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

Mike Paton has spent a lifetime learning from entrepreneurs. Eight years ago he met Gino Wickman and was immediately drawn to the simplicity and usefulness of his Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS). He is now the Visionary at EOS Worldwide, LLC – a role we explore in this interview – and an author, speaker and EOS implementer at Achieve Traction, where he uses his lifetime of entrepreneurial wisdom to helps entrepreneurs and their leadership teams clarify, simplify and achieve their vision.


“We believe that what leaders do is solve problems and resolve issues.”


In This Interview I Ask:

  • 2:30 - Give me the high-level about how you got involved with Traction and EOS. Give us like the 10,000 foot view of what it is and why it actually matters for entrepreneurs.
  • 4:15 - What makes EOS unique? Why is this different than other stuff that's out there? Tell me a little bit about what makes this specifically unique for entrepreneurs.
  • 6:35 - When you come into organizations, what do you think it is that entrepreneurs are most struggling with or that's keeping them in that stuck cycle of not getting what they want out of their business?
  • 9:10 - I'm curious how you set goals, because sometimes – especially in fast-growing things – I don't even know where to begin. I don't want to set it too low, but I don't want to set it too high. Can you talk a little bit about that?
  • 18:00 - Talk to me a little bit about managing people. There's something that doesn't feel natural about it and challenging for me. Tell me a little bit about that.
  • 20:45 - Can you talk a little bit about the relationship between Visionary and Integrators?
  • 25:00 – Are there any key metrics that you're tracking or that that entrepreneurs should be tracking that they are often missing?
  • 29:10 – Do you advocate for open book management?
  • 30:40 – How do you recommend doing incentives for employees, like do you do gainsharing, profit-sharing, bonuses? Your thoughts on that?
  • 31:50 – Tell us about the weekly meeting. How the weekly meeting is ran, how people do it well.
  • 38:05 – What's the rough agenda for level 10 meetings?
  • 42:10 – Is there is there anything you either wish I would have asked or you’re surprised that I didn't ask? Or questions that typically come up that you feel like you would really like to speak to?

What Makes EOS Worldwide Unique?

EOS gives homage to the great work done by many of the great business thought leaders that came before it, such as Jim Collins, Michael Gerber, Verne Harnish, Patrick Lencioni, and Dan Sullivan. The tools and the concepts aren’t completely unique, but the way EOS Worldwide implements EOS with entrepreneurial leadership teams helps them get better at three things fast and permanently.

  1. Vision – Getting the leadership team a hundred percent on the same page with where they're going and how they plan to get there.
  2. Traction – Instilling focus, discipline, and accountability everywhere in the organization.
  3. Health – Helping the leadership team become a more cohesive, functional team rather than the set of strong, independent, headstrong individual leaders that they are. Often those kinds of people have the greatest challenge burgeoning as a healthy team, and so the way EOS Worldwide teaches and the way they work with clients seems to help those three concepts take hold quickly.

“It's early success that gives an entrepreneur and his or her leadership team that confidence to continue with, quite frankly, what is fundamental change in the way the business operates.”


EOS Implementers & The Six Key Components That Exist in Every Business

Generally any EOS implementer starts interacting with an entrepreneur when he or she has hit the ceiling. Things are humming along and all of a sudden you come to a screeching halt. It has a tendency to happen multiple times, and the root cause of those problems, challenges, obstacles and frustrations tend to be one of six things. When you're implementing EOS in your business what you're doing is working to assess how weak or strong you are in each of these six things and strengthen each component.

  1. Vision – Getting everybody on the same page with where you're going and how you plan to get there.
  2. People – Making sure you have great people perfectly suited to help you achieve your great vision.
  3. Data - Learning to run the business on facts and figures, objective information, at a high level that gives you an absolute pulse on the business rather than letting feelings, egos, and emotions carry the day.
  4. Issues – Learning how to solve your issues as they arise, in the right place in your organization.
  5. Process – Not having a clear, simple, high-level set of core processes that everybody in the organization can follow so that the most important things in your business are done the right, best way every time, without you having to coach and mentor and audit and nudge people out of the way.
  6. Attraction – The ability to instill focus, discipline, and accountability everywhere in the organization so that you and all your people are executing on the vision every day rather than getting distracted.

“My advice would be to work on strengthening all six of these components. Use all of the tools. We put them out there for the world to use. They are very simple and practical. You don't need to have an Ivy League MBA to figure this stuff out. We just really hope it helps your listeners get what they want from their business.”


Visionaries and Integrators

The relationship between visionaries and integrators is the heart of Rocket Fuel by Gino Hackman and Mark C. Winters. Most entrepreneurial companies are started and grown to a point by a visionary who then has to, in order to be successful, transition more into an integrator role. It's really hard to make that transition. Very few have what it takes to do it, and one of the things Mike does with entrepreneurial leadership teams is help visionaries understand that they don't need to be the integrator to grow their business. “They should be sitting in the visionary seat loving their lives everyday and relying on an integrator to run the day-to-day and help the leadership team work to achieve the visionary's vision.”

  • Visionaries – “The classic entrepreneur. They’re idea people. They have 20 ideas a week and believe that every one of them is going to take the organization to the moon. They’re creative problem solvers. They're the people asking what if, why can't we do that, how about we mix this up and try this. They’re risk takers. They like to fly at 30,000 feet and when they need to bring the plane down to refuel they lose energy.”
  • Integrators – “People who are put on the planet to harmoniously integrate the way a handful of strong-willed, independent humans work together to achieve a common goal. They like getting in the muck and looking at data, figuring things out at the core. They don't mind refueling the plane or putting it in the shop and fixing it from time to time to make the company execute better”

Five Rules to a Great Meeting Pulse

Every level-10 leadership meeting should be:

  1. On the same day
  2. At the same time
  3. Using the same agenda
  4. Always start on time
  5. Always end on time

We appreciate Mike taking the time to talk with us today. Head over to for information on all of the books, to download free tools, watch a lot of instructional videos, and you can even find Mike in the implementer directory to reach out directly.




Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Direct download: Episode_177_-_Mike_Paton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Vinnie Fisher is a Founder and CEO of The Total CEO and Founder and Chairman of Fully Accountable. Today we really dove into The Total CEO, unpacked the six core areas of business, and really what we find bleeding through everything is strategy and intention.


In This Interview I Ask:

  • 1:45 – Tell us a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey. How you got started, how you progress, and how you ended up where you're at today.
  • 4:20 – You're a lawyer by trade and then in 2006 you launch your direct response career. How did that happen? What launched you from a lawyer into building $300 million worth of sales for these different brands? How do you get there?
  • 6:00 – Give us the founding story: how did it come about and when did it actually start?
  • 7:00 – What was the driving factor for the creation of Total CEO? What problem is it solving for people?
  • 9:40 – How did you arrive at the place where you knew that being a great strategist was your one thing, your core competency?
  • 15:10 – With this noise or chatter that we hear out there, about just get going, how do you marry that back up into taking the appropriate time to create the strategy and the vision so that things don't fall apart a year down the line?
  • 17:30 – What's that tipping point? How do you know when it's time to start operating with a strategy and get beyond the strategy of just take some steps and get it done?
  • 19:05 – The Total CEO breaks down business into six core areas. Can we start talking through some of those?
  • 21:30 – Let's just start with owner's mindset. How are people messing this up?
  • 24:40 – Why did they have to be okay with a 70% version of themselves?
  • 28:40 –  Let's move on to piece two, which is the team, and then let's talk specifically around this character not competence. Would you hire somebody who had absolutely no experience copywriting?
  • 30:15 – How do you look at the speed of bringing people on in the early stages of a business?
  • 34:25 – How do you interview for something like commitment? Do you give them a little task to do and then see if they do it?
  • 35:45 – If I'm interviewing someone and one of my top values in hiring is commitment, what would it look like for me to actually evaluate and understand, is this potential hire somebody who meets my core value?
  • 41:40 – You mentioned that you learned the importance of numbers the hard way. How did you learn that lesson?
  • 43:40 – Let’s talk about sales and marketing. You imagine that most people think they're good at this. What are they missing?
  • 45:15 – So channel envy means you're looking at other people's channels and thinking, “wouldn't it be great,” but ultimately what matters is do your channels matchup with your avatar?
  • 47:10 – Would it be safe to say that people are ultimately buying your outcome? Your result that you're going to get for them, not your product exactly?
  • 47:30 – When do I go from one to more than one product? How do I go beyond my first product, and when do I know that it's time for me to start exploring that?
  • 52:40 – You said something systems and processes, and I had never heard it put like that before. You said something about pave it behind you. Just remind me what you said about systems and processes.
  • 55:15 – Do I start recording this stuff after I already know the process works, or I just do it the first time? That way in case it works I've got it down?


Finding Your Core Competency

Vinnie shared the story of the baseball player Ted Williams. He got voted in the hall of fame by hitting just over 300 for his career. That means he strikes out a lot, but he was still great. The nature of business is trial-and-error. Through failure and perseverance, by identifying your strengths and weaknesses, anyone can discover their core competency in business.

  • “Winners are the ones who fail and don't give up. Losing is failing and believing that you're done.”


Take a Step

“Take a step – it might be the wrong one, but it's the one that's ultimately going to lead to your success.”

Sometimes the strategy is to get going. Just go out and do it. Don’t mature and double down and spend marketing dollars when you’re in makeup mode. Sometimes you're in developing a strategy mode and then when things start to click is when you have to slow down, and not slow down sales but slow down. You have to find the tension between being able to break away a little bit and look at it, instead of just being fully immersed in it

The tipping point is when you get to a critical mass – and Vinnie describes the critical mass as when you start being unable to grow beyond your shadow or you already have grown beyond your shadow and you've lost the passion piece of your business – and you need to start addressing this big issue.


The Six Core Areas of Business

  1. The Owner’s Mindset – “If your foundation’s not secure, then anything you build on top of it is not secure. So everything starts with your right alignment.”
    1. Entrepreneurs need an execution mindset.
    2. Entrepreneurs need to be comfortable with duplicating their processes, and not having everything completed 100% their way
    3. It’s important to have different strategies at the certain seasons of your business
    1. Vinnie favors character over competence, because he believes that any employee with the right effort, ability and attitude can be trained.
  2. Your Team – “There is not an organization out there that can grow beyond your shadow without properly developing and growing a team.”
    1. Just because you don't know them doesn't mean you can't go figure them out, and the starting point for people on that is to go know the key metrics of your industry.
  3. The Numbers – “If you don't understand the metrics and real numbers of your business, you're never going to grow.”
    1. Simplify your marketing strategy. Get the message clear and the problem you're solving clear.
  4. Sales and Marketing – “Typically this is the area where most entrepreneurs think they're good. They think they're a good marketer or they think they're good at sales, and so having a simple, unique sales proposition and unique value proposition is critical to this part of it.”
    1. You have a core service or product you offer, and until you've reached a point of scalability or sustainability you should not go out and create another one.
  5. Products and Services – You either sell a product or provide a service, or a hybrid.
    1. The new business walks down new areas all the time. The new area is a dirt road. You can walk down that dirt road, but you should be able to pave behind you.
  6. Systems and Processes – You can't grow without that. “You can always walk down a dirt road as long as you have a mentality to paint behind you.”


“I'm saying to you that strategy is real, and just because you don't know how to do something doesn't mean you aren't capable of doing it, and that's the whole beauty of being an entrepreneur.”



Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Direct download: Episode_176_-_Vinnie_Fisher.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Craig Ballantyne is a productivity and success transformation coach and the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. He has contributed to Men’s Health Magazine since 2000, and in 2001 he created the popular home workout program Turbulence Training.

On his journey to success Craig has had to overcome crippling anxiety attacks, and he did that with his Five Pillars of Success and Transformation. Today Craig shows men and women how to use these five pillars to lose 10-75 pounds, get a raise and make more money, find the love of their lives, and overcome any obstacle in the way of success. You can read his daily essays on success, productivity and business at Early to Rise.


In This Interview I Ask:

  • 2:40 - Can Craig talk about the rules that he has, why he has them, and why they matter for people when it comes to building out these perfect days?
  • 5:20 - What are some of the rules that Craig has?
  • 10:20 - How does Craig consistently make time for his routines and avoid getting overwhelmed by the rest of the world?
  • 15:10 - Tell me about your Five Pillars of Transformation. What are they and how do they work?
  • 26:40 - What are Craig’s thoughts on meaningful incentives versus consequences for not doing stuff?
  • 28:45 - I’m a big fan of the vision setting process. Craig has a story that shows how impactful the vision setting process can be. Tell us about that story.
  • 41:20 - If you were giving someone the formula for building their perfect day, what does that entail?


(Some of) Craig’s Personal Rules for Success

  • Get up and go to bed at the same time every day. “You can use whatever hours you want, but it’s a nice structure to really accelerate the work you get done over the day.”
  • Have a rule about your health. Anything related to stress relief, physical training or nutrition. “It doesn’t have to be an all encompassing rule … but what’s the most important health rule that you can follow that’s going to give you energy and give you overall health and really contribute to your success?” This might be a paleo diet, meditation or consistent exercise.
  • Work on your number one priority first thing in the morning. If you give your number one priority 15 minutes in the morning six days a week, then that 90 minutes of work every week will really compound.


The Five Pillars of Transformation and Success

  1. Better planning and preparation
  2. Professional accountability
  3. Positive social support
  4. Meaningful incentive
  5. The big deadline


The Impact of Setting a Vision

“The Vision is essentially where you want to be in a couple years from now. Not only thinking about it, but actually writing it down. I call it creating a movie script for your life.”

Five years, three months and 17 days after Craig first articulated his vision to his coach – owning a business like Early to Rise – Craig bought the business of his dreams. Not something like it, but the exact business of his dreams:

Craig developed a mentor relationship with Mark Ford, the previous owner of Early to Rise. Mark told Craig to narrow his focus and set four goals:

  • One for your health
  • One for your wealth
  • One for your social self and
  • One for your personal enrichment or charity endeavors


How To Build Your Perfect Day

This is incredibly important. If you learn to optimize your day, and you just focus on your daily habits, your perfect day becomes your perfect week becomes your perfect month becomes your perfect quarter becomes your perfect year. This is the highest leverage point to be focusing your time and energy on if you’re going to be making some sort of habit change.

  • Figure out how you best operate. Do a time journal. You’ll identify when you’re wasting time, and you’ll identify your own “magic time.”
  • Solidify your sleep schedule.
  • Focus on your number one priority first thing in the morning.
  • Control the rest of your morning so you don’t get sucked into any rabbit holes and get through a lot of your to-do list.
  • In the afternoon, deal with the chaos that the world brings you. Be prepared by planning two solutions for every obstacle you expect to encounter in your daily life.
  • Finish work by five so that you can go home and focus on what counts in your life.





  • MP3
  • Transcript

Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Direct download: Episode_175_-_Craig_Ballantyne.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

In This Interview I Ask:

  • 2:35 – So before we dive in any deeper, Patrick, tell us what are you up to in the world right now?
  • 4:00 – Entrepreneurs in London: how big is that group?
  • 4:30 – Give us a sense of what that group runs on, meaning is that a group that you started on MeetUp?
  • 7:30 –  What was your original intention when you started that MeetUp group? Was it to actually grow it to 18,000 people and monetize it, or when you got that thing started what was going through your mind?
  • 8:48 – What I'm always curious about from entrepreneurs is what it actually looked like for them to start that first thing that blows up. Was there a big strategy and planning going into it? Or did one day you just say, “I can make this better,” and you threw up a group and kind of said, “I'm just going to see how this evolves?”
  • 10:17 – What was that first event? What kind of details do you remember about that very first event?
  • 11:15 – There's going to be a large percentage of listeners who might have been to MeetUp groups, but they've never started their own MeetUp group. So what kind of event did you promote for that very first one? What was the positioning? What did people opt-in to?
  • 13:45 – If you were advising somebody to start a MeetUp group, what are some of the key elements for an event based on what you’ve learned?
  • 19:20 – How do you measure the success of any individual MeetUp?
  • 21:25 – When you're talking about potentially evaluating the success of a MeetUp based on money, what do you mean? Are these events that you're charging for? Or are these events where you meet great people and get clients?
  • 24:15 – Now, from the time of that first event, how many events should I be holding? Like, what's the path for me getting to my first event where I can actually make money off of it in some way?
  • 27:35 – Give us some of the overarching concepts that you teach to people about the best ways to network at these types of events.
  • 30:10 – What's the strategy around the the pre-networking?
  • 35:17 – What kind of thing would you say to the leader of the group if you're contacting them on social media before the event?
  • 38:05 – So let's just pretend the listeners are a total blank slate. They are introverted. They're not sure the best way to go up and start introducing themselves to new people. What does that look like?
  • 42:40 – Tell me about the follow-up.
  • 45:50 – What's the most influential book that you've read in 2016?
  • 47:30 – How can people deal effectively with their fear? How do you get beyond fear mode to go out there and take action, rather than what fear mode does to most people, which is it makes them sink back into themselves?


How to Launch a Successful MeetUp Community

  • Create compelling copy – be it about who the group is or what it’s going to be all about.
  • Let the group grow, until it has about a 150 people, before the first event.
  • Once you have a sizeable group, announce that you will launch in four weeks.
  • In the title of that event, there's something to do with launch, because people are going to dig that.
  • Optional: Keep the event free to encourage registration. If it is popular, you can add a price to the second half of tickets sold.


A Path to Monetization in MeetUp Groups

After your MeetUp group has grown to about 150 people and you are ready to launch your first event, you might want to start looking for a path to monetization.

  • Ticket Sales – After you have developed social proof for your group – with either a number of well-rated or popular early events, or with a large number of ticket sales – you can start charging a little bit for tickets. If an early event is picking up steam, you can sell the last half of the tickets for a little bit of money. For later events, start the price at only a couple dollars and raise it incrementally. The early purchasers will give your event and group the social proof it needs to sell more expensive tickets.
  • Sponsorships – It is possible to make quite a bit of money through sponsorships, but you have to go out and find them.
  • Speakers – It is possible to get a great speaker, even if you don’t have a very large group. If you can prove that you can get a moderately-sized group, maybe 50-100 people, and you can make the opportunity convenient for your speakers (e.g. they’re already in town), then you can attract a great speaker and create an affiliate partnership.
    • “We've had one event with a Canadian speaker with 208 people where he closed just over 40,000 pounds”


Tips For Pre-Networking

The first few minutes of a networking event can be one of the most awkward experiences ever. So, to make it easier on yourself and on the people you want to network with, do a little pre-networking. Get in touch with them on a social network or by email and make an introduction.

  • Before you contact people, try to establish what you specifically need connections for.
  • Laser focus on the people who are specifically related to what you need. If you don’t need anything specific, connect with the people that are the most influential.
  • Go in with a positive, open energy and an interest in other people
  • Simply ask, “Do you know somebody that has these qualities or what I'm looking for?”
  • Reach out to the leader of the group, because they are likely one of the most influential people there, or they are a person everyone will want to connect with. Be very short and concise. Simply ask, “Hey, I found you. You're the leader of this group. You look awesome. Would love to connect with you, I’m going to come to the next event.” That’s it. If they follow up and show interest, then you can give a very short – just one sentence – pitch on what you are looking for. If they do not show interest don’t push them, because this will just push them farther away.
  • “You do whatever it takes to find out who's going to be there, and you connect with them on social media. Super, super, super, super powerful and important.”


Preparing And Delivering Your Pitch

Over practice your pitch. Don’t just remember it. Practice your pitch so well that you can’t forget it, like your birthday or phone number. Then, when you are talking to someone, don’t open with your pitch. Ask them questions about them. Then, when they ask what you do, they will be interested.

  • “Be the first person to ask the questions so you are right in there and creating trust, because the more questions you ask, the more you listen to them, the more they like and trust you”
  • “What you want to do is you want to just try to create trust. Try to create a friendship here. Just go with creating human connection. That's all you're trying to accomplish, and that's one of the big secrets to to networking success. Forget about your pitch, forget about yourself, and truly just try to establish a great connection, finding people that you seem to gel with.”


Common Mistakes in Networking

  • Showing up late. You have to show up early, because there are group dynamics being established in the first few minutes. If you show up late, you’re kind of an outsider.
  • Pitching too much.
  • Being too self-oriented, instead of being them-oriented
  • Not following up



  • Patrick’s website
  • The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
  • Send Patrick a friend request at, tell him that you heard him on the Starting From Nothing Podcast, and he will give you a really big, cool gift.
  • If you are going to be on London and want to meet the people at Entrepreneurs in London, visit

Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Direct download: Episode_174_-_Patrick_M._Powers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am CDT

Rob Walch, recently inducted into the Podcast Hall of Fame, is the VP of Podcaster Relations with Libsyn and hosts the podCast411 podcast.  His books, “Podcast 101” and “Tricks of the Podcasting Masters,” are available on Amazon and iBooks.


In this episode, Rob outlines his tips to entrepreneurs interested in starting a podcast, including when and why to monetize, how to use a podcast to build credibility in your niche, and the importance of providing great content in podcasting.  Rob also discusses his opinion of where the future of podcasting is going.


In This Interview I Ask:

2:50 - What were you up to before you got into the podcast world?

6:45 - When you say clients, what do you mean? What were you helping them with at the time?

8:50 - What is your opinion for entrepreneurs on poor reasons to start a podcast?

11:50 - What are some opportunities available to you if you do start a podcast?

17:30 - If someone wants to build authority in a niche, how does podcasting compare to self-publishing?

21:40 - What is the key to someone new picking a topic?

24:00 - What is the right length for an episode?

31:25 - Tell us about people using their Twitter to inflate their numbers.

35:10 - What are the real, important numbers to be tracking?

43:25 - What is the future of podcasting?

47:50 - What advice do you have for new podcasters with regard to the importance of interviewing as a skill?

52:30 - Where can people go to check your stuff out?


Starting a Podcast: Pros and Cons

If your goal is to start a podcast as a means of income, you have better odds elsewhere.  With or without great content, income is not a guarantee.  On the other hand, podcasting is a great way to set yourself apart in your niche as an expert, and an equally great way to get speaking gigs at conferences in your industry.


  • There is about a 2000:1 ratio of bloggers to podcasters.  If you want to stand out in your niche, start a podcast.



Choosing a Topic and Format

It is important to choose a topic you care about and and produce content you yourself would want to listen to.  The length of your episodes is not nearly as important as the content provided.  Great content wins over great marketing every time.


  • Great content trumps bad marketing, bad content trumps great marketing.
  • When people drop off after 5 minutes, it’s not because the episode was too long, it’s because the episode was bad… people like long-form content.



The Future of Podcasting

The future sits in the hands of the people… literally.  Although car-connectivity makes listening easier, we are all very attached at a personal level with our mobile devices, and they make it simple to listen while we’re doing everyday tasks.  Our devices put podcasts in the hands, at the fingertips, and in the ears of the people.  Because of this, podcasters should also look into apps to maximize the potential of their podcast.



Production & Development for The Foundation’s Starting From Nothing Podcast by Podcast Masters

Direct download: Episode_173_-_Rob_Walch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT