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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: April, 2016
Apr 29, 2016

Steve Tenney is a Senior Vice President of Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services in Portland, Maine and leads the Family Wealth Management Partners team. They help business owners bridge the gap from where they are today to their vision of the future. Steve has worked at UBS for 23 years, always working with individuals and families, many for 3 to 5 generations. He also had the great fortune of working with his father for four of those years, experiencing many of the same issues that all family owned businesses deal with. He knows firsthand that running a business is filled with rewards and challenges. He spends his days working to solve problems and provide solutions for clients, ultimately making a meaningful difference in their lives. Outside of work, Steve is quite a competitive athlete, sailing, swimming, rowing and has even completed two Ironman triathlons.

Secret – timesaving technique

Steve delegates things to his team -- it's critical to have a team you trust to take care of the tasks you delegate. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Incorporate the "Hell yes!" rule -- Steve and his team only jump on an idea if they have an overwhelmingly positive response to it.

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

Steve's dyslexia makes reading challenging -- and Steve tells the whole story here.

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

"Effective communication moves a company forward."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Ask questions -- ask for advice -- and listen to the advice."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have developed an expert network sooner.

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

Pay a great deal of attention to balance.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would share the same priorities and would always be willing explore for new solutions.

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

  1. Develop and nurture your network
  2. Get and stay uncomfortable

How best to connect with Steve:

Apr 28, 2016

Dave Denniston is an accomplished author and podcaster. He has written six books on finances for small business owners and doctors. He hosts his own podcast named after his latest book, the “Freedom Formula for Physicians.” Dave has been interviewed by CNN, Kiplinger’s, BusinessWeek, and Physician Financial Success Podcast. He also contributed articles to Physicians Money Digest, Physicians Practice, Minnesota Medicine, Young Ophthalmologists, and AAOS. He has been featured in speaking events with the Minnesota Medical Association at the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic as well as at the AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmologists National Conference).

Secret – timesaving technique

Dave shuts his door -- do what you have to so that you can focus. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Dwell on the positive moments in your life -- Dave journals regularly on things he wants to remember.

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

Dave invested hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and then 2008 happened -- and Dave tells the whole story here.

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

"Get a handle on automation."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Buy your building."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had a podcast -- and other social media -- sooner.

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

Integrating direct mailing and phone calls with online marketing.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be a self-starter with a hunger and drive.

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

  1. Get out and network

How best to connect with Dave:

Apr 27, 2016

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and the 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. It is an honor to be with you here this morning, and my hope for you is that this week -- the final week of April 2016 -- has brought you happiness, that this week has also brought you success, that this week has brought you opportunity, that this week has brought you some challenges that have pushed you to expand your knowledge -- to learn new things -- and most of all -- I hope during this week -- and right now specifically -- you will give yourself the time to consciously consider whether or you have given you and your team the FREEDOM TO FAIL.

Yes...you heard me right. I said the FREEDOM TO FAIL.

It is fascinating to me how the word failure has become all the rage -- almost a buzzword or mantra -- and is being used by personal development gurus, digital marketing consultants, business leaders, to politicians. But these three simple words -- FREEDOM TO FAIL -- have a completely different meaning to me because of my experience this past weekend.

I spent Saturday at West Point...the United States Military Academy in New York State. To say that spending the day at West Point was a life-changing experience would be a significant understatement.

I was in awe.

My pride as an American citizen soared. The honor I felt since serving our country in the Air Force was taken to a whole new level. And to top it off...I was able to share the experience with a group of friends who we affectionately refer to ourselves as the Circle of Greatness.

At the center of our group -- our founder father so to speak -- the man who pulled us all together, first to meet one another, and then to develop some wonderful friendships, is Don Yaeger.

I hear me mention Don in nearly every episode of Onward Nation because he has been one of my most influential mentors, my weekly accountability partner, and has become one of my closest friends.

Three years ago, Don decided to organize a group of people who have had a significant impact on his life from both a professional and personal perspective. Don’s wife, Jeanette began referring to us as Don’s Circle of Greatness...an appropriate moniker since researching and studying the topic of “Greatness” has become Don’s passion and life’s work. In fact, one of the books Don author is entitled, "The 16 Characteristics of Greatness."

There are about 30 of us in the Circle -- and this weekend -- 20 of us were able to make it to New York City for a weekend together. All of which was masterfully orchestrated by Jeanette Yaeger, Don’s wife. Jeanette -- if you are listening -- thank you so much, my friend. You are beyond amazing!!!

One of the members of our Circle is Colonel Bernard Banks, professor and department head of behavioral sciences and leadership at West Point. Colonel Banks invited all of us to West Point to spend the day as his guest and to learn about the values and leadership development process they apply to create our nation’s next military leaders. When we all read that West Point was on the agenda for the weekend...we were all excited for the lessons that were about to come our way and extremely grateful that such an uncommon opportunity came our way.

To be the guest of Colonel Banks -- at West Point -- for the day...are you kidding me? Incredible!

Onward Nation, being at West Point was one of the most intimidating -- inspirational -- and humbling experiences of my professional career.

So for today’s solocast...I am going to share with you the major highlights -- the core lessons -- that I learned from the cadets who guided us through the breathtaking campus -- and the leadership lessons Colonel Banks shared with us during a private leadership class with just our “Circle.”

So buckle in, Onward Nation...I promise...this discussion will help you move your leadership development process within your business to the next level.

Leadership Lesson 1: Honor your history and core values

Cadet Prayer

I want to start off this first leadership lesson by sharing something that is deeply personal among all of the cadets at West Point. And it goes like this...

“Make us choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be won.”

What I just read to you is know as the Cadet Prayer. Anyone can see it -- read it -- as they enter the academy. It is proudly displayed inside the Thayer Hotel at the entrance to West Point.

The prayer also embodies the Cadet’s honor code, which reads, “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”

When I thought deeply about both of these powerful statements -- these core values -- I was taken back to episode 18 of Onward Nation and my powerful conversation with Larry Broughton. During our conversation -- it was Larry -- who first taught me the Cadet Prayer -- in fact, he recited it during our interview. After all these years...the Cadet Prayer was still his mantra -- the creed by which Larry lives each day and how he leads his company.

Larry had learned it during his 9 years of service in the US Army Green Berets. So to read it at West Point brought me full circle and reaffirmed how important it is that we honor our core values -- that we as leaders personally stand for something our employees and customers can believe in -- and that our business lives our core values every day -- just like the cadets and faculty at West Point do. Day in and day out.

Patton 2

Leadership Lesson #1 also involves honoring our history because our past is critical to our future success. Our ability to study the failures, the challenges, the tribulations, and the triumphs of leaders who have gone before us -- and then applying what we have learned -- will almost assuredly accelerate our own accomplishments.

At West Point, when you walk around campus, you will see statues, monuments, and buildings dedicated to our country’s greatest military and political leaders -- as well as the conflicts and wars where they lead.

Why?

So our cadets -- this country’s future leaders -- have an opportunity to be reminded of what has already been learned so that experience, wisdom, and perspective can become their guide throughout their own leadership development process.

Leadership Lesson 2: Preparation ensures success

Our Circle members were able to see first-hand how seriously the cadets at West Point take leadership. And I was reminded of this quote.

“There are no bad crews -- only bad leaders.” -- United States Navy Seals

Even though that mantra -- that purpose -- was created and used by the Navy Seals...it was evident the West Point cadets believed its message throughout their corps of cadets.

When we arrived at West Point, we were greeted by three cadets and Colonel Banks waiting outside the Thayer Hotel. The cadets were in charge of escorting us from the hotel to the athletic complex so we could watch the opening ceremony and the Special Olympics competition taking place.

Every year, West Point hosts the largest Special Olympics competition in New York State, and the cadets play a very active role in service to the Olympians. An amazing site to see.

Briefing 2

Our cadets briefed us on the logistics and schedule of the day with precision. We had a lot of places to be and not much time in each location. Plus, there were 20 of us to keep track of. Not an easy task.

But, the cadets were prepared with every detail. It was evident they didn’t just show up to be our guides for the day because Colonel Banks had asked them to...or because Don Yaeger also serves as a senior fellow at West Point. The cadets had studied, they had planned, and they were ready to help us make this a day to remember.

The cadets also served as our historians for the day. They taught us about the pivotal role West Point had played during the Revolutionary War including the story of Benedict Arnold and the plan he and the British had conspired to create with the goal of capturing General George Washington during his visit to West Point.

Our cadets also took the time to explain -- and -- to take us inside the day and life of a cadet. They shared their passion -- their desire -- to ultimately receive the reward of active duty status in the Army upon graduation. Amazing.

West Point is home to 4,400 cadets who all share the same passion, drive, and determination to become prepared to serve our country as military leaders and beyond.

Our cadets -- all of the cadets -- are an extraordinary group of people and I look forward to my next opportunity to visit West Point and learn more leadership lessons from them.

Leadership Lesson 3: Seek opportunities to serve and encourage others

I mentioned a few minutes ago how West Point, its faculty, and its corps of cadets host New York State’s largest Special Olympics competition every year. Why? Because Leadership Lesson #3 that I learned at West Point is about seeking out opportunities to serve and encourage others.

To illustrate how the cadets not only serve -- but encourage -- I included a short 30-second video of the cadets and several Special Olympians during the javelin competition.

As I watched the Olympians and the genuine, authentic encouragement and love they received from their cadets -- I was moved. It was such an emotional experience to see a group of young men fully focused, devoted, and present for their mission for the day. And they did their duty -- not out of responsibility because they had been assigned -- but as you will see in the video -- they did their duty because they loved performing the service. They were overjoyed to celebrate the successes of the Special Olympians.

Onward Nation, our cadets, actively seek out opportunities to serve and encourage each other -- and they are also committed to living these values outside of West Point as an example of excellence. West Point’s upperclassmen mentor, coach, and lead their underclassmen -- not by yelling, hazing, or by rank.

Instead...and this may seem counterintuitive when thinking about the United States Army...but the cadets “hug” and then “push” each other. They hug and then push. Each cadet -- along with the faculty of this impressive campus -- is there to serve one another to help every one growth, develop, and become the leader they were meant to become.

Plus, as we later learned from Colonel Banks, many of these 4,400 cadets will serve and work alongside one another for decades into the future. They will be forever bonded by service and encouragement to each other and to their core values.

So it was a very special sight to see the cadets live their values -- in how they treat each other -- and how they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their Special Olympians to serve and encourage.

What an incredible display to have the privilege to witness.

Leadership Lesson 4: Provide your future leaders with the FREEDOM TO FAIL

During our day at West Point, Colonel Banks surprised us by inviting us into his classroom for a private leadership session. He asked if he could take some time to share and illustrate to us West Point’s three stage leadership development process as well as the curriculum cadets need to master before they can graduate and become officers in the United States Army. West Point created -- then applies -- an intentional process for leader development. The faculty at West Point believes that great leaders are developed -- it doesn’t happen by accident.

Colonel Banks began by sharing that leaders first need to inspire the people around them every day. As you will see and hear Colonel Banks say, “The English word 'inspire' comes from the Latin word ‘inspirare,’ which means to breathe. Leaders have the opportunity to help others take the next breath in their journey. Many times, we, as leaders, are the ones who make people feel as if they cannot breathe. Research has indicated that 75 percent of all employees report that the most stressful part of their job is their immediate supervisor. The research is quite clear. People don’t quit the company. Your people quit you. And so that’s the opportunity you have every day -- to help your people take that next breath -- to inspire them -- to live their life in a better way.”

Breakdown of West Point’s Leadership Development Process

Stage 1: Developmental Experiences

Challenge:

  • Novelty
  • Difficult goals
  • Conflict
  • Loss, failure

Variety:

  • Broad range of situations and demands

Assessment:

  • Feedback
  • 360 degree and self-assessment
  • Formal and informal

Support:

  • Confirming advice
  • Encouragement
  • Acceptance
  • Resources

+

Stage 2: Individual Readiness

  • Openness
  • Reflection

+

Stage 3: Time

= Leader of Character

But this leader development process would not be possible without two critical foundational philosophies...and those are...cadets must be given the FREEDOM TO FAIL and cadets must be clear on WHO OWNS THE EXPERIENCE.

If cadets are not given the freedom to fail -- to make their own decisions based on what they have learned from other cadets and faculty -- then they will never learn. Instead, West Point will have created cadet robots and not leaders who can think under extreme pressures and situations. However, if they are given the freedom to fail and then mentored on the path to improved performance -- mastery can be reached and excellence obtained. Colonel Banks told us that they are in the business of tearing muscle with purpose -- so that it can be rebuilt and it becomes stronger where the initial tear was. Awesomeness.

Classroom

And the cadets know they own the experience. They are not alone in their journey -- they have all of the resources of West Point available to them -- but ultimately, success or failure is their responsibility. No excuses. No pointing fingers. They own the experience. Impactful lessons taught at an institution I am so proud to have been able to visit and spend time at in such a deep and meaningful way.

Colonel Banks...if you are listening...thank you so very much for generously sharing your expertise and wisdom with us -- we are all so grateful.

Leadership Lesson 5: Protect your inner circle

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned from Don is something he learned during the 12-years of one-on-one mentorship with the late Coach John Wooden. Coach taught Don that he would never outperform the people he spent the most time with. In fact, the people you spend the most time with -- in effect -- become your inner circle. So, you need to protect your inner circle by being very selective and deliberate about who gets access into your circle.

Don practices this lesson with precision. How?

Walking tour

Don investing the time and energy to create our Circle of Greatness is an excellent, tangible example of being deliberate with Coach Wooden’s strategy. And I encourage you to take the same lesson out of Coach Wooden’s playbook.

So Onward Nation, my challenge to you is to think about who you spend the most time with. Are they moving at the same, or even better yet, a faster pace and tempo then you? Are they doing things in their life or business that challenge your own perspectives of what is possible? Are they growing personally and professionally in ways that push your comfort zone? If so -- good -- these are people you should spend more time with.

Or, are they content with life and not learning anything new? Are they so full of potential but don’t seek out any new ways to apply their talents and gifts?

One of our guests shared a metaphor with me that I thought was perfect...and it was this...let’s say you walked into your house and found Superman with his boots kick up on your ottoman and he was laying down on your couch, eating a bowl of ice cream and some cookies, while vegging and watching TV. And let’s say that he had been doing that for days to where it became a habit for him. Would you look at Superman and think to yourself, “Rock solid awesome...way to go Superman.” Or, would you think to yourself… “What in the world are you doing...you should be out saving the planet! Stop wasting your potential.”

Onward Nation, my hope is that you will begin to think carefully about each person in your inner circle. Ask yourself...are they headed in the same direction as you?

If not, you need to make changes so the people closest to you become your own version of a Circle of Greatness. We all need a Circle of Greatness in our lives to “hug and push us” to that next level -- just like the West Point cadets do for each other.

So with that...I want to 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 Dave Denniston, host of the Freedom Formula for Physicians podcast. You will not want to miss this discussion, Onward Nation!

Until then, onward with gusto!

Apr 26, 2016

Joan Sotkin has helped entrepreneurs and practitioners use their inner resources and practical techniques to experience freedom from personal, professional, and financial struggles for over 25-years. Thousands have benefitted from her groundbreaking book “Build Your Money Muscles: Nine Simple Exercises for Improving Your Relationship with Money” and her ongoing support programs. Joan is a Prosperity and Mindset Mentor and a dynamic, inspiring speaker who brings a depth of knowledge plus a huge dose of empathy and compassion to her work. She is THE expert when it comes to understanding how emotions learned in early childhood can affect a person's earning capacity as an adult.

Secret – timesaving technique

Joan meditates for 10-20 minutes before sitting down at the computer -- let your mind go where it wants to go. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Exercise -- Joan goes for a walk with her dog every day at 4:30.

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

Joan played it way too safe -- and Joan tells the whole story here.

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

"Get in touch with your emotions."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Anything negative is a waste of time."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

Be kind to each other.

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

  1. It's all about connection -- find a networking method that works for you
  2. Love yourself
  3. Let go of all the story you're telling yourself

How best to connect with Joan:

Apr 25, 2016

Shola Abidoye is the co-founder of Convertport.com. She believes the only safe ship in the sea storm of business is the science of customer and company acquisitions. Having grown three businesses by 10,000 percent, her mission is to liberate 1 million business owners from the pain and powerlessness of unpredictable sales using Convertport's technology. Her hard-won lessons come from the school of hard knocks, Swarthmore College, Oxford University, and Sweden's famed Royal Institute of Technology. Shola wakes up naturally -- set your schedule based on your body clock. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Nothing amazing happens by happenstance -- Shola believes in writing out exactly what she's going to accomplish every day.

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

Shola's brother died before the age of 50 -- and Shola tells the whole story here.

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

"Every stage of business has a different critical skill." And Shola shares the skills in the episode.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"If you really want to win, start playing games that are ethically stacked in your favor."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

Become a student of good delegation and leverage.

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

  1. Pursue entrepreneurship through acquisition rather than startup

How best to connect with Shola:

Apr 22, 2016

Lt. Col. Rob Waldman “Waldo” -- was his call sign -- he’s the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller “Never Fly Solo.” A graduate of the Air Force Academy, Waldo is a decorated combat fighter pilot and an expert in helping leaders and organizations accelerate performance in changing environments. Waldo overcame massive claustrophobia and a fear of heights to become a fighter pilot and believes that the key to building a culture of trust lies with your wingmen the men and women in your life who help you to overcome obstacles, adapt to change, and achieve success. In business and life, you should never fly solo! Waldo is also the founder and President of The Wingman Foundation, a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to build funds and awareness for soldiers, veterans, and their families in need. Waldo is an inductee into the professional Speakers Hall of Fame and his clients include Marriott, Hewlett-Packard, UPS, and Verizon. He’s been featured on Fox & Friends, CNN, MSNBC, Inc. Magazine and The Harvard Business Review.

Secret – timesaving technique

Waldo figures out his plan for tomorrow before he leaves the office each day -- you have to own your mission. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Don't get complacent -- Waldo works every single day to make his body strong.

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

Waldo had to quit on a mission -- and Waldo tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Be compassionate -- not judging."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Work on yourself -- complacency will kill you
  2. Ask for help
  3. Build and nurture relationships
  4. Form a mastermind group

How best to connect with Waldo:

Apr 21, 2016

Morag Barrett is founder and CEO of leading HR consultancy SkyeTeam (which was just named one of HR.com's Top 15 Small Leadership Partners and Providers for the third year running) and author of CULTIVATE: The Power of Winning Relationships (a second edition of which launched on January 5th, 2016 with Greenleaf Book Group). With 25+ years experience in senior executive coaching and developing high-impact teams and leadership development programs across Europe, America, and Asia, Morag intimately understands the challenges of running a business and managing people. In case you were wondering, her name is Scottish, and means great.

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

Morag is a night owl and not a morning person -- she checks her email, reads the newspaper, writes a to-do list -- it's okay if it takes time to get going. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

Move forward in spite of fear. -- Brené Brown

How do you define success?

Success is having fun.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Morag believes in being fearless and doing it anyway -- and Morag tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" is someone who has the passion and sense of humor to have fun and see fun in what they do.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Have a mentor yourself

How can we build an audience?

  1. Who knows you is different from who do you know
  2. Look for opportunities to find your opinion

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Define what it is that you're trying to achieve

How best to connect with Morag:

 

Apr 20, 2016

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and the 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. Just wanted to start off today’s solocast with a big thank you.

I appreciate all of the feedback — thoughts — recommendations — and encouragement following last week’s solocast.

I love hearing when our work is helping to make a difference for you — to create an impact for you, Onward Nation — and perhaps this may sound odd — but I also love hearing when we have missed the mark. If and when we underdeliver — because knowing that — helps us get better! All of your feedback helps us move onward to that next level.

So thank you, Onward Nation.

I appreciate you being here. I appreciate you sharing some of you invaluable time with me today. Please continue letting us know what you think.

Thumbs up or thumbs down. We appreciate you so very much.

So for today’s solocast…I am going to take one of the themes from last week and go an inch wide and a mile deep.

You may recall, that last week’s solocast, I addressed the slippery slope — the mental trap — that is so easy for any business owner to fall into. It is the trap of thinking that becoming an overnight success is possible — and — comparing your back-of-stage with another company’s front-of-stage. It’s a tempting thought — it can be so intoxicating to hope for — or to do those comparisons — but there is no such thing as an overnight success, Onward Nation.

The insights I learned directly from Verne Harnish, founder of EO and Gazelles — duringepisode 205 speak directly to this point. Verne took me behind the green curtain at Apple to discuss how they struggled for their first 25 years — 25 years, Onward Nation. And finally in 2001, they began to rapidly scale following the introduction of the iPod. But it took 25 years of struggle — and nearly going broke several times — in order to get there.

Verne also shared the story of Peter Drucker, the godfather of modern day management…and how Peter reached his most creative and productive point in his career after the age of 65. Peter wrote twice the number of books after his 65th birthday than he did when he was younger. It takes a long time Onward Nation to curate that level of content and develop that depth of expertise.

Verne then shared insights regarding Picasso and the number of masterpieces he produced after turning 50 years old. Picasso created the majority of his most famous works after he had turned 50!

And then the insights I learned from Linda Kaplan Thaler — our guest in episode 226, which will air on Monday, May 2nd — and the story she shared about the acclaimed novelist, James Patterson. Thanks to Linda — we now know James had been hard at work perfecting his craft for 21 years before his first bestseller. Honing his skills, day in and day out. Every day — hours and hours — working on his craft from 4:00 in the morning until 8:00 — and then going off to his day job at one of New York City’s leading advertising agencies, where he worked with Linda for over 17 years. An amazing story of grit, tenacity, persistence, and never giving up.

So for today’s solocast…I am going to share some additional perspective and lessons I began to share last week regarding what I have learned from spending time with Gary Vaynerchuk. I will share those lessons deeper — and then connect them to what I want to share with you today, which is how and why you should build a platform to grow revenue for your business. But again — this too, Onward Nation is a long term play. Building a platform is not an overnight thing as you will see with Gary’s story.

There are no shortcuts. It takes hard work and disciplined effort. But your hard work will create distinction for you — because the majority of your competitors will not want to work that hard.

And grounded in that reality, Onward Nation, is your major opportunity. IF — you are willing to seize it. Just like Gary Vee did. He recognized it and then capitalized by being willing to work his guts out to make his vision a reality. I have a lot of respect for Gary — and anyone — who is willing to do that.

My guess is you are already familiar with Gary Vee — but just in case you’re not — Gary is the founder of Vaynermedia and one of today’s foremost social media experts. He is the bestselling author of four books. In my opinion, his social media book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” is the best social media book ever written. It is outstanding. And it is just as relevant today as it was when it was released in November 2013. The consumer behavior and platform strategy Gary sets forth within the book is still spot on.

But “Gary Vee” has not always been “Gary Vee.”

In fact, just a mere 10 years ago, Gary was largely unknown on the social media scene. Gary was the director of operations at his family’s liquor store in New Jersey. He didn’t have 1.2 million Twitter followers then. Vaynermedia didn’t exist. YouTube was just getting underway, same with Twitter, and nearly zero companies were investing in building out video blogs or becoming their own “media channel”.

But Gary was different. He could see that he needed to create a “platform” by sharing valuable content via the social Internet. And he decided to do just that.

Before we go much further — let’s have a quick definition — what’s a “platform?”

At its core — a platform is what you stand for — your ideals — your vision — your purpose inside your business or in your life. But, platform has also morphed into meaning your audience, or followers, your tribe, your community, or sometimes even the size of your audience.

So from a business perspective, building a platform, depending on your industry, can make all of the difference.

During episode 42 of Onward Nation, you will hear Gary and I talk about the early days of Wine Library and his strategy behind it.

Gary said to me, “I started Wine Library TV because I was worried about the vulnerability of us and wineries selling direct to consumers. And I figured if I became influential, that me as a curator would protect me against wineries selling direct to consumers.”Gary Vaynerchuk, episode 42 of Onward Nation.

You can also find the video interview Gary and I did at Vaynermedia here:

 

 Gary launched Wine Library TV on May 17, 2006. Very few businesses had a video blog — and no one in the wine industry did. Yet he did it anyway.

 

And for the first year or so — each episode reached more and more people — but slowly. Wine Library TV was not an overnight success.

To Gary’s credit — and one of the things I admire most about him — he looks for opportunity in business — where are the untapped “wells” — and then he plants his flag — he puts up his drilling rig — and he drills and inch wide and a mile deep — and doesn’t stop.

Now, truth be told, Gary might be the only person in the field drilling — and sometimes, Onward Nation — being the early adopter, can be a very lonely feeling. But when Gary is convinced the strategy will work — he commits the necessary resources to learn all that is necessary and then make it work.

Does that mean Gary is successful 100 percent of the time?

No, no one ever is. But success and failure are all part of the process — the ying and the yang to it all.

But he was willing to stake his claim and then make improvements along the way. To illustrate my point…if you go to the show notes for this episode — we have embedded the videos for Gary’s Episode 1 and Episode 1,001 so you can see how the Wine Library TV evolved over time. Take some time to compare the on-screen graphics, Gary’s comfort level in front of the camera, the background, and the lighting between the two episodes.

Both episodes are off-the-charts for content — and this may surprise you a bit — but I actually prefer Episode 1 over Episode 1,001. But it isn’t because Episode 1,001 under delivers — it doesn’t. I like Episode 1 so much because it is the start of something amazing, something inspiring. It is the first edition of something that went on to change the wine industry and to propel the success of Gary’s family business. Wine Library TV — and Gary’s talent of discerning opportunities from the clutter — thrust him into the social media spotlight.

Episode 1:

 

  Episode 1001:  

 

I like Episode 1 because of the guts it took Gary to produce it — and then — the commitment to produce an excellent show fives times a week. That is how you build a platform, Onward Nation. Not overnight. Gary knew he could win over the long term if he was willing and disciplined enough to play for long term wins…and not to try and create an overnight success.

So what was the resulting outcome of Wine Library TV? Gary and his family grew their business from $3 million to over $60 million a year in sales as a direct result of Wine Library TV.

Wow, Onward Nation. 20x growth for their business. And they did it because of Gary’s unwavering long-term commitment to this philosophy. “Creating content for the social Internet is literally the cost of relevance in today’s society.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

Well done, my friend.

Now, if you are thinking about Gary’s success — his long-term commitment — and then thinking to yourself, “Yeah, but I could never do that.” And you are starting to feel some hesitation right now as you question yourself on whether you could follow in Gary’s footsteps and apply his recipe and strategy to your industry. The answer is yes you can…but…I want you to take a moment to consciously realize something here.

I want you to realize that any hesitancy you may be feeling right now about building your platform is the Imposter Syndrome attempting to hold you back!

That voice you may be hearing inside your head asking you the painful question of, “Who do you think you are? To launch a podcast — who would listen to you — what do you have to say that is worthy of sharing?”

Those are tough questions to listen to, Onward Nation. Very tough. Aren’t they?

And I will tell you that I hear the voices and those questions every day. And whoa…the voices really kick into overdrive every time I sit down at my desk to write out my thoughts for each and every weekly solocast.

But…and this is really important…I push through the fears, the doubts, the struggles with myself because my conviction behind the purpose of Onward Nation is drilled deep into the Earth.

My team and I are fully committed to being outstanding — delivering our best to you every day, no matter how long it takes us to build what we are focused on building. This is a long-term strategy for us just like Wine Library TV was as it has been for Gary.

So, Onward Nation — for you to build a rockin’ awesome platform that creates distinction for you in your marketplace or industry, you need that same time of long-term commitment. No matter what the tech is — doesn’t matter if you create a podcast, an awesome YouTube channel, an insightful blog as a resource for your customers and prospects, or if your customers are on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter in droves — then be there with them to have a conversation.

Or, if your customers are on Instagram — then be there.

If they are on Snapchat — then be there.

Or, if you have a decent connection with customers via email — then strengthen your relationships via email and provide deep, deep, deep value.

To help guide you on this path — I outlined 5 key steps in a brief action plan that I think will be helpful as you consider the type of platform you want to build. But one final word of caution before I share the steps. And that is — in the wise words of Ty Bennett, “Just pick one platform — master it — go deep — and then maybe add a second. But first — master one.” Wise words that Ty shared during our recent encore interview…episode 212.

So here are the action steps, Onward Nation. A business building — platform building recipe for you. My hope for you is that you will put these steps into practice with relentless action and execution:

  1. Find out where your customers hang out. Do they listen to podcasts? Are they on Twitter? Are they on LinkedIn? Are they on YouTube? Find out. How? Ask them. Take a survey. Send an email. Make some phone calls. Post on Facebook, post on Twitter…pick a path and create a conversation and ask your customers and prospects questions. Have the courage to ask and learn — even if the answers make you uncomfortable. Think of it this way…if the answers make you uncomfortable — wouldn’t you rather have that information sooner rather than later so you can make changes and deliver more value to your customers instead of them leaving and doing business with a competitor who they believe is more influential and delivers more value than you do? I know…ouch, right? But you can’t fix it if you ignore there’s a problem or an untapped opportunity, Onward Nation.
  2. Create a content strategy. And your strategy should accomplish two things: 1) deliver massive value to your customers and prospects. MASSIVE VALUE. Don’t skimp. And 2) ensure that what you are delivering will position you as a thought leader and influencer just like Gary Vee accomplished with Wine Library TV. And by doing so — you will create distinctiveness for your business — just like Scott McKain recommends, our guest duringepisodes 1 and 136 of Onward Nation.
  3. Ignore the Imposter Syndrome. Push past it and begin building your content, building your platform, and prepare for launch. Don’t let the questions in your head derail your success. I encourage you to go back and re-listen to episode 158 — which I dedicated toward defeating the Imposter Syndrome — it will be a great resource for you. Because Onward Nation…you are more talented, more wonderful, more gifted, more incredible than you can possibly imagine. You are a child of the highest God and were blessed with an abundance of talent — don’t give in — build the content and it will get easier over time.
  4. Execute your strategy — push the launch button! Will your podcast, videos, or blog be perfect on day 1? No! Will you be embarrassed at first? Maybe. But as Reid Hoffman the founder of LinkedIn said, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” Does that mean you just launch something that is half-baked? No, it doesn’t. But it does mean that your podcast will never be perfect…you will learn along the path…your listeners will help you get better…and until you have the courage to put yourself out there…you will never receive that valuable feedback. So have the guts — build something great — realize that perfection is not attainable — and that part of the fun is to improve along the way. It’s the journey, Onward Nation — it is valuable to your growth and really fun for your listeners to watch how you evolve and change because of their comments and recommendations.
  5. Don’t stop. Never give up, Onward Nation. Keeping moving forward — success is there for you — just not overnight. It will take time — but it is funny how quality eventually rises to the top. It is a struggle — you will feel the pressure but pressure is a necessary force of nature — and pressure creates an astonishing result outcomes. For example…how is a diamond formed? By placing coal under intense pressure for a very long time. Or, how is oil formed? By placing organic material under extreme pressure and heat for a long period of time. Or, say you turn your garden hose on without any sort of nozzle at the end. What happens? Right, you get a steady stream of water coming out the end of the hose. But what happens when you place your thumb over the end of the hose and apply pressure to the water? The water shoots out the hose, doesn’t it? See? That is how pressure transforms and creates a fun and exciting result outcome. So don’t run from the pressure in your business or the pressure you might be feeling as you consider a podcast or some other platform building strategy. That pressure is your guiding force and it will direct you toward big result outcomes if you let it. So don’t ever give up — just remember — when you are feeling the pressure — you are likely to soon experience massive growth and your business is about to jettison forward into something amazing. Keep the faith, Onward Nation and never give up.

So with that…I want to 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 Morag Barrett, founder and CEO of leading HR consultancy SkyeTeam. You will love her message about the imposter syndrome and how she believes we are all making it up, every day. She’s amazing. You will not want to miss this discussion, Onward Nation!

Until then, onward with gusto!

Apr 19, 2016

Justin Christianson is a 14-year digital marketing veteran and #1 bestselling author of “Conversion Fanatic: How to double your customers, sales and profits with A/B testing.” He is also the co-founder and President of Conversion Fanatics, a full-service conversion rate optimization company helping companies get more out of their advertising through data-driven optimization and testing services.

Secret – timesaving technique

Justin reviews his calendar and email at his desk -- not on his phone -- and then sets his plan for the day -- delegate the tasks you don't need to accomplish yourself. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Exercise and meditate -- Justin believes business is easier when he works on his mind and body.

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

Justin was in a lawsuit that he couldn't afford to fight -- and Justin tells the whole story here.

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

"Stick-to-it-iveness."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Live your best life daily."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have focused more on developing a business development process.

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

Work on increasing your conversion rate.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have open, responsive communication skills.

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

  1. Don't try to do it all yourself
  2. Put the right the people in the right places
  3. Hire slow and fire fast
  4. Make sure you process everything out

How best to connect with Justin:

Apr 18, 2016

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.

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

Kara is the first one to get up every morning, and she eats breakfast, checks her email, and goes for a run three times a week -- take care of yourself in your morning. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"What doesn't work gets you one step closer to success." -- J.K. Rowling

How do you define success?

Success is the amount of impact that you have somebody else's life.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Kara uses visualization techniques -- and Kara tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" is someone who has the same vision as you -- and they have perseverance and the willingness to move forward.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Share articles that you enjoy with your community

How can we build an audience?

  1. Choose just two or three platforms and become really, really good at those platforms
  2. Create a free enticement on your website that is connected to your newsletter

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Utilize visualization at this stage of business
  2. Be okay with taking risks
  3. Get a mentor -- they can help you see things you can't see yourself

How best to connect with Kara:

 

Apr 15, 2016

Kim Ades is the president and founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and Journal Engine Software. Author, speaker, entrepreneur, coach, and mother of five, Kim is recognized as one of North America's foremost experts on performance through thought mastery. By using her unique process of integrating online journaling in her coaching, Kim helps her highly-driven clients to examine and shift their thinking in order to yield extraordinary results.

Secret – timesaving technique

Kim tries to be completely present wherever she is -- be exactly where you are. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Journal every single day -- Kim believes this allows you to focus, brainstorm, and overall just get your mind in the right spot.

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

Kim had her integrity challenged by someone she was thinking of partnering with -- and Kim tells the whole story here.

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

"Master the art of getting back up."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Conflict is not something that should be avoided."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have really, really honed in on a niche.

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

Increase your awareness of the way your thinking influences your team.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be accountable without my interference -- and they would keep me accountable.

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

  1. Challenge your own thinking
  2. Focus on what you want
  3. Leverage your resources

How best to connect with Kim:

Apr 14, 2016

Jordan Goodman is America's Money Answers Man who has been answering American's questions about personal finance for over 35 years. He was the Wall Street Correspondent at MONEY Magazine for 18 years, financial commentator on NBC News for 9 years, on Marketplace radio for 6 years and he is a regular on many radio and TV programs around the country. He has written 14 books on personal financial topics including Fast Profits in Hard Times, The Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms and The Ultimate Guide to Student Loans. His website is moneyanswers.com.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jordan figures out what will give him the biggest payoff -- write those things down and make those your priorities. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

You need someone to hold you accountable -- Jordan hires a trainer to make sure he gets his physical activity in.

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

The person who was on the cover of Jordan's book was extradited by the FBI -- and Jordan tells the whole story here.

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

"Leverage -- you can only do so much yourself."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"When speaking, get the people out of their room and into your room."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had "captured the heat" sooner -- be prepared to get people interested in your products.

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

  1. You need an area of specialty
  2. Create a persona
  3. Continuously work on your brand

How best to connect with Jordan:

Apr 13, 2016

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and the 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. Have you ever noticed how most people only pay attention to the final product of a successful business owner.

They say things like…“I can never be like them.” or “They got lucky.”

What most people don’t see is what the business owner overcame on their path to becoming successful.

All of the struggles.

All of the daily rejections. The heartaches. The betrayals. The rumors. The criticism.

Even the empty bank accounts.

And all of those lonely nights while they worked hard to make their vision become a reality.

You see, Onward Nation, the only difference between the one who quits, and the one who doesn’t, is that the successful owner showed up every day.

The successful owner worked hard every day.

They hustled every day.

They learned from a proven mentor every day. They worked hard to improve every day.

They did all this even though they felt like quitting every day. And eventually, they became who they are today…a successful business owner, Onward Nation.

All of this is a very powerful lesson that I learned from Patrick Bet-David, founder of PHP Agency, an insurance marketing organization, and is the host of the popular YouTube channel,ValueTainment.

Onward Nation, if you haven’t already subscribed to Patrick’s YouTube channel, I highly recommend it. Patrick is exceptional at delivering impactful education, success principles, and business lessons any business owner can apply immediately in order to move onward to that next level.

And during this solocast, we are going to dig deep into one of the fundamental – yet underlying principles that I just shared from Patrick. The principle is fundamental to success — but Onward Nation — it is also easy to miss, overlook, or to take for granted.

The principle is that there is no such thing as an overnight success. There isn’t. No matter what industry — no matter what sector — the companies that have achieved sustainable success reached their pinnacle after years and years of perfecting their craft.

So I am going to share some examples with you over the next several minutes to illustrate this powerful principle.

Why?

Because I think it is important to realize that success takes time. That success requires your full attention. That success requires failure, making adjustments, repositioning, trying again, failing again, reintroducing products, and maybe even being on the brink of collapse as was the case with Apple, before you finally “make it”.

I want you to rest easy today — and to celebrate the challenges and obstacles that are in your way right now. They are a gift — they are making you stronger — if you let them — they are forcing you to think differently — they are testing your commitment to your vital priorities, vital function, and your wherewithal.

Will you push forward — or will you quit, Onward Nation? My hope is that you will always push forward and never quit.

Back when I was a sophomore in high school, I decided that I wanted to play football. Now, truth be told, I didn’t know the first thing about football…literally…I didn’t even know the positions on the field. I knew zero plays…nothing. And to make matters worse, I was 6 feet tall and about 150 pounds, slow, lanky, without any skill at all.

In fact, I was so bad — and I am honestly not exaggerating at all — I was so bad, Onward Nation, that I actually sat on the bench during practice. As a young kid in high school, I thought my coaches were disrespecting me by not letting me practice.

Now that I am older — I can only imagine the coaches meetings — they probably went something like this. “Ahem, okay gentlemen, we need to make some adjustments here in practice…has anyone seen that Woessner kid, yeah, he’s really bad. He has no talent on the field. Let’s let him stay on the team but we need to keep him busy on the sidelines because he is so bad that he will get destroyed even in practice.”

Which was likely followed by lots of agreement and laughing. I distinctly remember talking with my dad one night when I felt like quitting because I was frustrating with my lack of opportunity — again — I didn’t realize the coaches were helping me, they weren’t trying to hold me back — they were actually ensuring I could move up just not in football — and my dad told me it would be okay if I quit.

And that took me back a little bit. Quit?

After the call, I thought long and hard about what he said — and I later decided that it was not okay if I quit.

Quitting was not okay — and even if I never played another down on the team — I would not quit. I would attend every practice — every game — and root on the guys who were much better than me.

But I would never quit. I wasn’t going to be successful in football but quitting to me felt like I would be given up on a lot more than just 10th grade football. So I finished the season no matter how embarrassed I was to be riding the pine bench.

I think about those lessons often because they still fuel me today, Onward Nation, and my hope is that the lessons fuel you, too. Don’t ever give up. Remain committed to your vital priorities — and eventually — you will succeed.

There is no overnight success — it takes persistence and tenacity over the long haul.

To that point, I encourage you to go back and relisten to my interview with Verne Harnish in episode 205 and listen carefully to how Verne introduces himself to you, Onward Nation.

Verne says this is his 34th year of doing just one thing — helpful companies scale up. His organizations and companies are devoted to this “one thing”…his books are dedicated to this “one thing” and even his family and friends are dedicated to supporting him be successful with this “one thing.”

The discussion with Verne is so compelling because he takes some time to dispel the overnight success myth by sharing some interesting data points and stories. One of those data points is that there are over 11,000 new companies launched every hour all over the world today.

Just think of that, Onward Nation…11,000 new companies an hour.

However, the vast majority of those companies will not be successful — they will lack the fortitude — the staying power to effectively scale their business. For example, Verne went on to share that of the 28 million businesses in the United States, about 24 million of the total are solopreneurs and will never scale up.

Why?

Most lack the resources — and I don’t mean just financial. Often times, as Verne shared, it is not a question of “how much do I need to scale?” but typically a question of who do I need to be in association with in order to scale up over the long haul.

Verne cited Apple and how the company had slowly moved along with their 25 year timeline — nearly collapsed — until Steve Jobs came back. At the time Jobs returned, they had 9,800 employees and were nearly broke.

And likely all of us know what happened following the iPod’s release in 2001 — but it didn’t succeed right away…in fact…the iPod floundered a bit for a couple of years.

But in 2003, it got some traction and now Apple has scaled to over 110,000 employees during the last 13 years. It would be very easy to forget about those first 25 years of trial, error, struggle, losing millions of dollars, nearly going broke, and then focusing on just one thing and doing it with excellence in the iPod — and then traction takes hold.

Success requires a disciplined effort over a long period of time.

Some people look at Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vaynermedia in New York City, as this guy who came out of nowhere to leap in front of the social media space and is now super popular with a massive following. Couldn’t be further from the truth — and Gary would be the first one to tell you. His story is one of grit, tenacity, outworking the competition, and playing to win for the long term.

When Gary launched Wine Library TV — his daily show — for about the first year, his audience was really small…almost discouragingly small…but Gary didn’t quit. Then year two…then year three…then year four…then year five, and then year six.

Six years, Onward Nation! Six years of producing a high-quality show of 20 to 30-minutes of engaging video content — every day — that’s what it took for Gary Vee to win.

Just think about that for a minute. The magnitude of content he produced. It is really easy to look at Vaynermedia and get impressed with the success — heck — 500 employees on Park Avenue in NYC — and that is darn impressive.

But, to me, because I have had an opportunity to be Gary’s guest at Vaynermedia, to go behind the green curtain to interview him, and to learn from him, I know that one of the things he is most proud of — and he should be — is all of the hard work, the struggle, the determination to make something out of nothing — he truly enjoys the journey to success — and he would be another one to tell you there are no shortcuts to success.

And just because someone gets paid $50,000 to deliver a speech today — like Gary does — there is all kinds of back story there — and it’s the back story that is so interesting.

Let’s take a look at the late Peter Drucker, arguably the godfather of modern day management…Verne Harnish shared with me during our interview that of Peter’s 39 groundbreaking books, only 13 of them were written before Peter’s 65th birthday. Peter wrote twice the number of books after he turned 65. What?

It takes a long time, Onward Nation, to collect, curate, and share the wisdom that is deep and impactful enough to matter and add value to a lot of people, like Peter did.

Or, how about Picasso?

Of his top 10 paintings — six of them were painted after he had turned 50. And four of the of 10 paintings were completed when Picasso was 51.

Again…it’s the long term commitment to your vital priorities and vital functions…perfecting your craft with years, and years, and years of disciplined effort.

I have mentioned vital priorities and vital functions a couple of times this morning — so if you want a refresher on terminology — just go back and listen to episode 203. I dedicated an entire solocast to the topic of the vitals in your business and the lessons I learned from one of my mentors, Darren Hardy.

So let’s move onto another example of long term success. It would be very easy to look at James Patterson, one of the most successful novelists in history, and think — wow — here’s a guy who has it made. How amazing to be that lucky — to just write all day — what a joy. Again, let’s go behind the green curtain.

Last week, I had an opportunity to interview the incomparable Linda Kaplan Thaler — oh my word, Onward Nation — Linda is brilliant. She was the creator of the AFLAC duck and so many ad campaigns that I know you will recognize when you hear our interview.

Cannot wait to share our discussion — we will air it as episode 226 on Monday, May 2nd — so stay tuned for that.

But during our conversation, Linda told me about how she used to work for James Patterson when James was the creative director of the agency where Linda worked. James and Linda worked together for 17 years and became great friends. As Linda shared with me, James did not become a great novelist by accident or luck. Instead, to perfect his craft, James would get up every morning at 4:00 and would write for four hours until 8:00 when he would leave his home for the agency.

He would then put in a full day — go home — and be in bed by 8:30 every night. And he rinsed and repeated this process for 21 years, Onward Nation. Staggering. 21 years!

Just think about how many times during those 21 years that he would have second guessed himself, called himself bat crazy, how much criticism he received from friends and family encouraging him to just quit and to give up on his dream, and so much more.

But he didn’t.

He remained committed to his vital priority — and after 21 years — he became the successful James Patterson we know today.

Or how about Henry Ford…he was 40 years old when he founded the Ford Motor Company with the help of friends, family, and several investors who collectively helped him raise $28,000 in capital in 1903.

And if you look through Mr. Ford’s timeline…you will see trials, tribulations, blood, sweat, tears, heartache, success, followed by disappointment, followed by triumph, followed by obstacles.

So, let’s put all of these stories and principles into context by remembering the excellent lesson taught to me by Cody Foster, founder of Advisors Excel and my guest on episode 81 of Onward Nation. Cody said to me, “Stephen, don’t compare someone else’s front-of-stage with your back-of-stage.”

Meaning…if you only look at someone’s front of stage — what you see in the public eye — you miss all of the struggles, the obstacles, the pain, the suffering, the courage, and their zig-zagged journey to where they are are now.

And the last example I want to leave you with is Napoleon Hill. If you have been listening to Onward Nation for a while now — you know I love Napoleon’s book, “Think & Grow Rich.” I have such high regard for this book — it is, in my opinion — the ultimate guide to achieving success.

But, most people don’t know the story behind the book’s success — and how the first edition, per se, was a great book but not well-received by the American public. Why? Several factors. First, it was published in 1928 — just one year before the Great Depression.

The American public was not looking for — or ready for — a success manuscript at that time. And second, the book was huge and it was under a different title. It was the 612-page “Law of Success” — wow. I own the book — it is sitting on my desk right now — and it is amazing.

It is essentially a more comprehensive version of “Think & Grow Rich.”

Smartly, Napoleon decided to revise and repackage the Laws of Success by trimming it down — making it more concise — and then publishing it as “Think & Grow Rich” in 1937, nearly 10 years later, following the Depression.

“Think & Grow Rich” then went on to sell 70 million copies worldwide. Again, no such thing as an overnight success.

So don’t give up, Onward Nation!

I hope you realize that the struggles you are facing — perhaps the abyss you are staring into right now — is all part of the master plan. You are more talented, more wonderful, more gifted, more incredible than you can possibly imagine. You are a child of the highest God and were blessed with an abundance of talent — so don’t quit — don’t give in — don’t stop. Keeping moving forward — success is there for you — just not overnight.

So with that…I want to 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 Jordan Goodman, America’s Money Answers Man. You will not want to miss this discussion, Onward Nation!

Until then, onward with gusto!

Apr 12, 2016

When Ty was 21 years old, he and his brother Scott started a business in direct sales, which they built to over $20 million in annual revenue while still in their twenties. Since that time, he has developed over 500 sales managers globally with sales and leadership in 37 countries. As a young entrepreneur, Ty continues to engage his team's focus in growing sales. He uses the power of influence and storytelling to get buy-in to the vision of growing their multimillion-dollar sales organization.

With a natural ability to engage and empower others, Ty draws on his experience in the trenches to share real and tangible techniques about the principles of leadership that continue to create his success. The founder of Leadership Inc., who has been featured as one of the Top 40 Under 40, Ty is a young fresh voice providing interactive presentations that are engaging, dynamic and inspiring.

His clients include some of the most recognizable brands in the world such as Coca-Cola, Subway, Wounded Warrior Project, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Remax. Ty has shared the stage with celebrities, Olympians and world-renowned thought leaders such as President Bush and President Clinton.

Ty's best-selling books The Power of Influence and The Power of Storytelling: The Art of Influential Communication are used in graduate courses at multiple universities including MIT, as today's version of How to Win Friends and Influence People.

In June 2014, Ty Bennett received the CSP Designation. At just 32 years of age, he is one of the youngest ever to receive the award in the shortest amount of time. Less than 5% of speakers earn the CSP honor.

Ty lives in Utah with his wife Sarah, daughters Andie and Lizzy and sons Tanner and Drew.

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

Ty schedule changes drastically based on whether he's at home or on the road -- but every morning begins with prayer and study, exercise, and listening to audios for getting the mind right. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"If you're interested, you do what's convenient; if you're committed, you do what it takes."

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

An "A player" has the right attitude -- they're committed, authentic, trustworthy, and hard-working.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Identify the key people you need to keep mentoring
  2. Find the consistent timeframe for meeting
  3. Set mentor-mentee expectations

How can we build an audience?

  1. Give consistent value
  2. Figure out the specific platforms that you want to use

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Focus on what you are amazing at
  2. Never get too busy to work on yourself

How best to connect with Ty:

Apr 11, 2016

Kerry Heaps is the host of Strictly Marketing Talk Radio and publisher of Strictly Marketing Magazine. The magazine has recently spun off an online community for Strictly Women in Marketing, for Women looking to gain more media exposure. Her passion is to help other Entrepreneurs with their marketing efforts to continue their dream of running a successful business. Kerry has interviewed celebrities such as Co-Host of Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran; Authors Larry Winget and Jeffrey Hayzlett; and many more successful business entrepreneurs. Kerry is also the founder and president of Kerry’s Network, Inc., a marketing organization that provides business-to-business marketing services.

Secret – timesaving technique

Kerry ends her day by making to-do lists for tomorrow -- keep things organized in a way that is comfortable for you. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Take action every day -- Kerry schedules 3-4 hour blocks for making phone calls.

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

Kerry was forced to change the name of her business -- and Kerry tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You have to learn to promote yourself."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. You need to stay focused
  2. Find a mentor -- not a coach
  3. Get an accountability partner
  4. Learn to have fun -- and take a break
  5. Develop a sense of humor

How best to connect with Kerry:

 

Apr 8, 2016

Brad is the founder of Baldridge College Solutions, a Certified Financial Planner, and a member of the Financial Planning Association. He helps parents of high school students plan and pay for college using strategies such as merit aid, need-based aid, tax planning, savings and investing for college, negotiating with colleges, scholarships, and loans. Brad has helped hundreds of families plan and pay for college. He has provided in-depth college plans resulting in increased financial aid, scholarships, identification of the right schools at the right price, and better loans. Brad’s expertise is also featured weekly on his podcast, Taming The High Cost of College.

Secret – timesaving technique

Brad spends his time working directly with his clients -- spend your time on what's important for you to do and delegate everything else. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

If you're on top of your industry, you can take advantage of its changes -- Brad reads to stay on top of the constantly changing financial industry.

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

Brad and his college planning program were being turned away by high schools -- and Brad tells the whole story here.

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

"Be able to communicate your value to people that don't know they need you."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Understand a niche -- if you do everything, you do nothing."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have understood and gotten involved with social media sooner.

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

Recognize when something is repetitive, and then build a system.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would both plug into systems and be able to build new ones.

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

  1. Be able to communicate your value
  2. When the going gets tough -- keep going

How best to connect with Brad:

Apr 7, 2016

Donna and her team teach a 3-Step Social Selling Process that helps sales professionals generate qualified leads and increase sales effectiveness and performance. Her latest online training course is called “Social Selling Using LinkedIn” and is designed to drive a company's total revenue and improve quota attainment. Donna has deep expertise in working with sales leaders and sales teams on increasing win rates by designing and delivering prescriptive, learning programs that are tailored to the specific needs of each salesperson. Donna has taught her process with sales professionals in a variety of industries.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Donna is always capturing data with Evernote -- keep everything organized with a system. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Get up in the morning and exercise -- Donna believes her best ideas flow during exercise.

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

Donna almost launched her course before it was ready -- and Donna tells the whole story here.

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

"If you're not focused on achieving something -- you'll never achieve anything."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Be giving -- have a huge desire for your clients to succeed."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had a content strategy.

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

If you're not looking at the data, then you're guessing.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would take ownership in the business.

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

  1. Take steps daily
  2. Lean on other people

How best to connect with Donna:

Apr 6, 2016

Good Morning Onward Nation — I’m Stephen Woessner. During episode 193…I shared the deeply personal backstory of one of my biggest professional failures. It took me about 8 years before I could even speak about it.

It was the story of FortifiedNutrition.com and how my team and I built the company up to a valuation of $10 million (which was insane but par for the dot com course of 1999), and as a result, I was worth $3 million at the ripe old age of 28. That’s just bat crazy!

Then fast forward to March of 2000…Fortified Nutrition imploded when the dot-com bubble burst and the NASDAQ crashed.

My wife and I nearly lost everything — we nearly lost our house — and we definitely lost our life’s savings. Over $100,000 in cash sucked right out of our pockets. It was absolutely devastating.

But — we dug in — we rebuilt, we reinvented, and we came back stronger as a result of that failure. You can go back to episode 193 and listen to the whole story in excruciating detail.

But the Fortified Nutrition story inside episode 193 is not the end of my mistakes. As we know…many entrepreneurs have more than one epic failure in their journey or pathway to success — and I am definitely no different. So, unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on one’s perspective — episode 193 was not the end of the story.

I’m not sure who this quote belongs to, but I like it… “An entrepreneur is someone who makes enough money to pay for his or her mistakes.”

So, Onward Nation, during this solocast, I am going to share with you Colossal Failure #2…but more importantly…I am going to share with you a series of 13 questions you can ask yourself to help you avoid your own colossal mistake.

In fact, this next mistake makes the Fortified Nutrition loss of $100,000 out to be a walk in the park. It was a $200,000 failure called Predictive ROI LIVE and I recently shared the deep deep deep backstory with Jessica Rhodes when she interviewed me for her “Rhodes to Success” podcast. You can find the full episode right here.

Jessica gave our episode the fitting title of “How to Lose $200K & Still Rise Above The Failure.”Awesome!

I’m not going to repeat the Predictive ROI LIVE story during this solocast — you can get all of the fully transparent and completely candid details during my interview with Jessica. But let’s review why the event failed and how you can prevent mistakes like this from happening inside your business.

In short…the event failed for three simple reasons:

First, I was unwilling to shut down my ego and truly listen to what my mentor, Darren Hardy was saying to me about how to promote our event, Predictive ROI LIVE. As you will hear me say to Jessica, I just thought any business owner would love to come to the Ritz Carlton in Orlando, pay $7,000 to hear some amazing speakers and learn a few digital marketing strategies along the way. Good grief — I was so wrong.

Second, I was unwilling shut down my ego and take the necessary time to answer three very simple questions — and had I answered them — would have delivered a completely different result outcome.

And third, I was unwilling to define the avatar of our ideal event attendee.

So, your answers to the first set of three questions that I am about to share with you will help guide your overall communication strategy with customers and prospects. Your answers will help establish your expertise and why your message is relevant and deserves to be heard. But — your answers need to come from the perspective of your customer.

The second set of 10 questions will help ensure you are speaking to the RIGHT or most ideal customers and prospects. The 10 questions are the same 10 questions my team and I use at Predictive ROI to help our clients define their customer avatar…sometimes called a customer persona…or other similar terms.

Let’s not get hung up on terminology right now — and instead — focus on questions you can ask yourself and your team to properly define the “WHO” as it relates to your ideal customer and prospects.

So, I will share the full 13 questions with you. Had I taken the time to answer these questions — in precise detail — we likely would not have lost $200,000 on Predictive ROI LIVE.

We would have either have had a much more precisely defined value proposition — or — we would have discovered that at the time of our business — the event was too soon — we were swinging for the fences when we should have been paying attention to getting on base and scoring some runs.

So now let’s review the three questions to guide your overall communication strategy with customers and prospects.

First off…you need to remember that your customers will not remember what you said…but how what you said made them FEEL. And in order for them to feel something as a result of what you said…you need to have established the credibility in their mind’s eye so you have enough permission to say what needs to be said.
Throughout the entire conversation — heck — you may even be doing it now as you hear my voice — your audience will be asking themselves three simple questions…and you must answer them…or the conversation is over.

Question 1: Who are you?

Question 2: Why do I care?

Question 3: What’s in it for me?

Now, you may not like the questions — they may be too direct for your particular style — but they are, in reality, the essence of what your customers are asking themselves as they listen to you.

Let’s take a quick look at the questions.

The first two questions of “Who are you?” and “Why should I care?” are — at the core — credibility indicator questions. When beginning a conversation — especially with someone new — you need to answer these two questions in a short and succinct manner. No one likes the “Me Monster” at a party who goes on and on with the self-aggrandizing. So don’t do that. But a short sentence — or at the most — two sentences that answer these questions from the perspective of your customer is perfect.

And the third question of “What’s in it for me?” is the ultimate value proposition question. If you listen to the interview with Jessica Rhodes, you will hear me admit that one of the reasons our Predictive ROI LIVE event failed was because I — personally — yes, me — could never specifically explain, or define, why a business owner would want to invest $7,000 and head to the Ritz Carlton in Orlando, Florida to learn about digital marketing strategies. The pricing was off, the value proposition was non-existent, and the worst part, Darren Hardy, my mentor asked me this same question every time we talked. During every call he asked me, “Stephen, why would anyone want to come to this thing?” And I never set my ego aside — I never listened to Darren — and I never answered his very simple question. So the resulting outcome was that the event failed. Not awesome, Onward Nation.

When you are communicating with your audience…be sure to answer:

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why do I care?
  3. What’s in it for me?

Next…once you have your core message defined — it is time to crystallize with whom you are going to share your message — and — how to create emotional impact with your audience at the same time.

To help with this piece…I am going to show you how to fix one of the most expensive mistakes any business can easily make within their marketing strategy.

In fact, I call it Money Draining Mistake #5…or “Not Knowing Your Customer.”

I am excited to share this strategy and recipe with you. We are going to dig deep into why most companies fail at delivering high-quality communications to their customers. It is because they have not taken the time to understand their customers from an emotional perspective.

In fact, I will show how a single WORD can completely change a situation – and I am going to give you a specific step-by-step strategy or recipe for understanding exactly how to connect with your customers on a different and more valuable level than what you may be doing currently.

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

This recipe represents such a significant opportunity for you and your business because only about 2 percent of the business owners listening right now will take action on the steps I share.

Some words of caution, Onward Nation. You may nod your head in agreement when you hear this recipe — you may even take some notes – or even share this episode with a colleague.

But ultimately, your inaction will signify your acceptance of operating your business at the status quo — instead of at the level of excellence.

Onward Nation — please don’t let this be you!

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

This strategy has the potential of being a game-changer for you. Okay, let’s dig in.

First…I will ask you another question.

What’s the number one reason people buy anything?

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

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

And that word is “HOPE.”

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

That’s it — HOPE.

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

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

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

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

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

The answer is 100%. Yes, 100%.

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

And because this percentage is so high — you and your business must become HOPE DEALERS to your customers. You can do that by connecting on an emotional and empathetic level with your “customer avatar”.

You can do this by understanding their challenges.

You can do this by understanding their pain points.

You can do this by going beyond demographic and economic data by metaphorically “Laying in their bed at night” to understand what is causing them pain…so you can get into the hearts and minds of your customers and prospects.

You need to understand the last thing they think about before they go to bed — and — the first thing they think about when they wake up in the morning.

Every piece of communication you send to your customer and prospect lists needs to speak directly to what we like to call your customer avatar.

You should give your avatar, him or her, or both a name. As if you were having a one-on-one conversation with them…right now…just you like and I are having…right now.

No surface answers — challenge yourself — and your team — to dig deep and push to find specific examples of situations that either reinforce or contradict what is currently believed to be true.

So now I am going to share 10 specific questions you and your team need to ask each other and then go out and ask your prospects and customers the same questions.

Question 1: what things are challenging our customers right now?

Question 2: what are our customer’s emotional fears or worries?

Question 3: what are their dreams and aspirations?

Question 4: what are their pain points?

Question 5: what are their values — and are their values the same as ours?

Question 6: who do they want to impress the most?

Question 7: what frustrates them about our business or others like us in the industry?

Question 8: what do they want from our business?

Question 9: what’s the one thing — or result — that if you could guarantee — your customers would pay a premium for?

Question 10: answer this on behalf of your customers… “You will gain my trust and comfort by…”

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

Some words of CAUTION!

Your avatar is one person. Not an email list of 20,000 people.

One person and you give him or her a name, a personality, you hang a photo of her on your conference room wall, and every time you write an email campaign, shoot a video, etc. you speak directly to your avatar.

Let me take you inside Predictive ROI to illustrate this point. Our client avatars are “Harry” and“Sally” (we chose those names because When Harry Met Sally is one of my favorite movies of all time).

All of our conversations with Harry and Sally are personal — they are emotional — and they are always authentic.

And this is Sally:

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

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

I just wish we would have completed the same Avatar definition exercise BEFORE planning and promoting Predictive ROI LIVE. Our probability of success would have likely increased by a factor of 10.

You can too if you answer the ten avatar definition questions on behalf of your customer and then quickly apply what you learned.

So with that…I want to 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 Donna McCurley — and we get practical and tactical about generating qualified sales leads through LinkedIn tools and systems — powerful conversation. You will not want to miss this discussion, Onward Nation!

Until then, onward with gusto!

Apr 5, 2016

Rochelle Rice is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and educator. A former professional jazz dancer, her passion stems from the inordinate amount of stress in our society placed on thinness rather than overall health and wellness. She motivates people to bridge the gap between knowledge and action, information, and implementation when it comes to their health. Rochelle is the only woman to currently hold the Accredited Speaker designation from Toastmasters International and the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association.

Secret – timesaving technique

Rochelle spends her time on the projects that bring in revenue soonest -- focus on the income-generating tasks. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Stretch your mind, body, and soul -- Rochelle begins each day by journaling, praying, and stretching her muscles.

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

Rochelle business was directly affected by 9/11 -- and Rochelle tells the whole story here.

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

"Fit your business around your health."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Make sure the information sits well with you."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had QuickBooks back then -- but unfortunately it didn't exist.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would enjoy what they're doing -- and it's up to me to play to their strengths.

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

  1. Ask for help -- people want to help you
  2. Trust your intuition

How best to connect with Rochelle:

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

Apr 4, 2016

Get ready to have your thinking challenged and expanded as you learn from an internationally recognized leadership expert. Mark is a bestselling author and noted authority on leadership, service, and extraordinary performance. His bestselling book “The Fred Factor”, which sold more than 2 million copies to date has established him as the expert on turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, in business and in life. Mark is an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis. He is featured by Crestcom in DVD-based training taught in 90 countries. His list of 2,500+ clients includes Harley-Davidson, Costco, Cisco, ESPN, First Data, and many others.

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

Mark feeds his dogs, goes through his email and social media, prays and studies the Bible, exercises, heads to the office, and figures out what his two top priorities are before he gets there -- how well you start your day determines how well you spend your day. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Fear nothing but to waste the present moment because if you take care of the moments, the moments become your life."

How do you define success?

Success is coming as close as possible to fulfilling your unique potential.

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

An "A player" is a contributor, cooperative, communicative, and committed.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

Ask these three questions:

  1. What did you learn?
  2. What do you most need to learn?
  3. How can I help?

How can we build an audience?

  1. Have a product or service that is so good that people instantly
  2. Put the right content on the right platform

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Don't stop doing the things that have made you successful because of complacency
  2. Look for the low-hanging fruit so you can quickly improve

How best to connect with Mark:

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

Apr 1, 2016

Secret – timesaving technique

Verne believes that you have to find the vital 90 minutes a day several times a week to get good at what you want to get good at -- if you don't commit it will never happen. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

You have to get a peer coach -- Verne believes in working with your peer coach to help hold yourself accountable.

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

Verne lost about $1 million in eight weeks after 9/11 -- and Verne tells the whole story here.

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

"Leaders are readers."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Write down the names of the 25 people you need to get to support your venture."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have built my business model around cash flow.

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

Decide the word or two you can own in the minds of the market -- and become the king/queen of that every single day.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would know what needed to get done -- and they'd put in the time to get it done.

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

  1. Make your list and work it
  2. Pick the words you want to own -- and get on it
  3. Find 90 minutes to work on the most important thing
  4. Don't run out of cash

How best to connect with Verne:

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

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