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

America's best podcast for learning how today's top business owners Think, Act, & Achieve. Onward Nation is a five-day-a-week podcast hosted by Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI. Business owners share the most influential lessons learned throughout their careers, including insights into their daily habits, their most vital priorities that have contributed to their business and personal success, and the most challenging time or situation that could have devastated or even ruined their businesses or careers. Business owners share their "recipes for success" including those systems they wish they had put into practice inside their business when first starting out. Each episode concludes with guests sharing two or three practical and tactical strategies they would recommend to brand new business owners in order to best ensure success in their new business and careers. Onward Nation provides business owners with the strategies and tactical step-by-step "recipe" that will help anyone make their business more systematic, predictable, measurable, and repeatable.
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Now displaying: January, 2017
Jan 31, 2017

Philip McKernan works with entrepreneurs and business leaders all over the world. When people are seeking clarity about their future or want to move through roadblocks, seen and unseen, they call Philip. He helps people get clear on who they are and where they need to go. He helps them transition in their personal and professional lives so people feel aligned in all areas of life. He has worked with the Canadian Olympic Team, The Pentagon and has shared the stage with other speakers like the Dalai Lama and Richard Branson.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Why you can't put people on a pedestal
  • Why Philip doesn't consume a lot of information
  • Why you need to evaluate if what you're doing fits who you are
  • "One Last Talk": why you need to think about what you would talk about if you were given one last talk to give
  • Why you should go on the road for three days with nothing but a journal and no reason
  • Why you should do "isolated dreaming" -- just draw what's possible for your life

How best to connect with Philip:

Jan 30, 2017

Mark LeBlanc has delivered over 1,000 presentations, coached over 1,000 business owners, and is the author of “Growing Your Business and Never Be the Same.” His book was inspired by walking the 500 mile, Camino de Santiago trek across Spain. In fact, he walked it twice! Mark also started a foundation to support young entrepreneurs and they recently awarded their 8th grant of $3,000. The proceeds from Mark’s books are used to fund the grants. Mark has also conducted over 100 weekend business retreats called the “Achievers Circle” -- which has now become the ultimate, anti-boot camp experience.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Mark's background
  • Why extreme focus is everything
  • Mark's AM/PM questions he uses to keep himself on track
  • Why Mark's alarm goes off at 5 AM every day
  • The story of when Mark fell flat on his face when starting a new business
  • How to be a great listener
  • Why you can't ever leave someone waiting
  • Why you need to get good at asking for help
  • Why you must have a mastermind group
  • Why you need to get a handle on your numbers

How best to connect with Mark:

Jan 27, 2017

Ari Meisel’s story starts in 2006, when some unexpected news derailed his booming real estate career: Crohn’s Disease: A highly-debilitating digestive ailment, Crohn's kept Ari from leading a normal life. He lost weight, energy, and the ability to work with regularity—in fact, there were times he could only work for sixty-minutes a day. With a blossoming business to run, Ari knew an hour per day was unacceptable. Against the advice of doctors and loved-ones, Ari embarked upon an extraordinarily painful journey to cure what medical textbooks consider an incurable disease. Through excruciating amounts of trial and error, Ari not only regained control of his life but beat this seemingly unbeatable disease—and is now symptom-free. “Less Doing, More Living”, “Less Doing Virtual Assistants” and “Less Doing BPO” are the result of Ari’s amazing journey back to health, happiness, and well-being.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Ari’s background
  • How to leverage free tools
  • Why you should be setting limits & structure for yourself
  • The benefits of having an optimistic mindset
  • Why it’s important to have a habit of tracking
  • Why Ari doesn’t believe in goal-setting, but rather continual improvement
  • Why you should focus on quality control when scaling
  • Why you need to work to solve a problem that actually exists
  • Creating a business that is sustainable beyond you

How best to connect with Ari:

Jan 26, 2017

Josh Brown is a franchise attorney and has built a thriving national practice helping business owners make smart franchise decisions, identify good franchise systems, work through legal challenges surrounding franchising, and grow through the franchise model. Josh speaks, blogs, writes articles and white papers, and is the proud creator and host of the podcast, “Franchise Euphoria,” a top-rated podcast on iTunes.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Josh’s background
  • The benefits of repurposing content
  • Why you need to be consistent and professional when it comes to producing podcasts
  • The importance of writing down your to-do’s and keeping on top of them
  • Why Josh begins his day with getting clarity on what he needs to accomplish
  • How to handle obstacles and continue to grow
  • Why you need to master what you do and be able to sell it to be successful
  • Not letting fear hold you back from what you want to do
  • Why you shouldn’t make business more complicated than it is
  • Why you need to make sure that your business is predictable, process-oriented, proven, profitable and branded

How best to connect with Josh:

Jan 25, 2017

Kurt Mortensen is an international authority on charisma, human nature, and influence. Kurt has invested over 20 years researching persuasion and motivational psychology and he teaches on the university level. Kurt is the author of “Persuasion IQ, Laws of Charisma” and the best-selling book “Maximum Influence”. His Books have been translated into 28 languages. Kurt teaches how professional success, personal relationships, and leadership potential depend on your ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others. The key, Onward Nation, is to get others to want to do, what you want them to do and like doing it.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Kurt’s background
  • The importance of learning and mastering soft skills
  • Why you need to ask yourself “Is this an income producing activity?”
  • Why creating balance is so important to personal development
  • A humbling experience that taught Kurt to take his life & income to the next level
  • Why you need to ask yourself, when facing a setback, is it going to make you a better person or a bitter person?
  • Why you need to master influence & persuasion to be successful
  • Understanding self-persuasion
  • Why you need to be aware of what drains your willpower battery
  • How making your vision stronger will make your worry will go away

How best to connect with Kurt:

Jan 24, 2017

Pat McDaniel is the founder of WiseInsights.net, a website dedicated to helping motivated (but weary) people to keep moving forward by finding the smartest path toward their success. Pat is passionate about sharing his story of repeatedly hitting a wall despite his hard work until he discovered the unseen forces that were holding him back. Pat has a highly diverse background and a distinct talent for helping entrepreneurs and leaders avoid unnecessary heartache, including making better decisions for a better life. With that, his current research project is on decision-making: helping business owners understand how to overcome the hidden influences that can lead to bad outcomes.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Pat’s background
  • The importance of blocking off time for your top priorities every week
  • How to get more done in less time
  • How daily affirmations & visualizations can help you mentally prepare for your day
  • Why you need to focus more on the important things vs. the urgent things
  • Getting rid of self-limiting beliefs
  • Why having the right mindset is so important
  • Why you should approach life with humility
  • How to optimize your decision-making process
  • Why you need to be constantly learning & understanding

How best to connect with Pat:

Jan 23, 2017

Josh Elledge is the Founder and Chief Executive Angel of SavingsAngel.com and is one of the nation’s leading experts on consumer savings. He is a weekly syndicated newspaper columnist – reaching more than 1.1 million readers and regularly appears on more than 75 TV stations across the country – having appeared on TV or radio more than 1,500 times. Josh is also the founder of upendPR, which provides step-by-step video coaching, live training, direct access to over 1 million media contacts, media monitoring for ongoing story-ideas, agency-level journalist inquiry monitoring, ongoing pitch creation, and impactful consulting for entrepreneurs and startups seeking to exponentially increase sales and traffic.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Josh’s background
  • Why, in business, exposure is everything
  • Why you shouldn’t be afraid to give away your best information
  • Why you should always be building that “know, like & trust” value with your audience
  • The importance of serving your audience and bringing them value
  • Asking “Who do I get to serve today?” instead of “Who do I have to sell to today?”
  • Why it’s so important to focus on building your authority first
  • What to focus on to improve your digital reputation
  • Why you need to be able to communicate authentically and organically

How best to connect with Josh:

Jan 20, 2017

Sy Belohlavek is from Columbus, Ohio but has had the privilege of living and working in Kyrgyzstan the past 5 years laying the foundation for his business, June Cashmere. His motivation to get involved in this project developed as a result of having a business degree, a longstanding interest in other cultures, and a desire to leverage commercial activity to help address issues of disparity and disadvantage around the world. Sy now runs a start-up in a place of the world he had previously known little about and is building a value chain that spans three continents.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Sy’s background
  • Keeping a visual sketch of your to-do lists and top priorities
  • Why doing the small things & doing them well over time is so important
  • Why you shouldn’t put off things that are unpleasant or cause discomfort
  • Why you need to have a plan & stick with things when they’re falling apart
  • The importance of having the right mentality & principles
  • How being a master researcher & connector can help you be successful
  • Why you need to learn how to adapt & respond
  • Mastering personal self-management to ensure success

How best to connect with Sy:

Jan 19, 2017

Rob was inducted into the Podcasting Hall of Fame in 2016. Rob is the Vice President of Podcaster Relations for Libsyn. Prior to joining Libsyn he founded podCast411, Inc in 2004 and is Co-Author of the book “Tricks of the Podcasting Masters.” He has consulted on podcasting for Jack Welch, Senator Edwards, Governor Bill Richardson, Tim Ferriss, Dr. Mark Hyman and the Sacramento Kings to name just a few. Rob is also the host of “Today in iOS Podcast” – The first and largest podcast about the iPhone and also the “KC Startup 411 Podcast”, which covers the Kansas City startup scene.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Rob’s background
  • How podcasting can give you a chance to connect on an ongoing basis with your customer base
  • Why any business, no matter what industry, should have a podcast
  • Making your podcast educational & entertaining
  • Why you need to be good at identifying & delivering good, valuable content to your audience
  • Why prepping & planning is so important when it comes to podcasting
  • Why audience growth is not guaranteed
  • How focusing on great content can grow your audience
  • Why over-promoting will lead to losing your audience
  • Why you shouldn’t be worrying about your download numbers

How best to connect with Rob:

Jan 18, 2017

Kevin Harrington has been a successful entrepreneur over the last 40 years. He is an Original Shark on the ABC hit, Emmy award-winning TV show, “Shark Tank.” He is the inventor of the infomercial, “As Seen On TV” pioneer, Co-founder of the Electronic Retailers Association and Co-founder of the “Entrepreneurs’ Organization”. Kevin has launched over 20 businesses that have grown to over $100 million in sales each, has been involved in more than a dozen public companies, launched over 500 products generating more than $5 billion in sales worldwide with iconic brands such as Jack Lalanne, Tony Little, George Foreman, and the new I-Grow hair restoration product on QVC. His success led Mark Burnett to hand pick Kevin to become an Original Shark where he filmed over 175 segments.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Kevin’s background
  • The birth of the infomercial
  • An inside look at how the hit ABC reality show “Shark Tank” got started
  • How Kevin handles all of his interests & the challenges that come with them
  • How challenges lead to success
  • How Kevin seeks out problems, solves them & moves on
  • Why you should build a dream team around you
  • Focusing on a great business plan
  • Why it’s important for entrepreneurs today to be open-minded to changes in their industry
  • Why you cannot rest on where you are today

How best to connect with Kevin:

Jan 17, 2017

Tim Cameron-Kitchen is a bestselling digital marketing author, Head Ninja at Exposure Ninja, a British digital marketing agency specializing in building and ranking websites, and host of the Exposure Ninja Digital Marketing Podcast. His goal in life is to rid the world of lifeless, underperforming websites and to make ninja digital marketing the primary source of income for 10,000 businesses.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Tim’s background
  • Why Tim’s life is focused around maximum impact
  • Blocking out time every day for your three highest priorities
  • Designing your week based on your goals
  • Why you should be checking emails only once a day
  • Why you need to be looking at the money in your business
  • Having a completely virtual team
  • How raising your prices can increase your conversion rate
  • Why you should do the thing that you are most scared of…right now
  • Why you need to get over the fear of rejection

How best to connect with Tim:

 

Jan 16, 2017

Keith Callahan is a leader of leaders in the field of personal growth-focusing on mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, and physical well being. He teaches that through self reliance, determination, community support, and mentorship everyone can break through their self imposed limits and live the big, beautiful, bold dream life they have tucked away.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Keith’s background
  • Why you should create a business that serves your life (and work your business around the type of life that you want to live)
  • Why you need to be systemizing things in your business
  • Why Keith begins his day with high-focus activities
  • Why you need to be draining the chatter in your brain
  • Why research & planning are so important in business
  • Mastering patience
  • Why you shouldn’t be putting your mentors up on a pedestal
  • Developing your strength & personal power

How best to connect with Keith:

Jan 13, 2017

Mark Podolsky (AKA The Land Geek) is widely considered the country’s most trusted and foremost authority on buying and selling raw, undeveloped land within the United States. He has been actively investing in Real Estate and Raw Land since 2001 and has completed over 5,000 unique transactions. Mark has achieved this level of success due to his core business philosophy – “Happy Customers Guaranteed.” Mark is the host of three top-rated podcasts in iTunes aptly entitled “The Best Passive Income Model” and “The Art of Passive Income.” He is also the host of the “Land Geek Podcast- Work Smart. Earn More. Learn How.”

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Mark’s background
  • Why you need to plan for both good & bad years
  • Why Mark outlines the three big things that he wants to accomplish for the week that are going to move
  • him towards his goals
  • How meditation & working out contribute to Mark’s success
  • Why focus & grit are so important for success today
  • Why it’s important to focus on things in your business that move the needle
  • Identifying the 80/20 rule in your business
  • Why you need to be asking yourself how you can be free
  • The importance of finding a mentor that’s already done what you want to do
  • Why you need to know your market before you do anything

How best to connect with Mark:

Jan 12, 2017

Wes Pinkston is an Entrepreneur and Transformational Business/Life Coach. At the age of 29, a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. He is now devoted to understanding, integrating, and deepening that transformation, which has marked the beginning of an intense inward journey. Weaving together both Western and Eastern influences, he is able to guide his client’s through their journey in all phases of life.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Wes’ background
  • Why effective communication is so important not only with others but with yourself
  • Having a clear vision of your ideal day & the role you play in it
  • How adapting your awareness to your experience can change your life
  • Why changing your viewpoint from competitive to collaborative can help you be successful
  • Why you need to take accountability for both the good and the bad
  • How making simple tweaks can drastically change things
  • Why you need to be expressing, not suppressing
  • Why you should just “be” when you are at home
  • The importance of bringing back your childlike enthusiasm

How best to connect with Wes:

Jan 12, 2017

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

Good Morning Onward Nation…I’m Stephen Woessner and welcome to this week’s solocast…Episode 405.

Today I am going to share a lesson about why — and how — you need to “go long” with your Dream 50 — each and every week.

But first…I hope 2017 has started off with so much momentum for you that you’re scrambling to hang on to all of the opportunity by your fingernails — and that you are being forcefully pushed to scale your business — that your expertise is in such high-demand that you’re looking for any and all ways to expand what it is you’re offering to your customers — and that your view of your most profitable customers is getting clearer and clearer — giving you the opportunity to serve the customers who value you and your team the most — and in the process — you’re delivering your best work to the customers who appreciate most what you are delivering — and as a result — you are creating very happy customers!

If that sounds like you — you are likely building a predictable, scalable, repeatable — and — profitable business.

Again, that’s my hope for you in 2017.

But — if this is not what is currently happening in your business — and instead you find yourself prospecting and working hard to turn over every stone you can — looking for new sources of revenue — or you’re being forced to work with customers you would rather not take on — you and your team are stressed trying to meet unrealistic demands of clients who abuse your team with insane deadlines and critical feedback — or maybe your prospective clients are sitting on the fence while taunting you with threats that they are continuing to evaluate all you and your competitors.

Does any of that sound familiar?

Then this week’s solocast is for you, Onward Nation.

Of course…we have all been there. Some of us multiple times — being a business owner for any period of time means you have likely experienced the Entrepreneur Roller Coaster — great book by Darren Hardy by the way if you haven’t already read it.

We have all experienced the highs and the lows — and sometimes — it can feel like we will never break free from the lows — and that the highs are way too short-lived.

If you are feeling like you’re operating your business at the mercy of the market — it is a symptom of two chronic problems.

Problem #1: that you have not precisely defined your client avatar. But that is easy to fix. Just go back to Episode 396 and get my complete blueprint for creating your client avatar — the questions you need to ask — the full process — it is there in complete transparency. Again, that’s Episode 396 — just a couple of weeks ago.

Problem #2: you haven’t defined your Dream 50 clients — the people who you most want to serve. Your Dream 50 are of course in-line with your avatar — but these 50 prospects — they represent the best of the best. The highest level — the clients you would most like to serve — your ultimate dream clients.

Do you have a Dream 50 list prepared, Onward Nation?

If not…you need to. Like immediately.

In fact, I have our Predictive ROI Dream 50 list hanging on the wall right next to my desk in my office — I can turn to see the list at any point throughout the day — it is a constant reminder.

I think about the list — strategize about the list — every day. You need to do the same with your own Dream 50.

Please go to back to Episode 308 for deeper insights into the Dream 50 process — it’s a lesson I learned from Darren Hardy. He told me, “Stephen…you need to create your Dream 50 list — and then — you need to develop a strategy for how you are going to show them the love — consistently — so they know that doing business with you would be one of the best decisions they could make.”

And one of the best ways to show your Dream 50 the love is to go long — or share valuable long form content — each and every week.

As Jay Baer, our outstanding guest in Episode 305 encouraged us… “You need to give away your best content — your secret sauce — for free.” In full transparency, Onward Nation — give it all away.

Every step — every detail — each and every piece.

So that if they wanted to — they could steal it all from you and do it themselves.

I love that. And if you have been listening to this show for a while — you already know that I am firm believer in that philosophy. I give away the strategies my Predictive ROI team applies for our clients every day — I give those to you for free — in full transparency.

Let’s look at this solocast so far…I just referred back to the Client Avatar workshop you can find in Episode 396 — at Predictive — we charge clients for that work. But I am giving it to you.

Why?

Because I hope it serves you — I want you to steal it — I want you to take it — I want you to apply it — I want you to grow your business as a result of applying it.

That is my hope for you.

And someday — when you are looking for a content marketing and lead gen agency to help you scale your business to that next level — my hope is you will remember my team at Predictive ROI and we will get a call from you.

But until that day comes — you’re going to get it all for free in order to help you move onward to that next level.

And you need to do the same — in long form — with your Dream 50 — each and every week. Just like I am doing with you right now.

Whether you have your own podcast — or maybe you love video and you want to have a remarkable YouTube channel — or you love to write so your blog is going to be the next must-read on the Internet — it doesn’t matter what medium or social media platform you choose — just choose one and begin going long.

So, let’s dig deeper in what I mean by going long — or long form. And yes, there is a time and place for short posts — Facebook Live videos — Instagram stories — short content is awesome.

And in today’s attention starved society — short can be great. Let’s take something else from Jay Baer and call these short pieces of content…little info snacks.

But, no amount of info snacks replaces the meal that long form content provides your audience.

It is only through long form that you can share the true depth of your expertise and short info snacks cannot possibly match it. It is through long form that you can really open yourself up to your Dream 50 — show them who you are — where you come from — what you believe — your values — and where you draw inspiration from.

Why is this important to your Dream 50?

Because as John Jantsch explains in his brilliant book “Ducktape Marketing”…the conversion or decision-making path is all about someone getting to know you — then liking you — then trusting you — then trying you out — then buying from you — then repeating the purchase — and then becoming your brand ambassador by telling the world.

So using long form content to help your Dream 50 move along this decision-making path — at their own speed and pace — is one of the best sales and marketing strategies you can implement for your business.

Here, let me make this a bit more concrete with a new business development example.

Last week…during one of my biz dev calls with a prospective client for Predictive ROI — I was amazed at the immediate rapport we felt at the beginning of our call. It was electric — as if she already knew me — like we were long lost friends — and not that this was our first phone call.

During our conversation, I mentioned my family in passing and she jumped on it — and proceeded to tell me how she knew just how important family is to me — how I learned my entrepreneurial lessons from my grandfather and so on.

And then she cited several Onward Nation episodes as the source for where she learned all about me. I was blown away and it felt awesome. Impact, Onward Nation.

Or, last Friday…on another biz dev call…our prospective client shared with me that he had checked me out — had done his homework — and felt confident he knew me as a person because of the podcast and the quality of people I spend time with — the incredible guests on our show. Rock solid awesome — always great to hear. And earlier today — we received word that the prospective client had agreed to join forces with Predictive ROI so our team will now be in the trenches with their team to launch an incredible podcast so they can share the same long form love with their own Dream 50.

Going long with your Dream also helps you build your platform — your profile as a business person — as an expert — as the go-to-person in your industry. Yesterday, at the end of an interview with a guest, he called me the world’s leading authority on business-to-business podcasting. I thanked him for the amazing compliment, then quickly disagreed with him, but it felt awesome to hear something like that.

So why did he say something like that to me?

Because the Onward Nation podcast has increased my personal brand equity to the point he felt it was an accurate assessment. And because of the show — I get to hang out on a daily basis with some of the top business owners in the country and around the world. Last week, I interviewed Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank and the inventor of the infomercial. Amazing conversation — and when I have let people know about the time I spent with Kevin — I get an eyebrow raise and a high five. Why? Because there is a small transference of Kevin’s credibility over to me — and that helps my personal brand. By the way — we air Kevin’s episode one week from today — and he is off the charts amazing.

But here’s a little secret…you can do the same thing.

There is nothing unique and special about what we are doing — the only difference between me and the other 98% of business owners is that I stand up and ask — I make the ask to our guests — and then have the guts to do a great interview.

That’s it, Onward Nation. You can do the exact same thing.

To prove the point…I urge you to go back to Episode 3 and listen to Stacey Alcorn share her story of how 5-years ago she had zero social circles — she didn’t know any movers and shakers but she did have a desire.

So she started a blog — ever so slowly — and now — several years later — she is doing wine tasting on a Thursday afternoon with Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank while they were both in Boston.

What???

The difference between Stacey and other real estate brokers in her marketplace — is that Stacey decided to go long — to create a blog — to create excellent long-form content — and then to use it to share the love with her Dream 50 — and — as the ultimate business card to get in front of the key influencers she wanted to meet.

Oh, and Stacey just shared some photos of her recent adventure hanging out with Sir Richard Branson on his private island — yes, his private island. Stacey started with nothing — but — she decided she could be more and has used long form content as her strategy to get it.

Here are some other thoughts to consider on the topic of long form.

By building your personal platform through long-form content, you will also help your core business grow organically. The most content you create — the more expertise you share — the more you give away — the more you stay in the consciousness of your Dream 50 — the more likely your core business will grow as a result.

Predictive ROI — my core business — has grown as a result of Onward Nation — and the core businesses of all our clients — have grown as a result of their podcasts and their weekly long-form content, too.

In fact, I was catching up with one of our Predictive clients earlier today and he told me that his podcast has already generated $50,000 in new business to his company.

$50,000, Onward Nation!

As a result of the success of Onward Nation, we are now producing 20 podcasts for the business owners of other professional service firms. These owners saw what we were doing — the synergy between Onward Nation and our core business of Predictive ROI — and wanted to learn more. When they did — they wanted us to help them apply the same long form content strategy into their business — and now they are growing as a result of the love they are sharing consistently with their Dream 50 and giving away their best content for free.

But you must be willing to go long. Going long gives you an opportunity to get real and authentic with your audience — to really let them in — just like I let you in, Onward Nation. There have been times when I am with a guest, and the stories are so emotional, that I tear up…or I get goosebumps, and I share with you how I am feeling — and sure that may be too much for some of you…but that is me.

I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve — and generally my view of the world is AWESOME — but the reality is that not everything is rock solid awesome 100 percent of the time…and I think it is okay to let your audience see that…so they know you are human.

Your platform also creates a conduit of trust between you and your Dream 50. I share stories about my family — how my grandparents immigrated here from Greece and Turkey — how they struggled as entrepreneurs through the Great Depression — how they gritted it out — and how we as kids learned those same lessons — and how my entrepreneurial DNA was sharpened — oddly — to razor’s edge while I worked on nuclear missiles while in the Air Force. I have shared some of biggest failures — moments that have made me want to run and hide — and yet — I have shared them with you.

Why?

Because you cannot hide behind the curtain, Onward Nation if you are truly trying to build trust and authenticity with your audience. We cannot love someone in slices…so yes…I have failed…many times…I have made mistakes that have cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars…and each time it happened…I wanted to puke in the nearest trash can.

And now I share those stories with you so you can hopefully avoid the same mistakes — and along the way — realize that I have been in that trench, too. And someday, if we are sitting across the dinner table together — you will have all of that context and that creates rapport like nothing else can, Onward Nation.

So — please take today’s message — think about what I said — and decide to go long with your Dream 50 at least once a week. Launch a podcast, create a YouTube channel, dominate Medium, be the next Insta king or queen, find the platform that syncs up with your skill set the best — and do it.

Don’t wait. Do it.

And yes, your content might not win any awards or even recognition at first. But that is part of the process.

Want a litmus test? Go and watch Episode 1 of Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV. It’s not good — the lighting is bad — the structure is bad — and he is experimenting — and that is what makes it absolutely priceless. He could have never gotten to Episode 1,000 if he had never started at number 1. And that is why I love #1, way more than Episode 1,000 — I respect Gary’s journey, his hard work, and the grit it took to get to 1,000 — and the courage it took to launch # 1.

And then recognize you don’t — and maybe you shouldn’t do this — on your own. You will need a support team around you. And I don’t mean you need to hire an agency to do this for you. Instead, recruit several unpaid interns to help you with audio, or design, or content…but begin building out your team…so you can focus on content and taking great care of your Dream 50.

Get started, Onward Nation. Go long with your Dream 50 and it will be a game changer for your business in 2017.

So with that…I want to say thank you again for taking the time to be here with me today. It is an honor to have you here — thank you for tuning in.

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

And please continue to let me know what you think of Onward Nation…good or bad…I always want your feedback. Hit me up on Twitter or LinkedIn — or stop by our Predictive ROI Facebook page — and let us know what you think of the show — thumbs up or thumbs down. Either way — we want to know. Your feedback will help us get better.

And remember…you can always email me at stephen@onwardnation.com and I reply to every single message.

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

We will be back tomorrow with an incredible interview with Wes Pinkston — likely one of the most thought-provoking, profound, and counterintuitive conversations we have ever had her at Onward Nation. You will not want to miss Wes’s lesson of how to avoid complexification.

Until then, onward with gusto!

Jan 10, 2017

Rita Schiano is the founder of Live A Flourishing Life™, which provides strategic, resilience-building, personal, and professional development programs that strengthen work relationships through team building, stress management, effective communication, and critical and creative thinking skills. As a former corporate vice president and small business owner, Rita's leadership knowledge, strategies, and insights draw from both sides of the aisle. Rita is also the author of several books, including "Live A Flourishing Life" as well as numerous articles for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Rita’s background
  • Why having excellent time management techniques are so important to success & controlling stress
  • Why Rita is a big proponent of the to-do list
  • Why it’s important to understand the elements of leadership
  • The importance of discipline & having a schedule
  • Setting your intentions for the day
  • Exploring ideas in a critical & creative way
  • The value of having integrity & being authentic with people
  • Why you need to quit using the word ‘fail’ & how to view it in a different way
  • Keeping focused on your message & mission

How best to connect with Rita:

Jan 9, 2017

Justin Deese is a highly sought-after business strategist, visionary, and self-made entrepreneur. He simultaneously built three flourishing in-home service companies in multiple states. He is a certified E-Myth Business Coach and an expert at helping fellow business owners structure and manage their companies for maximum profitability.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Justin’s background
  • How business owners make things way more complicated than they need to be
  • Why Justin is so guarded & structured about his morning routine
  • Why it’s so important to know what your vision is
  • How having a business coach can help hold you accountable
  • Why having systems in place is one of the most important parts of your business
  • Why the owner of a company needs to change their perspective of who and what they are
  • Why you shouldn’t try to outwork your problems
  • How writing your own eulogy can help you focus on what’s important
  • Why you need to know what you’re trying to build

How best to connect with Justin:

Jan 6, 2017

Adam Hergenrother is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Hergenrother Enterprises, which includes Keller Williams Realty Vermont, Hergenrother Realty Group, BlackRock Construction, Hergenrother Capital, and Hergenrother Foundation. In less than ten years, Adam has built these rapidly growing companies through his commitment to thinking big and never giving up. Fearless and purposeful; unconventional and systematic, Adam sets a seemingly impossible goal then quickly gets to work on closing the gap to achieve it – – no limits, no regrets. Through Adam’s bold vision, Hergenrother Enterprises is developing leaders and building businesses worldwide.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Why it’s important to stay focused as your business grows
  • Why the first 60 minutes of your day are so important
  • How journaling can help ground you & discover the small things that you’re grateful for
  • Why personal development is so vital to your success, personally & professionally
  • Why the formula for success & fulfillment is growth
  • How all of our experiences, whether good or bad, shape who we become
  • Why you need to overcome the voice in your head that says “no” & go after your own life
  • Why you should be hiring people that are better than you
  • How expanding your search for employees outside of your local area can benefit you
  • Why you need to be sharing your vision consistently, clearly & as often as possible
  • Why you need to be operating in your “strength zone”

How best to connect with Adam:

Jan 5, 2017

Kyle Reyes is the President and CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing, a nationwide marketing agency headquartered in Connecticut. Kyle is an acclaimed Keynote Speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media. Kyle a former Producer of News and Special Projects worked in broadcast journalism for nearly a decade. His team offers a marketing one-stop-shop, filling the role of a Chief Marketing Officer and support staff at a fraction of the cost of having to worry about the payroll, taxes, benefits, equipment and training. And he has appeared in multiple media outlets including, Fox & Friends, AOL.com, Yahoo, and Bloomberg Business.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Kyle’s background
  • Why it’s important to create a company culture where all employees feel like they’re part of something bigger
  • Why you need to hustle & work hard to succeed
  • Why Kyle believes that failure is the best teacher
  • Why consistency is so important for discipline, focus & stress relief
  • Why you need to invest money in your business to help you grow & scale faster
  • Why you need to be aware of your strengths, weaknesses & limitations
  • Why you need to focus on the art of communication
  • How being 100% authentic, real, and candid will help you win
  • Why you need to be engaging with people where they are right now

How best to connect with Adam:

Jan 4, 2017

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 — Happy New Year and welcome to this week’s solocast. And today’s episode also happens to be Episode 400 — so before we dive into the sales pipeline building toolbox that I want to share with you — first — I need to offer up a very big thank you, Onward Nation.

If someone would have told me back on June 15, 2015 that we were about to launch a podcast that would soar to the top of iTunes New & Noteworthy, that our email list would grow to over 20,000 people, that we would receive feedback every day from business owners who we have impacted in a positive way, that our message would now reach 105 countries around the world…and that all of the knowledge we collected in the last 18-months would turn into a book that a major publisher would want to buy and then publish…there is no way I would have believed that person.

In fact, I might have run the other way.

And yet, what I just shared with you is exactly what happened. And it happened because of you, Onward Nation.

Because you downloaded episodes and then let us know how we could make them better.

You emailed me, you hit us up on Twitter, you shared your thoughts on Facebook — and my team and I listened. We made adjustments and then you offered even more advice.

So we pivoted again. And again. And then again.

And we will continue to pivot and adjust because our goal is to deliver as much value to you, Onward Nation as we possibly can.

Please continue to let us know what you think of Onward Nation…thumbs up or thumbs down. We want to get better — and our first 400 episodes — are just the beginning.

So thank you for being here — and please know — how much you downloading, and listening to our episodes, and sharing your feedback means to me and my team.

Thank you, Onward Nation.

Now…

Let’s continue the momentum that we started during last week’s solocast…Episode 396 that I entitled, “Get Your Hands Dirty” and we focused on two main lessons:

1) why and how you should jump into the trenches with your team — and the impact you getting your hands dirty — will have on your team

And…

2) how to create your client avatar so you and your team focus your valuable time and attention toward the right customers.

And as I walked you through the practical and tactical steps last week — the “in the trenches process” that you need in order to create your client avatar — I also made you a promise.

I promised that last week’s solocast would be the first in a series of four tactical lessons you take and apply in order to fill your sales pipeline.

So today’s solocast is my next step in fulfilling my promise.

Today’s lesson is going to tactical and provide you with another opportunity to get your hands dirty working alongside your team.

However, I am also going to push you to think differently before you dig into the tools.

I am going to do that so you can be sure to get your mindset right — to get your head right — so you are ready to unleash your full potential. If you work through the client avatar exercise from last week without getting your mindset right — you may focus on clients who don’t push you — who will not challenge you to grow — you may focus on the ones who you think are safe — prospects who are lower hanging fruit — decision makers who operate at lower levels in the organization instead of the C-suite.

Run from those thoughts, Onward Nation.

I believe it was Albert Einstein who said, “The same thinking that got you and your business to your current level – is not the same thinking that is going to get you to where you want to go.”

So you must push yourself to be open to the ideas I share with you – even if I challenge you – even if I make you feel uncomfortable from time-to-time – please know – that’s what a good mentor does – they help you see the path you need to take.

For example…I can almost certainly guarantee that as you and I move our way through the lessons over the next several weeks…you may begin to think of challenges you expect to encounter if you were to implement what you learn.

You may think to yourself…

“That would never work in my industry.”

“I can work on that when I have more time.”

“I would put that into practice if only my team were up to the challenge.”

“My sales have slumped because I have a couple of really tough competitors – or – our pricing is too high.”

I am here to tell you – as a good mentor would – your key challenge – your key obstacle to having a vibrant, full sales pipeline heading into 2017 – with a steady stream of qualified prospects is not being blocked by any of these.

Okay, so then what is blocking you from having a full sales pipeline?

It’s you, Onward Nation! Yes, you.

But how could I say such a thing? Please…just hear me out.

We as business owners…we fall victim each day by asking ourselves really horrible questions like…

“Am I good enough?”

“Am I smart enough?”

“Oh, that company over there would never want to do business with us because we are too small!”

We tend to set ourselves up for failure before we ever start.

We tell ourselves we can’t do something. The way we speak to ourselves — in our own heads — can be truly cruel at times.

Instead…as you are building your client avatar…you need to get your mindset right…to eliminate the word “Can’t” from your vocabulary.

Why do you need to eliminate this word – and these thoughts?

Because this word is the root of the Imposter Syndrome – and if you don’t take aggressive action – the word will build a stronghold in your mind…and the Imposter Syndrome will keep you as its victim.

The Imposter Syndrome is your one and only barrier to success – and it will keep your sales pipeline empty if you let it.

Onward Nation — you are good enough – you are worthy of more – you have worked hard!

Don’t let the Syndrome become a roadblock to your next level.

In fact, next time you catch yourself asking yourself road-blocking questions…I want to you to apply a little success secret to push past the blockade.

Here it is…

“Decide to win – before – you ever start.”

And that’s a powerful lesson I learned from Joanna Riley during Episode 324.

She went from zero to being the largest shareholder in her company now worth over $800 million.

Jo has accomplished much – but – it is because she learned at the age of 14 what it took to believe in herself – and that winning was as much about performance as it was deciding to win at the outset.

I believe in you, Onward Nation – you are far more capable, amazing, awesome, wonderful, and beautiful than you give yourself credit for.

And now I want to repeat the two warnings from last week because they still apply for today’s lesson.

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

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

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

Deal?

Okay, so let’s jump in.

The primary tool we will focus on today is LinkedIn.

Why? Because LinkedIn is the platform where business-to-business deals get done – and – get done quickly.

Plus, there are over 433 million business people on the planet who use LinkedIn.

So it is highly likely that your top prospects are there – using LinkedIn – every day.
And you should be, too, Onward Nation.

LinkedIn members also may represent the right demographic – the right economic earning potential – that fits your ideal prospect or client avatar.

So let’s begin…and in total…I am going to share tactical steps — or tools — you can use to find your client avatar in LinkedIn, build your Dream 50 list, expand your number of connections, and then reach out to your Dream 50 to generate leads to fill your sales pipeline.

Step 1: Boost your LinkedIn profile.

You need to do this by giving it a serious, deeply critical look. Does it include a deep summary description?

Have you linked videos from your YouTube account?

Do you have your experience section properly built out? And if the answer is “no” to any of these — you need to make immediate adjustments.

Why? Think of your profile as your landing page within LNKD. If it’s not up to par — then prospects will bounce off your page and move on with their day.

Step 2: Participate in LinkedIn’s Pulse publishing platform by sharing your long-form content at least once per week.

Publishing to LNKD gives you the opportunity to share your expertise and deliver value to your connections – and – to boost credibility on the platform.

Go to my LNKD profile for tangible examples that you can dissect and get some ideas.

Step 3: expand your LNKD connections

I encourage you to export your existing email list, import it into LinkedIn, and send connection requests. But why?

Because with each new LNKD connection, your network of 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree connections expands. This will give your team a larger network to search within for high-value prospects — your client avatar.

For example, I have over 4,000 1st degree connections on LinkedIn, which equates to a lead gen network of approximately 17 million people for business development team here at Predictive ROI, my content marketing and lead gen agency.

By expanding your connections, your will be able to “see” as many high-value prospects within LNKD as possible.

Step 4: expand your email list!

Now you should reverse the process from Step 3 and export your list of LNKD connections — and then — import the email addresses back into your email list.

LinkedIn is the only social media platform that allows you to export the email addresses of your connections.

This rinse and repeat cross-pollination will ensure yours prospects receive future content via multiple channels.

Step 5: build your Dream 50 list

Here is where you will take the details you identified regarding your client avatar using the recipe I shared with you in Episode 396 — and then apply it — to build your Dream 50 list using LinkedIn’s Advanced Lead Builder tool.

The Advanced Lead Builder gives you the opportunity to conduct custom searches based on keywords, titles, industry, years of experience, employee size, geographic proximity to a zip code, and a variety of other variables.

But…just a heads up…LNKD recently announced their decision eliminate a number of the searching options because not enough members were using them.

Ugh. So we will have to wait and see what the revised version of Advanced Lead Builder will look like — I will keep you posted.

Once you have your Dream 50 list compiled — you will be ready for Step 6, which is sending your InMail messages. InMail is kind of like LNKD’s version of email — except it is only available to premium members — you can only send 30 InMail messages per month without buying more credits — credits cost $10 each — and — the process cannot be automated…each InMail is sent to each recipient manually…one at a time.

Yes, I know — it is time consuming…but…that is also why we often see response rates of 10-20 percent…because there is very little spam via InMail.

You can go to Episode 298 of Onward Nation for our complete InMail template so you can swipe it and then customize the content for your business.

Now, that covers some of the core LinkedIn ingredients but there is another success secret I learned from Jeffrey Hayzlett in Episode 121 that I want to share with you right now.

And that is – to Crawl – Walk – Then Run.

Yes, it is going to take you time to perfect this recipe.

My team and I have sent thousands and thousands and thousands of InMail messages within the last 24-months alone.

Did it take us time to develop the expertise that we now have?

Of course it did.

So do as Jeffrey says…Crawl…Walk…and then Run. And soon…you too will have mastered LinkedIn and your pipeline will be full.

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 Kyle Reyes — where we focus on the power of not losing your identity as a business owner — and how your identity can, and should, become the foundation of your brand. Kyle is rock solid awesome.

You will not want to miss it, Onward Nation!

Until then, onward with gusto!

Jan 3, 2017

Bobby Albert led a small, local family business to become a nationally recognized leader in its industry and explains how it happened in his book, “Principled Profit—Outward Success Is an Inside Job.” He pinpoints specific principles that can supercharge any enterprise. The book will be released in 2017, but Bobby is here today to share how he went from a humble start to good to great in his business -- and -- how any leader can leverage the same principles and practices in his or her own organization.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Bobby’s background
  • Why it’s important to have an abundance mindset
  • The importance of putting together a to-do list of your highest priorities
  • Why Bobby begins his day with quiet time & exercise
  • The difference between leading and managing
  • Participative leadership style
  • Why you should give your customers an experience that exceeds their expectations
  • Why it’s important to focus on the foundational things that help you develop a culture where people thrive & profits soar
  • Why you must get focused on your core values
  • Being a values-driven company instead of a results-driven company
  • Why you should focus on developing leaders around you vs. developing followers

How best to connect with Bobby:

1