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

 Connect with Benjamin Tyler

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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.

Connect with Lior Degani

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Facebook

Question of the Day:

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.

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017 – How to Break Free From Your Safety Net to Live the Life You Want, with Rob Dial

Rob Dial is a podcaster, performance coach and speaker for 10+ years now. Throughout the course of that time he has coached thousands of people – from college students to NFL superstars. He is the magic behind MWF Motivation.

#PeakPerformers, Rob shares his inspiring journey on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?

To change the fact that innocent being killed by older men who can’t get their politics together; secondly to not have to sleep and thirdly, I wish extreme self-awareness for everybody in the world.

Take us through the journey of growing a multi-billion-dollar business

It was Cutco Knives. We sold the best knives in the world in people’s houses. I was a 19 years old college kid. I went in for an interview and saw there 20-21 year olds who were making a $1,000 per week by selling knives in people’s houses. I didn’t know anything about knives, I didn’t know anything about cooking (I’m still a terrible cook at 31) but I was like if these people could do it, I could do it as well. I went in for the job really to make money. That originally attracted me. Starting at that company set me a completely different path in my life. It made me focus on personal growth and made me be the best i could be. By the time I was 21, I was promoted to run an office for them; grew it to one of the biggest offices in the United States, broke a bunch of records, trained a few thousand people. The rest as they say is history.

 Was Sales something you thought you’d be good at or you said let me try this because I need the money?

A little bit of both. I always wanted to be in sales because when I was younger, my father was in sales and I remember being in high school and wanted to be ca car salesman because I knew that sale people make a lot of money. I knew that I loved cars but no car place wants to hire a 16-year old kid to sell cars for them.

It forced me to get out of my shell. By the time, I was 20 years old, I was interviewing people who were 40, 50, 60 years old sometimes and then running 3 day-17 hour trainings for them. It forced me to get better at my communication skills and getting in front of people and speaking. I always wanted to be in sales but didn’t think I would be a great sales person because I was really shy and not very confident.

What infrastructure that were in place to make you become so good at it?

Cutco had a really good training program. If you’ve met anyone who has ever been at Cutco for a while you’ll recognize that they are usually super sharp, on point person and the reason is they recruit a lot of people and they quit because it is really a hard job. To stick there for a while says a lot.

The best part was the culture. For people who worked there for a while, it turned into a bubble of positivity and personal growth and everyone talking about the books. You have 19, 20, 21-year old kids talking about the books they’ve read, the conferences they’ve been to; the money that they’re investing into themselves. When I was 19, a few months after I started with them I paid $500.00 per month to have a one on one coach to make me better. They talked about how they taught skills for life.

When did you recognize the importance of feeding your mind?

I ran an office for them in Florida when I was 21 years old. I started to notice that there are two different paths that I could take. When I first started at 19, I partied a lot. I started to notice that I could continue down that path and it wouldn’t take me where I wanted to go in life. I could look at the people whose books I was reading, whose conferences I was going to and realize that if I start putting the right things in place right now, it could set me up to be extremely successful in life and that is the theory.

It was hard to say no when my friends would call me up to say let’s go hang out. It was hard not to say yes. But I knew what I was working for, I had a vision of where I wanted my life to be. Ten years down the road, I’m glad I made those decisions because it set me up to be way further ahead than most people that are my age now.

I had the foresight that it would change my life.

Where are those college friends now?

They are still some of my best friends. Some are doing pretty decent for themselves. Looking at some of friends from high school, they are not really successful; they have normal day jobs and those types of things.

An example of someone I became best friends with who I met through the company when I was 19 or 20 years old, is killing it as a Realtor. Most Realtors may make $40,000 in their first year, he just switched over 3 months ago and this month alone made $45,000 and already has the team of people under him 3 months into. It shows you the type of mind-set that you develop from working in this company. I always like to think about it like this, you can go to the gym and you can work out your body, and grow your muscles by putting them under stress and making them better by training them. That’s exactly how the brain works, if you can put yourself through stress and learning discipline, and the right habits then it is just easy for you later on in life for things to be thrown at you and you can go past them and throw them off. You don’t have as many limiting beliefs or fear holding you back because you’ve already gone them 10 years ago.

 When did you decide you want to be a coach?

I started doing coaching a long time ago when I was younger.  What happened was I was with the company, I doing well working 100-110 hours a week because I was obsessed with becoming the number manager and I burnt myself out. I left the company and got a really good offer to work for another company. I thought maybe I go work for them and do some sales and training for them. I had a different experience where instead of going and becoming an employee and deciding that I wanted to become an entrepreneur; I was an entrepreneur who then become an employee and then deciding that I wanted to become an entrepreneur again. I went into the corporate world for 5 years and realized that it’s good for some people but for me, it’s just not what I wanted. I don’t deal well with being an employee. I like to think of ideas and execute on them and make money off them.

I went into the corporate world and did sales and training for them and was very successful doing it and made a great deal of money. In December 2014, I was making more money than I ever had in my entire life, I was great but I was completely unfulfilled with what I was doing. I decided to leave the company. In January 2015, I wrote in my journal that I want to create a job where I can help as many people as possible get what they want, bring out their true potential and be able to do all of this from my computer and be fulfilled. Ten years ago, I wanted to do something that even if I weren’t able to make as much money as I was when I was in the other company, I would be still be driven to wake up every morning and do it and be able to give something to people. I was trying to think how can I do it? What format that I can use? It took me about 4 month of planning. I thought I am going to get my message out via Podcasts. I feel like a decade of personal growth, conferences, book read, and everything that I’ve done, that I have a lot to offer people. Within the first year it got over 1 million downloads and well on way to 2 million downloads within 18 months and been able to build up a following between Instagram and Facebook of over 100,000 and growing.

The best part is when I quit my job, I was making the most money I’ve ever made at that time; now I’m 100 times more fulfilled than I ever have been and making more money than I could ever dream of when I was working for someone else. It shows you that when you decide to cut free from the salary and the safety net and really go for what you want to do and what you’re passionate about, the money will follow. I’m living proof of that.

 What is the name of your podcast?

MWF Motivation – Monday, Wednesday, Friday Motivation, which are the days that it comes out. They are short to the point, no BS podcast. It is about 5-15 minutes.

Take us through severing ties with our safety net?

I used to hate that I had paid vacation because I wanted to be on vacation all the time. I didn’t want to have 10-15 days of paid vacation that I could take per year. When someone says paid vacation, I’m like, screw paid vacation. My life is going to be a vacation and I’m going to get paid while doing it. That was one of the things that made me want to leave, the second thing was, working a 9-5, Monday to Friday was just arbitrary stuff made up by someone who was no smarter than you and I.

I’m very much the person that questions everything that is done by society and the rules we follow – the way we are to act and the way we were told to be. I don’t think I was put on this planet to work somebody else and spend most of my waking hours doing something that I don’t want to do for somebody else who doesn’t really care about me. I could be replaced. Maybe I’ll make less money but I would be happy.

We’re stuck in the 9-5 of what we feel we’re supposed to do and that safety net. The money in my bank account never fulfilled me and it was the idea that if want to go and work form the park on Tuesday at noon, I can go work form the park on Tuesday at noon. I can set up a mobile hot spot from my phone on my computer and I do it all the time. That’s what I wanted to build.

What’s more important to you?  

Making a bunch of money and bunch of digits in my bank account or being really happy every single day that I’m alive and feeling like I’m helping a bunch of people while doing it and that’s what made me break free.

In reality, we think we want money to buy new things and all of that but really what we want money for is to be free. When you own your own business, and got it to a point where it is at least profitable, and you’re able to pay the bills, feed your children and all of those things, you’re free. If you want to take a day off, you can take the day off.

 Final piece of advice?

You’re going to die. I watched my father die at 15 years old. From that moment I realize, this is a legitimate thing, he’s not coming back. I’m going to be in the same position one day. It’s very real. I think about it all the time. I’m going to put everything that I can into making sure that I can be the happiest that I can be every single day. If somebody has the gut feeling inside of them of, “I need to do my own thing”, or I need to figure out a way to make money on the side to have more freedom with my kids or I want to travel, they need to figure a way to execute on it. You only get one life. If you feel like you shouldn’t be working for somebody else, don’t waste your life working for somebody else.

 Main Take-Aways:

  • Invest in yourself, it will come in handy years from now.
  • If you feel being an entrepreneur is for you, don’t waste your time working for others.
  • It’s not money we desire but the freedom to do what we want when we want.

 

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016 – A Conversation on Living ‘Between Dreams’ to ‘Just Go’, with Chris Ruggiero

Chris Ruggiero does fun for a living; he is a live theater performer, podcast host and author who has been featured on Entrepreneur on Fire and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Whether he’s juggling random objects on a unicycle or executing seemingly impossible tricks and stunts, nothing is off limits in his show! Thousands of audience members have been left in a state of laughter and amazement.

#PeakPerformers, Chris shares how he is living between dreams on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

What was one new experience you tried that, at the time, was completely unknown or uncomfortable to you?

To answer this question and give a background into what I do ties into the same thing. I do a live theatre show that is a one-man show, juggling, circus, variety and all kinds of crazy stuff. Just getting started with that was scary and I didn’t how to do it. I started by doing small things. I started before I knew how to do it.

Take us back to when you got started, what did figuring it out meant to you at that time?

My book fits into all of this as it is entitled, “Just Go”. For my show, it was like first starting and create your own thing and try to get people to hire me and do a performance. Just being patient and willing to take one step at a time is really valuable. I would do shows for free because I wanted to learn how to do it. I wasn’t impatient to get to it. I knew that it would be great to make a large amount of money doing shows but I wasn’t ready for it yet. I was willing to start with the small shows including birthday parties, free shows, community events, retirement homes, all these shows that didn’t look too glamourous looking back at them but they allowed me to develop those skills to be able to do the bigger shows. Now I perform in casinos and do the shows that are more ‘brag worthy’.

Share the importance of staying in your lane and developing our craft doing the things that we love…

With my show, I said, I’m here and I need to start here. You need to focus on your own thing. For example, I self-publish my book because I didn’t want to sit around for two years to hear every book publisher tell me ‘no’. I didn’t know how to write and publish a book but I knew how to start writing. I had YouTube and internet and I research and figure out how to do it.

What has been a most terrible time for you as you enter the field of entrepreneurship?

Getting inside my own head and saying am I good enough to do this? Am I qualified enough to do this? Who’s going to care about this stuff that I’m creating? For me it comes from within myself. You start to find things outside yourself to reinforce that. On the other side of that it’s what you’re focusing on is what your brain will seek out and find.

What is the message you’re sharing with your clothing brand?

I’m trying to build an umbrella for all the work that I do to fall under. Between dreams is this idea of my friend Kip and I. People dream all the time, dreaming about things, talking about things. But there are certain people who do things between dreams…live, that’s where life is. That’s where the idea of Between Dreams came. It’s an idea for people to grab a shirt and feel like they are part of a community. Things you wear tell the story of what you want to convey. It can make you feel like a different person. It can change your physical surrounding as you are behaving differently. It can change your life and change the world.

The achievement you’re most proud of?

Some people saw the Ellen Degeneres show as this major thing. It was awesome but it didn’t change my life. I’m proud of it and the work that I did to convince them to be on their show. The overall most proud moment is just going out and keep going. Life is more about the themes that you do in life rather than the smaller picture. I have a following that read my book, listen to podcast and come see my show and I’m most proud that I’ve created something around me.

Was there any moment of fear that gripped you before you decided to do this anyway?

There are days that feel off. When I was first started, I said that if I don’t do it you’re not going to do it. You’re not going to do it tomorrow. You can’t keep saying I’m going to do this today because then you’re not really talking, you’re doing.

What advice would you give to our #PeakPerfomers community to just get started?

Like my book says, “Just Go”. Just get started. Don’t keep trying how to learn how to do stuff, just do stuff and you’ll learn how to do stuff.

 

Main Take-Aways:

  • Just being patient and willing to take one step at a time is really valuable.
  • Just do.
  • Don’t forget to live when you’re between dreams

 

Connect with Chris Ruggiero

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Question of the Day:

What’s holding you back from making a life-changing decision? Do leave a comment below.

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015 – A Look into Creating Copy that Converts to Grow Your business & Connect with Your Clients, with Lisa Rothstein

Lisa Rothstein has extensively worked as a copywriter and in advertising on two continents. This has been invaluable in pitching her scripts to Hollywood and as a freelance copywriter & marketing consultant in the US and other parts of the world. She helps clients hone their strategy and their brand messages. She is currently co-authoring a book called DaVinchi Dilemma, addressing the challenge of distraction caused by having too many talents and ideas.

#PeakPerformers, Lisa shares her story-telling technique on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

If you are at a friend or relative’s house for dinner and you find a dead insect in your salad, what would you do?

I think that I would make it go away or disappear into my napkin and pretend nothing had happened. Depending on the relative or friend I might pick the insect out of my salad and pretend to make it talk and say, “I’m really glad you’ve invited me to dinner, I hope I didn’t eat too much.” I like to be creative with what I find.

What is Copy Writing?

First of all, it has nothing to do with Copyright which you hear about in the legal profession. Copy Writing has to do with writing the kind of text and content that sells your products and services. It is a little different from content writing as all copy is content but not all content is copy. For example, a blog is content but not copy; a podcast is content but not copy. Parts of the content where we may offer or sell something is considered copy. Copy is the parts of the texts and content that you use to make an offer or that you use to invite people to sign up for something leading to a sale.

There are different types of copy writing. Most copy writing has to do with direct marketing. The kind of thing where you would put on a website, in an email, or on a landing page. This is a different to what you’d see on TV. Some persons make the mistake of thinking that you have to be witty and grab attention the same way a TV commercial does.

How important it is to nail that copy to ensure our message is received in the way it was intended?

It is essential and super important. At a networking event, you have a chance to explain yourself but your copy is sitting on the internet or in a letter that you sent. You’re not there to help them along to figure things out. They have to get it, to understand what you’re selling or what you’re trying to sell them, what you’re trying to do, why it is important without any help from you. That may make you feel there is a lot of pressure on you to get it right.

You don’t have to be a genius. Writing in a more authentic way like you would talk is way more effective in business than to come up with just do it or some form of clever tag line.

The more problems you’re solving for your customers, talk about those things that you already know how to do. But a lot of people don’t want to believe it’s that simple.  Just record yourself talk your copy. Approach it as though you’re talking to a real person because you’re talking to a real person. Write as though you’re talking to one person. You should hire a Copy Writer only when you know your business and you know who your ideal client is.

The importance of story-telling in copy writing?

It’s always been a terrific tool to used. There are a few different types of stories that you can tell. It is great because people have always loved stories. They go wild for stories as they help to create connection. When you tell stories about yourself in your copy, it connects you with your client and it gives you credibility. You can also tell stories about your clients and how they’ve transformed and have success stories. If you don’t have any of that you can use parables and fables to make a point similar to in the bible. The idea is that a story has a beginning, middle and end. It’s good to look into your business for stories that demonstrate a point that you’re trying to make across Facebook, videos, etc.

What is the one thing that bugs you when you look at copies?

The thing that bugs me the most is that they talk too much about themselves and too soon before demonstrating what my issues are and what I want. Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Get their attention first.

Take us through writing a copy for someone who is selling clothes.

It depends on how much they’re already engaging with people. Importantly, if you’re just sending it out only when you have something to sell you’re not going to have a good result. You could start by sending out something that your client is already talking about such as fashion trends and showing them what different celebrities are wearing. In the next email, you say if you like what you saw in the previous email then we have these. Or show them how to wear a particular pair of shorts, what to wear it with, etc. It is easy to write copy when you know what these people are about. The tone of how you come across is important.

Think about who you are showing up as and speak in that voice.

Main Take-Aways: 

  • You should hire a Copy Writer only when you know your business and you know who your ideal client is.
  • When you tell stories about yourself in your copy, it connects you with your client and it gives you credibility.
  • Always approach your copy as if you’re talking to a real person because you are.

 

Resources to #PeakYourPerformance:

Brainstorming Tool

Connect with Lisa Rothstein

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Question of the Day:

How are you using your story to impact your business and those around you? Do leave a comment below.

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014 – The Power of Using Your Story to Provide Inspiration and Have Great Success, with Greg Walker

Greg Walker is the only one of fifteen children to ever Graduate High School.  An expert on Leadership & Success, he became a Millionaire at a young age, owning three Franchises. Known as “The Big Dreamer,” he will inspire you to achieve all your Dreams or Visions.

#PeakPerformers, Greg shares his inspirational story on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

Where is your favourite fun spot to go?

I love the movies

What was your experience as a child growing up?

My experience was not a great one, growing up with 15 children born to alcoholic and drug addicted parents. My mother actually stabbed me. I grew up with dysfunction. I have 14 siblings and I was the only one who graduated high school. I graduated 454 out of 455. The only reason I graduated was that my teacher changed my grades a month before graduation. She saw something in me that I did not see in myself.

How did your environment affect you mentally?

People hear me speak all over the world now and can’t believe that I was very shy. I didn’t speak till I was eleven years old because of what I saw in my life. Five years ago, I decided I was going to speak. I joined Toastmasters through my friend and mentor Les Brown. In six months, I spoke at the World Championship Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now people are paying me up to $20,000 to peak. I speak with Les Brown.

I opened up hundreds of restaurants, I never had meeting with my employees because I was afraid to speak; I had to delegate. Now I speak to everyone.

What is the power of a story?

I did not know I why I was winning all these trophies in Toastmasters. I asked someone who believed in me why do people like me speaking and he said, “Greg, if you would just stand there, you would see that the other Toastmasters, they give speeches, you give a story and a message.” I had no idea what he meant. Les Brown taught me that speeches tell, stories sell.

How do you craft your story to impact the world?

The average speaker has between 2 and 5 speeches. You just craft it to where you want to go. My main story is “I am Possible”, the second one is called “No Excuses”, and the third one is called “I am not born to be average”. I craft it to whoever wants me to speak. It is an art form and once you learn how to do it, there are a lot of people who will pay you good money.

Les always taught me, there is enough to go around for a million people but you’ve got to have the story. Les always say, don’t let your speaking get in your way of the audience of what they need to hear. I don’t speak to impress, I speak to inspire.

How can we use stories to help sell products or services?

You’ve got to touch the heart. So many people sell their products instead of selling themselves. People buy into you, not your products. When you go buy a luxury car, they don’t tell you about the specifications, they tell you about the experience. When you tell your story, you have to get people to buy into you, not the product. I tell people that if you are good enough, the world will see you. If you are persistent, that will trump anything.

Do you have to go through what you’ve been through to have a story?

Everybody has a story. You don’t have to have a bad story, you can use other people’s story. I use other people’s story all the time. The idea is to think, how can I add value to that person’s life? What do they need to hear me say?

What does success means to you?

Waking up; When I wake up, I have the opportunity that somebody doesn’t have because they may be dying of Cancer. The Power of NOW…No Opportunity Wasted.

What piece of advice can you give for persons working towards success?

My roadmap for success is CPP – the choices I made got me in a different direction that my siblings did; the people I hung out with gave me a different direction; my persistence got me into a direction. Persistence trumps any college degree. I don’t have a college degree. You have find something that makes you jump out of bed in the mornings.

You’ve got to learn to use your pain. My pain made me a speaker; made me into a number 1 best seller. We all too big to dream small. Tell yourself that you are great; that you’re a millionaire, you just haven’t cashed the check yet. If you don’t take care of your daily responsibilities, you don’t have to worry about 3 months from today.

You don’t get the life you deserve, you get the life you work for. You get who you are and what you do. FEAR…You can either forget everything and run or face everything and rise.

Main Take-Aways:

  • Persistence trumps college degrees.
  • You don’t have to have a bad story, you can use other people’s story.
  • People buy into you, not your products

Resources to #PeakYourPerformance:

Dream to grow rich possibility planner

Connect with Greg Walker

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Question of the Day:

Whose story has ad the most impact on your life? Do leave a comment below.

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013 – Using Gamification Tools & Techniques to Make Learning Fun & Competitive, with Gordon Swaby

Gordon Swaby is the CEO and Founder of EduFocal Limited, an E-Learning web application for students at the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) levels. Featured on the BBC, he was a Speaker at President Obama’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University in 2016. He is a tech trailblazer, revolutionizing the approach to education in Jamaica.

#PeakPerformers, Gordon shares about his gamification business on TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

What crazy activities do you dream of trying someday?

I want to do sky diving and snowboarding off a mountain.

When and why did you start EduFocal?

I started in late 2011. We officially launched March 15, 2012. We just celebrated our 5th birthday. We borrow methods from video gaming and implemented it into the learning process. We use the level up system and the leader board. We offer over 15,000 test prep questions for students. They pay a subscription fee and then they start answering questions. Once they answer the question correctly, they are earning experience points and they’re leveling up and winning prizes at the same time and being ranked on the leader board. That’s fun for students, especially the younger ones. They find it interactive and captivating.

At the conceptualization, how did you know that this model would be effective?

To be honest I didn’t. We did no surveys before. It didn’t cross my mind at the time to do any testing. I kind of went out on a limb, built this application and then looked for feedback afterwards. And that’s a terrible idea, don’t do that!

Take us through the failures…

When we started out we anticipated that we would have gotten a lot of traction from the teachers as it was supposed to be teacher and student-centric. Our original plan was that teachers would come on, they would add their questions and their content. Based on the engagement of the content, they would be compensated. If you’re a teacher on the platform and students are engaging your content in a big way, that would determine how much you’re being paid at the end of the month. We saw that a lot of teachers weren’t trained to use computers or they weren’t interested. They were indifferent to the entire thing so we had to shift that model a little bit and focus more on it being student-centric. This was a big shift or a pivot into focusing on something else. We should have at least went out and spoken to the teachers first to get feedback to determine if this is something they would have been interested in.

Another one is that I hired too early and hired the wrong people. I wasted a lot of money ‘un-learning’. I think I was caught up in the hype to say that I have a team. I’m happy that I learnt those lessons early.

What are some of the elements that you look for in a team?

We look for people who are committed to change; to work on something that is not easy but is rewarding and fulfilling work. I prefer to work with younger people that are not as hardened in their ways. I look for people who are go-getters who can take initiative. I look for entrepreneurial people.

How did you get buy-in from the students?

Before we got buy-in from the students we had to get buy-in elsewhere. We needed teachers, so we changed the way we were engaging them. I worked on getting credibility in the market place. People saw the media as validation for what you’re doing; people take the media seriously and that give you credibility. The awards did that as well to validate – my first big award was the PSOJ’s 50 Under 50 Award a couple months after I started EduFocal and that set things in motion for me. That has been my strategy from day 1. We’ve been featured on BBC, the UK Guardian, Virgin, Richard Branson has mentioned me in articles he’s written, we’ve been featured in the Trinidad Guardian, Trinidad Express and so on helping to push EduFocal credibility.

What has accounted for your level of success?

Being focused, and having a plan has helped. Surrounding myself with the right people. A lot of people discount the value of good advice. Good advice has helped me in a big way. If I didn’t listen to people I would have made some really big mistakes and that probably would have been the end of EduFocal. I started the company having a Board of Directors. Corporate Governance has been a big thing for me since day 1.

You need to put things in place that will ensure sustainability in the medium and long term. Getting the right kind of support is important.

What is preventing you from being burnt out, staying alert and focused?

I have a great family, I try to balance my life well; I take breaks; I try to go at least 1 new place every month and there are some days I just rest. What I’m doing requires a lot of mental and physical work. It is important to find that balance. Sometimes I change up my routine a bit like talking to students. I learn a lot from having conversations with people.

Expansion plan?

We intend to control the pipeline. We are expanding to Africa. I just came back from Nigeria; developed some strong relations and partners. Airtel is looking to partner with us and that can have far reaching impact. We are still developing new features for EduFfocal such as the ability to use our platform without internet connection and the ability to compete with each other on the platform live. It’s like 2 students taking a test at the same time.

One piece of advice for those wanting the enter the field of entrepreneurship?

Set goals for yourself; set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Time bound). Most of the things people speak about in regards to success is cliche but it is cliche for a reason because it’s the truth. It sounds so obvious and easy but it is not. To commit to being disciplined is hard, monotonous and boring. Dedicating yourself to something and a craft if extremely important – be focused and have good mentors.

Main Take-Aways:

  • Put things in place that will ensure sustainability in the medium and long term.
  • Don’t discount the value of good advice.
  • Dedicating yourself to something and a craft is extremely important – be focused and have good mentors

 

Resources to #PeakYourPerformance:

 Connect with Gordon Swaby

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Instagram

Facebook

Question of the Day:

What are some of the ways schools can make learning fun for students? Do leave a comment below.

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