Starting from Nothing - The Foundation Podcast | Building your business ENTIRELY from scratch.

Geoff Woods is the host of The Mentee Podcast and an alumni of The Foundation, who went from having a 6-figure sales job to becoming a full-time entrepreneur. Geoff was going through The Foundation’s “Idea Extraction” process when he realized that SaaS was not a good fit for him. Instead he made a pivot to focus on something he was much more passionate about building, which ended up being his podcast, The Mentee. Because of the guidance from his mentors, Geoff was able to monetize within three months of launch.

In Part 2 of this interview, Geoff breaks down the steps to meet the top influencers in your industry. Plus he fulfills his promise to share the strategies he used to become a contributor on Entrepreneur.com within a mere three weeks, and how you can do it too!

 

 

In This Interview I Ask:

2:26 - Take us through the process of what it looked like for you to find your own billionaire mentor.

5:46 - How can you, wherever you are right now, start tapping into people who are lightyears beyond you?

6:57 - How can other people go out and replicate what you’ve done?

8:10 - How did you acquire the energy, conviction and desire to be committed to your actions?

29:25 - Where can I go to receive this type training to replicate what you’ve done?

 

 

3 Steps to Strategically Add Value to People Who Can Help You Accomplish Your Goals

Get Clarity on Where You Need Help

Ask yourself the following questions, and describe each answer in one sentence:

  1. Out of everything you’re working on right now, what is the ONE thing that you need the most help with?
  2. How would you describe the ideal person who could help guide you with your ONE thing?

 

Tell People Where You Need Help and They Will Rise Up and Support You.

80% of everything you need is already within your circle of influence.” When you share what you’re working on and where you need help, people can’t resist the desire to want to help you. Either that person you talk to will be the person you need, or you plant the seed in their mind so when they come across a person who fits the mold, they’ll consider making that connection.

Example: When you touch based with someone and they ask “What’s up?” you can say, “You know, I realized that I need to surround myself with some really great people who just eat, sleep, breath [topic of expertise].” When you share these needs with the people who care about you, they naturally feel compelled to help you .

 

Strategically show up every day and focus on adding value to one person at a time consistently.

Ask each person, What are you working on? How can I help you? Know that they will share a piece of information, and even if you are not their answer directly, you may know the person who is able to help. Either way, you plant the seed and that connection will eventually happen.

Never ask a successful person out to coffee to “pick their brain.” This is basically asking them to give you their free time. The answer is obviously no.

The moment Geoff learned to become the person who just look to see how can I add value to them to every relationship, he started to find that people bent over backwards to help him.

 

 

How to become a contributor on any publication in three weeks

A common rookie mistake in an attempt to become a contributor on any publication would be to try to connect directly with its editor and pitch them your article.

Instead, Geoff followed his 3-step process:

  1. He became clear on his goal: Geoff wanted to become a contributing writer on Entrepreneur.com.
  2. He started targeting contributing writers. This was the script he used: “Hey, I’m seeking guidance. I see that you’ve written for Entrepreneur. I’m really curious about your journey, and the impact it’s had on you. I’m going through these crossroads in my life, and frankly I wanted to ask for your help. Would you be willing to spend 10-15 minutes with me sharing your journey? I promise I will find a way to add value to you. PS: I already shared your most recent post.”
  3. Finally he was recommended to the editor (which shows incredible valuable). He then asked the editor “Hey, how can I make you look good? What does it take to write a great post?” Then Geoff took the editor’s feedback and went to work.

 

 

Playing the “Long Game”

When you meet somebody, you may have a long term hope of how they can help you, but if you just go for the ask, it won’t help you. It’s more rewarding to have a long term relationship.

“[When] you fast forward to the end of your life, it’s going to be the experiences you shared and the people you shared them with.”

Every time you approach somebody, they’re a puzzle piece. You have no idea what role they will play in your life, but you figure out where they need help and you file it away. Over time you start finding pieces that fit together, and when you connect those people, tremendous value is created and ultimately the vision of your life is unfolded.

  

Show Links:

Listen to The Mentee, podcast

Download 7 Easy Steps to Meet the Top 7 People in Your Industry, FindthebestMentors.com

Get Geoff’s FREE Training, MenteePodcast.com/theFoundation

Direct download: Episode_162_-_Geoff_Woods__Ryan_Twedt_pt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am CST

Geoff Woods is the host of The Mentee Podcast and an alumni of The Foundation who went from having a 6-figure job to becoming a full-time entrepreneur. Geoff was going through The Foundation’s “Idea Extraction” process when he realized that SaaS was not a good fit for him. Instead he made a pivot to focus on something he was much more passionate about building and that was his podcast, The Mentee - which Geoff was able to monetize within three months of launching.

In Part 1 of this interview, Geoff recalls the moment when he realized it was time to take the leap into entrepreneurship. He shares how he was quickly able to connect with successful people, get mentored by them, and then later interview them on his podcast. Geoff also talks about the importance of adding value, focusing on ONE thing, and taking continuous action in order to move closer to your goals. Also joining us in this special interview is tactical marketing extraordinaire, Ryan Twedt.

 

In This Interview I Ask:

5:58 - Back when you were a medical device rep, what would you say was your skillset in life?

7:34 - When you were considering the jump to entrepreneurship, what types of skills did you feel you were you lacking that you went to build out?

8:56 - When you were going through The Foundation, how did you that software as a service (SaaS) wasn’t for you?

13:34 - What’s the founding story of [The Mentee Podcast]?

16:39 - Tell us a story about the wackiest way you actually went about getting in contact with one of [your guests]?

 

Surround Yourself with Mentors

There’s a Jim Rohn quote that say, “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. Take account of the five people you currently go to for advice. Are they qualified to help you accomplish your goals? If not, you need to find new mentors to surround yourself with; mentors who’ve already accomplished what you desire to accomplish.

 

Pro tip: If you want to surround yourself with millionaires and get them to mentor you, you have to find ways to add value to them.

Example: IdeGeoff knew he didn’t need to know everything about podcasting to build his podcast; he just needed to know the people who did so he set out to become friends with Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income) and Jordan Harbinger (Art of Charm).

 

 

Focus on One Thing

“You have to win a gold medal at something.” - Jeff Hoffman (Priceline)

There’s so many different options of paths to take as an entrepreneur, so many different types of business models. You need to figure out that one thing to focus on, and go win that gold medal. You need to eat, sleep, and breath that one thing before you scale out.

Example: Amazon started off with books and won a gold medal buying and selling books. Today they could care less about books because they’ve been able to scale into something different.

 

Learn About What You Really Want by Taking Action

You have no idea what detours you’re going to have to overcome. All you can focus on are the six feet in front of you at a time, but you keep moving. Slowly, but surely you end up getting to where you’re supposed to be going.

Example: Geoff joined the Foundation and began working on his SaaS idea extraction for The Foundation until he realized that Saas was not for him. He was more passionate about his podcast so he he pivoted his focus towards that path.

  

Show Links:

Listen to The Mentee, podcast

Download 7 Easy Steps to Meet the Top 7 People in Your Industry, FindthebestMentors.com

Direct download: Episode_161_-_Geoff_Woods__Ryan_Twedt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am CST

Aaron Vidas is the founder and CEO of Strategy Box, a company that helps others companies find their most profitable customers and creates radically simple plans to help them grow.

 

In this interview, Aaron talks to us about how he transitioned from moving back into his childhood home and working with low leverage clients to working with companies ten times as big and quadrupling his rates.

 

 

In This Interview I ask:

5:09 - What did you study in university?

6:04 - Knowing what you know now, [would] you go back and do that university program?

8:23 - What are some of your ongoing takeaways from backpacking through China?

17:31 - How did you go about firing your own clients?

24:50 - What shift did it take to go from calling companies making under a million in revenue to companies that were 10x-ing that?

29:08 - What does simplification actually mean?

33:28 - What are people doing wrong when they’re tracking the lifetime value of a customer, and how does that affect what they’re able to do with that information?

38:23 - What do you define as great leadership?

 

 

How to Calculate Lifetime Value of a Customer

Lifetime value is an estimate of how much a customer would bring in over the lifetime they are with the company as a customer.

 

Lifetime Value of a Customer = [How much money do you earn per month for a customer, over a period of time (usually 36 months for younger companies)] MINUS [the customer acquisition costs]

 

Discounted Cash Flow is understanding that a dollar spent today is not a dollar three years from now.

 

When calculating customer acquisition cost:

  • INCLUDE any expense related to marketing, including half of what you pay yourself (if you perform marketing tasks)
  • INCLUDE Development costs and other variable costs such as hiring customer service or an account executive
  • DO NOT include employee salaries

 

 

How to Cold Email Clients 10x As Big As the Ones You’re Currently Serving

When reaching out to prospects, make it abundantly clear that you’re not going to sell them anything and you just want to learn about their problems. It just so happens you might actually solve those problems and if they feel inclined to they may want to hire you later on.

 

You can use this script:

“This isn’t a sales call. [This] is what I do. [These] are some of the clients that I work with. [So and so] suggested I get in touch with you. I solve [these types of problems] for [these companies]. Can I have a ten minutes of your time? I really just want to know what your situation is, and if this is a fit for you or if it isn’t, and just why.”

 

In The Foundation, we call this process “Idea Traction.” Alternatively, you can say this:

“Hey, I’ve got nothing to sell you right now. I want to understand some aspects of your business to see what types of services you’re lacking, and to see if I could potentially develop a solution in the future. Can I have ten minutes of your time?”

 

 

Pre-Qualify Your Clients Before You Contact Them

Ask yourself, over two or three years, how much could this client spend with me? If the answer isn’t a big number you need to ask, should I be going after them in the first place?

 

 

How to Simplify Your Business

Ask yourself, a year from now, what do you want to be doing? Then work backwards from that. Some other questions you can ask is how much would it cost to acquire a customer or how long would that customer stay around for?

 

 

How to Fire Clients

There comes a time when you might have to fire your least profitable clients to grow your company. Firing your client doesn’t mean you’re leaving the relationship in a negative way. Take the extra time to help your client continue their business without you.

  • Step One: Have an open and honest conversation about the relationship. Explain why you are unable to serve them to the best of your abilities. An example might be that the client is self-sabotaging themselves by not doing their part in the collaboration to accomplish agreed upon goals.
  • Step Two: Refer your clients to alternative service providers so there’s no interruption in their services. 

 

Show Links:

AaronVidas.com, website

Strategy Box, website

Customer Acquisition Cost, slides

Direct download: Episode_160_-_Aaron_Vidas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:29am CST

Lisa Bodell is the founder and CEO of futurethink, which enables organizations to embrace change and become world-class innovators. She’s also the author of two books: Kill the Company, which is about how to get rid of thing to make space for innovation, and Why Simple Wins which is about how can we get to the work that matters by making simplicity a habit or rather how to make simplicity an operating principle to make innovation happen.

In this interview, Lisa shares how to overcome the complexity trap, and figure out what is holding us back from making change in our organizations. Ultimately, it comes down to defining simplicity, “killing stupid rules”, and asking killer questions.

 

In This Interview I ask:

3:20 - How do we start down the path of innovation?

5:25 - How do you measure the productivity of “thinking time”?

8:00 - What are we not doing, in terms of cultivating our employees, that is preventing their ability to think, and not do what they’ve always done.

9:55 - How do we create the culture of [Killing a Stupid Rule] in our organizations?

11:45 - How often should you meet with your team and how do you run meetings [effectively]?

17:15 - How can the audience take action in doing deep work?

20:29 - What are some killer questions that people can be asking themselves and their organizations [to] help them get to better answers?

23:42 - How did innovation, change and simplification become your purpose?

25:43 - How did you take your interest & passion and start down the path of making it into a business?

28:01 - What kind of exciting change should [upcoming] entrepreneurs be paying attention to and start preparing for in the next couple of years?

29:12 - What are the skillsets that people need to have to not be replaced by technology?

 

Kill a Stupid Rule

We need to give people permission for them to get rid of stuff that’s outlived its time (culture norms, business approaches, weekly meetings) - stuff that we do that we never stop to think why do we do it this way? We stop and look at our own behavior and the things we do every day and ask is it necessary? 

It’s everyone’s job to think; however as leaders, we have to empower our teams to get rid of things that aren’t working. Leaders have to mandate simplification and show it by behavior so that team members will focus on work that matters. The reason a lot of people don’t get rid of stuff is because a leader put it in place. You need to have a strong leader who realizes that some things have outlived their time and get rid of them.

 

More is Not Better

We spend all this time organizing and that’s not simplifying. We also think that doing is more important than thinking. This kind of mindset is what’s keeping us from being innovative. It’s not always about less, it’s about better.

 

Simplification Starts with Leaders

You have to have someone who is willing to have a subtractive mindset, and not just an additive mindset, who doesn’t have a fear of getting rid of things. We have this fear of holding onto things because once we have something, we feel like it has value. We’re reluctant to give it up because, from a psychological standpoint, we don’t like to give up value and we don’t like to admit we made a stupid decision. We have to be comfortable to admit that something isn’t working anymore and get rid of it.

 

Time Versus Value

Take an audit of what we spend our time on, and if it has value or not. If it’s not valuable, why are you doing it? If it is valuable, could it be minimized or improve? How can we move it up the value chain to make it take less time and have more value. If it takes a lot of time and has no value, get rid of it. If it takes little time and has high value, you try to model everything after that. If it takes little time and has little value, look at the key levels of simplicity and ask how can I improve the value or decrease the time?

 

Define What Simplicity Means to Your Company, then Ask Killer Questions

You don’t know how to simplify if you can’t define it. An example definition of simplicity is: “To be simple, it has to be as minimal as possible. It has to be as understandable and clear as possible. It can be as repeatable as possible. It has to be accessible.”

 

If we had to get rid of several parts of this product or service and still make money on it, what’s the first that would go?

What’s the one audience we don’t want to give away stuff to that scares us, but we should really rethink?

If we had to cut this contract/meeting/process in half, how would we go about doing it in the next 24 hours?

  

Show Links:

Future Think, futurethink.com

Lisa’s Tedx Talk, How Simplification is the Key to Change

Kill the Company, book

Why Simple Wins, book

Direct download: Episode_159_-_Lisa_Bodell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am CST

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