email.

So please let me know how you think we are doing. I look forward to hearing from you.

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible interview with John Warrillow -- he is the author of several groundbreaking books, “Built to Sell” and “The Automatic Customer”. His insights are counter intuitive, John’s strategies and recommendations are precise, and the entire conversation is packed full of wisdom that can be applied to your business right away. Please don’t miss it.

Until then, onward with gusto!

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

Feb 9, 2016

Drew McLellan is a 25-year marketing veteran who helps clients create authentic love affairs with their customers. In 1995, Drew started his own agency -- McLellan Marketing Group. He also helps other agency owners learn how to take their business to the next level through the consultancy -- Agency Management Institute. Drew is also one of the world’s top marketing and branding bloggers, according to AdAge’s Top 150 index. He’s written the book 99.3 Random Acts of Marketing and co-edited the Age of Conversation series of books. He has appeared in the New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, Businessweek and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal calls him one of 10 bloggers that every entrepreneur should read. Drew also hosts the brilliant Build a Better Agency Podcast.

What do you do in the first 60 minutes of your day?

Drew gets up, goes for a walk, eats breakfast, and then starts on the task he wants to do least -- and start and end your day in gratitude. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Gratitude, Give, and Grace."

How do you define success?

Success for Drew is freedom -- but don't let other people your definition of success.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Drew assumes that he will figure it out -- and Drew tells the reasons why here.

What makes as "A player" an "A player"?

An "A player" has the things you can't teach.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Be willing to have difficult conversations
  2. Ask better questions -- don't give your mentees all the answers
  3. Be present -- commiserate and celebrate
  4. Be regular with your mentorship

How can we build an audience?

  1. Figure out what you have to offer and pick the platform that makes the most sense
  2. Bring all of you to the platform you choose -- don't be stiff and rigid

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Recognize that the next level is optional -- sometimes bigger isn't better
  2. Know what you're willing to sacrifice
  3. Define where you want to land -- then figure out the baby steps

How best to connect with Drew:

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

Feb 8, 2016

Larry Broughton is Founder and CEO of broughtonHOTELS; Broughton Advisory Group; and yoogozi.com. He’s an award-winning entrepreneur & CEO; a best-selling author; keynote speaker; and former U.S. Army Green Beret committed to helping visionaries, leaders and high-achievers step into the leadership gap.

What do you do in the first 60 minutes of your day?

Larry begins tomorrow before he goes to bed today -- write down in a gratitude journal the things you're thankful for tonight and do some deep breathing when you wake up tomorrow. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." - George Patton

How do you define success?

Success is a byproduct of living a life of significance.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Larry believes we need to embrace failure -- and Larry tells the reasons why here.

What makes as "A player" an "A player"?

An "A player" is motivated and has integrity and capacity.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Leaders are learners -- read, listen to podcasts
  2. Just start mentoring -- you can't give yourself the excuse that there are people better than you
  3. You have to have a mentor to be a mentor

How can we build an audience?

  1. You have to be writing blogs, recording podcasts, speaking, and writing books
  2. Engage with people -- utilize social media

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Focus on personal mastery and personal development
  2. Hire a coach/mentor and join a mastermind group
  3. Help other people

How best to connect with Larry:

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

Feb 5, 2016

Kris first took the business world by storm in 1999 when he founded Pepperjam, a full-service internet marketing agency and affiliate network that was sold for millions to eBay ten years later. Pepperjam distinguished itself as one of the most successful, fastest growing companies in the country and the three-time consecutive recipient of the prestigious Inc. Magazine Fastest Growing Company award (2006, 2007, 2008) as well as dozens of other awards and honors. Since the sale of Pepperjam, Kris has continued his significant contributions to the business world as investor, CEO, best-selling writer, speaker and dedicated philanthropist.

Secret – timesaving technique

Kris uses a program called Rapid Planning Method -- capture: write down what you want to achieve and schedule: make these goals become real. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Commit to waking up earlier -- Kris wakes up an hour earlier than his wife and kids.

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

Kris had to lay off over 40 members of his staff -- and Kris tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You have the power."

How best to connect with Kris:

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

Feb 4, 2016

John T. Meyer is the Co-Founder and CEO of Lemonly. Lemonly helps companies tell their story through visuals. Specializing in infographics, videos, and interactives. Lemonly works with brands like Marriott, Major League Baseball, Netflix, Lego, Under Armour, Salesforce, the Green Bay Packers, and the United Nations. John is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council and in 2013 was named to Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 10 Emerging Entrepreneurs. John loves to cheer on the Minnesota Twins, spend time with his wife Paige and daughter, Margot. He also writes about focus and productivity within a weekly newsletter called “Point Letter.”

Secret – timesaving technique

John does six professional tasks and two personal tasks every weekday, six personal tasks and two professional tasks on Saturday, and then he's off on Sunday -- make it eight for the day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Saying "no" today means you can say "yes" tomorrow -- John takes control of his schedule by saying "no."

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

John had to have a hard conversation with his brother who he was in business with -- and John tells the whole story here.

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

"Communicate your value."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"It's not just luck."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have developed a stronger backbone -- don't be afraid to give clients pushback.

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

Get out of the way and let your team work -- the killer to productivity is too many managers and too many meetings.

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

  1. Know when and where to draw a line in the sand
  2. Be prepared to adjust and adapt

How best to connect with John:

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

Feb 3, 2016

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

Good Morning Onward Nation...I’m Stephen Woessner. And before we jump into today’s solocast topic -- I want to say thank you for all of the thoughtful and specific feedback following last week’s solocast, episode 158...which I entitled, “How to defeat the imposter syndrome.”

I love feedback -- good or bad -- and often encourage it at the end of my solocasts. But last week’s solocast was followed by more feedback than normal...and I am grateful.

I received notes via email, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. I appreciate the kind words -- but even more so -- for the insights into how the discussion helped. It is always awesome to find out someone likes what you have to say -- and it is so rewarding to hear the connecting points between what is being shared and an experience. Those are powerful and I am grateful -- thank you, Onward Nation.

So same request goes for today’s solocast -- please let me know what you think -- thumbs up or thumbs down -- I want to know what you think and appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

It is a gift, a privilege, and an honor to be with you each and every day. It is important to me that you know how much I appreciate your time -- I consider your time sacred -- because it is -- and am looking forward to spending time with you this morning delving into yet another deep topic that affects all of us.

So for today’s solocast...I am going to focus our attention toward an obstacle we all experience -- something we all face. In fact, it is fair to say that everyone on Earth faces it no matter who they are. The obstacle is art of making excuses...or “alibis” as Napoleon Hill described them in in his timeless work, "Think & Grow Rich."

Hill goes on to explain that “Building alibis or excuses with which to explain any failure has become a national pastime. The habit is as old as the human race and is fatal to success. People defend their alibis because they create them. A person’s alibi is the child of his own imagination. It is human nature to defend one’s own brainchild.”

I am not going to get political -- I have no conversation for you there whatsoever -- but I will set Washington as a prime example of excuses -- and then defending one’s position vehemently -- and sometimes until the bitter end. Instead -- an intelligent, non-defensive discussion that leads to a win-win compromise is often the best policy.

In an effort to dig deep into this topic...let’s examine some of the most common excuses Hill shares in his book. People who fail to succeed have one distinguishing trait in common. They know all the reasons for failure and have what they believe to be airtight excuses to explain away their own lack of achievement.

Some of the excuses are clever -- and a few of them justifiable by the facts. As I read you the list -- examine yourself -- your thoughts -- your actions carefully and think about how many -- if any -- of these excuses you have used.

I will say this -- if you are open and honest as I share this list with you -- it may be a painful process -- as it was for me when I first reviewed and considered the list. In fact, as I read it the first time...I highlighted 17 excuses off the list and set about to resolve those and eliminate them from my thought process.

Please listen to the podcast for Napoleon Hill's complete list of excuses.

And...here is the greatest excuse of them all, Onward Nation…

“If I had the courage to see myself as I really am, I would find out what is wrong with me and correct it, then I might have a chance to profit by my mistakes and learn something from the experience of others, for I know that there is something wrong with me, or I would now be where I would have been if I had spent time analyzing my weaknesses, and less time building excuses to cover them.”

This is a lesson -- about the greatest excuse -- is a lesson that I tend to learn and relearn over and over again. One of the most painful examples was taught to me was in June of 1990. I was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas for basic training. About midway through our training, we were asked if anyone was interested in volunteering and trying out for the Air Force special forces. Uh Rah! Count me in. So I volunteered to spend that Saturday gritting it out with the best on the base to see who would make the cut.

It was a long day...by the end...I was beat down. I was tired...had swam a mile and a half. Had run a mile and a half. Had just done pull ups, sit ups, and a variety of other exercises. I was hot, I was sweaty, I was exhausted.

My energy level was beat to the pulp.

But it was time for push ups, which perked up my energy level a bit because push ups had normally been a decent exercise for me.

This time...it came with specific instructions, which I failed to hear. And it wasn’t because the instructions weren’t loud enough -- oh no -- our instructors did not have an issue with volume. The instructions were to perform the movement in stages...you would lower your chest to the mat until you touched your spotter’s fist with your chest...and then raise yourself back to the starting position...hold yourself there for a beat...and rinse and repeat.

All the while...I needed to be looking face up...not down at the mat...throughout the entire movement. If any of these instructions were not followed...the repetition would not be counted.

I was feeling confident because this was “my” exercise -- I knew I could bang out a bunch of reps despite being exhausted so I was excited to get started -- so excited -- that I did not pay close attention to the instructions.

I thought -- very arrogantly -- that I had this competition “in the bag” and based on my previous swim, run, etc. Yeah! I was going to be a candidate for the special forces. Well, I was about to learn how painful it can be to come up short -- and the creative force to making up excuses that followed.

When the instructor yelled, “begin”...the race was on and we were on the clock to see how many push ups we could complete within the specified time. I was so concerned about speed...and quantity...I failed to perform a critical step. I was looking down at the mat during the completion of each rep for the first four...instead of “eyes front.”

It was after four repetitions, that my spotter pointed out my mistake, and I made the correction on my fifth repetition -- and then my heart sank when I heard my spotter say loudly count out...“ONE”. Oh no...I was at least four reps behind. And I never did catch up.

By the time the exercise was over...I was still four reps behind the pack...and I knew I was probably sunk.

Then it was the long wait for the instructors to tabulate our scores and announce their selections. If you were selected, your normal basic training would be over and you would immediately join the special forces training program -- first stop -- the Bahamas for scuba diving. Um...yes, please!

But, when the instructor came out to announce the list of names...mine was not called. I had missed the cut by four points.

I had battled all day -- and lost by four points. But did I blame myself for not following the very specific -- very loud -- and clearly articulated instructions? No. I blamed my spotter. For what? For doing his job? He wasn’t supposed to count bad reps -- and he did me a favor by even telling me about my mistake.

He didn’t have to do that.

He, too was competing to win a spot on the list. But he did tell me.

My success was up to me, Onward Nation. Not him. And yet I blamed him.

Deep down inside, I couldn’t bare the thought that it was me who had failed -- and to Napoleon Hill’s point -- I then created an alibi that rationalized the loss and tried to make it sting a little less.

Several weeks later, I learned from the mistake at I made at the special forces qualification. I was outside my dorm on a break with my squad...and a drill instructor...not assigned to our squad decided to come up and harass us to see if she could get us to misspeak, not follow protocol, or make some other mistake. And for whatever reason, I was the lucky one she picked. Not awesome.

I don’t remember the line of questioning she bombarded me with -- but -- I missed something and made a mistake. I next found myself standing outside my squadron commander’s office in the hallway. My drill instructor had been summoned -- we made eye contact as he walked down the hallway -- and he shook his head in disappointment.

As I was called into my commander’s office to explain the situation, they were looking for any sign of weakness -- of excuse making. I didn’t provide one. I apologized for the situation and accepted full responsibility without excuse.

I passed. But why?

Because I didn’t throw someone under the bus. I stood up and acknowledged the situation -- accepted responsibility -- and then moved on.

And it has been my experience in business and in life -- and likely yours, too -- that if we simply acknowledge our mistake -- as hard as that may be to do -- set our ego aside and apologize -- and accept responsibility -- then our customers, employees, spouse, or children are more willing to forgive us because everyone makes mistakes.

But no one likes excuses.

Michael Jordan famously said, that “A loss isn’t a failure until you make an excuse.”

When you make excuses -- you lose credibility -- you lose the respect of your peers -- and you run the risk of damaging relationships.

So stop the excuses, Onward Nation.

Forget the alibis -- do your best every time -- own your mistakes -- learn from them -- and you will achieve success and greatness.

You were indeed meant for greatness. You are a child of the most high God. You are instilled with an infinite abundance of talent and gifts. How can I be so sure, you might ask? Because Luke Chapter 17, Verse 21 says so. The scripture reads, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” The kingdom of God is indeed great...and if the kingdom is within you...then that makes you great, Onward Nation. So please don’t let something so small as making excuses -- and creating elaborate alibis -- cheat you from your success...your greatness...your destiny!

So with that said...

I want to say thank you again for taking the time to be here with me today. It is an honor to have you here -- thank you for tuning in -- I am delighted you chose this episode to be what you listen to, study, and take with you on your morning run, or maybe Onward Nation has become part of your daily commute, or in some other way has become part of your morning routine.

However our daily podcast fits into your daily routine -- I want you to know how much I appreciate you sharing some of your invaluable 86,400 seconds you have in your day with me and the strategies we learn and share each day from today’s top business owners.

And please continue to let me know what you think of Onward Nation...good or bad...I always want your feedback. My direct email address is stephen@onwardnation.com -- and yes -- that is my actual Inbox. No fancy filters or filing system and I read and reply to every single email.

So please let me know how you think we are doing. I look forward to hearing from you.

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible interview with John T. Meyer -- he is off the charts amazing. His productivity strategy of “8 for the day” and the discipline he applies to mastering it is remarkable -- which has helped him build a phenomenal business.

Until then, onward with gusto!

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

Feb 2, 2016

Patrick Henry is a former Nashville songwriter and SiriusXM Radio personality on the Family Comedy Channels. Today he delivers entertaining and funny keynote presentations that show how to create extraordinary customer experiences. Patrick has spoken to over 1,000 audiences around the world and is also the author of the book entitled, "The Pancake Principle: Seventeen Sticky Ways to Make Your Customers FLIP For You."

Secret – timesaving technique

Patrick gets up early and works out daily -- create time for yourself everyday. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Be deliberate in carving out the time you need -- Patrick carves out the time he needs to be creative.

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

Patrick's speaking business was hit hard in the recession -- and Patrick tells the whole story here.

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

"Understand who you are and what you do."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Every speech is a performance."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would surround myself with people -- get a mastermind group.

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

Make sure your employees are operating from an authentic place -- continue to create a community.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would champion your business.

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

  1. Believe there's a successful place for you in your line of business
  2. Surround yourself with positive, talented people

How best to connect with Patrick:

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

Feb 1, 2016

Jim Palmer is a marketing and business building expert and host of “Newsletter Guru TV” and “Stick Like Glue Radio”. He is known internationally as ‘The Newsletter Guru’- the go-to resource for maximizing the profitability of customer relationships. Jim is the author of 6 six books and also the founder and President of Custom Newsletters, Inc., parent company of “No Hassle Newsletters”, “No Hassle Social Media”, and Success Advantage Publishing.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jim focuses on what he needs to focus on each day -- focus on high revenue-generating activities only. ONWARD!

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

Jim got called out and embarrassed by a friend -- and Jim tells the whole story here.

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

"Any success business is built on trusting relationships that a business has with its customers."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You will earn infinitely more income for who you are than what you do."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

I would have actually put systems in place -- this is so necessary if you want to sell -- or -- heaven forbid -- tragedy strikes.

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

  1. Recognize that someone has already paved your path -- learn from them
  2. Stop trying to be all things to all people
  3. Don't let anything hold you back

How best to connect with Jim:

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

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