Tag Archives: Zeb Welborn

Episode 115: Hit the Ball as Hard as You Can | Larry Welborn

One of the first guests I had on my podcast was David Kramer, the oldest son of Jack Kramer, one of the world’s most famous tennis players of all time.

One of the questions I was most excited to ask David was what advice did his father give him and he didn’t have a very clear answer.  I remember talking with my Dad after the interview telling him that I was a little bit disappointed about not getting a little nugget or a pearl of wisdom from the late Jack Kramer.

My Dad told me it wasn’t as easy as I thought it should be and then he asked me what I would say if somebody asked me, and I wasn’t sure what I would say.

In anticipation of this interview I was eager to see what my dad would when I asked him what piece of advice he would give to his children and here’s what he said:

“Hit the ball as hard as you can.”

Larry Welborn recently retired after a 43-year career as the legal affairs reporter for the Orange County Register, in which he covered many high-profile cases but showed a high level of enthusiasm and dedication in every story he covered.

Hit the Ball as Hard as You Can Larry Welborn Zeb Welborn

Larry & Zeb Welborn

Since 1981, Welborn has also been the chairman and president of CSPA, which is preparing for its 64th-annual high school journalism workshop on the campus of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Larry Welborn knew hew wanted to become a journalist at an early age.  At the time, Larry liked two things, he liked baseball and he liked to read.  A book he read as a child, The Freshman Backstop, encouraged him to combine his two loves and become a journalist who wrote about baseball.

In High School he enrolled in journalism classes and he began to write.  A mentor of his, Ralph Alexander took him under his wing and encouraged Larry to pursue his career in journalism and helped him along the way.

Some of Larry’s most famous trial cases were:

  • the Manson Murder Trial
  • the Rodney James Alcala Serial Murder Trials
  • the Nick Adenhart DUI Trial
  • the 2 Fullerton Police Officer’s Beating of a Young Man
Larry, Annie, and Zeb Welborn Hit the Ball as Hard as You Can

Larry, Annie, and Zeb Welborn

Success Quotes:

  • The last line of the story is the one that readers remember.
  • Hit the ball as hard as you can.
  • Success is having a family who loves you, friends who care about you, colleagues who respect you, acquaintances who know you and the knowledge you lived your life caring about other people.  That you loved well, were loved, took care of your family, gave back to society and had fun.
  • Success on a daily basis is being prepared to do the best you can and doing it the right way with consideration to others.

Awards:

Larry Welborn has received numerous awards during his career, but two of the most memorable awards for him was the Sky Dunlap Award by the Orange County Press Club, and recently the California Attorney’s for Criminal Justice honored him with the Journalism Integrity Award.

Thank you for everything Dad.

The Welborn Family - Hit the Ball as Hard as You Can

Welborn Family

 

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Episode 92: Leadership and Trust | Wally Hauck, Author of The Art of Leading and Stop the Leadership Malpractice

Wally Hauck talks with us about leadership and trust.Wally Hauck is the author of two different books on leadership. One of the things Wally talks about extensively in this interview is leadership and trust. Trust between the manager and someone that person is managing. If you are interested in becoming a leader or you think you are in a leadership capacity in some different scenarios one of the things you really need to work on developing is trust. That is what I would like to highlight in this episode today: leadership and trust

Wally Hauck, PhD has a cure for the deadly disease known as the typical performance appraisal. He is also the author of two books, The Art of Leading: Principles for Predictable Performance Improvement and Stop the Leadership Malpractice: How to Replace the Typical Performance Appraisal.

Zeb’s Take – Leadership and Trust

Wally talked a lot about employees and how they engage with the workforce. One of the things in the interview that really struck me is the importance of building trust between managers and employees and the ways to do that. In a leadership position you are constantly making agreements with people and if you take on that leadership role you need to make sure that you are agreeable to those agreements; that you do the things that you say you are going to do. If you don’t it really erodes trust with the people that you are working with and it makes it much more difficult for them to accomplish the things that they want. If you don’t do what you say you are going to do, it makes it easier for them to not do the things they say they will do. Leadership and trust go hand in hand.

If you want your employees ,or the people that are working for you, or the people that you are leading to do something that you ask of them you need to be accountable to them just as much as they need to be accountable to you. I think that’s one of the biggest problems that leaders face is being able to overcome that.

Here’s a personal example. There’s a membership committee through my local chamber of commerce that I’m the head of. I have a plan in my head of these things I want to accomplish with each meeting. I want to send a follow up email after each meeting. I want to send an email before the event to let people know the event is taking place. Honestly, sometimes I forget. I’ll forget to send the email after the meeting or before the meeting or maybe I’m ill prepared when the event comes, maybe I don’t prepare as well as I usually do. I’ve realized that in those situations it erodes some trust. For me, it’s really important to develop procedures and processes so that I don’t forget to do those things, so that I’m someone who does the things they say they are going to do. So they can see my leadership and trust in me. The same thing in the mastermind group I’m in: I really want to come up with a structure for these mastermind sessions. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed or so busy that I forget to put those procedures in place.

Another great idea Wally talked about was developing a checklist. Not just a checklist for your employee or the person you are trying to lead, but for yourself as well. If you are accountable for everything that you are supposed to be accountable for it makes it much more likely that the people you are leading, if they see you are checking off all the things that you are responsible for, it’s much more likely they will be checking off all the things that they are responsible for.

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Now, go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Wally Hauck and his books

Visit WallyHauck.com and download his free research article about the process and the success that one of his clients has received.

Wally Hauck's book Stop Leadership Malpractice Wally Hauck's book The Art of Leading

Quotes

  • “This is how leaders still operate, and it drives me crazy. And I am here on this earth to change it. That’s why I’m passionate about it.”
  • “The leader has a huge impact on the environment which therefore has a big impact on the individual performance. Everything is a system. It’s all interconnected.”
  • “The root belief is people will not work if you don’t watch them and they won’t work if you don’t bribe them or threaten them, because they really don’t want to work — and that’s a bunch of bull.”
  • “Very often what leaders do is they look at the mistakes employees make and they blame the employee, and they’ve got to stop doing that.”
  • “We have an overabundance of bad leadership in the country. I’m sorry, I see it every single day. That’s why I’m passionate about looking for opportunities to stop it.”
  • “Always manage your agreements and help others to manage their agreements.”
  • “Make agreements with people and then keep it. That’s how you build trust. That’s a demonstration of integrity.”
  • “Success is optimization.”
  • “Optimization means you are doing the very best and there’s a balance. There’s a beautiful balance, where everything works beautifully together and you are optimizing the results that you are getting with the resources that are available to you.”
  • “I think I am providing a service with this replacement performance appraisal that could really change the world. I’m pretty excited about it.”

More from the Interview

Wally worked for a large company and after being promoted several times he began to wonder why he was so miserable there. One time he got a call for a large purchase order that he got excited about. He talked with his boss to work out some of the details, things were looking good. That week his company had an event and Wally got an award for his sales performance partially because of that large order, even though he hadn’t closed the deal yet. A few days later when the order was put on hold and didn’t go through he was berated by one of the high ups in his office and received a terrible performance review after that. He says, “ I went from a hero to a bum.”

“This is how leaders still operate, and it drives me crazy. And I am here on this earth to change it. That’s why I’m passionate about it.”

He began to do some research and reading. He read The Turning Point and it talked about systems thinking. It helped him answer why he was so upset. “Most organizations still today evaluate the individuals and they fail to take full account of how the environment impacts the performance and how the leader has a huge impact on the environment which therefore has a big impact on the individual performance. Everything is a system. It’s all interconnected.” He says, “It made so much sense to me.”

He did more reading and more research. Including learning from a couple people who studied from Dr. Deming, who taught about thinking in systems in Japan. Deming says that one of the deadly diseases for organizations is the performance appraisal.

Performance reviews can cause a lot of damage in areas that are needed for performance. It doesn’t accomplish what it is supposed to accomplish. Part of the reason that it doesn’t is because managers are not skilled at having open and honest conversations. But the main reason is that the employee gets a grade. When you get a grade in an organization that has dysfunctional departments that can impact your performance it just makes everyone hate the whole process.

“The root belief is people will not work if you don’t watch them and they won’t work if you don’t bribe them or threaten them, because they really don’t want to work — and that’s a bunch of bull.”

“The whole thing is based on flawed assumption and we’ve got to do away with it if we are really going to survive in the global economy now.”

Frederick Taylor designed the system that is commonly used today, scientific management. It worked great in the 1800s, but that’s 140 years ago. 140 years ago factory work was menial tasks. Frederick Taylor was going to go into a factory and teach the best way to do these simple tasks and if they don’t do it right they aren’t going to get paid, or get a bonus, and if they keep doing it they’ll get fired. The work was simple easy repeatable tasks for uneducated employees. That is rarely the case today.

Some unintended consequences of performance reviews are that they damage trust and engagement in the workplace. People start to hide things, they don’t tell the truth, or they hold information back.

He says, performance reviews are a tool used by 80-90% of organizations today and it closes down open and honest communication. I think that’s an outrage.

He designed a replacement for the typical performance review that he calls the complete performance improvement process, or CPIP. You have a meeting with an employee, but there is no grade, instead you create a partnership with the manager and the employee to improve the interpersonal communication between the two of them and others and the system interactions within the department and between the departments.

The manager is the judge and the employee is the judged, in the typical appraisal.

In the typical performance appraisal the manager is looking at the employee and saying here’s what you’re doing right and here’s what you’re doing wrong. And they are doing it with incomplete information and they are doing it with a bias, so it never comes out right. Instead, what if the two of you came together looked at the quality of the interactions between you and said, how can we make our interactions better? How can we make our communication better? How can we make our system better? How can we improve our processes between the two of us? So you are partnering to work on the interactions not trying to fix the people.

Wally Hauck on the performance appraisal“The first things leaders need to do is to realize that they impact the environment or the context in which people work. Very often what leaders do is they look at the mistakes employees make and they blame the employee, and they’ve got to stop doing that.”

Leaders should ask three questions:
1. What process is not working?
2. What is the first 15% of that process?
3. How can you improve the first 15% of the process?

By asking those three questions you change the process and the performance gets better.

“Leaders are doing stupid things, causing the bad behavior, and then blaming the employee for it.”

“We have an overabundance of bad leadership in the country. I’m sorry, I see it every single day. That’s why I’m passionate about looking for opportunities to stop it.”

What makes a great leader is a few things. One is, understand that they create an environment of performance or dysfunction, and if there is dysfunction it is probably something in the environment. Number two, they have to know how to build trust. Three, you have shared objectives. Four, you are confident in what needs to be done.

“What I want leaders to do is I want them to manage trust in every interaction they do with their staff, their employees, the people they want to lead. This is something everyone can do.”

There are values issues and systems issues. Values issues are behaviors, such as behaving with integrity and treating people with respect, that’s the foundation of performance. They must always look at themselves and ask, am I keeping my word with my employees and am I making agreements and keeping them; am I setting the right role model for the behavior that I’m looking for from employees?

“Always manage your agreements and help others to manage their agreements.”

“Make agreements with people and then keep it. That’s how you build trust. That’s a demonstration of integrity.”

An agreement is specific, it has 4 elements: it’s specific, it’s measurable, it’s time sensitive and there’s a predictable process.

Wally Hauck on the performance appraisal“Success is optimization.”

“Being fully engaged. You want profitability, you want passion, you want engagement, but it’s optimization — is really what success for me is about. it can’t just be one area that defines success.”

“Optimization means you are doing the very best and there’s a balance. There’s a beautiful balance, where everything works beautifully together and you are optimizing the results that you are getting with the resources that are available to you.”

“I think I am providing a service with this replacement performance appraisal that could really change the world. I’m pretty excited about it.”

 

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To The Listeners of The Defining Success Podcast

listenThank you for listening to the Defining Success Podcast. Today I want to interview you! That’s right you, the listener of the Defining Success Podcast.

This week on The Defining Success Podcast Facebook page I’m going to ask all of you, the listeners, questions that I often ask guests on the show. Take advantage of it this week! It would mean a lot to me. I think it would mean a lot to others, you’d be helping people and exposing them to your thoughts on success, passion, commitment and taking action.

Go to our Facebook page and join in!

More from this Episode of the Defining Success Podcast

When I started this podcast over a year ago I had no idea what to expect. I just sort of jumped right in. One of the questions I wanted to ask people was to define success; ask what does success mean. The very first person I interviewed, although it’s not the first episode (I think it’s episode 7), was Vic Braden. I actually didn’t even know I was going to be doing a podcast. I interviewed him. I recorded it with my cell phone, so if you’ve heard that episode of the Defining Success Podcast it’s pretty poor sound quality. I wasn’t trying to be conversational at all. I was planning on writing it up for a blog, but he told some pretty remarkable stories.

He led an amazing life. He was a tennis coach, world-famous. One of the first people to travel to China after China opened their doors to the western world. He says, ping pong led the way to China and then it was Vic Braden. I wanted to see what he defined as success. Someone that I found to be so successful, you know, what did he think success was. That is why I started the Defining Success Podcast. That is why I ask the last question and always make it the same. Define Success, what is success for you?

Now that I’ve been able to interview so many different people. I feel so blessed and grateful for the fact that, through this process, I’ve been able to meet so many amazing people that I would have never encountered otherwise. I also wanted to make sure it was valuable for the people out there listening. People like you!

Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

In today’s episode I really want to address you and address what it is you would like to get out of the Defining Success Podcast. I think success is defined by people. People that make decisions and take action. I really want to highlight those people, and I want to highlight people in completely different fields. That was the original intention. I could get people that have careers, jobs that they love. Like my dad, he was a journalist for the Orange County Register (He recently retired.) He absolutely loved what he did as a reporter and going to work everyday. He loved talking to people. He just found the career that he loved and knew that he was meant to be in. He did an excellent job as a reporter. I admire him greatly for that.

Then there are other people that I’ve met. Business owners that are going out there and making their own business happen. They’re doing some really amazing remarkable things. By showing business owners, people in careers that they love, by showing this wide array of people– I think there is something there that everyone can latch on to. Each of these individual stories could probably connect with someone out there listening and maybe influence them in a way that is promoting them, making them feel better about themselves, that is making them want to take action on the things being said in these interviews.

When I first started listening to podcasts it kind of felt like my head was exploding… I just had all these different ideas running through my head. I was getting so excited and amped up about the possibilities. From that point, taking action to do things was so much easier. Just because I was so excited about these new ideas and opportunities that I could experiment with and that I could try.

The people that I’m interviewing, I’m trying to bring them in. So they can share their wisdom on things that get them excited and pumped up because that is something that would connect with any one listening to this podcast. Trying to find those tidbits, those little nuggets of information, that make your head explode with all these different ideas. I want to make sure that we’re achieving the mission and the purpose of this podcast.

If you are listening to this podcast today, I want you to pretend that I’m interviewing you. I want you to reach out to me on our Facebook page. The Defining Success Podcast on Facebook. If you’ve been listening regularly, you know that I try to keep the interview light-hearted with a conversational tone. I ask questions in each episode of The Defining Success Podcast. Often the questions are fairly similar, and there are recurring questions that come up in many interviews.

I’d like to give each of you an opportunity to define your success. This week I’m going to post questions that I would normally ask guest on the show, but this time I’m going to be asking you. I’d like for you to go to our Facebook page and answer those questions so that we can generate a discussion about what success means, how we define it, how do we get it, and also to learn a little bit more about you and what you do.

I want the people that listen to this podcast — I want them to be able to connect with each other and share their thoughts.

Here are some of the questions that we might be asking:

What was your life like before you started on the current career path that you’re in?
Get a little background information. Tell us about yourself and what you were doing before you started your current career.

What is one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made and what did you learn from it?
This question gives a great opportunity for you to share a mistake you’ve made, something you’ve learned, and provide value for other people that are checking out that post on the Facebook page.

What is the biggest success you’ve had?
Maybe something that you’ve done that you’d like to share.

What are some personal examples or stories of something that occurred in your business that altered the shape or path of your business?

There are many other questions.

Obviously the last question is to define success. What makes someone successful? Do you consider yourself to be successful.

This week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday. I’m going to be posting those questions as if I’m interviewing you for the Defining Success Podcast. Then everyone who is listening, let’s share our thoughts and ideas on what it is that defines our success and we can get a chance to get to know each other. It’s a really great opportunity.

Take advantage of it this week. It would mean a lot to me. I think it would mean a lot to helping other people, exposing other people to your thoughts on success, passion, commitment and taking action.

Click here Defining Success Podcast on Facebook

Thanks for listening! Now go out there and find your success.

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Episode 90: Adversaries into Allies | Bob Burg, Best-Selling Author & Convention Speaker

Author of Adversaries into AlliesBob Burg is my very first repeat guest on the Defining Success Podcast. The first time he was on we talked about his book, the Go Giver (Episode 22). That was over a year ago and he’s back today to talk to us about his new book, Adversaries into Allies: Win People Over Without Manipulation or Coercion. Bob is an expert at influencing people so that it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

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.

Zeb’s Take – Addressing Your Adversaries

It was a real pleasure talking with Bob again. In his new book, Adversaries into Allies, that is something that really hits home with me. There’s a lot of people that you come into contact with, someone does have decision making power in your life. Having the ability to turn those adversaries into allies is a very important skill to have. And, it is something that can be acquired.

I didn’t realize this, jumping into business, I hadn’t encountered many true adversaries in the teaching profession. But I did encounter the situation when I went into the business world. I can think of two distinct examples:

One was a manager at a golf course where I was working. When he came in, it was very clear that he was not interested in social media and how social media worked, when I was working for him. Immediately, I saw him as an adversary and I didn’t make any outreach or any effort to try to turn him into an ally. I basically just avoided the situation and that was to my detriment. I learned a very valuable lesson from that: you need to be proactive in turning people who do have that influence and power or who are involved in your life in some way and try to change and correct that to make things better.

80 Bug, she is the one who wrote the theme song for The Defining Success Podcast. When we met, it started as a situation where I could have seen her as an adversary. But, I didn’t. It was because of that situation with that general manager that I decided to act in a different way. She is one of my biggest supporters now, and I’m one of her biggest supporters too. I think she is a phenomenal person who does really great things. That is one thing I think a lot of people need to look at.

Nobody out there is intentionally trying to be harmful to other people. It’s usually the perception that people have of how people are interacting with each other that drives them to think that other people are thinking negatively or poorly of them. That’s just something that I think is a powerful idea that Bob has written his book about. It’s an idea that I’m excited I got to share about with all you listeners here on The Defining Success Podcast. Thanks for listening!

Now go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Bob Burg and his book, Adversaries into Allies

Visit Burg.com! You can download Chapter 1 of several of his books for free on the site to see if you like them.

Bob Burg's book Adversaries into Allies

Quotes

  • “Unless you can influence others; move people to the appropriate and desired action, obtaining really really huge success is difficult.”
  • “I believe that combining benevolent intent as well as a learned skill set you can really find yourself constantly, consistently and even predictably obtaining both personal and business satisfaction while adding exceptional value to everyone whose lives you touch.”
  • “This is what I call that ultimate influence. The ability to get the results you want from others while helping people feel genuinely good about themselves, about the situation and about you.”
  • “We need to be able to work with these people in a way that is able to move them from an adversarial situation to one where we’re both working together towards a common goal.”
  • “When you take an adversary and turn them into an ally they often become your most loyal allies.”
  • “Assuming someone is going to be helpful doesn’t change them, it changes you, and that’s what changes them.”
  • “It’s only when you are in control of yourself and your emotions that you are even in a position to be able to take a potentially negative situation or person and turn it into a win for all involved.”
  • “The ego can be very harmful when it controls us. When we’re in control of our ego we can use it and steer it, utilize it to accomplish great things.”
  • “If you set the frame you can do more to evolve the situation into a positive win-win situation. It’s up to you to set the positive frame.”

More from the Interview

Bob has his new book, Adversaries into Allies, out and that’s what he’s spent most of his time on since our last interview with him. He says, “Nothing changes with me. It only gets more so.”

This book is one that Bob has really wanted to write for a long time. He says, it’s a message that he wanted to share in a more formal way than he has in the past. At this point most people realize that you can have all the positive success traits. However, unless you can influence others; move people to the appropriate and desired action, obtaining really really huge success is difficult.

Bob believes that combining benevolent intent as well as a learned skill set you can really find yourself constantly obtaining both personal and business satisfaction while adding exceptional value to everyone whose life you touch. He calls that ultimate influence. The ability to get the results you want from others while helping people feel genuinely good about themselves, about the situation and about you. It’s about mastering people skills. How often do we see someone who has a lot of those traits we mentioned and they just seem to be passed over, by that person who just seems to have that knack with others. They are likable, attract people to their ideas, and seem to be able to elicit buy-in and agreement from people.

He says, we do have to understand that there are people who stand in the way of our personal and business satisfaction, but we need to be able to work with these people in a way that is able to move them from an adversarial situation to one where we’re both working together towards a common goal.

It’s being able to take that situation and working it in such a way that both parties feel great about each other, great about themselves, and the situation works itself out so that both people win.

“When you take an adversary and turn them into an ally they often become your most loyal allies.”

It can be long term. It can be short term. There’s a time I was in a parking lot, I wasn’t paying much attention, as I pulled into a parking space I nearly clipped a guy getting out of his car. He reacted with a nasty look, if looks could kill. Rather than let my ego fall into that and allow myself to buy into his frame I smiled and waved through the windshield and mouthed the word sorry. Immediately the guy dropped the look and said, No problem.

When you don’t buy into that frame but instead you decide to reset that frame it really can be such a simple matter. It doesn’t mean that’s going to happen everytime, but it happens most of the time.

Assuming someone is going to be helpful doesn’t change them, it changes you, and that’s what changes them. When you assume they are going to be the way you want them to be you have gratitude for that and they are tapping into the energy of your gratitude and they feel good about you and because of that they take on that very quality.

5 Key Principles of Ultimate Influence

  1. Control your own emotions
    It’s only when you are in control of yourself and your emotions that you are even in a position to be able to take a potentially negative situation or person and turn it into a win for all involved. We like to think we are logical and to an extent we are. We make major decisions based on emotion and then we back those decisions up with logic.
  2. Understand the clash of belief systems
    A belief is a subjective truth. It’s a truth as we understand it to be. As human beings we all see the world through our own filter. It’s a combination of every experience we’ve ever had. It’s not conscious. We don’t necessarily need to understand their belief system, but simply be aware of it. Understand that there is a clash, that both of you are most likely coming at this from an entirely different world view.
  3. Acknowledge their ego
    Realize that if this other person is saying or doing something that is not constructive, but is counter productive or hurtful, even to their own good, there’s a good chance their ego has taken over. The ego can be very harmful when it controls us. When we’re in control of our ego we can use it and steer it, utilize it to accomplish great things. We need to know that this person that may be controlled by their ego, know that we’re dealing with something that’s not based on logic, but is ego driven.
  4. Set the proper frame
    A frame is simply the foundation from which everything else evolves. In any potentially negative situation, a frame will be set. The only question is, who is going to set that frame? If you allow them to set the frame, it’s just luck. If you set the frame you can do more to evolve the situation into a positive win-win situation. It’s up to you to set the positive frame.
  5. Communicate with tact and empathy
    Communicating with tact and empathy brings it all home. It’s so important. My dad has always defined tact as the language of strength. People make mistakes, we need to be able to teach. We need to do it in a way where people aren’t sensitive to it and resistant to us but they are open to us. This only happens through tact. Empathy is a way of being able speaking with tact. Do your best to put yourself in this person’s shoes and say, how is this person going to feel if I speak to them like this.

These principles work together naturally.

The book explains about each of these principles in Chapter 1. Then the rest of the book is just scenarios where people can see themselves in situations (past, current or future) and then they have the words, phrasing, and correct attitude to handle them properly. Sometimes they really are adversaries, other times it’s just situational.

Bob picks his parents as the most successful people he knows. They have a successful marriage, a family that adores them, and they are very happy and content with their lives.

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Episode 89: Use a Media Kit to Stand Out | Farnoosh Brock, President of Prolific Living

Farnoosh Brock used a media kit to stand out.Farnoosh Brock is the author of several books. She has two put out by a traditional publisher. They are The Healthy Juicer’s Bible and The Healthy Smoothie Bible. Today she is going to talk to us about a variety of different topics, mostly about getting a book published, how that whole process works and her tips and ideas on how to market books including using a media kit.

Farnoosh spends her time writing and running the Prolific Living blog, as well as Prolific Juicing, Fast Track Promotion for career warriors and Smart Exit Blueprint for entrepreneur-wanna-be spirits. She writes books, talks about empowering your life with your own choices and re-inventing yourself with positivity, enthusiasm and the right guidance.

Zeb’s Take – Create and Use a Media Kit to Stand Out

I had a really good time today talking with Farnoosh. You can really that she’s an enthusiastic person, excited about life, and really knows the direction and purpose, where she wants to take it. She seems very happy to me as well. That’s what I want for all the listeners. I want you all to be happy and excited about the work you’re doing just like I do, just like like Farnoosh does.

One of the things that Farnoosh brought up that I want to focus on is the media kit that she talked about. She created a media kit for her book and sending them out. The reason why I want to talk about it is because, you can apply the concept of a media kit, you don’t have to just do it for books, you can literally do a media kit for anything.

Farnoosh, she reached out to me, she had talked to Jared Easley who does the Starve the Doubts podcast, he introduced her to me. She sent me, basically like a media kit email sharing here’s who I am, here’s what I’m about, Jared says you’d be a great person to talk to and a great show to be on. It really introduced her and myself and it made me feel comfortable with her, especially with the introduction through Jared, to have her on the podcast.

Creating those media kits really helps to open the door to new opportunities. Instead of sending out an email that seems like a mass email or an impersonal email, by sending out a digital media kit you can really start to introduce yourself to different people or different influencers that you want to try to get a hold of.

One of my friends wanted to become a landscape architect. Apparently, typically, to do that you sign on with a firm that does landscape architecture. At the time he graduated college with a degree and could not find a job. I understand that there aren’t really jobs out there, but you need to be proactive about it. My suggestion to him was to create some sort of media kit about himself that would demonstrate his expertise. For him I was thinking more of a physical copy, maybe not so much a digital one. I’m not sure how landscape architecture works, but I’m sure they do some designs and do work projects, maybe he could do a work project and show them a design of his own and hand that off to them. Instead of giving a resume show the actual work that you are willing to do. That’s a form of a media kit that can really open up doors. You can do it for your career. If you are looking for potential clients, you can use a kit to reach out and introduce yourself to businesses as well. There’s just so many different functions and uses that you can use a media kit for that I don’t think a lot of people think of.

One of the books I read was by John Jantsch, The Referral Engine. In the book he says there’s a lot of really cool things you could do to make yourself stand out in front of people. One of the things he did was send a rubik’s cube to a bunch of place with a little note attached to it explaining who he was and his business and there was a reason why he used a rubik’s cube, I don’t remember the example, but it was a very inexpensive way, it was something memorable, that people can look at and say oh yeah I remember that guy he sent me the rubik’s cube. It worked out really well for him and his business. There’s so many other opportunities like that out there if you think about that. I think Farnoosh did a great job with her media kit and sending them out so I wanted to share that with you today.

Thanks for listening. Check us out on Facebook, say hi. I love talking with our listeners, it makes me happy.

Now go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Farnoosh Brock and the Prolific Living Blog

Visit ProlificLiving.com. It connects to all her blogs, see her about page, and there she has a free confidence building course that you can download. Visit Fast Track Promotion. Find Farnoosh on social media usually with ‘Prolific Living’

She encourages you all to connect with her. Let her know that you found her through Zeb at The Defining Success Podcast.

Prolific Living

Quotes

  • “The more I went deeper into my corporate career, and I was making more money, I had more flexibility, more perks… the more unhappy I became. I was forced to start looking outside.”
  • “I started blogging. It started out as a hobby. The more I did it the more I feel in love with writing, with social media, with doing something on my own, with the creativity process […] It was like a magnet Zeb, it kept pulling me.”
  • “It’s been a really wonderful but hard journey.”
  • “I am willing to bet that some of the best decisions you have ever made weren’t logical analytical numbers-driven decisions. Your heart came into play and told you, ‘you are doing this!’”
  • “It didn’t matter how much money I was making. I had to know this unknown or else regret it.”
  • “If you have something to say. If you want to write a book. Start writing today. You have so many options now. It’s so wonderful, we live in this age, so many options to get it out there.”
  • “You don’t know what obstacles will come your way. Life has a unique story for all of us. Not all of it is fair or just, but a successful person will turn those circumstances around.”
  • “I was finally gutsy enough to go past my fears and really take a risk and do something that I wanted to do for a long time. I feel that it has made all the difference in my life.”

farnoosh       farnoosh2

More from the Interview

Farnoosh used to be in engineering. She did a lot of highly technical, highly stressful work. She worked for a start-up then a big fortune 100 technology company, she was doing technical support for huge companies fixing their broken networks. She then moved on to technical writing, project management, process improvement, sales operations, executive communications. She got a lot of wonderful experience working in many different areas in a corporate job.

Today she does something entirely different.

“It wasn’t gradual or over-night. It was a sort of hunger that was growing, or an itch that I just couldn’t scratch.” I had great experience. I worked with great people. There were things in the corporate world that I wasn’t crazy about, but I didn’t understand myself and my own strengths and, more than anything, the possibilities for a career for someone like me, so that I could better fulfill that hunger or scratch that itch. The more I went deeper into my corporate career, and I was making more money, I had more flexibility, more perks… the more unhappy I became. So, I was forced to start looking outside.”

“I started blogging. It started out as a hobby. The more I did it the more I feel in love with writing, with social media, with doing something on my own, with the creativity process […] It was like a magnet Zeb, it kept pulling me in this direction.”

She attended a conference, Blog World. She met amazing people who were doing meaningful work with their lives. She felt inspired. Meanwhile at her job, she was being asked to do a project that she had a moral conflict with. Those two forces made Farnoosh reconsider her path, really look at the future, really think about what she was doing, really take some action. Within 6 months she resigned and started her own company.

“It’s been a really wonderful but hard journey.”

“I am willing to bet that, some of the best decisions you have ever made weren’t logical analytical numbers-driven decisions. Your heart came into play and told you, ‘you are doing this!’”

She’s hired her husband and they have a profitable business. They figured it out.

“It didn’t matter how much money I was making. I had to know this unknown or else regret it later in life.”

Farnoosh Brock's Books, The Healthy Juicer’s Bible and The Healthy Smoothie BibleThe Healthy Juicer’s Bible, Farnoosh’s first traditionally published book, came about because of her self-published book on The Comprehensive Green Juicing Guide. It’s about taking people step-by-step through why and how they can do their own juicing, and several recipes. It was a quick process from putting the content together to being put on shelves. It did well.

Most aspiring authors expect the publisher to do all the publication, marketing, work and they just do the writing. Farnoosh saw her relationship with the publisher as more of a partnership. She collaborated with them and they worked heavily to market the book. The repeated the process for her second book, The Healthy Smoothie Bible.

Her advice: “If you have something to say. If you want to write a book. Start writing today. You have so many options now. It’s so wonderful, we live in this age, so many options to get it out there.”

Build a media kit. It makes it easy for your reviewers to give shout outs for your book. In Farnoosh’s media kit she included phrases and text they could share on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, as well as email templates that they can send to their lists, and pictures that they use where ever they like.

Pick some early reviewers. Farnoosh tapped into her network and found some new people that would be interested in the book. They got a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, a shout-out to their audience, or maybe even just for them to get use out of it to start a relationship.

A media kit shows you as a professional author who has a good sense of your book and how to communicate your book. It shares a description of the book. The launch date. Include blurbs and email templates, really encourage people to share about the book.

Tools that Farnoosh uses includes Google Docs (you can share a document and set it so that to just view, they can still copy and paste text from it without changing it), Click to Tweet (a website that creates a unique link, people don’t even have to copy and paste), pictures (people love to share pictures) for the viewers to easily share. She even created a book trailer, a video about the book people could share. A media kit is a collection of all of this plus contact information.

“I can get up, come to work, and feel good about the work I am doing, feel like I am making a tangible difference. I am helping someone. I know what I’m doing.”

“You don’t know what obstacles will come your way. Life has a unique story for all of us. Not all of it is fair or just. But a successful person will turn those circumstances around.”

“Using your innate confidence and abilities to make changes and actually using those tools that you have to guide the direction of your life and your career”

“I was finally gutsy enough to go past my fears and really take a risk and do something that I wanted to do for a long time. I feel that it has made all the difference in my life.”

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Episode 88: Being Present with People | Dr. Mollie Marti, Director of the Community Resiliency Project and Author of Walking with Justice

Being Present and Making an Impact with Dr Mollie MartiDr. Mollie Marti has been a lawyer, a psychologist, a university professor, an author, and is now the director of a nonprofit organization. One of her mentors growing up was a judge. Judge Max Rosenn, he’s since passed away, but she wrote a book about his experience. He was one of those extremely influential people who made a difference. One of the things that made him so influential was his ability of being present for other people. Everybody thought very highly of the man and he made a huge difference.

Dr. Mollie Marti is the author of Walking with Justice and co-author of The 12 Factors of Business Success. After years of active partnership with nonprofit organizations, she recently accepted a position as CEO of the nonprofit Community Resiliency Project, dedicated to empowering communities to grow resilient youth and create an environment in which no life is lost to suicide.

Zeb’s Take – Being Present with People and Making an Impact

Dr. Mollie Marti had a lot of really interesting things to say about success and life in general. I really loved the sentiment she expressed about her mentor, the judge, Judge Max Rosenn and what he was able to do, not just for her, but for his community and the people around him. What struck me was when I asked what about him made him so memorable and made so many people think so highly of him, and it was his ability of being present in the conversation when talking with people. He would drop the things he was doing and he would be present and try to address the needs and concerns of the people that came to him.

That’s a very admirable skill to have, and not just admirable. It’s a trait that a lot of success people possess. We’re in a smart phone age with social media and constantly being connected to the internet, and trying to be social in that context, but we can miss out on genuine face-to-face human interaction. It’s a skill that is diminishing. The more that you can acquire that skill, being present for other people when they come to you with questions, the better you will be.

I know I’m guilty of this myself. Your mind wanders to different topics during a conversation. Those things happen but the more you can avoid doing that, the more you can actually listen and pay attention and be present for the people there the more beneficial and helpful you can be to the person. Those people are going to think much more highly of you. Usually if someone is telling you a story or something about their lives they are looking for feedback and for your genuine responses. The more you are being present for that the more people will feel that respect from you.

That’s something I really struggle with. I make a conscious effort to try and be present when people are talking with me. This podcast is actually a way to help me with that. I know sometimes I lose track, and maybe you listeners have noticed a time or two when my mind might wander into a different direction, but this podcast has really helped me stay focused and at being present for other people.

Now go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Dr. Mollie Marti her books and the Community Resiliency Project

Visit MollieMarti.com or DrMollie.com. Visit CRProject.org to find out more about Community Resiliency Project. Dr. Mollie can also be found on social media sites.

Community Resiliency Project

Quotes

  • “It is really our service, especially to our communities, that enriches us and defines the quality of our life.”
  • “We need to be very intentional about being present with others and making those connections that nurture others, and that nurture ourselves as well.”
  • “Our mission is to empower communities to grow stronger youth and create an environment in which no life is lost to suicide.”
  • “It is just following your own heartbreak, and my heart was broken by these losses and how they happened and the impact that they made.”
  • “Success is a big word. Passion is a big word. Vision is a big word. We work with these big words and sometimes people just get stuck thinking about them.”
  • “What breaks your heart and you just think there’s got to be a better way. Ask those type of questions and then what’s one step you can take to just make things a little bit better in your corner of the world.”
  • “It’s about coming through whatever challenge more wise and stronger and with a deeper sense of your mission and why you are here. That all will equate to a more rich and meaningful life.”
  • “I look at people and I just see the extraordinary potential that they have. I’m passionate about helping them tap more and more of that.”
  • “Thrive and serve. I’m about living vibrantly, using that potential, and living in a way that is meaningful to yourself. Loving your life while you’re serving others and making that impact.”
  • “No matter what the world says of you or to you, with your accolades and your accomplishments, if you don’t live in a way that the people you love the most know that they’re loved and feel that love and you haven’t made those deposits that love lives on long after you’re gone, I don’t think you’re successful.”

dr-mollie      dr-mollie2

More From the Interview

By training, Dr. Mollie is a lawyer and a social psychologist. She did the law first and she went to clerk with a judge. A very wise judge who changed Dr. Mollie’s life in many ways, one of them was a perspective on how we interact with our communities and how service really defines the value of our life. That came as a young lawyer. She practiced law, went back got her PhD, worked in performance psychology with a lot of athletes and corporate. Then she wrote a couple business books.

She says the thing that connects all of her past occupations is her utter fascination with human beings and their potential, and her really strong pursuit of justice. She says, “Even as a kid if I thought something wasn’t fair I would get really riled up about it.” I was always studying people and what made them tick. Psychology was a great fit for me and a higher use of my potential than law. I always had my hand in law, but when I’m working in the area of performance psychology, positive psyche, human potentiality, resiliency, all of those things I get lit up pretty quickly.

When she was young her family’s business what on the cutting edge of antibodies vs antibiotics. The work they did was a threat to the established drug companies. When she was 14-years-old she remembers going with family members and seeing the lawyers and all of this stuff through the courts. At the end of it they got an extension on a patent. The family was celebrating when they got a phone call saying the bill had disappeared of the presidents desk. At the age of 14 she wondered how these drug companies could be so powerful to take this bill of the president of the united state’s desk. It inspired her to go into law.

Judge Max Rosenn made such an impression on people because while with someone he was always being present with them.Dr. Mollie wrote a book called Walking with Justice about her greatest life mentor Judge Max Rosenn. She says he’s hard to describe and quantify, his colleagues referred to him as a Judge’s Judge. He was a prominent federal judge on the 3rd circuit court of appeals and, to this day, he is still one of the most cited jurists in American history. While by his side she saw portraits, law libraries, even a whole federal building dedicated to him. While he was still alive they renamed the building that he went to work to everyday. He had a great deal of impact.

She went to learn the law from him, but what she didn’t expect to learn was that “it is really our service, especially to our communities, that enriches us and defines the quality of our life.” He was a servant of the people. A humble and very wise man.

Six years ago Dr. Mollie became very ill with a life threatening heart condition. Her regrets surfaced up. She was surprised that one of her regrets was that she never put Judge’s lessons in a book for others to learn from him. Judge had died and if she died all of that information would die with her. Dr. Mollie decided that when she got better that would be her priority. She says, “It actually helped me heal. As I returned to Judge’s life wisdom and love and lessons and put that in a story for others, I found it very healing for myself.”

She shared some of her 25 Uncommon Leadership Lessons from Judge Max Rosenn

  • Your value lies not in status or title but in the ruts of your character and depth of your compassion.
  • With every choice you create the life you live. With every decision you design it.
  • Helping others in need is not only a responsibility of life, it is what gives meaning to life.
  • Our power lies in our small daily choices one after another to create eternal ripples of a life well lived.

She says while she was watching and learning from him when he didn’t even know, when the endless traffic of people from his community come to his door and what he did to help them and try to find ways to help and refer them to other people, were what made him so memorable. “Watching how he served day-in and day-out and helped people and how he shared his presence both with others, but with us. You walk into the presence of judge and you would literally feel like you were the only one in the world.”

She was a young lawyer who was on fire to change the world. She saw that he got a tremendous amount done but he did it by being very centered and very mindful and creating this presence. He carried this stillness with him. He gifted his presence to others.

She says it’s challenging In the world we live in now. We can get caught up in our computer our smartphone even when the most important people in our world are there.

“We need to be very intentional about being present with others and making those connections that nurture others, and that nurture ourselves as well. They nurture us at a very deep level.”

Dr. Mollie’s nonprofit, Community Resiliency Project, started when her small town in Iowa lost three teens to suicide within 6 months time. She had three teens of her own in the same school. It deeply affected the community. She had taken a hiatus from working on her book, Walking with Justice, she came back to it and was affected by the text she had previously written. She realized she was a psychologist, a resiliency researcher, a member of this community, a mother of teens, well connected in the mental health field, she thoughtt I need to do something. “I am being called right here and right now to do something.” She started that day, making phone calls and organizing meetings to put something together so that not only something good could come out of these tragic and heartbreaking losses but that something must.

That was 3 years ago, since then the work has continued and they’ve spread information to many other communities.

“Our mission is to empower communities to grow stronger youth and create an environment in which no life is lost to suicide.”

Her book sales and personal contributions were what funded the work, now they’ve become a nonprofit and are starting to get more support from foundations and writing grants and things like that. The work continues on a more national level and she has stepped in as CEO and she continues to direct this work.

She found a need and then addressed that need in her community. She stepped up to the plate.

It’s not so much as finding a need. “It is just following your own heartbreak, and my heart was broken by these losses and how they happened and the impact that they made.”

dr-mollie-marti“Success is a big word. Passion is a big word. Vision is a big word. We work with these big words and sometimes people just get stuck thinking about them. And so I think it can be really helpful […] what breaks your heart and you just think there’s got to be a better way. Ask those type of questions and then what’s one step you can take to just make things a little bit better in your corner of the world.”

This connect to another interview Zeb had with Angela Meyers, Choose to Matter listen to it next.

Resiliency is the ability to respond to, cope with and grow through adversity. Resiliency is not about bouncing back it’s about growing through adversity.

On resiliency: “It’s about coming through whatever challenge more wise and stronger and with a deeper sense of your mission and why you are here. That all will equate to a more rich and meaningful life.”

Another book she worked on, The 12 Factors of Business Success, she wrote with Wiley. The chapters talk about self-discipline, having a game plan, taking directive action, decision making, living from passion, having confidence, mastering criticism (a popular chapter), self-control, resilience, wealth building, putting support structures in place, and the mindset for success.

They asked over 10,000 people their questions and challenges for success. They loaded as much coaching into the book as they could.

“I look at people and I just see the extraordinary potential that they have. I’m passionate about helping them tap more and more of that.”

On Success: “To live true to yourself, to live vibrantly, and live in service to others in a way that people you love the most will say that you showered them with love.”

“Thrive and serve. I’m about living vibrantly, using that potential, and living in a way that is meaningful to yourself. Loving your life while you’re serving others and making that impact.”

“No matter what the world says of you or to you, with your accolades and your accomplishments, if you don’t live in a way that the people you love the most know that they’re loved and feel that love and you haven’t made those deposits that love lives on long after you’re gone, I don’t think you’re successful.”

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Episode 87: The Importance of Body Language | Dr. Nick Morgan, Owner of Public Words

Nick Morgan, body language expertIn this interview I want to focus on how important body language is when you’re speaking, and not just in front of a lot of people, but just speaking in general. What your body language tells people. Dr. Nick Morgan is one of the top experts on body language and how to make sure it conveys the message you are trying to convey. Dr. Nick Morgan owns Public Words, a company that is helping to create strategies for people who want to become professional speakers.

Dr. Nick Morgan is one of America’s top communication theorists and coaches
A passionate teacher, Nick is committed to helping people find clarity in their thinking and ideas—and then delivering them with panache.

Zeb’s Take – Importance of Body Language for Public Speaking

It was a real pleasure talking to Dr. Nick Morgan. A body language expert, he just has such a solid background; he’s done so many good things for so many people out there, so many well respected people in the speaking industry, companies, businesses, the advice he was willing to share with us today was phenomenal. I hope all of you out there listening took notes, because he knows what he’s talking about and he gave some excellent tips and advice today.

In this wrap-up I want to focus on the importance of body language. This is one of the things I struggle with. Recently I’ve been giving speaking engagements, and they’re smaller venues maybe 40-50 people. I’m talking about social media and my whole focus is on the content, the stuff that I’m saying. What Dr. Morgan correctly pointed out is that most people aren’t going to remember what you say. They are going to remember your energy, the way you interact, respond and your body language and what that tells them about the experience and what they’re learning.

If you notice professional speakers, they have that charisma. I’ve seen enough people speaking and you can tell, some of these people are charismatic. But, they are charismatic because they’ve acquired that skill. They are very deliberate with what they choose to do with their body language and the way they convey and represent themselves to others.

I was talking with Adam Whitmer, someone in my mastermind group, he gives speaking engagements all the time. He speaks mostly in the banking industry about regulations, bankers have to go to these events. He wants to become a better speaker, so he’s been going to some training and learning about speaking. He was very clear that a lot of it is your body language and the way you present yourself just like Dr. Nick said. He has seen the difference. Adam said it made a profound difference in the way the audience responded to him once he started applying the rules of body language and using them effectively.

I’ve never applied these things before, because I’m literally just learning. I always knew body language was important, but I never focused on the body language because I always focused on the content. In the future, moving forward, I’m definitely going to be more conscientious about my body language and what that is conveying to the audience that is listening to the message I’m trying to share.

I really appreciate Dr. Nick sharing all his advice today, and not just the body language stuff, but everything he shared. It was extremely eye opening and enlightening.

Connect with us on Facebook, I’d love to hear from all of you. Hear some feedback on the interview and let me know if you have any questions for me or Dr. Nick.

Go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Nick Morgan and Public Words

Visit www.PublicWords.com to get tons of free information about speaking, body language and the business of professional speaking. It’s a real treasure trove of information.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 8.23.47 PMQuotes

    • “We teach them a lot about body language. We make them very cool body language experts and then they can begin to take charge of their own body language and then read it better in others. That makes them smarter interpersonally.”
    • “One of the classic mistakes that business people make when they’re going into a meeting, pitching a client or are giving a speech is they say, well let me start by telling you a little bit about myself or my company. Frankly, nobody cares about you or your company.”
    • “Don’t leave the body language to chance, think about it beforehand. Decide how you are going to show up with your body as well as with your content.”
    • “Most people think charisma is something that is reserved for a few lucky people. […] In fact, we are all charismatic at a few unplanned times in our lives.”
    • “If you are not fully present, if you are not completely focused, then you are not going to be as effective.”
    • “Being able to fully utilize your Voice with a capital V in the world so that you know who you are and people know who you are, that way you can share something unique and that’s powerfully you with the world.”

dr-nick2

dr-nick

More From the Interview

Nick Morgan, Author of Power CuesDr. Nick Morgan was an academic. He taught Shakespeare and public speaking. He trained as an actor, did that for a while. Had some children he had to take care of, so he had to get a paying job. He worked briefly as a speechwriter for a governor. Then he entered the business world via consulting and then started his own business.

Public Words started in 1997. He says, “We help people tell their stories.” They work with essentially three kinds of clients: pofessional speakers who need to be on the top of their game and need to develop successful brands for themselves, executives who need or want to improve their communication skills, and companies who need to tell their stories to the world or to their own employees for motivation.

Zeb was introduced to Dr. Nick Morgan through David Meerman Scott author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR. Who has worked with Dr. Nick.

Nick gives an example of one of his clients. Someone who is cool under pressure and get’s promoted because that’s exactly what you need in some industries. Once he was promoted to a certain level he was told that his employees think he’s too cold, now he needs to show more emotion. Even though not showing so much emotion may have helped him get to that position in the first place.

“Sometimes it’s for a specific speech, but it’s also often for just in general relating to your employees or your colleagues.”

They do is a combination of coaching: talking over strategies, how to behave in meetings, a certain amount of role play, video tape to show people how they look and what they’re doing. “We teach them a lot about body language. We make them very cool body language experts and then they can begin to take charge of their own body language and then read it better in others. That makes them smarter interpersonally. They know when they are doing well and when they need to adjust.”

Part of their job is figureing out people’s or businesses’s story. They’re about figuring out, what’s the streamlined story.

“You need to figure out how to tell that story economically and in a way that’s powerful and grabs people right from the start.”

The movie Casablanca starts with 7 minutes of opening credits. Nowadays, movies begin with action, once they’ve got you hooked they run the credits along with the action. The world has sped up for us that way. Speakers and business people in general need to do the same.

One of the classic mistakes that business people make when they’re going into a meeting, pitching a client or are giving a speech is they say, well let start by telling you a little bit about myself or my company. Frankly, nobody cares about you or your company. They want to know why. Why am I there, what’s in it for me, why should I care, why is this important. You have to answer that why question first then you can tell them about yourself.

He says he asks people when they are creating a speech how much time they spend thinking about the content of the speech and how much time they think about the body language. An honest answer is usually 100% on the content and 0% on the speech.

“When you are standing up in front of an audience that communication with the audience is actually two conversations. On the one hand it’s the is the content, on the other hand it’s the body language. And when those two are aligned then the audience will get your message. When they are not aligned, what happens is people will believe the body language every time. The body language always trumps the content. [… ]If you don’t think about your body language, or what you’re going to do with that beforehand, you are leaving it up to chance.”

If you do what most business speakers do, you clutch your hands nervously in front of your stomach then your body language sends out the message that you are nervous and your stress levels are high. Studies show that when you do that you actually raise the stress levels of the audience as well. When stress levels are high people don’t learn well, remember well or listen well. You are actually making the communication worse.

“Don’t leave the body language to chance, think about it beforehand. Decide how you are going to show up with your body as well as with your content.”

He says videotaping that is a great tool for the average person wanting to give better speeches. Videotape yourself either in rehearsal or giving a speech, just watch and see those ticks that we all have that do get in the way of communication. They are good to clean up and to get smart about and eliminate.

Dr. Nick can’t help but notice the mistakes people make when he sees someone speaking.

Often times people over prepare and overload their audience with too much information. So people really need to cut down, figure out the one thing you want to get across to your audience and make sure everything you say is in support of that one idea.

“Most people think charisma is something that is reserved for a few lucky people. […] In fact, we are all charismatic at a few unplanned times in our lives.”

Emotional focus is very charismatic, that really is what charisma is.

“If you are not fully present, if you are not completely focused, then you are not going to be as effective.”

We work with people who want a sustained professional speaking career. There are three things you need in general: a great speech (or a few great speeches), a great book (as proof that you’re the expert), and a community – these days that’s the online community.

One of the pieces Public Words often helps with is the book. Help them with the story, the proposal, pitching to agents, selling to publisher, and bring it to market and persuade people to buy it and read it.

“You’re not writing a book to put it away on a shelf and have nobody see it. That’s not the point. You write a book to share your ideas with people because you are passionate about them and you think they will help them. So you gotta have a plan these days, in this world, for distributing and marketing the book”

To develop a community Public Words uses the idea that you are passionate about, that you want to share with the world, that you want to write books about, give speeches about, and debate with the community.

Fifteen years ago there were certain gatekeepers who got to decide what information reached most people. Newspaper editors, tv and radio show producers. Now we have the internet and things have changed. You can create a community online and those gatekeepers are much less important than they used to be. But, now you have to do the work.

We tend to build our relationships based on face to face relationships. In those kind of relationships trust is pretty durable. “Online, trust is very fragile. If people get the sense that you are not honest or that you are not being authentic in some way then they will drop you like a hot potato and they won’t come back.”

“You have to make sure you know exactly who you are, and what you are doing, and that it’s authentic and you are in it for keeps. The internet is very quick to sniff out people who are just trying to sell something.”

Nick shared a failure he had with a client who had a great story, he was an immigrant who built up a huge successful company. He worked with Public Words to put together a big public speech to a really large crowd to talk about his legacy and how he got to where he was. After the speech was written he refused to rehearse. Instead of doing everything he could to get the client to rehearse, he let the client convince him that rehearsal wasn’t necessary.

When it came time to give the speech the client starting doing martial arts moves in front of everyone. He would say a few lines from the speech and then do some more martial arts. Everyone one was staring wondering what was going on. Nick wishes he would have worked harder to convince the client to rehearse.

Nick Morgan says the amount of rehearsing you need to do varies depends on how experienced you are, how comfortable you are, how big the stakes are, how different the speech is compared to what you’re used to. There are a lot of factors involved. What you want to do is stand up there and have it not look like you’re doing this for the first time.

“If the body language is saying oh I’m a little scared I’m doing this for the first time, that undercuts the authority that the speaker is trying to get across.”

How long should you rehearse? Enough to get it into your muscle memory so that you don’t look like you’re giving the speech for the first time because that body language message woefully undercuts the message you’re trying to get across.

When you get into the room, it’s important to have a rehearsal, at least walk and around and check everything out, but ideally a full rehearsal in the actual space you’re going to give a speech in.

“Being able to fully utilize your Voice with a capital V in the world so that you know who you are and people know who you are, that way you can share something unique and that’s powerfully you with the world.”

1904262_10152426866698120_1782783527655435063_nNick has a new book, Power Cues, in which he shares some personal stories some reasons why he cares so much about body language and speaking. “That’s about being authentic and getting my voice out there.” The book also discusses the relationship between neuroscience and how communication actually works. “It’s a big step for me.”

 

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Episode 86: Take Action & Create Your Dots | David Ralph, Host of Join Up Dots Daily Podcast

Take Action Find Your Path with David Ralph from the Join Up Dots PodcastIn this interview I talk with David Ralph about how important it is to take action. David had me on his podcast not to long ago. I really liked what he was doing. I liked the message and the tone of his podcast. So I decided to have him on the Defining Success Podcast. It’s his first time being interviewed himself on a podcast. It’s a great interview.

David Ralph is the host of the Join Up Dots Podcast, The Daily Podcast Talking To The Motivational, Inspirational and Conversational Movers And Shakers Across The Globe Today.

Zeb’s Take – Take Action

It was really great to talk today with David Ralph again. He’s always a pleasure to talk to. He has a great message and mission to share, which is joining up dots. He shared that quote with us from Steve Jobs about joining up dots and what that looks like. You’ll never know, you can’t join up the dots to your future, you can’t say I want to achieve this and this is the path I’m going to take to get there. But, when you start to take action the path sort of opens up before you.

My goal when I started my entrepreneurial career was to start a successful tutoring business and the tutoring business was going to fund my lifestyle. A tutoring business, I realized it wasn’t going to be extremely successful unless I took it nationally or did something like that. I knew it would be a difficult long road. But I took action to get there and as I started down that path I began to learn about internet marketing. I started learning about how to market myself. People started to approach me and said, “You’re really good at this. why don’t you try doing more of this. Go out and try to attract businesses.”

I took action again, I started down the internet marketing route. And as I’m doing my internet marketing work I started to develop niches. I did really great work for golf courses. In that golf course industry I started getting a lot of attention, people saying that I was doing a good job. I decided to take action and write this book on The Social Golf Course. It went from running a tutoring business, to running an internet marketing business, to running social media specifically for golf courses. Which is what I’m focusing on now. I know for sure it is going to change as my path unfolds, but that’s how I’ve joined up the dots.

Looking back it’s easy to see and point out the turning points that made those events happen. But let’s say when I started my tutoring business and I was looking into the future, I was never going to know where life was going to take me. I think it’s remarkable that David Ralph is trying to share that message. It’s taking action and taking steps that are going to improve your lifestyle, to do something that you are happy with excited about and want to do, you take action to start doing that and eventually doors are going to open. They are going to guide you down that path that makes sense for you to your purpose, or to what you can genuinely offer to other people to be of service which will make you happier, lead a better life and all that good stuff.

I was great talking with David, he’s a really funny guy. I hope you enjoyed the interview and enjoyed hearing about his journey in creating his daily podcast, Join the Dots. The amount of work and dedication that he’s putting into it is really remarkable and I think he has a lot of advice already even though he is very new into this business adventure. I want to encourage all of you to go out there and find your success.

Find out more about David Ralph and the Join Up Dots Podcast

Find Join Up Dots on iTunes!
Visit www.JoinUpDots.com or email ContactJoinUpDots@gmail.com. David loves getting emails.

Quotes

  • “Some of your darkest moments in your life, when you look back with new eyes, you can actually go, ‘Yeah. Thank god for that. If it wasn’t for that I’d still be in that situation.’”
  • “I believe in what I’m doing. I believe in the content that I’m producing, I believe in the feedback that my guests were giving me. So, I’m just going to keep going with it.”
  • “You don’t have to know something about anything. You just need to have to have a passion and then research it. So that’s what I did.”
  • “I enjoy this more than anything I’ve done before.”
  • “Once you get an email in from a ‘complete stranger’ to say I like your work – thank you very much for putting it out – and you get that validation that is like woah!”
  • “It’s very much about overcoming fears and creating a life that is what you deserve.”
  • “I realized that I couldn’t plan going forward, I could only do things that kind of felt right and hopefully if I meander this way or go that way or whatever they are going to pull together.”
  • “You’ve got to have trust. You’ve got to have faith. You’ve got to be able to push forward and find your path. And it may not be the right path straight away. But if you do enough things and have enough failures, ultimately, fingers crossed, if you believe hard enough, you are going to find your successes.”

david-1

More From the Interview

Zeb was recently on David’s Join Up Dots Podcast. The podcast hadn’t aired a single episode yet, but Zeb was his number 60 or something interview. He had scheduled plenty of these interviews before he launched his daily podcast. Today he started at 9 AM interviewing people all day. It is now 11 PM in London and he is still going strong chatting with us today. It is an impressive schedule that he sets for himself.

Before the Join Up Dots Podcast David was going through emotions. He was in corporate land and for many moons he was a financial trainer. He would stand in front of people doing the same presentations that he had done hundreds of times before. He did 20 years in banking in London and he did a few years in insurance as well. He was a gray suit man.

“It is hard to believe. Now I’m doing this, I kind of wonder whether I had actually done that, although it was such a big part of my life, it’s kind of like waking up from a bad dream. I’ve been in a coma or something.”

He was in a job he knew inside out. He could do it better than anyone because he had so much experience. Everything was going swimmingly until his manager left and someone new came in. He said that lady was the start of the end. He realized that one person in an office could dictate his happiness. She came in and started telling him how to do a job that he could do better than anyone. After several bad days, he felt that his life wasn’t his own anymore and something had to give.

He thought, “This is it. This is the end. And it was. It was the closest thing to an epiphany I’ve ever had. It hit me with such force that this was the end that I actually had to go home. I said to them ‘look, im going to take the rest of the day off.’ I couldn’t physically work. It was like, I was just exhausted from this built up energy that had been taking over me. And that was it.”

He says, looking back on it now, as he tries to emphasize on his show, “Some of your darkest moments in your life, when you look back with new eyes, you can actually go, ‘Yeah. Thank god for that. If it wasn’t for that I’d still be in that situation.’”

David says if you are considering running a podcast, the amount of work that it takes is surprising. The day David launched his podcast he had 45 people listening, then 54, then 20 on the third day. He was concerned. He wondered, why aren’t they listening? But he kept with it. Now he realizes that people were probably just busy.

“I believe in what I’m doing. I believe in the content that I’m producing, I believe in the feedback that my guests were giving me. So, I’m just gonna keep going with it.”

“I lost the fear at that stage.”

Originally, David wasn’t going to do a podcast, he was going to be a web developer. But after a few days of working at home alone without talking to anyone, he felt he made the wrong decision. He started listening to podcasts. He says, “It seemed intoxicating and vibrant and fun.” He thought, I could do this, this is an idea. He sort of batted the idea away because he didn’t know anything about it, but what he realized was: “You don’t have to know something about anything. You just need to have to have a passion and then research it. So that’s what I did.”

It was time to take action. On a budget, he got a little mixer, had his computer, bought a mic, and that was his setup. Then the hard work started, he had to approach people and ask them to be on his podcast. Ask people to come on a show that they haven’t heard of, that they can’t check out because there are no episodes yet, with someone who hasn’t done this before, and has no experience. To get over the fear of asking people, he sent his first email to Elton John, knowing he probably wouldn’t get a response. The next person he sent it to said, “Yup, fine. I’ll be on.”

Then David thought “Oh my god, I’ve got to do this now. I’ve got someone waiting for me.”

“If you are sitting out there and you’ve got that idea that you want to do something and you think you’ve got to be good, well you don’t. Because you listen back to episodes 1, 2, 3 of Join Up Dots and compare to where I am now you can see that you have time to progress.”

You just have to take action, bite size chunks, and good things are going to happen.

“I enjoy this more than anything I’ve done before.”

“Once you get an email in from a ‘complete stranger’ to say I like your work thank you very much for putting it out and you get that validation that is like woah!”

“It makes you feel like, yes there are people out there waiting for you to speak.”

“It’s actually realizing that I have something to say, that is worthwhile and that people want to listen to.”

So far David has done 92 interviews. Some of the coolest interviews were with Clay Herbert (crowdfunding guy) and a man who is traveling around the world without flying, Niall Doherty, he was fascinating. Scott Barlow and Mark Sieverkropp with a website and a podcast called Happen to Your Career. David is proud of that episodes he said it felt like they knew each other for years and years. And, of course, his interview with Zeb Welborn. David just tries to find inspiring people who he wants to talk to.

David tries to keep to a theme, the show title comes from a speech Steve Jobs gave where he said you can’t really see your path in life, it’s only when you look back and connect the dots. He wants to get the kind of conversations that the guests haven’t had before, so David has to ask some bizarre questions. He really tries to keep a balance where they can be light-hearted and have some fun, but the overall show still keeps with the theme and provides value.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
-Steve Jobs

People do want to help, but we don’t like to ask. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

“It’s very much about overcoming fears and creating a life that is what you deserve. I realized that I couldn’t plan going forward, I could only do things that kind of felt right and hopefully if I meander this way or go that way or whatever they are going to pull together.”

“You’ve got to have trust. You’ve got to have faith. You’ve got to be able to push forward and find your path. And it may not be the right path straight away. But if you do enough things and have enough failures, ultimately, fingers crossed, if you believe hard enough, you are going to find your successes.”

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Episode 85: Taking Initiative | Michael Ghandour,18-year-old owner of MAKO Program

Taking Initiative, Michael Ghandour creator of MAKO Program Michael Ghandour took the initiative and created MAKO Program, it’s kind of like an artificial intelligence for computers where you can talk to the computers, it’ll take your commands and respond to you in the appropriate way. I’m fascinated with Michael for a lot of reasons. One of them is that he did something for fun. He just got excited about it and then he took initiative to take it to the next level, take it to the next step and really own what he was creating. Own it to make a difference.

Michael Ghandour is the creator of MAKO Program, an artificially intelligent assistant that can do anything you ask it to do! MAKO is the most advanced artificial intelligence software. Their revolutionary software is not only able to learn from you, but it can also do essentially anything you require it to do with the power of your voice.

Zeb’s Take on Taking Initiative

I can’t tell you how interested I am in Michael’s story. Just being so young and taking the initiative to go out and get this work done is so impressive to me. He had an interest in playing video games and so he decided, hey I want to learn how to build this video game, and so he did. After he built the video game he thought he wanted to do something with a little more substance. He saw Iron Man 2 and thought, ‘Hey that looks cool. Maybe I could create something like that.’ Then he went out there and created this program that essentially does what JARVIS does in the Iron Man movies. It’s all just because he thought of something, thought it was a cool thing to do, why don’t I create that. There are not a lot of people out there that think that way, that take the initiative, take the action to do something like that.

Taking Initiative, he was talking about how he was learning Economy before he was required to take the Economy class in High School. He was talking about how he had to learn leadership skills. And you can tell that he’s talked about this before. He’s going out, he’s marketed his product, he’s talked passionately about the program he’s creating. For somebody, at 18-years-old, I mean… me at 18 I was so nervous to get in front of people and talk about anything, being on a podcast would have been horrifying. He handled himself very well. He was articulate. He talked about his program the way you would expect someone who is very excited and passionate about what they do.

Putting this all together, he just has this passion, something he enjoyed and wanted to do. He took initiative. He went out there and he did it. That really typifies what The Defining Success Podcast is about. Once you define your success, for example, Michael said, ‘Hey I want to create this program, this artificial intelligence, I want to get recognition, I like recognition. I’m going to go out there and define what my success is and then I’m going to go out there and make it happen.’

It’s remarkable. I hope all of you out there, if there’s something that interests you, something that you want to do, something that you are passionate or excited about, take initiative and go out there and make it happen.

Now, go out there and find your success.

Find out more about Michael Ghandour or MAKO Program

Visit MAKOprogram.net or email Support@MAKOprogram.net

Speech Recognition Program - MAKOQuotes

  • “What can I do to feel like I did something?”
  • “I thought, why can’t I just create it?”
  • “I had that curiosity that I had from the video game, how are video games made? Now, I’m like how is software made.”
  • “The ability to create something and see it at play is just magnificent to me.”
  • “I love programming. I love getting recognition.”

Michael-1

More from the Interview

Michael Ghandour, Owner of MAKO Program and Video Game and Software ProgrammerAt just 18-years-old, and 3 days from his high school graduation, Michael is the youngest guest we’ve had on The Defining Success Podcast.

Before he created MAKO Program he says he played lots of video games. He created his own video game that he programmed and managed, called Final Heros. It was a web based platform, a player vs player game, you compete with other players fighting to gain items and stuff. There was an economy to it and it was starting to suffer from inflation. Michael had to study economy to fix the problem within his video game.

When he was 14-years-old, he still remembers the day a player of his game asked him how they could donate. He said that it was a wonderful game and would like to support it. He wanted to donate $100 and maybe he could get some items in the game in return. At the time Michael hadn’t thought about how to make money from his video game, but $100 sounded pretty good. He looked into it, found PayPal and that’s when his mom helped him set up his first bank account. He says, “I told my mom, she was kinda skeptical of the whole thing. She was like, ‘$100 dollars from a game and you have to put in your bank account number?’” She was supportive though.

He was getting donations from players making purchases within the game, there were no required payments or membership fees. Everything was, players could either work hard and get it or they could donate. He actually needed donations to keep the website going.

Michael didn’t just have to learn about programming to create this game. He had to learn about economy, mathematics, and all these other things that he had to apply and incorporate into the game. Michael says, he also had to learn about leadership skills. You wouldn’t expect someone to learn leadership skills from a video game. I had a staff of 8 people and 4 of them were from other countries, so we had to manage our time to see when who will be logged in and it was all for fun. They were never paid. Michael had to manage them so they were never abusive within the game and that they were helpful.

When Michael had to shut down the game he created (he felt it was taking away from from his schoolwork) he decided to have a more relaxing summer before his last year of high school. After playing lots and lots of video games he says he felt kinda depressed, because he wasted his summer. He didn’t take advantage of the summer like he had in the past, he didn’t learn any new programming, he wondered what he could do at the end of summer to make his summer feel like it was worth it. He saw Iron Man 2, and thought why isn’t there something like JARVIS. He knows there’s SIRI, but it’s not actually that smart or functional, and there’s nothing for PCs that can actually do many things. He thought, why can’t I just create it.

“What can I do to feel like I did something?”

“I thought, why can’t I just create it?”

“I had that curiosity that I had from the video game, how are video games made? Now, I’m like how is software made.”

Two new features that Michael has recently added to MAKO Program. One is MAKO Research Center, you can say ‘gather information on Bill Gates’ or ‘gather information on Oprah Winfrey’ and it will pull up 3 photos of the subject and bring up a small description. The other feature is self-aware mode. That’s in prototype stage. Michael says, “It’s pretty scary because it’s actually like artificial intelligence. You’re talking to it and it actually responds like in the movie.”

He says it uses a similar algorithm to Cleverbot, an online chat program that can think, respond to and remember what you said at least for the short term. He has lots of plans for this feature.

He knows it’s not perfect. He is trying to make the engine for MAKO really flexible so it can work with any microphone.

Michael is reminded of something one of his classmates posted on Facebook, “‘Art is magnificent, it’s my passion. I can create anything and it feels like it comes to life seeing the response I get from my art.’ I feel like I’m the same way, programming is the same way for me.”

“The ability to create something and see it at play is just magnificent to me.”

Michael says the biggest mistakes he’s made is over-trusting people, staff positions, with passwords, or the ability to spawn items, it can be abused. He says you need to take precautions. The other big mistake Michael says he’s made is being naive to the law, but he’s learned a lot.

“I want MAKO to have the best engine, 98-99% accurate; that it can understand you 99% of the time. To make self-aware mode feel like you are actually talking to another human. To make MAKO truly like JARVIS from the movie. To make it functional and not just an entertainment factor.”

He named it MAKO because when he asked his mom what he should call his program that was was she suggested. She had been watching shark week on the Discovery Channel and was thinking of the shark. She thought a shark fin could make a good logo too. Michael liked the name, it’s short, simple, easy to pronounce, and he thought the fin could make a good logo.

To help Michael, just have curiousity like he did, if you are at all interested in his program check out his website MAKOprogram.net and try the 7-day-free trial. If you don’t like it cancel it.

Many people use his software for the dictation aspect, he likes to use it for reading text and for the research.

Being proud of yourself and proud of your achievements, and having those achievements recognized, even if it’s small recognition, I think that’s what success is.

“I love programming. I love getting recognition.”

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Episode 84: Stop Job Seeking and Start Networking | Tom Dowd, aka Transformation Tom, author of Displacement Day

Thomas Dowd talks about networking when you are job seekingThomas Dowd is the author of his book, Displacement Day. It’s about trying to recover from losing a job and going out job hunting. One of the things that I thought was very interesting was the way he would go about job seeking and how he recommends others do it as well. It’s the difference between networking and job searching.

Thomas Dowd, or Transformation Tom, is the author of “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work.” With over twenty-three years of experience in the financial industry in management and leadership roles at the same organization, Thomas Dowd received the call nobody wanted: “We’re downsizing.” What could have been a devastating day, immediately turned into a journey toward his next book “Displacement Day.”

Zeb’s Take – Networking while Job Seeking

I really liked the fact that he brought up how to go about finding a job. Recently, I’ve been approached by a couple people who tell me that they’re looking for jobs. When they come up to me and they ask, “Hey, I’m looking for a job. I don’t have a job. Is there anything that I can do?” Desperately I want to try to help them in some capacity, but it’s tough to think of a way to do that. Sometimes I think of people that I might know to put them in touch with.

What Tom brought up in the interview was that instead of being a job seeker, instead of asking people for jobs all the time. Which actually can be kind of a weird feeling, because the person you’re asking, it feels a little uncomfortable because they want to help, but they can feel like they are in control of your destiny… it’s a lot of pressure and makes it a more uncomfortable conversation, I think. Where, if you look at it as you are networking with someone who could potentially give you a job, and not so much like, “hey I need a job, give me a job.” Instead, going in there and asking asking them questions about their business, what is it that they well, how do people get that job, how do they excel in that industry. By asking those questions it’s more of a relationship where you have two people engaging and discussing together. It’s more comfortable for the other people involved. It’s really a great way to think about job seeking and looking for jobs.

In the interview I mentioned that I went around the country, and check out Craigslist and just blast my resume out everywhere. Say, “Hey, I need a job! I need a job! I need a job!” I’m telling everyone, and it didn’t work for me. If I had gone about it differently and I had looked for ways to network with those people I think I would have had better results.

If you are looking for a job, follow Tom’s advice.

Now, go out there and find your success!

Find Out More About Tom Down and His BookThomas Dowd's book Displacement Day

Go to TransformationTom.com

Tom’s book, Displacement Day: When My Job Was Looking for a Job, is available in regular book form and ebook form on Amazon. Just search for the title “Displacement Day.”

 

Quotes

  • “It wasn’t my communication skills, it was actually my confidence level. By gaining this confidence I learned to communicate much more effectively.”
  • “It’s not about getting the project done. It’s about building the right relationships with the right people to get the job done.”
  • “When I stopped trying to impress and start being myself I gained the confidence, I gained the skills, and I found a whole lot more success.”
  • “I had built the network, I felt really good about it, and I built it before I needed it.”
  • “Networking isn’t just checking off a box. It’s about building a true relationship. A mutual relationship.”
  • “Stop job seeking and start networking.”
  • “In these networking sessions, never leave it without asking the question, who else can I meet with? And run with it.”
  • “The important part of the network is that you start the process, but the network does the work for you if you allow it to.”
  • “As soon as I became a better teacher I became a better learner. By becoming a better learner I became a better teacher.”
  • “I believe in who I am, and more importantly, I believe in who I can still be.”

Dowd2      TomDowd

More From the Interview

Tom was a communications major at the University of Delaware. He graduated on a Friday and started work at a Finance company on a Monday. Worked there in several positions for over 23 years. When his company was taken over and went from a 28,000 person organization to a 300,000 person organization, he had to make a mental adjustment: decide if he was going to be swallowed up in the 300,000 person organization or did he want to make a difference. He joined Host Masters, a worldwide organization that helps to improve communication skills and leadership skills, it was that that boosted Tom’s confidence through the roof. It allowed him to do things within his own professional state, and within the organization to make a difference in the organization. He wrote a couple books while he was at that job. One was on his own transformation of becoming self aware and the other on public speaking.

“I was told for 18 years on my performance appraisals that I couldn’t communicate I was told that I have some issues with those skills: listening, yapping, not being clear/concise, not being confident in how I communicated with senior leaders. So I ended up joining Toast Masters, I found during a time, it wasn’t my communication skills, it was actually my confidence level. By gaining this confidence I learned to communicate much more effectively.”

In Toast Masters, he competed in these speech competitions. Twice he got as far as one speech away from the world semi-finals. He met many people who helped him in his journey of communication, confidence and leadership. He gained mentors. One of whom inspired him to write about leadership, success, and how to be a better speaker.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 8.47.03 AM

“I became much more successful when I learned to be myself. Which believe it or not is where my confidence came from. I found myself trying to impress so many people at my job. When I stopped trying to impress and start being myself I gained the confidence, I gained the skills, and I found a whole lot more success.”

To clarify what he means by “Being Yourself.” He was learning to build trust and build relationships. Tom compares his work-self to his home-self. There’s the Tom who is sitting at the dinner table having a conversation with his family, laughing, joking, casual. It’s not about communication or confidence, it’s just being Tom. And then he goes to work, has a tie choking him around the neck, a white collar, get the job done, force the hand of the people around him, give them critical feedback whether they want it or not, who never missed his goals, never missed hitting his numbers.

He got lots of criticism. There were a few people who gained his trust. One of them talked to him and asked him about his relationships with the other people at the company. It helped him realize things he needed to change. He had a reputation as an uptight guy who gets the job done, but people were concerned about his leadership abilities.

Once a month he would pick up the phone and talk to somebody he didn’t know, and who were a couple levels above him in the organization. To push his comfort zone and to reinventing himself. He would tell them about what he’s been doing at the organization and what they’ve been doing. How they could maybe help each other. He became a better listener, a better business partner, became more successful because he stopped trying to impress people and just worried about the job. The people became more important to him.

“I became this push and pull man. I’m gonna push you when you need it and I’m gonna pull you in and figure out what you can do to help yourself.”

“It’s not about getting the project done. It’s about building the right relationships with the right people to get the job done.”

“I was trying to change people. What I really needed to do was change me to be who I wanted to be while still getting the best out of people.”

When he found out his company was downsizing, he said that phone call was almost calming. He has such confidence in the network he built, in the skills he had, in his vulnerability to learn from his mistakes and develop who he wanted to be, he says he saw the whole world ahead of him and said, “Okay.” He wasn’t worried.

“I had built the network, I felt really good about it, and I built it before I needed it.”

“Networking isn’t just checking off a box. It’s about building a true relationship. A mutual relationship.”

“Stop job seeking and start networking.”

Tom stopped asking for a job and started working to build his relationships with people in his network. He had to reinvent himself to them so they would know what he was looking for. Also, he says one of the biggest things he learned was don’t make assumptions. Because he assumed that people in his network, certain people, would support him – drop everything they’re doing to give Tom advice, give him a direction, a path. That wasn’t always the case He realized that they were too close to him. They knew exactly what he wanted and what he didn’t want. It was the secondary network, people who knew people, who had new conversations with Tom about what are you looking for? what do you want? and that led to the first chapter of his book.

By talking to his secondary network Tom realized that maybe he didn’t need to go back into the financial industry. Another assumption. He had the speaking stuff, this coaching, this training world that maybe he could turn into a job.

If you’re networking, instead of job seeking, there is no expectation. It takes the pressure away from the situation so they won’t shy away.

Tom says to have an elevator speech, whether you’re employed or not. Think about what do you want people to know about you. What is your greatest accomplishment. Have a 2 min, 5 min, 10 min version of who you are that you can share.

“In these networking sessions, never leave it, without asking the question, who else can I meet with, and run with it.”

Tom says, that’s when you see the spiderweb of network.

“The important part of the network is that you start the process, but the network does the work for you if you allow it to.”

That’s where you move past sympathy and into action.

He says, I had a little credibility issue as I was trying to coach and train people on how to write resumes and network while I was unemployed. I continued to do that while I was job seeking. I talked to people that had been looking for jobs for over two years. I found a lot of people who would not apply for a job because they met a few of the requirements, but they did not quite meet everything within the job description. He says the hiring manager put down the absolute perfect candidate, probably no one is going meet everything on that job description. He also recommends that have to differentiate yourself, all resume’s look the same. Make your story come alive. Your resume should read like a book. It is the introductory chapter, make people want to read the rest of the book.

“People are just too vanilla in their resumes.”

People always get frozen in these situations.

Always have a plan. Wake up like you have a job. Have a plan of attack for the day. Send emails, make phone calls, schedule and go to meetings. What is your marketing plan? What companies are you going to target?

Until someone offers you a job and you’re unpacking your boxes at that organization you need to continue job searching. When “I got my full time job offer, I was ecstatic, I told my wife, I came back upstairs to the laptop and I continued my job search until I had the official contract signed.” It wasn’t a lack of confidence that he’d get the job, it was how many times did things fall through before becoming official.

“As soon as I became a better teacher, I became a better learner. By becoming a better learner I became a better teacher.”

“I learned that I can be the person I want to be. I learned to be willing to be the student. I became a better listener. I became a better person, a better business partner.”

Anyone out there that considers themselves a failure. I would tell them to go back and revisit themselves. You shouldn’t be striving for perfection, you should be striving for excellence and really strive to make yourself a better person.

“I believe in who I am, and more importantly, I believe in who I can still be.”

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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 80: Networking vs Working a Room with the Mingling Maven | Susan RoAne, Author of How To Work a Room

Author Susan RoAne talks about networing and working a roomThis episode I interview the Mingling Maven, Susan RoAne. She is the author of How to Work a Room. In the interview she gives great ideas on having conversations with people, how to start those conversations, and how to feel comfortable in those scenarios. One of the things she highlighted was the difference between working a room and networking. The real key to networking is in the follow-up.

Susan RoAne, or the Mingling Maven, is the best selling author of How to Work a Room. If you’ve ever walked into a roomful of strangers and felt uncomfortable, you’re not alone. According to research, over 90% feel the same way. Because it’s essential, to building our businesses as well as our personal life, we must be able to comfortably attend gatherings and meet, connect and converse with people we don’t know as well as the ones we do.

Working a room and networking in Susan Roane's book How To Work a Room

Zeb’s Take

What a great interview with Susan. She gave a lot of really great tidbits of information about how you can work a room, how you can feel comfortable in networking situations and meeting new people. I really love the advice she gave.

One of the things she pointed out that I’d like to talk about more is the difference between networking and working a room. Working a room is the initial interactions, initial discussions, and how to make sure your presence is known throughout the room. The networking side of it is through the follow-up. Networking isn’t the mingling and interacting at the location, it’s the follow-up afterwards and that is where the value comes in with networking.

I’ve seen it a lot at networking events. Business owners go wanting to grow their business and they expect outcomes the first time they show up. They walk in, they’re interacting with everybody, they are very outgoing, shaking everyone’s hand and exchange business cards. But they don’t get any business that one day and you’ll never see those people return again. I know from experience with our Chamber of Commerce that my continued presence there, the follow up I did with the people I met at the chamber, that ultimately it led to a lot of sales for me and my business down the road, as people began to trust and know me. Now that I’ve gotten better and gotten more experience at networking I have a good system set in place that encourages follow up, that promotes myself and reaching out to people. Then it’s either getting coffee with them or just connecting through email or social media networks.

The networking at the event is not the goal, it’s about the follow-up afterwards. If you are going to networking events to get the most value out of it make sure you follow up with the people you meet at those events. Because there is always an opportunity. Even if they are not going to be a customer for your business they have the potential to refer your business or connect you with people who can benefit your business. You can also help them in different capacities and build a relationship that way.

Go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Susan Roanne, The Mingling Maven

Go to www.SusanRoane.com or HowToWorkARoom.com
Email Susan at Susan@SusanRoane.com with your questions

Her Book, How To Work a Room
She says, “Please go to your local bookstore, if they don’t have it on the shelf they will order it for you. We have to support our local book stores. But of course it’s in online bookstores. The book is How to Work a Room, the Silver Anniversary Edition.”

Susan RoAne, Best-Selling Author and Keynote Speaker

Quotes

  • “I think that’s part of success, being willing to say yes and stretching ourselves.”
  • ” If you are not re-tweeting, letting someone know you appreciated a tweet, responding, engaging, commenting then you are a lurker, not a worker.”
  • “I found that the people who created their own luck[…], they said yes when they wanted to say no.”
  • “Real networking happens over time, it’s a process. It’s not something that happens once at an event.”
  • “The people who I find with the most success are people that have diverse relationships with people of different ages, different backgrounds, different interests; as well as those who are in their field.”
  • “Some of the best networkers are people who used to be shy, but they realized there was a benefit to meeting interesting people.”
  • “The banquet of banter is a potluck: what are you bringing to the banquet?”
  • “Bring who you are to what you do.”
  • “At a certain point the stuff that we have isn’t as important as the stuff we’re made of.”

susan      susan2

More from the Interview

Susan was a former public school teacher in Chicago and San Francisco. In San Francisco they had massive layoffs, Susan was one of them. She was then able to help former teachers find new career paths. That evolved into Susan writing books including How to Work a Room. She designed a career change workshop for teachers. Made sure it got on radio. When the editor of the San Francisco Examiner contacted her to do a local career series she said, “Yes.” She immediately got a headache because she wasn’t sure what she had gotten herself into.

“I think that’s part of success, being willing to say yes and stretching ourselves.”

Susan’s Book – How To Work A Room

The main premise of her book is to make it easy for any person that has to walk into a room, a meeting, a party, a reunion, a wedding, a conference, a retreat. So that no one stands at the door and feels uncomfortable walking into a room full of people they may not know. Susan’s mission is to take away that discomfort and help people prepare so they can make the most of whatever event they are going to.

In a Room

If Susan is at an event and sees someone standing alone, she’s the one that will seek them out and try to start a conversation with them. Because, she says, one of the top traits of people we really remember are the people who noticed us, came over to us, made us feel included. For the people already in the room, being cognizant of the people who are alone and welcoming them is not only a wonderful trait, it’s a brilliant business strategy.

For the first version of her book, Susan did most of her research at her local chamber. She saw things that people did that were wonderful. She also saw things that made her question how some people were raised.

Being able to work a room is a skill. To be a networker is a different skill. There are people that are wonderful in a room; we’ve all seen them, they are very conversant, they are interesting, fun to be around, but they have no interest in following up and no skill at following up. In her book Susan refers to these people as One-Night-Stands.

There are people out there with phenomenal networking skills. Networking is really the key to success. They have immense follow-up. They do what they say they’re going to do when they say they’re going to do it. They stay in touch. Those same people may feel very uncomfortable when they walk into a room full of strangers.

Those two skills together, working a room and networking, really are dramatic and they contribute to our personal and professional success.

New Rooms

Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, there are new rooms that we need to appropriately work, appropriately be social in, and behave appropriately in. Each one has a different etiquette. If you are not re-tweeting, letting someone know you appreciated a tweet, responding, engaging, commenting then “you are a lurker, not a worker.”

Twitter is the most fascinating time-suck Susan has ever experienced that does not involve the TV.

In video chats for Skype and Google Hangouts, make sure you look great. Make sure you have the right lighting and that it’s not too dark. It’s different on the camera than it is to your eyes. Look at your office and make sure it looks they way you want it to be seen. When you are doing something face to face remember that you are really in that room with them, so you have to remember the same manners you would have in a real room. It’s still about paying attention and listening. Don’t look at your smartphone while you’re in a Google Hangout.

Teaching

Susan still loves speaking at a to universities and colleges. Sharing these techniques to empower a whole new group of people so they can go to places and meet people and get the first job, or the second or third. Even at high schools; giving kids the tools so they can connect with each other and people they need to know. “I think it’s wonderful.”

“I found that the people who created their own luck[…], they said yes when they wanted to say no.”

Advice

For people that feel uncomfortable going to an event, know that if you come prepared you will feel more comfortable. There are some things you can prepare ahead of time. There’s no reason now, with the internet, that you can’t do some research on the event ahead of time so you’re not walking in cold. Prepare your own self introduction, it should be specific to the event. Susan says her introduction at her chamber of commerce meetings is very different than at a friend’s wedding. Tailor your introduction to give people context for how to talk to you. It’s not the 30 second upchucking of an elevator speech; it’s 7-9 seconds, it’s a pleasantry. Give the benefit of what you do set in an interesting fun way that engages people so they get to ask what it means. Then you are invited to speak more. Only go on a little bit. Stop, look at the other person and say, “How about you?” not, “What do you do?” how about you, it allows them to talk about their passion which could be something different than their job.

How are networking and working the room different?

Working a room, you’re really just socializing. You’re mixing, meeting, greeting, you’re having a lot of little conversations and you’re circulating. It’s a social party. Nobody invites you to hog the time of one other guest.

Networking is very specific in that it’s the follow-up. You can’t network a room. Networking is a mutually beneficial process whereby we change ideas, information, ideas, advice, laughter. The real networking happens over time, it’s a process, it’s not something that happens once at an event. When you are developing a network you are developing a group of people where there is a stronger connection and it is the beginning of building relationships.

“The people who I find with the most success are people that have diverse relationships with people of different ages, different backgrounds, different interests; as well as those who are in your field.”

Icebreakers

Just look at the room/the event you’re going to. That’s what’s happening to everyone, it’s something in common. Susan talks about the food, she talks about how long it took to find a parking space. Look for name tags. If you are at a fundraiser, ask how someone came to support the cause. Say something that’s relevant to the event at hand, because that makes sense. It’s easy, it starts the conversation with small talk and then you can move from there.

Complement a tie, a nice scarf, an interesting necklace. It’s okay to compliment someone as long as it’s sincere. Notice things: pins, ties, jewelry; then you are in an easier conversation.

If you want to have something interesting to talk about make sure you know what’s going on in the world. Get it from a newspaper, online, TV, anywhere. Know what’s going on and you can always talk to other people.

For the Shy

In 1980 about 80% of people considered themselves shy, by 2000 it jumped to 93%. If you think you are shy, know that at least 90% of people in that room also feel shy sometimes. Some of the best networkers are people who used to be shy, but they realized there was a benefit to meeting interesting people. So they approach it as, “Oh my goodness, isn’t this great! I’m going to meet interesting people therefore I’m going to learn new things.” and it’s that attitude that gets them over the shyness.

“Some of the best networkers are people who used to be shy. but they realized there was a benefit to meeting interesting people.”

Susan suggests that if you walk into an event with someone that you don’t stay with them for the whole evening. Decide to split up and talk to other people then come back and introduce people to each other. Even for couples. Don’t stand face-to-face talking to each other; stand side-by-side facing room.

Susan’s Top Tips for a Great Conversation

Number one: Listen. Listen. Listen.

Two: “The banquet of banter is a potluck: what are you bringing to the banquet?” Be sure to bring your favorite stores. Listen to other people’s stories. Susan does this thing where she barrows other people’s stories, you can relate to people with kids even if you don’t have any. If you listen and pay attention to their stories that’s another story you can share to someone that has similar interests.

For conversation it’s listen, participate, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t ask only questions. Share something of yourself.

“Bring who you are to what you do.”

On Success

“Can you look in your own mirror and feel comfortable with the person you are, how you treat people, how you’ve walked around this planet; and what your contribution has been?”

“It’s how you treat people.”

“I have a wonderful network of people around the world that I’ve stayed in touch with that has made me have the most wonderful life.”

“I want to know that when you’ve listened to me that you’ve got something that you can do to make your life just a little bit easier, better, and that to me is success.”

“At a certain point the stuff that we have isn’t as important as the stuff we’re made of.”

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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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