Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Stephen Woessner
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Introducing Stephen Woessner
Stephen Woessner is my guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
He is a man who since starting his career has worked tirelessly to lift the hood of internet and find out what is going on behind the scenes.
Since the advent of the commercial internet, he has collected research, reviewed and plotted thousands of websites across thousands of business to see what they are doing well, and what they are doing badly.
He now has tens of thousands of data points that have given him the ability to identify what he calls the 8 Money Draining Mistakes.
These are the things that literally cause a website to leak serious money…every day.
How The Dots Joined Up For Stephen Woessner
And now he teaches companies and organizations how to fix them…and how to fix them immediately.
And it appears that the world is full of leaky websites that are doing a fraction of what they should be doing in regards to monetixing, lead generation or simply connecting with customers and keeping them as customers.
These are the things that really matter because they increase financial return on investment in the digital world by 200 to 500 percent or more in 12-months or less.
And all of this can be done without needing technical skills.
He is host of the Onward Nation podcast, CEO of Predictive ROI, and a digital marketing authority, speaker, educator, and bestselling author two books, The Small Business Owner’s Handbook to Search Engine Optimization and Increase Online Sales through Viral Social Networking.
So what made the young man with such entrepreneurial spirit enter in the US Air force for four years, as a Senior Airman?
And are all his websites fully leak proof, or like every mechanic in the world, is he driving around in something falling to pieces?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Stephen Woessner
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Stephen Woessner such as:
Stephen shares the huge mistakes that most businesses make in regards to website leakage. You seriously need a pen and paper for this guys…..it’s gold.
Why Stephen feels that a business should be as much fun as profitable. What’s the point of creating a life that doesn’t make your smile everyday after all?
Stephen shares how his Grand Father entered the states, with just $10 in his pocket and within six years created his own American Dream.
Why Stephen feels that every year, every failure, and every conversation will lead you to the life that you want. You can’t expect to find the dream without going on the journey.
How To Connect With Stephen Woessner
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Stephen Woessner Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. In join up dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK David Ralph
David Ralph [0:26]
Good morning, everybody. And welcome to another fan of packed episode of join up dots Yes, he is the motivational, inspirational conversational show, where I bring the movers and shakers across the world. To your ears, yes, it’s like they’re laying in bed or in the bath with you don’t tell you a special partner. But you’re going to have two men together. I don’t know if that’s a nightmare or a fantasy for you. And one of them is going to be me. And the other one is going to be our today’s guest who basically since starting his career, has worked tirelessly to lift the hood of the internet and find out what’s going on behind the scenes. Now since the admin of the commercial internet is collected, research reviewed and plotted thousands of websites across thousands of businesses to see what they’re doing well and what they are doing badly. He now has 10s of thousands of data points that have given him the ability to identify what he calls the eight money draining mistakes. These are the things that literally causes a website to leak serious money every day. And now we teach these companies and organizations how to fix them and how to fix them immediately. And it appears that the world is full of leaky websites that are doing a fraction of what they should be doing in regards to monetization lead generation, or simply connecting with customers and keeping them as customers. Now, these are the things that really matter because I increase financial return on investment in the digital world by 200 to 500%, yet 200 to 500% or more in 12 months or less. And all of this can be done without needing technical skills. Now, he’s the host of the onward nation podcast CEO of predictive ROI, and a digital marketing authority speaker, educator and best selling author of two books, the small business owners handbook to search engine optimization, and increase online sales through Bible social networking. So you gotta stay with him. You gotta stay of what this man’s all about. But I throw a curveball in what made this young man with such entrepreneurial spirit, enter into the US Air Force for four years as a Senior Airman back in the day. And all these websites fully leak proof. This is what I want to know. Are they all fully leak proof? Or like every mechanic in the world? Is he actually driving around in something falling to pieces? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start join up dots with the one and only Mr. Stephen Woessner. Good morning, Stephen. How are you, sir?
Stephen Woessner [2:42]
Oh, my gosh, it is so good to be here with you, David, and I’m really looking forward to the conversation. Thanks. Thank you for the invitation to be here.
David Ralph [2:51]
Do you think we’ve excited the women and the men of the world? Bye, bye. Even that image of the two of us either in the bath or in bed together? Do you think that’s going to really get this viral episode?
Stephen Woessner [3:04]
Well, I think it’s going to be certainly a powerful visual metaphor. I don’t know if that’s good. But But I think that you created a very powerful visual for sure.
David Ralph [3:14]
But it’s with me, Stephen is with me. And it’s making me rock and roll after a hard day of recording. I don’t know what that says about me. I really don’t. But I’m here ready to do to do with a man who I’ll be honest, I don’t know you’re a podcaster. Sometimes you get a guest pitch to come on the show. And you kind of give them the overview. And you’d be Oh yeah, yeah, the final Why? And then within a second of talking to them, you think I’ve got this person wrong. And you’re fun. You like fun? Don’t you? You like a joke. You like enjoyment? You’re not a kind of a geeky website, analyzing person, you are somebody that loves their job, but loves their life as well.
Stephen Woessner [3:53]
Yeah, I think you there certainly is a blend, I think you need to be able to have fun along the way. I mean, I run a business, there are certainly serious moments to that. But I think you need to be able to laugh at yourself. I think you need to be able to have a culture that’s fun. Otherwise, I mean, why are you doing it, I mean, sure to drive numbers and all of that kind of stuff. But I think it’s more about being able to just serve and create impact and, and really enrich lives and have great teammates around you who really care about the work that they’re doing for the clients for whom they’re serving. So, yeah, if you’re not able to have fun along the way, like our January meetup, you know, for all of our teammates to come together, we’re spread across the country here in the US, we have full time employees, and each of the different time zones here in the US. And we’re all meeting up in January, where we’re going to meet up, we’re going to meet up in the happiest place on earth and Disney World and spend several days together. So combining business and fun. Like why shouldn’t you do that? That’s awesome. It is.
David Ralph [4:54]
And it proves that it is a small world after all, I would imagine
Stephen Woessner [4:58]
in I mean, come on. That is like one of the most iconic songs like ever, isn’t it?
David Ralph [5:03]
Well, it is. And I’m not going to do it because it will just be in people’s ears for the rest of the episode. And no one will concentrate on our content. I probably went five years ago and I’m still singing that bloody song every single morning when I wake up.
Stephen Woessner [5:19]
Yes, it does. It does kind of stick with you. And but you know what I mean, every time we go, we have to ride that ride probably two or three times. And I actually love it. It’s one of my favorites of Magic Kingdom. So it’s great.
David Ralph [5:32]
So so with you. We know that you like to have fun, we will know that you enjoy your job. And obviously we’re going to be talking about your job and how you actually created it and found your thing. But did you do you love it? Is this your thing? Is is your legacy work? Or would you rather be an international playboy jet setting around with supermodels and having fun? Is this your thing that wakes up every morning? And yeah, never die on this?
Stephen Woessner [5:57]
Yeah, I mean, definitely not the ladder, the you know, international playboy supermodels, that kind of stuff. That’s not my thing. That’s, that’s never been, you know, a dream of mine. And so no, that’s not that. For me, for me, what it is, is being able to do what it is that we do with a greater purpose of, you know, education, and you’re changing lives through that. And because that was really important to my grandfather, who immigrated to the US from Istanbul, Turkey, when he was just 18. And you know, he lost his father, my great grandfather, when when my grandfather was only eight years old, and had to drop out of the third grade, in order to make enough money to support his mom and his two younger siblings. And he did it with a smile on his face. But through that, and only having a third grade education, when he came here to the US Six years later, you know, with with just only having $10 in his pocket when he got here and not being able to speak the language. Six years later, he owned his own restaurant. Because he had saved his money, he learned something new, he was able to master the language, and he never stopped learning. So education is extremely important to me. And we support that with both our teammates, and as well as their clients. That’s why we teach everything that we do in full transparency. We also support that from a financial perspective as well in our communities. And so that’s my legacy. It is a part of my grandfather’s legacy, being able to support education, entrepreneurship business owners in any way we possibly can. And we have fun doing that. It’s just not the Playboy lifestyle. So So
David Ralph [7:39]
do you still go along with the American dream? Or is the American Dream dead? I’ve had a few people now let’s say yet it’s alive and kicking and other people go? No, it’s just gone. Did you go with the American dream?
Stephen Woessner [7:50]
Absolutely. I think that we we are still the land of opportunity. You know, do we do we have you know, decisive or divisiveness is what I meant to say different divisiveness is going on right now. Absolutely. Do I wish that we could have you know, better conversation around, you know, those points and, and so forth? Absolutely. So, so there are there are many things that are going on in our country right now that I’m not, you know, pleased with and would like to see, you know, done differently. And, but but this country does still remain the land of opportunity, this country does still remain, you know, if somebody has the grit, the tenacity, the perseverance, the drive, to change their life in a meaningful way. There’s an abundance of opportunity to do that here in the United States. And we certainly have many things to make better. But I think the American Dream is alive and well.
David Ralph [8:51]
But isn’t this, you know, not hanging on this subject forever in a day. But isn’t the American Dream now available to everyone through the internet, it doesn’t matter where you you live across the world, you’ve got the ability, the ability to connect with customers, you’ve never been able to, to get your profile out there. And all the kind of things would have been terribly difficult, maybe two generations ago, it’s just there at your fingertips. Isn’t the American Dream now bad for all of us?
Stephen Woessner [9:16]
Well, I think so to some extent, I mean, you know, you live in the UK, and so your political environment is conducive to that. I think, you know, some of your listeners who might live in different countries with different political environments, would say, Well, no, I, I have access issues, I, I I’m able to access the internet through sort of certain gateways, and I can’t see the entire thing. And and so, you know, I think it depends on on the, you know, the circumstances that somebody might be living in, in the country that they are living in. And and so there are those realities. If if somebody doesn’t have those restrictions, and they have access to the web, in his full form, you know, somebody The reality is, is somebody can get an Ivy League quality education for free, if they’re willing to put in the work. And if you’re willing to put in the work? Sure, absolutely. Then Then I think aspects of the American Dream are available to millions of people. And that should put a smile on most people’s faces.
David Ralph [10:20]
Yeah, we should it should we we’ve got opportunities that we’ve never had before. So um, so let’s start talking about your life before we start talking about lifting up the hood, or the Bonnie, as we say, in the United Kingdom of all the internet sites around there. But what what made you go into the army because you’re very entrepreneurial, you’re very conversational, you’re a communicator, what made this young lady to go into an environment which, in many ways, it gives you the foundations for a very good entrepreneurial life, because it gives you structure it gives you organization, and I’ve seen that time and time again, but in many ways is restrictive as well. What caused that?
Stephen Woessner [10:56]
Yeah, I think you just mentioned kind of the the pros and cons. And although the restriction, I think, you know, was good for me at that point in my life, and I actually signed up for the Air Force when I was a junior in high school. So I was already committed to serve. You know, when I was, I think 16 years old. In the delayed enlistment program, I knew that that’s what I was that I wanted to do. I wanted to serve because there’s a bit of a family legacy with that. My one of my grandfather’s, my grandfather, on my father’s side was had served in World War Two in the Army Air Corps here in the US. And then my uncle, my dad’s brother, served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. And so there’s a sense of patriotism, that runs very, very deep within me. So I felt like I needed to serve because that’s what I wanted to do. And I felt some level of obligation to do that, too. But But also, I knew that because I was a horrible student in high school, I graduated number 273, out of 300. And it isn’t because I was in the top percentile and the bottom percentile, so I just barely graduated. So being able to go into the service was also my pathway to college. And, and so through that, I got to learn something really new that I didn’t know before, I ended up working in nuclear missile silos and the prairies of South Dakota in the United States. And in did that for four years, it was fantastic. Most days were like 100%, pure adrenaline, I loved it, I loved every aspect of the troubleshooting the problem solving, doing it under pressure, doing it under tight timelines doing it while people were watching, I loved it. And the sense of danger, the exhilaration that came with it, I loved it. And through all of that, I learned, you know what, wow, I’m a pretty good problem solver. And I’m a, I’m a pretty good problem solver under pressure. And so I didn’t realize that my DNA, my entrepreneurial DNA was kind of being honed, I’m one of 10, grandkids, all of us became entrepreneurs, and was really sort of my coming out party, if you will, of really kind of understanding sort of what my chops were. And it was fantastic. And I also needed the restriction, you know, at that age being 18 to 22, I needed that structure of what you can and can’t do. So I really believe in looking back on at all, that that’s where I learned what my entrepreneurial DNA chops would be, then I’ve kind of been refining it over the last, you know, 25 years. And it’s been a whole lot of fun in the process.
David Ralph [13:32]
So that’s brilliant. So us at that point in your life where you have coming out of the army, but you’d already got a dawning realization that you was a problem solver. So that’s good. That is a super talent that can be developed, by course, you’ve got to take that idea of what you can do very well, and actually construct it into something that other people want. That is a big stumbling block that so many people have. So how did you do about how did you leave their into civilian life with this idea of I’m a good problem solver. But let’s make a business work?
Stephen Woessner [14:03]
Well, you know, in, there’s no such thing as an overnight success. And so we’re talking about, you know, a 2324 year journey, right, I’m 45. Now I got out of the service when I was 22. I was married at 21. And my wife and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in May of 2018. And so this has been a long progression. When I got out of the service. Actually, while I was in the service, I did an unpaid internship for an advertising agency in Rapid City, South Dakota, I did it for three months, worked my butt off for three months. And then they took me on as a part time job. And then when I got out of the service, it became my full time job. And I did that for about a year and a half. And through that I realized, gosh, I kind of liked this marketing thing. I like solving problems that I learned when I was a service, I kind of have a bit of a technical flair. You know, I like schematics and drawings and in hard stuff in you know, there’s kind of a home for me in the marketing world, being able to blend them talents, then we moved to Wisconsin, and we’ve been here for 2323 or 24 years. And and then I applied those talents at agencies here. And I’ve also owned five companies. And along the way, I worked for the University, the University of Wisconsin at the lacrosse campus for about six years. And I taught curriculum. And that’s when I wrote my first, you know, couple of books for business owners. And so through all of that distillation or kind of gestation, I guess is the better word I learned. You know, I like to solve problems, I have a bit of a technical flair, I like the web, but at the core, I’m a business person. And, and but through all of that I like research and I started uncovering things and you know, Google Analytics and piecing things together like the name of your show, you know join up dots I like solving puzzles. And that’s really all that this was for me, was starting to see data points and problems and all of that it was kind of like putting a big puzzle piece together. And then being able to work with some exceptional mentors along the way, who hugged and pushed me enough in this way that, you know, a business came came out of it. But it wasn’t, it wasn’t. It was because I made a lot of mistakes along the way and worked with some really, really smart people that we have the business that we do today.
David Ralph [16:19]
But those mistakes are the winds, aren’t they where we say this almost every day in join up dots more often than not, people say to me, I’m so glad I had those failures, because I don’t think I would have wanted ended up doing what that was pointed me towards, you know, everything sort of falls into a natural position. As long as you keep on moving forward. Do you see it in the same way?
Stephen Woessner [16:40]
Yeah, and I think that that’s the mature way to see it. Sometimes it’s really hard to see it that way, when you’re in the throes of it when you’re, you know, in the problem. And and I’ve had, I’ve had instances where, you know, I’ve lost $100,000 because of you know, my first big colossal mistake, my second big colossal mistake, I lost two hundred thousand dollars. And, you know, that’s real money. And it’s tough to be able to go through that situation saying, Well, you know, it’s, it’s all just good tuition. I mean, the reality is, is, is that freaking hurts when you’re going through that and you’re feeling the pain, you can’t pay stuff and, and there are people knocking on your door saying, hey, but you owe me for this, and you don’t have any money because you just lost it, that hurts. And so, you know, the reality is, is that there does need to be a grieving period, and whether that’s a few days or weeks or months, but we have to be able to acknowledge that we just went through something that was very traumatic, very painful. There’s a grieving period that goes with that. But afterwards, you also need to be able to buck up and pull yourself up and say, Well, you know what, losing $200,000 on that deal really was terrible. And that was painful. And I need to learn from that. But I gotta get back in the game. Or where am I going to be in the best of the best in this business? are the ones who are made colossal mistakes David like you’re talking about, but are also the ones who are able to have the mature mindset, like you just said, of, yeah, that was bad. And I learned this, this and this, and I’m going to apply it now. And I’m going to be better as a result.
David Ralph [18:15]
But let’s play some words. Now that’s going to take us to the next part of the conversation. He’s Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [18:21]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. When I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we couldn’t survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [18:47]
Now, that always leads me to the question, which is basically, did you know that you were going to love this? Or was it just a way of paying the bills you obviously do now and you love connecting with people and educating them and inspiring them and everything that you were saying? But at the beginning? Was it just the job? Was it just something? Oh, I think I could pay a few bills with this? You know,
Stephen Woessner [19:08]
that’s, that’s a really good question. And no one has ever asked me that before, and which is why I think it’s so great. And because it’s thought provoking. I think I think a lot of us go into sort of our passion areas, if you will, by somebody saying kind of recognizing maybe a talent in us and saying, Hey, could you solve this problem for me? You’re like, sure, you know, so predictive ROI started as a weekend project. My first SEO or my SEO book had just come out, and somebody hit me up, you know, through LinkedIn, or email or something and said, Hey, can I pay you 300 bucks to develop a keyword list? I’m like, Oh, awesome, you know, and I thought that was just fantastic. And so I did it. And I made 300 bucks. And I’m like, Man, that was kind of neat. And then you know, another project came in, and another project came in, and, and so then it started kind of like, again join up dots seeing the puzzle pieces. And I was doing work that I really, really loved. And it tied back to some of the things I’ve done for 15 years. And it was just a lot of fun. And so then, then that really turned into something that I knew that we could build a business around initially, though, yeah, it was something that would pay the bills, it was, you know, some quick money over a weekend. And then it was probably about a year or two of doing that there was like, you know, I think we might actually have something here. And then we’ve never looked back.
David Ralph [20:29]
He’s, he’s amazing when it comes together for you. Because I know this journey, the journey well, and with the show, which is the sort of main money and that I have took about three years. But my actual journey leading up to this show was about eight years doing little things and dabbling on this and just kind of what I thought was playing around in a dissatisfied way. When I was in a corporate gig, I was thinking that it’s gotta be more to this. If you do actually have to go on that journey. I don’t think anybody would be able to just go from A to be almost not overnight, but within about six weeks, six months or whatever, there’s got to be a progression, isn’t there?
Stephen Woessner [21:07]
Yeah, I think, you know, Malcolm Gladwell had a right. A lot of people have talked about this, of course, the 10,000 hours that it takes to become an expert. I think that’s legit. I think, you know, are there some, you know, lightning in a bottle overnight successes? Sure. And people sometimes like to point to the Facebook’s the Microsoft’s and, you know, the das story of Bill Gates writing that, okay, Bill Gates is a genius, and in also a great salesperson selling das before he’d ever written it. It’s a fantastic story, you know, Steve Jobs and Wozniak and how they brought Apple, but you know, a lot of people like to kind of glean over the fact that there were so many nights of grit and tenacity in some dudes garage, in southern or Northern California, in order to make that happened, or, or, you know, Facebook, you know, Facebook with a billion people’s like, Oh, it’s an order success? No, it isn’t. If you really go deep into that story, it’s packed full of, you know, bad relationships and litigation and people not liking each other. And, you know, the Harvard campus not really liking the first versions of because it was basically a dating site. And it wasn’t really very kind to some of the people profile, excuse me, profiles that were posted there. So are there really true things of an overnight success? No, I don’t think that they are instead, their pads like it took eight years for you to do what you did. And then three more years ago, written it out with a live show to where it’s like, oh, look at David now. Well, let’s not forget the 11 years plus those years before the 11 years of all of that context that made you into the man you are today. Because that is what’s really valuable.
David Ralph [22:53]
Oh, well say, Well, I’m gonna give you an applause on that. There we go a bit of an applause. That was that was powerful stuff. I need to have you as my my wake up alarm every morning, just your voice telling me these things.
Stephen Woessner [23:12]
You are very kind but but it is easy to lose sight of all the amazing, awesome, wonderful things, and all of the bad things that brought you to where you are today. And you know, one of my dear friends, her name is misty Lown. And I’ve interviewed her a couple of times, on onward nation, and she just recently in the Encore that we did just a few weeks ago, she said to me, you know, growing up, I didn’t have a lot. In fact, I had a lot of bad stuff. I didn’t have a lot of opportunity, I had a lot of challenges, I had a lot of obstacles. And when I was a young teen, I made some really bad choices as a young adult. And I had hardship. And I had struggle. And I had, you know a lot of grief. And people because of the the side of town that I grew up in, didn’t think that I would amount to much, which is a horrible label to assign to a young kid. But people did, they didn’t think that she would be much. And now she’s a beacon in her industry. And people look at her in the community and say, Oh my gosh, that’s misty, loud, with a with a, you know, a sound of pride in their voice. And they should because she is just a beacon of hope, a fantastic mentor, powered by, you know, the the devoted life to Christ that she lives in how she’s impacting kids, every single week and what she’s doing. But she said to me, I wouldn’t change a single thing in my story, because all of that gave me resilience. and resilience is a muscle Steven. And so I, I’m grateful for my path and struggle, because it made me who I am today. And that’s not hyperbole. That’s the truth.
David Ralph [24:51]
And when you look at it in your own life, and it has your persistence as your hustle, muscle grown men over a period of time, are you a much stronger man, when you would have been two years ago.
Stephen Woessner [25:03]
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, without a doubt. I mean, think about it. It’s like when when you go when you go into the gym, and you want to like you have a goal that you want to get to a 300 pound bench press. We don’t go in there on the first day and say, all right, load up 345 on each side, I’m going to pound this out, we’re going to do 315. And I’m going to do it for reps. I mean, Only a fool does that. Right. And so to approach your business in a similar way that oh, you know, I haven’t had the struggle, I don’t have the battle scars, I’ve not been in the trenches, I’m not done the hand to hand combat that it takes to be great at biz dev did to think that you’re that you’re just going to instantly be successful or that or that without the trial by fire. All of that is fantastic context, to really have great smarts. Otherwise, you’re just going to be a tumbleweed people are not going to take you seriously. Right? You just don’t jump been in think that you’re going to run a six or seven or eight figure business without the years in years of discipline in learning an application and failure that it takes in order to reach that now are there you know, prodigies are there? You know, people who are, you know, 15 years old and are crushing it? Yes. Because they are super smart and learning from other people’s mistakes. And they’re able to, to make those connections and be able to run at a pace and tempo. Are there people who are you know, super gifted? I don’t deny that. Absolutely. But that is not the norm. And that won’t be for the rest of us.
David Ralph [26:40]
So So if we’re taking this as a kind of personal standpoint, but it takes time to develop, it takes time to find your personal strength. I would say as well. The exact applies to website and website creation, which is your sort of super talent, delving into it and seeing what works. Are we fools to ourselves where we think we can throw up a website and it’s going to be perfect? Is it something that has to develop persistence itself,
Stephen Woessner [27:07]
absolutely be in your website will never be done, your sales funnel will never be perfect. Your email campaigns will never be right. Your Facebook ads will need to be dialed in continuously. The market moves needs move. So to think that you’re going to either put up a website today and you’re going to be you making X amount of dollars tomorrow is foolish, will you make some maybe when you make more 30 days from now, if you’re consistently testing and changing and so forth. Yeah, if you’re smart, that’s what you’re going to do. So to think that the the internet today with the a mass and flood of competitors who are really smart, and some of them are very well funded, they think you’re just going to walk into that space with, you know, throwing out a website that you built one night, and tomorrow is going to be infinitely successful, it’s foolish to think that you’re going to be able to learn that you’re going to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and one year, two year, three years, four years down the road, that you’re really going to have a successful business. Is that possible? Absolutely. If you’re willing to put in the work and learn along the way.
David Ralph [28:17]
I said we’ve your website, I was looking at your website, you’ve got eight money draining website mistakes, and also eight money making things. For somebody new building a business, what is the best one to focus on but draining website mistakes or money making? Because I would have said the draining ones would be an easy fix.
Stephen Woessner [28:37]
Yeah, absolutely. Especially, you know, using your framework there, if somebody’s just getting started, then then absolutely paying attention to the money during the mistakes. Because, you know, if you’re if you’re building something new or relatively new, you want to make sure that you don’t make mistakes out of the gate. And these are things that will literally cost you money. And in that in the first money training mistake is is really not knowing what your basis line is. And if you’re brand new, you are not going to have a baseline, and then not setting smart, which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time sensitive goals. And I know that you know David maybe some of your listeners like oh, well, that’s really profound that I need to set goals, you need to set very specific goals that are based on data, and set realistic expectations as it relates to finances, time, resources, otherwise, you will aimlessly wander through the wilderness, I constantly are consistently sit down with business owners, executive of small companies, large companies, and they can’t define what it is that they’re reasonably trying to accomplish within a reasonable timeframe. They don’t know I’m just going to throw this out there. We’re going to run Facebook ads, or we’re going to do a LinkedIn campaign or, or we’re going to do this that the other thing and see what it is we get. And that’s where big mistakes happen. And that’s why that’s why companies are leaking money out of their digital ecosphere, because they don’t act very rarely does a company know what it is that they’re trying to accomplish.
David Ralph [30:03]
As I was watching a video, I get lots of guests that come through to me and I go over onto their website, I do my due diligence. And more often than not is a video attached to more often than not, I click on it, and it bores me. And so I turn it off. But I was watching one with yourself. And I think it was Dan Hardy. It was about three weeks ago that I sort of watched it. And this gentleman was interviewing you about mistakes. And as I was half watching it, I suddenly become fully watching it, because the bit that really got me was the fact that people over complicate their websites. And I’ve got a business which I’m actually restructuring the homepage. Now, based on your advice. And what I loved about it was the well you tell us it’s the lack of distinction, people, I’ve only got a very short moment of time of looking at your website and knowing what it’s about and whether they want to be part of it. So give us a bit of background information on that. Please David
Stephen Woessner [30:57]
Yeah. And so the the lack of distinction distinct is a topic that I learned quite a bit about from my good friend and best selling author Hall of Fame speaker, Scott McCain, here in the US. And and Scott, you know, in these lessons of distinction is you know, we have a very short period of time to obviously capture somebody’s attention. And so we like to work clients through what we call the XYZ exercise, which means this, you need to be able to answer three very simple questions on behalf of your customer, or website, visitor, whatever context you want to think of it in, in here’s the three simple questions. We do x in x been the product or service that you’re delivering. So we do x we do we make widget widgets, or we provide accounting services, whatever the service might be, we do x for y, the customer profile for companies that are doing a million to $20 million a year in revenue or for whoever whatever the customer profile is. So we do x for y, then the last question is, so they can Z and Z beam the result outcome. So z is you know, so they can generate two to 500% return on investment on their digital spend or so they can, you know, increase retention rates or you know, whatever the Z would be for your customer. So, we do x for y, so they can see if you get really clear on the answer of those questions. And that is truly the value proposition for your client and or prospect, then you will create distinction, and you put that on your website, your bounce rate goes down, lead gen goes up, lots of wonderful things happen when you can really identify with who it is you’re trying to serve.
David Ralph [32:44]
Yeah, brilliant, brilliant stuff. But of course, for English speaking languages I have to explain is actually x y, Zed. That’s that’s how you say it, sir. It’s not x, y, z. Who’s ever told you that? I don’t know. But I’m
Unknown Speaker [32:59]
David Ralph [33:00]
But there is an example that you put which, which is brilliant. So this is like an example of what we’re talking about. On the front page, your homepage. This is a simple example about for a bakery, we bake quality, gluten free treats, but cookie lovers in University Park, so they can enjoy sweets without getting sick. very sure about instantly you look at it, and you think oh, well, that’s me. That’s me. I don’t want to get sick. But I don’t need to eat that. Bang. I’m into that. And that’s that’s a big failure, isn’t it? And I realized that with my, I actually have a podcasting mastery course, which goes very, very well. But I realized that I was missing a trick, because it’s almost too complicated at the beginning, there’s too much information on it. So I’m in the process of stripping it down. Because of that.
Stephen Woessner [33:44]
Excellent. Well, fantastic. And you’re exactly correct, stripping it down, that that’s what’s important, doesn’t mean dumbing it down. That’s, that’s a big distinction, right? So your customers and prospects, it’s not that they’re not bright enough to get something this complicated. That’s not it, it’s just being able to really speak to the pain point, as you just mentioned, this example. And so making it stripped down, making it super simple and easy and quick to understand. That’s the key and how fast you can solve the problem.
David Ralph [34:16]
And while I always teach people a is about First of all, and you’ve got it on your side, as well, you got to know your customer, you’ve got to at least understand what you’re fishing, or so that you can use the right bait. If you just blast it out to everyone, no one’s going to pay any attention. But if you just poke your little fishing rod, with the right bait in the right, fishing, how you’re going to catch something. And so many people don’t bother doing that, do they? They don’t bother going over to Facebook and finding these groups, these forums and then asking questions based on what they’re about to issue is a big, I don’t understand why they don’t do it. Because it seems obvious to me.
Stephen Woessner [34:55]
Because it’s work. Right. It’s it’s work. It’s It’s hard work. I think that I think that there’s so much well in in your course is not like this, but but I I wonder if you would agree with this. It drives me bananas, that, you know, every person who’s been doing something for like three or four weeks decides to come out with some you know, Cornerstone course. Yeah. teaching you how to do this out of the other thing. Yeah. And there’s no good content is rat full of Mike marketing hyperbole. And largely, it’s crap. It’s like, you know, for Pete’s sake. And so I think that it’s easy to get wrapped up in that gold rush marketing, hyperbole thinking, Oh, well, this is just going to be easy. No, you know, so David’s got a course. And he’s got 11 years of experience, at least, with respect to what gives him the credibility to produce great content. And he does produce great content, because he’s got 11 years of context, in that area, plus everything before that, you know, as a business person, professionals so forth, that is blended into that, that makes it legit. He’s not some overnight person who decided to wake up one day and say, yeah, you know, I think I’ll create a course. But there’s so much of that out there David and my guess is that drives you nuts to
David Ralph [36:15]
always move and bananas is the whole fruit basket, I would go with eight does a journalist me mental a three things drive me mental. Number one, everybody says that they were an entrepreneur, like it’s some kind of super talent. And I just say an entrepreneur is somebody that’s willing to make mistakes, and keep going, you know, there’s not a super talent attached to being an entrepreneur, and anybody who says I drives me mad, although I probably have said it on my website as well. Secondly, I hate the fact that everybody has puts expert after it. And they’ve literally just walked out of a job. And then they’re an expert in something. And that last one, yeah, that last one is, yeah, it’s a course, get my free part course and mean, you will do x y, Zed stuff. And I never pay for anything, unless I can see that that website has been around for five years. And if that websites been around for five years, and there’s a great thing called wayback machine, where you can actually look at snapshots and see how long it’s been around for, then I don’t go near it. And also what I do as well, I’m telling you, under the hood, or under the bonnet, here we go. I always go into LinkedIn as well. And I look at the person who is doing these things. And if they’ve just been working in a bike bakery two minutes beforehand, and now they’re telling me about SEO. I don’t go anywhere near
Stephen Woessner [37:41]
that. Okay, so you just gave your listeners, you know, the great sort of litmus test to be able to evaluate all course providers by that have that person here she does not have the depth in won’t pass the litmus test the David just gave you then go invest in somebody who can, because otherwise, it is a waste of money, and you’re buying hyperbole?
David Ralph [38:07]
Absolutely. I think we want the same sheet here. So I think we should go into business, and just create a new business all around. It’s a small world, I think that’s the way to do it. And I don’t know how it’s going to lead in. I don’t know about a copy, right. But it’s still in my head, I can’t get free from it. So the very last one I want to look at just before I actually push away from this, and we we bring on Steve Jobs who’s waiting in the wings is the big ambiguous calls to action. What what does that actually made on a website? Because I think that is a real Biggie?
Stephen Woessner [38:40]
Well, it is because, you know, we unintentionally think that, you know, we look through the calls to action where we’re asking somebody to do something, or we think we are in unfortunately, we’re just not 100% clear. And so what I mean by that is, is to remove that ambiguity, you literally need when David is looking at your website, you literally need to say, David, enter your email address here. Click is your next step the download button here, and then you will get this. And and I know that might that that is simple. But if you go back into your website, I can almost assured you, your listeners that it isn’t that clear in it literally needs to be step one, step two, step three, with super granularity, very specific, no ambiguity that you could walk a kid in a gardener up to that call to action or that landing page in that kindergartener could say, Oh, I need to enter my email address here. And then when I do I get that, that’s how specific it needs to be. And, you know, one of the other money draining mistakes is there’s just too much stuff. Most of us think like giving somebody the abundance of choice is what they want. And it isn’t, instead of having seven 15 different offers, or options, have three and remove the ambiguity behind those three. So it is very simple. Tell David step one, step two, step three. That’s how you do it and remove any any shred of ambiguity.
David Ralph [40:16]
Yeah, and if you are struggling to make your website clear listeners just send it over to my wife, because if she doesn’t get it in about 1.2 seconds, g8, she’s off, she’s off, it’s got to be totally clear for my wife, every business is a business.
Stephen Woessner [40:35]
Indeed, my friend,
David Ralph [40:36]
so let’s bring him on the show. This is the part of the show that we’ve been kind of building up to that leads to be your personal journey back in time. But these words were said back in 2005. By the late Steve Jobs, always worth listening to again, his Steve
Steve Jobs [40:49]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards, 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [41:24]
As such powerful words, are they
Stephen Woessner [41:26]
they are and I think that that was the Stanford graduation address that he delivered. That’s right. But But Yes, they are. Yeah, they are powerful in in very accurate.
David Ralph [41:38]
So in your own life, obviously, we’ve been looking back already. And we started off with the the army job. And then the the big mistakes you made and you lead through, is it simple enough to say yes, I can join up my dots.
Stephen Woessner [41:52]
But absolutely. And so I think that Steve was 100% correct, that it’s difficult to see how the trial and error that you may be, you know, in today, how that fits is a fantastic.or puzzle piece into, you know, really what, what is that puzzle? Or what is that tapestry of your life? You know, it’s it’s impossible to see that. But But if we have a grateful spirit, despite the pain and suffering, and we realize, okay, this situation today is really, really hard. If I but if I’m grateful for having it, even though I don’t know why I’m having it, and what all this means right now. But if I can trust in my spirit in that God is, is putting me through something right now that I might not understand. But that I’m going to understand, you know, in Steve’s words, 10 years from now, then that gives us the ability to be grateful for the experience, even though it’s hard. And because it’s really going to be valuable at some point in the future. So I think he’s spot on with what he said.
David Ralph [42:55]
So when when was your big moment when Stephen when you put your hands behind your head info? This is it, I’ve got it, I’ve got it, I know where I’m heading, this is what I want to do. You know,
Stephen Woessner [43:07]
I think I have a series of those, you know, kind of often really, and, you know, so like it so you know, I’ve talked about my my grandfather, you know, a few minutes ago, with in I’ve studied his life, and he passed away when I was a freshman in high school. So I had a lot of context with him. And, you know, it wasn’t really until probably about a year or so ago, that I had one of those moments, putting my hands behind my head and saying, Oh my gosh, that’s why pop did what he did. That’s why because it like intersected his story intersected with pieces of my experience. And then I had such a greater appreciation for what it is that he did and the sacrifices that he made. Or, you know, when you know, we’re working through growing the business right now, and we’re adding full time employees as quickly as we can. And we’re growing the business us right now. And so with that, you know, we’ve got new businesses coming in, you know, through our biz dev pipeline, and we’ve got new talent that’s coming in, through our, you know, pipeline for talent. And that takes that creates cash flow constraints and moving things around and scheduling, you know, payments and working things out in a creative way with, you know, vendors and partners and even customers, then I think, geez, you know, three years ago, when we were having really serious cash flow constraints in the business, and I was constantly doing what I was calling the shell game, that was really, that was really painful then. And now I can do that at a much greater degree. So I had one of those moments that you just described, where I’m like, oh, back then when the numbers weren’t as big, and the challenges weren’t as great even though they felt like they were that’s given me the the chops that I need today to manage bigger numbers and manage more people and more complexity and more deadlines. So I think that there’s In my opinion, there’s not one defining moment, where you get total clarity, at least not for me, it’s coming bits and pieces, where I can look back and say, That’s how all of that made sense. today. You know, what, 10 years from now, I’m going to look back at it today and say, Okay, now that’s given me the guts, you the strength and the ability to do what I’m doing now. So I think that that’s always evolving, in my opinion.
David Ralph [45:26]
And so in the next two or three years, there’s still going to be times when we can come into a room and find you rocking in your dressing gown and shaved thinking, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.
Stephen Woessner [45:40]
I think so you know, absolutely. Because that is also in my opinion, that’s the sign of growth. That’s the sign of challenges, you know that this will never be easy. If we’re truly committed to building a great business, there is always something to learn, there are always new challenges is on the horizon. Because if you didn’t have that, then you’d be static, that you would be you know, stale that you’d be growing old and that you would soon to be disrupted. One of our values here predictive ROI is life is not static. There is always something to learn. There’s always some sort of, you know, way to change the business. As a lesson I learned from Kevin Harrington, one of the sharks in, you know, the ABC Emmy Award winning show Shark Tank here in the US. And he said to me is like, you know, when I was in college, Stephen, I had 25 employees, and I was running a $6 million HPC business, you know, contracting company. And then, you know, he told me the story about how he invented the infomercial, he already had a $6 million business, he didn’t need a new business. But he saw because life is not static. And those are the eyes in which he looks at the world, that even though he was rocking it, he saw this opportunity, and he turned it into $5 billion in worldwide sales. So life is not static. If you want to be great, then you have to realize that you’re constantly pushing and changing and in learning something new, or else you just kind of fall asleep at the wheel. Right stuff,
David Ralph [47:14]
right stuff. And it’s led us perfectly to the end of the show where we’re going to send you on another journey back to speak to your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the younger Stephen, what age would you choose? And what advice would you like to give him? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the music. And when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Stephen Woessner [47:58]
Hey, Steven, I know you’re not teen years old right now. And you just had one of the most traumatic experiences of your life. You got called on a Sunday afternoon and you’re just hanging out with Christine and her family. And, and and you were asked to, you know, buckle up and grab your gear in dispatch in an emergency situation out to a missile silo that we thought was going to be on fire. And so you had to run into a situation, you and your teammates Steve along with your security escort. And it was a true life and death situation. You thought that there was fire inside a missile silo where there was a nuclear missile and a bomb, and you defuse the situation because of great teamwork, good decision making. And and in through all of that you’re searching for the meaning? Well, I’m here to tell you, you know, four or 26 years later, the meaning of that day was a you really learned legitimately under fire, what it means to travel, shoot and solve a problem and the power of teamwork in great communication, and taking decisive action in a hurry. And that experience on that summer day is going to fuel you for the rest of your life, and be able to drive home like communication and teamwork and respect and responsibility and taking action quickly. How that can help you build businesses, build teams, build relationships, and it’ll be the fiber of you know, when you have a really bad day going forward for the rest of your life. You can sit there and think, hmm, was this situation worse or more dangerous than running into a missile silo? I thought was on fire? Nope. Okay, I got this. That’s what I would say to my younger self, that 19 brilliant stuff.
David Ralph [49:51]
Brilliant stuff. Stephen, what is the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Stephen Woessner [49:55]
You can find me at onward nation. com my direct email address, if any anybody’s interested is Stephen St. e. Ph. e. n. At onward nation. com I read and reply to every single one. So feel free to drop me a note.
David Ralph [50:10]
We’ll have over links on the show notes to make it as easy as possible for people to connect. Stephen, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots, and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Stephen. Thank you so much.
Stephen Woessner [50:28]
David, thank you sincerely for the wonderful invitation to be here with you on your show. It was a great experience. I hope I delivered some value but it was a whole heck of a lot of fun. Spending time with you. And I’m grateful for the invitation. Thank you sir.
David Ralph [50:44]
That was Stephen. Stephen was no I hope I said his name. I should have asked what his name was. If I said your name wrong, Stephen. I do apologize. But what a lovely guest what a truly lovely guest and somebody that found something he was a problem solver. But then he went on that journey trying to find where that problem solving would fit in. And he’s found by he’s found that the fact that people are wasting so much money and opportunities on websites and he can look at it and and diagnose what’s wrong. I do recommend if you have got a business or you’re thinking of going starting a business go over to predictive roi.com and look for the money draining mistakes online. Because I make a lot of sense and when you read for me if a god slap years like Homer Simpson, do you just think what am I doing so I’m going to be revamping a lot of my stuff based on that information because it’s gold. Thank you so much for listening once again to join up dots I’m going to be coming soon with a few more solo shows I’ve got things I need to talk about, but doesn’t fit into the interview sections. And until then we will see you again cheers see
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur precious This is including the two that changed his life. Head over to join up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on join up dots.