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Almost all of us have heard the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, yet only a small percentage of people have daily practices for either of those in place. Whether or not you are where you want to be in business, incorporating mindfulness in your routine can only improve the quality of your life.
Recently, our CEO sat down with someone who has had great success in his marketing consulting business, and recently authored a book with daily meditations to help you improve inside and thus grow your business. In this blog, Hollywood Branded learns how to bettering yourself has positive effects on your business from the advice of the great John Jantsch, CEO of Duct Tape Marketing!
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker, and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine, SEO for Growth, and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
His latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur: 366 Daily Meditations to Feed Your Soul and Grow Your Business, is a daily reminder to entrepreneurs that a better you makes a better business. It's received positive reviews from the likes of Ryan Holiday and Seth Godin.
Question: Can you tell our listeners a little bit about you if they don't know who you are, and how you got to where you are today?
Answer: Sure. I founded my own independent marketing agency 30 years ago. It sounds glamorous but I really just figured I wanted to do my own thing. I knew I could hustle work. So I took pretty much anything, without a plan, anything anybody would throw my way.
I got a couple of small business clients and I found that I really loved working with small business owners, kind of doing all of their marketing, but I also found it really challenging. At least I had worked for an ad agency, and we had a very kind of traditional approach to serving a client. And I realized that approach would not work with small business owners. They have the same needs as much larger organizations, but certainly never the same budgets or even attention spans.
At some point I decided that I needed to create an approach where I could walk in and say, "Here's what I'm going to do. Here's what you're going to do. Here's the results we hope we get. And by the way, here's what it costs." And in kind of trying to address my frustration, I tapped into what is still today I think one of the greatest frustrations with many small business owners. It's hard to buy marketing services as a small business. It's gotten harder because there are so many more pieces of the puzzle. So many people selling pieces of the puzzle.
When somebody came in and said, we're going to install a marketing system, it's going to be based on strategy before tactics and it's all going to be integrated. All this stuff's going to work together and you're going to know what the cost is. That was kind of music to their ears. And that was really the genesis of Duct Tape Marketing, the name Duct Tape Marketing. I felt like I had to give it a kind of more product brand name. And so to me that just felt like the perfect metaphor for what it's like to run and grow a small business. I am a small business owner still today, so I certainly was very aware of what they go through and what we go through.
That turned into a book. That turned into a network of independent marketing consultants now that license and use The Duct Tape Marketing system as well as really let's face it, collaborate as a group as well.
My sixth book is The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur and it is definitely a very different book for me. But it was another way that I wanted to contribute back to in some small part, the thousands of small business owners I've worked with over the years. I think you kind of get the how to part. I mean, shoot, if you don't know how to do something, just Google it and a YouTube video will show up and tell you exactly how to do everything.
Question: In your book, you write about time and focusing and the need for entrepreneurs to do that. Why is that so essential?
Answer: I know you talk a lot about mistakes that businesses make as part of the focus of this show. And to me the biggest mistake I see people make is, if you were going to ask anybody what's their biggest constraint? Any percent of entrepreneurs will say it's time. And what I would suggest is that it's focus. Because what happens through time is, we feel like we have to be doing 29 different things at once. We're multitasking, we check into Facebook 18 times a day. And the reality is, I can't tell you how many days I've worked in an eight hour a day and about a 45 minute period during that day produced completely all the output for the month. That was really through high payoff work.
I do this with a lot of the businesses that we work with is that on a quarterly basis we'll allow them to identify two or three main priorities. And basically then say, okay, what are all of the things that need to happen if we're going to meet those objectives, those priorities? Everything else goes on the back burner until we're focusing on that.
There's lots of balls to juggle, but if we start our day thinking what are the two or three things that if they got done today are going to make the most impact, then all that other stuff, maybe we can forget about doing it.
One of the challenges we have today is it is so easy to get distracted. And that's not unique necessarily to today. We feel like it is. But if you read some of, particularly Thoreau wrote about this all the time. If you read some of the passages in Walden, you'd think he was talking about Facebook today and social media. About the distractions and the challenges and the lack of focus.
Maybe it's because I've been doing this for a long time, but I just feel like there's so many ways to waste your time during the day in things that ultimately aren't going to have any pay off. Let's face it, a lot of it is procrastination. I mean how often do we reach for our phone because the work that's in front of us feels hard?
I think that one of the themes that comes up time and again with the transcendentalists for sure is this idea of mindfulness. And I think that a great deal of the stress and the distraction that many of us feel in our lives is because we're worrying about yesterday, we're worrying about tomorrow, we're worrying about what somebody thinks. We're worrying about all the things that are completely out of our control. And really the only two things we can control are how we show up every day and how we respond to what goes on during the day. That's it.
I think that if you come to that realization and you start letting go of all those things that you can't control, first off, you're going to be more in the moment, which is, the present moment is the only thing you can control. But I think also it's a way to bring a lot more joy and happiness back into the work that you're doing. Because, the fear of what's going to happen tomorrow, the fear of what happened yesterday I think is sucking the life out of a lot of entrepreneurs.
I've just done it for 20 years, but I'm not unique. I mean a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of individuals, period, have kind of gotten into this idea that morning time is kind of your time to get yourself right and get yourself ready for the day. People take lots of different approaches to it. But even Thoreau was a big fan of journaling and walking and time and solitude.
I think a lot of entrepreneurs, I know myself when I get up, first thing I do is meditate. I do read, I mean, I wrote this book sort of because it fit into the format that I wanted. I try to exercise almost on a daily basis. And if I miss some of those steps, I don't feel as centered and ready to take on the day. And I think a lot of people agree with that idea. I wrote this book to kind of feed more of a practice, rather than "Oh here's a book, take it on vacation, read it and you'll have a bunch of great ideas." It's more like, "Come back to it every single day as part of your routine."
Question: Are there any last words of advice you'd like to give our listeners today?
Answer: Well, the one I find myself giving a lot lately is experience a lot of new things. Experience things that are completely or seemingly completely outside of what you should be interested in given your chosen path. Read books on strange subjects. Strange is a relative term. On subjects that are strange to you.
To me, I think over the years that's been one of the things that really has allowed me to not only stay curious, but to stay really enthused about what I do and get to do. I get some of my best ideas from books on architecture and math and things. Because there are so many systems I think in nature and in life that can be applied to things that we think are outside of our industry. I mean, the worst thing you can do is only read marketing blogs and only listen to marketing podcasts and only read marketing books. Because I think that in some sense, you get very insulated doing that. And I think your diversity of thought and diversity of experience is what's going to actually make you more valuable as a greater contributor to the world or certainly to the clients that you serve.
Every week we have a marketing professional on our show to share their tips, tricks and lessons learned from their professional experience. Check out some of our other podcast blogs from earlier this year:
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Topics: Business Advice, Podcast Interviews, HB Podcast