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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: November, 2020
Nov 25, 2020

Passive income strategies and building wealth from chaos

What You Will Learn:

  • How Mitch’s real estate business is structured, and why his passive income strategies are durable and flexible enough to succeed during the pandemic
  • Why Mitch believes wealth comes from chaos, and why focusing on helping people has been the key to excelling during challenging times
  • How Mitch and his team have adapted to the changes brought about by the pandemic such as people not wanting potentially infectious strangers in their homes
  • How Mitch learned that fixing the houses he bought was time-consuming and wasn’t really adding value, and why he structures his deals to be the “bank”, not a landlord
  • How navigating the challenges of the 2008 real estate market crash taught Mitch valuable lessons he is using to get through the global pandemic
  • Why Mitch made the strategic decision to keep his business in his local San Antonio market rather than expanding outward
  • How Mitch has structured his business into three different segments: one-time cash events, temporary cash deals, and forever cash deals
  • How Mitch began coaching others in his method, and how he has built out the coaching side of his business over time
  • Why Mitch does the investing and coaching work he does beyond just making money, and how his efforts benefit himself, new homeowners, and communities at large

Passive income strategies and building wealth from chaos

Even in times of chaos, the right passive income strategies can help you build wealth and grow your business. In this episode of Onward Nation, encore guest Mitch Stephen walks us through the important lessons he learned during the 2008 real estate market crash that have helped him continue to thrive during the global pandemic. Mitch explains why his business model is built to be durable, adaptable, and is focused on helping others. He also shares why he keeps a laser focus on his local market rather than attempting to expand beyond the San Antonio, Texas market.

Passive income strategies in the world of real estate

Mitch Stephen has spent decades developing his skills as a real estate investor, and over that career he has learned valuable lessons about earning more by doing less. During the episode, Mitch discussed why he shifted his focus from “fix-and-flip” real estate to simply buying and reselling without doing any repairs or upgrades, and he explains how his passive income strategies have evolved through testing, experimentation, and a willingness to learn from his mistakes. As Mitch explained, the 2008 real estate market crash showed him that investing the time and resources into property repairs wasn’t necessary; at the time, he had so many properties going into foreclosure that he couldn’t fix them all, but he was surprised to realize that even without expensive and time-consuming repairs, his properties were moving quickly. This important lesson shows that it is important to periodically question assumptions about our business models and identify opportunities to streamline the business.

Finding opportunities in chaos

The 2008 market crash taught Mitch key skills and the value of being ready to pivot to take advantage of opportunities. These lessons are even more applicable today, during the global pandemic. Mitch began coaching other new investors on the passive income strategies, lessons and skills he developed through trial and error, with the important goal of helping others succeed. Today, his real estate coaching has grown to become a key pillar of Mitch’s business empire, and one of the most important lessons he teaches his students is how to identify opportunities during the tough times. As Mitch explained, challenges such as the global pandemic create unique opportunities for business owners to solve problems for their customers, allowing truly creative businesses to better position themselves within their niches. Being adaptable, nimble and ready to deliver creative solutions can help businesses not just survive but thrive during chaotic and challenging times. That’s exactly why it is important to double down rather than retreat during difficult periods.

Passive income strategies | Building wealth from chaos

About Mitch Stephen

Mitch Stephen has been a self-employed real estate investor for 25+ years. His real estate investing career started at the age of 23 when he read “Nothing Down” by Robert Allen.

Mitch Stephen has purchased well over 2,000 houses in and around his hometown of San Antonio, TX. Mitch is a high school graduate who never stopped learning. Books, CDs, seminars, and webinars were his classroom.

Today he specializes in owner financing properties to individuals left behind by traditional lending institutions and giving new life to properties that scar their neighborhoods.

He has perfected a method of achieving cash-flow without having to be a landlord and without having to rehab properties. He’s mastered the art of raising private money and the classic “Nothing Down” deal.

He has pioneered the idea that you don’t have to give discounts to sell your notes.

A passionate speaker who delivers the message of integrity first and profits second; an expert at keeping it simple and explaining, in plain English, the theories that made him financially independent. He is always an inspiration to those around him.

How to Connect with Mitch Stephen:

Additional Resources:

Nov 18, 2020

Learning the Business Owner Skills Needed to Grow a Thriving Business

What You Will Learn:

  • How Ron realized he needed to make a life change and start building wealth for his family, and how he discovered the potential of real estate
  • Why Ron needed to make an early pivot in his investing, and how he refined his business owner skills and learned to manage and delegate responsibility
  • Why Ron’s real estate business is always in demand and recession-resistant, and how adapting to changes in the market has been one of the keys of his success
  • Why putting the right people in the right roles is crucial, and how Ron started his publishing business, Global Publishing Inc.
  • How Ron’s mentoring business has become the cornerstone of his real estate empire, and how his organization has grown to include highly successful student coaches
  • How the global pandemic became the impetus that caused Ron to take his coaching virtual through online events and training
  • How the switch to virtual has opened up new opportunities and helped to further increase Ron’s mentoring reach
  • Why marketing to your audience through multiple channels, both online and through traditional media, is crucial
  • Why YouTube is a fantastic free marketing medium, and why it is the ideal channel to share your testimonials
  • Why Ron’s number one piece of advice is to find someone who is successfully doing the thing you want to do and then learn everything you can from them

Learning the Business Owner Skills Needed to Grow a Thriving Business

Building and growing a business truly is a trial by fire. Learning the necessary business owner skills comes slowly over time, and mistakes will be made. But drawing lessons from those mistakes can be transformative. Master real estate investor and mentor Ron LeGrand joins Onward Nation to share how he developed the business owner skills needed to grow and scale his organization into the thriving empire it is today, and he shares some of the key lessons he learned along the way over the course of his decades-long career in real estate, mentoring and publishing.

Developing Key Business Owner Skills

Ron knew early on that the path he was on wasn’t going to provide the life he wanted for his family, and so at age 35 he borrowed $450 from friends and used the money to attend his first real estate seminar. As Ron explained in his interview, he learned “just enough to go out and make a mess”. But the early successes were enough to show Ron that he was on the right track, and so he continued to iterate on and refine his business model. One of the business owner skills that became the backbone of his success was learning to delegate responsibility, from putting the right people into the right roles in his company to hiring his most successful students to become coaches. Today, Ron isn’t just a successful entrepreneur and real estate investor, he also runs a thriving publishing business and has a team of mentors ready to teach others the real estate investing strategies Ron learned through trial and error.

Being Ready to Pivot to the Market

The onset of the global pandemic and its unforeseen challenges have impacted many businesses in dramatic ways, but knowing how to successfully pivot has proven to be one of Ron’s most effective business owner skills. He and his team quickly shifted their mentoring business to a virtual environment and adapted to the realities of social distancing, and in doing so they actually increased Ron’s reach and the profitability of the business. As Ron explained in the interview, being ready to pivot and adjust his strategies to the market has always been a crucial part of his success. By staying nimble and thinking creatively, Ron has been able to adapt to every challenge he has encountered and helped his business not just survive these obstacles but thrive through them.

Business owner skills

How to Connect with Ron LeGrand:

Additional Resources:

Nov 18, 2020

Learning the Business Owner Skills Needed to Grow a Thriving Business

What You Will Learn:

  • How Ron realized he needed to make a life change and start building wealth for his family, and how he discovered the potential of real estate
  • Why Ron needed to make an early pivot in his investing, and how he refined his business owner skills and learned to manage and delegate responsibility
  • Why Ron’s real estate business is always in demand and recession-resistant, and how adapting to changes in the market has been one of the keys of his success
  • Why putting the right people in the right roles is crucial, and how Ron started his publishing business, Global Publishing Inc.
  • How Ron’s mentoring business has become the cornerstone of his real estate empire, and how his organization has grown to include highly successful student coaches
  • How the global pandemic became the impetus that caused Ron to take his coaching virtual through online events and training
  • How the switch to virtual has opened up new opportunities and helped to further increase Ron’s mentoring reach
  • Why marketing to your audience through multiple channels, both online and through traditional media, is crucial
  • Why YouTube is a fantastic free marketing medium, and why it is the ideal channel to share your testimonials
  • Why Ron’s number one piece of advice is to find someone who is successfully doing the thing you want to do and then learn everything you can from them

Learning the Business Owner Skills Needed to Grow a Thriving Business

Building and growing a business truly is a trial by fire. Learning the necessary business owner skills comes slowly over time, and mistakes will be made. But drawing lessons from those mistakes can be transformative. Master real estate investor and mentor Ron LeGrand joins Onward Nation to share how he developed the business owner skills needed to grow and scale his organization into the thriving empire it is today, and he shares some of the key lessons he learned along the way over the course of his decades-long career in real estate, mentoring and publishing.

Developing Key Business Owner Skills

Ron knew early on that the path he was on wasn’t going to provide the life he wanted for his family, and so at age 35 he borrowed $450 from friends and used the money to attend his first real estate seminar. As Ron explained in his interview, he learned “just enough to go out and make a mess”. But the early successes were enough to show Ron that he was on the right track, and so he continued to iterate on and refine his business model. One of the business owner skills that became the backbone of his success was learning to delegate responsibility, from putting the right people into the right roles in his company to hiring his most successful students to become coaches. Today, Ron isn’t just a successful entrepreneur and real estate investor, he also runs a thriving publishing business and has a team of mentors ready to teach others the real estate investing strategies Ron learned through trial and error.

Being Ready to Pivot to the Market

The onset of the global pandemic and its unforeseen challenges have impacted many businesses in dramatic ways, but knowing how to successfully pivot has proven to be one of Ron’s most effective business owner skills. He and his team quickly shifted their mentoring business to a virtual environment and adapted to the realities of social distancing, and in doing so they actually increased Ron’s reach and the profitability of the business. As Ron explained in the interview, being ready to pivot and adjust his strategies to the market has always been a crucial part of his success. By staying nimble and thinking creatively, Ron has been able to adapt to every challenge he has encountered and helped his business not just survive these obstacles but thrive through them.

Business owner skills

How to Connect with Ron LeGrand:

Additional Resources:

Nov 11, 2020

Content Monetization and a Passion for Podcasting

What You Will Learn:

  • How David’s career progressed from entrepreneur to coach and thought leader, and what new opportunities and setbacks he experienced along the way
  • How the challenges David faced taught him important skills and key business lessons, and how he turned a love of podcasting into powerful content monetization
  • Why focusing on helping others and adding value proved the key to David’s career pivot, and how David turned podcasting into his primary career focus
  • How David has been able to monetize his podcast through sponsorships, and how he is rebranding and relaunching his podcast as “The Gonzo Experience”
  • Why David was inspired to write his third and most recent book, “Crash and Learn: Lessons in Business”
  • How in times of crisis such as the global pandemic, business leaders need to look for the opportunities and silver linings and work to avoid falling into negativity
  • Why it is important to look for the lessons and the opportunity to learn when experiencing difficult situations and major setbacks
  • Why David’s book “Crash and Learn” offers an opportunity to take the lessons David learned and apply them to your own challenges
  • How David has learned to cut through the podcast noise and make his show stand out from the other 480,000 domestic podcasts
  • Why the feedback David has received has often stemmed from people’s own internalized fears, and how he has pushed through and doubled down regardless

Content Monetization and a Passion for Podcasting

Can you turn your passion project into your only career focus? And if you do — will content monetization negatively impact your love for what you create, or can you keep loving what you do even when it becomes your primary job? Four-time returning guest David Mammano joins Onward Nation to discuss how he found his love for podcasting, and how he was able to chart a new career path with podcasting as his main focus — in spite of naysayers who tried to warn him away from it. And — he shares how going through difficult times can be a powerful teacher, if you look for the lessons and silver linings.

Learning from the Hard Times

David Mammano is no stranger to challenge, having once built a successful business before losing nearly everything. As the host of “The Gonzo Experience” podcast, David has spoken with many other business leaders who have shared their own stories of overcoming challenges and coming out the other side stronger and better positioned for success. These stories became the backbone of his book “Crash and Learn”, where David shows readers that we aren’t defined by our failures but by what lessons we learned from them. David collected the shared wisdom of his podcast guests to demonstrate that retaining optimism through difficult times is a crucial business skill, and that even the most difficult of experiences holds lessons we can draw from them that can only benefit us in the future.

Content Monetization as a Business Strategy

Speaking of David’s podcast “The Gonzo Experience”, during his interview David shared how he first discovered his passion for podcasting, and why he decided to make the difficult — and scary — decision to double down and make his podcast be his primary business focus. By focusing on helping others and adding value, David was able to attract an appreciative audience. The size of David’s growing audience opened up the opportunity to pursue content monetization through sponsorships to fund his work. Even though David had a number of people telling him that going all-in on podcasting was a mistake, he recognized that their words of caution stemmed not from concern for David but from their own fears. When he shut out the voices that were telling him he couldn’t do it — his own internal voice included — he was able to prove those voices wrong.

Content monetization | Turning a podcast into a business

About David Mammano

David Mammano is most recently known for being the host of The Gonzo Experience Entrepreneur Podcast. He is the author of business and college planning books, a TEDx speaker, a three-time Inc. Magazine 5000 Growth Company winner, and a professor at the University of Rochester.

He is a graduate of the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and also a graduate of the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s Program (an executive education program offered through the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO)), a board member for the Western NY Make-A-Wish Foundation, and a local board member for Junior Achievement.
David’s most recent book Crash and Learn: Lessons in Business quickly rose to the top of the Amazon bestseller lists. His other books are Make Love in the Workplace, and 101 Things You Can Do to Become an Outstanding Young Adult.

During the last 25 years, David Mammano has been a serial entrepreneur – starting seven businesses from scratch. He now uses those experiences to interview the world’s most interesting entrepreneurs. Each interview is aimed at helping entrepreneurs be their best in all areas of their life.

As a prolific speaker, David is an internationally requested speaker at entrepreneurial, business, sales, and higher education events.
David is most proud of his family in Victor, NY, including three children, Gianluca, Melania, and Alessio.

How to Connect with David Mammano:

Additional Resources:

Nov 4, 2020

The Keys to Scaling a Business the Right Way

What You Will Learn:

  • How mistakenly saving over an invoice led Mike to design the accounting software his business needed, leading to the birth of FreshBooks
  • How the company that started with six team members in his parents’ basement now has millions of users in more than 160 countries
  • Why Mike was reluctant to raise outside capital and instead self-funded the business for a long time
  • Why Mike believes that accepting venture capital during the early days could have undermined the value of the business
  • What important lessons on scaling a business Mike learned growing FreshBooks from just six employees to more than 400
  • What key organizational growth breakpoints Mike identified on the journey, and how the company had to adapt to each new breakpoint
  • Why having shared values and alignment within your organization is the key to success, and why every problem in business is ultimately a people problem
  • How Mike addresses the difficult situation of a team member not being in alignment with their role in the company
  • Why Mike has chosen to dedicate time to his thought leadership efforts, and why he considers it to be “soul food for entrepreneurs”
  • Why shifting from time-and materials-based billing to value-based billing can be a powerful game-changer for your business

The Keys to Scaling a Business the Right Way

William S. Burroughs famously said, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” We all want our businesses to keep growing, but sometimes we hit obstacles and roadblocks during the scaling process — and the solutions we used to get us where we are often don’t work to get us where we want to be. In this episode of Onward Nation, FreshBooks CEO and co-founder Mike McDerment shares how his business, which started out with six team members in his parents’ basement, has grown to millions of users in over 160 different countries. And — he shares key lessons on scaling a business he learned during that remarkable growth journey — lessons that can help you fuel the growth of your own business.

Bootstrapping Rapid Growth

Mike created the software that would become FreshBooks after growing frustrated when he accidentally saved over a past billing invoice. That’s when he decided to create a better tool for small business accounting. The tool proved successful — and Mike’s focus shifted to this new business opportunity. One of the important decisions Mike made early in the life of FreshBooks was to walk away from venture capital funding. At the time, Mike was concerned that the need to offer a return on investment could stunt progress in scaling a business — and so for years, FreshBooks was self-funded. Ultimately, this put the company into a great position now that it is in the pre-IPO stage because it allowed FreshBooks to remain more nimble without being beholden to outside investors during its critical growth period. While Mike believes venture capital isn’t always a bad idea, it wasn’t the right choice for FreshBooks.

Scaling a Business Takes Alignment and Shared Values

During FreshBooks’ remarkable period of growth, the company reached several key milestones and breakpoints. Each time, Mike and the team had to adapt to change and learn new, critical skills directly tied to scaling a business. For example, early on everyone reported directly to Mike — but eventually, the team grew enough that managers needed to be added. As Mike said during his interview, it was important to identify when these breakpoints happened and to adapt the business to continue scaling through them. And it is an ongoing process — as the business grows, the things needed to keep it moving change. Ensuring that everyone is aligned with your mission and values is critical, and if a team member isn’t in alignment with their role, it is important to address the situation honestly and clearly. As Mike said, every business problem is a people problem at its heart. Getting the right people in the right seats can help you overcome any obstacle.

Scaling a business | From basement business to global powerhouse

About Mike McDerment

Mike McDerment is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing and collecting billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.

How to Connect with Mike McDerment:

Additional Resources:

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