5 Best Strategies Top Business Owners, with Stephen Woessner

Episode 99

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Last week, in episode 93, I shared that after 20+ years of owning five companies and having an opportunity to work with and interview some of today’s top business owners here on Onward Nation, I’ve noticed 12 reoccurring themes – or Business Success Strategies of today’s top business owners — that come up over and over again because they have contributed to the success of our amazing and incredible guests at Onward Nation.

I shared 5 of the master success strategies as well as some of the key insights learned from our first 99 guests along this great journey that has been Onward Nation.

Wow…I am still getting used to the fact that tomorrow will be episode 100.

100 went by so quickly — and we are just getting started Onward Nation! There is so much more to come.

The feedback after sharing five of the business success strategies was awesome — that the solocast was a helpful resource.

And speaking of resources…did you download our 12 Business Success Strategies of Today’s Top Business Owners eBook? If not…why not?

You can still download it here.

Business Success Strategies | 5 Best Strategies Top Business Owners

For today’s solocast…I selected 5 more of the 12 business success strategies — and we are going to do a deep dive.

So that when we are done with today’s episode, you will have last week’s solocast to pair up with today’s, and you will have deep dives into 10 of the 12 strategies.

Plus, the eBook we created for you contains all 12 business success strategies.

But…before we dig into today’s 5 strategies…I owe you and everyone in Onward Nation a very big thank you.

If you are listening to your first-ever Onward Nation episode — I want to say thank you — and let you know how much it means to me that you decided to share your precious time with the ever-growing Onward Nation…today.

Look, I know there are lots of excellent podcasts you can choose from — and I am grateful you chose to be here…right now.

And if you have been listening to Onward Nation for a while now…you may already know how I feel about the sacredness of your time.

We all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day — and I consider you being here — in this moment — right now — to be a sacred exchange of time and value.

You are generously giving me your precious time — and in exchange — right now — I have to be at my best to deliver the value you expect.

I know that I have to be at that quote – unquote “next level” to ensure you come back and continue to listen. So if I am serious about your time being sacred — then me going all-in and working hard at making this episode excellent is the best way for me to express my gratitude for you being here.

And at any point — if you think I’m missing the mark — or — if I shared something helpful to you and your business — please let me know. I love feedback because it is the only way for me to get better.

My email address is stephen @ onwardnation.com — and yep — that is my actual email address.

No fancy filters. You send me an email and it will come right to my Inbox. I answer every single email.

So please let me know — any time — thumbs up or thumbs down. Deal?


Okay, Onward Nation…here we go…a deep dive into 5 bonus business success strategies from today’s top business owners.

Some of the strategies are simple and will only take a minute or two to cover, which also makes them easy to put into practice inside your business.

But there are also several strategies that will require a deeper explanation. I will guide you through the step-by-step to putting each strategy into practice.

And I’m also going to share the links to some of my favorite resources with you in today’s Show Notes.


Let’s dive into Strategy #4. Look for feedback

Onward Nation…you will find success by looking for constructive feedback. All the time.

The relentless pursuit of feedback as Joel Boggess, my guest during episode 4 of Onward Nation described.

You must swallow your pride. You have to set your ego aside and then recognize that getting better is a process.

As Vince Lombardi said, “The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

And the only way to climb that mountain is to push your way up the side of the mountain — one step at a time. To conquer your fear of criticism.

Because it is the fear of criticism that keeps you — that prevents you from asking for feedback. Fear prevents you from getting real — getting honest with yourself — getting honest with your performance — and getting honest with your scorecard.

Looking for feedback takes guts, Onward Nation.

It takes guts to seek out and listen to feedback. It is the only way to improve what is otherwise unknown.

The relentless pursuit of feedback is not about seeking out compliments — it rests solely on seeking out how to get better.

You cannot get to that next level — to move onward to that next level — until you start asking those who you currently serve — how you can get better — how you can do better for them — how you can deliver more value to them.

Feedback is a critical ingredient for your entrepreneurial recipe.

So what is the process to look for feedback?

First…you need to surround yourself with mentors, books, training resources, and a trusted network of advisors. They will be invaluable to you in sharing the feedback you need to grow.

Second…Onward Nation…you need to have the guts to ask customers

Third…you need to ignore the fear of criticism.

Fear is self-imposed. You are the one who creates it.

Fear doesn’t actually exist but in your own mind. So don’t let fear keep you from asking for feedback, Onward Nation.

You already know that owning a business is not always pretty — but everyone has to start somewhere — so don’t compare yourself to others who have been doing it longer than you.

Cody Foster, my guest on episode 80 of Onward Nation taught me that very powerful lesson. I was in Topeka spending some time with Cody and his team at Advisors Excel and one night at Cody’s house he shared some stories from the early days of Advisors Excel — what it was like when there were only the three co-founders…and how they grew the business…and now…to look at Advisors Excel…it’s a multi-billion company with 350 employees and a 100,000 square foot office — and then compare their “front-of-stage” with your “back-of-stage” — or your present day reality.

That is not a fair comparison.

Now that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t seek out and use models of other successful companies to improve our own trajectory.

But to compare your current state with a company that has been doing for 10-years longer than you can destroy the amazing, wonderful, and beautiful things you are presently working on. Comparisons are not feedback.

Instead, look at their path and let that serve as inspiration of what is possible and not a comparison of where you are currently at. Don’t turn their path of success somehow into a mirror to see that you are underachieving.

Remember, Onward Nation, “Limits like fears are often just an illusion.”

So go out — set the fear of criticism aside — and look for feedback.

Jim Rohn said,


If you help enough people get what they want — you will get what you want.


And the only way you can help them get what they want is by asking them — look for feedback — to learn how you can serve — how you can give.


Let’s keep that momentum of giving going with these business success strategies…because strategy #6 is Give until there is nothing left

Have you watched the movie “Pumping Iron” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno?

It’s more than a movie, Onward Nation — it’s more like a powerful documentary — an illustration of what it is like to give and give and give until there is nothing left — and just when you think you cannot give any more toward the pursuit of your dream — you reach down deep — and you find a way to give just a bit more.

I’ve studied the sport of bodybuilding and Arnold is the only competitor I have ever heard describe the intensity of his workouts to where he would push, and push, and push until he literally vomited in a trash can at the gym.

So he would sit and rest for a few minutes. Then he would get up and get back to work. Right back at it.

What was the result outcome for Arnold after all that intensity?

He won the Mr. Olympia competition 6 times in a row.

Then he took 5-years off from bodybuilding — but surprised the sport when he came back in 1980 and won the title again — just to show he could and that he was still the best. Even after taking 5-years off.

Shane Stott, my guest for episode 8 of Onward Nation, said to me,


Stephen, the only way a successful individual will get off the entrepreneurial treadmill is when they fall to the floor dead.”


You, Onward Nation, have to be that committed to your treadmill — that committed to your success.

There is no such thing as an overnight success.  You have to willing to conquer the twist and turns through faith — the faith in knowing you are on the right path — and that you will not change course.

As John Lee Dumas said in episode 38…you need to F.O.C.U.S…which stands for Follow One Course Until Success, Onward Nation.

So don’t think small when you CAN and SHOULD think BIG!

I am going to link in the Show Notes one of the best motivational videos that I have ever watched. I have listened to it hundreds of times. I shared it with Shane Stott a couple of years ago and he converted it into an MP3 file and now listens to it every morning on his drive to work. It is part of his pre-work morning ritual.

Watch the video — listen to the message — and when you do — ask yourself this question…“Have I given all that I can give toward being successful?”

I guarantee that your answer — if you are honest with yourself — is no — there is still more you can give.

You still have more, Onward Nation! You are well able to give more and become more.

How Bad Do you Want to Succeed Motivational Speech


And now I will move to strategy #7: Eliminate distractions and then DO IT!

In episode 9, Afraa Zammam — who joined me on Onward Nation from her office in the countryside outside of Berlin, Germany — said to me,


Stephen, you must get rid of any distractions in your environment — because distractions aren’t just wasting your time — they are diminishing — they are wasting away your ability to accomplish your goals.”


Here’s the reality…if you are spending an hour checking Facebook every day — or Twitter — or watching 40-hours of TV each week (which is the average of the US population by the way) — if that is what you’re doing — you are not only distracted — but you are investing heavily toward your failure — versus investing heavily toward your success!

You must eliminate the distractions and sometimes the distractions are not Facebook, Twitter, or putting a better time management system into place.

Sometimes the greatest distractions are people on your team who are not moving at the pace and tempo you need them to.

Remember Onward Nation, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Wise words from Jim Rohn.

So release the non-performers — they are a distraction to you and your team of A Players. And by releasing them…you will empower your A Players to perform at the level they want to.

Now, once you eliminate the distractions — you need to stop making excuses and get back to the business of hard work by putting your mind to the task at the hand…and just do it.

If you want a great resource on excuses…flip to page 189 of Think & Grow Rich and you will find a list of 57 excuses that we all tell ourselves every day — and those excuses are robbing you, Onward Nation of your future.

Excuses like:

  • If I had the money to invest
  • If I had a good education
  • If I only had the time
  • If other people understood me
  • If conditions around me were only different
  • If I could only do what I want
  • If I could meet the right people
  • If I could just get a break

And the list goes on. There are 57 of them.

Read the list — study the list — and then don’t let yourself use those excuses. You are better than that, Onward Nation.

In this section of today’s Show Notes…I am also going to include a link to another resource — a well-known speech by Art Williams, entitled Just Do It.

Art’s words will make you laugh and he may even call you on the carpet in a few areas because his words might expose some of the excuses you have been telling yourself. And how you have allowed yourself to become distracted.

Watch it. Study it. You will be glad you did.


Okay, Onward Nation… 2 more business success strategies to go…let’s power through…now on to Strategy #10: Decide if this is right for you

Marianne Williamson said…


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”


Onward Nation, there will be days when you question your sanity for doing what you are doing. Today may be one of those days for you.

The first step to you being successful is simply deciding that this is the right thing for you. Is it? Or isn’t? If you are in — then be all in. Burn the boats — eliminate any chance of retreat — and be all in.

And as I learned from Tony Robbins…we all have the power to decide — to decide to make a radical change. Change doesn’t have to take a long time — change can happen in an instant when the decision you make is a MUST.

It is completely within our ability to harness the power of decisions that guides our trajectory, Onward Nation.

Does that mean that being successful is as easy as making the decision to be successful?

No, but making that decision — a true decision — is the critical first step — and then you have to work your face off, like Gary Vaynerchuk says…my guest for episode 42 of Onward Nation.

With that said…if you want some insights — some quotes — to carry you through the rest of the day…then I have another resource for you. It is an incredible video compilation and I will include it in today’s Show Notes.


Now, Onward Nation…it is time for the final business success strategy. It is Strategy #11: Do it the right way

Larry Broughton, my guest for episode 18 on Onward Nation taught us much about excellence…perseverance…tenacity…and always working to do the right thing…and not giving up.

You see…Larry spent nine years in the U.S. Army Green Berets where the words “quit” or “half-way” were not part of the vocabulary. In fact, Larry said to me, “Stephen, you have choose to do the hard right over the easy wrong.” An anthem — a mission — the Green Berets use every day to guide their work — their pursuit of excellence.

What a powerful lesson about doing it the right way. The right way is the only way, Onward Nation.

David Mammano, my guest on episode 17 of Onward Nation, believes that success will come to business owners if they stay committed to implementing excellent standards and developing a pristine culture.

So be committed, Onward Nation, to building a culture of greatness within your company.


You need to coach your team on how to do it the right way — you set the pace — you must show them how to do it the right way — how you manage your time with excellence — but if you suck at those things or are average — then don’t expect your team to be excellent.

How can you expect them to do it the right way when you don’t do it the right way?

Don’t take shortcuts — shortcuts will inevitably lead to failure.

Remember, you set the pace…you are the example of excellence in your company…you must be committed to doing it the right way…and if you are…your team will do it the right way and you will succeed at strategy #12.


Okay, Onward Nation – I hope those 5 business success strategies shared in this solocast were valuable to you.

Please drop me a line and let me know what you thought. You can share your comments at the bottom of the show notes for this episode – or – you can email me anytime at Stephen @ onwardnation.com and yes – that is my actual email address – comes directly to me – no fancy filter, routing, or sorting…comes right to my Inbox.


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