RUSSELL PETERS

  • Review of Highlights from Recent Podcasts

    · 00:54:08 · The Nonprofit Exchange: Leadership Tools & Strategies

    Highlighting the best ideas from the best sessions is our intention. Hugh Ballou and Russell Dennis point to interviews for more listening and more personal growth. Here's the Transcript   NPE Hugh & Russell Hugh Ballou: Greetings, it’s an episode of the Nonprofit Exchange that is the Hugh and Russell show. Russell David Dennis and Hugh McPherson Ballou, we are going to chat today about some of the great things that we’ve heard in the past podcasts. We create a lot of content, and it’s time to reflect on that. Russell, how are you doing today? Russell Dennis: It is a beautiful day here in Denver, Colorado. It did snow a little bit yesterday. Now it’s gone back to Denver-type weather, at least for the front range here. There is a beautiful cap on the mountains that you can see miles and miles coming in. Life is good. Hugh: Your life is always good. You make it that way. When I lived in Colorado, they had a saying: If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes. Russell: It does change frequently. We are expecting some pretty mild weather for this time of year. But the skiers are happy. We got a natural cap. The snow machines are going. Let the skiing begin. It will continue through May. Hugh: Through May. Wow. So we are live on Facebook. We record our podcasts as a live video feed, so anybody who is listening to the Nonprofit Exchange podcast, feel free to join us on Facebook live on Tuesdays at 2:00 Eastern Time. You go to thenonprofitexchange.org, and it will lead you there. We post to the past sessions and create new sessions every Tuesday. Russell, I find that when we are doing it live that we have unexpected participants that join us on Facebook. I also find that there is an energy with creating that live event. What is your experience with this? Russell: I have had people come in and share their experience because it enhances the program. It always helps to have people ask questions that are burning in their minds. One of the things to consider because as nonprofit leaders, you’re running an enterprise. It’s a business like a lot of others. The big difference is the tax status. There are problems with people and business and just operating that can be solved and leadership issues. These are things that people want to talk about. I like to bring people things that they want to hear about. I love when people ask questions because it gives us points for discussion. We find out what sort of things are important to you out there, and that is what matters to us. Hugh: I was with both Burt Oliva and David Dunworth two weeks ago tomorrow down in Florida, and we managed to dodge the weather and do some meaningful things in between the storms. As I spend time with both of those gentlemen who are both watching right now, I really appreciate the level of skill they have and the level of expertise. David Dunworth has been on this podcast. I’ve talked to Burt, and he and his team are going to be part of this interview process next month. Their calendar is pretty full. I look forward to having them. The fact that you are connected to them is also great. We have been doing this Nonprofit Exchange. Our magazine editor, Todd Greer, Dr. Greer is an organizational psychologist. He has got a degree in organizational leadership… *audio interruption, clearly a network issue* Russell: Can you hear me, Hugh? Can you hear me okay? Hugh: Did I lose you and you’re back? Russell: I lost you for a brief- Hugh: Did you go away? Did you hear what I just said? Russell: Very little of that. We had a little bit of a freeze there momentarily. Hugh: High tech is really great when it works. When high tech works, it’s great. When it doesn’t work, it really stinks. What I was talking about the history of this podcast, and it starts as a video and then goes into the audio on Nonprofit Exchange podcast, which you can find on iTunes and Stitcher and most every platform. The Nonprofit Exchange. Russ, you have showed up faithfully as unofficial co-host, but you are trying to get out of it now. You are part of this process. How long have we been doing this together? Has it been a year? *more technical difficulties* Russell: We started fairly early in the year on a consistent basis. I popped in and out on some broadcasts in late 2016, but I’ve been consistent since probably about February. We’ve been co-piloting during the week. One of the things that has been pointed out because we’ve had people that have come in and talked about the use of technology for nonprofits and using it well. Technology is something that can enhance what we’re doing, but it’s not primarily what we’re doing. It’s important to use it well as a nonprofit leader not to be afraid of it. Technology can do a lot of things for you particularly when it comes to getting your message out. *more technical difficulties* I have been talking about technology and how we can leverage it to make it work. It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s something that can afford nonprofits the opportunity to get their organizations out in front of other people, whether it’s through Facebook or using Google. Google has put millions and millions of dollars into the nonprofit arena by offering grants to nonprofits to actually get their message out there. *more technical difficulties* You might be having a bandwidth thing going on there. Hang in there. I don’t know if you have some apps open that you might be able to close. Hugh: I was going to blame it on you. I’m hoping that audio continued and I didn’t hear anything, but it could have been my own frailty here. I did change devices so I am on a different router now. Russell: It seems to have cleared the problem up. I was talking about technology because that is so important for everything. One of the things that I was talking about getting messages out there, but it can be used to reach your audience. You can actually do a little bit more in terms of determining who the people are that are listening to you. You can get your message out in more cost-effective ways than you were ever able to do before. Like anything else, the thing that has been the overarching message that our guests have put out as far as using technology and social media and connecting with people is it’s all about relationships and building strong relationships with people you serve and those that you serve with. Technology is not a substitute for that, but it’s a way to factually extend that reach in a cost-effective manner. Hugh: Absolutely. Russ, let’s talk about some impressions from- Tell me again when you and I started doing this together. Russell: I think we started moving consistently in February because I pop in and out in 2016. But I’ve started showing up consistently. We have been here. I have been on just about every broadcast. I have had the honor and privilege of standing in a few times for you when you had other things that you had to get done. It’s been beautiful. It’s been a great thing for me. I have done other broadcasting, too. I’d like this talk show hosting. I think it suits me. Hugh: You do it very well, and you’ve had me as a guest on your show. You know we have learned, in our association with our group called CEO Space, the power of cooperation, and we have taken it to the collaborative level. There is plenty of room for everybody to play because it’s a big playing field, and we bring it to a new paradigm. Let’s look over some of the past podcasts. We have had the pleasure of interviewing some really amazing people. I don’t know about you, but I learn from every single one of them. As a matter of fact, every time we talk, I learn something from you. You have some incredible sound bites. You are very well-read. You continue working on self. I remember Jim Rohn would commonly say in his speeches, “Work on yourself harder than you work on your business.” That is my sense of Russell Dennis. You are always improving your own self. You have done many worthy things in your career. What you are doing is bringing all that value to people who need it. Thank you for being here, and thank you for sharing your wisdom. Let’s collaborate on thinking about the wisdom we’ve gathered from some of these people we have interviewed recently. What are some of the messages that jump out to you from some of those great interviews we have had? Russell: Here’s the panel discussion that we had that really sticks in my mind. Several weeks ago, we were talking about diversity. This is a discussion that I’ve been having with people all over the place. In fact, I had a discussion with one of my classmates from the Sponsorship Boot Camp around diversity. This lady is a naval officer. She was a pilot, so she experienced some interesting reactions from her fellow naval pilots. It’s pretty much a boys’ club. When we get into diversity, we can get stuck on race, but there’s not just race. There is age, gender, and socioeconomic status, which is really critical. Some of the things that I’ve read in the nonprofit press show a lack of diversity in our nonprofit boardrooms. That has an impact when you don’t have a diversity of leadership or a diversity of thinking styles. You’re leaving a lot on the table, and that’s been uppermost in my mind lately as far as some of our discussions go. Hugh: Well, that’s Dr. Thyonne Gordon you’re referring to. The more I talk to her, the more I appreciate the depth of her wisdom and character. The context behind both her and Mr. William Lewis, they are both doctors and very skilled people. I was the white guy on the call, but it wasn’t, as you have carefully placed, about race. We think it’s about race. That’s a factor. But how about boomers and millennials? How do we get along? We don’t, because we don’t understand each other. The gender, you talked about. The sexual preference, what is your lifestyle? Did you grow up in the ghetto? There is so many dynamics. When I participated years ago in working with a company in Germany that holds a competitive event called the World Choir Games, there were 400 choirs that show up from 100 countries. That is diversity. That is amazing diversity. People come together around a common thread, which is music, excellence in music. There is community that happens, not because you force it to happen, but because we all celebrate our diversity and celebrate the commonality that is music. I think we forget to think about the things we have in common. We think about what we have that is different rather than what we have in common. Russ, even within a white church that has mostly people from one generation and one economic sector, there are diverse opinions, but they are trapped in this container, not being able to get outside their point of view. Somebody from outside to ask questions: What about this? It opens up the conversation. We do get closed in without thinking about possibilities. We just think about what we have always done. What I have gained out of that particular interview, which was the brilliance of two of our guests, is there are some things we can think about. Here are some other values that we could bring. Is it about diversity, or is it about inclusion? Is it about bringing creative energy into your organization? That call was not only about race; it was about a whole plethora of other really powerful things. Am I remembering some of the same things you are? Russell: Yes, that’s true. That is what I took away. Here is where you have these things potentially show up in a bad way, if you don’t have that diversity. It’s understanding the populations that you serve. A lot of the populations look like everybody else, but some of them don’t. If you’re running a nonprofit and you’re trying to serve a population that you don’t have a solid connection with, it could reduce your effectiveness and your efficiency in doing that. There are all sorts of problems and other articles. I would love to bring those up. We discussed maybe doing another panel, and I have talked to a couple of people who would be good for that once we decide we want to do another one. Hugh: Let’s spin on that a minute. If you’re listening to this podcast and diversity, inclusion, and building creativity on your board and your culture generally, if that is a topic of interest for you, please go to the podcast and do some comments. It is on the SynerVision website, and there is a place for comments. We very much welcome comments. If you are really into growing the culture in a creative way, I don’t think you can do without some diversity. What do you think, Russ? Russell: You’ve gotta have it. That has been recognized by a lot of the new research that is out there. I read in the Chronicle of Philanthropy some of their findings. Those ads are out there. It’s really important. People are finding that this is critical. The Denver Foundation, right here where I work, they did an inclusion project and put quite a bit of money and research into it several years ago to actually tackle that problem. They have great material on their website, denverfoundation.org. They actually put some of the questions that they ask with limited information on some of the participants and some of the types of questions that they ask. They will be happy to talk with you about it if you want more information. Hugh: Thank you for bringing this up. This is a really important topic. I think there should be a series of group discussions on this topic because it is such a big topic. It is such an important topic. When we had that call and I did a debriefing for the two guests, they both said there is a lot more content and sub-themes. We introduced so many themes in that call. What I think you ought to do is challenge me, or challenge each other, to put a series of these conversations together. We might have to do it not at this time, but do it at this time and broadcast it to be able to accommodate the variety of schedules. I want Wornie Reed, the race professor at Virginia Tech, on the call, and Andy Morikawa, my original founding board member, who have really good wisdom on boards and diversity. There are some others that you and I have talked about. I think there are lots of subthemes for us to work through and develop. What do you think of us having a series of conversations about that topic? Russell: I’d love to do that. As a matter of fact, I have a preliminary agreement. I’ve got Andie Sue Phillips who will be appearing on the Nonprofit Culture Success show on November 1 at 4 pm EST. She and I are going to be talking about diversity. We are both veterans. She is very interested in coming on and doing the panel and talking. She has experienced this, and she has actually put together a very interesting program that a number of major businesses are looking at on diversity. They found her and approached her on the subject. I’m excited about that conversation that we’ll have coming up where she can talk about some of those tools. And we have a number of things. I think you could spend an hour on gender on one program. You could spend an hour on age, particularly the disconnect between boomers like ourselves and millennials. It’s really a communication thing. A good friend of mine, Brooke Chestnut, who I went through the Colorado Speakers Academy with, has put some programs together to help organizations that are looking to recruit millennials actually get that done. He put together an interesting concept that he called reverse mentoring. I think it’s about time for me to give young Mr. Chestnut a call. Hugh: He could be one of those panelists, couldn’t he? Russell: Very easily. That is a piece of his work. Another good friend in the area, Russ Manery, does a lot of work around making sure you hire the right people. He is masterful at that. He was on my show a few weeks back. You got the conversation around age. You got a conversation around gender. Her being a veteran and me being a veteran, that opens up all sorts of doors for this conversation, and I’m looking forward to that. Hugh: Me, too. Russell: There is a lot to unpack there. Then of course there is socioeconomic status. People who actually are in need of a lot of the services that nonprofits provide. A big mistake I’ve seen people make over the years is that they have got wonderful ideas and they want to help, but somewhere along the way, they neglected to talk to the people that they are actually putting the program together for. Lo and behold, they had everything to sign, they had it funded, they built it, and nobody came. It’s really important to talk to these folks and find out how they want to be helped because if they’re accessing different services, they don’t know where to buy them so to speak. They are experiencing these gaps, and there is something that falls outside the purview of the guidelines. They are actually struggling to fill all the needs. This happens with everything, especially with school. Students can go out and get scholarships and not be able to take advantage of them because of the hidden costs like the fees, the flights, and the textbooks. There are just things that show up that nobody accounts for. Thandie Caraway was on the Nonprofit Culture Success show last week. I have to put that replay up. Hugh: People will be listening to this way after the dates you gave, so let’s give a link so people can find that. Russell: I will. Hugh: What is that link? Russell: For the Nonprofit Culture Success show, it’s on Facebook. I have that every week. It’s a webinar similar to this broadcast. I deliver it the exact same way. If you look up NP Culture Success on Facebook, you will be connected there. Hugh: NP, meaning Nonprofit, Culture of Success. That is a really good program. You interviewed me a few weeks ago. I have been in a thread with some really fine folks. Russell, when you were talking about programs they hadn’t checked out, it reminds me of a Robert Frost poem: “We sit in a circle and suppose/the secret sits in the center and knows.” Does that resonate at all? Russell: That’s pretty good stuff. David weighed in and said there is a lot we could talk about where diversity is concerned. These types of discussions are what I really love to see. I would love to have more people weigh in. You want to know what people are interested in and struggling with because that is another way we can add value. Hugh: I’m going to ask David Dunworth what some of those topics are that come to his mind. He said there are lots of topics that would enhance the facets of the show. Russell, we’ve been looking at some of the past podcasts. Last week we had our friend Joe White who had an amazing presentation on goals. I teach goals. I said in that show that Joe did that module in my workshop. You have done your module twice. Everybody I’ve had present a module does a far better job than I do. Joe came in and presented goals, and it was resonant with what we have defined in SynerVision. He did a stunning job of that. He talked about his GPS system for setting goals, which I found to be very powerful. The Covey principle, sharpen the saw, comes to mind with people like that. We are always working on our tools, sharpening the saw so we can be better. You and I are no spring chickens. We have learned a lot of stuff; we have a lot of stuff. But we are not sitting on our laurels. We are growing our own skill and being able to share the wisdom and experience and skills we have learned over the years. Do you remember that conversation with Joe? Does anything come to mind from that for you? Russell: The thing I loved about his GPS system is that it is incredibly powerful. There is a lot of power in it. The power comes from the simplicity that he rolls it out there with. Almost everybody that drives can relate to a GPS. It makes me wonder how we ever got anywhere without them. They have become so widespread that we are used to them. The power is the focus that comes from using a simple system, is what comes through. I think that any good system is easy to access, easy to understand, and easy to use. That comes from our friend Brendan Bouchard; that is not one of my originals. But it makes perfect sense because a lot of people in the industry, and I have had that conversation with him and other people in the personal development industry: maybe two or three out of every hundred that actually pick up a system implement it. This is where I want to help people get beyond that. If there is something that people can use in simple steps, they are going to be more likely to apply it. It’s not going to be overwhelming. That was Joe’s GPS system. It is a textbook example of that principle. Hugh: He did a very good job of explaining it and laying it out. And he had a free gift. We don’t number the episodes of Nonprofit Exchange. If you find the one on Joe White setting powerful goals, that is a good one. We are going to expand some other topics coming up. David Dunworth had filled in some. One was outsourcing and its challenges because of preconceived notions. I find a lot of charities and churches and synagogues say we don’t have time to do all these things, yet they want to hire people. You could outsource some of these things if you had sufficient time to develop your plan and methodology so you could hand it off. One of the basic tenets of transformational leadership is being able to take things off your plate and empower some other people to do. You and I have talked about the burnout rate with nonprofit leaders, and it is unusually high. Part of it is we get stuck as leaders doing too much, and then we are not effective as we could be because we have too much on our plate. One of them is outsourcing. We think giving things to other people is a weakness in leadership when really it is just the opposite. Some other topics that he threw on the table were gender bias, the glass ceiling, young versus old, the color barrier, and the multi-culture world is here. Those are some of the topics. I think besides being the glass ceiling, and that is commonly used with women who are limited- I find there is a lot more opportunity for growth and taking charge for women in the nonprofit sector because they have a unique ability to engage people and bring in some fresh ideas. A lot of the old white guys like me get stale. There is a freshness in them, especially the woman leaders of any race or age. I think there is a great opportunity. The ceiling that John Maxwell talks about is the lid. The lid is our ability to lead the organization. That is the leadership issue, not a diversity issue. But it also could be a diversity issue if we had somebody that brought different skills. Are we going to put a lid on them? Many times, we have this scarcity thinking. It’s not just the lid that Maxwell talks about. His framing is that the organization cannot develop any further than the leaders’ ability to lead it, so there is the law of the lid. Sometimes, it’s not the leader’s fault; the organization and the culture puts a lid on that leader. “No, we don’t do it that way here.” You and I have seen circumstances where that happens. We have been in groups where we have participated mutually. Talk about that a minute. The framing of leadership and the ability of the board to let the leader lead, if they show some competence. What are some things you have seen? Russell: I’m working with the group now that has actually got good intent. It’s a new organization. They asked me to serve on their board. There have been some struggles with understanding what it is that they want. That speaks to the outsourcing that David was talking about. You have to understand what it is that you want in order to be a good customer. That takes some definition. A lot of social profit leaders are new to doing what they’re doing from a social profit realm, or they are taking on a big challenge. There could actually be some fear around whether some things are going to work. They are trying new things. They are trying things outside of their comfort zone. Those are things that can hold folks back. It’s really expanding the thinking outside of the old traditional limited realms. Good leaders build on the leaders around them. There is no better way to look good than to have a great team of leaders around you because they are actually doing the stuff on the ground. If you are the leader providing direction, these folks actually make you look good. It’s really when you bring people onto a board or you are a board and you bring somebody to lead your organization, you are putting them in a position of trust. There is a lot that you are expecting them to do. If you don’t give them the tools or the autonomy to actually get things done, to leverage that creativity, you are going to have a little bit of trouble. One of the things my good friend Doug Crude talks about is the brilliance of the team. You have a lot of brilliance under your roof, a lot of people that are dedicated and motivated. But if you suppress that talent and you don’t let them shine the way they want to shine, they will walk away. I don’t think that it’s fully a pay issue; it’s really an issue of am I making a difference here? This is really important for millennials. They want to do work that matters. They don’t want to be micro-managed. Nobody wants to be micro-managed. It’s having that trust for your team and not being afraid to make mistakes that will propel you forward. Those are several things that transformational leaders do. Hugh: Absolutely. I am looking over some of the recent podcasts. We do develop a transcript from the interviews and put it in the Nonprofit Exchange podcast. Going back a while, you and I did a podcast on the five top things that block a leader’s success. That one had a lot of plays; it was in April. There was also an interview we did with Dr. David Gruder, our friend who is an organizational developmental psychologist. It was about the people who are controlling the board with their anger. There were some things he gave us that were really helpful. We have seen lots of boards where they say they can’t do something because it will upset so-and-so. So we tiptoe around the topic, and they avoid dealing with it head-on. What I heard with that and some other of my studies is when you have conflict, you move toward it and remain calm and address the facts very directly. We tend to avoid in the effort to be nice. When we are trying to be nice to one person, like on a board, then we are devaluing every other person because we have let that person take us hostage. That was the interview with Dr. Gruder, which was before our discussion on those five things. That one spoke to me especially in a special way because I see that kind of thing happening an awful lot. That was back in February, believe it or not. Russell: I think I’ve got that- We did that in June, I believe. I believe the February discussion was the discussion on the relationship that we have with money. Hugh: The shadow- you’re right. Russell: That particular program, he talked about the strong personalities on the board. If one person dominates a lot of the conversations, he talked about how they go about really getting their way and actually short-circuiting any conversation that people have. That is just not a good thing. As a matter of fact, what I’m going to do is drop that into the chat box. That’s a good one to go back and listen to if you have a strong personality that you are concerned about. Dr. Gordon did a podcast that addressed boards, too. Hers was also in June or somewhere close by. That one was April 11. That was about empowering your board and structuring a good board. I was actually absent that week that you and Dr. Gordon talked about boards. What were some of the things that she brought up? Hugh: There were a number of things. But it was empowering the board by asking them to do things. Going back to David Gruder’s piece, we let other people’s emotions control us. We have our own scripts that sometimes are not true. There was some synergy in the two presentations with Dr. Gruder and Dr. Gordon. She encouraged us to step up and ask board members to contribute money, time, and talent, all three. We tend to overcompensate by saying, “I’ll do it for them; they’re busy,” when that’s not what they want. What they want is meaningful contribution. They are on the board because they want to give their skillset. That doesn’t mean they are going to work every day for you, but it does mean they want to do something that is meaningful and see an impact from the organization. Her presentation is very valuable, and it’s one of the most listened-to episodes on the podcast over the last three years. Dr. Thyonne Gordon, you said it was in April. That is a very popular podcast. That is a very important podcast. It’s on a topic that I think a lot of boards struggle with. David Gruder talked about the shadow in February, but he talked about the anger specifically, how people control boards with their anger. That is something that we tend to cave into but is not very helpful. We are talking about David Dunworth who is watching us on Facebook at the moment. He talked about the brand and connecting it to the board. The board has impact on the brand. The board represents our brand. Your employees represent the brand. You represent the brand. We tend to think, Oh I’m a nonprofit; I don’t have a brand. It’s important that you have a brand identity, a brand promise. It’s important that you know what your brand is, and everybody supports that brand. David has lots of skills. His particular channel that day was talking about your brand and what I remember coming out of that is how people behave around that brand. Do you have some thoughts around David and what he shared? Russell: It addressed leadership. His key message was that leaders are actually the brand, and they present the brand they build that once they build that, they safeguard it. They provide the direction and make sure. The brand is really what you’re all about. A lot of times, the word “brand” will bring up thoughts around some sort of packaging or snazzy jingle. We think about that sort of thing. We think about it in terms of marketing, but a brand is really a statement about who you are and everything that you do flows out of that. David was talking eloquently about the leader’s responsibility to make sure you have all the integrity and the effectiveness around that brand. You build on that, and it guides what you do. Leaders actually reflect that brand that your nonprofit is out there. That is a very good podcast. I did put that in the chat, too. Those will be in the notes for folks that missed those particular ones. I drop those in the notes because they are great to go back to. I tend to make a list and go out and grab all of these links as they go up so that I could look at them because there is so much that we learn from those that you can’t absorb it all. I have to go back and listen to them again and again. That is the beauty of the Internet. We archive these videos, and they are there for our review. The podcasts are even better because you can listen to those on the fly. I put them on my iPod, and I can plug my iPod in the car and get it to go. You don’t even have to fight with CDs anymore. There is technology again, and it is beautiful when it works, which is most of the time. Hugh: It is. “The Seven Essential Skills for Nonprofit Leadership Success,” that is one that you and I did. We went around that number seven because you had found seven to be a powerful number. The podcast that Todd Greer did years ago was on community. That is by far the most listened-to episode. It was relaunched on August 11 as an archive replay. The other one is “Drucker Challenge: Managing Oneself in the Digital Age.” That was Frances Hesselbein and her leadership institute. She is an amazing person who is much older than you and I but shows up to work because she has a passion for creating value in people’s lives. She is very clear on who she is and what she offers. The other one I wanted to lift up—We are coming close to our time. I like not to go over too much—is the due diligence one with Thomas Moviel. You interviewed Thomas. That was one of the times you got to do an interview and didn’t have the burden of Hugh Ballou getting in your way. Before you launch an idea, can you do some due diligence? Does the world need your nonprofit? I thought that was relevant. I met him at a conference and invited him in because- You may have more relevant statistics than this, but my memory is that half of the nonprofits that are formed every year close. They are not able to fully achieve their mission at any level. That might partly be because the world didn’t need your idea. You go to all the trouble of launching something before you did a check-up to see if it’s really needed. Do you remember that interview you did with Thomas? Russell: Yes, it was quite a while ago. One of the things that David pointed out is that the brand philosophy and its tenets have to be present throughout the whole organization, not just with the leadership. Thomas and I talked about some of that identity, but what we were really talking about was making sure that you understand what it is that you do and what you do differently. The concept behind “Does the world need your nonprofit?” is understanding clearly what the problems that you solve are and focusing on things that you really do well. That was a big key takeaway that a lot of folks just don’t do that as well as they could. So we talked a little bit about some tools for doing that, but most of the emphasis was on the importance of doing that, whether it’s with a program or specific people that you go to attract to your organization. It’s really having that focus on the people that you’re serving. Hugh: Amen. That was a really good interview. I saw him on Saturday and thanked him for that. I just had a hunch that would be something valuable. It’s been one of the most listened-to episodes. As we do a wrap here, Russell, I thought it would be good for us to pause in our pretty active schedule of interviewing thought leaders and for you and I to reflect on some of the lessons and help people think about what they need next. As I am looking over the list since you and I have been doing this, there are a number of very powerful interviews that have of course the transcription there, but they have things that could be implemented. The David Corbin interview about brand slaughter, which is the title of his book. The Penny Zenker interview about how to gain control over your life. It’s about that time robber. George Fraser talked about building a legacy. He has the largest African-American network in the world and is very humble about it. Don Green talked about the Napoleon Hill Foundation. He is going to contribute for the magazine about boards. That board uses business principles to support that nonprofit. Our friend Shannon Gronich did getting unlimited publicity. There is a whole methodology under that, which she is so brilliant about. Russell, as we draw to a close, I customarily ask our guests to think about what they want to leave people with. Maybe you and I could take a turn doing that. What is your thought that from all the wisdom that we’ve ben able to partake in, what would you say to people listening to this podcast that you would wish they could do with some of this wisdom? Russell: I would say refer back to it regularly. Never stop looking for ways to do what you do better. Always work from your strengths as much as possible. Find partners and other people to collaborate with so that you can cover those areas that you don’t necessarily do well because you are going to be much more effective just living it, working in your genius, and trusting that to make an impact than trying to create a new genius for yourself. Do what you do. Do your thing. That is really the most important thing: work from those strengths, and always be learning. Always keep learning. Always continue to look for opportunities to collaborate. Learning is a never-ending process. Don’ be afraid to try new things. If you are feeling stuck, stop and think about some of the people that you already have in your payroll or who are volunteering or who are writing your checks. It won’t hurt to ask your donors for ideas. Ask them what they’d like to see. It’s about getting people more and more engaged with what you’re doing and letting them know that what they’re contributing, whether it’s time, treasure, talent, or all three, how important that is. Let them know what’s possible through that regularly. Hugh: Russ, that is really great. You took the words out of my mouth. I find people say, “I don’t have time to listen to podcasts.” Do you ever drive in your car anywhere? I never have anything but public radio and my podcasts, and I learn every time I listen to my podcast. What I appreciate about Russell David Dennis is that you are always working on your skill. You have a book you’re working on. What you pointed out is that just because you listened to it or read it doesn’t mean you know it all. What I have learned from our friend Ken Courtright is he goes back and reads great books again with a different colored highlighter. He finds that when he goes back and highlights passages that stand out to him, they are different than the ones he highlighted the first time. Either you didn’t see it or understand it, or you weren’t ready to learn it yet. I applaud what you said. That is a very good reminder for me. Just because you read it, just because you listened to it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to it again because you are ready to learn the next thing. Russell, I’m grateful for you. Thank you for being on this series of podcasts. I would like to encourage people to go back and listen to this library of wonderful resources that we have as a gift for you. Please share your comments and the podcast on social media or on your email because we want people to listen to them. They are free. This is our gift to you. Russell, thank you for today. I am grateful to you, sir. Russell: It’s very good. If folks don’t already, keep going back to the SynerVision page, the Nonprofit Culture Success page on Facebook, and the Nonprofit Exchange Channel. Make sure you subscribe to that on YouTube. Check back regularly. Go in the comment areas and let us know what you think and what you want to hear about because we are here to serve you and help you make more impact in your communities. Hugh: Good words, Russell. Thank you so much.

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  • Peters Sommarpod: Supernatural

    · Svamppod

    Peter har velat fram och tillbaka vad hans sommarpod ska handla om, men till slut föll lotten på tv-serien Supernatural - en riktig långkörare som under sina 10 säsonger fångat upp en riktig stor fanbase, däribland flera från redaktionen på Svampriket. Dessa gör denna veckans sommarpod - mycket nöje! The post Peters Sommarpod: Supernatural appeared first on Svampriket.

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  • Peters Sommarpod: Supernatural

    · Svamppod

    Peter har velat fram och tillbaka vad hans sommarpod ska handla om, men till slut föll lotten på tv-serien Supernatural - en riktig långkörare som under sina 10 säsonger fångat upp en riktig stor fanbase, däribland flera från redaktionen på Svampriket. Dessa gör denna veckans sommarpod - mycket nöje! The post Peters Sommarpod: Supernatural appeared first on Svampriket.

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  • Episode #285 – The Secret Of Contrast

    · Marketing Secrets

    A powerful tool to use in your storytelling. On today’s special Christmas, hot tub edition of Marketing In Your Car, Russell and his son Dallin talk about contrast and why it makes life and business better. Here are some fun things you will hear in this episode: Why the contrast of being in 102 degree hot tub makes the freezing cold temperature outside more fun. Why we should look for contrast in all areas of life including food, relationships, and business. And what Russell’s Christmas tradition involving Marshmallow Matey’s is. So listen below to hear Russell and Dallin’s thoughts on why contrast in your life makes it more interesting. ---Transcript--- Hey everyone, this is Russell Brunson, welcome to Marketing In Your Hot Tub. It is actually Christmas night and I’m in the hot tub right now. We just had all the kids in here, but all of them have left except for Dallin is the last remaining hot tuber, how you doing bud? Dallin: Good. Russell: So Dallin, if you guys saw Funnel Friday’s this week, was on Funnel Fridays and he actually built a funnel. What was the funnel about that you built? Dallin: Snow balls. Rocks snow balls. Russell: Yeah, Jim Edwards built a script to throw snowballs with putting rocks in the snowballs, evil snowballs huh? Dallin: Yeah, evil. You don’t want to mess with it. Russell: But it was pretty good right? You built the funnel in about 15 minutes. Dallin: Yeah, it was supposed to be 30 but I got under pressure. Russell: Normally people get 30 minutes but I gave Dallin 15 because I knew he could do it.  And he did, the funnel was amazing. It was pretty good. Dallin: I’m really good at it. Russell: So if any of you guys are wondering or want to see that, go to Funnelfridays.com and look at the Christmas special and you’ll meet most of my kids, were on that episodes except I don’t think Norah came in. Dallin: Yeah, but Bowen didn’t come in. Russell: Oh yeah, Bowen didn’t come but most of my kids are on there, so if you want to meet them go to funnelfridays.com. But tonight I have a really special message. So that’s what I wanted to talk to you guys about today. The topic I’m talking about is a thing called contrast. So I’m telling you this while we are sitting in the hot tub, it’s 7:54 pm Christmas night. We had a great Christmas day today and now we’re outside and it’s dark and cold, there’s snow, there’s about ten inches of snow. In fact, yesterday we were out in….we bought this four wheeler rhino thing. Dallin: That’s awesome. It’s like a snow thing that picks up snow. Russell: Yeah, it has a snow plow on the front of it, and we hook tubes to the back and pulled the kids around the yard for….it was really fun. Dallin: Now I know how to drive a car. Russell: What? Don’t talk about that. So it’s really, really cold and then we jumped in the hot tub and it’s like 102 degrees and it’s really hot. So the kids, would be getting in the hot tub and then they’d jump out into the snow and do snow angels and they’re screaming because it’s so cold and they dive back in and they’re screaming because it’s so hot. And back and forth and back and forth. And what’s cool if you think about that, what’s making this experience really fun is the contrast. And I started thinking about other things where contrast is the key. And I really think that happiness in life is tied to contrast. We had a church Christmas party and they decided to have Collette and I be in charge of it. So we had the chance to throw a party for 500 people and one of the ideas that came out of it, one of the guys on our committee, he had an idea. He’s like, “We should do a hot chocolate bar.” And I was like, “Oh that would be awesome.” So we had this huge hot chocolate bar, we boiled I don’t know, thirty gallons of hot chocolate. Dallin: With a lot of good candy. Russell: We had tons of toppings like York Peppermint patties, cinnamon bears, marshmallows… Dallin: And then my favorite flavor ran out right when they came in. Russell: So we had a whole bunch of stuff, and the point of this story, we had a huge hot chocolate bar, which was good, but what made it great was the contrast. We had an ice cream scooper scooping a bunch of ice cream into the hot chocolate. So we have this hot, hot chocolate with cold ice cream and the contrast is what made it magic. You go like that with most foods. If you go to a restaurant and you get sweet and sour sauce, you get sweet and sour is the contrast, that’s why it’s interesting. A lot of foods are that way. They have two…..for Christmas somebody may have sent me a bag of this and may have eaten the whole thing by myself. It was a bag of chocolate covered pretzels. The chocolate is sweet and the pretzels are salty. So it’s salty, sweet and the contrast is what made it interesting. Dallin: Dad, not cool to tell that in front of your kid. Russell: You want to eat it now? But you think about most parts of life, the relationships I have with people that are the most fun are not where they’re like me. I do have a lot of fun with a lot of entrepreneurs that are just like me, but even within that there’s a lot of contrast. There’s contrast within my family, contrast within my beliefs, contrast within ideas. And that’s what makes things interesting. Is the contrast. From food, from relationships, from all these kind of things. What I want to talk about today, a lot of people probably don’t know this, but it’s also the key to good story telling. Dallin: And cars, and hot tubs. Russell: To hot tubs and cars? It’s the key to good story telling, it’s the key to good selling. Dallin: That’s compare and contrast. Boom. Russell: Okay, boom. Dallin’s comparing contrasted. He compared a car and a hot tub. Did you contrast them? Dallin: No, not really. Russell: Okay, so let me explain this. So when telling a story it’s the contrast that makes the story interesting. So from a higher level view it’s like, you tell a story, “first I was broke, then I was rich.” That was the contrast. “first I was fat, then I got skinny. First I was sad, then I became happy.” That contrast is what makes the story interesting. That’s from an overarching story level. That’s kind of the arch that people normally go on. Dallin: It’s like with the cereal I had this morning too. Russell: Dallin wants to throw things completely off topic. Okay Dallin, let me finish this story and then you can tell about cereal okay? So then it’s also from a macro level, the micro level is the same thing when you’re telling stories. You get down to the actual pieces of the story, it’s also the contrast. You dig down and as you’re telling the details, the contrast in the details is what’s interesting as well. So it’s like, right now if I were telling the story, we’re sitting in the hot tub and part of our body was so hot because it’s 102, 103 degrees. It’s really warm, but my head and neck is above water and when the wind hits you it’s bitter cold. And it cuts you, it cuts you down even into the water because it’s so cold, but then the water is so warm that it pushes that heat back up. So I’m telling the contrast of the cold and the hot, which makes it intriguing, makes it interesting. So when you’re describing each of the individual pieces of the story there’s contrast in all of them. You’re writing emails, there should be contrast in your emails. As you’re talking about things, “I was this and I became this. I felt this, but then this happened.” There’s a scripture that all my Mormon friends would now about where Lehi in the beginning of the Book of Mormon, he talks about how there’s got to be opposite in all things. If it wasn’t for the dark you wouldn’t know ….if it wasn’t for evil you wouldn’t know good. There’s a reason why there’s contrast. Without sadness you can’t have happiness. Without that contrast you can’t know happiness until you’ve had sadness. You can’t know joy until you’ve had pain. You can’t do what’s right unless you know what’s wrong. Dallin: Wrong. Russsell: Yeah, Dallin’s getting it. Hopefully everyone’s catching on at the same time. But it’s that contrast in all things in life. That’s what makes life interesting, is that contrast. Dallin: Sad, happy. Bad, good. Loving it, hating it. Russell: What other contrasts you got? Dallin:  Ellie and school. Russell: Ellie and school? Ellie’s is his sister, and school? Okay. Dallin: They’re really far contrasts. Russell: Ellie and school are contrasts. But you think about it you guys. It’s interesting because that’s the key. Depends on how you look at it. If you look at it like, I’m going to eat something, let me make some contrasts. I’m going to tell a story, I’m going to sell something. I’m going to write an email to… Dallin: Billy Bob Joe. Russell: What? Dallin: Billy Bob Joe. Russell: Who’s Billy Bob Joe? Dallin: You’re sending an email to Billy Bob Joe. Russell: Okay…..Alright, that makes no sense, but whatever. So I hope that, amongst the random thoughts, I hope you guys got some value from tonight. From the contrast of sitting in the hot tub while the cold is on my, blowing against my skin and kind of freezing up top. Dallin: That’s why it’s cold, hot tub. Car, contrast. Russell: Yes, alright Dal, you want to tell the story from breakfast this morning? Dallin: Yeah, sure. Russell: Alright, tell it loud so you can all hear. Dallin: So our dad took a huge bowl, one that we use to make cookies and stuff. Russell: A big salad bowl. Dallin: Yeah. For Christmas he got a big Lucky Charm thing… Russell: it was Marshmallow Matey’s. It’s the generic Malt-O-Meal knock off

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  • Engaging Your Board in Funds Sourcing

    · 01:03:10 · The Nonprofit Exchange: Leadership Tools & Strategies

    Giselle Jones-Jones shares her wisdom on engaging board members in fund sourcing. Here's the Transcript Russell Dennis: Welcome to the Nonprofit Exchange brought to you by SynerVision Leadership Foundation. I am your host, Russell Dennis. Thank you for joining us. Our guest today is Dr. A Giselle Jones. She is the founder of The Write Source, technical writing and consultation services. She is a writing advocate for community leaders, pastors, administrators, and the like, all sorts of nonprofit entities. She is here to share her expertise with us today. Thank you, Giselle. Welcome. Glad to have you here. Giselle Jones-Jones: I am glad to be here. Russell: All right. So Giselle, tell us a little bit more about the woman underneath the cloak. Giselle: I see myself standing like Wonder Woman with my cape flying in the wind. Russell: Tell us about your superpowers here. Giselle: I’ll tell ya, I am empowered by the people whom I have had the privilege to write for and to work for. They are really the wind beneath my wings. I can’t claim any of the success on my own. It’s because I have been in the right place and been equipped to be the right person for these people. I like the way you emphasize The Write Source before because that is exactly what I do. The w-r-i-t-e. I do the writing. We’ll talk a little bit more about that in just a little bit. But the woman underneath the cloak, the woman wearing the mask, the woman who is in the background. Again, my name is Giselle Jones-Jones. I am a Jones twice. I married a Jones. I have ben writing now, filling the majority of my professional life, and how I demonstrate that in my day job, so to speak, is as a teacher. I am a professor of English, of literature, public speaking, so that is my day job, and that is what gives me my passion. My students give me my passion. I do that and have been doing it since 1990. That tells my age, Lord have mercy. But I have been doing that for many years, and I learned my greatest lesson. I once heard that the teacher is twice taught. Again, I look at everything really as a privilege, and I take everything that I do as building blocks to do the next thing. Teaching, that gives me what I need to do what I do in my evening job, in my weekend job, in the-extra-time-that-I-have job, which is working for the nonprofit, which is working for the charity or the ministry or the professionals who have a desire in their hearts to do something to make a change in their community. Where I come in is exactly how I see my students. My students on the first day of English 101: Composition, “I hate to write. I don’t want to do it.” I have to struggle with them throughout the semester. On the other end of it, they are happy for the journey. But it’s the same thing with the charities, with nonprofits. There is this fear, there is this force that is in the air, and they absolutely fear the writing process. Preparing that proposal just causes dread and so they have a desire to do something in the community. They want to do something great, but they often stop in their tracks. When they face that in order to write a grant, it needs to read well, etc, they come looking for the grant writer, that person, and that has been me for organizations again who I have been privileged to work with as a freelance writer. I created The Write Source to cover me as the freelance grant writer, and that is how I have operated over the course of these 20+ years that I have been The Write Source. Meeting Hugh on August 26—that was just a little over two weeks ago—founder and president of SynerVision, opened my eyes to the possibilities that I was working out this summer and building of the infrastructure of my company to duplicate myself a few more times so that I can reach more people and help more people. Again, this opportunity today is a blessing. The past two weeks dealing with Hugh, I have been on a rollercoaster ride already. It’s been fantastic because it’s putting me in a place of impact to help people more, for me to do more and to build upon what I’m doing even more. That is a little bit of who I am. I’m a mother of three. I have two in college, both of my two girls, and I have a boy who is 12. I’m a wife of a wonderful man who is a musician like Hugh and a director. Again, I am privileged to be his wife. Here I am, before you now. I have shared a little bit about my passion, what makes me get up, what is my mission for life, walking in my purpose, walking in my destiny, all of that. Russell: I’m glad to have you here just looking at your bio. You are a tenured professor at just about every university in the state of Carolina. Giselle: Oh, stop. Russell: Your client list reads like a who’s who. It’s phenomenal. More hands makes the work lighter. Giselle: That’s right. Russell: I’ve been a part of this SynerVision team and signed on as the first WayFinder. We have been building momentum and now things are starting to take off. It’s really great to have expertise to leverage because you can do more. A lot of nonprofits feel like they’re alone. How much does that play into the struggle that people have with writing grants? I know that a lot of times, at my first nonprofit job, my first day on the job, the travel planner came and dropped a package on my desk from the Department of Education and said, “I’ve seen your writing sample. You’ll do okay. I’m right next door if you need some help.” I had never written a grant. Talk a little bit about that intimidation that most people have and what makes it seem like such a difficult process for most folks to achieve. Giselle: You said it. I mean there is nothing more dreaded than being given the RFP coming from a federal grant that requires 20-25 pages of information, demographic studies, all those things you have to do, plus giving a face and a personality to the organization. That is a lot. The fact that you were a gifted writer helps, but think about those who lack the skills to write. They feel alone. They feel like they’re on an island by themselves, and again, those grants go often unwritten. That’s money that that organization did not get because people stop in their tracks. It’s for that very reason it is dumped on one person’s desk, and that one person feels it is his/her job to do it by him/herself. That is wrong. The team approach is absolutely the best way to go about this. I think that the idea that you offer grant-writing workshops and support the grant writer, that is promoting it the wrong way. It has to come from the point of view that a team effort, with the grant writer sitting at the helm delegating responsibilities—Yes, that can be that person’s role, but that person needs the help of experts across the board everywhere from just even designing the document itself. You need someone who goes and gathers the information. All of these pieces go walking past the background in accounting who can put together that top-notch budget that is tight and that is ready to go. All of those elements for one person to handle, who is a gifted writer but may not have the expertise in those other areas, can get overwhelming. Again, having those people on board, having those people who are trained and equipped and ready to contribute to the team, is the best way to approach grant-writing or proposal-writing, period. That body of people, really from the standpoint of all funds development, all funds, all resources, from not proposal-writing because you can’t put all your eggs in one basket either, that team will follow the organization and work with that organization, with donors, with sponsors, with all of that because the same documentation is needed, the same writing is needed. That team of people who are equipped and ready to help the nonprofit, the charity, the ministry, they follow them from beginning to end and let them know they’re not alone. That is overcoming that particular person who is given that file on the desk, that RFP. No, if that does happen, that person sitting at that desk should pick up the phone and call that team and call a meeting and let’s go over this. Let’s look at this and delegate. Let’s look at who needs to do what so we can pull this together. Russell: Our first question came from Jolyn. She asked, “Do you know of any grant funding for a holistic healer or complementary healing services for PTSD?” Giselle: Oh my goodness. I would think that there will be federal funding, and I do have a list of those from the Center of Disease Control, federal dollars that go toward those military who have suffered. There is funding, yes, there is. As a matter of fact, I am going to keep searching for that, and I will make that available. I think there is a chat forum on here, and I will type those in as I find them. Yes, there are federal dollars that are available for that, yes. Russell: We will get those in there to you. Giselle: Yes. Russell: There we are. We’ve got a phone number for Karen. There is information we can follow up with in the chat. I have put the web address in the Facebook chat and the Zoom chat forums: http://www.thewritesource.org. That is where you can reach Dr. Jones. As always, our lines are open for more questions. Jolyn already has a 501(c)3 set up, and she knows about practitioners. There are some people that I want to put Jolyn in touch with who are doing different types of things, nontraditional and complementary healing. I will put her in touch with some other people online. My next question is that you have been working. I know you met Hugh a couple of weeks ago, and you have been talking about setting up what you call an office of funds development and collaboration. This is something that other nonprofits can do for themselves. Tell us a little bit about setting that type of thing up. Giselle: Especially because Hugh approaches what he does through SynerVision with the team approach, team is very important. So having a funds development office is really the next step in line for what he needs to do. It takes the pressure off of him so that he can continue to be creative, so that he can continue to do his workshops, his symposiums, but to have this particular office to continue to fund what he does as he helps organizations and boards fund what they do, the team approach handling how they go about procuring and sustaining their funds, this particular office would be the liaison between the workshops and the symposiums that are held to local implementation. This office would provide guidance after they have received the trainings. this particular office will follow them. And it’s got two branches, two arms. It will continue to fund the endeavors of SynerVision because its vision is large. Its vision is still evolving. That one side is important. But then those whom SynerVision develops and trains, they will continue support. This office will be here to stay ahead of the game with resources, with staying trained and relevant and current about what is being offered to charities and nonprofits across the board because again people have various needs and they are trying to impact change in their local communities in various ways. This office will be equipped to be the support for both sides, for SynerVision and for those whom they serve and develop and train. It is still a work in progress. Again, this is a two-week relationship that is blossoming, so we’re putting some meat on the bones per se, so that is where we are at this point. It is exciting. Hugh and I are talking every day. He says, “Giselle, what do you think about this? I am going to put these ideas together. Let’s put a proposal together to begin to make this happen because it needs to happen.” That is where we are as far as that is concerned. This particular office is critically important. It seems like a natural next step for SynerVision to have this particular office available. Russell: And it is. The work here that SynerVision is doing is designed to help nonprofits increase their capacity to serve others. Training and development is very important. It’s something that will attract people to you to serve on your board and for volunteers. Having a process, we’re all about helping put processes together that will empower you to work more efficiently, that will tell you to go off and find others to collaborate with. Fundraising is like a lot of other things. My whole role is to help nonprofits build high-performance organizations. There are four steps to that, and the first is having a solid foundation where you look at all of the things that you have. You look at all of your assets. You look at what you want to try to do and what you want to try to achieve. As you bring people in, you find out what drives them, what makes the work important to them. Once you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, you can start putting a solid foundation. Talk a little bit about the importance of an overall strategy. I’ve seen a lot of organizations go out and take a scattershot approach where they are applying for grants, they are looking at pockets of funding and saying to themselves, “Oh my God, that’s a lot of money. Maybe we can go after this.” But they don’t stop to look at whether that particular funding source is the right one. Giselle: That’s exactly right. Again, the process is very important. I believe the gift that I have is making sure the voice of the organization tells the story. It is what draws the potential donor to them, which gives value both ways, which shows why the organization is so important and why they are so important to do the work they want to do in their community, and why it won’t be done any other way. It’s important then to connect with the potential donor that has the same value that in giving their money and making a contribution, they will be a part of that value. That I think is important, but what I do and have done is to go and pull the voice out of the organization. Who are you? It’s activating voice. I came up with my own class that I’ll be teaching that is called Voice Activated. It is. It’s just that. Who are you? What is it that you want to do? Whose lives are you trying to impact? First, you have to know your purpose. Everybody wants grants. I get phone calls every day, “I need a grant. I need you to write a grant.” Okay. Why? Let’s back up. Let’s take a couple of steps back because you can’t go find the grant first and then write the grant to it. You have to have a purpose first. You have to know who you are first. You need to have in mind the person or the thing that is being impacted. You create a story around that. Those are the steps. You begin with you have to know who you are, and then we can look at- You have an idea, you know what it is you want to do in the community, you go from idea to how it is going to impact the community. You then look at, if given the money, if you get the funds, who is going to implement it. What is that going to look like? How are you going to sustain yourself if you don’t get that grant funding? What happens after that? Do you have a sustainability plan in place? from idea all the way to sustainability with implementation in there as well, those are the necessary steps it takes, but where we spend the most time is that first base. We have to know who we are, why you’re doing it, and thinking long-term or short-term and then long-term. Coming up with that kind of strategy, sitting with the organization, hashing that out will help. We can’t do anything else until we know who we are. That is exactly how I teach my classes. That is how I teach those first steps in composition. You have to know who you are. Once you can find that out, I can tap into that voice and help to create your story, to create the emotional attachment. All those things that go along with pulling people into knowing why that particular idea or why that particular act of service is so important. Russell: That’s it. That is the second step of how to develop a high-performance nonprofit: creating an effective action plan. Once you look at what you’re trying to do, it’s a matter of, Okay, what do we need to do first? And breaking it down into simpler steps. It’s really important to be clear on who you are. Then you measure everything you do. This is probably a place where a lot of organizations struggle because they got an idea for what they want to accomplish, but they are not exactly sure how they want to measure it. There are two things. The third step of building a high-performance nonprofit is staying on track. When it comes to your programs, there is an evaluation component. That is an essential piece of every grant and of developing programs. A lot of people don’t account for resources to do evaluation when they have put a proposal together. The other piece is benchmarking, which is, Okay, how do we compare to other nonprofits doing similar work in the same industry? How are we doing comparatively? Talk a little bit about that, about measuring what you do and how to quantify that because some people look at their work and say, Well, we can’t really put it in the dinner table on the spreadsheet, but you still have to show some results. Giselle: That’s right. That part is very important. That is what stops people at first base. Because that is a very integral part, the objectives, you have to have clear objectives that can be measured. Those things, as a part of the proposal writing process, have to be considered while we are sitting at the table: how we want to measure this, what are the outcomes, what are the expected outcomes, and then what we want those variables that we use in order to test it. A lot of people, a lot of organizations that I work with, only think short-term. They are very short-sighted and think they want to do a program for only one year when they are working with students to help improve their ELG scores, for instance. Okay. How are we going to know whether or not what you have done as far as the programmatic have impacted these young people? How are you going to test that from year to year? Are you going to follow them for just one year after they have successfully perhaps passed the ELGs their first year? Or are you going to continue to follow them until they graduate? Those are things you have to consider. Then you are addressing subliminally how long your program is going to be, from one year to four years perhaps to eight years to follow with that. All of those steps in between of parents being an active part, they have a great deal to do with whether or not the objectives are being met because they see things as concerns that say that program that involves those children you are trying to help improve those scores, parents see things at home. They need to see some things changing at home. Organizations in a community, they also have input on seeing the growth and development of that child. There are many things to consider as you think about evaluating these programs. That is what we consider at the beginning: How do you draft an objective that can be measured? What other evaluation tools will be there? Yes, sir, those are very important parts of the proposal process that have to be discussed up front. Having a team there to contribute also helps, not just one person trying to think of all of these things themselves. Having the team approach helps. Russell: It does, it does, it does. It’s a long-term plan; the sustainability and the funding should be thought of in terms of taking a long view. What will happen over the course of time. This is pretty critical. A lot of people struggle with that. Some do, some don’t. You teach people how to go about working these processes in. Tell us a little bit about how you approach teaching people to quantify that because quantifying it and talking about how you measure- The fourth piece of building a high-performance nonprofit is communicating the value that you bring to people. That plays into getting people to bet on your team and to fund you, looking at what is that value and how do you communicate that in terms that are important to the funder? Giselle: Wow. Again, you have touched on something that involves a mindset shift. I say that because every organization has to develop a culture of giving, a culture of fundraising, a culture that supports at all odds giving what is needed in order to operationalize that particular idea. From understanding what philanthropy means, understanding that the culture involves even on the board level that boards have to be involved in the process of thinking through what their fiduciary responsibility, why it’s so important even for them to give to the idea because buy-in is difficult if the board doesn’t support it 100%. Being able to quantify the value is a complete and total buy-in from everyone who is internal to the organization. That is a mindset shift. It is a culture that has to be cultivated. It has to have been there and sitting around the table making sure that everyone understands the value of the organization, understands the value of that particular community of people because again, yeah, we can quantify numbers. But those numbers represent people, and those people are the ones that have the issues. Understanding and feeling out why it is so important to activate that voice and being able to connect on a donor level to the individuals being impacted is important. The organization, the people in that organization, the board and the members, all those who are a part are a part of something else bigger and greater happening. Those kinds of things, when they are happening and filled with momentum, it is easier to get the kind of quantifiable results that we are talking about. It is easier to begin to do that, and where the community is seeing it through everything that is written and written well through the newsletters, through all these things that are showing people what is happening, they are constantly involved. That is also creating a culture around that particular organization. The more that they know about what’s happening, the greater the instances they will continue to give. That organization is not just a one-time giving opportunity. You want this to be a sustained relationship in that good or bad you have where we need to grow, you have the stakeholders meeting. Those kinds of things need to constantly happen so that it will increase opportunities for organizations and charities to give. That is what I see as far as that is concerned. My particular experience over the years is being the lone ranger so to speak, being that lone grant writer and desiring to have a team around me that I can continue to train in the classroom is one thing, but in my business, to have that as I have been working with these people over the years, I understand why it’s so important now. Being that lone ranger, like you said earlier, receiving all of these grants and all of these people who want that services by myself, is daunting. It is very overwhelming. Understanding why it is so important to have a team to surround the board, the team to surround the individual who is interested in making an impact in the community, is so very important. I am glad for that question because that speaks to the heart of getting the kinds of results and those statistics that will grow and follow that organization so that they stay open and ready to continue to receive the funding that they need. That is what you read often. I read an article just recently that said before you become a nonprofit, read this. Don’t do it. Find other ways to do it because it is daunting, it is overwhelming if you think that there is only one way to go about funding, and you are trying to do it on your own. This is an excellent question for the culture has to be developed. A culture for philanthropy, a culture for giving. Russell: It is. I just got another question from Jolyn. She says that, “I have been a lone ranger for too long and am ready to create a team and need to know where to start.” Giselle: Tell her to call me. My number is- hahaha. Jolyn, will you be on my team? She needs first of all, and I am building my infrastructure as well. In putting myself out there, I am attracted to so many people who have such great gifts. But you need some skilled writers on your team. You have to duplicate yourself at least three or four times. You need to have a few people who are skilled. You also need to have someone who is your accountant, someone who is good at putting together a budget. That is a very big part of this. Then someone who understands data. Your question about being able to measure growth, you need people who are experienced in that to be on your team; someone who can look at data management is a critical role. Having someone who deals with that, and then it would not hurt to have a good fundraiser, someone who can sell you the bottled water that you already have beside you. There are some people who are just gifted at that. But to have someone who doesn’t mind going out and being the face of the organization, you need someone like that. just a few people around you, and then you will continue to grow. It wouldn’t hurt for you to also consider some interns. Get interns. I launched an internship and had the pleasure of working with some dynamite young people. I have worked many places, so it wasn’t difficult for me to make a couple of phone calls and get some recommendations for some young people who are gifted. The areas that I used them is not just for writing, but I also began to train them in sales. I had a young person who was my PR representative. She was fantastic. Then another one who was very good at technology and web design. Those things help. Then all of them being part of this younger millennial generation, they were all social-media savvy. That helped. Someone who is gifted at that as well. All those key parts were to help the organization because all those things are needed to help put them into the forefront of the community. Jolyn, call me. We can talk. We can continue to talk. Russell: Make sure you get the number. Giselle can put that number in the chat. Another question that Jolyn had was: How do I get people to come on board when I don’t have funds to pay them? Giselle covered some of that masterfully. There are opportunities out there where you have students, internships. There are opportunities to get pro bono work if you have an idea how to do that. Worth exploring pro bono as a means. Pro bono is not great for anything you need in a hurry, but pro bono is another opportunity for you to get services. When the whole concept of pro bono was launched, it was centered around the legal profession. But any type of professional organization or any type of profession almost bar none today, you can find some organizations that do pro bono work. That is something that you can talk with Giselle about. I’d be happy to talk with you about that if you have questions on that as well. That is very important. Thank you for that. Giselle: Fantastic. Russell: The word “culture” is something that you used. I read a study that was centered around funding. They took a sample of about 2,700 nonprofits of all sizes to find out what sort of fundraising practices they had. There was a lot of reliance on the development director, or there is a single person that a lot of them rely on, usually the development director. This person, they didn’t all have processes set up because fundraising is an all-hands-on-deck adventure for nonprofit. Oftentimes, it’s left to one person, and there is not what they call a culture of fundraising, which is having everybody that is associated with the organization participate in that. It starts with leadership, particularly your board of directors. Talk a little bit about that importance of having your leadership be involved and how a culture of fundraising can help you be more sustainable. Giselle: Another excellent question. Having all of your leadership on board is critically important. I believe that the buy-in that can be shown on the outside is critically important. Culture has to do with personality also, the personality of the organization. You attract people who are most like you. The organization itself as you embark upon events in the community and those things that you want to help promote the idea that you have, it is best to operate as the team and not just a one-person show. That is not the way it should be handled. I appreciate the study that you’ve mentioned and that you increase your opportunities to be successful when you are approaching it from the partnership, from the group approach, as opposed to that lone ranger. You increase your opportunities. That is what is really all about. Even the collaboration between organizations that are like-minded shows that you really have the community at the center of what you’re doing and not just your individual organization, but you’re wanting to collaborate, you’re wanting to partner. That in and of itself can change a community. The personality of the community as well, knowing that people are there to help them, people are there who do care about their particular needs. Those things are important. Yes, operating as a board, being trained as a board, going together to receive the same knowledge, puts them all in a better position to make a greater impact. I agree wholeheartedly with that study. I have not read that, but I agree with it wholeheartedly. I do. I am messing up my screen, Russ. Do you see something over here to the right? Russell: No, I don’t. You haven’t shared your screen with the audience, so you’re okay. Culture of fundraising, there are a lot of different types of cultural mindsets. One is a culture of innovation. That is an organization that always wants to try new things. A culture of learning. That is an organization that invests in development, in building your people. That is the opportunity you have to offer some of your volunteers, or as we like to call them, servant leaders. Development, and it can be training in a specific area that is of interest to them. These are things, when you don’t have cash that you can offer development opportunities, you can offer opportunities for people to exercise their creativity and build a portfolio. It would be a wonderful opportunity for a student of marketing to come in and build a social media strategy. Giselle: Oh my goodness, yes. Russell: They get to put that in their portfolio, and you get some expertise from people that are learning. You have undergraduate students who can work as interns, and you have graduate students that can work as fellows for more robust studies and this type of thing. The opportunity to get support really rests in what people value. The word “value” is something that more people associate with business. I don’t hear people talking in terms of value. When somebody sets up a profit-making business, they do it to deliver something of value that people will pay for, that they can offer at a profit. This is what we’re doing. We have to operate at a profit, and it’s called surplus in nonprofit circles. The bottom line is the same regardless of your tax status. If more money goes out the door than comes in, you’re done. Or after a period of time. It’s about sustainability and keeping the steady flow of funds coming in. A lot of people look at grants, but there are so many funds to come in through other means, too. Grants are something that people associate with nonprofits, but when you get in-kind services, such as pro bono, that is a different matter. You get sponsorship. Individual donations come in a lot of forms. There are current checks. But individuals may plan for when they are away, they want to leave a legacy. So you have planned giving. You have capital campaigns. You have all sorts of things. There are a lot of things that you can do. It’s important to have a diverse base of funds. But you have got to build relationships to get those. A lot of people think in terms of grants. Giselle, what sort of things have you done with people that you go in to write grants for to help them be more sustainable? I know when people talk to you initially a lot of times they are thinking in terms of grant funds. But there are other options. How do you help people explore those other options? Giselle: Let’s say that first grant is not funded, or somehow something happens and they don’t get their 501(c)3 in time, they wonder what they can do in the interim. Well, in those cases, I have worked with the organizations to partner with another organization with a 501(c)3 to serve as a fiscal sponsor. As a matter of fact, that occurred about a year and a half ago with an organization. They are just coming back from Brazil now, but the Global Missions Group has partnered with a church inside Silo City. Silo City is serving as a fiscal sponsor so that they would have the sponsorship they needed in order to write those grants. But they also have a very robust, as you say, board. They have each invested a certain amount so it could sustain those short trips that are taken in order for them to do the exploratory kinds of work because they build churches in Brazil. They do that to make sure those kinds of operations occur. Then they go out and seek those sponsorships, those people in the community and from the churches that are like-minded, that are missions-oriented, and they pledge those. They become their own rope. They have their *audio interruption* and they ask for donations that way. When you have something that is pressing, and the grant is low-hanging, it’s out there, you can’t get to it, but you know there are things you need to do, you have to get creative. Like you said, you have to be innovative. You have to come up with some creative ways quickly to go get what you need. That one organization, I want to use them as the exemplar. They are wonderful. They have come up with strategic partnerships. I have helped them to cultivate that and behind the scenes to create all the documentation they need in order to do it. But they have their street team. They go out and visit these churches. They carpool. They go where they need to go and to spread their particular program or the mission of their program, and they made it happen. Then grant dollars started coming in. But all of those things working in concert helped. They are one organization that made it work against all odds. They knew what they needed to do. They believe strongly that their particular organization has something to do for the building of God’s kingdom. They wanted to spread the word by building churches in places where the word is not shared. They were about business. They are two retired gentlemen. They knew that was their purpose, and they brought me on to help to be that person to help them find all of the resources necessary. We had all kinds of campaigns. They sold T-shirts. You name it, they did it. They used social media. They had the street team. They had their passion, their heart; they wore it on their sleeves. Everywhere they went, people gave. People gave because they believed and had evidence to show that they had done this and that more work needed to be done, that their mission is far from being over because there are still people who are unreached. That is an example of what is done in the face of not perhaps receiving that grant or when you are in waiting mode but there are people out there, organizations out there, who will serve as fiscal sponsors. You have those who come up with multiple fundraising ideas and then they began to implement those. The more passionate you are about what it is that you do, you have to be creative and think outside the box. That is where I come in to make sure that the written pieces, the documentation, follows their dreams, follows their action plan, follows everything. The sustainability part, that was a part of your question as well. On the other end, sustainability, to follow up reporting is important. People forget that, and their organizations end up being audited because they are not turning in the paperwork that is needed to follow up what they have done. You are funded, but then you have these periodic reports that have to be submitted. You have to show what you are accomplishing via newsletter, whatever it is to show the community and those people who have given what you’re doing. That has to continue. The Write Source has been that follow-up aid for technical writing as well. My work continues to follow the organization. I have done that with these organizations that I help. It doesn’t stop with getting the grant. You have to have a sustainability plan in place. You have to include in your budget those contractual fees that cover periodic evaluations. From the funders, you have to give way to them coming to visit your site. They are a part of the process. They are a part of your big picture once you see that funding. All of those pieces are important to understand upfront that just wanting a grant involves multiple layers. Understanding those layers will equip them to be able to receive it and continue to receive in the future. Yes, sir, you are exactly right. Russell: There is an awful lot packed in what you said. It really starts with, as you put things together, talking with people who you are going to serve, people who will pay for your programs. It’s really understanding what is important to people. Keep your measures down to the things that are most important. If you design the program carefully so that it’s not an extra burden on the people delivering services, but actually collect information, you will have more success, and there are ways to do that. This business of collaboration is going out and bringing other entities in. When you look at in your foundational process, the skills that you have on hand and the skills that you may have gaps with, that helps you bring collaborative partners because when you have core inner values that are alike, and you get these complementary skillsets, you can work together. Everybody is working to their strengths, not trying to fill weakness. Everybody is doing what they do best. That increases the leverage exponentially that you have working together to actually get some impact. It is critical to collaborate with other people in that way. Bring that impact forth. It’s a wonderful way to go about doing things. Working with other people is important. I did put Dr. Jones-Jones’ phone number in the chat. Giselle: Thank you. Russell: You have an onsite link for an automated calendar, don’t you? I want to put it out there on Facebook and in the chat so people can go to that automated scheduler and book time with you. Giselle: I am going to let that happen in a few minutes because I do want to make that available. Yes, sir. Russell: Automation is important. Technology is our friend when it works. Giselle: When it works, yes, sir. Russell: When it works, it’s a thing of beauty. Giselle: I see that she says she doesn’t see the phone number. Okay. Russell: I typed it in. Scroll up to about 12:44. I put it in about 13 minutes ago in the chat. Giselle: Okay. Russell: I can copy it again and put it up again. Giselle: Wait a minute, I see that. Russell: I will put it back in there because there have been a lot of comments in there and the feed has been scrolling away. That is how folks get ahold of you. It’s really been a pleasure. I’m thankful to all of our panelists, to all of our folks who have attended and asked a lot of great questions. There is a toll-free number there, 888-426-2792. I need to get that in the comment section of Facebook as well. This hour has gone very quickly. What sort of closing thoughts do you want to leave our audience with today? Giselle: Again, the need for a team approach to proposal writing, I can’t express that enough, having been one who has experienced the burden by herself, who has also been successful, and I’m thankful for that. Having worked with organizations and having them funded close to a million dollars speaks to the gift that I have and how I have been able to use it over the course of these 20 years. But I think having the team approach, now having more who are on the board, understanding how important it is, and even with the collaboration with Hugh and SynerVision, just how many more people we are going to be able to impact. I am excited about those possibilities. I am excited about this collaboration with SynerVision because I know that he is moving forward, and you are moving forward, Russell. I believe that our paths, this is destiny. You are already on that path, and my path has joined yours. You are moving forward and upward. You are impacting people. Now utilizing the skillset that I have, I believe that we are going to really make a difference in a lot of people’s lives. The world needs us. A lot of people are hurting in the world. I do believe that at the heart of nonprofits and the heart of charities, they do have a heart for the people. That is how I see myself. I am a person who helps the people who want to help. What greater legacy could one leave in knowing that I have given myself and my life and my skillset I was given- I have been given this skillset. To be able to use it in a way, a meaningful way, to help organizations that have this fear of writing these proposals and understanding that is just one of many ways to go about giving the resources, now being a part of SynerVision and helping to create this infrastructure that will be there to support the people that come through SynerVision and are trained and the local implementation to know that you have a god in between to help make that happen. I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t feel any more in position and aligned to do greater things. I tell my students all the time, “Just use me.” I know that’s bad. But I am at that place. “Just use me.” Use me. I am a student. I am still learning. As a matter of fact, I learned a great deal on this podcast today from you, Russell. I stand greater because of this experience. I am humbly here. I am one who is willing to serve. I am here. Russell: Dr. Giselle Jones. It’s really been a pleasure to have you here. I am looking forward to working with you to serve other people. These phone numbers out here for those of you who are watching on Facebook and would like to speak with Giselle at greater length, 888-426-2792, toll-free. Or 336-681-1863, local, to Greensboro, North Carolina area. If you want to discuss other matters, you can book a discovery session with me. We can do it live or online. Go to bit.ly/bookruss. Get yourself on my calendar. Let’s talk. Synervision Leadership, we are building the community. We are building our online offerings. There will be much more to come. We will be doing live events in your area somewhere in 2018 as we roll out SynerVision, and we will have more webinars, online offerings, and such. Go to www.thewritesource.org for more information. This is Russ Dennis and Hugh Ballou thanking all of you who have joined us on Facebook. Be sure to tune in next week. We will have a panel on diversity where we will talk about diversity and how that strengthens nonprofits. Until next week on the Nonprofit Exchange, this is Russ Dennis. For those of you who are on Facebook and would care to join me, there is the Nonprofit Culture of Success show that we run weekly. That is something I host tomorrow. Dr. David Gruder is my guest. Next Wednesday, our own Hugh Ballou will be my guest. Thank you once again, and I look forward to seeing you again next week on the Nonprofit Exchange.

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  • Setting Powerful Goals with Dr. Joe White

    · 00:52:46 · The Nonprofit Exchange: Leadership Tools & Strategies

    Dr. Joe White is a nationally know, Author, speaker and business consultant. Joe has a true entrepreneurial spirit and it has allowed him to join the ranks of those entrepreneurs who can boast that they have never worked a 9 to 5 job throughout their adult life. His professional experience has quite varied Dr. White has sharpened his skills in several capacities. From serving as CEO and COO of million dollar companies, to speaking on stages across the country. In 2001 he started a real estate investment company buying and selling houses through out North Carolina. In 2005 he took to the stages across the country selling his Real Estate Course “How to Make 5,000 to 10,000 a month wholesaling real estate”. The course taught the successful strategies he learned and developed on buying and selling properties with little to no money down while running his company. During the 2005 lecture tour, he was asked to be the keynote speaker at the 2005 graduation of the Breakthrough Bible College in Temple Hills, Maryland. Where he was bestowed with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during the graduation. Sault after for his advise and insight by business start ups, celebrates and large corporations. For over 20 years he has served the entrepreneur community. Launching events like The Triad Entrepreneur Pitch Tank the number one business event in the Triad area of NC, serving on boards such as Benaiah Holdings Group a OTC publicly traded venture capital firm and serving as the NC reparative for CEO Space International, the business conference ranked #1 in the world by Forbes and Inc. magazine as” the conference entrepreneurs can’t afford to miss. Dr. White is also the co-author of The Best selling book Concrete Jungle Success Strategies for the Real World, which also features best selling author and star of the movie The Secret Bob Proctor. Dr. Joe White is currently avalible for business consulting, real estate investing coaching and speaking engagements nationally and internationally. With topics ranging from Business Strategy, Goal Setting, Real estate Investing and Entrepreneurship. To Book Dr. Joe White or get more information email admin@drjoewhite.com or visit www.drjoewhite.com   Here's the Transcript of the Interview Hugh Ballou: Welcome, everybody. The Nonprofit Exchange is about goals today. I am attending a conference and have a little bit of noise in the background. While our guest today, Joe White, is speaking, I will be muting myself so there is no noise in the background. I have known Dr. Joe White for a number of years. He is an expert in real estate. He is also an expert in leadership and goal-setting, among other things. About a year or so ago, I asked him to participate in my Nonprofit Leadership Empowerment Symposium and teach the module on goal-setting. He was so good it was better than me doing it. I invited him to come on the Nonprofit Exchange and talk about goal-setting. Joe, we have shared one of your books, the anthology, but I believe you have a book that is more about goals. Feel free to talk about that book. Joe White, welcome to the Nonprofit Exchange. Joe: Thank you, Hugh. It is good to se you again. Hugh: We have our co-host Russell Dennis who is having some technical issues, but he will be on here to ask you some really hard questions later. He is streaming it live to Facebook. Dr. White, would you tell us about yourself, especially your background working with leaders and setting goals? Joe: Hugh, one of the things I always tell people that is unique about me is I am a person who has never had a job in my adult life. In not having a job or set occupation or set system, I pretty much had to figure out goals and systems and things like that at a very early age. What made me make that decision was when I had my first kid. I was thinking to myself without an college education, What can I do to mak sure my first daughter had the type of life I felt like she deserved? I knew entrepreneurship and business would be what I needed to do. I quickly started reading. I still to this day go through about four books a week. I study everything from business to entrepreneurship to real estate to religion to spirituality. I use all of that information and put it into different systems I use to help myself and my clients. I have been doing that since the age of 16, 17. I always had some way of making income that I would create myself just basically out of my head. I did real estate for a number of years. I took every course you could probably think of, every boot camp, workshop. Quickly made a million dollars in real estate. Switched from real estate to mental health for a while. Then I started doing speaking, consulting, and things like that, working with clients around the world, helping them be better in the areas of entrepreneurship and real estate investment. Hugh: That’s more than I had previously known about you. Joe: It’s something a little different. Hugh: Absolutely. That is why I invited you on today so we could learn some more about these different areas of expertise. Let’s talk about this topic of goals. Everybody writes goals. Very few people accomplish goals. I wanted to hone in on this particular piece because I have seen you teach this before. Why have you gravitated to this as one of the topics that you teach? Joe: I think that one of the things I feel like I am known for is making things simple for entrepreneurs and businesspeople because every business has its own language. If you were to go to Spain or Mexico and you didn’t speak Spanish, you couldn’t get a lot accomplished. What I try to do is make things simple. One of the first steps I think everybody needs to learn is how to set proper goals: the foundation of which everything in your business and your life is built upon. I feel like that was the best place to start. I read Think and Grow Rich when I was 14 years old. I have been setting goals ever since. I always learn something new. I am constantly studying. It is not like I learned about goals then and I stopped. I constantly study it. What I did was simplified the major techniques of goal-setting so that the average person could understand. Hugh: I have seen you present a short lesson on this. Are you prepared to give us Joe White’s overview of setting and achieving goals? Joe: I am. Hugh: Well, I am going to be all ears. I am going to listen for a little bit. Russell has been known to take notes and come back with a really hard question, so be prepared. Joe: I’m ready for you, Russ. So Hugh, what I will tell you is the system that I use for goal-setting, I call GPS. Just like you have a GPS in your car or on your phone, the purpose of the GPS is to guide you from one point to the destination you are looking to go to. I feel like GPS was the appropriate title for what I consider to be my goal-setting system. That stands for when I do that. When I say GPS, in this particular case, GPS stands for Goals, Purpose, Steps. Sometimes I interchange “system” with “steps” because sometimes we go through the steps, and sometimes we put a system in place in order to get what we actually need to get. What is a goal? It’s something you want to achieve in your life, in your business, in your personal life, or wherever it is. Most people die within five years after retiring. The reason why they die is because if we are not growing, we are dying. If you lose your purpose for life, what I am saying is you are probably going to die shortly after. Now, some people, if they retire, they will switch to something else, whether it’s taking care of their grandkids or going to another part-time job. But if we are not constantly working toward something, it’s like there is no reason to live. Goals are that important to our life. What we focus on is what we get. That is why it’s important to find things that we have to focus on for achievement. What really makes us happy—and it’s hard to define happiness—is seeing progress. Something about progress in human beings makes us happy or feel fulfilled. If you think about it, why I say that, I’ll give you an example. When we are growing up, most of the time in the house where we live, our mom would mark with a marker over your head how tall you were. You just couldn’t wait every month to see if you had grown. I used to be that small, and now I’m this tall. I was three feet, and now I’m four feet. We would get happy or excited to see that we had grown an inch or two inches and see how tall we got. That was progression. That was a way of measuring progression. We didn’t understand that was almost like goals because a lot of people will say, “I can’t wait to get as tall as Dad or my brother.” We were really setting goals. We were using the notches on the door or on the wall as a way of measuring that and showing progression. That is basically what I’m talking about when I’m talking about GPS. Let’s set a goal. Let’s measure the goal. Let’s put a system in place for getting that goal and knowing if we are on track or off track. The other thing that I love to tell people about is what’s called goal alignment. This is what I really talked a lot about, Hugh, at your event. Most people understand the basics of goals. What they don’t understand is there has to be a balance to goals. You just can’t have a goal to make a million dollars and not have other goals. I will give you some examples and tell you what I’m talking about. I set goals in every major area of my life. Just like a car has to be aligned, if you drive a car and the car is not aligned, when you start to go fast, the car will start to shake. If you go off the road, you could crash. Something bad could happen because you are going fast and you haven’t aligned the car. The same thing happens in our life when we don’t align our goals. You have to set goals in all the major areas of your life, not just in the financial area or the weight loss area. You have to set goals in your physical area. The reason why that is important, and I will give you examples on how goal alignment works in each of those areas, is if I don’t set a physical goal to exercise and take care of my health and go to the doctor and get checkups, if I am working on these financial goals and my business goals, and I get sick or have a heart attack or something else, all of those goals now crash. Then my #1 focus will have to be on my health, so I have to have health goals. In my spiritual life, I have to have spiritual goals because a lot of times that is where fulfillment comes in, that is where balance comes in. My family life: if I don’t take care of my kids, there are so many people who are wealthy who have problems with their kids where their kids are on drugs or whatever is happening. The kids are getting in trouble. When that comes up, now you have to take your focus off the business and money and build those kids. They are in trouble because you didn’t make taking care of your kids or teaching your kids part of your goals. Part of my goals are physical and spiritual and family and friends. I don’t know about you, but I know we have all had a situation with a friend where we say, “I really need to call this person,” and then something happens. The friend passes, God forbid, and you feel really bad because you feel like you didn’t call that friend or family member before they passed. We have to have goals in the friend area. We have to have goals in the spouse area. How many people do you know who have been successful in business, and then they get a divorce and lose it all or lose half or lose the focus? Now later on they are regretting it, “I am enjoying the money, but I wish I had a better relationship with my wife or my kids.” There has to be goals in every single area of your life. You have to look at where these different areas are, where these different roles and responsibilities lie. I am a father, I am a son, and I am a business owner. You have to set goals for each of those. If you don’t, what happens is you are going to have a crash in another area that will take away from you achieving those goals. That is what goal alignment is, and that is why that balance is super important. A lot of people don’t think about that when they think about goals. The next thing is the P. Do you have a question, Hugh? Hugh: This is good stuff. You got my attention when you said people die five years after they retire. That is why Russ and I never retire. We keep pushing the inevitable later and later. This is so good. People set goals without the realization of what is the benefit. How is it going to benefit me in my life? You talked about that a little bit. Go ahead. This is extremely valuable stuff. Before you end, I want to focus on personal goals and corporate goals. We are leading a charity, church, or synagogue, so those are organizational goals. Very often, we don’t write personal goals. Then compare the two. Let me not interrupt you any more. This is really good stuff. They can comment. Russ, is your audio working yet? I don’t know if his audio is working yet. Are you there? Russell Dennis: I’m going to try. Can you hear me again? Hugh: Yes. Glad you’re here. Just know, Joe, that he is capturing sound bites in his brilliant way. He will have a chance to come back with questions. Russ, if it’s okay, we’ll let him finish his presentation part, and then I’d like to throw it to you for a few questions, if that works for you. Russell: That will work. Hugh: All right, Joe, go on. Joe: Those are called areas of management. Everybody has two main areas of management, which are the personal areas of management and your business areas of management. Each of those areas has to be aligned. You want to balance out your business area. What are the key elements in business that make you successful and set goals in those areas? What are the key elements you need for your personal life? Set goals in those areas. I used to think, I only need a business goal or a sales goal or a money goal. But I quickly learned I had to balance all those areas in business and personal. Going to the P in GPS, the P stands for purpose. It is your why. I can tell you about setting all these goals, but it doesn’t make a difference if you don’t have a why. The why is the gas in the tank of the car. It’s what makes things go. If I tell you, “Don’t touch the stove,” we would tell little kids not to touch the stove, the first thing they say is, “Why?” “Because it’s hot.” Maybe they don’t understand at first, but the moment they touch the stove, they quickly understand that it’s hot. That is the motivation, the why. Why don’t we run red lights? Why does everybody stop at a red light? Because you will get a ticket. That motivates us not to do it. We have to understand with anything we’re doing what’s our why. Why are we doing this? What feeling, reward, are we going to get from actually achieving that goal? That is going to be the motivation for us to act. If we don’t understand that why, we often don’t achieve the goal. One of the most average, normal goals that everyone wants to set is how to lose weight. The problem becomes a lot of times the why isn’t strong enough. The why isn’t more powerful than the ice cream sundae. Sometimes we have to do a deep dive within ourselves and figure out why we want it. Sometimes it’s not important enough to us. We’re okay with where we are. Sometimes people don’t go after that goal. We definitely want to build a strong why. The S is Steps or System. If you remember before there was GPS, everyone would pretty much have a map. We would get these maps from the gas station. How we would gauge if we took a trip to Winston-Salem, where I live, to Orlando, Florida, where Hugh is now, is we would look at the map and see the different cities along the way. I would see in an hour and a half I would be in Charlotte. Then I’ll be in Georgia. Then I’ll be in Jacksonville. Then I’ll be in Orlando. That was a way of us gauging we were going in the right direction. Sometimes when my GPS screws up and it sets me on the wrong road, it will reroute me back the right way. That happens to us sometimes, too, when we are doing goals. We start going the wrong direction, and we have to reroute ourselves to go back in the right direction. I’m saying all that to say if we have a goal to lose 30 pounds, we want to plan stops along the way. We want to say, “Okay, in one month I am going to lose ten pounds. Month two I am going to lose pounds. Month three I am going to lose ten pounds.” When we gauge or check, we know we are headed in the right direction. If we’re not, we know we need to do something different. We need to exercise more or diet more or whatever it is we need to do. But that is just a way of gauging if we are going in the right direction. The other thing is systems. A lot of times you don’t have to think of everything yourself. There are systems already in place created by other people that allow you to just plug and play. I am a big fan of systems. I listen to Dave Ramsay and use his budgeting system. There are different dieting systems. If you think about a company like McDonald’s, every Big Mac at every McDonald’s tastes the same way. That is because they have a system in place to make it the same no matter where you go. There are systems in every area of life that you can plug and play that will help you get the result you are looking for. Again, that goes back to that why. If you don’t have a strong enough why, you don’t move forward in the systems and actually do the things you are supposed to do. Questions, Russ? Russell: Good day. Thanks for joining us. Can you guys hear me okay? Hugh: We can. Russell: Excellent. I love the GPS. It’s really a good direction. We rely on these for our cars. We rely on them to keep us going the way that we’re going. It’s important to put the right information in the GPS, so the why is really critical. How long have you been using the GPS system, and what sort of success have you had with the people you work with in explaining this system? It certainly sounds like something that people, once they hear about it, get. Joe: I have been using it for five years. I use it a lot of times on projects. I have a lot of clients I work with. Some are celebrity clients. I am working on projects, whether they are movies, television shows, major real estate projects, or projects for hedge funds. Pretty much, even though they are all big strategic projects, some are small or some are up to ten million, the premise is till the same. There is a goal they want at the end: if it is a movie, to get the movie made; if it’s a TV show, to get the season filmed; if it is a real estate project, to raise the money in order to buy the land. It’s the same process, GPS. I have used that process with major clients to regular people. Russell: Do you find that people who work with this system enjoy using it? Whether the results they have gotten using the GPS system as opposed to what they have tried before. Joe: What I find is that people like things they can relate to something else. What helps us understand something is when we can say, “Okay, this is sort of like this.” When you can say, “Okay, I get it because I can think of a map and destinations and directions. It’s pretty simple.” The current project I am working on is for a large television show with a celebrity who has been on TV for years. We use the system for funding and getting the project done. We had great results and raised half a million dollars. I am using the system now with a former NBA player. He is raising five million dollars, and we have had great progress. We are still in the middle of it. I have used it for myself for years. I used it also on my kids. I don’t tell my kids what to do anymore because they are all in college, but I coached them. This is one of the things I coached them on. What are your goals? What type of grade do you want to get in this class? How many hours do you ned to put in? How much do you need to study? What do you need to study in? Things of that nature. I am working on my daughter now who is taking the bar. We are using GPS to get her prepared for the bar. Her goal is to pass the bar and start to practice law. So far, we are having great success with her as well. Russell: The thing with this system that makes it so beautiful is that it’s simple. But it can be deceptively simple because of the concept. Have you found people that stumble with it or just stumble grasping the simplicity of it and applying it to their goals? Joe: I think that goes back to that why piece. Most things to do with success are easy anyway. We all pretty much know what we need to do. If we need to lose weight, we know that we need to move more and eat less. What stops us from doing that is not having a strong enough why. You want something that you shouldn’t have more than you want the results that you want. I don’t think it’s so hard; I think the discipline comes into anything you want to achieve. Anything you really want, there is an element of discipline. I always think about people who pray but never take any action. There is a funny story I heard about a woman who wanted to win the lottery. She would get up every single morning for a year and say, “God, please let me win the lottery today. I hope I win that million dollars.” She kept doing it for a year. By the end of the time, He said, “Listen, lady, I need some help. At least buy a ticket.” Often that’s what I find a lot of people do. They don’t buy a ticket. Russell: When people come to you, they probably have gotten to know who you are. When people come to you, where do they typically find themselves? Is a typical person that comes to you someone who is already a high performance person, or do you get people who are stuck personally and professionally looking for solutions? Joe: I think a lot of people find me when they have vision confusion. They have a vision of something they want, but it’s almost like they don’t know how to get it. I do believe a good coach doesn’t really give you the answers, but a coach pulls the answers out of you that are already there but you just don’t believe that those are the answers. With anybody I work with, from celebrities to my kids, I find they all have the same similar issues. They know the answers; you just have to pull them out of them. Russell: Okay. I think people have an inherent genius and they get blocked. You talked about the word “belief.” I think that’s critical because I have had blockages. It’s really a matter of what I believe would actually happen. So when you meet a person and they are in that place and it is clear to you that the belief is the problem, how do you approach getting them on track? Seeing the possibilities when they are stuck? Joe: I think that there is something I use called the power of questions. Anytime there is something wrong, pray first. Then if you sit down with a piece of yellow paper and write the numbers 1-50, I say to write 50 ways to make this happen. Let’s look at the top three ways you come up with and read those top three ways every day. There is something, too, about the subconscious mind. That is when we go back to reading Think and Grow Rich. Normally I fall asleep with it playing on my audiobook, and I will wake up and play it again. Building that subconscious mind, that self-confidence, doing affirmations, redoing it every single day to build your confidence and faith in yourself, and then going back to those solutions that you know you should use and implement them. I was seeing something on Facebook the other day: Motivation gets you in the game; execution keeps you there. Russell: It is about executing. It is about taking action. For me, I have had to act my way out of these blockages more than anything else. Once you get somebody to believe, do you start on the small scale, or do you just say we are going to go into this at full speed? Do you start at a small scale and build small victories? Or does that approach vary from person to person? Joe: I think it varies from person to person because different people need different things. I have had celebrities that you would think would be much further ahead than the average person, and they really aren’t. Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses. Most people do a SWAT. What are your strengths and weaknesses? We talk about that. We need to look at if we need to strengthen the strengths or the weaknesses first. That is normally where the first place I start is. Are you the right person to be doing certain things? There are some things you maybe shouldn’t do. Maybe if you are bad at accounting or bad at money, instead of getting stronger at budgeting, maybe you need to bring in someone who is already strong at that, a CFO or something like that, to handle that particular issue. Everybody we deal with a little bit differently. Russell: Okay. I think it’s probably better to work from your strengths. Sometimes we can burn a lot of energy working on weaknesses. Do you find that that is a big part of the roadblock? Too much focus on the weakness. Joe: Most definitely. Recently, I was doing a lot of studying on how to do Wordpress to do my own website development. I felt myself spending so much time on that. I said, “You know what? The time I am spending on trying to learn this, I could have hired somebody and been doing something that actually matters that makes me money.” It’s not that it’s not important, and I like to be able to update it; I’ve got that part. Some of the design, it’s not a good use of my time to learn how to do all of that. I think we all have to look at what things we should remove from our day or remove that we don’t do. There’s something I call the time-money equation. Is this the time I’m spending off the money I will make doing the major things that I do? If it’s not, I don’t need to do it. That may be cleaning the house, cutting the grass, washing the car, whatever it is. The majority of our time needs to be spent on what h most important things for me to do to make progress. Russell: That’s a good way to measure. Does the time spent actually pay for itself? Does it pay for itself? Everybody has got a little bit of a different value. Do you tend to move people toward monitoring value? Is it personal core values? How do you help people prioritize that cost and that value, that time spent? Joe: I think there are different currencies. Sometimes we only speak of money as currency. Time is a currency. Health is a currency. So I think we have to look at what the most important currency is. Do you want to free up your time so you can work on the other areas that we talked about with your goals, keeping that system in balance? Now I am going to stop doing the things that I’m not good at. I’m going to outsource them. I am going to focus on freeing up the currency that is time so I can spend it with my family, friends, wife, or whomever, so I can achieve the goals in those other areas we talked about that are important. There are all kinds of currencies. I don’t want to think money is the only currency. Some people’s goals are not to make lots of money; they want to make enough money to be comfortable but to have enough time to spend with their family and enjoy life. There is a balance we all have to find. Russell: I believe that people just don’t have money for the sake of having money. What are the things that money are going to allow me to do? That might mean spending more time with family. That might mean vacationing. That might mean providing help or actually spending time working on a cause that is important to them. It’s a little bit different for everyone, I believe. As a group, I know you work with people from many different walks of life. Do you find that people who are what I call difference-makers—my friend Wendy Lipton-Dibner says they are people with the heart space. They are either faith-based or working with a charity. Do you mind that these folks are more conflicted than folks that work in the corporate area, or are the problems universal, regardless of the type of profession a person takes on? Joe: I think they’re universal. There may be the different currencies they are looking for. But I think it’s universal what they’re actually looking for. Some people in the heart space are looking to make a difference in as many lives as possible. Other people are looking to make money, and maybe they use that money to make a difference. It depends on the individual. Russell: How common is it when a person is sort of stuck professionally for it to be a personal heart space type of manner? Do you find that most of the blockages, regardless of what they are, can be traced to personal confusion or blockage? Joe: I think sometimes we want to repeat the same act but the show has moved on. What I mean by that is things change. When you look at commercials that have the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, you will start to see a big change in fashion, but also the energy, how everybody looks. I think every ten years, the world changes. If you don’t change in that ten-year space with the world, you will often get left behind. Then you’re stuck because you’re still trying to use what worked in that ten years in this ten years. I look at some of the changes that are coming up, and I see a lot of people who are stuck. We have a system where they are doing self-driving trucks. In the next six years, they are probably going to get rid of 60-70% of truck drivers. We get self-driving cars. We have screens on restaurants that are going to be taking orders. If you are still trying to drive a truck, and 70% of the work is gone, then of course you are going to be stuck. I think what happens to people that we are not adapting. One of the blogs I am working on writing right now is what would happen if you got fired today? It’s one of the reasons I am really big on entrepreneurship and why I love working with entrepreneurs. There is not the job security that we used to have. So many jobs are going overseas, technology. I think that we have to adapt with the times. We have to always be growing. Going back to when we were talking about how when people don’t grow, they die. I think that there are a lot of people I come across who haven’t read a book since high school. They spend all their time either working or watching TV. Hugh: Russ, those are really good questions. I was going to encourage you to make them harder and harder. What Russ and I know to be true, and I have discovered this about Joe a while back, is that we in SynerVision—Russ is one of the WayFinders in SynerVision—reframe a consultant to be a WayFinder, but we also reframe strategies that aren’t working. I would want to know from Joe a couple of things. Russ, maybe you had a couple more and I interrupted you. I’m sorry if you do. But may I ask two right here? Russell: Go for it. Hugh: It’s piggybacking on what you are setting up so well. What are some of the things people do that are wrong that hurt them? What are some of the worst practices? You are giving us some best practices. What are some of the things that people should avoid doing? Russ, I will give it to you, and then you can take us out. We are in the last 15 minutes of the interview, so I will let you do a wrap, if you will. Joe: I would say number one is not being consistent. Sometimes you have the start/stop issue. They start something, they do it for a week or two, and they stop. If you start losing weight and working out, then you stop, of course your body will go back to where it was before, and then you are starting over. When they start over, they get discouraged or they can’t find that same why that actually motivated them the first time. The other thing is to listen to people who don’t have their best interest at heart. A lot of times, what happens is when you start to make progress in your life, that makes people around you who aren’t making progress uncomfortable. If you can do it, then they have to look at themselves and say, “Why aren’t I doing that?” It’s much easier to stomp on your dreams or tell you you shouldn’t be wasting your time losing weight than it is to actually do something themselves. I think that when we are starting to make change, we have to start to be friendly but not familiar. What I mean by that, even with family, sometimes we have to distance ourselves, or just show up at the Thanksgiving dinner but maybe in between that we don’t talk as much because we are working on our goals. We don’t need anything to taint that process or contaminate it. We need to stay focused on it and we need to stay consistent. Russell: Some people won’t lift you up. It’s hard to leave people behind. I think that’s kind of a common problem. If I change, I am going to start losing people. That becomes a personal challenge that creates an inner conflict. One of our running jokes that I have with Hugh is that when I am standing in a room and I look up and realize that I’m the smartest guy in there, I run like hell and find myself another room because there is that disconnect. I know the work you do has a way to build accountability as part of that system. Do you find that a lot of people make commitments to others they don’t make to themselves? In those instances, how do you help them work around that? Joe: I deal with that all the time. As a matter of fact, a coach is almost like a paid accountability partner. What I find a lot of people, and I’m guilty of this, too, is we will keep promises to others, but we won’t keep them to ourselves. When you don’t keep promises to yourself, that is actually what starts to kill your self-esteem and your confidence. Now you don’t have confidence in your own word. If you kept breaking promises to your kids, eventually they won’t believe what you say. If you do that to yourself on a constant basis, say I’m going to lose weight or I am going to make $10,000 and it doesn’t happen over a period of time, you actually lose confidence in yourself. Whether you feel it or not, it’s actually happening. What I believe you should do is either make a public declaration, like going on Facebook and saying I am going to do this by this time, because normally people will say something about it. Or you have an accountability partner who checks in with you once a week, and you tell them what you did toward your goal that week; maybe you do the same thing for them. Or you pay somebody to be accountable to. When I had a trainer, I felt like he was trying to kill me. I don’t know if he had life insurance on me or what was going on. He would ask me every single week, “Let me see your food journal. What did you eat?” That accountability does help. Russell: I have an accountability coach. Wonderful guy. Hugh knows him. He has become a very good friend: Ryan Roy. The name of his business is Justify or Just Do It. His reasons are results. I think there is a level of comfort that comes from finding a reason why something didn’t happen. Sometimes what we do doesn’t work, but do you find that you come across a lot of people that would rather be in that comfort zone than actually really looking at results? Is excuse-making something that happens frequently? Joe: I think we all do that at times. We make an excuse as a way of keeping ourselves comfortable, but it’s not getting us closer to our goals. I think that one of the reasons we have to measure constantly is when we measure something, there is no way we can deny that we are not getting results. The other thing is sometimes you have to come up with multiple ways of measuring. I go back to losing weight because it’s something we can all relate to. I know I want to do it. But I realize that sometimes I would work out super hard, eat right for a whole week, and I wouldn’t lose one single pound. What could happen is I would get discouraged, say this isn’t working, and go eat the ice cream sundae. Then I start realizing, You know what? Maybe what I have to do is measure inches, too. I have to take a tape measure and measure the inches in the areas I want to lose because maybe I’m not losing pounds but inches of fat. Or maybe I’m gaining muscle. One of the things to prevent being discouraged or getting in the zone like feeling something isn’t working is we have to find multiple ways to measure if we are making progress. There are multiple ways to see the growth. Russell: One of the things that Ryan has said to me is it took me a while to wrap my mind around the idea of celebrating small things. It doesn’t matter how small. It’s celebrate. That’s what I like about your GPS system because you are talking about pulling things apart. That’s what we try to advocate. Pull things apart. Take the larger goal. Pull it apart. Get smaller, more manageable. These little things add up to success. You get momentum. What are some of the ways that you help people build that momentum so that they are actually moving forward and are looking at things that can be measured? Joe: I think that any time you start a goal, you need a springboard. You need a way to have at least a small succession in a short period of time so the motivation stays high for you to continue. I go back to losing weight. It may be that you have a week where there is a cleanse or a fast. It’s a little simpler to do, and it gets off three to four pounds. All of a sudden, you kickstart everything. When I am teaching real estate, I give my students a kickstart course, which is a simple course with four to five simple instructions that allows you to go out and see progress instantly so you are motivated to continue. Russell: That’s it. Sometimes it’s hard. We have to look back. That’s the beauty and importance of making instant win. When somebody hasn’t been doing things, they start working with you and they’re not stuck, but you go a week and they are just on fire. You talk to them a few days or a week later, and they don’t just have a list, they start off with a list of three things. The next time you talk to them they have War and Peace in front of them. How do you help them manage that process? Does it go from one thing to the extreme to the other? They’re enthusiastic; you don’t want to dampen that. But how do you reel that in as it were to keep somebody from overextending themselves? Joe: That’s the catch. When we were first talking about GPS, we talked about setting goals in multiple areas of your life. They have to crash sometimes. Something happens in the personal life because you didn’t set a goal in that area. All of a sudden, you can’t focus on the business life. Or something is happening physically because you didn’t set goals in that area. That is why those crashes come up. If you align, that doesn’t happen as often. What I mean by that is if you think about a lot of pro athletes who didn’t study finance, all of a sudden they get a contract with millions of dollars. Life starts to go fast, and now you see all those other issues. They didn’t focus on their spirituality, so issues come up. They didn’t focus on learning their financial piece about money, so now they start having money problems. When they leave the NBA or NFL, they’re broke. They didn’t align everything, so when life starts to go fast, a crash happens. We have to balance out all those areas in our life and set goals in those individual areas from financial to physical to spiritual to family to spouse to home to auto. When I have my system in place, I have home, auto, style, fashion, everything because there has to be a balance in there that all of these things are important to my life. If I neglect them, there will be a consequence at some point in time. That’s the crash: the consequences from not actually balancing everything out. It’s simple, but it’s complicated. It’s simple because all you have to do is sit down with a piece of paper and say, “What do I want in my physical life? What do I want my health to be like? What do I want my relationship with my creator to be like? What do I want my relationship to be like with my kids? Am I once a week going to take my kids on a date?” Sometimes couples do date night; what about your kids? Have a date night with your kids where you are going to take two hours once a week to spend with each kid because you are going to have two to three kids and not know them as individuals. You have to have that individual time as well. Or what about your spouse? After being in a relationship for so many years, you start to be more like roommates than lovers. There is no romance. That’s because you didn’t set a goal for that to happen. You didn’t focus on that, so it didn’t come to fruition. I saw Hugh on his birthday, and he was out on a date with his wife at a concert. Go, Hugh! That’s GPS in the works. It worked. Keeping the juices going. Russell: I’m just wondering if he said to her, “Honey, you should probably drive because I’ve had a little bit. Because of my age and mental condition, I’ve forgotten my way to the theater.” She probably said, “Turn on the GPS.” Joe: That’s probably exactly what happened. Hugh: My wife taught me harassment is a form of affection. I’m getting some of that now. Russell: I only torture people I love. Speaking of people that we love… What happened to me is I said I was going to do some things. Your family may hear some of these grand ideas and schemes and go, “Ah yeah, there he goes again.” There could be a little skepticism from those who are close to us. It’s easy for a bachelor like me, but if you get somebody that is married and they have a family, sometimes that natural resistance that we have within ourselves, it comes from people around us. What are some ways you help people address that? That is very real. There is a lot of pressure with children, spouse, and other obligations. Joe: I believe every new ideal is born drowning. When you first come up with something in the first few minutes, the moment that you come up with it, it’s best not to share it. It’s better to fully develop it. Someone could say something negative, and it automatically starts to kill that dream because you haven’t fully completed a vision. If you are going to share that idea, don’t share it with anybody who is going to say something negative right away. Go to your support system. Go to your mastermind. Go to the people who are going to tell you how to make it happen, not the people who are going to tell you what could happen if you start to move in that way. I always believe if I come up with a great idea, I don’t even want to share it. If I come up with a new book idea, there are certain people I am not going to share it with, except for a Hugh or a Russ who are going to say, “Joe, you should do this with that,” and they start pouring into that idea, breathing life into it, giving me positive feedback. Russell: That’s important. Use the support systems that are available and keep it moving. Hugh? Hugh: I have a contrasting perspective on that. Sorry there are people being loud around me. My A of SMART goals is accountable. I find there is power in sharing it. I find motivation in like you said, Joe, when you write a goal and people go, “Let me connect you with some people. I can help you with that.” That is one powerful way of motivating ourselves with our goals, by sharing it. Another one is what Russ brought up, sharing it and people go, “You’re going to do what?” I call that motivation. Watch me! There is a twist on that piece. I think you can win. We are coming up to our last five minutes here. Russ, do you have any more questions? Or do you want to let Joe do a final tip or piece of advice for people? Russell: There is a lot. I could spend all day asking questions. But I would really love for Joe to put a nice bow on it and talk to people because they face all of these doubts. As I said before, their system is deceptively simple in the concept of its intent. Taking that initial step, taking that initial step no matter how overwhelmed you are. I would love to have you talk to people about how they can do that, how they can fight that fear and move through that. Joe: Going through the system like you said is really simple. Figure out what you want in your goal. Hugh spoke briefly about SMART goals. You could easily, and I’ll be happy to put a link up to a SMART goal sheet people can use. SMART goals is that the goal should be specific, measurable- What is the A, Hugh? I forgot. Hugh: Accountable. Joe: He said it before. Accountable. The goal should be realistic and time-sensitive. I will put up some SMART goal sheets on my website that you can use when setting your goals. I like to keep things simple, and that is why I came up with GPS. Know your goal, know why you want that goal, and know the steps to getting there. Simple steps. If it’s five steps or ten steps, whatever the steps are. One of my goals is to help 100 people make $10,000 in real estate investing. To anyone who is on the actual podcast, if they will go to drjoewhite.com/freegift, I am going to put up the SMART goal sheets. I will give them a book on actual goal setting, and I will give them my free real estate kickstart course. That is quite a bit of stuff. Drjoewhite.com/freegift. They can have all of that stuff if they go there. Russell: I put that link up in the chat. That’s great stuff. That’s wonderful. Hugh: We’ll make sure that link is in the notes for the podcast and on the page for the Nonprofit Exchange at thenonprofitexchange.org. We will put those links on that page. Russell: Yeah, I’ve got it in the chat here. This is wonderful stuff, Joe. I love your system. I am going to go have a look at that. Love to talk to you a little bit further. Joe: Most definitely, Russ. I am here to help anybody I can. I enjoy helping. I think service is super important. I want to serve and be a servant and help in any way I possibly can. We all have some things we want to achieve. We all want to be better. I would just say to everybody that now is the time. If not now, when? That is what I always ask people. Russell: Now is the time. Hugh? Hugh: Time is now. The time is now. Russ, those were really good questions. Joe, I teach goals, but like I said earlier in the broadcast, Joe did this module in my workshop in Raleigh. He did a better job than I do teaching my modules. I wanted to have him here to do that. When Russ does a module, he does a better job than me. One way I look really good is surround yourself better than you are, which is what Russ talked about earlier. Joe, thank you so much for being a guest today. Russ, thank you for being my co-host in this and crafting such great questions. Joe, we will put your information on the podcast and on the site. Thank you for the offer and the free gift for people. Joe: Thank you, Hugh. Have a great trip and a great time in Florida. Hugh: I’m loving it. Thank you.

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  • Secret #15: A Marketing Secret We Learned At Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

    · Marketing Secrets

    Who know doughnuts could be so helpful… On today’s episode Russell and his kids talk about why they like to go to Krispie Kreme doughnuts instead of some of the other doughnut shops. He also shares a story to relate why its good to show your customers behind the scenes of what you do. Here are some of the fun things you will hear in this episode: What it is about Krispie Kreme Doughnuts that stands out from their competitors. Why seeing how beer is made inspired a marketing guy to put it in their commercials. And what Russell does to give his customers a similar experience. So listen to Russell and his kids talk about this cool way to market your business. ---Transcript--- What’s up everybody, this is Russell Brunson. Welcome to the Marketing Secrets podcast. Alright everybody, today we got a special episode. We just got done cleaning the church and then we went and got a prize for the kids. What was the prize we got guys? Kids: Krispie Kreme Donuts and the hats. Russell: Krispie Kreme Donuts, and the hats. We’re driving the new Funnel Hacker Jeep, which we have a camera mount in here. So now I can do Marketing In Your Car and Marketing Secrets while we’re driving and not have to worry about getting hit and dying. Kids: Marketing in Your Jeep. Russell: Marketing In the Jeep. I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet, if you haven’t go look on Snapchat or Facebook or whatever. It says Funnel Hacker on the side of it, it’s kind of fun. And we had Norah in here yesterday so that’s why Bowen’s sitting in Norah’s baby seat, because that’s the last seatbelt we had. So what should we tell those guys about today? We gotta tell them a marketing principle. So let’s do this, I want to talk to you about why you like going to Krispie Kreme versus the other place? Kids: Because they got good donuts. Russell: Because they got good donuts. Why else? Kids: It’s not very far away. Russell: Okay, it’s close proximity. Why else? Kids: We haven’t had breakfast. Russell: You haven’t had breakfast yet. Are they healthy? Kids: They have a good price. No, they’re not healthy. They have a good price, they’re not far away, and when you go in you see them make the donuts. Russell: Oh, this is the key. This is the key, Ellie, that I want to talk about. So when you go into Krispie Kreme they let you, say it loud so they can hear you. Aiden said it too. So there’s a glass window and you can actually watch them make the donuts. The donuts come through on a conveyer belt, you see the frosting put on them, you see them dunk under the thing. First the dough right, drops them into the cooker thing that cooks them, then the frosting comes on top and they put the sprinkles. You get to watch the process. Kids: They sometimes, rarely, give you free samples. Russell: And sometimes they give you free samples for hanging out. Alright so here’s the marketing lesson for all of you who are listening today. So Krispie Kreme does a really cool thing to make kids want to go to Krispie Kreme versus DK Donuts, Dunkin Donuts, all the donut places. Kids: Dunkin Donuts is DK Donuts. Russell: No DK is a small brand, Dunkin is a huge chain. Anyway, what Krispie Kreme does is allow you to watch the process, which is really interesting. Because my guess is most donut shops have the same process, yet……..You guys we gotta stay on point for the show. They’re right, DK has bunch of other options, sizes and varieties and Krispie Kremes are all the same thing. But the moral of this is that they let you watch the process of how it works. I know I’m going to forget the story because I’m in the car with four kids going crazy. I’m going to forget it right now, but the message I know all my old school marketing buddies are making fun of me because I can’t remember the name and people or which book it was from. But there was a guy, who was actually a beer company and they were selling beer and this marketing guy came in to, I can’t remember now, this is blasphemy. I can’t remember the name of it. I just hit a squirrel. I missed it. A squirrel went underneath the car. That was close. Anyway, there was a marketing dude, he comes into the beer company and he’s trying to figure out the hook and angle and big idea of why everyone should give them money versus the other beer companies. And the marketing guy comes in and wants to see the process and how it all works and he goes in and watches these guys. He sees how they make the beer, I don’t know, I’m not a beer drinker. I’ve never drank so I have no idea how it actually works. But they showed how they made it. And the marketing guy was so fascinated. They’re like, “That’s how everybody makes beer.” And he’s like, “Yeah, but nobody else has seen this. Nobody else even knows this is how it all works. So I want to show that process.” So he made a commercial and he actually showed the process of them making the beer and that became this huge campaign that blew up the company. So Krispie Kreme is the same way, they show the process. There’s a reason I do Funnel Friday every Friday, because I’m showing the process. Kids:  You didn’t do it this Friday. Russell: I didn’t do it this Friday. Good point. And Funnel Hacker TV and all these things, why am I doing that? Because I’m showing the process, I’m letting people see how I do it, how I consume the product. And the more they do, the more they see me drinking my own Kool Aid, the more likely they are to also drink said Kool Aid. So the moral of the story from this Krispie Kreme episode for you guys is to let your audience see the process of how you do whatever you do. We are in the reality show era of the world and your audience wants to view what’s happening. That’s why I’m showing this right now, me and my beard in my car with my kids in their Krispie Kreme hats, and being annoyed at me. Bowen was telling me, “Your mustache is ugly dad, but your beard is cool.” He wants me to shave this. Dallin: You have a mustache. Russell: It’s kind of weird huh. I need to shave. Dallin: I don’t know everything, never mind. Aiden: I’m free ladies. Russell: Aiden just said, “I’m free ladies.” You’re the coolest! Dallin: What did he say? Russell: He said, “I’m free ladies.” And jumped out of the car. Dallin: You need to send this to me. Russell: That was amazing. I love Aiden, that our little six year old, if you’re listening and not watching. If you’re watching on Marketingsecrets.com you just saw Aiden in his Krispie Kreme hat tell you….that was hilarious. Dallin: Send this to me please. Russell: The moral of the story, the reason why I’m doing this with my hair messed up and my beard, with my kids and our donuts…. Ellie: You have a beard? Russell: Isn’t it sweet? You want to feel it, it’s really scruffy. It kind of hurts, I gotta shave it. The reason I’m showing you this stuff behind the scenes because I’m showing you my life. I’m showing you how we do what we do and that’s what draws people. If you read Expert Secrets, you know the goal is to draw people into you and your personality and all those kind of things. So draw them in you guys. Do it, open up your life a little. I know it’s scary sometimes. That’s what Instagram is for, your stories. Facebook Lives, podcasts, etc. Dallin: The real moral of the story is that Aiden is a ladies’ man. Russell: Aiden is the ladies man. Anyway, that’s the moral of today’s story. Does that sound good to you guys? With that said, thanks so much for tuning into marketing Secrets. If you have not read the Expert Secrets book go to expertsecrets.com. You should go there and read it because this is just one of those secrets that’s going to help you blow up your message. Dallin: And if you haven’t read the first book too, read it. Russell: What’s the first book called? Dallin: Dot, I forgot what it’s called. Russell: You’re close, Dotcom… Dallin: Dotcom Secrets? Russell: Yes, Dotcom Secrets and Expert Secrets. They should read them both right? Dallin: Yeah. Russell: Which one’s your favorite. Dallin: I didn’t read it. Russell: Anyway, appreciate you guys, thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

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  • Secret #24: How To Grow From 10 To 100 Employees

    · Marketing Secrets

    Behind the scenes of how we were able to profitably grow our company without taking on any capital. On this special episode with Brent Coppieters from Russell’s team, they talk about some behind the scenes things that need to be figured out while you are growing and scaling your company. Here are some of the cool things you will hear in this episode: How Brent has figured out how to structure teams with leads to make everything as efficient and smooth as possible. Why they hire Clickfunnels users to work on support teams in Clickfunnels. And why Russell wants everyone near him to max out their tax brackets. So listen here to find out some important behind the scenes things you have to think about when you’re in the process of growing your business. ---Transcript--- Hey everyone, this is Russell Brunson. I’m here today with Brent Coppieters on the Marketing Secrets podcast. So everyone, I got a really special podcast for you today, I’m so excited for. Right now, where are we at? Brent: Kauai Russell: Kauai, Hawaii. This has been our backyard for the last week, and we’re heading home tomorrow, which is kind of sad. But I wanted to get Brent in here to help you guys out. Because obviously in the Marketing Secrets podcast I talk a lot about the marketing stuff, and Brent has been with me now for over a decade. How long is it actually? Brent: Eleven years at the end of July. Russell: Eleven years, dang that’s crazy. So that’s when you started? Was anyone else here when you first got started officially? Brent: Anyone who’s here now? Russell: Brittany? Was she here? Brent: Brittany came in after. I don’t think anybody else who was here before I started is still here. Russell: So Brent’s been the longest, long term person, except Doral maybe. Doral in Romania. We got a Romanian. Our backlight is kind of lit, it’s hard to see us. Brent’s been around for forever and done tons of different roles. Right now he runs the entire operations of Clickfunnels so I wanted to have him kind of talk about the stuff because it’s a big part of growing and scaling a company that we don’t talk about a lot. But first do you want to talk about your back story, as far as getting into this whole thing. It’s kind of a funny story. Brent: How much back story do you want? Russell: We should move over here to the couch so you can see a little better. So I met Brent at church initially. Do you want a pillow? Brent: Yeah. Russell: That’s how planned these things are. What was one of the first impressions, about this whole business, when you got introduced to it? Because I know a lot of people got through that, especially spouses or friends or potential employees or partners that don’t know this world at all, it’s kind of weird at first. Brent: Yeah, I had no idea. I was at, met Russell through a church function and didn’t really know what he did. When I kind of thought he made money on the internet, I initially thought eBay, he sold stuff on eBay or you know, I had no idea.  I really couldn’t understand. So he had some of the business partners and friends that he kind of worked with at the time and I kind of pulled those guys apart and was kind of asking those guys, “What does he really do?” and one of our mutual friends, he knew that I didn’t understand so I talked to my wife who said, “I don’t know what this Russell Brunson guy’s doing, but it is freaking crazy.” Our friend was sharing the numbers that Russell was doing. He was going to University, I was going to school as well. He was making more money than my parents combined income was, more money than they had ever made. So I was like, I gotta find out what this guy’s doing. So, like any friend, we invited him and wife over for dinner on a Sunday afternoon. So I just started asking him really carefully, “What are you doing? What exactly is this?” And he just kind of started sharing what he was up to, what he was doing. Obviously he doesn’t brag about what he’s doing, the success he was having and he was having tremendous success. After they left, we had a good dinner and visited and then they left. I couldn’t sleep for three days. My head was spinning. Russell: I ruined him. Brent: You did, I was screwed at that point. After that happened I couldn’t fathom the success. But what was more important there was the value he was providing the world. Russell: Was that before or after all our kids, we had twins and they had their first son the week before. I can’t remember if it was before or after. Brent: We had met you before, we’d been friends for a little while. I think that we had our kids and you guys moved right after that. Russell: All I remember is we had our twins we were in the NSU for two weeks basically. So we rented a hotel room in the hospital and just hung out there and goofed off, and I remember he was coming. “Don’t you have to go to work, or what are you doing?” He thought I was going to go… Brent: Yeah, I told my wife, “We gotta take dinners over there or something, we gotta help them because they’re in the hospital with these twins because they can’t leave and he can’t work because he’s in the hospital.” Russell: Little did they know the internet was working. Brent: I had no clue. Russell: So that was fun, so then a little while later, Brent started working for us. Initially it was affiliate management for how many years? You did that for a long time. Brent: Yeah, like 8,9 years, roughly. The hats were always being moved but… Russell: It’s a small company, you do a lot of everything. Brent: Yeah, so probably 8 years to really focus on business development, affiliate management and partners and stuff like that. Russell: And, just so everyone knows, I recently on the podcast had the presentation I gave from Funnel Hacking Live, the One Funnel Away, about the stories, and I talked about Brent in that and it made me cry in the middle of my presentation, it was kind of embarrassing. But you were here for the good and bad. When we went from 5 employees up to 100 and back down to 5 and all the stress up and down. I’m curious, honestly why you didn’t leave when everything collapsed and crashed. Brent: That’s a good question. Russell: I don’t know the answer either. Brent: You’re going to get me vulnerable. Working with an entrepreneur, especially Russell, you know where their heart is and there came a point where he was trying to help too many people. He was employing a lot of friends and family and people that he wanted to provide opportunities for and that was great to a certain point. But there was a point there where the business changed a little bit, evolved and we were needing to make some changes with it. And those changes wouldn’t allow him to support everyone he was supporting. That was very difficult for him. My wife and I, we cared and loved Russell and Collette and their family. We came to a point where I didn’t want to be a burden, I knew he was stressed and worried about taking care of people. I had a conversation with my wife, where I said I would rather keep our friendship, than have him feel stressed about supporting, having an opportunity for me to keep working there. So one day I kind of came into your office, and had a real chat. I probably said some things that, I wanted him to understand how important what he was doing was, and also I wanted him to understand that I was okay to leave. I didn’t want him to feel like he needed to provide for me. I would be fine to figure things out. I just wanted to make sure he was okay. Because it was at the point where you were helping so many people, really one hiccup you could have lost everything. All your savings was going back into the company and at some point you just can’t keep doing that. Russell: Yeah, I got really scared, but somehow we pulled it around. Brent: Pulled it around and obviously you had to make some tough phone calls and decisions that changed the company at that point. Russell: Basically we had to, we had 100 and some odd employees, we had all these wrestlers working for me, we had let go the whole wrestling team. We had to downsize. We shrunk from a 20,000 square foot building to 2000. It was rocky and scary but it gave us the ability to refocus and figure things out. Remember we went on a couple trips where we were trying to figure out who were the people still having success in our market. We jumped in a plane traveling to different people’s offices. We spent time with Ryan Dyson and Perry Belcher, trying to figure out what they were doing. With Alex Chafren, what they were doing. People who were our friends, just kind of used this time to figure out what’s actually working today and how do we shift our business model and change everything. It’s funny how much pain there was during that time. We flew to London. How important it was for the transition for what became Clickfunnels and everything else. Anyway, so many fun stories we could talk about forever. But we don’t have time for all those things. What I want to talk about a little today is, probably a year into the business when we first started growing, it’s funny I got a message today from Alex Chafren, he’s like, “You sound so calm.” Probably because we’re here in Hawaii but he was like, “I don’t know any other person running a hundred million dollar company that’s as relaxed and able to respond to people.” Anyway, when we first started, we didn’t know what we were doing. It was just kind of like, we know how to sell stuff. Started selling Clickfunnels, it started growing and all the sudden all sorts of new headaches came up with that. From a software standpoint with Todd and we brought in Ryan and they had to deal with infrastruct

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  • Creating a Position of Influence on LinkedIn

    · 01:07:33 · The Nonprofit Exchange: Leadership Tools & Strategies

    Free LinkedIn Infographic http://szeak.com/profile-infographic/ Contact Doug Brown doug@szeak.com Doug’s 5 steps for LinkedIn contacts: Profile Find Your “Perfect Customer” Contact Requests Contact follow-up Message Move Conversation Outside of LinkedIn Nonprofit Chat with Doug Brown The Interview Transcript Hugh: Greetings. Russell Dennis and Hugh Ballou are back. As normal, we are interviewing someone that has really good content. Tonight, our guest is Doug Brown. Doug is an expert in a number of areas. I have known him for a few years. Every time that I have a conversation with him, I learn a lot of stuff. I want you to take notes. There will be some infographics and other things you will be able to take advantage of. Go to nonprofitchat.org if you want to see the notes and the transcript. Doug Brown, welcome to the Tuesday nonprofit chat. Doug: Thanks, Hugh and Russell. It is a pleasure to be here tonight. Hugh: Tell us a little bit about you. You run Newswire, and you have this really secret power with LinkedIn. Give us a sense of who you are and what your skills are. Doug: Well, I have been in Internet marketing since there has been Internet. Our first project was in 1995, and that is about the start of Internet marketing. I have been around the Internet and trying to figure out how to capitalize on the resources there for a long time. I hate to date myself, but I wasn’t really young when I started doing that either. At any rate, in 2003, we started a company—I was involved when it started—of Newswire Network. Newswire is a press release distribution program. It goes to Google News. It syndicates press releases on behalf of other people across the web and in the real world also. Newswire has been a fairly successful company. It has been around for a long time. We experienced some meatier growth in the last few years, and almost all of that is attributable to what we did in LinkedIn. You and I have been talking about that a little bit, and I appreciate the chance to share what we have learned about LinkedIn and connecting and social marketing. I think all those things are applicable to anyone who is trying to form relationships and trying to monetize their relationships, whether it’s in a for-profit setting, a nonprofit setting, or just about anywhere else. That is my background. I have been in journalism and Newswire almost exclusively for the last 13 years. But like I say, part of running any business is finding people to pay you to use your service. We figured something out about LinkedIn that may not be totally unique. I am sure other people have figured out similar ways to utilize the platform, but maybe what is unique is I am willing to sit here and talk about it. Hugh: That’s awesome. I see a lot of people on all social media, and LinkedIn is no exception. It is social. Social means relationship. I get tired of people hammering me with stuff. The expertise that you bring to clients is how to build relationships and how to build your sphere of influence because in charities, we want to have donors, we want to have board members, we want to have volunteers, we want to have stakeholders who are participating. That ain’t going to happen if we haven’t built a relationship and understand what their passion is. Russell has spoken about that in previous sessions, about how do we connect with a passion of the people who really could serve us well. We are going to talk primarily about LinkedIn tonight… Doug: Let me just pick up on that and emphasize that that is exactly true. When we started seeing some growth in our business is when we decided we are going to start forming relationships with people rather than just trying to present them with *audio issue* And that is what social networking and specifically LinkedIn is great for. We talk about some of the differences between LinkedIn and other social networks. It really is social first, and you have to remember that. Hugh: It is. There are so many people who don’t understand that. We actually repel the people we are trying to attract. Before we get into this LinkedIn, I have some questions for you. Doug, let me touch on Newswire for a minute before we go to LinkedIn. Newswire.net is the site. What problem are you solving for people with Newswire.net? Doug: Newswire is a way to communicate your events, your news in your words to the media. Even more specifically, to your target audience. There has been a real change in the way media is consumed and distributed. Like a lot of people listening, I used to read two or three or four newspapers a day. Gee, reading three newspapers a day would take 15 minutes now because my local paper went from hundreds of pages down to maybe tens or fives of pages. News is different than it used to be. Even Google News has changed a lot in the 10 or 12 years it’s been out there. It used to be an idea that a press release was prepared and sent out to the local newspaper, the local TV station, the local whatever with the idea that it was going to be republished in the local paper. In a really few number of years, that has changed, almost because there is nobody home at the local newspaper. People consume their news online, and that is one of the great things about Newswire and Google News specifically. Newswire specializes in putting the news of our subscribers into Google News and places where they can communicate their story directly to consumers without having to hope and pray that somebody at the local paper picks it up and republishes it. We are just a publication service. We are a way for people to disseminate the news about their organizations out to the public directly. Hugh: I would encourage people to look at it because it’s very cost-effective. Your reach is enormous. You can audit where it shows up online so people can see all the places it’s been published. Doug: Through the last 15 years, Newswire has created its own weather system, so to speak. We have over 100,000 page views a day on Newswire. A typical release will get 1,000 or more views right on our site in addition to what it gets elsewhere. A lot of the views on our site come from Google News. We are indexed on Google News. People come searching for whatever keywords you happen to use, find it, come to our site, and read the post. We try to design our site in a way so that it’s sticky and people can see related stories. They may come to see someone else’s story and end up on yours. People read on average about four stories every time they visit Newswire. It’s a great way to get your information out there. Like you said, it’s very cost-effective. Hugh: 100,000 views a day? Doug: A day. Yeah. Hugh: You slipped that in there. Newswire.net. We will put the link in the notes for today. I’ve experienced your work with LinkedIn to be a refreshing change with some of these tools that people are using that says, “Hi, I’m so-and-so. Let’s have a conversation. I want to sell you something.” Let me ask you the same question with LinkedIn. This whole thing is creating your position of influence in connecting the people that matter. I reframe the stuff that you sent to me because that is what we are doing with charities. We don’t know how to get out of our own way and tell our message. There are lots of nonprofit leaders and business leaders. LinkedIn is a really good platform. What people are you solving for people with LinkedIn? Then we will go to why it’s different. Tell us what problem you’re solving for people with LinkedIn. Doug: The rest of the resume, the thing that I didn’t really continue on, was we were so successful in building some tools and some ways to do things for LinkedIn that we have taken a few clients that we do this process for. You know a couple people I’ve done that for. Just to continue on there, the problem that we solve through LinkedIn is we help people make the right kind of connections. We help them connect with their target audience. We sometimes call it your ideal or perfect customer. We help them identify that perfect customer and help them create a relationship with that person that over time can be turned into a business relationship of some sort or another. That could be inviting someone to participate on a board or in an event, or identifying and creating a conversation with someone you may not otherwise have had an opportunity to get in touch with. Maybe they run in a different circle or live in a different city, state, or even country for heaven’s sakes. There is half a billion people almost on LinkedIn nowadays. It’s a very different place than the other social networks. You have big numbers on Facebook that LinkedIn will never match, but the difference is that LinkedIn is all about business and for business. Let me throw a couple of statistics out off the top of the head. The people that live in the United States that are LinkedIn members have an average income of $110,000. Hugh: Oh my word. Doug: Yeah. Isn’t that amazing? It’s not a bunch of teenagers. It’s not people sharing kitty pictures. They are about business, and people are there to do business and to connect for business. Yes, the problem that we solve, and the mindset—without getting too far ahead of ourselves here—I’d almost venture to say that 90-some-odd percent of people who are listening to this, if you go back and look at your LinkedIn profile, it reads like a resume. Hugh, that might hit a little close to home. You and I worked on your profile a while ago. Hugh: Yeah, that was a paradigm shift for me. Doug: The first thing to recognize is that unless you are a job hunter, which is a legitimate thing to do on LinkedIn, but unless you are there to hunt for a job, your profile shouldn’t look like a resume. It shouldn’t be a resume. It should be like every other landing page. This has been something I have been doing for 20 years—like every other thing on the Internet. It ought to have benefits. What do I get out of connecting with Hugh Ballou? What’s in it for me? That’s what everybody at the end of the day wants to know: What’s in it for me? So that’s really where we start with all of the people that we deal with and where I will start with our free session tonight. Let’s make sure that your profile is something that invites the right kind of people to connect with you. Telling people that you are the CEO or Executive Director gives them no reason to want to connect with you. If you tell them what you can do for them or what you do for others, now you are starting down the right track. We can talk more specifics with that, but that is the first problem we solve. Trying to get people to use LinkedIn correctly and not as a spot to host their resumes. Hugh: That is a paradigm shifter right there. This has brought out potential conflict in my mind. I have a Hugh Ballou profile on LinkedIn, and I have a SynerVision Leadership Foundation page. Should I have a separate profile for SynerVision? Or is a different page under Hugh Ballou okay? Is that wrong? Doug: I think that’s the right way to do it. I would imagine that a lot of people on this call have connected with Hugh on LinkedIn, and if they haven’t, I invite people to go look at Hugh’s profile on LinkedIn. You will get a good idea of where to start because we spent some time thinking about that and working on it. We have an infographic we will share that gives you that information. It starts with your title. If you scroll through your friends on LinkedIn, you will see titles that say “Managing Partner, Accountant, Business Manager,” all those things. They are resume things. Those things don’t do anything for anyone. Unless they are looking to find an accountant, you better not have Accountant in your profile, even if you are the world’s greatest accountant. Even if you are an accountant and you are trying to make a profile, you probably should do something like, “I save people tax dollars,” or “I help people pay the right amount of taxes.” Give them a benefit. Don’t just give them your resume. Tell them why you are worth connecting to. Why are you worth knowing? Hugh: Yeah. There are people commenting on Facebook about how good this is. Shannon Gronich was here a couple weeks ago talking about her piece on publicity. You are going to be back with us on this on the 25th of July. Doug: I am going to shift hats and put on the PR hat. Hugh: You will be back here with some good folks. You helped me fine-tune the Hugh Ballou piece. So I’m thinking that I haven’t even thought about the piece for my nonprofit. That would apply to that as well, wouldn’t it? Doug: It kind of would. The thing you have to realize is that even if you are General Motors, your company page is not very well viewed on LinkedIn. People are on LinkedIn to find out about other people and not to find out about companies. Your company profile is in my opinion better served through your webpage, so link your profile to your webpage. If you do multiple things, link multiple web pages. The bottom line is still Hugh Ballou is worth knowing because of the benefits you can bring to people, not because you went to MIT. I don’t know where you went to college, I’m sorry. But your resume and where you worked last year is not why they want to know you. They want to know you because of what they can learn from you or what they can get out of you. That is what we focused on. We took a quick run through your profile the other day. That is the way it is. That is what it’s all about. That is what the profile is all about, letting people know the benefits, not the features. People don’t want to know the features. Nobody wants to know where you went to school, what your job title was at your last four jobs. Those are features. They are important to you and probably important to your wife, so I am not trying to take those things away from anyone. But me, Doug Brown, if I want to connect with you, I want to know what I get out of it. What do I get out of it? What are the benefits, not the features? Where you went to school, your last three job titles does not really interest me in connecting with you. Hugh: We had David Corbin on brand slaughter last month and David Dunworth before that. Both of them talked about how we as leaders present the brand. If I am the executive director, or if I am the founder, like I am of SynerVision Leadership Foundation, I represent that brand because we are the nurturer organization for other charities. We help people build their skills, strategy, team, and income. I find that there is so many people. I am coming to Salt Lake City. But Russ has ben a presenter in Florida and in Denver at these one-day leadership empowerment events that I do. I find that leaders are overwhelmed. They have too much on their plate. They want to connect with other people, but they have trouble getting to events. The system you have developed is really brilliant because it helps people form relationships with people who have a similar passion or similar interest, or there is a chance to collaborate and bring people together in a reasonable conversation. You pointed out that Facebook is the social stuff, the kitty pictures, the family shots, and all of that. Twitter, which I like a lot, I have 200,000 people on Twitter, and I have made some significant connections on Twitter, but it is a distinctively different niche. LinkedIn, I have not mastered. If I am hearing you right, it stands out because it’s where business people do business. Doug: That’s exactly right. Everything has its own spot. I have over a million followers on Twitter, but I use it really just to broadcast Newswire news. That is not the same as making connections with people. I put out news, legit news, through my Twitter feed. I don’t use Facebook at all. That is not to say there is not a spot for Facebook for lots of things, but there is not a spot for Facebook in what I think that I do. That is okay. I understand Facebook is well over a billion nowadays, so that would say that a lot of the people who are on LinkedIn are also on Facebook. I’m not trying to draw that kind of distinction and say there is no way to make meaningful relationships there. Obviously there is. But the distinction with LinkedIn is that people are there for business. If you start posting kitty pictures on LinkedIn, you will never hear the end of it. It’s not what it’s there for. It’s there about business. It’s there about being better at business, being a better business leader, finding resources. I could spew amazing statistics all day long, but 72% of business to business purchases right now are preceded by a LinkedIn search. If you are buying a copier, you are going to figure out who that is that you are buying a copier from, or you will find the copier guy. It’s about business to business. I wouldn’t take nonprofit out of that because that is still business to business with a different slant. But the principles are exactly the same. I wouldn’t draw a distinction there. Hugh: We have been preaching that. It’s a business. We have more rigid rules with the IRS. Doug: If you aren’t going to run it like a business, you won’t be around very much longer. Hugh: Amen. As a matter of fact, I had an interview a while ago with somebody up in Michigan, and she had looked at my LinkedIn profile. Glad I fixed it before she looked at it. Doug: Just to bring that home for you, whether you know it or not, 72% of the people who are going to do business with you have looked at your LinkedIn profile. Hugh: 72%. If somebody is going to donate to my charity, they are going to check me out. Doug: No question about it. And you hope they don’t check you out on LinkedIn and find your kitty pictures. You want to be a serious person that has something serious to offer, whatever your niche is. That is not the same as sharing your family fun on Facebook. Again, I’m not here to bash Facebook. There is a spot for it. If people are going to do business with you, 72% of the time they will precede that with looking at your LinkedIn profile, so it better be pretty good. Hugh: A different mindset. Doug: It fills a different purpose. To call them both social networks, while it’s true, is misleading because they are as different as night and day. Russell is agreeing with me there. Hugh: Let’s bring Russell in. He is radically polite, but he has good stuff to say. Russell David Dennis, weigh in. You are very successful on LinkedIn. You write blog posts. What is your experience with LinkedIn? Russell: I made a go at it because it was meant for business. I thought I should get serious with it. I bought some additional services with the profile so I could contact more people. I went north of 3,600 followers. They changed the look and feel, but according to the old look, they said I had what they call an All-Star profile. That is pretty good. But I connect. I have a lot of face-to-face meetings with people. I have even been in touch with people I have talked to lately. I dropped in here because I have a lot of people in here and I wanted to see how many of them fell under nonprofit. Probably about a quarter of them do. I did a company page, but it didn’t seem to have the look and feel I thought it would. It’s not like a typical web page. I managed to use Facebook to create a page and some roots, too. Everything has its place. Twitter drives traffic. The place where the rubber meets the road as far as face-to-face is LinkedIn. Doug: That is my experience. Hugh: Russell takes the edited video and puts it on his LinkedIn page. You have a following with these interviews. Give us a highlight of what that experience has been like. Russell: Typically about 10% of my followers will watch an average post. Most of them are 1st connections, but that is typical. It depends. When we had Thyonne Gordon talk about boards, boards are something that people are very interested in. Those particular posts have had more traction. That was the one instance where a podcast had more people go to it than the video. I am trying to look at putting some of our podcasts out there. I could probably go back and put some shows that we have had before because this content is evergreen. People like the podcast, and they like to download it. They can go see other podcasts. That is a habit I think I am going to get into: putting the podcast up so that people can have access to whit ile they are driving. I listen to audiobooks in the car and learn a lot in my car because I spend a lot more time than I thought about. Doug: It’s a great place. I am an NPR guy, but podcasts and NPR… Hugh: Russ, you publish articles. I want to have some dialogue with Doug. Doug, Russ is a very good writer, and he writes some very relevant stuff. He posts it on LinkedIn. He also posts on the SynerVision blog, and Doug, you are certainly invited to contribute to the magazine, Nonprofit Performance, and our blogroll on our SynerVision leadership site. Russ, you have created some articles. What do you think that does to help you connect with the tribe? Russell: People get a sense of what I’m thinking. More importantly, I get a sense of what sort of things people are concerned about based on the response to those articles. Typically, I have a response rate of anywhere from 3% to the article that I had the largest percentage of my followers drew about 20%. I posted that, and I don’t think I posted that on LinkedIn. It was on another site. I shared it to my LinkedIn, and the question was who is responsible for fundraising? I had quite a few comments on that. I talked about boards there. There is a lot of interest around that. People want to know how to go about finding board members who can really add some juice to what they are doing, whether that is through skills or networks. The thing that LinkedIn has is you can talk about charitable opportunities and what matters to you in the platform and let people know that you are available to sit on boards. It is a good place to shop for board members. If you can take the time to reach out to a few people and see what is on their minds, you can find out what resonates with them. Hugh: I want you to think about a hard question for our guest. I am going to go back to him and weigh in some of the stuff we talked about, and then we will come back and let you give him a zinger question. Doug: I do have a couple things that I’d like to weigh in there. I do think that it is important for you to continue to publish on LinkedIn, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that is how you are creating contact. Your contact base will grow a little bit from those things, but the truth is, and I am probably going to say something that is a little unorthodox here, we like to use LinkedIn for contacting or identifying contacts, and then our goal is to take the conversation outside of LinkedIn. I’ll tell you why that is. Most people, and probably including you guys and most people here, look at LinkedIn somewhat rarely. Maybe that is once a day, once a week, once a month, as opposed to your email. I finally have my telephone set to not giving emails between midnight and 5 am. Other than that, I am basically responding to emails 20+ hours a day. Most businesspeople are like that. One of our goals is to take the contacts we make on LinkedIn outside of it. I just sent you something privately in the chat, Hugh, but I have this six-step process we follow. The steps to making it work is to work on your headline, work on your profile; use LinkedIn to identify your perfect customer; request contact them; do one or two follow-up messages on LinkedIn; and move the contact outside of the site. We found that far more effective. Whether that’s a phone call or an email or a text, however you normally communicate. If I were to ask you, Hugh, how often you message with someone on LinkedIn, the answer will probably be, “Seldom.” What we have found and what we recognize, and those steps I just gave, are we use it to identify, we use it to connect, we use it to start a conversation, but as soon as possible, we get it outside of LinkedIn and back into the way people are used to communicating. Hugh: It does bring it front and center. You have shown me ways to find people in a geographic area or demographic or psychographic. You can sort people. Russ has far more advanced skills than I do. Go back to this how often I check it. Are you on LinkedIn every day? If so, how much? Doug: Are you asking me? Hugh: Outside of the work you do for other people, but personally, how long do you work it every day? Or do you work it every day? Doug: The answer is we do this for our salespeople. It’s a great question to ask me, but I don’t get in there as a consumer but maybe once a week. I think I’m fairly typical. Part of what we do with LinkedIn involves some of our staff all day every day, but that is different. In terms of me checking up on my friends and randomly reading posts and reading what my friends have posted, not a lot. Some, but not a lot. In that respect, I think it’s very different from Facebook. I won’t name names, but I have adult kids that spend way too much of their life in my opinion on Facebook. People don’t do that on LinkedIn. It’s not the time-killer, or as sticky as Facebook. Is that a nice way to put it? We have found by far a lot better success in using it as a tool to identify, to start a conversation, but taking the conversation outside of LinkedIn has been much more successful for us. Hugh: Scott Riches sends his greetings, saying, “Two of my favorites, Doug and Hugh.” Doug: Scott lives across the street from me, and I see him about once a blue moon. Hi, Scott. Hugh: He is on the webinar. Doug: Or come across the street and we will say hi. Hugh: You never know. It’s interesting, Doug. I’ll be speaking to a group, and they will point to me and say, “As you said on your podcast.” You were talking about how we influence people. It’s interesting how we impact other people with our thoughts and our comments and how it either connects to people or it doesn’t. We can have negative impact or positive impact on our social media. Doug: That’s another great point I want to shove home in this conversation. Hugh and I are part of a training/connecting group that I go to every month, and sometimes I go to national things a few times a year. If you are really dogged, you might meet ten people a day. You have to be really at it. The chances of one of those ten people being the right person is whatever the chances are. You can do ten times that in an hour on LinkedIn. Just the odds of connecting with the right kind of people, you can put it in hyperdrive and still take those pre-qualified leads back into how you would connect otherwise and connect outside of LinkedIn. You can use it as a huge filter. You can filter through hundreds of people instead of the people you can run into at a social event. Hugh: Some of the people that I know I referred to you and you started working with say they are amazed at the number of people who want to talk to them. You have done a good job of helping them present themselves in a way people want to talk to them. Those of us doing sales call them leads. But we are always, if we are running a charity- I like the word “charity” because “nonprofit” is such a stupid word even though that is the name of this thing. If we are running a charity/nonprofit, we should focus on profit, but we should focus always on cultivating relationships, maintaining the existing relationships, and continuing to build new relationships. Let me contrast the brand slaughter thing that I mentioned earlier. We can do and say anything we want as leaders, but there is negative impact. If you are in the wrong setting, that is a negative. You can post things that- like somebody we know in Washington tweets things that get in the news. That is not necessarily good for those of us running a charity. What are things we should not do on LinkedIn that have negative impact for us? Doug: Right off the top of my head, and I have seen this happen a couple of times in fact, one of our mutual friends really blew his entire social network apart by taking a political stand. Hugh: Oh yes. He told me he lost half his followers overnight. Doug: That is a good example of what not to do. We can be Jews or Mormons or atheists or Muslims, but that is not relevant to our business situation. We can be Republicans or Democrats. We can be anarchists; we can be anything we want to be. It’s not relevant to your business setting. Keeping those kinds of things as far away from your social- Again, that is very different than what people do in a lot of social networking settings. People have Twitter followings based on a distinct and a niche point of view. Your Facebook friends are probably down with you on some niche point of view. That is not relevant to business. What not to do: Don’t do it. Talk about your benefits in terms of what you can bring to someone in business. Keep your political views, your religious views, your sexist views, your gun views, I don’t care what it is, it’s not relevant to your business. You have to realize that every time you express a view like that, you alienate some huge portion of your potential contacts. If you are a Trump guy and spout Trump, you have now limited yourself to 38% of the people in the United States. If you are a gun guy and spout guns, you eliminate half the people. If you are an anti-gun guy and spout anti-gun stuff, you have eliminated half the people. Hugh: Russ spent some time working of the IRS. There are some pretty strict guidelines, unless they get changed under Trump, mentioning him, that you can’t really take a political position as a 501(c)3 because you can lose your tax exemption. Doug: I’m not really talking about just your- I’m talking more about your posts on LinkedIn and your profile on LinkedIn, just in terms of inviting people to connect with you. You want to be as specific as you can be in terms of your benefits, what you can do for people. You want to be as obtuse as possible about whatever your views are, realizing that whatever your most heartfelt view is will alienate half the people you could potentially connect with if you express that, no matter how dear it is to you. Unless you are selling guns, maybe. I don’t know. I hope the point is understood. Hugh: The point is well understood. Doug: I’m being facetious to some extent, but I think you get it. Hugh: You’re not. It’s a serious topic. We don’t take it seriously. I want to get to some tactical questions about identifying and connecting and messaging, and then I want to talk about this awesome infographic. But I want to see if Russell has come up with a really hard question for you. I want to see you sweat. Russell: People find out that I worked for the IRS, and I’m not nearly as scary as people want me to be. Hugh: He took this Colombo position in asking dumb questions, and I can picture him in that trench coat. Russell: It really worked best on $500 an hour attorneys, but that is another story for offline. In terms of really getting connected with people on LinkedIn and creating a message, when I started, there were people out there that I just didn’t know. I looked for people in certain niches and went out there. That was a little scattershot. I got somebody to help do that. I learned the concepts of going into groups and engaging. Now I found myself in a lot of groups. How would you parse out your engagement on LinkedIn? I have probably 40 different groups. How would you go about dividing that and conquering it? It’s almost too much of a good thing in some ways. It’s hard to be engaged in that many places. How would you go about separating that? Doug: I’m not a fan of groups. Maybe one or two groups if they are really specific to your niche and what you are doing. Let’s for example take the idea that you are trying to find some directors for your nonprofit. A group is not going to help you there at all. Like you said, it creates some noise that maybe you don’t need to deal with. I would unjoin every group that I was in if I were you that wasn’t specific to what you are trying to accomplish today. In terms of your old connections, one of the other things that I am pretty careful about and ask our guys to be pretty careful about is not to mix- One of the things that a lot of people do when they start at LinkedIn is import their address book out of their mail processor or email app. LinkedIn encourages you to do that. That gets you Mom and sisters and nieces and aunts and uncles and neighbors down the street, and all sorts of stuff that is irrelevant. You probably can’t do anything about that if you have done that already, but don’t do it anymore. Russell: I haven’t done that because there are too many that just don’t belong. Doug: The challenge is that for people who have more than one business, that is tough because you mix stuff up. But most of us have one business and one thing we are trying to accomplish. When you get a LinkedIn request from someone, unless it is someone you think you would have sought out, don’t accept it. There is a limit to how many LinkedIn connections you can have; it’s 30,000 right now. That may sound like a lot, but I went past that a long time ago. It’s not a lot. Over the course of a couple of years of using LinkedIn, you can easily suck up that many. Be selective about who you contact. Make sure they are people who fit your criteria. After that, they can follow you. That is when your strategy of posting comes more into play. 30,000 contacts is enough to make a lifetime out of, so use them carefully and wisely. I heard a little saying the other day that I will pass on: Your net worth is now your network. Your net worth is your network. Use it carefully. Don’t just accept people for whatever. There is a code you will see in LinkedIn every now and then: LION. People will put that in their profile. Stay away from those people unless you are barely starting out. LION is a LinkedIn Open Networker. That is not a bad thing. Those are the people that will connect with anybody and the idea they are trying to make a huge network with no selectivity. If people have LION in their profile, you probably want to stay away from them, not that they are bad people. They are not specific. You only have 30,000 of them. Russ, you’re sitting there at 3,500, and Hugh, I remember you are at 5 or 6,000. 30,000 may seem like a long ways away, but it’s not. Use them carefully. Maybe someday LinkedIn will open that back up a little bit more. Hugh: I didn’t realize that. I wondered if there was a cap. Before I go to the tactical questions, let’s talk about the kinds of relationships we want to cultivate. I could say we could create a peer-to-peer group with other nonprofit directors who are having the same problems that would be a support group, maybe a mastermind connection. I could see we could connect with businesspeople geographically that could be candidates for our boards. I could see that we could connect with marketing people in companies to start talking about how it would benefit their brand to be a sponsor for our nonprofit. Do you have any comments on those, or are there other kinds of connections people might want to make?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Doug: You might go directly for people that share your interests, whatever the interest is of your nonprofit. If you are in kitty rescue, out of half a billion people, you can find a lot of people that share your specific interest. If it’s macramé that is your interest, you will find thousands of people who love macramé. If you are doing great work in a niche, then you want to connect with other people who are interested in that niche and see where it goes. Some might be donors, some might be business partners, some might be board members. As long as someone shares your interest, that is a great place to start. It’d be hard to name another place that gives you another way to search for people that shares- Whatever esoteric interest you might have, you can find a list of people on LinkedIn that self-classify as sharing that interest. Hugh: That’s a good segue. We have a quarter of our interview left here. How do we identify those connections, and how do we contact them? How do we use the messaging piece to stay in touch with them? Doug: There are a bunch of questions there. Let’s talk about them one at a time. Let’s go fairly quickly. Let’s put up the infographic and talk about it in the barest details for a minute or two. Hugh: There is a downloadable brilliant infographic. Doug: This thing is about five times as tall as it is wide. You are only seeing a portion of it. This first portion has some important things. Russell, you used to pay for that background image, and now everyone gets that for free. You can put a background picture here in your profile. You need to put a good business picture in your profile. It is just astounding that people are four times as likely to connect with someone who has an image than with someone who doesn’t have an image. Then the headline- that is the most important thing. This one is “I help B2B companies save money through outsourcing solutions.” That is a silly example, but the important things are there. You have identified who you help and how you help them. That is the important part of the headline. That will let people self-qualify as to whether or not they want to connect with you and whether or not you want to connect with them. If people know what you do and what you do it for and want to connect with you, then you are halfway home. They already know what you’re about, and if they want to connect with you after they know what you’re about, then you at least have a start. If you say you’re an accountant, you might get other people who want to connect with you because they want to be part of the brotherhood of accountants, but that is a long way from having someone who wants to do business with your nonprofit. I’m going to leave it at that and let everybody go through the download themselves. On the website, there is a post about doing headlines. I can’t think of anything more important than your headline. There is a place that calls them Snaps. Whatever you call a headline, an elevator pitch, whatever it is, you should be able to communicate what you do, who you do it for, and what they get out of it in a few words. You should put that as a bumper sticker, on your business card, tattoo it on your forehead, whatever. But they might be the most important 10-12 words you ever come up with in your life. For lots of different things, not just your LinkedIn profile. Feel free to download that infographic and play with it, and that website has more pieces that might be helpful to you. Hugh: That is an interesting name. Szeak. How do you say that? Doug: Szeak. Hugh: This will all be in the show notes. Does that mean anything? Doug: Nope. It’s a five-letter domain. Hugh: Give us some tips on how to find people. Doug: There are tools inside of LinkedIn. Russell, I think you were making a reference to this also, but if you are going to get serious about LinkedIn, you need to pay for one of their premium programs, which is called Sales Navigator. They may have changed the name on it now, but it’s a program inside of LinkedIn. It’s $80 a month. You can do most of the same stuff without paying for that, but LinkedIn will throttle you down. LinkedIn will only let you do so many contact requests. I don’t know what the number is. It’s probably a couple hundred a month, whereas if you pay them, they are more than willing to let you do as much as you want within some reason. This isn’t the time, and it’s not graphical enough for me to teach you how to do that right now, but there are lots of good tutorials on LinkedIn about searching. There are actually 24 criteria in Sales Navigator that you can search on. One of them is Ebullient Search, which means you can use plus, minus, words, quote marks, all those things. You can do a lot more than just the 24 things. They are things like geography and job title and number of employees and those kinds of things, which are all great. But you can add Ebullient Search to that. If kitty rescue is your thing, you can find thousands of people who have that in their profile. Again, I’m not trying to be flippant. It doesn’t matter what your niche is. You can use LinkedIn searching to identify other people who have that same interest. Hugh: That is a powerful tool. Doug: It’s unbelievable. Hugh: I got that navigator for a little while, but I couldn’t figure it out, so I stopped it. Now I have to go back and find some tutorials. If I heard you right, there are tutorials on LinkedIn on how to do this? Doug: There are. We occasionally run webinars, too. You can put my email in the chat if you want. It’s doug@szeak.com. Reach out to me and I will let you know the next time we are having a webinar on the hands-on use of the tools there. Just through the search functions in regular LinkedIn, you can start to get a feel for it. There are half a dozen criteria that you get for free. You get an idea of what that search starts to look like. By the way, it’s free for a month. If you are getting semi-serious about it- You do put your credit card in, so you have to remember to cancel or else they will hit ya. But you can get in there and play with it for free and look at what it looks like. The #1 thing is to fix your profile and make sure that you have your profile in a way, starting with your headline, that lets people self-qualify. If kitty rescue is your thing, put it right in there. You get the idea. That works to help people self-qualify. About half the people you send a request to that do connect with you will just say yes, but the other half will look at your profile. That turns your profile into a really important thing. You can get thousands of people looking at your profile. Start thinking about what that would cost you if you were in pay-per-click or that kind of business. Make that profile an engagement piece. Realize that literally about one out of three people that you send an invitation to- first of all, you qualified who you are, so you have a good idea they are the right kind of people. A third of those people are going to look at your profile page, and half of those people will connect with you and half of them won’t. At any rate, you could be paying ten dollars a click in a lot of niches to get people to come to your page, and you can get that for a lot less money, even with the $85 a month to LinkedIn. Headline, profile, then the search thing. Figure it out. One way or another, you can find some help on that. It’s fairly self-evident. Send your requests. Let me talk about that. What we found is that the best contact request is a very generic one. Once you identify a prospect, you send them something that says- I need to back up again. You can only do these contact requests to second-level connections. In other words, I know Hugh and Hugh knows Russell so I can send Russell a contact request. From that point of view, it does make a lot of sense to have thousands of potential people because every time I connect with someone like Hugh who is in the right business, I get access to his hundreds or thousands of clients that hopefully are also in the right business, not just his grandma and his aunt. You can send out those requests to second-level people. The wording for those things is generic. We call them by name. “Hey, Russell. We both know Hugh, or we have some mutual friends. I see we are both interested in kitty rescue. Would you be interested in connecting with me on LinkedIn?” We don’t say that we are selling them something. We don’t say we are looking for a board member. We don’t say we are looking for volunteers. We say we have mutual connections and mutual interests; would you like to connect? You will find that about 40% of the people you send that request to will connect with you. If you can get yourself in the habit of doing 100 of those a week, that is 40 new people. That is a lot of new people that you connect with every week that are now qualified. They are not random people. You searched for them by a criteria. You invited them based on a criteria. Most of them have come and looked at your profile page so they know what you’re about before they connect with you. Right there, you are halfway home. At least halfway home. You have people who know who you are, why you have asked them to connect. You have prequalified them with the search to get them in the right spot. We send that thing. We follow it up with a next message that is very generic that says, “Thanks for connecting with me. Looking forward to staying in touch.” Just that simple so there is an acknowledgement they have connected. You say, “Hey, I would like to know more about what you do. Do you mind if we connect outside of LinkedIn?” You can download your list of people from your contacts. You can download their phone number. You have these people at this point. You have their phone number and their email, where they work, their job title. Whatever your connection funnel is. From that point on, there is a whole different conversation: how to take people from contacts and leads into customers. That is a topic for a different day. This is the start of your sales funnel or contact funnel. With a couple of hours a day or week, you could be adding 40-50 people a week to your top end of your contact list. Now you have to have a way to deal with those people. That is a lot of people. You have to have a way to take them from Point A to Point Z. But in terms of making connections and finding who you should be connecting with, there is nothing like LinkedIn. Hugh: The Meyer Foundation did some research and found that 45% of nonprofit executive directors are facing burnout. 75% are looking at the door out. As you were talking, finding people with common interest, you could find people who are retired and looking for something meaningful to do who could be part of your solution. They could help manage your social media. They could take things off your plate. Putting on your weekly schedule some time to grow your sphere of influence on LinkedIn might be a good way to get your head around how to get out of this dungeon of being burned out and having too much to do. Let them help you. Ask them. Doug: The thing I would caution everybody on on this is not to be too general and jump ship too many times. You need to know what you want and have a way to get it. If you get into LinkedIn and say, “I want to find an executive committee of 14 people who live within 100 miles,” go do that. That will be a different conversation and profile than, “I want to tap into other nonprofits that contribute in my niche.” Don’t try and do everything at the same time. That is just a general focus thing. My wife and I have a running joke. We have grandkids. A few years ago, we watched Up, the cartoon movie. I don’t know if you have ever seen it, but in Up, there is a talking dog. In the middle of the conversation, the dog turns its head and says, “Squirrel!” Hugh: The dog is an entrepreneur, right? Doug: That is a running joke around our house and one that you could take home with you. Don’t get squirreled. Have one thing you want to do. Do it until it’s done. Then move on to the next thing. That is true with everything, including LinkedIn. If I need 20 things and am looking for 20 kinds of people, that is a way to get zero done. If you say that I want this one thing and want to go find that person, and then once I find that person, I will move on, that will work. But if halfway through, you go, Squirrel! Don’t do that. Don’t get squirreled. Hugh: Stay focused. That is good general advice. As far as what you are saying here, that is prudent. One of the reasons we may be burned out is we are doing the squirrel thing too much. Doug Brown, owner and manager of Newswire, which is a brilliant PR platform to get your releases out there, and this whole track with LinkedIn, you have given us amazingly useful information. Doug, if you do a webinar, let me send it to the group of people here. Doug: I’d be happy to do that. Thanks for the chance to talk. Everybody loves the sound of their own voice, so thank you. Hugh: I’m going to make you listen to it. Doug: I don’t love it that much. Hugh: Thank you so much. Russell: I just had someone ask me about broadcasts I’m in. I do this. I do Nonprofit Culture Success broadcasts, which are going to become more frequent. They asked me if I listen to my own podcast. I said, “No,” and they said that I should probably start. Watch what you’re doing. Doug: See how to make it better right. Hugh: Last time somebody told me, “Hugh, you ought to be on television.” I said, “Really? Why?” “So then we could turn you off.” Thanks for this broadcast, Doug. Thanks, Russ, for co-hosting with me. Doug: Thanks for having me guys.

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  • Cheryl Snapp Conner On How Great Content Attracts Funding

    · 00:39:38 · The Nonprofit Exchange: Leadership Tools & Strategies

    Cheryl Snapp Conner http://contentuniversity.com   Here's the Transcript    Hugh Ballou: Greetings. The Nonprofit Exchange live today, it’s Hugh and Russell. Russell, how are you doing today? Russell Dennis: It’s another beautiful day in the neighborhood. Hugh: Russell is in Denver, and I just moved to Lynchburg, Virginia. New place for me. Getting settled here. Cheryl Snapp Conner, who has Snapp Conner PR, she has been on the podcast before talking about how important it is to let people know about your organization. That is PR, publicity. Today, Cheryl is going to talk about her other venture, which is so essential to the work we do. It’s Content University. Cheryl, welcome to the podcast. Cheryl Snapp Conner: Thank you. Thanks for having me. Hugh: It’s always so great when you’re here. We met in 2013. Cheryl: December of 2013. Hugh: Oh my goodness. Cheryl: Yeah, it’s been a little while. Hugh: You spent an hour with me, and then you wrote this article for Forbes that just nailed what I do. You have the ability to listen and put things in the context of this written document that explains it. I love reading your stuff. It’s so well done. Thank you for spending time with us today. Cheryl: Thank you. Glad to be here. Hugh: Let’s talk a little bit. Tell people a little bit about Cheryl. I hate reading bios of people. I’d like you to say, This is who I am, and here is my superpower. I know a little bit about your superpower, but let’s also talk about why you created Content University. Cheryl: I live to communicate, and that’s a good thing to live for because it’s, in my opinion, everything. All of our business is- Everything we do, without solid communications, it couldn’t exist. It’s the currency that makes everything go. From the very beginning of my PR career, which I happened into and I think I’ve done pretty well, from the start, my instincts told me that we needed not so much hype and promotion, but better education and value add. The research is backing this up. In fact, I am very excited about some research that just emerged out of New York that proves, at least in consumer sales, if you publish an educational article about a topic, customers are 131%— that is a true number—more inclined to buy after they read the article. They trust you more, they have a more positive brand association, and you would think that they would forget that pretty quickly. Not so. A week later, the scores are even higher. That really nails it, that people get worried about giving away the farm by sharing value added information with people who aren’t customers. Just the opposite is true. That is why Content University- Everybody needs to communicate and educate on the things they are experts about. That is where we can help. Hugh: It is such a fundamental skill. I am on this podcast with two people. You may not know that Russell is a very good writer. I just write because I have a message, and then I have an editor who helps fix it for me and makes it look better. But you guys are very skilled in putting words together that are very meaningful. In 31 years of working with charities, I work with some charity every week somewhere in the country, helping build out their system, their strategy, building their teams and boards. I find that communication, in 31 years, has never failed to come up as a problem or an issue. I found that they don’t really- They talk about it, but they don’t do anything about it. Here, this is on a platter. Here is something concrete that you can do. Content University sounds sort of academic. Talk about that phase of it. How difficult is it to learn how to write better? Cheryl: Not difficult at all. Interesting you mention the academic because it is an academic who helped develop the curriculum with me. Tom Post, 17 years at Forbes, also has background at Fortune, Newsweek, Success Magazine, ABC World News Tonight. He is the editor at Forbes who I have been writing for for four years. When that company, Forbes, took in its majority investment and moved headquarters, he jumped into the entrepreneurial arena. We are very fortunate. He joined us, and he was the co-developer of this curriculum. He also has a Ph.D from Berkeley and taught English Literature at Berkeley. When I asked him about the thing that he loves most about what he has done as an award-winning traditional journalist, he said, “It’s working with the entrepreneurs, with the writers, with the people who contribute, teaching them how to do what they do better,” which is just a joy. We see so many people who are not aware of what constitutes the value added information they have, and even when they figure it out, they are not sure what to do with it. All of that is something that really gets us up in the morning. Russell, you can even hold it up. We developed a video book of our curriculum. All of that is there for anyone who participates. But we have also got Content University up, and to your point Hugh, as an email course. That is just for people’s convenience. Your email inbox can deliver you a short lesson that you can listen to, watch at your convenience. We want to make it as easy as possible to do something because it’s not that hard, and we see people getting great returns for publishing, even a little bit. So that is just something to bar in mind. Hugh: What kind of results- Speak a little more about that. I like to hear stories. Tell us a couple of stories. What have people done with this? Cheryl: Actually people have published on things as simple as LinkedIn. When LinkedIn opened its publishing platform, it’s not as easy to get instant results as it was at the start because a lot of people jumped in and did a good job, or even if they did a mediocre job, this is something new that company executives have published something and in 30 days garnered three partnerships. If you could imagine what that would do, there are some companies who are publishing just on LinkedIn and are measuring it by metrics the same as they use for their direct marketing campaigns, for their email campaigns and outreach, 5,000 contacts, what happens, how many touch points. It’s really interesting that when somebody engages with you on LinkedIn, they want to have a real conversation. They are halfway down the buying process, whereas if they saw you published on Forbes, which has its own purpose, that is a credibility marker, you certainly can’t self-promote while you’re up there. Although on something like LinkedIn, you could leave a call to action and say, “I’ve got this book, this thing you can get for free. Here is how to engage further. Here is how to subscribe.” If they go to Forbes, they will feel self-conscious. They have to register on the platform, and the comment will be something like, “Nice job. Thank you.” If they go to you on LinkedIn, they are in a dialogue. They are ready to rock ’n’ roll. That is an interesting perspective. One more anecdote that I love. A company here in Salt Lake City that went public, the new local communications came in, and realized to both her delight and her chagrin that the sales VPs had been going rogue. They had been publishing on LinkedIn because it works, because they were closing sales from it. Thinking about that, just the policy, the SEC rules that they now had to meet, and the use of these guys’ time that they don’t want to have to reinvent every wheel and the aspect of having them be consistent when they are going out, she had to quickly backpedal and wrap her arms around this situation because they were just going. They are salespeople, and they knew what works. They were just going to do it. I love that. If you are a salesperson and are motivated and know what is going to make your revenue work, that is exactly what you need to consider. Give them some help. Get a little bit of training on what can I do, what can I not do, what will have the SEC at my door. A little bit of those things. Everybody’s got some expertise others want to know about, but just learning what to do with it can make a world of difference. Hugh: I want to clarify a couple things. You had a couple things you inserted there I want to highlight. SEC is one of them. I’d like to point out to our listeners. We promoted that we’d have some other panelists today. Corey Dyer could not make it; they had a conflict. So we will do another session on driving traffic, which is really good. You stepped up so we can focus on the content piece, which in my experience is a big need. You spoke about writing within guidelines, people that are in business raising money. There is a real strict guideline the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC, will hold you accountable for. On the nonprofit side, we don’t deal with that because we are not selling equity, but we are raising money for donations. There is this thing called the IRS, and there are strict guidelines. We really can’t do in our promotions a call to action. We can say, “For more information.” On NPR or PBS, if you like Viking Cruises, for more information, go to Viking Cruises. They’ve been very good at talking about the benefit of what they have. We think the word nonprofit, and we dumb down. We don’t think we can make profit when really how are we going to pay the bills, how are we going to do our work, how are we going to pay salaries if we don’t have a profit? We are attracting the funding because we have defined the value we bring to the world. Part of what I’m helping people realize is there is a shift in paradigm, which means we’ve got to be very skilled at defining the value proposition. There are four million 501 somethings or tax-exempt organizations, whether they are educational or religious or associations or community or foundations or whatever. There are a whole lot of organizations, and many of them are operating below the profit line, and they can’t really fully access the money to execute their mission completely. Cheryl, I think a big part of it is they haven’t focused on creating content that connects with people. Cheryl: Right. Hugh: What do you think? Cheryl: I so agree that there are aspects of what all of them do that people are fascinated by, especially where it has a bigger agenda and mission. If people know that and know what they can do, but in an appropriate way, like you say, “You need to know in your sector the boundaries you need to commit to and meet. Make certain you do that.” There are interesting things like case studies what happens with the programs, when they are executed, what difference they make, what people should know about how to participate most efficiently and most effectively, what are the best things they can do if they could just do a little bit, where they would begin. A lot of those things are interesting. What kind of difference? For example, there is one here locally, a company called Even Stevens. You may have heard of them. For each sandwich somebody orders at this fast casual restaurant, a sandwich of equal value is provided for the hungry. This individual, he completely rewrote the rules because you think, Well, casual dining, they bring on such a small margin that’s not even possible. They had to completely rethink and redo the paradigm, but they were able to make it work. That small contribution has been able to fund the local YMCA with all of its food needs. That means that the YMCA’s other contributions can go to other purposes. They don’t have to go to food because that urgent priority has ben covered just through this restaurant. If people know that, that would make a big difference. Maybe they don’t need to contribute anything; maybe they just need to patronize that restaurant or think about what they could do in their own business model to equate to those principles. That is fascinating to anyone. That is not a sales pitch or a “Please donate.” It doesn’t violate any rules to share that kind of information. Hugh: Absolutely. Cheryl, there are so many organizations that do such good work and they don’t tell anybody. Cheryl: But there are ways to tell that aren’t bragging that just let people celebrate with them and let them know how they can learn and get involved. Hugh: There is a real synergy in Content U and what I do and strategic planning and that solution map. Russell is a WayFinder in SynerVision. I am going to give him some airtime in just a second so he can ask you some really hard questions. He likes to come up with hard questions for our guests. We constantly experience this thing of the executive or the pastor or the rabbi who says, “I don’t have time,” or “I’m not really a writer.” What is your advice to people like that? Should they appoint or recruit somebody that manages communications, or should they try to learn themselves? Cheryl: Well, potentially either or both. We are finding so many people have a message but they are embarrassed, or they think they can’t do it. But there is a hidden bucket list wish to try. So there are ways that they could test their hand, become more effective so they don’t have to be embarrassed. They may still decide at the end of that that it’s not the best use of their own time, but for having taken the training, they would become far better resources or collaborators with whomever they choose to fulfill that function. Now they are speaking from the same page. They have the same agenda. Things will go far better after they have been trained, even if they choose to have someone else partner with them after that training occurs. Hugh: I am going to ask you in a minute to walk through the experience. Russell, what have you got to ask our guest? Russell: Thank you for being here. I’ve got this course myself, and I started using it. I think I picked it up right when you launched it and started using it. I got a little bit more clarity to my writing. It’s been very helpful. Cheryl: Yay! Russell: There are some things. I was sitting here just thinking of some things that make up good content for our audience. By the way, I know that Hugh mentioned how modest a lot of nonprofits are. You get people that are social workers that think, I don’t want to be bragging. It’s celebrating, not bragging. You look at talking about all the good things you do in terms of celebrating and not bragging, and you’ll be there. But tell the audience a little bit about some of the things that make up good content. Cheryl: In a nutshell, and I think it’s the same thing I would tell somebody if they were going to publish in Harvard Business Review: Tell me something I didn’t know and wouldn’t have guessed, and then prove it. That might have been anecdotes for people who were in your program, and how did they get there? What happened when they got there? What are they doing now as a result? How could I do something similar or get involved? That would meet all of those criteria. And it’s not bragging at all. But you might give a summary statement that says, “Here’s where we are. We have this aggressive agenda to do this much for this many people. Here is where we are on that scale so far. If you’d like to join in, here are the ways you could.” It’s not an overt pitch; it’s not a sale. Anything that you know that others, it might be as simple as you’re a plumber, and you tell somebody how to unstop their own drain, and there are plumbers who back up and say, “I will never get any business if I tell people how to unplug their own drain,” but the reverse is true. You can tell people the things you hope they do. For example, my plumber says, “Please tell me you didn’t pour liquid plumber down that drain. That is the worst thing you could have done.” Just giving people that much education and saying, “Did you know the thing you would have thought is the obvious solution is corroding your drain and making things worse? So don’t do it.” Think about the things people would love to know that would surprise them that they can do something about, and you become the trusted source that people will turn to from then on. Or they will turn back because they know they can get something they consider interesting or of value. Hugh: So who needs Content University? By the way, it’s contentuniversity.com, right? Cheryl: Yes, it is. I’d say fairly well everyone, but the need is going to be at different levels. If you own a business, you need it. If you lead an organization, you need it. If you need a following so you have a tribe, an audience, people that when the day comes you publish something really important and tag it, they will have familiarity with you and know who you are and be inclined to act where that urgent opportunity comes. On that level, everyone does, but they will be utilizing it on different kinds of agendas and levels. If you are in an organization, it’s easy to say everyone in your organization needs it, but in that kind of situation, you should adopt some of the principles of employee advocacy, which means the people who would really like to participate for a number of reasons, because it helps them advance in their career, it helps the company advance, it helps them sell more, they get invited and get given a specific training that includes some boundaries and guidelines or some efficiency of scale they can use. In essence, it’s everybody, but that is a qualified everybody. Different needs for where you are and the purpose of your organization. Hugh: Places that people need really good content, you talked about LinkedIn, brochures, annual reports, presentations. We make donor presentations. We make presentations for new board members. What are some places that people need to rethink having really good content? Cheryl: The magazines that speak to your niche interest or your associations. Every association is desperate for worthy material. You could provide that. If you do it with their permission and appropriate linkage, you could share it elsewhere as well. Just make sure you are following their rules. Blogs. It’s surprising. The whole thing about educational material, I read and actually wrote in Forbes about a case study on Chargrill. I have not really thought about it. But the whole outside grill industry took a big hit in the recession, understandably so. New grills were the things people put on the last burner, so to speak, of their buying agenda. That company was one who very astutely realized if people tend to buy a grill every four to eight years, we don’t dare wait until that four to eight years has come up to reach out to them. We need to be their resource in between and all of the time, so they started publishing tips, recipes, things to make your outdoor grilling come out better, and even just putting that on their company blogsm, or if they email out making it that material, not screaming sales headlines, huge, huge, huge change for the better. For them, they gained 2% marketing share of a market that is stagnant in a terrible sector. Hugh: There is a lesson here for nonprofits. Every community, I have worked all over the country as you may know, every community, the nonprofits say, “Everybody is raising money from the same donors,” so we want to get a bigger piece of the pie. Instead of looking at making a bigger pie and being more compelling in the message and looking at new relationships, they are dumbing down. That is part of the scarcity thinking that starts with thinking nonprofit and we can’t do things. Really we can do things. To me, there is a direct correlation in being able to have a compelling message and attracting people who want to support you, either by serving or giving their time, talent, and money because their money is going to provide really good results. We don’t talk about why it’s important and we don’t talk about the impact, which is the piece you were just talking about. The company that prints Nonprofit Performance Magazine is really a mailing house. To your point, they work with charities doing regular mailing. Here is a good place of convergence of leadership and strategy and Content U. They need to create a message that is regular so it’s the rhythm of the message; you don’t just send them a message at the end of the year and say, “Hey, donate again.” What have you been doing with my money? So we talk to them about the impact of the work before we ask them for money. It’s about rhythm, the right person, and the right message. It’s 30% each of those, and only 10% the design work. Actually, if we have a fancy design in the nonprofit world, it works against you because people think you are being frivolous with your money. Does that whole scenario make sense to you? Cheryl: Yes, absolutely. It does. In fact, here is an example of something that might rock the universe of your audience’s world. If the ways people can participate with you influence their outcomes of the marketing budget, that is an entirely budget than their giveback budget. Think that through. That is a way. Every company pretty much knows they need to be doing some giveback in some way; it’s just part of what their employees and customers expect. If there are ways for people to participate out of their marketing budget, for example, if they could sponsor you in a way that they get visibility for the likes and shares and sharing of message, they are compelling more people than the people who are able to contribute some money, like buying the Even Stevens sandwich, and they get a marketing benefit, so there is another budget they can tap. Pretty interesting, huh? Hugh: It is. That is in the realm of sponsorship. That is a whole area that people don’t tap enough. What you are pointing out is there is a win-win. If you have a good brand doing good work, then why wouldn’t a company want to be associated with your brand? Cheryl: Right! It’s their marketing benefit. If you can demonstrate that for them, that is a bigger pie. Nobody has touched that very effectively yet. Hugh: No. It’s a great area to tap. It’s a win-win. Russell, you went through the program. What was your experience like? Russell: I was surprised that just going through it, you don’t just sit through lectures. You actually go over some concepts, and then you actually get your typewriter or notebook or pen or whatever you prefer and you start breaking pieces down. It shows you step by step by step how to create a compelling piece of content. It’s practical, hands-on. There are a lot of stop-starts, so I had to keep charging my impact card. It builds. The knowledge is foundational. One step builds on the other. There is really practical. You don’t need university degrees to do this. It’s step by step, and it shows you how to make your content more actionable. It’s very practical. It’s something that would be good for every nonprofit secret weapon. Your servant leaders or volunteers, as they are more widely known, are your secret weapon. When you provide a development opportunity for them, and just showing them, this is a method that is easy to access, understand, and use, those are three things for anything. Content University meets all three of those with flying colors and gives you a method. Once you learn that method, it’s about practicing and continuing to use it. It’s pretty powerful stuff. I would recommend it highly. I thought it was sold for a lot less than it’s actually worth. But it’s valuable. That is a word that nonprofits don’t use. The word value. That is what you are providing. It’s like giving up your enterprise to start it; you are out there providing value. Everybody defines that differently, but with a course like Content University, you will be able to speak to your donors, your servant leaders, the people that are supporting your programs, in a way that resonates with them. Language is everything. Not just any language, but the right language that gets your message out and doing it in a way that draws people to you. Hugh: Cheryl, what do you think of that? Cheryl: I’m so glad I know you, Russell, and I’m glad we get to collaborate and work on projects together. If I haven’t mentioned that lately, I should, so thank you. Russell: The thing about this, when you sign up for this course, and I have the impact card, it’s something you can take with you as you are traveling. I keep this right by my desk. It’s a good handy reference. It’s indexed. I can pop it right in there and go through things. Everything is a refresher. I have so many books around here and other reference materials I can hardly move. I don’t think people need more information; they need people like us that can help them make sense of it. I keep this right by my desk when I am looking at putting something together. It is a great handy reference; it’s something you can go back to again and again and again. It’s a valuable tool because a lot of people that want to work with nonprofits, you may not have a big box for budget, but you can recognize people and you can get access to different types of training because a lot of people volunteer. They look at the development opportunities. It is important to ask people what they want. This is something they can improve their communication skills. Everybody can always improve at communications, so I think it’s a pretty cool tool. I like my tech. I have gadgets here. I don’t really have that great of a memory, but what I tell people when they make funny remarks about my memory, is I lean forward and say that this is a processor, not a storage unit. Cheryl: Exactly. It might be fun to note that we have imported all of that material online. When people sign up for the course through email, one of those video segments is coming with each week’s lesson. I give the entry information that gives people the golden nuggets about here is what you are going to do with it each week to generate leads. Here is your goal. Here are some anecdotes about people who have done that and how they have leveraged that. We are also including the audio files, so if somebody just wants to listen and not need to view the video segments, they got that option as well. It’s just there, so if you missed a week, it will be there in the archive next time you enter the program. It’s there and you can listen to it at your convenience. Hugh: Great. Cheryl: Of course, you would need a web connection, and you don’t need a web connection for that device you’re using. Hugh: We live and die by the web, don’t we? People are hanging in there… Cheryl: We do. Hugh: People are hanging in there on the webcast and the Facebook. If you have questions, those of you who are on the webinar, there is a Q&A button. If you move your cursor over the window, there is a Q&A button if you want to ask Cheryl a question. Meanwhile, if you are on Facebook, just post it in the box there. If you are listening to the podcast after the fact, go to thenonprofitexchange.org, and there is a place there that you can find this episode in the transcript for this episode. Kate Lemberg does our transcriptions, and they are done quite well. You know her. Cheryl: She’s great. Hugh: We will have the links for you and all of these great tips. Cheryl, while they are thinking of questions, sometimes we have no questions, which is fine. A couple things. People listen to all of this and say, “Oh my. It sounds like a lot of work.” I want to address that. Talk people through what the experience is like. Russell took it- Russell is very systematic. He does things very much in sequence, so he manages a lot of things. He underrates his skill, but he manages a lot of things and manages them well. Talk about the experience. Then, is it a good idea- We have talked about the executives doing it, but could the executive that is running the organization go through it with some of their colleagues so they could create this whole culture of information? Talk about the experience, and is there a group learning dynamic that would be beneficial? Cheryl: Yes. We have all of those options. The very least expensive is free. Just follow my columns on Forbes. Subscribe to our Snappington Post newsletter. There is an e-book, The Definitive Guidebook to Thought Leadership on snappconner.com that you can just download. That is available. And then I do have a Forbes e-book that is on Amazon. It would set you back all of $3.83. It is Beyond PR: Communicate Like a Champ in the Digital World. Those are the least expensive ways to get this indoctrination and ideas and help. I advise everybody to do at least that. But beyond that, the email course is $199. That’s not bad. You get the 12 sessions and can do it at your convenience. We can do workshops, and that is where you will be live or via Zoom, and we include Tom Post who can answer your specific questions about your publishing needs. Then for companies, and in fact the program in the first place we developed with the needs of our enterprise customers in needs. We can go in and spend a full day with everyone in the company, which is kind of interesting, everyone who has been selected. But it would include the top executives down to the blogwriters. Sometimes even the contract writers are included so that everybody is working from the same hymnal, so to speak, the same guidelines on what the intent to do with the material that is generated. All of those options are available, but you may want to start by following my columns or consider doing the email course because that is a very easy step to take. Here is a fun note from someone else that you and I both know, Hugh. I think Russell, you know Jason Webb as well, IP attorney. He is here in Salt Lake. His office is just several blocks away from ours. He came and did the one-day session with us. The topic he chose, and in those sessions we do develop an article together live, his was how to correctly size your NDA because being an IP attorney, that sounds like a boring field of work. But he gest that question a lot. Do I need an agreement? How big an agreement? Is a handshake enough? Is 16 pages too much? How do I decide? So he wrote this article, and at the end of that day, just for fun, I sent it to our local Utah business magazine, and they loved it. They asked if they could have it and printed it as a full-page article in their legal issue. So they have the listing of all the attorneys in Utah and in Salt Lake. Some of them had paid extra; they had a highlighted feature. Then you turn two pages and there is a full-page story complete with Jason Webb’s smiling handsome mug shot. You just can’t buy that kind of credibility. Who wouldn’t scan that article and want to know what he had to say on that topic? It’s just value beyond what you can accomplish by being in a listing, even by paying for advertising. Anyway, that is another fun story I like to tell as well. Hugh: great. We have quite a variety of people listening in. David Dunworth says, “Really engaging content from Ms. Snapp Conner.” “Thank you for sharing this valuable resource, Hugh.” People are really loving what you are sharing on the gift of the e-book, Snappconner.com. There is an e-book on thought leadership. Your book on Amazon. What is the title of that book? Cheryl: Beyond PR: Communicate Like a Champ in the Digital Age. Hugh: That is a great resource. Everything I have read of yours is very good. Russell, we are winding up here. Do you have another question that you’d like to pose to Cheryl before we wrap up? Russell: Well, I don’t have any more questions. But thanks again for coming in to join us. People need to get their message out there. I will probably be asking you at a later date to appear on the Nonprofit Culture as the experts edition, which is something I do on Wednesdays. We can have a chat about that offline. I will be getting your books. This is really great actionable content. I have put some links up in Facebook for people that want to know more and where to get in and where to subscribe. Again, thank you very much, and I look forward to chatting with you real soon. Cheryl: I will as well. Hugh: We really have folks that we know that provide outstanding content for charities. All they need to do is go take advantage of it. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Cheryl: It is simple. It is not nearly as hard as they think. Hugh: Say that again. Cheryl: It really is simple. It is not as hard as you think. Hugh: Just do it. Put on your Nikes and just do it. As we are doing a wrap-up here, is there something we haven’t covered we ought to talk about? Cheryl: I’ll give you a final tip. This one is free to everybody. Go to Forbes.com, look up my name “Cheryl Conner,” and the current article that is there, it’s featured on the Small Business Channel today, is the one about that research, how to write an educative article that will make people 131% more inclined to buy. It includes that case study about Chargrill and what they did. You will get the details right there. It’s free. Just scan that article, and you will learn something new from today. Hugh: Outstanding. You are in demand from this world-class PR agency that you run from Salt Lake City, Utah. You are creating priceless resources through Content University. Thank you so much for being a guest on the Nonprofit Exchange today. Cheryl: Thank you so much, Hugh. I’m honored.

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  • Strategy for Charities: Dreams, Teams, and Funding Themes

    · 00:58:13 · The Nonprofit Exchange: Leadership Tools & Strategies

    Dreams, Teams, and Funding Themes Danna Olivo Shares Her Secrets of Success Danna Olivo is a Business Growth Sequencing Strategist and CEO of MarketAtomy, LLC. Her passion is working with small first stage entrepreneurs to ensure that they start out on the right foot and stay on the path to financial freedom. Known as the Business Birthing Specialist, Danna understands the intricacies involved in starting and running a successful business. Her efforts extend beyond the initial strategic planning process on into the implementation and monitoring phase. As an intricate component ingrained into her client’s business structure, she works diligently to keep her client’s accountable and on track to fulfilling their success goals. A graduate of the University of Central Florida’s College of Business, Danna holds degrees in both Marketing and Management Information Systems (MIS). She brings more than 35 years of strategic planning experience in business, marketing and business development both nationally and internationally. Danna is not only a professional business growth strategist but has worked as an International Strategist within the country of Brazil, is a public speaker and #1 Best Selling Author on Amazon with “Success From The Heart” and “Journey To The Stage.” Her newest book “MarketAtomy: What To Expect When Expecting A Business” is now available through Amazon on Kindle. You can find out more about Danna Olivo at http://www.marketatomy.com   Here's the Transcript   NPE – Danna Olivo Hugh Ballou: Greetings to the Nonprofit Exchange. We do this live every Tuesday at 2:00 EST. Today, Russ is with me as always. Russ, how are you today? Russell: Greetings. Happy Tuesday, everyone. Hugh: Russ is in Denver, and I’m in Virginia. I’m getting ready to move into a new home. Moving is one of my most favorite things. It’s right below setting myself on fire or teaching middle school. It’s in close competition, but I am moving this week. My life is full of excitement. Russ and I see each other at least once a week and talk in between. Thank you for being a faithful co-host in this series of interviews with thought leaders. We certainly have one that you and I both know. We are talking about some of the themes that we have talked about in the past, but we are on the verge of launching the third pillar of SynerVision Leadership Foundation. We have a pillar that supports clergy and all the religious organizations, like churches and synagogues, and the para-church organizations. And we have a leg that is all these social benefit community charities; we call them nonprofits, but it is the other tax-exempt type of organizations. Now the third leg is for early-stage entrepreneurs. There is a lot of struggle with early-stage nonprofits and businesses around the topic of getting your grounding and getting your funding. Today’s guest is a dear friend of ours, Danna Olivo. Danna, welcome. Danna Olivo: Hi, Hugh. Hi, Russell. Hugh: Danna, you and I have known each other for a number of years. We participate in some activities together. You have actually spent a day at one of my live events. You were not at the one where Russ was a co-presenter, but you were at one where Shannon Gronich was a co-presenter. You’re familiar with the methodology of SynerVision Leadership Foundation. I’m familiar in concept with the brilliant work you do. You came to me a couple weeks ago and said, “Hugh,” and you came with another friend of ours who is a funding expert, “let’s build a system, a program for those people early-stage who are struggling.” We are talking about the future now. This is what’s going to happen under the umbrella of SynerVision Leadership Foundation. Danna, welcome to the Nonprofit Exchange. Danna: Thank you, Hugh. I am real excited about this new program that we’re talking about launching. You know as well as I do that there is a gap out in the marketplace that is just not being met. And we really need to touch on that and help them. We make it so easy for entrepreneurs to start a business here in the U.S, but we don’t make it easy for them to grow a business in the United States. Hugh: They can start a business, but they lack the- We can teach them how to drive a car, but they need to put gas in it so it runs. That is the world of funding. Before we dig in, we are going to keep people in suspense for a minute. Before we dig into the topics for today, give our listeners some background about you. What’s your superwoman power? What’s brought you here? You could probably talk the whole podcast about your experiences. But capsule what’s brought you here and your primary passion for what we’re doing together. Danna: My company’s name is MarketAtomy; it’s marketing anatomy. I have had so many clients that were coming to me that were new entrepreneurs, and they had a good product or service they had started their business on. But what happened was they got into business and there were no customers coming through the door. They couldn’t figure out how to bring those customers through the door. In an effort to teach them the infrastructure that needed to be in place around that product or service is where MarketAtomy was born. The way I do that is by explaining to them graphically through the human body that the heart of your business is your why. Why are your customers going to come to you? Why are your patrons going to visit you over the competition? The brain is your how. That is your structure. That is your systems, the methodologies, everything that runs the business. But in the human body, can the heart operate without the brain? And vice versa? No. You need both the heart and the brain in order to grow your business and bring those customers through the door by pushing your message out through the veins of the body to your market, which is the human body. It’s a real simple concept. My vision for MarketAtomy is to teach this to every single entrepreneur out there wanting to start their business. Ultimately, make a dent in the number of failed businesses out there in the world. Hugh: I want to highlight what you’re saying and move it into the nonprofit sector. We teach nonprofits (we’re using the word because people understand it), we teach tax-exempt charities how to install business principles in their organization because it’s truly a tax-exempt business. We have more rules from the IRS for how we manage money. Basically, we have to create profit to fund the work that we’re doing. We need to attract those customers or stakeholders or donors or volunteers. There is not a whole lot of difference in how we attract those. How about you? Danna: No. there isn’t. For the most part, you hear about nonprofits always trying to raise funds, and they are going to the for-profit corporations to help them through donations and things like that. What about the for-profit side? Is there a way, or there is a way, where they can rely on nonprofits that are going to help them build credibility in their company? Reach out and expand their market. There is a synergy there between the nonprofits and the for-profits by partnering, and that’s what we call cause marketing. Hugh: Yeah, absolutely. I am going to use the words “business” and “charity” because it’s simpler for my brain not to have so many “p” words in there. Danna: Business and charity works good with me. Hugh: I want to cut through the chatter and get down to the brass tack. You’ve done a brilliant thing like we’ve done a brilliant thing. We have put synergy and vision together and got SynerVision, which is the synergy of the common vision. You put market anatomy together, and that comes up with a new concept. Plus you can go get a URL nobody has. Danna: That’s true. Got it. Done it. Hugh: I want to set the context for what we’re going to talk about later. I want to delve into some of your expertise. People tell us they learn important things they can utilize day to day in their charities. Our primary listening audience are those people who are executive directors or clergy, and they are trying to make their way through all this stuff they don’t understand. We want them to understand some business principles. People tell us if there is some very useful information. We have tens of thousands of people who view these videos and listen to the podcast. Knowing you, you will give us some nuggets for the interview. We are launching a program underneath SynerVision Leadership Foundation for early-stage entrepreneurs, whether they are running a business or a charity, to get that strategy and to have access to early-stage funding, which is a trap for a lot of people. They get stuck right there. We will talk about that later on in the interview. As we start this, I have SynerVision International, which is a business. I work with business leaders. I have SynerVision Leadership Foundation, which is a 501(c)3 charity. There has to be a clear line as far as how the cash flows from one to the other; there are strict rules. There is tax rules for everybody, but there is more strict rules with a charity. Russ knows about this. He has had years with the IRS. We attempt to stay out of prison and not get in trouble and pay penalties because we try to uphold those rules. They are there for a really good reason. We can attract funding that is philanthropic funding, but there are eight streams of revenue there. There are a lot of ways we can attract funding. You work with people in a business and a charity. Sometimes you have people that have both like me. You started talking a little bit about the two of those working together. What else would you like to share about how somebody could have an entity, two totally separate entities, two checking accounts, two different leaderships—you have to have a board with a charity. Just because you founded it doesn’t mean you get to say anything. You have to have real clear principles because the board is in charge of governance and the funding piece, the disbursement, the financial accountability. If people have both, you advocate to people to have both. If so, how do you manage that? Danna: First of all, yes, whether you are a business or a charity, I think you should have a board of directors. On the business side, it could be an advisory board, depending on where you’re going. Yes, you need somebody that is holding you accountable to what your culture is, what your vision is, what your mission is. It’s the same thing on the charity side. If you have a nonprofit and a business, I would say it would be beneficial to have two different boards because there is two different mindsets going there. Hugh: Let’s let the expert weigh in. Russ, we’re getting in your territory here. Do you want to weigh in here? Russell: Good to see everyone. Having separate accountability structures is pretty critical because in essence you have different things that you’re doing. One of the terms by the way that I have seen is lack of social profit entities. That might be better terminology to talk about what you’re doing. Structurally, you need to keep things separate because if you get into a situation where your profit-making business has unrelated activity going on and the nonprofit is conceived as bringing in revenue from activity that is not related to its primary cause, you could create a taxable income situation. You don’t want to do that. You definitely don’t want to- The whole purpose of having a nonprofit is not paying tax. That is a big part of it. Danna: I think the other thing to keep in mind- The most critical thing to think about is whether you have both a nonprofit and a for-profit arm, there are two separate businesses. You have to operate them as two separate businesses. They have their own licenses. Everything is operated separately. For that reason, I would say, you do need two boards. Hugh: We talk about an arm and an arm, but really they are two distinctly different entities. What Russ was referring to is IRS has this thing called unrelated business income. If you are bringing in lots of money and it’s not related to your mission, then that is really taxable income, no matter if it’s a business or a charity. You could argue that I would rather pay tax on more money, but you want to keep your accounting really clean and keep really good records. There is some synergies between the two. There is lots of examples in the marketplace where people do business work here, but then they give away or have a greatly reduced price for those charities. For instance, Russ and I work with organizations through SynerVision Leadership Foundation either for free through opportunities or at a drastically reduced cost because that is the philanthropic calling for SynerVision. We offer people who can’t afford it goods and services, and that is why we are tax-exempt. On the business side, I work with business leaders who jolly well have the income and should be paying for it. They get value for that. Let’s talk about some of your background. What would you say are your areas of expertise? You have used the word “strategist” and “business plan.” We use business plans. Danna: I call it the life of hard knocks. Believe me. I’ve got my degrees, I’ve got this, I’ve got that, but I’m sorry. It’s life. It’s life experience that has taught me a great deal of what I know. It comes out in the way that I talk and the way that I teach. I don’t teach at a level of a professor or anything like that. I am right there at the level of the entrepreneur, and I think that’s what benefits me. I’ve had two failed businesses. I’ll be up front. This is my third business, and it’s a success. I’m glad. But we are still growing it. Through those two failed businesses, I learned very early on what I was missing, which is what I’m bringing to the table now. I did not have that business experience. Even though I was a marketer, I did not have that strategic experience on how to develop a strategy to take a product to market, to take a business to market. I did not have those. I just jumped right in, which is what a lot of business owners do. They have a good product or service. They jump into business, and before they know it, they have robbed themselves of their 401k, they have mortgaged their homes to the hilt, they have exhausted their savings, and now they are continuously putting money into a sinking ship, so to say, only because they don’t have that knowledge base. They don’t have the skills. Short of going back to school, which is what I did for four years and got my degrees, short of going back to school, they really have no other options. They have linda.com. They have other e-learning academies out there, but if you don’t know where to start, if you don’t know what questions to be asking, they’re not going to help you. I am introducing the MarketAtomy e-learning environment at the end of this year, and it will have the actual structure just like going back to school. If you want to learn about doing a market analysis, you have to know who your customer is, who your competitors are in order to do it. They will have to go and make sure they understand that. That is what we are trying to do. Hugh: That is what we are going to do. Danna: Yes, exactly. Oh yes. We are, Hugh. Okay. I am so glad I have you in my corner now. Hugh: You got me cornered, didn’t you say. You could say that same thing about people starting charities. I have met people that have exhausted all their money. I have one yesterday that put a lot of money into the charity because they believe in it. I put money into my charity. Danna: I’ve done it. Hugh: It’s going the wrong way, and I’m not taking money out. I don’t take a salary form SynerVision. It’s a concept that I’ve rallied a lot of people around. We are moving into phase two of development, which is 2018 is going to be a substantial year for the work we are doing. What you don’t yet know is that the gentleman on the other end of this call, the other host, has some good programs that will be valuable to you as well around funding. He is an expert in a number of areas. He is more than a pretty-looking guy; he is smart. Danna: That’s great. I’m telling you, I need all the help. I will be the first one to tell you I have big, big visions, just like you, Hugh. But I can’t implement them, and I need those people in my corner, which is why I reached out to you and Money Miners. It’s why I reach out and surround myself with those experts to make my vision a reality. Hugh: Russ, did you capture that? Number one thing in leadership is to delegate, to bring people on your team. What do you think of that? Russell: I think that’s the way to go. At least, that’s what we have been telling people. We drink our own Kool-Aid. If we’re not drinking the Kool-Aid, then we are not going to get anybody else to do it. Danna: My brain is too small to absorb everything, I’m sorry. Hugh: My vision to you is that you have a big brain and a big heart and lots of really good content. You have great passion for what you do. What we preach in SynerVision, and you just did it, too, is we can do more if we run together. Down in your neck of the woods there was a NASCAR race in Daytona. When they draft, they go faster, and they use less fuel. Both cars. Three cars. It’s like a train. You can be much more efficient. We are creating our own draft here. You didn’t know I was a redneck and a race fan. Danna: My daughter is a big redneck race fan. I hear it all. Hugh: That’s me. We’re creating this vortex of energy. Focusing on the road ahead. Talk about some of your programs that you already have that you offer people and how you are going to repurpose those for business and for charities. Danna: I mentioned the e-learning academy that we are developing. We are beta-launching at the end of December. That will fill that self-help avenue that needs to be filled. Then there is still do-it-with-you services because we are a firm believer that you do it with your business owners than for. They need to understand. There are two areas that I have found with the services that I offer where my clients struggle the most. One is clarity. Vision clarity, market clarity, all of that. I have introduced a five-stage clarification process. It’s mind-mapping. I will actually take them and clarify all of the components and find those gaps that they are missing. The other area of focus that I have found is even more prevalent is the financing side and funding side. Hugh, you and I know from going to CEO Space there are a lot of business owners that go in thinking that they can just pull together their business plans and just go and present before investors. But what they don’t realize is the amount of work that has to go into these packages. Not only that, but they also need to be answering the questions these investors ask. They are not putting themselves in the minds of the investors. That is the other side that we are helping them with by first educating them on the front end and getting their companies credit-worthy so that they can go for these larger dollars on the back end to help them grow. Hugh: That’s really critical. You get your own house in shape. Russ, what are you hearing over there? What’s brewing in your mind? Russell: What’s brewing in my mind is getting that message out there of what value you are bringing, the problem you solve. You got to do it in the language of people who are writing the checks. It’s language. If you don’t have the right language or you are talking to the wrong people, this is a component that has been challenging over the years for me. I have found myself a lot of times talking to the wrong people. You really have to have tools in place to measure what you’re doing. What people measure, and this is what makes social profit so maddening, because you do have dollars and cents, but there are other things that are important to people. It’s finding out and having systems to go find out what’s important to people so that you can deliver that. It’s really asking questions and tapping into their own genius. A lot of these have genius under their own roof that they’re not leveraging. That’s another story with over- and under-functioning leaders. That’s another path that we’re not going to go down today. Danna: You’re absolutely right. I know I’m preaching to the choir here. I spent six years in Albuquerque, and I was working in the children’s department of Hoffmantown, one of the largest churches in the United States. Charles Lowry was the pastor there. Pastor Charles had a business side to the business as well, where he had a men’s group, and he would travel the country and teach men entrepreneurs the concept of business in the Christian sense of the word. Where I came out of this is understanding that even in a church environment, it’s a business. It needs to be run like a business. I got that from Hoffmantown. You have all of these smaller churches that crop up, and their memberships, their patrons are giving their dollars to these churches that don’t have a procedure, a system in place. They are not being good stewards of the dollars that are being brought into the church. Those are the kind of things that we need to teach. Hugh: To be fair with our listeners, we are in concept stage with this. But we all see a huge importance. We are going to resources. Danna, this dovetails with what Russ and I have been working on with some of the other thought leaders you know in creating a portal with both live and virtual events. It’s going to be initially under the umbrella of SynerVision Leadership Foundation, and we will go after some philanthropic funding for that. We’re actually going to put our money where our mouth is basically. People may be listening to this podcast way into another year. If you’re listening to this podcast in 2018, you will see this launch. If you go to synervisionleadership.org, there will certainly be a section on the site that talks about this collaborative entity. We have kicked around names. Let’s leave that for later. We’ll name it something special, but it will be a project right now. It’s a tax-exempt project to empower early-stage thought leaders who really can’t afford it. Danna, in the communities where we do the work, it’s part of reemploying the work force. Reactivating the military, there are 49,000 homeless vets, and there are a whole lot in homes who are wandering around. There are people who have come out of prison and need a leg up. There are small churches and charities that don’t have the vision you just talked about. Part of what we are going to have to do is narrow down our first target. There is plenty of work. No matter if we started in Orlando, Denver, or Virginia, it doesn’t matter, we could have plenty of work if people were willing. Let’s talk about that piece for a minute. I would like Russ to weigh in, too. Danna, when you see a charity or a small business and there is really a lot missing, what is the biggest barrier to getting that message across? Is it their own lack of self-awareness? What is the barrier for them not coming forward and being open to receiving the assistance that you offer? Danna: I will put into context. You and I met during CEO Space with a certain gentleman that I had put you in touch with. Great ideas. They always have great ideas, and their heart is there. But first of all, they approach it unprofessionally in the sense that they are not protecting themselves. This was the first thing I identified with this gentleman. He is already getting sponsorship dollars and things like that from the public and the community, but he’s not protecting his organization. As those funds come in, they’re not being funneled correctly or monitor correctly. The first thing I find out is they jump in without a plan for protecting or being good stewards of the dollars that are coming into the organization. I think the other thing is they jump in because they don’t have the funding and they’re wearing way too many hats, so the project never really gets off the ground because they’re thinking they have to do it all themselves. This is in business; this isn’t just nonprofits and charity work. They think they have to do it all themselves to save money, but in actuality, energy is money. If they are spending all their energy doing a whole crapload of little things, they’re not getting anything done. They’re not making money. They’re not able to get what they need. I think the first thing that I would say that- it’s a matter of we have to clarify. What is that vision? What is the strategy to reaching that end vision? At the same time, showing them that you have a huge responsibility as a charity, as a nonprofit, you have a huge responsibility because it’s not just your money that you’re using and that you have to hold accountable. You want to make sure that you are able to report back to your donors how you’ve managed their money. Hugh: In case of a grant, it’s crucial. You won’t get another grant. They might ask for the money back if you have not demonstrated the proper fiduciary oversight and good stewardship, as you put it, which is a really good term. Danna: That’s why what you bring, Hugh, on the strategy side for nonprofits is just amazing. They really need this. There are so many people with such big hearts, but they don’t know how to do this. Hugh: Russ, you heard it right here. I’m amazing. Russell: I have been trying to tell him that for quite a while. Now I’m glad he hasn’t gone to that. Danna: We’ll keep him grounded, but we can always lift him up. Russell: All of us behind the scenes know all about it. In looking at and addressing that question, there are a number of things that might prevent people from actually doing something different. Sometimes it’s resource-based. Other times, it’s people that I’ve come across that are doing things that have been in the leadership role. They look at things, and they’re not comfortable getting outside of what they’re used to doing. Maybe looking at what they need from a person side, from a human capital type. This is a big thing because when investors or funders or donors of any type write you a check, they’re betting on your team, not necessarily just on you. If people are unable or don’t have the right collaborative partners, or they don’t have people that are willing to collaborate, they become starved for people to actually implement. Ideas are great, but it’s in that implementation that people actually need support. They may not know they need that support, or they may not feel like they have a trusted source for that support. Danna: Exactly. One of the other things is, and I’m so glad I have you in my corner, Hugh, is I learned the other day: The word “foundation,” so many nonprofits will set up a foundation but they don’t realize the legal implications of having a foundation and having the money from that foundation be designated to other charities rather than just their own. Hugh: In our case, it’s in-kind services. A dollar goes to SynerVision, it goes to other charities in the form of in-kind support, like those of us on this call. It’s money in a different form. Danna: That was just a lesson I learned this week. Hugh: Russ, the example that she used, without giving names, it’s okay if he’s listening. It’s a funny story. A colleague of mine, we were talking about CEO Space. It’s a business growth conference that all of us met at. Danna: A collaborative environment, yeah. Hugh: Teaching cooperative capitalism. We take it a step up in collaboration. We all know that it works. A friend of mine, Ed from there, we got with Ken Courtright and talked about… It was actually David. They’ve both been on this podcast. David and I got with Ken for some advice on critiquing a thing we were launching. Next thing I know, without names, he is talking about us on his podcast. He used Ed’s name because Ed had some sage advice, as he always does. I’m honored when somebody says, This is a guy, and this is what they need, and this is our conversation. I knew it was me, but he protected my identity. The person you’re talking about has a huge vision. They’re bought in 100%. They have passion for it, and they’re going for it, no matter what. It’s a classic case of somebody getting the cart before the horse. They’re jumping in and not having the systems in place. Russ, there are some dangers from the auditing side, from the tax side of not having the records and not having a board that manages the cash flow. Are there some dangers people need to look out for as we are early-stage putting good systems in place from your standpoint in your years working with the Internal Revenue Service? Russell: You definitely want to have good internal controls. How does money flow in and out? Who tracks the money? Who actually handles it? Who tracks it? The people that handle it and the people that are tracking it should be different. When you are talking about large amounts of money and large purchases, you need solid fiscal policies to determine how purchases are made. There are a lot of opportunities for funds to walk out of the door unbeknownst to the management if you don’t have very stringent internal controls in place. Separation of duties, that’s always a big one. If you’re dealing with government monies, you need to be aware of different things that you need to do to comply, especially federal monies under the Office of Management and Budget. There are a lot of pitfalls you can fall into. Of course, we already talked about unrelated business revenue. There are endless places you could end up stepping on a landmine from a tax perspective because the code is so complicated. I think that with a charity, one thing that is often overlooked is whether or not you are registered to collect donations or what you’re registered to collect. Are you registered in all places that you’re actually going to receive funds? That’s one that flies under the radar frequently. Hugh: Those are good words. Russ and I have seen this, and I’m sure you have seen that people think because they have a good product on the business side or really good intentions on the other side, money is going to jump their way in the bank. It doesn’t happen that way. Danna: No, I’ll tell you a perfect example. I was at a conference three weeks ago. We were in a mastermind session. We were talking about the financing side. When the question came up, two of the individuals, they were new entrepreneurs, said, “I’m incorporated. I don’t need to use my personal credit because now I am protected under the veil of incorporation.” My explanation to them is: That is absolutely true. You are protected. But consider it this way. Your LLC or corporation that you set up is another individual. It’s an individual that has absolutely no credit. You are wanting to launch your business and be able to get bank credit and financing and things like that. If you have no credit, chances are you’re not going to get any financing. That’s where you need to bring in your personal financing, your personal credit, to kick-start your business and then at a later date, you can take yourself off of that and everything else is put into the corporate veil. But you do need your personal credit, which is where we run into issues. Hugh: We want to be careful with charities. They don’t want to put anything in there of theirs because you can’t get it back out. We want to create a firewall there. But you speak a really good track to lay down here. We must have personal disciplines with our leadership, with our funding, and with our behaviors. If we are going to be effective leaders, we got to get our own house in order as well. Danna: That’s exactly it. That’s part of what we are going to be doing with this summit. Hugh: Great. This is part one of a two-part conversation. Part two will be early in 2018 that we will do a formal announcement with the tracks and the programs. We do see a need. What I will create is a forum of SynerVision, an information forum, where you and I will collaborate on the questions. People can come and weigh in on their top issues. If they are starting a small business or a religious institution or community charity or a cause-based organization, any of those tax-exempt, or membership organization, 501(c)6, if they are starting one of those entities, what do they think their biggest needs are? We will have people in the conversation. I’m envisioning—and I didn’t check this out with you, but I am going to blurt it out anyway. I’m envisioning a combination of things. The online learning, but also some live webinars. I am also envisioning some group processes. I find that when I have people, especially at a place we talked about, CEO Space—Danna, you saw it and Russell, you saw it on the SynerVision Leadership Empowerment Symposium—when I am helping one person think through their issues, other people are listening, and everybody is learning from that example. There is group learning that we haven’t talked about, but I think you and I have had similar experiences in that area. What are your thoughts on that? Danna: I definitely agree. Masterminding is what we’re talking about here. When you think about it, it’s definitely one of the hot topics right now. That is one of the best ways to learn from other successful thought leaders. I know that’s how I’ve learned. We’ve got some mutual friends who are very big thought leaders, and they are holding their own masterminds. Don Ward is one of them. We can’t help but learn from others. Hugh: Absolutely. Danna: We can’t help but learn from others. Why reinvent the wheel and struggle if there are people out there willing to give us this help that we need? That is exactly what CEO Space is. You go there in a collaborative environment and you get the information you need. I just came off of Women’s Prosperity Network, which is a nation-wide organization. This is another one that is very collaborative, what they call cooperative, I think. Women, more and more women are starting businesses. This is a very fast-moving market right now. Hugh: My wife and I took some time over the weekend and went down the route to Staunton in Virginia. It’s a really well-kept downtown, both in character and architecture. People were downtown. Business after business was young, female entrepreneurs. I just rejoiced in that. Everyone was a niche, and it was creative, and there was passion behind it. We are in the women’s era. It’s time to leave the old white guys behind. We messed it up; it’s time for a new era. Danna: It’s amazing how many men have come in and joined the WPN, the Women’s Prosperity Network, because they like that interaction with the women. They like that comradery. I grew up in the architectural/engineering/construction market. In that market, I spent 35 years. Everything was so closely held to the chest. Don’t say this, don’t say that. We don’t want the competition to hear this. I just kept telling them, “Guys, get over it. They already know what’s going on. Get over it. Don’t be afraid. Just stay a step ahead of them.” Women just have a way of cooperating and helping and lifting each other up. If more and more people did that, we would be a lot farther along than where we are right now. Hugh: We can make up for lost time. I totally agree with you. Women are very collaborative. At this point in history of recording, it’s time for the small business sector and the charity sector to set a new bar. We have conflict in the government and with football of all places, and people are divided over common issues where we ought to be united for those. We will not go into politics today. Danna: Thank you. Hugh: There is another channel and example that we are called to be. I want to do a Round Robin here. I want to start with Russ because we need to give the better-looking guy some attention, some airtime. Russ always has these great sound bites, but he has also got some really good contributions. When he speaks, people listen. Russ, two things. Do you have some comments about what Danna has brought up or questions for her? Then tell us about your next live event for your charity work and your program for funding that you have. First with Danna, and then talk about the two things that you have, or others you want to share. Russell: I think that everything is relationship-based. This is the thing that we are coming around to. It’s all about relationships. The way that men operate, we’re more linear in our thought process and more results-oriented. Women are more relationship-based. What we’re finding out is that if you want to build partnerships and joint ventures, you are going to have people that resonate with you. If you’re going to get people to collaborate with you in any project, it’s all about relationships. You have to have good relationships. People aren’t just looking for the fast buck, the quick transaction. They’re not going there. That’s not going to work for people. It’s all about relationships. We really need to change that. The other thing is in looking at churches, I have been working with my own envisioning project. Whatever we’re doing, the key is to raise our level of consciousness. This is what we’re finding out with today’s environment. We’re shouting at each other. We’re at a point in time where if we are going to succeed, it doesn’t matter what area you’re talking about. If you’re talking about your spiritual or economic situation, your business, we have to raise our level of consciousness to be more effective, to help more people. That’s my view on that. As for right now, I am working on some new material with a group called Algorithms for Success. I’ve done some training with them. We’re actually strategizing on some of my online programs. I am working on different modulized programs for fundraising and board development. We’re working on rolling out a series of things for 2018 as well as the book Four Steps to Building a High-Performance Nonprofit. I have been working on that for a while; I have not gotten all the interviews I want, but we are going to be launching that online program that I am in the process of revising. That is taking me through the fundamental steps of building a strategy. It’s a 22-point strategy framework that Hugh and David Gruder actually developed a success map. As far as questions for you, what benefits do you think could be realized from cross-sector partnerships? What are the big wins you see businesses getting through this collaboration? What are some of the wins for the nonprofits as well? Danna: Wow. The reason I reached out to Hugh for this program that we’re talking about is because one of the benefits is with the target market that I go after, small businesses that are generally under $500,000 annual revenue or less, a lot of times they can’t afford my services. Much to the chagrin of my husband, I would love to give my services away. But his comment is, “Honey, I’m sorry, but we gotta make money. I don’t want to be working at a j-o-b all my life.” It’s two-sided. In an effort to find a way for them to be able to afford the services that they need, there is grant money out there. That’s what we want to go after. I’m not familiar with nonprofits, and I know that I need a nonprofit. That’s why I reached out to Hugh Ballou. I knew I needed a nonprofit leg to help on the sponsorship side so we could go for sponsorship dollars for these events we are doing, and also for the grant money to help those business owners that qualify to get the education and the resources that they need. That is one of the reasons where I see for-profits and nonprofits can coordinate. The other thing is by businesses partnering with nonprofits, you get that credibility factor. By building in that credibility factor, your clients look at a higher standard for you. Not necessarily at a higher standard, but they become advocates because they know you’re doing good for the community. You’re doing good for society, and they want to promote you because of that. So you get the credibility aspect. You get the market outreach. You get the dollars. There is so much value and benefit that comes from a business partnering with a nonprofit. You have to figure out how to make that work and not try and do it all yourself. Russell: That’s critical. Hugh: Russ, you’re so right. Let’s capture that. What I find over and over again is we help small business owners, especially solopreneurs, learn how to do things and then try to bring in team members. With a charity, it’s imperative that you start with a team. That’s the biggest problem leaders have in the charity/church world. The leader wants to do it all, but really you must engage the board for governance, for fiduciary oversight, and for support, their arms and legs. Lots of really good stuff here. We are coming to the last stretch of our time here. Danna, we got a lot more to talk about. We need to do some heavy lifting. Right now, you are waiting for me to get a document back to you. I am starting to get a clearer vision of the potential. Our problem is going to be to scale it to what we can handle to begin with. I know the energy field here is really good. Russ, where do people go for your stuff that you talked about? Your book and your online program, your website. Where do people go to find that? Russell: For the four steps to building a high-performance nonprofit, you go to bit.ly/fourstepshpnpo. I will drop that in the chat box so that people can see it. If you’d like to have a talk with me, I do discovery sessions with folks. You can go to bit.ly/bookruss to get on my calendar, and we will have a discovery session about whatever concerns you. I am in the process of having people rebuild my website, so I’ll have free offerings. I have a donor series and some board series things that people will be able to tap into once my website rebuild is done. I’m working on some other courses and writing articles. All of that stuff will be available to everyone out there. Hugh: I want to know when you sleep. Do you sleep? Russell: I sleep quite a bit, maybe more than I should. I’m finding as more time passes by, I sleep a little bit more. The real opportunity, I think, in this is to get people talking to one another. This thought crossed my mind. I was thinking of asking Danna: What is the high point, the one single thought that needs to be conveyed to people on both sides, for-profit and nonprofit? What would you say is the single thread that needs to run through their minds when they are debating about whether or not they should collaborate? Hugh: I’m going to let her think about that a minute. That’s a great question. You took the words right out of my mouth. Danna, think about that for a minute. We need to think about profit in our charities. That is the gas that is going to help us fully achieve our mission and vision. Thenonprofitexchange.org is the place you can view this video a few hours after we stop here. I will put the links for Russell’s website and Danna’s website. You will already be on the SynerVision website when you go to thenonprofitexchange.org. That will take you to SynerVision for this Tuesday program. Danna, we are going to let you close us out with Russell’s question that you have been pondering on. Your website is… Danna: Marketatomy.com. It is also being revised, so there may be a little bit of Greek in there right now. Just ignore it. Hugh: We have to stop here. Danna, will you leave that closing thought for us? Danna: Russell, correct me if I’m wrong. You sked me what is the one thing that should be considered when thinking about collaborating with a nonprofit or a for-profit. First, you need to be clear in your messaging. You need to be clear in what you want so that you can communicate it clearly, and then also synergy. For instance, me teaming with Hugh, he is a strategist. We have the same processes and things like that, so that creates that synergy. Does that answer your question? Russell: That does. Synergy is all about synergy and alignment. Danna: Alignment, yep. Hugh: That was my inspiration for combining vision and synergy. It’s the synergy we get from the common vision, which is our trademark. Danna Olivo from Orlando, Florida, thank you for sharing your wisdom and your time. Russell, thank you for your friendship and support. Thank you both for being here.

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  • Increase Your Reach and Donations

    · 01:01:03 · The Nonprofit Exchange: Leadership Tools & Strategies

    Increase Your Reach and Donations: Learn About How to Get $10K in Free Adwords [caption id="attachment_1523" align="alignleft" width="150"] Pip Patton[/caption] Pip Patton and John Zentmeyer will share secrets about how to get $10K in free Google AdWords monthly and how to drive more traffic to your website for more engagement and more publicity. Their company,  Search Intelligence LLC, based in Tampa Florida, is a digital marketing agency. 'We believe that marketing in today's digital age should not be confusing to utilize and benefit from.' We help you accomplish this by offering digital marketing services that are easy to understand and implement. Our services start with SEO and include optimized website design, social media management, video marketing and traffic analysis so you can make informed decisions about your marketing strategy. We also work with non-profits by helping them apply for and obtain a Google Grant. A Google Grant is a grant of $10,000 in AdWords advertising each month for your non-profit. You can use the grant to promote your non-profit and gain more exposure online; increase awareness, recruit volunteers, promote special events, etc. Notes from the Interview   Why do we care if people come to our websites? Need for visibility brings more of people you want to see, online is where people are looking. Not ranking on Google is like being 100 miles off the highway with no lights turned on. No one can find you! You can’t get the word out on your work if no one can find you. How do you figure out who to attract to your website?   Extensive interview with client, create keywords and Adwords to drive traffic, find out what people are searching for through online research, very few people aware of what prospects are searching for and tax status is not a factor. Online is where more search for info takes place! 1. What is a Google Grant and How Do I Apply? Google’s way to give back to the community; $10,000 month available to 501(c)3; keyword bids restricted to $2 or less; must find enough keywords to use all of the funds. Qualifications - verify status as charity; apply online; campaign (Adwords) must be ready to go when launching  2. What is SEO and why do I need it for my charity or church?  Paid v. Organic Search priority given to paid; Ranking based on most relevant to search according to Google who cater to their own customers; can use best keywords when they are paid for; Google rates the information you provide, you have to build authority; organic search provides 5 times amount of results as paid search; you have to build credibility through your results; good information adds to your authority! Facebook uses pixels attached to your website to build a “smart dat profile.” Google does not do this for you. LinkedIn relation to Google - optimized profiles are critical to building authority, it helps develop authority Organic Reach - Basics Clarity around what you do needs to be clear to Google tech; links back to high authority sites on subject helps (on page SEO) must be relevant and valuable; Google grades authority based on links from other sites, social media, or blog posts that are shared or other shared information. This all takes time using SEO. Only 18% to 20% of traffic comes from paid search. The rest is organic! The top 3 get the lion’s share! Analytics tell you what people type in to find you. Free tutorials available from Google. One-third of searches on monthly basis are different from anything they’ve ever seen before! QUUU.com Buffer and QUUU work together How do people learn how to do SEO in a way that helps them?  Creating a presence on the main social media sites use tools like Buffer (link posts to other sites); Quuu - (Aggregator of articles and information for curation); make sure you include some original content that increases engagement Basic Visibility Enhancers - get more than one account (the Big 5; Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram); have accurate info on all sites; hire  someone who has expertise because everything changes frequently Algorithms for mobile and desktop differ, mobile friendly search is more important all the time; by 2018 it will dominate rankings; far more searches on mobile than desktop! Closing Thoughts - (John) Go through strategy form to provide the types of information they need to provide good service; stay in your wheelhouse and focus on what you know, let your SEO experts to help you get where you need to be; search terms most relevant to you Closing thoughts - (Pipp) - Take time to analyze your site and other information; video is a great tool for conversion, less than 2 minutes is best when it is engaging, speak like you are having a conversation with a single person; video drives up conversion considerably. Contact Information Search Intelligence, LLC 1520 W Cleveland St Tampa, FL 33606 (813) 321-3390 http://www.si-5.com   The Interview Transcript NPC Interview with Pipp Patton & John Zentmeyer Hugh Ballou: Welcome, everyone. We are talking nonprofit language. Our guests tonight are two distinguished-looking gentlemen, Pipp Patton and John Zentmeyer. They are in Florida on the Gulf Coast and in central Florida. They have a very defined expertise. I met Pipp on a couple trips in Orlando doing some interaction with CEOs. You must be a CEO if you are in that group. This company you have, tell me what the name of it is, what inspired you to launch this company, and a little bit about your history and expertise that you bring to this very specialized space. Pipp Patton: Thank you for having us on. My background: Over 20 years ago, I was actually in the yellow pages business. I used to work with small businesses, helping them promote themselves and growing through the vehicle of yellow pages back when the yellow page directory was the search engine of choice. Then that changed about 10 years ago. At that time, I was transitioning out of yellow pages. I enjoyed working with business owners, and the technology and the digital arena was of great interest to me. I studied it and tried to learn it. I have been now working about seven years or so in that arena with an agency model, where I help businesses be found in Google search primarily. Hugh: I used to buy yellow page ads when I had a camera shop. It was the go-to place to find out who to hire and who to solve your problems. That was a unique spot. You transitioned from that space? Was that a direct transition to the digital marketing that you do? Pipp: Yeah, pretty much. At that particular time, I left yellow pages because the company I worked for got bought out by someone else, and they didn’t treat their new acquisition people real well. So it was a good opportunity for me to leave there. At that time, my mom needed some attention and care, so I decided to stay home and take care of her. Shortly thereafter, I had been studying digital marketing and had a couple of people that I met that really needed help in that arena. I helped them, and the business evolved from there. Hugh: Awesome. To fall into that. John, you are part of this team. Talk about that. What brought you to this place? John Zentmeyer: Directly, Pipp brought me to the place. Pipp and I have done business together off and on, many different ventures, always been good buddies, and always enjoyed bouncing business ideas off each other for over 30 years now. Last year, I was making a transition, and I have owned several businesses. At the time, I was working with a group that I thought I would be at for the rest of my career, but that doesn’t always happen. But Pipp and I had always talked a lot about what he was doing and what was happening in the SEO world. All my career, I have looked for ways to bring large ROIs to companies or to my clients. SEO is a great way to do that. I have always been in the technology world, mostly automation, but this has been a lot of fun, and we have enjoyed working closer together. Hugh: Russell Dennis has been stalking you, so Russell, what did you find out about them online? Russell Dennis: John said wonderful things about Pipp online. It’s a glowing testimony. There are a number of things. There is this track record of years where you have been getting premium results. Coming from the yellow page world, I saw yellow page ads in my sophomore year of college. I made a truckload of money that summer. This was back in 1995 of course. Pipp: That was a good time to be in yellow pages. John: It probably wouldn’t work as well this summer. Russell: Probably not. I would probably go hungry over the summer. You see things like Yelp, but everything is a known directory. The only real power in that stuff is in the testimonials and getting credibility. Hugh: Awesome. That is back when a truckload really meant something. A truckload of money was worth something. Russell: That was before the exchange rates went to pot. Hugh: Oh gosh, yeah. Guys, we sent out an email today and one just a few minutes ago to tell people they could get $10,000 of free AdWords. We are going to talk about that. These are people who are in what we call social benefit work. They are running a membership organization. It has a tax-exempt status. They are running a church or synagogue, a community foundation, a cause-based charity. There are lots of people who are in education or government organizations, like down the road from me, we have an agency on aging, my peer group. We have a lot of people doing really good work. Why should we care that people come to our website? We want to direct traffic, but let’s talk about why people come. Who do we want to attract? Let’s take it sequentially. Why do we care, and then who do we want to bring to our website? Pipp: Whether it’s a nonprofit or a regular for-profit business, you need more customers, more exposure, more people to know who you are and what you do. Whether they have an interest in perhaps volunteering or donating or being involved in special events that you have, taking advantage of what you may teach, all of those things are there, so having a higher profile online will bring more of those eyeballs and ears to you. If people want information about anything, they are online. John: Take it one step further. Having a website online and not being ranked in Google anywhere is like having your nonprofit or for-profit business ministry, whatever you’re doing, out in the middle of a very dark desert with no lights. So you cannot be found. If you are providing a service for somebody in a nonprofit arena, then the idea is you want people who are looking for that service to be able to find you. That is the biggest reason that you want to expose yourself on that side. Doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If you’re doing for-profit, you want people to be able to find you. Hugh: There are lots of really good organizations doing really fine work that nobody is aware of. It would occur to me that PR is one good reason. I know people will support the cause they believe in. If they can go to somebody’s website and see the impact of the work of the charity—who are we serving, what problem are we solving—how do we figure out which people to attract to the website? That matters a lot, doesn’t it? Pipp: It definitely does. In our world, what John and I do, generally when we work with an organization, they are telling us what people are searching for to find them, or at least the basic concept. We will build campaigns around that. If we are doing SEO, then we are going to work to make their site visible for certain keywords, as an example. In the AdWords arena, it’s the same thing. You are bidding on keywords to become visible in a search. If somebody is new to an area and is looking for a specific type of denomination, they may go online to see what’s around them. If you’re not visible, you just missed out on a new member perhaps. Hugh: There are a lot of choices in life today, aren’t there? Pipp: There sure are. Most businesses, or organizations if you will, today I find aren’t really aware of how many searches there actually are online for their service or product. It’s the single largest pool that exists of prospective new customers, clients. Those are interchangeable words, even in the nonprofit world. It equates to the same thing. If you have a business or an organization, and you are working in a certain arena, there is more search for that information about that online than there is anywhere else. Hugh: Awesome. John: Hugh, you can relate to this. What happened when you got a yellow page ad? Hugh: People would call me up and say, “I see you have this.” John: They found you. Hugh: That was the go-to place. We actually went to the yellow pages last week to look for some resources for moving. We put out a line that people get $10,000 in AdWords. Talk about that program. I have one of these grants, and I don’t know how in the world I got it. Somebody helped me get it. I am still learning how to work it, but I am spending $10,000 a month. Talk about that program. How do people acquire that grant? Pipp: It’s a terrific program by Google. This is their way of giving back to the community at large here in the United States .it may be available overseas, too; I’m not sure of that. It’s a grant that they offer to any 501(c)3 for $10,000 a month to use any way the organization sees fit. The determination of the success of any advertising campaign is totally up to you. Google is providing that. The only restriction they put on it is that you can’t bid on a keyword that is more than $2. Now depending on the area you live in, larger areas, certain keywords that might fit your organization might be highly competitive, and they would be well in excess of $2. But just as you found, Hugh, if you work with somebody who understands how to dig out the keywords that still fit the proper niche that you are going after, you can find enough keywords to bid on to utilize those dollars. Hugh: I think I have 24,000 keywords in all of the things that are related to us, and we have an average position of 2.5 on a search. Pipp: That is terrific. That is very good. And you are working on a national level, correct? Hugh: I’m working with anybody who speaks English. We got Philippines, Australia, New Zealand. Pipp: There are many organizations who would be able to take the same approach. If it was a local church or synagogue, an organization like that, they might be more defined by a geographic area. But still, the exposure that they can gain from that is just fabulous, and it is a really terrific program that Google has put out there and made available to all the 501(c)3s. Hugh: How do you get it? How do you qualify for it? Pipp: It’s an application process. They just have to verify you are truly a legitimate 501(c)3. Doesn’t matter what you are promoting or what you’re about. We actually offer that service to nonprofits where we will do the application process for them. We don’t charge for that. We are pretty successful. We haven’t had anything not approved so far. Along with that application process, you have to have a campaign that is ready to go. Google sees there is a campaign in place that you are ready to turn on the minute they say yes. John: An AdWords campaign. Pipp: Yes, an AdWords campaign Hugh: You can register for that for free. If you do it on your own, you pay per click. Russell, they just slipped something in there. Did you hear what I hear? He said they do it for free. Pipp: Maybe we shouldn’t have said that, John. What do you think? John: It’s a little too late now, Pipp. You can’t put that one back in the bag. Pipp: I will say this. We don’t manage campaigns for free. I found a lot of people- The application process can be confusing to them. You can’t even begin until you get approved. We have at least been able to figure that out and are willing to do that for anybody. They can manage their own campaigns. When you get into the nitty-gritty of it, as you found, Hugh, you need somebody to help you because it would be difficult for you on your own to find 24,000 keywords. Hugh: Oh my word. And to put them in the right ads in the right places to direct them to the right page to do what we call conversions. Pipp: You have to have landing pages and ad groups and campaigns and this stuff that needs to be done to optimize it. One of the reasons you have 24,000 keywords is you want to utilize all that money and are limited to $2 a click. You have to find a keyword that might only get five searches a month, but you want to make sure you are found when those five people are searching. Hugh: It’s the misspelling of the words, too. People who spell leader wrong just as a typo. Laeder. John, you were going to say something? John: I just said the maximum is $2. It’s not that they are all $2. Hugh: I adjust them down, and sometimes I get the mileage. There is also a quality score. I have some that are 7’s and 8’s, which I understand is pretty hard to do. They rate you on the quality of the word as to where you are driving it. There are some sophisticated tools out there to watch what you’re doing. It’s just amazing. Where do people contact you to let you help them do that and start that conversation? Pipp: They can call me. Our phone number is 813-321-3390. That is our main line here in Tampa. They can go to our website. On the website you can get contact information. The phone number is there of course, and there is an email link to send us an email if you want. They can reach me via email if they like at pipp@si-5.com. Hugh: Si-5.com is the website. That is a very generous offer. It’s not a lot of work. I want to talk about the juxtaposition of SEO and the ads. Those two need to have some synergy. John, you were talking about that if you did the SEO, it would get you more mileage for less money with the AdWords. I’m surprised they didn’t cancel me. I had the grant. It had five or six campaigns going. Now I have several thousand campaigns or ad groups going. Four campaigns. But I found that no matter what I tried, I could not spend more than $300 a month. That is the maximum you spend a day, $332 or $333. I spend that every day now. But I couldn’t figure that out. So I had to get somebody to help me. That is a for-hire thing you can do. I got frustrated because I shouldn’t have been doing this in the first place. I do leadership and culture and strategy really well. I suck at that. Suck is halfway to success. Talk about why you need this if you do SEO. Pipp: It’s the difference between paid search and organic search. Whenever you do a Google search, you bring up a search result page. At the very top, the first three or four listings are going to be the paid ads. The next ten listings below that are what they call the organic or non-paid listings. Each of these listings, paid or unpaid, are the listings that Google believes are the most relevant to the search you have done. John: They are catering to their own customer. I as a Google searcher am a Google customer. They want to try to provide me the most relevant and best options possible so I am happy. Pipp: You are happy and continue to use Google. John: That’s right. Pipp: Why don’t you go ahead and talk about the percentages of where the clicks go, John? John: That is important. if I launch a campaign today, I can bid on an AdWord today, and I can get that AdWord and I can be found for that word today. Organic is a little bit different. That takes a little bit more time, authority, optimization. Google is not going to make that change quickly because again they want to make sure you actually do have good information to provide their customer when they search for a given keyword. That is why it takes time to build that authority for the organic search. What is very interesting is that the difference between the paid search and the organic search is there is about five times more volume for the organic search. That is a big deal. If you are buying AdWords and you are getting traffic, that is great because I can do it today. That is a way to get to the organic search. You can start to get traffic today but realize that over time you will have a lot more to choose from if you are getting the organic search. It just takes time. Hugh: Does Google learn, or does the effectiveness grow over time? I have listened to people talk about how they do Facebook ads. Over the weeks and months, the Facebook ads build a knowledge base and becomes more effective over time. That may or may not be the accurate description, but is there something like that with AdWords? John: The parallel would be- I guess it would be the authority that you gain by having good information and making it available so Google can read it, understand it. Your page is optimized. The information you are providing is relevant. Google will look at all of that. If I have a new page and someone finds me but my information is not very relevant, Google’s customer, the searcher, will leave. Google doesn’t like that. Pipp: I understand your question also relates to Facebook. Facebook has what they call a pixel. They want you to put that pixel on your website. Facebook learns. Facebook’s algorithm learns who clicks on your ads and who your ideal customer is, and they get smarter and smarter at putting your ad in front of people that fit a profile that is more likely to click. AdWords, I don’t believe does that. To be honest with you, my business partner is more knowledgeable than I am on the running of the AdWords campaigns. John: You should clarify that as your other business partner. Pipp: Yes, sorry. My other business partner, who is on vacation with her children right now and her husband. But I don’t believe that the AdWords does that. It’s pretty much up to us as the buyer of AdWords to optimize the campaigns and figure out what is working best. Hugh: My colleague Russell is very active on LinkedIn. I have heard you guys other times talk about authority. Russ does a lot of good stuff on LinkedIn. He has articles, and his description of who he is is very valuable. How does that play into the picture with the Google SEO and the AdWords and the whole package? Pipp: Having an optimized profile on LinkedIn, as well as other social media properties, is all important. Every one of those provides a description of you and your business, a link back to your website from a site that Google sees as high authority. When you can get a link back from a high authority site, some of that authority transfers back, and it helps you build the authority of your website. Those are all part of the mix. They don’t really have much of an effect on your AdWords, but from an SEO standpoint, those are very important elements. Hugh: Russ, did that bring up any questions or comments on your side? Russell: Keywords are important. This program for grants is something I have seen because who couldn’t use $10,000. When I read the language, there is a certain amount of traffic you have to drive. If you don’t do that, they pass it on to people who can use it. The idea of them looking at keeping their own credibility high by giving their users what they need makes perfect sense. Unless somebody has a lot of expertise in that, and I don’t think you have that on your typical nonprofit staff, is it’s a wonderful opportunity, but you have to be able to drive the traffic to keep it going. Pipp: That is correct. Google AdWords is much more complicated to optimize, and it takes some time to optimize a campaign. Usually when you are working with AdWords, you will figure the first three or four months is what you will put in to tweak and figure it out. We are managing a campaign for a chiropractor client. It’s not a big campaign or a huge amount of money, but we took it over because the people who were handling it for them were unhappy with the results they were getting. We have taken it over. We have had it about two months, and it will be another month or two before we get it fine-tuned. I was in my office just now building landing pages because they were sending all this paid traffic to their homepage. In their particular case, if you were looking for a chiropractic solution for back pain, the homepage mentions it, but it doesn’t really talk about it in depth. So it’s less likely to create a conversion or getting a phone call for an appointment than if they were landing on a page that spoke to that particular problem directly. I am in the process of building them landing pages that will help their conversion, and the better conversion you get helps your quality score. Hugh is obviously doing that well if he has some 7’s and 8’s in quality scores. Hugh: I’m not getting the conversions I want, but it has gone up dramatically in the past two months. I am starting to fine-tune it. I had some AdWords that weren’t relevant, which were bringing in some people who weren’t the right people. I wanted to come back to that piece. We want to bring the people that can find words, and we can trick them into coming, but if it’s not what they want, they will leave within a second or two. So we just wasted the money. Pipp: Then Google dings you and realizes that ad is not working. Regardless of what you are bidding, they drop you down in position. With AdWords, even if there are three or four ads at the top of the page, even if they are all bidding the same thing, if they all have the same quality score, Google rotates those around. As time goes by and one or two gain more traction because they have a higher quality score—they are getting a better click rate, even though it’s the same price or a little lower price—Google will show them ahead of the other ads. They want people to have a good experience so they keep using them. Like John said, the person doing the searching is the customer that Google is trying to please. Hugh: That’s a really important area to understand. I’m a pretty smart guy, but it’s taken me a while to wrap my head around this. I am learning it so I can bring on somebody and have them manage it. There are lots of charities doing social media, and they don’t do themselves any favors. There are lots of charities who put up pretty websites. Propeller Head makes them something nice. They say you have all these hits. I think I shared this with you, but it’s said that hits are how idiots attract success. It really doesn’t matter who comes. Hits is every time you download an image or a page or something, so you can have a lot of hits with nothing. It’s really coming back to this what do people do, the conversions, that matters. Let’s go into some of the things you know people need to learn. When you put up a webpage or site, Google looks at everything. How does this organic SEO work? John: That’s where it starts. The very first thing is that Google is a computer. It needs to make sense to Google. You can’t infer things. It has to be written and optimized such that Google can read it and understand exactly what you do, what you’re promoting, what information you’re providing. We want to make sure you have optimized it so Google can understand it. Then you want to start to look for ways to continue to build that authority. We mentioned having links back from high authority sites so Google realizes, “Oh, okay. This site thinks that they are providing the right information about this given subject.” But the big thing is it does start on the page. We call it on-page SEO. It needs to have the right information in the right format and make sense for Google. Hugh: Go back to this authority site thing. Talk a little bit more about that. Pipp: The sites that you see in organic search on the results page—those are the sites that Google feels are the most relevant, which to them means they feel they have the highest authority on that subject. Authority is predominantly gained in a number of ways, but one of the biggest is links from other sites. It might be social media sites you have. It might be other people linking to your information. Maybe you wrote an article or a blog post, and other people pick up that blog post and repost it on their Facebook page or their own blog. Through that, there is a link back to your site from another site that has relevant information. It takes time. That is why John was talking about how SEO takes time. You can buy a paid ad and be at the top of the search for a given keyword tomorrow. But with SEO, it takes time to build that authority, and it takes time for Google to trust your site. A brand new site comes up, and no matter how good your information is, it can take months for those links to build and for Google to gain the confidence and trust that you are the right one to show for search results for that given keyword. Hugh: How do these two work together, the organic SEO and the AdWords? Is there a negative dynamic we can create that cancels each other out? Pipp: No, there is nothing negative about it. The numbers are interesting. Paid search gets about 18-20% of clicks on a page. Organic gets the rest. Hugh: Whoa. 18% is paid search? Pipp: 18-20. It can be different in different niches, but that is the average. Of all the ads out there, somebody searches for a new plumber. They say “My toilet is leaking and I need a plumber,” so they search for that. There will be ads at the top of the page. Those ads will get 18 out of 100 clicks. The organic listings will get the rest with the top three getting the lion’s share. That is what SEO is. Our job is to build that authority and get an organization’s site ranked into those top three to five positions. The reason I say three to five is in many niches, there are directory-type sites that will get into that top five, and they are not direct links. Customers will avoid those and go directly to a business because they want a solution to their problem. Hugh: Yeah. People are looking for things. You can go to Analytics and other tools like that to figure out what people are putting in, can’t you? Pipp: Analytics will tell you what someone typed in in order to find you. That is certainly a great tool. Anyone who has a website should sign up and get Google Analytics. It’s a free service from Google. They offer great tutorials on learning how to digest the data. Hugh: That would be a good way to research what people are looking for, is that true? Pipp: It would be, except you don’t really have access. Google has a Keyword tool built into AdWords where you can type in a keyword and they will give you a range of how much search there is for those. Or they might come back and show no search even if there is some. It may be low, but there is some. I have a friend who often says, “It’s great how much money I’ve made from search terms that Google shows there is no search for.” Anyway. But there are new searches all the time. Google says a third of the searches they see every month are searches done in a particular manner that they have never seen before. That is constantly changing. Hugh: Give me that statistic again. Pipp: A third of all the searches that Google sees every month are done a little differently than they have ever seen before. Hugh: I thought that’s what you said. That’s remarkable. Pipp: It is. I know. John: We can’t use another term like that. I don’t think Hugh can stand it. We can’t bring him a new statistic that is blowing his mind. Hugh: That’s amazing. Russell: At this rate, his hair will start turning gray. John: It will light on fire. Russell: You have to ease up on him. Hugh: At least I got hair. Ha! Russell: This is the secret to not having any gray. You cut it all off. Hugh: Last week, we had an interview with Les Brown, and Les talks about using the mascara on his gray. He said his gray hair doesn’t last very long. He keeps looking fresh with that look. Guys, this is fascinating stuff. People put up websites, and they wonder why nobody comes. They really do stupid things on social media. It’s really social. How do people learn about this? I think we should create an academy and have a membership for people who are in charitable work to learn how to do these things. Like Russ said, they have a small staff and not a lot of money. If they started getting traffic and people found them and they raised the donor base- and actually if donors know what you’re doing, the impact you’re having, they will continue to be donors and spread the word. There is no negative aspect to tooting your horn and letting people know about it. Come back to some of my crazy ideas here. Pipp: That’s right. What you and I have talked about before is how do you create more of a presence in social media? You have the main social media sites, like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, maybe Pinterest, Google+. How do you put out information on a regular basis? There are a couple of tools that make it easier for you to do that. One is Buffer. Buffer has the ability to post and link articles to the various social media accounts you have. There is another company called Quuu. They are an aggregator of online articles. You will probably find articles in almost any niche or subject you can think of. You can get an account for free for both of these. On the free account, you are limited to how many posts you can do and how many social media accounts you can link to, but you can link Buffer with Quuu and pick like four or five different subjects and link two articles a day to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Every single day. Those are what they call curated content. Somebody else wrote it, it’s in your niche, and you post it as interesting information for people who are interested in your niche and what you do. But I also recommend to people they need to be doing some original content of their own. If you have these other services, you don’t have to write something every day or two to three times a week. You can do something original a couple times a month, but there is still a flow of information coming out. That creates engagement. You will build Twitter Followers, Facebook likes, and additional connections on LinkedIn all from having information that flows. John: You asked one other question, Hugh. Pipp and I spend a lot of time figuring this out. This is way full-time. There are some basic things that can be done to give your site more visibility, just some real basic things. The biggest thing Pipp said is make sure that you have a LinkedIn account, a Facebook business account or an account that is to your ministry or 501(c)3, a Twitter account, and an Instagram account, and have those connected to your website. That will sure help. You want to make sure that you have accurate information on all those places. You don’t want to confuse Google because that’s not good. You want to make sure information is accurate across platforms. Then when you want to get really serious on one of these areas, it’s probably a good idea to hire somebody who spends a lot of time trying to figure it out. It changes all the time. We use the phrase that Google has all the gold and they make all the rules. We just have to live with those. Hugh: The golden rule. John: To have an academy would be a great thing. It wouldn’t be a free academy, and it wouldn’t be part-time. Hugh: No. I was throwing out an idea. If anybody is listening and interested, we could play with it. John: It’s a great idea. Hugh: We could do the same thing with a group of people and make it a more level playing field and impact more people and have greater results. Talk about how Google changes things. They are sneaky about it. A logarithm, is that what it is? Pipp: Their algorithm, yeah. They have made a lot of changes just in the past couple of years. They have two search algorithms. One is for desktop search, and one is for mobile search. They are separate. They announced about a year and a half ago, or maybe two years ago, that they were going to put more priority on mobile search algorithm, meaning that if you were ranking on page one but your site wasn’t mobile-friendly, because it wasn’t, the mobile-friendly aspect was going to become much more important to the mobile-search algorithm, and you could lose ranking on a mobile search even if you are ranked highly on a desktop search. That was a couple years ago. Then a few months back, they announced that the mobile search algorithm in 2018 was going to be the predominant factor to ranking in the search engines period. John: And the reason for that? Pipp: Well more than half of all search is mobile. That is mostly Smartphones, but that also includes tablets. Hugh: Amazing. Russ, you have been taking this in. I think we should come up with a hard question for these guys. Let’s stump our guests. Russell: How do you stop these guys from making all of these changes? John: No, it’s a great question. But it goes back to that you have to look at it from their standpoint. They are trying to provide the best product for you and I, the guy who is searching. They are going to work really hard to get into our brains and to put that into their brain to give us the searcher the best result. What we have to be doing as SEO experts is understanding Google and where they are going and then making sure that our clients are providing relevant information for those search terms. It has to be. Otherwise, we are going to mistakenly send somebody to a client’s site, and the Google customer is not going to be happy, which is going to drop them in ranking. Russell: This is how they made Yahoo and other people disappear in the first place. John: They worked really hard at it to provide the best quality product for their client. Pipp: And they make changes all the time. They make changes to their algorithm all the time. The nice part of it is we are actually members of a very large SEO mastermind group that is worldwide in scope. Some of our peers are really smart, and they- actually before Google makes changes, they file patents. They get copies of the new patents that are filed and waiting to be approved and read it. We generally have a pretty good idea of where things are headed. Google does their best to obfuscate that, but they have to have the information in there so the guys in the patent office can say okay. We have some smart colleagues that read that stuff, figure that out, and give us a good idea of where Google is going six months or a year from now. Hugh: Part of this change is necessary. People used to pack in the keywords. Then people used to go out and do these fictitious sites with all these backlinks. There were thousands of them, and Google got smart to that. Pipp: No matter what the rules that Google comes up with, there will always be somebody who figures out a way around it. Once they figure that out, Google will figure out that they did that, and they will change the rules again. But there are some basic things. We ourselves in our company follow industry-best practice. We don’t do any blackhat. In the SEO world, blackhat is things you know you shouldn’t do, but you do them anyway hoping for a good result and hoping not to get caught. That was standard practice, even five years ago. But the things that a lot of people did and we were doing five years ago, if we did them today, they would get us penalized. Still one of the biggest things I see for people who try to do SEO on their own is they over-optimize their websites in terms of keywords. Let’s say they have 600 words of content on their homepage. They will put a keyword in there like 40 times. Google needs it there once or twice and they know what you’re about. When you start putting it in 20-40 times, you get over-optimized. You may see yourself move up in the ranking. You may even get to the bottom or middle of page two, but you won’t get further. Hugh: Wow. Pipp: it’s almost like they give you hope. I’m movin’ up, I’m movin’ up, I’m movin’ up, and boom, you hit the ceiling. You’re on page two where nobody can find you. Hugh: When you get penalized, do you stay there, or is there any way to get out of that? Pipp: You can change it. I have had a client this last year who after I had done some SEO work and were moving up nicely, he went in on his own and decided to rewrite one of the pages he wanted to rank for, and he put the keyword in there like 42 times. Then we started dropping back. I was trying to figure out why, and he happened to mention to me that he went in and changed that page. I went in and copied all the information and highlighted all the places he had done that, saying, “This needs to get fixed.” I fixed it. And we shot right back up to page one. It took a little while. When I say “shot right up,” that might have taken two or three months, but that is something that still a lot of people do. I find particularly those who try to do SEO on their own, they are looking at old information and don’t really have the resources to stay abreast of what is working today and what current best practices are. Hugh: Russ, did you have more to that question? Russell: It gets back to that notion of working within your wheelhouse and not trying to do things that you’re not good at. I definitely don’t know a lot about SEO, but I do write. What I have started doing is looking at the principles of copywriting and studying that because that is what I can do on my own. I definitely need to hire someone- I have a guy working on my website who knows a lot more of this stuff than I do. He is reoptimizing the site, but in order to help myself, I have started looking at copywriting. I put together a series on donors that talks about the information you have to have. You have to know your audience in order to get some traction. That is important. What your content contains is where the keywords are probably going to be found. Hugh: Absolutely. Good points. We are on the downside of our interview. We try to keep these under an hour because that’s a lot of time and people want to get some good content. Think about some stuff we haven’t talked about, guys. What is a thought or challenge or tip you want to leave with people? Let’s go back to the electronic media. If all of this stuff, Russ and I work with organizations to build out their strategy. We are trying to hunt and peck in the dark rather than having a synergistic plan. I wouldn’t dare get in front of an orchestra or a choir and try to direct without having a piece of music because people are all over the place. We have to have some glue to hold us together, and then people can become engaged. With that, we are very clear on what it is we offer, who it is we offer it to, the value of our service, and the impact. That gives you guys something to work around and to use your magic to bring that constituency to the site and actually do something. If I have heard you correctly, part of it is identifying the trends, finding what it is people are looking for, but also attracting the right people. On the other side, you slipped right by this, you are creating a landing page, and the landing page has to convert. It has something interesting so people don’t leave in .2 seconds, so they engage with you and learn something and want to be part of your tribe, donate, or be a part of your volunteer pool. There is a whole synergy in this thing. Let me throw it to you. Like the last time we talked, my brain is firing on many cylinders that I’m not doing right. I can’t handle much more of this, but I have a list of things to do. You will be getting a call from me about my new site. Let me throw it to John and then Pipp. As a departing thought and comment, sum up the things you wish people would do, and remind them of where they can go to find out. You have a survey or something on the site, so talk about that, too. John: We have a form that they can go through. What is the name of that form, Pipp? Pipp: Strategy form. John: We have a strategy form they can go through on the site. It leads them to give us information so we can get back to them with some knowledge of what they are trying to do. I am going to step back and go back to what Russell said. Stand in your wheelhouse. Companies that come to us, we are going to have to make the assumption that they are good at what they do. Pipp and I have a really wide range of backgrounds. Pipp has owned several businesses; I have owned several businesses. Sometimes we get more involved than we should in the whole process. But what we look to do is be the SEO expert. What we look for is our clients to bring to us “This is what I do, this is who searches for us, and this is how they search for us. Put me on page one for these three key search terms.” That is what we do. We go after those search terms. Sometimes we get deeper into the weeds than that. That is what we primarily do. Pipp: Once they have filled out our strategy form, we then produce an eight-minute video analysis where we look at their website, we look at the competition, the strength of the competition, and then tell them the opportunity that is there. If you rank for this, this is how many searches there are, this is a conservative estimate you could expect as far as visitors, and based upon a conservative conversion rate, how much that traffic would be worth to you. We like to show them how big the opportunity they are missing out on is. The other thing I was going to say in closing is something you and I have talked about before, Hugh. We touched a little bit on conversions, and we haven’t talked about video on this call. Video can be a good way to help conversions on your site, on your landing pages. If you can do a short video that deals with your business, that topic of the landing page, usually less than two minutes on your page can be a tremendous help. People like to know who they are potentially going to get involved with. You do a video that is engaging, you look at the person who is watching, you talk to them directly. You want to talk to that single person. You can do that. As I told you once before, I have an attorney client that we had ranked, and he was getting clicks to this website but not getting the conversion. We put a short video on his site, and overnight, that video tripled or quadrupled his phone calls in a week for his business. It was unbelievable how much of a difference it made. Hugh: You guys aren’t a one-trick pony. You have a whole lot of different programs and knowledge base and wisdom. That is quite remarkable. Pipp: I think that’s one of our strengths. We have gray hair, too. At least I do. I’m not sure John does. We have done a lot of things. We generally have the ability to understand what they’re doing fairly quickly and obviously work within our expertise, which is SEO and digital media. Oftentimes, we can make suggestions to other things you could be doing that could be helpful. Hugh: Thank you for jumping in at the last minute and being so gracious to share all of this information (we had a cancellation tonight). You do a lot of upfront service to people. That is a gift. Russell, thank you for being here again and asking really good questions. Russell has made some notes of the profound statements that came out of your mouth. Russell: There is one thing I’d like to sneak in before we leave. The service these guys provide is superior, premium. The thing I like about what I see in their website is when they go in there, they define some parameters. If your business or organization is at a certain point, we can help you. If you’re not at that place, then we don’t want to offer you something that will not benefit you. That is integrity on steroids, and I love it. Hugh: Russ listens and observes and comes up with some profound statements. John Zentmeyer and Pipp Patten, thank you for sharing your wisdom with our audience tonight.

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  • Does the World Need Your Nonprofit?

    · 01:03:03 · The Nonprofit Exchange: Leadership Tools & Strategies

    Thomas Moviel is the CEO of 50 USA Markets headquartered in Orlando, Florida and has a background in economic research and business consulting. His company has strategic alliances with trade consultants, international trade offices, economic development commissions, marketing channels, manufacturers and researchers throughout the USA, which gives clients a full-breadth of market entry services. Here's their website: http://www.50usamarkets.com The Interview Transcript Nonprofit Chat with Thomas Moviel Russell Dennis: This is Russ Dennis with the Nonprofit Chat for Tuesday, May 2. We have Thomas Moviel, CEO of 50 USA Markets, headquartered in Orlando, Florida. How is the weather down there, Thomas? Thomas Moviel: We are finally getting some rain today. We have been in a drought for the past month, which is very unlike Florida. For once, we are happy to see some rain. Russell: A drought is a way some nonprofits actually describe their funding. A big piece of that revolves around the fact that people don’t know they are there or what it is they are trying to do. When we talk about marketing in a business sense, a lot of people cringe. But communicating what you’re doing is pretty important. I know that you do a lot with all sorts of market research and helping people position themselves. Why would it be important for a nonprofit or people who are thinking about starting a nonprofit to do market research? Thomas: Know if there is a real need out there for their nonprofit and services and mission. There are tens of thousands of nonprofits out there already. Often people have a good idea and see a need and think it would be a great idea for a nonprofit. But maybe there are nonprofits out there doing that already. Maybe they are not serving your community or your school system or whatever it may be that you are focusing on. There might be that nonprofit out there doing very similar things to what you want to do who are already getting funding from somewhere. As all nonprofits know, funding is a scarce resource. I think when you are going to get up and get a nonprofit going, as the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun, but there are many ways of doing things. New strategies. But I think it’s important to do your market research because you want to know is funding even viable? If there are dozens of nonprofits out there who you haven’t heard of, or one huge mammoth of a nonprofit that has a monopoly on an entire area, maybe your chances of getting funding are going to be slim, or maybe instead your opportunity instead is going—I don’t know how often they do this—to them and working as a subcontractor or talking to them about partnering. What are the areas they are focusing on and not focusing on? Market research is not just secondary research of pulling data. There will be a fair amount of data out there. But also doing primary research and not just on the Internet, but picking up the phone and making a lot of calls. That was a very long-winded answer, but I can talk about this for days. That is a start. Russell: There are lots of reasons to do that. When you came up with your concept of 50 USA Markets, when you were putting your business together, you did a lot of research. Talk about what that looked like and how your background played into that, how you built your team to fill in those areas you needed a bit of extra support in and so forth. Thomas: I hate to disappoint, but my business started overnight, and work fell into my lap. Once I got started, because I worked for more and more domestic companies and organizations nowadays, but I focus solely on the U.S. I started off working for foreign companies who were looking to enter the U.S. market. I have a strong international background that goes back to working in international development. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Carpathian Mountains for a couple years doing economic development work. Very grassroots stuff and working with a lot of nonprofits over there and local city councils and churches and city halls. Basically, once I started getting going, I knew I needed to expand my business. I was working for one trade office. How I started getting going was finding out- There are a ton of lists and information, so I found out who the other trade offices were, how they operated. I talked to more diplomats and people who I know who are working in the international field. I realized a lot of big countries that are big into trade like France or the UK have huge departments with people doing what I do. But it’s a lot of the smaller companies, like Latvia, for example. I have been talking to them lately. They had a trading office until 2008, and then they closed it down, so their companies had no representation in the U.S. I talked to my friends and got an in with one of my Latvian friends from grad school who had contacts in the government. Because I live in Orlando, I tapped into- There is not a huge international community, but I looked at what is happening in Miami. I thought logically about where trade happens. Well, it happens in Miami. What trade offices are located in Miami? Then I looked at the websites, finding out who runs them. Literally sending out emails and follow-ups. Picking up the phone and cold-calling. Sharing with them, “This is what I do. This is how I can help you. What are your current needs? What are your current challenges?” Talking more and more and getting through the vetting process to become a vendor for them. That is a big way that I have done things. Word of mouth. I don’t use a lot of social media. For a lot of people, it’s a big thing. Maybe I am old-school, but I just find who those people are, and I pick up the phone and call or email. That is how I do things. Russell: I have an economic development background working with the tribal nation myself. Economic development is broad. It’s about lifting all boats up, and you stepped in and filled a need that was there. That was critical. That has proven to be lucrative. There is so much international trade. But you turned your attention to domestic markets. To me, that you are focused on being at home and doing work that helps support nonprofits to educate them on some of the things they need to do to become more marketable. If you were talking to someone at a new nonprofit or a social entrepreneur that was thinking about starting a social enterprise as far as finding out what he needs to know, what would be some of the first steps you would give him/her to take in order to find out if their idea is viable? Thomas: I think a few things that I would do is obviously start with very basic research on nonprofits. It’s going to depend on what your focus is. Are you national or local? If you are only local, focus on your local market. I know what nonprofits are out there. I used to live in Colorado, and there are a lot of nonprofits there. There was the Colorado Nonprofit Association or something, and they had lists of all the nonprofits and what they do. You can usually find a local resource. If you are in a remote area and can’t find something, maybe call your local city hall or city councilman. Their office can often be helpful and let you know what nonprofits are out there. Especially if you are going to go more regional or national, there is a trade association for everything. I know I can find within a couple minutes some databases that are big proponents, and their job is propagating the general nonprofit industry and doing lobbying on a state level or national level. They will have databases and resources and find out who is doing this out there. You can find out who else is doing something similar to what you are doing. Or you might find they are doing the same thing, but then research the website and reach out to them. Talk to them. Hopefully they are not very controlling or competitive and will share what they do. Maybe you will find what they do is helpful but still doesn’t fulfill needs you see. Another thing I would do is talk to people in the industry and find out what the trends are. One way you can find out what the trends are is who is funding the nonprofits who are similar to you, the start-ups? What types of projects or nonprofits are they funding? You might have something great for capacity building. You want to do capacity building for businesses, but that is not what is being funded right now. You might then need to find: If there is no funding for capacity building or my idea, what are other nonprofits that have that kind of interest and latch on to and do some volunteer work, maybe learn more about the industry or maybe you will see how you can take your vision and adapt it. Maybe there is funding going on for female teenage empowerment, something along those lines. I don’t know how you can combine those two, but doing research on another topic that really interests you or what is being funded, you might begin to see the initial vision is not exactly what you thought it was going to be, and you might have to modify it where you can do some capacity building but in an area that is getting funded, which might increase your chances of getting funded. Does that make sense? Russell: It does. A lot of people *audio cut* important to look into there. I am in Colorado, and I am a member of the Colorado Nonprofit Association. They are members of the National Council of Nonprofits, which is where you can plug in and fan out and see other places. I am a firm believer in what you are talking about as far as finding other people who are doing the same thing. A big piece of market research is the competitive analysis, seeing the competition. Unfortunately, it can be a barrier to collaboration. Looking at that landscape, more than half the charities that are started fail. Why is understanding the competition important? What are some of the things you look for as far as somebody that might be a potential collaborator, as it were? Thomas: I think the biggest thing I look for in someone who might be a potential collaborator is someone who genuinely expresses interest in collaborating or just throwing it out there: Hey, do you see any collaborative opportunities or is there something you need help with? If you were in my position, what would you recommend I do? Don’t rely on just necessarily one person’s advice. Sometimes a person’s advice could be golden, or it could just be rubbish and very biased and they might have their own agenda for why they tell you what they do. Getting on why to research competitors is saving time, effort, and money. If you think you have a great idea and spend all this time getting your 501(c)3 up and running, you try to convince your friends to join your board, then you find out you can’t get any funding or you don’t have time to write the grants or you don’t know how to write the grants or you can’t hire someone to write the grants for you. It goes a lot into strategic planning of course. You need to know again who else is out there, where are they getting their funding from? If you think there is room for you and your nonprofit in that segment, getting to know your competitors is very much what it is that you find that they do well and that they don’t do well. Maybe you can see what they don’t do well or at all, and that is your in. You can start with a mission. It may be a little different than what you originally wanted to do, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick with that forever. It’s just an in. I think many times people are too rigid. It’s not just nonprofits, but it’s in business. The universe can point you in a direction that may be different than your initial vision. Again, maybe you start off wanting to work with young girls, but the funding is for young boys or pre-teens. Then you get going and over time you get to learn the business, you get a good reputation, you learn who the funders are, and then you can get into the area you are most passionate about. Getting back to the competition: What is their operating efficiency? You see there are nonprofits out there that don’t use the money that is donated to them very efficiently. That is something that when I am making a charitable donation, I don’t care if it is $10, but I want to know how much of my $10 is actually going to good use. Maybe 95% of it is going to good use, but what are the results? Are people getting what they are supposed to be getting, or whatever the mission of your nonprofit is? Where you can learn about it is through talking to people, going to meetings, research, reading reviews, finding out your competitors can be a big part of when you are writing your grants, you can say, “Our operating efficiency is going to be high because we have such low overhead. We feel we have done the research, and this area has been neglected. It’s an underserved population.” Your job of analyzing your competitors is not to put them down but to learn who they are and what their pros and cons are. That can only help you with positioning yourself, which will greatly increase the chances of your nonprofit being successful. A lot of being successful is getting the funding. Russell: Understanding the market. A nonprofit has a look and feel of a business. You are operating an organization that is there to deliver value. I don’t think the people are worried about how much you spend as long as it’s being spent in the way that is delivering impact that has been promised. I think that you have different people that define that value differently. It’s going to be different for individual donors versus private foundations versus the government or any other number of people that you interact with. How many nonprofits, when you are sitting down talking with them about this research and the different audiences that are out there that interface with that nonprofit, how do you walk them through that and have that conversation around value and understanding all of the different people they come into contact with? Thomas: It depends on the flow of that conversation. Getting into what makes you unique or your idea unique. Who else out there is doing that? Have you done research on people or funds? These large grant funding agencies, are they funding these types of projects? Have you talked to them? Have you made phone calls? Why not call and ask about trends? They make the decisions on what the trends are going to be based on what they feel the needs are. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Also getting down into funding. If you have a full-time job, do you have the time? If you don’t have the time, how are you going to make the time? That may be hiring a team. That may be spending every weekend for the next year or two working real hard to get it up and running. I have been part of the grassroots nonprofits that I got involved with before as a 501(c)3, and then I was a board member and on the finance committee, so I got to see a lot of the tough dealings that it went through. It comes back again to what separates you from the pack. How do you know there will be funding for you? When you talk about impact, that’s great, but what does impact mean? When I say you, I am speaking generically. Why do people care about what you do? You might think they need it, but do they think they need it? Is there a real clamoring in your community for this service? That can be a big tell-tale sign if this is something to pursue or to shut it down altogether. One of the danger points is getting so excited about your idea that seems amazing to you, and it’s not to knock it, but you have to run it through the mill and let people give you feedback in the industry and through your secondary research, too, to find out if the world is ready for your great idea. Take your time. Do your due diligence. Don’t rush things. You can file a 501(c)3 any day of the year. I think too often people get too far down the road before they find out it’s not sustainable, even if the community needs it. There is no guarantee with doing competitive analysis and research that you will have success. But you can help to increase your odds and chances. I am a big proponent of being efficient. What is the most efficient way to build it and be successful and not waste our time or money? Russell: That is sage advice. It is thorough. Looking at that as we are talking about that, what are some of the most common mistakes you see people make in their analysis? When you pointed out that they get excited about an idea, everybody needs my idea, a lot of times they just run with it without analysis. Some people do some research and run off and get stuck. What are some of the most common oversights and errors that you see them make in the process? Thomas: Not researching their competition enough. You really got to know them. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. With integrity, too. Maybe spy on them or go to one of their events or fundraisers. Find out how to do things because you can learn a ton. People only doing secondary research or only doing primary research. I talked to a friend and they said they don’t know anybody else who does this so I think it’s a good idea. Or people in my community are saying they want it. If you don’t know what your competitors are up to next, they may be targeting that need. Or nobody may be targeting that need because the funding isn’t there. Unless you have deep pockets yourself or have great relations with people with deep pockets, then that should be a concern of yours. If you are in a segment with a lot of players, only researching the two or three competitors, but there are a lot of other players there, too. If there are 100 different nonprofits, you don’t need to spend days on each one, but you better pick some of the main frontrunners, more than two, and find out what they’re doing. I build spreadsheets for my clients. Here is the organization, here is where their main location, any offshoots, who runs it, who is on their board, pros and cons, what are people saying, different programs they offer, funding, and funding sources. That is something people can be doing for themselves as well. Taking the time to build that database. Learning what your competitors’ offerings are is one good way of learning what their pros and cons are. That is an upside of talking to people, too. I think that answers your question. Russell: I also think that people are afraid of data. Before, it was hard to know where to look, and now there is data everywhere, some of it free and some of it requiring an investment. How do you work with someone when they are very much intimidated by the data? How do you walk them through that? if they got enough fear, they won’t bother to do it. Thomas: Data can be very intimidating. I even get intimidated by data sometimes, but you have to persist. One of the biggest ways that I work with data is being able to explain it in layman’s terms, as much as understanding what it means. Sometimes data doesn’t mean a whole lot. People think because I do market research that I am a marketing guy. I’m not. I am an economist by trade. That makes it different and gives me a different perspective in how I approach things. In economics, if at first the data doesn’t produce the results you want, you massage the data. If massaging the data doesn’t give it the results you want, you beat it into submission until it does what you want. You can get numbers to tell you anything you want. My point being make sure you are getting your data from a reputable source. It’s usually best to get it from multiple sources. Try to verify it by talking to other experts in the industry. Often it’s not hard to find someone on LinkedIn or through the trade associations or other people in the industry. Call the company and ask them how they come to the conclusions with the data because so much matters in terms of population size, where the data was extracted (if it was only the Northeast because if you follow any elections, you extract data from different parts of the country and get different results). None of it is right or wrong. It is what it is. Getting back to the point: I think there are a lot of paid services out there. I subscribe to a few. Some are incredibly expensive, so I don’t bother with that, and I can usually get what I need through other methods. Another thing that people don’t think about is there is a ton of databases out there that are free to the public through the library system. The data is mandated by law to be available for the public. The government gets it out through the public library system. Go talk to a librarian if you are looking for certain data. Another way is if you are by a local university, or call them if you’re not near any, find out the department. If you are focusing on youth, you can talk to their education department or their mental health counselor. They can share or help you out with getting the data for free because universities have access to it as well. Those are a couple ways to get around the system. Russell: I love the public library. When I was growing up way back when, that was what we had. That was before the information age. The research librarians are good friends, and that is an excellent use of tax dollars. Now there is a flood of information. People can have all sorts of data. They get it from other sources. They have it, but they don’t necessarily know how reliable each of the sources are. How do you help folks navigate some of the better places to look for data? When they come to you, how to interpret it and make sense of it? Thomas: I end up doing it for them often. The times that someone has come to me, depending on the situation, I dig through the data and figure out what it means. Sometimes some of the data is best left to experts in that industry. I might find a trade association and ask them to explain it to me. I used to work for an environmental economics firm before I started my own company. We were working on a very large project for the entire state of Florida. Universities were some of the best resources. I used to call all around the country. We were researching crops and pricing on crops, chemicals, all this other stuff. But some of these universities, especially at the university extension programs, collect the most abstract data. The department heads are right on the Internet. In seconds you can find it. I would call and talk to professors in the industry and ask them to explain the data to me. One thing we were looking at was the prices of sod. It doesn’t sound very interesting, but it is to me, because I am a nerdy data guy. The prices on sod were flat for decades. All of a sudden, one year like five years ago, the price of sod doubled or tripled, and then it went flat again for the next year. When you are an economist and trying to make sense of trends and see a huge blip for no apparent reason, I am on the phone talking to professors and interviewing them as to what is going on, and what they told me was that after decades of the same flat price, the growers decided they deserved more. Within the year, they doubled the prices to reflect how they should be now. I asked him if this was going to happen again in the next year. His answer was, “No, that was a major one-time adjustment.” I know the prices of sod probably don’t interest any nonprofit at all, but the point is that sometimes when you are looking at the data and something doesn’t make sense, you can find out from the universities and professors who spend 80 hours a week researching and writing academic papers and have brilliant minds who can give you a ton of information that any expert working for a nonprofit might not know. Don’t limit your options just to people in the industry on the street. Russell: Do you find that there is a great reluctance on the part of people coming to see you to actually go out and talk to people? They may rely on the Internet or other research. When you find that people are trying to put these ideas together that they are somewhat reluctant to talk to other people. Thomas: Sure. Or they don’t know what questions to ask, which is another reason they hire me to do it. But I will work with clients to develop questions. I do a lot of structured interviews, where I have a set list of questions and will call that industry expert and ask for 5-10 minutes to run through specifically what we need. That way, we can look at the data and say we interviewed 20 people with all the same questions. Even if the answers aren’t consistent, the questions were. That is what I do. I make sure that I’m getting the questions answered that matter to my clients. We brainstorm together. For people on their own who I give advice to, there is some reluctance to pick up the phone and talk to these people. It’s not for everyone. But cold calling takes some time to get used to. Russell: A lot of people won’t cold call. They don’t always know. I had a consultation with a gentleman that was referred to me today who wanted to do some programs. Some questions I was asking he didn’t quite have answers to. A lot of times people approach you and don’t know what questions to ask. It’s a huge advantage to work with you and 50 USA Markets. When you and your partners get that information. If they are not asking the right questions, they can come away with something that is completely off-center. It may be feasible when they are asking the wrong questions, but if they are asking the right questions, their idea might not be feasible. Thomas: Right. The wording on the questions that you ask matters. If you ask it in a certain way that will give you the intended result you want, or you can spend all this time asking all the wrong questions. That is more about thinking ahead and being smart and taking the time. Don’t rush it. There is nothing wrong with taking baby steps. That doesn’t mean you have to move slowly. That just means they are small, structured, disciplined, strategic steps and you are moving forward. I think people don’t take the time to think through what you really want. When you take someone else’s time and your own time, you have to be clear about what you want and what answers you want and why you want them. Russell: That is the value of having a trusted advisor like yourself. You get people to step back and take a breath. Social entrepreneurs are difference makers. They see a problem and want to get in there immediately and do something. They are excited about a large vision they have. They don’t always think about that sequencing or who else is doing that, which is something we talked about at great length. When you talk about some of those problems that society has that are pretty broad-based like homelessness, when you have someone who has a nonprofit out there to combat that, how do they go about differentiating themselves by using that research? Thomas: Speaking in vague terms, it depends on what data you’re getting. You might see a real need for it. People in your community are saying you need to start a nonprofit that will address this issue because this is big in our community, and I think it’s a national problem. Then you find that nation-wide—you are creating this nonprofit that you want to be nationwide and you have this grand strategy and maybe you are researching your competitors in Oregon and Maine and wherever else—but then you look at the data and talk to people and realize that it’s not an issue nationwide. But it is an issue to certain areas of the country. Or maybe it’s something very unique to your community in itself. That is why I say there is nothing wrong with starting out with baby steps. Maybe there is nothing wrong with just targeting your community, your school, your neighborhood, whatever it may be. Start there. Get some systems and processes down. There will be learning. Then you will build some systems. See what works and what doesn’t work. Then move on from there. When you start smaller, you don’t need as much funding so it’s a lot easier to get the funding you need to get going. Then when you want to look for those bigger investors, the donors, you will have a proven track record and references. You will have accomplishments. It depends on what you want to do, but it will be a smarter way to move. There is nothing wrong with starting small. No one gets into the nonprofit industry to make millions anyway. You’re not in it for the money. You want to get into it to create some type of positive impact on the nation, the world, but just get up and get moving. There is nothing wrong with that. Maybe it’s a year or five years down the road. You never know how fast you’re going to grow. Just starting and moving. You look at companies like Uber or smaller mom and pop stores or Walmart. They just started. Walmart has its own location that wasn’t big for many years, and then they hit a point where they were ready to expand. There is nothing wrong with that. Russell: *audio issue*Where you build on these successes by building step by step and having small successes and creating that track record. That is a cumulative impact. You become known for building *audio issue* Noble City Chamber of Commerce said, “We #thinknoble and we #takerisks.” That is what they do. They probably have a process for that. When you are working with someone who is not sure how to differentiate themselves, how do you guide them through that process? Thomas: It depends on a few things. First one being what are your competitors doing? Let’s brainstorm some different ways of doing things. Then talk to the other people in your industry and ask them about your ideas. That seems to be an underserved area. Why is no one targeting that area? You might find a real good reason that no one is targeting it again, so you don’t want to differentiate yourself that way. It’s a lot of back and forth. A mentor of mine once told me many years ago, “Follow your heart and you will never go wrong.” I think that a lot of people who are in the nonprofit industry get into it because they are driven by their heart. I think that a lot of times your heart will tell you how you really feel you want to differentiate yourself because you are unique. Maybe it’s best not to talk to other people and see what other people are saying you need to do, but you really need to know deep down. It depends on the situation, but those are a couple ways. Russell: We brought up the question of how competitors are getting funded. As an example, when you were looking at starting yours, how were your competitors getting funded? What were some of the steps you took to find out how your competitors were getting funded? Thomas: I found some of the companies who were competing with me were small person shops like myself. Now they are a company that I have a strategic partnership with and we are working on a big deal together right now, they do things with very low efficiency. They have offices all over the world, but they just keep one or two people in each country and everyone works remotely from home. They also have people that if they are working on a project and have someone whose office is in Shanghai, while they are sleeping, the person in Shanghai can take over. I have learned more about how they work and how they are more efficient just by talking to them and eventually getting in a deal with them. We jibed quite well, so we ended up going into business together, as far as strategic partners. I also researched people online and polled them, asked them questions. Pretend to be a potential client, or be honest about what you’re doing. Some of these guys do what I do but they have their main focus of their company. When I was getting started, I was focusing on international. A lot of small low-cost operations. I want to build my company even more. I have a lot of connections. I used to live in New York and Colorado. Then I have been partnering with people in Chicago, too. That is how I knew I wanted to do it. I am on the business end, not the nonprofit end. As far as my company is structured. Just find other organizations that are similar to yours and start asking them questions. Call them or email them. See if you can set up a time. Even calling some of these nonprofit associations and ask them about the best way to get started. I remember from living in Colorado there is the YNP, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. If you are below 35 or 40, they have events every month, I think. Go to those events. Go where people like you are or where people you want to emulate are. They will give you amazing, invaluable advice. You will find out how they built their businesses. Find out what they do. Find out ways that will work for you. I knew I didn’t want to rent office space and start capital. That is not my style. For some people, it is. Seeing how other people operate in different business or nonprofit models is how you learn you want to run yours. Talk to people in your industry. Russell: That is pretty important. That is that first step to building a high-performance nonprofit is to build that solid foundation. It’s being sure what it is you want to do, who you are trying to help, and what that looks like. What you have on hand and what you don’t. Moving forward and finding out who is in your space. A lot of the market research also goes into board members, servant leaders, and volunteers, as well as donors. Your message has to resonate with all of the people who potentially impact it as well as the people who will be using the service. It’s amazing to me how little time some folks spend talking to people that will actually use the service. This is notoriously true for the government. They build it and can’t figure out why no one shows up. Thomas: Right. This brings me back to one of the very first nonprofits I was involved with. We created a nonprofit arts community. It was called Art House. I am originally from Cleveland. It was over by the Cleveland Zoo. It was very working-class to some borderline or below poverty people. Not the best schools in that area. We got funding from one of the councilwomen. Each ward got some funding to do what they wanted in the community. The director of the arts nonprofit convinced her this would be great for the community. They took that money and bought a foreclosed house, an old three-story house. How are you going to renovate it? They got together people from the community to volunteer. We were there on Saturdays spending time ripping up floors, ripping out walls. Everyone put their time in. That was a great way to do things and to save money. Then they renovated it. They brought local artists there to teach classes. They made a cut on what teachers charged to help the nonprofit, and they gave them the space as well. But also they developed a relationship with the local school where they would go to the students. I don’t know if they didn’t have an art studio or if there was an after-school program, but they would bring the students from the school to the arts community, which is a block or two away. The students there could do sculpting and bronzing and painting and jewelry making. Then they had an art show every few months where local artists could sell their art stuff. They could raise money, get the community involved, and target several segments at once for just the start-up money for buying that foreclosed house. In Cleveland, that’s not a whole lot of money. Russell: I grew up there, too. They used to call it the best location in the nation. We are hometown boys. That is pretty important. With that group, they brought a lot of people together. I have seen some nonprofit leaders who don’t necessarily have a lot of money but are great at mobilizing people. They have started to raise money over time because they are great and they do things with all volunteer staff. They don’t take the check out of it but they are not pulling money out of their pockets to make it run. They have some powerful, sustainable stuff going. That is because they knew how to talk to different people. Travis Smith who runs Impact here in Denver, Colorado is one that comes to mind. We are coming to the top of the hour. Every week it’s like this. We could go on for hours and I would be fascinated and learn to love more. But we have a limited time for our audience. What are some closing thoughts that you want to leave people with? Tell us how we can get in contact with you and work with you. Thomas: I guess a few parting thoughts: It certainly depends where you are in your development of your organization. I hate to beat a dead horse, but if you are in the beginning stages and have an idea, or if you have an idea and already have a 501(c)3 but haven’t done your research on your competition and are having a hard time finding funding, do that market research. Go out and talk to people. Talk to your local places, state agencies. Talk to the national trade associations. Go to the local nonprofit networking events. Find people that you want to emulate. Don’t be afraid to ask people for some of their time and be prepared at what you want to get out of a meeting. More often than not, I find people are more than happy to talk about themselves and their successes and help you out at the same time. If you haven’t done the secondary data, start looking for it. If you can’t find it, then find out where the people you are connecting with are getting their data. Start marking trends. Don’t be afraid to call some of the donors and find out where they see the trends. Would they ever fund your project? Who would fund your project? Donor organizations know other donor organizations, and you may find it’s a small world after all. If you are just starting with your idea, really try to think and start small. Don’t be afraid to start small, and talk to people who are doing similar work to what you are doing. That is what I could say. You can go to my website, which is 50usamarkets.com. You can also email me at tmoviel@50usamarkets.com. Or pick up the phone and give me a call. I still have a Colorado number from a long time ago. Call me at 303-819-9847. I am more than happy to talk to you, listen to your idea, learn more about what you have going on, learn more about your challenges. If I can’t help you out, I may very well know someone who can. Don’t be afraid to reach out. There are a lot of exciting ideas and projects out there, but you have to be relentless and unwilling to compromise. If there is something you want, go get it. It takes a lot of time and effort and some good, rational thinking. Russell: Very good. Very sage advice. That is wonderful. We have lots of connections. Colorado and Cleveland. Thomas: I know. it’s crazy. Russell: It’s just crazy. Wonderful work you’re doing out there. It’s very useful. My best friend’s dad was an agricultural economist. He taught at Oklahoma State. He retired about five years ago. When an economist approaches things, it’s different, but it’s thorough. Thomas, thank you very much for your hard work and all the great things you are doing out there. I look forward to talking to you again soon, Thomas.

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  • Episode #292 – YOLO: You Only Live Once

    · Marketing Secrets

    A trick that my kids use to dominate the world. On this episode Russell talks about his kids using “Yolo” to do things they otherwise wouldn’t do and how we can use that same mantra in our businesses to get rid of self doubt. Here are some fun things in this episode: Russell talks about his kids’ motivation to get out of the hot tub and run through feet of snow being just one word, “Yolo.” Why Russell thinks that when you have inspiration you should use the phrase mantra to motivate you before the self doubt sets in. And you’ll get to hear in their own words, what Russell’s kids’ think Yolo means to them. So listen below to hear how Russell’s kids taught him about not letting self doubt ruin inspiration. ---Transcript--- Hey everyone, this is Russell Brunson, welcome back to Marketing In Your Car. Today I am actually sitting in my kitchen. The kitchen that all the wood is completely warped from our flood. All my wife and kids are out in the hot tub except for Norah who decided she didn’t want to hot tub. So we are standing here and I’m supposed to be feeding her dinner because she’s hungry, but instead she’s eating a popsicle. That is called good parenting, because it’s the only way to get her to stop crying. So yes, I should teach a parenting course someday. If your kids are crying, just give them a popsicle. Oh man, some days it’s really hard to be a parent. But those days you just give them a popsicle and it becomes easy again. Just kidding. Parenting advice aside, because nobody wants that right now. But I do want to talk about something really super cool. Because we’re in the hot tub, it’s been snowing, Boise has been Boise Snowpocolypse, or whatever you want to call it. The last week we’ve had 3 or 4 feet of snow and then it rained another foot and everything was soaked, and my house was flooding. Oh and today we were filming a testimonial video in my front room and I walked on the carpet and the carpet is soaking wet and I looked at the wall and there’s water seeping behind the paint of our wall. Anyway, it’s a total disaster nightmare. Not gonna lie. But the one nice thing is that the Hot tub is good no matter what. So we’re out in the hot tub in the snow, and we’ve pretty much hot tubbed everyday. Man, we had 5 snow days in a row, almost 10 days in a row between Christmas break and this and everything, we’ve been hot tubbing a lot. And it’s fun because the hot tub is surrounded by tons and tons and tons of snow. So the first day you hot tub everyone’s like, “Oooh it’s so cold.” And they’ll touch the snow a little bit and try little things. Take little snow balls and throw them at each other and then dive back into the water. Now it’s insane because they do these things, and this is kind of the point of today’s message. So I was there yesterday with the kids and they’re jumping up and screaming and running around our house, which is a pretty long distance in the snow. First they were doing one lap, then two, then three. Now they’re doing four laps around the house and then they dive back into the water. And then they’re doing snow angels, front and back and then back in the water. And they’re running across the yard, onto the trampoline, doing snow angels on the trampoline and jumping and run back and dive in. All these crazy things. Stuff that’s super painful and super crazy, and they keep doing them over and over again. And what’s interesting and this is the point, before they go, every single time, they’re like, “Hey, let’s do it.“ and they’re all like, “But it’s so cold.” And then Dallin, I think Dallin who started this, he’s the one, he always says, “Yolo.” And he jumps up and takes off. So it’s like everyone’s freezing. No one wants to get in the cold snow, but then Dallin goes “Yolo.” jumps up, steps in the snow and sprints probably I don’t know 500 yards in the snow in around our house a bunch of times and then dives back in. I was like, “What are you, when you’re yelling, what are you yelling out?” he said, “Yolo.” I was like, “What does yolo mean?” “You only live once.” And then he goes, “Yolo.” And jumps up and takes off and runs out in the snow again. I was kind of laughing, actually he said, “You only live once so spend it or live it stupidly.” I don’t know what it was, and then he takes off. So all the kids, every time they’re about to do something crazy that they normally wouldn’t do, they look at that challenge, run across the snow, do a snow angel, a front snow angel and back, three somersaults in the snow and run back and dive in. They sit there and you know when you want to do something cool, there’s that moment of like, “Huh, I can’t do that.” And the second that moment comes to them, they yell out “Yolo” and boom, they just go. And I was like, how cool is that? This is way harder, what they’re doing, than what we’re trying to do in business every day. Yet, we come up with plan and this idea and this obstacle and we’re like, “Okay, here’s what we’re going to do.” And all the sudden your brain starts talking to you and your brains like, “You can’t do that. You’re Russell Brunson, you barely graduated high school. You’re super awkward, when you talk people won’t know why you came to talk to people.” All these things start flooding into your mind. What happens to most of us is we sit there like, “Man, you’re right. I am just Russell Brunson. I’m really not that good. I barely graduated from school. Yeah when I get in a group and I talk one on one with people I have no idea. I feel awkward, I don’t know what to say most of the time.” And all these thoughts keep flooding your head and if you listen to them long enough, you start believing them and you have so much fear and anxiety when there are things there, you just don’t take that action. And I think what’s interesting, is that they’re flooding their mind with, as soon as those things start coming up, “Yolo.” Boom, they just take off and they go. I think for all of us, if we start doing that think how powerful that would be. If just every time something comes to us, like an idea, when we have that idea, that inspiration, and I think those inspirations aren’t just from our brain. I wish that I was that smart, but I don’t think it is. I think it’s coming from on high. I think that you can call it whatever you want, for me it’s my Heavenly Father. I think we are inspirations we get from him. “Hey you should try this thing. Hey you should take this leap of faith. Hey you should go talk to this person. Hey you should create this. Hey you should test…..” Whatever those things are. Those are gifts that we’re getting and it’s like, okay go do it and all the fear and self doubt comes in and stops it most of the time. If we start becoming like my insane kids are, and the second you have the idea and you know it’s right, because you know it pretty quick. Should I do this, yes I should. Oh but…..as soon as that, right before that but comes off, yell out at the top of your lungs, if you’re in a spot where you can, if not say it in your head as loud as you can, “Yolo.” Y O L O, you only live once. “Yolo.” And just go, just run, just sprint, don’t even think because once that inspirations coming to you, it’s there and if you believe like I do, it was given to you from a higher power, whatever that might be for you, then you’re hesitation to that is, and I believe in an adversary. There’s God and there’s the opposite side of that, there’s Satan or whatever you want to call it, that tries to take things from us. So as soon as you have this inspiration, “This is what I need to do.” The adversary is going to come and start self doubt and try to keep you from doing that thing that could change your life and change other people’s lives. So I think one of the most powerful things we can do is yell out, “Yolo.” The second we get inspiration and start running, just sprint. Ellie just walked in, I’m going to ask her. Hey Ellie, what does Yolo mean to you guys when you say “Yolo” and start running in the snow? Ellie: I don’t know. Russell: You don’t know? What does it stand for? Ellie: I can’t remember. Russell: You don’t…. Ellie: Wait….you only live once or something like that. Russell: You only live once. Then tell us some of the crazy stuff you guys are doing after you yell Yolo. Ellie:  we were walking in the snow. Russell: She’s being all shy now. Let me ask Bowen. Bowen just came in. Hey Bowen, what does Yolo mean to you? Bowen: You only live once. Russell:  So what are the things you do when you yell Yolo, what do you do? Bowen: Dallin says spend it, you only have one life so spend it stupidly. He actually told me what it says and I’m like, oh that makes sense. (kind of inaudible, this is a guess.) Russell: Then what do you do, you say Yolo, then what kind of crazy things do you do? Bowen: Jump in the snow, ankles hurt to death. Ellie: It’s fun. Russell: It’s fun? How many times did you run around the house? Bowen: 5 times. Russell: 5 times. Ellie: When our cousins were here I went two times around the house. Russell: Does Yolo help you to not freak out when it gets cold? What does it help you do? Bowen: It kills you. Russell: Oh it kills you. So Yolo is the challenge. There it is from the mouths of kids. So that’s what I want to recommend, start thinking about that, think Yolo. When you get that inspiration that you know what’s right, before the self doubt, the adversary, whatever it is that you think, whatever it is, I don’t care. But things start popping into your head about why you can’t or shouldn’t or you’re probably not worthy to do it. Whatever those things pop up, just shout Yolo at the top of your lungs and start running. That’s the key. And it hurts right? Did you hear

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  • Jan Peters: Ich bin 41 / 1

    · artmix.galerie - Bayern 2

    JEDER IST EIN KÜNSTLER. Du hast 3 Minuten. "In a world where in the question of the archive - what kind of information do we preserve and how do we preserve that information? - is as important and as complex as ecology-matters, Jan Peters presents with the mini documentaries about his own life, the personal archive as a kind of eco-space. The recordings of his own persona evoke indeed urgency and survival. The survival of the self - himself Jan Peters. Besides Jan Peters does speak like the whirring of a projector. Film ist fuer Peters die logische Fortführung der Sprache, und die Sprache leitet zuruck zum Bild.And like in other great movies we start to identify ourselves with.. Jan Peters. The viewer becomes Jan Peters, we even feel like growing older with him or just like him. Jan Peters wants to share with us his immense and detailed personal archive, and we become less scared and more aware: this archive is a pledge for life and not against it. But is Jan Peters' archive to be continued like it begun? Is he able to stay in control? Indeed, the ferocious battle with the new imaging-technologies - which have the capacity to program even our own absence - has only just begun. Even Jan Peters says so. But I am sure he and we will overcome. In one way or another." (Laudatio von Chris Dercon, Haus der Kunst, München)

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  • Jan Peters: Ich bin 41 / 2

    · artmix.galerie - Bayern 2

    JEDER IST EIN KÜNSTLER. Du hast 3 Minuten. "In a world where in the question of the archive - what kind of information do we preserve and how do we preserve that information? - is as important and as complex as ecology-matters, Jan Peters presents with the mini documentaries about his own life, the personal archive as a kind of eco-space. The recordings of his own persona evoke indeed urgency and survival. The survival of the self - himself Jan Peters. Besides Jan Peters does speak like the whirring of a projector. Film ist fuer Peters die logische Fortführung der Sprache, und die Sprache leitet zuruck zum Bild.And like in other great movies we start to identify ourselves with.. Jan Peters. The viewer becomes Jan Peters, we even feel like growing older with him or just like him. Jan Peters wants to share with us his immense and detailed personal archive, and we become less scared and more aware: this archive is a pledge for life and not against it. But is Jan Peters' archive to be continued like it begun? Is he able to stay in control? Indeed, the ferocious battle with the new imaging-technologies - which have the capacity to program even our own absence - has only just begun. Even Jan Peters says so. But I am sure he and we will overcome. In one way or another." (Laudatio von Chris Dercon, Haus der Kunst, München)

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  • Jan Peters: Ich bin 41 / 3

    · artmix.galerie - Bayern 2

    JEDER IST EIN KÜNSTLER. Du hast 3 Minuten. "In a world where in the question of the archive - what kind of information do we preserve and how do we preserve that information? - is as important and as complex as ecology-matters, Jan Peters presents with the mini documentaries about his own life, the personal archive as a kind of eco-space. The recordings of his own persona evoke indeed urgency and survival. The survival of the self - himself Jan Peters. Besides Jan Peters does speak like the whirring of a projector. Film ist fuer Peters die logische Fortführung der Sprache, und die Sprache leitet zuruck zum Bild.And like in other great movies we start to identify ourselves with.. Jan Peters. The viewer becomes Jan Peters, we even feel like growing older with him or just like him. Jan Peters wants to share with us his immense and detailed personal archive, and we become less scared and more aware: this archive is a pledge for life and not against it. But is Jan Peters' archive to be continued like it begun? Is he able to stay in control? Indeed, the ferocious battle with the new imaging-technologies - which have the capacity to program even our own absence - has only just begun. Even Jan Peters says so. But I am sure he and we will overcome. In one way or another." (Laudatio von Chris Dercon, Haus der Kunst, München)

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  • Avoid Leadership Burnout with Outsourcing Staff

    · 00:47:04 · The Nonprofit Exchange: Leadership Tools & Strategies

    Nathan Hirsch is the CEO of FreeeUp.com and the COO of Portlight. Nate has been an entrepreneur in the eCommerce industry since 2009 and has grown into a leading expert in the field with experience managing multi-million dollar businesses. He has extensive knowledge in creating business systems and processes, personnel management, hiring remote workers, the Amazon Marketplace, and advanced sales tactics. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge with others and has been featured on leading industry podcasts, webinars, and blogs. Nate is determined to build FreeeUp into the top hands-on platform for hiring remote workers where thousands of businesses and remote workers are connected. If you're interested in connecting with Nate, shoot him an email at Nathan@FreeeUp.com. The Transcript NPC Interview with Nathan Hirsch – 6/13/17 Hugh Ballou: Greetings, everyone. This is the Nonprofit Chat. Tonight’s guest is Nathan Hirsch. I just met Nathan a month ago. I was smart enough to recognize this guy had talent, so I am giving myself credit for that. I posted a little information about you, and I’d prefer for guests to give us a synopsis of what brings you to this discipline that you do so well. I’d like to say your company is called Freeeup.com, and it’s an outsourcing company. The reason I wanted you on this series is because I see so many people who are working at the leadership level that are overfunctioning and doing way too much. We are going to talk about how to leverage time by putting in part-time employees. Nathan, speak a little bit about your journey and why you are so good at what you offer. Nathan Hirsch: It’s funny. When I first talked to you, I was like, “My mom owns a nonprofit.” I’d seen her journey from being a one-woman show to finally retiring and upgrading the location she was at, having a huge staff, taking more and more off her plate. I got that business, entrepreneurial, delegating mentality from a very young age. When I was in college, I started a textbook business trying to cut off the school bookstore because I was mad at them for ripping me off and giving me pennies on the dollar when I thought I could get more. Before I knew it, I had lined my college dorm room buying people’s books. That led me to Amazon.com because you don’t sell books for very long without learning about Amazon. Before I knew it, I was running this multi-million-dollar drop-shipping business on Amazon, working with all these different vendors and suppliers, selling stuff out of my college dorm room. It was just me doing everything, from filling orders to answering customer emails. I was driving myself crazy. I was going to college at the same time, trying to have good grades, trying to balance a girlfriend and a million other things that happen while you are at school. I remember going to my accountant one day, and he was like, “So, when are you hiring your first employee?” I was like, “Why would I do that? I don’t want to give my money to someone else. I really enjoy what I’m doing. This is fun. I am going to work seven days a week.” He just laughed in my face. After that meeting, I quickly got to hiring. I opened up an office and moved stuff around. I ended up getting rid of that and making my company remote. I always ran into hiring dilemmas because I would make really good hires, things like Connor, who was my business partner for a long time. But then I would make bad hires, who cost me time and money and set me back. Although I got better at hiring, the amount of applicants got greater and greater because I was hiring for all these different things. Yes, I perfected this hiring process, but then I found myself in the interview room six hours a day interviewing people, going through multiple rounds and resumes, only to find that some of them, even though I’d vetted them properly, still didn’t work out and cost me money. So I got really frustrated at that and thought there had to be a better way. There had to be a company where I could tell them what I wanted—if I needed a graphic designer, I don’t want to wait three weeks to get one by vetting through fifty applicants. This is what I need, and I could get them by the end of the day. This is how I came up with the idea of Freeeup, where instead of the marketplace being a free-for-all, it is very organized. People apply to get into the marketplace, they are heavily vetted, we make sure they have a good attitude and communication, and we make them available to clients so they can get access to talent quickly, no matter what it is. Hugh: I love it. Our co-host, Russell Dennis, has joined us. Russell, say hello to Nathan. Russell Dennis: Good afternoon. Good to meet you, Nathan. I love the concept of Freeeup and pre-vetting virtual assistants because they are practically everywhere. I have just had that one follow me on my Twitter feed who looks like they are doing the same thing or something similar. These agencies are starting to turn up, but I haven’t seen anything quite like what you are doing before. Nathan: Thank you. Great to meet you as well. You’re right. There are so many different agencies and marketplaces. I have hired from all of them. I kind of took what I liked and what I hated and put together a concept that really works for business owners. The downside of agencies is you never know who is doing the work. You don’t get that one-on-one touch. A lot of times they switch people behind the scenes and you don’t know about it, so the quality goes up and down. The problem with the marketplace is the time and effort it takes to get a good freelancer, and if you invest the training and they decide to quit, there is no one held responsible for that, and you have to start right over. With Freeeup, we have our no-turnover guarantee, where we cover replacement training costs if anyone ever quits. That was the concept behind it. It has been a lot of fun so far. Hugh: Having run multiple businesses and church programs and non-profit programs, hiring people is not a skillset that I had. I have it now. Previously, I had a lot of bad hires. You have come at this very early in your life. You have developed this level of expertise. Russell has worked inside a non-profit for 11 years. He also worked for the IRS, so he had to visit a lot of nonprofits, I guess. This whole thing of accomplishing our mission is very elusive, and we are so passionate about it that we just jump in and forget that in this realm of the charity, there are people who will step up as community leaders and work with us. They will say, “I want to help.” There are some tasks that we need to have somebody who is paid, that regular work ethic that someone will do what we have assigned them. There is an exchange of value for pay. We can do that in a charity, actually delegating some things. Part of what we teach at SynerVision about leadership is learning to take things off of your plate. I guess the piece that you just talked about is having the confidence that the person is going to be capable of accomplishing it. We invite people who have businesses and expertise. We are talking about Freeeup, which is Nathan’s business. The people that referred Nathan to me were our friends in Phoenix who do the background checks, former military intelligence people. If they said he is clean, it’s good. Nathan, we have to get over this fear of having somebody else do the work. From a leader’s perspective, I have noticed you have a team around you that performs at a pretty high standard. Speak from your own personal perspective. How were you able to make the transition to getting things off of your plate, delegating them? Nathan: Sure. Whenever you talk about delegating, you have to be in the mindset that the business has to work for you. You can’t work for the business. If you find yourself trying to catch up and clearing out customer emails and calling everyone back and doing this Excel project and building the website, the business isn’t working for you; you are working for the business. You have to get out of that mentality. You have to get into the mentality that you are a delegator as the owner of the company. There should be a specific thing, or a few things if you are very talented, that you are really good at, that your core competency can really help you excel at. You need to identify those things. If you are good at sales, 80% of your time should be sales. If you are customer service, you should be building customer service programs. If you are a website developer, you should be constantly upgrading your website, and other people should be doing those other things. It’s really important that you get into the mentality that the beginning of every day is getting your team organized before you get yourself going. The first thing I do every day is I have a list of people and prioritize them. I go to them one by one, following up with what they are doing, making sure they are on the right track, making sure I answer any of their questions to get them to the next level because if they are sitting there waiting, that is incredibly unproductive. I am not going to start on my project because I get them going. On top of that, I make sure things are constantly running at full speed, whether it’s someone working at night or someone working on the weekends. Even when I am on vacation, the business is not going to stop. My whole thing as a business owner is to get into the mentality that I have to get this train running. It takes a lot of organization upfront to build that team, which we will talk about, but the end goal is to have a team that never stops, that keeps moving forward whether you are there or not, and that you are contributing value when you are there to keep them moving further and further along. Hugh: We think, and I’m saying we because I am not innocent of any of this, we are essential to the work of the organization when in fact, we don’t need to be essential. We are the cheerleaders; we are the visionaries. It’s the people we bring on board that actually perform the duties that are important to the success of the organization. That thing you just talked about is a paradigm shift. Did you have to make a paradigm shift to make a mental flip that you were going to learn to delegate? Or did that come easily to you? Nathan: I came easier to me than it did to my business partner Connor. I remember when I first started delegating after that meeting with the accountant, it becomes addicting. I am a business owner. I am passionate about what I do. I like getting things done. All of a sudden, when I added a few people, I realized I was getting four times the amount of work done, and not only that, but they were doing the work better than I could even do it. They were talents that I didn’t have. When I realized that, then it became easy. You almost become lazy as a business owner because it’s like, “Yeah, I could spend the next three hours doing Quickbooks, or I could pay someone $40 to do it for me.” You just start passing stuff off your plate. You get a lot more done, which leads to more revenue and expanding your company, which leads to hiring more people. It is a really great circle once you get those wheels churning. But I remember my business partner Connor managing the company one day when I was on vacation, and he was literally doing everything. Every single tracking email at my Amazon business, he was responding to. When I came back from vacation, I sat him down and said, “You’re stuck. If this is how you want to do business, you are never moving forward. You can’t be my business partner. You are just going to be in this spot forever. There is no way to be on top of your business if you are doing every little thing. You have to take stuff off of your plate. You have to get over that fear of letting go. It’s not until you actually do that that you can accomplish something as an entrepreneur. No matter how big or small your business is, you are going to hit a ceiling, a road block. Right now, if you get sick for two weeks—I had shoulder surgery a month ago. Nothing stopped, things accelerated. I got my team motivated to work because I wasn’t there, and a lot of stuff got done while I was out. You have to look yourself in the eye and figure out if that is going to happen in your business while you are out. Hugh: David James Dunworth says, “The real measure of a successful leader is that the operation operates as or more effectively and smoothly when the boss is not there. I call the job of establishing systems and processes to get that point is owner-proofing.” That is getting out of the way, isn’t it. Owner-proofing. We have launched some questions during the interview. You sent me some good questions, and we are sharing them out there on social media. The first one: What would you do if you had two extra hours each day? Russell, what would you do if you had extra time every day? Russell: Two extra hours. I would probably be outside walking. Definitely would be outside. It’s not a cloud in sight. It’s about 82 degrees here. That is what I would be doing. I took a break today to walk outside and get around. I love the fresh air. I made a decision to get in a really good condition this spring. I made major changes to my diet. From my last doctor’s appointment about five weeks ago, I am down 27.5 pounds. And I am sleeping better. Hugh: Wow. I was with a client today, and they had a management team of about 14 people. They were talking about one of the aspects of one of the department’s work, and they were streamlining and automating. They estimated it would save 3.5 hours a day of the employees, which totally revamped how they were going to assign duties in that department, which is huge. They are installing some automation, which frees up people with a higher level of skill from doing something routine to utilize that skill. Nathan, what would you do with two extra hours if you had them? Nathan: I think that’s the difference between running a lifestyle business and trying to get back toward that lifestyle versus a workaholic. For me, when I am freeing up time, which I am constantly doing because I get more and more on my plate, I am just freeing up my time to focus on some other part of my business. I like working ten hours a day, and I am doing that no matter what. If I free up three hours, I may take an extra day off here and there, but I am reinvesting it back in the company. That content video that I didn’t have time to make, now I have time for it. That PR company that I never called back, let’s give them a phone call. For me, I am freeing up time to get more time in my business that focuses on sales, marketing, and expansion. If I am not doing something that focuses on sales, marketing, and expansion, my business is stalling. I am not moving forward as fast as I can. I owe it to the other people on my team to do that. We have all been around that boss where all they do all day is walk around and look over your shoulder. My mentality is if you are doing that, you are not doing what you are supposed to do as a leader. You are not progressing anything forward. You are not making a process better. You are not fixing anything for the future. And you are definitely not growing and expanding your company. Yes, there is a time and place to double-check work and make sure everything is going well, but the goal should be to free up your time for anything that involves expansion. Hugh: Why do you think that it’s so hard for people to do that? Nathan: Expanding is hard. Get to a point in your company that you are comfortable. You are making money for the first time. You have a stable client base. Anything past that is unknown territory. What happens if you invest in advertising here? What happens if you do 20 phone calls for lead generation and you get rejected 20 times? People don’t want to do what it takes to get to that next level of your business. You eventually stall out. There are people who are very comfortable running a $1 million company or a $4 million company instead of being like, “Hey, every year, I want to grow non-stop. Yes, I am setting goals and guidelines, but if I didn’t get bigger from year to year, I did something wrong that year. I am too involved, or I made a bad decision, or I wasn’t focused on expansion.” A lot of it is fear. Fear is incredibly motivating or unmotivating when it comes to people. Along with delegation, it is something you need to let go of. As a business owner, you need to figure out how to take your business to the next level, whether it is taking that online mastermind class or reading a new book or trial and error, which I am a huge fan of. Figure out a way to free up your time to take the business to the next level. Hugh: I’d like to point out that expansion becomes easier after you get older and your metabolism slows down. Not what you were talking about, I don’t think. Russ, do you want to piggyback on what he just said? That is so aligned with our philosophy at SynerVision. Russell: It very much is. With that extra time for me, I was thinking I needed to take better care of myself so I can do things. Over the course of the day, if I am not learning something or out here reaching out to people or trying to grow that business, then I am in a place where I need to look at getting some of the smaller things off my plate. I have been leveraging technology. I have some people I work with here in my office who are here to help me do some things. I have been able to get more traction by connecting with other people who can help me along in my process, and that is true for anybody. The people who are clients of mine, I actually help them do that. What you are talking about is filling gaps. Those don’t necessarily have to be weaknesses. It could just be things we simply don’t want to do or are not the best use of our time for what we need to do. Nathan hit that on the head: What am I best at, and what are the things only I can do? Those are the things I try to attend to, and I try to hand other things off and find other ways to get them done. Hugh: So true. Once we can hand off things, we can focus on what we are supposed to be doing and what we do best. Really, Nathan you talked about what kind of business, a lifestyle business. When we are in business, we need to stop and look at our life plan and make sure the business is fulfilling our life. You are getting ready to go to Mexico in a couple of days. Sounds like you got your act together, boy. Nathan: Yeah, I mean I have assistants who monitor my Skype and my email almost 24 hours a day. It took a lot of time and training and investing. There will always be some frustration. You hire four people, and maybe one of them doesn’t work out. They can’t be a reason to give up. You have to learn from those experiences, come up with better systems, come up with better processes, and figure out a way to do it because your competitors are going to do it. At some point, they are going to figure out how to automate it, how to hire the right people, how to make it so their business is getting bigger while you sleep. You have to figure out a way to do that. Hugh: Absolutely. I didn’t mean to call you “boy.” I am three times your age, so the perspective… Nathan: You can call me “boy” then. Hugh: That’s right. And you’re not catching up either. The next question that we posted out there, and I did talk about the real time research that people tell me they are struggling with leadership and burnout, the Meyer Foundation did a research project a few years ago and found that the burnout rate for nonprofit executives is 45%. 75% of executives are looking at the door as a way out. We feel like we are trapped and have to do too much. Let’s flip that coin. We are focusing on burnout, we don’t have enough money or time, nobody volunteers. Let’s flip it over. If we weren’t burned out, what would that mean? What could we accomplish? Nathan: If you’re not resting, if you are burned out on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis, you are not going to have the productivity that you can. You won’t hit your potential. You’re not going to motivate the people around you. You’re going to be short. You’re going to talk down to people. You’re not going to figure out a way to take your business to the next level. The easiest way to get burned out is by doing a lot of things you shouldn’t be doing. I spent years of my life entering data into Quickbooks. I would get hundreds of orders every week, and at the end of every month, I would go in and reconcile them. It would literally take me hours and hours and hours. If I could go back, I would honestly yell at myself. It was a terrible decision. I could hire someone from the Philippines to do it for $8 an hour. They would probably have been more prepared than I was and done a better job. There were times I would wake up at 5 am to do these Quickbooks. It was a complete waste. I could have woken up rested, ready to go, on to expand my company. Hugh: We don’t call those mistakes. We call those learning opportunities. Nathan: Exactly. One more thing. When I started Freeeup and had all these clients, I started bookkeeping. The first thing I did was hire someone else to do it right from the very beginning. Hugh: Damn. That’s good. All right. Russell, what would you do? You’re not burned out. You probably experienced in your career lots of burned out leaders, didn’t you? Russell: I have run into a lot of burned out leaders. I became one because I found myself at the back end of my career working as a tribal administrator. And I had 70 employees. But I didn’t relinquish my development responsibilities. That was burning the candle at both ends there because I didn’t understand delegation. Even though I had other people there, I didn’t understand at that point in time how to hand things off. I found myself in time constraints. Everything was a crisis. I found myself overfunctioning and doing things that would have been better to hand off to other people. Nathan: Like what? Could you give us an example? Russell: Some examples there would be working on grants and trying to get those ahead in time. Working on budgets and approving other projects. I should have been able to rely on my program directors to get that done, but at that time, I was a bit of a micromanager because I wanted to do what I wanted to see the organization do well. That was a part of a hard education coming through. That was really a baptism by fire. I had to learn to do a lot of things and learn to do a lot of things other people didn’t know how to do. At that point in time, I learned how to teach other people. But the largest number of people I had working for me prior to that was five when I was in the Air Force. A bit of a shift to go from five employees to 70. Nathan: Absolutely. That is where a lot of people get frustrated, too, is that teaching side. There are two ways to go about hiring. You hire someone who is really talented and is bringing their own experience to the table to do something that you can’t, or you are hiring someone to come in that may have some kind of background but you are teaching them your system, your way of doing it. A lot of people, especially the first few hires, don’t know how to teach. They don’t know how to give that information to someone else and do it properly and have someone get the same results or even similar because a lot of times it’s worth it if someone can do it 85% of what you can. You want to take it off your plate. A lot of people can’t accomplish that. They get frustrated and think they can’t hire, when a lot of times it comes down to their teaching, how they trained them, how they integrated them, and how they motivated after they taught them. Once you give someone the keys on how to do something, how did you make sure you were getting the most out of them every day because if you did it yourself, you would get the most out of it every day. Hugh: There are also things I do okay, but I have people who can do them better than me. Once I can back off of that and accept they are going to do it differently, the responsibility rests on the leader to identify the ending point. What is the outcome? What does it look like specifically? We are there to mentor people. There is a huge difference from micromanaging to mentoring, to empowering people. Let’s talk a bit about equipping ourselves as leaders. Suppose we want to free up and got a really good person to do some administrative assistance. The responsibility is on the leader to have a really good plan so that when someone comes in, we can define the quantifiable outcomes. As you are working with leaders who haven’t been successful or are new at having someone else to delegate things to, what kind of advice do you give them as far as being able to quantify the end result and empower anybody, your people or others, to accomplish those goals? Nathan: Sure. The first thing you have to understand is that no matter who the person is, you need them more than they need you. They can go out and get another job. You are the one who is investing training, resources, and your own time, which is invaluable. You are the one who is putting it all in. You have to be the one to get out of it. You go into it talking down to someone or being mean or not with a positive attitude, and you will get burned in the end, not them. They will walk away being like, “This boss was terrible. I hate him. I’m going to get a new job.” That’s step one. Step two is identifying what you want. What are your goals? What are your expectations? I see so many clients who will give someone an assignment and just walk away and go back to exactly what they were doing without outlining any goals or expectations. The worker, if they are good, in their mind they will look back and go, “I have client A, B, and C, and they liked it this way. I am going to do that.” If that client comes back a week later and gets the assignment and says, “This isn’t at all what I wanted,” then the worker is baffled because they have been doing this the same way the entire time, but no one set their goals and expectations. That is why I encourage our workers to not start anything until that discovery or scope is lined up. Even if the client is too busy or says, “You should know what to do,” that is not acceptable because that just leads to issues at the end. The worker has to step up and make sure that discovery happens so the work gets done. Hugh: I want to capture the sound bite. When you don’t have a clear definition of what you want, it leads to issues. We are setting up conflict if we do that, don’t we? Nathan: Absolutely. A mess is bound to happen. Yes, there are all-star workers out there who can read the client’s mind and do the job without any instructions, but the majority of the time, there is going to be some kind of issue. It will also save you time and energy. There will be revisions. Even if you are someone who likes revisions, if you just set a discovery and scope up front, it will save you a lot of time. It’s worth it. Hugh: Wow. Russell, you want to weigh in on this issue? It’s a big one. Russell: Yeah. It creates that accountability, and when the worker becomes involved, they have that accountability. Once it’s clear they understand what it is you want and you send them away, it’s like the Colombo technique when I was auditing businesses in the IRS. This is how you outsmart a lot of $500 an hour attorneys. You walk in and ask questions like a second grader until you are absolutely clear on what it is they are saying. I found that they volunteered more information. They probably thought I was the village idiot asking questions until they got the tax bill from their clients, and it looks like this guy is smarter than he looks. You want to be flexible, but you want the result. You don’t want a lot of wiggle room on that result. But flexibility as far as how to get it. You leverage that talent, and they will approach stuff in ways I would never think of. It works better for them. It doesn’t matter how they get it done as long as they got that standard that is set and they know what’s expected and they deliver, and that is what I am all about: delivering that ned result. Hugh: Just for Nathan’s benefit, he is stealing my lines. I am smarter than he looks. That is the one I use often. Last time I used it, somebody said, “That’s a good thing.” Russ, you’re so right. What is really annoying to the team members is when the boss does things they are not the expert at. If we started inventorying the things we’re good at but not excellent at, and maybe someone else should be doing it. I am sure you interview people who do it all, and it is hard to convince them that someone could do it better, save them time and money, free up their time. How do you approach that conversation? Nathan: I get to that point now where I rarely do anything that isn’t directly involved with something I am really good at. I realized it’s a total waste of time, and it usually ends up backfiring. I usually have to redo it down the line anyway. Even if I put something together makeshift that lasts me a few months. So I usually want to get it right the first time. What I tell clients is a story I have with my business partner Connor. We rarely fight; we have an awesome relationship. The biggest fight that we had, the time that things escalated the most, led to the best conversation. We were sitting out on our patio. We had been stepping on each other’s toes, and there was a lot of uncertainty on who was doing what. We found an activity online where we would tell each other what we were good at and what we were bad at. Connor was like, “Nate, you’re a bad writer.” I was like, “Connor, you don’t delegate properly.” We went back and forth on this for a solid hour until we had a list of everything we were good at and everything we were bad at. Can we work together? We noticed fortunately that we had a lot of complementary skills, as we were polar opposites in terms of skillsets, which was why we had such success earlier on. From there, it was fairly easy to divide everything. I am not going to do anything with writing, so Connor, you have the blog, the website. I’m better at talking on the phone, so I handle all phone calls. We were clearly able to divide the line, and as we hired people, we would have them work under us to where it related, where it was relevant. What I advise people to do is have an honest conversation with you, your employees, and your business partner to figure out who is good at what, and, I think Russell said this earlier, to identify where the holes are at because usually you don’t get that perfect synergy where everything is covered. You realize you don’t have a bookkeeper on your team or a developer. Those are the next steps. Hugh: I can see where people starting out in the first stages of a charity or a business need to do a lot of things. From the very beginning, especially in charities, we have all these people who want to give their time. There is an emotional release of I have to do it to feel worthy when that’s not true. You have a vision. You do what you’re really good at. And you allow other people to perform up to their highest standard and fulfill their passion. If it is worthy work, there are other people who want to join us in that work. We just have to be better at recruiting them and telling people why it’s important and what impact they are going to have in the lives of others. Russ, you might know better than I, but there are something like four million 501(c) somethings with 10s and 6s and those that are government. There is an abundance of charitable organizations in this country. Many of them have a really good mission, and many of them are compromised in that mission because of the kinds of things we are talking about here. The culture is a reflection of the leader, and as John Maxwell says in his Law of the Lid, the organization cannot grow any further than the leader’s ability to let it grow, to lead it. Finding really talented people to work around you is one of those strong secrets. If we were all to ask ourselves, “What could we take off our plate if we had someone who worked a certain number of hours?” There are two sides to this. What could we take off our plate, and what additional important thing could we do if we had that kind of assistance? There are two sides to that question. Nathan. Nathan: I always recommend starting small. Very few companies, especially nonprofits, will just start off hiring six full-time people and take everything off their plate. It has taken me two years of running Freeeup to get to that point and a few years into my first company as well. But what I did do was hire someone to run my social media page one hour a day. It cost me $7 a day. It took it off my plate. They did a great job in building that. Then I mentioned Quickbooks. Let’s get someone in place once a month to do that. So I get an entire day back at the end of every month. In the beginning of every day, I spend the first hour answering customer and client emails, so let’s hire someone to answer these emails an hour before I wake up so I can get a head start on every day. I started small with those three hires over the course of four to five months, and it freed up my time to invest back into expansion. From there, the business grew. So we just had a good month, and let’s hire a fourth person for four hours a day to do some small tasks. The beginning of the day is a little hectic for me, so it’d be nice if I had someone on there who I could just assign different papers to write or projects to do or contacting clients. I put that person in place, and I got an extra few hours every day, so I invested that into expanding my company. You get the point. That is the correct and proper way to go about it if you are a nonprofit, if you have a limited budget. If you are ahead of that curve and making money, then you can go ahead of that and start hiring people for 20 or 15 hours a week and start taking this off your plate. Have a meeting. Once you get your time back, have a brainstorming session on what you should be doing so you can maximize that extra time. Or if you are a lifestyle business, figure out where you are going to go on your next vacation. Hugh: An hour a day is five hours a week. That is 25 hours a month. That is 300 hours a year. If we just outsource something for an hour a day, that is quality of life. Wow. Russ, what are you hearing here? Russell: I am hearing that I should get somebody to do my email because the pile is growing. I could do that. I could have somebody do some of the email and some of the posting. I have some things automated. That has been my big push of late is to get some things automated. I have been doing some rework on my website and some other things are in the works. As I get more resources, I am going to get more people involved. It’s a lot of hours, and I don’t mind a lot of hours, but those hours could be spent a little better because I am still doing a lot of small things. Hugh: Aren’t we all. Nathan: A quick note on email. I have a lot of clients who notice those emails are piling up. It costs you business not to respond to emails. It costs you opportunities. You have to find a way to get on top of your email. That should be step one. Hugh, if you emailed me and I didn’t respond back for a week and a half, I would not be here right now potentially. There are people out there who respond fast. You have to figure out a way to do it. That is just one example. There are other parts of your business like falling behind on taxes and stuff like that that you have to figure out a way to keep up. Sometimes the only way to do that is to hire an assistant for an hour a day. Russell: Several times a day, I clean out my email inbox, and I don’t leave it over the weekend. I do get response to it, but the point is that I am cleaning it out, and it’s time that I am spending cleaning it out to make sure I don’t miss anything that I need to gain. It’s that time cleaning it out. Hugh: We offer these sessions to nonprofit leaders to offer some best practices and good business tips for charities. Like Russ said, you can’t help but think about yourself. I teach people that we are always working on our skills. Even old guys like me can learn new things. Nate, you brought up some really good stuff. Nate Hirsch is principal at Freeeup.com. As you see, he has a lot of energy and a lot of wisdom for such a young guy. You have done a lot in such a short period of time. Thank you for being here tonight. As we wrap up, I am going to ask you to do a parting thought for people. What is some wisdom you’d like to leave us with, a tip or a closing thought? Nathan: When you are hiring, you want to hire people that are passionate and have a great attitude about your company. If you are hiring someone—I don’t care if it’s the smallest project—if it’s one graphic design project, get someone who is emotionally involved. Get someone you can tell actually cares about you and your company. You will get a better result. You will never know when you will use someone again. You also don’t know how it will affect the people around you. If you bring someone in who has a bad attitude, even for a day, even for a very small project, that can have lasting effects on your business that can last months. Make sure you are bringing in high-quality, high-caliber people for every little thing. Just because you have something due, don’t take a shortcut and give it to someone who could ruin your business down the line. That is my word of advice. It’s something I wish I knew upfront. I became addicted—for example, I needed Excel work done, and I would hire someone who had a bad attitude but were very good at building this formula. When they were building these formulas on my computer at my desk, I realized they were interacting with all the other people on my team. And the next week was a terribly unproductive week because everyone had the mentality that Nate would go around and hire any Joe-schmo that he could find that wasn’t passionate about the company. It took me a while to get that back on track. That is a good piece of advice that I wish I had when I was hiring the first time. Hugh: That is excellent advice. Everything you said in this interview has been spot-on with what Russell and I teach. We have reframed the word “consultant” to “Wayfinder,” and we help people find the way to better leadership. Nathan Hirsch of Freeeup, thank you for spending your hour with us tonight. Nathan: Yeah, thanks for having me. Don’t forget to check out Freeeup.com. Right at the top, you can book an appointment with me and I can talk to you about your business. If you mention Hugh’s name, you get a dollar off your first worker forever. It’s free to sign up with no monthly fees. Hugh: My name is worth a dollar.

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  • Episode #139 – What The Hack-A-Thon Means To You

    · Marketing Secrets

    All the cool stuff you’re going to get inside of Clickfunnels because of this month’s hack-a-thon. On today’s episode Russell talks with a special guest, Steven Asketsos, who is here all the way from Australia for the hack-a-thon. Here are a few fun things you’ll here in this episode: What kinds of things are happening with the hack-a-thon. And some cool things that have changed with Clickfunnels. So listen below to find out how Steven feels about the hack-a-thon and the Clickfunnels changes. ---Transcript--- Russell Brunson: Hey everyone, this is Russell Brunson. Steven Asketsos: And this is Steven Asketsos. Russell: And we are here in an exciting Marketing in Your Car. Russell: Hey everyone, so we have been in the middle of a hack-a-thon as you guys know. I’ve done some podcasts on the way home. I’m here today because one of our newest additions to Click Funnels, we flew him here from Australia and he’s been hanging out for his first hack-a-thon. I want to get in his own words what it’s been like to be on the inside. Do you want to tell everyone what it’s been like? Steven: Yes, it’s been pretty crazy. I flew up 32 hours to meet these guys and I don’t know what I was getting myself into but I got here in the end I think with four different airplane flights, went through five airports but I got here at midnight. First day was awesome. We’re just smashing our work. Russell introduced me to the team. I met Dillon, Winter, Todd, Ryan - absolutely awesome team, finally get to see how Click Funnels has been so successful. It’s been awesome to work with everyone, and we’ve been smashing it. We’ve been hustling it out till four AM every night and really putting the hard hours in. I think you guys are going to be really pumped to see what’s going to come out in the next few weeks. We got some really cool things planned. Russell: Awesome. Talk about day two, what happened because we had a special guest come hang out with us. Steven: Yes, that’s right. On day two, we had Mr. Neil Patell join us. I’m sure you guys are familiar with Neil with KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg, and Hello Bar, and I think there are a few other companies he’s founded with Quick Sprout and whatnot but oh gosh, I don’t know where we’re going. Russell: We’re off-roading it. Steven: Off-roading in a new car - only Russell would do this. Anyway, Neil came down and he shared some epic, epic takeaways with us from what he’s doing in his own companies, how we can grow our company. Yes, he’s been killing it on the content marketing side. He just dropped absolutely golden nuggets. Hopefully you guys are going to see the awesome blog posts come and see some of the value that’s going to come onto the blog side of things as well. Russell: Yes, it’s going to be awesome. Steven joined the team to help us with all the content stuff so we thought we should hire the man Neil Patel to come in and coach us on that so that we could do it right. It was good. I think we were going in a good direction but he helped steer us, “This is the perfect way to do it.” It’s been fun to see what you’re able to do with this as your baby in the company now, some exciting stuff. The last five minutes before we just jumped in the car, basically Dillon got excited and wanted to launch everything he’s been working on for the last year, all in one month. We filmed a video. You guys will probably see it on Facebook or through email or somewhere. We are basically launching pretty much everything, all the rest of the stuff in August. That means first off, there’s a brand new UI that’s amazing. It looks like a whole new company. It’s simpler. It’s stripped out, all this kind of stuff. It’s awesome, a new homepage, the new site which I spent the whole week building which I think I’m proud of it. Steven:  Yes, it’s pretty good. Russell: I’m not going to lie. That’s kind of cool. Then we’ve got Backpack is going live so everyone will have the affiliate program inside their accounts here in August. The dream car contest is going live so you can win the Corvette I’m driving in or whatever car you want. Actionetics which I thought was going to be another two months before it’s coming out is now happening this month, and we got accounts yesterday. It’s nuts. Steven: It’s crazy. People are going to be blown away. Russell: Yes, I feel bad for every other auto responder company on planet earth literally. Yes, it’s amazing. Imagine editing emails in the Click Funnels email editor. Steven: Oh, I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s actually like - I don’t want to swear but it is absolutely amazing. To do something so easily, I personally was telling Russell this earlier, about half an hour ago. I hate emails. I hate making them, I hate sending them but as soon as I logged into this, it was pretty amazing. It felt like I was at home. It felt like I was finally able to just dive deep in and everything was just done for me the way I like it. I think you can’t get much better than that. I think you guys are going to have a lot of fun creating emails, the same way that when you first jumped into Click Funnels and you started playing around with funnels, and you were just locked in there for three hours and you didn’t come out of your bedroom or you didn’t see your kids, or you didn’t see your wife and you got yelled at, you would be the same with your email editor. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride. I can’t wait to see it come out. Russell: Anyway, you guys are going to love it. We just wanted to give you a quick update because the end of the hack-a-thon is here. It’s like two or three or four in the morning, dropping Steven off at the hotel and just wanted to say hey to everybody. He has been listening to Marketing in Your Car since day one, and now he’s on officially Marketing in Your Car which is exciting. So I appreciate you guys, thanks for listening. Thank you for being here. Steven: Thank you for listening guys and it’s been awesome, thanks Russell. Russell: All right, we’ll talk to you guys soon.  

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  • Episode #226 – How To Confuse The VC’s

    · Marketing Secrets

    Why it’s hard to be a Mom (as a Dad), and my interesting call with the VC’s today. On this episode Russell talks about a meeting he had with some VC’s during which he confused them by already being profitable. He also picks up his son Aiden who tells an interesting and confusing story of his own. Here are 4 fun things you’ll hear in today’s episode: Why Clickfunnels doesn’t need money from VC’s and why the VC’s were confused about it. Find out how you can confuse VC’s too. Hear Aiden tell a story about Norah. And find out why he wears Harry Potter glasses. So listen below to find out how to confuse VC’s, and to hear a cute 5 year old tell a story. ---Transcript--- Hey everyone this is Russell Brunson and welcome to Marketing in the Mommy Mobile. Hey everyone, yes I’m taking mom duty on today. I’ve got Norah in the back seat, we’re going to pick up Aiden from school. I happen to be one minute late already. It’s hard to be a mom, no one ever told me this, but it’s hard. Anyway, so that’s what’s happening today. The reason why I’m a little bit late, is we just got off a call with some VC people, which is kind of cool. First off, they’re super cool people, I really enjoy them and everything. But it was interesting conversation. You guys want to hear behind the scenes of some of the funny stuff? In fact, I’m going to title this podcast, how to confuse the VC’s. Because it’s interesting, they have been trying to talk to us for a while and we basically said, “We’re not looking for money, sorry.” And they’re like, “We know you’re not, but we still wanna talk.” And we’re like, “No, we’re not interested.” And they’re like, “Please? We’ll fly out to Boise.” And we’re like, “No.” Anyway, so finally got the call set up. But it’s just funny. I feel like we’re in a good position….Can you guys hear Norah back there, guys? Anyway, I feel like we’re in a good position. I told my team, “I feel like we’re the hot girl that doesn’t really want it, so everybody wants her so much more.” Anyway, we’re not interested in taking it, but we thought it might be fun to talk to them. Maybe, who knows? Whatever. But we had a conversation, and it was cool. Like I said, super cool guys, enjoyed that whole thing. But it was interesting, if you look at what they’re looking for, there’s 3 core metrics that the VC’s want. They want what’s the cost to acquire a customer? What’s the lifetime value of that customer? And what’s your churn? Those are the 3 core metrics that they asked about that we kind of knew going into it.  And what’s cool is that because of all the funnel stuff that we do, and hopefully you guys are doing, it totally confuses the VC’s. They have one way of doing things. What’s your cost to acquire a customer? And we’re like, “All of our customer’s are free.” And they’re like, “No, that doesn’t make sense. How much does it cost?” And I’m like, “Well, if we buy ads from Facebook straight leads to a trial, it’s like $150 a member.” And they’re like, “Wow, that’s really good.” And I’m like, “Yeah, it’s really good but we don’t do it.” And they’re like, “Why don’t you do it? You should be spending that money all day long.” “Because we’re a start up boot strap. The money we’re spending is out of my own pocket, and we’re good enough at funnels, that if I’m not profitable at breakeven point of sale, I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to go in the whole too much. If I had a hundred million dollars in VC’s, sure we’ll go waste money on dumb marketing, but we are smart enough to be profitable up front. This is how it works, we’ve got front-end offers, or my free book offers, or The Perfect Webinar script or things like that. What happens, is we buy ads on Facebook, cost us $10-$15 to acquire a customer there, but we make $30-$45 in the funnel, therefore we make $25-$30 from every single customer that comes into our world. And we have a huge follow-up sequence in place that we promote that then gives us all of customers for free. In fact, we make money ahead of time, before they ever become a customer, and then our email sequence gets them into our program for free.” They’re like, “That doesn’t make sense.” I don’t think they believed us. I was like, “No, this is how it works. We do have a customer acquisition cost on different channels, like affiliates we pay out 40% up to 45%, we give away cars and stuff.” And they’re like, “What? You give away cars? Why would you do that?” I’m like, “Because that’s awesome. That’s how it works. It’s all about recruiting sales teams. Then people come in now we’re selling on-board, we’re selling certifications, things like that. So we’re crazy profitable.” They don’t understand it because they come from worlds that aren’t profitable typically. So we’re showing them our numbers and then we show them the numbers and he’s like, “Wow. I don’t think you guys understand what you guys have right here.” I was like, “Yes, we do. This is why we’re not looking to take money. Everything’s fine. We’re really good at funnels.” Then the next question was, lifetime value of a customer, right. That one was an easier metric, but we’ve only been in business for a year and a half so it’s hard because our customers have to start using us, if they don’t leave us very high. So we showed what the lifetime value of a customer was, but it’s not accurate because the numbers are growing so fast. Alright I’m at the school, I gotta pick up Aiden, I’ll finish up this podcast when I get back. Alright, I got Aiden and he’s talking about some movie called Norah.com? Aiden: No it was called Coconutcron.com Russell: Coconutcron.com. Anyway, to finish off my thought….oh wait, what? Aiden: Also, do you want me to tell you a story? Russell: Yes, tell us a story. Aiden: Okay, so at first starts with Norah.com and its….wait, I actually kind of forgot it Dad. Russell: Alright, so that’s Norah.com. Alright, let me talk… Aiden: That’s only half of it. Russell: I’m going to talk for a minute and if you wanna tell them the rest of the story tell me okay. Alright so the last have of the story is Churn. They’re like, “What’s your churn?” we’re like, “If you look at the last 3 or 4 months, it’s decreased dramatically.” And they’re like, “how much?” and we’re like, “well I think it before it was at 16% and we added in this one step in the funnel and it dropped it to 12% and then we added in this 21 day ignite your funnel, communication funnel, our on-boarding funnel after they come on, and we dropped down to 9%.” And they’re like, “You dropped it that much in a short period of time?” and we’re like, “Yeah, that’s what we do. We test things, we test all the steps and process and try to decrease churn and we’re always looking to get it better and better and better.” Anyway, it was just so funny because I don’t think they’re used to these kinds of things. They’re used to having a bunch of money and spending tons to acquire a customer. I was listening to a thing the other day and it talked about Hubspot. They said that Hubspot cost them $10,000 to acquire a customer. Excuse me, maybe it was $1,000 to acquire a customer. Something crazy like that. I’m like, “Are you serious?” It’s so much easier when you understand what you guys understand, what we understand with all these front end funnels. That’s the magic. And then the webinar funnels are profitable, dramatically profitable up front. It doesn’t make sense to them. Aiden: Dad? Russell: What bud? Aiden: I remember it. Russell: Alright Aiden remembers it, hold on, he’s back. Aiden: Okay, then the person says, That’s Norah. That’s Zap.  So that’s Norah, and that’s Zap? No! That’s Norah, and that’s Zap. So that’s the rooms zap. And then the baby’s Norah? No! This is Norah, this is Zap. Russell: You guys all getting that? So, this is Norah and this is Zap. Aiden: This is Norah, and this is Zap? Yes! Russell: Nice. So there….I don’t know what he’s talking about, it’s something……Is it a movie you saw? Aiden: The end. Yeah. Russell: Oh the end. So that’s a movie…Did you watch that today or is that something you made up? Aiden: …..but I still like make it .I didn’t watch it today, but I just have to do it on the movie. Like on a camera, then everybody will watch it and they’ll like it. Russell: That makes more sense. So Aiden right now is wearing some cool Harry Potter glasses. Aiden: Because I’m a big fan and my eyes are really hurty. Russell: Because he’s a big fan and his eyes are really hurty. So we went and took him to an eye appointment and his eyes were amazing. So we ordered some…but he wanted Harry Potter glasses really, really bad, huh bud? So we went on Amazon and ordered some, but the wrong ones came. What were they? Did you like the first one’s that came? Aiden: No. Russell: No, he did not like the first ones. So we ordered some new ones, and they came and looked awesome. They are about half the size of his head, but he wears them everywhere. Wore them to school today huh? Aiden: They also like them. They’re really …….. Russell: And his friend said, “You look weird with them.” But he still loves them. Anyway, so that’s what I got for you today. I gotta bounce and play with my kids. Just wanted to share that, I thought it was interesting. So that’s how you confuse a VC, have really profitable up front funnels, lower your churn through on-boarding funnels. Increase your lifetime value by having an amazing product and they’re going to be like, “What>? That doesn’t make sense. Why is it so good?” And hopefully you’ll get people coming to you as well. Anyway, I hope that helps you guys. That’s all I got. I’m out of here. Appreciate you all. Talk to you guys again soon. Oh what? One more thing. Say it again. Aiden: Bye.

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