Joey Coleman is an entrepreneur, an incredible speaker, and founder of Design Symphony and the creator of The First 100 Days Methodology. Joey transforms businesses by helping them turn customers into raving loyal fans in the first 100 days.
We’ll be discussing how the quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you’re willing to have in your life. Joey discusses how customer attention is the absolutely most overlooked aspect of business. He shares his mission of changing the way that businesses are structured with a much larger emphasis on retention rather than acquisition.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Hear Joey’s perspective on accepting friend requests and followers on social media is currently evolving.
- Understand why Joey is a firm believer in the message of improving customer experience.
- Find out more about the evolution of how Joey started out and what brought him along.
- Hear about Joey’s first pseudo entrepreneurial venture, starting a branding agency.
- Learn why support for an entrepreneur from his inner circle of family and friends is vital.
- Find out why it’s important for entrepreneurs to maintain a healthy balanced life.
- Understand how you have the choice to make a better life for yourself.
- Hear why you have to look at the level of risk and uncertainty you are willing to tolerate.
- Find out what have been some of Joey’s biggest mistakes and struggles he’s had to face.
- Learn how to analyze situations and know when it’s time to explore something else.
- Understand what it means to set and manage expectations.
- Hear who has had the most profound impact on Joey’s life.
- Joey shares with us more on The Methodology of the First 100 Days.
- Find out why it’s so important to nurture your existing customers.
- Understand some of the fundamental structural flaws in the typical corporate set up.
- How can small business owners or solo entrepreneurs implement Joey’s methodologies.
- Hear about the eight phases that a customer goes through.
- Understand how everything is an opportunity for personal connection.
- Learn how to start practicing your ideas in your day to day life.
- Find out why it’s important to give thanks in the market place.
- Hear why it’s the little things that really matter.
- Learn why you need to start focusing on what’s working rather than what’s not
- Understand why you need to see the lesson in the challenges.
- Joey tells us about exciting projects happening in the future.
- Find out a bit more about Joey’s upcoming book that will be available in 2018.
- And much more!
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Joey Coleman — http://joeycoleman.com/
Joey on Twitter — https://twitter.com/thejoeycoleman
Email Joey – firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media Marketing World – http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmworld/
Michael Stelzner and Phil Mershon – http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/
Philip McKernan – http://philipmckernan.com/
James Altucher – https://jamesaltucher.com
Tucker Max- http://bookinabox.com/
Jay Baer – http://www.jaybaer.com/
Sara Stibitz – https://sarastibitz.com
Ryan Holiday – https://ryanholiday.net/
Clay Hebert – http://clayhebert.com/
“JC: Imagine if this month, you did business with every customer you’ve ever done business with, how big would this month be?”
[0:00:16.1] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Fail on Podcast where we explore the hardships and obstacles today’s industry leaders face on their journey to the top of their fields, through careful insight and thoughtful conversation. By embracing failure, we’ll show you how to build momentum without being consumed by the result.
Now please welcome your host, Rob Nunnery.
[0:00:41.1] RN: Hello and welcome to the show that believes you are destined for more and that failing your way to an inspired life is the only way to get there. Today, we’re sitting down with Joey Coleman, he’s an entrepreneur, an incredible speaker and founder of Design Symphony and the creator of The First Hundred Days Methodology. Joey transforms businesses by helping them turn customers into raving loyal fans in the first 100 days.
We’ll be discussing how the quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you’re willing to have in your life. He discusses how customer attention is the absolutely most overlooked aspect of business and he shares his mission of changing the way that businesses are structured with a much larger emphases on retention rather than acquisition.
But first, if you’d like to stay up to date on all fail on podcast interviews and key takeaways from each guest, simply go to failon.com and sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page. That’s failon.com.
[0:01:49.0] RN: Hey there and welcome to the Fail on Podcast, I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to chat with today’s guest. Joey Coleman. Joey is the founder of Design Symphony, a customer experience branding firm that helps organizations create breath taking interactions for their customers. In short, Joey helps companies keep their customers and he does it through a methodology called The First Hundred Days which we’ll dig into in just a bit.
Joey, thanks for joining us today and welcome to the fail on podcast.
[0:02:14.7] JC: It is my pleasure Rob, I really appreciate you having me on the show.
[0:02:18.0] RN: It’s my pleasure. So, just for a little context, we’re sitting in Joey’s suite at the Grand Hyatt in San Diego because Joey’s in town for a key note at Social Media Marketing World correct?
[0:02:29.2] JC: Yes, so fantastic event put on by Michael Stelzner and Phil Mershon and just wrapped that up late last night with the final party that I think ended around two AM and it was a great event, about 4,000 people from 55 countries I think when it was all said and done or something like that. I mean, it was insane.
[0:02:49.0] RN: It’s crazy how big it’s got.
[0:02:50.0] JC: Incredible, yeah. Great group of people, very welcoming, especially for the newbie who is the keynote and yet has 67 followers on twitter, or at least at the time of the key note. They were very kind, one of the guys said, you were trending.
I was like wow, I feel like I’ve arrived so it was very nice, they were very gracious to let a complete novice into the ranks.
[0:03:12.7] RN: Yeah, that’s funny, I was going to mention that because we were talking about that before we got on the line is you typically, with your social media, you’re pretty protective and you really only have people that you’re connected with that you have actually met in person, that you’ve had a conversation with that you know.
[0:03:25.9] JC: Correct, yeah, that’s been my philosophy with Facebook and LinkedIn from day one. I only accepted friend request of people that I had actually met in person and where that was really great with LinkedIn, especially in the beginning. You thought sometimes people would go on LinkedIn and they’d say, I want to get connected to Bob, do you know Bob?
As I noticed, as the years went on, people would actually say in their message to me about getting an introduction, do you know him or is it something that you just accepted the request. I’m like, no, of course I know them. Why would I accept a request from somebody that I didn’t know?
I must admit, my thinking on that is evolving, I don’t know that I would categorize my original position as a fail but it’s certainly has evolved into getting ready here in the very short timeframe and by that I mean, within the next week to reevaluate what my criteria is for accepting a friend request on certainly LinkedIn, followers on twitter, absolutely and Instagram of which twitter and Instagram I’ve almost been entirely on for almost a whole week now.
[0:04:32.7] RN: Sure.
[0:04:32.8] JC: It will be interesting to see.
[0:04:35.1] RN: So, are you looking to grow your social media platform for promotion for future projects?
[0:04:40.6] JC: You know, I think the thing that I’ve realized is it’s certainly that’s an added benefit but that’s not the purpose for the drive. The purpose of the drive is, I’m a big believer in the message of we need to treat our customers better and I get the pleasure of traveling all over the world, doing keynotes, leading workshops, teaching people how to do a better job of retaining their customers and delivering remarkable experiences to them.
If I’m excited about standing on stage in front of an audience and sharing that message with people that I’ve never met before. Why wouldn’t I be excited about increasing the scope of that message by delivering it via social media?
I think that’s more the driving factor than any. I do not envision ever being the guy who is promoting stuff in tweets all the time and…
[0:05:33.9] RN: Getting sponsored.
[0:05:34.6] JC: Yeah. I mean, maybe because I’m open to whatever comes in the future but that is certainly not the intention. Right now, it’s all about how can I share this message and methodology more broadly with a hope of getting more people to change the way they run their businesses which is my end goal because I believe, if we improve the customer experience in your business, your competitors then have to improve to keep up with you.
And then an entire industry improves, well when your industry improves, people who do business with you that also do business in other industries start to expect that level of experience. All boats rise together and that’s really the life mission if you will as it relates to this message and getting it out to as many people as possible.
[0:06:24.4] RN: That’s cool. I definitely want to dig in to the First Hundred Days Methodology. Just to give the audience a little bit more context about you and your background, you have a really crazy diverse background.
[0:06:36.6] JC: Eclectic, one might say?
[0:06:38.8] RN: One might say, yes. You know, all the way from working with the CIA, the secret service, to being an attorney, to working corporate America, to teaching college classes, the list goes on.
[0:06:49.4] JC: It’s been a crazy ride.
[0:06:51.1] RN: Tell us about that evolution, how did it start and what brought you along?
[0:06:54.0] JC: Sure, if it makes sense, I’ll give you a little bit of a chronology and then we can dive in to the aspect that seems interesting. Growing up, I grew up in a family of politicians and lawyers and had this idea that I wanted to study government and international relations. That was my major in under grad. After under grad, I went immediately to law school which my father was a criminal defense lawyer.
I always knew I wanted to go law school, didn’t know I always wanted to practice law. But felt there were some real benefits to the education in that way of thinking. Went straight to law school in Washington DC while I was there, ended up working with the Secret Service, The White House and the CIA, incredible experiences. Got to work on some really fun and fascinating issues as a young man in my early 20’s.
Being exposed and in front of things that people would go a whole lifetime and never experience. I was absolutely incredible. After that, I graduated from law school and immediately went to work for basically a for profit think tank, consulting business where I worked in their sales and marketing division, convincing fortune 500 senior execs to join our membership.
After that, went back to Iowa where I grew up, practiced law with my dad for about five years doing criminal defense. Court room litigation work. Hometown where I grew up, yeah, a little town in Northwestern Iowa called Fort Dodge. But we traveled from there, our practice, we have clients all over the country and would kind of go where folks found themselves in predicaments with law enforcement. We’ll say that.
Then after that, moved to Massachusetts, spent a semester up there teaching, doing executive education courses while I was there. Got a job offer to come work at a promotional products company that moved me back to DC, worked there very briefly before leaving that business and going on to start my own marketing and branding business.
Where I focused predominantly on logo creation and websites and things like that. In doing that, I realized that businesses can differentiate on price and that’s a race to the bottom. They try to differentiate on quality and thanks to the total quality movement in the 80’s, everybody expects high quality, they try to differentiate on their online presence but now we live in a world where everybody expects 24/7, 365 access.
What else could you differentiate on? I realized, the last great differentiator is the experience that your customers have. It is difficult if not impossible for your competitors to mimic, it creates a deep emotional connection which I think in an increasingly digital world, that is something that human beings are craving more today than any point in human history.
It’s really fun to work on the experience side because it’s about, how can I make this customer feel something that is unexpected, that touches them deeply and if I really do my job right is so unique, is so remarkable that they want to tell all their friends about it. Whether that be in person or on social media or whatever methods of communication they might use.
It just kind of evolved and throughout this entire process. People often ask me, this is such a desperate career, how does one go from working in the White House to defending alleged criminals, to teaching executive education programs, to designing logos, to speaking on stages around the world and it’s like, to me, and of course hindsight is always 20/20.
The thread that connects all of this is pretty obvious and it’s… I have, and am, and will be a student of the human condition for my entire life. Why do people do the things they do, why do they believe the things that they believe? Why do they feel the way they feel? And what can we do to acknowledge those observations, to investigate the plan to those observations.
Then to use that information that we gleam, to personalize our communications and our interactions with them going forward.
[0:11:03.8] RN: I love it. Just for a bit more context, when did you start that branding agency? Was that your first foray in the kind of starting your own business?
[0:11:12.1] JC: Yeah, I would say to, I mean, I worked my dad, he has his own law practice so that that was kind of my first pseudo entrepreneurial venture but yeah, when I started the branding business in January of 2002.
It’s at this point 15 plus years that we’ve been at it, hard to believe. That was really the first I would say, entrepreneurial venture per se.
[0:11:36.6] RN: A lot of people I’ve talked to have… when they got to that point of wanting to start kind of their own thing, it was because they came from a place of pain almost because they have been doing a lot of things that weren’t in alignment with what they want to do and they knew they had a greater potential. Did you have that same kind of thing or was it more of just the natural progression for you?
[0:11:57.9] JC: For me, it felt a little more like the natural progression. I don’t mean to imply that I haven’t experienced pain in kind of those moments of what do I do. I experienced those all the time and even to this day.
But, at the time, a little bit more back story without getting too crazy, lest I walk myself into a corner here. I went to work for a promotional products company. Let’s just say was doing things that weren’t in alignment with either my values or my interpretation of the law.
I said to them, I’m out, I’m going to go and I had just started this job two weeks before that. Living in Washington DC, having signed lease, a one year lease on an apartment, befitting of the six figure salary I was earning with this really grand vision of what I was going to do and now I’m unemployed because I quit, not because I was fired.
I have no income coming in and I’m in Washington Dc which at the time I was not a member of the bar. I can’t really easily go back to practicing law. I was not a member of the bar there, to practice law there, I was a member of the bar in Iowa and so it was kind of this state of wait, I haven’t been practicing law for about six to eight months now. I’m not sure that I want to go back to doing it if I want to go back to doing it, I want to go back to Iowa.
Now I’m in DC with 11 and a half month’s left on a lease and needing to pay rent. I did two things. Number one, I did some legal temp work which is white collar version of a sweat shop where you’re paid a good rate for the first 40 to 80 hours, you get time and a half over 80 hours, you get double time.
My goal was to log a hundred billable hours a week, I was working seven days a week trying to make as much money as possible to cover my expenses. At the same time, I had these ideas of how businesses should be run and what they should do for their marketing and branding.
I thought, well why don’t I put my money where my mouth is and start my own? I did, and what would happen is, I’d go to the law firm, I’d work in the morning, I’d do a lunch meeting with a perspective client, convince them to work together, go back to the firm, work till about midnight, go home, work till about 4 AM on the client work on the design side.
Sleep from four to six and start the day over again.
[0:14:27.3] RN: Two hours a night?
[0:14:29.1] JC: yeah, for months on end. It was beating me up terribly but it was an ends to a means and I knew that I was trying to build something. Six months later, the design business had grown enough to where I could quit the legal work and do the design work full time and I haven’t looked back.
[0:14:54.4] RN: That’s interesting. I have this conversation a lot as well. The way you seem to have approached that whole getting into business was doing a kind of in your off hours right?
[0:15:03.7] JC: Right.
[0:15:04.8] RN: It’s a much more practical approach, you’re going to cover…
[0:15:07.1] JC: Side hustle if you will. Totally.
[0:15:09.2] RN: You cover your bills with your day job and then your off hours you’re going to bust it and hustle to get something else started.
[0:15:09.2] JC: Totally.
[0:15:16.8] RN: I don’t know if it’s just me, there’s some other people, there’s two kind of schools of thought of this right? One is just say screw it, burn the ships, let’s just go all in right? Which is not very practical for most people.
[0:15:27.8] JC: For a lot of people, absolutely.
[0:15:30.2] RN: It’s kind of the way I got into entrepreneurship. With that said, I think everybody’s wired differently and it’s definitely not the right thing to do. Fortunately for me, my wife is very supportive at the time, she had a ton of belief in me, still does which I’m very grateful for right?
[0:15:47.9] JC: That’s incredible, yeah. I’m married to a similar woman that if I may, not to take this off track. Support of the entrepreneur from their loved ones, whether that be their partner or their parents or their children or whoever is kind of in that most inner circle nucleus of people is so vital.
I mean, there are so many entrepreneurs that I know that would be nothing if it were not for their spouse and that encouragement and that support is tremendous and to your point, I think at the time this was going on for me, I was single, I was dating somebody. I wasn’t married, I didn’t have children and so the criteria for what I was willing to do and subject myself to were very different than what I’d be willing to do today.
Sometimes I think your passion is so burning and your motivation is so great that yeah, burn the ships, go all in, go crazy is the way to do it. Other times, slow and steady wins the race, building it on the side and I personally don’t think there’s a right or a wrong.
What I will say though, and a little bit because I know, end up thinking of it almost as like hustle porn that is in the business world today. There has to be an ebb and flow, the body is not designed and this is something I’ve come to in recent years. The body is not designed to function on two hours of sleep at night for weeks and months on end. It’s just not.
When you’re in your 20’s, you can rock that and make that happen, maybe even into your 30’s. Now that I’m fast approaching my mid-40’s, it’s destructive and it’s just not good and I think more entrepreneurs need to be addressing that and saying, you know, sleep is good, eating healthy is good. It is not a sign of weakness, I mean, I used to say all the time, I’ll sleep when I’m dead you know?
When I first started my business and even later years, I mean, it’s priced recently is four years ago, I worked in a co-working space in DC that was founded by my wife and there were a couple of other entrepreneurs that were night owls like me and we used to joke at the end of the night, who’s going to get the gold medal and that was the person who left last.
It just fed on each other. I mean, I tracked the number of all-nighters I pulled in a year. My peak, it was 38.
[0:18:15.5] RN: That’s crazy.
[0:18:17.0] JC: It’s not sustainable. You think it’s sustainable but it’s not. And going back to that conversation of spouses, it took my now wife then, girlfriend/fiancée to say, you think that you’re the same person after an all-nighter but you're not. I couldn’t see it when we’re in it, we can’t see it.
I think it’s very difficult to see it and that’s why I think that supportive level in that inner circle and the close people, whether it’s a roommate or whoever. Whoever is good at calling you on your shit you know? I think it’s really important for entrepreneurs to have someone like that in their life.
[0:18:57.1] RN: What would you say to somebody, a listener sitting at home and it’s like, they have a job,, nine to five to support their family but it’s definitely not what they want to do. Maybe they have a loved one that’s not so supportive because they know that they need to take care of the family?
[0:19:12.2] JC: Sure.
[0:19:12.7] RN: What kind of advice would you give to that person?
[0:19:14.5] JC: I think you have to be really honest and have the conversation with your spouse, married couples I think often hopefully figure this out that there are times where you need to sit down with your partner and say look. We have to have a conversation and it’s a conversation that neither of us is excited to have but if we don’t have this conversation today, the end result is going to be horrific for us, for our family.
I think that… I totally respect and I totally understand that people have to make the choices that work for them. The entrepreneurial lifestyle and starting your own venture is a lonely road, it’s a chaotic road, it is a road ripe with uncertainty and fear inducing doubt.
That being said, I believe, if you are doing something that you hate, that you’re miserable at, that you know isn’t the reason you were put on this planet, after a certain amount of time and I’ll define, that is probably six months of doing that.
If you’re still doing it, my empathy for you remains but my sympathy for you wanes. Because at some point, we have to take responsibility for our own lives. People often, I find myself in conversations especially with entrepreneurs and folks that are thinking about becoming entrepreneurs that have families.
Saying, well my kids, I have to provide for my kids. If I’m not making this six figure job and I go and we suddenly have less money. My kids will suffer. Okay, take that out, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years. What are you teaching your children? You know, I have two little boys, a three and a half year old and a 16 month old. I do my best to pretty regularly keep in mind, what am I teaching them. Not only by what I say but by what I do.
If you are working in a soul sucking, unfulfilling job that you know is not your life’s work and you're doing it because of the paycheck and the lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to, that is your choice, we live in a world where freewill and choice is the greatest gift that humanity has.
However, if you fast forward out 30 years and your son or your daughter was in that job and you’re the kind of person that would give them the advice of no, don’t do that, don’t make that mistake. They’re not… I think the likelihood of them listening to you and believing you at that time is infinitesimally small because they have decades of watching you.
If anytime somebody says, well I’m doing it for my kids. I like to raise my hand and call BS because it’s like no, because what you're saying is that your kid’s safety and security and life is more important than yours. And we can have a whole discussion about whether that’s a good choice or not. However, don’t say that that’s your motivation when you want them to live a better life than you did and you’re not making the choices you would want them to make.
[0:22:25.5] RN: Let’s say, hypothetical world right? You’re in that position, you have a… let’s say you’re still working at a law firm right? You're an attorney. You're making good money but you know in your heart that’s not why you’re here. You're here to do bigger things, to make a bigger impact.
But same situation, you’ve got your two children, you got your wife who sounds very supportive which is great.
[0:22:45.6] JC: Yeah, she’s incredibly supportive.
[0:22:47.3] RN: What actions would you take to change your circumstance?
[0:22:50.5] JC: I think you need to look at what is the level of risk and uncertainty you are willing to tolerate.
[0:23:00.6] RN: You and your family right?
[0:23:01.6] JC: Yeah, well, first you. Because it’s really easy and quick to say, well no. My spouse needs this much money, you haven’t seen the credit card bills and the shopping trips. Men do this in articular and it’s completely ridiculous. Don’t push it on to your spouse when in reality, you have a fear of the uncertainty.
I would say, the first step is to have a really honest conversation with yourself about what you’re willing to do. Tony Robins has a great saying that I heard him say many times and it’s really stuck with me and the quality of your life is directly proportional to the amount of uncertainty you are willing to have in your life.
The more uncertainty you’re willing to have in your life, the greater the quality of your life. Have that conversation and figure out, for some people, it’s about, I need a paycheck every two weeks, I just need that certainty, for some people it’s about the amount of that paycheck. For some people it’s about how many months of our burn rate do we have in the bank account?
How much do we have saved up for the future or for our kid’s education, whatever. Look at the metrics that matter to you, get really clear on them, Then have a conversation with your spouse. What I think most people, most of your listeners would often find is that the metrics that matter to you are different than the metrics that matter to your significant other.
Most people never talk about that. And most people make ridiculous presumptions and assumptions about their spouse’s number or need for certainty or security without realizing that often, it’s lower than what they think it is.
When you have those conversations, suddenly, it’s like wait a second. This is a lot more doable than I thought. When it comes to kids, I think it depends on their age, there’s no need for me to have a conversation with my three and a half year old about our monthly finances.
It’s inappropriate. Now, that being said, teaching him about money and letting him to learn about this things, absolutely. But I’m not going to sit down with them and say well daddy is currently making X thousands a month and if he starts his own business, it might be why, what do you think about that?
I think what kids really want in my experience and this is whopping two kids experience. I’m one of seven kids so I’m a student of the philosophy that says, we need to respect children more than we do and give them more credit than we do. The money doesn’t matter as much to them as it does to us.
We’re the parents and the adults are the ones that have equated love with money, not the child. The child is a malleable sponge that is responsive to the inputs that are coming into their life. Most kids, and we see this at the holidays. This gets proven time and time again. The holidays or a birthday party with little kid, and they open all the presents and then what do they do? They play with the wrapping paper and the boxes right?
This is universal, this is global, this is the human condition so when people are saying, well you don’t understand my kids, like they have a quality of life, they’ve grown accustomed to. I’d push back on that assumption.
[0:26:23.2] RN: Along your journey, what have been the biggest struggles? Maybe you could call them failures or mistakes along the way that have really led you down your path to being where you are?
[0:26:33.9] JC: Sure, I think there’s so many. It’s interesting and I know the theme of the show is about failure. Failure’s an interesting word for me and I don’t mean to approach this for as a Symantec game. One of the things I was thinking in advance of our conversation is how I would define failure?
I would define failure is when you do everything in your power to achieve an outcome and it doesn’t happen. From a state of despondence, give up. The distinction there for me is that it’s okay to give up and quit, that’s something, somebody asked recently, what’s a belief that you used to have that you don’t have anymore?
I grew up in a family as I mentioned with seven kids and one of the Coleman family rules if you will was never quit. I totally understand why my parents and my father in particular instilled that philosophy. As I’ve grown up, I’ve come to challenge that philosophy a little. I do think there are times when quitting is the right choice.
I don’t think you should quit without being very conscious of the decision you’re making without trying to double down, without recognizing if, am I quitting because this isn’t happening as quickly as I want or to the degree I want or with the level of effort that I want?
Or am I quitting because I’ve done a rational and emotional analysis of the situation and said, this is not serving my best interest anymore.
[0:28:12.0] RN: Can you give some actual examples of when you think it would be appropriate to say that to say okay, I’ve analyzed the situation, this isn’t working, maybe we should explore something else?
[0:28:23.2] JC: Yeah, well let’s talk about a context that I think comes out for a lot of parents and I think it’s in many ways where for many of us, this is conditioned. You decide to play on a sports team in junior high or high school. You get into it a little bit and you don’t like it as much as you did.
I want to quit and often, parents are like no, you can’t quit. To me, that’s fine for that season. It doesn’t mean you need to play football next year right? I think one of the things we need to look at as human beings is, when we give our word or give our commitment, what is the length for the commitment?
I’m in a mastermind group and one of the things we talk about early on is what is the commitment to the group? I said, I’ll be real clear. My initial commitment is one year, I will stay in the group without leaving, guaranteed for one year, we meet once a quarter.
At the end of that year, I will reevaluate. Now, sitting here today, my gut instinct is I will re-up. I don’t want you to think I’m one and done, like I have no plans to exit. Let’s be very clear on what the commitment is. I think that comes up with jobs a lot. People take a job and they’re like, go God, this isn’t what I thought it would be but I can’t quit, I gave my word that I would take this job.
Well, you gave your word that you would take the job but the company or the employer you're working for gave their word that the job would be X and now it’s Y.
[0:29:42.8] RN: That’s a good point.
[0:29:44.4] JC: You’re keeping your word with someone who doesn’t keep their word. I don’t think you just walk in and peace out, I’m out of here, I quit today, that’s it. I think then having a conversation with your employer and saying hey look, by the way, this is what we talked about and this is what’s happening.
There’s a delta between the two, let’s talk about that. It ties actually to a thing that I think is a major problem with businesses today which is setting and managing expectations. I think a lot of people go into things without really fully thinking them through and it’s a completely different dynamic when you go in and you say okay, my commitment is to do X.
Then you stick with that and you don’t quit but you build in milestones where you can stop and evaluate the decisions and choices you’ve made and then decide to move forward or not depending on your evaluation.
[0:30:33.4] RN: Got it, that’s good. Just kind of along the lines of impact in your life. If you had to just transition a little bit.
[0:30:41.8] JC: Sure.
[0:30:42.3] RN: If you had to name a single person , maybe a couple of people that have had the most profound impact on your life, who would they be and what did you learn from them?
[0:30:52.7] JC: My gosh, there’s so many. I don’t know that I’ve met a human being that hasn’t had an impact on my life. I try to live by a philosophy that everyone has something to give and everyone has something to teach and I try to go in to my interactions with my fellow humans open and responsive to what those teachings might be.
When you ask the question, a couple that come to mind immediately, my wife Beretta. Incredible human being, she’s been an entrepreneur longer than I have, is unconditionally loving, unconditionally supportive is the most generous, caring, selfless human being I have ever met.
I am graced by her presence on a daily basis. Profound impact. She’s my wife, she’s my partner, she’s my best friend, she is my confidante, she is a beyond compare human being.
My parents were tremendously loving and caring and supportive. Each in their own ways. I mean, my mom was more, I will say that the vision of femininity that is nurturing and caring and protecting and supporting. My father skewed much more masculine with the get out there and get it done, we don’t quit but that combination, the inner woven nature of their combined philosophies on parenting as well as their chosen approaches to parenting that they collectively developed over 40 plus years now, across seven children was incredible.
When I started the business and you know, keep in mind, I had been a lawyer which is following in my father’s footsteps. When I left the practice of law and told him I was going to move, he said, “Well that’s great, sounds wonderful.”
[0:32:55.7] RN: that’s impressive.
[0:32:56.4] JC: My god, it was amazing. There was no, you really need to stay here, there was no, you're wasting your life away, any of the stuff we see in the movies, you know, that traditional thing. It was “Great, awesome and by the way, if you get there and it doesn’t work, there’s always a place back here if you want to come back.”
“That age old theory you can never go home again. Nope, not really. Here you can.” I was like wow, really powerful and supportive and then when I started the business, you know, almost a year later, similar thing. It was, “How are you doing? Do you need some help with rent? Do you need some help with your car payment?” Things like that.
Being generous enough to give me financial support where I needed but also letting me figure it out on my own. Not just saying well, I’ll cover all your bills going forward, it was more of a, “You know what? I’ll help you if you need it…”
[0:33:48.9] RN: Safety net.
[0:33:49.9] JC: Yeah, there’s safety net there but kind of letting me leap and fly and I think that was a tremendous gift. Yeah, those are three, dad, mom and my wife that come to mind but countless. We have a lot of common friends. You could name any one of those people and I could tell you dozens of ways they have impacted my life.
[0:34:11.8] RN: From many of the people I’ve talked to, you seem to have a really… I don’t know what the right word is but kind of heartfelt deep connection with other human beings. Is that something that you’ve had to cultivate over the years or is that something that you feel like was instilled from a young age through your parents?
How have you developed that?
[0:34:28.7] JC: Yeah, well, it’s a really interesting question, it is my belief that it’s been there all along with each passing day I listen to it and trust it more. There certainly been periods of time to my life where I didn’t listen to it and I didn’t honor it and the more I do, the more I experience magical moments of deep energetic human connection that I feel blessed to be a part of.
That I personally believe are available to all of us if we’re willing to… for lack of a better way of putting it, crack our hearts open and let the world in.
[0:35:14.2] RN: That’s powerful. I know we’re hopping around a little bit but I did want to get back to your mission today while you’re on this earth of… the methodology of the first hundred days.
[0:35:24.5] JC: Sure.
[0:35:26.5] RN: I would love to hear how basically that was created, how you came up with it, what it means to you and what you hope to do for the world?
[0:35:34.6] JC: Sure, you know what’s interesting? I believe that this time around, this life, part of my mission, part of my job is to be a teacher and at this particular moment, the thing that I am trying to teach is businesses to remember why they started the business in the first place.
In most situations I think, people start businesses to solve a problem and to care for a certain set of people. To provide them with a product or a service to make their lives easier, more convenient, faster, more luxurious, whatever it may be.
[0:36:18.3] RN: Is that what you see for most business owners? Because on the other flip side of that, maybe this is the Seneca is, I see a lot of people starting businesses for almost the opposite reasons which is obviously not good right? But for more of their own self-interest, more of solving their own problems in terms of having a better lifestyle or more money.
[0:36:36.8] JC: Sure. I think that absolutely happens but a business doesn’t get off the ground and running if it’s self-serving.
[0:36:48.0] RN: Totally.
[0:36:49.0] JC: That may be a genesis for having the intestinal fortitude to actually pull the trigger and start but very quickly, the mark up place will see through that, sometimes faster than others, sometimes it gets into it a while and you're like, seriously, how is this still going?
You know, I think pretty quickly, the market place sees through that. But I do think many people, when they start and you get that first customer, many you love them and you cherish them and you’re thankful for them and it’s the first check and you're excited and then you get another one and another one.
Eventually, you reach a point where they’ve become a number and it’s become a task and a duty with a little D, not a duty with a capital D mission. I think that’s when businesses start to fall apart. And that’s… you know, you ask the question about the first hundred days, that’s the research I’ve done and the study and the exploring I’ve done over the last decade and have come to realize that the typical business spends all this time, energy and effort acquiring new clients.
In the chase, what can we do to get them fill the funnel, acquire, get them to convert and become clients. Then, they stop paying attention. The customer becomes a number, the projects get handed off to someone who wasn’t involved in any of the sales conversations, the amount of time, energy and effort spent decreases dramatically and as a result, those customers feel abandoned.
In the typical business, regardless of industry, regardless of where you’re located in the world, regardless of whether you’re product or service, regardless of how long you’ve been in business. The typical business loses somewhere between 20 and 70% of their customers in the first hundred days of the relationship.
Those numbers are staggering, no one is talking about this in the market place. Companies are hemorrhaging and no one discusses it.
[0:38:48.3] RN: But all you hear about now a days, especially at some of these conferences like Traffic and Conversions, Social Media Marketing World, it’s all about customer acquisition right? It’s legion, marketing funnels, how do we acquire more customers and there’s such little conversation around customer attention and actually making it an amazing experience for the customer.
[0:39:07.0] JC: Absolutely.
[0:39:08.2] RN: I think it’s a very valiant project.
[0:39:11.8] JC: I appreciate that. What’s interesting you know, you go on Amazon and you search sales books and marketing books and if you combine those two numbers, there’s over a million titles. If you search customer retention, customer success, customer experience, post-sale behaviors, you combine all of those words, it’s about 30,000.
[0:39:36.9] RN: That’s unreal.
[0:39:38.2] JC: That alone should be an indicator of the huge disparity that exists in the market place, at least as it relates to Amazon, which I look to Amazon as kind of, you know, where is the education based? What’s out there? Now, shifting going to the typical business and you had the typical business take their budget, their annual budget, Say I want to list out all the line items by category.
Well, usually, number one is salaries for their employees. Number tow is often fixed cost like the office space and the equipment and number three is marketing and sales. Retention, usually doesn’t even make the list, it’s such a negligible number, it doesn’t even make the list or if it does, it is 10, 20, 30 lines down on the budget. If that.
[0:40:30.0] RN: Why do you think this is? Because outside of it being one, the right thing to do is creating an amazing experience for the customer, two, it’s purely the economics right? You’ve already acquired that customer, why would you not nurture that… that’s where the money is being made is on that existing customer.
[0:40:46.7] JC: Totally, I think a couple of reasons. I think it’s not as sexy or there’s a… let me rephrase that, there is the belief that it is not as sexy. Most people think that dating is more exciting, more interesting, more enthralling than marriage. That’s the analogy.
The courting, the acquiring, the filling the funnel, that’s all the dating, that’s the chase, that’s the exciting piece. When you get on the other side of them saying yes and entering into a committed relationship, the same tricks that you did before don’t work as well and there’s an expectation that the relationship then goes to a deeper level.
Which requires more empathy, more connection, more honesty and I think most businesses aren’t as excited about that transition. Additionally I think the very structure of business is designed to do this. And the typical business, the highest compensated people are either the senior management team or the sales team right?
Great. It’s about one out of every thousand companies I meet that the sales team is incentivized on retention.
[0:42:01.8] RN: That’s crazy isn’t it?
[0:42:03.3] JC: Just stop and think about that, we vote with our dollars and the dollars of the company are voting for the sales team. Now let’s go to the customer account management or the call center or the retention teams. In a typical business they are the lowest paid employees. They do not have direct access to the senior management team, they are often hourly, they are not incentivized on retention and yet these are the people that are responsible for keeping the life blood of the company pumping.
[0:42:33.7] RN: They’re the front lines, they’re the communication.
[0:42:35.8] JC: They’re the communication, they are the heart and soul of the business. They’re the ones that are in place to help the customer achieve the result for which they made the purchase and yet the typical business neither honors them nor respects them nor gives them a seat at the table to share their perspective and their insights. I think there’s some fundamental structural flaws in the typical corporate set up that perpetuate this focus on acquisition to the detriment and exclusion of retention.
[0:43:10.4] RN: How would you change that model in terms of just corporate business structure?
[0:43:15.3] JC: Sure, I think there’s a couple of ways. Number one, we need to change the structure. Sales people needs to be incentivized on retention. We need to reduce and sorry sales people that might be listening, we need to reduce the initial payout or commission that they get for landing the client and put a big piece on if the client is still there six months later.
[0:43:34.0] RN: What if they’re not the ones servicing the client after acquisition?
[0:43:36.7] JC: It doesn’t matter because here’s the deal, they should be setting the expectation properly that the client is able to know in advance how they’re going to be treated and if the account management team truly is not doing their job which is a glorious escape goat for most sales people who have never done the account management job. It’s really easy to point to the other side and say they don’t know what the hell they’re doing when you have never done it.
Number one I would look at the structures of compensation. Number two, I would look at the hierarchical structures within the organization and give the retention and customer experience people a seat at the table at the executive table. I would have them involved with the conversation. I would stop siloing marketing from sales from customer experience. I’ll put them all in the same roof in the same room seated in three’s.
A sales person doesn’t sit next to another sales person and the sales person sits next to a marketer and an experience manager and that becomes physically the interactions that they are having in the space. Third, I would come in and I would make the customer experience the primary philosophy of the business. It requires I think a philosophical shift as to why we are in business, what our priorities are and how do we make sure that everyone in the company knows those.
You know a typical company thinks nothing of sending a sales person do a sales training but they push back like crazy about sending a call center rep to an experience training. Is there any wonder we have issues, right? So I think it needs to be a message that comes from the top and from the bottom. You need to hire the right people and you need to make damn well sure that the senior management is all in the same page and if somebody is not on the same page, that the customer experience is the primary priority of the organization, you need to kick them to the curb.
You need to give them a chance to try to learn and get up to speed but I see so many companies that are fully aware of the cancer that is growing inside their business. They refuse to get treatment or have an operation to get rid of it. It blows my mind. Lastly and I realize that this is a long answer but if we are looking to really change it, I think all of these things need to happen. Lastly, it is impossible I believe for your employees to deliver a truly remarkable experience if they have never had a truly remarkable experience.
CEO’s often fly first class, they get car service, they eat in the nicest restaurants, they stay in the finest hotels. Frontline account managers don’t. You can’t tell your employees to deliver a Ritz Carlton experience if they have never been to the Ritz Carlton let alone stayed at the Ritz Carlton. So I think what senior management needs to do is find out ways to create remarkable experiences for the employees to get them context for their remarkable experience you’re asking them to deliver to their customers.
[0:46:45.7] RN: That’s a good point, you can’t really deliver magic if you have never experienced magic.
[0:46:48.6] JC: Totally and to be really clear for folks that are listening because I can imagine some of the objections now. “Well Joey that’s fine and dandy but that’s expensive. How would I ever do that and what that be like?” I’ve known a couple of CEO’s over the years who go to these conferences and it’s crazy like Hollywood. You show up for the Oscars and you get a bag full of goodies and you get the newest iPhone and that celebrity already had four of the newest iPhones.
I’ve seen some really creative CEO’s do this where they gather the gifts that they are given and that they have received and then they have a party at the office where they put all those gifts in the board room and they let the most junior level employees come in and they reward them for a job well done hitting that month’s numbers or doing whatever they are doing and they say, “Guess what? We have a room full of gifts, go ahead and pick one”.
[0:47:43.1] RN: It costs nothing extra.
[0:47:44.6] JC: It’s costs nothing extra, that senior executive wasn’t going to do anything other than give that away anyway and now you are plowing it back into the employees. Additionally the typical business, the HR department will tell you that it is a magnitude more expensive to hire more employees than to keep our existing employees. It’s the same model that applies to customers. Pull some of that money that you would be keeping and plow it into retention efforts.
Treat your employees, something as simple as, “You know what? We are going to set it up so that if you have to work late tonight, we’re going to let you Uber home instead of take a cab home or Lift home” and give them that experience. If the employees are flying into a conference, use the senior executive’s miles which there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of them to upgrade all the employees to first class and surprise them. Surprise and delight, surprise and delight so anyway.
[0:48:41.4] RN: No that’s awesome, for maybe a listener that’s thinking about getting into business where they have a really small business with a team of less than 10 or even less than five or maybe they’re a solo entrepreneur, how can they implement your methodology into their business?
[0:48:55.9] JC: What’s interesting is I think most businesses have less than 10 employees. We actually looked at the statistics and it’s tough because if you read business magazines and you’re watching those people like, “Oh this small business with 280 employees” and I’m like, “No that is not a small business”. A small business is when your team can be fed by a pizza. That’s a small business. When you move to two pizzas, then you’re still a small business but you are growing.
If we’re talking about you need to build the dominos in your office, okay you’re not a small business anymore. I understand that that’s how the government defines small business in many ways but come on, enough already. A couple of things, I think number one is making the mental shift that experience matters and focusing on that. I think number two is getting a clear assessment of what the current experience is so mapping out the customer journey from the moment they become a customer through their 100 day anniversary what are all the things that are happening?
I talk in my keynotes about the eight phases that a customer goes through. In the beginning they assess whether they want to do business with you and then on day one, they admit that they have a problem. They raise their hand and either sign on the dotted line or they give you some money and say, “I want your product. I want your service”.
They then move to the stage of a firm, this is the stage of buyer’s remorse where they’re wondering, “The decision that I just made was it the right decision?” most companies do nothing in the affirm stage. Nothing, huge opportunity to reinforce their decision, make sure they know that they did make a good choice and that you are going to take great care of them. The next phase is the phase that most companies actually pay a little bit of attention to which is activate the beginning of the relationship.
When you have a kickoff meeting or that first deliverable and they open the box with the product in it. The reason why I named this activate is I want you to feel a sense of energy and emotion when they hit that stage where “this is what it’s going to be like to do business with us” this is the shock and awe moment. After that, we move into the stage where most businesses lose their customers which is the acclimate stage.
You have to hold their hand, you have to help them navigate your business practice. A lot of people will push back and say, “Well Joey we explained that in the proposal and in the contract and they signed it” they didn’t read it just like you don’t read that stuff that you signed. You go and you rent a car in the airport and they put that little screen up, you don’t read all the things that are there. You just sign it and click “accept” you know?
So for all these people that are like, “Oh my customers if only they would read what I give them” why don’t you start doing that in your life, get really good at it and then I’ll come back to a conversation about whether we should judge your customers for not doing it. So acclimating is all about holding their hand and guiding them through the process. Then we come to the phase of accomplish. Accomplish is when they achieve the result for which they purchased your product or service.
It is amazing how few companies pay attention to this. Why did they agree to work with you? They agreed to work with you to let’s say a web development company because they wanted a new website. You don’t get to say that they’ve achieved their goal until the site launches. So every day that that site launches delayed or last longer or does a partial half assed launched and isn’t fully ready, you don’t get to claim that you’ve hit accomplishment, right?
After that, we move to the two phases that are in many ways the Holy Grail: Adopt, when the customer basically says, “I’m all in with you. I’m not going anywhere else. I will be a loyal customer for life” and then Advocate, when they start referring like crazy. Too many businesses try to jump to advocate way, way, way too early. We’ve all been on those websites where you sign up for a product or service and then they take you to this squeeze page that says:
“If you like our product surely you have two or three friends. Provide us their names and emails” that’s like no, absolutely not. I haven’t achieved the result, I haven’t even gotten a taste of what’s like to work with you guys and you want me to refer you? Get out of town, not going to happen. So I think it’s important to step people through the phases and recognize while everyone has the potential to go through all eight phases unless you are consciously designing your onboarding system, they’re not going to.
If you want to get to the point where you have more referrals than you can handle, well then you’ve got to treat them well all the way along through the process not just hope that the stars will align and magically they will introduce you to their rolodex of friends, not going to happen.
[0:53:39.0] RN: Right, so I know you mentioned earlier that was it 20 to 70% fall off in the first 100 days, what should that number be at?
[0:53:46.3] JC: That’s interesting, you know “should” is a powerful word. The best companies get that number to a single digit percentage. Getting it to zero is extremely difficult. It can be done but it can’t usually be done quickly. It requires a pretty big investment. I have a guy who saw one of my keynotes on YouTube, he’s going to be featured on the book that I am writing and was inspired by this first 100 days message and implemented it with his business. He did that, I think at the time we are recording this was about 10 months ago, prior to that they were losing about five of their newly acquired customers per month.
[0:54:24.6] RN: Gosh is it still like a reoccurring model?
[0:54:26.5] JC: Yeah, it was a reoccurring retention model and they were losing about five. It’s a larger engagement model so they’ve hired dollar ticket items if you will but they were losing about five a month. Since they’ve implemented this about 10 months ago they haven’t lost a single customer.
[0:54:40.5] RN: That’s crazy.
[0:54:42.1] JC: Now carry that out to the impact on the bottom line. In a typical business, a 5% increase in customer retention results in a 25 to 100% increase in profits. They’ve taken their customer retention to a 100% so I fully expect that their annual profits will be well over a 100% greater this year. Those are game changers so you can start to see results pretty quickly, like I said, adopt the philosophy, map them through and you’re off to the races.
I wouldn’t worry about getting to zero percent defection or a 100% retention but getting it under the double digit, the thing that people often ask me though, “Joey these numbers are scary”. I say, “You know what’s more scary? The typical business owner has no idea what their number is” that’s the terrifying piece of this conversation right? They have no idea, they have never thought about this and don’t get bogged down in what your defection rate in the first 100 days.
Look at it monthly, look at it annually, whatever metrics you have in your business evaluate it and I think you’ll be surprised, shocked and sad in how significant it is. I often say to hammer home the importance of focusing on this, imagine if this month you did business with every customer you’ve ever done business with. How big would this month be? It would be huge, in most businesses it’s three times, five times, 10 times the size of their business if they were still doing business with everyone. That’s what’s available.
[0:56:29.5] RN: And even putting a little bit of thought will drastically increase your retention right?
[0:56:35.0] JC: It’s tremendous. I mean the bar for a customer experience on the planet is lying on the ground. You don’t even have to jump over it, you barely have to step over it. You can shuffle over it compared to your competitors and compared to what people are experienced to. So the ability to surprise and delight customers is quite easy and we live in a world where figuring out ways to do that is even easier.
Frankly like we mentioned I was in the Social Media Marketing World doing the key note this week, we live in a world where a significant percentage of customers are sharing intimate personal details and preferences about themselves online in an open public forum. Let’s say you have a meeting with a customer, would it be that much of an inconvenience for you in the 15 minutes before the meeting to go on their LinkedIn profile, go on their Facebook profile, go on Twitter, go on Snapchat whatever they are existing and presenting themselves and just see what their last 20 tweets or post or updates were?
And then find a way to bring those up in the conversation, you know? I know you were recently with some good friends of ours down in the Bahamas because I spent looking five minutes looking at your Facebook profile before our conversation. So now I can talk very specifically and when you say, “Oh I had a chance to see our mutual friend Philip McKernan” it’s like great, yeah I knew that because I saw the pictures and so now we’re able to connect at a deeper level.
Other than what often happens which is, “Well how have things been?” “Oh they’ve been pretty good” “Okay great. Let’s talk about our project” it’s like come on, that’s not even asking. Stop pretending that you give a damn and asking if you are not willing to listen to the answer. If you have been working with a client for a while, you should know their spouse’s name, their kid’s names, their friends, their hobbies, their interest, if they have a favorite sports team, if they have a favorite thing that they collect.
Whatever it maybe, that’s the human connection. They’re not as excited about your business as you are, let’s just acknowledge that. Your customers begin doing business with you as a means to achieve a result they have to either relieve a pain point or to make something that they desire achievable. They’re not eating, breathing and sleeping at all day every day like you are. They’re not as excited but there are things that they are as excited about. Find those and make the conversation about those.
[0:59:03.8] RN: Just caring right? Just giving a damn.
[0:59:06.0] JC: Totally yeah, a hundred percent. As they say this isn’t rocket surgery. This isn’t surprising novel, unique, earth shattering, revolutionary philosophy.
[0:59:19.8] RN: Don’t downplay what you are doing here.
[0:59:21.1] JC: It’s not, no and you know it’s really important for me that that message get out because I want people to realize you have this in you. You are hardwired as a human being to care about your fellow human beings. You just have to shut that down for so long in so many ways that when you get into business you think, “Oh well that’s not appropriate”. It drives me crazy when people go, “Oh business isn’t personal” bullshit. “ Everything is personal.
Everything is an opportunity for personal connection. Everything is an opportunity to have a meaningful moment with a fellow human being and if you are not taking advantage of that, here’s the deal you don’t have to but man you’re missing out. There is so much incredible life experience and interaction and connection that is available to you if you are willing to just open up and make a little of that happen.
[1:00:19.4] RN: And like we said, just by caring it could be the biggest differentiator in your entire market right?
[1:00:26.0] JC: A hundred percent.
[1:00:27.8] RN: So for somebody listening that doesn’t necessarily have a business but they’re hearing all of this and they’re like, “This makes a ton of sense”, how can they apply that to even thinking about what kind of business to start or how to implement because it could be a differentiator, right? They just come at it with this approach, they could be on a trajectory right away.
[1:00:47.6] JC: Absolutely. So the first thing I would do is I would start practicing it in your day to day life immediately even before you start the business. So a lot of people who are thinking about starting a business or who are currently working another job, well create incredible experiences in the day job that you have. By the way, eventually your boss will notice that. You’ll probably end up getting promotions and more responsibility and raises and things like that even in your day job and you’ll build this muscle.
You’ll build this ability then when you start your business, you hit the ground running from day one. You’ve already seen how this works, you’ve got the chance to test some things out because often, not always, but often people start a business in the general industry that they’ve been working in. Not always but often and so practice your ideas what somebody else has done. Don’t worry, some people are like, “Well I don’t want to give away all my good ideas”.
You don’t have a limit on good ideas. We are talking about our mutual friend, James Altucher earlier. You know your belief that you only have a limited number of good ideas is 100% your belief, it is not the reality and so try new things. Try experimenting. Another thing I would highly encourage people to do and I tried to do this whenever I get the opportunity and regrettably it’s not very often, if you’re out in the market place, you’re out doing things and you experience remarkable service.
Or remarkable experience, thank the person profusely. Call over their boss. The number of times I’ve been in this situation where a waiter or a waitress or a sales clerk has done something that’s fantastic is, “Is your manager here?” and they immediately go white. They’re like, “Uh yes?” because usually people just ask that question to complain. I’d say, “Would you mind bring him or her over?” and they go and they get them and they come back and invariably they try to then leave.
Because then they know it’s going to be bad and I’m like, “No, no, no please. If you’ll honor me, please stay” and then I turn and I look at the manager straight in the eye and I say, “This must be the most fantastic employee you have. The experience I just had was off the charts. I do this for a living, this is incredible”. Suzy, Bill, whatever the name is, “Did this, did this” and I am very specific in the praise. “Kudos to you for having a member of your team have this skills and I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful job that he or she did”.
And then I turn the focus back to the person and I’m like, “This was incredible” and I heap some praise on them and then I go. Why are we so stingy with our compliments? Why are we so stingy with thanking people for the service they provide to us and the care they give us? They felt that the care and the service that they were giving was even acknowledged or recognized, do we think they’d give more?
[1:03:46.7] RN: Right, you know how it’s so rate that they hear these things that it’s something that sticks with them forever. That could be just a confidence booster within themselves that catapults them to do great things.
[1:04:00.2] JC: You could change their life.
[1:04:01.5] RN: A 100%.
[1:04:02.2] JC: You could change their life with a single conversation that is less than a minute in duration. I fly a ton so I’m on airplanes about two, two and a half weeks out of the month and gate agents, God love them, they are just some of the most poorly treated by their customers people. Nobody ever complains to the pilot that the flight is late, right? The people complain to the gate agent. I’ve been in multiple situations way too many to count.
Where our flight has been cancelled and there’s a long line of people where I finally get to the front of the line into the hurried gate agent who has just been abused for minutes or hours or days when you’ve had a whole airline shut down or something like that and I’ll always start the conversation with, “Can I just begin by saying I observed you while I was coming up in the line, you are doing an incredible job. I know that this must be miserable right now”.
“And you have a smile on your face, you’re doing your best to process people quickly and as somebody who flies your airline a lot, I really appreciate that” Rob, the number of times that that agent has said, “Oh thank you so much, what was your name? Oh Mr. Coleman, yeah we’ve got you rebooked in the next available flight and as it turns out there is a seat in first class that I hope you’ll enjoy”.
[1:05:28.3] RN: And obviously that’s not the motivation, it’s just the byproduct, yeah.
[1:05:30.5] JC: No that is not my motivation, it’s just a byproduct and to me the reason I share that story is because this is how rare we give thanks in the market place and when we do it people are blown away. It’s the little things. I mean we’re here in a suite in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego and I was speaking at the event and I checked in and as part of my speaking, they’re kind enough to arrange my room. I check in downstairs and the gal checking me in says:
“I am actually going to give you two sets of room keys” and I was like, “Oh yeah, that’s exactly what I am choosing” “Sorry Mr. Coleman, two sets of room keys” and I was like, “Oh okay, is there one that you use to access the floor and then one for your room?” and she said, “No your room has multiple doors” so we’re doing this recording in a suite that no kidding has six doors, six. This was extremely gracious of my host from Social Media Marketing World.
It was not expected and now I have this amazing suite that when I have the opportunity to do an in person podcast with you I can say, “Come to my suite and we can sit in the room and it’s spacious and we’ve got room where we can do the recording” 20 minutes after I have arrived, a plate arrives with fruit and cheese and breads and some chocolate covered strawberries and “Hey, welcome to the event. Thank you so much” and I want to be very clear.
The part of the conversation that I am about to go on right now is meant to illustrate the impact. I have to believe that the total cost to the organizers for sending me those snacks and for having me be in a suite is an incredibly small, a drop in the ocean of the overall budget of this event. A drop of it, 4,000 people at this event. This is a spit in the ocean and yet here we are on a podcast talking about it and you’d bet I’d be talking about it in future speeches. It’s the little things. We all think it’s the big things but it’s not the big things, it’s the very little things that matter.
[1:07:43.2] RN: How can people start being aware of those things?
[1:07:46.2] JC: Oh great question, come to a place of gratitude. We have a mutual friend, UJ Ramdas and Alex Ikonn who created this thing called The Five Minute Journal, they launched it in an event I was at about they’re coming up on four years and The Five Minute Journal which I highly recommend you go get, you can find it online, just search “five minute journal” go grab one, has absolutely changed my life because every morning I wake up and the premise of The Five Minute Journal is you spend about three minutes writing in the morning and about two minutes writing at night.
And the first question in the journal asked and I am paraphrasing here, “What are you thankful for?” and I personally have a philosophy of not writing the same thing two days in a row and it forces me to appreciate all the wonderful magic and blessings and amazing things that I experienced all day every day. If you cultivate an attitude of gratitude not only does your life become better but I believe that the universe says, “Oh you’re appreciating the things I am putting in front of you? Let me put some more”.
And it just stacks and stacks and stacks and I think that’s the secret. You just become more aware of these things. There are things to be thankful for and appreciative off and amazing moments that you’re having thousands if not hundreds of thousands of them every single day but we’re on autopilot.
[1:09:23.2] RN: It’s funny because I do the exact same of The Five Minute Journal and also the same practice of not putting the same thing which forces you to really start no matter how big or small even the tiniest of things like I’ll come back from the gym in the morning walking home from the gym and it would just be a misty morning and I’m so grateful for that just for the feeling of being able to do that, just walking.
It’s hard to even describe because it’s just a moment in my head that you have the mist. It’s cooling me off and those little droplets just taking small things like that and just being immensely grateful for it, it just makes you look at everything differently.
[1:10:03.4] JC: Absolutely.
[1:10:04.5] RN: Which is powerful.
[1:10:05.5] JC: And what I’ve found, I don’t know I’d be curious of this has been your experience, things faze me less now. When something does go wrong or there is a failure, there is something that doesn’t work out, I don’t get as emotionally charged because, “Okay, well it didn’t work out but you know I have all these other billion things that I’m thankful for and appreciative of and that have worked out” I think this is a challenge most entrepreneurs have.
Most entrepreneurs if you ask them detail your failures have a long and lengthy list of all the things that have gone wrong. You ask them to detail their successes, it’s a much shorter list. They so hypocritical of each other entrepreneurs in general as a segment of the species and we’re horrible general here sweeping stereotype as entrepreneurs at celebrating our victories, horrible.
[1:11:00.4] RN: Really good at beating each other, beating ourselves up.
[1:11:02.5] JC: We will beat ourselves up, we would do postmortems half the time. The fact that in business today we call the meeting after the project ends a postmortem should be indicative enough of what’s going on. You know my mom has this wonderful saying, “If we knew the power of our words we would not speak” we need to celebrate more. We need to give thanks more. The fact that you are listening to this podcast in 2017 tells me you are blessed.
You have access to technology, you have access to hopefully learning, hopefully that’s what we have been able to provide a little bit here today or perspective or observations, that alone puts you light years ahead of where your fellow human beings were just 50 years ago and this is only getting better. This is only accelerating more and so I think the thing that will allow the human species to evolve to the next level is appreciation is gratitude is thanks are the things that don’t work well in our country and in our planet, absolutely.
I am not living in a rose colored world where I’m like, “Well it’s great for me so it must be great for everyone else” no, I get it but here’s what I also know, everyone has their challenges and everyone has their moments of glory. It’s just whether you are willing to recognize both. Most of us are more than happy to recognize the challenges and we can detail the challenges, add nauseum, can you detail the things that have worked out beautifully? Start making those lists changes the game.
[1:12:49.9] RN: You referenced Tony Robins earlier, he also has a saying that you can’t be fearful or stressed if you’re grateful. You literary can’t have that same state at the same time so if you are grateful, it immediately removes the stress, it immediately removes the fear.
[1:13:05.0] JC: Absolutely. In that same conversation, you will often say “What if instead of believing that everything was happening to you, you believe that everything is happening for you?” man, you make that shift. Talk about failure, you’re in the failure zone and something is not worked out your way instead of saying, “Oh this life sucks and it didn’t work out” instead of saying, “Could it be possible that this is a gift to me?”
[1:13:33.0] RN: What’s the opportunity here?
[1:13:34.2] JC: That this not working out was meant to teach me a lesson that maybe I was pursuing the same thing, that maybe I was motivated by the wrong reasons, that maybe I lost sight of the important things or that maybe this is going to steal me in the fires to be ready to handle the challenges that are to come. And again, sometimes people when I find myself in conversations like this, they will say, “That is just semantics, that’s poojy-poojy stuff” blah, blah, blah. No, here’s what I know, it has and it is and it will continue to work for me. That’s all I know.
[1:14:19.6] RN: That’s talking about experiences not theory.
[1:14:21.6] JC: Yeah, this absolutely is the voice of experience not the voice of reason. These are philosophies and approaches and belief systems that I have held true to for many years and continue to double down on and reinforce and recommit to day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year and the return on that investment has been without parallel. Without parallel.
[1:14:49.0] RN: What are you most excited about now moving forward? Projects, life, personal?
[1:14:51.6] JC: So many things, yeah lots of great exciting things. The thing that is probably the most pressing on my mind because it’s happening in the next week is a few months ago, I felt very fortunate to sign a book deal with Penguin Portfolio to publish my first book.
[1:15:09.4] RN: Awesome. Congrats.
[1:15:10.4] JC: Thank you, very, very excited, great group of people that helped me put together the proposal, incredible agent who is a referral from a dear friend and I should say some names here to give them shout outs because they deserve it. Tucker Max and his team of Book in the Box helped me put together the proposal and the book. My good buddy and fellow speaker, Jay Baer, who is an incredible New York Times bestselling author of the books Utility and Hug your Hater is a great book. Go out and read them, incredible books that are in this customer experience space.
Customer service space, introduced me to his agent, Jim Lamine who did an incredible job of getting me the deal. Sarah Stibets, my anteambulo which is a phrase we grab from our buddy, Ryan Holiday which is a title for an individual in Roman times that would move ahead of the patron and clear the path, the remover of obstacles, my very own Krishna or Ganesh rather, my very own Ganesh. Removing obstacles, all this people have just kind of combined to support and encourage me and of course my lovely wife Beretta, my good buddy Clay Bear who has been reading and supporting. All of this has come together, it’s a long about way of saying that the first draft of the manuscript is due a week from yesterday.
[1:16:28.5] RN: It’s coming up.
[1:16:28.5] JC: Six more days, it’s come together beautifully, I’ve been able to tell some incredible stories of friends and clients who have implemented first hundred days philosophies, companies that I don’t even know that have done this, companies that were doing it before they even heard of me.
I’m really hoping that the book is a vessel for getting this message out into the world and providing people with a blue print that is very straightforward and easy to adopt of how to make this type of thinking pervasive in their business and in their life. That’s probably the project I’m most excited about. Like I said, manuscript is due next Friday, we’re going to put that together, we’ll do a couple of months of edits and then it goes off the publish and the book actually comes out in February of 2018.
We’re a little bit away from the book actually coming out yet but all the lead up work has been fun, fun fun.
[1:17:22.1] RN: Well we’ll have to have you back on when it’s actually launching.
[1:17:23.8] JC: That would be lovely. I’d be honored.
[1:17:26.3] RN: The meet’s already done, you finished writing?
[1:17:28.7] JC: By next Friday I will. Yeah. No, it’s good, I would say a good 90% is there, right now I’m just adding in more case studies, the premise of the book will talk through the eight phases that I mentioned earlier in our conversation today. Each phase will have its own chapter and then within each chapter, there will be anywhere from three to six, maybe eight case study examples of companies that are really good in that phase.
So you can go through and then the idea is to have a matrix in the book where you can say, well I work in services and I have a business that is one to five million dollars, here are the case studies about companies that are just like you.
I want you to read all of them because I think we can learn from all different types of industries and businesses and that’s why I wanted to write a book that cut across all industries and business sizes. Because people get skeptical right? They hear the story of well look what Amazon does and they go well of course, they’re a multi-billion dollar company with tens of thousands of employees.
It’s easy for them, I’m a solo entrepreneur in Missouri who is you know, running an auction business. There’s something in there for you too. I promise, we’ll get around to it, there’s stories for everyone.
Yeah, that’s definitely the project I’m most excited about right now.
[1:18:47.6] RN: Beautiful, well I don’t want to take any more of your time but I sincerely thank you for…
[1:18:51.7] JC: I appreciate the conversation.
[1:18:52.8] RN: For hosting us here in your suite.
[1:18:54.4] JC: No, it’s my pleasure, thanks to the folks at Social Media Marketing World for providing the suite where I was able to host you today.
[1:19:00.6] RN: And the fruit and coffee you provided. Social Media Marketing World.
[1:19:03.6] JC: Very kind, thank you. Rob, it was a pleasure, I really appreciate what you're doing with the podcast, I think it’s an important conversation to be having with entrepreneurs and I was thrilled and honored to play a little part of it and be a guest so thank you very much.
[1:19:21.0] RN: My pleasure, thanks Joey. All right, you can find Joey at joeycoleman.com. He’s @thejoeycoleman on Twitter. And of course, all the links and resources Joey and I discussed, including more information on his speaking engagements and businesses can be found at the page created specifically for this episode. You’ll find it all at failon.com/010. And make sure to tune in for the next episode of the fail on podcast.
As we’ll be sitting down with Chris Plow on how he was able to build, run and exit an eight figure company. Amazing conversation, Chris is an amazing dude, don’t miss it and as I continue to build this project with the simple goal of getting people to once and for all decide that they’re going to fail their way to creating an inspired life.
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[1:20:26.1] ANNOUNCER: That’s all for this episode of The Fail On Podcast. For more resources, show notes and action items to help you find success in your failures, sign up for our mailing list at failon.com.
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