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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: 2016
Dec 30, 2016

At 19, Evan Carmichael built and then sold a biotech software company. At 22, he was a venture capitalist helping raise $500,000 to $15 million. He now runs EvanCarmichael.com, a popular website for entrepreneurs and breathes and bleeds entrepreneurship. His goal is to help 1 billion entrepreneurs and change the world. He speaks globally and calls Toronto home.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Evan’s background
  • Why it’s more about the mindset than hitting the target when it comes to goals
  • Why it’s important to Evan to make the entrepreneurial path easier for others
  • Why having a morning routine & an environment for success is so important
  • Why you need to consume some kind of content every day that gets you thinking bigger
  • What you can learn from looking at other business models as well as other people’s successes & failures
  • Why you should master self-awareness
  • Why it’s important to build your business beyond just yourself
  • Why you need to spend more time doing what you’re really good at
  • What makes a successful entrepreneur
  • Why you should just get started and adjust along the way instead of planning for perfection
  • Finding the schedule, routine & balance that works for you

How best to connect with Evan:

Dec 29, 2016

Daina Middleton is a Principal at Larcen Consulting Group and author of “GRACE MEETS GRIT: How To Bring Out The Remarkable, Courageous Leader Within.” Prior to launching her consulting work, Daina served as the head of global business-to-business marketing at Twitter as well as successful leadership positions at Performics, Moxy Interactive, and 16-years at Hewlett Packard. In all, Daina possesses three decades of hands-on business experience as a proven leader and CEO. She now works with executives from large and small companies who seek to take their business to the next level. She helps them understand the importance of leadership development that accompanies success.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Daina’s background
  • How having processes and routines helps contribute to Daina’s time-saving success technique
  • Why transformational leadership is a critical skill for business owners to master
  • Why it’s important to invest and take time for yourself
  • Finding the right mentors for the right time in your career
  • How mastering consistent, repeatable processes can drive value
  • Why finding a core value to stand for is so important for a company to succeed
  • Why you shouldn’t change yourself to the whim of your customers
  • Why it’s important to balance your strengths & weaknesses
  • Why you need to have self-awareness
  • Why it’s important to have mindfulness in work situations

How best to connect with Daina:

Dec 28, 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, CEO of Predictive ROI and welcome to this week’s solocast.

Can you believe it? In less 4 days — we will ring in 2017.

AMAZING!

My hope for you is that 2016 was your best year yet.

— AND —

That 2017 will absolutely blow your accomplishments from this year out of the water in every way that matters to you. That you will be able to enjoy all of the freedom that running a successful, predictable, repeatable, and profitable business should afford you, your family, and your team.

Which if you just had a great 2016 — or maybe you didn’t — making 2017 your best year ever will be a tall order.

To be successful…you and your team will need a strategy coupled with a practical and tactical execution plan for you and your team to follow.

You may need an even heightened level of focus on who you should be serving.

Who are the customers and prospects in your current sales pipeline? Are they companies who you most want to serve?

Do they represent your Dream 50 clients? If not…adjustments need to be made.

And once the adjustments are made — you need a system that consistently adds value to what the companies within your sales pipeline — within your Dream 50 — are trying to accomplish in 2017.

Over the next several weeks, I am going to use my weekly solocast to answer these questions and guide you along the path to creating the strategic plan you and your team need.

I will share insights, step-by-step detail, recommendations, and system execution processes in full transparency as always — all within a practical and tactical 4-part series that you and your team can immediately apply.

My hope is that the result outcome for you is that you will be able to fill your sales pipeline so you and your team have more revenue opportunities at your fingertips than ever before — and those opportunities are with the type of companies you most want to serve — your Dream 50 clients.

Over the next four weeks…you and me…we are going to get our hands dirty, together. We are going to get into the trenches to not only fill your pipeline — but — to demonstrate with excellence to your team members how it should be done so they can model your behavior going forward.

This level of hands-on leadership — as you push for new heights — is critically important. Because how can your team do more if you have not shown them how?

So…in turn…I will show you where you can dig in your business to find gold — to go an inch wide and a mile deep to strike oil — to find the data points you need to make great decisions — and all along the way — to be able to look your team members in the eye with confidence so they can see how the business is moving forward.

When you jump into the trenches with your team due to deadlines — due to a large number of orders that need to be shipped — due to some problems with key clients — whatever the reason — your actions in those moments demonstrate how important it is to create big wins for clients.

And…even more importantly…your actions demonstrate that you have your teammate’s back — that you will not let them down — that they can count on you when the going gets tough. That they can count on you to take care of them while taking care of customers — with excellence.

This level of leadership should be one of your most vital priorities in 2017.

There is no better team building move a leader can make like stepping out of their executive office, rolling up their sleeves and riding with the sales team, making presentations to prospective customers, call customers, making deliveries, or shipping orders when there is a backlog.

To be clear — I believe in delegation — I absolutely do — it is a key ingredient to scaling a business. And here at Predictive ROI, my content marketing and lead gen agency, my leadership team and I stress delegation, we support and fund personal development for all our teammates, and each of us pushes one another whenever possible to grow and develop.

Doing all of this is a key to scaling.

But, getting my hands dirty with the practical and tactical is something I love to do — I love to solve problems — I am driven by it. I love jumping into the trenches with my team to work alongside them — to look them in the eye when we are faced with a big challenge so they can see my confidence and how much I believe in them.

It is part of the entrepreneurial DNA that I was blessed to receive my family — and — it was honed to a razors edge during my enlistment in the United States Air Force.

At the close of each day in the Air Force, I was typically covered in diesel fuel, brine, grease, battery acid, cobwebs, and dirt from crawling around the floors inside the 150 nuclear missile silos where I performed hundreds of maintenance procedures as part of a team.

silo-shot-2

During my enlistment, I was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base near the Black Hills of South Dakota — the prairies were my commute to my office — and my office was 1, 2, or 3 Minuteman II ICBM nuclear missile silos each day that I served.

And I loved every second of it. Most days were like 100 percent pure adrenaline, Onward Nation.

It was absolutely awesome!

And it was in those days — where my team and I worked our guts out — where we stood fast in the face of numerous technical challenges happening concurrently, in the face of impossible timelines and pressure, and the ebb and flow of an ever changing schedule — but — when we successfully navigated it all — when we got back to our base following a 17-hour shift — and debriefed with our supervisors — we felt a major sense of accomplishment.

We did it. And we did it with excellence. There was no finer feeling after a hard day of slugging it out in the trenches then being able to look back on what we had done along the way with pride.

That what we had just done — really mattered.

silo-shot-1

So let’s bring this back to the leadership lesson I want to make sure you take out of this solocast. When we were working within a missile silo…one of the things we enjoyed most was when our supervisors and leadership from our squadron paid us a visit. Sometimes as a complete surprise.

Our field supervisors wanted to inspect what they expected — to watch us perform while we were knee deep in problems inside a silo. It was nerve racking to be sure — because we didn’t want to make a mistake — but — sometimes, one of our supervisors — all former technicians themselves — couldn’t resist the temptation to jump into what we were working on so they could get some grease on their hands — to help us save time — or to provide us with a teaching moment and mentorship to make us better for our next dispatch.

For example, one of our supervisors might jump in and operate a crane while we were replacing a brine chiller — or help drive one of our maintenance trucks if we were short handed.

What we did on a day-to-day basis was dangerous, Onward Nation. There were significant risks. We were working six feet away from a nuclear missile inside a buried silo — for 17- hours at a time. And as you might imagine, our stress levels could rise pretty quickly within the team — so we had to keep our cool through solid communication and leadership.

So, seeing the willingness of our supervisors to jump in when they didn’t have to was inspiring — it was motivating — it was awesome seeing them get dirty right alongside of us — they looked us in the eyes and gave us courage that we could get the job done and get the heck home to our families — safe and sound.

You and your team, Onward Nation, may not be working inside a nuclear missile silo — but — if you, as a leader, jump in — with the heart to help and not micro-manage — to be a resource — to share your insights and experience — to be in the trenches — to look them in the eye so they know it will all be okay — your team will love you for it — and that momentum will carry you to new heights in 2017.

So that is why over the next several weeks, you and I will be in the trenches together. We will get our hands dirty — together. You and I will get tactical on the curriculum I prepared for you — the step-by-step details along with the metrics you can use to ensure your team is on-track.

January is a perfect time for you to jump in with your team — to get your hands dirty — to pull some levers and let your team see how much you care — put in the hours — to build the business — together.

They will love you for it.

The first practical and tactical lesson I am going to share with you is how to define your client avatar so you know exactly who should be inside your sales pipeline. It is impossible to answer the question of “Who do we want to serve” if you have not completed the exercise.

Or, if you have already completed — like my Predictive ROI team and I did a year ago — it is likely time for you to rinse and repeat the exercise just like we finished doing ourselves. And low and behold — we discovered that over the last several years — a shift had taken place.

That was exciting to see — so we pivoted — and made our sales pipeline much better as a result!

Yes, the exercise is hard work. It can be time consuming. You and your team need to challenge yourselves and not accept surface answers. But the reward is high. Because not getting your avatar right can be one of the single biggest and most expensive mistake business owners make — not knowing who to sell to — or why they choose to sell to one customer instead of another.

Before we jump in — I want to offer up a couple of warnings.

As we move through the steps…you may catch yourself saying… “Oh, I already know that…”

If you catch yourself saying that – take a moment – and instead ask yourself – “But have I mastered it?”

And then take it deeper by asking yourself, “Can I leverage it even greater that what I am currently doing?”

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.

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.

Please don’t let this be you, Onward Nation!

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.

Let’s dig in by starting with a question.

What’s the number one reason people buy anything?

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

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

And that word is “HOPE.”

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

That’s it — HOPE.

So in order for you to fill your sales pipeline like never before — perhaps your goal is to 10x your pipeline in 2017 — 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 if you go back to Episode 392, our amazing guest, Dave Hoffeld will share the science behind selling and the emotionality of the decision making process. He is brilliant.

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 “client 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.

Again, as you and your team work through the 10 specific questions I am about to share with you — don’t allow surface answers — challenge yourselves to dig deep and push to find specific examples of situations that either reinforce or contradict what is currently believed to be true.

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

Be careful here — because this question does not have anything to do with challenges your customers may or may be experiencing right now in working with you. Instead, think about it from the perspective of when your client wakes up — what challenges concern them about their business and in moving their business forward.

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

Again, from the perspective of them running their business — not fears or worries as it relates to their working relationship with you.

Question 3: what are their dreams and aspirations?

What would need to happen in 2017 for their company to have their best year ever?

Question 4: what are their pain points?

What are the challenges that really cause them pain — is it a distribution channel — is it a dealer network — is a supplier? What is it? Because if you can solve that problem — you will be hero in 2017.

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

This is key because it helps to determine if your two companies will be a good fit working together — or will you end up being at odds and fighting. Ugh. Who wants that? There is an abundance of opportunity in the market, Onward Nation — you do not need to work with companies whose values are incongruent with your own.

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

If you can help your clients look good in front of who they want to impress — well — they will love you forever.

Question 7: what frustrates them about our industry?

This question is indeed about you — actually — about you and your industry as a whole. And if you know the answer to this question — you can change and pivot to create distinction from your competitors — and in the process — appear to be that beacon in the night for your Dream 50 prospects.

Question 8: what do they want from our business?

Or perhaps said in a slightly different way — how can you best add value to them?

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

BOOM! Probably enough said there.

Question 10: finish this statement 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 “Client Avatar.”

But, please remember, your client avatar is one person. Not an email list of 20,000 people.

One person and you should 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.

Here, I will 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.

Let me introduce you to Sally…

  • Sally runs a business-to-business professional services firm with revenue between $1 million and $20 million per year
  • 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
  • he 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”.

And Onward Nation, during more than one presentation to a prospective client, “Sally” has said to me – “My goodness, that’s me!” It is magic when that happens because I know we just made a powerful, emotional connection with Sally.

But for your team to get this process right — they need you. They need your leadership — they need you to push them — they need to see the importance you give the process by jumping in and getting your hands dirty. Just like my field supervisors did for me while we were out working on the missile silos in South Dakota.

For next week…I will share several research tools you can use to collect the right detail you need to find the specific companies, and the decision makers within the companies, that match your client avatar so the result outcome will be a full sales pipeline as you head into 2017.

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 Daina Middleton — where she teaches how grit meets grace — and as a leader — the lessons we all need to apply in order to be more effective with our teams and customers. The conversation with Daina is powerful!

You will not want to miss it, Onward Nation!

Until then, onward with gusto!

Dec 27, 2016

Nav Athwal is Founder and CEO of Realty Shares, an online marketplace for real estate investing connecting individual and institutional investors to private U.S. real estate investments. By infusing technology into the archaic real estate industry, Nav and his team are able to connect accredited and institutional investors with pre-vetted real estate companies and operators looking to raise debt and equity capital. To date, Realty Shares funded more than $200 million across 400 deals in 31 states, and they are growing rapidly. Nav is also is a regulator contributor to Forbes and TechCrunch.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Nav’s background
  • Why creating more efficiency around your time is very important
  • How getting your Inbox to zero every night can help you start your day off focused
  • Why what you do outside of work can help contribute to your success
  • Why having a single decision-maker can make a company more efficient & effective
  • Why it’s important in tough situations to be amicable
  • Why you need to master hiring as a critical skill in order to thrive as a business owner
  • Why it’s so important to cultivate talent & create a culture for retention
  • Why mentors & advisors are so critical for founders & CEOs
  • Why taking the time to think creatively is so important to having a successful business
  • How creating more ways to communicate effectively can be highly beneficial for your business
  • How thinking about technology can help you do your job more effectively
  • How to make your employees & company more effective, scalable & efficient

How best to connect with Nav:

Dec 23, 2016

Mark Faust is an expert on growth, strategy, sales, and performance improvement. For the last 26-years, Mark has run Echelon Management, a growth consulting firm. He is an advisor on company boards and he has conducted hundreds of sessions for dozens of the world’s largest companies including Apple, IBM, Procter & Gamble, John Deere, Monsanto, Bayer, and over three dozen third generation family-owned companies. His first book “Growth or Bust! Proven Turanround Strategies to Grow Your Business” was a bestseller and his new book “High-Growth Levers” is also available at BarnesAndNoble.com. Mark is also adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and Ohio University.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Mark's background
  • Focusing on your customer's customers
  • Breaking down your to-do list into your A's and B's
  • Mark's customer interviews that drive 7-9 figures of revenue
  • Strategy, culture, and innovation: the three high-growth levers
  • Echelon strategy dialogues
  • Why you need to only hire eagles (not turkeys)
  • Finding islands of profit in the sea of red ink
  • Why you need to think bigger

How best to connect with Mark:

Dec 22, 2016

John Livesay is a funding strategist and helps CEOs craft a compelling pitch that engages investors in a way that inspires them to join a startup’s team. He is partners with Judy Robinett in “Crack The Funding Code,” which gets founders — funded — fast. He hosts “The Successful Pitch podcast” with investors from around the world. He is the Pitch Mentor at Startfast.net, the number one accelerator in Upstate New York. INC magazine calls John “The Pitch Whisperer.” After a successful 20 year career in media sales with Conde Nast where he worked across all 22 brands in their corporate division, John won salesperson of the year in 2012. John is the author of The Successful Pitch: Conversations On Going From Invisible To Investable.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • The strategy behind John’s podcast
  • How John overcame the three faces of fear
  • Why you should not take rejection personally & why you should never reject yourself
  • Why collaboration is the secret to overcoming your fear of the unknown
  • How John created a huge shift in his business
  • Why John believes the “team” you have is everything
  • How having a podcast has changed John’s personal life & career
  • Why empathy is the most critical skill to having a successful podcast
  • How John learned to let go of the need to be perfect
  • Why you need to be gentle with yourself when starting anything new
  • Why you need to keep your focus on how you can serve your listeners

How best to connect with John:

Dec 21, 2016

David Hoffeld is the CEO and chief sales trainer of Hoffeld Group. He’s pioneered a revolutionary sales approach based on neuroscience, social psychology, and behavioral economics that radically increases sales. David literally wrote the book on basing sales strategies on scientific evidence in his groundbreaking book, “The Science of Selling.” David works with small and medium businesses to Fortune 500 companies showing them how to align their sales behaviors with how the brain naturally forms buying decisions. David is a contributor to Fast Company and has been featured in Fortune, U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Investors Business Daily, CBS Radio, Fox News Radio, and more.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • David’s background
  • How adapting science-backed behaviors can improve your sales ability
  • How to align your sales processes with the brain’s natural commitments to buy
  • How emotions impact selling & the decision-making process
  • Why pre-loading your decisions and linking them to external references with action triggers will increase your chances of following through
  • Why you should view failure as feedback to help build your growth mindset
  • Why to get rid of beliefs that aren’t serving you and embrace ones that are
  • Why, as a business owner, you need to learn how to influence others
  • How science-based selling is aligned with what you like about selling
  • Why you should be mindful of the relationships you have & the influence they have on you
  • Why you should always give more value than you take

How best to connect with David:

Dec 20, 2016

Matthew Pollard has built five multi-million-dollar business success stories and is the prestigious Young Achiever Award. Matthew is a true differentiation, niche marketing, and sales powerhouse. He is a recurring guest on Fox7's Good Day Austin as well as a featured contributor to Fortune, Entrepreneur, and CEO Magazine. Matthew was recently honored with induction into the International Sales Blogger Awards Hall of Fame and is the 22nd most retweeted business coach on Twitter.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Matthew’s background
  • How every single skill set is obtainable
  • How introverts become the gate to their industry
  • Why adapting to a sales system can help you be more authentic
  • Why you don’t have to be the person asking for the sale
  • How to make a sale through telling a story
  • Why it’s important to ask the right questions
  • Why you should avoid technical jargon when attempting to make a sale
  • Why people feel like they get stuck when trying to sell
  • Why it’s important to get back to what you’re passionate about
  • Creating a unified message
  • How to create rapid growth in your business

How best to connect with Matthew:

Dec 19, 2016

Cindy Georghiou has more than two decades of retail industry experience and is an expert in the fashion and beauty industries. She began her career as an assistant buyer out of college, and moved up the corporate ladder to head buyer soon thereafter. She then made the move to the wholesale side for sales, product development, and e-commerce. In 2006, Cindy and a partner launched BlueSource Inc., a full-service web design company where she acquired extensive knowledge and experience in e-commerce, design, and merchandising. Then in 2012, Cindy and a partner acquired the intellectual property for JAQUA, one of today’s fastest emerging natural bath and body brands.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Cindy's background
  • Cindy's strategy for keeping her email organized
  • Why it's so vital to be flexible
  • Why Cindy and her team had to downsize because of uncertainty with a client
  • Why you can't get tied into the minutia
  • Not sweating the small stuff
  • Why you need to secure funding early
  • Why your best employees must be persistent
  • Understanding you market
  • Setting up your path for success

How best to connect with Cindy:

Dec 16, 2016

Jason Blumer is the Chief Innovative Officer of his firm, Blumer & Associates, CPAs. The firm was one of the first to move from a traditional office to a virtual environment, where they serve digital, marketing, and design agencies. Jason is also the host of two podcasts, “The Thrivecast” for CPAs and “The Businessology Show” for agency owners. He has been honored as one of the 40 under 40 in the profession by CPA Practice Advisor as well as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting by Accounting Today.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Jason's background
  • Why you need to right team around you
  • Why Jason brought a partner into his business
  • The rhythm of business
  • Giving yourself the freedom to work the way you work best
  • How Jason and his partner survived losing too many people at the same time
  • Learning to choose and move forward
  • Why Jason believes in a client onboarding system for every business
  • Why you need to know what others don't know and be willing to do what others are not

How best to connect with Jason:

Dec 15, 2016

Garrett Gunderson is Founder and Chief Wealth Architect of Wealth Factory, and New York Times bestselling author of Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity. And he’s personally helped countless business owners create efficient wealth strategies that fit their unique strengths.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Garrett’s background & personal wealth building story
  • How Garrett is a leader at both home and work
  • Basic rules and foundations of the five-part framework to creating economic independence
  • Why Garrett starts every day with a “producer power-hour” to put him in the right mindset
  • Why he believes we’ve been trained improperly about money
  • Why you need to think about investing as investing - not as gambling
  • Why you need to move to cash and start increasing your investor IQ in things that you pay attention to - focus on those & forget about the rest
  • Why it’s so important to have integrity and restore it if it’s broken
  • Why learning to say no to good opportunities to reserve yourself for the great opportunities can help you create more happiness
  • Why you should compare yourself on a progress level to where you’ve been instead of where you’re going
  • Applying the 5-5-5 strategy
  • Why you should delegate roles instead of tasks

How best to connect with Garrett:

  • Website: wealthfactory.com
  • Twitter: @GBGunderson
  • Book: Send a text to 801-396-7211 with the subject “WWRD” (“What Would the Rockefellers Do?”) for a free downloadable copy
Dec 14, 2016

Michele Wucker is a global thought leader with experience in strategy, policy, turnarounds, and crisis management. Her most recent book is “THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore.” After nearly three decades in media and non-profit management and content creation, she recently founded Gray Rhino & Company to help leaders and organizations to strategize responses to risks that are neglected despite - or often because of - their size. Her previous positions include Vice President for Studies at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; President of the World Policy Institute, which she re-launched in 2007; and Latin America Bureau Chief at International Financing Review. She has been honored as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Guggenheim Fellow.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Michele's background
  • Michele's book "The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore"
  • Why you need structure in your daily life to run a business effectively
  • Why Michele begins her day by walking her dogs
  • Why you need to listen as a business leader
  • What you can learn from Kodak's collapse
  • Focusing on what you need and how to get it
  • Shedding what's holding you back

How best to connect with Michele:

Dec 13, 2016

Terry Gremaux is an entrepreneurial leader, training business owners worldwide how to use free social media strategies to grow their market presence & business revenue. Terry is an expert at helping you expand your positive business presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Instagram. He’s helped thousands of business owners catapult to get success using the free social media strategies that he teaches.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Terry’s background
  • Why Terry starts his day with meditation, journaling, reading, affirmations and movement
  • Why it’s important to operate at your own highest capacity
  • Why having the right mindset is so important for instantaneous change
  • Why Terry asks himself every day what he is afraid of and how that keeps him going
  • Why Terry believes that social media is the new telephone
  • Why you need to find your target customer and who they are following on social media and have conversations with them…every day
  • How Terry steals attention on Facebook and why he creates content “like crazy” so that people stay addicted to him
  • How to out-attention your competition so you can win
  • Never stopping hustling

How best to connect with Terry:

Dec 12, 2016

Kate Sweetman is a founding partner at SweetmanCragun and co-author of the upcoming book, Reinvention: Accelerating Results in the Age of Disruption. Sweetman was listed as an Emerging Guru with Thinkers50, and is co-author of the bestselling business book, The Leadership Code published by Harvard Business Press. Her first-hand experience with world leaders, Fortune 100 organizations, and Asian multi-nationals provides a substantial foundation for insights that extend beyond borders. A former editor at Harvard Business Review, she has been published in HBR, Sloan Management Review, Boston Globe, and the Times of India, and has appeared on CNBC in the U.S. and India. She is also a coach and visiting lecturer at MIT’s Legatum Center for Entrepreneurship.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Kate's background
  • Keeping Stephen Covey's Important vs. Urgent Matrix front of mind
  • Why you need to do three tasks every single day
  • Getting information delivered to you so that you are always learning and spreading that knowledge across your network
  • Why Kate begins her morning with quiet time
  • What Kate and her team did when her contact page was broken for 2.5 month after a book launch
  • Why you have to double check to make sure your technology is working correctly
  • Why you need to talk about what it is that you're doing with other people whose opinions matter
  • Staying focused on your end goal

How best to connect with Kate:

Dec 9, 2016

Craig Clark helps guide his clients in the pursuit of organizational or personal excellence resulting in above average results consistently over time, or MOMENTUM. His team’s approach is to affect how people work together and impacting their engagement. Craig provides insights spanning 25 years of bringing transformational answers to everyday business problems — around the globe.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Craig's background
  • Why Craig started Momentum Consulting
  • Sandbox rules for adults
  • How to discover where your blind spots are and how to cover them up
  • Why Craig questions how he looks at things
  • Building ownership accountability into your organization
  • Modeling the behavior you want in your organziation
  • Why you need to hold everyone accountable
  • Why you need to understand your core values
  • Being cognizant of where you slip into being a victim of circumstances

How best to connect with Craig:

Dec 8, 2016

Linda Hollander is often referred to as the Wealthy Bag Lady. She has been featured by Inc. and Entrepreneur Magazines as the industry leader in corporate sponsorship. She has over 20-years of experience as a business owner and does sponsorship and business consulting. Her clients and sponsors include Microsoft, FedEx, Citibank, Mattel, Bank of America, Marriott, Health Net, American Airlines, IBM, and Wal-Mart.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Linda's background
  • What sponsors are
  • What can get sponsored
  • Mistakes people make when attempting to obtain sponsorships
  • Why you shouldn't market yourself as a podcaster or a blogger but rather as a media company
  • Why your worries about having sponsorships are unfounded
  • Why you should make the sponsor the star
  • Why you should enter one-year contracts
  • Why banks are great sponsorships
  • What your sponsor wishlist should look like
  • Creating a great sponsor proposal
  • The #1 secret to getting corporate sponsors
  • How she got Bank of America as her very first sponsor

How best to connect with Linda:

Dec 7, 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.

diamond

Good Morning Onward Nation…and welcome to Episode 382…I’m Stephen Woessner. Thank you for taking the time to be here this morning and for making Onward Nation part of your daily routine.

I want you to know how much your time and attention mean to me. I’m keenly aware that there are many demands on your time — at this moment — and yet you chose to spend some of your precious time with me to learn more about the lessons we share from today’s business owners.

I take the trust you place in us pretty seriously.

My team and I know that we need to deliver practical and tactical knowledge within every episode — knowledge you can take and apply into your business to accelerate your results, quickly.

But oftentimes — a critical component to being successful when applying newly found knowledge is fighting back the fear and temptation to procrastinate. The overwhelm — the delay — in reaching back out to your top prospect who has not made a decision on your proposal yet — and guess what — fear and procrastination is what is holding them back from making a decision in your favor, too.

But Onward Nation…if you solve for the fear on both sides of the equation — meaning your fear and their fear — your probability of success increases exponentially.

Or, maybe you are plagued by the failure of a previous venture or a series of ill-advised decisions — and there are days when the burden of money lost and opportunity squandered makes you feel like quitting.

I get it — I’ve been there.

I have been at the top and I have been at the bottom. I know what the daily pressure feels like when you need to add employees because of increased demand but you can barely afford the team you currently have because you are still paying for mistakes in year’s past.

But, rest assured, Onward Nation, the pressure you may be feeling right now…the pressure that seems unending…is actually refining you.

As you feel your business model being compressed, pushed, and pulled — all of it — it is actually a beautiful thing.

The intensity of your situation right now is refining you into something spectacular — if you let it. You and your business may be a diamond in the rough — and it is the intense pressure of today that is refining you, cutting you, removing all of the impurities from your business — and if you have the guts, the mental and physical fortitude to stick it out, you will be a brilliant diamond on the other side of it with exceptional cut, clarity, and color.

So as odd as it may seem — and as painful as it is to endure — enjoy this time — focus on the result outcome — and apply proven, practical, and tactical knowledge to get you through to the other side.

And that is what I am going to share with you during today’s solocast.

I am going to share my favorite success quote — I am going to share some of the behind-the-scenes of one of my biggest and most terrifying business failures that caused me to have many puke in the bucket moments.

And I am also going to share the story behind a one-on-one call with my mentor, Darren Hardy and how he properly shifted my mindset, like iron sharpening iron, and gave my team and I the momentum we are still riding today here at Predictive ROI, the content marketing and lead gen agency that I lead alongside our incredible team when I am not interviewing today’s top business owners.

And I am going to share all of this insight by sharing — in its entirety — my full interview with John Lee Dumas, host of the exceptional EOFire podcast. John invited me to be his guest for Episode 649 of EOFire and it was an incredible experience. JLD asked me tough questions and I’m excited to share with you the blueprint for eliminating the guesswork behind building an audience — and overcoming the fear and procrastination that often holds us back.

Onward Nation, the lessons you will learn as a result of listening and studying this interview are timely — because if you put them into practice — you will take several large leaps ahead of your competition and be well on your way to ensuring 2017 is your most successful year ever — in whatever way you define success — because it is a deeply personal metric and is different for all of us.

So without further adieu, here is John Lee Dumas, and me, in Episode 649 of EOFire: www.eofire.com/podcast/stephenwoessner

Hey — welcome back, Onward Nation — I hope you found the practical and tactical recommendations I shared with JLD, and now with you, to be valuable as you refine and sharpen your plans for 2017.

Remember, all of the intense pressure that may be bringing you to your knees each and every day…is helping you…if you let it.

Learn from it…adapt…change course…and get mad…fight back…but next time…fight back using the wisdom of what you learned…and you will begin to see the cuts and clarity taking shape, Onward Nation.

You will walk brilliantly into 2017 as the perfectly crafted diamond you were meant to be because you will have allowed the process of pressure and heat to unlock all of God’s abundance.

diamond

So when you are feeling that pressure…just take a moment to remember the wise words of Marianne Williamson, who said…

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

So, Onward Nation…you are capable — you have the gifts and talent to get through whatever the pressure you are feeling at this very moment — you can get past it — and you will make 2017 the best it has every been.

With that, Onward Nation…I want to thank you again for taking the time to be here with me today.

It is always an honor to have you here — 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. You can hit me up on Twitter, find us on Facebook, me on LinkedIn, or you are always welcome to email me directly at stephen@onwardnation.com — and yes — that is my actual email address — no fancy filters or filing system — it will come directly to me.

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible encore interview with Linda Hollander — she is rock solid awesome and will take you by the hand, behind the green curtain of sponsorships, and how you can leverage your business platform into a sponsorship of $10,000 to $100,000 with a large corporate brand. She is amazing and shares the details in full transparency! You will love it.

Until then, onward with gusto!

Dec 6, 2016

Tiffani Bova is the global customer growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce, where as an industry thought leader, she watches overall market trends to uncover best practices on how to improve sales performance and enhance the overall customer experience. Tiffani has extensive knowledge of go-to-market, sales and channel strategies. Prior to Salesforce, she spent 10 years at Gartner as a vice president, distinguished analyst and research fellow, covering sales transformation and indirect channel innovation. She won the Gartner Thought Leadership Award for her comprehensive work on the Future of Sales and has delivered more than 200 keynote presentations around the globe to over 250,000 people on sales transformation and business model innovation. Tiffani has been published in Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and The Huffington Post. She was named one of the 50 Most Powerful and Influential Women in California in 2014 by the National Diversity Council and named by Inc. Magazine as one the 37 Sales Experts You Need to Follow on Twitter.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Tiffani's background
  • What Tiffani does to plan out her daily priorities
  • Why you should take the time to connect people in your network
  • Being respectful and responsive when people reach out to you
  • Why Tiffani kept changing sales jobs early in her career when that wasn't very common -- and why that wasn't always the right decision
  • Why you have to think ahead as a leader
  • Why to be a great leader you need coaching
  • How Tiffani grew her confidence muscle
  • Why you need to take the time to listen to people who ask you questions -- if you don't -- they might not ask a question again
  • Why you have to invest in yourself

How best to connect with Tiffani:

Dec 5, 2016

Lisa Bodell is CEO and founder of futurethink and author of WHY SIMPLE WINS: Escape The Complexity Trap And Get To Work That Matters. A globally recognized innovation leader and futurist, Bodell founded futurethink in 2003 to provide a simple approach to the otherwise complicated topic of innovation.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Lisa's background
  • Why Lisa started groupthink
  • Why you need to simplify
  • The addiction to more (and what can be done about it)
  • Tips for saving time in email
  • Getting rid of stupid rules
  • Evaluating your to-do list to figure out what is truly valuable and worth your time
  • Standing up for what you believe in
  • Why you have to focus
  • Why you need to get over failure quickly

How best to connect with Lisa:

Dec 2, 2016

Dana Malstaff is a mother, author, business & content strategist, coach, podcaster, and blind spot reducer. Dana is the author of Boss Mom: The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Business & Nurturing Your Family Like a Pro, and the founder of Boss Mom. She serves Boss Moms who yearn for more time and less guilt when it comes to building their business and raising their family, by providing the tools they need to get more out of their content and business, without sacrificing their family goals.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Dana's background
  • How Dana came to start Boss Mom
  • Crafting your movement manifesto
  • Saying no to things that don't financially benefit your business
  • Getting clear on your brand and message and repeating it the same way every time
  • Why you have to become a working sales page
  • Why it's not your job to work harder than your clients
  • Why you need to hire a team sooner than later
  • Why you need to assess your relationship with money
  • Getting clear on your dream-makers and deal-breakers
  • Why you need to write down what you're good at and what you're not

How best to connect with Dana:

Dec 1, 2016

Dr. Alan Pitt is an attending physician and professor at the Barrow Neurological Institute, a national center of excellence in Phoenix, Arizona. He is also an entrepreneur engaging with multiple companies in the device and health IT space. His current focus is on medical collaboration and technologies bringing care teams together. In addition to his clinical responsibilities, Dr. Pitt is the chief medical officer of Avizia, a global provider of telemedicine services. He is also the author of a popular blog at healthcarepitstop.com.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Alan’s background
  • Why team is most important in the healthcare arena
  • Why you need work with someone who understands healthcare if you want to start a healthcare based business
  • The challenges business has that healthcare does not
  • Why — if you want to affect change — you need to be the change
  • Why you need to guard your cash like its your own blood
  • Recognizing personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Big challenges facing the investment community today
  • Getting technology not just created but adopted
  • Why you need partners that help mitigate risk
  • Why you need to fully understand the problem and the competition in the space
  • Why you need to begin to think about your exit strategy before you start 

How best to connect with Alan:

Nov 30, 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. expensive-guesswork Good Morning Onward Nation...welcome to Episode 376...I’m Stephen Woessner. I hope you had a wonderful and very Happy Thanksgiving last week with friends and family — and in the process — you were able to take some time to think about all of the people and opportunities in your life to be grateful and thankful for. Because we all — no matter what the circumstances pulling or pushing us from inside or outside of the business — have an abundance of opportunity and much to be thankful for.

Now, if your business is breaking into new levels and momentum is at full force — having an abundance mindset, is quite frankly, easy.

But, if you are struggling to make ends meet, if you are in danger of not making payroll (I’ve been there by the way), or you have employee issues, customer issues, and nothing seems to be going your way — and you just need a break — thinking about abundance may seem like mystic dark magic voodoo or a bit like staring into a crystal ball and to learn any sort of nugget about your future.

And when you’re back is up against the wall — and mine has been, Onward Nation — so I get it — I understand it’s hard to show up every day with your mind fixated on abundance. But if you just break free, inch by inch, and realize that you don’t need to win the war all in one day, that sometimes solving just one problem today build momentum.

And then tomorrow another.

And then tomorrow another.

And eventually you can begin to feel confident in metaphorically putting on what Garrett Gunderson recently described to me as “The Armor of Abundance.” And he wears his every day.

You will soon hear Garrett tell his story in Episode 388 that will air on December 15th, Onward Nation, and how even when the times were the toughest for him, the toughest for his family, and for his business — he refused to give up.

Even when he was writing checks for tens of thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars to vendors who had done him wrong...he pushed forward.

He refused to, using Garrett’s words, he refused to “Gnaw on the bones of scarcity.”

And who taught him those lessons? Mentors.

Onward Nation...nothing will affect the trajectory of your business or your life like a good — or bad — mentor can. We talk a lot about mentorship with our guests — but — it has been some time since I shared any of my thoughts on the importance of your inner circle, how to build a culture of greatness within your company, and ultimately, how to find great mentors and advisors who will help you unlock that next level in your business.

So to add some value in each of these areas during today’s episode — I am going to share with you — in its entirety — an interview Laura Steward and I did when she was kind enough to invite me to be a guest on her show, entitled “It’s All About the Questions” and you can find her at LauraSteward.com.

True to the name of the show — Laura asked great questions and we dug into mentorship, inner circle, how to make the difficult transition from one circle to another, how to deal with the insecurities of others and not letting them affect your business and life, and a more — all focused on how to eliminate the guesswork to mentorship and learning — because getting it right is critical to your success.

So, here we go, Episode 81 of “It’s All About the Questions” with Laura Steward and me. pasted-image-0 Episode Link: www.laurasteward.com/81-stephen-woessner-onward-nation-digital-marketing-simplified.html

My hope for you is that you found the lessons Laura and I discuss to be helpful — to be recipes and tactical ingredients you can break down and insert into your business right away to accelerate your results — to be able to build a culture of greatness within your business while measuring your ROI in a complex digital world.

So with that, Onward Nation...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. You can hit me up on Twitter, find us on Facebook, me on LinkedIn, or you are always welcome to email me directly at stephen@onwardnation.com — and yes — that is my actual email address — no fancy filters or filing system — it will come directly to me.

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible encore interview with Dr. Alan Pitt — don’t miss it because Alan digs deep into how the healthcare industry has and continues to change — and the impact that will have on us as consumers within the system. The conversation with Alan is transformation — you will love it.

Until then, onward with gusto!

Nov 29, 2016

Chris Paradiso is one of the most passionate and dynamic agency owners in the insurance industry today. His passion for digital marketing, a strong drive to improve efficiency, and his unwavering dedication to exemplary customer service has led Christopher to build and grow his own agency. His clear vision has helped direct other insurance agencies to push the envelope and find their own success as well. In 2011 Chris, was excited to introduce “Paradiso Presents” a social media marketing program aimed at teaching other agencies how to survive and thrive in today’s complex online marketing world. His innovative marketing solutions have been recognized and implemented into agencies nationwide.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Chris' background
  • Why the fear of being outworked is Chris' driving force
  • Why you have to read every single day
  • Why Chris reads two different books at the same time
  • The time where Chris found almost all of his employees new jobs and started his business over
  • Why accepting change is the most critical skill for business owners
  • Why you can't ever show up one minute late
  • Why "garbage in, garbage out" is a lie
  • How hearing "work on your business, not in your business" changed Chris' life
  • Why you need to buy your domain name
  • Why you need a coach
  • Why you need an app for your business

How best to connect with Chris:

Nov 28, 2016

Laura Rittenhouse is a keynote speaker, financial strategist, business coach, and best-selling author. She advises CEOs and CFOs on how to increase employee creativity and accountability to boost results and revenue. Her Candor Academy workshops strengthen trust between investors, customers, and employees. She partners with executives, visionary managers, and inventors who align conversations and culture to become more effective problem-solvers. Her Candor Analytics methodology was chosen by the CFA Institute as a “Future of Finance” initiative. Laura’s book, “Investing Between the Lines”, showcases a decade of research connecting trustworthy leadership with financial returns that consistently outperform the market and was endorsed by Warren Buffett. 

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Laura’s background
  • Why language has such a profound impact on Laura
  • Why candor is so important
  • Why the authenticity is tied to vulnerability
  • Why Laura starts every day with a half hour of meditation
  • Why Laura left her job to find what calls her “thumbprint”
  • Why you need to believe and have faith
  • Why you need to trust your intellect
  • Developing a words matter mindest 

How best to connect with Laura:

Nov 25, 2016

Don Osmond is a marketing professional, speaker, and writer focusing on authentic marketing to help businesses develop sound, branding strategies. Widely regarded as a marketing and communications thought leader, Don works with his business clients to develop the genuine narrative of their companies, which becomes the foundation for their branding and messaging. Son to international entertainment icon Donny Osmond, Don’s approach to marketing incorporates lessons from the entertainment industry, which he integrates into effective business strategies. After years of education and experience, he knows firsthand that good marketing requires truth-telling and invitation, not spinning. Don believes that authenticity is the only true value proposition a company can offer, so he serves clients by developing genuine story-based marketing and authentic marketing strategies.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Don's background
  • What he learned from his dad, Donny Osmond
  • Why storytelling is so pivotal
  • What Don's learned from Judy Robinett
  • Why Don starts each day by being of value to his network
  • How Don uses Audible to be a constant learner
  • Doing the one thing you need to do each morning
  • Don's soul-searching that led him to marketing
  • The importance of integrity
  • The major lesson Don learned about storytelling from his college English professor
  • Operation, capital, and awareness: the three things your business comes down to
  • Why you need to stick with processes and tweak them until they yield results

How best to connect with Don:

Nov 23, 2016

Damion Lupo started his first business at age 11, has started 30 since, and is the published author of five books. As a thought leader and bold executioner, his first rental house was purchased Dec 31, 1999 using his VISA card and a bucket of courage. That decision grew into a 150+ house, 7 state empire over the next 5 years culminating with a total meltdown and reinvention in 2008. This drove him to create the Austin-based FinTech Total Control Financial in 2016 to disrupt Wall Street and empower Main Street with a patented technology and artificial intelligence based tool to reinvent old archaic ideas around retirement and financial freedom and empower people with control of their financial lives. His powerful patented tool is called the eQRP, a retirement vehicle 10 times more powerful than an IRA, giving investors checkbook control of their 401k and IRA money and keeping track of it on their iPhone.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Damion's background
  • The time blocking strategy Damion learned from "The ONE Thing" by Gary Keller
  • Damion's "no-ding" policy in his office
  • How Damion uses Hal Elrod's "The Miracle Morning" and starts his day out with S.A.V.E.R.S.
  • The collapse of Damion's real estate business and his life in 2008
  • The lessons Damion learned during that dark time
  • What it takes to reinvent yourself
  • Why you need a coach
  • Why you need to own every single piece
  • Why can't show up -- or work with -- people who or less than awesome
  • Why you need accountability with metrics
  • Why you should take your goals and figure out how to do 10x those
  • Why you should find the things that scare you and chase them
  • Listening to the feedback the world gives you

How best to connect with Damion:

Nov 22, 2016

Joe Kashurba grew the freelance web design business that he started in high school into a digital agency with a virtual team and clients around the world. He went from building $300 websites to building $30,000 websites and managing 6-figure digital advertising budgets for some of the largest manufacturing and construction companies. Joe now advises and mentors other freelance web designers and digital agency owners on how to develop and scale their businesses.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Joe's background
  • Why you need to plan out tomorrow before you go to bed
  • Getting an important task done in the first 15 minutes of work
  • Why constant marketing is so crucial for your business
  • What Joe did after not selling to 25 people in a row that he had consultion phone calls with
  • Generating leads that fit what you're trying to sell
  • Why having the right mindset is so crucial for success
  • Looking at your business from a diagnostic viewpoint to see what's working and what isn't
  • Why you need to niche down and stick to the exact thing you do well
  • Being prepared for and fighting through the fear
  • Building a system to get sales

How best to connect with Joe:

Nov 21, 2016

Gal Ratner is an award winning technology veteran. He is the co-founder and CEO of ShopSnap, a modern e-commerce platform and the founder and CEO of Inverted Software, a software consulting firm in Los Angeles. With over 20 years of software experience, his designs are responsible for powering Fortune 500 companies in multiple industries. Gal led international teams on major financial, media and entertainment, gaming and e-commerce projects. Some of his projects include Microsoft’s Windows 8 download manager, the Volusion eco system, Rockstar Games’s online store, and ShoppingCart.NET, which he wrote as a pet project and was the most downloaded .NET shopping cart on the Microsoft App Gallery. Gal is also an open source community supporter and contributor with projects ranging in capacity from parallel workflow processing frameworks to extensible caching systems. He is an avid blogger and enjoys passing his extensive software knowledge on to upcoming talent.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Gal's background
  • ShopSnap, Gal's modern e-commerce platform
  • Why conversion rate and security are the two most important things in e-commerce
  • Gal's visualization technique
  • Gal's seven daily habits that keep him focused and on track
  • What Gal learned from Perry Marshall that changed the way he does business
  • Why you need to get great minds in a room every week and work on strategy
  • Why you need to carve your own path
  • Why you need to calculate risks
  • Why you need to plan, plan, and plan again
  • Why you need to look at your customer's world through their eyes
  • Why you need to be flexible

How best to connect with Gal:

Nov 18, 2016

Bill Watkins is a West Point graduate, decorated Army officer, world-class athlete, corporate executive, and an entrepreneur who took his business from his garage to an eight-figure enterprise before he sold it. As co-founder of the Rusty Lion Academy, Bill now connects to and coaches successful men seeking more significance, clarity, wealth, fun, freedom, joy, and control in both their businesses and lives. He leverages his story of financial success combined with nearly catastrophic personal failure to shortcut men beyond such catastrophes and toward permanent growth using proven, proprietary methods.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Bill’s journey
  • Owning your morning to build your perfect day with Bill’s weekday warrior morning
  • Bill’s priority management system that helps him focus his time
  • Saying no to unimportant many and saying yes to the critical few
  • The disease of yes
  • The 25-year desired future: writing the life you want to live
  • The seven freedoms
  • Getting clear on what you’re deeply passionate about
  • Getting clear on what you’re really good at
  • Figuring out how to get people to pay you for the two above things

How best to connect with Bill:

Nov 17, 2016

In 1985, Mitch co-founded Timeslips Corp, which grew to become the largest time tracking software company in the world. In 1994, Timeslips was sold to Sage. While at Sage, Mitch went on to run all of Sage U.S. as Chief Operating Officer, a division with over 300 people. Later, Mitch joined Chet Holmes as President of Chet Holmes, International. Soon thereafter Mitch and Chet, along with Tony Robbins, created Business Breakthroughs International, a company serving thousands of businesses a year with coaching, consulting, and training services. Mitch was the President and CEO for four years. After the untimely death of Chet, Mitch left Business Breakthroughs to help CEOs build their own “Invisible Organization” using the principles outlined in this powerful book.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • What Mitch does with the first 60 minutes of his day
  • Mitch’s daily initiaives list
  • Mitch’s favorite quote from Steve Jobs that helps him stay on track
  • Why you should never compare yourself to others — only the you of yesterday
  • Why you must dismiss fear as the emotion it is — you are not your emotions
  • Why — when you’re hiring — you need to screen for emotional makeup
  • The personality tests that Mitch uses to screen different types of employees
  • Why you should have a membership site or a learning management system to stay engaged with your audience
  • How to tap into recurring revenue streams
  • Why you need to network like crazy
  • Why it’s so important to take things lightly 

How best to connect with Mitch:

Nov 16, 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.

Benjamin looking at you. Closeup on money

Good Morning Onward Nation…welcome to Episode 367…I’m Stephen Woessner. Before we dig deep into today’s solocast and the lesson I prepared for you — I want to take a minute to say thank you!

Thank you because as we rapidly close in on our 400th episode — amazing — 400!!! — we are experiencing another level of growth.

Downloads worldwide are up, the number of countries we are reaching on a daily basis continues to increase, the number of guests reaching out to us requesting to be on our show is up, and the amazing — awesome — and incredible feedback we receive from you, Onward Nation — is up.

And I want you to know how much you being here and making what we do part of your daily routine means so much to my team and me.

We are very grateful to have this opportunity to share the lessons we collect from today’s top business owners — and we rejoice with every piece of feedback you share with us — good or bad — because you help us get better.

We love all of your Facebook comments, Tweets, LinkedIn comments, and your emails, too. Please keep them coming.

And remember, my direct email address is stephen@onwardnation.com. Drop me a line anytime and let me know what you think about the show — I always want your ideas and to hear your thoughts.

Rest assured — I read and reply to every single email. So thank you, Onward Nation — my team and I appreciate you more than you will ever possibly know…

Okay, just wanted to begin today’s lesson by expressing some gratitude. So now let’s jump into what we are going to cover today. And that topic is cash or capital you can apply toward the growth of your business — but more specifically — if you are considering outside investment as part of your growth strategy — what’s the recipe — what steps must you take in order to make your team and business attractive to investors so you go from invisible to investible, as my good friends Judy Robinett and John Livesay shared last week during Episode 362.

Judy and John shared some excellent insights and very specific tactical steps, which I am going to summarize for you here — but I am also going to share some additional context about approaching investors because I understand first-hand how intimidating the process can feel like — especially when you are on the outside looking in, don’t know the players, how no idea what your message ought to be, and then fear creates this feeling of being trapped.

And that is exactly what happened to me. In August of 1999, several business partners and I founded a company called FortifiedNutrition.com, back when everyone had a dot com company, taking the companies public, and cashing in once the IPO soared to record levels.

So as the tech and product distribution sides of our business were being built out by my co-founders, I was in charge of attracting investors. And I was terrible at it and it really showed.

My prospecting consisted of aimlessly wandering around the Internet to find venture capital firms who were typically located in the valley, then emailing them our PowerPoint overview of the business (and wow was it horrific!) and then receiving lots of thanks but no thanks emails.

But finally, we made our way in front of a couple of investors and our initial ask was $7 million for 20 percent of our business. Yes, $7 million. We had placed a valuation of our business at $35 million — but wait — here’s the best part — we had not made one single sale at the point of the ask.

Yep, we felt confident our company was worth $35 million even though we had zero sales. Good grief!

Now, you have probably seen some of those ill-fated pitches on Shark Tank, right? When the business owner has zero sales and then tries to justify a ridiculous valuation to the Sharks.

Yep, that was me, Onward Nation. My team and I in a conference room — as I floundered my way through my pitch.

Plus, I had very inconsistent valuation numbers. The valuation I had put together for Ernst & Young’s review a couple of weeks earlier was only — HA — only — $10 million.

Yeah, I had missed the inconsistency — I failed to see the problem of $10 million a couple weeks ago, and now that I am in front of investors, yeah, let’s go with $35 million.

Thankfully, the investors we were presenting to saw something in us — some glimmer of hope — that with the right mentorship — we could build something valuable. They took us under their wing, mentored us, shortened our learning curve through powerful education, and ultimately invested in us at a $3 million valuation — not $35 million — and it wasn’t until we had six months of growing sales under our belt.

So why am I sharing this painful and embarrassing story with you?

Because all of the pain, suffering, and time lost in countless meetings, phone calls, and emails could have been avoided if I would have had a system — a process — a recipe to follow. Which I have now learned as a result of spending hours with Judy Robinett and John Livesay during our episodes as well as outside of the show.

They are brilliant subject matter experts — they really know their stuff — but beyond that — they are generous with sharing their expertise. So if you have listened to and studied Episodes 329, 360, and 362 — I highly encourage you to add them to your list of vital priorities — you will be glad that you did.

So let’s dig into the ingredients to a “Getting Funded Recipe” that I wish I had had for attracting investors back in the days of FortifiedNutrition.com.

Ingredient #1: kick fear to the curb

Judy and I talked a lot about fear during Episode 329 and how it can rise up and attempt to keep her trapped. And it isn’t because she doesn’t know what she is doing — my goodness, no. Judy is one of the most connected — deeply networked people I have ever met. She is an in-demand global thought leader, plugged into the investment community, sits on the right boards, knows all the right players, and even attended two business and networking events at The White House this year.

What!?!

Yeah, Judy has a titanium Rolodex.

Yet despite all of that — there is fear. So Judy has to force herself to kick fear to the curb, where it belongs, and push past it!

Why is getting past the fear important?

Because if you don’t, I guarantee you the first excuse you will tell yourself as to why investors have not knocked down your door with briefcases full of money with your name on it is because “No one is investing — there isn’t any money available — or — investors don’t want to invest in a company like mine.”

You need to know — thoughts like that are simply the Imposter Syndrome trying to rise up and keep you from your destiny.

Because here is the reality — Judy shared some estimates she collected from Credit Suisse — that by 2019 there will be over $329 trillion in household wealth worldwide.

$329 trillion, Onward Nation.

More specifically, within the venture capital and angel investor communities, there are estimates of $70 billion sitting on the sidelines and that is likely on the light side.

So to Judy’s point — there is not a lack of capital. In fact, it is the complete opposite — there is an abundance of capital — but — and because Judy is on the inside she hears these conversations — investors are frustrated because they cannot find good, solid, investable companies to put their cash to work.

That was a game changing paradigm shift for me, Onward Nation, when Judy shared the data points.

So let me say that again…availability of cash is not the issue. The cash is there. But positioning your company correctly so an investor sees you as investable — and — getting yourself into the right room with the right investors — now that is a whole different story.

But, what investors are craving right now is deal flow — a steady stream of investable companies. You solve that problem for them — you get funded and you get funded fast.

So how do you do that?

Let’s move to Ingredient #2: how do you show an investor — or group of investors — that you are investable?

As you might imagine, it is a process. You begin by answer two key questions that I learned from John Livesay (who by the way Inc. Magazine calls the Pitch Whisperer) and the questions are: 1) Why you? and 2) Why now?

To even get a seat at the table, you have to be able to answer these two questions succinctly. In fact, John helps business owners craft what he calls a “pitch deck”, which is essentially 10-minutes worth of content involving 10-12 slides all following a very specific formula.

For example, you have to grab an investor’s attention in the first 90-seconds, even if you’re given 10-minutes. If you don’t grab them with a compelling opening, they won’t pay attention for the whole 10-minutes because they hear pitch after pitch.

They literally hear 2,500 pitches a year and might only fund 25. So you really need to give deep consideration, Onward Nation to the content on your slides, what you are going to say, how you will answer the “Why you? / Why now?” questions and then be ready for the rapid-fire Q&A that follows.

I laughed — but when John shared these insights with me — he said, “Stephen, if you got the questions before you took a test, it would be cheating, but following this recipe is called preparation.”

And he is so completely right.

But there is more to the preparation and transforming your business from invisible to investable. And John was kind enough to break it down for me so I could really see behind this green curtain that he and Judy work behind every day.

John let me know that a business owner needs to think of the investment process as kind of a ladder with different rungs on it.

ladder

The bottom rung would be labeled “Invisible”. Much like dating, when you see somebody you’re attracted to, but they don’t know you exist. Awesome! Well with investors, it’s the same thing. You have an idea, you don’t have anybody on your team yet, so you’re invisible.

Then the next rung up is “Insignificant”. What’s worse, being invisible or being insignificant? They see you but they don’t really care — that happens when you’re insignificant. Ouch. So you have a couple of people on your team, but you really haven’t tested out your business model to see if anybody wants to use it or would be willing to pay for it.

Then you get to the “Interesting” rung of the ladder. Going back to John’s dating scenario, let’s say you say something clever or funny, the person is interested in you but they’re not going to go out on a date with you yet. So now you have some people on your team, you’ve got a business that has some scalability to it, but you don’t have connections and you aren’t really great at pitching.

But with the right coaching and mentors, and some hard work, you finally move up to the next rung of the ladder, which is where you’re “Intriguing”.

You’re not quite investable yet, but you’re getting a whole lot closer. And my guess is, Onward Nation — this has happened to you before — you pitch someone something and in response, they say to you, “I’m intrigued. Tell me more.” That’s what you want to hear from an investor because as I learned from Judy and John, your vital priority with the initial 10-minute pitch and the 10-minute Q&A is simply to get the second date — or the second presentation.

Then you get to the “Irresistible” level. That’s really where you become investable and that’s where you and your team receive multiple offers from multiple investors. But, this is also where you want to have experienced mentors in your corner who can help you negotiate the best deal — and — mentors who have the capability to help you leverage all that is going on during this process for your benefit.

So once you and your team have ascended the ladder and become investable and Irresistible, you now need to get in front of the right investors.

And that is where having influential and well-connected advisors and mentors as part of your team can deliver a major return on investment.

Why?

Because as I learned again from Judy and John, let’s say an investor decides to fund 25 deals in a 12-month period of time…it is highly likely…that 24 of those 25 deals came to them by way of a warm introduction. So, you can do all of the hard work and reach the Irresistible stage — but — if the right investors never meet you — you are still stuck.

You need to build a board of advisors by connecting with people who are capable of opening the right doors for you. Because when you are in the right room, with the right investors, and you have followed the recipe for becoming Irresistible in their eyes, and you deliver a compelling pitch — you will create FOMA — or the fear of missing out — so the investors will compete for your attention.

And that is a game changer, Onward Nation!

So before we close out for today…I want to share one final and very important lesson that Judy shared with me — and it was a question that I never answered while running Fortified Nutrition…and that was…what is the exit strategy of the business — and while you are in the business — how you will grow and capture market share?

This is critically important because investors do want their money back with a significant return so you need to be really clear on your exit strategy — and you get there by having a deep understanding of your market and what is happening in your industry. You also need to be able to articulate your customer acquisition cost and how you are going to acquire customers.

And lastly, be sure to avoid the amateurish mistakes. One of the biggest ones is saying things like, “If we just get one to two percent of the market in China, we’ll be a billionaire in six months.” That’s a top-down sales forecast and sophisticated investors know you’re going to have to start from the bottom up with metrics like how many phone calls are you going to have to make, how will your leads convert, and really understanding those customer acquisition cost are critical to your success.

And then let’s end with some resources you can use and study further. First…be sure to listen to Episodes 329, 360, and 362 for deeper dives into blueprints and recipes you can apply to put yourself in the best position possible to access the cash you need to grow your business.

In addition, Judy and John teach a detailed webinar that goes even deeper with more examples and action steps. You can find it here. Register for it and drop me a line — would love to hear more about 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.

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. You can hit me up on Twitter, find us on Facebook, me on LinkedIn, or you are always welcome to email me directly at stephen@onwardnation.com — and yes — that is my actual email address — no fancy filters or filing system — it will come directly to me.

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible encore interview with Mitch Russo — don’t miss it because Mitch shares the recipes behind building constant and steady cash flow into your business. The conversation with Mitch is rock solid awesome — you will love it.

Until then, onward with gusto!

Nov 15, 2016

Jay Samit is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on disruption and innovation. He launches billion dollar businesses, transforms industries, revamps government institutions, and for over three decades continues to be at the forefront of global trends. Jay helped grow pre-IPO companies such as Linkedin and eBay, held senior management roles at Sony and Universal Studios, pioneered breakthroughs in mobile video, Internet advertising, e-commerce, social networks, ebooks, and digital music used by billions of consumers every day. Jay is also the consummate dealmaker; his list of partners and associates reads like a who’s who including Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, Reid Hoffman, David Geffen, Richard Branson, and Paul Allen. Jay also serves as an adjunct professor at USC and is author of the internationally best-selling book “Disrupt You! Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation.”

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

Jay lost a MAJOR contract that he maxed out credit cards to win -- and Jay tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You have to be the best at what you're doing or the only one doing it."

How best to connect with Jay:

Nov 14, 2016

Al Pittampalli started his career as an IT consultant for Ernst & Young where he advised Fortune 500 organizations all over the country. This is where he first realized that mediocrity and ingrained stubbornness were epidemics. Al now helps organizations like NASA, Hewlett Packard, Abbot Labs, transform their organizational cultures. He is the author of two books that help individuals and organizations adapt to a fast changing world. In latest book, “Persuadable: How Great Leaders Change Their Minds to Change the World,” Al uses decades of social science to reveal how being persuadable is not only the right thing to do, its the smart thing to do and creates a powerful advantage in both business and life.

Secret – timesaving technique

Al takes time every day to prioritize work with his program manager -- 20% of what you do contributes 80% of your results. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Tap into your creativity -- Al starts each day by following Julia Cameron's Morning Pages strategy.

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

Al was seduced by short-term opportunities -- and Al tells the whole story here.

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

"In a world that's constantly changing -- being persuadable -- the ability to adapt to changing circumstances -- is the real competitive advantage."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Being safe is now risky."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

  1. Realize the cost of planning
  2. Just test it out

How best to connect with Al:

Nov 11, 2016

As President and CBO (Chief Bargain Officer) of the Bargains Group, Jody has mobilized her award-winning discount wholesale and promotional products company to revolutionize the business landscape. A winner of the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, and a PROFIT W100 Recipient, Jody Steinhauer uses her network of resources and leveraged buying power to aid every company and not-for-profit agency that she touches to maximize their buying dollar. Since 1988, Jody has grown Bargains Group from her apartment to a multi-million-dollar-a-year business. Jody is also an official Huffington Post blogger.

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

Jody sets two alarms so she wakes up in time, visualizes her day while in bed, listens to the news, goes into her personal email, drops off her kids at school, and then jumps into a conference call in the car. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

Be comfortable in your own skin.

How do you define success?

Success is different in every area of your life -- and you need to reevaluate it regularly.

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

An "A player" is someone who fits your culture.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Show your employees that you're there for them
  2. Teach your employees how to mentor others
  3. Go out into the community and share your beliefs and volunteer
  4. Recognize negative mentors and learn how not to act as a leader

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Take a look at yourself and your company and where you're head and shoulders above your competitors
  2. Figure out where you can enter into mutually beneficial partnerships

How best to connect with Jody:

Nov 10, 2016

Jon Levy is a human behavior scientist who studies influence and adventure. Fast Company called him “the most well-connected behavior scientist you’ve never heard of.” He helps companies brilliantly transform how they approach marketing, sales, influencers program development, consumer engagement, and product design. His “Influencers Model for Engagement” inspires fresh approaches to marketing, sales, innovation, PR, events, product design, customer relationships and building brand loyalty. Jon's book, “The 2 AM Principle: Discover The Science of Adventure”, was released on Tuesday. The book highlights his discovery of The EPIC Model of Adventure - A four stage processes that when applied makes every experience more exciting and adventurous.

Daily habit that contributes to success

Get the sleep you need -- Jon doesn't set alarms and never has a morning meeting.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"What defines the quality of our lives are the people we surround ourselves with."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Get clear on your core competency and learn to express it as clearly as possible
  2. Build a diverse network, even within your industry

How best to connect with Jon:

Nov 9, 2016

Today’s show is really special — we have two Onward Nation alums returning for what will be a fast-paced, practical and tactical discussion around how business owners can get funded — fast. You may remember Judy Robinett as our guest in Episode 329. Judy gives speeches worldwide on business strategy and high-end strategic networking to specific outcomes. Judy has served as the CEO of both public and private companies and in management positions at Fortune 500 companies. She has been on the advisory boards of several prominent venture capital firms and is the author of “How to Be a Power Connector: The 5-50-100 Rule”. Judy’s business partner in Crack the Funding Code is John Livesay. John was our guest in

Judy’s business partner in Crack the Funding Code is John Livesay. John was our guest in Episode 360 and he is an expert at helping CEOs craft a compelling pitch that engages investors in a way that inspires them to join a startup’s team. INC Magazine calls John “The Pitch Whisperer” and he also the author of The Successful Pitch: Conversations On Going From Invisible To Investable and host of The Successful Pitch Podcast.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • What Crack the Funding Code is and how Judy and John came up with it
  • What a pitch deck is and what it needs to do
  • Family offices that are looking for investments
  • The amount of money that is sitting out there waiting
  • The key adjustments companies need to make to go from invisible to investible
  • Why it's important to share information and to get a lead investor first
  • What "smart money" looks like
  • Questions that investors ask and what you need to know to give the right answers
  • Why you need to know your numbers and your exit strategy
  • What a strong strategy for using investor money looks like
  • Why treating an investor pitch like a customer pitch is a terrible idea (and why giving a product demo is not smart)
  • How to get an advisory board
  • Why you should put competitors on your advisory board
  • Mallory Dyer -- an example of someone who as been through this all very successfully
  • Why you shouldn't go it alone
  • Why you need to learn, pivot and persist

How best to connect with Judy:

How best to connect with John:

Nov 8, 2016

On his 35th birthday Mike Michalowicz had founded and sold two multi-million dollar companies. Confident that he had the formula to success, he became an angel investor and proceeded to lose his entire fortune. Then he started all over again, driven to find better ways to grow healthy, strong companies. Among other innovative strategies, Mike created the Profit First Formula, a way for businesses to ensure profitability from their very next deposit forward. Mike is now running his third million dollar venture, is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; is the former MSNBC business make-over expert; is a popular keynote speaker on innovative entrepreneurial topics; and is the author of Surge, Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, which BusinessWeek deemed the entrepreneurs cult classic.

Secret – timesaving technique

Mike tells himself that he is the most impactful small business author of this century -- before the world sees something in you -- you need to see it in yourself. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Don't structure your to-do list by due dates -- Mike writes a to-do list and prioritizes tasks with symbols.

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

"You have to deliver on your promises."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Everyone is giving you the wrong information -- everyone has a bias."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Don't follow your passion -- follow your purpose
  2. Test, test, test
  3. Don't pivot -- align

How best to connect with Mike:

Nov 7, 2016

John Livesay is a funding strategist and helps CEOs craft a compelling pitch that engages investors in a way that inspires them to join a startup’s team. He is partners with Judy Robinett in “Crack The Funding Code”, which gets founders — funded — fast. He hosts “The Successful Pitch podcast” with investors from around the world. He is the Pitch Mentor at Startfast.net, the number one accelerator in Upstate New York. INC magazine calls John “The Pitch Whisperer.” After a successful 20 year career in media sales with Conde Nast where he worked across all 22 brands in their corporate division, John won salesperson of the year in 2012. John is also the author of The Successful Pitch: Conversations On Going From Invisible To Investable.

Secret – timesaving technique

John prepares and stacks his "moments of certainty" -- investors give money to those who are confident. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Plan tomorrow today -- John writes down the three things he must get done.

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

John got 71 no's in a row -- and John tells the whole story here.

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

"Listening -- when you become a great listener -- then you become a great storyteller."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Smart leaders are smart readers."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had the foresight to use Trello to keep track of the podcasting process.

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

Focus on activities that generate revenue. Period.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have to share in my vision.

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

  1. Make sure you are very clear on who you help and what problem you solve
  2. Why you and why now?
  3. Make sure your why is bigger than just making money

How best to connect with John:

Nov 4, 2016

Robert Mallon is a nationally recognized professional speaker, business coach, and mentor. For the first 20 years of his life, he was a successful executive in the restaurant and software industries. In 2002, he hired a coach who helped him become a motivational speaker. Since then, he has delivered nearly 2,000 full-day seminars and inspired thousands to achieve their unrealized potential. And over more than a decade as a business coach, he has personally helped hundreds of people with their leadership, business, and life.

Secret – timesaving technique

Robert has a weekday warrior morning program -- spend your morning on what's important for preparing for your day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Set good goals -- Robert takes steps each day to accomplish his goals.

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

Robert lost his wife to cancer -- and Robert tells the whole story here.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Invest in tools for managing people effectively
  2. Become sophisticated at time management skills

How best to connect with Robert:

Nov 3, 2016

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

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Fear can be a marvelous teacher."

How do you define success?

Success is knowing that those that know you the best love and care about you the most.

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

An "A player" is the one who dishes out assists.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Realize what a mentor is -- someone with the ability to obtain a follower
  2. Mentorship is demonstrated through behavior -- it's not a title
  3. Mentors teach others how to be mentors themselves

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Don't get complacent
  2. Socialize with people who are doing better than you are
  3. Execute

How best to connect with Chad:

Nov 2, 2016

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

Why did you write your book?

Dr. Marcie had people come up to her for years asking for her to write a book -- and she talked to people that read books like the one she would be writing so that she would have content that would connect with her readers and not just content that she would enjoy.

What have been the big benefits of the book?

Writing a book will get people to take you more seriously -- and Dr. Marcie has found that people are more willing to dive in deep with her after reading because they feel they already know her.

Why did you decide to hire a publicist -- and -- what has been the impact of that decision?

Hire people to do the things you don't want or have the expertise to do -- and Dr. Marcie hired someone with the expertise to cultivate the right marketing plan for her book.

What is the most critical skill for getting your book done?

  1. Take small steps -- and don't get derailed.
  2. Manage the people that you outsource pieces of the process to

What has been your proudest moment as a business owner?

A lot of Dr. Marcie's employees work remotely -- and Dr. Marcie gets very proud of what she's built when they all get together for a business dinner. AWESOME!

What's one secret you can share to help move businesses onward?

  1. You need to speak with purpose
  2. You need to do more and speak less
  3. Choose honey -- you have to come from a positive perspective

How best to connect with Dr. Marcie:

Nov 1, 2016

Jeanne Bliss is the Founder and President of CustomerBliss, and the Co-Founder of The Customer Experience Professionals Association. She is one of the foremost experts on customer-centric leadership and the role of the Chief Customer Officer. She guides C-Suite and Chief Customer Officer clients around the world toward earning the right to business growth and prosperity, by improving customers’ lives. Jeanne pioneered the role of the Chief Customer Officer, holding the first ever CCO role at Lands’ End, Microsoft, Coldwell Banker, and Allstate Corporations. She has driven achievement of 95 percent loyalty rates, improving customer experiences across 50,000-person organizations. Jeanne is also the author of the groundbreaking book, “Chief Customer Officer.”

Secret – timesaving technique

Jeanne writes a to-do list by sending texts to herself -- she then deletes the texts when they are completed -- stay focused on what you need to accomplish. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Make sure you have time for what matters -- Jeanne carves out time for exercise and her family daily.

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

Jeanne learned she had to check her ego at the door -- and Jeanne tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Write like you talk."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have networked more than I did.

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

  1. Define what you're passionate about
  2. Create your personal code of conduct
  3. Build the journey of the customer's life that you're improving
  4. Find your way to deliver value

How best to connect with Jeanne:

Oct 31, 2016

Lori Jones is the President and CEO of Avocet Communications and brings top retail, consumer product, business-to-business and nonprofit organizations knowledge and experience in all aspects of integrated marketing to clients. Her experience with Fortune 500 brands and entrepreneurial start-ups, enables her to contribute a keen understanding of the intricacies today’s businesses. Lori is also the host of the brilliant podcast, Integrate and Ignite, recently launched on iTunes and soaring up the charts. You may also remember Lori and the wisdom she shared during episodes 130 and 280 of Onward Nation. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all that Lori shared during our first interview…we highly encourage you to add episode 130 and 280 to your list of vital priorities.

What is your show structure?

Integrate and Ignite explores the nature of what it means to be an entrepreneur. She interviews startup entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 CEOs about a number of topics including philosophy and leadership.

What does a personal brand and how can a business owner use their brand to create differentiation?

A personal brand is your full-time commitment to the journey of positioning yourself as a leader and how it shapes the manner in which you serve others.

Why did you start your podcast?

Lori is very inquisitive -- and she wants to learn from the best.

What impact has your podcast had on your business?

The podcast has given Lori's business the credibility to work with people that she wouldn't have been able to otherwise.

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

Don't just use your script -- pivot -- think on your feet and ask relevant questions to what your guest is saying

How much time do you spend on a podcast?

Lori spends about 10 hours a week into her podcast for about 2-3 interviews a week -- and her team spends an additional 15 per week.

How best to connect with Lori:

Oct 28, 2016

J.D. Graffam is a user experience expert and business leader. He founded his first business, Simple Focus, a digital experience company, in 2009. Today, his holding company, Graffam Companies, manages three digital agencies and six product businesses, all of which are bootstrapped and profitable. In his industry, he co-founded “CSS Off”, the world’s first philanthropic CSS contest, speaks nationally about creative leadership, user experience, and business, and is the author of the book “CSS for Print Designers.”

Secret – timesaving technique

J.D. has three rules for processing information -- and it begins with putting personal communication first. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Take care of yourself -- J.D. works on his physical well-being and is present for his family.

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

J.D. had his two biggest customers let him go within the same week -- and J.D. tells the whole story here.

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

"Know what cashflow really is."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Business is more common sense than you think."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Trust in the scale of our economy
  2. Know that you can do it

How best to connect with J.D.:

Oct 27, 2016

Thomas Lindsay has 20 years of insurance and professional employer organization (or PEO) industry experience in C-level management, focusing on all aspects of workers compensation, risk management, loss control, employee benefits, HR, and payroll. He recently resigned as the COO of a large PEO and is currently the owner and CEO of Humanly HR, a PEO services sales organization, and founder and host of SmallBiz Brainiac, a podcast providing employer intelligence to small business owners. His goal is for his clients to thrive as an employer and become a leader in their industry.

Secret – timesaving technique

Thomas turns off his phone, turns the notifications off on his computer, and closes the door -- eliminate distractions so that you can focus on what needs to get done. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Keep track of your important ideas -- Thomas writes down his thoughts and then implements the important ones into his CRM.

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

Thomas had to close his doors when he couldn't find insurance after the industry was impacted by 9/11 -- and Thomas tells the whole story here.

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

"Financial discipline -- at the end of the day you need be profitable."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Be tenacious and don't give up."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have been more focused on a specific service offering and do that better than anyone -- don't try to be all things to all people.

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

Focus on short term objectives and break them down into tasks.

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

  1. Keep your business model as simple as possible
  2. Always be profitable -- focus on today
  3. Say no to distractions

How best to connect with Thomas:

Oct 26, 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…welcome to Episode 352…I’m Stephen Woessner. I am really looking forward to this solocast — because — we are going to tackle what I am beginning to consider as the most expensive money draining constraint inside any business.

And I suppose it is not fair or accurate to say inside any business — because this mistake actually happens inside us. It is something that is completely within our control — and to make matters worse — it is a constraint we put into place — and it keeps us from moving forward.

That constraint is the Imposter Syndrome, Onward Nation.

After interviewing nearly 400 of today’s top business owners around the world — I can tell you with 100 percent certainty — that every single person who has walked this Earth has felt the effect of the syndrome pushing them down and applying great weight to their shoulders.

No matter how big and successful someone may seem on the outside — the syndrome is there.

If you have been listening to Onward Nation a while now — you have heard our guests talk about the Imposter Syndrome — and — what the syndrome actually is. And that is fear.

Fear of uncertainty — or there is also the reverse of that — the fear of certainty.

The fear of not achieving significance.

The fear of failure or the fear of success.

There are many types of fear and it paralyzes us from making important decisions or taking action on new opportunities like you hiring the additional staff we need because remain small seems like the prudent thing to do.

Or…not buying the new piece of equipment because what if you don’t have enough orders to run it at full capacity?

Or…not launching that podcast you have always dreamt of because what if no one tunes in an listens and you can’t get guests to join you on the show?

Or…not knocking on the door of investors who would be excellent partners of yours but you are tired all getting all of the NOs!

So here’s the good news.

All of the pain and pressure fear causes us to feel on a daily basis is actually pretty simple to fix when have the right recipe for success. And the recipe I am going to share with you is something I learned from John Livesay, a good friend of mine and one of today’s leading experts in helping business owners go from invisible to investible.

John helps business owners and executives craft a compelling pitch that engages investors in a way that inspires them to join a startup’s team. John is also the host of the brilliant “The Successful Pitch podcast,” the author of the new book “The Successful Pitch — Conversations About Going from Invisible to Investible,” and Inc. Magazine calls John “The Pitch Whisperer.”

Impressive credentials.

But, John and his business partner — Judy Robinett — also help business owners get ready to make a successful pitch to investors so the business gets funded — and in many instances — get funded fast — because of Judy’s impressive connections within the investor community.

You may remember Judy as our rock solid awesome guest in Episode 329 of Onward Nation and John will be my guest on Episode 360, which will air on Monday, November 7th.

What I love about John’s approach to working with business owners in creating their successful pitch is how he smartly addresses what he calls “The Three Faces of Fear” right at the onset the working relationship.

Why is this important?

Because if John can help a business owner get past their fear — and these three fears specifically — then the probability of the business owner delivering a successful pitch and getting funded increases exponentially.

How does John know this?

Because it is exactly what he had to do inside his own business.

The tech startups John was helping with their pitch kept telling him, “This is great. We definitely need help but what we also need are warm introductions to investors now that we have this great pitch.”

But John kept saying to his clients, “I don’t do that. I don’t know any investors.”

But, there were enough business owners asking John to make the introductions that he realized he should follow his own advice… “If your customers and clients are telling you something that they want and are willing to pay for, then maybe you should figure out how to get it for them.”

So John’s Successful Pitch podcast was his way of building up his network of investors so he could introduce his clients, which it definitely did — but before he could begin to build the initial momentum — he had to overcome the Three Faces of Fear.

John shared with me that when he gets afraid to do something outside of his comfort zone, he has found success when he puts a “face” on it — otherwise, it just becomes too overwhelming and so fearful.

But if he can make the fear more tangible — then that’s the first step to overcoming the fear.

The three faces of fear are:

The Fear of Rejection.

The Fear of Failure

The Fear of the Unknown.

For John, he ran into the Fear of Rejection when he would say to himself, “Well, what if I invite someone to be on my podcast and they say, “No thanks,” or “Let’s hear several other episodes before I accept.”

But, he was able to push past this initial fear by drawing on his years of sales experience that told him — despite the fear, doubt, and pressure he was feeling inside — that key to victory was to never take rejections personally and to never reject yourself.

Onward Nation, don’t say “no” on behalf of your clients or prospects.

If they say no — so be it — but keep yourself in the game and keep on fighting.

The second fear John had to overcome was the Fear of Failure.

When you’re starting a podcast, a new business, or seeking capital from an investor, the Fear of Failure will knock on your door and say, “What if you invest all this time and all this money and nobody downloads and episode? Won’t that be humiliating? Won’t that be a waste of time and money?”

But thankfully for John, one of his early podcast guests was Jay Samit who wrote a book called, “Disrupt You.” In the book, Jay wrote, “Failure is just feedback. Keep going until you get a zombie idea so great it won’t die.”

Excellent advice from Jay, Onward Nation. And just a heads up — make a mental note — Jay Samit will be our guest on Episode 366, which will air on Tuesday, November 15th.

So John if you are listening — thank you for the wonderful introduction to Jay.

Then the third fear is the Fear of the Unknown.

The list of things John didn’t know about starting his podcast was a mile long, including what microphone to buy, how to edit the episodes, how to promote the show, all the way to what questions to ask during the interviews.

John had been a guest on many shows and media appearances, but never hosted one, which is a very different experience being on the host-side of the microphone. John found all of the technology-related items to be overwhelming and potentially could have been the thing that stopped him from launching the show.

But, then John found someone who could produce the show for him and all he had to focus on being a great host.

Boom. No more Fear of the Unknown.

John’s approach to conquering the three faces of fear is masterful and I encourage you to apply it. I also want to share with you and early detection system — something to warn you when you are about to get bombarded by fear — how can you prepare yourself for the thoughts to come next?

Excuses are an early indicator to fear. When we hear excuses playing or circling around in our mind — matched up with some sort of justification — it is likely because we are feeling the impact of fear. So I want to arm you with a list of 50 excuses that Napoleon Hill documented in his groundbreaking book, Think & Grow Rich.

If and when one of these thoughts comes into your mind, let it be your litmus test, that you are heading down the path of fear — it is time to confront it for what it is — dismiss it and move on. Or, if you hear one of your employees, colleagues, or friends say something similar to what is on the list…ask them…what are they afraid of…what is the worst that could happen?

Here is the complete list of 54 excuses…courtesy of Napoleon Hill:

  1. If I didn’t have a wife and family…
  2. If I had enough “pull”…
  3. If I had money…
  4. If I had a good education…
  5. If I could get a job…
  6. If I had good health…
  7. If I only had time…
  8. If times were better…
  9. If other people understood me…
  10. If conditions around me were only different…
  11. If I could live my life over again…
  12. If I did not fear what “they” would say…
  13. If I had been given a chance…
  14. If I now had a chance…
  15. If other people didn’t “have it in for me”…
  16. If nothing happens to stop me…
  17. If I were only younger…
  18. If I could only do what I want…
  19. If I had been born rich…
  20. If I could meet “the right people”…
  21. If I had the talent that some people have…
  22. If I dared assert myself…
  23. If I only had embraced past opportunities…
  24. If people didn’t get on my nerves…
  25. If I didn’t have to keep house and look after the children…
  26. If I could save some money…
  27. If the boss only appreciated me…
  28. If I only had somebody to help me…
  29. If my family understood me…
  30. If I lived in a big city…
  31. If I could just get started…
  32. If I had the personality of some people…
  33. If I were not so out of shape…
  34. If my talents were known…
  35. If I could just get a break…
  36. If I could only get out of debt…
  37. If I hadn’t failed…
  38. If I only knew how…
  39. If everybody didn’t oppose me…
  40. If I didn’t have so many worries…
  41. If I could marry the right person…
  42. If people weren’t so dumb…
  43. If my family were not so extravagant…
  44. If I were sure of myself…
  45. If luck were not against me…
  46. If I had not been born under the wrong star…
  47. If it were not true that “what is to be will be”…
  48. If I didn’t have to work so hard…
  49. If I hadn’t lost my money…
  50. If I lived in a different neighborhood…
  51. If I didn’t have a past…
  52. If only I had a business of my own…
  53. If other people would only listen to me…

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

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

Onward Nation, please realize that the fear you may be feeling right now is not real.

Fear is made up.

Fear doesn’t exist. Fear doesn’t have any power over you unless you let it.

The next time you are feeling pressure — the next time you are feeling fearful — would you please do me a favor?

Just pause — take a deep breath — tell yourself the emotions you are feeling right now are not real — that they are simply the Imposter Syndrome trying to keep you from your destiny — and then — remind yourself of the wise words from Marianne Williamson…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’

“Actually, who are you not to be?

“You are a child of God. Playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

“We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

“As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Williamson, Author of A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Okay, Onward Nation?

So with that…I want to say thank you again for taking the time to be here with me today.

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

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. You can hit me up on Twitter, find us on Facebook, me on LinkedIn, or you are always welcome to email me directly at stephen@onwardnation.com — and yes — that is my actual email address — no fancy filters or filing system — it will come directly to me.

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible encore interview with Thomas Lindsay — you will not want to miss Thomas’s philosophy why keeping things simple — no matter what business you’re in — tends to be the pathway to profitability, Onward Nation. The conversation with Thomas is rock solid awesome.

Until then, onward with gusto!

Oct 25, 2016

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

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

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

Steve gets a lot done before anyone else wakes up -- he works out, eats breakfast, reads a couple of newspapers, checks his email, and takes a shower -- all before 7:30. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Leadership is the courage to admit mistakes, the vision to welcome change, the enthusiasm to motivate others, and the others to stay out of step when everyone else is marching to the wrong tune." - Edward N. Cole

How do you define success?

Success is when you have an organization of people who fully understand what is required that are empowered to do whatever is needed to deliver what your customers want, when you have the ability to change and reinvent yourself, and when you create a sustainable business that morphs and endures.

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

An "A player" is are highly qualified individuals that deserve to be there -- get rid of the people that are holding you back.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Be a resource -- but don't give detailed instructions

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Assess your business from an outside perspective
  2. Meet with employees and get their perspective on what is working
  3. Go through the same process with your customers

How best to connect with Steve:

Oct 24, 2016

Julie Broad is an award-winning entrepreneur, recognized real estate investor, and a popular speaker and workshop trainer. Known for helping new entrepreneurs who aren’t naturally born to sell, build a brand to get results, make an impact and ultimately make more money. Julie’s first book, “More than Cashflow”, debuted at #1 overall on Amazon Canada. Her newest release, “The New Brand You” is quickly climbing the sales charts after its official release in July.

Secret – timesaving technique

Julie believes it's about managing energy -- not managing time -- plan out your day the day before. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Hope is not a strategy -- Julie doesn't use words like "hope," "might," or "wish."

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

Julie put an incredible amount of time and money into a project that completely flopped -- and Julie tells the whole story here.

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

"Know your audience and know what hooks them in."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You are the average of the 5-7 people you spend the most time with."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have tested everything before doing a full scale launch.

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

  1. Surround yourself with great people
  2. Plan for things to take longer and cost more than you expect
  3. Take action

How best to connect with Julie:

Oct 21, 2016

George Athan is one of New York City’s top business growth experts. He has successfully consulted for companies in 75 different industries including niche markets. George specializes in helping business-to-business companies create predictable and scalable sales processes to achieve rapid business growth.

Secret – timesaving technique

George breaks down 90-day goals into 30-day goals into weekly and daily tasks -- focus on the tasks that you need to do to accomplish your goals. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Strategy isn't enough -- George habitually gets himself "juiced up" every day.

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

George tried to be all things to all people -- and George tells the whole story here.

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

"Intense focus -- specifically on sales and marketing."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Stop being a perfectionist -- you'll never be perfect."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have focused on our lead generation process.

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

  1. Keep your why in front of you
  2. Focus on what can be done -- not what can't

How best to connect with George:

Oct 20, 2016

John Hall is the co-founder of Influence & Co, a company focused on helping brands and individuals extract and leverage their expertise to create, publish, and distribute content to gain influence, visibility, and credibility with their key audiences. John has grown Influence & Co. into one of the largest providers of high-quality expert and influencer content to the world's top publications, ranking No. 72 on Forbes Most Promising Companies in America list and named Empact's Best Marketing and Advertising Company of 2014 at the United Nations. Influence & Co. was recently mentioned in Inc. as the # 1 Company Dominating Content Marketing. John was recognized by Forbes as the #1 Keynote Speaker For Digital Trends. He also has a weekly column for Forbes and Inc. and has contributed to more than 50 publications.

Secret – timesaving technique

John uses Antnotes -- keep track of what needs to be done and then accomplish it. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Think about who you talk to -- John challenges himself to be more thoughtful and helpful with his employees and others that he interacts with.

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

John went to a conference in the early days of his business -- it did not go well -- and John tells the whole story here.

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

"You always need to be learning."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Be the person everyone wants on their team."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have drunk our own Kool-Aid a lot more.

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

  1. Invest in yourself
  2. Control your story

How best to connect with John:

Oct 19, 2016

Jennifer Briney is the host of Congressional Dish, a twice monthly podcast exposing the secrets drowned out by the partisan noise in the United States Congress. By interpreting legislation, summarizing Congressional hearings, and following the money, Jennifer analyzes the actions of Congress that are generally ignored by the corporate media, delivering the information from the perspective of a fed up taxpayer who bears no allegiance to any political party or ideology.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jennifer only looks at email a couple times per week -- turn off your email notifications and only look at email during dedicated email time. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Listen to your mood -- Jennifer gives herself the flexibility to do her work when it's going to be done best.

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

Jennifer was working on her podcast full time when her husband lost his job -- and Jennifer tells the whole story here.

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

"All business owners need to master prioritization."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You're not going to please everyone -- focus on your most important customers."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have hired a professional audio engineer sooner.

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

  1. Just start
  2. You will figure it out

How best to connect with Jennifer:

Oct 18, 2016

J V Crum III helps established entrepreneurs create a Big Impact and Big Profits by growing businesses that make a difference in the world. J V is a speaker, coach, Huffington Post Columnist, and #1 best-selling author of “Conscious Millionaire: Grow Your Business by Making a Difference.” J V hosts the top-ranked “Conscious Millionaire Show & Podcast.” He is the Founder CEO of ConsciousMillionaire.com, a global coaching and entrepreneur training business.

Secret – timesaving technique

JV uses his formula for creating wealth -- use conscious focused action. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Plan your day based on what you want to achieve -- JV has no more than three priorities in a day.

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

"Get clear on what your destiny is."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Every second counts -- so do the things that count."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had great marketing, sales, and distribution systems.

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

  1. Get out there and make sales
  2. Survey as quickly as possible

How best to connect with JV:

Oct 17, 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.

How do you define success?

Success is contentment and peace with the thought of putting in the work.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Waldo puts in the work -- and Waldo tells the reasons why here.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Get a group of like-minded people together
  2. Set a time to hang out formally and informally
  3. Tap into what defines your success
  4. Don't be afraid to ask for help
  5. Find ways to serve

How best to connect with Waldo:

Oct 14, 2016

Dr. John Johnson is president and CEO of Edgeworth Economics, a professional economist, expert witness, internationally renowned speaker, and author of EVERYDATA: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Everyday. Dr. Johnson has helped some of the world’s largest companies understand how to interpret data and is known internationally for his ability to explain highly sophisticated concepts in a simple, straightforward manner, helping his audiences become more confident and discerning consumers of data and make better decisions in their professional and personal lives.

Secret – timesaving technique

John starts his day by working out -- find your time to step away and think. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Use lists to keep track of what you need to do -- John uses pen and paper to keep his lists.

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

John and his team had to pay an employee's salary when she was diagnosed with cancer -- and John tells the whole story here.

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

"Impatience and diplomacy."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"I learned many skills like how to lead a group from my dad."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had brought IT systems in-house sooner than I did.

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

Focus -- and use the EOS (entrepreneurial operating system) discussed earlier in this episode.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would think harder and realize that success comes from preparation and hard work.

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

  1. Make sure you set very clear goals for yourself and your business
  2. Take chances
  3. Go for it with incredible passion and drive and refuse to take no for an answer

How best to connect with John:

Oct 13, 2016

Mark Winters is the co-author of the brilliant book, Rocket Fuel — the one essential combination that will get you more of what you want from your business. He has been an entrepreneur since the age of 28, after catching the bug during business school at the University of Chicago. He's started / bought / sold / or shut down 10 different companies. A recent venture, as a Founder and CEO, had a successful exit yielding a 100x cash return in less than three years. Mark’s passion is helping entrepreneurs get unstuck so they can pursue their freedom. Mark’s talent for introducing just the right combination of perspective and process sparks teams to start moving, move faster, or begin moving in the proper direction. Mark spends most of his time directly engaged with entrepreneurial leadership teams as a Certified EOS Implementer helping them implement EOS in their own companies. He's delivered over 300 full-day EOS workshops with companies from around the United States.

Secret – timesaving technique

Mark uses time blocking -- divide your time into free days (no business at all), focus days (primary business activity), and buffer days (preparing/practice). ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Make it a point to take care of your body -- Mark does something physical every day.

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

Mark got a cease and desist letter from a competitor -- and Mark tells the whole story here.

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

"Clarity -- clarity about now -- clarity about the predicted future -- and clarity of vision."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You need to get an assistant."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have put in better financial systems -- it's easy to fly by for a while -- and it's suddenly too late.

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

Focus -- and use the EOS (entrepreneurial operating system) discussed in this episode.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be a leader and a manager and would also be accountable.

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

  1. Understand your unique ability -- and recognize what you're not great at
  2. Build a unique ability team
  3. Have a combination of visionary and integrator
  4. Be crystal clear on what you're trying to achieve
  5. Implement your EOS

How best to connect with Mark:

Oct 12, 2016

Jeff Kleid is the author of “Networking with the Cards You Are Dealt”, and also a speaker, business strategist and consultant. His expertise in creating a best in class sales and customer service teams started back in his days working as a tipped valet for Disneyland hotel, where he could learn from people like Michael Eisner, former CEO of The Walt Disney Company. Jeff’s genuine approach to helping others has afforded him the opportunity to grow, build, and ultimately sell his shares in the same company where he started out as a commissioned salesperson.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jeff looks at his next day at the end of each night -- review your schedule before heading to bed. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Focus on the day at hand -- Jeff is persistent and focused.

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

Jeff went all in growing a business -- all of their potential clients pulled out last minute -- and Jeff tells the whole story here.

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

"You have to be a great listener."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Some people manage as managers and some people manage as leaders."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Build relationships with people at the same level as you -- and don't look past those people
  2. Don't just call people when you need them -- stay engaged with them

How best to connect with Jeff:

Oct 11, 2016

Linda McMahon is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Women’s Leadership LIVE. Her company uses live events and ongoing mentorships to educate and inspire women to launch and expand their own businesses, advance their careers toward executive roles, and pursue opportunities for leadership in public service. Linda is also a co-founder and former chief executive officer of WWE — on the New York Stock Exchange as WWE. She stepped down as CEO in 2009 to run for the U.S. Senate and was the Republican nominee to represent the people of Connecticut in 2010 and 2012. As CEO, Linda helped grow WWE from a modest, 13-person operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees in offices worldwide. Linda has been widely recognized as one of the country’s top female executives and for her numerous philanthropic contributions including the company's “Get R.E.A.L.” educational and literacy programs and The Make-A-Wish Foundation recognized WWE as a top wish granter.

Secret – timesaving technique

Linda keeps track of what she needs to get done with lists -- but you have to be nimble enough to react when an opportunity knocks on your door. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Start your day in a way that gets you going -- Linda works in the morning with a personal trainer 4-5 times a week.

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

Linda had to declare bankruptcy -- and Linda tells the whole story here.

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

"You must not be arrogant and not be willing to shore up your weaknesses."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Come to work every day as if it's your first day on the job."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would retarget marketing when the marketplace is shifting.

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

  1. You have to be passionate about your business
  2. You need a good business model
  3. Always build a cash reserve

How best to connect with Linda:

Oct 10, 2016

In 1985, Mitch co-founded Timeslips Corp, which grew to become the largest time tracking software company in the world. In 1994, Timeslips was sold to Sage. While at Sage, Mitch went on to run all of Sage U.S. as Chief Operating Officer, a division with over 300 people. Later, Mitch joined Chet Holmes as President of Chet Holmes, International. Soon thereafter Mitch and Chet, along with Tony Robbins, created Business Breakthroughs International, a company serving thousands of businesses a year with coaching, consulting, and training services. Mitch was the President and CEO for four years. After the untimely death of Chet, Mitch left Business Breakthroughs to help CEOs build their own “Invisible Organization” using the principles outlined in this powerful book.

Secret – timesaving technique

Mitch starts every day by figuring out who he can help today -- and ends every day by figuring out what he wants to do tomorrow. ONWARD!

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

"Nobody fails until they voluntarily quit."

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Figure out what you did in the past that had the biggest impact
  2. Sell that to others

How best to connect with Mitch:

Oct 7, 2016

Daven Michaels is the CEO of 1-2-3 Employee and has made a career of living the American Dream. Starting his entrepreneurial career at age 15, Daven never looked back. Daven has turned multiple passions into prosperous businesses and careers. He has been a bestselling music and television producer, author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. Daven has helped thousands of small business owners transform their businesses by showing them how to play ball with the big corporations and beat them at their own game. Daven’s new book “Outsource Smart” has propelled him to the top of the bestseller lists. New York Times bestseller, Los Angeles Times bestseller & Amazon #1 bestseller, Daven has become an advocate for the small business owner and has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows globally.

Secret – timesaving technique

Daven uses Google Voice -- use this platform to send text messages with greater efficiency than with a phone. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

If you have to stop and switch gears, it kills your productivity -- Daven blocks out certain hours where no one can reach him.

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

Daven brought in a hot shot sales VIP -- it was a disaster -- and Daven tells the whole story here.

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

"Get out of your own way."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

Write down what you learn from your mentors.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Find a mentor
  2. Before you build a product or service -- run a test
  3. Just go for it and ignore the voice in your head

How best to connect with Daven:

Oct 6, 2016

David Burkus is passionate about leadership, innovation, and strategy. He has made it his purpose to facilitate the transfer of good ideas. Toward that end, David is focused on filling the gap between what science knows -- and -- what we most often do. He is the author of “The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies Generate Great Ideas” and he writes regularly for Harvard Business Review and INC. Magazine -- and -- is the host of the brilliant podcast, Radio Free Leader, where he shares insights on leadership, innovation, and strategy. When David is not speaking, writing, or podcasting, he’s in the classroom serving as an associate professor of management at Oral Roberts University.

Secret – timesaving technique

David believes there isn't time management -- but there are priorities -- say no to the things you don't want to do. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Don't put everything on one device -- David keeps his work things on his phone and his "fun" things on his iPad -- and he only uses the one he's supposed to be using at the proper time.

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

David spent 12 hours pretending he was at a level he hadn't reached yet -- and David tells the whole story here.

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

"Humble yourself and realize that it's up to you to figure out what customers want."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Give yourself a longer runway."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had a better system for connecting with listeners and readers.

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

  1. Figure out what to copy

How best to connect with David:

Oct 5, 2016

Terry Brock is someone who solves problems. He works with organizations to build relationships with customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders. His Relationship Marketing emphasis shows how to leverage the power of technologies like video, social media and other tools, to achieve bottom-line results. When Skype needed a new Chief Enterprise Blogger to help with their social media and blogging, they hired Terry. When AT&T needed a new Editor-in-Chief for their award-winning and biggest blog, they hired Terry. He worked with a team of over 100 geniuses to help generate over $2 Billion in sales during his tenure. He’s the co-author of the bestselling book, “Klout Matters”, and a syndicated columnist.

Secret – timesaving technique

Terry uses Google Spreadsheets to track the tasks that he needs to complete -- be willing to do what others won't. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Study, exercise, and meditate -- Terry does daily SEM.

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

Terry got a D in accounting when he went back for his MBA -- and Terry tells the whole story here.

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

"Learn how to learn fast."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Find out what everyone else is doing and do something different."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have kept track of people more -- use a CRM.

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

  1. Listen to others
  2. Get out there and produce

How best to connect with Terry:

Oct 4, 2016

Dr. Steve Fawkes is an internationally recognized expert on energy efficiency with over 30 years experience including delivering large energy management programs, co-founding two energy service companies, implementing innovative energy services deals, and advising governments. His roles include: Senior Adviser to the Investor Confidence Project, Independent member of the Investment Committee of the London Energy Efficiency Fund, Trustee of the National Energy Foundation and advising companies, cities, and investors on energy efficiency programs. He has published extensively on energy efficiency including more than 250 papers and articles, three books and a regular blog: www.onlyelevenpercent.com and makes presentations globally.

Secret – timesaving technique

Steve picks at most three things to get done each day -- a lesson he learned from Monty Python's John Cleese. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

The first step is the hardest -- Steve believes in just getting on with it.

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

Steve saw his market evaporate -- and Steve tells the whole story here.

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

"Use your listening skills to determine a course of action."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Don't react -- stop and think before you respond."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had developed systems for all products.

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

Work on the business -- not in the business.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would go out of their way to learn about the business.

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

  1. Think about what the purpose of the business is
  2. Systems -- work on the business -- not in the business
  3. Put your fears aside and get on with it

How best to connect with Steve:

Oct 3, 2016

Steve Fry is the co-founder of three companies over the past 19 years under the umbrella of Spindustry...Spindustry Digital, a digital marketing agency (in 2013 named the top place to work in Iowa by the Des Moines Register... Spindustry Staffing, a professional services staffing company...and Spindustry Training, an IT training center. The Spindustry team achieved both Inc. 500 and Inc. 5000 recognition several times for these businesses and a variety of other "Bests" in their industry.

Why did you write your book?

Steve wanted to take 20+ years of experience and put it on the table.

What is the most critical skill for getting a book done?

  1. Find your area of expertise
  2. Figure out how to organize your thoughts into something that's meaningful
  3. Commit to getting it done

How do you define success?

Success is having the opportunity to work on things you love to do.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Steve believes in finding people who love to do what you fear -- and Steve tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" is someone who -- first and foremost -- has a great attitude.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Be there and be supportive
  2. Set a good example -- don't ask people to do things you wouldn't be willing to do yourself
  3. Offer constructive ideas in a respectful way

How can we build an audience?

  1. Have breakfast clubs -- get together with people of common interests
  2. Invite business leaders into your business and buy them lunch

How do you attract good employees?

  1. Have a strong job description
  2. Have the mindset that recruiting has to be done all the time
  3. Use Facebook targeting
  4. Target your targets spouses
  5. Use video to showcase jobs
  6. Create an online diary with employee promotion of jobs
  7. Drive traffic to the position through PPC and other forms of ads

How best to connect with Steve:

 

Sep 30, 2016

Billee Howard is the Founder & CEO of Brandthropologie, an artist collective that helps place brands at the epicenter of culture and commerce. Billee is also the author of “We-Commerce” a book designed to help companies and leaders embrace the principles of the collaborative economy in ways that improve their bottom line.

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

Billee begins her day by looking at what's going on in the world -- spot trends and apply them into your business. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes."

How do you define success?

Success is really knowing that you've pushed yourself to be the best you can be at any moment.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Billee looks at others and says "if they can do it -- I can do it" -- and Billee tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" is someone who can constantly evolve and find new and exciting ways to develop their own skills.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Don't try to make your mentees a carbon of you
  2. Allow yourself to be mentored by people you wouldn't think of as mentors

How can we build an audience?

  1. Build a collaborative culture inside your organization
  2. Understand how you are going to meet the needs of consumers
  3. Put communications at the beginning of a supply chain of invention instead of at the end

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Look at how you can change up your routine and shed what's holding you back
  2. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and look at how to expand your offering
  3. Embrace failure as a tool to drive yourself towards new success

How best to connect with Billee:

Sep 29, 2016

Paul Maskill invested in his first TGA franchise in 2011, combining his business experience with passion for sports. TGA makes golf and tennis more accessible to students ages 3 to 15 through on-campus after school programs, summer camps, parent / child events and more. Over the last 4.5 years, Paul has grown his business to four franchises, impacting thousands of kids each year. At the end of 2015, Paul sold his four franchises for over 6x his initial investment and 3x his net profit. Paul then accepted a position with the franchisor to lead business development and helps current franchise owners to help build their businesses through people, processes, and systems so the business thrives without relying on the owner.

Secret – timesaving technique

Paul time blocks his morning -- have a plan and stay organized. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Stay organized -- Paul believes in documenting everything you can in your business.

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

Paul reached a breaking point where he couldn't do it all anymore -- and Paul tells the whole story here.

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

"Organization and hard work."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Show up every day and work hard."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have been proactive with my schedule and got my must-do things done by noon.

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

Do the little things and big things will happen.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would take initiative.

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

  1. Start with the end in mind and stay consistent
  2. Just get started and make mistakes
  3. Trust your staff until they give you a reason not to

How best to connect with Paul:

Sep 28, 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. And I am really really excited for today’s solocast because — it is going to be rock solid awesome!

One of the reasons that I am so excited is because I am returning to full teaching mode this morning with a powerful lesson about building your platform — more importantly — some practical and tactical steps about building a nation of what Kevin Kelly describes as “True Fans” who will help you mobilize and move your business onward to that next level.

True fans of you — true fans of your message — true fans of your business.

Fans who will support you — because — of the sacred bond you have built with them.

A bond that was built upon — and continues to be built upon — the foundation of the value you created, you delivered, and the value you shared with them on a consistent basis.

Whether you do that every day — every week — no matter what the schedule — no matter what the rhythm — the fact that you are consistent is what is important.

This is going to be such an awesome solocast — and I am delighted you are here with me — your time and attention mean so very much to me.

But before we dive deep into today’s lesson…I have a very important favor to ask. In fact, this is the first time I have ever asked this favor within one of my solocasts.

So, if you could do this — please know — it would mean a lot to me.

I’d be grateful — and would really appreciate it — if you would go to iTunes and give Onward Nation a rating and then write a review for our podcast. I respect your time so I wanted to make this as efficient as possible to find us in iTunes…so my team created a special link to save you time.

So if you go to www.onwardnation.com/itc you will go directly to our channel within iTunes.

Okay, why am I asking for this favor?

Last week, I was excited to share with you how Onward Nation is now listened to in 102 countries — and — that we had surpassed the milestone of 50,000 downloads. WOW — still a bit unbelievable — not going to lie — need to pinch myself to realize that yes, this is indeed our reality.

And I credited our growth to our incredible guests and all of the wonderful feedback we have received from you, Onward Nation — all of your comments on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, — and — all of your emails. Thank you!

But in celebrating these amazing milestones — I made a mistake!

I forgot to mention a critical type of feedback that helps us reach more and more people with each one we receive…and that’s…all of the ratings and reviews we receive inside iTunes.

With each rating and review we receive, Onward Nation…you help us increase our rankings within iTunes — and — higher rankings means more people will see us in their search results — and potentially they will be seeing us for the very first time.

Each and every review helps more and more people in more countries to hear the wisdom and expertise shared by our guests each day.

So, if you haven’t already given us a star rating and written a review — it would really mean a lot to me if you did.

It’s simple to do. It doesn’t take much time.

Again, just go to www.onwardnation.com/itc — or — if you are listening on your phone — you can give us a rating and write a review from within your podcast app on your phone.

We’ve occasionally received feedback that leaving ratings can be a confusing process, so here are the steps in detail:

First, after going to the www.onwardnation.com/itc link, please click the blue button that “View in iTunes.”

view-in-itunes

Next, click on the link titled “Ratings and Reviews.”

click-ratings-and-reviews

Next, click on “Write a Review.”

click-write-review

If you are not signed into iTunes, you will be asked to sign in. If you are already signed into iTunes, it is likely that you will skip this step.

enter-password

Finally, you will be able to leave a review. Don’t forget the star rating!

write-review

So thank you, Onward Nation — and please know — I greatly appreciate all of your help, support, encouragement, and feedback — you make me and my team better every day — and — it is an honor to be here with you again this morning.

With that said…let’s get dialed in and ready for this week’s lesson.

You ready? Because I’m so totally ready — I’m going to bring the thunder this morning, Onward Nation…YES!

I spent quite a bit of time working through and preparing what I wanted to share with you today. Such an important lesson. How one of the vital priorities in your business should be to build a nation of true fans — to develop a sense of community, collaboration, and profitability around the purpose of your business.

Let’s begin by breaking the phrase “Build a nation of true fans” into its three core components.

First — let’s tackle the word, “Build.” How would you “build” a nation of true fans. Whether that’s a…

  • Podcast
  • Blog
  • YouTube channel
  • Instagram stories

The platform from a tech perspective is irrelevant — any or all of the above — will serve your purpose of “building” a nation of true fans. The tech behind it all is relatively easy. Is there a learning curve? Sure.

Will you feel at times like you are trying to fly the space shuttle with so many knobs and buttons to push? Sure. How does Facebook Live work? What time of day should I create a story on Instagram? What kind of camera and mic are best if I want to be a serious YouTuber?

All of these are tech questions — and within an afternoon with your best friend Google — you can solve those problems and find the answers as long as you don’t let the fear of the unknown become paralyzing to you.

So let’s shift our focus away from the tech — and instead — focus on the value you will be providing through those channels. What’s your story — how will you serve your audience — how will you make what you are doing so valuable to their business or life, that they actually consider you to be indispensable. That you become so consistent in the help, advice, recommendations, and over value that you are providing on a consistent basis — that you BUILD deposits in their emotional bank account. They begin to trust you — they begin to like you — and then because of them liking you and trusting you…they move even closer to you by truly KNOWING you.

So, your first step in building your nation of true fans has nothing to do with the actual content delivery platform and has everything to do with the value of what you will be delivering — because your nation of true fans is built on VALUE. And if you get that right — the actual platform — or your conduit through which you share your value — will fall into place — and it will feel less stressful because the value you were called — put on this Earth to deliver — will then be in the driver’s seat. You, Onward Nation — will become unstoppable.

Now let’s shift our attention toward the word “Nation” and break that down. And I want to address to make sure we address this because we live in a world where bigger lists, bigger subscribers, massive downloads, huge customer lists, etc. etc. etc. is what attracts headlines and massive attention.

I’m here to share with you the reality…you don’t need an email list of 100,000 people…you don’t need to have a podcast that gets a million downloads a month…you don’t need to have a customer list with 20,000 prospects on it.

Nope. You don’t.

That’s not your Nation.

What you need — realistically — depending on the size of your business is somewhere between 100 to 1,000 high-qualified prospects.

1000

That’s it…100 to 1,000 of the very best prospects who precisely match your client avatar — in fact — your knowledge with some of these people is so deep that you can boldly claim them as your Dream 50 prospects.

If you need a refresher on why your Dream 50 matters — please go back to Episode 308 of Onward Nation — and I map it all out — how to figure out who your Dream 50 is — and — how to romance your Dream 50 so they understand how important they are to you. Again, that was in Episode 308.

To take this point deeper — I want to share a very tangible example of a company that grew from zero to become a multi-billion a year company — yes — billion — with a capital B.

My mentor, Darren Hardy, former publisher of SUCCESS Magazine…decided to interview my friend Cody Foster, co-founder of Advisors Excel and to share the interview on the March 2014 edition of the SUCCESS CD that rides along with the magazine.

success

You may remember Cody Foster, and the wisdom he shared, as my guest on Episode 81 of Onward Nation.

During the interview with Darren, Cody shared several personal stories of very humble beginnings — and how those stories — helped shaped the kind of company Advisors Excel has become.

A company packed full — wall to wall — of incredible people — a team whose sole focus is to deliver more and more value every day to the financial advisors around the country they are there to serve. And Advisors Excel team does it masterfully well. They have BUILT their platform — a platform that is indeed built on a solid foundation of value.

But…did they build this platform by trying to serve the 60,000 financial advisors located in the state of Florida alone? No. How about all of the financial advisors up and down the west coast?

Nope.

Did they focus on spending large amounts of advertising dollars trying to reach everyone they could with their message of value, value, value?

Nope. Strike three.

Instead…what they did focus on was carefully, meticulously selecting, 1,000 of the very best financial advisors who they wanted to earn the opportunity to serve. Yes, Onward Nation, Cody shared with Darren that they built a list of 1,000 financial advisors — just 1,000 — and then they went to work to deliver more value than another other insurance marketing organization in the industry to the 1,000 advisors they wanted to work with.

The 1,000 advisors became their Nation…and advisors outside of the Nation didn’t exist. Advisors Excel was solely focused on being the best they could be for this small group of prospects.

The result outcome? Well, in year six of the business…they reached over $4 billion in revenue. $4 billion, Onward Nation.

When they are the right prospects — you don’t need 10,000…you actually only need a small number to make your business amazingly successful and profitable. 1,000 people — who you can love on — who you can support — who you can add value to — who then in turn are excited to do for you some of what you already shared with them.

So now, let’s take this number — 1,000 — deeper — because it is a magical number that we all ought to really focus on in our businesses.

Kevin Kelly was the first person — at least I think he was the first person — who popularized the theory — the notion — the strategy that if a business created a base of customers who were more like fans — 1,000 True Fans in fact — then that business could become sustainable and profitable by simply focusing on the needs of its true fans.

And here is a link to Kevin Kelly’s blog post as well as the long tail curve he created to illustrate the 1,000 true fans strategy.

long-tail-curve

Kelly describes — or defines — “True Fans” as customers who will help you mobilize and move your business onward to that next level. They are true fans of you — true fans of your message — true fans of your business.

Fans who will support you — because — of the sacred bond you have built with them.

A bond that was built upon — and continues to be built upon — the foundation of the value you create, you deliver, and the value you share with them on a consistent basis.

As I mentioned at the onset of this solocast.

Whether you do that every day — every week — no matter what the schedule — no matter what the rhythm — the fact that you are consistent is what is important.

According to Kevin, “A True Fan” is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to visit your location.

They will buy the super deluxe version of your product even though they already own the standard version, too.

They have a Google Alert set for your name.

They have bookmarked your website.

They come to your product announcements — or — ribbon cutting ceremonies for a new office location.

They come to your book signings and ask for you to sign their copy.

They cannot wait for your next webinar — your next podcast episode — your next event — your next release of whatever.

And the best way to increase sales for your company is to connect with your True Fans directly…so you need to have a platform built on value…see? We keep coming back to that foundational truth.

Onward Nation, 1,000 true fans is a very reasonable number. As Kevin explains in his brilliant blog post… “if you added one fan a day, it would take only three years. True Fanship is doable. Pleasing a True Fan is pleasurable, and invigorating.”

The key challenge is that you have to maintain direct contact with your 1,000 True Fans. And you do that through building your platform — delivering value — and making sure you are using the right conduit so it reaches your 1,000 true fans on a consistent basis.

Again…it doesn’t matter if you use a podcast, blog, robust LNKD profile and LNKD publishing, long form posts on Medium, Instagram stories, Facebook Live, and the list goes on.

What’s important to identify is not the platform you are most comfortable — but — the platform your fans use the most — what is the best conduit to them?

For me — it’s this podcast, my LinkedIn account, email campaigns, and webinars.

But there is also another piece to True Fans…and that are the concentric circles of “Lesser Fans.”

These folks will not purchase everything you produce, and may not seek out direct contact, but they will buy much of what you produce.

The processes you develop to feed your True Fans will also nurture Lesser Fans. As you build your nation of True Fans, you will also add many more Lesser Fans.

And as you are building…don’t avoid…don’t miss the opportunity to go deep…to develop intimacy with your audience…with your true fans.

Onward Nation…that is one of the reasons I ask for feedback in every solocast. My team and I legitimately want to get better — but — I also want to hear from you — to get to know you — to learn from you — and to deliver even more value so Onward Nation becomes — and hopefully remains — your most favorite podcast.

Okay…with that said…and before we go…I want to make one final connection between today’s lesson and the favor that I asked you to do for me at the onset of our discussion today.

I know that I have absolutely no permission to make an ask of your time — unless — I have consistently delivered value.

And — even if I have consistently delivered value — I must be considerate in the favors I ask for — no one wants to spend time with the takers — the people who just ask, ask, ask, and never ever give.

So, Onward Nation — I am using today’s solocast as a way to ask for a legitimate favor — and — to give you a recipe for how you can do the same to build you own nation of true fans — and when you do — your nation — just like Onward Nation has become this amazing, awesome, wonderful, beautiful incredible platform of people who are so generous with your feedback and help guide your business in the exact direction it needs to go in order to deliver even more value to what it is they need.

So build your own platform for your business — or if you already have one — think about Kevin Kelly’s lesson — and ask yourself how you can add even more and more value to your the people already in your community — and build your nation of true fans.

Because when you do — your business, your team, your life will move onward to a completely new level.

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.

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible encore interview with Paul Maskill — you will not want to miss Paul’s philosophy when he encourages you to, “Go ahead — make mistakes on purpose,” Onward Nation. The conversation with Paul is packed full of discussions regarding systems — and more specifically — how he used systems to sell his company for 6 times what he bought it for and 4 times the profit. This systems discussion will help you create financial leverage within your business.

Until then, onward with gusto!

Sep 27, 2016

Gina Pellegrini is the owner of Pellegrini Team Consulting -- a Minneapolis-based firm specializing in leadership training, staff development, and practice management. Gina helps business teams streamline their systems, increase productivity, strengthen accountability, and improve communication. With the help of Gina and her team, business owners become better leaders, and employees get more involved in their company’s vision, decision-making, and growth.

Secret – timesaving technique

Gina created an "ideal week" with "buffer days" and "focus days" -- schedule your week out with the right amount of each. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Delegation -- Gina delegates work to her team so that she can focus on what she needs to focus on.

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

Gina's bookkeeper recommended closing the doors -- and Gina tells the whole story here.

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

"Hire the right team members and let them do what they were hired to do."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Be direct -- and understand through someone else's eyes."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have grown my practice quicker if I had put time management systems in sooner.

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

Accountability -- if there's no accountability -- it slides by.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have the right attitude -- you can teach people anything -- if they have the right attitude.

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

  1. Hire someone as soon as possible
  2. Stay engaged with your employees
  3. Have them build their "ideal week"

How best to connect with Gina:

Sep 26, 2016

Dan Lok is the world’s most cherished entrepreneur, business mentor, and internet marketing authority, with an inspirational story that resonates around the globe. “The Dan Lok” brand is a global movement with one mission: To empower 1,000,000 entrepreneurs to become successful in life and in business. With nearly 1,500 members, Dan operates one of the largest entrepreneurial community in Canada – Vancouver Entrepreneurs Group. Dan’s recently launched his YouTube Channel already has nearly 300,000 views, expanding his reach to every corner of the globe.

Secret – timesaving technique

Dan designed his environment to fit his lifestyle -- your environment is more powerful than your willpower. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Attitude or gratitude -- Dan listens to specific audios every morning and focuses on what he's grateful for every morning.

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

"Without the right mindset -- the best skill set in the world won't help you."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You have to learn to be comfortable with success."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

  1. Get a mentor -- join a mastermind group -- seek help from others
  2. Look at yourself in the mirror and reflect

How best to connect with Dan:

Sep 23, 2016

Judy Robinett is a business thought leader who has been profiled in The Street, Vogue, CBS, NBC, Forbes, The Washington Post and Bloomberg Businessweek as a sterling example of the new breed of super-connectors who use their experience and networks to accelerate growth and enhance profitability. She gives speeches worldwide on business strategy and high-end strategic networking to specific outcomes. Judy has served as the CEO of both public and private companies and in management positions at Fortune 500 companies. She has been on the advisory boards of several prominent venture capital firms and is the author of “How to Be a Power Connector: The 5-50-150 Rule”, which ranked #1 of The Top Ten Business Books of 2014 by Inc.com.

Secret – timesaving technique

Judy utilizes the PADD strategy when she's on a phone call -- write down the purpose, action, details, and deadline to keep you focused during important conversations. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Have affirmations to help you when times are tough -- Judy tells herself she is perfect for what she needs to do.

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

Judy was broke and had to pay off debt -- and Judy tells the whole story here.

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

"It's absolutely critical to have metrics to know your numbers inside and out."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"They can break you -- but they can't kill you."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have been smarter on sales and figured out my ideal customer.

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

  1. Get an advisory board
  2. Don't listen to the naysayers

How best to connect with Judy:

Resources:

Sep 22, 2016

Peter Strohkorb is an international speaker, sought after consultant and the CEO at Peter Strohkorb Consulting International. He has 20 years of hands-on Sales & Marketing experience in executive sales and marketing positions for some of the largest corporations on the planet, such as SONY, 3M, and Canon. Peter is the creator of the OneTEAM Method, author of a book of the same name, and a guest lecturer in the Executive MBA program of the Sydney Business School.

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

Peter reads his email first, figures out what he needs to get done, and blocks out his calendar based on what he has to do. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"If you don't believe in yourself -- why should others."

How do you define success?

Success is being able to do what you want to do when you want to do it -- and not having to ask for permission.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Peter forces himself to go out of his comfort zone -- and Peter tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" is someone who can interact with a customer to a degree where they feel they are equals.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Just listen -- and try to come up with an external solution

How can we build an audience?

  1. Decide what platforms you want to be on
  2. Be visible when customers come looking
  3. Niche yourself down

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Allow other people to step in and make decisions without you
  2. Make your business more nimble

How best to connect with Peter:

Sep 21, 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. And before we dive into the business building lessons within today’s solocast…I want to take a few moments to thank you.

“Thank you” to you, Onward Nation. Here’s why…

Recently, we reached two very significant milestones. Neither of which would have been possible without all of the help, support, love, and encouragement we receive from you, Onward Nation — every day.

Your feedback is uplifting…your feedback is inspiring…through all of your Facebook comments, Tweets, comments on LinkedIn, and the emails you are so kind enough to send to us — you let us know we are headed in the right direction — or — if we need to make a course correction or two.

I want you to know how much all of this means to me and my team.

We love it — because — we want to get better — and getting feedback — is our best tool for learning what we need to learn in order to deliver even more value in each episode.

And you are helping us do that — so thank you!

And we have learned along the way…so much so…that the world is taking notice. I am proud to say that Onward Nation is now listened to in 102 countries. 102 countries! My word — there are some days — that I need to pinch myself that this has become our reality — that we have this kind of opportunity — to be able to share, talk with, and learn from you, Onward Nation — 102 countries strong — each day. What an incredible gift.

Every time you write a review…every time you share a Facebook post, Retweet one of our Tweets, or write a comment on LinkedIn…you are helping us share the powerful lessons from our incredible guests.

100-countries

I want you to know how much I appreciate it.

I want you to know sincerely grateful I am for all of your support.

To be able to reach 102 countries is a major accomplishment — and it is because of you — that we have been able to do that.

And the second milestone? Well, we just blew past 50,000 downloads!

Yes, 50,767 downloads and climbing.

Not only have listeners in 102 countries around the world subscribed to Onward Nation — but — we have been able to share the great lessons of our guests with an ever-growing audience within those countries.

So thank you, Onward Nation. And please trust me when I say — we are just getting started. Even though this is Episode 327 of Onward Nation…we are truly…just…getting…started.

Okay, now let’s shift our attention to several key business building lessons that I believe will help you move onward to that next level.

Jodi Flynn, our two time guest on Onward Nation in Episodes 125 and 263…taught me much during our two interviews. In fact, one of the most powerful lessons we covered was during our encore interview was the Imposter Syndrome — and — more importantly — how to defeat it every day.

How the Syndrome holds us back every day — how if you let it — you will lose your destiny — you will begin to play too small — it is easy to let that slippery slope of sliding backwards inch by inch rob you of everything so special God has planned for you.

But you have to reach for it. You have to commit…you have to lead your team…you have to push the boulder up the hill…and then go back down to the bottom of the hill and get another one…maybe even a larger one…and then push that one up the hill.

It’s not all peaches and cream all of the time. Of course not.

But that is what leadership is. Sometimes leadership is getting into the trenches — side by side — with your team — looking them right in the eyes — and showing them — telling them — we got this…and we got this together…and then you push the boulder up the hill.

And then Jodi invited me to be her guest — on her podcast called — Women Taking the Lead. Brilliant show. And one of the lessons I shared with her audience might even surprise you, Onward Nation.

I believe you are already a leader and mentor…whether you want to be or not — whether you accept this responsibility or reject it — either way — you are being a positive influence — or a negative influence.

But you are creating influence.

So why not create positive influence, right?

As you might imagine — given the title of Jodi’s show — we dug deep into a variety of leadership questions — some deeply personal stories, Onward Nation, and how some of the women in my life impacted my career — impacted me as a person — and gave me the confidence to tackle any challenge.

I thought the best way for me to share all of these insights would be to air the full interview — Jodi and me — from Women Taking the Lead — aired as part of today’s solocast.

And then I will be back to wrap it up at the end with a powerful lesson you can think about as you move through the rest of today — and your week.

Okay, Onward Nation…here’s my good friend, Jodi Flynn…from Women Taking the Lead.

[You can listen to my interview with Jodi inside today’s episode.]

Before we close out for today — I want to reinforce a point from my interview with Jodi. Is being a leader hard? Of course.

Is being a mentor challenging? Absolutely.

Is the Imposter Syndrome nipping at your heels — and in your head — every single day — trying to rob you of your destiny? Most definitely.

But, as Marianne Williamson so brilliantly…

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

So, Onward Nation…you are capable of so much more — we all are. We are not doing God — our customers — or the world any favors by playing small.

In fact, we are cheating our customers, cheating the world, and being disrespectful to God by not applying all of the abundance of talents and gifts we were so richly blessed with.

And oftentimes — what is the biggest obstacle in our way? Yep. Ourselves.

So, if you want a good laugh today — go to the show notes of this episode and there is a link to a Saturday Night Live skit from many years ago when Bob Newhart was the guest host of the show — it’s hilarious — and the first time I watched it, I laughed so hard, I cried.

It will help you put your Imposter Syndrome into its proper place — and you might laugh hard enough to get those endorphins flowing.

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.

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.

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible encore interview with Peter Strohkorb — you will not want to miss Peter’s philosophy about “If you don’t believe in yourself — why should others?”, Onward Nation. Peter and I dig deep into topics like success, leadership, how to conquer fear and many other powerful lessons. The encore with Peter is off-the-charts amazing, Onward Nation! Don’t miss it.

Until then, onward with gusto!

Sep 20, 2016

Phillip Van Hooser works with organizations that wish to build leadership bench strength, performance, and productivity. From his work as a former human resources manager in corporate America -- to his leadership as a director in the bank boardroom -- to his experience as a speaking / training leadership authority for top U.S. companies -- Phil helps organizations grow by improving communication skills between employees and leaders, managing conflict, confrontation, and change while preparing for leadership transition and development. Phil is the author of five books and more than 100 training videos on leadership. His latest book, “Leaders Ought To Know: 11 Ground Rules for Common Sense Leadership”, is a must-read handbook for leaders who are feeling the pressure to perform.

Secret – timesaving technique

Phil spends his time on creating and communicating -- create a deeper base of knowledge and then communicate that knowledge to others. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Make your routine a habit -- Phil gets up early, gets exercise in, does spiritual study, and then tries to maximize his creative output early.

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

Phil got very sick -- and Phil tells the whole story here.

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

"Mastery, communication, and leadership."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"It's not how much money you make -- it's how much money you keep."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

  1. Learn as much about what you do and why you do it as humanly possible
  2. Commit to a self-determined quest for personal mastery
  3. Don't quit

How best to connect with Phil:

Sep 19, 2016

Melinda Chen is a sales coach helping women entrepreneurs sell to big clients. She is also a sales executive with an impressive sales track record of 8 figures. Her company, Women Making Big Sales, helps women take control of their lives by going for big clients, closing important deals, and dramatically expanding their businesses. Melinda helps women entrepreneurs to connect with — and sell to — big clients in just 5-weeks.

Secret – timesaving technique

Melinda looks through a list of 5-10 clients that she wants to target before each week -- make sure you allocate the time to focus on the right clients. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Network with people in the industries you're in -- Melinda goes to at least three networking events for every industry she works in.

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

Melinda made 100 cold calls a day and she wasn't getting any results -- and Melinda tells the whole story here.

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

"Be able to take on the creative and the analytical."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Do you truly believe in the product?"  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had very, very focused markets.

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

  1. Go to LinkedIn and search for prospects by industry and location
  2. Pick 20-30 people and try to find everything you can to figure out why they would work with you
  3. Start crafting your plan to marketing to them

How best to connect with Melinda:

Sep 16, 2016

Joanna Riley is the CEO and Co-founder of 1-Page. Her company is building the next generation of talent sourcing and engagement solutions for enterprises. 1-Page is also the first Silicon Valley tech company to list on the Australian Stock Exchange. 1-Page specializes in helping companies with more than 1,000 employees and serves several Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies with its SaaS platforms. Joanna founded 1-Page with her father, Patrick, and its company was inspired by his best-selling book, The One-Page Proposal. The book provides job seekers with the knowledge to pitch a one-page job proposal to an employer -- and how to be evaluated on what they can do -- versus being judged on previous accomplishments, experience, age, or gender. Joanna lives in San Francisco and is active in raising awareness of female entrepreneurship and the need for more women in tech.

Secret – timesaving technique

Joanna surrounds herself with the right people -- your employees are your superpowers. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Take care of yourself -- Joanna takes the time to run and it gives her the time to think.

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

Joanna gave someone too much power and they tried to take over her business -- and Joanna tells the whole story here.

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

"You can't do it yourself."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Decide to win before you even start."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Have a very deep time to decide what you're willing to give up to be successful
  2. Be fueled by no's

How best to connect with Joanna:

Sep 15, 2016

Nancy Marshall is known as The PR Maven(R), after having worked in public relations for 30 years. She recently published her first book called PR Works!

Why did you write your book?

Nancy wrote my book to position herself as an expert — and was able to give away her knowledge like Jay Baer said to do in episode 305.

Are you glad you wrote the book?

“It’s the best business card ever!”

What is the most critical skill for getting your book done?

Create an outline and make it as detailed as possible.

What has been your proudest moment as a business owner?

This past year is the 25th year of Nancy’s agency — and Nancy was invited into the state legislative chambers where her agency was recognized. AWESOME!

How did you convince yourself to let someone take over running your agency — and what have the benefits been?

Nancy hired someone 20 years ago part-time to read newspapers from her home. She did everything so well that Nancy begged her to join her full-time and eventually became the president of Nancy’s agency.

What’s one secret you can share to help move businesses onward?

  1. Create your most-wanted media list (20-30)
  2. Start following those media
  3. Try to identify the angles you would use with those journalists
  4. Pick up the phone and call journalists with your pitch
  5. Build a media kit
  6. Do media training in your business
  7. Submit letters to the editor
  8. Do media follow-up

How best to connect with Nancy:

Sep 14, 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. And welcome to Episode 322 — where 5-days a week — I interview one of today’s top business owners so we can learn their “recipe for success” — how they built and scaled their business. In fact…have you downloaded our 12 SUCCESS Strategies eBook? It’s a distillation of the best business building advice we have collected from our incredible guests. You can get yours at OnwardNation.com/12download.

12-success-strategies

So for today’s solocast — we are going to continue the momentum we have built over the last two weeks by sharing lessons I learned during my interview — as a guest — on the Business Rescue Road Map podcast.

brrm

Now, if the name Business Rescue Road Map sounds familiar — you may recall — the host of the brilliant show is Stacy Tuschl — a three-time guest on Onward Nation. Stacy was our guest for Episodes 6, 174, and 287 of Onward Nation.

stacy-tuschl-headshot

And during each of our interviews — Stacy shared deeper and deeper insights. For example, in Episode 6 — she taught us great lessons about how to prepare for growth — and transparently — connected it back to story when one of her companies grew so fast — it outpaced her and her team’s ability to adapt to the rapid changes.

But, they prioritized and successfully rebalanced the ship.

In Episode 174 — I asked Stacy to take us deep into platform building — and she generously did. We dug into what Stacy describes as her “three steps to platform building” and how her business strategy is focused on all three — each and every day.

Intrigued — I had to learn more — especially with how Stacy’s three steps were baked into the strategy behind her amazing podcast. I wanted to find out how podcasting became a key component to her business strategy.

So we had a “Why Podcasting” discussion in Episode 287 — and let me say, Onward Nation — it is rare that a business owner will say — “Oh sure…you want to know the innermost workings of my business — for me to take you deep behind the green curtain so you can learn all my secrets? Absolutely, walk right this way.” But that is what Stacy did in all three episodes — and that is what all of our Onward Nation guests do — each and every day.

Pure awesomeness from our guests.

If you haven’t listened to — studied — and applied all of the pure awesomeness Stacy Tuschl shared with us during Episodes 6, 174, and 287 — I highly encourage you to add all three episodes to your list of vital priorities.

You will be glad you did.

And then shortly after Stacy was my guest on Onward Nation — she invited me to be a guest on her podcast called…Business Rescue Road Map…and wow…that was an outstanding conversation.

Now she was interviewing me — interesting role reversal — and true to form — Stacy is an incredible host.

She has this innate gift of being able to ask the questions she knows her listeners are hoping she will ask. She gracefully guides each guest down the exact right path to make sure her audience learns what needs to be learned during each and every episode.

As I am sure you can tell, Onward Nation — I am a bit of a Stacy Tuschl fan.

So, when she asked me if I would be guest on her show…I responded with the lesson Jay Baer recently shared with us during Episode 305“Hell yes, I’ll do that! WOW!”

And like Jay said…if we are not letting the “It’s a hell yes, or it’s a no” principle guide our decision making, Onward Nation — then you are saying “yes” way too often.

I learned a lot from Stacy when she interviewed me, which is why — in just a moment — we are going to air the full interview as part of today’s solocast.

The discussion with Stacy is that impactful.

One of the lessons I shared with her audience might even surprise you — when you hear me encourage business owners to “embrace the challenge” and why enjoying those moments of struggle are key to your success — and happiness.

Stacy and I also dug into:

  • The story of why my first company failed, how I recovered from losing $100,000 when I was just 28 years old, and how those painful lessons formed the foundation what we have build here at Predictive ROI.
  • Why it is important to be at your best when the fight is the hardest. I am a firm believer, Onward Nation, in never ever giving someone the permission — anyone — to tell me what is so — to tell me what my destiny is. I’ll explain why I am so fixated on this point during the discussion with Stacy — coupled with — how the the transformation of challenges forcing you to become somebody different on your way to accomplishing a goal, that’s what makes this entire process so rewarding — becoming more — becoming the person you always dreamt of becoming, Onward Nation.
  • We also talk about why it is important to think thoughtfully about the things that are important — about the benefits of prayer, meditation, or just general thinking time.

Stacy and I wrap up the interview with some things to consider if you happen to be thinking about or contemplating — quitting — throwing in the towel — and closing your business.

To be clear, there are oftentimes some really good reasons why a business should close its doors — but it has been my experience — that business owners can be tempted to give up way, way, way too early. So Stacy and I share some thoughts and suggestions to consider — things business owners should really look at before closing their doors.

Onward Nation — there’s always a way to build capital.

So, I thought the best way for me to share these insights would be to air the full interview. I think you will get a lot out of the discussion.

And as always…please let me know what you think. Drop me a line. Thumbs up or thumbs down.

One point that I want to make sure I emphasize before we close out for today — during my conversation with Stacy — you heard us offer several recommendations for business owners to consider before closing their doors. And one particular area I have studied even more intensely since being a guest on Stacy’s show is the number of companies — more specifically — the number of business owners who struggle with generating enough leads — high quality leads flowing into their business on a steady basis…like a stream of prospects flowing right into their sales pipeline.

In fact, the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs recently released a study showing that the top goal of 85 percent of today’s companies is lead gen.

85 percent, Onward Nation. Staggering.

Here’s today’s reality — there is a gaping hole inside most businesses — and that hole — is the lack of qualified leads within their pipeline. It has been my experience, Onward Nation, in 20+ years of working with business owners all over the country — most do not have a sales pipeline — and the stress of how they will meet this month’s budget — or next quarter’s — can feel crushing at times.

I am on a mission to help change that, which is why I shared several pipeline filling steps within Episode 298 several weeks ago.

But you know what…when I relistened to the episode — I thought — “Hmmm, I can do better than that — I should have gone here and talked about that — and darn it — I missed this, this, and this. Arrgghhh.”

So, I decided to create a masterclass on the 4-steps to Filling Your Sales Pipeline. You will see the full details and all we will cover — in full transparency — in very specific detail — on-screen demonstrations — it will be a very deep dive — so you can take and apply this lead gen recipe immediately inside your business.

masterclass

I look forward to seeing you — virtually at least — on September 21st.

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.

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 helps get better. And remember…you can always email me at stephen@onwardnation.com and I reply to every single message.

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 Nancy Marshall — my word, Onward Nation — you will not want to miss Nancy’s third visit to the show. We took this opportunity to dig deep into Nancy’s book — to dive into several of the exceptional PR strategies within the pages — as well as — Nancy’s business strategy behind the book and how it has become her best business card ever. So…if you have ever thought of writing a book…listen to Nancy Marshall tomorrow…because she lays out her entire strategy in precise detail. Nancy is off-the-charts amazing, Onward Nation. Don’t miss the show.

Until then, onward with gusto!

Sep 13, 2016

Kute Blackson is the secret weapon of some of the world’s most successful people - top CEOs, supermodels, pro athletes, and the Hollywood elite. His new book, “YOU.ARE.THE.ONE” is a new breed of self-help book for millennials and was released in June. Kute unravels the layers of temptations that stand between you and a more amazing life than you could ever imagine. In YOU.ARE.THE.ONE., Kute guides readers on a spiritual journey spanning London, Bali, India, and Los Angeles that will crack them wide open and leave them reborn as the person they were always meant to be — their authentic selves.

Secret – timesaving technique

Kute stays in touch with his mortality and focuses on what matters -- embrace death and make it your motivator. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Make your health non-negotiable -- Kute wakes up and starts exercising.

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

Kute was stuck and his business wasn't growing -- and Kute tells the whole story here.

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

"Get into your target customer's mind and heart and feel them fully."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Every moment is a moment to serve and love."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Change yourself -- cultivate a commitment to personal growth
  2. Be willing to go where it's scary
  3. Focus on being of service

How best to connect with Kute:

Sep 12, 2016

Adrienne Garland is the founder of She Leads Media, a media company dedicated to leadership - both professionally and personally - for women, worldwide. The mission of She Leads Media is to inspire, educate and ultimately, to showcase women as the leaders we were all meant to be. Adrienne has an extensive marketing background and has helped media companies such as Cablevision, DIRECTV, SiriusXM, PR Newswire and PricewaterhouseCoopers with customer growth and digital transformation over the course of her career. She is a sought-after marketing consultant with expertise in bringing together and activating audiences and brands to achieve tangible results. Adrienne is a New York Business Journal 2016 class of Women of Influence honoree.

Secret – timesaving technique

Adrienne relies on writing things down -- get everything out of your head and get it on paper. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Be fully present with what you're doing -- Adrienne does whatever she does 100%.

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

Adrienne's partner left -- and Adrienne tells the whole story here.

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

"Create businesses that can scale."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Put your business plan on paper
  2. Get help -- get feedback
  3. Think big

How best to connect with Adrienne:

Sep 9, 2016

Rick Enrico is the CEO and Founder of SlideGenius Inc., a presentation design agency with over 1,000 clients around the world. He is also a marketing and technology serial entrepreneur, having founded companies like Twenty6 Red, Juice Media, Carstir, and others.

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

Rick begins his day with a 20-minute zazen meditation -- this meditation helps to be compassionate and patient. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Whether you think you can or think you can't -- you're right." -- Henry Ford

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How do you define success?

Success is creating a culture that puts employees first.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Rick meditates -- and Rick tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" goes above and beyond for clients and each other.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Have weekly one-on-ones with your direct reports

How can we build an audience?

  1. Carve out a niche and excel at producing content in that space

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Let go and let managers run their divisions -- mistakes and all
  2. Take time with people development
  3. Stay curious

How best to connect with Rick:

Sep 8, 2016

Ari Weinzweig is CEO and co-founding partner of Zingerman's Community of Businesses, which includes Zingerman's Delicatessen, Bakehouse, Creamery, Catering, Mail Order, ZingTrain, Coffee Company, Roadhouse, Candy Manufactory and the newest business, Cornman Farms. Zingerman's produces and sells all sorts of full flavored, traditional foods in its home of Ann Arbor, Michigan to the tune of $55,000,000 a year in annual sales.

Ari was recognized as one of the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America by the 2006 James Beard Foundation and has awarded a Bon Appetit Lifetime Achievement Award among many recognitions.

Ari is the author of a number of articles and books, including Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon (Zingerman's Press), Zingerman's Guide to Giving Great Service, Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating (Houghton Mifflin), Zingerman's Guide to Good Leading, Part 1: A Lapsed Anarchists Approach to Building a Great Business, and Zingerman's Guide to Good Leading, Part 2: A Lapsed Anarchists Approach to Being a Better Leader. Zingerman's Guide to Good Leading, Part 3; A Lapsed Anarchist's Approach to Managing Ourselves, was released in December of 2013. Zingerman's Guide to Good Leading, Part 4; A Lapsed Anarchist's Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business is scheduled for release in the first part of 2016.

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

Ari journals every morning on yellow legal pads -- clear your mind and focus on the positives. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Just go ahead anyway."

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

An "A player" is built by having the right ecosystem -- people do their best work when they're part of a great team.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Have positive beliefs about your mentee's ability

How best to connect with Ari:

Sep 8, 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. And welcome to Episode 317 -- where 5-days a week -- I interview one of today’s top business owners so we can learn their “recipe for success” -- how they built and scaled their business.

But on Wednesday’s each week...I record what I like to call a solocast -- where I fly solo for an episode -- just me -- no guest. And this gives us the opportunity to really dig deep into a particular topic or lesson -- and take the time to get super tactical where cover vital priorities like lead gen, sales pipelines, how to defeat the imposter syndrome, and even how to recruit A-players into your company.

Speaking of which -- thank you very much, Onward Nation for all of the feedback regarding Episode 298, my solocast from a couple of weeks ago that I named, “How to Fill Your Sales Pipeline.”

Episode 298 was my longest solocast to date -- but -- I did that because I wanted to tackle a chronic problem most business owners are facing.

And that problem is the lack of qualified leads flowing into their sales pipeline. It has become a gaping hole inside most businesses.

In fact, the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs recently published a study concluding that the top goal of 85 percent of companies today is lead generation. Organizational Goals Yes, 85 percent Onward Nation. Staggering!

So, I was really pleased to read all of the wonderful feedback we received following 298 -- Awesome!

And I have to say...your feedback...inspired my team and me so much that we decided to go even deeper and create a FREE 17-page Quick Start Guide on How to Fill Your Sales Pipeline.

Just go to OnwardNation.com/Pipeline and you can download it for FREE. Quickstartguidecover-01 Katherine and Louie on my team did an outstanding job creating the guide -- thanks guys -- and my hope is that you and your team will find it helpful as you work through the recipe I shared in Episode 298.

And as always -- if you have questions -- let us know -- and remember -- my direct email address is stephen@onwardnation.com. I read and reply to every single email.

Please let me know what you think -- thumbs up or thumbs down.

So for today’s solocast -- I am going to do something a little different by continuing the momentum we started last week.

Instead of me sharing or teaching a step-by-step lesson per se -- I am going to re-introduce you to Kelly Hatfield, our great guest for Episode 274. Shortly after Kelly was my guest -- she invited me to be a guest on her podcast, Absolute Advantage...and that was an outstanding conversation. The leadership lessons Kelly and I exchanged were insightful -- and -- I think I might even surprise you, Onward Nation when you hear me encourage you to “Let your team kick you out of projects” and why this is critical to scaling your business.

Kelly and I also dug into:

  • The lessons of parenting that can be used when running a company
  • How to find “A Players” and recruit them into an internship program
  • The improvements my team and I have had to make to our employee onboarding process due to previous failures in that area
  • Why overnight success is a myth
  • How to retain your best talent
  • Why you need to be completely transparent with your mentors
  • What separates the super-high achievers from the rest

I thought the best way for me to share these insights would be to air the full interview. I think you will get a lot out of the discussion.

And as always...please let me know what you think.

One point that I want to make sure I emphasize before we close out for today -- during my conversation with Kelly -- you heard me talk about how we have built our Predictive ROI team from the “Draft” -- we have built our team through a powerful internship program. And over the last 20+ years...I have had many business owners -- even colleagues -- tell me that an unpaid internship program is not possible -- that it can’t be done -- that it is wrong to do -- or -- if you do attract candidates -- they won’t be the best candidates. I am here to say -- that none of that is accurate.

If you’re interested in having a rock solid awesome internship program at your company -- a program that delivers great value to your business -- AND -- delivers an amazing educational experience for your interns -- then take a listen to Episode 137 of Onward Nation.

I shared the complete recipe we have developed and used to build our internship program.

My hope is that the recipe will save you some time and add some value to your process.

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 helps get better. And remember...you can always email me at stephen@onwardnation.com and I reply to every single message.

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 Ari Weinzweig -- you will not want to miss Ari’s philosophy and strategy behind how to defeat what he calls the self-fulfilling belief cycle. He will take you deep inside his research and application into these principles and how they add value to their 700 employee, $60 million operation in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ari is off-the-charts amazing, Onward Nation! Don’t miss it.

Until then, onward with gusto!

Sep 6, 2016

Anne Deeter Gallaher is Owner and CEO of Deeter Gallaher Group, a marketing, public relations, and digital media firm with offices in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania and Nashville, Tennessee. Anne is the co-author of the book, “Students in High Gear: A Guide for Students and Aspiring Game Changers in Transition from College to Career” and “Women in High Gear: A Guide for Entrepreneurs, On-Rampers, and Aspiring Executives”. Honored as one of Pennsylvania’s “Best 50 Women in Business”, Anne is a frequent speaker and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and is a contributor to several blogs.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Anne figures out her must-do project for the day -- don't do anything else until that is done. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Bring an air of optimism wherever you are -- Anne deliberately is positive around the office.

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

"If you can master the power of language -- you can soar."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Separate business from emotion."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have gone high-gear sooner.

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

  1. Write down your five high-gear goals
  2. Assemble a personal board of advisors
  3. Master the skill of language

How best to connect with Anne:

Sep 2, 2016

Jefferson Lilly is a self-made millionaire mobile home park investment expert, educator, and industry consultant. Prior to co-founding Park Street Partners in 2013, Jefferson spent seven years investing his own capital acquiring and operating his own mobile home parks. Before becoming a full-time investor, Jefferson spent nine years in sales leadership roles with several venture-backed startups in Silicon Valley. Jefferson has been featured in The New York Times, Bloomberg Magazine, and on the “Real Money” television show.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jefferson is trying to hire more employees -- it's important to delegate tasks. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Always be learning -- Jefferson spends weekly time in a mastermind group.

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

Jefferson got a letter in writing from the government saying his first mobile home park's sewage lagoon was built to code -- and it wasn't -- and Jefferson tells the whole story here.

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

"Be persistent in all facets of business."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Buy great businesses at fair prices -- not fair businesses at great prices."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had more financial controls and would have had a bookkeeper.

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

Delegate -- and make sure things are getting done.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have the ability to think for themselves and overcome obstacles.

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

  1. Get yourself mentors
  2. Set yourself plans and write them down

How best to connect with Jefferson:

Sep 1, 2016

Diane Gardner is an expert tax coach, Quilly award recipient, and best-selling author whose proactive tax planning approach gives clients a leg up on Uncle Sam and helps them dodge the tax bullet. Diane saves small business clients between $5,000 and $50,000 in taxes in as little as 60 minutes! Her tax coaching prowess has resulted in a combined savings of nearly $500,000 to-date of hard-earned profits small business owners would have given to the government by overpaying taxes. Diane is the co-author of the bestselling books, “Stand Apart” and “Why Didn’t My CPA Tell Me That?” She has also authored four other books including her newest, “Stop Overpaying Your Taxes! 11 Ways Entrepreneurs Overpay and How to Stop it Now!”

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

Diane starts her day by planning the rest of her day -- don't go into your day without a plan. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone."

How do you define success?

Success is working the hours that I choose to work -- not because I have to work them -- so that I can help people because I want to help them -- not because I have to help them.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Diane thinks you just need to change your mindset -- and Diane tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" is someone show shows up with their mind, body, spirit, and soul.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Never ever give up

How can we build an audience?

  1. Be a giver

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Look at your financials

How best to connect with Diane:

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:

Jul 29, 2016

Marc Mawhinney has a passion for entrepreneurship, having started a number of businesses in his life and growing one to 100 employees. Marc is now on a mission to help coaches build stronger businesses! After becoming a coach, he saw the struggles that coaches face while trying to build a successful business, and decided to do something about it! He launched “Natural Born Coaches”, a daily podcast where he interviews successful coaches to share their advice with listeners, and he has created a number of innovative programs to help coaches get more clients and less stress, including his 6-week “Seize Your Niche” program!

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

Marc begins his day with the "Seinfeld Strategy" -- do what you need to do every single day and don't break the streak. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." - Ayn Rand

How do you define success?

Marc uses Bob Dylan's definition -- success is waking up in the morning, going to bed at night, and getting to do everything you want in between.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Marc tries to stay out of his head and takes action -- and Marc tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" is on the ball -- you can't haul them across the finish line.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we build an audience?

  1. Choose something that you're good at
  2. Don't give away everything

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Hire a coach
  2. Get a mentor
  3. Stick with what you're good at

How best to connect with Marc:

Jul 28, 2016

Shelley Davidescu is a business mentor for health and wellness coaches and the founder of Clean Forks. Professionally trained in mental health, Shelley helps health and wellness coaches master their online business. Shelley teaches how to build trusting relationships with their audiences through powerful message and sharing vulnerable parts of their story to authentically attract more dream clients in a magnetic way. Shelley has been featured in Huffington Post, Mind Body Green, Elite Daily, and Fit Life TV.

Secret – timesaving technique

Shelley loves to batch -- block out specific activities and only do that thing in those specific time. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Take care of yourself first -- Shelley gets up and goes for a walk before starting her work and then dives into mindset work.

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

Shelley was 20 minutes into a huge webinar and the audio was broken the whole time -- and Shelley tells the whole story here.

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

"If you are in business -- you are in the people business."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Exist in your fear and harness it."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have a system for connecting with my audience before launching a product.

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

Systematize how you will connect with people.

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

  1. Focus on people, not products
  2. Share your own story
  3. Stay connected to a tribe that really gets you and supports you

How best to connect with Shelley:

Jul 27, 2016

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

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

Mitch has the systems in place so that he can spend the first hour of his day in bed answering emails -- and then his day begins. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Action overcomes fear."

How do you define success?

Success is a business that relatively recession proof.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Mitch believes that financial freedom isn't tied to wealth -- and Mitch tells the reasons why here.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Don't make excuses -- find the right deal

How can we build an audience?

  1. Talk to someone else who has already built the platform you want

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Never -- ever -- stop your education

How best to connect with Mitch:

Jul 26, 2016

Stacy Tuschl is a speaker, business coach, and the owner of The Academy of Performing Arts in Wisconsin. She is the author of “Is Your Business Worth Saving” where she reveals proven strategies for pulling entrepreneurs out of a rut and launching them toward business success. She is the host of the brilliant podcast Business Rescue Road Map, which became the #1 podcast in iTunes New & Noteworthy just 48-hours after launch!

What is your show structure?

Business Rescue Road Map airs three episodes a week -- interviews with high-achieving entrepreneurs on Monday and Wednesday and a solocast on Friday. Stacy loves the mix, especially since she gets to learn answers to questions like whether or not work-life balance exists.

Collection, Engagement, Conversion -- how do these tie into the success of your podcast?

  1. Collection is the opt-in -- you have to provide something so valuable that people can't believe you're giving it away for free
  2. Engagement -- you have to stand out when everyone is doing the same thing
  3. Conversion -- if your free stuff is great, they'll be ready and waiting to hand you their money

What impact has your podcast had on your business?

  1. The relationships I'm building -- I get free mentorship from people who charge a lot for consulting
  2. The opportunities -- guest appearances on other podcasts, affiliate opportunities, etc.

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

People are listening to your show -- you need to understand that people are there for your opinion and not just your guests -- so have a real conversation.

What was your biggest obstacle -- or challenge?

Launching is a challenge -- so you need to have a great strategy and support team around you.

How many hours a week do you spend on podcasts?

I spend only my Wednesdays on podcasts by batching them. And even though I air two episodes a week -- I record three episodes a week so I can build inventory.

What was your biggest unexpected surprise?

Even though the podcast didn't exist at that point -- I was able to get some amazing people to be my initial guests. Don't sell yourself short because people will look into you.

How best to connect with Stacy:

Jul 25, 2016

Richard Sheridan, author of "Joy, Inc.", has never shied from challenges or opportunities. Rich’s focus has always been on technology, his passion is process, and teamwork with the goal of Joy.

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

Rich's day starts with coffee, has breakfast, and checks his email -- keep yourself connected to the world. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Everyone wants to work on something bigger than themselves."

How do you define success?

Success is service to others.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Rich believes you lose creativity, innovation, imagination, and invention when you motivate with fear -- and Rich tells the reasons why here.

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

Rich doesn't believe in the "A Player" mindset -- he believes in great teammates that put others first.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Define joy -- who's life do you want to make better?

How best to connect with Rich:

Jul 22, 2016

Jim McCabe is Vice President and General Manager for SUCCESS. With 25-years experience in the media industry, Jim has seen the industry change from traditional print to early digital adoption, and finally, print and digital integration, and has successfully led major publications through these challenges. Before joining SUCCESS in 2014, Jim’s leadership as a partner at LongBoard Media, executive vice president of PC Mag, and publisher of Fast Company and Worth magazine earned him a reputation as a champion for leading print publications into the digital age.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jim writes down a list of priorities -- continuously evaluate what needs to be done. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Work on your relationships -- Jim connects with everyone on his team every day.

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

"Focus -- determine with your team what you want to accomplish, where you want to go, and a clear path on getting there."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"It's more important to include people than exclude people."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

What systems should business owners put into place sooner?

I would put in personal development systems -- people value other people that are trying to get better.

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

  1. Be committed to the purpose
  2. Have courage
  3. Be flexible

How best to connect with Jim:

Jul 21, 2016

Rosalie Chamberlain specializes in maximizing talent and productivity within organizations. Her mission is helping organizations become inclusive environments where everyone has the opportunity to succeed and to help individuals become their best authentic self to lead effective careers and lives. She is a nationally recognized consultant, facilitator, coach, and speaker in the areas of diversity and inclusion strategy, multicultural competency, leadership development, and talent management, with expertise in managing and leveraging diverse talent. She is the author of Conscious Leadership in the Workplace: A Guidebook to Making a Difference One Person at a Time; and has been quoted in numerous national and legal publications, as well as The New York Times.

Secret – timesaving technique

Rosalie schedules everything on her calendar -- block out your schedule. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

It is all about self-awareness -- Rosalie pauses, thinks, and is intentional about her actions.

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

Rosalie was kind of lonely after moving to Denver -- and Rosalie tells the whole story here.

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

"Self-awareness -- we cannot get to where we want to go if we don't know where we are."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Purpose is concerned with every task that you do."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had gotten assistance sooner.

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

Be collaborative -- we need the diversity of ideas.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have integrity and authenticity.

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

Look fear in the face, acknowledge it fully, and take it apart. Use this FEAR acronym:

  1. Fight or flight
  2. Exclude
  3. Avoidance
  4. Respond

How best to connect with Rosalie:

Jul 20, 2016

Good Morning Onward Nation…I’m Stephen Woessner. During today’s solocast…I am going to dig really deep — get personal — and share a story that will push my comfort zone quite a bit — but — the lesson in teamwork is powerful and that is why I want to share it with you, Onward Nation.

And so for this solocast — I am following the advice of many of our Onward Nation guests — when you feel that anxiety bubbling up — when you feel anxious about a topic — about a problem — about a situation in your business — you are likely headed in the right direction.

Don’t run from it — instead — run toward it.

Don’t let your fear overpower you — run toward the situation, Onward Nation — and you will likely be running toward your destiny.

You see…your destiny is really big, impressive, and if God were to reveal it to you all at once…it would likely frighten the living daylights out of you…without the context of how you will also grow along the way in order to get there.

So today, I am going to share a story about a situation that caused me to grow — it pushed me like I had never been pushed before — and I grew as a result.

And then nothing I have faced ever since has even come close to being anywhere close to as difficult of a challenge.

Nothing, Onward Nation. Because of this one day…I feel prepared to tackle any challenge — but not going at it alone.

No…this is not lone wolf story — this is not a story about individual heroism — or some sort of self-aggrandizing.

No, this is a story about teamwork and what happens when you and your team decide to follow what my good friend and mentor, Don Yaeger discusses in his newly released book, “Great Teams”…when he illustrates in detail how great teams win in critical situations.

I had the privilege of interviewing Don for a third time recently — and — we aired Episode 282 yesterday so he could take us deep inside his latest book, “Great Teams — the 16 things high performing organizations do differently.”

Book cover

And Don’s principle of how Great Teams win in critical situations was so inspiring to me that I wanted to share how I have seen this personally play out and hopefully this story will have value to you — despite how it is pushing my comfort zone to share this with you.

To take you deep inside this principle of Great Teams — I am going to take you back to the summer of 1990…June 17, 1990, to be exact.

Jul 19, 2016

Don Yaeger has been as our incredible guest in Episodes 2 and 160. He is also one of Stephen Woessner’s (host of Onward Nation) most influential mentors -- and someone who keeps him on the straight and narrow both professionally and in life. Don is the author of over two dozen books, a 9-time New York Times bestselling author (soon to be 10) a highly sought after, nationally acclaimed professional speaker, and one of the world’s leading authorities on what makes the great teams great -- and -- how to put their proven practices into application inside any organization -- to propel a team to new levels of achievement.

Why did you write "Great Teams"?

Don was challenged to study this topic -- and he talks all about going on the road and talking to all the great team leaders in the episode.

What was the process like?

Don talks about defining what a great team is -- and -- choosing who to study.

What are the parallels from Great Sports Teams and Great Business Teams?

It's your team that is going to make or break your business.

What are the four essential pillars teams use to create the right culture?

  1. Target purpose
  2. Effective management
  3. Activating efficiency
  4. Mutual direction

How are Great Teams able to stay relevant?

  1. Talent comes and goes -- Great Teams focus on culture.
  2. The grit -- and the glue

Why is leadership the core of the Great Team?

Leadership has to inspire others -- trust allows you the opportunity to do something special.

How best to connect with Don:

Jul 18, 2016

Geoffrey Colon works at the intersection of marketing, tech, and popular culture. Data punk, DJ, podcaster, and author of the book Disruptive Marketing, Geoffrey is a communications designer at Microsoft, where he leads a team of disruptive marketers to develop creative and analytical strategies for the company’s search advertising business. Previously he was vice president of digital strategy at Ogilvy & Mather, digital communities supervisor at 360i, and social media specialist at Bond Strategy and Influence. He has written for The Futurist, Advertising Age, and Fast Company, and been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Billboard Magazine, Advertising Age, Los Angeles Times, and on NPR.

Secret – timesaving technique

Geoffrey believes in having periods of the day away from technology -- we aren't designed to be around them all the time. ONWARD!

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

"Soft skills -- they come with time and learning."

How best to connect with Geoffrey:

Jul 15, 2016

Lori Jones is the President and CEO of Avocet Communications and brings top retail, consumer product, business-to-business and nonprofit organizations knowledge and experience in all aspects of integrated marketing to clients. Her experience with Fortune 500 brands and entrepreneurial start-ups, enables her to contribute a keen understanding of the intricacies today’s businesses. Lori is also the host of the brilliant podcast, Integrate and Ignite, recently launched on iTunes and soaring up the charts. You may also remember Lori and the wisdom she shared during episode 130 of Onward Nation. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all that Lori shared during our first interview…we highly encourage you to add episode 130 to your list of vital priorities.

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

Lori gets up at about 4 AM, gets some of the things off of her desk that she was not able to complete the previous day, does some heavy thinking for the day, and wakes up her children -- cherish the important moments. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon." - Paul Brandt

How do you define success?

There are personal, business, and mentorship forms of success -- and Lori shares how she defines the three kinds in the episode.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Lori reflects on pros and cons of a situation with pen and paper and then takes 24 hours to think about it -- and Lori tells the reasons why here.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Work on a personal brand to differentiate yourself from the competition
  2. Develop a brand manifesto

How best to connect with Lori:

Jul 14, 2016

Aaron Anastasi is a serial entrepreneur with online businesses such as Superior Songwriting Method, Singing Success, and the internationally recognized, Superior Singing Method, an online singing lesson program that grosses seven-figures annually. Aaron has the #1 singing / life lesson channel on YouTube and has over 11.5 million organic views and over 130 thousand subscribers total on his three channels. Aaron is also a prominent success coach for clients in industry-leading roles, ranging from film directors to marine biologists to TEDx speakers. His new book, The Voice of Your Dreams, was released in April 2016 and reached Amazon's top 100 best sellers within the first week of release.

Secret – timesaving technique

Aaron starts his day with meditation -- go over examples that refute the lies you tell yourself. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Give yourself time to refresh throughout the day -- Aaron goes into his walk-in closet to renew his mindset.

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

Aaron launched a product to zero customers -- and Aaron tells the whole story here.

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

"Commitment and tenacity."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You can be 30 years old with a degree or you can be 30 years old without a degree."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had an assistant sooner.

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

Keep your vision front and center and rehearse it every day.

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

  1. Ask yourself how you can contribute the most
  2. Find and hone your voice
  3. Get a coach

How best to connect with Aaron:

Jul 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. I hope you are having a wonderful week — a week filled with new opportunities in your business, new relationships personally and professionally, and yes, I even hope you have experienced some challenges along your path this week, too.

Why?

Because it is through the challenges that you are given the opportunity — the blessing — to grow, to make changes, and to learn. It is through the challenges — even the fiercest of obstacles that try to impede you on your path — that is when you are truly tested – and success is right at your doorstep.

You will grow the most, Onward Nation, when you are pushed to your limits — when you are…stress-tested. When I think about my darkest times as a business owner — or — when I think back to how when I was in the Air Force and situations sometimes went from bad to worse while I was working on a nuclear missile silo in South Dakota — I never quit — but more importantly — I looked at those challenges as opportunities to learn, grow, and oftentimes improve the system.

But part of being able to push through the challenges and achieve success as has more to do with our mindset than external factors. It is your belief system – what you believe you can do that will largely determine if you succeed or fail.

Your belief system – Onward Nation – is a complex interwoven network of inputs – your experiences – the people you spend the most time with – and so on. But there is one voice you hear and listen to most often – and this voice is the one that has the greatest amount of influence over your belief system.

And that one voice is yours Onward Nation. You speak to you more often throughout the day – consciously or unconsciously – than anyone else.

Your voice is the one that helps create beliefs, destroy previously held beliefs, and sets the trajectory of your life.

So it matters how you talk to yourself every day, Onward Nation.

And let's dive in.

Jul 12, 2016

Ford Saeks is the president & CEO of Prime Concepts Group. Ford’s extensive background in the business world and the Internet provides his clients with a unique advantage. His practical marketing approach and proven strategies have been applied across a wide range of industries and applications. He has successfully founded 10 companies, received three U.S. Patents, sold millions in sales, and is the genius behind many successful ventures. He has helped thousands of people improve results, monetize their websites, leverage social media, and expand market share. He is an entrepreneur in every sense.

Secret – timesaving technique

Ford uses Act to block time -- use a CRM that fits you to save yourself time. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

What you focus on you attract -- Ford starts every day with positive messages.

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

Ford marketed an event for a year and only sold 65 tickets -- and Ford tells the whole story here.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Create a "dream board" of what you want to do, have, and become
  2. Create a success library
  3. Only surround yourself with quality people
  4. Make sure you take time for yourself

How best to connect with Ford:

Jul 11, 2016

Nicole Walters quit her 6-figure, 9 to 5 corporate job LIVE in front of 10,000 people on Periscope...and six months later...she built a million dollar business while teaching others how to monetize their passions. Monetize Thyself™ Nicole is creating a transformative lifestyle brand that offers online training courses, consulting, mentorship, networking, and a full suite of resources to help everyday people -- brands -- and leaders -- realize their full potential.

Secret – timesaving technique

Nicole uses the tool Wunderlist -- use the tools that exist to make your life easier. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Talk to your audience -- Nicole starts her day with social media.

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

Nicole scrapped her product and redid it before launching -- and Nicole tells the whole story here.

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

"Listen to your audience -- and -- be responsive."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You don't need to listen to everything -- listen to what speaks to you."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

I would have had ran surveys right from the beginning.

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

You need to use multivariate beta testing within your team.

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

If you're having trouble selling something:

  1. Fix how you're selling something
  2. Fix what you're selling

How best to connect with Nicole:

Jul 8, 2016

Coach Jim Johnson developed winning high-school basketball teams for 30 years, taking over three losing varsity programs and turning them into winners in short periods of time. Of his 428 career victories, one in particular will surely never be duplicated. On February 15, 2006, Coach Johnson made the kind-hearted gesture of inserting his autistic manager, Jason McElwain, now known to the world as J-Mac, into Greece Athena High School’s final home game, which the Trojans won 79-43. J-Mac scored 20 points in just over four minutes, including six three-point baskets, to become an instant national celebrity. Since that night in February, Coach Johnson has made a number of radio and television appearances, including the Oprah Winfrey and Jim Rome shows to tell this incredible story. Coach Johnson has retired from teaching and is now a professional speaker focusing on teamwork, goal setting leading by example.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jim studies success and leadership -- you have to make life a study. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Have a specific morning routine -- Jim starts his day off with a nutritious breakfast and then takes the time to pray, writes down his 17 goals, reads, exercises, and listens to educational and inspirational audio.

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

Jim had anarchy amongst the parents of his basketball team -- and Jim tells the whole story here.

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

"Know what you're all about -- and master the art of sales."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You have to live your life with integrity."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had systems for leading to new opportunities following speaking engagements.

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

Be clear on your mission and vision -- and then attract those are passionate about your vision.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would believe in the same values that you do.

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

  1. Be clear on what you're all about
  2. Come up with routines and disciplines that you can do on a daily basis
  3. Continue to grow as a person

How best to connect with Jim:

A recent speech from Jim:

 

Jul 7, 2016

Kelly Hatfield is co-founder of Enginuity Advantage based in Everett, Washington. She has been in the recruiting and HR field for 20-years and loves serving others. Kelly and her business partner have built three successful companies with the purpose of helping others succeed and delivering remarkable results. Kelly and her team strategically align themselves as “The Partner of Choice” with clients and strive to be the first place clients call when they are looking for extraordinary service, quality, and reliability. The result outcome has been an outstanding referral network that has built and continues to build their companies. h3>Secret – timesaving technique Kelly plans tomorrow today -- you can't sleepwalk through your day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Appreciate what you have -- Kelly starts her day with gratitude.

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

Kelly's most challenging time was the first two years of her business -- and Kelly tells the whole story here.

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

"Be really, really open-minded."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Anything you set your mind to, you will be successful at."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have implemented our onboarding system sooner.

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

Start with the end in mind -- and start with your vision.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would focus on building relationships -- not the sale.

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

  1. Know your why
  2. Be clear about your vision and direction
  3. Focus on sales and marketing

How best to connect with Kelly:

Jul 6, 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. And thank you for taking the time to be here this morning…and for all the support, the encouragement, and the notes letting us know how we can improve and deliver even more value.

I appreciate the feedback so very much.

Each week — we receive virtual high fives, thumbs up, posts on Facebook, Tweets, LinkedIn messages, and emails letting us know how much Onward Nation means to you as well as the value delivered by the incredible transparent lessons learned shared by our rock star guests.

I want you to know that my team and I are deeply committed to our mission and purpose of sharing practical and tactical insights you need in order to think, act, and achieve like today’s top business owners — so you can move your business onward to that next level.

So thank you, again, Onward Nation — it is an honor to be here with you — just 2 days after July 4th — a day for us to remember how fortunate and blessed we are to live in a free country — where we can chart our own course — where we can be a business owner if we choose to be — and where we can create the life of our dreams…if we just have the grit, the persistence, the tenacity, and the courage to do so.

Thank you also for helping us celebrate our recent 1-year anniversary. Episode 258 on June 15th with Wendy Keller as our great guest marked 12 full months of Onward Nation…and what started as our mission to help business owners here in the United States…quickly spread globally.

In fact, two of our early guests, Afraa Zammam in Episode 9 and Albrecht Behmel in Episode 12— both business owners from Germany — started our international expansion, which has grown steadily to the point that our episodes are listened to in 91 countries around the world. 91!

So thank you, Onward Nation — thank you for everything.

It is hard for me to express just how much these last 12-months have meant to my team and me. To be able to see our hard work provide so much value is rewarding.

And…it is especially rewarding to me because I know the backstory…the story of how Onward Nation almost never happened.

This dream of ours almost never got off the ground.

The concept of Onward Nation could have vanished before it ever started — if — I would have let FEAR cheat us out of our full potential.

So for today’s solocast, I am going to take you deep behind the green curtain of Onward Nation — and — deep behind my personal green curtain by sharing Onward Nation’s startup story — it is a story about fear, about procrastination, perseverance, and then success — but — FEAR could have derailed Onward Nation from launching or from becoming a top-ranked business podcasts that it is today.

Jul 5, 2016

Stephen Christopher is the founder of Seequs Marketing Technologies, a web marketing firm designed to help business owners achieve results they never thought possible. Before starting Seequs, Stephen started and ran several other award-winning businesses. One of which was a mortgage company from 2004 to 2008. With the crash of the mortgage industry in 2008, he learned what it’s like to go from profitable to over $100,000 in debt overnight. From this failure, he learned more about business than any school or program could ever teach. Since then he has become an avid student of personal and business development and his number one focus is helping businesses thrive.

Secret – timesaving technique

Stephen uses a daily tracker that tracks his 3 big daily wins, his daily "aha's," and his daily accomplishments -- the power of forward progress is amazing. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Be very deliberate with where you spend your time -- Stephen monitors his minutes.

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

Stephen's partners weren't working as hard as him -- and Stephen tells the whole story here.

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

"Be persistent -- don't let anything get in your way."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"We have the power to choose to focus on the positive instead of the negative."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

I would have painted a clear vision and had a niche focus for my business.

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

  1. Know your why
  2. Remember that fear is fake

How best to connect with Stephen:

Jul 1, 2016

Greg Kaplan is a college application strategist and author of Earning Admission: Real Strategies for Getting into Highly Selective Colleges. Greg focuses on empowering families to develop their children’s high-value skills, interests, and passions and market the value they would bring to colleges. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and UC Irvine School of Law, where he received almost a full tuition scholarship.

Secret – timesaving technique

Greg writes down today the tasks he needs to accomplish tomorrow -- go to bed with a plan. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Take the time to invest in your health and happiness -- Greg works out early every morning.

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

Greg didn't launch well and considered backing out -- and Greg tells the whole story here.

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

"Be flexible and understand the changing market."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Cash flow is key."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

I would have had reached out for more support.

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

Never lose sight of the forest through the trees -- keep the big picture in mind.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have perspective that I don't have.

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

  1. Be flexible and open-minded about collaboration and outsourcing

How best to connect with Greg:

Jun 30, 2016

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

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

Lee gets up, doesn't look at email, goes for a walk, listens to a podcast, showers, dresses, and is off to work -- master your calendar, don't let your calendar master you. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

Focus is your friend.

How do you define success?

Success is delivering on currency -- and currency isn't just money.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Lee has two provisions in place in her contracts -- and Lee tells the reasons why here. 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Don't try to do it by yourself
  2. Figure out a side gig

How best to connect with Lee:

Jun 29, 2016

Swen Nater didn’t make his high school basketball team and didn’t start one college game. Yet, Onward Nation…he made it to the NBA. But Swen didn’t just make it to professional basketball; he excelled. His INCREDIBLE STORY, from being born in the Netherlands and rising the NBA, is a must hear — and that is why I invited Swen to be here this morning. After his playing career, Swen went on to become an executive at a Fortune 500 company, has authored six books, and is now a highly sought after speaker.

Secret – timesaving technique

Swen uses the same tactics in life that he did when rebounding in the NBA -- it's how you face change that's important. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

You've got to work hard to be the best you can be -- Swen gets up at 4 AM and reads.

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

Swen was horribly abused as a kid -- and Swen tells the whole story here.

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

You haven't taught until they've learned."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Great teachers have high expectations."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Make the effort to become the best you're capable of

How best to connect with Swen:

Jun 28, 2016

Nathan Jamail has either been setting sales records or training others on how to do so for more than two decades. Nathan has produced top performing sales teams in business sales, direct consumer sales, indirect sales, as well as distribution and marketing for several Fortune 100 companies. Today, he is the president of Jamail Development Group where he trains, coaches, and mentors sales professionals and leaders in many industries. His latest book “The Leadership Playbook”, is ideal for all leaders in any capacity- teaching successful coaching principals. He is known as an invincible sales leader, with the ability to take the lowest producing areas of the country and build exemplary business teams. His coaching and programs implement strong positive belief systems and creates winning environments within organizations cultivating the highest levels of success. His coaching and training programs have helped organizations increase their productivity up to and over 300%.

Secret – timesaving technique

Nathan gets up 30 minutes earlier than he likes to -- use this extra time to get your mind right. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Commit to "The Big 3" -- Nathan writes down the big three things he needs to get done tomorrow.

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

Nathan ran out of all of his savings in just 30 days -- and Nathan tells the whole story here.

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

"You've got to be able to coach people."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Practice your skill."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. You've got to be willing to go for broke
  2. There is no work that's out of bounds
  3. There's no such thing as life and work balance -- be present

How best to connect with Nathan:

Jun 27, 2016

Craig Haworth is passionate youth sports coach, a husband, a father of three, and a believer that coaches can change the self-esteem and future of the young people we coach. He believes in his passion so much that he started Winning Youth Coaching in 2014 to share coaching successes and lessons with other parent coaches who share this passion of the impact, responsibility, and fun of positive coaching. He is also the host of a successful podcast where he interviews great coaches from around the country, writes a blog, and shares expert resources. Craig has also co-founded a mastermind of like-minded entrepreneurs in the youth sports space, called the Sportepreneurs.

Secret – timesaving technique

Craig is deliberate about scheduling out when he checks email and social media -- get the "time vampires" off your bus. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Make sure you're learning as much as possible -- Craig listens to audio books and podcasts.

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

Craig launched to crickets -- and Craig tells the whole story here.

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

"Define who your customer is and understand their needs."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Have a clear vision of where you're going."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have reset my mindset -- I would have chosen to be confident.

muhammad ali greatest

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

Sell a product before you build it.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would realize my vision -- and it's up to me to communicate that vision effectively.

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

  1. You have to have the passion
  2. Be ready to not make money for two years

How best to connect with Craig:

Jun 24, 2016

Alan Becker is the CEO and Founder of Retirement Solutions Group, Inc., and founder of RSG Investments, Inc., a leader in the world of financial security for pre-retirees and retirees. With over 18 years of helping his clients learn to plan with purpose, Alan utilizes his proprietary financial tools in addition to the best available industry services.

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

Alan begins his day by thinking in the shower, spending time with his family, and working on his physical and mental health -- make sure the beginning of the day prepares you for the day ahead . ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

If it's not good enough for family, it's not good enough for clients.

How do you define success?

Success is how you impact others people lives.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Alan believes that you have to invest in yourself -- and Alan tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" has to go to work, put in the time, and be willing to do what others won't. 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Lead by example
  2. Be open to others opinions

How can we build an audience?

  1. Figure out what your brand represents and always put that foot forward

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Drop your ego -- there's no I in team
  2. Trust your team
  3. Take a chance

How best to connect with Alan:

Jun 23, 2016

Craig Ballantyne is a productivity and success transformation coach from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. He’s been a contributor to Men's Health Magazine since 2000. On his own journey to success, Craig had to overcome crippling anxiety attacks, and he beat them with his 5 Pillars of Transformation. Today, Craig shows men and women how to use the 5 Pillars to lose 10 to 75 pounds, get a raise, make more money, find the love of their life, and overcome any obstacle in the way of success.

Secret – timesaving technique

Craig utilizes the "brain dump" to get his ideas down on paper -- success today started last night. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Wake up 15 minutes early -- Craig gets up early and uses that time to think about his #1 priority.

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

Craig had crippling anxiety attacks -- and Craig tells the whole story here.

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

"You need the skill of saying no."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You can't out give the universe."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have put in the system of getting up right away in the morning and writing.

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

Come in, be prepared, and focus on your #1 priority.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would leverage great content.

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

  1. Pick your one bullet -- you can't do 19 things at once
  2. Take a 100-year approach for your business -- do what you'll be proud of

How best to connect with Craig:

Jun 22, 2016

Jodi Flynn left a successful career in the financial industry to help business leaders who are experiencing self-doubt and overwhelm in order to overcome stress, get organized, and create the business and the life they’ve dreamt. Jodi is also the host of the brilliant podcast, Women Taking the Lead, where she inspires women to overcome self-doubt and lead with confidence, integrity, and a sense of humor.

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

Jodi begins her day by checking her phone, and after that she puts it away and stretches, meditates, exercises, and gets going -- go forth into the day calm and relaxed. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." -- Helen Keller

How do you define success?

Success means being financially secure and doing meaningful work.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Jodi believes you shouldn't suppress the fear -- and Jodi tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" is someone who is in the right culture -- they're working for a team aligned in their vision.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. It can't be about you -- find out what your protege wants
  2. Listen from a place of curiosity

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Reach out to the people you admire and try to work with them or their coach
  2. Delegate some of the day-to-day

How best to connect with Jodi:

Jun 21, 2016

Nicole is a true leader, risk-taker, and entrepreneur. She grew up in a family-owned business, which taught Nicole what it took to be a leader. She worked her way up to president of ROC Communications, an automotive electronics retailer with $5 million in annual sales. During her tenure, the company grew from a one-location, $1 million a year company with 10 employees to a multi-location, $5 million a year company with 60 employees. Fast forward to today — and after several successful ventures — Nicole is now the owner of Break the Ice Media. A boutique marketing and communications firm with a focus on food, wine, travel, and hospitality. Nicole and her team specialize in collaborations that leverage resources of multiple partners for the creation of successful marketing programs in the travel and hospitality industry. Nicole and her team think of these programs as coop-etition where partners cooperate with their competition to create a program that is larger than one they can execute alone.

Secret – timesaving technique

Nicole lists out the top five things she needs to get done each day -- even if the tasks are small -- you need to list them out to stay focused. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Remember to breathe -- Nicole uses deep breathing techniques to unclutter her mind.

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

Nicole had to step away from the business and hire an employee she couldn't afford when her daughter got sick -- and Nicole tells the whole story here.

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

"You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Change the words you tell yourself."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have understood my finances.

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

Collaboration.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be dedicated to themselves.

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

  1. Be decisive
  2. Be strategic
  3. Trust your instincts

How best to connect with Nicole:

Jun 20, 2016

David Blackston founded the Blackston Financial Group in 1998 and is also a Certified Estate Planner®, Certified Senior Advisor®, Investment Advisor Representative, and a Licensed Insurance Agent. He has over 40 years of experience in the financial industry and is one of the authors of the recently published book, "Have You Ever Been Bitten by an Elephant? The Definitive Guide for Retiring Well." David's unique approach to financial planning includes investment advisory services, tax forecasting, and estate planning — all working together to provide a comprehensive plan for clients. His methods include safe money, risk money, and how these two competing worlds can be brought together to provide a worry-free lifestyle.

Secret – timesaving technique

David has mentors that keep him in check -- if you don't have a mentor, get one. ONWARD!

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

David felt that he wasn't worthy of mentors -- and David tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Be the exception."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Believe in yourself
  2. Get a mentor

How best to connect with David:

Jun 17, 2016

Charles Kirkland is the founder of the Media Buyer Association and has deep expertise in paid online traffic. He was frustrated with his limited ability to help more than a few coaching students at a time and angry that the business owners he could not reach were being lead down a path by hucksters. So he set out to change the situation by created a paid traffic community that would allow him to interact with thousands of business owners, share his expert knowledge, save others from seeing their businesses die slowly from lack of quality traffic.

Secret – timesaving technique

Charles gets plenty of sleep, exercise, and water -- staying up until you fall over while hyped up on caffeine is not the answer. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Don't waste effort planning what you want to wear -- Charles lays out his clothes every evening before bed.

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

Charles had Google close his ad accounts -- and Charles tells the whole story here.

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

"The ability to learn new skills quickly."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You need to do one thing really, really, really good."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

I would have put in systems that could be repeatable by someone else.

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

Always optimize.

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

  1. Believe in yourself
  2. Just keep going

How best to connect with Charles:

Jun 16, 2016

Paul Kirch is the host of BOSS Academy Radio…and BOSS stands for Business Ownership Success Strategies. BOSS is an interactive talk show focused on providing entrepreneurs and business owners real strategies to help them grow their business. Paul is a sales leader and entrepreneur with more than 26 years of practical experience that he leverages for commentary, interview interaction and thought leadership. Paul’s unique perspective stems from a lengthy career in sales, marketing, research, leadership, and business growth — and that’s what it takes to succeed in business today.

Secret – timesaving technique

Paul focuses on his "why" when planning out his day -- build your schedule around your "why." ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Morning rituals are extremely critical -- Paul meditates and stays away from technology for the first 15 minutes every morning.

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

Paul has experienced a number of times where his personal life hindered his ability to do business -- and Paul tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Always be a resource to your clients, prospects, and anyone you run into."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. If you want to do it, start sooner than later
  2. Create your own personal board of directors

How best to connect with Paul:

Jun 15, 2016

Wendy Keller is an award-winning former journalist, a respected literary agent, an author, speaker and acclaimed book marketing consultant. She got her first job as a newspaper reporter as a 16-year-old college freshman. Since then, Wendy worked for PR Newswire; the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain; as managing editor of Dateline magazine.

Favorite quote or lesson?

Stay in the present moment -- and -- look at the situation from the other person's perspective.

How do you define success?

Success is freedom -- Wendy craves the ability to set her own tasks.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Ask questions
  2. Listen for the answers
  3. Trust your instincts

How can we build an audience?

  1. Build a Facebook public figure page
  2. Utilize "giver's gain" -- write an eBook, create an MP3, create an instructional video, etc.

How best to connect with Wendy:

Jun 14, 2016

Suzanne Doyle-Ingram is the best-selling author of seven books, and she has written or co-written a total of 13 books. She coaches and trains business professionals on how to write and publish a book, AND how to use that book as leverage to increase their visibility, open doors for speaking engagements, grow their brand and business, and much more. Suzanne has also helped over a hundred business professionals get published by bringing together the collaborative efforts of experts in various fields that contribute to one book on a specific topic. Suzanne has had tremendous success with this model.

Secret – timesaving technique

Suzanne knows what she's doing by the time she gets to her desk -- always plan tomorrow today. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Live your life with positivity -- Suzanne believes that anything is possible.

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

Suzanne lost about $100,000 overnight -- and Suzanne tells the whole story here.

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

"If you can focus on one thing at a time -- you will achieve success a lot faster."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Sales is all about giving someone an opportunity -- and if they don't want it -- just move on to someone else."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

I would have created detailed, weekly checklists.

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

30-30-30 -- reach out to 30 people every day -- respond to those who want to work with you within 30 minutes -- and look at your notes from the past week for 30 minutes.

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

  1. Focus on one niche
  2. You're going to fail -- pick yourself up
  3. Work long hours

How best to connect with Suzanne:

Jun 13, 2016

Glenn Edley is the founder and CEO of Spike, a digital agency that specializes in email marketing and are experts in monetizing a database. Spike works with businesses that range from retail to real estate, baby clothing to health stores, insurance, recruitment and energy providers. Glenn and his team use the insights gained from email campaigns and business data to help companies send “Email With Purpose.” Glenn has always been passionate about helping business owners send better email because he believes having consistent and clear communication with your clients and customers is the best way to stay top of mind, sell stuff, and keep your customers.

Secret – timesaving technique

Glenn does the things that drive his business forward -- you need to actually know what your vital priorities truly are. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Meditate with purpose -- Glenn uses breathing techniques to meditate.

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

Glenn business halved overnight -- and Glenn tells the whole story here.

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

"Grow future leaders in your business."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Nothing happens without a sale."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

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

I would have started personal development programs for my teams sooner.

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

Clarity and consistency.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would listen to our clients and be great executors.

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

  1. Have a database and focus on growing it
  2. Document your processes
  3. Find a mentor

How best to connect with Glenn:

Jun 10, 2016

Roger Whitney believes that retirement is not about managing money. Instead, retirement is about managing time. He is a certified financial planner and focused on helping people like walking the journey toward and into retirement. Roger is known as the Retirement Answer Man. Too many people sacrifice the life they have to make sure they are OK tomorrow. Roger is on a mission to change that. He wants to help change the concept of retirement and to help clients dream, plan, and live out their lives focused on the things they care about most.

Secret – timesaving technique

Roger practices "box-breathing" and journals every evening before bed -- be as intentional as possible each day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Keep yourself the right frame of mind -- Roger uses a specific affirmation every day.

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

Roger scrapped it all and started over -- and Roger tells the whole story here.

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

"Have lots of little conversations."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Retirement doesn't mean that you disengage from work that is meaningful -- it just means that you do it on your own terms."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success 

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

I would have had project management systems.

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

Give your 80% every day -- don't fall into the trap of burnout.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be great communicators that could anticipate my needs.

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

  1. Go build relationships
  2. Create solutions that make people's lives easier
  3. Do it consistently

How best to connect with Roger:

Jun 9, 2016

Lyle Martin is a successful healthcare entrepreneur and corporate executive with 20+ years developing and leading teams in all operational and business functions. After 17-years in various commercial functions with AstraZeneca and Allergan, Lyle entered into the startup world by leading the go-to-market strategy and launch for two early-stage medical device companies. In July 2015, he founded Springboard Equity, a premier alternative investment marketplace dedicated exclusively to the healthcare industry with the mission of bringing capital to early-stage companies, while giving investors access to top deal-flow.

Secret – timesaving technique

Lyle begins each week by writing down his three goals for each week -- make sure your daily activities fit your goals for the week. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Make communication a key part of your business -- Lyle has a daily routine of meeting with his core team members.

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

Lyle had to put his business on hold for six weeks after launch -- and Lyle tells the whole story here.

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

"You have to have the ability and openness to adapt and maybe even completely pivot and change your business model."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Hire smart people and get out of the way."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have gotten to market as soon as possible.

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

You have to have a customer centric attitude.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be innovative.

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

  1. Focus on the main thing
  2. Hire smartly
  3. Never give up

How best to connect with Lyle:

Jun 8, 2016

Laura Leigh Clarke was formally trained in theoretical physics. Today, she's made it her mission to integrate spirituality, information theory, and quantum physics to help her clients and those around her realize possibilities beyond their comprehension. Her clients have found the ability to increase their income, 10X their lives, build wealth, and overcome their own internal barriers to creating the life they want. Laura is also a mastermind leader, business coach, digital nomad, martial artist, and the author of Wire Yourself for Wealth, Founder of ProsperityQM, and Creator of (VIRTUALLY) EVERYTHING STORY - the first of its kind online conference for screenwriters, novelists, and storytellers.

Secret – timesaving technique

Laura doesn't open her email until well into her afternoon -- you need to avoid what she calls "decision-making fatigue." ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Take the time you need to get into the right place -- Laura regularly takes head space for herself.

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

Laura hired the wrong people -- and Laura tells the whole story here.

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

"Understand at the deepest level the stories that you're telling yourself -- these govern what you allow yourself to achieve."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"What if people want to work with you because of who you are -- not in spite of it?"  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had a really good hiring system.

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

Choose the one thing every day that's going to move the needle.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would understand what their role in the company's narrative is.

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

  1. No one thing is going to make or break your business
  2. Every great story has conflict -- but you get to choose how to deal with it
  3. Focus on writing the story of your life/business -- stop trying to rewrite failure

How best to connect with Laura:

Jun 7, 2016

Kellie Hill is a bestselling author and television personality, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, founder of The Right Plan, and former International Radio Talk Show Host of Eat Well to Live Well with Kellie Hill. Battling back from near death, medical experts worldwide were astonished she was able to achieve miraculous results in a short time frame. Kellie now devotes her life and work to helping others find their optimal health and lose weight using only whole foods - no cans, boxes, or supplements. She has been helping others transform their lives quickly and simply, not just here in the United States, but across the globe.

Secret – timesaving technique

Kellie makes priority lists every day -- focus on your top 3-5 priorities every day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Don't get sidetracked online -- Kellie doesn't have a homepage other than Google.

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

Kellie had a heart attack -- and Kellie tells the whole story here.

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

"Focus and organization."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Don't sweat the small stuff."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have passed off my weaknesses and focused on my strengths.

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

Focus -- and make sure your entire team can focus.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be great at customer service.

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

  1. Surround yourself with the best people
  2. Have great systems in place that don't rely on the business owner

How best to connect with Kellie:

Jun 6, 2016

Dr. Glenn Livingston is a psychologist and marketing consultant who's companies have sold more than $30,000,000 to Fortune 500 companies like AT&T, American Express, Citibank, Colgate-Palmolive, Whirlpool, Ford Motor Company, Lipton, Panasonic, Novartis, Nextel, and more. He's built and sold a 21 person online advertising company, co-founded a coach training and certification organization, and his latest incarnation rests on a lifetime of study into the nature of overeating. Disillusioned by what traditional psychology had to offer overweight and/or food obsessed individuals, Dr. Livingston spent several decades researching the nature of bingeing and overeating via work with his own patients AND a self-funded research program with more than 40,000 participants. Most important, however, was his own personal journey out of obesity and food prison to a normal, healthy weight and a much more lighthearted relationship with food.

Secret – timesaving technique

Glenn goes back to sleep if he wakes up tired -- do what you need to do to take care of your body, mind, and soul. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Get things done -- Glenn works really to make sure there's not a ton that has to get done every day so that he can work on what he wants to work on.

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

Glenn learned that the bottom is a lot further down than you think it is -- and Glenn tells the whole story here.

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

"Reality, testing, and research."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"If your marketing isn't working -- break it in pieces."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have started hiring and delegating sooner.

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

  1. Figure out the most important keyword in your business
  2. Fail fast -- fail often -- fail cheap

How best to connect with Glenn:

Jun 3, 2016

Michael Hauge has been one of Hollywood’s top script consultants, story experts, and speakers for more than 30 years. He coaches screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, professional speakers, internet marketers and corporate leaders, helping transform their stories and their audiences using the principles and methods of Hollywood’s most successful movies. Michael is the author of “Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds” and the new 20th Anniversary Edition of his classic book Writing Screenplays That Sell. He has consulted on films starring – among many others - Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts and Morgan Freeman, and has presented lectures and workshops to more than 70,000 participants worldwide. According to Will Smith, “No one is better than Michael Hauge at finding what is most authentic in every moment of a story.”

What does transformation in storytelling mean?

Transformation comes through the hero's inner journey -- it's what's going on inside the hero -- it's going from living in fear to living courageously.

How does transformation happen to the storyteller?

The transformation happens to the hero when they are vulnerable enough to face their fears -- when you're willing to dig into your own fears when telling a story -- you're going to be forced to change along with the hero.

Why is the question "why?" so important in storytelling?

Fear is rooted in the belief system -- beliefs are always logical but they're never true.

How best to connect with Michael:

Jun 2, 2016

Steve Jermanok left his job as a broker in Manhattan and booked a year-long ticket to the South Pacific in the summer of 1990. Upon his return, he would write his first article, “Dining with Descendants of Cannibals in Fiji”, for The Miami Herald. He is now considered one of the most prolific travel writers in North America, having explored more than 90 countries, and written over 1,500 articles on a range of subjects, from food to art to adventure. He has worked as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor for Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, guest editor for The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, and writes regularly for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine. In May 2012, Steve and his wife Lisa launched ActiveTravels, a new type of travel agency where your travel advisors have more than likely been to that one country that entices you. ActiveTravels has booked over 1,000 trips to all corners of the globe.

Secret – timesaving technique

Steve is a master list-maker -- write down your most important tasks and then accomplish those tasks. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Constantly work on content creation -- Steve blogs about a travel topic every morning and promotes it on his social media.

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

Steve lost at least 15 editors when travel journalism hit a sorry decline -- and Steve tells the whole story here.

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

"Embrace all forms of marketing."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Enjoy the ride."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had an excellent support staff.

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

It's all about the numbers -- have a year-end sales goal.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have excellent communication skills.

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

  1. Have the patience to plan out your business
  2. Persevere through all the naysayers
  3. Once the business is up and running; promote, promote, promote

How best to connect with Steve:

Jun 2, 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. And thank you for joining me for this week’s solocast.

I enjoy every solocast — and I especially enjoyed the solocasts the last several weeks. They have been so special because of the opportunity to open up and share a deeply personal story about one of my most influential mentors, my grandfather…and the impact he had on my life…and how one of those lessons was to never ever quit.

No matter what the odds — no matter the circumstances — no matter who believes in you, or doesn’t — no matter what — you keep pushing forward to pursue your version of total happiness.

My grandfather Peter Maronitis did that…when he came to this country, he couldn’t speak the language, he had no money, no social circle, no rich friends, he couldn’t go on to Kickstarter and raise funds for the restaurant he dreamed that he would open.

Nope.

But what did he do? He got to work…and saved his money…learned English, perfected his talents and skills in the kitchen, and six years after coming to the United States he had saved enough money to launch his dream. Six years, Onward Nation. Six.

A remarkable man — a humble man — who quietly did remarkable things.

How? Because he never ever quit.

And then last week, to be able to continue the momentum by sharing the story of Sylvester Stallone — how he was broker than broke — so broke that he didn’t have anything to eat — he couldn’t heat his New York City apartment so he had to go to the public library to find a warm seat — and so broke that he was forced to sell his dog, his best friend in the whole world, for $25 so he could buy some food.

That’s broke, Onward Nation.

And yet, despite it all — despite being rejected over 1,500 times — and despite being told that he looked funny, talked funny, and that he would never amount to anything — despite all of it…he didn’t quit.

He kept pushing forward — he met the conflict head on — transformed as a result of the conflict — and then became one of Hollywood’s most successful actors.

Because he refused to quit. Love that story.

So for today’s solocast lesson — I am going to continue that momentum — in what — on the surface, may seem like a strange way to do so.

Because today…I am going to share with you what is, in my opinion, one of the biggest, most expensive money draining mistakes that business owners make. And the mistake is made because they quit too soon. They don’t push for answers…they don’t do the depth of research they should…they assume someone on their team took care of it already…or they use the excuse of, “Ugh, Stephen, I don’t need to know how to do that…I have people on my team who can do that.”

In other words…they quit.

So what is the money draining mistake we are going to confront this morning? It’s search engine optimization, Onward Nation.

 
May 31, 2016

Jason Hartman is the host of 20 podcasts with over 3,000 episodes where he shares powerful strategies for business, investing, and living the good life. He is a genuine self-made multimillionaire and serial entrepreneur who has started 21 businesses in the investing, financing, real estate development, and tech spaces. He has owned properties in 11 states, had hundreds of tenants, and been involved in thousands of real estate transactions. Jason has visited 79 countries, enjoys adventure, fitness, and lifelong learning.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jason sorts his priorities into three groups -- understand your A, B, & C priorities. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

"Keep the main thing the main thing" -- Jason applies this key Stephen Covey principle.

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

"You need management skills and business scaling skills."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had web-based systems to help run the business.

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

  1. Have faith in yourself and your idea
  2. Be willing to accept feedback from the marketplace

How best to connect with Jason:

May 30, 2016

Eliot Wagonheim is a lawyer, writer, educator, speaker, and strategist. As a highly acclaimed business lawyer, Eliot not only represented entrepreneurs, innovators, and creatives but also came to the realization that his outlook and approach propelled him beyond the traditional lawyer's role. Through his “OutLawyer Philosophy” and his “Fire, Aim…Ready” platform, Eliot teaches clients and business owners how to achieve their goals, manage risks, and overcome real-life obstacles.

Secret – timesaving technique

Eliot does whatever it takes to create an easy customer experience -- always make it easy for people to do what you want them to do. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Rub shoulders with people you admire -- Eliot reaches out to people that he thinks are cool, intelligent people.

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

Eliot thought he was going to be disbarred -- and Eliot tells the whole story here.

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

"You have to be coachable."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Make sure you plan for what is ahead -- but also take the time to focus on what is important."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have a much better hiring and onboarding system.

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

Bloodless autopsies -- bring your team together to examine what is and isn't working in your business.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be an expert communicator.

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

  1. Figure out who your best customers are and what they look like
  2. Figure out what kind of work gives you the highest quality of life
  3. Focus in on where the above two intersect

How best to connect with Eliot:

May 27, 2016

Caitlin Pyle is a business coach and a transformation consultant. Through her blog and online courses, she works with freelancers to build location-independent businesses from anywhere in the world. Caitlin also collaborates with other business owners in related niches to help them grow their online courses using her proven marketing strategies. At 29, Caitlin may be on the younger side, but she's a lean, mean, growth-and-marketing machine.

Secret – timesaving technique

Caitlin uses the project management software Teamwork -- organize and plan out your day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Don't focus on the finish -- focus on the steps -- Caitlin celebrates the small victories every day.

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

Caitlin had people publicly spreading lies about her -- and Caitlin tells the whole story here.

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

"Answer your email -- and do it in a timely manner."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"I learned from past bosses how I didn't want to treat my employees."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

I would have mapped out my projects into bite-size chunks.

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

  1. Get organized
  2. Just get started

How best to connect with Caitlin:

May 26, 2016

Jim Harshaw has learned many life lessons on the wrestling mat. Failure, struggle, and setbacks are not only an inevitable part of life but a necessary step on the path to success. Having been a Division I All-American and won three ACC Championships for the University of Virginia, trained at the Olympic Training Center, and competed overseas for Team USA, he has experienced significant triumph and devastating defeat. He relates those powerful lessons of failure, struggle, and setback to empower his audiences to overcome their own challenges and achieve success despite their inevitable failures. Jim is now a professional speaker, executive coach, and host of the “Wrestling with Success” podcast.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jim uses the productive pause -- take a short period of focused reflection around specific questions that leads to clarity of action and peace of mind. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Stay active -- Jim keeps fitness as a regular part of his life.

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

Jim had to completely reevaluate his life -- and Jim tells the whole story here.

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

"You can be successful at anything you want if you are willing to go through pain and suffering."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You've got to work harder than anyone else -- you can't simply be among the hardest workers in the room."

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. You've got to normalize failure
  2. Start/join a mastermind group

How best to connect with Jim:

May 25, 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. And thank you for making last week our highest download week ever here at Onward Nation. I want you to know how grateful I am that you take the time to download our episodes, to listen, and to share your wonderful feedback. Thank you so very much.

And if you listened to last week’s solocast, you know that it was a deeply personal topic for me because I took you really far behind the green curtain and into my relationship with one of my first — and one of my most influential mentors — my grandfather, Peter Maronitis — and how he taught me to never ever quit.

And there were times when I struggled getting through last week’s message — but — that is just because the life he led and the lessons he taught to me were so uncommon and immensely valuable. But…we made it through, right, Onward Nation?

So for today’s solocast, I am going to — in some ways — pick up where we left off last week — regarding quitting. And how we should never ever quit. I will illustrate that by sharing a lesson I learned from Tony Robbins. It is a story you may know — and some of you may know it very well. Just like last week in the story about Peter Maronitis, this will be a story about grit, about perseverance, about tenacity — and being so committed to what you want to do — what you believe in — your why — that you work desperately to create it.

You must relentlessly pursue your dream — your passion — what will make you totally happy in this world.

So this week…I will share the story of the humble beginning’s of Sylvester Stallone — one of Hollywood’s most successful actors of all time. But Stallone didn’t have success handed to him…he had to earn it…he had to knock down obstacles and barriers to prove he was worthy…he had to starve, he had to endure hardship, he had to freeze in his New York City apartment, he had to go without everything, he had to find solace and heat in the public library.

He had to face brutal and cruel rejection over 1,500 times, Onward Nation. And yet…despite all of that…he did not quit…ever. There’s a lesson in greatness in this story — so let’s jump into the story as it was shared by Tony Robbins.

May 24, 2016

John Dwyer is a marketing enigma, unique in the field. When it comes to creating sales for businesses, his thinking is refreshingly unconventional. John preaches "in a sea of sameness in your industry, you need to stand out like a beacon - and the best way to do this is by using wow factor marketing techniques". He thinks "way outside the square" and brings proven marketing ideas to the table for business owners - not the motherhood marketing waffle we all hear from many self-professed advertising experts. And let's not forget, he’s the guy who got Jerry Seinfeld out of retirement to front an Aussie bank’s advertising campaign!

Secret – timesaving technique

John uses Management By Objectives techniques -- set and evaluate deadlines every day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Surround yourself with positivity -- John surrounds himself with people who say "why not?" -- not "why?"

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

John lost $2.5 million in a week in 1995 -- and John tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Just keep on getting up."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

I would identify your most profitable customer, create a WOW factor to take customers eyes off the price, have a problem-solution scenario, fix your website, and simulate repetitive trade.

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

  1. Go to my website (linked below)
  2. Put in place the five-step process outlined in the previous question

How best to connect with John:

May 23, 2016

Dennis Brown is a LinkedIn marketing and social selling expert, consultant, and speaker who has built three multi-million dollar businesses during his 20+ year career as an entrepreneur. His companies have been ranked by Inc. Magazine six times as one of the fastest growing companies in America. He is also the author of the "The 7 Habits of Highly Successful LinkedIn Users" and lives in Clarence, New York with his wife and two children.

Secret – timesaving technique

Dennis creates an Outlook event that reminds him of his goals every morning -- set big, hairy goals and make sure that you see look at and think about them every single day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Spend time on personal development -- Dennis is a student at heart and loves to learn new things.

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

Dennis' business was put on its knees after 9/11 -- and Dennis tells the whole story here.

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

"Social selling -- using LinkedIn to sell was such a game changer."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Never be the smartest guy in the room."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

Position your business as a thought leader, resource, or expert by providing valuable content to your market for free.

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

  1. Find a mentor or coach
  2. Get outside your comfort zone
  3. Focus on delegation

How best to connect with Dennis:

May 20, 2016

Mikki Williams is a CSP, certified speaking professional, a member of the prestigious Hall of Fame and a TEDx speaker. She was chosen as one of the best speakers in the country by Meetings and Convention Magazine along with Tony Robbins, Bill Gates, Lou Holtz, Zig Ziglar and Jay Leno. Mikki is an award winning Vistage speaker, the world's leading executive organization and also Chairs two of their peer advisory boards. If that's not enough, this busy entrepreneur runs Speakers Schools, The Mikki Mouth Club, Keynote Kamp, Outrageous Orators and is an in-demand speech coach. She has spoken in every US state, every Canadian province and every continent except Antarctica,where she can't wear her stilettos.

Secret – timesaving technique

Mikki still uses a paper calendar -- do what you need to do to keep yourself organized. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Don't do things you don't want to do -- Mikki works hard to structure her life so that she a great work-life balance.

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

Mikki doesn't look at experiences negatively -- and Mikki tells the whole story here.

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

"Understand that no matter what you're doing -- there's a business that underlies it."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You don't have time for a pity party."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would invest in yourself -- even when you can't afford it.

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

Align yourself with people that can offset your strengths and weaknesses.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have the right behavior -- and I would use a system to figure this out before hiring.

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

  1. Set very clear goals
  2. Be flexible

How best to connect with Mikki:

May 19, 2016

Doug Parker has led Repair My Credit Now Services, Inc. from its inception as a small sole proprietorship to its 2008, 2009, and 2010 selection by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America. Ranked No. 408 in ’08 on the Inc. 5000 list, Repair My Credit Now has risen to become a major employer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and is recognized nationally as a leader in the financial services industry. Doug is also the host of the brilliant radio show and podcast, Ambitious Radio.

Secret – timesaving technique

Doug uses Outlook to organize his schedule -- review your calendar every day to keep your vital priorities on track. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Getting rest is a huge deal -- Doug gets at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

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

Doug's business was investigated by the Federal Trade Commission -- and Doug tells the whole story here.

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

"Be resilient -- make decisions -- and correct course."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"If you just help enough people get what they want in life -- you will get what you want in life."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have hired lawyers a lot sooner.

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

Have a clearly defined vision and stick to it.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be great at customer service.

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

  1. Begin with the end in mind in terms of an exit
  2. Do things you like to do

How best to connect with Doug:

May 18, 2016

Good Morning Onward Nation…I’m Stephen Woessner. Thank you for taking the time to be here with me for today’s solocast — cannot wait to jump into the lesson today — when I wrote out my thoughts to share with you this morning — my pen couldn’t move fast enough on the paper and I started getting cramps in my hand.

Perhaps that is a sign that today’s message is something deeply personal to me — and — really gets me totally fired up.

We’re going to talk today about quitting!

Quitting in life, quitting in business, quitting on family — quitting in all its shapes and sizes. It breaks my heart when I see it happen. People who possess an abundance of God-given talent but don’t apply it.

It’s tragic.

But first…before we dig in…I want to thank you to all of our new listeners to Onward Nation. I appreciate you being here.

Our daily downloads continue to rise — the encouragement we receive through social media — and all of the wonderful emails — are just off-the-charts, Onward Nation. So thank you very much for your kind words.

We are going to be here for a very very very long time — and I greatly appreciate you walking alongside us on this journey.

So, if by chance this happens to be your first episode of Onward Nation — or perhaps your first solocast from me…let me take a brief moment to share some context and then I’ll jump into today’s lesson.

Once a week, I fly solo for an episode without a guest. I call it a solocast. And I started doing that because I had a conversation with one of my mentors and he said to me…

“Stephen, Onward Nation is great and it is wonderful how you always put the spotlight on the business owners — the incredible guests on your show – but I want to know more about what you think — what your path has been — tell me more about what you think about the same questions you ask your guests.”

And I thought — wow — that is a really good question — but it really pushed my comfort zone. Although as I thought about his question — I realized this would be an opportunity to add and share value with you, Onward Nation, in a completely different way.

So I accepted his challenge – and I have to say — I really LOVE preparing for and delivering my weekly solocasts. It gives me an opportunity to really dig deep into a topic or business issue – strategies and ideas – recipes I have learned that you can then take and apply to your business right away to make it more systematic, predictable, repeatable, and measurable.

That gets me so fired up.

And again…if you’re listening to Onward Nation now for the first time…I’ll briefly introduce myself to provide some context to the voice behind the microphone.

Hi…I’m Stephen Woessner and I’m the host of Onward Nation – but – when I am not interviewing today’s top business owners, I am the CEO of Predictive ROI…a digital marketing agency based in Wisconsin. Now, I don’t particularly like the label of digital marketing agency because Predictive ROI does so much more than digital marketing.

What makes us truly unique…is our ability to predict a client’s increase in sales as a direct result of our work…their actual financial return on investment in the form of dollars and cents…and then we take it further than any other company in our industry by guaranteeing our performance…or our work is free.

And because of that – we find ourselves deep inside a client’s systems, inventory, sales team, and all sorts of business development processes.

I love the problem-solving work we do – it oftentimes reminds me of my days of troubleshooting when I was a missile technician working inside nuclear missiles silos on the prairies of South Dakota while I was in the Air Force many years ago. I have been in digital marketing since the advent of the commercial Internet.

I am the bestselling author of two books in the area, I spent nearly 6 years at the University of Wisconsin – at the La Crosse campus, and I taught throughout the state include the UW-Madison School of Business, and my business building insights have been featured in Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, Forbes, SUCCESS, The Washington Post and some other media.

And I am currently working on my third book. My agent is negotiating with publishers right now and I think we are pretty close to being able to share some awesome news! I will keep you posted for sure, Onward Nation.

Okay, let’s jump into today’s lesson.

Today I'm going to introduce you to one of the most influential mentors in my life…he is someone you have likely never read about, never heard of, never quoted…in fact…one the surface…most people might think he led a rather ordinary life because his name was never up in lights.

And I'm going to talk to you about something I learned from him that I will never, ever forget.

May 17, 2016

Dr. Sharon Livingston is a natural born interviewer and trainer. She learned early on to engage with others by asking them questions and helping them to reveal their stories. She uses this ability to train coaches to best identify their strengths and specialties so they can inspire others. She has personally interviewed over 60,000 people and trained hundreds of coaches.

Secret – timesaving technique

Sharon exercises first thing every morning while listening to audios -- start off every morning by working off excess anxiety. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Allow yourself to be excited about the day -- Sharon wakes up every morning excited about what the day is going to bring.

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

Sharon's business was severely impacted by 9/11 -- and Sharon tells the whole story here.

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

"Put your own ego aside and really listen to what people need."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Take full responsibility."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would go back to not knowing anything.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would listen to what I was trying to accomplish and do what they can to help me accomplish that.

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

  1. Hire a business coach
  2. Get an accountability partner
  3. Join a mastermind group
  4. Have a specialty

How best to connect with Sharon:

May 16, 2016

Corinna Essa is known internationally as the go-to person when it comes to social media marketing. She was raised in Greece and at the age of 17, left to London to study television production only to have her dreams shattered as she discovered the very unstable nature of the industry and the myth of careers. Corinna then decided enough was enough and began her journey online. Quickly discovering a few powerful strategies that would allow her to leverage the power of social media and the Internet, Corinna started using Twitter to market products. Within 3 weeks, she had replaced her full-time income working only 2 hours a day. Corinna now owns a social media marketing company helping businesses around the world leverage the power of social media without doing any of the legwork. She shares her groundbreaking strategies to people around the world get consistent returns from their social media marketing efforts.

Secret – timesaving technique

Corinna exercises right away in the morning and meditates in the afternoon -- care for yourself first. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Learn something new every single day -- Corinna makes personal development a daily priority.

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

Corinna's business was thriving but her life was suffering -- and Corinna tells the whole story here.

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

"Sales skills -- period."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Money is always outside your comfort zone."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have hired my first team member faster.

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

Build a mailing list -- a mailing list gives you a license to print money.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have a great work ethic.

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

  1. Assemble your audience
  2. Never assume you know what your audience wants

How best to connect with Corinna:

 
May 13, 2016

Perry Marshall is one of the world’s most expensive and sought-after business consultants. Clients seek his ability to integrate engineering, sales, mathematics, biology, art, and psychology. He has launched two online revolutions. He pioneered many best practices in paid search and wrote the world’s bestselling book on web advertising, Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. More recently, he’s turned 80/20 into a verb. 80/20 is not just a fact about your business, it’s action you take on your business. 80/20 is the central lever for every great strategy. His book “80/20 Sales & Marketing” is mandatory in many growing companies. He is referenced in dozens of influential business books by authors like Jay Conrad Levinson, Mark Joyner, Joel Comm, and Mari Smith. He’s shared the stage with Barbara Corcoran, Brian Tracy, and Les Brown, having consulted in over 300 industries.

Secret – timesaving technique

Perry understands that the world is exponential and focuses on the right things — there are $10/hour jobs, $100/hour jobs, and $1000/hour jobs. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Exercise your creative and spiritual muscles — Perry prays and journals for an hour before he does anything else.

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

Perry had a bunch of customers vanish overnight — and Perry tells the whole story here.

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

“Wisdom and discernment.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Inside every 80/20 is another 80/20.”

May 12, 2016

Joe Woodard is an author, consultant, Intuit contractor, and national speaker. He has trained over 75,000 accounting professionals in practice development, changing technology trends, and how to maximize the use of QuickBooks. Joe regularly publishes articles for Intuit publications and for Insightful Accountant. Joe is consistently featured in Accounting Today and AccountingWEB. Joe heads up the Woodard Companies, which include: Woodard Events, Woodard Consulting, Woodard Network, and Insightful Accountant. In 2012, 2014 and 2015, Joe was recognized by Accounting Today as one of the Top 100 Influencers within the accounting profession.

Secret – timesaving technique

Joe believes in the four D's from David Allen's "Getting Things Done" -- Do It, Delegate It, Delete It, Defer It. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Begin with the end in mind -- Joe starts each day with knowing the end result he wants to accomplish and building a plan to accomplish it.

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

Joe thought he had to give up what he loved doing for his family -- and Joe tells the whole story here.

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

"Better understand metrics."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Delegate authority -- not just tasks."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have prioritized anything that creates collaboration between team members.

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

Make sure your end is tied to some greater end.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would lean appropriately on their fellow team members.

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

  1. Find a mentor
  2. Stay harmonized with your personal life
  3. The dread of a thing is always worse than the thing itself

How best to connect with Joe:

May 11, 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…I’m Stephen Woessner. It is always an honor and privilege to be back here with you, Onward Nation. Thank you for being so awesome and for being here this morning for today’s solocast.

For our time together this morning — we are going to revisit a critical lesson. A lesson that I re-learned through several recent conversations with a couple of business owners and a third person who was considering becoming an entrepreneur — but then quit — he gave up on his dream before he had even truly started.

The lesson is all about learning how to conquer — how to crush — how to rip out of your consciousness — what’s called the Imposter Syndrome.

Onward Nation, the syndrome is unrelenting — it does not tire — it knows all of your weaknesses — and — how best to mask your strengths.

And if you let it…the Imposter Syndrome will cheat you out of your destiny. It will cheat you out of your abundance of God-given talent. And it will cheat you out of being the owner of the thriving, wonderful, game-changing business you have always wanted to lead.

So buckle in Onward Nation…we’re going for a dive…a deep dive into the Imposter Syndrome. On this journey, I will share some definitions, some context for when the Imposter Syndrome was discovered, how you can avoid it, as well as several examples of the syndrome hard at work — so that you can spot it when it tries to sneak up on you.

The examples I will share with you are all intended to give you greater context — and — to help you recognize how the seemingly innocent thoughts, or a minor procrastination, can change the course of your destiny without you even realizing it.

Why?

Because these seemingly innocent thoughts are actually your Secret Enemy — the Imposter Syndrome hard at work trying to derail you.

So don’t let it, Onward Nation. Let this discussion be your guide. It is a fact…your thoughts become your actions — and your actions — become your destiny.

Here we go, Onward Nation!

May 10, 2016

Leanne started her marketing agency called Stitchcraft Marketing over 5 years ago — and she did that to meet the every changing needs of the yarn and craft industries. Leanne and her team work with manufacturers within the fiber arts industry across the country to increase website traffic, build their brand and platform, and ultimately…to increase sales.

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

Leanne begins her day by doing a workout and working on her physical therapy due to a recent hip surgery -- you only have one body. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Real life isn't always going to be perfect or go our way, but recurring acknowledgement of what is working in our lives can help us not only to survive but to surmount our difficulties." -- Sarah Ban Breathnach

How do you define success?

Success is more than dollar signs -- it's the connections you have with other people.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Leanne in learning everything you can about fear -- and Leanne tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" is someone who can see what is coming next, they're resilient, has initiative, and is passionate.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Find the teachable moment
  2. Use the "sandwich" technique

How can we build an audience?

  1. Try to build on the one thing you know very well
  2. Be in all the places where your niche knowledge is valued

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Carve out the time for you to grow as a business owner
  2. Surround yourself with those who know more than you in the areas you feel deficient

How best to connect with Leanne:

May 9, 2016

Adam Hergenrother, a born and raised Vermonter, is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Hergenrother Enterprises, which includes Keller Williams Realty Vermont, Hergenrother Realty Group, BlackRock Construction, Hergenrother Capital, and Hergenrother Foundation. In less than seven years, Adam has built these rapidly growing companies through his commitment to thinking big and never giving up. Fearless and purposeful; unconventional and systematic, Adam sets a seemingly impossible goal then quickly gets to work on closing the gap to achieve it – – no limits, no regrets. Through Adam’s bold vision, Hergenrother Enterprises is developing leaders and building businesses worldwide.

Secret – timesaving technique

Adam has a very specific and very detailed morning routine -- how you start your day is so important for where you end up. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

The standards in your life affect your ability to grow -- Adam sets standards in every area of his life.

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

Adam hired a pathological liar that cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and Adam tells the whole story here.

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

"You've got to be willing to fail as fast as possible."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Understand that fear is going to be with you every step of the way."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have a system for scaling the recruiting and hiring people.

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

Personal development -- for you and your entire team.

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

  1. Resist the urge to pay yourself more
  2. Leverage early and often
  3. Think globally and exponentially

How best to connect with Adam:

May 6, 2016

Aaron Walker is without question a veteran entrepreneur. Starting his first business at 18 and selling to a Fortune 500 company nine short years later demonstrates Aaron’s passion for succeeding. Unwilling to rest on past success, Aaron started, bought and sold eight successful companies over the past 36 years. Having a strong desire for personal development has kept Aaron in a weekly mastermind group for more than a decade with Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller, Ken Abraham, and seven other notable Nashvillians. Aaron has enjoyed a 35-year marriage with his beautiful wife, Robin. Today Aaron spends the majority of his time HELPING MEN GROW IN SUCCESS AND SIGNIFICANCE as the president and founder of VIEW FROM THE TOP, A PREMIER life and business coaching RESOURCE.

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

Aaron begins his day by sitting quietly while drinking water or coffee and then spends an hour to and hour and half praying and reading scripture -- keep a regular routine. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

Can't couldn't do it and could did it all. Fear missing an opportunity more than you fear failure.

How do you define success?

Success is relationships -- at the end of the day, it's all that matters.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Aaron believes you need to just stop listening to the naysayers -- and Aaron tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" has the mindset of being an "A Player."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Be a constant student -- constantly work on your personal development

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Allow your senior leadership to evaluate you
  2. Don't stay in ivory tower -- go out where the work is being performed
  3. Require personal development

How best to connect with Aaron:

May 5, 2016

Mike Glauser has extensive experience as an entrepreneur, business consultant, and university professor. He is the co-founder and chairman of My New Enterprise, an online training and development company for aspiring entrepreneurs. He is also the founder and former CEO of Golden Swirl Management Company and of Northern Lights. Mike has consulted with numerous startup companies and large corporations in the areas of business strategy, organizational effectiveness, and leadership development. His clients have included Associated Food Stores, The Boeing Company, Department of Workforce Services and others. Mike is currently the Executive Director of the Clark Center for Entrepreneurship at Utah State University. He has published numerous articles in magazines and two books on entrepreneurship: Glorious Accidents and The Business of Heart. His new book, Main Street Entrepreneur, chronicles a 4,000-mile cross-country bicycle journey he took to interview 100 successful entrepreneurs across America. The book is available now wherever books are sold.

Secret – timesaving technique

Mike creates a plan for what he wants to achieve in the next year or two -- plan your days so that you make steps for achieving these goals. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Taking breaks is critical -- Mike takes a break every morning to exercise.

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

Mike's company was seeing a major decline in sales in its established locations -- and Mike tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Business is all about relationships."

How best to connect with Mike:

May 4, 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 and thank you so much for joining me today. For today’s solocast…I am going to share another lesson learned during my recent life-changing weekend visit to New York — but this time — we will shift our focus from leadership lessons learned at West Point — and now turn our attention toward how and why you should create “Distinction” within your business.

We will also delve deep into the importance of creating distinction within the hearts and minds of your customers through incredible experiences that not only meet expectations — but exceeds expectations in phenomenal ways.

To help make this lesson as practical and tactical as possible, I am going to share with you a complete illustration from the inside-out of what is, in my opinion, one of today’s most distinctive companies.

And finally, I will share two recipes — or strategies — you can take and apply into your business straightaway that will help you…first…create your distinction…and second…help you communicate and share your distinctive story with your customers and prospects.

May 3, 2016

John Sparks has been recognized as one of the Top 100 SocialMedia Power Influencers of 2015…Ranked #66 on StatSocial.com List.He’s also been recognized as one of the Top 50 Most Valuable SocialMedia Influencers. He is the founder and CEO of the social mediacoaching and consulting company, Online ImageWorks, as well as anadjunct professor teaching courses at The University of NorthTexas. He teaches how to make money and building relationships onFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube. In2015, Sparks released his first book, “365 Ideas To Go From Good ToGreat On TWITTER!” The Kindle version became a #1 bestseller in itscategory the first weekend. Sparks earned the distinction ofbecoming known as the “Go-To Guy For Twitter” because he grew hisaccount from less than 800 followers to almost 200,000 in just twoyears — and — he did not buy any of his followers.

Secret – timesaving technique

John only focuses on one thing at a time -- stop trying tomultitask and put firsts things first. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Be consistent -- John has identified his routine that works andhas stuck with it.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluablelearning experience

John finds his days filled with small setbacks -- and John tellsthe whole story here.

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

"Attitude and persistence are key."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You can get anything in life that you want if you just helpother people get what they want."  

FinalRound – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

  1. Focus onthe people first and the product second
  2. Askquestions, engage, and listen

How best to connect with John:

May 2, 2016

Linda Kaplan Thaler is responsible for some of America’s most famous, relevant, and touching advertising campaigns, including the Aflac duck and the daring “Yes, Yes, Yes” for Clairol Herbal Essences. She has authored and composed jingles that are among the industry’s gold standard, including “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid,” and “Kodak Moments.” Linda served as Chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler, a fully integrated advertising agency that was the U.S. flagship within the Publicis Worldwide Network with a blue-chip client roster. Linda was also CEO and Chief Creative Officer of the Kaplan Thaler Group, founded in 1997 and grew from a fledgling startup to a company with over a billion dollars in billings. Linda has worked on several political campaigns, including the presidential runs for Clinton/Gore in 1992 and Hillary Clinton in 2008. Today, Linda is a world-renowned motivational speaker, author, and president of Kaplan Thaler Productions.

Secret – timesaving technique

Linda starts every day with at least an hour of really intense exercise -- do it at the same time every. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

There is nothing more rewarding than checking something off a list -- Linda writes everything she has to do on a list.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"The people who support you -- those are the people that you have to appreciate the most."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be collaborative -- they never say no.

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

  1. Even if you think it's perfect -- spend 30 more minutes on it
  2. Make small talk and make people feel comfortable

How best to connect with Linda:

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