Dustin Mathews is the co-founder of SpeakingEmpire, a company created to help people get their message out, monetize their message, and build a world-class Speaking Empire. Dustin started as “the geek behind the curtains,” utilizing Infusionsoft to figure out what worked for internet marketing campaigns, but something bigger was deep inside, allowing Dustin to emerge as a powerhouse CEO, speaker, author, and leader. Dustin soon became the “one on stage,” partnering with Dan Kennedy, filling auditoriums, and helping build-up clients who are now featured in Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and MAD Magazine.

Dustin Mathews On The Key to Communication

My next guest started as the geek behind the curtains, the one who filled with Infusionsoft and figured out what works for the internet marketing campaigns. Something bigger laid buried deep inside, a quest of sorts, to emerge as a powerhouse CEO, speaker, author and leader. As his own company gained prominence, he began to emerge as that individual I just described. He became the one on stage, the guy who partners with the Dan Kennedy and fills auditoriums and has clients featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal and MAD Magazine. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to Dustin Mathews, CEO of Speaking Empire. Dustin, welcome to the show.

Mitch, I am super excited to be here. Thanks for having me on.

It’s great to have you on the show. You and I have been friends for all these years. I just know so much about you and your company and all of the hundreds and hundreds of people who have been through your doors and love what you guys do. I just want to say it’s my joy and delight to have you here.

I’m excited to be here. You’ve been such a beacon with the community of Speaking Empire and your mentorship and guidance of me. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for you.

Dustin, let’s get to it here because we have people listening and they want to learn. What we do is we start at the beginning. The reason we do this is because we make decisions early on in our career. A single decision can steer us in one direction or another. What I’d like to do is go back to that point in time and talk about some of those early decisions that you made that led you to where you are today. 

I have identified a couple key decisions in my life. The first one was I was at good old Florida State University, and I was a nerd or I guess I still am a nerd, marketing nerd that is. I was studying computers and I was really excited about it and wireless networking was the wave of the future. That’s where I was heading. My ex-girlfriend, she handed me a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad. Have you read that one?

Of course. I love that book.

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Key to Communication: What I discovered was real estate wasn’t going to be my passion. It was marketing.

It’s classic. If you haven’t read it or you’ve got kids coming up, definitely this is a good book. Even though it talks a lot about real estate, really it’s about entrepreneurship to me. I read this book and I got excited. I said, “I can be a real estate millionaire.” What I decided to do was go to an industrial club where other people were hanging around because one of the concepts was go surround yourself with people that you want to learn from and be like, and so that’s what I did. I met a guy starting a company who is my partner now, Dave VanHoose. He was starting a real estate company. I was able to get in there and I volunteered to work for free.

What I discovered was real estate wasn’t going to be my passion. It was marketing. I came across a book that taught me a little bit about marketing from Dan Kennedy, and I implemented it. It was amazing, Mitch. I wrote a letter because that’s what he told me to do. He said to mail people that have already bought, this company I was interning for essentially, add some customers. I mailed it. The funny thing was we were in hustle mode. It was startup time so we needed to make some money. I sent this direct mail letter to these folks. I sent it to a salesperson’s cellphone. God forbid someone get on the phone with me. I was afraid to talk to people. I was very introverted. I sent all these phone calls from this letter to this person’s cellphone and it blew up. She became my best friend because she didn’t have to cold call people. All these people were calling her.

I became instantly hooked and fascinated with this idea that we can put words on paper. We can put words in our mouth. We can put words on a webpage and get people to do things like donate to a charity, subscribe to a membership program, buy products and services. I said, “If I can just understand marketing, I can do anything. I can go anywhere no matter what genre or what thing fascinates me.” I think that for sure was one of my first real decisions that really set me on this path that I’m on today, going out there, putting myself in the environment not knowing where the heck I was going to end up, and just going with the flow and just having that passion in being a student. I know that was a lot but that was my beginning to this whole world of entrepreneurship and building business and helping others.

The words you used just now, I wrote these words down because they’re so important. You said the word passion and the word student. I’m going to add one and that’s beginner’s mindset. The reason that your passion developed into a profession and now an expertise and a mastery is because you decided that you were a student, that you were open to learning. You didn’t say to yourself, “I know this stuff. I learned it in college.” That’s the key to moving forward in anything you do. It’s having that passion, opening your mind as a beginner and just becoming a sponge and learning everything you can. It sounds like that’s what you did in those early days.

That’s exactly right. In school, they don’t teach you all these stuff. I knew some computer stuff but this whole world of business and marketing and really psychology, like how do you influence and how do you get people to take action. Without any action, nothing gets done in the world. I just was passionate. I read books and I did what people told me to do. I recognized early on too that I would step outside from my comfort zone. I remember this a little bit more fondly than I do now. It’s that if you identify where you’re outside of your comfort zone and you go and take an action and you get favorable results or at least you learn a thing or two, that’s what I recognize is where I needed to be. I continually pushed myself out of the comfort zone doing things that I never would have thought doing as an introverted computer guy. I was like, “This is cool. This is interesting.” I would get feedback and then I just kept learning to do that, and I just did it.

I think what you’re saying, and a different way of saying what you just said is that when you feel fear about moving forward in a particular direction, that’s the signal that you’re headed in the right place. That’s what you called comfort zone. When we’re in that comfort zone, we never feel that fear. We never feel that anticipation of, ” I could screw this up.” For heaven’s sake, go screw it up. That’s the rule.

I learned that early on. I think that’s why now that I’ve got family and I’ve got brand, a little reputation, there’s that fear. You don’t want to screw up. In the beginning there was nothing to lose. I think that’s why I remember it so fondly. I have to keep myself in check and remember that life is a learning lesson and it’s a game. Obviously, you shouldn’t do things that would hurt people but you should go out there and fill forward fast so that you can put together the best product or best messaging. If you just sit in your box or in ivory towers, as some people say, you can’t get that feedback. Feedback is really what gives us what we need in life.

What we want to do now is I want to go back to that time you made this decision, you started to get some good results, and now you’re hanging out with Dave Vanhoose. He’s a crazy man, we know that. He’s doing this real estate thing. How did you get into hustle mode and how then did you build the business? I know that business actually grew pretty quickly. Tell us that story.

I was Dave’s, whatever the male equivalent of a Girl Friday or a Dallas Friday, I was. I was his errand boy. Dave was this jock athlete guy and didn’t know how to turn on a computer yet. He was the founder of a technology company. I essentially became his buddy because here I had this computer degree. I was hanging out with him. It came one day that Dave called me up and he said, “We’re doing this seminar about foreclosures and I need you to fill in for me because I’m closing on my condo.” I said, ” Dave, let me share a story with you. At FSU, I had to take public speaking but I was the guy that found a legal loophole to get out of it. I had my teacher from high school write me a note and I got out of it.” I explained that story to Dave in much greater detail and said, “I’m not your guy.” He said, “You don’t understand. If you want me to continue to teach you and mentor you and help you, you have to do this.” There was no loophole for me this time. Basically, what happened was that I had to present and get up in front of people.

You can imagine me ten years ago, twelve years ago,  I have a baby face now although it’s fading, but I must have looked like I was thirteen. The fear in my mind was, “No one’s going to take me seriously. Why are they going to listen to someone that’s so young? They’re going to not appreciate it.” What I noticed is once I spoke and delivered the message, they were fascinated because I had a knowledge. I knew something more than they did and they wanted to know it, which was how do I buy houses that are in foreclosure so I can profit. I had some knowledge about it from hanging around the circle I was hanging out. I gave that presentation and then it all shifted for me in that moment where I said, “If I just get out and speak and share and speak my passion and what I know, there’s a market for that.” Along the way, what you described is we grew that company basically giving presentations about how folks can get into real estate. We took that company to Inc. 500, number 35 on the fastest growing list of private companies in America leveraging this idea of speaking one to many.

What’s interesting about what you said, and I believe the very powerful lesson here, is that everything that you are afraid of, all of the messages that your monkey mind is sending you about avoiding those types of situations, get shut down completely as soon as you do it. Anything you’re afraid of, go do it. Do it well and you’ll never have those voices in your head again. Of course, if the stage gets bigger, those voices might come back but now you have experience. Now you know that if you just get up there and just be you and be your well-prepared self, everything inside, all that noise stops and the brilliant shines. It sounds like that’s exactly what happened with you.

Mitch, you’re very concise. I love it. That is exactly what happened. I love it.

I know that there is a turn here in the story. You guys started to build the fastest growing company on the Inc. 500 list. Now keep the story going here. What happened next?

I basically was an employee for Dave. Actually I started off as an intern and then I started making some money doing sales like tag teaming. I wasn’t talking to people but I was leveraging technology like email blast and fax blasting at the time. I was reading these books with the students’ mindset. I was like, “Let’s try this thing,” and they were pretty open. It was startup time and they wanted money and customers, so I did it. What happened was I was like, “This is cool,” but I became so passionate. I’m like, “I’ve got to go do this for myself. I can’t do it just as an employee,” and so I left.

Basically what happened was I went on my own journey. I took all the knowledge I learned at that company and I started my own. I partnered with somebody in the business credit space, and I launched an info product. I spoke and I sold that, and life was exciting but I still miss my passion, which was marketing. Everything comes back to marketing for me. It’s like the psychology of what gets someone into action? What are the steps? What are the challenges? How do we speak to this certain marketplace?

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Key to Communication: I took all the knowledge I learned at that company and I started my own.

What ended up happening was real estate took a turn and Dave was needing to reinvent himself. Dave met me in our neighborhood. We were on the dock at Tampa Bay and he said, “I need to reinvent myself and also I need to make some money.” I’m like, “What do you want to do?” He said, “We should do a seminar and just show people what we’ve been doing. I’ll teach them how to speak to sell from the stage and webinars and you teach them all that marketing stuff you’re doing.” I said, ” When do you want to do it?” He said, “I need to do it in 30 days.” I said, “No. I’m a marketing guy. I want long marketing windows. Six months.” Dave said, “No. You don’t understand, 30 days.” I’m thinking, “He’s negotiating with me.” I said, “Okay, I’ll throw a three at him. We’ll just have it.” I said, “Three months.” He said, “No, 30 days.” I said, “This negotiation isn’t going very well.” Dave ended up winning.

We did it officially in 31 or 32 days because it needed to fall on a certain day. We got 90 people in a room, relationships that we had called upon from the past and we said, “If you want to know what we know about marketing and speaking, come to this event called The Speaker Makeover, it wasn’t the best name but we had to have something. We launched the seminar. Ninety-one speakers came to Tampa, Florida and we did everything wrong that we could possibly do even though we knew this game; it was just a brand new area. We sold one client that gave us $25,000 and Speaking Empire essentially was born in that moment. For the last eight or nine years, we’ve been showing people how to speak and market their businesses.

There’s a small part that you left out of this story and I know your story very well, so please forgive me for interrupting here. The fact that Dave had to do it in 30 days, there was reason behind that, wasn’t there?

Absolutely. He was facing bankruptcy. He ended up walking away from the company. He walked away because it was going bad but also too his partners weren’t the best partners in the business; I’ll leave it at that. He ended up leaving and obviously he essentially just walked away from his ownership in the company, his shares and everything. He walked away with some debt too. He needed to make some stuff happen. He would later go on to file bankruptcy. In the meantime, you actually need money to file bankruptcy and money to live while that happens. We launched Speaking Empire and essentially created a new company on the back of his hardship. It’s been awesome ever since.

It has been. I’ve been to your events and I’ve been to your masterminds. I can attest to how powerful the technology that you guys invented is. I know so many of the people who you’ve taken through your VIP Day who emerged with the fully formed stage presentation, which is awesome. What I really want to extract is tell us about the steps you took to build Speaking Empire into the force it is today. Go through the processes that you started with and evolved, and show us how you did that.

The first was just one-on-one hustle mode. I remembered Dave, myself and our former partner at the time, there were three of us that started the business, we met with people locally. There were a lot of real estate gurus and teachers and speakers here in Tampa Bay because it was a hot market and so a lot of them were successful in real estate and wanted to become gurus. We did some cold calling, old-fashioned selling. This was straight up startup mode. We sat down with these folks and said, “We can write your presentation.” It used to take us a whole week. We’d meet with them for a day and then we’d go back and it will take us a whole week to develop the presentation. It first started with pounding the pavement essentially and the geographic in Tampa Bay and cold calling folks or warm calling, I would say. We did it that way.

Then we started leveraging my expertise, which was marketing. We said, “One to one is great and all and we can do it here, but there’s so many other speakers and other people out there.” The next step was to now do marketing. I had assembled some lists the old-fashioned way, basically going to people’s websites and copying their direct mail addresses and their emails too. I would send out direct mail and I would invite them to seminars. We started practicing one-to-many. We did our own seminars and we gave people the goal. We said, “Here’s our process. Here’s what we do. If you want some help and want us to look over your shoulder and help you actually get this done quicker, here’s our program. Here’s what we did.” I would say that was step two. We did the one-to-many approach, we did seminars. After that, we started getting into pay-to-play.

Because we’re in a certain niche and we were just getting started, we didn’t have a brand, we didn’t have a name. We weren’t getting invitations to go and speak on people’s stage even though we knew how to speak. This was new. We were selling speaker training. There is a way that you can show up on a lot of different stages if you’ll contact the promoter association and say, “I’m happy to give you $5,000, $7,500, $20,000,” whatever the number that you’re comfortable with is, “and I’ll sponsor a lunch or I’ll sponsor me speaking on stage for 60 or 90 minutes.” What we did is we started to master that. We would pay to play.

We basically reinvested the money that we are making taking small salaries just to live and eat. We started doing customer acquisition by leveraging Dave’s strengths and my strength, which is let’s market and get people in front of Dave, and he would sell them into our programs and services. That really was our launch mode in terms of getting to the first thousand customers. How did we do it? It was one-to-one in the beginning, good old fashion beating the streets, and then one-to-many. Then we started really investing in marketing, which was the sponsored speaking. To me that’s marketing because it’s a media that you’re paying for with the hope to get an ROI out of.

Which again is another great lesson for our listeners here because what really is happening now is a face to face conversation, even if it’s a one-to-many conversation, is far more powerful than an email. When you’re leveraging the stage of somebody else who has attracted a roomful of people, then you have their authority no matter what. It’s worth $10,000, $20,000 to be in that position if you have an offer that will monetize well from the stage and then cover your expenses and then some. The point that I also want to make about speaking from stage is that it’s generally never the first sale you make. When you speak from the stage and you make a sale, we all know what follows, that’s building the lifetime value of a customer. It has to start somewhere. If it can start with them getting to see you, listen to you, feel who you are, then that’s a great way to begin a relationship. I totally agree with you. I did that in my own business. I spoke on 175 stages over the course of three years when I built Timeslips Corporation by showing up at PC user groups. The funniest things happen. I’ll tell one quick story about that. I ended up going to California State University and I was booked on stage at 7 PM. There were hundreds and hundreds of people in the audience. I had my computer double-checked and I had the projector working, everything was perfect. I get on stage and the curtain opens, and there I am. I introduced myself. I said, “I’m here today to demonstrate the most powerful time in building software ever invented.” The second I said that, the entire auditorium went black. All the power in the area dropped off and was out.

Mitch, what did you do? You can’t leave us hanging. What happened?

I have a computer, I have a software demo to do and I have no electricity, no lights, and no microphone. I said to myself, “I’m here anyway. Why don’t I tell some stories?” I spent the night telling stories about all the funny things and mistakes we made starting Timeslips Corporation. It took about 90 minutes. After the story part of my speech was over, the lights came back on. People just ran up to me and asked for my business card and went to the back of the room and bought software. I didn’t even have to demo the software. I shocked myself. I can’t believe that this actually turned out good.

When you think on your feet and a way to connect with the audience, that’s classic.

This is what you’re talking about here. I know that there’s some progression. After you perfected speaking on stage and leveraging the one-to-many model, where did that go next?

The good thing that you mentioned there was lifetime value. I’ll take you through the product development and lifetime value. When we launched that first seminar, we sold a $25,000 program. It was basically a year-long coaching program because that’s how we could think of on the fly. We said, “We’re going to give you a year-long coaching program, $25,000. We’re going to help you with marketing, we’re going to help you with fulfillment, we’re going to help you with presentations.” The big thing we found after doing that, it was way too long to commit to, in my opinion, for such a short amount of money but you’ve got to start somewhere. What we discovered is people were really raving. The first couple of clients were really raving that we could build a presentation around their message that would help them sell. We said rather than make this crazy commitment for an entire year for $25,000, we put so much sweat and love into it, so much of our face time because we were in hustle mode, and so we said, “They really like this one component.”

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Key to Communication: We started to bring some people on to help us fulfill and make sure we were living good on the promises.

What we decided to do was we started selling presentation design and creation for $7,500. We did and we started selling a lot of them. Initially what we started to do was we said, “Let’s raise the price.” We raised it from $7,500 to about $10,000, then we went up to $12,000. We started getting customers that way. Then we said, “Wait a minute, we’re only offering one product. This is not great lifetime value of a customer.” So many people came in for that day that you described, Mitch. They needed a lot more than just a day once we cracked it down to getting this whole thing done in a day. Some folks needed some coaching over the phone because they had a new gig or a new opportunity or there was a certain set of circumstances. Some people actually wanted to build out their whole speaking business. They wanted to develop an information speaking business. They needed some more hands-on strategy. They needed some things built out for them.

We started adding in new products, the next one of them being a mastermind. Then we started adding in coaching over the phone and just giving presentation reviews. We started to extend lifetime value of our customer by increasing and adding new products and services that they needed and wanted. That was, I would say, the next realization for us. Once we had a way to get customers steadily coming in the door, then we said, “Let’s add in some products and services.” We started to bring some people on to help us fulfill and make sure we were living good on the promises. That was really, I believe, the net phase of Speaking Empire, adding the product suite.

Here’s a tip for listeners. If you follow what Dustin just said, he evolved into the point where he realized that, “We just sold somebody something really cool, very successful, even profitable, but we don’t have anything to sell them next. Let’s build that.” My advice is build that first. You guys are out there. You have great services and products. Think about it, whatever you sell to your customer today, know exactly what you’re going to sell next and next and next. Design that in advance of even selling the first thing. Some of those things may not work out, some of them might evolve to become something different, but if you don’t have a plan, you won’t have something to sell. Great story, Dustin, because it really illustrates the idea that building the entire on-ramp into your world is what keeps customers with you for a long, long time. 

You’ve got to have a way to get customers. The way to really grow your business is to have other products and services. Mitch, I just want to add one thing. I really wish I met you when we first started Speaking Empire because we hadn’t given thought to the next product until we were in the thick of things and getting feedback from the customer. I know that some people struggle with selling the product before it’s created. That’s one of the things that we live by here. In your original world of developing software, we always say that sometimes, unless you’re funded or you’ve got some great resource behind you, sometimes when you build it first, you spent all this time, you spent all this money, and then you take it to market and the market says, “We don’t want it,” meaning you don’t get a lot of sales, you can get yourself into a lot of trouble.

We like to say sell it first. People generally qualm about that, some people do, because they say, “How can I sell something that doesn’t exist right now? It’s not physical, it’s not tangible.” We always say you want to spin it and position your weakness of not having anything to show by transforming it into a strength. There’s a certain way to describe it. There’s a way to be transparent with the customer and say, “Because you’re here, because you’re willing to invest, you’re going to get more than people in the future will get when we develop this thing. Also, we can give you some incentives for taking action now.” As long as you have the right frame, you don’t have to feel nervous about selling something ahead of time because you can just disclose it to your customer what you’re doing as a benefit to them.

You’re basically talking about a pilot program. Let’s create a pilot. Let’s invite people in, give them a discount over deliver and they’ll understand that we’re stumbling along with them. I think it’s a great point to make. In my own life when we built our first software product, my partner and I came together, we started having breakfast together and then breakfast and lunch together, until finally we had come up with this incredible product. We quit our jobs to build our little company. We worked for months to get the product ready. Literally on the day, the manuals came back from the printer and the software was ready. My accountant called me and said, “By the way, the entire premise of your software just went away.” I said, “What?” He said, “Yeah. The IRS relaxed their rulings on contemporaneous record-keeping, so your little time tracking program really has no value. Nobody will ever buy it.” We had a pivot and we did.

We pivoted quickly and we figured how we can repurpose this cool technology we had designed, and that became Timeslips Corporation, the leading time billing system of the era. I think to reinforce what you said, is that it doesn’t always work with software unless you’re pitching venture capital partners. The idea is if you’re building a course or a training product or a coaching program, absolutely sell it first before you create it. I think that’s great advice. At this stage, you employ all kinds of sophisticated marketing. Tell us a little bit about what you’re literally doing these days to spread the word, to get clients in the door and to generate revenue?

Some of the cool, cutting edge stuff I think about is let’s say you’re going to an event as a speaker or as a vendor if you do sponsorships. One of the things we’re doing we call it the hotel hijack. What that is is basically, on Facebook, you can select an area, a hotel, and within a mile you can put a little circle around that hotel. There will be a little overlap and spillage of people that you’re targeting. If you are going to an event and you want to meet people and you want people to come up to you, we love this idea of running ads specifically to that hotel where the audience is known to use Facebook, because they’ll see you. When they see you live if you’re a speaker or they see you in the hallway and they’re like, “I know that guy for some reason.” Mitch, as they say, it takes six or seven touches to make a sale or at least to warm up to you, so we say, “Why not get that ahead of time?” That’s one of the coolest strategies that we’re leveraging to create awareness, we use everything from old school to new school. I was raised in old school, which is like direct mail. We used newspaper. We used print to drive people into our seminars and into our online funnels in addition to Facebook ads. We still pick up the phone and call people; it’s one of our favorite ways. I’ll tell you our new thing is SMS. It’s nothing new to the world. What we found is people are a little reluctant to want to talk on the phone to take a sales call. However, if you initiate the dialogue through SMS, through mobile, it really warms them up and it makes them feel comfortable that they can respond on their time. At some point, it leads to us getting on the phone.  There are all sorts of cool automation software that lets you engage with your customers through SMS and then obviously lead them to the phone.

Do you think you can share one piece of technology that actually does this for SMS?

Yeah, absolutely. We use a program called Fix Your Funnel. You mentioned Infusionsoft and me quietly hacking behind the scenes in Infusionsoft. I like everything to come back to there. This is like a plugin although you may be able to use this as a stand-alone. Basically, we’ll look to get people to opt in by giving away some gift.  Even when we’re speaking, we had people take out their mobile phones and opt in for a webinar. Then what we’ll do is we’ll follow up. There’s a Fix Your Funnel plugin that we use and it will send out a message and it will start a dialogue that way. That comes into a crazy backend system where our team can follow up. We can assign these conversations to other people. It’s not like one-man trying to manage it all. Just like a call would come into a center, these text messages can come in as well. Also we’re experimenting with these messenger bots right now as well.

I’m starting to have some really powerful results now. Like anything else, people will get sick of them and it will only work under certain circumstances. Again, thank you for the tip on Fix Your Funnel. At this stage now, you have this amazing company you’ve done really, really well. What I really want to know now is how in hell did you get Dan Kennedy to be your partner on a book?

It all started with Dan. He knows that story and I most certainly have given him a lot of money over the years. He is one of my mentors especially in marketing. I read his books and I’ve been to his seminars and part of that is mastermind. I’ve been on his radar. Quite frankly, I think of it like a relationship. Although I’ve given him a lot of money, I would send him things throughout the years like, “Here’s an important article,” because he’s a writer. For those of you that don’t know him, he writes a lot of newsletters. I would send him things that would help him as a writer because I know it’s tough to look at the blank screen, so I would send him fascinating articles.

The other thing I would do is, as a person who sells success like Dan, it’s helpful when your clients and customers tell you what kind of success they’ve had. I would send things to Dan throughout the years saying, “You share this in something. I went out. I tried it. I fumbled. Then I retried it and this happen,” or, “I did it and it worked right away.” I would share that along the way just to stay on his radar because obviously he’s a person of influence, and if he talks about me, this is a good thing. This is PR. We just developed this relationship over the year. Then I pitched him on the book. Mitch, the truth behind the book is it got rejected. I pitched him on the book and he said, “I don’t make the final call. I think it’s a little niche for their audience,” because it’s Entrepreneur.com, basically Entrepreneur Press. He said, “I think they think it’s a little niche.” We pitched them. I told the audience that we had and I could move a lot of books. He came back and said, ” They said no.”

Then I went to an event of his and I got a note and said, “We’re back on.” Apparently, I got some of the sales rep floated the idea by their distributors. I said, “We would be interested in this book.” They did enough pre-orders to say, “Let’s do this.” That was the first hiccup. The second hiccup was in the process. I over-committed us on something, which I shouldn’t have done and Dan was not happy about it and wanted to take the book in a different direction. We worked through that and so crisis number two was averted. Now the book is out and I’m excited because it’s done. It’s the No B.S. Guide to Powerful Presentations. That’s the start because Dan is a copywriter and it gets paid by every word. The continuation of that title is The Ultimate No Holds Barred Plan to Sell Anything with Webinars, Online Media, Speeches, and Seminars.

This is exactly what happened to me when I released The Invisible Organization. I asked J. Abraham to write the foreword. He said, “I don’t like your tag line.” I said, “What you do mean you don’t like my tag line?” He said, ” It’s really not very powerful at all.” He re-wrote the tagline for the book and it was amazing. It’s great when you have people who step up and really contribute like this. To have this friendship is priceless. I don’t have a friendship with Dan, but I have friendships with other leaders like that and it has influenced my life in so many positive ways. I know it’s influenced yours too. At this point, I just have to ask you. There are a lot of people listening now who are saying to themselves, “How do I get a hold of this guy?” What’s the best way for people to see your stuff, to get a hold of you? Where would you send them?

Two places. Number one is NoBSPresentations.com. If you like a little of what I talked about today, there’s a book there that really would get you acclimated to my world. If you’re speaking or want to speak or do webinars and you’re interested, go check that out and that will give you the lay of the land of who I am. If you want to check out what we do at Speaking Empire specifically, which is more a workshop and experiences and conferences, you can check out SpeakingEmpire.com.

Dustin, it was so much fun having this conversation with you. I’ve seriously enjoyed this a lot, but I can’t let you go yet because I have just two questions that I think will really help listeners get to know you better.  The first question is this: Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?

I think because I just listened to his biography, I think it would be Steve Jobs. What popped into mind is would it be a religious figure, but he’s consuming my mind right now. I think I have to give this one to Steve Jobs at the point of this interview. He’s got such a different leadership style than me and I appreciate different models in the way that different people lead. I know that he would love to walk, I would love to spend an hour waling with Steve just to pick his brain on how he grew his business, how he leads and to share how I’m leading and see what his advice would be around that.

That’s a great choice and I made the same choice when I was first asked the question too. I’m a big admirer of Steve. Here’s my second question. It’s called the grand finale and it’s the ‘change the world’ question. What is it that you were doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?

I would love to say that I’m doing something like Elon Musk, I’m going to colonize Mars and build subterranean highways and everything that he’s doing. It goes back to my own personal experience. As you mentioned, I was techie or still am nerdy and introverted really. I realized that if I could communicate, if I could get up in front of others, it could dramatically make a big impact, not only for the audience but for myself. I would say the way that I’m changing the world or at least the way I like to think that I’m changing the world is just by having the conversation of speaking up. Speaking up means all sorts of things, whether you speak in front of a group live or you’re doing a webinar or you have to sell people in your organization. There is a way to communicate. Oftentimes, I found that some ideas are great, but the people behind them just don’t know how to communicate them effectively and so they never get off the ground and they never see the light of day. I would like to think that I’m changing the world by empowering just one person to go out there and communicate their message more effectively.

Dustin, you have empowered a lot more than just one person and I know you know that. Thanks again. This has been great. I enjoyed our conversation. I’m looking forward to speaking to you again soon. 

Thank, Mitch. I had a blast.

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