hospitality consulting

Mike Thorp – Less Talk and More Creation! – How Saying No to Gary Vaynerchuk Helped Launch a Hospitality Consulting Business (AoL 114)

There’s a reason that many businesses fail in the first several years of business.

Of course, finances might play a part in that. But I think that even having a revenue problem is the sign of a deeper issue.

The issue is simply that business ownership doesn’t necessarily make one a great leader.

And without the ability to paint a vision and help employees see what’s going on, of course a company is going to fold.

Today’s guest, Mike Thorp, helps restaurants with this problem. He says that what he does for his clients is a combination of Hell’s Kitchen and The Profit. He loves what he’s doing, as you’ll find out.

But doing his own thing – it came at a cost. As creatives, we find out that to create our consumption must go down. And sometimes, we have to cut it out completely.

That’s exactly what Mike had to do with Gary V.

So in today’s chat, we’ll hear all about what Mike brings to the table with his business, but we’ll also learn what motivated Mike to pull the plug on Gary.

Enjoy!

 

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How’d Mike get started in the restaurant industry? 9:43
  • How does Mike view leadership and culture in the restaurant industry? 15:16
  • What’s an important role he sees his company doing for local students? 22:02
  • Does he only work with local businesses around Grand Rapids? 26:53
  • What was his transition like going from corporate work to consulting? 30:43
  • What does Mike wake up for in the morning? 34:18
  • What lead Mike to write his viral post on Medium? 42:28
  • Why do so many people have trouble leaving the consumer mindset to becoming a creative? 50:37
  • What are some of the things Mike’s looking forward to? 52:39
  • What are his three top favorite books? 54:50
  • What’s a fact from today that would blow the mind from someone ten years ago.? 56:41
  • Smallest decision he’s made that’s made the largest impact? 57:08
  • What’s a life skill that he’s amazed people lack? 58:44
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 1:01:44

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Last Video You Have to Watch:

Cy Wakeman on The #AskGaryVee Show:

Danny Meyer – The Convergence of Casual and Fine:

Michael Shafer reviews the Oz Principle:

Thanks for Listening!

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Cheers!

places of interest

10 Ways to Find Places of Interest In Your Own Backyard

When I was growing up, I lived in a small town in the middle of flyover country. (I wouldn’t be until later that I even knew that the Midwest was called that.) One of my biggest goals in high school was to go out and see the world. This interest, I’m pretty sure stemmed from watching way too much Discovery Channel over the years.

That, and well, mom was an art teacher. And she loved teaching art from around the world.

It just seemed like something I was always going to do.

Then college hit and I ended up telling myself that if I wanted to graduate on time, I need to book it. Traveling abroad, for the foreseeable future, was not in my cards.

Even though that was the case, I did do a fair share of domestic traveling during the long college summers. When I wasn’t taking a summer class, you could find me making road trips to all kinds of places east of the Mississippi.

Sure, that might not sound like a lot compared to other online entrepreneurs, but here’s the thing. I feel like I appreciate more of what we have in our own backyards a little more than others might.

I don’t feel like I need to leave the country to get the same benefits they do.

Heck, there are still places here in the Midwest that are on my list to check out!

That being the case and it being a new year, I thought I’d share with you guys some of my favorite ways to engage more with your own hometown or places that aren’t so far away.

That way you still get some of the benefits of traveling, but don’t have to go out of the country!

 

1. Pick up Travel Guides and Local Magazines for Nearby Destinations 

This is probably one of my go to cheats in finding interesting things to do when I’m traveling around Indiana. When I was working at AMS daily back in 2014, we found ourselves going to various towns around Indiana as part of our whirlwind tour of events. When I was at those towns, I made sure that I got travel brochures while I was there to find out more about them.

Now some of my favorite towns in Indiana are those that might not seem too special if you’re just traveling through. Towns like Richmond, New Castle, and Noblesville are much higher on my list today.

Another thought, if you’re into museum exhibits, check to see what’s coming up in your city and cities that are within a day trip. Some of the best exhibits I’ve seen have been in Chicago, Dayton, and Columbus, Ohio.

2. Seek out Free Activities: Festivals, Art Shows, etc.

One of my favorite activities to take part in during mid summer to early fall is to attend festivals throughout Michigan and Indiana.

For example, in Traverse City, MI they have the National Cherry Festival. Many people who tell you that they’ve been to Traverse City is because of this festival. While I’ve never been, I know it’s a great time.

That said, there are tons of other festivals that are going on around the area at this time due to the harvest period. One of these festivals is called the Venetian Festival which takes place in the town that I’d visit my great aunt in yearly – Charlevoix.

If you like fireworks and being up close to them when they’re going off, their Friday night display could possibly be one of the best shows you’ve ever seen!

After that, I always make it a point to go to Indiana festivals including the Johnny Appleseed Festival, James Dean Festival, and any others that might be happening in Indy. Many these festivals have tons of artisans selling their wares – so festivals make great places to find one of a kind gifts.

Not in the Michiana area? Check and see what kind of festivals are in your area!

3. Let your Phone Guide You

Some of my favorite apps help me discover towns (and cheap gas) I’m traveling through. If you haven’t added them to your phone yet, check out these out:

 

Gas Buddy

One of the first apps I downloaded when I got my first Android back in 2010. It’s changed a bit since then, but still pretty useful if you like shaving a few bucks off your fillup.

During my quick detours off the interstate, I might find myself traveling a few miles to get to where I’m going. During that time, the area might catch my eye for future exploration. This is especially true in Indy when a quick drop off of i-465 might lead me to discover a new store.

 

Yelp

Tired of the same ol’ cuisine? Maybe want to see if there’s any new stores in your area? This is a classic app that I’ve been a fan of over the years. Those that take the time to review on here are usually very transparent, so what you see in the reviews of a place is probably right. You can’t say that all the time for Google Reviews.

 

FieldTrip

Perhaps you’re the type that while you’re driving down the road, you don’t mind a notification that suggests you might like a certain landmark that’s a mile or two off this upcoming exit. Or maybe you’re staying with some extended relatives and want to make yourself your own tour guide of the area?

If either of these seem plausible, you’ll love this app.

Side note: If you live near or in Virginia and you haven’t witnessed the Natural Bridge – you have to go check it out and many of the caves in the area.

 

4. Wander until Your Curiosity Piques!

When I was in high school, there was a popular activity called “Cruisin’” that many of us took part in. If you’re not familiar with the term, It’s basically when you’d aimlessly cruise up and down a certain main stretch on a given evening and eventually bump into friends from school. Then, depending on who was out, you might continue on the same route or perhaps you and a convoy of friends would go on a short excursion somewhere in a nearby town or country.

People had been doing this for decades, so it was ingrained pretty heavily as “something to do” in my hometown.

When I was in college, I took this method to explore Lafayette and the surrounding counties so that I felt like I actually knew where I was. I’d go drive to the Purdue airport and watch planes take off and land while I was doing some homework. Heck, I’d even find some legendary backwoods restaurants that only the higher-ups in the community knew about and socialized at.

If you live in a small to mid sized college town and you don’t really know the surrounding area that well, I challenge you to just drive and find out what’s out there without using your phone. Just make sure that you have enough gas so that if you get lost, you can get back to where you started!

5. Switch up your Transportation: Walk, Bike, or Take Public Transportation

When I was at Purdue, I was definitely a different person than I am today. I feel I was certainly more introverted… but I think that’s just the nature of the beast when you’re studying engineering!

When I went to grad school, I felt like I had the opportunity to make changes in my life and one of those changes was, when it was cold, take the bus. Up through this point I had always ridden my bike, but one too many slips made me change my ways.

When I started riding, no one told me that I wasn’t aloud to talk to people on the bus. So I started striking up conversations with whomever I was sitting next to. Interestingly enough, sometimes those conversations were interesting enough that a bus stop might be missed!

Eventually those people I had engaged with before, started shouting back at me. Whether it was on the bus or on campus, there seemed to be people coming out of the woodwork to say hi!

 

6. Check out Nearby Sporting Events

If you’re not into sports, I understand. This might not work for you. But if you’re into one sport, there’s a good chance you might like to dabble in others from time to time.

Or maybe, while visiting other towns, you might want to get a taste for their fandom.

When I’ve visited Pittsburgh, for example, you can’t help but realize that you’re in a sports happy town. Having all their teams’ colors the same really makes it all part of a unified group of fans. Even though the Steelers have been a rival to the Colts over the years, if I was given the opportunity to go to one of their games, I’d consider it to just take in the atmosphere of one of their games.

7. Be a Visiting Friend’s Tour Guide

You know your town better than someone who’s visiting. So what better way to explore than by seeing it from the perspective of a visitor?

When Maria and I were first married, there were a couple of things she hadn’t visited yet in Indy. One was the zoo, believe it or not. Having been there a number of times growing up, I had the chance to show her some of the old exhibits as well as learn about the new ones that they had put in there in recent years.

 

8. Try New Restaurants in your Town or your Friend’s Favorites in Theirs

If you’re in a medium sized town to the size of a city, there’s no reason why you should run out of places to go try out on a week to week basis.

When I was at Purdue, we had a selection of all kinds of international cuisine. Plus, some restaurants would change from year to year while others, like XXX, have been staples for years.

Make it a point to try as many places as you can so you really have a taste of the town your in. And likewise, when you’re visiting friends in other towns, have them take you to their favorite places as well as experimental ones. You might help them find a new favorite!

 

9. Make a Bucket List and Commit to Achieving It

I remember a few years ago a friend of mine randomly went skydiving with a group of her friends. They didn’t stop talking about that event for the entire year.

Is there something that you’d want to do in your area? Maybe it doesn’t have to be skydiving. Maybe you could just learn how to fly a plane? Or perhaps take pictures?

Maybe 2018 is the year that you stop talking about something and finally actually do it?

 

10. Create a Mini-Adventure!

If you’re finding it hard to find something to do, then maybe you can make a circuit of activities. Having been part of AMS for awhile, I know that there’s some adventure races out there. And if there’s nothing like that near where you’re at, maybe there’s a scavenger hunt company, or a murder mystery company you could utilize to help you and some friends have a good time together?

 

Action Steps

So hopefully these give you a little spark in coming up with places to go to in your immediate area. The big thing about travel is that it gives you new perspectives. You can find new perspectives in your backyard by simply seeing how others work on their own crafts.

If you have any other ideas in how someone might be able to explore their own backyard, let me know below!

relationship building

Making Winning Connections: Relationship Building Tips for Life and Business

As the Junto is starting to grow, I realize that there’s going to be more and more opportunities for people to connect with others who are seemingly going the same direction as they are.

To make sure they are, here’s a few notes from a recent John Maxwell course called the Mentor’s Guide to Relationships. I hope you can use the information presented here to make sure that a pursuing a certain relationship is worth your time.

At the very least, I want to help you realize if you’re in a one way relationship. One that you might be putting way too much energy in yourself and not getting anything back from it.

So let’s start off by looking at the four different levels of relationships.

 

Four Levels of Relationships

Surface Relationships

Now, when you’re on social media (or anywhere else for that matter) and you’re just meeting someone – you’re engaging in the most basic and common form of a relationship. A surface relationship is one where there’s really no strong commitment from either person and it’s a very passive interaction.

An example of a surface level relationship is just randomly adding a “friend” on Facebook and they in turn accepting that request. You might have just added them to your friends list because they have a lot of mutual friends – even though you don’t really know who they are.

Acquaintances would be part of this this level.

Just remember, all real friends start off as strangers at one point. So, just give it some time if you want things to grow…

 

Structured Relationships

The next level of a relationship is what’s called the structured relationship. These relationships are with people who meet at certain times. This can mean daily, weekly, or monthly.

Generally speaking this type of routine based engagement is centered around some sort of interest or activity such as an Meetup. In the online business world, it might mean a mastermind group. Or in the typical offline world, it can mean a group of students.

Outside of that group, there’s not much meaning for those people to interact – so they don’t.

 

Secure Relationships

The next level of relationships are those that when members of a structured relationships start appreciating the bond.

At this level, trust begins to form as the need to spend more time together grows. Most of the time, these folks will have no problems sharing with each other. And there’s a bit of a comfort zone feeling with these folks.

When you were going to school, these were the study friends. Perhaps they were the friends  that you hung out with before games. Or maybe they were your fellow band friends who you’d play euchre with each day. But the main thing was that these folks started relying on you as you relied on them.

In business, this might be someone that you decide to joint venture with on a particular project such as a course or new podcast.

 

Solid Relationships

Next up, we have the highest of all relationships – the solid relationship. At this level, not only do full trust and confidentiality exist, but there is a need to give back to the other party if they’ve helped you in some way.

Of course, this is the basis for a long term relationship.

If we were to think of the school analogy, your close friends were (or are still) examples of this! While, in the business world, you’d start new businesses with these folks.

 

Avoid High Maintenance Relationships

When I first started dating Maria I had a very strong feeling of “normality” when we were together. She felt like someone that I had known for a long time.

Society suggests – especially TV – that a normal romantic relationship is something that has a lot of maintenance to it. Drama and fighting is to be expected – not calmly discussing the issues at hand.

The truth is that this shouldn’t be the case in ANY relationship you want to make long term – including romantic relationships!

So how do you know if you’re in a high maintenance relationship?

In his book, High Maintenance Relationships, author Les Parrott talks about 12 different types of people who it would be hard to get along with – especially over a significant amount of time.

  • Critic – constantly complains and gives unwanted advice.
  • Martyr – forever the victim and wracked with self-pity.
  • Wet Blanket – pessimistic and automatically negative.
  • Steam Roller – blindly insensitive to others.
  • Gossip – spreads rumors and leaks secrets.
  • Control Freak – unable to let go and let be.
  • Backstabber – irrepressibly two-faced.
  • Cold Shoulder – disengages and avoids contact.
  • Green Eyed Monster – seethes with envy.
  • Volcano – builds steam and is ready to erupt.
  • Sponge – constantly in need but gives nothing back.
  • Competitor – keeps track of tit for tat.

 

Are you with one of these types of individuals? If so, you might want to move on.

If you wouldn’t be in romantic relationships with someone with one or several of these particular traits, why would you want to be in business with them… or visa versa?

Going from Surface to Solid Relationships

In the past week, I’ve relearned how awkward people can be when it comes to developing real relationships. Whether it’s simple friendships, jv partnerships, or going after a life partner… the goal is to not be a weirdo.

Believe me, I learnt the hard way!

So how do you go from adding a friend on Facebook to making them a good friend, business partner, or building something that could be even more?

Here’s 5 traits of a solid relationship.

 

Mutual Enjoyment

Here’s the truth. Spend time with people who enjoy your presence. If you feel that you’re having to pry and overly try with the relationship, it’s probably not a good foundation and you should move on.

Don’t be an irritant!

 

Respect

What’s the best way to make sure you’re not an irritant?

Be respectful of the other person.

Forget the golden rule of treating people how you’d want to be treated. Instead, treat people like they would like to be treated.

What’s that mean?

Learn how they want to be interpreted. Find out their story. Be curious and let them be the storyteller. Find out where they went to school and for what. If they didn’t go to school, find out what they’ve learned “the hard way”.

If you’re unclear as to how to read a certain topic with them – don’t feel like you have to assume something – this usually works out negatively if you do. No question is dumb. Just say “I’m not sure how to ask this but…” if you’re completely unsure how to ask something.

Have a problem with them? Let them know. Likewise, if they feel like they have a problem with you, they should come to you about it.

Make a point to get to know someone, but not for manipulative purposes. If they tell you something that’s a secret, don’t tell anyone. If they are hesitant in a certain area, learn how to help bring out the best in them through their own permission.

 

Mutual Shared Experiences

There’s a reason why military veterans get along as well as they do even if they didn’t know each other prior to them first getting together.

What’s the reason?

They have shared similar experiences.

From day 1, they’re taught to trust each other to be part of a larger organism. When you count on someone to do a certain action which allows you to do your job, then you’re going to care about that other person more. Cause if they get taken out, then you won’t be able to do what you need to do properly.

Sports players are the same way.

When talking about developing a winning football team, Vince Lombardi said, “The difference between mediocrity and greatness is the feeling these guys have for each other.”

It makes sense. If the line doesn’t do their job and block, then the ball handlers can’t do their jobs. The result is that the ball doesn’t go anywhere.

 

Reciprocity

For the above teams to win, that caring feeling needs to be mutual between teammates – whether on a battlefield with bullets… or on the gridiron.

Right here is how you can tell if a relationship is worth your time to develop. If you feel like everything is running smoothly, then everything is fine.

However, if you feel that the other person is getting a better deal, bring it up with them. If they don’t acknowledge it, then it might be time to move onto another relationship.

If you feel like you’re getting a better deal, then it’s your job to make sure that they’re being evenly compensated.

 

Trust

Trust comes over time and is the result of the previous 4 traits humming along just fine. Don’t forget that intentions don’t really matter when it comes to other people.

It’s all about actions.

When your actions match your words, that’s how you build trust.

Just make sure that those actions are positive and truly helpful to the other party!

 

Action Steps

As you might have realize, relationships are something that I take seriously. There was a time when I wasn’t super great at them – so I made it a point to go out of my way to learn about them. If you want to learn more about building great relationships, I’d check out the book by John Maxwell and Les Parrott 25 Ways to Win with People: How to Make Others Feel Like a Million Bucks

As you probably know, I’m a big fan of John’s and he has ton’s on this topic!

block schedule

How You Can Master Your Time and Productivity with a Block Schedule Including Themes

I recently posted this in the Junto:

block schedule

When you read this, what comes to your mind?

Is it a sense of frustration?

Is it a sense of irritation?

If so, do you have too many tasks and ideas that you’re trying to get to, but keep running out of daylight?

If that describes you, I completely feel where you’re coming from. It used to describe me too.

I always thought it wasn’t fair that others had found the secret to getting their own stuff done.

But after a few mastermind sessions in 2016, I realized that my problem was that I was TOO structured in my scheduling.

This post is all about making sure that you have balance in your schedule while chipping away at those things you really need to be doing in your life – especially if you’re in a day job you don’t like or you’re a super busy college student.

Setting the Guidelines of an Amazing Schedule

Often times when we’re picking the things we want to do, we often feel this battle between what’s right and not right to do. We feel a pull of what our inner self tells us we should be doing vs what the external world is telling us that we should be doing.

Ideally, we’d like everything to be what’s right and we’d like to be self directed. Unfortunately for those of us who have day jobs, we feel that this is an uphill battle we’re not going to win. (Great example of a self limiting belief right there.)

The first thing we need to do in winning back our time is to follow 12 guidelines – and they are:

  1. Know thyself in what makes you feel the most alive – this is your passion and is part of your Mission.
  2. Realize that as long as you’re in the United States (or another free country), your default mission in life is to find out what your personal mission is and fulfill it.
  3. Once you have determined that, you need to commit to yourself that you’ll spend your time fulfilling that mission.
  4. When you’re putting things into your schedule to fulfill said mission, make sure that you have a good and clear understanding of how those tasks are going to help you achieve it. (If you’re working a 9 to 5 – your job should be helping you fulfill that Mission. If it doesn’t, it’s time for a new job.)
  5. Are there any points in your schedule that you dread or fear, ask yourself why you fear them. Don’t dwell on the worst that could happen, but instead, simply sit with them and realize that they have to be done for you to move on.
  6. Realize that any changes you’re making are going to take time to get going if you’re just now starting them. But, here’s the key –  if you keep at it, you’ll start noticing that things are going well for you. Like me, you’ll think “Well, if I hadn’t made this connection or done that, this wouldn’t have happened.” This is the truth. The problem is, you have no idea what will set future motions in place. (This is known as the Law of Momentum.)
  7. If you’re stuck in a rut, you need to realize that you are. Then ask yourself – what do I need to learn to move forward?
  8. Make sure you set aside a time for learning. Learning new things regularly allows for you to constantly move forward. Action is one thing, but taking the same action over and over and expecting different results is… insanity. (Also, don’t burn yourself out thinking that you can find the answers by taking simple repetitive action.)
  9. If you DO find yourself burning out or sucking at something you should be better at, it’s best to notice it and don’t hide from it. This is the universe telling you you need time to rest.
  10. Be precise in making your schedule until you can look at it and you look forward to every event that’s on it.
  11. Make your schedule so that it doesn’t imprison or trap you, but, instead, frees you.
  12. Always remember your schedule is meant to nourish you, so you can relax and enjoy your life. (If you’ve gotten to this point in the list and you still dread getting up in the morning, you should start over at #1.)

 

Key Points to Remember about the Guidelines

Now, from all that you might be thinking, “Well, that’s all good – but I know there’s going to be some things that I don’t like doing even when I’m working towards my Mission”.

And you’d be right – maybe you hate paperwork. Maybe you’d rather be out interacting with folks. Perhaps you’re really into helping people with sales funnels, but you hate having to find clients.

That’s par for the course.

If you want to know you’re still in the right, here are two questions to ask yourself:

  1. Overall, is this week going to be enjoyable? Am I doing what I want to do – for the most part?
  2. What’s the first thing that I can do that would allow me to be me?

The reason that these two questions are important to ask yourself is because, again, we’re working from a mission perspective.

If you feel you’re doing more things that you don’t want or like to do – than you’re not in the right position in life (or at work). Secondly, if you don’t have enough autonomy to do an act that you actually like to start your day and/or week off with a simple win – then there’s probably something wrong there as well.

In other words, do things that get you to your mission. Don’t do them because you think it’s the thing to do. That’s the will of the World forcing you to do something. Other people have no problem telling other people what to do. That’s the way the world works.

Also, don’t avoid things just to avoid them. Sometimes you’ll have to embrace the suck – but it’s so worth it if it’s in alignment with your mission.

For example if you want to become better at copywriting for marketing purposes – go find some great examples of marketing and use it as a guide to craft your own. (Arne has us do this in his FB group growth course student group all the time.)

 

Note to Newbie Time Blockers

Now, if you’ve never time blocked before, then this next part will be a little easier than if you have.

See, I used to be a scheduling Nazi. I had to be very specific in when I did this, this, and that. Otherwise, I didn’t think I was doing a great job in scheduling.

Well, long story short, I realized that I learned to schedule from a Driver-Analytical personality-type person. The thing about Driver-Analytical types of people, they are all about completing tasks. The more, the merrier.

That’s not what I’m about.

I’m more about building relationships. Why? Because from good relationships come opportunities which yield possible income.

So, in the end, depending on your own personality, what takes priority on your calendar might be different than mine.

That said, here’s how to time block with themes.

 

Time Blocking with Interval Themes

Generally speaking, these days I have two types of weeks as a solopreneur. One week (called ‘A weeks’) I focus more on content development – a blog post, a podcast post, and a video in the Junto.

The other week (which I call ‘B weeks’) I focus more on marketing and group development as well as learning.

As you can see, I have two main themes that I use. However, I’ve known people that use 4 themes a month. I also know folks who theme their entire month.

What do these themes consist of?

Well, for me, they’re general guidance of the things that I have to do in a given day. Other folks use them to get better at something, while yet other some people use it as a way to control their overall content building and marketing structure.

 

Interval Themes in Practice – A Step-By-Step Guide:

So let’s look at this from a weekly example – because that’s essentially what I use.

  1. The first thing you want to do is determine what kind of theme you have for that week. Usually you want to do this on Sunday after reflecting on how your previous week went.
  2. Next, you’ll want to set the time that you want to get started on your work. Honestly, I don’t usually get started on my work day until 10am. I don’t finish until 5 or 6. But during that time, I’m usually very focused on the work at hand or, for short breaks, posting in the Junto or building relationships with its members.
  3. When it’s quitting time – it’s quitting time. I learned early from Pat Flynn that you want to be able to turn things off for the night when your loved ones are home. Even when he had a one room apartment, his computer was in a corner and he used his laptop for more personal things.
  4. If you’re more of a task oriented person – I got you! Make sure you plan out time for relaxation and fun. Seriously. If that means throwing date night on your schedule, do it. Fortunately for me and Maria, we’re pretty lackadaisical when it comes to our evenings!

 

The General Structure Of My Daily Schedule

Just an idea of what a typical day might look like. I really don’t have this all laid out in

  1. Morning Routine – Breakfast (no carbs!), workout, a bit of meditating, finding out what’s going on in the world
  2. First item of the day – Something that gives you an easy win. For me, I knock out my emails. Once I do that, I close Mail. I’ll reopen it later – but emails are super distracting throughout the day!
  3. Second item is usually an easy win item as well. These days, it’s posting in the Junto and few other groups.
  4. Then, until lunch, I’m either doing growth related activities (meeting people, meetings, learning) or working on production of content.
  5. After lunch, I’m focused more on finishing said content, mastery, and marketing.

 

Alternative Version for Someone who Doesn’t Own Their Entire Day

So, this is a pretty sucky situation – but a lot of us have to start here. So realize that you’re going to have a bit of a handicap but you’re not alone.

Depending on whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, you’re going to aim to work 2 hours a day on your craft before you go to work or after you come home.

Ideally, the last part of the day should be spent just chilling for at least an hour. Again you’re looking to enjoy your life. So, if I had to decide, I’d go for 2 hours before work. That way when you go to your day job, you have the bonus of having already worked on your craft and not having to dread it coming home.

So, go to bed one hour earlier, then wake up 2 hours earlier. You can really start your day on fire this way. Those first two hours can be focused on heavy amounts of action.

But keep in mind, don’t sacrifice that much to the point of feeling empty. Enjoy each minute you can now. You want to make sure you’re enjoying every single day.

Action Steps

So, there you have it. Again, this is just what has worked for me combined with my new schedule for building the group.

Obviously there’s a huge difference if you have a day job. So if you can find a day job that supports your mission, that’s even better. That’s what’s great about this new sharing economy of ours.

Heck, even Laila started substitute teaching and tutoring before she got completely up to speed with her coaching practice. But what’s great is that those tutoring spots got her some of her clients!

If you have any questions, feel free to let me know below! 🙂

sales skills

Mark Boersma – Developing your Sales Skills: Why Business Systems are Huge in Making Predictable Revenue (AoL 106)

You always hear about people “systematizing” their work. However, so many of us, especially us solopreneurs, don’t take the time to do that. Sure, we might write an SOP if we hire a virtual assistant (if we’re smart), but when it comes down to our creative work we never take the time to think about what might be easier if we actually detail out what gets results.

As you’ll find out in the interview of Mark Boersma, he started systemizing early on. Having an analytical mind, he out thought his problem and now teaches others how to turn sales, which can seem like an intangible skill, into something that’s very step by step.

In today’s chat, Mark discusses with me why he had to figure this system out, what the results of it gave him, and how knowing personalities plays into the success of this system.

Enjoy!

 

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • Why did Mark get three bachelor degrees? 10:41
  • Did he feel that going to college was a detour of what he should be doing in his career? 13:22
  • When he got out of school, why did he immediately go for a 100% commission paid position? 15:02
  • What was the first tool that he made which systematized his sales? 20:35
  • How does knowing about personalities useful in making sales? 23:44
  • What’s the accuracy percentage of the personality assessment he uses with people? 30:54
  • What are some of the things Mark is looking forward to in the future with Synergy Solutions? 35:51
  • Who are 3 influencers who have helped him get to where he is today? 41:38
  • What is a scientific fact that he knows his true but still blows him away? 42:49
  • What’s an unwritten rule that should actually be written today? 43:55
  • What’s something that he belives all high school students must know? 45:18
  • What does it mean to live a life of abundance? 46:39
  • … and MUCH more!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Mark and Tom interviewed by the Milwaukee’s Morning Blend:

Introduction to Personality Masteries:

Mark on Thinkers vs Doers:

ClickFunnels Viral Ad 2017:

Thanks for Listening!

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Cheers!

Basics of The Junto- An Online and In Person Mega Mastermind Group

Well, guys, it’s official! The new Facebook group is up and going! I present to you… 

mastermind group

 

I’m really excited to bring you guys’ this joint effort.

It’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile but I just didn’t have the pieces in place to be able to get it done.

Now I do.

And by pushing the podcast to a every two week effort seems like it’s going to really pay off. I feel that I’m going to be much more productive in my own business as well as being able to help you awesome folks out a bit more.

Since last week, I’ve received a few questions about what the group itself. I wanted to take a little bit of time to answer some of those questions.

So this post is all for you prospective members.

What the Junto is all about – including what it is and what it isn’t.

What is this version of the Junto?

Basic Rules:

I’ve had some questions about how closely I’m going to be following Ben Franklin’s Junto. Well, for one, this group is going to be open to anyone – they just need to meet certain criteria including:

  • Been on Facebook for more than a year.
  • Answers the questions to get in the group.
  • Doesn’t post random offers or troll when they’re in.

 

The Junto is a branding channel, first and foremost. In my book, branding is all about making people aware that you exist. Marketing is letting people know you have something to offer. (And since we’re on the subject, sales is about making a transaction. Don’t get the three confused.)

Just to make it absolutely clear – marketing is usually not permitted (unless given permission to do so). But you’re totally allowed to offer people value as much as you want.

You can express that value in written, audio, or video form. Totally up to you. Just don’t drop offers.

 

What’s with All the Logos?

So here’s the awesome thing, guys. I’m not the only “star” of this group. I am simply the moderator and the pot stirrer. As I’ve done in the past with New Inceptions, Junto has various contributors itself – all with their own focuses in helping people in the offline community.

  • Coffe – Help people understand about finances and getting them out of debt.
  • Amplify – Make great events around the city.
  • Collaborate 317 – A place for people to come together for an event, a class, or simply to engage with other like minded individuals.
  • Ascension – A means for patriots AND veterans to get training so that they can climb up in their career – whether in the traditional 9 to 5 world OR as an entrepreneur.

 

All four of these companies are looking to expand their reach outside of Indianapolis. They want to empower others around the world and possibly do what they’re already doing.

Being part of this group will allow them to do that.

If your town doesn’t have one of these groups and you think it might be a great addition to your community, I’m sure the founders would love to help you put a chapter in your area!

 

Are we Going to Use the Junto’s Original Questions?

Yes and no. We are going to use them. It’s my goal to post at least a tip and a question as often as possible. Hopefully daily as I’m always learning and need to write some of this stuff down.

As you might have seen, the original questions ARE pretty antiquated. So I’ll need to update them a bit to post in the group.

For example, question 13 goes like this: Do you know of any deserving young beginner lately set up, whom it lies in the power of the Junto any way to encourage?”

Today, we’d simply ask, “Do you know of any cool newbie entrepreneurs who need an extra boost that we could highlight and/or encourage?”

I think a lot of these questions are those that many groups don’t ask enough. So be on the lookout for these!

 

If someone wants to Promote Something, how can they do that?

By going through the proper channels! Lol.

But no, seriously. If you’re contributing regularly to the group and want to promote something, there’s a way to do that. It’s called hop on LIVE with one of us and we’ll highlight who you are and what you’re about. Just as in the podcast, in that conversation you’ll get the opportunity to mention anything you’re excited about and that’d be a good time for YOU to promote your wares.

 

Action Steps:

So this post is fairly short for a reason. I want you to hop in there and start introducing yourself! Answer the onboarding questions so we can make sure you get connected to the right people.

We’re all in this together, so if you want to know one of the mods a bit better – let me know. I’ll be more than happy to connect you!

Have any other questions? Let me know here or on Facebook.

knowing when to quit

Knowing When to Quit: Sometimes you have to Slow Down to Speed Up

I’ve been struggling with a question that has been making me think recently. Last week during my 9/12 rememberance, one of the things that I realized was that “things change”.

This has always been the case, obviously, with just about anything – but it’s especially true with online business and marketing.

When I first ran across the online entrepreneurial community, there weren’t nearly as many players as they are today. Facebook and Twitter were still becoming mainstream for businesses to use (I mean, I remember when the Twitter Marketing for Dummies came out. It was the first of its kind!)

Back then, blogs were still popular on the web and the good blogs had their own YouTube channel and podcasts.

In fact, at the time, Pat Flynn said the strategy that worked for him to get noticed was one he dubbed “Be Everywhere”.

And for the longest time, it seems that this strategy has worked for plenty of other folks out there – people who have had success building their popularity on the web.

But, as I said, things change.

 

Using the Web in 2017

When you think about how people use the web in 2017, how is it different than say someone using it in 2013 or even 2011?

For me, I know that more than half of consumers who used to use laptops and desktops have opted for something a little smaller – especially in their time off.

They’re using their phone.

Even more, they’re probably checking Facebook and other social media apps much more regularly than going to someone’s web page or simply checking what’s trending on Google.

Why?

Just like you want to make it easier for people to take as few left turns as possible to get to a drive-thru, Facebook has made it so that everything can be found under one roof. Much easier than navigating on a browser to a webpage… and then another.

Why leave Facebook?

So, it’s pretty easy to see why people are making a killing building sales funnels through Facebook. The eyeballs are on it all the time.

Sure, you can spend a ton of time becoming a thought leader and developing your own external brand, but why?

Things have changed. What worked 5 or even a couple years ago, might not necessarily work today.

 

Knowing when to Quit

So, here’s the plan, guys. As you might have heard on the podcast last week, I’m going to be more available on Facebook throughout the week as well as taking a few courses that I’ve been meaning to take.

After my initial posting of the Facebook Mega Group post, I’ve been thinking – why aren’t I building one of these groups myself?

What occurred to me was that I’m getting lost in the details of the work I’m doing. It seriously takes me like 2 and a half days of working time to produce a podcast episode based on my personal tastes. That’s half the week! Not to mention the time I put into finding and talking with guests, and then marketing the new episode.

By the time all is said and done, I easily have 3 days in each episode. The other two days are shot with meetings and/or researching and writing these posts.

Frankly, I don’t have much time, if any, to actually go through new courses or spend time engaging with you all!

So, last week, as per what Lisa recommended, I have to spend my energy more appropriately. I have to get higher. I can’t stay down in the weeds all the time.

Plus, I have to make sure I follow the recent advise that Brendon said. It went something like “If your current work isn’t going to get you to a place where you’re happy – then why continue the work?”.

Here’s the video of Brendon on when to quit.

 

Coming to a Solution – Slow Down to Speed Up

Here’s the thing, though. I don’t want to quit the podcast outright. It’s been my way of meeting great people on Facebook and at the same time, giving them a way to get their message out there. Personally, since I listen to podcasts as often as I do, I’d just feel weird if I wasn’t producing them all of a sudden.

So, that’s where the two a month solution came from. While it might not be new content each week – I get the chance to actually study other’s content again and apply new findings to my business and help you guys with yours as well.

Plus, I figure this might give some folks a bit of time to hear all the old episodes. Heck, it might even give me some time to remaster some of those old interviews!

 

Action Steps

So there’s my take guys. This why I need to change things up a bit. Hopefully it gives you guys some permission to change things up in your own business as well.

Ask yourself – is what you’re doing right now, the way you’re doing it, going to get you to happiness any quicker? Is there something else you could try to get there?

For Arne and JR – making a Facebook Group was the option they took to achieve the results they have today. Maybe it’s time for you to consider the same thing?

That said, stay tuned for specifics on the new group! I hope to have info out about it at the end of the week!!

 

Bonus: 

Also, since we’re on the topic of slowing down to speed up. Check out this footage of a Bugatti Veron having problems with a speed bump: