Episode 695: How to solve the two biggest obstacles for scaling your business, with Stephen Woessner
Good Morning, I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI and your host for Onward Nation.
Welcome to Episode 695 – this week’s solocast.
I greatly appreciate your time and am grateful that you decided to share some of your precious 86,400 seconds that you have today with me – thank you, Onward Nation.
Before we dive into how to recognize and solve what may be the two biggest challenges or obstacles to scaling your business…I want to provide some additional context as to why I chose this topic for our time together today.
You might recall that in Episode 685…you and I took a deep dive into the Imposter Syndrome.
We defined it and then sliced apart the Syndrome’s two main ingredients so you could recognize it whenever it rises up to block you on your path to success.
However, when I went back through my notes for Episode 685 and re-listened to the content…I realized that the ingredients I shared were a bit incomplete because they weren’t part of a more comprehensive recipe including more ingredients and a series of action steps.
And that comprehensive recipe is what we are going to cover today.
So if you haven’t listened to Episode 685 yet – I encourage you to go back and review it so you have the full context from beginning to end.
Being armed with both episodes will help you solve what may be the biggest challenges or obstacles in your business — those things that are really holding you back from jumping off the plateau you may be on right now – and leaping onward to that next level.
So here’s what we will cover today…
First, I will show you how to spot the two biggest obstacles currently preventing you from moving your business onward to the next level.
Second, I will show you how to attract the right mentors to help you overcome the obstacles and accelerate your results.
Third, I will show you how to implement and master a specific system that will dramatically expand your network and sphere of influence.
Sound good, Onward Nation? Okay…let’s dive in.
What if I told you that the two biggest challenges preventing you from moving your business onward to the next level have nothing to do with the business climate, the economy, the skill level of your employees, the location of your business, your pricing strategy, your current customer base, the size of your marketing budget, the quality of your products, your distribution channels, or the myriad of other reasons we are given today by the media and government as to why businesses fail at such a staggering rate in this country?
What if the obstacles in your way had nothing to do with any of that?
And in instead, what was blocking you…the obstacles keeping your business in check…are the same obstacles that have always attempted to keep you in check throughout your entire life.
Your enemy is not the myriad of reasons I just listed…instead…your first challenge…or better yet…your first enemy is the Fear of Poverty.
And yes, there is a correlation to the Imposter Syndrome – you may recall that in Episode 685 when we dissected the syndrome into its most basic form…we could see that it was just fear.
So now…I want us to dissect fear into a couple of smaller ingredients so we can have an even clearer view.
And for that…let’s go back to 1937 and into the pages of the brilliant work by Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich.” The book sold over 70 million copies worldwide because it is such a compendium of knowledge.
The book was made possible by Andrew Carnegie.
Carnegie at the time was the wealthiest man in the world, met Napoleon Hill, liked him and offered to commission him to open the doors to the greatest industrialists of the time.
That was 1908.
And he said, “I’ll open the doors if you’ll sit down with these top business owners and figure out their secrets to success. What they do, their methods, their mindsets that have caused their extraordinary success and you put it into a book and publish it and make it available to the world.”
So, Napoleon sat down with Henry Ford, Edison, Schwab, Wrigley, and both Rockefellers.
Imagine being able to spend time with those business owners and pull out their best ideas for success and achievement.
If you have read, studied, and applied the book…you understand the great knowledge in this book and are already ahead of 98% of your competition.
But often times…this book is an easy to forget treasure because it was written in 1937 – but the strategies in this book are still just as applicable today.
If you have not yet read, studied, and applied the book – then consider this a million dollar resource you have just been given. You can go to OnwardNation.com/book and get the Audible version of Think and Grow Rich for free…that’s OnwardNation.com/book.
The Fear of Poverty is one of the 6 basic fears but it is also the most pervasive, destructive, and confusing to understand.
On the surface, it seems as though this fear would revolve around the fear of becoming poor – and there definitely is that component.
But, the way this particular fear manifests itself is what makes it easy to spot.
We become so fearful of poverty…that we freeze and are plagued with indecision, indifference, doubt, worry, over-caution, and procrastination.
Just when you ought to take action…you don’t.
When sales are declining…you ought to make more sales calls…but you don’t…we sometimes freeze because the fear of poverty may hold us hostage and keep us from moving forward.
Just when you should be investing in that new expansion – that new marketing strategy – that new development – hiring new employees – you don’t.
You become overly cautious. Or…you disguise your caution by saying you’re “skeptical”. Which is a more pleasant way of saying, “I am afraid.”
You become so fearful of hitting the wall – that all you do is focus on the wall.
And then what happens?
Exactly…you end up hitting the wall.
To be clear…I am not suggesting that you throw caution to the wind and become financially irresponsible and then lose your business as a result of mismanagement.
That would be silly.
But I am trying to bring into focus that our Fear of Poverty can be one of the major obstacles that hold us back from the abundance at that next level.
And it doesn’t matter who you are – we have all felt it before – especially when trying to pursue something new – that next level.
Remember, if you focus on the wall…you will hit the wall.
But if you focus on the infield – you may still eventually hit the wall…but your opportunity likely increases by a factor of 10 IF you steer your business where you want it to go instead of letting yourself and your business become paralyzed by indecision, indifference, doubt, worry, over-caution, and procrastination.
So if the Fear of Poverty is the first challenge – what is the second one keeping you from moving your business forward?
It is the Fear of Criticism and is also one of the 6 basic fears…and it too is easy to spot.
This fear what prevents you from making that sales call to that prospective client everyone in town wants because you hear that voice inside your head that says…
“Oh come on…who do you think you’re kidding calling them? You have nothing to offer. They only work with big companies. You’re too small.”
You hear… “You’re not good enough…you don’t have the skills, you will never make it…why bother trying…there are others who are more gifted, talented, they already have all the connections…what could you possibly offer that would be unique and different…just try something that is more at your current level – call on someone smaller – don’t call the president or owner – call someone who reports to them – that would be easier.”
“Why can’t you just be normal?”
The fear of criticism can be overcome with grit…with tenacity…with perseverance…with the shouting into the abyss…I will not be defeated.
You saying… “I will WIN THE DAY”.
And when you do that – and I believe when you’re moving in the direction of God’s plan for your life – there is nothing that can stop you.
Now that we have identified the 2 biggest obstacles holding you back – which really aren’t obstacles at all are they – they all are in your mind – now let’s work through our first recipe.
RECIPE #1: FOCUS ON MENTORSHIP
If you have listened to our Onward Nation episodes, you already know that I ask every single guest to share the most influential lesson they ever learned from one of their mentors that helped them become the business owner they are today.
And wow…our guests have shared some outstanding lessons.
So for this solocast, I am going to share a very specific recipe for attracting and finding the right mentor.
But let’s make this more specific.
Why find a mentor?
And yes, there is a specific recipe you can use to find a mentor and I am going to share that with you.
Before I share the step-by-step ingredients to this powerful recipe…I will share two of the most influential lessons I ever learned from one of my mentors…Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS Magazine.
For 12-months, Darren was a member of our board of advisors at Predictive ROI. So we would get together either in-person or over the phone. And during one of our monthly calls, I explained to Darren some of my reservations about building a big business.
I wasn’t sure how big I wanted Predictive ROI to become. And so I was nervous about it.
And I said, “Gosh, Darren – you know – I’ve never thought of myself as being a great manager of people. And quite frankly, honestly Darren, I kind of suck at it.”
And then Darren said to me, “Stephen…stop SUCKING at it!”
And I said, “What do you mean?”
And he said… “Don’t give me that lie or tell me that myth that you are telling yourself. Don’t use that as a frickin’ excuse to stop moving forward. Stop telling yourself that limiting belief and that lie that you’re not a good manager or leader. Be better at it. Don’t give me the excuse.”
And so I’m standing there almost like totally stripped down – I was like, my word, he just totally called me on it right.
It was embarrassing – because Darren’s assessment was spot on, Onward Nation!
And that’s what a good mentor does for you – they call you out when you need to be called out – they support you when you need to be supported and they teach you when you need to be taught.
But they don’t do the hard work for you – that’s on you.
So here are the specific 11 ingredients for finding the right mentor for you:
Think about your own talents and skills you would like to strengthen — weaknesses you would like to lessen — areas of your business you would like to improve, etc.
Then make a precise list that details everything you just thought about.
This process helps you identify the person you need to become in order to move your business onward to the next level
This is a really hard exercise because you have to force yourself to take a critical look at yourself (and by the way — most people are not willing to get really honest with themselves — and that is one of the major reasons they never grow)
Once you have the list — look for people who are crushing it in these areas — the same areas where you need to grow.
Then contact those people — invite them to lunch — let them know you are packed full of questions for them
Be very prepared — they will love that
Interview them and put what they share with you into practice — turn it into a blog post and your clients will love you for it
Loop back to your mentors and share your success
When you do, they will invite you to sit down so they can share more with you.
Soak it all up — then put it into practice.
Remember…a good mentee takes action on what is learned — and the responsibility is on you.
Here’s the reality, Onward Nation…you are the average of who you spend the most time with as Jim Rohn so brilliantly shared decades ago.
So you need to spend your time with people you have a common future with – not a common past.
Let me close out this first recipe by saying…you can want to find a mentor – the recipe that I just shared with you could be worth millions of dollars in new sales to your company – but – it won’t be worth anything unless you DECIDE to take action.
As Tony Robbins says, a real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken action – in fact – that you have taken massive action. And if there’s no action – then that is simply an indicator you haven’t really decided anything.
Now that we have conquered and overcome the two main challenges standing in your way – and now that I have shared with you a very specific recipe with all of the step-by-step ingredients (in the proper syntax) so you can find your right mentor or mentors…it is now time to really accelerate your results and move your business onward to the next level.
RECIPE #2: GROW YOUR INFLUENCE
The next recipe I am going to share with you could represent a billion – yes, with a “B” – billion dollar strategy for your business.
I am going to share a recipe for mastering a specific system that will dramatically expand your network and sphere of influence – and – I will also share with you how you can then monetize these valuable relationships into mutually beneficial partnerships and revenue for your business.
And yes, I know it may sound crass or inappropriate when I say monetize relationships – unfortunately, I can’t think of a better word – I think you get what I am driving at.
But before we get to the recipe…let me put typical “networking” into context.
Most business owners go to an event with a large number of “prospects”.
They pass out business cards.
They chit chat small talk with the same people they met their last month.
They collect others business cards.
More chit chat and participate in some more small talk.
They might even schedule some lunch meetings.
Why do we do this?
Because it is safe. It is easy. It does not put us out there or force us to face our fear of poverty or our fear of criticism.
We begin to ask ourselves several horrible questions like we discussed in Episode 685. Questions like… “What would people think if I did this or that…or spent time with so and so?”
I am going to work hard here to shift your paradigm and perspective of what is possible, Onward Nation.
And that is why I love this quote from Archimedes. “Give me a prop strong enough, and a lever long enough, and I can single-handedly move the world”
This next recipe I am about to share with you will become your lever and your prop.
And it is big – this is literally a billion dollar recipe – and I am going to introduce you to the top business owner who is using it generate a billion dollars.
She describes herself as a billionaire in the making and her name is Stacey Alcorn, our brilliant guest for Episode 3 of Onward Nation.
During our interview, one of the stories Stacey shared was about the afternoon she had spent with Kevin O’Leary, Mr. Wonderful from ABC’s Shark Tank. They spent the afternoon tasting wine and exchanging business mantras and best lessons. As you might imagine, Stacey and Kevin had quite the masterminding session.
There is always a strategy behind what Stacey does – and if you go back and re-listen to Episode 3, you will hear her map out her entire biz dev strategy with precision.
But, let’s review one of the golden nuggets from that conversation – Stacey’s billion-dollar biz dev strategy and it revolves around swing for the fences with respect to the relationships you are seeking to develop.
Most people will not swing for the fences – but Stacey does. And your ability to be bold with this biz dev strategy is the first ingredient and key to your success.
So here are the other 9 ingredients in Stacey’s biz dev recipe.
- Make list of influencers in your industry and / or your Dream 50 clients / prospects
- Connect via social media, email, or call
- Ask for 30-minutes so you can interview them on their path / keys to success
- Do your homework – prep excellent questions
- Be excellent during the interview
- Briefly share what you and your company does at the close of interview
- Invite / open the door for future opportunities
- Then share guest’s expertise on your blog, media outlets, your podcast, etc. – your platform
- Rinse and repeat – rinse and repeat
And here is another key benefit to this strategy, Onward Nation. If you interview the movers and shakers in your industry – they become your informal mentors…and you become one of the movers and shakers in the industry as a result.
If you want a BIGGER – more ROBUST – more INFLUENTIAL network – then YOU must become bigger…your platform must become more robust…and you must become more influential.
But – let me also share a WARNING or a potential ROADBLOCK with you.
You might be thinking – “Sounds awesome, Stephen…but Stacey has an email list of 65,000 people and has interviewed all of these celebrities and big-time business people – I don’t have those connections.”
Or, maybe you’re thinking… “My business just started…I don’t have mindshare in the marketplace, I’m not a published author, I don’t have a platform, no one knows who I am, who will listen to me – what do I have or could I share that would be relevant for anyone to listen to, I don’t have a network – I wouldn’t even know how to start.”
I get it, Onward Nation. Honest I do. I asked myself those same questions when I sent out my initial invitations for guests to join me for an interview. I thought, “Who am I to send an invitation to these incredible people? Why on Earth would they say yes to me?”
And yet…they did. And in the process of receiving the yeses – I realized that what I was doing was making excuses. I was allowing the Fear of Poverty and the Fear of Criticism to work against me, Onward Nation.
Please don’t allow that to happen to you.
If you hear those voices in your head – if you are having thoughts that are even remotely similar to what I just mentioned – let that be your litmus test – you now know you are heading in the right direction.
Push forward – don’t stop – don’t let your fear hold you back from breaking through to that next level.
Remember, you are the average of the people you spend the most time with…and look who Stacey is spending the most time with.
She refers to herself as “A billionaire in the making.” And in order for that vision for her life to become a reality – she knows that she needs to spend as much time as possible with other billionaires.
Well, I will let you in on a secret she told me during our interview – Stacey didn’t have those connections several years ago.
But she decided to change her circumstance – her current network and then took action to make it happen.
And I know you can too.
Okay, Onward Nation – so with that said…I just want to say thank you again. I greatly appreciate your time, I greatly appreciate all of your feedback, and I am grateful that you decided to share with me some of your precious 86,400 seconds you have today.
Please know – I always look forward to your feedback. You can reach me at Stephen@predictiveroi.com, on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Just drop me a line and let me know what you thought of today’s solocast – thumbs up or thumbs down.
Until tomorrow – onward with gusto!