Link to More Business More life Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/more-business-more-life/id1507422136
Steve Napolitan: Welcome to the More Business, More Life podcast. This show is for socially conscious leaders, entrepreneurs, CEO founders that have found success, but yet they don’t have the ideal life that they would like. And what we’re going to do is bring in concepts and systems so that we can increase business with millions of traditional revenue, while lowering our work hours, ideally below 40 hours a week, we call this more business, more life, and it’s an, “And, “not an, “Or.” We don’t have to have either/or. We can actually systemize this to have both. And those are the concepts we’re going to come with each episode. Sometimes we might talk a little bit more about business, sometimes more life, most of the time both. So welcome to the show.
Melyssa Barrett: Welcome to the More Business, More Life podcast. This week we are talking about effective strategies for business growth, and Steve Napolitan has dropped some serious knowledge on us. There is so much knowledge that he just gave in this podcast, you will not believe I couldn’t even tell you. But if you’re looking for two things for your most effective marketing strategies, if you’re looking for mentorship, if you are looking for what you can do, what are some of the quick tips? I’m telling you, Steve dropped it all. So you have got to listen to this and make sure that you make the time because it will generate new business growth for you.
So today, it is such a pleasure, I actually get to spend some time talking to you specifically, Steve, because I know normally you kind of run these and we all kind of chime in with different thoughts and opinions, but today I thought we would really kind of focus on what you might deem some effective strategies for business growth, since everybody’s probably thinking about their growth, their business over the next year, closing out this year, focusing on a new year, and your background in marketing, and business, and psychology is so interesting to me, that I think there are lots of strategies that you bring up that are maybe a little more counterintuitive. The first thing being one of your core values for your business, starting off with love, is that most people don’t start out their company with a core value on love.
Steve Napolitan: I know I’ve had people say, “You can’t do that.” They’ve actually said that to me that, “You can’t do that.” And I’m like, “Well, the purpose of my business is to serve others. So what’s the highest level of service, is to love.” And so yeah, it is abnormal, but my whole thing is to not drive… So more business, more life, one of our philosophies is dream inside, be who you are. And I think that’s one of the dilemmas of business and life right now in modern society is too many people are living their life for other people. And what I mean by that is they’re doing what I think I should do. What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to act in business? How am I supposed to act for my neighbors in my community? And we’re doing all these things based on what we think others want us to do.
And that one, it can bring some consideration. So I’m not saying it’s all bad because then you’re being a little considerate of others, I’m not saying this in a way to be so selfish, “I’m going to do what I want.” But if you actually think about it to be in full love, it’s letting yourself be you because when you have to dorm it yourself and not act like yourself. So as an example, I go for hugs. Anytime I can get a hug, I’m going to ask for a hug. And that’s uncomfortable for some people. And certain cultures, touching is not appropriate too, so I have to mind my manners in that. So a lot of times, sometimes I forget, I do forget sometimes, but most of the time I say, “Hey, I’m a hugger. Is it okay?” And just ask that permission. So I’m still being conscious of the other, but I really am leading with love.
And I guess, to cap this all off, even when my children asked me, “Dad, what’s business?” I had to think for a second. And then I said, “Well, for me, it’s how I’m going to help people.” “So business is helping people?” I said, “Yes, that’s what it is.” And so, there’s lots of different businesses and those businesses are helping people in different ways. Like a tire shop helps people keep on the road safe. We hope. We hope, right? You hope, that’s their core purpose, that we help people have their vehicle working well and safe. So it’s getting you there, but it’s also getting you there safe. And they’re checking, that’s why they do their inspection so they can tell you, “Oh, something’s wrong with your break.” “Oh, I had no idea.” “Well, good thing we caught it. How is that not love? Right?
So I guess I’m just calling it out, Melyssa. I’m just saying this is all love. Don’t be afraid to say it. When I’m speaking or I say goodbye to you, I say, “I love you and I love all people. And that for me is one, a reminder that that’s what I’m leading with. So I get to remind myself every day by making it an action and making it a core purpose, core value. And then also I get to, and maybe I am abnormal, which I guess I am, to your point, this is a smaller percentage of the population of the world acting as I am. I wouldn’t say I’m the only one. I know an Australian businessman, and he has a tattoo of a heart and a dollar sign, and people actually scrutinize that because he is a business person and he does make money, but he does it all with love. And he said, “This is what we need in modern society. And this is why capitalism has had such a bad image, because it’s been daunted with no love,” right? You’re just taking money. We’re ruthless. We’re ruthless. And I’m not denying that those individuals haven’t done that. I’m not denying that. We’ve seen it. I mean, obviously you could see it, I mean, the evidence is there that people have acted as such, but that’s not this.
And I think that’s why it’s even more important for me to lead with love to say, “Yes, I am a business person, but I’m doing it with love first.”
Melyssa Barrett: Well, and it would be great if that would be the norm. So not to say that you and what you’re doing is abnormal, but it’s definitely non-traditional, I guess.
Steve Napolitan: Yeah, let’s gather more. So I’m sure cacao right now, so I’m going to say cheers to that. Let’s have more business with love. Yeah, cheers.
Melyssa Barrett: Cheers.
Steve Napolitan: Yeah. And you know what? That will make more business. To your point of growth. Yeah, I can tell you as I’ve done this, you could even say it’s magical, but when you lead with love and people see that it’s genuine, guess what? More people are going to want to work with you.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, that’s for sure. Okay, so when we talk about effective strategies, I think a lot of times people, the first thing they think of is, “Oh, I got to get a website and I got to get on social media.” And I know you don’t necessarily focus on that. Even with all of your credentials as a award-winning marketer, that is not the first thing you go to. So what would you tell some of these businesses to start with, aside from love?
Steve Napolitan: Well, yeah. So the next thing, well leading with love, but the next step, you’re right, is not freshening up the website. So I’m going to say in two ways. One, if you’re brand new, the first thing we think is, “I better go get a website. I got to do all this and make all these investments.” And then the second option is that you already have a website, you’re already going and you’re thinking, “Oh, it’s the new year coming up here. I need to make a new website. I’ve got to do this.” Now, sometimes that may be true. I’m not denying that you don’t need a freshen up, or you don’t need a website. And is it better to have a website? Yes, but it’s not the first step.
So to Melyssa’s point right here, the first step in my opinion is that we need to do our research and development. And in the research and development, I’m the biggest fan that we do it through commerce, that we actually do it. So even if it’s beyond a website, let’s say you’re doing a startup right now, and you’re developing a software or you’re developing a product, then the rule of a startup is to have an MVP, a minimum viable product. So we want to make an initial offering, and this is also in software really has turned the beta launch, right? You’re launching a beta version. People knew that it was rough around the edges, but you’re getting this special opportunity to be an early adopter. And then what does that give us? Research and development, right? We get feedback.
So on a larger sense, this is how that looks. But if you’re a smaller business and you’re just starting out, the first thing I tell people to do and when I’m coaching someone is that we need to get on the phone or we need to put ourselves in an environment where we can get around potential customers. So the real first step is who will be what we call your wow client.
So in marketing in general, just as a rule above all of this, real quick, a rule that I’ve lived by, there’s two main things that can go wrong. So if you don’t have enough customers or you’re getting started, what better way to start than to know these two rules? Most of the time when we don’t have the revenue that we want, one or two things is going wrong, we’re talking to the wrong people or we’re saying the wrong thing. We’re talking to the wrong people or we’re saying the wrong thing. So marketing, how can this be true? Marketing is communication. Let’s make it simple. So that’s the thing that I’ve been, I take, yeah, Melyssa, you brought up that I’ve had awards and all these things, and yes, that’s true, but the thing that I feel the most recognized by is that I make things simple. The simplicity matters.
So if we’re all about communication, then wouldn’t it be important to know who we’re talking to and what we’re saying and make sure that it’s effective? And in order to do that, we need to start having the conversation. Because what I’ve also, I went to film school, so how I started in marketing was all on the creative side, and that failed me. I actually fell in my face more times than I’d like to admit, because I was making these awesome, epic movies of a commercial and having a lackluster in sales, which defeats the purpose of marketing. So then I had to back up and say, and this is how these things started to come into my mind, I said, “Well, what am I doing wrong? I’m not communicating for them to pick up the phone or walk in that customer’s store.” And so then I had to realize I must be saying the wrong thing.
If I go back to the rule of communication, the rule of communication is that there’s three parts: the communicator, the message, and the receiver. Now often, and I’ve done this in my marriage, another embarrassing thing, but I think we all do. I mean, I’m not that embarrassed about it anymore. Because I think so many of us do it. You blame the receiver for not getting the message. It’s like, I definitely did this full transparency, I’m communicating with my wife and then I’m like, “Well, you don’t get it. That’s your problem. That’s your problem. You figure it out and then you come tell me when you figured it out.” That’s not a good communicator. That is failure to communicate, which is also going to fail your marriage real fast. It was not pretty.
And then I had to learn, okay, well who’s in charge? Who’s responsible for effective communication? The communicator. So I have to change the way I say it, and make the message better so that my wife in this case, can receive it. Same principle for marketing. So if this is all true, hang with me, I’m telling this whole… So if this is all true, then that means we need to know our wow client beyond anything. And this is where I think most marketers go wrong. We do the initial target audience analysis, right? So it’s not like you’ve had no training in this. If you’ve already done business, you’ve already done some marketing, you’re like, yeah, Steve, no problem. It’s target market. I get it. But we do it halfway. A lot of market. I’ve been at some of the biggest firms, billion dollar firms, and I still see them doing it not in the depth that I do.
And the reason that we were having such success with my boutique firm winning awards, and beating out Disney, and Levi’s, and out carrying some of their campaigns with billion dollar companies, and competing toe to toe with them, with a fraction of the means is because of this; I went beyond the demographics, the basic demographics, what the target times would be like, “Okay, it’s a married couple, it’s this age, they’re in these neighborhoods and we’ll do all this stuff,” right? Sound familiar, this is what happens. I’m saying, that’s not enough. I went and got on the phone with those people. I went and interviewed them, and I said, so if you’re brand new, you need to find your ideal wow client. I call it, “Wow,” like, beyond a doubt, through the roof, the wow client. I’d rather have a smaller sliver of a population, but have it be wow. And every time I’ve done this, the companies make more money, outperform. I’m talking leaps and bounds, just this advice I’m giving right now, I’ve had clients double, triple, and quadruple.
Now, disclaimer, that was on their action. They took this idea and took action with it. But ultimately, by knowing that this comes back to your point, Melyssa, and I promise I’m bringing it all full circle here; that gave us the language. So if I go and I get the exact language, I’m not kidding. So when I’m in those interviews, I’m recording it all the time that I can, I’m writing down all the key words. We know exactly what that wow client is saying out loud. Then I put that on the ads, I put that on the website.
So here’s the dilemma. If you say, “Oh, I got to go make a pretty website,” you’re going to go build a website, you’re going to spend this money, you’re going to spend this time, you’re going to spend this energy, and then, do you really have the language. If you do, then go for it. But here’s the beauty of this, this is the seal, this seals the deal; when we do this activity, my clients make sales. So when you go talk to those wow clients, guess what they do? Because they’re wow, because you’re communicating. You’re learning their language, at the same time that you’re doing your RD, you’re actually closing deals. I had one client in one month increase the revenue by $17,000. It was a smaller business. I’ve had million dollar companies in one year. I had one, my biggest one in 11 months, I had a $42 million company go to 57 million. So this ad, if you’re at millions, it’s going to add millions. If you’re a startup, it’s going to add hundreds, thousands of dollars. One guy made 15 grand just by doing this exercise from a startup. And then people that are already going, you might make an extra 10, 20 grand.
Based on what you are selling, obviously, what your offer is, it’ll be based on that. But ultimately by interviewing your wow clients, you’re going to get the right language, you’re going to be able to help them more. You’re going to be able to say, “Where else can I help you with?” And you’re going to start repackaging things. And then that’s when I then go put that on the website. Now I have the actual information that’s sticky, and going back to why people do beta launches, because now we have, I’ve seen in Silicon Valley, I grew up there in California, and people go into a box or a bubble for three years and make a software, and they’re probably geniuses. They really are. These people are really smart people. And then they go, “Tada” and then no one buys and then they go out of business. So this is the real deal, Melyssa and I went into a full lesson. This is what I would teach someone. So hopefully, did I make it clear enough or that sink in?
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, no, I mean, I think that was a lot more than even I expected. Had to take a few notes on that one. So then, in terms of just the wow client, and you didn’t talk about the ow client, but I’m hoping people understand the difference between an ow and a wow.
Steve Napolitan: Well, I guess the real quick of it is, the reason this came out is because I was an entrepreneur. I used to work full time making sales, 40 hours a week plus, and then I would work 40 hours a week plus doing the productions, building all the commercials, everything I said. So my early company was a production company that turned into a full marketing firm. So I was working 80 hour plus work weeks, which I know you can relate, Melyssa, we’ve done this. It’s not fun. And so, the first area, I couldn’t efficiently trim down the production part, but if I got really smart with the systems on sales, I could trim it down.
So the first thing that I explored so I could reduce the amount of time I was doing sales so I could keep doing my production work. And so, the first thing I noticed was energy, right? We think time is the most valuable thing, but really energy, if our energy’s depleted, you could have more time, but have less energy and actually get less done. And so, then I started watching that, and then I started noticing, guess where my energy is getting sucked? Ow clients; clients that I took on. Because when we’re early in business, the thought is, and I know we’ve all thought it, “I better go make money. I got to go make money.”
Melyssa Barrett: “I got to get anybody who’s coming in the door,” right?
Steve Napolitan: “Yeah. Are you breathing? Okay, great. Come on in.” And then we start having problem clients. And when we have problem, it doesn’t mean that they’re bad people either. I want to be clear on that. They’re just not for us. And when someone’s not for us, it’s like a puzzle, and you’re painting the puzzle pieces different color to cheat, and you’re smashing it in there and taping it in, and it’s not pretty. The puzzle starts looking bad. The same in our business. We start using energy. So if you really think about it, the clients you’re not meant to work with that you’ve forced, or that you’ve accepted because you needed the money, have actually drawn energy. And so the longer I was doing this, the more I saw that I had these really ow clients when I saw their… This is how you can tell; when you see their name come up on your phone, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, they’re calling, oh, it’s horrible,” right?
Melyssa Barrett: Oh yeah, right. You make that noise.
Steve Napolitan: I feel it right away. You want to throw the phone away as far as it can be away from you. And then we hope that it goes away. Well, it only goes away when you say, “Hey, this isn’t a fit. You should go work with this type of person.” And you think that there might not be someone else, but what I’ve found is the people I’m not meant to serve, there’s somebody else that’s perfect match for them. That’s like saying that you’re meant to marry everyone. And I go to this because then it becomes real. Sometimes we think it’s different, but it’s not. We spend a lot of time working. And then, so you took a lot of time to decide who your partner should be, who’s going to live in your house. I don’t know anyone. I haven’t met anyone. I’m sure it’s happened somewhere in history. I mean, obviously the arranged marriages and all that kind of stuff. But I mean, in modern times-
Melyssa Barrett: Have you watched TV lately? There is people marrying people for the first time they see them at the altar. There’s all kinds of stuff going on.
Steve Napolitan: Oh my gosh. But I wonder how many of those work out.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, I don’t know, because I don’t watch them. But-
Steve Napolitan: Yeah, I mean, so get that. Just imagine in your own life that you walked down the street and the first person you saw became your partner. We need to take that kind of caution when we’re signing folks up to work with us. Especially, it’s easier when it’s a product, but that doesn’t mean it’s better. Because if you sell your product to someone and you’re like, “Yeah, I don’t have to spend much time with them,” but then they go write a bad review, face it, who writes reviews? Period. Who writes reviews? The people that have an amazing response, like, “Oh my gosh, that’s amazing,” or that-
Melyssa Barrett: Or in the worst.
Steve Napolitan: The worst. “I can’t believe they did this to me.” And then now you’re causing your own dilemma. So that’s what wow client means. It’s literally the energy of it and you need to stop it. I’ve noticed in my career that I’ve estimated, this is my own numbers, but it’s about five times the energy, and it could be more. I’ve had one client that took over 80% of my company, like, all my employees, everyone was working on that client because we’re always solving problems that they thought were problems, that they weren’t problems, we were just managing their emotions, but it was destroying my company. And as soon as I fired them, I opened up all the space for my company. I was able to bring on more clients, and actually make more money because they were sucking the energy out of my company. So hopefully, does that give enough? I mean, obviously we teach this, I teach a whole courses on this, but that’s just the snippet of the difference between wow client and ow client.
Melyssa Barrett: Well, and how do you fire a client?
Steve Napolitan: Well, it’s coming honest, right? So in that case, the one that was sucking my energy, they actually were rude. I mean, I didn’t even know at the beginning, Melyssa have ever been in management and then someone treats you different than your employees.
Melyssa Barrett: Oh, yeah.
Steve Napolitan: And it’s sad. It’s so sad because they think, oh, they’re the star. Let’s treat them well. And then these people are dirt because they’re the workers, and I don’t act that way. That is not okay. And som that was the first thing when I got wind of that and it was happening for months, and they were all holding it. They were like, “Well, Steve, even so busy, we didn’t want to stress you out.” And I’m like, “No, you guys.” So actually when that happened, Melyssa, I made a rule in my company, if anyone ever mistreats you, and it was part of my hiring process, anyone ever mistreats you, you tell me immediately. It’s not acceptable. We don’t work with those people. And I called the client and I said, “Hey, I can’t work with you. You can’t talk to my people this way.”
Melyssa Barrett: Wow.
Steve Napolitan: Yeah. And I just laid the law. It was just not acceptable. It was completely unacceptable. And so then-
Melyssa Barrett: I love it.
Steve Napolitan: They said, “Oh, okay, well, I’m sorry.” They apologized, and this is over a $200,000 account. It was big money for me at the time, but I already knew it was like poison. It was just so… This is a slap. Oh, I always say, life taps you and taps you, and then… I was getting slapped by this client, so I was like, “Okay.” I already was not okay with it. And that was the straw that broke the back.
So then they did do better for about a week or two, but within three weeks they were back to the same thing, and they said horrible things on the phone to one of my staff members. So I called them and I said, “We’re done.” And I hung up the phone, and that account was so big, I hired someone to help manage that, and then she was freaked out. Sh knew, right? She knew she was hired.
Melyssa Barrett: Right. “I’m going to lose my job.”
Steve Napolitan: But we’re a small company still, I brought everyone in immediately did an emergency meeting, and I said, “Who wants me to call the client back and let them back, if you really do?” And no one raised their hand. And I said, “Okay, that’s what I thought.” I said, “So here’s what we’re going to do. Look at how much time we’re all going to save. Think about it, how much you’re all servicing this client way more than we should have, by the way,” it should not have taken as long things were taking double and triple the amount of time just because of the way that they treated the things. So we got all this time back, and guess what we did? We used that to go get new clients and we actually made more money. We ended up getting three clients to replace that one client, and it took less time and we made more money, Melyssa.
Melyssa Barrett: I love it. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, right?
Steve Napolitan: Yeah. So let’s pause real quick, and take a break and we’ll be right back.
I just want to have an expression of gratitude right now for Pro Audio Voices. They’re the ones that produce my podcast, and Becky and her team are amazing. And for those of you that know me, I’m all about wow clients, wow partners and Pro Audio Voices is a wow partner for me. And if you want to learn more, you can go to proaudiovoices.com and you can learn about them. They also do audiobooks and they’re just amazing people. Thank you, Becky.
Melyssa Barrett: So then, now I know you talk a lot about just being able to engage in your own life, as I call it, because I think I was also one of those people that you work 80 a hundred hours a week or whatever, and it’s like, “Well, that’s what you do.” And I do think in some ways it’s probably a little bit generational between my parents’ generation and our generation, because I noticed my kids and their kids have a very different view of what their life should be like, after watching, I think, us work so hard, they’re like, “We don’t want that.” And so, what I love is that you have this focus on making sure that CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs actually work less than 40 hours a week.
Steve Napolitan: And down the whole organization.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah. I mean, can you imagine an entire company working less than 40 hours a week and making lots more money? So I mean, I think everybody wants to see their business grow, but they don’t look at it and go, “Hey, I’m going to take more time off and work less than 40 hours a week.”
Steve Napolitan: Yeah, it’s that counterintuitive word that you said it seems like an oxymoron, right? Like, oh my God. Actually, I’ve been talking about this for over a decade now, and in the early days, I literally had CEOs come and chew me out when I walked off the stage, Melyssa, they’re like, “My team is in the audience, and now they’re going to ask me for more time off. You’re an idiot. I can’t believe you.” Seriously mad at me.
Melyssa Barrett: Wow.
Steve Napolitan: And actually, the one that I’m talking about, they actually thanked me later because later they actually started adopting it. They saw me at another event.
Melyssa Barrett: I love it.
Steve Napolitan: I guess the easy metaphor is so much time and energy is lost, and I can sum it up very simply. If we expect everyone to work more hours, and that’s the solution, just think about that right there. Just even be saying that: more hours is the solution? No, it’s not. No, it’s not. If we want better businesses, we need better results. And results does not necessarily mean more hours. So let that soak in.
And now let’s bring a metaphor in, if you have a power drill with one battery, and that’s true because our body has one battery. So if you’re running all your staff down and you’re making them work so many hours, they’re exhausted, just imagine drilling holes with that battery when it’s almost about to die and you’re drilling holes fine at the beginning, and then you get to the last holes and you’re expecting your staff to not go home and finish all the holes that you want, and the drill is going, and then they’re taking five hours to drill the last five holes, and they’re smashing the drill through the wall. It’s not even spinning anymore, Melyssa. It’s like smashing in it. And they’re putting all this effort, they even might have to hire more people. I’m not kidding, so now they have someone pushing me. I’m holding the drill. Someone else is pushing me so we can make holes because our boss said we got to make holes. And we’re making holes now, and we’re all exhausted and we’re laying on the drill, and it’s just not even worth it. I mean, I’m just being real and I’m also bringing it to some-
Melyssa Barrett: Oh my God, your analogies are killing me.
Steve Napolitan: Well, thank you. I mean, I try to make us laugh when we can, but the reality is that’s true. How many people in the world are drilling with a battery that is barely holding on? And what’s the best thing that we do? If we knew this was happening and you’re the CEO, would you not tell everyone to stop working, plug their batteries in and go home because sure enough, tomorrow they’re going to come back with full batteries and drill holes in seconds. Now I can have less employees working less hours and actually have more [inaudible 00:30:33].
Melyssa Barrett: And being more productive. Yes, more results. I love it.
Steve Napolitan: That’s real. And so, now I brought it to one metaphor, but that is real. So the companies that have embraced what we’ve done, and this is why I have to work with the leader… I tried working with middle management sometimes, it’s really hard because they get stifled and snuffed by the others because they’re not in the vision. So when I work with the CEO and they believe in this, so I had one CEO, and they were working 80 plus hour work weeks. And right away, within working with them, within six weeks, we made huge reductions, within two months, huge reductions, and then I encouraged him to go on a holiday. He comes back from the holiday, this is our third month working together. And I’m like, “How’s it going?” And he said, “Oh my gosh, Steve, it’s amazing. I’m working less. I’m actually creating more results. I’m making better decisions because I feel smarter because I’m not exhausted.” And he goes on and on a whole list. And then I said, “That’s wonderful. Now imagine if everyone in your company felt how you feel right now.” And then I just shut up. I was just quiet, Melyssa. And I just watched the gears turn, I could see his eyes moving and he’s like, “Oh my gosh, this is what we have to do, isn’t it?” I said, “Yes it is.” And then that man, that’s another company, he doubled his business in 18 months.
That’s how depleted the staff was. If we actually lift everyone up.,So taking care of your people, literally, really taking care of them, making sure they sleep enough, making sure they’re healthy, then we’re actually going to do better hours. This is an old way to think that people’s value is based on some hourly wage. Part of my mission is to change that. It’s not. How is that individual contributing? And then let them feel that, let that staff member know their contribution and know how can they level up. Because then now it’s a game. Jack Welch, who’s a famous CEO of GE, and he’s famous because he went from the mail room to the CEO. He’s one of those American stories, right?
Melyssa Barrett: Yes. To the boardroom, yes.
Steve Napolitan: Right? All the way. And this has happened in other cases, but the reason I bring it up is I got to spend a little time listening to the wisdom from this man. And the thing was, he said that if any staff member doesn’t know how they can win both personally win, and win for the company, then you’ve already lost. So in this whole thing that we’re talking about here, if they know that they can personally win, they can earn more, they can get more time off, they can be a better family person, and they know that how I do that is I create more results for the company. It’s not about putting hours in. It’s not about putting overtime in. If I can produce this result, the company’s going to win, then how can you help that person win? So we’re looking for those win-wins.
And then in that, the genius by Jack Welch was that’s how you got promoted. That’s how you got raises. Not based on, and I don’t know if they still do this, I haven’t investigated GE in a long time, but at that time when I was learning about this, you knew, “If I achieved this, the company’s going to win. They’re going to increase revenue, then they can increase my pay.” And it’s not about the time, it’s about the actual result. That’s magic. That’s magical. Now I can know what I need to do. “Oh, I don’t have that skill. I better go back to school.” It changes all your mindset. Now it’s not like, “Oh, I better show up and get my hours. Let me clock in.” You actually create disgruntled employees. Then they’re just like, “Where’s my pay?” It’s a whole different mindset. Now if you’re saying, “Oh, if I learn how to do that, I can get more money? I will learn that.”
And you might also say, “Nah, I don’t want to learn that I’m happy where I’m at.” Then be happy making that the rest of your life. And then you just have to be at peace. You chose that. Then if you want go learn a new skill, or you want to go shadow another person and be an apprentice, you can level up your game. That’s how we should be living. We’re living that you produce a result, you get paid on that result.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, I love that. I love that. So since you mentioned mindset, and I think people struggle a lot with mindset, and especially I think this time of year, people are probably trying to figure out like, “Okay, I’m going to make my plans for 2024,” and yet we in the many cases, are stuck in different mindsets, whether it’s a scarcity mindset or whatever limiting beliefs we may have. So what advice would you give to somebody who maybe is thinking that they’re on the right road, but they’re trying to understand mindset, and the impact that mindset has on them and their company?
Steve Napolitan: Yeah. Okay. So the first short answer is: get a mentor. I mean, that is the real idea. I will give a few tips for you that you can do for yourself. I will give you that. But here’s why I answer that, I mean, you look at all my answers. There’s so many words and so long every answer. But the real short answer is: get a mentor because-
Melyssa Barrett: So, even as a CEO, get a mentor. I just want to make that clear.
Steve Napolitan: And it might be in a certain area. So mentors, people have this thing that maybe you are the expert in your field. I’m not saying if you’re a photographer and you’re an expert photographer, I’m not saying go get a photography mentor. That might not be what you need. Maybe you need a business mentor, or maybe you need a financial mentor, or maybe you need a relationship mentor, maybe your home life is not good. Look at the area in your life that you’re not happy with, and then seek out help. But here’s why, because our mindset is a tricky thing. It’s difficult. It’s difficult to see our own shortcomings because we lived with it so long, it’s like on autopilot.
So the thing about our conscious mind is that the frontal lobe, which makes us human versus other animal species on this planet, is that we have this frontal lobe that allows us to dream, to have this way of cognitive thinking. And that is five to nine. Five to nine thoughts. That’s it. Five to nine. So the law of average is that it’s seven. So the average person has seven thoughts that they could handle at any one time. Now, the subconscious mind, that’s the conscious mind. The subconscious mind is doing thousands of thoughts per second. It’s taking care of your heartbeat. You’re breathing without thinking about it. You’re doing all these things. And even functions like sitting in a chair or eating, how many of us have ate a meal and then not remember. You’re not like a child anymore where you have to get the fork into your mouth, although I did re-experience that being paralyzed, so I know what it feels like. And then that did, it took all my consciousness to get it in without hitting my face. I had to relearn to move. And so I felt like a child.
Same with driving. You can drive home. How many of us have parked in our garage and said, “I don’t remember driving home.” Yeah. And this is on purpose, just a little thing on it. There’s nothing wrong with you; it actually is an efficiency. The brain takes more energy than any other organ in the body. It takes more blood oxygen, it burns more calories. And if you don’t believe this, you can look it up. They did a study of the top two chess players in a match versus a Super Bowl NFL athlete. And that played the most on the field, and the chess players burn more calories sitting in a chair because they’re using more mind strategy, they’re actually burning more calories sitting in the chair than the athlete running around on the field in an NFL Super Bowl.
So this being the case, this is where our subconscious mind, it does it on purpose, because our mind is so smart, it’s a miracle, this whole thing of being a human. And the reality is that it goes on what they psychologists call the Default Mode Network. Default Mode Network on purpose. So if you had to re-figure out how to sit in a chair every time you sat down, if you had to re-figure out how to eat every time, and think about every step to put that spoon in your mouth, you would be exhausted. And we wonder why kids run around and then they sleep. Run around and they sleep. So from zero to six years old, the mind is virtually open. Around the age six, the Default Mode Network. Some of it comes online at age three, but then by six, virtually all our beliefs and all these systems are defined, and then our mind basically switches off unless we’re learning something intense and it goes on autopilot.
So this is the dilemma. This is why you have other psychologists or coaches, more in the coaching world where it’s like we have to beat the inner fight. The subconscious mind is like, “This is the way it is.” And then your conscious mind is dreaming and saying, “Oh, we can have it better.” And then you get this inner fight because the two minds are not thinking alike. So in the work that we do with neurolinguistics programming, we actually look at that and honor it. So my team, not all neurolinguistics programming is equal either. My teachers there said to have really brought the love into it. Carl Buki is my main teacher and mentor, and we honor the parts of us that at age six decided that this is the safest way to live in the world. So we’re actually honoring it. It actually did work.
So what happens? These things, these auto programs get put in place because it actually worked. Something at childhood worked, and then it was a safety mechanism to protect us, and so the brain goes, “Look, that worked.” It helped us survive. If you look at the fight or flight, which is they call the reptilian part of the brain, it’s the oldest part of the brain on the back of the head, it actually is just for you to survive. It doesn’t care about your comfort. If you’re broke and you’re poor, but you’re alive, it’s winning. It’s like we’re, “Yeah, we’re winning, thumbs up,” they’re getting green lights, they’re celebrating in the back of your brain, and the front of your brain is like, “This sucks.”
And so that’s where the work comes from, somebody outside of you. That’s why this is really hard to look in the mirror, and see everything I just said, and connect the dots and reprogrammed, that’s why it’s called neurolinguistics programming. It’s like a software update. So for the metaphor, it’s like if you’re running on old software from the 1990s and you’re wondering why your iPhone is working horribly because you’re on outdated software, what we do when you get the right mentor is you could actually update those files, and then make a new auto program. So now your new automated program is a higher level of living, which is more in alignment with your frontal lobe, your desires.
So that’s the thing why, and one metaphor is like a catwalk over a corn maze. You’re living in your corn maze and you’re trying to get around the maze and you’re getting stuck. But if you had someone that was on a big deck above it and they’re like, “Turn right, turn left.” So that’s what mentorship is. Somebody with a different point of view looking down, that’s skillful. You could almost have anyone, really, that’s why people have friends to go vent, but you have to have the right friend. So if you have a friend that you go vent with and they’re like, “Yeah, the world’s ugly. I agree with you. Yeah, this sucks.” That’s not helpful. It’s like, oh, we have a fire, and you think you had the firefighters come and then it’s your friend with gas and they’re like, “Oh yeah, just put more fuel on the fire.” No, we don’t want those kinds of friends. We’re not burning the house down. We need firefighter friends. They’re going to come in and be useful.
And a lot of times, this is why I say hire a mentor, it’s not going to be your friend. A lot of times maybe you have this beautiful friend and you’re a lucky one. Most of us are around people that are like-minded, and then we’re in a pity fest and it’s not helpful. So we need someone outside the system, outside of our normal things, and we need someone that actually is… And the reason I choose to pay some people also just to bring this up, people think, “Oh, why would I pay?” Because then they pick up the phone. I pay someone to help me.
Melyssa Barrett: They invest in you.
Steve Napolitan: Yes. And then they answer the phone and so I want to pause myself and listen and see if you want to interject anything, or ask any follow-up questions that, but I can give a few tips of what you can do without hiring someone just to get started. But just know this: if you want the fastest change in your life, finding someone to help you, finding a mentor, and someone that has some psychology background. And if you need help with that, reach out to us, because we do know some of the best people in the world. And Carl Buki, who is my teacher, he has trained people globally. So wherever you are in the world, if I can help you or our team can help you, we will. And if we can’t, then I have a whole arsenal, I guess that’s not a good word. I have a whole group, a very large family.
Melyssa Barrett: Whole basketful.
Steve Napolitan: Of people that are trained and alumni of the same school I went to and others.
Melyssa Barrett: Just before you get to the tips, the one thing I just wanted to say is because you have been such a wonderful mentor to me personally and professionally, that when you talk about getting a mentor, I’m not sure if somebody would’ve asked me 10, 15 years ago, like, “Oh, who’s your mentor going to be when at age 50 something?” I don’t know that I would’ve said Steve Napolitan. But it was an amazing way, I mean, obviously being friends, I think now we’ve been friends for, I don’t know, two or three decades maybe.
Steve Napolitan: Yeah, we’re in that [inaudible 00:45:08].
Melyssa Barrett: But it has definitely brought new things to me. And I think any mentor, as you say it is, they’re not piloting your plane, but you’re down on the tarmac with the-
Steve Napolitan: Lights.
Melyssa Barrett: With the lights, kind of guiding you in. And I think a lot of people maybe even don’t know how to be mentors and don’t know what to look for in a mentor. So I just want to tell you live and on the air that I really just appreciate you, and really your whole family is just as wonderful as you are. So I just appreciate all that you have done for me and my family. So I wanted to say that. And then, why don’t you dive into some of those tips?
Steve Napolitan: Thank you for those kind words. And it really lifts me. It fills my heart with joy. And I too, when we met some 20 years ago, I wouldn’t have thought that either. I wouldn’t have thought that this came to me. And I know it’s my life’s work. I know this is what I’m meant to do the rest of my life, but even I didn’t know, even I’m shocked if you would’ve went to film school and met my college Steve and told me that I would be your coach, I would’ve laughed. I would’ve been like, “You’re crazy. What are you talking about?” So you and me both are shocked at this, but it is what I’m meant to do.
And then just as far as finding a mentor, the first clues you could have, so I wasn’t going to say this, but now that you just said what you said, Melyssa, I now felt appropriate to say the first thing is to look for someone that has what you would like. And I think it’s important to look at their life style too. I’ve had people that I’ve met and even myself, I thought, “Oh, this person should be my mentor.” Then I look at their life and I’m like, “Whoa, this is not what I want.” They might be a really standout in their career, but their family life is all horrible. Then it’s like, do I really want to listen to this person? I learned the hard way. I did listen to some people and then all of a sudden I’m working as hard as they are. So they might have success, but at what cost?
So when you look for a mentor, you got to look for the whole package. Okay, yeah, they’re making money, but are they doing it in a way that works with me? I want to be a family person. The reason I even worked so hard, I was working to not work, which by the way, doesn’t work. You can’t dig your way out of a hole. I don’t even why they have that have that saying, “Dig yourself out of the hole.” There’s no digging out of a hole. You’re just getting deeper. It’s the most ridiculous saying in the world. You’ve got to get a ladder. So anybody says, “Yeah, dig yourself out of the hole.” No, stop digging and start putting a ladder or build the ladder inside the hole. So that is the first step; you have to find someone that has the whole package, that they are abundant in their life the way you see or in their expertise in their field, and they have the life.
Now, I’m not saying it’s a zero. There are some business people I got some fascinating and amazing tips, but then I think of them more as a teacher in the moment, than a mentor. A mentor to me is the whole package, because this is a life relationship that I’m mentoring you in your life. And that’s a confusing part too. We’ve said this on almost every podcast lately, but if people ask me, “Are you a life coach or a business coach?” And I say, “Well, I sure hope you don’t die when you go to work.” That’s my answer to that because it’s all life. So in that you have to find that mentor. And so, that’s the number one tip; finding the person that’s living the life that you want and then go find a space for that.
And if you get stuck on that, let us know. Seriously, we are open to having people reach out to us. So please do reach out. If you’re on our newsletter, then just reply to the newsletter. Our team will get in. It’ll be sent to the appropriate people, and I will be notified and such. And if you’re not on our newsletter, you can text 72000… A quick plug for this, and this is all free by the way, but 72000, and you just text Wow, W-O-W, wow to 72000, and then you’ll be on our newsletter. Then you can ask questions. But that’s what I would say, and we’ll help you find a mentor. If we can help you, we will, and if we can refer, we will.
And then the other quick tips, there are not many right off just for today, but they’re important ones is one thing; when you recognize that something’s not okay, that’s already changed. So, self-awareness. And the way that I’m more self-aware is to give time. So again if you are someone that meditates, then great, that’s even more powerful. Then you can meditate for five or 10 minutes and then write in a journal. What do you want in your life? That self-reflection is healing. It’s almost like that’s why some people, when they meditate, they have an out-of-body experience; they’re looking at themselves and they’re seeing what might change. So then in that case, if you learn to meditate at a high level, you can do some mentorship to yourself because you look at yourself from the outside position, which is not easy to do. I’m not expecting anyone to go sit on a meditation mat and all of a sudden you can do this. That’s again, why having a mentor.
But what you can do is you can journal, and this is why you hear a lot of people say, “Oh, you should journal,” but why? The reason why is because if you can devote time, and I was the worst at this. It was easier for me to meditate than to journal. I don’t know why. But what I did is, and I had a mentor at this time that encouraged me to do this. So that’s another reason; I wouldn’t have done it by myself. I would’ve said, “No, I can’t do it.” He said to me, “Put five minutes on a clock, get a piece of paper and then write for five minutes.” He said at the beginning, “I don’t care if you write, “The weather is warm today. There’s a slight breeze.”” He said, “I don’t care what you write, just write for five minutes and get in the habit of writing every day for five minutes.” And then pretty soon you start giving up on that boring stuff and you start actually writing some real thoughts down. And the idea is to let it go subconscious.
So the way the timer helps with this, when you have the timer on, you don’t think about it. Because if you look at a blank page, that’s where some people get writer’s block. But if you have a timer on, a lot of that can go away and you just write whatever’s important to you, or you write something that you’re upset about. And this I call the Five Minute Wallow. So you give yourself five minutes, you write about what you’re upset about, and then when the buzzer goes off, you have to say, “What can I learn from this? What can I do different?” And you start getting this self-reflection. So that’s the only way through meditation, and journaling, or going on long walks. So if you’re not into meditating, sitting there, then go on a walk with no headphones, no distractions by yourself, go on a walk.
An Australian meditation teacher I met once, he said, “If you’re not going to meditate, then take longer showers.” Now if you’re in a drought area, that might not be a good way to do it. But the whole idea was, he said, “Think about it,” he said over time, as he interviewed a lot of people, if someone was having these epiphanies, they would either say, “Oh, I was meditating and I had this idea.” But if they don’t say that, then the typical thing is, “I was showering and this idea popped in my head.” “I was on a long walk and this idea popped my head.” That is where we’re slowing down enough to let the download come.
So I guess those are the tips. If you’re not going to get a mentor right now, then you need to slow down yourself. Give yourself five or 10 minutes, or maybe a 20 minute walk or do something with no distractions, no reading, no audiobooks, none of that. There’s a time for that. I also do audiobooks, I also read, but it’s not in my silent time, if that makes sense, Melyssa. Hopefully that gives a quick enough tip for today. Because I know we’re almost out of time, but hopefully that gives something that people can take into their life now for free.
Melyssa Barrett: Yes, absolutely. And thank you so much for… Those are some treasure chest kind of troves of information you’re dropping today, and I just love it. I love it. So when you start talking about effective strategies for business growth, there’s so many aspects that our CEO founder and entrepreneurs should be considering, not only for themselves, but for the team of people that they work with. So I just love how in so many of your examples, you talk about how you’re just not putting up with certain things and there’s no reason that we can’t rewrite our lives in the way that we want them to be. So I hope that everyone gets something out of this phenomenal podcast because as Steve says, we always want to choose gratitude and create freedom. So with that, I’m going to give Steve the last word.
Steve Napolitan: Oh, well, you didn’t have to do that. You closed it out so beautifully. I guess I’m going to give it back to you, Melyssa. This amazing podcast would not be possible without your direction. Your questions help guide this conversation in such a beautiful way. So I appreciate you so much taking the lead on this podcast, and I hope that you, as the listener, got value out of Melyssa’s choice of questions. And really, she knows me so well, she was able to guide all that content out of me. I kind of am a fire hose if you didn’t notice. And so, Melyssa, you were definitely holding the hose and putting water on the right things that you wanted and giving me the guidance. So today you were my lights. You got to be my lights.
Melyssa Barrett: I’m on the tarmac. Come on in. Yes.
Steve Napolitan: You did a beautiful job. So thank you. I’m blessed to have you in my life, Melyssa, and I hope everyone got tremendous value. And yes, Melyssa said it right; I always say choose gratitude and create freedom. We’ll see you next week.
Melyssa Barrett: And don’t forget, sign up for the newsletter, like and subscribe and text “Wow” to 72000.
Steve Napolitan: Thanks for listening to the More Business, More Life podcast. I hope you got value. And if you did, we have so many more things for you at stevenapolitan.com. You’ll be able to connect with us on social media. We are active, you can ask us questions. And then on top of that, I want to give you a really big gift, and it truly is. We want to give so much value. We have an offering, it’s a program called Clear Path to Customers. It’s the same way that we attract wow clients and only working with the right people, the people we want to, and it’s transformed my business into millions more in revenue with the right people and my clients. And we’re doing it absolutely free. So you can go to stevenapolitan.com and grab that. You just got to put in your information. We’ll send it to you promptly. And that again is on stevenapoliton.com. I look forward to having you on the next show. Until then, remember, choose gratitude and create freedom.