Jonathan Slain | [Pivot Series] How to Rock the Recession

Jonathan Slain is a recession expert, traction implementer, and speaker. He coaches high growth leadership teams across the United States and helps them implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). He focuses on working with entrepreneurial niche specialty firms and large corporations with over $10 million in annual revenue. 

Jonathan released a book about how to survive and thrive in a recession right before the Coronavirus global pandemic hit. The book is called Rock the Recession: How Successful Leaders Prepare for, Thrive During, and Create Wealth After Downturns which came out in September of 2019. He is also active in the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and has been active in leadership positions within the organization. 

John Corcoran, host of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast is joined by Jonathan Slain, an author and recession expert, to talk about surviving and thriving in a recession. Jonathan explains to John why he wrote a book on recession right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and he also discusses the benefits of implementing the EOS process in any company.

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Available_Black copy
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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Why Jonathan wrote a book about surviving and thriving during a recession and his experience coaching clients on how to behave during a recession
  • Jonathan’s thoughts on the current recession that’s caused by the pandemic
  • Jonathan talks about some of his clients that have pivoted into new areas because of COVID-19
  • How companies can know whether the recession is going to get worse or better
  • Jonathan talks about owning and operating a fitness franchise for almost 10 years and how it shaped his philosophy towards recession
  • The importance of evaluating one’s business on a regular basis
  • How the EOS process helps with interpersonal issues in companies
  • Jonathan talks about the people he acknowledges for his achievements and success
  • Where to learn more and connect with Jonathan Slain

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

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If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

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Episode Transcript

Intro  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, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

John Corcoran  0:40  

All right. Welcome everyone. John Corcoran here, host of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where I talk with CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs of companies and organizations like YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, Lending tree, Open Table, x software, and many more. I’m also the co-founder of Rise25, where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. And before introducing today’s guest I want to give a big thank you to Bill Gallagher of the Scaling Up Podcast. I know Bill through the San Francisco EO community. He’s also a great podcaster and you should definitely check him out. He featured today’s guest, which is how I heard about this gentleman’s work, check out the Scaling Up Podcast in your favorite podcast app or go to if you want to learn more about Bill.

But our guest today is Jonathan Slain and you know, I was joking with him before and he needs to pursue a new career as a fortune teller because he released a book about how to survive and thrive in a recession right before the Coronavirus global pandemic hit the book. The book is called Rock the Recession: How Successful Leaders Prepare for, Thrive During, and Create Wealth After Downturns and came out in September of 2019. I’m sure many people said what do you think and man that’s crazy. You should write something about our low economy that’s just gonna keep on going. But he actually coaches high growth leadership teams across the United States. He helps them to implement the entrepreneurial operating system also known as EOS also known as traction. By the way, check out my episode with Gino Wickman if you get the chance. He’s a great guy, great authors, and has written a number of books. 

Jonathan focuses on working with entrepreneurial niche specialty firms and large corporations. So $10million+ in annual revenue. He’s also active in Entrepreneurs Organization as well and has been active in leadership positions there. And a fun fact he was valedictorian of his graduating class and had the highest GPA ever in the history of his high school, where he was also voted the next Bill Gates and the least likely to lose his virginity. I’m not sure that I would put that in my bio. But hey, it’s up to you, man. Just quickly before we get in this interview, this is brought to you by Rise25 Media. And look, I don’t need to tell you the world has changed. That’s what this episode is about. A question is what do you do about it and in this economy is more important than ever to be able to connect and build strong relationships with clients, referral partners, and strategic partners, even when you can’t be face to face. At Rise25 we have 20 years of experience in the b2b space connecting and building profitable relationships with clients, referral partners and strategic partners using podcasts and content marketing. We’ve helped hundreds of b2b businesses get more clients and referrals and land collaborations with dream clients. So if you want to learn more about that, go to, or email us at [email protected]

All right, Jonathan, it’s great to have you here. So first of all, let’s start with September, or actually, probably much earlier than that you started reading this book, and I’m sure you’re telling people Hey, guys, I’m reading this book about the recession. And they What do people read that with? Like, what do you not sir, the economy’s doing great. Well, I’d write Why would you take all your time to write a book about the recession?

Jonathan Slain  3:33  

Thanks, John. Thanks for having me. So it was actually two years before we published it, that I started working. A lot of my clients are contractors and contractors had an especially tough time in the Great Recession. And so as I was starting to see economic indicators start to signal that the economy was probably in for another recession, as we saw unemployment, getting to record lows, and we saw consumer confidence gain to record highs. counter intuitively, those are predictors, that we are probably going to have a recession. And so I really started two years ago, just helping my clients do some exercises to figure out when there is a recession, how we would react. And the point was just to have you know, that plan, put it under glass. And then when there was a recession, calmly walk over and break the glass, take out the plan and execute instead of having to freak out. So that was the genesis of the whole thing. And then once we had the workbook put together, then a lot of my clients just resonated with the content and said, this is really good stuff. You should do a book on this. And so that’s how the book came about. I wish I could tell you there was a grand plan to do the book, but it was really because I was working with clients, doing some recession readiness exercises, and then they went Wanting to hear more the full story about, you know, why am I a recession expert? Why do I deserve to talk about it? Why should you listen to me? And that’s why we published the book. And was it hard to get some people to pay attention to your message at this point in time when you’re working with these clients? And, you know, they’re counting the Benjamins, so to speak, you know, is it hard to get them to say, Hey, guys, let’s take some time to think about what you’ll do. And that, you know, when a recession does happen, or did you find people were open to that conversation? Yeah, john, it’s still hard. I mean, even worse, we’re technically in a recession right now. And I think part of the challenge, and by that, I just mean, to two quarters in a row of GDP declining, which is the government’s definition. But in any case, a lot of people, a lot of business owners still aren’t feeling it. I mean, I understand that if you’re in hospitality, if you’re in retail, you’re in a recession, or strike that you’re actually I should have called the book, dodge the depression, for those industries, because that’s what they’re really facing. But in a lot of other industries right now, or depending on where you live in the country, things are still going well. So if you’re in a central business, maybe you were never shut down. Or maybe you don’t live in one of the states where we’ve had an outbreak. And so things have just kind of been cruising along. A lot of companies are reporting that with PPP funds, they’re actually doing better than they were before, they have relatively strong balance sheets. And so I think a lot of it is situation dependent. But it’s always hard. I’ve learned through this process, to get people to pay attention and plan for a potential future negative. Better to write happy books, I think, if you want people to take you up on it, really, our book is for the companies that do see a recession coming, or they do understand that we’re going to be in one, and then want to figure out how to look forward to it. So also, John, the important part for us was not to regurgitate the conventional wisdom with recessions, which is you need to cut expenses, you need to fire everybody and just turtle up and try to survive. Ours is a lot more about how do you use the recession’s for the opportunities that they bring the opportunity to buy other companies that weren’t prepared? Or to buy assets for a lot cheaper? Or, you know, we all know there’s been a war on. Now, there’s a lot of eight, that’s all of a sudden available in the market. How do you use this reception as the opportunity to hire all those people that up to this point you couldn’t afford? And so that was a lot of where we’re coming from?

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