Joshua Latimer felt his job as a banker for JP Morgan Chase to start a cleaning business in Michigan which he eventually grew and sold to a California based cleaning conglomerate in 2015. Now he’s living in Costa Rica with his 4 kids and wife where he helps small business owners from all over the world understand the power of business systems and automation and the freedom that they can bring. Joshua is the founder of www.automategrowsell.com, an online training platform for small local service businesses as well as www.sendjim.com, a follow up automation tool for busy professionals.
Yanique asked if was the same business that he sold to a California cleaning conglomerate in 2015. Joshua stated that yes, it was and that it’s a great business, it’s a repeat service, there’s a high margin and it’s a niche service, it’s a good business but it’s tricky to scale. One of the reasons it is so hard is because you’re inside peoples’ homes to have the right systems and protocols, when you have dozens of employees and you’re doing tens and thousands of dollars in revenue a week or a day sometimes, it’s very tricky to keep that thing tight enough to where it’s operating at a high level going in and out of peoples’ homes, it’s an intimate thing and that where the tricky part is to scale a cleaning business.
Joshua stated that he was so self-centered in a business perspective and in how smart he thought he was perspective, it’s almost embarrassing and he looked around with his colleagues and other Americans, they don’t do it on purpose but they slowly become like that over time, they live in a bubble a little bit and so going down to Costa Rica and engage with people who makes US $2.00 an hour and interact with people who are terrified to start a tiny business and to understand the cultural differences and to see what he can offer there and learn from them as well it has been an amazing thing and because his new business is web based, he has the ability to do that which is amazing and as long has he has Internet, he can work from wherever.
Joshua stated that his philosophy is that you run towards problem. One of his company core values that have already been established before they built the system is to have a way to know that Facebook and the customer service support email account and their customer support telephone number were checked really quickly and on going. Step 1 of your system might include using some software or assigning a low level administrative task person to constantly check these messages on a 15 minutes reoccurring basis as part of her workflow maybe she does other work and she is always refreshing that Facebook feed for example because you want to be present and you want to be very responsive in Customer Service. Step 2 would be, if something happens where someone is not happy that would trigger all of this other stuff, so you would give them a predefined script, not robotic, very human, very fun. Taking responsibility by creating a script for them to send back to the Facebook person and it would be in the 15-minute window because the system would be checking it all the time and would probably have the employees take responsibility, tell the customer, “I have the authority to make this right for you, we’re going to be on this, here’s my personal cell phone number, here’s my email address, we’re going to be reaching out to you, we are all over this. Thank you so much for telling us this happened, this is a huge help to us.” Step 3 would be for us to go find this person in real life so whether we review the orders from the time the message was sent, we try to find them and their phone number, whatever it is we will run and sprint towards that problem as a team. Step 4 might be to document the whole situation in our CRM or our support ticket software, whatever we are using so that we have a record of the complaint that was made and anybody that was involved in it. Step 5 might be, during your weekly team meetings, you review the previous week incidents and see if they were resolved satisfactorily or if we can tighten up or if the script needs to be changed or if we are doing our very best. That would be a simple word document that describes everything but the hard part of the system is getting your team to do it that way every single time. The way that you accomplish that is by being relentless in your pursuit of sticking to the system in your own life as a leader so when you constantly going back there an reiterating and reaffirming, it will work but people give up too quick sometimes with it.
Joshua stated that the meat of your leadership ability comes in the way you actually behave and execute in your own role. Everybody is watching you, your family and your kids so you have to be high level because everyone below you will do exactly what you do except a little bit less. If the bar is not high enough in step 1 by the time you are 12 layers deep and have all these staff members, the customers dealing with all the 12 layer employees at the bottom, you’re going to get a very low level experience because the bar wasn’t raise high enough by the leadership in the beginning.
Joshua stated that he tends to specialize with service companies but the customer life cycle and the way to engage enough to the sale and the way to get maximum profitability specifically to home service businesses like lawn care, landscaping, carpet cleaning, he has some other people in the boot camp but that’s kind of the core of who it is tailored to speak to if you decide to take it.
He stated that in his office at the door, there is a white board in his office that says, “Today I’m thankful for” and there is a line and he has a dry erase marker and he writes something new on it everyday. It’s a silly, tiny thing but we have to remind ourselves how blessed, fortunate and lucky we are. It’s very easy to feel sorry for yourself even if you’re doing successful things, even if you’re in America, poor people in America are rich if you compare it to the world but it’s easy to sit around and say, “poor me, I only have this but everybody else have that” or “my job, I hate but it’s impossible because everybody is keeping me down” which is not true, you’re in a perspective the way you view the world, it’s true to you. If you have the correct thinking, you’re going to get more and more motivated over time.
Yanique stated that she read in a book when she was in college that said, “It’s not humanly possible for you to do 2 things at the same time at 100%.” She could see the concept that Gary was trying to get across in terms of really being intentional in completing an activity to the best of your ability and by doing so just focusing on that activity for that period of time.
Joshua stated that the first page of the book says, “If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.” Joshua shared this a Russian Proverb. The truth is that building a successful company is boring and it’s not always sexy and you’re not always on fire with motivation, it’s about setting and accomplishing goals period. One thing, then two things, then three things, then four things, then you get a set back and then you’ve got to be relentless and resilient and not quit and keep going and then you set and accomplish another goal, that’s the way that you do it if you want to really crush it but most of us are too concern with checking Facebook 300 times a day or checking our email 95 times a day. He stated that he heard a statistic that the average person checks their email 95 to 130 times a day. Our ability to focus is really bad, especially with technology now. He stated that it is something he is working on to get tighter into because it’s not about working hard, it’s about being productive and if you want to move quickly to success, you have to be highly productive and that means doing all the boring stuff no one wants to talk about, doing the right things when no one is looking, shutting down the distractions and getting crap done until it’s done one thing at a time.
Calvin Wayman is a bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker and Social Media Entrepreneur. The most inspiring thing about Calvin is what he has done in such a short time. He shows that where there is a will, there is a way. Seeing where he is now, it’s crazy that in just spring 2015 he was still working an employee job, feeling stuck at a job that he was not passionate about; he ultimately decided to give himself a chance. He suddenly quit his day job to pursue his dream of working for himself and went selling door to door; he’s a man on a mission. He owns Cobbes Media, a Social Media Management Agency designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs to stand out beyond 97% of everyone else on Social Media. He has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Social Media Examiner, The Huffington Post and was even named one of the Top 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 by www.influensive.com. He recently ran in a 50 mile ultra marathon just to challenge himself and he just barely released his 1st book which debuted on the Amazon top 100 of all books in the success category. His book is called Fish Out of Water: The Guide to Achieving Breakthrough and Permanently Transforming Into the New You.
Calvin shared a great example of Morton's Steakhouse, there’s this guy jumping on an airline and he’s going to go on this long airline flight so he sends out a tweet and he tags Morton's in it and he says, “Man, this is going to be a long flight, I would love a Morton's Steak at the end of this.” He was just joking; he sends out the tweet completely joking almost like if it’s starting to snow, we’ll make a tweet that says, “Dear winter, please go away." He gets to the end of his airline flight, he comes off the plane and guess what he sees right there in the airport, a guy in a tuxedo, bow tie and all with a Morton's Steakhouse meal for the gentleman completely for free. Morton's saw that tweet and if you think of all the logistics that had to come in play for that to happen, for somebody at Morton's to see that tweet, to then get it approved in however long and say “Let’s do this stunt”, and to even find the guy’s airline and see when he was going to land and plan everything to get the food cooked right, to be right there in the airport when he landed, it’s crazy, so many resources were put into that but the question is “Do you think that made a connection with this guy? Do you think it gave him a good customer experience?” Absolutely! And that’s the point, it blew his mind so much that he was so excited about, so impressed, realizing what Morton's did, he ended up writing a blog - posting and sharing his story and it ended up being shared thousands and thousands of time and Morton's business blew up because of that and that’s just one little thing, taking care of one customer, doing one little thing and most people might look at that in the beginning or even the idea of it and say “Well, we can’t do that because that’s going to cost us time, money and resources” but it’s something that you can’t scale and do over and over but it’s when you do those human touches that your whole business will grow and Morton's has that story within their culture and so it just has this whole culture of taking care of people and people over processes, people over policies, people over procedure and that’s how any business continues to flourish is when they keep that in mind that it's the people that matter and give them the experience, they are the reason YOU are in business.
Yanique stated that there is a section in the book called, SWIM which is an acronym and it says swim like a shark. Shark and development and moving forward in your life, are they connected and can you share with us a little bit about why you would need to swim like a shark and what are the characteristics of a shark that we would need to be inculcating into our lives.
Calvin shared that shark in his book is a really positive thing; he uses the opposite like a "guppy" which your smaller average version of yourself and a shark is something completely different, something you transform into. He did that because when you breakthrough that fish out of water phase, you don’t just become a bigger fish, you become a completely different fish, something that’s confident, you literally transform. One of the main principles he talks about near the end of the book is swimming like a shark and SWIM is an acronym of four things that he noticed with successful people and when you start behaving like a shark then it pulls you in that direction to become a shark yourself and SWIM stands for Success, Words, Improve and Measure.
Success is defining success the right way and he has noticed has he talks to millionaires and billionaire, they think of success completely differently than a guppy does. For example, a guppy thinks that success is arriving at a destination or getting the result but what he noticed is that successful people are masters of the mundane, they are used to doing the same thing over and over and that is success. Said in a different way, they view success as something completely in their control, so they are focused inward on saying, “What can I do?” they take personal responsibility for it and it’s by doing those things and taking personal responsibility that makes the result happen as a buy product but they are not waiting for the result to come before they say, “I am successful” like you might as a guppy, “I’m not going to be successful until that day, until I achieve this.” You can wake up, be successful today, you can have your goal in the distance and say, “If that’s my goal, what action can I take today to get me closer.” That’s the main thing with the S in SWIM in that chapter, is recognizing what sharks think about success and realizing that it’s in your control and staying focus within your control.
Words is showing that people that are successful and they live by success principles are the people we admire whether they are a famous movie star, whether they are Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Degeneres, a millionaire, a billionaire or somebody with a big company, they speak differently than most people, they have a different language, the words they use and the topics they talk about is what Words is all about. A piece from the Words section and it’s something he learned from one of his mentors Michael Bernoff, he is known like the other Tony Robbins, he’s great with transforming people into a new version of themselves. One day he was getting coaching from him and he asked him a question and he said, “Sure” and he completely stopped the conversation and said, “What did you say?” and he said, “What?” and he asked again, “What did you say?” and he said sure. And he said, “Calvin, do you know what sure means?” He said sure means screw you and it shocked him, he said, “What you need to realize Calvin, is that sure and maybe and I don’t know and perhaps, those are all fluffy, uncertain words and if you want to be successful, what you’ll notice is successful people use words that are definite like yes, no, absolutely and they are certain in the things they say, they are absolute.” It was an amazing coaching lesson for him and he said, “Calvin, what you say matters, the words you use matter.” He looks at the word “sure” as a curse word for him because he went through the same process and he saw how he changed his language when he was on his way to becoming a millionaire. That was a major lesson for him, so that’s what Words is all about.
I stand for Improve, this is important if you’re looking to grow your business to always have a better customer experience. You will notice with Apple or any good company that has been around for awhile is that they don’t ever arrive, they’re always improving, and they’re always looking for the latest ways to develop the customer experience. A great example of somebody that finally got their act together was Nintendo. For years they were stuck to the console and in the day that was the thing to give the best customer experience but then these things came around called the cell phones and people were on mobile and it took them forever but finally this year they came out with PokemonGo. PokemonGo was a way of improving from where they were and it created such an amazing customer experience and it exploded and it had the biggest growth of any app in history when they made that switch. That’s what I is all about. It is always continuing to improving where you are because successful businesses, successful people never arrive.
The final thing that helps with everything is M. M stands for Measure and measuring the right things. He went to a mentor and was complaining because something wasn’t happening the way he thought it should or he wasn’t growing as much as he thought he should and he said, “Well, how are you measuring it?” and he replied, “I’m not measuring it.” And his mentor said, “That’s the problem, you don’t know if you’re winning, if you don’t keep score and you get more of what you measure.” Measure is super important it’s what he notices with so many successful people, it’s what sharks do, and they measure the key indicators of what they want to move. So keep score but measure the right things, measure the things you want to get more of. Examples of what you should measure and what you shouldn’t measure, according to his mentor, what most people do if they want to get in better shape or increase their finances and so they measure how heavy they are, if you think you’re going to get more of what you measure, you’re in resistance, you don’t want to measure how heavy you are because don’t want more pounds. People want to get out of debt and yet they are measuring their debt, so they are in resistance. So what do you measure? You measure what he explains as a lead measure, something that if you do more of it, it will change the result. So if you want to lose weight, instead of how much you weigh, you could do a couple of things, you could measure how much weight you lost, so you get more of it or even better, measure the thing 100% in your control like how many days you worked out or how many sets you did or how much you maxed out, how many perfect days you had with eating well. Do the things that if you do them that they are 100% in your control then it can predictively change the result. If you want to get out of debt, measure your income, measure ways to make money and that’s what going to get you closer to getting the actual result that you want. M is for measure, you don’t know if you’re winning if you don’t keep score and to take it one step further, measure the things that getting more of is going to help you win. This is what the sharks do, this what makes them successful and the cool thing is anyone can adopt it. That is how you SWIM LIKE A SHARK. calvinwayman.com/book
Jane Anderson is a Personal Branding and Presentation Skills expert. She is a communication expert with over 12 years in personal branding and LinkedIn in profile development. Jane works with experts in their field to grow their businesses and increase their leads, her clients include Virgin Australia, Cisco, Leggo, IKEA, Rio Tinto and Origin Energy. Jane has been featured in Business Insider, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Courier Mail and Marie Claire and is the host of the number 1 ranked iTunes Podcast, The Jane Anderson Brand You Show. Jane is a nominee for Telstar Business Awards for 2016 and a mentor on Thought Leaders Business School, helping clever people be commercially smart. Jane has been endorsed by LinkedIn as one of the top influences in Australia and New Zealand; she is also the author of 3 books including Connect: How to Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation in Less Than 7 Minutes per Day.
Jane stated that the challenge is that the customer is driving the direction of the experience, not the businesses and it depends on the kind of business you are in but she thinks that 1 of the challenge is being able to know when to listen to customers and when not to, she always thinks of that Henry Ford quote, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Sometimes it’s that balance, it’s not necessarily playing with the popularity contest. They’ll say, I need you to look at what’s trending and stop marketing around what customers or what people are talking about and what’s trending but the problem with that is that you’re just diluting your business because you’re focusing on what people are talking about what they want but sometimes it’s about being comfortable that what you’re talking about is actually about what people need and you have to be comfortable that you might not be popular, you might not be everybody’s favorite but if you’re following what everybody is interested in, you become commoditize, so you have to be very careful that you can still stand out even if customers are wanting it and everyone’s following what customers want. Sometime you have to actually go in the opposite direction.
Jane stated that a client who is a sole entrepreneur, her name is Rachael Burke who lives in Australia and is a Sales Expert and she came to her and said, “I’m not really good at lead generation but I’m really good at selling, so I just need more customers.” So what she did with her was to show her the formula and how to get it to work and she increased her sales by over 66% in 3 months, so that’s in the hundred of thousands of dollars. She does LinkedIn for lead generation for large organizations as well as small ones and sole entrepreneurs. Jane stated that in Australia, they have a business which is a big superannuation and superannuation in Australia is like money you put away for your retirement and they built all the LinkedIn profiles for the staff and for the financial planners for the business and what she got them to do was, they have a change of legistration in Australia so it was a great time to educate the market on some of the changes because nobody was educating the market, she was out looking. She said to them that they need to run webinar, they need to got out and educate some of these clients and they got 500 new leads from that webinar. That was purely through leveraging the profiles and that was about 50 staff that got their profiles built. The opportunities that are in there but the thing is with LinkedIn is that, she find most people will come to her and say, “I’ve got a LinkedIn account but I have never achieve any results from it.” and then she’ll ask them what their profile say, there are often be no content in it at all or she’ll ask them how often they have reached out to people? What have you said to them? What have you invited them to? What’s your content plan? And they don’t have any of that, so LinkedIn doesn’t make clients magically appear, you have to go out and find them but you’ve got to have really good collateral and they make a decision about you in 3 seconds. You have to make sure that all your collateral and profile is so nice and polished and sharp and that it matches how amazing you are in person because we only have 3 seconds for them to go “wow, this person knows what they are doing, this person is amazing, I have to talk to you.” To have a profile that really works, like making sure it turns up in search results as well as having that impact when they see you. For just a simple 3 seconds, that’s how long they look at it before they move on and have a look at somebody else, so they have to make sure that they make their job really easy.
Jane stated that people need to shift their attention now onto the other person, so you’re looking for what’s the common ground or what the purpose because the other person is asking themselves “why are you offering to connect with me?” so you’ve got to be able to answer the “why”, so if you’re reaching out and for example, she was reaching out medical financial planner, if he just looked at her profile and say, “why is she offering to connect with me, I don’t understand.” She explained to him that she does a lot of work with doctors, she helps them with lead generation but she helps them who are going into specialist training programs and she said to him, “I would love to catch up with you, I think there’s an opportunity for me to perhaps add some value to your clients, if not, that’s totally fine but here are some links, you are welcome to check out what I do and I would love to catch up with you for coffee one day and see what I can do to help you as well.” And so he met with her, so it all started from there and you’ve got to focus, look at their profile, what is it that they do and you have to address, “I notice this on your profile or I notice that you do this type of work, I notice that you’re in the same industry, I do this type of work or I help people like you in this space, so I thought I’d connect.” Jane stated that what happens is that just because you are ready to sell, doesn’t mean that the customer is ready to buy. So when you reach out to people, people have got to get to know you so they are going, “hold on, I haven’t even met you” and it’s a little like dating. She recalled she went on a date with a guy once and he turned up with a bag pack and she said to him, “have you just coming from the gym?” and he said, “No, you never know, things might go alright” and she thought he was joking and he opened his bag and there was a tooth brush, he had a change of clothes, his undies. She stated that LinkedIn is a little like that, is that sometimes we turn up with a bag pack, we’re ready to move in together, start this relationship and go in whole but the customer is saying, “hold on, can we just have coffee first, who are you?” So we sort of scare people and that’s when you hear people say they just get harass by sales people. You have to connect, be liked, friendly but then you’ve got to let people get to know you through your content, Mark Port who wrote the book, Book Yourself Solid said, “you have got to earn the right to sell.” And the problem is that most people don’t earn the right and then they scare people away. You can then ask for the value, you can ask for what you want based on the value you delivered. So in other words, if you have given enough, you have done enough content, if you kept visible enough, if you build enough trust, now you’re ready to go and ask for what you want. One of the things she does with clients is that she will look at how much value they have given to their audience because what they do is done nothing, they have given no value and they will say to her, “I want to be able to grow my business on LinkedIn but it’s not working.” But are not giving their audience any value, so you can’t go and ask for what you want because you haven’t earn it yet. You can do that in less then 7 minutes a day.
Daniel “ Dan” de Witte is a Business Coach, Digital Strategist and Entrepreneur dedicated to sharing his knowledge with small businesses who want to leverage the online market. As a business coach, Dan specializes in tailor business strategies, business development and automation. Working closely with businesses to identify their needs, Dan thinks outside the conventional box to develop easy to implement effective solutions. As the founder of the Outer Space Network, Dan has used his knowledge and experience in rapid growth and brand development to create an original mentoring and support platform. Although bright eyed and bushy tailed, Dan isn’t a stranger when it comes to starting and growing successful businesses, starting his professional career as an internationally published photographer. Daniel knows designs and presentation, his creative flare and instinct for presentation gives him a competitive edge in brand development.
Yanique stated that something as simple as remembering the customer’s name is very important. It’s powerful because regardless of where we are from in the world or what language you speak or what culture we are from, we all have something that is unique to us and that’s what people call us by and so you give someone your name, it’s important to use it and use it properly because it differentiates the experience and it sets that whole experience a part. Looking at what Daniel remembers from his trip, the food could have been good but he didn’t mention that the food was great, he mentioned that the fact that waiter was serving 30 or 40 other tables and he remembered you and your guest names and that’s what stood out in his mind. It is always the little things that separate the really good companies from the ones that doing the bare minimum.
Yanique shared how learning for her online has been such a remarkable and great experience that she has learned so much from You Tube videos, reading articles, connecting with people in Facebook Groups and so she agreed with Dan that doing is definitely one of the best ways to learn quick.