Transcript of Interview with Carl Gould
Dan: Welcome to another episode of Shoulders of Titans, this is Dan Lok. And today I have the privilege of bringing you, a business growth authority; an international speaker, a best-selling author and award winning coach, a gentleman who has built 3 multi-million dollar businesses by the age of 40. Carl, welcome to the show.
Carl: Hey, thanks for having me! I really appreciate it.
Dan: Carl maybe tell us a little about your background, and how do you got into what you do today?
Carl: Thanks! Well you know, a lot of things someone happened by accident. I started my entrepreneurial career very early. I had a landscaping company, and I grew that business, sold it. Then, I started a construction company. I grew that business and sold that as well, but the business I have today and launched in 2002.
Back in 1991, I went to a Tony Robins seminar, really fell in love with personal development, and I wanted to get involved. I wanted to become a coach. Say you want to be a coach in 1991, I just learned around at that time. I worked all through the night in the 1990’s to become a coaching professional, a practitioner, but I wanted more. I want it to be my full-time business. I want in to be a company that I ran.
So, in 2002 I decided to go all in, and I launched my coaching and consulting business. Now, it’s really grown. I’ve shown others on how to become coaches and mentors. We’ve worked with tens and thousands of business at this point. So, it’s really have been a tremendous experience.
Dan: That’s interesting! How did you make that transition? Why did you make that transition? Because as an entrepreneur transitioning into a coach, what inspired you to do that?
Carl: You know, I’ve really enjoyed the aspect of helping others. In all the training that I got from Steven Covey, Ken Blanchard, Dale Carnegie’s companies, from International Association of Coaches, and all these other places. You know, you get the chance help other people and you get a chance to work with others, and it really lit me up and was my passion to help other people. You know, and help other people succeed in an area, where they could’ve succeeded otherwise, and they could have made it and they really need outside help. They needed that outside perspective, and it was just great that I was able to claim that role, and the more I did it, the more I want it.
At the same time, there has to be a business aspect to this. Our messages; yours and mine, really resonate and are very complementary because I realized that the people that I was working with were really passionate on what I do and they were looking for premium services. So, I became well known for showing you how to design premium services, and have high ticket in products and services.
Dan: Love it! I love it! I just have to ask you this question: Do you think an entrepreneur is born or made?
Carl: Good question. I think an entrepreneur is born because if someone is an entrepreneur you can’t stop them no matter what. Now, a good entrepreneur is made. Entrepreneurs usually come from 2 categories. They are either great sales people and they can sell anything. They can sell ice to penguins, and they get so good at it, and they realize that they have a business surrounding them, and they don’t know what to do about it.
So, they seek out help. Or somebody is a really good operator. They can make a great widget, but they like to focus on that widget. They get so good in making the widget, that they have the build a business around it.
Entrepreneurs I think they don’t come around often. Only 1 of 15 people are business owners. So, an entrepreneur I think, you can’t get out of them. There’s something and still in them that they have to express. Good entrepreneurs are I think are made of.
Dan: That makes a lot of sense. I think in an early age, I just found myself at “I’m just employable, so I want to be working for myself…”
Dan: “… I don’t know what else to do.”
Carl: Yea. Obviously, it goes to our business because no one else is going to put me to work.
Dan: That’s exactly it!
Carl: So, I’m going to hire myself! If you look at those statistics, 1 in 15 people owns a business but only 4% of all businesses will achieve a million dollars or more in annual revenue. So, if you think about that, a lot of people own businesses, but not a lot of people can get into a level of sustainable revenue and profit, where they can remain an entrepreneur.
Dan: Carl, let’s talk about why so many businesses fail first?
Carl: Well it’s a dirty 4 letter word, and I’m not sure we can say it because this is a podcast, and this is a family show. But the 4-letter word is “management”. Entrepreneurs are amazing studies because the reason why we have everything in our life today, is because some entrepreneur broke the rules. Right? They said, “I’m going to make this law better.” Or “I’m going to put batteries in cars, instead of motors and cars.” “We’re going to have electric cars, when I’m just going to have gas powered cars.” If you look around, either that carpet you’re walking on and the tile you’re walking on, the clothes you wear, was somebody who said, “I see a little bit better. I see a little bit different and I’m going to make a difference.”
So, by nature they are rule breakers. However, if you have any success whatsoever in business, you’re going to find out very quick that the key to success is that you could take your idea and have a repeatable experience for your client, and that usually means a repeatable and a consistent product or services. You have to crank it out every single time. It’s going to be high quality, that means systems and processing that needs to be managed so that it can happen over again.
A lot of entrepreneurs get into a business and they fall into the trap called “flying solo”. There’s one called the “Jet ski principle”. I’ll give you the both of them. To” flying solo” means “I’m a contrary. I’m going through the opposite direction.” They break the rules even they hurt themselves. So, even they end up a significant of a business, and now somebody says “Hey, we going to put some rules into place, some systems and some controls.”, and they say “No way! That’s not going to be us! We’re not going to be corporate!” Even though those systems will help them, they deny it.
Then, the “jet ski principle”, if you ever been on a jet ski or a wave runner water craft, and you take your hands off the wheels, and you get too far away from the controls, it pulls that little lever and that thing stops and it treks. Then, it just stars to circle and that doesn’t go anywhere. It’s designed for safety so it doesn’t take all fine, you see you get back on it, but doesn’t go anywhere. So, entrepreneurs, they break the rules, they take their hands of the wheel, and then their business just spins around going nowhere. Then they say “I’m a rule breaker.”, you’re a rule breaker who’s going to have a job pretty soon if you’re not careful.
Dan: Is that also why most entrepreneurs actually don’t have a business but have a job.
Dan: They built themselves a job.
Carl: Exactly! I mean the main difference between an entrepreneurial employee and an entrepreneurial business owner is risk. They’re not willing. Successful entrepreneurs are good at managing risk at a regular basis. They’re willing to take a chance and have 30, 10, 20,30 or 50 people’s livelihoods and rely on that. You have a business every night. There are families, not just one person, families that rely on that job.
Carl: Families that rely on that business doing well. Some employees are just not willing to take on that level of responsibility.
Dan: Then I think that’s why an entrepreneur, we somehow this drive, this purpose that’s pushing us to take on bigger projects and keep growing and keep impact in more people. I think it’s just, it’s not for everybody.
Carl: No, not at all! That’s why so many businesses fail. They don’t fail because the business was a bad idea or there is no market, it does because the owner quit.
Dan: Carl I’m curious. When you work with a company or corporation, when you advise them, when you first go into the business, what do you look for? What are some of those points or their average points? How do you see a business and how would you improve a business? What’s the first thing you look for?
Carl: The very first thing I look at is the product mix, and their pricing to their clientele, to see if the company is on the cutting edge or if they have gotten complacent. Almost of all cases they have gotten somewhat complacent, need a little bit of refresh and need to look at their business and clients slightly different. Because they are not necessarily giving the client exactly what they want.
So, that’s one of the first things I look at, is to see if they are just a noise out there? Or are they differentiating themselves in a way that we can leverage.
Dan: Let’s say, just the same as everybody else, maybe a little bit better, and how would you help that company? How would you help? Would you add a new product? Would you improve the product? Would maybe you tweak the perception? Like, what would you do?
Carl: Those are great examples because I might do a little bit of everything you just have said. There’s a lot of things that they’re doing really well, but they probably be repackaged and be positioned so that they meet the highest needs of the client.
So, think about this for a second, anyone who is listening do this exercise: write down one of the top 5 complaints about companies in your industry or your company and see how much you’d fit to those complaints. If you’re an auto mechanic, you work on automobiles, what are the top 5 complaints about that? If you’re a retail establishment, what are the top 5 retail establishment like yours?
Most companies don’t realize, unless you sell bucket list item, like a trip to Hawaii or your inner circle, or something that’s just something on my bucket list forever. Then what happens is, most of the prospects of your company go to the negative aspects working with you first, not the positives. But when most companies built out their plan, they do their features, their advantages, and if is a unique preposition they write down all the positives. “Oh, come with me! You’re going to make money! You’re going to grow and you’re going to have an experience.” It’s all “great”. But the problem is that where the customers right now are buying is your ability to protect them from the downside.
So, let me give you an example, a couple of years ago, there was a little upstart company called “Netflix”, and Netflix had this really cool concept. They said, “You can mail order your movie rentals and movie purchases instead of going to the store!” What were the top 5 complaints about renting a video from a video store at that time?
Dan: Because you got to make the trip!
Carl: That was actually number 1 and 2! “I going to make a trip to get it!”. “I’m going to make a trip to get it back!”
Dan: And the late fees as well!
Carl: Late fees is right on! You got it! That was another one! You run out of titles!
Dan: Oh yes. All the new movies, all gone. Yes.
Carl: They’re all gone. So, you have to come home with a 10-year-old movie, “Titanic”. You know, a 20-year-old movie. There were others like penalties and “you don’t let me buy it”, and some other things. Here’s what Netflix say, “We hear you. We understand. If you only ask for 2 things: you put your credit card on file and you just be willing to go back and forth to your mailbox. If you want to do that, then come with us. And we promise you, those top 5 complaints will never happen to you if you’re our customer.” And the person who likes videos says, “Oh my God! You just took away the 5 things that I hate about this process. I don’t even know If your service is good, but I’m going to give you a try.” So, what happens to blockbuster?
Dan: They come so quickly! So quickly!
Carl: And they happened fast, right? This is why I look at the positioning of the company- they’re probably not addressing the complaints of their customers well enough. In this day in age, if you can address those complains, you’ll beat the competition, you will eliminate them and that’s one thing I look at right away.
Zappos did the same thing. The bid knocked on buying shoes, apparel and clothing online was “what if it doesn’t fit? What do I do? I can’t just try it on with somebody else.” So, Zappos said, “Number 1, if you’re a 10 or 11, I’ll send you both, and the shipping is free! Whatever you keep, I’ll charged it for and you said everything back. That’s all!”
So, they were like, “Really? You’ll just send me 2 or 3 pairs of shoes, I’ll pick what I want and I’ll just put the rest inside the box, send it back and free shipping? That’s crazy!” They said, “Go for it! Just do it!” So, that eliminated the negative side of buying clothes online and Zappos just took them out! Hassle free!
Carl: So, they became a phenomenal! I can go down the list, I can go on. I’m not going to buy your car because the mail is a pain in the a**. I can’t leave my car here overnight. So now that they say, “I think it’s Hyundai is doing an outwork key. I forgot what you want.” They said, “No. You need service? We can drop a car off, at your place wherever it is, home or office. We’ll take your car in service and we’ll bring it back.”
That’s it! Enterprise! Rent-a-car will take you up. You don’t come fine to find a rental car. You do that, you will eliminate the competition. That’s why I go first, because you usually have an immediate area of impact that a company can distance themselves from the competition and move toward those premium services.
Dan: That’s so powerful! I never looked at it this way. I always teach like sell to the paint, but this is a different way of looking at it. I think it’s profound, very profound. I taking those myself right here, so it’s awesome! So maybe, Carl, walk us through maybe to the 7 stages of building a business as well. I think that would be very helpful.
Carl: Cool. So, I wrote a book, this is the methodology I created in the 90’s actually for myself, and then I started training coaches on it. I trained since about 7000 business coaches worldwide.
Carl: Parts of this methodology- one of the things I learned in all years of my coaching was that there are 7 very distinct steps that every successful business goes through. And I was hoping it was 2, 3 or 4, or every time I broke it down it was 7, so here they are. You can’t skip a stage. You must maximize each one and go to the next one. No stage is better than the other. There’s only one assumption that I made: Every business owner out there wants to have at least one pain client. If that assumption is correct, then this growth, this success cycle is for you.
Stage 1 is what we call “strategic planning”- and that’s when you get your ideas out of your head and on the paper, and you have a compelling and differentiating strategic plan. So that, when you show it to, you know your team, they get excited. When you show it to another team, they get excited and they want to work with you.
Then you go to stage 2; stage 2 is what we call “Specialty”. In the “specialty” stage means that an expert is born. But this is a stage of self-employment candidly. This is where if you stop, the business stops. However, you are a great operator, you’re a surgeon, a consultant, a lawyer, an accountant, a speaker, a writer, an actor, a musical band. – the rolling stones or stage 2 of business, U2 is a stage 2 business, right? If you love what you do, you have to be an expert in your field so that you can charge the most. So, a lot of my client is stage 2 business that are looking to building that expertise or just kill it in their niche.
Now, we have stage 3: Synergy. Imagine you’ve got this great and compelling strategic plan, you become known as an expert in your field. Now, you’re like very busy and you can’t meet the demand. So, you say, “I need to hire a team. I need people to help me do more of the work, so I can multiply myself.” So, synergy is where you begin to build your implementation team. They need to be on board, all-for-one, one-for-all and totally passionate about your mission, vision, values and purpose. That’s why stage 1 is important.
Once you get the team, then you want to move on with stage 4- Systems Stage. It means that you are starting to create a replica process and operations. So that you can crank out your product and service on a regular basis, with you being there and reinventing the wheel every single time.
If you accomplish well enough, then you go to stage 5- “Sustainability”. It is really important because your systems are not only have taken over but you start to become known for something other than your product or service. You think of McDonald;s for a second. It’s been a while since they were accused at having good food, but they are the greatest real estate story in history, number 1. Number 2, they are known for fast, convenient and consistent good tasting food all around the world. Starbucks is not an award-winning coffee blend, it’s an award-winning experience. The cup of coffee cost a dollar, but the experience they charge another 3 bucks.
Dan: That’s right! That’s good margin right there!
Carl: You could charge a lot for the intangibles. As a matter of fact, your sustainable because people now know you for something other than your product or your service- the experience, the consistency, the reliability, the access, or the exclusivity; all of a sudden, you could start charging that premium, you can start franchising, licensing, having multiple locations or product lines.
You could start to license out your name. Stage 5 is the arena of the franchise. Even if it’s not legally franchised, it’s like “I can do Star Wars 1 to 9”, “I can do Rocky 1 through 5 “. Rocky is a movie about a boxer but what is known for- motivation, the underdog. Everybody walks out through a Rocky movie totally pumped up, because of their ability to do that. So, that’s the experience you get from that.
So, you’re now sustainable, a franchise. Like Steven Covey once said, “Always begin with the ended mind.” So, Stage 6 and stage 7 are your exit strategy stages. Stage 6 is what we call “Sale ability.”- means you are maximizing the sale ability of your company, whether you sell or not. A stage 6 company for example, as I go through the definition, is like Uber, Amazon; where they have become such a force in the market place, that they’re acquiring partners, funding, and financing. This is the stage where you become investor friendly and credit worthy.
Dan: And they might go public as, well right?
Carl: Yes, that’s a good example. Exit doesn’t always mean that the owner always leaves the company. It just means that they exit what they are now, and they take on another form later. So, you could be a probably held company, you go public. You could be an independently owned corporation, you become a franchise. The method of business ownership you have now has morphed- you have changed.
If you watch Shark Tank, every one of those businesses is looking to become stage 6. Looking it and take on Shark as a partner, and they’re going to change whatever they were then to what they are now, and they’re going to grow moving forward. So, that’s their hope to become stage 6, that is a lot like stage 3.
In stage 3, where building on the implementation team, but on stage 6 what we’re building is a management team. Am I building a management team? It allows the owner not have to be there in the day to day operations, each and every day. Then there’s stage 7, the succession stage and this is when a legacy business is born. It’s a legacy business because you get to fire employee #1, the first employee of the business, and you replace you with a management team. Remember the management team we hired in stage 6? When you replace yourself with this management team or the CEO, the value of the business rises, when you announce the change.
So, think about it, when Steve Jobs got sick in 2003 and they found that he had cancer, the value of the Apple Stock went down. For the next 8 years, 2003 up to the time he died, every time he has health that could turn for the worst, the stock went down because they said, “Can Apple survive without Steve Jobs?” However, when Bill Gates left from the day-to-day running of Microsoft, and he put a professional CEO in his place, the value of the stock went up that day because they said, “Oh great! We have a professional management company right now, manager in place that’s going to help the business, they’re could actually be run better.”
So, that could do it to the 7 stages. From the stage 2 on, you just determine what kind of business you want to be. Do want to be self-employed? That’s cool, you’ll be stage 2. Want to be a partnership like a real estate office, a law firm, or accounting firm? Great, you’re stage 3. Want to be a network market company? Stage 3. You want to be like Apple? You’re on stage 4. You want to be a franchise? Like the Virgin companies, Starbucks, Subway? You’re stage 5. You want to be a company that continuously morphs and changes, goes public and takes on partners? Then, you’re Uber, Amazon, Zappos, or Tesla. You want to be stage 7? Then you’re like Microsoft, Walmart or a company where a multi generation family run business, like Ford. You don’t have to be big, that’s just the dynamics of the company.
Dan: That’s a very powerful framework! It’s also amazing to say most entrepreneurs, they don’t even have stage 1. They’ll have evasion. They don’t know what they want and they’ll don’t know who they serve. They’ll don’t know their clients that well. They’ll don’t know the problems they’ll solving, and they just have an idea. Wow.
Carl: Right. Like I said, you said what’s the first thing I look at and I look at their stage. I say “Alright, compelling and inspiring mission, vision, values, purpose and a business, milestones, sales and marketing plan.”, “Do you have a way to differentiate yourself in the market because if you don’t, you’re going to work all full hard with not a lot reward.”
Dan: I’m also curious Carl, what’s your perspective? How do you view sales? And how do you view marketing?
Carl: Marketing, from my standpoint, from a very practical level, anything that generates the lead. Marketing tells a story, your PR, your advertising and promotional adverse. Marketing is your blog and anything that is outbound content or messaging that you put out there. Ultimately, it is designed to build your reputation, image and leave to leads and referrals. I find sales to be interesting because there’s so much confusion about it.
I think people are dying to buy. I think they want to buy so badly. You don’t have to sell them, use them to get what they ask for and get out of the way! Let them buy! Every time I go to the mall, I’m like, “Oh that looks good! “I don’t see anyone hiding their eyes from what’s in the stores. I see people trying to figure out how they buy it. If you can make your product or services easy to buy, I think you’re going to have more clientele.
You can make it easy to buy when you understand the 5 complaints, when you understand what is really on the mind of the client, and you give them exactly what they want and help them participate in the purchase. Let them design their experience.
Dan: I will also say, is also to get out of our own ego and get into the client’s ego. That forget of what we want, and what we think is best. Just, like it sounds so simple, ask what they want, and give it to them.
Carl: The market tells you what they want. You don’t tell the market what they are. The market tells you what you are. In any business, if you’re trying to sell a product or service, if it’s still not selling you’re going to change, and people will vote for their dollars. If I have a product that I’m marketing and nobody’s buying it, it comes down in 2 things: traffic and offer. Do I have the right traffic? Am I making the right offer?
If I have the right traffic; meaning I’m going after the people that I want to serve and my offer is compelling enough to them that they will say to me,” I’ll take a chance. I’ll buy you’re product. Get it for the first time.”, or “I like it. I’ll buy it the second time., then you’re going to have a successful business.
I went to a Paul McCartney concert last year, and I’ve been a Beatles fan for a long time! A wings fan and a Paul McCartney fan. The Beatles have not written an original song in 47 years. Yet, people still come and listen to Beatles’ songs. He has the right traffic and the right offer. If he went to a tour and said, “I am no longer playing the Beatles anymore. And I’m not going to play Wings’ songs, I’m only going to play my new album.” Nobody would show up. He wouldn’t get the traffic because he doesn’t have the right offer, but as soon as he says, “Hey I’m going to play the oldies!”, he can fill a 70,000-seat stadium.
Dan: Wow! Yes, yes. And I’m curious because we both work with coaches and consultants, how do you view the coaching industry now versus, they say 10 years ago?
Carl: It’s awesome! 12 years ago, to be exact, I participated in the global study: “How many coaches are there worldwide?” The study concluded that there were 50,000 coaches worldwide and about 30,000 of them have credentials. Like we’re serious professional, practitioners and took some path to licensing, accreditation or certification. Today, if you go to LinkedIn alone, and you type in the word “coach”, last time I’ve checked you have 1.2 Million responses
Carl: Half of that group are internal coaches working for a company; half of that are external coaches working in their own business. I love that the coaching industry has evolved the way it has. You could see some of the signs. When an industry starts to mature, it’s starts the segment, meaning all these niches evolve. I’m a life coach, a business coach, an executive coach, a results coach; I’m a weight loss coach; I’m a stop smoking coach; I’m a stop procrastination coach; I’m a relationship coach- and all these niches started to develop, which is awesome. It is maturing.
Coaches themselves though, they struggle on the business side because many if them are artists, or leader of heart-lead servants. So, they want to serve people so badly, that they’ll often do it to their own determine- meaning they don’t charge with their worth or they won’t close the sale, or just keep coaching for free. They won’t never be asked to be paid, and they’ll forget the business side of this. Well, that’s a shame because you can serve a lot of people if your business is profitable and sustainable. You can reach for people. But if you’re afraid to ask the order and you don’t charge what your worth, and so you can’t live in your coaching, you’ll be back in doing your other job. The expression that I use is “Most coaches take a day job to feed their coaching addiction”.
Dan: Oh, wow. Well that’s actually very true. They’re very true.
Carl: I’m sure you see this too. They don’t grow their practices, so they’re sustainable. I think the average part time coach, meaning any coach working 40 hours a week, makes $23,000.00 a year.
Carl: The average full time coach I think makes a $78,000.00 a year, which means in most parts of the country, if you’re the primary breadwinner in your family you can’t live on that. You can’t have a family, you can’t have a home on that. In some parts of the country you can live and own a home on $6,000 to $7,000 a month, but not a lot.
Carl: Not in the major cities, not in where I or you live, it’s not feasible. That’s a shame too because they’re so many people out there doing such amazing work, but if they’re not making enough money to survive, they can’t serve the people they’re trying to help.
Dan: Very true, and I see sometimes they have this gift, they have this expertise, they want to get out there in the market place. But I see also coaches, they also have problems or maybe ways, like self-promotions. They feel like, “Well I’m just me. I’m just a life coach or a stuff smoking coach. And somehow, they have this negative association ways, like self-promotions and marketing or sales. This is very interesting.
Carl: When I became a full-time speaker 12 years ago, one of the first people I talk to about speaking said, “Ge used to talk about yourself, because if you’re not going to promote yourself, no one else will.” Every time I do something, I feel like I’m writing an ad for E- Harmony. “I like to coach, here’s what I like to coach, this is what I do.” Like “I like long walks on the beach and I read poetry and I eat salad.” It feels like you’re writing a classified ad constantly about yourself, and that is true and there’s no way around it.
When I give talks about this, I always ask people, “Is Richard Branson rich?” Most people say, “Yes, he’s really rich.” And I say, “How do you know?” And they don’t have a great answer. So finally, they’ll say, “I’ve read it in a magazine.” I said, “Yeah, who told that magazine that Richard Branson was rich?” Then, they finally come to the conclusion that, “Richard did.” I said “That’s right!” I assume the guy is rich too. I’ve even read his financials. I don’t know what he owns. He owns Necker Island; no, he doesn’t; his business probably does; his trust probably does. But if we could really get granular, you and I could probably worth more than them personally, because he probably has everything in trust.
Let’s set that aside, none of us has seen his financials. We’re going based on what he told us.
Carl: He has told the entire world for 30 years!
Carl: “I’m rich!” He said it long and loud enough, and most of us just accepted it as the truth.
Dan: Yes, and there is another lesson there that it is which brand should save us, but why is it still promoting themselves and getting PR and being intervene, that’s one you do.
Carl: That’s what you do and he has found that it’s the path to any new product launch and he knew. I read one of his last books. I’m a fan of Richard Branson by the way.
Dan: Me too. 100%.
Carl: One of his last books I read was “Richard Branson Business Gone Bare”, and his sitting on his bare feet. The whole first chapter of the book explains exactly how to pitch his company to try to make him a part, because for those who don’t know, The Virgin Companies is like a shark tank. It’s just a private equity farm, it’s like an investment company. They invest in your company and they think it’s worthwhile, and they put the Virgin label on. They done that with 300 companies or so.
It’s fascinating, he does promotion because it also helps him generate leads. So, he wrote the entire first chapter, “Hey guys, enough of you have asked so I thought I would just tell you. If you want to pitch us to become a partner, here’s how we do it.: You write your proposal; you send it in; you meet with the committee it goes through this. Then we meet again, narrow down.; Then we make our final decision; Come back to you; put money in the company, we become a minority investor. Let’s say you’re 15% to 35% investment, then we help you go out and grow the business. Then, I say out there in the forefront, “Keep the Virgin name in front of people so every time they see “Virgin” and they see your company, it’ll help you!”
Dan: Of course and they get up big piece of the action, a big chunk of the pie.
Carl: He’s got the best in interest, because he owns 15% to 35% virtually every business has the Virgin name on it. He’s been like almost your personal salesman, in a way.
Dan: Yes, yes. And in the business world that’s a pretty revolutionary model. I mean you look at the licensing, this and that. But actually, think about it, it also gave way to the music industry, right? But in glitch of pricing just took it into a new level of just the way that he does it. And it’s funny I think I was watching a video in Youtube, and the guy was asking Richard, “Hey Richard, do you know the difference between like gross sales and net sales?” And he was explaining it, “Oh yeah I think I don’t have that right.” So, they’ve been running the business for all, but he still doesn’t know the difference, which I think I find It hilarious.
Carl: It’s true! I remember reading a story about Henry Ford. He was on trial on something. Somebody kept asking all this question about his operation, and he didn’t know the answers. He stops at an attorney and says, “Hey listen, you’re asking me all this questions about my operations”, and goes “I don’t know the answers to these questions. I have somebody who’s in charge in that very part of business. If you want to bring them up here and ask him about these things, I’ll bring him up so you could answer these questions. But you keep asking me these questions about day to day operations, I’m not involved of that; that’s not my job.” But I’ll get somebody, I hire people to do that for me.” So, I’m sure that Branson said the same thing.
Dan: Carl, maybe let’s bring it into something maybe like one is to listen is to one is to walk away with some steps by steps. Let’s say if our listeners, they are a coach or a consultant or they are small business owner, what are some steps that they could take after this interview that they could take and may grow the business.
Carl: Well, first things first, if you’re a business owner, look at your stage 1 strategic planning: mission, vision, values and purpose. And ask yourself the question: “On the scale of 1 to 10, 1 being “I totally like everybody else. There’s no way to tore me apart.”, and 10 “I totally differentiate myself. I understand what my ideal client thinks.” Now, your ideal client, if you could answer these 2 questions, you could charge a premium service, and you could charge it for the rest of your business life.
Here are the 2 questions: (1) What keeps my ideal client profile up at night where he‘s at; What do they worry about? What are they anxious or nervous about? (2) What does my ideal client get yelled for; feel guilty about; or get grief about when they arrive at home at the end of day?
Number 1, what keeps him at night. Number 2, what they get yelled at for when they come home? – those are the 2 things that are on your clients’ mind all day long; every minute of every day. Your product and service doesn’t even have to solve that. However, if through them being your customer and solve that for them; for example, what keeps my client up where he is: in their 40s and their kids are teenagers- that means that their kids are trying in to college. I may not be a tutoring company but what if I make available the top tutors in the country that their expertise is in test taking, and getting in to college.
I’ve solved one of those problems for my ideal client. I’ll say, “Listen, if you work with me, I’m going to get you introductions or access to or flat out free sessions with an expert with this field.”- that’s number 1. Number 2, what they get yelled at the end of the work day? Whatever that answer is: too much work time, too many home projects that were not completed. You name it! We never get away!
If I could solve that, meaning “You work with me, I’m going to get you VIP Access to a great vacation for you and your love one at date night; or access to this restaurant you always wanted to go to.; or one of my clients also does long car and home repair, and you’re going to pay them, but where going to set it up. They’re going to come and take care these home projects around the house, and we’re going to facilitate it for you.
Wow! All of a sudden, if you’d fix the most 2 things that are top of my mind, if you can do that, you have a customer for life, you have a friend for life, and they’re going to want to stay and engage with you, and they’ll pay your premium. If you could answer those 2 questions, that’s going to give you a good head start immediately- great immediate impact in your business.
Dan: I love it! I couldn’t agree more, because having that client focuses “client centric model”, that’s everything. Really at the end of the day we get paid, to solve other people’s problems, that’s what we do. And not just push our agenda and what we want to do. So, for sure, I mean I couldn’t agree more.
Carl, let me ask you with this question, if you could travel back to, kind of maybe day 1 of your stardom, and have a 5 or 10-minute conversation with your self- your former self, to communicate any lessons that you’ve acquired with intention of saving your self-mistakes and headaches, what would you tell yourself?
Carl: If I was just giving myself advice and guidance, I would’ve told myself to think bigger. I though big as far as what could I do at my job, the business as I would have. But I don’t know I thought big in a global scale like I do now.
So, if I was giving myself advice, I would have said, “Think global immediately, think big immediately.” If I was giving myself a business advice, when I started certifying coaches in the early 2000s, the program I had was very revolutionary. That would have been the time to franchise my company. If I was thinking along hose lines that would have been the way to go then. Not now, it’s not the same environment. But that would have been smart.
Dan: And those lessons kind of go hand and hand. Think bigger and may be and also think about the business model that we’re in.
Carl: In the beginning, I would have said to myself, “Don’t just disrupt your niche, disrupt the industry.” I disrupted my niches, whatever little niche is at that time. Now that I think back, I would have disrupted the entire industry.
Dan: And for our listeners of course, If you want to get an order copy of your book “The Seven Stages of Small Business Success”, what’s the best place to do that?
Carl: Well you could go to the website of the same name. “http://the7stagesofsmallbusinesssuccess.com/”
Carl: Not only could they go and get the copy of the book, but you could also get a free business analysis. Let say, it’s a 2 hour coaching session.
Carl: We will not only analysis your business, we will also give you 5 grow strategies for your business. We typically charge $1,500.00 for this, but anyone who’s listening to your program, we’ll do it at no cost. So, if they want to come anywhere on my sites, they just say, “Hey business analysis”, or just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We’ll make sure that any one of your listeners gets that free consultation.
Dan: Awesome! I’ll make sure that I’ll Include all the links and domain names in the show notes, so you can just click on them and access with that easily. Any final thoughts to show with our listeners?
Carl: This has been great, Dan. I really appreciate it. I love the topic, of course. Here’s what I encourage you to consider: “Your clients, your customers will pay more for the intangible value over the utility of your product or service.”
So, think about it for a second, a Timex watch costs a $100, a Rolex costs $5,000.00 and above. The utility of both is the same- they both tell you the time and the date, nothing more. But the intangibles that comes with the Rolex, you will pay more a Timex hundred bucks. If you deduct the $100.00 from the value of a Rolex, you have a $4,900.00 left. What are you getting for the other $4,900.00? As you’re going through the list: status, prestige, brand- it’s all intangible.
You go to Starbucks, you pay $1 for the coffee, and $3 for the experience. So find out what your ideal client is passionate about, and give them all the things they’re passionate about. Make it an experience because that’s not only the way you differentiate yourself, it’s also the way they would pay more for the premium.
Dan: That’s awesome! I love it! Carl, thank you so much for inspiring us today with your amazing story, your wisdom and sharing your thoughts. Thank you so much. I appreciate it!
Carl: Anytime! Thanks so much for having me Dan, it’s been a blast!
Dan: Thank you!