James Orsini | Scaling an Agency With the Right Hand Man to Gary Vaynerchuk

Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn which can take you to places you never thought you would go. 

Opportunities can arise which could change the course of your life forever. 

Many of us would recoil away from these moments, but James Orsini certainly did not.

After experiencing success in finance and on Wall Street, James had an opportunity for big change and decided to work with Gary Vaynerchuk, a wine critic who transformed himself into a social media guru. And he hasn’t looked back. 

James Orsini is President of The Sasha Group, a VaynerX company. James has been working with serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk for many years and iterations, beginning as Chief Integrations Officer for VaynerMedia before moving on to be COO, and now for The Sasha Group.

In this week’s episode, John sits down with James to talk about how he came to work with Gary Vaynerchuk, the differences between healthy and unhealthy growth of a company, and why it’s important to focus on one thing when you are starting out in business or marketing.

In this episode, we also talk about:

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  • How James Came to Work With Gary Vaynerchuk
  • The Story of How James Had the “amorphous” Title of Chief Integration Officer Becoming Chief Operating Officer of VaynerMedia
  • The Difference Between Healthy Growth of a Company and Unhealthy Growth of a Company
  • How The Sasha Group Came to Be
  • Who The Sasha Group is Named After
  • The Reasons Why James Went From COO to Working With The Sasha Group
  • What James Does is More than Consulting
  • The Criteria James Follows for Selecting Companies to Work With
  • Market in the Year in Which You Live
  • How James Uses Social Media
  • Why Gary Vaynerchuk Likes LinkedIn Right Now
  • The New Little V Cartoon Series
  • The Power of a Personal Brand
  • When Starting Out, You Need to “Pick a Lane” and Get Great at One Thing
  • Will Gary Ever Buy the Jets?
  • With Social Media, You Need to Make a Lot of Content
  • Who James Thanks for His Success

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

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Rise25 Media was created by myself and my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weisz, and is part of our mission to help connect more entrepreneurs with their ideal prospects and referral partners.

We do this through lead generation and proactive outreach, and we do this through our done for you podcast service, which is the #1 thing I’ve done in my business and life.

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Episode Transcript

John Corcoran  0:40  

Alright, welcome everybody. My guest on this show is James Orsini, whose name you may not know. But he’s basically I’m going to say it the right hand man to another name, you probably know. And that’s Gary van der Chuck. Gary was nice enough to be a guest prior guest on my show a number of years back. James is the president the Sasha group, which is part of the Gary van der Chuck umbrella of companies. The Sasha group, mentor startups from a million to 100 million in revenues. We’re going to ask him all about that it’s relatively new initiative that they’re working on now. But previously, he was CEO for Vader media during a stretch in which they quadrupled in size and revenue. And vendor media, for those of you who don’t know is one of the largest independent social media digital advertising agencies out there. He also has nearly 30 years of experience in social and mobile media advertising, brand management, poker relations and Wall Street. So but first before we dive into that, this podcast is brought to you by rise 25 media, which is our done view boutique, lead generation and podcasting agency, helping b2b businesses to get a steady flow of new leads, prospects, referral partners and strategic partners coming in the door, month after month. Right. So Dr. Media was created by myself and my business partner done Dr. Jeremy Weiss. And it’s part of our mission to make the world a smaller place by creating connections helping to connect more entrepreneurs and business owners. They’re ideal prospects and referral partners they love to work with. So To learn more, visit us on the web at rise 25 calm or book a call with us to discuss your lead generation options at rise 25 dot com slash call. All right. Now on to the show. As I mentioned, my guest is James Orsini we recently connected over LinkedIn, you’re generous enough to come on the show. And now James, I want to ask you, and I want to ask you here so you seem like a really reasonable guy, humble guy. You’ve got deep experience in finance and Wall Street. Did your your family just think you were absolutely nuts? When you said I’m going to go work for this madman who you see all over social media. What was that conversation? Like?

James Orsini  2:39  

Yeah, it was kind of wild. I mean, I didn’t really know Gary, I must admit, I knew his brother AJ, I had sat next to AJ at a Seton Hall University basketball game about 10 years ago. That’s how we met. And we just kind of got to talking. And, you know, I was Chief Operating Officer Saatchi and Saatchi at the time. He I invited him down to you know, take a look around, see what it’s like when you get big. he graciously accepted it. And then we just kind of stayed in touch. And, you know, I’d like to say I was a little mentor to him. Asked me, you know, somebody that does? How would you do this? Have you ever done that? You know, so we stayed in touch over the years. I was CEO of a publicly traded mobile media company and called AJ because my developers had developed a product that they thought was right for Facebook. And he’s like, Yeah, come on, in. And I went in, there was a big company, there was like, 250 people back when I visited him. And after leaving the mobile company, I called AJ to just say, Hey, I’m going to be back and big advertising I’ll see in New York. And he was like, Jeffrey, me, my brother Gary. And I said, No, to Jeffrey, here, my brother Gary. And I said, No. All right, well, why don’t you Google? And he’s not gonna be hard to find. So I did mean, wasn’t.

We had a meeting and then hold on right there. What was your impression?

was tough to make an impression? Because the meeting was only 15 minutes?

John Corcoran  4:13  

No, no, I mean, just social media. You like this guy’s all over social media. He’s written books.

James Orsini  4:18  

You know, a lot of what I googled was, you know, a lot of magazine covers and, you know, Entrepreneur Magazine and ink magazine and Forbes magazine. So it was clear that, that he was something something special. Yes.

And then he invited me to a dinner.

John Corcoran  4:40  

And you meet him face to face with Gary, like when you first meet him face to face?

James Orsini  4:43  

Yeah, he’s, he’s gracious and kind and

unpretentious. You know, you never really know. He’s successful as he is. You know, he doesn’t, doesn’t wear it on his sleeve in any way, shape, or form. It’s a little harder now, because there’s throngs of crowds, following him, you know, five years ago, when, when we had that, that dinner. It was just he and I, and, you know, we got to know each other personally. And he said, Listen, want to step out on a cloud and do this with me, you know, don’t don’t take one of those big jobs. You’ve had that already. You know, I want to he was pretty specific. He said he wants to, he wanted to build a $500 million independent, integrated international communications company. And he wanted to know if I could help him. And I said, I said, Yeah, I could, and he’s, like, great. Come to work for me. And he said, at the time, I’m going to give you a title that’s amorphous enough to have you play wherever I need you to play. So I was

John Corcoran  5:48  

gonna ask about that. Yeah.

James Orsini  5:50  

What is your title? Chief integration officer? What is that? Hey, you know, it’s good to be so you know, one day it was putting together issues for interns. And next day, it was negotiating real estate transactions for Hudson Yards. And, you know, the next day, it was in with a fortune 50 client, procurement department. So it is whatever he needed me to do, and be at that time.

John Corcoran  6:20  

Got it, and you didn’t stay there for long eventually, you become coo.

James Orsini  6:24  

I did only because AJ, his brother had that title. So first of all, I mean, Gary is an operating CEO. So which is very unusual, and and not like other CEOs that I had worked with, you know, he enjoys the operations, he gets into, you know, you hear him talk about clouds and dirt, he enjoys being both in the clouds and in the dirt. Yeah. So AJ was the chief operating officer. And about 15 months into it, AJ came and very publicly announced that he had Crohn’s disease, and that he was going to be stepping down. And you know, it’s stress induced, and this was a big company, and he didn’t really want to manage a big company anymore. And that he was going to take some time off and then figure it out. And that led to vein or sports, which AJ and Gary are involved in separately. So yeah, so I became the the Chief Operating Officer for what was at the start of 42 million, probably 400 person company that ended last year at, you know, run 150 million and will more than 800 people and wrap approaching 900 this year.

John Corcoran  7:37  

Wow. What is that growth? Like? What, you know, how do you how do you even? How do you even manage all of that?

James Orsini  7:43  

Yeah, so I tell you, you have to be careful, because there’s a difference between the swelling and growing, both get your big ones healthy and one’s not. So, you know, we worked really hard to have healthy growth over that period. And, you know, in the early the early days of vendor media, it was a narrow growth, you know, much more of the same, just more clients over the last three years or so, it’s been wide growth. So social media, advertising in the creative sense and strategy sense then gives birth to a media planning and buying division, which then gives birth to a full service production company, which then, you know, leads to the acquisition of a digital publishing division, which leads to the birth of a SAS product called tracer under the umbrella. And now the most recent offering is the Sasha group, which I want to

John Corcoran  8:54  

I want to ask about that. But we’ll put put a pause on that for now. I did want to ask, ask about you said, Gary is an operating CEO? What’s really interesting to me, you know, considering how prolific he is on social media, how does he manage to do both to be as prolific as he is on social media as president out there, and also be in the weeds up into helping to run the business? And I’ll have a follow up after that?

James Orsini  9:24  

Yes. So I think people find it hard to believe that he really does, you know, run the business that that he does, you know, he’s got a great finger on the on the pulse of the business. But he hires people to scale him in all different aspects of it, right. So he has people who scale him on the human resource side, he has people at scale on the strategy side, on the production side, on the creative side, on the finance side, on the media side, you know, these are all leaders that are now around around the table. You know, early on, there wasn’t many ways, let’s sort of, you know, sort of me, him and his brother, kinda, you know, and, you know, General Counsel was there. And as an finance, finance director was there, you know, since most of those are new positions, many are mature positions. So as the company grows, so to the positions grow, but, you know, he’s a pretty unique, there’s not many I’ve met who, who can do both, you know, but people ask me, does he sleep? And the answer is, yes, he sleeps, he just does more when he’s awake than any human I’ve ever met. Right? Right. Yeah, truly.

John Corcoran  10:46  

And, you know, so Sasha group, how does that come about? There’s so many different divisions, so many different types of companies. How does Sasha group come about?

James Orsini  10:56  

Yes, so, um, you know, Gary, we always, we have a fail fast fix fast learn fast environment where we’re constantly testing and optimizing. So, you know, Gary, observes where attention is, and, you know, what has a great finger on the pulse for what the industry needs and what society needs. So we were testing a few things in our hallways, we had an educational offering, called the four days, which Gary started two years ago, you know, think of it like a Zappos or a day in the life where, you know, you come in and really get a full understanding for how we see the social platforms. And then about a year ago, he said to me, Listen, I want to have a consulting product. You know, and I have a track record of explosive successful business growth. You have, you know, years of operational experience, and we have many resources in our hallways, let’s, let’s, you know, birth a consulting product. So we did that under the banner mentors, umbrella, we did we surface nine clients last year will probably do 12 this year. And then we had, you know, some small operation called vein or beta in New York, which which was doing some small business work. We had an operation in Chattanooga, what about two dozen folks on the ground? So Gary said, Look, I’m we build a company service, fortune 500, I have 6 million plus followers. I’m on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine. And I don’t have a product for these people who want to be the next Wine Library, right? How do I how do I go from 4 million to 16 million. So he said, I think we need to bring together an offering for them. I want to name it after my father in honor of what he did as a, you know, Russian immigrant who came to this country and you know, one of the boning of business and then growing that business with Gary’s help as well. So we birth formerly the Sasha group on January of this year, and we pulled together just about 50 employees from the 850, at that time, vein or employees, those that were interested in servicing small businesses who either had some entrepreneurial DNA, but it was infused with fortune 500 experience, because that’s what banner X was really all about. So we’re very uniquely positioned in the marketplace. And we, we we think we hit a hit a nerve of interest, you know, we got a great new business pipe. And we have folks like yourself who are interested in allow us to tell the story.

John Corcoran  14:06  

Yeah. And so were you looking to, you know, take a step back or a little a little pause? Is that why you decided to go for this? Or is it just because Gary asked you to?

James Orsini  14:18  

Well, look, every good CEO, eventually puts himself out of business. Right? So that’s, that’s what a good CEO does. I mean, I was, I was not replaced as Chief Operating Officer at Saatchi and Saatchi. I was not replaced as Chief Operating Officer at Interbrand. So, you know, we put 12 leaders around the table. So I don’t want to say that I was added a job because I did so much. You know, but Gary has a unique way of finding incremental value in the assets that he has. And, you know, when you’re in a service sector company, your assets go down the elevator at night. So, you know, there isn’t any manufacturing machinery or anything like that. It’s the people that that you employ. So, you know, and Gary has a culture of loyal people. So when he said you, are you ready to try something new? You know, not every 56 year old in the advertising industry gets that question. I was like, a new opportunity for you exciting new opportunity. I was really, I don’t know of any publicly traded CEO in his hallway other than me. So I did have the experience of running a company prior. So right.

John Corcoran  15:35  

Now I have all the different things you mentioned, there’s a number of different products you mentioned, which seemed a lot more scalable than consulting. The classic problem with consulting is that it’s difficult to scale, because you’re selling time. So how do you deal with that conundrum?

James Orsini  15:51  

We privatized it. Okay, we product, I don’t, we don’t sell scope of works. We sell, we sell products, okay? You want? You know, you you want a media recon, it’s $20,000, you know, you want to see it in the 40s educational, it’s, you know, $12,000, you want a three and a half hour whiteboard session. It’s $20,000. We don’t sell hours times rate on an industry, this particular consultancy, because it’s a combination education, consulting, and advertising under the same umbrella.

John Corcoran  16:26  

And I imagine you are Is it like an incubator to? Or are you investing these companies? Are you taking a piece of these companies,

James Orsini  16:33  

at this point, we don’t invest in them, the mentors product is is meant really for mature businesses, you know, probably between three and 50 million, that have reached a plateau and are simply stuck and can’t break through. So in that particular offering, we do take a piece of the upside over the next three years, if we help them break through the, you know, their explosive growth, and it’s and it’s really about explosive growth. This is not about growing 10% or 15% is about growing sales, you know, 300% Gary’s model, right?

John Corcoran  17:11  

So you’re bringing in your area, your expertise, your team, and they’re taking a team that is has been stagnant in their growth and just throwing in rocket fuel, mixing things up a little bit.

James Orsini  17:23  

Exactly. We, you know, it’s it’s an hour and a half. It’s a four hour onboarding session, Gary’s intro one hour. It’s a site visit where we do stakeholder interviews, the combination of those two meetings then give us four to six growth pillars that we believe will unlock the explosive growth of the business, we deploy them, you know, usually on, you know, Skype or conference call one per week over the next six weeks, it culminates after that with a two hour wrap up session, Gary’s in for a half hour. And the reason why I say Gary, you know, that’s a small business that now got an hour and a half of Gary’s time, right, you know, it’s 150,000 an hour to speak. So you could imagine what that would that’s worth to a small business, where, you know, he has such on point experience for them. Right. And then the people we bring, you know, from the Sasha group, our experienced folks in, you know, in culture and brand building, I’m the operational thread pretty much through everyone along with Gary. So, you know, they pass for access to our Rolodex. So just like the early days of AJ, the, you know, somebody who does this have to handle this, right. So we give him the same type of advice and counsel. And, you know, in fact, our website actually features many testimonies, because unlike banner media, his website where you would have heard of the Fortune 500 clients, here, all their companies, be sure the printers behind the brands that we’re helping So, you know, let them speak to what it is that we’re doing for them.

John Corcoran  19:07  

Yeah. How do you determine how do you? How are you evaluating these companies, because I’m sure you’ve got a waiting list of these companies that want to work with you. And and I’m looking, I’m looking your website, son butters, one of them bag bombs, so some physical products, businesses, another one called fit body? I’m not sure if that’s a physical product, or if it’s a training services business. How so how how, you know, what’s your criteria? Well, you know,

James Orsini  19:35  

we always say that great marketing can’t sell a bad product, right? So we look first for good product, and we look for products that are going to be around right, so So Gary always uses the example of the $15 jello shot will not be consumed when the economy tanks. So do look for businesses in the case of bag bomb, that’s 120 year old brand in Vermont, and you know what I mean, that’s been around, and that really needed a new way to tell an old story. And to bring it to the new platforms. Right. So Gary always talks about marketing the year that you live, right, so so that one wasn’t about TV or radio, you know, there were they’re doing Instagram and Facebook and YouTube. And, you know, and we’re moving the needle for them with their with their sales. The sun butter is a great healthy alternative product to peanut butter using sunflower seed oil. So, you know, that actually became a Facebook case study. Based on the way we handle the way we handle that business. And, and they’re they’re broad and eclectic businesses, you know, the $10 million furniture real retailer and Panama City, Florida. $25,000. Corporate snacks company in Parsippany, New Jersey, I mean, really broad and wild. So we’re, we’re having a great time working with some of these clients. And you’re right. I mean, you know, for us, the pipe is fortunately full at this time. So we can be a little more selective and who we take on.

John Corcoran  21:23  

For you personally, it’s got to be quite a shift going from fortune 50 to these very much, much smaller companies in the challenges.

James Orsini  21:33  

Well, you know, what was interesting when Gary hired me, he said, You’ve made 25 years of mistakes I don’t want to make so help me avoid the potholes and move faster. That’s what he said, a dinner. I’m helping to use that experience from public relations, branding, advertising. Remember, I worked for KPMG. I worked for Goldman Sachs. I’ve seen service sector companies. I’ve seen consultancies, I seen agencies. And we’re sprinkling Gary’s secret sauce on all of those and, and really

saying, Hey, this is the right approach.

If we were going to build this from scratch, let’s do it this way. So you know, at this moment, we don’t do our fees we don’t do as creative spec work like you would do in a typical agency. You know, we we have a little Moxie.

John Corcoran  22:26  

Yeah. You know, for someone who works for a company that’s known for social media, talents and an expertise. You don’t you personally don’t have a huge social media footprint. Do you feel like that? You know, is there any pressure to to be active on social media? or none whatsoever?

James Orsini  22:45  

net? Well, I am active. You know, I’m on. You’ve got to me on LinkedIn.

John Corcoran  22:50  

Right. So that’s true. You did respond. That’s true. It’s Case in point. So I do. I do apply all didn’t go into the black hole, that’s for sure.

James Orsini  22:58  

Yeah, absolutely. Not. I mean, and that’s been part of Gary’s successes, he doesn’t ask the client to do what he wouldn’t do himself. Right. So this is by for us. Sometimes, it’s like, what they say, shooting ducks in a bathtub, because we know it works. He’s already used it on himself and his businesses. So prior to meeting, Gary, you know, was I on Twitter, Snapchat?

You know, the answer is no. But, you know,

John Corcoran  23:30  

you must have grown an appreciation for these platforms from Sure.

James Orsini  23:33  

Sure. You know, and When, when, when combined, you know, every few thousand followers, so I’m happy with that. But more importantly, I’m engaged with those. You know, I’m commenting, I’m sharing, you know, Gary doesn’t expect everybody to be Gary. Right. And, and that’s what’s so great. He’s not looking for 900 many nice, right? He’s, he’s mentioned in a meeting that we were in yesterday, Daddy’s a multiple dictator. Right. I, you know, he, he likes the occasional push back. He doesn’t surround himself with a bunch of Yes, men. You know, so that’s rare and the leader? Absolutely, absolutely. You know, and I’ve worked with some great leaders. So, you know, a great companies. You know, so learning how to how to work with Gary and how to bring him, you know, the advice and counsel, you know, haven’t been a CEO before, I think helps. Because I do understand, you know, oftentimes how how lonely that position is, and how difficult some of the decisions are, because what gets to your desk is the stuff that nobody else could figure out. Right,

John Corcoran  24:47  

right. You mentioned LinkedIn, which is how we connected and Gary’s been very gung ho on LinkedIn. I don’t know for how long but certainly recently, you want to talk a little bit about that.

James Orsini  24:59  

Yeah. So Gary, is a big supporter of underpriced attention. And at this moment, he feels that LinkedIn is where Facebook was maybe five years ago. He leans into it heavily if you’re a b2b business, he thinks it’s really important.

You know, he loves the ability to share

long form content on it. You know, and

you know, he sees it really moving, moving the needle. So I think that’s what’s interesting about Gary, is he he’s, he’s not precious about anything. He’s precious about attention. And where is the attention? And where is the most importantly, where’s the attention underpriced so he could take advantage of it right, which is why you’ll hear him talk about the Super Bowl being underpriced attention, everybody talks about how expensive the Super Bowl commercials are. But he’s like, not enough. You look at the attention, the week leading up to the Super Bowl, the day of the Super Bowl, and the week after the Super Bowl. It’s actually underpriced based on what you get. And you know, we’re going to do a commercial during the Oscars, you may have probably overpaid for that. So that’s what he’s feeling about LinkedIn at this moment.

John Corcoran  26:16  

Yeah, yeah. What else? Are you excited about? What in terms of social media? What as a company? What is the company getting behind?

James Orsini  26:24  

We’re excited about his newly launched little v cartoon series. Saturday. And, you know, again, we we talked before, we’re on air about, you know, how genuine he is. And he’s the same guy and all that he does. And, you know, if you watch the cartoon, the 14 minutes of it, I encourage you to do so. Because he is teaching the secret sauce of successful social media marketing on Instagram through that cartoon. Fact, again, in the meeting that I was in with him yesterday for one of our mentors, clients, I actually, you know, quoted something added a cartoon to share as an example, with, you know, with this client that was from Arizona, I’m so sorry. Love that. Yeah, he did. You know, he, he knows, he knows who’s watching his stuff and leaning in on this stuff. And, you know, it’s it’s not blind following per se, but it is finding the value, you know, in in what it is that he’s that he’s doing? Yeah, the proof is in the pudding. Right? And, and now he’s leaning in heavily on branding, which I’m a big supporter of, I got a much better appreciation for the power brand when I was at Interbrand. Okay. And the past few years now, he’s found his way there.

John Corcoran  27:53  

So what does that mean? What do you mean by your, you’re leaning into branding?

James Orsini  27:58  

So, so wreck igniting that the power of the brand and the personal brand, okay, allows you to play in areas that you may not have had creds in before, right? Yeah. So Gary, Gary wasn’t an advertising guy was a retailer. Okay. But his personal brand is so strong. Now it allows them to sell wine on label. Or they can even taste it who buys wine without tasting it, right? But it’s so powerful. You’re going to like this wine, you should buy it. And by the way, the only way you can buy it is You got it, you got to buy three cases of it and taste it. Say white and the red blend. Okay. And And not only do you have to buy three cases on taste, but you got to buy it six months in advance. And trust me that it’s coming.

John Corcoran  28:52  

That’s right. It’s rare in the wine business to to have that money up front.

James Orsini  28:56  

Absolutely. Yeah, maybe maybe I’ll design and sell sneakers to an athlete. I’m a five foot eight on a great day kind of guy. Yeah.

John Corcoran  29:05  

But what are your thoughts on this? Because I this is an interesting distinction. I talked to people about this all the time, people look at someone like a Gary van der Chuck or Tim Ferriss, and they look at them, and they see them talking about a variety of topics. And when they’re trying to establish their thought leadership. I think oftentimes people make a mistake by mimicking someone who’s at that level of achievement of a Gary van or check or Tim Ferriss. And rather than niche down and you know, Gary didn’t start talking about everything. He started talking about wine before he expanded into other areas. What are your thoughts on that?

James Orsini  29:39  

My thoughts are what Gary is preaching to many of our clients right now. Meaning you got to own a lane first. Yeah, really pick a lane and own the lane. You cannot be everything to everybody. Right. So we’ve been trying to help some of our clients really narrow arrow in because they want to be broad to Right. Right. So he was, you know, he mastered social media advertising before he became a holding company, you know, and he

John Corcoran  30:13  

started the sports division 15 years ago.

James Orsini  30:16  

Yeah. I mean, seriously, you got it. Yeah. So it went from social media advertising to a digital agency, which social at its core to the vein or x Holding Company, which now owns the multiple pieces. So, you know, Gary is real big on owning a narrow lane first to establish credibility and then broadening on the success of the narrowing,

John Corcoran  30:41  

right? When does he sell it all and by the Jets?

James Orsini  30:45  

Uh, you know, the fact of the matter is, he’s having so much fun in the pursuit, he wants said to me, James today that I bought a Jets is going to be the saddest day of my life, because I will have achieved my goal. So I can see ya. So you know, Does he ever buy the Jets? I don’t know,

John Corcoran  31:04  

you know, or maybe just the, the dream that you chase.

James Orsini  31:07  

Yeah. And and, you know, this is not about, if you know, this story, it’s not about selling the vein or x company, in order to buy the Jets. It’s, it’s about building a company that allows him to buy orphaned or abandoned brands and run them through the machine of the company that he’s built to increase the value of the brands to then sell the brands to accumulate enough wealth to buy the Jets. So that’s the game plan.

John Corcoran  31:35  

Got it? Got it. I want to touch on one thing that we haven’t talked about, and then I know we’re running low on time, you have to go but one of the most difficult things about social media or or, you know, getting your message out there is the fact that it requires deeply ingrained habits and I’m sure at whether it’s a trainer media, whether it’s with saucer group, one of the challenges is is communicating the importance of being disciplined doing these things on a consistent basis, developing good habits, to what extent is that then a challenge for you at van or media or Sasha, with the companies that you work with?

James Orsini  32:17  

Well, that’s pretty much a challenge of each of the clients that we that we deal with, right? Who who may or may not have any type of social presence or an anemic social presence or a misunderstanding that the same piece of content can be you know, consumed across LinkedIn and Facebook and Instagram right that’s This is why we’re in business this is why we are successful as we are you know Gary’s all about just you got to start somewhere just start just push a button just share something he he’s he says that the internet is limitless. So back in the day, you know, when I was at Saatchi, you got 15 seconds to for that commercial you better you’ve been better get everything perfect and right. You know what I mean? There’s only 60 pages in that magazine. It better look like art. Okay, but the internet is limitless. Push out as much content as you possibly can double down on the stuff that’s working and toggle back from the stuff that’s not

John Corcoran  33:16  

Yeah, good advice. We’re running on time. I want to wrap things up with the question I always ask which is, let’s pretend we’re at an awards banquet, much like the Oscars of the Emmy Emmys and you James are receiving an award for lifetime achievement for everything. You’ve done that up until this point, we always think our family of course, but beyond that, you know, who are the mentors who are their friends, we’ve Gary, obviously, he’s come up multiple times, AJ, who are the mentors, the friends, the peers, the business partners that you would acknowledge,

James Orsini  33:43  

alright, so beyond my family and God that I would start with good and maybe not matter water. So I’m in touch with every blessed that I’ve ever had, which I think is pretty interesting. So you know, there were there were guys at KPMG like Marty Frank and who who worked grateful to me. They were guys like Ron Hafner at Goldman Sachs who were tremendous to me and taught me things. There there were people like Mark Weiss from from Roland public relations when I was there. Check Brian Murphy from Interbrand when I was there you know, Kevin Roberts married bag lipo from from my Sachi days. guy by the name is Stuart Levine, who is a board member at the seat on mobile, former CEO of Dale Carnegie, in and Gary now so, you know, David Martin, another guy from Interbrand, who I learned a lot from he’ll tell you, he learned more from me, but I did learn from him as well. So, yeah, I’ve had I’ve had a great career and it’s not over yet.

John Corcoran  34:54  

It’s great. The Sasha group.com the Sasha group com is the website vape intermediate google it Gary vanish at Google it you can find all kinds of resources out there anywhere else do you want to point people to can learn more about you James and the work that you do now?

James Orsini  35:09  

Yeah, so the Sasha group is all the social handles as well. And I am James Orsini on LinkedIn and Instagram and add chiming the pencil on Twitter

John Corcoran  35:20  

had to eat the pencil on 200. I love it.

James Orsini  35:24  

The other day.

Unknown Speaker  35:25  

Good next interview. Great. Alright, thanks so much, James. Alright guys, thank you.

Dush Ramachandran  35:30  

Thank you for listening to the smart business revolution podcast with john Corcoran. Find out more at smart business revolution. com. And while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the Revolution Revolution Revolution Revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the smart business revolution podcast.

Iman Aghay | Learning from Failures and Setbacks

Life is rarely a completely positive experience. 

In the course of one’s journey, whether in business or life, there will invariably be rough patches. 

The tough times are where we can learn the most. Even the wisest of the Jedi, Yoda, has a sage-like aphorism on the subject: “The greatest teacher, failure is.” 

Right, he is. 

This week’s guest on the show, Iman Aghay, learned this at a young age. He has applied it not only in his own life but remembers this fact when managing his employees, as well.

Iman is an experienced marketing and business development consultant with extensive knowledge in marketing and growing businesses. He is President of Success Road Enterprises, as well as Founder and Organizer of Vancouver Business Network, among many other companies.

Iman joins John this week to talk about what he learned from his father, enjoying a healthy balance in your work and home life, and why he is passionate about online courses. 

In this episode, we also talk about:

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Subscribe on Android | RSS

  • How Iman’s Father Started His Successful Life From Nothing
  • Iman’s Father Was Diagnosed with ALS at Age 50
  • Iman’s Brush with Death at Age 27 and How is Affected Him
  • The Lifestyle Plan and What it Entails
  • The Burnout Iman Experienced from the Rigorous Road Schedule Speaking 200 Days a Year
  • The Importance of Rest and Enjoying Life
  • A Healthy Balance of Exercise, Diet, and Work
  • Failure is Okay as Long as You Don’t Give Up
  • How Iman Gained and Lost a Large Amount of Weight Twice
  • Balancing Vacation Time and How Iman Takes Time Off
  • Why it is a Good Idea to Hire Fast and Fire Slow
  • Why Iman is Passionate About Online Courses
  • What is a Joint Venture?
  • Why Iman Decided to Get Involved in Joint Venture Insider Circle
  • The Six-Figure Business which Iman is Creating in 47 Days as a Case Study
  • Who Iman Thanks for His Success

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, the done-for-you lead generation service to get you a steady flow of new leads, prospects, referral partners and strategic partners coming in the door every month, month after month.

Rise25 Media was created by myself and my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weisz, and is part of our mission to help connect more entrepreneurs with their ideal prospects and referral partners.

We do this through lead generation and proactive outreach, and we do this through our done for you podcast service, which is the #1 thing I’ve done in my business and life.

To learn more, book a call with us here.

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and podcast services.

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Episode Transcript

John Corcoran 0:40
Alright, welcome, everybody. My guest on this show is Iman Aghay, who is the president of success road enterprises, which is an information marketing company based in Vancouver, Canada. And he’s a really interesting guy have I known for a number of years now, Amman immigrated from Iran at the age of 25. He knew nearly zero English, and yet has had a remarkably successful career in Canada had over 10,000 attendees as as events in a short period of time, over a couple of years. They put on hundreds of events through multiple different companies. Now we’re going to hear all about those. He’s built up a number of different businesses and he does training in how to create online courses, training and how to speak and do speaking events. He’s also part owner of the JV IC business, which is joint venture insider circle, which holds an annual event in Los Angeles, where it helps business owners to collaborate and do joint ventures in order to grow their businesses. So it’s got a lot of different irons in the fire, so to speak. And he’ll also talk about burnout. You know, he himself did over 200 talks a year for a while and really burned out. And so we’ll ask him a little bit about that. But first before we dive into the interview, this podcast is brought to you by rise 25 media which is our done for you boutique lead generation and podcasting agency, helping b2b businesses to get a steady flow of new leads, prospects, referral partners and strategic partners coming in the door, month after month and rise 25 media was created by myself and my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weiss. It’s part of our mission to make the world a smaller place by creating connections one day at a time helping to connect more entrepreneurs and business owners with their ideal prospects and referral partners they love to work with work with you can learn more at rise 25 dot com or book a call with us to discuss your lead generation options and podcasting options at rise 25 dot com slash call. All right now on to my shows, I’m asthma. As I mentioned, my guest is Mr. A guy and you are the president and success road enterprises. And Amman Tell me a little bit about your life back in Iran before you moved over to Canada and essentially started a new life for yourself. And let’s start with your father because he’s a big inspiration for you. The man worked like crazy, I actually read that you said that even though you live in the same home with him. Sometimes you wouldn’t see him for three months at a time. That’s how much he was working. And he had this dream, retiring at age 53. And unfortunately, it didn’t come to fruition that way. So tell us a little bit about what it was like growing up with this. larger than life father figure who was involved in so many different businesses.

Iman Aghay 3:15
Yeah, as you mentioned by my dad was a serial entrepreneur, he was an investor in different businesses. And he actually built his life from scratch. When he was five years old, he had to actually work with his dad as a blacksmith because like they didn’t have money and they couldn’t afford like getting help. So a five year old kid had to go and kind of work besides fire and kind of smash iron. And God like that’s how he was raised. And when he was 18, he had like an egg and half a loaf of bread a day to eat. And that was like all he had Adam, on that he got himself to the best university in the country and got a scholarship and went through the school and

mid age 30 he was the deputy mayor of

one of the largest cities in the world then.

And then he decided to become an entrepreneur. And by when he was he was kind of like constantly working as a serial entrepreneur. He started like building companies and learning a lot and failing Dillard and kind of expanding his businesses. So by the time that he was 50, he had 10,000 employees and different companies. And yeah, and it was like, doing amazing. And his plan was to retire at age 53. And then when he turned 50, he was diagnosed with the disease called ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. And for those people who don’t know, als kills the patient within three to five years in most cases. And when my dad turns 53, he passed away. And he never retired. He never enjoyed his life, he died with massive amounts of regrets. And that’s actually shaped by actually me to work with entrepreneurs to help them build a business that serve their life purpose, because I know how hard it is to work for your life. And realizing one day that before you actually reach your dream, before you get to what you’re planning for, you may

you may actually kind of lose everything

that was actually kind of

I got actually more aligned with that story. When at age 27. One morning guy woke up and I was believing eternity, I was rushed to the hospital where doctors said I have lost 60% of my blood. And they couldn’t find the source of that bleeding. But they lost so much blood that they couldn’t start the surgery because they didn’t have enough blood for performing a surgery on me. And so they said, we’re going to connect you to blood transfusion. And hopefully we’re going to give you more blood faster than you’re losing. And hopefully you’re not gonna die. And I found myself in a day on my deathbed. And they just suddenly showed me that you know, it’s not age 53, you may actually die at 27, they just random need for absolutely no reason that they can’t find and one day out of nowhere. And so that kind of showed me life can end at any time without any announcement. And at that point, I was like, you know what I really want to help entrepreneurs and people live their lives through to their life, purpose, and through truth, the value and passion and purpose. And the point was that I didn’t know what my life purpose is. At that time, I didn’t know what my passion and values are. And I started searching for them and go through a journey of few years of figuring out my passion and purpose and values, gifts skills. And what I love to do every single day and I’m not going to get tired, then if I die at any point, I’m going to be happy. Kind of all of that started from that day after I came back from my death by then.

John Corcoran 7:04
Yeah, so what point was the the burnout? Because I know you were speaking heavily city, just city 200 or so speeches talks per year. When did that happen?

Iman Aghay 7:15
Yeah, so actually, as part of that, when I found my purpose, I realized that I want to inspire people to build a business that served a life purpose. And I started coaching group of people, and then that turned into a bigger group and bigger group. And by one time, at one point, we were like doing four events a year. And that was going really well. I’m making a lot of difference in people’s lives. And next year with plans to expand the business and we started expanding it to different cities. And I totally forgot that you need to have something called the lifestyle plan. And by that time, I had never heard of a lifestyle plan. And probably most of the people on your show have never heard of life, sod land. And so so I started traveling, and I was doing things I was passionate about, except that I wasn’t building the business build my based on my life is our plan. And within a few months, I found myself doing about 200 live events a year, doing things I was passionate about, but doing it too much. So I always call that killing yourself with passion. And that’s what I was doing. I was doing 200 of live events. And one day, I was in Toronto standing on the stage right before starting a two day seminar. It was 8am Toronto time, which is 5pm my body time I live in on the west coast. And at that point, I realized that I knew that pan and there was this box up and in front of me. For 10 minutes, I froze on the stage not realizing that that’s a box off hand that I need. And I felt Okay, I’m about to do a two day band. But sober and housing can’t even understand there’s a box up handout I need. And that was the time that I actually realized that I got to build my business based on life. So I also want so I chose my soul that day, I actually decided to stop all of my live events. And I saw all my live events, replan My life is I asked myself, why do I how do you want to live, create a life of solid plan and then created the creator the step by step action plan and the business model that could actually serve their life is SoundCloud and relaunched my business. And over time we started doing events again. But then now doing day events in a format that students are my life is solid still, I can do whatever I want to do. And

I can live a life with no regrets in a way.

John Corcoran 9:43
That’s great. And you know, you’ve got a fairly large team now you said you have 41 team members just for one of the businesses? How do you prevent the same types of problems from happening? How do you prevent the burnout from happening? How do you prevent me making mistakes that you had before?

Iman Aghay 10:04
Yeah, absolutely. So um, so first of all, as I said, like, I have something called the lifestyle plan, which is actually every 17 weeks, I worked for 14 weeks and take three weeks off. And and if you do that three times a year, that gives you 51 weeks, and the year is 52 weeks. So the last one, I take four weeks off. So that gives me about 10 weeks of vacation every year and kind of at times when I will get stressed. Like my not telling you, they don’t get the stress, I don’t tell you that I don’t work myself sometimes to exhaustion, but also at some point, they are also the things that I love and enjoy a nice exciting. And what I do though, is I realized that I’m doing these in the sprints, and then after the screen to actually go on rest. And I enjoy life and all of it actually right now, one of the things I really like to do is create creating cases that is like real life cases, that is for my students to show them exactly how they can do things. And one of the cases those I’m doing right now is I’m building I’m building a six figure business in 47 days.

And kind of

now this is while I’m running to other seven figure businesses and and i also I kind of get an update on it like a nightly updates to my students, I like exactly what it is I did every day. And one of the things I’ve actually shared with them in those updates that how, although I’m running to seven figure business, I’m building one six figure business absolutely from scratch with no investment, I still take the time to go on a date with my wife, I still took the time, like two days ago, I was in LA and I actually drove all the way up to to visit my sister and see my niece and spend like half a day with them. And couple of weeks ago, I was like kind of being like completely log off and like unplugged from like everything else. Just kind of spent three days with my friends family, and then came back and, you know, it’s like, I tried to keep the balance. And this is all while I’m on like a kind of a healthy eating plan and exercise and walk at least 10,000 steps every day. So it’s kind of like, you kind of build the muscles, but but you have to kind of be aware of them and know what muscles you want to be out and kind of you build the muscles over time you improve you grow, and at times you fail. But what matters is that you actually not forget that that’s totally okay to fail. And you can actually just kind of get up tomorrow and just continue doing it and, and not give up all entirely. You know, as part of that exhaustion part that we were talking in 2015, I was 280 pounds, and beginning of 2015. And because I was so stressed, I was always Solar Warden was constantly eating hotel rooms and rest right? Then I took about seven months to lose 80 pounds, and I went to 200 pounds. But then over the next two, three years, I gained about 69 pounds of that 80 pounds back. And everybody was like oh man, you know, like you’re gaining weight, blah, blah, blah. And I was like, You know what, that’s sort of normal, like I have fought for most of my life, I haven’t built the muscles on how to actually keep my weight down. And now I built a muscle and learning how to actually control it. And you know, this is part of the process. And so I learned how to actually do that on a regular basis. And kind of right now I can actually speak to my eyes and ears and you know, like lost 35 pounds since the beginning of the year. But what I’m saying is that sometimes you sometimes you do something, you have the instant success, but then you actually go back and really look at your failure. But then what matters is that you you keep true to that goal. And you keep trying to get your goal regardless of what that looks like right now today like, and that’s the same thing with business business, sometimes your large business you go successful, then you become a successful. And then as long as you don’t give up as long as you keep trying, and you find ways that you can make it work. And everybody that person is kind of has worked on some so some people, physically some people emotional some people buy, what matters is that you just keep working on them.

John Corcoran 14:19
Now I want to ask you about this. Taking three weeks off in 14 weeks, it seems like kind of different from what most people do, you know, the rhythms of other people. So if you’re just taking a three week block off in the middle of nowhere, you’ve got 40 people working for you and one business, people working for you and other businesses. How do you manage all that? And, you know, with people with business still continuing on? And? And also, you know, is that something? How do you manage the team to like to the team get the same amount of vacation? Or did they resent the boss? Because he’s taking all this time off?

Iman Aghay 14:58
Well, you know,

I think my team agrees that I work as hard as every single one of them. And and sometimes I work harder than them for many days. And there are times that actually my team comes back to me and says, you know, you really need to take some rest, you need to go on vacation. I’m like, Guys, don’t worry about the I’m good. I don’t think actually ever my team, at least as far as I know, you know, maybe maybe they do have that. But I don’t think actually, my team members think that they’re actually

kind of don’t work or don’t to do the things that I’m supposed to do.

John Corcoran 15:34
That’s a good message. So it’s so it’s, you know, the message to the team is Look, I’m working as hard as you are I’m just doing it at different times different pacing, you know, when I am working for that 14 week sprint, I’m, I’m working just as hard as you are. And on average, it balances out.

Iman Aghay 15:51
Yeah, exactly. And the other piece of that is that by going when you are like I have 4041 team members in one of the companies but that doesn’t mean that I’m managing them. So that’s also another piece that actually a lot of people kind of by default think that that is like because I have 41 team members that means that I’m managing them so the teams are divided into smaller groups and the smaller groups have their own managers have their own team leaders have the people that own their own projects. And and then I have my reps. We have something called Imani team and then we have something called success or the academy team or JB ICP more so Mr. steamers five people that are actually there with me on every company that I have, and and success for the academy team article award for Success Academy, our JV ICT Mr. were people who work for JV IC or, you know, inspirational speakers Institute’s team, are we on board for that Institute. So these, these group of people, like they have their own managers and stuff like that. Now I have my superstar like every single one of my teammates, they’re superstars. Like, every single one of the things and I think one of the things that I mastered, is hiring amazing team members. And Funny enough, we, you know, a lot of people say hire Fast Five, hire slow fire fast. And I don’t agree with that at all. Like, we hire slowly fire much, much, much slower. And And why is that? taking more time to see if you can rehabilitate someone? Well, I learned that because one time I made a mistake. And, and as soon as I made the mistake, I was thinking if I was my own employee, I would fire myself. And then I couldn’t because I was just stuck with me. And I when I didn’t, then I learned how to not to make that mistake again. So I never made that mistake again. And then that moment, I realized Holy crap, like, we are actually spending so much money on training our team with them making mistakes, and then when they make a mistake, we fire them. Instead of saying, okay, I just kind of hundred thousand dollars training you. So I’m not going to kind of lose that right? Few months later. Later, later. My JV manager made a mistake that costs us hundred thousand dollars in an hour. Like literally he cost us hundred thousand dollars in an hour. And he was very stressed. And I called him and he’s like, dude, I’m gonna quit. I’m like, why would you want to quit? And he’s like, because like, I screwed up so bad. This is awful. I’m like, I just spent $100,000 to train you. I’m not gonna let you go like, like, you literally cost me under $1,000 to learn how not to make that mistake. You’re never gonna make that mistake ever again. Your your job? Are you gonna make that mistake? Like No, never like, okay, that’s all I want to see matters. It’s just a $900,000 in training. Right? And, and like, that’s the part that people don’t understand that you, you we hire soft skills we hire, we hire people that are superstars at heart, we hire people that want to actually do their best. And, and we train them and, and, and we believe in them more than they ever believe in themselves. And, and they bring back amazing results for us, for our students for our team members. But that’s the part that’s like we hire soft skills. We never I never hire power, the skills because I can’t teach hard. As soon as I can get people involved our skills. I don’t care about our skills. We hire soft skills.

John Corcoran 19:30
Interesting. Let’s talk a little bit about a hard skill, which is online courses. Why online courses? Why are you so passionate about it? Why have you focused so much your business around it? And I have a feeling it relates to some of these other things around lifestyle that we’re talking about?

Iman Aghay 19:47
Oh, absolutely, absolutely. So as I said, like I was doing 200 events a year, I was exhausted, I was tired, I was looking for a business model that can actually give me the lifestyle that I want. And what I learned was that the best business model that can give you the three type of freedom, which is financial location, and time freedom, is using online courses as the foundation of the marketing of your business. And that means that you use your online courses to attract highly qualified people to your business. Now, online courses are the foundation of everything else. Like, for example, you want to go on a stage you want to sell something, what do you want to sell, you can’t sell from the stage of 1200 people, like you want to one program, you can’t even sell a group coaching program to a stage of 200 people. Because if people are going to come in person, and how do you want to teach it, it just doesn’t work, right? The only thing that you can make sure to stem from the stage in front of 1200 people is an online course. So online courses, a foundation of everything else. And just kind of like that’s the most amazing piece of business that gives you constant income. So said it’s an automated stream of income, but also qualifies highly qualified people. You know, there are lots of people who are interested out there, but they don’t want to pay for you know, for the services that they need. And when you have an online course online course automatically qualifies people who are interested from people who actually want to invest that lower. And when they invest and learn now you have this group of people that you can actually take them to the next level, how many of them are willing to go to your higher end program through a 10,000 15,000 25,000 hundred thousand dollar mentorship programs. And, and two online courses that’s automatic, income generating lead qualifying machine that you produce in front of everything else.

John Corcoran 21:37
And let’s talk also about joint venture insiders circle JV. I see if I said it correctly. Yeah. Why, you know, we bought into that business had been around for a little while. Talk a little bit about for those who don’t know what it is they listened to some of my past episodes, they probably heard what a joint venture is, but explain what a joint venture is, and why it’s valid for business.

Iman Aghay 22:01
Yeah, absolutely. So joint ventures are when two business owners, so partners come together and one of them offers a service and the other one promotes it. That’s one of the type of the joint ventures You can also be like, okay, so joint ventures are divided to two groups, production partners and promotional partners. And that means that you can actually do production partnership with each other. So two people join forces and create one business together. Probably the same as you and Dr. Jeremy Weiss, that most of you had your genius, you actually came in actually got it together, and you’ll build rice 25. Right. So that’s kind of like your production partner, Steve, and probably you got into the business partnership side of that, because we are like what we are fully in on every side of that, right. The other time is a production partnership with a promotional partner, which actually means that somebody is producing, the other one is promoting. So I have an online course you have a main in this. And you look at my online course and you say man, you have a good course, I want to, I want to invite my tribe to actually come and invest on your course. And so that’s kind of another type of joint ventures. The second type is what most people know about and, and that’s like kind of getting people on on different people’s webinars doing talks on the other people’s stages. participating on the largest Product Launch Formula is sending people to each other’s TELUS summits and podcasts. And like all of those things that kind of one person is promoting the other person on the other person is selling their product. So that’s what’s kind of like a simplified version.

John Corcoran 23:35
Until the JV I see, I’ve looked at it before I’ve never been I’ve never actually been, but I know other people who’ve been and said that they enjoyed it. But what what do you do? You bring a bunch of people together and want to collaborate? Right? So what is it like?

Iman Aghay 23:48
So there are two things there their JV IC, which is the community called JV insider circle, which has a yearly membership, that people joined the JV insider circle, we have the dot directory and the Facebook group and monthly meetings that people can actually talk about their launches and everything else like that, and all of those pieces, and then we have the and then we have the JV x, which is the JV experience, which is a three day live event, which we do in California, and, or historically has been done in California. And, and then people would come in and like, kind of like people coming their network with each other, tell each other like what they do, whatever mailing list they have, and how they can actually promote each other and they walk away with getting joint ventures. So there are people that come in and walk away with 15 2025 joint ventures as a result of that three day event. And well, since I bought into the business a few months back, we are actually building new strategies into business. We’re expanding the community and JB ice already was one of the largest JV networks in the world. But then now we are actually taking all the way to the next level with after after I bought the business and want to even expand it further

John Corcoran 25:05
setting. Cool. What are you most excited about? Now, before we wrap things up?

Iman Aghay 25:10
Well, just so particularly at this second that you are interviewing me, I am actually building your six figure business in 47 days as a case study. So and as part of my mandate for that is that I’m not allowed to spend more than $2,000 on that business from scratch. Like I have to bootstrap the whole thing. And just so happened that I didn’t spend a dime. Because we pre sold the course and the course like on day I think day 11 I crew sold the course. And we did like $10,000 in sales. And

John Corcoran 25:41
we had our mailing list. So you haven’t given that up?

Iman Aghay 25:44
No, no, no, no, that was not through my own mailing list. No, no, I actually did not mail a mailing list. So just kind of went through the, my personal, my personal Facebook. Not not about my business, Facebook and Instagram, but I was I just wanted to watch their Facebook profile.

John Corcoran 26:03

Iman Aghay 26:04
yeah, I said, if you want to want to build a successful public speaking business, I’ll get access to my $2,000 course, as a gift, if you come in to finish it to the end comments below, I mean, and I got 130 people went and commented, I mean, I mean, I mean, I did a webinar for them. And they said that you can actually get the course entirely as a gift from if you commit to actually come to a three day live event. And 30 day live events $197 seed deposit, you put the seed deposit down, and you can show off my Dave and give you what your seed deposit back. So when that happened, we were still in the free trial of Click Funnels free trial of Active Campaign, he haven’t gone into past 14 days to even spend the first time I was planning to spend around $2,000. But then, but then that day for the people bought the bottle, I could see deposit down and then some people upgraded to VIP. And at that point, I hadn’t even looked at hotel room. Yeah. So when all that happened, and I booked a hotel room, but the hotel need is $500 down, but I already had like $1,000 in the bank account. So I actually put that money and paid $500 and, and and more and more people after that. But and then I yeah, and I started a group called international affairs, I was called international public speakers community. And I contacted a few people that I knew in different places. I said you want to be the organizer of international public speakers community, and they’re like, what is it? I told them? So you can make this much money and like, this is how it works? Are you in there? Like Yeah, and I said, Well, but you need to do an event next week if you’re in and they said, Well, can you support? And I’m like, Yeah, I can actually tell you what you need to talk talk about tell you how to do it. So we started 12 chapters in a day. And we

John Corcoran 27:54
go do an event in their local city, which helps the organization that you’ve that you. Okay,

Iman Aghay 28:01
yeah, exactly. So so far, like that was like, how many days ago that was like seven days ago. And so far we have done like four talks in different cities. And and then I think this week, we’re going to another five. And the next week, we have another three talks. And these are local events, I’m not doing them, they’re doing it and and then whatever they sell, they get 50% of it. And and then anyhow, we have other pieces on the model also. it’s it’s a it’s a case study, I’m actually reporting on it every single night to a small group of my students that how I’m building the entire business from scratch without spending a dime. And yeah, so So far, we have about $10,000 in cash in the bank account, nice work,

John Corcoran 28:43
you always hear successful entrepreneurs, and they get to a point they’ve got, you know, multi hundred million dollar businesses. And they they missed that small time they miss like, kind of the scrappy bootstrapping, beginner period, so I can see why you’re enjoying doing it. And I’ll be interested to hear how it goes when you’re at the end of the 47 or 50 days, and you wrap it up. So I wanna, I know, you have to go soon. So to wrap things up with the question I was asked, which is, let’s pretend we’re at an awards banquet, much like the Oscars, the Emmys, and you are receiving an award for lifetime achievement for everything that you’ve done. Up until this point, you’ve achieved a lot. Who do you think Who are the people you acknowledge, in addition to our family and friends? Who are the partners or the peers or the mentors, or the coaches that you would acknowledge in your remarks? Well,

Iman Aghay 29:32
you said, besides family or friends, but I gotta tell you, actually, I’m not gonna say beside them, I’m going to tell tell you exactly what’s going to be first first and foremost, I’m going to actually thank my wife and my mom. I have a very big reason for that is because both of them always believed in me far more than I ever believed in myself. When I was 14 years old, my mom turned back to me on set him on one day, you’re going to be the leader in any industry that you want. And I was 14, I had absolutely no idea what those words meant. And I look back at my life, and the we have a T shirt in my company called I’m a leader. Funny enough, I always wear that except today with like, no other. We always have a teacher that is like, under the heart of it says I’m a leader and everybody come to my environment. I always shout, I’m a leader, I’m a leader. I was just like, hottie my mom nil. And you know, and I always wonder like, Is it that her belief in me like it was so ingrained that I can actually become a leader in the industry? Or is it that I became a leader because she believed in me, I am no idea. But anyhow, I always thank her because of the belief that she had in me and same with my wife. We almost became homeless at one point, and she stood by my side, and she’s like, Mom, we do whatever I can, whether whether we should to make it happen to bring your dream to reality, and we did, but but she’s with me every step of the way. And so I can 3d just go them aside and say, beside them, we’re going to thank you for the oils, because they were the two most important people that made a huge, massive difference in my life. And then next definitely is going to be my team, every single one of my team members, they go above and beyond and

actually funny enough, in our

interviews for hiring, we actually have one interview that the point of that interview is repelling people are actually getting that get on that interview to scare people. And I give them this ridiculous case studies like ridiculous stuff. And and then many people are just got up Nope, that’s not my job. That’s not what I’m gonna do. One person told me, tell me, you’re looking for a slave and like, don’t like never do that. That’s the way that the reality of my business is. And you know, if you if it doesn’t work for you, then don’t be just kind of like I’m telling you up front, right? Every single one of my team members went above and beyond many, many, many occasions. But there are some only theaters that work so hard that sometimes I tell them Can I actually get you to go on a rest right now. Because I like I feel uncomfortable that you are actually working at this time. So and, and because of them, our students are getting the results that they are getting on our our team is kind of like getting the results they’re getting. So those are two people. For sure. There are a few of my friends that stood by my side, one of them, his name is Roger killin. And he stood on the stage, the data that was on the hospital, he stood on the stage for three days. And when I couldn’t get to my own event, and he actually ran my event without knowing what he’s doing.

John Corcoran 32:42
called him the daily part of the company, or just, he just,

Iman Aghay 32:45
he just, he was a friend. And I called him the day before. And I said, Roger, I’m heading to the hospital, apparently, I’m adding to surgery room, and you are a few that are on my event. And he said, don’t worry about it, you just go and take her your health, I took care of everything else. And he got on the stage. And he emceed my event, we had other speakers and he ran David without even getting the chance to even talk to me about what the event is about. And the run a 250 people event. And, and, you know, there’s been so many different times that I call him and that I need advice or suggestions and stuff like that I’ve helped him a lot with his business as well. But that’s kind of like going above and beyond for another friend, right? You know, and I always say like, if you have a friend that you can, you can’t rely on your eyes closed. Definitely, definitely that’s the that’s the person you want to have around. I have way too many people around me that I can go on and on and on. Forever I do it. I do a nightly journaling, we call it daily success card, which we started writing eight lines of gratitude. And we have to write it in hi eight lines. And every single night, it’s very easy for me to write those eight lines, because there’s so many people that my life that I’m grateful for. I there are so many things that I’m grateful for in my life. That kind of that just kind of how it is. But I want to tell you something else, john, I know just kind of jumped into that one. But also one of the greatest ways of being successful is being grateful because our brain does understand the difference between being grateful and being successful. So when you are a grateful person, your brain automatically thinks you are a successful person. So it actually produces the chemicals that successful person’s brain produces. When you have those chemicals, you feel like a successful person and you feel like a successful person you think like the successful person, or you feel I think like a successful person, you act like a successful person. When you feel think and act like a successful person, you become a successful person. So I just want to put that out that if every single night of your life, right eight lines or whatever Brynn foot for for every single day. That’s one of the greatest barrio packs where we can grow successful person without doing anything else.

John Corcoran 35:06
That’s great advice. Yeah, I know I have in front of me, I have a piece of paper that I fill out every morning which has things I’m grateful for. I don’t always fill it out though. I need to always fill it out. So that’s good. Good reminder, Amman where can people learn more about you?

Iman Aghay 35:22
Well, I can be easily found on my website, Eamon our guide. com that’s Im a n a g h. a by.com. Or through success road academy.com or on any social media like but not me, but Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and LinkedIn. All of them but my name you mama guy. Great. Alright,

John Corcoran 35:45
perfect. I’m on. Thanks so much. It was a pleasure.

Iman Aghay 35:48
Thank you, brother for having me here.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Corey Blake | Professional Actor Turned Business Storyteller

Running a business is never easy.

That’s why it can be tempting – especially in times of struggle – to make up stories. Or to use white lies, if you will. 

Kind of like …acting, you might say.

That may be why this week’s podcast guest, Corey Blake, a long time working actor, found the transition from acting to business a natural one.   

Corey is not only an actor, but an accomplished storyteller, TEDx speaker, and Founder and CEO of Round Table Companies. He is also a publisher at Conscious Capitalism Press. 

This week Corey joins John to discuss his life as an actor, the events of his life which led him to his current success, and the value and power in being vulnerable. 

In this episode, we also talk about:

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Subscribe on Android | RSS

  • How Corey’s Training in Acting Translates Into the Business World
  • The Methods Corey’s Company Uses to Change the Story of His Clients
  • Corey’s Time as an Actor, and His Famous Super Bowl Commercial
  • How Home Life Influenced Corey’s Life Choices
  • Suspending Judgement and Recognizing the Humanity in Others
  • Why Corey Left Los Angeles
  • The Struggles of Starting a New Company
  • Networking in Hollywood and Why Being Authentic Helps Good Relationships Happen Organically
  • Why Corey Chose Vulnerability as the Subject for His TED Talk
  • How Corey Came to be an Author
  • What is “Conscious Capitalism”?
  • Some People Don’t Like to Showcase Themselves
  • Impacting the World Will Inevitably Rile People Up
  • Why Books are Still Relevant Today
  • Who Corey Thanks for His Success

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, the done-for-you lead generation service to get you a steady flow of new leads, prospects, referral partners and strategic partners coming in the door every month, month after month.

Rise25 Media was created by myself and my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weisz, and is part of our mission to help connect more entrepreneurs with their ideal prospects and referral partners.

We do this through lead generation and proactive outreach, and we do this through our done for you podcast service, which is the #1 thing I’ve done in my business and life.

To learn more, book a call with us here.

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and podcast services.

Right Click here to download the MP3

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Episode Transcript

John Corcoran  0:40  

Alright, welcome everybody. My guest on this show is Corey Blake, who is a working actor, longtime working actor, turned speaker, artist storyteller. He’s also the publisher of conscious capitalism press and we’re going to talk about that that is the publishing arm of conscious capitalism, which is a company founded by Whole Foods founder, john Mackey.

Previously started in commercial which was recognized as one of the 50 greatest Super Bowl commercials of all time. Amazing 115 independent publishing awards been featured on the cover of Wall Street Journal, New York Times USA Today, you name it a bunch of different places. But first before we dive into that, this podcast is brought to you by rights 25 media which is our done for you, boutique lead generation and podcasting agency helping b2b businesses to get a steady flow of new leads prospects, referral partners and strategic partners coming in the door every month. Right so unified media was created by myself and my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weiss. And it’s part of our mission to make the world a smaller place by creating connections, helping to connect many more entrepreneurs and business owners with their ideal prospects and referral partners. They love to work with you learn more about it. Go on to the web at rise, wave calm or book a call with us at rise 25 dot com slash call and not now on to our show. As I mentioned, our guest is Corey Blake now Corey, he spent years as a working actor. You know, I started my career working the entertainment

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Todd Herman | How to Use Alter Egos to Improve Your Performance in Business and in Life

Everyone wants to perform at a high level.

Millions of dollars are spent every year on books, coaching, and other training by people seeking to perform better.

And yet, often what holds us back from top performance isn’t our skills, training, or equipment.

It’s in our head.

So what do you do about it? How do you make yourself a top performer – and control your own mindset in the process?

Todd Herman has the answer.

Todd is an author, performance advisor, and entrepreneur with over twenty years of experience assisting professionals increase production and achieve wildly outrageous goals. Todd’s new book The Alter Ego Effect is now a Wall Street Journal Best Seller.

The power of using an alter ego, Todd believes, is what can pull us out of a slump.

In this episode, Todd joins John to talk about adopting alter egos, how he came to his profession, and the time he met Bo Jackson.

In this episode, we also talk about:

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Subscribe on Android | RSS

  • The Difference Between Todd and the Typical Self-Help “Guru”
  • Why Affirmations Sometimes Cause Depression
  • What Todd Means by an Alter Ego
  • How Todd’s Book The Alter Ego Effect Set a Record
  • Why Todd is the Go-To Person for High-Profile Athletes
  • Todd Didn’t Invent Alter Egos, it is a Part of Everyone
  • Which Sides of the Brain We Need to Access for Alter Egos
  • The Time Todd Met Bo Jackson
  • Who Bo Jackson Used as an Alter Ego on the Football Field
  • How Cicero Coined the Term “Alter Ego”
  • Self-Doubt Can Inadvertently Become Part of Your Personality
  • Humans Inherently Have Many Selves
  • Why Todd Needed an Alter Ego
  • The Power of Using an Alter Ego in Your Daily Life
  • How to Be Concise When Telling Your Origin Story
  • Clarity is the First Phase in Working at a High Level
  • Developing a Theme for Your Origin Story
  • Peak Performance is Found By Focusing on the Process, Not the Outcome
  • Having a Clear Goal is Key to High Performance
  • Who Todd Thanks for His Success

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, the done-for-you lead generation service to get you a steady flow of new leads, prospects, referral partners and strategic partners coming in the door every month, month after month.

Rise25 Media was created by myself and my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weisz, and is part of our mission to help connect more entrepreneurs with their ideal prospects and referral partners.

We do this through lead generation and proactive outreach, and we do this through our done for you podcast service, which is the #1 thing I’ve done in my business and life.

To learn more, book a call with us here.

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and podcast services.

Right Click here to download the MP3

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Episode Transcript

Announcer  0:01

Welcome to the smart business revolution, revolution, revolution, revolution, Revolution, the revolution

the revolution going on right now.

Dush Ramachandran  0:14

Welcome to the Revolution, the smart business revolution podcast where we asked today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now now, your host for the revolution. JOHN Corcoran.

John Corcoran  0:40

Alright, welcome everybody. My guest on the show is Todd Herman. He’s an author. He’s a performance advisor and an entrepreneur for 20 plus years. His training company Herman, performance systems has focused on helping achievers ambitious people, athletes, entrepreneurs, CEOs to really achieve wildly outrageous goals. While

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Charlene Li | How a Disruption Mindset Can Help Your Business Thrive

One of the biggest dangers of running a business is becoming stagnant in a world which can change in the blink of an eye.

The right kind of mindset is needed to know when a fresh perspective is needed within a company. It is the key to maintaining success.

It’s a mindset that needs to place willingness to change and disrupt oneself front and center.

Charlene Li has literally written the book on how to develop that Disruption Mindset.

Charlene is the Founder and Senior Fellow at Altimeter, a consulting company which helps companies thrive through self-disruption. She is the author of six books including her newest, The Disruption Mindset, as well as the New York Times best-selling book Open Leadership.

In this episode, John sits down with Charlene to discuss her new book, why companies need to disrupt themselves, and some companies around today who live the disruption mindset…and some that don’t.

In this episode, we also talk about:

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Subscribe on Android | RSS

  • Some Examples of Disruptive Companies and Companies Who Disrupt Themselves
  • Some Examples of Companies Who Failed to Disrupt Themselves
  • Why Companies Need to “Disrupt or Die”
  • The Example of Adobe: Going Against Trends to Serve Future Customers
  • Disruptive Companies Need a Customer-Focused Strategy and the Right Kind of Employee
  • The Example of T-Mobile: Re-Branding Themselves With a Customer Focus
  • Being Disruptive Means Creating a Movement
  • Living in a World of Flux: it is Essential to Be Flexible and Empower Employees to Have Agency in a Business
  • Altimeter, Charlene’s Disruptive Analyst Firm
  • Why Charlene Decided to Change From a Subscription Model to Offering Her Service for Free
  • Why You Should Try to Find New and Different Ways to Serve the Customer
  • The Modern Landscape of Business With Influencers, Analysts, Consultants, and Analyst Companies
  • ABR: Always Be Researching
  • The Process that Altimeter Follows
  • Utilizing Organizations Like YPO
  • How to Change and Improve the Culture of a Company
  • The Successes and Eccentricities of Elon Musk
  • Who Charlene Thanks For Her Success

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, the done-for-you lead generation service to get you a steady flow of new leads, prospects, referral partners and strategic partners coming in the door every month, month after month.

Rise25 Media was created by myself and my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weisz, and is part of our mission to help connect more entrepreneurs with their ideal prospects and referral partners.

We do this through lead generation and proactive outreach, and we do this through our done for you podcast service, which is the #1 thing I’ve done in my business and life.

To learn more, book a call with us here.

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and podcast services.

Right Click here to download the MP3

Advertise on the Smart Business Revolution Podcast

Episode Transcript

John Corcoran 0:40
Alright, welcome everyone. My guest is Charlene Li, and she’s the best selling author of six books, including the New York Times bestseller, open leadership and also co author of the critically acclaimed book groundswell her latest book is the disruption mindset, which is being published in August of 2019. recording this a couple of months before it comes out. So got a preview of it, which is really cool. And we’re going to be talking about some of these, you know, important concepts that are really driving in affecting our economy today that disruptive businesses that are you know, everyone’s talking about, everyone’s focused on that are really changing things in our economy, and this episode is actually brought to you by rise revived media, which is the boutique marketing agency I co founded with my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weiss in 2015. With the mission of helping to connect more businesses with their best referral partners, and customers rise 25 Media connects your ideal prospects, referral partners and strategic partners, using our done few services and done for you b2b podcasts. It’s part of our larger mission to make the world a smaller place by connecting business owners and business professionals to the people that they love to work with. So to learn more, go to rise 25 dot com, you can book a call with us at rise 25 dot com slash call. And as I said, My guest Charlene for the best, you know, two decades has been helping people to really see the future. That’s what she does. And she’s written six best selling books. As I mentioned, she’s also an entrepreneur, founder and senior fellow at altimeter, which is a disruptive analyst firm that was acquired in 2015 by profit. And she speaks all over the globe. She has been on 60 minutes PBS NewsHour, ABC News, NBC, CNBC, all kinds of different places. And, you know, Charlene, thanks so much for being here. And this is really a timely book, considering you know, you and I were literally right across the bay from each other. Hi, I’m in, in in Marin, and you’re over in San Francisco. San Francisco is Silicon Valley is the heart of disruption. Right? We love disruptive companies. Uber’s from here, Facebook’s from here, Google’s from here. We’re surrounded by it. Why is this a relevant topic that you chose to write about? Now?

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Seth Greene | How to Leverage Podcasts & Partnering with Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington

The growth of podcasting has been taking place for years now and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Knowing how to leverage a podcast in your business can increase your reach and your bottom line.

Seth Greene has paved the way.

Seth is CEO of the direct response marketing firm Market Domination LLC, a seven-time best-selling author, and co-host of the SharkPreneur podcast with Kevin Harrington of Shark Tank.

In this episode, Seth sits down with John to talk about all things podcasting, how he met Kevin Harrington, and why he doesn’t worry about ad revenue from his podcast.

In this episode, we also talk about:

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Subscribe on Android | RSS

  • How Seth Greene got into podcasting
  • Why Seth’s book idea morphed into a podcast and a new income stream
  • Millennials Buy More Physical Books Than Any Other Group
  • Why Do Successful Podcasts Podfade?
  • The Difficulties of Getting a Return on a Podcast
  • The Story of How Kevin and Seth Started SharkPreneur
  • Reciprocity and Networking is a Big Benefit of Doing a Podcast
  • Why Seth Loves to be on Podcasts
  • The Benefits From Appearing on Other People’s Podcasts
  • Seth’s Advice for New Podcasters
  • How to Maintain Your Relationships Once You Connect Through Podcasts
  • Take Every Opportunity to be on Media Because You Never Know Who Will Hear It
  • Trade Guest Appearances With Other Podcasts
  • Learn From Your Guests on Your Podcast
  • Don’t Get Hung Up on Audio Equipment
  • Seth’s Background in Direct Response Marketing
  • Why Seth Doesn’t Try to Earn Income Through Ads in the Podcast
  • Who Seth Thanks for His Success

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, the done-for-you lead generation service to get you a steady flow of new leads, prospects, referral partners and strategic partners coming in the door every month, month after month.

Rise25 Media was created by myself and my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weisz, and is part of our mission to help connect more entrepreneurs with their ideal prospects and referral partners.

We do this through lead generation and proactive outreach, and we do this through our done for you podcast service, which is the #1 thing I’ve done in my business and life.

To learn more, book a call with us here.

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and podcast services.

Right Click here to download the MP3

Advertise on the Smart Business Revolution Podcast

Episode Transcript

John Corcoran  0:40

Alright, welcome everyone. My guest is Seth Green. He’s the CEO of the direct response marketing for market domination LLC, a seven time best selling author and the co host of the shark printer podcast with shark tank’s Kevin Harrington, which was actually named recently one of the top 10 podcasts listened to in 2018 by NASDAQ really impressive. So we’re going to talking about one of my favorite topics, which is podcasting. Why you need a podcast for your business. Now more than ever, he runs and manages podcasts for people. So he’s got really deep experience in this area. And I’m really interested to pick his brain on all this. And this episode is brought to you by rise 25, the lead generation agency business which I co founded in 2013, with my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weiss, and our mission is to help to connect you with your best referral partners and customers. And, you know, we we spend a lot of time with that and in targeting the right types of people for you to be with. And what better way to do that, of course, then with a podcast, one of the best tools out there. And so Seth, I’m excited to talk to you about this. You got started with podcasting. I don’t know what year it was. Exactly. But you had a separate podcast before the podcast you did with shark printer. What led you to podcasting originally? When did you get started?

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