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: MBA1218 Must Read: Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
Don’t think you’re a leader? That’s actually a good place to start! This week’s Must-Read book for entrepreneurs is Brene’ Brown’s Dare to Lead. In it, Brown explains how to find your own innate ability to take charge and lead, however hidden it might be under layers of insecurity. The emotions — including the fear — inside you can be used to inspire your team in ways you might not realize. As Brown argues, your vulnerabilities are actually some of your greatest leadership assets, if you know how to use them. If you’re a reluctant leader, or not 1000% confident in your leadership abilities, this is lesson for you. Once you understand the value of vulnerability (and the poison of perfectionism), you can become the business leader you never knew you were. Click Play!
Rank #3: 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 #4: 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 #5: 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 #6: 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 #7: MBA898 The Top 5 Tasks to Outsource
What’s the best return on investment? What’s the most valuable thing an entrepreneur can gain from any expense? Time. Time is the greatest ROI. Some say time is money, but money pales in comparison to the value of time, the one resource you can never replenish once lost. A goal of every entrepreneur should be to free up as much of their time as possible: time better spent innovating than managing, moving forward rather than treading water, or even just spent living and enjoying the freedom entrepreneurship offers. So how can we get more time? Outsourcing. The smartest, boldest thing you can do as an independent business leader is to get things off your own plate. Spend your money to free up your time by zeroing in on the most time-consuming tasks best left to others. Not only will this allow you to focus on the leadership aspects of your business, it may significantly improve the quality of your product. Why be the jack of all trades when you can hire a master of each? On today’s episode, we discuss the top 5 tasks you should consider outsourcing. By utilizing team members, freelancers, even affiliates, you can stop working and start leading. Free up time, headspace, and personal resources to make yourself more effective than ever. Minimize stress and focus on the creative, exciting parts of running a business. Through outsourcing, you and your business can become more agile than ever. What about the cost? That’s the best part: today’s global marketplace is teeming with talent, available to work remotely from all over the world. With the prevalence of skills in everything from content to accounting, it has never been more affordable to outsource. This is especially important as your business grows, and your success forces you to scale up. As your business gains momentum, your leadership will be far more important than your labor. Not only that, but the odds are that for each of these 5 tasks, you can find someone who can do it better than you can! That’s been our experience, anyway. These 5 areas aren’t just tasks we recommend outsourcing, they’re tasks we’ve outsourced ourselves! It’s worked for us, and it can work for you. Find out how- Click Play!
Rank #8: 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 #9: 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 #10: MBA1054 5 Reasons Masterminds Fail
Mastermind groups can be a fantastic way to get and give valuable advice, accelerating your growth as an entrepreneur. These small groups of industry peers are more and more common, as entrepreneurs reach out to each other for help, support, and understanding. But not all masterminds are created equal. Our host, Omar, has been a member of several different mastermind groups. Some have been incredibly valuable, while others...not so much. If you’re considering joining — or starting — a mastermind, it’s important to know exactly what makes some of them flop. If you know what to avoid, you can ensure that your time (and everyone else’s) is never wasted. Today, we discuss 5 specific things that are guaranteed to ruin a mastermind, no matter how bright or informed its members are. By nailing certain logistical and procedural requirements, you can set your mastermind up to be a win for everyone involved — especially you. Find out what pitfalls to avoid. Click Play!
Rank #11: MBA1134 3 Steps to Gain 10 Productive Hours This Week
Time is more valuable than money — and we’ve only got so much. What would you be willing to trade for substantially more time, each and every week? Today, we’ve got 3 steps you can take to drastically increase your time by drastically improving your productivity. These aren’t simple “hacks” or fluffy life lessons; they’re challenging acts of commitment that pay off big. These are things we do ourselves, and even though it’s not always easy, it’s always worth it. Imagine what you can do with 10 extra hours per week: professional development, new projects, or just plain relaxing! It is possible to squeeze more and more precious time from even the busiest schedule, if you apply certain principles — and avoid some time-sucking bad habits. Try these strategies for just one week, and see what a difference they can make! Click Play!
Rank #12: MBA893 Do You Need a Product Road Map?
The product is never perfect. Smart entrepreneurs realize that in order for a business to grow, the product has to grow with it. But what if you could direct (or at least guide) the evolution of your product? What if you could time that evolution, and set goals for certain improvements? What if you could see the development of your product in the future, as you move your business forward into it? Enter the Product Roadmap. Increasingly popular as an organizational, motivational, and even marketing tool, the Product Roadmap can be applied to any kind of product (even a service). It is what it sounds like: a visual representation of the planned development of a product. You literally map out your own goals for your product, from the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to the top-of-the-line game-changer you ultimately strive to create. By aligning what your product could be with feasible timelines, you can turn possibilities into an actionable plan. These Product Roadmaps can be internal, strictly used to keep you and your team focused on your long-term product development goals. Or, they can be publicized, doubling as a marketing tool that lets your audience in on the process— even soliciting their opinions on what your product should do. But for all its usefulness, is a Product Roadmap right for your business? That’s what today’s podcast can help you determine. Today we discuss what a Product Roadmap is, how to develop one, and when it’s most applicable and helpful. With this lesson, you’ll learn exactly when Product Roadmaps are most effective. We speak from experience. From our clothing line to The $100 MBA to our webinar software service, WebinarNinja, we’ve built plenty of products: some with roadmaps, and some without. We know their value, and their limitations. Our experience using Product Roadmaps can give you exactly the insight you need to determine whether it’s a good fit for you. In the right situation, the return on investment can be substantial. A Product Roadmap can be an efficient repository for all your product ideas, even the most ambitious ones. It can allow you to branch out creatively, fearlessly saying “yes” to everything, and creating an action plan to make things happen. It can help you understand your own product better, and effectively prioritize all the development possibilities. By establishing goals, deadlines, and expectations, a well-crafted Product Roadmap can keep your team’s work aligned with your overall mission. It can keep that work in context, from here to wherever you want to be.
Rank #13: MBA977 How to Build a Business On The Side P2 + Free Ride Friday!
Ready to make your side gig your full-time career? Yesterday, we laid out the first phases of our detailed action plan for building your own business on the side while maintaining your regular 9-to-5 job. Today, we continue that lesson with the final instructions you’ll need to transition out of conventional work and into entrepreneurship. Last time, we covered the foundational steps of organizing your time and resources, validating your business idea, and crafting your first minimum viable product. Today, we discuss how to turn your initial product into an actual, honest-to-goodness business. Tune in, and hear the exact steps you’ll have to take to establish your funding, profitability, and marketing before ultimately making your big move. We also discuss how to improve your product via customer feedback, tweaking it to perfection until your business is truly off the ground. Finally, we offer advice on making a smooth transition out of your day job and into full-time, profitable, viable independent business. It’s a long journey, but the first step is here! Click Play!
Rank #14: MBA1186 How to Make Massive Improvements in Your Business
Let’s shake things up. If you’ve been in business for a while, you may have experienced a good ol’ fashioned rut. You’re stagnant. You’ve plateaued. You need a major boost to your biz, but you’re not sure what you can do to relight the fire and make a drastic, sweeping improvement that’ll move all the right needles. This is the episode for you. Today, we discuss how to go big, and make game-changing upgrades to your business. Fortunately, we’ve got experience in this department. We’ve been forced to make huge, bold moves that put us back into forward momentum more than once. If you’re ready to leave the rut behind, Click Play!
Rank #15: MBA942 The Biggest Lie in Business + Free Ride Friday!
Someone is lying to you. Actually, several someones are. They all have one thing in common. They promise something that doesn’t exist. They tempt you with a fantasy whose sole purpose is to empty your wallet. They show you photos of laptops on beaches and screenshots of swollen Paypal accounts. They tell you that wealth is something you can obtain quickly and easily — if you just learn the secret. We’re over it. We’ve had enough. We sell a course that empowers people — through their own hard work — to build their own business. While we’re offering the tools to turn effort into success, scammers are selling entrepreneurial snake oil. Today, we explain exactly why effortless income is the biggest lie in business, and why earned success is so, so much sweeter. Click Play!
Rank #16: MBA1057 Free Trials: With or Without a Credit Card Required? + Free Ride Friday!
The free trial: it’s an old, effective, tried-and-true way to turn leads into sales. But there’s one aspect of the free trial that business owners can’t seem to agree on. Should you require a credit card, or not? On the one hand, taking credit card info makes the final sale that much easier — and therefore, that much more likely. On the other, asking for credit card info before the prospect is ready to buy can cut things off before they start. When every second counts (and online, every second counts), every barrier to entry is a potential loss of sale. Today, we put in our two cents. With a couple different businesses under our belts (and one more on the way), we’ve used both methods. We’ve found that certain types of businesses and products lend themselves more to one method or the other. Like much else in entrepreneurship, it’s all about the timing. Besides our own businesses, we discuss other examples of (highly successful) businesses which do and don’t require credit card info for a free trial. Listen in, and figure out what would work best for you. Click Play!
Rank #17: 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 #18: MBA1214 Does Cold Emailing Work in 2019?
You want to network. You want to make the connections that’ll help your business grow. You want to make the right friends and partners. Should you just reach out? Cold emailing is an option some entrepreneurs consider. Without any connection or previous relationship, some folks just get a hold of someone’s email address, and pitch away. But is this really an effective strategy? Does it ever work? Is a cold email a bold act of gumption, or an annoying act of spammery? As someone who gets a lot of cold emails, our host Omar knows a thing or two about their effectiveness. Spoiler alert: the vast majority of cold emails Omar receives go unanswered. That said, there are ways to make a cold email a little warmer. With some preparation, you can forge a relationship with a stranger — but it takes more than a good subject line. Tune in, and learn the right way to make new connections. Click Play!
Rank #19: MBA1136 3 Steps to Make an Extra 20% in Sales This Month
Need a revenue boost? Look no further. Today, we discuss 3 steps you can take today that’ll jazz your numbers up and get you through a slow month. These immediately applicable, effective steps can give you just the edge you need to see moderate growth within a few weeks. Some are simple, some more involved, but all can do the trick. From unique promotional strategies, to outside-the-box marketing tactics, to subtle systemic tweaks, these tips help you squeeze a few dollars more from your existing resources. Using just what you’ve got, you can get a little further, climb a little higher, and set yourself up to grow steadily. We use these tricks ourselves when our businesses need a shot in the arm. Hear how it’s done — Click Play!
Rank #20: MBA911 How To Keep Business Simple
Today, we’ll teach you how to KISS. No, we’re not celebrating Valentine’s early. We’re showing listeners how to do the most important thing a lean, growth-focused independent business can do: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Of course, we don’t think anyone smart enough to listen to our show is “stupid,” but the acronym is a valid one. When complications creep in, it becomes harder for you and your customers. In this episode, we discuss how to streamline your business into its most simple, direct, and effective form. Tune in, and hear our 5 key principles of business simplicity, the 5 ways you can give your company the edge by discarding unnecessary complications. Simplify, and watch your business grow. Click Play!