Onward Nation

America's best podcast for learning how today's top business owners Think, Act, & Achieve. Onward Nation is a five-day-a-week podcast hosted by Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI. Business owners share the most influential lessons learned throughout their careers, including insights into their daily habits, their most vital priorities that have contributed to their business and personal success, and the most challenging time or situation that could have devastated or even ruined their businesses or careers. Business owners share their "recipes for success" including those systems they wish they had put into practice inside their business when first starting out. Each episode concludes with guests sharing two or three practical and tactical strategies they would recommend to brand new business owners in order to best ensure success in their new business and careers. Onward Nation provides business owners with the strategies and tactical step-by-step "recipe" that will help anyone make their business more systematic, predictable, measurable, and repeatable.
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Now displaying: November, 2018
Nov 30, 2018

Emily Hirsh is an industry-leading Facebook ad manager and sales funnel strategist who has built an expert team of top-level professionals to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses using proven social media sales strategies and creativity that converts.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How a simple task as a virtual career path become the inspiration for a lucrative and satisfying career path.
  • Emily’s path from loading Facebook ads for VA clients to running her own team of 24 people who run the ads for her.
  • The way Emily’s business grew after hiring the first person to help, and then the second, and how she developed a process for teaching others to perform the tasks required, a system she calls the “Hirsh Process.”
  • Why Emily decided to take the time to create a course outlining and training others to do what she does intuitively and how this “conveyer belt” strategy has helped her business grow.
  • The difference when you’re representing yourself to clients and when you’re training others to represent you to your clients and why that distinction is important when creating training materials.
  • Emily’s ideal client and why it’s important for entrepreneurs to understand who their ideal clients are and how choosing someone who isn’t right for your business can be bad for your business and the client.
  • Why Emily believes it’s hard, but sometimes necessary to say “no” to clients who simply aren’t ready for the services she has to offer and can’t get the full benefit of what she has to offer.
  • Facebook and Instagram. Why these are the two platforms that deliver the best results for Emily’s style and why she loves them.
  • Tracking progress. Why Emily’s team tracks results at all stages of the funnel to help identify strengths and weaknesses and improve results all around.
  • The importance of having a plan before going live with a campaign and why Emily warns against proceeding as an entrepreneur without one.
  • What they are and why Emily dislikes “Like” campaigns.
  • The most critical skill Emily believes to develop for high-level results in your business and in your campaigns.
  • The importance of doing one thing well and building on that instead of 20 mediocre things.

Ways to contact Emily:

Nov 28, 2018

Gary Melling is the President and CEO of Acquired Insights, which is an artificial intelligence and machine learning company bringing new and disruptive, cross-industry, cross-functional solutions to market. His expertise has been referenced by organizations and clients such as NASA and the US Federal Reserve Bank. Gary has over 40-years of experience working in classified military defense systems, global enterprise management consulting, corporate transformations and turnarounds, business systems integration, and predictive analytics.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How growing up in a military family taught Gary to embrace change and prepared him to be a leader
  • The background and future of artificial intelligence and how it’s disrupting a lot of businesses and industries
  • An example of how predictive analytics, a type of artificial intelligence, is changing healthcare and helping children with cancer have better chances
  • The aspect of his job that makes Gary excited to go to work every day
  • Why the world of artificial intelligence is still considered the wild wild west, and where Gary sees it going in the future
  • How we all have robots in our homes and everyday lives without even realizing it, and what that says about the evolution of technology and artificial intelligence
  • Where technology is headed in the future and how it can make every aspect of our lives better
  • The future of human jobs with such an increase in artificial intelligence and the role of ethics management in Gary’s company
  • Reasons North America is behind other areas of the world when it comes to humanoid robotics
  • Why new, innovative products often aren’t heavily regulated and whether that’s a good thing or not
  • Ethical and moral considerations when dealing with developing artificial intelligence

Ways to contact Gary:

Nov 26, 2018

Mike Banks is the COO of Fund & Grow, providing financial and strategic advisory services to business owners and real estate investors. They help their clients obtain unsecured funding with creative 0% interest business credit lines. Fund & Grow handles all of the time-consuming work of establishing and building business credit for their clients, including developing new financial relationships, as well as structuring all legal agreements and authorizations required before beginning the credit building process.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why Mike stopped going to college and got started with Fund&Grow
  • How Mike has personally benefited from Fund&Grow, giving him the confidence to get started in real estate
  • The way business credit works and why you should avoid using personal credit for your business
  • Examples of ways you can use Fund&Grow for your business
  • Repairing your credit if you need to get it higher in order to use Fund&Grow’s services
  • Benefits you’ll get, including big savings, if you check out Mike’s webinar
  • Strategies you can use to get a loan with more money at a lower interest rate
  • How to manage your business loans to keep them zero interest for as long as possible
  • The things Mike will look at for you if you get a free Fund&Grow consultation, and the type of advice they will give you to prepare you for their services
  • Why it’s okay to max out your credit cards, but what you should be doing with the balance to help your credit score
  • Various aspects of your credit and what plays into your credit score, including things you could be doing that aren’t “bad,” but are negatively affecting your credit score
  • The danger of using a no limit flexible spending credit card
  • Common errors on credit reports that can be fixed to improve your score
  • An insider tip to help you grow your business to the next level

Ways to contact Mike:

Nov 23, 2018

Our special encore guest today is Justin Copie. Justin is the CEO of Innovative Solutions and is leading a bold move forward — instilling growth in employees and inspiring change well beyond the four walls of Innovative. Yes…the 80 people working at Innovative don’t work for him — he works for them. As CEO and leader, Justin provides safety and direction, safety in voicing opinions, trying new things, failing, and direction in where to go on the path to success. Now…you may remember Justin and the wisdom he shared during Episode 584 of Onward Nation. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during his previous interview…I highly encourage you to add Episode 584 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Justin, as CEO, works for his employees, rather than the other way around, and what he does to create a positive working environment
  • Principles for success Justin follows himself and teaches to his employees
  • The way Justin navigated the most challenging professional experience of his career, and what the results have been so far
  • Where Justin gets his courage and inspiration from to make bold moves in business
  • Justin’s unique philosophy on business and ways he has improved his business and his employees’ productivity based on this philosophy
  • Takeaways Justin got from Zappos Culture Camp and why he decided to attend in the first place
  • Ways that Justin mixes employee satisfaction with productivity to benefit both employees and customers
  • A story about the passing of Justin’s friend’s father that illustrates what Justin believes to be true success
  • What Justin means when he says fear is like a muscle and how understanding this premise can make you a great business owner
  • Secrets behind recruiting and retaining quality talent for your business, and what sets A players apart from others
  • Why Justin allows startups to share his company’s office for free
  • Strategies to help you get past your plateau and on to the next level in your business

Ways to contact Justin:

Nov 21, 2018

Dr. Larry Senn is a pioneer in the field of corporate culture, having conducted the world’s first research on corporate culture in 1970. As chairman and founder of Senn Delaney, a global transformational and culture-shaping organization, Larry has been on a mission to make “culture shaping” an everyday practice of companies around the world. Larry is also the best-selling author of several books, including, 21st Century Leadership, Winning Team Winning Cultures, and most recently The Mood Elevator.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How people are greatly influenced by significant adult figures in their lives and who first influenced Larry.
  • Larry’s first entrepreneurial efforts and how they worked for him through school and then through college.
  • The reason Larry compares many companies to dysfunctional families (with turf wars, politics, and trust issues).
  • Larry’s connection to Walmart and its founder who envisioned bringing low-priced consumer goods to rural America.
  • Why leaders have obligations to become their best selves. Hint! It has something to do with organizations becoming shadows of their leaders.
  • How Larry developed a passion for helping companies develop a company culture.
  • What it means to operate as an effective entrepreneur and why Larry believes it means operating lean, with few inefficiencies or redundancies.
  • Why Larry chose “culture shaping” as his career and why it’s so important for businesses.
  • Curiosity vs. judgment and why curiosity can help transform the way you approach problems or challenges in life and in business.
  • Mood elevators and what they have to do with the way you respond to issues you address throughout the day.
  • How riding the mood elevator influences everything in your life from your relationships to your personal effectiveness and even your professional success.
  • How you can reduce the frequency with which you visit the lower floors of your mood elevator and to spend more time moving up.

Ways to contact Larry:

Nov 19, 2018

Danny Schuman is a writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and president of the marketing consultancy, Twist, which specializes in brand marketing as well as product and service innovation. Before starting Twist, Danny wrote and directed marketing campaigns that helped build iconic brands like Quaker Oatmeal, Coors Light, and Gatorade. His bestselling book “The Worst Business Model in the World: A New Kind of Guide for a New Kind of Entrepreneur” is available on Amazon.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How the big economic downturn of 2008 launched a new adventure for Danny.
  • How crumbs from agencies Danny worked with in his corporate career become the dough for his business when he created Twist.
  • Why Danny believes the economic downtime was actually the perfect time to go out on his own when conventional wisdom suggests otherwise. Hint! The numbers support him.
  • Why Danny continues to operate on a “startup” model even though Twist has been in business for 10 years now.
  • How Danny came up with the title of his book. Why he almost changed it. And why he ultimately decided to keep it.
  • Danny’s belief that each new project is an opportunity to solve a different problem and why that appeals to him.
  • Danny’s belief that it’s more important to shift the focus to making friends rather than making money and how by developing those relationships with friends, you’re essentially creating a network that will help you make even more money in the end.
  • Why Danny doesn’t prepare for meetings. And, why he thinks you shouldn’t prepare for them either. Hint! It’s more about listening than talking.
  • What Danny believes is the most critical skill business owners need to master for success in today’s highly competitive marketplace.
  • The most influential lesson Danny has learned from a mentor and how that lesson has shaped the way he operates his business. Not to mention his bottom line.
  • Who Susie is and how creative types of business owners need a Susie in their lives and how more business oriented business owners need someone more creative to help with their businesses. It all goes back to that important lesson Danny learned from his mentor.

Ways to contact Danny:

Nov 16, 2018

Jared Nichols is a futurist, advisor, and faculty member at the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business, in Graduate and Executive Education. He is the founder of The Foresight Academy where he teaches leaders, teams, and individuals, how to think like futurists so they can create the best future possible, for themselves and the people they serve. Jared is sought out by leaders, organizations, and entrepreneurs to help them identify how emerging trends in technology, media, business, and public policy, may fundamentally change society and shape the future.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Jared responded when he came to a crossroad in his life and in his business.
  • The way Jared was able to reach and teach more people by leveraging the tools and technology available to him.
  • What Jared meant when he described himself as feeling misaligned in what he was doing before and what it took to realign him and his mission.
  • Authenticity. Why Jared believes it’s so important to help you understand your motivations and get them across to others.
  • Clarity. Why Jared believes it doesn’t matter what kind of people you want to serve, what industries you want to reach, or who you’re trying to connect with. Clarity is the most important thing you need to have about who you are and how that translates into the business you’re working in.
  • Why having the right mentor and the right coach can sometimes help you cut through the noise to help you sort that out and find the clarity you require.
  • Identifying the mission became Jared’s first priority. Once he did that, he was able to shift focus to leveraging technology to reach more people for the sake of his mission.
  • What a “futurist” is and how thinking like one can help teams create their best possible futures.
  • How Jared came up with the idea for the Foresight Academy and what students will learn through the 12-week program.
  • Jared’s four Cs. Conscious. Curious. Creative. Collaborative.
  • Why Jared believes it’s essential to challenge the norms by asking better questions, like what “else” might be possible.
  • Why Jared includes a call to action in each part of his course and why he thinks giving students “quick wins” is so important.
  • Jared’s belief that what you think about the future is far less important, in the grand scheme of things, than HOW you think about the future.

Ways to contact Jared:

Nov 14, 2018

Sue Hawkes helps CEOs and their leadership teams succeed. As a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and globally recognized, award-winning seminar leader, she brings over 25-years of experience to her clients. She is CEO of YESS!, founder of Ideal Coaching international, Inc., and has designed and delivered programs for thousands of people. Her most recent book, Chasing Perfection: Shatter the Illusion, Minimize Self-Doubt, & Maximize Success, is available now.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why Sue believes you’re either learning or winning in business and what that means in the grand scale of things.
  • Overcoming imposter syndrome and why it’s so important to do just that.
  • Why Sue believes it’s important for business owners to get what they want out of their businesses rather than feeling chained to their businesses. Hint! It can cause resentment toward the business. Even leading to fantasies of being employed.
  • The importance of being self-aware and understand what we’re not good at, as entrepreneurs because that’s the only way we’re going to solve the problems we create.
  • Why Sue decided on this title for her book: Chasing Perfection: Shatter the Illusion, Minimize Self-Doubt & Maximize Success.
  • The fact that nearly 80 percent of leaders have moments of excruciating self-doubt. It’s normal. It may even be essential for good leadership. The ones who never experience it are the one’s Sue believes you need to worry about.
  • Why Sue believes continuous self-improvement leads to increased freedom and internal and unshakeable excellence for you as a leader.
  • The reason Sue designed her book to be read in segments and why that matters so much for her intended audience. Plus, Sue’s instructions for reading her book.
  • How “unkind wonderful” words are sometimes the perfect words to hear. Especially when they’re as painful as they are insightful.
  • Sue’s belief that every problem is an opportunity for growth. All you need is to figure out how to flip it upside down and why it’s important to be on the front of the pack, leading the pack rather than reacting.
  • Sue’s advice to entrepreneurs everywhere, about not giving up because people always seem to quit just before amazing things happen.

Ways to contact Sue:

Nov 12, 2018

Dr. Alice Loy is the co-founder & CEO of Creative Startups. She has over 20 years of experience working with entrepreneurs in the creative industries. Widely considered a leading authority on entrepreneurship in the creative economy, Alice built the Creative Startups Accelerator with a vision for catalyzing high growth company formation in the under-served creative economy. Today the accelerator operates on four continents serving over 50 creative companies each year. Alice also co-authored the book, Creative Economy Entrepreneurs: From Startup to Success.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Alice defines entrepreneurship
  • The story behind the book, Creative Economy Entrepreneurs
  • How creative entrepreneurs are transforming the global economy
  • The startup accelerator for creative entrepreneurs and how it works
  • Why startups are a race against time
  • Keys to focusing on your vital priorities
  • The importance of building discipline in your thinking
  • How social change happens
  • How mentorship can accelerate success
  • The best way to build and scale your business

Ways to contact Alice:

Nov 9, 2018

Bianca Caban is Director of Partnerships and Business Development at Republic, a platform that connects tech startups and blockchain projects with retail investors from around the world. Prior to Republic, she worked on Wall Street for five years and also founded a consultancy, Tai — eeno Capital, where she worked with various entities on new fund infrastructure and business development. Bianca is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers and the Milken Institute Young Leaders Circle.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How successful leadership in Rwanda, where 70 percent of parliament was comprised of women at the time inspired Bianca to invest in revitalization strategies for businesses closer to home.
  • Why Bianca is so committed to bringing investment capital to women-owned businesses in areas that are seeking to revitalize (Detroit, Puerto Rico, etc.).
  • Bianca’s discovery that women were the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. and how important access to capital is to them.
  • The importance of scalable technology for driving business growth.
  • How Title Three opened the doors wide for crowdfunding and what that meant for Republic and how it operates today.
  • Why Bianca is dedicated to helping under-represented groups in business gain access to capital and what it has meant for her organization to do so.
  • The importance of diversity, not only in the people operating businesses, but also the businesses and products themselves, is so vital to Republic and the people who invest.
  • The five Ts and what they mean to Republic and Bianca.
  • How passion factors into the equation and why Bianca is so passionate about her role in helping connect entrepreneurs and startups with the capital they need to get things rolling.
  • Why it matters that Republic has access to more than 80,000 investors looking for the perfect opportunities and how that helps ensure the right investor finds the right project.
Nov 7, 2018

Fernando Schiantarelli is an entrepreneur, TV and radio producer and creator of “Cómo Lo Hizo”, which translates to “How did they make it?” — a podcast that focuses on helping Latino entrepreneurs in co-production with iHeart Radio in Los Angeles.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Inspiring stories of creative entrepreneurs who immigrated to other countries and were able to build successful businesses out of pure innovation and hard work
  • Two of the most important qualities for an entrepreneur are humility and resilience
  • Humility is required, because it’s important to understand your place in the market, how to properly approach new contacts, and where you need to go to succeed, keeping everything grounded in reality
  • Resilience is important because there will always be naysayers who try to discourage entrepreneurs from pursuing specific goals or who are sure that an idea is doomed to failure – people you have to press past
  • However, passion can only get you so far, and it’s important to not mistake resilience for ignoring the warnings signs and investing too much time or money into an idea that is not properly research
  • Once you understand your product idea entirely, where it fits in the market, how it would be made, and how (and at what price) it is likely to sell, then you can start using your passion to drive the idea forward
  • “Most of our enemies are inside our own heads,” and entrepreneurs can’t let their own fears or uncertainties get the best of them when building company – and sometimes the inner voices are the hardest to work through
  • Intuition and understanding are also important parts of being an entrepreneur: You have be able to listen to the investors and business contacts you’re talking with, and read between the lines to see the things they aren’t saying
  • How you can be a successful entrepreneur without a mentor – because part of the process is learning everyone around you, not just a specific tutor or leader you respect
  • More information on Latino entrepreneurship, Latina woman in the industry, and many more interesting facts!

Ways to contact Fernando:

Nov 6, 2018

Good Morning — I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI and your host for Onward Nation. I’m excited to share the lessons and the insights of today’s episode with you — but before I do that — I wanted to take you behind the curtain to share some additional context with you around why I have been focusing my last several solocasts as well as my weekly videos on YouTube around the Trojan Horse of Sales Strategy.

My decision to do this has been based on several recent conversations with business owners who are also avid Onward Nation listeners. Each of them took the time to walk me through why they thought it would be helpful if I broke down the Trojan Horse strategy into granular steps…into more detail…and…why it would be helpful if I connected it back to the actual Trojan Horse story so the strategic metaphor that I am making when I say “Your Trojan Horse of Sales” could be better established.

To say that I was grateful for their feedback is a major understatement. I say often how much I value your feedback because it helps us get better each and every day…and here is a perfect example where Onward Nation listeners reached out to me — said hey — could we talk about this — and then they showed me how my team and I could get better. So thank you, Nancy — thank you, Bill — if you’re listening — I appreciate you so very much.

With that said…we are going to take a deep dive into what has been the best biz dev strategy for Predictive ROI — and as you might have guessed based on what I just shared with you — it is the Trojan Horse of Sales. And I am going to walk you through the strategy in two different ways.

First — I am going to share the highlights of the Trojan Horse story so we can get a solid foundation around why the story is, in my opinion, an excellent metaphor to the ideal sales strategy.

Second — I’m going to insert into this solocast the interview where I was a guest on Take the Lead Radio, hosted by Dr. Diane Hamilton. And you may remember Diane from Episode 505 of Onward Nation. After being my guest — Diane invited me to be her guest — and we talked through a number of topics including how the Trojan Horse of Sales Strategy can be helpful to business owners. More specifically, Diane asked me to share…

  • How I made that $2 million dollar mistake in 2014 and why it was a powerful lesson
  • Why my Predictive ROI team and I decided to start Onward Nation back in June 2015
  • How we initially began to “monetize” the podcast — but we didn’t do it by attempting to monetize you…our audience
  • How Onward Nation quickly became our best biz dev strategy to grow Predictive ROI
  • And how your podcast, your video series, your blog — whatever channel that serves as your hub for cornerstone content — how it, too, can play the role of your Trojan Horse of Sales

Full show notes here:

Nov 5, 2018

Shannon Miles is the CEO and Co-founder of BELAY, a staffing company serving businesses all over the U.S. Without an office, BELAY has graced the Inc. 5000 list four times — and four years in a row — and was awarded the number one spot in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Best Company Culture. Shannon’s new book The Third Option: Why a Woman Doesn’t Have to Choose Between a Career and Family, but Can Actually Have Both and Succeed is available now.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The story behind how Shannon and her husband started their business, BELAY
  • How having the right help can help you grow your organization
  • Why it’s vital to ensure that your team is happy
  • Why it’s not wise to satisfy other people’s perceptions of you
  • Why business owners need to consider what working remotely would look like for them
  • Why Shannon was compelled to write her book, The Third Option
  • The importance of having the mindset that you don’t have to do it alone
  • Why you need to assign value to your time
  • The power that comes from shifting your mindset to owning, not running, your business
  • Why you should consider developing and promoting employees from within your organization

Ways to contact Shannon:

Nov 2, 2018

Our special encore guest today is Jody Steinhauer. Jody is the Founder, President and CBO (Chief Bargain Officer) of the Bargains Group — an award-winning discount wholesale and promotional products company. She is also the founder of Engage and Change — a national charity focusing on “good people working together for the good of people.” — and Kits for a Cause, a social enterprise that helps companies make a positive impact in their communities. Now…you may remember Jody and the wisdom she shared during Episodes 20 and 364. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all she shared during her two previous interviews…I highly encourage you to add Episodes 20 and 364 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The rise of social enterprise, or finding out how businesses can help fix problems in society while also being business – a concept that Jody’s company has been practicing for 30 years
  • How businesses can help society in specific ways without being a charity and constantly asking for things, like money and volunteers
  • Why social enterprise needs to be a part of your marketing strategy, both for your company’s benefit and for organizational purposes
  • Why jumping into social enterprise also requires careful planning for budgeting and picking the right cause, as it aligns with the company’s mission statement and interests
  • How Jody’s new project has quickly spread from Toronto in the past year and how she has been contact by major companies in other countries that want to take part in specific projects or copy successful events
  • Why — if you want to do more charity or volunteer work — you need to find a company that has had many years of experience and done many events
  • Why flexibility is important in social enterprise – for example, Jody always contacts the end-user organizations when building kits, and often finds that some components just aren’t needed, so things need to be changed
  • The nuts and bolts of how an organization like Jody’s partners with a more traditional company for a big social enterprise event, including first meetings, plans, and getting volunteers
  • How to leverage materials like photos and video for marketing purposes and where to send them to let clients know your work in social enterprise
  • The power of spotting problems in social enterprise and nonprofit work, and targeting those problems with specific solutions to create truly effective social enterprise profits

Ways to contact Jody: