Saturday, December 9, 2023

Weekend Favs December 9

Weekend Favs December 9 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but I encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one I took on the road.

  • Fireflies – With, teams can easily convert their meeting discussions into actionable text, effortlessly track key points, and revisit important segments of conversations.
  • Command Bar – Command Bar is a cutting-edge platform designed to redefine user assistance, catering specifically to product, marketing, and customer service teams. It excels in offering non-intrusive, highly effective tools like self-guided onboarding, interactive product tours, and an AI-powered chat assistant. This platform is the go-to solution for businesses aiming to empower their users with seamless, intuitive navigation and support, ultimately enhancing user experience and engagement. By integrating Command Bar, teams can unlock their users’ full potential, ensuring they make the most out of the product or service offered.
  • Feedly -Feedly is an AI-powered tool designed to streamline the way professionals and enthusiasts track insights across the web. By allowing users to specify their interests, Feedly’s AI sifts through vast amounts of content from news sites, blogs, and newsletters, flagging only the most relevant and important insights. This means users can stay informed and updated without the overwhelm of reading everything, ensuring they never miss critical information in their field or areas of interest. It’s an ideal solution for anyone looking to efficiently keep a pulse on the latest developments and trends.

These are my weekend favs; I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

If you want to check out more Weekend Favs you can find them here.

from Duct Tape Marketing

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Building A People-Centric Culture: From Employees To Contributors

Building A People-Centric Culture: From Employees To Contributors written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Kai Anderson, a seasoned strategist and the leader of workforce transformation at Mercer. Kai has spent years guiding organizations throughout Europe. His book Digital Human (2017) championed the concept of prioritizing humans in the digital transformation. Amid the pandemic’s upheaval, Kai continued his mission, helping clients reimagine their work and navigate decisions in a time of immense pressure and uncertainty.

Kai brings a wealth of experience, guiding organizations throughout Europe. Today, our discussion centers around his latest book, “Work, different: 10 Truths for Winning in The People Age.”

This podcast episode with Kai Anderson offers a deep dive into the transformative journey from employees to contributors, defining the people age, navigating the new rhythm of work, evolving leadership styles, and understanding the dynamics of the great resignation. Tune in for valuable insights on building a people-centric culture in the ever-evolving landscape of work.

Key Takeaways

Gain valuable insights into navigating the transformative shift from employees to contributors in the dynamic landscape of the people age. Kai illuminates the essence of this era, emphasizing the paradigm shift from command and control to a more balanced relationship between employers and contributors. Addressing the challenges of remote work, he introduces the concept of “The New Rhythm of Work” and advocates for finding synchronization in virtual environments. The discussion extends to the evolving role of leadership, with a focus on empathy as a crucial competency. Additionally, Kai delves into the great resignation phenomenon, shedding light on the quest for purpose and the changing preferences of individuals in the workforce. This episode offers a comprehensive exploration of building a people-centric culture in the context of the ever-evolving dynamics of work.

Questions I ask Kai Anderson:

[00:48] How do you describe “the people age”?

[01:32] What aspects make today the people age?

[02:37] According to your book, what are the most significant truths about the people age?

[04:21] How does the popularity of remote-work relate to the people age?

[05:58] What advice do you have for people trying to develop leaders in this new age?

[08:04] How does desire for individual wellbeing manifest itself in the workplace these days?

[10:58] Explain the value individuals have towards diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

[12:04] How do the 10 truths outlined in your book, help create a more inclusive environment?

[13:49] How do you leverage AI while keeping the human touch?

[15:12] How do you create a culture of learning that feels natural?

[16:58] How do you help people realize the return on investment in their people?

[19:25] Where can people connect with you and find a copy of your latest book?


More About Kai Anderson:

Get Your Free AI Prompts To Build A Marketing Strategy:


Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Sign up for a 15% discount on annual plans until Dec 31, 2023. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!





John (00:08): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Kai Anderson. He's a seasoned strategist who started with his own company and now leading workforce transformation for Mercer has spent years guiding organizations throughout Europe. His book, digital Human, championed the concept of Prioritizing Humans in the Digital Transformation. And today we're going to talk about his new book Work, different 10 Truths for Winning in The People Age. So Kai, welcome to the show.

Kai (00:41): Thanks much, John. Great to be here with you.

John (00:43): So I always like to pick apart titles and subtitles particularly, and so let's start with people age. How do you describe this thing you're calling the People age?

Kai (00:52): I'm glad you're picking that, John, because in fact, the idea was that the initial title was the People Age, but we turned it around. So why is it the people age? We had some major trends evolving in the past like 50 years, which brought us from the industrial age into another age. Some people argue it's the digital age, we say it's the people age, right? And of course we have some short-term events like the Pandemic that also accelerated some of these trends.

John (01:26): So what are some aspects that make this, I mean, what you referenced the industrial age, what are the aspects that make this the people age?

Kai (01:36): John the industrial age was very much the core paradigm of the industrial age was command and control. And that worked pretty well. And we have to see that employers and employees were not on eye level. So this was, as we see still in some organizations like military, that was a different kind of organizing work and it was a different relationship. And that has changed significantly through of course, demographics. Now that labor, we all face labor shortage, things have turned around, values have shifted. So that is something which is very different to what we've seen in the industrial age where we are now coming towards, well, the balance of power, if you would like to say. So where we're coming to a new kind of relationship between employers and employees or contributors as we say.

John (02:36): Yeah. So the book also unveils 10 truths. I'm not going to ask you to name your favorite truth or name all 10 truths, but I wonder if there's one or maybe two that you would say, Hey, these are the most significant things, or these are the things people get wrong the most in this age.

Kai (02:54): It really starts with John, what I just mentioned, the contributors. So the first chapter is Goodbye employee, hello contributor. And I think we need to get rid of the idea of an employee. People want to contribute, they want to bring their very best to work, and they want acknowledgement for that. And that is something that has changed a lot. I guess when we started working, it was all about getting a good paycheck and that was it. And that has changed dramatically. So the contributor, and we see that in our global talent trends, you might know that we do annual of course, surveys on what is trending and what people expect. And more than 40 of people say that they want appreciation for what they bring to work for their contribution. So that is a very important chapter. One of my favorites. It's the first one. Of course, I have others.

John (03:46): And I also like the use of new language too, because I think a lot of times old language employee is kind of loaded with how people think about that. And I think it probably in some cases almost takes an entire, you mentioned paradigm, almost a paradigm shift of what an employee or the term employee even is.

Kai (04:03): Absolutely.

John (04:04): So you also mentioned the pandemic, and it's hard to talk about any kind of thing around team and staffing without bringing it up. Hopefully we'll grow out of that at some point. But remote work certainly has been around for a period of time, but talk about accelerating that. It's certainly changed a lot of organizations dramatically. How does the people age, how do the 10 truths really relate to the idea that so many people now are not physically in a building with their place of employment?

Kai (04:31): I'm glad you're asking. Of course. We have a dedicated chapter on that. It's called The New Rhythm of Work. And that is, by the way, we have a lot of musical references. So if you're not into music, you might not like the book, but if you're into music, we have a lot of references here. And the new rhythm of work is the good thing. There was one good thing about the Pandemic then it was that it showed us what is possible with regard to working virtually. And in the beginning it worked out pretty well. But then we kind of struggled in organizations started to struggle because we were getting out of sync. So some people were starting early, others were starting late, some were commuting, others were working from home. So we are not in sync anymore. And that is why some companies are calling people back into their offices, which is of course not the answer because the ghost is out of the bottle. You cannot turn it back. But we need to find that new rhythm. We need to get back in sync with each other to make that entire thing work.

John (05:42): If the workplace is changing, if organizations are realizing this is the people age, what leadership, how does leadership have to change? Does training need to change? Do who we think of as a leader need to change? Certainly the hierarchical structure of leadership has to change. What do you tell people now when they're trying to think, how do we develop leaders in our organization in this kind of new age?

Kai (06:04): First of all, leaders should read our book, John, obviously, of course,

John (06:09): Yes. Well, that of course,

Kai (06:14): Because, no, I think the book is not targeted at HR people, not primarily it's targeted at leaders, at executives. It's targeted at people that want to understand how this new world of working is working and what it takes. And I think we have some really great advice also for leaders in here. Let me take one or two things. The basics of good leadership have not changed, not really being on eye level, these kinds of things. But of course there things that are new. And let me take empathy for example. Empathy is something that has really emerged strongly with the pandemic because we had to get into the other's shoes, really understand what is bothering you, how do you feel? And that kind of notion, think back 30 years ago, that would've been impossible, but now it's a leadership competency we're talking about. And empathy is the beginning of inclusion. And what we all want is a diverse and inclusive workforce. So the basis for that is empathy. So we are drawing the line here to make sure that people understand what is good leadership about what has changed and what do you need to know as a leader in the people age.

John (07:40): So there were a couple of terms that were certainly used throughout the us. I'm not sure if they were used as much in Europe, quite quitting, and the great resignation where people were up and leaving, choosing other jobs. And I think a lot of people initially kind of pegged that as, oh, people just don't want to work anymore. But I think what really came out of that was people just don't want to work for you anymore or at this place. So how does this real sort of desire for engagement, for wellbeing in the place that they work manifests itself?

Kai (08:12): It's also something that has very much been accelerated by the pandemic. We were sitting in our homes, we were considering and thinking about what's life about and what do I expect from life and what do I expect from work? What do I expect from my employer? And so it wasn't really surprising that people in the pandemic and after the pandemic thought, is that it or is there more to it? And what am I going to do? And of course, we have to be fair, John, this was fueled to some extent by the labor market situation. Of course, when I can change like this, that's not that much of an issue. I think it's now a bit harder and the great resignation has stopped as a movement. But also here, I think we see a genuine shift of preferences with people. And we see people asking for purpose, for purpose of their companies, for purpose in their lives. And I think that's a good movement.

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(10:25): Now, this offer is limited to new active campaign customers only. So what are you waiting for? Fuel your growth. Boost revenue and save precious time by upgrading to active campaign today. So you already mentioned diversity and inclusion. I think that workplaces have become more diverse generationally, I think, which is probably driving some of this. You think of some of what we've talked about has really been attributed to millennials. The I want to work at a place that matters necessarily that's higher than what I'm paid. Maybe talk a little bit about, I know you have a whole chapter on diversity and inclusion and not as a regulatory process and more of a people want to work in companies that value that.

Kai (11:11): That is also some of the shift in preferences that we are seeing that is very much tied to, I want to bring myself to work. I want to be looked at as an individual. That entire idea of the workforce, the human resource is a very abstract thing. And that is not John. We are living in a world of hyper individualization. People want to be seen as an individual. I have been working with the former CHO from Betina Fox, and she's a great woman. I did my last book with her and she said, everybody wants to be seen. That was her mantra. Everybody wants to be seen with an airline. Imagine. That is so true, isn't it? And that is the genuine idea of inclusion and diversity.

John (12:04): So how do the truths that you share in this book or the insights you share in this book help people create a more inclusive environment, help people be more seen?

Kai (12:15): I think it's the combination, and I think it starts with a general idea of this people age that has come and we have a dedicated chapter on AI and technology, but the idea is it starts with the people. And if you consider that when you ask executives what's your most valuable resource? What will they answer to the people? It's the people. But that has been a lip service, John, for years and years now. It's becoming true. Now people start realizing it is the most valuable resource and that is the first thing I think that needs to not necessarily change, but that needs to be top of people's mind to say, yeah, it's the people that will make us successful or not. And it's the diversity of people that will make us more successful. And we have studies on that. We know that diverse teams are better performing than non-diverse teams. So we know that. And I think you don't have to argue about that anymore. The question is in fact, how do you do it?

John (13:29): Right? So you mentioned ai. That was my very next question. Certainly a lot of hand wringing in some circles just about the idea that AI is going to replace people, that robots are going to replace people. So how do you leverage technology? Because we also know that this technology sometimes affords us some great things. So how do you leverage technology with also then keeping some sort of human touch?

Kai (13:55): John, I'm a big tech fan, frankly, and I'm a big believer of technology being an amplifier for our capabilities, which is why the chapter on AI we call intelligence is amplified. So we see it as an amplifier for our intelligence. And then you mentioned the gains. We're talking 10 to 30% productivity increase. So this is incredible, especially if we consider that the past years have been stagnating with regard to productivity increase. So here's the kind of boost that we all want, and I see it as a means, or we see it in the book as something that is highly beneficial for the organization, of course, but also for the contributor for people within the organization. If we manage to of what we call have a fair distribution of the digital dividend.

John (14:56): I know in my organization, most of the members of our team are fit into the millennial generation, age wise. And one of the things that I find is very valuable to them, they always want to continue to learn what we talk about it every week. You learn this week, what's a new thing you can share this week? How do you cultivate that kind of culture without also cramming stuff down people's throats? It's like you have to keep learning, you have to keep training, you have to keep reading. How do you create that in a way that feels very natural?

Kai (15:28): That's a cultural thing first. And look at Microsoft. They did an entire campaign on learn it all versus know it all and look at where they are. So to me, that is first of all, really cultural development. And you need to get to a culture that first of all is about curiosity, being curious, trying new things, exploring things. I think we have cultural differences when we look at the US versus Europe versus Asia. Europeans are much more hesitating when it comes to new technology that's different in different parts of the world. But start with the chances first, have that kind of curiosity. And then it's about of course, embedding learning into everyday work, giving people the tools, giving people also some time, and most importantly, having the freedom to fail. So what we call psychological safety, create that psychological safety. You say you try it goes wrong, doesn't matter. You're not supposed to do it wrong twice, but once is.

John (16:41): Yeah. Right, right, right. So I'm sure you get this question, especially in a consulting role. If you're talking to a CEO, you're talking about change in some instances. This is not how every business is run, right? Today. So you're talking about some significant change sometimes equates to significant investment. So how do you help people realize the return on an investment in their people? Like we're talking about, is there a way to measure this has been successful?

Kai (17:07): Good question, John. When we are embarking on these exo, the first thing that we make sure is we are not really convincing people like the return of investment, but rather is it the right thing to do? So you want to get more profitable? Where does it start? What are you going to do without the kind of performance mindset? You want to be more innovative, you want to be more customer centered. Is that a structural thing or is that a mindset kind of thing? So this is first of all, you believe it or not, and there are people that don't believe it, that rather want to get into structures, into processes and say, this is not about people. More and more people buy into the idea of at least people have something to do with it. So I'm not saying that we are not, of course we are setting objectives like net promoter scores where there's a whole bunch of objectives and we are doing extensive employee listening to see what arrives with employees, with contributors. So this is something, and in the end, of course you want to see the business results of all of that, but it's caused an effect. I know, and we know we have great examples also in the book from organization that managed to kind of become a digital champion, for example, by at least investing heavily into their people, into their cultures and their people practices. There's the hardwired stuff as well. There's objective setting, incentive systems, performance management, you name it. Of course, that plays a role.

John (18:54): I suspect if you want to default or what I would default maybe as a simple metric is retention too. I mean that's so many people left companies they didn't like working for and it was very expensive to replace them.

Kai (19:09): Retention. Meanwhile, retention is a business objective. Exactly. Just diversity is just as diverse, just as engagement. Of course. You're absolutely right.

John (19:22): Well, Kai, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. You want to invite people where they might connect with you. Obviously find a copy of your latest book work different.

Kai (19:33): John, thank you so much. Yeah, please reach out LinkedIn, great channel. Make sure that we follow you, John. Great talking to you. Good fun.

John (19:41): Yep. Awesome. Again, thanks for stopping. Bye. Hopefully we'll run into you one of these days out there in Europe.

from Duct Tape Marketing

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Mastering Growth Momentum: Unveiling Your Agency’s True North

Mastering Growth Momentum: Unveiling Your Agency’s True North written by Tosin Jerugba read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch


In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Frank Cowell, the Chief Revenue Boss at Revenue Ranch. Frank Cowell is a speaker, best-selling author, and entrepreneur in the San Diego, California area. With over 20 years of sales, marketing, and leadership experience, Frank serves as Chief Revenue Boss at his latest venture, Revenue Ranch. He works regularly with business owners and executives who are looking to grow faster and smarter.

Frank is author of Building Your Digital Utopia, which details a concept he pioneered to help brands create digital experiences that systematically accelerate growth. An energetic and entertaining speaker, Frank presents regularly to regional and national organizations on topics related to revenue operations, business strategy, and digital marketing.

Renowned for his expertise in accelerating agency growth. Frank’s insights into mastering growth momentum and unveiling your agency’s True North are invaluable for those seeking to elevate their agency success.

Key Takeaways

Emphasizing the importance of a clear True North, Frank guides listeners in defining a razor-sharp strategic direction that informs every decision. He introduces the concept of identifying the number one blocker to growth, encouraging a systematic approach to chip away at obstacles in quarterly cycles. Frank underscores the power of intimate knowledge about your audience, advocating for the ownership of a specific niche to navigate technological shifts successfully. The journey to agency success is framed as a continuous process, with a focus on success stacking and the creation of a culture of momentum. Tactical adaptability is key, with Frank advising agencies to leverage their relationships to initiate collaborative discussions within their niche, navigating evolving landscapes with confidence and purpose.

Questions I ask Frank Cowell:

[00:54] Why do you believe the title ‘Chief Revenue Boss’ is well suited to you at this stage of your career?

[03:44] What key moments in your career best prepared you that title?

[06:51] In your book “Digital Utopia,” what’s the meaning of systematically accelerating growth through creating experiences?

[11:55] How do you apply ‘Momentum Management’ in the world of business ?

[18:05] What advice do you have for scaling in a world where technology seems to affect everything ?

[21:16] Where can people connect with you and learn more about your work ?


More About Frank Cowell:

Get Your Free AI Prompts To Build A Marketing Strategy:


Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Sign up for a 15% discount on annual plans until Dec 31, 2023. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!





John (00:08): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is Jon Jantsch. My guest today is Frank Cowell. He is a speaker, bestselling author and entrepreneur, currently serves as the chief revenue boss at Revenue Ranch. He works regularly with business owners and executives who are looking to grow faster, and he's also the author of Building Your Digital Utopia, which details the concept he pioneered to help brands create digital experiences that systematically accelerate growth. So Frank, welcome to the show.

Frank (00:40): Hey, Jon, thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.

John (00:42): So a couple things I want to get in a little bit into your, I love always to hear people's entrepreneur during like, how'd you get here? Right? But I want to focus on one thing. Revenue Ranch is your company. You've given yourself the title Chief Revenue Boss. Does that imply automatically what you think is the most important role for you currently in that business, or is that just what needed to be filled?

Frank (01:06): I think for me, the play on the Revenue Ranch aspects, so Boss is a common term on a ranch, and then revenue tying into the company name. Ultimately it's my job to create direction for the company, but in this chapter of my life, after having exited an agency, this business is less about growing a massive team of people and more so about working with agency owners as they try to navigate this journey of being an agency owner. So I help guide them on that journey and we put a program together to make that happen. So Chief Revenue Boss is more so just a tie into the company name and that kind of ranch theming.

John (01:49): I guess what I was getting at a little bit is I see a lot of business owners, let's call them rather than CEOs, who really think revenue and vision and maybe culture are my only real jobs because they're so down in the weeds doing everything else, and I think it almost feels like a luxury if you get to a point in your business where you can say, look, these are the only three things that I need to focus on because they're the only three things that matter necessarily to scaling.

Frank (02:18): What's interesting about the CEO role is the CEO is responsible for what I call true North, and it sounds simple, but it's a massive decision to make regarding what goes into creating true North. And then, oh, by the way, making sure that the decisions within the company and how you align the team so that they all are inspired by, they're clear on true North, and they also make decisions about True North. That's a very big deal, even though it sounds simple on paper. And then ultimately, if we look at the KPIs, if you will, of the other functions in the business, the major functions, those aren't directly the responsibility of the CEO, but indirectly they are. If you were to go to the shareholders or the board, they don't really care that there's a head of marketing responsible for active lead generation that ultimately is going to fall on the CEO's shoulders as to why the company isn't growing at a respectable rate. So it's kind of a yin and yang thing there.

John (03:19): Yeah, no, I actually agree with you. I think that a lot of people, it's easy to explain the concept and a lot of books do of True North, it's probably the hardest thing to actually get around to getting right, and I think that's where people are really struggling. Give us a little bit of a snippet of your journey to how you got here. You talked about owning an agency already, and obviously we know what you're doing today, but it's always kind of fun, I think, to go through what molded you to this place.

Frank (03:47): Yeah, so I've always been a salesperson at heart ever since I was a kid. I was in love with this idea of product and creating a business and selling things and moving something into a market and satisfying the market. Even as a kid, I would order these products that I was responsible for selling and my parents would be like, what did you just commit to this? Hundreds of dollars of stuff that's in our house now that you have to go and sell. I was like 12 years old, and so I've just always been that way, and if we fast forward, along comes the information superhighway. That's what we called it back then, the internet, the worldwide web, we called it the Information superhighway, and there was a big theme back then of the information Superhighway is coming. That was the big message out there, and none of us really knew what that was.

(04:38): Well, me being very curious, I started dabbling and trying to figure out what is this thing? And it wasn't long before I said I could probably sell stuff on this thing, and that's when I launched my first web page through my America online web space, and I paid some guy 50 bucks to do it. I found him on America online, and at the time, 50 bucks, I had to ask my wife for $50. I said, Hey, is it okay if I spend $50? That was a big deal to me back then. And so she said, sure, I believe in all your crazy wacky ideas. So I got this thing uploaded and I was selling some information products, and then I decided I wanted to change it, and I was like, oh, this guy's going to want 50 bucks again. And then I thought to myself, Frank Computers and back in junior high, you did a certain amount of programming that you learned, I could probably figure this out.

(05:31): So I cracked open a text editor, and lo and behold, I saw the words on the screen that I wanted to change. I changed it, saved it, uploaded it, and my mind was forever blown. I was like, oh my gosh, the power I now possess. So that led me on a journey to teaching myself how to program. I started programming in flat file databases using a language called Perl. Back then we're talking, this was the late nineties, by the way, and so when it comes to the internet, I'm an old guy, and so that led me into creating my own content management system, and then I launched a web design shop, and then that eventually morphed into a branding agency and creative agency, and I went through that whole journey, did M&A type stuff, and then last year I exited my agency. So yeah, it kind of was a roundabout way of this sales marketing career that was underpinned by my desire to build things and deliver things to a market.

John (06:29): Yeah, it's funny, I started my agency over 30 years ago, so yeah, pre-internet as well. But I always tell people the only thing I was sure of is I could hustle work, and I think a lot of entrepreneurs kind of have that bug, and sometimes it could be a weakness, right? We don't stay focused because we're able to do that. Talk a little bit about,

Frank (06:48): That's such a point, John, such a

John (06:49): Great point, and we can come back to that. I want to talk about the book Building Your Digital Utopia. You talked about this idea of creating an experience that systematically accelerate growth. So kind of unpack that idea for us.

Frank (07:01): Well, I'm a systems guy. I'm a frameworks guy. Everything I do, I want to put a system around. I want to put a framework around, I want to put an ABC 1, 2, 3, so much so to where my wife sometimes is like, oh my gosh, there's a right way to do everything, isn't there, Frank? Because that's just how I view everything. There's a ABC 1 23 when it came to my agency experience and what we were doing for clients, which was essentially inbound marketing, content marketing. I wanted to create a way for our clients to understand the complexity of content marketing. Now to marketers that might be listening, we might think, oh, it's easy to understand, but we also have to remember the people that buy what we have to offer, let's say content marketing, it's not so easy for them to understand and they don't understand the strategic aspects of it.

(07:46): So I wrote a book that intended to teach the strategic aspects to get a business owner, a business executive, to understand what good inbound slash content marketing looked like. And oh, by the way, the underpinning, the big theme of that was relationships, that we can actually build relationships in a digital format. We have to just take that relationship psychology and apply it to the content. And so once you do that and you overlay that idea of relationship psychology, you now have specific types of content you need at various stages. And it's not just so, it's not enough to say, oh, awareness, decision, consideration, that's not enough to say that we actually have to understand the psychology of meeting the psychological need at that place. And so that's what we attempted to do was apply that psychology to that process and it works really well because now we can teach people, business executives a strategic understanding of content and digital marketing.

John (08:48): Yeah, 15, 20 years ago we were talking about content is king. You remember everybody was saying that and then it became air, frankly, and I think today we've risen it to the strategic level. You don't talk about content as a blog post or as a content management system. It's actually how are we going to use it to be the voice of strategy is how we talk about it, because I think it's become that important, but it's also, it's complex. It's changing, it's getting harder. There's so much garbage out there that I think I understand the confusion, right, and I'm sure you see it too. Yeah.

Frank (09:23): I think when, and this is Go ahead,

John (09:25): Finish that point.

Frank (09:27): I was going to say, I think when businesses don't, I'm going to bring back something I mentioned at the top of the conversation, and we'll get into it too. When we talk about the number one thing that I think CEOs are responsible for, especially in agencies, but what a lot of businesses lack what's called a true north. And when you don't have a true north, it affects everything. So specifically we're talking about content marketing. Well, guess what? That's why you're going to produce a bunch of stuff for SEO and you're going to produce a bunch of stuff for social and it's all over the place. And then people wonder why it's not getting traction. Well, because to get traction with marketing, this was true yesterday, and it's so true today. To get traction, you need longevity. The problem is if you don't have a true north, you will constantly be changing directions and you will never have the longevity required to get momentum going. And that's actually the key word that drives everything I do right now with my clients and my methodology. It's this idea of momentum. It's the only magic elixir that ever truly exists in business and in life, and you could actually harness it.

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Frank (11:54): Yeah,

John (11:54): Let's talk a little bit, I think you call it momentum management even. So let's talk a little bit about that concept. Again, unpack that a little bit so that, I mean, I think people conceptually can get that, but how do you apply that in a real world, in a business?

Frank (12:10): Yeah, simply put, momentum again is the only magic elixir that really exists. It's this magical thing that's infectious that when you start harnessing momentum, everyone gets caught up in it, everyone gets excited, and you have people working together towards a common cause. Without momentum, things start to feel stale and stagnant. And as agencies, we know that is awful in the agency space because our people, which is essentially the product, when they start feeling stale and stagnant and the business isn't going somewhere, they're easily distracted by other opportunities. There are many other organizations willing to woo our talent. So we have to create momentum. So how do we do that? The way we do that simply put is by making sure that we obsessively work on the right things in the right order, and disproportionately deploy time, money, and resources against those things. So there's a few things to define that and get there.

(13:10): I've already mentioned true north quite a bit, and I'll go back to that. It's really critical that you as the agency leader or any business owner that you e established a true north for the business. Well, the true north, what is it? The true north basically says this is who we're for. This is what we do in the world. This is the transformation we bring and this is the mission we're on to get there. It needs to be so sharp, it could metaphorically cut. Meaning when you come across opportunities, it's either going to cut yes or cut no, and it's going to be very black and white. The problem with most businesses, they're not willing to make that sharp of a business strategy decision. So they end up taking some things over here, some things over there, some things right there, and then before you know it, you don't have the focus.

(13:58): So the true north needs to be something that is razor sharp. Again, I like to tell my clients it should metaphorically cut. If you touch, it cuts you. It's that sharp. And then your job as the owner is to make sure that all plans align to true North. All people that you hire align to true North, and all the day-to-Day behaviors and decisions align to true North. So that's number one. We must have a true north, right? So we're talking about things like vision, mission, values, how you articulate the brand, and then how you define what I call the boulder in the business. And the boulder in the business is the number one strategic imperative that you have to accomplish in the next one to three years. So that's your true north. So if we start there, if we don't have that, then gaining momentum is going to be really difficult.

(14:43): And then I can go on to a couple of more points if you want, but yeah, let's do it. Are we good? Okay, so we've got true north. The next thing we need to do is is that we need to uncover the number one blocker towards True North, and we need to analyze that number one blocker on a consistent basis. I like to say in nighty day cycles or quarterly cycles. So what is our number one blocker towards True North? Now, I talk about there being seven core capabilities in every business. One is True. North two is exceptional execution. We've got world-class offering systematic sales process, actively generation, empowered work experience, and cash and profit optimization. Those, by the way, align with job titles, but I don't use the job titles. Those are the seven capabilities. So what you have to do as a business owner is you have to regularly understand of those seven capabilities, which one is our number one blocker to growth.

(15:41): And you as a business owner must know that at any given point in time, and once you define your number one blocker to growth, then what you're going to do is the third thing is you're going to chip away at that blocker in nighty day or quarterly cycles. So the plans you come up with aren't to boil the ocean, aren't to get rid of that blocker to growth in one plan, your objective is what can we accomplish in this quarter to chip away at it and understand that growth getting to a place of big success is a journey, and it's about success stacking those little wins quarter after quarter. So what happens when you do that? Well, you gain momentum because not only are you chipping away at the blocker, which frees up and makes your company spend faster, but you're creating a culture of winning with your team. And when your team feels like winners, they start to get caught up in the excitement and enthusiasm of it. So those are the three things that I would say as know your true north, know your number one blocker to growth, and then in quarterly cycles relentlessly execute, chipping away at it in small chunks, quarter after quarter.

John (16:54): As I listened to you described that one, how often the number one blocker for people is they don't have a true north, right?

Frank (17:02): It's interesting enough, John, it's actually if we put those in the right order, a lot of people might say, well, I don't need strategy at this point in time or company's small. It's like, well, could you spend just a handful of weeks getting together with the few people you have and agree on what the strategy is? We're not talking about spending months or years on this, but could you get together and just create some clarity around where you folks are going? Because if you can't do that, you're going to continue to spin your wheels.

John (17:32): So one of the things I'm seeing in the agency world is, and we're picking on the agencies it sounds like, because we both serve a lot of agencies, but this is business in general, is just that they see what everybody else is doing out there. It's like this is how it's always been done, and I see a whole lot of pressure right now on marketing tactics, price pressure on marketing tactics today, and a lot of agencies going, we are just throwing bodies at stuff, but we're making less and working more. So I'm curious if you see that same mentality out there, but also what do we need to be doing or how do we need to be looking at things differently if we are going to scale in a world where technology is constantly changing and creating a lot of pressure on price or on profit?

Frank (18:17): Yeah. Again, I'm going to be redundant here, but I go back to true North. I think about there's two agency relationships in particular that come to mind for me in one relationship. In this one agency I know of, they made the decision to get really sharp on their true north, and they stuck to it and they relentlessly executed against it. The other agency who by the way, was bigger than this other agency has stagnated because they did everything else, but they didn't have the courage to make the decisions about True North because they had this fear of missing out. So what ends up happening is they're not magnetic to anyone audience, but because they're kind of there for many audiences, now, why is this the answer to the thing that you just brought up? The reason it's the answer is because as tactics shift, and let's say we have these massive shifts like AI coming in with content, and how does that affect SEO and how does that affect content marketing?

(19:21): These massive shifts coming in. When you own an audience and you own a particular problem, then you are the one that has the voice within that community to start having conversation with them about how they're going to leverage this technology or if it's even applicable at all. When you have that kind of intimate knowledge about that audience, it's okay that you may not have the answer, but you have the audience and you have the conversations there, and you have the relationships to go back to that audience and say, why don't we do a roundtable? Why don't we do a forum where we talk about the disruption that's happening with this new technology? I'm not claiming to have the answers, but I do know your industry and I do know your problems, and I do know what we have to get you to where you're wanting to go from a strategic standpoint.

(20:11): When you have that kind of intimacy, the tactical problems come and go. As you know, there will be another massive shift in the future, and there will be another one that will always happen. When you have that intimate knowledge of a given market and you understand them better than anyone else, and you've put in the work to develop the relationships in that market, you can then go to them and not claim to have the answers. And that's really the big revelation. You don't have to have the answers of knowing what to do with the technology, but you do have to have the relationships with an audience that's greater than your competitors, so that way you can bring that question to that audience and have a round table discussion and start to create insights and ideas about what that industry can do with the new tech.

John (20:59): Such a great way to build such a great way to build trust too, with that audience doing exactly what you described. Well, Frank, we have run out of time somehow. I wanted to get to stepping away from your agency, which I know we could do a whole show on. So maybe we'll have you back to cover just that one topic, but I'd invite you to invite people to connect with you or where you'd like to connect or find out more about the work you're doing there at Revenue Range.

Frank (21:23): Yeah, I think the biggest thing I can do for listeners, because we talk so much about momentum and figuring out which area is your number one blocker and what you should do about it, that probably the best thing I could do is direct people to an online tool that I developed where people can go through and answer some questions about their business, and it will help uncover your exact blocker to growth. So if you just go to, you'll have access to a tool where we'll walk you through exactly what your number one blocker to growth is, and it'll give you a roadmap on what to do about that.

John (22:01): Yeah, and we'll have that link in the show notes as well. Well, frankly, again, I appreciate you taking a few moments to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, and hopefully we'll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

from Duct Tape Marketing

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Weekend Favs December 2

Weekend Favs December 2 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but I encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one I took on the road.

  • GetTerms – GetTerms simplifies the process of creating essential legal documents for your website or apps. With its user-friendly interface, you can quickly generate privacy policies, terms of service, and more, ensuring your online business complies with legal standards without the need for a legal background.
  • Content at Scale – Content at Scale is a groundbreaking tool that redefines AI-generated content. Its advanced algorithms capture your unique voice, creating content so authentic and human-like that it effortlessly passes both audience scrutiny and AI detectors. It’s hailed as “The world’s most human-like AI writer,” setting a new standard in content creation.
  • Dibz – Dibz revolutionizes the way SEO consultants and marketing agencies approach link building. It automates and simplifies the task of finding quality link opportunities, saving valuable time and effort. With Dibz, you can focus on building relationships and creating content, while the tool takes care of the tedious prospecting process.

These are my weekend favs; I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

If you want to check out more Weekend Favs you can find them here.

from Duct Tape Marketing

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Unlocking Exponential Growth: The Blueprint to Scale Your Business

Unlocking Exponential Growth: The Blueprint to Scale Your Business written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Tony DiSilvestro. Tony is a seasoned entrepreneur, business consultant, and author of the Business Scaling Blueprint. With a passion for helping businesses achieve exponential growth, Tony shared valuable insights into the challenges and misconceptions surrounding business scaling.

Key Takeaways:

Tony highlights the essential principles of scaling a business successfully by emphasizing the intrinsic nature of every business as a people business, underscoring the importance of human interaction and fostering a culture that prioritizes growth. The significance of meticulous systemization is highlighted, with a focus on defining brand pillars and implementing robust internal processes. Tony advocates for embracing technological advancements like AI while maintaining a balance with genuine human engagement for sustained relevance. The holistic approach to management involves continuous improvement, rigorous attention to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and recalibration for effective decision-making, laying the groundwork for unlocking exponential growth in any business.


Questions I ask Tony DiSilvestro:

[00:45] How did you get to this incredible stage in your entrepreneurship career?

[01:11] What are the common misconceptions about business scaling?

[02:13] What is business scaling?

[03:00] According to your book: what are the core concepts of business scaling?

[04:20] How do you monitor business scaling as well as technological advancements in your industry?

[06:32] How do you deal with clients who resist the idea of being called a people business?

[07:52] Is there a framework for building a people-centric culture?

[09:59] How do systems build a better culture?

[11:35] How do you change the mindset of a non-people-centric culture?

[12:54] Are there must-have performance indicators, and how do we use them to make better decisions?

[14:24] What advice do you have for businesses that want to grow but feel stuck?

[16:10] After AI, what trends should we look out for in business scaling?

[18:01] Where can people connect with you and find out more about your work?


More About Tony DiSilvestro:

Get Your Free AI Prompts To Build A Marketing Strategy:


Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the DeskTeam360

Desk team 360 is the #1, flat-rate, digital marketing integration team, that helps small businesses and marketing agencies with graphic, web design, and on-page marketing services.




John (00:03): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Tony DiSilvestro. He is an entrepreneur, business consultant and keynote speaker, passionate about helping businesses realize their exponential growth, Tony's successes, and these are his words and failure too, have afforded him life's lessons that he enjoys sharing with others. He's also the author of the business, scaling Blueprint, which we'll probably dive into a little bit today as well. So Tony, welcome to the show.

Tony (00:34): Oh, thanks for having me today. Excited to be here.

John (00:36): So let's talk about, we could take the whole show talking about your entrepreneurial journey, but let's give a few high spots that give people a sense of where you learned your hard-earned lessons.

Tony (00:49): Yeah, I grew up on the Jersey Shore as a kid and learned what the value of a customer at such a young age, and it's really given me the path to understand business and understand it doesn't really matter what business I'm in, I'm in the people business. And that's kind of where it all started for me.

John (01:04): So let's just dive into, I think this is a good jumping in point for all the positive lessons we're going to talk about. What are some of the things that people get wrong, the misperceptions about scaling, why it's so hard to do, why people beat their head against the wall? I mean, what are we all doing wrong that's not allowing us to scale sort of elegantly?

Tony (01:23): There's a couple things. We all started out as business owners, we think we're great at something. So we say, Hey, we get this wild hair and we start a business. And the problem with that is everybody thinks they're entrepreneurs, but you don't truly become an entrepreneur until you start systemizing your systems. Learn how to delegate and then invest in your people. So one of the things that I find with a lot of companies, whether they're doing three to 5 million, 10 million a year, it doesn't matter, they're stuck. You know what I mean? They're wearing every hat in the company still, and they can't get out of their own way and trust people.

John (01:55): I can't remember where I heard this or who said this, but somebody said, business owners look at everything that needs to be done. They say, how are we going to get this done? Entrepreneurs look at everything and said, who can we get to do this? And I think that's a pretty key distinction. Right? Yeah. So this may sound silly, but let's define for the context of this conversation, what is scaling even mean?

Tony (02:16): Well, it's funny. Scaling for me means different things for every entrepreneur. So some entrepreneurs want quality of life to spend more time with their family. Some people want 10 x 20 x hundred x their business, so it doesn't matter. And I work with so many ceos all over the world and founders of companies, and every one of 'em has a different vision of what scaling means and what success means to them. So it's really, I don't put entrepreneurs or ceos in a certain box. I'm constantly just working with them, working with their c suites and really helping them understand what scaling truly means to them.

John (02:51): Yeah. I assume though there are a few key concepts, a few strategies that you probably bring to everybody to at least explore. So maybe you could, especially from the book itself, what are some of the core concepts that you have to be maybe are overlooked or people just don't think about them, that you find that you have to really focus on to get people started in the right direction?

Tony (03:12): The first thing I always start out with is really defining their brand. What are the three pillars of your brand? So many companies are disconnected with truly what the purpose of their company is. And it's not just the founder. The founder has this vision but doesn't resonate with the employees, and then ultimately it doesn't resonate with the customers. So I redeveloped their entire brand and make them truly think some of this processes takes over two months to develop. And then I go into systemizing their systems. So I've been in franchising for 14 years, and systems are everything. Anybody that's in franchising knows you're not selling, say a restaurant or a handyman company. You're selling a system, and that's what people want to buy. And that's why the failure rate in franchises is so much lower than regular entrepreneurs that are starting a mom and pop shop or a family owned business because they focus so much on the systems of the company. And then you can delegate and then you can train, and then you can market.

John (04:09): Talk a little bit though about one of the things that I know a lot of businesses, I've been doing this for 30 years, we can pick a change. I mean, there's so much change that goes on in business. The current change is probably a technology one that's got the most people buzzing right now, and that's ai. I mean, how do you continue to scale or have a vision for a business while constantly monitoring wholesale changes that might be going on in your industry?

Tony (04:34): It's funny, I love ai, but everybody's got to understand AI is a tool, and if you're not putting it in your tool bag, you're going to be left behind because it's happening so fast and you have to utilize it and see how you can adapt your business. I've changed so many parts of my business with AI already, but adapting technology is something I've done for over 30 years. Whenever there was something new out there, I'm wondering what's going on. When Bitcoin first came out, I tried to take it in my restaurants and I wanted to accept Bitcoin, and this is before it was even out. It was like $4 of coin. And I wish I would've known to buy a wallet at that time, but I didn't. But the thing is, if you're not adapting to change, if you're not understanding friction and understanding what's happening in your business, then you're going to die. You're never going to make it. Change is inevitable in our companies, and you have to be a change advocate.

John (05:26): I often tell in the marketing world, people are talking about AI replacing their jobs. I mean to do content and all the things AI can do. And I said, no, AI's not going to replace your job. Somebody's as good as you that's using AI is going to replace you. And I think, yeah, I think your point of it's just a tool. It's like, how can it allow us to do something faster and better? If it can't, then it's not useful. You mentioned my

Tony (05:51): Business,

John (05:52): Go ahead, finish. Go ahead. Was going to got just enough lag that we're talking over each other. Alright, one of your businesses go,

Tony (06:00): I said one of my businesses a marketing company as well, and the same thing is always looking for results. And I'm always looking for AI and other avenues to help people grow their businesses and scale. So I mean, every tool that's out there and it's as accessible, you need to be educated on it and learn from it. Go on YouTube, find a video. It doesn't matter. Just educate yourself.

John (06:19): So you mentioned already, and I want to dive into it, but every business is a people business. It doesn't matter what they sell, what they do. So talk to me a little bit about that idea, but then let's get into some specifics because I bet you get some pushback from somebody's like, no, we sell blah, blah, blah widget. We're not a people business.

Tony (06:37): So a lot of times I go into business and I truly mean it. We're in the ninety-eight 0.6 degree business. That's the business we're in. And I've founded over thirty-three different companies in different industries. And every single business I'm in, it's all about human capital and how are we helping human capital accomplish their goals and the results that we're looking for? And people will push back and they're like, no, we're architects. I said, no, you're designing somebody's home. You're not designing their house. This is where people are going to live. So I'm very results-driven, right? So if I walk into a sales team, I'm looking at sales-centric versus results-centric motivations of selling because if you're selling, you're dying. But if you're focused on results, then you're going to actually do something. So when we're looking at human capital and businesses, we need people to grow. And when you talk about scaling, the number one way to scale is through delegation, as we alluded to before. But that is people. And I don't care if you're selling cars, widgets, food doesn't matter, building homes. I mean, that's what it is.

John (07:37): So yeah, it's interesting. Your portfolio of businesses is all over the map. I mean, you have a building company, you have a restaurant. You already talked about some professional services that you offer. So do you have, not templates the wrong word, but do you have a framework that's a better word for this idea of building a people-centric culture?

Tony (07:57): Yes. Invest in your systems immediately. Entrepreneurs go out of business right away. But when I'm talking about investing your systems, I'm talking about as granular as you possibly can. If I would've taken that time when I first opened my business to really think about the processes and procedures and really document every system, I wouldn't have had two major failures in my life because I would've been way more educated. I would've had better systems, and I would've been able to delegate and actually avoid mistake avoidance to something I work with a lot with entrepreneurs all over the world. How are you handling mistake avoidance, right? Learn from those people. I was always surrounded, everybody's like, go talk to those old people. They've been there and done that. You can't replace wisdom. There's no doubt.

John (08:38): Hey, have you ever tried to hire freelancers and found that the quality of work was lacking? Or you got all the outsourcing excuses as to why the work didn't get done on time? Well, desk Team 360 has revolutionized the outsourcing game with their insourcing program that eliminates all those frustrations and excuses. You get unlimited graphic designs, website funnels, crm, email automation integrations, automations, really anything that requires you to log into software. Imagine all the time and frustrations you can save from trying to get your tech work done properly. We use Desk Team 360 every day in our business, and so I've negotiated you a 10% deal. That's right. Just go to book a discovery call, and you'll receive the special duct tape marketing 10% off because hey, your pal John always takes care of you. So that's it. Go to and book your call today. I know where you're going with this, but let's make it as clear as possible for the listeners. How does systems build a better culture? How does that relate to people being happier or more satisfied in their jobs?

Tony (09:50): Sure. There's no doubt. Systems create confidence, right? Systems give people a clear expectation. My training company is all about upper mobility training. So we train employees and give them a clear path to growth, but you cannot create that clear path to growth unless you give them a system, set proper expectations. And if they do fail, what are you looking at when that employee fails? You're going back, fix your system because it's not the employee that's going, it's typically your system that's broken. So when I talk about systems, I constantly, I love friction. There's nothing better than friction because the problem is an opportunity. Opportunities create solutions and solutions create results. And I'm driven that way every single day. We don't have problems in our companies. We have opportunities. And if you're focused that way and you're creating systems that help people grow and achieve the result that you're looking for, then the culture's better in your company. They love coming to work every day. They know the path and they see a growth path. Because I'll tell you, I've hired so many employees recently, and the one question, is there an opportunity to grow? Everybody right now is so focused on growth.

John (10:55): Yeah, yeah. More so than sauer is on there, but it's way down the list, isn't it?

Tony (10:59): Right? No doubt. Yeah.

John (11:01): So alright, if company hires you, I'm sure, especially if you have a training company, people are like, will you train those idiots for me? Right? I mean, unfortunately there's a little bit of leadership mentality that still has that. How do you get the lead? Because you can train until you're dead, right? I mean, if it doesn't start at the top, how do you get people who have the wrong mindset to shift their mindset or just tell 'em, Hey, I can't help you.

Tony (11:25): No, I show them a path. So it's not only our training system, we go through the roi of the company. How are you increasing incremental sales? How are you working on customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction? So you can't just walk into a founder or a CEO and say, your training's terrible. You need to just train these people. So what we've developed is a very in-depth training system that's all about upper mobility. And it's not just for the low level employee, it's all the way up to the top level managers. How are they improving themselves? So our system really gives them, they can self-analyze themselves and realize where they're at any given time, and we equate it even to their salaries. So they can say, Hey, I want to make more money. Okay, well let's do this evaluation on you, figure out where you're at, and then show them a clear path for success. But most companies train six to 12 weeks, and that is it. The employee, we train 52 weeks a year. So training is about communicating. If you're not communicating with your staff, it's very hard to train them.

John (12:26): So we're kind of getting into measuring. Everybody realizes they need to measure, they need to have kpis. Rarely do people do it or use it to manage by. Are there performance indicators that we absolutely all need to have? How can we get better at using the data to make decisions?

Tony (12:46): You have to know your numbers. So every company I go into, I can't tell you how many companies I walk into, they don't have a p&l. I'm like, how are you running a company without a p&l? You don't know your numbers. So the biggest problem, and it's so prevalent, you want to believe it, but the biggest thing is going into the companies KPIs are only as good as the person actually using them. I like to say, a lot of times meetings are useless. It's what you do after the meeting, bringing KPIs and bringing solutions. Anybody can bring a problem to a meeting, but can you bring the solution and how we're solving things going forward? KPIs follow systems. If your kpis aren't working now you're recalibrating your business. So I love KPIs. I mean, I use 'em in every business I do. We have weekly meetings with all of our top level managers every single week, and they are forced to bring it to the meeting. You better come with something. And a lot of companies don't even invest time in meetings. They think they're a waste. Oh my God, that's all we do is have meetings. It's because the meetings are useless. They're not bringing enough to the meetings, they're not holding their people accountable.

John (13:47): I love in marketing, not only kpis, but just every step of the funnel, so to speak, or something we're doing. I mean, a lot of times people go, oh, this isn't working. We're not getting enough leads. It's like, no, this one little place is not working. And if we fix that and we'll fix everything. But if we just throw out the entire process because we're not measuring happens all the time. So if somebody's thinking, gosh, I want to scale, I'm stuck. You mentioned stuck from the stage give. Here's my advice for how to get started.

Tony (14:18): Oh, for sure. If it's a new business, I mean if they're stuck, a lot of times what I go in and I analyze what they're doing, it's typically a trust issue or they have corporate fatigue. Entrepreneurship is the loneliest question in the world, and it's because we're afraid to talk to other entrepreneurs and we're not getting out there and explaining. But if we realize we're all in the same boat, there's so many fundamentals that I go through when I'm coaching a CEO or an entrepreneur. It's not just one. It's typically, so if I teach eight fundamentals, eight modules that I teach, it might be delegation, it might be systems the next month, it might be marketing after that. Are you an experience creator? What is the experience you're delivering to your customer? I'd love to say it's a cookie-cutter system, but it's never that way because every entrepreneur at different stages in their career are suffering from a different fundamental that they didn't perfect well enough or they want to grow. And if you want to go from 5 million to 10 million, you probably have to retool everything in your company. So what I do a lot of times is I reverse-engineer. Every single company I go into, I say, where are you at today? Every process that got you to this point, because we have to redo everything to get you to the next level.

John (15:29): Yeah. You talk about the startup. To me, the sadder one is somebody that's been in business 16, 18 years, they're making a salary. There's no joy in it anymore. To me, that's the one that's the saddest, quite frankly.

Tony (15:42): It happens all the time too. All

John (15:44): The time. A lot of jobs just get boarded up called companies after they just run out of steam, right? Yeah. So alright, let's bring out the crystal ball. What should we be looking future-wise trends, things we should be having on our radar as we talked a little bit about ai, but what's next?

Tony (16:02): Yeah, I think we talked about technology, but I mean it's rapidly changing the business environment, especially in the marketing. I know you do a lot of marketing changing. Instant gratification is right there for everybody. And AI is making that even worse. We thought the cell phones were bad. Now you really have instant gratification. So it's really adapting to the marketplace. Watch the news, watch the trends in the world and making sure you're adapting your business to it because you'll be left in the dust. And it's seriously a big problem right now, but there's still a point where humans like human interaction and don't forget that. So making sure whatever, if you're selling widgets or you're selling jewelry, you're selling whatever you're doing, that human interaction is very essential because even though we're in the people business, customers are our people, but they do want things faster. And I think they have to move very agile. And if you're not focused on that and you're thinking the old way's going to work, it's just not going to happen.

John (17:00): Well, you've been doing this for a while. I've been doing this for a long while. You constantly, you stay in this long enough, you see the pendulum swing back and forth, right? I mean, it's like everybody's into technology or social media or whatever the thing of the day is, and then all of a sudden direct mail works better than ever. It happens so often. I mean, you can't just say, this is it. It's like every 60 days, this is, it is going to be something new.

Tony (17:24): My daughter's in peril. She's many skirts are coming back.

John (17:29): Yeah, no question. I was just in Europe last week and they were in Brussels. They're all wearing hot pants. So remember that from the seventies, right? So, well, Tony, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. You want to invite people where they might connect with you, find out more about your work,

Tony (17:47): Go to and my whole website's there, come see me, love to give you a copy of my book, come see me. And then just, if I can help entrepreneurs all over the world, that's my goal.

John (17:58): Awesome. Well, again, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by, and hopefully we'll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

from Duct Tape Marketing