On this week's episode of the Chasing Financial Freedom Podcast, we're delighted to welcome Jeff Giagnocavo, a respected entrepreneur and expert in face-to-face marketing. With a proven track record of building solid connections and growing profits, Jeff is here to share his knowledge and experience to help you boost your financial success.
Tune in as we dive into the world of face-to-face marketing, exploring its impact on building connections and increasing revenues. Jeff shares his journey, discussing the challenges he faced and the strategies he employed to overcome them. He also provides practical tips and advice on cultivating meaningful relationships with clients, partners, and peers.
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[00:00:00] Ryan: Hey guys, Ryan Dement from Chasing Financial Freedom Podcast. I hope you guys are having a great day this week on the podcast, and we are going to butcher his last name. Guys, unfortunately, Jeff Giagnocavo, and I think I got that close. And Jeff is a very interesting guy, but we're gonna talk about how he's helping Main Street and face-to-face businesses succeed in an Amazon world.
Sir, welcome into the
Ryan, thanks for having me.
Really appreciate it. And you got a gold star on the last name pronunciation. So good for you.
[00:00:32] Ryan: You know what, you gave me a cheat sheet right off your website, so thank you for doing that. So before we, we jump into what you're doing just a little bit of background on you personally and then, we'll jump into your story and see what rabbit holes we can go down.
[00:00:46] Jeff: Yeah, personally I've got a wife that I love dearly. I've got two boys as well, that I love dearly. Guiding young men in 2023 is difficult. Not as difficult as some of my friends with daughters. A lot of pressures out there for 'em. I actually heard something fantastic this morning on another show, and that was tell your kids if they're struggling, if they're frustrating, you tell your kids.
I know it's hard being a kid. And that really hit me between the eyes, cuz you've got you've got stuff that's up against these young adults, these younger kids, teenagers. That's tough. So right out the gate, I figured I'd share that. So yeah. Family guy. We got dogs. We got cats. Our house is always on the go.
We have five pets at the moment. All rescues fosters that fail. Awesome. And we kept, yeah. Is if you ever want to not have three cats or an abundance of cats, never get wrangled into fostering kittens because they stay. And that's how we have three cats. But but yeah business wise, I've been an entrepreneur most of my adult life.
I think I've only spent two years on a w2 and. I've done a little bit of everything in business from a wholesale side, a sourcing side, manufacturing side, consulting side, retail you name it. So I've got pretty good depth of experience, a around most. Most everything I feel
[00:02:06] Ryan: So you are, you said earlier, and I'll share it now as you're at one of your stores I like your background.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you got going up back there?
[00:02:17] Jeff: Yeah. I always get this. There we go. Nope, there you go. It's always which way do you point well over my shoulders. So the PT Barnum thing that's a re that's a reproduction. It's not an original Barnum and Bailey Circus poster, but so I'm into like paper advertising from back in the day because, My marketer's heart loves it because so much thought had to go into direct mail, into magazine television.
It's not like today, like test the headline on Facebook AdWords and you're gonna spend $50. It's so cavalier. I have in the other corner of the office, I probably have 25 of some of my favorite framed print ads because they were so great in headline and offer and message. PT Barn, I'm one of the best marketers out there, a lot that you can study and learn from him.
So that's one of those re repo posters. Above my head, above my head is some Disney stuff. Disney, again, great marketing. Those are actually little comic books that you got by, I think mailing in your Cheerios label. It's from General Mills, so whatever cereal they were promoting at the time.
But there were four sets of four, and I found these at an auction and so did somebody else. And man, we slid each other's throats in the building. Because there were all four sets were there? One of each? I left with three outta four. The most rare was Porky, the pig in the atomic Bob.
Wow. And this is from the forties, right? Yeah, late forties, early fifties timeframe. So atomic. Everything was all over the place. Disney didn't like that in the conversation with Disney. They didn't like the Adam bomb in the conversation with their characters. So those ones, I think if my memory serves me correct, only four or 500 ever got out at all.
Wow. And these are just paper, think paper, small comic books. Like kids just destroyed them. Because why wouldn't they? And so we were just bidding each other. And it got back to me. And auctioneer says, Jeff your bid, sir, your bid. And I'm just waiting. I'm looking at him. I'm waiting.
I'm looking at him. I'm waiting. I'm like, he said the auctioneer. There's two more, right? There's two more. There's two more. And I'm looking over the, there's two more. I'm looking over. I'm like, let 'em have it. Basically I sent the message like, okay, I'm letting you win this one, but I'm getting the next two.
And I did. And I've since given away two of those other ones, one to Dan Kennedy, who's a master marketer. He's a dear friend mentor and customer. And so I've got this one left. I'm keeping it.
[00:04:44] Ryan: That's cool. I didn't know Dan Kennedy, who's a good friend of yours I've read plenty of his.
[00:04:50] Jeff: Dan's a friend for sure. I got into the Dan world like 15 years ago. I actually just did a masterclass session with him Q4 22. So got to spend some close personal time with him that way. I've got the. I've got a line with Dan for sure. I don't abuse it. But I've got a line there if needed.
And he's definitely a mentor and a friend and I'm glad he is still with us cuz we almost lost him. Oh wow. Which would've been far, which would've been far too soon. Yeah. He had some really bad health issues. I guess that was 21, I think. Yeah. He had some health issues that almost took him out and he was able to battle through.
And honestly I, he's an interesting character. I think he. He always knew he made connection with people. But until there was a call out, like if you want to say something to Dan, send your message to this email. The f to it was an email to the, a family member, not to Dan. Cuz Dan doesn't use email if you know him.
If you want to communicate with Dan, that's fax machine and 800 voice, 800 number voicemail in 2023 still. And but it was a family member I think did a, did a. Or maybe it was whatever company owned his IP at the time. But you sent your words, your well wishes into the email and then the family printed 'em off and read 'em.
And I think it's appropriate, like we don't know the connections we make until we call out and make that call like we know we're doing good. Dan knew he did good. Dan knew he, yeah, he knew he was. People's lives change. He saw the success grow with those around him, but I don't think he ever connected the dots at a personal level of just how much somebody like me cared for him and somebody like him meant to me beyond just the, Hey, I pay to be in your mastermind.
I pay to come to your events. Like it was more of a connection. I think reading those messages really powered 'em through and. it was like right there. He was there. There were rumors that he had died. Oh, wow. From reputable people and it, he had to push back on his own death and resurrect himself.
But he made it through and he's still chugging away.
[00:06:56] Ryan: That's cool. But that kind of gets us into a rabbit hole and that'll get us to some other places, is you have all these great I don't want to, I shouldn't say great. You have all these people out there in the advertising space that say they'll change your life and they'll do this and do that, but they want $50,000 up.
But, the thing that I've learned in this process, in, in talking to a bunch of people, and especially being a small business owner, is most of those people that are charging those astronomical fees really can't effectively teach you something to that extent for that price. It's not, what I'm saying is the breadth of knowledge that they're gonna pass on to you is something you can gain on your own.
I'm not saying everybody's that way, but it just seems there's a lot more of that out there. And like Dan Kennedy I don't I've got his book somewhere and I've read plenty of them and he's helped me get through a lot of sales and marketing aspects of my life and my journey. But the one thing that you said that really touch.
To me was that connection. Those people that actually do the work and share their knowledge with you, and you can create a connection are the people that you want to have in your corner that help you on that journey. Whether it be sales, business, life, whatever. That's just the connection we all look for.
[00:08:10] Jeff: Yeah. Yeah, it is. People would ask me back in the, Hey, days of Bill Glazer, Dan Kennedy, the G K I C world, this is, and I came in on the tail end of the heyday. I. But and then it got sold. And then sold, and I think it's been sold three times since. And now Russell Brunson owns all the, yeah, the ClickFunnels, Russell Brunson, he owns all the Dan ip because Russell was a Dan student in Protege, and Russell has done very well for himself.
And that's fantastic. But in the, in that time, people would ask me, how are you getting Dan's attention? You're just a Diamond member. You're not even in his Mastermind. I'm like, I do the. And then I sent him a personal note that says, thanks for this inspiration. Here's how I applied it, here's what I'm doing.
Yeah. And I just felt compelled that deposit was made into me, that I share it back, that it was worthwhile. And and in a way it was my own little built-in accountability cuz if I started it and then got recognition for us, like, all right, now he's watching it. So now I gotta keep going.
Because Dan's the kind of guy that he wouldn't pull any punches. He would put in a newsletter somewhere. Yeah. I haven't heard from Jeff, the mattress guy for 12 months. I guess he's not doing anything anymore. But the point in sharing that is I got the same newsletter as all thousands of other members.
Arrived in the mailbox the same, it was the same print. It wasn't any easier font to read or anything. I took action and I think so many people look at these big offers that are out there and they're, and they, there's a lot of work in the offer. It's why I have some of that framed artwork, right?
There's always more work in the headline and in the offer and in the promise, because the reality is, it's accountability is what most people. Because humans we're wheel we're wild wieldy people. We can't be controlled. Most people. Yeah. If left
[00:10:04] Ryan: to our own devices we're instant gratification type people, we're consumers.
I mean it's, yep.
[00:10:10] Jeff: Oh, it's
[00:10:11] Ryan: worse. It's getting more and worse. Yeah. And I guess what I could say is, I'm a little bit of an inverse from you is I spent most of my career in corporate America, and the thing that I tell people is corporate America never taught me how to want to fish. And two, to run a business.
I managed a p and l and I had 4,000 people reporting to me. That's what I did. It didn't teach me how to run a business and get in the weeds and understand all those things. And until I failed at two businesses of my own, I truly didn't understand how to be a business owner, an entrepreneur, a fisherman to where I can put food on my table.
I, I was fat and happy and corporate America got paid every other week, got a fat bonus at the end of the year, got stock options. Hey, I was living. But I never had to worry about anything. And I think that's a huge downside that people that come from corporate America or W2 jobs don't realize that it's not the same.
You have to grind it out and it's just one of those things that I had to learn over time through trial and error is being very persistent and consistent with how I run the business.
[00:11:18] Jeff: Yeah. I mean there's a special. Plain in the universe for people who've had their back against the wall.
Oh, yeah. Like I've got somebody in my group coaching world, which I don't do a lot of, but I just said, I do group coaching. What I actually recently came together on is I'm doing that with two other individuals and we've got a pretty unique, and I've not seen it before in a coaching environment, we've got three different minds with three different skillset.
That everybody can attach to for what most would feel is a tremendous value for one person. And we've really set it up uniquely, but I bring this up because we've got one of those members in that world or in that set of our clients and his back's against the wall. He's got he was just left the business.
He started cuz he didn't like where it was going. He wanted family to be at the forefront for himself and his partners weren't committed, so the core values were off. So he leaves that his wife had given birth. In the meantime, he wanted to be around his child and He's got his, he's got his family in his ear about getting a nine to five wedding is this month.
Taxes are this month on that business that he's since left, but there was profits that gotta pay the taxes. You talk about back against the wall, he's up against it. And he's making it happen though. And I couldn't be more happier for him and proud of him cuz a lot of people would fault it's, it would be real easy to go get that nine to five right now, especially, I'm sorry about that.
No worries. Especially in this labor market. It would be it would be easy to say, I'm gonna go do this cuz the pay is gonna be high for the meantime. I can write my own check with a sign on bonus and I'm gonna leave in six months and get back to my dream. But I think a lot of people would never get back to the dream.
[00:13:02] Ryan: Yeah. But can we go down that rabbit hole just a little bit? It seems like hundred percent. I know I've been in that position where I've had my backup against the wall to where it was either file bankruptcy go back to the nine to five, start another business. The challenge was after my first failed business, I had to go back cuz I racked up a serious amount of debt and I was also going through a divorce.
I had no other choice. I had tried to get through that, but the second. I toughed it out and was able to form a third business and get through that and go through that process. But it's in that critical time where your back is up against the wall and you think the, the world is gonna end that it seems like that epiphany happens.
It might not be on your timetable, but it happens and there's a roadmap that comes along because you haven't given up on that dream. Is that something similar that you've experienced or maybe he's experiencing in his journey?
[00:13:57] Jeff: For sure. That's definitely my friend's journey right now for me, I had in, if we go way back to 2003 even before then, so I was on my own as 17 and a half, basically my senior year of high school.
I guess I had residents at my parents' house, but I wasn't. And they and they didn't want, it was not comfortable. It was not good. I couch surfed a lot. Weekends I was gone. Come back to do laundry, check in that I'm alive kind of thing. Yeah, that was that. So I left high school and immediately was working.
I was working three different things. Full-time, construction, part-time at a convenience store, and then part-time. Home remodeler on the weekends, but I always had something going right. I always had something going. And I think in my mind, now that I'm talking it out, I've never really looked at it this way.
I always have multiple things going. So in 2003, back against the wall I'd spent the last year of 2003 cuz it all fell apart. Thanksgiving day of that year. I'd spent that year amass. I think it was almost a quarter million miles in the air, bunch of miles on the ground building something, and that Thanksgiving day, because they're a Canadian company that I represented in the furniture and mattress trade, they call me and say, we need to have a serious conversation.
I'm like, it's Thanksgiving day. I'm getting ready to sit down with family and carved Turkey. It's like my favorite holiday. You know this? No, we need to have a serious conversation. I'm like, I don't have time for this. This isn't a joke. Goodbye. No, please leave the room. We need to. The VP tells me the police are here with the bank.
They're escorting everyone out of the building because we've been taken over What? Basically the owners pulled the financing. Oh, wow. The bank came in and took the company as asset and they didn't want anybody leaving with computers and cash or whatever, and we were out of business like that.
And my wife's pregnant with her firstborn. And I went and stocked grocery shelves for the next six weeks or so as I rebuilt that business. Wow. And then 2004, by May of 2004, we were back on our feet. I said, man, that was work. That was work and pressure, and my firstborn son was born in that time and
[00:16:16] Ryan: you didn't have any other choice other than to continue to move forward and push and get yourself into a place.
Yeah. And I think we're gonna go back to what you said earlier and I'll tie it back in, is you said that it's tough to be a kid today. And I agree, but there's a, there's another side. That statement is, it's tough to be a kid today, but it seems like persistency and consistency is gone and it's not in their vocabulary.
Just for that simple fact cuz it's Right. It's easy to say I'm a victim and move on and it's, it sucks, right?
[00:16:47] Jeff: Oh it, it does. And we could go down a deep rabbit hole cuz I'm very much involved at a local level in local politics to, to a degree state politics. And, but locally with school boards, with your local school I'm not a fan of where education is going.
Thankfully AI technology can be the boogeyman and not Jeff anymore because I think fi I think, I really think this, in five years from now, the bedrock of our modern education system is gonna shift out from under the feet of every current teacher and adminis. If they don't get really focused on making their students ready for life and what life looks like in 2023, not the snapshot that they grew up with, not the path that they went to college with, but life ready now, that may mean life for life for career, life for college.
That's fine. I'm not here to denigrate any one of those three choices, but they've gotta be life ready. And I think if we look. Where if we look at the fact that college has expanded to, and we talked to a lot of people, it's five years, five and a half years. Six years, and they're still not, they're still struggling.
They're like, I went to six years of college and I could only get a job at McDonald's. That's your fault. That's not anyone else's fault. Yeah. That is your fault. You listened the whole way and never asked question.
[00:18:11] Ryan: Gotta be engaged in your own life and your own future. And if you don't do it, you have to answer for that.
And I think that's where entrepreneurs, small business owners, are a rare breed because they know what it takes to do that. And when their back is up against the wall, they find a way to make it happen. And it's like every entrepreneur that I've brought on this podcast, interacted with in a group with all have had these moments in their life where they're like, holy crap, what am I gonna.
Oh, I gotta get back up and I've gotta actually push forward and find a way to make all this work. Why? I guess the question to you is how do we find that in what we're doing today? And since you have kids, how are you working with your kids to instill that and work Yeah. With them to show them that, hey it's okay to fail.
It's part of the learning process, and it turns into success down the road.
[00:19:02] Jeff: Yep. Yeah, I'll use my oldest son as a frame of reference. So he's 19. Not a book student. Hated every minute of high school even middle school just was not connected. Going to career Center for carpentry, I believe saved us from tragedy.
Cool. We were at a point where he had communicated suicidal thoughts. I'm a hunter, so weapons were out of the house. Like we lock 'em. I have a cabinet they're locked up in. Every firearm has its own safety guard of a ch trigger locker channel lock within, within safes. Okay. But I knew my wife would feel a lot better if they were just outta the house.
That's how severe this was. And we had to advocate for him to get into career center in 10th grade. Cause they wanted to wait till 11th grade of the school. We saved our son's life going to career center. I'm positive of that. So he gets outta high school, gets into the trades, realizes it's not for him, but I think it was more the company than it was him.
However, he was still committed. So he's now management with Chick-fil-A which is a fantastic organiz. yeah. If you don't. Chick-fil-A actually trains other restaurants. Like Texas Roadhouse is a, or was maybe still is a client of Chick-fil-A which I think is pretty, pretty good. So I've told him, be consistent with Chick-fil-A.
If not for anything, don't quit, don't leave. Maybe you need to dial back hours, but if you can make management with them that on your resume, and even if you go out on your own to do that time will pay so well,
[00:20:39] Ryan: no. Go ahead. No I was just gonna say, does he have aspirations to move up in management to where he can come a, become a franchisee?
[00:20:45] Jeff: Possibly. I think that could happen for him. He's a kid who really gets focused in on. Like to a degree where me as an entrepreneur and a quick start entrepreneur in that visionary entrepreneur I just, I never get that in the weeds on most anything. So he's very different from me and I, to go down a really rabbit hole.
I really think the stress of the time he was in my wife's womb,
Maybe the d n a that he was conceived with, but I, that's a big conversation. But I do believe in the womb, the stress, cuz there was a lot of stress in the household. I do believe that that was a part of who he is as a person. So we've really worked that, and I'll be honest, I carry guilt about that.
To this day. I don't know that I'll ever let that go cuz as a father, my firstborn son, like that's, I should have safeguarded that. Even though I had no control, it's still, I want control. That's what entrepreneurs
[00:21:45] Ryan: do, right? Yes. And we have a hard time letting go. I get it. So how's he doing at Chick-fil-A?
[00:21:51] Jeff: Really great. He's working his butt off right now, cuz out of the blue, he's dad, I wanna get a fox body Mustang. And if what, do you know what a fox body Mustang is? Yeah. So for those that don't, this is a early eighties to early nineties Ford Mustang. Right now it's a barbell effect Right now with those things, at one end, they're junk.
At the other end, they're like collectors and there's nothing in between. Yeah. And so I've told 'em, on the consistency of parenting thing we have a tracker. My wife has 'em set up with some tracker on his car through the insurance agency. And so she gets alerts to our phone about speeding and he's got a little heavy foot.
And I've tried to tell him many times. Look, I know what life is like at 18, 19, 20 with a speeding ticket on my own. Right now you've got a golden goose in that you're paying like 56 bucks a month for insurance. Yeah. As a 19 year old. Wow. Don't screw that up. That wasn't enough. What made 'em change is, all right, here's the agreement for mom and dad to help you get your Mustang.
We'll put money in, you're gonna pay us. But this agreement only kicks off if you go 30 days in a row without speeding. No more than five miles over. I don't, and I don't care what the story is. He had to pass a truck, whatever, anticipate that no more than five miles over and he did it. The kid did it.
That's awesome. Yep. It was the whole month of March. And so I guess the lesson there would be tie things to goals that your kids. And see what happens and then stick with it, have a device to measure it, and
[00:23:25] Ryan: he hit it. We don't do that very often. I heard, I can't remember who it was, it's somebody in the financial consulting world, and maybe it was Dave Ramsey or somebody, but basically said in their, in, in his household, growing up with all his kids, They didn't get allowances, they got commission, and their commission was based upon work.
They had to perform work that day. And it was, peace work you worked, you got paid. If you decide that you didn't wanna work, you didn't get paid. And that, that really stuck home, really hit home for me, just for the simple fact. That's how we should view life is if you're not gonna put the work in, how do you expect to get the rewards out of it?
[00:24:05] Jeff: Yeah, I like that a lot. It we're actually now, cause both the boys are old enough to know better about their responsibilities to the family, which is what we call chores. And we're, we've reached the point as mom and dad where we're tired of reminding, so my wife is now.
Gonna set up the internet router to where it's very easy from an app on our phone to change the password. So now the, so the conversation's gonna be this, if you've come to find the internet has changed and you don't have access to it, the first question is not to mom and dad. Why is the internet off?
It's, oh crap. What did I miss on my responsibilities list?
[00:24:44] Ryan: I like that. Did, has that started yet?
[00:24:47] Jeff: Not yet. She's working on it this week. I'm and there'll be some kicking and screaming I'm sure. But they'll get over it.
[00:24:52] Ryan: I like that. That's, see, this is the thing. It doesn't make you, people see we could go down a whole nother rabbit hole, but I want to get into what you're doing in business and so forth.
But the piece that I wanted to say is it seems like when parents hold their kids account in society, unfortunately, they make you to be bad people. And it's what are you talking about? You're helping shape your children for a future life to where they can be successful, have the skills that they need to be a productive human being.
And oh, by the way, pass that along to their own kids. Yeah.
[00:25:24] Jeff: Yeah. I can, I want to use the wifi internet accountability thing as a good transition into business, but I'll share another personal story. About accountability and parenting. My, my son's ninth grade football year, the youngest was awful.
We were one on seven and it wasn't the win loss record cuz that's not the kind of parent I am. When I coached, I told my boys, I don't care what our record looks like. If you have fun, you trout some new positions and your skills grow from week one to week 12. Coach Jeff is happy if you listen to the coaches, you show up to all the practices, you come to the games and you try your best, everything's gonna take care of itself.
Wins and losses don't matter. My son. The wins and losses mattered because the product on the field had no personal responsibility and accountability to themselves or their teammates. We lost two games because four touchdowns in total came off the board because of personal fouls. Oh, wow. Due to illegal hits.
Beyond the play cussing, throwing your helmet on a touchdown. Wow. Throwing your helmet in the field of play. I coached seven to 10 year olds for six years and never had one of those penalties. Wow. And so it really became an issue for me as a former coach within our program at the youth level, knowing what our, cause our high school product is known in the state, like our head coach right now, I believe his record is something in the 135 and maybe 15 ranges.
Wow. Yeah, Chad Henny former he just retired from the Chiefs. Yeah, he, yeah, he was one of our, one of our, one of our players, Kerry Collins, John Gilmore, couple others made it to the pro level. But our product is good. So this was a departure and it was very hard for me to take in and so hopefully those kids learn because next year, On a big stage with the high school coaches that won't fly, turning all this into business, that, that accountability thing.
I, and I learned this from another one of my mentors, he says to his team, his employees, his team, don't bring me the problem, bring me a solution to the problem. How to fix this first cause that's what I'm paying you. And I'm like, that's really smart. That's really smart. So the first thing I did with that was at home with the kids and the internet.
That's where that's coming into play. But yeah, have your teams figure out the solution on their own, take that initiative and I think life becomes a lot easier for you as a business owner and a manager of people.
[00:28:17] Ryan: But that will also start with bringing in the right people in your organization, business, whatever you wanna talk about. Yep. And surrounding yourself with people that have skillsets that you don't have that will help solve those problems. And when I managed, people are like, how do you manage 2000, 4,000, 5,000 people? It's very simple.
20% of my population is 80% of my time, so I need to find those 20% and manage them up or out is what I would say. And one of those biggest things was, if you're gonna be a problem, then there's a coaching. We can coach you up, but you have to be willing to be a participant. But if you're not, we coach you out.
I ran call centers, underwriting any type of financial instruments. I touched it, but the biggest thing you I learned was when you. A person to person conversation about, Hey, this is your job. This is what you're being paid for. This is how you excel. All of a sudden light bulbs started turning on and you start seeing people engage and it's just that human content, right?
It's just human connection.
[00:29:20] Jeff: Yep. Yeah. We actually just hired. A fantastic addition to our team in the industry. So it pretty, an easy move over in product knowledge, actually an easy move over in point of sales system, which is a blessing. That's the first time that's happened, but wasn't easy to find.
Yeah. And I think, and you said something about hiring skillsets. I think a lot of business owners don't even understand what their true skills. Yes. And, what's their yin and their yang? What really scratches their itch? Like for me, I touched on I'm visionary, I'm a high drive.
Quick start. Let's go. I'm also unique in the fact that I have a pretty high integrator aspect of me, but I don't enjoy it. But I under, I like to say I'm empathetic to the integrators of the world because I underst. Like the doing and the hands on turning wrenches of things, making sure the eyes are dotted and ts are crossed.
I understand that's gotta happen and I can participate in it, but it's not my favorite. My favorite is through the creation process, making the idea, creating the idea, seeing it come to be, but I have to hands things off. I cannot be the, you can't rely on me to. To do all the stuff it takes to make the idea happen.
I'm not that guy with feet on the ground. I'm up in the sky. My head's up there.
[00:30:42] Ryan: Yeah I'm with you. Cause I have a business partner that's same as you, is call him Steve Jobs. And I'm Steve Wosniak because I'm the operator. I'm, I have vision, but I'm the operator. I'm gonna run, I'm gonna be the nuts and bolts type of a guy, but I've learned in this process that I have to have, More of a vision other than, monthly, quarterly, annually, start looking five, 10 years down the road.
And it's something I have to work on, but it's not my forte. And one of those things, I don't know if Cody Sanchez, she's out on the internet and she talks about, buy a business instead of creating one from scratch type of thing. And she talks a lot about, putting your vision together of what that's gonna look like for.
And go after it and don't, her biggest thing is don't sugarcoat it. Know who you are. And if you don't know who you are, sit down and take that time to figure that out. Yep. Because that effectively will help you run your business even better. But when you try to go acquire another business, you'll know exactly the type of business you're looking for.
It doesn't have to be industry specific. It's more about how does that business fit into your niche of skills. Or skills of your skillset, I should say. Not. Yep.
[00:31:46] Jeff: Yeah, one of the things that I know I'm really great at is creating an experience. And I do that, like I'm sitting in my mattress store right now, right?
And like mattresses are one of the most commoditized home goods, durable goods purchases that you can make. It's also the most boring, right? So if, if if you get a new. What's one of the first things you do with your new deck? You throw a party.
[00:32:13] Ryan: Yeah. And have a barbecue and all that stuff.
[00:32:15] Jeff: Yeah. You know if you get new siding and roofing and windows, your neighbors compliment you. Hey, that really looks great. Great color choice. It's rewarding you get all new flooring in your kitchen and maybe a new sofa in your dining room, a new appliances your family takes there may not be as big of a party, but there's accolades.
It's rewarding a mattress who, honestly, when's the last time your friends and family have been in your bedroom? Like it doesn't happen. Yeah, and like I say that and everybody laughs, but like it just doesn't happen. And at the same time I take my team, I'm like, I tell my team, look, we do business in people's bedrooms.
And that's a serious thing. So for our delivery team, respect that space. For our sales team, respect the time and the budget people are giving us. Cuz this is important. It's a third leg a well-lived life. Diet, health, exercise, sleep. Yeah. And it's important, but making an experience out of this that's what I bring to the table in these four walls.
And we're always looking to up that experience factor. So for me, I get jazzed if I can get involved in a business. And that's what I do like with my consulting work. If I can bring that excitement and that experience to it. In a way that hasn't existed before. That's a lot of fun for me.
[00:33:39] Ryan: So let's transition into your consulting and what you're doing there.
So talk a little bit about what you have going on there.
[00:33:45] Jeff: Yeah, so for me I don't like the word consultant. I think every consultant says that. But as a cop out cuz the, the joke around the consulting world is if you failed before your next business is you're a consultant.
Yeah. The truth of the matter is I don't think I've yet to fail at any one business I've been involved in that my back against the wall shared that already. We've had our backs against the wall here in these, in this business. But we've always pushed through and we've always found new levels of success.
But for me, I'm looking like I work with a very small group of clients. Cause I do revshare equity deals where I look at, okay, here's where the business has been and here's how I think we can grow it 300% in five years. And if we can't do that, then I'm, it's not gonna be worth my time to be involved and it's not gonna be worth you to, to have me be involved from a financial aspect of.
And so I'm looking for meaningful relationships like the clients that I work with and want to work with, want to be like, if they've got a child that's gonna be married in the time we're working together, I would hope I'm impactful enough to be invited to the wedding. That's the kind of relationship I want.
And vice versa, if my son, were to the 19 year old, were to get married in the next five, six years my wife would be laughing her rear end off right now doing that. But he's a highly independent kid. But anyway I would invite my clients, all of them, and those are the relationships that I want because in my life, five, six years from.
We're gonna be doing the full-time RV thing. Going to check on the campgrounds I own or will own. Cuz that's what, that's the ultimate experience business I want, is to bring families together through the medium of camping, but have it be an incredible Disney like experience. And I think where a lot of campgrounds miss is they leave out the local c.
Your successful campgrounds are away enough from a community center to be camping, but few bring in the local community. And so I've got some ideas there that I think will make that work, but that's what our life's gonna look like. And so I don't want to be in Wyoming, which is where I definitely want one that I have.
I don't want to be in Wyoming. Let's say another Black Swan event happens like Covid. Yeah. And every one of my coaching clients kills the monthly credit card charge, and it's in October and it's snow starts snowing and it's cold in Wyoming, October and November. And it's frigid the rest of the time. And we're in a, we're in a vehicle that we can't live.
If you're not living in a camper at that time, I don't want that life. I've been back against the wall, 2003, stock and groceries, third shift, right? So I want to create an orchestrate all of the intentional well-lived life that I want. So how do I get there? While it's through those kinds of relat.
[00:36:46] Ryan: Are there specific business niches that, or niches that you go after? Yeah,
[00:36:50] Jeff: so I'm not a, I'm not an e-commerce type guy. And I kind of of say that in my bios, it's on my Facebook page. I'd like to say I help mainstream business owners win in a, in an Amazon world.
Using Amazon as that verb and and now and all in one I failed English, by the way. But but yeah, I'm helping those, typically I'm helping those more big ticket, low frequency of purchase type businesses. So the home remodelers the financial planners that put a big plan together once or twice for our client, and then it's maintenance thereafter.
It's those kinds of businesses, the fun toys, the motorcycles, the boats, the razors, the scooters, the golf carts type of thing. That's where I can usually have the most impact on the experience the fastest, and we can explode the business.
[00:37:37] Ryan: And what typically do those businesses struggle with?
[00:37:41] Jeff: They're incestuous. So they go to their,
That's good. You need industry reinforcement, but they, it's we can't do that in this industry. We don't do that kind of a thing. It says who this is America. It's like in our founding documents, you can do what? Life, liberty Pursuit of happiness. Does this make you happy to be in this box?
No. Let's go in this box. I. And and so they're they stay very insular, right? And a lot of times it's fears of price pressure, they're missing out on that affluent customer. And ultimately it's, I like to say for these clients, it's, I'm their visionary.
They might have a good visionary score, but they're really great integrators. They run great teams. They've got a good business. They're paying themselves, that kind of stuff. But as soon as they step outta the box, it's the partner in the business, it's the lead manager. It's the spouse saying whoa.
That's gonna be expensive. What if we fail? What if our customers don't like that? And then bam, they're right back in the slow lane,
[00:38:45] Ryan: so do they typically come to you? When is it at that moment where they're trying to step out of that box and get into a new one or they've already failed and got back into the slow lane and said it and say, okay, it's time.
I need change. I need help. Yeah, it can be
[00:38:59] Jeff: both. What I can't do is I'm not your, I'm not your turnaround triage. Guy. Okay. Okay. I don't wanna, I you can't grow something if we're losing money. We can't, it's hard to really grow when the house has been tapped five times and the credit cards are maxed and, payroll is, oh my God, we gotta make a sale in the next 40 or eight hours, or we're not gonna make payroll because experience.
Shifting lanes. That takes money. Yeah, it takes time. It doesn't happen overnight. I can give some insights. I can take a look at some things for people in those moments, but those folks have bigger problems at that point in time. So I need like I'm an ally for integrators and that integrator's running a good business.
They've got teams, they're in motion. It's just they need that ally beside them to push them forward. That accountability. Of, Hey, I know you're gonna hear noise, and that's okay. Let's take it in, let's assess it. And sometimes that noise is we've been here before. Okay, how were you here before?
And maybe we can discuss why it succeeded or failed or succeeded at first and then failed. But I'm that ally for the integrator. I'm in their.
[00:40:20] Ryan: How many clients do you typically manage at a specific point in
[00:40:24] Jeff: time in that relationship? It'll, at that level of relationship and engagement, it's eight to 12 at any given time because I have a life I wanna live too, and as this thing builds, and again, I shared like I'm looking for years long relationship, right? As this thing builds and as we grow, I still have my life. I wanna live as. Like I, I like going out, riding my slingshot around. I like going to my campsite that I have presently. I like doing things with my kids.
This week we're gonna plug in all the football dates for my son with high school football, so I, it's not qu quantity, it's quality.
[00:41:00] Ryan: So are you accepting clients now at this point? At this point in time, yeah. Okay. Yep. So a couple questions and we'll be getting close to wrapping up here.
The first one is when you are deciding to work with that client for long term How does that individual leader play into that factor of whether you want to jump on board or not? Yeah,
[00:41:21] Jeff: it's gotta be, and I've alluded to it, if they're a high integrator, that's gotta be the first test because we can't have two visionaries.
Yes. Because then it's we're both looking at each other who's I thought, wait, you're the consultant guy. Shouldn't you be doing the web work? No. I don't even do that for myself. So it's gotta be, it's gotta be a good match that. Like I send people to do like the col personally, I like the Colby test.
So typically I have 'em do that and then look at where our scores mesh. So I want a little lower on the fast, on the quick start number and a little higher on the integrator number first. Two numbers I'm okay with if we're close, but those last two, we gotta be inverse, otherwise it's just not gonna work.
And then the first hurt, the f not the first hurdle. The first benchmark we want to get to is what I like to call that investor seat to where, okay, so you're in the business, you're making a paycheck that. That's good. You got a good life. Maybe you're doing some of that stuff the IRS knows you're doing, but they frown upon, but it's a gray area and you use a CPA so you don't get audited, right?
So you got some benefit there, but are you really in the investor seat? Is your day focused solely on making good decisions and good decisions only for your business? And are you making a. And how much is that profit? And then can we expand that profit? And that's the first benchmark, getting into that investor's seat where your whole day is just good decisions about the business as opposed to, and I apologize immensely, Ryan, for the phone ringing twice during our show.
No worries. I had my business partner sneak in and take it out. That was the one thing I forgot to do. It's been a while since I broadcast from this spot, but like I don't hurry to answer that phone, right? There was no, there was not a brain cell up here at all that was concerned about me having to get that phone, and it wasn't there for my business partner either other than asking him to come get it out so it didn't make noise.
A lot of business owners don't have that. Like when I do my pod. Yeah. When I do my podcast show, because I live stream it, and I don't have anything in the hopper, so to say, to back up. If you as a business owner can't guarantee me you are tied down to a desk, not on your phone, not in your car with questionable connections to internet.
Like you're not a fit for my. I can't have that lizard brained, oh, the phone's ringing. Oh, there's a customer. Oh, there's a problem in a customer's house. That's not gonna be a fit. You need to be a little beyond that,
[00:43:42] Ryan: and that seems to be a problem, not just with entrepreneurs and business owners, life, society we are just that instant gratification.
But the second question I wanted to ask you is when you come into these businesses, Is there noise or is there pushback from other, I would say partners, potentially family or other people that have decision making abilities. When you come in,
[00:44:05] Jeff: there is, there's always a noise factor, even if it isn't said right up front.
A lot of times it's, Hey, I think that's great. Yeah, sure. Go do it, Ryan. That's awesome. We love it. But then it's. In the background, they're saying, you know what let him go do his thing. He'll be focused on this for two weeks and then it'll, he'll forget about it and we'll come right back to what we've always done.
No one's, then my cheese ain't gonna, move my cheese. That whole book, that whole mindset they're just looking to protect their cheese.
[00:44:31] Ryan: Bad way to manage a business. For
[00:44:33] Jeff: sure. It is. And I try to say, let 'em have their cheese, but let's bring in wine and crackers.
I like that. Like why not? Yeah. So let's find a new price level. Let's find a new service offering. Let's find a new package that we can offer that only adds to their bottom line. It only puts money in their pocket,
[00:44:51] Ryan: that is for sure. That's this way you have to look at business and life in general.
There's surround I I joke about it, but the people that sit at my table personally and professionally have changed over the years and it evolves. Yeah. And people think that you're gonna stick with the same people over and over again. Don't get me wrong, personally, those people are sticking around a lot longer than people professionally.
But when you realize, Who you're breaking bread with, it kind of changes, not it changes your outlook in how you think. Yep. And am I bringing value to that person and does that person bring value to me? And if crap hits the fan, how's that person going to help me? And vice versa. And those are those litness tests that I put out, just basic, just to see where that person's at and then dive in deeper to get under the hood.
And some of those people shouldn't have been sitting at my table when I had my first two businesses. Yeah. And I made mistakes. It's just life.
[00:45:44] Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. On that note I think, yeah, that busy business owner responding to all the bells and fire alarms going off in their life. And who sits at your table?
A coach of mine. I'll share her name. Jessica Straud. She's fantastic. She's awesome. Doing insurance. She has an insurance business in the Kansas City area, I believe it is. I always get confused. Kansas and Missouri and then Kansas City. It's what state are you in? I don't know. You're Kansas?
So that's where she is. That's a part of the world. She has 500 referrals a year into her insurance agency of business that she can open the books and crack receipt. And here's how she does it. And she shared it with me and she shares it with a lot of people. And it's whenever anybody says, Hey, I want to be a network partner with you.
Let me know about your business. Let me see how I can help you. Her first response back is, Hey, that's great. And I get that a lot. I'm most interested in how I can help your business grow because if I can't help your business grow, why are you gonna be interested in helping to grow mine? And you alluded to the 80 20 rule right away.
80% of the, those opportunities evaporate. Yeah. Because there was an another agenda behind it. The 20% that say, Hey, that's a really great question. You know what, as a matter of fact, here's how I felt we would dovetail together. And it's when people put that thought in, now you got a new seat at the.
[00:47:01] Ryan: And opens up a whole nother, just opens up a whole bunch of other opportunities too. You, when you find those individuals, you tend to wanna see what you can do with those individuals. And that's, and I relate that to what you're doing. You're looking for a long-term relationship to build over time, help the business grow.
But by the way, there's a byproduct. You get paid based upon performance and there's nothing wrong with that.
[00:47:25] Jeff: Yeah. And getting paid is not a bad word profit as much as our society and government tries to make it a bad word. Yeah. They're just looking for. They're looking to point the finger at a boogeyman other than themselves.
Especially I say that, especially at government officials. Yes. But profits really drive everything and enable you to do a lot of really great stuff. And when you have a business that is paying you, you're in that investor seat, you are making profit. This is only the third.
Third time sitting in these four walls in the last seven weeks. Wow. And that's cuz I had total knee replacement surgery along with another, a bunch of other stuff that had to be fixed in and around. That joint business didn't fall off. In fact, we had a record breaking March and February, or I'm sorry, April has been gangbusters.
We're a couple days in, but typically the week before, Easter's always. But it's just grooving and we're very happy. And that's the true test of a business. What happens? What happens if you can't be there? If you're a dentist and you can't pull teeth, you're in trouble.
Is your practice shut or does your practice run? Yeah. If you can't swing the hammer, if you can't do the paintbrush, what happens? And that's the real test. And it's one of the first questions I ask of people, what happens to your business if you're not able to be in it?
[00:48:53] Ryan: It, that is Sure. A tough question to answer for a lot of entrepreneurs.
But with you out there, I think you've got the visionary and I love what you're saying and what you're doing and you combining that. Somebody that's an operator I'm, these businesses have to do very well and they've gotta be pretty lucky to have you in their corner. Yep. Ah, that's awesome.
Well, sir, we're coming here to the end. Before we get anywhere, what is the single place that people should get ahold of you at if they want to chat or maybe even become a client?
[00:49:20] Jeff: Yep. I made this real easy. You don't even have to say jano, you know how to spell it or type it. You just go to the jeff g dot.
And because I'm involved in a bunch of things and we touched on a bunch of different topic. It's a kind of choose your own connection to Jeff thing. I'm very laid back in that regard. I'm not a high pressure guy. If you just wanna be Facebook friends, there's a button if you wanna learn about the group coaching, I've got that button.
If you wanna learn about big Ticket life podcast show or consulting, there's that buttons. So it's, you pick the jeff g.com. Cool.
[00:49:54] Ryan: We'll put it in the show notes to make sure everybody can get ahold of you. But I wanna first thank you for coming on the. Love your story. Thank you for being open and sharing what's going on, but also you're welcome, but also you're shaping tomorrow's future with your kids, giving him the right skillsets to succeed in life.
And love to hear a follow up with your son at Chick-fil-A and how he's doing and see where he goes.
[00:50:19] Jeff: Yeah I'll make this promise outside of a family, if he does get a franchise someday, you'll be the first. Cool. Thank
[00:50:26] Ryan: you, sir. All right. Thank you. Have a good one. You too.