The Leadership Stack Podcast

Sean Si

This is the podcast for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs to increase your leadership, teamwork, and profits. We have guests from all over the world and all kinds of industries who will tell you how they hire, manage culture, inspire and lead their people.

The Leadership Stack podcast is hosted by Sean Si - serial entrepreneur and author of the books 'CEO at 22' and '50x your Business'. He is the CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker (https://seo-hacker.com) a digital marketing agency in the Philippines that is best-known for their work in the SEO industry.

Welcome to Leadership Stack
Trailer 57 sec

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Sean: All right, what are your tips for people having a hard time choosing what type of business they want to start? Erika: I guess you have to keep asking yourself questions like: What are your options? What's your situation? What do you offer? What are your talents? What resources do you have? Like I said earlier, I just really focused on what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be at, and that was fashion, and then something that I knew that I could do at the comforts of my home online. Because during that time, I was young. I think I was 18 years old and I was a mommy. I had to take care of my baby and at the same time earn a living. So, given the situation, I can't go out. At that time, I didn't have a helper I could afford so I had to do everything. I really am the Jack of all trades that Niño mentioned. Even changing diapers, I also did that. So, ask yourself those questions, and then eventually you'll figure it out. And of course, don't forget what you really want to do so you won't get burned out of the business and it won't feel like work in the beginning. Because it's really the first few months or the first few weeks, you won't probably earn enough or sustainably for it to go. Sean: Yeah, at the beginning it's really a grind. You don't really make much and then you hire people, and sometimes their salary is bigger than your take home. I mean I personally experienced that when I was starting out, and those are the times that you're going to be questioning your purpose. Why did I start? Why is my employee's salary bigger than my take-home salary? It's tough. It's tough so my answer to this question is, make sure you choose the business that you're willing to suffer for. Erika said the word passion earlier. And passion, if you take it from the Latin definition, means suffering or sacrifice. It should be something that you're willing to suffer for, something you're willing to sacrifice yourself for. That's going to be the business that you should start because otherwise you're going to quit halfway and you're not even getting the first fruits of your efforts. It would be a waste if you quit halfway. So that's my advice for you there. From Tin, what could be your best advice for those who can relate with the Jack of all trades thing mentioned earlier? Tin has a small clothing business and she's a one-man team. And yeah, that's the question. What's the best advice? Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Dec 3

11 min 14 sec

Sean: So what gave you the sign? Like 'Hey, because a lot of people don't like doing things to just throw in the towel and quit, right? It's not for me. Hey, I don't like doing this. I feel so tired afterward. Cause I feel like this is something that, you know, I could hire someone to do this,' but in your case, you went ahead and took the grind. I mean, how did you know that this was something that was going to direct your future and you’re going to build your business with this even if it's not something you really love doing? J Haleem: I never even knew. I'll be honest with you, I never knew. Again, I sold my camera. When we got back here, my son, my wife was pregnant with my son. She couldn't get a job. She was making a lot of money in the DC area. And down here, you know if you make a lot of money like that, so people didn't want to pay her. Plus she's pregnant with a kid and I am still a felon at that time, so I can't get a great job. And again, once I saw it I'm like, listen, I have no money, so let's sell this camera. I want to have no 2000 out of the camera and I can do nothing with it. Let's make the money, we can pay our rent. But literally, this man gave me the camera back and was like, I said, “Okay, well, look, this is what I do. I'll take pictures for you, no matter what.” And so he's a pastor of a church. I took pictures of the church, but then people started asking me to do it. And I was like, “Okay, I needed the money.” So I take the money. I worked at a crappy job for like $8 an hour job for a little while. And I was taking pictures. I had a college friend who had a car dealership. I would go with him to get cars from the auction. And, you know, I started hustling. So while I'm going with him to get cars from the auction, I got smart in watching him and I said, “Okay, well, listen, I know how to do it now. So his business is picking up, so he was like, “Well, you go by yourself, you can take the guy.” So now I would get a hundred dollars for a car. He'd pay me $200 a day, you know, just to go ahead and go get, go with the guy. Then it went from that to, we go on that one day, we going to three days a week. So now I'm working like three jobs. I'm taking pictures, I'm working at a hotel for $8 an hour and I'm running, working at a car dealership. And so I'm doing all this stuff at the same time, but the pictures is starting to pick up. And then it was about 2015 when we had a, it was a lot of stuff happened in South Carolina. You probably heard about the Emmanuel 9. When the guy shot the nine people in the church in Charleston, South Carolina that happened and we're in the Capitol. And so they had to bring the Confederate flag down. I was there for that. I shot that. We had a historic thousand-year flood here. I shot everything for that. And I got on the mayor's radar and the mayor had me do work for him. We knew we were getting relief, help from other cities, other major cities in the region. He would have me as the only photographer shooting. And so I got to put on the map from there. Then I started working with a lot of big-name companies and big-name law firms and stuff like that. And my career just took off from there. But I never knew I was just, you know, using it. I wasn't going to put it down because I felt like one spiritually, I was like, God was in the midst of that because I never asked for paying me the money. I even asked, "you want the money back?" He says, "no, I want you to use the camera." I said, okay, cool. And I did so, and it worked out. Sean: So that's like a Divine intervention right there. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Dec 2

15 min 30 sec

Sean: From Erika. I know that networking is a big factor in growing my business, but I'm nervous to speak to more experienced business people. How can I become more confident? Join a networking group. That's one of the easiest ways. So some people who are afraid of public speaking actually join those masters and learn public speaking there, and at the same time, get to mentor other people who want to learn public speaking, and they could be business people too. I know a lot of business people actually join those masters because they want to get over their fear of public speaking and they want to communicate better to their team. I'm a JCI Manila member. That is a really good network for me. I meet a lot of really great people who have a big heart because JCI is all about giving back to the community. It's a charitable organization, but you know, there are a lot of people there who have big businesses as well. So consequently, we help the community, we help give to charity, but we also help each other out. And we trust each other because before you get into JCI, You actually have to have a big project done successfully, which is fundraising, turning over that event that you're going to be doing to give back to the community. So, members of JCI Manila, you know that they pass that test and that creates a stronger bond between us. So join those groups where, yeah, they're going to ask you for time. I mean, with JCI Manila, sometimes they ask me to connect a certain speaker to the chapter or sometimes I speak. I spoke recently for the JCI Manila podcast. You know, it's one hour. It's not big. I enjoyed it completely. But sometimes they're going to ask you for favors that you have to go out of your way and you really just have to do that because you love the chapter, you love the people there, you love what you're doing with them. And they trust you more. You build more rapport with them and they get your business more. That's how I network. I give back to the community. There are a lot of people and websites that SEO Hacker works for. And we don't ask for payment because we know that they're giving back to the community. For God and Country, we don't charge. So that's something that we strongly believe in. It's not all about money and that actually has paid us back multiple times. So yeah, hopefully you learn from that. What's your take on that, JM? JM: First of all, thank you very much, Sean, and for SEO Hacker for everything that you're doing for others. So Erika, my encouragement for you is to really challenge yourself. Because if you won't be able to challenge yourself, then you won't be able to grow. You won't be able to grow in your personal life and even in your business. So just like what Sean mentioned earlier in the year, join these groups and train yourself. Even go to YouTube. There are a lot of courses there that are free. You can learn from other people who already experienced this and who are confident in public speaking. So I think that is very important in order for you to challenge yourself and in order for you to grow more. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Dec 1

10 min 40 sec

Sean: What does that look like? Because a lot of people think that they know how to deal with people. Hey, when I was starting out, I thought I knew how to deal with people, but it turns out looking back now I'm connecting the dots. I was an idiot at it. And so what do you mean when you say that you got picked up because you knew how to deal with people? J Haleem: Well, when he was telling me was, you know, again, he had a young lady, I'll tell you real quick, I had a young lady and she wasn't young, she about 50 years old, but she was the best person for the job. Literally far as skillset, but horrible, horrible, horrible temperament. She's yelling at everybody. She's straight-up military style. You know, I understand that you have to deal with each person differently. I want to get to know you. I want to get to know what's going to make you know to be the best employee. What's going to bring the best out of you, you know? And then I'm willing to work beside you. She's like she was the type. This is your job. You need to know how to do it. Not I'm not going to be here to help you. I showed you already. So no, I'm going to make it easy for you to do your job. So the same way you don't do your job, I made it easy for you to fire yourself. So it was just a great situation. And then not only dealing with the employees and that being a project manager, but I also had to deal with the facilities manager. I had to deal with the owners of the building, of the space. You had to be able to turn and have to wear different hats. So not only was I equipped to go ahead and be on my regular uniform, but I could put a suit and tie on as well and have this business meeting talking about this new project because again, they'll have events, this is extra money. It was the base contract of a million dollars. But if they have these events at the space, that's going to be another $20,000. I got to talk. I gotta be able to negotiate in that and say, how much are we going to charge? Because we have to bring new people in here. We got to do this. You got to clean up. It's so much stuff going on and she was not even prepared for that. She's been totally overwhelmed dealing with that. She just, all she knew, was a practitioner. She wasn't a manager, you know, and that was the thing. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 30

14 min 59 sec

Sean: Question from Mich. I'm a former employee. As someone who wants to enter the coaching industry, there you go, or any business of help, how can I manage the feelings of guilt when charging clients? JM: I like the analogy that when someone is sick, you go to a doctor. Right? And you also pay for the service of that doctor. And when someone is going through a mental challenge, they also go to a psychiatrist and they're able to pay for that psychiatrist as well. So as a coach, I also know that this is actually one of the challenges that we're having as coaches. Like, “I just want to help that person, but you know, I also need to charge this client.” So I think it's very important that if you want to be a coach, number one, really give value to what you're doing, your job, and how you're helping other people. And number two as well, let your client value what they're going to have with you as well as a coaching client. So I think it's very important that you, number one, give value to yourself and to what you do. And number two, help the other person value what you're able to offer him or her as well. So yes, and God bless you. We need more coaches during this time as well. So yeah, I hope that helps. Sean: That's really good. If I can add just one little thing. JM: Sure. Sean:  I always say when people don't pay, they don't pay attention. The people who give value to what you do, they're going to be willing to pay value for it. So, you know when someone's going to be a serious coachee and they really want to change their life. Or they just want some extra words that they want to hear, you know, they're not going to want to pay for that. So I actually like people who pay better because I know that they're going to be valuable customers or clients to me as well. And the potential of them being a promoter or giving me word-of-mouth marketing is also a lot higher, so it's a win-win. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 26

10 min 49 sec

Sean: Can you give us a little bit more idea about what that means when you say standardized things? What does that really mean? Dancho: Healthier way is that when we started Bizzbee, it was project-based. Someone gives you money. You have one month of work and that's it and you need a new client. Working with long-term clients gives you monthly recurring revenue, which is much healthier because you're not every month starting from a clean slate, but you already have; like we have 2030 clients at the moment. So you don't start with zero, you already have the cost covered, so that's much healthier rather than doing from scratch every time. In terms of systems and processes, now it's much clear. Okay, now we need new employees then it's we have a clear agreement. Project managers tell my wife, okay, we need employees. She puts the job ad, puts some Facebook paid ads on the job ad. People are applying. Then the project manager interviews them. She decides who she keeps then my wife actually builds the contracts, enforces them, and everything. This is actually standardized. Before that it was like, we need them, employees. Okay. What should we do? I don't know. What about you? I also don't know. Let's ask Dancho and then they come to me and I'm like, man, come on this has to be standardized. Or, "well, we actually put the job at nobody applied." Did you put some ads on the job post? Nope. Well, how will you expect people to see it? Okay. People applied. Should we accept this or this? I'm like, that's not my problem. Actually, the project manager needs to decide because she needs to live with the decision. If I decide for her, then you gave me the wrong people. And we did that. And then, okay, but now what should we do? We need a contract. We need this X, Y, Z. And I was like, man, this has to be standardized. Clarity helps everybody because you know, what are the next steps? What are the next steps? And this is just in-house. I'm also talking about with the. Like we have a new client. Okay. What should we do now? I don't know. Well, give them a contract. Okay. But, how are we going to start? We were like, no, we have an onboarding process. Step one, kickoff meeting, introduce the project manager, the copywriter, the nurture specialist. Okay. Step two. Copywriter books and meeting with the client in order to do an interview, to understand the passion, the driving force, and everything, because she needs to create messages that are specific to that client. Step three, the project manager gives them filters and LinkedIn sales navigator and everything. Step four, we wrap up everything and we decide on the starting of the execution. Stage five, clarity. It's good for us, but it's also good for the client because when you reach a supplier and you see that they have no structure, you're like I'm going to run away from here as fast as I can because of the structure gives clarity. Managing expectations. I know what to expect when I'm getting a supplier. So it's like, okay, what happens to your steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Okay. Now I know where I am through the stages. So this systematization and standardization are actually having a healthy business because when something is wrong, you can isolate specifically at what stage is not working. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 25

14 min 17 sec

Sean: How can employers manage depression in the workplace? How can employers qualify feelings of sadness as reasons for employees not being able to come to work?   JM: So I think having that time in order for your employees to have that safe space for them to let you know what's going on in their lives. It's very important to manage depression even before it starts. Meanwhile, when there is already depression, it actually depends on the level of depression. There is depression that is still normal. “Normal.” But there is depression as well where it's already considered clinical depression. So when it comes to clinical depression, you need to be able to consult a professional already, professional help for that in order to help your employees and in order to manage depression. Besides what I mentioned earlier, what's important, not just for the employees, but for the employers as well is for you to really take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. So make sure that there's support for that as well for them to be able to know that there’s support from the company. And there's also a way for you to help them. So there's a lot of things actually with depression, Sean. And just a few things in order for you to know if you're going through depression is that there are extremes. Okay? So if there are already extreme things in your life that are going on for more than two weeks already. Like if either you eat a lot or you don't have an appetite. Okay? Two extremes or you just want to sleep. All-day, you just want to sleep or you couldn’t sleep. So extreme things. And if there's no longer passion to do the same things that you ought to enjoy before. So those are just some of the things that you can look for, a sign if you are having depression already, or if your employee is having depression already. So I hope that helps. Sean: That really does. I'm not an expert when it comes to depression. We've had a couple of people struggling with this actually. I wouldn't say I'm the most brilliant help they’ve ever gotten. But what I do believe about this topic, which is a sensitive topic, is that a lot of people tend to not feed their spirit. You know, it might be hard teaching to hear coming from me, but people who have faith, you know, who believe in God and believe in the spirit will understand what I mean. We're not just meat and bones. We're thinking beings with a spirit. We consider the heart and the brain as important parts of our functioning bodies. The spirit is also a very important organ that's invisible. You can't see it, but it is as important as your heart and as important as your brain. And the spirit needs to be fed so it has kind of like an appetite, like your stomach. And if it is not fed, I think that is where the depression creeps in because you lose the appetite to live. Life becomes bland. It's lackluster. It could be a slew of different triggers, but I think the root cause is always you're poor in spirit. You haven't fed your spirit. You haven't had the time to pause and think about what you lack in terms of faith, in terms of your walk with God, in terms of your personal growth and improvement. And a lot of people who struggled with depression, I believe, spend a lot of time not thinking. We have, as a generation, lost our ability to think, really think. And sadly that's because of the advent of the internet and unlimited entertainment that we have. We just don't need to think. We can be entertained 24/7 today. And that I think contributes to the spirit of depression. I can't really say much about it, but what I do know is part of it, maybe a good part of it is about the spirit. And you have to feed your spirit. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 24

12 min 24 sec

Dnacho: There are hundreds of ways of how you can generate leads. And then how our client knows what's best for them. And you know, you're going to need years to try all hundreds of them to see what is the right fit for you. And then we said, well, you know what? We do really the outreach. So which type of companies would really benefit the most from the outreach. And when we saw that the high ticket service providers and seeing them as high ticket service providers, not that just because they have expensive services, it's because they have a unique sales process. When it comes to 50K sales. First, it's a really long sale cycle. It's like in months in years in some cases. So it's not like impulsive buying costs, swipe your credit card. Then there are always multiple people involved, even if it's a 50K website as a platform. Yeah. But then the procurement manager, then the marketing manager, then the CEO, then the CEO needs to take it to the board. The board needs to get approval and it is really a complicated sales process. The rewards are also good. I mean, when you sell 10K service, you're like, okay, if I sell five services in total, that's like a 50K, which is a good deal. And when the reward is good, you could actually afford more on the lead generation. And here is not just that as a motivation, we saw that, well, you know what actually, in the high ticket service provider, people. It will not work. If I go, hi, Sean, I'm selling a 50K would you be interested in buying it? Not thank you very much. Next one. Hi, I'm selling a 50 K service. Are you interested? No, thank you very much. But it's really relationship-building. And people are lazy, I mean, even when we're talking about marketing agency, they're like how I can get you five fleets and that's it. And with the high-ticket service providers, it's really relationship-based. So trying to reach out to people, start some chit-chatting, start some conversation starters, try to qualify if they have a problem or not, if not keep them in your circle. I mean, Sean, our extreme was that we were working for a company real estate from Ibiza and they were looking for an investor for 10 million euros. And we were like, okay, our outreach framework is the same. We just need to adjust it a bit. So we screened the whole of Europe, finding investors for real estate investors, property investors, we found few hundreds. We started reaching out to talk with them, but not even a letter from a pitch or from a sales or for something. The whole goal was to find the potential investor, invite them onto Ibiza on a yard, to do fishing with the real estate agent company. And then during the fishing, they can start talking. "You're a nice guy. What do you do? What I do? Okay. Let's try to see some business". Because at that level they don't buy projects, they buy into people. Sean, you're a nice guy. What are you doing? I want to invest in whatever you're doing. I have a lot of money. Project - there will be good projects, bad projects, but if I see that you're a good guy. I want to invest in whatever you're doing. I mean, I'm giving it as an extreme because it was 10 million euros. That is really why we choose the high ticket service providers because relationship building is more important than actually getting the lead because not every prospect that you're reaching out to is the right time at the right moment and ready to come on a call. But on the other hand, if you build a relationship around your client, even after six months, they've decided that they need that solution. We want to position our clients as the go-to guy for that field.  Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 23

18 min 1 sec

Sean: Our next question is from Erika. I want to resign from my current job to focus on my career, but my fear of failure is stopping me from doing so. What should I do? JM: It’s very important for you to recognize why you're having that fear of failure. With your current job right now, do you want to resign because you really want to move forward and grow? Or do you want to resign because there are some things that you can't deal with in terms of your current job right now? So those are my questions for you because I think that's very important for you to recognize first why you want to resign from your job. Okay? Because whatever it is that is hindering you or is leaving you that fear of failure, wherever you go, whether you're going to stay in your current job or focus on a new career, that will really affect you and your performance. So make sure that you take some time first and think about what are the things that are giving you that fear of failure. So deal with that first, and then after that, think about whether you need to resign from your current job. Because right now it's also very hard to get a new job. So unless you have a new job that will really take care of your financial needs, then I think that's also a go, but otherwise, really think about it. Okay? Sean: Well, if you want to resign on to your current job to focus on your career, first, you have to know there are people relying on you and you are also relying on that job. Can you really afford to lose that job? Because if you can't, that's going to create financial problems. Were you able to build on your emergency fund, which is six months to a year worth of your salary? If you're able to do that, then you can take it a step further and finally think about that career you want to jump into. How big of an opportunity is that really going to be for you? If the opportunity is bigger than what you're doing now in your current job, then it is worth considering transferring to wherever it is that you want to go to. I don't think the fear of failure should stop you. Life is about taking risks. You know, when you're in your job, when you have a job, you're just outsourcing the risk to your boss. But your boss still holds your risk. Why? Because if the business fails, if your boss feels the business goes down, you will be affected as well. You're also going to lose that job. So where is your security really held? Where is your success really held? Why are we so afraid of failing? Life is about risks. So it's all about assessing if the opportunity is greater. And can I really afford to lose my job right now to shift into that opportunity? Those are going to be the questions that I'm going to be asking myself if I was faced with the same question. And if the answer is yes, the opportunity is great, I'm quite sure that it's going to be really good for me, and I am secure, I have my emergency fund settled in, it's not going to be a huge risk for me, then I am going to make the shift. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 19

12 min 28 sec

Sean: And now I'm wondering, how do you find those right project managers that you mentioned earlier? Because I'm sure you've found a lot of wrong ones. How did you get the right ones? Dancho: Very hard. For me at the beginning, maybe that's juniority and then becoming really an expert in the field, but you do a lot of interviews and some tests and personality and stuff just to get the right guy, and at the end of the day, it's not the right guy. And I give up, I give up on trying to find the right guy. Now my different strategy is to grab five people. I start working with them for three months, and then I see what they're made of. Because on your CV, you can put so fantastic stuff on all the magic that you've delivered. Then very well polished or on the interview because you know that you're being observed. You can start pretending, faking it even. So you cannot really evaluate whether someone is good or not. So our whole logic is to take them, work three months with them. You've realized if someone is sitting next to you for three months, you can understand their character, their soul, their intentions because you cannot fake it for three months. It's a long period. And what we were starting doing here in Bizbee is like, we grab - we actually take five, seven interns put them for three months and after three months we take one or two. And we know that that is the best from the best because you got 50 applications, you take five to seven people, you take one or two. And we don't hire managers, we grow managers. So from the people, someone will grow or show some interest in marketing. We're moving them in marketing they'll show interesting sales. We're moving them to sales. And it's really evolution rather than a quick fix. And it's much longer. It's much more expensive when you think about it, because I need a lot of time to grow people. But at the end of the day, I tried every other way. I tried hiring experts in their field and then they come with a big ego behind them. Like, you know what? I have 10 years of experience, I know how to do it. We're like, well, look at the market - the market needs this, it’s not whether what you want or you don't want, the market needs this. If you can fulfill it, perfect; if not, there's no point. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 18

17 min 57 sec

Sean: The next question is from Erika. I can't seem to relax as I'm always thinking of my business. How can I fix that? I understand where you're coming from because business owners, especially when you have a new business, it's exciting. When you're excited, you keep on thinking about that certain thing that you want to engage in and it's tough to not think about it. Right? And then there are also problems that would crop up. It's actually quite common for problems to crop up when you're starting out in business and so you think about it more. And then there are things that you have to do as the business owner. Usually, you have to do a lot of things. So there are tasks that I still have on my plate that I actually need to finish. And when am I going to do them? I'm actually going to be doing them tomorrow or Saturday. And I keep thinking about those tasks because I need to finish them. Sometimes I think about them, “When can I do this? I want to finish all of these.” And it's tough. And I understand what you mean. How can you fix that? One of the ways that I fix it is, I have a task list. If you don't have a task list, all of that burden is going to be on your brain. And you're going to be thinking about it, because if you don’t think of them, you might forget them and that's going to screw you up. And there are days I finish 15 tasks. There are days that I have so many meetings, I just finish 5 or 10 tasks. But actually if you finish three super important tasks, that's it. That's all you need to do. Usually just three super important tasks for the day. That's all you need to do. But yeah, so I'm in that stage in my life where I really have to work hard and work long. Maybe some of you are saying, “I thought that’s just for startups.” Here's news for you. I’m 10 years in the business, you're still going to have to do that sometimes. Okay? Less of it, but there are some days you will still have to do it. So with the task list, you outsource that thinking. The next thing is you book yourself in your calendar. So book yourself, because if you don't book yourself and block off like 3, 4, 5 hours in your calendar for that important work, that's going to get filled up by some other people – calls, clients, et cetera. So you have to finish these important things. And of course, take one day off. The Sabbath, it could be a Sunday for you, for Jews it's Saturday, it doesn't matter. Take one day off. Make sure you're able to rest, recuperate, and reflect where you are in life. Are you still going in the right direction? What are some of your goals five years from now? Are you moving towards that? Pray, meditate, read God's word, listen to the Sunday message. That is super important, and that will keep depression at bay as well. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 17

12 min 19 sec

Sean: I want to, so I listed down so many questions in my head, as you write. Sharing your story about how you started up you know, as a, I could resonate with you so much because when I started SEO-hacker, some 11 years ago, I was doing everything and so were you as the CEO and founder. And one of the main goals is to, as you said, take yourself out and work on the business rather than in the business. And you start quitting jobs. Like I start quitting being the janitor. When I finally had enough revenue to hire people. Now, I wonder what were some of the things that you started quitting as your business grew? And I want to know, like which ones did you quit first and which ones did you quit last? Dancho: I quit everything, now I'm just focused on growth. But when I started, I started quitting the execution because fulfillment is the easiest part. If you have a client, if you manage to sell it, if you clear out the expectations and also on the execution, you have clear procedures and steps that need to be followed. And this is actually what helped me because I have a saying Sean, that entrepreneurs are a bit lazy people. They try to automate or standardize everything because it's a lot of effort to invent everything from scratch every time. So when you have clear procedures, you can just share the execution with someone else to help you. The second thing that I quit as a job was project management because when you have 5, 6, 7 people that you need to manage, it's a full-time job. How are you going to focus on growing your business when you're focused on doing the execution again? Just from a management perspective. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 16

17 min 2 sec

Sean: I have hit some speed bumps on my journey to starting a business and I'm starting to feel discouraged. How can I keep pushing forward? Get mentors. That's the best thing. I mean, when I'm stuck in a rut, I actually ask mentors because they've been there, you know. These are people who have also struggled with the things that you are struggling with, or have failed where you’re struggling with, and they got up and they learn from it. Mentors are good because they evaluate their failures. They evaluate their experiences. If they didn't, they'd still be failures and they're not going to mentor you. And make sure to choose your mentors well. Make sure that they are mentors with no agendas, that they really have a helping spirit. There are people who just want to help. They have a helping spirit. Make sure that they are those kinds of people so that you can ask them for time and ask them questions. And also respect them. Respect their time. When you ask them for one hour, stick to one hour. And make sure you prepare your questions before the mentorship session. Don't go into the mentorship session and say, “I'm here. I want to learn from you.” Mentorship is not like that where you sit on the teacher's feet and get enlightened. Mentorship is about asking questions to people who have gone the way. So prepare your questions ahead. With my mentors, usually, I have 20 questions. I'm just being safe, but usually, with 5 or 10 questions, the one hour has gone by. It has flown by. But I prepare a set of 20 questions just in case there's still time I want to squeeze that in because I want to learn from this person, you know. So that's how I do. And I feel encouraged after that because I realize it's not so bad where I am. It's actually worse what they've gone through because of technology or the advent of, you know, having mentors like this person or that person. So get mentors. That's one of the ways that I have been able to do it. And I found it very encouraging, very enlightening. I mean, I'm not going to be where I am today without my mentors. That's how important they are to me. How about you, JM? JM: Besides getting mentors it's important for you also to get a group that can encourage you. I hope I can pronounce it right. Inklings. Have you heard about C.S. Lewis? And then the other authors also, they have this group called The Inklings. So they meet every week for a certain day. And then at a certain, I think that's a cafe in the UK and then, they will just meet, and discuss the books that they're writing about. And so it's very important for you to have those people who can give you support and feedback when it comes to the challenges that you're facing. And also to give you encouragement whenever you need it, whenever you feel stuck, or whenever you feel, I like your words earlier, you're paralyzed, Sean. And I know a lot of people are dealing with that also nowadays. So that's my encouragement for you to get a group as well, besides having a mentor, which is very important. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 12

13 min 21 sec

Sean: I wonder, word of mouth marketing is arguably still the best form of marketing that any company would have. That is kind of what you did right there for you. But when you look at a lot of companies, even the big ones, they don't have a word-of-mouth marketing strategy. They would have an advertising strategy. They would have a big idea strategy. They'd have an SEO strategy, which we both are very fond of, but not - no real word of mouth strategy. Vince: Sometimes the word of mouth strategy is hidden in other layers. So there's a couple of core strategies we use in - like when I'm dealing with agencies in large corporates, particularly initially some small companies as well. There's a couple of methodologies we use. One of them is any advertising that we're doing, particularly TV commercials and things like that. There is this, this holy grail that we want to achieve and that holy grail is getting people to change their language. And I'll give a good example of this. I don't know if you, like, we had this in New Zealand. I don't know if it's in any other country, but we had a Continental Cup of soups, right? So it was a cup of soup brand and Continental had these ads that used to run. "Got three-thirtyitis? It must be time for continental." And three-thirtyitis wasn't a real thing. It was just their way of describing the afternoon slump that everybody in the corporate world would feel. So you're in your job when it comes to about 3:30 and you're like, "oh, I don't want to do my job. I just want to go home. I'm tired now."  And it's because you've got that slump that happens after lunch. You've had a big feed, all these kinds of things. So they owned this message. They owned this concept called three-thirty itis. So that became something that became a word of mouth because everyone started using that language. But to achieve that, by the way, is incredibly rare and incredibly hard. This was the holy grail. It's actually very difficult. The other way that I do encourage everyone to do it and corporates do it. And they kind of hide the word of mouth within this, as the whole concept of a friend gets a free campaign. And you'll see this with some of those deals that corporate strand, where they're like you know like power company is a good example this. Some power companies over here go, "Hey, invite your friends. And for everyone that signs up, you get $50. Oh, you both get $50 off your power bill" or something. So they're using you as their marketing engine. You're out there telling people, "Hey, come and sign up with me. You'll get 50 bucks. I'll get 50 bucks and we'll both have our power in the new company." So that's an aspect of word of mouth that can be cultivated by brands rather than relying on people out there. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 11

15 min

How do you manage your time? I've touched base on this before. You don't really manage time. Time goes on, you can't stop it. You can't manage it. We have 24 hours a day. I don't have one second more than you do. So you can’t really manage time, what you can manage is your energy. You manage your energy. Make sure that you give a hundred percent of your energy to things that matter, things that are important to you, or things that are an emergency or a crisis. You give your energy to that. Otherwise, don't spend your energy on things that are not important and not urgent. So wasting time, that's what we call wasting time or killing time. That’s actually energy you spend on things that are not important. Because again, you can’t manage time, you can just manage your energy. Make sure that you have priorities, just three. One, two, three priorities for the day. Where if you finish all three priorities you're done for the day, you're happy, whatever else you could finish is a bonus. That's how I do it so that I feel productive every day and I actually finished a lot of important stuff. I have priorities. I have my task list, my to-do list. I finished like 15 tasks a day. There are a lot of days I finish, most of my days, I finish 12 to 15 tasks. But if I finish just three tasks, I'll be happy already. I make sure that I still give my best, you know, and that's a big deal for me. That's what makes me successful in other people's eyes. That's why people think that I do a lot of things, but really it's just three major things that I need to finish every day and everything else is a bonus and I give it my all. So make sure you have priorities and stick with those priorities. Don't use your time and energy on things that are not important. That's going to be my advice for that. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 10

9 min 39 sec

Sean: Here's my next question for you. Marketing is something that we do and something that all business owners should do, but there is confusion happening, whereas people are thinking, okay, how am I gonna follow Vince's advice and tell who I am to other people without running ads. Do I need to spend on ads? And how can I spend on advertising when the pandemic is there, the lockdowns are there, what do you think about that? Was it smart for them to cut their marketing slash advertising budget during the lockdowns? Vince: A hundred percent, I mean, there are multiple reasons that it was a smart thing to do. First of all, because in some cases it's inappropriate, depending on what it is you're offering, depending on what your services and your product sound and things like that. To market it to people in a time where everybody's in chaos. To market to people in a time where everybody is fearful, they're losing their jobs. They don't know what's around the corner. They're in a sense of heightened anxiety and there's an ethical aspect to not marketing to those people. And I'll give you a good, like over here in New Zealand, we live in a really peaceful country. We live in an amazing country, but from time to time, we have these disasters that happen. We had the Christchurch earthquake, which was absolutely devastating. A lot of people lost their lives. A lot of people lost their homes. A lot of businesses went under and everything. The moment that that happens, just about every single business in New Zealand, certainly all the corporates I was working with, we all killed our budgets and we said, we're not marketing to anybody right now. Right now, our only focus is to make sure that people aren't vulnerable and we don't want to be marketing to a vulnerable individual. We also had a while I was at Cigna, we had a shooting at one of the mosques in Christchurch, but burrow crushed it. So they had the shootings in the mosque there, and it was an absolutely devastating, terrible time. A lot of people lost their life due to just ignorance and stupidity from, from an individual. And as a result, we immediately killed all of our budgets. We took our ads off the air. We took our digital budgets offline, all these kinds of things as well. Because, and there's a state where people are emotional, where people are anxious and there is a moral obligation to you as a marketer to go, you know what? Let's let them get through this, before I start trying to ram things down their throats. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 9

19 min 15 sec

When starting a business, how much time would you spare for you to know that this business is scalable, or will it just be a waste of time, effort, and resources? For me, scalability is something that you don't really think about at the starting line. You don't think about that because you don't even know if you're going to succeed. You don't even know if you can stabilize it. So scaling it up is an afterthought. So yeah, I didn't think about how I could scale SEO Hacker up when I was starting out. In fact, I thought about just having like 10 or 13 people and that’s it. But now we're 50 people. I really didn't think about scaling up. I thought about how I can stabilize it once it's so stable, well, not so stable now because there's a pandemic. But once it is a lot more stable, you think about scaling up. That's the time you think about scaling up. You don't usually think about it when you're starting a business. When you're starting a business, all you think about is how you can make it stable, secure, how you can pay my people, how you can make sure cash flow is good, revenue is greater than expenses. So when you're five years in the industry, I'd say. So you're no longer a startup because you're five years in, you're in that awkward stage of the business where you think, should you make it grow? Should you stay as is? Is it stable? Is it secure? So I think that's a scale-up stage. That's the stage where you think about scaling up. And SEO Hacker, I wouldn’t say it's a very scalable business because one manpower is like one client. One is to one, so we need to keep on hiring and we need to keep on getting new clients and it's almost on a one-to-one ratio. A scalable business is a software business where you only have one server, for example, it’s a cloud server and you're serving a hundred thousand people at the same time. That is a very scalable business. All businesses are scalable. That's a fact. All businesses are scalable. The question is, how fast can you scale it? How fast can you scale it? And how efficiently, in terms of money, in terms of capital and operating expense, how efficiently can you scale it? For a software business or a software as a service business, one server, a hundred thousand people, you can very, very efficiently scale it up. I mean, your costs could be Php 1.00 and your profit could be Php 100.00. So you could give a 30% discount, it doesn't matter, because you're still making a lot more money. But in a services business like SEO, the ratio is not the same. It's a one is to one ratio if you're a white hat SEO company like we are. So it's not that scalable compared to a software company. But if you're going to compare it to a real estate company for example, then SEO is a lot more scalable than if you're renting out hotel rooms, or if you're renting out condo units, because you can't just keep on buying hotels, keep on buying land and building hotels at a fast rate, I mean, if you're starting out or if you're just five years in the industry. So it's not as scalable. So it depends on what industry you're in. It depends on what business you have, but all businesses are scalable. It's just a matter of how fast you can scale it and how efficiently you can scale it in terms of OPEX and CAPEX. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 5

9 min 50 sec

Sean: And one of the age-old questions that are often seen and often asked in Facebook groups now, especially for startup Facebook groups is, what's the difference between branding and marketing? Vince: Oh, okay. So not much. It's kind of like the age-old question. What's the difference between marketing and sales, in reality, they're all blurred. They are all kind of the same things. Essentially, if you think about branding in a traditional sense, branding is as two things. It is how your customers perceive it. So that is how they see you, what they think of you, their sentiment towards you, all those different things. And this is the weird thing that people have to get their heads around. As often, we do our best to control our brand. We do our best to design our brand, but the reality is it really is down to how people perceive you. You could, you could say I'm the most trustworthy brand in the world. I want to build. I want to be the new Volvo, you know, where everything's about customer safety and it's all about, you know, looking after their customers and they trust us intensely. But the reality is if you're Volkswagen and you're, you know, out there kind of skewing the tests and doing some Chiddy-dodgy kind of stuff out there, the customers are going to see you in a very different way from how you perceive yourself or want to be perceived. So branding really is about their visibility. The other side of branding is who you are, and this is where your kind of branding comes from. As one of the first exercises we ever do with entrepreneurs, when we're working on branding workers to go, what's important to you. And by that, I mean, like, what are the things that you are not negotiating on? What are your values? What do you stand for? What is your story? How did you get to where you are now? Where did you get to all of those aspects together from who you are as an entrepreneur or from who you are as a startup? And that is your core brand. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 4

19 min 49 sec

How does it feel like doing SEO for years knowing every Google algorithm updates and intricacies of SEO? For those who are just starting SEO, digital marketing may seem overwhelming. What's your advice for those who are just starting to learn today? How does it feel like? It feels like you're a pro basketball player. I mean, when you play basketball, you just know when people are in certain places in the court and you can make passes that seem miraculous and you can make shots that seem miraculous, but it's just that you play the game for so many times that your brain is hardwired to do things automatically. You're hard wired to just play the game really well. It's a lot like that, you know? They call it court sense in basketball. You have the sense of the court who's where, and at what time, who's running, and at what time. It's like court sense because you played so well so many times in such a long span of time, you get better at it because your brain is just subliminally doing a lot of stuff. That's how it feels like with SEO. I've been doing it for over a decade. I feel like I understand Google on a very deep level that I can't extrapolate in words. I just know what's happening when I check a site. I just know what's wrong with it and how I can improve it. That's how it works with me now that I feel like a lot of SEO people who are like me practicing it for a very long time and doing it ethically would say the same. What's my advice to those who were just starting? Keep going. I mean, SEO is a discipline. It's all about consistency and discipline. There is no magic to it. There's no tactic that could take you from nowhere in the top 100 to the first page of Google. It’s nothing like that. There is no tactic. It's all discipline and hard work. If there was a magic pill, it's probably poisonous because it's an unethical practice and you can get penalized for that. So just keep reading, keep experimenting, be consistent with your write-ups, be consistent with the fundamentals, always keep learning, be on the cutting edge, because Google keeps changing and you have to learn with it. You have to change with it and adapt. So yeah, that's going to be my advice for you. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 3

12 min 38 sec

Sean: But before I let you go, I want to ask you one last question. And that is for those entrepreneurs or employees who have a side business or are thinking of jumping ship and starting their own thing. What would be your one big advice? Josef: One advice is extremely difficult for this question, but let's give it a shot. But I think if there's anything to prioritize and purely speaking from experience because I don't believe that I am anyone to preach to anyone. Right. I'm just like everybody else. Who's just trying stuff and making mistakes and just doing our best, moving one step at a time. So, but what I personally went through is what I'm going to recommend, which is a personal amount of attention, which is really looking after yourself and starting right there. It doesn't matter how brilliant the idea is or how magnificent the team is. If you are not in the right state of mind and in the right point of your life, to be able to actually really give it what it takes to make something like this work. I'll give you, I mean, my own personal journey was, you know, you were saying earlier about this guy with no vices and a hundred percent vegan. Like it didn't start that way for sure, and there's a reason behind that. And I think there's a reason why most people who you meet with those kinds of extreme things because they really probably went through something. And I was one of those guys and I definitely did not have everything in line and I did not like myself whatsoever before those changes, I really didn't. And it was of course holding me back in business because I just didn't feel like I was the right kind of person to drive anything like this, less alone make an impact or inspire people. So I quit drinking completely. I quit smoking completely and yes I took on meditation, became vegan it sounds ludicrous. Like I am one step shorter of spending time in a monastery, you know, but jokes aside. This acted as the catalyst to actually teach me the most important life lesson, which I think is the thing, which I live by the most, which is discipline. And let's be careful here to distinguish discipline from burnout or overworking, cause they're very different things. So discipline is literally in my eyes, the most important word when it comes to building a startup, doing well in school, becoming a professor like literally anything that you want to achieve starts with that standard that you hold for yourself and how you apply that. And again, it does not mean overwork. It means the opposite. It means imparting correct discipline and balance on yourself. It's just astronomically important because it acts as the catalyst for everything else. When you find that you can do those little things every day, with discipline, even starting with making your bed, you know, little things like that and spirit on for health, then starting a business just becomes one of those other routine things that discipline allows you to actually embark on. Everything else, then we'll just grow and we'll just become the catalyst because if your personality already starts getting used to that, then having the discipline to really run it a business is just another thing. It's just another run that day. Right? So rather than obsessing over the idea, or obsessing over whether the timing is right, or whether you have enough money to start a business, that's the most common one, I think. Forget all of that stuff, and first look at, am I right? Am I ready in my personal life to be able to actually go on something like this? Because if you are, everything else will follow. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Nov 2

10 min 42 sec

What are the best business books for you? I usually recommend Good to Great by Jim Collins. Good to Great by Jim Collins is one of the books that have really opened up my mind on how to take a good business and make it a great one, because good businesses are everywhere. In fact, I would say almost every business you see is a good business. Bad businesses just go down and shut down in a couple of months and that's it. So you don't usually notice them. You don't see a lot of them. But good businesses are everywhere. How can you turn your good business into a great business? Now, that for me is a worthy read and so Good to Great by Jim Collins is one of the most recommended books that I will tell you. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is another good book. That talks about virality. That talks about word of mouth. That is a really good book if you want to make sure that your business has some word of mouth marketing going for you, how you can do it and to realize how much word of mouth really does for your business, and how powerful it is for your business. That's another good book. If you want to improve yourself, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I could not recommend that enough, that's a really, really good book. For leadership, I’d recommend The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. I've read that three times. It’s a really good book, really good stuff. Especially if you're the founder and CEO of a business, you will need that. Because who you are inside is how you're going to lead outside. So yeah, I hope that helps. Those are some books I've personally read. And if you are able to get one of them and start reading them, that will do you a lot of good. Follow up question. What are the must read books for entrepreneurs? Yeah, so I mentioned some of them actually already. Must read books for entrepreneurs, I would say those same books. Built to Last, there you go, by Jim Collins is another book. Built to Last. It's a white book. If you want to know how to do your mission, vision statement, purpose statement well, first time around, although when I read that book, I didn't do the mission, vision and core values that well. I made one, but I had to revise it soon after because it didn't work. But that book helped me to realize how to do it better. So now our core values are something that we really practice. We hire by them. We fire by them. We promote by them. We penalize by them, by the core values and it works now. So that book has helped me a lot in how to create the best core values that we can so that we can have a culture that really works that's about growth, that's about family, that has the least amount of politics, and it makes for a really wonderful, wonderful place to work in. So yeah, that is Built to Last by Jim Collins. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 29

11 min 7 sec

Sean: I'm wondering now, how young are you really? Are you like - I don't know, I have no idea. You look so young, but you have such an amazing experience already at work. Josef: So I'm 29. You know, so I got the job at Penn brothers when I was 20's, my board definitely didn't know that I was 26 that's for sure. But they didn't ask so I didn't lie, they just didn't ask, which is great. Which is different because here in the Philippines, you're allowed to ask, in the UK, you're not actually allowed to ask. Right? So they always have that going for me, yeah, in interviews you’re not actually allowed to ask that question. And I've been through this epic 180 when it comes to age in business and I'll explain why. I used to have the biggest chip on my shoulder. And I used to kind of go around with this. I'll even call it kind of obnoxious, but immature sense that I used to say at work - age is just a number. It means nothing like you can be CS you know, an MD, CEO at any age, which I still believe by the way that is still true, you really can because, you know. But I kind of always took it like a personal thing that I couldn't get CEO roles, because people were just like, who is this young kid basically? He needs to have more experience on the CV. And I always felt that that was unfair because it should be about, you know, ability and personality and attitude before actually doing that. I think you wrote a book on this subject, right? So I think for sure, you probably know about this way more than I do. And I wanted to break through that and I wanted to prove to people that you know, young leaders should be promoted and should actually have the opportunities, not just because there's an age on the paper, but because they're the best person for the job. Like that's the key, are they the right person for the job at the right time? But then actually funny enough, my last couple of years, and I'm sure this just comes when you mature and anyone who's younger and listening to this will probably hate me for saying this, but there is a lot in maturity right. There really is, and you always look back on yourself and say, what were you thinking? And the same here in five years, I'll look back on this interview and say, Joseph, what were those answers? For goodness sake. Because that's just the beauty of life, right? You do constantly evolve. Maturity just means that you just - you do get better. So you can become a CEO at 22. That's unbelievable. It's another level. You can become an MD at 26. It can be done. But at the same time, if there's someone who is older and trying to give you their wisdom and saying experience, I don't believe there's any need to look at that person and say, what are you talking about? I don't need experience. Because it has a huge amount of value. That's for sure. That was a long way to digress to your answer or your question of how old are you? Sean: And I completely agree with what you said, starting out young and having these major daunting responsibilities, such as being managing director and CEO at a young age, it doesn't help if your ego gets in the way. That's what I can say, for those of you who are young, driven, and have found some level of success, that is one major thing. You always have to push out of your way - your own ego. When people are giving you advice, listen, be hot iron and if the blacksmith strikes, you just make sure that you follow suit and learn from that. And yeah, I'm sure you have had a lot of mentoring moments. You're not going to get to where you are, if you're not open to other people's wisdom and learn from their mistakes, rather than just making your own. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 28

12 min 50 sec

Sean: From Niño, I’m 19 years old. I currently have three businesses – affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and local business. Wow, congratulations. Toni: Wow. Sean: It somehow hit a plateau. I'm in analysis paralysis. What do you recommend? I'm not sure why and how you hit a plateau, but I think it's about marketing. When your business hits a plateau, usually it's about marketing or product or service. Those three things are the major things that I look at. Is the product or the service being saturated already in the market that the demand is low and supply is high? If that's the problem, you have to innovate a new product, a new service, or on top of your product, or on top of your service, some value adds. If it's a marketing problem, it could overlap. The product and service saturation could also be a marketing problem at the same time. So usually it is a marketing problem. You're not marketing well enough and smart enough. I'm not sure what your business is, but the first thing I'd look at is search. My business is SEO. I manipulate search results for a living. So what I look at is what people search for in that industry. I use aquascape.ph. We had a lot of questions last time. Aquascape.ph is a website I set up just last year because of my aquascaping hobby. We’re selling almost every day, aquatic plants and livestock. Now I'm going to look at what people are searching for, like what plants are being searched for the most. And you can look at it on Google trends or you can use SEMrush. We're affiliated, so you could use my link. Go to from.seo-hacker.com/semrush. They have a free tier, so you could use their software for free actually. And you can check what people are searching for. How much volume does that search term have a month? So people are looking for blue shrimp, a hundred a month. Did it grow to 200 this month? Did it grow to 300 this month? So you can check that data and see, do I still have a really good market? How many competitors do I have sprouting up? What are they doing? You could also take a look at that if you're not so innovative, because there are people who lack imagination. They are not that innovative. So what you could do is you check out what competition is doing, either from here or competition that's not really your competition because they're from abroad. You could also look at the internet. Use the internet. That's what I'm going to be doing. Check the market, check your marketing, check your product and check your service and see where you could create a new niche market that you can serve.

Oct 27

12 min 22 sec

Sean: Now I'm wondering you are also the managing director of Penbrothers with maybe more or less 70 people working with you. What are some of those lessons that we can learn from you right now? Josef: Yeah, so I mean a huge amount, right? I don't think Humble would be anything like if it weren't for those experiences in Penbrothers. So I'm very, very lucky and thankful to my co-founders at Penbrothers and the entire team because I've had there over three years of really learning what it takes to lead a team, to build a startup, and to scale a startup. Right. I think we only had 17 people at Penbrothers and now we have pushing 80 people and we employ 500 people for other startups around the world. So I've been very lucky there, I think. But funnily enough, it also has no downsides, but it has as a funny, a couple of curveballs. And I'll give you one, which is more of a personal thing, it’s my fault, not anyone else's. But like, at Penbrothers right now I have a C team, right? So I've got a COO, a chief transformation officer. I have extremely senior people who I can rely on for all these different things. And so going from that, which is really just, okay, hi, Patrick, Tom, whoever it might be. This is the problem. Let me know what help you need to go and fix it. I'll speak to you in a week when we've got brilliant solutions on my table. Right? Fantastic. Compared to when I experienced a problem at Humble. I'm kind of looking around, where's my Patrick, my Tom, and my guy and there's no one, right? So there's no more delegation. It's almost like you've gone back 10 years in kind of how you run an organization and go from really delegating all these tasks to a big stable team, to getting your hands very dirty and doing it yourself. When normally that progression is the other way around. Right? Normally you kind of go from doing it yourself all the way up to eventually leading on this. So that's quite a, I hope slightly amusing kind of curveball there, but in terms of lessons learned, I mean, I think managing people, in general, is always one of the most crucial, if not the most crucial lessons learned. Because whether it's an intern, whether it's a COO, whether it's an investment board, whether it's a client or a customer, being able to manage relationships and speak to people, and understand the maturity of how that changes through time and how you need it. Adapt the way that you're speaking, depending on the culture or the person, the stage of the person, the feeling of the person is really an art form, which I think we never stopped learning. And that is something in Penbrothers. That's, I've really, really learned because I'll speak to sometimes very junior people, other times my co-founders, and completely different sensitivities as to how to speak to people there. So that's one I think. Another one I think is culture building, which again is, it's got similarities to that one. But culture for us is so important. And I think you learn that only when you've been in it, because of course we can see the big, beautiful companies, the Googles, the Canva's of this world, and we see all of this amazing culture. But to actually be there and experience how to build culture and is really, really important to then understanding what you do need to do, right. Things like that are so difficult and I learned that in Penbrothers, by making lots of personal mistakes, but also seeing some good times also with regards to culture development as to blossoming into what it is now. Because then of course in Humble, when you're starting from scratch, you get the chance to do it all again from the beginning. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 26

15 min 6 sec

Any advice to people who are starting a startup?   Toni: Sean’s the perfect person to ask. Sean: The most important thing is cash flow. Make sure your revenue is greater than expenses. Don't let other people tell you otherwise that passion is the most important thing, sleepless nights’ the most important thing. It's not. It's cash flow. As long as your revenue is greater than your expense, you're doing well. If expenses are greater than revenue, you're screwing it up and you're bleeding out and you have to stop that. So anything to make sure your cash flow is good, keep on doing that. If you have to sacrifice your own lifestyle, to make sure cash flow is positive, do it because I did it. If you need to sacrifice sleep for it, do it because I did it. You have to sacrifice a lot. That's why they say your startup is like a baby, it needs you. It needs a lot of nutrition. It cries, you know, it brats out. Toni: Attention. Sean: It needs a lot of attention. There you go. So you have to sacrifice a lot for it. The word sacrifice. That's why they say passion is also important because passion, the Latin word is pati, which means sacrifice. If you're not passionate about your startup, you're not going to sacrifice for it. But that doesn't mean if you're passionate about it, it's a good business. If cash flow is negative, no matter how passionate you may be about it, it's not a good business for you during that time. So, yeah, that's my advice. You really have to save. Sacrifice. You're going to go through a lot, but here's the great thing about it, you learn a lot. You learn a lot, not just about business, but about life and you learn a lot about other people. That's your tuition fee. The tuition fees are your sacrifices, the tuition fees are your effort, and if you lose money, that's also part of the tuition fee. I know people who started up and lost money in their first few startups. Now it's a blessing for me, I didn't have to go through that. My first startup SEO Hacker is already doing good, but I still had to pay the price by learning a lot from the wrong people I got in the company during the first years. So yeah, maybe that's the second advice I'm going to give you, make sure you hire the right people. Prolong the hiring process. Take your time in hiring them and hire ahead. Don't hire when you need them, because you're just going to hire whoever comes along because you need them. So hire ahead. If not, you’re going to be a hostage. And if you hired the wrong person, they're going to burn up your company, your startup. They're going to burn your baby. And since it's a baby, it's very vulnerable. So yeah, I hope that helps. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 22

14 min 40 sec

Sean: Joseph, one of the first things that I usually ask my guests is the startup journey because that is one of the things that I find people super interested in, I am super interested in and I find that my guests are super delighted to tell us the story. So we'll start with that. How did you get the idea of Humble? Josef: The story of Humble is an interesting one because. It's not like there was one clear moment and then suddenly humble was here. Right. It was really kind of a series of events I would say. And it really started when I met my co-founder, which was three and a half years ago, Nina and we were both working for a different company and we met and we really realized that our values are extremely aligned. And we really want to create something that was meaningful with genuine impact, but we just didn't know where to start. And we felt that our impact was almost insignificant because we were just a couple of people. So that sort of stalled the practicality of coming up with an idea, even though we knew we had to create something. Even sustainability back then really wasn't necessarily at the very front of our minds. It was just creating impact in general. So then the years kind of went by a little bit and we got to the end of 2019. And Nina and I went on a trip to the UK to visit my family actually, went to see my family. I tried to go back once every year. See it has been more difficult recently, but I still have family back in the UK. My mother happens to be a very active environmentalist. She's actually a member of this group called extinction rebellion. Non-violent protest groups really encourage governments to take action on our climate emergency. And I think she was probably the first real catalyst to show us, okay, sustainability is really, not just a problem, but it's an opportunity. And we saw that so many wonderful organizations out there trying to address this problem, you know. Greenpeace, extinction - so many, but not many of them were actually coming at it from a kind of solutions-driven, tech startup, positive points of view for consumers. And it's essentially a numbers game. The more people who take small steps towards living sustainably, the greater impact we have and the greater chance that we have of actually achieving sustainability. So all of this sort of spiraled into one and, you know, we were thinking of what kind of idea can we come up with? How can we do something towards sustainability startup? and Nina and she first came up with the idea of clothing, and kids' clothing. And I'm sure you can probably identify with this, but kids' clothes are very short in lifespan, right? And very quickly you buy and you spend on something new, and then you realize - okay, if I have a younger brother or a younger sister to hang this down too fantastic, then you get one use. If you have 2, 3, 4 children and fantastic, even more use. But at some stage, that stuff is just going to go to waste. So she came up with this concept of really circular kids' clothing and making sure that you know, how can we give one child's clothes to another, once they're finished using it and create this kind of circular ecosystem. I heard this idea and just thought, why don't we think a bit bigger, right? It's not just children's clothing that we're not using properly and actually enjoying the rest of our lifetime, but it's everything. We looked around. All of the clutter in our place looked at the plastic in the corner, the furniture that was kind of over here, but a bit dated, the clothes, the electronics, and realized what if we actually gave this service, which makes it extremely easy for someone to be able to declutter their home or office even, and give it a meaningful outcome, free of charge and will turn up when they want us to? Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 21

15 min 41 sec

What are factors I should consider before investing in anything? Toni: Okay, let's go back to the basics. We've said this first, determine your investment objectives. The second factor would be your timeframe. Are you going short term, medium term, long term? The third would be your risk appetite. Are you a conservative, moderate or aggressive investor? And then I would say the fourth would also be, another factor is the size of your fund because the strategy for someone investing 10,000 is different from someone who's going to invest a million. So you also have to take the size of your fund into consideration. And then the last one would be your knowledge in that investment. So how much do you know? Again, we're going back to the golden rule, never invest in something you don't understand. So those are factors to consider. Is there anything that you can add to that? Sean: I'd say, you should have something for emergencies first. Because if you invest and it hasn't made money yet, and usually investments take time. Right? So usually you’ll have losses. First couple of years, maybe the first three years, usually you will have losses. And then an emergency happened, you had to pull it out, you're going to pull out with a loss, which is, you should have not invested it and you should have just kept an emergency fund first. So make sure you follow the five steps to personal finance management. I would say that's very important because a lot of people make that mistake. They have no emergency fund, are not yet insured, and they went straight to investing. So I feel like that is a common problem because you get penalized when you pull out that investment to pay for an emergency. Toni: Right. So, establish your foundation first. Like what you mentioned, emergency fund and get yourself insured. In other words, you protect your wealth before you start accumulating it through investments. Because it’s also a waste, if you're going long term, you need to pull it up because of an emergency and you’ll be back to zero. So it’s a waste, it's just going to pull you back. It's going to pull you back further from reaching your long-term financial goals. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 20

11 min 38 sec

Sean: Now, the last question would be what do you do when you did your best to secure the first page of Google, top 10 results, you got your website, fantastic stuff. Get your social media platforms, edited it as best you could. And here comes a scandal that has your name on it. How do you get rid of that? Because we got people asking me that stuff. Well, not all the time, but there are those difficult questions that come by. What do you usually say to them? Jason: Well, there are multiple aspects of this, some of it - in fact, looking after your brand SERP, I've just said not only is it a great business card, it's helpful to your audience, it drives your digital marketing strategy, but it also protects you because if you've got control of the first two to three pages through content that you've worked on actively either you control your semi control. It's difficult for that negative content to then rank because it has to prove itself to be useful and valuable to your audience in Google's eyes. And that's very difficult to do from page five or page six. If you've done what I've just told you to do over the couple of two to three years. And you'll probably get very, very stable and that's the other thing is brand SERPs tend to be very stable once you've worked at them properly. You will have protection against that kind of problem. Then you have the question once it does happen, I'll tell you what not to do, and that's trying to drown it. Traditionally, ORM will say, let's create lots of articles and we will create so much content that we will do. Now, if you think that through it doesn't make sense and it simply doesn't work. Because what you're doing is creating brand new content that has no value in Google's eyes and expecting Google to put it right in front of your audience front and center. It won't do that. What you should do is what I call leapfrogging, is find the content underneath that is valuable to your audience that is helpful to your audience. And help Google to understand, that is better content for it to be showing your audience more representative of who you are more helpful to them than the negative content that's currently ranking. And then leapfrog over itfor it. Sean: Got it. I got an answer now. Thank you for that. Jason: In fact, as the brand search guy, I'm going against traditional. ORM techniques, online reputation management techniques, and saying the best way to do it is to control your brand SERP, then you control the message. If you control the message, that negative stuff has trouble getting anywhere near it. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 19

11 min 30 sec

Sean: Is it better to save or invest? I'll let you answer this one. Toni: Well, normally we all start by saving first because that's how you develop the habit. That's how you develop the mindset of simply doing delayed gratification. And then once you've established the habit, then you can start investing. But again, like what they say, if you just put, if you save most of your money in the bank, it loses to inflation, so might as well invest anything excess of your emergency fund. It’s like that. What's your take on that? Sean:  It goes hand in hand. It's not an either-or. It's not an either-or. They don’t compete. I would say, you have to save and invest. So you save first, build up your emergency fund, and then you save some more and use it to pay for your insurance, and then you save some more and that's what you invest. So, yeah, it's not an either-or. I can’t say one is better than the other. It's a process that you have to have both. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 15

11 min 28 sec

Sean: One of the things that I'm wondering about, so whenever I pitched to clients about SEO, it's going to be all about them and the ROI cause so a lot of business owners, that's the bottom line that going to matter, you know. How much money can you give back to me if I invest in your company, in my SEO, what's the search volume that I'm going to get every month, and how much of that am I going to be able to convert to leads or sales. But I could see that in your case, your branding is more of protecting your brand, making sure that your brand is ranking for what it's supposed to be. And you're represented well by your search engine results page. And I wonder, how did you have that conclusion that, oh, this is going to sell well, compared to selling SEO and selling them ROI, which is a lot of business owners like hearing that stuff? Jason: Yeah. I mean, if you look back at my career, which I've now walked you through, I didn't do music because I thought I was going to make boatloads of money. I did it because I enjoy music and I wanted to play music and entertain people. I didn't make cartoons because I thought I would make boatloads of money. I'd made cartoons because I wanted to educate children. I wanted to create something positive for the world, and I wanted to be a blue dog in a cartoon singing silly songs, which is a brilliant job if you can get it. By the way, anybody who's interested in getting it, it’s a great job. Those are two of the best jobs in the world. I do things because I believe they're fundamentally interesting, important, or helpful to people, whether those people know it or not. And I think brand SERPs is a great kind of follow-on, although, but it is saying, Hey, this is really important. It's actually really interesting. And you will get an awful lot out of it, even though you've never thought about it before. My job is to educate everybody. To say you don't have to work with me, but think about it. Think about how important that is. Think about how important that business card on Google is for you, for your business, for your bottom of the funnel, for your post funnel clients. In terms of conversions for the prospects, but also keeping those clients on board and not, not having them jump ship because you've got a bad result pitching up. And making sure they've got that consistent message all the time when they're coming to your website. As I mentioned earlier, their journey with you starts when they search for your brand name every time. Most people or a lot of people will come through to your site through Google and that message, they can see it potentially multiple times a day if they're using your services multiple times in the day. And you know, that's kind of message that sticks it's as important as your home page on your website, I would argue. And from that perspective, I am now saying, well, if I can push forward the idea that this is phenomenally important, even though I can't measure the ROI. From my perspective, personally, I'm doing something I'm really passionate about, and that is worth making less money as it were. So if I could make a million dollars doing SEO for people, which I probably could, I would rather make 500,000 doing brand SERPs and enjoy myself. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 14

11 min 39 sec

Sean: Where can I spend my money if I'm 13 years old? And if you're 13 years old, save it up, dude. I mean, if you have money as young as now that you've saved up. When you're as young as 13, the behavior is more important. The behavior, the mindset is more important because you're not yet worried about a lot of responsibilities if you're living with your parents. So just save as much as you can so that when the time comes when you have to support yourself, you have to support a family, you know how to save. You have that discipline, that behavior, and that mindset already with you. Money is all about behavior. Just as business is all about behavior. Most businesses close down 9 out of 10. It's not because of the economy. It's not because of the pandemic. It's because of behavior. A lot of business owners, the behavior is let's wait it out. March 2020, it’s ECQ, let's wait it out. Let's just wait and see. The government says, oh, by May or by June, we’re already okay, we're going back to normal. What happened? In May and June, nothing was normal. And those business owners are still in a wait-and-see mode and they've been bleeding out. It's a behavior problem. And finally, they closed business because they couldn't bleed out further. But those businesses that have the behavior of, we can't wait this out, we have to do something right now and pivot, they're the ones actually thriving right now. So business is all about behavior, just as money is about behavior. And when you're young and you're still in your formative years, I'd say 13 to 20 years old, it's still quite formative, although independently formative, rather than parental formative. So your parents aren't influencing you as much now when you're a teenager, all the way to when you're 20. You're being influenced and you're solidifying yourself, your identity, and your behaviors during these years. And so I'd say save up. Make sure to solidify that discipline that you can save money and you can say no and deny yourself some things that you want to buy. How about you, Toni? What's your take on this? Toni: You've said it all. When I was still, I wasn't even thinking about where to save yet and all. Actually, no. I posted a video back then of me making a video about how I budget my 20 peso allowance. So if you guys haven’t watched it, go ahead on my TikTok, you'll be able to see it. I was 10 years old and I was showing my 20 peso bill. And yeah, during that time I was already learning how to budget. Wow, at 13 years old. Okay. So if you're thinking about it now, then definitely in the years ahead, you'd be able to establish yourself. You'd be able to learn how to manage your money better because you're already thinking about that as early as now. It makes me proud. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 13

13 min 10 sec

Sean: A lot of people miss that out, don't they? When people search for their name or their company name, there's just stuff that gets in there that is not something that the person or the company would want in their brand. What led you to focus on being the brand SERP guy? Jason: And that's the interesting point. And that's a great question is from saying actually I didn't want the blue dog to be so prominent. It's not that I didn't want it there. I don't want to deny that I was the blue dog, but it's now relegated to a little image in the knowledge panel on the right-hand side. And the left-hand side is dominated by digital marketing stuff. The brand SERP guy, the knowledge panel guy. Basically, me expressing the brand message I want to project to my audience and the brand message I've built up so carefully on my own site, on my social media platforms, on every piece of content I publish, and in this podcast. The brand SERP guy, Jason Barnard does brand SERPs. He's a specialist in what appears when your audience Google's your brand name or your personal name. And that brand message is reflected in my brand SERP. And if you look up your own company name, I will bet my bottom dollar. The message you've worked so hard to build on your own website and on your social channels is not reflected accurately by Google that your brand message on that brand SERP is distorted and it doesn't need to be, you can actually control it. Google wants to show your brand message, if it can understand your brand message and your brand messages relevant and helpful to your audience, it will show the exact brand message you want. And it's up to you to make sure that Google knows what it is. It should be presented to your audience because of what's Google trying to do with that. When somebody searches your brand name, they're trying to get to your site or find out more about you. Google wants to show them your audience who are a subset of its users. The information and the opportunity such as videos, Twitter boxes, knowledge panels, links to your site, site links to the login page on here, or the contact page or the newsletter page. It wants to show all of these things if they are helpful, relevant, and useful to your audience. All you have to do is demonstrate in your videos, your Twitter boxes, your contact page, your newsletter page - are helpful and valuable to your audience searching your name on Google. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 12

13 min 23 sec

Is there a specific budget rule on how to save money? Toni: There's actually none, like we always say, personal finance is personal. In terms of the percentage of how much you allocate your savings, your investments, your operating fund, that's for you to decide initially. But they say, the old rule is the 50-30-20. Like 50% to your needs and then 30% to your savings and then 20% to your wants. But again, it also depends on your income. So the higher your income, then you also have to change the percentage that you set for your savings or for your investments. But in your case, how did you do it, Sean, when you first started out, like when you started having a system for your money? Sean: I went through a phase in my life where I was eating a pack of Skyflakes for breakfast and lunch. The thicker one. Toni: Me too. Sean: Yeah. You probably understand me when I say saving is a must for survival during that time. And I carried that over up to today. I mean, the toys that I buy are, it's just like you, you get your budget for crypto investment from your brand deals, I get it from my public speaking money. So whenever I have a talk and a client pays, I tell my wife, oh, this is my play money. This is not the company's money. This is my play money because I spent time and it's my one hour when I spoke there at that conference. So yeah, when I was starting out, I saved a lot. I probably saved 50% or more. Now I save 95%. So I only spend like 5% or 10%. I don't spend too much. I don't spend too much, especially now during the pandemic. If you keep buying stuff, your house will easily be filled with things and I already have too much stuff in the house and I have to get rid of some actually, so I save a lot. So for me, the rule is just to save as much as you can. Toni: True. What can help also is just to simply automate your finances already. Even in my case, what I do is when I receive income already, I set, I allocate a portion of that straight into my savings and straight into my investments, and I just spend whatever is left. It helps me better. So that at least with whatever money that's left, if I end up blowing it again, then at least that's fine because I've already saved initially before I started spending. So that can also help you. But if you're asking for a more specific percentage, just like what they say, if your cash flow is healthy if your operating expenses or your needs don't go beyond 60%, so maybe that can be a benchmark for you, but it still depends. It depends on how much you're earning. It's going to be different from a minimum wage earner and different from someone like Sean. So he saves 95%, which means 5% of his income goes to his needs. Right? Sean: Yeah, I just save as much as I can and live a simple life. Don't try to keep up with other people because you're never going to be happy. And you have to be at peace with yourself, meaning, you’re okay with yourself, who you are, you know who you are, you're aware of your character, you're aware of your identity and you're at peace with that, you're not going to need more stuff. What you're going to need is more maturity in life and in your spirit, that's it. You’d come to that point. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 8

10 min 25 sec

[00:00:00] Sean: Let's fast forward a little bit to the next company that you built. Why do you say that it was a very interesting time for you? You mentioned that you have 14 people you're working with you like them. They like you. What are some of the lessons that you learned from them? [00:00:16] Jason: Well, I mean the first company, I wasn't the boss, I was one member of the band who happened to have created the record company. Because I was the only person who had any kind of experience in money and business through the economics degree, although I didn't actually have any real experience. And then I got to Mauritius and we had, we create basically a blue dog and a yellow koala cartoon online. And we ended up with 5 million visits a month and a hundred million page views a month on the site for kids up to 10 years old. And obviously, I couldn't run that on my own. Initially, I did the first three years just myself. And when we got to Mauritius, I thought, right okay, I need to get a team together. So that they can help me, especially with the client support with the technical side, with the animations, which we weren't very good at, I wasn't very good at. And it turned up in Mauritius and it didn't occur to me that when you move from France, where there is 56 million people, incredibly well-educated country to Mauritius, where there are a million people and it's part of Africa and it's obviously kind of not got the skillset that I had come to expect in France. I didn't really think, oh, if I turn up and say, I need a PHP and my SQL developer, there actually won't be anybody qualified to do the job. And it was literally, that was my problem. And so I did, I announced, I advertised sorry for these jobs and it would be PHP, my SQL developer, cartoon animation, somebody else to do some cartoon animation, and I would get applications from people who had absolutely no idea what they were doing. And somebody came in and said, well, I do a bit of excel. And when you say excel, isn't, you know, high level - server level database management. It's excel, which is a spreadsheet and it's nothing to do with it. So then what I eventually realized was there was no point in trying to find people who could do specific jobs. I needed to find people and then fit the jobs to them. So, what I ended up doing is doing interviews for jobs that I advertise and then taking just the people that I thought, yeah, this is going to work out, we're going to get on. And then saying to them, what do you like doing? What don't you like doing? How can we build this job around you so that both you are enjoying the job, you're bringing value to the company, you know, moving the company forward? And that was an incredibly big wake-up for me, that helps me. It helps me out today because I'm doing the same thing again. But, you know, I got one guy who came in and he was supposed to be doing marketing and it turned out that he wasn't very good at marketing. He wasn't very interested in marketing, but he was really good at spreadsheets. And he was really good at calculating weight ratios, for words and pages for search engines. And I said, why don't you just do that? And he locked himself in his office for a month and came up with a spreadsheet, that could calculate the exact ratio of words you needed in a page to rank number one on Google, this was back in 2002. We ranked number one on Google. Some of the pages still ranked number one on Google, which is an astonishing achievement. And that was just a case of standing back and saying, actually, what are you good at mate? And he said, "well I'm, I like that and I'm good at that." And believing in his ability to do it and giving him the leeway to actually get on and do it. That was a big eye-opener. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 7

12 min 15 sec

Toni: And following up, I have a question for you. So when did you start saying that, “Ha! Okay, so I am financially stable now in your point of life? Let's make it more personal, I guess. When did you feel that you are financially stable? Sean: Oh man, it was a journey. I remember when I wanted to get married and here in the Philippines, that means a boat load of money, right? Especially in the Chinese community. So I'm Fil-Chi. I'm more of a Pinoy than a Chinese now because I speak better Tagalog than I speak Chinese. I’m actually not that good at speaking Chinese. And being Fil-Chi means you have to have like, 300, 400, 500 guests in your wedding, which is a lot. For me, it was a 500 guests wedding. And so I would be tilted to becoming unstable again, during that time. If you don't have those gaps in life where it's going to drain your money, like buying my first house. That was something that put me in debt. Was it a good debt? I would say so. I would say it was a good debt and I loaned my house for 10 years from the bank. But I had the discipline to attack that debt and pay it off in three years. And by God's grace, I was able to already pay it in three years. So again, it's not that complicated. It is difficult because you have to have a lot of discipline. There are times in my life where I become a lot less stable suddenly because I make investments and I loan from the bank, but I have a steady stream of income to expect. It will fluctuate because it’s a business. So business is not always good. Sometimes there’s a season that this is as good, and sometimes not so good. But still you can expect something there and you can project, that’s why I loaned 10 years to pay, just to be safe. If something happened unexpectedly, I have 10 years, the bank's not going to foreclose on me. But my goal is really to attack it in three years and be done with it. So I hope that sheds light. I'm not sure if I answered the question, but I hope that sheds light. Toni: Yeah, you did. You did. Like you’ve mentioned that it was a long journey for you until you actually became financially stable and you had to make a lot of decisions along the way, like getting mortgage loans and then getting married, expecting what? 300 guests? Sean: 500 guests. Toni: 500 guests. Okay. Sean: Yeah, that wedding was expensive, but it's for the parents. It's for your parents. That's how you honor them. How about you Toni? Since you asked me, we're comparing notes. I want to do the honor and give you the question back. When did you consider yourself being financially stable? Toni: Well, I would say when I first started to take on a lot of side hustles, I was not stable because sometimes I would get this amount of income monthly, and then sometimes there’s none. Freelancers here could relate because we don't really know when we are going to have that stable source of income. And even when I was earning on a good month, sometimes I would have nothing left to save and I guess it would be because of my spending habits. So I did start seeing or telling myself that I am financially stable when I'm able to put off this certain amount of savings monthly and I actually started investing. So that's when I realized, okay, I got the momentum and I think I am stable now because I expect a steady source of income coming in and I know how much to set aside monthly for savings. Then I got to do the things that I like, traveling and treating my parents. That’s it for me. That to me is when I realized I was stable financially. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 6

13 min 45 sec

Sean: So what are some of the lessons that you took away and that experience where you don't like the team, but you produce magic when you're on stage? Jason: Actually, that is an interesting question because number one is the team is together because we played well together. Not because we liked each other. So actually being on stage was the time that everybody kind of came together in a cohesive unit. And I think we got off stage and sulk in our corner. So the point of the team was the music. It wasn't the rest of the stuff. And when we were creating, we would argue, you know, writing songs, people argue all the time. And it was pretty, pretty boring a lot of the time. And if you ever got ill, it was really difficult to deal with. And one thing I learned there is, however tired I am, however pissed off I am with everybody else in the band. When it comes to saying I have two hours and I need to perform for two hours as I need to look happy for two hours, I need to perform, do a show for four or 500 people who have come to see us. However tired I am, however much I don't want to do it, how much I've argued with the people in the band, I can do it and it looks good. And that's the point from my perspective is you can always push through if you've got the willpower to do so. And a lot of that has to do with adrenaline. You get a little bit of adrenaline running and you can push through something for a couple of hours. And my way of thinking of that was saying - "yeah, I can always do it whatever happens" and you know, 600 times managed to, I mean, most of the time I actually really wanted to do it, but every now and then, you know, you're out a little or annoyed, you don't, but you can still get through. Sean: You know, It's something that I think I have to think a lot about because teams today, we don't operate like that. And you mentioned that you like to work with people you'd like, and who like you otherwise as leaders, we both know it's not sustainable. And when we're on stage, on-air, when in our business, we're not playing as well as we want to be like how you guys play on stage. Jason: Yeah, I think kind of the music, the creative side, and the fact that you've got a crowd of people who are getting really into it, means that you think. Well, actually what I think doesn't matter. I'm not here for me. I'm here for them, and therefore I will perform, and I will forget that maybe we had an argument just before we came on stage. If you search the barking dogs, the ace of spades, you'll see a video of us playing and you'll see that you know, it made a pretty good show. I'm very proud of what we did. And the other thing, of course, is even if you're underperforming a little bit, the other members of the team, the group can pull you up. With music, it's the whole thing, or it's nothing. So if I'm not up to or on form, somebody else will pull through for me as it were. So, you know, I kind of said, well, I can always pull through, but obviously I need help. And the team helps, the group helps the other people in the team-group help. And I think that thing is it's always for the audience and it's not for yourself. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 5

11 min 40 sec

How do you stand out in a client pitch amongst the competition? Client pitch is all about the client. It's all about the client. If you're able to read the client well, make them laugh, communicate well with them, connect with them, that's it. That's how you stand out because there are so many people in client pitches that really suck. They're really bad in pitches. They just read the PowerPoint, read from a script, or they have memorized the script already, the FAQ is in their head and they just answer it, you know, frequently asked questions by the clients. They don't even connect. So people who connect, that's really important. That's how I stand out because I make sure I connect to the people I talk with. I make sure that I make them realize, aha, yes, that's true. When people actually tell you you're right, those two words, that's very important. When they tell me in a pitch, “you know, Sean you're right.” I know I have them. Because rarely will you tell someone you're right unless you really agree with them. Sometimes people will say yes and that's it. But, you know, yeses I find are cheap. Yeses I find are cheap. Especially in a pitch when people are saying, yes, it's cheap. They probably said yes to the last guy, the last girl, who pitched. But when they say, “you're right, you know, you're right”, that's how you know you got them. So connecting with your, I would say purchasers or the C-level executives in a pitch that is critical for you and you have to hone that skill. Connecting with people is a skill. Taking the time to communicate with them so that they really understand what you mean, is a skill that you can hone. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Oct 1

13 min 6 sec

Sean: I want to know, how do you break a brand down? How do you simplify it? Is there a process that you use to do that? Jennifer: A lot of whiteboard space and markers and pens and paper? It's really just been like, just that, like, literally it has taken me a long time because they are some of the - one of the difficulties when you look at building a brand, it intertwines into really everything in your business. Right. It all kind of intertwines with your business. And there are so many layers in it that all work together that all affect it's - I always give the analogy of kind of like it's making like a sauce, the things you put into your brand, you add one thing and you change your color and it changes, it affects everything else and you're a brand, right? It is difficult, you know, and it's taken me a while to work out. Right. What can I give - self-false is the philosophy that it's a really powerful self-contained nugget that they can take and run with and never get, you know, never worked with us again. And it's been trying to pull those out and really just, like I said, honestly, just spending hours and hours going right. It started kind of with over a kind of a big program and then breaking that down. And if I have this module and this is, you know, a self-contained /module, right. Well, how can I break that module down now? And then breaking that down even more and just kind of working from there. And there's some stuff that I would never do as kind of micro kits because they weren't self-contained. That would probably do more harm to their business than good, you know if they tried to do it and didn't implement it correctly or do follow up with it. So it's pulling out those nuggets that I can give them. And then eventually in the membership, what I plan on doing is actually doing live teaching and the group in the community with some of the more complex. So filling in those gaps between the nuggets that they have and giving them that, giving them that kind of live interaction, that if they have questions or things like that, then that they can ask. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 30

15 min

Sean: How to foster employee loyalty? Loyalty is a two-way street. If you show it, they're going to show it back. If they don't show it back, those are particularly evil kinds of people. They pay evil with good, so get rid of them. But people who have a good heart, they're grateful, they have a debt of gratitude, that is what’s important. For me, people have to have a debt of gratitude. I’m one of the people who have a debt of gratitude, that’s why I also don't like owing people favors. I don't like owing people favors because I have a debt of gratitude and I feel like I have to pay it back. And some people, when they call the favor, it could be outrageous. You have to make sure that you have people in the team who have a debt of gratitude. They are grateful. They're thankful to you. They have loyalty to you for what you've done, for what you stand for, for the contributions you've done for the team and the company, for your character, and they respect you. All of those things play a huge factor. Also, if you have a certain employee in your team, who is disloyal to you, who gossips about you, who slanders you, especially if this person is in a higher position, like a leadership position, get rid of them. That's going to be a sickness and cancer in your organization. So that breaks down even the most loyal employees. That breaks them down. If you have someone in a leadership position, that's not loyal to you, get rid of them immediately. So yeah, there are so many ways. Showing your employees how good you are, and really, you know, having integrity. Being a one-man person at work, at home when no one sees you in your decisions, that is very important. Having integrity is very important. Serving and helping your people is also very important. Teaching them, making sure they learn the craft, making sure they're successful at work, at what they do, that fosters loyalty. There are so many ways to build it. And there are also so many ways that it could break down. Sometimes it's not your fault. Sometimes it's just because you're keeping disloyal or evil, particularly evil people in your team, especially in the leadership role. So yeah, I hope that answers your question. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 29

12 min 30 sec

Sean: One of the things that you mentioned earlier, step back, look up. I'm sure you've had those weeks where you feel like you're gripped by your business or by your clients and your quality of life as an entrepreneur suffers. I've been there and it's horrible because I am hot-headed, ill-tempered, and I feel stressed often. What are some of your best pieces of advice? I'm happy to say I'm a little bit done with that right now. Just a little bit, but I have some ways to go. It's clear for me what I have to do though, but there are some people that just don't know where to start. They just think they can't take that two weeks off. If they do the house is going to burn down. What are some of your best pieces of advice to entrepreneurs who are in that rut? Jennifer: Radically, you know, that's been a lot over the past year and that's a lot that I haven't marketed on because it was just me, you know, now in the business had a business that completely changed. You had so many of the things going on and really my life was chaos and it's, you know, to say the least. So I think it's looking and finding the flow. I think at first of all, it's realizing that you need to build a business that suits you, that makes you happy. Now, happiness and hard work can go together. I think a lot of times people think, oh, it has to be easy. No, we can work hard. You know, when we do need to work hard. Well, that doesn't mean we aren't happy in the business that we're building. So I think, first of all, it's getting clear that the business that you're building, isn't modeled off some internet guru, you know, going, oh, put up the sales page and get, you know, 500 million pounds. And it isn't, it's built for you. It's built that works with your life, work with your schedule, works with the amount of time that you have available to put into it. So we're not completely overloading ourselves and going right. I have to do 30 hours' worth of work, but really I only have 15 hours. You know, available on my schedule because of kids or whatever the case might be. So it's fine. It's, it's being aware that yes, here's what I have to put into the business and getting very clear on that and setting those boundaries. Now, then you may find, yes, you need to work an hour in the evenings, you know, or two hours in the evenings after the kids go to sleep. And maybe that allows you to take dinner time off, you know, to spend with the family after school and things of that nature, you know. For instance, that's something that I do. It's getting clear on what you want your business to be, getting clear on what is going to make it, it makes you happy to be in your business when working. And then also finding flow and finding, you know, and it's hard for early entrepreneurs to kind of do this, but setting, setting boundaries, maybe theme days, you know, you can say right, getting rid of a lot of context switching, you know, when we do a lot of context switching, we're bouncing from one thing to another. It's completely wasting time. I believe also, and again, this is something that I worked very hard to sort of weed out is working on their own things of their own time. So it's, it's finding the right, what is it that I need to work on right now? What's, you know, what's the major thing. Do I really need to do five podcasts? Do I need to have a YouTube channel and do a need to, you know, be on Facebook for three hours, scrolling endlessly and you know, the part about in canva for two hours? No, keep it. We need to keep our time lane. We need to find flow. We need to find our focus on what are the main things that are going to move the needle in our business. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 28

13 min 13 sec

Sean: I know a lot about my craft, but not about how to start and run a company. What do I need to do to change that? You have to learn how to start and run the company. So how to start a company is not that hard. In terms of legal speak, you just have to register it in DTI or SEC, if you want to go corporate right away. So starting a company is not that hard. Running it is a lot harder. So hiring people, making sure that you serve your market well, making sure that you're still the best at what you do, those are the things that I think are going to make it difficult for you. Leading people as well is very hard. Managing them also is very hard. Two different things, but both hard things that you need to do. Yeah, those are some things that you're going to have to learn from mentors, from books, from podcasts. I learned a lot of them when I was starting out from books. And I had a couple of mentors as well, who I could ask questions. So this is a really good thing that you're asking me this question because now you're going to have ideas. Some books that I suggest you start with are Start with Why by Simon Sinek and Good to Great by Jim Collins. Those are really good places to start with. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 24

11 min 51 sec

Sean: Grit is even more important than standing up when you fall down, that's even more important than being a great leader and a great speaker when you're in the world of entrepreneurship. Life is hard. I'm sure you would agree. And the sooner people realize and accept that the better you're able to deal with it. I haven't met a pessimistic entrepreneur yet, all entrepreneurs I believe are optimists. But what do you tell people who are in the rabbit hole, you know, in their minds, they're going into a downward spiral? They feel like they're a victim of life and they feel helpless. What are some of the things that you tell them? Jennifer: Number one, I would say to look up. You can't see the light if you're always looking down at your feet. If you're always looking down, you're going to continue to dig down so try and change your perspective. You know, look up, look at, try and look at things differently. Look at things from a fresh point of view, step back for a week. You know, step away from your business for a week, if you need to, or two weeks, and then come back to it and maybe you'll have a new, I mean, sometimes it could only be a couple of hours. You step away from something and you come back and you have a different point of view. I think that's important, you know, try to look up. I think also, and this, you know, I'm very blunt and very honest, I think you have to - I think there is sometimes no easy way through it. You just have to stick it out. It can be crap at times and it can feel very difficult, but we have to just kind of say to ourselves, right. I can get through this, I can get through this.  You know, and at the end of the day, nobody's making you be an entrepreneur and nobody's making you run your own business. If you feel it is too hard and doesn't such a situation that you have, because like you said, things and life change, you know, things happen and it's okay. It's okay. If it doesn't suit you as well, you know, you don't beat yourself up because it's not working for, you know. So don't be afraid and don't beat yourself up if this isn't for you. That's fine. You know, if it is for you and you, and you're saying, no, this is what I'm driven to do. I have to see my ideas out there. Look up, change your perspective and just say to yourself, I'm going to get through this. I have to get through this. Yes. There are going to be bad times. But imagine then when things start to get better, how good that's going to feel. Think forward, look forward and say, right and a year from now, where could I be with this? Where can I be with my business? Where could it be with my brand? What could I be doing? What major impact could I be having? What ideas of mine could be out there? You know, having an impact and inspiring or empowering her, whatever it is that you want to do with your business. So it's having that forward thought and that perspective I think. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 23

16 min 8 sec

Sean: How do I know when it's possible for me to turn my hobby into a business? When there is a viable market. When they actually want to buy from you. When what they want to buy from you is something that you can source or produce. So speaking from one of the experiences that I have had, I turned my aquascaping hobby into a small micro-business. So I sell aquatic plants and livestock on the website, making the price very competitive by checking out what's in the market and it's doing quite well. It's doing quite well, I would say. Before I turned it into a business, I had an overflow of stock. And I know I'm going to have a weekly overflow of stock that I'm not going to use and I'm just going to throw away. So I decided to start the website so as not to throw away those plants and those fishes because they're overpopulating already. They're overgrowing the tanks that I have and it would be a waste. So instead of throwing them away, I put them for sale on the site. And I don't run ads. I don't want to oversell them. So I don't run any ads. It's just SEO. People search. They find the website. They add to cart, checkout, and we got a sale going for aquascape.ph. So for me, that's how I turned it into a business. I realized there's demand. And I realized that the competition is not really that great. They don't have their own website. They're not organized. And I figured that might be something that people would want to shop from, a really good website, good experience on mobile and desktop. And it just so happens that I have SEO-Hacker, and it's something that we can do. So there's my competitive advantage there. And we just shot at it, you know, gave it a shot and it's working pretty well. That's what I could say. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 22

15 min 56 sec

Sean: We can't really see the numbers or imagine the numbers in our heads when you say you have to build a brand, build a good brand. What are the returns? What are some of the things that you tell clients who asked you this question? If there are any of them. Why should I build my brand? Why should I focus so much energy and effort and money on it? What could I put that in sales and marketing and HR and operations? What would you tell them? Jennifer: Well, I think the biggest thing that I say to our community at Brand Evolution and the students would be that it's kind of a saying I'm known for whether you like it or not. You have a brand and make it work for you and not against you. Because as soon as you walk into a room, as soon as somebody sees a social post, as soon as somebody hears you speak, listens to your podcast, anything they're actually interacting with your brand. So if you could imagine, you know, your business is like a donut. So the audience is the outside run of the donuts and your business is the center of the donuts. See all that space in between, that's your brand. It's the space between your business or your products and your people or your audience. And we need to fill that space. So now we cannot make people think, feel, and say certain things about them, about us in our business, but we can influence that. And that's really where your brand comes in. It helps to influence and helps to impact what your audience and hopefully one day your customers think about you or your business, I should say, how would they feel about your business and what they say about your business? Because after all, that's what we want. We want our people to love our business and our brands. We want them to buy and we want them to share. And that's really where your brand comes in. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 21

18 min 31 sec

 What type of services do financial advisors provide? Toni: I would say, you know, a common question that's in line with that is, do people really need us? And that's a common question that I get, even on TikTok. Come to think of it, today, the most common problem that we see is that people have, you know, there's a lack of financial education. I mean, you can admit that they don't really teach personal finance in schools, or at least in my school, they don't. And number two is that they don't have a financial game plan. And then number three is they don't also have their own financial coach or a financial mentor. So we can all agree that people need guidance when it comes to their finances. And I would say that there are times wherein, you know, a lot of financial advisors, they’re a number of them just push products. Right? But you know, that should not be the case. And in my team, we’re trained to do it the right way. So what we do basically is, okay, let me visualize it. So there's this point A which is their financial situation now, and then their point B. So part of our jobs is to know what their goals are. How can they reach from point A to point B? Or how can you bridge their gap? So when clients approach me, they're looking for something bigger than what they have now. It's either insurance, educational planning, or health insurance or retirement funding, and all of that. So there's always a gap. And most of the time they don't even know it. Like, let's say for example, when I do a policy review or when I tell someone that, okay, do you have insurance? You'd be like, okay, I have a policy already. But then when you do the calculations, when we do the numbers, you can see that sometimes there's a gap. They actually need like 3 million coverage for their whole family, but they only have one million. So in other words, we help clients reach their goals. We help them bridge the gap between point A and point B in a sense, you know, you can see us as financial doctors. So right whenever you go to a doctor, doctors ask questions and then from there on, they make a diagnosis. So it's the same for us, right? We ask questions and if the clients give us the right data, then we can give the right recommendations. Because our rules at the end of the day are to help them reach their own financial goals and identify those gaps. Now, to be specific about the services, as I've mentioned, we do insurance planning, we do educational planning, investments, we also do debt management, and even tax planning. But there are also other financial advisors that offer more services. So there are financial advisors who are also accountants. Or there are also financial advisors who are lawyers, right? So you can also get extra services from them. And, you know, it really depends on every financial advisor. So those are the services that financial advisors usually offer. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 17

12 min 57 sec

Sean: What are some of the most common problems that people tell you, people, who work as an employee, that you are able to help them with? Lou: A lot of the time, so it usually starts with team dynamics can often be an issue and people not knowing how to best handle a dominant manager for example or an unmotivated team member. And what I always say to people in that respect is you can't control those other people's behaviors. What you can control is how you respond to those. And so I teach them tools and techniques to allow them to get to know themselves better so that they are then better equipped at handling all the different kinds of people. Another really key thing is their own self-belief and self-confidence, self-esteem, you know, all of the rest of it that has probably been instrumental to the fact that they're still there. They're still somewhere that they may realize they shouldn't still be, because they've been there for 10 years, 20 years, however long. And that comes down to their own sense of self-worth and their own sense of self-esteem, self-confidence to actually do something about it. And so we do a lot of work around that as well. We unlock all of those old stories that we carry around with us, or that, you know, that I often refer to it like a backpack full of rocks. It's all our old bullshit stories from childhood, from, you know, experiences of the past that create our limiting beliefs, that creates our, you know, our fear-based behaviors. So I just help them unpack that rucksack and reframe those old stories and they go away feeling a lot lighter. Sean: That's awesome. So it's mostly about coworkers. Now let's go to the business owners because they come to you because they're stuck somewhere in their life. Right. That's usually the case. What are some of the most common problems of business owners when they come to you and look for a solution? Lou: Lack of a clear strategy, overwhelm, and again the lack of self-belief. And this is where I, being a self-love advocate because I really helped them do so much work on themselves. They become unstoppable. So that mix, that combination of getting to know yourself, getting to know your, your own limits and setting in place a really clear strategic direction, but then in their business. Is it completely tailored to where they want to go? I don't believe you can have one without the other. You can have all the strategies in the world, but if you don't believe in yourself, you're not going to get to where you want to be. And you can be the most confident person and have, you know, doing all of the inner work. But if you haven't got a clear strategy for where you're going again, you're not going to have a successful business. So those two, and we integrate the two so much so that they step into their own self-belief. They step into their own unlimited selves, knowing where they're going and knowing who they are and that sets them off. So yeah, they often come to me because they are, they've got, overwhelmed. Like we talked about before that shiny object syndrome, they tend to do all. They haven't got quite the clarity. And I'll tell you the number one thing that people often come to me with and they haven't realized that they're not doing. They haven't truly nailed who they're talking to, why they're talking to them and how they can help them. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 16

14 min 31 sec

What type of coach should people in transition seek - career shifters, aspiring freelancers, or entrepreneurs? How does one decide if they need a coach or a mentor or expert in the field they want to pursue? For me, I'm more of a mentor than a coach. Although I am a certified John Maxwell coach as well as speaker, but my style is more of mentorship because I do share my experience. Of course, if you want a field in ballet, you should never get me as your mentor because I have no experience in ballet. But if you want to do it, if you want to go start a business, I could help you there. So I think you have to seek people who have gone the way, made mistakes and stood up, and became successful. I think those are one of the best mentors to get. Coach? I would say, a lot of mentors have helped me, definitely. I do have a coach right now. I am being coached to help to balance my life. That is one goal I want to have this year because I'm just choked with a lot of work. So I did hire a coach and yeah, so far so good. So far so good. What's your take on this, Toni? Toni: Well, I would say to help out Mitch, maybe, the first thing that you need to identify is, what is it that you want mentorship around? So you need to identify what your mentorship objective is. Because if there's one thing that I learned by meeting different mentor circles is that there's no such thing as one mentor for everything.  So you look for people whom you want to model. So even in my case, I have a mentor in the insurance industry. I also have another mentor for social media branding or social media growth. And then I have Sean Si whom I consider as my mentor when it comes to leadership. Right? Leadership. I even have another one just simply for, like what said more of like a life coach. Right? Because, you know, that's why I'm very grateful that I have a trusted female mentor that I can turn to for advice and inspiration even as someone who is still quite new in the finance industry. Her name's Joan. I'm not sure if she's tuned in, but you know, she taught me how to become a tough performer. She taught me how to build relationships with clients. So in a sense, when you do have a mentor/coach, you can model them so that you can accelerate your own success. So it really helps when you have guidance who can help, especially when you're starting out new in the industry that you want to be in. Sean: Yeah. Very good answer. So with mentors, if you do get a mentor, there are things that are important for a mentor. Number one thing that's important is you remember what the mentor gave you. The advice. Number two, you actually do some of it. Whether you do it exactly as the mentors said it, or maybe how you think is best, doesn't matter as long as you do something about it. And you have to be the one to schedule routinely with your mentor. So I do have a mentor right now. I am learning. A lot actually. Super. I am learning so much. And I scheduled with him and I wrote my questions before I met him. That's so important because there are some people who come to me for mentorship, sit down and then, you know, like nothing, we just talk. But, you know, a mentor-mentee relationship is all about asking questions. So before I ask this person for one hour of his time, I make sure that I have a lot of questions already. Questions that I really want to know the answer to and how he's doing it. And then when I sit down that one or I ask it. And after the one hour is done, I make sure to cut it there. I don't take up more of his time. That's how I do it. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 15

13 min 39 sec

Sean: How about the people who were so passionate and the purpose was clear at the get-go. I mean, I'm going to take you as an example since we already have your story here, you started out, you said you love your job. You were in your twenties and then moving to your thirties, forties, somewhere in between the line got blurry. It's not, I don't believe it's just, you're a bad boss, although that does contribute a lot to kind of mud - muddling, muddying down your passion in your purpose. Right. But somewhere in between, and this happens to a lot of people and they lost their passion because they lost their purpose. When does that happen usually? And what triggers that? Lou: Well often it's such an unseen thing that it can happen so slowly. It usually just gets eroded away over time. I think what happened to me was, and I don't think in my twenties when I was loving what I was doing, that I realized I was fulfilling my purpose. I was just doing what I loved and looking back now I can see that it was really aligned with my values. And I think then we change. We grow don't we - we moved to new jobs. We moved to different careers and we think that that's going to be the golden bullet and it isn't, the grass is always greener.  And that's the danger, I think because it can be very difficult to recognize that the passion and the purpose of, you know, disappearing because it can be such a slow, unseen process. And it can be, you can get 10, 20 years down the line, turn around and look back and go, how did I get over here? I was supposed to be over there and, and, and that's the danger because people don't realize it's happening. You know, when either they get so sick because they're so stressed out or whatever, or, you know, like hit a milestone birthday or something like that makes them just stop. Or, you know, the global pandemic has made a lot of people stop and reevaluate their life, that you can turn around and look back at your journey and say, was I really supposed to be here? And that's when it happens. But I think overall it's a slow sort of eroding of your purpose and your mission. Sean: And this is why it is so important to have, if not a daily then every other day, right. Just stop, pause, take a walk, think, breathe the fresh air, journal and realize, am I still on track with my life's purpose? Lou: Yeah. I couldn't agree with you more. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 14

12 min 22 sec

What should I invest my money in – insurance, stocks, et cetera? Toni: You know that's probably my most asked question even on TikTok. And the reason why I cannot always give a direct answer is that I don't know what your goals are. So, you know, the word best investment or perfect investment is relative. So it really depends on what your goals are. Okay. So the first thing that you need to do is to set clear goals with achievable targets. So that's very essential when it comes to financial planning. When I ask people, okay, what is your goal? Sometimes they'd say, okay, I just want passive income, but you need to be more specific. How much do you want to earn on an annual basis? Or at what age do you want to retire? And from there on, you'll be able to identify what investment strategy is suited to get you or to help you reach that goal of yours. And then the first thing that you can also consider is your timeframe. So there are many different investments that they're suitable for short-term investors, for midterm investors and for long-term investors. So let's say, if you're going short term, then the options are money market funds, their bonds, government bonds. And then if you are looking for midterm, there are balanced funds. And then if let's say you want to go long term, then there are stocks or even crypto. Right? And then of course, another thing that we have to consider is your own risk appetite or your risk profile. So you need to identify if you are a conservative investor, meaning you're more suitable for low risk, low return type of investments, or are you moderate or are you aggressive. So from then on, if you're able to assess your own profile, then you'd be able to identify which investment vehicle suits you best. And you can seek out credible experts who can help you out with the financial process of that or simply do your research. Sean: Perfect answer. I mean, I couldn't add so much more to that. Maybe I'll take on the personal growth route in answering this. I'd say you should also invest your money in yourself, growing yourself, and paying for more education. I always say during my talks, when people hire me to speak about how I became CEO at 22, I say, do not let your schooling interfere with your education. A lot of people when they graduate, they think that's it. This is as much as I could grow and school has helped me and I have the diploma to prove it. And that's it. Finally, I get to work and make money. That's a problem right there. Education, learning, it never stops. And if you stop with school, then you are actually leaving a lot of money on the table because there's so much to learn. There's so much to invest in when it comes to knowing more about it. I have had a lot of investment paying for things that I learned, public speaking, leadership, some certifications, profiling people, being able to read them better, being able to lead and coach them better as well. And it has paid off in dividends for me. So at the end of the day, it's not all about money. It's not all about passive income. It's not all about retirement. It's also about, how much growth did you have as a person? How many moments did you have in life? Because life is made out of moments, not really of a balance sheet. So yeah, I hope that helps. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 10

12 min 48 sec

Sean: So I'm going to tell you, I'm going to tell you it's - something that I don't really share out there, but I'm a certified John Maxwell coach and speaker, but I find that coaching is not something that I love to do, because coaching requires a lot of listening to people. And helping them figure out within themselves. What's the solution is, I'm more of a mentor, like ask me questions. I'll tell you the answer. Let's keep it short and sweet. That is something that I highly respect for coaches because it takes a lot of patience and a lot of listening to be a coach. But I've seen the results, there's a lot of happiness. There's a lot of positivity and realization with the person after each session. It's amazing. And you mentioned earlier in the pre-show that the reason why you're doing this guesting on podcasts, sharing your wisdom is to make a positive impact in the world. I just want to know, where did that come from? Because that comes from somewhere very deep. It's not every day that you meet people who say that “I want to impact the world positively.” Lou: When I'm working with my clients and they have a breakthrough, or they, you know, like you say, being a coach is about holding the space for them to realize what's already inside them. And I very much see my job as, like you say, listening to that, and just asking the right questions to help them see what's already there, asking difficult questions at times and challenging questions. But whether they have that breakthrough or when, when I get messages from my clients saying, I've just done this today, I couldn't have done it without you. That is so rewarding. My clients come to me and they've got big goals. They've got really big goals. They want to find out, figure out why they're here, find out their purpose so they can have more fulfillment in their life. But what they don't realize when they come to me is that it will make them better parents. It makes them better partners. It makes them better colleagues. It makes the better friends daughter, husband, et cetera. Because of the small incremental changes that they're making in their life, as well as the big huge changes. And to see that and to see the difference. And we were chatting before, when we were about there, the ripple effect of changing one person's life, doesn't just change one person's life. It changes another 10, 20 lives indirectly. And having seen the power of that on my own coaching journey, I know I'm a much, much better person now. I have coaching myself. I have a couple of coaches that I'm working with. It means that I have stepped into the best version of myself, which allows me to help others become the best versions of them. And yeah. If we can, by inspiring one person to go, "I want to figure out what my purpose is. I want to know what my values are. I want more fulfillment in life." I want to be part of that ripple effect of positive impact. Then that can only be a good thing. We need more positivity in the world. We need more people who want to make a difference and that's absolutely vital. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leadershipstack Join our community and ask questions here: from.sean.si/discord Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershipstack

Sep 9

14 min 4 sec