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the mentor

Antonio Smith Jr – The Making of the Mentor: Escaping Poverty & Building Others Up (AoL 134)


When someone hits rock bottom, they usually have a choice to make. One, they can blame everyone but themselves for what has happened to them. Many times this prevents people from moving on from where they’re at.

They can then choose to make the other choice. They can realize that they’re actually the one in control of where they’re at and make it their mission to get out of that situation and never come back.

The term “rock bottom” is a relative term. Rock bottom for one person can be quite different than rock bottom for someone else.

For some people, a simple habit change can be enough to help them get out of their situation. But on the other hand, the person might need a complete mindset overhaul.

For today’s guest, he was more of the latter. After being homeless through the ages of 6 to 16, he thought his only way to get ahead was to excel at football. When an injury killed his chances to get a scholarship, he felt stuck. Luckily, a mentor stepped up and taught him that he had a gift of communication.

Ever since then, he’s been on a mission to develop this gift. Doing so has given him opportunities he might not have ever considered as an athlete.

Join Harrison and I as we talk with Rev. Antonio Smith Jr. about this transition and how others can make a positive impact in their community!

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • Why does Antonio still feel like an immigrant to the America even though he was born in the US? 10:34
  • How did he find his first mentor growing up and what are his thoughts on mentorship through life? 12:42
  • How does Antonio reach out and help those who are living lives of quiet desperation? 26:35
  • Is there a secret in finding opportunities to work with celebrities like Antonio has? 32:21
  • Is it possible to balance Christian values with business values? 37:29
  • How does he emotionally deal with it when he knows that only a fraction of the people who listen to him actually take his advice and act with it? 41:30
  • What’s Antonio looking forward to and excited for in the future? 46:36
  • Who are his Favorite Top 3 Influencers? 54:28
  • Who would he have dinner with, living or dead? 54:38
  • What is a habit or belief that has improved his life in the last 5 years? 54:47
  • What’s a gift he likes giving others? 55:02
  • What’s something he wants to do that no one knows about? 55:14
  • How can someone make a difference in their community? 55:33

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

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Why High Performers No Longer Perform Highly

Profit over Popularity

Keep the Wrong People Away

From Where You Are to $100k


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

patrons only

Patrons Only! – Making Past Seasons of the AoL Podcast “Pay to Listen”

As I mentioned in the last podcast, I’m going to start putting past “seasons” of the podcast behind a Patreon paywall. Don’t worry, I don’t plan to flip the switch until late December… and I’ll only be asking $3/mo to have access. 🙂

It’s a result of a lot of strategic reorganizing I’ve been doing recently.

This week, I’ll be pushing out session 134 with Antonio Smith, and as I said in the last session with Dom Brightmon, it just feels with all that’s going on with New Inceptions and Amplify Indy – I feel like it’s time to actually get over the hurdle of going from strictly FREE to PAID content.

Personally, I feel that $3 is a good number for a monthly patron fee. It surely isn’t going to break the bank, and frankly, one typically can spend more on drive thru food. Since what the show has to offer is comparably more beneficial, I think it’s a fair starting price.

That said, you might be wondering what has taken me so long to pull the trigger on this decision.

Well, I’ve been struggling with what’s called the FREE to PAID hurdle.

This hurdle involves a few questions:

  • How do you make something that starts off free into something you pay for?
  • Will the audience still be there once it goes behind a paywall?
  • What’s the right price point?

In this post, I’ll give you a few of my thoughts after hearing a podcast over Fizzle awhile back.

 

Marketing Plays to Our Buying Habits

When it comes to what we think of the “traditional” offline world of business, NOTHING is free. However, since the mid to late 2000’s, the internet has revolutionized how marketing is done. No longer do we first hear something on a show or commercial on a major network or channel, then determine if we want to buy from there.

Instead, when we hear a name, product, or service we go look to see what’s on the web about said item or person. We look for reviews in Angie’s List. We look to see if they have any other content. Or we go to Amazon to see what others have thought about the item in question.

Usually, the more content this person has out there or the more good reviews they or the product have, the more we pay attention to it.

Eventually, there’s a good change we will buy whatever is being sold.

Podcasts in the past have been a part of this marketing. Inherently we think that most shows are free. But are they?

 

Monetization of Efforts

No content or work is free. It takes resources to produce a good or service. Shows that are on TV are powered by the sponsors of the network through commercials.

Big podcasts are typically sponsored by ads as well.

Heck, even when you look at big channels on YouTube, they’re doing some sort of monetization – even if you can’t tell up front how they’re making an income doing what they do.

When I thought about how I was going to monetize Angles of Lattitude, I originally thought that affiliate marketing was going to be the best way to do it. But as online streaming of podcasts has become more common, we’ve all grown accustomed to skipping past parts of interviews we don’t want to hear – including the pitch at the beginning and end. (For example, I know Lewis Howes and Tim Ferriss usually take 5 minutes to get into their conversations!).

Because I’m not a fan of midrolls, I’ve opted not to use them in the show. Yes, I know they’re the only marketing that people don’t always tune out during podcasts – I just personally don’t care for that jump in the conversation.

So trying to think of an alternative to doing midrolls, I thought about how people on Twitch make their income.

And what I found out is that it typically is done through two ways:

  • A handful of large sponsors or
  • many individuals supporting the show through donations. Many times those donations are through a Patreon or a similar service.

After checking with a sample of listeners, it sounded like that last one was something you guys would prefer. A show for the listener powered by the listeners.

 

Action Steps

So there’s my reasoning for getting my account started on Patreon. Again, when you go on there you’ll see that there’s actually 2 categories of support. The first one is for supporters of the show and the the second is more for partners.

Remember, that I’ll be implementing this change before 2019 rolls around. So make sure you binge on shows older than a year before Christmas. I’ll let everyone know through the show when the official landing page is up.

Also, be sure to check out the post from Fizzle called The Hurdle Between Free and Paid if you’re thinking about making something you now offer for free into something you collect money for.

reinvent yourself

6 Steps to Reinvent Yourself

In my quest to find my true self over the last 10+ years, I’ve realized that there is a TON of self help courses, books, and even “big events”… that could be considered fluff.

People (including myself) buy into these programs thinking that they’ll get the exact same results as the thought leader.

If that thought leader regularly travels the world, they’ll get that opportunity if they blindly follow their advice. Sounds, good, right?

Well, maybe.

On top of finding your personal mission (where you’re at) you need to do a real study of where you want to be, as well.

You don’t want to try and obtain something you don’t want, right?

I mean, can you imagine changing your life for “the better” only to realize that the place you’ve arrived in life is nothing like you thought it was going to be?

I can’t imagine it’d be too easy to go back to your “old life” at that point.

So after you’ve spent the time figuring out who are and the options you have – how do you actually choose a path that won’t be a complete waste of your time?

How to Reinvent Yourself

Once you have your personal mission figured out (which is like finding out where you are on a map), you need to find out where you want to be in life (your destination). The catch is that this destination needs to be a place that you’re committing yourself to not only arrive at, but live at.

Why? Because once you put in the work to become that new person and you’re actually successful – it’s hard to go back to your old comfortable self.

So that said, just like you might consider spending a vacation to get to know a new locale, you might want to spend some time seeing if this new big work and life change is what you really want to do.

 

1. Connect with those who are already doing what you want to do.

In the 9 to 5 job world, it’s easy for us to see ourselves moving up. We see what our supervisors do and think “I could do that better than them!”.

In the entrepreneurial space, however, it’s a bit harder to imagine yourself in that space because we don’t have that regular connection with people who are already doing something.

Seek these folks out.

 

2. Get some time with these folks and ask Useful Questions

It’s well known that if you want to make a change in the 9 to 5 world, you want to get some time with someone who works where you want to be. You wouldn’t ask them, “how do I start working for XYZ Company?”. Instead, you’d say, “I’m thinking about a career change and I was wondering about a few things when it comes to working for XYZ. For one, do I start from the ground up or should I develop my skills elsewhere?”, “What’s it like working there?”, etc.

Likewise, if you’re looking to start a fitness coach business, for example, you should find 3 or 4 people who are already successful fitness coaches. Then ask them a list of questions that are important to you.

Find out what their daily routine is. How do they meet with their clients? How long did it take to get to their level of success?

Heck, if it’s someone you know, you might even ask them how they came to the rates they charge their clients.

 

3. Don’t Go for the Feel Good Answers

When you’re asking these questions, you need to be going for the right answers. Don’t let your thoughts and emotions cloud your perspective of the truth.

Also, if the people you’re talking to can’t answer the questions you have on your list, then you might need to find another person or two to ask.

As you’re getting these answers, you should be coming up with a clearer picture of what it would be like to be in this new role. The more research you do, the more you’ll find out if it’s right or wrong for you. Be transparent with yourself.

 

4. Know the length of your runway.

Once you’ve determined that you’re ok with this new role and everything that goes with it, you’ll need to start thinking about the transition time. It could take you 6 months to ramp up, it could take you 3 years.

How much are your expenses per month? If you’re floating under $2000/mo budget to pay your bills, do you have the 12 grand you need for the six months? Maybe you’re on the larger side of that. How can you allocate $72k for next 3 years?

 

5. Make a Plan

Once you’ve done the research in figuring if you want the life and how you’re going to arrive there, actually write it down. Write it in a way as if you were telling someone else. You want a ton of details.

If you do it this way, you’ll have more checkpoints, but you’ll have a better chance of arriving where you want to go.

Also, don’t worry about all the fluff that people say you should have. This means vision boards, business plans, mission statements, etc.

If you really need them, they can come later. Right now you need to focus on the step-by-step method of how you’re going to reach your next level.

 

6. Get Accountability

For the most part, if we want to change something in our lives, most of us need external motivation to keep things going. Chances are, you’ll eventually deviate from our intended path.

However, if you have that person that helps you keep your times lines and projects in check, you’ll significantly improve your ability to achieve them.

You don’t see professional athletes having success without a small army of support. So why would you want to try something you’ve not achieved by yourself?

 

Action Steps

So if you haven’t already, the first thing you should consider doing is finding out what your personal mission is. Luckily I have a resource for you to do just that.

After you spend the time to go through it and do the exercises in it, you’re ready to start talking to people in the field you want to be on.

Best place for that, of course, is social media. LinkedIn used to be the only place to connect with people who could help you like this. But, if Facebook is where your network is, use it!

Then, as you let them know what you’re thinking of doing, see if they’d be willing to talk to you about how they got to where they are. You can ask them for a specific online meeting OR you can just ask them through messages over time. Personally, I’m a fan of actually talking with someone.

Also, be sure to check out Damion Lupo and Christofer Ashby’s book Reinvented Life, and my upcoming interview with Damion himself if you want more information on this subject!

social innovation

Solving Community Problems through Social Innovation with Harrison Painter (AoL 117)

Having a business is one thing, but starting one that’s on a mission to make an impact in your community is something else. Especially one that focuses on creating Massive Positive Social Impact.

What does that mean exactly?

Well imagine if your sole focus of your business is to amplify purpose driven entrepreneurs, creators, and nonprofit founders in your community. This is what Amplify Indy and it’s creator, Harrison Painter is all about.

By working with Collaborate 317, Harrison has helped start an awesome community through the Amplify Hope Program.

In this interview with Harrison, you’ll learn what it’s all about and what sparked this vision.

It’s our hope that you’ll want to make Massive Positive Social Impact in your area and join us in the Junto on Facebook.

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Harrison originally get into marketing and event promotion? 7:19
  • How did he realize that it was time to leave the traditional job world and strike out on his own? 13:22
  • What made him move to LA with his business? What’s the difference between there and the midwest? 21:00
  • How did Amplify get off the ground? 33:34
  • What are some secrets to launching and marketing an event? 44:07
  • What’s the Amplify Hope Program all about? 47:36
  • What else is Harrison looking forward to in 2018? 55:43
  • What are three favorite movies or documentaries? 1:04:13
  • One gift he likes giving others? 1:06:21
  • What’s a topic people should be talking about hardly anyone is? 1:07:57
  • What was something Harrison believed when he was 30 and now believes was inaccurate? 1:13:46
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 1:15:27

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

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Harrison reveals the Amplify Hope Challenge:

Dr. Pingnan Shi shares with us the Amplify Youth Program:

Thomas “TAG” Griffin shares with us Hearts in Hand Homeless Outreach

Thank You, Sam Ash from HIH: Homeless Outreach

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

survey research

Why Start with a Guess? – Using Survey Research to 10X Your Business

Recently I posted a survey in the Junto of what members would like to get more from the group. I’m already getting promising results which will help me and the other mods help serve the group better.

On September 9th, 2012, I first learned of how important it is to question end users of whatever it is that you’re making. Since then, I’d like to say that I’ve become pretty proficient at it. After that, it was something that I noticed that many successful courses ask their students to do. It was also something that we implemented during my time as an employee at AMS.

The next day, I wrote about what I learned on the drive home from my uncle’s memorial service. And to this day, I think it was one of the most pivotal days in my development as an entrepreneur. 

Enjoy!


Yesterday as I was coming home from a memorial service for my great uncle Paul Arnold, (Detailed write up can be found in Oberlin College’s Archives. He was a really cool guy if you’re into fine art.) Here’s an example of his work:

survey research

“Friends” – One of Paul Arnold’s wood prints

I decided that I’d go ahead and listen to yet another episode of Pat Flynn’s podcast. I knew when I downloaded it, it had to be a rather long drive because it was an around an hour and twenty minutes long. This is MUCH longer than his usual half an hour versions.

Well, the wait and time into the podcast was definitely worth it. I was exposed to another form of passive income – Software as a Service (SaaS).

 

Why Passive Income?

Passive income, I personally believe, is the goal that many who want to live out their passions should strive for. Otherwise, you get stuck working for each dollar and have to rely on faulty systems when we’re in old age. For many of us who are Generation Xers or younger, I fear that we’re not going to have a great retirement plan that our parents have or had. Nor do we have the loyal companies that will give us great pensions that they had as well. Heck, many of our parents aren’t getting what they were promised 30 years ago!!

So basically, the sooner we start building systems that make money on their own or with little to no help by us, the more comfortable life we’ll live when we’re older AND if we do it while we’re young, the better life we’ll live sooner!

 

What I Obtained from the SPI Podcast Interview:

I learned that there is more to passive money on the web outside of “expert space”. There is also space for web applications. Now, the great thing is that the guy who Pat interviewed started these web applications with no ideas and usually little investment money. Also, most of the development of these projects were outsourced. The guy’s name is Dane Maxwell.

The way Dane developed each one of his 7 companies in his first 6 years of business were very brilliant. I’ll let you listen to the interview for his process.

But what I most admired about Dane, is that once he proved the system of developing these companies and setting them into automatic, he wanted to teach others to do the same. (That’s why he landed on Pat’s podcast, I’m sure!!) And that’s what he’s doing with the program that he mentions on the podcast.

 

Adjustments to My Portfolio

I need to get to know Dane better as well as explore the world of online apps. I also need to use the tools that I already have available to figure out his process for myself. While he does have a program that he’s put together to teach others his tips and tricks, I think that stumbling to figure it out will give me more appreciation for it. It really seems that these online apps can be way more profitable than member sites. However, I still plan on continuing with the development of New Inceptions and it’s magazine (yes, there was a digital magazine for NI!) and potentially look into doing a software solution in the future.

So anyhow, thought I’d go ahead and let you all aware of this great podcast episode. You should definitely listen to it if you’ve ever considered ways of making passive income. Especially if you have any technical experience OR think that you’re techie know how is somehow keeping you from creating passive income for yourself.


Since originally posting this post, I ended up signing up for The Foundation. In fact, it wasn’t too long after I had heard this particular interview. Since the course, I’ve been able to use what I’ve learned from it in many ways outside of building a SaaS based company. I’ve also got placed into a huge network of awesome entrepreneurs – some of which have been on the AoL Podcast.

Below, I’d love to hear from you about your use of surveys in figuring out what your tribe or clients want. Have you used them? What kinds of successes have you had with them? Perhaps you tried doing something without proper research beforehand – how’d it turn out?

Also – we’d love to see you in the Junto! If you have any questions about the Foundation – that’d be a great place to ask!

how to overcome insecurity

How to Overcome Insecurity when You’re Starting Something New

Do you feel insecure?

Maybe about your passions? That they’re not shared by anyone else?

Maybe you’re insecure about social situations. Perhaps you’re wondering what people are thinking about you?

Or, are you simply worried about putting your art into the world? Again, thinking that someone might compare it to some great artist? Or they’ll make fun of it – or you’re afraid of the feedback you might get?

 

These are all insecurities that most of us face from time to time. If you weren’t then you’re not human.

There’s a trick, though, to not letting them stop you from putting yourself out into the world in a meaningful way.

Actually, there’s 4 ideas that you can use on yourself to psych yourself into doing things for the first time.

 

Competence Means Confidence

For me, I hated the way I sounded on the AoL Podcast when I was first starting. However, as I grew into the craft of making the show, my brain just grew accustomed to that voice. And what I would hear in my mind after a while, wasn’t so much me, but it was more of the talent that was the host of the AoL Podcast.

I had the opportunity to make that person sound good.

2 years into the podcast, I get compliments by guests that I actually sound like I know what I’m doing.

Today, I’m facing the same thing when starting this new group thing. A part of it is doing Facebook lives. While I’m not posting every day, I have already done a couple of them. Still not completely used to my face yet, but I’m sure I’ll get over that as well.

So, the first thing you need to do is just start.

You’re not going to master the rest of your life in one day. Just relax. Master the day. Then just keep doing that every day.

You’ll see that that action will yield results which then yields new beliefs.

Then repeat the process!

overcome insecurity

Feedback Yields Power

Don’t tie your work or feelings to anyone’s approval. Even to this day, there are people out there who don’t like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek – you name it. If it exists, there’s more than likely going to be people who don’t like something.

However, those who do like your stuff, when they let you know that they like it – it means you’re going in the right direction.

If they have constructive criticism, that’s even better. Not only is someone showing you that they care enough to let you know what they thought about your work, but they’re giving you feedback in a way that matters.

As an entrepreneur and leader, that’s what you want from your followers. To have feedback so you can know how you can help them!

Don’t search for the attitude with them or even yourself – use it as a way to get better in you craft.

And finally, you can’t perfect something if you don’t have other’s input about it.

 

Rejection Doesn’t Happen that Often

Here’s the thing, you’ve probably already interacted with plenty of people in your life. Hundreds, if not thousands of people. From all of those people, how often have you really dealt with rejection?

In fact, what life actually tells us is that people are going to be indifferent about what you’re doing more than they’ll actually reject it.

The main reason that I think people reject something is that it starts out being seeing as one thing and then, for whatever reason, it changes.

For example – New Coke.

How many New Coke situations have you heard of in your life? Not many! (I’m still not too thrilled about them changing Coke Zero to Coke Zero Calorie. It’s not the same thing!)

If you’re newly putting yourself out into the world, people are going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re new.

Plus, there’s a heck of alot more supportive people in the world than trolls.

 

Your Soul Won’t Settle

Take it from me. Ever since I heard from Pat Flynn about the online business world in 2009, I’ve been wanting to follow in his footsteps.

Here it is, 2017, and I’m still not to the level I’d like to be. BUT I will mention that things are going better than i would have expected a year ago at this time.

I now have a plan for the future.

But I wouldn’t have had that plan if I hadn’t have taken action.

I would be still wondering “Can I? Will I? Should I?”

And frankly, that wasn’t going to cut it… for the rest of my life.

So, if you already have that aching suspicion that you’re supposed to be doing something else than you’re already doing – and you continue to put it off, then you’re always going to have to fight those demons.

Do yourself a favor and get started as soon as you can in doing the work that you’re meant to do.

Your mission is waiting for you.

Action Steps

If you’re in that place right now, whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or not and you’re not sure if you’re ready for the next big thing…

Ask yourself this one question.

What does my gut tell me I need to do next?

If it’s telling you to get up and do something different, then do whatever it is.

If you think it might help, make a mission statement. Let the world know that this is who you and who you see yourself becoming. Not tomorrow, but eventually.

If you need help figuring out what your mission is, check out this interview with David Anderson. It’s quickly becoming one of my go to episodes as I answer this insecurity issue from time to time.

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!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!