Today on the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast we're talking with Tony Berenyi. Now I hit it off with Tony the moment I met him. He's sat right beside me during Dan Sullivan's Game Changer program, and from the moment he sat down, I liked Tony a lot.
He's a guy who's completely dedicated to personal development. He's been in Tony Robbins' platinum program as well as Coach, and he's just a wonderful guy with a real spirit and heart for service.
I've got to know him over the last several months. He came to one of my Breakthrough Blueprint events, we helped him with a book that he's written, and it's been really a great thing to see how an engineer by trade, a guy who has built a business delivering big, big projects, I'm talking hundreds of millions of dollars projects building steel plants, takes this Four Seasons approach to everything he does.
He's at a point now where he wants to be able to contribute at that level and really help some of the younger people coming up so they can get their lives and ambition together and really mentor and guide them on their way to success.
This was a great call as we talked a lot about how to make that transition and I think you're going to get a lot from the ideas we had.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 121
Dean: Tony Berenyi.
Tony: This is Tony Berenyi.
Dean: How are you, sir?
Tony: I'm good. Yesterday's call was pretty good. Obviously, I don't have any questions at this point, because I'm not watching anything, but that was really, really good.
Dean: That's awesome. You're talking about our email mastery call.
Tony: Yes, your email mastery call was really interesting to hear all these different concepts of what people are doing, a nine word email, or whatever.
Dean: All of that, amen.
Tony: How to get people to lean a little bit, and how you want to get them to be interested in what you're doing. I thought it was really good.
Dean: Isn't it funny, the thing that was the, I think, the highlight of it, was really just talking like normal people talk. That was the insight that we had, that that's really what ... That's what makes those emails work. I'm excited.
Tony: What I liked was the H to H content.
Dean: There's no B to B, just H to H, human to human.
Tony: I'm B to B, listen, you want to talk to people like people.
Dean: That's exactly right, you know that. That's exactly it.
Tony: I thought that was really interesting.
Dean: I'm glad we're here to chat. Most of the time when I do these episodes, I really don't ... I don't know the people mostly, but we've got some ... We've spent some time together, and I know what you're up to. This is it. We're recording right now. We've got the whole hour to just brainstorm and talk about where your ... Where you're going, what we can do to set a context for it. I think it would be good, since there will be people listening that don't know you, to maybe tell a little bit about the Tony Berenyi story, and let's pick up from what we're going to work on here.
Tony: Sure. Would you like me to-
Dean: Tell me the story.
Tony: Long story short, I studied engineering, and with the emphasis of, not exactly sure what I wanted to do, but I knew with a degree in engineering, it would open up a lot of doors and windows. Once I did that, then I jumped around a lot for the first seven to eight years, getting a good variety of experience, mostly working in manufacturing facilities, doing design build projects, and then once I got the experience that I felt I needed, then I decided okay, I'm going to be the captain of my own ship. In 1989-
Dean: That's a pivotal decision, right there.
Tony: Basically, you can't control your future. You can to a certain degree, if you're working for somebody else, but the only way to truly control your destiny is being the captain of your own ship. I knew that I could always get a job working for somebody else. I decided I was going to start my own company, and if it didn't work, I was young enough to go find me a job working for somebody else. I was 29 at the time, 1989, and three years, and I went out. What I found was again, there's a huge need, and I think there's a huge need for people that are trying to provide high level care. People that really, genuinely care about what they're doing.
Dean: No matter what the industry is. Engineering, anything.
Tony: Like the guy last night was talking about auto sales. I don't care what business you're in, if you really care for the masses, may not be easy, but if you really care about what you're doing, I think you'll do fine.
Dean: That's one lesson that I really got early on. You look at all the way down through, there are people. I just read the Four Seasons book by Issy Sharp, the guy that started the Four Seasons. It's his story, telling about how he built the Four Seasons, and what they're really all about, how they've been the number one hotel brand in the world for years and years and years, and you hear that same passion for what he's doing, as you do, I remember reading about Harvey McKay. You remember Harvey McKay, Swim with the Sharks, that his whole thing was envelopes. You start to realize Tony Hsieh Delivering Happiness, his whole thing is not about the shoes or it's not about the hotel, it's not about whatever business, per se, you're in. It's about this caring. I think that's really what you're kind of saying.
Tony: Yes. I think Four Seasons is a good example. I've read that same book you're referring to, and I think the key is it's that last 5%. that nobody else is doing because they're lazy. With Four Seasons, they got a room and they got people providing shade and shelter, but it's that last little bit about remembering people's names and what do they like, and ... It's just really, it's just that last 5%. In my business, I've always been focused on that last 5%. You and I are in coach. I've been in it for 18 years, and what I've learned is, how can you create a favorable experience that's different than everybody else, that people are going to remember.
In my business, I've always strived to create... We don't really like to talk about it, but what is that last 5%, and what do people really like or they don't like, that separates us from everybody else? What's happened in my business, in manufacturing, we do design builds, design, we do a lot of manufacturing design, either existing plants or new plants, that make products. We also have a construction division, because the owners were so happy with the design experience, it was natural for them to say, "Hey, I want you now to build my facility," which for us, our business grew from doing design, to now doing construction. It's because those owners want the same high level care from beginning to end.
When you give them a fee at the end of the project, they want that nice taste in their mouth and they feel like, okay. Not everybody wants that level of care. If you're building a shopping center, you can go to the phone book and you can pick 30 contractors, and get bids from 30 contractors to build you a shopping center. If you're making a product, and budget is important and schedule is important, and when you start pushing buttons, that the buttons work, and at the end of the day, the product comes out the other end, that's not the phone book ... We're not the phone book kind of engineers, is kind of our mantra, if you will.
Dean: I got you.
Tony: Which is a thing with Jim Collins, Good is Great. What's your niche?
Dean: Your hedgehog idea, right.
Tony: What is your niche? Most people don't know what their niche is.
Dean: What's the thing you could do, to be the best in the world at?
Tony: That's right. What are you going to do to be the best in the world? For me, I've been blessed. Again, I enjoy design. I enjoy creating, I enjoy figuring out the mouse traps, I enjoy providing good level, high level service, high level care. What's interesting now is for me, it's a constant journey or a constant quest of figuring out more and more things that we could do to provide more and more high level care. As customers have gotten more complex, what is high level care? Really diving in to try to build the relationships.
Dean: Have you always been focused on that? Since 1989, when you started, or did you come to that conclusion? You came into with that, that you're going to take care of people.
Tony: Again, part of what helped me, too, is I looked at that after I've written two books, and obviously, I've got two more books that are getting ready to come out. What I found out in my last book, which is called The Code, was what is my company trying to do, what am I trying to do, and it's really about providing peace of mind in leadership. We're selling to people's fears. I'm not selling you that I'm the best designer, I'm not selling you that I'm the best contractor. I'm selling you that at the end of the day, we're going to take good care of you, so when you go to sleep at night, you're going to feel comfortable and you're not stressed about are we taking care of you.
Again, back to what I was. Let me digress. I grew up on a farm in eastern Montana, raising sheep and sugar beets. One, it was lots of snow, bad weather, harsh conditions, living in a remote area, population of probably 80 people in a rural area. One school, one schoolteacher. I grew up basically with farm ... I'm first generation US, strong European values, of your word is your bond. There's lots of things you can buy, but you can't buy your reputation. That's something you earn. I've taken that serious where again, I think a lot of people want to take shortcuts. Most people are not willing to pay the dues to get to where they need to be.
As far as when I started my business, my word was my bond. If I told you I was going to do something, I did it. [crosstalk 00:14:09] work ethic, because I'm used to working hard on a farm, I took that work ethic with me into my business, and that work ethic was to provide high level care. What I saw was there was a need for people that were tired of people over committing and under delivering. I was more about committing and then trying to make sure I exceeded their expectations, whatever it took. This week, I had a meeting on a 650 million dollar project in Kentucky. It's a steel mill expansion, and we're going to provide construction management, we're going to provide design, and we're going to provide construction services.
The owner said, "What are you going to do?" I went through this whole hour thing of what we're going to do, and I said, "Guys, I know this is really technical, and there's a lot to it," but I said, "Let me sum it up by saying this. We're going to do whatever the hell we got to do for this project to be on time, on budget, and your schedule, and that everything is just perfect. Whatever that means, whatever we got to do, is whatever we're going to do to get there." Long story short, because there may be something in this proposal that we might have to do that's not addressed, and we're not going to then come to you and say, "Well that's not in our proposal." We're going to do it.
Dean: That really plays to that whole H to H, that's really human to human. That's really the thing. People think about, you hear those words and you say a 650 million dollar project. That takes a minute to just let that sink in for a second, that not many people are working on a 650 million dollar project as one of the projects that their company is working on. You're thinking about the high stakes of that and what's involved, but the truth is, you're in a board room in Kentucky with a guy and a group of guys or girls or people, all the managers who are humans in charge of running this whole thing, and you're speaking directly to what they really need to hear. That's what we really want, is this comfort level. You're bringing that to it. That's a really great approach.
Tony: You're sitting there, and you got all these manufacturing people that make steel. They're great at making steel. Now we're getting ready to do a major expansion. They don't understand construction, and I'm trying to tell them how we're going to schedule, how we're going to order, how we're going to program, how we're going to track, how we're going to do quality assurance, how we're going to do excavations, how we're going to do construction. An hour later, they're asking a few questions and I answer and I said, "Okay, let me just tell you. I'm going to make this presentation where I should have, but I didn't want to go there to belittle it. The bottom line is whatever it takes, that's what we're going to do." Good, we got it, we got it.
Dean: Yes. That's the thing, it's really the whole thing that you often focus on the process instead of the outcome, and the things that people really want is what they want, you just hit it on the head. They want the project done on time. They want it on budget, and they don't want any surprises or hassles, or know that if there is a surprise or a hassle, that it's going to get handled. That's really the bottom line of it all. It's an interesting thing at any level, whether somebody is building a 650 million dollar factory, or somebody's writing a 6500 dollar funnel for them or something, as a copywriter.
It's the same thing. They want the project done. They're building a website for them, let's say they want the project done. They want it done on time, and they want to know that if there's any surprises or hassles, that it's going to be handled, whatever comes up. That's just really good to hear that even at that scale, it's still the same thing. If you can't bring that to a 6500 dollar website project, it's not going to all of a sudden be able to carry that to a 650 million dollar steel plant. I'm sure when you started in 1989, your first project out of the gate wasn't a 650 million dollar steel plant.
Tony: No, but again, as we all know, you got to start somewhere. This company that I'm working for, I started 24 years ago, and what's happened is over time, here we go, by reputation. I'm in that room. They're not interviewing anybody else. I'm the only company that they're talking to. We're not one of three. We're not one of two, we're one. To be in the position is because of 24 years of hard work, 24 years of doing ... We had a project not long ago where, for that same company where a barge ran into one of our walls, steel walls, at their port.
It happened about 10 months ago. It flooded an area and it cost me about $700,000 to fix it. We could have filed an insurance claim, but I knew if I filed an insurance claim that immediately, the attorneys would have gotten pulled in, and the attorneys, when you're dealing with a Fortune 500 company, what the attorneys do is they strategically go after who has got the money. The attorneys are going to structure the claim, who's got the deep pockets that do not want to spend a lot of money defending themselves.
Tony: I, to be a good steward to that owner, we spent the money and we said, "Okay, hey. The reason we did this is because we don't need to be sitting with attorneys for two years, we just decided to deal with it. It took us about four months to fix it. It was not our problem, but we fixed it." That's something that most people will not do. A lot of business owners don't look at, I guess, the strategic long-term. How do you buy marketing dollars? how do you buy value? How do you buy trust? What I told my guys, some of my guys were like, "Well, let's call the insurance company." I'm like, "No, let's think about this now." If we call the insurance company, this is what's going to happen. Let's go ahead and just fix it, and it will all work out. It's all going to work out. We've done well with this owner. We'll be okay. We got lots of other projects. That particular owner right now, I'm working in five different states.
Dean: Right, see. That's the kind of thing, when you look at the big, big picture of all of this, that there's no way that they're going to go and bid something out to somebody [inaudible 00:23:01] you in a situation where if it's anywhere possible that they can use you, that makes it feel good. Dan Sullivan, one of my favorite things that he always says is that people want to grant you a monopoly. We want to grant people monopolies. We want to know that I got the guy, that that's handled.
That I don't have to spend any time evaluating or making a decision. If I've got an engineering, design construction project, and I've got the guy, I don't need to spend any amount of energy or time thinking about that. That's really, I think, what you're saying is that that investment in really being and demonstrating that you guys are that guy, then there's no amount of marketing dollars are going to make ... Infiltrate that, your relationship with that guy.
Tony: The other thing, too, yes. What I'm saying is, most business owners would say, "Man, there ain't no way I'm spending 500,000 or 700,000." Instead of looking at-
Dean: To fix something that wasn't my fault.
Tony: That's someone else, yes. A barge ran into the seawall, damaged the seawall, flooded an area. We were still on site, so technically we owned the wall, but it was a situation in where you ran your car, hypothetically, you ran your car into my wall and I'm, because instead of me calling your USAA insurance company or Geico, I'm just going to fix it because we just said, "Hey, the people involved, they're a big corporation. They're big companies. Attorneys will eat these guys alive. We all know, how many times do people get sued, do they really go to court? It ends up settling, because people spend defending themselves, and it's $700,000, which to this company, they're a multi-billion dollar company. They're around the world.
If they would have written a million dollar check at some point, just to not go to court. We bought some good will there but again, here we are a year later, sitting in a room on a 650 million dollar project, and it's not like we can get over on them. We have to still justification to our cost, and we can do that. We can tell them, "Hey, this industry standard for a project like this is this amount to do what we're doing." They can say yes, they can Google industry standards for construction administration, and normally the range is in this range, and we're below that. It's not like they need to get competitive bids. I'm saying they got to make sure they they're getting value, but again, it's a relationship.
Dean: That makes sense.
Tony: Again, we're in the relationship business. I tell people, a byproduct is we might design your building, we might build you a building, but what we're really into is building a relationship with you.
Dean: Yes. With that as the background, you're in a situation where that's not the context that we've met.
Tony: That's right.
Dean: I've been very impressed with every interaction that I've had with you all. You're a guy who's committed to a lifetime learning. Like you said, in my strategic group, coach group, we're in Dan's highest level game changer program. You've been with Tony Robbins in his platinum program. A real personal development continuing to grow. Now, let's talk a little bit about what your new project is, or where you're going here, so we can maybe set some groundwork for it.
Tony: My new project now, which you're aware of. I'm very blessed in my situation where okay, this week, Monday, Tuesday of this week, I was in Kentucky. We're talking three or four days ago. What's happened is, you're right. It's not like ... I haven't been doing my sizeable projects, or I would not even be in a room looking at a 650 million dollar project. It's just something that over time, you just evolve to. What's happened is I enjoy that, but I've also, spiritually, I don't want to get too spiritual with you, but I soul searched and said, "What do I really enjoy?"
I have a lot of people coming to me now, that come to me and say, "Listen, I need a little bit of coaching. How do you do what you do?" I'm going, "Well." I sit with them and I coach them and the next thing I know, I helped them double their business. They come back to me and say, "Oh my God." I'm going, it's kind of like opening a door. How do you get this door closed right there? How do I get to the other side? I say it's real simple, just go up to the door, stand about 18 inches, two feet. Make your, whether your right or left, whatever. Grab the ball, slight pressure, turn to the right or left, and at some point, the thing's going to click, and then you just pull it towards you and then open the door, and then walk to the other side.
They go, "Is it really that simple?" I say, "I promise you, just believe me, it works." What I have been doing is I've written two books, and the first book was called Secrets for Savvy Business Owners, and that was about a lot of my secret sauces of all the little things that we do that nobody else does. I say, "Listen, if you want to get." I help them with their goal planning, I help them with their business strategies. One of the things I look at is, what are you charging? All these different things to help their business grow, and then, I just decided.
I said, "You know, I went through some tough times the last couple years," which I shared with you, on the marriage front, that I consciously looked at myself and said, "Okay, I am not going to point fingers. I'm going to point finger at myself, and what have I got to do to get better as a person, to be a better role model for other people? From a relationship, or just as a personal beacon to the world. I made an investment. I think a lot of people tend to point the finger at somebody else, instead of looking at the mirror at themselves. I consciously, again, I've been very blessed where I've been in coach and game changer, and I'm a big advocate of collaboration or being around positive people.
I consciously made the decision to join Tony Robbins' platinum, where I could be in small groups, not one of 10,000 people, you know what I'm saying? And really get some one on one, mindset shifts. I did that and I did a lot of other things, and then what came to me was I'm going to package all this up. I came and met with you at your course in Orlando recently, and you said, "Okay, this is great. You've got these six quadrants of how to live an exceptional life, and one of the quadrants was business. What you said was, "This is great, but that's not your marketing strategy. Short-term, you've got to pick again, hedge call concept is, what's a hedge?
Your niche is what you've been doing the last 30 years. Business. With your help and your team, I'm doing another book concurrently with theo there book that I'm almost done with, and I'm going to create a whole new game changer business, and that's to go out to all these business owners, and help them transform their businesses to be more successful, and in conjunction with that, have other programs at some point, once you get them into your cycle or your web, to say, "Oh, you want a better relationship? Let me share with you all the concepts that I've learned. I'm fine giving Tony Robbins credit, of me being with him for two weeks in Maui. This is his thoughts.
You don't have to spend $100,000 to go do that. I'm giving you the cliff notes. It's been good for me, but I'm a big steward of I think the other thing, too, what's helped me in the business world is helping other people up the ladder. Where we've been successful is I, 25 years ago, identified great people and said, "Listen, where are you at?" I wasn't just, "Oh, okay. You give me a job, I do the job, I invoice you." What I did was I made an investment in people, and said, "Listen. You're great. Where do you want to be 30 years from now?" They'd say, "Well, I'd like to be up the corporate ladder."
I said, "Okay, I'm going to help you. I'll help you get there." What happened is these people are now have gotten promoted. These people are now up the corporate ladder. Instead of me just trying to get work from people, I took a personal interest in these people, and I helped them get better. I made them better people. I made them better managers and better leaders. What's happened is, is wherever they go, they call me and say, "Hey, I'm in New Orleans. Are you interested in coming here?" Sure. "I'm in. I'm in Plymouth, Utah. I've been in Japan. I've been in Africa." What happens is, these people, as they get promoted, they come back to us and say, "Nobody else took a personal interest in me other than you." I, like lots of people at the end of the day, people want to do business with people that they like.
Dean: That's the truth. That's really the truth.
Tony: You take an interest in somebody, and you like them, and you help them get promoted, you help them climb the corporate ladder. Part of my book, Business When Helping Business Owners, and this whole thing is business is not just trying to get business, it's you've got to look past that. You've got to look at the relationships. You've got to do your part. I consciously have said, "Hey, I'm going to continue being a coach in my core business, but outside that, I want to," and what's happening is my customers are actually helping, asking me to help their, this is crazy, but a lot of my corporations are now asking me to come back into their corporations and help their leaders be better leaders.
It's like okay, well I can take this new business and I can go back into my existing businesses, and then open it to the world for not crazy. You and I have got to talk about that. Somebody that lives in Tuppelo, Mississippi, that with a few pointers, all of a sudden, he can grow his business 30, 40%. He can't figure it out, and he's going to Barnes and Noble, and he can't find the right book, or he can't find the right concept. Again, I've spent a ton of money going, flying around the world, meeting all these special people. I've gotten all these different things that it's kind of like going to the chemistry lab. I'm an MIT grad, and the big thing with me is, this is crazy, but it's like being a chemist. I tried lots of different things, but finally figured out what works.
Dean: You've tried different combinations and experiments, and you've got actual... Yes.
Tony: It's like, what's that formula? Under this pressure, and if you add these chemicals, under this pressure, under this heat in this humidity, this is what you're going to get. If you can give people the secret sauce, and then say, and then they can come back to you and say, "Well, I tried that." I say, "Okay." That particular individual, you might need to add a little more pepper.
Dean: Yes, yes.
Tony: A lot of times, people just need a little bit of coaching. Like I said, I've been doing this for years already, on a volunteer basis, but it's become more predominant to me that my next Dan Sullivan, if you will, what I'm looking at is my next 25.
Tony: Once you get to the point where you're doing 650 million dollar projects, I'm excited if I'm doing it, but more importantly, I've got a great team of people that are going to execute it, and I'm going to be involved in it, but I'm not going to be involved in all the day to day. I will look at some of the stuff where I need to look. I don't need another. I'm not saying I don't want it, I'm just saying for me, I don't necessarily need another 650 million dollar project. I'm okay getting another one, but I think what really excites me is to be able to help pass on wisdom to other people.
Dean: A lot of it too, probably, Tony, is like Tony Robbins, as you're advancing beyond, it's not about money now for you. It's about significance and that's really the thing, contribution and legacy. That's really where you're at. That's the reward of 30 years of working on your business and getting to that level. With that said, knowing that that's where your vision is for the next 25 years is taking it to now packaging up all of the things that you can do, into things that are really systemized now.
That's really what it is is documented and creating the protocol, because ultimately, what you want to get to is the same way you set up your business, where you could do a 650 million dollar project and not have to be involved in the details of it, because you've surrounded yourself with a team that knows what to do to manage it, because of all of the protocols and all the things you've set up over all of these years of business, it's now about that same thing for this new venture. Have you thought about who your primary audience is going to be, initially? If we start to say we're going to document one part of this?
Tony: I'm thinking the guy that's got three to 20 employees, hypothetically, and he's stressed out, and he can't break through that ceiling complexity. He's making okay money, but he's become a slave to his business, and his wife, her husband is threatening with divorce because they're never present. They're constantly stressed out, and all these other components, and they just need somebody to help coach, they need some collaboration, if you will, mentoring, or whatever you want to call it. Again, you and I have talked about this, I'm not looking for a company that's 500,000 employees.
Tony: It's just very simple. I hate to say it but it's like okay, even a real estate agent. There are little things that real estate people could do that could really help separate themselves, other than the marketing component, but the human, H to H component, that might make a difference that it would be worthwhile. I think again, you're right. My focus is contribution. I have faith because I have people like you that I don't know how ... I used to say it's kind of like 30 years ago. All I saw was a huge success in that my company was going to be massively successful. I didn't know what that looked like, but I never dreamed in my wildest dreams I would have been sitting in Kentucky, talking about a 600 million dollar project.
Tony: I knew I was going to be successful, because I'm a big advocate of your mind. It will control how far you can go. It's a governor, if you will. If you can't see it, and if you don't believe it, guess what? You're not going to get there. I saw it, and I believed it, and I had faith and lo and behold. When the going gets tough, you got to have firm belief that what you're doing is right, and you're going to make it. In this new business. Again, I have lots of people come to me telling me all these crazy things about how do you get corporate accounts? You've got a mom and pop group.
Boeing is one of our customers. Boeing is real picky about who the hell they do business with. They come in, they audit you, they monitor you, they look at u, because they're real finicky about are they going to do business with you? Again, a lot of people don't know how to do it. Sometimes, with coaching, you can help, but again, there's so many different things that we feel, or I feel. Here's a good thing, too. Teaching business concepts versus some of these other business coaches, these business coaches have just been coaches. What's great about me is I've been in the trenches.
Dean: You know what they say in Texas, right? All hat, no cattle for sure.
Tony: Again, it's from a previous standpoint, from a believable standpoint, Dan Sullivan is a great guy. I've learned tons from him, and he's got his own business, but it's a little bit different like me telling people how to go get Boeing, because guess what, I've done it.
Tony: How do you get Exxon, how do you go get Dowell Chemical, how do you go get Michelin Tire, how do you get Alcoa? It's not easy, but here are the mouse traps that we use, that we have found to be useful, versus someone spending years, and we know this, years of effort and they don't get there. Again, I think there's a huge need. With today's technology and resources like you, and having Joe Polish and the people that are in the game changer class, I think time, again, as I start to shift my focus more into that element with the internet and everything else, I think the other thing too is I don't need huge success or huge profits out of the gate. I'm not doing it because I need the money. I'm okay.
Which is another course I could teach, is once people start making money, that was something I did 25 years ago was I was lucky and I met lots of successful people, and I would sit with them and say, "Listen, I'm no threat to you. Tell me what I need to be doing to get to where you are." They shared with me. I'd go to their house and I'd sit and I would have my notepad, and I'd start writing. Again, I'm fortunate to where I've made a lot of right investments in real estate, and real estate concepts, like what Dean Graciotes does, he sells those concepts. I learned my concepts from people that were doing it. Not selling the concepts, but they were living it.
They said, "Here's the pitfalls, mistakes I've made, that you don't want to make." They were my clients. Not being a know it all, I went to them and said, "Listen, tell me what I need to do to get to where," because these people were ... These were billionaires. These people were off the freaking charts. What I found was, those people tend to be very generous of their time and knowledge if you just simply ask. The problem is we as humans tend to be more self-centered of talking about ourselves, or trying to convince that person how smart I am or you might be. Really, truthfully, at the end the day, they don't really care about all that. What they'd really like is someone to say, "Tell me about you." Here we go back to the business 101, quit talking about yourself.
Dean: Now, what I would love to help you do, is to really put a container around one portion of this that could be the beginning of it, because I know you've got so much experience, so many different ways that you can help people, and you've got such a big vision to be able to help them in all of those ways. I know that the way to get this started, the way to get this rolling, is to narrow it to a single target market at first here, at a time. I think about it's okay to want to be ... To have a big vision, and have a lot of different people that you can help, but to be able to start with one and keep that focus, and get that running, and then expand out. I love this idea of you know about wayfair.com, the home goods company?
Dean: Wayfair, one of the best things about Wayfair is that before they just exploded out in the market as Wayfair, they built 270 individual eCommerce sites that were laser focused. They started out with allbarstools.com, and all they did was focus on bar stools. They moved, and they did everygrandfatherclock.com, and they built out the grandfather clock division. All of that, 270 times, they had this huge conglomerate of all of these different, individual eCommerce sites. Very profitable, then they bundled them all up and came out as wayfair.com, with already millions of customers, established business, established infrastructure, and became. People see that, though, and they've got this vision that I want to be Wayfair. I want to sell everything, all kinds of home goods. It's got to start with the one.
Tony: Again, which is why I'm working with you, Dean, and your group, is I'm a big advocate of I don't know what I don't know.
Dean: Right on.
Tony: I went to Dan Sullivan 18 years ago and stood up and basically, like everybody else in the room, confessed that I'm a workaholic. Running harder no longer works. I need help. It's kind of like being an alcoholic. I've learned lots of concepts that have made a huge difference in my business that I've employed, and have made a huge difference. Same concept here. I'm going into a new business. I'm confident that my concepts are good. I'm confident, I agree with you, I'm going to focus on the business. I'm not going to focus on relationship, I'm not going to focus on mindset, I'm not going to focus on who or finances, or any of that shit.
I'm going to focus, with your help, I'm going to focus on business excellence, which we're real close to finishing our book with you. My next step would be to go, via with you, to write the Facebook sponsored ads or whatever. I don't know. The good thing is I can tell you what I want, and then you guys can help me get there. The good news is I don't expect to be there in six months, I don't have to be there in three months. What I know is, is once people get exposed to the program, that the stuff is good, and that ... I think, and the key is, you have something that's really, really good. Are we just trying to create a mousetrap and putting a pretty bow on something? Again, I know this stuff works, and what I've been doing works, because I've got enough people out there.
Dean: Tell me about what you want this to look like when it's successful. When you say that ... What would be a dream come true for you, in terms of what do you want to actually be doing in this? Do you want-
Tony: I would like, somewhat like you to a certain degree, I would love to be once a month or once every six weeks. I'm fine going around the world, like your world tour, teaching something different. Not teaching what you teach, but even if it's teaching people okay, here's what you want. It's kind of like being a doctor. Go see Dean Jackson, because he can help you with that. A lot of this shit, not necessarily you have to be the expert, a lot of people don't know where to freaking go.
Dean: Right. Let me ask you this. You’re the events that I do, with 12 or 15 people, is that the size that you really like?
Tony: Yes. I'm not wanting to be a Tony Robbins here.
Dean: No, so you don't want to have thousands of people. You don't want to do an event where there's a thousand people in an arena. You want to do small events like what I do, and you want to ... Would you do it for two days or three days, or would you do a week? Full immersion week, like Date with Destiny or something? What would be the ideal?
Tony: I'm thinking two, three days. The other thing too, is a lot of this stuff, I've learned you can't teach everybody in a week. People's attention spans really ... What I've learned is this. It's just like you're going to coach. If I go there for two days, and if I walk away with one concept, I'm happy. You can't implement 20 different things.
Tony: If I had somebody for two days, I'm thinking two days. I'm thinking that's plenty, in my opinion, I'm thinking that's plenty. If you want more, then there's the next two days is this. It's not the same class. I could be doing that same class every other month, and then every other month, another concept. You know what I'm saying, where it's rotating or whatever.
Dean: Let's work this out.
Tony: I know what's going to happen. Once people see this thing working, I'm actually creating an estuary, if u will, or an estate right now, where I've got a house plantation thing that I'm doing, where I see people coming to my house at some point into the future. They've been to my classes and say listen, I'd love to spend an evening with you. We sit around the fire, and we really get deep into where they are in their lives. We get into their relationships, and we get into what the hell is going on and are they truly happy? Diving into not just business concepts, but that's a whole other thing of people spending an afternoon or an evening with me. I'd love to be doing that, too.
Dean: That's a one on one thing.
Tony: That's one on one. I know people are going to want that. They're going to go, "Man, I need to be some one on one with you, where I can talk to you about my issues for the next two hours. We're eating a meal and I say, 'Okay, great.'" I'm actually in the process, I just bought property, and I'm creating the place where we can go walk for an hour. We're in nature, we're not going to see any houses, you're not going to see nothing, you're just going to see nature.
Dean: I love that. That's great. I'm putting some shape on this here right now. With a two day event, we're-
Tony: Between you and me. I've been coaching with Dan Sullivan for 18 years. Shit, I would love to. I would love if Dan had a program of come have dinner with me, and it cost $2000. I would pay. If it was five, I would pay.
Dean: Right, of course.
Tony: I'm just trying to visualize what I think is going to happen is as the word gets out, and as these people tell other people, and as the technology or the internet, I think what's going to happen is I think it's going to grow. I think people are going to say, "Hey, I'd like to spend one on one time with you."
Dean: I agree with that. What I'm really interested in, if we were going to take one of these two day events to do that, what would be the first topic? What would be the purpose of the first two day lead product that you would come out with? What would you want to talk about in those two days, and would it be a ... Curriculum based kind of thing? You take people through a workshop like Dan Sullivan does with Strategic Coach, or would it be more of a mastermind kind of thing like what I do?
Tony: I'm fine. Part of me is, again, I don't know. I'm not sure what people need or what people are looking for. I would be okay with the mastermind, where people can ask questions and you learn, versus me having a very structured, like Dan. It's very structured.
Tony: I'm okay with the open forum because what's happened is, and you know this, is you can start off with a concept and then four hours later, after it goes around the room, shit, half the day's gone.
Tony: I'm okay with an open structure thing.
Dean: What makes the open structure work, and what makes my Breakthrough Blueprint even work, is that it's all around the fixed context of eight profit activators. All of the conversations are underneath the banner of the before unit, the during unit, the after unit. We go where ... It's all manifest differently, in every business. If you're looking at, like on the business side, if you're looking at the idea of helping people land these big Fortune 500 companies like you were talking about, that's one of the things that you could help people do. Would that be the type of topic that you would love to talk about first, or would it be something else about leadership? Like you're trying to think about who would be in the room.
Tony: It depends on who's in the room. I'm fine with being open and saying, "All right guys." Again, this is where I got to get reviews, because you've been doing this a lot longer than I have. No stretch of my imagination is, what should I be doing, and getting your input and then I'm fine. I've got tons of literature. I've got tons of stuff. I could almost sit there and say, "All right guys, what's most important to this group? What would you like to know?" Let's go from that.
Dean: Here's the thing. Do you have a group of people like a list of candidates that you would be able to invite to something like this?
Tony: Yes. I think so. Again, I'd like to do the Facebook ad.
Dean: Sure. Part of the thing, when you look at the beginning of this, if you've got a group of people right now that already know who you are, and they already like you, and they already trust you, that there's ... If you just said to that group of people, "I'm doing a breaking into high Fortune 500, how to land Fortune 500 clients," or whether it's leadership or whatever the topic is, if you sent out a short email to those people, and when you look in the email mastery program, one of the modules about is just the magic of asking. That's what I'm talking about here is if you just followed that model of sending out an email to those people, and saying, "Hey, this is what I'm doing," you may have already a group of people that would love to do that.
Tony: I think I do.
Dean: That would be the thing that I think I would love to start there, and help you focus on that. I think that's the cool ... The best approach there. Where would you do this first two day event, if you were going to do it? Do you have a board room at your headquarters?
Tony: Yes, I've got a board room in Charleston. It's really, really nice, overlooking the water, the harbor. I've got a place in Colorado that I've got a business center that I created that I've done this same concept there, where I take people out there, and they love it because I'll take them, we'll go up in the mountains. That format is a little more where we go riding ATVs for half the day, then we go in this room and we start throwing ideas on a wall. That's been more just helping business owners figure out where they are, and where they want to go. I could do Colorado, and I could do Charleston. I have facilities. When I take people to Colorado, they just love, it's in the mountains and it's so beautiful that they just love the... We'll go eat dinner, we'll go eat lunch. We'll go hiking. We're just being in a beautiful environment. That alone gives people a lot of clarity about where they are and where they want to go.
Tony: I do have a place where I could do it, yes.
Dean: One of the things that I would recommend is, let's pick a date and just throw your hat over the fence.
Tony: Okay, that's fine.
Dean: You know what I mean? This was the thing that started the Breakthrough Blueprint events, was having a conversation kind of like this with Dan Sullivan. Out of that, the outcome was that we were talking about singing.
Tony: I got a failed connection there for a second, sorry about that.
Dean: I thought you got so excited, you had to take action.
Tony: No. Listen, sometimes there's nothing better than a deadline.
Tony: I do have a good email list. The other day, I was meeting with my accountants and my bankers about setting up wealth transformation, wealth transfer my company. I said I'm getting out of my business full time, and I'm going to be still in it. I'm going to create a new business. They asked me, "What is it?" I told them, and two hours later, my CPA said, "Me and my partner are breaking up. I'm going to start my own business and I would love to get coached by you."
Dean: Wow, see that's great.
Tony: I think, again, I have no expectations. It may not be big out the gate, but-
Dean: That's the thing. What I started to say about with Dan was when I got off the phone, when I realized that the thing that I really wanted to do was a small group in a board room, applying the eight profit activators to any business, that was the thing that was fascinating to me. I immediately hung up the phone, I went and called Celebration, I booked the board room, and then I sent out an email that said what I was doing. It made such a difference just sending it out, but I filled up that first event right away.
It was a six week turn around, and then I did another one in Toronto that same six weeks later, and so I think that there's a big opportunity for you to take some action there. Now, what you need to figure out how are you going to describe it to somebody in one sentence? If you say, "Hey Dean, I'm getting together with a small group at my office in Charleston, and we're going to spend two days focused on this." What would be the this that you're putting in there, to ... That somebody's going to say, lean forward and say, "I would like to know more about that?"
Tony: Business relationships.
Dean: That could be it. When you say that, you'll know, and then would you like to join us? Is the whole-
Tony: Business excellence. Everybody wants business excellence, but part of business excellence is having good relationships. That's where I'm fine if I got to fly to Orlando and sit with your team, and come up what does that email look like? I'm committed to doing that. If it's to fly to you, I'm committed, I'm all in. I'm ready to do it. I'm excited about doing this just because. I'm comfortable talking in groups of people.
Dean: Yes, exactly. I love it. You've got a lot to say. You've got all the content, and what we need to do now is really build the containers for it, the context for it.
Dean: I have no doubt that that's the thing. If you could get to a point where, like the way my team is fully set up to support me in that all I do now with the Breakthrough Blueprint events, is I arrive on the evening before the event and I spend the three days. Everything to do with filling the events, organizing the events, doing everything, is all ready, is all done and handled by my team. I think that would be a big ... That would be exciting for you if you could just look at your calendar, and know that every six weeks, you're either in Colorado or in Charleston, and you're going to have a boardroom full of people ready to talk about the things you love to talk about. That's a really exciting place to be. I love that.
Tony: I completely agree. I like talking about it, I really, thoroughly enjoy. It's been a passion of mine, how to become excellent at whatever you do.
Dean: I love that. Here's what I'm going to say. First thing, I would love for you to jump right through to listen to that module three in the email mastery, because it will open up your mind about how we do that. I would love, within the next week or so here, get you sending out that first email and let's watch what happens.
Tony: Okay. I'll watch module three, email mastery, which I'm sure I can log back into that. All right, that's the template, module three?
Dean: Yes, the magic of asking. That's the one. All very exciting.
Tony: In Charleston, a lot of people know me. A lot of people are ... I don't know that I have all their emails, but I got a pretty good email. Cool. That sounds-
Dean: I love it, this was great. Tony, I really enjoyed the conversation. I'll stay connected here because I know we're going to be working together, and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds. I guess I'm going to see you in a couple of weeks in Chicago, anyway.
Tony: Chicago, yes, sir. Coach and the game changer class.
Dean: Right on.
Tony: I'll be seeing you soon. Thanks.
Dean: Thanks, I'll talk to you soon. Bye bye. There we have it, another great episode. Thanks for listening in. If you want to continue the conversation, want to go deeper in how the eight profit activators can apply to your business, two things you can do. Right now, you can go to MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com, and you can download a copy of the More Cheese Less Whiskers book, and you can listen to the back episodes, of course, if you're just listening here on iTunes. Secondly, the thing that we talk about in applying all of the eight profit activators are part of the breakthrough DNA process.
You can download a book and a scorecard and watch a video all about the eight profit activators at BreakThroughDNA.com. That's a great place to start the journey in applying this scientific approach to growing your business. That's really the way we think about breakthrough DNA as an operating system that you can overlay on your existing business, and immediately look for insights there. That's it for this week. Have a great week, and we’ll be back next time with another episode of More Cheese, Less Whiskers.