Working In vs. Working On Your Business

Working In vs. Working On Your Business

Running your own business can be very challenging and quite often, the risk that comes with it outweighs its reward. According to research, two-thirds of businesses with employees survive their first year in business, half make it to five years, and only one-third will make it to ten!

The reason for failure? 82% was because of cash flow problems, 27% have no clue how much funding they require, and 14% of businesses aren’t capable of mitigating various risks. But as you observe these statistics, one can easily infer why they fail. If two-thirds of businesses can survive for a year but not for ten years, then the main reason lies with the lack of long-term planning.

This is the problem with working IN your business instead of working ON it. 

Working IN your business means that you spend most of your time doing day-to-day tasks such as sending emails to customers, answering inquiries, scheduling meetings, paying invoices, and even delivering products – activities that can easily be done by other people. While this is a normal stage in any start-up business, it’s important to remember that the majority of business owners get caught up with these repetitive tasks, leaving them with no time to assess and strategize for their future plans!

The main difference between working IN and working ON your business lies in how your time is spent. Rather than spending most of the day doing an arduous task, it’s best if you can take time in identifying problems, creating systems, establishing partnerships, and working ON your business. 

Here are some easy steps to help you get started:

  •  Reassess your objectives
  • Outsource or automate time-consuming tasks
  • Improve business plans and strategies

 Reassess your objectives

If you don’t know how to start working ON your business, think of the reason why you became an entrepreneur. Most likely, it has something to do with personal freedom, having the time to do whatever you want, being in charge of your own life, and basically just creating your own environment while pursuing your passion. 

Now, do you think you have achieved this?

It’s easy to get stuck in the mindset where you, as the owner, are the only one capable of doing your company’s tasks. But doing 100% of the work also means that the whole business operation solely depends on you.


Outsource or automate time-consuming tasks

Research suggested that 90% of employees are being burdened with boring and repetitive tasks. So, I am sure you are well aware of how tiring and stressful it can be when you are in charge of doing these time-consuming activities while also strategizing for your company’s long-term plans. 

This is where outsourcing is useful and convenient. It is said that 59% of companies outsource to reduce or control costs while 57% of them outsource to focus on core functions. Outsourcing doesn’t only increase efficiency, but it can also free up a lot of your time so you can focus on more important matters.

Another option that you have is to use automation tools wherein manual processes are replaced with automation to minimize cost and improve operational stability. In fact, 74% of marketers say that automation saves them time and another study reveals how sales productivity grew by 14.5% when automation was used.

So, the next time you find yourself doing daily tasks, think carefully and assess if they are really worth your time or if it is something somebody else or maybe even a software can do for you.


Improve business plans and strategies

What will you do if there’s a sudden conflict in manufacturing? What about your long term goals? Are you planning to expand your business? If an economic recession occurs, what will you do?

Lack of contingency plans leads to poor execution of strategies which is basically the tipping point for business failure. However, 85% of leadership teams are said to spend less than one hour per month on evaluating plans and 50% of them don’t even spend time working on their strategies! 

Given the fact that business failure is often identified with the lack of long-term plans, it’s obviously important to improve your strategies continuously and track your company’s performance so you can easily identify when something’s wrong.

Working IN your business is just ensuring that your company survives the following day.

Working ON your business means that you strive for sustainability for the next 5-10 years.

Provided that proper guidance and instructions are given, a competent employee can work in your business. But only you can work on it and rather than simply maintaining, you can easily prioritize your company’s growth and development. Because if you won’t think of your company’s future plans, then who will?



Chet Holmes was a trailblazing and brilliant businessman. His legacy lives on through our continued teaching of his principles and innovations in growing your business. We would love to invite you to take part in a quick 7 minute strategy call where we will provide a breakthrough for you in that short amount of time. This free session is the quickest, most effective way we know how to make meaningful impacts in our cherished audience’s businesses. Schedule your call here.

The Power of Breakthroughs in Your Business

The Power of Breakthroughs in Your Business

“By the time you read this story, the quirky cult company…will end its wild ride as an independent enterprise.” 

This was how Fortune, a major publication, predicted how Apple will fall in 1996. Every entrepreneur experiences days where the future seems bleak and impossible. It takes one thing to find success, we call it Pig Headed Discipline and determination.

Fast forward to the year 2018 and Apple was the first company to be the first trillion-dollar company!

Just like any other brands, they experienced being on the edge of bankruptcy too. 

With thousands of companies emerging each year, how do some companies stay successful? Have you ever had friends, staff, clients tell you your business wouldn’t make it? Has it ever been plastered on the news on the cover of Fortune magazine? Despite hundreds of predictions that they will fail, how did Apple manage to increase revenue by 15,000% and innovate the most popular devices that shaped our existence? They managed to have the Pig headed discipline to continue and make a breakthrough.

 Another company that experienced a breakthrough is Nintendo – a Japanese multinational company. While Nintendo has always been a successful company even during the 90s, there was a time in 2012 where their sales declined.

It was during the release of Wii U – a gaming console that failed because of poor marketing, inability to highlight unique features, and struggles with third party support. This caused a drop in revenue of 75% from their peak in 2009 to just shy of ten years later in 2017. Can you imagine having to sustain a company that just had to lay off and cut expenses for 14 Billion dollars worth of lost revenue? Five years after the failure of Wii U, Nintendo released Switch – a hybrid console that has sold more than 52 million units in just over three years and is currently sold out! Rebounding their sales significantly and becoming one of the top gaming systems on the market yet again.

What is Nintendo’s success strategy and how did a product they discontinued successfully paved the way for another? 

Was it all because of luck? Or maybe, a genius like Steve Jobs is needed? A revolutionary invention, perhaps? If not, is it even possible to have your very own business breakthrough, and how?

The answer is that it varies from one company to another. Apple’s strategies aren’t exactly the same as Nintendo’s just like how theirs are different from yours. A general recipe for breakthroughs doesn’t exist – you just have to create your own.


 A breakthrough can be defined as achieving success after overcoming something, and while it’s different for every brand, we will give you an idea of what the process normally looks like.

In a Forbes article, Patrick Gentempo shared how he studied how these breakthroughs can be consistently reproduced, and the results are what he referred to as “The Anatomy of Breakthrough”.

  1. Intention
  2. Peel off the layers of the known
  3. Outside inspiration

While this anatomy can be interpreted in several ways, we’ll briefly explain it in a way that can help you generate more sales and achieve your brand’s success.

Just like any process, you must first analyze what your objectives are. What are your plans like? Do you just want to advertise your brand more effectively? Or, do you prefer letting prospects be more informed of your product’s features? Whatever it may be, you have to clearly specify your goals. In order to successfully achieve your target, you first have to set one, right?

After knowing what you want, you can then peel off their layers one by one. If your objective is to reach other prospects, what’s stopping you from doing so? If your product isn’t selling well, is there a problem with marketing or are there inconsistent strategies? You have to reach and define the core reason why some things aren’t working very well.

The last step – outside inspiration – is the most important as it can be used all throughout the process. Often, we find it very hard to identify the problem and that’s probably because we always think from our point of view. 

There may be some instances where you analyze what’s lacking and you just can’t seem to find one. But if this is really the case, then why is your business still the same?

While you know what’s best for your brand, it’s always worth asking for expert advice from others. Their beliefs, principles, experiences – their whole perspective is far different from yours. Existing problems you failed to recognize for the past few years may easily be spotted by another! 

Whether you own a start-up business or a known brand, it’s no doubt that we all want to have our own breakthroughs! However, it’s inevitable that we get stuck at some point – as if we have no idea what to do next. When this happens, you can take a moment to reflect, consider the situation carefully, or consult with experts so you can have several choices on how to proceed. And who knows? Your business breakthrough might start with a single enlightenment or inspiration from those with a different perspective than yours. 

 To have your own 7-minute breakthrough session with a CHI certified growth specialist, click here to find out how you can elevate your business.




How Virtual Selling Is The New Normal

How Virtual Selling Is The New Normal

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively affect the economy, salespeople are left with no choice but to adapt to the new normal. While the preventive measures being taken to minimize the transmission of the virus are proven to be beneficial for everyone’s health and safety, it has taken a toll on the supply chain, labor force, and consumer demand. 

From a survey conducted to find out how the top 500 companies are responding to COVID-19, 93% of respondents noted that the pandemic will negatively affect their business but interestingly, only 28% of them are expecting a long-term impact! While there are other factors involved, this data suggests that the other 65% may have already found a strategy that can help their company thrive even after the pandemic.

Additionally, 77% of the respondents believe that an economic downturn is an inevitable outcome and with strict social distancing measures, travel bans, government restrictions, and most shoppers quarantined – it seems like everyone in the business industry is gradually shifting to virtual selling.

Although some of you may identify virtual selling as just a passing sales trend that will eventually end – well sadly, this isn’t the case.

There’s no need to wait for signs of things returning back to the way it was – virtual selling is here to stay. Gone are the days when face-to-face presentations are a necessity, online communication is the new normal.

A 2017 research suggested that there’s been an 89.2% increase of sales reps spending half of their time selling remotely – this was three years ago even before this whole fiasco, so you can just imagine how these numbers have skyrocketed from the beginning of this year!

While the concept of virtual selling has been used by other companies even before the pandemic, not everyone is comfortable with this technology. However, if we are left with no choice, why not view this time as an opportunity to shift to a more effective and modern way of selling?

If you are still reluctant to abandon your company’s long-standing processes, remember the story of how Alibaba, a B2B marketplace, survived amidst the pandemic back in 2003.

The SARS outbreak shattered China’s economy seventeen years ago and with Alibaba planning to launch a new website, most were expecting that the company would not be able to survive.

What’s worse is how all employees were forced to quarantine in their homes after a staff contracted SARS. Alibaba’s former executive chairman Jack Ma then decided to send his workers home while they continue to work with the e-commerce platform. After several days of this routine, they were able to successfully launch Taobao on time and Chinese consumers who were stuck at home continued purchasing items virtually even after the 2003 pandemic.

Take note that this was the time when computers were very bulky, telephone cables were needed, optical discs were just invented, and teleconferencing software wasn’t a thing. 

If this was possible before, then that means it’s easier now! With the invention of smartphones and software designed for remote communication, what’s stopping you from shifting to virtual selling? Especially when Chet Holmes International and our partners have been seeing a 30% closing rate with attendees!

Right after the terrible events of 9/11 in America, Chet Holmes had to rapidly shift from face to face traditional marketing. Because of the disruptions to flight and travel in general, we were forced to re-create the way we presented our services. You couldn’t attract an audience during this time and for several years after.

Chet Holmes recreated the unique paradigm that selling to a group, this long secret strategy is what lead to crazy high closing ratios of 30% or more when traditional webinar presentations closed at a measly 3% on average. Chet Holmes and our partners have been refining this process of virtual workshops over the past 18 years.

Our partner Ted Miller has packaged everything you need to know. And demand for this training has been off the charts during the Covid Panic. You want to see this strategy for increasing your closing ratio to as high as 30%, with the notoriously hard to close decision makers of companies before it becomes the new normal. (We have been secret shopped by some huge names in the internet marketing space recently.)

 Click here to learn more!

While it’s true that the transition from in-person to virtual selling may be challenging and may take several months or years of trial and error, it’s crucial to develop strategies that can go well with the new technology and abandon the traditional methods of selling we are all used to. However, judging from the current situation, it seems that virtual selling may be the only option you have for your business to survive and thrive during and after the pandemic. At least the companies that were able to maintain a strong number by being adaptable are going to be in a much better position after this crisis abates.

To know more about how businesses are adjusting to the new normal, here’s a clip of how Antonelli’s Cheese Shop has been gradually shifting to virtual selling after almost a decade of traditional selling.

What is education based marketing?

What is education based marketing?

image via ConstantContent

Everyone who uses the Internet knows online ads are annoying, and as you close the third pop-up ad you encountered in a 5-minute YouTube video, you may find yourself wondering, “Do companies generate sales through these ads?” or “Do people even click on these on purpose?” 

 What do people think of these types of unsolicited marketing?

 Brian Halligan from HubSpot believes that the average human is inundated with over 2000 outbound marketing interruptions per day – probably the reason why ad blockers were utilized by roughly 25.8 percent of internet users in 2019!

If spam emails are getting redirected to junk folders and online ads are getting blocked, it means that although your advertisements are well-thought, all of them don’t matter especially if only a limited range of audience is being reached.

 One of the best strategies for inbound and outbound marketing is “Education-Based Marketing.” Just like the term states, it’s the process of educating your prospects with valuable information setting yourself as an expert in your field and industry gaining your prospects trust and respect. If done correctly, education based marketing is a tool that can lead your prospect to the logical conclusion that they need to work with you without ever having to pitch your product.

 Sounds good right? 

 Getting in the door of your prospects tends to be one of the hardest things to do and if you stop selling and start educating you will be able to reach 9x more prospects according to the buyer’s pyramid.

The average prospect is consuming 5 pieces of content on average before even reaching out to a sales person today. That means you should be educating them with great blogs, videos, posts, whitepapers, emails, phone calls. Heck, your voicemails should even be educational! Everyone thinks differently but rarely does a person decide to purchase a product just because of a single interaction.

A great example of education based marketing is the successfully trendy world renowned photographer Nick Onken. Known for his work photographing celebrity personalities like Justin Beiber, Usher, Jessica Alba, and Bono, Nick uses education based marketing to gain clientele.

After just one session about education based marketing with Nick and a Chet Holmes expert strategist, an educational strategy was created teaching how to create an iconic personal brand that rises above the noise. He explains what has made his clients so successful. He sites case study examples of his own clients starting with his non-profit work with Pencils of Promise who he photographed at the very beginning of their journey and now they’ve made hundreds of schools in third world countries.

It is crucial that you use education based marketing to reset the buying criteria and preempt your competition. Let’s continue to use Nick Onken’s example. First you must find what’s unique about you and your product/service. For Nick, he is different from most photographers because:

  1. He works with A-list celebrities and high end brands.
  2. He runs his own online brand so not only does he understand pictures but he’s very familiar with how they work in marketing collateral everything from magazines to social media posts.
  3. He hosts his own podcast documenting people’s journeys in life. Again showing that all around he’s not just a photographer, he is a serious entrepreneur that has viral success. Having 66,000 followers on Instagram is no easy feat and there’s a reason. He has a gift to make pictures liked and loved by the masses.

So when a prospect is interested in working with Nick he sends over his educational report on how to build a brand that sells. In this education he teaches that when looking for a photographer you want to have someone who:

  1. Has built brands,
  2. Who knows marketing,
  3. Who has an eye for promotion, not just an artist looking to make something artsy.
  4. He teaches his prospects to look for a photographer who gets the whole picture and knows what sells.

That is how Nick utilizes education based marketing to preempt the competition and continue to travel the world taking the most outrageous photos of his clients. Just this one simple report gives him a leg up from every other photographer out there because as Chet always said, “The strategist will slaughter the tactician every time.”

You can read Nick Onken’s report about how to create a personal brand that rises about the noise here:

He built this educational piece and has been using it as one of his main sales collateral for years now. This is the power of education-based-marketing.

Normally, there are three stages before a prospect can be converted to a loyal customer – awareness, consideration, and decision-making.

A typical buyer’s journey always starts with awareness; a problem they realized – it will be something that is of interest to them. What are your prospects searching for on YouTube every day? What do they google on their phone? These topics are not necessarily about your product, they can be anything that relates to their every day life if you were in their shoes. It can be topics such as an effective way to lose weight, tips on how to increase sales, the best gadget for their needs, or how to increase interactions on social media.

After realizing these, what will they do next?

Rather than aggressively selling, what we are doing is educating them. A great approach can also include letting them have the option to enter their email address or other contact information on the website, in case they are interested in knowing more.

Next is the Consideration Stage where the main goal is to provide content that can highlight what your company can offer or guarantee, its unique features, and what sets it apart from other similar brands. While the first stage is about educating the client on information regarding their problems, the Consideration Stage is formally introducing you as a trusted advisor, where free trials, demos, and scheduled webinars can be effective.

The last step before they decide whether to purchase your product or not is the Decision Stage. It’s often where they will take time to conduct an in-depth review, compare the pros and cons of different brands, and consider several possible approaches. Offering a consultation with an expert or providing them estimated and price quotes can help them in this decision making but might not be needed if enough loyalty was built up during education.

 FACT: Did you know you’re 65% of the way to a sale if you just build rapport and establish the prospects need?

With this in mind, it’s important to ensure that while using education-based marketing, all details on what you can offer should be relayed accurately and to a wide range of audience, capturing the attention of those interested, influencing their purchasing decision, converting them into customers – all while establishing a relationship of trust.

What will you do to educate your prospects today? To gain their trust and loyalty?

If you’d like assistance to better understand your education based marketing approach sign up for a complimentary consultation here.

What Makes a Sales Superstar?

What Makes a Sales Superstar?

Hiring sales superstars are essential for building the Ultimate Sales Machine© to accelerate growth, but what exactly makes a superstar so unique? While knowledge and training are important, sales superstars are a rare breed because it comes down to personality which can’t be changed.

Let’s see why personality profiling is crucial for the hiring process and what traits make a superstar so it’ll be easier for you to find a top-producing salesperson for your business.

The Importance of Personality Profile

Without personality profiling, it’ll be an uphill battle finding sales superstars. Personality profiling (aka ‘behavioral assessment’) is a method of understanding a person’s psyche. By understanding the personality characteristics that are most effective for a sales position, you’ll be better able to identify candidates that possess those characteristics.

Not only can hiring a sales superstar accelerate growth, it can save you money too. According to, “The U.S. Department of Labor claims a bad hire can cost your business 30% of your employee’s first-year earnings; other HR agencies estimate the cost to be higher, ranging from $240,000 to $850,000 per employee.”

Personality Characteristics

Over the years, many companies have developed and refined the DISC personality profile to test potential hires. The DISC personality profile is based on studies done by Harvard psychologist William Moulton Marson in 1928, and it tests candidates by using word association to measure the intensity of personality characteristics.

‘DISC’ stands for four aspects of the personality:

  • Dominance: Strength of ego (i.e. aggressiveness)
  • Influence: Social interactions and communication
  • Steadiness: Patience, persistence, and thoughtfulness
  • Compliance: Relation to structure and organization

While there are a variety of personality profiling tests out there, this is the model that we’ll be using to identify sales superstars.

Essential Traits of Sales Superstars

A superstar won’t just have a high level of one trait; it’s a combination of different intensities of each trait. However, there are two traits in particular that all sales superstars have in common.

High Dominance

The dominance personality trait has to do with strength of ego. It’s a measure of personal power, desire to control situations, and assertion in every interaction.

Candidates that are high-dominance are a good thing because it means they’ll have the drive and ambition to close as many sales as possible. Additionally, having a strong ego allows a salesperson to not take repeated or harsh rejections personally.

High Influence

The influence personality trait measures sociability. It describes how test candidates interact in social situations as well as how well and how much they communicate.

Salespeople that are high-influence will be naturally empathetic and gregarious. They’re able to put themselves in other people’s shoes and understand their viewpoints. Additionally, they’re energetic, fast workers who perform well on teams.

Accelerate Growth By Hiring Superstars

If you don’t understand the personality profile that makes a sales superstar, you might miss out on hiring top-producing salespeople. Even if you’re a one-person army or small business, imagine what you could focus on and accomplish if you had someone else expertly handling your sales!

For more information on hiring superstars, check out Chapter 5 in The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies!

There’s also a variety of free resources available to help you rapidly upgrade your business faster, better, smarter.

Startup Lands a $65 Million Dollar Contract in 5 Weeks

Startup Lands a $65 Million Dollar Contract in 5 Weeks

Meet Martijn Atell, former electrical engineer and computer scientist turned CEO of VoteBash. Martijn learned our Best Buyer strategy and with some coaching closed a $65 million dollar contract within 5 weeks! Yes, you read that right. $65 million dollars in 5 short weeks. Martijn won the Red Herring award in 2017 and his company, VoteBash, has joined Entrepreneur 360. This is a list of the fastest growing and most innovative companies in the U.S.

Being inspired when coming to the U.S. after the 2008 election, Martijn found a way to connect Fortune 500 companies directly to the consumers, without the need to spend hundreds of thousands or million on a focus group of 8-10 people. In this interview, you’ll learn:

-The key exercise Martijn did that was key in winning him the $65 million dollar contract.
-How surviving the Amazon jungle lead to business success
-The driving philosophy that lead to the $65 million dollar contract

And much more…

Download the Podcast on Entrepreneur Weekly!

Hear the interview on Entrepreneur Website here:



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[00:00:00] Amanda: Thank you so much Alan. We have today, I’m so thrilled to have Martijn Atell who is the founder and CEO of VoteBash. Now the reason why every entrepreneur is sitting at the edge of their seat right now is because everybody wants to know, how do you go from zero to 65 million in five weeks? That’s pretty pretty phenomenal. Everybody that I’ve talked to has been quite thrilled that the first question is, “What do they do?” So Martijn can you tell us a little bit, what is VoteBash?

[00:00:33] Martijn: Sure. VoteBash is a new space of engagement where people vote their opinion and we help brands and organizations get a real time feedback for their decision making processes. It could be they need to do new marketing campaign or they want to find out what the next best product is, you can do that on VoteBash. And when people vote on VoteBash, they get rewarded for their opinions with a deal or a discount. Whenever that happens then, everyone wins because the voter, the consumer, gets a reward and the retailers, or the organizations, they will get the data and the background and they will be able to find out what is next and where the customers actually are and what matters to them. So from that perspective it’s really a great business model and we make money.

[00:01:22] Amanda: Yeah.

[00:01:23] Martijn: When the consumers really redeem those rewards and go to a point of sale and then we get a commission.

[00:01:29] Amanda: So my understanding from what you’ve told me is that typically Fortune 500 companies, obviously, do focus groups and they’ll spend a quarter of a million dollars, even a million dollars, to get 8 to 10 people in a room to just get feedback about what they’re doing with their marketing, what they’re doing with their product and that’s a very expensive commodity. So what you’ve been able to do is take that process, which takes so much time their even analyzing data that has been six months old, which today you can’t do. So to be able to give them real time data you now brought that process online so that you can send out an e-mail and say “Hey I’d like some feedback.” They can then give that feedback in exchange for a discount or a coupon and they can share it with their friends so it can become viral as opposed to just getting eight to 10 people’s feedback you get real time feedback. Is that correct?

[00:02:21] Martijn: Exactly. That’s really on point. And from that moment on we also thought about how can we further improve this process by bringing the marketing role and the research tool together. Now you actually have brand ambassadors and advocates promoting the brand with a button on VoteBash, showing it to their friends and family, what this brand is doing, what new campaigns are coming out. So that’s the exciting part of VoteBash.

[00:02:48] Amanda: Very interesting so. So your background… You weren’t in this at all. You were at BMW. How did that…tell me about that.

[00:02:57] Martijn: Yeah yeah. So after I studied electrical engineering.

[00:03:04] Amanda: Electrical engineering? Ok ok.

[00:03:05] Martijn: Electrical engineering and computer science. I got the opportunity to work for BMW and actually did my thesis over there and went into the role of doing process development with a group over there. So it was really interesting place to be in Germany and as I progressed through various roles over there in that organization, I was able to get an assignment overseas in the United States.

[00:03:35] Amanda: Oh ok.

[00:03:35] Martijn: And that was in the year 2008 where the elections were very very phenomenal. Where President Obama got elected and where I think the first time we saw in the United States a really grassroots movement that was organized through social media and other platforms, and I thought “Hey this is great. Why can you not do that for brands? Why can you not do that movement and that grassroots thinking, forward thinking, for brands and organizations?” I start playing with that in my mind. And then we moved forward and I got with this idea. It’s how VoteBash was born in the first place.

[00:04:18] Amanda: Wow so fascinating and I got to hand it to you. So you came from Holland, right? Just said “I’m going to figure out how to grow this new thing that had never been developed before.” Congratulations. It’s been… It’s only the tip of the iceberg which, you know, when I heard the numbers, when I heard about you I thought “Wow. Could it get any bigger than that?” And now that I’ve talked you have realized it can grow so much more. So we have….So… In this next segment what we’re going to cover is how did you do it. Everybody wants to know, how do you land a 65 million dollar contract? So hold on. Here we come.

[00:04:58] Martijn: Good.

[00:04:58] Amanda: Alight. And we are back with Martijn Atell, CEO and founder of VoteBash. So what everybody everybody’s been wanting to know, all of the entrepreneurs listening out there, how exactly to land a 67 million dollar contract? Can you talk a little bit about where were you at before that happened.

[00:05:16] Martijn: Yes I think every entrepreneur comes in a specific moment where it’s hard to figure out what you want to do with the business. So we just have the product market fit and we’re are trying to find customers and consumers. And that’s where I realized I need some help and I need some guidance. And that’s where I reached out to Chet Holmes Group – I reached out to Deberah Bringelson who did the deal with Virgin, with Richard Branson and with Arnold Schwarzenegger. And we were sitting together and said, “OK what is it what we could do to make VoteBash work?” And one of the things that were really epiphany for us as we found out that one of the things that I wanted to do I thought, I could not, was actually possible so I was actually blocking myself, if you will.

[00:06:13] Amanda: Wait woah woah… So it was in your head. It was something that you thought was not possible, which many people think listening to this would think “I can’t close a 65 million dollar deal, this year.”

[00:06:23] Martijn: Yes. I think if you are an entrepreneur congrats to you. You really have made a great decision. But a lot of entrepreneurs, like myself, in the beginning they think they’re not worth it. And that’s part of society. Society tells you that you’re not allowed to get success and even if you do, then there are always people in the background telling you that you are not great. And I have experienced it many times. So actually, that built up in my head and I was able to block myself and through certain topics and exercises, I was actually able to unblock myself and I was able to focus on what matters most to get this deal.

[00:07:01] Amanda: Well I find this really interesting. What Deberah told me, and you told me as well, is that you actually spent the time every morning to do a meditation.

[00:07:09] Martijn: Yes. Yes, I did that together with my wife and we did the five secrets. So we try to align our feelings, our core beliefs. We try to align all the creativity and everything that comes together at one point and then that’s where I always start my day. So I’m always happy.

[00:07:29] Amanda: So you’re telling me that in setting an intention and being clear on your core values can actually assist you to attract success.

[00:07:38] Martijn: Yes, because you still have to do the work. But a lot of things that really bring the extra mile is in things like how do you feel, how do you come over, how do you talk to people. A lot of people don’t understand that business is still human business. People don’t buy from companies; they buy from people. So you have to understand that the way you come across, the way you work with people, is something that you can influence and if you can set the motion, if you can set the mindset for that in the beginning of your day, then you could be twice as successful as you normally would.

[00:08:20] Amanda: Oh my gosh. So you’re telling me that while you were going to Chat Holmes Group coaching method you found that just having that positive frame, you started your day in a positive place, and getting that coaching to break through those barriers that you had in your own head, nothing was holding you back but what was in your own head, to then reach out to your network and in that five weeks… What do you think was the thing that really landed them? You said that it was people, but give me the very specific. What did you… Did you guys relate on something in life? What landed that deal?

[00:08:51] Martijn: Yeah I think the most important thing is really understanding your customer, trying to figure out who you are. But then at a core level you have to know where they want to be what their pains are. What they are struggling with. And one of the things that I want to point out here, what I learned in the group coaching, is that it was very specific what we had to write down about each of our core customer personas. What they’re basically struggling with, and the things that they are struggling with was not “Oh I need to become the number one in my company.” It was more or less like, “Oh can my children go to college? Can I pay for college? Can I do these kind of things?” And you’re trying to get to the soft spots and trying to understand what the human being is at its core and then you can connect with them.

[00:09:46] Amanda: Wait so you’re saying that our prospects are real people.

[00:09:50] Martijn: Yes they are, always.

[00:09:51] Amanda: And they have struggles just like we have struggles.

[00:09:54] Martijn: Yes.

[00:09:54] Amanda: So if you can connect on that similar ground, it’s easier to win a deal.

[00:09:59] Martijn: It’s easier to win a deal. It’s easier to connect with people and it’s easier to retain customers.

[00:10:06] Amanda: Well beautiful I think that wraps up our second segment here and in the third segment we’re going to cover a little bit more about Martijn and what’s the future of VoteBash and what entrepreneurs can learn from closing 65 million dollars.

[00:10:20] Amanda: And we are back with Martijn Atell, founder and CEO of VoteBash. Martijn, so I find this so fascinating how you’ve been able to completely shift this paradigm of what it means for a business owner to see value in real time feedback. Can you give us a tactical example of how getting feedback from your clients can assist with generating more business or helping with marketing? Do you have any key examples of this?

[00:10:48] Martijn: Yes, we’re testing a couple of projects and we have one customer that was able to verify certain geographical areas. This person, this organization, had an assumption of a certain graphical area where they wanted to be in and found out that the picture of the demographics were completely different.

[00:11:12] Amanda: Wow. Like what. Like they were male instead of female or age graphic.

[00:11:18] Martijn: Actually what they were thinking and feeling, because people wanted to decide if they wanted to have a presence there, since wanted to build a store there. So they found out that it was really in a different area and they were able to make savings because of that and they were also able to adjust their marketing because of that. So these are just the things that you can do, it’s just scratching the surface, finding out what the customers really want.

[00:11:46] Amanda: Oh my gosh. I mean that’s got to be a million dollar saver more depending on what kind of a business that is. If you’re going to build a whole location somewhere, be nice to know the market data beforehand. That’s fascinating, that’s really fascinating. So what is the future of VoteBash? Where will we see you? What’s the plan? Did you plan, last year, that you would get to where you are now? Let’s start with that question because I’m curious, did you have that plan?

[00:12:10] Martijn: Well this is a small story. When I was 10 years old, my father wanted me to write down my future planning. Unfortunately, my father passed away last year. But I still remember that day where I had to write down what I needed to do and one of the things I’ve said, I would have my studies done. I would work in Germany for BMW.

[00:12:41] Amanda: Hey, at 10!

[00:12:41] Martijn: At 10 And I would go to the United States. And I told my father that, I told my mother that and I had to sign it. And every time when I wasn’t really aligning myself with my core vision, my parents pulled out the paper and said “Hey, you said you would do this and we want to see some commitment.”

[00:13:02] Amanda: Oh my gosh.

[00:13:02] Martijn: So there was some planning with it but it was more from the parents house. But yes, of course you do set certain milestones but you would never find out where you’re going to be or how you will end up. It’s more or less like sculpturing or like doing a painting. You have an idea of where you want to go, but in the end it will be nice but probably not what you have thought of in the first place.

[00:13:30] Amanda: And I just do have to give you those accolades. Last year you won the Red Herring award for 2017. You also.. What was it with Entrepreneur? What was that?

[00:13:40] Martijn: Yeah I was really stunned by that. I got selected for the Entrepreneur 360 list. One of the top companies that was innovative and entrepreneurial in the U.S. and I was very humbled by that.

[00:13:55] Amanda: That’s beautiful. Well I’m glad we got a bigger segment from that as well. So… Very interesting. So now let’s go to where is the future for you, knowing what you’ve been able to achieve last year, that’s pretty phenomenal.

[00:14:10] Martijn: I think what you will see is that we’re going to move to mobile a lot because we’re website and we are working on a mobile app. We’re going to present a family of mobile apps. And then what you will see is that we are going to emerge in different areas of commerce. Right now we have a very strong focus on retail. And you will also see us in some political realms as well.

[00:14:39] Amanda: Oh interesting. And for those of you that aren’t on mobile, I would highly recommend it considering that on average today consumers are on mobile five hours a day. Forty-two percent of that time is on social media. So if you’re not there, that’s where your consumers are. So congratulations for being there. Why don’t we wrap this up with the last final, what would you give it as advice to entrepreneurs out there hearing this… Hearing your story?

[00:15:05] Martijn: Yes. What you don’t know about me is that I survived in the Amazon jungle, as a ritual, as a ritual to become a man in my culture. So I did that when I was 18 years old. I’m not goanna go through the whole story but I’ll tell you three life lessons that I give everyone. Number one you focus because if you don’t focus you die in the jungle.

[00:15:27] Amanda: Like pigheaded discipline and determination.

[00:15:32] Martijn: Yes. And you have to pivot, always. Don’t be afraid to pivot and move away from your idea and never give up. And the core of that, you always has to have the discipline to do whatever you don’t want to do in your business because that’s how you become successful. And you always have to have the determination. That’s what I would give them.

[00:15:52] Amanda: Beautiful. Well it aligns very well with Chet Holmes International in our New York Times best seller “Ultimate Sales Machine”. You have to have- if you fail at businesses because you gave up- that one single token is pigheaded discipline and determination. So thank you so much Martijn. It’s been such a pleasure. I’ve learned so much and I think everybody can learn out there that sky is really the limit. If you just are clear in your core values. If you’re clear on where you want to go, then the opportunities are endless.

[00:16:20] Martijn: Clear your head and be the best authentic self you can be.

[00:16:23] Amanda: Thank you.

[00:16:24] Martijn: Thank you. Pleasure’s mine.