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: June, 2018
Jun 29, 2018

Phil Singleton is a web designer, SEO expert, award-winning author and CEO of the digital agency, Kansas City Website Design & SEO. He is co-author of the Amazon bestseller, “SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers and Entrepreneurs” — a book that he co-wrote with John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing and listed as a top marketing book by Huffington Post. He’s also the author of a popular WordPress SEO plugin that has been downloaded over 100,000 times in the last year. Phil’s latest venture, Podcast Bookers, is a service that helps marketers and executives get booked on established podcasts.

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • How after returning stateside after 10 years in Taiwan, Phil successfully began to develop websites while living in Kansas City and soon saw the potential they added to ecommerce
  • The growing importance of SEO (search engine optimization) for those buying and selling items on the internet
  • The value of sharing information on other podcasts, especially in areas of well-defined expertise, such as Phil's awareness of the impact of SEO
  • Ways that appearing as a guest on another's podcast also increases the person's credentials as they share the expertise with other podcasters, even if they have their own show
  • How having an expertise in SEO and understanding the impact of a well-written call to action (CTA) allow you to enhance your web presence and ranking
  • Ways that podcast guests can help promote themselves and the podcast they appeared on by sending a resource email of things mentioned on the show, SEO suggestions, and other content to assist the host
  • Reasons that some podcast guests offer to assist with funding the transcription of the broadcast, since it benefits them as well as the person who interviewed them on the podcast
  • The significance of reviews and the growing review-based culture in which many entities with an online presence will ask you to evaluate their online offerings
  • How the quality of podcasts have improved as talent brings their best stuff and shares their ideas
  • Ways that focusing on an SEO strategy that emphasizes personal branding and the authority people bring to the table drives more traffic to high-quality web pages

Ways to contact Phil:

Jun 27, 2018

Ken Pasch is the President of KiVisions Inc., a leader development company that utilizes the innovative 7-Step Successful Ventures in Human Dynamics Model™ and the Make Your M.A.R.K! cycle™ — the basis for the entire leader development process. He’s a leadership authority, having worked for 30 years to develop, test, and refine the process that revolutionizes the tools available to leaders. Ken is the host of the syndicated radio show “Unlock Your Full Potential” and is also the author of the book, "On Course: Become a Great Leader and Soar!”

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • The value of sharing the "we-win" mentality, providing information that helps others become better at the things you already do so they can advance as well
  • Why leaders try to get everyone on board so that they realize that their contributions really matter
  • The importance of looking for things that cause us to drag, slow us down, and ultimately impact our return on investment
  • How good people become great leaders by adopting the proper mindsets and skill sets in tandem
  • Why true leaders have the courage and confidence to listen to others' input and build the team before making a final decision
  • The significance of focusing on priorities and clearly demonstrating in your deeds that you are a leader who does what you do for higher purposes
  • How people become great leaders by having the desire to succeed, following the process that takes them where they want to go, and accepting constructive criticism along the way
  • The significance of mentorship in professional development
  • Reasons that "good" is not good enough when we have so much more potential within ourselves
  • Why leadership development is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, meaning that we need to work with people at their expected level of "leader-readiness" and devote our energies to emerging leaders, growing from there

Ways to contact Ken:

Jun 25, 2018

Matt Theriault is a real estate investor and mentor, entrepreneur, author, and United States Marine Corps Desert Storm Veteran, who teaches people how to create wealth, financial independence and freedom through financial literacy and a creative real estate investing education. He’s built a cash-flowing real estate portfolio of over 100 units over the last 10 years. using a conservative, simple, and efficient approach. Matt is also the host of two podcasts, including the popular real estate investing podcast, Epic Real Estate Investing and Do Over, a top-rated personal development podcast.

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • How Matt recovered from a failed venture in the independent music industry by refocusing his energies in the area of real estate investing
  • Three ways that his real estate investing has taken shape in the past 12 years: doing it with you, doing it for you, or showing you how to do it yourself
  • Ways that real estate investing allowed him to focus on developing strategies to live largely off of residual income with a plan for that income to exceed his monthly expenses
  • How the first step involved taking care of basic necessities, followed by a plan to create his own wealth and a solid financial foundation once he had surpassed that point
  • The value of maintaining a to-do list and assessing your goals every quarter, as well as making sure you get the top three things on your list out of the way
  • Why we must remember that technology enhancements do not diminish the importance of having strong communication and people skills
  • The significance that his "Daily Success Report" has had in strengthening both his financial awareness and his ability to share his expertise with others
  • How Matt's podcast has become an incredibly successful part of his business through the way it attracts clients and builds relationships with them
  • Matt's three strategies for new business owners: 1. Education is important, but expert-level education is not necessary; 2. Create an environment for success by associating with others doing what you want to do; and 3. Find a mentor among those associates
  • Why building networks with those having mutual interests is a great investment in time

Ways to contact Matt:

Jun 22, 2018

Shannon Adkins is the President and CEO of Future State, a consulting firm that works with companies and their leaders to help them realize their “Future State” and remain productive inside a constant state of change. In 1996, she started working for a small company, Tech Prose, where she successfully started the web division. Shannon worked for numerous startups and tech companies before returning to Tech Prose, where she helped to revive the company. The changes led to a doubling in revenue in 24-months, new offerings, new clients, new leaders, and a new name, Future State, where she has served as the CEO since 2015.

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • A take-away lesson that Shannon learned early on in her career
  • Why we need more businesses that recognize that people should be their most strategic asset — not profit
  • The benefits of building your culture with intention
  • How to ensure that your system works cohesively
  • The power of knowing what makes your business unique
  • Why you need to ask for and receive feedback through every interaction that you have
  • How it’s not about what you know — it’s about what you’re willing to learn
  • Creating outrageous visions for yourself

Ways to contact Shannon:

Jun 20, 2018

Chip Franks is the co-founder of JoeVolunteer— a philanthropic company that connects people who need help with people who want to help…by using an app that’s like Uber for volunteers. He was also a successful real estate broker, having owned a residential real estate and property management company with 20 agents and a staff of 10, which he sold in March 2017 following a stroke. After selling his company, Chip wrote his first book, "Life Lessons from Dad: 101 Ways to Get More From Life”.

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • The power of doing something good for yourself every single day
  • A turning point in Chip’s life that lead him to create an app for volunteers, Joe Volunteer
  • Why you need to lead with revenue
  • An important question that all entrepreneurs need to ask themselves
  • Finding a way to impact as many people as possible
  • The three big components that can help you to get really good at what you do
  • How self-development is the best thing that you can do to live a better life and create a better business
  • The emotional story behind why Chip wrote his book, “Life Lessons from Dad: 101 Ways to Get More From Life”
  • Taking control of your day vs. the day taking control of you

Ways to contact Chip:

Jun 18, 2018

Our special encore guest today is Bill Troy. He is an Inc. 500 CEO who helps 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).” may remember Bill and the wisdom he shared during Episode 597. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 597 to your list of vital priorities.

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • Why Bill was driven to write his book “CLICKSAND”
  • The importance of being more specific when it comes to business development and recruiting
  • Why you should not be afraid to repel potential customers
  • How millennials are looking for personal relationships as a source of trust
  • Using modern marketing tools to create something of value
  • Why you need to start with what you want to accomplish and THEN choose the tools
  • Recognizing the ‘magical moments’ in the relationships that you’re developing
  • Why you shouldn’t have a fear of scaling your business to get larger customers
  • Hiring people who will add value to your team
  • Why you need to think like an owner — not like a manager

Ways to contact Bill:


Jun 15, 2018

Our special encore guest today is Tim Fargo. He is a successful entrepreneur, speaker, and investor and founded investigative business firm Omega Insurance Services in 1996 with a credit card, grew it to over 300 employees, and sold it in 2003 for $20 million. He is now the President and CEO of — a social media content management system he developed and designed. Tim is also the author of Alphabet Success — Keeping it Simple. My Secrets to Success. may remember Tim and the wisdom he shared back in Episode 63 of Onward Nation. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 63 to your list of vital priorities.

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • How the freemium model works well for some business models and service offerings, but doesn't work as well for others
  • How to determine whether the freemium model will work for your own business model
  • How paying customers tend to be the easiest work with while "free" customers have a tendency to ask lazy questions
  • Why many companies invest a lot of resources into creating a free product only to not receive much in terms of returns from the free product
  • The differences between the freemium model and offering a free trial, and how to transition from the former to the latter
  • How very few people tend to convert from the freemium model to the paid version of the product
  • The importance of focusing on the needs of your business and not paying attention to what others believe you need to do or have to be successful
  • How moving away from the freemium model can reduce operating costs without impacting the top line revenue of a business
  • The importance of recognizing that it is largely a waste of time to try and please everyone, particularly individuals who cannot be pleased under any reasonable circumstances
  • How not every customer or client is an individual that your company should have a relationship and that it is okay to let some customers or clients go
  • The importance of choosing the freemium model for the right reasons and not because someone told you that you should

Ways to contact Tim:

Jun 13, 2018

Anese Cavanaugh is devoted to helping people show up and bring their best selves to the table in order to create significant positive impact in their lives. She is the founder and creator of the Intentional Energetic Presence Method, an advisor and thinking partner to leaders and organizations around the world, and author of Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives. In addition to appearing in publications like Harvard Business Review, The Huffington Post, and the NY Times, and she writes regularly for in her column “Showing Up”. And...she is currently working on her next book due out this year.

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • How to bring best self to the table on a regular basis and have a good impact on the lives of your employees, customers, and the people around you
  • How to have an intentionally energetic presence through the way you walk into a room, engage in a conversation, etc.
  • How cultivating an intentionally energetic presence will give you the influence and foundation you need to make great things happen in both your business and personal life
  • The importance of the IEP method, which emphasizes impact, self-care, and people, and how to make this method work for you
  • How to reboot your presence no matter where you are and no matter the circumstances
  • How to build a strong energetic foundation so that you are able to be resilient and recover your stamina and energy so that you are able to effectively lead
  • The importance of having clean intentions that are in the service of others and not just yourself
  • How having good intentions and making these intentions clear will make it easier for you to persuade people to help you work towards a goal
  • The importance of doing away with the idea that self-care is somehow selfish or unnecessary
  • How taking extra time for yourself will make it easier for you to create an impact
  • How you need to be able to show up for yourself first before you are able to how up for others

Ways to contact Anese:

Jun 11, 2018

Our special encore guest today is Scott Dubois. He is the co-founder of Pidalia, a digital agency in Boston, that provides clients with solutions to their challenges in advertising, software design, and business process management. Scott specializes in media selection, campaign strategy, and analytics and applies his knowledge of business processes through consultation with clients. Scott is also an internationally recognized speaker on the topics of marketing strategy, user engagement, and cross-media communications. may remember Scott and the wisdom he shared during Episode 526. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 526 to your list of vital priorities.

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • The importance of having an onboarding process for your clients
  • Why you should use a survey data tool to gather client feedback
  • Why Scott believes that success cannot be defined
  • How the failure of Scott’s first business taught him a huge life lesson
  • What makes an ‘A-player’ an ‘A-player’
  • The power of being able to ‘see around the curve’
  • How to become a better mentor to your team
  • Why you need to realize that it’s about your team — not about you
  • The benefits and value of adding an assistant to your team
  • Focusing on the plan — not just the achievement

Ways to contact Scott:

Jun 8, 2018

Dr. John Johnson is the President and CEO of Edgeworth Economics, one of the most prominent economic consulting firms in the world. He uses econometrics and economic theory to develop careful analyses in a wide range of antitrust, labor and employment, class action and damages-related matters. He writes and presents on economic topics related to litigation, including several highly-cited papers on rigorous analysis in antitrust class actions. Dr. Johnson is also the author of EVERYDATA: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Everyday. may remember John and the wisdom he shared during Episode 344. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 344 to your list of vital priorities.

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • How John takes data sets and simplifies them for everyday people
  • The importance of starting your business with core values
  • Why you need to determine what differentiates you from your competitors
  • How being a thought leader in your space can drive your business
  • Why your reputation is critical for your business success
  • The importance of working with the clients that fit with your values
  • Why John feels success is being proud of the company he built
  • The importance of finding employees who are driven, motivated, and smart
  • Why you need to listen to your employees and engage who they are as people
  • The importance of consistently evaluating size, scale and scope

Ways to contact John:

Jun 6, 2018

Duane Brown is the founder and head of strategy for Take Some Risk, Inc., a performance marketing agency working with startups and brands to discover what is not working, convert traffic they have or improve and scale what is already working. He has over 11-years of digital marketing and branding experience working with clients including ASOS and Cineplex.

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • Why can be a good advertising tool for niche businesses
  • Why Duane started Take Some Risk, Inc. and what makes them unique
  • The benefits of hiring people with senior level experience
  • The importance of finding an audience through empathy
  • Why getting to work early is an important daily habit
  • Why organization is key to helping your business run smoothly
  • The importance of working on only the things that keep your business moving forward
  • Why managing cash flow is the most critical skill to master
  • The importance of consistently reviewing and evaluating operating expenses
  • The benefits of staying focused on your goal and not allow yourself to get distracted

Ways to contact Duane:

Jun 5, 2018

You may have heard me recently talking about point-of-view (POV) — why it is so important — and what can happen to a business if the owner doesn’t get serious about defining it — and building a strategy around it.

Without a clearly defined POV, you will not be able to attract or retain the clients and prospects you want — and your biz dev strategy will suffer as a result.

But...if you and your team do the hard work to gain clarity around your POV...why you do what you do...who you do it for...and for whom you don’t do it will be able to attract the clients and prospects to your business who are exactly aligned with the sweet spot of your business.

Originally, I considered making today’s episode a solocast -- where it would be just you and me exploring a topic without a guest. But — I changed my mind because I wanted you to have the benefit of getting some additional perspectives on this very critical topic...and I wanted you to get the perspectives from someone who has a real depth of knowledge not only in point-of-view and why it matters, but in business development, and in branding.

So my guest for today’s episode is Drew McLellan. You may remember Drew from several other Onward Nation episodes -- in fact...this is Drew’s 5th visit to Onward — more than any other guest.

Drew is one of my most influential mentors -- and -- he works in the trenches with my leadership team and me helping us build and scale Predictive ROI. Without a doubt...his insights, knowledge, and wisdom have been critical to our success over the last five years.

Drew is the CEO at Agency Management Institute and has owned and operated his own marketing agency over the last 23 years. He has written two books and has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called Drew’s blog “One of the 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • Why every business has a point-of-view — whether they have identified it or not
  • How the brand of the business is grounded in the “why” the company exists
  • How the process of gaining clarity around the POV of the business should be collaborative
  • The questions you and your team should ask each other during the process of defining your POV
  • Why business owners should then take their POV and “plant their flag” with it by producing cornerstone content that cements their flag in firm ground
  • Why true thought leaders are more than one-trick ponies — their content is available across multiple channels
  • Why your content strategy needs to be channel agnostic
  • What it means to be “intentional” about creating content around your POV
  • How great marketing “repels” customers you would never been able to make happy
  • How business owners can increase their opportunity for success by creating a POV that enables them to niche down

Ways to contact Drew:

Jun 4, 2018

Connor Gillivan is the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of — the top marketplace to hire pre-vetted freelancers online in eCommerce, Amazon, digital marketing, advertising, web development and design. He has sold over $30 million online, has hired hundreds of freelancers to build his companies, is a published author, and is the owner of — a blog where he shares industry insights on lessons he’s learned in growing his first Amazon business and

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • Why Connor and Nathan founded and what makes it unique
  • How offers 85 different freelance skill sets
  • How short term planning and sharing ideas with others keeps you focused on your goals
  • The importance of having an accountability partner
  • Why having an outlet such as exercise at the end of your day to decompress is important
  • The importance of building relationships with your customers
  • How having a referral program and building partnerships can help your business grow
  • How you can build your business without needing an expensive advertising campaign
  • Why you need to surround yourself with people that compliment your skills
  • Why you need to be willing to let go of things in your company that are not working

Ways to contact Connor:

Jun 1, 2018

Our special encore guest today is Nick Sonnenberg. He is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for creating companies that disrupt the way people live. Nick is the co-founder of Leverage and the co-author of the book “Idea to Execution”. His personal mission is to help busy entrepreneurs and executives optimize their lives in a meaningful way and help them go from idea to execution in as few steps as possible. may remember Nick and the wisdom he shared during Episode 431. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 431 to your list of vital priorities.

What you'll learn about in this episode:

  • The benefits of documenting, optimizing, and automating your processes
  • The importance of having employees rotate throughout the company
  • How success can be defined as working on the things you are passionate about
  • Why there are many more levels to success than just the money component
  • Why you always need to remain open minded and a constant learner
  • The benefit of writing down your processes and handing it over to someone else to review
  • The three processes every company could start evaluating and improving
  • Why every company needs to have effective communication
  • Steps you can take to get your business as efficient as possible
  • The importance of giving your employees more ownership and responsibility

Ways to contact Nick: