Ep 48: Orchestrating a Career Pivot by Owning The New You with Donald Miller

There’s a lot of value in helping people more clearly explain what they do. This is because it enables them to find the other people out there who truly need to hear what they have to say. Clarifying people’s message is Donald Miller’s life’s mission and it was an absolute honor to have him on the show. Donald is the CEO of Story Brand and the New York Times bestselling author of multiple books including Blue Like Jazz, and he also recently wrote a number one Wall Street Journal bestseller called Building a Story Brand. Interestingly, Donald made a complete career pivot from writing Christian memoirs to guidebooks in the non-fiction brand-building space.

After finding huge success in writing his memoirs, Donald felt that the character he portrayed in his books stopped fitting, and so he decided to switch his subject matter. In today’s conversation, Donald talks about his experiences as he made this pivot, getting into ideas of letting go, stepping confidently into his new self, and how he dealt with people that didn’t want him to change lanes. Becoming clear on what one’s message is and knowing how to state it boldly and repeatedly to the world in order to be remembered is a key message Donald delivers today.

We hear how it played into his career pivot, and how it orchestrated both the message and the strategy at Story Brand in the form of its SP7 technique. For some incredible insights into the value of clarity, simplicity, and knowing how to turn the other cheek, make sure you catch Donald in this brilliant episode. 




  • Donald’s transition from writing Christian memoirs to business branding how-to books. 
  • Successful artists: those who play the artist role but are brilliant businesspeople too. 
  • The reality about building a brand: you can’t be too arrogant to promote yourself. 
  • Saying goodbye to the lovable failure persona Donald previously occupied after his pivot. 
  • The importance of changing lanes and how people will only protest for a while.  
  • Whether to pivot quickly or slowly and how people are slow to forget the old you. 
  • How to brand yourself: be memorable (repeat the same simple message over and over). 
  • The course at Story Brand which is based on Poetics and finding seven simple messages. 
  • How Story Brand makes typically cheap marketing techniques seem dignified. 
  • What SP7 is: the Six Sigma of messaging taught at Business Made Simple University. 
  • How doing one thing played into the SP7 framework and Don choosing to write another book. 
  • The value of turning the other cheek upon being insulted for building a personal brand. 


“I have friends who are true artists but they won’t promote themselves. If you really think about that, there’s a little bit of arrogance to that.” — @donaldmiller [0:05:29] 

“You have got to control how you’re thought of and the way that you do that is you come up with a very simple message and you repeat it over and over and over again.” — @donaldmiller [0:12:26] 

“We could probably be 50% bigger and be making 50% more money. It’s just not who we are. We really just want to help everybody win.” — @donaldmiller [0:18:29] 

To take somebody who has insulted you and show them love and kindness and forgiveness is literally one of the best things you can do for your personal brand because everybody walks away believing you’re the strongest person when you do it.” — @donaldmiller [0:28:43] 


Donald Miller is the CEO of StoryBrand, and every year he helps more than 3,000 business leaders clarify their brand message. He is the author of New York Times best-sellers: Blue Like Jazz, Scary Close, and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and the #1 Wall Street Journal best-seller, Building a StoryBrand. Don is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the subject of story. His audiences are challenged to lean into their own story, creatively develop and execute the story of their team, and understand the story of their customers so they can serve them with passion. Don’s thoughts on story have deeply influenced leaders and teams for Pantene, Chick-fil-A, Steelcase, Intel, Prime Lending, Zaxby’s, and thousands more.   


Donald Miller on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/donald-miller-storybrand/

Story Brand —https://storybrand.com/ 

Blue Like Jazzhttps://amzn.to/3ckGAAk

Scary Close — https://amzn.to/399uA2I

A Million Miles in a Thousand Yearshttps://amzn.to/2I94sco

Building a Story Brandhttps://amzn.to/2Exal1Z

The New York Times — https://www.nytimes.com/ 

Wall Street Journal — https://www.wsj.com/ 

Taylor Swift — https://www.taylorswift.com/ 

Coldplay —https://www.coldplay.com/ 

Mick Jagger — http://www.mickjagger.com/ 

The Rolling Stones —https://rollingstones.com/ 

Mandy Reid Photography — http://mandyreid.com/ 


Jeb Bush — https://www.biography.com/political-figure/jeb-bush 

Take the Stairshttps://amzn.to/2ZAJNUS

Procrastinate on Purpose — https://amzn.to/2PmL8wJ

Business Made Simple Daily – https://www.businessmadesimple.com/daily/ 

Six Sigma — http://www.leansixsigmadefinition.com/glossary/six-sigma/ 

Nancy Duarte — https://www.duarte.com/ 

Fred Rogers — https://www.biography.com/performer/fred-rogers 

Brand Builders Group — https://brandbuildersgroup.com/ 

RV: (00:01) Donald Miller is someone that I have grown to respect a tremendous, tremendous amount. I feel lucky to have been able to see StoryBrand in terms of the framework and develop as he started building the company. And I was honored to give him an endorsement. We did the Book Launch Party at our house. And I absolutely love the elegance of what him and his team have done with StoryBrand and the SB seven framework. Now, if you’re not familiar with StoryBrand every year about 3000 business leaders go through StoryBrand and various forms, really their workshop and they help people clarify their brand message companies and individuals alike. But dawn is a New York Times best selling author of several books. So Blue Light, jazz, scary, close, a million miles in a thousand years. And then building a StoryBrand is his most recent book, which was a number one Wall Street Journal Bestseller. And so he’s just incredible business guy, incredible man of faith. RV: (01:06) I’ve gotten to know him a little bit more personally over the last few years. We’re going to be neighbors year within a couple months. And it’s just just so excited to have him and make sure you guys get a chance to, to see a little bit behind the scenes of Donald Miller. So, Donald, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me Roy. So one of the things that I wanted to take a little bit of you know, just friend, a liberal friend I guess privilege that maybe you don’t always get to talk about that I thought would be interesting is this hardcore pivot. Cause I do want to talk about StoryBrand cause it’s super applicable for everybody watching. But behind the scenes is something that I don’t know that everyone is aware of is you made a massive pivot. I w what I would consider a fairly massive pivot. RV: (01:54) I mean you had sold millions of copies as, as you know, writing Christian memoirs and being really big in that space and then you pivoted and then have built an equally, if not, I mean I don’t know how you would measure it, but to a huge presence very quickly in the business nonfiction space with StoryBrand. And certainly, you know, a large business. I think a larger business enterprise was with StoryBrand. And that reinvention to me is really interesting. And it’s something that people don’t talk a lot about. And, and in my mind, I don’t know this for sure, so I just wanna kind of like hear your thoughts on it, but I have to think that, you know, maybe there were some haters, right? Like maybe there were some people who were upset that you kind of like went from the Christian world to like the business world. And maybe there were people who were super supportive and some people followed you and some people lost. But like, I just want to hear a little bit of your journey and your philosophy about how to do that. Cause I think a lot of people watching this, they’ve been doing something and now they’re pivoting to their, you know, personal brand and, you know, so you mind sharing a little bit about that? Yeah, I will. DM: (03:00) You’re right, there were some haters at the beginning. You know, I, I built a reputation and based on books, based on who I really was. I wrote memoirs and my memoir voice is really sort of this stumbling through life and discovering deep truths and then kind of sharing them and applying them and that sort of thing. And probably heavy emphasis on the stumbling through life part. But the reality is, as you know, Rory you know, if you sell millions of books and you, and you have some success, you’re not really stumbling through life. You’ve actually, you’ve gotten some discipline there and some good work habits and you know, a little bit about branding and you show up when they’re supposed to speak. And so I meet a lot of artists who they want to kind of be this, this true artists where all they do is create art and they’re desperate for people. DM: (03:49) They want people to discover them, but they don’t want to look desperate for people to discover them. And those kinds of things, those brands tend to fail. The brands that tend to succeed are artists who act like that, but in reality, they’re really good business people. They know how to negotiate a deal. They show up on time. They, you know, they, they play a role that is truly them, but they, but they hide the rest. And so, you know, if you think about Taylor swift and you know, she’s singing about, you know, her boyfriend broke up with her and you know, she’s going to get him back when, when her real life is about private jets and, you know, dating supermodels and sharp like, and from everything I’ve heard so many sharp and generous and all that kind of stuff. So you know, so you have to understand that as an artist that I have, I have friends who do both. DM: (04:42) They’re the true artists but they won’t promote themselves cause they want. And if you really think about that, there’s a little bit of arrogance to that, that I am so great that I don’t need to go out and tell people who I am. That almost never succeeds. Wow. what succeeds is really you know, I really liked my stuff. I hope you like it too. And I’m not going to stop promoting it until I’m heard because it’s a really, it’s a really noisy world. That honest truth out there, that humble work ethic is Chris Martin of Coldplay. You know, Mick Jagger and the rolling stones that, you know, it’s just, you got to see it as a job. So if you really want to build a personal brand, you can’t wait for the world to come to you. You can’t throw a message in a bottle and hope that people get it. DM: (05:26) You have to actually get in a boat and go to the other shore and start handing out business cards. Now at some point that there’s the, the returns come in were enough people. You’ve created such momentum that you, you have to do that a little bit less. But in my opinion, in my council, I would never stop. I would keep going. So, you know, there’s a lot of hustle involved in building a personal brand. For me, you know, being a Christian memoirist, you know, I worked hard building that and, and the reality is that before I ever wrote my first book, I was president of a company. So I knew about business, I understood it. I didn’t write about it. Some people didn’t know that I understood it, but I did understand it. And then even running my own personal speaking and writing business, you’re running a business. DM: (06:10) And so when I started pivoting into how to create messages and and build your business both with a clear message, all that was completely natural to me and it just seemed like the obvious next step. But on the outside looking in people, that was a huge chasm. So there was a big difference between what I was experiencing, what other people were experiencing. But you know, I noticed something whenever you’re driving in traffic and you, you kinda change lanes into the faster lane, you sometimes get people honking at you and they shoot the finger or whatever and people like you to stay in your lane. And so I experienced the kind of like go, well, we, we missed the don who wrote these books. You know, we kind of missed the lovable loser and and, you know, I, I, that just wasn’t who I was anymore. DM: (07:01) That was, that was not a big part of my personality. So in order to be myself, I had to change lanes, but I was smart enough to know, you know, they only honk for a minute and then they go away and they accept you in the lane that you’re in. And a lot of people stay in their lane for all of life because one guy’s going to honk at them when they could really be moving much faster through life. So because they’re a little bit conflict avoidant, they don’t let you know it’s important. Sometimes all of us have probably run into an old friend who we haven’t seen in 15 years and they tease us about something that we’ve already conquered and overcome. And sometimes it’s important to sit them down and say, Hey, oh, you need to know that’s not who I am anymore. And I changed. DM: (07:46) You know, let’s say you’re married and you’ve got an old friend that used to run around with and go to bars and they want you to be that old friend. And it’s important to sit them down and say, hey, I made a sacrifice and I’m a different person now and this is who I am. And I live in the joy of that sacrifice every day. And so, you know, you have to actually explain to people you’re different and a lot of people in order to not create conflict will play their old role for the rest of their lives when and they never allow themselves to actually change. RV: (08:17) So do you think a graph that is so powerful, I love the part about like people will stay in their line cause one person is honking that it’s ridiculous. So true is to make that kind of reinvention. The other thing that I heard, which was interesting there was about that you weren’t, it wasn’t like you said, oh I’m going to create a new endeavor cause I need to make more money. It was more of like this is who I really am now and I’ve changed the years and I just need to be that person. So That’s interesting. But now when you come out, like with this whole new persona and brand, do you think the way to make a pivot like that, is it gradual or is it emphatic and flamboyant and do you, do you try to sort of coddle your old audience or do you just kind of go one day you wake up and boom, like this is who I am and you just start being that person and whoever comes along comes along like, you know, I have, we have clients that are like, you know, they’ve been a fitness personality and that’s who they were in their twenties but now they are like, you know, this woman who runs all of these multimillion dollar enterprises and businesses and they need to pivot. RV: (09:23) But it’s like some people still think of them as like the Bikini model and those are the posts that she gets a lot of engagement on. But it’s like, it’s not who she is anymore. Do you think you just make the hard turn or do you DM: (09:35) I do. I think you can do it both ways. My, my personality is leave the past behind and create a new brand. And so being true to my personality, I’m very comfortable with, with, you know, repeating, this is who I am now. This is who I am now. There’s alumni and I think you’d be surprised. It, it takes about three years of telling people who you are before they even forget who you used to be. And so, you know, I still have people, it took about three years. People still come up sometimes and say, I love your old books and but your new books are really changing my life. It took a long time for them to step me as a business kind of personality and but that at the same time, that’s who I was. And so I felt it felt completely genuine. DM: (10:19) And you know, I, I also think people love and respond to your energy and your competence of saying, this is who I am. Now, you know, this just happened recently with a friend of mine. His wife, actually Kyle Reed are graphic artists here in house. His wife is a, is a yoga instructor and I think she still a yoga instructor, but she fell in love with photography. She started taking very good pictures. Her name is Mandy, Mandy Reed. And you can follow her at Mandy. Read photography on Instagram. Her, her photography is excellent, very good. And somebody on staff recently said, Oh, you know, we should hire Mandy for that. She’s a photographer because her Instagram is Mandy read photography and she’s showing all her photography. And Kyle just turned to me and said, isn’t that amazing? She changed her brand in one year from Yoga instruction to photography. And the reason is she said, Mandy, read photography, not Mandy read Yoga. And I also have the hobby of doing photographs. Right. and she started submitting her photos on Instagram and showing people her work. And even I was like, oh my gosh. Wow, that happened quick. Cause I only think of her as a photographer. So you’re actually programming people’s minds. And I think if you do that passively or slowly you are not programming very hard. RV: (11:39) Yeah. So that kind of leads us, I think, to what you do at StoryBrand. And I think we’re huge fans of it. I think a lot of people here, I mean, you know, have the book, have read the book or follow the podcast in of applying StoryBrand DM: (11:54) To the personal brand. And maybe, you know, there’s probably a lot of people who still aren’t yet some million with it. What, what do you think StoryBrand, like the SB seven framework, what do you think that is? Like if you had to explain this is what it is and what problem does that solve specifically for people with personal brands, do you think? Well, the StoryBrand framework is a message clarification framework. So, you know, we all have to, you know, if you’ve ever branded a cow a, and I have once a buddy of mine took me out to his ranch and I, you lay across the back of that calf and you’d punch it with the brand and they actually don’t feel pain to the degree that you and I feel pain. So they kind of were like, Hey, what’s going on? Which was kind of weird. DM: (12:39) Oh well that’s good to know. It’s very good to know. And but you know, if you took that, that ranches brand and you branded that, that calf and then you took a different ranchers brand, you bring to that calf, you took a different one, you brand it over the top of that and another one over the top of that. You’d have an irreconcilable brand before long. And the reality is people in their mind are going to categorize you. They’re just going to do it. And you have got to you’ve got to control how you’re thought of. And the way that you do that is you come up with a very simple message and you repeat it over and over and over and over and over again. You brand and bring just like a cattle brand, it has to be fixed. It has to be the same language. DM: (13:24) You have to repeat it and you have to brand yourself in somebody’s mind. So your friend who was the bikini model, who’s become the business guru, you know, she, she needs to be known as the business expert who came out of the fitness world. And she needs to say that over and over. But people will think of her as a business expert and, and then they can make that bridge from, and as you know, you say that to somebody three times and that’s they finally just think of you as a business expert. So I think I don’t think moving passively serves us at all. The actual StoryBrand framework is based on 2000 years plus of, of, of, of screenwriting and well, it’s a hundred years of screenwriting, but storytelling ever since the days of of really Aristotle who wrote a book called poetics, it’s just an old, old formula that we have shaped and adapted for businesses and they give you, it gives you seven different categories the brain responds to so that you leave with seven messages that you repeat over and over and you begin to make an enormous amount of sense to people. DM: (14:30) And it’s, the stakes are very high. You know, I’ve gone around the country asking, what did Jeb Bush want to do with America when he ran for president? And nobody knows. But if I ask what a Donald Trump want to do, everybody knows that’s branding. So did the best candidate win. You know, that’s, that’s up for debate. But the best branding age of the best person on messaging did win. And it’s, they almost always win. RV: (14:54) Well, nothing that I, one of the things that I took from you and this a great example is it’s not even necessarily the best branding. That one, it was the clearest, most consistent. It was the most repeated. Make America great again over and over and over and over and over again. DM: (15:13) What you’re doing when you’re doing marketing and branding, the exercise really is a, an exercise in memorization. You are trying to guide people through an exercise and memorization so they memorize what you have to offer. RV: (15:26) Yeah, that’s so wild. You know, we, we often share the story about the success of take the stairs and then the failure of procrastinating on purpose. Our second book and one of the simple differences is just take the stairs is so was so memorable. People see stairs and escalator and they would think about it and procrastinate on purpose, just needed explanation. And it was like, what does that mean? And don’t really know how to explain it. That in is so clarifying it just what marketing is in general I think is, is, is memorization. DM: (15:57) Yup. That’s what it is. Yeah. And you know what’s interesting is something like I’m procrastinating on purpose. It’s pretty easy to memorize, but it’s actually confusing to know what it is, where take the stairs is obvious. You’re going to use more effort. You’re going to, you’re going to do things, you’re going to hustle, you’re going to have a strong work ethic. You know, it’s all kind of implied. But you know, you’ve done a great job in your pivot and it’s not much of a pivot. You’ve gone from sort of sales coaching to personal branding. But I already think of you in this, this time you’ve been doing this as the guy to go to. If anybody needs a personal branding coach or needs help with personal branding and really, you know, you’re an ex, you’ve done an excellent job of just saying Rory Vaden, personal branding, Rory Vaden, personal brand new work, and personally because you want to lock people in. Right? RV: (16:45) Yeah. Well, and in our case it was, you know, it’s interesting because like there are certain things we couldn’t teach, we can’t teach anymore for a while. And so it’s like we had to make that pivot, but I also danced, I think I was doing one of the mistakes of like, well, I want to do reputation, which is like kind of personal development and kind of, and I think that that is a thing that’s like, one of the mistakes that we probably make is we try to like straddle the line of two things and it’s unclear. It’s, it’s unmemorable, it’s it. And, and, and like you said, it’s just like going all in and just saying, this is who I am and everybody knows, and over and over and over again. Right, right. So I want to ask you something else related to marketing, which I think is really, again, more of a behind the scenes thing, but the, the, if you guys the SB seven framework, like if you haven’t read the book, Go get the book, go to the workshop, like don’t be silly. RV: (17:41) This is, this is the best thing you can do for clarifying your, your messaging and like the, what I think of StoryBrand is helping you find the words you need to describe what you do. And it is such a practical application. So you know more on that to come you know, by following don, which, you know, we’ll talk about that in a minute. But behind the scenes, one of the things that I love about StoryBrand is you guys do a lot of the digital marketing, online marketing info, marketing sort of principles and tactics, things like lead magnets and funnels and email marketing and social and webinars and free downloads and sales pages. But yet there’s somehow, when you guys do it, it doesn’t feel slimy at all. It doesn’t feel manipulative at all. Like, it doesn’t feel cheesy. It just feels elegant and clear and direct. How do you do that? And, and, and it’s been a really good case study because it shows you that you can do those things, which are really powerful, really powerful psychologically without cheapening the brand in any way. So I, I’d love to just Kinda hear some of your philosophy about how you think you’ve been able to do that. DM: (19:01) Well, I, I wish I had a formula for it. I, I think part of it is you know, it’s, it’s never been a thing with us in our, in our shop to try to trick anybody into doing anything. And, you know, I just spoke at a big conference about 2100 people in Las Vegas paid about 10 grand each to be there. I mean, you know, and they the thing that I got after I left the stage was, well, you were the only speaker who didn’t try to upsell us anything. And it was, it just never would have occurred to me to try to upsell you anything. Right, right. Because I’m there. You’ve already paid an enormous amount of money and, and so we really don’t try to upsell anything. I think that’s part of it. And then I think genuinely when we create something we are trying to help you solve a problem. DM: (19:52) And I think when you go into it saying, how can I help this person solve a problem rather than how can I help? How can I get this person to buy my product? The tone changes. Now there, there is a product involved. I mean, we want you to come to a workshop, we want you to do these things. But I, I think the tone changes and you get to kind of keep your reputation. And so I think, you know, Roy, the reality is, you know, we could probably be 50% bigger and be making 50% more money. It’s just not who we are. And, you know, we, we, we we really just want to help everybody win whether they pay us or not. Now we’ve got, you know, I’ve got a staff, 20 people, we got bills to pay, we’ve got, you know a lot of bill is six, $600,000 a month we have to come up with in order to keep the shop open. DM: (20:44) So, you know, I have to sell something. And and so but but at the same time, I think part of that is isn’t so much a strategy or tactic. It’s really a state of your heart. And, and I’ve always said, especially in business to business, if your goal is to help somebody else make money, you will never suffer for job security. I mean, you’re always going to have it [inaudible] because you know, other people are trying to figure out how to do this and you can help them do it. So yeah, I think that’s part of it. And then the other part of it is, you know, the people that I hire are just they’re great content creators, but they’re not sort of slick at tricking anybody into doing anything. And that’s actually been sometimes a point of contention where it’s like, Hey, wait a second. DM: (21:32) You know, we, I, we did this thing called business made simple daily. So you’ve got a business made simple.com you can get me giving you a piece of business advice every day, right? We’ve done that. I think we’d launched it three months ago. Maybe we have 43,000 people getting a daily email from me with a video. Wow. We realized really quickly sales were starting to trickle down, but we’ve had better, we have more leads than ever. And then we realize four, eight, none of the videos were selling anybody anything. There was no comments, no commercial applications at all. So this is completely unsustainable. I mean, we will, we will literally, the generosity of this offer will put us out of business. So we actually are now coming along and every second or third one and we say, hey, by the way, you know, we do a workshop, we’d love to have you. And and you know, sometimes you can take what you’re complementing me for too far. RV: (22:24) Yeah. Well that’s right. Like every strength is a weakness. But I that’s right. I love and want to highlight, you know, and make sure it’s a salient point for people of what you said, like don’t have to be as a snake oil salesman. No. Well, and it’s like your goal is to solve a problem not to sell them something. And even though the way to solve that problem may involve a purchase, the mindset, you know what it is to the finish line is different. If my goal is to sell you something, it stops when the sale is made. But if my goal is DM: (22:59) [Inaudible] seen is you getting the money, that’s not the climactic scene. The climactic scene has to be them get solving their problem. RV: (23:05) Yeah. And that is a huge mindset shift and strategy shift and heart change. I love that. Okay, so one other last little thing here. And I know I’m not like asking you about all your normal content stuff, which it’s, yeah. So, but your business model is also something that is extremely clear, extremely simple. And this is another thing that a lot of the people that we help struggle with. So we take them through all these exercises called primary business model and figuring out what is their short term primary business model, what is their longterm primary business model? And we’re like really, really huge ongoing. What is the one way you’re gonna make money? Because one the things that I think people fall victim to in this space all the time is it’s video courses, it’s membership sites, it’s masterminds, it’s coaching, it’s one on one coaching, it’s consulting, it’s, it’s an agency. It’s you know, like our own events. Like there’s so many things that they’re doing and StoryBrand, you know, has built a massively successful business, particularly in the space of people doing things, you know, kind of around a personal brand. And you guys pretty much do like one main thing. Can you do it over and over and over? So can you explain what the one main thing is, how you got there and why don’t you do a thousand other things, even though you do do a couple other things? DM: (24:28) Yeah. Well, I learned from a guy who he had a $10 million consulting business and he consulted on six sigma, which is a framework and industrial framework of productivity framework. And he told me, you know, my father actually invented six sigma. And I said, wait a second, you have a $10 million company, but your father invented it, six sigma bills for over a billion dollars a year. Where’s the other 990 million that don, you won’t believe it. My father did not protect the IP, so his father never legally protected it. So other people started using it. Well, we created the StoryBrand frame or DSP seven framework and it is a, a, you know, it’s the six sigma of messaging. And, and I knew that there’s potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in this and, but if we kind of did this and we did this and we did this, I would never be able to grow that framework so that it was institutionalized in global business culture. DM: (25:32) So it was very important to only do one thing for a long time. And now we’re, we’re doing something we launched in November called business made simple university and business made simple university. We’ll have a finance track that Mike McCalla is, is going to help us with. Nancy Duarte. Hopefully it’s going to do something on speak, giving speeches. It’s basically it, you can develop your whole team and, and in finance and human resources will StoryBrand and the StoryBrand framework will become the marketing track of that. So it will, so the mother company will actually be business made simple and StoryBrand will be a subsidiary of that. But it took us a very long time to figure out how to do that without confusing people. And, and who knows? We may fail at that, but, but I don’t think we’re going to and, and so, but it was, it was four to five years of, of people saying, well, can you do my website? DM: (26:27) No, we don’t do that. Can you do this? No, we don’t do that. We literally teach these the seven part framework and an online workshop and a live workshop. And then we can send facilitators you to teach it. And that’s gotten us to where we are. We’ve got a 12 or $13 million company only selling one in three different deliverables. And then, but that’s what works for about 3000 companies a year. They clarify their message and their, their company grows, you know, and I learn, here’s a great lesson for you and all your audience. I had a manager one, she was really amazing. He was, he, and he’s still a very close friend. And any speaking offer that I got for about $5,000, he would, he would accept and I’d be getting on planes going around speaking $5,000 is not a small amount of money. DM: (27:11) I mean, that’s, that pays my mortgage for a few months. And but I noticed that I was on planes all the time and I couldn’t get another book written. And because I couldn’t get another book written, the tail end of my career was coming in closer and closer and the longevity of my career was done. So I finally had to sit down and say, hey, let’s not chase five grand anymore. Let’s chase 25 grand. Let’s do less opportunities and let’s, let’s, you know, be more disciplined about what we’re doing. That was a huge moment for me in my career because I could speak less and make the same amount of money and still write a book. I think when it w where that overlaps is, you know, you’ve got to pick your lane, I’m going to be an expert in this and then there’s going to be this opportunity to go over here and make five grand being an expert in something else. DM: (27:59) Yeah. I would suggest that you don’t do it that, that you actually say, no, I’m only going to take money for this because I cannot be made. I cannot be known for too many things. I want to be known for this one thing and it’s, it’s, it’s tough for a minute, but if you can really carve in and be known for that, the longevity of your career is, it’s great and then you get to do what you want and you’re not always chasing money. And so to just be known for one thing and be disciplined and only do that. RV: (28:33) Yeah. I, I think that that whole little shiny objects syndrome assistance, that dead downfall is, there’s a hundred ways. Some, there’s like, there’s like a thousand ways to make 20 grand. But there’s only a few ways to, to, you know, to make 13 million a year or whatever. And it’s, it’s like, well, it’s, it’s actually, it’s like, it could be any of those thousand ways, but it’s choosing one of them and just doing that one thing over and over and over. Like that’s how you get to the 13 million. DM: (29:00) And that’s what’s so interesting about when people come through the workshop, they’re working on their external message. How do I talk to customers? They ended up getting that. But what’s even more valuable as they leave having talked to themselves. Oh yeah, that’s what I do. And that’s why I matter. And then we would say, just like if you are writing a book and you’ve written some terrific books, you gotta leave everything else out. The, the key to a great writer is not what they say. It’s what they don’t say. MMM. And the same is true with our careers. And building our personal brands. You’ve got to discipline yourself to not present yourself in certain ways so that people can only remember. They’re only gonna remember what you’re actually [inaudible] say in a focused and way. And so you’ve got to come back and say, yeah, I used to be a swimsuit model. Now I’m a business expert. Now I’m a business expert. Now I’m a business expert now at business experts. So we, you know, we, we’d said if you confuse, you lose for five years. Now we repeat it every day. And we’re here to help you clarify your message. That’s kind of the one, two punch of our messaging and just like a brand on the back of a cow, we keep punching it and it’s paid off for us in the long run. RV: (30:07) I love it. I love it. Love it, love it. If you guys can’t tell already you need to be following Donald, do you need to go to the workshop like it is powerful, powerful stuff. The SB seven framework I think is going to be one of those things institutionalized here. You know, in business culture, if it’s not already, Donald, where do you want people to go? If they want to like check out the workshop like online or come and see you and, or you know, follow you, what’s the best place to check that out? DM: (30:35) I’d love everybody to just go to business made simple.com and you can get a daily coaching video from me. I actually put on a suit and a tie and we use a welded studio. I’m telling you, I show respect. I learned from Rory Vaden. You got to look good RV: (30:48) Now. I don’t wear suits anymore. I used to wear them every day and now I’m just like, okay, DM: (30:52) You still look better than me. I don’t know what it is. RV: (30:54) Well DM: (30:55) Yeah, go there. Go to business made simple.com. I’d love to send you a daily video for free. RV: (31:00) Yeah, check that. So check that out. We’ll put a link up to business made simple. Dawn, last little question. I think you know, if you have somebody out there watching right now, when they’re dealing with some haters, you know, they’re, they’re dealing with either people in their personal life or sometimes it’s like the random troll on Instagram that I’ve, you know, I’ve always been shocked in my life and how much that person used to get to me, you know, or a random review on Amazon or maybe its themselves, right? Like if there’s somebody that is just dealing with the voices of you can’t do this, you can’t be this person. Like you are better. The old Jew was better, you know, what, what would you kind of say to that person that is like on the precipice of leaving behind the old in search of something new. But it’s kind of like, you know, feeling the heat of the Naysayer. DM: (31:49) Yeah. Two things. One is people are going to be incredibly inspired and impressed with you if you are comfortable being yourself. And so you gotta ask yourself, who am I really and, and I’m I, and I’m not gonna apologize for that and I’m not going to disappear. And the second thing, and my batting average is about 300, which would get me into the hall of fame, but my batting average on turning the other cheek is about 300. So about 30% of the tough. I’m hoping to get that up to 40%. But to take somebody who has insulted you and show them love and kindness and forgiveness is, is literally one of the best things you can do for your personal brand because everybody walks away believing you’re the stronger person when you do it. And, and I know that’s a selfish motivation. We also really want to be kind to those people. DM: (32:38) But if you can get done you know, Jesus taught us that right? Turn the other cheek and if you can turn the other cheek, he get to sleep well at night. People think you’re the better person. It’s very hard not to seek vengeance or wanna throw a punch or say something snarky and but that’s, you know, yeah. You know, I just had somebody on Instagram recently actually deleted the post because I thought it was going too far, but somebody said something like, you know, we missed the old don, nobody needs another business guru. And if they made a little bit of an insulting comment by saying, you’ve really thrown away all the gifts that God has given you which basically says you’re ruining your life with the, with the way that you’ve taken things. And I just wrote back in a Kai, posted that on my Instagram and then put a comment that just said a look. DM: (33:26) You know, I wrote eight memoirs. I’m s the world does not need a ninth from Donald Miller. Since I’ve gone this route, I’ve lost almost 200 pounds. I’ve married the woman I love and I became a multimillionaire. And so I know you’ve got your wounds and I’ve got my wounds, but I think I’m, I’m turning out okay. And I mean, probably 600 comments, lighting that guy up. I finally deleted it cause I thought they were being a little mean to him, but just having an understanding. But if I would’ve said, hey, you’re a jerk, what an asshole. I probably wouldn’t have gotten any comments except for people defending him. Right. And so he was coming off as a bully and I need to come off as, as Fred Rogers. And that’s the best way to deal with that kind of stuff. If you can turn the other cheek, I think you’re going to be okay. RV: (34:16) Well, I love it. There’s a lot of discipline themes in your, in your message, like in, in the things you talk about turning the other cheek, choosing a business model, choosing a message like maybe that’s, maybe that’s part of how we’ve become friends is, you know, good old, take the stairs, like go take the stairs, classic discipline. Clearly you believe in it. Well, for whatever it’s worth, man, thank you for being yourself and for reinventing and forgiven SB seven because I think it has solved the real problem in the world of just helping people explain clearly what they do. And that enables the good people to be found, I think. And I think that makes a real big difference. So we wish you the very best. Donald Miller, author StoryBrand, CEO, founder of StoryBrand. Go check it out. Don, all the best. DM: (35:06) I love it, Rory. Thank you.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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