Putting People in the Right Place – A Teambuilding Case Study

As I’ve been going through all of the emotional ups and downs with losing Sadie, there’s been a number of things that have been keeping me optimistic about the future.

For one, there’s a ton of things going well out at Collaborate 317 that I’m glad to hear about. We’re really starting to be recognized by folks in the community. In fact, a nearby town recently contacted us in regards to helping them start their incubator. Oh, and another event that was hosted by HB Bell went pretty well last week. It was called the Community R.U.L.E. Nonprofit Jazz Network Mixer. I got to spend a bit of time at that event after doing last week’s Junto Show with Harrison and Ping. Lots of interesting nonprofits were featured.

Another thing that I’ve been paying close attention to are how the Colts have been dealing with certain events in their organization.

Many of you know that I’m a fan – as I can be found wearing Colts gear pretty regularly. But there’s a reason for that: the team has integrity as a whole. All the way from the top at Jim Irsay (who loves his organization and wants to win) down to the newest members of the team

So when I wear the gear, sure I’m relating as a fan, but I’m also giving myself a reminder in how I need to act.

Recent Examples of Colts’ Integrity

Caring About Others

You might have heard about one of our players getting killed in a drunk driving related accident in early February. The player’s name was Edwin “Pound Cake” Jackson. And he had really only contributed to the team for a year and placed on injury reserve for all of 2017 (meaning he wasn’t able to play even though he was still part of the team).

Even though he hadn’t really been here that long, he was still considered part of the family. Not only did Jim pay for his and his Uber driver’s funerals, but he also set up a scholarship fund in his name.

Not every team would do that.

Sometimes the best Solution isn’t the First Solution

Then there was the recent signing of the Colts’ new head coach.

If you’re familiar at all with the NFL, you know that the Patriots have been doing very well during the last 15+ years. A big part of that success has been their coaching staff – and one of those members was supposedly going to be our new coach after this year’s Super Bowl.

For whatever reason, at the last moment, he decided to go back on his word on becoming our new coach. Needless to say, that angered a bunch of people around the league. For many, it also confirmed that the Patriots have some internal issues with character. As long as someone can do their job when they’re supposed to, they’ll have a place.

Well, we scrambled to find a coach to fit. And let me tell you, our new head coach, Frank Reich, fits the bill of what it means to be a Colt – he has integrity.

Not only was he loyal to his old team throughout the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl by not interviewing with other teams who were looking for their new head coach (he was missing the bus on getting one of these positions), he has fully taken on all responsibilities for working with the team as a part of leadership – not the main guy.

The Colts, especially their new General Manager, Chris Ballard, know what it takes to put a winning team together. And I personally believe that the biggest part of that is knowing if and where people fit into an organization.

Failure in Realizing Talent Leads to Bad Results

I think this was the biggest issue with our last coach and GM combination. They simply had a team where many of the parts didn’t fit quite right. While Grigson would find talent to plug in, Pagano’s job was to help that talent excel.

Apparently they didn’t communicate much on what the vision of the entire team was and that’s where they failed. Specifically, they failed to communicate on the talent of the players and matching that with the three Rs – what’s required, what provides the best return, and what is the greatest reward.

Without having that feedback, the team was set up for failure.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter how good the talent is – no team is going to win if they’re out of place.

How to Put People in the Right Place

In John Maxwell’s book, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, there are three laws that we can zero in on when it comes to building a team:

  1. Niche
  2. Chain
  3. Bench

Based on what I’ve seen by our new GM Chris Ballard, I believe that he understands these laws quite well. Let’s take a look at them and how the Colts have or have not utilized these laws appropriately.

Law of the Niche

All players have a place where they add the most value. If you were to look at a typical NFL team, this is super obvious. Lineman wouldn’t be great ball handlers and visa versa. Even going deeper, you could say that many quarterbacks wouldn’t make great running backs.

And even another level – not all players fit all schemes of playing.

For example, there was a player a few years ago who people loved when he was coming out of college. His name was Trent Richardson. Unfortunately, his career didn’t pan out as many people would have expected it to.


For one, we have to realize that the college game doesn’t always translate directly to the professional level. Not all great college players excel in the NFL. In fact, there are times when lesser known college players will be better in the NFL. In a few subtle ways, it’s a different game.

Trent’s strengths that led him to his success in college didn’t translate directly to the success in the pros.

Also, it didn’t help that he missed a good part of his transitional season due to injury. And when it was time to perform, he wasn’t as fine tuned as he could have been. (It also didn’t help that the leadership of the Browns is known for destroying potentially great players.)

When he got to the Colts, he still looked good on paper. So we were excited to get him. But as a fan base, we realized soon why the Browns allowed him to come.

Besides not having his skills fine tuned for the league, the scheme that he was a part of in college wasn’t the scheme that he had in the pros. Eventually, our leadership let him walk because he wasn’t doing what was expected of him.

Law of the Chain

You’ve heard the saying “You’re only as strong as the weakest point” about teams, I’m sure. And as we’ve seen in the example above with Trent, one could say that he was a bit of a liability to the teams that he was on and to himself.

But is it fair to put that responsibility on his shoulders alone?

Personally, I’d say he got screwed over by being in several systems who didn’t know how to place him correctly. We know he was gifted, so obviously the problem had to be placement related.

The evidence of this is that this past year he bounced back a bit in the CFL. I really think it’s because they knew what they were getting when he got him. Plus, he didn’t have all the weight on his shoulders that he did here. In the NFL you’re expected to be able to perform from day 1. People didn’t really ask why he was not performing to level he should. But had they, they would have realized that he needed more time.

In Maxwell’s book, he says that there are 4 questions to ask about a weak link:

Are they weak because they’re new?

If so, give them some time. (I argue he never had this time to adjust with him missing out on training camp and preseason).

Are they weak because they aren’t growing?

Find out why and help motivate them through the issues. In Trent’s case, he wasn’t growing because he had all the weight on his shoulders from having to perform to support friends and the teams he was a part of. He was being forced to be the answer for everyone’s problems.

Are they weak because they lack people skills?

Help them understand how they’re screwing up. Teach Trent to say no to his “friends” who were using him.

Are they weak because they lack giftedness in this area?

If they’re not meant to ever be in a particular position based on personality or giftedness, don’t push the matter. For Trent, what seemed like a gift issue was actually the other 3 problems.

One last thing to note about this law. Stronger members will tend to pick up the slack of weaker members. In our Colts example, Andrew Luck, (who’s a solid 9 when it comes to leadership qualities) many times had to over exert himself to make up for the lack of offensive effectiveness on the field. I believe that’s one reason, in the long run, the team imploded when he got hurt and had to miss time on the field.

Law of the Bench

When it comes to winning games, the 4th quarter is where it’s at. In 2017, the Colts lost most of their games in the 2nd half. Had the game ended in the first half, the team would have made the playoffs no problem.

But because the team was incapable of playing 4 quarters, they won all of 4 games.

Sure, you could say that it was because coach Chuck Pagano played too conservatively in the second half. But I think that the biggest issue was that when people went down to injury (which we had tons of injuries this year!), there was poor talent to back them up.

Heck, you might even say that in many of our positions we didn’t have the right talent in the first place!

What’s great about having our new leadership, is that they’re righting the boat. They realize that recruiting is just as important as training and dropping the wrong people.

Instead of keeping mismatched players around to fill the roster, I think Chris Ballard realizes that when you spend time with the best people, you don’t have time for the worst.

I mean, he seems to take a Jack Welch strategy to the team. Jack was known for getting rid of the bottom 10% on a regular basis during his time at GE. This made that company so much better during his time there. I think Chris understands the power of dropping people – especially for the right reasons. In the end, he gets stronger and stronger players which gives the team more options.

Action Steps

What a difference a change of leadership can make. To be frank, I’m kind of interested to know what Jim Irsay saw in Coach Pagano and Ryan Grigson when he initially brought them on. One thing that definitely was surprising when they first arrived on the scene was how they removed all the players from the previous team – even those that were actually good.

In hindsight, I’m not sure what to make of that. It doesn’t look like it’s going to pan out the same way with our new leadership – at least not quite yet.

Anyway, when it comes to your organization or small team, I want to make sure you have 4 takeaways from this post:

  1. Hire for strengths and natural gifts.
  2. If people aren’t performing to the level you’d expect, ask why. This is key. Maybe you can actually help them improve.
  3. If you believe they no longer express the gifts that you brought them in for, feel free to remove them. In the long run, it’s for everyone’s best interest.
  4. Don’t be afraid to look for team members who are better fits for where your organization currently is. Teams are organic and sometimes someone who was a perfect fit last year, might be in a different place this year than last.

Below, let me know what you think about these laws. Do they apply to anything you’ve had experience with? How so?

hospitality consulting

Mike Thorp – Less Talk and More Creation! – How Saying No to Gary Vaynerchuk Helped Launch a Hospitality Consulting Business (AoL 114)

There’s a reason that many businesses fail in the first several years of business.

Of course, finances might play a part in that. But I think that even having a revenue problem is the sign of a deeper issue.

The issue is simply that business ownership doesn’t necessarily make one a great leader.

And without the ability to paint a vision and help employees see what’s going on, of course a company is going to fold.

Today’s guest, Mike Thorp, helps restaurants with this problem. He says that what he does for his clients is a combination of Hell’s Kitchen and The Profit. He loves what he’s doing, as you’ll find out.

But doing his own thing – it came at a cost. As creatives, we find out that to create our consumption must go down. And sometimes, we have to cut it out completely.

That’s exactly what Mike had to do with Gary V.

So in today’s chat, we’ll hear all about what Mike brings to the table with his business, but we’ll also learn what motivated Mike to pull the plug on Gary.




  • How’d Mike get started in the restaurant industry? 9:43
  • How does Mike view leadership and culture in the restaurant industry? 15:16
  • What’s an important role he sees his company doing for local students? 22:02
  • Does he only work with local businesses around Grand Rapids? 26:53
  • What was his transition like going from corporate work to consulting? 30:43
  • What does Mike wake up for in the morning? 34:18
  • What lead Mike to write his viral post on Medium? 42:28
  • Why do so many people have trouble leaving the consumer mindset to becoming a creative? 50:37
  • What are some of the things Mike’s looking forward to? 52:39
  • What are his three top favorite books? 54:50
  • What’s a fact from today that would blow the mind from someone ten years ago.? 56:41
  • Smallest decision he’s made that’s made the largest impact? 57:08
  • What’s a life skill that he’s amazed people lack? 58:44
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 1:01:44

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.





Last Video You Have to Watch:

Cy Wakeman on The #AskGaryVee Show:

Danny Meyer – The Convergence of Casual and Fine:

Michael Shafer reviews the Oz Principle:

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


education reform

Education Reform: Why It’s Important for Creatives to Get Involved

With everything that’s been going on in the news cycle, I thought it’d be a great time to bring up the topic of education system reform. Seems this topic isn’t discussed nearly as much as it could be.

I believe that our current education system is part of the problem in both the National Socialist vs International Communist debate as well as people not seeking appropriate shelter from Hurricane Harvey. Personally, in my teens and twenties, for example, I wouldn’t have stuck around to get hit by a hurricane. And when it comes to protests, even when I felt the need to get involved with one, I would have ducked out whenever it got violent and the police showed up.

Today, in both situations, people are playing the role of victim and not taking responsibility for their own actions. They’re saying that the government needs to take more control and tell them or the other side what to do.

The question is… can you blame them? Not necessarily.

In recent years, it appears that the greater education system has practically said it’s ok to act this way. (Safe spaces anyone???)

However, I don’t believe that’s the truth. And in fact, successful people are only successful based on their own desires and efforts. They’re the ones who have put in the extra time and commitment to make their dreams come true.

Sure others help them along the way, but it’s because they made the initial effort to do more in life. Once they began on their own journey, they met people along the way who were going in the same direction.

So how can we make the world a better place? Help change how students are educated.

Changing Education for the Better

What does that even mean?

Since this post was originally published on October 14, 2010, I’ve heard of various schools doing better work with their students. Traditional schools are starting to make classes that help their students realize their full potential.

Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the norm.

In fact, in Indiana, we still have what are called Core 40 diplomas. To many, it might be considered common sense to educate people in a well rounded manner. However, sometimes that model simply doesn’t work. Some of the individuals who are on the route to get a Core 40 diploma might have done better in a field that school can’t even touch; such as learning how to be a performing artist, an athlete, community leader, or even being a great business builder. (Personally I’m a knowledge junkie, so school was always a drug for me… except for the tests!)

Discussing Possible Solutions:

In the below RSA Animate, I wanted to share with you a video which introduced me to a guy by the name of Sir Ken Robinson. Great guy and has totally changed my perspective in why public education needs to be separated from public schooling.

It was after listening to him, that I was able to start putting two and two together. Soon after, I was re-introduced to Gary Vaynerchuk (not the Wine Library version, but instead the version we know today). If you didn’t know, Gary is completely for Education Reform (start at 12:30):

And then, I was later introduced to the School Sucks Project with Brett Veinotte. Here’s the first episode of the show from 2009. Later in the show’s life, it kinda went away from why I originally tuned in – but those first 20 or so episodes are great material.


Something Else to Consider

In many states, the classes that are usually cut first in public schooling are not your STEM classes. They’re not the reading, writing, or social studies classes either. For many systems, they are the “optional” classes. This includes the art, the music, and other “special” classes. You can clearly see which classes are more important to various school boards based on the classes they cut. The problem is that there are students who excel in these special classes more so than the other classes they’re in. That being the case, you can probably understand why I’ve never really been a fan of the “No Child Left Behind” act.

Generally speaking, its result has been to limit everyone’s potential to the same standardized schooling.

So why are these classes the ones normally on the chopping block? I believe it’s because many standardized tests are primarily focused on testing upon vocabulary, math, and writing. The better these test scores are in primary schooling, the better a student can perform in secondary schooling. After being in secondary school myself as a student for 9 years, I realized one main thing about learning in a “formal” secondary education: it makes you better at following orders and instructions. It makes you better suited to work a job.


Changing the Education System

Government isn’t the Answer:

So, I believe it’s up to us – the Creatives, the Entrepreneurs, the Rebels – whatever you want to call us – to start coming up with alternative methods of educating those around us.

The world is moving too quickly to let the old system continue to be the primary method of education. Not only that, but those who are in control of it, have no problem teaching its students that it’s ok to rely on the government to provide security.

That’s not what the government is for.

We Need to Empower People’s Individual Strengths – Not Give a One Size Fits All Solution:

In the past five years, I have become even more aware that there are other talents that could be measured for intelligence. However, for one reason or another they are not. And, in fact, the evidence is piling up.

Outside of the types that IQ measures (being linguistic verbal and logical mathematical), nine different types of intelligence have been identified.

Many private primary and secondary school systems have taken note of this as well. They have started to focus on developing intellectual leaders in different fields of intelligence. I’m convinced that making this a vital part of education is the answer to making any country, including the U.S., a player in the new economy.

However, most students still go through the traditional education curriculum that is still rated by a very narrow measure. This worries me. I find it disconcerting that many students are still being taught and measured in a way that is only useful in following directions. The problem today is that with the today’s global economy, this mindset has given us a 10% unemployment rate.

I believe the longer that this goes unchecked, the higher our future unemployment rates will go. It will be the result of an ever increasing ratio of people who should be taught to excel at their strength vs those who are mentored in their natural strengths. In other words, there will be a heck of alot more people trying to take orders than giving them.


So here’s the bottom line.

It’s been 8 years since I got my masters. It’s been 5 since I haven’t taught in formal education.

I don’t believe it’s totally fair to try and pin every one down in one or two measurements of intelligence. Especially when we’re told by so many people that we need to celebrate our differences.

But funny enough, that’s what the US’s Prussian Education based system focuses on doing.

We have to help others get more creative. Period. We can’t rely on the schooling system to do it. In fact, we have to separate public education from public schooling.

Lack of creativity is hurting the US. If the US is in trouble, the rest of the world can’t be doing so hot. People still come here to get away from the crap that’s going on in their homelands.

We have to remain the the shining city on the hill.

So that being the case – I’m curious. Are you connected to public primary or secondary schooling? Have you seen any signs of a change to focus more on building students in other types of intelligence? If so, what results do you predict from that change?

Dating for Alpha Women

AoL 040: Understanding Alpha Women and Maintaining High Creative Performance with Moe DeCarlo

Everyone has heard of the phrase Alpha Male. If you remember, they’re the type of guy who is normally thought of as a natural athlete and/or have everything going right in life, or just have many women around them at a given time. They’re a natural leader.

Have you ever heard of the phrase Alpha Female? There’s a good chance that you’ve heard that phrase too. When you think of the phrase, what kind of women come to mind? For me, I think of women in business, government, entertainment, and the military. All of them are leaders of some sort. And most of them probably don’t have time to be the center of a traditional family that society teaches us is the norm.

Personally, I’m married to an Alpha Female. I’m always joking with her that she’s 52% girl, 48% guy. Otherwise I don’t think she’d be able to have done as well in the military career as she has. Perhaps growing up with two brothers helps. But for the most part, I can joke with her like I joke with most guys – which is actually awesome. And for me, that’s normal.

Today’s guest, I imagine has married an Alpha Female as well. In fact, as he explains in the interview, he grew up with mainly women in his house. This forced him to learn how to think like the women in his life.

Today, Moe DeCarlo uses this power of his to be a translator for women and gets paid to do so as a woman’s social coach.

In this session, we’ll be talking about what got him into coaching in the first place, how he keeps up with all the work he does, and what he got out of his recent time at this past April’s Experts Academy.

If you feel like you have this special trait, or something similar, and not sure how to use it, perhaps Moe can help you learn how to utilize those skills in a way that you never thought you could!


  • How Moe schedules his days and weeks to be masterful. 8:06
  • How Moe sees himself as a coach in relationships. 10:01
  • How Moe compares himself to Steve Harvey. 11:00
  • Why he works with women more so than he works with men. 12:28
  • 3 Ways that men and women are different. 15:10
  • When Moe realized he could be a Women’s Social Coach as a full time career. 20:01
  • Resources that Moe has used in getting better at coaching. 24:23
  • How he was able to secure his first paying client. 26:57
  • What Moe would have done differently as he was building his business. 30:45
  • What Moe believes will sap your energy quickly if you’re not careful. 35:19
  • How Moe gets past the societal label of a Player when it comes to him doing his work. 38:43
  • Why it’s important to start your business with boundaries and how you let others know that you have them. 43:09
  • Why Moe decided to go to Expert’s Academy vs buying a lease expensive online training. 46:33
  • Why he believes that the biggest take away that he got from the event was the new connection with other people. 49:28
  • Why you should market to aspirations, not demographics. 51:19
  • What Expert Academy helped him realize he should change in his future business. 56:12
  • 3 Life Truths He’d Want People to Know 1:02:12
  • 3 Favorite Teachers or Influencers 1:04:40
  • What Would He Tell the 20 Year Old Version of Himself 1:06:10

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.



How to pick Alpha Girls out:

Dr. Gaby Cora’s TEDx Presentation on Alpha Women:

Finding out if you’re an Alpha Women through Astrology:

An example of what I imagine Moe does with his clients:

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


stephan seyfert

AoL 036: Going from Good to Great in Business Coaching with Stephan Seyfert

When people think of the labels consultant, coach, or teacher, they often think of the same type of person. Someone that instructs and helps others. However, each one of these labels are actually different than one another. The consultant uses their skill set to help their client. The coach helps bring the client to a solution by asking the right questions. While the teacher uses both skills to help their students learn and apply what’s being taught in the classroom.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always found myself being all three in one way or another. I’ve been the tech person when it comes to helping friends and family with their computers. I’ve always been the listening ear when people are trying to fix a problem in their life – helping them with problems they might not see right in front of them. And I have that uncanny ability to be able to mix the two and teach complex topics. Hence why I taught algebra for a couple of years.

I was quite amazed when I found out that each is it’s own separate skill.

For today’s guest, coaching has been something that he’s been utilizing for sometime as well. In fact, you’ll find out that when he started coaching people professionally, he was simply relaying information that he essentially had just learned in his classes in college. However, he found that he had a passion for it and he’s made it his full time career.

In this session, we’ll learn how he got into coaching in the first place. How it’s helped him along in his career. What he learned from the John Maxwell Team that sets him apart from other coaches, and how he specifically helps business go from Good to Great.

If you’ve wanted to find out how you might be able to become a professional business coach, then this might give you a couple of ideas in how you can get started down that career path. If you’re in need of a coach, then Stephan might be a great solution for you!


  • Why Stephan’s formal education track wasn’t so different than most. (9:03)
  • How he got introduced to entrepreneurship (12:53)
  • When he felt that it was time to go separate ways with his first business partner from college (17:29)
  • How he was able to get his first clients while he was still a student (22:41)
  • How the John Maxwell Team has helped his business (28:27)
  • How John Warrillow has inspired the new version of his business (31:06)
  • Stephan’s 2 additional Value Drivers (beyond John Warrillow’s first 8) (33:50)
  • Why it’s important to intentionally develop a company’s culture (35:04)
  • Upcoming movies we’re excited about (40:23)
  • Why he likes working with groups as well as individuals (42:29)
  • How he currently meets his potential clients (46:25)
  • How his current career aligns with his “Why” (52:05)
  • Why Apple shows how its important to have a definitive “Why”. (58:24)
  • What’s the difference between the popularity of the Beatles and Boston? (1:02:05)
  • Stephan’s 3 influences in business (1:04:45)
  • …and MUCH more.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.



The Importance of Mentoring Youth (via Illinois


A Brief Intro to Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great:

Marie Forleo on going from Good to Great in Life and Business:

Five Levels of Leadership:

New Inceptions’ Post

A Short version via the John Maxwell Company

Long version via the Youth Banking Conference (Part 1):

Long version via the Youth Banking Conference (Part 2):

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


Tying Heartstrings: The #1 Way to Increase Influence, Traffic, and Income

I know this is a little to the point, but I’m going to admit it. I’ve found the secret to building a successful business… and you might not like it. However, it’s worked for tons of people around the web. And honestly, if you want to make an impact on others doing something you love, then you’re going to have to do it.

What’s this big it? What’s this secret? It’s being your genuine self and setting on a journey to master yourself.

When I say that, what kind of thoughts come to mind? Do you think of being a skilled speaker? Do you think of someone that hustles 24/7? Maybe you think of mastering the skill of connecting people? Perhaps you think of becoming a great author?

Perhaps you think about all those things. Maybe, none of them come to mind.

When I say “master yourself” or as others might put it become the ideal you”, I don’t mean for you to change who you are as a person. However, I might be asking for you to change your perspective of who you are and what you’re capable of.

Everyone is Different

From school, we know that certain kinds of people tend to resonate with others who are like them. Generally speaking, introverts get along real well with other introverts and extroverts get along well extroverts.

However, while this all true, we’re all different even more than that. Some introverts will like sports just as much as some extroverts. Some extroverts will love meditating as much as some introverts.

There were the groups that were popular. There were the band geeks. There were those of us who were into science.

It’s simple to say that there are all kinds of people. Your way of presenting yourself and your interests will resonate more with some people more than it does with others. Just as an example, I’ve met people who resonate more with Gary Vee more than they resonate with Ramit Sethi – even though, both are very direct in what they have to say and teach very similar topics.

To simplify what I am saying is this: the ideal you is someone that is not only a master of themselves, but someone that can communicate that self to others that will appreciate it.

I believe that the more compassion you show towards others, the more others will return for more in the future, and quite possibly, help you out in the future as well!


So, How do I Communite Myself Better to Others?

To say it in one word, be nice. Be honest, responsive, grateful, and go the extra mile for your audience.

On Monday, I was reminded about this once again when I was watching Brian Fanzo on Periscope. In this particular scope he said, that in the next year that three things were going to be huge in being a success in marketing (specifically live streaming):

  • Community
  • Storytelling
  • Engagement

Ask yourself, why are these things important? I’ll give you a moment.

It’s because they’re all things that people can connect with. As the host of the scope, you’re being nice here.

  • When you welcome others that are like you into a community, they realize that they’re no longer alone.
  • When you tell a story, they can connect you to others on so many levels. Your audience can relate better to who you are. They can agree that you want the same things in life. And furthermore, stories can even help people realize that your life and theirs are similar.
  • When you engage with someone who takes the time to engage with you first, they’ll appreciate you even more. When someone emails you, be sure to email them back. When someone drops a comment on your post or wall, make sure to respond. When you do this, it shows the audience member that you indeed care.

Doing these three things will build influence with your audience. In all three, you’re showing a certain levels of being nice and courteous. You’re providing value because they feel valued.

What’s the Point of Giving Away Value?

Well, if it’s not too obvious, the more value you give to your audience, the more they’ll come back. In LTD, we called it tying heartstrings. The more you do something for someone else, the more loops of string you’re throwing around their heart. If you have enough heartstrings tied around their heart, they’ll never be able to leave. If they did, they’d essentially be leaving a small portion of themselves behind. Also, the more heartstrings that you tie, the more they’ll want to engage even more with you, and promote you to others. This, in turn, drives up your traffic.

There are five ways this can happen:

  • They’ll share something you posted on social media.
  • They can subscribe to your email list. Whenever you deliver an update, there’s the potential that they’ll come back. Or heck, they might even share that newsletter with someone else.
  • They can comment on your post. This promotes conversation. If you’ve ever been over at Reddit, you might have realized that sometimes the comments and the discussion it leads to is much more interesting than the post itself.
  • They can email you directly. If they need help, again, you’d give it to them. This increases your trust level and helps them remember YOUR website. He or she will then be more likely to refer to your website to somebody else. If you’re just having a conversation about whatever, who knows – that person may have a blog with thousands of readers. Develop a rapport with this person and you may have found someone who may….
  • They’ll make a link back to your site from their site. (This is called back linking and Google LOVES backlinking.)

Ok, So I’ve Tied Some Heartstrings. Now What?

Well, I’m sure what you might like me to say is that you can sit back and watch your numbers go up, but things aren’t that simple. You’ll need to keep stirring the pot. Gotta keep that momentum going.

What it is time for, however, is for you to put up that first product of yours (if you haven’t already). Studies show that someone is more likely going to buy from a particular source the more times they’ve had in contact with that particular seller.

What’s it going to be? The easy way would be to just come up with something that they might like. The better idea would be to listen to those who you’ve brought in and ask them what they want – then make it. Like me, at the time of this writing, you might have silent traffic (hi guys!) and might have to rely on interviewing 5 to 10 people who you think would actually be candidates for what you have to offer.

Then once, you feel you have enough overlap of their responses, make it, and then deliver them back to them. (For bonus points, you might be so good at getting into those people’s needs that they might just be your first customers and prepay before it’s made!)

Action Steps:

So this week’s action steps are for you to think about this process. Are you connecting with your audience? Are they connecting with you? What kind of problems are you running into there?

If you are connecting and thinking about that first or next product, how’s your research going? Are you having any major setbacks as far as creating some actual buyers? Let us know below!

AoL 017: Helping Organizations Find Their True North through Projects with Frank Forte

As movements and organizations grow, they sometimes lose the soul of what the organization was originally based on. Or, perhaps they’ve grown with the original intent for so long that they are too chaotic for their own good.

Take academia for example. When I was a graduate instructor, the head of my department didn’t get along too well with the head of the actual building. One was in charge of courses in her department, the other was in focused on building connections with those who were outside of Purdue. As far as I could tell, what happened was that as the building and all the activities outgrew the department, the old department head wasn’t made in charge of the building as a whole. The powers that were opted to pull someone in from the outside.

One would think that for the place to be effective, that they would have set their differences aside and worked together. But they never did. (Eventually the building head left for greener pastures. Good for him!)

I’m sure places that you’ve worked at or with have had similar communication or vision issues. Unfortunately (or fortunately), outside of academia, these differences eventually will have to end. Otherwise someone will lose their job, client, or even worse, the organization might fold.

Oftentimes, outside help is needed to fix these issues.

Amongst other things, this is what this session’s guest, Frank Forte, does. He helps companies find their true north as he “speaks, mentors, coaches, and consults for individuals and companies on how to effect change through projects.”

Frank has worked with organizations of all sizes on multiple projects and has come to the realization that people are ultimately what need to helped. I like to think he does it in a way that is under the radar.

In this particular session, we discuss how companies of all sizes need to understand leadership and what makes a successful consultant and entrepreneur.


  • How Frank got interested in leadership and how he’s applied what he’s learned in organizations he’s worked with during his career
  • Two big keys in being a good leader
  • Why consultants should see themselves as entrepreneurs
  • The difference between Freelancing and Consulting
  • Why he believes knowing how to wield leadership is vital in being a successful entrepreneur no matter the size of the business.
  • Why it’s important to stay out of the blame game
  • What are steps to becoming a successful consultant and/or coach
  • The most important traits that an entrepreneur should have.
  • What he means when he says “he affects change through projects”
  • What he believes that companies have focused on in the past 10 years and what that means for entrepreneurs in the future.
  • …and MUCH more.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.



In this week’s show note extras, I have a couple of pieces that I think further illustrates Frank’s perspective on work.

The first is a video is a favorite of mine, featuring Simon Sinek. In it he talks about the important of starting with “Why” and talks in depth about how about how Apple does things the way they do. I’ll think you’ll quickly realize why it’s one of my favorite TED talks.

The second resource is one that is focused strictly on how important basing your life and your work from your passion truly is. I had a “wow” moment in this one as the person that Srinivas Rao is interviewing, Phillip McKernan, talks about how so many people in the world utterly refuse to follow their passion – even if they’re clear on what it is. He’s definitely a guy I’ll be paying attention to in the future.

Phillip McKernan on the Unmistakable Creative Podcast

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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