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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: October, 2017
Oct 31, 2017

Yann Ilunga is a podcasting consultant and the host of four podcasts. His latest show, The Podcaster Lab, teaches and discusses podcasting with a brand new approach. Dubbed as a “Podcasting Advocate” by Forbes, Yann is also the founder of the Podcast Success Academy and the creator of what has become the world’s biggest virtual summit for podcasters: The Podcast Success Summit.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • How hosting your own podcast can help express yourself
  • How you can build a business around podcasting
  • How having a podcast can help build your existing business
  • Having your own podcast to help connect to clients in a more human way
  • Why podcasting is a marathon and not a sprint
  • Why it is necessary to be flexible and willing to pivot and change if necessary
  • Not letting fear or self-doubt keep you from having a podcast
  • How to leverage your podcast as an asset for your business
  • The importance of focusing on building your own community for your podcast
  • How being strategic with your time and money can help build your podcast audience

How to best connect with Yann:

Oct 30, 2017

Isaac Lidsky is the New York Times best-selling author of “Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World That Can’t See Clearly.” Diagnosed with a blinding eye disease when he was 13 years old, Isaac slowly lost his sight over the next 12 years. He graduated from Harvard at age 19 with a degree in mathematics and computer science; founded an Internet startup that later sold for $230 million; and became the only blind person to clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court when he worked for Justices Sandra Day O’connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • The power of the mind to shape and create the reality that we experience
  • The importance of challenging assumptions
  • How we have the power to choose the life we are going to live
  • Why fear is one of the biggest obstacles keeping you from living the life you want
  • Why many times what you are perceiving as truth or being out of your control really isn’t
  • How being honest, transparent, and accountable to yourself are keys to success
  • The importance of having your own definition of success
  • Why building the life you want for yourself has to come from you
  • How we grow from our challenges
  • Why performing effectively as a team is a key strategy to success

How to best connect with Isaac:

Oct 27, 2017

Aaron Hendon is one of the top real estate agents in Seattle, Washington. He and his team bring together a diverse background and history, including transformational leadership, entrepreneurial start-ups, and consistently outperforming the local market, selling homes for over 5 percent more than the local market average. He founded a New York bagel shop in 1989 and 9 years later — sold it with a gross revenue of over $1 million annually. Aaron is currently at work on his next book entitled, “Short Changed by Short Cuts: 44 Surprising Ways People Rip Themselves Off When Buying or Selling Their Home.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Hiring the right people that will assist in making sound business decisions
  • The importance of creating a system of accountability
  • The value of reading and learning about the Profit First System
  • Why Aaron wrote his latest book, “Short Changed by Short Cuts”
  • One way people short change themselves when buying or selling their home
  • Why consistency is a critical skill to master
  • The power of outworking the competition
  • How seeing employees through their view will change how you treat them
  • The importance of being true to yourself and having integrity
  • The degree of which you can listen to people from where they are is the degree that you can be a contribution to the world

How to best connect with Aaron:

Oct 26, 2017

Craig Ballantyne is the author of “The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life”. He discovered The 5 Pillars of Success, which he used to overcome his crippling anxiety attacks, and today, shows men and women how to use the 5 Pillars to overcome any obstacle in their way. You may remember Craig and the wisdom he shared during Episode 264. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview…I highly encourage you to add Episode 264 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Why Craig built the Work-Life Mastery program
  • How striving for work-life balance causes business owners anxiety
  • The importance of building a better vision for yourself and setting the bar higher
  • How to enjoy work and make an impact on the world guilt free  
  • The benefits of tackling your hardest or least desirable project first thing in the morning
  • The importance of using all the media channels available to you
  • What Craig defines as the four values of success
  • Why you should tell positive people around you what you want to achieve
  • How to attract, recruit, hire and surround yourself with “A players”
  • Building a better platform by stepping back and asking what is going to work best for your business

How to best connect with Craig:

Oct 25, 2017

Rich Sheridan is the CEO and co-founder of Menlo Innovations and author of “Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love”. His company was founded with the purpose of bringing joy to the world through software and to teach this method to others. Rich spends the majority of his time sharing the “Menlo Way” through teaching classes, leading tours, speaking at conferences and mentoring entrepreneurs in the community. You may remember Rich and the wisdom he shared during Episodes 37 and 286. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our other interviews...I highly encourage you to add Episodes 37 and 286 to your list of vital priorities.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • The benefits of focusing on leaders, rather than bosses
  • The outcomes of having a leadership model versus a hierarchical model
  • How the culture of Menlo is shared openly
  • The importance of being flexible and adaptable to change
  • How you can learn and grow by being willing to challenge assumptions
  • Why creating joy within your organization should be one of the more important things to be thinking about
  • The importance of being intentional about the culture within your organization
  • The power of asking “who do we serve and what would delight look like for them”
  • The benefits of servant leadership
  • How to build the energy of a team

How to best connect with Rich:

Oct 24, 2017

Les Trachtman is the CEO of The Trachtman Group, focusing on helping companies grow and scale, as well as managing director of “Purview”, an early stage company focused on disrupting the medical imaging business. For the past two decades, he has taught and lectured at numerous universities across the country, including the Harvard Business School and the MIT Sloan School of Business. A portion of Les’ career is chronicled in the Harvard Business School case study: “Les is More Times Four”, which educates entrepreneurs at leading business schools.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • The importance of having a succession plan for your business
  • How far into the future you should be looking into a business succession plan
  • Why identifying the truth in an organization is important
  • How celebrating mistakes leads to learning opportunities
  • The importance making employees feel safe to voice thoughts and opinions
  • Why choosing the right individuals to hire is vital to your business’s success
  • How picking the right customers leads to great client relationships long-term
  • Why delegation is the most critical skill to master
  • Having confidence in yourself knowing what you are doing is making a difference
  • One of the keys to success as a leader is being a great communicator

How to best connect with Les:

Oct 23, 2017

AJ Wilcox is a LinkedIn ads pro who founded B2Linked.com, an agency that specializes in account management and consulting with LinkedIn Ads. He is globally recognized as one of the top LinkedIn ads experts and speaks, trains, presents, and manages advertising campaigns for executives and teams around the world. And his agency recently became a Certified LinkedIn Partner.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • The benefits of using LinkedIn paid ads to generate leads for your business
  • Determining if LinkedIn ads are the right fit for your company
  • The two different channels of digital marketing
  • How to use account based marketing to target customers
  • Why you should approach any social channel with a thought towards audience, messaging and offer (AMO)
  • Lead costs and quality comparison between LinkedIn and Facebook
  • How the traditional model of selling is changing in the digital age
  • How overcoming your fear of failure can lead to success
  • The importance of testing your product in the marketplace
  • Why understanding your customers needs is vital to your success

How to best connect with AJ:

Oct 20, 2017

Josh Tickell is an award winning film director and bestselling author. His films and books focus on critical issues including the need for alternative energy, reversing climate change, and the power of Millennials to change the world. He co-directed the film “GOOD FORTUNE”, the rags to riches story of Paul Mitchell and Patron cofounder, John Paul DeJoria. He regularly films and interviews luminaries such as Elon Musk, Woody Harrelson, and Sheryl Crow. Josh has been a guest on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Morning Joe, and The Today Show. His new book, “Kiss the Ground” with a foreword by Whole Foods Founder, John Mackey, hits store shelves in November.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • How cynicism can be destructive, caustic, and contagious
  • The importance of turning a negative situation into a positive
  • What the B Corp classification model is
  • Becoming a better business by taking care of the people who are taking care of you
  • What the fundamental resource of our economy is
  • How soil has the power to reverse climate change
  • How pesticides kill the nutrients in soil
  • Why the food pyramid has become outdated
  • Why reading “Kiss the Ground” will challenge your assumptions regarding our food system
  • How regenerative agriculture is going to bring a huge change and profit to agriculture and food in the future
Oct 19, 2017

Our special encore guest today is Anne Deeter Gallaher and she is the Owner and CEO of Deeter Gallaher Group, a marketing, public relations, and digital media firm. She is the co-author of the book, “Students in High Gear: A Guide for Students and Aspiring Game Changers in Transition from College to Career” -- and -- “Women in High Gear: A Guide for Entrepreneurs, On-Rampers, and Aspiring Executives”. You may remember Anne and the wisdom she shared during Episode 316. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all she shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 316 to your list of vital priorities.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • The importance of being gracious and kind to everyone you come in contact with
  • Being aware that your business holds the key to controlling its own brand and content
  • The need to control your personal brand in addition to your businesses brand
  • Why being honest and not just telling your clients what they want to hear is important
  • The importance of knowing how your business is being presented online
  • What it means to be “high gear”
  • Why success means something different to each person depending on the stage they are in
  • How hiring employees with different skill sets than your own leads to success
  • The steps needed to build your platform
  • Why you need to surround yourself with people who will challenge you

How to best connect with Anne:

Oct 18, 2017

Ava Kaufman has the heart of a 17-year-old boy…literally. Just a few years ago, she was a successful businesswoman in Los Angeles, but after being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder, life changed dramatically. She lost everything. After going through a heart transplant, Ava founded a nonprofit called “Ava’s Heart Foundation” which provides resources and case management to organ transplant patients and their families – filling a critical void in the healthcare system.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • The importance of living in the moment
  • Why it’s important to celebrate all the stakeholders in a project
  • Why donors and recipients have two different sets of emotions
  • How Ava’s Heart is meeting a financial gap for organ recipients
  • How Ava’s Heart provides education and resources to both donors and recipients
  • The goal of Ava’s Heart: to become the go-to foundation for both donor and recipient families
  • How sometimes businesses are formed out of great tragedy and then go on to serve a great purpose
  • The importance of setting goals within your organization
  • Why marketing and strategy are vital to a nonprofit’s success
  • When forming a nonprofit, treating it as a business to ensure an easier path to success

How to best connect with Ava:

Oct 17, 2017

Chad Hendricks is the vice president, owner, and digital marketing manager at Brand Outcomes. He is also the host of the top rated Recruit and Retain Podcast. He is an entrepreneur at heart with a natural attraction to new ideas. He thrives on variety and is driven by consistent learning, generating innovative ideas, and improving workplaces. Chad has a well-rounded background with past experience in sales, accounting, high school teacher, coach, a business owner, and is currently a wanna to be ukulele player.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • How people grow and learn when pushed beyond their comfort zone
  • The importance of retaining employees due to the high costs of replacement
  • Finding value and learning through group mentorships, books, and podcasts
  • Why having good communication with your employees is important
  • Being able to have tough conversations by breaking through barriers of fear
  • The power of being a good mentor to others within your organization
  • Using self-awareness to become a better person and leader
  • Becoming a better leader by not avoiding tough conversations with employees
  • Why having a good work environment is vital to employee retention
  • Looking at obstacles and struggles as a way to improve and grow

How to best connect with Chad:

Oct 16, 2017

Good Morning, Onward Nation…I’m Stephen Woessner and welcome to Episode 600!

Today’s episode is going to be a solocast — where I fly solo without a guest so that you and I have an opportunity to explore a topic with some real depth — and in the process — I can share practical and tactical steps — also with some real depth — that you can take and apply into your business right away to accelerate your business development with more leads and sales.

And we are going to follow that exact recipe today.

But before we do — I owe you a very big thank you. Seriously…episode 600!?!

Seriously…it feels like yesterday when Scott McKain and I recorded Episode 1. And we have had the privilege and honor — that we take very seriously — of being able to serve business owners in 115 countries with our daily episodes.

All of which is possible because of the questions YOU ask me, the feedback YOU send my way where you help us see what we are doing right — or — when YOU push us to go where we need to go in order to get better.

So before we get into today’s lesson — I wanted you to know how much I appreciate you…and how I do not take for granted the generous gift that your time and attention represents.

You make my team and I better every single day — so thank you, Onward Nation — thank you so very much.

So now let’s shift our focus toward today’s lesson…and why I believe so strongly that business owners are going about selling the wrong way.

To help illustrate that…let me share a couple of scenarios that I see happening inside the typical business.

The owner is busy…so he or she doesn’t believe they have the time in their day to do “prospecting” so they hire a junior person, or several junior people, to run point and “get out there and kick up some prospects for us to sell to”.

The owner rationalizes their decision by saying, “Well, if we are going to scale this business…then someone other than me needs to be able to sell what we do.”

And the sales team does what they are asked to do. They research…they call…they follow up…they schedule appointments…and sometimes they make pitches.

And sometimes…they even close a deal or two giving them confidence that the hard core sales process works…and it does from time to time…it just isn’t that efficient or cost effective.

And you know what? That is exactly how I learned some extremely valuable sales skills early on in my career. One of my first positions inside an advertising agency when I was 21 years old was to go through the yellow pages (I know, cringe…the yellow pages!) and then cold call everyone in town…and then go meet with anyone who would listen.

I learned a lot about persistence and tenacity…and we closed some business… but I wasn’t really that effective.

So now let’s also consider another scenario…this time replacing the heaving lifting of hand-to-hand combat — that sometimes prospecting can become — with inbound digital tools designed to advertise and promote your business to a vast audience who doesn’t yet know you — where there is no context of relationship — but over time and if you invest the right budget — you will be able to win them over and they pick up the phone and call you…to become your next big client.

But oftentimes…this is filled with marketing hyperbole because it is not that simple as launching a Facebook ad and connecting it to an email sales funnel…then voila — you have well prepared prospects who are desperate to become your next client.

Logically, we know it takes more than one Google Adwords campaign, or one Facebook ad, or a retargeting campaign on AdRoll to earn the trust of your next client. Digital marketing is great — heck — Predictive ROI…my core business is a digital marketing agency…and we have worked hard to earn our chops in this space.

Relying on a purely digital model is the wrong sales strategy for a business, too. Because…what I oftentimes find is that the business owners who are reluctant to get out and sell are the owners who are the most attracted to an inbound or digital marketing model for what should be a true sales strategy.

So let’s set these two scenarios aside for a moment — and instead — I want you to consider the potential impact on your business if you and your team stopped the aimless prospecting — and paused your digital marketing budget budget — so you could take some time to get really clear on who you wanted to serve.

Where you and your team sat down and made a list of your Dream 50 prospects — the companies you would most like to serve — but for whatever reason — you haven’t had an at bat just yet. And take it deeper that just saying… “Oh, we want to work for Harley Davidson!” Of course you do…and so do all of your competitors. Instead…you and your team need to get laser focused and say… “We want to develop a relationship with Sarah Jones at Harley Davidson because she is the type of business leader we most like to work with and for whom we can create the greatest impact.”

And then instead of unleashing your junior salespeople or a digital armada on Sarah Jones and your other 49 Dream prospects…you first reached out to Sarah personally to begin building a relationship. But not a cold call.

Instead, you will be seeking to build a relationship that is architected to remove all of the friction and uncomfortableness that can sometimes creep into the sales process. You will make Sarah feel valued…and most importantly…she no longer felt like a prospect.

Wouldn’t that be rock solid awesome for Sarah and for you?

And the sales process I just described…is what I call The Trojan Horse of Sales…and it has the potential to change the game for you and your business.

The legend of the Trojan Horse comes from the story of the Trojan War between the Greeks and Troy chronicled in the Odyssey written by Homer near the end of the 8th century BC. The story – which could be fact or fiction – is a great illustration of strategy and subterfuge.

According to the legend, the Trojan War ended in a stalemate because Greece was unable to devise a strategy to circumvent the city walls of Troy. The 10-year battle ended and the Greek army made what looked to be a retreat to their homeland.

The Trojan army investigated and found the beach abandoned. The Greek armada was gone and a large wooden horse was all that remained on the desolate shore.

The Trojans believed the Greeks had left the horse as a peace offering.

They gleefully accepted the offering and pulled the horse from the beach, past their impenetrable city gates, into the city square, and began to celebrate their victory over the Greeks.

However, a little due diligence by the Trojans would have been prudent. Perhaps they would have found the Greek strike force tucked quietly inside the horse.

The Greeks seized their opportunity late that night when they snuck quietly out of the horse and opened the city gates so the balance of their army could enter unencumbered.

The Greeks proceeded to sack the city. The story gave birth to the expression “Beware a Greek bearing gifts.”

The business development strategy for your company, if executed properly, will work in a similar way.

For example, a typical salesperson may have their access to a decision maker within a dream prospect’s company — like Sarah Jones in our example — blocked by a “gatekeeper.” Any sort of sales opportunity is thwarted and the salesperson may be forced to move on to her next prospect.

However, what if you happen to be the host of a top-rated podcast — or a YouTube channel — or a popular blog with a lot of subscribers — and you are getting in touch with Sarah Jones — one of your Dream Prospects — because you would like to interview her about her journey, her secrets to success, and the wisdom she could share with others in her industry or the broader business community?

Well now, you just changed the entire game, didn’t you?

Your podcast — video interview — or article for your blog — just increased the probability of a one-on-one, private, 60-minute conversation with your ideal prospect.

But how did your podcast give you this “All Access Pass?”

Your podcast changed the game because you are no longer perceived as a business owner looking for a new account.

You are now perceived as a journalist and your show is a media channel – a conduit – to an audience the guests on your show want to reach and influence.

It’s as simple as letting the decision maker at your dream prospect wheel the horse past the company’s gatekeeper – and park it right in the center of the C-suite. You now have an opportunity to dazzle your dream prospect with your brilliance and intimate industry and company knowledge during the interview.

Your podcast has done its job. Now it’s time for you to do yours. Sell to Sarah!

And your sales strategy should be a blend of traditional sales tactics like scheduling appointments, making presentations, providing proposals, evaluating your sales team’s workflow in your CRM, and so forth — AND — employing some digital marketing tools, too.

So after your interviews with your Dream prospects, you share the insights and wisdom collected from your guests through research guides, eBooks, webinars, and tag your guests in social media so they can feel the love — and — the appreciation you have for their contribution to your community.

My Predictive ROI team and I call this process creating “Cornerstone Content” and it plays a vital role in the long term success of your Trojan Horse of Sales strategy.

So whether you are comfortable writing articles, recording audio, or being in front of a camera — you should…without a doubt…interview each of your Dream 50 prospects with the result outcome being “Cornerstone Content” that you can share to build your platform — AND — relationships you can build, nurture, and cultivate over time so your Dream 50 prospects truly KNOW you…they truly LIKE you…and most importantly…they TRUST you.

And all the while…you are also sharing your message publicly through your platform…and then an interesting thing begins to happen.

You — yes, YOU as the business owner become known — you begin receiving invitations to be a guest on podcasts, you get quoted in the media, perhaps an agent or publisher approaches you to write a book, you are asked to speak at an industry conference, and on and on.

All of this content forms the foundation of your thought leadership — and it is thought leadership — true thought leadership in today’s world of biz dev that separates the progressive market leading companies from the wannabes.

In a future solocast — I will share some specific strategies and recipes you can use to create cornerstone content as well as how you can plug it into your Trojan Horse of Sales strategy.

But for today…I want you see how the sales process in your business likely needs to change — and how if you put a Trojan Horse of Sales out in front of your business — and get clarity around your Dream 50 prospects — how you will improve your entire sales pipeline from end to end.

I wanted to get you thinking about that.

To take that thought process even further…I am going to share a story of how the strategy of the Trojan Horse of Sales changed every aspect of biz dev for my core business, Predictive ROI — and in the process — took us to a completely different level.

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon in the middle of May 2015. I was sitting at my dining room table looking out the front window at my daughter and her friends having fun at our neighborhood playground.

All was well outside – but not inside. I was under a great deal of stress.

We had a just lost a major client. And although every business experiences this pain from time to time, what made this particular loss so painful was that we were overstaffed.

The loss in revenue made our reality even more excruciating.

I had purchased the domain name OnwardNation.com about 12 months earlier but had no idea why. No strategy; I just felt compelled to make the purchase.

Funny how God whispers the seeds of inspiration into your ear sometimes and then just lets them sit until He is ready for them to germinate into some remarkable.

That Sunday must have been germination day. As I sat there at my dining room table, I remembered the OnwardNation.com purchase and made the decision that we would create and launch a daily podcast using that name.

Next, I crafted an enthusiastic, optimistic email explaining that Onward Nation was the solution we’d been seeking to turn Predictive ROI lead gen and sales activity around (mind you, I had zero strategy, only unbridled optimism).

In the email I set an aggressive launch date of June 15th. I closed the lid to my Mac Book, and somehow felt good about the decision (or chaos) that I had just initiated.

Why chaos, you ask?

Well, I should probably share that the decision to create and launch a podcast in 30 days was made in complete and utter ignorance. I knew nothing about creating or launching a podcast.

Sure, I had been a guest on a couple of podcasts such as EOFire with John Lee Dumas and ReLaunch with Joel Boggess. So I knew how to put on a headset and open Skype, which comprised my entire body of knowledge in the podcast world up to that point.

Now let’s fast forward to launch day, Monday, June 15th.

Remarkably, we launched on schedule and the first day of Onward Nation ran smoothly. We aired three episodes on launch day: Episode 1 with Scott McKain, Episode 2 with 10-time New York Times best selling author Don Yaeger, and Episode 3 with real estate mogul Stacey Alcorn.

All three guests are rock stars and Onward Nation was off and running.

Several weeks later, I attended my Agency Management Institute mastermind group. By then, Onward Nation had aired 47 episodes, daily downloads were steadily increasing, and we had scored top rankings in iTunes.

I was feeling proud about our accomplishments. We had gone from zero to 60 in about 3.5 seconds. Not bad.

But we were missing a vital outcome: Revenue!

My mastermind group – all exceptional agency owners from across the country – asked me how I was going to make money from Onward Nation. Excellent question, but I had no idea of the answer. “I don’t know,” I said. “But we will figure it out.

Then providence set in.

Two of our Onward Nation guests got in touch with me and asked, “Hey, could you do that for me?”

“Do what for you?” I asked.

“Build me a podcast!” they said.

Like any enthusiastic entrepreneur in need of revenue, I said…achem…“Yes, we can!”

So my team and I stripped out the branding and content from the Onward Nation system and replaced everything with our client’s branding, episodes, content – and voila! We launched two more podcasts and earned $26,000 for our effort.

Rock solid awesome!

Now, a smart businessperson would have said, “Hey, we might be onto something here. This could be worth pursuing.

But I didn’t say that.

Instead, I returned to thinking about how we were overstaffed and needed to grow revenue. Ironic, isn’t it? I often say that if God wants me to get the message, He needs to take out a billboard or hit me over the head with the brick. Subtlety is lost on me.

In late October, one of those clients (Drew McLellan, host of the Build a Better Agency podcast) said to me, “The podcast you built for me is awesome. And Onward Nation is awesome. Why in the world are you not building more of these?”

In my brilliance, I said, “For who?”

Drew rolled is eyes and said, “There have to be more Onward Nation guests who would love to have a podcast of their own!”

He took the lesson he was teaching me deeper, adding, “Look, here’s what you do. You create a Silver, Gold, and Platinum Elite package…you charge this much, this much, and this much, and get out there and sell them to guests.”

Brilliant!

My team and I immediately got to work creating the packages Drew had recommended.

And then providence struck a second time. On November 17, 2015 — I interviewed Wendy Keller, literary agent extraordinaire, for Episode 106 of Onward Nation. The conversation started out lovely – just what I had envisioned.

Then, suddenly, I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach and the air knocked right out of me. Wendy told her emotional and devastating story about the tragic car accident that she and her husband, along with their two children were in while on vacation in Europe.

Her children were killed, she was critically injured, and her life was changed in an instant. My legs felt weak. In shock, I didn’t know what to say.

Wendy had to be the strongest person I’d ever met. After continuing for a few minutes, she paused and gave me a moment to catch my breath. Then we continued the interview. I was captivated by Wendy’s courage, her commitment, and her resolve.

What could stop this woman?

When we finished the interview she turned the tables on me, asking about Onward Nation.

Why was I doing it?

What was the end game?

I told her I was planning to write a book that distilled all the wisdom collected during the episodes of the podcast. I could practically feel her smile on the other end of our Skype connection.

And then she asked me a life-altering question: “Hmm… Why don’t you write a book about how business owners can use podcasting to grow revenue and their business? That’s where the real opportunity is for a book.” Bam. Providence!

Quick side note…Wendy is the one who gave me the idea and push to write Profitable Podcasting…which we released a few short weeks ago…and it became a #1 New Release on Amazon.com in just 18 hours and is currently rolling out to retail stores.

So…back to the story…following the interview with Wendy, my Predictive ROI team made it a vital priority to accelerate the sales of our newly minted Silver, Gold, and Platinum Elite packages. We were on a mission to create a bone fide monetization strategy.

Our goal was to grow revenue, and at the same time, create a compelling proof of concept for the system that would eventually become this book.

We grew podcast-related revenue to $223,000 between November 17 and December 31, 2015 and built a sales pipeline of $380,000 during Q1 2016. We scaled our production and sales teams and created step-by-step documentation of our system.

And now we predict $2 million in podcast-related revenue during the next 12 months.

We accomplished this thanks in part to several amazing mentors who stepped into our path. We listened to them, and we did exactly what they recommended — and — we put the Trojan Horse of Sales to work and built a complete business development system around the entire process.

But your story of growing your business, expanding your platform, and building a nation of true fans can be just as amazing if you put the right sales strategy to work for you.

So in my next solocast…I will take this lesson deeper with more of the “How to” — but for now — I encourage you to take some time to consider the “Why” and how the game would change for you and your business if you were open to the possibilities of what the next level of biz dev may hold.

In the coming weeks, I will share our full blueprints or “recipes” for success with you. I will share each and every step we took along the way in complete transparency.

Not a single step will be hidden from you. It will all be here, in plain sight.

So before we go…before we close out and I say goodbye…I just wanted to say thank you again.

Thank you for listening…thank you for making Onward Nation what you listen to and study.

Thank you for making Onward Nation part of your daily routine — please know — I am grateful for your time and I encourage you to drop me a line at stephen@onwardnation.com if you ever have any questions, concerns, or feedback on how we can get better.

Let me know what you think of the show — thumbs up or thumbs down. I want to know because that is the only way we can get better.

Until tomorrow — onward with gusto!

Oct 13, 2017

Nathan Hirsch is a serial entrepreneur, an expert in remote hiring, and eCommerce guru. Selling online since 2010, Nate has sold well over $25 million worth of product through his eCommerce business. He is now the co-founder and CEO of FreeeUp.com, the hands-on hiring marketplace connecting hundreds of online business owners with reliable, pre-vetted remote workers. FreeeUp is redefining how businesses are able to hire remote freelancers online.

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • How to find weaknesses within your business and turn them into strengths
  • The importance of communication when hiring remote workers
  • How FreeeUp.com connects business owners with freelancers
  • Tackling your vital priorities by valuing not only your time but also your team’s time
  • Focusing your time as a business owner on tasks that grow your business
  • How finding time, either early morning or late evening can maximize your productivity
  • Why diversifying your business is critical to your success
  • The importance of being a good problem solver within your business
  • The need to figure out the “why” behind your business
  • Why making customer service the core of your business is important

How to best connect with Nathan:

Oct 12, 2017

Nancy Bleeke has spent years in the trenches as a Sales Professional, Sales Manager, and Sales Coach. She is the winner of the Top Sales World Magazine’s 2013 Gold Medal Book Award for ‘Conversations That Sell’, declared a “must-read” for sales teams around the world. Nancy’s practical focus since 1998 has been equipping companies to grow Sales, Customer Loyalty, and Employee Engagement through customized Training, Consulting, Assessments, and effective Processes.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Looking at sales as simply helping others through the decision making process
  • The need for more technical sales training in multiple business fields
  • How to overcome overwhelming and scary feelings about being a salesperson
  • The importance of finding a positive mentor to lean on in times of struggles
  • How stepping out of your comfort zone may push you to success
  • Why learning to sell is a critical skill to master in business
  • The importance of identifying your approach to doing business
  • Building trust with your potential clients and existing customers
  • The power of having transparency and being genuine in your sales approach
  • The importance of not losing sight of the enjoyment and fun your business provides you

How to best connect with Nancy:

Oct 11, 2017

Bill Troy is an Inc. 500 CEO who, for 25 years, has helped global brands like Sony, Disney and Nestle see the world from a different perspective. As CEO of Civilis Marketing, Bill and his team help companies initiate and nurture relationships that drive business growth using today’s digital communication tools. He is also the author of the book “CLICKSAND: How Online Marketing Will Destroy Your Business (And The Unlikely Secret To Saving It).”

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • The importance of testing your assumptions to know that they work
  • Finding a balance between what is effective and what is efficient
  • Why online marketing may not be the answer that your business needs
  • Being weary of online marketing pitchmen using questionable tactics and data
  • Why it’s important to build customers face to face through human contact
  • The importance of having a balanced marketing strategy
  • Learning to navigate through the confusing world of sales and marketing
  • Staying focused on the measurables within your business
  • Building human relationships into a process
  • How spending time with three types of people, successful peers, mentors, and customers will lead to success

How to best connect with Bill:

Oct 10, 2017

Yigal Adato is a leadership expert, speaker, and an executive coach to business owners and is on a mission to build a legion of leaders. He dedicates himself to helping business owners master self-leadership skills, make more money, stress less, and have more freedom to do what they love. Yi – gall is also the Founder of “Unlock the Leader” and the host of the show “Small Business – Big Leaders.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • How to unlock the leadership potential within yourself
  • Finding a different avenue of leadership to reduce the stress in your life
  • How to be a great leader by having clarity, courage, and commitment
  • Why learning to delegate can lead to having more time to do what you love
  • Working on yourself in all areas of life to help you become a better leader
  • Why not being afraid to be honest is a critical skill to master
  • The importance of setting boundaries within your work and personal life
  • Why as a leader you need to humble and learn to apologize when you are wrong
  • Being clear about exactly where your business stands at the moment
  • How having integrity and being nice to your employees and customers leads to success

How to best connect with Yigal:

Oct 9, 2017

Charles Carroll is an eight-time Culinary Olympian, speaker and Executive Chef of the third busiest country club in the United States – Houston’s River Oaks. He won his first Culinary Olympics gold medal at the 1988 games at the age of 24 & was named one of the year’s Great Country Inn Chefs by the James Beard Foundation in 1993. Charles was personally commended by U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama for his work with U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2011 and 2013.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Keeping roadblocks from standing in the way of reaching your goals
  • Why learning to listen is a critical skill for business owners to master
  • The importance of being a good teammate
  • How hiring the right people is vital to success
  • Focusing your efforts into what you excel at
  • Why it’s important to always dream big
  • How taking a leap of faith can lead to success
  • The power of persistence and how it leads to opportunity
  • Not letting the negative hold you back in your business
  • Being okay with the process and letting opportunity happen

How to best connect with Charles:

Oct 6, 2017

Adrienne Garland is the founder of She Leads Media, a media company dedicated to leadership – both professionally and personally – for women, worldwide. The mission of She Leads Media is to inspire, educate and ultimately, to showcase women as the leaders we were all meant to be. You may remember Adrienne and the wisdom she shared during Episode 320. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all she shared during our first interview…I highly encourage you to add Episode 320 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Why Adrienne created the “She Leads” conference to be practical and tactical
  • The importance of avoiding procrastination and distractions
  • Why your definition of success will change throughout your life
  • How fear can lead to missed opportunities
  • Recognizing you may need another perspective to help you push past challenges
  • Learning to lean on others when you don’t have all the solutions
  • The importance of having open, honest communication with everyone on your team
  • Mentorship: asking the right questions and really listening to the answer
  • How empowering your employees to make decisions can lead to learning opportunities
  • Looking inward to determine how to transition your business to the next level

How to best connect with Adrienne:

Oct 5, 2017

Lauren Magura is the founder and CEO of Cinematcher – the matchmaking app for film, TV, and digital media jobs and events. She came up with the idea of Cinematcher through her passion for connecting people. Lauren has a background from NBC operations and Universal Pictures in marketing and film. The true dedication of everyone in the industry, and the need for an instant and location-based hiring process to keep up with the massive increase of content creation, influenced her to put Cinematcher into motion.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • How writing lists helps you accomplish your vital priorities each day
  • Why scheduling all calls or in-person meetings for the same day can be a time saver
  • How following your internal clock can lead to being more energized throughout your day
  • Reducing distractions during the day by setting your cellphone aside
  • The importance of not letting negative criticism affect you but rather turn it into a positive
  • Surrounding yourself with people who know what you don’t
  • The power of being present in everything you do
  • How making mistakes leads to being a better leader and business owner
  • The importance of staying focused on your goals
  • Why the key to success in your business is being persistent

How to best connect with Lauren:

Oct 4, 2017

Charles Dobens is the co-founder of the Multifamily Investing Academy – an educational foundation dedicated to working with new investors to train them in the correct way to acquire, operate and own multifamily property. A Boston-based attorney and founder of Dobens Law, Charles has also acquired over 800 apartment units around the country and works exclusively with investors looking to acquire multifamily properties.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • How the best learning experiences often arise out of failures
  • Avoiding mistakes by verifying everything and learning you can’t always trust everyone
  • The 5 points of how to make money in multifamily properties
  • The importance of businesses having total control of their records, accounting, and cash
  • Why the most critical skill for business owners is to master is sales and marketing
  • The key lesson of being a good mentor and helping others succeed
  • Focusing on both the front end and back end of a business deal at the same time
  • The importance of finding the right customers and treating them right
  • The need to be patient and understanding business take time to build
  • Why you need to take action and not wait for opportunities to come to you

How to best connect with Charles:

Oct 3, 2017

Vince Menzione is the founder of Cloud Wave Partners, a company that helps technology organizations build profitable relationships and execute effective partner strategies to grow their business. He’s an award-winning leader who was in charge of the launch of Microsoft’s cloud offerings & enabled the organization’s transformation to a cloud services model. Vince is also the host of the podcast ‘Ultimate Guide to Partnering’, which focuses on helping technology giants connect & thrive in the rapid age of digital transformation.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • The importance of keeping pace with rapid changes in technology within your business
  • Why commitment to change must start at the top of the organization
  • The need for grit and determination for your business to be successful
  • How being adaptable in the technology age will benefit your business
  • The benefits of focusing on your three most important tasks each day
  • How starting your day with some form of exercise can help you focus on your day
  • Having the courage to make the tough decisions when necessary
  • Why patience and consistency are critical skills to master
  • The importance of guarding the doorway to your mind
  • Having an ideal customer profile leads to working with the right clientele

How to best connect with Vince:

Oct 2, 2017

Brian Safdari is America’s Leading College Admissions and Funding Expert. He has helped over 25,000 families get their child accepted into their dream college while making the cost affordable. You may remember Brian and the wisdom he shared during Episode 31. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all Brian shared during our first interview…I highly encourage you to add Episode 31 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Connecting the dots of your business to see the larger picture
  • How doing less, not more can lead to greater focus on vital priorities
  • The importance of implementing and trusting your system
  • The need to feed your mind with positivity
  • How focusing on being valuable to others will help bring you success
  • Becoming valuable by listening and asking your clients questions
  • Having gratitude sessions with yourself every day to help minimize fear
  • Why falling in love with what you do over and over again is important
  • How overcomplicating things can get in the way of success
  • The importance of surrounding yourself with the right people

How to best connect with Brian:

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