Once upon a time, during a cold winter in Utah, the pipes in our house froze. Not knowing much about plumbing, I called a plumber and paid the extra fee for him to rush over.
He came over, went to some pipes in the basement, and showed me how an air intake was blowing cold air right on them. He twisted the air intake so it wasn’t blowing directly on the pipes. Then he tapped on one of the pipes. I could hear the ice immediately break up and the water run through the pipe. He then charged me $80 for one minute of work, an effective rate of $4,800 per hour.
I could have said “What?! $80 for a minute of work?!” but having spent two hours trying to figure out the problem myself, I was happy to pay the fee.
I started my marketing agency, MWI, in 1999. Soon after, I remember calling a friend of mine with agency experience. “Dude! How do I find clients?”
Unfortunately, my friend didn’t have a ready answer, nor was I ever able to find anyone else to answer the question. I spent the next 13 years stumbling my way forward, searching for an answer, hunting The Big Success that seemed to be just around the corner but always out of reach.
Then everything changed.
In early 2013 a friend introduced me to an editor at Forbes. She had shared my blog with him, he liked what he saw, and he invited me to write articles for the magazine.
Writing for Forbes led to writing more than 300 articles for over two dozen magazines including Fast Company, Fortune, TIME, Inc., and Entrepreneur.
Those articles led to a TEDx talk and paid speaking gigs.
Then a book deal.
Writing for Forbes also led to amazing growth for my agency. We opened offices in Europe, Asia, and across the US.
Accidentally, I had cracked the code on thought leadership and how to leverage it to grow my business, attract top talent, and spread a message. I only wish someone had clued me in 13 years earlier.
Then I began to receive emails asking “Can you help me do what you did?”
“What do you mean?”
“I see your articles everywhere, I see you speaking at events all over the place, I see your business growing…that’s what I want for my business.”
Those conversations led to the executive coaching services I offer today.
You’re a successful executive, entrepreneur, or both.
You have experience, knowledge, and insights you want to share.
But nobody knows who you are…
You don’t know where to start…
You can’t afford to waste time…
Someday, hopefully not too soon, you’re going to die.
The only thing that will be left, the only thing that really matters, will be your influence.
Influence will benefit you in the short term, and create a lasting legacy.
Your company and your career will benefit. You’ve seen other execs do it, like Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Gary Vaynerchuk, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg, and even slightly lesser well-known business leaders like the CMOs listed in Forbes’ report The World’s Most Influential CMOs. The Forbes report says influence is the new KPI:
Influence enables an effective CMO to win support for initiatives inside a company. Influence helps a CMO reach customers, impress shareholders, and deliver ever-stronger brand performance. Influence is how a CMO shapes the marketing conversation as a whole.
Your influence can change lives. Not just now, but for hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years to come. It can ripple throughout time and distance and change the world.
You have a mission, something important to accomplish during your life. I want to be your guide to turn your vision into reality.
The 7 Systems of Influence
Every single potential client who reaches out to me not only wants help knowing how to get started, but also tells me “I know I need to do this thought leadership stuff, but…I hate talking about myself. I don’t want to be that guy.”
I get it, that’s exactly what I said when I started this journey. I wanted to make a difference, but I didn’t know where to start, and I didn’t want to show off and promote myself.
The good news is you don’t have to, because it is truly not…about…you.
It’s about your audience. It’s about how the information you have in your head will change their lives.
To change a single life is amazing, but if you had the cure for cancer would you intentionally limit how many people you shared it with, or would you do everything in your power to share it with as many people as possible?
There are great men and women who limit themselves, their influence, and their impact, because they feel it’s somehow impolite to be highly visible. I get it. I’ve felt the same way. But remember, it’s not about you, it’s about what you can do to serve others. Don’t place limits on yourself, because the world needs what you have to offer.
I learned how to spread my message slowly. I had mentors, people who helped me here and there, but nobody who took me by the hand and guided me every step of the way. I made lots of mistakes. I wasted a lot of time. When I began coaching I wanted to help others avoid the mistakes I made, so I researched highly influential individuals from history, searching for the systems they used to build and maintain influence. I found seven systems, which are:
- Vision. Every highly influential person had a powerful vision, for better or for worse. Hitler had a clear vision of what he wanted to accomplish. So did Churchill.
- Genius zone. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have to focus on it. We each have many expert zones, but fewer genius zones where we can make truly unique contributions.
- Audience. Do you know who your ideal audience is? Who will truly value your genius zone? For whom is your knowledge a must-have?
- Content. What’s your message? What channel will you use to deliver it?
- Action. Some writers commit to 200 words per day. That’s a simple action plan that can generate big results. What’s your plan? How will you ensure you both start and finish, and make the impact you want to see in the world?
- Collaboration. Nobody truly works alone, but the most influential individuals collaborate with hundreds, thousands, or millions of others to amplify their influence. Who can you collaborate with?
- Love. Are you passionate about your vision, or is it merely a means to an end? Do you love your audience? Does interacting with them energize you or leave you feeling drained? Is your motivation a spirit of service, or are you merely trying to make money or gain power?
If you utilize The 7 Systems of Influence, you will become highly influential. You will gain attention, earn respect, influence others, and make a real and lasting impact. The 7 Systems will help you build your business or career, but they will also improve your relationships with friends and family.
“I’d love to do this, but I can’t justify the investment without a clear ROI.”
I get it. I also wouldn’t invest in a service like this unless I had a clear definition of success and a plan to get me there.
As part of the onboarding process we work together to define objectives and key results (OKRs). Since every client has different objectives, the key results differ from one client to another. While we want to pay attention to high-level objectives like “Get my message out there,” “Change the world,” or “Build a legacy,” we will define specifics goals as part of our work in the 7 Systems that will lead to the higher level objectives. Examples of specific OKRs include:
- Grow revenue by 10% during the next year
- Recruit a CMO by the end of this year
- Publish a book and sell 10,000 copies within the next two years
- Get interviewed on 20 podcasts in the next 6 months
- Grow an email list to 5,000 subscribers within one year
- Land 20 paid speaking engagements during the next 12 months
- Get placed in 10+ business publications including Forbes, Fortune, Inc., and Entrepreneur
By defining specific objectives and tracking progress, we’ll know at a glance whether we’re on track or not.
My philosophy is that most people are good, that you are good, and if I can help you to become more influential, you will use that influence to make the world a better place.
Are you ready to mine the information in your brain, craft your message, and share it with the world? Are you ready to live up to your full potential to influence others and make a lasting impact? Or will you put it off, save it for later, and one day look back and say “I could have done more.”
Don’t wait. Don’t hold back. Let’s create something great together.
We start with two days together, in person, away from work and other concerns so we can focus. Where applicable, there will be a follow-up meeting for me to shadow you at your place of work.
In these meetings we work through each of the 7 Systems. We analyze your strengths and weaknesses. You will clarify your vision, choose a genius zone, identify your ideal audience, explore options for creating compelling content, and establish a plan of action. We will find ways to collaborate, and through it all we will make sure you are operating from your deepest desires and motivations.
If we engage and you remain committed, within one year you will not only be a more successful executive, you will be a globally recognized thought leader.
My team and I will support you every step of the way. I know you’re busy. In the world of athletics the athlete is the athlete, the coach is the coach, and the coach’s job is to make sure the athlete is able to focus. It took me years to understand the importance of building an email list. It took me months to figure out what software to use and how to configure it the right way. I’ve spent yet more years experimenting and learning how to build a list effectively. Just as the coach has knowledge and experience to help the athlete skip straight to “doing,” I will help you shortcut the process, bypassing the mistakes I made so you can do more, faster.
“What do I get for my investment?”
I once signed up a client and he paid me $60,000 for a year’s worth of coaching, but it was almost a complete waste of his money and both of our time. I flew from China to DC to meet with him, but he missed the meeting. We scheduled calls, but he didn’t show up. He didn’t answer emails or texts. He once went two months without responding to emails, texts, or voicemails. Another time he was scheduled to meet me in Utah, he was late, I called him, he said he was getting on the plane at that moment, and then he didn’t show up and I never heard from him again.
That’s not the kind of relationship I want with you. I charge a lot for my services. I don’t waive my fees if you don’t show up unless you’re in a coma. I’m not going to make the investment to change your life if you won’t, and the lesson I’ve learned is that one of the ways I can help you stay accountable to your dreams is to make it hurt if you don’t.
If we engage, you’ll receive services from me and my team that include the following:
- 4 hours of monthly one-on-one coaching with me through phone or video conference every other week.
- Unlimited coaching via email or chat.
- Complimentary VIP access to all other events I host, including unlimited access to masterminds and exclusive, intimate gatherings with prominent thought leaders.
- Introductions to prominent podcasters and the opportunity to be interviewed for their shows.
- PR opportunities in top-tier publications, at no extra charge.
- Configuration of your email list building software and assistance with email list building.
In addition, we have optional add-on services to help you book paid speaking gigs, launch an online course, or write a book.
To attempt to get the same results I and my team will deliver you would need to hire PR, social media, and email list building experts. You would need to hire a writer/editor and a web design agency. You would need a booking agent to help you find speaking gigs. And even you hired that team, you still wouldn’t get the same results, and you’d be paying a lot more than what my fees cost.
Are you ready to get real results? What would it mean to your career, business, or legacy to write a bestselling business book? What if you were featured in top-tier media? What if you were able to speak at top events? What kind of ROI could it provide for your business? How many lives could you impact?
Apply for my 7 Systems executive influence coaching services and let’s find out.