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Founder of Solve Sales. From Clueless to Closer. How I Went From a Cringeworthy Kid To an Ace Sales Professional

Forrest Dombrow is Founder of Solve Sales: From Clueless to Closer. How I Went From a Cringeworthy Kid To an Ace Sales Professional | Ep. 190 | Business Podcast

Forrest Dombrow is Founder of Solve Sales: From Clueless to Closer. How I Went From a Cringeworthy Kid To an Ace Sales Professional | Ep. 190 | Business Podcast

Founder of Solve Sales. From Clueless to Closer. How I Went From a Cringeworthy Kid To an Ace Sales Professional
Founder of Solve Sales. From Clueless to Closer. How I Went From a Cringeworthy Kid To an Ace Sales Professional

Summary

Forrest Dombrow is a serial entrepreneur, author, and a sales consultant with seventeen years of experience in the online marketing industry.

He has worked with hundreds of small- and medium-sized businesses, and has sold millions of dollars in digital marketing services to some of the largest brands in the world including SEO to Amazon and Conversion Rate Optimization to Costco.

This is a fun epsiode with tons of lessons learned and tips to help with your company’s sales.

Links from the episode

Forrest’ new book, Clone the Ace is available here.

Hello friends.

Brandon:

Welcome to the Edge. Today we’re talking with Forest dumb bro, who is the founder of solve sales and forest shares with us. His incredible journey to get to solve sales. He’s done multiple businesses. He’s sold businesses. He’s done everything from retail to digital.

Brandon:

He is recognized as one of the top digital marketing guys in digital marketing.

Brandon:

You’re going to love this episode. He drops tons of tips all through his story that you can use to increase your sales.

Brandon:

You’re gonna love this episode.

Brandon:

Here we go Forest um, brow with solve sales.

Brandon:

Welcome to the Edge podcast, your weekly playbook about the inner game of building a successful business, making you a happier, healthier and richer business owner and here’s your host, Brandon White. Hey Forrest, how are you? I’m good. How are you? Brandon? Oh my God, I’m so glad we’re able to get you on the show.

Brandon:

Yeah, I’m still alive. You look, you look well, you sure didn’t sound good. A few weeks ago for the listeners out there, Forrest got trapped in Mexico, right?

Brandon:

Yeah, I don’t, yeah, I got trapped with COVID despite being vaccinated. So uh, it was a rough patch actually two days before that we arrive at the resort hotel, which is right on the beach. I want to go check out the beach. You know, is it nice as Iraqi? You just kind of check it out. So I go out there and there’s a guy laid out on the beach, huge and I figured he had a heart attack. There was paramedics is about 50 or 60 people gathered around him. I’m not a doctor.

Brandon:

So I’m like I’m just gonna go in the ocean. There’s nothing I can do. So I go out in the ocean about 200 yards because it’s low tide.

Brandon:

And after a minute or two security guard and a bunch of the guests are frantically waving me back in. I was like what’s going on? I walked back in and they said the guy got attacked by a crocodile and I was stabbed.

Brandon:

Yeah I was the only one out in the ocean which I didn’t notice until they started like for my so yeah.

Brandon:

And then two days later I got covid and they quarantined me in my hotel room for nine days with a security guard and uh with a security guard at your door. Yeah outside in the hallway they like slide food under the door.

Brandon:

I mean I’m happy. I mean they would I had I had to live on room service for like eight days straight. They would open the door and they were all masked up. It was kind of funny people would run away like the people serving like here’s your food just take off. Yeah so kind of a rough patch. But get back to myself. How so you were vaccinated with which vaccinated with johnson and johnson several months before I went to Mexico.

Brandon:

And do you know if you got the variant or was it 19? You don’t know They just said I was positive and I had to keep retesting because you can’t fly back to the U.

Brandon:

S. Without a negative test.

Brandon:

And so I had to keep retesting. I basically paid twice for my vacation because I had to pay for you know 89 extra days plus all the room service. So yeah I need now I need a vacation. But how it didn’t it sounds like you really down for the count.

Brandon:

Yeah. You know it wasn’t terrible. I’ve definitely been sicker with the flu and stuff in the past. But I was also definitely sick. I mean I had a temperature I had the chills the day before I even found out I had it. I was in bed sick you know the whole day. I thought it was just a cold because I was vaccinated.

Brandon:

But yeah there’s still some lingering symptoms and stuff but again not horrible.

Brandon:

I’ve been sicker before.

Brandon:

Well we’re glad you’re back and I was, we had rescheduled and then that one day I think I’ve sent you several videos because I didn’t see that cancelation but I’m glad you’re well you look good and you look alive and you have to book another vacation.

Brandon:

Maybe you should do it in the United States so that you can at least travel.

Brandon:

I did. I just did. I’m going to Palm Springs for my annual guys golf tournament in a couple of weeks. So well I want to talk about your book and everything that you’re doing, but you have a really interesting background and I don’t know where to start.

Brandon:

Maybe we can start all the way back when you were before college and maybe what you thought you were going to be and what you wound up being.

Brandon:

But your journey to get where we are today, besides getting out of Mexico is you’ve done gourmet popcorn companies, you’ve done all this stuff.

Brandon:

So where did it all start?

Brandon:

Forest?

Brandon:

Well, you know, when I was, my entrepreneurial streak definitely started with my father, he used to tell me the story that he made up, you know, little childhood bedtime story.

Brandon:

There was a corner store in my neighborhood residential neighborhood, corner store called johns that sold candy and baseball cards and cold cuts and things like that.

Brandon:

And it was always a big deal as you were growing up to get to go to john’s because it was a little bit of a walk, ride your bike kind of thing.

Brandon:

And I also lived across the street from the park.

Brandon:

So he used to say, this is your first lesson in business because he always said, be your own boss, being your own boss.

Brandon:

And uh, so he said, you know, there’s all these kids plan to park, you ride your bike over to john’s and you buy a lollipop for one penny, You bring it back to the park and you sell that for two pennies now.

Brandon:

How many lollipops can you buy? And I’d be like 2-2 and then you ride back to John’s, you get to and then you do four and I used to make him tell me that story over and over and over, so that’s probably the kernel of my entrepreneurial streak.

Brandon:

Fast forward into college and all the different jobs and stuff.

Brandon:

Yeah, I’ve had a very eclectic career, which I used to put myself down for and now I realize there’s a huge asset because I’ve seen things from so many angles, so yeah, when I was in college, I wanted to be a toy inventor.

Brandon:

So uh a toy inventor.

Brandon:

Yeah, yeah, I’ve never heard a person in college want to be a toy inventor.

Brandon:

I’m not saying that, that’s not cool, I’m just saying, how do you come up with that?

Brandon:

I don’t know, you know, I had ideas and I started reading books and I learned about this concept of product development and licensing and royalties and that’s what got me really excited, like, oh, I can come up with ideas and then people will pay me 5% forever and I don’t even have to do anything that was actually more appealing even in the toy part of it, but I did get a job and internship at a toy company in new york city and so I was kind of going down that route route, but what happened was, even though it was cool, I mean they literally would give me money and say go to F A.

Brandon:

O Schwartz and buy toys and we got to come back and test them on balance.

Brandon:

It was a crappy office job, you know, it was my first experience putting on a tie and going into the office with older people and all the politics that you might find in a lot of offices.

Brandon:

It was a shock to my system and that actually set my course for the next number of years or decades that I refuse to settle for work that I didn’t love and I came up with this concept called worldwide playground, which is actually the name of one of my other companies that I don’t even think, you know about, but that concept is all about wherever you are in the world, whatever you’re doing, it should be playful, right?

Brandon:

Not that you’re screwing off, but you should love what you do.

Brandon:

And so that caused me to try a lot of different things, from popcorn to liquor store and a variety of other things and through that testing if you will, I finally found the things that I really like to do and it’s also still a work in progress, right?

Brandon:

And I like to do something this month this year and and then I start to get bored of it and so yeah, it’s been a long circuitous route, but I feel pretty solid and what I’m good at what I like to do at this point I want to go back for a second to your dad’s advice.

Brandon:

Was he an entrepreneur or he wasn’t he wasn’t he had a job, he was a salesman for most of my life which is odd that I’m in sales and sales consulting now because if I knew one thing was I did not want the salesperson we get along great.

Brandon:

He was a great salesperson but I was time an introvert you know I just saw what he did and I was like that’s not for me you know but there was times when he was in between jobs where he started a company actually called Forest Enterprises named after me and it was a dental company because that’s the industry worked in and he eventually went back to work and my mom ran the company out of our basement and so there was always an entrepreneurial you know I used to package up the dental floss and you know work in the business a little bit.

Brandon:

It was you know home business but they did pretty well.

Brandon:

So yeah he was and he wasn’t at the same time I guess was it uh the sales part because you felt like you were an introvert and you just didn’t want to interact with people like that.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

Yeah at the time I was I was always pretty social.

Brandon:

I mean I had friends and stuff.

Brandon:

I could flip between different social groups growing up, but yeah, well I never saw myself as very outgoing and the idea of like making a presentation and being up in front of people and all that and just even talking to people, I always saw myself as more ascended the computer do work kind of leave me alone unless you’re at a party and then I’ll call, shall be friendly and talk to you, you know?

Brandon:

So yeah, it was kind of that introvert kind of nervous about the behaviors and actions I saw him having to take to be successful.

Brandon:

So you go to college?

Brandon:

Well you probably sold a lot like a lot of lollipops.

Brandon:

Did you do that?

Brandon:

I never actually saw lollipops but we did have a lot.

Brandon:

I didn’t just do the lemonade stand. We did all sorts of crazy things. We’d sell out in front of my house like sand sculptures where you can drip sand it or glad we had that. I took all my mom’s glassware ruined it but sold all kinds of stuff. Yeah, It sounds like a cool childhood. Yeah, it was, it was, it was very good.

Brandon:

You go to college, you’re going to be a toy inventor, you get an internship, you figure out that you hate it.

Brandon:

Not because maybe the job isn’t cool, but because of the environment of what you’re working in for the, for the most part doesn’t seem healthy and you quit.

Brandon:

No, I mean it was for the summer.

Brandon:

So I finished the internship, went back for my senior year in college and then decided to go to law school, law school.

Brandon:

So you go from lollipops to a toy inventor to law school.

Brandon:

How what what was the thought in that, you know, growing up in the East Coast in a jewish family, you kind of had three options, lawyer, doctor or banker.

Brandon:

My parents didn’t really force me by any means and I love my parents.

Brandon:

But um, it was just kind of part of the culture I grew up in, I did take a business law class and last year of high school I really liked it. So it actually did appeal to me just on some level.

Brandon:

And so I actually took a year off as a ski bum off the record range in colorado and applied to law schools from there, got in and came back to new york and went to law school.

Brandon:

I get to say this because I’m originally from the east coast in Maryland, but I think the east coast and it may be, it may be a Jewish thing, but I think it’s an east coast thing in the sense that I always call it for the original 13 colonies.

Brandon:

And it’s like, it feels like, and, and I have the juxtaposition because I live in California now and I have for a while is, there’s a very, very, very different mindset from the East Coast to west Coast in that sort of, here’s what you’re going to do when people said, well, you went to college, you got your masters.

Brandon:

I was like, was there a choice?

Brandon:

I mean, you know, was there was that an option to not do that?

Brandon:

Because at least, and I’m not saying the West Coast doesn’t have that, but on the East Coast, it’s this, this predetermined path that is, I don’t even think people think about it that much, it’s just that’s what you do.

Brandon:

And if you’re going to be a doctor, a lawyer, whatever.

Brandon:

The third thing, what’s that, banker?

Brandon:

Yeah, banker or, or even commercial real estate, candidly, at least in in the Maryland area, that’s sort of your path.

Brandon:

And I think that’s I guess good, but it doesn’t seem that interesting.

Brandon:

But you got on this track and you go to law school, how are you feeling through law school?

Brandon:

You know, the day I moved back from colorado from brokerage and moved into new york city to my tiny little studio apartment that day, I was like, I got to move back to colorado as soon as this is over, I knew I just energetically I did not feel, even though I grew up there, I did not feel energetically in the right place.

Brandon:

But you know, I started school, I actually liked law school even though it was hard, but it suited my brain, a lot of the logic and analytical thinking you know I did well I graduated near the top of my class.

Brandon:

I had job offers but probably in my between my 2nd and 3rd year had an internship at a law firm and that’s when I knew for sure this is not for me.

Brandon:

I might like the analytical thinking and a lot of what we’re doing and talking about being a lawyer.

Brandon:

Especially in new york where you basically have to check your life at the door um And do you know 2000 hours available you know the whole rigmarole and it just wasn’t for me.

Brandon:

And so I remember leaving, had a really interesting lunch at the top of A.

Brandon:

I.

Brandon:

G.

Brandon:

The insurance company.

Brandon:

They actually gave me a scholarship to go to law school.

Brandon:

And so at the end I wanted to reach out to them to say thanks and they invited me down to have lunch with the ceo of A.

Brandon:

I.

Brandon:

G.

Brandon:

And all the top dogs.

Brandon:

The ceo ended up not being able to make it but I was the head of their philanthropic foundation.

Brandon:

Anyway we go up like six different elevators to the type of like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and had this insane lunch and then she takes me up one more elevator literally went through the roof of the building into a little glass atrium and then the elevator disappeared into the floor and she’s up there and she’s like well if you want a job here, new legal department, it’s yours.

Brandon:

I was like thank you, but I’m going to colorado man and I just left and everybody that I knew to your point about there is a path was like, oh I wish I could just move.

Brandon:

And I was like you can, oh but my family and you know, and I was like I get it, but I’m moving and so moved back to colorado, took the bar in new york and in Colorado back to back and had like kind of a temp legal job.

Brandon:

And it was at that point I said enough and I hired a career coach, that specialist in helping lawyers transition out of legal careers and uh got into sales actually at that point I want to go back for a minute because you’re in Breckenridge living the good life, fresh air help, very positive people you show up for the first day and you say that you knew from that first day.

Brandon:

So how do you get your mindset straight on day one of law school because you’ve got three years ahead of you of grueling work candidly.

Brandon:

I mean it’s a lot of work.

Brandon:

What do you say to yourself, do you just like, well I know that this isn’t going to be it in three years, I’m going to go back.

Brandon:

I mean that seems you could say that in 10 seconds, but that feels heavy.

Brandon:

Yeah, you know, and again, just to be clear, it was more about living there than anything to do with law school at that point.

Brandon:

I didn’t know this was the first day I moved into the city, hadn’t even started law school yet and I liked law school for a while actually like the whole thing, even though it was tough at times.

Brandon:

So it wasn’t so much about changing that yet.

Brandon:

It was more about, I don’t belong here.

Brandon:

That’s not where I want to live.

Brandon:

And so to your point or question, I was like, yeah, I just made up my mind.

Brandon:

I was like, okay, well I’m from new york and new york city is really cool obviously in a lot of ways.

Brandon:

So I was just like, hey, I’m going to enjoy it.

Brandon:

And I know when I’m done, I’m gonna move back to colorado, I just made that decision, put in the closet and went to school.

Brandon:

You know, I think that can be hard for some people because I’ve had that experience myself before and it really takes a lot to decide.

Brandon:

Yeah, that you’re not going to complain, whine and cry to yourself or you know, however long three years or however long that is and you’re going to get through and see the path.

Brandon:

But I guess the path also gives you hope that, you know where you’re going to go afterwards.

Brandon:

Yeah, I definitely did complain a lot the whole time.

Brandon:

I remember telling people, I hate new york city all the time and again in new york city and I love it.

Brandon:

It’s just a day to day living.

Brandon:

You know, it’s one thing to go there and go to a broadway play and that’s what people think.

Brandon:

It’s like, oh, you lived in new york city, it must be awesome.

Brandon:

Like it’s not like I was like broadway plays and hanging out at fancy restaurants every night.

Brandon:

I was just in my little cockroach infested studio busting outlaw, you know, outlines.

Brandon:

So it wasn’t all fun and games. Well at least you’re honest about that, you get this great job offer, but at least you know what you want, you move back to Breckenridge, you do some temp legal work, you decide this isn’t for you and is there a day that you decide that is there a day that you walk out of this temp legal work and say that’s it, I’m not coming back tomorrow or is it a slow burn?

Brandon:

And it just sort of happened, It’s a bit of a slow burn because I needed to earn money and I was also studying for the bar out in colorado at the same time.

Brandon:

So I was like, look, I’m gonna, you know, I started this, I’ve already finished school and everything. I’m going to take the bar because I hadn’t quite made that final decision and not new law.

Brandon:

So I was studying for the bar and I was just doing my job on a daily basis and once the bar, but you know, somewhere along there, I was like, I don’t want to do this for a career, you know?

Brandon:

But I’ve already been studying for a number of months when you take the test and you know, and so yeah, I was there for a while, I don’t remember from six months or eight months or what, but you know, I worked there while I was studying and then at some point towards the end of it I hired that coach and decided I don’t want to do this.

Brandon:

And so we worked on what might be next for me.

Brandon:

And did you build a one year, two year, five year, what was how did what was the approach to basically get you somewhere other than where you were?

Brandon:

I just started meeting with her I think, you know, we had weekly one on one sessions, he put me through some exercises and stuff and I forget how, because I think still at the time I didn’t really see sales as a career for me, but I can’t recall exactly, but I ended up getting a job offer at a tech company, this was right before the dot com bust of oh eight, so this is like six or seven and I was selling, it was selling DSL that was like the hot, high speed internet.

Brandon:

Well that was fast back then man because that that DSL was Other than AT one DSL was sort of your option, right?

Brandon:

Yeah, that was the best thing going at the time.

Brandon:

And so, you know, I took the job and they made me read this, I went through training and they made me read this book spin selling, I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of it, it’s still one of my favorite all time sales books and I, you know, I did, well, I just took to it sort of naturally and was very quickly one of the top sales people there and then that’s one of my co workers comes to me and says, hey, we should do, we should do a kettle corn business on the weekends.

Brandon:

And I was like, I don’t, I don’t even know what kettle corn is and uh he started explaining to me and you know, being entrepreneurial and I think I’m fundamentally a branding and product guy in a lot of ways and that’s where the toy inventing and the product development licensing comes from.

Brandon:

So he was like, yeah, let’s go to do kettle corn affairs on the weekends or something.

Brandon:

I was immediately not interested in that.

Brandon:

I thought I want to create the smart food popcorn, white cheddar popcorn that’s in all the stores.

Brandon:

I was like, I want to create the kettle corn of that and get it in stores, that’s what I wanted to do.

Brandon:

So I had a much bigger vision and we started, you know, explain and then the dot com bust happened on our company, lost all its funding and uh, he had to go get a job, support his family, a little baby and stuff and I did get another job, but it was straight up cold calling and I, after two weeks I called my dad and I was like, man, he’s like, just quit, I’ll give you some money, I don’t want you to suffer, Just go, do, go do the popcorn thing.

Brandon:

And my, my buddy that had mentioned it, he’s like, I can’t do it, I’ve got to make money.

Brandon:

So I was like, screw it.

Brandon:

My dad loaned me some money and I bought a kettle and I did all my branding and there’s a lot of funny stories around that, but I did end up getting it into whole foods and vitamin cottage and someplace around here.

Brandon:

It stayed small and local because I was definitely an inexperienced bootstrap er, do everything yourself kind of person, which is, which is a big lesson I’ve had to learn over the years and you know, I got burnt out after three years and I sold it for a modest profit and uh, I don’t want to skip.

Brandon:

I mean you nonchalantly or like, yeah, I got into whole foods and three other things.

Brandon:

So how do you get it?

Brandon:

I mean, you have no experience, so to speak, you’re really, I mean you’re a lawyer at this point.

Brandon:

You at least know laws and things, but you’ve got a kettle in your kitchen, you’re making the product.

Brandon:

And do you just walk into whole foods and say, hey, where’s your manager? Yeah, that’s exactly what I did. Yeah, I just went into a bunch of different stores and whole foods being one of them and try to talk to the manager and so it initially started off just at the local store level, like how to get sell this manager and we go to the other store and sell that manager and how did you convince them that the guy making kettle corn and in his kitchen who quit law school, they should bet on this guy.

Brandon:

What?

Brandon:

I think I gave him some taste tests.

Brandon:

That was one thing because the product was really, really, really good.

Brandon:

You know, and I had, you know, at the time, the only kettle corn anybody ever heard of was in a, in a blank bag at the fair and I came in with a nice package and tasted great and look great. And you know, I think there was also a, hey, let’s try it, can we just put on the shelf and see how it does. It ended up outselling all the other popcorn in this category in the store. So yeah, it was definitely just, um, I think a lot of my success has come from just truly believing in the product and kind of having that allow me to get over my fears to go make an approach like that cold, especially I was, I was younger, quite a bit younger and uh yeah, but that’s what I did.

Brandon:

But you knew that it also tastes good.

Brandon:

So did you take it around to your friends and say, hey, do you think this is good tasting kettle corn? I did. I actually did a whole bunch of taste testing at the beginning. I even sent bags all over the country to friends and family, different recipes and asked them to send me back the sheet voting voting. I think it was a little overkill. But yeah, I went, I tweaked the recipe.

Brandon:

I had a lot of taste testing. I, you know, something I’ve always suffered from which ends up in some ways being a benefit is which I know a lot of people do. So lack of confidence, wanting to impress people, of things of that nature imposter syndrome.

Brandon:

And so I I have historically gone way above and beyond to make sure that whatever I’ve got is amazing before, it ever sees the light of day and sometimes I can hurt you of course.

Brandon:

But also it helps because the reality is when I create stuff, generally speaking, it’s typically way better than what most people experience because I put it because I’m so vain.

Brandon:

It works out in your favor. I think it’s, I think the takeaway from what I’ve heard so far is really important is is that you really stay focused on your product and if you have a good product that solves a problem for people in this case hunger, then people will buy it.

Brandon:

And that is my absolute key core philosophy about sales and business.

Brandon:

I feel like, and I, I don’t know if you had a chance to look at my book at all, but I have a continuum in there and on one end is a lump of poop in the middle of the generic brown box and on the right side is a fictitious cure for cancer with minimal side effects.

Brandon:

You know, and I say to people, it’s actually based on a alarm buffet quote, he says good jockeys will do great on good horses but not unbroken down max.

Brandon:

So you give, you give the best sales person in the world, the junkie product that nobody wants at any price, he’s not going to do well.

Brandon:

And if you’re playing in the middle of those generic brown boxes, which is where most companies are right, they’re not selling junk, but it’s kind of like everybody else is, it looks very similar.

Brandon:

So if you can move just a little bit further to something like a cure for cancer, you know, if you had a real cure for cancer with minimal side effects, you don’t need a website would be the worst sales personal world you sell a million of them.

Brandon:

So yeah, to me it’s kind of product first, unique differentiation positioning before we even get to sales training, we have something even worthy of selling um differentiated, so that is my core philosophy around business or certainly one of them Yeah, because if you have a great product that does sell its up, I think some sales people can sell anything to anybody, but that’s a really hard skill to find Yeah, and it often leads to inauthenticity and another problems if you don’t really believe in the product, so, but you’re right, some people can sell ice cubes to Eskimos, but but eventually it falls down, I think one of the other things that I thought about as I was listening to what you said is is that I think once you can free yourself from caring and I don’t mean this recklessly, but once you can free yourself from worrying about what other people think of you then you are truly free.

Brandon:

Absolutely, yeah, that, let me tell you a quick interesting story to tie that together.

Brandon:

So I told you about that concept of worldwide playground and there’s a quote that goes along with its one of my favorite quotes which is the supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play bye Arnold Toynbee and yeah, I always thought worldwide playground when I was younger because when I was younger I was like a lot of average americans, like I want a mansion and a Ferrari and a hot wife, you know, and I want to rip six pack doubts and worldwide playground fundamentally to me was always about having enough money, I don’t need $100 million but having enough money where I don’t ever have to work again and I have the choice, the freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want.

Brandon:

But it was always financially based only in the last number of years, the last 34 or five years I actually realized that never had anything to do with that and had to do with what you were talking about, the ability to do what you want whenever you want without any fear, whether you have money or not because the money is always out there if you, if you, if you really need it, you know, and so worldwide playground is now way more about what you were just talking about being of service and certainly doing what you love without fear of other people’s opinions whether that’s making your money or not.

Brandon:

But I’m not saying it’s easy, there’s probably listeners out there like yeah, you and forest, they’re just talking about and make it easier.

Brandon:

It’s hard to fight that.

Brandon:

But I think recognizing it and then checking yourself because I think more often than not at least in my life that those things got in the way that didn’t need to get in the way I, there was a guy who was actually my, one of my business partners and we didn’t get along can we liked each other.

Brandon:

But we were terrible business partners.

Brandon:

Like together we just fundamentally he did incredible stuff, stuff that I will forever be grateful for learning.

Brandon:

But as it relates to the combination, just didn’t, it didn’t work.

Brandon:

But he said to me one time, he was like, you are your worst enemy.

Brandon:

If you would just get a half a step out of your own way, you would be not just great because you’re really great now, but you’d be extraordinary.

Brandon:

And I walked away from that and you even have to check your ego to take that criticism right?

Brandon:

And I was like, uh, and I actually did it and may change your life.

Brandon:

I’ve been doing that, but it’s it’s a work in progress.

Brandon:

And I actually just had a conversation, I dropped my son off at camp this morning on the way back, I was talking to my business partner, we’re only formally business partners for maybe six months and we’re so we’re still figuring out how to work together on something.

Brandon:

It’s going really, really well.

Brandon:

But we were we have a lot of the same core fundamental sales philosophies and whatnot.

Brandon:

But we’re also very different in our approach.

Brandon:

But I was talking to him about this because I said, you know, I don’t often speak up or maybe I don’t speak up as firmly as I need to in a sales call because I want to win the deal, someone, someone’s pressing me on like when are we going to see results in a month or two?

Brandon:

And I know that’s not true.

Brandon:

I certainly will talk about, I don’t just say yes to whatever they say, if it’s unreasonable, but I notice myself again wanting to look good, wanting to close the deal, wanting to be successful, kind of hedging a little bit instead of being like, hey, Mr prospect, I hear what you want, but let me tell you how it really works and what we’ve seen and this is the way it is and avoid the down the road, hey, you told me it was going to be three months and now you’re saying, you know what I mean?

Brandon:

And so it’s that the ability to speak up and get out of my own way as well and in fearing of upsetting somebody and all that kind of stuff.

Brandon:

Yeah, it’s been a big thing for me for sure and something that I’m really working on right now as well.

Brandon:

Well, I think it, I think just having the awareness is step one because accepting it and recognizing it is, I would argue half the battle because at least you can catch yourself, I’ve also found at least there’s, and look there’s a balance between selling and being enthusiastic and, and promising something, but back to what you said earlier, if the product is dialed in and you have confidence in the product, then most of the things, I think it’s interesting that these things in life carry over to business and business in their life.

Brandon:

But most of this is about expectations because what you just described in that situation and they come and say, well forest, can I get, Can I get results in two months and you know, in the back of your head that it’s going to take six and then it doesn’t happen.

Brandon:

But the product still works, but then it doesn’t happen until four or five or six months and the person comes back and says your stuff sucks and they quit when actually the product did work.

Brandon:

And the only thing in that exchange right there, the only thing was an expectation that somebody made up in their mind and that was somehow validated.

Brandon:

Yeah, yeah.

Brandon:

You know what’s interesting and challenging about that sometimes this is, this is actually a real thing that just happened.

Brandon:

And so we were hired to do sales training for a team of about 30, It’s four sales trainings.

Brandon:

We told them up front And even sent them an article about it that your sales team will not get better by just sitting in a few 90 minute trainings.

Brandon:

They need coaching.

Brandon:

They need support and it’s gonna take months and we actually went through that and I had to do this call while I was locked in my room in Mexico where they’re like, hey, we’re not seeing results yet.

Brandon:

And I jump on a call and explain to them two things.

Brandon:

First of all, we’re literally halfway through the training, let alone even the training being done.

Brandon:

So what are you talking about?

Brandon:

And second of all remember that article, I say, you know, we talked about extensively.

Brandon:

So sometimes you can even speak up and then people get busy and they forget.

Brandon:

And so it’s like an ongoing sometimes re expectation setting and management that can be challenging.

Brandon:

And I think that I think that this our society is such a results.

Brandon:

It has been marketed to That.

Brandon:

There’s these quick results lose five lbs in a week.

Brandon:

Yeah, I guess you could do that most of it’s probably water weight.

Brandon:

I mean I think you can lose a pound and a half of fat, but you’re really going to have to dial in your diet.

Brandon:

I mean, or yeah, get six pack abs by doing seven minutes of ab exercises a day.

Brandon:

Well I don’t even understand that.

Brandon:

It has nothing to do with the ab exercise.

Brandon:

It has everything to do with your diet, which you didn’t.

Brandon:

So you know, or get rid of all your wrinkles.

Brandon:

Ii I think that would be awesome.

Brandon:

I feel like I’m in that part of my life where that would be an attractive product, but I’ve never seen one that actually really does that.

Brandon:

Yeah, that’s interesting.

Brandon:

I think one of the things that made me successful as a salesperson in the digital marketing space was used to kill a lot of phone calls both at the agency.

Brandon:

I owned clients that I’ve worked with and even sold for people call up all the time and they say we want to do some ASIO or you want to do some link building whatever, google ads, whatever it might be.

Brandon:

And I look at their website and their product and I’m the only person and I know this because they tell me you’re the only person that told me that I’ll say, hey, we can do great paid search or rescue or whatever, But it’s not gonna work.

Brandon:

We need, it’s not gonna work because you’re nobody wants your product.

Brandon:

You sell $12 t shirts that you can buy on Amazon for $10 with free shipping.

Brandon:

That is not a marketing problem.

Brandon:

And as a business problem, as a product problem.

Brandon:

Right?

Brandon:

And I see that all the time and it gets back to that expectations.

Brandon:

People have unrealistic expectations either because of the media or they just don’t understand what they’re even buying.

Brandon:

You know, and I think it’s imperative that sells people be honest and open and thoughtful about how they present their solutions so that you don’t have to have difficult conversations two months into what should be a six month thing.

Brandon:

Well, I feel like I’m a broken record and the listeners out there and be like Brandon has a thing about this?

Brandon:

But I do have a thing about this and here’s what it is for us.

Brandon:

I think there’s been with the proliferation of the internet, which I’ve been on since 1996 and it really wasn’t into the major population really in the last decade, I would argue has really become a more mainstream, accepted type thing.

Brandon:

And there’s depend this proliferation, that being an entrepreneur is easy that all you got to do is buy some facebook ads and I don’t know, sell this this rope that holds keys that I cut and you can sell it for 1995.

Brandon:

You put some facebook ads up and, and you know, you’re driving a Ferrari and it bothers me because as a business owner and entrepreneur, it’s not that easy period, but then it drives these expectations that most humans don’t internalize.

Brandon:

I’m not picking on them or jabbing at him.

Brandon:

Like there’s so many things in life.

Brandon:

People who have kids, they gotta get up in the morning and make peanut butter jelly sandwich, put the Capri sun in the thing in the bag and make this happen.

Brandon:

And then remember that they got to go get gas for their car and pick up stuff at the dry clean.

Brandon:

I mean to say, well you’re going to internalize this and think about it.

Brandon:

They don’t.

Brandon:

So it’s a lot of fighting the expectations and I’m interested in your experience and being in sales and marketing and helping people in sales, How do you think the best way to overcome this crazy life and inbound messaging that things are easy and that’s going to take a minute.

Brandon:

That’s a good question.

Brandon:

You know, I think it depends on the audience you’re speaking to because there’s definitely this and not to put anybody down, but you know, it’s sort of the less educated in this space.

Brandon:

I don’t mean fundamentally less educated but just not, you know, they’re pretty new to all this stuff, they’ve never owned a business, you know, versus people that may be a little bit older, that have been around the block a couple times, so I think it’s tougher in that, in that audience, it really just doesn’t even never even had a failure at it, you know, it doesn’t even understand, but I think what it comes down to is you have to lay out the facts, you know, and I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned that’s related to this, you know, I’m a sharp guy, I happen to be, not to sound arrogant, but I happen to be very good at a lot of different things, you know, I own a Children’s t shirt company and I designed the t shirts, I’m a lawyer, like I, I could do a lot of different things, But one of the, you talk about getting out of your own way for whatever reason, I don’t think it was super conscious, I kind of had it, like I’m the entrepreneur and I have to make $1 million, I have to do it.

Brandon:

And so that’s where a lot of that bootstrapping type stuff could do it all yourself.

Brandon:

And so I think a lot of people don’t understand really how many different things you have to be good at, and even for someone that is good at a lot of different things, it’s way too hard.

Brandon:

I know there are people out there that are just cut out for running businesses, even though I’m an entrepreneur, I’ve had a lot of businesses, I’m actually not that guy and so I’ve realized I need partners, I have to have partners.

Brandon:

And I even heard this one from someone who’s very successful and he literally said to me, he’s like if you start a business by yourself, you’re a moron.

Brandon:

And so the point is to your question, I think you just have to explain to these people reality, they’ll either get it or they won’t, you know, look, you have to do, who’s gonna do the accounting, Who’s gonna do the sales, I know you’re really good at coding, but what are you gonna do about hiring employees?

Brandon:

You know anything about HR you know?

Brandon:

And so explaining all that stuff and then also just like I always have to do with S.

Brandon:

E.

Brandon:

O.

Brandon:

If I ever ever saw him that like, look, don’t even call me with any questions of results for at least four months, don’t ask me to, you just have to be that straight about it.

Brandon:

So I don’t know.

Brandon:

I guess it’s not a clean easy answer.

Brandon:

But that’s what that’s what comes to mind.

Brandon:

Well, here’s something I struggle with.

Brandon:

I’m interested in your perspective I believe and I everything that we’re talking about here, you’ve got to set expectations.

Brandon:

You got to be realistic.

Brandon:

You gotta be willing to deliver it.

Brandon:

You’ve got to be willing to not willing but understand you got to have a product that can deliver if they buy.

Brandon:

Mhm.

Brandon:

But there’s this old cliche saying I guess don’t shoot the messenger, but messengers get shot.

Brandon:

I mean that’s that’s just a fact.

Brandon:

They get shot.

Brandon:

So how do you balance there?

Brandon:

That dynamic which is true with also selling and getting someone to believe.

Brandon:

Getting them to believe whatever it is I’m selling.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

Get them to believe because you’re going to be realistic.

Brandon:

Like we’ve talked about right?

Brandon:

You’re going to say, hey look what you just said, you’re not going to get results in four months.

Brandon:

Well that may be absolutely true and you’re setting the expectation but you’re also the messenger delivering them the bad news that they don’t want to hear.

Brandon:

And then they’ll be like, oh well Brandon Brandon’s delivering bad news, screw him and then they go to the next guy who who may not say it that way, but it still takes four months and actually I think you’re being generous.

Brandon:

I think it takes 6 to 8 to 10 months these days in sc Oh, but yeah, so I think there’s a couple things come to mind.

Brandon:

One is, you know, just being confident in yourself and having sort of an abundance mindset which I struggled with with being being detached from winning any particular deal knowing there’s another one right behind it, right?

Brandon:

And say I want to sleep at night, whether I close this deal or not.

Brandon:

And so I think that’s a big part of it is giving up the scarcity mindset and that’s something I’m going to be bringing to our sales consulting going forward is more of the detachment sort of zen selling if you will and bring some of those spiritual concepts.

Brandon:

And so I think that can help you calm yourself and not be so attached to winning every deal, which frees you up to say what you feel is correct, right?

Brandon:

So, I think, I think that’s a big part of it.

Brandon:

And it also goes back to concept.

Brandon:

I write about my book Winnable Games and that product focus I was talking about is if you can set yourself up for success.

Brandon:

I tell a little story in the book about this hospital that did a certain procedure And they had a 95% success rate, which was way higher than every other hospital.

Brandon:

The reason was because they figured out when that procedure would work when a patient presented with is just the right circumstances where it would work and they wouldn’t take anybody wouldn’t do the procedure unless they met those criteria.

Brandon:

So I was like yeah it’s a winnable game.

Brandon:

It’s like If I play Nerf basketball against a five year old, I’m 100% gonna win every single time.

Brandon:

And so the closer you can get to that with your product, I think you can have more confidence going in and be able to say what you need to because you know you’re gonna win for the listeners out there I think.

Brandon:

Haven’t you written more than one book?

Brandon:

Not yet.

Brandon:

Oh yeah, calling the ace.

Brandon:

Calling me ace.

Brandon:

That’s my book.

Brandon:

Just for the listeners out there when we’re talking about forest book it’s closing the ace.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

There you go.

Brandon:

If you’re watching on Tv or Youtube it’s clean the ace.

Brandon:

I want to go back for a minute because we sort of got I think it’s a great conversation.

Brandon:

We get off track, we just sort of dive down the hole.

Brandon:

But you want to go back to the kettle corn company because I want to get to where you’ve gotten and figure out why you wanted to write a book how the book has helped you and I think you’ve had a few businesses in between.

Brandon:

But the kettle corn company is three year company, you just walk into these places, talk to the manager you believe in the product, you tested the living crap out of it for lack of better word, it sounds like and you sell it, how do you sell it to someone approach you?

Brandon:

Do you try to sell it to, you decide in three years like, hey, I’ve had enough of kettle corn?

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

You know, I think I’m trying to remember, I actually think I placed a classified ad in the newspaper and I literally had sales people that responded met me at whole foods and that’s where I did the pitch and I would take them over and show it to him on the shelf and I’ve been saying and someone agreed to buy it right there in whole foods.

Brandon:

That’s genius.

Brandon:

Never, I don’t think I, yeah.

Brandon:

What?

Brandon:

That’s the best place to sell a company is right there in whole foods when they can see it on the shelf.

Brandon:

Yeah, yeah.

Brandon:

So that it actually went surprisingly easy.

Brandon:

And again, it was a small, tiny little sale.

Brandon:

So it’s not like it was, I needed a big business, but it’s still a success for us.

Brandon:

We tend to play these things down.

Brandon:

But I don’t know about you.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

But when I got there was this goal, I didn’t build anything to sell it, but there was always this thing in the back of my mind as a business owner that hey, if you sell your company and a lot because a lot of my mentors had done this, that’s some level of success on this chalkboard where we’re keeping track of, of, of the score and after I got that first sale, which took a really freaking long time, it opened this mindset and belief and thought process that it was actually possible and my first one did make a decent amount of money but it wasn’t the amount of money it was that you could actually do this.

Brandon:

People, you can build some good product and someone will buy it and they’ll pay you money Yeah to do that, what do you think about that?

Brandon:

I think that’s super exciting and it reminds me of a couple of things.

Brandon:

One was a like a half a page article I think I saw in Forbes like 20 years ago or something but what I remember it was like this business guy giving advice and he said you become maybe butchering it, but you become a real entrepreneur when you realize like if you sell, if you have a, if you sell pens like your company makes pens are that pens are not your product, the pen company is your product, the whole company and that’s actually how I approach things is from the mindset, I’m not building a service or agency, I’m building a business to sell the business is the product and that’s just exciting to me because it also fits my work template, which we can talk about later.

Brandon:

But yeah, I agree with you once I did it, I mean I’ve done it a couple times.

Brandon:

I even sold the business for again, a kind of a small amount.

Brandon:

I sold the business with zero zero customers or revenue.

Brandon:

What, what’s that?

Brandon:

What was that?

Brandon:

So when you know, when I owned my own agency, digital marketing agency, I had partners, I went from being a practitioner into more of the sales role And we were just a small company, three or 4 or five guys and they didn’t really want to grow.

Brandon:

So I very often would outsell our capacity.

Brandon:

You know, they’d be like, hey far as chill out for a month or two.

Brandon:

We just got four new clients, we need it.

Brandon:

And so we actually, I was with them and that company which still exists, they bought me out for seven years and so two or three times during that seven year period, we actually started different companies together because I didn’t have, they didn’t want me to sell stuff.

Brandon:

So I was like, well how about if I just start this other company?

Brandon:

So we started one, I forget how we got into it.

Brandon:

But the roofing industry there is hail damage rumors that travel around the country because when a hail storm comes through a neighborhood, every home owners got a $20,000 check to replace their roof, people will drive in a pickup truck all the way across the country to try and scoop those up.

Brandon:

A lot of scammers etc etc.

Brandon:

So we became familiar with this through some guy in that who is selling leads to rumors.

Brandon:

So I said so we created this thing.

Brandon:

I kind of came up with the concept that we all of course pitched in.

Brandon:

We were digital marketers, it was almost like a digital marketing play.

Brandon:

And we created this thing called the National Storm damage Center and it was nationally, it was storm damage center dot org.

Brandon:

We kind of copied the look and feel from the U.

Brandon:

S.

Brandon:

Post office.

Brandon:

So it looked like a studio government agency.

Brandon:

Although we were totally up front said everywhere on it, we weren’t but it looked like it and it looked really official.

Brandon:

And then we actually teamed up with real industry veterans and we had a certification program and we’re going out to, we went to trade shows and the roofing industry, I literally went to trade shows was talking woofers and I even had some people threatened me because it took off really quickly and it was like there’s like all these groups and stuff.

Brandon:

And anyway, long story short we got so infuriated with the industry because it was just everybody we tried to partner with and screw us over.

Brandon:

It was like really bad and so eventually we kind of shut things down but we still have the website and logos and all the infrastructure in place to do this really hot thing.

Brandon:

And so one of the guys that were originally in a partner with were like, look, we want out, we’ll just sell you everything to the back end, you know?

Brandon:

And so we just kind of sold all the assets at the time.

Brandon:

We have no customers, nothing.

Brandon:

But you know, it’s like we hit a nerve.

Brandon:

We talk about product, we created this thing and we hit a huge nerve in the industry and people were just calling us, we I mean National Geographic called us that Fox News called us to interview us to give storm damage information that we had just curated from the internet.

Brandon:

What’s crazy?

Brandon:

So yeah, because of that product market set and that unique value.

Brandon:

Someone wanted to buy it even though he had no revenue.

Brandon:

I think that’s a great story.

Brandon:

Did you do the digital just to connect the dots for listeners?

Brandon:

Did you do the digital agency after the kettle popcorn company?

Brandon:

No, I did the liquor store after the, okay, so let’s go to this liquor store deal.

Brandon:

How do you go from a popcorn?

Brandon:

I mean I’ve never really had pedal popcorn with my beer, but how does this tie together?

Brandon:

It doesn’t, I was selling the company.

Brandon:

I like that answer.

Brandon:

Yeah, they feel like it does, it doesn’t, I, I never really had a plan stuff just happened I guess.

Brandon:

But yeah buddy of mine from high school who happens to live out here in Colorado.

Brandon:

He always saw me as the wacky entrepreneur guy because I used to run ski trips for money in high school.

Brandon:

Like I was always that guy had an ice cream truck in our town or the route and everything.

Brandon:

So he’s anyway, he called me, he was in business school and law dual NBA J.

Brandon:

D.

Brandon:

Program.

Brandon:

He had another friend that was an N.

Brandon:

B.

Brandon:

A.

Brandon:

And they were like, hey, we want to start a liquor store and I want to invite you participate because I saw these like the marketing, I wasn’t even into marketing at the time and I was like, cool.

Brandon:

Yeah, I’m just wrapping up the sale of this cattle corn things.

Brandon:

So let’s do it and why not?

Brandon:

Right.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

We built the store and we did a business plan.

Brandon:

I got a loan from Wells Fargo and we did the whole shebang.

Brandon:

That’s hard. Wells Fargo is hard.

Brandon:

Yeah, I can’t. I actually called 40 banks and they were the only ones that gave me alone or even wanted to talk to you about alone?

Brandon:

So you called 40 banks?

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

What was the key that turned them over the edge? Do you think? Was it your financials? Was it the business plan? You two things that were both completely luck. But I guess sometimes when you call 40 banks, you run into some luck eventually. Right. The guy that they teamed me up with, I don’t know why and especially after having been in the business. I, no, why Even last, he loved investing in liquor stores for the bank.

Brandon:

He just thought it was great.

Brandon:

So he was like, if you came to him with a liquor store, he was all ears. Then the second bit of luck was once we put the whole package together, their business plan and lonely place and everything they sent it to somewhere in the middle America for underwriting. And even though I grew up and went to high school in new york, it landed on a desk somewhere Wisconsin or wherever of a person.

Brandon:

I went to high school with what I didn’t even really know.

Brandon:

I think she was your two older, but she actually knew me because the loan guy told me, he was like, yeah, she called and she said, I knew this guy in high school. I didn’t know him well, but he was a really nice guy. He was a really good guy. So we should give him alone.

Brandon:

It goes to show connections matter, right. This is, I think, I think important there.

Brandon:

I mean maybe it’s luck after 40 banks, you’re probably going to hit something, which is true. But what it goes to show is, you can have the business plan.

Brandon:

You can have the financials along with it.

Brandon:

Yeah, but personal connections matter.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

I mean in that belief to say, hey, look, you know, I don’t think this guy is a nice guy.

Brandon:

He’s probably not going to take the money and go drink at all. He’s going to actually sell liquor. Yeah, I think that’s absolutely true. Personal connections for sure. But also the fact that I mean I could have that personal connection, but they could have thought I was a jerk. So actually just being nice. Well that, that, that too.

Brandon:

Yeah. But you know what, I think, I think that’s true and personal connections are super powerful. This might get a little esoteric, but I think this is even more powerful and it’s about, you know, this quote, be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid and there’s a lot in my life where I was just like, I’m just gonna walk into whole foods, I’m just gonna call 49 you know, and that providence that.

Brandon:

And so it was one of my favorite stories.

Brandon:

So growing up, I was a huge skier, I erased and Warren miller and being in a warren miller ski movie was like the ultimate thing you could ever think about.

Brandon:

For me, sure. I moved to colorado And when I was a ski bum and one day one of my ski buddies comes in, he’s like, Hey, did you hear they’re opening this new terrain at copper mountain in colorado and Warren miller is coming to film it for his next movie and they’re having a contest where amateurs can get in a movie and the moment he said that to me, I don’t know why.

Brandon:

I just clicked in my head. I said to myself, I’m going to be in that damn movie. I don’t care what, but I just knew I was going to be in that movie. And so it was a few months away and how you were supposed to win was you literally went to a ski shop and dropped a thing and a half that they were going to put you in a box or whatever.

Brandon:

And I actually didn’t even do that because I’m like, I’m not going to win that. But I still had absolute certainty I was going to be a movie.

Brandon:

And so the day before the movie, I got this idea that just came out of nowhere because I was committed I think called Copper Mountain marketing department because I had no idea where you’re supposed to even go to be in the movie. Right? I said, hey, my friend won the contest, he’s supposed to be there tomorrow but his work. And he asked me to call to find out where he’s supposed to be. And they’re like, oh, they’re going to be at this lodge at six a.m. One hour. So I got there like at four am, nobody else was there. You know? And all my friends that said, yeah, we’re going to go when I called him at three in the morning, they’re like, I’m going back to sleep and I just went by myself and then I start seeing people filter in and so I get my stuff and I walk in and my whole attitude was just, I’m here to be in the movie.

Brandon:

I don’t know what you’re doing, but that’s what I’m up to. You know, And I walked in and some lady says, everybody needs to sign a waiver if you’re in the movie and then you bring it up, we’re gonna check you off our list to give you the past to get into the shoot. I’m not on that list.

Brandon:

I, for whatever reason didn’t care. I was just like, I’m here to be in the movie. So I filled it out. I walk up there and I’m in line, I’m next in line where they’re checking people off the list. I know I’m not on and right at the last second some lady moves over and she said, hey, to speed things up, I’m gonna create a second line over here. And she turned, she’s like, give me the list.

Brandon:

She didn’t have it yet.

Brandon:

And I walked up and she’s like, what’s your name? I just told her my name, She’s like, oh yeah, I remember you, here’s your past and I walked away. I was like, holy crap. I’m in the movie. And I was in the movie. So I took a, yeah, that bold attitude, That belief to me, that’s how friendly loan brokers show up sometimes, you know, and sometimes it’s just grit and determination.

Brandon:

You know, that’s a good story.

Brandon:

Is a liquor business, Is that a profitable business?

Brandon:

If you run the store correctly, it can be.

Brandon:

But it’s also not what everybody thinks. One of the, we actually lost a bunch of money.

Brandon:

We were fortunate to sell it and get out of it. Why, what’s the deal there?

Brandon:

The deal is, the margins are super low and if you’re in, because everybody is selling the same exact case of Budweiser as the next guy, if there’s too many stores in your area and of course it’s different in every state.

Brandon:

But there was too many stores in the area, even though the NBA’s did all their traffic research and everything. A big giant discount store opened up up the road six months after we opened.

Brandon:

And so we were fighting for scraps and you know, if I sold a case of Budweiser for 18 bucks, I probably paid $17 for it literally. So the margins absolute margins are terrible on the popular stuff. You got these big liquor stores where, I mean, we would see ads in the paper for certain lines that were very popular for less than we paid for them, whole single.

Brandon:

So basically there was just too much competition.

Brandon:

Well, I’m curious why liquor stores don’t become more creative in there.

Brandon:

Yeah, I mean if there’s not a margin there at some point, you you’re not gonna if there’s nothing to play with. You can I mean, making a dollar on a bottle of wine. I mean when your rent is several $1000 a month beyond even paying yourselves, that math just doesn’t even work.

Brandon:

No, it doesn’t. And I we had when we we were fortunate to sell the store and get out, you know, not too bad of shape.

Brandon:

But I remember one guy came in and he had owned a bunch of liquor stores and he asked me like three questions.

Brandon:

He’s like, how much you pay for this, what you’re and he’s like, can’t work left. You know, he just knew the numbers. You know, there was there was an equation that just did Yeah, too much for the build out and you rents too high and you can’t possibly make it work.

Brandon:

I think that’s a good lesson though. And actually running the financials, I mean truly running the financials, not the NBA work.

Brandon:

I say that lovingly because I have one.

Brandon:

But you know, the traffic is the variable that you, that you put into that cell on the excel sheet that you can change, but you you need to run sensitivities on that based on the true hard cost economics.

Brandon:

I just don’t think people do it enough. My brother thinks that I overdo it right?

Brandon:

I’ve lost less money in the deals that I did because at least I did it and understood it and may be understood when to get out and quit soon enough, You know, you reminded me another thing, it’s a little bit different, but it’s similar advice when I first moved out here, I was introduced to a guy who’s my age at the time, at least my agent, but he was already a very successful launching or he had built a tech training company and sold it for millions and millions of dollars was already very wealthy and he had already, he’s like one of those guys, like if he starts a business is definitely making millions of dollars, he just has that touch, you know, And so I was enamored with him because I hadn’t even started my kettle popcorn or anything at the time and I said, can I take you out to lunch?

Brandon:

And I wrote down 10 questions, I wanted to interview him, you know, and I think I asked him something along the lines of, you know, if you want to be an entrepreneur, what’s the most important thing?

Brandon:

And he said, go work in the type of business that you want to start.

Brandon:

So you want to start a pizza shop, go work at a pizza shop first to understand how those things actually work.

Brandon:

We were smart guys, we had to MBS and two JDS, they ran all the numbers, We had a 60 page business plan was probably the fanciest business plan everybody ever saw for a liquor store and we still failed because we didn’t understand the business in the neighborhood as well as we needed to.

Brandon:

I think that’s, I think that’s great advice actually before you go do something at least work in it or get Volunteer, do some sort of exposure so that because you just can’t see all the or you better interview with a ton of people, right?

Brandon:

Like me go meet 10 liquor store owners.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

You know that’s a great, you just help me connect something back that you asked 20 minutes ago about how do you help people that don’t really understand how difficult running a business is?

Brandon:

That’s one thing, you know, go go work in that kind of go, you want to start digital marketing, See, go work in one first if you haven’t and look around and see what all has to have to get that experience because I think that’s, that’s the way to help people either realize what it’s going to take or realize it’s not for them or that they need a partner.

Brandon:

I think it’s, I think it’s good advice.

Brandon:

So you get out of this liquor store deal hopefully without losing a ton of money and what’s next.

Brandon:

So I hired another career coach while I was at the liquor store knowing we needed I was getting out and we, that’s how I got into marketing.

Brandon:

So this is 2003, and we came up with marketing as a possible career path something I had minored in in college but more as an afterthought.

Brandon:

And so I went to an event and marketing of that the trade show and I went and interviewed people.

Brandon:

I just ask people can I interview you?

Brandon:

And so I set up like five or 10 informational interviews with owners of marketing agencies and things. Now one guy was impressed during our conversation. I end up getting a job and he made me a strategic marketing manager at a digital agency. Even I had no experience.

Brandon:

And that’s how that’s how my whole digital marketing career began as a digital market or not, a salesperson of digital market was terrible at sales action. So you get this job and eventually you figure out that there’s money to be made or could be made or is being made in this one and you go do your own.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

So the first day he had me sit with all the people because I didn’t even know what paper click was or anything and very few people did back then it was 2000 and four.

Brandon:

But so I sat with everybody paid search. Seo web designers learned the whole company and there was a book on the bookshelf in the office that clearly no one had ever touched which was on persuasive copyright online persuasive copyrighting with an afterword on conversion rate optimization.

Brandon:

And I devoured that book.

Brandon:

And I remember looking around the agency, I’m like that person is doing the clicks, they’re doing the link building, who’s making sure anybody converts any of this activity into sales.

Brandon:

And the answer was nobody, nobody at the company, nobody in the industry.

Brandon:

There’s a few people in the industry back then, but I didn’t know who they were. Anyway, I got enamored with that and I realized that conversion rate optimization making sure all this stuff everybody is doing actually leads to sales was the sort of Holy Grail.

Brandon:

And so I devoured direct response copyrighting books, anything I can find on conversion stuff.

Brandon:

Web use abilities. And that was kind of my silver bullet. I thought that was the end all be all until later in my career and I’ll get back to when I started my agency.

Brandon:

But then I realized like I said earlier, people started coming for conversion and at the beginning it was easy because everybody’s website was horrible.

Brandon:

Nobody had a call to action. You could double people cells just by snapping your fingers. But later on it got harder and I started getting more and more calls from people who had crappy products with me too products where I knew my conversion rate optimization tricks weren’t going to work.

Brandon:

And that’s what I got was like, oh there’s one more layer down, it’s the product in the positioning and that’s really the bottom. So yeah. Anyway, I worked there for three years was was successful with my clients. I supported a little bit on sales but I never did sales. I was a marketing manager And then yeah, a couple of them co workers and I left after three years and start our own agency because we felt like we could do certain things better.

Brandon:

How’d that work out?

Brandon:

Worked out awesome.

Brandon:

We did a lot of what I’m talking about. We had a unique combination of services at the time.

Brandon:

It’s not unique anymore. But we were one of, I believe the first agency is doing paid online advertising paired with conversion rate optimization.

Brandon:

I didn’t know anybody that was doing that at the time.

Brandon:

In fact everybody I talked to when I went out, I was like, I never heard anybody talk about those two things together like that.

Brandon:

And so it was immediate product market fit because of that combination. We could really produce results for people. My business partners were genius is very smart, super hard where it came in all that along.

Brandon:

And after about a year we parted ways. We had four original founders including myself and one of them was supposed to do sales.

Brandon:

It didn’t quite work out. We ended up buying her out after about a year with only a client or tube to our name and we all sat around and said who’s going to do sales and I was like they didn’t want to do it. So I said I’ll give it a shot.

Brandon:

And I write about this in the book too. I said give me $50 a month for marketing for marketing, which was really basically to pay for parking and entry feast and networking events and I just went out just like in a lot of those other stories and I believed in our product, I believed in digital marketing and I was just super passionate about talking to anybody and everybody about it and that kind of led into speaking and then I got into sales of it and that’s when I started to realize, wow, I really like sales a lot better than sitting at the computer.

Brandon:

It totally reversed.

Brandon:

That’s a whole nother story, but a lot of what I would hate it when I was younger is now what I love including writing, I wouldn’t write anything when I was younger, I wouldn’t read now, I can’t stop reading now, I love sales.

Brandon:

So that’s been a weird transition as well, that’s kind of how that went.

Brandon:

So that your digital agency really propelled you as an individual to get these speaking gigs and then, and start writing.

Brandon:

And is that how the book came about?

Brandon:

Mostly that that was the start of it.

Brandon:

So I, I worked with those partners for seven years and what happened as I said, I really agree to love sales And so I had out sold our capacity yet again and they were just like, dude, we’re busting at the seams, we’re not starting another business, why don’t you roll back in and do like 50% paid search management and 50% sales.

Brandon:

And I was like how about I don’t.

Brandon:

because I just was not going back to client work and I just wanted to sell honestly I want and they didn’t want to grow and I didn’t fault him because I didn’t want to manage a whole bunch of people either.

Brandon:

So we kind of negotiating a buyout and I started solve sales which is my current company and I started consulting with other agencies and other not just digital marketing sees.

Brandon:

And after a couple years one of my clients who was the Ceo I was coaching him on his sales issues uh in about 23 person agency, you know been around and I was coaching I mean after a couple of months this is actually one of the hugest breakthrough that I’ve had in my life.

Brandon:

He says, well can I just hire you to come in and like take over sales because like I don’t want to do this and I don’t, I didn’t have another salesperson and you know, instead of coaching me and I said to him, you know, I basically put him off for a number of months because I had in my head from growing up, I’m an entrepreneur and I don’t work for other people end of sentence.

Brandon:

So there’s nothing to even talk about because I’m like almost like not allowed to do that, you know, unconsciously right?

Brandon:

And I was doing a lot of meditation at the time and I haven’t had a big breakthrough and it just dawned on me one day that’s not true.

Brandon:

That’s just some concept.

Brandon:

You made up something, you heard something you believe, but it’s not absolutely true.

Brandon:

You could do entrepreneurial things, but it’s not the only thing you can do, right?

Brandon:

And so I said, I’m going to drop that whole belief structure for a minute, call the guy back and we ended up and just be open sea and turned out to be the best fit, best part of my career probably so far I did go there.

Brandon:

He technically was a client the whole time and I had a few other clients, but for all intents and purposes, I was the head of sales there and worked there for about 2.5 years and we just blew the thing up.

Brandon:

And during that process is when I took all the sales systems and techniques that I had formed at my original agency and refine them and made them better.

Brandon:

And then when I left, he owed me commissions for a year.

Brandon:

So I didn’t have to work for like a year.

Brandon:

So I had the most glorious four or five months after I left, I said, all right, I want to create a professional speaking career, start making a presentation, starting to get along.

Brandon:

And I was like, you know what, I just need to write all this down in a book.

Brandon:

And I had this unique window of operates about paid sabbatical if you will.

Brandon:

And I sat for three or four months and did nothing but write my book with zero distractions with zero other commitments work wise.

Brandon:

And it was amazing.

Brandon:

Uh you know we mentioned you you said where are you? You’re not in colorado? Now I am in colorado. You’re still in colorado? In Breckenridge.

Brandon:

I’m not in records but I moved down to Denver when I moved back from new york I moved to Denver proper. And so now I’m in the suburbs of Denver right on.

Brandon:

So when you write this book right in a a book is hardened, you know, it is a lot of work but a couple of things made it not super hard.

Brandon:

Again it took a lot of time and work and effort for sure.

Brandon:

But I grew to love writing and I think for this particular book I was writing about all the stuff I was just doing like last week.

Brandon:

So I didn’t have to do any research. It was like this is what I do and you should do it this way. And I say it this way, you know and so yeah, it was a lot of work but it may have been a little bit different than certain other kinds of looks and it’s for digital marketing agencies or owners those pretty pretty much That was another thing, this is what I teach my clients that I struggled with because you know, we’ve all heard riches are in the niches and you’ve got a specialist and all that kind of stuff.

Brandon:

And so when I was writing the book, I did all the planning for the book and I had to pick my target audience and all that kind of stuff.

Brandon:

And I wavered. I was because a lot of what’s in the book certainly can apply to other kinds of businesses. But I knew it would have more power and my experience and background for my credibility is the strongest is in the digital marketing space.

Brandon:

So I made the call which I often pressure my clients to do to go narrower be the perfect fit for somebody not kind of a fit for everybody.

Brandon:

Right. And so yeah, it technically is geared toward digital marketing agencies of the owners that are struggling.

Brandon:

But sales managers as well or even individual cells, people at digital marketing agencies or other, you know, if you sell software, it’s going to be relevant if you sell website development, things like that that are technically marketing. But yeah, that’s that’s the focus of I think that’s a, I mean, really tough market, I don’t know how you feel forest, but as a guy, we’re probably, you know around the same age came from the internet in the early days, you know, nineties, not 2010 like some people what I’m not beating up on him.

Brandon:

I’m just saying the journey and the internet has been a long one and it’s gone through waves digital marketing agencies I think because I don’t I don’t know how it happened.

Brandon:

I don’t remember you know you made a comment.

Brandon:

There weren’t a lot of people doing funnel optimization.

Brandon:

And I remember those early 2000s and there wasn’t because those of us who understood affiliate marketing, we’re just doing it for ourselves and I didn’t want to teach anybody.

Brandon:

In fact I don’t want anybody else to know that you could stand up 20 websites 30 40 50 and link them all together create the S.

Brandon:

E.

Brandon:

O.

Brandon:

Yourself and drive organic traffic with low customer acquisition costs and get a check every month.

Brandon:

I mean right that’s what was going on.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

And now there’s so many digital agencies out there and I know that this is really the what brought you to to write in your book.

Brandon:

But there’s this a leaf out there.

Brandon:

I’d like to understand where it came from and you’re opinion that you can like stand up a digital marketing agency and all of a sudden you make all this money.

Brandon:

I mean S.

Brandon:

EO is extraordinarily it’s an art as much as it is a science.

Brandon:

Like I don’t know that I could teach.

Brandon:

I know I can teach people S.

Brandon:

E.

Brandon:

O. But it relies on them actually standing up sites themselves and doing the practice.

Brandon:

And you can’t get seO results like in the early days I’m sure you remember we could get I mean I get I get to see a result in a week.

Brandon:

I mean I’m still good at it but it is just because of the volume that’s out there.

Brandon:

You can’t do that.

Brandon:

So there’s been so many digital marketing agencies that I’ve seen.

Brandon:

I can hit up all the time.

Brandon:

And I basically I’m like, hey look you’re wasting your time with me because I just don’t believe you actually know what you’re talking about and that sort of ruined the market.

Brandon:

Don’t you think?

Brandon:

I do?

Brandon:

I actually write a lot about that in my book.

Brandon:

I talk about don’t sell things to people that they don’t need them. Don’t sell incomplete cookie cutter solutions that aren’t actually don’t sell 10 links a month. When that that’s not S. E. O. You need to do a lot more than that. Right? So I rail against that. I I try to have a call to action in there a little bit like hey be better because I actually make the connection when I was doing that roof roofing contractor business I actually called the better Business bureau.

Brandon:

And they told me that of all the complaints in any industry of any job contractors are number one.

Brandon:

And as a subset roofing contractors.

Brandon:

And as a sub subset storm damage roofing contractors get the most complaints of anybody end of sentence.

Brandon:

And I actually talk about that in the book a little bit and I’m like you know the digital marketing, she isn’t that far behind because every another thing when I’m coaching people about selling digital marketing Kind of making up the number.

Brandon:

But I think it’s pretty accurate.

Brandon:

I think 80% of the call sales calls you get as a digital marketing salesperson or I hate my last agency.

Brandon:

They screwed me over in one of three or four different ways or all of them.

Brandon:

And that’s because people over promise and under deliver, they read a couple of sc articles and now they’re in S.

Brandon:

C. O. Agency where they were a web page.

Brandon:

I saw this a lot coming up. We’re a web design agency. But after 10 people ask you for a ceo all of a sudden now you do S. C. 02, right? So there’s that piece and I think you know it’s it’s an unregulated, it’s still an infant industry if you will and it’s easy to just say you do it and all the all the buyers of, I don’t know what they’re buying, where I should say a lot of the buyers don’t really know what they’re buying.

Brandon:

So you tell them whatever you’re going to do. And it sounds awesome and they just cut a check and then three months later they fire you because it passed. That’s pretty common. I think you’re right. I think what I do, I don’t know whether it’s cruel, but I tell them, hey send me the spreadsheet and they’ll say, well what do you mean?

Brandon:

And I said, you know if you can send me the spreadsheet and show me the R. O. I. On your services and how it’s gonna work, you told me you looked at my website, told me how that was gonna work.

Brandon:

Show me the our ally and if you do, I’ll be glad to consider it.

Brandon:

And you know that’s a good way to not get I tell people that all the time.

Brandon:

In fact I have, I don’t know if I’ll actually write about a follow up book to clone the Aces beat the Ace.

Brandon:

Which would be basically teach people how to hire digital marketing agencies. Now be one of the things I would tell them.

Brandon:

I don’t know why you would even think twice about not writing that. I don’t even think you need to write a long book forrest.

Brandon:

I think you could write like a 30 page book.

Brandon:

And if you did that.

Brandon:

I by that, I mean I know that would be the book.

Brandon:

Right?

Brandon:

I mean I think that’s what people want because what you said earlier, a lot of people don’t know what they’re buying is this black box, right?

Brandon:

Everybody says you need digital marketing but nobody knows what that means. Yeah. And that that’s actually one of the reasons I was successful at selling digital marketing because I would have those sorts of conversations with the prospects and say, hey look, if we weren’t the right fit, I would coach them.

Brandon:

Here’s what you gotta go ask with the next agency. And I would just, I’d be really honest about their product itself. And I started to see myself and I think I mentioned this in the book as well. I didn’t see myself so much as a salesperson, but more as a liaison between the agency and the potential customer because I want, I want this to work for everybody.

Brandon:

So I’m gonna give you a little behind the scenes.

Brandon:

I’m going to coach you on Alice is going to work while at the same time representing the agency and trying to close a deal.

Brandon:

And you know, I think people really appreciated that.

Brandon:

I actually had people many times offer to pay me for my sales call when I was trying to sell them because I would give them so much help in consulting if you will and they would send me gifts and things like, you know, so that’s what I think over over delivering.

Brandon:

I think that’s a good point is when you’re selling you’re scared to give away too much.

Brandon:

I basically just decided to go all the way on the other side and said, I actually had a guy copyrighting guy contacted me the other day from Australia and I actually liked him.

Brandon:

But he hasn’t sent me the spreadsheet?

Brandon:

So when I get hired. But he did, he was very, he was very unique in his, in his email response to me.

Brandon:

And he had been on my list for a while, but he’s like, hey look, you haven’t sold anything yet.

Brandon:

Like you email us all the time, but, and you give us all this information and you, but you, you haven’t sold us anything.

Brandon:

I was like, well, trying to figure out the product that I feel comfortable selling that I know solves the problem and until then I’ll just give it away.

Brandon:

And I did that in my, in my first business and people would send me checks in the mail because they’re like, we just want to donate to you.

Brandon:

And I actually felt sort of bad about it.

Brandon:

I was like, you know, you don’t have to do that.

Brandon:

They’re like, no, we love that. So I think what you said is is important. How has it been? I mean, obviously coming on podcast talking about your story, which I’m really grateful for you doing today because you shared a lot of great stuff and I had read about that stuff and I know I said I wanted to talk about the kettle popcorn, which you did and I’m grateful for that.

Brandon:

How has it been promoting the book?

Brandon:

I mean, coming on podcast talking about cloning the A’s But outside of that, you’re the marketing guy.

Brandon:

What have you found about promoting a book that gets your book sold?

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

You know that’s a good question. I’m not sure. I have an awesome answer yet.

Brandon:

At the beginning we launched it in March. And so there was a lot of just begging friends and family to leave reviews and all that kind of rigmarole running some ads on amazon itself, which has been working pretty decently. And I’ve been on a couple of podcasts, but honestly with with my vacation, I mean this is really actually the beginning of my podcast journey.

Brandon:

So I don’t know that I have a real thorough answer for you, but I think what I plan to do what has been successful for me in the past book or no book is speaking whether it be on a podcast a webinar and out. Hopefully I can get back out and speak live because to me that incorporates a bunch of stuff. First of all, I like it.

Brandon:

Second of all, you’re using the concept of borrowing other people’s audiences right? Which is what I’m doing here today. So you’re you’re using leverage and then I do what you tried to do. I try to share as much as possible. Um I did. I used to be honest speaking to our national speaking tour and that’s how I built my digital marketing agency.

Brandon:

Mostly.

Brandon:

We never did a lot of paid ads or anything like that. So I was speaking around the country twice a week at various marketing conferences and I was always one of the highest rated speakers in every tour stop and I know why and it’s not because I’m some super charismatic keynote speaker.

Brandon:

It’s because I sat down, this is what I do all the time. It gets back to that product. And I said to myself, why are people taking one or two days off work and drop in 715 100 bucks or whatever it was to come to this conference? And the answer I came up with which you, you coached me before this call, give people they want to come in and learn at least two or three things they can go back to their office right now and do push a couple buttons and improve a result somewhere or solve some sort of problem.

Brandon:

And so my presentations besides being visually dazzling other things I tried to add was real meat and potatoes.

Brandon:

Like look, here’s a, here’s a web page before, here’s exactly what I did and here’s the result and here’s why I work and you can go home and do that to your form right now and I just did a lot of that and I think people really appreciate, you know that approach and so speaking and using leverage and that stuff is the way I would will be promoting the book and do you have you had a strategy, there’s this whole strategy to get a best seller and do all this stuff?

Brandon:

Have you did you get tied and wrapped up into that?

Brandon:

Are you really not concerned basically on That initial thing?

Brandon:

Because I’ve heard like 50 different playbooks that people pitch me on how this works.

Brandon:

Yeah, I didn’t do that at the beginning and so I had hired a company to help me, I wrote the whole book but they helped me edit it and do the cover design and publish it and everything.

Brandon:

So it’s kind of hybrid self published I guess.

Brandon:

But they have a marketing team and they helped me with the launch program and we did hit number one on amazon the first week and it’s just a function of sales and and uh honestly some tricks and things that they tell you to do so you can get number one in certain countries.

Brandon:

But you know you talk about trying to be like number one on the new york times bestseller and being the Oprah club. That’s a whole different situation that I’ve heard is obviously there can be a big payoff but it’s very, very painful.

Brandon:

So and how do you, can you share a little bit about like this cover thing?

Brandon:

I’ve heard a lot about this like the cover sells the book is what they say and most people don’t even read full books, which I think is too bad because I don’t know the books that are good that I’ve read.

Brandon:

You want to read all the way through. But is that what the deal is?

Brandon:

Is that the cover is it’s sort of like your landing page if your landing page isn’t optimized, doesn’t look right. And it’s a combination of things.

Brandon:

Obviously that it depends where you’re selling it, right? You’re talking about Barnes and noble. So it needs to jump off the shelf versus amazon. So, but yeah, it’s like they told me the formula, I remember the order, but it’s like to cover, people will read the back to find out what it’s about.

Brandon:

You have to write that in a very specific way.

Brandon:

It’s almost like conversion rate optimization, persuasive copyrighting, right? And then of course the blurbs, you have famous people that say it’s good. That’s a big deal. The table of contents. I am a big reader. And so when I buy books, I’m always looking at the table of contents. Like does this sound interesting? What are they going to cover in here?

Brandon:

So there’s those sort of elements Yeah, it’s not so much about what’s in the middle, although they will ultimately carry you, but cover back cover descriptions, blurbs, you know, cable contents. Those are the big things and now you’re in business with your NEW Partner, you’ve been in business six months.

Brandon:

Is this specifically about sales coaching and marketing?

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

So half a step back, you know, the book to, for me this book is very niche.

Brandon:

It’s never going to be on Oprah 98% 99.8% of the world will never care about what this book is about, right?

Brandon:

So I joke, but I’m kind of serious. I’m like, it’s basically an expensive business card. I’ve been on sales calls with 200 person agencies were like, yeah, we got your book here and they’ll be like, I’m just gonna tell you right up front, we didn’t read it yet, but we’re interested in hiring you because you obviously specialize in this.

Brandon:

So it does having the book, yeah, carries a level of credibility because in order to write that book, it does take a lot of work.

Brandon:

I’d love to do a whole segment or a whole episode with you at some point on writing a book, because writing a book, you know, you gotta have, you gotta do an outline, you got an editor, you’ve got to sort of hone this to take, takes a minute.

Brandon:

But going back up to your point, You found that it truly does offer you a level of credibility.

Brandon:

That sort of opens that door from the stack of 10 other people that are saying hire me for my for your sales and marketing 100% and it’s not just for clients, it’s also for speaking gigs and getting on podcasts and things like that.

Brandon:

You know, if you’ve got two guys that are basically the same and one guy has a book on the topic and one guy doesn’t, you can only pick one and everything else is basically equal.

Brandon:

It’s pretty simple.

Brandon:

So the other thing I think that makes it useful in those ways is that it is focused.

Brandon:

So if I can if you if you’re the owner of a 10 or 15 or 20% digital marketing, so you struggled with sales throughout just because you know you’re not a sales guy really, you’re a developer, you started this agency now you gotta do, you know, you see the cover your like a blueprint for digital marketing agencies in sales, How do you not at least crack it?

Brandon:

Right.

Brandon:

So from that standpoint at 100% works.

Brandon:

You know, it does give you credibility just because it didn’t take a lot of effort and all that good stuff. Well I appreciate you sharing that because writing a book is a lot of work. I’ve started to write one and I’ve been writing it through articles because I figured that that’ll Get me to a place where I can at least have some things to put together and do that.

Brandon:

But you know, sitting down and writing, I mean a normal book these days is about 70,000 words.

Brandon:

Right?

Brandon:

Yeah, it’s anywhere. I think business books are like uh yeah 35 to 50 or 60 can be 70 mine. I don’t know, mine’s probably I forget 6 60 grand somewhere in there. Did you? Were you counting when you did it? Like I did because so the company that I worked with, first of all, I I can’t stress enough the outline process that they recommended at the beginning and if you want to check it out and subscribe media and they actually give away a free book on how to write a book.

Brandon:

And I followed the whole thing and in fact I did all the outlining, they say right up front, they’re like, unless you are very, very rare exception, did not write a book to make money from writing a book from selling the book.

Brandon:

So from day one, this was always an expensive business card.

Brandon:

This was designed to help me get clients launched speaking career, et cetera.

Brandon:

And so I had that mindset from day one and I went meticulously through their outlining process.

Brandon:

And then that made writing the book so much easier because I wasn’t like, oh, what should I write about now is like, it was already laid out chapter by chapter.

Brandon:

Had the names of the chapters and everything.

Brandon:

The bullet points of the main thing is just like a good outline would and that made it super easy or easier, I should say, to write it.

Brandon:

And yeah, just having that mindset of why you’re writing the book and having realistic expectations about all those things are really important.

Brandon:

And when I hired them, remember that they assign you a book manager.

Brandon:

And I said, well, here’s here’s my outline and here’s my manuscript and everything.

Brandon:

And she calls me back.

Brandon:

She’s like, she’s like, wait a minute.

Brandon:

We already a client because they actually have a service to take you through the outlining process or whatever. I was like, no, I just read the book and I did it. She’s like, nobody’s ever done that ever.

Brandon:

Well, I think, I think that’s a key point for two points that I’m listening to you. one isn’t it funny that to get to an end product of a book, if we take away the word book and we put business, ironically, it sort of sounds like the same thing, right?

Brandon:

You know, if you build a plan and you start executing, you don’t wake up in the morning wondering what you’re going to do, you actually do it.

Brandon:

But in the second thing I had alluded me because I was excited about that one.

Brandon:

But actions following the directions, Most people just don’t, they just don’t do the work.

Brandon:

Yeah, yeah.

Brandon:

I mean, I mean don’t get me started, just just just do the work.

Brandon:

It’s like, you know, going back to the six pack abs like do do the work get, don’t eat as much.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

Or don’t eat the kettle corn joke with some of my clients, like I have some clients that have my book, whether they had it before I just sent it to him when they became whatever.

Brandon:

And I even said this in a call with a coaching client, I’m coaching their whole team together.

Brandon:

And I was I forget the context but I was like I think it was in the context of just giving it all away kind of giving and I was like yeah, everything I can teach you is in my book, you already have it.

Brandon:

You know, you don’t have to hire me.

Brandon:

And they were all like why’d you hire them?

Brandon:

Because they won’t read it, they won’t do it. And of course people need hand holding and they need further explanation. They run into problems. But it is really all there. If you want to read it and do it, you can do it.

Brandon:

I think there is a level of accountability I found and and I don’t know about you, but here’s so here’s the irony of it is maybe I realized and you can tell me if you agree that and what is right on this topic that if you give it away for free, people appreciate you giving it away for free.

Brandon:

Mhm.

Brandon:

It’s very hard.

Brandon:

I’m not picking on anybody because the same thing for me it’s hard to execute on these things, right?

Brandon:

But if you get something for free and you haven’t paid for it, the level of accountability isn’t there?

Brandon:

And I think there’s even some threshold I don’t know what that what that is.

Brandon:

Forest yet in in all the years.

Brandon:

But clearly a book doesn’t pass the test, whether it’s 1914 bucks, 19 bucks, even 32 bucks.

Brandon:

You know, people pay for a book, it doesn’t have that level accountability.

Brandon:

But if you pay real money, yeah, real money, you’ll be accountable.

Brandon:

Like you pay for college, you go to class.

Brandon:

I mean maybe not everybody does, but I paid my own, my parents helped me, but I took a lot of student loans out and there was this level of accountability that hey, you just paid $120,000 for your M.

Brandon:

B.

Brandon:

A.

Brandon:

Uh you probably want to get something out of this.

Brandon:

I mean and show up.

Brandon:

So I think there’s this level of and whatever that human dynamic is, I don’t know, but I do know that the people that I’ve taken on and said, hey, I will do the coaching and I’m not coaching right?

Brandon:

I will Give you advice along the way.

Brandon:

You can call me 10 minutes or whatever it is.

Brandon:

The people that got it for free.

Brandon:

I’ve only had moderate success.

Brandon:

The people that have paid.

Brandon:

I’m not saying it always worked out because, well I’m not saying they always got rich, but we did get to a place that said, is this a good idea?

Brandon:

Should we continue or how do we do this or if it’s a bigger company should we do this product or not?

Brandon:

And I think there’s just this dynamic, What do you think?

Brandon:

I agree 100%, when I first started coaching, I had someone that wanted to work with me who didn’t really have the money and she’s actually a personal friend and everything and I said, look, I’m happy to coach.

Brandon:

You don’t even make any money, but I’m not doing it for free because you won’t show up and you won’t do it.

Brandon:

And I just charged her 100 bucks a month or something like that, you know, enough to want to show up, but still nominal even if you don’t have a lot of money.

Brandon:

So yeah, I’m I totally agree with you.

Brandon:

I mean, that’s all I can say about it and I don’t, you know, there’s different contexts, right? There’s like when we talk about speaking at an event, I’m giving all my information away for free because I wasn’t a paid speaker, I was trying to get clients.

Brandon:

But most of the people that came did pay to come to the event, right? So when and how you’re giving it away for, in that case giving away for free made sense because it impressed certain people in the audience enough to call me after and hire me. But in the context of like one on one consulting actually didn’t work for someone. Yeah, if they’re not paying for it, they’re just they’re not into it.

Brandon:

And I think there’s something to learn for overall products? I mean, isn’t it the irony that the more expensive products you value more and you seem to use more. Like if you versus the ones that or just, you know, you either got as a giveaway or are it’d be really interesting to do a study on what that threshold is for humans of how much they have to pay to actually that would drive that triggers this behavior to actually use it.

Brandon:

This isn’t just consulting, this is even products.

Brandon:

Right?

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

It’s very interesting because it’s in the wheel spinning because when I get back to the product thing, what is the product worth using at any price anyway?

Brandon:

Because if I get it, no matter how much I paid for and it doesn’t do what I needed it to do, I’m not going to use it.

Brandon:

I’m yes. So that that if he really called it.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

For some psychologists that’s in the academic world that maybe is listening to this, Could you please do that?

Brandon:

Because I’d love to have the results. Yeah. And I also think, I don’t know if you remember the famous book breakthrough advertising? I do. Yeah. Was it talks about and they’re like, you know, the fundamental drivers? Like is it a functional thing?

Brandon:

Like do I need this tool to hammer this nail versus I need this fancy car to look good.

Brandon:

I don’t actually need it, but that’s actually the utility to me. And so I think those sorts of things make a difference because that’s when you really get into psychology. It’s like I’m paying extra for this because I want other people to know I paid extra for it. Not because it actually benefits me. Like it works better right? The vitamin, it’s basically and I tell people you got to figure out if you’re a vitamin or an aspirin.

Brandon:

Yeah, I use that all the time and if you don’t and you know it seems simple and people do use it. It’s not like I invented it or you invented, I don’t know. Maybe it was in business school. I can’t remember. Maybe it was just somebody put it out there.

Brandon:

But the bottom line is is that people hear it but they don’t do the analysis.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

Like yeah, I think that a lot of people don’t but I think either either or once you understand that whatever however you get there, if you do understand that it will help drive your marketing and sales which will sell your product or figure out where your how what the process is going to be in, how to position it.

Brandon:

I think that’s key.

Brandon:

That’s one of my favorite things to do too, is to just get out and talk to the customers of the thing before I create the thing because they give you all the keys to the castle and you sort of map out okay here’s what the products are like in this space right now.

Brandon:

None of them have this thing and this thing I want to add is relevant to the customers because I talked to him, he started doing that sort of stuff.

Brandon:

Everything and it’s not just sales when you come out with a product that is a better horse and using the warren Buffett, it’s easier to market it to right?

Brandon:

It’s easier for me to figure out like where should I speak?

Brandon:

Well not on any podcast.

Brandon:

I should speak on ones that have to do with business and digital marketing.

Brandon:

Should I speak at the american marketing conference or the lawyers conference?

Brandon:

Right? So when you do that, positioning it just unlocks so many levers.

Brandon:

If you will to make everything easier, it’s still not easy. But it’s easier.

Brandon:

Well I want to be conscious of your time because you shared a lot of great influence, so many great tips and information and opening up about and really being vulnerable forest.

Brandon:

I mean it’s hard to talk about this stuff. I guess that there’s a tipping point there that once you realize that you do it it gets easier. But it’s still hard if that makes sense.

Brandon:

Yeah, for sure What would be three tips out of all the great tips that you’ve dropped or some new ones that you would give for fellow business owners.

Brandon:

one that comes to mind is making sure that you have a service first mentality am I being of service before I am earning a commission or whatever the case may be.

Brandon:

So I think when I shifted again from make a lot of money look cool ego, it’s all about me, not that I was ever really a selfish turkey person, but you get the point, but making that shift to sort of service first, how can I help people?

Brandon:

Because that’s ultimately how money is made, right?

Brandon:

I help you solve a problem.

Brandon:

I I meet some need, you have you therefore giving you money for it. The more painful the problem to your point earlier, the larger the audience that has it, the more money you’re gonna make. So being of service to some community. I think another one that gets a little into the spiritual realm, but I think it’s been one of my superpowers inadvertently is paying attention.

Brandon:

People don’t pay enough attention to anything, quite frankly your significant other, let alone what’s going on your market or at work.

Brandon:

And so the better you can pay attention and I like to pay attention to what I call weird ways. So I try to look where other people aren’t.

Brandon:

So for example, simple kind of stupid example, but if I’m watching a newscast or two sports reporters on the sidelines or whatever, if you notice they go back and forth, right, one person is talking and that guy’s looking at him and then when they switch naturally you’re looking at the person that’s talking, I looked at the other person that’s not talking, how, what are they doing, you know?

Brandon:

So looking in weird places.

Brandon:

But even just looking just paying attention, if you look at something long enough, whether that be an industry that you’re trying to break into or whatever, you’ll notice like nobody’s doing conversion rate optimization, did it?

Brandon:

So paying attention is a superpower I think. And then I’ll go back to what I call winnable games. It’s really at the product and that that example with the medical company that had that super high success rate, try to make everything easier, use leverage, have a great product, make sure your differentiated and it’s gonna make everything else you do easier and bringing that one back because I think it’s kind of the most important if you’re just talking about purely like how do I sell stuff? I think there’s a three great tips.

Brandon:

Where’s the best place for? I mean really two things I want to ask you where people can find you, what’s the best place to find and buy your book.

Brandon:

Well you can certainly go to amazon just type in clone the ace. But the other place I would recommend is going to our website which is solve sales dot com just like solve a problem and on sales and on there you can read about the book but also I give away two free chapters, the first beginning part which includes the entire chapter on this winnable games concept.

Brandon:

So that’s probably the best part to kind of get a sense of what the book’s about and then you can go over to amazon, grab a copy and then how about your business where you go in and help companies with their sales and marketing?

Brandon:

Can they find the same information there at solve sales dot com, solve sales dot com is our company’s website.

Brandon:

It has information on the book, but it’s fundamentally are consulting coaching website if you will.

Brandon:

Perfect. Well, thanks a lot man for spending the time and sharing all the steps. You definitely had an incredibly eclectic and successful career so far and I think the future is still right.

Brandon:

Thank you.

Brandon:

I appreciate this was really fun.

Brandon:

Thanks for being generous with your time and joining us for this episode of the edge.

Brandon:

Before you go, a quick question, are you the type of person who wants to get 100% out of your time, talent and ideas? If so you’ll love our monthly edge newsletter.

Brandon:

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Brandon:

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