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: December, 2018
Dec 31, 2018

Cheryl Bachelder is a passionate, purpose-led business leader — the former CEO of Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. Cheryl is known for her crisp strategic thinking, a franchisee-focused approach, and superior financial performance. Guided by the servant leadership thinking of Robert Greenleaf, she believes highly caring, collaborative leaders with big ambitions for the enterprise, not themselves, generate the conditions for people to perform their best work.

Cheryl served as CEO of Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., a NASDAQ traded company with over 2,600 restaurants in 26 countries, from 2007 to 2017. The story of Popeyes success is chronicled in her book, Dare to Serve: How to drive superior results by serving others. During her tenure, Popeyes stock price grew from $11 to $61, at which time the board sold the company to Restaurant Brands International Inc. for $1.8 billion dollars or $79 per share in March 2017.

Cheryls earlier career included brand leadership roles at Yum Brands, Dominos Pizza, RJR Nabisco, The Gillette Company and Procter & Gamble.
Cheryl is a director and compensation committee chair at Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (PIR). She sits on the advisory board of Procter & Gamble’s franchising venture, Tide Dry Cleaners. She is a member of C200, an organization that fosters, celebrates and advances women’s leadership in business.

Cheryl holds a Bachelors and Masters of Business Administration degree from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She is married 36 years to Chris Bachelder and they have three grown daughters, two terrific sons-in-law, and three handsome grandsons. Cheryl and Chris reside in Atlanta, Georgia and attend Buckhead Church. They are avid learners, fans of the classical education movement, and can always be found reading a good book!

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Cheryl’s career path and personal life have bought her many fantastic leadership opportunities
  • Why Cheryl wanted to demonstrate an example of clear, competitive marketplace performance during her time leading Popeyes
  • Why Cheryl chose to title her book “Dare to Serve: How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others”
  • Why tracking the P&L figures of Popeye’s franchisees was a critical change Cheryl made that helped rebuild trust
  • How the changes Cheryl spearheaded helped Popeyes restaurants increase their sales by an average of 45%
  • What lessons from Cheryl’s book “Dare to Serve” are the biggest takeaways that business owners can learn from
  • Why it’s important to ask yourself “why do I lead?” and to answer the question honestly
  • Why the biggest legacy of Cheryl’s time at Popeyes lies in the development of future leaders
  • Why clear communication and talent management were major pillar of growth for the Popeyes organization during Cheryl’s tenure as CEO
  • Why human dignity is a deep belief Cheryl holds, and why she feels your deep beliefs should be reflected in your work

Additional resources:

Dec 28, 2018

Sarah Noked is an MBA graduate, Certified Online Business Manager and Digital Marketing Strategist with more than 10 years business experience in the online world. With her stellar team of OBMs, they help their clients stay on track for growth and development. They do this by managing their projects, teams, operations, automation, and launches. In turn, their clients gain the much needed time to focus on their big picture, revenue-generating ideas. Everyone wins!

When she’s not working in the agency and with 6 to 7 figure entrepreneurs scaling their businesses, she’s helping other VAs and OBMs realize their worth and potential to scale and grow profitable teams and businesses. As a Certified OBM Trainer, Sarah trains and certifies fellow OBMs in the online business industry.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How family and a desire for flexibility were the catalyst for Sarah’s decision to leave her corporate job to become an online business manager
  • How Sarah describes the role of an OBM and the value the position provides to entrepreneurs in streamlining and scaling their business
  • What strategies and methods Sarah and her team use to help business owners scale their business… without scaling their work hours
  • How Sarah’s team manages product launches, handles SEO and advertising, and other tasks to minimize day-to-day operation headaches
  • Why efficiency is one of the key aspects an OBM works on to improve the smooth operation of the business
  • What daily habits have most benefited Sarah and contributed to her career success
  • Why project management software can be a powerful efficiency and communication tool to coordinate your teams
  • Why having a clear vision is the vitally important foundation an entrepreneur needs to create a successful organization
  • What key lesson Sarah learned from a former client that reshaped her business philosophies
  • What advice Sarah would offer to business owners looking to maximize efficiency and minimize day-to-day effort

Ways to contact Sarah:

Dec 26, 2018

Kwame Christian, Esq., M.A. is a business lawyer and the Director of the American Negotiation Institute where he puts on workshops designed to make difficult conversations easier. As an attorney and mediator with a bachelor of arts in Psychology, a Master of Public Policy, and a law degree, Kwame brings a unique multidisciplinary approach to the topic of conflict management and negotiation.

His TEDx Talk, Finding Confidence in Conflict, was viewed over 24,000 times in 24 hours and was the most popular TED Talk on the topic of conflict of 2017. He also hosts the top negotiation podcast in the country, Negotiate Anything. The show has been downloaded over 350,000 times, has listeners in 181 different countries.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Kwame’s passion lies in psychology, self-awareness and understanding others, and how that relates to the business world
  • Why people are sometimes cognitively incapable of understanding your perspective, and how you can work around those barriers
  • Why someone’s professionalism often masks the fact that you’re really negotiating with their “inner toddler”
  • Why the three-part key to negotiating is to acknowledge emotions, show compassionate curiosity, and share in joint problem solving
  • Examples of how to implement Kwame’s three-part strategy to diffuse a difficult conversation
  • How to get a free copy of Kwame’s 18-page negotiation guide, covering topics like negotiation preparation, conflict negotiation and salary negotiation
  • Kwame shares wisdom from his book “Nobody Will Play With Me: How To Use Compassionate Curiosity to Find Confidence in Conflict”
  • What the most powerful business lesson Kwame learned was, and why he considers himself a “recovering people pleaser”
  • Why an unhappy experience at six years old shaped Kwame’s need for friendship and conflict avoidance when he was older
  • What advice Kwame would share with others looking to improve their confidence and become better ant difficult conversations

Ways to contact Kwame:

Dec 24, 2018

Evan Hackel is the creator of the concept and the author of “Ingaging Leadership”. He’s a successful business owner who has started more than 10 companies and is recognized as a thought leader, speaker, and author on leadership. One of his signature achievements was turning around a bankrupt business in four years and more than doubling system-wide sales to exceed $2 billion. He is also Founder and Principal of Ingage Consulting, a consulting firm headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why Evan lives a “portfolio life”, and how he strives to positively add to the businesses he works with
  • What Evan has been working on since his last visit to the Onward Nation podcast in episode #585
  • Why the theme of Evan’s upcoming franchise executive conference is “Rethink Everything”, and how that can apply to businesses of all types
  • How technological advances will completely alter the world of business and the way customers interact with companies
  • Why retailers must change their thinking to remain relevant in the age of in-home purchasing
  • Why the divide between urban and rural lifestyles will only grow exponentially in the future
  • How Evan defines success, and why economic bounty isn’t necessarily the right measure to determine success
  • Why fear is the most powerful motivator, and why complacency is the biggest risk businesses have to deal with
  • Why today’s barrier of entry for new businesses is lower than it has historically ever been before
  • Why it’s easy to miss what’s right in front of you, and why it’s critical to get an outside perspective

Ways to contact Evan:

Dec 21, 2018

Bryan Miles is CEO & co-founder of BELAY. A leading US-based, virtual solutions company, BELAY has over six hundred team members all working from home, remotely. BELAY has graced the Inc. 5000 list three times and was awarded the number one spot in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Best Company Culture. BELAY provides virtual assistants, bookkeeping, copywriting, and webmaster services to leaders and fast-paced organizations. BELAY’s services equip leaders and organizations with the ability to climb higher when and where they need it most. BELAY’s vision is to help clients achieve their vision.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The book that helped Bryan begin his journey toward becoming an entrepreneur even after he initially thought his chance had passed him by.
  • How a conversation with his wife about what he had in mind had her deciding to take the leap with him.
  • Why Bryan believed the combination of her experience at executing plans with his vision would make them a powerful team.
  • The importance of working to your strengths and how Bryan and his wife understand their strengths and divide their responsibilities accordingly.
  • Why delegating the tasks you’re not accomplished with can be the best possible solution for your business.
  • Why Bryan believes it’s important never to lose sight of people. They are the ones who build his business, who his business serves, and he feels it’s his responsibility, perhaps even purpose, to care for those people.
  • The role faith plays in the way Bryan runs Belay and why he feels it’s so important to him to be led by his beliefs and his faith.
  • Why the statement “You stand for something or you fall for everything,” has special meaning to Bryan.
  • What Bryan is doing that has helped Belay, a company that has only been in business for eight years, make the Inc. 5,000 list for four years in a row.
  • The daily habits Bryan believes are essential for his success in life and in business.
  • What Bryan believes is the greatest thing he and his wife (who is also his business partner) can give their children. This one might not be what you expect.

Ways to contact Bryan:

Dec 19, 2018

Joyce Bone, MBA equips other achievers in skyrocketing their financial results through her guidance as a speaker, podcast host of the Anxiety-Free Selling show, author of Millionaire Moms, sales coach and business consultant. She is also active in real estate as both an investor and licensed agent.

At age 28 as a former stay-at-home mom, Joyce co-founded and led EarthCare, an environmental company traded on NASDAQ achieving $125 million annual revenues. She has raised over $65 million dollars and has pitched investors nationally and internationally including Sweden, India and Canada. Since that time, she has successfully helped other companies and individuals learn to influence and sell in a more productive and empowering way.

Past clients range from Fortune 500s to, “Eat What You Kill” (1099) sales professionals in the real estate, financial services, insurance, mortgage, and direct marketing sectors, to small business owners including IT and CPG companies.

As an entrepreneur, she is nationally recognized for her business acumen. Featured on CNBC’s The Squawk Box, and in Kiplinger, Money, Woman’s Day, Forbes, Atlanta Business Chronicle, and a host of other media outlets, Joyce is who the media often turn to for sound business advice.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How it all got started for Joyce with a bottle of Tide. How that moment made her decide to change the financial story for her family.
  • The way Joyce’s childhood experiences shaped her drive and determination to provide more for her family.
  • The importance of overcoming obstacles and how Joyce overcame what she perceived as her first obstacle as she launched her business.
  • How one little tweak in her mindset, the way she viewed obstacles, changed the course of her life and how it affects all entrepreneurs as they begin their journeys.
  • The aggressive goal Joyce set for herself by the time she was 30 (and she was only 28 when the bottle of Tide was out of reach) and how that goal shaped the type of business she’d have to create.
  • The importance of a lunch meeting with her former boss and how an idea was born out of that meeting (and a partner made)!
  • Why Joyce believed that buying up smaller companies to form a larger company and then going public would be her ticket to the aggressive goal she set for herself.
  • Roadblocks and obstacles Joyce faced along the way that redirected and refocused her efforts.
  • Why Joyce firmly believes you don’t have to know everything to start. You just have to start and then move forward.
  • Why it’s easier to sell people your dream and raise money when you’re talking to people who understand the industry you’re working in.
  • The importance of mentors and continuous self-improvement and the people who have helped Joyce along the way. And how some mentors can teach you from afar.

Ways to contact Joyce:

Dec 17, 2018

Our special encore guest today is Michael Stallard. Michael is a former Wall Street executive who left the Street 15 years ago to found the Connection Culture Group, a leadership training firm and focuses on improving workplace cultures. He’s a keynote speaker and expert on how effective leaders boost human connection in cultures to improve the health and performance of individuals and organizations. Michael is also the author of two books, “Connection Culture” and “Fired Up or Burned Out.” Now…you may remember Michael and the wisdom he shared during Episode 794 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 794 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What’s new with Michael and his business since he last joined us 6 months ago
  • Insight into what Michael and his team teach leaders about culture when they work with a company
  • The new e-course Michael is developing: how it brings people together in collaboration and what you can expect from the course
  • Michael’s definition of culture in the workplace, and why it boils down to thoughts, words, and deeds- how these three things can make happier, better employees
  • How humans are hardwired to connect, making connection a superpower for a leader in a business
  • What the predominant mindset of Wall Street is and why it’s so harmful and counterproductive
  • Best practices for creating a connection culture in your business
  • The vision, value, and voice of the band U2, and how that’s a great example of a connection culture
  • Strategies Alan Mulally used to create a connection culture and turn things around at Ford
  • What displacement aggression is and how it can ruin a whole culture from the top down
  • The five unique benefits of connection within an organization as well as how disconnection undermines performance
  • How to identify leaders in your organization who are good at connecting
  • Examples of the thoughts, words, and deeds powerful leaders use to create a connection

Ways to contact Michael:

Dec 14, 2018

In the fifth grade, Robert Rose’s teacher sent him home with a note that said Robert likes to tell stories. Well, as it turns out, she was right. Robert is the founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Content Advisory, the consulting and advisory group of The Content Marketing Institute. Robert has been helping marketers tell their story more effectively through digital media for more than 20 years. Over the last five years, Robert has worked with more than 500 companies of all sizes, including 15 of the Fortune 100. Hes provided strategic marketing advice and counsel for global brands such as Capital One, Dell, Ernst & Young, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UPS.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The strategy Robert came up with to win when he was part of a startup competing against big companies like Microsoft
  • What Robert did to become successful and build up Content Marketing Institute to where it is today, helping major companies get things done
  • How Robert views work and marketing and how that sets him apart from others in his field
  • Ways marketing has changed over the last 18 years because of consumers, and how Robert based his book, ”Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit” on this change
  • Traditional marketing- how it is based on an efficiency model, and how it differs from a new marketing strategy that giants like Amazon, Netflix, and Apple are using
  • An example explaining why it might be better to create your own audience than to find an audience through a platform like Facebook
  • Why it’s so much more valuable to have direct access to your customers, and how Robert can help you do that
  • How Red Bull is actually a media company that happens to sell energy drinks, and how this helps their sales
  • What Terminus did to be a media company and give their brand value
  • Practical steps you can take to build a media company within your overall company
  • The biggest mistake Robert sees both small and large companies make and what you can do to avoid making that same mistake
  • Why you need to focus on optimizing specific areas of your business, and why it doesn’t work to try to do everything at once
  • One of the most important things you can do when finding your audience, and why it’s one of the hardest things to do, too

Ways to contact Robert:

Dec 12, 2018

Daniel Gefen is the founder of Gefen Media Group — a done-for-you podcast booking service that helps inspiring authors sell more books by getting them booked as guests on relevant podcasts. He’s the best-selling author of The Self Help Addict and the top-rated podcast host of The Daniel Gefen Show and Can I Pick Your Brain. Daniel has been featured in major publications including Forbes and Inc. and has been a guest on over 50 podcasts.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Daniel’s childhood and how his time in school often felt like a prison sentence where he couldn’t be himself and how that transitioned into his early jobs in adulthood.
  • How not fitting into the usual boxes was a hindrance to Daniel in school and when working for others, but how his unique personality helped him excel as an entrepreneur.
  • Why going into business for himself didn’t quite live up to Daniel’s expectations at first
  • He didn’t get the freedom he expected.
  • The best move Daniel believes he’s made in his business and why it was so important for him.
  • Why it is so important for you to know what your strengths are in business and play to those strengths while finding the right people to manage the other aspects of your business.
  • How boredom played a role in taking his business to the next step. Once Daniel automated his original business idea to the point where he was barely needed, he had too much time on his hand and began developing new ideas.
  • Podcasting. How Daniel fell in love with the microphone from day one and how that created new opportunities through Podcasting two shows of his own and then into creating Gefen Media Group.
  • What Gefen Media Group does in helping people produce podcasts and matching up guests with podcasts in search of them.
  • The reason no one inspires Daniel the way his grandfather did because of his dedication to serving others.
  • Why Daniel believes it’s so important to become a better listener in business and in life.

Ways to contact Daniel:

Dec 10, 2018

Elise Keith is the founder and meeting maven for Lucid Meetings — an online meeting platform that helps teams run highly productive meetings. She’s also the best-selling author of Where the Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Elise began her career in business and the fortuitous twists and turns that led her to where she is now.
  • Why Elise was motivated to strike out on her own after observing far too much discord and dysfunction in the company she initially worked with.
  • Elise’s observations about the structure of larger companies for making decisions and her decision to create a product that would help smaller companies structure meetings so that they could make the transition from concept to reality without the drama and dysfunction that was prevalent in her own organization.
  • The things people need to bring into meetings to solve problems and move forward: intentionality, purpose, structure. And how having a system aided in that.
  • The importance of following a process when conducting meetings, including having rules that work for your organization.
  • How Amazon conducts meeting sand why it works for them. Not to mention how similar rules might work for other organizations.
  • The way your business conducts meetings reflects on your entire operation. When you get things done in your meetings, prospective clients notice.
  • Why meetings need structure and not just a set of rules or a code of conduct to follow. Structure can be anything from “icebreakers” to moments of silence before getting into the meat and potatoes of the meeting.
  • The three main components of the meeting operation system: performance criteria, meeting flow models, and support.
  • The importance of measuring meeting results. If your meetings aren’t productive, the way you’re conducting meetings has to change. But, how do you measure the results?
  • Why you need to know, going into the meeting, what kind of meeting it is or what kind of meeting you need to schedule.

Ways to contact Elise:

Dec 7, 2018

John Fairclough is the President and Founder of The Resicom Group which helps retailers optimize the way they improve and maintain their store environment. Under his leadership, the company has evolved from a local construction company into an international provider of facility maintenance and construction services. Now John enjoys sharing his story to inspire others.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The important role John believes the resilience he learned as a child has had on the business leader he has become.
  • The strength that comes from difficult times often shapes the business leaders and how that has helped John persevere when many other leaders crash and burn.
  • How seeing a need for businesses created a niche that John was able to fill with his company and run with on a widescale level.
  • Why John believes it’s important to be useful to clients on a broader scale and how that sets his business apart from so many others.
  • John’s belief that it’s just as easy to plan for one project with the same organization as it is to plan for 1000 and why he isn’t interested in one and done projects at this point in his business.
  • Avoiding distractions. Why that is so important for keeping your business focus and not chasing revenue for revenue’s sake but only doing so when it falls within the scope and scale of what your business does.
  • How John went from living in his car to founding a company that employs 80 people within six and a half years.
  • The right size for a business is what it can properly manage. The hard way John learned that lesson and what it has meant for him and the way he does business today.
  • The importance of having the right team around you and why you sometimes need to simplify the process to move forward sometimes.
  • Why John believes it is sometimes necessary to walk away from the business that grew your business in order for your business to grow further.

Ways to contact John:

Dec 5, 2018

Our special encore guest today is Sue Hawkes. Sue’s first interview aired as Episode 826 just a few weeks ago. And I typically don’t invite a guest back for an encore so quickly — but — during our post-interview chat — I knew I had to invite Sue to come back right away because our first discussion was so helpful and off-the-charts amazing. We dug into imposter syndrome, how it creeps in, and how we as business owners tend to chase perfection — and on the surface — that’s fine and dandy — but we also need to realize that perfection is just an illusion and there are some keys to maximizing success.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why Sue believes that business leaders gain incredible freedom once they’ve reached a place of internal peace and unshakable excellence.
  • The stepping stones to becoming the type of leader that has that peace and confidence that comes with excellence.
  • Imposter syndrome. What it is and why Sue believes it is how you respond to it when it shows up that defines you as a leader.
  • Why Sue believes that chasing perfection is such a waste of time for entrepreneurs.
  • What is EOS, entrepreneur operating system, and why Sue believes that every entrepreneur needs some sort of operating system in place as it allows you to control your business rather than being controlled by your business.
  • Maintaining sanity with “clarity breaks.” All leaders need time to sit, think, and expand their minds and visions.
  • Why these clarity breaks are really helpful even though it goes against everything that’s instinctive to promote your business – especially for people who are “doers” by nature.
  • Different types of sanity breaks that have been effective for others and why it’s important to find your own. One that feeds your mind and soul.
  • The staggering number of things that are on our minds at any given time and how simplifying those things free up our minds to focus on the most critical problems – and what an operating system has to do with that.
  • The three things Sue does for companies she works with: vision, traction, and health. Plus, why these things are so important for growth and success.
  • Why Sue’s book isn’t meant to be read through in one sitting and how she intends it to be used instead.

Ways to contact Sue:

Dec 4, 2018

Good Morning, Onward Nation — it’s Saturday, December 1, 2018 as I sit down to record this solocast. And I have to say — I’m so fired up for 2019 to get here. I’m fired up because for the first time in Predictive ROI’s history — we have given the coming year a theme and are building a strategy around that theme.

2019 is going to be the year of “Doubling Down” at Predictive ROI.

So I’m going to do something in today’s solocast that I have never done before. I’m going to take you way, way, way behind the curtain at Predictive to share how we’re going to Double Down in 2019.

But to be clear — this solocast is not a Predictive ROI commercial. Instead, I’m going to share insights into our plans, our concerns, our vulnerabilities, where we think we can be more helpful, and our strategy so you can take this episode and perhaps the lessons we have learned along the way might also be helpful to your team, too.

More specifically…I will take you inside how we’re doubling down on:

  • Being helpful to you, Onward Nation
  • Being helpful to our clients
  • Building and investing in our team
  • Our offering at Predictive ROI
  • Our ability to share our story
  • Revenue and reinvestment back into the business

After you listen to the solocast, please remember that we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day. Our time here is a gift from God. How you use your time – how you apply your abundance of gifts and talent is your gift back to God.

So make 2019 the year you double down on your intensity and the abundance will be around the corner.

Make 2019 your year – the year you Double Down!

Dec 3, 2018

Brett Gilliland is Co-Founder and CEO of Elite Entrepreneurs, which specializes in helping 7-figure business owners with the knowledge, tools, and processes they need grow to $10 million and beyond. He’s an expert in organization development, leadership, and strategy and spent 10 years helping Infusionsoft grow from $7 million in annual revenue to over $100 million. One of Brett’s favorite professional accomplishments is co-creating Infusionsoft’s Elite Forum alongside CEO Clate Mask and building the Elite business.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Only three percent of businesses ever make it to the million dollar mark for revenue. It helps when you begin that business within the safety of another business.
  • Why Brett decided to “spin out” Elite from InfusionSoft and how he believes it has helped Elite grow exponentially.
  • The “value ladder.” What it is, the strategy behind it, and how the “slices” stack up.
  • Building a customer acquisition machine and how Brett had to do it after the fact when Elite spun out from InfusionSoft.
  • What is Elite Forum and how that transitioned to the need for Elite Momentum and why it matters for the clients Brett serves.
  • Why it’s important for entrepreneurs to ask the following questions: “How can we provide more accountability? How can we offer more value? How can we be helpful at this level – and the next?” And then listen to the answers.
  • Why Brett has so much respect for businesses that have built from the ground up without the safety net of a larger organization like InfusionSoft.
  • Brett’s advice to entrepreneurs just getting started in creating a business.
  • What it means to be intentional when beginning a company and why it’s so important.
  • Why Brett believes it’s important to become the leader of your business so that you’re running your business rather than being run by your business.

Ways to contact Brett: