Mads Singers Management Podcast

Mads Singers

People Management and People Innovation are dynamic concepts in today's dynamic space. Joining with me in this show are successful business leaders and entrepreneurs, sharing their key ingredients in their business success.

We’re here to share the real stories of today’s business boots trappers!

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Today’s guest in the Mads Singers Management Podcast is none other than the sales evangelist, Donald C. Kelly! Donald runs an organization called The Sales Evangelist, where he and his team create a podcast and other business resources. He used to be a software sales rep who was very successful in his career. Donald shared what was working for him and enabled him to get coaching opportunities, speaking opportunities, and even consulting to companies where it grew. Now Donald has 14 individual teams where they do consult and sales training with their clients. He is also the host of The Sales Evangelist Podcast, where he and his team product podcasts for their clients.Although it’s common for business owners to pass the torch to the next generation to focus on more critical business tasks, it cannot be successful if one does not delegate duties and responsibilities effectively. Effective delegation enables business owners, and managers must be able to plan efficiently.While the pandemic has allowed more people and businesses to be flexible, it has also made more people become easily distracted because many people are working from their homes and can easily be pulled into rabbit holes. Donald shares his top 3 things on how people can manage their time better: (1.) Focus on the essential things on your list first (2.) Breaking down your time to 15 to 30 minutes to get things done, allowing room for error, and lastly (3.) Allowing yourself to have time for fun.While the new normal may seem scary for most people, we can take small steps to improve our quality of life, whether at work or at home. While a schedule can help fast track a project or close a business deal, entrepreneurs shouldn’t focus on how much time is being spent on a particular task or project but rather on the output instead. Of course, you’ll need to communicate this clearly with your staff or team members.Key Learning Points: Donald shares his top 3 tips on how business owners can manage their time efficiently:  (1) Planning and categorizing your days, (2) Give yourself 15-30 minutes chunks of time and giving yourself room for error, and (3) Have time for yourself to have fun and plan your day before. - 06:31 Mads agrees that many business owners and entrepreneurs tend to do too many things for their business, but it doesn’t help their business move or grow at all - 11:26 Mads adds that people should know and focus on their core priorities and make sure that they work on things or tasks that help move them closer to their goals.- 12:06  Donald says that business owners shouldn’t push something off to a person if they don’t know what’s supposed to be done. - 12:38 Mads says that it’s better to delegate the things you don’t know to other people when growing a big business instead of figuring it out by yourself. - 13:59 Mads says that too many people focus on the process instead of the outcome - 19:30 Donald says that while we can fill up our calendars, it’s essential to use your time effectively and allow some room for error. - 24:12 Donald adds that people should do a daily recap when their work ends to be ready for the next day. - 24:24 Donald shares that it’s essential for business owners and managers to plan a fun time for themselves and their team, especially with the world dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and adjusting to a new normal in life. - 25:06 Donald says that it’s essential for you to nurture this culture to your team or staff, especially with many working remotely, so that things will flow more smoothly. - 26:53 Resources Mentioned:15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs by Kevin Kruse The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian P. MoranDonald’s planner templateConnect with Donald:Facebook GroupInstagramThe Sales Evangelist PodcastWebsiteLinkedInTwitterEmail

Nov 24

32 min 27 sec

We’re doing something a little different for this week’s episode in the Mads Singers Management Podcast because this week’s guest is none other than Dr. Emil Goliath, a doctor, and entrepreneur. Dr. Emil worked for four years as a full-time doctor until he decided to call it quits and become an entrepreneur as he was fed up with the system of modern healthcare, and he didn’t have the freedom to live the life he wanted. While entrepreneurs are undoubtedly the kings and queens of delayed gratification, Dr. Emil said that he witnessed countless times where entrepreneurs have neglected their health only to reach the peak and be in bad shape. Instead of doing extreme workouts and crash dieting, we can take baby steps that can help shift us to at least 1 degree towards being healthy because getting fit and staying in shape shouldn’t be a competition yourself or others.It’s like building a new habit or replacing an old one with a good one where we slowly start until it eventually becomes a lifestyle. Although many attribute speed and taking on several things at once with entrepreneurship, it isn’t a practical way to succeed with your goals, especially in today’s world where we are constantly bombarded by faux practical advice easily shared through our social media platforms. Nowadays where it’s often paired with aggressive marketing to sell us products that promise to deliver instant results. And because such things bombard us, we tend to overeat the food and information we see around us.We don’t need to do drastic things immediately, like going on a crash diet or going from 0 to 100 when exercising. Instead, we can do small and gradual stuff until we get used to them. And with things slowly opening up worldwide, we can try joining a class or going to the gym. It’s also essential to hire a personal trainer to know what you are doing and get the best results possible. With such busy schedules, we entrepreneurs must have flexible routines as much as possible. However, just because it’s flexible doesn’t mean we should allow other things to overlap, and we completely forget about it.Key Learning Points: Dr. Emil says that health is a massive part of the hustle and our lives, that it is intrinsically connected. - 04:23 Instead of doing extreme exercises or crash diets, Dr. Emil says that we should ask ourselves what small things we can do today can shift us to 1 degree towards being healthy. - 05:07 Rather than doing all things at once, Mads says that entrepreneurs should take the slow and gradual way instead- 05:45 Dr. Emil shares about the 80/20 rule, where although it sounds cliche, he says that we should do things that have more bang for our buck because when we start with things that make the most impact, even small changes can give us a positive effect. - 07:29 Dr. Emil says that one of the best ways to intentionality, especially in eating, is being aware of your food and tracking your food. - 11:46 While data is essential in making choices and changes in life, we shouldn’t overanalyze it. Instead, we can improve our relationship with the information we have. - 17:37 Mads uses sugary food as an example and how it impacted him. He then says that once you realize how it affects you, it will be easier for you to be aware of its effects and become more conscious when presented with another opportunity. - 21:19 Dr. Emil recommends building an easy exercise routine that you can do regardless of where you are and combining it with some resistance and strength training- 30:23 Dr. Emil continues that doing optimal exercise is almost moot, especially if you don’t commit yourself to it. - 30:55 While many struggles with being consistent in their workout routines, Dr. Emil suggests that it’s better to give 20% every day when working out rather than pushing for 75% or 100% for five years and achieving minimal results. - 35:14 Resources Mentioned:The Four Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy FerrisConnect with Emil:WebsiteFacebook PageLinkedInInstagramTwitterDr. Emil Nutrition Website

Nov 17

39 min 15 sec

My guest today for the Mads Singers Management Podcast, is Renata Porter, the Founder of Renata Porter Limited and a motivational speaker. Renata calls herself a "serial fixer" because she is the one people call when their teams or managers are not working how they intend to. She also helps small business owners and non-profit youth sports clubs accomplish their goals. Renata and her team's in-depth knowledge and experience with their "people focus" help clients take intentional and meaningful approaches to lead in their respective fields and organizations.Contrary to popular belief, managers, business owners, or any person who manages people or has people report to them perform better when not in their area of expertise. When people are in their area of expertise, they tend to interfere with the natural flow of things and micromanage their staff or processes. An essential aspect of being a manager or business leader is not about the perks, power, or money you take home. Still, it's about being able to communicate with your employees so you can get them motivated to work by putting their best performance forward. Take the time to get feedback from them. If they don't give you feedback, consider it a lesson learned, as it will quickly tell you which employee is having problems and needs helps or who has something to say. However, this doesn't mean you have to be their best friend but rather have a good enough relationship with them to be told if they need to render extra hours or pick up some slack if they are falling behind at work.As a manager and business owner, you need to be aware of how you approach people because not everyone is on the same wavelength as you: some are naturally more inclined to start independently. In contrast, others may prefer to be given direction. While some fear that management styles may change or revert to their old ways, I don't believe that will happen because you will encounter fewer of those kinds of problems when you hire well. We cannot communicate enough. It's okay to share a lot because communicating effectively isn't just about talking but also listening, clarifying, understanding, and not jumping into decisions or conclusions hastily.Key Learning Points: Mads says that one of his favorite things is when people work in an area/expertise that they don't know well because it allows them to work more efficiently than when working on their area of expertise. After all, they tend to interfere with the processes. - 03:18 Renata says that many managers tend to get sucked in the "doing" part instead of focusing on the leadership roles - 03:45 Renata says that she is the kind of person who will sit down and discover why someone feels a certain way with their tasks or projects. - 05:22 Renata believes that business owners, managers, or anyone who handles and manages people should connect with them on some level. - 07:09 Mads says that the most important thing a manager will do is build relationships with their staff. - 08:30 Renata says that most companies don't spend time training someone to be a manager, but when they do, their employees' training is high, making it harder for employees to relate to. - 10:14 Mads says that managers and business owners need to develop their staff as the people they will need for the future- 13:57 Mads says that companies should have a more holistic approach when it comes to planning where the whole organization is involved - 15:37 Renata says that the perception of people in management is often skewed. That's why it's essential to build a bridge between management and the staff. - 21:32 Mads shares that networking is the best way to find the best people before you hire them - 37:19 Resources Mentioned:Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by the Arbinger InstituteConnect with Renata:LinkedInWebsiteNon-profit Sports Club WebsiteEmailInstagram

Nov 10

44 min 13 sec

Joining me today on the Mads Singers Management Podcast is Itai Sadan, CEO, and Co-Founder of Duda, the leading white-label website builder for digital marketing agencies and SAAS platforms. Trusted by over 15,000 and counting agencies, SaaS platforms, freelancers, and even small businesses use Duda on a day-to-day basis to build their businesses and their digital presence. At 11 years old, Duda has over a million paying subscribers and 200 employees, and seven offices (and growing!)Starting a business, regardless if it’s your first or your hundred, can be a struggle, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic where many of our norms were suddenly flipped overnight and where we had to quickly adapt to the many changes that unfolded with the flip of a switch.Despite the challenges, COVID-19 has also allowed new ideas to take form and change the face of business. You will have sleepless nights, working long nights, and anxiety when you are working towards your first million. However, this will eventually become easier down the road. This then allows you to cope much better when it comes to scaling up or reaching your next goal, whether it’s your first billion, another branch, or even a new business venture altogether. However, you can breeze through most challenges when you have the right partner, but in finding the right partner, you’ll need to set clear goals and expectations since you will be spending most of your time with them.For a business venture to succeed, sometimes we need to bring in or hire chemistry with ourselves and our staff through conducting one-on-one’s with each of your staff or sending out a newsletter every month where highlights and updates are being made aware. Doing this allows you and your company to move as one to take on challenges together rather than having one person deal with something and shoot at it blindly.Key Learning Points: Itai says that even though the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging to some people, it allowed him and other businesses to flourish by creating new ways to connect. - 3:08 Itai says it’s essential to have a good partner when starting a business. - 07:24 Mads likens partnership to marriage because you will be spending most of your time with your business partner.- 08:34 Mads stresses the importance of having a solid conversation with your partner- 11:23 Itai adds that business leaders and owners should have clear roles and responsibilities for their staff. - 12:40 Itai says that once you start taking money from investors, it becomes another relationship with your partner, staff, and others.- 21:22 Itai says that the experience you are bringing on board is much more important than the actual money. - 25:43 Itai shares how one employee told him that there was no transparency in the company, and it made him realize that he needed to put in the effort to keep everyone in the loop. - 28:02 Mads says that when promoting someone internally, even if you don’t have much budget to get them the best courses or training, you need to go out and do something to invest in them somehow. While they can learn at their own pace, it may take them longer, and however, when you invest in them, you will be reaping great rewards. - 34:51 Itai says that it doesn’t matter if you’re the squad leader and a great shooter because that is still one rifle shooting in one direction. You’ll need ten rifles shooting in the right direction, reminiscing about his army days in Israel before he started Duda. - 39:27 Connect with Itai:LinkedInCompany LinkedInCompany WebsiteTwitterCompany TwitterFacebook PageInstagramYouTube

Nov 3

41 min 4 sec

Today, my guest on the Mads Singers Management Podcast is none other than Mark A. Grainger, the co-founder and CMO of BigImpactHQ.We begin this episode where Mark shares a story from his childhood where he was on a fishing trip with his family and witnessed a whale approach their boat. As the whale was coming, Mark felt fear. However, the whale went silent and retreated into the waters.This experience amazed Mark when he was younger; however, looking back at it led Mark to realize that all living things desire to communicate.Mark works together with his wife to help frustrated women leaders who love speaking where they show them how to overcome their self-doubt.I’m a firm believer in working on one’s natural strengths because it allows you to perform and work better and be happier. With many people working in jobs that don’t like but fill their pockets, it can be easy to bring the negative energy they have in their workplace and influence the people around them to perform poorly. However, when negative habits or thoughts can no longer be controlled, they should seek help from a professional and work on it. When it comes to communication, our words are compelling as they can seduce, inspire, and even start wars; what we say can impact another person. The words we say to ourselves can often bring us down and even cast doubt on ourselves. However, we have the power to change that by changing what we say.Our mind creates situations or an operating system that allows us to thrive or sets us up to fail; however, when we have mastered the art of fulfillment, no matter what happens to us, we will end up okay and see the world in a much better light. Still, we must be very discerning about what we allow in our minds because our operating system comes from a place of truth. Ideally, relationships are carefree. However, there will come a time when we will be pushing each other’s buttons or, better yet - polishing each other’s diamonds, and once we see what a relationship is for, we don’t get tied in with the thought of how things are supposed to happen.Key Learning Points:1. Mark says that entrepreneurs must always have something to work on because they start to see what gets in their way as leaders and entrepreneurs. - 04:152. Mark says that having a business is like personal development on steroids. - 04:323. Mads says that personal development is crucial, but he observes that many people constantly develop their weak areas instead of their stronger ones.- 05:124. Mads says that you can work on if something is holding you back, such as poor communication skills. However, he says that most weaknesses aren’t holding you back because they can work around instead. - 05:445. Mark says that words are powerful: they can seduce lovers, they can start wars. The words that we use are far more critical than any deployment channel. - 11:386. Mark says that if you change what you say, you change your life- 12:027. Mark says that the Persuasion Equation isn’t the influence, cast-a-spell-over-you-make-you-do-what-I-don’t want-you-to-do feeling. It’s a connection of inspiration where people are in spirit to do what they are called to do. - 16:258. Mads shares his observation on why communication in a company sucks. He says that it’s because people communicate differently: some are keen on written communication, some are keen on verbal communication.- 17:399. Mark adds into Mads’ statement and says that leaders must know how to collide with others when communicating- 18:4310. Mads says that you can influence the world around you much more than you think- 30:39Resources Mentioned:What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There by Marshall GoldsmithThe Persuasion Equation: The Subtle Science of Getting Your Way by Mark RodgersNo More Mr. Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life by Robert A. GloverFind out what kind of speaker you are (quiz)Connect with Mark:LinkedInCompany WebsiteCompany LinkedInBlogTwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube

Oct 27

54 min 22 sec

Today, joining me for this episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast is Joseph Fung, the CEO, and Co-Founder of Uvaro, an online sales accelerator that helps sales professionals be more successful regardless of their specialty is. Based in Canada, Joseph is a lover of all things tech, software, and entrepreneurship.We begin this episode where I admit that sales aren’t my thing and where I asked Joseph when it is the right time to hire your first sales rep for your company or business. Joseph agrees that sales can be complex because he has also struggled with his first companies. He shares how he tried to learn those skills quickly by going to ToastMasters and the BNI, where he learned how to make a pitch and do the proper handshake.According to Joseph, unlike other careers where you can get accreditation, sales is different because you can’t just check the list. Instead of looking for someone who has all the credentials, Joseph says business owners should look for someone who knows their customers well. While taking risks is part and parcel of starting a business, many entrepreneurs don’t tend to see its downside, especially when some of them have the privilege because they can have something to fall back on if their venture fails. Each of us has our interpretations when it comes to starting businesses. Some say we shouldn’t do business with our friends or families. Some will say that it isn’t wise to start a company with a stranger. Still, regardless if we have a good or bad experience, we should always take it as a learning experience.Whether you choose to join BNI, ToastMasters, or whatever group is out there, you will reap more than what you have planted initially if you deliberately want to improve yourself. The sound energy you put out there will come back to you tenfold and even more! Although it may not be automatic, intentional improvements will significantly affect yourself and the people around you.Key Learning Points: Joseph says that everyone looks for sales reps that have sold similar things before. While it can work, he says that it works better if you know your customer well. - 03:00 In reply to Mads’ statement, Joseph says that even though top-level candidates or employees may produce good results, they may not necessarily have the same results for you. - 03:47 Mads says that many business owners and entrepreneurs don’t tend to see the downside when taking a risk- 12:33 Joseph shares that he has had both painful and sound experiences in business. However, both of them were all learning experiences - 18:36 While being spontaneous is a good sign when starting a business, Mads cautions that business owners shouldn’t always change their ideas and products every week. - 21:37 Joseph says that he is a firm believer in creating a workplace where one can thrive and have a healthy (work-life) balance - 22:24 Joseph adds that it’s essential to have partners who have a similar level as you. - 22:43 Mads says that the quality of people you surround yourself with matters. - 28:03 Joseph says that when you put good energy out there, it comes back to you - 35:18 Joseph says that if business owners and sales reps are deliberate about improving each step of the way, the effect will be compounding. - 39:39 Resources Mentioned:Video Library of UvaroConnect with Joseph: LinkedInTwitterWebsiteInstagram

Oct 20

41 min 14 sec

Joining me today on the Mads Singers Management Podcast is none other than Allan Milham. Allan is the founder of Questage®, a leadership development company based in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Allan has been working for the last 25 years with entrepreneurs and leaders with organizations worldwide. He has helped people elevate their impact as a leader and understand the leadership brand that can help them get leverage in their careers. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us were affected and had to take a step back. However, to make an impact as a leader, Allan shares his tips on how business owners and leaders should be self-aware and observant with their pace during the day.Allan believes we all have a different calling which can be tied with purpose so that a purpose title with a legacy then you got back at the end of the journey. We have challenges, and we need a leadership conversation to stay alive, focused, and it can happen during the conversation. Mads also adds that the more leaders, the better. The more people developed leaders, the better. Being a leader, you have to live your values, whatever they are.A leader is not about leading but learning. We need to be humans who have a lot of curiosity over today's surroundings, join the team by encouraging discussions for better probabilities and take your time wherever you need time to contemplate. These are just simple motions with a significant effect on the environment and culture. Key Learning Points: Allan shares how he was a late bloomer compared to his siblings where they had things figured out. - 01:27 Allan shares how Questage allows leaders to find the pause they need and to be able to self-reflect - 03:31 Allan continues that when leaders can pause and self-reflect, they can come up with better solutions and results. Team members are more excited to be around that team leader because they're slowing down, adjusting, and curious. - 03:44 Mads shares that he dislikes the phrase "You should be working on your business, not in your business" because many people don't understand the word. - 04:30 Allan says he holistically defines leadership: it's how you lead at home, how you lead with your family, and how you lead in your communities. - 05:34 Allan shares that the new generation is demanding more of the Learner Leader type - 06:31 Allan believes our calling is tied with purpose, journey, and legacy. - 18:25 Mads says it's not easy to reverse roles, but you must be aware. - 22:40 Allan says that our bodies are the messengers that let us know when we should take a break. - 23:59 Mads is a fundamental believer where happiness is a choice but in also owning your destiny- 27:10 Resources Mentioned:EnneagramFalling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard RohrConnect with Allan:WebsiteLinkedIn (Company Website)Allan's LinkedIn

Oct 13

38 min 31 sec

Today, joining me for this episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast is none other than the resilient entrepreneur Michelle A. Mercier.Michelle is a business coach, motivational speaker, and host of The Resilient Entrepreneur Podcast. Michelle is on a mission to bring back humanity in business because she believes that keeping things personal is suitable for businesses.Michelle hopes to get rid of the "hustle and grind' and "badge of busy"' mindset because it has become a misguided norm in today's society where people fail to see how self-awareness and a healthy perspective can help them reach unlock their full potential.We begin our talk where Michelle mentions a quote from Sheryl Sandberg on how being resilient is like a muscle where you can build it up and draw on it and become the person you're meant to be.Although life is constant, it can throw us into some weird situations. With the universe notorious for throwing giant curve balls at us, Michelle aims to cultivate the right business mindset and soft skills to foster the resilience to succeed in a world with ever-changing circumstances. But being resilient isn't simply flicking a switch and things being okay instantly, and this is why we need to recognize that adversity and that it's okay not to be okay sometimes.When learning new habits, people shouldn't underestimate the power of their old habits because they may relapse and go back to their old ways. However, a little progress can go a long way. One can practice bookending like Michelle does so that you won't be bombarded with so many thoughts to think of when you go to bed or be distracted while you work or spend time with your friends and family. These small things can change the way you show up to people, on stage, in front of your clients, friends, and even family. One can also challenge themselves by shaking up a few aspects of your life by learning a new skill or improving an existing one, but you shouldn't worry too much if you have missed a step in your routine or two, especially if things are out of your control.Key Learning Points: Mads says that things only seem to be difficult because you haven't done it- 05:28 Michelle says she isn't happy with the definition of "resilience" in the dictionary because the act itself requires some effort. She hopes that people will be more accepting of the mores of adversity to continue moving forward. - 06:42 Michelle says that sometimes it's okay not to be okay. - 07:30 Michelle adds that while some things may be out of your control, you will always choose your feelings or reactions. - 08:19 Mads says that it's vital that we take full ownership of the things around us instead of blaming others. - 09:04 Mads says that the only person who can turn your life around is yourself. - 09:36 Michelle says that she believes that self-awareness should be the main criteria when running a company. - 12:39 Michelle says that business owners should be in tune with their employees to know how to manage them properly. - 13:18 Mads says that shooting down ideas from your staff is the worst thing a manager can do because it can make them less likely to share their thoughts and make them shut down. Even if it was a bad idea, acknowledge that they took the time to come up with an idea, and it is a benefit to your team. - 30:56 When forming new habits, Michelle shares how she likes to bookend her days by journaling, exercising, or visualizing the day so that she won't be thinking of all the crap when she goes to bed. - 34:38 Resources Mentioned:The Resilient Entrepreneur PodcastConnect with Michelle:WebsiteInstagramLinkedInFacebook

Sep 29

38 min 50 sec

Joining me today on the Mads Singers Management Podcast is Jo Rawbone of Flourishing Introverts. Like myself, Jo is an introvert. However, she is the master of introverts and advocates for introverts in the workplace.Jo is based in the United Kingdom and has been a management trainer and coach facilitator since 1987. Initially working for British Telecom, Jo left the company in 1994 to pursue her career. Although she has jokingly said that she is unemployable, Jo has focused and grown in her chosen niche. This has also made Jo mad enough because there were many negative connections in being an introvert. Many introverts were often shunned and excluded from meetings, team buildings, and even promotions compared to their extrovert peers.Frequently, most extroverts will almost always be in a sales job or work as a salesperson. However, Jo believes that introverts can excel in being a salesperson because they tend to ask the right questions, which can pique a customer’s interest or immediately serve a customer what they need. But because of their shy and reserved nature, many employers tend to pass that opportunity to their more extroverted or outgoing peers even though they may not have enough experience or knowledge about the position.While we need to get rid of our preconceived notions about what introverts and extroverts can have, I believe there are specific fields where introverts can excel. But rather than sorting out where people belong, let people find their comfort level to discover their strengths and weaknesses. Who knows, that person you’ve been putting in the back may be an undiscovered salesman.As observed by Jo and me, most managers and business owners tend to hire people who share their likeness. It is also why at times, it fails to add variety to their team and adjust to the needs of their team accordingly.While different people may want or seek other things, we must find what and where we are comfortable with to flourish in life. Although it may seem daunting at first, it’s essential that we take action rather than wait for the perfect conditions to set off our plans and goals.Key Learning Points: Mads says it’s essential to get the right people in the right roles. - 03:36 Jo believes that we should eliminate our preconceived notions about what jobs introverts and extroverts can have. - 04:32 Mads believes that different teams need different styles of management- 07:53 Jo shares that she likes to enable managers to flex and move elegantly between management and leadership styles so that they can fill what’s needed in that moment rather than bragging about who they are or what they are. - 08:47 Mads says it’s crucial to utilize a person’s strengths as much as possible- 10:08 Mads says that business owners should learn how to communicate with their staff even if they don’t seem the approachable type. - 11:05 Jo says it’s essential to take note of where we get our energy from- 14:35 Jo says that it’s not about getting out of our comfort zones but finding out what we are comfortable with, what’s on the outer edge, beyond that, and what’s way out there. - 17:20 Jo adds that if we continue working on our outer edge, our comfort zone expands - 17:34 Jo shares her mantra: Done is better than perfect. She adds that it’s vital that we take action first because we can continually refine our work and processes as we go along. 21:37 Resources Mentioned:The Introverts Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone: by Matthew Pollard with Derek LewisConnect with Jo:WebsiteFacebook GroupEmailPhone Number: +44 7860 194758

Sep 22

34 min 59 sec

Joining me today on the Mads Singers Management Podcast is none other than David Gaines. David is the owner and CEO of La Terza Artisan Coffee Roasterie and the co-host of The Third Place Podcast.Although La Terza has initially been from his friend, David bought the business, and it made him realize what a great cup of coffee was and how big of a difference it was to drink a well-made cup of coffee. While I'm not a fan of coffee, David believes that there is still room for me to change and have a cup of good coffee one day.While people see coffee as a beverage, David sees it as a vehicle talks about being the third place and how coffee (and his coffee shop) became the third place where people from all walks of life can come together and hang out. This can also be where people can talk about uncomfortable topics or events they have in mind or witnessed personally.A social enterprise or social business is defined as a business with specific social objectives that serve its primary purpose. These kinds of businesses usually maximize their profits and benefits to both society and the environment. Social enterprises generally use their profits to fund social programs such as feeding programs, free medical and dental checkups, skills and job training, or something as simple as offering free haircuts or food packages to help people in need. These kinds of businesses usually work together with their community to achieve their goals. Whatever problem, no matter how small or big, an employee has at home, they will always carry it with them at work, and this reflects in their performance at work, which can affect the energy and flow of your business.Although business owners don't necessarily need to provide everything for their employees, being aware of how your employee is doing and lending a hand can help steer them back in the right direction.Spend time doing regular team buildings, Myers Briggs tests, and even DiSC assessments to find out how you and your employees can click together.Although the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed some plans, David looks forward to seeing an employee-owned business in the next couple of years, where he and his teams can share the cake. Once you've established your ground rules, you will have a company culture where everyone has each other's backs no matter what comes their way.Key Learning Points: David reminds us of the golden rule: treat other people how you want to be treated.- 04:35 Mads says that business owners should love their competitors because the world is so big and it's much better to collaborate with the people around you instead of competing.- 09:06 Mads says that when we focus on our competitors, we generate negative energy. - 09:27 David says that the happier our employees are, the more productive they become.- 11:50  David says that business owners should look at the whole person and how they can help and provide for that person to become more productive and build a company culture. - 14:20 David says the more opportunity business owners offer to their employees and seeing them as a whole person, the more we can build a team culture in our business.- 15:08 Mads says that when you don't have happy employees, your business has no value. - 16:01 David says that business owners should live and embody the values that they created for their business.- 16:40 David shares that business owners should hire for character first rather than skill set.- 26:56 Mads adds that he looks at attitude, culture, and personality fit when hiring because skills can be taught. - 28:52 Resources Mentioned:The Third Place PodcastSocial Enterprise AllianceConnect with David:LinkedInEmailWebsiteFacebookThe Radical Business Podcast

Sep 15

30 min 55 sec

Joining me today on the Mads Singers Management Podcast is Maya Middlemiss. Maya is the Creator and Founder of Happy Healthy Homeworking, and she has been working remotely for quite a long time, way before the COVID-19 pandemic.Maya launched her business back in 2000, a year she clearly remembers because it coincided with her millennial baby. What was supposed to be a solo business grew into an agency where she employed people from three different countries. She then left that business to completely go freelance, where she also spends her time writing and consulting, specializing in the future of work, business, and how we collaborate online. While many loom the work future due to the pandemic, Maya is excited and sees it as an opportunity to evolve.Renting pricey office buildings was the norm of many businesses. It was somewhat of a beacon that let others know that you have established yourself. While a good corner office with a view is excellent for the CEO or President, ordinary employees struggled to work because of long commute times and even accessibility to transport. Some employees opted to move closer to their workplace but struggled with balancing their paycheck because they would spend most of it for rent and not having enough for food and other necessities.While working remotely is not a new concept, many of those who just began their remote working journey have struggled because the lines between work and personal life often get blurred. However, there are productivity hacks one can implement to improve your work-life balance.I prefer working on a solid office desk and in complete silence. In contrast, others thrive in the buzz of their local cafe or restaurant. Take the time to find out what works best for you. Some people perform well during the day, while creatives like writers, graphic designers, and video editors may perform better at night in a world where there aren’t many distractions in their homes and surroundings.Key Learning Points:1. Mads says that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have realized that they no longer need fancy and expensive offices to function. - 03:232. Maya adds that because of the pandemic, many businesses have also realized that remote work can be productive and possible. - 03:353. Mads says that remote working will have consequences for both businesses and employees. However, it’s better for everyone. - 05:304. Maya hopes to see a renaissance where people will be working in smaller towns where money will be pumped into the local economy and new jobs will be created. - 06:135. Maya says that businesses should adopt a remote-first course of action to continue no matter what comes their way.- 09:276. Maya says that once we liberate ourselves from the idea that we should constantly be working, we can start working more flexibly, and we can start to tune in to our rhythm. 14:287. Maya says that the more we know ourselves and our rhythms, the more productive and happy we can be - 15:088. Maya recommends that one have a dedicated space where they can do their work to dictate how you want things to be and surround yourself with things that make you productive.- 18:329. Mads shares that it’s essential to have a separate place for work and play. - 22:3410. Maya adds that while not everyone may afford a separate home office or office space in their homes, they can look for creative ways to maximize their space and create boundaries to achieve work-life balance. - 24:11Resources Mentioned:NewsletterConnect with Maya:TwitterLinkedInFacebook Page (Healthy Happy Homeworking)Maya’s FacebookFacebook CommunityInstagramYouTubeWebsite

Sep 8

31 min 47 sec

Julian Goldie is joining me from Bangkok for this episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast.Julian runs his link-building agency where he builds backlinks to help clients rank higher on Google, get more traffic, and be seen easily. Julian has clients worldwide and has worked with several freelancers and contractors alike. But Julian didn't get to where he is today without a bit of struggle. Like most beginners, Julian hired cheap VA's because he wanted to get things done efficiently. However, this proved to be more of a problem rather than a solution.Freelancing is not a new concept; it's been around for quite some time now; however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and many people working from home currently, freelancing has been put in the spotlight. With many companies going remote for the first time during the pandemic, many have struggled to shift from the traditional work setting to a small workshop setting. While many companies struggled going remote, many employees, especially those who work in corporate or in rigorous environments or career fields, found freedom. Many employees could spend more time with their families, learn a new skill, discover something new about themselves, pick up a new hobby, and many more. Many people would still prefer to work remotely even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.As a business owner, you want to be doing SOP's as little as you can. Learn to delegate small, time-consuming, mundane tasks to your staff so that you can focus on more important things and grow your business or spend time on things or hobbies that matter to you. It's essential to have a solid framework to quickly onboard and train any new staff you hire or upskill the existing team you see fit for a promotion.Although some may think that SOP's are a waste of time, these can save you time on training so you can quickly get a project started or work with a client but do keep in mind that you'll need to adjust to your staff's language and knowledge because not everyone is on the same page. If you have an outsourced team, you can have your project managers translate the SOP into your staff's language like Julian's team in the Philippines.Key Learning Points:1. Julian says that paying more for a VA or freelancer pays off more because they are proactive and quality is assured. - 03:082. Mads says it's essential to have a solid recruitment process so that you can hire the best talents and weed out the bad. - 04:103. Mads says that recruitment is about hiring the right people, having solid training, and having solid workflow processes.- 05:494. Julian adds, sharing from a book he has read recently, that managers and business owners should maximize their processes, not their people- 06:555. Julian says that SOP's should be kept simple. Writing it down in Google Docs is enough. - 09:286. While going out of your way to deal with a problem can save you time and money, Julian says business owners should instead spend their resources on something more substantial.- 16:577. Julian says that business owners should be careful to incentivize when working with freelancers. You want to try to be one of the best clients to your freelancers - 18:128. Julian adds that you need to find the balance between managing freelancers properly and giving them the trust, the freedom, and the flexibility to do their jobs as well as they can. - 19:189. Julian says that it's essential to be very clear with your expectations when working with freelancers- 26:1910. Julian says that regardless of the metrics you use, it's essential to keep it simple so that they know exactly what is expected of them.- 28:48Resources Mentioned:Principles: Life and Work: by Ray DalioConnect with Julian:LinkedInUpworkYouTubeTikTokEmailWebsite

Sep 1

30 min 15 sec

Joining me for today’s episode in the Mads Singers Management Podcast is Julia Becker Collins. Julia Becker Collins is the COO of Vision Advertising, a 100% woman-owned, woman-run full-service marketing agency based outside of Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States of America. Like myself, Julia is crazy about people management and leadership (if you’re crazy about management and leadership like me, then you’ve come to the right place if you’ve stumbled upon this podcast!)Despite being a small business, Julia and her team deal with different sizes and enterprises in their day-to-day operations. But before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship, Julia had to wear many hats, such as working in non-profit organizations making fundraising, donations, event planning, marketing, branding, and even grassroots work. Julia’s experiences (the jobs she took outside of college) and her strong personality launched her into the world of people management. However, because of this, Julia also struggled with managing the people around her because they were decades older than her and much more experienced than her. This circumstance led Julia to seek out support and work on herself to work better and help those in need. And this is the sad part for many people who get promoted into leadership and management roles. They often get pushed off a cliff and expected to do magical things and miracles by their superiors, only to be laughed at or mocked when they fail. Management isn’t about being a great individual contributor in a company or business or countless complex procedures. But instead, it’s all about mindset. While the best salesman in your team may seem like a good fit to become your next manager, not providing them the help and support they need to be a manager will set them to fail.It’s a slow domino effect. If you don’t invest in your new managers, their performance will impact those who work for them and severely affect your business. Don’t wait for your business or company to be hit with financial ramifications that can send you falling into an abyss where recovery may not be possible. Encourage your staff, especially those in the lower levels, to seek help and assist them in making sure their needs are met and fulfilled because a leader should make sure that their staff is well taken care of.Key Learning Points: Getting into the workforce made Julia realize that she needed support to figure out what she wanted to do next in life. - 03:17 Julia shares that because of the tips and tricks that she learned along the way, she managed her team that blossomed in their way. - 04:20 Although Julia was struggling and failing at her job, she used this to her advantage, acknowledged it as a problem, and pushed herself to do better. - 07:03 Mads says that when an organization is ingrained in your company culture, you can see that a business or company runs well. - 09:50 Mads stresses the importance of providing training and giving them help and support when they get promoted to a management role. 10:08 Julia says that if you don’t invest in the new manager, it won’t be successful, and the people who work for them will be significantly affected. - 12:51 Julia talks about her passion for servant leadership and how she makes sure her staff is provided first before her.- 13:27 Julia says that people who are lower on the totem pole tend to be afraid to seek help, but instead of waiting for things to get worse, Julia will personally approach them.- 15:01 Julia adds that leaders and managers should give their staff more than just a paycheck: make them feel that they are being seen and heard. - 16:33 Mads says that business managers who don’t find the time to help their staff are the ones who are making themselves busy with unnecessary tasks.- 17:52 Resources Mentioned:Adam Grant PodcastConnect with Julia Collins:WebsiteTwitterLinkedInInstagram

Aug 25

31 min 44 sec

Joining me today in this episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast is Stacy Owen Johnston, CEO of EnlightenUp.Stacy is a personal development coach and trainer for individuals or groups and a conversational public speaker. Although she grew up and thrived as a dancer, Stacy took a pivot and worked for the state where she has served as a Family Services Specialist. She has been an entrepreneur for 40 years and has spent much time building businesses and helping people uncover their authentic selves.Stacy shares that the energy you put out can significantly impact the people around you and your business. And while there are times where we put our customers first (especially if they are high-paying clients), managers should always put their employees first because this helps encourage and motivate them.She continues that all of us have our beat that we dance to, and we should learn how to find it instead of following others, don’t live and work for the dreams of your parents or other people because only you should be able to live the life you want and deserve. Stacy adds that we shouldn’t judge people quickly because we don’t know what trials or battles they face privately. People are doing their best to separate their private and public struggles, but there are times where people can get overwhelmed, and their performance takes a dive. Because people have different ways to handle scenarios, business owners should be cautious in approaching them if they notice they are not performing their best. Sometimes some people need a little push to get them going or to unlock their potential. Our life is too short to be unhappy or hating our job every day; go after your dreams and goals rather than live the life others want you to.Key Learning Points: Stacy says that people don’t leave bad jobs but leave because of bad management. - 08:06 Mads says that it’s essential to give people ownership and let them try - 10:00 Stacy says that the best leaders help develop a new bunch of leaders to take their place. - 10:57 Stacy says that leadership is about influence - not power, a corner office, or a nameplate. - 11:10 Stacy points out that a good leader or manager can easily recognize a person’s interest in a niche and help them pursue it. - 12:46 Stacy stresses the importance of a person’s ability to influence people and bring out their best version. - 14:25  Mads says that managers should always focus on their staff first - 15:44 Stacy says that managers should encourage their staff and people around them to be quality human beings. - 16:50 Stacy says that we should learn how to celebrate our failures because failure is still a movement towards our goals and allows us to learn from our mistakes. - 21:26 Stacy says that life is too short to be unhappy every day or hating your job because happiness is a decision. - 31:22 Resources MentionedExtreme Ownership: How U.S Navy Seals Lead and Win: by Jocko Willink and Leif BabinBecoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others: By John C. MaxwellConnect with StacyEmail LinkedInFacebookStacy’s InstagramHero Builder Podcast Instagram

Aug 18

40 min 20 sec

Today's guest on the Mads Singers Management Podcast is Simon Kardynal, a Canadian Air Force veteran and the host of Trench Leadership: A Podcast from the Front. With his background in the military, Simon is no stranger to leadership; however, after 26 years of service, some people still get intimidated by his experience. Simon also had a hard time communicating with people after leaving the military. He had to make many adjustments, especially when he had to share and reach out to people. But this challenge didn't stop Simon from achieving his goals. He used this challenge as leverage to start his podcast to help upcoming leaders learn to communicate effectively.Simon and I subscribe to the view that great leaders are built, not made. Because every leader was once a beginner who also struggled to get where they are today, they were once clueless and confused. Some had to go through complex challenges to achieve their goals.For Simon, it's okay not to know everything. We shouldn't be afraid to ask for help from others, especially if we aren't familiar with something. This also applies to reaching out to people whenever you are faced with difficulties in life. Let's face it, we humans thrive on interaction, but because we all have our unique way of dealing with things, we need to consider how we should approach another person. Key Learning Points:1.Simon shares about a program he was accepted into and how it taught him that leadership isn't about just leading with your brain but also with your heart. - 04:462. Simon says that a leader should be a blend of both intelligence and empathy. - 05:083. Mads shares that he is more of a logical person than an emotional person and admits he struggles connecting with people emotionally. Still, he doesn't let this stop him from reaching out to people or offering his support in a time of need. - 07:284. Simon shares how mingling with others became difficult for him as a leader. - 08:085. Mads says that you need different types of people in your company, you need people who can talk to other people, people who can make sales. Having people who are like you is ideal. However, it doesn't apply to every aspect. - 10:096. Simon shares that honesty will ensure that things will get done if you're honest and forthright with your people. - 12:177. Mads says that it's essential to recognize the different kinds of people you have in your company. - 15:358. Simon says that it's easier to build connections than understand when to push someone and read their body language. - 17:319. Simon shares a recent experience a few months ago when he realized that different environments require different things. Because of this, Simon's relationship with the people around him drastically increased. - 20:2410. Simon talks about the importance of reaching out to talk to someone you trust when you find yourself in a difficult situation or don't have all the answers (and it's okay not to have all the answers all the time). - 28:29Connect with Simon:EmailPodcast: Trench Leadership: A Podcast from the FrontFacebookInstagramLinkedIn

Aug 11

30 min 50 sec

Joining me today on the Mads Singers Management Podcast is Andrea Overend, founder and owner of Globetrot Pro and Dream Vacations Cruise and Land Vacations travel agency.Andrea had an early start on entrepreneurship and has had many ventures since then, including her restaurant and travel agency.Now, unlike most travel agency owners, Andrea thrived during the pandemic despite being caught up in confusion when the lockdowns all over the world started. Even though some travel plans were postponed, the experience made Andrea realize the importance of having her team around to help the business stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.Andrea had an early start with team building. With her experience in the military, this became a natural thing for her because many teams surrounded her during her stay there; eventually, Andrea slowly branched out to other circles like her church group when she returned to civilian life. Unlike many business owners who tend to hire directly, Andrea likes to build up her staff and even dip her hands into the nitty-gritty of business, such as learning about a specific niche, the logistics involved in setting up that business, or what permits need to be claimed or applied for. And while it's common for companies to go over their budgets or exert more effort, it shouldn't be because of something that's not essential. Although it may not be evident initially, business owners should know what department or niche their staff should belong to, spend time with their team and get to know them. This dynamic also helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses; while you may enjoy crunching numbers, a staff member of yours doesn't. Another critical aspect in running and building a business is delegation. While being in control feels nice (and it has its perks!), holding on too tightly to power can cause problems in the long run.Key Learning Points: Andrea shares that when she opens a business, she acts on what she knows.  For the things she doesn't know, Andrea immediately hires an expert or finds a book for that topic. - 06:03 Andrea shares her teambuilding philosophy: gathering and taking things off her plate. - 06:42 Andrea says that there will be days where you will be working for 120 hours or spending more than your usual budget; however, it shouldn't be because you're beating ahead or trying to figure out something that you're not needed for. - 07:57 Mads says that you'll need to make sure you can provide excellent customer service if you're selling an expensive brand or product. - 09:15 Mads likens hiring experts to cheat codes in a game where you can gain instant access to a level or beat the final boss with ease. - 10:20 Andrea says teambuilding with a consultancy is very important for your team. - 12:59 Andrea says that the best hires you have in your staff still need leadership and direction - 13:54 Mads says that when he hires people, he doesn't just look at what credentials a person has but also how that person can develop later on. - 15:58 Andrea says that while staff should follow SOP's, they should also have freedom because not everything is black and white. - 23:04 Andrea says that while we often hear information and that implementation is essential, it doesn't mean we have to take in everything. She adds that even one action step is enough to make a change in your life.- 41: 44 Connect with Andrea:FacebookWebsite

Aug 4

42 min 59 sec

Joining me today is Ryan Shekell from Every Breath Counts Podcast. Ryan had his humble start as a 5th-grade special education teacher in upstate New York, where he had several eye-opening experiences during his teaching days. However, Ryan felt missing and decided to change careers and ventured into the medical field as a sales agent, specifically in orthopedic surgical device sales. Ryan enjoyed his days as a medical field sales agent and even made Atlanta, Georgia, his territory and paved the way for Ryan to where he is today: managing and educating other managers and leaders on how to grow their territories. We begin our talk where Ryan proudly shares how his experience in education became the perfect segway into managing and selling. He then relates it to the unique education system in the United States, where he shares how teachers create an IEP or an individualized education plan for students who need special education services. He adds how this document translates well into sales and management because it considers the way you are teaching and managing your staff. After all, you look at an individual’s learning style, personality type, and everything they need to perform a task and be successful. This leads you to create an individual plan for that person to achieve the goals that are set out for it. While it’s nice to receive praises and accolades for all your hard work and efforts, constantly stroking your ego as a manager or business leader can dampen your team’s morale and affect their performance. They may also end up not being that driven. Being a manager or a business leader doesn’t mean you need to be the one who’s always fixing problems. Ryan stresses the importance of walking the talk when it comes to our values for ourselves and our company, especially when we take on new employees because this empowers them to work better and more efficiently. Key Learning Points: Ryan proudly shares how his experience in education became the perfect segway into managing and selling.- 04:20 While others may see it as a joke, Ryan adds how an IEP or an individualized education plan becomes a great tool.- 05:23 Mads shares how teaching is similar to management where you are constantly trying to lift your team and teaching them skills- 05:50 Mads adds that many managers need to let go of the notion where they have to be the center of attention when in reality, they have the opposite goal in mind. - 06:47  Ryan shares that his goal/job is not considered “done” unless he sees an employee or team is more competent than he is.- 07:32 Ryan stresses the importance of exemplifying all the values you have (within yourself and your company) when you take someone under your wing so that they can hear and see you cultivating the relationships you have.- 16:26 Ryan says that managers should allow their staff to succeed or fail because both are positive experiences. If a task is done successfully, it means your employee has learned how to do the job.  If your employee fails, it means you’ve learned what it takes to be successful based on what didn’t work.- 17:06 Mads discussed the failures he witnessed in training managers. - 21:37 Mads shares that he uses DiSC and how it can be of great help in your business to manage your employees. - 22:30 Mads and Ryan agree that it’s okay for business owners to be honest. - 28:35 Resources Mentioned:Apple Podcasts/iTunesSpotifyConnect with Ryan:Every Breath Counts Podcast with Ryan ShekellFacebookInstagramLinkedInGoogle Podcasts

Jul 28

38 min 7 sec

Joining me today on the Mads Singers Podcast from the comfort of his bus is none other than TheAlchemist, Richard Matthews of Pushbutton Podcast, and The Hero Show. Unlike most people today, Richard works from home and traveling around in his bus, together with his whole family and their pet dog. Like myself, Richard has his podcast called The Hero Show, where he brings to life his superhero persona called The Alchemist and uses his superpowers to help others get their business to the next level.A superhuman on his own, Richard can easily see systems and learn things quicker than the average human being. Like myself, Richard loves building systems and has a Pushbutton Process course where he uses it to put businesses on autopilot. Richard then shares his course called the Pushbutton Process, where he teaches people how to build systems efficiently.  Richard shares that while it’s easy to automate everything nowadays, business owners should know where to draw the line on their creative capital and their robot capital. Both of them should co-exist together. But like most business owners, Richard also had a messy start when he began building systems; however, he was able to refine it along the way. It took a big jump when he started hiring new team members. While Richard has been working and managing his staff remotely before everyone else, he finds it hard to build a company culture with remote workers. He shares that business owners should be more intentional. He suggests doing weekly chat meetings, group communications, or simply keeping up with each other during their birthday. While remote working is still a new concept to most people, I believe and look forward to a future where companies will no longer spend on big office spaces to set up a business and get work done. Even though a colleague is far away and you’ll be meeting each other less frequently, distance shouldn’t be a hindrance to running a business, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Key Learning Points: Richard says that systems should be a blend between your human capital and robot capital (automation) - 03:41 Mads points out that most businesses and owners tend to make complicated systems and say it won’t work.- 04:41 Richard says that processes make up the workflow which gives you the defined outcome. - 07:10 Richard adds that if you have a rock-solid language foundation on how a system is designed - 07:25 Richard shares his love for Trello and how it can be a powerful tool to get things done and even train your new staff. - 10:00 Richard and Mads both share a passion for an outcome-based work ethic rather than how many hours an employee renders. - 16:38 Mads stresses the importance of building a company culture based on discipline so that things can get done. - 18:45  While hiring remotely offers a vast pool of talent, Richard recommends that one look towards a country or race with no significant gap in culture. - 19:57 Mads looks forward to the future of remote working where companies will no longer need big offices or an actual office to get work done. - 21:43 Richard says that business owners should take the risk and shares how most of his successful endeavors came from events where he was afraid.- 28:08 Connect with Richard:Facebook LinkedInYouTubePinterestInstagram

Jul 21

33 min 12 sec

Today, joining me is none other than Erin Young, the founder, and principal consultant for SlideUX. This family-run consultancy provides practical and measurable approaches to business rather than quick and fancy hacks to unlock a magical way to get rich and earn money. Erin is a user experience architect who shares the same passion as I do to simplify processes, especially in a business setting. Erin and I began our talk on how many businesses nowadays tend to offer a lot of services. Although it may generally sound like a good idea, this paves the way for confusion because most business owners may lose their way and even stunt or stop the growth of their business because they have too much on their plate. Many businesses tend to follow what's popular instead of providing value. When they are asked, they can't answer their ROI or if that service is helping the company. While most new businesses may struggle to simplify their process, they shouldn't hesitate to cut down their list early on because it might be the only thing stopping them from being successful. However, new business owners should ensure that whatever they are "niche-ing" into is a real need and not just a quick-rich scheme. The devil is in the details when you have a business. While seeing the overview of your business can help you feel inspired to work, business owners need to look a little closer to know precisely what's going on in their business and what's being worked on. Sometimes, we even need to get involved and throw ourselves in, especially when dealing with a difficult client or a new task.Key Learning Points: Erin shares how they used to offer many services to clients initially but had to get rid of them because it would take time for the client to get back to them. - 3:35 Mads says that having many services to offer may sound good, but it isn't generally a nice thing to do. - 5:18  Erin shares how cathartic she felt when her company simplified their list of services; she adds that they could cut down on 75% that cluttered their list. - 05: 55 Erin says that you don't need to sell it if you don't have a standard for your service. - 7:00 Erin shares how she wishes she could go back in time to simplify her business sooner. - 10:21 Mads says that if you have an easy-to-replicate and standardize process, you should focus on that. - 11:21 Erin says that she uses the standards in her company as somewhat of an entry pass, especially for clients who want a longer-lasting relationship. - 14:21 Mads says that the devil is in the details when it comes to business.- 16:21 Erin says that she sometimes gets involved with her staff to retrain them rather than seek a new client.- 17:09 Mads says that if you have particular case studies, gaining new clients - even in the most "niched" areas becomes so much easier- 18:38 Connect with Erin:WebsiteFacebook YouTubeTwitter

Jul 14

24 min 7 sec

Welcome to another episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast! Today's guest is Karena Calhoun. Karena is a mindset, life, and purpose coach whose passion is to help people find their purpose in life and live out their dreams.Like many people, Karena started in the corporate world, but she decided to take a different path later on and help people.  I begin my talk with Karena by asking her how one finds their passion, what steps to find one's passion in life, and how they should see it. Karena shares that one can take a look back into their childhood to rediscover what excites them; this is important for those who don't have the means to get a personal coach or have a support system at hand. She then adds that people shouldn't rely on one's passion while one's passion can be their purpose. Instead, people should look at things they are good at, things that make them excited, things in society or in the world that make you angry, things that make you want to make a change in the world - these are basic steps that will help you jumpstart the process in finding out your passion. Karena then shares her experience discovering her passion while still working in the corporate world; however, she liked what she was doing. It wasn't impacting her and the people around her because she was hitting wall after wall. This then led her to sit down and think about what she's good at and where she shines, and because of this, Karena eventually found her way to being a life and mindset coach.When we find our authentic selves and help others along the way, there is no goal that we cannot achieve or dream that cannot be fulfilled.Key Learning Points: Karena shares that one can take a look back into their childhood to find out and rediscover what they are passionate about.- 3:12 Karena says you shouldn't depend on your passion alone- 3:44 Mads shares what he calls his "excitement meter."- 6:52 Karena shares what for her is the secret to life - 9:55 Karena says that it doesn't take much to attain your goals as long as you have that line of sight and know what tasks you should do every day. -11:28 Karena reveals that she doesn't let being an introvert gets in the way of her purpose.- 12:13 Mads says that people are motivated differently. - 13:19 Karena adds that business owners should be able to identify the trigger points of their staff. - 13:34 Mads says that when you help your employees identify what motivates and satisfies them, even if it's not related to your business, your employees will present themselves in a much better way and be better employees - 14:55 Karena says, "a leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be" - 17:13  Connect with Karena:WebsiteEmailFacebookLinkTree

Jul 7

26 min

Welcome to another episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast. Joining us today is none other than the bubbly business psychic, Carrie Cardozo!Like most of my guests, Carrie had her start in the corporate world until she decided to start her own business. Now unlike most people, Carrie is a psychic. While this may make some people uneasy, Carrie uses her gift to help businesses and business owners gain the clarity they need in their business to propel them forward, break boundaries, or understand their staff a little better.Carrie and I share a trait where we allow flexibility once we give them a task or delegate something. Although at the same time, this may seem counterproductive to some, Carrie and I believe that it’s essential for business owners and managers to be open to their staff regardless of whether the company is doing good or bad. Being open to your staff allows them to make better decisions, but business owners should be mindful of whom they share because some people are not very good when it comes to receiving negative news. Carrie shares an anecdote where she implemented a project management system on a whim and caused her employees to question her if she was happy with what the employee was working on. While Carrie’s intentions were good, the lack of communication made her employee feel unappreciated. Because of this, Carrie stresses the importance of having an open stream of communication with your staff because it will benefit both sides.I then asked Carrie to share how she reads people, and this is where Carrie’s gift comes into play. Carrie can read people’s energy even if they don’t talk too much or share what’s going on during their first meeting. We both agree that many people don’t know themselves very well and sometimes project this logical persona to please others and deny their desires.Key Learning Points: Carrie encourages business owners to communicate with their staff, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic - 3:45 Mads says that most employees can sense and feel that something is not right in the company - 4:22 Carrie says that respect has to go both ways.- 6:45 Mads shares his concept in which he identifies the opinion makers in a team before making significant changes - 7:21 Carrie shares her rule of thumb with her meeting dynamics - 10:58 Mads says it’s essential to get to know your staff and their strengths and weaknesses - 12:50 Carrie thinks we shouldn’t be quick to judge people because people have strengths and weaknesses that are often not displayed or talked about- 13:24 Carrie says that although an employee may seem quiet, business owners and managers should allow their employees to show you what they can do. - 15:10 Carrie teaches people to connect to their “heart space” when working with people - 18:45 Mads says that people should go after what they want, which emphasizes their willpower.- 21:41  Connect with Carrie:Facebook InstagramLinkedInWebsite

Jun 30

33 min 45 sec

Welcome to another episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast!Joining us today is Ceri Hurford-Jones. Ceri has had humble beginnings by working on a farm but eventually made his way up and worked by being the managing director of Spire FM and finally starting his own business. Ceri and I share the same passion for helping businesses develop, grow, and succeed. So today, Ceri and I sat down to talk about management and how to hire the right people. Being open, honest, fair, fun, professional, and unconventional are Ceri's values; however, he shares that, while we can share or influence others to follow our values, these won't work or impact if we do not follow our values. And although change doesn't happen overnight, you will eventually see many positive changes (and close more deals) in yourself and your staff. However, simply writing down your values and making stuff up along the way to prop up a company or brand quickly won't help it survive in the long run. Like most business owners, Ceri also had his share of difficulties in his career where another group tried to do their job, and although this led to the radio being bought, Ceri was able to bounce back. Ceri stresses the importance of being open with your staff by sharing whatever profit or loss you've made because this allows your staff to help gain an insight into the business or company and make them steer the business in the right direction. An informed team is also good at making decisions that will help you and everyone else involved in the industry.Key Learning Points: Ceri says that you can't share your values if you don't live or follow your values in life - 3:44 Although it sounds cliche, Ceri shares how a staff that makes you (the business owner) look good can work wonders for your company and/or brand. - 5:38 Mads shares how businesses, especially the small ones, are helping people by offering jobs because this allows people to have something to look up to. - 07:21 Ceri says that good people (employees) stay longer because they take pride in their business. - 08:24  Mads says that when it comes to hiring people, one should start with their staff because people like working with like-minded people.- 10:39 Ceri encourages business owners and managers to be open with their team by sharing updates about its projects.- 12:44 Ceri says that business owners should not be scared to make their staff "mini-owners" in their business or schemes. - 19:15 Ceri shares that one shouldn't start something if they're not going to see it through seriously- 20:47 Ceri adds that business owners should hire slowly and fire quickly - 21:18 Mads says that managers shouldn't sit around and focus on the stats and numbers but instead focus on their team members well-being.- 27:00 Connect with Ceri:LinkedIn

Jun 23

30 min 28 sec

Welcome to another episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast! Today, we are joined by Navin Jaitly! Navin is an expert in a field where I don’t make well - sales! Navin works with business owners, business executives, and even business leaders. A firm believer in seeing the good inside of people rather than the outside, Navin has a passion for changing the way business leaders and their teams think.  Navin also believes in changing the relationship dynamics in a team to know that they are valued and appreciated. Like many of us, Navin also had his “dark days,” where he shares that he also struggled to work; however, Navin was able to turn it around and even start his own business. Navin and I noted that many entrepreneurs suck at making sales or hate making sales with a passion, thus leaving many of them lagging or performing poorly, which causes them to miss out on clients and opportunities. But all hope is not lost as Navin is on a mission to change and impact the lives of at least a million people globally.Navin then adds that business owners and managers shouldn’t immediately judge a potential employee by looking at their CV. Instead, ask them important questions like goals and plans after five years. An excellent way to approach this is by applying DiSC. DiSC theory was developed by Dr. William Martson and has become an essential tool in the workplace because it can help business owners gauge how their employees will perform. Key Learning Points:1. Mads says that most businesses don’t grow because business owners lack delegating or the skills but rather because they don’t have the right mindset. - 3:502. Mads points out that many companies and brands are doing many bad business practices. - 4:093. Navin says that business owners should find out the “why” of a potential employee, especially if you’re hiring salespeople - 6:534. Navin says that sales are the lifeblood of businesses; he then adds that the relationship with how business owners make sales and treat their sales team should change - 06:08 5. Navin talks about the Dilts Logical Level by the psychologist, Robert Dilts, and how can it be used to find your why and your purpose- 7:576. Navin likens sales to gaining weight. - 12:107. Navin believes that sales are like education because you get to educate your customers on what they need.- 15:308. Navin points out that while external skills are essential, finding out a person’s why can help you fix problems quickly... - 20:009. Mads shares the importance of DiSC and how it can be used to sell to your potential clients and/or customers immediately. - 26:1410.Navin points out that managers should never forget the human aspect when managing their staff. - 32:29Connect with Navin:Navinjaitlycoaching.comInstagramLinkedInFacebookEmailTwitter

Jun 16

34 min 24 sec

Welcome to another episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast. Today, Pablo Gonzalez joins us.Pablo is the host of the Chief Executive Connector Podcast, an expert and specialist in networking, and a good friend of mine. Pablo and I sat down together to discuss how many business owners and managers don’t utilize networking a lot which causes them to miss out on meeting incredible people. Today, Pablo and I will pave the way for business owners and managers to learn how to use networking to their advantage and make the right connections for their business or companies to flourish. While entrepreneurship is hard, it can become easier along the way when you have the right people who share the same energy and vision as you. It’s not something where you can do certain things and wake up as a millionaire or billionaire (now that would be the dream!) because even if you have a plan in place, things don’t always go their way which can distract you from your goals if you get sidetracked or fail.As we talked further, Pablo and I discussed some strategies on networking and how business owners can leverage. One of the essential aspects we discussed is the importance of living in the present - meaning that one should show interest when showing up in an event or meeting people; put your phone in silent or set it to Do Not Disturb and enjoy the moment. Then, go around and talk to people! Another thing Pablo shared is, although meeting new people may seem daunting at first, especially if you are new to a particular place or country, it can be beneficial for you later on because that person can change your life. That person can call you up later on and still remember that you made them feel valued.Key Learning Points:1. Pablo shares that the best way to build relationships and networks is by adding value and being genuine to the people you meet. - 4:242. Pablo shares his secret when it comes to connecting with people. - 6:003. Pablo then adds that people will remember how you made them feel. - 9:054. Mads shares his tactic of approaching people in a crowded venue: Approach the person who is always looking at their phone. - 16:215. Mads shares that he keeps his phone on silent because he believes in living at present. - 17:356. Pablo says that it’s essential to ask questions whenever you’re having conversations with people. This gives you ammunition whenever you meet and talk to another person in that same field or career. This also allows you to know what motivates them. - 27:007. Pablo shares that the best way to recruit someone is when you hear them talk about something else or care about something else other than themselves. - 32:048. Pablo says that the most influential people in your town are usually board members of many non-profit organizations, which Pablo cheekily adds, can be used as a backdoor for influence, which allows you to have a direct line to them for events such as fundraisings or donation drives. - 32:279. Mads says that the advice you give should also be the advice that you are taking or following. - 36:2410. Pablo says that one right introduction can forever change your life but you need to be open to it. - 41:05Resources Mentioned:The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas TalebConnect with Pablo:The Chief Connector PodcastEmailLinkedInWebsiteFacebookInstagram

Jun 9

45 min 37 sec

Welcome to the 100th episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast! It’s been quite a journey, and I couldn’t have gotten here without your support! Joining us today for our 100th episode is none other than Jeremy Lunnen. Jeremy is the global leadership development programs manager of Qualfon that runs contact centers around the world. Jeremy has been with Qualfon since 2006 and leads the efforts of Qualfon University by training and developing people who are moving up their first supervisory positions.Jeremy and I had a fascinating discussion regarding management and how to train people in becoming leaders. With most job roles requiring some form of training, many people are promoted as managers get little to no movement and struggle in their new position to manage their team. Regardless if a person is a natural-born leader or has the potential to be a leader, they cannot unlock their full potential if they do not receive the proper guidance and training.We then continued how some managers and business owners become cautious when working with other people from different cultures because there are differences in cultures and how some may get culture-shocked because they get exposed to something unpleasant.  However, because of advances in technology and the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies are starting to adjust and get used to working with people from different backgrounds and cultures.Key Learning Points: Mads points out that many capable people who get promoted as managers lack the essential training to be efficient.- 4:31 Mads says that having a company culture is essential, and all successful business is built on solid culture..- 9:33 Jeremy likens company culture to growing a garden: having a good place, removing rocks and weeds, tilling the soil, etc. Doing nothing or not taking action in creating your company culture allows negative things to grow and take their place. - 10:00 Jeremy says that your company will have its culture, whether it’s the culture that you carefully cared for and cultivated or the culture that popped out of nowhere because you didn’t pay attention. - 11:00 Jeremy says that being a manager isn’t all about numbers. Managers need to focus on their soft skills. He then adds that managers need to know their people and what motivates them.- 14:16 Mads says, while a great salesperson can’t be a great manager, a person can be trained to be a great manager. However, it doesn’t happen automatically. - 16:28 Jeremy stresses that managers shouldn’t focus on gaps or the things that people lack. - 19:22 Jeremy quotes Marcus Buckingham: “Focus on strengths, manage around weaknesses.” - 19:48 Mads shares that when people don’t see it coming and get fired, you have done a horrible job as a manager because if people aren’t performing well, they need to know. - 27:49 Jeremy encourages people to travel to experience and learn about other cultures and meet different people. - 33:24 While there are some negatives in working with other cultures, Jeremy and Mads point out that it’s crucial to unlearn some things to grow your staff or team. - 39:06 Connect with Jeremy:Email: jlunnen@qualfon.comPodcasts: Mission Qualfon PodcastLeading From The Basement Podcast

Jun 2

45 min 53 sec

Today’s guest in the Mads Singers Management Podcast is none other than Lindsay (Hauptman) Sutherland! Like myself, Lindsay had an early headstart in her career (she had her start in the automotive industry) but also had to learn many things the hard way, but because of this, Lindsay was able to have and live the life she wanted however, to achieve this, Lindsay had to make some drastic changes like relocating from another state (some people have commended her, while others called her crazy because relocating meant moving at a slower pace in life) and giving up a lovely house.Lindsay also shared how her parents died at a much younger age and weren’t able to retire, and because of this, Lindsay didn’t see herself working all her life, thus prompting her to follow her desire in life. Starting young in management, Lindsay shares how she struggled at first because she didn’t have a mentor to guide her; however, Lindsay was eventually able to find her niche and live the life she always wanted. We also touched on minimalism and how freeing it is not to own so many material things; you can simply pack your stuff in your backpack and be on your way to the beach or another country.  Lindsay and I shared some insights into how business owners can be friends, colleagues, and bosses with their staff while maintaining professionalism. Key Learning Points: Lindsay says it’s important to follow your burning desire - 3:34 Lindsay stresses the importance of being able to express yourself - 9:40 Lindsay shares an anecdote where she was helping a colleague who unexpectedly got pregnant; while Lindsay gave her grace, her colleague filed for unemployment and said terrible things about her. This experience led Lindsay to put up boundaries. - 7:52 As a manager, Lindsay saw herself more of a servant for the people rather than the “end-all, be-all” or the “big kahuna” - 10:32 Mads says that it’s essential for business owners and managers to figure out who you are as a person and find out what works for you when dealing with people.. - 13-51 Mads would instead take the risk of people, especially when making new connections, friends, or relationships, rather than avoiding getting hurt. - 19:53 Mads says that people should let go of the fear of things not working out.- 22:05 Lindsay likens the relationship between a manager and an employee to a one-sided relationship because managers need to be “on” all the time. You’re being watched all the time, and sometimes you don’t even feel human. After all, it would be best if you were positive most times because the people around you can feel a sudden shift in your energy. - 23:19 Mads adds that managers should always put their best foot forward and be their best selves because their energy can affect their staff; however, it’s okay to take some time off to refresh yourself. - 25:35 Lindsay says that it’s essential that we manage our expectations so that we wouldn’t end up disappointed or upset in the event things fail. - 30:11 Resources Mentioned: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy Connect with Lindsay Sutherland:WebsitePodcast

May 26

34 min 16 sec

Today's guest on the Mads Singers Management Podcast is Dr. Heather Williamson, an executive coach and the owner of Transformation Group LLC.Dr. Heather has been around the business for quite some time and, like myself, has helped many people establish businesses of their dreams. Dr. Heather and I tackled many topics during our talk, and one of our core topics was about trusting your employees so that they can help you grow your business faster.As discussed in our previous episode with Nicolene Elhadad, it’s not always about having a big brand, being in a prominent location, or having a massive team but instead having a supergroup that can lighten your workload so that you can focus on what’s important.Many business owners tend to make themselves busy with mundane tasks that take up too much of their time because they believe that the only way to grow their business to take care of everything and work long hours, leaving them exhausted and burnt out. Doing this for too long can hamper your company’s growth and even cause a power imbalance among your company and your staff.Key Learning Points: Trust is the foundation of any relationships - 4:14 Managers and business owners should not be playing favorites with their staff because your staff - 4:25  Mads points out the dangers of not developing your staff; if neglected for too long, it becomes harder to delegate, making your team unprepared to take on any task. - 8:05 Dr. Heather mentions the importance of taking accountability and shares an anecdote where a client of hers had employees who were not doing any work, and the owner let them get away with it. - 12:34 Dr. Heather advises that the best way to hold your staff accountable is to address issues immediately instead of beating around the bush and waiting for the problems to get worse. - 13:02 Dr. Heather adds that it’s essential to do a follow up on your staff after having a one-on-one talk with them.- 14:20 Business owners should not do it all; they cannot be the expert at everything. Trying to be busy with everything will hinder the growth of your business. - 18:10 Dr. Heather talks about the importance of attitude when it comes to hiring; while skills are essential, especially in specific jobs, a person’s mood can impact your team and your business.- 21:53 Dr. Heather says that businesses and companies should learn to be flexible, especially during the COVID pandemic, meaning they should know how to do business differently or think outside the box and open-minded to keep their business afloat.- 25:20 Resources Mentioned:Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t Author: Jim Collins Connect with Heather:WebsiteYouTubeEmail LinkedIn

May 19

29 min 52 sec

Joining us from Cape Town, South Africa, today’s guest on the Mads Singers Management Podcast is none other than self-made millionaire, franchise business coach, and entrepreneur Nicolene Elhadad!Nicolene and her husband started from their garage and have worked their way up to several franchises and businesses all over South Africa.However, it’s not all about earning money. Nicolene and her husband believe in helping people and changing their lives; they even encourage their former employees to go beyond their abilities and never go backward in life.Nicolene and I then talked about delegation and how important it is in a business. Many business owners are often afraid to let go of the reins and hand over tasks and responsibilities to their employees because of the fear of failure; however, many business owners struggle to grow their business and waste a lot of time and resources. Instead of feeling busy or looking busy, entrepreneurs and business owners should spend their energy elsewhere to grow their business.  And while it’s essential to have the right kind of people in your business, a good mindset is also necessary so that you can move your business forward faster. Recruiting people is easy, especially if you’re a known brand or company, but getting them to work with you is difficult.Key Learning Points: Nicole points out that once people figure out what your product is and how good it is, they don’t care how far or near you are located- 3:11 Nicole says you don’t need to be making millions, have a massive team, or have a famous brand before you can start franchising; you need a system that works.  It would help if you found people who are like you. - 5:20 Mads says that if you want to develop fast, you want to get rid of everything you do in your business and have other people do it. - 8:02 Mads points out the importance of developing and growing your staff to be able and capable of doing the work they should be doing. - 10:00 Nicole says that business owners should try to have a coffee date with each of their staff once a month to understand them better. They may even have a hidden talent that can help you bring in more money or clients for the business. - 11:09 Mads points out that having a business doesn’t mean you should be running the business but rather hiring the right people to make the business work. - 11:44 People will buy from you in to your business because you’ve given them that safety net. You’ve done all the hard work for them; now they get to partner with someone they can look up to. - 18:17 Nicole believes in having a super team, a better group than you that can take care of all the unnecessary and mundane tasks off your plate so that you can focus on growing the business. - 19:18 Mads shares how he gets surprised by his staff when pushed because they deliver more than you expected. - 21:57 Mads shares how people need to learn, and the only way to do that is by trying out things, failing, and making mistakes. 22:50 Connect with Nicolene:LinkedInWebsiteFacebook Group 

May 12

30 min 32 sec

The proliferation of podcasts in all spheres means that occasionally one of my guests also hosts a podcast.  My guest for this episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast, Justin Varuzzo, hosts the Marketing and Service podcast.  Here he interviews guests who share, through different techniques and strategies, his focus on exceptional customer service.Justin shared several stories that illustrated something we instinctively know but don’t often ponder: the bar for customer service is so low that even a minimal effort will impress people.  Justin shared that when asked, most people can’t even come up with three exceptional customer service experiences.  While that’s bad for our society as a whole, it’s a great opportunity for businesses to shine and to build strong long-term relationships with customers.I really agreed with this and I shared the importance of adding 24-hour chat support to e-commerce websites in an increasingly globalized economy.  While some people mistakenly consider such chat support to be a luxury, the reality is that it’s often the difference between someone placing an order and someone not placing an order and we have often seen for ourselves the jump in sales after chat support was added.Justin also noted the people sometimes miss the basics when looking for some special hack to promote their businesses.  One of those basics is making sure that you claim your Google My Business account and make sure that all of the information is correctly filled out.  This can make a difference to your SEO in general and local SEO in particular.One of the maintenance tasks in Google My Business is responding to reviews and Justin noted that he’s seen far too many solopreneurs, in particular, take negative reviews personally.  As a result, they tend to respond inappropriately, for all the world to see.  I agreed, and added that a negative review can sometimes turn out to be a positive thing!  The whole world can see your response and if you do it right, people can and will still do business with you.  In fact, some of the biggest brand advocates we’ve seen once left a bad review...which takes us back to how we kicked off the episode: talking about the lifetime value of customers and doing what is necessary to keep customers happy rather than take the chance of losing them.Some customers deserve more attention than others...these are the “whales” that keep your business afloat.  Justin advocates doing something nice for them on a regular basis.  It’s just one more way to stand out in a global marketplace.I really appreciate Justin’s customer-oriented approach, and I think you will too!Key Learning Points:1. Justin explains his focus on the customer journey - 2:532. Justin talks about his goals in building a relationship with clients - 4:103. Justin shares a fascinating story about customer service experiences - 8:284. Mads discusses the rising importance of 24-hour chat support - 13:305. Justin notes the importance of warranty in a purchase decision - 18:306. Justin warns against the danger of taking negative reviews personally - 24:207. Mads explains what a great opportunity negative reviews can be - 25:108. Justin advocates doing something nice for the “whales” in your business - 27:409. Justin explains a mistake many make on employee evaluations - 30:33 Resources Mentioned:Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink Connect with Justin VaruzzoMarketing and Service

May 5

40 min 16 sec

My guest for this episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast, Ravi Sharma, is currently based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, but this time last year, that wasn’t the plan.  His digital agency, Webomaze, which does marketing, SEO, web design, and mobile apps, just to name a few things, was solely based in India at the time.  He and some of his team had come to Australia to see what the market was like to consider doing some business there.  But then, as you know, something happened in March of 2020, and Ravi and his team got stuck.As time went on and the entire team switched to working from home (something he admits he would never have normally envisioned) they opened up a new office in Melbourne and now they are in India and Australia.  That’s a way to make lemonades out of lemons for sure!Ravi strongly believes in the delegation (and trusting when you do so) and he says that the system of delegation is what made the transition to remote work for his team that much easier.  His staff handled it on their own, which allowed him to focus on what he thinks his main function in the company is as CEO: growth.  I agreed, telling him I call this the “Don’t be the expert” rule.  If you don’t hire experts, you’ll be stuck as the expert, which will create a bottleneck.  Something else Ravi has as a rule: don’t give your employees solutions.  Allow them to figure things out for themselves.  This will create trust and show that you believe they can figure things out.  I love that mentality.Ravi clearly understands how to manage, but one of the first things I hear from people when we first start working together on improving their management skills is, “I’m not good at management.”  But often what they really mean is, “I’m not comfortable with management, because I haven’t taken the time to learn about it.”  Managing is like going to the gym: it gets better with practice, and it goes even faster when you have a trainer or coach.We also share similar philosophies around recruitment.  I believe that with internal hires you know what you are getting.  Ravi agreed, saying that you know the person is already a cultural fit and can act as a replicator of their cultures and competencies as they rise.  He really believes in the importance of showing career progression possibilities: that’s so important because when employees see fellow team members progressing they can see themselves progressing too.Ravi has a clear focus for himself and a vision for his team and I think that will inspire listeners to make sure they have the same.  Enjoy! Key Learning Points:1. Ravi shares what he thinks the primary focus of entrepreneurs should always be - 2:552. Mads talks about why people “struggle” with management - 4:453. Ravi explains why he considers employees as “clients” as well - 9:364. Mads shares the risks of external hires (and the benefits of internal ones) - 11:035. Ravi stresses the importance of a path of career progression for your team - 14:206. Ravi talks about how Covid shifted his thinking on working from home - 17:007. Ravi explains the importance of trust in the delegation - 20:358. Ravi talks about why he doesn’t give solutions to his team members - 22:40  Connect with Ravi SharmaEmail

Apr 28

27 min 4 sec

My guest for this episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast is Alain Hunkins who has trained individuals and teams in 2000+ businesses in over 25 countries over the last two decades.  He is originally from NYC but currently lives in the Netherlands.  Fascinatingly, Alain’s curiosity about how people interact with each other is informed by an undergraduate degree in Literature with a minor in psychology and a graduate degree in...theater!That fact kicked off our conversation, as Alain pointed out that no matter what industry you are in, you’re ultimately in the people business, so it’s less important to be subject matter experts in particular industries and more important to be asking the right questions.  One of the first ones that Alain usually leads with is, “What’s the biggest challenge you are facing right now?”One of the ways that you can keep track of the challenges your team is facing is by having consistent one-on-ones.  By building relationships with people through these regular meetings, you will find out what makes them tick, what they are passionate about, and most importantly, how you can help them.  Alain noted that empathy with your people and their situations can lead to performance increases as high as 40%!  As I often say, as an individual, your work is judged by what you can achieve, but as a manager, you are judged by what you inspire and motivate in others.  Alain agreed, noting that developing people has a multiplier effect, whereas simply “fixing” things is just an additive effect: you get fewer results, slower.Alain contends that another important activity for those in management is a specific time set aside for deep work.  Those who are willing to shut out distractions and focus on the most important things consistently make the biggest strides.  That habit won’t just matter for yourself: it will have positive ripple effects on your team.We also discussed the importance of proactively asking for feedback and the proper (and only) answer to give when receiving it: “Thank you.”There are so many other great points Alain shared during our conversation: check out the episode, you’ll learn a lot.  I sure did! Key Learning Points: 1. Alain shares one of the first questions he usually poses to clients - 3:542. Alain warns on the temptation of being “fixer-in-chief” - 7:543. Mads discusses the key transition that newly promoted managers have to make - 10:304. Mads and Alain note what message gets sent by the length of the notice you give - 13:535. Alain discusses a key shortcoming of clients when they first start getting coached by him - 15:206. Alain talks about why habits aren’t just for ourselves - 20:107. Alain explains the first two categories he looks at when looking to improve the performance of managers - 21:158.  Alain shares why good leaders ask for feedback - 26:059.  Mads and Alain share the only correct answer when receiving feedback - 29:22 Resources Mentioned:The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner Connect with Alain HunkinsCracking the Leadership Code

Apr 21

41 min 51 sec

LinkedIn continues to be an even more relevant part of networking and sales and it’s not often that you can speak with someone who’s been on the inside of that company, helping businesses use the platform to get outstanding results in recruiting and sales.My guest for this episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast, Jonathan Baldock, is one of those insiders.  Based in Toronto, Jonathan spent a decade helping LI’s largest global customers with their recruitment goals as well as advising on social sharing and employee advocacy.With 700+ million members, LinkedIn can be a loud place.  But throughout our conversation, Jonathan kept noting that it wasn’t about reaching everyone: it was about the share of voice in your industry.  Share of voice refers to conversations in your industry and what your footprint is within those conversations (and looking to increase them).  Jonathan likened the share of voice to two car dealerships that are side-by-side.  One has three cars and the other has 100.  They can both sell you cars, but one definitely looks more attractive at first glance.You don’t increase the share of voice by simply sharing content about how awesome your business is (and how you need to buy from us NOW).  Here are two wonderful tips Jonathan shared: Get buy-in from your employees.  If you take a company with 50 employees, they will have, on average, 800 followers.  An average person may have 800 connections on LinkedIn.  When one of your employees shares a job opportunity, or a thought leadership post, or an article from your company, they have the potential to reach many times the number of your company’s followers. Use a 3/2/1 ratio for every 6 pieces of content you are sharing: 3 pieces of thought leadership 2 industry-specific pieces 1 piece about your company Jonathan stressed the importance of not worrying about winning a share of voice for all of LI, but again, just within the important scope of your clients and prospective clients.  LI is, after all, primarily a B2B platform.I shared with him my own pet peeve of seeing people tag dozens of people in posts.  Jonathan agreed that this not only wasn’t effective but was likely to lead to your getting unfollowed (unsurprisingly!).  Best practice?  Tagging one, maybe two people, and using one, maybe two hashtags in your posts.LinkedIn definitely feels like a black box to many of us, but after this episode, you’ll feel that it’s less mysterious!  Enjoy. Key Learning Points:1. Jonathan shares some tips for building your LinkedIn company page - 5:042. Jonathan discusses the importance of posting and sharing content in driving interest - 7:003. Jonathan offers some best practices for sharing on LinkedIn - 27:204. Jonathan notes the importance of focusing on your clients and prospective clients (vs. the whole world) - 29:155. Mads shares a pet peeve: tagging a bunch of people in a LinkedIn post - 31:07 Resources Mentioned: LinkedIn Sales BlogLinkedIn Marketing BlogLinkedIn Talent Acquisition Blog Connect with Jonathan BaldockLinkedIn

Apr 14

33 min 9 sec

I recently had a chance to appear on the Next Level Ecommerce podcast and had such a great conversation with the host, Isaac Smith, that I invited him to come and share some of his wisdom on my very own Mads Singers Management Podcast.Isaac has been in E-commerce since 2014 and worked through a number of different businesses and projects before finding success with one in particular that he sold last year.  I was keen to hear his stories and lessons about how to build a successful team that can support an e-commerce business.We discussed hiring and Isaac shared a quote from Grant Cardone that totally changed the way he approached hiring: “Even when I’m buying, I’m selling.”  Isaac had simply been generally copying job descriptions and listing the things he wanted people to do for him.  By turning his not-so-successful process on its head, understanding that he had a great opportunity to offer, he changed everything: the job descriptions, the interview process, etc.  He now views these job descriptions as sales pages where he can pitch the opportunity to work doing something rewarding, something that many VAs in e-commerce businesses are searching for.I noted that the best talent is rarely available in the job market and if you run across great talent you’ve got to sell your business and the opportunity to them.  One of the ways I’ve learned to deal with the best being rarely available is to leverage LinkedIn to find people who are good matches (I use very specific keywords) and then asking them if they know anyone who would be a good fit.  Often I get a referral and occasionally that person puts his/her hand up (which is what I was dreaming of in the first place).We also talked about the importance of having systems and procedures in place, and Isaac noted the importance of not answering questions that are provided in the training, but rather referring people to the training.  I would go one step further and task those people who are actually doing the tasks on a daily basis with making sure that those materials are updated.  After all, they are becoming the subject matter experts in those tasks.  Why not have them keep the materials up to date?Isaac started the episode by saying that his best lessons have come from his biggest mistakes and that he has found that when he has been willing to be vulnerable and share those challenges with his team, there’s a greater bond of trust that is formed, which makes it easier to work together.  It’s important to track the way your team members think and feel and get to know them better, especially through one-on-ones.Enjoy this conversation with Isaac!Key Learning Points:1. Isaac shares that all his best lessons have come from his biggest mistakes - 4:202. Isaac gives us a Grant Cardone quote that completely changed the way he hired - 8:303. Mads reminds us that the best people are rarely available to hire - 14:054. Mads makes the case for management as manipulation (in a good way) - 18:505. Isaac discusses the value of vulnerability when talking with your team - 22:076. Mads gives some hacks for finding talent on LinkedIn - 30:307. Isaac shares pitfalls of SOPs - 43:158. Mads offers a technique to make sure SOPs are consistently updated - 46:419. Isaac talks about developing a mentality of always being willing to update/improve processes - 50:30 Resources Mentioned:10x Rule by Grant Cardone Connect with Isaac SmithFacebookNext Level Ecommerce Podcast

Apr 7

56 min 23 sec

While many people struggled to survive when the Covid-19 pandemic began (and continued), Lindsay Tjepkema and her team at Casted have had a very different problem: managing growth.  The company is only two years old and half of that has been in the middle of a series of lockdowns and restrictions that no one ever planned for.  But while Casted entered the pandemic in March 2020 with 10 team members, they now have 20.Casted is an amplified marketing platform that helps enterprise B2B marketing teams harness the power of audio and video content as the centerpiece of their content strategy.  Someone appearing on a podcast to discuss how her company helps other companies grow using, among other things, podcasts, made for a fun episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast!Lindsay, first and last, values people.  Long before she started the company, she and her co-founders were planning and discussing what kind of team they wanted to build, what kind of opportunities they wanted to offer, what kind of culture they hoped to create.  That sort of people-centric focus, pre-pandemic, led to a very tight team: they went to lunch with each other at least once a week, overheard meetings and sales pitches, and even knew each other’s coffee preferences.  That’s obviously had to change as the in-person team added many new members who couldn’t be there with them.  Something I’ve done with my own teams to adapt to the situation is to have walking meetings.  Instead of walking together in-person, we both are walking in our own geographic locations and getting that energy and movement from a walk as part of our time together.It’s also important to interconnect your people.  Some personality types are going to naturally gravitate towards others, but some members of your team are going to need a bit of encouragement to interact with each other.  It might be a bit manufactured and awkward at the beginning, Lindsay acknowledges, but the fruits of this outreach come fairly quickly.This also means that Lindsay tries to make herself available to help others in whatever way she can.  Whenever business owners tell me they “don’t have time for that kind of thing” it’s usually because they are “busy” doing the wrong things.  It’s these one-on-one connections with people, team members, and strangers alike, that can take you to the next level of personal and professional performance.  Lindsay gets that, and that’s why I think she and Casted have a bright future ahead of them.  Enjoy our conversation!Key Learning Points:1. Lindsay discusses how “people” have always been at the center of how she viewed and built Casted - 3:052. Lindsay values “over-communication” in her team - 5:043. Mads shares the “biggest own goal possible” in management - 9:154. Lindsay offers different frames for presenting unwanted projects to your team - 10:355. Lindsay discusses the power of in-person teams - 15:306. Lindsay and Mads note the fallacy of the entrepreneur “going it alone” - 27:457. Lindsay discusses the value of alone time - 31:30  Connect with Lindsay TjepkemaLinkedInTwitterCasted

Mar 31

34 min 9 sec

Yellow Pages was a dominant advertising paradigm for many small businesses for so many years and it worked well for many of them.  Put up an ad and the sales would roll in.Today’s guest for the Mads Singers Management Podcast, John Vuong, lived in that universe for ten years before transitioning to the digital advertising world.  John really enjoyed working with small business owners and watching their journeys to build successful businesses.  He had a passion for helping them on that journey and hence when the paradigm began to shift away from Yellow Pages, he moved on to the then-unknown world of SEO.  He didn’t let that lack of knowledge scare him.  He jumped in with both feet and made more than his fair share of mistakes.  But he says that his sales background really helped him in this new SEO world.  I noted that SEOs are not normally known for being social and gregarious and that a sales background could clearly be a differentiator in that space.Something we both really agreed on was the importance of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.  This isn’t just important when dealing with clients you are trying to help, but also with employees, you are trying to delegate tasks to.  Failure to delegate in the SEO world will mean the death of a small agency, which I see far too often with owners who also happen to be subject matter experts.John noted that a lot of his clients aren’t interested in understanding the black box that is SEO: that’s what they pay him to do.  But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t explain some basics to them.  “Consumer education in this space is key,” he noted.We finished the episode by talking about the importance of company culture.  I firmly believe you can build a company any way that you want to, as long as you are crystal clear on the culture that you are building that company on top of.  John’s humility and openness about his journey are encouraging for any of those who might be considering entrepreneurship.  Enjoy! Key Learning Points:1. John shares his motivation to get into SEO - 3:062. Mads talks about the trap of the subject matter expert - 4:323. John notes the necessary consumer education for SEO clients - 6:454. John discusses his early mistakes - 8:085. John talks about how public speaking and podcasting made him more resilient - 10:306. Mads shares how his inherent ability to read people got supercharged by DISC - 12:007. Mads notes that most SEOs lack EQ - 15:058. Mads affirms that you can build a business however you want to, around a culture that matters to you - 22:309. John talks about how his sales life prepared him for entrepreneurship - 30:30 Resources Mentioned:1. Principles by Ray Dalio  2. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss Connect with John VuongLinkedInLocal SEO Search

Mar 24

33 min 55 sec

It’s always nice when our guest for the Mads Singers Management Podcast is familiar with hosting a podcast.  In this episode, I’m chatting with Jesse Jackson (no, not that Jesse Jackson) about best practices when it comes to managing and communicating with teams.  Jesse has spent most of his career in the call-center business, working in various divisions, be it sales, customer service, and tech support.  He has managed teams from 25-50 people.  When he’s not with his family he’s recording podcasts about Bruce Springsteen and Dr. Who.    Jesse moved to a new company last year and had dozens of new team members to meet.  He met all of them in two weeks, asking some short simple questions: What do you like about working here? What do you not like? What can I do for you? What’s a song you have to have on a road trip? Jesse’s fellow managers were stunned that Jesse had managed to meet with everyone so quickly, but Jesse couldn’t understand why this wasn’t a basic expectation: how could he be expected to understand his team if he couldn’t take a few minutes to meet with them?  He created a Spotify playlist using everyone’s songs and shared it, as well as the two most important pieces of feedback that kept coming up in his meetings: Everyone enjoyed the family atmosphere of the company, but They didn’t feel as much in the loop as they wanted to be I noted that not only is communication normally an issue between management and teams, but that some managers don’t have the self-awareness to realize that they are not communicating in the way that is best for all the members of the team, but in the way that the manager typically prefers.  Jesse understood that instinctively and said that when he sends out communication he usually does it across multiple platforms, be it email, Loom, and messages on Teams/Slack so that everyone could get the info in the format he/she preferred.Jesse also noted how far telling team members WHY goes.  He shared multiple occasions in which sharing the why behind his decision led to buy-in and adoption.  That sort of sharing also gives employees the confidence to come to you with ideas for improvement.  He gives those employees the advice that he earned by his own lessons: come to management with facts instead of feelings, and have the confidence in yourself to advocate for your ideas.  Don’t just back down at the first “No.”  Management has natural resistance built-in.I agreed, pointing out that whenever I’ve seen employees own an idea they work that much harder to get it implemented.It was a pleasure to chat with Jesse.  Enjoy the episode! Key Learning Points: 1. Jesse talks about why it’s so important to meet with each team member when you take over a team - 4:452. Mads warns of bad tendency leaders have when communicating with their team members - 7:503. Jesse shares why the “mushroom treatment” doesn’t work for team members - 12:304. Mads notes the three pitfalls of failing to own unpopular decisions - 15:505. Jesse encourages those who want to advocate for change with management to show up with facts, not feelings - 24:456. Mads stresses that people will tend to fight to help bring one of their own ideas to life - 30:50 Resources Mentioned:Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni Connect with Jesse Jackson Set Lusting Bruce Twitter 

Mar 17

36 min 58 sec

Today’s guest for the Mads Singers Management Podcast, Timothy Colson, has spent many years in leadership, first in a big box retailer for almost a decade, then for a nationwide insurance company.  Today he runs his own insurance and financial services firm in New York, about an hour outside Manhattan.Part of why Timothy runs his own firm today is his love of culture and the way that it can shape a team.  “We sell commodities.  There’s no need to take that so very seriously.  I want a team that values creativity, honesty, and having fun.”  Timothy noted that when he emphasized those core values, it wasn’t difficult to attract A-players to his team. Timothy noted that great culture happens when people enjoy their work, feel trusted and empowered, and come to work every day feeling like they are part of something.  I noted that that goes hand in hand with performance.  People who are performing well tend to be happier.  Those who are not performing well know they aren’t performing, and are a drag on themselves and the culture.  If they can’t get with the program, they have to go (and it’s better for them too!).We also discussed “situational leadership” as a topic that is getting more attention these days.  Timothy sees that as assessing what is the most important issue in a given day or week, identifying the right person to deal with it, and then deploying that person to do so.  This fosters trust and empowerment in a team, as opposed to micromanagement, which tends to discourage team members.Timothy and I also enjoyed roasting the old and outdated chestnut that, in management, you should always “treat everyone the same.”  The reality is that different people need different techniques and approaches.  Timothy talked about one particular scenario in which one of his team was performing very well, but not using the methods that had been determined as the “right way” by the higher ups.  After spending some time with her, he decided to ask for forgiveness instead of asking for permission from the higher-ups and leaned into the methods she was using to win.  He then documented those and passed them up the chain for approval.  Rather than insist that there was only one right way to do things, he took a gamble and helped coach his employee.Timothy has a clear passion for the science of leadership and it was a pleasure to get to know him well.  Enjoy this episode! Key Learning Points:1. Timothy notes that it only takes one person to poison the culture of an entire company - 4:002. Timothy shares what he thinks a great culture does - 5:153. Mads reminds us that people who perform tend to be happy - 6:564. Timothy gives us his definition of situational leadership - 16:505. Mads warns that “treat everyone the same” as an idiom in management is outdated thinking - 19:006. Mads stresses the importance of self-knowledge to complement knowledge of your team - 21:327. Timothy shares how he found a way to help one of his team members grow in an unconventional way - 27:448. Timothy talks about an “aha” moment in regards to micromanagement - 33:039. Mads notes the biggest danger of micromanagement - 35:11  Connect with Timothy ColsonTri-State Legacy Group

Mar 10

39 min 34 sec

Believe it or not, there was a time when there was nothing like Google Ads on the Internet.  All you could find were documents and PDFs floating around explaining how to “improve traffic” to your website, but there was nothing like the SEO industry that exists today.One of those early pioneers (with one of those PDFs in hand) was Phil Drinkwater.  He originally trained as a programmer and helped to design video games.  He moved into project management and picked up SEO and UX/UI along the way.  He’s my guest for today’s episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast.Phil now runs an agency focused on a few specific niches, and that was something we both see as a big problem in SEO: a lack of focus.  Instead of doing something specific and doing it well over and over and over, many individuals and agencies claim to be all things to all people.  While a part of me understands that it’s a part of the entrepreneurial journey to say “yes” in the beginning so you can say “no” later, it seems that there are quite a few people who are still stuck in the “yes” mode (with no game plan for how to move into “no” mode).  I have to say when I speak for small businesses or at conferences, this is a topic that comes up over and over and is probably the thing I speak about the most.Part of serving a specific niche is networking appropriately.  “If you want to work with lawyers, find out where they hang out and go there,” said Phil.  Whatever you want to focus on, identify where the decision-makers are congregating and go there to add value, not just to throw your (virtual) business card at them.Phil also clearly has a passion for building a team of A-players who trust each other and trust the process.  Part of his interview process for any new employee involves that person sitting with the team, doing tasks, and also asking questions: nothing is off limits.  Not only does this build friendship and camaraderie even before day one on the job, but it lets people know that they matter.  Phil had experience in fear-based cultures in some workplaces and he thinks it’s perhaps the easiest way to kill the creativity in your team.  Fear-based cultures tend to micromanage and check everything and that’s a great way to watch creatives check out.  Ultimately, you want people to be “free to fail” because mistakes and failures aren’t the end of the world.  We learn from our mistakes.  We should never be put in the position (or put our team members in such a position) as to feel that perfection is what we’re after.  Trust and accountability matters much more.Phil’s got a world of experience to share and I hope you tune in and harvest some of it! Key Learning Points:1. Phil talks about the early days of SEO - 2:102. Phil shares the hands-on interview process that helps him find the best candidates - 6:453. Phil emphasizes the importance of giving people a voice - 8:454. Phil explains the open structure of his company - 10:005. Phil warns of the dangers of a “blame culture” - 11:306. Phil stresses the need for creatives to feel relaxed in order to perform well - 15:007. Phil discusses how delegation felt “unnatural” to him at first - 17:158. Phil celebrates some big “mistakes” that have led to positive changes in his life - 20:159. Phil recommends Alan Watts’ story of the Chinese farmer - 23:4010. Phil underlines the importance of doing a business you can enjoy and be successful at - 32:01 Connect with Phil Drinkwater Website LinkedIn Twitter

Mar 3

40 min 16 sec

We often complain about the fact that there’s so much that “they” don’t teach us in school that we need not just for our careers, but for life.  Turns out that instead of just adding one more voice to that chorus, someone decided to address those challenges by writing a book.Today’s guest for the Mads Singers Management Podcast, Mark Herschberg, is the author of the new book The Career Toolkit: Essential Skills for Success that No One Taught You.  Mark has managed to pull off a rare trick: 20 years in academia, teaching at MIT, and 20 years as a CTO, working with garage startups and Fortune 500 companies alike.One of the aspects of our conversation that I found funny was how both Mark and I had to intentionally overcome parts of our own personalities in order to live the lives we do now.  For me, as a classic introvert, I chose to ride a bus to work early in my career.  I started with “Hi”s to strangers and when that became easier, I graduated to “Hi, how are you?”  Mark’s technique was more dramatic: he used ballroom dancing.  “If I made mistakes, it wasn’t the end of the world,” he noted.  He took what may have been “high stakes” for others and turned it into a practice ground for himself.  Not only did he become better at networking, but dancing gave confidence to his public speaking.  I shared that Toastmasters had been part of my own journey to improve in public speaking, and we noted that activities and hobbies like dancing or Toastmasters serve as their own form of networking.  Rather than having to subject ourselves to the sometimes cringey world of “networking events” we have both come to realize over time that when you pursue interesting things you will run into interesting people.  And before too long, you’re “networking” without even knowing it.We also spoke about the value of negotiation and how some managers are “afraid” to train their employees to negotiate: “What if they use that against me?”  But Mark really noted that this isn’t a smart way to think.  It’s always better to negotiate against a good negotiator than a bad one.  A good one figures out how to get the best outcomes for everyone instead of playing a zero-sum game.  Yes, they may use their new negotiation skills “against” you, but they will appreciate your investment in them as a person, not just as a numbered employee. Mark is so full of fascinating stories and helpful lessons that this episode could have easily gone on longer.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Key Learning Points:1. Mads notes that the best salesperson doesn’t necessarily make the best sales manager, and certainly can’t become one without training - 3:432. Mads shares that often when people say they “don’t like managing” it’s because they don’t know how - 5:203. Mark stresses the importance of being incrementally better than your competition rather than focusing on being the “world’s greatest” - 7:074. Mark used ballroom dancing to help with his fear of public speaking - 11:045. Mark gives us a tactic to get networking results without attending “networking events” - 15:056. Mark has been encouraging people to re-invest the time they have saved with Covid - 23:407. Mark talks about the importance of learning how to learn - 30:008. Mark goes back to memories of geometry in school to connect learning to life - 33:459. Mark makes the case for training your team to negotiate better (even if it’s against you) - 37:4510. Mark points out that there’s no substitute for practicing what you learn in books, courses, and podcasts - 42:2011. Mads talks about the prestige and advantages that come from hosting groups - 47:30 Resources Mentioned:The Career Toolkit3D NegotiationBargaining for AdvantageStart with NoGetting to Yes by Roger FisherNever Split the DifferenceGood for You Great for Me Connect with Mark Herschberg:The Career Toolkit

Feb 24

50 min 31 sec

We hear a lot in the news these days about “diversity” and “inclusion” and it’s often best to speak to someone who is working on these issues each day to get a sense of the state of affairs.  Today I welcome one of those people, Genesis Amaris Kemp, to the Mads Singers Management Podcast.  Genesis is a self-proclaimed “enthusiast” for inclusivity and diversity and has a book that outlines her thoughts on the subject: Chocolate Drop in Corporate America. Genesis and I started the episode talking about passion and I shared how fortunate I was to have stumbled across my passion via a great boss.  She was such a great manager that I ditched my planned career path to study management so I could become as good as her.  One of the problems I run into when I chat with people is they aren’t getting out there often enough to find their passions.  Pro tip: you’re not going to find your passion sitting on your couch.Part of being a great manager is being able to give feedback, but it’s also the hallmark of a great employee to be able to take feedback.  I’d love to say that I was a natural, but it actually took me years to be able to just say “thank you” and thoughtfully consider what had been shared with me instead of just getting defensive and resentful, which of course led to total lack of productivity on my part.Part of the “feedback” that the corporate world has been receiving is the need to be more inclusive and diverse in the workplace and in leadership roles.  This has even led to a quota system in Norway that mandates that 40% of the seats of boards of publicly traded companies must be held by women.  That’s actually been discouraging to friends of mine who earned their spots before these quotas.  I also recently fielded complaints from those who looked at our speaker list for the SEO Mastery Summit: “Why aren’t there more women?”  We simply didn’t have a lot of women apply.  Genesis and I talked about the relevance of quotas, the importance of making sure there’s a wide range of individuals of different ethnicities and cultures in given businesses, and the need to ensure that those individuals can see a path for them to rise and spread their wings, to not just be seen, but be heard.The trap of “checking the box” or “tokenizing” diversity is always lurking, even in our subconscious, so it’s worthwhile to challenge our assumptions and look to improve our workplaces for ourselves and our team members.  Enjoy this episode with Genesis!Key Learning Points: 1. Genesis gives us her definition of passion - 1:452. Mads relates how a great boss changed his career path and allowed him to stumble across a passion - 3:203. Mads reminds us that hearing feedback isn’t always easy - 7:304. Mads goes on to warn against the defensiveness that is almost a reflex when hearing negative feedback - 10:305. Genesis defines diversity, inclusivity, equity, and equality - 12:406. Mads underlines the high stakes of hiring in a small business - 17:357. Mads shares his own challenges in finding female speakers for a conference he runs - 22:558. Genesis warns of “check the box” syndrome - 28:459. Genesis also warns of divided employee resource groups (ERGs) - 29:3010. Mads reminds us that mentors love to help those who are passionate - 37:30Resources Mentioned: Chocolate Drop in Corporate America Connect with Genesis Amaris Kemp1. Facebook2. Email

Feb 17

38 min 59 sec

Hiring is one of my favorite topics to discuss, and my guest for today’s episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast, Mark Webster, had so much good information to share about that topic.  Mark is Scottish but has spent enough time in the US that his accent is somewhere in the mid-Atlantic.  He currently runs Authority Hacker, which he co-founded in 2014.  Authority Hacker educates website owners about the ins and outs of SEO.  In a previous life, he ran a digital marketing agency with 30 team members.  He also holds a small portfolio of affiliate websites.One of the first things Mark talked about was the importance of hiring superstars.  “We want A+ people or nobody,” he said.  I couldn’t agree more: the cost of a bad, or even a “not so good” hire is significant.  Mark agreed, noting that one of his big mistakes in the past was not firing a bad hire quickly enough.  He noted that in big companies they get a “performance improvement plan” and three warnings, etc. but those small businesses don’t have that kind of “luxury.”  A business can be significantly damaged while you drag your feet on what should be a simple decision: letting a bad fit leave the organization. Mark also shared some great tips to mentally frame the recruitment process.  Firstly, he thinks about recruitment as a funnel.  You want to get “leads” (applicants) and you can only do so by really compelling “copy” (job descriptions).  He then shared that 10 out of every 50 applicants are people he really wants to pursue.  He also gave his thoughts on various online assessments (I mentioned my love for DISC) and he also shared some questions he likes to ask: “How would your last three bosses/clients rate you on a 1-10 scale?  We do check references.” He says this even though they might not have time to check references. “Are you more interested in the job or the company?”  If they don’t mention the job at all in their answer Mark knows it’s not a good fit. “What sorts of books/podcasts/youtube channels do you read/listen to/follow?”  If it’s mostly trashy fiction, we know these aren’t people who are dedicated to personal development. I loved hearing these, so I added one of my own, “Do you do better working on your own or on a team?”  I’m not so much interested in the answer than in the way the question is answered.  If the person answers right away, I know that is the true answer.  If they pause and answer more slowly, then I know they are telling me what I want to hear (or at least what they think I want to hear).Mark and I talked for quite a while and could have gone on for even longer, but I wanted to be respectful of his time (and yours), so I had to wrap it up at some point.  If you’re interested in thinking through your hiring process more thoroughly, this episode is for you. Key Learning Points:1. Mads points out the costliness of a “not so good” hire - 4:542. Mark argues that you can outsource many things in a startup, but not HR - 6:413. Mark talks about a mistake regarding bad hires - 10:154. Mark shares his conception of recruiting as a “funnel” - 14:505. Mads talks about the concept of “recruitment as sales” - 24:116. Mark agrees and talks about “pre-selling” the company during a final interview - 24:407. Mads notes that the best hires love challenges - 25:258. Mark offers a framing question that helps him weed out candidates - 27:329. Mads adds on to that point, by noting the way that a particular question is answered gives a lot of information - 28:2210. Mark adds some additional unusual questions that help him gain information about candidates - 33:4511. Mads underlines the importance of having forums/opportunities to connect with staff - 45:41  Connect with Mark WebsterAuthority Hacker Podcast

Feb 10

50 min 14 sec

It’s often said that a business is a way for the founders and employees to bring their theories to life.  Sometimes those founders have enough energy and vision to drive multiple businesses.  Today’s guest for the Mads Singers Management Podcast is Matt Diggity and he is very much one of those types of founders.  His businesses include (drum roll): Diggity Marketing (a blog about digital marketing), Leadspring (a firm that builds authority, monetizes, and eventually sells affiliate websites), Authority Builders (a backlink service), Search Initiative (a client-facing SEO agency), Affiliate Lab (a course that teaches the background of the services that Leadspring offers, for the DIY type), and Chiang Mai SEO (during times when gathering in numbers is permitted).If you were paying any kind of attention to that impressive resume, you’ll see that Matt has a lot of SEO superpowers and is simply deploying them in multiple ways.  In order for him to do that effectively, he’s got to have great management skills.  That’s actually how our paths crossed originally.  I came out to one of his team’s in-person events to give them some management training.  I covered a lot of what I talk about in my management course, with a special emphasis on 1 to 1 meeting and recruitment.  Those two activities, apart from the day-to-day management tasks, like strategic thinking and networking, comprise the very heart of great management.Matt shared how much he loves assigning responsibilities, rather than tasks, when he delegates.  I agreed, saying that if team members are clear on the expected outcome, they can feel free to tweak the process in order to get to that outcome.  Delegation also assumes knowing where someone is coming from, and I think DISC can go a long way to helping people solve that problem.  Matt noted that he liked DISC because unlike Meyers-Briggs, which gives you 16 possible variants, it only has four measurements to examine.Part of how you can get to understanding the urgency of delegation is auditing your activity: seeing how you are spending your time and noting what kind of income those activities generate.  When you see that laid out it becomes so much easier to let tasks go that you simply don’t have to do, not least of which because you are nowhere near the best person in your company to do those things.Despite all that he’s got going on, Matt is mindful of parenting and he had a lovely thought for current and aspiring parents: “There is no amount of time that is ‘enough’ to spend with your child.”  Enjoy this conversation!Key Learning Points:1. Matt notes the revelation of there only being two main functions of management once things get put in place - 3:082. Mads reminds listeners that if you can’t take a month off, you don’t have a business, just a glorified job - 4:503. Mads emphasizes the ineffectiveness of doing tasks that should be outsourced - 8:154. Mads talks about the “boxes” that DISC helps create - 15:305. Mark shares the helpfulness of assigning responsibilities rather than tasks - 20:156. Mark underlines that delegation assumes A-players - 31:257. Mads discusses an alternative way of framing a job search - 34:358. Matt tells listeners a key lesson about parenthood - 39:15 Resources Mentioned:The Algebra of Happiness by Scott Galloway Connect with Matt DiggityDiggity Marketing

Feb 3

41 min 3 sec

Seven years ago Martin Ebongue was living in France, working at a job that he enjoyed.  But he wanted more freedom, and since he had already built some online businesses with good revenue streams, he was able to quit that job and go on a world tour for 18 months.  He ended up settling down in Bali, which is where he was when he joined me as a guest for an episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast.  One of the big themes of discussion for us on this episode was delegation.  Martin stressed the need to let go of your ego: “I’m not always the best person to take care of a certain task,” he noted.  But it’s not enough to just come to this realization.  There also has to be a process for delegation.  Martin’s process involves him going through the task once himself before handing it over to someone.  That person then confirms that they understand exactly how to accomplish the task (and if they don’t they can ask).  This seems to work well for Martin as he has only had one team member leave in the last seven years.  I shared that one of the biggest pain points that should lead people to delegate in the first place is the burden of being a subject matter expert (sometimes in multiple fields).  That means that people are always coming to you for decisions, creating bottlenecks.  Martin agreed, saying that while it may feel like a burden to create a process in the first place, that’s only a short time commitment which pays outsized dividends in giving you more of a personal life.Martin also believes in having a team culture that looks for collaboration rather than competition.  Given that his team is spread out across three continents (Europe, Africa, Asia) that’s a powerful mindset to keep the team collaborating.  This collaboration extends to the hiring process.  Martin’s first two employees were simply excellent freelancers that he ended up bringing on full-time.  He began to realize that people who have achieved mastery in a certain field tend to know others who have also achieved mastery in different fields.  This led him to start looking for potential candidates from his team’s recommendations.  There are so many different components to a great team, and different candidates bring different skills and personalities to the table.Along these same lines, I was recently chatting with a coaching client about a new hire he was very excited about.  “If only I could get one more like him,” he said.  “Well,” I said, “why not ask him?”  Winners know winners.Martin is one of those winners and I know you’ll enjoy this conversation as much as I did. Key Learning Points:1. Martin shares the locations of his remote team - 2:432. Martin discusses the importance of letting go of your ego in delegating better - 3:453. Martin talks about how he empowers his employees once he has delegated tasks to them - 6:354. Martin outlines his process of delegation - 8:025. Martin states that he has only had one team member leave in seven years - 11:156. Martin notes the progression of some freelancers to becoming his first hires - 16:057. Martin emphasizes the importance of asking your people to help find new hires - 17:308. Martin stresses the short-term pain that needs to be overcome in creating new processes - 20:209. Mads talks about the hazards of being a subject matter expert - 25:1810. Martin opines about the time of team culture he wishes to foster - 29:08 Connect with Martin EbongueFacebook

Jan 27

34 min

SaaS is such a key part of the business world in general so it’s always great to go behind the scenes with someone who is actually in the trenches, building and managing a SaaS.  Jeroen Corthout, our guest for today’s episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast, is building Salesflare, a B2B CRM servicing a few thousand companies.While you might think of a SaaS as the company that would be most likely to be built by a distributed remote team, prior to March 2020 Salesflare was 100% in-person in Antwerp, Belgium.  Jeroen had believed that everyone “being in the same room” was always going to be the best-case scenario.  But what he noticed as the team was forced to go remote via governmental regulations and lockdowns, was that the “same room” philosophy was lazy.  “It meant we were relying on accidentally overhearing something.  There was no system in place.”  That system was put firmly in place as 2020 continued, down to how the team would keep track of decisions in meetings (Google Docs visible to all) and how they could see people’s reactions when they weren’t all in the same room (having everyone tiled during a team call so that everyone could be seen).This intentionality in communication had long been a hallmark of how Salesflare dealt with customers.  Every developer periodically spends a week on the customer-facing side, to get a sense of what is going on there in terms of customer feedback and technical issues.  Jeroen noted that AI will play a role in software development in the future, but for now it’s up to him and his team to try to anticipate what the customer is thinking using processes like developers listening in on calls or watching chats.SaaS businesses face several dueling pressures.  One is the question of profitability vs growth.  I was glad to see that Jeroen wasn’t chasing profitability at any cost: he was clearly aware of his niche and stated that at the beginning of the episode.  He also shared his desire to improve the hiring process as the company grows in the future.  The other dueling pressure he has to deal with every day is building vs communicating.  The development team has to build a great product and tries to extract from customers what they like, but more importantly, why they like it.  This communication with the customer is key, and Jeroen encourages this early on by not only adding every potential customer on LinkedIn, letting them know there’s an open door should they wish to talk but also by adding more “free trial” time as those new users complete more tasks within the CRM.  If you, like me, find the SaaS trend fascinating, this episode will be a great chance for you to understand it more, from someone who is living it day-to-day.  Enjoy! Key Learning Points:1. Jeroen talks about the essence of what SaaS has to deliver to be competitive - 3:002. Jeroen shares the two main jobs of any successful software company - 4:103. Jeroen discusses systems he has in place to make sure his team understand how customers are thinking - 7:374. Jeroen notes the need to stay in touch with his team and with clients (and how he does both) - 8:145. Jeroen explains the process his team uses to improve the product - 9:406. Jeroen opines on the game-changing nature of his team going remote due to Covid - 14:547. Jeroen stresses the importance of morning standup meetings - 19:358. Jeroen ruminates on the push/pull tensions of growth and profitability - 25:50 Connect with Jeroen Corthout:1. Salesflare2. LinkedIn 

Jan 20

30 min 51 sec

Sometimes entrepreneurs can be so focused on working for themselves that it’s considered shameful to ever go and work for someone else.  But when you have such a limiting belief, you miss out on the opportunity to learn.  Our guest for today’s episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast, Effie Parnell-Hopkinson, is someone who didn’t limit herself and came away from a job experience with some lessons that helped her level up.Effie has spent some of her careers as a bodybuilder and while studying for her undergraduate degree people started to ask her (unsurprisingly) about proper eating and exercise.  After enough people were asking, she started a health coaching business while getting her Masters in nutrition.  At some point along the journey she met Dr. Emil Goliath, who also had a health coaching business.  They became business partners (and started dating) and that’s where she is today, handling operations for Health Evolved.  Knowing she had come from a business owner background, I was keen to find out what she had learned during her stint working as an employee in another business.  “Nobody really knows what they are doing,” she said wryly.  “Everyone is learning and making mistakes, and even though a business may look like it’s succeeding from the outside, there are real challenges on the inside.”  I couldn’t have agreed more.  So often in my business coaching experience, I’ve seen people who own jobs, not businesses, precisely because they haven’t taken the time to create systems or properly delegate.They don’t teach those sorts of skills in school, and Effie and I agreed on the importance of apprenticing for someone successful.  Don’t focus on the money but instead treasure the incredible knowledge and lessons you are going to get from someone who is further along in a journey than you are.One of those key lessons you might glean is making sure that remote teams have proper expectations, especially given time zone differences.  People need to know how and why they are doing something and should be given all the resources they need at the very beginning.  Effie added on that part of proper delegation is getting to know the team member better during onboarding.  If you know where they want to go personally and professionally, you’re more empowered as a manager to help them get there.That also means hiring for cultural fit, which you can only do if you have taken the time to write a job description that properly spells out not just what the job entails but what kind of company you are.  I noted that when dealing with hiring that no hire is always better than a bad hire.This chat with Effie really flew by and I think you’ll appreciate and enjoy her perspectives.Key Learning Points:1. Mads discusses the “shame” that is sometimes spread in the entrepreneurial community about working for someone else - 4:252. Effie shares her struggles in working for someone else after having her own business for so long - 5:253. Effie notes some insights she gained from having a job - 7:144. Mads talks about the “free lessons” on offer when you apprentice for high-level entrepreneurs - 10:125. Effie shares a “paint it done” strategy she uses for delegation - 13:206. Effie opines on the importance of clear expectations when working across multiple time zones - 18:007. Effie talks about the importance of hiring for cultural fit - 24:528. Mads shares that “no hire is better than a bad hire” - 26:259. Mads notes that the brand of team software you use is less important than the team being properly trained to use it - 28:15Resources Mentioned:Dare to Lead by Brene BrownConnect with Effie Parnell-Hopkinson 1. Facebook 2. Health Evolved by Dr. Emil

Jan 13

29 min 55 sec

It’s not often that we’re able to speak to someone who has managed in three different cultures, and that’s why I was so excited to welcome Alex Zuev of Ardor SEO onto the Mads Singers Management Podcast.  Alex is a self-proclaimed IT geek and started his career developing payment systems in Russia similar to Paypal.  After success in that field, he started his own business and as part of the bootstrapping process learned how to do his own SEO.  Soon enough he was helping others with that, too.  He has spent time working and living in China in a digital marketing position for Alibaba.  He’s also lived and worked in the United States, specifically NY.  Today, Alex and his wife make their home in Asia, Vietnam specifically.With such a CV, I was keen to get into all the cultural differences in management he’s witnessed.  One of the first points he discussed was the gap between a boss and an employee: In China there is an enormous gap between the two, with a pronounced dislike for foreigners in the management ranks In the West, particularly in the US, there’s more of a collaborative relationship, akin to colleagues In Russia there’s a mix of the previous two systems What does that mean on the practical level?  Well, during his time at Alibaba, he had to fight for three months so that his team could get direct access to developers so that problems could be addressed pre-emptively and directly instead of in the slow and plodding manner of large corporations.  Once that connection (and correction) was made, Alex saw a 2X/3X improvement in the quality of work, but if he hadn’t known to be persistent, that improvement wouldn’t have ever happened.  That’s one of the reasons he prefers working at smaller companies: it’s easier to get your ideas implemented (or at least heard).  It also means you can be thinking in the same ways by running things like a book club in your team.  As new ideas from these books get bounced around from discussions, they can also be directly applied to processes and procedures.Speaking of processes and delegation, Alex’s ultimate delegation trick is automation.  He’s a big believer in using technologies to “set it and forget it” with processes whenever possible.Alex has a wealth of information and experience and we could have spoken for much longer than we did.  Enjoy!  Key Learning Points:1. Alex discusses the value of empathy in communication - 9:202. Alex shares his experiences working with Filipinos - 11:413. Alex notes the importance of personality testing in hiring - 14:064. Alex talks about the differences between working in a small firm and a big one - 15:275. Alex addresses the Chinese dislike for foreign managers in their ranks - 19:556. Mads talks about the upside of challenges - 23:157. Alex preaches automation as delegation - 27:458. Alex opines on the value of a company book club - 31:13 Resources Mentioned:Clockwork by Michaelowitz Connect with Alex Zuev Facebook

Jan 6

33 min 51 sec

It’s not often that you’ll hear a guitar strumming in the background of the Mads Singers Management Podcast, but that’s precisely what my guest Chris Wilson was doing at one point when we discussed the changing ways his team gave music lessons post-Covid.  Chris graduated from the Berklee College of Music in the 1990s as a guitarist and started teaching in his apartment.  Before long his practice grew and pre-Covid he and his team of 25 were servicing 650 clients at the Academy of Music and Art just outside Chicago, Illinois.One of the challenges that Chris faces is that there are no long-term music instructors in his team.  A lot of these people graduate from arts programs, as Chris did, and want to do something in that field.  So they will go to auditions or try various options while teaching, whether that’s in music, dance, or theater (all of which Chris’ academy normally offers).  Sometimes they teach for a few months, sometimes for a few years, but if they end up working in the arts, they will stop teaching, and if they don’t make it in the arts, they leave the field entirely.While Chris can’t control the circumstances of his crew of creatives, he has found a way to keep them teaching with him as long as possible: offering flexibility...within reason.  Understandably people in the arts will sometimes need to leave for an audition suddenly and will need to deal with their group of students.  Chris and his team have found ways to accommodate that, but it all starts with that attitude that everyone is there to help everyone else.  Options include: Getting a fellow teacher to substitute for you Making a video for your current students, asking if they would like to delay lessons for a week Anything is possible...except just leaving without telling anyone.  While employee retention is key, so is employee training.  It’s not that obvious, but being qualified as an artist doesn’t make you a great teacher.  Chris realized this right away and put together a mentoring program making sure that the newest teachers had time and conversations with the most senior teachers.We also talked a LOT about books that impacted each other (linked below) and Chris shared his passion for proper delegation, which for him means giving as much support as possible to someone when you delegate, not assume they know everything and abandon them.  We also talked about the adjustments he and his team have had to make during Covid (music and dance lessons are fairly easily done online, theater productions cannot be done at all).It was fun to have a musician on the show and I think you’ll enjoy our discussion. Key Learning Points: 1. Chris tells of the (accurate) warning he received that there were “no jobs waiting for students of the arts.” - 1:302. Chris talks about being part of the gig economy - 2:533. Chris shares his initial mistake in management, then how he rectified it - 5:204. Chris notes that being qualified as an artist or musician doesn’t qualify you to teach - 10:045. Mads chimes in, noting that often the best way to learn is to teach - 12:416. Chris observes that many creatives are, indeed, shy - 13:437. Chris points out that delegation should not be abandoned - 15:078. Chris talks about the transitional nature of his workforce - 20:009. Chris and Mads talk about the benefits of remote work post-Covid - 26:4010. Mads questions the point of being angry...ever. - 35:00 Resources Mentioned:1. The E-Myth by Michael Gerber2. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard3. Work the System by Sam Carpenter4. Success Principles by Jack Canfield Connect with Chris Wilson The Academy of Music and Art

Dec 2020

38 min 46 sec

Employee engagement is a secret weapon of fast-growing businesses, and today’s guest for the Mads Singers Management Podcast, Tonya Sowles, is someone deeply passionate about making sure team members are engaged, not just counting hours until they clock out.  She’s a general business consultant specializing in HR.  While she is a Senior Certified Professional for the Society of Human Resource Management, she’s also got an MBA and over 20 years of business experience.  She loves helping owners maximize their people in order to maximize productivity and profitability.That’s precisely where we started our conversation.  Tonya shared the shocking statistic that worldwide only 15% of employees are engaged with their work.  “Engaged” means: Proactively solving problems Championing ideas Cheerleading for the brand and helping to recruit Tonya said that even the best companies sometimes only have a 20% engagement rate, which means in a company of 10, there are 8 employees who might not care.  In my experience part of how you get employees to care is to invest in them.  A famous quote that guides me in this area is an exchange between two executives:“What if we invest in them and they leave?”“What if we don’t, and they stay?”Tonya champions the idea of weekly time blocks to talk with the team in general, and agreed with my oft-repeated advice to meet 1-to-1 with your direct reports each week.  She also had some harsh words for “employee evaluations” as they often are currently used.  She prefers instead more frequent “check-ins” which are borne from the open communication she seeks in having weekly time with her team members.  It’s in these check-ins that we can discover personal and professional goals and see how their work life is aligning with those goals.In those check-ins you can get to know your team better (something that DISC can help accelerate in the beginning).  The better you know your team and show them that you care about their advancement, the likelier they are to be engaged and not be part of that large percentage that are just clock-watchers.Tonya’s passion for engagement comes through in this episode.  You’ll enjoy it! Key Learning Points:1. Tonya talks about the importance of employee engagement - 3:302. Tonya, like Mads, encourages weekly time blocks to chat with staff - 7:053. Tonya shares why she doesn’t care for “employee evaluations” - 8:574. Mads discusses his single biggest management ROI - 11:185. Tonya warns against the dangers of training your team to “wait for permission” - 16:076. Mads emphasizes having a diverse set of skills (and personalities) among your team - 20:237. Mads shares the joy of telling his team he’ll be gone for a while and will be unreachable - 24:058. Tonya notes the problems with “shoebox accounting” - 27:339. Tonya discusses employees who are left to fend for themselves - 28:1010. Tonya explains why having employees is much more than having enough money to pay employees - 38:35 Connect with Tonya Sowles1. Sowles Consulting (Facebook)2. Triple P Group for Small Businesses3. Tonya Sowles (LinkedIn)

Dec 2020

44 min 29 sec

While we frequently talk to entrepreneurs on the Mads Singers Management Podcast, we also enjoy speaking with top leaders at companies.  Today’s guest, Esbe Van Heerden of OnFolio, is one of those leaders.  She’s spent five years building and running online businesses, with a heavy focus on operations. Esbe started our discussion by explaining the challenges of rapid growth.  In her case they went from five team members to 25, and from 25 assets under management to 52.  That meant that as systems were developed, they sometimes had to be abandoned because they didn’t work at the new scale.  But she was also constantly reminded that any system is better than no system.I readily agreed, noting that the number one challenge I see in my personal coaching clients is a lack of willingness to trust the process.  So many business owners are just looking to replicate themselves instead of putting in the hard work necessary to build a business, which means creating processes, delegating tasks, and trusting people.Part of delegation is setting expectations, and Esbe shared that one of the areas that she’s recently improved in is setting expectations and KPIs for her team.  Not only does this make them easier to manage, but it also makes it easier to let them go when they aren’t meeting those expectations.If your staff are properly managed by clear expectations, that means it costs you less to deliver services, which is one part of raising profits.  The second is making sure that you laser-focus on your niche, the one thing that you do really well.  When you are laser-focused you can charge your clients more because you are going to be delivering a better quality of service.This is a major mindset shift for entrepreneurs who must come to focus on the “one thing” mentality as opposed to the “cash grab” mentality.  In the latter case, distractions disguised as revenue drag you away from building a sustainable business.Sustainable businesses are kept that way by making sure you have the right clients.  Esbe recently did an audit which led them to drop ⅓ of the clients in their portfolio, which, in classic fashion, were roughly the 20% sucking up 80% of the time of the company.  While some of those clients were legacy clients, people who first helped the company get up and running, being in business often means making the tough, not the easy, decisions.Esbe will often pause to think about what she wants to say, and I wish more people had this thoughtfulness instead of just rushing to answer questions.  I think you’ll appreciate her answers and her way of answering. Key Learning Points:1. Esbe talks about the challenges of a rapidly growing company - 2:302. Esbe recounts the creation and evolution of the company wiki - 5:333. Esbe shares her perspectives on the difference between management and operations - 11:404. Mads warns about the frequent problem of owners bottlenecking their own businesses - 14:205. Mads parses the difference between owning a business and owning a job - 19:466. Mads shares the importance of shifting your mindset as a business owner away from a “cash grab” mentality - 21:377. Mads argues for narrowing the scope of what you do - 23:078. Esbe talks about dropping the bottom ⅓ of their clients to focus on the top ⅓ - 24:159. Mads talks about the benefits of laser-focusing on your niche - 27:1410. Esbe notes that it’s easier to let people go when there are KPIs and expectations in place - 31:4511. Mads reminds us that we don’t know the quality of a plan until we execute it - 40:20  Connect with Esbe Van HeerdenEsbe@onfolio.co

Dec 2020

41 min 18 sec

A common theme discussed on the Mads Singers Management Podcast is the question of hiring.  Who to hire, when to hire them, and perhaps most importantly, where to find them.  Our guest for today’s episode of the pod, Tim Brown, has had plenty of time to think about these questions in recent years as he’s grown his business, Hook Agency.One of the first things I talked about with Tim was how challenging it can be to grow a business financially.  As you go from 10+ employees up to 50, you’re not going to be seeing a lot of profit, as you’re likely to be reinvesting a lot of it into the company to help grow it.  Tim agreed, noting that it could get “lonely” during that time and you have to persevere in order to keep the growth going.Part of that growth is the people you bring on, of course, and we talked about the pros and cons of hiring younger and less experienced people.  I pointed out that while it’s tempting to bring in an external hire who is a superstar in a particular area, it’s almost always significantly cheaper to develop an internal hire, who can also then be shaped and molded to your company culture.You also want to do internal audits to find common traits that you can add to your hiring brief.  When we looked at our top performers in one of my businesses 9 out of the top 10 had lived abroad at least six months.  Not the first criteria one might think of, but on reflection, it speaks to a willingness to get outside of your comfort zone and a basic responsibility to legally exist elsewhere for an extended period of time.Tim noted that as much as he and his colleagues might share memes in slack about how isolation is affecting people at work (“we know you’re wearing sweatpants with your shirt and tie”) he also knows that people are actually getting depressed and has recently added a small monthly benefit to offset therapy costs.  This way he can show that he isn’t blind to this issue and that he believes that therapy does help.Finally, as we continued the hiring thread that ran through this entire episode, I stressed that networking is one of the best things you can do not just for recruiting purposes, but to learn mistakes from others in your industry.  You can make all the mistakes yourself, but why would you want to?Tim’s honesty about the challenges he’s faced is refreshing and you’ll enjoy his perspectives and passion for building a business the right way. Key Learning Points: 1. Tim shares that he has sometimes had to let things “break” in order for everyone to learn (and implement systems) - 3:102. Mads notes that the better you can show the client the ROI, the longer they will stick around - 6:053. Tim laments the lack of professionalism he sometimes sees in small businesses - 8:504. Tim parses the difference between lifestyle and growth businesses - 10:105. Tim talks about a recent trend in his company of hiring younger and less experienced employees - 15:356. Mads shares that it’s always significantly less expensive to internally develop someone in an area of expertise than to hire a high-priced external superstar - 20:057. Mads gives a metric he sues when hiring people that relates to how long they’ve lived abroad - 21:458. Tim notes the importance of empathy in regards to Covid-19 and isolation - 33:0010. Mads warns that the “I’m going to fix this” attitude isn’t just about poor delegation, but about an active ego - 37:1711.  Mads stresses the importance of networking as a way to learn mistakes more quickly rather than having to figure them out yourself - 38:55Resources Mentioned:1. Who by Geoff Smart 2. Traction by Gino WickmanConnect with Tim BrownHook Agency LinkedIn

Dec 2020

44 min 26 sec