In this episode, Stacy sits down with marketing consultant, speaker, author, and the founder of Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network, John Jantsch. The two discuss how important it is for entrepreneurs to have a sense of self-reliance, empathy, and time management. John reads a few excerpts from his most recent book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur: 366 Daily Meditations to Feed Your Soul and Grow Your Business, to discuss how entrepreneurs can best tackle these issues.
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Welcome to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. I’m Stacy Jones, the founder of influencer marketing and branded content agency Hollywood Branded. This podcast provides brand marketers a learning platform for topics for which to share their insights and knowledge on topics which make a direct impact on your business today.Stacy Jones: 00:16
While it is impossible to be well versed on every topic and strategy that can improve bottom line results, my goal is to help you avoid making costly mistakes of time, energy, or money, whether you are doing a DIY approach or hiring an expert to help. Let’s begin today’s discussion.Speaker 2: 00:31
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. Here’s your host, Stacy Jones.
Stacy Jones: 00:36
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. I’m Stacy Jones. I’m so happy to be here with you all today and I want to give a very warm welcome to our guest. He’s a marketing consultant, speaker, author, and the founder of Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
Stacy Jones: 00:50
I’m excited to introduce you to the wonderful John Jantsch. Duct Tape Marketing helps small businesses through their turnkey marketing growth system that helps increase engagement, improve retention, triple sales closure rates, and much more. John is known for his books including Duct Tape Marketing, The Referral Engine, and The Commitment Engine, and his latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur: 366 Daily Meditations to Feed Your Soul and Grow Your Business. A daily reminder to entrepreneurs that a better you makes a better business.
Stacy Jones: 01:18
With more than 30 years of marketing experience, John has so much knowledge to share with us. And quite frankly, I’m excited to have him on the show because he’s one of those few people that I consistently always turn to for advice. Because he’s just easy to understand and good.
Stacy Jones: 01:33
Today we’re going to talk about what John sees as one of the biggest hurdles business owners and entrepreneurs need to face head on. We’ll learn what has worked from John’s experience, what could be avoided, and how some people are missing the Mark. John, welcome.
John Jantsch: 01:47
Thanks for having me, Stacy.
Stacy Jones: 01:47
Of course. So can you tell our listeners a little bit about you if they don’t know who you are, and how you got to where you are today?
John Jantsch: 01:55
Sure. So I founded my own independent marketing agency 30 years ago and it really was … That sounds sort of glamorous. I mean I really just figured I wanted to do my own thing. I knew I could hustle work. So I took pretty much anything, without a plan, anything anybody would throw my way.
John Jantsch: 02:14
I found that I got a couple of small business clients and I found that I really loved working with small business owners, kind of doing all of their marketing, but I also found it really challenging. At least I had worked for an ad agency, and we had a very kind of traditional approach to serving a client. And I realized that approach would not work with small business owners. They have the same needs as much larger organizations, but certainly never the same budgets or even attention spans.
John Jantsch: 02:40
So at some point I decided that I needed to create an approach where I could walk in and say, “Here’s what I’m going to do. Here’s what you’re going to do. Here’s the results we hope we get. And by the way, here’s what it costs.” And in kind of trying to address my frustration, I tapped into what is still today I think one of the greatest frustrations with many small business owners. It’s hard to buy marketing services as a small business. And it’s gotten harder because there are so many more pieces of the puzzle. So many people selling pieces of the puzzle.
John Jantsch: 03:08
And so, the fact that somebody came in and said, we’re going to install a marketing system, it’s going to be based on strategy before tactics and it’s all going to be integrated. All this stuff’s going to work together and you’re going to know what the cost is.
John Jantsch: 03:20
That was kind of music to their ears. And that was really the genesis of Duct Tape Marketing, the name Duck Tape Marketing. I felt like I had to give it a kind of more product brand name. And so to me that just felt like the perfect metaphor for what it’s like to run and grow a small business. I am a small business owner still today, so I certainly was very aware of what they go through and what we go through.
John Jantsch: 03:44
That turned into a book. That turned into a network of independent marketing consultants now that license and use The Duct Tape Marketing system as well as really let’s face it, collaborate as a group as well.
John Jantsch: 03:58
And, my sixth book is The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur and it is definitely a very different book for me.
John Jantsch: 04:07
But it was again, another way that I wanted to contribute back to in some small part, the thousands of small business owners I’ve worked with over the years. I think you kind of get the how to part. I mean, shoot, if you don’t know how to do something, just Google it and a YouTube video will show up and tell you exactly how to do everything.
John Jantsch: 04:26
But the part that I think is sort of missing is the why to, or the mindset that it takes to stay focused on, what you believe is the right path for you when there are just so many things, so many people trying to knock you off that path. So this book in a lot of ways, David Meerman Scott, I’m sure many of your listeners are familiar with a friend of mine who wrote the new rules of marketing and PR and he calls this my love letter to entrepreneurs. And in a lot of ways it really is. It’s a reflection of my experience of what I believe, but hopefully a gift that I put a lot of time and energy into writing.
Stacy Jones: 05:03
Well, I will say that I have managed to make it through an entire month in the last few days since receiving your book. So thank you for sharing that with me-
John Jantsch: 05:11
Stacy Jones: 05:11
… And it is really great. And what I love about it is it is daily advice literally on each day that tackles a different subject. And while not every single subject may be that focused for you at that moment, I will say in 31 days of December, I’ve found I think seven different things that stood out to me that I know I need to focus on and change, because it will change my business and will change my personal life.
John Jantsch: 05:39
Yeah. That’s a great point because it’s so funny. I mean I wrote these and let’s face it, they were based a lot on my experience, my feelings, so buyer beware with that. But, I find that that 10 people can read the same page and it will mean different things to them. And I think that’s one of the beauties of the format, which as you said is 366 daily entries. But every day starts with a reading from some historical literature that I mind, that we can talk about why I chose that if you want. And then 150, 200 words of me kind of contextualizing it.
John Jantsch: 06:18
But then I also end every day with a question. And some people have told me that a lot of times they don’t know the answer to that question, but it kind of haunts them throughout the day and they start kind of witnessing how things are showing up that maybe help them have a little better understanding of how they might answer that question.
Stacy Jones: 06:36
Yeah. And what I also love about your book is that I think that if I read it today and I read it in a year from now, that focus point maybe more relevant at that time than today or today versus then because it’s going to be flowing with your life and where you are actually at it too.
John Jantsch: 06:52
Yeah. There are a number of books. In fact, I just did it over the weekend that I’ve read multiple, multiple times. Deepak Chopra book called The seven spiritual habits of successful people, is a book I’ve probably read if I’m being honest, two dozen times maybe. Because, it takes about an hour and a half to read it and I just am always amazed at how often I’m like, when did that get in there? It’s like I don’t remember that point last time.
John Jantsch: 07:15
And I think that’s absolutely true. I mean, if you read January 1st, 2020 by January 1st, 2021 you’ll be a different person. And so there’s no question that that reading, may hit you completely differently.
Stacy Jones: 07:29
And before we dive into why you chose the authors that you chose, and I will say that I think the passages that you chose are extremely relevant to the takeaways that you have dived into. I love the fact how you simplify everything, you really do. Your writing and how you actually share and teach is always very much so based on simplification, and that’s so novel and nice.
John Jantsch: 07:57
It turns out it’s actually harder than doing the other. Writing these short entries for this book was a lot harder than going on for 5,000 words about how I do something. And I think most authors will tell you this, the writing of this book was a real growth experience for me as well.
Stacy Jones: 08:17
So you chose to focus on transcendentalism.
John Jantsch: 08:20
Stacy Jones: 08:21
So why? What made you [inaudible 00:08:23] … I love that. And I will tell you, my husband, former English teacher and then principal and now agency COO, he was like, “He wrote down that? That’s fantastic.” And we had a full on conversation. I felt like I was back in high school revisiting all the authors.
John Jantsch: 08:38
Yes. The literature nerds among us really enjoy this. You know, it was really more the time period I think of what was going on, because there is a tremendous amount of transcendentalist literature. Folks names that people would recognize certainly that were of that movement, Emerson and Thoreau and Louisa May Alcott.
John Jantsch: 09:01
But I actually found that a lot of the fiction that was written during that period, books that we read, Moby Dick and Scarlet Letter, it was kind of the first time, if you think about what was going on in America, 1850 or so, so it’s mid 19th century. We are on the cusp of the civil war. Women are marching in the streets to get the right to vote. We’re trying to abolish slavery. It was the first sort of counter-cultural period in America where all of a sudden you had movements like the transcendentalists that were saying, “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t be listening just to what our preacher says, or our teacher says, or our parents or the politicians. Maybe we should start thinking for ourselves and follow our heart. I mean we’re all endowed with this unique soul. We need to just go through life figuring out what’s the right path for us.”
John Jantsch: 09:52
I just happened to think that sounds like some pretty tremendous entrepreneurial advice. And even the protagonists in those works of fiction. It was kind of the first time where you started having characters show up and say, “Look, this may cost me, in the eyes of others, but this is the only way to be true to me.” And I think that that’s what most entrepreneurs really need to do. I think it’s what most humans are put on this earth to do is to find out kind of what their unique purpose is. I mean, if we scientifically agreed that every single one of us has a different DNA, we’re admitting that we’re all completely unique and why wouldn’t we have a unique purpose?
Stacy Jones: 10:30
No, it’s true. And I think a lot of the writing of that era is talking about getting back into nature and focusing on the universe and letting ideas generate. You touch on all of these.
John Jantsch: 10:44
I do. Some people have accused me of actually writing a spiritual book. But there certainly is in the transcendentalist literature, and let’s face it, I just happen to believe this to be true as well. They borrowed very heavily from some of the eastern wisdom traditions that profess kind of, we’re all connected. All human beings, all living things are connected in this great cosmos. And, if that’s the case then to me, self-reliance or becoming more self-reliant implies that you will actually trust your own heart but that you’ll actually have more empathy for everybody else’s position. And there’s no question as entrepreneurs, we don’t go it alone. I mean we count on support and collaboration and communities like crazy. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that our decisions and what to do are dictated by those folks in those communities or in that support.
Stacy Jones: 11:42
Yeah, definitely. In December, since that’s the chapter, the section, the calendar time I focused on, I know you spoke about time and focusing and the need for entrepreneurs to do that. Why is that so essential?
John Jantsch: 11:57
I know you talk a lot about mistakes that businesses make as part of the focus of this show. And to me the biggest mistake I see people make is, if you were going to ask anybody what’s their biggest constraint? Any percent of entrepreneurs will say it’s time. And what I would suggest is that it’s focus. Because what happens through time is, we feel like we have to be doing 29 different things at once. We’re multitasking, we check into Facebook 18 times a day. And the reality is, I can’t tell you how many days I’ve worked in an eight hour a day and about a 45 minute period during that day produced completely all the output for the month. That was really through high payoff work.
John Jantsch: 12:43
And so, I do this with a lot of the businesses that we work with is that on a quarterly basis we’ll allow them to identify two or three main priorities. And basically then say, okay, what are all of the things that need to happen if we’re going to meet those objectives, those priorities? Everything else goes on the back burner until we’re focusing on that.
John Jantsch: 13:05
And again, there’s lots of balls to juggle, but if we start our day thinking what are the two or three things that if they got done today are going to make the most impact, then all that other stuff, maybe we can forget about doing it.
Stacy Jones: 13:20
Yeah. It’s just like when you have a fire. Everything is going to hell. Whatever’s happened is happened. And all your focus is on that in that moment as an entrepreneur, your business still keeps on ticking when you’re dealing with that fire. So if we could just focus is what you’re saying on not on preplanned fires maybe, that would be a better way of going about it.
John Jantsch: 13:44
And, one of the challenges we have today is it is so easy to get distracted. And that’s not unique necessarily to today. We feel like it is. But if you read some of, particularly Thoreau wrote about this all the time. If you read some of the passages in Walden, you’d think he was talking about Facebook today and social media. About the distractions and the challenges and the lack of focus.
John Jantsch: 14:11
Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing this for a long time, but I just feel like there’s so many ways to waste your time during the day in things that ultimately aren’t going to have any pay off. Let’s face it, a lot of it is procrastination. I mean how often do we reach for our phone because the work that’s in front of us feels hard?
Stacy Jones: 14:32
Yep. And we just don’t want to do it.
John Jantsch: 14:34
Stacy Jones: 14:36
You also touched on the flow and being in the moment and actually being receptive and getting on that river where everything is just moving so smoothly and you’re just in sync with the universe.
John Jantsch: 14:51
Well, I think that one of the themes that comes up time and again with the transcendentalists for sure is this idea of mindfulness. And I think that a great deal of the stress and the distraction that many of us feel in our lives is because we’re worrying about yesterday, we’re worrying about tomorrow, we’re worrying about what somebody thinks. We’re worrying about all the things that are completely out of our control. And really the only two things we can control are how we show up every day and how we respond to what goes on during the day. That’s it.
John Jantsch: 15:23
I think that if you come to that realization and you start letting go of all those things that you can’t control, first off, you’re going to be more in the moment, which is, the present moment is the only thing you can control. But I think also it’s a way to bring a lot more joy and happiness back into the work that you’re doing. Because, the fear of what’s going to happen tomorrow, the fear of what happened yesterday I think is sucking the life out of a lot of entrepreneurs.
Stacy Jones: 15:53
And without sucking the life. You actually talk about finding time, like morning time.
John Jantsch: 15:59
Yeah. I’ve just done it for 20 years, but I’m not unique. I mean a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of individuals, period, have kind of gotten into this idea that morning time is kind of your time to get yourself right and get yourself ready for the day. People take lots of different approaches to it. But even Thoreau was a big fan of journaling and walking and time and solitude.
John Jantsch: 16:23
So I think a lot of entrepreneurs, I know myself when I get up, first thing I do is meditate. I do read, I mean, I wrote this book sort of because it fit into the format that I wanted. I try to exercise almost on a daily basis. And if I miss some of those steps, I don’t feel as centered and ready to take on the day. And I think a lot of people agree with that idea.
John Jantsch: 16:49
And so, I wrote this book to kind of feed more of a practice, rather than “Oh here’s a book, take it on vacation, read it and you’ll have a bunch of great ideas.” It’s more like, “Come back to it every single day as part of your your routine.”
Stacy Jones: 17:02
Yeah. And there’s a reason I didn’t plow through and try to reread your entire book before getting on this because I would have missed the whole gist of what you are training everyone to do. You really have created a journal, something that you can sit down … If you don’t have the meditation practice going right now, you don’t have that me time, you actually have delivered this as a gift to people where they can take this and they can start off the new year or anytime of the year and read the passage, read your commentary and then reflect for a moment.
John Jantsch: 17:34
I have a lot of people that have told me that … Because there isn’t any one way, it’s certainly designed to follow along on a daily basis. But I have a lot of people would tell me that they sometimes feel like that’s not enough. So they’ll jump around and read a couple more pages. Just that random. Every month actually has a little bit of a theme. So if you’re thinking, I want to read about courage or trust, you can jump to the month that has that as well.
John Jantsch: 18:02
I talked to my publisher into allowing me to put two lines at the bottom under every question. So for those people that don’t think it’s defacing the book, it gives you a place to write right there. I’m sure that there are people out there that have a regular journaling practice and they might just have that journal with them, read and then go to their journal.
Stacy Jones: 18:25
Yeah. The problem with your two lines, I can always tell you is it’s not enough. I would divide it up the page across the page, down the page.
John Jantsch: 18:34
And that’s okay too. I know a lot of people have kind of adopted a journaling practice as well.
Stacy Jones: 18:42
Yep. 100%. And then you also talk a lot about what really resounded with me is that, you’re exchanging your life right now for every moment that you’re spending working. You’re taking away from moments that you could be living and doing something else. And that’s something I think entrepreneurs oftentimes forget. We get into this whole, we must make this happen. We must get this much sales. We must do this for employees. We must do this for clients. And we forget about the fact that [inaudible 00:19:10] inching the moments that we have here on earth with everything.
John Jantsch: 19:14
Yeah. Or the or the bigger trap, when I get here I’ll be happy. I will succeed, I will have arrived. And until you can succeed and arrive in where you are right now, it’s always going to be the next thing that you’re going to need.
Stacy Jones: 19:29
Right. So that was a great focus. Now you had said that you would read a passage and I could [crosstalk 00:19:33]. Yeah. I had given you a date of August 7th because that’s when I founded my agency back in 2007, and that you could share what that day looks like and I haven’t seen it. So this will be wonderful.
John Jantsch: 19:52
I think it’s perfect one for this, but you get to be the judge. So every day starts with there was a title to the reading and then some literature that this happens to be from Ralph Waldo Emerson, self reliance. And then this one’s a shorter one. This is probably under a 100 words from me, and then you get a question.
John Jantsch: 20:13
August 7th, get what you need. Discontent is the want of self-reliance. It is in affirmative of will. Regret calamities if you can, thereby help the sufferer. If not, attend your own work and already the evil begins to be repaired.
John Jantsch: 20:32
That’s from Ralph Waldo Emerson self-reliance, which was written in 1841.
Stacy Jones: 20:36
John Jantsch: 20:37
Emerson may have liked the lyric from the rolling stones, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you might find that you get what you need.” Be content when you’re on the road to self-reliance. Not complacent, but happy with right now while preparing to make a big fat dent in your space. That’s content. Go through life discontented and you’ll constantly seek happiness in and from things outside of your control.
John Jantsch: 21:04
So your challenge question today, how are you using your gifts to contribute to something?
Stacy Jones: 21:10
That’s some wonderful writing. That’s a great day and it’s a great one for starting a business day celebration too.
John Jantsch: 21:17
It is, it is. Funny how these things mold themselves to just the right tone in situation.
Stacy Jones: 21:27
That’s very, very true. So your suggestions to our listeners are to take it as the day it is or to choose a chapter or choose a month under a theme and to start working your way through?
John Jantsch: 21:41
I think so. I mean clearly working your way through is a great approach. I will tell you, and again, I wrote a great deal of this. We’re now recording this in the beginning of 2020. I wrote a great deal of this in the spring and summer of 2019. So I don’t always remember what I wrote and I have a lot of fun and maybe that’s just me, but I have a lot of fun just randomly picking a page some days too.
John Jantsch: 22:11
I think there was a sort of designed way to read it, but I think whatever works for you, there are a lot of ways you can approach it.
Stacy Jones: 22:17
Yep. And I sat down and over several days read through December, and that was a really nice way to go because I was able to think about it and really dive in deeply about the thoughts that you brought up.
John Jantsch: 22:30
Yeah. And if you like the sound of my voice, there is an audio version that I read. It took me 22 hours in the studio to read. But there are definitely more and more people … This is as I said, my sixth book, and over the years, audio books were almost an afterthought. When my first book came out, and now there are a lot of books that the audio book outsells actually the print book. And certainly this is one that could have that potential. Because, you think about guided meditations that people use on apps and things like that. It’s certainly kind of falls into that category.
Stacy Jones: 23:07
Well, are there any last words of advice you’d like to give our listeners today?
John Jantsch: 23:12
Well, the one I find myself giving a lot lately is experience a lot of new things. Experience things that are completely or seemingly completely outside of what you should be interested in given your chosen path. Read books on strange subjects. Strange is a relative term. On subjects that are strange to you.
John Jantsch: 23:36
To me, I think over the years that’s been one of the things that really has allowed me to not only stay curious, but to stay really enthused about what I do and get to do. I get some of my best ideas from books on architecture and math and things. Because there are so many systems I think in nature and in life that can be applied to things that we think are outside of our industry. I mean, the worst thing you can do is only read marketing blogs and only listen to marketing podcasts and only read marketing books. Because I think that in some sense, you get very insulated doing that. And I think your diversity of thought and diversity of experience is what’s going to actually make you more valuable as a greater contributor to the world or certainly to the clients that you serve.
Stacy Jones: 24:25
And your family as well.
John Jantsch: 24:27
Stacy Jones: 24:28
Who may not want to just listen to marketing and business all day long from your lips.
John Jantsch: 24:33
I’m certain of that.
Stacy Jones: 24:36
Awesome. So we can listen to you on your audio book, or everyone can buy The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur: 366 Daily Meditations to Feed Your Soul and Grow Your Business. I know it’s available on Amazon, I believe, right?
John Jantsch: 24:49
It’s available really anywhere you buy books. I always like to give a plug for if you’ve got that nice little corner bookstore in your community, certainly support them as well. But yeah, all the traditional kind of online retailers, you can get it there as well.
John Jantsch: 25:05
And if you want to just hear more interviews like this or find out more of the book, it’s just self-reliantentrepreneur.com. If you want to get a peek at what I’ve been doing in the last 30 years or so, it’s just ducttapemarketing.com, which is D-U-C-T T-A-P-E marketing.com.
Stacy Jones: 25:24
And you can listen to your podcasts.
John Jantsch: 25:27
That’s right. The podcast that I’ve been doing since, I think I’m going into year 15 in January. I adopted that pretty early and stuck with it. I know there are thousands and thousands of new podcasts now, but I’ve enjoyed doing that for a long time.
Stacy Jones: 25:43
Well I think you’re one of the early inventors basically of the podcast, especially when it comes to marketing and business advice.
John Jantsch: 25:51
Well I definitely was doing it. I’m getting around to now … I had Kawasaki on my podcast. We did an interview with him this week. It’s probably the fourth time that he was on, I’m starting to talk … Mike Stelzner, many people know from social media examiner, I talked to this week. I’m talking to them about books. They’re like, “Wait a minute. You interviewed me for that book?” It was quite a while ago. So it’s been kind of fun.
John Jantsch: 26:20
But now, you know, now podcasting … And I think audio content in general is really, really hot. It doesn’t have to be starting a podcast, but if they’re not taking advantage of the fact that people want to listen to information that way, I think you’re going to miss the boat in 2020.
Stacy Jones: 26:38
I think it’s moved from blogging to podcasting to all sorts of different content that you can create that’s valuable to others at this point.
John Jantsch: 26:47
Stacy Jones: 26:48
Okay. Well, I cannot tell you how much it was a pleasure to have you on the show today, John. Thank you again for joining us.
John Jantsch: 26:55
Thank you Stacy. I appreciate it.
Stacy Jones: 26:56
And for all of our listeners, thank you for tuning in today to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. I look forward to chatting with you next week.
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