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

America's best podcast for learning how today's top business owners Think, Act, & Achieve. Onward Nation is a five-day-a-week podcast hosted by Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI. Business owners share the most influential lessons learned throughout their careers, including insights into their daily habits, their most vital priorities that have contributed to their business and personal success, and the most challenging time or situation that could have devastated or even ruined their businesses or careers. Business owners share their "recipes for success" including those systems they wish they had put into practice inside their business when first starting out. Each episode concludes with guests sharing two or three practical and tactical strategies they would recommend to brand new business owners in order to best ensure success in their new business and careers. Onward Nation provides business owners with the strategies and tactical step-by-step "recipe" that will help anyone make their business more systematic, predictable, measurable, and repeatable.
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Onward Nation with Stephen Woessner | Interviews with today’s top business owners | Careers
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Now displaying: August, 2016
Aug 31, 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. My hope is that on this Wednesday you have already experienced an incredible week thus far — one that has pushed you to grow — one where you have experienced some big wins — and one where you have had opportunities to learn along the way.

I got home on Saturday from a week long trip to Spokane, Washington to visit my Aunt and Uncle followed by several very intense — but awesome — days of masterminding in Portland, Oregon with a group of marketing agency owners. We get together every six months in a different city across the country to share our financials, our biggest challenges, our biggest opportunities, and to seek the advice and recommendations of each other — all the owners in the group.

My fellow owners are exceptional — they are part of my inner circle — they are all moving at the pace and tempo that I want to move at — if not faster — and that makes them the perfect people for me to spend my time with — and to learn from.

The leader and facilitator of our owner group is one of my most influential mentors, Drew McLellan. You may remember Drew as our rock solid awesome guest in Episodes 32 and 167 of Onward Nation. I have learned a lot from him and I am grateful he has been a guest of mine, twice, so he could share his wisdom and expertise with you, too.

Aside from being an incredible mentor and successful business owner — Drew is also the host of the brilliant podcast, Build a Better Agency. And it was such an honor when Drew invited me to be as a guest on his show — in order to share business building insights with his audience — and not just for agencies — but insights any business owner could apply directly into their business to increase sales and profits.

So for today’s solocast…we’re going to do something a little bit different.

Instead of me sharing a lesson today — we are going to air the interview Drew and I did for his show because the questions he asked me were excellent — and I predict you will find the advice and recommendations that came out of the conversation — to be valuable for what you are working on right now in your business.

For example…Drew and I discuss…

  • How to charge a premium free while building trust and providing expertise
  • How to fix the money draining mistakes that are likely sucking cash out of your business
  • How you can use a Predictive ROI scorecard inside your company
  • How to combat the fear of criticism

Okay, Onward Nation…I hope you enjoy the discussion between Drew McLellan and I…and as always…please let me know what you think. Thumbs up or thumbs down.

One point that I want to make sure I emphasize before we close out for today…and that is…when you tackle your client’s biggest pain point, Onward Nation, you’re no longer a vendor. You become a true partner.

So when you see challenges…when you see your client having difficulties…when you see your client bogged down in a myriad of difficulties and they don’t know where to turn…those are signs of opportunity…for you to dig in…add value…help them solve the most difficult challenge in their business…and you will quickly move into partner status…and leave vendor-hood behind — which will likely mean happier clients and greater profitability for you.

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

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. Hit me up on Twitter or LinkedIn — or stop by our Predictive ROI Facebook page — and let us know what you think of the show — thumbs up or thumbs down. Either way — we want to know. Your feedback will help us get better. And remember…you can always email me at stephen@onwardnation.com and I reply to every single message.

So please let us 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 Diane Gardner — you will not want to miss Diane’s philosophy of “Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone” and how this permeates every aspect of her business strategy — and how she pushes herself to become more each and every day. Diane is off-the-charts amazing, Onward Nation!

Until then, onward with gusto!

Aug 30, 2016

David Finkel is an ex-Olympic-level athlete turned business multimillionaire. He is The Wall Street Journal and Business Week best-selling author of 11 business books. David wrote his current bestseller, “SCALE: 7 Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back”, with Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Priceline.com. David’s weekly column has been published on Inc.com, Huffington Post, and over 6,000 newspapers and publications. He is also the CEO of Maui Mastermind®, the nation’s premier business coaching company specializing in helping business owners with annual sales between $1 million to $25 million create growth -- AND -- at the same time increase owner independence.

Secret – timesaving technique

David claims three days a week to do A-level activities -- identify what you do that creates the most value for your company. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Work on "above the line" tasks -- David organizes his priorities based on importance.

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

David lost 40-50% of his revenue in an instant -- and David tells the whole story here.

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

"What matters most? For the sake of what? And how much is enough?"

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Give your clients your best professional advice -- it's up to them to take it or not."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have made key hires sooner -- and given them clear accountability.

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

  1. Narrow your focus to a smaller niche
  2. Engage your teams to build teams with you
  3. Ignore all the "doom and gloom" stuff

How best to connect with David:

Aug 29, 2016

Michael Roderick is a founder, speaker, and connector. His company, “Small Pond Enterprises” specializes in relationship design for founders, authors, and speakers interested in playing a bigger game. He works with thought-leaders to curate, extend, and leverage their existing networks for the purpose of getting paid engagements for higher fees, speaking opportunities, and interviews. He developed this methodology from his own journey of high school English teacher to Broadway producer. Michael is also the founder of “ConnectorCon”, a conference for connectors as well as the co-host of the “Access to Anyone” podcast.

Secret – timesaving technique

Michael focuses on what is most important -- time, connections, or money -- everyone has a TCM index. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Take the time to meditate -- Michael laughed at meditation initially -- but now it's a crucial part of his day.

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

Michael was banking on a certain project and turned away other projects -- and Michael tells the whole story here.

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

"You need to be in the present while listening."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You have to take time to clean your pipeline and curate your network."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

Have a spreadsheet to track your network.

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

  1. Focus on what you can learn -- failure is an opportunity to learn

How best to connect with Michael:

Aug 26, 2016

Joe Schmit is an author, award-winning broadcaster, community leader, and popular keynote speaker. As a sports broadcaster, he has covered every major sporting event in the past three decades and has interviewed many of the biggest names in sports. He joined KSTP-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul in 1985 and has won 17 Emmys from the National Television Academy. He was also honored with a National Headliner Award in 2001. Joe is also a regular on 1500 ESPN radio. His award-winning book, “Silent Impact-Stories of Influence Through Purpose, Persistence and Passion” is now in its 4th printing.

Secret – timesaving technique

Joe writes up a list of tasks to do each day -- do the worst task you have to do first. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Prepare for tomorrow today -- Joe begins his list of tasks the night before.

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

Joe suddenly found his job disappear -- and Joe tells the whole story here.

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

"Positive reinforcement is the essence of great leadership."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You never know when you're going to be that person that can lift someone up."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Never, ever give up
  2. Learn to say no and figure out what works for you
  3. Overdeliver
  4. Show them your heart

How best to connect with Joe:

Aug 25, 2016

Ross Bernstein is a best-selling author of nearly 50 sports books and an award-winning Hall of Fame business speaker who has keynoted conferences for Fortune 500 companies on four continents for audiences as large as 10,000 people. Ross and his books have been featured on thousands of television and radio programs including CNN, ESPN, FOX News, and CBS This Morning, as well as in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today.

Secret – timesaving technique

Ross works smarter -- not harder -- but work hard when you have to. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Stay focused on what you're good at -- Ross focuses on his keynotes and ignores social media.

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

Ross was a walk on to the Minnesota Gophers hockey team and got cut -- and Ross tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Philanthropy isn't just good purpose -- it's good business."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Find your currency
  2. Give unconditionally
  3. Gather video testimonials
  4. Focus

How best to connect with Ross:

Aug 24, 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. Thank you very much for taking time to be here — and — I gotta say — I am so excited about the lesson we are going to dig deep into this morning.

Why am I so excited?

Because we’re going to dig deep into how to specifically identify — how to get a crystal clear view of your client avatar — the people who you want to be doing business with — and through this discussion — I will remove all of the mystic dark magic voodoo — and how to give him or her a name — the questions you should be asking — and — I will share with you — the single most powerful four-letter word you can use when attempting to connect with these key people.

Expensive Guesswork

We also going to dig into “Your Dream 50”.

Who are they — why they matter to you — and once you know — what you should do with your Dream 50 list. To help cement the importance of this lesson into place — I will share a painful and very costly mistake that I made, which could have devastated or even ruined our business because I didn’t pay attention to the lessons that were right smack in front of me.
It was sure one heck of a tuition payment, Onward Nation!

And I structured today’s topic so that it connects — so it builds upon — the Fill Your Sales Pipeline lesson we covered together in Episode 298, where we went an inch wide and a mile deep into the step-by-step recipe my Predictive ROI team uses to generate highly qualified leads for our clients.

Let's dive in.

Aug 23, 2016

Earl Bell is the Principal of EARLBELL.com and author of Winning in Baseball and Business, Transforming Little League Principles into Major League Profits for Your Company. Earl’s mission is to inspire and teach leaders who want to gain a competitive edge in the game of business so they can make more money and have more fun.

Secret – timesaving technique

Earl takes a look at his daily and weekly calendar at the end of every night -- get the top 2-3 things done that you need to get done every day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Be disciplined and have focus -- Earl isolates himself in his home office and focuses on what he needs to accomplish.

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

Earl spent a lot of time trying to serve clients he wasn't equipped to serve well -- and Earl tells the whole story here.

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

"Learn how to deliver on a consistent basis what your clients really want."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"If you want to succeed in business, learn what your customers want and give it to them."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have gone back and inserted a most effective filter for finding the right clients.

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

Understand what you do well -- and what you don't do well.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would buy into your beliefs, values, and culture from the very beginning.

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

  1. Figure out how to create more lifetime clients
  2. Figure out how to build a super team of employees that have fun delivering awesome experiences that ultimately lead to lifetime clients
  3. Focus on systematizing everything that works in your business and eliminating everything that doesn't work

How best to connect with Earl:

Aug 22, 2016

Jay Irwin is an adventurous soul who is determined to inspire people through wilderness experiences. During his 23-year career in the computer software industry, Jay created entrepreneurial initiatives within some of the largest software companies in the world. After a year-long sabbatical, Jay now combines his love of adventure with his desire to make a difference in the lives of others. He teaches audiences, from inner-city youth to executives, how to bring the gifts learned from wilderness experiences into daily life to create powerful and long-lasting change. He is the owner of CBST Adventures where he takes clients out of their comfort zone so they can experience the metaphors of nature.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jay begins his day with a specific morning routine -- start and finish your day the same every day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Set up the time to work with zero distractions -- Jay shuts down for 90 minutes and focuses on his most vital priority.

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

Jay went from $1 million net worth to almost bankrupt -- and Jay tells the whole story here.

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

"Systemization and delegation."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Live without regret."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had a financial system for viewing profitability sooner.

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

  1. Work on open communication with your team
  2. Assume positive intent
  3. Create a foundation of trust
  4. Gain a commitment around your organization's goals
  5. Have an accountability system in place
  6. Focus on the result outcomes

How best to connect with Jay:

Aug 19, 2016

Jay Baer, CSP is the world’s most retweeted person among digital marketers. He is a business strategist, keynote speaker, and the New York Times best-selling author of five books including “Hug Your Haters.” Jay has advised more than 700 companies including Caterpillar, Nike, Allstate, The United Nations and 32 of the FORTUNE 500. He is the founder of Convince & Convert, a strategy consulting firm that helps companies gain and keep more customers through the intersection of technology, social media, and customer service. His Convince & Convert Media division owns the world’s #1 content marketing blog, the world’s top marketing podcast, and many other education resources for business owners and executives. Jay is the creator of five multi-million dollar companies, he is an active venture capitalist, and technology advisor, as well, Onward Nation…an avid tequila collector and certified barbecue judge.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jay believes in this philosophy -- if you don't say "Hell yes!" -- you must say no. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Be very reachable -- Jay responds to email within minutes.

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

Jay's weakness is valuing ideas over execution -- and Jay tells the whole story here.

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

"Lack of fear -- fear holds people back."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Give your clients your best professional advice -- it's up to them to take it or not."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had more systems to track and measure things from the beginning.

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

Take everything you know and give it away for free -- one bite at a time.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would think strategically and act fast.

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

  1. Write down your fears
  2. Understand the business you're in

How best to connect with Jay:

Aug 18, 2016

John Pollock doesn’t just talk about entrepreneurship he lives it. As the CEO of Financial Gravity, John has grown his business from the dining room table to a national organization of 25 employees and led his company to 700% growth in one year. John is also disrupting industry standards for the better. After seeing the lack of integrated advice for business owners across tax planning, financial services, and business strategy, he created the first national tax firm specifically designed to help entrepreneurs reduce their personal tax liability by an average of $21,000. He is also a frequent contributor to various media outlets, including Fox Radio Network, Forbes, and Amex OPEN Forum.

Secret – timesaving technique

John does a weekly clarity break once a week -- take time to review your week and plan your next week. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Show up before everyone else -- John gets a lot done before anyone else arrives at the office.

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

John had trouble trusting his instincts -- and John tells the whole story here.

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

"Discipline and focus -- it's easy to get sucked into the next thing."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Find a hole that you're really good at and drive a freight train through it."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

  1. Focus on the one thing that is your unique genius
  2. Stop watching the news

How best to connect with John:

Aug 17, 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.

My hope is that you’re having a rock solid awesome Wednesday…and…that you’re making consistent and steady progress toward your vital priorities for the week, for the month, for the quarter, for the year, and for your life. Moving toward your goal — even if it seems like your progress is just one inch at a time — movement — and movement forward is vital.

So keep moving forward Onward Nation! Don’t ever quit.

And one of the ways for us to stay motivated to continue pushing forward is to have a crystal clear vision of our destination. And I know that sounds cliche — and you may have just rolled your eyes at me — and I get it. We all hear how important goals are — goals for sales, goals for new employees, goals for new markets, new products, goals for this — goals for that.

And I find myself creating goals — new goals — new adventures — new challenges — new ways to push what we are doing to that next level…but rarely — if at all — have I ever considered profit as a goal.

Yeah, seriously, a profit goal.

Like never — at least until recently thanks to the urging and prodding of my certified tax coach, Eric Levenhagen, our guest on Episode 25 of Onward Nation.

Eric’s profit-focused lessons to me — more like thumping me over the head with knowledge — consistently — relentlessly actually — finally got through.

He has been teaching and coaching me through the Profit First System — and it is beginning to revolutionize my company. Profit First was created by Mike Michalowicz and the book — the philosophy — the mindset shift behind it — is phenomenal.

Print

You can find the book here.

Aside from my ringing endorsement of Mike’s book — I am also pleased to share that Mike will be our guest on Onward Nation Episode 361 — rock solid awesome — just confirmed that yesterday. And Eric — if you are reading — thank you for the wonderful introduction to Mike — much appreciated, my friend.

So for today’s solocast…I am going to share — what I hope will be — valuable lessons into a variety of metrics that will help you become more profitable.

Let's dive in.

Aug 16, 2016

John Bowen is co-founder of AESNation.com, a rapidly growing community of entrepreneurs dedicated to accelerating their success while making a difference in the world. Three days a week, he hosts the “Accelerating Entrepreneurial Success” podcast featuring revealing, in-depth interviews with today’s leading entrepreneurs. A lifelong entrepreneur himself, John is also founder and CEO of Financial Advisor Select, an organization dedicated to helping successful individuals and families make informed decisions by introducing them to top vetted financial advisors in their communities. He is also founder and CEO of CEG Worldwide, where he has helped hundreds of financial advisors build simple and elegant wealth management businesses that make them indispensable to the right affluent clients while improving their profitability and enhancing their lives.

Secret – timesaving technique

John uses Smartsheet -- you've got to be organized. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Have a plan -- John has two 90-minute sessions where he does specific tasks -- and those 90-minute sessions are set in stone.

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

John built an office building -- the stock market took a major downturn -- and John tells the whole story here.

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

"We all need to master marketing -- but we need to nail down that world-class experience first."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"It's cheaper to hire the most expensive person."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have used technology much more efficiently.

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

Deliver a world-class client experience and really focus on the first 100 days.

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

  1. Focus on the client experience
  2. Pay yourself first

How best to connect with John:

Aug 15, 2016

Chris McCluskey is frequently cited as the “Father of Christian Coaching.” A visionary thought leader, he transitioned out of ownership of the largest Christian psychotherapy practice in Tampa Bay in 1998 and founded what is now the largest distinctly Christian coach training school in the world, the Professional Christian Coaching Institute. A popular keynote speaker, best-selling author, and top-rated podcast host, he lives with his family of nine on their ranch near St. Louis, Missouri.

Secret – timesaving technique

Chris spends time each morning by reading scripture and meditating -- today is a gift -- treat it that way. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Leaders are readers -- Chris reads a lot -- but not until he does his morning scripture is completely finished.

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

Chris got bitten by a Lyme-infested tick before Lyme disease was a well-known disease -- and Chris tells the whole story here.

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

"You must have a mindset of adaptability."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Work on your business -- not in your business."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have systematized my blogging and social media.

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

  1. Contract out what you need done
  2. Delegate roles to your contractors
  3. Coach and mentor your contractors

How best to connect with Chris:

Aug 12, 2016

Carrie Hartunian Smith has a diverse background in retail, hospitality, event production and promotions. In 1993, Carrie started a joint venture building a startup media company growing revenue to nearly $100 million before selling in 2007. After the sale of the company, she was asked to stay on with the new organization being an integral part of their aggressive acquisition strategy, 5 companies in under 24 months. Carrie’s expertise in fostering winning cultures within organizations increases productivity while reducing costs in mission-driven environments.

Secret – timesaving technique

Carrie starts her morning by running down her list and taking a moment of prayer -- try to stay open to what the day will throw at you. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Do what needs to be done -- Carrie believes it's not about doing what's easy.

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

Carrie decided to leave her job -- and Carrie tells the whole story here.

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

"Increase the numbers of customers, get customers to spend more, or increase the number of transactions."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Identify who your market is
  2. Have your message speak to your market
  3. Get in front of them

How best to connect with Carrie:

Aug 11, 2016

Lynne Lavers is a Natural Health Practitioner and an expert in the field since 1987. She holds several degrees including a bachelor’s in biology, master’s in holistic nutrition, doctorate in naturopathy, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in integrated medicine. Lynne and her team provide consultations for maintaining health and wellness as well as help with disease and health challenges. One of Lynne's passions is working with individuals and their families who have been diagnosed with cancer. Lynne is also the owner of a private family practice in Nashville where she works with individuals of all ages from birth to the elderly and everyone in between — and — is in the process of expanding her practice to include a clinic in Venice, Florida.

Secret – timesaving technique

Lynne sets aside 30-40 minutes of quiet time before she does anything else -- prepare yourself to start your day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Plan tomorrow before tomorrow begins -- Lynne plans out 60% of her schedule the day before so that she knows what she's doing and has time to take a break if she needs one.

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

Lynne went $500,000 in debt at the beginning of a recession -- and Lynne tells the whole story here.

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

"Manage your emotions."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Take calculated risks."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have made sure everything was duplicatable.

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

  1. Be unique
  2. Surround yourself with people who know more than you

How best to connect with Lynne:

Aug 10, 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!

In case this happens to be the first Onward Nation episode you are listening to — I wanted to welcome you. Each day, here at Onward Nation, we have this incredible opportunity to sit down and learn from some of today’s top business owners in the country — and around the world — and then to be serve as this conduit — to share all that we learn during the interviews directly with you.

What an incredible honor it has been — and to see that Onward Nation is now listened to in over 100 countries around the world is so much more than we could have ever imagined. So thank you, Onward Nation — thank you for being you — thank you for all of the support — all of the encouragement — and for letting us know — thumbs up or thumbs down what you liked — and didn’t like. Every day — you help us get better — we love your messages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter — and email, too.

Keep them coming!

Again, if you are listening today for the first time — or if this happens to be the 298th episode you have listened to and studied — I appreciate your time more than you will ever know. Thanks for being here.

Okay, let’s jump into today’s solocast. Just a warning here — isn’t that a great way to start off a discussion?

We’re going to go really deep today into a topic — both strategic and super tactical during this solocast. And brace yourself — this may end up being the longest solocast I have ever recorded to date — but honestly — I have added so much value into this episode — it will be absolutely worth your time.

I am going to share — in absolute full transparency — the step-by-step recipe my team at Predictive ROI uses to generate highly targeted and qualified leads for clients.

The recipe delivers a 10-20% response rate — meaning — when we reach out to prospects on behalf of our clients — we receive a response from prospects 10-20% of the time.

Rock solid awesome.

And I am going to share with you each and every step — what we do — how we do it — why we do it — and the results you can expect along the way if you follow the same recipe for success.

The primary tool or platform we are going to focus on today is LinkedIn. I will explain why — from a demographic perspective (especially if you own a business-to-business service firm — meaning your customers are other businesses versus retail, consumer packaged goods, etc.) — why making LinkedIn a cornerstone of your lead gen strategy is an absolute must.

But before we dive into the tactical…I want to make sure you get your mindset right. That you are thinking proactively — that you are open to new ideas — and even some ideas that might push you a little bit.

So download the episode and let's dive in

Aug 9, 2016

Ryan Ayres is a business coach and virtual chief operating officer who has had the privilege of working with companies of all sizes from Microsoft, Sports Illustrated, and Time Inc. to hundreds of small businesses in the last 20 years. His business, Focus 53, is focused on Business Operations and helping business owners identify and solve opportunities and roadblocks with the people and processes in their company. Ryan is also the host of the outstanding podcast, Focus 53.

Secret – timesaving technique

Ryan uses Trello to stay organized -- you need a simple, distraction-free way to organize the tasks you need to execute on every day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Get the blood flowing -- Ryan finds that his worst days are the days when he doesn't exercise.

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

Ryan had a client that consistently made him unhappy -- and Ryan tells the whole story here.

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

"Focus -- work on the right things at the right time."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Own the successes -- and the failures."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had a system that forces me to vet the tasks I'm doing.

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

Do more doing -- and less thinking and pontificating.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be a good genuine person that works hard.

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

  1. Make sure you don't get stuck on the things that bog you down
  2. Have resources to help you

How best to connect with Ryan:

Aug 8, 2016

Caroline Balinska has a rare and unique talent for online business and has mastered three key areas of online marketing which give her eCommerce clients a special insight into how to sell out their products online. Caroline combines her savvy digital marketing skills with her talent for website design and development and then meshes them with her deep knowledge of how business works to maximize profit. These three key areas have poised Caroline to help over 200 clients generate revenue streams of 6-7 figures online. Passionate about business and marketing, Caroline mentors and speaks professionally about a multitude of business and marketing topics and often focuses around marketing pertinent to eCommerce businesses.

Secret – timesaving technique

Caroline recently started using a daily planner -- and she's become much more focused and productive. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Exercise is so important for your health -- Caroline exercises before she does anything and will go for a walk if she needs a break during the day.

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

Caroline lost about $100,000 at 25 years old -- and Caroline tells the whole story here.

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

"If you can't do the marketing yourself, hire someone."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Put all of your proprietary knowledge in one document."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had a Proprietary Knowledge Kit in place.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be a great communicator.

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

  1. Take away your ego
  2. Only take advice from the people whose shoes you want to be in
  3. Have a plan

How best to connect with Caroline:

Aug 5, 2016

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

How do you define success?

Jim believes success is living fully in all the areas that count -- mental, physical, family, social, spiritual, career, financial, and emotional. You can't be a 10/10 in all of these areas all the time, but you can 9 in one today and a 7 in another tomorrow.

How best to connect with Jim:

Aug 4, 2016

Kristin Marquet is a public relations, branding, and integrated marketing expert in both the non-profit and for-print sectors. She serves as the Creative Director of Creative Development Agency, a full-service lifestyle public relations in New York City. Kristin has also written for several fashion and business magazines and appeared in several media outlets including Entrepreneur, Business Insider, American Express Small Business, and Enterprising Women magazines. She currently writes for Entrepreneur.com.

Secret – timesaving technique

Kristin keeps a handwritten to-do list right next to her -- crystallize and prioritize your tasks. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Relieve stress in the way that works for you -- Kristin runs for at least an hour a day to relieve stress.

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

Kristin had a huge franchise client not pay the bill -- and Kristin tells the whole story here.

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

"You need to be a critical thinker and a confident decision maker."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"The two most important things that you need to do are offer value and be different."  

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 have a business plan
  2. You need to be flexible

How best to connect with Kristin:

Aug 3, 2016

Mike Coughlin is the owner of Digital Blue Creative, a full-service digital advertising agency in Boston with core competencies in marketing analytics consulting, search engine optimization, social media, global paid search management, and video production. Throughout his career, Mike gained a wide range of knowledge and experience working with global companies in almost every industry, including Sony Music, SAP, Four Seasons Hotels, Humana, Wharton School of Business, Scholastic, National Grid, BMW, DirecTV, and The Boston Globe.

Secret – timesaving technique

Mike is his own skeptic and tries to see his own challenges down the road -- work smarter, not harder. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Stay focused -- Mike creates a list of the five most important things he has to do each day.

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

Mike signed a partnership agreement that was not a good agreement -- and Mike tells the whole story here.

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

"Don't compete -- create."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You don't need a partner."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had hired a consultant sooner rather than later.

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

Go against the trends -- the majority is usually wrong.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have a tolerance for risk taking and creative thinking.

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

  1. You have to do your due diligence before taking the plunge
  2. Prepare for things to not go well for a while
  3. It's all about reading

How best to connect with Mike:

Aug 2, 2016

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

What is your show structure?

Build a Better Agency is an offshoot of Agency Management Institute -- so the audience is very narrow -- people who run small to midsize agencies. The guests are wide in range -- but they all have something to teach these agency owners.

Why did you start your podcast?

  1. I wanted to increase the digital footprint of myself and AMI which would hopefully lead to more AMI workshop registrations and things like that
  2. I wanted to add more value with experts than I was able to add on my own

What impact has your podcast had on your business?

  1. I have deeper connections with these guests and I'm a much better referral force now
  2. I've been able to audition event speakers as guests
  3. I've been able to collaborate with guests on different projects

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

The most important skill is for the host to check their ego at the door -- put the spotlight on your guest and find out what they have to say.

What was your biggest obstacle -- or challenge?

The challenges are very human challenges. What if I'm not good at it? What if no one wants to listen? But get out of your own way and put the spotlight on your guests.

How much time do you spend on a podcast?

I don't work on podcasts every week -- but when I do it takes about 90 minutes of my personal time to prepare and record each podcast. After that my team -- Predictive ROI -- takes it from there.

What was your biggest unexpected surprise?

My digital footprint is growing faster than I would have expected -- and all because of the podcast.

How best to connect with Drew:

Aug 1, 2016

Matt Curry was diagnosed at an early age with Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) and suffered with the typical symptoms: hyperactivity, trouble with finishing tasks and staying focused, being disruptive, not following the rules, being impulsive, etc. Matt has gone on to become a highly successful entrepreneur and automotive industry expert with more than 30 years' experience. From his first job changing tires at age 15 to his current accomplishments as a best-selling author and consultant, Matt is a visionary whose achievements have been recognized across the business world. Matt started his flagship company, Curry’s Auto Service, in 1997 with one shop and grew the company to 10 locations. When he sold his business, Curry’s had annual revenues of almost $20 million and had won numerous awards.

Secret – timesaving technique

Matt believes in the "two-minute meeting" -- reinforce your company's policies every day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Manage by walking around -- Matt believes you need to talk to every employee -- you can't just talk to the managers.

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

Matt got cocky and thought everything he touched turned to gold -- and Matt tells the whole story here.

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

"Problem-solving -- you have to get through the static and solve the problem."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Be prepared to be busy."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

  1. Wake up early, get there early, and work your butt off
  2. Begin at the beginning
  3. Have set of rigorous, written policies and procedures

How best to connect with Matt:

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