Meny Hoffman sits down with podcast producer Chava Shapiro to do a retrospective of some of the best moments of Let's Talk Business Season 2.
Another season has come to a close, so it’s time to look back. Season 2 of Let’s Talk Business was packed with amazing guests who all had some advice to share culled from years of experience in their respective industries. Let’s Talk Business host Meny Hoffman sits down once again with Chava Shapiro, podcast producer and Director of Content at PTEX Group to do a retrospective of some of the best that Let’s Talk Business Season 2 had to offer.
The second of two highlights episodes, there are spectacular soundbites from the likes of Jamie Geller, Jason Swenk, Daniel Gefen, Clate Mask, Zacharia Waxler, Marc Bodner, Isaac Wolman, Mark Levy, Joe Apfelbaum, David Nour, Chester Elton, and Garry Ridge. Get your piping hot and fresh life (and business) advice here now!
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Download the audio file here. (part 1)
Season 2 Highlights – Part 1
We have a special episode, which is a season two recap. I’m excited to be joined by Chava Shapiro, from our team discussing and recapping season two.
It’s great to be here. I’m excited to be going through all the awesome highlights of season two.
This is a great moment to start with thanking all of you for reading, enjoying the show and giving me feedback. It’s because of your feedback we’re able to reach new milestones, continue the show regularly, find great guests that could share no-nonsense advice.
First of all, congratulations on two awesome seasons complete. I’m thinking back to all the amazing guests we’ve had and everything that we’ve learned from them and also how much feedback we’ve been getting. I wanted to know what stands out to you, Meny, in terms of either a moment or moments in your interviews or in terms of the feedback you’ve been getting from other people reading the blog. What has been a highlight for you?
Before I get to it, it’s important to tell people a little about the show, going back a little bit and what goes into it. People think that all of these happen on a Monday. You come in and all of a sudden, those episodes are there. I want to thank you, Chava, for the work you do, prepping the show, preparing the content for the show. Also, for our production team that goes out there and produces the show, edits the videos and the audio tracks and put them up there. Monday, commute comes and you have those episodes. The answer to your question is, I have to think about it because there’s a lot of feedback that I’m getting. First of all, people don’t realize, but I am the first personal learning. I read those episodes when I do the interview. I’m learning, at the same time, all of you are learning. Every single guest has something to share and something that I could take away myself and apply it to our business. I’m running a company. For all of you that know, we’re on PtexGroup.com.
Reach out to us and see more of our work over there. More importantly, that feedback I’m getting from people reading the blog. If you asked me for 1 or 2 moments, there are two of them that will stand out from the tens or close to hundreds of feedback emails or messages that I’ve gotten throughout since we started this. One was a person telling me that one individual episode he’s read five times. That’s how much he felt that the show is speaking to him. He wanted to make sure that he writes down every single piece and he wanted to go back to make sure the content registers with his mind.
I would love to know which episode that was. I’m curious.
I’m not going to say which episode because that person told me. There are other people that are reading different episodes more than one time. The other piece of feedback that I loved was the person that told me that he read one of those episodes and he changed the way he does business. I know there are a lot of people out there. The persons are telling me that even if you did the show, all of those efforts that you put in the way, only I should find out about this one piece. “I’m telling you, Meny, it’s worth it.” For me, it’s the same thing. I speak on this and I put out a show and you have thousands of downloads. I’m speaking to you, the individual, the person that takes action, change the way they do business, change the way how they see their business in the first place, change the way how they operate and they lead better or be a better family person. Whatever you take out of these episodes, that’s exactly why I’m doing it for that feedback. If you have a piece of feedback, which means you have implemented something, you have a favorite episode, please send them my way. Send it to Podcast@PtexGroup.com. It’s going to come to my inbox. I want to see it. I want to read it and I’m going to be the person who will reply to you.A huge part of making a show is regularly finding great guests who'll share no-nonsense advice. Click To Tweet
As long as I’ve known you, you’ve always been extremely passionate about education. Educating the business community, learning from the business community. It is incredible to get this feedback and to see how much of an impact it’s making. Another lesson out there, aside from if you feel like you have value to offer our community, please let us know. We would love to know about potential guests for the show. If you have suggestions, if you have comments, we want to know them. The email address, if you want to contact us about the podcast is Podcast@PtexGroup.com. We love feedback of all kinds. With that, we’re going to get started on the highlights.
In the first episode of season two, I was excited about it. It was Jamie Geller, she is the Queen of Kosher. A lot of people know her for cookbooks, but she’s an incredible business mind and business owner. She runs the Kosher Network International. She’s extremely knowledgeable about media. How to get your ideas into media? The exposure. That was an eye-opening episode. I’m wondering, was there something specific that you took from that episode or a reason that people should go back and read that episode if they haven’t?
I’m thinking about that episode. It sounds like it was ages ago. This was a great episode and I appreciated that we were able to open up season two with this. The feedback I got from people was mutual. This was a typical business person, found something that they could bring to the marketplace, found something that could make a business out of and went at it. I was able to do and reached the success she’s reaching. There are a couple of pointers that I would point out what that episode had in it and there were full of golden nuggets. One of the things that I loved much is she found out that you can’t stretch ourselves too thin. We need to focus on the mediums that are working. In her case, she found out one of the mediums on social media is working better than others. If this is working, let’s double down and do more of it. I also love the effectiveness, how she came across, it’s okay to pivot. Finding out if this is not working, let’s pivot that in and make adjustments versus just doing it.
Also, she’s a working mother. She has a growing family. The way she spoke about it and making sure that it doesn’t interfere, making sure that both sides of the business and her personal life are not compromising any of the things because her family business is compromised or vice versa. That was also a pivotal moment where I felt that she came across authentic and as we always call it, the no-nonsense advice. Practical pointers on how she has grown her company, how she had those stumbling blocks and how she overcame it. This is a great episode to read.
I have nothing to add to that. That was a great recap and one of my favorite episodes. I read that one at least once or maybe twice. We’re going to go on to the next person. The next episode was Jason Swenk.
For those who didn’t read that episode, he’s a favorite. He’s a friend of mine. He is the Founder of the Agency Playbook. His website is JasonSwenk.com. He speaks to the creative community. He’s on LinkedIn. People putting up posts about it that if you are to run an agency or freelance designer or whatever, go ahead and read this episode. The advice he shared in this episode is probably other people’s full courses that people will ask you for money. It’s not only for creative agencies because business is done similarly. However, he speaks to Creative Agency Space. What I loved about the episode is the importance of why you need to gain clarity. Everything starts with clarity. If you don’t have the proper clarity, all of a sudden everything is falling apart because there’s not a great directional where to the company’s going. There’s an old saying, “Don’t have a destination and every road will take you there.” The same is for your business. That was a great one. Importance of communicating your vision to your team and ultimately, the five steps of scaling an agency.
In this episode, if you do run a company and you do have a sales team and you give out a lot of proposals, he shared some practical, no-nonsense advice. How to get a budget out of a client before presenting a proposal? How to make sure that you’re not wasting your time with people that are not qualified and you’re not your target market? A lot of those practical pieces of advice that he shared throughout the episode. I want to thank Jason for sharing his content with us. If you run a creative agency or you’re on a freelance business or anything similar in the service business, this is a no-brainer. You got to read this episode.
You covered it all, but I do think of the fact that he is speaking to creatives. Sometimes creative people do have a hard time creating those systems. He is someone who excels at both. It’s interesting to listen to him and learn his advice. The next episode on the list is Daniel Gefen. If anyone has heard him before, he’s highly entertaining. If you haven’t read this episode, we highly recommend it. He offers lots of incredible wisdom but my personal favorite was hearing his story. In general, all of these guests, learning their story of how they got to where they are and the ups and downs of their journey is incredibly inspiring but also instructive, wondering what your thoughts are on that episode.Don't stretch yourself too thin; focus on mediums that are working for you. Click To Tweet
He is all over the show. If you want to get into a show, you want to understand why you should be a guest. Follow Daniel because he has much good advice and we’ve covered much in that episode. To continue on the note about the story, it comes to show that every person in the universe has a story. When you take that story and you use it to your advantage, it makes you a better person. In Daniel’s case, it gave him the courage to continue to move on for one failure to the other and then build his business. Almost losing his business and then starting something fresh and then becoming this great podcast host. Having those billionaires being interviewed on his podcast, his podcast is called Can I Pick Your Brain? A great show as well. I was a guest on that show. It’s a great episode to read and an authentic story. Read the beauty of being a guest on a podcast and how you can get those free exposure to your target market. Most people put an ad and you can’t get the fifteen seconds of attention.
When somebody turns to your podcast and they love and they connect to you, they almost get to know you. To going a little bit off this episode, but I can meet people that only found out about myself from the show and they feel like they know me. They almost started a conversation in the middle of a conversation, continuing to what they already heard and I never met him before. That’s the beauty as the reader you could have on a different show. Find a show that you could add value and ultimately get some exposure that way.
I would add one more thing that my favorite thing that he said was something about what makes people successful. What common denominator he’s seen in all the people he has interviewed is that they are simply putting themselves out there. They’re showing up. They’re not trying to perfect everything they are doing. They’re producing. I thought that was a great point as well.
Our next episode was with Clate Mask. He the cofounder and the active CEO of Keap, formerly Infusionsoft. I was waiting for this episode. I was waiting for the time I’ll be able to be the host and interview Clate Mask because I’ve followed that company from almost when they started. They started similar when we started Ptex Group many years ago. It was about the same time. Their company is hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. They have close to 600, 700 employees and thousands of users. The reason why I love what he does is that this is a leader that is putting his people and his customer first, driving with a mission to help the small business succeed. Everything they do is with that mission and that laser focus where they want to go and where they want to arrive and how everybody’s part of that mission. Particularly in these episodes, we could have gone off for hours. We spoke a little bit about the culture and a little bit about his people. I wanted him to share, he calls it the Five Stages of Business Growth. If you’re a business owner, you want to read the five stages of business growth because you’re going to find yourself in one of those stages.
One of the feedbacks I got from a reader that told me that, “This is the first time I was able to identify my business stage. I know I have challenges but I couldn’t identify what I should do first.” Once you understand what the five stages of business growth are, you’ll start seeing, “I’m in this stage. If I don’t get leadership in place, I’m not going to be able to get to the next level. If I don’t get a sales team in place, I’m not going to have enough leads coming in or marketing,” whatever those stages are. Not only has he shared the stages of business growth, but he was also able to share what is the most important step you need to do in order to get to the next stage. We also spoke about the concept with them, which was also important, “What if I don’t want to grow?” I hear this many times in business owners, they’re comfortable. We spoke about the importance of why that mindset doesn’t work? It’s grow or die. We discussed it at length about inflation, your team, the market, and competition. All of those things we discussed, why it got to keep innovating. This is a great episode. Personally, it was one of my favorites. Even for our people reading, this was something that gave us a lot of food for thought and also some practical no-nonsense advice.
I want to add one thing, regarding the stages of business growth. This is not a theory that he came up with one day. This is based on him working with thousands of small businesses and collecting all of these data points. Finally, after much exposure to the different stages of these businesses, he turned around and said, “I feel like this is a recurring pattern that keeps happening.” They’re taking all of that research and putting it into this. I wanted to mention that it’s much based on the real situation on the ground for many businesses and it’s fascinating. Next up, we have Zacharia Waxler. You have a long-standing relationship with Zacharia. This is one of the few episodes that focus on financials, which I know is incredibly important for business owners to think about. What did you take from this one?
First of all, speaking about Zacharia Waxler from Roth & Co. I owe huge gratitude towards Roth & Co for their support in our Let’s Talk Business Summits and the sponsorship throughout our events. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to have all these episodes and all these events, including launching the show since I started this or even all our events, people who will come over to me. We do a lot of leaders and people will come over to me at the end and say, “What’s with finance? All of those things are important and great but my numbers don’t add up.” We figured we’ve got to start speaking about financials as well. Financial is a delicate topic because many factors that go into play. In our interview with Zacharia, we focus more on some of the key important things that are nobody’s exempt from.
We focus a little bit on that to give you the mindset of how you start getting control over the financials. We spoke about the importance of data, knowing your number. Data doesn’t lie. Zacharia mentioned a great piece of advice. He says, “You know how many CEOs get all kinds of reports? If you don’t do anything with those reports, you don’t even know what the reports are telling you. There’s no point in it. Figure out what you are measuring and then find out what type of data could support you to see where you are.” For some companies, it’s the amount of clients, the amount of cashflow. You’ve got to figure out what metrics you want to have. Tracked and then track it with data. The data should help you make decisions. If you are getting a stack of data and reports and you’re not doing anything with it, it’s a waste of everybody’s time. If you do make decisions accordingly, that’s important.Every person has a story. Taking these stories and using them to your advantage makes you a better person. Click To Tweet
We also discussed the concept that people don’t understand the difference between a bookkeeper or CFO controller. As an accountant in this large firm, what he sees as the major issues business owner face? We went into a couple of those pointers. One point that I will mention on the recap is business owners are taking out too much of the business and not leaving enough money for reinvestment in the business and natural growth. It’s a great episode. I did speak about some of the programs Roth & Co has for their employees. They onboard new employees, very innovative and a culture-driven company. I encourage you to go ahead and read it.
The next episode was Marc Bodner. He is sharing about another incredibly important topic, which is the roles of a leader. What makes a leader a leader? Going deep into that topic, I found it interesting and inspiring. He went into a lot of stuff there. What was the highlight for you for that one?
I was invested in that conversation. I spoke longer than our average episode because I enjoyed every moment of it. For those who are familiar, Marc was already on one of our panels in the past on one of our LTB summits. It’s important when you sometimes find the leaders that are growing companies. He has over 1,000 employees. He’s humble. He’ll share whatever, almost open up everything he has to be able to help another person. He did exactly that in this episode. One of the things that struck out is how intentional he is. If you want to see change, you want to see growth, you got to be intentional. In his intention, it’s about customer experience. He spoke much about it. He also spoke about how all those ideas that come into play, you’re going to find that it’s all to support the customer experience. When you have that laser-focus and the vision where you want to go, you are able to rally all your troops, all your employees to that same thing.
The other thing that was an eye-opener for myself was, the concept that he shared that there’s a vision strategy where you build with your leadership team, what do you want to see from the company? Separately an operation strategy, which is, let’s go to our operation team and say, “This is what the leadership wants to see in the company.” They have to figure out how to do it. The reason why it was an eye-opener because many times you could see companies making those days out of the office or in the office only to strategize what 2020 should look like. They have all these ideas written out on paper. They’re not connecting it to operation. They’re not connecting it to the people on the ground that have to deliver. All of a sudden it doesn’t match up and it fails. I love how he said it’s two separate tasks. They both have to do their individual strategy but align it on the vision of the company. We also spoke about the attributes of a leader. There are many good golden nuggets in this episode. I highly encourage you, if you did not read those episodes, please do yourself a favor, go back and read the episode. It was full of great no-nonsense advice.
More importantly, he also spoke about how he as a leader runs his own day. He spoke about how he works with his schedule and how he works with his virtual assistants. How he said that up, which could also be a learning moment for a lot of us. We’re up to number six. If you liked this episode or any of our episodes, please do us a favor. Go to iTunes or Google Play and leave us a review. If you leave us a review, all you’re doing is helping us spread the word about the show.
- Chava Shapiro
- Kosher Network International
- Jamie Geller – Previous episode
- Jason Swenk – Previous episode
- Agency Playbook
- Daniel Gefen – Previous episode
- Can I Pick Your Brain? – Podcast
- Clate Mask – Previous episode
- Zacharia Waxler – Previous episode
- Roth & Co
- Marc Bodner – Previous episode
- iTunes – Let’s Talk Business
- Isaac Wolman – Previous episode
- Make It Real
- Mark Levy – Previous episode
- Joe Apfelbaum – Previous episode
- Meny Hoffman – LinkedIn
- David Nour – Previous episode
- Chester Elton – Previous episode
- Garry Ridge – Previous episode