Episodes

  • Episode 3: Put Your Agenda Aside, with Neal Sperling

    · MYM Your Business: The Brutal Truth

    Neal Sperling is the Founder and CEO of a global business strategic advisory service that has advised start-ups, mid-cap companies, non-profits, to very high net worth individuals. Neal has strategized and helped his clients solve often extremely complex and difficult business challenges, and then connected them to individuals who have changed their lives for the better, and has even helped them to fulfill their unique life's purpose; hence, he's been called a "World Class Problem Solver" and a “World Class Connector.” At last count, Neal has connected with over 50 billionaires, the President of the United States, U.S. Vice-President, various heads of state, prime ministers, a five star military general, governors, mayors, Academy Award-winning actors, directors, producers and 15 Nobel Laureates (inclusive of 9 Nobel Peace Prize Winners.) Recently, Neal developed a series of masterminds to reveal a number of relatively simple techniques that can help anyone to think more abundantly, more efficiently, and more successfully to become super competitive . "Supercreativity" aims to teach anyone how to break down, understand, and replicate the thinking processes, pathways, and approaches consistently used by history's most innovative, successful thinkers – from DaVinci, Edison, Einstein, Tesla, Buckminster Fuller, Steve Jobs to Elon Musk. The variety of approaches to innovation and problem-solving Neal has made it his business to research, study, and replicate can help those facing common challenges in their everyday business, professional, and even personal lives to more efficiently identify and resolve problems, uplevel their thinking skills and abilities, achieve greater confidence, and ultimately leapfrog ahead of virtually any competitor by looking at most any future challenge faced through the above "expanded eyes of genius." Hi, it's Colin Sprake here and I'm super excited because today we have a very special guest on MYM Your Business: The Brutal Truth, with myself Colin Sprake. Our guest today is Neal Sperling. We're going to take you on a journey today and really dig deep into being more successful and getting answers that you're looking for. Neal's been one of those people that I got to meet only really recently. In fact, he was on my stage at one of my big events here in Vancouver called Business Excellence, and the one thing that really impressed me about Neal is his heart and his soul and his dedication to other people's success. The way he's done things -- I mean he spoke to me once on the phone recently about trust and he has a great, amazing information and knowledge and just awesome at what he does. Neal, maybe you want to give us a little bit more of an intro to who you are, so our listeners today can understand where you come from, what you do in just a short abbreviated version of who you are and your brilliance that you bring to this podcast today. Well thank you Colin, it's very, very flattering. I really appreciate it, and it's a great chance to be here and share information with everybody out there. I guess I'm primarily known as a world class connector, and a world class problem solver. The world class connector brand was actually given to me by Robert Allan. I had a chance meeting with him and it led to a meeting in his living room. After he looked at my card and met me for three hours, he said, "You know, you're not a business development and marketing consultant," and I said, "I'm not?" He said, "No, I think you're much more than that, you're a world class connector." I actually had to go home and look up what that meant because what I'd been doing is essentially something I've been doing all my life, which seeing the connections, puzzle pieces, people and how things fit together and in the most optimal sense, so eventually I've taken that and built that into a career. I think I'm able to help people navigate and see things more clearly from that perspective of how their own puzzle pieces and their own lives to fit in the most optimal sense. Wow! That's awesome, and you know Neal, one of the big things for me which just fascinates me is absolutely how you are that true connector and how you've even cared to meet with so many amazing people as well. Maybe you could give our listeners today's some real insights into what does it truly mean to connect. Big people talk about this being a connector. If we want people to get the concepts, the understanding of what it truly means to connect with somebody, maybe you can give us, one, two, or three amazing tips on how to be a really good connector, but a genuine, heart sense of connector. Not connecting because you hear from Neal today on how to really connect, but because you've gotten you do it from a real heart sense of place. Can you give maybe one, two, three tips on how to be fantastic at connecting? Yes, sure. I think it starts with being aware, and the more aware you are, the more successful you can be. Having that awareness really extends to several areas. First of, a lot of people when they hear about connecting it's kind of a fancy concept for them, and they immediately equate it with networking, or they'll equate it with communicating. No, actually it's different than that. Communicating is one facet of connecting. You can communicate but not necessarily connect. You can network with people, but not necessarily communicate or connect. I think connecting takes it to a deeper level, and the connections really starts for me with being an active listener, with being very aware of other people, taking the owner self, my own agenda and focusing more in on the other person's agenda and trying to figure out not what they really want, but what they actually need. That becomes a place of authenticity when you meet them on that ground. By having a sense of what they could really use, it is almost like you're getting beyond the superficiality in a very quick way to get to the core truths of who they are. They sense very often, I find, when you do that it's taking a little risk because you meet someone early on and they don't know where you are coming from or what your agenda is, but they instantly sense intuitively that you're authentic and you really want to help them, and it's almost like giving them tough love or tough truth. Consequently when you establish a rapport on that basis and early on, it builds a sense of trust and I think in accelerated way, that allows you to accelerate the connection and the relationship. That sounds awesome; for me it's so fascinating. I'm going to dig a little deeper into this because I've always believed that you can be authentic in your connection or you should be authentic in all of your connections, but for me, I'm a big fan of getting rid of the word authentic. I say often you get, you can get a person who's authentically inauthentic, which is a con artist. I love the two words, realness and vulnerability, because I think that's really key that when you really connect with someone, you just be real with them and be vulnerable. Be open to maybe some suggestion, maybe some criticism, some feedback on different things. What would you say to that around the two keywords of realness and vulnerability? Yes, I think that's absolutely true. I think the reason I use authentic is because it goes through a deeper level for me and how I look at it in that, when I'm looking to be authentic, I'm expecting other people to come back at me and meet me in the same way. To be authentic, or have authentic connection, you first have to authenticate the people. When I look to people, put people in my own private network, I often say to friends that I have or close friends I share, that I have friends and then I have authentic friends, but the authentic friends have been authenticated. I really do believe on this friendship level it's an important concept to understand, whether you're in business or dealing with people outside of business, that you want to have people engaging with you at this level, where it builds and establishes the trust. I don't think that happens without you first kind of verifying each other, whether some people do it subliminally or I do it through various rules that I've developed as some of which I shared on your stage. Absolutely. So the key thing for me and I suppose that's really, if you take it right into a business sense is, true authentic connections or realness and vulnerability, you go to that deeper level with people, and that's when people begin to know that they can trust you and then start to refer you out to their friends, their authentic connections, and what have you. I love this because for me that's how you grow your business really. Most business is not really what you know, but often who you know and how authentic your relationships are with those people. What would you say to that? Absolutely, and I find that very often when I meet people, they find it refreshing that they sense that I don't have hidden agendas. I'm really trying to get to the core truth of what they need, and hoping that when they see that and they're part of the minority people who have that enlightened ability to understand reciprocity, that they will reciprocate, and so I will always take the first action in that respect. I talked about Newton's third law, which is all about for every action there's an equal opposite reaction. What I add to that is that you really can't expect to receive an action until you first take one, so I'm always willing to be vulnerable and be real by basically taking that first action and then see how people show up. It leads to that other chain of roles that I shared with you, which is b

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  • Episode 2: The 12 Important Beats of Running a Successful and Powerful Company, with Colin Sprake

    · MYM Your Business: The Brutal Truth

    Welcome everyone. It's awesome to have you here with me today. Today I'm here by myself, so I'm just going to go through a number of key things for you. I want you to make sure that you get so much out of today as we jump in and make a huge, huge different for you and your business. It's Colin Sprake here, and I want to go into what I call the 12 important beats of running a very, very, successful and powerful company. One thing I want you to understand, as we go through today is that you take lots of notes. It is so important. The way you get ahead is by taking action with what you learn from me on this amazing podcast. Let's get going. Let's get rocking, rolling with today. We're going to go through the 12 important beats of building a really powerful, successful, eight-figure business and way beyond that and it all starts with these really important beats. Beat number one, which I'm going to start with is really building a business with purpose. So many people are so focused on, "How do I make money?" It's all about, "Let me make more money" or "How do I make money in my business?" My goal for you is to start to think about how do you go and serve people? How do you really focus on serving more people because my mantra at Make Your Mark is the following: When you focus on dollars you'll have money to count; when you focus on people you have countless dollars. I really want you to think about this because so many people are focused on going out there and how to make money today. As you listen to this, think about this: are you just focused on making money or are you focused on serving people with what you have. When you serve people, I promise you, you'll come out with way more money than you ever thought possible. So think about this, beat number one is what is your purpose? Are you there to truly serve people to a higher level or are you just there to make money and that's it. If you're only focused on making money, yes, you'll make money, but I can tell you one thing, you'll make a lot more money when you start truly with thinking “how can I serve people today?” Go out there and change humanity. Change mankind. Give people a leg up with your products or service to get them ahead to have amazing life and amazing success. Beat number two is what is your freedom plan? I want you to think about this. Most people aren't thinking about whatever's happening in their life right now because people are so focused on “go bold, put a business plan together.” I meet so many trainers, coaches, what have you, especially around business saying, "Put your business plan together. Get your business plan rocking and rolling." The saddest part is, I'm a big believer in what you focus on expands, so if you're so focused on building a business plan, guess what happens, often your family and your life falls apart because you're so busy focusing on this business plan because you need a plan for both. I call it the freedom plan. When you take your life plan plus your business plan and you put them together that becomes your freedom plan. What does your life look like, your one year, two year, five years, 10 years out from now? What does your business look like, one year, five year, two year, five year, 10 years from now, because when you put the two together, that's when you get massive success. To me, just having a business plan doesn't cut it. Your support structure at home, your amazing love, the kindness of the people around you, your friends, your family, all those people that are supporting you, it's really important to understand that when you have that support that you really start to be thankful for that support. In particular, your life plan, your family plan, everything else because your life plan plus your business plan gives you your freedom plan. I want you to think about that as you read this today. I want you to be taking notes, writing down what's really important to you. You might be mobile right now, I understand that, but start to think about what you focus on expands. When you put your life plan and your business plan together, that's when you get true freedom. That's when you get this amazing business that generates so much money for you and so much cash for you as you go and serve humanity and serve your clientele. At the same time, you have this amazing family life, you travel, you enjoy whatever's important to you, you get those cherished moments. That's what I want you to be really understanding. Let's get your freedom plan working for you so that you get what I call a business with soul where you really have a successful business and the successful family simultaneously. Focus on putting together a really important freedom plan. Another thing I want to share with you, and I'm going to talk about this in later episodes, I want to share with you what I call beat number three, what is your vivid vision? What is your vivid vision for your business? Where do you see yourself in the next three to four years? I like to create a very detailed vivid vision. If you want to download my vivid vision you're more than welcome to. My vivid vision is live on my website at mymsuccess.com. The MYM stands for Make Your Mark. My vivid vision is there. I highly recommend you go over there, you click and you download the PDF of my vivid vision and you take that vivid vision and you start to create your own vivid vision three to four years from now. Really creating a powerful vivid vision for your business lets people know where you're going, what you're doing, and what have you. You need to share your vivid vision with everybody. Now, this is not just a vision statement, this is a vivid vision. Mine is six pages long, every single piece of my business, my family, everything else in terms of my freedom plan of where I see myself three to four years from now. Now, when you go and download it and you get this vivid vision, use my document as a template to create your own vivid vision for your business. I really want to make sure you're getting that vivid vision that you're looking for. The most important part of the vivid vision is it's so detailed of where you will be, but you're writing it as if you three years to four years from now and your team can see where you're at. When I come to hire people, the first thing I send them, we put an ad out, it could be on any kind of platform. We're looking for team members to come and join Make Your Mark or new employees to join us, when we do that, when people write back to us and they're super excited we send them out the vivid vision. We send out this PDF document. We don't ask them to reply to it. We don't ask them are they interested in working with us, we just say, "Thank you for your resume, here's the vivid vision for the company." We send it out to them, if they write back and they say, "I am super excited. I want to be part of that. I want to get to the next level by being with you on that vivid vision and that journey," and then we start to interview them and we bring them in and we go through a very said process of interviewing. Unless they respond back to the vivid vision we send out when they first send their resume in, we don't do anything with them. Why? Because we want the same people on the bus driving the bus forward, going to where we want to be in line with the vivid vision for the company because my vivid vision is so important to me to achieving the results that I'm looking for, and of course, to really gotten serve so many people out there. You really need to create that vivid vision that's got lots of feeling in it. People can see that there's growth in the company because here's the most important point. Your vivid vision gets shared with everyone. I share with prospective team members or employees. I don't like the word employees. I love the word team. At the same time, share it with your vendors because your vendors will love to know what your growth plans are so they can prepare accordingly as well. You share it with your current employees or your current team members. You share that vivid vision with your family, your friends, everybody. Why? Because you want them to support you on your vision in terms of where you're going on this, and it's a massive journey of where you're going. At the same time, you want to make sure that your vendors know there's opportunities to grow with you. You want your team members or employees to know there's so much opportunity with you for them to get to the next level because employees want to know, "What is the growth with your company? What's the growth opportunity?" Everyone wants to grow, but if you don't have a vivid vision that outlines what you're going to be doing and where you're going, they just think that they're going to come to a J-O-B every day and do the same job day, after day, after day. The best thing about a vivid vision for employees or your team members is they see the opportunity and growth and that they can actually get to the next level. The next important part, beat number four, what are your core values for your company? Now, you might wonder, what do you mean by core values? The core values set the culture of who you are. When we hire at Make Your Mark, we are so set on this because here's the challenge. If you don't have core values, I mean, everyone has core values but really good core values that drive your company forward, you end up hiring people that are really, really, really good at what they do but sometimes they irritate the snot out of you. Seriously, sometimes they just really irritate you.

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  • Episode 1: You Can’t Achieve Success All by Yourself, with Steve Cunningham

    · MYM Your Business: The Brutal Truth

    Today we’re speaking with Steve Cunningham from Pivot Point Family Growth Centers. I am super excited to get going today to give you some really golden nuggets from people that have built successful businesses, but guess what? They haven't always been that way. There's trials, tribulations, challenges they've gone through to get to where they are today, and I have Steve with me. I’m really going to take you through some of the most challenging things that he's been through. But before we get there, I want Steve to do a little bit of an intro of who he is, and who Pivot Point is as a company, and maybe where that started just so, as a listener, you get an idea of how long Steve's been around and how long their business has been around, and what's taken to get where they are today. So, I'm going to hand it over to you Steve. Just give a little bit of a background of Pivot Point, as itself, maybe a little bit of a background of yourself. Sure. Fantastic, thanks Colin. Yeah, Pivot Point was a fantastic dream that came to life about 14 years ago when I started to reach out to the needs of parents who had children with autism or other problems. So, in British Columbia, there were a lot of changes 14 years ago, in terms of how funding was provided to parents who had children with autism and other diverse abilities, and that created an opportunity to meet those needs for those parents. So, we got started with just a few families, and now we're up to several hundred, 400, almost 500 families now. Wow. All over the province. Fantastic. So, give me a little bit about your background. So, in terms of the listeners listening to this podcast today, and for those of you that don't know where British Columbia is, that's here in Canada, right on the West Coast. It's the most western province of Canada, and of course we've got listeners from all over the globe listening to this podcast. So, brilliant. Give us a little bit of your background. What gives you that expertise in terms of really giving services to these families with kids that have autism or maybe some of their family members, the adults, that have autism? That's a great question, and it's always fun to be able to tell that story. My journey actually began way when I was a child at summer camps, when my family life was going through a few little struggles here and there, and I had an opportunity to run into some really powerful male role models at summer camps. These older teens and young 20s people who would teach me how to rock climb and canoe and kayak and build campfires, really inspired me to become a better person, a better version of myself than the path I was following when I was younger. So, within a short while, I started working at the summer camp, and that gave me a lot of exposure to working with different children of different abilities, and really my whole working career, from my teens through my 20s and 30s and 40s, has been in service of children and their families around diverse abilities, behavior needs, autism, down syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning challenges, kind of the full spectrum. So, I've been doing child youth care work. I've done teaching assistant work in the public schools. I've become a clinical counselor, so I have a counseling degree in counseling psychology, and had worked for an agency for several years before this opportunity opened up here in the province of British Columbia, and I started my business 14 years ago. Beautiful, man. Now, one of the key things I'd love to dig right into, and it's just something that came into my head as you were talking, is that counselors, people that really want to serve people ... I even went through some of this myself as I started my own business, as I started Make Your Mark, and of course this podcast is called The Brutal Truth. So, I don't want you to hold back on anything. One of the key things for me is we love to give and love to serve and what have you, and I'm sure somewhere along the lines we might have had some challenges around even charging for your services because your heart is there to serve people. Of course, probably have a lot of listeners out there that are serving people in some way or form, but probably not charging what they should be charging, don't know their own self worth, what have you. Can you speak completely open on maybe some of the challenges you went through? Maybe about how you overcame those challenges to charging, maybe what you should be charging, or even making money in an environment that people think you shouldn't be making money? Absolutely. As you asked me the question, I'm starting to smile thinking about that. There are a lot of triggers that come up for me around that. When I first got started, like many new professionals out of university, I was suffering from what is known as the imposter syndrome. You go through school, you get the degree, you have the training, and you step out into the real world and think, "Wow. Does anyone know that I haven't done this before? Do I really belong here? I don't fit in. Everybody else seems to know what they're doing, and I'm just getting started." So, early on, it was really difficult for me to charge a higher rate for my counseling services, and I had to start to compare myself to others and realize that maybe I can provide a meaningful service, maybe I can deliver something that's of value to people, maybe I am coming from the heart and trying to meet the needs genuinely, and therefore, it's on par cost-wise with what other people are charging. That's absolutely been an important barrier for me to overcome. That was fairly early on in the business. Let me ask you something. If you went back and you started over today, would you charge what you're charging today then, in the beginning? In the beginning you felt like you couldn't charge what you were worth. Yeah, you're absolutely right. It's about ... I felt like I wasn't worthy of that higher rate, and so, it took some building of my own self confidence to realize that the service that was being provided was valued at that rate. So it was working on myself first to be ready for the proper billing rate. Yeah, and I think many of the listeners are thinking when they all started out, "Wow. I should have charged what I was worth right in the beginning." The big thing is, you should be charging what you're worth up front. The challenging part is we always seem to think we're not worthy of it, we don't deserve it, or what have you. So, really great point, thank you for that. So, let's get into a couple of key things that you've learned along the way. Pivot Point's now 14 years old. I've been really privileged enough to see you grow and grow into different areas of British Columbia here in Canada, as you've expanded, but let's go back right to the beginning as well. What were some of the key things that, if you had to start Pivot Point over again, what would it be that you could say, "Please don't do this," or "Get your thoughts in line," whatever it is. That's my important thing for all our listeners is get this brutal truth. Because if you don't get this, you bumble along and you fumble and you trip and you fall and what have you. That's why I brought these amazing people on to serve you. So, what's ... give me one or two, maybe a couple of nuggets we could have a discussion about of what you would do differently if you had to start Pivot Point up again today. You bet. That's an excellent question. Really, I see two different sides to the same coin on that question. It really has to do with the use of others. So, I was very fortunate with Pivot Point that we were growing quickly in the first few years and there was enough revenue to afford to lean on others to reach out for accounting support, legal support, some marketing support, and some administrative support. If I had not reached out to others and invited others into the business, then I would have been trying to do all of those things myself. That's not my background, and I very likely would've steered it off course not knowing better. So, the first nugget for me was really learning to lean on others and trust in others to help guide me. Which really comes down to -- and it might sound like a really callous word -- but it comes down to leverage. At the end of the day, you've got to leverage other people. There's only two kinds of leverage, other people's time, other people's money. So, in that sense, you're leveraging other people's time, and if you heard one of the keywords there, and listeners if you want to write this word down right now, the most important word I think you can ever learn when building a team, having people, contractors, employees, whatever it is, is the word trust. If you cannot have that trust in people, then guess what? You'll probably never get to where you want to be. Steve, the saddest thing I hear from so many people is, "I never want employees. I want everyone to be contractors, not employees." For me, what Steve's saying to you is you'll never get to where you want to be if you don't have a team around you, or with you. I don't even like the word, they're working for you, because they don't work for you. You work together as a team. So, really understand this, listeners, it's all about that trust. If you cannot trust people, well then how are you ever going to get to be able to go on vacation and lie on the beach, have some fun, whatever it is, and your business keeps on running. If it's all about you, while you're lying on the beach, guess what happens? Your business is closed, because while you sit there doing nothing and enjoying yourself, your business is doing nothing. So that leverage point,

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  • Episode 0: Welcome to MYM Your Business: The Brutal Truth, with Colin Sprake

    · MYM Your Business: The Brutal Truth

    Hi. My name's Colin Sprake and welcome to MYM Your Business: The Brutal Truth, my podcast that is devoted to getting business owners and entrepreneurs to be massively successful in all areas of their life. My podcast is a weekly podcast, and the first week of each month is going to be devoted to business mindset. Really getting your mind in the game because your mindset is the most important part to being massively successful in your business. The second week of each month, I'm going to bring onto the podcast my personal mentors. People who have mentored me in all areas of my life, because to be successful in business doesn't mean just being successful in understanding marketing, sales, what have you. It's also being successful in your relationships, successful in your fitness, your health, what have you. I'm going to bring my personal mentors onto the podcast so we can interview them and you can learn what I've learned from them to get yourself to the next level. The third week of each month is going to be devoted to business tools. Real solid business tools in sales, marketing, operations, profitability, what have you, to really get your business to the next level. When you are finished with the third week of each month, you'll have set tools that you can use to go and implement and use in your business immediately to get you to the next level. And the fourth week of each month is super exciting, because I'm going to bring on real successful entrepreneurs and business owners, the business owners that have gone through a lot of challenges in their past and have actually got themselves to the next level and broken through all those challenges, and you're going to learn from them what it took to get through those challenges. These are what we call the entrepreneur stories on the fourth episode of each month to really assist you and get you ahead. The big part about this is understanding that I am here to serve you, to get you to the next level and to assist you with getting your business way beyond where it is today. It doesn't matter what level you're at. I grew up as a child in South Africa. You can hear from my South African accent. I grew up in an environment where I was severely bullied. I thought at some stage in my life that I would never be successful. I actually, in fact, attempted suicide twice and people said to me, "Wow! I don't how you ever became so successful." I want you to understand. I am no different to any of you listening to this podcast. I want you to get ahead, no matter what your circumstances are, and my podcast every week is going to assist you with understanding exactly how to do that. At the same time, I want people to understand, too, that you can build a very successful business and a successful family at the same time. You do not have to sacrifice one for the other. In fact, your family and the support you have at home or your friends and what have you are vital to you being successful. The support is to me one of the biggest parts of ensuring you become massively successful in your business. I've been in business since the age of nine. I started a very small company at the age of nine making calculator cases for very expensive calculators and I sold them at university campuses. I then started a cabinet company in my late teens which I eventually sold in my early 20s. Since then I've continued to build different businesses in healthcare, fitness, mining equipment, and also in the training industry. In terms of businesses, I am very, very devoted to assisting business owners with getting ahead and understanding what it takes to be successful and to learn from other people who have actually done it. Like I say, this is the brutal truth. There's not going to be any fluff or anything on this podcast that's going to be airy-fairy or anything like. It's going to be let's cut to the chase. Let's give you the tools you need. It's understanding what has taken other people to get to that next level, and I want you to do the same, because I know what it takes to be at that level. At the same time, I'm going to share with you the things I've learned from my personal mentors. People like Richard Branson. People like Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank, one of the initial original sharks from ABC's Shark Tank show. I've learned so much from them. I want to bring it to you, because right now I'm growing a multiple eight figure business and I'm going to take that into a nine figure business and eventually into a 10 figure business which is that billion dollar, with a B, company. I want to show you how I've taken it from a very small business each time and grown it way beyond what I ever thought possible. I want you to see that what you think is impossible today actually is really possible, and I'm going to open your eyes to it, open your heart to it so you can see how this can be achieved in your business. My goal for you on each of the episodes is that you become more successful. You walk away with tools, strategies, thoughts, maybe mind shirts, aha moments, whatever it might be for you, that when you finish listening, you've got very set things that you can do and implement immediately from the shows. Like I say, there's not going to be any fluff. It's all going to be about the cold, brutal truth of what it's going to take for you to be very, very successful in your business in every way and form. And I look forward to you listening and getting you to that next level.

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