What's Your Why? | Small Biz Marketing Specialist
What's Your Why?

What’s Your Why?

From your back story to what you want to leave as a legacy, it’s all a journey. Ben Gothard of Project EGG, interviews “Small Business Stacey” to dive deep into how to turn dreams into reality. #SmallBusinessInterviews #SmallBusinessSuccessStories

Episode Summary:

Ladies and gentlemen welcome so much to the show. I’m so glad that you’re here and I know you could be anywhere right now and wherever you are, I’m glad that you’re listening to the show and watching the show. So thank you so much for being here. My name is Ben and today we have the honor of speaking with Small Biz Stacey.

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"Before working with Stacey I was a struggling realtor. Today I am the #1 producing agent in my area. I could not have done that without Stacey's marketing brilliance."

Alrighty. Well, I’m so excited to chat with you today because I really want to ask, what is your story?

Oh my, what is my story? Wow. Well, let’s see. I think if my story were a movie, it would contain every genre, right? It would have comedy, it would have horror, it would have drama and it would have a lot of action. So let’s see. We can start with, once upon a time, there was a woman called Stacey and she was a serial entrepreneur. Her first business was a company called DataMax Solutions and what she did was she was doing the back office work for associations and nonprofits. That’s doing their grunt and grind work, like data processing, call centers, mailing, fulfillment. And this is way back when computers were actually just coming out. So this was state of the art, the things we were doing and the business grew quickly. It was really successful. I had two project managers running the show and 10 years later I woke up one day and had a midlife crisis and I just realized that I needed something fun and different to do.

I needed my hands involved in it cause my project managers were running the day to day. So it was like, well what could I do? I sort of envisioned that I had three options. I could go out and get a job. But after being your own boss, there was no way I was going to do that. I could start another business, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do or I could buy a franchise, you know, by getting into a proven system. So what I ended up doing actually was working with a franchise consultant who interviewed me for my strengths, my weaknesses, my financial capability. And the person came back and just said, “Look, Stacey, in your perfect world, what do you want to do?” I was like, “Well, you know what? My perfect job would be living at the beach working behind a tiki bar, serving umbrella drinks.”

And they said, “Well we have the perfect business for you. A Hawaiian themed coffee and smoothie business.” Now granted I’m not living at the beach cause I’m in the Washington DC area, but I started this franchise system here in the DC area, coffees and smoothies and I went gangbusters. In two years, I had two stores set up at Dulles Airport, one store in the mall. I had 10 of these mobile tiki bars that I was taking all over the place. We were doing fairs, events, catering, all these different events. And I was one of the first food trucks here in the area and had three food trucks. So Ben, you know, to do all of that in two years, the growth was great, but you know what? So was the crash and burn because you see this was 2008 and in 2008 the economy just stopped.

smoothie bar catering

Nobody was going to the mall just to get a smoothie. Nobody was traveling. And so my stores in the airport, despite I was paying the most expensive rents in the country and paying for staff who had to be there from [5:00] AM to [10:00] PM 365 days a year. I woke up one day, $500,000 in debt, $500,000 in debt. I was so broke, I couldn’t even afford next week’s inventory. And I remember I would just be working myself to the bone wondering where my next customer was coming from. And those were really dark days. I mean, I think about it even today and I remember one day driving home from my store after another 120-hour long week and I just started crying. I mean, but not just crying, like heaving, like where I just, I couldn’t even catch my breath. It was so bad. I had to pull over on the side of the road.

And I kid you not, it probably took me five or 10 minutes to come through. But when I did, and I remember this so clearly, I remember the song that was playing on the radio and it was Kelly Clarkson’s, “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger.” And I was like, “Stacey, there’s your theme song.” So when I got home, you know I went in, opened the door, and in my foyer there’s this big mirror and I looked in that mirror with my tear sodden eyes and I said, “You know what Stacey? You are at that proverbial fork in the road. You have to make a decision. Are you going to throw in the towel and give everything up?” I had the bank threatening to take my house. I was sued six times in one year. I had two young kids at the time, barely able to put peanut butter and jelly on the table.

Was I willing to lose all of that or was I going to fight to save my business? And I will tell you, Ben, you know what? Most people would make an emotional decision with that. But what I did was I put on clear glasses, looked at my numbers and said, you know what, Stacey, you could and should be having a successful and profitable business and you know why you’re not. It was that person looking in the mirror. It was me. I was not doing the marketing, and it was literally from that moment I made the decision that I was going to get my marketing into action. I went into my office and laid out a plan of what I was going to do. My marketing plan. And it was six simple steps, just six simple things that I could do to grow my business. And it worked.

In two years. I transformed my business from $500,000 in debt to a seven figure profitable business. And people started hearing about it and so then they would reach out to me and they’re like, “Stacey, I hear you’re doing great things. Your business is growing gangbusters. You’re doing great things with your marketing. Can you teach me how to do it? You know, forget that, can you just do it for me?” And I was like, “Yeah, yes I can.” So then I started the Small Biz Marketing Specialist where I help small business owners get their marketing done. And so I’ve been doing that for the past few years. I’ve written the book “Small Business Marketing Made EZ” where I lay out those six steps. I call it the ACTION marketing system. And since my real true passion is with coffee and smoothie, juice bar, dessert shops, you know, the small independent guy who I really want to help them, I’ve now started a new program called Cups to Gallons so I can teach them how to stop selling by the cup and start selling by the gallon by getting into lucrative catering. Because that was a key thing that really propelled my growth from being so far in debt to a seven-figure profitable business. So that’s sort of my life story. Hopefully, nobody needed any tissues or popcorn along the way.

Taking Responsibility For Your Decisions

So when you looked in the mirror, when you realized you were minus 500 grand and you recognized that it was the person in the mirror who was responsible for that, how did you come to that realization? Because a lot of people would like to say, “Well, it’s actually the thing or this person did this or that person’s responsible for it. But it seems like at that point you took full responsibility for what had happened. How did you know to do that? Why did you do that?”

look in mirror

Yeah, you bring up a good point, right? Because when things hit the fan, so to speak, you just want to blame everybody else. It’s my spouse’s fault. It’s my dog’s fault. It’s my employee’s fault. It’s everybody else’s fault. Right? Like we started the business, we should absolutely be successful. We never make mistakes and that’s just so not true. I have always been a person who realizes there’s a sponge up here. I love to learn. I’m constantly learning new things. And so I’ve always realized that there is always a better way. There’s always somebody out there who you can learn from who’s doing it better and smarter than you. So I think I took a lot of that in and applied it to myself. No, I’m not going to lie. I mean, when I looked in the mirror, that was not easy to do, but I knew that, yeah, I could blame the customers for not coming in.

I could be really pissed off that the bank was gonna threaten to take my house and I had to go to court again for being sued another time. But you know, when you really sit down and go deep and say, “Whoa, why is that happening?” It’s you, you know? And that’s really sometimes hard to admit, but when I did, it was so transformational. Because then I could actually take control of it and do something about it. Now I could’ve made the decision to throw in the towel and go do something else. I couldn’t. The point is that I’m taking action, right? I’m doing something, I’m not just going and hiding in a closet because things aren’t going well. But for me, again, it was a business decision. I knew that I could and should be making money. So the only real person that I could really blame was myself.

Well, I think that’s a very powerful way to look at it. And if we’re gonna make material progress in our lives, like you were saying, first embracing, okay, this is where I am right now and you know, for better, for worse, my actions have caused me to be here.

That gives you the power to then take different actions to get you to where you want to go. And I think that’s very, very powerful. And it’s something that most people don’t actually do.

Yeah. I will also say that it’s hard for a lot of people to do, but I invested in myself. I didn’t really have any money at the time. But it’s kind of like going to the gym, right? If you wanna lose weight, then you have different options of how you can do it. You can do it at home, you can put on YouTube and watch some exercise videos. You can join a gym or you can hire a personal trainer. There’s different stepping stones along the way. So which one do you think is going to get you the best results in the shortest amount of time? Working with the trainer. And so a big transformation for me was I went to an event called Dream Business Academy. And that was a big transformation for me because there was a lot of struggling entrepreneurs there as well.

But there was a lot of great information that was shared. And what I learned was that by investing in yourself and you want to have skin in the game, because when you do it really makes you take it that much more seriously. So knowing my financial situation at the time, knowing that I really couldn’t afford it, but I was going to make it work because I had to. So, yeah, I could keep doing what I was doing and just struggle along and I never would have done anything. But for me by investing in myself and holding myself accountable and having skin in the game, I think that in a way, kind of lit the fire under my butt.

There’s this play on Broadway called Avenue Q. And one the main characters starts out this song and he goes, purpose is this little flame that lights a fire under your ass.

Ah, there you go.

Invest In Yourself

Oh goodness. I feel like having skin in the game and taking the time to invest in yourself, even if you really shouldn’t put that money anywhere because you need it to pay the debts, it’s still a worthwhile investment because that money that you invest should grow into significantly more money and you can implement to dig yourself out of the hole and to get yourself out of that. That’s crucial.

climb your way back

There’s a difference between expense and investing. When you invest, you want ROI, right? But I see a lot of business owners out there doing what I call SOS – shiny object syndrome. They’re just chasing this and that. And there are so many messages out there and I think in a way, because they are struggling, they just don’t know where to go or what to do. And so they’re just like grasping at straws. But again, like my system is just six simple steps, just start somewhere, start with something simple, keep it easy. And then you can make progressive steps because how do you eat an elephant? How do you eat something that has $500,000 than debt? Well, you eat an elephant one bite at a time. So that’s why I realized that I had to do one bite at a time.

Yeah. And with a lot of spices, cause I don’t think I’d like elephant. So when you’re in that position of you’re down a lot in your business, that is a very heavy weight that is then crushing down upon you. It’s crunch time and you have to figure out something that’s going to work, that’s going to start moving you in the right direction. How do you identify with so many things going on? It’s like the debt and the business and life and family and all these things are the area of responsibility that you saw closing in around you. How do you identify the next step, the one thing to move you forward?  The one thing that’s gonna dig yourself out just a little bit to start building that momentum to then fully dig yourself out. What’s that one thing? How do you identify that?

Well here’s what’s interesting. For me, it was actually doing the opposite of what everybody else was doing. So a key driver that got me going again was using Groupon as a marketing strategy. Now when you say that word to most small business owners, they’re like “Groupon. No, no, don’t do it.” Wrong. I will tell you what.  It was a game changer for me because with Groupon, they do the marketing for you. You don’t have to outlay any cash up front, which was great cause I didn’t have any. But they have this massive reach and exposure and they’re bringing the customers to you. Now granted you have to slash your prices in order to do that. But what made it work for me was I didn’t make what I was offering a commodity. So instead of the typical business owner saying, “Oh, you know, I’ll sell a $20 Groupon for $10.”

Well the economics of that are going to kill you. I would’ve lost money if I had done that. I mean I would definitely have been out of business because the economics are, you’re only getting 50% of the 50% meaning you’re making 25 cents on the dollar. But my COGS, my cost of goods was 33% so those economics don’t work very well. What I did was I repackaged things and I started selling high end catering packages that started at $575 and instead of saying, “Well, we do coffee catering and we do smoothie catering” well that’s a commodity. What I changed was the languaging and instead of getting a smoothie, you get a “vacation in a cup.” Instead of catering, you get the Ultimate Hawaiian Getaway Without a 12-hour Flight. Now when I say, would you like us to take you to Hawaii for less than the cost of one plane ticket?

People will raise their hand and they’re all excited because they want the umbrella drink and it takes price out of the equation. People aren’t even thinking about the price. So I started running those deals on Groupon and my phone started ringing. Business was coming in and I never would have gotten that reach and exposure had I not done a Groupon. So by thinking opposite, not doing what everybody else is doing and thinking of how can I take this one marketing strategy and make it work for me, it really was a game changer.

Okay. During that time and all of your experience in business leading up to that time, what had you done as far as work on yourself as far as personal development?  As far as reading or getting mentorship or getting coaching or things of that nature.

read a book

I alluded to it earlier, I have this little sponge up here and I love, well actually I love the tangible reading. You know, the thing called a book. I don’t know if you have a younger audience, they may not know what that is LOL This thing that has ink printed on paper. I love reading. I’m also a visual person. So when I soak things in, I learn and it sticks. But I’ve always sort of taken the antagonistic kind of role. Just like the Groupon thing. I’m going away from the herd. I’ve always liked to try things a little bit differently. I’ve always been intrigued by direct response marketers like Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer. They do not follow the crowd. So I love their style of marketing and that’s where I learned to do some of the things that I then implemented in my business.

All Business Is H 2 H

So once things started picking up for me, for example, one of my most successful marketing campaigns was what I called a smoothie in a box. And with a smoothie in a box, if you can envision a little package . . .  I call it lumpy mail. Because everybody today is like email, online, Facebook bots, you know, they want to automate everything. But you know what? I have this saying that all business is H to H – human to human. People buy from people. So I like to build the relationships and you know, when you send out something tangible, a handwritten note, a direct mail package, a smoothing in a box, whatever it is, you get that person’s attention and you can build the relationship. I just see so many business owners out there saying “Well I sent out 400 emails. How come nobody’s responding? And I tell them, “Well, no wonder. You’re not doing anything to build a relationship.” And so that’s one of the things that drives me a little bit crazy. But I think I got away from your questions. So tell me what you wanted. What was the question again?

Yeah, I was asking about how you educated yourself and how you worked on yourself up until then. And the reason I was asking is because after that, was there a shift? Like did you change the way you educated yourself when you were on the path to getting into the hole versus when you’re on the path out of the hole?

No, I’ve always been an avid learner. I think the pivot point for me was that I was taking in a lot of information, which was great, but I was never applying it. Right? So I was learning all these great strategies and it was like, Oh great, well Dan did it and built it and Sue did it and you know what? That’s great. It worked for them. But I never really then took it and said, “Okay, Stacey, how can you apply it to yourself and/or your own business?” And it wasn’t really until I realized that things were getting really serious that I needed to start getting into action, literally and figuratively. And that’s when things started changing. And maybe because I had been such an avid learner before, it kind of just formulated fromhaving to start from ground zero, but everybody needs to start somewhere, you know? So pick somebody that sort of holds your same values and follow them. Right? Like I love what you’re doing. You are out there, you’re sharing your brilliance with the world. You’re on all these different platforms and you’re all about helping people tell their story, which is really what business is about. It’s not the products and services per se that you offer. Everybody has a product or service, but looping that back to H to H marketing – people buy from people and what they want to know is your story.

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight^and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

Oscar Wilde 

I totally agree. I absolutely agree. First of all, I appreciate what you said. But I really agree on the human to human in the relationship and the story because like you said, everybody has products and services. I mean, you can buy a widget, the same widget from probably like 60 different people or get the same, maybe not the same service, but a comparable service from a lot of people. And it’s that relationship to me that helps you stand out and that sets you apart from everybody else. And I’ve talked about this before on the show, but it’s worth bringing up again. If we study the most successful people, which I do. I studied the most successful people in the history of humankind. I’m talking like the Augusta Caesar’s, like the the Andrew Carnegie’s, the John D Rockefeller’s. I mean just the top of the top people who, you know, financially speaking, have acquired the most wealth of any individual human in the history of humankind. It was all because of relationships. It was all because of relationships. And so I’m curious to learn your style and your philosophy and your approach to building relationships. How do you actually do that? What does that process look like for you?

Well, you bring up a good point, right? It is all about relationships and I commend you for studying those successful people. I think what is also a common denominator amongst all of them is if you look at their stories, they hit rock bottom as well. I don’t think you can name one very successful person that hasn’t had at least once falling on their face, if not multiple times. Right? That’s part of the journey. That’s part of the struggle. I think that’s what makes people successful. I think you have to hit rock bottom and learn from it in order to be successful. So for me, in building relationships, I tell my story, right? I mean I tell people about my going into debt, my very dark days. I think it’s important to share that it’s okay, right? Nobody’s perfect. We’re human. We make mistakes.

It’s more what you learn from it and how you apply it. Cause like you said, there really is nothing new out there. And unique. I mean, especially when it comes to marketing, right? Everybody wants you to think there’s something new and unique so you can buy their program, more shiny objects, right? But they’re really, it’s more about you connecting with the person that you feel can help you guide through how to apply, put into action, pun intended, that marketing strategy right there, there is nothing new out there. So in building relationships, I think it’s really important to be your authentic self. My authentic self, like if you go to my Facebook page or my website, you’ll see me in tee shirts. I wear tee shirts all the time, whether it’s my green muscle t-shirts or one that says iHeart small business or small biz marketing wiz or marketing done. And you know what?

I’m okay with that. But there’s a lot of the marketing gurus out there who would say, Oh my God, right? I could never do that. I have a brand. It’s about being professional, right? What will they think of me? I really don’t care. Right? If you don’t resonate with me, then I can’t help you. And that’s okay. Go find somebody else who can. To me, I’d rather have a small tribe, a small community of people who know, like, and trust me and will follow me to the end of the earth. And that’s what I’ve been building. And that’s why I’m passionate about because small business owners who are struggling with their marketing, I know that they can resonate with my story. I know that they’ve been down in the dumps, they just need somebody to be their inspiration and show them how to do it. So to me, that’s how you build a relationship. You be authentic, you be your true self, you tell your story and you be a Go-Giver, you help them, you know, what you give, you get back so much more on the other side.

Is There Anything Truly New In Marketing?

So I think it’s interesting when you said that there’s nothing new out there or we’re not gonna come up with anything new. And I’ve actually been reading a lot of of Emerson lately. And you know, one of the pieces that I just finished was self-reliance. And he brought up this really interesting thing about nature. He was saying people created all of these laws and these doctrines and these writings and these different philosophies and ways of thinking, so, so, so long ago, yet we all still follow them today and why wouldn’t the people of today create our own because they’re people just like us, just because they’re super ancient doesn’t make them better than us. And now this is me talking, you know, taking my own spin on it. And so why would we not recreate our own and create something new? Right. But then that begs the question, would we be creating anything new? Is that actually possible?

Wow. That’s deep thought. Right? Right. I mean as you were saying that I was thinking about religion or when you think back to old ancient times, people walking around in their togas well where were they? They were probably talking, they were talking marketing. They probably were in debt, right? They probably had Caeser threatening to take their house or whatever. You know what I like? It’s really the same thing. It’s just a little different because we’re now in more modern times. So the story really is the same. It’s just how you apply it and what you learn from it. That’s my opinion.

Do you think we cannot create something new?

We’re just repackaging things that have already been done. In general terms. I mean, of course there’s always something new. From my view of history, it seems like every 10 years there’s something really transformational. To me the best invention ever made was GPS. You know? Like that to me was something new. Okay. Like the people walking around in their togas would have loved it. Right. When I was an eighties girl growing up, God, you know, I think about like how did we communicate with each other to figure out what we were going to do on the weekend. You know, we had pay phones, literally, we didn’t have cell phones, much less a GPS on how to get us there. But I think like every 10 years, there’s one big thing that comes about. That may be a little bit transformational, but in general, no, I mean it’s more than that, it’s just how you apply it.

And especially in the world of marketing. Yeah. There’s all these tools, tips, technologies, there’s Facebook, there’s Instagram, you know, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada. Right? But I mean, to me it makes your head explode. And so looping back to what you were talking about earlier. How did I get myself going again? Well, I learned to be very productive. Like to me, your cell phone is a pacifier. Social media is a time suck because when you’re on that, it’s almost like an ego stroke, right? You’re just posting things because you want somebody to like you. Well, I have a saying that “Gross is for vanity, net is for sanity” and you cannot deposit Facebook likes or Twitter followers into the bank. So I had to get really clear on what metrics were going to be important to me. Getting myself out of debt. If I spend, you know, two hours a day on Facebook posting stuff or you know, learning the newest, greatest marketing tip, technique or strategy, is that really gonna get me into action and move my business forward? No. So you have to get really clear, pick just a few things, focus on them and do them step by step.

So when somebody comes across, and I think this is actually an interesting way to kind of bring these things that we’re talking about all together. When people are being exposed to this kind of a perspective or this way of doing things for the first time, to them it’s new or it could just be something that is articulated in a way that they haven’t heard before. Or maybe it’s something that they knew before, but they forgot. It’s like a refresher. I think that kind of goes back to what we were talking about with is there ever really anything new because maybe it might be new to us as like a species as humans or as individuals, but it was always there and we were just able to discover it. And so that discovery of whether it be, you know, a certain way of thinking or philosophy or technology or marketing tactic or whatever, it’s, I think it’s to us as individuals getting to that place of, “Oh, this is this new discovery for me that can really help me along the journey.” And so my question for you along that same vein is what are you as an individual trying to, or working on discovering now?

Hmm. What’s going on in my sponge? I’m at a point in my life where legacy is really important, right? I think you go through different phases of what’s important to you. And so there’s this little black book that I have in my office called the bucket list and it’s actually a book. It’s really important to me to focus on the things that matter. And so it’s what gets me up in the morning. It’s what makes me excited and passionate. And it’s not necessarily actually about making money, right? I really want to help small business owners help their business grow. It’s something that I’m really passionate about. It really bothers me when I go down the street and see that my favorite mom and pop restaurant is boarded up because they couldn’t afford the rent anymore. It drives me nuts.

make your bucket list

Or that Small Business Saturday is one Saturday a year. Ironically enough, the day after Black Friday, sponsored by American Express, the antithesis of small business, right? So I’m focusing on things that I’m really passionate about that I can leave a mark, a legacy, and continue being a sponge learning, but help others squeeze that sponge out. And while I’m also able to check things off my bucket list, I’ve been able to do a lot of really great things. I’ve now made it on an annual ritual where every year I go out to the Indy 500. And if you like people watching, you need to go to the Indy 500. It’s sort of like Woodstock for car racing and for me, to get out of the office and just be with these 500,000 people who are drunker than a skunk.

But yet there is never a fight. Everybody’s having such a great time. And to me it’s kind of funny because you know, people pay big bucks to go to this thing, to see cars that go 250 miles an hour that you can’t even see anyways. Right? But it’s so much fun and an experience that I now do this every single year. And I think that’s a key thing too. It’s all about the experience, right? People will pay for the experience. I love experiences. And so that’s why, as I’m going into this next phase of my life, that’s what’s important to me. Leaving a legacy, helping small business owners, checking things off my bucket list and being, and helping create experiences.

Living Life Based On Your Bucket List

What’s the craziest thing on your bucket list?

Well, the next big thing, it’s not crazy, but the thing I really want to be able to do, and I don’t think it’s going to happen, but I want to go to the Superbowl where the Redskins are there, which the way they’re playing now, it’s not going to happen. And it would be great if they could play the Denver Broncos. The reason is because I actually met my husband at a Superbowl party where the Redskins played the Denver Broncos. And we started talking, he made a bet. He said, Oh, the Redskins won’t win. But the Redskins won. And so he ended up marrying me now 29 years later. And so, how great would it be for an anniversary to go to the Superbowl and you relive that. So that is a really big thing on my bucket list. And another thing is – it may sound crazy to others, but it doesn’t matter.

It’s what matters to you on your bucket list. I want to RV around the country and I want to stop in so many Main Street towns and meet and talk, and even do education for the small business owners in these communities and just take my RV all around. Like I alluded to before, why is Small Business Saturday just one day a year? Well, I would like to make it every weekend, you know, and stop in a town and do something like that. So that’s a big thing on my bucket list. How about you Ben? What’s on your bucket list?

Oh, I have so many things on my bucket list. I literally have a journal right here that I put all of my goals, all my dreams into my bucket list. I have some crazy ones, one of which involves, I’ll just share this. I’ve never actually talked about this publicly. But it’s on my list. So now I have to do it. I’ve always loved the mountains and growing up with my family, we always took vacations to the mountains. It was so meaningful to be there with family and not have to worry about anything. We’d ride horses, go hiking, play in the lake. And I just had this dream of being able to literally invest in my own mountain so that I can bring my kids there and invite all my family and all my friends and be able to give them the same experience on that mountain and keep it clean. No cutting down any trees on my mountain. If I see you littering, you’re out and you’re going to get a stern talking to and that’s just not okay. But anyways, have had that mountain as like a safe space to really be with the people that you love and to give my kids that experience that I had.

I love that. And you know what, as you were saying it like I could totally visualize it. And so I love that. It’s more than you said, Oh, I want to have a mountain where I can take my kids. But you told a story of exactly how it’s going to be. You can visualize that. So crystal clear, how is it not going to happen? It already did happen right up here.

I appreciate you asking. And you know, I also appreciate your, your time today and getting to have this conversation. And I do have one more question for you then.

Oh, save the best for last, huh?

Yeah. Well I want to know and contextually I’m 24 years old and I would really like to know what question should I be asking you that I just wouldn’t think to ask?

Hm. Gosh, there’s a lot of questions you could ask me. You know, a typical one is obviously what is the biggest mistake or what do you want to achieve? You know, if you could do it over again, what would you do? Interestingly enough, I have a 24 year old son, right? So I’m thinking, what would he ask me, mom? It’s interesting, I think we’re in a time where the dynamics between the generations are so different. We learn in completely different ways. The languaging that we grew up with is so different from a 24 year old. Like you guys, while  I commend you for being here and getting things out live to people. But in general, 24 year olds just want to text, right? Just want to text. And so my recommendation is get off of the technology.

Just have real conversations. You know, you build your life and you build such happiness by engaging with people. And you can’t do that with by texting on a phone. When somebody texts you, are you going to be more engaged with somebody who texts you a happy birthday message or just posts happy birthday on Facebook or somebody who takes the time to pick up the phone and call you and have a real conversation and ask you about what are your dreams? What are your goals for the next year? Just really have a relationship with the person. I commend my 24 year old because he does that. He actually is anti-technology. So that’s something that I would really love to see people do more is stop using it as a pacifier from keeping you from achieving your goals.

I mean, we’ve been talking a lot about action, you know, how do you achieve your goals? How do you get out of bad places? And it’s all about action. I have a saying that one is the loneliest number. A lot of times when you’re in those dark places, you feel so alone. And so I think it’s really important to align yourself with somebody who can help you through those times. If it’s listening to Ben’s show, great, then listen to them? You know, take it and put it into action. If it’s following me or whoever that person is going to be, then just align yourself with somebody so that you can have sort of a mentor. Because it’s really important to collaborate and build those relationships. And when you do, people will want to know more about you, your story and how they can help you. And in general, my feeling is that would just make the world a much better place.

Well, thank you very much Stacey, for coming on the show today and sharing some time with me. I very much appreciate that. And to everybody who is watching and listening, I want to say thank you all very, very much as well. The reason that I did this, and so I’m deeply, deeply appreciative of, of y’alls time as well. So thank you all.


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About the Author smallbizmarketing

Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small - and not so small - businesses one marketing plan at a time. She helps business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients/patients, MORE sales, and MORE profit. Stacey's in-demand "Small Biz Marketing Success Coaching and Mastermind Program" is transforming the businesses - and lives - of those who want wealth, freedom, and market domination. Her highly acclaimed book "Small Business Marketing Made EZ" lays out the 6-simple-step plan to get your marketing into ACTION - literally and figuratively. Stacey is also the creator of Cups To Gallons, the place where independent coffee, smoothie, juice bar, ice cream, dessert and snack shop owners go to learn how get into lucrative catering so they stop selling by the cup and start selling by the gallon. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.

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