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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Feb 7, 2018

Lee Caraher started Double Forte in 2002 as a new kind of communications firm designed to provide the best service in the business. Lee has managed multiple offices and hundreds of people of all ages and was named in the 40 under 40 by PRWEEK Magazine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in medieval history — which she finds useful every day. You may also remember Lee and the wisdom she shared during episodes 180, 269, 523, and 669 of Onward Nation. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all that Lee shared during our earlier interviews...I highly encourage you to add episodes 180, 269, 523, and 669 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why people are so skeptical about fake news
  • Why your followers trust you more than they trust news sources
  • How the news business has changed so dramatically in the last decade
  • How fake news increases the distrust of information across the board
  • How we are all influencers, but don’t even know it
  • Why we should all become media companies
  • Why you should master, not just own, your website, blog, and social media channels
  • The importance of letting your website show what your company is all about
  • Why what other people say about you and what you say about yourself must be equal
  • Why every brand needs to have a virtual presence
  • Why you need to be where your customers want to communicate with you online
  • Why it’s vital to secure your business name on every social media platform

How best to connect with Lee:

Feb 6, 2018

Our special encore guest today is Mark Howley and he is the CEO of Pacific Bag, Inc., which manufacturers unique pre-made bags for specialty coffee, tea, pet food, specialty foods, ag, chemicals, and other niche markets around the world. Mark’s company serves over 5,000 customers in over 60 countries. Mark’s experience covers the gamut of sales, marketing, product management, and executive management. You may remember Mark and the wisdom he shared during Episode 552. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 552 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • One of the biggest challenges for small businesses today
  • How the quote “When you’re in your own mind, you’re behind enemy lines” can apply to many things in your life
  • The value of pausing and getting someone else’s perspective on something
  • Why you need to have an intimate awareness of people when you own a small business
  • The most important time to communicate with your customers
  • Why it’s important to be pumped up about what you’re doing
  • The value of having a team around you that you can decentralize
  • The importance of taking the time to perfect your craft
  • As a mentor, taking the time to get to know people and how they want to be mentored
  • Why you shouldn’t get comfortable with where you are, but rather extend into New markets


How best to connect with Mark:

Feb 5, 2018

Our special encore guest today is Dianna Booher and she is the founder and CEO of Booher Research Institute and author of “COMMUNICATE LIKE A LEADER.” Dianna works with organizations to help them communicate clearly — and with leaders — to expand their influence by having a strong executive presence. She works with some of the largest Fortune 500 companies and governmental agencies, such as IBM, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Siemens, NASA, and the U.S. Navy. She has been featured on Good Morning America, and in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, Investor’s Business Daily, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. You may remember Dianna and the wisdom she shared during Episode 502. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all she shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 502 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why it’s vital to build your brand along with systems and processes
  • Why your company name has to be linked as the thought leader in your area of expertise
  • The value of having cornerstone content
  • Asking yourself “what’s the worst thing that can happen” when you’re in a fearful situation
  • Why you should always grow your business on equity, not on debt
  • What to do if a publisher doesn’t want your book
  • The three prongs of success
  • Why it’s essential to have strong relationships with both friends and family
  • Why you need to live with intention, not live by default
  • The key characteristics that make an ‘A’ player an ‘A’ player
  • The importance of putting together an advisory board
  • Taking the time to stop and think about being on track to where you ultimately want to go

How best to connect with Dianna:

Feb 2, 2018

Eric Levenhagen founded ProWise Financial Coaching (formerly known as ProWise Tax & Accounting) in 2005. His mission is to perform a comprehensive service for his clients, unlike any other firm out there, and help clients lead a life of financial abundance. He is both a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Tax Coach who integrates both disciplines into a holistic, client-centered approach towards maximizing his client’s after-tax income and wealth. You may remember Eric and the wisdom he shared during Episode 25. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 25 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The two biggest advantages for business owners with the new tax reform
  • Why vehicle deductions are getting better under the new law
  • The family tax strategy: how this has improved
  • How the qualified business income deduction works and how it can benefit business owners
  • The importance of managing your taxable income
  • Why S-Corps are still a great strategy for businesses that are actively earning income
  • The benefits that come from working with a professional tax strategist
  • Doing the additional work to maximize the tax benefits under the new tax code
  • The value that comes from consistently optimizing your deductions
  • Why you need to make sure that you have a proactive tax planner on your team

How best to connect with Eric:


Feb 1, 2018

How to strategically create cornerstone content, with Stephen Woessner.

Good Morning Onward Nation – I’m Stephen Woessner and welcome to today’s solocast.

Before we dive into the strategies that I wanted to share with you this morning – I first wanted to say thank you. Thank you for making 2017 the best year for Onward Nation – the most downloads we have ever had...the most countries we have ever reached...and the most impact we have ever created.

Each and every day – my team and I are so very grateful for your generous gift of you sharing your time with us by listening to our episodes and then sharing your feedback by letting us know – thumbs up or thumbs down and how we can get better the next time.

I am honored that you choose to invest a portion of the 86,400 seconds you have each day with our guests and with me. So I want you to know how much I appreciate you and that we are committed to raising the bar – the standard of excellence – the value we deliver to you.

We as business owners – each of us every day – when we wake up and our feet hit the floor – need think of ways to deliver even more value to the customers and clients we have the privilege of currently serving – and – the customers and clients we look forward to serving in the future.

There needs to be that insatiable hunger in you that drives your business to give create deliver more...because when that hunger is not only elevates your business to that next level – but – it protects you by giving you what you need for survival.

I have a Successories quote hanging on the wall behind my desk that encapsulates how I feel about the power of starting the day with the right momentum.

The quote is called... “The Essence of Survival” and it goes like this...

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed...every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter if you are the lion or the gazelle...when the sun comes’d better be running.”

So thank you, Onward Nation, for being the driving force for my Predictive ROI team and I. We appreciate all of the hugs you have given us – and we appreciate the pushes, too. Please know – we are working hard to get better each and every day and please keep the feedback coming.

So now let’s turn our attention toward today’s strategies...

During Episode 659 several weeks ago...I shared some insight into why I firmly believe that most business owners look at marketing through the wrong end of the lens – and because of this – they tend to see an incomplete set of vital metrics – and consequently – they miss opportunities in lead gen, selling, and driving revenue.

Onward addition to expecting your sales and marketing efforts to create and nurture demand for your product and service offering...your marketing, and the content you create to power it, should also represent a profit center in your business – not a cost center.

Yes, you should get paid to create content.

And that is possible when you begin looking at your marketing through the correct end of the lens. You will see revenue opportunities beyond lead gen and customer acquisition.

You will begin to see the opportunity for sponsorships, events, book deals, speaking engagements, and much more.

During Episode 659 several weeks ago...I shared tangible examples of what I call Cornerstone Content. I defined what cornerstone content is and shared several specific strategies for how you can monetize the cornerstone content you create.

So for today...we are going to take a step backward in the process – well before monetization – because I want to share with you a strategic framework that you and your team can use to create the content that you will later monetize.

And yes, I agree – this does seem a bit backwards. Why share monetization strategies before sharing the strategy framework that makes it all possible.

I decided to organize it this way...because if you are like me...and most business owners...I thought I need to paint the picture of what was possible in Episode give you a why this matters...because I could give you the road map for the “How”.

So for today – I am going take several pages right out of the Predictive ROI cookbook so it can guide the strategic conversations you should be having with you and your team. This recipe contains the actual ingredients my team and I use when we are on-site working with clients during our 2-day intensives.

The topics are deep...the topics will likely push you and your team to think creatively about your business development...and will challenge you to hold each other accountable. This framework will chart the course for you and your team so that when you wake up, you can start running and confidently are running in the right direction.

And ultimately, as a result of this will be able to look at your marketing through the correct end of the lens, which will help you move your business onward to that next level because your marketing will no longer be a cost center – but a profit center for your business.

Let’s get started by reviewing what I believe you and your team need to accomplish during Day One.

Begin the process with a deep dive into your point-of-view – your position about why you do what you do within your business. Your point of view, or POV for a bold statement about what you believe to be true. It might be provocative and thought-provoking...maybe even controversial.

It may be turn off a wide swath of people who are not your audience – but for those who are part of your tribe, or could will be a beacon in the night for them.

When you say it...when you share it...when you build content around it...your tribe will hear and respond. Your POV will help you build an audience – it is that magnetic.

And because of these attributes of a well-crafted may take some digging to find it. It typically doesn’t reside on the surface. You and your team will need to push each other to find it.

It’s not about customer service, features, advantages, or benefits. It is about experience – why a customer chooses you over the myriad of other options in the marketplace.

To help...think of some thought leaders and what they stand for and what their brands stand for...or what their positions stand for...or how they built a category when previous to them entering the market...the category didn’t even exist.

Just like Simon Sinek did when he encouraged us to “Start with Why”. Simon now owns that very simple phrase – but because of his POV – and the cornerstone content he builds around it – it is very clear what he stands for and it drives everything in his business.

Here’s my point. You can do the same thing in your business when defining your POV. You just need to take the time to do it.

So...ask yourself...what do you stand for. What is the flag you want to plant in firm ground?

And don’t move on to the next piece in the process until you have your POV complete.

Next...who is it you want to serve?

I often to refer to the client avatar lessons I learned directly from Darren Hardy, former publisher of SUCCESS Magazine.

In fact, if you go to Episode 308 of Onward will find a detailed recipe for mapping out and identifying the attributes of your client avatar.

But identifying the attributes of your client avatar is only one piece of the puzzle. You need to take that a step further by converting the avatar into a list of your Dream 25 prospects – these are the people you would most like to serve as clients for your business.

So how do you do that? LinkedIn.

Here again...another free resource for you. Just go back to Episode 455 of Onward Nation and you will have access to our full recipe on using LinkedIn to identify your Dream 25 prospects.

The recipe is comprehensive – but working through it – will give you everything you need to ensure you are using LinkedIn effectively to fill your sales pipeline. and your team will need to identify three unique attributes to your brand – what truly makes you distinctive in the marketplace? What do you provide that no other company provides?

For Predictive ROI...our three uniques are:

One -- we help clients get clear on their point-of-view

Two -- we help them create high-quality cornerstone content that cements their POV into the hearts and minds of their audience with consistent thought leadership

And three -- we help clients drive revenue by transforming their content into a Trojan Horse of Sales, which you can learn more about this strategy back in Episode 600 where I break it down in full transparency.

We also help our clients attract an audience so a third party brand will want to pay to gain access to our client’s valuable audience.

All of this combined typically represents a 5x to 7x return on our client’s investment, which gives Predictive ROI a compelling – and unique – value proposition.

So what are your three uniques?

Talk about it with your team. But don't accept surface answers. Dig deep. And when someone suggests that it might be X...push back with the question, “Okay, why is X important to our customers?” And when one of your teammates answers the question, ask the same question again, “Okay...that makes sense...but why is that important?”

Repeat the process three times to keep peeling back the layers. And by the third will arrive at something truly unique about your offering.

Okay, by this time in the day – you will have accomplished a lot – your team will likely be ready to wrap and be finished – and deservedly so – you have checked some large boxes off the list.

There is just one more box that needs to be checked to complete Day One – and that is to give your process for delivering your uniques...a name.

At Predictive ROI...we call ours The Predictive ROI Method. I encourage you to keep it simple. Simple is best because if you are not careful, it will start to sound like marketing hyperbole, a bit slick, and too showy. And you don’t need that.

Keep it simple. And then go celebrate with your team – you just accomplished some serious business development and strategic work. come back refreshed for Day Two, which is all about defining what type of cornerstone content you plan to create -- and -- how you will define success and measure your progress along the way.

You will begin the process by deciding what type of content will become your cornerstone. For you prefer to speak or do you prefer to write? If you prefer to speak, you may want to consider a podcast, speaking engagements, or a video series as your cornerstone.

Or, if you prefer to might select blogs, articles, books, or research reports as your cornerstone.

Or, you may enjoy aspects about both. For example, I enjoy interviewing guests for our Onward Nation episode – but – I also enjoy writing books. So for now, these are my primary cornerstones.

So what do you prefer? To begin – you only need to – and only should – select one cornerstone. Then master the system and process with it before you select another one.

Ideally, you should have at least two because that will keep you from being seen as a one trick pony – true thought leaders share their content across multiple channels, which gives – or creates the impression – that their content is everywhere, which of course it isn’t – but it sure seems that way to their target audience.

Your POV will be the anchor within your cornerstone content. Each and every episode – every article – every blog post – will all point back to your point of view, which continues to plant your flag in firmer and firmer ground.

And one of the most powerful aspects to creating high-quality cornerstone content is the amount of leverage each piece of content gives you through slicing and dicing. For could take one of your podcast episodes...and transform it into 10 tweets, an eBook, top insights briefing that can be shared with your best customers, etc.

Or, you could distill the content from 100 episodes down into a research report that truly sets your company apart from competitors in your industry.

The point is that there a myriad of ways for you to slice and dice your cornerstone content into additional “spokes” that move out from the hub...and each spoke helps you extend your thought leadership even further and attract an even larger audience.

Once you define the type of cornerstone content you will be producing and some of the spokes – the slicing and dicing that each cornerstone will provide is time to begin formalizing your 1 and 3-year plans.

Obviously, 3 years is a long time given the dynamics in tech, ever-changing economy, and the other factors that make predicting the results of a 3-year plan challenging at best.

So for this exercise, I recommend you focus your attention around what success would look like for you at the end of 3 years. How will you know when you have reached where you wanted to go?

Is that a number of employees, is it the size of audience, is it the amount of revenue generated by sponsorships, is it the number of attendees at a private event you are hosting, or how you have turned your business into a media channel?

If you don’t take the time for you and your team to conceptualize a 3-year view of your business – then you may lose valuable time aimlessly wandering the wilderness, much like a leaf blowing in the wind.

It has been my experience, that the following core elements are what makes up a simple – yet sound – plan to keep you and your team on track:

First...identify your most vital priorities – the core things that you must accomplish or nothing else matters.

Second...what are the measurables? How will you know when you have arrived - what does it look like?

Third...what is the tactical plan? Who is going to do what, and when?

Fourth...what are the obstacles or roadblocks that will likely rise up to get in your way – and if they do – what are the likely solutions that can be executed quickly?

And lastly...accountability – who will be held accountable, to what, by whom, and when will checkpoint meetings or scorecard reviews be held so that progress can be evaluated and course corrections can be made if necessary? we bring today’s solocast to a close...I want to leave you with one more example as to why this final thought regarding the strategic framework that we just reviewed.

When you get this right – you give yourself the freedom and flexibility to build the kind of business that you want – that you desire – to truly live the kind of life that you want to live.

Recently, I interviewed Dianna Booher for an encore episode, which airs on Monday, February 5th as Episode 678 – and during our discussion – Dianna explained how she was able to sell her company because of the reputation she had built in the industry as a thought leader because of her books, training courses, and other ways she helped create impact with her audience. Her body of work is impressive and she was rewarded for it – and you can follow a similar path if you are willing to put in the work.


So with that said...I want to again say thank you. Thank you for being here...thank you taking some of your invaluable 86,400 seconds you have today and sharing them with me.

Please drop me a line at and let me know what you thought of today’s solocast – thumbs up or thumbs down.

I always want to know what you think so we can continue to get better and better and be of greater value to you and your team.

We will be back tomorrow with an encore interview with Eric Levenhagen. You may remember Eric from the tax planning strategies and recommendations he shared way back in Episode 25. And when the new tax laws were passed, Eric and I quickly compared schedules to get him back from an encore interview. I wanted Eric to share his insights and recommendations from the perspective of a business owner to help make sense of the new legislation – but even more importantly – what you can do about it to protect yourself, your family, your business – while minimizing the taxes you pay. What Eric shared could represent tens of thousands in tax savings for you and your business.

Until then...onward with gusto!


Jan 31, 2018

Jennifer Sertl is a business strategist and internationally recognized as an influencer in social media and a thought leader in the emerging field of corporate consciousness. She is president and founder of Agility3R, a leadership development company dedicated to strengthening strategic skills and helping leaders become more resilient, responsive, and reflective. She is also co-author of the book, “Strategy Leadership and the Soul.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The importance of giving frontline people the tools that they need to create value for the customer
  • Why business isn’t about customer acquisition, but about employee delight
  • How our competitive advantage is not about our skill set, but rather how well we read our environment and how we use that to act
  • Thinking and acting globally
  • Why everyone should have an 18-month calendar
  • How being afraid to choose can dilute your value proposition
  • Why leaders today really need to be versed in social
  • The value that comes from spending time with people who you respect the most

How best to connect with Jennifer:



Jan 30, 2018

Bernie Swain is the founder of the Washington Speakers Bureau, a lecture agency which represents many prestigious authors, politicians, journalists, athletes, and business leaders. At the firm’s start back in 1980, he began signing every speaker with a handshake -- this proved to be the hallmark of trust that helped accelerate the company’s growth. Years later, Bernie’s roster of speakers would be the greatest in history and the firm still continues its practice of signing speakers on the strength of a handshake. Today, the best of Bernie's fortunes turned out to be the speakers themselves because these remarkable leaders had become his friends and he captured many of their most personal, powerful influences and defining moments in his book, “What Made Me Who I Am.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How an error became a defining moment in Bernie’s career
  • Why passion is so much more important than talent when you’re starting a company on your own
  • Why there are no shortcuts to long term success
  • How a handshake can create an environment of trust and honesty
  • Why Bernie felt compelled to write the book, “What Made Me Who I Am”
  • How turning points in our life define our successes and accomplishments
  • How you earn opportunities by making wise decisions
  • The importance in taking your time to make life decisions
  • Why you need to remember that no matter what you do, you are your brand

How best to connect with Bernie:

Jan 29, 2018

Gordon Tredgold is a business and IT transformation expert who has successfully delivered $100 million programs, run $300 million departments, and led teams of 1,000 staff members for Fortune 100 companies. Gordon is the author of the critically acclaimed book “FAST” and works with enterprises on implementing results-based leadership initiatives to rapidly accelerate growth. You may remember Gordon and the wisdom he shared during Episode 446. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 446 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How to make writing articles seem a little less daunting
  • The three key components of every article
  • Why context is so important when writing an article
  • As a leader, why it’s about the command that you have rather than the orders that you give
  • How to get everyone on your team to believe that the goal that what you want to achieve is possible
  • The power of starting small and aiming high when it comes to writing a book
  • How complexity kills execution on a team
  • How to create a culture of success
  • The importance of not comparing yourself to anyone else
  • Why you need to start small, celebrate, and just keep going

How best to connect with Gordon:


Jan 26, 2018

Jake Jorgovan is the founder of Lead Cookie, which helps B2B sales teams generate leads through done-for-you LinkedIn prospecting and Outbound Creative which helps consulting companies win their dream clients through custom consulting and done-for-you outreach campaigns. He is also the author of the upcoming book “Win Your Dream Clients.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why LinkedIn is such a powerful social network and a great tool for new business development
  • The importance of being consistent with your morning routine
  • The value of writing down your top three wins for the day
  • A dark spot in Jake’s life that forced him to reflect on what he was really good at
  • Why you need to have self-awareness and the ability to recognize your own ignorance
  • Understanding the financials of your business
  • How to get things off your plate that drain energy from you
  • Creating a vision and focus for everyone in the organization
  • Why you need to focus on creating value when starting a business

How best to connect with Jake:



Jan 25, 2018

Tiffany Wojtkiewicz is the Chief Revenue Officer and co-founder of ONEHOPE, a lifestyle brand with a world-class vineyard and winery in the heart of Napa that makes a measurable impact for its charitable partners through its family of brands. She is responsible for all revenue generation channels and accountable for driving integration and alignment between the sales, marketing, and customer support departments. Tiffany has successfully lead the company from $60,000 in sales in 2007 to approximately $25 million in sales in 2017 while experiencing triple digit growth over the last three years.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The two traits you need to help you be successful as an entrepreneur
  • How ONEHOPE is able to make a social impact and give back to the non-profit organizations that they support
  • Why you need to make sure that your product messaging is on point
  • How ONEHOPE’s brand ambassador program viaONEHOPE allows people to raise money locally through in-home wine tasting parties
  • Why it’s important to have a plan and be able to communicate that plan
  • Why everyone in your company should know what your top three goals are at all times
  • The importance of hiring people who are smarter than you
  • The value of having a mentor
  • Why you should always put your customers first

How best to connect with Tiffany:


Jan 24, 2018

Mike O’Krent is the founder of Life Stories Alive, a business specializing in the making personal history “legacy” videos for families. In a life-changing experience, from 1996 through 2000 Mike interviewed Holocaust survivors for Steven Spielberg’s “Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation”, now the USC Shoah Foundation. It was through that experience that Mike discovered the significance and technique of recording the life stories of loved ones. The business has since expanded its expertise beyond capturing personal histories for families to now include recording the histories of businesses and non-profit organizations. You may remember Mike and the wisdom he shared during Episode 484. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 484 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why Mike wrote his first book, “A Conversation You’ll Never Forget — A Guide to Capturing a Life Story
  • The value of capturing stories for your business, not just for your loved ones
  • The power of marketing through storytelling
  • The quote that has helped Mike get through the tough times of being an entrepreneur
  • Why you should reconnect with your purpose of why you started your business
  • How telling your life story can help you discover things about yourself that you didn’t even know
  • What Mike calls ‘the chill of the sigh’ and how it helps him define success
  • Finding your ‘why’
  • How all successful business owners have a team to help them
  • Why you need to make it about the prospective customer or client — not about you
  • Why listening intently is the biggest skill you can ever have

How best to connect with Mike:


Jan 23, 2018

Lee Caraher started Double Forte in 2002 as a new kind of communications firm designed to provide the best service in the business. Lee has managed multiple offices and hundreds of people of all ages and was named in the 40 under 40 by PRWEEK Magazine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in medieval history — which she finds useful every day. You may also remember Lee and the wisdom she shared during episodes 180, 269, and 523 of Onward Nation. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all that Lee shared during our earlier interviews...I highly encourage you to add episodes 180 and 523 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How workplace issues have exploded in the media in 2017 and how that’s created a cultural shift
  • How women are getting more comfortable in exerting themselves in the workplace
  • How harassment cases will continue to come forward in 2018
  • How a business owner can prepare for being accused of gender bias, unequal pay or harassment
  • Why you need to have sustainability built into your business
  • The many things that can be done to ensure that everyone is listened to equally, regardless of gender
  • The importance of admitting a mistake and committing to fixing it
  • Why you need to have a communication plan in place to deal with harassment happening within your company
  • Why and how to get rid of harassment happening within your company
  • Why it’s vital to talk to your employees about workplace issues

How best to connect with Lee:


Jan 22, 2018

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. You may remember Chris and the wisdom he shared during Episode 457. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 457 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The six major areas that typically have the biggest impact on conversion rates
  • Some recurring pain points that business owners experience when it comes to scaling
  • The power of holding people accountable and doing so in an environment where they still feel enabled to succeed
  • Why it’s good for businesses at any stage to look back and feel good about the progress that they’ve made
  • How most people suffer from some degree of fear and procrastination
  • Defining success by determining what brings value to your life
  • Being in control of your own happiness
  • The value of finding and working with people who will continually challenge you
  • Knowing your business well enough that you can answer any question presented to you
  • The importance of challenging your assumptions

How best to connect with Chris:


Jan 19, 2018

Fabiola Hesslein is the co-founder and CEO of Tryon Entertainment. For over 25 years, she has led a rewarding career as a multi-faceted entertainer, having graced the stage with global artists that include Michael Jackson, Pink, Marc Anthony, Usher, and has appeared on various programs including Saturday Night Light and The View. With a degree in business, cultivated talent, and a progressive mindset, Fabiola not only provides her creative expertise but a hands-on approach and a top-notch team for all entertainment and production needs big or small.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Fabiola’s transition from show business to becoming a business owner of a full-scale production company
  • The power of waking up with a sense of gratitude
  • The value of creating a to-do list
  • Investing in proactively marketing your business
  • Why communication is such a critical skill to master
  • A valuable lesson learned about over-delivering to your clients
  • Why you need to have a strong support system in place
  • Focusing on innovation and what makes you unique
  • The importance of having high standards with your work

How best to connect with Fabiola:


Jan 18, 2018

Renee Wang is the CEO and Co-Founder of CastBox, the global leading spoken audio platform pioneering in-audio search to deliver contextual recommendations for listeners of podcasts, on-demand radio, and audio books.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The story behind how Renee raised money for her startup, CastBox
  • How CastBox’s audio search engine feature works
  • Using Google Calendar and Google Keep to stay focused and prepared
  • The power of reflecting on things you can improve on
  • The top three skills that business owners need in order to thrive today: people, money, and direction
  • A lesson that Renee learned from one of her mentors on becoming a thought leader
  • How globalization is becoming more and more important
  • Why you should never give up as a business owner
  • The importance of building strong team that you can trust

How best to connect with Renee:


Jan 17, 2018

Wendy Keller is an award-winning former journalist, a respected literary agent, an author, speaker and acclaimed book marketing consultant. She has sold nearly 2,000 rights deals worldwide including 16 New York Times Bestsellers and 9 international bestsellers. She got her first job as a newspaper reporter as a 16-year-old college freshman. Since then, Wendy worked for PR Newswire; the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain; as managing editor of Dateline magazine.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What an agent does
  • Why you need an agent in order to get a deal with a publisher
  • Being clear on your outcome before committing to writing a book
  • What a platform is and why you need to build one if you want to write a book
  • Working with a publisher vs. self publishing
  • Different scenarios where self publishing might be your best option
  • Strategies for success when considering writing a book
  • Why you need something to differentiate yourself from everyone else
  • The top things that you should be doing to build your platform

How best to connect with Wendy:


Jan 16, 2018

Gal Ratner is an award winning technology veteran and the co-founder and CEO of ShopSnap, a modern e-commerce platform, and the founder and CEO of Inverted Software, a consulting firm in Los Angeles. His designs are responsible for powering Fortune 500 companies in multiple industries. You may remember Gal and the wisdom he shared during Episode 370. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 370 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The big market need right for increasing conversion rate
  • How artificial intelligence is going to add value to both business owners and consumers
  • The strategy that Gal uses to help him keep a focused mindset throughout the day
  • The importance of defining small successes
  • The value of caring about other people’s successes before yours
  • Why Gal believes so strongly in the law of attraction
  • Why a team player is more important than an ‘A’ player
  • The three key factors that contribute to being a good mentor
  • Why you need to know how to tell your company’s story
  • Why you need to determine your company’s tipping point
  • Finding creative ways to get more out of your existing customers

How best to connect with Gal:


Jan 15, 2018

Jeff Kreisler is a Princeton-educated lawyer turned author, speaker, pundit, comedian, and advocate for behavioral science. He uses humor and research to understand, explain and change the world. Winner of the Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, he writes for TV, politicians and CEOs, shares insights and wit on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, SiriusXM, and tours most of this planet. Jeff is the co-author of the new book, “Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The story behind the book that Jeff co-authored with Dan Ariely, “Dollars and Sense”
  • How we think improperly about money
  • The shortcuts we commonly use to determine the value of something
  • Why a healthy dose of irrational confidence is required in creative and freelance work
  • The importance of mastering good communication
  • The value of having a point of view or vision
  • How emotions come into play in organizational and personal decision making
  • Why you need to acknowledge fear and the impact it has on you
  • Why you need to be aware of sunk costs

How best to connect with Jeff:



Jan 12, 2018

Julie Broad is an Amazon Overall #1 Best Selling Author, an International Book Award Winner, and a recipient of the Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Sales book. Her latest venture, Book Launchers, helps entrepreneurs and professionals build their brand and boost their business by writing, publishing, and selling a top quality book. You may remember Julie and the wisdom she shared during Episode 350. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all she shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 350 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The major benefits that writing a book can provide to a business owner
  • Why you need to write a book if you want to be a paid speaker
  • Why communication -- both spoken and written-- is critical
  • Common obstacles that a business owner may encounter in not being able to write a book
  • The power that comes from defining yourself
  • The process that a business owner needs to be prepared for to work through writing a book
  • Why it’s vital to have an outline and plan for a book before writing it
  • How to easily double the sales of your book
  • The metrics to use to determine a strong book launch
  • Why the vast majority of business owners should not pursue a traditional publishing deal
  • The importance of taking small improvements daily

How best to connect with Julie:


Jan 11, 2018

David Mattson is 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. Under David’s leadership, the Sandler organization expanded domestically and internationally to over 250 offices in 27 countries around the world. David is a Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek bestselling author. You may remember David and the wisdom he shared during Episode 469. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 469 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What micro-learning is and what it consists of
  • The new way to send company-side messages
  • Why you shouldn’t rest on your past successes, but rather continually push forward
  • The importance of sharing what success means to you with your team
  • The three questions to ask yourself if you don’t hit your goals
  • Why you need to separate role failure from self concept
  • Why you need to find people for your team who are where you want to be
  • The difference between mentorship, training and coaching
  • How to avoid creating a culture of learned helplessness
  • Determining if you want a tribe and the purpose behind having it
  • The value in building and training your management team

How best to connect with David:

Jan 10, 2018

Monetizing Your Content, with Stephen Woessner

Good Morning Onward Nation – I’m Stephen Woessner and my hope for you is that 2018 has started off with renewed momentum and velocity in your business.

And that you have been able to take time to invest in planning and getting clear on what you most want to accomplish in 2018 – your most vital priorities.

The days between Christmas and New Year's are my favorite of the year because of the opportunities to spend time with family and friends, to truly unplug, to think, to pray, and to journal.

And this year...I was able to get the time and space that I needed to think deeply and work through my vision for Predictive ROI in 2018.

How we are going to grow our team...where we are going to invest our time, talent, and resources...and my Predictive ROI leadership team and I even identified several bold, new initiatives that we will tackle in 2018.

We also zeroed in on how we will add greater value to the clients we have the honor of serving each day at Predictive ROI.

I also invested time mapping out the practical and tactical lessons I want to share with you, Onward Nation, during the 258 episodes we will air in 2018.

We are hard at work in raising the bar in our business – because we want you to raise the standard of what you expect from us each and every day.

In of the ways of the ways we believe we can be of even greater service and value to you also aligns with one of the bold and new initiatives we plan to tackle.

Launching a YouTube series. Now, if you just rolled your eyes at the thought of yet another YouTube series...I am actually with you on that...and that was one of the main reasons we have not launched a series sooner.

The last thing that business owners need is another self-aggrandizing, reality TV style series that is packed full of drama, busy work, and very light on practical and tactical knowledge that can be applied.

Instead...our commitment is to launch a video series that serves as an extension of our Onward Nation podcast...that documents – visually – and in precise detail -- the stories of successful business owners in 2018 and beyond will be the ones who are no longer looking at marketing through the wrong end of the lens – instead – their marketing goes beyond generating new clients and has become an actual revenue stream for their core business...a true profit center.

The business owners we will introduce you to have transformed their company’s marketing from an expense on the P&L to a profit center by getting very intentional in three essential areas.

First...they got really clear and defined their distinctive point of view – so clear that they created differentiation for themselves in the process, and with it, they gave themselves the ability to charge a premium price for their service offering.

Let’s call this their POV for short. The POVs we introduce you to will be bold, some even provocative, but they all add value to the core business by attracting attention of the audience the business is focused on serving.

Second...we will introduce you to business owners who have made a commitment to creating strategic, high-quality cornerstone content on a consistent schedule – all designed to cement their POV into the hearts and minds of the people who are following them today – and – their content was good enough to attract the attention of new their audience grew.

Third...they were able to monetize their content so that their marketing became a revenue stream. And I am not talking about selling an info course to your email list.

But what I am talking about is attracting enough people into your audience – building a nation of true fans that love you so much that you also attract the attention of third party brands who may want to pay you to get in front of your audience with your endorsement.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg but that is what can happen when you begin thinking of your content as a service to your audience and you begin thinking of you and your business as a media company.

So...I am really excited to bring you lessons from business owners who are doing this successfully so you can take and apply the lessons into your business.

We are shooting a lot of video interviews and back stories in Walt Disney World; New York City; Austin, Texas; Providence, Rhode Island, and locations in between.

The series will likely launch on YouTube in late March or early April. And I look forward to your feedback once we launch it so we can make it even better and more helpful for you.

I will keep you posted on the launch. for today’s lesson...let’s go back to how business owners look at marketing, and how if we shift our mindset, we can proactively transform our marketing into a profit center not just a lead generating activity.

And I will share with you several powerful examples of business owners whose marketing efforts are not only opening up new opportunities with customers – but they are being paid to produce content...they have truly monetized their content.

Sound good? Okay...let’s dive in.

In my opinion, most business owners look at their own marketing through the wrong end of the lens. Meaning...they evaluate the success of their marketing efforts solely through vital metrics like website traffic, email optins, click through rates, conversion rates, customer acquisition cost, lifetime value of a customer, retention rates, and so forth.

All of these metrics are definitely important for evaluating the health of your sales pipeline and your business development strategy for converting leads into sales.

But there can be more – a lot more as it relates to your marketing’s ability to generate revenue.

Onward Nation, thanks to the democratization of media channel thanks to social media, email, podcasting, YouTube, and the myriad of other channels, today’s top business owners are now seeing themselves as media companies.

When I interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk back in September of 2013...he and I talked about how every company – every business owner needs to think of themselves as a “media company.”

And that bold statement is now taking hold – and today’s top business owners are making what may have seemed unrealistic to many several years ago to becoming a critical component within a company’s marketing strategy.

So, Onward Nation...if you execute properly – and by that I mean create high quality content, which I will define more clearly here in just a minute – and you share that content across multiple channels – and build an engaged audience across those channels...then you have successful taken your first steps to becoming a media company where the content you produce can generate revenue.

How can the content by itself generate revenue?

Because there will be other brands who may also want to get in front of that audience...and are willing to pay for that access.

When that as the business owner now have the best of both worlds. You have an audience that loves you and what your company does...and you can generate leads and sales to support your core business from your audience. Awesome.

And, you have attracted an audience that other companies will pay you to access and get in front of...and now the content you are creating as part of your marketing strategy also generates revenue.

But in order to be successful in monetizing your first need to produce content that is worthy of monetization.

So what makes content worthy of monetization? In my opinion, there are two main ingredients to the worthiness recipe:

  1. That the content you are producing is valuable and helpful to your current audience -- and – it is valuable enough that it attracts to new people into your community so your audience grows
  2. And you are not a one-trick pony. That you are producing quality content, sharing it across multiple channels, and you have created “media properties” because having the properties is what makes your more “sponsorable.”

And becoming sponsorable is something I learned from our incredible guest, Linda Hollander in Episode 383 of Onward Nation. I encourage you to go back to Episode 383 to learn more about her recipe for helping business owners attract annual sponsorships of $10,000 to $100,000 – she shares the recipe in full transparency. let’s dive a bit deeper into each ingredient.

Here’s ingredient #1...does your content provide helpful, practical, and tactical advice and recommendations that when someone finishes listening, reading, or watching that they can go implement something?

Are they smarter as a result of what you shared?

Can they provide more value to their customers because of the time they invested in your content?

Are they somehow able to move their business onward to that next level?

If yes...then awesome.

What this world doesn’t need is more yacking into a microphone or having a video camera follow you around an airport, drama, and drawing attention to yourself...none of that self-aggrandizing content adds value to your audience.

So...get your plan together.

Maybe it's a top-rated podcast, a video series on YouTube, maybe you want to write a book, or write long form articles for LinkedIn or in the media, maybe you have a passion to speak on stage, or host webinars, or a combination of these channels...whatever your passion is...create helpful, valuable content around that topic, and over time, you will build an audience.

And as Dorie Clark shared with me during our encore interview in Episode 628... at the end of the day creating content — whether it’s a book — a podcast — or even a blog — showcases what you know.

Dorie said to me, “Stephen, business owners need to focus on content creation. People always think, ‘Oh, there are so many blogs! There are so many podcasts!’ The truth is, too few people are leveraging the power of content creation because we think about content the wrong way. Content creation is not about how many people view your article. The goal of content creation is to create a piece that shows your credibility and makes it easier for a prospect to say ‘yes’ to working with you.”

Dorie’s right.

When you create a piece of content, Onward Nation, the number of people who see it doesn’t matter. What matters is whether or not you make the next sale — and it’s much more likely that you are able to do that when you can point a prospect to a piece of content that shows off how knowledgeable and credible you are.

And all of that credibility and expertise helps you build an audience, which leads up into the second ingredient in the recipe of creating content that is worthy of monetization.

Here’s ingredient #2: Multiple channels and properties to become more sponsorable

Okay, Onward Nation – it isn’t enough to have great content. And it isn’t enough to consistently produce great content. Today’s top business owners are consistently creating great content...sharing it across multiple platforms...and then slicing and dicing the content into multiple media properties to increase their “sponsorability.”

For example...let’s say you host your podcast. Awesome. Some additional opportunities to consider would be to take the transcripts from three of your very best interviews with influential thought leaders and use the content to create an eBook with an introductory letter from you on the inside cover.

Now you have an additional asset that your audience will find helpful – and – you have an additional asset a sponsor may want to be part of for a fee. One of our Predictive ROI clients just sold a $12,000 sponsorship of his podcast to one of his vendors who also wanted to get in front of his audience – and – our client sold a $10,400 sponsorship to two other vendors for an eBook.

Our team took 10 of his interviews...created an eBook that distilled the 10 best lessons from the interviews into an actionable plan...and our client sold the sponsorship of the eBook to the two vendors for $5,200 each.

Or, say you teach workshops and you attract attendees from around the country. At your next workshop...record the entire event on video...the actual teaching sessions...the behind the scenes side conversations...the Q&A...the social functions if there is a dinner or reception.

Record all of it.

You then cut up the video and it becomes what you need to launch a video series on YouTube – and then you sell sponsorship of your YouTube channel to one of your vendors.

And you transcribe the audio files from the entire workshop and the content can be transformed into webinar series that is sponsorable...or a book that is sponsorable...or podcast that is sponsorable.

Or, say you are a software consultant and represent a number of different software vendors. What if you were to host your own podcast and your guest list was comprised of the top prospects for the software companies you represent? You then use your podcast as what I like to call, The Trojan Horse of Sales...because your podcast becomes your “All Access Pass” to your top prospects.

They want to be a guest on your show...and you go to one of your vendors...and sell them the opportunity to underwrite or fund the entire program.

They get the get the opportunity to create great content and build your audience...and your guests get exposure and the ability to share their thought leadership.

A very solid win-win-win.

You can go back to Episode 600 where I broke down the recipe for the Trojan Horse of Sales step-by-step.

The final example I would like for you to take some time to consider is what Jay Baer, our outstanding guest for Episode 305, has done with his company, Convince and Convert.

Jay is New York Times best selling author, has built a thriving consultancy in Convince and Convert, but they have also created a division of the company entitled Convince and Convert Media.

Because Jay and his team have been able to build a large audience of business owners and marketers, brands who also want to sell to the same audience, now reach out to Jay’s media company to pay for access.

It is an innovative approach. And here is a link to Jay’s media guide as well as the pricing his team charges for the various placements they offer brands.

The key to success here is to not fall into the trap of thinking that you need to have a large audience to be successful in monetizing your content.

You don’t need a million listeners.

You don’t need 500,000 YouTube subscribers.

You don’t.

What you need is high quality content...shared on a consistent basis...with a growing audience who loves you...across multiple channels. In fact...the more narrow, or the more niche, you go with your audience – the better.

Onward Nation, sometimes going narrow is what gives us the ability to create a nation of true fans faster and with less expense.

Yes, it may take you months to make this transition from marketing as lead gen and a cost center to marketing as both...generating new customers and producing content that is “monetizable” – or it may take several years for you to reach this level of traction.

But they key to remember is that it is possible – that you can begin looking at marketing through the correct end of the lens. So set the fear, the apprehension, the concerns aside.

Yes it’s scary – I get that. But when you start, and when you make mistakes, and when you make adjustments, you will also create momentum.

This is a long-term play – but it can’t be – if you don't ever start.

So with that said...I want to say thank you. Thank you for being here...thank you taking some of your invaluable 86,400 seconds you have today and sharing them with me.

Your time and attention are precious to me and I wish you the best of success in 2018.

Please drop me a line at and let me know what you thought of today’s solocast – thumbs up or thumbs down.

I always want to know what you think so we can continue to get better and better and be of greater value to you and your team.

We will be back tomorrow with another great episode with David Mattson from Sandler Training. You will not want to miss it.

Until then...onward with gusto!

Jan 9, 2018

Randy Tate is the CEO of Flipping Wall Street -- the world’s first and fully automated stock trading platform. In 2001, he started and developed Game Day Athletics, an athletic apparel company, and grew revenues to $5 million before selling the business to the publicly-traded sporting goods company Sports Chalet in 2007. Randy has led small business education and training for InfusionSoft and has spoken to small business owners on stages throughout the world about growth, sales, marketing, and investment strategies.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • A platform that was built for the average investor that will allow them to preserve, protect and grow their wealth — fully automated
  • The myths that we’re fed from Wall Street that we’re led to believe
  • The power of recognizing someone on your team every day
  • The benefits of putting together a great team and culture
  • The importance of doing your paperwork
  • The biggest thing that Randy sees people fail at when it comes to partnering with someone
  • Why it’s critical to track your numbers daily and weekly
  • How you’re only as strong as your team
  • Why you need to understand that we are all unique observers
  • Why you need to stop being right and be genuinely curious instead

How best to connect with Randy:


Jan 8, 2018

Mike Giannulis is the owner of Pixx Marketing, which specializes in lead generation for professional services and information businesses. He’s a serial entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, copywriter, and a real marketing guru. His campaigns have generated millions of dollars in revenue across multiple industries during the last 12-years. His companies are on pace to generate $25 million in revenue over the next 12-months.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What attracted Mike into business
  • Why it’s important to increasingly charge more for your services
  • How pricing is really a brand strategy
  • The difference between the front-end and back-end of a sale
  • How higher volume can lead to a lower conversion rate when you offer something for free
  • Why you need to be able to write converting ads & copy
  • The value of getting better at presenting what you’re selling
  • Why you need to make sure that your product/service fixes a problem
  • The importance of continuing to take action no matter what happens

How best to connect with Mike:



Jan 5, 2018

Jeffrey Gitomer is an international sales trainer, world-renowned keynote speaker and #1 best-selling author of 13 books, including the New York Times best sellers The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Black Book of Connections, and the Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude. He helped create Outstand, the first CRM program that actually helps salespeople MAKE SALES and he developed The Gitomer Learning Academy — an interactive sales training and personal development platform that is designed to evaluate, educate, help you understand, and reinforce your learning.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Creating a reputation based on value
  • Building your online platform presence
  • A formula that leads up to trust
  • Why you have to be easy to do business with, both online and offline
  • What it really means when a customer says “I’m not interested”
  • Why it’s all about the questions that you ask and the credibility that you build
  • How to create value attraction
  • Why it’s vital to keep up with the times to stay in business
  • A lesson Jeffrey learned from one of his mentors on how hard work makes luck
  • Why attitude and resilience are keys to determining your fate
  • The importance of realizing that you cannot do everything
  • Why you need to treat your employees better than you treat your customers

How best to connect with Jeffrey:



Jan 4, 2018

Ken Rutsky and 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. Ken also 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 helps clients lead their markets. He is also the author of the book, “LAUNCHING TO LEADING: How B2B Market Leaders Create Flash Mobs, Marshal Parades, And Ignite Movements”. You may remember Ken and the wisdom he shared during Episode 458. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 458 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What Ken’s been up to recently and what he’s looking forward to in the coming months
  • How having the ability to tell your story can help with success
  • Why it’s critical to carve out a position in the market that’s unique and valuable to both end customers and investors
  • A space where B2B market leaders can convene and talk about what they do
  • The definition of a Go To Market professional
  • Why you need market, customer, and industry knowledge to drive leadership
  • Why it’s better to lose than not try at all
  • Why you need to be able to let go of some parts of your business to transform to your next phase of growth
  • What the best predictor of performance and success is
  • What business owners can do to become better mentors
  • Strategies to apply if you are interested in starting up a group of industry leaders
  • The importance in staying connected to the “tribe” that you want to be a part of

How best to connect with Ken:

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