Surrounding Yourself With The Right People with Guest Vinnie Fisher: MakingBank S1E43
with Vinnie Fisher
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Becoming a great entrepreneur and a strong leader of business is—on-paper—an easy, two-step process:
Step 1: Focus on your single, true talent—the one thing you do better than anyone else. The one thing no one else in your organization can or should do.
Step 2: Surround yourself with talented people who can fill the gaps and pick up the slack in the areas where you leave it.
Understand that no leader, no entrepreneur is strong in every area. You need a support system, one that complements your natural gifts as the leader, and allows you to relinquish total control of the business.
And that’s an important distinction—being in complete control of the business is not the same as being completely in-charge of your business. You can still be in-charge without being in control. Learn to set ego aside, develop a talented team, and surrender control to other key role players. When you do, you’ll expedite the growth of your startup.
With that said, today on Making Bank, we’ll meet with Vinnie Fisher of Total CEO, a man who specializes in teaching entrepreneurs and business owners how to grow their businesses quickly and effectively. Vinnie will help you discover your specific super power, and connect with the support staff that will take your business to the next level.
Listen as Vinnie shares a slew of powerful insights:
- The difference between your passion and your purpose
- How to hire the right people for your company
- How to find your heartbeat as a business owner
- How to improve your network and connect with mastermind groups
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I am Josh Felber. You’re watching Making Bank where we uncover the success strategies, the secrets and the top 1% that you can take and start applying to your life today to transform yourself, your business and catapult you towards massive success. Welcome to Making Bank.
One of the most important things that you’re going to find throughout your life is who you surround yourself with. Who you surround yourself with will determine your success level. How many of you out there right now are hanging on to the same friends that you had in grade school, the same friends that you had in middle school, high school or college. I think I can count on my hand that it’s one maybe and that’s because I ran into him and he’s my insurance agent. Other than that, I have not associated with anyone from any of those areas in my life and the interesting thing is, is you can see where they are and what I’ve been able to accomplish. So, surrounding yourself those key three, four, five six people in your life that are on that same path, that same mental focus of where you’re going. That has the same heartbeat of what you want to do, your values, your caristics and where you want to take your life and your successes. It’s extremely important to how successful you’re going to be.
Yes as entrepreneurs we’re independent, we’re driven, we’re relentless, we’re focused but we’re also sporadic. It is important to have that right team, those right friends that you can call on and count on at the right time. It’s the people that are operating at higher levels than you, that you’re able to sync up with, that you’re learning from. It’s extremely important to move yourself in that direction.
I want you to make a list right now, take out your pen and paper. Make a list. Who are your top closest six friends? How long have you had those friends? Where are they in their lives? Are they more successful than you? Are they the same or less? If they fall into any of those categories, start to find a new group of friends, a new group of people that you can count on. I have maybe three to five close friends and that’s it and they’re all people that are doing better than myself, that are transforming their lives in some way. Maybe they go out and they have the ultimate family and relationship and so I’m always learning from that. Or from a financial standpoint. They have a larger investment pool, they have more income coming in and I’m learning how they do that, how they do that from a standpoint of investing as well as what they’re doing right now in the marketplace to generate that. As well as we know that we can reach out and count on each other for different things.
Surrounding yourself with the right team of people, that right friendship, that right group of people is going to help you transform and be more successful in your life. One of the biggest things that’s worked really well for myself and surrounding and connecting with the right people. I enjoy getting out and meeting people and networking. I enjoy bringing people together to help them transform their lives and help catapult their lives based on other people that I’ve met, is different mastermind groups. What I mean by mastermind groups, they’re a group of 20, 30 like-minded people, all driven, all on the same path to success, whether it’s in their business, whether it’s person, whether it’s from a monetary wealth standpoint, but they’re all headed down that same path to success. They’re all driving themselves towards something better.
I participated and I do participate in roughly three to four of those currently and I’ve been blessed to be able to connect with some of the top people in the world. I’ve been honored to connect and become friends with many of these people and help them transform their lives as well as get feedback and information from them to help transform and move my life forward on a daily basis.
I’ve had the privilege and honor to really connect with someone in my hometown here in Akron Ohio, that is been able to radically help transform and move myself forward as well. Being from Akron, there’s not too many awesome, great people to connect with. Maybe there’s some Lebron James and I don’t know, that’s about it and myself, that was all I knew. I was honored and blessed to meet another person in the area and that we were introduced through someone else that I was on a podcast with and he’s like, “Hey Josh. You have to meet this guy. He’s right there near you, he’s local. I think you guys would really hit it off.”
Next up, I want to introduce Vinny Fisher. I’ve had the honor and privilege to interview him. We got to connect on a local level here. He’s in Akron, Ohio, I’m in Akron, Ohio. There’s not too many great people that are in the Akron, Ohio area, besides myself and Lebron James. I was introduced to him through someone else on a podcast that I was on, said, “Hey. You guys have to connect, you guys have to meet and I think you guys would really hit it off.” After meeting Vinny, learning his story, who he is. I call him the 300 million dollar man because he had multiple businesses generating over 300 million dollars over several years and just woke up one morning and decided, “Hey. I don’t want to do this anymore,” and walked away. He’s found his passion and his successes being the CEO to CEOs.
Being around him, being able to see what he’s creating and moving forward with now is a unbelievable mastermind that will help transform people’s lives, help them transform their businesses as well as create unbelievable networking connections, opportunities and friendships. I’m excited up next I’ve been able to interview Vinny and uncover some of his really cool success secrets and strategies and give you the ability to connect with people that have that same heartbeat, that have that same like mindedness as you do. Stick around. This is going to be a phenomenal interview. I am Josh Felber and you’re watching Making Bank.
I am Josh Felber and you’re watching Making Bank. I am excited today. We have a great friend, mentor as well as a serial entrepreneur and attorney, Vinnie Fisher here on Making Bank.
Welcome to Making Bank Vinnie.
Vinnie: Thanks man. Thanks for having me.
Josh: Sure. Tell our audience a little bit about your background I kind of alluded to a little bit in the intro. Tell us a little bit about attorney, serial entrepreneur. What do you have going on?
Vinnie: I’m a corporate and tax lawyer by trade. I started my law career working for a big firm. I was trained in corporate law so anything from running, buying, building, killing, scrapping corporate business, that would be my pedigree and training. The entrepreneur side, I think that just came fresh out of the box.. I think because we were a median to lower than median class family and so we weren’t middle class, we were something less than that, but we strived to be middle class. AS a result of that I always wanted more. It required me to be a scrambler. I think that scrambling part of me is what bred and continued to feed my entrepreneurial spirit. I was just a guy who really kind of loved the whole entrepreneurial [crosstalk 08:15] because I would just always do things like start any kind of business and that was it.
Josh: Awesome. That’s kind of like that deadly combo, serial entrepreneur and attorney. It kind of gives you the best of both worlds, you don’t have to go hire somebody.
Vinnie: Yeah. I dropped something here. Sorry.
Josh: Being a serial entrepreneur, did you start your first business when you were a little kid, did it happen later in life? What really got you started as an entrepreneur?
Vinnie: I always joke that my first entrepreneurial business was stealing my brother’s paper route. He broke his arm in football and he needed his paper route done, so I started doing it. Like everything I like to do things with excellence, I did it better than he did. The paper company asked my dad if I would continue on. The part of the story I don’t tell is that I had to pay him for a long time if not forever because he was a little vig for letting me have his business but … From New Jersey we talk about vigs so that led into a life of entrepreneurials and I put myself through law school with a tax service. During undergraduate my wife and I had a delivery service where we delivered things. Even pre my law career I was an entrepreneur and I moved that right into owning my own law firm. Then my own trade direct response businesses. We’ve had a handful of them including the companies we own now.
Josh: I guess you were that first delivery business before Amazon delivery and Uber delivery and all that stuff out there, a little ways back.
Vinnie: Yeah. This was in, gosh, date myself, that was in 1994.
Josh: Wow. Pre-
Vinnie: Long time.
Josh: Long time, yeah. That’s awesome. The law firm you had, you know, tell us a little bit about that. Did you sell that? What happened with that?
Vinnie: I was mentored in a law firm. Came out of law school, a couple tracks you could know which way. I would do the big, big firm was mentored very well in corporate law and tax law. Broke out because I was a business developer. I realized one of my powers is business developer. I outgrew the structure of that system pretty quickly. Then I went into a small like more of a boutique health firm. I got my corporate for practice there. By the end of it, the old guy, who I loved to death, was a wonderful mentor, retired and there was me and a business partner. That would be running today except for a character meltdown in our partnership. That law firm was wound down and all of my friends and colleagues in that business were moved into other traditional law settings when they were ready to continue their careers.
Josh: Okay. You will definitely talk a little more about that in a minute but you mentioned a super power. Is that your main super power, bis dev. Or what’s kind of that one that really just hits home and really makes you being a superman?
Vinnie: I’ve never taken an IQ test because I’m afraid I’m going to score just above dumb or something but I do know that if I took an emotional equivalent test I’d score off the charts on that. I’ve never taken one but I have just an absolute joy for other people. I love the uniqueness of them, who the are. I’ve also discovered that I have a wonderful ability … The Bible calls it exhortation. It’s where you have this ability to exhort out of somebody or pull out of them what their value or talents are. It you talk to anybody within an organization, clients, friends, I just continually do this. I find what you’re good at, help you stay focused and simplify, get back on your design and get rid of your distractions. We do this all the time within our organization. That’s by far my largest super power.
Josh: Wow. It’s almost like ghost busters, extract it out.
Vinnie: Extract it out. Once you know what you’re doing. Once you know there’s something that you’re really good at and you’re given the freedom to do it, the creativity of- You take bookkeeper with in one of our departments. As soon as she knows she’s doing exactly what she wants to do, her own creativity just blossoms and I love that. That’s just our reserve from the marketing sales guys. Everybody has certain things that they love to do and as soon as you get them on the path of something that looks more purposeful, their passions come alive.
Josh: That’s awesome. As you mention, the passion and everything, I guess for you what’s more important, that passion or that purpose?
Vinnie: I can be passionate about bowel movement so I think passion weens. I think it’s all about purpose. The paths are laid before us and what our footsteps are is a function of your purpose. We struggle with what we’re supposed to be doing all the time and as an entrepreneur that gap between what we’re doing and what we think we should be doing is critical. To me, I would say, 100% of the time it’s about purpose. Passion is brought into things. You can muster up the passion to go do something you don’t even like for a short period of time and as soon as you know you’re doing something you don’t like, you’ll watch your passion fall off. It’s not hard for me to fire up passion when I’m doing something I want to do. For me, we can be passionate about anything. I could get passionate about fighting about a score in the game to whether or not you’re using the right equipment for this interview. That I’ve learned is not the key ingredient. How you know that is if you fight to revive your passion over and over for what you’re doing.
Josh: Okay. That makes sense. I just saw this quote the other day, it was, “Do not start your business around something that you love because you’ll end up hating it. Start a business around something that you like.”
Vinnie: It’s a wonderful blessing if you love exactly what you do. The reason why that’s an interesting statement I would agree with some of it, is that gosh, there are only a few other people who absolutely, dialing love what they’re doing. To be able to make money doing that, that’s just pure blessing. I think for the rest of us slubs, we have to like what we do at least in order to go ahead. I think the basis of that quote, I don’t know that quote, would be, it’s very risky to try to and go out set it on something you love to make money on. For me that resonates because I like a lot, maybe even close to love cooking, but I wouldn’t want to be paid for it. I bet there are chefs who love to cook and for them they may be able to monetize that.
When I take the [inaudible 14:45] you’d better at least like it.
Josh: Yeah. I know a lot of your audience out here today is entrepreneurs and some people are in that position where maybe they keep hitting those challenges, keep hitting those road bumps along the way and it’s getting to where you may not like your business. Maybe it’s hiring the wrong people or-
Vinnie: This thing you’re talking about- People give up. Things get hard. I don’t know that the life of an entrepreneur is easy, right. We may have signed up because we liked sales or products or whatever but, it’s hard. The actual reality is most people give you before they recognize their dream.
Josh: Definitely. Well, we have to take a quick break. Can you stick around for a minute?
Josh: Awesome. When I come back I definitely want to talk a little bit about the heart beat of the company. I know you and I have talked off camera about this and I’d love to introduce our audience to this.
Vinnie: I’d love to do it.
Josh: Awesome. I am Josh Felber. You’re watching Making Bank and we’ll be right back.
Welcome back I am Josh Felber and you’re watching Making Bank. We’re here talking today with Vinnie Fisher, serial entrepreneur and attorney and discussing a little bit about his background and passion versus purpose and what really comes first a definitely what we really need to have to grow our businesses successfully. Vinnie, welcome back to Making Bank.
Vinnie: Hey, Josh. Thanks for having me on the show today.
Josh: Awesome. One of the things that I’d really like to dive into a bit, I know we’ve talked about before is, as an entrepreneur myself, I’ve had a lot of different business partners, a to of different employees and for me, that’s kind of where … That’s not my skillset, is hiring the right people and partnering with the right people. I know you have an intriguing way that you take a look at it and have had a lot of success, because you don’t necessarily hire off a skill. Can you tell us a little bit about how that came about and I guess a little bit more details about what it’s all about?
Vinnie: Well, I’ve had over 1600 employees, right, so I’d say that the idea of developing wisdom is a big deal. I have the experience and trials of figuring some of this out and so for me the journey looks like this. It starts with the conclusion and so the answer is, you need to hire for culture not context. If it starts with that, then how do you get there? We’ve had a lot of funerals so when I say in the office is that we don’t talk about someone who’s no longer the organization because that’s a funeral. A lot of those were self-imposed funerals, probably didn’t even need to happen.
You know Jim Collins, this really smart guy, talk about this idea, because they’re developing their own organizations, putting people in the right spots. I think Jim would say something like, “If you’ve got a bus and you’ve got people sitting on it, are they sitting in the right spots on the bus?” To add on that, I would rather have a really crappy bus with some awesome people on it, because they can fix it as it breaks down. As opposed to having a really great bus with a bunch of people who don’t even know where they’re going or what they want in life. It’s actually bigger than that. That sounds great. That sounds like something you’d have on a commercial or the Oprah show, it sounds really touching.
The American small business, the North American business is a unique business. You know that it makes up more than 50% of the workforce. Almost approaching 70% of our daily workforce are made up of people who work in small businesses. Businesses that do less than 25 million in revenue are literally the fabric of the American society. Those businesses are owned and operated by a bunch of you and me. Those businesses are not big enough, historically to be bigger than the owner. It might be bigger than the owner in the sense that we’ve outgrown his or her shadow to run it, but the significant influence of the owner is there in that businesses everyday. What I’ve learned over time is that the heart beat of the North American business is the owner and we do develop within him or her, understanding how to identify what’s important to him or her in a way that we can identify her core values, what she stands for. Because once you have that and you can understand the definitions and put language to your specific heartbeat, then hiring becomes actually more significant and more purposeful and less reckless.
Josh: Okay. I guess to help our audience out a little bit, what maybe, one or two ideas we could give them to, how do they figure out what that heartbeat is.
Vinnie: I love it. I do this all the time. It’s an exercise and I’d be happy to share with your audience on any of that stuff if you want, we can make that available to you folks. Our team at Total CEO we do this, so I would love to just talk it through right now.
What I do, what I would encourage you to do, is you can name a lot of God given traits of yours. I encourage you to write 15 of them down. Then when you write those 15 down I want you to marinate on them, look at them and start looking at the things of those traits that cause you some issues. For me, doesn’t matter, based on where I was raised, whatever happened in my life, we always had struggles, so I didn’t like for whatever reason finger-pointing. It’s a big deal in our organization if you blame the computer. Or instead of saying traffic you, “I just got up late.” If you point to external factors instead of internal factors, that’s a big deal for Vinnie Fisher. When I’m measuring and evaluating you, when I interview you, if I ask you questions about where you lacked performance and you blame external factors, I’m going to have a big deal with that.
Another one is that I struggled with honesty in my life, so I don’t like it when people aren’t straight-forward and honest with me. When you give me answers that don’t sound consistent, I’m concerned, I have a red flag. Commitment. Maybe it’s my service in me or maybe it’s because of being let down in life, but I have these certain commitments that are critical to- When I say I’m going to do something I’m either going to tell you I didn’t do it, I couldn’t do it or here’s when it’s going to be done. But when someone’s like, “We’ll just do it tomorrow.” I will literally internally start to meltdown. Finally for me, I’m all about hospitality. I can show up to your party and like if you’ve got the silverware in the wrong spot, I’ll move it.
When we do things that are done in our company in a way that falls short of the hospitality standard that I have, I’ve some big issues. I’ve learned over time that when I look at the list, I found out the four or five things that are deal breakers for me and the reason why is because I give myself 100% of the benefit of the doubt. I know how I’m going to scramble out when I fall short. I know those things. When other people in my organization have some of those same characteristics, I tend to give them those kind of benefits of the doubt. If they don’t, I immediately start shutting down on the finger pointer, the person who is a little sketchy on what their story is telling me. If they lack good communication to the client. If they’re not leading with hospitality first, I start to shut down fast.
That’s a great exercise. I’ll tell you, I can’t tell you how many entrepreneurs in this journey of untrapping from the business, once you like start recognizing that you’re the heartbeat and you could put language to it, I can’t tell you how many people, testimonials, friends, who are like, I’ve changed their life and we’ve done such good things from just this simple concept.
Josh: That is real simple. I mean, just putting down those significant traits and stuff and then taking you know, say, “Hey. This is something I can’t have around.” Then starting to eliminate those out. Then you hire based on what your top five are. Is that what you’re saying?
Vinnie: Yeah, because think of the opposite of that. Say I hire a programmer because they’re masterful skilled in programming and they’re really good at doing some kind of skills in programming. In about 90 days, if they don’t line up with me culturally, then all of a sudden, there’s going to be issues that are going to start in the office. Competence is something we can catch up to very quickly. I always joke, I was not a lawyer until I was a lawyer. The idea of learning to become a lawyer was trained in me and the advocacy and negotiation, those were things that of just value bill, I had, I know how to do some of that stuff, so that’s a competent structure within me. When you start to identify hiring and protecting culture in your office, you can very quickly realize that culture can be a accelerated variable.
Josh: That’s amazing. As you guys are watching, make sure you’re taking these notes down. Really start to formulate what your heartbeat it and like Vinnie said, he’s going to share some, through the link right here next to the video. You can click on it, you can go get some more information and really start to get your heartbeat dialed in.
I know specifically for me, I would always hire people skill and if they would go out and they didn’t need my help to go do anything. I would always have all these people that were almost entrepreneurial per say and then they’d end up leaving at some point, or starting their own thing or doing their own thing and but it was, for me, my part is, I can’t sit there and have to micromanage people and that’s hard for me to do so I would always hire people with that area, hence they would then leave. I was pre-setting them up of startling their own business.
Vinnie: Which actually I love. Henry Ford would say, “Train your people or someone else will.” I’m okay with the idea of helping an entrepreneur get a start, I think it’s great. They probably left because of other alignment issues too. They never really grabbed onto the vision of where you were going with stuff. It’s because really quite honestly, I think it’s great for entrepreneurs if you realize that most funerals in your business are because of you. We’re not here over and over because we made these mistakes or we’re ill-equipped on how to really identify a proper hire. All [inaudible 25:14] friends, clients, colleagues, I don’t really want a team or I want a small team. That’s kind of like divorced people dating, it’s tough, right. I have to start dating again. Well that’s what I see with entrepreneurs, they don’t want to hire again because they’ve been burned because they don’t know how to properly hire.
Josh: Sure. Definitely. One of things that you mentioned too is the whole finger-pointing thing and it’s funny I had that same conversation with my kids like a few weeks ago. They were blaming each other for something and when you sat down and I talked to them, it was all themselves, you know. Just accepting their own responsibility and really holding onto it. It’s exciting to be able to raise them and get them at that point now so later in life they’re not that [crosstalk 25:59]
Vinnie: [crosstalk 25:59] in negotiation of handling a child, right. Want to learn humility, get married, right. These are all things that are- I think that’s great.
Josh: For sure. I know you’re called the CEO of the CEOs. How come you’re the CEO to the CEOs? How did that kind of all come about?
Vinnie: Well, it started with a client and I can call him out and he’ll be all like, “I can’t believe you called me out.” A friend of mine, he runs a wonderfully successful business. We were in an event and I had just gotten done speaking in front of a large crowd and I was meeting with like four or five significant business owners and he walked up and was like, “Hey, don’t you have time for me?” I’m like, “Oh. I’ll broaden your business later.” We joked, I jabbed and he jabbed me back and he’s like, “Hey. This is like my guy. He’s my secret weapon.” And he’s joking and this other guy, Tony asked him a question and he said, “What do you mean?” He goes, “He’s my little CEO in our business.” The guy goes, “Like your CEO?” He was like, “He’s like the CEO to all the CEOs.” He’s like. “There’s a lot of guys.” Literally a joke later stuck and now that group and some others and it just kind of jokingly stuck.
It’s a very humbly position to be in. I’m very thankful that there are wonderful successful men and women in North America who look to me for guidance and help in their business and have that security in their own self to know that I’m just there to help. I consider it a badge of honor to be wearing a title like that, very humbling.
Josh: Awesome. Since you’re the CEO of the CEOs, what do you actually help them with? Or what- ?
Vinnie: What do I help them with?
Josh: I guess, what do they come to you for?
Josh: I mean we’ve got a lot of CEOs that are watching in these small businesses out there.
Vinnie: I opened a brand called Total CEO so I believe entrepreneurs start out by being talented in either sales or marketing, one or both of those, usually one of them. Or product development. Like that’s what we’re good at. There are three or four other critical areas to running a business. You’ve got to know the back end so you’ve got to pay attention to the metrics. You’ve got to be able to build processes in the system. You’ve go to be able to acquire and train the team. You’ve got to be able to lead with vision and clarity. These are all things that have nothing to do with sales, marketing or product development. We set out because we’re excited about something.
Really, what I set out for at Total CEO is to help you be the total CEO. Fill in the parts you’re missing. If you don’t know how to acquire a team and/or train them, we’re going to do that. When I say we’re, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been doing that for a while so I decided to build disciples or people who are helping us in a greater way and we have a vision to impact 10,000 small businesses where we can help you and fill in so you can be the total CEO. We come from this position of being diminished . What I would do to be honest with you about some of my blunders and failures, because I’m amazing at business development what I would do is ignore the back end of our business, I’d run it blind. The way I fix a problem is go get more sales. More gross revenue solves all problems.
Josh: That’s usually the way everybody’s doing it.
Vinnie: That just solves every problem, right.
Josh: More sales.
Vinnie: I grew a company with that attitude. A hosting company had about 40 million in revenue and we were growing +/- 5% at any given time, and so with that tight of margin, you need to be careful. Me and my arrogance, the way I fix that problem is just go make some sales. I had an amazing feeling in it. I was the best business development officer I knew. I had at one point thousands and thousands of affiliates driving us sales and the way all the pressures of scaling a company that size, I would just add more sales to it. We woke up one day definitely realizing we were running at a 5% negative not a 5% positive. We were 5 million off.
That started a journey for me, that I was never going to let that happen again. I over corrected which is what every entrepreneur does. I suddenly go down on all the operations in the business and realized that was also incorrect because that’s not what I wanted to do. During that journey I trapped myself into our company, I wouldn’t let anyone else do anything else. I’ve told this story enough. I don’t know how many people have ever had to write a 5 million dollar check backing their business to save it. I’ve had the extreme privilege of doing that and I don’t wish that on anybody. I realized I trapped myself in the company and you started telling this lie of inadequacy that you have to do everything, when in reality you don’t.
What I’m on a mission to do is to help untrap entrepreneurs to focus on your strength and talents and get surrounded by the right people doing the things that you shouldn’t be doing.
Josh: You mentioned surrounded by the right people, I think that’s really key, is really surrounding yourself with the right people whether that’s in your business or even taking that next step and surrounding yourself with people outside that business that will empower you can help move you there. I know for myself, I’ve been able and fortunate to connect with multiple different masterminds out there where I’ve met great people and helped me work on things that I’m working on as well as being able to help them as well. Your successes are by who you’re surrounded with.
Vinnie: I’ve heard quotes like, “Your net worth is defined by your network.” I think that is kind of cliquish and cool but it’s true. If you find yourself not being pushed and driven by the people you’re around then go up-level it. Go next level and go find some more people to be around. Not everyone is as great a net-worker as you but you’re capable of it. It’s within you to pick up the phone and find four, five people you want to be around so I 100% agree with that.
Josh: Awesome. I know I’m excited and you have a whole kind of surround yourself with the right people even coming up here in a few weeks so I’m excited to come check that out. Can you tell us a little bit more on that?
Vinnie: As part of total CEO I thought that there was two parts. There’s the team, there’s the number two and down, investing in your team, but it all starts with the mindset of number one. The other part of our company is the total executive and so we have a few pieces to that and one of them is I believe in a network, and I believe in being around the right people. We’ve launched something at Total Executive called the total executive mastermind and we’ve launched at the start of March. A good friend of mine Josh Felber, came into me, they’re really making a party, and so we went out and supported Gary Vee and the launch of his book. On the middle day of that event we go March 15th, 16th the first group, March 17th and 18th the second group and then the middle [inaudible 32:38] with Gary Vee, the Cavs, there’s a real carnivalous atmosphere for probably less than 50 business owners who are established wanting to work on their businesses.
My core focus there is to be a, think of it like an advisory group helping, 20 in each room is going to be less than 30 people there. Think of that advisory group focused on helping you and in your business. As entrepreneurs we are the only one in our group doing what we do, right, I think master-minders are wonderful, you can’t have too many of them, where you have a network of people who are similar situated entrepreneurs from different walks of life, bringing different towns to the table and then that group is moderated by a guy, me, who rarely lacks an opinion on the scale and growth of your business. That’s what we got going. It runs throughout the year and this next event is in March.
Josh: Awesome. People can get more information right form the link on Total CEO.
Vinnie: Yeah. They can go to the total CEO. You go to thetotalceo.com and you can find out right there, there’s a link to the Total Executive. I suspect you guys can provide a link to that on-
Josh: Yeah. Right here next to the video [crosstlak 33:33]
Vinnie: You can learn more about it. We’re very accessible. You can always find us at totalceo.com , in work, you can contact us in there. I’m very accessible on our social footprint of Vinnie Fisher so it’s easy to find. I believe in networks so, I think we don’t ask enough of other people that, and who’s the one person you need to meet. Our circle influence the people. It’s just like hiring. It’s that close to us. If you can identify into that we’re- I do believe in that kind of six degrees of separation and I think that we are that close to all the people we exactly need in our life.
Josh: That’s really exciting to be able to put something together so people like myself, other entrepreneurs and everything can come and connect with high level people to work on their business and to really figure out, hey, what are my strategies. What do I need to do to take my business to the next level.“
Vinnie: If you follow that through, the reason why the Total CEO is doing what it’s doing is we aren’t good at everything and we shouldn’t try and act like we are. The nice thing about being in a room with other entrepreneurs is you can call all the blow crap out, knowing that all the egos are gone. We want to work on our problems. Why else would you want to break away from your wife and kids and the joy of your life if you’re not really going to next level your business and that’s the reason those rooms exist and I’m committed to helping to better as many small businesses again and this is another way of doing that.
Josh: Tell me one of the times that, what was one of your failures that you had and how did you recover from that?
Vinnie: You know I’ve had a couple but the biggest one was … It was the first time I cheerleadered my wife and having seen me skin my knee. We grew up a business really big. We grew it to 100 million in revenue in ‘09. It was a publishing company. We were having a good run. We had hundreds and hundreds of employees. We sold off a chunk of the business. Well almost the whole thing actually. The subsequent owners of the business had failed on parts of it and some of the contracts came back to us. Well, that got us in a lawsuit and got us [inaudible 35:49] … That spiraling effect actually got our banks nervous and it caused us … Literally I always say, we had a 750 dollar line of credit, that by the way we never used, they called that line of credit, that same primary bank of ours, also froze our funds because they were insecure. We had about 6 million in the bank at the time that was frozen.
Then our merchaining banks were uncomfortable because our primary bank. It started this whole cascading effect that next thing we know, we are in cash flow jail, so to speak, figuring out how we’re going to run our business. SO much so that I didn’t know how to make our $30,000 payroll. We were that close of taking that big of a business that was doing more than 10 million a month to zero. It was some rather dumb decisions by me and some of the decisions I made on our sales floor and contracts and thinking this other company had it all together. Talk about sitting in my driveway and feeling like an utter failure, right. We were doing pretty well in that business. Next thing you know, I thought I killed the Fisher empire.
What I take from that is that the grind and tenacity is … It’s not about always doing things right, it’s about how to respond and recover from when you did something wrong.
Josh: When you were sitting there in the driveway, what was really going through your head? I mean, you probably had to go talk to your wife and give her a …
Vinnie: Well the funny thing is that night I literally used to meet a church group in my home and I’m about to walk into a church group where I’m the man and I felt like nothing but a failure. I remember praying and asking for help like, “Lord. What do you want me to do about this $30,000? Do I make the payroll? Do I not make the payroll? Just show me a sign and I’ll go from there.” I’m not kidding you. You can over spiritualize it, you can do what you want with it, but I get a phone call from my accountant Chris and he’s like, “Hey. We just got this wire from a network called Clickbank, that we weren’t expecting for like 30,335 or something crazy like that and like goosebumps [inaudible 37:56]. She then asked, what I think is the classic part of whether this story should be told, “What do you want me to do with it?”
There I was faced with a question. I was given a clear sign to literally probably make the payroll. I will be honest with you, I sat there for a second and thought, “Okay. If I don’t make the payroll I put this 30 grand back in the company, okay we’ll start over.” But if 30,000 more to kind of go back at … “ All of a sudden I found myself, “What are you doing? You just asked for advice and guidance and you got a clear decision.” I snapped out of it, we made the payroll and we’ve never looked back since.
We’ve had our bumps and bruises. I blew a hosting company after that, that I’ve told stories about and I think that a lot of that is the reason why we’re doing what we’re doing today. We’re focusing on the back ends of businesses because a lot of business owners are very talented at sales and marketing products as I described and they’re woefully inadequate at the parts that they’re not supposed to be good at. I think through virtualization and outsourcing and team-building, you can overcome those today. Even differently than I would. You talked about something earlier that’s a big deal to me, I did it all alone, maybe because I didn’t have anything,. Or because I wanted to prove to the world that I could do it, I went mentor-less on a lot of this stuff. I think it’s a darn shame because I think of this whole areas of wanting to prove right something. I think I would encourage entrepreneurs to go seek a … Go look somebody who can help you. Be like Solomon, he had a multitude of counselors and not just one.
Josh: Yeah. I know. I’m right there with you. I’ve always had, not always but for a good majority either some kind of business coach, personal coach, mentors things like that as well.
Vinnie: Yeah. If that coach is good at one thing, great. Don’t look to hi m for everything if he can’t give you everything.
Josh: Most of them can’t.
Vinnie: And they can’t, but they might be great at something. If it’s as simple as accountability well someone can hold you up. If it’s you don’t now how to go raise money for your company then go find someone who’s done it and take them out o lunch. There are people all around you and they’re very accessible. I don’t think I in early enough in my career, grabbed on to this concept of mentoring too well and I wish I had.
Josh: Awesome. What’;s one of your favorite books right now?
Vinnie: Right now I’m learning a lot from antiquities, so what that means for me is dead billionaires. I’ve read Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie. I’m actually going through a series of the industrialists, so I love that right now. Personally some books I’ve read recently- I love to read. I’m also believing that we have to figure out who we are. What we stand for so I read a lot of books that are about personal development. I read a great book that I just recently finished by Roy Adams called the Wizard of Ads. The title’s entirely misleading and Roy, I know why you did it because you’re a wonderful academy in that and God bless you but that book was as much a personal development book as it was anything else and it helps you with so many aspects of your business. I guarantee everyone will resonate with some, part of that book.
Josh: Awesome. You have a book out, right?
Josh: You have a new one coming as well.
Vinnie: Yeah. I have a book called The Best Investments, it’s about focusing on a better you. I’m really finding out the value the Lord’s given you, I love that, it was a personal passion, right. I just finished one, we’re in the finalist stages of the CEO’s Mindset and that’s really about this idea of there are six carriers to your business and the most important one being the mindset of you being in charge not in control of all areas of your business.
Josh: Awesome. That makes sense too.
Vinnie: Yeah, right.
Josh: What’s one piece of technology you can’t live without?
Vinnie: [inaudible 41:42] the phone. I’m thankful to be able to even have technology of itself. [inaudible 41:46] be able to do our jobs from certain places. I’ll tell you, I’m a simplist, I love Skype. I like Skype video. When I want to talk to somebody, I get them on the phone from, like from wherever but I get them on video because I feel like we’re actually doing business together and we’re staring at each other and the more substance happens, so I’m a sucker for video conferencing. One of our business is fully accountable is big with Goto Meeting where we can do explanation and exercise so I would say video conferencing is my go-to tool that I just love.
Josh: Awesome. Well, I really appreciate you coming on the show today and definitely want to have your back because I know we’ve got tons more to talk about, but we’re running out of time for today.
Vinnie: Oh, we can talk forever right. Thanks for having. I love what you guys are doing and Making Bank where you’re trying to really focus in and help entrepreneurs understand and get key resources in our community. I think it’s valuable. We don’t have enough of this so keep doing what you’re doing.
Josh: Cool. Awesome. Well, thank you again fro coming in. Thanks again for watching Making Bank today. Check out Vinnie’s link to Total CEO right here next to the video and he’s going to help share some additional information with you to help your business out and move your business forward and start helping you get your right mindset. Start hiring right and get on the right track to success. I am Josh Felber. You’re watching Making Bank. Get out and be extraordinary.