Rank #1: MBA858 Are You A Good Enough Leader?
To succeed, a business needs competent leadership. But what makes a great leader? Is it drive? Is it the confidence to bear authority? Or is leadership about more than just ambition? Today we discuss 8 key personal characteristics that define great leadership, from confidence to emotional intelligence. As our own software company, WebinarNinja, grows, we’ve found that leadership is more important than ever. Leadership is about far, far more than power. It’s about open-mindedness, empathy, and the ability to inspire productivity rather than demand it. We believe leadership is a matter of learned behavior— behavior that can be consciously nurtured. We believe leadership is a choice that every entrepreneur can make, not an inborn trait that entitles someone to authority. And we believe that if you can develop the personality traits discussed here, you can lead your business anywhere. Click play!
Rank #2: MBA1268 Must Read: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink
A business owner owns a business. A business leader owns its performance. We can apply lessons from all avenues of life to business. The military is no exception. Jocko Willink is a decorated Navy SEAL from one of the elite group’s most honored units. After his service, he took what he learned in the field to the business world. Willink’s latest book, Extreme Ownership, is all about building a high-performance team by taking ownership of everything that happens. That level of personal responsibility might seem intense, but the extremely high stakes of the SEAL life taught Willink that it’s the most effective approach. Apply a little bit of military mindset to your business, and make yourself a better entrepreneur. From truly trusting your team to having the guts to abort a failing mission, you can take your ownership to the extreme. Click Play!
Rank #3: MBA1155 Q&A Wednesday: I’m launching a web app. Do I also need to have a mobile app to go with it?
Does every web application need a mobile version? If not, which ones do? Most major software companies have a version of their product for every device under the sun. But for lean startups, you’ve gotta put your time and effort into what returns the best investment. Today, we discuss exactly how to figure out if you need a mobile app — and if so, how to proceed. There are a few key questions you must ask to determine whether developing a mobile app is worth your time and money. In fact, it may be the case that you only need a mobile app, and you can forget about laptop, desktop, and tablet versions. Tune in, and find out what those questions are. Ask them, and you’ll have a path forward for your software. Click Play!
Rank #4: MBA1173 Guest Teacher: Chris Hogan- How to Become an Everyday Millionaire
What does a millionaire look like? A trust-fund baby? A hedge-fund bro? Nope. As it turns out, millionaires aren’t the exotic species we think they are. Overwhelmingly, they’re not born into privilege. And shockingly, they don’t tend to have high-powered jobs. Often, millionaires are regular people. So how does Average Joe hit 7 figures? That’s what this week’s special guest teacher is here to tell us. Chris Hogan is a best-selling author and podcast host who specializes in debunking the myths around wealth. He has a practical, realistic approach to crushing debt and making the wise investments that turn regular people into “everyday millionaires.” Hear Hogan’s down-to-Earth approach, and see how significant wealth is more attainable — and less exotic — than you might think. Click Play!
Rank #5: MBA852 Stop Trying To Discover Your Passion [REBROADCAST]
Passion is overrated. That's the message we've been pushing for a while now, and it's gotten no less controversial. That's why we're airing this archived episode that inspired quite a bit of feedback! While following your passion is a nice idea, it's definitely not a requirement for an entrepreneur. Instead, we advocate a different approach- one centered on identifying your value to the market. Forget the passion. Find the value! Click play!
Rank #6: MBA1137 4 Steps to Make Enough Passive Income For Your Personal Expenses + Free Ride Friday!
You want to start a business, but you’re terrified. You’re terrified that you could find yourself unable to fund your basic needs like housing, food, and Netflix (ok, maybe that last one’s not technically a “need,” but still). Entrepreneurship is risky, and takes time, and you have to make a living while your business grows. So what can you do to keep a roof over your head while you pursue your own success? Enter the “passive” income. Yes, passive income is real. No, it’s not a way to earn money for doing nothing. It’s a smart, savvy way to fund your day-to-day life while making moves the conventionally employed can’t make. It allows you to focus on your life, not your living. It gives you the freedom to choose entrepreneurship, without ending up in a hole. Find out how you can use the passive income strategy (along with some extra work and a little sacrifice) to keep yourself stable, wherever business takes you. Click Play!
Rank #7: MBA1239 4 Personal Business Principles For Success
Experience is the best teacher, and we’ve had plenty. Today, we put aside the specifics of day-to-day business, and focus on the principles that carry us through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. We’ve got 4 principles that years of struggle, doubt, anxiety, and ultimate success have ingrained in our brains. Learning how to cut through self-defeating impulses and focus on what matters can work wonders. By adopting the right mindsets, you can excel as exactly who you are, no matter the industry or niche. From emotional self-regulation to realistic goal-setting, these are the principles that work for every business. Learn how to take control of your outlook, rather than letting circumstances and market forces do it for you. Click Play!
Rank #8: MBA1066 How to Create Something Different Enough
Find your niche. That’s the motto of every smart entrepreneur, as we look to carve out our unique place in the market. Building a successful business involves a careful balancing act. On one hand, you have to be original; your product or service has to offer something that nothing else out there offers. But while you don’t want to reinvent the wheel, you also don’t want to alienate people with something they’re not ready for. A product that’s too different, too far out in left field, isn’t likely to be embraced no matter how “good” it is on its merits. Today, we discuss how to make your business different enough to attract a loyal following, but not so strange that it goes over people’s heads. We look at specific examples of companies that add just enough of a twist to secure their slice of the market, without being too derivative or too radical. It’s the Goldilocks Rule: not too different, not too similar, but just right. Figure out where your business can go, with the right amount of (restrained) creativity. Click Play!
Rank #9: MBA1164 3 Skills That Will Save You Money When Getting Started
Getting ready to start a new business? If so, you probably know that every cent counts. Having started quite a few businesses ourselves over the years, we’ve learned what skills and abilities can save you the most. If you learn them, you’ll not only have an edge over your competitors — you’ll have a lot more in the bank by this time next year. Specifically, there are 3 skills every new entrepreneur needs. These are things that can cost quite a bit to hire out for, but require minimal investment to learn yourself. In your crucial first years, learning these skills can save you hundreds or thousands. They’ll also be the skills you fall back on in the future, even as your team grows. Keep your business lean, and your skill set broad. Click Play!
Rank #10: MBA1027 How to Put The Spark Back Into Your Business + Free Ride Friday!
The excitement can’t last forever. When the honeymoon’s over, the founding obstacles are cleared, and the initial fires are put out, it’s just you and your successful business. At that point, you’re no longer facing the drama of starting a new business, and all the ups and downs that come with it. You’ve made it. It’s working. You’re bored. Like any relationship, the one between you and your business needs the occasional spark. A new challenge, new stakes, a new reason to be personally, emotionally invested in the outcome. While stability is certainly nothing to sneeze at, there is a such thing as too smooth a ride. Today, we offer 3 simple ways to bring the passion back. Don’t worry — you don’t have to do anything excessively risky. But you do have to establish new goals, and face the kinds of challenges that get an entrepreneur’s blood flowing. It’s good for you, it’s good for your business, and it’s a massive motivator for your entire team. Don’t rest on your laurels. Click Play!
Rank #11: MBA955 Q&A Wednesday: How did you know it was time to quit your job?
Entrepreneurship: how long should you look before you leap? It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’ve got a great question for everyone on the verge of leaving their day job behind: how do you know when it’s time? Our host Omar was an educator for many years before he finally decided to trade in all that security for a shot at independent success. But he didn’t just drop his chalk and walk out — he created an action plan based on solid information and rational goals. Tune in, and learn when — and how — to quit your day job. We discuss exactly what steps to take, review the deciding factors, and give you the framework for a smooth transition from the 9 to 5. Click Play!
Rank #12: MBA1153 Must Read: The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
Sometimes, you consult exciting new voices in business leadership. Sometimes, you consult the legends. Peter Drucker basically invented business management, and is seen as one of the founders of corporate culture. His extensive studies and writings on effective business leadership are the foundational canon for budding executives — and entrepreneurs. Today, we review his classic The Effective Executive. This Must-Read teaches you the most important concepts in hiring, delegating, and generally managing. It explores how poor leaders waste time, and great leaders leverage it for maximum effect. The book’s subtitle says it all: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done. Learn how to be the best leader you can be, in small business or big. Click Play!
Rank #13: MBA1025 Q&A Wednesday: Where can I hire great remote team members?
We’d say remote teams are the future, but they’re already here. More and more, smart entrepreneurs are taking advantage of a whole planet’s worth of talent, as the Internet erases borders and puts top-notch talent at your fingertips. In fact, the only problem with remote workers is that there’s just too many of them. So how do you find the good ones? Today, we discuss where to find the best in the (remote) business, whatever your business is, at whatever budget you’re working with. From posting on the right websites, to narrowing and filtering the results effectively, to identifying the characteristics of the truly valuable hires, we show you how it’s done. We should know! Our remote team is spread across the globe, from the US to Australia to Asia and beyond. It took a few years of experience, but we’ve learned how to find exactly who we need — wherever they are. Tune in, and find the self-managing, tech-savvy, modern remote “keepers” your business deserves. Click Play!
Rank #14: MBA1178 Must Read- Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman
Where is your small business going? More importantly, how is getting there? The author of this week’s Must-Read for entrepreneurs, Gino Wickman, has an answer. Traction: How to Get a Grip on Your Business is far more than its title lets on. It’s not just advice. It’s not just inspiration. It’s an instruction manual with detailed, specific steps any entrepreneur can take to get their business moving. Whether you’re a solopreneur or helming a large team, this incredibly practical book can teach you how to structure your business and its processes for maximum effect. Even better, Wickman teaches a values-centered approach to business, one that ties your core beliefs and mission to your success. Anyone starting or running their own business can learn something from Traction. Best of all, it’ll be something concrete. Click Play!
Rank #15: MBA855 Q&A Weekends: Do you make New Year Resolutions? Why or Why Not?
It's a new year, and we're kicking things off with a very special question! This one doesn't come from a normal listener, though. It comes from in-house, and the dynamic mind of our own co-founder Nicole! She asks about the value of New Year's resolutions. And whether they can actually have a positive impact on business. We discuss the limitations of resolutions, as well as the tools required to turn them into meaningful action. Happy New Year! Click play!
Rank #16: MBA1107 How to Prepare for Growth + Free Ride Friday!
You’re about to blow up. Are you ready? When big things are on the horizon, you have to prepare your business. “Catastrophic success” is real and dangerous, and businesses that aren’t prepared to handle a sudden spike in recognition and sales can founder. If you know your business is about to raise its profile, it’s time to gear up for the next level. Today, we discuss how to get ready for when the attention — and the customers — start pouring in. We’ve got 5 specific bases you need to cover, so that sudden success doesn’t turn into suddenly losing your footing. You’ve got to make the most of those rare, golden opportunities to parlay big moments into long-term profit, so don’t miss your chance! If you’re not ready, your business infrastructure can be overwhelmed. Your website can crash. Your payment processor can trigger alarms. Your inventory can be exhausted. Your ability to keep up when the good times start rolling is crucial to your survival. Worry not, entrepreneurs. Sudden success is a good problem to have, and we’re here to help you navigate it. Click Play!
Rank #17: MBA990 Guest Teacher: Dan Martell- How To Build a Scalable Systems Playbook
As your business grows, organization becomes more and more crucial. At some point, the systems you establish will be the difference between getting things done, and scrambling to keep up. That’s why it’s so important to establish procedures, protocols, and workflows as early as possible. Fortunately, there are tried-and-true ways to establish efficient systems and create repeatable core processes for your team to follow — even as your team grows, changes, and brings in new trainees. Today’s guest teacher, Dan Martell of SaaS Academy, is an expert in crafting and executing consistent systems. These systems can free you from unnecessary work and excess management duties, allowing you to focus on the horizon rather than day-to-day operations. Besides offering his most important systems-crafting tips, Martell also offers our listeners something special: free core system templates that you can customize for your own business. Invest in your core systems now, and ensure efficiency going forward — Click Play!
Rank #18: MBA892 How To Master The 3 Branches of Your Business
A successful business has many components, but all of them fall into one of 3 main categories. These 3 branches of business are the basic aspects of commerce. They are the pillars that hold up any company, big or small. And like any tripod, without each leg in place, the whole thing comes crashing down. By understanding the 3 branches, and applying appropriate levels of focus to each, you can give yourself the edge that means the difference between success and failure. You can ensure that your business has a fighting chance. It all comes down to these: smarketing, product development, and customer service. None of those are likely to come as a surprise, even if you’ve never heard the term “smarketing” before (that’s sales + marketing, the line between the two being a blurry one in the greater scheme of things). But too many entrepreneurs focus on one or two at the expense of the others. While they excel in one arena, they drop the ball in another. Their businesses suffer as a result. This is a choice. Proud tradespeople and artists devote themselves to their craft— their product— but put little time into marketing or customer service. Born sales people love the dance of securing customers and making deals, but allow the quality of their product to be sub-par. Devoted, loyal entrepreneurs put customer satisfaction above all else— including the acquisition of new business. As great martial artists are known to say, a fighter’s strength is his or her weakness. By relying too heavily on what comes easiest, some entrepreneurs never develop into well-rounded business people. You can do better. On today’s podcast, we discuss the importance of each branch in turn, and the vital role each plays in the development of a successful business, no matter what kind or what size. Going further, we discuss how to prioritize these branches at different points in the growth of your business. While one may be paramount at the beginning, another may become more important later on. Knowing when to focus on which branch is key to leveraging your efforts and maximizing your growth. Beyond that, knowing which aspects you excel at (and which ones you don’t) is crucial to your development as an entrepreneur. With self-awareness, honesty, and the willingness to shore up your weak points while nurturing your talents, you can be the entrepreneur whose ideas go the distance. While a thousand great business ideas go no further than talk, a balanced approach to the 3 branches of business can turn the dream into a reality. Tune in, listen to our in-depth explanation of the 3 branches and how to properly utilize them. Hone your skills, and learn how to apply your precious time, resources, and effort where they count the most. Be one of the entrepreneurs who make it. Know what forces need to be balanced, and how to balance them. Succeed. Click Play!
Rank #19: MBA1269 Do The Price Increase Experiment
Are you charging enough? Entrepreneurs can get a little nervous about raising prices. But there’s a way to find out how high you can go that’s low-risk, high-yield, and potentially eye-opening. If your business needs an influx of revenue, consider doing a little experiment in price increase. We’ll show you how. You might worry that an increase will scare customers off. But in our experience, you’re just as likely to be shocked at how little people care, if the value of the product is there. With our system, you can test the waters safely, and know quickly whether a given increase will help or hurt. With a little courage, some data, and a willingness to trust that your customers believe in your product as much as you do, you can widen those profit margins. Today, we offer step-by-step instructions on increasing, testing, and making the final decision. A modest increase will mean a lot more to you than your customers. See how by conducting this simple experiment. Click Play!
Rank #20: MBA1016 Should You Start a 2nd Business on the Side?
We get it. Entrepreneurship is addictive. Sometimes, while we’re developing one business, we see an opportunity to start another. Currently, we’re juggling two companies ourselves. But at some point, you’ve got to set limits on the number of plates you’re spinning, so that you don’t end up sacrificing quantity for quality. Today, we discuss the right (and wrong) times (and reasons) for starting a second (or third) business while maintaining your current company. With so many ideas and opportunities bouncing around in our heads, we independent business people need to prioritize the ripest fruit — or end up with more than we can handle. Fortunately, there are ways to decide if your next big idea is really worth pursuing. Certain factors truly justify starting a new business, especially when certain resources can be shared or the products are complementary. It all depends on what you’ve got going now, and where you want to see yourself later. Get the details — Click Play!