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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
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

can_t_wall_poster_inverted

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

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