Onward Nation

America's best podcast for learning how today's top business owners Think, Act, and 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: 2017
Apr 21, 2017

Dr. John Hayes was introduced to the franchise community in 1979 while an assistant professor at Temple University. Dr. Hayes has since been a franchisee of several concepts, a franchisor of a major American franchise company, and a consultant for franchisors in the U.S. and abroad. For more than 25 years he has taught “The A to Zs of Buying a Franchise,” the most popular symposium at the International Franchise Expo. Dr. Hayes has also written several books with franchisors, including “Start Small, Finish Big, Fifteen Key Lessons to Start-and-Run Your Own Successful Business,” with Fred DeLuca, the co-founder of Subway Restaurants.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Dr. Hayes background
  • Why it’s important for your personality to fit when considering to become a franchisee
  • Why business owners need to master selling
  • The importance of trusting your own instincts
  • Why it’s so important to follow the franchisor’s system
  • Free resources to look into to determine if you are a good fit to be a franchisee
  • Strategies to ensure success as a franchisee

How to best connect with Dr. Hayes:

Apr 20, 2017

Kevin Van Eekeren started his career as a logistic officer for a S.W.A.T. team, that gave him insight into the criminal justice world and he soon found that training S.W.A.T. teams was the best way to reduce the use of force while ensuring national security. Fulcrum Tactical was born out of that idea and within 18 months he took it from a charity to a for-profit company. He started investing in startups on the side but focused on Fulcrum Tactical and his new venture, Fulcrum Farms, a sustainable farm producing high-quality meat and eggs for families and restaurants in the Chicagoland area. After 6-years Kevin sold Fulcrum Tactical and moved on to investing in startups full-time by starting Fulcrum Investing. He is also the co-host of a podcast called “The State of Logic.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Kevin’s background
  • Why Kevin believes that all business owners should be somewhat of a holist
  • The best way to save time and money
  • Why Kevin aims to be objective with information that he receives when making a decision
  • Why you need to be an expert in whatever you’re trying to accomplish
  • Why Kevin believes that there is not a point in running a business unless you can run it morally
  • Why Kevin firmly believes in hiring the right people the first time
  • Why Kevin looks for employees that want to constantly be learning & have a thirst for knowledge
  • Making sure that the way you’re running the business is what’s best for the business
  • Why it’s important to give your employees honest feedback as to how they are doing

How to best connect with Kevin:

Apr 19, 2017

Lolly Daskal is the founder of Lead from Within, a global leadership and consulting firm based in New York City. With more than 30-years of experience in her field, Lolly is one of the most sought after executive leadership coaches and leadership consultants worldwide. Lolly has worked with a top-shelf roster of clients, including many Fortune 500 companies and organizations of all sizes in a wide range of industries. Lolly uses a heart-based leadership approach designed to help people achieve their full potential to make a difference in the world. Lolly was named one of the Top Leadership Experts to Speak at your next event, and Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts by Inc. Magazine — and — The Huffington Post named Lolly the most inspiring person in the world.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Lolly’s background
  • Lolly’s approach to coaching: empowering yourself by leading from within
  • How fixing someone else’s problem can be disempowering
  • Utilizing your weakness in a way that allows you to stand in your greatness
  • Why you need to understand who you are being while you are living & leading
  • Why you need to ask yourself “What did I do great today?”
  • How failures always have something to teach us
  • Embracing the whole of who we are – both strengths & weaknesses
  • Why it’s important to find a mentor that can speak to you at a ‘heart’ level
  • Why leaders need to embrace who they hire with great skills & ask them to help
  • Why you need to choose greatness

How to best connect with Lolly:

Apr 18, 2017

Amy Bruske, author of BUSINESS IS BUSINESS: Reality Checks for Family-Owned Companies, is the president of Kolbe Corp and leads seminars for business leaders throughout the world. She was recently named Business Owner of the Year by the Phoenix chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Amy’s background and the goals of Kolbe Corp
  • How Amy marries business with human behavior studies
  • Why being “the smartest person in the room” doesn’t always yield productivity
  • The definition of “conative”
  • How the conative part of the mind can be used as a model for success
  • Why you should focus more on the end result than the process whenever possible
  • The recipe for “analysis paralysis” and how to avoid it
  • Why people fail in organizational training courses
  • How running a business is similar to parenting
  • Amy’s prioritization techniques
  • Why it’s important to measure mental energy rather than time
  • When to say “no”
  • Amy’s daily habits for achieving success and reducing stress
  • What to aim for as an entrepreneur
  • Why “good advice” can be harmful

How to best connect with Amy:

Apr 17, 2017

Sara Taylor is the president and founder of deepSEE Consulting. She is a nationally-recognized speaker and consultant specializing in the areas of leadership, diversity, and organizational effectiveness. With over 25-years of experience, Sara balances her real-life anecdotes with research-based theories to deliver for her reader what she delivers for her clients.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Sara’s background
  • Why it’s important to develop our skills for experiencing others
  • Why people need to feel more comfortable with talking about differences
  • The stage of development that we all get stuck in
  • How you’re missing out on the complexity when you focusing on similarities
  • How we pay most of our attention to frames, but it’s our filters that are actually in control of us
  • The ‘golden’ & ‘platinum’ rules
  • Why we need to get to the level of seeing unconscious filters
  • How, in order to be effective with other people, you need to be able to respond based on their filters – not yours
  • Why you need to approach both your personal & professional life with positive intent
  • Why you need to take accountability for your own filters

How to best connect with Sara:

Apr 14, 2017

Tony Grebmeier is a builder. While most well-known for building a multi-million dollar business with his childhood friends, it is Tony’s mission to build a community where struggling entrepreneurs know they can achieve anything they want despite their past. In 2001, he built his second supplement company, ShipOffers, with two of his childhood best friends. Fifteen years later, ShipOffers is an eight-figure business that has been an Inc. 5000 Company for the past three years. In 2015, Tony launched his podcast, “Entrepreneur Unplugged” to bring together his loves for business, radio, and life. Tony welcomes guests to share to-the-point, actionable tips for business success, but also share their journey in an authentic and transparent way.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Tony’s background
  • Why asking for help is not a sign of weakness but actually a sign of greatness
  • Tony’s purpose in life: to help people and live in gratitude
  • Tony’s ‘Living a Fulfilled Day’ worksheet and how it contributes to his success
  • Why it’s critical to stop and spend some time in reflection
  • Visualizing and being present in everything that you do
  • The importance of having integrity and being authentic with people
  • How mastering communication can help you to create anything you want in this world
  • How people treat you the way you train them to treat you
  • Why it’s important to create chemistry in your organization
  • Knowing what you’re passionate about & living out your dream

How to best connect with Tony:

Apr 13, 2017

Jared Nichols is a deep futures strategist, executive advisor, speaker, and coach. He provides the tools to help business owners and their organizations gain competitive advantage, seize new market opportunities, drive in new revenue, and increase profits. Jared is also the host of the small business podcast presented by the National Small Business Association entitled, “The Road Ahead: Small Business in the 21st Century”, which focuses on practical tips and insights for small business owners on how to create growth in a volatile and uncertain environment.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Jared’s background
  • What a deep futures strategist is
  • Market want vs. market need
  • Why you need to know how to create context
  • Avoiding habits that drive your productivity down
  • Why it’s important to be comfortable thinking about the future
  • Why you need to be bold and trust yourself
  • Having the ability to anticipate change and disruption and take action in the present
  • Why you have to risk being disliked in order to truly help people
  • Why you need to always be aware of your intention and your reaction to what you do

How to best connect with Jared:

Apr 12, 2017

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

Good Morning Onward Nation – I’m Stephen Woessner and welcome to Episode 470 – this week’s solocast.

And it’s during these weekly solocasts that I tend to go deep into tactics…where you and I get our hands dirty…where we cover a series of step-by-step business building recipes that oftentimes focus on scaling, sales, lead gen, hiring, or other business development topics that can help you move your business onward to that next level.

But today I am going to turn the tables…on you and on me.

I’m still going to share and teach but it is going to be from the perspective of a guest on another podcast. The Avanti Entrepreneur Podcast, which is hosted by my good friend, Dave Mammano, a three-time guest on Onward Nation.

You may remember Dave and the wisdom he shared during Episodes 17, 145, and 438 of Onward Nation.

Dave recently launched his own podcast and he already has listeners in 67 countries – and – his show has been a major source of new revenue for his business.

When Dave invited me to be a guest on his show – I said – “Heck, yeah, I want to do that!”

What I love about Dave’s interview style – and I think you will too – is that he is fun, energetic – but – he still asks the tough questions.

During the interview, Dave asked me to share the story and the lessons learned when Predictive ROI, my core business, lost $200,000 when we had to cancel a major live event. It was a major mistake and a very painful failure – and I share all the details with Dave. Nothing hidden.

Dave also asked me to share that proverbial moment from May 2015 when I decided to launch Onward Nation and the business case behind the show.

We even talked through some of the lessons and legacy I learned from my grandfather and how what I learned has shaped our company culture here at Predictive ROI.

Dave and I also dug deep into mentorship, how I meet one-on-one with all of my direct reports at Predictive ROI each week for mentorship lessons – and – how I have become a better mentor as a result of my accountability calls every Friday morning with my good friend, Don Yaeger.

And…I even share with Dave some of my experiences from working with nuclear missiles when I served in the United States Air Force – and – what it was like the one day my team and I had to rush into a silo one day to stop a missile from catching fire. Yeah – that was a rock solid awesome day to be sure, Onward Nation – but more importantly – it was from lessons like these that I learned that I have a real love and skill for troubleshooting and quickly solving problems.

Okay…so here we go…Dave Mammano…and me…on The Avanti Entrepreneur.

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 5.17.39 PM

So there you have it Onward Nation. I hope you had as much fun listening to the conversation, as it was to record.

Dave is awesome…and if you haven’t listened to his show before this one…I highly recommend you visit for his other outstanding episodes and free resources.

So with that said…I want to say thank you, Onward Nation.

Thank you for being here – thank you for all of your support – thank you for all of your daily encouragement – thank you for all of the wonderful emails sharing what you like about the show – and just as important – sharing how my team and I can get better – how we can deliver even more value to you.

I appreciate the emails, the tweets, the Facebook posts, and all of the connection requests on LinkedIn. I want you to know how much you mean to me – how much you and what you share with us energize my team and me.

You and your feedback is the lifeblood of the show and so before we dive into today’s lesson – I want you to know how much I deeply appreciate you taking some of your precise 86,400 seconds you were blessed enough to receive today – and sharing your time – your most precious asset – and deciding to share it with me.

I wish you the best of success as you conquer big goals and challenges the rest of this week – and look forward to having you back here tomorrow when we will have the opportunity to learn directly from Jared Nichols – you will not want to miss it.

Until then…onward with gusto!

Apr 11, 2017

David Mattson serves as the CEO and President of Sandler Training, he oversees the corporate direction and strategy for Sandler’s global operations including sales, marketing, consulting, alliances and support. His key areas of focus are sales leadership, strategy, and client satisfaction. Under David’s leadership, the Sandler organization expanded domestically and internationally to over 250 offices in 27 countries around the world. He added numerous program offerings to Sandler’s training portfolio, including Enterprise Selling, Leadership, and Customer Service programs, along with Sandler Certification — and — David is a Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek bestselling author.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • David’s background
  • Why David believes that salespeople are made…not born
  • How confidence & conviction can help you get through your fears of being an introvert
  • How to avoid being reactive
  • What habits Dave believes have contributed to his success
  • How to build trust with your team
  • Why every position within a company needs to act as if they own the organization
  • Why all business owners need to master communication & accountability
  • Why Dave believes that business owners need to come up with the questions and the issues, not the answers
  • Why the #1 thing you should focus on is sales
  • Creating behavioral plans

How best to connect with David:

Apr 10, 2017

Corey Kupfer has negotiated successful deals for over 30 years as an entrepreneur and lawyer. He’s the author of Authentic Negotiating: Clarity, Detachment & Equilibrium – The Three Keys to True Negotiating Success & How to Achieve Them. Corey’s clients include best-selling business author David Bach and Ajay Gupta, financial advisor to Tony Robbins. He’s committed to inspiring authenticity in business. He has facilitated workshops for Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, AICPA, Citibank, Schwab Advisor Services, and numerous other organizations. Corey is also very active with many nonprofit and public interest organizations. For many years, he was a leader of the New York community of The Hunger Project, an organization that empowers people to end their own hunger.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Corey’s background
  • Why it’s important to be at a place of gratitude
  • Why you need to prepare both internally & externally
  • Why you will have much more success if you plan your days intentionally
  • Why you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • Why you need to get connected to the ‘gap’
  • How context can give you a place to truth back up to
  • Why it’s important to identify your purpose and fully commit to it
  • Why you need to do the work to figure out the deep ‘why’
  • Trusting your inner guidance

How best to connect with Corey:

Apr 7, 2017

Mark Walker has been a real estate investor since 2004 and founded Luxmana Investments in 2011. Mark has successfully overseen the operations of his own assets, and that of other investors, in Colorado, Texas, Florida and Illinois. This includes his involvement with MBP Capital and Catalyst Multifamily Management — a successful multifamily investment, management, and brokerage firm. During this tenure, Mark has had property management oversight of his Dallas area multifamily portfolio, while also assisting with acquisitions and dispositions of assets.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Mark’s background
  • Why it’s important to know how much your desired lifestyle costs you
  • Why investing is really a team sport
  • How Mark networking has contributed to his success
  • Why you need to trust, but also verify
  • Why you need to constantly ask yourself what’s working, what’s not working, and what can improve
  • Why business owners need to master their time-management skills
  • How you can tap into systems & other people to leverage them to rapidly scale your business
  • Why you need to know your goal & what it looks like
  • Why, if you’re not having fun, you really need to question what you’re doing & why

How best to connect with Mark:

Apr 6, 2017

Kathy Kolbe is the author of the new book BUSINESS IS BUSINESS: Reality Checks for Family-Owned Companies and is also the global leader in discovering and accessing the power of human instincts. She has done the brain research to prove the relevance of her Kolbe Theory of Conation to individual and organizational success. Kolbe was the first person to connect conative behavior to instinctive drives, which she postulated as the source of the patterns of mental energy commonly known as a person’s “MO.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Kathy’s background
  • Why you need to be smart about how you deal with your emotions
  • How the creative process encompasses all three parts of the mind
  • What happens when you combine cognitive and conative behavior
  • Why birth order & gender are not the crux of how you succeed working together in a family owned business
  • How Kathy can predict failure just as well as she can predict success
  • Why you need to look at your natural conative abilities
  • How Kathy’s data shows that there is universal equality
  • Why the most important thing to know is yourself
  • Why collaboration is the key to any organization’s success
  • Why we should avoid hiring people who are like us

How best to connect with Kathy:

Apr 5, 2017

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

Good Morning Onward Nation — I’m Stephen Woessner. Have you ever noticed how most people only pay attention to the final product of a successful business owner?

They say things like…“I can never be like them.” or “They got lucky.”

What most people don’t see is what the business owner overcame on their path to becoming successful.

All of the struggles. All of the daily rejections. The heartaches. The betrayals. The rumors. The criticism.

Even the empty bank accounts.

And all of those lonely nights while they worked hard to make their vision become a reality.

You see, Onward Nation, the only difference between the one who quits, and the one who doesn’t, is that the successful owner showed up every day.

The successful owner worked hard every day.

They hustled every day.

They learned from a proven mentor every day. They worked hard to improve every day.

Patrick Be-David

They did all this…even though they felt like quitting…every day.

And eventually, they became who they are today…a successful business owner.

All of this is a very powerful lesson that I learned from Patrick Bet-David, founder and host of the popular YouTube channel, ValueTainment.

Onward Nation, if you haven’t already subscribed to Patrick’s YouTube channel, I highly recommend it.

Patrick is exceptional at teaching success principles and lessons you can apply immediately in order to move your business onward to that next level.

And during this solocast, we are going to dig deep into one of the fundamental – yet underlying principles that I just shared from Patrick. The principle is fundamental to success — but Onward Nation — it is also easy to miss, overlook, or to take for granted.

The principle is that there is no such thing as an overnight success.

There isn’t. No matter what industry — no matter what sector — the companies that have achieved sustainable success reached their pinnacle after years and years of perfecting their craft.

Successful people think about long-term wins – not short-term wins. It is about the long-haul, it is about endurance, and outlasting the competition not just for today – but for years and years down the road.

So I am going to share some examples to illustrate this powerful principle.


Because it is critically important to realize that success takes time.
Your success requires your full attention. Your success requires failure, it requires making adjustments, repositioning, trying again, failing again, reintroducing products, and maybe even being on the brink of collapse as was the case with Apple, before you finally, truly “make it.”

My hope for you is that you will celebrate the challenges and obstacles that are in your way right now.

With the right perspective – you will see them as the gift that they are. Each challenge – each obstacle – each setback – is actually making you stronger — if you let them.

Each embarrassing failure is forcing you to think differently — they are testing your commitment to your vital priorities, vital function, and your wherewithal.

Will you push forward — or will you quit, Onward Nation?

My hope is that you will always push forward and never quit.

There is no such thing as an overnight success. Instead, it takes persistence and tenacity over the long haul. The path to success often winds and swerves – and then ultimately – you make it – after 15 to 20-years of grinding it out and remaining focused on your vital priorities that you are then seen as an “overnight success.”

To that point, I encourage you to go back and re-listen to my interview with Verne Harnish in episode 205 and listen carefully to how Verne introduces himself to you, Onward Nation.

Verne says this is his 34th year of doing just one thing — helping companies scale up. His organizations and companies are devoted to this “one thing”…his books are dedicated to this “one thing” and even his family and friends are dedicated to supporting him be successful with this “one thing.”

The discussion with Verne is so compelling because he takes some time to dispel the overnight success myth by sharing some interesting data points and stories. One of those data points is that there are over 11,000 new companies launched every hour all over the world today.

Just think of that, Onward Nation…11,000 new companies an hour.

However, the vast majority of those companies will not be successful — they will lack the fortitude — the staying power to effectively scale their business. For example, Verne went on to share that of the 28 million businesses in the United States, about 24 million of the total are solopreneurs and will never scale up.

Most lack the resources — and I don’t mean just financial. Often times, as Verne shared, it is not a question of “how much do I need to scale?” but typically a question of who do I need to be in association with in order to scale up over the long haul.

Verne cited Apple and how the company had slowly moved along with their 25-year timeline — nearly collapsed — until Steve Jobs came back. At the time Jobs returned, they had 9,800 employees and were nearly broke.

And likely all of us know what happened following the iPod’s release in 2001 — but it didn’t succeed right away…in fact…the iPod floundered a bit for a couple of years.

But in 2003, it got some traction and now Apple has scaled to over 110,000 employees during the last 13 years. It would be very easy to forget about those first 25 years of trial, error, struggle, losing millions of dollars, nearly going broke, and then focusing on just one thing and doing it with excellence in the iPod — and then traction takes hold.

Success requires a disciplined effort over a long period of time.

Some people look at Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vaynermedia in New York City, as this guy who came out of nowhere to leap in front of the social media space and is now super popular with a massive following. Couldn’t be further from the truth — and Gary would be the first one to tell you. His story is one of grit, tenacity, outworking the competition, and playing to win for the long term.
When Gary launched Wine Library TV — his daily show — for about the first year, his audience was really small…almost discouragingly small…but Gary didn’t quit. Then year two…then year three…then year four…then year five, and then year six.

Gary Vee

Six years, Onward Nation!

Six years of producing a high-quality show of 20 to 30-minutes of engaging video content — every day — that’s what it took for Gary Vee to win.

Just think about that for a minute. The magnitude of content he produced. It is really easy to look at Vaynermedia today and become impressed with the success — heck — nearly 900 in NYC and five other locations across the United States — those are significant accomplishments.

But to me, and I suppose it is because I’ve had the rare opportunity to be Gary’s guest at Vaynermedia, to go behind the green curtain to interview him and to learn from him, I know that one of the things he is most proud of — and he should be — is all of the hard work, the struggle, the determination to make something out of nothing.

Gary truly enjoys the journey to success — and he would be another one to tell you there are no shortcuts to success.

And just because someone gets paid over $50,000 to deliver a keynote today — like Gary does — there is precious backstory there and it’s the backstory that is much more interesting.

Let’s take a look at the late Peter Drucker, arguably the godfather of modern day management.

Verne Harnish shared with me during our interview that of Peter’s 39 groundbreaking books, only 13 of them were written before Peter’s 65th birthday. Peter wrote twice the number of books after he turned 65.


It takes a long time, Onward Nation, to collect, curate, and share the wisdom that is deep and impactful enough to matter and add value to a lot of people, like Peter did.

Or, how about Picasso?

Of his top 10 paintings — six of them were painted after he had turned 50. And four of the of 10 paintings were completed when Picasso was 51.

Again…it’s the long-term commitment to your vital priorities and vital functions…perfecting your craft with years, and years, and years of disciplined effort.

I have mentioned vital priorities and vital functions a couple of times this morning — so if you want a refresher on terminology — just go back and listen to episode 203. I dedicated an entire solocast to the topic of the vitals in your business and the lessons I learned from one of my mentors, Darren Hardy.

So let’s move onto another example of long-term success. It would be very easy to look at James Patterson, one of the most successful novelists in history, and think — wow — here’s a guy who has it made. How amazing to be that lucky — to just write all day — what a joy.

Again, let’s go behind the green curtain.

I had an opportunity to interview the incomparable Linda Kaplan Thaler — oh my word, Onward Nation — Linda is brilliant. She was the creator of the AFLAC duck and so many ad campaigns that I know you will recognize if you go back to listen to our interview.

But during our conversation, Linda told me about how she used to work for James Patterson when James was the creative director of the agency where Linda worked. James and Linda worked together for 17-years and became great friends. As Linda shared with me, James did not become a great novelist by accident or luck. Instead, to perfect his craft, James would get up every morning at 4:00 and would write for four hours until 8:00 when he would leave his home for the agency.

He would then put in a full day — go home — and be in bed by 8:30 every night. And he rinsed and repeated this process for 21 years, Onward Nation. Staggering. 21 years!

Just think about how many times during those 21 years that he would have second guessed himself, called himself bat crazy, how much criticism he received from friends and family encouraging him to just quit and to give up on his dream, and so much more.

But he didn’t.

He remained committed to his vital priority — and after 21 years — he became the successful James Patterson we know today.

Or, how about Henry Ford? He was 40 years old when he founded the Ford Motor Company with the help of friends, family, and several investors who collectively helped him raise $28,000 in capital in 1903.

And if you look through Mr. Ford’s timeline, you will see trials, tribulations, blood, sweat, tears, heartache, success, followed by disappointment, followed by triumph, followed by obstacles.

So, let’s put all of these stories and principles into context by remembering the excellent lesson taught to us by Cody Foster, founder of Advisors Excel, our exceptional guest on Episode 81 of Onward Nation. Cody said to me, “Stephen, don’t compare someone else’s front-of-stage with your back-of-stage.”

If you only look at someone’s front-of-stage — what you see in the public eye — you miss all of the struggles, the obstacles, the pain, the suffering, the courage, and their zig-zagged journey to where they are now.

For example…we could look at Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, one of Hollywood’s hottest and most in-demand actors today…and it would be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that his path to success was different…that it wasn’t full of struggle, grinding it out, working hard to be the best…and most importantly…that it took 20-years for Dwayne to reach the pinnacle of success that he now enjoys.

An injury on the football field at the University of Miami that ended any hope of a professional football career that then he directed his attention toward professional wrestling.


And then he worked tirelessly to perfect his craft…slowly…training…making mistakes…until he made it to the big show…22,000 people in New York City’s Madison Square Garden…and a pay-per-view television audience for his first big shot at a win back in 1996.

And due to all of the excitement…he forgot to direct his attention toward the correct camera…so the huge at-home audience saw a lot of The Rock’s back.

Rock debut

Did this send him spinning and worrying about the mistake?

No! He got back to work…and ground it out for years until he won his first WWE championship.

And then that success led to controversy and tension…which he battled through…and finally some smaller movie roles…then a movie series…then some larger roles…and in November 2016…a starring role in Disney’s Moana as the mythical, Maui, whose bigger than life personality is a perfect fit for The Rock.


And if you want to see some awesome behind the scenes video for the recording of Moana – just check this out:

But what if The Rock would have quit after football?

What if he would have quit in his early WWE career and let the frustration of not getting an early break set him back? What if he approached the smaller movie roles with less than full enthusiasm and instead decided to hold out for the big one?

What if, Onward Nation…The Rock had not been willing to invest the 20 years of blood, sweat, and tears to become an overnight success?

What if?

And what if you don’t? You will be robbing the world of your special gifts and talents.

What if Napoleon Hill gave up and quit because he had not become an overnight success?

But, most people don’t know the story behind the success of “Think & Grown Rich” — and how the first edition, per se, was a great book but not well-received by the American public.

think and grow

Why? Well, several factors.

First, it was published in 1928 — just one year before the Great Depression.

The American public was not looking for — or ready for — a success manuscript at that time. And second, the book was huge and it was under a different title. It was the 612-page “Law of Success” — wow. I own the book — it is sitting on my desk right now — and it is amazing.

It is essentially a more comprehensive version of “Think & Grow Rich.”

Smartly, Napoleon decided to revise and repackage the Laws of Success by trimming it down — making it more concise — and then publishing it as “Think & Grow Rich” in 1937, nearly 10 years later, following the Depression.

“Think & Grow Rich” then went on to sell 70 million copies worldwide.

Again, no such thing as an overnight success.

So don’t give up, Onward Nation!

I hope you realize that the struggles you are facing — perhaps the abyss you are staring into right now — is all part of the master plan. You are more talented, more wonderful, more gifted, more incredible than you can possibly imagine.

You are a child of the highest God and were blessed with an abundance of talent — so don’t quit — don’t give in — don’t stop. Keeping moving forward — success is there for you — just not overnight.

So with that…I want to thank you again for taking the time to be here with me today. It is an honor to have you here — thank you for tuning in — I am delighted you chose this episode to be what you listen to, study, and take with you on your morning run, or maybe Onward Nation has become part of your daily commute, or in some other way has become part of your morning routine.

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

And please continue to let me know what you think of Onward Nation…good or bad…I always want your feedback.

My direct email address is — and yes — that is my actual Inbox.

No fancy filters or filing system and I read and reply to every single email.

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

Until then, onward with gusto!

Apr 4, 2017

Through his life in martial arts, Jim Bouchard transformed himself from dropout, drug abuse, and failure to successful entrepreneur and a Black Belt. Over 30 years of practice, studying, and teaching, he has developed the tools needed to master life, career, and business. As a speaker, trainer, and author of “THINK Like a BLACK BELT” and “THE SENSEI LEADER”, Jim is in demand internationally among corporate and conference audiences. He appears regularly on TV and radio including BBC Worldview and FOX News.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Jim’s background
  • Some of the greatest gifts that martial arts have given Jim
  • How mastery is about getting somewhere, not about being somewhere
  • The techniques Jim uses to stay on course for the day
  • The importance of developing the habit of discipline
  • Why you need to ask yourself “Am I where I want to be today?”
  • Why, as leaders, you need to let people fail constructively
  • Why you need to respect your core values to do the difficult things
  • Why you need to be comfortable with uncertainty
  • Why Jim feels that success is nothing more than the product of abundance

How best to connect with Jim:

Apr 3, 2017

Rick Crossland is an internationally known expert and thought leader on A Player Talent. His innovative approach to developing and validating high performers has been published in leading business sites such as and, where Rick contributes articles as a Fortune Insider. Rick has almost 30 years of experience developing, recruiting and leading high performers, and developing high performing cultures at companies. Before founding his executive coaching, leadership, and talent development company, Rick had worked at Johnson and Johnson, Ford Motor Company, and Limited Brands.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Rick’s background
  • Why you should look for passive candidates when hiring
  • Why, when interviewing people, you should always ask about their results
  • Why you need to clearly define the position you are hiring for
  • Why it’s so important to be able to hold others accountable
  • The difference in how both accountable & non-accountable people talk
  • Why you need to get focused on productive return on investment oriented marketing
  • How you can be a better leader immediately just by upgrading your team
  • Why you need to become a talent scout
  • Why you shouldn’t ask somebody to do something that you haven’t mastered yourself

How best to connect with Rick:

Mar 31, 2017

Dr. Rocco Martino is the inventor of the SmartPhone — and — has been a pioneer in the tech industry for 65 years. He is the author of 28 non-fiction books and five novels. His most recent book is entitled, “The Coming Technology Tsunami”, which shared Rocco’s vision of how technology will affect all of us in the next 10-years. It will be an unsettling time, but full of promise. Millions of jobs will be lost. Deliveries will be made by robots in driverless vans. The Smartphone will revolutionize education. We will launch our first colonization trip to Mars. The status quo will be disrupted and no profession or activity will be unaffected. And it will all happen in the next 10-years. This is going to be an insightful conversation!

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Dr. Martino’s background
  • The story of the early days behind the CyberFone & SmartPhone
  • Why Dr. Martino changed his strategy of trying to sell the hardware to trying to license the software
  • How Dr. Martino could not enforce his patent because he was not a telephone or communications company
  • How Dr. Martino created a $750 billion industry but received nothing
  • Dr. Martino’s dream of going to outer space
  • Why Dr. Martino feels that the history of the future is so obvious
  • How we are close to being able to carry on a conversation with a robot
  • How the power of association has been a contributor to Dr. Martino’s success
  • Why, if you’re down, pray, meditate, & move forward

How best to connect with Dr. Martino:

Mar 30, 2017

Frank Cottle is CEO of Alliance Virtual Offices and Chairman of the Alliance Business Centers Network with over 650 centers operating in 42 counties. He is the recognized expert on flexible working, the virtual office movement, and third place working. Prior to creating the Alliance brand, Frank successfully operated his own portfolio of business centers in multiple locations across North America. Frank has spent almost 30 years delivering business services that are finely turned to the workplace needs of startups, entrepreneurs, and growing small businesses. He has worked with tens of thousands of business owners and has become the go-to authority on flexible and remote work.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Frank’s background
  • Why Frank believes that the secret to time-saving and focus is building a team
  • Why you cannot leave anyone out of the communications in a company
  • Why you need to find joy in your work every day
  • Why Frank’s goal is to be the best student of his industry
  • Why you need to understand cycles and treat them differently
  • Empowering people so that they can make decisions above & below their responsibilities
  • Why you need to look at how you’re going to react quickly to any given situation
  • Why stagnation kills companies
  • Why the most important thing in business is flexibility

How best to connect with Frank:


Mar 30, 2017

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

Good Morning Onward Nation – I’m Stephen Woessner and welcome to Episode 460 – this week’s solocast where I will share the specific step-by-step recipe for how to get a sponsor for your podcast, a lesson that I learned directly from one of today’s leading authorities on the topic of sponsorships. Her name is Linda Hollander, and she is off-the-charts amazing. I’m telling you – the lesson in this solocast is going to help you monetize your podcast in new ways – or – if you already have sponsors – it may give you some new insights so you can sell your sponsorships upwards of $100,000 per year.


Before we get to today’s lesson…I want to thank you.


Thank you for being here – thank you for all of your support – thank you for all of your daily encouragement – thank you for all of the wonderful emails sharing what you like about the show – and just as important – sharing how my team and I can get better – how we can deliver even more value to you and your teammates.

I appreciate the emails, the tweets, the Facebook posts, and all of the connection requests on LinkedIn. I want you to know how much you mean to me – how much you and what you share with us energize my team and me.

You and your feedback is the lifeblood of the show and so before we dive into today’s lesson – I want you to know how much I deeply appreciate you taking some of your precise 86,400 seconds you were blessed enough to receive today – and sharing your time – your most precious asset – and deciding to share it with me.

86,400 seconds quote

And because time is the most precious asset for all of us – I have invested my time in building a lesson for you today that will add value in potentially many areas of your business. But I will say – despite the value this lesson will provide you – it may make you uncomfortable. You may feel put on the spot.

As you consider the potential of executing on the ideas I share with you this morning – you may immediately begin to talk yourself out of the opportunity. You may second-guess yourself.

You may feel that you and your business are not worthy of such lofty goals.

Am I Good Enough_

So as we move through the lesson…as I share with you the practical and tactical of what you need to do when you work to attract a sponsor for your podcast…and you start to second-guess yourself…and begin to feel that your show or your business is not at that right level…I want you to remember the wise words of Marianne Williamson when she said…

Marianne Williamson

But…how do I know this to be true?

Because Onward Nation, Marianne’s words struck me to the core the first time I read them. I was hit hard. I knew she was speaking to me and other people who felt the same way as me. In three simple sentences – she beautifully addressed head on the biggest obstacle of success that was blocking my path.

So now, instead of praying and focusing on opportunity to come my way…I have shifted the context to be more in-line with being ready to accept the abundance – to be okay in becoming the person I need to become to be the best steward possible – to be open and let the light shine in to cast out the darkness – so that I can see my full destiny unfold.

I am sharing all of this with you, in full transparency, so you have an opportunity to get your mindset right – to know you are worthy – that you are ready – that you can be more – that your business is ready for that next level – that your podcast is ready for a sponsorship – and that you are ready to apply all you learn here today.

And that I know the points where today’s lesson about attracting sponsorships will make you feel uncomfortable because I have been there. I have felt the uneasiness of “not being ready” first hand. But I am telling you, Onward Nation – if you apply what I share with your this morning, you will push past the fear and leap onward to that next level.

For example, when my Predictive ROI team and I launched Onward Nation in June of 2015…some of the first questions from people closest to us had nothing to do with the tactical of how we were able to build the show from scratch and launch it in less than 30-days…or…how we were able to soar to the top of iTunes within just a few short weeks.


Oftentimes, one of the very first questions I received from those closest to me was…

“When are you going to sell a sponsorship?”

This was a frequently asked question because having a sponsor was an outward sign of success – of legitimacy – that we had made it – that we were on our way to doing something special.

But here’s the truth, Onward Nation. The thought of selling a sponsorship early on terrified me. I was afraid of the rejection. I was afraid of sharing what might seem like small numbers for a new show.

I didn’t want to waste my time or the time of the prospective sponsors. I was afraid of being embarrassed during the process.

And the list goes on and on. But ultimately, I didn’t feel that this show – a couple of years ago – was worthy of a paid sponsorship.

But there was something else – and potentially even more paralyzing. I had no idea what to do – I didn’t know the first thing to attracting let alone selling a sponsorship for our podcast. I knew zero. In fact, to say that I knew zero was to give me a compliment – I knew less than zero.

So my lack of knowledge – and my emotional insecurity around the topic of sponsorship – caused me to answer those initial questions on the topic as the opportunity of sponsorships didn’t matter as a revenue stream because we were focused on building the core business, which was true…but only a half truth.

Here’s what I have learned in the over two years of hard work since that time.


Sponsorships matter.


Sponsorships of course matter from the perspective of revenue – but this is the less important compared to the credibility and cache that a sponsor can bring to your show.

For example, let’s say you’re considering listening to Onward Nation for the first time…and you see an ad for…

“Onward Nation with Stephen Woessner.”

Versus if you happened to hear…

“Onward Nation with Stephen Woessner, brought to you by Bank of America.”

Which one sounds more credible?

Exactly! The opportunity of having a Bank of America or some other large brand connected to your brand provides you with some degree of transference of their credibility over to you and your brand.

So, I knew that I needed to figure out the strategy behind sponsorship as a way to take Onward Nation to that next level. But I had no idea where to start.

And then – as is the case often in life – I got the push that I needed in order to make the change that I needed to make.

AMACOM, my publisher for my book being released in mid-September entitled “Profitable Podcasting,” asked me to write a chapter that provided insights into how to attract and sell a sponsorship for a podcast.

“I’m sorry, what was that?” is how I initially felt. Gulp.

Profitable Podcasting Cover

I had no idea how I would provide value in an area where I had not developed mastery. However, instead of letting the fear of the assignment linger, I quickly told myself that the recipe that would result from the assignment would give me with another example to share how a podcast could be used as a tool to collect the primary research needed so the chapter — a book chapter outside of my expertise — could be done and done efficiently.

And in full transparency, doing the research, filled in a skills gap for me so I know have what I need in order to close a big sponsorship deal on behalf of Onward Nation. I will share the news toward the end of this year — but oh my — it’s exciting to think about. Game changing.

So, for today’s lesson, I will share the full sponsorship recipe with you. What I learned along the way, from whom I had the honor of learning, and how you can take and apply the same knowledge to attract the right sponsor for your podcast.

Okay…so how did I do the research?

In order to write a great chapter for the book, I knew that I needed to interview the right expert. So my first call was to Wendy Keller, my exceptional literary agent and great friend. She orbits the distant moon of awesome – she is otherworldly. Yes, I’m kind of a big fan.

When I shared my challenge with Wendy, she quickly said to me, “Oh, I know exactly who you should interview for the chapter.”

BA-BAM. And that’s another reason why you need the right inner circle, Onward Nation. Why you need to surround yourself with the right experts, the right mentors, and friends who are moving at the same pace and tempo you want to be moving at.

Linda-Hollander-How-to-Get-Corporate-Sponsors-Five minutes later, Wendy had connected me with Linda Hollander, one of today’s leading authorities on the topic of sponsorships. Both Inc. Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine have featured Linda as the industry leader in how to sell corporate sponsorships. Linda has over 20-years of experience as a business owner. Her clients and sponsors include Microsoft, FedEx, Citibank, Mattel, Bank of America, Marriott, Health Net, American Airlines, IBM, and Wal-Mart. Her client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in corporate sponsorship.

Just go to to find Linda.

Wendy suggested I interview Linda then transcribe the interview and turn it into a chapter for the book. Brilliant.

I followed Wendy’s blueprint — interviewed Linda — and viola — Chapter 16 with deep expertise from one of the industry’s leading experts on the topic was done.

And I was a heck of a lot smarter after having learned directly from Linda. Rock solid awesome!!

But in order for that to happen – I had to set my fear and ego aside and focus on the assignment – and let go of the fact that I didn’t know something about the world of podcasting. I am taking you so deep behind the green curtain here because I want you to see – everyone deals with fear – everyone has obstacles – everyone is uncomfortable from time-to-time in their business – everyone deals with the imposter syndrome.


But the true measure of greatness – is whether you will let it paralyze you – or – will you push past it and walk toward your destiny. I believe in you, Onward Nation. You are just one phone call or one interview with an expert away from finding that missing piece that will ignite your business to the next level.

Have the guts to make the calls, Onward Nation. Get out there and leverage your podcast as a tool for collecting primary research from top experts — even if your expertise lies outside the area being researched. The interviews you conduct will provide your podcast listeners and true fans with exceptional value, just as Linda did for you.

And the transcripts of your interviews can be converted into chapters for your book.

So here we go…let’s dig in to learn how to master a new skill…the skill of attracting the right sponsor for your podcast…a sponsor who can provide financial resources to support your show…but more importantly…a sponsor who can lend their brand to you…and in doing so…provide you and your show with additional credibility.

So you can get the full context of what I learned from Linda, I am going to share the specific questions I asked Linda – so you can model them – revise them – and then use them when you interview your industry experts.

So here we go…

For my first question, I asked Linda…

“Please take us back to the beginning and your first event so business owners reading this can have the full context of what you have accomplished.”

I asked Linda this for two reasons: 1) it is an easy, soft question that helps develop rapport at the beginning of a conversation when two people are just learning about one another. It would be inappropriate if I asked Linda to share all of her deepest and most valuable sponsorship strategies as the first question. That would be way too abrupt. So focus on building some rapport first. And 2) because I always wanted to know Linda’s backstory because it is wonderful context to know that she came from nothing – and yet – she pushed herself to be more – and despite the odds and the fear – she was successful in securing Bank of America as her first sponsor. She is amazing.

So in Linda’s words…

She had the privilege of working with some great top tier sponsors but it wasn’t always that way. Many of her clients early on in her business were women so she wanted to start the Women’s Small Business Expo to deliver even more value to clients. But she needed sponsors because putting on an event is cash intensive. Ultimately, her first sponsors were Bank of America, Wal-Mart, and IBM.

She had never done an event in her life. She had no idea how to do an event. She had no experience. She had no following. She had her parents on her email list. She put her brother-in-law on her email list, too. They weren’t going to tell her no. If she could have put her cat on there, she would have done that. But despite how she started out, she was able to attract several top tier sponsors.

And when her event attendees came, they would ask Linda, “How the heck are you getting these sponsors? We thought you had to be a big company and have all this experience and track record,” and Linda said, “Absolutely no.” Then Linda knew there was a need in the marketplace for training business owners how to attract sponsors.

She lost a lot of time and money when she first started to learn the sponsorship game. It took her six months to get my first proposal together and she lost $75,000 in the process.

Linda told me, Onward Nation that it was painful, it was excruciating.

Some people wouldn’t even talk to her because she was a micro-business. But, there were also people who said to Linda, “You know what? I’ll talk to you. I’ll help you.” Then she said to herself, “When I learn this stuff, I’m going to teach other business owners how to do it.”

Amazing backstory don’t you think, Onward Nation? Does that help push some of the fear or apprehension aside for you? She started with nothing – no following – nothing – and she went out and did it anyway. She is rock solid awesome.

Okay, let’s press on. Next I asked, Linda…

“Let’s start off with some definitions. When we hear “sponsor” that could mean different things depending upon someone’s business model. What does sponsorship mean, what does a sponsor want to sponsor, are they programs, events, or businesses?”

Linda shared that the definition of sponsorship is “Connecting a company with people who can buy things.” If you know people who can buy stuff, then you can get sponsors. Linda wants you to know that it is a lot simpler than what most business owners think.

In fact…here’s what is “sponsorable.”

  • If you have a business — that could be sponsored.
  • If you host a radio show
  • If you host a podcast
  • If you host a television show or YouTube channel, or a blog

All of that can be sponsored. And of course, if you host events like Linda, you can get sponsors because sponsors love live events.

If you’re a speaker or an author, you can get sponsored, because as a speaker and an author you have access to an audience — a fanbase of people — who know your work and know your book, and as a speaker you command the platform.

Companies don’t have people who can speak, who can command a platform, or capture the attention of an audience. So that is a huge advantage for you, Onward Nation!

At this point in my interview with Linda – I started feeling excited and actually really confident.

And the fear, you might ask? What fear? HA! Linda had me so completely energized by the possibilities I was learning from her!

Next I wanted to learn about the pitfalls – the common mistakes business owners make when they head down the sponsorship path so you, Onward Nation – and me – could try to avoid the same $75,000 mistakes Linda had experienced.

So I asked Linda…

“What are some of the biggest mistakes you see business owners making time and time again as they pursue sponsorships?”

She let me know there are a few mistakes to be weary of, and she’s made all of them, so the lessons she could share were directly from her hands-on experience.

The first mistake is, believe it or not, is not asking for enough money.

What?!? I thought to myself!

Linda went on to explain that asking for too little money can hurt a business owner because they are, in effect, telling a sponsor they don’t have anything of value to offer.

Linda often gets calls from business owners who are trying to sell their $500 sponsor package. They’re going to be presenting to a busy, stressed-out person inside a company, and if they see a sponsor package priced at $500, they’re going to think the business owner doesn’t have anything of value.

In the sponsorship process, you have what’s called your “Champion,” and this is the person within the sponsoring company who loves you, but they have to sell you and your program to their colleagues, their team, and their boss, and maybe the people working under them to get it approved. Onward Nation, your pricing strategy needs to communicate value in order for them to do that.

For most of Linda’s clients, what she sees them typically win is between $10,000 and $100,000 in annual sponsor fees.

If you do an event, if you have a podcast, or something else that is episode-to-episode, bundle everything together for the year and sell an annual sponsorship because you’re going to be more successful in properly positioning yourself with sponsors.

The second mistake business owners make is not using an industry standard proposal.

According to Linda, your sponsor proposal is one of the most important but least understood documents. You have to use an industry standard format or you will not get funded.

Your proposal must look amazing and have the right compelling benefits.

So to recap, Onward Nation – the two biggest mistakes you need to avoid are asking for too little money and not having a good proposal.

Okay, I was really intrigued by what Linda was teaching me, and I knew that in order for the lessons to have the most value to you and to the readers of my book, Linda and I needed to drill in deeper on the topic of sponsorships for podcasting.

So I asked Linda…

“Let’s say you’re a podcaster. Sounds like you would try to sell an annual sponsorship of your show instead of weekly episodes, but you would also package in your entire platform including social media, email lists, webinars, events, etc., right?”

In Linda’s opinion, yes, you want them to sponsor your entire brand — not a single show.

It took Linda a while to figure this out because at first she started to have sponsors for her events and then thought, “Wait a minute, I’ve got a whole brand here.” When she had them sponsor her brand, she made a whole lot more money. Instead of a business owner saying, “I’m a podcaster,” you should brand yourself as a “media company” who does podcasting because sponsors are not quite in love with podcasting yet. It’s still new. It’s still cutting edge.

But if you say you’re a media company, Onward Nation then their ears are going to perk up.

Then they’re going to be interested.

Talk about your podcast, but then talk about the other things you do such as, email blasts, social media, maybe even YouTube. Talk about all of the touch points you have. Then Linda took me back to the definition of sponsorship; “Connecting a company to people who buy things.”

Onward Nation, you need to tell your prospective sponsors how you can connect them to people who could but their stuff.

At this point in the learning from Linda, I was feeling really confident about the steps, the process, the upside, and the mistakes that needed to be avoided in order to save time and cash. Then I had another spark of fear – but in full transparency – it was probably more ego than fear – when I had the thought, “Wait a minute…if I sell a sponsorship for Onward Nation to a Bank of America, for example, doesn’t that diminish our own brand in some way?”

So, I took the opportunity to ask Linda because I figured if I was thinking it – and could potentially turn that into a roadblock – then maybe other business owners would be asking themselves the same question. The best way to push that aside was to ask the expert.

So Linda…

“Do I diminish my own brand if I go get a sponsor?”

And she put my mind at ease by letting me know that she is asked that question a lot because as business owners, we want to be independent, we don’t want to have a company influence what we’re going to say, and we don’t want the appearance that we’re biased.

Linda has never had a sponsor try to influence her content in 16-years of doing this. And if they ever did, she would just say, “Hey, that’s not part of the program.” Onward Nation, you design your program — the sponsor writes the check — that’s what goes on with sponsorships.

Also, the promotion of your sponsor does not have to be outlandish or in your face. The promotion can be elegant and understated, such as signage, banner ads, or things you put on your website. And if you do recommend a company like when Linda was working with Citibank, and she would recommend Citibank, she would disclose it by saying, “I need to disclose that Citibank is my sponsor,” and then you are in integrity by disclosing it.

So know Linda was removing trap door after trap door and each and every excuse I was letting creep back into my mind. I was loving this conversation and the opportunity to learn from someone who has been so successful in this arena – but for me – even more important – was that she had scraped her knees, and busted an elbow, a time or two. She had the in-the-trenches experience that I love and really value.

And if you have been listening to Onward Nation, you know I am a big fan of success secrets…those things…that if we apply them give us the ability to make stochastic jumps onward to new levels.

So I asked Linda…

“Are there any secrets to success business owners need to apply in order to be successful in attracting a sponsor?”

Linda let me know that a secret is to make your sponsor the star. Most business owners when they try to get a sponsor, they fall into the trap of talking about what their business does, they might say things like, “I’ve have this great podcast, I have this great book, I have a great business, I have a great non-profit, or event, etc.”

Business owners can sometimes talk about themselves and that’s not the way to get a sponsor.

The way to get a sponsor is to talk to the sponsor about what you can do for them. Say, “Hey, Mr., Ms. Sponsor, I’m going to educate people about your products and your services. I’m going to help you increase your product and your brand loyalty. I’m going to help you grow your customer base. I’m going to help you drive sales and traffic.”

Do you see the difference, Onward Nation?

You’re saying, “Hey, the sponsor is the star” and your prospective sponsor is going to look at that and say, “Hey, this business owner understands that it’s about me and not about them.”

You’ll tell them a little bit about what you do because they have to understand it, but mostly what you’re going to tell the sponsor is “Here’s how I’m going to benefit your company, here’s what I’m going to do for you.”

Okay, Onward Nation – at this point in the interview, my confidence was soaring. I was beginning to think through the pitch and presentation – my thoughts were going to sales strategy and other ideas were firing. But, an essential component to any strategy is timing. How long would something like this take to pull together?

So I asked Linda for her help about timelines…

“Let’s talk timelines. How fast does, or maybe how long, is the sales cycle you typically see for attracting $10,000 to $100,000 sponsorships?”

Linda started by reminding me that sponsorships are a relationship business. You need time to develop relationships with companies. Here’s where it’s going to be maybe a little bit of a shock to business owners. Linda recommends eight months to a year before you need the funding to start approaching prospective sponsors. Linda went on to tell me why.

If you’re approaching Microsoft, FedEx, Staples (those are called the “Top Tier” sponsors), they have a process. You have to apply and you have to wait for them to approve it. They like to have a lot of lead time because whatever you are doing you have to talk about how you are going to work with their company, what kind of a program you are going to build together, and it takes time to develop that depth of a relationship.

It will take time to get your first sponsor.

But, Linda also shared some thoughts on how to complete the process quicker. There are “Top Tier” sponsors and then are “Second Tier” sponsors. In the banking industry (and banks are a great place to find sponsorships, by the way), Linda has worked with Bank of America and Citibank. They are top tier. But there may be a local community bank where you live, Onward Nation. There may be an up and coming player in the banking industry you might want to work with.

That won’t take as long because it’s easier to get to the decision makers and to get that process of sponsorship started.

The amazing thing about sponsorships being a relationship business is that there is something called renewals in sponsorships. And renewals are magic. Renewals are your cash machine because if a sponsor likes you, they can fund you this year, next year, and the next year. Linda has sold multi-year sponsorships with FedEx and Citibank. Her clients have had multi-year contracts with Verizon, Dole Foods, and Black and Decker just to name a few.

It’s not a quick cash strategy. It is a long-term strategy to fund your business, Onward Nation.

That’s why Linda recommends that business owners go for a one-year contract because one-year is about enough time to really analyze the relationship and if the sponsor wants to continue. If your sponsorship is from event-to-event, or episode-to-episode, a sponsor is not going to see that much growth as far as return on investment, so they are less likely to renew.

Now it was time to begin formalizing the recipe – I could see the individual ingredients – but I needed Linda’s master skills with the recipe to help pull it all together so I could see the result outcome she was already envisioning.

So I asked Linda…

“Let’s get tactical and think about key steps in the process, the action plan, things that are going to improve the probability of success. If you were to give business owners one, two, or three things they need to do, what would those steps be?”

Linda was kind enough to share a three-step process to attracting a sponsor.

The first part is to do what she calls the “Sponsor Wish List.”

The wish list is the list of companies that you would like to have as sponsors. Remember in your sponsor wish list to include both Top Tier and the Second Tier sponsors. Most business owners when they start their wish list think only of Top Tier sponsors. Go deeper.

Since Linda and I had already talked about the banking industry, she then shifted to talk insurance.

Yes, banking and insurance may be perceived by some business owners as boring industries. Everyone wants glam sponsors like fashion, cosmetics, and accessories. But the boring companies have the money.

Let’s take the insurance category, you’re going to think of State Farm, and AFLAC, and all the ones that have paid to be top of mind. Then go a little deeper by doing some Google searches into smaller insurance companies, the up and coming brands, because the up and coming brands need you to get their name out.

Linda told me that these second tier companies are outstanding prospects because they don’t have the brand awareness of the big brands and will be more open to what you have to offer, Onward Nation.

Linda then shared a tangible example of that in practice. She worked with a company called Evolution Insurance Brokers. Nobody has ever heard of Evolution Insurance Brokers, and that is exactly why they sponsored her. They wanted to get the word out about their company. They’re not AFLAC, they’re not State Farm, they’re not the big players in the industry.

But, Onward Nation…the second tiers have money to invest. Linda was not able to disclose exactly the value of the sponsorship with Evolution Insurance Brokers, but it was 5-figures.

Step two is preparing your professional proposal. Linda recommends writing what she calls an “Industry Standard Sponsor Proposal.”

The full sponsor proposal is about eight to ten pages in length and here’s what it includes:

  • A description of your “property.” Onward Nation, write down the word “property” because what you do now is called the “property.” Your podcast is a property. Your book is a property. Your speaking business is a property. Your business, your event, your non-profit, whatever you are doing is called a property. You want to describe that.
  • You should include your sponsor’s goals, which should be similar to what we talked about earlier in this chapter, such as increasing brand loyalty and customer base, and educating people, and driving traffic and sales, and all that.
  • You should include a one-page marketing plan. It includes all the ways you’re going to get the word out about the sponsor. Sponsors are interested in this because marketing is the difference between a good idea someone has in their head and something that actually has legs and is sustainable.
  • You should include your demographics. Whether your demographics are mothers, the parent market, the entrepreneurial market, the urban youth, the baby boomer market, you need to describe your demographics. Include any testimonials you have.
  • You should include your sponsor fees like the ones we’ve talked about.
  • The last thing, and here is how Linda and her team write proposals differently than anyone else in the country, is storytelling.

You want to have good storytelling inside your proposal. Linda calls it “passion points.”

Linda is able to sells sponsors because she doesn’t just put in the proposal what’s called your “pretty bio.” The pretty bio is your education, and the awards you won, and your experience. All of that is nice but what you want is to be vulnerable, you need to make a human connection, because you’re not just pitching to a faceless cooperation. You are pitching to a person, a human being, and you want to show your humanity.

In Linda’s story, she talks about how she was in the poverty trap. She talks about how she was in an abusive relationship. Her story has helped her secure sponsors because you want them to see you as a real person.

The emotional connection is important, Onward Nation. You want to put beautiful storytelling in there. If you don’t want to include your own story, put the story of someone you’ve helped through the work you do.

Be sure to include some emotion. Business owners often make the mistake of thinking, “Oh, I’m going to impress them, and I’m going to put facts, and figures, and statistics in there.” But unfortunately, that is not going help you rise above the competition. Be human.

All of the proposal ingredients from Linda really had me energized, Onward Nation. But then I started thinking about tools and other resources that I might also need to know about in order to make the process of selling a top tier sponsor as efficient as possible from a time perspective.

So I asked Linda…

“Are there any other tools, any other resources you think business owners ought to study to make this process as efficient and effective as possible?”

Linda shared that her website at includes two free gifts. One is the “Number 1 Secret to Getting Corporate Sponsors.” And the second is that she does free sponsor strategy sessions with business owners so they can book a sponsor strategy session with me. During the sessions, she takes a look at what you’re currently doing, and together, you develop a success strategy to attract the right sponsor.

To close out the interview, I asked Linda if she had any final advice that she thought we might have missed during our discussion.

Linda closed by sharing how important it was for business owners to know that they can do this. The number one question Linda is most often asked is, “Why would a sponsor want to work with little ole’ me? I’m just getting started. I’m not a big company. I don’t have a track record. I don’t have a big following.”

And Linda said to me, “Stephen, please know you can do this. You have value. You have things a sponsor is going to be attracted to. You just need to package it in the right way.”

She reinforced the point by telling me the story about how she got her first sponsor…

Linda lives in Los Angeles, California, so when she first had the idea to do her initial event, she was driving around in her clunker car and she of course was stuck in a traffic jam. She looked up and see a billboard for Bank of America and there’s a woman featured within the billboard design, so Linda thinks to herself, “Okay, they’re trying to get the women’s market.”

Immediately, she starts doing self-sabotaging and thinking, “Why the heck would they talk to me? I’m just working from my home from my kitchen table. I’m not a big company. What the heck am I going to offer Bank of America?”

But Linda’s dream and mission to help people was so strong that she couldn’t get it out of her head. So she got the courage to make a call to Bank of America and finally got the person who could greenlight the sponsorships. She finished her proposal, got everything done, and had an appointment at their office – and she was super nervous.

Then he said to Linda, “Well, let’s see your proposal,” and she handed it to him. And he said, “Okay, well we’re going to go for this level of sponsorship,” and it was a five-figure sponsorship.

Linda had to act like she did this all the time so she said, “Oh, great,” and then had to shake his hand but her hand was so clammy she had to wipe it off!

She got back in my car and did the happy dance right there in the parking lot! She drove home and waved to all the Bank of America branches on her way home.

You never know what’s going to happen, Onward Nation. It all starts with a thought. It starts with a dream. It starts with a vision. We’re taught to have these big dreams but we’re not taught how to finance the dreams, and dreams take money, and that’s where sponsors come in.

You can do this!

Hold your head up high. Know that you have quality and you bring value to your sponsors — and — you can fund your dreams.

So with that said, Onward Nation…

I want to thank you for taking the time to be here with me today. It is an honor to have you here — thank you for tuning in — your time is sacred and I am delighted you chose this episode to be what you listen to, study, and take with you on your morning run, or maybe Onward Nation has become part of your daily commute, or in some other way has become part of your morning routine.

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

And if you haven’t already downloaded your copy of our 12 Success Strategies eBook, just text the word “onward” to 6-6-8-6-6. Again, text the word “onward” to 6-6-8-6-6 and we will send it right to your Inbox.

Onward with gusto!

Mar 28, 2017

Adam Robinson is the author of the new book of “THE BEST TEAM WINS: Build Your Business Through Predictive Hiring,” and the founder and CEO of Hireology, where he is on a mission to help business owners make better hiring decisions using predictive data and technology. Hireology’s cloud-based hiring platform is used by over 3,000 organizations in the United States and Canada. In 2015, Robinson was named to the Chicago Tribune Blue Network, a listing of Chicago’s most influential entrepreneurs and innovators, and named a “Top 25 HR Industry Game Changer Under 40” by Workforce magazine.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Adam’s background
  • How relentlessly focusing on one thing at a time helps Adam stay productive every day
  • Why you need to know what you want to get out of your day to succeed
  • Why you need to fully understand the relationship between your growth rate and your balance sheet
  • Why it’s so important to identify, recruit, and keep good people
  • Why the company with the strong execution and strong team is always going to win
  • Why you need to be able to recognize ‘dips’ and ‘cul-de-sacs’
  • What you need to do if you’re unhappy with your current situation in business or life
  • Why you need to be clear on the vision and agree on the outcome
  • Why you need to ask yourself what you want out of this experience

How best to connect with Adam:

Mar 27, 2017

Ken Rutsky is the author of the new book, “LAUNCHING TO LEADING: How B2B Market Leaders Create Flash Mobs, Marshal Parades, And Ignite Movements.” Ken is also a B2B marketing consultant focused on helping his clients break through and become market leaders. He has spent nearly 25 years in B2B marketing roles, launching the “Intel Inside” broadcast co-op program in 1994 and then the Internet’s first affiliate marketing program, Netscape Now, while at Netscape from 1995 to 1999. Since then, Ken served as the CMO at several start-ups and ran network-security marketing at McAfee, where he developed and executed a marketing strategy that grew its web security business from $60 million to nearly $200 million. Today, Ken’s firm, KJR Associates, Inc. leverages his knowledge from his extensive Silicon Valley career to help his clients lead their markets. In the seven years, his firm’s clients have generated more than $10 billion in shareholder value through IPOs, acquisitions and late stage private equity rounds.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Ken’s background
  • How Ken takes a much more structured approach to how he thinks about his business
  • The method Ken uses to increase his awareness & focus to his clients
  • The importance of keeping a healthy routine
  • The importance of understanding your financial picture both personally & professionally
  • Why Ken feels that customer empathy is the most critical skill needed to thrive today
  • How the customer’s journey connects to market leadership
  • How transforming customers to the reason you exist can lead to profit
  • Why, as an entrepreneur, you shouldn’t just focus on making money
  • Why you need to just embrace the fear & understand that it’s normal

How best to connect with Ken:

Mar 24, 2017

Chris Dayley is passionate about helping businesses learn what their users want on their website, through psychology based testing, and analytics. He started his conversion optimization agency, Dayley Conversion, in 2014, which he later merged with Disruptive Advertising, where he currently works as vice president of site testing and optimization.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Chris’ background
  • What is behind driving conversions as well as obstacles that get in the way
  • Why businesses shouldn’t just dump their whole story on a conversion page
  • Why it’s important to designate certain times to check & respond to emails
  • How daily mindfulness meditation contributes to Chris’ success
  • Why part of A/B testing on your site always involves both good & bad data
  • Why you need to learn how to detach your worth & your value from what you do
  • Possessing the critical skill of challenging your assumptions
  • Why you need to just focus on doing a few things really well
  • Why you need to live deliberately

How best to connect with Chris:

Mar 23, 2017

Michael Sacca is the President of Crew and Host of He started his career by moving to LA and pursuing music. After three years of waiting tables and little success, he decided to teach himself how to code. He used his coding skills to launch Tiny Factory, a web development agency that won clients like GE and Kobe Bryant. While running Tiny Factory, he started the Rocketship podcast and built many other apps and products. One of those products was recently acquired. Michael joined Crew two years ago as Head of Partnerships and has now taken over as President. Companies have trusted Crew to source freelancers for over $30 million in design and development projects.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Michael’s background
  • Why, in the tech world, it’s not about your resume – it’s about your performance
  • How Michael’s daily approach to focus & preparation is different than most
  • The importance of looking at your data & checking on the health of your business
  • Why Michael believes that communication is such a critical skill to master in order to thrive
  • Why, as a business owner, you need to be the best one at communicating your vision of the company
  • Why it’s so important to give your employees the tools that they need to succeed
  • Why you should continue to look at the systems & processes you have in place during different levels of growth
  • Why you should hire specialists underneath generalists
  • Why it’s vital to validate your business idea & do customer research

How best to connect with Michael:

Mar 23, 2017

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

Good Morning Onward Nation – I’m Stephen Woessner and welcome to Episode 455 – this week’s solocast.

I am excited about the lesson that I prepared for our time together because it addresses the gaping hole that exists inside most businesses. I have been talking about it for a while now and the hole is the lack of qualified leads flowing into a business owner’s sales pipeline for his or her company. Here’s the most recent data…of the 28 million small business owners in this country – over 43 percent of them cite “growing revenue” as being their top challenge in their company. That is over 12 million business owners.

And yes, the challenge in growing revenue can be complex – it can certainly be impacted by value proposition – perhaps a business is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist. Or, perhaps their pricing is off. There could be a myriad of factors or obstacles in the way of a business owner’s ability to grow revenue.

But, in my over 20+ years of experience in owning five companies – and having interviewed over 450 of today’s top business owners for Onward Nation – I will say that the ability to generate leads – and – to generate leads at such consistency that a steady stream of well-prepared prospects flow into a business owner’s pipeline – represents the most significant challenge.

So that is going to be where we spend our time together today. We will focus on how to use LinkedIn to fill your sales pipeline like a pro. Today’s lesson will provide you with the tools, resources, and step-by-step you and your team need in order to begin using LinkedIn to fill your sales pipeline like a pro.

And if you want to take the process even deeper, I encourage you to register for the web workshop I am teaching tomorrow called the 4-Steps to Filling Your Sales Pipeline. Just go to for the details. That’s

Rest assured — I know you are busy. I will respect your time by delivering a workshop packed full of real, actionable strategies, that when followed, will fill your sales pipeline in 30-days or less.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Okay, let’s bring our focus back to today’s lesson…how to use LinkedIn like a pro so you and your team can generate a steady stream of well-prepared prospects, grow revenue, and scale your business.

Before we dig into the tactical step-by-step…I want to first make ensure that we get your mindset right. Generating leads is not hard work…in fact…is it simple work…especially when you have the right recipe to follow, which I am going to share with you in full transparency in this solocast.

But…just because the work is simple does not mean it is easy. In fact, I can almost guarantee that you will be frustrated at the beginning, you may even pound your first on your conference room table and wonder why the results are not better, and you may get upset at your sales team for their lack of results.

All of this will most likely happen…initially. I am sharing this with you so that when it does happen – instead of getting frustrated and thinking that success will always elude you – I want to you to say to yourself, “Ah, Stephen said that I would think this right.”

And then push forward. Because pushing forward, whether we are talking about generating leads, or pursuing your life’s passion, is what it takes to be successful. As Vince Lombardi once famously said, “The man at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”


In fact, let’s think about the path of one of the most successful Hollywood actors of all time, Sylvester Stallone.


I learned this story from Tony Robbins. Stallone knocked on the doors of 1,500 talent agents in New York City and many of them multiple times.

And each time, Stallone was rejected, made fun of, and utterly ridiculed when he was thrown out of their offices. But he didn’t give up.

He knew his goal – he knew his destiny.

He didn’t send out one direct mail letter or email campaign – receive zero results – and then thought – “Well, the market doesn’t want me so I guess I will try something new.”


He was committed to what he wanted so he continued to adjust his presentation…he adjusted his offering…and focused on delivering even more value to the market.

And ultimately…that led to him delivering a huge amount of value in the form of the script of “Rocky”.


And then – Stallone “Made it.”

He appeared on the silver screen in the starring role as what seemed to be an overnight success. But that couldn’t be further from the truth, Onward Nation.

He had gritted it out for years and years and stood fast in the face of brutal and cruel rejections, in being dirt broke, and having to sell his dog just to buy some food.

But he didn’t quit – he kept getting up – to take another swing. You need to continue taking your at-bats because if you don’t…you may very well miss your golden opportunity for success.

Case in point…let’s take a look at Derek Jeter…arguably the greatest New York Yankee to ever wear the pinstripes.


Jeter is a lock to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer with his long list of impressive accomplishments including five World Series Championship rings.

Jeter Ring

But…what most people don’t know about Derek Jeter is that of all players in Major League Baseball history, he is number 12 on the list of total strikeouts. So to say that another way…there have only been 11 people in the history of baseball who struck out more often than Derek Jeter.

In fact, Jeter struck out 1,840 times during his 20-year career.

So in baseball terms, Jeter failed 1,840 times – but yet – he continued to get up there – to take another at-bat – to keep on swinging.

And through it all – he recorded 3,461 hits, which is 6th all time and he finished 11 of his 20 seasons with a batting average of 300 or better. A Hall of Fame resume to be sure.

But he never got up to the plate – struck out – and then headed back to the dugout and said, “Well, I guess I don’t have what it takes to play ball after all. Thanks for having me Skipper, but I am hanging up my cleats after that at-bat.”

The stories of Stallone and Jeter are perfect illustrations of how important it is to remain focused on the long-term – the long play – the end game – and getting better every single day so you continue to deliver more and more value — whether that value is delivered on the silver screen, the ball diamond, or in your marketplace as a business owner.

If the market rejects you – celebrate it – because that feedback is priceless.

Then be smart and use it – learn from it – apply it – get better – and take another at-bat. Onward Nation, if you remain focused on continuous improvement – you will be successful in implementing the lessons I have prepared for you in this solocast.

This is a long haul – it requires data collection – testing – adjusting – testing again – scaling – making mistakes – testing again. But, if you stick with it…you grow and scale your business in such a way that your competitors will wonder what your secret recipe is.

And how will that change the game for you? It’s exciting to think about. No doubt it’s substantial.

I believe the great Archimedes had it right when he so wisely said… “Give me a lever long enough, and a prop strong enough, and I can single-handedly move the world.

Archimedes Image 4

So, what will your lever and prop be, Onward Nation?

You guessed it…chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake Image 5

I know – chocolate cake sounds silly, right?

But let me explain why this metaphor makes so much sense.
Let’s say that I happen to make the world’s best chocolate cake. The absolute best.

And I have spent the last 20 years perfecting my process.

And then you come along and ask me to teach you how to make my cake – the same cake – the one that took me 20 years to master!

How could this be possible?

You, Onward Nation, may not have spent the same 20 years perfecting your baking skills.

How could someone other than me even come close to duplicating my chocolate cake?

What would I need to give you to prepare you – that could ensure your success?

For one…I would need to give you my recipe, right?

Recipe Image 6

Because with my recipe, you can see my full process. You can see the strategy behind the chocolate cake.

With the recipe, you begin to get the overall picture of what needs to happen.

But, what else? What else do you need beyond the recipe?

Yep, you need the actual ingredients!

With both the ingredients and the recipe, you now know how to put all of those things together – in the right order – in the right amounts – at the right time – and how long to bake the cake and at the right temperature.

Ingredients image 7

And if you follow the recipe – and if I didn’t accidentally leave anything out of the recipe card that I gave you – you now have the ability to duplicate my success.

In fact, duplicating my success becomes easy – IF – you are willing to make the EFFORT.

So here’s the key…with the right recipe, you are able to compress the process of learning 20 years of my knowledge down into the audio of this solocast.

Learning and then compressing the outcomes into a shorter time period is one of the powerful benefits to getting the right training and aligning your business with the right mentors.

So let’s dig into the recipe.

First…some quick words as to why we love LinkedIn as much as we do…and why it should be the cornerstone of your lead gen strategy.

There are approximately 433 million LinkedIn members — yes, 433 million. Hugely valuable community — just ask Microsoft — they agree since they acquired LinkedIn for $26 billion in an all-cash deal.

Next…want to guess the average number of LinkedIn connections for a CEO?

933. Interesting.


Because if 933 is the average — some are higher — some are lower — but you tend not to get 933 connections by accident — you work at it — so if someone has 933 connections — it is likely intentional.

Meaning, LinkedIn is a platform that he or she values — and a place where they spend time — that that is great news for you.

And yes, you should be reaching out to the CEO — the top decision maker at your prospect client — but that can be a topic for a completely different solocast.

Okay, next…some additional insight into why you should care about LinkedIn…27 percent of all members are between the ages of 30 and 49…and another 24 percent are 50 to 64 years old…and 13 percent are over the age of 65.

So to say that another way…over 64 percent of LinkedIn members are over the age of 30…and 38 percent of total members earn $75,000 or more per year.

Bottom line…there are 433 million people on LinkedIn…64 percent of them are over the age of 30…and 38 percent earn more than $75,000 per year…with the average CEO having 933 connections on the platform.

All of that speaks well to your opportunity of finding and connecting with the prospects who can accelerate you biz dev, Onward Nation.

So let’s press forward by reviewing the seven ingredients within our recipe.

Our recipe consists of seven core ingredients, and they are:

LNKD Recipe Card Image 8

Ingredient #1: Improve your LinkedIn profile by adding video / audio clips, value proposition, etc. to the Summary. Again — we will get tactical here in just a minute — and I will give you tangible visual examples within today’s Show Notes for each ingredient.

Ingredient #2: Import your existing email list in LinkedIn and send connection requests.

Ingredient #3: Export your LinkedIn connection list and import into your client’s email list.

Ingredient #4: Personalized thank you message sent to each new connection

Ingredient #5: Build your prospect list using LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search tool.

Ingredient #6: Send InMail messages to your top prospects — and be sure to speak the language of your “client avatar.”

Ingredient #7: Create and send consistent nurturing email campaigns with exclusive content just for your LNKD connections so they feel valued to be part of your growing community.

Okay, now that the high-level view of the forest is complete — let’s dive in and go tree-by-tree so you can see all of the tactical ingredients of this recipe.

Ingredient #1 is all about getting ensuring that your LinkedIn profile is not just good — but that it is excellent. Why does this matter? Because when you send InMail messages as part of Ingredient #6…the very first place your recipients — your prospective clients will go to learn more about you — is your LinkedIn profile.

Bad profile Image 9

And if it is sparsely populated with value propositions, your connections count is low, you haven’t taken the time to include a quality profile picture, you have zero recommendations, etc. — then it looks like you don’t care — and they won’t respond to you. Maybe your InMail was just spam — you are ignored — and they move on.

Or, if you have taken the time to include audio and video clips, Slide Shares of recent presentations you delivered, links to articles you have written recently, blog posts, recommendations from current clients — it not only takes advantage of all the profile building tools that LinkedIn provides you — but — you also visually demonstrate your thought leaderships and expertise to your prospective clients — and that is a very good thing.

Now when they receive your InMail message as part of Ingredient #6 — they move from skeptical questions like “Why did she send me this?” to “Oh, interesting…they would like to talk with me? Awesome.”

Think of your LinkedIn profile as your personal landing page and it needs to be excellent — just like everything else in your business.

SW LNKD Profile New

If you would like a tangible example — check out what my team has built for me on LinkedIn…look me up…send me a connection request…and you will see illustrations of each step I just shared with you.

Let’s move on to Ingredient #2 — import your existing email list into LinkedIn and send connection requests.

To make sure we are on the same page here — I am talking about taking your email list — the list you communicate with often — consisting of customers, prospects, maybe even vendors — people with whom you have a relationship — and then uploading that list into your LinkedIn account and inviting them to connect with you on LinkedIn.

But why?

First…when you increase your number of LinkedIn connections — your network and credibility grows. Instead of having several hundred connections — you move to several thousand. And the next time a prospective client checks out your LinkedIn profile — they may see the number — and be impressed.

Second…your number of 1st-degree connections in LinkedIn impacts the number of prospects you will be able to see during Ingredient #5 of this process — when you use LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search. To cement this into place — let’s quickly review what LinkedIn defines as 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd-degree connections.

A 1st-degree connection on LinkedIn is — let’s say you are listening to this solocast — you like what you hear — and decide to send me a connection request on LinkedIn — and by the way — you should totally do that — anyway — when I receive the request — I personally accept it. And so you and I become 1st-degree connections.

Now, here’s what’s interesting. My nearly 4,000 1st degree connections instantly become your 2nd-degree connections. And all of my 2nd-degree connections become your 3rd-degree connections.

Again, why is that important? Well, back to my connections…my nearly 6,000 1st connections extrapolates out to a total network of 20 million people when considering 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd-degree connections.

That means…I can search through a huge number of people during Ingredient #5 in finding our ideal prospects we might want to reach out to.

So, Onward Nation, building your number of 1st-degree connections is essential to your success on LinkedIn — and uploading your email list and sending out connection requests is a quick and easy way to boost your connection count — and the size of your network — with a couple mouse clicks.

Very powerful.

Here’s how you complete the step. Roll your mouse over the “My Network” section of the LinkedIn menu…and then the option “Add Contacts” will appear.

Adding Connections Image 11

Then click “Add Contacts” and you will see a screen with options to connect LinkedIn with your email service — definitely do that — as well as the option to upload your email list and send out a massive number of connection requests all at one a couple of clicks.

Add Connections Image 12

Moving on to Ingredient #3: You should export your LinkedIn connection list and import into client’s email list.

This might seem a bit backwards after you just uploaded your email list into LinkedIn — why am I now recommending that you reverse the process and export the list back out and import it into your email list?

A couple of reasons:

First…LinkedIn is the only social media platform that gives you the ability to export the contact and profile details of your connections — and that is just plain awesome!

Second…the email address someone used when getting onto your email address may be different than the email address they use within a professional community like LinkedIn — so you should have both inside your email list. This gives you the ability to cross-pollinate — ensure your high-quality email content that you will be sending (ahem — only high-quality content here, Onward Nation) — will be able to reach them via LinkedIn posts — as well as via email.

And third…there may be some hundreds of people who connect with you via LinkedIn — and not know how to signup for your email list. No problem…if you are importing and exporting on a consistent basis…you will solve that problem to ensure you are fully covered.

Okay, onto Ingredient #4. Do you feel the momentum starting to build, Onward Nation?

You just beefed up your profile so it is ready to be checked out by the highly targeted prospects who will soon be coming your way. And then you expanded the size of your network so you have tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or maybe even millions of people you can sort through to find the right prospects.

Rock solid awesome!

With ingredient #4…I recommend that you send a personalized thank you message to each new connection — and — that the message includes something of value — and — it is a personal message. Not one of those automated messages that feels like a heavy-handed sales pitch as soon as you connected with someone.

Ugh — those are awful and I tend to remove someone as a connection as soon as I receive one because I feel as though I got duped into a sales pitch.

Yack. We will not be doing that with Ingredient #4.

Here are several examples of thank you notes my Predictive ROI team used following the interview I did with Gary Vaynerchuk — our guest for Episode 42 of Onward Nation.

LNKD Thank you

When someone connected with me on LinkedIn, I sent a personal thank you message to my new connection — with a warm hello and thank you — some personalized context so he or she knew that the message was just for them and then a link to the video.

Now, here is a little scaling secret, Onward Nation — you — you personally — do not need to be the one who sends each of these messages.

You can and should delegate this to a member of your team — maybe even an unpaid intern on your team — and my team at Predictive ROI has been blessed to have worked with 24 rock star interns who were assigned this project as well as other front line — forward facing activities.

And if you’re thinking “unpaid interns — he is out of his mind — there’s no way we could recruit unpaid interns in this market.” Let me just say…we have worked with interns who were students at Duke University, Ohio State, Purdue University, University of Northern Iowa…and many other schools around the country — all unpaid.

If you want our recruiting recipe — go take a listen to Episode 137 — because I share all of the step-by-step of how we do it in full transparency.

Okay, back to lead gen and Ingredient #5: How to build your prospect list using LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search tool.

From within this powerful tool…you will be able to search through your entire network of connections using several powerful filters, such as:

  • Keywords
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Title
  • Company Name
  • Location — or mile radius from your office or location

Advanced 13

Advanced 14

Advanced 15

And then you can take it deeper and make your searches more refined by including your prospect’s years of experience, their function within their particular company, seniority level, what they are interested in, company size, and so forth.

By taking the time to get specific about your prospect — you leverage LinkedIn’s database — to deliver back to you a list of prospects who match your criteria and you eliminate the time wasting of sending direct mail to a purchased list and hoping for a better result outcome than the last campaign.

So let’s say that in your first attempt — LinkedIn returns a list of 100 people. You can then click on the profiles of each person (see — Ingredient #1 is really important) and from their profile — you can better determine if he or she is a good fit for your lead gen efforts.

If yes, add the person and their details to an Excel or Google Sheet so you can keep a running list of who you have reached out to…and no…LinkedIn does not offer any sort of automated CRM functionality.

This is tedious work — I get it — I completely understand — but — it is also where the rubber meets the road in the success of your business and it will fill your sales pipeline.

Okay, so I’m going to assume you did all of the work you needed to do up to this point. You have built a solid profile — you expanded your LinkedIn network by leveraging your email list — and being smart — to also reverse the process and cross-pollinate your connections back into your email list…and now…you have mastered the Advanced People Search tool with the resulting outcome being — a highly targeted prospect list — perhaps the most targeted list you and your sales team have ever had.

Now what?

Ingredient #6 is next. Crafting your InMail message and sending it to each of the people on the list you just created. There are seven sub-ingredients, if you will, that make up the InMail message…and they are:

  • Include the first name of the recipient in subject line
  • Your first 255 critical characters need to be awesome
  • Speak to your “Avatar”
  • Include credibility indicator(s)
  • Include a client testimonial
  • Include a call-to-action – reason for your prospect to reply to your message
  • Include your email signature
  • Here is an actual InMail message — a template — you can use to create your own.

InMail Image 16

Please use it.

My Predictive ROI team has sent thousands and thousands and thousands of InMail messages on behalf of our client’s lead gen efforts — as well as for our biz dev — and the template we included in today’s Show Notes is the resulting outcome of all that testing and hard work.

You will dramatically shorten your learning curve by using the template.

One last point about the InMail and the template you will see in the Show Notes — there is a reference to “speaking to your client avatar.” And yes, we have a recipe for that, too.

If you go to Episode 208, I explain in full detail how to identify your client avatar — how to speak directly to him or her — and how to deliver value in the process.

Having and mastering this knowledge is a must in writing effective InMails.

And now we have arrived at our final ingredient…Ingredient #7…creating and sending consistent lead nurturing content to LinkedIn connections.

When you export your LinkedIn connection data — and then import into your CRM like InfusionSoft, etc. be sure to add the emails to a special list tagged as “LinkedIn Connections” or something else that lets you know these email addresses are super special.

This list represents your MVPs and your goal should be to create content just for them — exclusive — and then share it with them — letting them know it was created just for them — and that your connection means something to you — your connection is important — that you value their opinions — that you want to hear from them and how you can do better — and that you share your insights and expertise along the way in such a context that you are providing value that can be incorporated into their business straight away.

So that when you do reach out to them to explore the potential of a business relationship — you are not reaching out to a stranger with a cold call — you are reaching out to someone who already knows you, already likes you, and may already trust you because you offered tremendous value first — and that is an awesome way to begin a business relationship.

Before we close out for today…I’d like to leave you with a couple of important thoughts.

Now that you have learned the recipe – and have seen the typical result outcomes – there are two questions you and your team need to answer.

First…how will we take immediate action based on what you learned here today?

How will you apply it right away to fill your pipeline?

And that leads to the ultimate question.

Are you committed…or are you just interested in having a steady stream of well-prepared prospects flowing into your sales pipeline?

Being committed means knowing exactly how much new business you are seeking, from what sources, and having a strategy in place to fill the pipeline to get it.

Let me share a quick story about Coach Nick Saban from the University of Alabama – who, in my opinion, represents the epitome of being committed.

Coach Saban

Alabama is consistently one of the top-ranked teams in college football each year. They were the 2015 National Champion and played again this year for the title but lost to Clemson.

Coach Saban’s reputation is one of precise detail and process.

And once he uncovers a “recipe” for success…he uses it over and over again.

But he also freely shares his secrets without fear that his competitors will be able to duplicate his results.

How is this possible?

Case in point…my good friend, mentor, and three-time guest on Onward Nation, Don Yaeger, interviewed Coach Saban as they considered writing a book together.

During one of Don’s visits with Coach, he asked if there was a secret formula or recipe that gave Saban an edge to recruiting the best talent out of high school year-after-year.

Coach told Don that his recipe is simple. He committed himself to watching every single play that any of their 85 scholarship athletes every played while in high school.

Every play…so he could evaluate talent, effort, and other qualities.

Let’s just think about the magnitude of that for a minute.

Alabama has 85 scholarship athletes…who likely played at least 2-years of high school football…at 10 games per year in high school…and many high school players play both offense and defense during a game, so let’s call it 100 plays per game.

All totaled, Coach Saban watches film on 170,000 plays to make his recruiting decisions.

Nick Saban watching film

It is an overwhelming number, right?

How could anyone do that? But Coach Saban does.

And the resulting outcome is that Alabama is consistently the best on the field each year.

So Don asked him, “Coach…aren’t you worried that if we put your secret recipe into this book that people will steal it from you?”

And Saban looked at Don and said, “Nope…not worried at all. Because no one is going to be willing to put in the same amount of effort that I am willing to commit to our success.”

Dont give up

So my hope is that you don’t leave this solocast thinking – yeah, I knew LinkedIn could do that. My challenge to you is…but is your business doing it?

And as Tony Robbins says…“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”

Tony Robbins Image 1

So I hope you will decide to put this sales pipeline-building recipe into action and then please drop me a line and let me know about your success.

So with that said, Onward Nation…

I want to say again, thank you for taking the time to be here with me today. It is an honor to have you here — thank you for tuning in — your time is sacred and I am delighted you chose this episode to be what you listen to, study, and take with you on your morning run, or maybe Onward Nation has become part of your daily commute, or in some other way has become part of your morning routine.

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

And remember… if you want to take the pipeline process even deeper, then register for the web workshop I am teaching tomorrow called the 4-Steps to Filling Your Sales Pipeline.

Just go to for the details. That’s

Rest assured — I know you are busy, Onward Nation. I will respect your time by delivering a workshop packed full of real, actionable strategies, that when followed, will fill your sales pipeline in 30 days or less.

I look forward to seeing you there and thanks again for being here — today.

Onward with gusto!

Mar 21, 2017

Jonathan DeYoe is the author of “MINDFUL MONEY: Simple Practices For Reaching Your Financial Goals And Increasing Your Happiness Dividend,” a California-based financial advisor. During his twenty years as an advisor, he has managed investments at Morgan Stanley, UBS PaineWebber, and Salomon Smith Barney. In 2001, he founded his own wealth management firm, DeYoe Wealth Management. Today, Jonathan’s firm manages nearly $250 million for over two hundred families and foundations in the United States and overseas.

What you’ll learn about in this episode

  • Jonathan’s background
  • Why Jonathan believes that we are stewards of our human, financial & environmental resources
  • How the “six most, vital one” process guides Jonathan’s focus on a daily basis
  • How Jonathan grew during a rough time in his career
  • Why it’s so important to sharpen your saw
  • Why Jonathan is so interested in what makes us behave the way we do
  • Why people need to apply themselves across all categories in life
  • Why you need to commit to playing offensively
  • Why you need to be able to hear many different opinions & then make a decision
  • How all of us have the ability to get through what happens in our environment
  • Why you need to focus on getting yourself in order

How best to connect with Jonathan:

Mar 20, 2017

Jill Schiefelbein is an award-winning business owner, author, and recovering academic. She taught business communication at Arizona State University for 11 years, analyzed terrorist documents to help provide counter-terrorism strategies to the United States military, and was a pioneer in the online education space, creating an office serving 60,000 students and adding $1M in revenue in its first year to the University. In 2011, she ventured into entrepreneurship and hasn’t looked back. Her first business, Impromptu Guru, helps people improve their presentation and public speaking skills. She created a YouTube series that was syndicated by Entrepreneur Network and brings in thousands of new viewers each week. Jill also creates and executes strategies that help business owners increase sales, enhance product experience, and retain customers. She's a video partner and a contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. Her latest book is entitled, “Dynamic Communication: Strategies to Grow, Lead, and Manage Your Business.”

What you'll learn about in this episode

  • Jill’s background
  • How reverse engineering taught Jill to approach problems from multiple angles
  • Why you need to look at output first when analyzing a problem
  • Why you should go outside of the traditional checklist when hiring
  • Making sure that you have a clear to-do list before diving into your day
  • Why it’s so critical for business owners to know how to answer questions
  • Why the way we market to customers has to fundamentally shift
  • Why we need to change our perspective of how we are communicating with our customers
  • Why you need to listen more strategically
  • Why you need to get your ego out of the way

How best to connect with Jill:

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