The way the world is developing, there are no shortages on groundbreaking ideas. The problem is how do you get your ideas out there? You can have the most advanced idea, expertise, or product, but it doesn’t matter if your marketing tactics can’t give you the desired attention and reaction. Bill Bice, the Founder of boomtime, fell in love with small businesses at a young age and has been committed to helping out the industry in his own out-of-the-box way of thinking ever since. Being a programmer at heart, his company developed a platform that scales with the modern world as it fuses both technology and expertise into one service. In this episode, Bill talks with Mitch Russo about the greatest mistakes that people have made in marketing and how you can avoid them. Learn how to maximize your returns using the expertise that you’ve perfected over the years, even if it means that you need to give it away for free.
Marketing Your Expertise Technologically With Bill Bice
This will be a special episode with an amazing guest who is going to create a mind storm of ideas and cognitions. Get comfortable. We have a lot to share. We also have a new feature that you can use to tell me directly what you are thinking, what you thought of this episode or speak back to me for any reason at all. Let me know how you feel by clicking on the button that says, “Speak to Mitch.” Do you love or hate my show? Do you have a suggestion for improvement? If you speak to Mitch, Mitch will speak back to you. Click that button and tell me what you think.
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At eighteen years old, he entered the software business in the legal space and set out to change the world, but the world around him was changing a little too fast and he had to adapt rapidly to stay current. He almost lost the company when a last-minute decision kept him in the game. He ended up selling to Thomson Reuters, a big company in the legal space and that phase of his life was finally over. A new one would soon begin because he discovered that as he funded other high-tech growth companies, marketing continued to frustrate both him and his client companies. He once again decided to do something about it. That’s when he founded his company to build marketing as a service platform. He’s here to tell us all about it, why it works, ehy it’s significant and how all of us can benefit. Welcome, Bill Bice, to the show.
It’s great to be here with you.
Readers, maybe you don’t know, but I’ll tell you now that Bill and I have some history together. We once had our boxing gloves on and we’re fighting out as competitors in the legal market. If you remember when I told you about building this incredible software company, we are in the same space. His product did a lot more than mine, but our core focus of time and billing was a competitor to Bill’s. We didn’t even know each other at that time. It was only later when we connected and reminisced about it that we realized we were both in the space at the same time. That was fun, Bill. I wish I would’ve known you then because I threw some great parties at some of the legal shows.
We had some great history together. It is amazing that running into more significant companies in that space that we never ran into each other at the time. I’m glad we connected after the fact.
Bill, you have an incredible history. At eighteen years old, to be the founder of a company, tell us about that. Go back to the beginning and give us some of that history.“All progress depends on the Unreasonable Man” - George Bernard Shaw Click To Tweet
The great thing about starting a company at that point is no mortgage, no kids and it’s easy to take the risk. The downside was that I was eighteen and I already knew it all so I was not open to advise. I did not have a mentor and because of that experience, I try to do exactly the opposite. It took me a lot longer to figure out how to run a business thanks to that. Fifteen years later, we had a five-year run in there and we were on the Inc. 500 every year and had a fast-growing company. Sometimes you work hard to get enormously lucky. We closed the sale of the company to Thomson Reuters on August 22nd of 2001, which was three weeks before 9/11. The whole market froze after that. Law firms stopped buying software. We would’ve survived, but it would have been a challenging experience to go through that. Fortunately, cashflow was not the problem that would have been prior to that acquisition.
You were lucky. I wonder sometimes luck seems to come to those who are prepared to receive it and I have a feeling that you were prepared so congratulations on that.
It illustrates one of the least understood or appreciated elements of business and startups in particular. When you’re innovating and doing something new, persistence is the key. Getting the timing right is difficult. That is the biggest factor. If you have all the other elements, a good team, product and all those other things that are table stakes, the timing is what’s going to determine whether you’re successful.
Unfortunately, there’s no real way to know whether the timing is right. I have and as you have invested in companies at the wrong time that if they’ve been around at a different time, it would’ve had a completely different outcome.
That’s why I considered persistence. If I had a superpower, that would be it. If you stay in the game long enough, you create your own luck.
Also, there’s another element to persistence that I want to mention here. It’s to know when to pivot. It’s one thing to stay in the game but it’s another thing to not change as the game changes. I have a feeling you’re pretty good at that too.
That’s a part of it. It’s constantly changing. We pivoted several times in my current business to match the opportunity that we saw. That’s often what it takes.
You ended up selling to Thomson Reuters and you became an investment guy, a VC. Did you build a venture capital’s investment bank or did you do it casually?
We started at an early-stage fund on my way out of Thompson and both of those were great experiences. I definitely learned that I am not great set for large companies but that was an amazing education to get on the management team of an over $2 billion company by selling them my little software company. On the way out, we started an early-stage fund. I’ve gotten to invest in and work on a wide range of high-growing companies, which has been a blast.
One of the greatest lessons I ever learned, Bill, was I am absolutely not suited to work in an organization as an employee for sure. I should have been fired several times when I was at Sage, but the bottom line is, I belonged on my own as you do. That’s how you learn it. That’s how you see how that works as you get involved in some of these larger companies. I bet you saw the same thing for yourself, no doubt.
I did and it brought out the love that I have for small businesses. It’s because of that contrast of when you’re a large company, it’s all about the internal politics and when you’re in a small business, it’s about your customers and the market. It’s about changing things that are happening in the world. That’s a lot more interesting to me.
You’ll relate to this story. The problem I had at Sage is, they had no real care for the customer at the time. When we told them that we were going to be late with a release because the release was buggy and we weren’t going to be hosting a buggy software release upon 15,000 law firms or so, they said, “We don’t care. We have it budgeted to be released and that’s what’s going to happen. It’s going to be released.” It was around that time that I decided that I can’t work in this environment anymore because this isn’t right. More importantly, it’s dangerous. I exited the company and they went on to release that anyway and had to deal with a class-action lawsuit from lawyers.
It’s strange what happens when you do that to lawyers.
Isn’t that funny? For a lawyer, a lawsuit is nothing more than opening the word processor. Why intimidate lawyers? It doesn’t make a lot of sense. Getting on here, Bill, I want to hear about the cool stuff you’re doing now. Your company is called boomtime. I know that you’re doing some incredibly innovative stuff in the marketing space. Why don’t you tell us about that?Persistence is the least understood and appreciated element of business when you’re innovating and doing something new. Click To Tweet
This is an interesting problem because in every aspect of our business, we’re always looking for ways to put in scale and efficiency. We have this discipline in marketing that it’s often about marketing is what you go do when you don’t want anybody to understand what you do. It’s an area that has long resisted the attempts of scale and efficiency, which we won’t put up with in any other part of our business. It has to happen in marketing, particularly for smaller businesses if we’re going to continue to remain competitive. You’ve got huge companies that you’re going up against it that in comparison have an unlimited marketing budget.
What I see over and over again is that small businesses don’t make a long-term commitment to marketing because they’ve done many things that haven’t worked. It’s hard to make that investment. I set out to solve this problem because there was a strong correlation. It’s not shocking, which are those companies that I’ve invested in, worked on an advice where we got to go to the market right. We had the biggest success. You put all this hard work to create a great product or service and yet it’s the marketing that’s going to determine whether you get the payoff or not.
We have to bring scale and efficiency into this discipline and because I’m a programmer at heart. I saw the problem from the perspective of the data. We’ve been constantly iterating and following the data for the past years to understand what works and how does that come out as a marketing playbook for B2B that we’re able to do reuse and replicate over and over again and apply to any high-value transaction. It’s been tremendously fun to lock that in and see the success that comes out of that.
What do you mean by high value? How high does it have to be?
It needs to be in the $2,000 and up range. The techniques that we’re using aren’t appropriate for high volume low transaction stuff. Anything that’s professional services, high value is a great fit for this because it tends to be expertise-driven if it has that dollar amount attached to it.
That makes sense but there are many people reading who have acquired many failures on the marketing side and who have spent money after money trying dozens, if not sometimes tens of dozens of new things and nothing works. It’s a slow slugging process where a little something works here and a little something works there. This is my experience, until eventually a company pieces together and installs a base or a user list that’s big enough to sell one thing in a launch fashion to that base and make enough money to keep alive for the next year. There’s got to be a better way, Bill. Do you think you know it or have you developed that? Can you tell us about it?
There absolutely is. We’ve ended up focusing on one form of marketing that always works, which is word of mouth. It does require that you’ve scraped together a level of foundation that we can then build on. I’ve worked with many solopreneurs who have used these same techniques in order to get to that point where they’ve got some momentum and a bigger base to work with. In the end, if we boil it down, what we want to do in our marketing are three things. We want to do a much better job of capturing the referrals and leads that are coming. We want to automatically follow up on all of those and we want to build that into an audience, which is the most undervalued asset in every business. It’s the audience that you already own, that you get to talk to without paying a third party to, and you can talk to as often as you want and you’re staying on top of mind with that audience.
Those are our objectives and in B2B, we only need three channels in order to do that. If we have a website, email and LinkedIn, we can build that audience and we can keep driving people back to our website over and over again. We can grow the audience that we’re talking to via LinkedIn. That’s one of the reasons I love this space of B2B because it is simpler than B2C. You might argue that ten years ago, it was the other way around but we’re in the golden age of LinkedIn. In whatever effort you’re putting into LinkedIn, you should be putting a ton more because it’s the easiest way to grow anything in high-value B2B.
In order to properly market on LinkedIn, you need to have two important components. I’m hoping you can elaborate further on this. The first is a highly targeted page. Your LinkedIn profile needs to be not your resume. It needs to be a sales page, a sales letter and it needs to target your exact perfect client. The second thing that you need on LinkedIn is a strategy for connecting with people in a way that’s meaningful. Every time I log on to LinkedIn and I have 10,000 or so connection. I’m being bombarded with people who want to sell me how to market on LinkedIn services. What do you do about that?
How well does that work?
Not well at all. Although to be fair, when I started doing that two years ago, it worked pretty well but not so much anymore.
It’s completely overdone now. The way that I look at it at LinkedIn is, it’s the ideal networking event and you should treat it like you get to show up over and over again virtually and meet exactly the right people. You don’t have to eat high-calorie food while you’re doing it. If you went to a networking event and met somebody for the first time, you wouldn’t immediately pull out your PowerPoint and jump into a sales pitch. You would build a relationship first. You have to come into LinkedIn with that same goal of, “I’m here to build my own network and be helpful to that network.” If you take that approach, those sales opportunities will come. The hard-sell approach doesn’t work on LinkedIn anymore. You’ve got to come into the build that relationship.
Here’s the problem. Everybody’s trying to build a relationship with me and as a result, I don’t want any relationships with people on LinkedIn unless I know of them through reputation or having met them. For me, that is already an old story. “I know you want to build a relationship with me. I don’t have time or interest in building one with you, Mr. LinkedIn Marketing Person.” What do we do with that?
Fortunately, you’re not the norm on LinkedIn. The vast majority of people don’t have 10,000 connections. The biggest problem is coming in with that sales mindset. To me, not willing to meet new people on LinkedIn is like going to a cocktail party and saying, “I’m only going to talk to people I already know,” which is ridiculous. It’s okay if you don’t want to meet more people, but fortunately, there is a significant enough portion of the audience that you’re interested in that doesn’t have that approach and is open to building their network if there’s value in it for them. This works much better with the senior executive team in the company. First of all, it’s not about your company page. In a smaller business, you should have one, but the value is not going to come from the company page. We want to connect with people on LinkedIn and it’s going to be the senior team, ideally the CEO of the company. Other CEOs want to connect with CEOs. If you come in with the right attitude on that, it’s going to work great.If you stay in the game long enough, you create your own luck. Click To Tweet
Can you give us an example of some of the times that you’ve done this that have worked well or the approaches that you’ve taken particularly on LinkedIn?
Are you familiar with the book, The Challenger Sale?
We have found those techniques, which is the research that Gartner did. It’s out on the fortune 500 but it works well in small business. It’s taking in an insight perspective driven approach. This is content marketing. The key is to avoid what I consider the number one mistake in marketing, which is talking about yourself because nobody cares. That’s the stuff that you’re not on LinkedIn yet. It’s not going to work on emails and it’s not going to work anywhere. Instead, you’re putting yourself in the shoes of your audience. You’re sharing the unique perspective that you have because whatever your niche is, you’re working with hundreds of companies like that. The CEO of the one company in that area, they’ve got their heads down running that one company and in your area of expertise, you can bring them great insight. That’s what you have to be doing.
It’s a thought leadership approach and someone who is much more careful about who they connect with. The number one factor with whether somebody accepts your connection request is how many existing connections you have in common. It does absolutely nothing to reach out to third-level connections. You only do second-level connections and for your highest value targets, you need to work your way there so you surround them with other connections that you have in common. If you optimize your profile exactly the way you were talking about before, if you have multiple niches or industries you go after, I recommend doing one at a time. You need to optimize the profile for that one contact in that one industry.
If you do that well, you’re going to get on the low end 35%. You should get into the high 40% low 50% connection rate and that adds to 1,000 new connections a month, every month. That builds a significant network over time that you then need to share this insight-driven approach in terms of your content. If what you’re doing is not selling but you’re sharing your expertise, you’re going to build up a reputation over time. That’s going to generate word of mouth and referrals even from people who aren’t a prospect for you because you are sharing your expertise.
You say over time. Give us an example of how much time you’re talking about for an average client of yours?
One of the biggest problems in marketing is we all want a short-term fix. I don’t think there are any good quick fixes in marketing. The only marketing that works is a long-term investment. You’re likely to get some early wins because you happen to reach out to somebody at the time that they’re thinking about what you’re doing. One of the techniques we find useful is the reframing approach from The Challenger Sale, which is taking us specific issues that’s important to your audience and showing a way to recast that and provide a different perspective on it. That often creates an opportunity early in the process because you’re helping them see something in a different light.
Realistically, it takes about six months for all these pieces to come together for there to be enough history of you sharing valuable insight via LinkedIn over time. When somebody looks at you and dives deeper into what you’re doing, they see what you are great at. Where we see it come together is down the road about a year in where there is a real history behind what you’re doing. You’ve got an audience that understands and respects the expertise that you’re sharing. At that point, we hit our goal which is what we call social currency. It’s giving people a reason to talk about you. You want that so when the issue you address comes up over lunch, you’ve provided that key piece of information. That’s why they start talking about it. That’s how we start generating referrals that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
How much content does someone need in order to do this for a minimum of six months? Let’s say they’re planning to have a long-term plan and they want to do it for a year. What type of quantity, quality of content do they need?
What we typically do is two longer form pieces a month that we then reuse. One of the great things about LinkedIn is there’s no duplicate content posting penalty. You can build up a basic content. Post something that refers back to something we wrote six months ago. That’s one of the advantages we’re getting, that history of content going. We’ll take one piece and use it 3 or 4 times this month to use it again 3 or 4 months from now. That’s the key to be constantly out there in front of your audience. Use different pull quotes, create a short video that covers the same content that’s in that longer form in order to pull people in. You can get there with two good pieces of content a month if they get used in the right way over and over again. The hard part is creating that content because I have almost never seen it work internally unless that’s your love of creating content.
For most businesses, you’re running the business and you have more than enough ideas. We could sit down with the CEO of a company and in 30 minutes, get enough great ideas for six months of editorial. The hard part is writing it. What I recommend is to go and find a resource who already understands your audience well, great at writing, take your ideas and turn that into the content that we’re talking about. That’s how we do. We’ve got a network of 300 subject matter experts. It’s how we get a steady flow of great content all the time.
What about someone who’s already written a book? In my case, I’ve written two books and both are still relevant. Would I be able to take sections of my book? In other words, if I had the approach and said, “My content creation is going to be based on, and in some cases, a direct R&D of my book itself,” R&D meaning Rip off and Deploy, I would cut and paste right out of my book with headers and footers and make that my content. Would something like that work?
Absolutely. I’ve never been lucky enough to have a client who already wrote a book. That is an ideal way in leveraging great content that other people have created and doing the same thing and add in your own perspective on top of it is an easy way to get going. You can run this whole program for yourself if you treat it as the golden hour prospecting. It’s like when you hire a sales rep and you say, “From 9:00 to 10:00 every day you’re going to make cold calls.” That was the old school approach. Do the same exact thing for LinkedIn and make 7 to 8 every single morning, you send out 50 connection requests every single day. Follow up with every single person that accepts your connection request, leverage content that comes from other places.Marketing is what you do when you don’t want anybody to understand what you do. Click To Tweet
That’s how you can get out of the gate doing this yourself and build a big enough foundation to make this fly, but you’re going to get busy and the key is don’t stop. You then have to put in the process, the marketing machine and this keeps going. One of the biggest mistakes that small businesses make is the second biggest mistake in marketing, which is a lack of consistency. We started doing marketing because things are a little slow. They picked back up and we stopped doing the marketing. Your business never catches the steady growth that it should have.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that most of the people reading are only that, including me. I’m a one-person shop. I have a VA, a content creator, a web person and a tech person for my software apps. I’m a pretty much a one-person-show and you’re right. I get distracted and I don’t have time to do something. I have more initiatives started than I should at this point in my life. At the same time, I don’t think I have the bandwidth to be consistent. What do you suggest? What do you think works? Does working with the VA help you? Would that work or do you need a professional organization to do the whole process for you?
It does. The whole reason I created boomtime because this is a tough problem to solve. You’ve put all the pieces together and you and I have talked enough that I can tell you love doing this and you’re into it. You understand that you know how to make it work. Most business owners don’t. You’re doing what you do because you love it. The marketing is something that has to get done. Unless you spend the time to understand how all the pieces fit together. The three channels that I talked about, website, email and LinkedIn, it’s much simpler in B2B. At the same time, the only way you can make that work and optimize it is to understand the customer journey across all three channels and building the analytics to do that.
That in its own right is a challenging thing to do. One of the reasons I love doing what I do is because I get to see the data from several hundred businesses doing this. We pick up on the trends much more quickly because of that. I encourage anybody to pick this up, run with it and do it. As you grow, what you’re going to find is it becomes more and more difficult to do it. You almost have to get an outside resource or organization to do it for you.
We started this entire conversation about word of mouth marketing. How is this word of mouth?
That’s what’s wonderful about it. It’s all being digitally connected because it’s much more realistic to amplify the effect of word of mouth because we can give people reasons to talk about us. The reason I put much emphasis on building your own audience that you own and control is by talking to that audience over and over again, what you’re doing is creating a base that understands the expertise that you’re bringing to the table and starts to become the messenger for you in the larger network.
I would much rather have 2,000 people who know what my company does well and talk about it than to have an audience of two million that get it. If we do that right, it’s amazingly powerful to get those 2,000 people out there talking about it. The reason I pick that number is because that’s about where we start to see a significant change where we get a business with that size of the audience and if they do the right things with it, we get this organic growth that comes out of this market. We don’t have to do paid advertising in order to grow the company. That’s a powerful place to be.
We talked a little bit about the mailbox mining and email lists. We talked a lot about LinkedIn. If we got our LinkedIn act together, if we had two big nice strong content pieces a month, what do we have to do on the email side? Can that standalone content also play a role in our email marketing or is that a completely separate effort?
The beautiful thing about this approach is we’re going to create one content stream and use it everywhere. We’re going to post it over on LinkedIn and we’re going to send out that same content in the email. Most companies in B2B are doing somewhere between 0 and 1 email every 1 or 2 months and your frequency needs to go up. This is one of the hardest subjects to talk about with business owners because we all get way too much email. If you’re providing valuable information in the email, you should be sending somewhere in the range of 24 to 30 emails a year on the low end. You need a couple of emails going out every month.
As long as what you’re sharing is useful to your audience, they’re going to appreciate getting those emails. You’re going to follow the data to make sure you’re not pushing the frequency too high but chances are good that however much email you’re sending out, you need to send more. We’re going to take that same content and put it on the website and do all of this within a larger SEO plan so that we’re targeting the different ways in which people can find us. All those pieces tied together with that one core content stream.
That does make a lot of sense. Readers, we are talking to the amazing Bill Bice. He is the Founder of boomtime, a full-service marketing agency who has decided as their goal in life to figure this thing out and standardize marketing that it works every time. I enjoyed this conversation. I hope you have too. Bill, the big problem that we all have is content consistency. What happens next is if you do it right, you have to close sales. In your world, who closes sales? Does the person who owned the company do it or does boomtime do it?
The person who owns the company has to be the person to close the sale. This is the classic issue of sales versus marketing. The job of marketing is to create opportunities for sales, but you still have to do the real sales work on top of that. I have found in building company after company that the first salesperson always has to be the CEO because you’re the one person who can change any aspect of the business model to match what you’re hearing in the market. It’s a mistake I’ve made over and over again, which is scaling sales too quickly. It’s the easiest way to waste a ton of money. You’ve got to have a reproducible sales process. The other way to waste a ton of money is not putting this marketing foundation into place first. Way too many companies go out and spend money on advertising because what everybody wants is leads. If you don’t have the marketing foundation in place, there’s no way you’re going to get the return on that investment.
Since you’re dealing with many clients who are B2B, is there a preferred sales closing methodology that you talk about to your clients? If someone becomes a client and says, “Bill, here’s some money. Make it happen. By the way, I can’t sell. Do you know anyone who could teach me how to sell?” what would you say?
We work with a company called Sales Xceleration that is a bunch of independent VP of sales that address that side of the equation. Our whole philosophy comes from The Challenger Sale, which is appropriate when you don’t feel like you can sell. I don’t believe it because otherwise, you don’t have a business that’s causing us to sit down and talk in the first place. What you mean is you want more sales and what you’re doing right now isn’t working nearly as effectively as you would like it to be. That’s undoubted because your marketing is not effective enough.The number one mistake in marketing is talking about yourself. Nobody cares. Click To Tweet
You’re not targeting and filtering to the right prospects. If you take this insight-driven approach, your sales process becomes different because you’re not going in to pitch somebody. In fact, my goal anytime I sit down with a business owner, I want them to be better off because we met. I want them to have a better perspective on marketing, whether it makes sense to work with us or not. They’re better able to grow their business. Taking that attitude tends to turn more businesses into clients and that’s what I recommend all of our clients do to take that same exact approach.
Bill, do you know what you need? You need a podcast.
Shockingly enough, I have finally followed in your footsteps and I do have a podcast. It’s the B2B Word of Mouth Marketing Podcast. We layout exactly the things that we have learned and what to do if you want to grow a B2B business. I’m happy to tell everybody who runs a small business what we have learned and how they grow. Frankly, the hard part is executing on it day in and day out.
Believe me that is the lesson I learned from Chet Holmes many years ago, “Tell him everything that you know but implementation will never happen unless you help.” That’s one of the greatest gifts besides his friendship that Chet ever gave me. It was fully understanding that and watching him demonstrate it. I remember I told a quick story once we are at an event together and he stood up in front of the room and laid out our entire strategy from top to bottom. At the end of that, everyone clapped. I walked over and I said, “Why did you do that? We’ve spent many years perfecting this. Why did you give the whole thing away?” He said it simply “Nobody here will ever do it. They’ll hire us instead.”
Giving away your best expertise for free is the best marketing you can do.
Bill, this has been a great conversation. I’ve enjoyed this. Readers, if you have enjoyed this conversation, how about speak to Mitch and tell me that you did. If you have a question for Bill, I know he’d be thrilled to get a question from you. Check out Bill’s podcast, B2B Word of Mouth Marketing Podcast. It sounds fascinating and I know I’m going to listen as well. Bill, we have a couple of questions we’d like to ask all of our guests to help us get a better feel for what they care about. Here’s the first question. 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?
There’s a quote that I’ve always lived by, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world and the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.” Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. Maybe that’s my excuse to be difficult to deal with but I would love to have lunch with George Bernard Shaw because that’s always been my favorite quote.
It’s a great quote. I’ve heard it many times and I absolutely subscribe to it as well. Thanks for reminding me of it. The other thing about that, which is interesting is I noticed most entrepreneurs have to have quite a bit of unreasonableness to even be in business because common sense and mom would tell you, “Go get a job already, will you? Stop lying around and talking to your friends on that internet thing.” It requires quite a bit of being unreasonable to be successful. I’m glad that you brought that up. It’s something that we should all take a look at real hard. Are we unreasonable enough?
It’s because of that and the way we started and talking about the persistence required. It takes a lot of unreasonableness in order to have the level of persistence required to be successful.
There are many reasons to quit every day. Sometimes it requires persistence, ability and perception as to how to continuously adapt to the environment that you are in. I’m glad you brought that up. Bill, this is the grand finale, the change the world question. What is it that you are doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to change the world?
It isn’t exactly the thing I’m doing now, but I fell in love with small business when I was fourteen. I was working at the local sports store behind our high school. Making it possible for small businesses are where the innovation is, where employment comes from. Being part of making a small business competitive to me has been a lifelong passion. I want to tie this into a little bit of a pitch for Simon Sinek’s new book, The Infinite Game. He captures what is powerful and transformative about business in general if you play it as the infinite game. There are many small business owners that take that approach. We need our large companies to do the same thing. To me, that’s the transformative power that we all have as business owners.
That’s a great book suggestion too. I’ve read the foreword to that book and it’s on my reading list, but I haven’t read it yet. Thanks again for that reminder as well. What would you say was the greatest insight you extracted from reading that book?
He did a good job of patching things that other people have said in a way that hits home. His simple point is, “Many of our business leaders feel like they’re playing business as if it’s a finite game, as if it’s a football game with X amount of time on the clock and it’s about how much money you end up with at the end.” The reason you get into business is you want to change the world in some way. However big or small that may be, that’s what you’re passionate about. We’ve had a few too many decades of focus on quarter by quarter performance that we’ve lost the real power of capitalism. The whole world is vastly better off because of capitalism. He goes after Milton Friedman in his book and who’s one of my heroes. This is one of the things that Friedman talks about all the time which is, “More good has been created out of capitalism than in any other system. At the same time, we’ve lost some of that in the last 2 or 3 decades.” We need to get back to that.
Wise words from an intelligent individual. With capitalism, no matter what you say or believe, every person has a chance. With other forms of governing such as socialism, it’s consistent. Nobody has a chance. I’m all for capitalism. It’s something I’m an advocate of and as Americans, we all should be as well. Yes, it’s not perfect and I agree that there are changes that can be made to benefit more people. Ultimately, to live through the lens of capitalism means we all get to thrive. Bill, thank you so much for being with me. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. The giveaway, what do you have for my audience? I know you’ve got something interesting.
You can tell that I’m a fan of The Challenger Sale and we’ve created a great summary of how to apply the techniques for The Challenger Sale in your marketing. I recommend you read the book. You can get the core of it from our summary and see how you can put that to work in order to make your marketing amazing.
Bill, thanks again. I’m excited about when we get a chance to talk again next.
I am looking forward to it. It’s been a lot of fun thanks, Mitch.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Virtual Entrepreneurs Association
- The Virtual Entrepreneur
- Thomson Reuters
- Bill Bice
- The Challenger Sale
- Sales Xceleration
- B2B Word of Mouth Marketing Podcast
- The Infinite Game
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