027 – Dealing With the Voices Within, Knowing When to Pivot and Creating the Invisible Organization, with Mitch Russo

Mitch Russo Co-founded Timeslips Corp in 1985, which grew to become the largest time tracking Software Company in the world. In 1994, Timeslips Corp was sold to Sage, plc. While at Sage, he went on to run all of Sage U.S. as Chief Operating Officer, a division with 300 people with a market cap in excess of $100M.

He was nominated for Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” on two separate occasions, 1989 and 1991 and Won “Best Entrepreneur” in 1989, from a pool of 4,000 other nominees by The National Association of Legal Vendors. TODAY he helps his clients build recurring revenue streams by using “certification.

#PeakPerformers, Mitch talks pivoting on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

Here’s a fun question for you…If you could go back in time with whom would you like to spend a day with?

Steve Jobs. That’s my favourite person in the world. Elon Musk is one too but Steve Jobs, I think he did the impossible, I think he did it as a person who came into this world with both gifts and deficits. He overcame them and found a way to build something amazing.

What stops most entrepreneurs from breaking through and being successful?

Entrepreneurs who break through appears to be overnight successes. I think most people don’t realize how hard it is to find something of value, find a way to present it to others and also find a way to begin selling it successfully. Entrepreneurship is a journey and it’s never a single action or a single thing. It’s a process, a journey and it requires many different discipline. That’s why I love entrepreneurship so much. I believe it is one of the most creative ways to challenge yourself, to build wealth and to build community.

What is success for you?

It is different for different people. It can money, like what a lot of persons think of. But success can also be satisfaction, the joy of doing the work you love.

What do you say to those who are fearful of succeeding, fearful of criticism/ fearful of attention?

Criticism is strongest from inside. Most of what people are listening to is that voice that’s inside. For many people that voice tells them that they are not smart enough, that they are not good enough. It’s the ability to fight that back, the ability to recognize that is part of human nature protection system and overcome it and understanding that it is not protecting us at all. It is the same mechanism designed to keep us safe in the jungle. It is not the mechanism today that is valuable. The best thing to do is to try and overcome those feelings and if everybody else has comments like that, like you, you simply disregard them because they are simply not valid.

Was there ever a point you had to face your own demon of fear?

Yes. It comes up to this day. Facing one’s demo is a big category. To me what demons are is those tiny little voices that say, “oh no you can’t do that”, or ‘you’re not good enough or there are smarter people in the world that you, why do you think you can go off do that that. Those are the demons that haunt too many of us. In an entrepreneurial life when you’re mostly alone or working with a small team, that’s when the demons get to speak the loudest. I think it is our job as entrepreneurs to overcome those feelings and those voices and instead focus only on outcomes.

What was starting, running and then selling your successful company like?

I think, like many good ideas, that materialize in this world, that idea did not start as the idea that materialize. It started as a different idea. It (the software company) started as an idea to keep track of time so I could deduct my computer from my taxes. Back then, computers were thought of as toys by the IRS. My partner and I agreed that this was good idea and we built an entire to keep track of time to make sure we could deduct them from our taxes. Just about the time we quit our jobs and ready to launch, the IRS relaxed their ruling on that very thing. Without any notice, we found ourselves with a completely useless product. What we had to do, was to decide whether we wanted to abandon that project or find a different way to repurpose it if there was one. We realized that our tool, which was great at keeping track of time can be used more effectively than we had originally thought to keep track of clients’ time so they could later bill it as services. That became the basis of Time Slips Corporation. Our creation of time and billing software, it later became the number 1 product for lawyers and accountants to keep track of their time and bill it.

How would you encourage entrepreneurs at a pivotal point not to give up?

Fred Smith invented FedEx. What is interesting is that the initial concept for FedEx or previously Federal Express was to find a way to cut down on the amount of time it takes to process cheques. It used to take 7 days to process a cheque in the US. Fred thought it was too long. He had an idea to process the cheques in air and when the plane lands he would distribute them to the banks. It would take the processing time down form 7 days to 1 day. It was a brilliant idea except he didn’t take the weight of the equipment to process the cheques into account. It was too heavy to load onto planes and to power and process. He had to pivot. What ended up being the most important element of this idea was having central hubs where you can re-distribute the content of planes and get it out to destinations. That became the brilliance of FedEx. There is a brilliant story of how FedEx started with a wedding dress and how they began with their first customer who needed to get a wedding dress across the country in 24 hours. That became the beginning and they ramp up between 1 or 2 packages a day to now over 15 million packages a day.

I have a saying, you never actually fail until you give up. I think a lot of people give up too soon. I think a lot of people give up because they’ve tried hard and it didn’t work and they call it a failure. Instead of quitting, take a pivot and call it something else and if that doesn’t work think of trying something else and see what the market is telling you. That is the best way of handling the idea of not initially being successful.

How different is Tony Robins in everyday life versus his onstage persona?

Tony is one of the most genuine, most real people I have ever known. He is probably in a sense, the reason why many, many people are successful in this world. When you hear Tony on stage, he’s loud of course, he’s performing. When you meet him offstage and spend time with him, he is the ultimate person who is curious, a person who is focused on you. When I first got involved with Tony, he invited me to attend some of his events. I was thrilled to do that. I asked if I could bring my daughter and he said. It was ‘Unleash the Power Within’. He knew that I wanted to get a picture with him and my daughter before the event was over. After the first day when the event was in full force, we had gone 14 hours and Tony must have been very tired, he sent one of his people to find me saying he would like to speak to me and my daughter. We met with him behind the empty stage at 1:30 in the morning and Tony was kind and interested enough to sit down with me and my daughter and spend 40 minutes asking my daughter about her future, life and all the things she was excited about.  That to me was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen and made me feel so good.

That’s the way I remember Tony. The person who gives, not the person who takes. Leadership is not so much about getting things done, it’s about helping people realize what they truly want out of the life experience they’re having. A great leader is able to align the needs of the people and the needs of the company. Tony fits into that category well. Tony is a great leader.

You are an author?

Yes, I wrote the book, ‘The invisible Organization’, it is available on Amazon. It is about how to take a company and turn it into a virtual organization. The book came from my experience running one of Tony’s companies called Business Breakthroughs and having 300 staff outside the company. We never had an office, we never had a single piece of infrastructure. All we had was our phone lines, the internet and 300 people all over the world who work with us on a daily basis. The book is all about that process, the mindset of the CEO who is running that organization.

What do you say to those who believe they must go into a brick and mortar every morning or else they are not running a business?

You have to ask yourself, is this building really necessary. Can the people who work for me do their jobs if they were working at home? The real reason persons want to have staff show up at a building is they are afraid they are going to lose control if they don’t. They try to stay in control by having those people show up at 9:00 AM. The issue isn’t really that at all. You can learn systems that keep track of people’s activities so that in the end the only thing that counts, is their true performance. So instead of judging people based on whether you like them or not or how many sick days they had or how well they get along with others, we judge them entirely on their performance and their productivity when they work from home. This makes the employee a much happier person. They no longer have to fight with traffic and breathe in the smog of the highway every day. Instead they can get up in the morning and go the kitchen and go right to work. There are happy because they get to eat what they want. They can take care of their pets. They get to do a school visit if they have to for a kid. These are all part of life. As we pay more attention to the holistic life we live then working from home is inevitable. It is going to be where most of us end up working.

What are some of the systems that can be put in place to ensure the smooth running of our businesses?

I’ll give you some examples. On my book site, invisibleorganisations.com, I have a resources page there, when you buy the book it gives you access to the resource centre giving you dozens of systems for working remotely. Many of us already use these like CRM Sales Force, email, a virtual call centre like Skype. The goal is to utilize all our systems virtually.

The most important part, it is not the systems that enables the success of a virtual company, it’s the mindset of the CEO. This dictate how successful that company is. By understanding the difference between the mindset of a CEO of a virtual company and one of a brick and mortar company, you will quickly realize that it focuses entirely on communications. If you’re a good communicator then the transitions will be easier. If you’re not a good communicator, if you don’t like to communicate on a regular basis and work with the media, your voice and with coaching people, then this will be harder for you. Those who are best at it end up becoming great CEOs of virtual companies.

What attribute you had which contributed to you receiving numerous awards?

I think it was the fact that I had started to build a very successful business. We were one of the top 500 businesses at the time growing very quickly. I was not willing to conform to the way things were being done before.

Main Take-Aways:

  • Our job as entrepreneurs is to overcome negative voices and instead focus only on outcomes.

  • As entrepreneurs, pivot is a must at some point.

  • Make an assessment as to whether the person who work from you could actually work from home.

RESOURCE TO PEAK YOUR PERFORMANCE

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026 – Everything You Need to Know About The Law of Attraction, with Kelli Cooper

Kelli Cooper is a coach who specializes in the law of attraction. She believes there are many misconceptions about this teaching that stunt people’s natural manifesting abilities, and she hopes her teachings can clear them up, as well as bridge the gap between the theory and reality of manifesting.

The best business partner? Kelli talks the Law of Attraction on #TheEntrepYou today! @kcooper1102 Click To Tweet

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Show  Notes:

Here’s a fun question for you…If you could Only have one favorite food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

The thing that comes to mind is something like broccoli and cheese rice.  It is super cheap, super-processed. I like it, it was the first thing that comes to mind.

A lot persons have limiting beliefs about themselves…how can you overcome your limiting beliefs?

There are a couple of things I would say that is a part of the manifesting process that we can really over-complicate and get tripped up on. They say they try to change their belief and they just can’t. It turns into this almost impossible thing and people think that their beliefs create their reality and they can’t change. They think, ‘I’m screwed because I can’t change these thoughts’.

They believe that they are going to keep manifesting based on these beliefs. It really stresses these people out.  I want to say it is not as hard as we make it out to be. Beliefs are just formed by our own minds from outside influences. Over time your mind starts making decision about what’s true and not true. You start manifesting things that mirror these beliefs back to you which solidify these belief, your mind takes that as evidence that, yes, this belief is true.

Realize that everything that’s happened in your life, whatever meaning you’ve assign to it, it is not any sort of objective fact. Your mind has decided that this happens and this is what it means.

Once you make a conscious choice to release these beliefs, energetically, you start to manifest evidence that it is not true. It starts with a willingness to release. As you start doing this, you will begin to manifest evidence that releases it even further. That’s not so hard. Techniques such as affirmations can help you to overcome limiting beliefs. It comes down to the choice to stop believing it. To our minds, it sounds simple, but it is really where it starts and the only thing you need to do.

What are some of the ways we can ensure we release these negative thoughts?

You do that in your life is a personal thing. Different things work for different people. You might find affirmations are really helpful for you, or writing out a list of things that are really good about you and reading it out in front the mirror while looking at yourself. This might feel stupid and uncomfortable but then after a while you begin to formulate a different image about yourself. It could be writing out a gratitude list. Find a way to consistently engage your inner world that benefits you. If you want to break up those habitual pattern, you need to feed a different energy into your being. As that becomes more dominant, what happens is the other side just naturally start to fall away without you deeply examining and dissecting all of the beliefs you have now.

Secondly, devote time to educating yourself about these sorts of topics, find teachers that resonate with you; find resources that resonate with you. It doesn’t mean you have to spend hours a day doing. To overcome that conditioning, you need repetition of the information.

Take us through, what really is the Law of Attraction

I think there is a lot of misconception that cause people to either dismiss it immediately or they kind of buy into it but the misconceptions kind of lead them astray on their journey of energetic transformation and they get super frustrated. They give up thinking the Law of Attraction doesn’t work. Or what happens is you’re in a point in your life that you are not happy but you think you can’t do anything about it, you don’t feel great but there is a kind of resignation that you’ve lived with – when you read about the teachings of the LOA and there is a part of you that think, I might be able to able to get this, or I like the sound of this and you actually start letting yourself want something, you start to hope that things can change for the better. What happens when you are not succeeding in making those changes, that often feels much more painful than it felt before when you thought you didn’t stand a chance. When you start to get excited about manifesting something, when you’re not getting it, it’s going to feel very painful and it causes people a lot of anxiety, frustration, sadness and anger.

One of the biggest misconceptions I want to clear up is that the LOA is not a tool that you can use to manipulate reality. It’s a way of explaining how reality works. You have control over your reality in the sense that you can control your energy. You can control your thoughts, feeling and perspectives. You get to choose what you believe, to choose how you feel every day. In that sense, you have a great sense of control. If you have a certain energy, you’ll have no choice but to manifest things that mirrors that energy back to you. That’s the true nature of your control. Thinking that you can use the LOA to manipulate reality into getting your wants and desires into exactly what you want, when you want, that’s not how it works. You can’t make people do things.

Want what you want but work on your energy as this is your true sense of control. Another thing to consider is that a lot of stuff our minds want is not really the best representation of what we want. Your mind is very limited in its belief.  A lot times what the mind wants is actually the watered-down version of what we are capable of manifesting. Be open to want what you want but be open to the idea that maybe it’s not the best thing, maybe there’s a better representation because your mind doesn’t know infinite possibilities. It just knows what’s in front of its face and what’s already happened. It doesn’t know all the things that you are capable of and all the other possibilities that exist out there.

How to cultivate the right energy to attract the things we want?

Depending on what you want in life, you are going to have different beliefs that might vary between areas of your life. Especially with business where we have a lot of fear, the most core energy you can work on – realize that our biggest issue is that there is a force that runs through everything. The way we live now, we become separated from that. That separation causes all sorts of anxiety and fear that aren’t real. We kind of created that. You are plugged into a system that will always provide for you. You will always be taken care of. Money, clients, whatever resources you need to do your business, the people you need to meet, the opportunities, the education, will come.

Whatever your mind is envisioning for your journey, it’s going to look a lot different. When you make peace, you will save yourself form suffering. Be open to make peace with that.

It was such a huge thing for me especially in my business with money.  The universe is like the best business partner ever, you couldn’t ask for a better business partner. In order to plug into that support system, you need to believe that it works that way. I always say that we have to hold up our end of the bargain energetically by believing that it works. You can’t tap into that system if you don’t believe it works. That’s more important than any practical action you take for your business. Nothing is going to serve you better than cultivating that mind-set. You’re going to have a lot harder than you have to work otherwise. With your business, work when you are inspired. Check your motivation behind your actions.

Final thoughts on using the LOA to become a better business person?

The first thing I would say is explore your money stuff. It is going to be super uncomfortable; look at your issues of worthiness and deserving.  Make sure you’re on the look-out for conflicting energies. A lot of times with entrepreneurs we have this vision of what we want but there’s a part of us that don’t want any of those things; it’s afraid of the responsibility, the bigger audience, for then people might start to criticize you. You’re actually afraid of making more money because you think that will complicate your life in some way. You started your business because you wanted more freedom so there’s a part of you that’s worried about getting too busy and getting too many clients and too many request for things because all that freedom is going to go away. Be on the look-out for those conflicting energies. The sooner you can identify that, the more you can nip it in the bud and get more clarity as to how you want to run your business.

Main Take-Aways:

  • Your mind is unaware of the limitless possibilities that are available to you.

  • The universe is the best business partner available to you

  • You will always be given the resources you need for your success.

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025 – An Important Lesson in the Unpredictable Nature of Individuals and Staying Focused in the Midst of a Business Breakup, with Damon Nailer

Damon Nailer is known as a “Renaissance Man” and a “Multi-talented Inspirational Communicator”, He is mentor, motivator and educator, addressing people’s mental, spiritual, and emotional needs through various means. He writes inspirational books and blogs, speaks, coaches, and produces inspirational music. As a result of his tremendous accomplishments, he’s been featured over 100 times in or on the following: various online publications including The Huffington Post, TV shows, podcasts, radio shows, newspapers, and magazines.

#PeakPerformers, Damon shares his story on #TheEntrepYou today! @daril1 Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

Here’s a fun question for you…If you could choose an imaginary friend, who would you choose and why?

I would have to choose a super hero and it would have to be Superman. We could fly, we could do all sorts of things. We would be enabled and empowered to do a lot.

What was the entrepreneurial journey like for you when you started?
I’m a former elementary educator and I taught for 7 years. About the 4th or 5th year in my teaching tenure I began to lose the passion for teaching. At that time, I began to dabble into song writing, music production and artistry. In 1999 I put out my first single and in 2000 I put out an LP. I really love the music and I was getting a favourable response to it. As a result, my desire for music began to increase and my desire for teaching decrease. I was able to hang in there a few more years.
Is there any similarity between teaching and what you’re doing now?

A lot of the concepts that I learnt as a Teacher, I apply to my speaking. I’m not just an inspirational speaker, I’m an educator. My objective is to provide direction, inspiration and education. I’m able to give content that really challenge the intellect, challenge your mind.  Teaching was really relevant to me today in what I’m doing.

How much was fear, if any, a factor in the timing of your quitting teaching?

No, I felt divinely inspired. I thought God was letting me know I can do this and it’s time to do it because I’ve just gotten to that place where I couldn’t do another year of teaching. I was just frustrated. Those emotions overshadowed any fear that I had. I had faith in it.

Just imagine me not knowing what was going to happen. A lot of people had that same question, “Damon how you’re going to make it?” “What are you going to do?” “How is going to play out?” My spiritual leader at the time had a meeting with me, he wanted to know what was going on. He said he would give me 6 months to see if we had the conversation again and thank God, we never had the conversation again. I was in faith and I wasn’t having any distractions; I wasn’t losing focus. In my spirit I had settled it, that this is what I was going to do.

Ups and downs?

When we first started the janitorial business, things were booming. We made close to 6 figures in a year and a half, 13 employees, racking up contracts all over. The music opened up the door to speaking and the book sales were good. Everything was going well. All of a sudden, things shifted. I went through a period of testing. Opportunity kind of stopped. We had to break up the partnership for the janitorial business. It wasn’t an amicable breakup. He (business partner) took some of the business, I took half.

The key is sticking with it, being faithful and committed to what you’re doing.

During the moment of the business breakup what were your thoughts and what lesson have you learnt from that experience?

What I’ve learnt is that it confirmed to me how unpredictable people are but you have to remain focus, you have to be resilient, you have to bounce back and you have to adjust to things like that. It taught me to be flexible. Don’t give up although there is a break up. Stabilize yourself and focus on your journey and what you’re trying to accomplish.

How to manage expectations?

To set realistic expectations. Make sure your goal setting is reachable, measurable. Be honest about what you’re trying to do. Go after your passion. Keep yourself accountable, constantly look at our goals.

Main Take-Aways:

  • People by nature are unpredictable but you must always remain focus.
  • Trust that things will work out and they will.
  • Once you’ve settled an idea in your spirit, act on it in faith knowing that it will work out.

 

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024 – This Dude Went From Being a Rap Artiste, to a Successful Web and App Design Specialist, with John Sandiford

John AM Sandiford is based in the Netherlands. He is a certified Web and App Designer with an extensive knowledge in User Interface and User Experience Design and Social Marketing Strategies. In 2010 he founded the company Antonio Media. He has been elected by World Trade Center Eindhoven Netherlands as the Young Professional of the year in 2016.

Peak Performers, John shares his journey from a #rap artiste to an entrepreneur #TheEntrepYou… Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

If you could choose your age forever, what age would you choose and why?

I wouldn’t choose and age. I love every age of life. It’s all a different part of the journey. There are so many things that happen at every stage. I would think that being stuck at one age may turn out to be more of a curse than a blessing.

Did you always know that you wanted to become an entrepreneur?

I always knew that I wanted to do something special, to do something more than average. For a while I thought that it was something in the entertainment industry and eventually that shifted into what I’m doing now. What I’m doing now is slowly taking on an additional life of its own, heading into new territories while still sticking to the core.

Was there a point that you ventured out into the music industry?

Yes, I spent quite some years there. It all started with just loving music from a very young age. That grew into loving it even more as I got into high school. I started writing my first lyrics when I was about 13 years old in Dominica when I was based in the Caribbean between Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica and that career moved on simultaneously with me going to school.

From high school to college I working on my music and doing things in the music industry. That brought me up to my climactic moment, in 2009 when I performed on BET’s 106 & Park in New York City performing the song called Break Your Back (Nemesis). That was the highlight of my music career.

Born on St. Maarten, I was one of the first artistes from the island to also perform original music on BET and to have made music videos back in 2005-2006 that was also on television in Europe and the Caribbean and having original music on iTunes. Actually then, I was already busy with entrepreneurship because I had a record label. It got a bit more serious from 2005 onwards. I was still in college although I was contemplating to drop out and to pursue music.

During my pursuit of music is when I came across certain things within the industry that I didn’t’ like. That made me question if the quest that I was on was the one to fulfill my life’s purpose. I’m allergic to fake people and I met a bit too many of them within the industry (I also met some real ones). As I started analzying those that I met at a younger age and started looking at their personal life, there was just different signs that led me to believe that maybe I should try my hand at something else and that I could always come back to music if I choose to. The love for music will never go. I still listen to music religiously every day. I work with music constantly so there will always be a time when I could reconnect but on different terms.

Fast track to 2010 when you decided to start Antonio Media, how did that happen?

You could say it started in 2008 maybe a bit before that. I started a study in Information Technology and then I switched after about a year to ICT media Design which is a mix of design, communication and ICT because I could then create my own album covers, websites and flyers since I was young and couldn’t pay anyone to do it but I wanted to have the most awesome stuff so I thought why not go to school and learn to do it. In 2008 when I started my first internship I realized I actually had some skills and people are willing to pay good money for them because of the types of assignment I was getting from my boss at that moment. That gave me the confidence, I could actually venture out and do more stuff for other people.

In 2010 I was completing my final internship. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree. I looked around my City as to what jobs were available but there was nothing appealing to me. I always wanted to be my own boss. Then I decided I would go for it and started the company in 2010.

What is your Unique Selling Proposition?

We think about the complete user experience as in customers, people that use your products. We design websites and Apps. When you’re thinking about the complete experience, it goes beyond the colours and fonts. You really have to take the business goals of your clients in mind and fully understand the journey that their customers will go through and you design around that to match what their customers are looking.

What’s the worse challenge you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?

Creating enough cash flow. When you’re doing something that you love, something that you’re passionate about, you could easily spend more time than was budgeted for working on the thing that you’re working. It doesn’t matter to you because you love doing what you’re doing. It is difficult to figure out how do you price that creative work versus what people are used to paying and also the type of clients that you’re providing those services to. Figuring out that balance of where you could continue to work on passionate projects and make enough cash flow to sustain yourself, that was one of the most difficult things of figuring out where that balance point is.

How did you figure it out?

I’ll have to give a bit more context as to how the business grew. I started at home about 8 months in the spare bed room at home. At that point, nothing was really growing. The one thing I can recommend, if there is some place that you can go out and network with other business people, there is where you’ll learn the most. It wasn’t until I moved to an area inn Eindhoven when I started to work at a Flex Desk in a space of about 25 other creative professionals when I started to learn and understand how to balance what you ask for versus what you deliver, etc. Also. I learnt in that period to collaborate more with others. I started to figure out that I needed to specialize in Web and App Design versus making logo, flyers and posters. In the beginning, I was making anything that people were willing to pay me to make.

I remember going to one of the first networking events, when they asked me what I did and I explained, the lady looked at me and said you’re doing too much, you need to specialize and I thought to myself, how dare she say that? I can do all these things. At some point, I came to accept that while you can do it partially, you’ll never be able to be great at it. You’ll never be great at everything, at some point you’ll have to figure out what you’re really great at and then you put all your chips in that section and move forward with that. You can always add additional things to your plate but you should really be focusing on things that you’re really good at. The stuff that you can do but aren’t really great at, make sure you find someone who is great at that and outsource it to them, collaborate – that’s how you make great things happen. That’s what I learnt in the early years at the co-working space I was at.

What are some of the high points in your journey?

Here in the region, one of the first big projects that I worked on was for Rockwool Benelux (the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg). That project became so successful within the company that we also did something similar within the company for Rockwool GLOBAL where we redesigned their career the career page within their website where everyone gets hired and you see all the applications passed through. It taught me a lot; it was one of the first projects where we outsourced every element that wasn’t our responsibility.

I focused on the website design; there was someone that focused on the videos; someone that focused copy writing, a bit of animation went into that and managing all that together to ensure we delivered an awesome project to the client. This was one of those first good experiences to learn how to do things on that scale for big corporate clients.

We went to do stuff for ASML – that company is kind of like the guy behind the guy. They build the machines that produce the chips that go into your phones, laptops, iPads, etc.  They have about 10 or 12 clients in the world and they are the clients that you want to have like Intel and Samsung. We also did awesome stuff for Honeywell Emaya – (Europe, Middle East and Africa). That took me doing workshops in boardrooms in Paris, to launch setting up the launch in the Czech Republic.

In 2016 I was awarded the World Trade Centre Eindhoven Young Professional of the Year Award which was a special moment, it was actually towards the end of 2015 that I received the award. 2015 was a very busy year for me and my company as well. It was also the year when I hired the first additional employee outside of me. Before that point, I always collaborated with Freelancers and other companies so I built a network of over 25 Specialists that I would work on projects with but internally I didn’t have anyone else in the company doing the core and the daily activities. That grew from the first hire to we are now at about 6 of us.

Final piece of branding advice that we need to hold to?

In 2017, it’s very important for you to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. Look for Simon Sinek’s the Golden Cirlce and make sure you apply that messaging to your own brand to understand why you do what you do. Furthermore, I would implore you to research design thinking and what exactly that means. It’s all about having empathy for your customers and knowing what they are looking for and making sure that you provide that to them. You need to have more dialogue with your customers. Social media is a good way to do that.

Content is king. Whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re creating good content to show to the world what you’re about. It can be as simple as documenting elements of the journey. You need to step out of that comfort zone if you’re in that zone and move outwards into the epic space. Really focus and do research on how to create good content because it will make all the difference in how people perceive you and link into the product/service that you’re trying to sell.

Main Take-Aways:

  • Whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re creating god content to show to the world what you’re about.
  • You’ll never be great at everything, at some point you’ll have to figure out what you’re really great at and then you put all your chips in that section and move forward with that.
  • It is very important for you to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.

 

RESOURCE TO PEAK YOUR PERFORMANCE

 

The Golden Circle – Simon Sinek

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When you hear the term branding, what comes to mind? Do leave a comment below.

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023 – Social Media Automation – Trend Towards Engagement, Support and CRM, with Gilad Salamander

Gilad Salamander is Co-founder/CEO at eClincher – the most advanced social media management tool. With a proven track record in Business, Product & Engineering Management, New Product Introduction (NPI), and Manufacturing and Support, he has the proven ability to implement strategies that support business growth. He is an active investor in several startup companies and a co-founder/partner at EpiMetrix Inc. Strengths include product vision, strategic planning for growth, full P&L management and operational excellence.

#PeakPerformers, Gilad shares the @eclincher story on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

Here’s a fun question for you…If you walked in your sleep, where would you go?

Probably to the beach, but I need to wake up before going into the water.

What is eClincher all about?

We started the concept about four years ago; we wanted to build a social media management tool for the Micro, Small businesses. We developed that with a cool user interface. Customers compared us to some of the big competitors. We find that we had to build an amazing solution for end users that was transparent. There was also a lot of discussions with our customers. We sought feedback and continuously improve our platform to include features so that they don’t have to go to multiple tools to find unique solution for things. They can do it all in one platform in our system.

We also wanted to save them time because we know how businesses and entrepreneurs are. They need help. That’s our vision. We’re are about entering solution and engagement.

What problem is eClincher solving that Hootsuite isn’t?

Social media has evolved from social media marketing and publishing into engagement. Social Media is expanding into support and CRM. That’s aligning well with our vision and we have developed our tool to address those issues. The differentiation is that we take care of the publishing and the scheduling. We do it really well with features like post preview, edit links, free access to stock images, animated GIFs, integration with Canva (the publishing aspect). We added another great feature called auto-post with queues. You can use queues to queue a category of posts, fill it up with content and schedule weekly schedule. Once you turn on auto publish it will continue to recycle each post at a time until it reaches the end. There is the option for one time publishing as well as queues with end date that allows you to run campaigns. That can get as 80-90% engagement.  The publishing is the tool to get more engagement. In addition, we have analytics, RSS feeds, content curation, inboxes – an amazing way to get engagement. Everything gets collected from all your social media channels into one inbox. You can respond, follow, follow from different profiles rather than going to the different platform. It saves a lot of time.

What are some your users saying about eClincher?

We get a lot of 5-star ratings from software review sites. The main thing they are saying is that they like the completeness of the product. They can get everything in one platform so they don’t have to use 3 or 4 products. The price is reasonable, we are efficient with everything on stored on the cloud.  We continue to evolve into adding new features and the customers benefit from that.

Is eClincher the first product you’ve worked on?

I’ve worked on new product introduction in different companies and managed teams but this is my first startup. I’ve done some investment and other stuff so I understand what it takes to build and define a product. It has helped me a lot with eClincher but I also learnt a lot of new things with the experience. I can certainly share tips I’ve learnt along the way.

What are some of the things that are foremost on your mind when you are thinking about developing products?

In general, for entrepreneurs and startups the two most important things that an entrepreneur need to focus on is:

  1. Connect with the end user. How are they going to use the product? Is it solving a pain point? What is the advantage? If you think you have something that they are going to benefit from go ahead. If the answer is no you probably shouldn’t do it. Try to think from the end user’s perspective and not from an engineering one. It is not easy but they are things you can do to help for example ask questions of others to get feedback.
  2. Execution – this starts from the very basic of design and thinking about the product all the way to go to market and trying to sell it. There are lots of services out there to help you and you need to execute to sell your product. Entrepreneurs that are coming from a technical background don’t feel as comfortable to go out and sell. There is no one better to sell your product than you. When you talk to people they will give feedback that will help you to improve it.

 

Was there any major challenge you faced during the development stage of eClincher?

As a startup, you think you develop something that everybody is going to go wild and want. The reality is that once you develop it, you shouldn’t fall in love with it thinking this is the best thing on earth and everybody is going to run to you and pay for it. You have to be open to listen to get feedback from others. Customers can give you an idea of what they want and you can develop it into something better. Someone with a technical background to switch into that mode is a challenge.

The second thing I would say is the packaging. It is important how your product is going to look, your user interface, your website. All of this is affecting the decision of the end user whether they should buy your product or not.  Be open to get feedback from them.

I had to try to be as neutral as possible saying, is this what people really want?’ Is this going to solve their pain point? Try to think ahead where the social media trend is going. What will people need 2 or 3 years down the line. We all tend to be very focused on the development of the product and we sometimes forget to separate ourselves and think from a high-level perspective. It is challenging for technical people because they love to write the code.

Main Take-Aways:
  • Be open to getting feedback from your customers.
  • Pay attention to your product packaging.
  • Social media has evolved from social media marketing and publishing into engagement.

 

RESOURCE TO PEAK YOUR PERFORMANCE

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Connect with Gilad Salamander

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022 – How One Cancer Survivor & Model, Became a Successful Caribbean Magazine Publisher, with Neysha Soodeen

Neysha Soodeen is the CEO of Toute Bagai Publishing, considered one of the Caribbean’s largest magazine publishing houses. Toute Bagai Publishing has received many international accolades, including international print and design awards, such as the SAPPI International Printers Award. Neysha has received numerous awards including the Marcella Martinez Award for her contribution to promoting the Caribbean internationally and was nationally recognized and awarded the Business Pioneer Award by The Association of Female Executives of Trinidad & Tobago.

#PeakPerformers, Neysha shares her inspiring journey on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

If you were to name one piece of clothing that describes you, what would you say?

Jeans & t-shirt. It’s so funny because I meet people right cross the Caribbean and I guess everyone is assuming because I am a magazine publisher and a former model that I am this little glamour puss trotting around the Caribbean. But I really am not, I love my jeans, I love my t-shirts.

You were a model?

At University, being a foreign student I couldn’t work so my parents supported me. After I finish university, I decided to go and do another degree because life was too easy. All I had to do was pass and my parents were supporting me. At that point in time my parents said, “no-way, get out and get yourself a job”! This was in the late ’80’s early ’90s. At that time, ethnic models were the hottest thing walking the planet. I’m almost 6 foot tall and Indian. I was picked up by a modelling agency that whisked me off to Italy. I told my parents that you wanted me to work so I just got a job working as a model and it’s in Italy. To that, my parents were terribly disappointed because all that money wasted on an education for me to go and trot up and down the runway was not their idea of a great profession.

However, being in Italy, a foreign country, a foreign language taught me so much. It taught that no matter where I am in the world I could figure it out and I was completely on my own in Italy and it was a great experience for me. After a couple of years, I’d come back home for a holiday – I was about 24 at the time and I have a lump in my neck. My mom took me to the doctor. Although I was 24 and thought I was a big woman, in the doctor’s office, the doctor and my mother spoke directly and they totally cut me out of the conversation. That lump turned out to be Thyroid Cancer which was at the time stage 3, after a couple of years turned into stage 4. I had to undergo years of treatment and surgery. That was the end of my modelling career.

It was the beginning of a new life. I’m in bed in tears thinking how can this be and I grabbed a bottle of wine; I figured if I’m going to die I’m going to die happy; really preventing myself from smoking at that time.

In and out of sleep I thought, ‘what would my funeral be like?’ And then I thought of the eulogy and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to have the most boring eulogy ever’ I have not accomplished anything. I swam for Barbados but I never made it to the Olympics; I went to university but I never did anything with my degree and I modelled in Italy but never really did anything with that either. And I thought “Neysha Soodeen was this fun little, happy girl” and that was the beginning of a brand, new life. Once I was able to beat the Cancer, that was when I decided I need my eulogy to be an awesome eulogy and I picked up myself at 28 or 29 moved to Trinidad and started a publishing a company, started my magazine – Maco Caribbean Magazine.

Tell us about the concept behind Maco Caribbean Magazine

I was privileged to have gone away to school in Canada and then I was living in Italy. When I had come back home, two very poignant things still out:

  1. While I was away everyone assumes that if you are from the Caribbean, you either work at a hotel, own a hotel, or live on the beach or drink banana daiquiri. They didn’t quite understand how we lived and what we did and our lifestyle in the Caribbean.
  2. When I came back home to the Caribbean I realized that no-one in the Caribbean valued what we have right here. I would go into someone’s house and they would have beautiful roses as their mantle-piece as opposed to tropical flowers; I would go to someone’s house for dinner and they would be serving me a strawberry short cake as opposed to guava or soursop. And I thought, we as West Indians are trying to emulate everything that’s foreign as opposed embraced everything that’s us, that’s home grown.

I decided to start a magazine that will showcase both aspects – showcase to the world, the luxury side of how we live, our food, our decor, our architectures, our gardens, our artists. And then for West Indians, I wanted to show them that if I took our life style and I presented it on a platform that was first world all of a sudden (hopefully) they will start appreciating what we have. I decided to do this over-sized glossy magazine. I called it Maco.

No one wanted to back me on this project because it didn’t seem viable. Advertisers were not going to spend the kind of money advertising in a super-sized glossy magazine when that was their whole year advertising in the newspaper or on radio. I decided to do it alone, I took a big risk and it paid off. Every issue came out. My audience grew and then by year 2, I started launching other publications. The company grew and grew. I went from doing the first issue on my own to hiring 2 people by my 3rd and 2 more people by my 6th issue and then the company just kept on growing.

What were some other challenges you faced in the early stage?

Advertisers were not used to advertising in glossy magazines and therefore I had to go out and educate my advertisers on the pros of advertising in a glossy magazine opposed to a newspaper or radio or TV. At the time, besides in-flight magazine, my magazine was the only magazine that was a regional publication. By year 2, my magazine was the only Caribbean magazine that was distributed internationally at Barnes and Nobles, Borders, etc. Therefore, there were a handful of advertisers that not only wanted to reach every island in the region but those outside of the region and so my magazine then found its own niche market but I had to fight for that market.

Other real challenges that no one knows – I was young, I never did a business degree, I never studied publishing or journalism, I winged it. When you wing it, not every decision you make is going to be the right one. For example, I didn’t keep an eye on my cash flow. There came a time where, because I was paying for the publishing upfront but then I was collecting my advertising dollars after, I had a bit of a cash flow problem. If that was not managed or caught in time, just like other magazines, I would have had to bury my magazine in that big grave yard.

I was very good at was networking. I never claimed to be a bright spark, but I knew how to network and I was able to my magazine, my brand out there. Interact with advertisers, interact with people who were able to give me advice, to keep an eye on me, to mentor me and to also spread the word. Networking is so important; it’s the one thing you can do to spread your business your business and to get more business.

What are some of the other lessons you learnt?

One of the lessons is that you have to keep up with trends and technology. When I started my publishing company, the digital world was not there. We had to send CDs to printers by mail or FedEx. For my first magazine, I sat down on the floor with big sheets of paper and I drew out how I wanted every page laid out. Now its pre-historic to do things like that. The print industry is taking a real bashing from the social world. Advertisers are going from print to digital so they don’t want to advertise anymore.

Now I have to relearn a whole new world, how do I move my publishing company from a print to digital. Now it’s just going to continue until the day I die or the day I retire which will probably be until the day I die. Everyone needs to keep up with trends. You have to keep re-inventing your business model; keep hiring new human resource that understands how the world is going because you can’t do it all.

If you aren’t making mistakes you aren’t learning anything and the more you make mistakes, the more you learn, the more you learn, the better you are. Richard Branson almost hit bankruptcy many times, so does most of the most successful people in this world. You win some and you lose some. When you lose, that just makes you a stronger person and a brighter person.

The first thing that companies cut when there is a problem is advertising, my only source of income in my business is advertising. Magazines were closing down all over the world. I had to quickly decide oh my gosh am I going to tighten up my belt and hold my breath, cut corners to keep on surviving or am I going to fold and a lot of companies do that – go to bed and don’t have a good night sleep as there isn’t a salary at the end of the month when you’re an entrepreneur.

Who are some of the big clients you’ve had within the region?

The one thing I realized when I was 29 was that there wasn’t a lot of people in the Caribbean in my profession that wanted to see me succeed so when I went to them for help, they would rather stand on my head and push me down to elevate themselves than to hold my hand and say, ‘come Neysha, I’m going to help you be the best Publisher ever’.

One of my biggest mentors was a Jamaican, Ian Randle, from Ian Randle Publishing and so when other publishers across the Caribbean would not help me, Ian Randle said, ‘absolutely Nesyha’, ‘not only am I going to introduce you to my printers in China and Hong Kong but I’m actually going to extend my line of credit so that you can get a good head start’.

They aren’t too many people like Ian Randle in this world so when I grew up and thought that I had achieved something, that I can pass it forward, I did so and I started working with young entrepreneurs not necessarily in a formal way but a lot of entrepreneurs come to me from all over the Caribbean and so I work with them. I open up my networks to them because that’s something that’s very hard to them if you don’t travel a lot, and get them to a place where I know that their companies have a good chance of succeeding.

I have the largest library of Caribbean content because I have been featuring each island for the last 20 years. Some of my clients are Sandals, I publish the Sandals Style Magazine that’s awesome because Sandals is one of the largest companies in the Caribbean and by every right they should be going to one of the largest publishers in the world or in the States to publish their magazine. It’s just awesome when we decide to partner up on this magazine and to have them choose a local publisher, a small publisher compared to all the larger ones in the States. What I was able to bring to a massive company like Sandals, was my Caribbean content. Some of my other clients across the Caribbean are big names, Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), some of the Ministries across the region.

Piece of advice?

Opportunity does not knock it just sit there waiting patiently to be yanked. Go out there and just do it. A lot of people are fearful, ‘what if I fail?’, well what if you fail. If you don’t try you will never know. What if you succeed? Opportunity isn’t going to come knocking at your door. If you have a good idea – if you have a bad idea that you thing you can turn into a great thing, go for it. I did it, all of the top entrepreneurs in the Caribbean or in the world didn’t do something that was already tried and tested, that’s not how you become an entrepreneur. Becoming a successful entrepreneur is going out there and doing something that no one else has done before.

Main Take-Aways:

  1. Mentorship is essential to business growth.

  2. Networking is so important; it’s the one thing you can do to spread your business your business and to get more business.

  3. The first thing that companies cut when there is a problem is advertising.

Connect with Neysha Soodeen

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Question of the Day:

What do you think about life in the Caribbean? Do leave a comment below.

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021 – The Secret to Staying Authentic, Sharing Your Story and Leading in the Sales Conversation From a Place of Vision, with Benjamin Tyler

Benjamin Tyler is the founder of Client Enrollment Academy and host of Sales for Coaches and Consultants podcast. As a speaker and coach, he shows coaches, consultants and service based businesses how to attract high quality leads and enroll them into their services to help them build successful businesses around their gifts and talents.

#PeakPerformers, Benjamin shares his awesome journey on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

If there’s an exception to every rule, is there an exception to that rule?
I have no clue, you’ve already stomped me.
Tell us about your upbringing?

A defining moment in my life, I was 12 years old and I sat my mother down and just bawling and pleading for her to show me some sort of affection. She was obsessed with making my sister the Prom Queen by giving my sister the life that she never had and she didn’t have a lot of time to pay attention to me and when she didn’t do that after I asked for love and affection, I told myself I would never be hurt again.

That led me into a place where I became a perfectionist; I was a high achiever. I also closed myself off emotionally. The soul needs a companion, for me that was drugs and alcohol and gambling. I started taking ecstasy and cocaine by the time I was 16 years old.

How did you make the transition from where you were to where you are now?

From the point I was showering with the garden hose to where I finally said enough; I wanted to change my life and I finally took responsibility, I quickly excelled. Fast forward 2 years, I’m living in New York City, I’ve got a 6-figure job, stature, going places in my career; I’m living the Bachelor life in New York, dating 3 different women. My ego was higher than it ever was when I was on drugs.

One day I was sitting on the subway coming home after a long day and thought, ‘why am I still unhappy?” It was at that point I realized that I always wanted to share my voice to impact people with my message, speak and allow people to stand in their own greatness and feel like they are good enough to have what they wanted.  When I went off to New York, starting my personal development brand, I started as a Life Coach. I would get blank stares when I said that. I tried to lead with how great my life was and that I had all my stuff together but it wasn’t working and nobody wanted it. One day out of frustration I said, I’m going to go to this networking event and share my story.

I walked in and shared my issues with addiction and how I overcame them. I’m successful in my career but more importantly, I wanted other people to feel like they are good enough to have what they wanted in their life.  All of a sudden people were interested in what I was doing and I wasn’t just a life coach. I realized this is what people wanted from me and I founded the Client Enrollment Academy and I still lead with my story as I find that’s what people need these days.

You go on Facebook and everyone is tooting their own horn but people really care about not just the solution but who we are buying from. More people need to share the core of who they are not just in their struggles but in their greatness too.

How do you think we got there, thinking we have to put up a facade to get people to buy from us and why is our story so important?

I’ve gotten trapped into the ‘fake it till you make it’. A lot of the time when we take someone else’s mission, it’s not authentic to us because it is not who we are as a person. I did that when I started Client Enrollment Academy but it wasn’t working for my. My messaging is that we have a story and we want to impact the world, the money will come but that’s not the root of what I want to do. I want to share the message of my story instead of what everybody else is saying.

Our story is important because the decisions we make in this world are emotional. Our buying decision is emotional. Ninety percent of our buying decision is done emotionally. Too many people are trying to sell through their solutions and that’s rational space of ‘I don’t have money’, “I don’t have time’, ‘are you even qualified?’ ‘I’ve got to talk to my partner, etc. – the rational mind is filled with all those objections. If you’re trying to get clients from the rational place, you’re in one of the biggest battles in the world. Why not go and spend the time in the emotional space and inspire people by sharing who you are and where you came from. Look at the biggest speakers in the world, the biggest influencers in the world; the biggest movers and shakers, they are all great story tellers – they get people emotionally charged to take action in their life.

Why do people fear telling their story?

It’s challenging; I have a story that my mother doesn’t necessarily like to hear. I lead with only one way and that is sharing with authenticity. I want people to know who I am. I want to work with people that are going to become my friends. I want to work with people that are willing to become vulnerable with e and I need to lead the way so is my system of leading with my story going to work for everyone? It is not going to work for everyone, I understand that but my people are the ones that want to share their message with the world.

 What does it mean to stand in your authenticity?

It being able to share who you are; having a voice, have an opinion, an idea – to speak your truth. Whatever makes you feel real when you speak. So often people in the business world can’t say that they do.

How are you helping people to live their dreams?

I’m Founder of Client Enrollment Academy and what I do is I help people create their brands, stand in front as their businesses, stand in who they are as a person and having an authentic messaging whether it’s speaking or building an online presence, I help people leverage that and emotionally charge their audiences to want to work with them.

I help people attract their ideal clients and have sales conversations where it is authentic. I speed up the enrollment process for people through something that is natural, authentic to allow people to create the impact they want in the world. I work with Coaches, Trainers, Consultants by helping them create the growth in their business by doing it in a way that is true to them.

What is the underlying reasons why some Coaches fail?

It is consistency and understanding that you have to show up for world before it shows up for you. When you start your business, you’re not going to get that client in the first week. You’re not going to send out that one Facebook post and all of a sudden people are going to run to you. It is consistently showing up each and every day and finding a system that you feel in your heart will work and consistently showing up and pushing forward. If you keep doing that 1000 the world will start bending for you and you will see results. Too often, people give up way too quickly. Entrepreneurship is not easy, especially in the beginning. We look at the people we aspire to be – Gary V, Tony Robins, Brendon Burchard – you look at that person and you forget that most of them have been doing it for 25 years and you’ve been doing 1 or 2 years. You’ve got to keep going and keep pushing. You’ve got to have some patience.

How can we enjoy the sales process?

It starts with the mindset. We walk into a conversation in our world with an objective that we want, when you lead into a sales conversation with that kind of energy, it’s going to be very hard to close, because it’s a very ‘me-centred’ conversation. Instead, if you have a conversation where you are willing to serve somebody and focusing on that other person and getting into their world and figuring out what they need and building that rapport and that relationship, it becomes an authentic conversation.

Of course, we want to lead the conversation somewhere and we want to figure out their problems and we want to lead them to a solution to make that vision they have a reality but it really starts from the conversation in the beginning. Understanding that it’s not about me selling a product it’s about me going into a conversation and serving somebody so that I can help them.

In the book, SPIN Selling by Neil Rackman – it took 7.82 conversations to close a high-end sale and we as sales people we think we are supposed to get it in the first conversation and if we don’t get it in the first conversation, it’s like we loss. It’s continuing to have that conversation and not give up on that person.  very few people follow up with me when they try to have a sales conversation and I say now is not the right time. They gave up on me before I was ready for them.

Sales is about friendship.

Focus on their vision and the results that you can bring. It’s not about their problem, it’s about focusing on what they want to create. That’s where we want to position ourselves. That’s the 90% emotional place.

What do you want people to walk away with from your message?

I want people to realize that whatever is in their heart, to really do. Whatever that feeling is, that deep down that greatness inside of them that they can have it and that they deserve it.

Main Take-Aways:

  • Ninety percent of our buying decision is done emotionally.

  • We must be consistent – understand that the world doesn’t show up for you until you show up for it.

  • Focus on their vision and the results that you can bring.

RESOURCE TO PEAK YOUR PERFORMANCE

Grab this FREE Template to create stories that inspires action

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Question of the Day:

What is your number 1 sales strategy? Do leave a comment below.

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020 – Top 3 Startup Mistakes to Avoid, Paying it Forward at Google Campus, & Using Similar Web to engage Your Audience, with Lior Degani

Lior Degani is the Co-founder of Swayy (Acquired by Similar Web). He mentors at Google Campus in Tel Aviv to startups with Growth and Go to Market strategy as part of the Google Launchpad program. He specializes in system engineering, growth hacking and data analysis, with over 10 years experience working in Telecom and Startup companies, as well as serving in the prestigious IDF unit 8200 – an elite intelligence unit which has spawned many successful Hi-Tech entrepreneurs over the years. He lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.

#PeakPerformers, Lior shares his start up journey on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

Fun question for you…Would you rather be a giant rodent or a tiny elephant?

I would go with a giant rodent. I would rather be big among the people around me.

What is it like in Israel?

Israel is a tiny country in the middle east. The weather is amazing, very hot these days. Tel Aviv is a very vibrant city.

Tell us about the genesis of Swayy and what you do?

Around 5 years ago we had several ideas for startups. We’ve tried to build a start up around business networking (like a mobile App). We basically make every mistake that any start up can. There is no single mistake that you shouldn’t do in the start-up play book that we didn’t make.

It took us a long time to understand all the mistake that we made. We spent about 1 year doing nothing at all – spent a lot of money and our time. Luckily, we got to join a startup accelerator in Tel Aviv. A lot of people think our idea was stupid, so did we.

We started off our journey with no idea, just us, three entrepreneurs. Because we had no idea and we were part of an accelerator, we wanted to take advantage of it. Every day we had a different idea. Throughout those ideas, we tested them every few weeks. We tried different things, some of them were pretty useful and successful on a small scale. We believed in marketing back then until now. We took the challenge to build a tool for ourselves that would help us understand what our community of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are engaging with and how can we serve them.

It was kind of a discovery of concept for business purposes for social media marketing. While building it we figured out it was actually a very good idea. We got great feedback for it, we decided to ditch every other idea that we have and launch Swayy.

This was to analyze your social profile, looking at interaction and engagement that your followers are doing on your post and provide more relevant content for you to engage with them accordingly. We launched it in September 2013.

Give us an example of how to use the app that you have created?

It crawls through all your posts and engagement on a semantic level. For example, if you are fashion business and you share lots of content on social media, we are able to share specific articles about shoes or Paris or Jewelry, more relevant to your specific audience and generate more engagement.

What were some of the mistakes that you made in the startup phase?

I’ll give you three:

1. We didn’t share our idea with anyone – maybe we were afraid anyone would steal our idea. We did this for a year. You should never be afraid of sharing your idea. An idea in and of itself means nothing. It’s about the execution, it’s about the people behind the idea. Even if someone thinks your idea is great and are going to do it themselves, if you believe in yourself you will do it better.

2. We were looking to raise money from VCs and Angels but we decided to spend on our own and quit our jobs. Although it seems like a great thing to do because it means that you believe in your start up, that’s wrong because you shouldn’t spend money on your start up because it really gives you no other option to live. It makes you more stressful and dependent. It makes your lifespan shorter. You cannot always spend time on your startup because you’re always worried about money. From a financial perspective, when you’re spending money from your own pocket, there is no end to it. There is no budget.

3. We wanted to build the best and most comprehensive product that the world has ever seen which is completely against any idea of lean start up. When we started, it wasn’t there yet where everyone knows about Minimum Viable Product (MVP). We just thought that if a product is not good enough, no-one would use it so we would rather build the best product we can, which is against any common sense. When you try out something simple, the basic, the core of your product, you collect feedback from your users, you see if you can even get users. Why would you spend so much time building the best future if no one would use it? We built a super complicated and probably useless product which took us more time and more money.

Similar Web acquired Swayy, tell us about that?

After starting Swayy in 2013, we got some great reaction from the media, from users and investors. Initially it was amazing for us. After many years of our work without any results, we were able to get some interest. Obviously, they were challenges and we didn’t grow to be the biggest company in the world but made small steps of improvements every couple of months, which is important.

We played in a content discovery world and within the social media analytics world. This raised interest from several companies. We had the honour to talk with huge companies around the world about collaboration or maybe finding other ways to work together. Around a year or so, we had the opportunity to learn from another company and to grow personally. It wasn’t easy to decide to stop what you’re building every day and join a different company with a different cause from what you were doing specifically.

We found an amazing partner with Similar Web. The opportunity was amazing for us. We were looking at several directions, but sometimes come an opportunity when you feel it’s a perfect fit and we really did find an amazing home to help us improve in every aspect. It has already been two years since and it has been super successful for us how we have merged into the organization the way we did.

Similar Web does market intelligence so we measure everything that is happening in the digital world – whatever visitor goes to any traffic and where the traffic is coming from and how people are reacting on a certain website and provide you with all the knowledge you need to improve your marketing strategy or generally how to increase your market share. This huge vision that the company has was appealing to us in the beginning and it is appealing to us today. We really found an interesting home to be at.

 Paying it forward, mentoring at Google Campus – what is the role of campus and your involvement?

There are several campuses around the world that hosts different initiatives, different events – mostly free for the startup community as Google is super supportive (of startups). One of these initiatives is the Google Launch Pad programme where they bring in for an intensive week of training and mentorship, startups from different programmes in Tel Aviv and every day is about specific topics such as pitching, fund-raising, etc., like a speed-dating scenario.

I specifically participate in the marketing day and my co-founder from Swayy is participating in the product day. You meet amazing startups at different stages. There is nothing better than starting your company and living your dream. I’m lucky enough to participate in several start up programmes and other accelerators.

When I just joined the start-up accelerator in Tel Aviv, we had no idea what to do but we had mentors. Some of them that we met there are good friends to this day. It is impossible to succeed without learning from other people who had made those mistakes before to help you prevent those mistakes. I’m trying to pay to forward. When you are growing in the startup community, you’re interested, it’s fun, it’s exciting and you always meet startups. I had the opportunity to mentor startups for longer period along their journey like 3 or 4 months.

What is the startup landscape in Tel Aviv?

The majority of startups I meet won’t even reach any initial stage of investment where they can get to next step of building and marketing their product. The ones that pass this stage keep their startup for 2 or 3 years maximum before they fail – it sounds harsh but this is start up life, you go for a journey, only few succeed.

Luckily, we were acquired by Similar Web. We wanted to build a big company on our own which we couldn’t do. Every startup has their own journey. The numbers are not in your favour. Most entrepreneurs I know that are successful today have failed before. I’m not familiar with anyone that did it on their first try. Maybe there is but I haven’t met anyone.   Failing in a start in a startup is part of the process.

What is the number one reason for failure?

Losing focus. We lost focus several times because there are different things that you hear when you meet people. That is why you need to be able to able to make the distinction between feedback and noise.  Never lose focus.

Main Take-Aways:

  1. Never be afraid of sharing your idea, it’s the execution that makes the difference.

  2. We need others in order to succeed at starting a business.

  3. As a startup, you must be able to make the distinction between feedback and noise.

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What lesson have you learnt in your life that you believe could change someone else’s life? Do leave a comment below.

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019 – Tips on Reaching Your Highest Potential, Becoming a Conscious Millionaire and Growing Your Business, with JV Crum III

JV Crum III is by Inc Magazine as one of the Top Business Podcasts to listen to in 2017, is Host of Conscious Millionaire, a Podcast and Nationally-Syndicated Radio Show heard by over 10 Million listeners in 186 countries. He is a speaker, coach, best-selling author, Huffington Post Columnist and Founder of ConsciousMillionaire.com and the First Million Academy. His global company provides coaching and masterminds for both small and mid-sized businesses that want to make a big impact and big profits. He is also featured in the upcoming movie, RiseUP, and holds graduate degrees in three areas: business, law and psychology.

#PeakPerformers, JV Crum III shares his awesome journey on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

If you had to eat a worm, how would you cook it?

I would saute it in butter with some garlic and rosemary.

What inspired you to write “Conscious Millionaire”?

I was looking for about 3 years going camping, etc. and asking “why am I on the planet and how can I take the talents that I have and turn to skills and put them to use and to make this a better world to help other people? I was skiing for the winter. I picked up a brochure (from the cabin), looked down and saw the word ‘conscious’ and in my forehead I saw ‘conscious millionaire’. I got a little tingling in my spine and I said ‘that’s it! That’s what I’ve been looking for. So the inspiration for the book – having an aspiration to teach people a path to make their first million that was spiritual, and socially conscious that would fulfill them.

I got there at 25 with the Mercedes and the four-story home and it was great but then I felt empty as I had not gotten the fulfillment and meaning part of it all. So I put all these together so that when you build your first million you get there and you’re fulfilled and feel like you’re doing something that matters.

What does it mean to be conscious? – outside of being alive

There are 3 different ways we can look at conscious.

  1. Awareness, which includes, “what’s the best client for me to work with? What’s their top problems? What’s the solution that I can best provide them? How does this mechanics actually work? How do I market?
  2. Visionary, think of Steve Jobs where he connected to a bigger vision of what we all do in terms of how we communicate with one another, and there comes the iPhones. That’s the visionary leader of connecting to a better idea about the world might be.
  3. Being socially conscious – caring about your stakeholders, everybody that works with you, that you’re being fair in your dealings with other people. How do I uplift my client? Create a better world – create a change in my clients.

Why are you so passionate to help 6-Figure service-businesses and coaches reach their First Million?

I think it’s because I grew up in a family where there are about 200 people in a little town. Nobody had any money. My parents were very strict and conservative and they didn’t want to be embarrassed in the grocery store so I was taught not to ask for the candy bar. We actually didn’t have that kind of money. At 5 I said, I don’t think this is how I want to live and I said, ‘what’s the answer?’ Why don’t mommy and daddy don’t have any money and I said oh, I’ll grow up and be a millionaire.

At 25 I got there. I can tell you that making that first million is game changer, I can have a beautiful home, I can drive a Mercedes, I can go to Europe on vacation. I didn’t have to worry about the things my parent had to worry about and I can focus on living my life the way that I wanted; making a bigger contribution. That first million is a game changer for people; they can send their kids to college; they don’t have to worry about anything. All those things come together for them. I know how important those things are in a person’s journey and I want to help them get there.

Why do some entrepreneurs reach their First Million and continue to thrive while so many fail?

That’s a great question, that’s why I wrote a whole chapter in my book on financial freedom. The skills that it take to get to that first million are actually quite different than the skills it take to sustain it and continue growing. Often times people don’t develop those skills so they get to that place but they don’t have good spending/saving/investment habits. They’re not focused on the things that will allow them to then take it and turn it into a lifetime prosperity. That’s a different type of skill.

How can a 7-Figure business quickly double revenues and profits?

It’s all about scaling. I have a 5-step process and the 5th step is really how you’re going to double/triple/10 times your business and it all comes down to having the right systems in place and knowing where your high profit/revenue is coming from so you can focus on that and scale it quickly. Once you have your systems working, if you know how to bring a prospect in and you have a system to take them through the steps to make that first sale and you have that automated, now it’s just a matter of more of the right traffic coming through and you can double your business quickly.

What is a Big Impact Vision?

One that comes from within you. There are 3 elements. The big picture is the core of the business and it’s where a lot of entrepreneurs fail to get that aspiration so that they really move forward and do something big. At the early stages a lot of businesses focus on how do I put money in the bank. This is critical but if that’s your whole focus for building a business, it’s very difficult to build a great business that way because that’s not the core of a great business.

Every great business starts off with a core vision of something bigger that has nothing in and of itself to do with putting money in the bank. It’s about creating a particular experience and transformation for the client. When you start talking about your big impact vision you may also be impacting the world, you may be solving a worldwide problem such as providing drinking water. That’s a big impact vision.

You start off by asking what is something you are passionate about. There are 3 clues to this:

  1. You really become one with it. When you do that activity, you lose track of time, you think an half hour passed and it was 4 hours.
  2. You have a state change. I call that state immense joy, you may have a different name for it. You probably have people say after you’ve been doing this activity, ‘wow! you look different’ and you may look different – the blood flow throw your vein differently.
  3. You’ll probably do this activity and help people for free. That’s the thing, you’ve got to be doing something you love so much that you’ll do it for free.

The great thing is because you’re so talented at it, this is what you can charge the highest rates for because you get the highest transformation and create the highest value.

The second part is purpose – I spend a long time figuring it out because I didn’t have a process but once I discovered it, and started working with a lot of clients, it never take me more than 2 or 3 sessions to get them to a deep purpose. Your purpose is like a gold coin, once you’ve discovered it, you want to have it in your pocket every day. It has 2 sides, on the front it says purpose but that in and of itself doesn’t tell you how to discover it but on the back, is the secret – your purpose is always about making a difference for someone or something outside of yourself. It’s never about you, it’s about what you give. It’s about giving, serving – giving value to someone/something outside of you.

You’re listening to me today and I can guarantee you that you have 1 or 2 core strengths but it’s hard for you to know them because it’s like a fish swimming in an aquarium. They are so good at it but they don’t know it because they are just doing it naturally. So, you need to ask a client/business associate ask 5 people what they think you do best. Put them together and it tells you your core strength to identify impact and what to focus on.

When you discover your core strengths, it will inform how you grow your business.

You created the three-step “Formula for Creating Wealth”. What are the steps and how can our listeners use them in their business or finances?

There are 3 steps – conscious, focus, action. The big impact vision fits in that piece. People who reach hundreds of millions they spend a lot of time at the conscious level of figuring out where they want to go and what’s the best route for getting there. Why are they focused on this number one priority over the next 30 days and why is this the number 1 priority and those are the people who are most successful.

The entrepreneurs that skip that step to focus on action, they are the ones who are least successful because if you don’t know where you’re going and if you don’t have a plan for getting there then all the action in the world is meaningless. It’s like the scare crow in the wizard of Oz. If you don’t know where you’re going any road is just as good as any other road. If you have a laser focused vision then when all these things come along that are exciting but are distractive, you know that those aren’t your opportunities and you’re able to filter through opportunities very quickly and go ‘great opportunity but not right for me or not right for me right now’. That’s what happens when you’re laser focused, you consciously take time to know where you’re headed, why it’s important and what resources you need to get there and then look at different paths to get there before you take action. That’s the best time you could spend on businesses.

There are 7 habits in your book. If you could only choose one to develop, which would it be and why?

Number 4 – the habit that defines being a conscious millionaire and that’s doing the right thing. If you always do what you believe in your heart is the right thing for your customer, employees, independent contractors that takes care of having to have a lot of rules because you’re really focused doing what’s right for everyone.

Main Take-Aways:

  • Being conscious means to be aware, a visionary and socially aware.

  • A big impact vision starts off with a core of something big, having nothing to do with putting money in the bank.

  • Always choosing to do the right thing is a habit that defines being a conscious millionaire.

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018 – How to Get and Stay Motivated, be Intentional, Train Your Mind for Success and WIN, with Nicole McLaren-Campbell

Nicole McLaren-Campbell is an Educator, Motivational Speaker, Author and Entrepreneur. She operates AIM Educational Services, providing college and graduate school placement services, SAT / ACT / SSAT and GRE prep, and tutoring in high school English, Math and Science.

#PeakPerformers, Nicole shares her inspirational journey on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

Fun question…would you rather be able to see the future or change the past?

I guess maybe more I’d want to change the past because I have that compulsion but on the other hand I feel like even my failures and missteps have been very useful. I guess I would change the past because some things were just dumb. I would go back and fix the dumb stuff although you can find a lesson in everything. I wouldn’t go back to make it perfect though because there are some things that the struggles were worth in the end.

Give us a little into your background and how you developed this fire in your belly?

Some of it feels like my purpose in life, because of that I think it’s a gift to me from God and I appreciate that energy. I’ve been very blessed to be influenced and motivated by very key people at very key stages of my life. That has given me fire and energy and I’m a student of success. I’m ready about how successful people keep their energy up because energy is such an important part of winning.

Exercise, eating properly, getting up early, praying, reading books help me. I try as much as possible to stay away from things, people and activities that suck my energy.

I spend most of my time in pursuit of what I feel I was called to do, I get energy from that because I enjoy my job and the impact that I’m able to have. I enjoy most things about my life and that gives me energy to power through the things I don’t necessarily enjoy but they are part and parcel of what I’m trying to accomplish.

How important is it for us to wake up and intentional?

What could be more important? There is so much going on in the world. There is a lot of distraction, noise and so many things we could be doing. It is very easy to get busy being busy. If you’re not moving from a place of clarity about what the vision for yourself – aligning your values with that vision and making sure your goals are in alignment with your values and vision – then you can find yourself doing all sorts of things. You don’t know what to say no to, you don’t know what to say yes to, you just sort of going through the motions and you’re wondering why you feel dissatisfied and you’re not feeling a 100% of you.

You know that there is something in you but it’s not coming out because you’re not being intentional.  It is very important to move from that space of intention because that’s how, over time, we move forward with what we want to be doing as opposed to some other agenda that someone has put forward or equally as bad just “tek weh yuh get out of life” where everyday just come at you and you in reaction mode constantly.

With the best of intentions, sometimes we get distracted how do we maintain that positive mindset?

We have to build our vibes sometimes. We can’t just go with the way we feel. We have to realize that we can deliberately turn that around. Repeating affirmations and practicing gratitude is important. In my book, “Make it Count”, I talk about getting and staying motivated and that you have to take a very deliberate approach.

Every day I wake up, I pray first and imagine my day as to how it is going to go, thanking the Lord for things that haven’t even happened yet and to put yourself in that positive mindset.

The brain naturally tends to go the negative stuff because back in the day you had you focus on surviving. Our brain is still in survival mode and programmed to go to the negative. You have to take back control, don’t let your brain lead you. You have to lead from your gut and heart and tell your brain what the agenda is.

We have to understand that we are not powerless in this thing of mood or staying up on energy, it is something we can be deliberate about and affect our disposition. Some of it is genetic but a lot of it is within our control and we have to seek to control what we can. We shouldn’t worry about what isn’t within our control. If you are sucking my energy, you are getting a swerve. I don’t play game with that.

Your entrepreneurial journey?

I did my under-graduate studies at Princeton University and decided that I would volunteer as part of the Admissions School Chair (ASC). I was interviewing a young lady for Princeton who was and is powerful (she is doing great things in the world now). At the time she was a student really dreaming of going to Princeton, really doing outstanding work in terms of her studies and SATs and very powerful. I thought she was a great candidate but by the time the interview was finished I realized that she hadn’t quite competed in the way that I know she needed to in order to maximize her scholarship as it was competitive. She didn’t get in and when she didn’t, I went home to tell my boyfriend at the time (now husband, Jeffrey Campbell aka Agent Sasco) that I wish I could help people get into college. I didn’t know if it’s a job or anything. He said I should totally do it. I was worried about car payments, etc., and he encouraged me not to worry about it because he knew I was going to be successful.

I didn’t quit my job immediately, I got trained even while being at the Ministry of Education which was a great experience. I worked with Andrew Holness as his Senior Policy Analyst. He is now the Prime Minister of Jamaica. It was a priceless experience because he is one of the hardest workers I know with an energy level that is unreal. He taught me a lot and pushed me hard in that job. I got trained, and started going to local events around the industry.

I met another consultant who focused on boarding school placement, I wanted to do college placement and we just struck up a friendship and an alliance that exists to this day. I’ve been blessed to meet some key people at some key points in my life.

That’s how AIM started, a dream, a faith, a step, a very supportive boyfriend (now husband), family that supported me and believed in me. Yes, they are naysayers and that’s part of the story. They were people telling me about the industry, you’re a young girl, what are you going to come and do.  Here we are 7 years later and we are on fire.

It feels really good to help others to achieve their dream in the same way that others have helped me to achieve my dreams.

My business from a business point of view helps people which is exciting but from a non-business point of view there is also the responsibility to help people who cannot help themselves.

What are some of your successes?

Every year, I set my intention to exceed what I did the previous year. It is going to be my best year yet. Last year for example, we had a return on investment of 4700% and this is when we look at the average scholarship for 1 university. This year it is 5067%, that’s really exciting. Our average scholarship per year per college is US$38,000. Last year it was US$30,000.

I am a results person. I want to talk about value. I’m reading a lot of Warren Buffet and he says you don’t look at cost, you look at value. I’m very serious about where I invest my time and money. I love to return that investment to our students and their parents because this is a serious thing. Not only are the numbers telling us, but the types of universities that our students are getting into versus what the regular admissions rates look like for those schools. We are doing more online work more now than ever, we are seeing students from all over the Caribbean, all over the USA and in Canada in the same way we are working with students like we do right here in Kingston.

What inspired you to write, Make it Count: Tips on Unlocking You Vision in 2017 and Beyond?”

It was a Security Guard at Television Jamaica in Kingston. I was on the programme, “Smile Jamaica, it’s Morning Time”, talking about making the second half of 2016 count. When I was leaving the security guard said she really enjoyed my presentation and that she was really inspired. She wished I had a book so she could read to be inspired when she wanted to. It did occur to me to write a book but shoved it aside.

I was struggling to complete it although it is very short and digestible. I gave myself some external accountability by putting it on Instagram for pre-order the (it wasn’t finished). People started pre-ordering and I was forced to complete. I googled an App to self-publish. A publisher has contacted me and I have signed a publishing deal. I’ve already launched it in Paris and I’m going to launch it in New York and I’m doing an island wide tour. All of this is completely blowing my mind but you move in the direction of your calling and purpose, you don’t need to see the whole staircase as Martin Luther King said – you just need to see the first step and you will be frightened at how everything starts to come together.

The book is 37 pages dealing with anecdotes, stories from my life about different things that have been in my way. Getting really honest, different failures I’ve had and how I’ve overcome and learn powerful lessons from failures. It is overcoming fear, staying motivated and tuning in to your purpose and setting that vision for yourself which I find to be priceless. It is attacking that horrible thing called procrastination that sabotages so many of us.

 Main Take-Aways:

  • Focus your energy on your calling.

  • You must be intentional in order to move forward.

  • We are not powerless, we have the ability to affect our mood.

RESOURCE TO PEAK YOUR PERFORMANCE

Grab this Chapter of Make it Count

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What would you consider the biggest failure in your life? Do leave a comment below.

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