Ep 447: 5 Keys to Being Financially Secure as an Entrepreneur | Rob Luna Episode Recap

RV (00:02):
Well, I always love a good chat around tax strategy and investing in financial stuff and just learning about money in general, because I don’t think there’s enough conversation and enough knowledge that is transferred around making money, saving money, keeping money, investing money, spending money wisely, and just in overall generating more, more money. And so I’m always looking forward to those opportunities. And I enjoyed that chat with Rob Luna. I wanted to share with you as part of that go, I just wanted to off the top of my head, grab five keys to being financially secure as an entrepreneur. So as I look back over like my career and mine and AJ’s journey as entrepreneurs to go, what are some things that have, have really led to our financial security, at least to the level that we have at now? And I just thought, man, let’s rattle these off ’cause these are good.
RV (01:01):
And, and, and I would’ve wanted to have known these or, or heard them over and over again as an entrepreneur. So here they are, five keys to being financially secure as an entrepreneur. Number one, get debt free to own your freedom. Get debt free to own your freedom. And this is one that I just, I will be forever grateful to Dave Ramsey because he has the program that teaches people how to get debt free. And we followed that thing to a t Now, I don’t know, it was coming up on 20 years ago when I went through financial piece, but those principles became a part of my financial psyche that I adapted and adopted that are ingrained still to me today that have, I think, set me up in a completely different financial capacity from several of my friends and colleagues and clients and, you know, even mentors and people I look up to.
RV (02:00):
And a huge part of it is just being debt free, because people try to make mathematical arguments for why maybe you shouldn’t be debt free, right? They try to make mathemat mathematical arguments for like, well, think of all the money you have tied up in your house, right? And going, if you took that money out of your house and instead had a, you know, debt on your house, you could be investing that money in other places and making more money. And sometimes, and in some markets, that’s sometimes true. But here’s what’s always true. When you don’t have debt, you are free. I mean, the Bible says this, right? The borrower is slave to the lender. And what’s, what is more powerful in your life than having millions of dollars is just being free to do whatever you want to do. And
RV (02:58):
That comes, that’s a mental thing. And it’s a spirit that’s a spiritual condition. And that has more to do with not owing people money than it does to do with how much you make. And one of the things that you’ll realize as you make more money, and hopefully you realize this, this is one of the things that AJ and I learned over the years, is that we don’t need more money. We need less stress. We don’t need more money. We need less, less complexity. Peace is the new profit. It’s not about going, oh, I have some number in my account. And then that number’s bigger and bigger and bigger. Like it’s just a number in an account. What really matters is your peace of mind. How do, how are you feeling? How secure are you? How stable are you? Versus how worried are you that if a change in the interest rates in the are, are gonna completely, you know, tank your business?
RV (03:55):
Or are you worried that if you don’t get a customer to pay in time, you’re not gonna have a chance to pay your vendor and you won’t make payroll. And like all of the stress that comes from leverage, which is like basically playing arbitrage with money, that is risky business. And it’s not that it can’t ever work, sometimes it does, but more often than not, it all nets out to be about the same as just doing it the simple way anyways. And regardless of it, it’s just when you come to a decision to go, I don’t need more money, I just need less stress, that is powerful. And that’s buying your own freedom. When you, when you’re debt free to go, once you’re debt free, you can buy whatever you want as long as you can pay cash for it. Like it, everything becomes simple.
RV (04:42):
But when you’ve got multiple investments and multiple, you, you know, loans from different people at different rates and some are variable and some are fixed, and like, it’s all of this stress to manage, even if you’re healthy, it’s like you have to keep an eye on all of these different things. It’s stressful. So get debt free and buy your own freedom. And I just go start small. Be willing to go start small and be willing to go slow. And over time, it adds up to be something that’ll be far more than you ever need and you won’t have the stress along the way. So that’s number one. Number two is invest in yourself First. Invest in yourself first. If there are, when, when you, when people think of investments, what they, they tend to think of like, ooh, buy real estate or invest in the market, or maybe do non-traditional investments, right?
RV (05:32):
Like, you know, artwork or crypto or you know, wine or like whatever. There’s all these different things. You, you, you know, currencies, there’s all these things you can invest your money into, but the number one thing you should invest your money into is yourself, your own mind, your own personal development. The, the, the greatest return on your money that you will ever get is strengthening your mind, your education, your knowledge, your, your mental capacity, and just you’re building your own confidence and your own strength and your ability to create wealth and create opportunity for yourself and those around you. And we just don’t hear about it. And people don’t think about investing in themself in enough of a literal way of like, if I could put money into the stock market that might grow at, you know, maybe 7%, maybe 8%, maybe 10% over years.
RV (06:25):
But if I put that money into myself, I go, I could grow my income exponentially over time, like in a, in a short order. If, if I learn how to do it and I learn and I’m, and I’m, I get in environments where I’m around other successful people. So invest in yourself first. Then the second thing I would invest in is invest in your business, right? Before I’d be looking at investing in the markets and all these things that you may or may not understand, and maybe you understand it better than I do. Like, you know, I consider myself reasonably smart, but there’s a whole lot of investment stuff that I don’t understand. I don’t understand all these fancy terms. And I have an MBA, like I have a, I have an MBA from a private university like I was a millionaire by the time I was 30 years old.
RV (07:08):
I have, I have, you know, been the, an entrepreneur now for a couple decades and there’s a whole bunch of this like speak this, this financial speak, I don’t understand. And all these, you know, you know, just weird terms. And I go, when I look around the people who have a lot of wealth and a lot of security, the big, the best investment is into yourself and then into your business. Because if you think about, like, you know, even trying to find, try to find a company that is gonna give you a 20% return, would, would be outrageous. It’d be so difficult. But if you can grow your profit margin as a business to 20% of profits a year, then that means every dollar you invest in that business is gonna give you back 20 cents. So if you can build your own business, that can, that can, can, can grow over time.
RV (07:54):
And maybe it’s, you know, it’s not a lot at first. You might, you know, break even, hopefully and make a little bit of money, 1%, 3%, 5%. But that business starts to grow. You inch it up and you’re gonna start, you build a business that clocks 15% a year, 20% a year, every single year for the rest of your life. Like you’ve built the greatest investment machine you have for yourself. Now, you don’t wanna have all your wealth tied up in your business ’cause then you don’t have diversity. ’cause If something happens and you get sick or you lose key employees or customers or vendors, or the market changes or regulation or competitor kills you, like, there’s, there’s risk right there. But, but a lot of that risk is a much more in your control than investing in some other asset that you have nothing to do with its performance.
RV (08:38):
So I always, you know, think, invest in yourself, invest in your business, then invest in your retirement. So that’s how I would think about investing. And I would go, okay, I wanna get debt free first. That’s simple. Then I wanna invest, but I wanna invest in myself and then I wanna invest in my own business, the things that I’m controlling. Like if I have, if I have a choice between place and money with some outside person or entity, or a real estate investment or some project or investing into the business that I run and operate and control every day, I’m gonna invest in that one, the one that I have control over, the one that I understand, the one that I can influence, the one that I can shape. And so we just don’t think of investing enough with just invest in yourself, invest in your own business.
RV (09:21):
So that’s investment number three. Okay, so talking about real investments. I’m gonna just say this and, and you know, maybe some of y’all will disagree. Have a boring investment strategy, have a boring investment strategy. You know, you heard Rob talk about buy, buy boring businesses. You know, Cody Sanchez is one of my favorite people to follow online. I’ve developed a little relationship with her recently and that she talks about buying boring businesses all the time. Like, your investment strategy should be boring. And I don’t, I think buying businesses is not boring. I think buying businesses is like scary and risky. And half the time that go, more than half the time that investment probably goes to zero. You know, just doing single, like, you know, investing in startups and stuff is that is not for the faint of heart. That is, that is, you know, typically very risky.
RV (10:12):
I’m talking about growth stock mutual funds like the, the, the s and p 500 in here in the us. These are, you know, the, the big large, stable enterprises that they’re not gonna make you millionaire overnight, but they’re gonna grow steady and consistently. And if something happens to those, if those all go under, that means the world is like, the world is in such dire straits. It doesn’t matter what your money is because you’re probably like you, you know, fighting for candles and, and water and stuff. Like these companies, the big companies, they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re, they’ve been around a long time. They’re stable. They’re not typically going anywhere. Y you know, they’re not going anywhere anytime soon or easily, right? And so it’s a boring investment strategy if you, if you don’t understand the investments, don’t make them. And, and if it feels like a lot of work to understand what it is, again, I would say don’t make it if it, if it, if it seems complicated or complex.
RV (11:12):
Like if you can’t explain what it is to someone else, don’t do it. And you know, if, if you’re doing it just because you saw someone on the internet telling you it was a good idea, man, be careful. I mean, just be careful. The, the people that I know that are the most happy, right? If peace is the new profit, that’s something I’ve been saying so much lately. Peace is the new profit. The people who are peaceful are not the people I know that make a a the most money. I know lots of people who make lots of money that aren’t peaceful, they’re constantly stressed because they’re constantly managing chaos. The people who I know are the most peaceful have simple plans, simple strategies, simple savings is they do simple things that they can understand and explain and, and that make sense to them. And they don’t do things because they wanna look smart or look sophisticated or to feel like they’re caught up at the crowd.
RV (12:12):
They, they do things that they actually understand. So have a boring investment strategy. Number four, choose abundance over scarcity. Choose abundance over scarcity. I think one of the most costly things that we have in the world today is a scarcity mentality. Simply stated. I think a scarcity mentality is, is often like an is is an an an either or thing. Either you can win or I can win. Abundance is going, we can both win, right? Abundance is going, there’s a, there’s a way to figure it out where everybody wins. Scarcity make feels like, well, if, if I help this person, that’s gonna take, if I help this person succeed, it’s gonna take something away from me. Abundance is thinking as I, if I help this person succeed, it’s gonna come back to me. And I think that too many people hold on too tightly to their money because they have scarcity.
RV (13:17):
They’re afraid that if they let that money go, it won’t come back to ’em. And so they don’t invest it, right? So what they do is they just hang on to it and, and they go, I don’t want anyone to steal it. I don’t wanna do anything with it. I just have to hold onto it. ’cause I’m not, I’m afraid if I let it go, it won’t ever come back. Well, one of the things that wealthy people do is, is they’re using their money. See, ironically, I think a lot of times people think that rich people have, are, are, are overly focused on money, or they’re like overly like, consumed with money and they go, oh, that’s why they have money, is because they just, all, they, they must love money. And that’s like their whole life. It’s their whole focus. That’s what people think.
RV (13:57):
That’s what I used to think, right? Coming up from, you know, a lower class family financially and, and not having much financial education until I self-educated. And in like my, you know, late teens and early twenties, what I have actually learned is that wealthy people, not all of ’em, right? Some wealthy people are not this way, but most of the wealthy people I know, they actually have the most healthy detachment from money because they know if they lose it, they’ll get it back. They’re not, they, they’re, they’re not hanging onto it for their, their own survival. They’re not so scared that going, oh, all of my security is in money. They’re going, no, I’m gonna invest in myself. I’m gonna invest in my business. I’m gonna invest in growth. I’m, I’m willing to take risks. I’m, I’m willing to. And, and I’m willing to invest in investments, whether it be real estate or it be the stock market or, you know, I I there’s not that many non-traditional investments that I am a fan of, at least unless you’re, unless you’re like a professional investor and investing’s all you do all the time and it’s all you think about and talk about.
RV (14:57):
But you, you have to be willing to think of money as a tool, right? The, the analogy I use is don’t think of your money as like a shield. Think of it as a tool. Like, like, don’t, don’t, don’t think of it as like, don’t depend on it, just for your safety. Think of it as like something you use to build something with. And that’s abundance is going. No, I, I, I I use money to, to make money. I mean, one of the things that we’ve done our whole life, we hire people to do everything. Like the number, probably the number one thing we spend money on even more than ourselves per se, is hiring other people around us to help us. We have lots of work that we need done. We need lots of help and going, part of why we do that is we don’t even make a lot of money, but we get more peace back because all the stuff there is to do, we hire, help people to help us do it.
RV (15:50):
And so even if we make no money, we go, well, at least we have help and we don’t have stress. And that’s the idea is, is is being willing to choose abundance over scarcity and, and be willing to invest. And, and by the way, that’s the risk of being an entrepreneur, right? Is you pay yourself last, right? The, the potential upside is one day you would make a lot of money, but it’s, it’s like we always pay ourselves last. Everyone else on our team gets paid whether there’s a good month or not. Like we have to pay them. That’s the commitment. And so that’s the risk. But you go, gosh, if we have, you know, there’s good months and bad months, and even if there’s bad months, I trust that like over time it’s gonna work out. That’s abundance, right? And it’s, it’s, it’s thinking long term.
RV (16:32):
And then number five this is another thing that I think this is related to abundance, and I don’t think enough people talk about this. And I think this is something that’s like maybe is kind of rare about me and aj. And I think this is something, I think part of what, how God blesses people with money. And part of how I think part of how other people bless people with their money and they wanna see people succeed is because of this. So number five is become great at helping other people make money, become great at helping other people make money. If you become great at helping other people make money, you will make a lot of money because people love being around people who help them make a lot of money. Like, and this is just something we do like, again, in the abundance mindset, our goal is to, is our goal is never to pay people the least amount possible.
RV (17:30):
Our goal is to pay people as much as we can. We wanna always pay at the top of the market. We don’t always have the money to do that, especially when we’re starting something new, right? So Brand Builder’s group is still only five years old. Like we’ve, we’re still, you know, we just coming outta startup mode. But like over time, we want to pay more money. We wanna pay our, our team the most we want. We wanna help make money for our clients. We wanna help our clients succeed. Why? Not because we need their money, but because we want to help them make money. We know if we help them make money, they’ll return it, they’ll help us make money. We, we really focus on trying to help our affiliates make more money to go, ah, how can we help our affiliates make more money?
RV (18:08):
If our affiliates make more money, they’re gonna wanna help us make more money. But I think if you focus on just going, how can I make more money for myself and all I care about is how do I make more money, then it’s like you’re taking money from other people. And so other people close off to you. But if you figure out how can I help the people around me make more money, then you’re opening a, you’re like opening the door, you’re opening a relationship, a connection between people to help you make more money. And you know, a lot of the people who are around who have been around us, they make more money because it’s a rising tide raises all ships, is we try to help them make more money. They’re working hard to take stuff off of our plate and make us free us up to be more productive and more efficient.
RV (18:55):
As we’re more productive and more efficient, we make more money and then we share that back with them. So this is, this is, again, is, is a difference and mentality. Most people are thinking just about themselves. How do I make more money? You know, who could I find that would just pay me the most? Versus going, what can I do to help the people around me make more money or help them have more time so that they can be more efficient, so that they can make more money trusting that it will flow back to them. And that’s what happens is I think money cascades down to the people who, who help. And, and that always happens. You know, and they say proximity is power. I would also say proximity is profit. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, right? Proximity is power. I, I think Tony Robbins said that.
RV (19:35):
I mean, I, that’s who I heard say it. I that lots of people have said it, but I, that’s who I think it was like the original source of it. I don’t know if it was him or not, but that proximity is power. But I would, I would adapt that to say proximity isn’t just power. Proximity is profit, right? And if you’re around, if you are literally in proximity to people who have the ability to create income and create revenue and build businesses, I promise you, if you help those people succeed, it will cascade back to you. We always want to reward the people who are helping us grow, right? And, and I’m saying that we like in a general sense and in a and in a literal sense of like me and aj, I mean, wouldn’t you right where you go, aren’t you going to reward the people who are most critical to like helping you grow?
RV (20:24):
Yes. If, if they’re really helping you and they really, you really have that mindset of like, it’s an effort, it’s a partnership, it’s a collaboration. We’re growing together. And so I’m constantly trying to find my, I’m constantly trying to find ways to add value to the people around me. I mean, just today, so I was on a call, I was on two different calls today with Ed Millet, some of you know, ed Millet you know, he’s, he’s one of our, our more well-known clients. And we’ve gotten know Ed a lot over the last few years ’cause we helped him with his book launch and we’ve done a number of things together. He’s one of our top affiliates. And I’m trying to figure out ways to make Ed more money, not just with us, but this other deal. And, and I brought Ed an opportunity that this is a, is an equity opportunity.
RV (21:06):
And I’m going, I mean, ed makes lots of money, right? But I’m going, how can I help him make more money knowing that if I can add value to Ed’s life, there’s a good chance that some of that value rolls back to me somehow. And I don’t always have to know how. I just have to trust that if, if I become great at helping other people make money, they’re gonna want to help me make money, they’re gonna want to reward me back. And, and, and that is true. I have found that to be true. And you, you align with people who are that way. And I know that’s true about me. If there’s, if there’s people around me who are helping me make money, I want to return and go as I make more money, I want to return it back to them. It’s a rising tide raises all ships.
RV (21:49):
And so proximity isn’t just power, proximity is profit. So pay attention to the people you’re around in your life to go, who, who has a capacity here to make a lot of money and how can I support them and, you know, be around them and partner with them and, and, you know, serve them and align with them and add value to their life. You’re likely going to win because of that. I mean, I have been the, the, the, the beneficiary of that, the recipient of that, and the benefactor of that also to other people. So there you have it. Five keys to being financially secure as an entrepreneur. First of all, get debt free to buy your own freedom. Number two, invest in yourself and your business first before you invest in other stuff. Number three, when it comes to inve outside investments, have a boring investment strategy.
RV (22:37):
Number four, choose abundance over scarcity. And number five, become great at helping other people make money. And you will make money with all of that. Just remember, peace is the new profit. You don’t need more money. You need less stress. You don’t need more money. You need as much as you need less complexity. I mean, we do want more money. You do, you, you should go for more money. You’re creating wealth for the people around you. But in reality, for most of us, we don’t need more money as much as we need less stress. And as we don’t need more money, as much as we need less complexity. So go out and create value in the world and watch the money flow back to you. Hopefully we’re helping you do that every time you listen to this show. So thanks for being here. Share this episode with someone who needs it. Keep coming back. If you haven’t yet, please go leave a rating for us on iTunes so that other people can see what our show is all about. We’re so grateful for you. We’ll catch you next time on the influential personal brand.

Ep 443: Using Speed as a Competitive Advantage | Jay Baer Episode Recap

RV (00:02):
Growing up with very little money. I’ve spent a decent part of my professional career studying money and learning about money. And one of the principles that I’ve heard consistently from different places about how do you make money and who makes a lot of money, is this principle. There’s, there’s a principle about making money that says money loves speed. Money loves speed, money follows speed. And, and I have really found that to be true, right? I mean, people are paying, they’re willing to pay for results faster. That’s what people are, are, are willing to pay for. And you know, this interview with Jay Baer blew my mind as it always does. And I, you know, Jay’s one of my best buddies and mentor and a friend, and like we’ve, we’ve helped him through the years. He’s helped us a ton. And every time this guy writes a book, it’s a paradigm shifting book.
RV (01:06):
It’s one of the things I love about Jay Baer books. And, and you know, he’s written on some different subjects over the years, but it’s like every time it’s like a new big idea every single time. And this I think is brilliant, right? His whole premise is speed as a competitive advantage. Speed as a competitive advantage going, I am not, what if you focus just on being faster? And I think that this is one of the most powerful questions that you can ask for, to make more money and to get more referrals and to break through Sheehan’s Wall and become more well known. It’s to say, how can I help my customers succeed faster? How can I help my customers succeed faster? That is like the whole mission of Brand Builders group that we’re on right now, right? Like when we first started the company, it was sort of like survival mode, getting it off the ground.
RV (02:06):
Then it was sort of like, you know, scaling up our, our operations and infrastructure. Then it was streamlining and, and really clarifying and, and distilling down what it is that we do. And, and you know, we had a one year that was basically like creating all the curriculum. And now we’re, we’re entering this era where all we’re doing everything that we’re focused on is how do we help our clients succeed faster? And I didn’t really think of that as a competitive advantage ’cause we don’t really compete with people. Like, we don’t make strategic decisions based on like, what other people in the market are doing, but just as an advantage, right? Or just, just, just as a, you know, as a, as a differentiator, right? Speed as a differentiator, or speed as a reason for people to choose you. And that the, the, the stat that blew my mind was when Jay said, two
RV (02:58):
Thirds of people say that speed is as important as price, right? So this is from Jay’s book, the Time to Win, which is obviously what we were talking about. Get it, it’s a great little book. I mean, it’s super quick read. And two thirds of people say that speed is as important as price. Like we live in this era. You know, this is where, what he said, where people interpret speed as caring and responsiveness as respect. That’s so good. And that that is so true. Like that aj you know, there’s the, there’s the five love languages, whatever it is, like gifts of the heart and acts of service and all that. AJ’s love language is responsiveness. , like, at least in the professional setting, that is her love language is responsiveness. She wants people to be communicative with her. Where are we at on the project?
RV (03:54):
What’s the delay? When’s it gonna be finished? What, you know, what’s the deadline? What do you need? Who’s the bottleneck? Da dah, dah, dah, dah. Like, what’s the, what’s the plan? And when she sends a message, it’s like she wants an answer immediately. And, you know, for, for A-C-E-O-I think she’s, she’s insanely responsive. Like most CEOs are not all that responsive. You know, they’re pulled in all these directions, but she just values it so much. And she interprets responsiveness as respect. If you’re, if you don’t respond to her quickly, it’s a sign of disrespect. And I, I’m, I’m starting to see this, right? This whole conversation with Jay opened up my eyes because I go, this is me. I care more about, as a consumer, I care more about speed than price. I go, yeah, I’m, I’m willing to pay more, to move faster.
RV (04:43):
And, and that’s part of what, you know, the era we’re in at Brand Builders Group is like, we’ve always, you know, we’ve been a, we are a strategy firm. Like at our core, we’re a strategy firm. We’re not an agency. But we, we are creating more tools and templates to help clients succeed faster and to always create better strategies, more customized strategies to help them access what they need so that they can get results faster and faster and faster to get things deployed. And here’s a, here’s another line that I love from Jay. When he said this, he said, it’s okay to be a little bit wrong if you’re a lot, a bit fast, it’s okay to be a little bit wrong if you’re a lot, a bit fast. And, and many times, you know, you think of like search engine optimization, like demand driven marketing.
RV (05:31):
When people are searching a term, it’s like they want something, they want it. Now, a huge part of whether or not you make that sale is like, who can get to that person first? Who can return their phone call first? And so I just, I thought this was really, really cool. One of the tactical things that I just wanted to come back and underscore and highlight to the, you know, for everybody is, is the idea of a fast pass, right? The idea of a fast pass is that people will pay to be able to skip the line to people will pay, people will pay, people will always pay to be able to go to the front of the queue, right? I mean, this is like the VIP line. This is any anything VIP or, or you know, Disney has the, the fast pass or all the amusement parks, right?
RV (06:20):
If, if you go to Universal Studios or whatever. And that’s one of the things that we have started offering, right? Is, is we have created opportunities for people to coach with me directly. And it’s, it’s a higher investment because I can help people get to results faster. Just ’cause I got the most experience doing this personally and the most experienced coaching other people to do it, right? So historically, I’ve, I’ve never been available like formally to do private coaching with our clients, right? I, I mean, I, and, and I coach everybody. I’m at, I’m at our events and I do two group coaching calls a month. So like, we have different tiers in our membership, right? And so there’s, depending on what tier you’re in you know, you get to come to our live events. Well, we do, I think we’re doing 32 live events next year.
RV (07:13):
And so four of ’em that are two days, I’m, I’m at and AJ’s at personally, those are, so in-person event not all of our events are in person. And then twice a month for all of our members, I lead group coaching where people can ask me questions and, you know, we do like rapid fire, but doing private one-on-one coaching is, is not something that historically that we have offered until recently. We, we have created something called Brand mastery, which is when people can work with me directly in a, in a very small group, right? It’s still a small, a small group, but they can work with me directly as their strategist. And there’s a higher level of investment. And that’s ’cause we go really fast, right? And we have an, we have an annual pass of that where people are able to spend up to 10 days with me a year and we can crank.
RV (08:01):
I mean, if I get 10 days in a room with someone, I can, we typically, like we can transform their personal brand quickly. So that’s an example of a fast pass. We’re also working on a for years we’ve been developing something that we’re just, just now rolling out called Instant Automation Toolkit. Instant Automation Toolkit is something that’s only available for brand builders members, right? So you have to be one of our strategy clients. ’cause You have to have the education, you have to understand how it all works together. You have to know what a brand positioning statement and, and the 15 Ps and the content diamond and webinar funnels. And like you, you know how all of these, the, the, the modular content method, like how it all fits together. But then we, we took all of our six core campaigns for our, our web, our, our high converting webinar funnels, selling high dollar offers, booking keynotes, doing book launches, building websites, the six most important core campaigns.
RV (08:57):
And we templatized all of them. And now we make it available to members. They can either buy ’em and own ’em out outright, or they can just rent them for like a much lower fee so that we can get them live quickly. That’s why instant automation toolkit is everything about going, okay, now you’ve learned the strategy. The next era of Brand Builders group is going, how can we help you execute faster and, and cheaper? Because if you have to go source and hire all these people, whether they’re employees or vendors, it’s slow, it’s painstaking, it’s expensive, and you’re likely to make mistakes that cost you money because you don’t really know how to coach them. Well, instant automation toolkit is going, what if we just give you ours? And so we’ve been developing this for years and it’s, it’s amazing. We’re, we’re just about to roll it out.
RV (09:43):
We just, we’ve already rolled out our copywriting templates. So half of it is copywriting templates. The other half is the actual technology where we build the, we build the funnels and build the websites for you using our, using our actual one. So we take our exact funnels and then we swap out our stuff, put your stuff in there. So the copywriting templates have been available and it’s like we’ve got people cranking out entire pipelines in a few hours or a few days. Like it’s, it’s amazing. And going, yeah, people will pay for that because there’s, there’s value to that. ’cause, ’cause Money loves speed. You know, the other thing is, is when you think about money in relation to time, time multiplies money, right? Compounding interest. If I, if I take money and I invest it today, you know, it, it money invested over time is it grows and grows and grows.
RV (10:34):
So the earlier I can, the earlier I can have access to money, the earlier I have access to cashflow, the longer amount of time I get to benefit from interest, right? From compounding interest. So it, there’s value to having money today versus having money in the future. This is another thing that we do. We, we started in Brand Builders group about a year and a half ago we rolled out a pay in full feature. And so what happens is, you know, we have our, our programs are annual memberships, and we’ve got, you know, now, now counting brand mastery, we’ve got three different levels of, of membership. Well, there’s a, there’s a discount for paying in full where we give, we give people two months free if they pay in full today, because even though it costs us money, right? We lose money on that.
RV (11:26):
And we still have all the costs of delivering those last two months of service. But there’s value to having all the cash in hand now because we can deploy, we can reinvest that cash into growing the business versus having to wait for it and not seeing it for 10 months. There’s also value in the certainty of collecting it, right? And so we, we share in that with our customers to go, Hey, if you’re willing to, if you’re willing to commit for 12 months and pay us now and go, we’re in this together, we’ll give you a discount. And so that’s the first time we’ve, we, we don’t, other than that we don’t discount, we never discount, we don’t change our prices. You know, people can buy a lower thing and get a lesser price, but we don’t sell the same thing to two people for lesser prices.
RV (12:07):
We, we just, we don’t discount. So, but, but we have offered this fast pass and it’s been massive. C clients love it. They also get to accelerate the deduction on their taxes, right? So like right now, as an example or, or when you get to the end of the year or the end of a fiscal year, you know, they, they can pay us for a year in full and they can accelerate that deduction on like this year’s taxes. So we see a lot of that happen at the, at the end of the people’s calendar year, the end of their fiscal year. So think about how can you incorporate a fast pass concept into your business model? Because this really, I think this really, really is true. My third big idea or takeaway from Jay in this interview was when he said, give your customers a clue of what to expect as it relates to time, absence of any guidance.
RV (13:01):
They’ll expect it instantly. And I thought, wow, that, that, that really is powerful. And so make a time promise the way he said it was, make a time, pro promise, but make one that you can overdeliver on. And I think that’s really key, right? It’s, it’s, it’s not, you know, if you don’t tell me when I’m gonna get it, my brain defaults to, oh, I want it tomorrow, right? Even if it’s like building a website, right? You go, okay, well I’m hiring you to build me a website. Like why can’t I have it tomorrow? Like, why can’t I have it next week? Like, what’s the big deal? Right? Part of the reason, and and I think that’s a natural default that people have because part of the reason why they’re hiring someone else is they don’t have the wherewithal to do it themselves. So they often aren’t knowledgeable about all of the details and the steps and the processes and the things that go into doing something, and that’s why they’re hiring someone in the first place.
RV (13:51):
So we tend to, we tend to underestimate how long it takes other people to do things. We tend to underestimate how long it takes other people to do things. And that’s because we don’t know how to do them. And so we’re not aware of all of the steps, and absent that, absent that awareness, we don’t have the ability to calculate the time or really appreciate even sometimes everything that they’re doing. So what happens is, if someone communicates though and they say, oh, no problem, we’ll have your, we’ll have your website done in two months. Well, I don’t love that, but it’s better than them not saying anything. And like, after the end of month one, I’m going, well, I was thinking this would take a week. Like, why is it taking four weeks? Like, what, what’s the deal here? And now I’m annoyed. Versus if you say, oh, it’s gonna take three months and you actually deliver it in eight to 10 weeks.
RV (14:44):
Now I’m ecstatic. ’cause I go, oh, you know, while I would love for it to be done tomorrow, you set the expectation for me that it wasn’t gonna be done for three months. And then you, and then you over-delivered and you beat that. So now I’m ecstatic. So this is a really important conceptual point to understand that it’s not really how long something takes that annoys people or makes them happy, it’s how long it takes in proportion to their expectation of how long they thought it would take, right? So if it takes six months, that’s neither long or short. It’s only relative. So this is very similar to how we teach we teach our members when they’re selling high dollar offers, there’s no such thing, there’s no such thing as expensive or inexpensive. There’s only such a thing as relative, right? So if somebody’s gonna pay me a hundred thousand dollars to spend two days with me, you go, well, that feels expensive.
RV (15:44):
And it’s not nothing. But I go, well, yeah, but if I can help someone land a half a million dollar book advance, if I can help someone become a New York Times bestseller, if I can help them get speaking engagements where they’re gonna, they’re gonna do, you know, half a million to a million dollars a year in speaking fees for the rest of their career. If I can help them save a hundred thousand dollars on their taxes every year for the rest of their life, if I can teach them, you know, how to build a sales team that will grow millions of dollars. Like, it’s, it’s not, it’s not much relative to that. So, so it’s always relative, right? Well, this is the same thing. Time is never really long or short. It’s always relative. And, and in this case, it’s the, for your customers, it’s relative to their expectation of how long it was gonna take, right?
RV (16:27):
So give them a time promise and, and make it one that you can overdeliver on. Because if you tell me it’s gonna take four months and it takes six months, now I’m upset. But if you tell me it’s gonna take eight months or 10 months or a year, and you’re done in six months, man, now, now I’m ecstatic. It still took six months, it took the same amount of time, right? Like, it, it, it takes whatever time it takes to do something. So of course, hopefully you can operate more efficiently. But, but I think what you wanna do is you wanna, what people don’t allow for the, and part of the reason why we underestimate how long everything takes is because what people never allow for, they never account for is they never account for unplanned expenses of time or money. They ne they never account for emergencies.
RV (17:15):
They never account for extraordinary items, unforeseen thing, unforeseen delays. I, I remember early in my career as an entrepreneur, I had a, a financial mentor, you know, and I, and and I, we were looking at financial statements and I was saying, well, gosh, you know, I feel like we’re being punished because there’s this one unusual item that, you know, we didn’t have in the budget. And I go, well, how is that our fault? Like, none of us saw it coming. It’s not like it was poor management of the company. And and his response to me was, he says, well, you have to create a budget that always has margin in it for things like that. Because while it’s unexpected, you can always expect the unexpected. You can always plan for the unplanned. You can always assume that something is gonna happen that you weren’t assuming was gonna happen.
RV (18:06):
And that is a radical mind shift as it relates to your personal finances, right? And not spending every dollar you have, but saving to go, I can’t spend every dollar because what happens when my, I get a flat tire or when the, you know, the water heater breaks or, or, you know, I have to take a sudden flight somewhere that I wasn’t planning on. You know, like you have to be able to, to do that. You wanna, you wanna have margin, margin, you wanna have margin in your planning margin, in your budgeting, budgeting of money and budgeting of time. And so understanding all of this and, and realizing that time is, I mean, in this case, according to Jay’s research, right, this is empirically validated. Now, two thirds of people say that speed is as important as price. And I’m in that two thirds, right?
RV (18:54):
I go, man, if one person you know is gonna charge me 10% more, but they can get it to me, you know, 30% faster, I’m in every time, every time. So minding people’s time, treating it as sacred you know, making a time promise overdelivering on it, giving them an opportunity for a fast pass to pay extra to, to, to move things faster. And, and just realizing that, that people interpret this is right from Jay speed as caring and responsiveness, as respect. That is from a man, Jay Bearer, his new book the Time to Win. Go by the book, y’all. It’s not even a full-size book. It’s a little tiny book. Like you could, you can read it in an hour. And it is life changing, paradigm altering, you know this idea of using speed as a competitive advantage. So thanks for tuning in.
RV (19:53):
Hopefully listening to this podcast is helping you accelerate on your journey. And I hope we get a chance to move you at some point from being you know, a, a free consumer of our content to working with us and watching how we can accelerate your dream, coming true faster and faster, faster, to help you drive more leads to your business, launch a new revenue stream, you know, write books, be a speaker, grow your audience, grow your impact. Whatever your dream is for building your personal brand, hopefully we get a chance to partner with you to make that dream come true faster. That’s a big part of our wish. Until next time, we will you know, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll sign off for now. Have a great one. We’ll catch you here. Next episode, influential Personal Brand podcast. Share this with someone who needs it. See you then.

Ep 442: The Time to Win with Jay Baer

RV (00:02):
Well, I am excited and honored to introduce you once again to one of my very best friends, one of my favorite mentors someone who I legitimately think is one of the smartest people on the planet. We’ve had him on the podcast before. His name is Jay Baer, Utruly one of my best friends in real life. And I’m so grateful for this man. And he has a new book out. And every time Jay writes a new book, it completely like changes the way I think about whatever the topic is. And we’re gonna talk about speed as a competitive advantage today. Uif you’re just meeting Jay, he is a New York Times bestselling author of seven books. He is a hall of fame speaker. He has worked with over 700 different brands. He speaks on some of the biggest stages in the world.
RV (00:48):
He’s worked for companies like Nike and Oracle and I b m and United Nations. And another thing we’ll probably talk about, which we’ve never talked about on this show before with Jay, but something fun happening is he has blown up on TikTok and Instagram, this personal brand. He is now the second, the world’s second largest influencer on tequila, which is something he does in his personal life. And it has become a huge explosive personal brand. So that’s kind of like a, a side project we’re gonna, we’re gonna talk about, but mostly we’re gonna be talking about his new book. It’s called The Time to Win. Without further ado, my brother, welcome back.
JB (01:33):
Thank you very much. Great to be with you, my friend. I gotta tell you, I’ve been a business strategist and author and speaker for like 30 years, and there’s been some degree of, of notoriety as a result of my behaviors and activities in that category. But now that I have a tequila education channel, I get recognized in hotels and airports, literally every week, . And it is never, never for the seven bestselling business books, never for the thousands of keynote presentation, tequila business a lot a lot longer ago maybe.
RV (02:22):
Yeah. So hold on a second there, buddy. So you cut out, I think I cut out. So just you were saying, I get recognized in airports every week.
JB (02:32):
Yeah. Every week for, for, and it’s always like, oh, you’re Tequila J Bear. I watch all of your videos. Like, nobody caress that I’ve written books. Nobody cares that I’ve ever given a presentation, but they are locked and loaded on the personal brand of tequila educators. So I think there’s a lesson there for, for you and your audience,
RV (02:51):
Man. Well, I do, I do. I I do want to hear about that because I, I, I, I’m curious, and it’s part of that is I have a side project, I’ve got like a personal side project going on right now. Yeah. That’s very similar.
JB (03:01):
I know. It’s exciting.
RV (03:02):
It has nothing to do with like our business, but it’s like, I have to do this. Yeah. But let’s talk about the time to win.
JB (03:10):
RV (03:11):
‘Cause this was something that I was like, it’s another one of those things where when you started talking about it, I was like, oh my gosh, how have I missed this? And you just blew it up. Like, oh, this is such a big idea, such a simple idea. So, so tell us, what’s the premise here? What’s going on? Yeah. And then the research that started it,
JB (03:28):
My, my observation coming outta the pandemic Rory, was that it changed the way we think about time and, and reshuffled how important it is in our lives. Time’s always been important, of course, but the pandemic made us remember a simple truth, an important truth, an often overlooked truth, which is that all of us only have and will ever only have 1,440 minutes a day. Doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, what you are, you get 1,440. You can’t make more. You can’t buy more. I’ll tell you this, I think now that I’ve been studying this for a while, I, I think time is the only resource that we actually share equally on this planet. The only one.
JB (04:13):
And a lot of the trends that we talk about now, things like the great resignation or people wanting to work from home don’t wanna come back from the office because they don’t wanna commute, or people spending more time with their kids or, or bleisure travel, which is the combination of business and leisure travel. That’s when you bring your kids to the conference and double dip the trip. Even baseball games are 25 minutes a night shorter now, right? Because they got a pitch clock. Like, all of these trends are the same trend, which is that we care about our time and how we spend it more than ever. So that was the, the premise. But as always, as you mentioned, when I, when I write a book, I first validate it with really deep research. ’cause I’m not gonna go on stages and pages and tell people to change their business unless I’ve got it proven other than just Jay says to do this. So it turns out that in the research we found that two thirds of people say that speed is now as important as price.
RV (05:09):
Wow. But
JB (05:10):
There’s not very many businesses that behave as if that were the case. And you should.
RV (05:16):
Yeah. I mean, that makes, I mean, you know, when you shared that with me, it was like, oh, yeah, that makes sense. As a consumer, I go, I, I just want it fast. Like, I don’t, you know, I think about the hotel thing. It’s like, I don’t wanna tell you my life story. I just want my key and get to the room. And like, I just wanna be like, it’s a long day of travel. It’s not that I wanna be rude, but it’s just like, I just want as fast as possible to get from the car into my hotel room to just chill out. Right? And then I go, but as a, as a business, how much are we really thinking about doing things shorter? We’re trying to go, maybe we make it better, better. Maybe we can charge more money, but not going, how do we do this faster?
JB (06:02):
That’s the mystery. That’s why this book, the Time to Win exists. What I tell people is you’ve gotta elevate speed and responsiveness on the priority list in your business because your customers already have.
RV (06:19):
Hmm. Like
JB (06:19):
Most businesses think they’re fast enough, but then when they look at the world through their own eyes as a consumer, they realize that they’re not fast enough. Partially because speed expectations never go backwards. Right? What was, what was fast five years ago is very slow today. And that will always continue. And I’ve been doing this a long time, as you know, I’ve never, in my whole life, under any circumstances whatsoever, heard a customer say, Hey, you know what? Next time it’d be cool if you guys just did that more slowly. like, those words have never been uttered. Right? So, so, you know, if you’re not constantly trying to iterate on responsiveness in your organization, you are falling behind every single day.
RV (07:03):
Yeah. And
JB (07:03):
I got, and the key, the key thing to this real quick, is that the reason why this book is so important now is that everything contained in this book is going to happen three years from now. We’re gonna have to delete this episode because it will be pointless. Everything we talk about will have been done by every business because your customers will simply require it of you. But this is your opportunity. This is why the book is called The Time to Win. This is your time to use responsiveness as a competitive advantage before other people in your category start to do it. You’ve got, in my estimation, a 24 to 30 month headstart where if you lean into speed, now you can eat your competitor’s lunch until they realize what’s going on and are forced to catch up.
RV (07:53):
Yeah. And I just on this, on this note of not priorit, prioritizing speed as a competitive, like not thinking of speed as a, as like a value to the customer. We had Amy Porterfield on, on this show a while back. You, she’s one of our clients and she’s sort of like the queen of courses, right? I know. You know, Amy and I, I asked her, I said, I said, you know, what’s the right price to charge for a course? And I said, I said, basically like, if, you know, if I have six modules or 10 modules, like how many modules do I have to have in there in order to charge $2,000? And she said, the price has nothing to do with how many modules are in there. She said, everyone thinks that having more modules makes it more expensive. She said, it’s the opposite. If you can deliver the result to the customer with less time and less modules, it’s more valuable to be able to get your customer from point A to point B. And I was just like, I literally have been thinking about this backwards in the pricing, you know, game. And then, and then you’re going, oh, you need to do this for every part of the business.
JB (09:08):
It, you go back to the 16 hundreds blaze, Pascal, a famous writer from, you know, those days said, I, I would’ve , I would’ve written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have time. . Right? It’s this idea that, that, you know, if you can deliver value in an hour, that value is geometrically greater than if you deliver the same thing in four hours. It, because it’s, it’s the net present value of the time you’re not spending in the course or, or doing anything else, right? Like in a, in a more prosaic example I got my house painted not long ago, and I got three bids as you do. ’cause I don’t know what things cost to be painted, neither do you. And first Painter called me back in like four hours and said, Jay, I can’t paint the house today. Obviously, I can’t even give you a quote, but, but I can tell you approximately, based on your voicemail, what I think it might cost.
JB (10:04):
And here’s when I can come give you an estimate. And here’s when I can come do the job. Second painter got back to me in two days. Third painter got back to me in 11 days. At which point I’d already painted the house . So a little slow. The, the one I hired was no surprise, the first one who was actually the most expensive. But I did not care, because today we live in an era where we interpret speed as caring, and we interpret responsiveness as respect. So it doesn’t matter who your customers are, if they think that you do not respect their time, that will create negative business consequences for you eventually.
RV (10:50):
Dude, whoa. That this, not just in your business life. This is one of the central marriage issues between me and aj. Responsiveness is her love language. And her, one of her frustrations is she’s like, you take forever to respond to my work emails ’cause we work together. But she’s like, you are so slow to respond to like, project deadlines and that stuff. And it’s like, she, she treats it as like, I’m disrespecting her. And I’m like, I’m busy. And she’s like, I don’t care. It’s, it is disrespecting. Like that is absolutely true. Responsiveness is, is a form of respect. Well, so, so you have this, you, so the time to win, which is, that’s the, the url, right? The time to win.com is where you’ll go to get the book. And y’all, just fyi, this book, Amazon, this book is a small book. You can read the entire book in an hour, like the entire book in an hour. It’s also, which
JB (11:53):
Is obviously intentional because I sat down to write a book and I’ve written six full length books in the past. And I started to work on this. And I’m like, wait, I, I cannot ask people to spend five or six hours reading a book about speed and just like, just like did. I’m like, wait a second. This is the exact opposite of the advice in the book. So it’s like, alright. And look, the reality is, and I, I’m not ashamed to admit it, the reality is most people don’t read business books. They skimm them,
RV (12:22):
Right? Because
JB (12:23):
Most business books say a thing, then they say that thing six different ways. And I’m like, you know what? I’m just gonna cut out the middleman here. No, no fat only meet all the key pieces that you need to implement. It’s a six piece framework for, for winning with responsiveness. And that’s all that’s in the book. There’s, you know, and boom, in and out. And people love it.
RV (12:43):
Yeah. And so, and so speed, like, okay, so, so now when you go, let’s apply, apply speed to business
JB (12:50):
Mm-Hmm. ,
RV (12:50):
You know, like the example that I used that construct is deliver the result for the client in less time. And we, we are super focused about on this right now. Yeah. Of now, now we’re going, we’re embracing this, right? And going, how do we get our client the result faster? How do we teach them the information in less time? How do we give them tools to help them implement, you know, like cheaper, faster. So there’s that construct of like con condensing the time for them to have the experience. But then it’s almost like there’s another half of this, which is responsiveness. So yeah. Which side is it? Is it both of those things? Or is it more one side than the other? Like
JB (13:35):
It’s both. We actually tested that in the research. So we asked people, and I, and I will say, this is very comprehensive research. This isn’t, Jay did a SurveyMonkey. This is many, many, many, many, many tens of thousands of dollars university level research. And we found when we asked people, okay, where is responsiveness most important to you? Early stages when you’re just trying to get information. Late stages. If you need help in the middle where somebody’s actually delivering whatever it is they’re delivering out, always . Turns out it’s always important. The places where it’s the most important is when you have an actual problem. No surprise, right? So if your house is on fire, access to water is really important, . But there’s never any point in the customer journey where speed and responsiveness isn’t important. And I will say this, it’s not just about the initial purchase or even Rory, the initial service delivery. Because one of the most interesting findings in this research is that 85% of customers 85 say that speed is a critical factor in their loyalty. So whether they buy a second, third, fourth, and fifth time,
RV (14:47):
JB (14:47):
How can that be? Well, remember if we interpret responsiveness as respect, at some point, every customer has to revalidate the buy. It could be a week later, it could be a month later, it could be a year later, it could be a decade later. But at some point in every customer and client relationship, they’ve gotta say, do I wanna sign on again? And so, yes, it’s important to be quick at the beginning of the relationship, but it’s also important to be quick throughout the totality of the relationship, because that’s going to ultimately impact whether or not they rebuy, which has of course, huge implications for your conversion rate, your churn rate, your lifetime customer value probably,
RV (15:28):
JB (15:28):
Everything else
RV (15:29):
That builds great
JB (15:30):
Business. All of it. Yeah.
RV (15:31):
All the things. So I wanna ask you about ai, ’cause I haven’t asked you about, about, about, mm-hmm. This, right? So the part that’s scary about this to me is to go absent ai, this is ha I think this is happening anyway, right? Absent, we’re just going like, I need an answer. I need it yesterday. I need it immediately. I want my food immediately. I want, you know, my show immediately. I want to be on the airplane immediately. I wanna be in my hotel room immediately. Like it’s, everything is speeding up. The part that freaks me out is you go, you add AI into this conversation. And now it’s like, dude, it’s just gotta be an exponential multiplier of this. Yep. Entitled, I need it immediately thing. Yeah,
JB (16:20):
Yeah, yeah. Probably. Yeah. And look, I, I’m not suggesting that this is a net societal positive that that’s not my job in the world. My job is to tell you how to beat your competition. And that’s contained in the book. Now, whether we’re beating the competition in a world where everybody is doing everything so fast that it becomes a little bit frustrating and, and a lot to handle. That’s probably, that’s probably true. But there’s nothing I can do about that. I mean, I think that, I think that that cow was out of the barn. What’s really amazing is the companies in many industries that are built for speed from the ground up,
RV (17:01):
Right? So
JB (17:02):
I think you were there one time when our, our mutual friend, Jason Dorsey was talking about Lemonade, which I use as an example. Now in the stage presentation of this material, lemonade is an insurance company. They primarily work in rental insurance, but others as well. They’re the number one rated rental insurance company in the country. Highest average revenue per employee as well. I mean, every success metric there at the top of the table. Here’s how it works. They were built for speed from the beginning. This guy, Paul has like a $979 Canada Goose, like Parka, super nice jacket, lives in Manhattan, goes to a bar in Manhattan. Someone steals the jacket. Oh man, my jacket got stolen. I gotta get a insurance claim. So he goes on the Lemonade app on his phone, presses, opens the app, presses file a claim, makes a 25 second video into his phone.
JB (17:56):
Hey, it’s Paul, I’ve had this Canada Goose jacket. It was $979 that got stolen at the bar. Submit after he hits, submit Lemonade, runs a bunch of fraud algorithms. Not only on the, on the video itself, but on Paul, his case history, the location, his age, a bunch of other stuff. They already have access to his bank account ’cause he did it. When he set it up, they decide to approve the claim. They wire $929 into his account because he is a $250 deductible. All of that happens, right? Assess the claim, approve the claim, wire him the cash. All of that happens in three seconds.
RV (18:36):
Holy smack.
JB (18:38):
Three seconds. So if you’re Allstate,
RV (18:42):
Yeah. Now
JB (18:43):
What? Now what?
RV (18:46):
I mean you don’t even, you’re trying to set an appointment to talk to the person and then the paperwork, and then you file the thing and take all the pictures and you fill out a police report. I mean
JB (18:57):
Yep. So now obviously, does Lemonade have a higher ratio of fraud than the alternative where like, you know, sitting down with somebody Of course. But one of the lessons in this book that I think is really applicable, it’s okay to be a little bit wrong if you’re a lot, a bit fast.
RV (19:17):
Ooh, that’s good. Yeah, it reminds me of like John De Julius says, you know, don’t punish 98% of your customers for what the 2% take advantage of.
JB (19:31):
Yeah. It’s an edge case.
RV (19:33):
Yeah. That’s so good about being a lot of, bit a, a lot, a bit fast. Well, so
JB (19:42):
Do you think, here’s something I wanna mention if I can. It’s a really important technique, especially for this audience that I wanna make sure we get to, is one of the key recommendations in this book. And it’s to offer a fast pass. So the idea of offering a fast pass is that in the research we found that one in four customers will pay as much as 50% more to not wait. You should give them that opportunity. Now, there are increasingly FastPasses all around us ’cause people are figuring out how powerful this technique is. TSA pre is a fast pass. You pay more. Wait list clear is a fast pass. Disney has one now, I think it’s called Genie Plus, we pay more. You don’t have to wait in line to go on Space Mountain or whatever,
RV (20:27):
JB (20:29):
You should do that in your business. Everybody should do it in their business. So when people come to me and say, will you review my new tequila? And I say, well sure, but we’ve got a 10 week waiting list. Or you can pay us this amount and you can be the next tequila we rate. All you’re doing is offering them a fast pass. Every sort of, every business in the world has a sequence, has an onboarding, has a customer list. You just charge them more to jump the line. Now, I was at an event and a guy came up to me and said, well Jay, what do I do about the person who was the next customer I was gonna help? And now they get bumped back one, aren’t they gonna be mad? Here’s how you do it. You say to the customer, who doesn’t wanna wait? Who wants to be the next, okay, it’s gonna cost you 20% more to be next. Then you talk to the person who was next and you say, I’m really sorry, something came up. We gotta bump you back. It’s gonna be an extra week. Now you’re second, but we’re gonna give you a 5% discount. ’cause We feel bad about it. You just kept 15% for doing nothing other than shuffling your customer sequence.
RV (21:31):
Mm-Hmm. ,
JB (21:33):
It’s free money.
RV (21:35):
Yeah. I mean, I’m that guy. I mean, I’m that guy. Like, it’s like I, I will pay. I do not wanna wait in long. You’re
JB (21:41):
Literally that guy. I
RV (21:42):
Will not, I will pay so much more to not wait in line. It’s the most frustrating thing that I experience is waiting. Like if my computer is loading, my internet is down, loading a webpage, you know, waiting in line at the grocery store, like waiting in line is probably the most frustrating thing in my life where I get angry. Like I am losing time. So, and I think probably that’s true. Like people who, the people who have, it’s
JB (22:11):
Not true for everybody. It’s not
RV (22:13):
True for everybody. It’s not true for everybody.
JB (22:14):
But for those who it is true for it’s manifestly true for like you,
RV (22:18):
And they will pay more money for it.
JB (22:20):
RV (22:21):
They’ll pay more money. Won’t
JB (22:22):
Even bat an eye
RV (22:23):
Won’t even bad an eye. Yeah. No way. And it’s like, I don’t care if
JB (22:26):
You give ’em the choice,
RV (22:27):
The same experience as someone else, but I can just not have to, to have the weight. That’s so good, Jay. Like, that’s so simple. You know,
JB (22:34):
You’ll make so much money for, for free. Like, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a consultant, an author, a chiropractor, you’d run a preschool, you’ve got a landscape business, you’re doing plastic surgery, it does not matter.
RV (22:47):
Oh yeah, the country club,
JB (22:48):
What business you’re in club or getting into, it doesn’t matter.
RV (22:50):
Private, the private school, oh my gosh, like this is I’m trying to think about how we would apply this to brand builders group. We need to have a conversation about what, what can do, what we would, what we would do. So what else should I be asking you about this that I haven’t asked you about as it relates to speed as a competitive advantage?
JB (23:10):
The, I’ll tell you what the first piece that you’ve gotta do on this. Okay. lemme two, two quick things. One, I don’t want people to think that the takeaway here is Jay says, be as fast as possible all the time. That’s not true. And it’s also too simple. Yes, you should probably be faster than you are much of the time because your customers will reward you for it. If you give your customers time, they will give you money. If you cost your customers time, it will cost you money. So yes, you should probably be faster than you are much of the time. But there are scenarios when you can be too fast. When you are too fast, it decays trust. So if somebody came to you, Rory, and said, Hey I’ve got a book I’m writing, can you help me with a bestseller campaign? And you said, sure. Can you start in an hour? That would probably feel less trustworthy because if you’re that available,
RV (24:12):
JB (24:13):
Like, how could, could you be? Right? So what you want in your business is not necessarily to just be as fast as you can. What you want in every customer interaction is to adhere to the right now, the right now, the right now is the perfect amount of elapsed time. It’s not too fast and it’s not too slow. It’s the Goldilocks zone for speed. And you’ve gotta figure out what that is in your own business, right? There’s no standard for that. But for every business there is a, right now it’s the perfect amount of time. So the first assignment that you’ve gotta do as a business leader is to figure out what the right now is in your business.
RV (24:57):
Well, and the subtitle of your book, okay, so the book’s called The Time to Win. The subtitle is How to Exceed Customer’s Need for Speed. And the way that I go is part of what we know about the right now is it is at least a little bit faster than whatever their expectation is. That’s right. If, if we are, if we’re faster than their expectation than we’re winning, and then probably you know, the, then, then, then, then we’re ahead. So we probably need to look at what’s their expectation. But, but similar to how I remember like one the things
JB (25:32):
And how to set that expectation too. Like how to, how to actually manage that expectation. It’s one of the thing that, that a lot of businesses are terrible at this, they’re really bad at, at giving customers any sort of cue or clue as to what to expect. And one thing I’ve learned since I started down this, this research path is absent of any guidance, customers will expect everything to happen instantly.
RV (25:59):
Yeah. So
JB (25:59):
You’ve gotta tell them the thing that you want or need is going to take this long. And crucially, especially for younger consumers, here’s why it takes that long.
RV (26:14):
Uhhuh ,
JB (26:15):
You’ve gotta connect the dots for them. Because if you don’t, they will always think it should be faster. We learned this in the first day in business that you should always under promise and
RV (26:31):
JB (26:32):
Overdeliver. But you can’t do that if people don’t know what the promise is. So if you know it’s gonna take 10, 10 days, you always tell them it’s 12 days always. Because then you are slightly faster than they expect. And that’s the, right now
RV (26:53):
Uhhuh , the other thing is, so earlier in your career, you know, like one of the very first times I heard you speak and read your, your book utility around like content marketing and blew my mind, changed my whole life and strategy around building trust online and content and stuff. You know, you you, one of the things that you said in that book that really changed my life was you said, when you create content, you’re not just competing against other people who create content. Like the content you create, you’re creating against anything else in the world that competes for people’s attention. Cute puppy dogs, fantasy football, you know what reality tv. And so it’s like, it’s not just other business consultants that I’m competing against. I’m competing against that, that concept applied here. It’d be the same thing, right? It is going Yep. I’m not competing against other people. The speed is not just my competitors. I’m competing against lemonade and I’m competing against fast food and I’m competing against every single other customer experience. Sure. Of getting it done faster.
JB (28:02):
Yeah. I mean, you think about the world we live in, technology and big enterprise companies have changed everybody’s perspective on what is quote unquote fast. Like if Uber and Lyft didn’t exist, we would have a totally different perspective on transportation. But it does exist. And that experience of being able to press a button and a car shows up naturally leaches into your expectations for other things that you need in your life. And, and that’s just the way it is, right? So yeah. Does the fact that Amazon can bring something next day put a lot of pressure on a mom and pop business who doesn’t have that kind of warehouse? Heck yeah, it does. Freaking does. But but then, but them’s the breaks, like what, you know, sorry, that genie’s not going back in the bottle, right? Mm-Hmm. You know, well
RV (28:53):
That’s why I think about the AI thing, right? You know, it’s like in and bb in brand builders group. We don’t have like a queue, right? People can come, but where our, where our delay is, is helping our customers implement faster, right? Getting their funnels built, getting their website built, getting, and, and, and that’s where it’s like AI is going to compress that even more. Like you’re saying is just AI applied to every, you know, rising customer expec expectation, growing, you know, speeding up technology, adding in ai like you’re saying three years from now, five years from now, this is, this game is over. Like it all, we’re all gonna have to be instant. Yeah. And
JB (29:29):
That’s why you’ve got this chance now, right? If you lean into it sooner. If you don’t wait for your customers to pull you kicking and screaming and you lead them, you’ve got two, three years where you can dominate your category. You’ve just gotta get started.
RV (29:44):
I think this is so brilliant. This is like, you, you, you were, you were so ahead of the curve on content marketing, right? And it’s like, if I would’ve done then what you were saying about that, I would’ve caught that wave. We’d miss that wave. But like nobody else is talking about this. I mean, it’s like we talk about speed, but no one is going speed as a competitive advantage until you said that. And the moment you said it, I was like, that is so freaking brilliant. So the time to win.com is where to go to get the book
JB (30:13):
Yeah. Or Amazon or anywhere else that you get books at the time to win.com. There’s also the full research paper that powers the book. It’s like 30 pages and you can have, don’t we don’t even ask for email address, you can just have it. I just want you to have it. Cool.
RV (30:26):
That’s awesome. So that we can go download the research there. So we’ll put a link to the time to wind.com. Okay. I don’t wanna let you go without talking about Tequila J ’cause this is such a phenomenon. You spent 30 years of your life becoming one of the most respected consultants. You know, you after that you’ve amassed, I don’t know, a whopping 10,000 or followers or something on Instagram or something. And then you start Tequila Jay, this side project, give us a sense of the magnitude that this total, like my personal passion, hobby, give, give me a sense of the magnitude of how long you spent on it and what, what your reach has come with your, it’s truly like your personal, personal brand.
JB (31:10):
Well, first I, I’ll acknowledge that none of this would’ve happened without you, you know, your premise that, that your ideal audience is the person that you used to be
RV (31:19):
JB (31:20):
The north star for my work in the tequila space. Because when I started this project which is just 18 months ago, there were a number of people creating content for advanced tequila fans, right? So there’s nerds talking to nerds, and I like that content. ’cause I’ve been a tequila fan for a long time. I like the kind of deep dive nerdy content, but I realized that there’s just not that many people in that category. There’s a lot more people who are just getting into tequila or have a margarita here and now, or have a Paloma here, and now that’s the much larger addressable audience. And so I always try and keep in mind what it was like to be a person who didn’t know much at all about tequila. And I was that person. It was a while ago, but, but I was that person. And so the content that we create is very intentionally pegged to the novice and intermediate tequila
JB (32:13):
Fan. And that’s been the lift underneath the whole project, right? That’s why it’s so popular because we’re not talking over people’s heads. Mm-Hmm. And it’s been a really interesting journey. We did it on Instagram reels and TikTok mostly because I don’t have a lot of experience historically with short form content. I’ve always done long form content. And I was like, well, let’s just see what this is. Like, let’s learn how this algorithm works, et cetera. And, and it’s been great. You know, five videos a week is a big lift. It’s a heavy lift you know, to do it every single week. But, but we love it. And now we’re really monetizing it across a bunch of different dimensions, right? We’ve got brand sponsors and tequila sponsors and a, a merch store and our own tequilas and a a and events business and private tastings. So there’s a bunch of different revenue streams that all kind of funnel into are in the business. And I’m not ready to quit my day job as a speaker and consultant yet, but, but it’s it’s definitely a real business, right? And considering my only goal was to be able to buy tequila on a business card instead of a personal card. I have, I have very much past, past the goals.
RV (33:19):
Well, the other thing is what’s gnarly is like you have pretty major celebrities reaching out to you.
JB (33:24):
Yeah, yeah.
RV (33:25):
Like, I mean Yeah. And you just built this huge audience. What, so it’s a couple hundred thousand followers, right? On TikTok? Yeah.
JB (33:31):
Between, yeah, between Instagram and TikTok. It’s a couple hundred thousand. Last month I think we reached 400,000 accounts. Wow.
RV (33:39):
So it’s,
JB (33:39):
It’s pretty, it’s pretty good group. Yeah.
RV (33:41):
And then you’re getting, you’re getting all these celebrities who are launching their tequila lines going, will you please review my
JB (33:47):
Absolutely. Yeah. And my house is just full of tequila. Allison is so mad because like every room of the house is just bottles. It’s, it’s literally a problem that I’m looking to solve. I have a, I have a shelving issue that I need to need to work on. .
RV (34:05):
Oh man. Yeah.
JB (34:06):
I mean, if I move this camera like six inches, you would be flabbergasted how much tequila I have in this office.
RV (34:12):
That’s awesome. So is there, is there any other lessons that you think for personal brands, like specifically? I mean, that’s super powerful. I didn’t, I didn’t, I never even realized to put that together that, you know, ’cause we you that that you, that’s what you were doing was specif specifically creating content for the person that you once were, you know?
JB (34:30):
Yeah. And I talk about that in a lot of podcasts and people ask me about tequila and I always give you credit as I should. And how powerful that that premise is. And it’s really, really effective. You know, look, we all have the curse of knowledge and the curse of expertise. And if you don’t constantly disvalue yourself of that notion, you are truncating your addressable audience. The other thing that we do in the tequila space that I think you’ll appreciate and your audience will appreciate is we are the only tequila educator that de anonymizes the audience. So there are a number of other people, four or five that do Instagram, TikTok stuff like me. There’s a handful of kind of YouTube tequila educators. There’s a couple of podcasts, et cetera. But we are the only ones who have a list. So I produce a list every quarter of my recommended tequila brands.
JB (35:19):
Mm-Hmm. , there are more than 2000 tequila brands, which is a lot. We have a list of about 35 that we really recommend people take that list with them to restaurants and bars and stores to make better buying decisions. So if you go to j tequila j tequila.com, I will ask for your email address and then I will send you the list and then I will send you updates every quarter. Well, we now have a house file of 40,000 people who have requested this list. So now we’ve got 40,000 emails. Nobody else has any emails in the whole category, which allows us to do tequila of the month and sell that to sponsors, which allows us to do all kinds of things because we can reach the audience whenever we want. Wow. We’re not beholden to the algorithm to put us in front of people. We can put ourselves in front of people. And I think that is something that everybody in the personal brand space has to remember. The gold is when you de anonymize the audience, right. Audience is important, but de anonymizing the audience so you know them and can reach them is actually the game.
RV (36:25):
Mm-Hmm. , I mean, it’s just interesting to go Yeah. Build the email list. Even, even in that space that’s like you, it’s a hobby kind of space and it’s just,
JB (36:33):
RV (36:33):
It’s a game changer. It’s al it’s also amazing to me how it’s like, you have social media and you have lives and all this stuff, but like building the email list, it’s just like, it always just re still the, it’s still the holy grail. Like Yeah,
JB (36:46):
I mean, I I, I mean, it’s great to do lives and social media and everything else, but, but you know, if all of a sudden you know, meta decides that they’re not gonna do any alcohol content on the platform.
RV (36:59):
Yeah. You’re hosted
JB (37:01):
Business is over close up shop. Right. and that could ha I mean, that’s not a, that’s not that far fetched. Like that could definitely happen, right? So you know, you gotta un you know, you’ve gotta build reliable reach, not, not unreliable reach.
RV (37:17):
I love it. I love it. Well so j tequila.com is where people can go get that list if they’re, if they’re
JB (37:24):
Yeah. J tequila dot com is for the list. The merch store is tequila j bearer.com and yeah, we got, we got a lot of web properties. Now all of a sudden,
RV (37:33):
I mean, if you’re, and if you’re a tequila person, which I’m not, I don’t drink, but like, you just, like, you’ve gotta go see this, right? You gotta, and and even if you’re not a tequila person, I would go, go check this out because you’ll see, I’m
JB (37:45):
Still gonna send you a hat though ’cause the hats are pretty great. .
RV (37:48):
Well, I’m a hat person, so I could do, I could just, I know you’re, I can wear hats to soccer practice for the kids. So it’s really awesome, dude. But, but anyways, this speed as a competitive advantage blows my mind and scares the crap. It scares the crap outta me. And go, and I go, you know, this idea of going, how do we build brand builders group from the ground up from here for speed is like really has, has rocked my world and it’s, it’s affected us, right? So you know, I’ve been talking to you about instant automation toolkit, like this has been in development luckily for the last couple years, and we’re, we’re, we’re finally hitting, we’re finally about ready to release because it’s just like, that is the whole thing. Instant automation. It’s like we have to help people get this stuff deployed faster. So powerful stuff. Y’all. The time, the time to win is the book like it, this thing is, it’s so, it it fits in the palm of your hand. You read it an hour, get the, get the good stuff. So check it out. And it’s
JB (38:49):
Like nine bucks too. The book’s like $9. So if you don’t like it, let know. I’ll send you $9 back.
RV (38:54):
. Yeah, that’s, yeah, that’s good. Or, or a free bottle of tequila from that’s
JB (38:59):
More than $9. Yeah. Private.
RV (39:01):
We’ll figure private stash at the house. Like when you start emptying those out. Well,
JB (39:04):
Because, because I, because as you know you know, we live right by campus in Indiana University, so all of our neighbors are university students. And so I get sent a lot of tequila that I don’t want to keep because it’s not very good. So I’m just like, I’m, I’m like, I’m like
RV (39:16):
Dishing it out, walking
JB (39:17):
Through the neighborhood, like who wants a bottle of tequila and all. Yeah. The college students love me. That movie neighbors. Like I’m the Seth Rogan character in that movie. Yeah. It’s fantastic. Yeah.
RV (39:27):
I love it. Well brother, thanks for sharing your wisdom. We wish you the best and it’s a pleasure. You, you, you are, you are stud, my man. I’m so grateful for you and my life and for having you share your wisdom here.
JB (39:38):
You too. Say hi to AJ.

Ep 419: 7 Tips for Winning a Lawsuit | Rebecca Zung Episode Recap

RV (00:02):
Well, I am sad that I have to have this discussion with you or to share this bit of content, but I’m afraid that I do. I’m afraid that this is necessary. And what we’re gonna talk about today is how to win a lawsuit, how to win in a lawsuit. The th there are, it is a reality, unfortunate reality of life that you may end up in a lawsuit. In fact, I remember one time talking to my friend and our client, Kevin, Kevin Harrington, who is one of the original sharks on Shark Tank. And Kevin said to me, he said, Rory, you’ll know you’re really starting to get to be successful when somebody sues you. And the more successful you get, the more likely it is that at some point you are going to end up in a lawsuit. And so that’s why you know, going, go back and listen to the interview that I did with Rebecca Zung on negotiating with narcissists such an, a powerful interview, such a useful and tactical interview to understand just the psyche of who these people are and how they got to be that way.
RV (01:28):
And also to, to give you some hope and some to, to have you know, some encouragement because it can be a very, very difficult situation. Also, her book, slay the Bully is out, it will be out soon if you’re just listening to this podcast. There you’re still some pre-order bonuses you can get. And some of you, if you’re listening to this later you can check, you can check it out, and she probably has some bonuses still available on her site. But we wanted to release this early so that you had a chance to still take advantage of some of her pre-order bonuses. And and she’s dynamite. She’s one of our clients. I’ve learned a ton from her. I she is the, the preeminent expert in the world on negotiating with narcissists. And so that inspired me to share something that I’ve never shared which is just in general, I’m gonna share with you seven ideas for how to win in a lawsuit.
RV (02:20):
And she wasn’t necessarily talking about lawsuits, but you know, she is a lawyer and you know, has been a, a high profile divorce attorney. And, and this does come up. And so I wanted to share with you, and I’m gonna have to do this one from a, a little bit of a, don’t ask me how I know but let’s just say that I have been involved in multiple lawsuits. And it really is for someone, if you are a mission-driven messenger, if you’re someone like that, if you’re someone who is in our audience, you listen to this show, this is a really difficult thing because you may have done everything in your power to never get in a lawsuit. You may have never thought you would be end up in a lawsuit. And yet you find yourself in one, one day, and it can be so discouraging because you’ll, you’ll be shocked at how you, you’re someone who wants to pursue the right thing.
RV (03:15):
And yet you end up in a lawsuit and it’s a very, very scary, can be a very, very scary situation. So, I’m gonna walk you through seven things that, these are seven things that I wish somebody would’ve told me, you know, kind of as an entrepreneur before I’d ever had a lawsuit. So that if I had ever gotten into one, which I have been in multiple ones now, that I would have known. Okay? And so here’s the first thing, the first thing to know, and I don’t know who said this quote, but it’s a good one, that sometimes the only way to win a fight is to not have one.
RV (03:54):
And in particular, when it comes to lawsuits, this is one where I really would encourage you to, if you can avoid it, avoid it. The only people who really win in a lawsuit are the lawyers. And I don’t, I don’t mean that in a rude way, but that’s, you know, something that people say, and I have found that to be true. And it’s, it’s not like they win and everybody loses, but, but they get paid no matter who wins and who loses, right? They typically are gonna get paid. And so they make, they make money. In some cases, this is not every lawyer, but something that you just gotta know logically is even if you’re talking to a lawyer on your side they get paid, the, the longer the lawsuit goes on, and the more time it takes, the more money they get paid, right?
RV (04:45):
So they’re, most lawyers are paid hourly, so they’re not necessarily aligned with you on an incentive basis. The incentives aren’t necessarily aligned to end things quickly because they make their money from the time that they spend. Now, I don’t, I don’t think that every lawyer nickels and dimes people and tries to like, drag it out as long as possible. I’m just saying, you gotta pay attention when you pay attention to behavior, how people, what people are incentivized to do, and lawyers, most of ’em that are paid hourly, they’re, they’re incent, they’re not incentivized to do things the fastest possible way necessarily. So be aware of that. But the other thing is, now some lawyers are paid on contingency, meaning it’s basically like commission where they get a percentage of a settlement or the percentage of, of, you know, whatever, if you win.
RV (05:36):
And if you, if you lose, they get nothing. And, you know, that can be a very powerful very powerful person to have in, in your corner. And, and it was for us, we, we had an amazing lawyer and, and it was our, our hourly lawyers who referred us to a contingency attorney for one of the lawsuits that we were involved with, which ended up being a really, really a huge blessing in our life. And I’m, I’m so grateful to, to Doug and, and other lawyers that we’ve met along, along the way who’ve been important assets and, and advocates for us in our life. And so the, the, but the thing I wanna say here is you don’t wanna get into a lawsuit. You want to try to steer clear of it, because as you’re about to hear, it’s, it’s painful.
RV (06:24):
And it can be very, very, it’s very financially draining, right? We’ve spent lots and lots and lots of money over six figures. We, well, well, well into six figures we’ve spent on lawyers. And that is a very tough way to lose money. So if you can avoid the lawsuit, swallow your pride, apologize, right? Like, make things right, do what you can to, to stay out of it. Because sometimes the best way to win a fight is to not have one. And I, and generally speaking, this, this is the case. And when we get to number seven here, you’ll understand really why by the time we get through all of ’em, and especially number seven, you’ll, you’ll understand why. And so that’s the first thing. Try to avoid the lawsuit. The second thing, and this may be simple, but it’s worth saying, is avoid crazy people.
RV (07:17):
, like as much as you can, try not to be in business with crazy people. I love when Dave Ramsey has this thing, you know, when he talks about hiring, and he, he says, you know, one of the things that they do at their company is they always interview the spouses of the people before they hire them. So when they decide, they get all the way through the, the selection process, and they go, oh, I wanna hire this person. The last thing they do is like, go have dinner with the spouse. Because they wanna make sure not only is the person they’re hiring, not crazy, they wanna make sure they’re not married to crazy as Dave says, and there’s a lot of wisdom in that because you get drawn into the drama of people’s personal lives. And that’s a part of this when I’m talking about is, is going, you might think that being around somebody who is crazy on the weekends or who’s a big time partier, or whose spouse is pretty wild for like, whatever that means, you know, the, the Bible would, would call it, you know, engaged in wild living in the story of the prodigal son, right?
RV (08:20):
You might think, oh, that’s never gonna affect me because that’s not me. And I wanna tell you that that would, is a naive way to think that when people are engaged in wild living, whatever your version is of that, I’m telling you that proximity is power, just like proximity is power, and you can get drawn into good things. You get drawn into the drama of the people around you as well. And you can be a completely innocent bystander to some choices that people make in their personal life that suddenly overtake you, that, that because you work together, or they’re your customer, or you’re their customer, or they’re your vendor, or you’re their vendor, or you are their business partner, they’re your business partner, or like you’re, you know, their, their spouse is wild and they’re a friend of yours, and it’s like suddenly you’re in a car together and one of ’em is driving drunk, right?
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And you go like, whoa, how did I get here? And a lawsuit can be like that. You can, you can get sucked into things that really don’t have anything to do with you. And I’m not just speaking from, I’m not just necessarily talking about my experience, but my friends other entrepreneurs, people I know, you know, our clients, we, we hear and see a lot of stuff. And so you wanna try to just not be around people who engage in wild living and do wild things because they, they will pull you into what they’re into sooner or later willingly or not like it’s, there’s, there’s just, there’s a lot to be said for that. And if you have a customer who is giving you a lot of like weird signs in your sales process, don’t sell to them. This literally happened to AJ and I, I mean, this has happened multiple times where we will fire a client.
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And this happened to us recently where there was some language that a client was using with us early in the relationship, and we’re like, you know what? We’re not gonna do this. We’re we’re we, we we’re deciding that we’re not gonna work with this person, and we unwind it because it’s not worth getting involved with people who are super high drama, that have absolutely outrageous, unrealistic expectations who lose their temper, people who fly off the handle, people who are doing crazy stuff in their personal life. It’s like to, to, to the extent that you can try to stay away from crazy try to stay away from dramatic, try to stay away from unreasonable and, and try to stay away from just like outlandish, exotic, like, you know, I, I just use the, the biblical term wild living because you get caught up in that, even if, if you don’t mean to.
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So that’s the second thing. The third thing, and this is something I really, the, this is one of the most tactical pieces of advice I wish somebody would’ve told me. When I, when I, they, they say, Roy, you’re gonna be an entrepreneur. You’re gonna be in a lawsuit at some point. Don’t read the lawyer letters. Don’t read the lawyer letters. So here’s what happens in a lawsuit. You know, you get, once you get to the point of like hiring letters, these lawyers before they get to court, a huge part of the negotiation is trying to generate emotion and get you off and angry and scared and like frustrated. And because they know that the more emotion they steer up in you, the more likely you are to acquiesce to their terms, right? So if somebody can make your life, it’s, pardon my language, if someone can make your life a living hell, they know by doing that, that you are gonna be more likely to wanna just end it quickly or to surrender, or to give up, or to give in, or to quit.
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And so a huge part of, of the letter writing that happens back and forth, it is nothing to do with truth. It has everything to do with getting you off in emotion. And they will lie. And, and this is something that has been very sad for me. I’ve been involved with situations where I could not imagine people that would lie, lie through their teeth, blatantly lie. And they will do it just to, to get their way to win at all costs, to take advantage of you. And one of the things they’ll do, and a and, and a lot of times what people will do if they’re, if they’re skilled in, in legal battles, they will hire the nastiest, scariest letter writing attorneys, and they will, they will hire them for the skillset of being able to intimidate you and scare you and threaten you and twist the truth.
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And, you know, those, those letters are not like part of evidence. They’re not like things that get ad ad admiss, they’re not like admissible in court, but this is what the, this is how it works. And so when they send a letter and you read it, you think that what this is, is a matter of, of settling what is the fair thing? And it’s not that, right? If, if you are somebody who is a naive, heart-centered, service centered, mission-driven messenger and believe me, that is me. I operate from a sense of altruism and a sense of service and kindness and, and believing that if I treat people nicely, it’ll come back to me. And that’s worked really, really well. But it is also a place where I’ve had to learn a hard lesson that people will, they will play on that, and they will threaten you, and they will lie, and they will, they will twist the truth to make you feel like you are the person who has done something wrong.
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And they do that as a negotiation tactic. And so part of what, part of why you need to have a lawyer is so that you don’t waste your time reading the letters, because the letters don’t have to be factual whatsoever. And so related to that, I would say don’t take things personal. This is part of number three is like once you’re, if once you’re into a loy a a legal situation, don’t take things personal because they’re trying to make it personal. They’re trying to get a rise out of you because they, they want, they want you to want to resolve the situation. They want you to want to acquiesce, they want you to want to surrender. And so the more objective and logical and, and unemotional and even keeled, you can remain the better off you’re gonna be just mentally and emotionally. And again, that’s why it’s like, if you can, if you can avoid a lawsuit, avoid the lawsuit altogether.
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So the, that’s number three. Don’t read, don’t read the letters and don’t take things personal. Number four is keep meticulous documentation, keep meticulous documentation. Now, before a lawsuit, what happens is it’s all hot air . People are, you know, saying stuff back and forth, making claims, you know, arguing, you know, intimidating et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But it’s all basically hot air until you actually get to a courtroom. When you get to a courtroom, it actually often becomes very black and white, and it’s like, what is documented? And so the person who has more documentation is going to have the upper hand, right? So this ties in, this, this, this, these next three all sort of tie in together. So you wanna keep meticulous documentation of every, you know, when things have happened. So this is, so I’ll give you number five.
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Number five is to build a timeline. Number five is to build a timeline. This is, this is a little bit of advice that somebody gave me that seemed really silly at first when I, when, when, when I first was involved in a lawsuit. As they said, keep a timeline of events, because usually it takes a long time to get into court, sometimes years and years and years. And the details will become fuzzy about how things happened and when they happened, and why they happened and, and what happened exactly. And you know, when you get to a court, it’s all about having your details tight. It’s all about having a clear story and having evidence and documentation that supports it. Well, even a very honest person can lose sight of the actual facts of like, wait, what, when was that? Did that happen first?
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Or did that happen first? And wait, when, when did that, and who actually said that? Like, so keep a timeline of dates and, and descriptions. The moment you realize things are turning south with, with a relationship, and you go, Hey, this might be heading towards a lawsuit, or this, this is starting to head towards getting lawyers involved. Build a timeline. And, and or, and if you’re in one, now, go backwards and reconstruct a timeline of exactly what happened. Because even as you can, as you can keep a documentation of the timeline of events, it’ll help you remember important details that you forgot. And it’ll help you corroborate things. And so build a, build a timeline because it also will help you refute things when the other side is intimidating you and scaring you. And, you know, blowing hot air and like doing all these things.
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When you have a timeline, you go, Hey, if we ever get into court, even, even though they’re saying nasty things in the letter, and you know, that’s why I say don’t read it. ’cause It’s like, it’s not at all about being factual. It’s, it’s just about getting you emotional. But when we get into court, you go, yeah, I’m not gonna be worried about that because I can prove it because this happened, this happened, this happened, and then I can document all of it, right? So keep meticulous documentation. And part of that is building a timeline that relates. And, and when I say meticulous documentation, you know this ties into number six. Have contracts, have contracts, have dates. Keep your contracts, keep your email threads. If you start to think that something is heading towards a lawsuit, then go do the work now of going back and extrapolating all of the email correspondence and keeping all of the written correspondence.
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And this is the other thing, get people to commit what they’re saying to writing. Because I’ll, again, don’t ask me how I know, but there are people who will make promises to you and promises to you and promises to you through the spoken word, and then they will never write it down. They will never, because they can say whatever you, whatever they want, they can tell you, you know, this is while you’re working together or, you know, whatever, like, whatever the situation is of your relationship, they can, they can make you all sorts of promises. They can tell you all sorts of great things and, and they can make you think they would never not follow through. But I’m telling you, this has not only happened to me personally, where they have said something, I’ve completely believed it, and then they flat out lied, completely lied in a court of law, they’ve lied.
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People will do this, right? And I’m not, I’m not referencing any specific case or anything here. I’m just saying in general that this will happen. I, the lawyers, lawyer, friends that I have, they tell me, they go, Rory, that happens all the time. People get into court and they lie. That’s what they, they they do hand, you know, they swear oath on the Bible, and then they lie. They, because, because for some people it doesn’t, it’s not about, it’s not about right and wrong, it’s just about winning and losing. And that is really sad. But it’s true. And you, and I’m telling you, it’ll be, it’ll be people you never, ever thought, and it will, it’ll be people who, you know, looked you in the eye and promised you this and that, that they swore up and down they could be counted on. And so get it committed and writing, get it documented.
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If you can get it in an agreement, if you can’t get it in an agreement, get it in a written email get it in an, an employee handbook. Get it, get something that says, like, like, Hey, here’s the documentation of when they told me this. And, and I will tell you if somebody is making promises to you, but they, they delay and kick the can on getting it writing, that’s a red flag, a major red flag that they’ll make promises to you, but they won’t commit it to writing because that’s, they know they can be held to that. So that is something that is a red flag. Now, I do believe, you know, this is, you know, something that Dave Ramsey said, which I, I, I agree with him, and I, I, I agree and I disagree. What I agree with is, is he said one time he said, if I can’t trust, if I can’t trust the person’s handshake, then the contract doesn’t matter anyway.
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And I do agree with that, right? If I can’t, if I can’t trust their handshake, if they’re gonna screw me, they’re gonna screw me, whether it’s in writing or not. The difference is if I think I can trust their handshake, and it turns out that they’re willing to lie and they’re willing to compromise their integrity later, the fact that I have it in writing means even if they’re gonna try to take advantage of me, I have a real strong negotiating basis. Whereas if it’s just the spoken word, I do not because it’s my word against theirs. And nobody really, you can never really prove that. And in certain places, you know, even recordings aren’t admissible into court. You know, there’s certain circumstances where they are and they are not. But so keep meticulous documentation, you know, that’s number four. Build a timeline, number five, number six, get it in writing and written contracts.
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And here’s something else that I’ve learned about lawsuits. Your interpretation of written contracts is pretty much as good as any . Like one of the things that we’ve done at Brand Builders Group is our, our employment agreements, our vendor agreements, our affiliate agreements, our our customer agreements. We try to write them in plain English now, right? I’m like, because we’ve been in situations and environments where there’s been all this fancy legalese, and you’re like, what exactly does that mean? And then you get to court, or you get into, you know, a, a settlement discussion, or you get to negotiations and nobody really knows. Like, it’s, it’s completely up for interpretation. So the, the mistake, another naive, another naive mistake that I made is I kind of assumed, oh, like the lawyers will be able to, to interpret this. They’ll know exactly what that means.
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And they’re, and then they read it and they go, no, I, I think I feel the same way as you. I when I read it, I think the same way. And I’m going, well, why is it written in such crazy language? Right? So one of the things that we’ve tried to do is, is a part of attempting to avoid lawsuits, right? We don’t ever want to have to sue anyone. We certainly don’t wanna be sued. But we don’t wanna have to sue people. And we go, we just write that, we write our agreements in plain English so that the goal is not to trick someone. It’s not, at least for us, right? The goal is not to take advantage of somebody. It’s like to lay out on paper and your, if you can’t understand it, then don’t sign it Like it should. It should be straightforward.
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Don’t think that, oh, it has to have fancy legalese in order to be enforceable. Not at all. Your interpretation of it is as good as anyone’s. And if you can’t understand it, you shouldn’t sign it. And so that is really, really important. And, and you should, you gotta get things in writing and have a copy of it. Because if not, that’s just a sign that like you guys aren’t on the same page, or you’re dealing with someone who is maybe not super honest and they don’t really have every intention of following through on their word. And that happens a lot. Like if they can’t show you the detail, if they can’t, if, if, if, if they, if, if they get dodgy in any way around, like, you know, hey, we’re negotiating a contract of some type, like we gotta get this thing in writing.
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Like, what if, if it’s an agreement, what are we, what is there to hide? There shouldn’t be anything to hide, but just, just beware of that and, and get it in writing. And then, you know, number seven, and, and this is the part that’s most heartbreaking to me, and I hate having to share this, but if, you know, again, I’ve been involved in multiple lawsuits. I’ve been on the board of organizations that have been involved with lawsuits. I have lots of friends who have been involved in, in lawsuits or, you know, been in lawsuits. And when I say lawsuits, it’s like, you know, sometimes it goes to court, sometimes it gets settled and resolved. Sometimes it’s just a bunch of threatening lawyers back and forth. And, you know, it comes to some agreement. You know, sometimes it’s just nasty people saying, if you don’t do this, I’ll then I’ll, you know, take action.
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But all of those things, unfortunately, what I have found is that it’s not really about justice. It’s often the, the, the person who wins is often not the person who is right. It’s often not the person who is ethical. Unfortunately, the person who wins typically is the person who has the most money and who has the longest timeline. Because if you have a lot of money and you can pay a lot of lawyer fees, you can scare people, you can intimidate them, and you also can drag things out. You can appeal things. You, you, you can delay things and understand this, that there is a playbook that some people will run against you. And that playbook is to drain your bank account to where you are forced to acquiesce to terms that are terms that, that are less than favorable for you. And it is one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever experienced to, to see, you know, to be involved with people that you trust and that you think are good people, but to then watch these scenarios where there is a playbook that they’re running just meant to drain the other side of cash.
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And this happened. And, and, you know, here’s another thing you should do. You should watch Suits. I know this is silly, but if you’re involved in a lawsuit, you should watch the, the TV series, it’s called Suits. It’s an amazing show. It’s really, really a, a, a fun show. But if you are new to lawsuit, you’ve never been sued or you’ve never sued someone, and you fi you find yourself where you have to, you should watch that show because it teaches you a lot of just how it works. And you see like, oh, nobody is actually interested in figuring out what’s the right thing to do. No one is really interested in fairness, it’s just about winning. And it is really, I, I hate to paint such a sad picture of humanity, but that is how it often gets to, and that’s why it’s like, if you can avoid the lawsuit on the front end, do it.
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Because by the time you get into a lawsuit, it’s like people abandon all ethics, all morals, all decency, all you know, human dignity, all respect, honesty, integrity, those things go out the window quickly. And the name of winning and the name of, you know, taking you to the house and the, and, and, and being right, and being the victor and having power over you. And it is sad, and I’m, you know, I’m hating to to say it, and I’m, this is not just these things I’m sharing with you are not just from one episode in my life. These are from having multiple episodes multiple experiences, some more involved and more painful than others, but witnessing, witnessing them. We have clients at Brand Builders Group who, you know, we, we’ve had, we’ve had four clients that are billionaires, like in the last year and a half or something like four with B billionaires.
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We have lots of clients that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. We’re around a lot of wealthy people, and many of them have lawyers on staff and on retainer for nothing other than fighting off frivolous lawsuits, right? Because they’re, they’re so wealthy. And that’s like, I mean, man, you know, on the one hand it’s like, must be nice to be that wealthy. On the other hand, it’s more money, more problems, you know, and people are just suing you for, for insane stuff. And sometimes people pretend to sue you just so that you’ll settle, just so you’ll go it away. So it’ll go away because it’s cheaper to settle the, the matter than to take it into court and pay all the lawyer fees. So this is, it’s, it’s, it’s really sad. Like, and so that’s why it’s like the best thing you can do is avoid this and, and, and avoid people who seem litigious and that, you know, wanna get involved in these, these kinds of things. And I would say, you know, being around people who are narcissistic in nature or in tendency, those are risky ones because like you heard on the interview, or if you didn’t go listen to the interview with Rebecca,
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They’re very serious about just demonstrating their power over you, their control over you. And in, in many cases, it’s even more about that than money. They want to own you. They want to defeat you. They want to, in a way, it’s like they want to kill you, even though they may not want to physically kill you. It’s like they want to see you cry, they want to see you squirm, they want to destroy you, they want to destroy your reputation. And it’s like, it’s not actually about who was right or what is fair, or even what the law says. It’s really about who has the ability to persevere longer. And a lot of that has to do with how long can you be peaceful? How long, you know, like, how long can you handle all these nasty lawyer letters and not get upset? It’s also how long can you be peaceful knowing that you have a lawsuit going on?
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Which is not it, it consumes a massive amount of stress. It creates a lot of, lot of stress. And the other one is, who has the longer financial runway, right? If someone has a financial runway, and I would say, you know, I would add this to the conversation, not only would you try not, would you try to avoid a lawsuit? I mean, of try to avoid getting into one with somebody, or being around people who might get you into one, but do the right thing yourself. Try to abide by contracts, right? If, if you make a commitment to do something, do it. Because you don’t wanna be on the receiving end of a breach of contract. It’s like, you know, it, it, it comes down. On the one hand, you would say it comes down to integrity, but unfortunately it doesn’t un unfortunately, people can sue you for anything, and they can really make your life miserable, even if you did, not only if you did nothing wrong, but even if you do everything right, they can still make your life miserable.
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And so a lot of it just comes down to the people and treating people with kindness and treating people with respect. And I would say this too, like, the more that you, the harder you punch, you know, it’s typically the, the harder they’re gonna punch back. Like, if you get into a lawsuit, it quickly spirals outta control. And that’s why it’s like, I think the strategy is to neutralize, right? Like neutralize, neutralize, neutralize to the best you can. But I, I’ve been a part of multiple scenarios where it was like I was doing everything that I could to neutralize it to not to, to, to go, here’s, here’s how this could go down very amicably. Here’s how we could end this quickly. And sometimes people didn’t want to. They want to bury you, they want you to hurt. And and many times they’re willing to do whatever.
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And I know that’s not a great picture of humanity, but that’s where it’s like, you wanna stay out of this if you can. But if you can’t and you get involved, try to stay logical. Try to neutralize and keep documentation and you, you know, build the timeline, get the contracts in writing, keep your email threads, go back and audit that. And you know, I I, I’ll say the other thing is, is be nice and be nice, even, even when they’re being mean to you. Be nice. Because if you end up going to discovery and this has happened to me before, where they can, they can make claims that you’re saying all these nasty things. If you go into discovery, the court can, can say, give me your phone, give me your email accounts, give me your bank accounts. And they get to audit all of them.
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And that has happened to us. And we’ve been in a scenario where, where somebody swore up and down that we were doing some things and saying certain things, and that happened. They got to go through all of our email, our financial records, our phone accounts, and it, it sure served us well when they came up completely empty. There was no cussing, there was no, you know, there was, we weren’t doing the things they were saying. We weren’t, we weren’t saying nasty things about them. And you know, for them to be left empty handed shows a lot about our character. And, you know, that was important to us just ’cause it’s the right thing to do, but it also can play really, really well, right? So you certainly don’t wanna be firing off nasty emails about people to them, or even internally to your friends and your family, or, you know, other people in the company like that will come back on you.
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And so those are some things. Those are seven ideas for how to win a lawsuit, you know? And namely by winning, we’re saying, try not to have it and try not to get wrapped up in it. And so I do think ultimately kindness and treating people and integrity is the best strategy on the front end. And then, you know, once you get involved, you know, you’re trying, if you, if you get sucked into it, and in multiple cases, we’ve been pulled into it where it’s like, you know, we were either a innocent kind of third party that got pulled into something or somebody came after us. And you know, I do believe where it’s like the truth will set you free in every scenario, the truth has set us free. And one of my biggest philosophies in life is to live a life that stands up to the scrutiny of transparency to go, if someone did audit everything, and they did, they did get access to look at your phone records and your email and all of your text messages and your, where you’re spending your money to go.
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I’m not willingly gonna turn that over to somebody just because I don’t want to and ’cause it’s private. But that if somebody did, you go, I have nothing to hide, right? Like, go ahead and look at my e go ahead and look at my internet browsing history. Go ahead and look at my bank account. Like, go ahead and follow, you know, put a private investigator and follow me around. You’re gonna see that I’m an honest person. I’m not taking advantage of people. But that doesn’t mean people won’t try to take advantage of you. It doesn’t mean they won’t lie. It doesn’t mean they won’t say horrible, horrible things to get you, you know, fired up. It doesn’t mean that they won’t waste their money just to try to get you to burn out all of yours. So try to stay out of it. Try to, you know, try to avoid the fight, try to try to be around good and kind people, keep great documentation, build a timeline, get it in writing, and then ultimately realize it’s not about justice.
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That’s, it’s often about, you know, who can, who can, who can last the marathon without going crazy or going broke. And if you do that, you, you’ll ultimately, you’ll get there. And I do ultimately believe the truth will, will set you free. So not the most uplifting content I know, but boy, if you know someone who is in a lawsuit or is being threatened by one, I think it would be good to, to share this with them. I certainly wish that I would’ve had something like this in the times that myself or organizations I’ve been a part of or my friends other entrepreneurs have been involved in lawsuits. Because having the perspective of someone who’s been through one that can really be helpful, even, even though a lot of times they can’t share specific details, because a lot of times lawsuits end up getting resolved with confidentiality clauses and things like that.
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But somebody can sure give you a lot of perspective. And that helps me too. I’ve, part of how I know a lot of this is, I’ve talked to a lot of people who’ve been in a lot of lawsuits, and it’s good to have their perspective to that. For many of ’em, they go, yeah, lawsuits is a part of business and a part of life, and you, you learn to be desensitized to it. Which, you know, again, isn’t the most beautiful thing, but you go, it’s kinda like, you know, paying your taxes or something, you go, yeah, I don’t love it, but I gotta do it and I gotta deal with it. And it’s a, it’s a, it becomes a piece of the business, you know, that you just, you do. So try to be nice to people, do everything you can, but, but I, I think the thing also that I want you to know is that if you find yourself sucked up into a lawsuit, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.
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Sometimes people are literally thinking that they can take advantage of you because they, there’s a lot of people who will assume your kindness is weakness, and kindness is not weakness. Kindness is incredible strength. And the people who have misunderstood our kindness as weakness you know, it, it, it ended up costing them, you know, a a, it, it was a misinterpretation right to go. Kindness and weakness are not the same thing. Kindness and strength are the same thing. And, you know, you can get sucked into this. You can be a perfectly honest, hardworking, ethical, kind human and still find yourself unexpectedly in a lawsuit. And people can be trying to just take advantage of you and trying to hurt you even when you did everything by the agreement and by what is right. So don’t take that personal either, ’cause that can weigh heavily on you of like, gosh, there must be something wrong with me.
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And, you know, if you listen to the other side, there’s probably a good chance they’re gonna try to make you feel that way. They’re gonna play into that. So you can be a good person and you can step through a lawsuit in an honest, ethical fashion. You can let the facts surface for themselves. Just don’t get caught up in firing off the hate and making the threats and doing those things that will just spiral outta control and it’ll make it more expensive and more time consuming, which makes it even more expensive. and more emotion. It has more emotional cost. So like everything, you know, do your best to be a good person. Sometimes you gotta step in and, and you, it has to get resolved legally. In that point, whoever has the most documentation and details is gonna have the upper hand and just be patient and peaceful and the truth will ultimately set you free. Hope that’s encouraging to somebody out there right now who needs it either today or someday in the future. And thanks for being here. We’ll see you next time.

Ep 418: How to Negotiate with Narcissists with Rebecca Zung

RV (00:00):
I am so excited to introduce you to somebody who is a friend a client of Brand Builders Group, and somebody who is really becoming a mentor in many ways, because she teaches a very specific topic that I’m so excited to introduce to you. So, you’re about to meet Rebecca Zung, and she is a, a negotiation expert and specifically an expert on negotiating with narcissists. She also has a huge personal brand. So she’s a YouTuber. She’s got, you know, she got over a hundred thousand subscribers in 10 months when she launched her YouTube channel. But really before she was a personal brand. She was one of the top 1% of attorneys in the nation. So she was actually recognized by US News and World Report as a best lawyer in America. She has written several books on this subject, so negotiate like You Matter and then Breaking Free. But her new book that is coming out now is called Slay the Bully, how to Negotiate With a Narcissist and Win. And I’ve just been really captivated by Rebecca’s content and her intelligence in terms of how she’s built her business. And then also we’ve gotten to work with her a little bit and get to know her behind the scenes. But I thought, Hey, we got to have this topic of negotiating with narcissists on our show, because it applies to all of us. So anyways, Rebecca, welcome to the show.
RZ (01:33):
Thank you. I, you were actually one of my favorite people, is you are so brilliant. I’m really actually in awe of you, so thank you. Thank you for having me.
RV (01:43):
Yeah, well, thanks Fran. And I
RZ (01:45):
Don’t say that actually very easily. Let me just tell you that it’s, it’s, I, I don’t suffer fools very easily, so I have to tell you, I’m really, really impressed by you.
RV (01:57):
Well, thank you. Thank you. Well, and I genuinely am impressed by you. I mean 40 million plus views on YouTube, several hundred thousand followers on Instagram and social. You’ve built this, this massive email list, you know, well into the six figures and hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook. You know, but you know, before all of that, you were a true expert. I mean, you’re just like the, the epitome of who we like to work with, that brand builders group, this, this person with deep expertise who really solves a problem in the world. And I have to tell you, and, and my very first question I want to ask you about is such a fundamental question, which is how do you define a narcissist? Because honestly, that term wasn’t even on my radar until I met you. And then, you know, I started following you and like seeing all the stuff and going, wow, so many people are resonating with your content. So apparently there’s a lot of narcissists out there in the world, and, you know, maybe my eyes are just being open to that. So can you like start there and, and tell us what that is?
RZ (03:04):
Yeah, I actually wouldn’t have been able to define it myself either, even though, you know, I probably came a across a lot of them in my practice and even in my personal life as well. So the way I like to define it is, is really in layman’s terms, and in my book, of course, I, I give the DSM five and all of that because I, I, you know, I felt like I needed to, which is what the professionals, the mental health professionals use. But I like to use layman terms because I think it’s easier for all of us to understand. And, and it is a, a spectrum. And, and so if you go all the way to the end of the spectrum, there is a legitimate personality disorder there sitting at the end of the spectrum, which is narcissistic personality disorder. But obviously as you get closer and closer toward the end of the spectrum, you’re gonna get closer and more and more and more of, of the characteristics, right?
RZ (04:00):
And all of us, of course, have some characteristics of being narcissistic at times, and there is a healthy version of narcissism, by the way, too. Interesting. Okay. Yes. Yeah. So, but what narcissism is, is a person who has no feeling of, of value, and I say they don’t feel valuable because obviously all human beings are inherently valuable, but they don’t feel any sense of internal value. And so what they do is they go around trying to get feelings of value from external sources. And so the way it’s described is narcissistic supply, and that’s the, what everybody call refers to it as is narcissistic supply. What I have done is actually tier that and, and, and tier it into diamond level supply and coal level supply. So they, they get this, you know, external diamond level supply from anything in, in how they look. So it could be big houses, impressive friends, lots of money, all the things that you think of as the best things of how they look to the world, you know, puffing themselves up by making themselves look good.
RZ (05:25):
And then there’s what I call the dark underbelly of narcissistic supply, which is put, you know, making themselves feel better by pushing other people down. Mm-Hmm. Which is degrading people, controlling people, manipulating people, making other people squirm. So that’s what I call coal level supply. But what they do is they, they suck you dry of energy because they’re trying to make themselves feel better, but it’s a black hole and it can never be filled. So you are left feeling totally and completely depleted, yet they’re still starving and, and it, they’re like desperate for air, gasping for breath, and it’s, it’s scarcity to the utmost extreme. And it can never be healed. And it can never be, you know you know, it’s like a salve that they’re trying to put on themselves and they can never get enough. And so you are there and, and, and feel totally compl depleted. They’re still starving, and, and there’s this black hole and it’s goes on and on and on and on. And, and that’s why they have no empathy. That’s why they have no empathy. It’s like they’re in pain all the time, and it’s deep shame.
RV (06:47):
Interesting. And so that’s, that’s part of the characteristic is no empathy for others because they’re just consumed with basically trying to satisfy this, this void, which is impossible for them to fill with external stuff, which is impossible for them to fill.
RZ (07:03):
Correct. Uhhuh
RV (07:05):
. Correct. So, so let’s back up a little bit. ’cause Your personal story is you know, inspiring and fascinating. I was raised by a single mom and who sold Mary Kay. And that’s always like, part of my story. Oh,
RZ (07:18):
Did she have the pink Cadillac?
RV (07:20):
She never got the pink Cadillac. She did have the, the red Grand Am for a minute, for like a hot minute. Oh, okay. So she did it more of like a side hustle than like a career, but I still learned a lot of like, personal development principles from sort of being around like the Mary Kay culture and the events and stuff that she had. But anyways, can you take, tell us, like, I’m curious, how did you become one of these top attorneys? And, and you know, you’ve been on Extra, and I know you’ve had like, some very high profile like divorce cases that you used to be involved in. And I know you’re, you’re, you’re still like a partner in your firm, but like, how did you, how did you get into all of this stuff? Like, tell us your personal story.
RZ (08:03):
Well, interestingly enough you know, I’m actually first generation Chinese on my dad’s side and second, second generation German on my mom’s, you know, I’m so half Chinese and half German. So I, I always joke that I have no fun genes whatsoever. , you know, it’s, it’s all like very, very serious and extremely organized. But my dad came over from China when he was 15. He was from Shanghai. He went to Columbia undergrad medical school. My mom was an operating room nurse, and my dad was an anesthesiologist. So, you know, I, I graduated second in my class from high school. And then my version of re re of Rebellion was to drop out of college and get married at 19 and have three kids by the time I was 22. And so my parents were just loving that, I’m sure, you know, just
RV (08:56):
Devastated. I mean, nine, you dropped outta college, got married at 19 and had three kids, and you’re 22 years old. Mm-Hmm.
RZ (09:04):
. Yeah. And then I got divorced still in my twenties. And, you know, my, my parents were like, you are done with us fi, you know, they didn’t gimme any more money at that point. Like, that was it. I mean, they still loved me and all, but it wasn’t, you know, like it, you know, in those days you know, at, at this point it’s like, you know, late eighties or whatever it was like that, they weren’t like 90, 19 90 or whatever. It was like, they weren’t like, oh, you know, we’re gonna give him money or whatever. At that point, you know, like, this is, you
RV (09:36):
Were on your own, you were an adult, you were out there on your own,
RZ (09:38):
You’re done, we’re done. You know, or no, I used say this was the nineties by this, this time, it was the nineties. And so they were like, okay, you know, you can do whatever you’re gonna do. And so I got divorced and went back to law school. This is definitely in the nineties already at this point. And I, I met my husband in law school, and we you know, still in my twenties at this point, right. And, and we have now been married for 23 years, and we have a 20, 21 year old daughter. And I, you know, at, but that point, I mean, I, I still made law review. I went to University of Miami Law School at night, and I mean, they don’t even have a night program anymore. I mean, so, you know, it was a crazy time in my life.
RZ (10:38):
It was crazy. And so we you know, I, I ended up starting at a law firm where the partners were, you know, top family law attorneys in the country. Okay. You know, my, my, they were both members of the academy, the international academy. My, one of the partners that I worked for she had been, you know, president of the American Bar Association for the, the country. And, you know, so I just, that’s where I started, you know, and, and high net worth family law is a very, very specialized area of the law. You have to know, you know, tax law, estate planning, law, business law, you know, trust law. I mean, there’s, it’s a very, very high you know, highly specialized area of the law. So that’s where I started right from the beginning. And I came up through, through that.
RZ (11:40):
They, they retired. I ended up starting my own practice and continued on, you know, I was in Naples, Florida, which is a very affluent area. At one point, when I had my daughter, I stopped and I ended up going to Morgan Stanley for a few years. I did wealth planning there for a little while, just like two years. And I had my series seven in 66 for a little while. And then I went back and, and had my own practice. And then just, you know, I wrote my first book in 2013. I had John Gray actually wrote the four, or he wrote an endorsement for me. And from there, I actually started to get some television work. I started doing, you know, T M Z, and, you know, some things like that. And that was when I started to think, you know, maybe I wanna do something a little bit more entrepreneurial.
RZ (12:36):
You know, it was like I didn’t have to even step outside my firm anymore to do any networking. You know, it was like hamster wheel, you know, from my practice. And I just started to feel like you know, let me do something else. So in 2017, I merged my practice with two other guys who were both members of the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and my husband and I moved to Los Angeles, and I was going back and forth, and we started, I, that was when I started learning about funnels. And I just started like teaching myself some things. And I got involved with this other person at that time who turned out to be a narcissist. And that’s when I started to,
RV (13:25):
In the business
RZ (13:27):
Not, she wasn’t a, you know, it wasn’t a law firm. No. But it was an entrepreneurial endeavor that, you know,
RV (13:37):
And so that’s when you really started diving in specifically to negotiating with narcissists. ’cause I think as I think about the people listening to this show, I think you go, you know, you might be negotiating fees with clients, you could be negotiating customer service issues with like, people trying to like, cancel or get a refund. You could be negotiating something with a business partner, right. In terms of we hear a lot of those stories, right? A lot of our clients have had very tumultuous, tumultuous, we’ll say, separations from business partners and joint ventures and things like that.
RZ (14:19):
And yeah, well, I had, I ended up having that. I mean, I ended up having that, you know mm-hmm. because, you know, I, I mean, and, and they always start out the same, these narcissists, you know, very charming, very perfect. You know, I had this idea for a business, and I had really kind of started the process with it, and it had my name on it. I don’t wanna give too many details because I don’t wanna be, you know, giving like, oh, this person coming back, you know? Yeah. But I had an idea. And, you know, it was,
RV (14:59):
But you, basically, the short of it is you had this experience where suddenly you were tied up with a narcissist. And I guess ultimately what I, what I would, what I’d love to hear is how do, so how do you negotiate with the narcissist? Like yeah. Knowing, knowing now what some of their characteristics are and why, which is super helpful to understand the reason they are the way they are is because they’re starving. They’re searching for basically love and importance and to feel valued. And that’s a really scary place to go, oh, you know, nothing I can do is ever gonna make them feel that way. So they continue going, which means I’m gonna constantly feel drained. So, you know, I always feel like when I think about negotiation and the way that I approach negotiation, like, I don’t think of negotiation as a battle. I’ve always thought about negotiating. I think of negotiation as collaborating and going, how do I help you get what you want, and you help me get what we want? And we all, we all win together. But if somebody doesn’t have empathy, if they don’t care, they go, I have zero interest in helping you get what you want. That, you know, how do you, how do you negotiate with that person?
RZ (16:08):
Yeah. And therein lies your problem right there. So right behind me, I’ve got a book that I wrote called Negotiate Like You Matter. Robert Shapiro wrote the Fore. And, and in that book, I talk about how both sides wanna feel, seen, heard, and know that they matter. And if you don’t walk away with both sides getting some amount of value out of it, the deal’s gonna fall apart. And I have participated in thousands and thousands and thousands of negotiations, and I know what it takes to get a deal to stick. Okay? Here’s the problem, when you’re dealing with a narcissist, okay, let me explain something about how a narcissist ha was formed. And this is actually was, it blew my mind when I was doing the research for this book.
RZ (17:02):
How a narcissist was formed during childhood is actually a result of trauma to the brain. So when we are dealing with trauma as adults or as human beings, we are presented with when we’re, you know, feeling like we are under fire. We feel like we need to fight or, or flee, right? Fight or flight. And when that happens, our brains emit chemicals to allow us to prepare to be strong or to run faster. So it’s adrenaline or whatever it is. Right. You know, to, to be able to, you know, so it’s the sweat glands go and all of that. Mm-Hmm. ,
RV (17:52):
Cortisol, all that stuff.
RZ (17:53):
Yeah. Cortisol, all of that. Exactly. So when that happens on a continuous basis though, it actually can start to cause damage within the limbic system of the brain, especially for children. And it can actually cause arrested development to that area of the brain. And what that is called is called narcissistic injury. And when that happens for a narcissist as they grow, while the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is the thinking area of the brain, can continue to develop that limbic system, part of the brain as it continues to, as they grow when they’re presented with situations where they feel like they need to be back in survival mode again. And it doesn’t mean it’s rational to you, it means it’s rational to them or reasonable. So it could be an eye roll, it could be a tone, it could be anything, anything where they feel slighted or they feel like they need to, to be back in there and they’re triggered, then that narcissistic injury is triggered, and that limbic system comes back into play and takes back over. And now you’re not dealing with rational, now you’re not dealing with reasonable anymore. You’re dealing with that limbic system, part of their brain. And what I learned in my research is that sometimes they don’t even remember what they have done during that period of time. And what happens is it’s actually called splitting, meaning
RV (19:47):
Phenomen, they don’t remember or what happened to ’em when they were young, or meaning they don’t remember the irrational stuff, what they’ve done, stuff they did to you,
RZ (19:53):
They’ve what they’ve done to you. Okay.
RV (19:55):
Wow. And
RZ (19:55):
Yeah. And it’s, it’s actually phenomenon called splitting. And so they actually, they actually will say, I didn’t do that. That didn’t happen. We didn’t have that conversation. That’s not how it went. And, and so, you know, you’re not dealing with rational, you’re not dealing with reasonable. And, and so here’s the other issue. Here’s the other issue with that. These narcissistic people, narcissists not, you know, they are, let me go back to this other conversation that we started with, which is the narcissistic supply conversation. Remember that conversation we had, right? Yep. We’re, okay. So when you were having this conversation about where do we wanna go with this? Most people think, well, narcissists just wanna win, right? They wanna win, they wanna look good, they wanna be come out the winner. That’s not necessarily true. That only takes into account one form of supply. And that’s diamond level supply.
RZ (21:06):
It totally discounts and forgets about coal level supply, which is manipulating you, seeing you squirm, making you sw sweat, controlling you. They love that too. They need that too. And so when you’re dealing with them in a negotiation, both things are at play constantly. And they don’t even realize that sometimes. Sometimes it’s, it’s actually subconscious on their part. And so you are sitting there going, well, how can we rationally and reasonably come to a conclusion here? How can we figure out a resolution? The, the very question that you asked at the outset of this is what a rational and reasonable person would ask. But that is not the question that they’re asking. So what your motivation is, and what their motivation is, is completely different. When you sit down at the table, totally different. Their motivation is, I, I wanna control you. I wanna see you squirm. I enjoy seeing you sweat. I enjoy manipulating you. And so they will gameplay, they’ll constantly move goalposts, they’ll change their own deal. You’ll come back and say, I accept every single one of your points. And they’ll say, oh, deal’s already switched. It’s already changed. ’cause You took too long because I don’t like your face anymore, because you parted your hair on a different side today.
RV (22:47):
Yeah. That’s so frustrating. I mean, it’s so frustrating. Like, and so, so you have this acronym slay, which is sort of like, okay, so if you’re in this situation, and that’s super insightful. I’ve been in this situation before to go, what they really wanna do is not only win, they want to bury you. They want to like, they want to hurt. You just
RZ (23:09):
Bury, you
RV (23:10):
Just play with you. Like, they just want thank you, you to, to feel, they want you to feel awful and horrible. And, you know, controlling is the word. Like, they’re able to to control you, so
RZ (23:21):
They’ll take themselves down to take you down.
RV (23:25):
Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. That’s fascinating. So then what do you do? Is that what Slay is about, is slay basically what, what you’re supposed to do to deal with all this. Yeah. ’cause This is very discouraging and very, like, what you’re describing is so real. It’s like, you know,
RZ (23:42):
That’s why what I do works, but that’s why what I do works. That’s why I literally have thousands of testimonials from people who said, I’ve saved their lives. That’s why what I do works. That’s why I have 40 million views on YouTube. .
RV (23:58):
Yeah, yeah. Is
RZ (23:58):
What I, what I do works, because I understand this. And
RV (24:02):
So talk us through slay, like, walk us through that. Yeah.
RZ (24:05):
Yeah. So strategy, leverage, anticipate, and focus on you. So strategy is you have to have a vision. You have to understand where you’re gonna go. You have to have a G P S, you have to, you know, because you’re on the offensive, I mean, you’re on the defensive so much when you’re dealing with these people that you’re just like, oh my God, I I can’t think anymore. I’m paralyzed. I’m, I’m powerless. I can’t, I cannot think. And most of the time when people are at the other end of this, they have cognitive dissonance. They have C P t, SS d, they, you know, they can’t think straight anymore. So the first thing you gotta do is know where you’re gonna go and have a very specific vision about it. Right? You talk about so beautifully about, you know, having a, a, a thought conceive, believe, achieve, knowing where you wanna go, make it specific, same principle, right? Understanding where you’re gonna go, have a very specific vision. So that’s number one. Then creating that action plan, that’s all part of my strategy. Having an action plan, knowing exactly where you’re gonna go.
RV (25:07):
So, and does that mean knowing what you want? Is that what you mean by just being clear of like, this is what I want to have happen? Yeah. At the end of this?
RZ (25:15):
Yeah. I mean, so many times when I ask people what it is that you want, the first thing they’ll say is, I just want them to leave me alone. I just want it to stop. I just, that’s not a want. Mm-Hmm.
RV (25:26):
RZ (25:27):
You know
RV (25:28):
You’re saying like, specific outcomes that you document that you go, here’s what a win, here’s what a win in this scenario looks like for me. And just getting the first step is getting clear on that yourself,
RZ (25:41):
Getting clear on that yourself. At the end of this partnership, I wanna take over my company, I wanna buy them out. Here’s how much I think the company is worth, you know, whatever it is. Or I, I want them to buy me out, or I want, you know, the company needs to be sold, or, you know, what’s the specific outcome for you? Mm-Hmm. , how do, and how does that look? How does that happen? You know? Okay. I mean, what does the partnership agreement say? You know, half the time when I ask people that question, they don’t even know if they have a partnership agreement. You know what I mean? So, you know, there’s questions that need to be asked. Then what are the steps that need to happen to make that happen? All right? So that’s number one. Number two is, is l that’s your leverage.
RZ (26:27):
And many people wanna go straight to leverage. You can’t have leverage. You can’t get to that point unless you’ve developed a strategy first. Okay? You need to know what’s motivating these people. So here’s your, your diamond level supply versus your coal level supply. So, so diamond level supply, what’s most important to them, what is most important to them? And, and you know, how, as far as what they look like to the world, it’s gonna be different for every narcissist. But, you know, it’s basically every narcissist has something that, you know, is, you know, most important to them as far as how they look in the world. That’s gonna be the most important to them. And they will protect and defend that at any cost, at any cost. That diamond level supply, they will hang onto that more importantly and most preciously than anything. And that’s the thing that you have to threaten.
RZ (27:27):
You have to threaten a source of supply that’s more important for them to keep than the supply that they get from jerking you around and then, and then threaten that source of supply. But you can’t actually take away that source of supply, because if you do, then your leverage is gone, obviously. All right? And so, and then you’ve gotta come up with like 40 different ways that you kind of like have the guns pointing at it, you know, so what does that look like? Summary of their lies, an inconsistent statements, or, you know, potentially, you know, deposing, I call it deposed to expose, you know, so potentially deposing their new source of supply, you know, their new paramore maybe, or their new business partner, or all of the people in their new company, or, because, you know, when you, a lot of times you’re breaking up in a partnership, they go to take half the clients with them.
RZ (28:23):
So, you know, are you gonna go depose all the new clients? Are you gonna, what are you gonna do in order to potentially expose them and have this conversation? I call it ethically manipulating the manipulator. These are all very legal things that you can do. I’m not talking about blackmail, I’m talking about things that you can do. These aren’t, but, you know, these are offensive strategies. Most of the time when you’re on the other end of a narcissist, you’re a, you’re an empathic person. You’re a person that goes, ah, I don’t wanna have to do that. It seems cringey to you. You don’t wanna do that, then I hope you enjoy the, you know, being a, you know, on the other side of a steam roller, because that’s what’s gonna happen to you. You have to be offensive when you’re dealing with this, because, you know, they have to feel like the hammer is gonna get dropped on them, you know?
RZ (29:21):
And then a is anticipate, anticipate what the narcissist is gonna do, and be two steps ahead of them. What are they gonna do? Well, first of all, there’s three different types of narcissists that I like to, you know, sort of talk about, which is covert, overt, and malignant. They each act differently in negotiations. And in my book, I talk about how they act because they’re each different, which is, you know, we can’t really get into all of that right here as it’s kind of long. But, you know, they do act differently in negotiations. But the one thing I do wanna talk about here, just briefly, is that they are going to try to trigger you. They are going to try to get under your skin. So you have to stand firm, you have to stay calm, don’t take the bait, don’t go, don’t allow them to go fishing, and you end up with a hook in your mouth.
RZ (30:18):
You know, like, don’t defend yourself. Don’t explain, don’t justify. They’re gonna say stuff to you like, oh, you’re you know, like for you, Rory, you are a person who prides himself on being, you know, a person of integrity, a person who’s honest, a person who does what he says he’s gonna do when he says he’s gonna do it. So for you, what would be the first thing you’re gonna do? You are dishonest. Mm-Hmm. , you are a liar. Mm-Hmm. , you are not a person of integrity. You, you’re a, you know, you’re a horrible father. You never show up for your kids. So they’re gonna say tho those kinds of things to you first thing, because they’re gonna know that that’s the first thing that would bug the crap outta you. Mm-Hmm.
RV (31:12):
And make you squirm. That’s the, like, what can I do to just like, control you and manipulate you and see you just be completely off kilter? Yeah. yeah. That’s amazing. And when you say, don’t, you know, like, don’t defend yourself. I mean, so this is, I’ll, I’ll share this. One, one of the very, like, the very first time that I was in like a real lawsuit, and this is like a piece of legal advice that, that I, I wish somebody would’ve told me, like, the one thing I wish somebody would’ve told me was don’t read their letters. Like, I read, I read their letters and it was like, this letter is outrageous. This is a flat out lie. This is un like, unbelievable. How are they even saying this? And it’s like, that’s the point of the letters. Yes. like, like, there’s no legal substance whatsoever to the, it has nothing to do with what is accurate. Yes. It’s, it’s literally for the purpose of getting riled up. So Yes. You know, in subsequent lawsuits I’ve been involved in, I just throw the letters away. I don’t even look at ’em. Right. I just give them, give ’em, to give ’em to my lawyers and say, you know, like, go ahead and
RZ (32:18):
Go through this. And they always come at four o’clock on Fridays, by the way,
RV (32:22):
. Yeah. And your birthday on their birthday. Yeah. There’s a anniversary or something like Uhhuh. Yeah. They do it on, they do it on purpose. Yeah. Yeah. Which is, it’s funny ’cause it’s, it’s a very predictable
RZ (32:34):
Right. That’s why I say anticipate what they’re gonna do. Mm-Hmm. And, and don’t defend yourself. Never explain, never justify, you know,
RV (32:43):
RZ (32:43):
Pretend like you’re reporting in the news.
RV (32:46):
Yep. Once you ha, once you have the perspective, you go, oh my gosh, this is hilarious. Like, it’s such a predictable, immature, like what would somebody that just, just to, just for no other reason to try to hurt you, and you’re like, oh my gosh. Like, it’s yeah. So that’s interesting. And not justifying, like if you’re justifying you’re win, they are winning, you’re doing exactly what they want. If you’re defending yourself, you’re, you’re doing exactly what they want to do.
RZ (33:11):
RV (33:13):
Fascinating. Okay. So is that, so that’s anticipate, that’s
RZ (33:16):
A, yep. And then, and then y is the you. And so I, I split you into two sections, which is you staying on the offensive, which I, you know, just sort of addressed a moment ago. And then y the other part of why is a hundred percent of winning is, is your mindset. And, and you, and you alone define your value. And you know, I used to say 80% of winning was your, was your mindset. And then I interviewed Bob Proctor and he corrected me on my own podcast. I will have to tell you and . And then I was like, you know what? He’s right. And so I I I, I like to tell this story about your value. And, and that is that I actually was, I, I told you a moment ago that I had been practicing law for about eight years, and then I went and was a, a broker at Morgan Stanley for a couple years, you know, my daughter was little at the time.
RZ (34:17):
And then I decided, yeah, a friend of mine was leaving Naples and decided to give me her law practice. Basically. She was like, I have a, you know, about, I don’t know, it was like 15 clients or something. And she’s like, I have these clients. I’m gonna just basically dump ’em in your lap and you can, you know, start a law practice with them. And I was like, okay, nobody’s ever gonna be giving me a law practice ever. So I, this is my chance to start a practice. And so I did that, and I had a business coach at the time who’s still somebody I go back to often, and she’s one of my very best friends and one of the smartest people I know on the planet. And I said to her, I said, oh, I’m so worried that the people of Naples are gonna think that I’m such a flake that, you know, she was a lawyer first and now she’s back.
RZ (35:11):
She was a, a financial person and she’s back to being a lawyer. And I, I was so nervous that the people of Naples were gonna think I was such a flake. And she said, people will think what you tell them to think. She said, you can tell them to think that you’re a flake, or you can tell them to think that you are the only F law attorney in town that has, has a financial background, so therefore you are actually more qualified than any other family law attorney in town. Which story would you like to tell?
RV (35:49):
RZ (35:51):
And I said, oh, maybe I’ll tell that story . And so I, that’s how I went ahead and branded myself, by the way. Mm-Hmm. and I within two years I had clients like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s goddaughter, and I was traveling in Europe with him and all kinds of, you know, I, I represented the founder of melting pot restaurants and all kinds of, you know, amazing clients and, you know, people who very clearly weren’t gonna be hiring a flake. And, you know, I, I think that had I held myself out and was apologetic and said, oh, you know, I’m a flake and, you know, that sort of thing, that’s what people would’ve seen. And so I always say that you and you alone define your value, and people will think what you tell them to think. So, you know, you have to believe it though. You have to believe it first. It’s not the other way around. It’s not like, you know, once people believe in you, then you’ll believe in yourself. It has to come from you first in any negotiation or any in anything that you do.
RV (36:59):
Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. I love that. That’s, that’s a great, that’s a great, a great point and true about the mindset. And, and what’s interesting is whatever you, whatever you tell yourself is what becomes true, right? Like, you basically get to author your own future with just whatever, whichever story you tell yourself. The I wanted to go, I, I did wanna ask you, I wanted to go back to the leverage for a second because you, you basically said, you know, there’s these two types of supply, the diamond supply and the coal supply, and you said if we threaten, you know, threaten the diamond supply, figure out what they care about most, basically figure out where they look good and, and talk about how you could threaten it. How would you attack the coal supply if they wanna manipulate you and control you? Do you basically, would you wanna play into that and make them think they’re controlling you and make them think that they’re winning? Or would it be the opposite where you go no, like show them that what they’re doing has zero impact or on you whatsoever?
RZ (38:02):
Yeah, I have two answers for that. So one is, and that’s a great question by the way. I love that question. So I have a couple of different ways that I go into in the book for that. One is that I tell people that they can either and, and it kind of depends on what’s going on in their situation, but, so if there’s something that they want from them, for example, I, I tell them that they can use a tactic that I call fluff or favor vomit later . Okay. So you know, it’s like fluff up their ego, you know, because that’s what they want. They love when you fluff up their ego and, and that diamond level supply is, you know, is always, you know, in, in play. So, you know, you can say something like, oh, you know, if you’re, if they’re great at QuickBooks, for example, oh, can you, can you handle the QuickBooks this month?
RZ (39:01):
You’re so much better at it than I am. And it’ll be done so much faster if you do it. You’re so much more efficient at it, you know, and, and you know, something like that. And, and, and you just, you make sure you don’t say anything good about yourself or anything like that. No tone. Because I always say narcissists hear tones, like dogs hear whistles. Like even if there’s no tone, they hear tone. So, you know and then, you know, I always say, if you have to go shower or vomit later, that’s fine, but, you know, get them to do something for you. So fluff or favor vomit later. So that’s one thing. The other thing is that I say you know to, to use, it’s wise to use the element of surprise. So, you know, never let on what it is that it, that you’re up to, what it is that your leverage is nothing.
RZ (39:58):
You know, I would act like they’re winning. I would act like you don’t know what’s going on. I mean, even till the very end, I mean, I would throw out decoys about what it is that you actually want in, in a, in, in, in a negotiation. Because if you tell them what you actually really want, then they’re gonna want make sure that you don’t get that thing, you know, because they don’t want you to win. They don’t want you to have that thing, you know? And at the very end, you know, at, if you end up with, you know, the thing that you wanted or the, the settlement that you wanted or whatever, I would act like, oh my God, they, they really got me, or whatever. You’ve gotta take your ego out of this thing because if, if they think that they got you or, or didn’t get you or whatever, it, it’s like, at the end of the day, if you can walk away from this thing and be done and you know, and, and, and, and have, you know, not have to look back and, and have them outta your life, that’s what you want.
RZ (41:10):
Because especially the more malignant that the narcissist that you’re dealing with, the worse it’s gonna be. I mean, you know, I know for me with my, my narcissistic business partner, I was just like, gray rock. So, you know, that’s another term that they have. And that was one of the other things I wanted to mention to you. The more you can just have no reaction to the types of things that they’re trying to do and that try to get a reaction out of you, the more you can just not take their bait, the better it’s gonna be for you, you know? Oh, that’s interesting. Oh, that’s, that’s really you know, great feedback. Thank you. Thanks for letting me know mm-hmm. you know you know, so I actually, you know, in my slay program I’ve got, you know, 50 key phrases for disarming narcissists, you know, so that, you know, people told me that they print ’em out, you know, they keep ’em by their computer, they use them for emails, things like that.
RZ (42:16):
Because, you know, I I, I mean, another phrase that I really like is I agree with you. You’re like, I agree with you. That’s what you think, you know, I agree with you that that’s your opinion. You know, I agree that I, you know, I heard that’s what you said, you know, I mean, you’ve agreed to nothing when you said that , right? But they heard you say, I agree with you, or I understand, or I hear you, you know, that sort of thing. I mean, you know, just however you can keep the conversation, like there, here,
RV (42:52):
Mm-Hmm. , yeah, that’s, that is really, really, really powerful stuff. Really fascinating to, to hear this. Like so you mentioned the book a couple times. So Slay the Bully is the new one that is coming out. Where do people, where should they go if they want to pre-order or order a copy of it, depending on when they’re hearing this?
RZ (43:15):
They can get [email protected] and it’s, you know, it’s, it’s available wherever books are sold, but slay the bully.com is the best place to go check it out and get all the bonuses that come along with it, which is, you know, a lot of really cool stuff, including, you know, access to my private launch team and bam. Yeah. And, you know, masterclass with me and, you know, early access to the manuscript, depending on, as you said when you’re hearing this and all kinds of really other cool stuff. So.
RV (43:48):
Yep. I love it. So we’ll link, we’ll link that up in the show notes and you can check that out. The last little question I’ve got for you, Rebecca, is just what advice would you give to somebody who’s really feeling discouraged right now? You know, like I said, I’ve, I’ve been in this spot before and you can, you can be acting like the Gray Rock. I think that’s really great advice. I wish I would’ve had that advice. You can be doing this stuff and in, in reality, deep down you can still feel quite a lot like crap. Like you are being manipulated, like you are dealing with someone who’s unreasonable, like you are losing, like you are, they’re getting their way with everything. And there is just, it’s just comp. You just feel like it’s completely unfair. And what would you, what would en encouragement would you give to somebody that is in that spot right now?
RZ (44:41):
First of all, I’m gonna tell you, they don’t attach themselves to you because you have so little value. They attach themselves to you because you have so much. Hmm.
RZ (44:50):
That’s one of the first things I tell you all the time. They don’t want the clearance rack item , they want the thing that has, they want the bright shiny star, right? They’re hitching their wagon to a star. So remember that. And second of all, baby steps. So in order to course correct, I tell you step one, don’t run. Step two, make a u-turn, step three break free, because, you know, they didn’t condition you overnight and it was a conditioning that happened. You know, it’s a conditioning, so to decondition yourself, it, it’s not gonna happen overnight either. So the, you know, you’re, you’re basically making a whole full on u-turn with this. So the very first step with that step one don’t run is that very first step. The only thing that you feel like you can do today in, in making that first step is drawing a boundary, one boundary. And if that first boundary that you, you feel like you can do today is just saying to yourself, you know, what my boundary today is gonna be, I’m not allowing myself to be spoken to disrespectfully anymore. And that’s what I’m gonna, you know, start today, then that is a great way to start. And I [email protected], I have free phrases that you can download for for disarming narcissists, and, you know, they’re free. So, you know, feel free to go get those too.
RV (46:30):
Yeah, that’s great. Well, thank you so much for this. It feels empowering to have a, a little bit of insight to what’s going on and how to navigate away through this. And we’re so excited about the book and, and wishing you good luck with that. And we just wish you all the best, my friend.
RZ (46:46):
Thank you. You are the best too. You are the bomb.

Ep 403: How to Set Your Fees | Mitch Matthews Episode Recap

AJV (00:02):
All right, guys. We are going to talk about how to set your fees. In other words, how to be well paid as a speaker, coach, consultant, author, who also does speaking, coaching, and consulting. But this is a conversation specifically designed for what we call the expert community. That person who is trading their content, right via coaching, consulting, speaking, writing, content, creating for money. And ultimately, this is to help you make more money so that your, your message gets more out into the world. At the end of the day, I believe that most of you who are listening to this are driven by mission and purpose, and you want to make money as a bri, as a byproduct of doing really good work. But at the same time, if you do really good work, then you should be paid like you do really good work.
AJV (00:56):
And for many of us there, a reason you’re not getting paid like you should is because you don’t have the confidence or the conviction to charge what you should. And that’s what this conversation is about today. So at Brand Builders Group we believe that there are four categories, sorry, five categories missed. One, there are five categories that really will help you decipher how do you set your fees? So we could talk about things philosophically or in theory, we could share best practices. That’s not what this is about today. What this is about today or what are the five categories that you need to evaluate yourself in to know how to set your fees. All right? And each one of these, I just want you to rank yourself on a scale of one to 10, one being not existent, 10 being crushing it out of this world, killing it.
AJV (01:53):
That’s what we’re talking about. So high level here are the five categories that we’re gonna go through. Credibility, content, delivery, right? Your presentation style, right? Stage presence, we could call it that. Marketing materials and reach, right? So I’ll say ’em again. Credibility, content, delivery, marketing materials, and reach high level. That’s what we’re going after here. So I’m also trying to keep this 10 minutes or less. So we gotta crush, we gotta roll. First one, credibility. Again, rate yourself on each of these on a scale of one to 10. One being I don’t have any in the market. 10 being I’m a household name, right? So this is what we’re talking about. A 10 is like a PhD or a global thought leader. These are people who have viral TED Talks, New York Times, bestselling books, people who are regularly on some of the biggest media and podcasts, your mainstream, right?
AJV (02:47):
That’s a 10. One being is you’ve got no specific expertise or track record in the public. Now, you may have a lot of hidden credibility. In other words, only a few people know about what you’ve done. But man, for those who know about it, they know it really well, and you’ve done an excellent job for them. But that’s a one, right? So this is credibility in the known marketplace. One to 10, one is going to be a lower fee. A 10 is going to mean a higher fee, right? And we’re gonna do this five times. So I want you to take an average at the very end, right? So as you jot down these numbers, so let’s just say you give yourself a five in credibility. I want you to take your average of each of these. And at the end of the, you know, episode, I want you to go, Hey, what’d you average, right?
AJV (03:37):
Did you average a five? Did you average a seven? Did you average a three? That’s what I want you to do. So that’s credibility. Content is the next one. Rate yourself on a scale of one to 10. 10 is someone who’s got award-winning ideas, original research. You are regularly referenced in the media or in the mainstream, but people come to you for this piece of content. You are known for this thing, right? You have a truly original thought leadership in this area, okay? That also means that you’ve got well-documented frameworks and IP that could be in the form of books, courses, speeches, TED talks, all the things. But it’s documented as yours, referenced as yours. That’s a 10 a one. As someone who has loosely constructed ideas, but no specific frameworks, f frameworks or organization. There’s no unique methodology or processes. And if you were just honest with yourself, these are somewhat largely repackaged ideas that already exist somewhere else.
AJV (04:44):
In other words, nothing original, truly yours yet, yet, okay? So give yourself a ranking of scale of one to 10, one being got none, 10 being I own this. Okay? That’s content. So you’ve got two. Now. Now, let’s go into number three, delivery. This is, again, I kind of said this earlier, stage presence, right? What is that? You know personality or charisma that comes across on camera, on stage in front of people one-on-one, right? 10 being you are a hall of fame type of speaker, right? You’ve got awards for your presentations, for your speaking. You’re constantly booked because people want to hear you speak. You have a captivating stage presence. People are constantly telling you, this is the best speech I’ve ever heard. This is the best presentation I’ve ever seen. People are laughing, they’re crying, right?
AJV (05:37):
But it’s like people are constantly commenting on the delivery of your presentation, of your content, right? One would be, you don’t get that one would be you don’t get invited back to speak, right? You don’t speak very much. You don’t get tons of views on your videos or comments on your videos. You struggle to keep people’s attention. You struggle to keep people engaged. You feel all over the place and others feel like you’re all over the place. Again, the these rankings are just for yourself. But I need you to be honest. Are you a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10? Where do you fall in delivery? Somewhat subjective there. Okay? Now, next one, marketing materials. Right? Again, a 10 would be something that you’ve had professionally designed, right? It looks more expensive than you even are, right? It is beautifully designed. You’ve got everything matching. You’ve got brand guidelines and they’re followed.
AJV (06:33):
That’s with websites, demo videos, slides, workbooks, resource guides your social media, right? It does not mean you’ve got to have the fanciest, most expensive stuff, but it looks good, right? It looks well presented. I just came off of seeing Taylor Swift in the ERAS tour. Now, she spent millions and millions and millions and dollars. I’m not saying that’s what it is, but man, it looks well thought out. It is well planned. It is important how things look and come together. You can tell that. So is that yours or are things mismatched together and you’re just scraping by? And that’s okay. You don’t have to be at a 10 here, right? But this is, this is just helping you go, man. It’s like, you know, people always say, don’t judge a book by their cover. Well, unfortunately, sometimes they do. They go, man, that looks so good.
AJV (07:21):
It must be as good as it looks. So gotta take some of that in. I’m not saying I agree with all of that. I’m just talking about where, where, where we are here in the world. And number one is that, I mean, you’re just, you’re first starting out and it’s version 1.0 of everything. You’ve got things in word docs and PowerPoints, and you’re using your own stuff on Canada. That doesn’t mean it looks bad, it just means things are kind of compiled together and mismatched, right? That will affect your fees and pricing. It just will. So let’s just call it what it is. Where do you fall on a scale of one to 10? Always knowing that we get to improve at every level, right? We get to do better then reach. So reach is how many people do you reach?
AJV (08:04):
How many people do you have access to? How many people follow you on social media? E email list, subscribe to your podcast, how many people you are in front of on a consistent basis, right? So a 10 would be you’re someone who reaches millions on the regular, right? This is in some sort of controlled medium as well, not just on social media, but you’ve got a large email list. You’ve got a huge amount of subscribers and downloads to your podcast. And you’ve got social media, right? So when you think about this, you probably have hundreds of thousands of people on an email list, hundreds of thousands of people on social media. You have access to reach through main media other top known, well-known podcasts TV shows, radio shows et cetera. But that would be a 10, right? A one would be you’ve
AJV (08:55):
Got no email list. You don’t even know how to make an email list. very minimal social media following. So it’s in the hundreds and no direct access to any group of people, i e platforms. So you’re not speaking on good sta big stages, but maybe you are speaking at some, you know, local community groups, B and i groups, chamber of commerce groups ever. We all have to start somewhere. Those aren’t bad things, right? None of this should make you feel bad. These are just going, man, this is, this is helpful for me to go, where do I start my pricing? Right? So give yourself a score, right? I would say for reach, you know, I don’t have a huge social media following, so it’s not all about that. But I have access to big platforms. I’m on a lot of stages.
AJV (09:39):
I only have like 9,500 people that follow me on Instagram, maybe 15,000 all in on social media. So this is not all about having a huge social media file. I don’t care to have that. But we have a fairly large email list, which I do care a lot about. I have access to lots of large audiences through other people’s podcasts and stages, but I would not rate myself anywhere near a 10. I would say I’m, in terms of reach, I’m somewhere like a six or a seven, right? And I do this for a living, right? But is, is being honest with myself to go through each of these. It will help, you know, one where you are today and in what of these categories can you quickly improve on. Like, I could improve on reach if I so desired, right? I’ve spent a ton of time and money and resources over the last year to upgrade my personal marketing materials.
AJV (10:26):
That was an area I was focusing on. My content, I feel like is world class, right? I do believe you should believe in yourself, and I believe in myself. Credibility. I have good credibility, right? Can always be more, we have original research, we’ve spent the money to get original data, like we’ve done that work, but it’s like where you score also lets, you know, where could you do more? Where could you get help? Where could you get coaching? Where, where do you need to put some attention is also really helpful. So here’s how I would base across, if you averaged ones across the board, I would just say a starting point would be, you are probably charging for, this is for a speaker fee or coaching fees. I’m just calling it for an hour, right? But if you’re charging, or sorry, if you’re averaging a one, you’re probably charging in the hundreds, not the thousands in the hundreds, right? And then just for the sake of time, just to kind of give you some averages here, if you average a five, right? So if you’re averaging fives across the board, you’re probably charging somewhere between thirty five hundred and fifty, five hundred, right? That’s a five. So at one would be you’re charging hundreds of dollars, right? And then the twos, threes and fours are those low thousands. And then as you average out of five, you’re probably charging somewhere between, and this, I’m looking at an hour here. This is kind of like for a speaker fee,
AJV (11:52):
Right? For $3,000, right? So if you were gonna do that for coaching, that might 3000 might be your first coaching package, right? Then again, trying to give you some baselines here. If you’re, try, if you’re averaging in the eights then you’re probably at a keynote fee. If you have eights across the board, you’re probably charging somewhere between 25,000 and $30,000 as a coach or a consultant. That means your package is probably somewhere between 25,000 and $30,000 if you’re averaging the eights. Now, if you were averaging tens across the board and you’re just like, you know, pit bull, pit bull is to worldwide himself, right? Like a speaker fee for you would be like a hundred thousand dollars of speech, right? You’re talking about like presidential rates here. You’re talking about Brene brown rates and Mel Robbins rates, Tony Robb rates who are more, right?
AJV (12:45):
Those are even more than this in some cases. But if you’re a coach or a consultant, right? Those are your packages, right? You could be upwards of the a hundred thousand dollars packages of your tens across the board. So this is how I want you to think about this. It helps, you know, one, what’s your baseline, where you are today in these categories, credibility, content delivery, marketing materials, and reach. And then I’m just giving you some averages. If you averages one across the board, then you’re in the hundreds. If you’re five, you’re in, you know, averaging five, somewhere between the three and 5,500 range. And then eights, you’re up there, you’re getting up there. It’s like that’s that 25 to 30 range. And if you’re, tens are across the board at six figures and up per speech or per package. So how to set your fees back to this, it’s like there are five categories that we believe are really important for you to consider to have some unbiased internal look at.
AJV (13:38):
What’s my content, right? How original is it? How forward thinking of it is it what’s my delivery style, right? How, how much have I invested into making sure that I know how to deliver it? Well, marketing materials, your reach. And there’s so many different things to be looking at here. And I hope this is kind of gives you a baseline. It’ll help you know where to start, where to improve. And also as those numbers, those averages increase. So do your fees. So how do you set your fees? You ask yourself, how credible am I? How good is my content? How good is my delivery? How good is my marketing material? And then how, how much reach do I have? And those are the five categories to help you set your fee. So go set your fees, go raise your fees, and go get well paid. We’ll see you next time.

Ep 397: 2 Customer Service Secrets that Will Grow Your Sales | Brittany Hodak Episode Recap

RV (00:07):
Hey, brand builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out this interview. As always, it’s our honor to provide it to you for free and wanted to let you know there’s no big sales pitch or anything coming at the end. However, if you are someone who is looking to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and get to know you a little bit and hear about some of your dreams and visions, and share with you a little bit about what we’re up to, to see if we might be a fit. So if you’re interested in a free strategy call with someone from our team, we would love to hear from you. You can do [email protected] slash pod call brand builders group.com/pod call. We hope to talk to you soon.
RV (00:52):
The customer experience, customer secrets, customer service secrets so much to be said about that. And I have to tell, tell you that one of my favorite people ever on this topic is Brittany Hodak. And it’s not just cuz she’s a friend, and it’s not just because she’s a B B G client. I genuinely love her book and I love her experience and I love her take on customer experience and creating super fans. And she’s just awesome and so smart. And like I said, I read her book cover to cover and I fully endorse it. I did endorse it. And I, it’s, it’s, it’s phenomenal. So I hope you got a chance to go back and listen to the interview that I just did with Brittany and that you got some takeaways from that. Separate from that, it inspired me to share a couple of my favorite customer service secrets.
RV (01:47):
You know, this is, this isn’t something that I necessarily would con, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on this. You know, I consider my expertise on the psychology of influence though, and moving people to action. And so what I wanna share with you in this lesson is two customer service secrets that will grow your sales. Two customer service secrets that will grow your sales. So customer experience, customer service, whatever you wanna call it. But specifically in the context of if you do these two things, it will help you actually grow your revenue which is definitely right inside of my wheelhouse. So number one is the concept of secret service. And I have to blatantly and boldly attribute this to John De Julius. John de Julius would be probably the number one person that I’ve learned the most from in terms of customer experience, customer service.
RV (02:46):
We love John’s philosophy of Secret Service in their whole company. We’ve, you know, I, I originally met John, I spoke at his event and then we became super fans of him and his work, and we’ve tried to incorporate that into our culture at Brand Builders Group and, and all the businesses that we’ve been a part of. And, and so here’s the difference between Secret Service and, and good customer service. Okay? Good customer service is doing is basically like being nice to people, doing things that are nice for them. But Secret Service is about doing things that are tailored for them. So it, it, secret Service requires that you learn and pay attention to the hyper-specific interest of each individual prospect or customer that you are interfacing with. All right? So a good example of this is, you know, giving out a rose to every woman who comes into your store or, you know, on Mother’s Day or to, on Valentine’s Day, let’s say it could be good customer service.
RV (03:51):
That’s a good thing. There’s definitely nothing wrong with that, that’s a great thing to do, but you’re doing the same activity for everybody, right? I mean, if, if someone comes and you say, Hey, how can I be of service today? That might be considered good customer service, but you’re doing the same thing for everyone. What’s next level though, from that is Secret Service and Secret Service is not doing good things for people. It’s doing tailored things for people and we we try to pay attention to what is going on in the lives of the people that we care about, right? So for example, one of our clients is Kiir Weimer and Kiir, if you know anything, he’s incredible. A incredible guy has an amazing story. But Kiir got into a boating accident when he was in his twenties. He ended up going to prison for it.
RV (04:44):
And then, you know, he has this, this massive turnaround story for how he transformed his life and became this very wealthy, successful real estate agent. But he couldn’t never, he, he couldn’t get accepted back into a university for years. He came outta prison. You know, he had, now he had a criminal record. He couldn’t get a job, he couldn’t get, you know, schools to accept, and he ended up getting in real estate and becoming very, very successful. And very wealthy. But like, he didn’t actually you know, he struggled to get kind of the formal things, and one of ’em was a formal education and, and finishing college and graduate school. And so it was a really more of a personal thing for him. Kira eventually got accepted into N Y U and he’s going, you know, went back to school years later and he got his degree and we sent, we saw him post about it, we heard about it, and so we sent him an N Y U sweatshirt, right?
RV (05:36):
And I mean, you would’ve thought that he won the lottery. He was so touched and so moved by that. That is Secret Service, okay? That is Secret Service. We also try to pay attention to when, when people have deaths in their family, right? We try to often do something that’s honoring to their loved one, whoever that is. Or, you know, sometimes it’s a pet, sometimes it’s a grandparent it could be a friend and just trying to be there for people. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a little bit weird to even call this customer’s service. And it’s, and it, and its definitely weird to think of this as like, oh, this is what will, you know, you do this to grow sales. You don’t do this to grow sales, and you don’t do this to have great customer service. You do this because you care about people and you wanna make them, you wanna let them know that they’re important to you.
RV (06:30):
And so when someone’s important to you, you wanna go out of your way to make them feel special, to make them feel important, right? If they’re important to you, you wanna do things that help them feel important, that, that help make them feel important. That’s a, a part of what creates relationships and bonds, right? And, and if you know anything about Brand Builders Group, like our vision is what we call a thousand messengers. It has been since day one. We’re not trying to have, we’re not trying to be a company that sells for hundreds of millions and billions of dollars, right? Like Brand Builders Group is not a profit maximization endeavor. It’s not. We are in impact maximization endeavor, and we said we want a thousand clients. That’s what we want a thousand clients who choose to be in our monthly program that we can work with, that we can know in, in, in an intimate way that we can serve in a, in a, in a, on a deep level and that who we can be a part of their life.
RV (07:24):
And we feel like we could build a team of maybe 50 people or so that feels manageable, where we could know our team and we know them well, and we all know the clients and we recognize them, and they’re not all, you know, just strangers in a crowd, but that we’re doing life with our clients and we’re helping them succeed. And that their wins are our wins, right? We’re not going, oh, just bigger is better. That that’s just not our game. And so our clients matter, and so we wanna celebrate their wins, right? When they have a win, we wanna celebrate them. I, I, when Amy Porterfield we worked with Amy Porterfield, and I remember when she hit the New York Times bestseller list, she post, she made this awesome post about, she showed her calling her mom, telling her mom on the phone that she was a New York Times bestselling author.
RV (08:10):
And it was like such a moving moment. It was so inspiring, and it was such a great win for her. But it was a great win for us to feel like, hey, we had a part in somebody’s journey, you know, building their brand to where they, they become a New York Times bestselling author, you know, a a small part of it, but a part of it. And to go that win, her win is our win. And that moment of her sharing that with her mom is our win. And so we sent her a, a balloon of this giant, a giant balloon that was like a Congratulations, New York Times bestselling author. And then she posted that we’re not trying to get her to post on social, we’re not trying to get more money out of her. She was the past client at that point, right? Like, we already had her money.
RV (08:52):
Like it, it was, it, it’s about caring for people and, and caring for them in a hyper-specific way, in a tailored way, in a unique way. Not that you shouldn’t do good things. Not that you shouldn’t be responsive and you shouldn’t be positive and you shouldn’t smile like you shouldn do all those things. Those are good customer service, but good customer service is markedly different from good Secret service or what John de Julius calls secret service. This secret service is this idea of going be listening. First of all, it’s listening, it’s caring, it’s watching, it’s paying attention. And then just looking for these natural moments where you can intersect into people’s lives and go, man, it sure feels like something big just happened for this person. And, you know, everyone gets birthday pre, everyone gets presents on their birthday, right? Everyone gets phone calls on their birthday, everyone gets presents at Christmas time.
RV (09:48):
It’s not that you shouldn’t send gifts to someone at Christmas or at their birthday. You, you know, you should, if you can, you should. But the part that is really special is, is when you’re, when you do something, when no one else does, when it shows that you’re watching when maybe no one else is, when, when you’re going, man, I see you going through a tough time, or I see you having a huge win that, that you wanna celebrate. And, and maybe honestly, you don’t wanna celebrate it on social media because you don’t wanna look like you’re bragging or whatever, and going, but we see this, we wanna celebrate with you. It’s caring about people, right? The the best form of marketing, the best marketing strategy in the world is to care about the success of the people in your company and the success of your clients and the success of your prospects.
RV (10:36):
We’ve done things when we, we happen to be talking to a prospect who’s not even a customer, and we hear that their house gets hit by a tornado, or they lose a loved one or something. And you go, what can we do to just show them a little love? And I don’t know what the ROI is on it financially. We don’t measure that. We don’t track it, but we don’t have to because the, there’s, there’s, there’s always an r o i on service. There’s always an r o i on making, making people feel special. There’s always an ROI on making people feel seen and, and, and helping people feel heard and helping people feel important. There’s always an ROI on that. And it doesn’t have to be financial. It’s even if it’s the, the satisfaction and the meaning and the purpose that you get from your business and what you do and the way that you’re using your money.
RV (11:26):
Like, that’s really special. And, and do we do it a hundred percent of the time? No, we don’t. Like, we miss a lot of ’em. And sometimes we’re going too fast to pay attention, and, and sometimes we maybe just, maybe money is really tight and we can’t do it, or we can’t do it for everybody, right? But you, you try to choose the moments for the people that you go, man, this is someone who’s important to me, or I I want to be important to them, or I want them to be important to us. And I wanna build a relationship to go, this is beyond money, this is beyond transactions. It’s about, it’s about caring, and it’s about service. And, and the, the only part that’s secret of it is that you’re secretly watching, you’re secretly paying attention. You’re secretly going out of your way, pausing our own natural self-centeredness, just for a moment to open our eyes and be alert and awake to what are the big things going on in other people’s lives, and how can we mourn with them?
RV (12:21):
How can we celebrate with them? How can we cheer them on? How can we encourage them? How can we recognize them and just make them feel special and important? So it’s, it’s this hyper-specific response, this hyper tailored experience, and that has been life-changing for me. The, the relationships that we have furthered and developed and deepened from that, and just the meaning and the significance and the joy that the genuine authentic joy that you get from being able to do something for somebody. And this all could, could, you know, from a tactical standpoint, this all could be summarized from a line from Sean Connery and the movie Finding Forrester and Finding Forrester was not necessarily a great movie, but this is a great line. So even if it wasn’t a great movie, this is a great line. And Sean Connery is this older writer and he’s mentoring this young writer and he starts mentoring, kind of like in more than just writing.
RV (13:24):
And, and this guy’s like trying to catch the attention of a girl or, you know, to make her like him or whatever. He’s trying to like, you know, get her to like him or show, show her that she’s important to him. And Sean Connery says, the secret to a woman’s heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time. An unexpected gift at an unexpected time. That is what secret Service is all about. Not just to a woman’s heart, not just for earning romantic love, but for earning and developing and building all types of love, love with your employees, with your customers, with your spouse, with your kids. Unexpected gift at an unexpected time tailored to them, right? And the, the key is tailored to them, right? We have these wonderful, beautiful brand builders, group pens, these brand builders, group pens. They have our logo on ’em, sending these out or giving these to everyone who comes.
RV (14:17):
That’s good customer service. Like, okay, hey, thanks for the pen, man. It’s a cool pen, but it’s, it’s marketing, right? If it has my logo on it or our logo on it, if it has our company logo, it is, it’s marketing. That’s not service, that’s marketing. But if I send them something with their logo on it, or a picture of their family, or celebrating their win, or memorializing their achievement or something like that, that that’s not marketing. That’s, that’s friendship. That’s relationship. And so it’s, it’s simple, but it’s so powerful and profound, and most people don’t do it because we’re too busy and we feel like we don’t have the money or we can’t justify the roi. And I’m telling you, just do it. Just, just do it. And also, it doesn’t have to be big, right? You don’t have to send them to Disneyland, right?
RV (15:05):
That’s not even secret service. Like, it, it’s, it’s just doing something that’s really relevant to them is going, oh, you know what? They really love yoga. I’m gonna send them some yoga socks, right? And, and it’s like, they get it and they go, this is so different than what it’s, it’s like you’re listening. It’s like you’re paying attention because you are, it means that you care. So show that you, you care and, and pay attention. That secret service the, my second customer service secret, that will grow your sales. And again, you know, I don’t mean to hype hyperbolize too much, the revenue part of this but it does, it does grow your revenue because it grows your reputation and reputation always pre precedes revenue. So how do we track this exactly? We don’t, nor do we want to, nor do we care about this, you know, tracking these things.
RV (15:51):
But if unexpected gift at unexpected time in a tailored way would be the first lesson. The second lesson is to anticipate the need you wanna provide, great customer service, anticipate the need. That is what great customer service is all about. Right? Good customer service is meeting the need, meeting the expectations, right? I check into the hotel and I expect to have a clean room. I expect it to be ready. I I expect it, you know, to have, you know, cool air and, you know, some, some number of amenities based on the price that I’m paying and the brand of the hotel chain, right? Those are expectations. Anticipating the need. Anticipating the need is somebody arrives late and you know that they’re, they probably missed their flight. And so maybe they don’t have their luggage, or they tell you, it’s been a rough day, I lost my luggage.
RV (16:42):
And you go, oh, you know what? Let me send you up some, let me send you up a toothbrush and some shaving cream and, and whatever. And you know, that’s anticipating the need. What you wanna learn to do with your prospects, with your customers, with your employees, your team members, with your spouse, with your kids, with anyone you’re trying to build a relationship with, is anticipate their need. By the way, this is everything we do at Brand Builders Group. Everything we do is about trying to anticipate the needs of our clients. So we’re going, okay, what do they need first? First of all, they, they need, they need education. They need to understand that, you know, there’s a, there is a framework and a structure for how to, how to build a sales page that converts the 15 piece of copywriting, right? So we gotta teach ’em that, but then we go, well, now what are they gonna need?
RV (17:29):
They’re gonna need help doing it. So we either need to introduce them to a vendor who can help get it done, or we gotta create a template for ’em. And so we go, let’s create templates that people can use, right? And then, and it’s like, okay, well now they have a template. Now what? Now they’re gonna need help building it into a page. So how, how do we, how do we create a template to actually convert the copy into, into an actual landing page? Boom, right? And so our whole company is in a constant evolution of going, anticipate the need, anticipate the need. What do they need next? How can we help our clients succeed faster? How can we help ’em succeed for less money? How, how can we help ’em create more impact? Like, what would shorten the learning curve? What would shorten the implementation cycle?
RV (18:09):
Anticipate the need. If you wanna earn the respect, the admiration of your boss, you wanna raise, anticipate the need, right? Look on their calendar, look on their cal. This is the easiest thing to do. If you have access to someone’s calendar, you go, what do they have coming up next week? And they’re not even thinking about it, right? Cuz their, their, their hair’s on fire, they’re thinking about today. And Oh my gosh, what am I doing right now? So you look at what do they have on their calendar next week? And then you go, what are all the things I could do for them to help set them up for success? Wh how much of the work could I do for them so that when they get there in an, and they find out in an unexpected fashion that so much of this is already done, anticipate.
RV (18:52):
That’s how you get promoted. I mean, straight up, that’s how you get promoted. That’s how you get raises. That’s how you become more valuable, right? You help other people succeed. That’s what value is. Value is derived from helping others succeed. So one of the easiest ways is to go, you know, you might not even have to learn anything. You might not even have to do anything different. You might just have to do it sooner. And in a more app, appropriate timing, right? A lot of this is about timing. And you go, okay, what do they have coming up? And how can I help them succeed even before they get there? Or so that when they get there, I’m delivering this information, this tool, this training, this knowledge, this resource, this, this relationship. So that it’s like, oh my gosh, you’ve already thought of this. You’ve already taken care of this.
RV (19:39):
I mean, hallelujah, thank you. Anticipate their needs. So you gotta be asking that of yourself, of all of your employees, right? And your team members and, and, and your customers and your prospects. Like what do they need next? What, what is the thing that they most need in order to take the next step? And like one of the things that we’re rolling out, if you’re a member, you know this or you’re gonna know this, we have spent the last few years building something called Instant Automation Toolkit. And Instant Automation Toolkit was about taking all of the strategy, right? We have 14 different two-day courses that make up the curriculum of Brand Builders Group, right? Like when someone, someone joins up for our entry level monthly membership, it’s like a couple hundred bucks a month. Like they get access to all 14 courses right away.
RV (20:27):
I mean, we give away the farm for like very little money. So they get access to all the courses. But then we go, okay, well now how are they gonna implement? So we’ve been building these templates for years and years because we’re going, ah, what do they need next? They need help taking this strategy and applying it, and, and we can build tools. So the, the whole mantra is how much of the work can we do for them, right? That’s what we’re trying to do. How much of the work can we do for them? Now, ultimately, we’re a strategy firm and they, people gotta do their own work. And at some point, you know, you lead the horse to water, they gotta drink, they gotta do the behaviors. There’s certain things they have to do that we can’t do, but we’re going, how much of it can we do for them?
RV (21:08):
How far down the field can we advance the ball? How can we solve a bunch of the problems in advance for them that they don’t even know they’re gonna have yet? You know, for example, once they get clear on their uniqueness, then we help ’em create their content. And then they’re gonna go, oh, shoot, how do I get trademarks and how do I get copyrights? And we go, you know what? Let us introduce you to the legal firm that we use, that built templates so that you could get all of your copywriting, all of your templates, all of your contracts done for like a very low fee because we’ve already cur curated this relationship and we’ve created all these tools. And then they go work on their keynote and we go, Hey, now that you got your keynote, there’s a good chance you’re gonna need a slide deck for that.
RV (21:47):
Right? Here’s the template that we have that we put together based on what we use and your speaker kit, and we create all these tools and assets that they don’t even know they need yet until they get there. And by the time they get there, they go, oh my gosh, I, there’s so much I need and we wanna show up and go, here it is, boom, right here for you. Anticipate the need. It’s so simple, but it’s so profound. And if you do those two things right, unexpected gift, and well put that qualify in there, unexpected, customized gift at an unexpected time, unexpected gift at an unexpected time, and you anticipate the need, if you do those two things, you will be prov and you do it consistently. And especially if you can operationalize it through your organization and your practice, and your firm and your company and your life and your personal life, if you can find a way to operationalize those things, you will be delivering world-class service, world-class experience, you will be excelling, accelerating your reputation.
RV (22:51):
And you know, there’s, there’s, there’s there interviews at least three that come to the top of my mind that you should go back and listen to if you want more on this. So one is obviously the interview that I just did with Brittany Hodak creating super fans. The other is John de Julius. We’ve had him on the show and we’ve talked about this concept. The other, the other person who I would be remiss to not mention in this, in this conversation is John Ruland. He’s the author of a book called Giftology, another close friend, also a client of ours, somebody else that we’ve learned a lot from in this area. All three of those are podcasts that are available here. So share this episode with someone you know that wants to increase the customer, improve the customer experience inside of their company and then share, go, go back and listen to those other three and share those as well and keep coming back and let us know how we can make it better, right? Sometimes we can’t always anticipate the needs we’re trying to, but if you have ideas for how we can do that, please let us know always. And I hope we get a chance to talk to [email protected] slash podcast if you’re ready to get serious about implementing and operationalizing these principles along with all the other ones that we teach here on this show. So thanks for being here. We’ll catch you next time. Bye-Bye.

Ep 396: Creating Superfans with Brittany Hodak

RV (00:02):
Well friend, you are in for a treat. I’m gonna introduce you to one of our best friends in real life. This is Brittany Hodak. Our kids go to school together and we actually hang out with them and we love them. She’s also a client of ours and I am now a super fan of hers. And she has written a book called Creating Superfans, which I’m gonna go ahead on record and say this is one of my all-time favorite books, period in business. And specifically in the area of customer experience. And you could call it customer service or marketing just in general, but I would say customer experience, which is really what her expertise is. In fact, she’s the former Chief Experience officer for experience.com. She was the c e o of a company and the co-founder of a company called the Super Fan Company. She’s worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. Walmart, Disney, Katie Perry, Dolly Parton. The other night I was flipping through tv. I was on watching like mainstream national television, and there’s some show about Britney Spears. And all of a sudden Britney Hodak pops on the screen and I’m like, wait, what though? What the, wait, that’s Brittany, what are you doing? Like, why is Britney in my tv? So buddy, it’s so great to have you. I cannot wait for you to share your expertise with our audience. Welcome.
BH (01:21):
Thank you so much my friend. It is always great to be here with you, and thank you for the very kind words about the book. It means a lot, and I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again and again. I could not have written this book without the support of you and AJ and the entire team at Brand Builders Group, so I’m glad I did. You proud.
RV (01:37):
Yeah, you, you totally, you, you you did me proud. And then like, one level above, you know, I endorsed the book without reading the whole thing. And then after it came out, I, I, I have read this book cover to cover, which, you know, I cannot say that about every single guest. You know, I try to like, be familiar, but like I have read it cover to cover. I absolutely love this so much that I, you know, I’m recommending you to our clients and like our keynote clients. So let’s talk about super fans. As personal brands, obviously we understand we gotta have super fans. We gotta have people loving us, sharing our content, buying our books, telling their friends. So I guess gimme the, gimme the definition of a super fan in your, in your world, and then we’ll talk about how to create ’em.
BH (02:24):
Yeah. So I define a super fan as either a customer or stakeholder who has such a great experience with you that they become an enthusiastic advocate. Mm-Hmm. So they not only wanna work with you again, but they tell their friends about you. Exactly like you just said. They make those introductions and those referrals. Essentially, a super fan is a customer who creates even more customers.
RV (02:46):
Yeah. I mean that, and that is the, you know, one of our BG mantras is the, the most powerful form of marketing in the world is a changed life. And it’s like no ad, no, no webpage, no copy. Like nothing does the job that like a customer going, you freaking rock. And all of my friends, you know, tell, they tell other friends, enthusiastic advocate is super duper clear. So let’s just jump into the super fan. I know you have the, you have a, you have a great methodology, you have a great framework. I think it’s totally applicable to what we do. Well actually, so before we do that talk, talk about the, the, the, the layer. Talk about the levels. Ta talk about the layers of I forget what you call them, but like the, the spectrum sort of, of like where customers are at.
BH (03:42):
Yeah, absolutely. So in the book, I talk about this idea of the ladder to super fandom. And you know, the more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy, the easier everything gets mm-hmm. when you have people who are willing to show up and do the work for you. And that’s why it’s important to get someone to the level of being an advocate. So in the book I talk about how you do that. I know in BBB G lingo, one of the things that we talk about a lot is what is the problem you solve? What, what is it that you’re helping people with? And I always say that the problem I solve is one that’s not on a lot of people’s radars, and that’s apathy. Not a lot of people show up and say, oh, I have an apathy problem.
BH (04:17):
Like, not enough people care that I exist. But in reality, and especially with personal brands, it is so prevalent. So in the book I talk about this idea of the ladder to super fandom, and the very first rung of that ladder is apathy. But people try to skip over that. They try to start with awareness of like, I want somebody to know who I am and that I exist. But the problem is, if you don’t have a compelling enough story, if you’re not able to connect what you do, what your purpose is with the need that they have, then they’re never gonna care. It’s gonna be like the, you know, the analogy I use in the book is that carnival ladder where it’s easy to get somebody on the first step and maybe even the second step, but then they just fall over because apathy is everywhere all around you.
BH (05:01):
There’s never been more competition for our attention. There’s never been more competition for somebody to care about the thing that you do. So throughout the book, I talk about this idea of transforming from a commodity provider to a category of one, going from a transactional relationship and mindset to an experiential one where it’s about more than just your products or your services and even more than your relationships. It’s all about that experience. So the idea of the laddered super fandom, and you know, we don’t have to go through all the rungs, is, is how you take someone through each level of, okay, I know how I’m gonna overpower that apathy. Now somebody is aware of my brand. How do I get them to take an action? Now I’ve gotten them to take an action. How do I get them to adopt this? How do I make it part of their, their plan their life, once I’ve got them to adopt it?
BH (05:52):
What do I do to create affinity? And, you know, most people stop at Affinity. I talk in my book about the idea of the difference between fans and followers, or the difference between fans and super fans. And most people are like, oh, I’m in someone’s consideration set now. They’ve tried me a few times, now they like me. They’re coming back. And that’s where they stop. But if you can create someone, if you can take someone from that like, you know, affinity level of, oh, I like you, to that advocacy level of I like you and I can’t wait to tell other people about you, that amplification is what really makes things exciting, both on the personal brand side and on any business side. Because once you have those customers creating more customers for you, once your followers are telling their friends and growing your audience, it becomes really viral and, and really effective.
RV (06:43):
Mm-Hmm. . So just to walk y’all through that, right? So it’s apathy at the bottom, then awareness, then action, then adoption, then AFI, affinity, and then advocates advocacy. So at the top, and you know, I think one of the things that I, one of the points I wanted to draw out that hit me hard was to go, yeah, I think of awareness. And I think what a lot of personal brands do, and what a lot of people do, and certainly a lot of companies do, is we go, we need more people to be aware of us.
RV (07:17):
And I completely overlook as a first opportunity to go, what if instead of trying to make more people aware of me, I took the people who already know of me who have apathy and go, what if I just took the people who know of me already and made them fall in love so much that they became advocates? And I, and I just go, no one in the world is ha no one in the personal brand world is thinking about this. Everyone is going more followers, more reach. I need more people to be aware of me versus going, what if the, the few people you had freaking loved you, they would do that work for you is basically what you’re saying.
BH (08:07):
That’s basically what I’m saying. And I think that you know, there’s a quote that I love. Albert Einstein said, not everything that could be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted. And I think he was probably talking about Instagram and TikTok when he said that . But it’s applicable sort of across the board. And a mistake that I think a lot of personal brands make is exactly as you just said, it’s that more and more, more I want more followers, more people, more likes, more engagement. Instead of saying, wow, what a privilege and an honor that I have the attention of these 2000 people, or 12,000 people, or 22,000 people. And exactly as you just expressed, the question should be, how can I make their life better? How can I show up and do more for them so that they feel passionate and want to tell people like they wanna become advocates. They’re not doing it because I’m offering them some affiliate program. They’re not doing it because I’m putting an offer out there. They’re doing it because I’ve made their lives better in some way. And one of the things that I talk about throughout the book is this idea that super fandom is mutual. Superfan are created at the intersection of your story and every customer story. So if you want followers to love you, you have to love them first so that they feel it and there’s that reciprocity.
RV (09:22):
Yeah. And, and I think, you know, I if you just have ask yourself the sobering question, do I spend more of my time thinking about wishing for praying for more people to find me? Or do I spend more of my time thinking about wishing about praying about how do I serve the people who are already in front of me? I have to go embarrassingly. I go, oh my gosh, I am, I am missing the mark badly. In Adley. And I think your your, your book highlighted that in a way. So you, you, you just touched on kind of the premise of the book. The way that you become a super, you make someone a super fan is to connect your story to their story. And this is another part that hit me hard actually, because so super is an acronym and we walk through the, we walk through the steps and the s is story, right?
RV (10:16):
So we start, we start with our story. And I struggle with this because I go, why does my story matter? It feels like starting with my story feels vain, it feels arrogant, it feels self-centered. And I’m going, why don’t I just start with like, what’s in it for them? And you know, what, what do I provide? And I think your book really hit me hard in this area. So can you talk about what it means to create to, to, to, to share, start with your story, and specifically why starting there is not vain and arrogant and, you know, self-centered?
BH (10:59):
Absolutely. Well, when I say start with your story, I don’t mean lead with your story. I mean, everything has to originate from you because we are living in an experienced economy. It has never been easier for any competitor to come in and usurp anyone in any category, right? So if you are competing on commodity things, I’m the cheapest. I’m the fastest, I’m the closest to your home. I’ve been around the longest. It is very easy for someone to displace you. So when I say start with your story, what I mean is what is your superpower? What’s your origin story? What makes you better than everyone else? And you know, I’m always, I’m, I, I’m always shocked when I talk to people and I say, why are you the absolute best choice to serve your prospects and customers? And they stare at me blankly or they say something that every single one of their competitors would also say, Uhhuh, that there is absolutely no proof behind.
BH (11:53):
And what I always say back to them, because this is sort of the idea of apathy and action is, well, if you can’t tell me why you’re the best, how in the world is a prospect ever gonna be able to figure it out? If you can’t even articulate to me clearly why I should care, then how am I ever going to care? So that is what I mean when I say start with your story, not making it about you. Throughout the book, I, I try to say again and again, this is all about customer centricity. This is all about showing up to serve people, but it’s kind of like, you know, we’re recording this. I’m at the airport for anybody who is watching it, this beautiful background behind me is a B n A conference room. Like when you’re on the airplane and they say you’ve gotta put your mask on first before you assist the people with you, because you’ve gotta, like, you’ve gotta do you, you’ve gotta make sure you’re taking care of you. And it’s kind of the same thing when I say start with your story, is you can’t expect people to sign up to say, I am a super fan of this person, or I am a super fan of this offering. If you yourself haven’t done the work to say, why do I deserve a super fan? What am I doing that is better than what my competitors are doing so that I can help serve these customers and make their life better in some way?
RV (13:02):
Ah-Huh . Well, and it’s interesting, you know, the part of what hit me really hard was going, when I think of telling my story like that question, okay, just take, take me as a real life example. You go, what makes you Rory or Rory and AJ or Brand Builders Group, like what makes you the best in the world At personal branding, my mind goes to why are we better? What results have, like, what have our clients achieved? How many times have we done it? But when I read this section of your book, what really hit me was going, what makes me so qualified to do this is I viscerally to this moment can feel what it was like to be 17 years old watching a speaker on stage, going, I wanna be the speaker on stage. I remember walking through the airport seeing the book on the bookshelf going, I want my book on the bookshelf.
RV (14:03):
I want a New York Times bestselling logo on my book. And it’s like, what actually gives me the credibility is not just that we’ve done that, that we’ve helped other people do it. It’s that I wanted it so badly and I felt so far away and I felt like it was impossible. And it, it’s like, it’s the story and I never tell that story. I talk about, oh, my credentials and our exper you know, like the, the pe the clients we’ve worked with, which I don’t think is bad, but I go, I think I’m underutilizing the human part of my story a bit to go, that’s what really care they care about. Cuz other people would say that too. Well, I’ve got, I’ve got a hundred clients and I’ve helped clients do this and that and, and blah blah blah, blah blah. But there’s this emotional human bond that happens from the origin story. And I’m going, I don’t even have the origin story on my website. We don’t even have the origin story on brand builders group. And I would never even think to put it there, cuz I would think of that as like not useful to the customer un until you told me it was
BH (15:15):
Well. And it, and it is so useful. And that’s, you know, we were connected through a mutual friend John Roland. Yeah. And John Roland didn’t say to me, oh, meet this friend of mine who was like, helped a bunch of other people like you. He said, you’ve gotta meet my friends, Rory and aj. And he told me about who you are as people and, and what your origin story is and why he thinks you’re the best in the world. And I know this is something that a lot of business owners struggle with as they’re scaling because they think, well, if I tell my story then clients are only gonna wanna work with me. They’re not gonna wanna work with anybody else. Sure. But, you know, and, and there there is like a murky middle where sometimes that is true. Everybody feels those growing pains of, you know, I had the people who are used to me and now I’ve gotta tell them that they’re, they’re not gonna get as much as my time cuz the business is growing and changing.
BH (16:04):
And that’s something that I think every entrepreneur has been through. However, I would argue that telling your origin story makes it that much more important because now people are going to understand, okay, this is the person helming this company. This is the person who is not just making the decision of everyone they hire, but training them, making sure there’s an alignment, and then they’re gonna be curious about every single employee’s origin story and what attracted them to come work for you, who you are as a leader, how that plays out into everything that you’re doing. So I think that most people mis or, or underutilized misuse or under util underused their own personal origin stories because of everything you said a few minutes ago. It can feel arrogant, it can feel self-serving, it can feel very, you know, youth centric. But in reality, we learn best when we hear stories.
BH (16:56):
Our brains are hardwired to react to stories much more so than facts. I mean, there’s every single research study that’s ever looked at it has said yes, people believe stories more than facts and figures. And we trust them more, we remember them better, and that’s why they’re so effective. And when we show up and we talk about the results, or we talk about, you know, the past work or the past clients, people don’t feel that emotionally. Like very few people ever like got teary eyed or thought me too, over a spreadsheet or like a list of stats and figures. But when you can tell a story, people are like, I felt that, I felt that in my gut when I was walking through the airport and wanted that, or I felt that in my gut when I was a kid. And I said, wow, this is my calling.
BH (17:39):
So it’s so important. And in my book I talk about some of the tools that people can use, some of the exercises to really step outside of yourself and look at your story through the eyes of your customer to say, what should I be talking about? How am I able to craft this narrative of who I am and where I’ve been in a way that makes it very clear to my target customers that I can help them because I used to be right where they are now. I used to be sitting right where they were sitting
RV (18:06):
And yeah. And that, and that’s the thing, it’s not, it’s not just telling your story, it’s telling your story in a way that it, it is useful for the customer because they put themselves in the story and they go, oh my gosh, you’ve been through what I’m going through. And and I, you know, and I, and I think that’s the game changer because it’s relatability and it’s credibility and it’s all about that. Which kind of leads to the u I guess in, in the, in the super framework. So to walk us through what u’s all about.
BH (18:37):
Yeah. So in the book I say that each of these are kind of like nesting dolls, all five letters of the super framework build on the one before. And the u is understand your customer story. So I said before, super fans are created where those two worlds collide your story and theirs. And another reason that it’s helpful to start with your own story is because when you do that, you can better understand your customer story. Because when you think about who you are, what your origin story is, it helps you better understand what that customer or prospect is struggling with, what transformation that they’re looking to undergo that maybe you’ve already gone through, what reservations they might have, what they might be even unaware that they’re feeling, because it’s so deep down. So really getting clarity on your story positions you in a way to understand your customer story in a way that’s much deeper than a lot of people wanna go. And, you know, in the book, I tell the story and I’m curious, Rory, do you remember the first time you saw a teacher outside of school?
RV (19:35):
Oh yeah. I mean I, yes I do. I vividly remember that.
BH (19:38):
Yeah. It, and it did it just freak you out? Like what was your experience?
RV (19:43):
Well for this particular was one of, one of my favorite teachers. And I, I saw her at Buka Depo, like downtown, like, like 40 minutes away from where I went to high school. And it, it was, it just freaked me out. Like it just, it was like, oh, this is a completely different person. And never had dawned on me that like, this person had a completely separate life with like, friends and out out anything outside of like, the classroom.
BH (20:08):
Yeah. Well, and it’s, it’s so funny. I remember I was in first grade, the first time I saw a teacher, Ms. Beatie at the grocery store, and I was like, oh my gosh. Like, they let her leave school. And it was that same thing, that realization of like, oh, this is an actual person that has all of those things. And when I talk about understanding your customer story, one of the sort of jokes I tell in the book is a lot of people never go deeper than we all went when we were kids. You looked at a teacher and saw someone who was there to like, you know, teach you math or science for, you know, a couple hours a day or whatever it is. But if you look at your customers and say, this is a fully developed person with like a very full life who has goals, who has dreams, who has a history, who has people who people who love them, not only does that give you more empathy in the way that you think about and get to know your customer, but it also gives you more understanding about how your authority can, can matter to them, can help them.
BH (21:02):
So what I, the reason that I, I make the second step in this framework, getting to really, truly understand your customer is because a lot of people don’t ever do that work or they do it like, just on the surface. So in the book I talk about, you know, really getting, getting clear on the types of questions that matter, the types of information that are gonna help you think more critically and teach your team to serve even deeper when it comes to showing up for your customers and your future customers, or your followers and your future followers.
RV (21:33):
Yeah. Yeah. And I, and I think you know, another great marketing strategy, you know, I, I said that before about it’s a transform life. The other, another great marketing strategy is to care, is to like care about your customers and the more you like, spend time thinking about them and, and acknowledging I think who they are in real life and understanding it. And, and yeah, you’re, it’s, it’s, it’s ironic that when you start with your story, it forces you to kind of ask that question because you go, how does this story apply to them? And then it puts you in the place of thinking about where are they now? Like where, where are they now? And how can I share how I have been there and, and, and create that connection. And so you really develop a lot of passion and love and affinity and, and appreciation just for who your prospect is.
RV (22:24):
And just like, there’s such an authentic connection that I feel like suddenly it shows up in your marketing, whether, whether it’s a podcast episode or whether it’s a video or it’s, it’s even an advertisement or a website as they go, they feel that, they feel that, like, you actually give a crap about me. You actually know something about what it’s like to be me. And I think, I think that’s super powerful. So what about the p Okay, so s so start with your story. Understand the customer story. The p this is, this is, this one’s clutch
BH (22:58):
Personalized. Mm. So p is personalized and you know, again, there’s all kinds of stats and, and, and figures. And McKenzie study just came out a, a couple weeks ago that said 71% of customers now expect personalization from everyone they give money to. So they don’t wanna be treated like just another customer, just another number, just another order. So in the book I talk about the need to balance the high tech with the high touch. Hmm. So what can you automate? What can you systematize, what can you get set up to help drive personal interactions at scale? While also, and this is the key part, freeing up more of your team’s time or your own time to find opportunities to do those high-touch things that can’t be automated. Because it’s all about the human attention, the human interaction being in tune to someone’s need to show up for them in a way that’s going to exceed their expectations.
RV (23:56):
Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. One, one of the things about this, do you have a great, I I’m pretty sure this is one of like your pillar points or a pullout quote that’s in there, which is like, if you are giving somebody something with your logo on it, that is an ad, not a gift. And like that is so true. And like there are
BH (24:14):
People who like, are ready to fight me over that. Yes, that is a very polarizing opinion, but I’m like, you would never like Rory, we’re friends. I would never buy you a gift and write my name on the bottom of it to be like, just wanna make sure when you’re using this cooler out by your pool, you don’t forget it’s from me. Like, we would never do that in real life. And yet in business people are like, how many logos can I slap on this? What can I do? Which is fine. Like, I’m not anti swag. I just believe that it has a place and that place is, has an ad, not a gift.
RV (24:44):
Right? And it’s not, it doesn’t make anyone feel special when, I mean, the, the, the way, the another extreme example of it, I was like, imagine if I sent you a picture of me , like, like happy birthday. Not a picture of us, not a picture of you. If I just was like, happy birthday Brittany, here’s a picture of me. Like, that would be so weird. But that’s what we do all the time with like, here’s my business, here’s my logo. It’s like, that’s not, it’s not a, it’s not a gift. It should be the opposite, right? If anything, I should be sending you a gift which has your logo on it, or it’s, it’s a picture of you. Or it’s like, if I sent you a picture of you and your kids you know, now all of a sudden it’s personalized. It’s still as simple, it’s not as easy to pull off es especially when you say personal interactions at scale. That’s, that I think is, is the aspiration because personal interactions sort of like by definition, kind of feel like they work against doing them at scale. And, and one of the points I loved, which you made cuz you know, we’re huge on automation and, and multiplying time and like all that sort of stuff is that the purpose of automation is not to dehumanize the business, it’s to basically take care of all the mundane, to create more margin so that your people can, can do more personalizations that basically how you are saying it.
BH (26:14):
Yeah. That’s, I a hundred percent agree with that. And it’s looking for ways, like, as you said, let’s see somebody who’s listening to this and you are you work in real estate a way to make a decision once and scale. It might be every time I sell someone a new home, I’m going to get them a welcome mat with a picture of their family, or I’m going to get them a garden flag with a picture of their family, or I’m going to take their listing photo and turn it into a puzzle for them. And knowing that you have a vendor who can do those things very easily and have someone on your team who knows, like, okay, before closing day, I’ve gotta go on every family’s Facebook page and like, pull a picture that I really love and get that made into a like, welcome to your new home at a b c Apple Street or, you know, 1 23 Apple Street, whatever to create that for them. So there still oftentimes is, is a human element involved, but you’re, what you’re doing is you are eliminating that process of, ugh, let me think about exactly what to do for this person and how I’m gonna make it. Because you already made the decision, you made one decision that you can repeat a thousand times instead of making a thousand individual decisions.
RV (27:23):
Yeah, yeah. Another thing is, I mean, anything with their family seems like low-hanging fruit there mm-hmm. because it’s like, okay, that’s good. Anything with their business is also kind of like low-hanging fruit. I think the other, the other one is any, anything of their interests, right? But that requires you to actually care enough to know what sports teams do they like, what movies do they watch? Who’s their favorite musician? Like what, where do they eat? Like tho those kinds of things. But it is my, you know, my mom used to say Mar used to sell Mary Kay, you know, that. But one of the things that Mary Kay used to say is she would say the magic is not the, the expensive of the gift. The magic is a $5 gift with a $50 bow, meaning it’s the presentation of the gift and what you build around. And I think this is kind of similar to where you could go. It doesn’t, it doesn’t even have to be expensive. The fact that it’s personal is worth way more to them than the fact that it’s expensive or how much it costs. Oh,
BH (28:30):
Absolutely. It’s the fact that they took the time to do it. And you know, we both know like when you get something that Jasper or Leah made for you, it’s not about, you know, how expensive that thing is. It’s, wow, I’m going to love this and keep it forever because my kids made it for me and they put love into it. So it’s that idea of showing someone that you spent time thinking about them, you spent time, you gave them the gift of your attention and your care and whatever it is that, that, that materialized into in the form of a gift.
RV (28:59):
Totally. Totally. So I know that, I know you’ve got multiple mini phases in this, and again, y’all, the, so the book’s called Creating Super Fans Brittany Hodak, of course is who we’re talking to here. The the e is another one that is simple, not easy but another like game changing thing that you go, man, if you adopt this into your culture, it works. Like this actually works. So what’s, walk us through the e
BH (29:28):
Yeah, all of these are simple, not easy. And that’s, and that’s why I wanted to put them in a framework that would be easy to remember. You know, the idea of, oh, being super, you know, it sounds like something you could almost easily dismiss, but if you do these things consistently, they absolutely will lead to huge growth. You will have more earned revenue, you will have more earned customers, you’ll have people who are coming back more quickly and spending more money with you. The e stands for exceed expectations. And this is probably my favorite pillar in the book just because I’m so passionate about something that I call intentional experience design, which is really looking at every single touchpoint through the eyes of your customers and saying, is this making their experience better, worse, or not having an impact on it? And many of our experiences as customers are what I call net neutrals.
BH (30:16):
They’re like, nothing burgers, we forget about them as soon as we encounter them. And then occasionally there are those net negatives that are annoying or, you know, cause us to, you know, grumble a little bit. And then very, very rarely there are those positive things. What I encourage people to do is to, you know, using the, the system that I lay on in the book to look at every interaction and teach everyone on your team that they are the chief experience officer. They are the ones who can turn those neutral interactions into positive ones by using intentionality, by using that customer centricity to say, how can I elevate this otherwise like, forgettable moment into something that’s going to be meaningful? How can I show someone that we care more by going a little bit above and beyond? And if you can do that, not only are you like quite literally making the world a better place because you’re improving people’s days, their, you know, their minutes, their, their interactions, but you’re also giving people those things that are friend j bear calls talk triggers.
BH (31:18):
You’re giving somebody something that they want to tell somebody about, whether that’s online or inline at the grocery store. You’re not gonna believe what this person on the phone just did, or you’re not gonna believe how, you know, this person did this thing that just helped me. And it’s, and it can be, it’s almost always the little things like, this doesn’t have to be big grand gestures. It’s, you know, a week ago I had a bunch of balloons at Publix, so it was my husband’s birthday party and the, the person who was working the door said, here, let me help you out to your car with those. And I said, no, no, no, it’s okay. And he said, no, I, I know a trick. I’ve loaded balloons a lot, I’m gonna, I’m gonna help you make sure that you, that you get these in. And the trick, by the way was to put a piece of paper on top of the balloon and then that they, like, there’s like less static and they go in. But so those interesting little things that you can do to exceed someone’s expectation in the moment and training everyone on your team to look for those opportunities to exceed their expectations.
RV (32:13):
Mm-Hmm. , so I love the, I I love that. And it’s like you know, I think when you go, okay, what what are those things, generally speaking, you’re talking about, you know, just little, they’re just little things you can do mm-hmm. , but I think the element of surprise is really the, is really the thing here is really going, okay, what’s, what’s the thing I can do for them that would be a surprise, right? There’s some, like, they ex they expect whatever, but how do I do you know, something for them that like, they just, like you’re saying, it’s, it’s, it’s, their expectation is what they’re expecting. So it’s what what is the unexpected, do you have any other like, little tips to, for, you know, how do you train your team? Like your assistant or your, it might be your program manager or like your certainly your customer service team, like who’s fielding calls to go, here’s what you do to create that moment.
BH (33:18):
Yeah, so that’s a great question. A lot of it is planning ahead so that you can be more present in the moment to look for those little things. Hmm. Of, you know, oh, they’ve got a kid with them, I’m gonna offer them a sticker. Or they’ve got, they’ve got a lot of bags, I’m gonna make sure somebody’s helping them carry them like the, the, the human things. In the book I talk about this idea of intentional experience design, which is how do I bring more intentionality to every part of the experience? Because one of the, one of the things that I talk about again and again in this book is your customers are going to have expectations that constantly rise because they’re not just comparing their experience working with you to the best experience they’ve had with your competitors. They’re comparing it to the best experiences you’ve had anywhere.
BH (34:07):
So you need to constantly be looking at even your experiences that you have as a customer with, with other parties around you to say, how can I make this better? And this is not in the book cuz it just happened a few weeks ago, but we were out at a Mexican restaurant after a baseball game one day and the kids were hungry because it was a little bit late. And I was like, oh, we’ll just go to a Mexican restaurant so we can like, feed them fast. They’ll at least be chip and salsa. And the waitress came to take our order and Cato, my five and a half year old said, excuse me, did you know a lot of restaurants have apps and if you had an app, we could have ordered our tacos on the way here and you could bring me tacos right now .
BH (34:43):
And like, he wasn’t even trying to be a jerk, he was just like, it was in his mind it was like so inefficient that he’s like, why do you have to have a person come ask me what I want to eat? Like someone has already solved this problem. So knowing that your customer expect your customer’s expectations are always going to be getting higher. So looking in that moment, it’s, it’s about how can I serve them quicker? How can I serve them in a way that goes above and beyond their expectations? Like I know I always when I check into a hotel, I notice when somebody goes above and beyond, obviously there’s a couple brands who give you cookies, but if you go to a Margaritaville resort, they offer you a rum punch. A lot of times when you check into a Marriott resort, they have like a wheel that you can spin if you’re a part of the Bonvoy club to like earn bonus points. So just those little touchpoints a above and beyond of am I offering someone a water? Am I offering someone a piece of candy? Am I showing them that I’m happy to have them here? And I don’t think of them as just another customer. I think of them as a person whose life I can improve because we’re, you know, connected in this moment.
RV (35:45):
Yeah. And, and you know, I think you nailed it with it’s going, how do I stay? You have to be, the real magic is being present in the moment to be going, what can I do to make this moment better? Like, magical for them versus scrambling to just meet their expectations or because your brain is off somewhere else, cuz something else fell apart. So like a lot of it is is caught up in, in, in the, the planning. So Brittany, I know we, I know we have the r which, you know, we can wrap up quickly, but before we do that, where do you want people to go if they want to connect with you and learn more what you’re about and you know, get the book, et cetera?
BH (36:27):
Well, my website is britney hodak.com and I hope everyone checks out the book. It’s available everywhere books are sold, including on Amazon as a hard cover and an audiobook and an ebook. But if you go to Britney hodak.song, excuse me, my ho my own name is hard for me to say, apparently if you go to britney hodak.com/gift, you can download the first four chapters of the book totally free because I want everyone to get the framework that they can use to start creating super fans in their own personal brand and business right now. So britney hodak.com/gift.
RV (37:03):
Cool. Very, very cool. Well send us out here. What about the r Yeah, yeah, tell us about the r We don’t, we, we don’t wanna leave everybody hanging too much, but you know, so you got start with so, so super, the acronym, start with your story, understand your customer story, personalize, exceed expectations, and
BH (37:25):
RV (37:26):
BH (37:27):
Repeat. That’s it. I wish customer actually, I I don’t wish customer experience will set it and forget it. I know a lot of people do. I actually love the idea of constantly looking for ways to exceed expectations. But in the fifth pillar, I talk all about the systems and processes that you can use. Another great, great quote, this one’s from Elizabeth Arden. You know, sorry, I know you’re, you’re very Mary Kay loyal, but this is a good quote. Regardless of your preference for, for makeup brands, Elizabeth Arden said, repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers. So it’s about showing up and doing this again and again, transaction after transaction, interaction after interaction because you become what you do.
RV (38:09):
Yeah, yeah. Which, you know, the other surprising bonus of this is you go, oh, it’s not even five steps, it’s four steps, and then I just do ’em over and over again.
BH (38:19):
It is, it’s 20% easier than I promise. So hopefully I exceed your expectations with four things to remember instead of five. Yeah.
RV (38:26):
Well, and frankly, like, if you get the story part right and you really understand who your customer is, and then you repeat a lot of this is about personalizing and exceeding expectations, and you go, all right, those are like two things that I gotta do is, is like, just go, how do I set everything up to be in this moment serving on people, loving on them at a level that’s higher than what they’re used to seeing? And what a great way to be an awesome person and you know, create superfans and drive and make more income in the process. So Brittany, you’re the best. Thank you so much for this friend. Everybody go get the book Creating Superfans. I’m a, I’m a huge believer. I’m a huge fan. We make our whole company read it, adopting it as part of our culture. It’s a big part of, of what we see as the next level for us at, at Brand Milds Group. And anyways, friend, keep kicking butt out there. We’re cheering for you.
BH (39:17):
Thanks buddy. I appreciate it. I’ll talk to you soon.

Ep 395: Simple Steps to Grow and Scale | Andy Bailey Episode Recap

AJV (00:00):
So you want to scale your coaching practice. This is a conversation that I have with so many individuals who are beginning on their coaching journey or who’ve been on it for a while, and they go, I’m ready to take it to the next level. So figured why not have this conversation in a recorded sense so that we can share it with the masses. So a couple of things that I think are really important to have this conversation. The first thing is asking yourself, why do you want to scale? Because you don’t have to. And I think the important thing to realize is that scaling takes a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of resources, and it takes people, right? And I think what people also don’t realize is that often in order to scale, you will lose money before you make money.
AJV (00:58):
Not always, but often. And the truth is, is that our reasons for scaling are often out of line, are out of alignment, meant with what we really want, and we think, well, I need to scale because that’s what you do in business. And it’s like, not really. It’s your business. You get to decide what you do. And there is nothing wrong with just going deeper with the clients that you have and making purpose your bottom line, versus trying to scale revenues and actually lose on profit. And I think there’s just sometimes too, too often we focus too much on the money. Now, clearly we need to make money in business to pay our bills. Clearly we’re in business to make some sort of profit to like enjoy the fruits of our labor, but not at the cost of our happiness, our peace, our joy, our our time with our family.
AJV (01:58):
In other words, why are you doing it? And so I just would encourage that before you go, yeah, I’m ready to grow and ready to scale that you really actually answer the question, why? Why do you want to scale? Because you don’t have to. Now, if you choose to then let’s talk about that , let’s talk about that. So number one, be prepared to put in a lot of extra time, resources, and money. I think that’s just important. It takes work. And it takes a lot of the entrepreneur’s work, a lot of the business owners work at for most, where most of us are just talking, right? It’s like most of us are scaling from Heya. It’s, it’s, it’s growing beyond me. I’m not talking about, you know, fortune 100 companies or even Fortune 1000 companies. I’m talking about scaling beyond you going from that six figure mark to the seven figure, seven to eight.
AJV (02:49):
That’s what I’m talking about, right? And it’s like, okay, now I’ve got to duplicate processes, duplicate systems, duplicate myself with more human capital, and that, that will require your time and your money and your resources. So one, be prepared for work. Number two don’t expect it to happen overnight. Let this grow over time. Let it grow organically and let it grow by demand. That’s important. You do not have to bring on three people. It’s like you bring on one and then you bring on another, and then eventually you bring on another. It’s like let this happen by demand and let it happen organically so that you don’t find yourself upside down going backwards instead of actually growing forward, which is what you wanted in the first place, right? Number three, get super clear on your culture and your people acquisition process before you can start growing in terms of the people component.
AJV (03:43):
You’ve gotta be really clear about who you are, who your clients are, how you do what you do, why you do what you do, and what makes you unique in all of that. And you’ve got to align yourself with people who line up with that culturally and beliefs and values. Like that’s important before you start expanding your company, which is also your reputation. This is a reflection of your personal brand. You’ve gotta make sure that you have all of this work dialed in so that you can be a magnet to people who are like that. Or you can be the opposite, right? You can be repulsive, polarizing to the people who aren’t. And you wanna be a little bit polarizing in the fact that I would love your culture or not for me, you need to make it that clear so people can make an a easy yes or an easy no.
AJV (04:39):
And so that you can make an easy yes or an easy no. So get clear on your culture and your people acquisition process. So what do I mean with our people acquisition process? Where do we find people? How do we interview ’em? How do we make the offer and how do we onboard ’em? Right? So a couple of things here I think that are really important is one, where do people come from? In my personal opinion we’re kind of at a place in our life where you’re gonna need to come from someone I know, right? There are very few resumes that I put online when, and, and I’m talking specifically about a coaching business, right? But it’s like, I know you or I have a client who knows you or a friend who knows you, or another business owner who knows you.
AJV (05:23):
So network, why? Because this is going to be such a key part of the reflection of your reputation, but also it’s because if I’m going to entrust my clients to you, which is a really big important part of the relationship I have with my clients, then I need someone else who can vouch for you. And I don’t, I’m not talking about stranger references, like, I want to know you. So where do you find people? It’s like you network, right? You network through your friends and business acquaintances. That is what we do, right? Through our own employee base, our client base friends. I don’t put job ads up anymore because it’s a very lengthy process to filter through the masses to find a mi maybe might be one or two potentials, right? And so that’s not the answer for everyone. I’m not talking about scaling with dozens of people.
AJV (06:09):
I’m talking about the ones and the twos, and it’s like, I’m gonna network myself to finding that right person. That’s where we do slow down the interview process. You don’t have to make a decision in 24 hours or one week. It’s like meet the person in person. Even if that requires travel time to get together, it’s like you must meet in person. They need to do a shadow day, they need to get to know you, you need to get to know them. We always do the spouse test, which is are they married to crazy? Right? At the, one of the great lessons we learned from entree leadership at the Dave Ramsey organization, it’s like, man, you’re not just, it’s very much like a marriage. It’s like you’re not just hiring a person, you’re, you’re hiring who they’re attached to. So are they single?
AJV (06:53):
Are they married? Do they have kids? It’s like those aren’t deciding factors and whether or not you hire someone, but man, you do need to know those things about the people that you’re going to spend 60% of your time with every week. It’s like, I need to know where you’re coming from. So I know that if we’re how and if we’re aligned and then shadow days, right? It’s like they gotta see the job, not read it on a piece of paper. They gotta experience the job and you need to experience them experiencing the job. Those would be all things hire for experience. These are a couple of tips. Hire for attributes, not skills, hire for their values and their character traits, not just skills. Now with that, it’s like, yeah, you need to hire for experience. You need to hire someone who can do the job, but you also need to hire someone who shares the same cultural values and beliefs that are in alignment with you and your client base, especially if you have an existing client base.
AJV (07:49):
All right, next thing set pricing based on your people talent, right? So as you start scaling in people, this allows you to have different pricing tiers. It’s likely going to cost a different amount to coach or work with you than it does the people that you’re now bringing on. So that allows you to have new tiers, new levels of service. And I think this is really important for two different reasons. One, most of you are underpriced and you need to increase your prices. And most of you need to increase your prices for you. So this is a great opportunity for you now to have a tiered pricing schedule where the current pricing you have is now the pricing to work with my coaches that I’m bringing on board to help but to coach with me, and now I’m increasing that, right?
AJV (08:32):
It’s a simple supply and demand. You increase prices when there is more demand than supply. When you have more supply, i e a new person, then you can keep prices the same, right? And then over the course of time you have to hire another person. It just allows this opportunity for you to set pricing the way it should be, which is a little bit based on supply and demand of your time and availability, but as you bring on more people you don’t have to outprice yourself out of the market that you serve or love unless you want to. And that’s up to you. And then the last little quick tip, because I’m trying to keep these short is create recurring revenue lines, right? When you set your coaching pricing model, when you’re thinking about scaling, now this is specific to scale.
AJV (09:17):
It’s a, you have to have products that allow you to have some recurring revenue. If it is always, I’m gonna sell a, you know, three month, three month contract and I’m constantly trying to renew this quarterly thing, you’re gonna be in sales mode all the time, right? So what can you do to create some monthly recurring revenue models or annual recurring revenue models that make it a no-brainer for people to sign up for those? Now they may buy additional services that aren’t that project-based services, but this is a membership model, is what I’m talking about. This is it could be an annual mastermind model that renews and recurs over time, not a one and done. But this is a month to month or a monthly with a six month, 12 month whatever contract model. These could be online education platforms, memberships, the list goes on and on.
AJV (10:10):
But make sure that as you are selling, you don’t sell calls one at a time or you don’t sell just a quarterly contract where you’re always in renewal season, but find ways to create recurring pricing models that allow you to create a base foundation to give you some breaks to do the work. Because if you’re a solopreneur, a coach that is looking to scale, even if you have a couple of other coaches and you’re going, what’s that next tier? That next level the biggest thing, it’s like, it’s really hard to create both lots of new revenue and nurture and care for the existing client base that you have, right? And so some of the very first physicians that you may need before too long as a salesperson. So you’ve always got someone focused on bringing new business in while you or your coaches focus on keeping the business that you have.
AJV (10:58):
So first questions first. Why do you want to scale? And if you go through that process and still determine, yeah, I do, then you’ve got a quick checklist of things to go through. But just remember purpose comes before profit. Now that isn’t, I didn’t say revenue, right, that it’s like, make sure you’re doing what you’re doing and you’re going deep and wide and making an impact and loving what you do, and weigh all the pros and cons of how much of that will will temporarily go away in the scaling mode. Now I’m all about scale. I’ve scaled businesses. We are scaling our current business. I am not antis scaling. I am anti undoing it because somebody else is doing it. I am anti doing it for the wrong reasons. I am anti doing it because of our ego and our pride. I am pro doing it because there is demand that is requiring you to expand your reach and
AJV (11:52):
Impact, and you can do it right. And it’s like you have the desire to do it, is what I mean by can you have the desire and the ability to do it. And you don’t always have to. There are gonna be seasons where you’re like, I’m good. And maybe that’s just for a season. So just give yourself the permission to be happy where you are and love the work that you’re doing and the impact that you’re having, knowing that there’s always a season to grow and to scale. And sometimes there’s a, there’s a season to just go deep with what you’re doing and define that deep work and passion can easily be the thing that you look for versus the very next, you know, business move. So with all of that said there are reasons to scale. There are reasons to not, and I hope this quick conversation helps you vett those for yourself. We’ll see you next time.

Ep 394: Scaling Your Coaching Practice with Andy Bailey

AJV (00:02):
Hey everybody, and welcome to another episode on the Influential Personal Brand. I’m so, so excited to get to introduce you guys. To my friends a Andy Bailey today. Before I give you a formal introduction to Andy there are two things that I think is really important for everyone to know. Who’s tuning in is one, as you guys know, since you listened to this podcast, you know, we serve the expert, community coaches, consultants, trainers, speakers, authors, or any of you who want to be one of those things. And a huge part of what we’re gonna talk about today is how does scale your coaching practice, right? But we’re gonna talk about the business components, the personal components the leadership parts, the sales parts. And so if that is you and that sounds appealing, then this is probably an episode you wanna stick around and listen to. The second thing that you need to know is how I met Andy Bailey, which now would be, I don’t know, 14, 15 years ago.
AB (01:03):
Hey, right after you moved to
AJV (01:04):
Nashville. I mean, it was like within months, and we got connected through a mutual acquaintance. But I remember coming to your office and I was working at our former company, and I met you there, and I still have it, and it’s sitting on my son’s shelf. And you gave out this little Yoda, these little bobblehead Yoda. Do you know what I’m talking about?
AB (01:24):
Hundreds and hundreds of those things we given out. But yeah, ,
AJV (01:28):
I still have it. Do you really? I should have brought it up here as proof that I still have it. But it’s
AB (01:35):
AJV (01:37):
And I carried around. I still, I had carried around that to two companies, several offices, a new house, and it has made its way onto the shelf of my son’s, both of my son’s study room. And, you know, for years, people would come into my office and they would say, are you into Star Wars? And I’d be like, no, I’ve never seen it. And they’re like, why do you have a Yoda? And I’m like, oh, well, I’m gonna tell tell you this great story about this person I met named Andy Bailey, who did not give me something with his logo on it, but gave me something that now makes me tell his story everywhere I go. So I have used that on stages on podcast interviews. And you may not know it, but I talk about that little Yoda and meeting you all the time.
AB (02:22):
Well, I need to get a bigger stash of Yodas to start. That’s gonna be the the outcome .
AJV (02:27):
Yeah. And, and I still have that little sucker. So I just think that’s really important because so many of us are trying to figure out in a world that’s really noisy, how do you stand out and how do you be memorable? And sometimes it’s the personal things about yourself that stick with people the most. And I don’t get to see Andy a whole bunch. She’s now lives in Colorado, but I still have your Yoda on my shelf. And so I don’t see you all the time, but I think about you every single time I walk by that little Yoda. So, again, for those of you who are tuning in I’ll give a quick formal intro of Andy. But this is, that’s one of those things that’s like, we’re all trying to figure out how do we grow in business? How do we scale?
AJV (03:09):
How do we get people to know about what we do so they can buy your products and services? And often we skip past the simplest of things, which is just help people get to know you. Be memorable by just being you, which is exactly what Andy did for me 15 years ago. And now you’re on this show set. Now let me formally introduce you and we’ll get down to business. But Andy Bailey is the founder of two awesome companies Petra coach, which we’ll talk about, and his newest company that will also talk about called Boundless. But he helps businesses scale to the point of selling or scale to just the point of healthy profitability. He helps so many people that I personally know with their leadership teams, their sales teams, their executive team. He’s a serial entrepreneur. He and I are part of the same EO group here in Nashville, the Entrepreneurs organization. He is a, a speaker and a constant adventurer. So without further ado, Andy, welcome to the show.
AB (04:10):
Oh, aj, thanks for thanks for the introduction. There’s a lot in there for sure. We’ve been an EO member for since 1997. When I speak to those groups, I always kind of weave that in. And I’ll say, is anybody older than me in the, or? Like nobody in the world has been a member longer than 97. I’m sure there’s a few, but if there are few and far between,
AJV (04:27):
Oh, that’s so funny. You know, things, I, I just hired two new people and on both of their you know, I’m like filling out payroll yesterday and both of them were like, born in 2000. And it was like, how old am I? What do you mean? We’re born in 2000? So when you said 1997, it’s like, I’m like, I was just filling these out yesterday going 2000. How old are you? I’m like, doing the math and it’s like, oh my gosh, you’re babies. You’re babies. Well, I, I’m I’m so excited to have you on the show, one, because I just, I know you personally, I know that you’ve got such a breadth of wisdom of not just in business, but in this really awesome niche business that we happen to be in, which is in the coaching world, right? It’s like you have built an enormously successful coaching business that helps other people build their businesses. So there’s so much dual benefit of the conversation that we’re gonna have today. And so I’m gonna start super broad and I’m just like, whatever wisdom you have to get, I’m gonna take this personally as like my free coaching hour with Andy, cuz you’re real expensive. But for everybody else’s gonna get some benefit too. So here’s my first question. If you had to nail it down to like the top one to three things that you think business owners need to do today to grow and scale, what would they be?
AB (05:49):
That’s pretty easy. So I, I think in this order of importance, and this is never a popular answer cause I’ve, I’ve, I’ve given this answer at colleges and at talks before and everybody wants me to say stuff like, you know, find something you’re passionate about or define your purpose and put a big, like, you know, all that stuff is great, but first and foremost, it has to be profitable. Hmm. If a business doesn’t generate a level of profitability, it can’t fulfill purpose, it can’t take care of others, it can’t fulfill a mission, none of that stuff. Mm-Hmm. matters. I’m not saying one’s more important than the other, but if you don’t have the money, you can’t run the business. Yeah. You know, and I watch it happen quite a bit. So profitability would be at the very top of the list, making sure that that’s in check.
AB (06:39):
We were talking about people earlier. You, you have to, and we see this in EO quite a bit now. I have the fortunate I get to go talk to a lot of EO and business people and big groups and big crowds and usually leadership or the leader themselves, they invest in their own personal growth. Hmm. But they don’t do the same for their team members. Hmm. If you take a, a general business that’s about five or 10 million in revenue, and if you took their p and l and just looked at what is the education line or the learning line the majority of that’s gonna be tilted towards the owner of the business, the entrepreneur themselves, and then it just goes right down the scale all the way to the frontline. So we’ve got to make sure that we’re investing to grow our people.
AB (07:24):
Sometimes I’ll, I’ll speak to it as, you know, if a business is growing at 20% a year, everybody in the business has to grow at 20% a year. They have to build additional capacity. Capacity can be knowledge or skills or, you know, feeling better, whatever it might look like. But we have to make sure that we’re investing in the people. So, so profitability, focusing on to the individual. And then I think they gotta get really good at sales and marketing. Hmm. You can have a lot, you can have a lot of really screwed up in your operations side, and that stuff’s a little bit easy to fix, but if you don’t have anything coming in the front of the house, it’s hard to, to work on the back of the house. Yeah. Making sure that what you build, the engine you build is a profitable engine. Making sure that you’re growing your people at a pace that you’re growing your business and then making sure that you have a way to go get people in the door to buy or to to sell your services or your product too.
AJV (08:23):
Mm-Hmm. Those are good. And I have a question for each one of these cuz I think these are one just sound business like sound business principles that we often neglect in the sake of do what you wanna do and, you know Yeah. And that’s also important. But those should important that those should a little bit be the, well duh, you should do what makes you happy, but at the end of the day, it also has to work, right? And working means it’s profitable. So if you, generally speaking, had to just give anyone who’s like, their businesses could be, maybe they’re a speaker, maybe they’re an attorney, maybe they’re a dentist, maybe they’re a coach or anything in between, right? But it’s like, if there were just a couple of simple keys of going, like, this is just basic business 1 0 1 when it comes to getting profitable, what do people need to know?
AB (09:13):
Be the, be the, be be good. That’s the answer to your
AJV (09:16):
Question, . Yes.
AB (09:17):
Yeah. That
AJV (09:19):
. Yeah. Actually do what you say you do, right?
AB (09:23):
Yeah. well we have some rules in business. One of ’em is do we say you’re gonna do be, you know, be on time every time, finish what you start and say please and thank you. Like that’s four rules in business that everybody should be following. Your competition doesn’t do that. It’s easy to outpace your competition if you do those four things. But what I’m saying about being good is if I stack up everybody else that does what I do and you know, people are gonna pick me, I, this sounds like an arrogant statement, but people are gonna pick me outta that lineup nine out of 10 times. I’ve, I’ve literally had spent a thousand days in rooms with teams like let that seek in for a second, 1,008 to 10 hour days working with teams of people over the last decade plus all the prep work, plus all the reading, you know, the 300 books that went into it.
AB (10:09):
I’m good at what I do. I’m really good at what I do. That means I don’t have to go market myself all that much or go sell myself all that much. It means I can be more profitable. It, it means I can do all the things in business that I want to go do. Now my job now, because of the scale of Petra, is to get other people to be good, which is a whole nother challenge. And that’s what I’m working on. But the answer to the question is, if I can give you one piece of advice, go be good at what you do. Yeah. Really, really good.
AJV (10:41):
I love that. What I wrote down for myself is be so good at what you do that you’re the only option, right? It’s like you so outpace everyone around you that you are the only option because you’re so good at it.
AB (10:52):
That’s right. That’s right. Whatever is your chosen field. If it’s writing or speaking or coaching, especially your audience, you know, probably a lot of solo entrepreneurs or solopreneurs, you know, they’re, they have to, they, they probably spend a lot of their time in as my website, right? As my business card ride. Do I have my, my thing put together is the cover of all that stuff is good and you gotta do that. But if, if you’re not delivering at the point of delivery to a level better than everybody else, it’s not gonna matter that much.
AJV (11:22):
Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. You know, it’s interesting we talk about this all the time at Brand Builders Group is that people often want to skip the fun, what we would call the fundamentals of building your personal brand. Which is, you know, ultimately what problem do you solve? What’s the unique way in which you solve it? Who do you solve it for? And how do you make money solving it? That’s step one. Step two is what do you have to say that forwards the conversation? So it’s developing your true thought leadership. And then number three is then how do you wanna say that? Right? That’s the art, the artistry of our content, the art artistry of our spoke, of our body of work. And what I find so often is people wanna skip all of that and they wanna have a pretty website, right? Because there’s this tangible pretty thing that’s like, look how pretty this is. Or they wanna jump straight to social media or they wanna, you know, they wanna do all the things that make it look like something versus having back to what you say, it’s like, make yours content so good, you don’t have to market it. Right? And it’s like, that’s hard and it takes time. A lot of effort.
AB (12:33):
The time piece is probably the one that’s most difficult, especially in our time now. Cause everything is instant and you have an entire generation that grew up on everything is at my fingertips. If I want something, I just push a button in the car comes, picks me up, takes me. Like all that stuff is instant. There’s no real concept of time. And you’ve heard the statement and everybody probably has heard the, you know, every success overnight success is a 25 year journey always,
AJV (13:00):
AB (13:00):
Mm-Hmm. Petra is now 12 years old. I mean, that’s a, that’s a decade long business journey. And if you look at it, you go, man, these guys are doing great. Well, we weren’t doing great 12 years ago, and we were charging nothing and working our asses off and, you know, screwing a bunch of stuff up, but learning along the way. But we built on a little bit of success and then built on a little bit more and built on a little bit more and we didn’t stop being good and we kept mm-hmm. looking for what’s the next good. And we still do that today.
AJV (13:29):
Yeah. And that kind of leads into the second thing that you said, which is be growing as yourself, the leader, right? The entrepreneur, the business owner, but also have your team grow. And so I’d love, do you have any just kind of like tips or, you know, best practices, rules of thumb, whatever we wanna call it, of how much do you invest in your team, right? Like what, what’s a good budget policy? Do you let them pick? Do you pick like what’s a good practice?
AB (13:57):
I don’t think there’s an answer to what not, not a universal answer. You know, if you’re, you know, 10% of gross margins should get, like, that stuff probably doesn’t exist cuz everybody needs something in a little different degree. But certainly if you’re running an organization that has people in it, other than you, you should be working with the individuals to figure out where are their gaps. You know, what is the place, not weaknesses, but gaps. Mm-Hmm. what they need in order to, if your business, I said this to you earlier before we got on, but if the business is growing at 20% a year, that’s 60% over a three year period, every person around the table had better be 60% better, stronger, faster, smarter, all the stuff. Or when you reach that place, you’re gonna hit a ceiling and not be able to grow past it.
AB (14:42):
Or you’re gonna Yeah. Experience a lot of chaos and pain. Right? So what do you have to do? And sometimes that’s people skills. Like, Jimmy, I need to teach you how to actually deal with people and, and sometimes that’s knowledge and you know, I need to learn you how to learn how to code something, right? There’s, there’s, it depends on the, the position and what the outcome is. But if we do it, if we wait until it’s too late, then it’s too much to grasp. You know, if you, if you wait until you’re 40 pounds overweight and you start working out, it’s really difficult if you start doing it now while you, you can keep it in check kind of thing. So small bite sized pieces, but the key is to sit down with team members and find out what are we doing to grow you. Mm-Hmm. not what are you doing to grow the business, but what are we doing to grow you? And it doesn’t have to be like 50% of the person’s time or 5% of the person’s time. It can be small things. If we do it on a regular basis, that’s
AJV (15:37):
AB (15:38):
The company just don’t focus on that.
AJV (15:40):
That’s good. But that, I mean, that’s the whole, that’s the whole concept. I remember hearing this years ago, it’s like, if you grow, the business will grow, right? So it’s like, you know, it’s like we’re all, businesses are just a collection of the people, right? And their experience skills, knowledge, right? It’s like, businesses don’t exist without humans. Some human has to be there. So it’s like, where are you growing? And as long as you’re growing the business will likely follow you in some capacity. All right. And then the third thing, sales and marketing, which you kind of referenced this a little bit. It’s like, man, if you’re so good that you’re the only option, kind of sell yourself. But in a world where it’s easy to compare your step one to someone else’s step 1000, or you’re year one to someone else’s year 12. And when you get in a world that’s so noisy with distraction of, oh, we’ve gotta, you know, we’ve got this growth funnel and we’ve got this email thing and we’ve got this new website thing and you’ve got all things digital that are real distracting and surprise, they actually cost a lot of money and also take a lot of time, what would you say are the one to two things? It’s like, just pause for a minute. If you really wanna grow sales, this is what you need to do. What would you say?
AB (16:58):
AJV (16:59):
AB (17:02):
Ask, ask for the sale. I mean, most people are, you, you, we don’t get what we, I mean nobody, you don’t get a date unless you ask for a date. Like they don’t just show up. I mean, maybe they do these days, but they typically, you have to ask in some form or fashion. We hide behind a bunch of that doesn’t put us face to face with people. Mm-Hmm.
AB (17:19):
, you’re wanting to get an engagement, sell a book, sell a case of books, you know, book a speaking thing and you’re talking to somebody, ask ’em for the sale. Hey, are we ready to do this? We ready to get this on? Whatever it is you’ve gotta say, and I explain it like this to salespeople, my own salespeople included, before that moment in time you didn’t have anything. Nothing. You didn’t have the sale. You did not have the sale. You had zero, so you got no risk in it already. Mm-Hmm. , take the risk. And the second thing would be pricing. Most of the people that I’m, I’m making some assumptions here so correct me if I’m wrong, but I would, I would eventually guess that, that most of the people that you work with are way under charging for the services that they provide.
AJV (18:06):
Way undercharging. Let me make sure you heard that way. Undercharging. Most of you.
AB (18:12):
Yeah. Yeah. And I find that even in business, especially in small business, and it’s one of the hardest things we do. Like we, we coach it’s 10 million to a billion dollar companies now. But anytime that we go into an organization and we do a financial review and, and we have like le we call ’em levers, we can pull these levers. One of the levers is increase in price. Hmm. And you would’ve thought I just shot somebody’s dog in the room and made ’em watch. When we started talking about we’re gonna have to do a 3% increase in price, well shut the market and paper costs 17% more gas is 40% increased freight to bring the stuff to the warehouse went up by 70% last quarter. What do you mean you’re freaked out about passing along this percentage increase to the customer? Well, I’m gonna go tell ’em.
AB (18:54):
It’s a price increase. Everybody’s got a price increase. Mm-Hmm. and most of the services that we offer have value on the other side of it. And I think what we get tangled up in is our own minds of what’s just me on the stage for an hour or, you know, it’s just the written word, you know, that my creativity shouldn’t cost all that kind of much. Mm-Hmm. . But what you’re bringing to the table is not what you’re doing in that room or what you wrote on that page. It’s the 18 years of experience or five years of experience or the thing that you lived through that was pure hell. And now you’re gonna go tell the story. That’s the thing. That’s the value. Now you put in the work for 18 years, eight months, three days, whatever your story might be, that’s what you need to get paid for.
AB (19:37):
Mm-Hmm. . So I tell businesses a lot, especially little ones. I remember we have a mutual friend in Nashville. I won’t mention her name, but she is in the wedding business. Okay. and, and the first time I met her, she asked me if I would have a business, you know, could I help her with her thing? And it was probably her and like one other person. And the first thing I told her was, double your prices. Don’t even talk to me anymore. Go back to your office and double your prices. Now, I didn’t talk to her for a a while and she came and found me one day and said, I did exactly what you told me to do. Certainly did doubled my business, not just my number. Doubled my business in the first year. So those two things ask and charge more.
AJV (20:21):
Yeah. That’s so good. You know, it’s so funny cuz I know exactly who you’re talking about. And, and not only did she double her business, she had a wait list. She had a wait list of people who wanted her services to do their, you know, very at that point, high-end weddings. And it did double her business and then had a wait list. Because I think a part of that is, you know, I think what I have found anyways in a lot of programs out there is if you, if you don’t have confidence in your own pricing, the consumer base has just a lack of confidence in what it is. And it’s like, that’s only this amount of money. It can’t be that good. It’s like we even associate pricing with quality, which is often not true. Right. And I think the great analogy to that is a book, right? It’s like, I think books are one of the most undervalued and most important things in the whole world because it’s like, you think about how much I prepared Noah offense and for this podcast and it was like 10 minutes. But you think about how much I would prepare for a blog, I don’t know, maybe it’s 20 minutes, but how much time I take to prepare for a book is years. Yeah. Right? The amount of editing and distilling and back and forth and it’s what, $24 and 99 cents to buy a book?
AB (21:41):
Yeah. You make books. I got a couple of ’em myself,
AJV (21:44):
You know, and it’s like, but it’s like I think we, we go, oh well, you know, but Right. Somehow it’s like, if I wanna coach with Andy, it’s gonna cost me $20,000. Right. It’s like, or I could read a freaking book. Right. And it’s not that it’s, they’re clearly different, but a lot of times we just undervalue things because they are underpriced and it’s like when you get it priced right, people actually, you attract the right audience. And I just, I see that happen with our clients all the time. It’s, they’re not attracting their right audience because they’re not priced right. They’re attracting an audience that actually is the opposite of what they’re looking for based on pricing.
AB (22:20):
Well, they, and they won’t volume too. They, they’re, you know, well I can get, they won’t buy it at that. Everybody else is charging $99 and if I charge more than $99, they won’t buy it. Well, everybody’s buying the other person’s now. It’s like, you know, do you want all of those because you gotta go do the work that represents all of those. If you triple the price and you got one third, the amount, you’re actually better because you’re working one third is often or the same money. Like Correct. It, it, it, it doesn’t make any sense. I mean we, we’ve got, we in our organization, Petra today, we’ve gone from, I remember the day that we went to $2,500 a month was our standard fee for coaching. We have companies today that are 25,000 a month. Mm-Hmm. , same, same person, exact same person. Pretty much the same process has evolved over the course of time a little bit, but pretty much the same process, A lot more knowledge, decade of knowledge in the room. But from 2,500 to 25,000, I go see somebody for two days, every three months they pay me $75,000 for two days and I go get it. I feel like I do a good job. We have good results. Then they make another a hundred million dollars at the end of the year. Everybody’s happy. Yeah.
AJV (23:35):
Yeah. It’s kind of back to, it’s like people don’t pay for time, they pay for experience. That’s right. And your ability to consolidate that and to super easy to, you know, like to comprehend strategies and principles that my team can then go and deploy. Right. That’s what we’re paying for. So, kinda on that note, you mentioned Petra, which you have scaled to a very healthy eight figure coaching business over the last decade. So if we were to just take a moment and narrow in a little bit of, not general practice, but like scaling a coaching business, like what does it take, what do you need to know and how do you do it? What do you got for us?
AB (24:15):
Well that’s, that’s a, I should probably write that book cause a lot of people wanna know that. What I did in the very beginning when it was just me, was a, I went to some kind of thought leader gurus that are around the coaching world. And I started asking the question, cuz this is what I do and I teach other people to do the same thing. If I wanna achieve something, go find somebody who’s already done it and just ask ’em how they did it. You’re asking me now. So I went to two or three people who are kind of kings of the methodology and just said who, you know, I, I would like to, I’m my history comes from recurring revenue. So I learned the reoccurring revenue thing back in when I, in my twenties. So I did not want to just trade my time for money for the rest of my life.
AB (24:58):
I wanted to make sure I built something that returned return revenue without me doing it back in the story. So I asked a few people and they said, you know, I don’t really know of anybody that that took, you know, a methodology turned and that they would deliver to a group of people and turned it into a practice with. So I had to figure that piece out on my own. Extremely difficult, more difficult. And I, and I started a software company aligned, as you’re familiar with it’s in New Orleans has 25 or 30 employees, does great down there. We’ve got a marketing company as well you know, in, in the Petra imbalance. So I, I started these kind of traditional businesses alongside this coaching practice after having a traditional business for 18 years prior to that and exiting it, coaching practice factor 10 more difficult to scale factor a 10 .
AB (25:52):
Like, it, it’s an incredibly difficult thing. So how did I do it a little bit at a time? So we’ve made some mistakes early, we got some wrong people in the seats outta necessity. I learned that lesson really quick, meaning there was so much business coming in the door that I just really needed the relief. Mm-Hmm. . So I’ve put a couple of coaches in place who were not good at what they do. They weren’t any remotely near good and turned them loose on these people who quickly ran away from them. So I had to kind of back that up. So I learned, well, exactly what am I looking at looking for in a coach? I didn’t really know. I, I like intuitively knows, so defined exactly to the letter what that looked like mm-hmm. . And we are incredibly intense on anybody who wants to work inside of the organization as a coach today. They have to go through, we called it gauntlet. You know, I talked to a guy today and he wanted to be a coach. I said, look man, we’re like the Navy Seals, you know, we take the best of the best in the world and then we put ’em through hell and if you make it through hell, then maybe we’ll invite you in. You gotta be ready for that kind of thing. So people, some people are attracted to that process, some people are repelled by it. There’s a reason that that exists mm-hmm.
AB (27:01):
. And then again, it’s when you first got someone in, so I go get another coach, we bring ’em back in. There’s a period of time that, and it’s usually somewhere between 12 and 24 months. They go through a training process and then day one in the room with the client, they completely fall apart. Like they forget all their training, what they’re supposed to say, what the next steps are, what page, like forget absolutely everything. So they screw up for about a year to two years. And we call it burning members. We call our clients members because we know we are putting companies in there now they’re getting value, more value than they would get from the open market, but not nearly the value that they’re gonna get if they came to this person when they were two years in. You with me? Sure. Mm-Hmm. , we, we charge less for it. We’re very open and straightforward. They get a lot of time with the coach, but the coach’s abilities aren’t developed yet. But we, we’ve learned that recruiting the right people is incredibly important. Making sure that we do not compromise on that no matter what the circumstance is. And then training and retraining and training and retraining as we go down this path. And nothing replaces experience.
AB (28:20):
We can do all the online training, all the shadowing, all the books, everything, everything. But as your speakers on this absolutely understand you’re not as good. I don’t care what, you know, from stage, the 50th time as you are gonna be the 500th time experience is the best teacher.
AJV (28:43):
Yeah. So funny. One of our early mentors, when my husband Rory was competing for the world championship of public speakers, I, we remember this so clearly, and Eric Chester is the one who told us this. He said, the only difference between a good speaker and a great speaker is a thousand speeches. I said, go give this presentation a thousand times and a promise to you, it’ll be great. Yep. And that’s what he did. That is literally what my crazy husband did. In the back of a Denny’s with two, two people to any school or free club that would have him. And, and that first 12 months when he was competing, he did that speech probably 340 times. And that’s once a day. Y’all like, there’s only 365 days in a year. And out of 25,000 contestants, he came in second. Right. What he says he is the number one loser . But it’s like, you know, but it’s like, man, it was, he’s doing it every single day. You think about that, it’s like you do anything every single day over time, you’re just gonna get better.
AB (29:52):
There’s, you have no choice. But most people, most people will not go do that. And we talked a little bit prior about, you know, just the societal viewpoint today is, I won’t give me that now. I deserve it. Mm-Hmm. , no, you don’t, you haven’t done it a hundred times or 340 times or a thousand times. You don’t deserve it. You’re, you’re not going to be good or great until you go put in the work. And that the work part is the, the part that most people won’t go do. Only a few. And those few will ex, you know, exceed and show up and, you know, get, they’ll get the brass ring or the golden ring or whatever it is that they’re chasing.
AJV (30:37):
Yeah. I think that’s a good reminder to all of us. And even like starting Brain Builders Group, like we turn five years old in just a couple of weeks. Right. And it feels, it feels like yesterday, right? But we were build building our first coaching company for 12 years. And you know, the thing that I’ve learned is like, the more that you do something, the quicker you can redo it and make it better. But, you know, it’s like we stepped into building brand builders groups constantly frustrated of like, why isn’t this working fast enough? Right? And it’s like, but you look up one day and you’re like, oh, that’s because it’s like, again, I just, I have, I have so much to learn in the patience category, but it’s like, and it takes time to build anything good takes time. And if you rush it, you’re gonna cut corners and you’re gonna skip things that are crucial to the foundation. And I know from our community and from people listening, it’s like, man, you wanted to work so bad and you wanted to work so fast that you’re often tempted to just skip steps. But it’s like you’re always gonna have to repeat those steps at some point.
AB (31:39):
And everybody’s looking for a like a silver bullet. Like a, can I use a piece of technology? Can I use a, you know, like no , you can use it, but you’re not getting a skill from it.
AJV (31:52):
Yeah. That’s good. So I, I think one of the things too, because you have done this, how many, how many coaches do you have at Petra?
AB (32:01):
There’s about 20, 25, 26, something like that.
AJV (32:03):
That’s a lot. That’s a ton. So if you were to give any tips, and I know we only have a couple of minutes left here, but if you were to give any tips for people going, wait Andy, I have to go hire people. Like where do I find good talent? Like how do I find, attract, train, and keep good talent? What are your tips?
AB (32:27):
First of all, it’s a decision process. And I, I’ve had this conversation, especially when somebody, I, I, I’ll use an example. Been working with the company now for a while, like a decade, a while. And when they first approached me, highly successful, highly profitable, just a few people kind of run like a fraternity house. And they were in the sales business and they all made great money, I’m think, I mean like millions a year, right? So, and they want, but he wanted a business. He’s like, you know, I feel like, I feel like I need a business. I’d like to, I wanna scale this thing. I wanna turn it into an actual business. I know it’s just a job right now and it’s a good job, but an actual business. I’m like, are you sure dude? Like, you need to be sure.
AB (33:12):
And there’s nothing wrong with solopreneur lifestyle business, you know, staying small, staying small and being great. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Cause it takes an enormous amount of energy to scale something beyond yourself. Mm-Hmm. a group of people to look, smell and act the way you want them to look, smell and act on a regular basis is not an undertaking for the lighthearted. So the first is be very cautious with even the decision. Cause you know, we glorify business people and put ’em on magazines and talk about their organization. You know, it’s a 10,000 person group or a hundred thousand person group or whatever. But the glory is the end result. What they don’t see is, are the years of the pain to get there. So the first point of that is be cautious of making that decision in the first place.
AB (34:07):
The second piece is you’re going to lose money before you make money. Mm-Hmm. So if you make 2 million a year doing what you’re doing today as a solopreneur, you probably are gonna get to a place where you make it half million dollars in the first three years of your little venture off into being a business. Cause now you’re paying other people to do this stuff 30% as well as you were doing it until they can get it up to the a hundred percent where you want them to be. And you gotta be willing to suck that up for a period of time in order to get scale on the other side. Right. So you’re gonna, it’s gonna cost you not just effort and energy and time, but a lot of money to go build something like that as well. So at the end of the day, just be cautious with the decision itself.
AJV (34:48):
Yeah. I think that’s actually really wise. And sage advice because I think we often get so tempted where we think we have to scale. We think we have to grow. And the truth is, you
AB (35:00):
Know, you don’t have,
AJV (35:01):
You don’t,
AB (35:02):
I’m at a place right now with Petra where we, we, you know, we had meeting, we had a meet half a half a day meeting today. I mean, our business does really well. It makes, it makes really good money. I’m not that involved in it anymore. You know, I’ve built it so it could run on its own. That’s what we do with other companies, might as well do it my own. So all of my businesses operate pretty much without me. But in order to go from where we are to the next level, you know, the 25 it’s gonna take a lot of my time and attention and I’m weighing in my mind like, am I actually willing to go do that or am I OK where I am and could I point my energy in another direction? So the, I’m, I’m making that decision personally while I’m telling you guys the exact same thing you asked me about how to, where to go look for a great team members to be in a coaching, right. Put down the attributes, not the skillset. Mm-Hmm.
AJV (35:55):
. That’s good.
AB (35:56):
What are you looking for from an attribute standpoint before you look at the skillset? Skillsets can be taught, attributes are innate and they’re just part of the being.
AJV (36:06):
AB (36:06):
. So what are your core values of your business? What is the purpose of your business? What are the pure attributes that you’re looking for in a human being to ? You know, I wrote an article years ago AJ called sharing a toilet seat. It actually was in the Tennessee, if you remember that old, that
AJV (36:21):
Old office. Yeah.
AB (36:22):
. And it was about I said, look when you hire somebody, you’re gonna sit on the same toilet seat that they sit on. Aren’t, don’t you wanna take just a little bit of time picking that person like, like hiring somebody. Right? And then it went into what are the inter what can you do to slow this process down and be more just more pointed with making your decision.
AJV (36:43):
Yeah. I actually, I love that it’s, you know, and actually I really love that it’s what can you do to slow the process down versus, you know, how do I speed it up? And I think so often it’s like, how do we make faster recruiting decisions and how do we expedite the onboarding? And it’s actually, I really love the advice of like, no, slow it down. Right? It’s like, don’t make these hasty decision decisions. Know exactly who they are. Make sure they know who you are. And that, again, takes time. So slow it down.
AB (37:15):
Well, you, you’ve had the experience. I’m making an, again, another assumption and I talk to a lot of business people. You know how difficult it is to get somebody out of your business once they’ve been there.
AJV (37:25):
Oh yeah. It’s, it’s annoyingly difficult and to do it, there’s not gonna create any sort of legal ramifications or everyone leaves on good terms and everyone’s happy. It’s like, you know, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s a little bit like getting married. And you know, for those who’ve been through this getting divorced, it’s often a lot easier to get married than it is divorced.
AB (37:49):
Super easy to get married, super easy, really difficult to break that thing up. Yeah. Same thing is true and
AJV (37:55):
Painful for all the parties involved. So slow it down. I love that advice.
AB (38:01):
You wouldn’t rush into a marriage you would date for a while. You’d pick different people, you’d sit with ’em, you’d talk like, you learn about somebody before you make the commitment. Same thing is true here.
AJV (38:09):
Yeah. I think that’s so good. Andy, if people wanna learn about Petra and what you do for businesses, and if somebody’s in a state of like, I am scaling and I do need this kind of advice, where should they go to learn about Petra?
AB (38:22):
Just go to petra coach.com. We have some online tools and some downloads there. We also do some live events virtual live events. May the 18th, I don’t know if this comes out prior to May the 18th, but we, we do have a live event in Nashville that people are welcome to sign up. Most of this stuff is free as well.
AJV (38:39):
Ah, that’s awesome. And I’ll put all that in the show notes. But then also you’ve got this awesome new company boundless, stop me. And that’s really more about the personal development side. And so can you give us your 32nd? Tell us about Boundless and where people go to find out about it.
AB (38:54):
Yeah, so as we were talking about earlier, like growing the individual inside of the business, that was a missing component inside of Petra wasn’t something that we could spend a lot of time with. So we started the business a couple of years ago that St took the tools for growing an organization, a company. And we just turned those tools into tools for the individual. We call it high performance for high performing humans. So it’s literally, think of it as life planning. Where you, where you gonna be in your life? What do you want in 10 years? What do you want in a year? Very, very detailed. We created a journal system that goes along with it so you can write every day. And it’s a process I’ve been following personally for 12 years and I just turned it into this stuff. It’s been, this has been a fun journey creating this.
AJV (39:35):
And people can go to boundless.me to check out the more personal development side. And then also in the show notes Andy’s been so gracious, we’re gonna include an awesome QR code where you can just sign up for quick, easy little, you know, snippets of information that’ll come to you every day. And so that’ll all be in the show notes and I’ll put all of the other links in there so that you guys can learn, stay in touch and continue to get these awesome pieces of wisdom from my good friend Andy Bailey. Andy, thank you so much for being here. I so appreciate you. And for everyone listening, make sure you stay tuned for the Cliff Notes version of this episode, which we’ll release shortly after this. We’ll see you next time on the influential personal brand.