Tag Archives: Business

Episode 113: The Three Ways You Can Make Money Online | Nick Loper

Nick Loper - 3 Ways to Make Money Online

Nick Loper

Nick is an author, entrepreneur, and a lifelong student in the game of business.  His latest role is as Chief Side Hustler at SideHustleNation.com, a growing community and resource for aspiring and part-time entrepreneurs.

Nick Loper joined the online world while he was working for Ford as a side hustle in the Summer of 2014 eight to nine years ago.  He started his work online by  selling shoes with a website he created as an affiliate.  The site was a data-driven site which never performed very well in the organic searches and all of his visitors were paid visitors.

Nick has initiated a multi-prongued income attack where he offers consulting, a mastermind group, affiliate marketing, Kindle publishing, book editing, and online instruction.

According to Nick, there are three ways you can make money online:

  • Advertising
  • Product
  • Service

Nick has written four books on Amazon:

  • Virtual Assistant Assistant: The Ultimate Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working with Virtual Assistants
  • Treadmill Desk Revolution: The Easy Way to Lose Up to 50 Pounds in a Year – Without Dieting
  • The Small Business Website Checklist: A 51-Point Guide to Build Your Online Presence the Smart Way
  • Work Smarter: 350+ Online Resources Today’s Top Entrepreneurs Use To Increase Productivity and Achieve Their Goals
3 Ways to Make Money Online

Nick Loper

Shout-Outs:

  • Pat Flynn
  • John Lee Dumas
  • Chris Brogan

Success Quotes:

  • Success is freedom of time. The freedom to spend your days how you want to spend them.
Nick Loper 3 Ways to Make Money Online

Nick Loper

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Episode 102: Passionate Blogging Leads to Success | Ricky Potts

Passionate blogging leads to success. Ricky Potts is an extremely busy guy who has a lot of passions.  He started his personal blog not too long ago and has been able to generate 40,000 – 60,000 unique views on his blog every month.  He’s also leveraged his blog writing to create multiple opportunities for himself and his career including becoming the Digital Communications Manager for Troon Golf, a contributor to DiscountTeeTimes.com, and Relentless Beats.  He’s passionate about craft beers, golf, electronic dance beats, and blogs about them all.  Learn how passionate blogging led to his success.

Ricky Potts is the Digital Communications Director at Troon Golf in Scottsdale, Arizona

Ricky Potts

Ricky Potts is the Digital Communications Manager for Troon, passionate blogger, total beer snob, music fanatic, weekend golfer, runner and an all around opinionated realist.

Troon Golf is the largest golf management company in the world and Ricky got
connected with Troon Golf through a company he previously worked at
called, Imavex.   Troon Golf reached out to him to ask him to become their Digital Communications Manager and he jumped on the opportunity.

Ricky writes for Discount Tee Times, a unique reservation system in its 20th year of business, catering to the needs of the golfing community. They offer discounts of 20-60% off the posted rate for play today, tomorrow and up to 60 days in advance at over 100 championship courses throughout Arizona and Nevada.

He also writes for Relentless Beats which is Arizona’s longest running and most influential global dance music force.

He also created 1,001 bottles of beer where he writes on numerous craft beers he’s tried.

And, he’s the owner of the Google+ golf community and host of the weekly Friday Foursome.

Zeb Welborn, Ricky Potts, John Hakim and The Social Golf Course

Shout Outs:

  • DJ Eric Prydz
  • Kris Strauss
  • DJ Tiesto
  • Paul Oakenfold

Success Quotes:

  • “If I got one person to read one blog post than that entire blog post was worth writing.”
  • “Success is what you make it.”
  • “Go figure out what it’s going to take to make you successful and do that.”
  • “I can’t imagine not being the happiest person on the planet.”
Ricky Potts discusses passionate blogging in Episode 102 of the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

Ricky Potts

 

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Episode 81: Twitter and Relationship Building | John Sparks, Owner of Online ImageWorks

John Sparks talks Twitter and building relationships online in this episode of the Defining Success Podcast.John Sparks owns his own social media company, an internet marketing business where he helps businesses expand their reach online: Online Image Works. One of the things he prides himself on is his experience on Twitter and how he’s been able to use Twitter to build a massive following and build some word-of-mouth marketing. In this interview he has some great tips and advice on using Twitter.

John Sparks is the Owner and CEO of Online ImageWorks. He has a passion for helping others learn about social media and technology and has become known as a nationally recognized social media coach.

Zeb’s Take – Twitter and Building Relationships Online

It was a blast talking with John. It’s always great to talk with someone in the same space as I am. We were talking about Twitter. I love the examples he gave and how he was able to help people out with Twitter. One of the things that he said that I thought was interesting was strategically stalking people with excellence in a good way. He mentioned it a couple of times. It’s something he uses to build a Twitter following and get people to engage and interact with him on Twitter and it could be used on other social media channels as well.

What he does is, if there is a person he wants to go after (he used the example of Oprah) he will do a little research and find out who is really connected to that person. Then he reaches out to those people, works to build a relationship, a genuine relationship, and potentially get that opportunity to meet the person you’re trying to go after.

I’ve never used Twitter in that sense, but it’s not a bad idea. On LinkedIn they do have that function sort of built in to their system. One of the cool things LinkedIn does is show your connections and how you are connected to them. For example, if I wanted to target golf course general managers, I could search for that and in the results it will show my connections. 1st Degree Connections are people that I’m already connected with. 2nd Degree Connections are people who are connected to someone that I know. If that is the case, I can ask for an introduction from the person I know who is connected with the person I’m trying to get a hold of.

LinkedIn is great for that, but I really like how John is using that same idea and strategy for Twitter. That has been working well for him. He’s been able to build up quite the following. He’s one of the top Tweeters in Dallas, which is very cool.

It was a great interview. I hope you learned a lot about using twitter and social media. Thanks to John for the great interview.

Go out there and find your success.

Find out more about John Sparks or Online ImageWorks

Visit OnlineImageWorks.com, which is his website hub.
John can also be found on all the social media platforms at /iamJohnSparks (ex. facebook.com/iamJohnSparks, twitter.com/iamJohSparks and at gplus.to/iamJohnSparks)Online ImageWorks

Quotes

  • “It’s building those relationships online and then taking them offline.”
  • “You can have anything that you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
  • “People reach out to people who reach out.”
  • “Make sure when you’re messaging people that your intentions are coming across as being good natured.”

sparks

More From the Interview

John has a media background working at television stations across the country. He was a newscast writer for broadcast journalism. Then ventured into the business world, then into education and finally was able to bring all that together when he started his business Online ImageWorks.

Social media, and the whole idea of people being able to access things when they want to and to interact was really exciting to John. The idea of using his background and skills to help people use these tools properly convinced him to start his own company.

Among other things John works on SEO, conducting social media campaigns, websites, design and coaching. It’s important to make sure people’s name looks good out there online. Coaching, how to use social media; sharing the idea that people reach out to people who reach out and that it’s a powerful tool if it’s used correctly.

Twitter
Twitter is John’s favorite social media platform. The area where we can have instant communication is interesting.

Businesses can use twitter to engage customers and as a listening tool.

John says businesses should use social media for several reasons. Social media increases your visibility. It shows people that you have something of value that you are offering in the market. It gives your business the chance to show what makes you different from everybody else. It can help you stand out in the crowd. And, it’s a great relationship builder; everyone wants to feel like they are welcome, special and appreciated. It’s building those relationships online and then taking them offline. It’s a great stepping stone for the offline conversations that happen later on for businesses to convert customers into possible clients down the line.

John sees so many companies that put up a twitter logo or pinterest logo and then you go there and there’s nothing there. There is nobody managing it. John’s advice for those companies is that if you’re not using the tools then get rid of the links.

What’s one trick or piece of advice that the average person may not know about social media and how to use it effectively?
Strategically stalking people in excellence in a good way.

The people that they are most socially influenced by on Twitter are the people at the very bottom of their friends list. Those are the people that instantly came to their mind when they first joined Twitter.

Oprah, just for an example, follows about let’s say 230 people. So if you can interact with and build a relationship with one of those people on Twitter. Then you could potentially get an introduction from that person. Thinking about LinkedIn and their 1st 2nd and 3rd connections, look through her list, look through their lists, look for Oprah’s 3rd connections. Look towards the bottom of the list and pick out the ones that do not have the verified account, the blue checkmark. Those people are probably going to be easier to connect with.

John says a lot of cool things have happened over the last 2 years owning Online ImageWorks. Just having the opportunity to work with some of these people and watching their businesses grow. John says seeing these Twitter accounts grow to a point where they’re getting verified on Twitter and build a following by thousands, and it’s not just about the number of the followers, but about the quality of the followers you have.

Mistakes
In conversations with people on twitter you have to be really careful how you talk with people so you don’t offend them. Twitter has the reputation of being light and fluffy. Where people don’t hear your voice, they don’t know your voice, they don’t know your true intentions. So make sure when you’re messaging people that your intentions are coming across as being good natured.

How did you get where you are?
Going out there and basically, I wanted to be a social media influencer. I’m soon to be on the Forbes and Huffington Post list of top 50 social media influencers. Going through and doing my research and finding out, okay if this is what I want to be who are the people that are on that list right now, and who is following those people, and how can I get some of those people to come follow me. And what can I add of value to get those people to follow me.

Advice
I would say finding those people that are in your industry that you’re interested in. And making a list of those people. And then going out and seeing who’s following those people. Provide good content and follow those individuals and see if you can engage with those people and follow them as well.

On Twitter, you just have to get out there and do it. Get out there follow people, engage, you’re going to make some mistakes, it’s gonna happen; mentioning people incorrectly, retweeting incorrectly… but you just gotta do it.

Define Success
John recommends the book, See You at the Top.
You can have anything that you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want. That’s what success is about.

You have to have that positive mindset and take every positive thought captive. Turn those negative thoughts into thoughts of being successful. Even in your darkest moment. If not, you’re going to get sidetracked.

That positive self talk that’s so critical when starting a business and being successful on social media. John prides himself on his positive uplifting tweets — It’s amazing how many people go out there and will retweet those over and over again.

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Episode 79: Social Media and ROI | Brian Basilico owner of B2b Interactive Marketing

Brian Basilico, owner of B2B Interactive MarketingBrian Basilico is the owner of his own social media company. One of the things we talked about was return on investment, and looking at ROI when you are using social media and actually for many things you are probably doing.

B2B Interactive MarketingBrian Basilico is the owner of B2B Interactive Marketing. B2b Interactive Marketing combines audio, video, interactive, web, communications, and advertising, with branding and marketing experience of almost 30 years in the communications industry.

 

Zeb’s Take – Social Media and ROI

It was a blast talking with Brian about social media and all the different things that he’s doing. We had some great back and forth while talking about social media marketing.

The thing I want to expand on is the return on Investment or ROI of social media, which I think is very important for business owners understand when they are getting into the social media space. Social Media and ROI. People will ask me, “Should every business use social media?” My response is always yes. I honestly think every single business should use social media. Having said that, I don’t always think paying for someone to run a social media presence is the best investment of your money. Timewise, yes you should use social media, use it as much as you can. But sometimes the cost doesn’t make sense for the returns that you’re getting from the social media usage.

It is important to analyze time versus money and how you’re going to spend that using social media. Sometimes people think it’s a just one-stop-shop; it’s not, it’s a long term goal. If your goal in a business is to grow as large as you possibly can then social media is a no-brainer. Hire people to do it and realize that it’s an investment. If you are looking to use social media to make instant sales to cover the cost of what you’re paying for the social media, especially in the first few months, you’re going to be disappointed. With social media, you’re putting in the time, money and resources now for gains down the road.

Go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Brian Basilico and B2B Interactive Marketing

Go to his business website: B2B-IM.com and the website for his book: NotAboutU.com

Quotes

  • “It’s been something I’ve had to do for myself and since I was able to do it for myself I was able to do it for other people.”
  • “I’m a student first, I got to learn it. Then I’m a teacher second, and a purveyor or presenter last. You got to learn it, teach it, then do it.”
  • “Marketing has to be an investment and never an expense.”
  • “Marketing is a participation sport, it’s not like advertising where you pass it off to somebody.”
  • “The whole point of social media is crowdsourcing; getting other people to talk about your brand.”
  • “Get to know people, ask them for advice, and find out what happens.”
  • “When people are better when you are done, that’s success.”
  • “The reason I consider myself successful is because I have a message, I have a methodology and I provide value to people when it’s all said and done.”

brian-wm

More From the Interview

Growing up Brian was a musician. At 18 years of age he started a recording studio in his Dad’s basement. He had to learn to promote himself. At first, he used a word processor to print out articles, cut and paste them together into a newsletter that he would take to a copy shop and print and put together his newsletters. Since then he’s been a video editor and producer, he owned a commercial recording studio (produced jingles, radio programs and commercials), and online marketing.

“It’s been something I’ve had to do for myself and since I was able to do it for myself I was able to do it for other people.”

He says, the funny thing about marketing is marketing has never changed. It is always about people, knowing who the audience is and how they want to be communicated to. The thing that has changed is the technology and tools. You have to learn to adapt over the years.

Not too long no one knew what the smartphone was and now it’s updated every day.

“I’m a student first, I got to learn it. Then I’m a teacher second, and a purveyor or presenter last. You got to learn it, teach it, then do it.”

The smartest and most profitable people learn how to adapt to where their audience is. If you want to reach a 20 year old you need to text them. If you’re talking to 70 year olds, you still need to put out a print newsletter. You have to know where your audience is and you have to learn to adapt to get your message there. The message and the content has always been the same. It’s always been really good content and great articles. But, you have to know the channels where you can connect with them.

Branding
Branding is part logo, part image and part message. You need to know who your audience and know what your audience is looking for. An example Brian shared was for a company that made ferrules, a small part on a golf club. Once an industry staple, this company had lost a lot of their customers to cheaper overseas competition. Their business model was to sell high quality at a low price to the largest golf manufacturers. While doing research Brian spoke with someone who builds clubs for professional golfers around the world. This person agreed that this company made the highest quality part and it never broke, whereas the competitor’s part did break. He mentioned that fixing that one part cost $150 each time the repair needed to be made. He said I don’t care what I have to pay for that thing I want that ferrule. Now she manufactures custom versions of this and what sells she used to sell for $0.07 for $1.50. She learned that the marketplace had changed, without her noticing it. We completely reinvented her business.

Success Story
Brian shares his success story with a fortune 100 company that was making a $1k a month in online sales, Brian convinced them to put in a true ecommerce system on their site. By creating a very familiar interface for their ecommerce their online sales skyrocketed to $25k in sales a month.

What I see a lot of people doing wrong in marketing is throwing a lot of good money at bad. You have to consider social media and ROI. “Marketing has to be an investment and never an expense.” People don’t understand the concept of using marketing as an investment and how to measure their return on investment so they do get ripped off.

“The whole point of social media is crowdsourcing; getting other people to talk about your brand.” If you reward people for promoting you to your friends and give them something relatively inexpensive, you’re winning.

Brian’s Book
It’s Not About You it’s About Bacon: Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World by Brian BasilicoIt’s Not About You it’s About Bacon: Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World is Brian’s book. It is a why-to book about social media. It takes you through a whole journey of marketing. There are chapters on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and all that other stuff. It doesn’t tell you how to do things, it tells you why it’s important and who is there. The whole purpose of the book is getting you to understand the concept of what social media marketing means. From there, there’s lots of other opportunities to learn how to use it.

The title is from Brian’s experience at a conference. One of the other presenters encouraged people to use a hashtag, #bacon. She got 20 new followers. After that Brian started posting pictures of bacon and #bacon and breakfast with bacon online. Brian got an incredible response. What he came to find out was that the two most shared things on the internet were kittens and bacon. The whole concept is that social media marketing is not able sales and about you, and bacon is about creating a brand that is memorable and something that people will search out.

Advice for New Businesses
Go out and network. Go out and meet people. Find people you can have a 1-on-1 conversation with ask them about their experiences and their life. From there, ask them for referrals, for whatever you need. connect with them and then ask them for advice. Get to know people, ask them for advice, and find out what happens. Getting good proper referrals is the best way to get the best return on investment of quality. Look for good consultants and people who really have your best interests in mind and are not just trying to take your money. Then go learn as much as you possibly can, take online classes, community college classes, buy books, research; invest in yourself and in your own knowledge.

Success
Success for is seeing his clients blossom and make money. The biggest success that Brian gets is when they recommend him to somebody else. From a personal standpoint, it is making a difference in a way that changes people’s lives. I don’t care whether it’s through my business, or donating my time. “When people are better when you are done, that’s success.”

I’ve reinvented myself so many times, I’m very successful and always working harder to be better. The reason I consider myself successful is because I have a message, I have a methodology and I provide value to people when it’s all said and done.

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Episode 78: Start a Small Scale Business to Test Your Idea | Ben Alexander, Founder of Balloon Distractions

Ben Alexander founder of Balloon DistractionsBen Alexander is the owner of Balloon Distractions, who appeared on an episode of the Shark Tank. He didn’t get a deal with any of the Sharks, but he gained a lot of experience through the process. He talks with us about his experience on the Shark Tank as well as with his business. His advice to start with a small scale business is something that resonates with me.

Ben Alexander started Balloon Distractions in the Fall of 2003, starting an adventure that continues to this day. Balloon Distractions has been a blessing in his life, and the lives of all those who have learned a new skill, income, confidence and poise.

 

Zeb’s Take – Start with a Small Scale Business

It was great talking to Ben today about his business, how he’s been able to grow it and get these balloons out there; get kids excited, helping out restaurants and helping get people extra income as well. He started his business on a small scale.

The thing I want to expand on is that many people when they start a business they take out a loan, or try to find investors, or take out a second mortgage, or something similar to invest all that money into an idea. All because people tell them it’s a great idea. Then when they take it to market, they don’t get the response (in terms of sales) that they’re looking for.

What you could do with a business is start on a small scale, a small scale business. If you have a product, a service or an idea or something you want to try, do it on as small a scale as possible. See if you can get sales from it, because sales is the most important thing for any business. You really need to go out and seek those sales first to know if you have a business or not.

On Shark Tank the always about sales. How many sales do you have? Some of the people who go on the show haven’t even pushed the sales side of things for their business and then they don’t really know if their business is profitable or not. It doesn’t matter what people say, it matters what people buy in business.

Keep that in mind. If you have an idea, you don’t need a grandiose business launch. Find an inexpensive way to put it out there and try to sell it with your small scale business. Sometimes you don’t even need to have the product to sell it, you can get people to buy into the idea of the product. If you can get people to put money down based on an idea then you know you are onto something. Nowadays there are crowdfunding sites (like Kickstarter and Indiegogo) that you can get people to buy your product before it’s even out there on the market. That’s an excellent way to test and see if people are legitimately  interested in the product or not.

Contact Ben Alexander at Balloon Distractions

BalloonDistractions.comballoon-distractions-logo
BenAlexander@balloondistractions.com
If you are interested in growing a region contact Ben, (813) 391-3895

Quotes

  • “It’s always a bit of a leap to go from being an employee or salesperson to being a full on entrepreneur. I haven’t regretted it.”
  • “I’m looking for that 1% that are ballsy enough to be entrepreneurial, and say ‘Hey, I want to start something.’”
  • “That’s the amazing thing about capitalism in general, the creativity it engenders.”
  • “No one else has ever done what I’ve done.”
  • “I think there are not that many people out there that are actually entrepreneurial. If people had the choice between stepping out on their own and being entrepreneurial or working for $10 an hour. I think more people are likely to work for $10 an hour even though the gain is not as good.”
  • “I made kids happy; just did some goofy stuff and it was fun. I walked out of that gig I felt good. I felt good about the universe and I felt good about myself.[…] Doing balloons for people is a pretty humble thing to do.”
  • “To play it safe is also to play it boring.”
  • “Sometimes you just have to learn. The best lessons are going to be mistakes.”

Start with a small scale business to test your business idea.More From the Interview

Background
As a college student Ben took a semester to teach English in Taiwan where he met his wife. When he returned to school he was studying Economics and working as a waiter at a restaurant. At this restaurant they had a guy come in once in a while doing balloons, he serviced a few restaurants. Ben was getting tired of serving, he asked the balloon guy to teach him in return for payment. Ben joined his team and his first week doing balloons he made $800 in tips just from balloons. Ben thought, “wow, there’s something to this.”

When he graduated he got away from doing the ballooning, but he kept it in mind. He got married, had kids, got a job at a fortune 500 insurance company. In the summer of 03 he moved to Tampa Bay, he had a sales job that he hated and that wasn’t paying enough to cover his bills. He noticed there were a ton of restaurants, so he went out and started working at a couple doing ballooning. Then he went to the nearby college and recruited some students. We were in 30 markets by the time we were on The Shark Tank. He was in Episode 514 of The Shark Tank.

Ben lost his sales job when he was fired, but that day he went out and got 4 restaurants, a chain, to work with. He took that as a sign. I remember coming home and talking to a neighbor of mine who owned his own contracting business. He said, “You know you can always get a sales job. Why don’t you go out there and try to do this thing on your own. See if you can support yourself with your balloon business.” To this day Ben remembers that advice.

Ben says, If you’re doing 100% commision sales, you’re kinda already in business for yourself. You just maybe don’t have the structure behind you. I had experience in 100% commision sales, but I had never been a full on independent business owner or entrepreneur.

“It’s always a bit of a leap to go from being an employee or salesperson to being a full on entrepreneur. I haven’t regretted it. The last 10 years of my life, I’ve had the freedom to do a lot of things that I couldn’t to do if I had a normal 9-to-5 job.

“There’s definitely more risk in running your own business, but if you structure it right and you don’t go into crazy debt, it could be a nice lifestyle.”

Shark Tank
Shark Tank put them on a national stage. There are 200 markets in the United States, Ben is trying to get regional leaders and build a crew for each of the top 150 markets. They have regional leaders that work 15 hours a week, and we have people that are full time.

“I’m looking for that 1% that are ballsy enough to be entrepreneurial, and say ‘hey, I want to start something.’”

“Everything that you’re ever going to see that’s not natural started as an idea.”

“That’s the amazing thing about capitalism in general, the creativity it engenders.”

Ben suggests that if you’re an entrepreneur and you watch Shark Tank. If you have an idea try something on a real small scale. Don’t mortgage your house just to try something. If it’s profitable on a small scale you can grow it bigger and bigger and it tends to be profitable as you get larger.

To get on the show Shark Tank, Ben applied online, months later they asked him to create a audition video. He says, “I made it real wacky and crazy kind of like a Billy Mays Infomercial type of thing. I think they liked that.”

He says, to get on Shark Tank you can be an awesome person with an awesome business, but if it’s something people have seen before, like a fishing boat charter, or house cleaning… they want something different. When you tune in you have no idea what crazy off-the-wall creative wacky businesses you’re going to see.

The show suggested he do his sales pitch and then they drop balloons on him. They filmed in the morning, he didn’t know if it would go smoothly, he had no sleep the night before and he was heavily caffeinated. “I’m normally really hyper and energetic already, so to kick it up a notch, it just makes me look like totally nuts.”

“I think my pitch was not organized enough and I didn’t have a solid enough expansion plan.”

Balloon Distractions
“No one else has ever done what I’ve done.”

Ben still goes out and does gigs. He said “I made kids happy; just did some goofy stuff and it was fun. I walked out of that gig I felt good. I felt good about the universe and I felt good about myself.[…] Doing balloons for people is a pretty humble thing to do.”

What Ben wants to do is create a machine that, for example, is able to target St. Louis and in 90 days have a team up and running. He wants to do that without spending thousands of dollars in advertising to find those people.

Ben has several people that used to do balloons at restaurants for them that come back and become regional leaders.

“I think there are not that many people out there that are actually entrepreneurial. If people had the choice between stepping out on their own and being entrepreneurial or working for $10 an hour. I think more people are likely to work for $10 an hour even though the gain is not as good.”

“To play it safe is also to play it boring.”

Shark Tank boosted his business but it didn’t double it or do anything crazy.

Advice
There are 3 skill sets that are needed to run a business:

  • You need to be able to do it
  • You need to be able to sell it
  • You need to be able to manage the money

Ben says he should have, on day one, had someone come in and make sure the money was managed correctly.
He suggests: get a good accountant, get your quickbooks, and never get behind on taxes.

“Sometimes you just have to learn. The best lessons are going to be mistakes.”

Tim Robbins said it’s action, you have to take action, you can’t sit around and just plan s*** all day. You have to take action. A lot of people have these complicated business plans and they want to get a giant loan and all this other stuff. If you want to start a business, you need to take action up front.

You may have a great idea and people are like, “Wow, that’s a great idea!” And then you go out there and no one is willing to pay you a dime for it… maybe it’s not that great of an idea.

If you have an idea try it. Don’t try it for the next 30 years, but go present it to a hundred different people and just gauge the interest. If no one has any interest then take it back to the drawing board, improve it or change it. Even better, take your idea out there and ask, how can we make it better; you’d be amazed people will give you lots of information.

What do you think of Ben’s interview?

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Episode 77: Thriving Out of the Recession | Richard McKinnon, President of System 1 Interiors

Richard McKinnon of System 1 InteriorsRichard McKinnon is the owner and President of System 1 Incorporated. Because of Richard’s business sense, he realizes the importance on people to people interactions. That and advice from his father have helped him and his business get through the recession and thrive.

System 1 Interiors specializes in interior home remodeling including acoustic ceiling removal, plaster ceiling resurfacing, recessed lighting and interior & exterior painting. System 1 has been the leader in Acoustic Ceiling removal in southern California for over 30 years.

System 1 Interiors, Acoustic ceiling removal in southern California.

Zeb’s Take

He is a good friend of mine. Richie and I have known each other forever. He’s a really good guy. I’ve always been impressed with him. Basically, he was responsible for his entire family after his dad passed away and the business itself. He was able to overcome all of that and build a better stronger business. I’ve been working for Richie since the beginning of 2012.

The thing I want to touch on is the recession and how it contributes to business. In Richard’s mind he thinks that was a blessing. It was a good experience because he was able to take his business and lean it up, learn to make it more efficient, and that made his business ultimately better. He learned a lot of life lessons too; business lessons; what not to do, what to do. He really carved out a niche and now that his business is doing extremely well he has a much better understanding of his business. He runs a tight ship.

On more of a grand scale, I think, a recession really provides an opportunity. When you’re in a bull market and people are doing well in the economy, people look at the system in the wrong way. I’ve been involved with a few businesses where their question is, what’s the return on investment? They look at everything as numbers, and people like Richard and myself understand it’s not just a numbers game. It’s taking that extra step. Richard was on his way home when he got a call to do a job in Malibu, and even though he didn’t want to do it, he did, and it ended up saving his business. Those are the opportunities that you can’t value on a piece of paper. What ends up happening is people end up cutting those expenditures. They think, it’s going to cost this much in gas it takes this much time, it’s not an appropriate expenditure, let’s not do that. They miss out on this huge job, three months of business. They’re looking at numbers and not people and doing right by people. People look at numbers to tell the story of a business, but they can never take the place of the people to people interactions.

I’m going to work as hard as I can to make introductions, meet as many people, expose people to my business and add as much value and to genuinely help and be of service to people. If I looked at everything from a financial perspective, a balance sheet, whether or not going to the Chamber of Commerce was worth my time, whether or not having this podcast is worth my time, I would miss out on so many opportunities that have opened up as a result of me doing these things that I feel are necessary from a business sense.

The recession trims out those people that are looking at the bottom line. Those are the businesses that tend not to do so well in recessionary times. And the businesses that do do well, especially the ones that thrive out of a recession, are the ones that make those people to people encounters and really foster and develop those relationships.

 

Find out more about System 1 Interiors and Richard McKinnon

Go to www.system1interiors.com to contact Richie and find out more.

Quotes

  • “When I took over the business, for me, there was a lot of fear of the unknown. When I don’t have someone to go to, what is it going to be like when the training wheels come off?”
  • “We take pride in being the best. We’ll always strive for that.”
  • “Dealing with customers and dealing with employees and the different personalities and making that work and making it a positive thing. That’s the biggest struggle.”
  • “You’ve got to go, and you’ve got to do some things whether you like them or not sometimes because they could be very big opportunities.”
  • “I’ve always lived by the motto of just being real.”
  • “Don’t worry. Because it doesn’t improve anything in your life.”
  • “Just being a hard worker is successful in itself.”
  • “You’re going to be successful if you’re the best at what you do, or striving to be the best at what you do.”

richie

More from the Interview

How did System 1 Interiors get started?
In 1978 Richie’s father worked for a company that did acoustic ceiling spraying. He realized that if he had the right machinery and tools, he could start his own business and be able to raise and support a family. He knew he wasn’t the type to be answering to anyone, he wanted to be in charge of his own destiny. He got a loan from his father-in-law and began his business.

Richie grew up around his father’s business. He says, once he actually started working for his father he understood what it took. “It was very different: knowing what somebody does and then knowing what somebody does first-hand.” At the age of 20 he began working full-time with his dad. A few years later his dad was diagnosed with skin cancer. Richie decided he needed to get to know the business end of things as much as possible. He went with his dad to as many estimates and appointments, management things, as he could to see how things were done. When his father passed away Richie had already been mostly running the company for about a year and was able to get a lot of his questions answered.

He says, his father was the kind of person that no matter what, he would make something happen. “When I took over the business, for me, there was a lot of fear of the unknown. When I don’t have someone to go to. What is it going to be like when the training wheels come off?”

The Recession

“It was a complete blessing. It was business 101. It was a crash course. I really didn’t look at it then that way. I honestly get chills thinking about some of the things I had to go through, making decisions at such a young age. I was only 25 years old when I took over this company. We had, at the time, 7 employees. I had a lot of determination knowing that it really was sink or swim.”
Richie’s whole family was dependent on this business.

Richie says his business felt the impact of the economy on the decline before he heard about it in the news.
“I was grieving, at the time I had to put on that armor and lead this company through the troubled waters.” Having to explain to his long-time employees why there was no work while not really understanding why and trying to figure out how to fix it was difficult. In hindsight he realized that it’s nothing that they were doing wrong. It was difficult because a lot of the news wasn’t out he didn’t know how bad it was. “But the blessing about the economy dropping off for us, we’re a very very good business, we have a great reputation. I remember my father telling me before he passed, the one strength that you’re going to have and you’ll understand it one day, is that I’ve worked hard for 30 years of building this business to where it’s solid. No matter what you do, whether it’s advertising or things like that. We’ve built up a reputation… one day you’re going to see, when it gets busy again, just how much work was put into it.” He says, “Now I can understand that really what you put into your business, what you’re willing to put in, you will get it. So when you plant your seeds and you’re doing that hard work. A lot of times you don’t see the benefit, it comes later. A lot of times you can look back and say you know what, everything we did up to this point brought us through these lean times.”

The recession taught Richard to bear down and be a lean mean machine. They got a smaller shop, ordered less materials at a time, took away a lot of the things they didn’t actually need. If it wasn’t for the economy going down he says he would not have made those changes. Today System 1 would probably be wasting a lot of money, energy and resources, and not working as smart. “When you have an economic downturn, it’s really a reality check, and a time to go through everything and figure out what you need and don’t need. And then when the economy picks up all of a sudden you’re like a marathon runner, ready to go. … We’re better for it.”

I think a lot of our success has to do with the customer feeling comfortable and knowing exactly what they’re going to get and then where the success comes in is with executing that exactly as planned and exactly as you stated and if there is a hitch fixing it ASAP and making it right. That is the essence of what we try to do.

“My number one thing that I’ve learned is that clarity is key. Clarity is before you start anything with a customer you’re being crystal clear up front. In our business there are things that are unpreventable because of the nature of the business, explaining that to the customer ahead of time, so there’s not shock. Delivering exactly what you say you’re going to deliver. Knowing that it’s okay if somebody wants the impossible, to explain it, “That’s impossible.”

Biggest struggle
There are a lot of customers that are not capable of being pleased. Richie knows for certain they are the best company in southern California at what they do. “We’ve always known that we’re a very good company. We take pride in being the best. We’ll always strive for that.”

Dealing with customers and dealing with employees and the different personalities and making that work and making it a positive thing. That’s the biggest struggle.

Thriving out of the Recession

The last 3 years, his business has rebounded really well. The biggest asset to the company has been the internet. He says, the internet has separated the good companies from the bad companies. For the good companies, it makes them better. You don’t know who is going to put up reviews. We don’t have an on off switch where we do good work we do bad work. We only know how to do it well. If you can get a hundred reviews and 95 of them are straight A’s you’re going to get more business. At this point I’m not sure if the economy is as good as I believe it is, or if it’s a matter of since we’ve established ourselves as being a good company through our reviews that we’re just getting more work than others.

Advice

What’s the biggest piece of advice you learned from your dad?
Probably, never to give up on anything and to be there. It’s 4:30, it’s raining, there’s traffic and I get a call from a general contractor. He wants me to come to Malibu right now because a painting contractor didn’t show up. I really didn’t’ want to go; it’s going to take me an extra 3 hours to get home. But, I just had that advice, that you’ve got to go, and you’ve got to do some things whether you like them or not sometimes because they could be very big opportunities. It ended up being a job that probably saved our business back in 2008. I had no idea what it was, it ended up being a huge house for a Hollywood movie producer. It kept us busy for 2 or 3 months.

Be yourself. You don’t have to go and sell the jobs. You don’t have to put on a salesman pitch or face. Just go in there, be yourself and you’ll do fine. I’ve had to understand that I’m perfectly capable of doing this without having to try so hard on the sales pitch thing. Go in, be yourself and people will see though the fakes and phonies. I’ve always lived by the motto of just being real.

His advice to me was always just to be myself and to know that I’m perfectly capable of doing it.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who found themselves running a business, like you did?
Don’t worry. Because it doesn’t improve anything in your life.
Don’t let the doubt and the worry […] freeze you from having a clear brain and execute what you need to do. You start looking at the bills you have coming in and the amount of work you have and it will freeze you up. One great thing about business is that you can bounce back and it doesn’t take very long to bounce back. Knowing that not only can you bounce back, but you will, and it doesn’t take long.
If you keep going, and you work hard, and you’re never gonna give up, and you keep going at it. Not only is it a probability that you’ll bounce back but you can even turn it into something more amazing than what you had before.

I’m constantly trying to figure out how to perfect the business. Constantly trying to think of creating new businesses.
I don’t like the thinking that everybody just needs a slice of the pie. Create your own pie. I’m constantly thinking about what else can I do. I feel I’m successful because I have a business mind and I have a mind to create.

 

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Episode 57: Blog Writing to Learn with Zeb Welborn

I started my tutoring business back in 2009.  I was very fortunate because my sister was learning how to build websites at the time and she built a website for The Tutoring Solution.  6 months of blog writing opened up my world.  What many people don’t understand about social media is that it’s not just a sales and marketing tool, it’s also a learning tool and a communications tool which can make or break a business.  Learn how you can use blog writing to learn.

Blog Writing to Learn by Zeb Welborn from The Tutoring Solution, Welborn Media and the Defining Success Podcast

The Tutoring Solution’s Blog

Erin Klein started her blog Kleinspiration with the intention of keeping her students and parents updated about her classroom.  As she began to blog she started learning more and more about her profession because she was looking to create content for her blog.  As her blog grew, she had a better understanding of the needs of her students and started to develop a reputation as a forward-thinking educator.  Her blog eventually led to her being recognized by her school, then her district and has now been educating others on multiple subjects as it pertains to education.  Erin was able to use her passion for blog writing and education to build a strong personal brand for herself.

Several years ago, I implemented the The Tutoring Solution’s Blog-Based Learning Program, designed to educate students by creating daily content for their own blog.  While the blog-based learning program wasn’t successful, I still think the implementation of such an approach could have a great impact on those students who are passionate about a subject or a topic.  The one student we had who enrolled in the program was thinking about becoming a veterinarian.  Through her blog she was able to learn and discover what it took to become a veterinarian and learned some fascinating things as a result.

My recommendation to anyone looking to start a business would be to write a blog or create content (video, podcast) that will give them an opportunity to educate themselves on the topic and share what they’ve learned with others.  By working to become an expert in the field and sharing new things you’re learning you can help create buzz for your business and establish and develop meaningful relationships which will help you along your career path.

The blog I started back in 2009 set the foundation for everything I have done since I started my business.  My ideas have grown and I have been recognized as a thought leader in the industry.  In education I began to be contacted to give presentations on motivation and helping to motivate students who were unmotivated.  And I continue to learn through my blog writing through my various websites.  For anyone who is looking to change careers or who is looking to do something they love writing a blog is an excellent place to start.  If you’re not doing what you love, start creating content that will help you to develop an appreciation and an understanding of your field and learn along the way.

Learn more about how you can use blog writing to learn by listening to Episode 6 of the Defining Success Podcast titled, Blog Writing to Learn with Erin Klein from Kleinspiration.

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Episode 46: Real-Time Marketing | Author David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott is a marketing strategist, advisor to emerging companies, best-selling author of eight books including three national best-sellers, and a professional speaker on topics including marketing, leadership, and social media. In Episode 46 of the Defining Success Podcast, David shares his ideas on real-time marketing and how you can use real-time marketing to help your business grow.

Real-Time Marketing David Meerman Scott Defining Success Podcast New Rules of Marketing and PR Defining Success Podcast Zeb Welborn

David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott wrote the New Rules of Marketing and PR and he’s helping businesses understand how the marketing world has shifted to giving and receiving instant feedback so you can be found online.  In Episode 46 of the Defining Success Podcast, David Meerman Scott talks about Real-Time Marketing and its implication for the future.

David’s first job was at a Wall Street Street Bond Trading desk which he hated.  He then began selling economic services to traders and he learned that he was really doing more marketing than he was selling.  He then got a job in marketing for a company called Knight Ridder and he’s been a marketer ever since.

In 2002, David Meerman Scott worked for the News Edge Corporation was acquired by Thompson-Reuters and he was an officer and was asked to leave because they didn’t need the management team going forward and it gave him an opportunity to see what he wanted to do moving forward.  At 39, he realized he could do some consulting on his own and in 2005, his second book was called Cashing in With Content and his most well-known book is the New Rules of Marketing and PR which has sold 300,000 copies.

Since 2007, David has been earning his income on the speaking market.  He drifted from one point to another.  David wasn’t afraid to do things that others said would be a mistake.  And these events all worked out great for him.  In 2002 when David decided to start his own thing and many people looked down on people who started their own businesses because it was seen as if you couldn’t find a real job.

Each of the things that paid off the most were risks that Scott took.

The old rules of marketing and PR were that you either had to buy attention for your business or yourself in the form of advertising, you had to convince media outlets to write about you or you had to reach customers individually through direct selling.  The new rules of marketing and PR is the idea that on the web there are millions of people who are looking for things online to buy or do and they go to search engines or they ask their friends, colleagues and social networks.  The organizations and the people that create the best content will be the ones that show up in search engines and the more likely friends are to share them.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR Fourth Edition by David Meerman Scott

The New Rules of Marketing & PR Fourth Edition

The New Rules of Marketing and PR is about how to create content.  World Wide Rave is another book by David Meerman Scott and in the last year, David has made his book completely free, and to get it search for World Wide Rave.  David wrote another book called Real-Time Marketing and PR.  When people are making purchasing decisions, they are doing it right now and his book is designed to show how to engage people in real-time.  Most companies and organizations are focused on campaign marketing and most companies are doing that exclusively.

The idea of marketing is switching it around from doing it when a business is ready to when the customers are ready.  News Jacking is the art and science of turning your ideas into a news story.  It provides really cool ideas on how you can create something that people will see because you’re piggy-backing off of a breaking news story.

David gives 35 speeches a year all over the world.  This month, David is traveling to Cairo and Cutter and he’ll be gone for six days.  In November, he’s traveling to Buenos Aires and Istanbul.

The biggest mistake David sees companies make is that they talk about themselves way too much.  And that doesn’t work in today’s world.

It’s very important to create content on the web.  To have a great website, to have real-time content around that website, whether it’s a blog or YouTube videos and it’s important to put yourself out there on the web and through social networking.

Facebook has only been open since 2007.  Twitter has only been around since 2007.  It’s important for businesses to understand what this means for them and their future.

David Meerman Scott on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

David Meerman Scott

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Do you interact with your customers in Real-Time?
  • Are you creating content on the web?  If so, how?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • David Meerman Scott – “David’s book The New Rules of Marketing & PR opened people’s eyes to the new realities of marketing and public relations on the Web. Six months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list and published in 26 languages from Bulgarian to Vietnamese, New Rules, now in its 4th edition, is a modern business classic. Scott’s popular blog and hundreds of speaking engagements around the world give him a singular perspective on how businesses are implementing new strategies to reach buyers.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is creating a path that allows you to enjoy life.”
  • “Social media is about engaging people.”
  • “Social media is about listening.”
  • “Social media is about sharing the content you create elsewhere.”
  • “The way that people are solving other people’s problems on the web.”
  • “No matter what you’re doing you’re gaining incredible knowledge, you’re learning and interacting with people.”
  • “Everything that I’ve done all pointed me to where I am now so I don’t have any regrets.”
  • “Create the content that will be valuable to the people you’re trying to reach.”
  • “You need to be helpful on the web that will be beneficial to people.”
  • “The New Rules of Marketing and PR is the idea that on the web there are millions of people who are looking for things online to buy.”
  • “It’s the organizations and the people that create the best content that generate the higher search engine results and promoted in social networks.”
  • “The New Rules of Marketing and PR is that the better your content is the more attention you drive to yourself and to your business.”
  • “If you’re blogging, creating videos and active on social networks than you’re more likely to get noticed than someone who isn’t.”
  • “I enjoy helping people and being able to interact with people and share ideas.”
  • “I wasn’t scared to do things that people actually told me were a mistake.”

Special Requests:

  • Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, of by leaving reviews on our iTunes page!  Find us anywhere by searching for the Defining Success Podcast!
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Episode 45: Listen to Your Market | Steve Fluke from EZee Golf

Steve Fluke, President of EZee Golf discusses how important it is to listen to your market.  EZee Golf is a new sport with golf clubs that don’t require a swing to knock the ball down the fairway.  In order to become successful, Steve has had to listen to his target market to adjust their business strategy to grow their business.

Steve Fluke President of EZee Golf Listen to Your Market Defining Success Podcast

Steve Fluke

Steve Fluke is the president of EZeeGolf.com.  EZeeGolf is an exciting new sport that is fun and easy to play. Their club’s patented design helps those with physical limitations to now enjoy the game of golf on any sized course!

Steve Fluke started as a junior golfer and his grandfather got him playing the game and it was love at first swing and Steve has been involved in golfing ever since.

Steve played golf as an amateur and as a professional.  Steve got his first hole-in-one at 15 years old and never looked back.

Steve knew he was a good player, but knew he wasn’t good enough to take his game to the next level.  He became a teaching golfing professional for 5 years and he started a golf company in the telecommunications business designed to serve the golfing community.

He then became the President of EZee Golf, invented by Roy H. Taylor . . . It’s a self-propelled golf club that you can use to hit between 50 and 250 yards.  It’s golf course friendly meaning no divots and no swing is required to use the club.  Basically, you insert the power strip into a club which can propel the golf ball down the fairway.

The club is perfect for people who loved the game, but can’t play it like they used to, for people with disabilities, or people who would like to learn how to play the game.

One success story from EZee Golf was a lady who used to play with her husband but had to quit because of her shoulder and now she’s back out there playing with her husband.  Another great story is from a stroke survivor, Greg who goes out all the time to play.  Another success story is a gentleman who bought the club for himself, but soon realized that his blind son could use it and enjoy the game.

Once people get out on the golf course using EZee Golf, Steve sees golfers learning how to play the game using EZee Golf and so they can learn the game and then develop their skills to actually go out and play traditional golf on the golf course.

At impact, when you press the action button of the EZee Golf club it feels the same as if you were hitting the ball with a traditional golf club.

Steve and EZee Golf present the product as a new game which is different from the traditional game of golf.  One piece of advice Steve would give to businesses would be to listen to your market.  They needed to learn how the golf community would embrace the product.

One thing Steve anticipated that didn’t really happen was that golf courses would embrace EZee Golf much faster than they have by seeing it as an opportunity to increase rounds.  They learned how to present baby steps to golf courses to give them the opportunity to learn how to grow the game of golf.

A big concern for Steve Fluke and EZee Golf is making the product mainstream and building awareness of the product.

Golfers play as good as they normally did when they were playing golf regularly.  Steve Fluke himself shot a 4-under par.  And most of the time it’s 14 out of 14 fairways for Steve.

Steve Fluke President of EZee Golf Listen to Your Market

Steve Fluke

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • How do you listen to your target market?
  • Would you like to try and play EZee Golf?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • EZee Golf – “EZeeGolf is an exciting new sport that is fun and easy to play. Our club’s patented design helps those with physical limitations to now enjoy the game of golf on any sized course!”

Success Quotes:

  • “There is a very large section of our population that would like to enjoy golf if it wasn’t so difficult.”
  • “Success is to have EZee Golf enjoyed where traditional golf is enjoyed worldwide.”

Special Requests:

 

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Episode 41: Take Action and Adjust Along the Way | Lain Ehmann from Layoutaday.com

Lain Ehmann does a lot of work online in the scrapbooking industry where she does online events, webinars, and has been able to monetize that to make a very successful business for herself.  In Episode 41 of the Defining Success Podcast Lain discusses how she’s been able to build a massive online following and been able to monetize her online efforts through event, webinars, and more.  When Lain first started she had no idea on the direction her business would take her, but she’d advice anyone interested in starting a new business to take action and adjust along the way.

Lain Ehmann Take Action and Adjust Along the Way on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

Lain Ehmann

Lain is a fast-talking, fast-scrapping human dynamo with three kids, tons of ideas, and more books than she could ever read in this lifetime. The author of several books on scrapbooking, including “Snippets: Mostly True Tales from the Lighter Side of Scrapbooking” and “20 Simple Secrets of Happy Scrapbookers” (co-authored with Stacy Julian), Lain loves sharing her philosophy of guilt-free, simple scrapbooking.

Lain Ehmann got involved in scrapbooking shortly after her son was born. Lain was a freelance journalist who mostly wrote on business and finance.  She was invited to a Scrapbooking party where people bought and shared scrapbooking ideas and she fell in love with scrapbooking.  She was also a born story-teller and scrapbooking fit in very well with her passion.  She started working less and less in journalism and she began writing more and more in scrapbooking magazines.  She began teaching classes and then dove headfirst into scrapbooking as her career.

The scrapbooking magazines that Lain were working for were declining and eventually both magazines she was working for folded and so, she was without a job.  She started a blog as a way to keep in touch with the people she was meeting as she was meeting at scrapbooking conventions.  She saw that a lot of knitters were doing webinars and she spent a year learning about Internet marketing, podcasting and hosting and in May 2010 she launched her website layoutaday.com.

The favorite thing Lain enjoys doing is live events which have really become the cornerstone of her online presence.  She does live virtual events and every month she puts on a scrapinar, a free monthly education session that is centered around a video training in a state-of-the-art webroom.  They use Cisco’s webex event center that Cisco uses for its international sales meetings.  It’s very robust and steady and is a great platform for everything they want to do.

They do video trainings once a month where Lain gets on the camera live and either provides some kind of training or announces someone who is going to give the training.  The training session is recorded, there is live chat and people arrange their schedule in order to attend the virtual event live.

In addition to her monthly session, several times a year she puts on larger events with 15 or 16 instructors in two days.  Lain serves as the host, produces the event and features the instructors.  It’s kind of like a Scrapapalooza.

Scrapbooking companies love the event because companies can’t be everywhere and this live event gives them access to scrapbookers all over the world.  These companies are allowed to target their customers like never before during these live events that Lain holds several times a year.

In the chatroom, people will chat and you get immediate feedback that you can not get in any other way and people love it.  The instructors can get the replay again and instructors can see where people were engaged and where they lost momentum.

Lain Ehmann Take Action Defining Success Podcast

Lain Ehmann

If you live in rural Ohio, the idea of traveling to a foreign city to attend an event is a barrier for a lot of people.  Lain realized she could bring instructors to people.  Scrapbookers have a lot of stuff and it becomes difficult to transport.  With these online virtual events, people can enjoy, chat and scrapbook along with others.  It’s really a lot of fun and they enjoy the live virtual events.

When you go to an online event there are no clicks, everyone is talking to everyone and it’s very friendly, open and supportive.

Many people find Lain online through social media.  She does a lot of YouTube videos, search engine optimization, relationship marketing, affiliate marketing, and podcasting.

Lain Ehmann has multiple streams of income:

  • Several big events a year where attendees pay to attend.
  • Monthly scrapinars are free to attend, but after a month, Lain charges her customers to get access to the content.
  • A membership site, scraphappy.org where people pay a monthly fee to have access to the site.
  • Sponsorship opportunities

It seems like Lain does a lot of work, but she’s been really good at establishing repeatable systems.  She’s also been fortunate enough to hire people who have been able to help her manage the workload.

Lain started with one product, the layout a day class that she offered several times a year.  Originally she did it for free and didn’t see it as a big revenue generator and things began to evolve over time.  Things began gradually improving from there in order to get more customers and make more revenue for her business.  Everything grew from the natural progression of the business with people offering suggestions for improvement and Lain seized those opportunities and has been able to grow a successful business as a result.

Lain is most proud of bringing a group of passionate scrapbookers together who are willing to help each other learn and grow.  People know that they are going to come to Lain and get a dose of positivity.

In the future, Lain hopes to take the events she’s doing and model that for companies and manufacturers to reach her audience.  She has a large audience of scrapbookers who listen and follow her and there are companies that want access to that.  She can create these live events for companies and bring it to her audience.

Sometimes there is a tendency to look for the cheapest way to do anything and when I started I wish I didn’t do that.  The first live event I held was the cheapest and she had a problem with it.  But, finding people you trust for advice and investing where they tell you to invest.

A layout is a scrapbook page with the photos on it, also known as a scrapbook page.  A month-long class where she started a layout a day which she’s built on since to incorporate more of her business.

If you’re interested in hosting your own live events, Lain recommends taking a look at your audience and what you’re trying to accomplish to determine the best route to take when starting your live events/webinar.  Write down what you have to have and find the solution for that.  Once you find a handful of solutions, test them out to make sure it works before you do your event.

Lain Ehmann Take Action

Lain Ehmann

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Have you ever attended a webinar?
  • What are your thoughts on scrapbooking?
  • Have you been procrastinating to take action?  Why or why not?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Layout a Day – “Take a helping of Rachael Ray, a sprinkle of Martha Stewart, and a dash of Ellen DeGeneres, shake well until blended, and what do you get? Lain Ehmann, scrapbook lover!”
  • Scrap Happy – “Want to Join the Happiest Group of Scrapbookers on the Interner? Well, We’d Love to Have You!”
  • Layout a Day: The Simple Scrapbooking Podcast – “Professional scrapbooker, author, and instructor Lain Ehmann talks the scrappy talk. Simple scrapbooking advice, fun stuff, updates, and more!”
  • Scrapbook Expo – The Premier Scrapbook Show
  • Weekly Scrapper – For the Everyday Scrapper

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is knowing what your passion is, working hard and helping other people through that.”
  • “Start by finding mentors, experts or coaches and following their advice.”
  • “Life is good, even if it’s not perfect.”
  • “A lot of it was really listening to my audience, hearing what resonated with them and doing more of that.”
  • “My number 1 goals was to make enough money so I didn’t have to go to work in an office.”
  • “These scrapinars allow the instructor or manufacturers to reach customers all over the world.”

Special Requets:

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Episode 37: Balancing Your Work and Personal Life | Alex Navas from AlexNavas.com

Alex Navas helps people and business owners determine what is important in their business and personal lives. It’s not easy balancing your work and personal life.  The most successful people are able to find a healthy balance between the two where they are able to accomplish a lot at work, but not to the detriment of their families.  Learn more from Alex on business and what it takes to be successful in Episode 37 of the Defining Success Podcast.

Alex Navas Balancing Your Business and Personal Life Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

Alex Navas

Alex Navas is nationally recognized for his financial expertise and exceptional small business marketing methods.  He has been active in finance, marketing, sales and personal development for 10 years.  He is now an energetic and charismatic speaker, trainer and business coach.

Alex started his entrepreneurial career installing car stereos for his friends and from that point on he knew he was destined for a life in business.  At 21 years old he started his first business, a mortgage company.  He and his wife did really well in the mortgage industry and he learned his passion was helping other business owners become successful by holding bootcamps for real estate agents.

Alex helps businesses by taking a look at their assets.  When he explains assets he means the positive things you have in your business.  After analyzing your assets, Alex can point to some opportunities you’re missing out on which could help you grow your business.

By understanding where a business is at, Alex can help businesses expand faster using less resources.  A lot of times success online depends upon taking advantage of the right opportunities and being able to identify those opportunities is critical to the success of any business.

A lot of entrepreneurs make decisions based on illusions.  A common challenge entrepreneurs make is they think they know the answer about something before the event even takes place without acting on it first.

Their are a few key things to achieve exponential growth.  Your mindset is important to the success of any business owner.  One of the key ways to grow exponentially is by choosing who you’re going to serve, because it gives you the opportunity to serve who you were not meant to serve.

Alex owns the Christian Business Academy and purposefully narrowed his focus because he knew that he was meant to serve those people.  In return, it has become easier for him to attract the clients that he wants because they are attracted to his purpose and mission.

One of the things that Alex is really good at is creating profitable partnerships and he works with a lot of coaches and consultants and he helps them leverage what they’re doing.  Alex created an online training program with another business coach in order to help people create experts in the industry.

When Alex was running his mortgage company, he was working from 7am to 11pm.  One day he was sitting with his son and he realized that his business was taking him away from his family and he vowed not to let that happen.  We’re passing up opportunities to say that some day we’ll have time to spend with our family.  Balancing your work and personal life is critical to the happiness of an individual.

Alex has seen so many successful people, but their personal lives are in shambles.

Most business owners are overwhelmed and overworked. Most business owners are doing way too much work.  Once you get focused and narrow down your goals then it becomes easier to achieve your goals and you’re doing less work.  No matter what Alex does at work he thinks about the people he’s serving and how he can help them.

Balancing Your Business and Personal Life, Alex Navas on the Defining Success Podcast

Alex Navas

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • How important is balancing your work and personal life?
  • What is more important?  Your business or your family and friends?
  • Who is the target market for your business?  Why?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Alex Navas – “Whether you already know who I am or not, I’m ultimately here to serve you and I have a lot to tell you that will shed some light on who I am and how I can help you experience more joy, happiness and fulfillment in your life and your business.”
  • Christian Business Academy – “C.B.A. (Christian Business Academy) was founded to gather Christian entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals and empower them to create more fulfilling, profitable and purposeful businesses through the Word of God in order to create lasting change around the world using their businesses as the catalyst.”

Success Quotes:

  • “When you have fun in your business, you’re never working.”
  • “We all have a reason why we’re here beyond us.”
  • “Success comes much easier when you’re having fun and operating in your purpose.”
  • “85% of business owners are doing way too much.”
  • “It’s a lot easier to work with what you have than to start from scratch.”

Special Requests:

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Episode 35: Making Your Customers A Part of Your Business | Johnny Hakim from Greenskeeper.org

Johnny Hakim from Greenskeeper.org shares his insights on how to make a customer feel like they are a part of your business and how he uses that to keep customers for longer and become active promoters of his business.  Learn how to create raving fans by making your customers become a part of your business and learn how to manage your online reputation in Episode 35 of the Defining Success Podcast.

Johnny Hakim | How to Make Your Customers Become a Part of Your Business | Greenskeeper.org

Johnny Hakim

Johnny Hakim (JohnnyGK) is the owner of Greenskeeper.org.  Greenskeeper.org is a free online community and golf social network providing golf course review, aeration alerts, overseeding schedules, photos, specials, tee times, score tracking, outings, product reviews and more.

Greenskeeper.org started back in 2000 and Johnny was doing record promotion and he was always golfing on Wednesdays.  There was too many times where he encountered golf courses that were doing aeration that he decided to see if there was any place online that was giving golfers aeration alerts.  He couldn’t find anything.  While he was doing this record production he decided to make his own website and wanted to do more with it.  He interviewed some programmers and found what he was looking for.  He’s been inspired ever since.

His website started working in Ventura County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, and once he put those up other places were asking for it including San Diego County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County.  A lot of people highlighted their appreciation of the program and loved what Johnny has been able to do at Greenskeeper.org.

Johnny has set up his website and it has pretty much spread organically since its inception.  People come up to him all the time and tell him how wonderful the site is and how much they love what he is doing with Greenskeeper.org.

When Johnny started his website, he just wanted to let people know about the aeration schedules at golf courses.  But, he knew that the website was a work in progress.  The users have helped determine the direction of the website and all the things you see on the Greenskeeper.org website comes from the users themselves and suggestions from golf course owners.

Right now, the website revolves around the “GKer” the people who are giving back and helping others understand the condition of local golf courses.  Johnny’s website gives people an opportunity to share their experiences at golf courses, for the benefit of those who are involved in the game.  Most people come to Greenskeeper.org to read the golf reviews.  People use Greenskeeper.org for aeration alerts, they use a score tracker, they are now using the community forums where people can discuss and share their thoughts about golf and local golf courses.

One of the biggest challenges Johnny had faced in building his business was actually making money. When he started the site, he was hoping that golf courses would be eager to advertise on his platform where he was reaching enormous amounts of golfers.  The problem was that the golfing industry was way behind the times when it came to their online presence.

The biggest problem Johnny sees in the golf industry is that they are not adapting to the changing world.  They are still marketing traditionally and are not investing in the online world and are losing to competitors who are taking advantage of the opportunities available online.  In order to succeed golf courses need to control their online presence and promote themselves online.

The people who are going to succeed are the ones who are looking into the future and not the ones who are holding on to the past.  This is probably the biggest reason why golf courses are failing today.

On the Greenskeeper.org website golfers can leave reviews on golf courses all over the United States and one of the things Johnny has had a hard time doing is convincing golf courses to reach out to the people that are playing their course and say thank you.  By being proactive on the Internet and thanking those people who have played the course, you are creating an opportunity for massive word of mouth promotion.

By responding to criticism or thanking people for using your business.  You are now able to show that you are being authentic and that you genuinely care about your customers.  Before the Internet, each customer was valuable, but now, other customers can see how you treat your customers in a public forum and they can connect with that.

The large majority of people who visit Greenskeeper.org are not the people who are leaving the reviews.  They are what Johnny calls, lurkers.  They visit the site to get information about golf courses and then make decisions about the golf courses they plan on playing from there.  So, even though there are only a few recommendations on the golf course pages themselves, those reviews are being seen by hunderds and, in some cases, thousands of golfers.

Monetizing Greenskeeper.org has been no easy task.  Johnny has spoken with golf course owners and decision makers for years trying to understand their needs and figure out how he can service those needs with his website and it has been a struggle, but he has come up with a solution that works.  Golf courses are now using Greenskeeper.org to highlight their golf courses on the website for a small monthly fee and the golf courses who utilize these features have experienced a lot of success.

One of Johnny’s greatest moments working at Greenskeeper.org was recently when he set up his first golf outing for golfers in Central and Northern California.  Many people in the GK community took part in the tournament.  They came together and had a great time.

John Hakim from Greenskeeper.org on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn Know Before You Go

Greenskeeper.org

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • How do you make your customers feel like they are a part of your business?
  • Do you think the Internet and online marketing can help in word of mouth marketing?
  • How do you handle reviews about your business?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Greenskeeper.org – “Greenskeeper.org is a free online community, golf social network, providing golf course reviews, aeration alerts, overseeding schedules, photos, specials, tee times, score tracking, outings, product reviews, more.”
  • Gary Vaynerchuk – “I love to hustle!”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is inspiration.”
  • “When you’re following your heart or passion, you’re successful.”
  • “When you’re inspired, you’re successful.”
  • “To be a GKer is to be someone that appreciates the site in general and is a part of the community concept.”
  • “To be a GKer is to be active in writing reviews and a part of the community.”
  • “Every time we do one of these GK events there is just a good vibe.”
  • “The most active pages on Greenskeeper.org get 1,000’s of views a month.”
  • “When a golf course is being authentic and thankful, golfers will see that as that’s how they treat their customers.”
  • “Just saying thank you can make all the difference in the world for a golf course.”
  • “It boils down to word of mouth.  That’s what drive most business.”
  • “Golf courses need to take their online presence seriously.”
  • “They are getting the pants beat off of them by the wholesalers and they weren’t identifying that there customers were going online.”
  • “The golfing industry is way behind the times when it comes to their online presence.”

Special Requests:

Zeb Welborn Golf, Defining Success Podcast Golf and 19th Hole Media Golf are offering you a free 3-month membership to Golf Card International

Free 3-Month Membership to Golf Card International

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2013 Chino Business of the Year! – Welborn Social Media

On Friday, June 28 the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce held its annual Installation & Awards Dinner at the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, CA where they named Welborn Social Media the 2013 Chino Business of the Year.

Debbie Mitsch, the newly sworn in Chairman of the Board began the announcement, “The 2013 Chino Business of the Year was founded in 2011 and is very big in the social media world.” She went on to award Welborn Social Media as the Chino Business of the Year.

Lacey and I were completely surprised at being named the 2013 Chino Business of the Year and feel very fortunate that we were nominated and chosen by people and businesses that we respect and admire.

The Defining Success Podcast has really given us the opportunity to help our community and reach out to individuals and businesses who are doing great things.  Although we have won this award we still want to work hard to make a difference and impact the lives of others.  We do this by helping business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many people as possible using the tools of the Internet.

Upon receiving such an honor, more than anything, I feel thankful for everyone who has been involved with us along the way. We have worked hard in our business to provide the best service for our customers, but know deep down that it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of so many. Find out all about the experience here. 

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the Defining Success Podcast or Welborn Social Media – Share Your Passion.  Grow Your Business.

Welborn Social Media Named 2013 Chino Business of the Year

2013 Chino Business of the Year – Welborn Social Media

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Episode 22: How To Be a Go-Giver | Bob Burg Author of The Go-Giver

Thank you for visiting the Defining Success Podcast.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909 Thanks for listening!

Author of The Go-Giver Bob Burg

Author of The Go-Giver Bob Burg

Teaser:

Bob Burg shares the lesson of his book, The Go-Giver in Episode 22 of the Defining Success Podcast.  Learn the five laws, that when applied can guarantee a person’s success. Bob is extremely knowledgeable and shares his expertise on business and some advice and tips which you can apply to your business today.

Recap:

Bob Burg is a sought after speaker at corporate conventions and for entrepreneurial events.  He has addressed audiences ranging in size from 50 to 16,000 – sharing the platform with notables including today’s top thought leaders, broadcast personalities, Olympic athletes and political leaders including a former U.S. President.

Bob has written numerous books, has been a public speaker, has worked in sales and has a lot of experience helping others increase sales.

This interview focuses on Bob’s book, The Go-Giver, a book that encourages people to be go-givers and to be willing to help others in order to attain individual success.  Bob also says that a go-getter and a go-giver are not opposing philosophies, but rather that one could be a go-getter and also a go-giver.

If you look at the companies that are successful, have a long-sustaining business, and who run the business well.  They take the five laws from the go-giver and those laws were already in play.

The five laws are the laws of value, compensation, influence, authenticity and receptivity and all five laws work in conjunction with each other.  When all five of these are used in conjunction it makes it possible for people to achieve their goals.

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg

The first law of success is to give more value than what you take in payment.  In business, it’s important to focus on the other person.

The second law says that the more people we add these values to then the more we will receive in return.  As you add more value to more and more people you will have more people willing to spread the word about you and your business.  Our value comes from how many people we can add value to.  Not only do we need to provide great value, we also need to provide that service to as many people as we can.

The third law is the law of influence that says your influence is determined by how abundantly you put other people’s best interest first.  The best leaders see how they can place other people’s interest first and if they can do that they will become more successful.  To the degree you’re able to help others the more likely people will be willing to help you.

The law of authenticity shows how willing you are able to help yourself.  All the sales skills, and technical skills are very important, but those skills are not valuable if you don’t show up as yourself.  When people see there real you, they become attracted to you and they respect you and they like people who walk in their own integrity.  One key in authenticity is being confident enough to do so when we understand the value that we bring to others.  Market value are skills, traits and values that you bring to the marketplace.  It’s important to have someone that is removed enough from the situation who can see who the forest is from the trees.

The fifth law is the law of receptivity.  You have to be willing to receive as much as you are willing to give in order to be successful.  Giving and receiving work in tandem with each other.  The key is not giving or receiving, the key is to focus on the giving and allow the receiving.  If you can’t receive the little things, then you can’t receive the big things.

Bob says that if you follow those five laws, you’re guaranteed to succeed.

A lot of people think that selling is taking advantage of others or trying to convince people of what they don’t want or need.  Selling is actually about helping people get what they want or need.  When you shift your focus from an I focus to others you will see a return.

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • How do you know when you’re being your authentic self?
  • What do you think of the five laws Bob presented during the interview?
  • Are you a Go-Giver? Why or why not?

Links to Great Stuff:

Bob Burg – “Bob Burg shares information on topics vital to the success of today’s businessperson. He speaks for corporations and associations internationally, including fortune 500 companies, franchises, and numerous direct sales organizations.”

The Go-Giver – “The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be. And so one day, desperate to land a key sale at the end of a bad quarter, he seeks advice from the enigmatic Pindar, a legendary consultant referred to by his many devotees simply as the Chairman.”

T. Harv Eker – “Eker is the author of the best-selling books, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind and SpeedWealth. He has also developed several highly-acclaimed courses such as The Millionaire Mind Intensive, Life Directions, Wizard Training and Train the Trainer. He is also the producer and trainer of the world-famous Enlightened Warrior Training.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is the progressive realization of a worthwhile dream or goal.” from Nightengale
  • “Success is a feeling of piece of mind and genuine happiness based on having done ones best in living up to their potential.”
  • From Sean Woodruff “A great salesperson matches the benefits their product or service with the wants, needs and desires of the prospect.”
  • “When you’re selling you’re giving time, attention, council, education, empathy and ultimately, great value.”
  • “When you’re selling, you’re literally giving.”
  • “One mistake people make . . . is thinking that giving and receiving are opposite concepts.”
  • “The key to authentic giving is to stay open to receiving. 
  • “Being authentic means that we are congruent.”
  • About Gandhi “Integrity is when everything you think, feel, say and do are in alignment.”
  • “The golden rule of business says that all things being equal people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust.”
  • “The money you receive is a direct result of the value you provide.”
  • “Money is an echo of value.”
  • “The first law of value says your true worth is determined by how much you give in value than you take in payment.”
  • “A go-taker is somebody who feels entitled to take, take, take without having added value to the person, to the process and to the situation.”
  • “We want to take the focus off ourselves and move from an I focus to an other focus.”

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