Ep 246: How to Get People to Pay Attention with Peter Sheahan

RV (00:07):
Hey brand builder Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out this interview as always, it’s our honor to provide it to you for free and wanted to let you know there’s no big sales pitch or anything coming, uh, at the end. However, if you are someone who is looking to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and get to know you a little bit and hear about some of your dreams and visions and share with you a little bit about what we’re up to to see if we might be a fit. So if you’re interested in a free strategy call we’ll someone from our team, we would love to hear from you. You can do that at brand builders, group.com/pod call brand builders, group.com/podcall. We hope to talk to you soon.
RV (00:53):
So I am over the top excited to introduce to you someone who I legitimately considered to be one of the smartest people on the planet. Um, in fact, if I were running a very large corporation, or if I had a good friend that was like a fortune 500 executive and they were looking for consulting advice, leadership, I would refer them to Peter Sheahan. He is, uh, when, by the time he was 30 years old, he built not one, but two multimillion dollar companies. He has spoken, uh, more than 2,500 times in 40 plus countries around the globe. And I believe might be the, I think only him and I are two people that joined the professional speakers hall of fame in our thirties. Um, and he’s a hall of fame speaker. He, his client list is, I mean is crazy apple Chick-fil-A at and T.
RV (01:51):
Um, and he’s just absolutely brilliant. I I’ve known him from the speakers world for a while. Um, and the real story here is if you’re a brand builders group member, like one of our clients, or if you’ve ever heard me on someone else’s podcast, you know, that we teach this framework called Sheahan’s Wall and it is named after Peter Shehan. Now he didn’t name it after himself. We named it after him. I saw him speak one time randomly on this. He drew this diagram and then we lost touch. Um, and we just recently reconnected and he told me, he’s like, mate, you know, I wrote a book on the topic of this diagram, which we call Shehan wall. The book is called making it happen. Um, it’s all about turning good ideas into great results. And so I was like, I dude, you gotta come on the podcast, like you’re a celebrity our people are gonna go nuts. So anyways, with all that, welcome to the show, Peter,
PS (02:53):
Hey, SwRI you wanna know my side of that story by the way, tell me, because I got like three random texts one day, all in, probably in this face of a week, actually going, Hey, I heard this, you know, R Vaden guy get interviewed on this podcast. He was talking about you and Sheahan’s wall. And I’m like, what do you mean Sheen’s wall? I’d never heard of this thing. And I’m like, I’m just gonna have to call R and find out what the heck’s going on. And so, um, you know, I often make this joke that I’m more famous for being in other people’s work than I am for my own work. And so I, you know, PR proud to be associated with your brand mate.
RV (03:22):
Well, dude, I, I, um, thank you for that. And, and I it’s been, it’s been awesome to have this book and I wanna talk to you about the original concepts of it and, and going, going through the book, I realized there was something about the way that you presented it to me, where I, I feel like I heard it a little bit different than what you’ve been taught, what you actually, the way you teach it in the actual book. And so I was like, let’s talk about it. Yeah. Um, now, so can you describe what, uh, so for those, the people who don’t know what we’re talking about, if they’ve never heard me or seen, seen Shehan wall, or if they’ve never read your book, can you, can you explain what the diagram is? What it represents? Like how did you put it together originally?
PS (04:06):
Yeah, look, here’s the biggest challenge. Most people who are trying to get a business moving and off the ground are struggling to get the attention of the audience. They most need to influence. Now in my world, that’s a very small group of people who run very large companies in your world. It’s thought leaders and people with a message who are looking to build out their personal brand, you know, insert audience here. But none of those people wake up on any given day, trying to necessarily go looking for you or trying to necessarily, you know, bring attention to your value proposition. You are offer your services. You are literally to interrupt them or get on their radar. Um, and you, and about 4 million other people on any given day. Right? And so the underlying concept of the model that underpin that book is that you are better off being very, very tight and targeted in what you do.
PS (04:58):
And the value proposition you are bringing forward to that market to grab their attention before you try and sell them everything you could possibly do. Right? So, you know, when, think about when you and I got started in our business as well, there were probably 15 things we thought we could do for our clients, maybe 15 things we thought we could do for our members, but trying to sell ’em all 15 on the first date is not a great idea, right? You’re better off picking the one that’s most likely to grab their attention and, and get super, super targeted on that one thing. And the more targeted you get, the better chance you’ve got a piercing, what I would call the mental barrier or the attention barrier. Once you’ve done a piece of work, which
RV (05:37):
Is now formerly what she is named as she heads all, is she
PS (05:40):
Okay? So you get through, she, you get through she well. So I struggle to use my name in the third person, if that’s all right with you, right? So we get through the proverbial, she, and wall. But once you have that trust, there’s almost no limit to what they might allow you to do and the services you might bring. Right? Mm-hmm . And so in my case, you know, I might do a speech and do a really good job of that at a corporate retreat or an executive offsite. And then the CEO will say to me, Hey, we really need help around the topic you talked about. Then I can get into a conversation about selling them consulting. And I mean, I’ve literally turned single speeches into, you know, 50, 60 million, the revenue opportunities over 10 years, right. That all started with one speech. But if I had gone in and just tried to sell the 50 million opportunity, I would never have got, I wouldn’t even got the meeting, let alone the opportunity.
PS (06:28):
Right? And so the point being, here’s a simple metaphor. Let’s say you meet your life partner, the person you wanna make your life partner at a bar, you don’t go up to him or her and ask them to marry you in that first interaction. You go up and say, Hey, do you mind if I buy you a drink or something, you know, something small and easy to say yes to that’s the real underlying premise. Um, there are other pieces to the, to the model, you know, this idea that mental energy is as scarce currency as time. And we can get into some of those as well. But the core idea is that no one got outta bed this morning, thinking about you, you’re trying to get on their mental menu in order to do that. You’re better off being tight, not broad. And then once you have the relationship expand from there. So
RV (07:10):
Yeah, I mean, that’s so good. And, and the visual for those of you that, you know, are, you’re trying to picture this. It’s, it’s sort of like, I guess triangle it, uh, I mean, we kind of think of it as like, you know, it starts broad and then you go narrow and then that’s, that’s how you break through the wall versus bouncing off the wall is being narrow. And then as you’re narrow, you break through the wall and then once you’re on the other side of that wall, then you can expand. So to zero in on the concept a little bit here, what is the wall?Is, is it, is it mental? Is it attention? Is that what the, is that what the wall is? Is, is that what is representative of the line that
PS (07:56):
Separates? I’d primarily say it’s attention and attention can get expressed in time. Attention could get expressed in my level of engagement. Attention could be expressed in the level of research I might be prepared to do about you before I meet you, anything where I’m gonna invest something I have as a currency into understanding you and what you want to do. That’s what’s on the other side, meaning like once you have my attention, I will express it in any of those currencies. Right. And, and here’s the deal like before this podcast, or I had eight back to back calls. I mean, one hour after another, after another, I didn’t have time to be pitched a new idea. I’m not gonna read spam on any given day. And I sure say, I’m not gonna sort of listen to someone that says, Hey, I can do anyone of 4,500 things for you, which of the 4,500 would you like?
PS (08:42):
But if you are targeting me on the right day with the right problem in a very clear value proposition, I might actually give you the time of day. I might say, you know what? I really am struggling with that. Um, let’s take 15 minutes and now you ha now you’re on the other side of my wall, right? You are on the other side of my, you know, you’ve, you’ve broken through the attention barrier. Yeah. And what you do with those five or six minutes is up to you. And I know, or you teach a lot of your members how to position themselves, understand their brand, what the bits about them that are unique. I know you talk to a lot of about how do you converse and engage in a way that’s influential. They’re all super important skills once you’re through the wall. The bit that comes before that, which I know you also teach around positioning is, you know, don’t be kind of so abstract and broad that no one really knows what you do with the value you’re gonna bring, or you never get my attention
RV (09:32):
Uhhuh . And I wanna, I wanna, I do wanna talk about that, cuz I do feel like that’s the, like the, obviously the core of this and it’s, it’s a, it’s amazing to me, you know, I heard you speak, it was at an NSA event that I, I had heard you speak and it was so powerful that it stuck with me and you were drawing, you were drawing it. You probably remember on like a little digital pad. And it was just, you know, it was like a line with two triangles. And I was like, that is so powerful. Um, is it is trust. What is on the other side of the wall? You mentioned that word trust earlier, you know, and like in this microcosm of an example, you go, okay, if you get my intention, you’re on the other side of the wall and you might have like five minutes or 15 minutes, which represents kind of how that triangle builds on the other side, it’s you, it starts, you’re kind of there, but you only, you still only have a little bit of time. Is that, would you think of that side as in general, as sort of like trust,
PS (10:26):
I, I would say trust builds as you move. So let’s assume this is on a left to right model in the walls, in the middle. Um, as you move to the right of the model, you’re at a higher and higher level trust, cause you’ve likely done more and more things together. And if you’ve done them well, you’ve created more and more value over time. But when you are just through the wall, it’s not about trust. It’s about opportunity. You have got for the first time, an opportunity to hook that person’s interest to get them interested in what you might want to do. Next. It could be to attend an event. It could be to join a membership year. It could be to, to do corporate consulting. Like it depends on what you sell. It might be to try your restaurant out, you know? Um, and so no, I would say immediately on the other side of the wall is just an opportunity and it’s probably a very fleeting and short opportunity. So you better know how to position your value in that moment. You better make that interaction memorable. You be incredibly clear what you’re gonna do for that person, that buyer or else you, you’re never gonna get to a place of trust. So trust is further out in my opinion, uh, in terms of on the right side of that wall. Gotcha.
RV (11:31):
Okay. And I, I think, you know, one of the thing that is like the way that you kind of describe it here is in a, is in a singular instance, sort of like a singular encounter with an individual person. We’ve always thought it, we’ve thought we’ve thought about it as more general. Like you, nobody knows who you are. And then breaking through the wall is like, you know, you reach this point of like mass critical mass where it’s like, okay, now you have enough credibility. So it, it, what I hear you saying is it’s like it applies in both the granular and at the high level, um,
PS (12:13):
The way you’re describing it, RS spot on, like I could do my whole career. I could literally map my career on that model. Right? Like I started going into high schools and doing these speeches to kids on how to transition from school to work. I originally hit a brick wall where there was no, no one was willing to gimme a chance. No one was gonna gimme an opportunity. And then I heard about this thing called school to work funding where public schools were given X dollars a year to teach their kids about alternative career paths. And so I massively narrowed the offer of what I was trying to bring into schools, to target school, to work. I used all the buzzword and all the language that were in the funding application schools needed to be allowed to spend the money this, and then I’d start calling a careers advisor.
PS (12:56):
And instead of saying, Hey, do you want motivational speaker in your school? I’d say I have five specific offerings that match the school to work curriculum and framework. Um, and you know, here is what they look like. We’ll do it during a career period. We’ll do it for year 10. And so it’s like so tight, what the offer is now that’s a single interaction, right. But I, you know, after six months had got like six of those after another six months, I had 180, I did 485 speeches in schools in my second year as a public speaker. Right. And so now all of a sudden I could go back to those same buyers and go, Hey, you know, I, I know I was doing this school to work stuff, but I have this whole motivational thing as well. I have these like what we would call HSC Australia might call the S SATs here S a T prep work.
PS (13:40):
And, you know, I would start having kids join an ongoing course. And all of a sudden I’m doing all these other things that I wasn’t able to do before I had credibility and a track record. Now I could do the same model if I step out again, which is the next. So I wrote three books for that market. And then I was writing a book on what we would call the millennials or generation. Y was the, the frame I used back in the day. And I went to my publisher and my publisher was like, well, you know, that’s a, that’s a small market. And I think you should write it on all four generations, cuz there’ll be a much bigger addressable market there. And I’m like, but I don’t know anything about baby boomers or the silent generation or gen X. I know these younger people gen, why are these millennials, let me get really targeted and fo so I did the exact same process.
PS (14:28):
Again, got really tied in my value proposition and what I, what I, and, and by the way, stayed true to my actual expertise, right? Mm-hmm like I was talking about something I truly knew. Now you fast forward five years. And I wasn’t doing a single speech on gen Y and millennials. I was doing speeches on disruption and the impact that had on business models and corporate culture, because what the millennial whole millennial thing was about was not about young people. It was about the fact that there’s a whole new way of interacting with brands of understanding business and from paid media to earn media from you. Tell me what your product’s about to actually I own your brand through the way I interact with it. Like all that was what the millennial change represented, but I couldn’t go, I, after that market, I was 25, 26 years old, you know? So I wrote a book about a really targeted thing. It was a very good book. It sold phenomenally around the world. And with that opportunity I built about
RV (15:21):
PS (15:23):
Um, no, the book was essentially the gen Y book, the millennial book. Oh, you’re
RV (15:26):
Talking about, oh, you’re still
PS (15:27):
Okay. I’m still in the same thing. Yeah. Yeah. And what I was able to that was build multiple companies off the back of that one piece of work, you know? And so yes, it’s an instance, but I actually think I could define my whole career actually using that same model. So
RV (15:44):
What’s fascinating about that is, is, uh, the way I hear you describing it now is not how I’ve actually ever thought about it. Like, um, there’s a, there’s an expression. You probably heard this, we use this in the us get your foot in the door. Yeah. Um, what as I hear you describing that now, like with a company or in an industry, it’s almost like, Hey, I’m using this to kind of get a foot in the door, which is interesting. Cuz visually it repre, it looks like a wedge almost like you would like kind of wedge into something and then once you’re in, then it’s like, okay, now more opens up inside of that company or inside of that industry to do other ancillary, other ancillary work,
PS (16:25):
All, all Rory inside of the entire marketplace, cuz your reputation is established. Yeah.
RV (16:29):
And that’s how I, and that’s how I always processed. It was more like your overall reputation is no one knows who you are to now everybody knows who you are and they want you. And so your fee, your fee goes
PS (16:41):
Up and, and the number of things that you can sell goes up as well.
RV (16:46):
Yes. Um, totally. So I get so, so I, I,
PS (16:50):
We’re just, we’re just talking about it at multiple levels and it’s the same metaphor and the same model for a one-on-one interaction. It’s the same model for a client relationship as it is for the entire trajectory of your personal brand, your co you know, your company brand, depending on what you’re representing and the reputation you now have in the marketplace. Right. And so you’re right. You get it right. Your fee goes up, but here’s what happens to most people worry, they crash against the wall and never get known by anyone. And they’re scrambling and hustling for scraps from people who figured it out, you know? And so you are talking about the right way. It just exists on multiple levels.
RV (17:24):
Yeah. And I think the, you know, what’s, what’s interesting is you, it’s like you’re playing the big game of your reputation always. Yep. But even, you know, you have some number of relationships where you’re already through the wall. There’s some number of people who trust you, there’s other people who’ve never heard of you. And it’s kind of like, you’re, you’re at the beginning of that model kind of like working your way in the door, almost like you could think of content in this way of like somebody is paying you whatever $20,000 a month for a retainer, because you’re on the other side of the wall, someone else is just reading your very first tweet for the first time. And it’s 144 characters and they go, Ooh, I like that tweet. Let me go read their blog post. And now they read a blog post and then they go, oh, let me subscribe to their newsletter.
RV (18:08):
Ah, show up for their one hour webinar and then da, da, da kinda. So it’s like each individual person. So, so here’s the, here is the thing that everybody struggles with. How do I find my thing? Like, you know, the, the whole concept, which is so powerful and brilliant is go be known for one thing. Uh, you, you you’ve described it here as being tight, like be extremely tight in your offer. How do you know which thing to do? Like if you can talk about leadership and you can talk about sales, like, what do you think? How
PS (18:47):
Do you know? Well, this is gonna rub some people the wrong way mate, but you and I have spent our lives surrounded by people who wanna make up the answer to that question. Right? As opposed to the answer should be pretty clear. What are you actually world class at? What are you an expert in where you can bring some unique contribution that other people can’t bring? Where are you capable of creating the most value for another human being? That’s where I would start that conversation. Don’t start that conversation with, well, what do other people want? And then let me see if I can pretend to be an expert in that space or, you know, you can do, you can do that, but it’s gonna be a long journey as you start to build capability. Right. It’ll be like, it’ll be like you reading a survey. Right. Now’s wow. The number one thing on fortune 500 CEO’s mind is alignment of their executive team to accelerate transformation. And you’re be like, right, I’m gonna go sell that. Well, okay. I think speakers
RV (19:41):
Do that all the time, all the time,
PS (19:43):
But you know, the time then, then they go mono or mono with me or Pete Fuda or McKinsey and they get their lunch eaten. In fact, they don’t even get it out of the conversation cuz they don’t have real expertise in that space. Right. And so I would start from a place of authenticity, really like a place of genuine credibility. I have this unique thing, right? So for me, if I go back to my example, I shared for me, it was, I knew young people. I had 300,000 kids on a database. I was able to survey them about their values. What cared about the careers. They’re interested in, why they weren’t interested in others, what they thought of alternative career paths and not going to college. So when I write a book on the millennials, which was basically the first book in the world from a business perspective on the topic, it comes from a place of deep research and deep credibility.
PS (20:27):
Now it just so happened that the market really needed the insight as well. So you do want to give that consideration, right? Which is all right, what are my authentic, true expertise and skill sets. And then where do they meet a need in the market? That’s not being satisfied or not being satisfied in the way I think I can meet that need. And you find the overlap between those two things and now you’ve got magic, right? Better, still find the overlap between those two things and what you really love to do. And now you live in the dream life. I can’t remember. What’s the name of that Japanese model? They’ve got a fourth circle. It, I can’t remember. There’s there’s like ancient models for understanding what we’re talking about right now, guy.
RV (21:06):
Yeah. I think it’s got, I think it’s Ika guy or something. Something like that. Yeah.
PS (21:08):
Yeah. In other words, we didn’t make this up, but um, funny that we stumbled on something that’s, you know, been, uh, in philosophy for thousands of years.
RV (21:17):
So to that, to that question, how did you come up with this model? Like, you know, um, and, and, and what you, what you, what you call it is just the making it, is it, is it the making it happen? Master model? Is that, I mean, that’s how you refer to,
PS (21:32):
I, I don’t know what I call it. I’d have to go back to the book or that was a few years ago, mate. Um, do you know, the last time I spoke about this model was the speech you went to in 2009.
RV (21:41):
It’s so funny. What year was it? What year was that?
PS (21:45):
Oh, it’s gotta be oh, nine, two and 10. Something like that.
RV (21:49):
Oh my gosh. That’s so funny. Yeah. I mean, it was a long time ago and I never, that’s why I never knew you had a book. Like I never, I never heard you talk about it ever again. I had never, I never heard it anywhere else again, but
PS (22:00):
It was just, you know what, there’s a lesson. There’s a lesson in that though. Right? So all my market momentum is with corporation. Right? I wrote this book cuz people were banging my door down on a daily basis going, how did you get breakthrough? What, you know, teach me how to do what you did. And I was like, you know what, I’m gonna write it in a book. This is, this was my recipe. And so as for how I came up with it, I’m sure it, the origin of it is not entirely original. Like it doesn’t seem to me like a ground break idea to teach people, to get tight and focused in what they take to market. So they’re easy to, so not only is it easy to grab attention, but you can be better at it. Right? I’m in the middle of a strategy project right now.
PS (22:39):
And I’m telling you, the business partners are so far on, they are on either sides of the spectrum, right? Like wanting to do everything for everyone, for the rest of humanity. And it’s like, good luck. Like that’s not gonna work. So the, the, the, the underlying disciplines of this, of making it happen are really sound in corporate strategy as well as personal brand strategy. Um, and so there, but the there’s a lesson in the fact that I don’t talk about it. And that’s the, that’s not my space. That’s not where I play. And you know what? I bet you, if you and I sat down and had a beer, we could find 20 other things that you could be world class at on top of what you do now and are already world class at, you could totally build your, you, you could totally build businesses in all these other areas.
PS (23:21):
The problem is you end up spreading, not just your time and energy so thin, but all of a sudden you confuse the market. Like they don’t know what your reputation is for. And so you don’t wanna go too wide. Now, the beautiful thing is once you have a reputation and you have a critical mass, you can go much wider than you started that process with, but not so wide that all of a sudden people dunno what you stand for or what you do. And so I made a really deliberate decision to not build my brand and reputation around making it happen, despite it being a pretty successful book, by the way, um, actually in some countries, not in all in a couple countries, not in most is probably more accurate, um, because I wasn’t gonna speak on it. I didn’t wanna do public seminars. I didn’t want to be selling to individuals. I, I like single buyers that write really big checks. That’s just my preference. I don’t wanna be known by that many people. There’s only about a thousand people in the world that I actually need to know who I am not a hundred thousand or AME, you know? And so it was just not, it was almost an anomaly in my body of work actually.
RV (24:22):
Mm-hmm yeah. Mean, uh, you know, you describe it as discipline. I mean, that was, you know, my first book take the stairs was really about discipline in general. And the, you know, one of the things that we said in the take the stairs book was if you have diluted focus, you get diluted results. We never thought we would shift into personal branding. It was only when we exited our company a few years ago, and then it was like, okay, well, crap, we can’t do sales anymore. We’ve done sales our whole life. What are we gonna do? Like, oh, I guess we’ll do personal branding. We know something about that. And then it was like, the, this, this idea is the same discipline is of going. I’m gonna narrow my message. And what I, what I think is really true. And, and this is probably why you and I, I haven’t touched paths is because we serve different markets. Like you’re saying you want one person who, uh, who writes really big checks. We literally think about it, the opposite. We literally go, we want a whole bunch of people who can write a small, have a small monthly payment, right? Like it is, is totally, totally different. But what I hear in that is that narrowing the market of who you serve is also a part of this in addition to narrowing how you serve them or what you do for them.
PS (25:43):
Yeah. Let’s talk, let’s break it down. Right. I think the real key to narrow first is clearly articulating the value to whomever and whatever market you wanna serve. Right. Like to not be so all over the place with that, that people don’t really get it. You know, like Roy, I don’t really understand what you mean by personal branding. What is that actually gonna do for me? Like, you don’t want that response to your positioning or to your content or to the way people refer you. You want people to refer you, like, I’m gonna put you in touch with my buddy. Rory has a monthly membership. And if you want to accelerate the time to profitability and high revenue on the back of your personal brand and reputation, he’s the guy to talk to. That’s, we’re gonna edit that.
RV (26:26):
We’re gonna edit that clip and put it on the website, make that a testimony. Yeah. The testimonial.
PS (26:30):
But literally it goes all the way down to referral, like how I set you up, determines how successful your conversion would be. Right. Mm-hmm what you don’t want me to say is, Hey, let me introduce my buddy to R I don’t know if it can help you, but I dunno, you guys sort of sound like you want the same thing. Let me make the introduction. That’s the worst introduction in history, right? Like now, once you are clear on the value, then you can start asking yourself the question, well, who do I wanna surf? Right. Um, in my case, it is senior executives and it’s only really senior executives. Right? I get speaking offers all the time to do all hands events. And most of the time I’m like, you know what, I’m probably not your guy. You need someone who’s way more gen like got way more appeal and charisma, and you know, is better at that audience.
PS (27:11):
And I’ll refer them to one of three or four people that I know and trust, you know? And so I am narrow on the audience. And then the second, third question is, and now which you raised, how do I wanna serve them? I don’t do one on one coaching for executives. It doesn’t doesn’t create enough change in my opinion. Right? Not only that there’s thousands of executive coaches. And so they’re driving the price down. I wanna do something way more difficult, which is to drive alignment at a team level, much harder to do than get an executive to realize they’re showing up like a, you know, uh, not person am I allowed to swear
RV (27:47):
In your podcast? You know? I mean, you can.
PS (27:48):
Yeah. But, and so there’s three, but there’s three layers of the clarification process. One is what is the value? I wanna bring two, who do I wanna bring it to? And then three, what’s the mode. Well, what’s the business model that I want with that. And then the fourth is probably what is a of modality, right? So what’s the value who do I wanna serve? What’s the business model. And then what’s the modality. Now the business model is the question. People almost never ask. Right? But you just raise it. You said, you know what? I really want a large number of people writing a, a, a really reasonably priced check for the amount of value they get coming to together that forms a community that I’m a part of, not just leading where it’s self perpetuating a subscription model. I don’t have to start from zero every three months. Like that’s a beautiful business model.
RV (28:36):
Yeah. It’s interesting. We, you know, when we started brand builders group, we actually said in this two, two, as of right now, we’re three years in, we want a thousand me, we want a thousand people who we can, who, who will invest a thousand dollars a month, which would be about, you know, it’s a million dollars a month and that’s a business where we’ve operated a business of that size before. And we are just like, not only we did, we narrow who we wanted to serve. We, we know exactly how many of them we want. Right. We only on a thousand of these people. Um, and yeah, the business model is like, we realize one-on-one coaching is where we can really differentiate. And it’s, it’s interesting to just, even as you talk to go, like, man, if, if, if a, if a, if a, if a senior executive called me and was like, Hey, Roy, I want you to be my coach. I would, I would literally tell them, not your guy like that. If you wanna write your book, I’m your, I mean, I’m your freaking guy. Like, uh, you, you wanna turn your career into a, a, a speaker. You wanna build your following, whatever I’m like. Yeah. But, but if they’re like, Hey, I, I want you to just talk to me one on one
PS (29:41):
About how to structure my company, blah, blah. I’m like, oh my gosh. I’m not your guy. Yeah. And knowing that’s great, by the way, the great irony of this is I, as you know, I, uh, teamed up with Josh ner, Seth Madison, Ryan ESS. And we are now basically building a model, you know, not, not dissimilar to the brand builders model, but with a more targeted audience, specifically, people that wanna speak. Yeah. You know, and, and we, I mean, we have all, we have all the distribution relationships, we know all the buyers, we know what they care about. We can take someone from a 10 year journey and make it two years, you know, and it’s a different model. Now. It’s not a business that I, that, you know, I’m not doing all the oneone coaching or whatever. I still to executives and do that work, you know?
PS (30:23):
And so in some ways I’m gonna have to, I’m gonna be calling you in a few months ago. Tell me exactly how you did that thing at brand builders. Right. Cause I’m used to one, you know, I’m used to large checks. Yeah. Right. Single buyer, complex buying process, sometimes a long buying process, but one large check. And, you know, literally we used to set have this goal, um, which was alright, get your first thousand dollar check, get your first $10,000 check, get your first million dollar check, get your first $10 million check. And the largest single contract over Sams about 57 million. And I was like, right. That’s not bad for one client. You know, that’s a good deal. You know, now that was over, like that was delivery of that work was over a series of three to four years. Right? Like it wasn’t, it wasn’t all in one, three month period, but it feels pretty good to get a check that big, you know, or to get a commitment that big as it doesn’t quite work like that you get the check over time.
PS (31:15):
But the point I’m getting at is that’s a totally different business. You know, for me, it was maximizing the size of the check for you. It was max, the number of people who’d write the check totally different path. Yep. But think about this, Roy and this is, I think is the takeout for your, for your listeners, right? The clearer you are on these answers, the value you bring, who you bring it to the business model, which is the bit we’re talking about now in the modality, you know, things like coaching podcast, that’s a modality in my mind, right? Yep. Totally. The clear you are on those top three things and, and, and the fourth as well, but particularly the top three, the easier decision making gets like, it’s not hard to say, no, that’s not my client. Or, you know, you sit and you listen to this podcast and you’re like, man, you know, Pete had those three great ideas.
PS (32:00):
They might be dumb ideas for you because they don’t match the value you wanna bring. They don’t match a business model. You’re building. Then that’s the audience you wanna serve. Like in my experiences, no such thing as a good idea and a bad idea in our, like in this kind of learning space, there are aligned ideas and misaligned ideas. And that’s how I assess them. Is this a aligned idea for what I’m trying to create? I think what the, one of the most beautiful about the way you serve the, the market made is that you help people get clear and the clearer they get, the easier will be to make decisions. And by the way, the easier will be to get through the metaphorical wall. Right. You all over the map as well. No, I still can’t. Can’t do it in the third person, but yeah.
RV (32:41):
Okay. So, all right. So honest, honest, open thing here. I, I really want your, your wisdom on this. So okay. In our, in our former life, we did one-on-one sales coaching. It was super clear, right? We coach sales people, you know, B to C salespeople, real estate, financial advisors, how to sell. We scaled that was straightforward. Then brand builders group starts. We do personal brand strategy. So we do, you know, we, we coach experts, primarily speakers, authors, coaches, consultants, and then entrepreneurs like professional services, still how to build their personal brand brand builders group, super clear growing. What I personally am struggling with at this very one thing I’m struggling with at this precise moment is we have the Rory Vaden who built his career on self-discipline overcoming procrastination. And that was take the stairs. And then my Ted talk, how to multiply time, which got a couple million views.
RV (33:45):
That was how I built my career as a speaker. Then we built a company on sales coaching, and now we have brand builders group during personal brand strategy. And I’m struggling a little bit with how to tell the whole story, not with what brand builders group to us that’s straight and narrow, but what does Roy Vaden do? And I get calls for speeches, right? Not for, you know, Hey, can you come talk on something random, but it’s more like I saw your Ted talk. Will you come speak on this? But there it’s to an audience that’s not personal brands, which is what our core business, this is focused on now. And so some of that, you know, I’m trying to be like, you know, where does my personal brand sit at this point? And where am I at on Shehan wall? Cuz to, to the point you were talking about earlier about how it works on a granular level, like for an individual relationship.
RV (34:36):
And then also like at an industry or reputation level, we’ve also started to describe it really it’s a series of walls at a high level. So you, you know, you dominate your local market, then your, your, you know, your regional market, national whatever. And so I’m trying to wrestle a little bit with like, what is the story of Rory vain.com at this point in my life? Should I just go, all I care about is personal branding, ignore everything that I’ve done. Just let it go. Or, or is there some way that it all sits, sits together and I’m, I’m genuinely interested in, in uh, free consulting
PS (35:12):
Are we still on the podcast or did you just get 30 grand the coaching for, uh, nothing. Um, I have very two very strong opinions, especially. I agree that, that I didn’t think of it as multiple walls, I think, but the more the wall keeps moving, right? Like you, you’re always looking to get to the next level, the next space. And in some ways, you know, you’re the flavor of the month at one point and then people have had you, they know you they’ve moved on to the next flavor and you have to find a new way to get back on their mental menu. Right. Um, here’s my first piece of advice. Don’t try and include every part of everything you’ve done in your story. People don’t care. Okay. Like I, I, I own a SAS company called educator impact it’s suicide prevention and wellbeing tracking for kids in schools.
PS (35:51):
It also does 360 degree evaluation of teachers. It’s an incredibly successful and business and you’ve never heard me talk about that once. And I’m sure in your researcher didn’t come up. I don’t need it to be part of my story. It just confuses the buyer. I don’t need to confuse the buyer. Right? Like at our peak, we would’ve 40,000 workshops a year before. In fact, this isn’t in the company I sold to Ernston young for 1.2 million people around the world. And it never once was in my buyer because it was about community investment strategy and helping to elevate the reputations of companies in the market. But that’s not what Peter sheen was spending his personal time on. I just haven’t own that company cuz long, long story. But um, it came out of a, a client delivery. I had, I knew how to solve the problem.
PS (36:33):
I built a company around that. I don’t need to confuse my brand positioning with all of that material. Does that make sense? That’s I am great. It’s like, so the, the answer to the question, Rory, the, the easiest answer to the question is what do you want to be talking about? right. Like where do you wanna spend your time? What’s your highest order contribution. What’s the biggest impact you have and then which bits of your story lend credibility to that? You’re the, you are the only one who will be worried about how it all stitches together. Everyone else is just, Hey, I’ve got a problem. I saw your Ted talk and I’ve got 35 grand, 40 grand where you come and do a speech like don’t overcomplicate it. My advice to you, however, is the more aligned RO vaden.com is to brand builders. The, the less spread your personal energy will be.
PS (37:24):
Right? And so, you know, here’s the biggest mistake speakers make in terms of building a company, right? They look at their speaking fee, let’s use easy numbers. Let’s say you’re speaking fees, 15 grand, right? They tell themselves the story, they get paid thousand a day or $15,000 an hour, but they don’t. Cause they only get 50 speeches a year or a hundred of their lucky. And really they’re working like as a low price lawyer at about 500 bucks an hour. You know, you’re not anywhere near as valuable as you think you are. Right. It’s just that your modality is a short burst for a high fee and you don’t get a lot of deliveries. Right. And so I would look back and go, where is the most value gonna get created? Is it in R Vaden doing speeches or is it in R Vaden building the message of brand builders and increasing the subscription model?
PS (38:12):
Because I can tell you now the enterprise value of brand builders is gonna be way substantially higher that the enterprise value of R vaden.com is here’s the, here’s the reason that matters. One, once it gets critical, mass build starts building itself. And it’s less about your personal exertion two, if you ever sold it, not that, that’s what you’re saying. You want to do. You only pay capital gains on that rather than personal income tax. So immediately you’re 25% better off. And when someone buys it, they’ll give you a multiple on future, on your discounted future cash, which means they might buy 13 years of profit off the table at half the tax rate that you pay. Right? Like now I’m not saying that’s what you should do, but there’s, there is a value decision to be made. And so I would start with, what do you want to talk about? I would then put it through the filter of, is this gonna support what I’m really trying to build here? And what’s more important to me. And then I would say your answer shakes out of that and the closer and more aligned, those two things are the more leverage you got get.
RV (39:08):
Yeah, well, and basically what’s happened is for three and a half years, I have just ignored Rory vain personal brand because it’s been all in, on brand builders group because of exactly what you said going, at some point we will get this AJ, my wife, she’s our CEO and we’ve been business partner since 2006. We already know that at some point it will gain enough critical mass. It will start to grow. And now it’s, we’re starting to kind of turn that toward, towards that direction. Yeah. And, and so now this is coming up again and, and to what you’re saying is going, gosh, the, the closer that my personal brand is, um, anyways, that’s awesome. I think it’s super powerful for me, even to just hear don’t feel obligated. Like you have to make sense of everything you’ve ever done and share it all and make sense of it in your story. Like your customer only cares about their problem. You only need to share whatever parts of your story are relevant to solving their problem.
PS (40:08):
Yeah. The only people worry who woke up this morning, thinking about you, AJ, your wife, your two kids, yourself, and the people who are trying to steal your business. That’s a, it, everyone else woke up with their own problem and you either have positioned your value to solve that problem. Or you don’t, you either positioned in a way that appeals to that individual buyer or you didn’t, you either positioned the, the business model to serve that person in a way that they actually, you know, are willing to prescribe to and write checks for. And you’re either doing it in a modality that suits them, or it doesn’t like, it’s really that simple, you know, and that hard at the same time.
RV (40:43):
Yeah. Yeah. Um, man, this is so awesome. So the book y’all making it happen, turning good ideas into great results. She hands wall named by us created by Peter sheen. um, uh, the, a lot more detail in it. And I’ve, uh, I’ve learned a lot today and I, I would say very much there are, there are, there are way there’s, there’s things that have come out of this conversation that were not a part of how I, you know, thought about it. And, um, it really, really is really is cool, man. So, um, what, where should people go if they want to connect with you, Peter, like, um, you know, what would, what would you have people, you know, knowing, knowing that you did this, basically as, as a, as a helpful favor and a buddy to like talk about something you haven’t talked about since 2009, uh, um, but, but
PS (41:33):
Live every day, by the way, but live every day, you know,
RV (41:36):
Live every day. Yeah. What, um, how do you want people to think about you? Where should they find you? What, uh, what should they refer for you, et cetera?
PS (41:47):
Yeah, I would, I hit me up on LinkedIn. That’s probably the, the safest place to stay in touch. Um, you can follow me on Instagram. I’ve posted about once every three years. And so, you know, maybe into 2023, you’ll see a post from, and I get, this is such a, we should actually get at this at some point in
RV (42:04):
Again, different audiences though. Like I don’t hang out on LinkedIn very much. I hang out
PS (42:09):
Instagram, but neither is a CEO of Pepsi. You know, he’s not on Instagram looking for corporate consultants and, you know, someone to facilitate his executive offsite. Like it’s just, it’s different audiences drive different decisions. I would go after LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch. Um, I would get on free ring, circus.com and maybe join the mailing list there. And you’ll learn more about the work we’re doing in speaking development. And, and yeah,
RV (42:34):
And we had one of your business partners, Josh Linkner. We had him on this show, another world class speaker, one of the very, very best we interviewed him that you guys are business partners in three ring circus. So yeah,
PS (42:45):
Josh is a badass. I mean, that guy is a production machine. Like that guy can market, like he would not believe. And so that’s where I’d go. Um, I think there’s a place on my website, Peter sheen.com to sign up. Um, we don’t communicate to that list a lot, but when we do, but if you’re on it, when we have something interesting, we’ll let you know.
RV (43:03):
Yeah. Um, well, man, I love this and I, I just, I guess I just wanna say like, thank you while I have you, um, you know, some times people kind of make the, the comment like, oh, you, you know, you can’t change a life with a, with a, with a 45 minute keynote. And I would say, I used to think that, and, and I think of it less because of things like you, you know, I haven’t, I haven’t talked to you in 10 years and that one thing that you put up at that one moment hit me in the right way at time, stuck with me, changed my career. And now, you know, we’re trying to pass along your legacy to people and go like, look, this is look at the power of this thing all from a one random talk that you did. Yeah. 10 years ago, you don’t even make money. You don’t even talk to those groups anymore. And it, it’s made a huge impact, man, really, really powerful. And, um, and it’s been not just for me, I mean, definitely for me, but for a lot of the people that we talk to, and I’m glad they’re texting you going like, dude, I , what is she hands wall? Because it’s so impactful.
PS (44:13):
I, I was the one asking them, what’s she hand the wall? Look my you’re firstly, you’re welcome. I appreciate, uh, you saying, thanks. Anyone that underestimates the power of a single presentation to change a life is outside of their mind. 45 minutes with Jim RO transformed my life. And I built a company that worked with millions of kids, you know, on important life skills. I built a corporate consulting company that transforms, you know, we brought Microsoft and apple during there, like turnarounds, like it, that all came from that one day in the Horton perve in Sydney with Jim run on a platform. Right. And you know, I, you, you have other versions of that. I’m sure in your life where you something change the way you saw the world. And so I’m a deep believer in the power of what I call that a catalytic experience. And I’m, I feel honored flattered, and I take it very seriously, the responsibility we get to do that on a daily basis. Wow.
RV (45:04):
Well Shehan, uh, she hands wall, everybody from the source, Peter Shehan go grab the book, making it happen. Let’s see if we can sell some more books for him. uh, you know, read, read about this directly from the source. Um, brother, we just, we wish you the best. Uh, it’s an honor to be a colleague, uh, to be a, a mentee, a student of yours and, uh, really appreciate you carve some time out and, uh, and thanks for the free consulting. You’re you’re welcome to do that. Anytime you want
PS (45:31):
Brother take care.