The Entrepreneurs Radio Show 102
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The Entrepreneurs Radio Show 102

The Entrepreneurs Radio Show 102

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The Entrepreneurs Radio Show 102 Document Transcript

  • 1. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 1 of 22
  • 2. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 2 of 22 Episode 102 - Chris Wiser In this episode, Travis speaks with successful entrepreneur Chris Wiser. Chris is an entrepreneur with an IT background and a great thirst for success and in reaching his true potential. Ever since he was little Chris knew that he has to carve his own path in his career in order to be bring satisfaction and accomplishment in his life. And through hard work and perseverance he has finally created a successful business also that caters to businesses just like his own. Travis and Chris share an interesting conversation that listeners can learn valuable lessons from. Being a risk-taker and not being contented with mediocrity are valuable characteristics that every entrepreneur should have. Also, getting a coach to provide you with guidance and wisdom, as well as investing in education are vital in keeping yourself up-to-date and getting the knowledge you need to grow your business. They also point out that execution rather than ideas is what fuels success and that every entrepreneur should strive to create a self-sustaining and independent business. These and so much more are what you can expect from this episode of the Entrepreneur's Radio Show. Growing your biz & multiple streams of revenue TRAVIS: Hey, it's Travis Lane Jenkins welcome to episode number 102 of the Entrepreneur's Radio Show, a production of rockstarentrepreneurnetwork.com. Today, I'm going to introduce you to Chris Wiser. Now Chris is a rock star entrepreneur for many reasons. He's built multiple businesses to some pretty serious levels. Also, he's lived through some pretty tough times and experienced an employee embezzling huge amount of money from him and he turned that into a lesson that helped him find success further down the line, and he's actually going to talk about that today in our episode along with a whole host of other things. He's going to talk about multiple streams of income, really just kind of a wide range of things. And so I've got a great interview for you as always. Now, one of the things I really like about this is Chris is really candid about his path to success which I love because I believe it's a candor that can help steer around some of these pitfalls in your journey as an entrepreneur also. Now before we get started I want to ask you to hang around with me until the very end because I want to talk to you about a common problem which is fear. Something that all of us deal with. Also, I want to take a minute and say thank you to Patch Abilities for writing a review on Stitcher. We're just starting to get a little traction on Stitcher and Patch Abilities thank you for that 5 star review and the wonderful title that says, "Oceans of priceless tips" I don't know if you listen to the last episode, but for those of you that missed it, I challenge you to find something that you've been putting off and make a commitment to move it forward. Patch Abilities ironically also called in and told me what it was that she's been putting off and she made a commitment to move forward with it. And so, Patch
  • 3. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 3 of 22 Abilities, I have to commend you. Even though you're a full-time mom with 2 little boys at home, you still find time to continue your education for business with this show and other shows I'm sure. And also, clearly outline what you've been putting off along with actions you're going to take to move forward. And that's exactly how you accomplish high levels of success, is by taking little bitty steps each and every day, even when you don't want to. A lot of people think that incredible levels of success are a series of gigantic steps. And that's not true. A lot of time it's a series of little bitty steps that lead to gigantic successes. So, I want to commend you on that for taking the time to write the review. That really means a lot to me. And also, calling in and telling me, and being so candid with me with what's holding you back. Now, for everybody else listening, I would really appreciate it if you take the time and go to iTunes or Stitcher through the links that we've provided on the show and write a review. What that does is it helps us reach more entrepreneurs like yourself by giving us more exposure on those networks. One last thing, before we get started I want to remind you also that there's 3 ways that you can take the interviews with you on the go, which is through iTunes, Stitcher, or Android, although all of them have poor search functions. So just go to rockstarentrepreurnetwork.com, click on the iTunes, Stitcher, or Android button, whichever one works best for you, on whichever platform you use, on the menu bar and it will take you directly to the podcast where you can subscribe to the show there. And while you're there, if you'd write a review I'd really appreciate it. So, now that we've got all of that stuff out of the way, remember to hang around with me until the very end, let's go ahead and get down to business. Chris, welcome to the show. CHRIS: Hi, thank you sir. How are you doing today? TRAVIS: I'm excellent. Do you have your script out? We were just-- CHRIS: What's a script? I don't know what that is. TRAVIS: Yeah, we were just having a laugh about that because we prefer to do this in kind of a more a casual, laid back conversation than following a script. Although doing kind of a jazz improvisational conversation, you really got to know your stuff code. You got to know your business, and everything that you talk about pretty deep, right? CHRIS: Yeah, you actually hit a really good point there, it's making sure that you understand the theories of what you're talking about, because if you're going to BS with anything, you better have-- and I say BS in an affectionate term. If you're going to talk intellectually about anything you better have, number 1, knowledge of it, number 2 passion. You better understand what you're talking about and I think that's the same with music. We're talking a little music earlier. All of those put them together. If you're going to improvise on anything you better know your gig.
  • 4. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 4 of 22 TRAVIS: Yeah, you got to know what you're doing. Hey, so one of the things I like to do is-- I know that you've built a couple of businesses and I like to get the back story. And I think some people feel like that's boring, although the reason why I do it beyond just getting to know you on a deeper level and introducing you to my people is I feel like it's illustrative. People can see their own life, their own trajectory, whatever it is, in your story. And impose themselves in their selves. Do you mind giving us that back story of how you got started and what the turning point was for you? CHRIS: Yeah, I don't know that mine is essentially super boring because it's not like I just had this meteoric ride to super, super stardom. I'm not even at super stardom or any close to that right now. But it's been such a gradual, all over the place road to success. And we are definitely successful, and we're debt-free, and we have a lot of things that are exciting, and fun, and I feel very wealthy in my life. I'm not ridiculously rich, I don't see it that way but I define wealth as being able to do the things you want whenever you want. That to me is wealth. I heard a lot of people that I know that own companies that have plenty more than me that are stuck behind the desk or stapled to their company. And that's not a very wealthy in that road. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: So, I started off as a one man show really. I had a computer company. Started out working in another IT-- actually, I was working in an internet provider right out of high school at dial-up internet provider. And if you think about the infancy of the internet, that couldn't be any more infancy. And I always kind of had this what I know now is the leadership personality profile to where I've been kind of visionary, improvising, of building things on the slide, flying by the seat of my pants at times. I've always had that. It's funny. I look all the way back to when I was like in 5th, 6th grade and I had that mentality. But I've gotten to start it out there, ran into some troubles, had my own computer company for a while, and had an employee embezzle a lot of money from me, like near 100 grand a lot of money. And while that seems like the worst thing ever, it pointed me on the path to where I am now. And it put me back to a place of how the hell am I going to survive? What am I going to do for now? I'd got to get out of the retail world; I had all these things that were going through in my life. And this goes back to 2004, 2005. So we're talking 10 years ago basically now. And it kind of pushed me down to I’m going to get back on my feet. I had to rely on one thing I could count on, because I didn't have any money and I didn't have any people, and I had my family. That's all I really had. But basically the lack of money, because I was married at the time pretty much caused my marriage to end and I was on my own, and I had my parents and my brother and we kind of forged ahead. But I relied on the one thing that I could rely on which was myself and started out as a business computer consultant. I was doing medical IT support just as a standalone guy, and started to build the company, started to get a couple of people. I think one of the biggest differences is between people that are successful and the people that-- and I don't even want to say successful, because there's so many people that work for somebody else that are successful, but
  • 5. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 5 of 22 we're talking entrepreneurship successful. So the big difference between somebody that's going to be successful is you have to be a risk-taker and you have to be willing to not be satisfied with what you're working on or what you're with. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: So for me, I was actually doing pretty well as a stand-alone IT guy. I was making back in 2004, 2005, 2006. I think '06 is when I really started the basis of what I have now. I was making 65, $70,000 a year as a guy. And for the most part, that's pretty good wage, it's not bad. But I didn't feel fulfilled personally and I always knew there was more there and there was more things I can grab. So, I strive to how can I be different, how can we be better. And that's where the kind of model that we're in now evolve into-- merged with another firm in 2008, ended up buying my partner out in basically early 2011, 2012. And since then I've been a stand-alone owner, and since I bought he sensed that I took the plan in motion to buy him. We've basically grown at about 650%. TRAVIS: Not too shabby. CHRIS: No, it's been really a lot of fun. And a lot that was, this guy is a super good guy, I have nothing negative to say about him at all. But the problem was that he was completely not a risk taker. He was 100% comfortable in his world. He was comfortable making what he was making, and he was the wrong guy to actually be an entrepreneur or to be a business owner because if you're going to be business owner with a small business, and if you're satisfied with everything you're doing, you'll never even stumble on to the next product. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: Because every single day-- I had a conversation last night with some people from Los Angeles and Las Vegas about a brand new product we're getting to launch 4 months from now that as a brand new thing in the industry. And that kind of thing never would have happened in my former partner's world. And I was still handcuffed by his unwillingness to take a risk, that as soon as he was gone and I had immediate control, the door is opened, and we moved forward, and first thing that I did was hire a sales guy, and that is absolutely huge. Because while I'm pretty good at it I'm only one guy, and that was the first thing I did. And we sky rocketed since then. TRAVIS: So, that highlights something and maybe that answers an observation of mine. And I don't want to throw my observation at you, okay? So, techie type things. Whether it's computer tech, attorneys which is not necessarily tech, but very education-based, strict format, doctors, accountants, all of those people are normally left brainers. And your business, the IT thing is a left-brainer thing. And so, you sound like a right-brainer. And I think that person you partner with was definitely a left-brainer because
  • 6. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 6 of 22 left brainers are not risk-takers. And so, number 1, that's the problem, is you guys can't get on the same page. So am I correct, are you a right-brainer first and you've developed some left-brainer skills, and are you familiar with that? CHRIS: Yeah. I don't work in that world so much but I know exactly what you're talking about and the answer to a question is absolutely yes. I think you grow up with who you are. Your personality develops. I think part of it is the culture you were brought into. And also you then kind of develop your own little thing and your nuances as you go on. But I'm absolutely then a risk taker my entire life. I learned how to be a technician. And while I'm actually a pretty good computer tech, I still am to this day, probably. I don't do a lot of it but occasionally I have to get my hands in the tech pot just to help out and make sure that things are going right. But I think you're spot on with that. And we're talking earlier on our pre-call about personality profile. Everybody in my current environment, we use the DISC test. Instead of looking it at it from left brain and right brain we look at it from personality types. It's almost identical. TRAVIS: Right. Before you say I want to guess what you are-- CHRIS: Sure, go ahead. TRAVIS: Because I'm familiar with the DISC, I've taken the DISC also. And I have a suspicion that you are a high D and high I. CHRIS: Spot on, 100% D, 100% I, very low compliance. And for those of you that are listening that don't really know what the DISC is, it's Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. And I'm 100% D, 100% I, which is literally entrepreneurs and leaders to a key. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: And to give you a good example of that, I hired a new sales assistant; she just started two days ago on Monday to work on our sales team. And one of our requirement is that she has to be a high SC. So she has to be very steady and she has to be very compliant. And if you think about that, do you want a dominant assistant? Never. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: But you do want a compliant assistant. So that's kind of the world we work in now and obviously trying to-- because you're familiar with the DISC test as well. But it's a little bit more defining than right brain, left brain, that's kind of why we did it. TRAVIS: Right. And it definitely makes sense. So, again of course, I'm sure you can probably guess, I'm a high D and a high I also.
  • 7. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 7 of 22 CHRIS: Yep. I can tell. And some of us get along, but some of us fight for control, depending on who you are from the personality standpoint. We're kind of in a peer relationship right now and you're moderating, I'm working with you. So we get along really well. And it's difficult in the DI world that if you get 2 DI's that are on the same level and are fighting for the same space, it's going to be a pretty usually. TRAVIS: It's not productive. CHRIS: You pick your battles. TRAVIS: You spend more time doing things laterally rather than focused on the task at hand and moving forward. And so, it's great that you mentioned that because that's one of the key problems that I see in businesses is they have the wrong people in the wrong seats. And so, everybody's busy pulling against each other rather than working together. CHRIS: Yup. And that's exactly why we've implemented it here. I learned at a training center that I'm a part of that I actually speak at the training center just about every month now. And one of the-- and this goes back three years now that we really learn that, and you're spot on. If you have the wrong people, you got to look absolute right people for your organization in the wrong seats, and you will stifle some of these creative ability or even success of that position. So it's really important. And we get every single person in our environment is DISC. TRAVIS: Cool. Good stuff. Now, the trajectory of this first business. You've started another business beyond this one, correct? CHRIS: I'm a part of five, to give you an idea. TRAVIS: Okay. CHRIS: And I'm consulting and working up. But basically, we have one corporate identity and then we have a couple of positions under it. So we actually have two and a half full companies under one corporate identity from a billing stance so it's easier to bill. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: And easier to have a tax states identity with one of those. But I have two and a half. The half one is just about ready for launch and then we have people working in staff working on analysis. It’s not launched yet. But then I have 3 other than I'm consulting on, on a regular basis as well. TRAVIS: Yeah. And so, then as those scale will you incorporate those so that you can limit liability between those?
  • 8. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 8 of 22 CHRIS: Probably. It kind of depends on how they go. Right now the three that are directly, that I'm 100% owner of, which is the two and a half that I should say now. It's going to be three shortly. But the two and half that I'm directly owner of, that'll all be under my umbrella and I'll be here. Whereas in I'm a part owner and part consultant on a couple of three other interests, and I'm more looking at-- one of the big things that I've kind of taken away from research, and learning, and evolving, and listening to shows like this is one of the biggest rules that most successful people in the world have is they have multiple, multiple streams of income. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: A lot of people say, "How do you have time for all these stuff?" Well, I'm looking to make multiple streams of income for myself, not necessarily right now. That's great and it's fantastic, but it's looking 1, to 2, to 3, to 5, to 10 years down the road of having some type of a reoccurring revenue stream that I can count on that keeps coming in. I'm 37 years old. At 50, do I want to retire, where do I want to go? That's 13 years from now. So thinking about things like that and making sure that I have multiple pieces and I don't want to be dependent on a one trick pony that I got to constantly babysit. And one of the things that I'm really good at in my main company that I work in now every day. And one of my things that I tell all my staff is let's master the strategy and delegate the execution. So, let's really build the practice, let's really build the system, and then we can plug people in because we have a chocolate cake recipe that they can learn. And that just lessens your time to spend up new people and it makes it so ‘Chris doesn't have to babysit’. TRAVIS: Yeah. So where did you get this business acumen at? Because a lot of people spend years and years knee deep working in their business rather than on your business. And it sounds to me like you've made a shift to where you try to work predominantly on your business rather than in it. So, where did that acumen come from? CHRIS: Majority of it came from-- I actually have 2 people in my life that I-- one is my direct business-- it's actually three people. One is my direct business coach, her name is Robin Robins. She's basically a mentor to IT business owners. And she's somebody that has a 5 or $6 million a year company with 5 employees. And her whole job is to be a business coach to celebrity experts like myself. And so, I've taken a lot from there, I've been her understudy for 8 years now. So starting in my late 20's. So that's been going-- I also have a good friend of mine now named Alex Rogers. He owns a big IT firm, and the training center that we're talking about earlier in California. And he is a one man show like myself and now has two $15 million a year monsters that he's working on. And I've learned so much from that guy. And you can't ever be afraid to learn and evolve. Nobody knows everything. And I'm constantly-- best way that I learn is to make mistakes. I had an employee that I was talking with a couple of weeks ago, he was upset about something and his response to me was, "You can't make mistakes, you're the CEO,
  • 9. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 9 of 22 you're supposed to be better than everybody here." And my statement was, "I make more mistakes than anybody here because that's really my job. I'm not here to be an idiot and make stupid mistakes but you have to take risk, and you have to evolve, and you have to build. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: You've seen that picture of success all the time and it's always that curvy road. It's never that 45 degree angle. You get the freaks like Facebook, and the freaks like What's App, and you get guys that-- and the stuff like that happens and I think those are far more the exception of the rule. TRAVIS: So what's interesting is you were wise enough to invest in yourself, with a mentor, and learning and growing. And so entrepreneurship is a lifelong career, right? It's an evolution, right? CHRIS: Absolutely. TRAVIS: And so, what's interesting, to give you some outside perspective, okay? What's interesting about your trajectory and your journey is your 5 to 8 years beyond, maybe even 10 years beyond where the natural entrepreneur would be if you hadn't taken the time and spent money to grow your knowledge and your experience. And so, I want to tell you that. Now, I don't know if you share any of your revenue, but if you do how big have you built your TechSquad? Do you share that information? CHRIS: Yeah, it's okay. To give you an idea, we're not a large company. And first of all, I appreciate the feedback because that's really good to hear. And I firmly believe that if I would not have invested in-- and you're spot on what your calling it, is investing with myself and is investing in my tools, and my kits and training. If I wouldn't have done that I'd be my former partner, honestly. I was not as nearly as analytical as him but he was blatant against-- like every month we took down this “cut this out” expenses. I'm not cutting that out-- I think during our final negotiation phase, while he was still a partner in the company I ended up paying for my membership to my business coach personally. That's how important it was to me instead of it coming out of the firm. I did that. But to give everybody an idea I went from a one man show in 2008, basically. I was still a one man show with the help of that guy. When we merge with Dave, that's my former partner, we were about 340,000 annually. And we will be breaking 3 million this year. TRAVIS: Nice. CHRIS: Again, it's not a huge deal, but what is exciting is in 2012 we broke a million. TRAVIS: Wow.
  • 10. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 10 of 22 CHRIS: Yeah. So we're massively escalating now, and it's starting to come in a much quicker fashion, and I'm still not content and that's kind of where some of this-- and it's not a money-hungry thing. If they don't understand this, it's not how much money can I make or how much money can I take home. It's a "I know I can do better thing." I think it's a not a whole lot different than when you look at an NFL quarterback and if they win 14 games in a season, certain people wouldn't be like, "Hey, you had a great season." "Well, no. I didn't win the Super Bowl." And it's hard to-- I don't know how to relate them, and some of us that are entrepreneurs really get that. For the most people I think-- for the most part everybody that's listening to this show probably will get it, but a lot of laymen don't. TRAVIS: Yeah. Well, it's an accomplishment thing Chris. Your work is never done. So even early on you said you don't feel like you feel like you're super successful. Well, super successful is like tomorrow. It never comes. CHRIS: Yeah. TRAVIS: Because what happens is as you achieve new plateau levels your horizons broaden and your awareness broadens, and your potential broadens, everything, your universe is constantly expanding. And so that's why it's kind of a chasing thing. I think also as entrepreneurs we're afraid to pat ourselves on the back for fear of putting out the burning desire, fire that's in our belly, right? CHRIS: Yeah, and you know what, when I run into is something that I did not expect at all. I never expected this. I forgot to mention my third influence of my business coaching is now also a good friend of mine, is Nick Nanton. I'm not sure you've heard of Nick Nanton. TRAVIS: No, I hadn't. CHRIS: He's considered the celebrity brand expert on the internet. So one of his thing was to work with entrepreneurs like myself and like you, and he helps you develop your own celebrity expert brand. So, it's something Nick helped me with is to write my own best-seller. I had a best-selling hardcover that I was on, we're working on another one right now. He helps me direct and produce a documentary that was on Biography Channel in Fall. And he's really helped to learn to take it to the next level. And man, what if give we could only know what we know now and relying. I was doing my work yesterday and we're actually driving to the doctor together. We go to a health doctor. My dad had a heart attack not that long ago so the thing I've been trying to do is make sure that I'm healthy. Because it's a scary deal, it's kind of a wakeup call. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: But I was telling my wife, if only I could know-- If forgot what we're talking about but, if only I could know this stuff that I know now, if I could rewind and go back 5 years and have all these
  • 11. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 11 of 22 knowledge and information. And you're right on, it's like an awakening. And it's this stuff that you're constantly evolving in and learning in. I have so much passion for doing what I do. And it has nothing to do with technology really, it has to do with-- And that's what's fun about working on the company, is when you move past to being an IT guy into being a real entrepreneur where you're working on the company. And I could take anything now. I don't care what it is, I could take any product that's out there that I have belief in and passion in, and we could put the same marketing and sales plan behind it and we can launch them and be successful. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: And that's why it's cool. TRAVIS: Now, is that the vein, you started down the path-- You said there was something that you didn't see coming, and what was that vein that you were going down there, it sounded like there was-- CHRIS: Yeah. I forgot what it was, that's why I don't remember— TRAVIS: Well that’s fine. CHRIS: Yeah. I was literally driving with my wife in the car-- it's actually off-topic but pretty comical. And it just shows how technology oriented we are now. She's sitting there next to me talking and I couldn't hear her right. So, I pushed the volume up in my steering wheel like 4 times. And she's like, "What are you doing?" And I was like, "Oh, you're never going to believe what I just did." It's pretty funny. I was like, "Oh my god--" TRAVIS: I do the same thing. I'm a big TiVo user and sometimes I want to reach over and do the 15 second rewind. CHRIS: Yeah. TRAVIS: Oh, I missed that, rewind that. CHRIS: It was pretty funny. I don't remember exactly what I saying but what we're talking about because there's something in the day that I was just like, "Man, I wish I could take the knowledge I had now and rewind and know all those things I know now." TRAVIS: Sorry about that. There's a little bit of lag on the call. So unintentional stepping on you there. If you were to chart it out on a-- there were a couple of things that really made a big difference for me that made me have just a voracious appetite for learning and growing. And so, someone had laid it out on a chart an event that I was at, and he showed how one little key piece of information or paradigm
  • 12. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 12 of 22 shift in your way of thinking. He showed the impact that it can have on the growth trajectory and income trajectory of your life over the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years, right? CHRIS: Yup, yup, I get what you're saying. TRAVIS: And that really blew my mind. And what that did for me is that made me do a better job of reading every book thoroughly because I used to be guilty of reading a book and feeling like I got halfway through it and understood where they were going and I'd quit reading it. And so, from that point forward I stuck with every book just in case that nugget of wisdom or that paradigm shift was somewhere deeper in the book, right? And so, there was this accumulation of knowledge that built up over time. And then another thing that had a major impact on me that hit me like a ton of bricks, and offended me on some levels is the guy clarified the definition of average. And he said, "Travis, if you're average you're either the best of the worst, or you're the worst of the best." And I hate that. I don't want to be either one of those, right? CHRIS: Yeah. TRAVIS: And so I've always sought to be-- you can't be the best at everything but there are things that are your specialty or my specialty that I set out to be one of the best at. And those were one of the many things that had kind of a paradigm shift in my success trajectory over the last several years. I wanted to segue back to some of the other things that you were doing so that we're not speaking in too esoteric terms. One of the things that you were doing is a full-service MSP marketing and appointment setting. And so, go deeper on that. Explain to me what that is. CHRIS: Sure. Kind of what you were just talking about there, I've had a couple of pieces that I really figured out. The biggest of which is that whole chocolate cake recipe thing. That's the probably the most important thing that I've done and that led into-- and what MSP means for the average public, it has nothing to do with anything but technology. The group that we're all kind of channelled into is what TechSquad IT is, is we're considered a managed service provider. So we provide a flat red of services for clients for a flat amount of money. And it's what we're called. It's very similar to a general contractor or it's a marketing term-- it's a business term for our group. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: And one of the other things that I found success with is that there's riches in niches. I remember my business coach telling me this, multiple times. So, what she's done, and she built a multi-million dollar business coaching empire off of owning marketing technology professionals. That's the only group she sells to is MSP clients, and she's got about 5,000 monthly clients that paid her, her recurring revenue stream. And the only people she markets to-- there's other people that come in and say, "Hey, I want
  • 13. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 13 of 22 you to market my shoes." And she says, "No, I don't want to do that because that's out of my scope and that's out of my niche. And I really look at that and I really look at that carefully. But we started actually having-- we built a process, a chocolate cake recipe here internally at TechSquad, this goes back about 4 years to where we actually had our own telesales team. And we started getting so good at it when I say telesales it's actually, I ask people that many people would consider-- inside sales people but they're technically outbound telesales or telemarketing people that's here in our office. And they're smiling and dialling, and I don't care what product I'm going to be launching from here out. I will have the telesales team backing it from now on in my entire life. I don't care what it is, because the best way that you can get the word out is to do that. But we got so good at it, doing internally that I had these people who were booking more appointments than I could actually fill. And the problem on the company side became how do we sell properly to actually get enough service support people to what we can fulfil everything that sales is selling. Well instead of getting rid of those people we had some extra capacity, so we started reselling their services and we started retailing it to other technology companies around the nation. So that's kind of where that came into play. So now we have-- the next business number 2 is we have a recurring revenue stream for companies that call us, or basically they're clients of ours and we outbound call. Probably some of the people that are listening to this show today is we call in an outbound call as that company into them. But we only do this for technology firms. And we've developed a damn good little side business doing it. And it's actually we setup the side business because now it's underneath TechSquad's corporate ladder but I'm employing 10 plus people, I had 15 people in our back room and all they're doing is building that system. TRAVIS: Well, you know I've got experience in that and that's one of the things that jumped out at me is- - Well, before I go in to that is it in the same vertical that you're in, the services that you are selling in the same vertical you're in? It is? CHRIS: Yup, it's exactly this is-- so the clients that we are calling on behalf of are identical to our company around the nation. TRAVIS: Oh, too funny. CHRIS: So exactly the same vertical. And it goes back to the riches and niches thing. So we took the chocolate cake recipe plus the niche, and then we basically built a system for acquisition, so we have an inside sales person for that, we have an inside dialler just for that. And I honestly can't sell-- we're selling so much on ad right now we were struggling to fulfil on ad too. The only problem I had with the product is it's very hard to scale. It's not hard to scale but it's people and seats basically, lots of seats. That is the difficulty of scale which it happens. TRAVIS: That is hard to scale because you've got to have the technology, the diallers, the room, the manager, all of those things. I used to have predictive diallers, and the amount of calls we could go
  • 14. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 14 of 22 through every night was incredible, insane, with I think 12 or 15 people on the phone. And so, it's a management challenge, or it can be a management challenge. So what's your lead setting rate, is it hovering right around 10%? CHRIS: We're actually, and this is where the riches and niches I think is really valuable. And we've actually taken this a whole another level. So we're at like 22% right now. TRAVIS: Nice. CHRIS: And we are now also calling the MSP vendors of behalf of the MSP vendors. So we're going to places like-- if you know what Salesforce is, I think everybody knows what Salesforce is. We had a specific product for the MSP world called ConnectWise. We're calling on behalf of people like ConnectWise into the MSP's and booking appointments for them for the same exact rate that we would book for the normal end user MSP client. But here's the key in, you're hitting this right on the head and I love the experience because you're hitting it right on the head. So we're 22% to the end user, we're 49% appointments set to the specific market. So it's a couple of really, really good business lessons because the whole point is if you're going B to C, business to consumer, that's where your 10% or lower comes in. If you go business to business, you're going to be about 20% or maybe 10% to 20%. But what we're doing is we're going vendor to business and we're up in the 40%-50% range. TRAVIS: Nice. CHRIS: And I think there's some tremendous value to be said for just those numbers alone. And it really changes my entire impression of the whole deal and it makes you see that as you move around in business, where you want to choose your next battle. TRAVIS: So basically, would that be a lead aggregator or what? Would that qualify as lead aggregation? CHRIS: Yeah, I'd call it that probably. I would probably call that. That's a good term but I never heard of that, but it definitely is a-- we just call it lead generation here but I would say that's a pretty good name for it. TRAVIS: And so, you're making money off of that through arbitrage. So maybe it cost you $10 to generate-- total landed calls to cost you $10 to generate that lead and you're getting $50, or something like that. CHRIS: Yup, exactly. TRAVIS: That's how you're monetizing? Okay, good, yeah.
  • 15. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 15 of 22 CHRIS: We're a little bit different, but the bottom-line is most of it's just a math problem and it's not put together too crazy. But you're very close to how we do it. What is kind of need is-- and it's all about predictability. That's the only difficulty that took us a little while to get there is the more you can predict what your income is going to be which is that recurring revenue stream that you bring in to your company, the more you can control what you charge and the more you can change what you charge. But if you can't control your performance or your output, then you are sitting there kind of like, "What do I do?" That's where those numbers and those math problem becomes really important. So that's kind of where we've been moving around to find exactly what we can control. And the controllability of 50% appointment. So for every 10 calls we're making for the vendor to business model, we're booking 5 of 1, well, I can plans on that, big time plans on that versus that 10% model. And I think we all know marketing as a whole, it's kind of a crap shoot. There's people that win awards for 5% direct mail response rate. While you can do that the cost is expensive and it's hard to predict. But if I can go into anything with a 50% success rate in marketing and come out with something I'm going to be in really, really good shape. TRAVIS: Well yeah, you can build a sales team based on that, right? CHRIS: Absolutely. TRAVIS: The only 2 things that are scary about that model is all business models have a maturity rate, a maturation cycle, right, where a bunch of competition comes in and the market gets flooded. And then also legislation can shut those things down overnight. And so I've seen businesses that were doing B to C dialling that-- we're shutdown overnight. They used to be a business in creating leads over faxes, and they shut that down, right? CHRIS: Yeah. That's more on the consumer side thought, and we've stayed 100% away from that. I agree with you 100%. It's just a matter of we don't even deal with that, we don't even call them. Don't yield any of the consumers. You're right on with that because I feel bad for the people that where B to C, and then the no call list shows up and then what do you do? TRAVIS: They're out of business. We're talking about big businesses that were making tons of money and the next day they're out of business. So it's just crazy. Less likely, whenever you got it nichefied like that, the likelihood of legislation of ever getting you is slim to none because I think you're actually fulfilling a need rather than causing a problem, right? CHRIS: Yup. Yeah, I think you and I got to hangout, we're like on the same page into everything. TRAVIS: Right. Hey listen, I don't want to run too long, I know you've got a lot of things going on. Let's segue into the lightning round. I've sent you 3 questions over. Are you prepared for this?
  • 16. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 16 of 22 CHRIS: I did not even read them because that's my design. TRAVIS: Well, cool. CHRIS: I can look at them real quick if you TRAVIS: No, don't worry about it. CHRIS: I do have some and I haven't set it there, TRAVIS: No, I'm going to serve them up to you and you just-- we already agreed, this is a form of jazz. So you just answer whatever is authentic for you. So, what book or program made an impact on you related to business that you'd recommend and why? CHRIS: Well, that's actually a really good question. What I will say is that's constant reinvesting in myself and making sure that I was constantly learning and constantly evolving that the business coach model that I had for not being afraid to take knowledge from other people. I think that's not necessarily a piece of technology or anything like that but that's only related to evolving yourself and building. And there's tons of books out there. I know one specific piece and what's funny is my wife actually taught me this and I made fun of her when she originally handed me the book The Secret and I think we all know that. And some of it's a little bit hockey, I get that and people struggle. But that power of positive thinking mentality is so very valuable, and I've seen certain people in my world and in my life just have this constant belief that they are going to fail. And if you believe that, I don't care how hard you try and succeed you're going to fail. And there's a lot to be said for-- so she handed me that book, I think she had a DVD and it was audio book. And we listened to it together for about 6 months. And everything in our life has changed. It's not some magic hocus pocus but that power of positive thinking and always believing in there's a way. A lot to be said for that. TRAVIS: Yeah, I completely agree with you. Some parts of it is a little hockey, but I completely agree with you. The underlying-- There's plenty of negativity out there. Negativity doesn't need your help at all, right? CHRIS: Yeah. And it'll seep in, and if you let the people seep in-- we actually had an employee here that I've labelled the cancer, and he let that creep in. It becomes almost impossible to eliminate. You just have to constantly think positive, think positive, I'm going to beat this, I'm the best, that's going to be, it's that mentality. And certain people, if they're weak-minded. I don't want to say weak minded but it's the difference meant there. It's hard to explain. TRAVIS: Negative minded.
  • 17. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 17 of 22 CHRIS: Negative minded, that's a good way of saying it. If you're negative minded it doesn't matter what you're going to do because they're so jaded and they're so believing that something is negative, or bad, or we can't beat it. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: And I actually took this saying from my business coach which is, "If I'm lying in bed at night and I'm thinking about you and we're not sleeping together, I don't want you in my company." It's a pretty funny way of saying it and there's only one person I think of and that's my wife. So, I don't want to ever be up at night, sitting there thinking about something, and if I am-- It's one thing to be thinking about items in your business but it's another thing to be thinking about a specific person in your company and that's that cancer piece. And it's really important to think positive and eliminate all that crap from your life. TRAVIS: Yeah, I completely agree. Hey, what's one of your favorite tools or pieces of technology that you've recently discovered, if any, that you'd recommend to other business owners and why? CHRIS: I think one thing that I do and certain people struggle with understanding this as well. It’s a I've made my entire work environment that I can pretty much work from anywhere. The negative of it is that you're pretty much working from anywhere. But I find work fun and it's a passion for me, and I take breaks, and I take time-off. And I do that stuff on a structured, scheduled basis. So I've made it so I can pick up and go to work. I work every Tuesday. In fact, every single Tuesday is my marketing day. I go off- site and I go sit at Buffalo Wild Wings 10 miles from my company, and I work all day, from like 11 until about 6 o'clock on marketing activities and things I'm going to use to grow on. Working on the company, directly related to that new idea generation, all kinds of different things. And so I think the specific technology would be making your environment so you're not stapled to a desk. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: Walking away and being free. Because one of the things that we've earned, all of us that are entrepreneurs, we've all earned the ability to get up and do what we want when we want. We just have to be willing to take it or be able to take it. I have a multi-million dollar attorney friend of mine. That guy can't leave his office, ever. I'm not even kidding you, I think he's got a seat belt on his chair and he can't leave. He goes to court and he goes back to work. He's made it his entire life that way. TRAVIS: Yeah. CHRIS: So I think that to me has been really positive.
  • 18. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 18 of 22 TRAVIS: Yeah, I did the same thing. I built this golden cage that I couldn't get out of for years or I wouldn't let myself out of. And then finally one day I just gave myself permission. After I systemize my business I gave myself permission to not go into the office anymore. And so, once I got those things setup I changed my lifestyle, and now I wear sweats for a living, right? Warm-up suits, and I can work from anywhere in the world. And there's something incredibly liberating about that, right? CHRIS: Yeah, it really is. I don't even know how to tell anybody that without having them experience it. The way for you to get up and actually do the things when you want, when you want. And I actually know a bunch of the crew over at the Buffalo Wild Wings, and they're like, "You're like the only guy that comes in here on a regular basis and works." And I was like, "Well, I do it for fun and it's something that I do--" it's a burnout controller, right. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: I think that's a big, big thing that it's hard to measure how much you see it and experience it. Because it's that burnout factor is definitely there for certain people. They get so involved and so freaked out about their company and they can't stand it. TRAVIS: Yeah, I think it's as close to living life on your own terms as you possible can get. CHRIS: Yeah, I agree. TRAVIS: What famous quote would best summarize your belief or your attitude in business? CHRIS: I remember when I had a specific quote, I look at a bunch of different things and I've read stuff from Colin Powell, and Mark Twain, and Abe Lincoln, there's all kinds of different things out there but there's one motto that I kind of carry with me which I think is a little bit different but it's along the same line. Hopefully, you're okay with that. TRAVIS: Sure. CHRIS: And I think the one thing that I can probably give to people to talk about is life is more about execution or success, it's more about execution than ideas. And that's something that I just kind of hold with me. Somebody could have said it I have no idea. So if I'm not giving credit it I apologize, you could Google it and see. But to me, success is critical-- Ideas are great and people have them all the time in every single day, but so few people actually execute those ideas and sit there and willing to take chance. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: It becomes so critical. So, success is more about execution than ideas, that's what I would say.
  • 19. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 19 of 22 TRAVIS: Yeah, I completely agree with you. One thing that I meant to ask you about before I wrap things up that I think would be instructive, and you hit on it early on. You had an employee embezzle $100,000 from you. And you said that that caused you to change the way you did things. I have a suspicion of how that caused you to change things. But can you speak on that for a minute because I think that could be useful for other people. CHRIS: Well, it changed my life more than it changed me how to do things. One place that I struggled in was-- I don't want to say struggle because I trusted everybody at that time. I never would say you can't trust anyone or you shouldn't trust anyone, because if you can't trust anybody in life you're never going to go anywhere. But it made me really sit back and think about what I was doing. That's more of the stage that I was in because I wasn't in a scenario where I was building myself a job at that time. I actually look at it as a big silver lining, and it forced me to have a plan and to have a structure more than anything at the time coming out of it. I needed to have a plan. And now what we do in the company is I've built all these systems and we really, really report on them. I can poke my head out of my office store here and look into the service department and tell you what our ticket response time is today because we measure that very, very in-depth. And you can look at certain numbers and things. So what it really forced me to do was it made me plan, and it made me measure, and it made me report. And then my business coach followed that up with everything measured improves and everything measured and reported on improves exponentially. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: And I think Robin took that from somewhere else but it's very, very accurate. And I watch my team now, and we really focus on bonuses and metrics, and I really try not to fail my new hires. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: And I think a lot of us also fail the people that we hire because we assume they're us. TRAVIS: Well said. I'm guilty of that. Early on in my first business, I've always had a natural ability to sell. And so, I just thought everybody did. And when I first taught a couple of people to sell I was like, "Come on man, are you dumb? What are you not getting here?" And the person that was dumb was me because I had not taken enough time to realize that not everybody is like me. And so my natural ease with some things is not everybody else's natural ease. So well said there. One thing that I wanted to highlight about losing the $100,000. Now I didn't have anybody embezzle a large amount of money from me but I did have a financial calamity where ultimately I lost everything. I had to completely start all over. Although I've been a very successful entrepreneur for many years, and what that taught me to do is I always looked at financials as an indicator of how we were doing. When I learned to not only look at
  • 20. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 20 of 22 it as an indicator of how we're doing but I also learned to drive my business entity from the purview or from the window of the financials, right? CHRIS: That's a good point. TRAVIS: And that made me a much better business leader when I made decisions based on that. When accounting is used for performance, it's all trailing. But sometimes when you're steering this big ship you need to know that there's an iceberg 100 feet in front of you, and you need to be able to steer around it. And so, I share that for the hopes that it's illustrative for everybody listening that you need to pay attention to the metrics, like you talked about, but also the financial metrics of what's going on in your business because a lot of times you will get warnings that things are happening or things are going on. And a lot of times you can avert that if you're paying attention to it. CHRIS: Absolutely. In fact, while the actual act itself was difficult, it would've been very difficult to change because the numbers were being-- Basically what she was doing is she was taking money that was being paid to a specific vendor and going to the back of the check book and writing a check to herself. So all the numbers equalled out. TRAVIS: Right. CHRIS: But it was having a system of checks and balances in place to make sure they were checking that. And I could not agree with you more. Every one of us needs to improve with that including myself to this point because it's one of our weakest points that I'm still struggling with having a really, really solid controller internally. I have a guy but he's an outsource, he'd go for hire kind of thing. And we have internal billing person. But it's not something I'm good at so I have to trust other people. And it's finding those right pieces. And we're slowly putting them together but it's definitely a battle. TRAVIS: Right. Excellent. Well, great interview. How does everybody connect with you? End of Interview TRAVIS: Excellent, thank you very much. Before we close the show today, I want to tell you something that may surprise you. No matter how old you are, and no matter how successful you are, fear still tries to creep back in and talk you out of your dreams. Or it tries to convince you to maybe scale them down so they're a little more believable, right? We all know that little voice inside. With things like, "Right now is not the right time, or who am I to achieve this, or there's smarter people than me that do this." Or any number of 100+, probably 1,000+ versions of negative things that, that little voice can say to you that wants to talk you out of achieving your greatness. And I want to tell you this because the fact that this negative voice, this fear is always there no matter how successful you are at, least in my experience
  • 21. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 21 of 22 because I want you to become comfortable with operating in the presence of fear, because it's never going to go away, although it does get easier. And then secondly, what I want you to do is I want you to sit down and write out your dreams. And this is tied to overcoming those fears. Now, I want you to be as specific and detailed as possible with exact amounts, exact timelines, everything, until there's absolutely no room for doubt. Exactly what it is you're dreaming of accomplishing. Now once you get that down, I want you to go back and look at it. And I want you to make sure that it's unreasonable. And I want to be clear here. I didn't say reasonable, I said unreasonable. Dreams are unreasonable. Now, as you become crystal clear on these things, you'll become much more single-minded, and there'll be much less room for fear and doubt. This is how you overcome fear, by having desires that are stronger and then going after them. Over time, you'll come to realize that the majority, meaning 95%, or maybe even 98% of fear is just an illusion. Think about that. This is Travis Lane Jenkins signing off for now. To your incredible success, be sure and take some time for yourself and write that down. Take care my friend.
  • 22. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 22 of 22 How We Can Help You We know that finding someone that you can trust online today is hard and that so many “so called gurus” are self-‐appointed and have never really even done what they teach you to do. That’s exactly why we created the Double Your Profits Business Accelerator. This is an exclusive offer for our fans at a fraction of its normal cost. Here's what to expect. We'll Schedule a 'One on One' private session, where we'll take the time to dive deep into your business and tell you what is missing, so that you can have your best year ever! We'll do this by performing a S.W.O.T. Analysis. This tells us your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within your business. This will be an eye opener for YOU, for several reasons, however some of the most common reasons are. As the 'Business Owner' it’s difficult to see the big picture of your own business because you’re in the middle of a daily management. And you are too emotionally involved to completely impartial. This is a common problem for EVERY business owner. It doesn’t matter if you are a one-man army, or an army of 150, the problem is still the same. Travis Lane Jenkins Business Mentor-Turn Around Specialist Radio Host of The Entrepreneurs Radio Show “Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs That Grow Your Business"