How to Find the Voice of Your Business and Cash In On It
There is a ton of competition in just about every niche out there and the only way to stand out and get seen and heard is to differentiate yourself by owning a small segment of the market you’re in.
In my conversation with Greg we cover how to find that voice and figure out how to stick out from the crowd in a way that is going to make the key difference for your business. If you own a certain niche in the minds of your customers not only will you grow faster and find it easier to attract new customers but you will also not have to compete on price and you won’t be as vulnerable to new competition coming into the space.
Any business can do it you just have to make the effort to discover what yours is going to be.
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Listen right here:
Matt: Alright! Welcome to the Entrepreneur Talk Podcast. Today, I have on the show with me Greg Rollett from ambitious.com. Greg has an awesome entrepreneurial resume that I think you’re going to be pretty impressed with. He’s got some cool stories to share with us and definitely some practical advice. So, thanks for taking the time today, Greg. Why don’t you just kind of jump in with some of your backgrounds and how you got to where you at today?
Greg: Yeah. Totally. So, I have a pretty fun story for most people, especially when they are first hearing it. I was actually a rapper in a rock band. I started this whole thing out. I started my first business when I was 16. They let me in at a high school at noon every day to start a business and I started a record label because I wanted to be like Master P, if anybody remembers Master P from that million records and all that. That’s what I wanted to be. I’m like this white dude from the suburbs but still I wanted to be Master P because I saw he didn’t have big record label credentials. He didn’t have the distribution. He is just the guy from New Orleans who wanted to make music and share it with the world. When he did that, then, the major labels came and the money came. The fame came. He still just signs all these buddies in the neighborhood. I thought that was a freaking cool path to be on. So, I did that. I self-funded my first album. I went into college and took all the student loan money that you get that you’re supposed to buy like books and room and board and all that stuff with. I actually bought a studio then put it in my dorm room. I recorded people in College. That’s actually how I paid for college – recording people. I ended up recording people like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony in my dorm room, if anybody remembers those guys. I did all kinds of cool stuff. I left that and toured the country everywhere from Madison Square Garden, New York City to L.A. I just loved the music industry. Then, one thing led to another. Music business fell apart. Obviously, the music business is completely different today than it was 10 to 15 years ago. I fell into this world of information marketing. What I found out is all the stuff that we were doing as musicians and playing these cool venues, selling CDs online, big brands want to help doing that. It was kind of weird. They started reaching to me. My first ever consulting client was Coca-Cola. My second was Miller Light and third was Disney. Super luck! I’m not any cooler than anybody else listening on the show. They just happened to see some of the stuff that we were doing in the music side and some of the stuff that we were doing in our marketing and wanted my help, which is awesome. A 22-year old kid is getting a call from Coca-Cola saying “Hey! Can you jump on the phone with us for a couple of hours? We’ll pay you a lot of money.” I was like, “This is the greatest idea of all time.” So, I did that kind of stuff and it fell in the information marketing. I ended up creating a company called Gen-Y Rockstars and a product called The New Music Economy where we help musicians to understand internet marketing. It was really internet marketing 101 but for a specific sub-niche which was musicians. It was the world I lived in. it was the language I spoke. I knew what they did, what they were doing wrong because I was that guy. I was the guy who would rather spend 50 bucks at the bar than $50 at a marketing campaign. That’s just the lifestyle was. I got it. It kind of fell into that, I did that for a few years. Now, I worked for one of the largest branding agencies in the entire world. I’m a partner there. It’s Celebrity Branding Agency. We just created an offshoot called ambitious.com. Now, I’m giving back to young folks who want to start a business and kind of our big moon shot goal, Peter Diamandis coined that term of these moon shots, is that we want to help a million people start a business before they turn 30 because we believe that at a young age, they have so many opportunities whether it be the low risk tolerance, the low overhead tolerance. They just have more energy and capacity. They are also a bigger network when they’re younger. We really want to help people start now as oppose to when they get later in life. That was the cliff note version of the last 20 years of my life but it’s been a super fun life.
Matt: Well, and definitely not the traditional path which is kind of cool. At 16, to know and to have the balls to kind of bail out the regular path and do your own thing, it is really awesome. I think a lot of people, in the back of their mind; they’re like “Oh! I like to do that too.” But, they don’t have the confidence or the initiative to jump out to it at that early age. It sounds like ambitious might be something that is going to help people step in that direction. Is that a right read on it?
Greg: Yes! A hundred percent the right read. Kind of looking back at my journey at 16, starting a business when you are 16, when you are still under your parent’s roof and you got food on the table, you don’t have to worry about the mortgage payment. Now, I’m married. I got 2 kids. I got a big house. I got bills and stuff. I got 50 employees that I got to pay for. But when I was 16, I didn’t. Right? So, even if you have a day job now, you’re sitting in a cubicle, you do have something to fall back on. You can create these side houses. You can start your business. You can be building up a fan list. You can start to talk. There are communication platforms like a podcast. Like, “Man! What are you doing, man?” Every week, you get to talk to people.” You don’t have to go get a radio contract or a TV Deal. There’s media out there that allows you to start to do these things with a low risk tolerance that starting now is so important. So many people wait. They wait for the perfect timing. They wait until everything is perfect. Look, man. Nothings ever going to be perfect. Right? Like I said, I’ve got 2 kids. Timing wasn’t right for either one of them. I could’ve waited 10 more years. I could be 40 at that time and it’s still not going to be right. Well, the same thing is true with business. The timing is never going to be right. The best time to start then is now. In Ambitious, we really try to help people to understand that and help them to create forward motion. One of the best books that I ever read, and this is my mentality in a lot of things, is a book called Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson. It really is a philosophy that I live by than just a book which is get ready. Kind of know what you want to do. Then, fire! Go to the market place. Create a podcast. See people who are listening to it. Go blog. Go to a farmer’s market and sell whatever thing you are doing on a Saturday or Sunday. Get real feedback from real people. And then, aim. Then, pivot. Then, make the changes. So many people get stuck in getting ready and then the researching phase, the planning phase and they are creating a hundred pages business plans. They go to the aim phase and now they are tweaking things in there. They’ve been trying to put up a website for 12 months and they don’t know what e-mail to write or the logo. The ‘A’ looks a little bit too big. Let’s shrink it down. They’re just aiming forever and then never fire! My thing is fire fast. Fire fast as fast as you possibly can. Will you fall flat in your face? Maybe. Will you get some success? Maybe. But, you’ll get real world feedback. You’ll get people telling you if you’re on the right path and that is really what we aim to teach. That Ready, Fire, Aim Philosophy. Do a little bit of market research. Kind of know what you’re getting yourself into but then get it out to the market as fast as possible. We can talk more about how to do that as we progress. But, that is the real goal in Ambitious, to help people to live a more vicious life by firing whatever they want to do out into the world so that they get some progress. They get some momentum. They don’t get stuck into this loop of getting ready and aiming, getting ready and then, aiming, and never firing.
Matt: I hundred percent agree. I got 2 kind of funny stories on that, just the exact points that you have. My sister wanted to start a consulting business in one of her skillsets. She’s literally 8 months in still debating the name and the logo. I was like, “You’re nuts! This doesn’t make any difference. Call yourself anything and just start.” And she was still phasing around all of that. Then, to your other point, the farmer’s market gig, I’ve talked to multiple people because I used to have more of a restaurant focus in some of my earlier career stuff. I run into people go “I want to have a restaurant. But, I don’t have a million dollars.” Well, then, take whatever you think you’re best thing and go into the farmer’s market and see if anyone even cares. Right? Don’t blow $500K on your Grandmother’s Spaghetti Sauce Recipe because that may not even be the hit you think it is. Spend 50 bucks, go out to the farmer’s market and see if anyone there cares. If it takes off like wildfire, then, great! Use that money and maybe down the road a restaurant makes sense. But don’t do nothing because you can’t raise half a million dollars to open a restaurant. It doesn’t make it any sense.
Greg: I love that. I’d peg you out on that with a story of someone who actually did the Ready, Fire, Aim Philosophy. I had a coaching call with him. I got on the phone with him. He was a band manager. He manages bands. If you know anything about the music business, you know that most managers, booking agents, they get paid when the musicians get paid. So, if he booked them a gig to go play in Atlanta, Georgia and say 10 people showed up and it was 5 bucks a ticket, well, the band nearly made 50 bucks but the manager is getting 10% of that. The manager just made $5. The manager had to book that gig. He had to make sure they got there, plan the route. They had to do some of the marketing and set it all up to make $5. I was like, “Man, this is a really crappy business model. Why can’t you just start charging more like a coaching or a consulting fee like how you pay me? You pay me a couple hundred bucks to get on the phone and just talk to you. Why don’t you just do the same thing for musicians?” He’s like, “No musicians has ever done that before.” I’m like, “Why can you be the first?” He was like, “Do I need to create websites? Do I need this?” I’m like “Dude, how about the next time you talk to a band, why don’t you just say, ‘Hey. This is how I work. Its X amount of dollars per month and you get X amount of calls with me. I’ll do the work and I’ll set it all up. A flat flee applies.’” That afternoon, like I talked to him at 1 o’clock and its now 4 o’clock in the afternoon, he talked to the band and just says “Hey! Its $500/month. We jump on the phone twice a month and you get unlimited access to me. Let’s do it.” At 4:30, he calls me and goes “Hey! How do I do a contract?” He didn’t wait for a logo. He’s still busy but still to this day, he doesn’t have a website. He’s got dozens of bands paying him few hundred dollars per month because he just said “Screw it! I’m going to go on the phone and I’m going to solve problems.” What entrepreneurs do, what we do in business, all we do is solve problems. If you can solve a problem, you can charge for it. Now, your restaurant example, you’re still solving a problem. You’re solving “I’m hungry and I want Italian food. Therefore, I need some spaghetti and meatballs.” McDonalds solves the problem of “I’m hungry and I’m broke. I got a buck. What can I eat for a buck?” Office depot or Office Max, whatever they are calling them, they solve the problem of “Crap! I got a printer’s report. I got to know ink toner. I need to go to office max to get some ink toner.” So, all businesses solve problems. What my friend did, my coaching students, I said, “Hey! Why don’t you solve their problem? If you solve their problem in the right way, people will pay you money for that.” I think the fastest thing that you can do if you want to get a business off the ground, you want to grow your business, you want to take it to the next level is make an offer to solve a problem. You can’t make money until you make an offer to someone to solve a problem. The faster you can do that, well, the faster you got a business.
Matt: No doubt! You have to provide value, in whatever form that takes, and you charge for it accordingly and not to you point, according to “Well, this is a fair hourly rate.” If you guys providing a thousand dollars worth of value in 2 phone calls and he’s only charging $500 for it, they’re getting a ton of value. If you said, “Well, I should charge 20 bucks an hour. I’ll spend 2 hours …” You have to charge by the value you’re providing not buy hours or any other metric. If you can solve the problem, then people will pay you what that’s worth. You got to just find a problem to solve that’s worth it for people to pay. To that point, if somebody says “Man, I really want to do my own thing. I just don’t know what to do. Do you start from there with Ambitious or did they have to kind of come in with “Here’s what I want to do. I’m just not sure how to execute on it.”?
Greg: Yes. The “I have no idea what I want to do.” is one of the hardest problems in the world to kind of start with. Right? Because a.) There’s unlimited possibilities and b.) There’s so many people that will say “Do what you’re passionate about. Do what you truly care about it.” Well, I am an advocate of not starting a business that you’re going to hate. Right? I love sitting by the beach and reading books and not many people are going to pay me to do that. They pay me in the form of like coaching calls, consulting calls, things like that where I am taking an information and dispensing that. At some point, you have to think of “What problems can I solve?” It kind of just goes back to what we just talked about. And so, what we recommend everyone do is just get a piece of paper. As your listening to this write now, as long as you’re not driving, get a piece of paper and write down “what problems can I solve? What problems do my friends call me to help them solve? What problems thus my employer help me or do I solve for my employer? What problems can I help solve?” I think that is the best starting place of all because there you are doing something that you could actually help people with. So many people, actually a lot in the internet marketing space, someone goes and they buy a product about how to make millions of dollars on twitter and then tomorrow, they just recreate that product as “How I made a Million Dollars on Twitter” You never did that or you don’t have any experience doing that. The best place I think you can start is the place where you’re already solving problems in the market space. You play guitar on the weekends and all your buddies always come up to you and say “Hey! Can you teach me how to play a song?” Well then, how to play guitar might be really something that’s really cool for you. You eat really healthy and you look good and fit. Everyone comes to you and say “How do you do that?” Well, maybe a good place to start is talking about food, fitness and nutrition. People come to you because you’ve given them great business advice. Maybe that’s a good place for you to start. People love your hummus. Maybe that’s a good place to start. Maybe let’s go made some hummus. So, what problems do you solve? What people do come to you for? What questions do people ask you when they are looking for advice? That is really the first place to start in generating the ideas. There, you have this whole list of ideas. Don’t start crossing anything out yet. No idea is too crazy. I have clients who make hundreds of thousands to million dollars a year selling the craziest stuff in the entire world. I mentioned hummus but one of the guys in our paid community for Ambitious run a hummus community called O’Dang Hummus at the farmers market, he was doing hundreds and thousands of dollars a year in sales at selling hummus at 3 bucks a jar and 5 bucks a tub and then, he worked his way up. He got on Shark Tank. He got funding on Shark Tank. Now, he’s in a thousand whole food stores and 800 public stores, multi-million dollar operation selling hummus. Right? So, no idea is too crazy. At this point and at this stage, no idea should be crossed of that list. Let me go into what we call kind of like idea validation. Right? Because just because you have that idea, just because you can help solve that problem, now you have to see are there enough people out there who have that problem. Are there enough people out there who not only have that problem but want to get that problem solved? How many people that want to get that problem solved will actually pay to get that problem solved? So, we all have problems in our life that we kind of just scratch off. We’re like “Hey! You know, i should work out but I’m not really going to go pay a personal trainer.” Right? That’s not really a paying point that’s someone’s willing to pay for it. My back kind of hurts but it doesn’t hurt that bad I’m not going to [inaudible 0:19:41.8]. What is the real paying points that people will pay for? The cool news is there’s a lot of stuff in plain sight where we could see this stuff happening. Go to amazon. Are there other people selling these products on Amazon? The cool thing about Amazon is a.) They have ranking based on sales. And then b.) People leave reviews. So, if you go, the example, I did a training class a couple of weeks ago. It was like Yoga Pants. I have a client to create and build his own Yoga Pants. So, we did this idea validation process. We went on Amazon. We looked it Yoga Pants and I forgot the exact number but any of you guys can go to Amazon right now and type in Yoga Pants. There was thousands of different yoga pants on Amazon. In fact, I’m just Google that as we go just to kind of prove this out. If you go on Amazon, you type in ‘yoga pants’, there are 67,000 results on Amazon for Yoga pants. That’s insane -67,000. So, a.) You know that there’s yoga pants out there and other people are doing it but that much you can do is you can go in and check these reviews. The first one I’m looking at is 90 degree by Reflex PowerFlex Yoga pants; there are 3,000 reviews on this product. Guess what? In order to have reviewed the product, that means you have bought the product. So there are people buying these yoga pants and they are buying them online. So, Amazon is a great place. I love looking at Kickstarter. Are there Kickstarter campaigns where people are funding this product? What I love about Kickstarter is people are paying you money for something that doesn’t exist yet. At Kickstarter, you’re buying something that is just a concept of a product. So, if you go in are there people selling yoga pants that don’t exist yet and have they gotten back for tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Great place to validate your ideas! So, at this point, what we’ve done is we’ve just taken this big list of problems that we can solve, reasons that people come to us, things that were kind of good at and now, were starting to validate that idea by seeing “Do real people take out their credit card and buy stuff?” the best feedback that you can possibly get for your business is for people that actually buy stuffs. So, if your mom is not ever going to wear yoga pants in her entire life, don’t ask your mom for advice about what yoga pants you would wear. Right? It’s what everyone does. They ask their friend, wife, husband, and spouse. Go and look for the actual consumers who are buying these stuff. Matt, that as a long winded rant there but that’s really where we help people to start in this whole what idea should I do and then can I validate the idea. Is it a real idea?
Matt: Well, I think that’s really helpful. If I could just add on to it because sometimes people ask me or they come to me and they go “Hey! I have this idea and I did some research and I can find it anywhere.” And I go, “That’s not a plus. That’s a red flag. That means nobody wants it, probably.” Right? The fact that there’s 67,000 kinds of yoga pants on Amazon means probably people are buying heck of a lot yoga pants. Some of them are going to be better sellers than others but you know there’s a market there so then the next step is “Can I make a better kind of yoga pants?” or Yoga pants for skinny people or Yoga pants for fat people. That some kind of unique spin on it that may attract that segment of the market but at least you know there’s a ton of people out there buying stuff. If you come up with idea and you can find anyone else anywhere selling it and you go “There’s no competition.” That either means you don’t have a good idea or you’re going to have to spend all kinds of time educating people first that this thing even exist and that they may want it and that may be an alternative to whatever it is they are buying that’s nothing like what you’ve got. So, product validation is key but finding out that there is demand is a big part of that. Finding out that there’s no competition is more of a red flag to me than anything. At least, if you’re an underfunded startup and you don’t have millions of dollars to sink into RnD and marketing education and all that, I think market validation is a key piece and that’s awesome that that’s something that you guys can help people with to prove that there’s really a business there behind whatever idea they’ve come up with.
Greg: Yeah. And I’m going back to say this, I remember exactly where he said but I remember it was Glenn and it was one of my favorite quotes and he says, “You know what? I don’t talk to people that don’t already believe in my religion.” I’m paraphrasing but essentially it’s really hard to be the Mormon knocking door to door trying to convert a Christian or a Jew or some of the Islamic Faith to convert to Mormonism. The guy that’s going to convert to Mormonism is the guy that already bought the Mormon book and he has started to look on the website about it. Maybe he is talking to his friends about it. Then, the Mormon guy shows up and knocks on the door. That’s the guy he wants to talk to and so Glenn back he’s like – I’m not sure it political on this but I’m more on a marketing stand point – someone that loves Obama, someone that hates gun, is someone that I’m never going to get him to like my radio show. Therefore, I don’t market to him. I market to the person who lives their guns and who loves their Libertarian Party and who loves this and that. Guess what? He’s already riled up. I just riled him up more. So, the same thing when you are marketing your products, if there’s no market or whatsoever, can you be the first market? Of course you can. Right? But, like you said, very expensive, you have to do a lot of convincing. You have to do a lot of educating. About yoga pants, I know it’s a weird example, it’s a silly example, but I’m sure the person who owns one pair of yoga pants also owns 17 other pairs of yoga pants. Like watches. I’m a watch guy. I probably have 2 dozen different watches to wear with different things. I don’t own just one. Golfers, right? Golfers buy everything that has to do with golf. They have the golf shoes and golf pants and a ton of different golf clubs and different hats for different courses that they play. We get in heat. If you’re not in any of those examples, just think about cookbooks. In your house right now, how many cook books do you own? Do you only own 1 cookbook? The answer is no. you probably have a slow cooker cookbook, this cook book and that cook book, different styles, different recipes, grilled masters, barbeque masters. We buy a lot of different things in the same category. So, I’m a marketer. I’m a huge Dan Kennedy student, Dan Kennedy fan but guess what? I also have stuff from my shelf from Jay Abraham and from AWAI and from Ryan Dice and from Perry Belcher and Frank Kern and from Jeff Walker and all these different guys. There is no competition. Its co-petition. Competition, seeing other people selling stuff is actually a good thing. Don’t get scared by it. It means that there’s a rationally passionate people who want to get fired up behind your idea. You want people who are fired up behind your idea. [Inaudible 0:26:13.0] the market that I talk to. It’s hard for me to convince the guy who wants the gold watch and wants to retire at the same company for 40 years. It is going to be very hard to convince him that he should start a business as oppose to the guy who’s sitting in his cubicle right now going “You know what, there’s probably more to life than this. I have more value to add than sitting in this cubicle.” I get in front of that guy? Oh, man! I could talk to him. I can convert him. I can get him fired up. I can get him riled up. I can get him excited. It’s very hard for me to convince the guy who says “I’m going to work here for 40 years. I’m going to get my gold watch. I’m going to retire and just sit on the golf course.” That’s not my guy. So, you do, in marketing, have to find your guy, your avatar, your person. Who’s going to be that fan base? Who is going to be – if you’re going back – who is going to be your listener? You want to alienate people. You want to create fans. You want to do 2 things. I say about this for marketing all the time. Your marketing should do one of 2 things. It should attract the people that you want in your life and it should repel everybody else. You don’t want them in your life. Going back doesn’t want that other type of listener listening to a show. Right? It doesn’t help as advertisers. It doesn’t help the content that he creates. He is somebody that he wants to be in front of and rationally passionate audience who believes in his same ideas, in his same values, has the same passion as him. You want that same thing in your business. You want to create that fandom. You want to create that philosophy. You want to create that excitement around what you do so your fans become raving fans like so, yoga pants, Lululemon. I don’t get it. I personally don’t understand it at all but Lululemon people would like go to war for Lululemon like they would wear their stuff to a suit-and-tie type dinner. They wear their stuff to the gym. They wear their stuff at home. They wear their stuff at the beach and they’ll put stickers on their cars. They put stickers on their laptops and they are like Lululemon fanatics. How can you do that with your brand and your business? That’s what’s going to help you stand out amongst 67,000 different results on Amazon. So, I don’t want a couple of different directions there but I really want them to see that. Competition is okay. People selling stuff in the market is okay. You need to find your people. You need to find your raving fanatics. You need to find your voice that’s going to resonate with people that will get people excited about who you are and what you do so that you can help them solve problems. You can make a bunch of money and help people in the process.
Matt: I think that’s definitely a key point. To that, maybe as a last topic to hit on here, for somebody who’s in sort of a commodity business, and that’s a lot of small business owners, right? We’re in accounting. There’s Dennis out there. There’s house painters. There’s people who are selling something to the average outside viewer looks like it’s one of a whole bunch of the same and how do you really tell the difference. So, to that point, if I’m getting in to a business where I’ve got a healthy amount of competition, maybe there’s a lot of demand but there’s also a healthy amount of other people in the same business. What are some ideas in how I can differentiate myself find of ways and stand out from the crowd so I become memorable and not just another one of sort of faceless group?
Greg: So, you become faceless by having a face. I think that is the number 1 differentiator is that there are so many commodities. Everyone can do what you do but they can’t be you. So, the way to differentiate is through you and through your story. So, there are tons of marketing consultants in the world, business consultants in the world, tons of people trying to help young people with trying to grow their business, the one thing that they don’t have is me. Right? I was a rapper in a rock band, toured the country, did this and did that as well some of the other little pieces of my story. They hear that and they go “Wow! I want to learn it from Greg because I resonate with him. I connect with him. I like what he has to say. I’m like him or I want to be like him.” I’m not saying this just about myself but that’s what you want to be thinking in terms of your own self is that you have unique stories. You have a unique experiences. You have a unique spin on what you do. That’s what people are going to buy. It’s not the features and benefits and all that stuff of your product which everyone will have you lead to believe. It’s the story behind your product. What is the story that they can connect with? What is the story that they have an emotional connection with or relationship with. Let’s talk about information marketing – people that sell how to products, how to advice. Everything has been said before. You can find information really on YouTube. You can information on Utomy. So, why would someone buy 1 thousand dollar information course or $2,000 course or $5000 retreat or $25000 mastermind? It’s because of the person behind it. The belief that you think that that person leading that group, leading that course, selling that program is going to help you get the transformation, get the outcome that you really want. So, the example I like to give a lot is Tony Robins. A lot of people know Tony Robins. He’s kind of the king of kings in the personal development space but guess what? He’s not saying anything very unique. He’s talking about goal setting and power positive mindset and some NLP Stuff. But really, its personal development. It’s really personal development 101. You can go find it on the internet or a video somewhere in YouTube for free. But why do you buy $20,000 to go on his events? Hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars for his program? It’s because his is Tony. It’s because you believe in Tony. You know his story. You follow him. He’s larger than life. He’s like 17ft tall. His hand is bigger than my head. But, you believe in Tony. Other people believe in guys like Bryan Tracy or a guy name Jack Canefielders or whoever you want to talk about. It is the person behind the business. So, how do you differentiate? How do you stand apart? It’s by being you. Right? No one can be you. That is your differentiating factor. If you are not Gary VaynerChuk, don’t try to be Gary VaynerChuk. If you are not Tim Turs, don’t try to be Tim Turs. If you are not Greg Rollett, don’t try to be Greg Rollett. Be the best version of you. That is the ultimate differentiator. When we talk about using you as a brand, we talk about brands as nothing more than a story. So, what is your story? Tom’s Shoes, great brand, they have a great story. Blake went over to Argentina and he had this great experience there. He noticed that the kids playing soccer didn’t have shoes. He was in the middle of transitioning. So he thought, “Why don’t I just make shoes for these kids?” So, that’s what he did. He’s like “Why don’t I just make these shoes and instead of creating it a non-profit, why don’t I create a [inaudible 0:32:41.52] of the company?” and you guys know the story now. For every pair of tom’s shoes you buy, you give one to someone in need. But he’s got a story. He’s brand is nothing more than that story. He is a great brand because he is a great story teller. He is able to tell that story in a lot of different mediums. Whether it be through interviews, through advertising, through the packaging on his products, but everything is about that story. The one thing people know about Tom’s Shoes is that when they buy a pair, they give a pair. That is a great story. The best brands are the best story tellers. So, how good you tell your story is how good you are going to win at business. So, the first question that you ask me is tell me a little about what you do. And I told my story. I told my story being a musician, a rapper in rock band. Somehow, we did good. We got to play all these cool places and then, all of the sudden, the things that we were doing in music got Coca-Cola to call us and this and that. If through that story, people that were musicians started paying attention. People that wanted to be consultants started paying attention. People that have been to concerts started paying attention. I added a little bit of credibility. I added a little bit of name dropping. So, now, I’m starting to build this story, build this legend of who I am and I told that story gazillions of times now. Not that its robotic but I got it down to where I know what people are going to resonate with, where their ears are going to perked out and that’s why people contact me over contacting another business guy or another marketing guy or another help me start my business guy. So, that is the ultimate differentiator. To break that down, what you need to do once you have the problem that you can solve, once you validated that idea, how can you tell the story that people are going to remember? How you are going to create an emotional connection with the market place? That is what they are going to remember. Otherwise, you’re competing against price and you need to be the cheapest which that sucks. That’s not a very good business model. You need to wholesale and kind of go that way. For most of us, it’s not a very good business model. For most of us, we want to play at the high end spectrum, have a great brand that people resonate with, sell it for high tickets and do a really good job for our people. The way that you do that is by having a story that connects with people that get people to go “Wow! I need to buy that product. I believe in that product. I believe in the person behind that product. I believe in the story behind that product.” and you do that through the emotional connection of the story. So, hopefully, that got you somewhere on that one.
Matt: No, that was definitely gets me thinking not only for my own brand in business but I think that’s a super valuable advice for so many of my clients and the people who are listening to really give that some thought about how they put their own story into their business. Baked it in from the beginning or it’s never too late to kind of rebrand especially if you really don’t have a brand. If your brand is just local dentist, there’s so much more that you can do with that to stand out and be memorable. So, I really appreciate you taking the time to share all that. I feel like that was 2 to 3 episodes knowledge-packed into one which is awesome. For people who are interested in finding out more, connecting with you, where should they go? Where should they look?
Greg: Check out ambitious.com. They can learn more some of our programs at ambitious.com/academy. That is our business school for young entrepreneurs. It is a place where they can connect with minor entrepreneurs and see some of the stuff that we do. I’m just Greg Rollett everywhere, any social media cool kids’ spots. You can find me there. Obviously, Matt, I’ll be connecting with your audience and anything that I can do through your network as well just to help them answer any follow-up questions and make sure we help them get on this path to find that idea, validate the idea and doing the Ready, Fire, Aim. Get it out to the market place. Get that feedback and make it killer business.
Matt: A hundred percent start now. Now is the time. There’s no better time. It’s now or never so jump in now. Thanks again, so much. I really appreciate it, Greg.
Greg: Definitely. Thanks, Matt!