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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
Apr 25, 2016

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

Daily habit that contributes to success

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

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

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

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

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

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

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

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

Become a student of good delegation and leverage.

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

  1. Pursue entrepreneurship through acquisition rather than startup

How best to connect with Shola:

Apr 22, 2016

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

Secret – timesaving technique

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

Daily habit that contributes to success

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

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

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

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Be compassionate -- not judging."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

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

How best to connect with Waldo:

Apr 21, 2016

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

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

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

Favorite quote or lesson?

Move forward in spite of fear. -- Brené Brown

How do you define success?

Success is having fun.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

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

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

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

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Have a mentor yourself

How can we build an audience?

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

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

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

How best to connect with Morag:

 

Apr 20, 2016

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

Good Morning Onward Nation — I’m Stephen Woessner. Just wanted to start off today’s solocast with a big thank you.

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

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

So thank you, Onward Nation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 1:

 

  Episode 1001:  

 

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

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

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

Well done, my friend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If they are on Snapchat — then be there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible encore interview with Morag Barrett, founder and CEO of leading HR consultancy SkyeTeam. You will love her message about the imposter syndrome and how she believes we are all making it up, every day. She’s amazing. You will not want to miss this discussion, Onward Nation!

Until then, onward with gusto!

Apr 19, 2016

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

Secret – timesaving technique

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

Daily habit that contributes to success

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

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

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

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

"Stick-to-it-iveness."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Live your best life daily."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

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

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

Work on increasing your conversion rate.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have open, responsive communication skills.

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

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

How best to connect with Justin:

Apr 18, 2016

Kara Ronin is an Australian entrepreneur, social skills expert, and founder of Executive Impressions. Passionate about teaching people the social skills to thrive in any business or social situation, and in any country, Kara created Executive Impressions, an online education platform that receives thousands of visits every month. Kara has spent over 10-years living an international life in Japan, the United States, and Europe including Tokyo, New York, and Lyon, and speaks Japanese as well as French. At one stage, Kara moved countries or cities every year for 10 years straight. Now she lives in France, just two hours from the French Alps, where she took a leap of faith and created her own business.

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

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

Favorite quote or lesson?

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

How do you define success?

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

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

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

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

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

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Share articles that you enjoy with your community

How can we build an audience?

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

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

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

How best to connect with Kara:

 

Apr 15, 2016

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

Secret – timesaving technique

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

Daily habit that contributes to success

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

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

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

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

"Master the art of getting back up."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Conflict is not something that should be avoided."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

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

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

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

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

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

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

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

How best to connect with Kim:

Apr 14, 2016

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

Secret – timesaving technique

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

Daily habit that contributes to success

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

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

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

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

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

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

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

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

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

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

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

How best to connect with Jordan:

Apr 13, 2016

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

Good Morning Onward Nation — I’m Stephen Woessner. Have you ever noticed how most people only pay attention to the final product of a successful business owner.

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

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

All of the struggles.

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

Even the empty bank accounts.

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

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

The successful owner worked hard every day.

They hustled every day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that took me back a little bit. Quit?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or, how about Picasso?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But he didn’t.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So don’t give up, Onward Nation!

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

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

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

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

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

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible interview with Jordan Goodman, America’s Money Answers Man. You will not want to miss this discussion, Onward Nation!

Until then, onward with gusto!

Apr 12, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite quote or lesson?

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

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

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

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

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

How can we build an audience?

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

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

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

How best to connect with Ty:

Apr 11, 2016

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

Secret – timesaving technique

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

Daily habit that contributes to success

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

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

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

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You have to learn to promote yourself."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

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

How best to connect with Kerry:

 

Apr 8, 2016

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

Secret – timesaving technique

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

Daily habit that contributes to success

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

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

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

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

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

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

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

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

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

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

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

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

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

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

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

How best to connect with Brad:

Apr 7, 2016

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

Secret – timesaving technique

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

Daily habit that contributes to success

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

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

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

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

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

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

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

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had a content strategy.

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

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

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would take ownership in the business.

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

  1. Take steps daily
  2. Lean on other people

How best to connect with Donna:

Apr 6, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In short…the event failed for three simple reasons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question 1: Who are you?

Question 2: Why do I care?

Question 3: What’s in it for me?

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

Let’s take a quick look at the questions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First…I will ask you another question.

What’s the number one reason people buy anything?

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

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

And that word is “HOPE.”

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

That’s it — HOPE.

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

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

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

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

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

The answer is 100%. Yes, 100%.

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

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

You can do this by understanding their challenges.

You can do this by understanding their pain points.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question 3: what are their dreams and aspirations?

Question 4: what are their pain points?

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

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

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

Question 8: what do they want from our business?

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

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

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

Some words of CAUTION!

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

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

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

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

And this is Sally:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible interview with Donna McCurley — and we get practical and tactical about generating qualified sales leads through LinkedIn tools and systems — powerful conversation. You will not want to miss this discussion, Onward Nation!

Until then, onward with gusto!

Apr 5, 2016

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

Secret – timesaving technique

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

Daily habit that contributes to success

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

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

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

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

"Fit your business around your health."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Make sure the information sits well with you."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

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

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

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

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

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

How best to connect with Rochelle:

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

Apr 4, 2016

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

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

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

Favorite quote or lesson?

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

How do you define success?

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

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

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

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

Ask these three questions:

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

How can we build an audience?

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

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

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

How best to connect with Mark:

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

Apr 1, 2016

Secret – timesaving technique

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

Daily habit that contributes to success

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

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

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

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

"Leaders are readers."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

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

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have built my business model around cash flow.

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

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

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

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

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

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

How best to connect with Verne:

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

Mar 31, 2016

Vera Fischer was born in Frankfurt, Germany and immigrated to the United States. She grew up on the edge of poverty in Florida. In 1993, she landed her first position in advertising at GSD&M. After several positions in various agencies in Austin, Texas she moved over to the client side as Director of Marketing for a public software company, Forgent Networks. Three years later, while on maternity leave, she was laid off in a corporate restructuring. Vera immediately started 97 Degrees West — her own agency in Austin — the day she received the news. 12 years have gone by and they have been filled with ups and downs — but through it all — 97 Degrees West has grown to become an international award winning agency.

Secret – timesaving technique

Vera gets up at 5:30 every morning and eases into her morning -- start the day off in a place of calm. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Never forgo your health for your business -- Vera goes to pilates in the middle of the day, three times a week.

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

Vera merged her agency with another business -- and two years later her partner just left -- and Vera tells the whole story here.

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

"The ability to compartmentalize is critical."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"I'm going to do it the way I want to do it."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I knew the systems I would need from working in other agencies -- and one of the most crucial was QuickBooks.

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

You have to follow through and commit.

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

  1. Sleep -- you have to sleep
  2. Exercise
  3. Have faith that whatever journey you're, you will get there

How best to connect with Vera:

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

Mar 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 -- and I hope you are having a rock solid awesome, Wednesday and that you are making consistent and steady progress toward your vital priorities for the week. And how can this be the last week in March already? We will close out the first quarter of 2016 tomorrow and then launch into second quarter strong.

And one of the ways we can be sure to end our quarters strong -- and our years right on track -- is to pay very close attention to our vital priorities, our vital functions and our vital metrics.

All of which are lessons I learned directly from one of my most influential mentors...Darren Hardy, former publisher of SUCCESS Magazine.

“Vitals” are top of the mind awareness for me right now because I just spent 2-½ days in Palm Beach with Darren and 20 other business owners from fast-growth companies where we focused on getting to that next level -- and vital metrics plays a critical role.

An amazing -- yet mentally exhausting experience!

And no joke, Onward Nation, within the first 30-minutes of meeting this elite group, I wrote in the upper left corner of the first page in my notebook, “I am the dumbest person in the room -- this is definitely the right group for me.”

Why? Because you need to be in a group that challenges you. That doesn’t let you get by with the status quo -- or zero growth. We all need to be pushed and put under pressure -- because that is where the growth is. And that is what Darren has always done for me when we spend time together -- he pushes me.

So during this solocast, I am going to share the story about how I first met Darren and then take you through vital priorities, vital functions, and vital metrics and then we will wrap up with a 33 question quiz -- or assessment -- you can use to evaluate the vitals in your business to determine your readiness to move onward to that next level.

Deal?

Okay, let’s dive in.

Darren Hardy, former publisher and founding editor of SUCCESS Magazine has been one of the most influential mentors in my business and life. I met Darren when I was invited to attend one of his original High-Performance Forums at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.

I was one of 23 CEOs of fast-growth companies invited to spend two and a half days with Darren and the other CEOs. We spent the time together working through the latest in sales and marketing strategies with some intense masterminding.

Gulp. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. The imposter syndrome attempted to stop me from completing the application, booking my travel, from getting on the plane, checking into my hotel room, and actually making it to the conference room the next day.

The room Darren booked for our sessions overlooked the majestic Torrey Pines golf course, which has played host to the US Open and other prestigious events. I felt grossly out of my league.

I later learned from Darren that all of the signs of trepidation I was feeling were not reasons to turn and run – but instead – were indicators I was doing the right thing. Success would follow if I had the courage to push through the resistance. Steve Rodgers, the former CEO of Prudential Real Estate, shared this brilliant statement with me during our Onward Nation interview, “Resistance is part of the chemistry of success.” Steve went on to tell me that the amount of resistance one feels regarding a particular course of action, product rollout, new hire, or the internal debate whether their company should launch a new marketing strategy, is a direct reflection of the amount of payoff at the end of the tunnel.

Being there to meet Darren and the other CEOs was exactly the right place for me to be. In fact, Darren even boldly said to us within the first several minutes, that there was no more valuable place on the planet any of us could be then with that group for the next several days as it relates to growing our businesses. Spot on.

I began to get my sea legs under me after the first morning and lunch. My confidence began to build when I learned that others in the room were struggling with the same constraints and challenges facing my business.

Wait...What? These business rock stars were people, too? By dinner that evening – I was feeling like I deserved to be there.

By the time the weekend was over, Darren had accepted my invitation to speak at an upcoming live event Predictive ROI was hosting. Darren and I also worked out an agreement for him to join our board of advisors for 12-months where he would personally mentor me on growing our business and new directions we ought to consider. It was the most intense 12-months of my business career. However, it was exactly what I needed to learn despite the process being challenging and sometimes painful. A great mentor pushes even when the last thing you want is to be pushed.

At Darren’s forum is where I met Don Yaeger, 9-time New York Times bestselling author, owner of three companies, outstanding man of faith, devoted husband, and one of the most rock star fathers I have seen in action. Don and I became accountability partners following that weekend and agreed to call each other every Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. to report our Wins, Losses, AH-HAs, and Fixes. We have maintained that weekly accountability for nearly four years and Don has become one of my best friends and trusted advisors. Don is also writing the Foreword to the book I am currently working on. The imposter syndrome tried to cheat me out of this relationship, too.

Darren used a portion of the forum to teach all of us about the importance of our “Success Vitals.” What were they? How to measure them? How to assess our current business health? The lessons I learned were so impactful and have added so much value into Predictive ROI and our ability to generate revenue from Onward Nation that I wanted to devote this solocast to sharing the most relevant insights.

My hope for you is that this solocast will help bring into focus what I often refer to as the Vital Metrics controlling the growth of a business. I learned the Vital Metrics principle directly from Darren. Our “vitals” represent a snapshot and oftentimes a visualization regarding the overall health of your business at any given moment. The metaphor Darren used when teaching this lesson to me was, “Stephen, think about if you went to the emergency room because you had a severe leg injury from a car accident. Would the medical team in the ER start your treatment by taking care of your leg? Or, would they first check your vitals – your pulse, check your breathing, check your eyes for trauma, check your abdomen for internal bleeding, and so on?”

A medical team knows the importance of completing an immediate diagnostic of a patient’s vital signs to ensure some underlying life-threatening trauma has not taken place before they address what seems to be the injury affecting a patient. Otherwise, the team could direct their attention to setting a cast on my leg and then I die because of a punctured lung. My wounded lung likely would have been found by checking my breathing during those critically important first few seconds.

I will review our comprehensive Evaluation of Predictive Success Metrics (EPSM) as a tool for you to complete later in today’s solocast. Your score will give you a snapshot view of the sales and marketing vitals in your business.

Why is your score within the EPSM important? This evaluation will help you diagnose any critical areas that may need attending to before an inflow of new leads and sales opportunities flow into your business. In addition, your result outcomes / score may indicate several corrective actions that need to be addressed so your marketing strategy has the highest probability of success.

The corrective actions are also important because increasing the flow of leads and sales into an inefficient, ineffective, or absent system within your business is a recipe that could spell disaster. More companies go out of business from indigestion from too much opportunity than from starvation from the lack of opportunity. Having the right systems in place at the outset is essential to your long success.

Let’s first begin with several definitions to make sure we get the terminology right.

We will focus on: Vital Priorities, Vital Functions, and Vital Metrics.

I will show you how to identify the five or six most relevant Vital Metrics you need to pay close attention to in order to ensure your overall sales and marketing strategies are turning your business into what I like to call a “Sales Generating Machine”.

The first term we need to define it Vital Priorities. What are they and why they are…vital?

Let’s think of Vital Priorities as your big goals over the next 12-months – and if you didn’t accomplish anything else – the year would have still been a major success because your Vital Priorities were checked off the list. Conversely, the rest of the year would not have mattered if you didn’t accomplish these vital few.

That is the importance of Vital Priorities. What are the Vital Priorities in your business right now?

Then there are the Vital Functions. These are the skills – the processes – the talents you possess that make you the best person inside your company at a certain set of tasks and projects. Vital Functions are the tasks you cannot delegate – you cannot hire out. Not only because you are so good at them – but because you drive the growth of your business by being the one who performs the Functions.

For minister Joel Osteen, his singular Vital Function is delivering the 27-minute sermon on Sunday at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He used to try and manage the lights, the audio, the editing, and the myriad of other details that went along with producing a high-quality broadcast. But then he realized, the growth of their ministry was driven by one single metric. Was he excellent on Sunday? And if yes, they would grow. He delegated the rest of the tasks because they were not his Vital Function. He now invests four days of his week in focusing on his one Vital Function. Can he delegate the sermon to someone one? No, it's a vitally important function – therefore, it remains as Joel’s Vital Function.

Take a moment to consider your Vital Functions. What functions are critically important to the success of your business and cannot be delegated away? Resist the temptation to let yourself say things like bookkeeping, answering the phone, emailing customers, preparing proposals, and a variety of other functions. Are all of those important? Yes. Are they vital? Yes. Can they be delegated? Yes!

Dig deeper.


What are you world-class at – or could become world-class at if you dedicated the right amount of focus – and if you achieved world-class proficiency – would move the business along a completely different trajectory? The answers are your Vital Functions.

Then there are the Vital Metrics. These metrics are how you will quantifiably measure your success toward accomplishing your Vital Priorities.

Before I share the Vital Metrics with you – let me try to preempt a question that tends to hook business owners and prevent them from moving forward. Oftentimes a business owner will say to me, “Stephen, this sounds great but I have people on my team who are in charge of these metrics. Why do I need to care about these? I don’t want to learn this stuff and I certainly don’t want this to become my Vital Function.”

Excellent question and here’s what I want you to consider. You don’t need to be the one who pulls the levers or turns the knobs – these metrics do not need to become your Vital Functions – but if you don’t pay attention to them or care about them, no one else will, at least not as closely as you would.

I asked Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist for Google the same question, and his answer was, “Stephen, it’s because if you care about it — and you understand it — then you will be rich. But if you just dump it on someone else’s lap, then you will be poor. That should be incentive enough.” Well, said Avinash.

In my opinion, there are six Vital Metrics you need to consistently monitor as it relates to the result outcomes of your marketing strategy. And they are:

  1. Change (increase / decrease) in unique website visitors to your website
  2. Change (increase / decrease) in conversion rate of unique website visitors into email optins (list building to be used to increase size of your audience)
  3. Change (increase / decrease) in conversion rate of email optins into leads
  4. Change (increase / decrease) in conversion rate of leads into proposals
  5. Change (increase / decrease) in conversion rate of proposals into sales
  6. Total revenue for your business

Are you currently tracking and monitoring vital metrics similar to these in your business?

If you are, WELL DONE!

You and your business may already be a superstar at growing revenue from your marketing strategy. But if you’re not already paying attention to these vital metrics, the quiz or assessment I am about to share with you will help guide you through making the necessary adjustments so you can put precise checklists and ROI Scorecards into place to ensure a regular rhythm of evaluation.

Are you ready to take your evaluation of your vitals even deeper?

Here’s what I like to call our Evaluation of Predictive Success Metrics (EPSM) as a tool to provide a snapshot view of the sales and marketing “vitals” in any business.

This evaluation will help diagnose any critical areas that may need attending to before an inflow of new leads and sales opportunities flow into your business. Just answer the questions and then tally your score at the end.

I am going to review all 33 questions with you now -- and -- if you visit the show notes for this episode -- you will find them all listed as well.   EPSM page 1 EPSM page 2 EPSM page 3   So tally up your score. How did you do?

If you scored between 33 - 50 points...ugh. But no problem -- this quiz will be a great guide for you.

If you scored between 51 - 75...congratulations...solid foundation...and the sky’s the limit.

If you scored between 76 - 85...You feel that? It’s Momentum -- and it feels awesome!

And if you scored 86 - 99...rock solid awesome...you better send me an email because I want to interview you on Onward Nation! WOW!

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 Heather Ann Havenwood -- and she shares an inspirational story of how she got back to building again after overcoming several very significant challenges in her way. You will not want to miss this discussion, Onward Nation!

Until then, onward with gusto!

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

Mar 29, 2016

Andy Paul is a best-selling author, top-rated blogger and podcaster, speaker and executive coach, Andy helps sales teams get unstuck and on track to accelerate their sales. Andy is the author of “Amp Up Your Sales: Powerful Strategies That Move Customers To Make Fast, Favorable Decisions.” “Amp Up Your Sales” is on Amazon’s list of the 20 Top Rated Sales Books of All Time. Andy is also the author of “Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company’s Sales,” which won Top Sales World's award as one of the Top 3 Sales & Marketing books of 2011. His podcast, “Accelerate! with Andy Paul,” is a top-rated, go-to resource offering the latest insights from the leading authorities to help sellers accelerate the growth of their sales and their businesses.

Secret – timesaving technique

Andy looks at his calendar each night -- make sure you're completely prepared for tomorrow. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Be present in every moment -- Andy believes preparation is so important for doing this.

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

Andy went into business with a customer that expected more from his company than his company was used to -- and Andy tells the whole story here.

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

"Be willing to accept help."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Always have integrity."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have invested in resources to accomplish nonessential functions.

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

Deliver something of value in every sales interaction.

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

  1. Make sure you understand who you're selling to and create a customer profile for them
  2. You need to go out and sell yourself

How best to connect with Andy:

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

Mar 28, 2016

Alex Wehrley is a national TV host, former Miss Wisconsin USA and the creator of Empowerista, a media movement and mentorship program to inspire, celebrate and empower women. She has hosted for the Miss USA telecast, E!, VH1 and ABC red carpets. Alex also acts in national commercials for brands like Fidelity Investments and 5 Hour Energy. She recently made her big screen debut in the movie Rudderless, starring Selena Gomez. Through Empowerista, Alex reaches more than 40,000 ambitious women online with her empowering content. She also mentors women one-on-one, and in group settings, to help them have more confidence, focus and strategy while pursuing their goals.

Secret – timesaving technique

Alex looks at things holistically -- make sure you work on every area that needs working on. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

If you write things down they don't seem as daunting -- Alex loves using lists.

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

Alex couldn't find a job out of college -- and Alex tells the whole story here.

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

"It sounds so simple -- but it's consistency and discipline."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You have to hang in there to see results."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

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

I would have built a list from the very beginning.

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

Add value to your tribe.

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

  1. Map out a plan -- know where you're going
  2. It's the small steps that lead to big changes

How best to connect with Alex:

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

Mar 25, 2016

Amy Anderson is an Emmy Award-winning writer, the former senior editor of SUCCESS magazine, and founder of Anderson Content Consulting. Most recently, Amy is also the founder of Freelance Academy, a resource for freelancers at all stages of their careers. She has a passion for coaching and mentoring people to find the freedom they long for in their businesses and their lives.

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

Amy wakes up 30 minutes before her son, reads/meditates, spends an hour and a half with him, and then a half hour on a number of different activities -- rigidity is not a measure of consistency -- let your day flow as it needs to. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"What you can do -- or dream you can do -- begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

How do you define success?

Success is freedom -- and Amy talks about what freedom means to her.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Amy starts her fear defense plan by writing down all her fears -- and Amy tells the reasons why here.

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

An "A player" is first and foremost a good person. They're kind and hardworking.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Relate -- you need to share your own experience
  2. Listen -- after relating it's time to listen
  3. Assess your ability to help
  4. Gauge that person's commitment to action

How can we build an audience?

  1. Start today
  2. Don't be afraid to re-share content

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Back up and start with yourself

How best to connect with Amy:

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

Mar 24, 2016

Kenny Nguyen is the CEO and Founder of Big Fish Presentations, a company whose mantra is turning presentations into experiences. Kenny and his entrepreneurial/presentations tips been featured on TEDx, Hubspot Inbound Conference, General Assembly, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo, Business Insider, Mashable, Huffington Post, and the Washington Post. He is a co-author of the McGraw-Hill published presentation book, "The Big Fish Experience: Create Memorable Presentations that Reel in Your Audience."

Secret – timesaving technique

Kenny writes down his to-do list every single day -- block out your schedule completely and don't forget reflective time. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Don't say yes to everything -- Kenny says no a lot.

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

Kenny's presentation wasn't working on his Fortune 200 company's computer -- and Kenny tells the whole story here.

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

"Learn how to focus."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Be transparent with your crew."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have had a more formal hiring and onboarding process.

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

Ask yourself "why?" five times.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would speak up -- I hire people to tell me what they think.

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

  1. Get the right mentors in the room
  2. Make sure you have the right five people around you

How best to connect with Kenny:

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

Mar 23, 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 -- Stephen Woessner here.

Before we dive in -- and if you’re listening to Onward Nation for the first time -- I will give a very brief personal intro to provide some context behind the voice.

Hi -- I’m Stephen Woessner. I am 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 -- and I don’t particularly like that label because Predictive does so much more than digital marketing. Yes, we do the traditional things like increasing site traffic, leads, and sales. But what makes us truly unique -- is our ability to predict a client’s increase in sales -- their actual financial return on investment in the form of dollars and cents -- and then guarantee that 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 best selling 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.

Okay, let’s press on to solving big challenges in our business – big obstacles – those things that are really holding you back from jumping off the plateau you may be on right now – and leaping onward to that next level.

That’s what we are going to focus on during this episode.

First, we all know that building and scaling a business is hard work. But when you have the right strategy – that right “recipe for success” to follow – the action steps become more like “ingredients” and can be added systematically into your business – one ingredient at a time.

And every day at Onward Nation, I have the incredible opportunity to interview today’s top business owners and ask them to share their specific recipes for success – and to break those strategies down into tactical step-by-step processes and systems.

I distilled all of those ideas, strategies, steps down into actionable “recipes” you can take and apply into your business right away.

If you are not familiar with my recipe and ingredient thought process -- you may be thinking you just walked into a baking podcast by mistake. Close -- but not quite.

Let me explain the recipe metaphor this way.

Say I make the world’s best chocolate cake. And I grew up working in my mom’s bakery – so my chocolate cake is actually pretty good.

And say you come up to me and say, hey Stephen -- I cannot bake anything, in fact, boiling what is hard for me -- but -- I love your chocolate cake. Could you teach me how to bake your cake so that it turns out just like yours?

How could that even be possible?

I’ve been perfecting my chocolate cake for the last 30 years -- and you have zero baking skills.

How could you possibly think that you could duplicate my results?

To even have a shot at it – is there something I could give you – some edge – some insider’s knowledge?

Of course -- I need to give you my recipe.

The recipe will act as your “strategy” behind the cake. Right?

With the recipe -- you can see the entire process -- the flow -- the visualization of the goal -- how you need to setup the environment, i.e. your kitchen -- all the steps -- all the tools you will need.

But the recipe is just one piece -- what else do you need?

Right! The ingredients.

You need to know the specific amounts and specific qualities of the ingredients, right?

And then there is one more thing -- you have the recipe -- you have the ingredients -- but -- you must also follow the syntax.

And syntax is a fancy word that simply means the order of the process.

So think about a recipe you have followed in the past -- we have all done this -- we mix the eggs together with the flour before we put in the oil and now we have goo. Not awesome.

So the syntax -- or the order in which we execute the strategy really matters.

So I’m going to share some incredible business building recipes with you -- but I’m going to share the ingredients -- and I’m going to give you the syntax or the process for all the steps.

Hopefully that makes sense.

And as Jim Rohn said,

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Now, maybe you are hearing Jim’s pearls of wisdom in this quote for the first time. I was having lunch with some friends the other day and I shared that quote and I could tell they were a bit shocked by it – so I took another minute to explain.

I shared several scenarios to illustrate the powerful lesson Jim taught us in that quote -- and I will share the same with you.

Say you’re walking down a hallway with your one of your top clients -- and your client has a faster pace than you.

What do you do?

Do you walk your normal pace or do you speed up?

Does your client slow down? Likely not.

Our natural instinct is to speed up – to keep pace.

So let’s consider a different scenario.

Let’s say this time you are walking with a group of four other people through the mall and they are all walking slow -- like dreadfully slow -- painfully slow.

What do you do?

You may start to think of some creative ways to speed them up -- but they don’t speed up -- in fact -- they may even slow down further -- but how is this possible?

And if you try to speed up -- you simply get out in front of them and create stress for yourself and for the group.

Here’s the reality: you will not de-stress until you are free from the slow group and find a group that wants to move at your same – faster speed – or potentially even faster than you so you are challenged to grow and speed up to keep up.

Because if you don’t -- eventually you will slow your pace to conform to the group – because you don’t want to be rude -- so you slow down.

This episode will move at a pace and tempo that is uncommon -- we are going to move at the pace of today’s top business owners.

And if you listen to Onward Nation on a consistent basis – today’s top business owners are the people you are spending time with – and that is awesome.

So here is the first lesson I want to share with you -- if you want to move your business onward to that next level -- then you need to spend time with business owners and mentors who are ALREADY at that next level – AND — they move at a pace and tempo faster than you.

And when you join that group – or have that person as your mentor – you will grow.

Hope that makes sense – and I have prepared a very detailed recipe on mentorship for you during today’s discussion.

More on that in a few minutes.

So make it a commitment – to find other business owners who are already at that next level – and spend time with them – learn from them – and you will naturally speed up to keep pace and as a result you will be moving toward the next level yourself.

So here’s what I am going to cover during today’s episode – let’s call it an agenda of sorts – as Kim Garst said to me during our interview – “you gotta have a checklist, Stephen.”

  • First, I will show you how to spot the two biggest obstacles currently preventing you from moving your business onward to the next level
  • Second, I will show you how to attract the right mentors to help you overcome the obstacles and accelerate your results
  • Third, I will show you how to implement and master a specific system that will dramatically expand your network and sphere of influence

So let’s dive in.

What if I told you that the two biggest challenges preventing you from moving your business onward to the next level have nothing to do with the business climate, the economy, the skill level of your employees, the location of your business, your pricing strategy, your current customer base, the size of your marketing budget, the quality of your products, your distribution channels, or the myriad of other reasons we are given today by the media and government as to why businesses fail at such a staggering rate in this country.

What if the obstacles in your way had nothing to do with any of that?

And in instead, what was blocking you -- the obstacles keeping your business in check -- are the same obstacles that have always attempted to keep you in check throughout your entire life.

Your enemy is not the myriad of reasons I just listed off -- instead -- your first challenge -- or better yet -- your first enemy is the Fear of Poverty.

Many of you have read – but possibly not in a while – this incredible book, "Think and Grow Rich" published in 1937 by Napoleon Hill.

If you have listened to Onward Nation episodes – and my guess is you have or you would not be here this evening – our guests often reference "Think & Grow Rich" because it is a compendium of knowledge.

The book was made possible by Andrew Carnegie.

Carnegie at the time was the wealthiest man in the world, met Napoleon Hill, liked him and offered to commission him to open the doors to the greatest industrialists of the time.

That was 1908.

And he said, “I’ll open the doors if you’ll sit down with these top business owners and figure out their secrets to success. What they do, they’re methods, they’re mindsets that have caused their extraordinary success and you put it into a book and publish it and make it available to the world.”

So, Napoleon sat down with Henry Ford, Edison, Schwab, Wrigley, and both Rockefellers. Imagine being able to spend time with those business owners and pull out their best ideas for success and achievement.

If you have read, studied, and applied the book -- you understand the great knowledge in this book and are already ahead of 98% of your competition.

But often times -- this book is an easy to forget treasure because it was written in 1937 – but the strategies in this book are still just as applicable today.

If you have not yet read, studied, and applied the book – then consider this a million dollar resource you have just been given. You can go to OnwardNation.com/book and get the Audible version of "Think and Grow Rich" for free -- that’s OnwardNation.com/book.

The Fear of Poverty is one of the 6 basic fears but it is also the most pervasive, destructive, and confusing to understand. But why?

On the surface, it seems as though this fear would revolve around the fear of becoming poor – and there definitely is that component.

But, the way this particular fear manifests itself is what makes it easy to spot.

We become so fearful of poverty -- that we freeze and are plagued with indecision, indifference, doubt, worry, over-caution, and procrastination.

Just when you ought to take action -- you don’t.

When sales are declining -- you ought to make more sales calls -- but you don’t -- you freeze because the fear of poverty has you paralyzed.

Just when you should be investing in that new expansion – that new marketing strategy – that new development – hiring new employees – you don’t.

You become overly cautious. Or -- you disguise your caution by saying you’re “skeptical”. And by the way — that is code for “I am afraid.”

You become so fearful of hitting the wall – that all you do is focus on the wall.

And then what happens?

Exactly -- you end up hitting the wall.

To be clear -- I am not suggesting that you throw caution to the wind and become financially irresponsible and then lose your business as a result of mismanagement.

That would be silly.

But I am trying to bring into focus that our Fear of Poverty can be one of the major obstacles that hold us back from the abundance at that next level.

And it doesn’t matter who you are – we have all felt it before – especially when trying to pursue something new – that next level.

Remember, if you focus on the wall -- you will hit the wall.

But if you focus on the infield – you may still eventually hit the wall -- but your opportunity likely increases by a factor of 10 IF you steer your business where you want it to go instead of letting yourself and your business become paralyzed by indecision, indifference, doubt, worry, over-caution, and procrastination.

So if the Fear of Poverty is the first challenge – what is the second one keeping you from moving your business forward?

It is the Fear of Criticism and is also one of the 6 basic fears -- and it too is easy to spot.

This fear what prevents you from making that sales call to that prospective client everyone in town wants because you hear that voice inside your head that says,

“Oh come on -- who do you think you’re kidding calling them? You have nothing to offer. They only work with big companies. You’re too small.”

You hear -- “You’re not good enough -- you don’t have the skills, you will never make it -- why bother trying -- there are others who are more gifted, talented, they already have all the connections -- what could you possibly offer that would be unique and different -- just try something that is more at your current level – call on someone smaller – don’t call the president or owner – call someone who reports to them – that would be easier.”

“Why can’t you just be normal?”

The fear of criticism can be overcome with grit -- with tenacity -- with perseverance -- with the shouting into the abyss -- I will not be defeated.

You saying -- "I will WIN THE DAY".

And when you do that – and I believe when you’re moving in the direction of God’s plan for your life – there is nothing that can stop you.

Now that we have identified the 2 biggest obstacles holding you back – which really aren’t obstacles at all are they – they all are in your mind – now let’s work through our first of several recipes during this solocast.

Recipe #1 focuses on mentorship.

If you have listened to our Onward Nation episodes, you already know that I ask every single guest to share the most influential lesson they ever learned from one of their mentors that helped them become the business owner they are today.

And wow -- our guests have shared some outstanding lessons.

So for this solocast, I am going to share a very specific recipe for attracting and finding the right mentor because Onward Nation listeners have asked me exactly that – as well as to help them understand what would be expected of them as a mentee?

But first – let’s make this more specific. Why find a mentor?

And yes, there is a specific recipe you can use to find a mentor and I am going to share that with you.

Before I share the step-by-step ingredients to this powerful recipe -- I will share something I have not shared during Onward Nation episodes -- two of the most influential lessons I ever learned from one of my mentors -- Darren Hardy, former publisher of SUCCESS Magazine.

For 12-months, Darren was a member of our board of advisors at Predictive ROI. So we would get together either in-person or over the phone. And during one of our monthly calls, I explained to Darren some of my reservations about building a big business. I wasn’t sure how big I wanted Predictive ROI to become. And so I was nervous about it.

And I said, “Gosh, Darren – you know – I’ve never thought of myself as being a great manager of people. And quite frankly, honestly Darren, I kind of suck at it.”

And then Darren said to me, “Stephen -- stop SUCKING at it!”

And I said, “What do you mean?”

And he said -- "Don’t give me that lie or tell me that myth that you are telling yourself. Don’t use that as a fricken excuse to stop moving forward. Stop telling yourself that limiting belief and that lie that you’re not a good manager or leader. Be better at it. Don’t give me the excuse."

And so I’m standing there almost like fricken naked – totally stripped down – I was like, holy crap, he totally called me on it.

That’s embarrassing – because he was right!

And that’s what a good mentor does for you – they call you out when you need to be called out – they support you when you need to be supported and they teach you when you need to be taught. But they don’t do the hard work for you – that’s on you.

So here are the specific ingredients for finding the right mentor for you:

  1. Think about your own talents and skills you would like to strengthen — weaknesses you would like to lessen — areas of your business you would like to improve, etc.
  2. Then make a precise list that details everything you just thought about.
  3. This process helps you identify the person you need to become in order to move your business onward to the next level
  4. This is a really hard exercise because you have to force yourself to take a critical look at yourself (and by the way — most people are not willing to get really honest with themselves — and that is one of the major reasons they never grow)
  5. Once you have the list — look for people who are crushing it in these areas — the same areas where you need to grow.
  6. Then contact those people — invite them to lunch — let them know you are packed full of questions for them
  7. Be very prepared — they will love that
  8. Interview them and put what they share with you into practice — turn it into a blog post and your clients will love you for it
  9. Loop back to your mentors and share your success
  10. When you do, they will invite you to sit down so they can share more with you.
  11. Soak it all up — then put it into practice.

Remember -- a good mentee takes action on what is learned — and the responsibility is on you.

Let’s go deeper by taking a look at three of our Onward Nation guests and how they are crushing it with mentorship.

First, Don Yaeger – episode 2 of Onward Nation.

What is the difference between Don Yaeger and another professional speaker you could hire for an event?

Don has mentored with the greatest champions of our time – including Coach John Wooden for over 12 years -- and Don distilled all of this knowledge into what he calls the 16 Characteristics of Greatness. Now, it would be easy to say – “Well sure, Stephen, Don can do that because he has all of the connections.” And true – Don can get anyone in the world of sports to take his call.

In fact, I was staying with Don and his family for a week in Tallahassee and one morning, Don’s cell phone rang and Don said to me “It’s Bob Kraft” -- and I said, “Wait, what? You mean like Bob Kraft who owns the New England Patriots?”

But don’t forget, Onward Nation -- even Don Yaeger had to start somewhere. So will you sit around and be fearful for another year – or – will you start getting mentored and move your business onward?

Next, Stacey Alcorn -- episode 3 of Onward Nation.

What is the difference between Stacey Alcorn and another real estate professional?

Stacey has mentored with some of the best and brightest minds in business and connected those relationships back into building her real estate empire. I will later share with you a billion dollar recipe right out of Stacey’s cookbook -- and I know we have several real estate professionals on the workshop right now -- Stacey’s firm had 324 closings in June. Bam!

And lastly, Nancy Marshall – episode 19 of Onward Nation.

What is the difference between Nancy Marshall and another marketing or PR professional you could hire?

Nancy realizes that she may be located in the state of Maine – but the market for Nancy Marshall Communications is worldwide -- which is why she has invested the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to write a book, develop a trademarked process in her agency called The Marshall Plan, and to invest in building a network through mentoring with the right people – and giving back – and now her network helps her company grow in the good times and become a safety net in the downturns – because the storm clouds will come no matter who you are or what kind of business you run.

Here’s the reality -- you are the average of who you spend the most time with. So you need to spend your time with people you have a common future with – not a common past.

Let me close out this first recipe by saying -- you can want to find a mentor – the recipe that I just shared with you could be worth millions of dollars in new sales to your company – but – it won’t be worth anything unless you DECIDE to take action.

As Tony Robbins says, a real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken action – in fact – that you have taken massive action. And if there’s no action – then that is simply an indicator you haven’t really decided anything.

Now that we have conquered and overcome the two main challenges standing in your way – and now that I have shared with you a very specific recipe with all of the step-by-step ingredients (in the proper syntax) so you can find your right mentor or mentors -- it is now time to really accelerate your results and move your business onward to the next level.

The next recipe I am going to share with you could represent a billion – yes, with a “B” – billion dollar strategy for your business.

I am going to share a recipe for mastering a specific system that will dramatically expand your network and sphere of influence – and – I will also share with you how you can then monetize these valuable relationships into mutually beneficial partnerships and revenue for your business.

And yes, I know it may sound crass or inappropriate when I say monetize relationships – unfortunately, I can’t think of a better word – I think you get what I am driving at.

But before we get to the recipe -- let me put typical “networking” into context.

Most business owners go to an event with a large number of “prospects”.

They pass out business cards.

They chit-chat small talk with the same people they met their last month.

The collect others business cards.

More chit-chat small talk.

They might even schedule some lunch meetings.

Why do we do this? Here’s why.

Because this is safe – it is easy – it does not make us face our fear of poverty or our fear of criticism. What would people think if I did that -- or went here -- or spent time with so and so -- they will all think I am too big for my britches.

I am going to work hard here to shift your paradigm of what is possible.

And that is why I love this quote from Archimedes. “Give me a prop strong enough, and a level long enough, and I can single-handedly move the world”

This next recipe I am about to share with you will become your lever and prop.

And it is big – this is literally a billion dollar recipe – and I am going to introduce you to the top business owner who is using it generate a billion dollars.

She describes herself as a billionaire in the making. And I believe her.

Let me introduce you again to Stacey Alcorn. Her episode is still on our leaderboard of top podcasts.

During our interview, Stacey told me about the afternoon she had spent the week before with Kevin O’Leary, Mr. Wonderful from ABC’s Shark Tank – they spent the afternoon tasting wine and exchanging business mantras and best lessons. Stacey and Kevin had quite the masterminding session.

There is always a strategy behind what Stacey does – and if you go back and re-listen to episode 3, Stacey maps out her entire business building strategy with precision.

But we are going to focus on the billion-dollar recipe that Stacey has developed.

Most people will not swing for the fences – but Stacey does. So here are the specific ingredients in Stacey’s recipe.

  1. Make list of influencers in your industry and / or your Dream 50 clients / prospects
  2. Connect via social media, email, or call
  3. Ask for 30-minutes so you can interview them on their path / keys to success
  4. Do your homework – prep excellent questions
  5. Be excellent during the interview
  6. Share what you and your company does at close of interview
  7. Invite / open the door for future opportunities
  8. Then share guest’s expertise on your blog, media outlets, your podcast, etc. – your platform
  9. Rinse and repeat – rinse and repeat

Key point: if you interview the movers and shakers in your industry – they become your informal mentors -- and you become one of the movers and shakers in the industry as a result.

If you want a BIGGER – more ROBUST – more INFLUENTIAL network – then YOU must become bigger -- your platform must become more robust -- and you must become more influential.

Warning — ROAD BLOCKS!!

Now, some of you listening to this recipe right now may be thinking – “Oh sure, Stephen -- Stacey has an email list of 65,000 people and has interviewed all of these celebrities and big-time business people – I don’t have those connections.”

Or, maybe you’re thinking -- “My business just started -- I don’t have mindshare in the marketplace, I’m not a published author, I don’t have a platform, no one knows who I am, who will listen to me – what do I have or could I share that would be relevant for anyone to listen to, I don’t have a network – I wouldn’t even know how to start.”

All of those excuses – all of those alibis – those are the Fear of Poverty and the Fear of Criticism working against you again.

If you hear those voices in your head – if you are having thoughts that are even remotely similar to what I just mentioned – let that be your litmus test – you now know you are heading in the right direction.

Push forward – don’t stop – don’t let your fear hold you back from breaking through to that next level.

Remember, you are the average of the people you spend the most time with -- and look who Stacey is spending the most time with.

She refers to herself as “A billionaire in the making.” And in order for that vision for her life to become a reality – she knows that she needs to spend as much time as possible with other billionaires.

Well, I will let you in on a secret she told me during our interview – Stacey didn’t have those connections several years ago.

But she DECIDED that was going to change and then she took action to make it happen. I hope that makes sense.

Okay, Onward Nation – I hope this solocast was valuable to you. Please drop me a line and let me know what you thought.

Thumbs up or thumbs down? Please drop me a line and let me know.

Onward with gusto!

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

Mar 22, 2016

Amir Haque is founder and CEO of SUPERMOON, the independent Santa Monica ad agency awarded Ad Age 2014 small agency of the year for its size. A business strategist by trade, Amir has an MBA from Yale and spent time at the Boston Consulting Group in Toronto before starting his agency 14 years ago. His agency was instrumental in the foundational and explosive growth of many LA-based national brands including eHarmony, LegalZoom, and TrueCar. Amir brings an irrational passion for solving business problems that positively impact society and the world.

Secret – timesaving technique

Amir writes down all his creative ideas in Evernote -- make sure you don't forget your ideas. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Success for Amir is feeling a sense of richness -- Amir starts every day by playing with his son -- even if it's just for 10 or 15 minutes.

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

Amir's relationship with his business partner crumbled -- and Amir tells the whole story here.

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

"Be able to adapt while focusing and staying the course."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Be calm and listen to your intuition."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

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

I would have hired slow and fired fast.

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

Have a strategy that allows for experimentation.

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

  1. Do less wheel-making -- put processes in place
  2. Make sure you invest in all the relationships
  3. Be really clear on roles

How best to connect with Amir:

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

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