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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: May, 2020
May 29, 2020

Michael Redbord is the General Manager of the Service Hub at HubSpot. Prior to that, Michael scaled the HubSpot Customer Support team from 20 people in a single office with single-language phone support to more than 200 people powering a global, multi-lingual, multi-channel support experience. In doing so, Michael turned HubSpot’s customer support team from a cost center to a profit center and one of HubSpots greatest engines of growth, with an unimaginable revenue retention rate of over 100%. Essentially, the revenue the sales and marketing teams generate is worth more because of the customer success team. Michael is a noted writer, speaker, and former competitive classical pianist.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • How Michael got started at HubSpot while it was still relatively small in 2010, and how the company rapidly scaled to the powerhouse it is today
  • How many of the business leaders at HubSpot got started in the sales, support or customer service areas before advancing to leadership positions
  • Why working directly with customers helps anchor the team at HubSpot, regardless of their role, and helps maintain focus on the customer experience
  • How Michael navigated a difficult period in HubSpot’s life and managed the complexity of a situation that he refers to as an “acute crisis”
  • How the need to rapidly hire new frontline employees helped HubSpot clarify and streamline their interview and hiring processes
  • How the HubSpot team learned to scale their business and particularly to hire at scale, building out their team by hiring as many as 20 employees per month
  • How doing hundreds of job interviews each week became a primary focus for HubSpot, and how Michael viewed interviewing as his primary job responsibility during that time
  • How HubSpot transitioned from single-language phone support to offering global multilingual support, and what challenges they faced during the process
  • What tips and recommendations Michael would offer to help you fill your open positions with people who have the right skills and passion for the role
  • Why simplification and clarity are the keys to scaling, solving problems, and dealing with crisis situations

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May 27, 2020

With a talent for creating special events that blossomed while working for her dad’s car stereo shop, Nicole Mahoney got her start in marketing at Frontier Field in Rochester and she began serving as the executive director of the internationally known Lilac Festival. Later on, Nicole headed the Canandaigua, New York Business Improvement District while also performing projects for the tourism promotion agency Visit Rochester.

In 2009, Nicole founded Break the Ice Media, with more than 20 years of experience in tourism marketing. She now hosts “Destination on the Left”, a highly successful tourism marketing podcast.

As a business owner, Nicole knows what it takes to be successful. She founded BTI to help businesses tell their brand story through public relations, digital and traditional channels. Nicole has the ability to uncover unique marketing opportunities and develop marketing and public relations initiatives that help clients build long-term success.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • Why the onset of the global pandemic pushed Nicole and her team to “double down” on their thought leadership and content creation
  • How Nicole’s investment in her thought leadership has paid off in an overwhelmingly positive response from her audience
  • How Nicole’s clients within the travel and tourism business have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, and how she is working to help them through the challenge
  • Why focusing on being a great partner, establishing goodwill, and planting seeds now can help you survive and thrive through the crisis
  • How Nicole and her team navigated the early days of the pandemic, and why transparency in decision-making has been vital as they navigate the challenge
  • How Nicole and her team decided to hold a three-day virtual summit for her community well in advance of the pandemic, and how they have found tremendous success
  • How the virtual summit, already planned to be held in April, was ideal under the conditions of social distancing
  • How Nicole and her team are now helping their clients convert their own events into virtual shows, and how that service is becoming a new offering for Break The Ice Media
  • How the virtual summit gave birth to the idea of offering an online course with modules for clients, and how the team coordinated to create the course
  • Why being completely transparent and showing how they have done their work has been key in better serving their clients

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May 22, 2020

Melanie Johnson is the CEO of Elite Online Publishing. She is passionate about sharing people’s stories that educate, motivate, and inspire. She and her team market and promote nonfiction books for business owners and athletes to create expert authority status for marketing impact and influence. She is honored to work one on one with their authors to create the best strategies for their book creation, marketing, and social media. Melanie is a five-time best-selling author.

Melanie graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in communications and was the first girl to receive a varsity letter in a boy’s sport in the state of Michigan. She lives in Houston Texas and is originally from Michigan, where she earned the title of Miss Michigan. She is enjoying raising her two sons, who keep her motivated and young. She loves the beach, traveling, and spending time with her family.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • How Melanie’s varied career moved from working as a model and actress to broadcasting, to real estate, and then to the world of publishing
  • How working in communications awakened Melanie to the power of writing and publishing a book
  • How the Amazon author page can be a powerful marketing resource, including adding blog posts and a bio, putting the power of Amazon to work for you for free
  • What obstacles and challenges business owners often get stuck on when considering writing a book, and how Melanie and her team help overcome these roadblocks
  • What diverse tools and resources are available to help potential authors take down their thoughts and develop a book
  • How Melanie and her team’s “ten-by-ten-by-three” formula can help you quickly generate great content relating to the most important questions your audience might ask
  • Why calls to action throughout your book are important, and how to integrate your website into your book and encourage readers to opt in to more content
  • How giving away free copies of your book can be a great way to forge new relationships and create business opportunities
  • Why a book has incredible longevity and can help keep you top-of-mind with your prospects and potential business relationships
  • Why publishing a book has many benefits that other forms of marketing tools lack, and why it can be sliced, diced and repurposed in many different ways

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May 20, 2020

Robert W. Mixon, Jr. is a retired U.S. Army Major General, former President of a manufacturing company, EVP of a diverse, innovative not for profit company, and Leadership Consultant. He serves as a faculty member at the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point and various premier business schools including The Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester, The Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, and the Cox Business School at Southern Methodist University.

Robert served his country for over three decades in various military leadership roles before deciding to bring his high-caliber leadership style and values to the corporate world in 2007. Robert is an expert in the field of Change Management and has made it his mission to develop cultures defined by trust and empowerment.

He co-authored the best-selling book, Cows in the Living Room: Developing an Effective Strategic Plan and Sustaining It, and founded Level Five Associates, a change management consulting company which helps organizations develop strong leaders and unique cultures through the use of their trademarked “Big 6” Leadership Principles. He’s a recent recipient of a Business Leadership Teaching Excellence Award from SMU Cox School of Business.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • General Mixon shares how a football scholarship led to attending West Point and finding his military calling and a sense of belonging
  • How General Mixon left his career in military service and reentered the private sector, first with a nonprofit organization and then as an entrepreneur
  • Why General Mixon considers leadership to be a privilege, not a right, and why he believes in leading by example
  • How General Mixon and the team at Level Five Associates work with their clients to customize leadership training programs and workshops
  • General Mixon shares his “Big 6” Leadership Principles and defines each, explaining why they matter
  • How the team at Level Five Associates helps leaders evaluate, score, and adjust their Big 6, and how doing so improves their leadership abilities
  • Why success requires the ability to have frank discussions and the willingness to work toward sustaining your progress
  • Why believing in your culture and “walking the talk” in a transparent and authentic way is vital
  • Why the most important lesson General Mixon learned was that “it isn’t about me, it is about us”
  • Why, to achieve your full potential as a leader, you must commit to the leadership journey of learning and listening

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May 15, 2020

Drs. Brandon and Heather Credeur are two of the most successful Functional Medicine practitioners and entrepreneurs in history. Their passion, entrepreneurial acumen, and good ole fashion southern work ethic allowed them to build one the largest, if not the largest, single office cash practice in the history of Functional Medicine.

More importantly, their business success allowed them to be able to help tens of thousands of chronically ill patients return to health and escape a broken and destructive healthcare system. The Credeurs are steadfast proponents of functional medicine and getting to the root cause of disease. They are fierce advocates for this model of healthcare in their day-to-day actions and efforts, and they have been healthcare warriors at the regulatory, legislative and legal levels.

Through their coaching, consulting, and mentorship their expertise and wisdom have also been used to train hundreds of FM providers in what they call The FM Success Formula. Drs. Brandon and Heather Credeur believe that Functional Medicine should be Fun, Successful, and most of all Impactful.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • How Brandon and Heather discovered their focus on Functional Medicine, and why Heather’s own experience with health issues served as motivation to follow this passion
  • What early difficulties they faced after starting their practice, and how they had to discover a working business model and learn to run a business
  • How they realized they didn’t know business leadership skills they needed, and how they sought mentorship and training to fill in those gaps
  • How Brandon and Heather decided to pivot away from a traditional practice/Functional Medicine hybrid and focus on their passion, and how doing so created powerful growth
  • How they turned their focus to three interconnected niches in Functional Medicine: patients with type II diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and cognitive decline
  • How Brandon and Heather transitioned to coaching and coaching other doctors in the practice of Functional Medicine through their FM Shift platform
  • How their coaching business hit the ground running and has since grown and expanded beyond their expectations
  • How the FM Shift business scope has changed over time, and what the business and training platform looks like today
  • How Brandon was confronted with a tough reality that made a huge impact and helped him course correct and get out of his own way to becoming an expert
  • What important mentoring lesson Heather learned that taught her to reframe her mindset and create new opportunities

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May 13, 2020

Shay Rowbottom is the co-founder and former COO of a Facebook agency that worked with companies like Petco, Yahoo, Verlo, and dozens more in creating content and devising content strategies for social media. Since joining the LinkedIn platform in May of 2018, Shay has grown to over 90,000 followers, garnered over four million views of her content, and generated seven figures in sales for partnering media companies. Now, she is ready to share her strategies with you and produce the same kind of results for your brand.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • How Shay realized she needed a career shift and discovered the value of monetizing social media content and building a following
  • How Shay brought her vast social media experience to LinkedIn and had generated more than six figures in revenue in just two months on the platform
  • Why video is becoming an increasingly valuable resource on LinkedIn to help you stand out and gain attention
  • Why showing authenticity and vulnerability in your content can help your audience better identify with you
  • Why people often struggle to go “off-brand,” and why breaking the habit of sticking to your comfort zone can help you break through the noise
  • Why offering free value is a valuable way to spread your message and raise your brand awareness, and why hoarding your knowledge isn’t the good idea it might appear to be
  • Why sharing content for free can actually be more profitable in the long run that charging for the same content
  • Why consistency in creating content is more important than having a high production quality, and why a cell phone is a great tool when you’re just starting out
  • How to create great video content that attracts attention and gets people to pay attention to your message
  • Why Shay frequently remixes and reposts high-performing content, and how she comes up with ideas for fresh, valuable content every day

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May 8, 2020

Ryan Tansom became a business junkie early in life as he watched his father grow a small technology company into one of the market leaders in Minneapolis. He joined Imaging Path full-time during the financial crisis when the business was in rough shape. Ryan started in sales and eventually worked his way up to Executive VP after helping turn the distressed company into a profitable B2B technology provider.

In 2014, he and his dad decided to sell their business to a local competitor for a multitude of reasons. The exit process was an unexpectedly difficult undertaking, but the lessons that were learned have proven to be invaluable and he has taken his experience into multiple business ventures.

Ryan is now a serial entrepreneur, podcast host of Life After Business, Co-Founder of Growth & Exit Planning (GEXP) Collaborative, speaker and soon to be author. He has devoted every waking minute since the sale helping owners grow and exit their companies by developing a framework that guides entrepreneurs through the process.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • How Ryan inherited his father’s entrepreneurial bug, and how he learned firsthand the importance of proper exit planning
  • What particular factors help make a business salable, and why 80% of businesses have glaring weaknesses that make them unsellable
  • Why buyers assume significant risk when buying an existing business, and why outside factors can quickly devalue a business after a new owner comes in
  • Why research shows that 75% of business owners who do successfully sell their businesses are unhappy and regret the sale twelve months later
  • Why it is important for business owners to be clear on how they personally define success for themselves and their companies
  • Why knowing what your business is worth today and what it will need to be worth to give you financial freedom when you sell it is vital
  • How each exit option has a direct impact on the value, how much money you will get up front vs. over time, and what relationship you will have with the business post closing
  • Why creating a stable, predictable and transferable cash flow for your business is the key to increasing its value, and why you need a team of advisors to help you sell
  • Ryan explains the difference between “two-dimensional thinking” and “three-dimensional thinking”
  • Why you need to see improvements to your business as a worthwhile investment, and what steps you can take to shift your thinking about your business

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May 6, 2020

Polly is co-founder and Chief Strategist at A Brave New, a Seattle digital marketing agency focused on helping businesses accelerate their growth through inbound marketing, branding, and web design. She specializes in working with clients to identify barriers to their growth and overcoming them with strategic content and marketing tactics. She has more than fifteen years of experience in digital marketing and branding.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • Why Polly and her business partner Josh decided to become entrepreneurs and found A Brave New, and what areas of marketing they specialize in for their clients
  • Why Polly and Josh wanted to move away from nonprofit organizations and specialize in the B2B space when they founded A Brave New
  • What early challenges the A Brave New team faced when making the jump to B2B, and why Polly and Josh had to learn to believe in the value they were offering
  • How trial and error and experimentation helped Polly and Josh fine-tune their area of focus and helped them develop and grow the firm
  • How mentorship and good advice became the foundation of A Brave New’s direction, and why having mentors believe in them was a strong motivator for Polly and Josh
  • Why Polly believes it is important to be intentional and focus on a clear plan for the future, even if you are busy with the day-to-day grind
  • Why you shouldn’t try to start from scratch but should learn from established business leaders who have already gone where you hope to go
  • Why Polly and the team at A Brave New used their own company as an experimentation space to develop new offerings for clients
  • Why focusing on helping and adding value can help new clients discover your company, and why the A Brave New team developed a new level of discipline in decision-making

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