Segment 2 - Building a Beautiful Company: Culture
So let's go to another story bill witherspoon was sixty six years old and decided that it was time for him to start his fourth company had just sold his third company was extremely extremely successful but he said you know my fourth time around you know I don't need the money necessarily to do this I want to start what I'm going to call a beautiful corporation which to him he confided was something he thought was an oxymoron on dh so he said that we're going I have this idea for this incredible product but what I'm going to do is build the entire business around a culture that I believe in around a culture of being a totally beautiful company a totally different company and that that's going to be the driving force for why people come to work here for why our customers buy I don't care if we ever get a single customer if they don't believe in our way of doing business are why and the way that we treat people the way that we treat customer ups then we don't really wanna have them you kn...
ow as part of our community first I have to tell you what they do it is so cool so this is the first floor of a ten story building so you might be asking yourself how did you get the to get the skylights in the first floor? A ten story building they build digital video skylights on dh installations I mean they don't have to be a skylight there could be a window but the idea is this this this is video and so these clouds these puffy little clouds kind of loft on by maybe a bird will come through every now and then so they just really life like bringing outdoors into really almost any space so I just I love to show that picture because it's really the coolest I think product goings called the sky factory by the way you should go just look at their side for all the incredible things that they have done there you know I said he didn't care if they made any money but of course you know they are now like rocking and rolling right I mean hundreds of millions of dollars of installations around the world because this is such a cool product but what I really want to focus on is their culture and because this is the driving force of their marketing and you don't hear enough people talking about this and quite frankly a lot of times when people have the conversation about culture you know they're thinking google has a culture right? Google has, you know, cafeterias and they have bean bag chairs and have bikes and they have espresso machines and that's culture and what I'm going to suggest is every single one of you every single solo preneurs, every single business small business that has five or ten employees has a culture you know the only question is whether or not it's intentional because in a lot for a small business for a very small business for a solo from entrepreneur in many cases who you are being you know is your culture certainly once you start hiring people you know the values and the beliefs and the stories that you tell toa lead people is your culture so the sky factory number one transparency every single person in the organization knows everything about the financial state of the company at all times how much money's in the bank how much profits made on a job how much something costs his overriding goal was to create a culture of owners and if you think about it hopefully if they're paying attention the owner knows pretty much all the books right so how can you how can you expect people to act and think like owners unless they have that information in which to make decisions like enough and what they found is that it immediately met gets people now he also pays they pay a bonus structure you know based on profit and things but he gets people buy them knowing that hey, if you'd rather than me saying I need this new piece of equipment so I can do my job it's like hey could I maybe fix this piece of equipment? Could I maybe find a part on craigslist you know, to fix this thing so that so that you know it's not I mean not entitled to this new piece of equipment because hey, I make more money you know, if I can make this work or if I could figure out an innovation that will actually allow us to ship faster or the ship cheaper our products and services so number one is transparency number two is autonomy and this is my favorite thing that they do there are no there's no hierarchy in their business now you know he is the ceo and they have functional teams of course because they have certain jobs that need to be done but everybody inside of a functional team rotates through is the leader of that team so the person sitting next to you you know in ninety days is probably going to be your boss for about ninety days and then in ninety days you're probably going to be their boss so you know again you might think that chaos what creation's an incredible environment of teamwork because that idea that if you know somebody is going to be your leader you know, maybe you're goingto actually be a better team player if you know you think about how many times people in leadership roles just get entrenched in their ideas and their way of thinking and this is how we do it here. Well, all of a sudden they're running new people through and creating innovations like crazy because the new new leadership takes over and say you know what here's an idea that I've been studying that I read about lesson implement this so an incredible sense of ownership again because everybody is essentially a leader in the organization nobody is really subordinate at some point and then the last one and this is the one that really blows people away they don't make a major decision at the time I talked to build we had about fifty employees they've significantly increased that since then but at the time they didn't make a significant decision in the business unless everyone every single person voted yes by a new building get a new piece of equipment hire a new employee every single person has to vote yes now if you vote no you better be prepared to explain why and they had actually a situation where they were going to buy a new building on dh or no they were they were going to finance their existing building on dh they actually had employees that it's still really like the numbers of this and then employees went out and found them a much better piece of property that they decided to buy and now they've they've built an entire factory you know on this new piece of property and it's because they they instead of saying here's what we're going to do they basically crowd source you know from their employees what is the best idea and if you could come up with a better idea not always it welcome we'll take action on it so again I can imagine the chaos that could ensue if you know somebody just didn't want to agree with any ideas but but also because everybody has all the numbers has all the information you're going to be you know a boss that person's going to be a boss you know at some point everybody acts like an owner and everybody is paid like an owner because they have that information again some of that may not apply to your existing situation but what I think absolutely does apply is that he went into this before he hired employee number one and said here our beliefs here is what you know anybody who joins us as a employee or as a customer here is you know, here's what they're gonna have to buy into here is not not the rules so much is as you know, here the values that we hold and we chairs and that we you know we won't pass go you know if somebody wants us to break those values so in terms of creating your own culture which is a significant part of your marketing you know are their values and beliefs I shared I shared that first one with you about how I you know made a commitment that you will never again you know, work with a client that I don't respect and we actually live that by putting rules, not necessary rules processes in place you know to really make sure that we are educating and we're teaching we're bringing people along we're setting the right expectations and we're actually I don't want to say that we're we're testing out customers but we actually have processes in place so that we can so we can actually measure is this a really good fit for both of us because I think that's where people really get into the most trouble is when they take that customer it's not really a good fit right anybody I know a lot of you are just getting started but anybody taken that customer that like ten minutes in he thought red flags everywhere red flags everywhere right andi I think that a lot of that has to do with us actually not understanding our own set of values and holding firmed our own values and beliefs and culture of what we want our business to be one of the things that I'm going to ask you all in this because it's very difficult to build momentum and marketing and sales systems unless you kind of have an idea of where you're trying to go right so if you're thinking well I just want to get another customer next week and that's sort of the end of your thinking you know we're gonna have to take those blinders often say what's the picture of your business in three years in five years okay if you have even if it's a really sketchy, grainy foggy picture if you have that picture what do you have to do today so this idea of of of spending time thinking about an analyzing you know what the culture of your business needs to be in order to use that as a marketing tool or doing for maybe the products you make the campaigns that that you do the messages you know what you're going to have to do now so I'm going to call on you I'm going to sit again and do the call on you guys to say have you given any consideration to you know what? What you're sort of golden rules are you know what what line won't you cross you know what what do you want if you were if I were in a potential employees sitting in front of you what would you tell me? What story would you tell me about your business that would make me want to join assuming I agreed with those beliefs and those values that would make me want to jump up and say I finally found the place where I can be made and I'm going to call in this lovely volunteer back here have you given that any thought I'm so are you talking about as faras like with the customers the process is with a customer you know it starts internally so it will ultimately as I said, you know I'll go back to me you know I said we're not going to work with people we don't respect that's kind of like one of our golden beliefs and rules and so we then have to create processes and and messages that that really you know our allow us to live that right and everybody coming onboard who works with customers or who is going to sell for us has to understand that is one of our golden rule so so let's start with let me try toe let me try to make it simple or because if you haven't given this stuff thought this is it this is you know this is like lock yourself in a cabin in the woods for a weekend kind of stuff it's not like okay you're on the spot you know, border your beliefs but I think we do have to actually start going there so and you khun everybody can also say I pass too okay if you really just feel like you're not you're not there yet in answering the question but let's try it this way if I were coming to you as in him potential employees do you have any employees currently? Okay, so I'm your first hire, okay? And I'm really demanding and I want a lot of money okay to be paid of. So if our coming you what would you tell me about your company or about about where you're going or about what your beliefs are in terms of how people should be treated or you know what this beautiful corporation of yours is going to look like what would you tell what are some of the things they would say here is what we believe okay so the first thing would be is that we believe in having fun and so that would mean not just external things but internal meaning bringing the enthusiasm and the passion to whatever it is you do so I can say whether you're um whether it's like the coaching programs or masterminds or retreats or whatever we're doing with the customers um we infuse enthusiasm into our work the second is would be living free so the concept of flexibility and freedom and doing things on your own terms whatever you're doing um and then my third one would be yeah but those are the two that I would say just those two so if I'm now if I'm a potential employing again that's what you have really thought about that because you weren't thinking about hiring but how do you take that fun and living free and turn that into a marketing message then I mean do you communicate that story can you tell me a time about when you were like over the top and throughout like all reason and had fun instead I mean can you you know as a marketing message you can you can you bottle some of that up so that I can it can become my story to does that make sense yeah okay so I had graduated from university and I was struggling with figuring out okay, well what am I going to do? I'm graduating and a lot of college grads can't find jobs and so I graduated with the polish side degree wanting to go to law school so I got my lsat books and was studying and I was really just doing it because these external factors were like pushing me down there and I was just kind of blindly just like trotting and so I was spending the summer studying for the lsat and I just thought, okay, this is not for me and I just was like I'm just going to spend these next couple of months having fun trying to figure out what lights me up where what am I supposed to be doing what how do I want to give back so that's just one instance for me of why I value fun and living free and doing your own thing and try to figure out what how you can make money on your own and live the sort of lifestyle that you want so that's my example and so that I'm guessing then could become a big part of your message out there too or you can live like this too, right I mean is that so you see how understanding your own values your own stories and we're gonna talk more about this idea of stories because that's some of the richest content that you could never you know all this marketing blah blah blah blah blah you know is pales in comparison to your own stories and your customer stories and the things that you know you're those stories that you're you're able to tell I'm sure people come to you looking for like ideas to rip off you know how to do a proposal right on dh so so we have to sew sew you ground everything you do in some of these beliefs and values and you know there are many you've probably gone into companies they have mission statements and where they have this long list of you know, our ten commandments um and you know there's a lot of that that khun just be sort of wasted time you know, air it's like oh, these are things that sound good you know that this should be our mission but but what I'm really suggesting is that you start there you know with with your market anybody else want to share values I know I think you were you kind of had your hand halfway up let's have yeah yeah you're right so one of the ones fun is definitely a good look as ah wedding deejay I've been doing this nineteen years and I've seen a lot of crazy brides and crazy groom's actually and so one of the things that I internally said was I don't want to work with bridezillas. I don't wantto groups. I mean, there's, there's tv shows about it. It's. Okay. So one of the things that I've actually translated that too a marketing aspect is on the back of my business card it actually says fun couples with style and then underneath it in prince he says only and so I only want to work with people that are there to have fun and ah fun wedding translates to all of their guests and the only way you really get there is before you even set foot in the door you and the couple you're working with have to be on the same page they have to be having a good time and so I just start with the fun from the beginning I tried to make the planning fund I try to make everything else fun and it just it seems to have worked in the last couple of years since I really started to bring that into my company and so I love that that it's on your business card too because obviously that's not you know everybody thinks they're fun right? Nobody nobody realizes they are being not fun probably for the most part but I like it because it is a bit of a qualifier and you know for you to say on ly you know and I mean it really kind of starts setting the tone for this fun and you know the thing about that of course is you have to then also be you know you have to be willing to say we're not a good fit right and that's the part that gets hard about that you know but you've probably found there's not I mean that that person that doesn't want to pay your full fee on does not fun is going to be you know, the most challenging customer you've ever dealt with right? What I've actually found is don't tell him by what I've actually found is I'm afraid that a few people are going to hear this okay just so you know it's not dissolved no the ones that are willing to spend a little more for that experience yes they're actually easier to work with absolutely I had people pay two or three times when work is done the going rate isn't learning because that is absolutely the message of this entire program is that the way you charge a premium is to work with right customers on dh that you know that's a lot of what we're building up to so awesome do we want to throw it out to the internet? Has anybody come back with some things you want to share their yeah we heard from really chris in the chat room and they say I would say probably the core values that I came up with for myself I would want them to apply to my employees and they are ingenuity, cleverness, creativity, equality and growth and so I would challenge real chris then to say now what are you doing to build stories around that what are you doing to communicate not enough a plaque on the wall you know maybe that's a start you know but but the rial where really with rubber hits the road you know, I think it's more cheesy metaphor judgment but you know is that that how you build that into what you communicate to the market how you actually build process is how you actually build products and services you know around that how you let people be innovative I mean there's you know this is the beginning and you have to capture it and it has to be real just like real chris but but you can't but then you have to turn it into something that is living and breathing and growing with you and that's that sometimes the hard part you know because but but if you don't start with okay fun I mean what it becomes is a filter which is what's really cool I think it actually helps you make decisions because you know now you could go back and say well what a fun company do this no is this how fun company would collect bills you know is this how a fund company would plan you know, this event on dso having you know, three four no more than five of those kind of 00:18:26.727 --> 00:18:30. this is what we believe it becomes this really awesome 00:18:30.48 --> 00:18:33. filter that will serve you quite well that's why you 00:18:33.01 --> 00:18:35. can't get it wrong and I don't mean that to pressure 00:18:35.25 --> 00:18:37. you but I mean that's why they can't be made up that 00:18:37.04 --> 00:18:40. can't be oh this sounds good you know because you've 00:18:40.05 --> 00:18:43. gotta live it to make it real all right so another 00:18:43.99 --> 00:18:47. story this one is in such a long story but um any 00:18:47.94 --> 00:18:50. any g t d people hell throw that I'm sure there are 00:18:50.84 --> 00:18:53. getting things done written by david allen incredible 00:18:53.68 --> 00:18:57. you know, productivity time management system that's 00:18:57.19 --> 00:19:00. now used by millions and millions of people um and 00:19:01.38 --> 00:19:04. one of the reasons I really talk about this is because 00:19:04.01 --> 00:19:06. the next element you have to come up with is what 00:19:06.46 --> 00:19:11. is your methodology? You know, what is your unique, 00:19:11.31 --> 00:19:14. innovative way that you're going to solve people's 00:19:14.85 --> 00:19:19. challenges on problems in a way that that really provides 00:19:19.17 --> 00:19:22. a whole new context it's certainly differentiates 00:19:22.34 --> 00:19:24. you from the other people that are out there saying 00:19:24.39 --> 00:19:28. the same old stuff but it also helps you create this 00:19:28.37 --> 00:19:32. point of view or this language that you have to be 00:19:32.14 --> 00:19:36. willing to stick to you for years and years to come 00:19:36.35 --> 00:19:37. potentially now 00:19:39.21 --> 00:19:41. I interviewed david I have a podcast that I've done 00:19:41.73 --> 00:19:43. you know, almost every week since two thousand five 00:19:43.97 --> 00:19:47. and david was on my show and he said, you know what 00:19:47.07 --> 00:19:48. was really funny about this? And I think it's true 00:19:48.96 --> 00:19:51. of so many great innovations is that he said, you 00:19:51.68 --> 00:19:54. know, I didn't really do this to solve anybody's problems 00:19:55.01 --> 00:19:58. I did it to solve mine you know my frustration and 00:19:58.94 --> 00:19:59. in fact 00:20:00.58 --> 00:20:02. you know so many people started telling him hey can 00:20:02.74 --> 00:20:04. I use this where you turn this into a product will 00:20:04.49 --> 00:20:06. you turn this into a service and then from there you 00:20:06.71 --> 00:20:08. know he wrote a book and then from there all these 00:20:08.32 --> 00:20:10. people started creating all this software and all 00:20:10.41 --> 00:20:13. these products and services around his system and 00:20:13.39 --> 00:20:15. he will tell you that today you know he still writes 00:20:15.62 --> 00:20:17. his system his notes on a little note pad using a 00:20:17.83 --> 00:20:20. pen even though all this other technology you know 00:20:20.9 --> 00:20:24. has been created but what he provided for people was 00:20:24.65 --> 00:20:28. a narrative a way for them to tell a story about how 00:20:28.36 --> 00:20:30. they're getting results and he gave them a language for those gt dear's out there you know there I go on I speaking conferences and you could see him in the audience and they get all jittery you know and they start like high fiving each other about forty three folders and you know all the language that that he's actually built around that and so if you want to build marketing and sales momentum you have to think in terms of adopting a very clear different point of view and methodology and language and that your real job is to build a community first instead of sell a product or service ultimately we want to sell a product or service but we sell our product or service when we can create and gather community that believes in the same things that we believe in that air attracted to our story on dh that we can then give context or this language that they can actually share and so the you know that you've got this down when your customers actually start talking to each other using your terminology using your processes using your point of view and in some cases it's just a matter of of quantifying it and documenting it and giving it a name you know here's our one two three easy you know get married process her proposal process the wedding parties not easy the proposal part could be right so and I'll give you I'll give you really you know an example from from my business too sometimes this point is a little confusing to people but when I actually so if I had my own marketing business for over twenty five years and when I started yeah I know I made every mistake that I'm telling you guys not to make I charged out there and just started doing work for people it didn't matter if they're big if they're small they said they'd pay me within ninety days you know take the work but I pretty quickly found that I really like working with small businesses there's something really I think both parts gratifying and terrifying about working with that person who's actually going to write? 00:22:31.813 --> 00:22:34. The check right and give it to you I 00:22:35.21 --> 00:22:38. another story I'll tell you another story about my 00:22:38.65 --> 00:22:41. existence that kind of like said you know this is 00:22:41.61 --> 00:22:44. who I'm going this is what I meant to work with is 00:22:44.13 --> 00:22:46. I was doing some work for a large telecommunications 00:22:46.55 --> 00:22:49. company I won't need to name them um they're in kansas 00:22:49.7 --> 00:22:53. city the very large sprint nextel 00:22:54.78 --> 00:22:57. and they did a really small project like twelve hundred 00:22:57.91 --> 00:22:59. dollars you know or something that I said I can't 00:22:59.8 --> 00:23:01. remember what the work was about ninety days later 00:23:02.28 --> 00:23:04. um I got a check for one hundred twenty five thousand 00:23:04.6 --> 00:23:06. dollars in bubble you know sense and you know, if 00:23:06.67 --> 00:23:09. there's one more zero you know maybe I would have 00:23:09.43 --> 00:23:11. maybe I would've had to think hard about what you 00:23:11.1 --> 00:23:13. know immediately called him up I said you know there's 00:23:13.59 --> 00:23:16. been a mistake here you know what I do and you know, 00:23:16.01 --> 00:23:18. they send me to finance who makes me fill out three 00:23:18.06 --> 00:23:20. forms in order so to send that thing back you know 00:23:20.22 --> 00:23:22. and I'm like are you kidding me? You know, you know, 00:23:22.87 --> 00:23:25. first off how can one hundred twenty five thousand 00:23:25.28 --> 00:23:28. dollars escape you know from a business without somebody 00:23:28.11 --> 00:23:31. knowing about it but but but then teo be so crass 00:23:31.84 --> 00:23:34. is teo to say, well, you have you have wronged us, 00:23:34.8 --> 00:23:36. you know, somehow and so that was really the moment 00:23:36.75 --> 00:23:38. I said, you know, I'm working with small business 00:23:38.6 --> 00:23:41. but you know as a marketing consultant and not having 00:23:41.79 --> 00:23:44. figured out this idea of a system it was kind of frustrating 00:23:44.92 --> 00:23:47. because as you guys know you know you have some of 00:23:47.22 --> 00:23:50. the same deeds and challenges as you know we're really 00:23:50.0 --> 00:23:53. large organizations but not always the same budgets 00:23:53.5 --> 00:23:59. and our attention spans o r time on dh so I I set 00:23:59.92 --> 00:24:02. out to solve my own frustration and I believe that 00:24:02.76 --> 00:24:05. some of the greatest innovations in the world you 00:24:05.1 --> 00:24:07. come from that sort of mindset you know what problem 00:24:07.73 --> 00:24:10. do I have that I could solve that the world actually 00:24:10.51 --> 00:24:13. might value so the frustration that I was trying to 00:24:13.22 --> 00:24:16. solve was was finding a way to work with small businesses 00:24:16.27 --> 00:24:19. that I could make a living doing it and so I created 00:24:19.08 --> 00:24:21. this system I called duck tape marketing and started 00:24:21.94 --> 00:24:23. going into businesses and saying here's what I'm going 00:24:23.87 --> 00:24:26. to do here's what you're going to do you know hear 00:24:26.32 --> 00:24:28. the results we hope we can get and by the way here's 00:24:28.05 --> 00:24:31. what it costs and again as I said that was really 00:24:31.54 --> 00:24:34. my attempt to do something I could replicate I could 00:24:34.25 --> 00:24:36. document maybe I could do efficiently enough that 00:24:36.77 --> 00:24:39. I could I could do it profitably and what I pretty quickly discovered was that I was addressing probably the greatest frustration with most small businesses howto by marketing services is actually very difficult maybe you guys have experienced this right? You're buying it from a graphic designer you know pr person you're reading blog's you know to get your expertise maybe it's the person working at the print shop counter I mean that's kind of how you're getting your marketing because there aren't a lot of of ad agencies or marketing agencies that really even value working with solo printers are small businesses and so this systematic approach this methodology this point of view about marketing as a system allowed me to build a community of people I'm going to suggest some of you are here some of you are out there because you've read my books or my blog's in my newsletter and things that I've put out for years and I have people now that we're going to talk about some of the concepts and and khun certainly share some of these you know I have people now that talk about the marketing hourglass and strategy before tactics and my definition of marketing so I've given really small business in a way and again there's lots of work to do still but I've given small businesses in a way a common language and a way to think about marketing a business and and whatever scale that you want to take your business you know that could be a really powerful way for you to view marketing and building your but so have you created a methodology? Have you created a point of view about yoga and about exercise that really you khun bring two your customers even if you know even if it's something that you have to you know now name and quantify and document and well I come from a background of doing partner gymnastics on top of moving horses so it's a very sort of sounds like an incredible business but you'd have to sell bait too so there's a lot of teamwork involved in a sport like that so I enjoyed bringing a teamwork aspect to my t rex classes I'm figuring out how to do that with yoga classes a cz well but I really enjoyed bringing a super practical aspect of whatever sport that it is that you play or whatever it is that you're trying to get better at in your your fitness goals to the classes that I work out so well do crow pose with your feet in the trx straps you know or we'll get in tree pose and you'll play catch with a medicine ball so that sounds dangerous nobody's lost well so my point though is as I listen to you talk about this you have a point of view about how some of this stuff should be done done and it's not everybody's point of view is no right and so that I think is you're brilliant opportunity to actually package that toe too you know because a lot of times when people come to you when you say yoga like I know what you're right whatever their impression is of it you know they've gained it from somewhere on dh so you're not doing yoga you know or you're not doing trx because again they may have read a book about trx and know what that isthe right? So you're bringing a hold I believe at least justin listening to you you're you're using these tools to bring a whole new point of view about exercising about preparation and about what it takes to meet your goals and I think that's the part that you have to make your own that you have to come up with your system your product, your service that and you know, one of the ways you can do this as silly as it sounds is give them names right I mean to say this is r x y z you know process or whatever that you know that nobody else has ever dreamed of doing so that to me is is is the point I'm making you know again sometimes here again we're talking about marketing and sales right? But if we don't have the actual what are we marketing you know what are we selling then you're then you're basically falling you're going to fall into the commodity been with everybody else who at least says they're a d j r says they do yoga right or says that they are a photographer we can open up a can of worms with that one can we with the commodity been right and so even you know I'm an address the photographers but but certainly photographers I mean now I have a huge challenge right anybody with you say three thousand bucks now it's like eight hundred dollars you know can have you know, semiprofessional gear right and call themselves a photographer same is true with with the deejay equipment I mean that's you can you know the programs and stuff you could buy online not used to cost thousands of dollars so how do you create that you're magic your methodology your point of view and then make that the essence of everything that you do in terms of message in terms of marketing in terms of communication and selling so is everybody from the internet world that has chimed in on this idea well we did have a question come up about trying to convey your story and your message that you have a very unique business and trying to get that out to your customer this comes from a playground and they say that the stories to tell are so rich in long how do you take these stories of your unique business and convey it concisely so people will be interested in well we're going to talk about that whole idea of content pretty pretty deeply so I do the teo dancers coming up so don't go anywhere but but I mean the biggest thing is is you start having versions of those you have to start telling them right. There are instances where the big long story is what you need to tell. I mean, the one of things I'm going to suggest in this program is that you need to be getting on the stage like this syrup from a podium. You need to have those stories ready to tell. But there also are many versions of those stories that you can tell answer. When somebody says, what do you do for a living, right? We're going to talk about that. You know, you, that statement, that could be really powerful, and it can be it won't be an entire story, but it could be a big part of how you actually get somebody interested in wanting to hear your story.