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Tony Guarnaccia on Business Unveiled

How to Become Resilient in Life and Business by Taking Small Steps

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How to Become Resilient in Life and Business by Taking Small Steps

TONY GUARNACCIA ON BUSINESS UNVEILED

How to Become Resilient in Life and Business by Taking Small Steps

As an entrepreneur, you know that business is kinda like a roller coaster. There are so many unexpected twists and turns as well as many ups and downs. Well, buckle up because today I am talking to entrepreneur Tony Guarnaccia about how to adapt to surprises and how to ride that roller coaster and ride it well.

Tony was born to be an entrepreneur. His parents owned an Italian bakery, and he says that he was always coming up with new ways to make money as a kid. His life, however, was completely changed when his parents’ bakery business failed. They lost everything. He went to college to study business because he wanted to learn as much as possible so that he didn’t make the same mistakes that his parents did. Tony is one of those unique entrepreneurs I know that actually went to business school.

 In his mid-twenties, he created his own baking business making cakes with personalized photos. They took this idea to a whole new level by shipping these specialized cakes across the nation. This business was successful for a time. A few years later, however, it failed. This was when Tony realized he was missing something. He changed gears, working with some of the best companies to learn what it was that they knew that he didn’t. 

What did he learn? As an entrepreneur, you need to know how to adapt to the roller coaster. You need to know what is trending now and how to ride that trend. The best businesses have a strategic long-term plan. And though it doesn’t always make sense, there are times when you need to slow down in order to speed up. Listen in to this podcast and ride this roller coaster along with us! 

MAIN TOPICS
  • How did Tony learn to adapt in order to become profitable?
  • How does creating a strategic plan affect your business?
  • How do you create opportunity from adversity?
  • Why you should stay on top of the trends
KEY TAKEAWAYS

Slow Down to Speed Up

You don’t have to be the brightest bulb. You don’t have to be the best person. If you’re in the right industry that’s growing, organically, you’re going to have success.

Where we are today is a function of—like it or not—the decisions we make.

MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST

Tony Guarnaccia is an entrepreneur who has seen it all: success and failure. He has owned profitable companies and has worked for many other successful companies. He is passionate about helping small business owners with the knowledge he has gained from his experiences. Tony has the smarts to tell his clients how to be successful, but he also cares enough to tell it in a way that everyone can understand. 

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EPISODE TRANSCRIBED

Hi, y'all. It's Angela. I'm back for another episode of business unveiled. I'm super excited to talk with our guest today, because he uses one of my favorite words about entrepreneurship. It's kind of like a roller coaster. So buckle up for today, because we have Tony in the house. Tony, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for having me today. I'm super excited. Before we jump in and start talking about all the things that you're doing, and you actually went to business school. And I think you're like the first person that I met. He's an entrepreneur who actually, like went to business school.  Continue Reading

But tell us like your journey. Where did you grow up? How have you gotten to where you are today? Because you've worked with some, like really incredible people, which you guys are gonna have to stick around to hear more about some of the Peeps that he's worked with. But give it give us some context. Yeah, so I grew up in small business, my parents had a small Italian bakery. They're amazing bakers. But unfortunately, they didn't know what they know about growing a business. And so at the age of 12, we lost everything. We lost the house, lost the car, and even had to give up my dog to my oldest sister. And so is a really hard time. And so I had to move in the three of us, myself, my mom and my dad had to move into my other sister's basement. And so I live there a very pivotal point, my age, I was just getting into high school had to drop out of my private school, I was going into going to a public school where I know anybody as a really challenging time. But that time also kind of set the course for the rest of my life really. And so from the very young age, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I mean, even when I was a little kid, I was trading baseball cards and selling those and, and, you know, as I look back, I actually, as you mentioned, I went to school, I went to business school to learn entrepreneurship. And one of the reasons I did that looking back now is because I kind of wanted to rectify the past with my parents. And so here we are, after I graduated college, I decided to start another bakery. And this bakery was different, because it was one of the first online bakeries. And so what we could do is we could take a cake, put a photo on it, and ship it anywhere within the United States. And because of that, we had a lot of success we had, we won best new product that the New York incentive show. And we eventually ended up selling cakes to Jennifer Lopez to Jay Z to IBM to amazing companies. And, you know, back then I was in my middle 20s. I thought to myself, boy, entrepreneurship is that hard, you know, what were my mom and dad missing. And that's when I realized that I know what I know. And so at the age of 28, that business also failed. But that affected me more personally. Because at that point in time, even though we had the best seo, we had great PR, we had slubby clients, you know, everything you could possibly want, we still failed. And at that time, I was newly married and had baby on the way. And you know, back then I said, I'm missing something, you know, clearly, there's something I'm missing. And I don't know what I'm doing but who does. And that's when I started kind of the next phase of my journey, which was to work with the absolute best companies. So and eventually end up working with Ford, EDP, Google, a whole slew of amazing companies. And then roughly, you know, a decade ago, I left the corporate world to start my own agency to share what I have learned that the best companies do that a lot of small and medium sized businesses just just don't do

04:59

so

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really fascinating because like many entrepreneurs that I talk with, it's like the failures,
that has taught us how to be so much smarter and so much better as a business owner. And when I was reading about you, I just I had to laugh, because when I first got into the luxury wedding market, one of my very first vendors that we were just like instant best friends, he owned a bakery. And he made these amazing wedding cakes, he would pump out a wedding cake for 300 people that was five to $8,000. And maybe do three of them
a weekend. But then he had the bakery on the side. And so after getting more known, and then doing TV shows, and becoming like a celebrity wedding cake designer, he shut down his bakery. And he was like, what I learned is it was more of like, just a love of serving the community He's like, and we never made money off of that, like, and he still won't give me his freakin chicken salad recipe. But his grandfather's, it's like no Mayo, or it's like a healthy chicken salad. But it wasn't that profitable, because he didn't really know what he was doing. But he knew that he could do like three cakes in a weekend and make more in a week than he was making a month at the bakery. And so a lot of people, what I have watched him do in his consulting company is help go into a lot of bakeries. And I mean, even my friend who owns like the best Italian pasta restaurant in Nashville, and he has multiple locations. People don't understand, like, if you don't know how to run a business in the restaurant world and the food world, like it's not going to work, like you really do have to understand how to do business. So how did you go from which by the way, I remember when the very first time a client was like, Can you put this picture on a cake? And I'm like, what,

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like eight, but it's really cool. And then it's a you guys listen, it's a whole different level of putting a cake and shipping it in a container. And making sure that it maintains the taste the flavor, like it's a whole different level. I even know people I reached out to someone on Instagram recently, she was like doing these chocolate balm things. And I'm like, Oh, can you ship some of those to me for Christmas from our family. And she's like, I'm in Florida. I haven't figured out a good way yet. So everything that I've tried like with FedEx and the different containers, the chocolate bombs come smashed. And she's like, until I can really perfect that like I'm not comfortable. But I ended up putting her in touch with like some of my friends in the entrepreneur organization who've mastered this. But they are making their money from e commerce from online, they don't even have a bakery that you can walk into anymore. Crazy like to see how it's all change. So how did you get from food over into like, marketing stuff? Yeah, well, one of the primary ways we marketed ourselves with the bakery, the online bakery was through search engine optimization. So I was doing search engine optimization in the late 90s 97. And that's kind of where I cut my chops. I

later ended up doing that for some period. In fact, that's how I got to work with those big companies. because believe it or not, at one point in time, EDP didn't have SEO for didn't have SEO. So I started a lot of those programs, especially on the digital advertising side. So what happened was, when I was, you know, lost that company, I had to find employment work money. And so, you know, I thought, What's the fastest way to make money? And that's when I thought, Well, you know what, let's go into sales. And the end, the first job I got was in automotive sales, which I thought was really interesting, because that kind of led me to the rest of my career because I got a job selling cars. And then in the meantime, because that wasn't my passion. I love cars. I love automotive. But that was my passion. I really wanted to stick down the marketing track, because that's really what I loved even back in college. And so I started looking for jobs and I, I was looking for a job and all things SEO. And believe it or not, they nobody hired me back then because no one had a position. And then on the flip side, there was one company in Rhode Island that had a need for SEO, and I was the only one that could find. So there was no SEO jobs and there was no view I did SEO. So guess what, I got the job. I started the next day. And that's kind of when my career really took off. Because this little agency ended up growing and growing and getting acquired by ADP fortune 300 company. At that point, we really were in the big leagues because that's when I they need

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wanted me to really introduce how this works to them corporately, to all the automotive manufacturers and, and and national dealerships auto nation, all these amazing companies, I ended up starting their programs. And so it was just a really wild ride. And then what I learned one of the things I learned was the importance of riding the wave. And so what i what i call riding, the wave is kind of riding the trend that's really hot. So back then it was SEO, then a few years later, it was Google AdWords, and I ended up having Google's agency of the year, you know, we were spending like $400 million. And so it's just crazy. Crazy. Yeah, it's not. So now, of course, you have social media. And now podcasting is hot. So I always try to position myself to be where you're having success, because the thing is, you don't have to be the brightest bulb, you don't have to be the best person, if you're in the right industry that's growing organically, you're going to have success, even if you're horrible, just by the fact that things are growing. A lot of people try to go into areas where it's too competitive, which you know, if you ever read the book, with a blue ocean strategy

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he talks about, that's the kind of whole notion of it. So you want to be where there's less

competition. And that means you have to be adapting it to always be changing, to kind of where you see things going. Just by me looking at his numbers, before I even got on and started talking. And like looking into his background, I already knew that you had a lot of orange green in you because you've started and you've been part of multiple companies, which is taking a risk, and starting new companies on the top of the trends, and shifting and pivoting based on what trends are doing. So already know that by by this, but then this just solidifies it. So anybody that works in SEO. And if you don't know what that is, it's search engine optimization. And every month, I feel like I learned more and more and more about like SEO and how important it is to drive traffic to your business and the keywords and the conversions and the clicks. And oh my god, it's fascinating. So Tony is green, you were 19 Green, which tells me that you make your decisions based on analytics and your data and the facts, which that's, that's totally up your alley, like with SEO, because you can track all of it. And you can make buying, you can see buying patterns, and you can make decisions off of it. What was what was interesting is your blue is 16, your orange is 14 year old is 11. So with your blue being pretty close to your 19 at 16. You care, you actually give a fuck, which there's a lot of people in SEO. And I don't mean to say this in a bad way. They don't care. And it does become a numbers game to them. But sometimes people get greedy. And they start to do things they probably shouldn't do. And but in their blue is like really, really low because they don't have that empathetic human being touch. And so you describe like if someone sat down and said, okay, Tony, let's talk an hour about SEO. Like you would break it down on the human level, and like use fourth grade words. So we could all understand because you care, you don't want to talk over people's heads. And then your orange is really close. And it 14 which I'm 24 orange. So I'm like all over the place. But it's like, again, you're not afraid to pivot, you're not afraid to get in front of the trends and take the risk. And it is a rollercoaster ride and there are ups and there are downs and there's going to be a peak when something is peaking. And then it's like, okay, what's the next best thing and the next thing and the next thing and like you're always in front of it. And sometimes people don't know what they're signing up for. But you know that you're gonna have probably at least a good three year run with something usually when it's new. I just think it's funny back then, when people were like, what is an SEO expert? Because I mean, still to this day I people they're like, what's the CTA? I'm like call to action for like, what's SEO like search engine optimization? And like, do you have a website, like, these are basic acronyms that you should know. And then your goal came in at 11 which means you are probably great at making it to do list but you suck at it. So you just delegate it out, which is I'm sick of gold. And like I can make to do lists all day long. But like I've got to delegate otherwise nothing ever gets done. I have a bunch of ideas and if I like you do this and this and this, you know, right. But what are some things that people even to take it back and like dumb it down because you do know so much about SEO? What are some tips that you could give people listening if they if they and we have a split a mix. We have some new entrepreneurs that are new at SEO and then we have some

people that have been in business business 3040

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years. And they know they need to make a change. And they need to educate themselves on digital marketing and an SEO like, what would you tell yourself? Your your younger self here less experienced self today that you wish you would have known about SEO? Yeah, well, I usually like to take things up a higher level even. And so one of the things I noticed that is the difference between the best companies and kind of everyone else is that the best companies have what's called a strategic plan. And so that is really what's missing. Because if you don't have the strategic plan, everything else falls apart. And what do I mean by that? Well, this was one of the biggest challenges I found, because I mentioned I started an agency in that agency, I noticed a lot of clients were struggling, because they didn't have this foundation. And it took me a while to figure it out. So what's the difference? And it's really that strategic planning. The problem is, no one's got the time, the expertise, they have none of that to actually pull it off, which is why I create a system called the results loop, which I have behind me if you can see me on the video. But if you can't, through the podcasts, you can download it from my website. But the point is, how do you distill a strategy in six simple steps, because you're right, I always tried to take very complex things, and make it very simple. And this framework applies to anything you do in your business. But it really starts over here. The first there's six steps, the first one is your market. And so when you're doing SEO, the first thing you have to think about is, who is your market, because if you're just trying to come up for any term, a is probably going to be too competitive B, you might spend all this time and effort and money to get you ranked there just to find out No one's going to convert. And so a lot of times why advise is before you do SEO, trying an AdWords strategy, you try to pay for some traffic, why? Because you'll know very quickly, you can measure it, you can, you know, see what converts, and then you do a longer term. So SEO is a long term strategy. years sometimes where AdWords is quick. And so you want to learn because time is money, you want to compress time, and learn as much as you can as quickly as possible. So that would be the first place I start, you know, kind of a long winded answer, but start with your market. Very important. Okay, but I want to know the other five things.

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Like Okay, number one is market, but then what, what? Because I can't, I'm gonna have to like, go download it, but I'm like, ooh, what are these words on this circle? You know, I'm very visually stimulated. So when I see like, a model, I'm like, Okay, what is that? What does it mean? Yeah, well, what I did was, and you can see it on my behind me, it's on a

blackboard, because I made this I'm a big white border. So I turn this into a printable kind of whiteboard, right, from right on. And so I can literally do strategic planning on it. And it can be very simple. For instance, I took my daughter, she's a girl scout, I took her through this process being it from you know, Tennessee, I think that they were foreign there, right? So I use this to teach strategic planning, believe it or not to Girl Scouts, because nowadays, Girl Scouts, one of the things they have to do to get badge is learn how to do a business plan. And so it's very similar. So what I did was I started with them, I say, okay, who's your market? Well, Mom and Dad, you know, I got the neighbors, I got, you know, the grocery store. So we define the different markets, the next step is to say, Okay, what are your offerings and offerings are your products and your services? And so for them, you know, I broke it down and say, okay, what's your most popular cookie? Then? Is it 10 minutes? 10 minutes? Yes. Got it. Right. Yeah. And number two is the most.

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And but this is a very practical thing, even for the Girl Scouts. Because when you go and you sell, you go to door to door, and you sell it, which when she leave with, you should leave with the fence. And then you might want to upsell them, some Oh, so there's a there's a reason behind it. And so this same practice would go into SEO, you want to make sure you're focused on the products and services that are making the most money have the most profit have the most volume has some kind of rationale behind the search engine optimization. So step number two, step number three, is your value. Now, this is a little bit more complex, but value essentially answers the question, why would they buy from you as opposed to anyone else or doing nothing at all, and it's really about transformation, the reason people buy from you is they want some level of transformation formation. So I call that the results bridge, you want to take someone from where they are today, to where they are in the future, their future self, and from a Girl Scout perspective, and might be just having them feel good because they're supporting a great cause. It could be, you know, they want something yummy, or they want something to give their kids you know, as a, you know, a snack. And so that's the value that you're providing. So you want to make sure that that's, that's, again, communicate on the landing pages where someone's going to as a result of the search engine optimization. And then from there, it's really the three ways to grow a business. Number one is you can increase the number of buyers, that's the search engine optimization strategy to get new traffic, that in my experience is actually not the best scenario. What I do with an established company actually starts

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backwards, because the lowest hanging fruit is to get your existing clients to buy more, which is loyalty. And then from there, increasing the size, this is why McDonald's says Do you want fries with that, you know, that whole strategy. So you really want these to work in tandem. And what the best companies do is they actually work on all these simultaneously. Because when you do that, you have what I call growth, compounding or exponential growth. So if you focus on one of these and grow by 10%, your business is gonna grow by 10%. If you focus on five of them, you actually grow by 61%, which means you can double in a little bit over a year, the size of your business, if you do all all these simultaneously. Okay, so if you're listening, you got to go watch this, because you got to see what I'm seeing right now. And it's so smart. And it's simple. And I love how you simplified it, because it is cookie time right now. And my niece's, even though I'm like, I don't need the sugar, I'm like, Okay, and then I end up with like, $36 worth of Girl Scout box, whatever. And now they have, they do have the upsell of the lemon, and the s'mores and those are 450. I'm like, I don't even care how much it cost them. Like, just give me one of whatever. And then they had a little booth at the mall. And you know, it was all COVID friendly. And they're going to a 600 boxes, which is a lot of effing freaking cookies, you guys, they sold out in two hours. And I'm like, the Girl Scouts like I love it. I'm actually part of a new initiative, one of my business partners started, she used to work with the Girl Scouts and do all their programming. And she came up with a, it's a nonprofit called notably her. And so it's for the Girl Scouts. I don't remember like, I think it's like Daisy brownie Girl Scout. But then when the when the Girl Scouts get to be about 16 or 17 years old, and they're out a cookie phase, it's like they just kind of drop off, like there's nowhere for them to go. And so they created this entrepreneurship program, which I'm going to tell her about you because it would be a phenomenal speaker for notably her to teach these girls about the business side of things. But the thing the Girl Scouts is known for is cookies. But they also know from a business perspective that it's not smart to put all your eggs in one basket. And so they're starting to like branch out and do different programming to help girls, once they are like past that 1617 year old and how to be a business person, and how to get a scholarship through Girl Scouts for business entrepreneurship. So I love that you use that because it's like so fresh on my mind with that program recently. And I mean, this just it makes so much sense. And as a small business owner, like I would say I was 10 years in before I understood or did any of this because no one ever guided me or taught me. And this was way before like podcasts and YouTube. And it was cool to have like a consultant and a coach and everybody was sharing. But this stuff like if you're a newer entrepreneur, you want to do this, like go through this. And if you're if you're not new, and you've been around forever, and you haven't gone through all this, to think about, like you said the value in what you're doing, it's a great simple way to like break down the SEO, and your SEO is a long term strategy. It this shit don't happen overnight. And I couldn't agree with you more to like pay for quick data to like, get it. So I'm like geeking out right now. This is like my my talk. But tell us some more like, what are some quick ways that

businesses can turn adversity into opportunity? What are what are a few things that they can do? Well, I use I eat my own cooking, so to speak, I've seen we also didn't have to have dinner or something because it's cookies and dinner and bakery Oh, God.

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Um, but I use this own my own system here to pivot myself. So with my agency, I actually did a lot and travel and weddings and events. I worked with some of the biggest brands and weddings actually. And a lot of those were challenged, which affected my business. And so I looked at my own, you know, kind of self and say, Okay, how do I pivot? And I went exactly through this process to say, Okay, what markets hot, you know what, you know, what value can I bring? And what I discovered of all things were on a podcast. But what I noticed this podcast is G was taking off. And so what I did was actually started a software company, with the intent to go into a new market kind of explore something new, but really, to prove this model because as I built this, as I mentioned, I had an agency. Then I started a training company consultancy to teach this system, but I realized it wasn't getting any traction. And the reason why is I needed a case I needed to prove it. And so what I did was I started a software company in November that I'm going to

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To over a million dollars in less than a year by using these principles. So I thought it'd be kind of fun to do it myself. I've always wanted to have a software company. I've done software before, but not for myself. I made lots of millionaires for other people that myself, so I said, Okay, I'm gonna start that. So what I did was I said, Okay, the market podcasting, what do we need? Well, podcasters and guests, interviews interviewees typically don't make any money. And so I started a brand called caspase, which the mission was to make podcasting profitable for both hosts and their guests. And so I create a whole software system around that. And then I just mentioned the value number, I'm doing Joint Venture Partners, I'm doing affiliate sale, I'm doing a whole bunch of things to drive the number, size, I have a way to send people to different levels, like there's tears for the software, and loyalty, there's, there's a lot of hooks in there to keep people into the software so that they'll want to get better and better use out of it. So I kind of took my own system and put together a really very quick period of time, just a few months. That's so incredible, though, doesn't it feel good to like, you know, for years, I'm like, I've done this for so many people, I never really sat back and thought about like doing a brand photoshoot for myself, or doing videos like for myself, so like, teach all this stuff. And then it's like, we, we were blessed with COVID with the time of like, really, and you say something like one of the key takeaways is like, slow down to speed up. Yeah. And I feel

like that was the opportunity that that, you know, with the whole pandemic thing, people who go COVID I'm like, Well, actually, for us, like, our business is great, like people need productivity. And it also gave us an opportunity to like really slowed down so that we could speed up and like, slow down and look at the data. And do we really need private clients when we have online sales? And we could do this. And we could do that. And and again, so many people like you're saying like podcasts are booming. I just got off of a podcast. And the guy was like, Hey, I'm new at this. I just started, how do you make money from it? Because we're going into year six. And I'm like, well, there's various strategies from it. But you definitely want to hire strategists and like a professional or consultant, who has, like you said, proven numbers and who've done it, to know that it works. Because there's a lot of different strategies. And we've changed our strategy over the years, based on what we want, and what our goals are, but also what our audience is asking for. But when you say slow down to speed up, what does that mean to you as a as an entrepreneur? Yeah, well, it's kind of I have a kind of an interesting story about that. So one of the things I didn't mention was I mentioned I got an entrepreneurship degree. The other degree I got was actually in Fine Arts. I was a professional violinists. And slowly, yeah, yeah. And so one of the things I learned when I was with my teacher, you know, world renowned teacher recorded for Sony Carnegie Hall the whole bit. And, you know, I, I was learning a difficult violin piece called the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. And, you know, I'm 19 years old, and I'm just kind of breezing through the hard stuff. And kind of relaxing on the melodic stuff, the fun stuff. And he taught me that lesson back then, like, you have to play the difficult stuff. But you can't just breeze through it, you have to slow down in order to be able to actually speed up and I use that I mean, even now, I have my violin right over there. And when I want to take a mental break, I go and pick it up, I play. But I still have that with me. Because if you really want to grow quickly, you have to slow down. And so that means having a strategic plan, thinking about what you're going to do, because so many times people rush into, hey, I want to do SEO, I want to do Facebook, without actually first identifying why they need to do it, and what you know what tactics actually are going to work. And a lot of times they don't have success. I mean, how many times have we hired the wrong person, you know, waste of money in advertising, just you know, where we are today is a function of like, or not the decisions we make. And a lot of times we make poor decisions, because we don't think it through don't slow down in order to speed up.

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And sometimes I know myself, I mean, I, every day, there is something where my system will ask me, do you want me to do this or this? Well, you know, what do you think? What do you like? And a lot of times, like they'll split test things. And sometimes like I'm just random, and I'm like, yeah, that's fine. Just do that. And then the next day, I'll go back and I'll look at it. Like I did this last night on Instagram. And I'm like, I know I said, do that. But

don't let me do that again, like, because now looking at the big picture on the grid. It doesn't make sense. But I was so tired and emotionally drained when she asked me that question at 11 o'clock at night, because sometimes we don't get to catch up until 10 or 11 at night. My dog just got out of surgery like I'm emotionally like a mess.

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And, you know, I'm just like making a decision. And sometimes like, that's really not the best thing. And so sometimes it's better to let somebody else make the decision or let data make that decision for you. So that you're not going back and you're like, oh, maybe I shouldn't do that. And I can't even tell you how many courses I've built, where I'm like, this is a good idea. People need this, people need to know this, and then no one buys it. And so it's like, that's where I've had to learn, like before acting, to listen to the audience, poll the audience, ask the audience, have test groups have beta groups have case studies like this stuff matters. But I also know that shits moving so fast in this world, especially like with influencer marketing, and I will say that as a as a more professional business owner, now with, you know, two decades in, you know, I've learned exactly what you're saying slow down. And like, let's think it through. And it's like, from a psychology angle, people have a lot of blind spots, because they hire a bunch of people they like because they don't want to be pushed and challenged. But you really need all four colors. So your blind spots are covered. So that you can build a machine from every angle, and you're thinking about it from every angle. So that's, like, really important. So I also know that the, you know, again, a lot of people and I know I know so badly, especially in hospitality, that COVID has been a really hard thing.

31:33

But you've, you've taken it to a whole different level. So like, if there's one thing that you could tell business owners, like, Listen, no matter what industry you're in, you need to be doing this thing. Is there something or some type of experience share a vise that you could give people that maybe haven't had the mindset that you and I had had, it sounds like where it's like, okay, we've really, we've learned to pivoted, we've embraced it, and we've doubled our revenue, or we've grown over time, which I do think it comes down to the mindset and being surrounded by the right people are listening to the right podcast or the right YouTube videos. But what's the one thing that they're probably not thinking of? That you would tell them to do? Yeah, well, I think you have to not put your head in the sand. You know, most people tend to do that, like they want to pretend that things are gonna go back to the way they were. And that is very unlikely. And so I think you have to get out of your comfort zone, and explore other areas. Now, if you're profitable, and you're

growing, fine. But if you're not, you have to you have to, you know, again, pivot and use so much, we can use a word adapt, but either way, you have to change because if you don't change, you're going to be stuck. And also, I would encourage you to look at what business you're really in. Right? So you may not be I mean, years ago, you had the railroads, they were dominating, right. And then all of a sudden cars came along. And they saw themselves as railroads instead of cars, when really, during the transportation business. So kind of dig deeper and say, Okay, what business? Am I actually in? What's the purpose of what I'm doing? You know, you're seeing this with, you know, yoga studios did this really well, a lot of times, you know, they're struggling, people aren't going in there. But they realize that they're about really making people, you know, healthier and have a better mindset. And so they shifted to doing online, you know, you can take courses online, and there's all sorts of businesses that kind of narrowed down, or reposition who they were based on the need, they saw, which goes back to the messaging, I said before, like value, like, what's the value of providing, it's not a product or service, it's kind of the result, people are buying results. They're not buying your product or service. So it's the result that comes from your product and service. If you start there, then you kind of work backwards and figure out, how do you how do you get through this?

33:50

It's so true. So if somebody needed consulting, or wanted to up their game in marketing, and SEO and digital, and can you explain to us like how your agency works, like, what are you focused on, specifically as the entrepreneur? And then what are some things that your team members do to support small businesses that want to be better at this stuff? Yeah, so I have an agency, I have a training company. And now I have the software company, that the agency I'm kind of moving away from, because I find these other areas more interesting, frankly. And so the train company and the coaching is really meant to help you dramatically increase your profitability, which is not the same as revenue. It's really about looking at your profitability. And you do that by Yes, growing your revenue, but also reducing your costs. And a lot of that is data base as you as you kind of surmise from my profile, and so that's kind of the training company, the podcasting software company has kind of a similar mission. So I guess I'm kind of really focused on profit, just because that's really the core thing. If you aren't profitable, you're not going to be sustainable. You're not gonna be around and so

35:00

The the software company does that through, you know, for hosts, and guests. And it's really about really three ways I found to grow revenue doing this kind of thing. One

through sponsorships to through joint ventures and affiliate sales. And three by selling direct sales to to the audience may be to the host to the guests. And there's a variety of models, but that's kind of the software that's in alpha release. Now. It's going to be going into beta in March.

35:27

So for people that are listening that say, Oh, well, I want to do a podcast or I want to do more with podcasting. And the podcasting agency that you're speaking of, does a podcast need to have a certain amount of downloads or follows? Or what are the prerequisites if people want to work with the podcasting side of things? No, that's the beauty of it. Because what I noticed is well, is that most people quit when they're only like six episodes in. And so I created the system, so you can make profitability by day one. So for instance, one of the things I'll be thinking about if I had a podcast, which ironically, I don't, I don't even have a podcast, I need a podcast, Tony. I'm working on it. But you know what, I know business, I know how to make money. That's the angle, I know how to build software. So that's because I actually like being an outsider, because I can call it as it is. But the thing is, the lowest hanging fruit is, is to monetize the guests. So if I had a guest on my show, and say, hey, why not sponsor my show, you get a benefit. Because guess what, if I have a little bit of money, maybe I can throw a Facebook campaign, I can grow your audience, I can grow mine, or I can shoot out to my Facebook audience by email. So thinking creatively, creatively like that, there's so many things you can do and or, you know, for instance, in my software, what I do is I monetize the booking process, most people are using calendly, or something else, with my system, it's actually free. And we give the opportunity to upsell the guests because when they get booked, it's actually part of a shopping cart process. So there's upsells, right there to buy your course, or, you know, lead magnets to give something away something of value. So that's kind of the first place to start and something that anyone can do. So day one, you can actually be making money. Now you're not gonna be rich, but at least you can cover your costs because, you know, a podcast that has an expense. This is not like, you know, this isn't a charity. Right? You have a cost for for your time. Right? You have a I'm sure you have. Well, I know you'd have you have a VA, you have the editor. Yeah.

37:27

Exactly. So why not at least break even. And so a lot of times, you can do that, just by leveraging the guests, you know, that's, that's a place, you know, there's so much you can do beyond that. But that's just kind of one example, what the software does.

37:40

So and I will also say cuz you you touched on a few times like and actually it's funny, I taught a class earlier today on affiliate marketing, and how, and a lot of the women it was at a woman's co working space that were there. They're just like, this just seems like so much work. I'm like, Listen, ladies, listen, nothing's easy. Okay? You got to put the work in. You've got to make sure that either it's courses or it's a product, the easiest thing for us was people keep asking me what curling irons use? What steamer do I use to see my linens? What podcasting shit do I use? when I'm traveling? What luggage my using? I'm like, I've literally bought all this stuff from Amazon. So we became an Amazon affiliate, which is like the easiest program and they're like, Can anybody do that? I'm like, I think so. But like from a business perspective, I think you should still like have any i n and small businesses pay taxes on the commission every year, but then it's just not Oh, here's my affiliate link, go use it, you actually have to build it into your content strategy consistently to let people know about it. And then I had other people that asked like, well, I want to start my own affiliate program. And I said, Well, that's one of the reasons we built all of our courses on kajabi is because they have a built in feature on their platform. And then there's a PayPal pay. I mean, you know how it works? Yeah. But it just shocked me that any asked the whole room, I'm like, how many of you are actually doing it and making money from it? And like no one raised their hand. And they're like, it just seems like so much work and so much time and effort and tracking. And it is a lot but you know what, if you hire a consultant to build it for you, you make that money back. You just need to make sure that you're you own your audience. You're authentic, and like you're tracking your stuff. So is that what your software helps do? Like does it help track the affiliates? Yeah, helps with a lot of that. I mean, the other thing to kind of relate to affiliates is joint ventures, what people don't realize the way the fastest the biggest companies grow. So when I did, I actually did a joint venture with Google and with Ford Motor Company, and that was how we grew. And so when I had the $400 million agency, it was by joint ventures through partnerships. And that's how big companies

40:00

work. So little companies, they're just trying to skimp together, you know, maybe a couple $1,000. And throwing Facebook is not getting the traction, the best way to do is find people that already have your audience partner with them, and just give them a share. And that's what the biggest companies do. And here's the little guys thinking, Oh, we have to spend our way to it, when in reality, that's not really necessary. And that's, that's another area that the software helps address. And it's crazy, because I know like coming off of the wedding world, people are like, oh, commission bad under the table shit. And I'm like, no filling market doesn't work like that. If I pay money to go through a course, and I

love it, why would I not become an affiliate? Tell everybody else about it and make money off of it? Like, there's nothing wrong with that, because I invested in myself. So why would I not share it with others? So it's it's a it's a mindset shift thing? For sure. For sure. Yeah, absolutely. If people want to reach out to you, and learn more about what you do, where is the best place for them to go? Yeah, so I have kind of a personal website called meet Tony g calm, because of course, no one can spell my last name. So me, Tony g.com. You scroll down all the way. And you can follow me on social media connect with me, you know, say hi, I'm very active, especially on LinkedIn is a great place from a business perspective. And if you want to read more about my story, download the templates for the results, lube, all that is completely free. I don't even put it behind a form. Because I just want people to have the information. You go to small steps, manifesto.com. And all all these things we've talked about here today are available there for download.

41:37

And if you're driving or running, like don't stop, keep going. And we'll put like y'all know, Amanda puts everything in the show notes with all the links, and you guys really need to go check this stuff out, like especially the podcasting stuff, and this whole, like, easy process of all these steps. It just it makes so much sense. And I mean, you really dumb it down in a digestible way where it's not so overwhelming. So thank you so much for sharing this. This is amazing. You're welcome. My pleasure. Awesome. And everybody that's listening. Thank you so much for your time today. I know you got lots of great nuggets. So be sure to go and connect with Tony on. It sounds like is LinkedIn, your favorite platform. I do like LinkedIn.

42:25

And we'll put Facebook and Twitter and all that stuff down too. So be sure to tune in next week for another episode of business unveiled and everybody have a great day. Bye. That's it for this week's episode of business unveiled. Now that you have all the tools that you need to conquer the world and GSD get shit done. Would you share this with your friends and fellow business leaders? One thing that would really really help us and help new listeners is for you to rate the show. And leave a comment and Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you tune in and listen to business unveiled. You can check out the show notes at Angela proffitt.com slash podcast and link up with us on social media so you can share your biggest insights. And I want to know your aha moments. Until next week, remember, the profitable shifts and structures you're creating in your business, help you be more present in your life. So get out there and GSD

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Published: March 2, 2021

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