This episode of the Partner4Leads Biz Podcast features takeaways, highlights and lessons learned from my first six interviews for the podcast.

Season one finale, Partner4Leads Biz Podcast, Will Schaub, Duleep Pillai, Philip VanDusen, Kerrie Brandau, Jason ResnickWill Schaub, WillServ Business Solutions

My longtime friend Will talks a good deal about our big “why.” Here are my favorite talking points that Will shared.

  • Your why has to be bigger than the what
  • Your why can change (Will’s did)
  • The why becomes part of the story we share with our prospects, clients and community
  • Starting your own business can actually be less stressful than the alternative

Your why has to be bigger than the what. The “what” Will is referring to is the gig. In some cases “what” can be the money or some means to an end. Why is simply the reasons your doing whatever it is your doing. Discovering or uncovering your why may require some reflection. It may require digging deep into your desires, your motivation, and quite possibly your fears. But as Will also said, your why can change. His changed. Our lives and circumstances can and most certainly will change. It’s important to that we’re open to these changes. It’s also important to recognize that changes can alter the reasons we do what we do.

Duleep Pillai, Veltec Networks

Duleep is in the business of managed IT services. Here are the noteworthy bits he shared in our conversation.

  • Outsourcing helped Duleep move from being a one-man show toward building his business
  • He outsourced the skills that he’s not good at
  • Duleep found a marketing consultant partner that has a managed IT services background. This consultant truly understands Duleep’s business

Duleep reminded me that there’s a ton of value in hiring and partnering with the right people. Ideally those people will be aligned with your business. They’ll be passionate at some level about your business. With passion and alignment, added value will emerge. There’s no better value than a team that compliments your skillsets as a business owner.

Philip VanDusen, Verhaal Design (Part 1)

Philip is the Principal of Verhaal Brand Design, a strategic design & brand consultancy. He shared these points on growing his email list to 10,000 subscribers.

  • His content marketing started with a biweekly newsletter
  • You don’t want to build your brand on borrowed land
  • An email list is gold, because we own it
  • Email subscribers Tend to be the people who self-select, and who become part of your your tribe
  • Pro Tip: pop-ups are “incredibly effective.” Philip gets 85% of signups from his website pop-ups

Don’t build your brand on rented land. That advice is golden. I hear it often, yet I see a number of entrepreneurs building their audience on social media platforms while paying little attention to the growth of their own email list. It’s a fact that social platforms will change, often times wreaking complete havoc on a business. Without an email list, a business can be decimated by this type of change. The best thing about owning your own email list is that it attracts people who consciously chose you and your business. Philip reminds us that these very same people are often the cheerleaders for your business. They are your tribe.

Pro tip: Pop-ups are incredibly effective. Phillip Vandusen says they account for 85% of his email signups. That’s huge!

Philip VanDusen, Verhaal Design (Part 2)

In his second appearance on the podcast, Philip talks about his YouTube subscriber milestone of 128,000 subscribers!

  • Just getting started and evolving as you go along is a better approach than “analysis paralysis.
  • When you start, you’re going to suck, but you’ll improve as you go along
  • He’s a believer in experimentation
  • When you find something that works, do it that way
  • YouTube has done more to build his email list than anything else.
  • He always ends his videos with thanking viewers and inviting to signup for newsletter. This has created an exponential rise in signups

Phillip is a believer in experimentation. He encourages others to experiment and pay attention to what works. When you find something that works, Philip adds–do it that way. This brings to mind the fact that one must pay attention in order to know what’s working. This is best done by with the help of analytics and metrics.

Kerrie Brandau, Salonch

Kerrie is longtime friend and longtime salon professional. She and her husband recently entered the world of mobile apps. Here’s the territory covered in my conversation with her.

  • She bought a salon during the dotcom boom, but her vision wasn’t aligned with existing staff
  • After 2 years, the salon was without a staff, as she and her husband started over with new hires. She says this was a scary time
  • Scary is a motivator for Kerrie, but type of scary she doesn’t like, is looking back and going, “I never tried, I never pursued my dreams… what if, what if…”
  • “We’re our own customers. We’ve experienced the pain point.” –Kerrie on the Salonch app
  • She and her husband used their own people (salon pros and musicians) for their product launch video, instead of following the recommendation to hire actors. It worked!
  • Post development and post launch, it felt like nothing had changed. The work continues.

Kerrie says that scary is looking back with the regret of not trying, not pursuing ones dreams. I often see this in action with would-be authors. They have a book idea. They may have even started writing, but they’re unable to commit to the act of writing. Or they’ve written several pieces, but they’re stuck in a perpetual world of writing contests, never publishing their work. I’ve also seen the same in some musicians who can’t seem to find the time to write the songs needed to makeup an album. In actuality they need only write and record one song at a time, such that they create a string of singles. Would-be and existing business owners can easily make the same mistake by not pursuing their next big idea.

Life is short and fragile. So much so that it’s pointless to put off writing or trying that next business idea. The worst outcome is that you fail. The nice thing about failing, is the learning opportunities that come with it.

Jason Resnick, Freelance Web Developer

 Jason helps freelancers build recurring revenue to live their business. He does this by teaching them to specialize. Here are the highlights of our chat.
  • He has a great partner in his wife!
  • Helps established online businesses increase revenue by shortening time to first sale and increasing lifetime customer numbers
  • To become a successful freelancer, he had to ask himself, “What do I like, who do I like working with, who do I not working with.”
  • Focus in on what and with whom you want to work. Have conversations with these people.
  • As a generalist, referrals will come from the wrong people and will be for the wrong type of prospects
  • Balancing his freelance business with his personal brand business is a work in progress But he finds there’s a lot of overlap.
  • Always keep your focus in mind. Why did you get into what you got into in the first place?
  • If you need to write your why down on a post-it note for our computer screen, do it. Use this as a compass.

When one is a generalist, referrals can come from the wrong place. Jason Resnick said this in his interview for the podcast. It’s a profound statement. I would even argue that referrals are bad when they come from the wrong places. That’s hard to acknowledge if said referrals create income. But income at what cost? Was that income produced doing what you enjoy doing, and working with the type of person you enjoy working with. Or was it the exact opposite? The exact opposite can create serious problems in your business and your life. First and foremost, it can make you unhappy. Again, life is too short and too fragile for unhappiness. Jason recommends we keep our focus in mind, and to use that focus as a compass.

Thanks for listening, and stay tuned for season two.

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