Ep 495: Trademarks. Do I Really Need One? | Autumn Witt Boyd Episode Recap

AJV (00:02):
So wanna know how to protect your personal brand. I just got off of an awesome conversation with a friend of mine, autumn Witt Boyd, who is the founder and owner of a WB law firm, which is kind of a unique law firm in the personal brand space that she really caters to people who have personal brands, courses, books, keynotes, podcasts but anyone who would consider themselves a content creator. So if you’re listening to this going, I don’t know if I’m a content creator, I’m an entrepreneur or a small business owner. If you have a methodology or a framework to your business, this applies to you. You are a content creator. If you have a robust website or our blogs or you put out a bunch of free content, guess what? You’re a content creator even if you don’t think you are.
AJV (00:50):
And so we had this amazing conversation on the influential personal brand podcast, and I thought it was worthy enough to recap it in a shorter conversation of just how do you protect your personal brand? And one of the first things that we should really consider is how do we do that in a proactive manner, right? So there’s things to do on the backend. Those are always more time consuming and more expensive. So what are some of the things that we can, as we’re getting started, or even before we get started to protect our personal brands? So, couple of quick things that I thought were just worthwhile to share with you guys. Number one, make sure that you’re starting from a clean slate, right? So if you’re in the very beginning phases of your business and you haven’t come up with even a name for your business or your personal brand, or a title for a book, a keynote, a course, a, a curriculum, a framework, a methodology, whatever it is, right?
AJV (01:43):
This is the best place to start, is make sure that you’re starting on, you know, solid ground. And there’s, there’s nothing else in the marketplace that’s already being actively used, right? And there’s some nuance to that, but I just thought this was a good, healthy checklist is as you’re, as you’re coming up with the name or the title for your things, right? So again, those are variety of things, right? Could be company name, brand name book title, course title, keynote title, podcast title. Just think titles, right? Names brands, right? Brands have names. So these, these are some things you wanna just do to make sure you’re just clean slate. Don’t need to worry about anything later. ’cause I know from experience, once you get attached to something, there is emotional involvement and it also feels like starting over, even though you’re not, if you have to come up with a new name for something. So let’s just make sure that the name you’re coming up with is one that’s gonna last the test of time because some, it’s not in use somewhere else. Okay? that’s the first thing is start with the US office of patents and trademarks, right? Make sure that no one else already has this in use or has an active trademark. Perhaps it’s expired or whatever, but just make sure
AJV (02:59):
That that’s a first round filter as you’re kind of going through what we call the title tests. This is what we call the availability test, right? So if you’re a part of the Brand Builders Group community we talk about this and finding your brand DNA, which we did trademark. So on that note this is one of the five title tests. And one of the things is going, is it available? Don’t take something that’s not available. So that’s the first round filter. Is it trademark, right? Is it already active and in use by someone else with a, with a legal trademark? Number two do a thorough Google search, right? These are DIY things. You don’t have to have an attorney to do these things, which means it costs your time, but it’s saving you dollars. So do a thorough Google search.
AJV (03:42):
What do I mean by thorough? Go at least to pages 5, 6, 7 on Google to see if anything pops up. And for all intents and purposes, screenshot all of the work so that you have proof. Make sure that when you’re screenshotting things, it shows the date on your calendar of like, Hey, on this date, right? Screenshots, also share dates. Don’t delete that, right? Label it with the date. But it’s better if it can share. Show your calendar for proof. But those are really important. Same thing with the US Office of Patent and trademarks. Whatever you can do to have proof that on this date, this is what I took, this is my proof, my documentation. Same thing with Google. Because to today, it might not be there, but a week from now it might, right? So it’s always good when you came up with something to make sure that you’re, you’re just taking the one extra step of documentation for proof and just wanna put those in your archive files.
AJV (04:39):
Save ’em for a rainy day, hopefully you’ll never need ’em. Third thing is check social media platforms for that title, right? So, you know, I use the brand title better than ever, so I’ll just use that, right? Not in use on anything with Google. It was not trademarked. It was there’s no podcasts, there’s no books, there’s, you know, there’s all the things, right? So that’d be the next thing. Do an Amazon search and just see if it’s in use. One of the things that we talk about on the podcast interview with Autumn Whit Void is just because it’s a book title does not mean you can’t use it. Doesn’t mean you should, but you cannot trademark a book title by itself. You have to have an entire series of things for it to actually get trademarked. So it cannot just be a book title. So if you have a book title and a keynote title and a course title all with the same title, now that’s a brand, but a book is not a brand. So you cannot trademark a book title. So just because it pops up doesn’t mean you can’t use it. It just doesn’t mean you should, right? Just because you can doesn’t mean you should always. So you just wanna go and, and do the, the due diligence, right? If it was an Amazon book that was released 10 years ago
AJV (05:57):
And five people bought it and there’s no reviews, but the, you know, just use your common sense knowledge there of like what you should and shouldn’t do. But, you know, those are things that you wanna check, right? So check for book titles just to go, like if you find it there, then pull up the website, right? Is it in use? Is there anything else in there? Even if they don’t have a trademark, is it in use elsewhere? Because you don’t wanna be competing about what someone else already has claim over. There’s enough ideas and enough other titles that we can come up with. So those are just things to pay attention to. Next one is do a podcast search, right? So go through the iTunes library or wherever you listen to your podcast and do some title searches. And go, Hey, is this title being used here?
AJV (06:42):
Right? So you wanna be doing you know, clearly the US patent and trademark search. You wanna do Amazon search a good thorough five to six page deep Google search do a podcast search and then you know, the social media, right? And then do it for anything that would be on handles on the primary platforms that you would be using, right? So if you’re gonna have a YouTube channel, make sure it’s not in use on anything else’s, right? Make sure this isn’t someone’s handle on Instagram or make sure this isn’t a title actively in use on LinkedIn. So those are some of the key places that will just help you make sure that when you come up with something before you get emotionally invested in it do these availability tests and make sure that it’s available. ’cause Starting with a clean slate is one of the most important things you can do to have a good secure brand.
AJV (07:35):
And then it also gives you proof when you do all this documentation that you were first in use, right? So there is this idea of there is a race to use. In other words, there is a race to who’s gonna use it first, be the first. And if you’re gonna do it, then last but not least, take the necessary steps to get what you can trademarked or copyright, right? That doesn’t mean everything needs to be, but if you’re gonna have an entire brand bill around something, take the few hundred dollars or a couple thousand dollars even and protect that. If that’s gonna be something that is gonna make you money, it’s gonna stay in the test of time. In other words, you’re gonna be using it for a while and you have an emotional investment in it, then it is worth the time and the money ’cause it’s gonna take time to do it and some money.
AJV (08:24):
But if this is your business title, your brand title, it is worth it. So once you find that it is clear, it’s available, it’s in use, take that next step. Do the due diligence, get an attorney and file your trademark and protect your brand, right? The more you do it on the front end, the less expensive it’s gonna be later on. So how do you protect your brand, make sure it’s really yours, and then take the next step to legally protect it, to make sure that you get to keep that brand and nobody else can take it from you.

Ep 493: 5 Ways to Create Limitless Power | Jim Kwik Episode Recap

RV (00:01):
I wanna share with you five of the greatest lessons that I learned from Jim kwik. So Jim is a client of ours and a friend, and somebody that I very much would consider a mentor, and recently interviewed him on our podcast. If you did not listen to it, you have got to go listen to this episode. It was absolutely incredible. And what I wanna share with you, here are my five biggest takeaways from that interview. Jim originally told me that he only had like 20 minutes for the interview. I think we ended up going 45. He, he got into this mode of just really pouring out his heart for our community and what we do, and sharing his story. And it’s inspiring for mission-driven messengers. But so there’s so many takeaways that came out of it. I’m gonna, I’m gonna pull my five favorite ones that just immediately spoke to me.
RV (00:53):
So number one is that your labels are your limits. And if you continue to fight for your limitations, then you get to keep them. That is one of his direct quotes that hit me so hard because it’s absolutely true, right? First of all, your labels are your limits. And sometimes our, our labels initially come from somebody else, right? Somebody calls us stupid, somebody calls us, you know, poor, or somebody else says we’re weird. Somebody else says, we’re like, you know, we don’t have what it takes. We’re not, we’re not cut out for it. We’re not from the right family. We, right? And so those labels sometimes become our limits, but then we often allow those limits to set hold in our life, and we start to fight for ’em. And we say things like, we start to make that our narrative, and we tell other people, and we tell ourselves why we can’t do things.
RV (01:50):
Oh, I’m getting so old. I, you know, I can’t exercise anymore ’cause I’m so old, or I’m always so bad at remembering names, or I’ve never been good at math, or like, yeah, I’m just not a good salesperson. Or like yeah, I don’t, you know, I don’t understand the social media stuff or like you know, I, I just, I’m, I’m too busy to, you know, do whatever, like, give back in whatever way. And we fight for those limits. And those limits, like what Jim said, is the, the problem with that is that when you fight for your limits, you get to keep them. That is a sobering truth, a sobering moment. The next thing that he said that really stuck out to me was when he was telling this story about meeting the, the, the father of his friend who changed his life. And he said, he said, Jim, you’re this close to changing your life. You’re this close to changing your life. And then he was pointing at his head, you know, the distance between his own brain, right? And, and going, it’s the six inches inside of your own, like your, your own head. You’re we’re
RV (02:58):
That close. You’re that close to changing your life. You’re that close. If you change, if you change what you think about yourself, if you, if you can, if you can change the way that you what you tell yourself about yourself, if you can learn about how your brain operates, we’re that close, right? You’re that close to changing your life a few inches. It’s getting your head straight. It’s getting your mind right. It’s getting your, your thinking ironed out in my take the stairs book. I talk about the creation principle of integrity. How you, you know, you think it, you speak it, you act, and then it happens. But it starts with the thought. You have to get the thought, right? First, permanent changes in your actions are require permanent changes in your thinking. They require permanent changes in your thinking. You can’t cover up, you know, poor thinking with actions.
RV (03:57):
That’s a diet, that’s a fad that you will change temporarily and it will go away. You have to rewire your programming. You have to rewire your thinking. If you want to create a permanent change in your life, that’s, that’s different. That’s, that’s rewriting the neural programming. It’s not just pos, it’s not just positive thinking. It’s not just personal development. It’s neuroscience, it’s psychology, it’s biology. You have to form new neural pathways in your brain. That leads me to the third, my third favorite thing that Jim said was when he said that if you’re struggling, if you’re thinking about quitting, if you’re hitting a ceiling, if you’re being blocked, if you’re plateaued, if you’re stuck, if it’s not working, you need to change your perspective. And the two fastest ways to change your perspective are to get new, to get around new people and new education, new education, new people, and new education.
RV (04:57):
That’s so true. That has been true in every moment of my life. Every time I pursued some new goal that seemed impossible, some new dream that I, I had no business doing, trying to, or, or, or coaching somebody else on that journey or, or trying to work with them to, to accomplish something that’s never been done before. Getting the right people, getting around the right people changes everything. And getting new education, getting education from the people who have done it before. It changes everything, right? And this is why, like, I, I, I just have to encourage you unapologetically that if you are somebody who wants to build your personal brand, if you are someone who wants to become an author or a speaker, you need to go to free brand call.com/podcast and request a call with our team. Jim Quick is a client of ours, right?
RV (05:43):
You could listen to the interview, right? Listen to what he said about how we’ve helped him. Now, he was massively successful before us, but we’re working with, like people like him. We’re, we’re, we’re adding value to people like him. And we’re, we, we see what people like him are doing behind the scenes. And we know something about this. And so, if you’re stuck, if you’re, if you’re speaking business, your coaching business, your consulting practice, your, your professional services firm, your network marketing company, your entrepreneur, your entrepreneurial endeavor, or your side hustle. If they’re not growing as fast as you want them to, you need to be around new people. And you need new education. That’s what we do specifically for those people, experts, entrepreneurs, right? Professional service providers. Like, that’s, that’s our world. Request a call with us, talk to us free brand call.com/podcast. Get perspective.
RV (06:34):
If it’s not us, get it from somebody, right? Get it from somebody. And, and I will, I will again underscore and, and highlight Jim’s book, limitless, right? I don’t read every book of every person who comes on the show. I can’t, right? Like I’ve got a stack of other things that I’m also reading, but like, this is a book that I highly recommend, limitless. I have read the book. It is so powerful. It is a, a, a, a user manual for your brain. It’s, it’s important. I think it should be mandatory reading for like every, I think it should be mandatory reading for every 18-year-old person to read, to read this book, and to read Take the stairs, and to read the trust edge and to read financial peace. Those are like some of the books that I go, man, everybody should have to read it.
RV (07:17):
But if you haven’t, read this one. Get it and get new education. Or, you know, get it from somebody. If it’s not from us or it’s not from Jim, get it from somebody. The fourth thing that Jim said that I absolutely love, that was a complete, you know, just great reminder is you’re one step away from completely changing the direction of your life, right? It’s one thing to go changing your life is hard work. Changing your life takes some time. You don’t change your life instantaneously, overnight. But you can start changing your life with one step, one moment, right? To, to biblically. There’s a beautiful word in scripture that the word is repent in the English language. But many people think the word repent means to be sorry, but that’s not really the nature of the word. Repent. The, the nature of the word repent means to turn in the opposite direction, which is part of how you demonstrate that you’re sorry for something.
RV (08:18):
That’s part of how you demonstrate that you wanna change, that you wanna change your life, that you wanna change your behavior, that you wanna change who, who you are as a person is to repent, to turn another direction, to take a step in a different direction. And you go, you know, the moment you turn your life isn’t completely different, but your direction is completely different. And once your direction is completely different, your destination will be completely different. And your destination is the inevitable outcome of your direction. So while I can’t change your destination in the snap, the snap of a finger, like you can’t immediately fast forward to the destination you can in the snap of a finger, in one moment, change your direction. And if you change your direction, you ultimately will change your destination. Because the destination is the inevitable byproduct of the direction and the direction you can change overnight, the direction you can change immediately, the direction you can change with one step, change your direction.
RV (09:17):
That’s so powerful, such an important reminder. And then the fifth thing that Jim shared, which is where I just feel like we’re brothers from, we’re brothers from other mothers, is to go, you know, you can sense this guy’s story, right? This guy’s, Jim’s superpower for most of his life was being invisible, was being unseen. He was hiding deliberately because he was the kid with the broken brain, right? Because he was the kid that the other students made fun of. He was hiding. And then even once he sort of found his power and he found his gift, and he was able to make money, he still never wanted to become well known. And he didn’t want to do that. He, he, he was, he’s introverted. He, he was shy, he was fine living, he was comfortable living in the shadows. So why then did he break free from that?
RV (10:10):
Why did he break free and start one of the biggest podcasts in the world with a hundred million downloads? Why did he start one of the most successful YouTube channels with one and a half million subscribers? Right? Why did he, why did he write a book, right? Why did he even ever work with brand builders group in the first place and, and, and write a book, and then rewrite the book and, and sell a million copies of his book? Like why did he do that? It was because of number five, ultimately, even though he wanted to hide ultimately, even though he was a master of being invisible, ultimately, that even though he didn’t care about fame or nor notoriety, ultimately all of those things fell subservient to a moral obligation to serve, a moral obligation to serve. That’s what it means to be a mission-driven messenger. It means you have an a moral obligation, you have a duty, you have a responsibility, you have a calling, you have a command, you have a summoning, you, you have a voice that you cannot quiet because it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with the people out there in the world calling you and saying, I need you. I need your help. I need your wisdom. I need your perspective. I need your expertise. I need your advice. I need your strategies. I need your technique. I need you.
RV (11:34):
It’s not about your fame, your vanity, your riches, your followers. It’s about service, a moral obligation to serve. And if you’re a true mission-driven messenger, you have to stop hiding. You have to get out of the, get out of the shadows. You need to come out from behind the curtain. You need to, to, to get out and share with people. Share your story, right? Think of how many people, Jim’s life, his stories impacted the kid with the broken brain, the kid that was made fun of the kid who was dropping out of school, the kid who was letting his parents down, then becoming one of the smartest people in the world, and the brain coach to Will Smith and Hugh Jackman and Alex Rodriguez and the Rock and the, and half of the Fortune 500. I mean, what a transformation. And then sharing those because of a moral obligation to serve. It’s your duty, it’s your divine design. That’s what I think, right? I think it is God’s divine design of your humanity. The reason that you have struggled, the reason you’ve had challenges, the reason you have had setbacks and obstacles is because it was part of God’s plan all along to use you to impact other people.
RV (12:56):
And so to resist that calling to me is to defy God himself. That’s how I think about it. But a moral obligation, whether you believe in God or not, but like to, to, to realize and go, I’m gonna be subservient. Yeah, maybe it, you know what? It is uncomfortable to get out there and promote your stuff. It is annoying to have to learn about social media. It is a pain to have to figure out how to build a personal brand and create websites, and launch books and do speaking and, and sell tickets to events. And yeah, it, it’s a pain. Like it is a pain, but the fruit of it is you get to impact lives. You get to make a difference. You get to help people. You get to serve people. You get to add the meaning of all of the things that have happened to you suddenly have meaning as you add value to others. That’s what this is about. That’s what this journey is all about.
RV (13:55):
So my friends, don’t let your labels be your limits. Don’t fight to keep your limitations. Realize that you’re six inches away from every dream you’ve ever wanted by changing what’s in your mind. Get a new perspective. Be around new people. Get new information. Take one step in a new direction, and that will ultimately determine a completely different destination and operate out of a moral obligation to serve. That sums it up. Show Jim. Quick some love. If you would, if you would, if you got anything out of this episode or this recap, go just say hi and tell ’em where you found him. Say, Hey Jim, I love your stuff. Heard you on the influential personal brand podcast. Heard you from Rory and Brand Builders Group, Rory and AJ and Brand Builders Group. And just tell ’em, say, Hey man, thanks for your story. You know, if you can buy the book, check it out. He’s got good stuff. And share this episode with someone in your life who needs it,
RV (14:50):
Right? Share this with somebody in your life who needs it and keep coming back every single week. We’re working hard, right? We work hard to, to get ac get you access to people like Jim Quick. It’s not easy to get to people like Jim Quick. It’s been years of developing a relationship with Jim so that we could get him for 20 minutes to come on and, and, and talk to you and, and share this. And, you know, he ended up going twice as long ’cause he feels the power of you, the power of this community. So thanks for, for being the community. Thanks for being the reason he’s here. And thanks for being the reason why we do what we do. We’ll catch you next time on the Influential Personal Brand Podcast.

Ep 491: Creating Content for the Next Generation | Eevi Jones Episode Recap

AJV (00:02):
Have you ever thought about writing a kid’s book? If you have, then I would encourage you to stick around for the next five minutes. Writing a kid’s book is one of the things that I’ve always had a passion to do. I have not yet done it, but my husband had this spiritual download from the Lord about two years ago. And while we were putting our kids to bed one night, he literally in the middle of putting my two toddlers at that time, two and four down, he said, babe, I have to go. And he just leaves the room disappears. I finished putting my kids down and about 45 minutes later I’m like, where is he? And he emerges out of all places out of the bathroom, right? I guess where it’s for all great things happen for him. And he said, babe, I just wrote a kid’s book.
AJV (00:42):
And I was like, I’m sorry, you just wrote a kid’s book sitting in the bathroom. What are you talking about? And he goes, I want you to read this. And he hands me his phone and I hold up his phone and I start reading this thing that he just wrote. And lo and behold, he was right. And about 30 minutes, he had written an entire kid’s book. Now, the point is not that he did this in 30 minutes, ’cause he didn’t this actually was oh, the, this was the end result of 14 years of talking about his first book, take The Stairs, which is a business book for adults and post children, right? We read a lot of books and they suck. These kid books are not awesome. So if you’ve got great kids book recommendations, tag me, AJ Vaden on Instagram, I’d love to know.
AJV (01:33):
But I have not found a ton of them that are amazing. And while reading to our kids one night, he had this download of the message that he wanted to share with our kids from Take the Stairs. And so he wrote a book called Be the Buffalo, which is one of the signature stories in his first book, take The Stairs. That came out in 2010. And it’s about sometimes difficult choices, although they’re harder in the short term lead to better, you know, results in the long term. And it’s about charging the storm, right? It’s charging into conflict, not running away from it. It’s heading difficult. Things head on, not shying away because the more that you avoid it, the longer you spend time in the storm. But if you be the buffalo, you can charge the storm and get through those things quicker.
AJV (02:22):
And that story, that analogy is a really great thing that we talk about a lot. And what he was doing in the bathroom was figuring out how to, how do you take 250 pages of business words for adults and put them into about a 200 word poem for our kids? And I read this book and I was like, this, this is amazing. This is the best thing I’ve ever read. I’m pretty sure I was like ugly crying. ’cause I was like, this is so beautiful. This is exactly what I wanna share with my kids. And I said, you have to turn this into a kid’s book. Fast forward 18 months later it was still sitting on his phone. Why?
AJV (02:59):
Because we didn’t know how to do it. We knew we wanted to do it. We didn’t know how to do it. And I think this is the important thing. It’s like the reason that I felt so convicted that Rory had to get this book out into the world is as adults, we read a ton of books about how to be better leaders, better communicators, better humans, how to prioritize our time, how to have positive self-talk, self-control, discipline, obedience. How do we find our self-worth? How do we talk to each other? The importance of our words selling, marketing, recruiting, the list goes on and on and on. I read no kids’ book to talk about that, right? And I’m thinking to myself, why did I have to be in my twenties, thirties, and now forties to learn these things? Why are there books like this for kids?
AJV (03:50):
For my 5-year-old, 7-year-old, my 10-year-old niece and nephew, my 15-year-old nephew, right? My 19-year-old niece. Like, why did we have to wait to discover these lessons? To learn these lessons? And answer is because no one had written them . And so I think that there is an amazing abundance of incredibly powerful books for adults. And we need to as authors, as content creators. It doesn’t have to be a book. Perhaps you just have a set of curriculum or a methodology. Maybe it’s a course, maybe right now it’s just a keynote. Maybe it’s a series of blog articles. But you have content that is powerful, but you’re directing it to adults. What if, what if you could take that content and actually equip and inspire the next generation? What if, if you look back for me, I’m just gonna say this, 35 years. What if 35 years ago I had a bookshelf full of books reminding me of my worth and that my value was not in what I did, but it was in who I was.
AJV (05:03):
What if I had a bookshelf that taught me how to have confidence as a leader with also empathy and reflection? But with confidence and, and power? What if I learned how to project, manage and not over commit? What if I learned the value of time at a very early age? And that money is not the end goal? What if I had learned all of these things as a child? What, how would my life been different? And how would have my ability to love and impact others been expedited at a much earlier age? Why did I have to wait to learn those things? And it’s because people who are writing the books aren’t writing them for kids. And so this is a call to arms. This is a challenge to the people
AJV (05:56):
Who have years and years, decades of experience of learning the trials errors and learning the lessons who are decidedly already putting those things into practice in content for adults. Do me a favor. Would you consider also putting those things into words for kids? Would you also consider about what it would’ve been like for you to have learned those things in your youth? And could you just for a moment, think about how could you do that now? How could you take the content that you’ve already created and use it to equip the next generation of leaders and humans, of employees, of moms, of dads, of just humanity to be better so they don’t have to wait like we did? So if you would be interested in learning about this, I would encourage you to check out our good friend Evie Jones. And she was the person that was referred to us that we found who was able to take our business book, take the Stairs, and turn it into a kid’s book, to take the lessons that were learned in the first, you know, 15 years of our career, but also our life.
AJV (07:12):
And put those in a book that would appeal and delight children to help them learn lessons that need to be learned to help establish mantras that you as a parent or an aunt or a friend can to rally behind to help these kids be behind pages of books, not screens, to learn lessons, not watch entertaining videos. Instead of getting into trouble. , they are getting into curiosity and learning how to be better. So would you check it out? So go to evie jones.com/brand builder, right? And there’s, she’s not the only one. It’s just the one that we’ve used. So it’s who I can personally recommend. But this is a truly a just, it’s a request for all of us who have something valuable to share, to not leave out the kids . That’s my request. So think about it and reach out if you have any questions. Evie jones.com/brain builder, here’s to the next generation.

Ep 489: How to Move From Your Current Gig to Your New Gig | Kelly Roach Episode Recap

RV (00:17):
I wanna share with you a four step process for exactly how to leave your job and start a side hustle. Welcome back to the Influential Personal Brand podcast. I am recapping the addition of the interview I just did with Kelly Roach. And one of the things that we were talking in there was about how did she start her own business? And I thought, gosh, I get this question so often, which is, how do I know and how do I orchestrate leaving my job and starting my personal project or my side business or even leaving the, the current thing you’re doing with your, your personal brand and then starting something new. And so I’ve got a four part process for this that I think will really help you. And these are kind of four principles and tactics and strategies for how to think about transitioning from the thing that you’re doing now into the thing that maybe you want to do.
RV (01:17):
And this could apply to, even if you already have your own business and you’re trying to pivot, you’re trying to maybe rebrand, you’re trying to move into a different space. But specifically I want to talk to those of you who are maybe working at like a corporate job or something and you want to try to leave. The first thing I want you to know, and I believe this firmly, this principle is actually in my take the stairs book towards the back of the book, there is a principle that I call crush It where you’re at, crush It where you’re at. And I don’t think that we hear enough about this in the world today. So many people just say, ah, you know, your job sucks. Quit your job and just start your side hustle. Like that’s gonna be a dream. Let, let me tell you something.
RV (02:01):
Being an entrepreneur is far from a cakewalk. It is grueling hours, it is rejection, it is fear. It is often years of brokeness. It is very challenging. It, it can be con, it creates a lot of conflict on a marriage. It makes it really hard to have a family. Like the on the entrepreneurial dream is also got lots of nightmare components of it. Now, I love being an entrepreneur and I love working with entrepreneurs, but I think it is far over glamorized. And not every person is a great fit to be an entrepreneur. And even many people who could be entrepreneurs, I think make really great intrapreneurs. What’s an intrapreneur? And an intrapreneur is someone who can be a mover and shaker inside of a company who can innovate and create and can, can cause change and make new things happen inside of the right culture.
RV (02:55):
So this first principle, crush it where you’re at is really important. And even though it’s not popular, and even though you may not want to hear it, ’cause perhaps you’ve already made up your mind, no, I hate my job. I wanna leave it. Or I, I don’t like my current business or my current business model, I wanna leave it. And just before you do, I just want to encourage you to crush it where you’re at. What does that mean? That means be excellent at what you’re doing now, whatever it is that you’re doing. Now, why do I say that for two very specific reasons? Okay? The first reason is because when you’re doing something excellently, it often looks different and feels different than when you’re doing it in a mediocre fashion, right? I mean, the, if you’re hiking up a mountain and it’s a really big mountain, you might get tired and that might not seem awesome, but once you’re at the top of the mountain, it can totally be worth it.
RV (03:58):
And too many people give up while they’re on the climb and they haven’t yet experienced the, the fruits and the benefit of everything that their current thing has to offer, right? And you go, maybe you hate your job because you’re not good at it. Maybe you hate your job ’cause you’re not doing enough. Now maybe you hate your job ’cause your boss is a jerk and it sucks and it’s negative and it’s not fun. And you go, great, go ahead and quit the job. But many times I think people have an opportunity to sort of excel at the thing they’re doing before they just abandon ship. And that, that leads me to the other reason why I think crush it. Where you’re at is, is really important. It’s really important because how you do one thing is how you do everything. How you do one thing is how you do everything.
RV (04:46):
That’s the age old quote. And I have found that to be really, really true. And too often people think, oh, if I just abandoned my corporate job and I start my own business, it’s gonna be a cakewalk. And you go, well, if you’re not putting everything you have into the thing you’re doing now, you might find that you won’t do it on your own either. And now you don’t have any of the guarantee or stability or the things that, that come with a corporate job. So I just want you to really think about that and go, am I crushing it where I’m at? Am I doing the best I know how to do? Have I experienced all there is to experience here? Am I squeezing all the juice out of the thing that’s in front of me? Now, if it’s just your dream and you’re a hundred percent sure and you just want to go, fine, go, or if, if, if you just live in a, if you’re working in a place that is just terrible and they treat you like crap and you want to go, go, but I would even, so I would still say, gosh, be really, really good at what you’re doing.
RV (05:44):
Be the best at what you do. Be be performing at your personal best, the the best you’ve ever done in your role before you decide to leave. Because what you might find is that once you’re performing at your personal best, you might decide you wanna stay, you might figure out, actually this isn’t so bad. Actually, there’s more opportunity. Actually, once I started performing at my best, they gave me more money, they opened new doors, they gave me more responsibility, they, they put me in charge of new initiatives. And so that’s really, really important because sometimes we think the grass isn’t, is always greener. And the reason the grass looks greener is ’cause you’re not watering your own grass, okay? So crush it where you’re at, and then even if you’re gonna leave, carry that momentum into the thing that you’re gonna do. Now, the second part of leaving your job and starting your own business or starting your side hustle, or again, it could be that you maybe have a current business model, and it’s like, I wanna just transition from what I’m doing is a rule that I like to call the 70 30 rule.
RV (06:45):
The 70 30 rule. How does the 70 30 rule work is simple. It means that there, in order to succeed at something and really blow it up, it takes a lot of focus, right? In order to win anything, you really have to crush it. As we sort of, you know, religiously say around Bram Builder’s group, if you have diluted focus, you will get diluted results. If you have diluted focus, you will get diluted results. So how then do you transition between two things? How do you go how do I do a good job, you know, at my corporate thing, but I really wanna like start my own business or my side hustle and I wanna go full time and when’s the right time to do that? Or how do I serve my current clients that I have and my current model, but then transition to my new model or my new dream or my new message or my new audience?
RV (07:38):
And that’s a really important tactical question, and I’ve got a functional answer that we’ve used and I think we’ve seen a lot of clients do this successfully. And it’s the 70 30 rule. And the 70 30 rule says, start your new thing, okay? And take your old thing and expend the minimum amount of resources that you can to maintain the level of performance of the old thing, right? So basically put it on autopilot, but not in a way that it’s, it’s autopilot. Like it’s going down. Put it in autopilot that it’s like, okay, I’m gonna maintain this level of performance over here and then dedicate 100% of your excess energy into the new thing and build the new thing, right? This is probably the nights and the weekends and the late hours and the early mornings, and you’re studying and you’re reading and you’re, you’re probably getting coaching and you’re investing money and you’re not making much money, but you’re building the thing.
RV (08:39):
You’re building the thing and you’re starting, you’re starting that thing and keep building that thing until your income reaches a 70 30 split to where you go, 30% of my income is coming from the new line of business, or it’s coming from the new side hustle, or the new project or the new audience. And what happens is you are earning a hundred percent of your income from the first thing, and now your income is starting to balance out to where you get to 70 30. It’s about that time that I would recommend that is when you make the leap, you rip off the bandaid, you jump into the deep end of the pool you, you, you wisely are reducing your risk. If you can get your income to about 30% on the new thing. Do you have to do this? Of course not. You don’t have to do anything that I say.
RV (09:30):
This is just an idea and an observation. But what I would say is a lot of entrepreneurs live by the seat of their pants and it’s kind of like, you know, there’s this phrase in the entrepreneur community that says, you know, you build the plane, you jump off the cliff and build the plane on the way down. And in some ways that’s always true, but in other ways that’s downright stupid. And keep in mind that 95% of businesses fail. So just because a lot of entrepreneurs say it’s a good idea, 95% of those people don’t turn out to be successful. So I’m not taking advice from a group of people where 95% of ’em failed the class. So the smarter thing to do is to do calculated risk. And that’s what the 70 30 rule is all about. The 70 30 rule instead says, man, if 30% of my income is coming from the new thing, first of all, you get a sense of whether or not you really like it and you really want to do it.
RV (10:25):
Second, you really get to determine is there product market fit? Is is there an audience for what I want to do? And do I have the ability to sell it to them? Because if you just pull the ripcord and jump ship and start something from scratch, you might find nobody wants to buy that thing. Or you might find you don’t really love the thing, or you’re not as good at it as you thought, or that you don’t have a great marketing plan for it or a great sales strategy for it. And you need to try to figure out some of those kinks on the side and before you kind of jump full time, at least that’s how the 70 30 rule works. And that’s, that’s what we advise. So that’s the 70 30 rule. The third thing, and this is super practical, important, is to be debt free.
RV (11:10):
Be debt free. To the extent possible, the more that you can lower your personal debt, the more likely you are to succeed as an entrepreneur. Why? Because of something called Financial Runway, right? And this term, financial runway refers to, you know, a plane taking off. And if you think of like, planes don’t just suddenly take off like a helicopter, right? They need runway. It takes velocity, it takes speed. In order for them to catch the tra you know, trajectory and be able to climb that is runway. Well, cash is the runway. And if you run outta cash, you run out of runway and the plane stops, right? So you could start something and you could kind of get it going, but if you don’t generate enough cash or you don’t generate cash fast enough, or you’re burning cash, you’re generating cash in the business, but it’s, it’s less than what you’re burning in your personal life, the runway ends, the plane stops, and the business never takes off.
RV (12:12):
That’s what financial runway means. So the, the, the more disciplined you are about your personal expenses, the longer the runway you give yourself. It also means the lower the stress you have, right? When I’m in debt, if, if I’m in debt, suddenly I’m more desperate for a sale, right? Like, the more in debt you are, the more desperate you are to make a sale. The more in debt you are, the more desperate you are to make a sale. Why not? ’cause You’re a bad person, but because you have external pressure, you’ve got mouths to feed, you’ve got bills to pay. So the more you can lower those bills, the more you extend the runway of having a chance to sort of pursue your dreams. When you’re debt free, you’re, you, you’re beholden to fewer masters, and this is biblical, right? The borrower, slave to the lender, but literally and pragmatically and functionally going, I’m not as dependent on my job.
RV (13:13):
I’m not as dependent on, you know, the where my income is coming from. I’m not as dependent on my current customers because I don’t have other financial obligations. So staying debt free creates freedom in your life, freedom to pursue your dream, and, and it creates more runway, it creates a longer timeline for you to figure it out and make it successful. So it’s a really important part I think, of launching a successful business as an entrepreneur. Unless you’re raising a bunch of money and generating millions of dollars or, you know, you just hit the jackpot, but that’s few and far between.
RV (14:01):
The fourth key to breaking free from your corporate job, if you hate it or if you just have a dream that just is, it is time for you to pursue is to start first with what you know best. Start first with what you know best. What I mean by that is your best chance of making money is doing more of the thing that you already know how to do. Now that may not be the most exciting thing for you, right? That may not be what your dream is, but it is almost always the fastest path to cash, right? The fastest path to cash is to do more of the thing you’ve already been doing, to do better at the, the, the thing you already know. And so you might be doing it on your own. You might be, you know, s starting your own business or your own side hustle, but serve the people that you have access to.
RV (14:57):
So a real, if you need money right now, if you have lots of money, this thing changes. If you have lots of money, you have lots of runway, you can build a whole brand new business, you can dream up anything you want. But in the practical reality for most of us is you’re gonna have to make money fairly quickly. And, and so you have to do what you have to do in order to get, in order to earn the right to do what you want to do. You have to do what you have to do in order to earn the right to do what you want to do. And so you’re going to have to pay a price for a while, and part of that price you would pay is just offering your expertise maybe in, in a very, in a way that accesses the, the people who are closest to you.
RV (15:42):
Now, I’ll give you the an example. When I first wanted to leave the corporate job that I had while I was in graduate school and I wanted to become a professional speaker, I was in the Toastmasters world championship of public speaking. And I spent a couple years just studying the psychology of laughter and learning how to be funny on stage because I wasn’t funny in real life, even though I am hilarious in real life now. But I had to learn to be funny on stage. And so I studied humor. And even though I didn’t wanna teach humor for a living in that season of life, the most tactical, practical skill that I had was teaching humor. And so, a lot of people don’t know this, take the stairs. It was not actually my first book, it was my first traditionally published book. My first book was actually called No laughs, NO to no laughs, KNOW How to Be Funny to Make More Money, no laughs to No Laughs, how to Be Funny to Make More Money.
RV (16:43):
And the first income I actually ever earned as a speaker was I was hosting classes where people could, could they could buy a ticket to a class where I could teach them everything that I had learned about comedy, and then I would sell my books at the back of the room. And that was how I started. Even though I knew I wasn’t gonna do that forever. I started first with what I knew best. And if you really want a, a chance to escape, you know, something that you, a situation that you’re in now, right now professionally, that you don’t love, or if you’re really, really just passionate about having your own thing and you really want to pursue that, I would encourage you to start first with what you know best as a stepping stone to getting to do the thing that you really want to do later.
RV (17:28):
Because you have to do what you have to do in order to earn the right to get to do what you want to do. So there’s four key principles that I think we don’t hear enough about for strategies, concepts that I think if you are trying to make a pivot, if you’re trying to make an escape, if you’re trying to start something new, those are some modalities of thinking that I hope will really, really help you because we want you to succeed and we want you to be able to pursue your passion. We believe that the world is a better place when you’re listening to the calling on your heart and serving the people that you were meant to serve. So in the meantime, while you’re figuring it out, keep coming back to the influential personal Brand podcast and share this episode with someone in your life that you know is in this professional dilemma right now. We’ll catch you next time.

Ep 487: Fastest Ways to Grow Your New Business | Sara and Ben Jensen Episode Recap

AJV (00:02):
are you trying to figure out how do you turn your mission, your message, your passion, your calling whatever you would like to call it, . But if you’re trying to figure out how to turn that thing that you feel called to do into the thing that makes you money, this is a quick conversation that I would like to have with you. So I was able to interview the founders and also a married couple, Sarah and Ben Jensen, who have founded and started the company, Hugh & Grace, which is a products company, skincare products supplements, as well as household care products that help you keep your hormones in check, right? So clean products that help you with all the things in on and around your body. And I had this conversation with them on the influential Personal Brand podcast around why did they start this?
AJV (00:56):
How did they start this? Where did the idea come from? It’s a very fast growing company. They only founded it three years ago. Although the idea started 14 years ago. And I thought this was a, a, a great inspiration to have a conversation today about how do you do that? Like, how do you take something that you’ve been through in your life that was challenging or scary or traumatic or just painful and go, but there is purpose in this, and I want to help other people who have experienced this, that same thing. I want to help them find a better way, experience a better way of getting through it living, coming out on the other side better. In other words, I feel like I have a message put on my heart that must get out into the world, and I would love to turn that into a business that helps me create an abundant life for me, my family generations beyond me as well as making a huge impact by doing something that I know matters.
AJV (01:59):
And so I, I thought this was like a really great inspiration conversation. So here are a few things that may help you as you figure out the transition between doing what you’re currently doing and doing the thing that you feel called to do, right? And how do you turn your passion into your full-time business? So number one, I thought this was very insightful is success is about making as many mistakes as humanly possible as quickly and as inexpensively as possible so that you can learn, pivot, and grow, right? I, I, I think that’s so powerful for us all to remember that success is not a foundation of our victories. success is built on the foundation of many, many mistakes and failures and not giving up, but instead of taking every mistake and learning from it, taking every failure of going, that wasn’t a failure,
AJV (02:59):
That was a learning experience, that was a growth opportunity. It was learning what not to do again that, that is where growth happens. That’s where success happens. Success is a byproduct of being willing to make a ton of mistakes, but make ’em quickly, make them as inexpensive as possible, and then learn, pivot, and go. And I think that’s just so important for all of us of knowing whatever it is that you think it’s going to be, it likely won’t be what you end up with. , if I can just share the evolution of brand builders group over the last, you know, almost six years that, you know, we’ve formally been an entity and where it started. There’s a lot of the foundational pieces that are still there with our community and membership and intensives. But I will also tell you that we quickly expanded into a lot of things and then very quickly condensed them all back in when we realized we have expanded beyond our capacity beyond our ability to serve in the way that we wanna serve.
AJV (04:03):
And so our offerings grew really quickly, and then they all got cut back just as quickly. And that was a, that was a part of going, it’s like, man, we don’t have capacity to do all of this in the way that we want it. And there are certain areas that had natural momentum that we made a decision of going, although there’s this thing that could get us there, that could be the thing, it’s not right. And it felt very forceful. It felt like we were just pulling it along behind us versus these other things that we’re just taking off without a ton of effort. And our, and the point of that being is like your audience will tell you what it is they need from you, if you’ll just listen. And the way that they tell you is what they buy, what they buy again, what they renew with, what they tell their friends about.
AJV (04:48):
It’s in their feedback. And they’ll also tell you what’s not working by the fact that they don’t buy it again or they don’t renew or they don’t tell their friends about it. And I think a lot of that just has to do with us as business owners, as entrepreneurs, as team members, to slow down enough and pay attention and listen. And that’s really hard to do when you’re doing a hundred different things and you’re pulled in a million different directions. It’s hard to do when you’re distracted and when you’re busy. Yep. B word, busy. ’cause We can get busy and when we’re busy and in a hurry and multitasking, it is hard to see the things right in front of you. You often push them aside and you don’t pay attention because there’s too many other things to get to. And I would encourage you that as you’re figuring this out, if you slow down and you ask and you listen, it’ll become so obviously clear.
AJV (05:44):
People will tell you exactly what it is that they are willing to buy from you, and that they need to buy from you. And that also it gives you confidence and conviction that you’re the right person to offer it to them. Them. If you just slow down and listen intuitively, ask, pay attention and just get into the data, right? That’s a really important part of this right? Now. That leads to the second thing, what you do, right? Your passion, right? And your business, what you do has got to be both logical and emotional, right? It should emotionally move you to go like, I can’t not do this. Like, if I didn’t do this, it would be the biggest regret of my life. Like, I have to do this. That’s the emotional side of like, I feel convicted in this. I can’t not talk about it.
AJV (06:34):
Like it just bubbles out of me regardless. Like this is who I am and it’s what I was put on this earth to do. There’s passion, right? That’s the emotional side. But then there’s also the logical side. And sometimes we let our emotions overtake the logic. And this is a discipline, it’s an obedience of pulling that back in, of going, these are the things I feel called to do, but that’s honestly sometimes a little me centered. And we have to pair that. We have to balance that with, and what are people asking for from me, right? What are people willing to buy from me? What are people willing to learn from me? What are they asking to learn from me? Rather, you know, intrinsically or verbal or verbally that it’s like, where am I most positioned to help and serve people? Passion? And what are people most willing to buy from me?
AJV (07:31):
And how much are they willing to spend with me? Logically, that’s market evaluation, that’s core target audience that’s pairing with what you have to offer versus what the market is saying that they want. And that is both an emotional and logical conversation, and they both have to happen. One is not higher or lower than the other. They are both equally important to figure out a business model that serves both your passion and your calling and create something that is viable and sustainable that can actually make you money. So it is both about your passion and what you want to do and what the market is willing to buy from you and at what price. So it is both things. And so I think a part of that is sometimes you don’t know until you know. And that’s where you gotta be flexible and nimble and be willing to just get out there and make some quick mistakes cheaply, right?
AJV (08:22):
Quickly. and then pivot. I go, wasn’t that wasn’t that. Let’s try it again. Let’s tweak it again. That was too much. That was too low. Whatever it is. And the best way to know those things is not to ideate and it’s not to brainstorm, it’s to do it. . you’re ready right now. If you know you can help someone, then you are ready. And sometimes you just gotta get it out there. And whatever it is, it’s fine. ’cause It will change no matter what it is. Your first launch is going to be a different offering, a a different price point, a different product, a different description and probably less than a year from now. Because once you’re out there doing it, you tweak it and fine tune it, and you make it better as you go. You cannot make it what it is meant to be before you do it.
AJV (09:09):
You just can’t. Nobody knows what they’re doing before they do it. So the best thing you can do is to do it and to adjust accordingly as you go. Okay? That is how you turn your passion into your business at, at a very high level, right? Now three other quick things I wanna share with us is that now how do you get people to buy it? Well, one, you sell it, right? Selling is fast. Marketing is slow. Marketing is the long game. So selling is the short game. So if we think it’s like, okay, now I’ve got this idea. I need to build the website, I need to launch a podcast. I need to do social media, I need da, da, da, da, da. That is the long, expensive route. And many of you don’t have the runway to do it. Some of you do awesome, but most of us don’t.
AJV (09:56):
And what you have to do is you have to get out there and talk to people. You have to tell them your story. Why? ’cause your story is what helps you connect to your audience, not your product. Your story, IE your personal brand. So knowing why you do this, how you do it, what makes it different, what problem you’re solving what message are you delivering, right? And products and services doesn’t matter what makes it unique. And a lot of times it’s you, you are what makes it unique. The struggle, the story is what people connect to and remember why? Because they have similar ones. That’s why they resonate. And so you’ve gotta be willing to get out there. Now, social media is a platform. Podcasts are a platform. But don’t forget the power of proximity. And that is a real thing.
AJV (10:46):
You being live in person in a room, talking to people, explaining it to people, showing it to people, helping people experience it, skin to skin, shoulder to shoulder, like that goes faster. So be willing to get out there and talk about it. Do not let it be the world’s best kept secret secret because you don’t know what to say or how to say it. It’s like that’s, that’s your job. Like you have to know how to explain it because you’ve been through it, you know? And then you’ve got to find anyone anywhere who’s willing to listen for free or not. Like if you get paid, great, but don’t expect to be paid, right? But willing to get out there and speak to any group who’s willing to gather together churches, associations, memberships, masterminds, whatever. Right? there are all types of people who are looking for speakers for free all over the place.
AJV (11:39):
Business journals, chambers of Commerce, rotary Clubs, right? Yeah, that’s old school stuff. But you know what? They need speakers. They have monthly meetings and you know who come to those meetings? People. And that’s what you need. So be willing to talk to anyone about the thing because it matters. It matters to you. ’cause You know it’s gonna matter to the people, right? So just wanna encourage that. Sales is fast, marketing is slow. And the best way for you to sell is to be in front of people, to explain it, to walk people through it, and to share your story, right? And then community is what helps things spread. It is finding a group of people who can rally behind your products and your services and shop them to the rooftops, right? Because why? Because they work, right? . So a part of the prerequisite for all of this is actually having a product or a service that does what it says, right?
AJV (12:31):
It’s undeniable. If you get someone results, it is hard not for that person and for others to talk about it. Make sure you are focused on being better before you focus on being bigger. Make sure that you know how to get people results and you have documented proof of it. You have testimonials of it, you’ve got case studies of it, right? And those don’t have to be formally and designed like I’m talking about on a Word doc, right? A quick iPhone video, but have it have proof. Third party validation that you are who you say you are, and you do what you say you’re gonna do. And that could be in a email from a client, a testimonial. And clients don’t have to be paid clients. FYI don’t be afraid to offer your products and services for free to test it. That’s required. In most cases, any big product that’s having a launch has been tested many, many, many, many times for free before anyone paid for it.
AJV (13:25):
I think about this often. I fly a lot and thank gosh that anytime I am on a new airplane, that is not the first time that pilot has been in the plane. That is not the first time that plane has been the air. Thank the lord. This thing has been up for thousands of miles and this pilot has tens of thousands of miles under their belt. The first time they do it is not with paying customers in the seats. That would be crazy. But yet somehow we think that the very first time we launch our business, launch our products, people should pay for ’em. Why? Why do we think that? I don’t know. Someone said it one time. I don’t know. That’s not true. Be willing to do what you do for free to get market feedback, to get testimonials, to fine tune to tweak before you go live.
AJV (14:09):
Then when you do go live, you do launch. You got all the validation and the conviction and the confidence and the market validation and testimonials that this does what it says it does. This gets results. This helps people. And it, I’m not just saying that all these other people are saying that community is what helps your business spread. So build it, share it, and don’t forget about it. And then last, but not le lightly, I think this is also important, is that many of us see the attraction of entrepreneurship starting our own business because we think it’s gonna allow us to build a lifestyle that caters to our, our family, our personal needs, our our marriages, our kids.
AJV (14:51):
And then you actually get in it and you realize you have less time than you did before, and you are more stressed and more overwhelmed. And that’s because we let the business become the main thing. And so I would just encourage you as you’re thinking about like this passion thing that you have, that you feel called to do and how you could turn it into a business, don’t forget the important part of also talking about like, what is the life that you wanna have while doing this? How much time do you want for your marriage time that you want? Spiritually in my case, it’s like I gotta ti I have to prioritize my time with the Lord first. And then time with my husband, then time with my kids and my family, and then comes, you know, times with friends and community.
AJV (15:38):
But if I make the business first, it sucks up all the time. , right? It’s like if the business comes first, there’s always enough to do where I do not have time to pray, read the Bible. I do not have time to hang out with friends or go to yoga or go on date nights, or I don’t have the time if I let the business come first. My point is the business cannot come first, right? You have to prioritize it. And the business has to fit in around that. I only share that because I did it the wrong way for about 15 years. And I’m only now figuring out the right way, a better way to do it. I’m not saying that I don’t work hard, I work hard. But it fits within the confines of keeping the main thing, the main thing, and the priorities first.
AJV (16:18):
And if I do that, the business works. If I don’t, nothing works. I struggle. My marriage struggles my faith struggles my family struggles. But when I put all those other things, first, business just works. And so make sure that as you’re crafting this, you make sure that you’re crafting your life in addition to your business. Because both matter , right? Your work matters and your life matters. IE your family your faith and yourself and your marriage, those things matter. So keep the priorities first, and you have to set those first, and the business fits in around that. So again, if you’re thinking about how do you go from passion to business a couple of quick things to be thinking about. And I know that if you’ve got that calling on your heart, it’s there for a reason. It’s not there by accident and you’re not crazy. God put it there and you’re meant to do it. So don’t be afraid. Make mistakes. Just keep going. Give it time. Don’t rush it and just stay at it. Because if it’s there, it’s there for a reason and eventually you’ll know why. So build that business. Turn that passion into something that’s gonna create an abundant life for you and those around you. Make an impact and make great money while doing it.

Ep 485: Set Free from Post-Abortive Shame – Part 2 with Rory’s Mom

So that’s what we would do. And we had, we had friends, but the biggest, the biggest friend was one of my other coworkers. Dan Dan’s been in your life since you were born. And you know, he didn’t have a family at the time. And you know, he, he, he spent a lot of time helping me with you guys paying for jackets at Christmas. And, you know, it was the reason you went to kung fu school. So, so yeah. I mean,
RV (00:39:44):
So these people, these are your coworkers and your friends are the ones buying us Christmas presents?
TG (00:39:49):
Yeah. Yeah. Well, one year we, we were all on the, see, the, the, the challenge for me, for us was that I, I would not make enough money to cover our expenses, but I could not, I didn’t qualify low income housing. I was on the list for five years. And after you turned two, we were no longer eligible for wic. And we weren’t eligible for, for the, the gas leap and the oil that there was a lot of stuff we were not eligible for because I made too much money, like $20 sometimes they would raise the guideline. So $30 more than the guideline. That was all, I was not getting any child support from Tom and very little from Dan. So I never received a dime of child support from Tom. Ever. Ever.
RV (00:40:50):
And so you’re, you’re not, you’re working and so you’re, you’re making enough money that we don’t qualify for a lot of the low income stuff, but you don’t make enough money to cover really the expenses. And so basically what I hear you saying is like, that gap was really covered by friends. It was really covered by colleagues, coworkers.
TG (00:41:13):
Absolutely. And God, I mean, God provided, you know, my faith was at this, this is also a point in time that I went, went back to church. Now I did not. We went to the Methodist church. Don and Shelley wanted me to go to the Methodist church, and Lety Love did it. So we went, we went to the Methodist church and I started teaching Bible study. And I, I loved being back in church. I started, I started teaching third grade Bible. And and so we did that. And then when we moved to Louisville, you know, we went to St. Louis, we went back to Catholic church. So we were, we were in church, although the shortfall never came from the church. Mm-Hmm. . It just came from the network of family of friends that I worked with, the people that I worked with, you know. But I, one of the things your mom always loved people.
TG (00:42:14):
I always knew I was gonna, I wanted to be a, a coach and I always wanted to be a counselor, you know? And, and I don’t know if this is a good time to say, you know, dreams get shattered by words. Words are so powerful. When I was 14, 15 years old, my mama said to me, how could you be a counselor? You can’t even help your own sister. ’cause I had a sister that was very bipolar and a lot of issues. And so I was like, okay, I guess that’s not what I’m gonna be.
RV (00:42:57):
Well, just like that. She said that one thing and you internalized it and you’re like, I can’t, I’ll never be a counselor to take care of other people.
TG (00:43:06):
Yeah. Mm-Hmm. .
RV (00:43:08):
So, so we’ve got all these people, uncle Charlie, Don and Shelly, Dan, Eric Chuck, Chuck,
TG (00:43:20):
RV (00:43:21):
Becky. They’re, these people are taking care of us. They’re providing us helping with Christmas presents, stuff like that. I know that you mentioned one time that there was somebody that you worked with who Oh, that was Eric. Yeah. So Eric was like, your, your, your, your bank. My bank
TG (00:43:41):
Bank of
RV (00:43:41):
Eric. And then, and so does this all, does the story really, really start to turn when we meet dad?
TG (00:43:52):
Yes. I guess, I guess that is the case. You know, I think the, the, yeah, I guess it does. I, I guess I would say yes.
RV (00:44:04):
Like financially.
TG (00:44:05):
Well, we met, we met the Phillips’ though, see before, right. And well at the same time almost. So what happens is, so now I finally get to get our own place on Lin, on Cleveland Circle. Mm-Hmm. and I, it was a low income housing project, not project, but government program. And so I was able to qualify to purchase this place. And so this was in Lafayette and so, which is like the next town over. And so you were in, in you were little, you were, you were, you were going to St. Louis and then you had to go to Lafayette Elementary. So you were like in fourth grade or something like that. I think when we, when we were able to do fourth or fifth grade.
RV (00:44:58):
Mm-Hmm. , I remember I went through, I went to St. Louis Elementary
TG (00:45:01):
Just up until
RV (00:45:02):
Through third grade. And then, yeah. And
TG (00:45:04):
Then went third grade. You didn’t, I don’t even know if you, did you go third grade or just second? I thought it was just Ms. Kava.
RV (00:45:11):
No, it was third grade. ’cause I transferred to, yeah, maybe it was halfway through third grade. I think
TG (00:45:15):
I, yeah, I think it was like halfway through third grade. So anyway and the only reason you got to go there was because the priest at the time allowed me to work my tuition off. So like I cleaned, I would clean the daycare and I
RV (00:45:28):
Would, in addition to your normal job.
TG (00:45:30):
RV (00:45:31):
Okay. So you had a, your job is storage tech, but then you were working extra hours to basically pay for tuition for us to go to school there
TG (00:45:37):
RV (00:45:37):
You to go, for me to go to school there. Yeah. And so then we meet the Philips, who you met through storage tech.
TG (00:45:44):
Right. But this is the thing about the Philips is this is why God works in mysterious ways. I was able to, I had to move outta my apartment. We had to move outta our apartment on Mead in May. And because of the government and all the issues with the house and all that stuff, it wasn’t gonna be ready until July. So for two months, we didn’t have a place to live. And Kris was, she had just started working for Chuck, my boss’s boss, Frank . So she was an executive admin. She was working for the vp. And I walked into her office after I found out that they had to extend the paperwork and everything, and we weren’t going to get the house until July. I’d already given notice. We were already gonna be out by May, had be out by May 1st.
TG (00:46:45):
So she, she sees that I’m upset and distraught. I I, I knew her maybe for like less than a week. And she, she asked me, you know, what’s the matter? And I told her, we don’t have a place to live. I don’t know what we’re going to do. And that’s when she said, you can move in with us. Your house is right around the corner from us. Went your new place. And you know, she had two girls, Katie and Britt. They were your age, and Randy’s are close to it. And a wonderful husband, dad, Dave,
RV (00:47:18):
She knew you, known you for a week and said, come live with us. Yeah.
TG (00:47:22):
We, we, I hadn’t even met her husband or her kids. She didn’t know who you guys were. She said, I always, we always wanted to know what it’d be like to have sons. They weren’t brothers.
RV (00:47:33):
Yeah. Clearly they hadn’t met us because they were in for a rowdy, they were in for a rowdy , a rowdy route awakening from me.
TG (00:47:39):
Yes. That’s when Brittany broke her arm,
RV (00:47:41):
Remember? And Randy moved in. Yeah. That’s amazing. So she just said, come live with us.
TG (00:47:48):
And I, she hadn’t even asked her husband.
RV (00:47:51):
And that shows you who runs the show in families, doesn’t it? Yes. , we got people moving in, by the way,
TG (00:47:58):
But Well, they, and, and I guess they, they had had some, you know, exchange students. And again, she loved people. And, and even though we were only living with them for two months, it was right down the street. And so they had a big home. And so we would have, you had your birthday parties there, and we had Easters and Thanksgivings there, and, and we became very close and, and you know they were your sisters and you know, that’s kind of but we had to live in their basement.
RV (00:48:29):
Yeah, we lived in their basement, but that was a lot better than the dungeon. And then basically Dan O had gotten me started into martial arts when I was five. And then when I
TG (00:48:39):
Well, yes, actually when you were three, you came out kicking when you were three, he started, he started teaching you front kicks and sidekicks and all that kind of stuff. And then when you were five, five sixes, I was able to afford to put you in community TaeKwonDo classes. However, when you were about seven and a half, eight years old your teacher, Nina said you needed special. You were a special kid and you needed special instruction and private lessons. Mama couldn’t afford that. And so Dan stepped up and said, we will find a school that and I will pay for it. And that’s when we went to she kung fu It was all adults, just a couple women, mostly men. And you, you wanted to go there. You went there and, and Dan paid for a month because they had never had any kids even want to go. And this just a couple years, Sharon, I don’t even remember the other name of Sharon
RV (00:49:41):
And David Sword were the, they owned it and they ran the, they ran. They
TG (00:49:44):
Were your senses. Yeah.
TG (00:49:46):
And so they said, well, we, I guess we could give it a try. And Dan paid for a month and said, if, if, if he can’t keep up after a week, you could keep the money and we’ll go to find another place. And after the first night, everybody forgot you were a kid, they called you sponge because you could absorb the, the forms. And that first night is where you met dad. And because of timing, if you have not read the story about Rory and his dad, go by the book, take the stairs. ’cause Rory does a really good job about that. Mm-Hmm. .
RV (00:50:23):
Yeah. You can also look, you can also hear that story in my Ted talk. Mm-Hmm. you know, if you Google Rory Vaden Ted Talk or How to Multiply Time, I tell the whole story of dad coming in on his motorcycle with his leather jacket and his tattoos and his long hair and his goatee, like, and, you know, he was like,
TG (00:50:40):
Was not my type.
RV (00:50:41):
He, he was scary to me and not your type. And he just was this gentle kind man. And we became basically best friends. We advanced through the belt levels together. He starts taking me home, dropping me off. We would practice forms together on the weekend. He starts taking me to the movies. We
TG (00:51:03):
Start, no, no, no, let’s stand corrected.
RV (00:51:05):
Oh, okay. Let’s correct the story.
TG (00:51:06):
Let let go back. Let’s correct the story. Please,
RV (00:51:08):
Let’s correct the story. Once and for all months, by the way, that’s what this is. This is a media correction. . Yes. That’s what this podcast is. We’re, we’re, we’re documenting the details. Okay. So correct the story. Okay.
TG (00:51:20):
So six months after you guys are doing your, your show line thing, and you were right about that. I go in because, you know, I figure, okay, I can, I need to, to somehow, this is your friend. He was your friend. But he would help me because I couldn’t be at the football field in the karate studio at the same time. So he was basically your, your taxi service. So one day he comes over to me and he says to me are you, what about lunch? You know, this weekend? And I looked at him and I said, what about a movie? And your dad goes, for the first time, he looked me up and down as Tessie, not as Rory’s mom. And he said, what about a movie? So that night when we get home, I tell you, you’re, you’re eight and a half years old, not, no, you’re nine. By this time you’re nine. And I said, we’re going to a movie. This is right before Thanksgiving, November. And, and you said, great, what movie are we gonna go see ? And I said, no, you’re not invited. And you put your hands on your hips. And he looked at me and you said, you’re going on a date with my friend . I said, Rory, it’s not a date, it’s just a movie. And you go, don’t you make my friend mad at me, mama
RV (00:52:59):
TG (00:52:59):
And I said, oh, Rory, I’ll try not to. But, but it’s just a movie. And as you turned, walked down the steps, you went Yes. . And that was at the first moment that I thought maybe your dream would come true and you would get a dad. And basically Kevin Vaden and I have been together ever since that night. And yes, we as a family had gone to lots of movies since then. But you had never gone to a movie without me and just him before that.
RV (00:53:38):
Hmm. So we test for our black belts together when I’m 10 mm-Hmm. . You guys get married. He adopts me. Mm-Hmm. . I changed my last name from Rory McLaughlin to Rory Vaden. Mm-Hmm. . You guys have been married over 25 years ever since.
TG (00:53:55):
We’re gonna be married 30 years this August.
RV (00:54:00):
Uhhuh . And dad changed. Dad changed everything for us. I mean, well,
TG (00:54:05):
It did, except we need to tell the story about Dad real quick. Okay. So my faith is growing and, and, and, and we didn’t know if we were gonna make it. We can make it work. And one night we, Kevin and I stayed up till two in the morning and we talked about our differences and we talked about kinds of things, and we agreed that if we didn’t talk politics or religion, that the marriage could work. And so we didn’t. But at that time, my faith was, was still shattered because I was still carrying all that guilt. And I still didn’t believe that the Lord could forgive me or had forgiven me.
RV (00:54:46):
You’re talking about from the abortions.
TG (00:54:48):
Yeah. And yeah. And you know, and getting married and divorced twice doesn’t exactly go along with 10 commandments either, so. Sure. So yes. So all, all of that,
RV (00:54:59):
What year is that?
TG (00:55:01):
That was in 1994 that we got married.
RV (00:55:07):
Okay. And that’s when you had that talk?
TG (00:55:10):
Oh, no, we had that talk in 1991 or 1992
RV (00:55:14):
Was shortly after you were married?
TG (00:55:16):
No, it was shortly after. We, it was when we were started dating. Oh, it was before we got married. November. Yeah. And then we had that talk. I gotcha.
RV (00:55:24):
Because you’re going to church and he wasn’t, he wasn’t into that.
TG (00:55:27):
Right. Exactly.
RV (00:55:28):
And the deal was you can go to church, do your thing, but don’t ask me to come, don’t like, you know, do do whatever you want to do, but don’t ask me into that part of your life, basically. Correct.
TG (00:55:37):
And he had been raised in Nazarene in the church in Nazarene by his grandma. And he went to church till he was 16. And then he studied Buddhism and all of that, and he was not for organized religion. He’s like, Nope, this isn’t for me. I don’t care about Jesus. I don’t wanna know about Jesus, you know? And I’m like, fine. And he’s like, I will support you and you could take the kids, but don’t ask me to go. But he agreed to go to one Christmas thing a year, but it couldn’t be church. It had to be like a Christmas concert, you know, go see a Christmas movie, something like that.
RV (00:56:11):
Gotcha. I gotcha. So you guys make that packed and you get married he starts making more money. You start making more money. Me and Randy are getting a little bit older. Like, we’re starting to become a little bit more a, a a little bit more sustainable. You’re still carrying the guilt and the shame of your abortions.
TG (00:56:37):
RV (00:56:39):
When, what happened? And how did you, at this point, I didn’t even know you’d ever had an abortion. No. And I didn’t know that till years later. What, what happened when
TG (00:56:53):
Nobody knew? How did you 25 years?
RV (00:56:56):
Nobody knew. Nobody
TG (00:56:57):
Knew. When I would go in for the doctor’s appointments, I had two live births and two miscarriages. If you go back to the records, that’s what all the records said.
RV (00:57:10):
So for 25 years, you’re carrying this secret. Mm-Hmm. these secrets.
TG (00:57:15):
Mm-Hmm. .
RV (00:57:16):
When does that get resolved? And how, how does that get resolved to where you start to talk about it? And I mean, here you are, like, you know, being open about something very intimate and shameful, embarrassing, whatever word you want to use, like very private. What, what happened? How did you, how did you get to this place emotionally and spiritually about that, those two incidents?
TG (00:57:40):
Okay. Well, a lot happened, but I’m gonna just try to give the highlights. The biggest thing was in 2002 after you had started college and you had gotten that full scholarship. And I had told you guys that, you know, you had to, you always had to have a dream. You always had to be something. Because of my brother’s death. My boys were not, they were always gonna have goals. That’s why you set goals. They were, they were gonna know how to read and write and they were gonna always have goals. Randy wanted to be a cop. And so I’m like, great. Even though I didn’t really want ’em to, kept up from drugs, kept him from stealing when he was in high school, all of that junior high. And then Do you remember what you wanted to be?
RV (00:58:25):
Yeah, I mean, I went through a few phases, but I remember wanting to be a dentist because of Dr. Wayne Lingo, who was my dentist years. I remember wanted to be a pilot because Top Gun was cool. And then I wanted to be, I wanted to be a karate guy ’cause I was into Karate Kid and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But mostly it was, I wanted to be a dentist, like Dr. Lingo. I remember that.
TG (00:58:42):
Yeah. For, for, yeah. You started going to him when you were three, until you were like 13.
RV (00:58:47):
So now I’m in college.
TG (00:58:49):
So now you’re in college. You got that, you got, you got this scholarship. So
RV (00:58:53):
I’m outta the house. Randy Randy’s outta the house. Randy, he’s, Randy becomes very successful. He joins the Navy
TG (00:59:00):
Right now. He’s in the Navy, so he hasn’t done anything except be in the Navy right now.
RV (00:59:04):
Yeah. So he, but he graduates school, he plays football. Like he, he’s, he’s the starter varsity football player. Mm-Hmm. Finishes college or finishes high school, goes to the Navy and then you are
TG (00:59:18):
So I’m married. We’re in Frederick. I had started my Mary Kay business after we got married. So I was starting to be around positive women. Right. I was starting to, you know, we would go in church. We had gone to a church. There was the new now a little Catholic church in, in in Frederick. I was going to there, meeting friends and stuff like that. So, so what happened was, in 2002, you said to me, when are you going to go start your dream? Because I had always shared with you that I wanted to go to college. And so I started college. I went to Front Range community college for a couple years and got my associate’s. And you know, I was in my forties at the time. And then basically it took me seven years to get a four year degree, but then I went to the University of Phoenix. And so my last year, my degree was in Human Services and management. I always, this
RV (01:00:17):
Is from the University of Phoenix,
TG (01:00:19):
Right. I always wanted to, to help people. I, people used to be drawn to me and, and, and I would, you know, I know my family thinks I talk too much, but I actually would listen and, and ask questions and, and stuff like that. And so people, people just liked me. And to,
RV (01:00:43):
And you had the dream of being a counselor, like you had that from the time you were a little girl. Right?
TG (01:00:49):
Right, right, right. Yeah. Even when we were, I was growing up, people would to me tell me about their parents or whatever, going through divorces. I didn’t know what that was. Anyway, so, so I had to do a paper and I had to do it on a nonprofit. And this was in probably, it wasn’t until 2005. No, it was in, it was in 2000 and, and eight. But before this happened, before I, I was doing that. Let’s talk about your dad for a minute. So we’re going along. My faith is growing. I’m teaching bible studies. I’m actually facilitating, I’m actually volunteering at LifeBridge. I got baptized when we moved there, a to across the street and, and then you came and, and started going when you were in college, I got to baptize you. That was the highlight of my life. But in 2007, the bottom fell out. And we had been married since 1994, so almost 13 years. And it was the worst year of our marriage, but it was the strongest year of my faith up until then. And so what happened was I got tired of going to church by myself. I got tired of, you know, not being able to have my church friends over or, or when they would invite me to do things. I always, as couples, I had to go by myself.
TG (01:02:39):
And so my pastor, he wasn’t the head pastor, he was my pastor of my LifeBridge group, pastor David. I went to him and I said, I can’t do this anymore. I, I, I don’t know, I I, I can’t do this anymore. Your dad had lost his job, you know somebody accused him of hit and run. Your, that’s the year your grandma died. I mean, there was a lot going on. You were gone. And so he told me, he said, Tessie, it doesn’t matter. You know what the Bible says? It doesn’t matter that you’ve had two divorces and been married twice. It doesn’t matter about the abortion. It all your sins are forgiven.
TG (01:03:23):
What matters now is that you are in this marriage. And you know what that means? You cannot walk away. You need to be the example. You need to love him. If he chooses to walk away, that’s different. But as a believer and a follower of Jesus, you can’t do that. You need to stop praying for him. I know, by the way, my hus, my wife Ruth Ann’s been praying for Kevin’s salvation for the last three years. This is what he told me. And so he said, and one more thing. You will not be the one that brings Kevin to faith. You, you probably won’t, but your example will. So anyway, so let’s fast forward to 2000 and, and, and eight.
RV (01:04:14):
Okay. 2000. So two, fast forward to 2008,
TG (01:04:19):
Right? It, okay. Yeah. And so, so then, so what happened was, I, I end up going to life Choice Pregnancy Center to do this paper. And, and I walk in there and Connie gave me a tour, asked me for a tour, and she brings out this box of embryos, plastic, little baby embryos. And my eyes immediately go to the 11 weeks. Hadn’t thought about it for a long time, consciously, it was all subconscious and my eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t even speak. And she put her arm on me and said, have you, are you post the board? I didn’t know what that meant. She said, have you ever had an abortion? And I couldn’t speak. I was afraid she was gonna kick me out. I just shook my head. Yes. And
RV (01:05:18):
She said, your eyes went to 11 weeks. ’cause That was, you were 11 half weeks pregnant during the second abortion. And so your eyes went, started straight to that
TG (01:05:27):
RV (01:05:28):
That baby in the, in in the model. Yeah.
TG (01:05:32):
And so then she, she proceeded to tell me she had to, and that God forgives. And and she introduced me to Lisa Coates, and she said, you need to meet Lisa. And Lisa was the counselor that did the forgiven and set free classes. And I did that for 11 weeks. And then I did it for 20 more weeks in training. And then I was able to start helping others accept, you know, that. And, and, and I started, I, I was also, after that, I was able to counsel women. So I was starting to work at the pregnancy center, and I was able to help women that came into the pregnancy center scared and afraid and not knowing what to do and, and, you know, that kind of thing. So I did that. And then I graduated in 2000 and, and, and I started working at LifeBridge Christian Center, LifeBridge Christian Church on staff. I’ve been there for f you know, 14 years volunteering when you, you know, number one volunteer, but on staff as the director of single parents and grew that ministry to about 150 women. And, you know, I had great mentors. Nancy was a great mentor, and Abby, and, and so that’s where my faith started to just really grow and take shape. And that’s when the Lord revealed to me that his plans and his purposes are always gonna prevail. And, you know, he ha it has, has,
RV (01:07:15):
What year was that? So what year does that forgiven and set free class happen? Like what year is it that you finally experience the freedom, feeling free from the weight and the guilt and the shame of those
TG (01:07:30):
RV (01:07:31):
So that’s 2009. So how many, it was 25. Was it 25? So 25 years is what ended up being the full, was it, is that right?
TG (01:07:40):
Whatever, 2009 is from 1976 .
RV (01:07:43):
Okay. So that would be 86. 96, 2006. That’s 33 years. So that dec that decision stayed with you for 33 years, even though it was a secret. And then you were finally set free of that in 2009,
TG (01:08:03):
Right. And through the, before 2009, starting in 2000 or whatever, as my faith grew, I told a, you know, a couple more people, you, you learned about it, I think in 2004 or two, whenever after you were baptized, stuff like that. Your dad knew about it. You know, your sister knew about it.
RV (01:08:19):
Well, so for 25 years nobody knew about it.
TG (01:08:21):
No. And my parents never, they went to the grave not
RV (01:08:24):
Not knowing about either one.
TG (01:08:27):
RV (01:08:30):
And then it sort of gradually starts to happen. So all right. So we gotta land the plane here. Okay. I, I want to hear the story. I, I, I, we need to have Randy on the podcast. I’m gonna have Randy on the podcast because I wanna hear his story. We haven’t gotten to hear much about my brother’s story, and my brother has an amazing story especially here. Like recently, some of the things he’s done with his bodybuilding competition, I’m realizing going, we need to have Randy on too. But I, I want to hear, tell me, fast forward, you have all these friends, you’re resourceful, you’re building relationships, people are helping us. We’re start, you’re starting to get on your feet, dad comes into the picture. We start growing your faith is, is strengthening, you know, you have your faith all along. Quickly walk us through what happened to dad on his faith journey. And then tell us where are you at now?
TG (01:09:20):
Okay, well, so, so with dad basically the climate in, in Colorado started getting the political climate started to turn and stuff like that. And people started, you know, the government was infringing on his, on his rights, gun rights and stuff like that. And the world was getting dark. And, and so dad and I started actually having some conversations on religion and politics and so deep conversations. And, you know, I just remember one day saying that, you know, I understand, but I know where I’m going. I know where I’m headed, and I have joy and peace, and I will always have that. And so anyway, he started going to church a little bit more and wanted me to pray at meals and stuff like that. And then he started, you know, listening to Phil Robertson and that their sermons and you know,
RV (01:10:12):
For Phil Robertson, for those of you that don’t know. So my dad starts watching Duck Dynasty the show, right?
TG (01:10:19):
The show.
RV (01:10:20):
And he’s watching Duck Dynasty and he learning about this family. And then from there he starts watching Phil Robertson’s sermons.
TG (01:10:28):
Right, right, right, right. But, and yeah. Yeah. But you know, I don’t believe that it was just a TV show that changed your dad’s heart, although it did. But the, of course not. Jesus was ch working on his heart all this time. Your dad used to be the most Christian, non-Christian man. And that’s how I used to introduce him to people that I knew. And he loved his family.
RV (01:10:52):
And just meaning the way that he, he exhibited the virtues of like you patience and kindness and love and self-control. Yeah. All the
TG (01:10:58):
Fruits of the spirits. Yeah.
RV (01:10:59):
All the fruits of the spirit. Whatever that gala verse, I think it’s Galatians verse. Yeah. That, that was my dad all along. That’s why you fell in love with him. And then, but he was not a Christian, but he exhibited those. But then he starts watching Duck Dynasty Duck Dynasty leaves in Phil Robertson. He’s going to church you ch he sees he’s seeing you set free, you know, he’s seeing my faith, which has always, always been like, for the most part, strong, especially when I was going door to door like him called. Well,
TG (01:11:24):
That’s when it got stronger
RV (01:11:26):
Uhhuh. It got really stronger.
TG (01:11:27):
Right, exactly. So, so yeah. And so then we go, he starts coming to church Easter and Christmas, a a year. And then, anyway, he, he wanted to get baptized and we were just about ready to celebrate 20 years of marriage. And we, we got back from church and and I’ll never forget. And, and he said, you know, he wanted to, and I was just thrilled. And, and he said, thank you for never giving up on me. And I said, you know, how, how could I, you know, God never ever, ever, ever gave up on me. And so he got baptized on your 32nd birthday, and do you remember what you said when you were, unfortunately you were in Paris at the time. Do you remember what you said to him when he told you, because we, he wanted to, we zoomed you. He wanted to tell you right away.
RV (01:12:30):
I remember a poem that I wrote about him when I was in middle school called The God, would you Lord, would you let him in? I remember, I remember writing that poem
TG (01:12:40):
For him. Well, you had had said, dad, this is the best birthday present you will ever be able to give me. Mm-Hmm. ever. So
RV (01:12:47):
That was 20, so 20 years, basically, you’ve been praying for him for 20 years.
TG (01:12:51):
Well, Ruthann had been praying for him for 10 years. I, that was the other thing. I never prayed for his salvation until after I had that conversation with Dave, pastor David, I had never prayed for your father’s salvation.
RV (01:13:05):
So how long between that, when you started praying for it and when it happened?
TG (01:13:09):
2007 to 2016.
RV (01:13:12):
So nine years,
TG (01:13:13):
Somewhere around there. Yeah, somewhere around there. Mm-Hmm.
RV (01:13:16):
. Yeah. And it’s always a, it’s a series of, it’s always a series of events. And so, so you and
TG (01:13:22):
Dad’s always chasing after us. Always. Right? He’s always putting people in there. Mm-Hmm.
RV (01:13:26):
. And so you and dad are married, you know, you stay in Colorado when Randy has his grand babies or his babies, your grand babies. And then as they got older and started to get the teenage years, AJ and I have our two babies. And so you moved to Tennessee. Well,
TG (01:13:44):
We, we always knew, I always knew that we were gonna move to Tennessee because that’s where you were gonna land. So
RV (01:13:50):
We moved to, well, and Dad wanted to be, dad wanted to move back.
TG (01:13:53):
No, dad. Well, dad only didn’t wanna move. He wanted Mo moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky once the political climate Yeah. Changed. He never real, he never thought, like with me, that we would ever leave Colorado. And so that’s kind of what happened. And so since then, what I’ve been doing is I, I truly believe you know that you’re spiritual and your men, your physical health are tied together. I always have believe that. And so many times, you know, people bottle up all of this. We all have a story. We all made poor choices. And God has, you know, he can free any of us. And so I have I have a counseling, a biblical counseling practice. And I also help people with their nutrition through, through plant powders. And so I’m doing that now, and I get to do that from the comforts of my home here in Pulaski. And I get to be with my grandkids and, and with you all. And, and yeah. So that’s kind of what I’m doing now. And we go to a great church and, and faith church. And I believe that the Lord still has more for me to do. And so I am just trying to listen and follow. And
RV (01:15:07):
You are. And so you effectively are a life coach. You’ve got this Bibi Biblical counseling practice. You’re coaching people on their nutrition, so they’re spiritual and physical health. And so that dream you had all the way back, you got your degree, by the way. Mm-Hmm. . So you end up surviving all those years, breaking free from the guilt surv managing to raise two kids,
TG (01:15:34):
Awesome kids, by the way, two awesome kids, both of you, awesome
RV (01:15:38):
Kids of you
TG (01:15:38):
Guys awesome kids. You guys
RV (01:15:40):
Will have to be my brother for sure. I gotta bring Randy on. I’m
TG (01:15:42):
So proud of you both.
RV (01:15:43):
And then, then Kevin has the son. So we get, you know, right. Sean comes into our family. Yep.
TG (01:15:48):
So I get three kids,
RV (01:15:49):
You start to own, you guys start to own your own property. We make it through college. Sean has a family. He gets married, he’s got kids and grandkids, and like and then now you are I biblical counseling, life coaching and talking to a lot of women who are going have going through some rendition of some hard time.
TG (01:16:13):
Right? Right. Exactly. You know? Exactly. So one of my people gave me this a long time ago, and it says, only God can turn a mess into a message. This was one of my single moms gave this to me, and it sits on my desk because I also, you know, oh, I did say that about that single mom. And so anyway, I think that that’s what he has done, and we’ll continue to do. So I just have one final thought that, you know, I, you asked me one time ago how, how I did this. Yeah.
RV (01:16:45):
So before we do that, so where should people go?
TG (01:16:47):
Oh, okay. Yes.
RV (01:16:48):
If, if they want to connect with you. Right. And, and, right. I mean, I love it. I am quite certain that somebody listening either is going through some of this or knows someone who is in a rough time in their life, particularly maybe like, you know, a single mom or, or someone struggling with, with, you know, things, decisions, choices they made in the past that they’re struggling to get past. Where, where should people go if they want to connect with you?
TG (01:17:13):
Tessy Gale at msn. Just my email. So my name, T-E-S-S-I-E-G-A-L [email protected] or my Facebook page. And also my affiliate website, which is tessie gale dot juice plus.com.
RV (01:17:35):
Mm-Hmm, . So we’ll put, we’ll put links to that. So you can just e you can just e email my mom and you could talk directly to her which is great. So yeah, and before you just share your last, you know, thought, mom, I just, I, I, I, I want to, I want to know how you did it, but I, I also just wanna make sure that I don’t let this opportunity to slip by without saying thank you. Thank you for figuring it out. Thank you for finding a way. Thank you for being faithful. Thank you for taking care of me. And Randy, thank you for the choices, the decisions that you’ve made. And you know, I also wanna say to our friends and family, so many people in this story, thank you, you know, thank you to all the people that we, we mentioned here, the people who are buying us dinner and buying us Christmas presents, and just covering the gap and covering that, that spread of our practical needs.
RV (01:18:43):
I’m just so grateful for them and I’m so grateful, mom, for your resourcefulness to build relationships. You know, what, what if of all the, of all the superpowers to have, I mean, building relationships, is a, is a good one. And so many people just covered that gap for us. And I’m just so grateful and I’m grateful for dad, and I’m grateful for Randy be raise me and, and Danno and the Phillips and Uncle Charlie and Don and Shelly, and you know, Eric and Betsy and all, I mean, just all of the, all of the so many people that we didn’t even name, you know, teachers and my story friends who, you know, some were there for, you know, seasons some just for a moment. But so many people who, and this is this, this is why I wanted to share the story, is it’s like there’s, there is no such thing as a self-made person.
TG (01:19:42):
There is not,
RV (01:19:43):
There’s no, there’s no such thing as a, a self-made entrepreneur, A self-made millionaire, a self-made bestseller. Like there’s, there’s no such thing as a self-made. It’s a, it’s a series of people over generations that make choices that help somebody become the person that you one day see. And so, in the case of my life, mom, thank you for being the, the point person. You know, for me, I’m, I’m so grateful for that.
TG (01:20:13):
Well, you, I’m, you’re welcome. You’re welcome, Laurie. And you know, I always knew that, that, that God had a plan, you, I mean, he did. And he does. And so I’m just grateful that I don’t ever want you to forget that it’s that there’s so many people in our life that made us our life possible, right? And always will be, you know, and faith, hope and love. You know, Rory came to me one time and said, you should be a statistic. How come we’re not a statistic? And I said to you, this was when you and high freshman in college,
RV (01:20:54):
Right? ’cause Everything in your story, I mean, that’s part of why I wanted to share this is like, everything in your story points to our life should have gone a totally different direction. I mean, we meet, we met all the criteria in many ways of like a life that would be far, far different from the life that we have now. We always had love, but like we, you know, we could have gone a different direction. So yeah, I mean, how do you do that?
TG (01:21:20):
Well, I had faith the size of a mustard seed in the beginning. And due to all the trials in my life, I took Mark 9 23 from the head to the heart, right? And I started to believe that all things are possible for him who believes all things. And that grew with roots. And then I had Hope 29, Jeremiah 29 11 was, became my life first in, in the early two thousands. And it was like, you know, he has a plan. He knew his plans for us, and he still has one for the my future. And he always, always was there. Its plans. Were always there. And you mentioned love. I am a firm believer. I’ve seen it through thousands of children. We didn’t even talk about the, the coaching for five years that I did as a single parent with those boys for soccer five years.
TG (01:22:25):
But I’ve seen it in all my life. Is that his deep, deep love for me? I began to trust him and continue to bring love and surrounding me with love of others. And I was able to trust him once I finally did learn to love and be set free freely completely. So he has made my path straights to grow in love for myself and for you boys, and for others. The love from just one person can change a person’s circumstance in life. That’s the other lesson that I hope you and all, all of those listening understand one person and the love of Jesus, which there is no greater love will change one life for all eternity. I have lived and learned this and will share it until the day he takes me home. Thank you, Lord, for this day. May your blessings come our way. Keep us safe, whatever we do, and let us never forget to keep our eyes on you.

Ep 483: 5 Techniques to Gain Thousands of Social Media Followers | Ryan Pineda Episode Recap

RV (00:06):
Welcome to the Influential Personal Brand podcast. This is the place where we help mission-driven messengers, just like you learn how to build and monetize your personal brand. My name is Rory Vaden and I’m the co-founder of Brand Builders Group, a hall of fame speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. And this show is to help experts learn how to become more wealthy and well-known. I know you’re gonna love it. Thanks for being here. Let’s get started. Here’s how I grew by 3000 followers in three weeks. It was actually five simple ideas that I just wanna share with you. The first thing was to focus on starters. Another term for this would be the hook, but it’s really paying attention to the opening first few seconds of your videos. And I don’t know if you’re like me, but everyone throws that word around like, you gotta have a great hook.
RV (00:58):
It’s all about the hook. Start with hook. And I’m like, what exactly is a hook? Because nobody seems to be able to explain what that means. I’ve heard that term for years, but something finally clicked in the last few weeks, and I’m gonna share now what I’m using as my definition of a hook to see if it helps you. And a hook is simply this. Tell people what you’re about to tell them. Tell them what you’re about to tell them, right? Think about how they advertise the news. They say, A new study reveals a food that causing cancer will tell you what it is to tonight at nine, right? Like they tell you what they’re gonna, they they tell you what they’re gonna tell you. And in Toastmasters, where I started my professional speaking career, Toastmasters used to have a phrase where they said, tell the audience what you’re gonna tell ’em, then tell ’em, then tell ’em what you told ’em.
RV (01:48):
And now I’m realizing, oh, that’s the same opening formula for a great video. Tell ’em what you’re about to tell ’em. You’ll notice that I started this video saying, here’s how I grew my followers by th here’s how I grew by 3000 followers in the last three weeks. I’m telling you what I’m about to tell you. I don’t launch in to telling you how to do it. I’m telling you about what I’m about to tell you. And that’s what the key to a hook is. It’s super duper simple. So focus on your starters. Focus on the opening first three seconds of your videos. Tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em, and I think you’ll see an immediate improvement. The second thing is screen quality. And by screen quality, I just mean production value. We got my main man, Chris, over here. We finally invested to get a good camera and get a a, a, a decent, decent microphone.
RV (02:43):
And I think that’s made a really big difference. If you go look at some of my old videos, they’re just not as visually capturing because they’re not as quality in terms of the resolution. The content, I would argue, is just as good as it has ever been. But the production value is definitely up a notch. And I think at this point, if you’re trying to compete online, you need to make that investment. Why? Because all the other people who are doing it are doing that. And so you’re not, you’re competing not just on the quality of your ideas, but you’re competing also on the quality of your production value. And so it’s time to make that investment if you’re ready to really get serious. So that’s the screen quality. The third thing is stimulus stimuli. We have increased the cuts in our video editing dramatically.
RV (03:33):
Again, my man, Chris, over here rocking the camera is doing cuts every one or two seconds. And when I mean cut, if you just watch a video and count how many seconds go between each time the screen changes, something moves, right? A talking head video is just me here talking. The camera is not cutting. It’s the same view for an extended period of time. But adding stimulus means you’re adding cuts. You’re showing other pictures, other you know, it can be captions. It can be moving things around on the screen. It can be having pullout quotes. It can be dropping in emojis. It can be dropping in B-roll footage. It can be dropping in stock footage of other things. You can be referencing news media articles, but the camera is cutting every couple seconds. And again, this is just a tactic to hold people’s attention, which is a huge part of what growing your followers is all about.
RV (04:31):
The algorithms reward people who hold people’s attention on the platform. The fourth thing is stories. Tell stories. Stories from your life are an automatic great format and formula for capturing attention. There’s something about the human brain that we are drawn to stories. So for example, I spoke at the Keller Williams National Convention. There were 17,000 people there, and I had an opportunity to share the stage with Tony Robbins, Mel Robbins, and several other speakers. Well, I told the story when I came back of how I watched Mel Robbins speak. And I stayed two days longer in Vegas than I planned to, just so I could get to see her. And I just shared the story of what I thought of her presentation. Well, unbeknownst to me or unplanned by me, she saw the post and she reshared it. So part of the, the value was certainly the size of her audience.
RV (05:29):
But what really was powerful was the story. It was, it was sharing a story of what did I do and what did I learn? And that’s really the simple format for a story is what happened to you and what did you learn? And I’ve got other videos that talk about the four parts of telling a great story. But every picture in your phone is a story. If you just kind of go through your phone, camera roll, every single photo is a story. Tell the story of who was there, what were you doing, what happened, what did you learn? And how does that apply to the people who are in your audience tell great stories because they automatically serve as great hooks and great lessons and great attention grabbers and attention keepers. And finally, number five is stages. Getting on stages. As I mentioned, I was at a very large event, and to this day, the fastest way that I have ever seen to grow my email list, my social media following my customers or just new friends and fans, is to be out speaking on stages.
RV (06:36):
This is one of our expertise at Brand Builders Group. This is one of the things I’ve spent my life learning and that our team specializes in teaching you how to do, is to get on stages. Now, they don’t have to be thousands of people. You don’t even have to be paid to be on ’em. But the shortest distance between someone who is a complete stranger, becoming a lifelong fan is a world class one hour presentation after seeing you on stage. And by the way, if you’d like to talk to someone on our team about some of the strategies we use to help personal brands get on more stages, just click the link that is somewhere around this video and we’ll set you up with a free call. But there you have it. The five strategies that I’ve used to grow my followers more than 3000 in the last three weeks. It starts with the starts have great hooks, then it’s all about screen quality up your production game. Third, have more stimulus, more jump cuts, and more advanced editing happening inside of your videos. Fourth, tell more stories. And fifth, get on more stages. If you do those five things, I promise, you’ll see your followers grow.

Ep 481: How to Know When You Should Write a Book | Bill Blankschaen Episode Recap

AJV (00:03):
I get asked all the time, when should I write a book or more often I get told I’m going to write a book. This is the year, this is the month, this is the time of my life that I am ready to write that book. And this little 10 minute video here is all about when do you know when it’s time for you to write that book? And here’s just a couple of things that I thought would be helpful and insightful is I process a conversation that I just had with a good friend, bill Blank Shane, who is the founder of a company called Story Builders, who works with aspiring authors to become the author that they want to be and produce a book that they are proud to call their own. And I think it was a really important conversation because there is no right time.
AJV (00:55):
There is no better time, there is no worse time when it comes to actually expressing your content. Now, yes, there are times in your life that it makes sense to dedicate time, energy, and effort to writing a book. And there are times in your life where maybe it doesn’t like, right? That has everything to do with capacity, that you have to give it the time it deserves. Because writing a book is like starting a business, and it requires that amount of time, energy, effort, and resources in order to do so. And I think before I even start on this and just realizing if you actually want people to read your book, writing the book is just step one. And after you write the book is when the additional work, most of the work actually begins writing the book is just step one to a mini step process to launch and get that book out into the stratosphere.
AJV (01:46):
So when is it time to write your book? Number one, I want you to remember that the book is the very last thing you do, not the first thing. It is the conclusion, not the hypothesis. So do not rush the process to actually organize and clarify your thoughts, your stories, your points, right? This is a body of work that is meant to represent something that you think is needed in the world to help a group of people, right? Your audience, your readers, with something that you know, that you are well positioned to help them with. And that does not come quickly, right? In fact, I had a guest on the influential personal brand podcast earlier this year, and her name is Maury. And she wrote a book about negotiations, and I asked her, I said, so how long did it take you to write this book?
AJV (02:42):
And she was like, you mean like putting words on the pages? Or How long did it take me to figure out this is the book I was meant to write? And I said, both. And she said 10 years, right? 10 years. It took me 10 years to figure out what I had to say on this topic, what I was meant to say on this topic. Now, the process of actually writing the book was probably a year to two years, right? Still a fair amount of time, but it was 10 years. Why? Because she was looking for a conclusion. She was looking for the facts, right? The end points the ends of the case studies, the ends of the stories, not ideas. She was looking for conclusions, not hypotheses. So the book is the last thing you do. Once you have cemented your ideas, your thought leadership, this is once you have come up with the stories and the points and the frameworks, this is the last thing, not the first thing.
AJV (03:37):
So don’t rush the process. There are plenty of ways to get content out into the world. You can blog, you can create video content, you can podcasts, you can host a podcast, you can guess on podcasts. You can do medium, you can put LinkedIn posts, like the list goes on and on and on. There are many ways for you to be testing and piloting your content before you go through the painstakingly expensive and time consuming process of writing a book. Okay? So that’s number one. Number two, you have to know the purpose and intent of your book before you begin, because that dictates how you write it, how you decide how to publish it, how you market it, how you sell it. Knowing how you want to use this book actually is the beginning of making a lot of decisions that will be very impactful for you, your brand and your business, right?
AJV (04:29):
Is this a traditionally published book because we just, we just added a whole bunch of time to the process between finding an agent, shopping a publisher, getting bids, writing the book, publishing the book, selling, marketing, the book, right? It just added a lot of time that you may not have been prepared for, right? Versus, hey, is this really more a statement of cementing my thoughts, ideas, frameworks for my business? So maybe traditional or hybrid is a better route? And then it’s like, okay, well if I actually want people to read it, like how am I gonna market it? Right? And all these different things matter. So knowing the purpose of the book, right? Is this your your life’s work? Or is this a, you know, a solidification of a set of ideas, but not your life’s work? Those things matter. Is this to support a business model or a coaching framework that’s more better to do in a self-publishing route? Or is this a a statement piece that you are using for credibility and notoriety and you’re going for, you know, a hybrid or a traditional knowing the purpose and the use of the book, not just the content within, but the purpose of it. Are you doing it to increase fees, expand your business? What are you doing it for? Matters a lot in how you write it, how you publish it, and who we are going to market and sell the book to. And then the last, but not the least is are you
AJV (05:56):
Willing to talk about this book for the next two years at minimum, nonstop ad nauseum, right? Are you in love with this topic enough that for the next two, or in some cases 10 or 20 or 50 years, are you willing to continue to talk about the stories and the points and the frameworks and the content for the next two 10 decades ahead of where you are? ’cause That’s what you need to be willing to do because in order to actually help people find the book or read the book, you have to talk about the book, speak about the book, interview about the book, go on podcasts, about the book. You have to post content and make videos and do all the things about the book, which means it needs to be content that is meaningful to you, that’s not going to drain you and be like, oh my gosh, I’m so tired of this.
AJV (06:53):
It should also be content that’s not extraordinarily trendy, right? And so this needs to be something that has some weight to it and that you can continue to talk about it. And I’ll give you two quick examples. My husband, Roy Vaden, his first book has now been out for almost 14 years. He still does the same keynote that he did 14 years ago when the book came out. Take the Stairs. The content of that keynote has not tra changed extraordinarily. So, I mean, he’s gotten better at delivering it. But the content there in and of itself is the contents of the book. And he still loves giving that keynote and telling those stories. In fact, he just released, I, I take the Stairs kids book called Be The Buffalo because it still resonates and it’s still meaningful and it’s still important. This was a piece of his life’s work.
AJV (07:44):
And it doesn’t matter that he printed that book, published it 14 years ago. It still as relevant today as it was then, if not even more so in our lives. And we find it so relevant. It’s like we, we want our kids to learn this. So we, we published be the Buffalo, which is a kid’s book. 14 years later, he is still doing the same talks, telling the same stories, sharing the same points on a piece of work that was done 14 years ago. So can you do that with this work? That’s how you know when you’re ready, right? And the sample the second example I was gonna give you was my husband’s second book Procrastinate on Purpose, which has now been out 10 years almost or even more so maybe 11 years. And it’s the same. It’s like he still gets comments on different frameworks in the book.
AJV (08:32):
And the Ted Talk is growing even though it’s now been out for 10 years plus. And it’s like he still gets booked to speak for that. He still loves talking about it. Why? Because it’s evergreen content, it’s life content, it’s not going away, it’s leadership, it’s productivity, it’s time management, it’s business. And he will be talking about these topics for the rest of his life. I guarantee you the fact that we’re now producing new versions of those works that is just proof. But over the course of time, it was started as a book and then it was a keynote. And now we have courses and there’s kids’ books now. Like it is content that continues to grow. Why? Because it is a part of who he is. And that is what you need to be considering when you go, am I ready to write this book?
AJV (09:20):
It should be work that you are still proud of and excited to talk about 10, 14 years later. And that you’re still adding to and adjusting and building things around because it’s evergreen. That’s how you know when you are ready to write the book, it’s the last thing you do. It’s not the first thing, it’s the conclusion, not the hypothesis. You know, the purpose and intent, the use of the book, and you’re gonna be willing to continue to talk about it for years and years to come. That’s how you know. So are you ready to write that book.

Ep 479: 3 Tips for Awkward-less Networking | April Garcia Episode Recap

RV (00:00):
You know how when you go to events and they give you a name tag and you always feel awkward meeting new people, I’m gonna share with you three simple steps in three different environments to make it easy for you to meet new people so that you can grow your business. All right? So first of all, let’s talk about events. What do you do at events? Well, here’s what you don’t do. I’m not a fan of walking up and saying, hi, I’m Rory, nice to meet you. Mm. Like, I always feel weird, and, and it’s not wrong to do that. It’s not bad to do it, but it just feels very abrupt and sharp. So lemme give you the three part formula that works really at any event or any in-person environment, anywhere you go, it’s compliment questions and then free compliment question and free. So here’s how it starts.
RV (00:53):
Start with a compliment. Don’t walk up and say, hi, my name is, walk up and compliment somebody on something. Hey, I love your smile. I love your hair, I love your shoes, I love your outfit. And if you can’t find something honest to compliment them on, then what you should do is comment on the environment, right? Rather than introduce yourself to the person, comment on the environment. So you would say like, man, it’s freezing in here. Or you know, do you have any idea what that food is? The the point is to break the ice of the conversation by not having such direct eye contact and such an, an abrupt opening to the relationship. So either compliment somebody on something genuinely, or comment on the environment. The second thing that you should do to meet new people is you should ask questions. This is the easiest secret tip of building relationships with new people.
RV (01:50):
And it takes all the pressure off of you when you feel like you have to meet people. Like you have to be somebody, you have to share something magnificent, or you have to like, show up and impress people. That’s gonna put pressure on you. And it’s also not the way to actually build relationships quickly. The way to build relationships quickly is to ask questions. Just simply ask questions. So where are you from? How did you find out about this? Have you been to this event before? Do you know? Who do you know here? Did you come with somebody? How did you hear about this? And then from that question, go to the next question to the next question to the next question. The key to meeting people is to not be so focused on yourself, but just be focused on asking great questions. Then how does this turn into creating new business for you? Well, that’s step three, which is offer something for free. Remember the formula, compliment questions, and free. That means offer something for free. Offer them free help, free advice, a free call. Offer them to, to connect
RV (02:58):
Them to somebody for free. A vendor, perhaps a friend of yours that might be useful for them, or a contact that you have. Or send them an article or send them a video or, or send them send them something, right? Give them something valuable that is free and it might just be free time with you, a free assessment, something like that. So we wanna be thinking about whenever you transition from a meeting somebody for the first time, usually you’re asking them questions. A lot of times that will show up as them asking you questions back. But when you transition into your business, think about what can you give them for free. That’s the, that’s the most gradual, safe, easy, smooth way to transition into talking about your business. And this works in person at events, it can work on an airplane, right? If you’re sitting next to someone on an airplane, you might feel awkward saying, hi, my name is, and, and immediately breaking the physical barrier of shaking hands, right?
RV (03:59):
Not everybody is prepared initially to, to make physical contact. They’re also not prepared to make eye contact. So if you instead compliment them and say, Hey, I love your shoes. Or hey, I love that show. If they’re, if they’re, if they’re, if they’re watching something on their iPad or comment on the situation, right? Like, comment on the airline, comment on how small the plane is, comment on the tray, comment on the flight attendant, comment on the environment as a way of breaking the ice. Then ask questions, then offer something for free that will work in any sort of in-person environment. The second place that you can really meet people, and you can follow this same three part process, is online on social media. So how do you build a relationship with somebody digitally in the interwebs on social media? Same exact formula, compliment question, and offer something for free.
RV (05:04):
So you show up and you leave a genuine compliment. Now it’s, if you just go to somebody’s profile and you comment on their post and you say, great post, they’re not gonna notice that. But if you write a genuine compli compliment as a comment on one of their posts, they’re gonna see it. I’m telling you, we work with some of the fam most famous personal brands in the world. These people have millions of followers. When you write genuine compliments, they see them. Here’s a secret tip. Realize nobody ever gets tired of hearing how awesome they are. Nobody, doesn’t matter how rich, how famous, how successful. You might think, oh my gosh, everyone tells ’em this. I’m telling you, there’s not a person in the world. Whoever gets sick of having other people tell them how
RV (05:56):
Awesome they are. So don’t do this in a fake way. Do it in a genuine way. Tell them what it is about them that you love. Tell them why you follow that person. Tell them what was awesome in the video or in the thing they just shared. And by the way, the other way to compliment people online is to share their content, right? You should retweet them. Or what do we call a retweet now for X? I don’t know. Rex them. I, I actually don’t know. But you can share their post, you can send it to a friend. And they’ll often see that as well. But leave a genuine compliment. Then if and when they respond to you, ask them a question. And this is a mistake that people make, is if they ever get a response from the person, they often immediately launch into their pitch of like, Hey, can, can I come on your podcast?
RV (06:52):
Or can I, can we go to lunch? Or can you know? They asking them for something? Don’t do that. Just ask them questions about something going on in their life. The key is to ask questions and not for those questions to be about something that they can do for you. And then the third thing is, if the opportunity presents itself, offer something for free. Now, I wanna say this, in the online world, where you wanna build relationships is not in the comments. You wanna do it in the dms. The, the goal of content is to create comments. The goal of comments is to create dms. And then once you have dms, then you can build offline relationships and then you can get stuff done. So you don’t wanna do this back and forth in comments. You wanna tell ’em, Hey you could leave a compliment publicly on their post.
RV (07:41):
And then if they respond, you can say, Hey, I just dmd you a question. And then move them into the dms. Ask them questions, go back and forth. And if the opportunity presents itself for some way for you to potentially, possibly, maybe might do business with them, do it in a way of offering them something for free. Give them free value. Don’t try to sell ’em something. Don’t try to pitch them on. You. Offer something for free. If you do that, then you have a chance of building the relationship. Now, the third place that you can meet people is through referrals. Referrals, referrals, referrals. I promise you that referrals from humans to other humans is the fastest way to build your business and to build relationships. And on this one, I’m just gonna give you one really quick line. One simple technique and tactic that works for asking with for referrals. And it all comes down to how you tee it up. The reason why most people are terrible at asking for referrals is because they think that if they ask for referrals, they’re going to come across somehow as needy or annoying or unsuccessful
RV (08:54):
Or weak. But in reality, you should be none of those things. People love to do business with friends. We all understand that we all prefer to do business by way of referral. So when you ask for referrals, I want you to use that line or to use this line that I’m gonna give you. And here’s the transition as you say, Hey, you may not realize this, but I really only prefer to do business with friends or friends of friends. And because of that, I was wondering if you might be open-minded to introducing me to, and then you explain the kind of people that you’re trying to meet. But that key transitional phrase is, is where the magic is. You may not realize this, but I really prefer to do business with friends or friends of friends. And so I was wondering if you might be open-minded to introducing me to people who are, and then you describe the type of people that you’re looking for.
RV (09:53):
If you can get past that part, if you can get past that awkwardness that, that opening moment, then there’s a good chance that your friends, your family, your active clients, your past clients will introduce you to people. They will refer you to people when you simply explain that’s how you prefer to do business. So there you have three different environments, live events, social media, and referrals. If you’re meeting new people for the first time, remember compliments questions and offer things for free. And if you’re asking for referrals, just explain that you prefer to do business with friends or friends of friends. Hey, if this video is valuable for you, make sure to hit the subscribe button and share this with somebody who you know in your life that needs some tips on meeting more people.

Ep 477: Entrepreneur Mindset | AJ Vaden Episode Recap

AJV (00:02):
We’re gonna talk about mindset today. And specifically we’re gonna talk about the entrepreneur mindset. And I’ve got five quick things that I wanna hit on to help you develop a rock solid entrepreneur mindset. And even if you are not a, you know, definitive entrepreneur, I wanna create an entrepreneurial mindset that no matter what you do, what role you have or title you possess, that these five characteristics can go with you anywhere you go. Because having an entrepreneurial mindset really just means you have an ownership mindset. And I don’t mean ownership of a business, I mean ownership over a task, ownership over a person, right? In terms of like owning, like what you’re gonna do in order to develop, develop, and lead that person, it’s over a project, or it could be over a business, but it is an ownership mindset. That’s what I need mean by an entrepreneur mindset.
AJV (00:59):
So number one, build as you go. That’s the first thing. Don’t wait until it’s perfect. It’s not going to be, so you must build it as you go. There’s this great analogy, actually, I saw a picture of this on Instagram so, so many years ago, and it was a picture of an individual who had jumped off a cliff and they were building the airplane as they fell. And the, the caption read below the life of an entrepreneur, right? Building the airplane after you jump off the cliff. And that’s a little bit of the ownership mindset of like, no matter how it goes, I’m gonna own it. I’m gonna own the successes, own the failures, but I, most importantly, I’m going to own the process of building it as we go and knowing that it’s always going to have opportunity to improve and be better.
AJV (01:44):
And we will do so as we go. But I’m not going to wait to launch. I’m gonna own what I’ve got and I’m gonna go and I’ll make it better as we continue. Number two, be a salesperson first. The ownership mindset is the, the key to all business is to make more than you spend , right? That’s how you have profits. And that means you gotta have a sales person mindset. And every single role any good customer service person is also a good salesperson. They know how to listen. They know what questions they ask. They know when to pause. They know when to talk. But most importantly, they know how to get to the root of the problem and offer a solution, right? Same goes for recruiting. Any great recruiter is a great salesperson. They know what questions to ask. They figure out what the person wants, and they know how to connect the dots. Anyone who is great at communication is a great salesperson, right? There’s a term like influencer has a lot to do with influence, right? They have become the conduits. They, they are the market representatives of products and services. They are salespeople. They are spokespersons selling things for other
AJV (02:59):
Companies. ’cause Other companies have said, my gosh, they’re better at selling this than we are. They have more influence than we do. They have become great salespeople. So in an ownership and an entrepreneur mindset, you have got to, to own and take on the abilities and the responsibilities of being a great salesperson for your company, your products and your services. Number three, grow only as fast as you can. Serve your community. IE your clients and your employees. Grow only as fast as you can. Serve your community. Some of the greatest stories of all time about companies who have had enormous growth in unbelievable timeframes and in a devastatingly sad story of how they imploded that’s most of the docuseries out right now are about that. And I won’t list any of them specifically, but there are story after story after story about this monumental mind blowing growth.
AJV (03:57):
Only to watch it come to a tumbling disaster. A pile of rubble in the end because they outgrew their ability to serve their customers in a good and decent way. Right? Now, that’s not just their own customers, that’s also your employees. Don’t outgrow your capacity to take care of your people. So if that means you need to slow growth down, slow it down so that you can do it right? You don’t have to grow fast. There’s no accolades and fast growth, although seemingly that’s what people talk about in the market often fast growth is worrisome to me of going, do you have the infrastructure in place? Like if you’ve grown that fast in that short amount of time, like, do you really have all the systems in place? Like, can I see a little bit more into the, you know, under the cover now, under the hood, grow only as fast as you can serve your people, your community.
AJV (04:51):
That’s your employees and your customers. Number four, hire a players only if they are not an A player, don’t hire ’em. You gotta have a players in every single role of your company. This whole idea of the weakest link, why do you have weak links? Why? Why do you have those? I have no idea. I’m not saying that we haven’t had weak links. I’m just saying like, be cognizant of hire a players. An A player can do the job of three C players. So hire one phenomenal person. Pay ’em every single thing that they’re worth and it will save you three other positions. Hire top talent. Hire A players. Don’t settle. Hire the person that can help you grow, help you take it to the next level. Hire top talent. Hire A players. I cannot say that enough on repeat. And then number five, focus on being better over bigger. This is one of my favorite stories to tell right now. And it’s funny ’cause I don’t even remember the book that I read this in last year but I, that’s
AJV (05:57):
Not true. I think it was called To Create, it was a book called, called to Create. And they were telling this amazing story about Truitt Kathy, who’s the founder of Chick-fil-A And it was in the late mid or mid to late 1990s. And there was apparently this, you know, once of kind of like once of a lifetime boardroom meeting with Truit Kathy, who I, I did not know personally clearly, but was known to be a very calm executive. But in this particular meeting they were meeting about a competitor company called Boston Market, who had come on the scene and was growing at an expedient rate, taking up massive market share. And they were on the track to being a a billion dollar company at this point. I think Chick-fil-A was maybe like $400 million. Don’t quote me on the facts here, I’m recalling from memory.
AJV (06:46):
But they were in this conversation about how all these other Chick-fil-A executives were wanting to talk about, well, how do we grow market share? We need to open more stores. We need to do this and do this. And uncharacteristically of Truitt Kathy, he bangs his fist on the table and he said, we’ll have no more talk of this. The only thing that we need to talk about is how do we become better? We don’t need to become bigger. We need to become better and let our audience demand that we become bigger. And this saying has become a mantra at Brand Builders Group because who says you need to be bigger? Who says scale is better? That’s not necessarily the case. And I love this story with Truitt Kathy, because less than a decade later, Boston Market had filed bankruptcy. But Chick-fil-A was now a billion dollar company.
AJV (07:41):
When you focus on becoming better at what you do, you force your customers to talk about you more in the best way. Better quality products, better quality team members, better quality experiences. That’s how you grow. That’s how you become bigger, better, makes you bigger. Bigger does not always make you better, but better, almost always makes you bigger. So focus on being better at what you do, not just being bigger. Focus on better teammates, better training, better experiences, better service, better programs, better products, better services, better, better, better. And then let your audience demand that you get bigger because they want so much of it.