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The Impact Entrepreneur

Mike Flynn takes you behind closed doors and invites you into his conversations with game changing entrepreneurs. These conversations go beyond success and failure, beyond product or service or platform, to uncover what is really behind the decisions these entrepreneurs make and what IMPACT they hope to have in the world.
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Now displaying: June, 2016
Jun 27, 2016

Today I have an interview with a modern Renaissance Woman. Kelly Roach is an ex-NFL cheerleader, formerly the top sales person in a Fortune 500 company, author of Unstoppable, the loving mother of a two-year-old, and a successful entrepreneur. Kelly trains other entrepreneurs to launch, monetize and scale profitable businesses.

Kelly was promoted seven times in eight years. She was the youngest Senior VP of the company and managed 17 locations. Her health was sliding to the back burner until she thought, “Every time I get promoted, every time I have success in this environment, it compromises more of who I am.”

Taking some time to think is critical. After reflecting on her core values as a person, she came to the conclusion that she was not living the life she wanted. Kelly’s core values:

  1. Freedom
  2. Financial abundance
  3. Fulfillment

By fulfillment, Kelly means making an impact, doing work that she feels matters, and helping people. Every time she has success in the wrong environment, she will have less freedom to pursue making a difference. She also doesn’t like making a company millions of dollars. She can make that money for herself.

It can be difficult to stop your life and shift course, particularly when things are going according to plan. Kelly accomplished one of her goals when she became Senior VP, but the experience wasn’t exactly what she thought it would be. “I’m getting exactly what I set out to achieve, which means I also have the power and the control to decide where this goes next.”

Take time to consider where your core skillsets intersect with what people are willing to pay for in the market. Kelly believes that, with an 80% failure rate, the people who really need her training are small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Mentorship is critical. Kelly’s passion for leadership, coaching others and making others successful is a direct result of her first mentor’s advice, and they are the ingredients of her success. The prevalence of podcasting and social media makes the process of finding a mentor easier than ever. Look for people who have success in the area you wish to pursue and start following them online. You will be able to find the voice and teaching style that resonates with you and begin a relationship.

Kelly’s book, Unstoppable, ties into her message on every platform. To Kelly, being unstoppable means you are so driven, focused and motivated that you have to be the best you can possibly be in any given situation, no matter what life throws at you. The human experience is full of chaos, but the book provides nine key principles that will help entrepreneurs achieve unlimited success in business and in life.

Kelly is generous enough to share a couple of the principles from her book:

  1. “Stop resenting the 1% and join them.” Kelly started with this chapter because success follows a successful mindset. It comes down to how you perceive others, money, and your own self worth. You can’t attract something to your life that you perceive negatively.
  2. “Focus on something bigger than yourself.” It’s all about imperfect action, and it’s all about focusing on achieving something bigger than you.

Entrepreneurship is heavily romanticized. Don’t expect success to come overnight. There is a grind that everyone goes through – most people fail, often more than once, before they succeed. Entrepreneurs need to be aware that there is nothing wrong with failure, because that’s how we find out what works.

Too many entrepreneurs spend their business life planning. They wait for the perfect opportunity, the perfect product, and it never comes. “The imperfect action is the most important entrepreneurial skill,” so get out there, make an offer, create a course, and start advertising.

Last year, Kelly helped her first client add over $1 million to their business. The key is to put a sales and marketing system in place. Online marketing has been romanticized in the same way as entrepreneurship – to the point that many entrepreneurs forego sales. Marketing is great, but at some point there has to be a conversion event between marketing and sales.

There needs to be a system to convert potential buyers to sales. Kelly’s three-step system:

  1. Leads are generated through marketing
  2. Nurture events take place
  3. Conversion events translate prospective buyers into sales

Kelly’s business has been a great vehicle for freedom and flexibility in her life, and she encourages others to pursue entrepreneurship to gain more freedom in their own lives. I hope she inspires you to reflect on your core values, and to start improving your life.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • What was the turning point that set Kelly on the entrepreneurial path?
  • How did you think about what you wanted for your life? What process did you use to crystalize your thinking?
  • How important is grit?
  • How important has mentorship been for Kelly?
  • What are some steps entrepreneurs can take to find a mentor?
  • What was the inspiration for Kelly’s book Unstoppable?
  • What does Kelly hope to accomplish with her book?
  • How can people push through the grind of starting a business?
  • Does Kelly have to overcome coaching entrepreneurs who spend too much time planning and waiting for the perfection?
  • What shift allowed Kelly’s client to add $1 million in sales to their business?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The importance of taking time to reflect
  • What it means to be Unstoppable
  • How mentorship can put you on a path to success
  • The vital entrepreneurial skill that is imperfect action
  • Why businesses need a system to convert sales
  • Plus much more… 

DON’T STOP HERE…

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Jun 20, 2016

My long-time friend Aaron Hinde came in for a value packed interview today. He’s a fearless risk taker who jumped into one of the toughest industries out there, the beverage industry, and has successfully grown it and now leads a team of 28 people.

Aaron’s always had the unique ability of empathy which has served him well. It’s the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand where they’re coming from. Many people make the mistake of trying to meet somebody where they think they should be, but Aaron says empathy is about quieting your mind and listening with a non-judgmental attitude.

This kind of positive attitude is also a big part of mentorship, something Aaron is a strong proponent of. All successful entrepreneurs have at least one mentor, and some are paid for and some are not. If you’re in the business of offering your own mentorship or coaching at a price, you’ve also got to have your own mentor you’re paying for, as you’ve got to do in order to be.

Relationships are key in business; mentors, business partners and spouses. An understanding spouse is a necessity as it’s all but impossible to succeed without someone supportive at your side. The same thing holds true for business partners. Make sure yours is one you can bounce ideas off of, one you can trust and share a unified vision and purpose for your business with.

Aaron’s a risk taker, and the ability to take risks is important for aspiring entrepreneurs. If you’re gun shy there are ways to train yourself to take the plunge, like going all-in in poker or scaling heights if you’re afraid. “Push yourself constantly in that uncomfortable zone or else you’ll never grow as an entrepreneur.”

Aaron’s entrepreneurial journey hasn’t been an easy one. But he and his family were willing to endure the years of being broke and living in a tiny apartment to gain the success they now have. He started LIFEAID Beverage with the idea of creating a healthy beverage alternative that actually benefitted you (not like the sodas and energy drinks prevalent today). What drives his company is their over-arching vision of having a tangible, healthy impact on the world, and his million+ cans sold every month is a testament to that.

His company not only has a great vision, but some strong BHAG’s as well (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals):

  1. To be the next BILLION dollar beverage company
  2. To have the most awesome, engaged, kick-ass workplace in Santa Cruz County with the best team surrounding that

BHAG #2 is his actual focus, because a great team is essential and they’re a reflection of the brand. If you make sure the team is engaged and focused then that’ll lead to goal #1. It also helps to constantly invest in your team by making your workplace comfortable and fun, and being ultra-supportive of everyone.

One tenant that Aaron really holds onto is the tried and true “Hire slow, fire fast” mentality. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is hiring quickly out of desperation as you grow. Aaron makes sure they hire great people by following some important steps in the hiring process:

  1. Look for a long history with one employer
  2. Look for a favorable review of their previous boss
  3. Have the applicant set-up a five minute interview with their previous boss

Taking these steps helps him find great people with a cooperative team attitude and a good cultural fit with the company.

Aaron’s empathy and his passion for entrepreneurship and his company really came through in this episode. I’m grateful that he gave us his time and shared with us much of what he knows of running a successful company.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • How has empathy been a game changer within his business?
  • What are the steps a growing company can take to make sure their vision and values continue to lead them?
  • How does Aaron get his employees to buy-in to his company and culture so well?
  • How does an aspiring entrepreneur protect the business from the overwhelming inspiration behind the business?

 

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The key to success for any enterprise
  • Why it’s important to carry a note pad with you everywhere you go
  • How having an abundance mindset can lead to raving fans
  • Why discussing the current needs of the business with your team can get them committed to working hard for the customer
  • Plus much more…

  

DON’T STOP HERE…

 

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Jun 13, 2016

Ian and I go way back to high school, and it was great having him on the show today. He’s a lifelong entrepreneur, a creative thinker, risk taker and relationship builder, and I’m thankful he joined us for this episode.

Ian’s always had a natural leader’s charisma; something unique and influential that led people to follow him. He really learned to harness his gifts through his work with ‘The Master’s Program’ with Bob Shank. Bob’s was the most authoritative voice outside of his influential father’s, and the 3-year program really grounded Ian.

He believes that the key to his success is that he’s so committed to mentorship. “If you don’t follow the advice of your mentor, they are not your mentor.” With mentorship, you find somebody that’s a peer or higher than you, and you position them in such a way so that they can start speaking into your life about something or some things. Then you make a deliberate decision to not knit pick their life or how they apply what they’re telling you. A mentor’s role is not to show you how to live, their role is to declare what they know to be true.

Confidence is something that Ian has always had. He admits, though, that he isn’t 100% confident, but he seems to be more confident than most. And there’s a big relationship between confidence and being risk-averse: the less risk-averse you are, the more you’re willing to take chances, so the more confidence you appear to have. One of Ian’s favorite mantras and confidence boosters is, “The wind is at my back, all I do is win.”

One thing that Ian learned early in life is that high capacity people like him need to be challenged in order to avoid some of the perils that life can throw at you. If you’re not challenged, you can tend to look for immediate pleasure or a numbing of feelings in the form of drugs. For these reasons, he has lovingly pushed his children to excel in what they love to do and to help them avoid the things that derailed him early in life.

As one of the co-creators who launched the software company Kukui, Ian learned some value lessons about business and relationships. He wrote about these seven lessons in a LinkedIn article called ‘7 Principles I Learned Launching Inc. 76th Fastest Growing Company.’ He broke down the seven principles for us:

  1. Don’t let your job define you
    • Be defined by other more important values like your faith, your family or your character. Don’t let the 14 hour days and the total commitment to the company be all you’re about.
  2. Find a trustworthy partner
    • You need someone you can trust that will look after your needs as well as have the skills to take care of the company.
  3. Just sell
    • Sales solve everything. You don’t need a loan or startup money. Get out there and find the people who are willing to buy from you.
  4. Be your customer’s partner, not a vendor
    • You have to be willing to sacrifice to put your client first. This goes both ways and they need to be willing to tolerate and be gracious with your mistakes.
  5. Be generous to employees with equity and bonuses
    • Share with your team so they feel as they’re part owners, that they’re building their
  6. Recruit the right people at the right time
    • This is the toughest thing, as many of those initial employees aren’t right for the company beyond that initial growth phase. If they’re no longer a fit, you have to part ways, but do so graciously.
  7. Live your brand
    • Be faithful to your message and be a signboard for it.

Ian shared quite a lot of powerful and inspiring words today, and I’m very grateful for this awesome interview.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • What are some historical entrepreneurial influences of Ian’s?
  • What are some things he learned on his wayward path early in life?
  • What are Ian’s views on mentorship?
  • What are some questions entrepreneurs should be asking themselves daily?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How ‘The Master’s Program’ with Bob Shank really impacted him
  • How his parents and lineage influence him
  • What ways Ian and Mike Tyson are very similar
  • How having a “safety rope” for entrepreneurs can stifle success
  • Plus much more…

DON’T STOP HERE…

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

  • ‘The Master’s Program’: Website
Jun 6, 2016
 

Dan Waldschmidt is a busy guy whose mission, vision and passions align with The Impact Entrepreneur show. I’m extremely grateful to have this self-challenging, ultra-hard working person (to the point of barfing) on today’s show.

Speaking of challenging himself, Dan is looking forward to running a 500-mile ultra-marathon in July. Just thinking of that is fear inducing, but he welcomes the challenge. At a young age he stumbled across the formula of hard work and sacrifice equals the ability to achieve anything.

With this idea in mind, he took a $150,000 business to $8 million within one year. He did this because he was extremely hungry for success, so much so that he never ate lunch. “When you’re hungry, you’re willing to do things that you wouldn’t otherwise be willing to do.” He started with the challenge of 25 calls before lunch. This led to success so he upped it to 35, then 50, 60, 70 and finally 75 calls. Eventually, he just didn’t have time for lunch at all because he was so caught up in this challenge.

All of this hard work led him to being the CEO of the company at a young age, as well as becoming D.C.’s leading legal litigation strategist without even having a legal degree (or even completing college). He had dropped out of school because he was too busy making things happen to spend the time to learn.

Dan created the EDGY Audit. It’s a simple 12 question multiple choice test that helps you understand your business strengths and weaknesses. Your results give you an EDGY score that’s based on:

  • Extreme Behavior – Awesome isn’t ordinary, it’s extraordinary. If you’re not willing to be extreme (and get noticed), you won’t be successful.
  • Disciplined Activity – You don’t know when success will strike, but you’ll be more likely to attain it if you live fit financially, spiritually, mentally and physically. “You can’t do the same things to soar as you do to crawl.”
  • Giving Mindset – When you give more than they pay for, or over deliver, they will want to do business with you forever.
  • Y(h)uman Strategy – People aren’t looking for the superficial. They want their needs, pains, love/loss from deep down in their souls addressed. Do this for them and for yourself and you’ll win them for life.

The average score is in the 140’s, but don’t compare yourself to others. “It’s not where you’re at, it’s where you’re headed.”   Take your score and the interpretations and decide how you can go about improving these to be a more edgy and successful business person.

Through the course of his work, Dan has interviewed thousands of people and not a single one of them ever said, “I quit, then all of a sudden life was good.” In fact, it was just the opposite; “I’m so glad I didn’t quit.” It was fighting through the tough times, when others criticized or outside forces conspired against them, that led to true success.

Dan and I had a fun talk, and he gave us tons of great information. I’m sure you’ll get just as much out of this candid discussion as I did.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • What is Dan most looking forward to accomplishing this year?
  • Was there a moment of impact that set him on the entrepreneurial path?
  • Does he have any mentors that help to influence his path and mindset?
  • How did he get past the extremely difficult initial 20 miles of his first 100-mile run?

 

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How Dan became the leading D.C. legal litigation strategist without a law degree
  • How the EDGY Audit can give you insights into how you can push the edge more
  • How you can spend that $125 Facebook ad budget for a bigger return
  • Why it’s so important to practice like a champion
  • Plus much more…

 

GO MAKE AN IMPACT:

  • Take the EDGY Audit for yourself and assess the scores and interpretations. Then start making changes to turn yourself into a more edgy business person.

 

DON’T STOP HERE…

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

  • Book: ‘You Can't Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar’ | Amazon
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