084: Why your team members leave

“You leave a leader if you don’t believe the leader anymore, or you want something that is beyond the scope of their leadership.” - Garrett J. White

One thing that many entrepreneurs don't realize about business is that their team often wants more than a paycheck.

They want a place to learn.
They want a place to grow. 
They want to feel as though they are in a company that is furthering their status in life.

Yet, many entrepreneurs fall short of this in two ways.

First, they treat the employees just like cogs in a machine. They don't invest in them, and enable them to grow. 

And eventually, those cogs get burnt up and annoyed with their situation and leave. 

You don't give them an ability to grow, so they eventually walk away.

Second, the leader stops growing and therefore is no longer someone the team member can learn from. 

Think about it this way. If you are leading a talented and driven person, then they are going to consistently be evolving and growing. 

And if you want to keep them engaged, YOU must be consistently evolving and growing. 
You must always be several steps ahead of them, so that they desire to continue to learn from you.

As soon as they desire to learn something that you can no longer provide, that is when they seek a position elsewhere.

If you want to keep your team around, rise as a leader. And keep rising. 
That will make you someone worth following. 

083: Improvement vs New Opportunity

When talking with many agencies or software, I often ask them "So what makes you different? Why would someone hire you over someone else?"

90% of the time the answer is: "Well we have a really high-quality team, and we really great client communication..."

Whoopdie freaking do... 
No one cares that you are better.
That is what Russel Brunson would call "An improvement offer"

"Improvement" does not motivate someone to move or change providers. 

BUT, a new opportunity will. 

For example, when Russ Perry launched Design Pickle. He wasn't just offering another graphic design agency.
It was a new way to package up and deliver graphic design.

When Alex McClafferty and Dan Norris launched WPCurve, they were not just offering web development services. Instead by packaging unlimited support for a flat monthly fee, they delivered it in a new way.

When you try to just "do it better", no one cares.
But if instead you create "a new opportunity" that does it differently, then you catch peoples attention.

An improvement offer suggests "My current choices are bad"
While a new opportunity suggests "Wow, this is something that I never knew existed before"

It's a subtle distinction, but massively important in terms of creating a unique value proposition. 

082: Negotiating hurts you

"Ha, I totally got him to come so far down on his price..."

There are a lot of people who thrive in negotiation on trying to bring someone else down on their price...

And while negotiation might be ok if you are just trying to buy a product from a street vendor, it can be terrible in the world of business. 

For example, someone came to me the other day and tried to haggle me down on our pricing at Lead Cookie... 

Ultimately, I said no and I did not budge on my pricing. 
This guy was annoyed and left. 

But in reality, if I had dropped our pricing for him, then I would have been annoyed. I would have been frustrated with him as a customer.

I would have valued him less, and if we came up with any issues, he would be at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of our clients. 

When you haggle down a vendor, you are putting yourself at the bottom of their priority list.

They will always focus on the high paying customers first, and you second.

So consider the opposite.

What if you paid people what they are worth? Or even more?

How would they treat you then?

081: Don't undercharge

"Oh it's ok, I can do it for cheaper...."

One of the mistakes I made early in my career was undercharging. For project work, for consulting, for retainers...

I wasn't confident enough to charge a lot, and I would consistently overpromise for a small amount of money.

Here is the problem though...

Charging less was actually BAD FOR THE CUSTOMER

You see, when I didn't charge enough, this meant I had to sign more customers, and spread myself thin.

That means that each customer who was hiring me, was only getting a small sliver of my time and attention. 

And as a result, I would fail with some of those customers because I simply couldn't deliver the results I promised, with the money that I charged, and still make a living...

I tried to provide them with a discount, and in the end I provided them with a horrible experience... 

The same is true when you try to work for your friend for free... 
Or you take on a pro-bono customer for any reason...

You need money and profits.
You need this so you can dedicated time and resources to properly deliver on every customer.

Don't undercharge. It's a lose for you and the customer.
Charge more. You need to to best serve your customer, and yourself. 

080: Everyone can win

"Ha, we won another job from {{Insert competitor here}}"

This was my mentality early on in business. I ran an agency in the event industry and we had a few local competitors.

And I was hell bent on beating out those competitors. 

I disliked them. 
I was adversarial with them. 
And we sure did not work together.

Well that mentality only got me so far. While my company did some great stuff, that mentality probably did more harm than it did good.

Contrast that with my mentality today, and you can see drastically different results in business.

Today, I don't care at all about competitors. I consider them partners, or friends. 
I share some many of our processes and secrets with competitors.
I even train people on how to build the exact type of company we have built.

I've partnered with some software tools that automate what we do with code. 
And I've even tried to build relationships with the most direct competitors in the space.

Because I have learned that this approach returns far more wealth and prosperity to me than the adversarial approach of competition does.

When everyone is a partner, you can find ways to collaborate.

You move yourself from a place of "I must win and they must lose"... to a new place of "There is so much opportunity here that we can all win." 

Everyone can win.
Turn your competitors into partners and friends. 

079: Find people you disagree with

It's easy to hang out with people who all have the same beliefs as you.
Those around you become an echo chamber for your own ideas.

But often that can restrict us.
It can make us close minded. 
And it can prevent us from growth.

Instead, seek out people you disagree with.
And instead of judging them and trying to prove that you are right...
Aim to learn from them, and see what they may know that you don't. 

Often, the people who we despise, are actually the people we need to learn from.

As an example, I used to have a hatred toward "internet marketers". 
They frustrated me and I would turn away from any of those tactics that I saw.

But over time, I began to see some people using these tactics to create immense good and change in the world.

And I realized that my annoyance with these "internet marketers" was actually a self-limiting belief. 

And by going and spending time with these people who I disagreed with, I could actually learn from them and create massive acceleration on the achieving of my goals.

When you disagree with someone, there is often something you can learn from the other side.

Keep your mind and your heart open, and see what there is to learn. 

078: Invest in your family

For the first 10 years of my entrepreneurial career, I honestly took home little cash.

I kept "investing it in the business" and thought that if I just put that money back in, then it would eventually return more out.

After 10 years, I saw small changes in my income, but nothing major.

But ironically, the moment when I started to see big changes in my income was when I invested my money elsewhere.

It was the moment when I started investing in my family. 
I started paying myself more, and figuring out how to run the business more lean.

This extra cash I paid to myself meant I could invest into education programs for my wife.
We could afford to do date nights on a regular basis.
And most importantly, we weren't worried about money because we finally had a decent amount in the bank.

Yet for 10 years before, I thought the path to growing a business was paying myself pennies, while reinvesting in the business.

Today, I have a different philosophy.

Invest in me and my family first.
That puts you in a place of power.

And from there, you can become innovative on how you run the business on less cash and still see a great ROI. 

077: Thoughts on frugality

As I've learned to manage money over the years, I have found myself going back and forth on the idea of frugality.

In one sense, frugality is great. 
You spend less money, therefore you need to earn less money and it lasts you longer.

On the other side, frugality is stupid.
You put yourself in a scarcity mindset that says "We only have so much money". And you make decisions based on the idea that you will always have little money.
Frugality also prevents you from investing in yourself or your happiness.

Now, it's easy to go to the flip side and start to spend like crazy. 
That's stupid too.

But somewhere in the middle there is a powerful place.

A place where you realize that it's ok to spend money if it will bring you happiness.
And it's ok to spend money if you are investing in yourself, your partner, your team, or your company.

And a place where you can level up your mindset to realize that you can always make more money. 

It's a thin line to walk, but powerful if you can figure it out.

One question I have used to validate a purchase is "Will the amount of money I spend on this purchase give me adequate life happiness?" 

It's a simple question that lets you evaluate if the purchase is worth it. 

076: Disrupt Stagnation

This past week, I found a document on my computer titled "Goals for when I am 30" which was written in 2012.

And given that in June, I will be turning 30, this document was particularly interesting.

As I opened it up, I was actually pretty delighted as a majority of the goals I had set out were hit. 

My income goals are on track to match for this upcoming yaer.
My lifestyle and relationship is on track with what I had outlined.
And my desire to live a nomadic life of travel has certainly become a reality.

Yet there was one area that was a let down...

In 2012, I weighed 202 pounds. 
Today, I weigh roughly 202 pounds. 

As I scanned through annual goal documents, I saw a recurring trend of setting a health goal every year.... and every year I failed to hit it.

And for several years, I saw the same true of my business goals.

But then about 1.5 years ago, I hired a business coach and mentor and accelerated my business trajectory so fast that I literally caught up to my goals after years of stagnation.

I was stagnate. 
I hired an outside coach. 
I accelerated rapidly and caught up with my goals.

It's time to do the same for body.
I have been stagnate and doing the same thing for 8 years.

External pressure has accelerated me before. 
So it's time to do the same again in my body.

075: Commitment is commitment

"Ugh, I really don't feel like doing this anymore." 

That is how I felt late last year as I was about halfway through Q4.

You see, I had set a challenge for myself to give a 5 minute presentation in Spanish by the end of Q4. I was living in Mexico, and knew that this would push me out of my comfort zone. 

But as my exit date to Mexico approached, I still had taken zero actions to make the presentation a reality. 
I was learning everyday, but I had not booked the space, or written a word of the presentation.

I wanted to just give up and not do it.
I was exhasuted by work, and looked for every excuse not to do it.

BUT, I was committed.

I had set that challenge for myself, and I was going to do it.

So I took the next step. I booked the time and space for the presentation. 

I still didn't want to do it. But I knew I needed to start working toward it.

So I wrote the presentation in English the first week.

I still didn't want to do it... 

So I procrastinated, and then I converted the presentation to Spanish in the second week.

I still didn't want to do it.

So I brought my presentation to my Spanish teacher and improved it. 

I still didn't want to do it. 

So I started inviting people to the presentation and telling them about it... 

I still didn't want to do it. 

But then I did it anyway. 
And I accomplished a goal I never even dreamed possible for myself 3 months prior.

And along the way, this forced me to a whole new level of fluency in Spanish. 

"Commitment is commitment, no matter how you feel" - Garrett J. White 

074: Winning & Learning

"Ugh, I screwed that up." 

That was the mentality that I used to take for years. I would try something in business, or my relationship, and I would "fail" at it. 

And so I would beat myself up, and get down about it. 
And this cycle became vicious as I got into a habit of "screwing it up". 

But eventually a mentor taught me a valuable lesson.

"Focus on your wins" 

And so everyday, I started to list out 3 things I did right. 
This helped keep me focused on the things I was doing right, instead of the things I was doing "wrong".

And then down the path, another trainer taught me that "nothing you do is wrong. It simply did not work and you can learn from it."

These two pieces together are powerful. 

Because it gives you freedom. 

Freedom to test.
Freedom to fail.
And freedom to stay in a positive frame of mind no matter what.

Everyday you make decisions and take actions.
And sometimes your actions will work, and other times they won't.
But everyday, you are winning & learning.

And that is a step forward. 

073: Focus on the work in front of you

There are far too many entrepreneurs I meet who have their head in the sky all the time.

They are dreaming big.
They are anticipating problems,.
And they are always looking at whatever is next.

But so many of them forget the most important thing.

Focus on the work in front of you. 

The work that needs to be done today.
The customers you must serve today.
The actions to hit your targets for this week.

For years, I was that head in the clouds entrepreneur.

I loved to think big picture...
Yet I failed to realize that at some point, you have to put your head down and do the work.

And the path to fixing this is simple.

  1. Build your big picture 1 year vision of yourself

  2. Break that vision down into quarterly challenges for yourself

  3. Set monthly benchmarks to check in on your quarterly challenge

  4. Set and achieve weekly targets that ensure you hit your quarterly challenge

It's that simple, but that framework ensures you actually do the work each week.

Because doing the work every week means you will hit your monthly benchmarks.
When you hit your monthly benchmarks, you hit your quarterly challenges.
And when you hit your quarterly challenges, you become the 1 year vision you created for yourself. 

072: Care about your team

"How do you keep your team around? We just have so much turnover?"

I heard this question from another entrepreneur the other day, and it's one I see so many people struggle with.

But the problem is that he seems to think the solution is in some "tactical approach". There is no overnight hack...

Instead, there is care.

Care about your team. 

Try actually giving a shit about them and their quality of life. 

Create a culture where they love coming to work. 

And honor their personal lives and create an environment that enables them to have balance. 

You can't fake this. 
You have to live it.

You have to find balance yourself as an entrepreneur.
And then create an environment that enables balance for your team.

At Lead Cookie, we have only had 2 people leave us out of a team of 25 in the past 18 months. Both of those people received offers of triple our compensation so I can't complain. 

And everyone else sticks around and is grateful for the opportunity we provide.
For the work / life balance we provide.
And for the opportunity to grow and expand.

Care about your team. 
And they will start to care about you and your company. 

071: Psychology gives you an edge

It's easy to look at marketing and just focus on tactics.

You can master advertising campaigns, or implement content campaigns, or run outbound campaigns.

Yet all of your tactical efforts can be multiplied by one thing...

Psychology. 

You see, at the core of any sales or marketing is an understanding of human behavior.

At the core is an understanding of how we think and make decisions.

And so while tactical information is important, it's not everything.

You see, when you begin to understand the psychology of persuasion then you can make these small microscopic tweaks to your tactics that produce massive results.

For example, through studying psychology and persuasion, I became very familiar with the concept of scarcity as an offer. 

But I also know that in order for scarcity to work, you must be authentic with it.

With this knowledge, I decided to implement an end-of-year promotion at Lead Cookie. But I did this in authentic way by "giving a reason" which is that we only offer this at the end of the year because the holidays are a slow time for us.

The results were record sales... 19 new customers and $57,000 of new revenue from this promotion.

I understood that the holidays provided an opportunity for creating an authentic scarcity, so I used that and my results skyrocketed as a result.

Learn the psychology of persuasion. It's a worthwhile skill. 

070: Working with influencers

Everyday I have people reach out and pitch me. 

They want me to promote their stuff, link to their blogs, or interview them on my podcast...

They reach out 100% cold and just pitch...
This is a terrible way to go about working with influencers. 

Instead, you need to focus on building a relationship first.

At Lead Cookie, almost 50% of our revenue has come from referral partners.
And 80% of those referral partners are past guests on my podcast.

I didn't interview them and then start getting referrals from them the next day.

Instead, I interviewed them and built up the relationship over time.
And eventually those referrals or opportunities to promote my services presented themselves.

You don't work with influencers by pitching them.
Instead, you work with influencers by becoming one yourself, and then starting with value creation. 
That is how you build a relationship with an influencer in a meaningful and impactful way. 

069: Abundance is not enough

For most entrepreneurs, we start out in this game of scarcity,.
We are just trying to pay the bills. 
We are simply trying to make ends meet.

Yet at some point, we move past that.
We start to get decent at what we are doing, and we aren't as worried about money.

But the problem is that many people stop growing and expanding here.
They get to this place of abundance and they get "comfortable".

So they stop all of the habits that accelerated them from scarcity to abundance.

They stop learning new things.
They stop taking risks.
They stop pushing themselves.

Because they simply get comfortable.

And as their lifestyle grows, they eventually find themselves in scarcity again, and slowly have to raise their level of abundance.

Well there is a different way...

Instead of waiting for scarcity to kick your butt into action...
Motivate yourself. 

Push yourself to expand, and grow every quarter.
Not for the cash in the bank.

But for the sake of expansion and growth.

When you begin to grow because you find purpose in expansion, your mindset is no longer focused on the money. It's simply focused on becoming a stronger man/woman than you were yesterday. 

And that is a path from abundance to prosperity. 

068: Align with your prospects

Whenever you enter into a sales conversation, you and your prospect are at two different ends of the spectrum. 

On one end, you know, understand and believe in your product.
On the other end, your prospect is interested, but skeptical and does not yet believe in your product.

The key of the sales and marketing process is alignment.

You need to take your prospect from interested yet skeptical, and break down their belief patterns and rebuild them.

You need to move your prospect along that spectrum so they are aligned.
That means your prospect must understand your product.
And they must believe your product will work well for them.

The problem so many people make is that they try to make a sale before they capture alignment. 

They don't stop to ask the prospect if they have any questions during a sales call.
They don't use probing questions to understand if the prospect is aligned.

And as a result, when they move in to close the deal, the prospect is not fully aligned.

If you want to increase your sales, you must get better at aligning with your prospects.
You must get your prospects to fully understand your offer AND believe it will work for them.

Once you have that alignment, the sale comes easy. 

067: Learn to market and sell

"So I am launching this new thing..." 

I hear this often from entrepreneurs, and it seems like they are constantly working on something new. 

They have their current business, but it's not good enough, so they just keep launching something new.

While there is something good about trying to launch new businesses, it can also be toxic.

You see, many entrepreneurs fall into this trap of believing that their success lies in their next big idea...

They think the reason that they haven't succeeded yet is because their current idea "Isn't the big one"

But in reality, almost any idea could be a success... if you learn to market and sell it.

You see, even a bad idea can have decent success if you market and sell it well. 

But a good idea, without your ability to market and sell it... well that is still going to be a failure.

Think of it like this.

(Your idea) X (Your ability to market and sell) = (Your results)

The quality of your idea is a multiplier of your results.
BUT your ability to market and sell is ALSO a multiplier.

So don't think that your next idea is your savior.
Your ability to market and sell is actually where you should put your focus. 

066: Increase Sales by Stacking Value

Your offer probably sucks.... That's the simple truth unless you have ever done serious training on sales and marketing.

But since you don't have the time to study sales and marketing right now, let me give you a hack.

If you want to increase sales... Stack value onto your offer.

For example, at Lead Cookie our core service is "Done-for-you Linkedin Prospecting."

And for a long time that is what I sold... until I learned to stack value onto it.

Here is what I eventually added to that offer:

  • Free access to a video training course on "How to convert Linkedin Leads to phone calls"

  • Monthly Success and Sales Coaching Calls

  • Dedicated Customer Success Manager

  • CRM to keep all of your leads organized

  • Monthly Metrics Reports

The ironic thing is that the only new thing I had to create to add this value was the video course. Other than that, everything was already included in my offer, I simply wasn't showing the value to my prospects. 

Yet, upon adding this to our offer, sales close rates increased. 

We began being perceived as the "high end" offer that we were seeking to become.

And it all began by simply stacking value onto our existing offer. 

Beyond your original offer, what else can you add to stack value? 

065: The art of storytelling

One of the first businesses I ever created was a video production company.

We shot videos and created animations, and we were pretty good at it.
But there is one thing that we lacked....

Story.

We were amazing technicians, editors and animators.
Yet our team had never studied our learned the art of storytelling.

At the time, I didn't understand this.

While we could technically create whatever we wanted, I noticed that other companies always had something different about their videos.

Their stories often made more impact, while being less technically complex.
Their stories evoked emotion, while being incredibly simple.

It wasn't until years later when I started to study the art of storytelling that I began to see this distinction,.

You see, storytelling is an art. 
It is not this concrete absolute like the technical side of production. 

It is this soft fluid thing, yet it is the essence of what makes your content connect with the audience.

A good story resonates and creates impact.
A bad story, or lack of any story structure leaves your content lacking,

Learn to tell stories, and all of your marketing will improve as a result.