TTA07-Mike Mahony-Mindset

The Technology Alchemist

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Episode 7: Mike Mahony

In today\'s episode, we have Mike Mahony. He is the founder of Your Virtual CTO, a technology services company. Mike is a business & technology coach. He specializes in finding and fixing process issues in your life and business.

Mike discusses how mindset changes everything you do.

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Below is a link to an unedited transcript of this episode. We provide this as a convenience to our listeners, but we must warn you that this transcript was created automatically by While the transcription is nearly perfect, there will be some small errors that we did not correct.

Michael J. Mahony 0:01

In this episode of the technology optimist, Ellen Melko-Moore interviews me about mindset and how it is a game changer.

Ellen Melko-Moore 0:22

Hey, folks, I know you're thinking you're turning into Michael Mahoney of the tech Alchemist. But today, I only melco more have hijacked his podcast, we've taped him up in a chair, he's going to be fine. So don't worry about that. But I figured it was time somebody interview this guy, because and I'm going to tell you this, I've worked with Michael for about a year and a half. And what I what you need to know about him is I have never seen somebody go through a more exciting, radical mindset transformation. And he's a tech guy, right? So you might not necessarily think of those things going together. But what we want to talk about today is mindset. And Michael is the person that we need to talk to. So Michael, I have removed the tape from your mouth. Just tell folks at home you're okay. Tell them you're right, fine.

Michael J. Mahony 1:12

I'm doing fine.

Ellen Melko-Moore 1:13

All right. So Michael, let's talk about your journey, your mindset journey. And then we'll lead into kind of where that's taking you for the moment too. But let's go back to about a year and a half ago, when we met on LinkedIn. And let's talk about kind of where you were in in the world of brand marketing digital platform. Let's talk about where you were at that moment.

Michael J. Mahony 1:39

Well, the first word that comes to mind is overwhelmed. Because, you know, we have previously received some advice about blogging every single day turning the blog into a video turning the video into a podcast, I was spending 3540 hours a week creating creating content, and zero hours a week growing my business. And it was making me feel like I was a complete failure. Because here's this business that prior to doing that craziness was doing okay. Wasn't gangbusters, it was doing okay. But then all of a sudden, we're struggling to make ends meet, because our revenue just plummeted as a result of trying to become and you know, the answer was always, oh, just hire somebody to do it? Well, when you're barely making it, you can't hire somebody to do anything. So, you know, my, my brain was in a place of like, well, what have I done wrong here? And then you came into the picture. And I did kind of a cost you on LinkedIn, as I remember. Well, in a nice in a nice way. You You know, you reached out and you asked if if we could have a discussion about my LinkedIn profile. And

I don't know how many people believe in like, synergies, but I'm a big believer in and synergistic things. And I had actually just finished reading a book about LinkedIn profiles, and was like trying to wrap my brain around what it was saying. And then you show up, and you're like, Well, here's what, here's what you should probably do. And you gave me, we spent, I think, like, 30 minutes together, and you gave me a lot of good advice, to the point where I had to go back and rethink everything that I was doing on LinkedIn. I didn't love LinkedIn at all. And that's one mindset shift that you've given me is, I see LinkedIn a lot differently than any other social platform at this point in time anyway. Yeah. So it was it was an interesting experience, because you, you brought to light and

you were like, Hey, you know what I can tell by reading your profile that you know what you're doing. But I don't know that other people wouldn't necessarily figure that out. So we worked, you know, so I, I, if I recall correctly, we kind of went our separate ways for a little while.

And we came back together again. And at this point,

my wife Toria was like, Hey, we're going to work with anybody. I want references. Yeah. And so this lady, so this lady here gives us two references. And one of the references is my wife's absolute favorite client in the whole world, that you would have absolutely no way of knowing that they work together, like yeah, shoot, my wife was a behind the scenes person and that person's business. So it's not like you would have met her or seen her through through that other person. And so right away, she said, Well, as long as she gives me good feedback, then this is a done deal. And then, you know, the rest is kind of history as far as that goes. I mean, we've, we've become good friends. I mean, I think as good as you can be when one lives in one state and one lives in the other, but, you know, it's been it's been an amazing

experience, you've connected me with some good people.

It's it's been a fun, you know, year and a half's journey. So far, I'm looking forward to more.

Ellen Melko-Moore 5:09

Me too. And one of the things I love about you, Michael, is that anytime I pick up the phone or we get on zoom, I know that we're going to go kind of right to the heart of the things that we see around us. And the end the ideas, the common ideas that people teach about digital platform and marketing. And we're going to kind of dissect them and sort of pull out what works. Let's talk about a couple key shifts, I believe, that I saw for you were one about the kind of clients that you not not only that you could work with, but you should work with. And secondly, being a little bit more yourself for you and Toria communicating in a little bit more freeform way. So let's talk about the mindset shifts you went through there?

Michael J. Mahony 5:57

Well, both of those things are kind of related to the purple hair.

You know, the purple hair came about? I've wanted, I've always liked odd hair colors on other people, always. And I've always wanted I mean, when I say always since I've been in my 20s I've wanted to do.


if I even had highlights in my hair, people would judge me and say, oh, like, why did you do that? You know, men don't do that. And

so lot so with all this issue, we we learned that we needed to work with people who were more like us. And

it's funny today, that's like a big deal. To me, like I go full, of course. But back then we were trying to be on a solution for everybody. And we were wondering sometimes like, why do I? Why do I dread my weekly meeting with this person. And

right away, we realized it's because of of them not really being our ideal customer. And by that I don't mean what everybody hears necessarily about Avatar and, you know, narrowed down to this exact person. I mean, just in general, we're very sarcastic people. I'm extremely sarcastic. And I'm very blunt. And levels of snark and blunt. Yeah. And so you can't, you can't have sensitive people that you work with, if they're sensitive, they get very defensive, and it makes me have to change who I am. And when I have to change who I am, that I'm not comfortable. And I understand people say you get out of your comfort zone, but that's not really it. It's more of a, you're who you are as a person

isn't what's coming out of you when you have to change who you are. So I learned that. And I also learned that letting go of clients who don't fit that mold, was probably the best thing we could ever do. We We both both my wife and I immediately terminated a single client each. And you know, there's the fear of Oh my god, you know, I just let a $12,000 a month client go away, what am I going to do? And then a $15,000 a month client shows up. So you just sort of go, how did that happen? Oh, and by the way, they like the sarcasm. They make the same kind of jokes that we make they carry on conversations much the same way. Yes, there's a synergy that's there just works. And for me, the crazy part was, if I remember correctly, and I'm kind of thinking back about my history here, I think that our first meeting together was in May of 2019. By that point in time, as I started saying, we were struggling, not even sure we'd make it. And within three months, our revenue was six fold what it was before, and it was insane. And

I can only attribute it to the mindset shift. That's the only thing that makes any sense. I mean, oh, yeah, this is one of the reasons I love to listen to you as a reference for the work that I tend to do. Because again, what I want people to hear from this, there is not some magic person outside you is going to come and give you the perfect strategy and tactics. What's different and I always love the dating metaphor for this because it is very apt. And if you try to be married to the wrong person, for 20 years, every day is a lot of work. And this person may be very attractive in certain ways that maybe the person your mom told you to date or marry or whatever. But every day and here's the thing. It's a lot of work to be a small business owner. It's a lot of work to be an entrepreneur. All you do

Ellen Melko-Moore 10:00

All we truly have is the quality of our days. But as woowoo, as this might sound, perhaps to a former Well, I'm very much a tech expert, but a guy like you, who does specialize very much in strategy and the data and those those profit centers, you found out that when you got in that energy of being married to the right person, ie clients who have the money to pay you, they enjoy who you are, they come in ready to be part of the solution, instead of throwing up their hands and being like, Yeah, I don't know, you should do stuff. Yeah, that's what's so cool. And if people are hearing your story, what I want them to hear is, here's a guy with an extensive technology background and extensive data and strategy background. And simply by changing who you were being throughout the days, and who you were dating,

that wife or that husband that really wasn't doing you any good. A new person comes in. And I think it takes something to say, I'm going to fire the $12,000 a month client, I bet there's a lot of people listening, who when they think about applying that to themselves, it makes their toes curl. But what I when I tell people your story, this is the part I was concentrate on, here's somebody who, who was not necessarily thinking in a mindset of I deserve to be happy, there's a synergy. And once you went over that way, and you really embraced it for you like what it means for you, not someone else, revenue six times, and you went from that struggle of it's also hard and oh my god, what do I do to a place where you just kept getting more prosperous? And not only that, but let's talk about other mindset shifts, started to come in, like once you really open yourself to what?

Michael J. Mahony 11:58

Yeah, it's kind of crazy, you know, you use the marriage analogy. And it's actually perfect, because I'm actually on my second marriage. And the difference between the two is somehow being with someone who's supportive, and likes me, for me, not for what I can provide for them, not what I can do for them, but likes me, for me. So the purple hair can be a thing, because if it's something that makes me happy, she's okay with that. As long as it doesn't hurt her, she's okay with it. And I think that's the same thing you need with your business, you need to put your fingerprint on your business, that's your own unique self. And what happens is you build confidence that you didn't have before you, for instance, I have regular clients who they're like ad hoc clients, and they don't, sometimes they just don't think about you. And so you don't get any business from them. Well, I've learned to just get on the phone and give them a call and see how they're doing and say, Hey, remember, I'm here, if there's anything I can do for you reach out, and that brings projects in on a regular basis. And that's amazing. Because before I would have kind of sat back, like a wallflower and waited for them, but instead that I now I'm going after them, because why not? It's what I would want to do. You know, previously, it's what I wanted to do. Now, that's what I am doing. And yeah, I also think that

once I saw the results, they were so quick, that it told me something, you know, now, all along, the problem wasn't the type of work we were doing. The problem wasn't the quality of work. It wasn't even my knowledge. It was just working with the wrong people choosing the wrong projects, and having the wrong attitude about those things. Like

one of the reasons why we all work for ourselves is to have the freedom to set your schedule how you want work with the people you want, do the things you want to do, and not feel, what's the word I'm thinking of here not feel pressured by

Unknown Speaker 14:06

an uncomfortable situation. Because when you're when you find yourself in a super uncomfortable situation, that you kind of have to get through like say, say like, you know, we've both experienced, you know, illness issues, you kind of say to yourself, oh my gosh, you know, I wish this would just go away. I don't really want to have to deal with this. But at the same time, you know, you have to deal with it. And it's uncomfortable, and there's not much you can do about that. But in your business, there's a lot you can do about it. If you have that customer who makes you uncomfortable. Find them someone else to work with and pass them off. Because

Unknown Speaker 14:38

it's like the pay it forward concept. You know, when you figure out that you let something go better things are gonna come back. It works. And I mean, like in Victoria's case, she terminated that client and literally the same day. She got someone in the same field that paid her double what he was paying her for less

Unknown Speaker 15:00

hours and

Unknown Speaker 15:03

didn't treat her like dirt and eggs to this day, she still works with them. And he continually tells her that she's the most valuable person in his organization. And it's crazy to think that, you know, year and a half ago, she was struggling with this other guy. And you know, I couldn't stand it. And what I, what I learned from her situation, quite specifically was that you, you have to trust your gut. And if your gut is saying, This guy isn't right for my business, then that guy's not right for your business. And you know, you could be wrong, but one of the things you taught us was, and I tell this to people all the time these days is, we have our virtual board of directors. And when we want to make a decision, we ask the virtual Board of Directors, what would this person say, and then we think in terms of that person, and we make the decision based off of the input we get, I mean, it's, it's driven a lot of things like where we're running into a one, almost a one year plan for a new business that I think we would have tried to jam through in three months, wouldn't consult with our board of directors, but our board of directors kind of gave us the feedback that slow and steady wins the race on something like this, and you need to slow it down and do it right now and just get it out there. I love that you said that. So, folks, what we're talking about is you pick three or four people, you can pick them from history, you can pick famous people, you can pick family members, this is an imaginary board, and you pull in three, four or five people that you really admire. And again, I have clients who have a fictional character on their imaginary board of advisors. But the idea is that you choose people that you feel inspired by that are wise, that have different gifts than you do. And you can in your mind, you know, ask a question to these people, and just sort of see how they respond. And if because we all have tendencies that don't serve us, some of us jump into things and force it too fast. Other people just study, study, study data, data, data, maybe they take too much time to get into something because they're afraid to jump, every single person, all of us have ways that we do things that may not be the best for us. So what I love about what Mike just said, is the trends I see, Mike, you tell me whether you agree with me, one, we've got this obsession with numbers that digital marketing has created. So you know, you have to have 20,000 people on your mailing list. Well, we would argue if you've got 200 engaged people who are the right people who can afford you, that is a more valuable mailing list, especially author. And then secondly, you don't have to jump on every single idea and trend and make it uncomfortable for you and other people that you work with, if you are just being intentional. And what's weird about the whole mindset, dating reference is think about this, like think about your digital platform, whatever it is you're doing to let the world know you exist. Well, if you've taken the time to figure out who you really want to date, and who you really want to marry. And then you put out a dating profile, where you're very stiff and very formal, and you're not forthright. And you don't really let people see who you are, guess who's going to come into your world. And we always just say to people, you have the right? Have you ever heard the expression that we get in love who we believe we deserve, like who we're with is who we believe that we deserve. And I think that's absolutely true for clients, get the clients we deserve. And if we've been struggling for a while, and things have been hard, and we go through a period where it's just scarcity, or you know, all of a sudden the entire economic structure of the world changes like six months ago, we get anxious, and then we just try to start dating everyone. And in order to date everyone. Now we compromise our language and who we are and how we're being because because we've got to appeal to all these hundreds of people who might be dating us. And I like I love that you're a numbers guy. And you switched your mindset to thinking instead of how much can I do and you moved into this mindset of what is not only the most productive way for me to move, but it's good for our long term happiness. I mean, that's what I see. Do You Do you agree with I completely agree. I think that one of the things that comes to mind from the mindset shift is

Unknown Speaker 19:50

I realized towards the end of the year last year, that focus is something that every business needs, you have to have focus and

Unknown Speaker 20:00

People say well, but there's so many moving parts, how can you focus? Well, you have to choose. And so first quarter of 2020 focus was video marketing. And what happens is, you spend three months working on something, you get a process going, and you just continue it, it keeps going now, now where what It's September, so we're, we're nine months, almost October, actually, it's October tomorrow. So we're almost 10 months into the year. And the last seven months, the video marketing just keeps happening every week, because I put a focus on it, then in the second quarter, I had a different focus and and you know, this, the third quarter in the fourth quarter, different focuses. But by having a focus, you're able to move something forward dramatically, rather than, let's say I had done all the things that I'm doing in the first three to four, first three quarters of the year, try to do them all at the beginning of the year, a little bit at a time, I'd be nowhere right now. But by focusing, I got video marketing flow, and the new focus is email marketing. And that starting to flow, we've learned that it that the mindset thing switches over into the sales copy that we write, because when we write sales copy, you know what if I want to say something is bullshit, I'm gonna say it's bullshit. Because if you don't like that word, then you're not my person, you don't belong working with me, and I don't belong working with you. And it's funny, but we thought you know, it, I think we instinctively knew this, but we needed someone to say it to us. Because we, like when I was with my ex wife, most of my friends were people she chose to be friends with through her volunteer activities, and whatever. So we'd have all these couples that we were friends with. And I'd always go out, and I'd have an okay time when I'd go out with these people. But I never was like, elated by having gone there. And so then when, you know, with Victoria, she came from another country. So she came from Canada, she came over here, and I immediately started a

Unknown Speaker 22:00

community Meetup group on Facebook. And we started with just one other person, to other people, pretty soon it got to like 20 other people, we made out of those people, we made like four or five really good friends. And when I say really good friends, I mean, these are people that at any given moment, if I, if I hung out with any of them, they make me happy, I enjoy my time with them. In fact, we get to the point where we lose track of time. And that's exactly what happens in your business. Because by having the right people in the you know, in the on the bus with you, you're happy to do the work that you have to do, and you are suddenly motivated, I have found my creativity has gone through the roof. And you're right, I'm a very much a numbers oriented person. And my biggest problem was that coming through corporate America, I was taught that, you know, you're a CTO, you have to wear a tie, and you have to like, you know, be really stiff. And you know, people ask questions, most of the time you answer Let me check into that, you know, you don't commit anything. And I used to think to myself, why am I doing that? I know the answer, I can't I just give them the answer. That's me. I'm not gonna mess around here. Yeah. And then I'd get in trouble for it, you know, and so you learn to just zip it Don't say anything. But when you're running your own business, who's going to yell at you, you know, I mean, I'm my own boss, I'm certainly not going to be schizophrenic and start switching chairs and screaming at myself. It turned everything around. But it also made me not afraid to ask for the things that I want. Even with, you know, my wife's my business partner. And there's been times where I have felt that maybe her attention to what our business needs, wasn't as good as it should be. I asked her for it, Hey, you know what I need you, I can't do this by myself, I need your input. So I need an hour of your time. And we've learned that that's the way it has to work.

Unknown Speaker 24:01

You know, you have a business partner, if your business partner wasn't doing what he was supposed to do. And you would just sit back and take it. You'd never progress either, right? I mean, that that's another good whatever marriage dating scenario, because I believe everything's possible. And he believes most things aren't possible. And I mean that in a good way. That's great with that balance each other because I'm always enthusiastic about new things, new people, new ideas, and he's had to drag me kicking and screaming through the digital platform marketplace, because I was one of those people that was really good with an offline business. And weirdly enough, I helped tons of other people with their concepts and their online content. But when I wanted clients, I just went to a networking group and chatted with people and because I'm a charming pig, you can fill in the mF from Pulp Fiction if you know the reference, I'm talking to people like you know, not everyone likes me but people who did we're like oh,

Unknown Speaker 25:00

I'll see what the slide is about. So there's a balance there, that happens. And it can happen with clients too. For me, I think the thing I love most about getting to do this is we definitely are in a team together. I feel like when you're a effective entrepreneur, in a b2b scenario, you are on a team with your clients, they need to show up, you need to show up. And if you can kind of understand that that is a reciprocal process. Because before you might be like, Oh, I just have to impress this person and do all this stuff. I remember early on when people were going through the part where it's really hard, like you definitely went through, you know, you had a time where you're just like Elon, I just what is happening here, in the old back before doing this a lot that would have upset me, I would have thought, Oh, I'm doing something wrong. I'm Whatever. I'm glad in some way. And having done it a bit. I actually enjoy that moment now, like that moment where it's hard. And everyone's just throwing their hands up in the air and is the expert. You know, you feel like well, I should have an answer right now. And I love being able to tell people the truth, which is, you know, we're going to find the answer. We don't have it right now. It's not in front of us, we need to keep looking. But what I know is if you can get through that part as a team, the rewards on the other side of that bridge are extraordinary. Because now you've moved past, oh, well, there's just the super obvious thing, you should do these 18,000 things, I'll do these 36,000 things and it's all going to work out. I want to go back to a minute just let you set about the focus for quarters, because I think anyone listening to this, Mike's talking about he was talking about his focus in q1, q2, q3, he's got different, a different area of focus. So if he needs Mike needs to do a podcast and video marketing, he's not going to add all those things at once, he's going to take a quarter and work on something until it gets more automatic and tell it's more worked out. Before he adds a new piece. And I would argue that the single biggest determinant that I see of whether or not a small business is going to be more successful or go in a lesser, less satisfying direction is focus. And, you know, that's obviously what we'll talk about. It's super tight, because it's things you have to do as a business owner, an entrepreneur, if you don't have that ability to kind of go slow and steady add, add, add your experience of yourself. I mean, talk about a confidence Crusher, because as you're trying to add Oh, and this and this and this, and then you you know, you see someone on a webinar, and they're like, Oh, I took my business to nine figures. And all I did was this one thing and and you start to believe that shit, like that feel. And the truth is often people don't. Sometimes we get lucky. And we ride in on a wave of something we don't even understand that there was luck involved, very much other hung up on like the particular tactic or strategy. And maybe it's just not a good fit for us. But so and so said back in 2010, you know, when when digital marketing was relatively new, oh, well, so and so you know, made nine figures with this. So obviously, there's something wrong with me. And all of those breakdowns come from getting confused like other people's Oh, we should do this, we should do that. And what I Another thing I love about you and I'd love for you to free to talk about before we kind of go into your what you're doing now. Because you have it you have a new focus. We want to tell people tell people about your weekly meeting with with Victoria, your business partner, tell them about what works, what's working and what's not, which I think is one of the smartest things I've ever heard. Sure tell. Before I go there, though, something dawned on me while you were talking. You know, we talked about working with the right people. And I think it doesn't just by No, it doesn't just apply to your clients, it also applies to experts you bring into your business to help you. And as I was thinking about it like

Unknown Speaker 29:14

with you, if I had it to do all over again, start at the very beginning,

Unknown Speaker 29:20

I would have still worked with you. Because I would have figured out that, let's say let's say it's this year instead of the last year and I've already learned to work with people that are more like me, you fit that mold. And I mean, like when we when we came to you, you know where you live in Denver. We

Unknown Speaker 29:42

agreed to get together with you and it wasn't a obligation. It was a lot you know, and I think that's really important because how are you going to take somebody's advice if they make you uncomfortable and and feel pressure, right? So that's

Unknown Speaker 30:00

That's huge. But as far as the meeting goes, it's not actually a weekly meeting, it's a monthly meeting and what what I learned through corporate America, and it's something I've taken and kind of made my own is that if you don't manage it, then if you don't manage something, if you don't, you don't pay attention to something, you can't manage it. And so we have, we have actual tangible proof, we meet on a monthly basis, we call it our vital factor meeting. And we have a pre planned agenda, it's mostly the same agenda with new business thrown in, but there's steps that we go through. And the first thing we do is we review our numbers, just to see where the numbers are going well, on months, when we've forgotten to do our meeting, or we've gotten too busy, we don't do it, we have a terrible month, because we were not paying attention. But the main thing that you what you brought up is we have a section of our meeting where we talk about what is working, and what is not working. And some people might chuckle at that, why do you even talk about what's working? Well, we want to celebrate, we want to say, Wow, we brought in this new virtual assistant, and she's killing it, you know, and talk about the decisions we've made and how they've paid off. But then you get to the what's not working part. And that one is probably the main reason for the meeting. Because we sit there and we say, all right, XYZ isn't working. Maybe you know, maybe as an example, it was the video marketing, video marketing is not working. Like I'll give it that's actually a good example. Because we were paying somebody $500 a month to create these videos. And they were always late. When the videos came, I'd look at them and go, I could have done that myself in 30 minutes. Why am I paying someone $500 for this. So we did a what's what's not working. And one of the things you do with a not working list at somebody gets assigned that as a project. And there's a goal set around it. And the you know, the goal might be, let's say in our September meeting, that that was the issue, oh, by October 15, you're going to have come back with a solution to that issue. And instinctively, you just solve all of your you solve all of your problems as you go along that are solvable. And sometimes you find that you see things that are way out on the horizon, that would have been a disaster. But for the fact that you saw that it wasn't working, and you put somebody's mind to work fixing it. Um, talk about mindset, this is sorry to interrupt you, but this is about this, if you every month have a category called what's not working, and nobody has to feel bad or wrong, or negative. It's a fact of life, that stuff works and some stuff doesn't work. And when I heard the first time you said this, I was I thought it was so brilliant. I stole it for myself, with my partner, and sometimes with my clients because it takes away that sort of bad and wrong, you know, sort of frustrated. And then again, one of the neat things about synergy that I know you and I believe in that some people call energy or law of attraction or synchronous, what have you. If you automatically create that space for this isn't going very well, but I want it to go better. And then you put a date on it. And you give somebody the job of Okay, you're gonna be you know, you're not responsible for the ultimate solution, but you're responsible of how do we move forward with this? I should probably never say the words ultimate solution on on air again. But anyway, you know what, you know, that's mistake, speaking of snarky, so that bit of opens up that space for that. And actually, Mike, this is a good tie in to your new offer, and what you're going to be doing, like the new focus for your business, because what you and Toria have really realized is you've come up with some pretty killer things to help, you know, help small to medium sized businesses. So would you would you talk a little bit about kind of the new solution that you guys are moving towards? Sure. Well, you know, in in 2018, I ran for Board of Supervisors in Orange County, and I spent a lot of time talking to business owners, I was given a great strategy by somebody, they tells me to go out, find a small business, talk to the owner. And then like just have a conversation and then ask them if they put a sign up in their window. And it really it really worked. Well. I mean, I expected to get maybe 500 votes, I got over 15,000 votes. And I had a lot of support in the county. But what it taught me was that there are people out there running businesses, especially in California, they're getting murdered by regulations, like businesses are just getting squashed by regulations. And so we came up with this idea that we've been batting around for a while and we finally decided to focus on it and turn it into something

Unknown Speaker 35:00

Big. And you know, you constantly see membership sites out there. And you see people selling the same information over and over and over again, just just recycled. And you know, you and I've talked about it before, I don't think either one of us is super fond of the membership model per se. But it works for this situation, because what we're, what we're doing is where we're creating, it's called the advocates network for small business. And the whole idea is going to be to help business owners, and educate them on how to deal with, you know, what you want to change that law in your state, here's what you do, you want our help with it, we can help you with that. But you've got to reach out to us and we're gonna, it's, it's kind of the, you know, you teach Amanda to, if you give Matt, the food, he'll just keep begging for the food. But if you teach him to find the food and hunt and fish, that he can feed himself. So that's what we're gonna do is teach you that. I love that. And again, another great distinction This is when you listen to Mike, you're always hearing distinction. So listen for what he just said. I mean, to me, what we're talking about is we don't like membership sites, when it's repetitive information that you can get a lot of places that people are recycling, and then generally bring in other topics that there's that, then there is membership, where there's a very specific focus, I would call it super tight focus. It's very intentional, it's for a specific problem. And it's also addressing what is sometimes called the whitespace, and the market and missing space, where there's a problem. But there isn't a solution that's available to most people. a membership site is great for that, because it isn't the kind of thing that you're just going to show up for one meeting and then be like, okay, we're done. Now. It's something that's going to take that building that process and, and learning and being part of a group. Now, that is an incredible membership site, and

Unknown Speaker 37:03

your people there. I mean, this is huge, Mike, anything is, it's not your typical, here's some content, goodbye. It's more the concept, and I don't want to go too much detail into it. Because someone will steal my idea. But it's a couple minutes left. Yeah, it's a networking and advocacy business. So we're gonna bring businesses together, we have a lot of great ideas on how to make that work. We're looking into like swag boxes, and how to put those together and how much they cost. And we're going to, you know, I'm going to be talking about this a lot in this show, we're going to be promoting a live event that will be a two day event to launch this business. And we'll probably do it about 30 days before the actual launch of the business. But we want to show people what Advocacy Network for small business is going to be able to do for them and for their business. And I think we could leave it there. But it's it's exciting because it is a focus. And this is where the where the virtual Board of Directors really saved our butt. Because we would have been like, quick, let's get this done by December, we've got time. Instead, we started thinking about it. And we said, Wow, what we ended up doing was we put this is interesting, too, for the vital factor meeting on our vital factor agenda for the last two months has been each month, and what we want to accomplish for our Advocacy Network to get it launched. And we worked backwards from launch day, to now. And we spent 20 minutes talking about those things and then setting a meeting outside of our vital factor meeting to handle those things, right. And it has changed my stress level to like next to nothing when it comes to this new business, because I know it's going to launch on time. I know it's going to have everything it needs. Because we've been thinking about it for a year by the time it launches. And when I say thinking about it, I mean, giving it attention. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's, I think it's so exciting. It also kind of combines two, well, three things that you personally are very good at. I mean, you are very interested in social justice in community, our ethics, you know, all that fun stuff. And when I call you a social justice warrior, I don't mean like SJW I just mean, you're somebody who stands for, let's make stuff work. So that's one area. The other thing, of course, you're very good at is strategy. And I think one of the things you have become the most brilliant about is really understanding that there's what goes on in our minds, and then there's how it's being received on the other side. And in order for a brand or a business to work. You have to kind of understand that conversation. You have to ask yourself, what's your impact? You know, you give words like what is the impact of your words? What's the impact of the idea you have, how is it going to impact society and other people because it's

Unknown Speaker 40:00

Hear it? Because it exactly, because you have to know what you want the impact to be so that you can see, okay, well, here's what the impact I wanted. And here's what I'm getting, I need to bring it closer to what I wanted. And it helps you again, it comes back to that focus. But I was thinking about something, tell people tell people about what you what is your date, what it is that you do, because I know you, you just went through a rebrand in your business. And one of the things I love is that you have that term, and it's been in the three brands I've seen you with, it's super tight. And for me, that's actually kind of been something in the back of my mind, everything that we do is my mantra is processes. It's all about the process. And keeping the process super tight, is what makes things work. So tell people what it is that you're doing. Thank you. So we so we were we've been super tight brands for about 10 years. But that was always hard, because a lot of people don't really understand what brand is they think it's the logos. So the point was, we always had to sort of sell around brand. And we were like, you know what, what we really do is help people create intense relationships with their brand that makes them sell the sell their service or product easily. Then we changed it to super tight social selling. And I think that theme is very much there. But again, just trying to make things easier for ourselves. And we know that we're really into social selling, but that's not a concept that many people have quite, you know, some people know what it is some people don't. And so we're like, Alright, let's just make this as easy for people to come into our world. So we are now super tight LinkedIn. And the idea is we start with that process, we make sure that people have a LinkedIn system that works for their personality and their brand and what they're doing and who they want to talk to, in a way that it's easy to manage. But the cool thing is, while we come up with it with all that looks like we super tight the brand and the marketing the audience the position. So we're freaks about really good, super tight niches, niches we, we are more picky about target audience than anybody I know. Like when people say, oh, target audience Yeah, guys in their 40s. I'm like, No, no, no, no, no. So that's kind of that is what super tight means. And whatever iteration we do, it's always going to be super tight. Like that's because we can look at a concept. We can look at an audience and a concept and a message and a market. It either is super tight, or it isn't. And anybody really can look at their own brand and say, All right, I'm very clear on all these things. And also, I can tell it's resonating out there, because you know, money, revenue, people Yay. But we all go through stages where things get muddy. And I think that's normal. And it isn't anything bad. But it's okay to work with other people doesn't have to be me. But it's okay to get outside help. It's okay to talk to someone else about your concept. And, you know, be picky obviously, about who you trust. But at the same time, like the description Mike just gave of his his new membership service that is super tight, it's for a very specific purpose, it serves a specific person, it is this thing, and it's not this other thing. And because he's a smart guy, he's not going to add 18 things on top of that, he's going to let that stay super tight. So anyway, I'm Ellen melco. More currently, from super tight LinkedIn, because we just love LinkedIn, we're crazy about it. And you can find me at LinkedIn LML comm or and Mike if he wants to can put in the whatever the stuff that goes with the podcast, there is a link that we can give you that, like you can sign up for what's called a LinkedIn profile audit. And that's just you and me on zoom, having a chat about your goals and what you want to do with that, and it is complimentary, and you don't have to hear about my offer. So well. And I highly recommend people do that. I highly recommend people do that. Because the reason that we're super tight on our focus on things is from what you taught us and, and I truly mean taught us, you didn't beat us over the head with anything. You You guided us through a process that took us from point A to point B. and point B was like a much elevated position. And when we take the time to think about that, with everything that we do, I can tell you I've asked questions like when Torrio will come to me and say, I have this idea I want to do this. Okay, well, what do you Why do you want to do that? What's the purpose? What are you going to accomplish by doing that? And sometimes she'll be like, I don't know and I go then you can't even think about doing that yet. If you don't know what the purpose is. Why bother? And that is exactly why advocates network has sat on the back burner for probably a year.

Unknown Speaker 45:00

A year and a half, because I didn't feel it had a tight enough focus. And once we finally came to the conclusion that, Oh, this is what it should do. And this is how it should work, then putting together an outline of what needs to be done, it's like to do it in your sleep. But I appreciate that. super tight, it was super easy. Yeah, well, I mean, and I appreciate you, and everything that you do. And that's, you know, there will definitely be both, both on the YouTube description, we'll have a link. And in the podcast, show notes, there'll be a link to get that audit because that's where I started. And I'm telling you, at this point, revenue is about 10 times what it was when we started working with you. And that's, that's monthly, and it's consistently on a monthly basis, to the point that this pandemic, I almost feel bad because there's so many people struggling, and we've just kind of cruised right through it. Because I really think it's because we were set up for success before all this happened. And, you know, there we didn't even have to pivot. We just kept going straight ahead. So thank you for that. You know, and I want to mention our sponsor for the show that our sponsors. Yeah, you're our sponsors, your virtual CTO, your virtual CTOs and technology services company, specializing in increasing your revenue and profit through a close examination of your technology engine. We offer exclusive coaching for business leaders. It's the only coaching program that includes technology as part of the programming, you're going to learn a little bit about technology. So if you want to learn more, go over to get your virtual that's pretty much all I have to say today. Now and we've untied Mike from the Chair, thank you for letting Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 46:49

Because I might be bored next week, so you never know what's going to happen.

Unknown Speaker 46:54

It everybody out there thank you for listening. And again, if either of us can help you please reach out because we this is like I mean Michael and I stations literally all day because we love talking about this stuff over here.

Unknown Speaker 47:08

That's it for Bye bye.

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The Technology Alchemist is your source for technology advice, strategic technology planning, technology coaching, time-saving advice, and a pragmatic look at increasing revenue and profit through your technology engine. Sponsored by Your Virtual CTO, this show is the only one of its kind that blends business coaching and technology advice. The show is hosted by Mike Mahony, the world\'s most user-friendly technologist.

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