Transcript: How to Gain Confidence, Increase Productivity, and Move Toward Mastery Each Day

February 19, 2015

AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, Amy Porterfield here, and welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. As always, I am thrilled that you’re here today. Today we’re changing things up. 

We generally talk about the strategies and tactics and the actions that you need to take to build your business, and I can talk about that stuff all day long, I love it. Instead, we’re actually going to talk about the mindset of an entrepreneur. 

If you’re anything like me or if you’re human, let’s just get down to the basics, you have definitely faced some challenges and fears as you ventured out to grow your own business. We all face those fears and challenges. Some are different than others, of course. I might have one challenge that you’ve totally mastered and you might be struggling with something in that head of yours that you are thinking will hold you back. We’re all very different. 

But I will say there are some really common challenges and fears that I hear come up a lot. I know this for sure because a few weeks back I posted on my Facebook Page asking my fans to share with me some of those mindset challenges they’ve been facing. It was really endearing because over 60 people gave honest and genuine answers about some of the fears and challenges they have been facing in their business. 

You could almost hear the angst in those concerns and those challenges. My heart went out to them because I’ve been there. I know what it feels like. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in your head and you are not moving forward and taking the action you want. 

I’m not the expert in solving all of these mindset challenges. Oh how I wish I was. But I’m not. So because of that I have asked my own personal business coach to come on the show today and help us move past these. 

My business coach is Todd Herman and although I’ve known Todd for many, many years now, we just started working together earlier this year. The experience is new for me. I made this big investment because I wanted to up my productivity. This guy is all about action and efficiency and productivity so he is the perfect guy for where I am at in my business right now. 

He’s got a pretty amazing background. In the business world he’s become the performance and leadership advisor to two self-made billionaires (that’s billionaires), Cisco executives, members of the Spanish royal family, and numerous online entrepreneurs, including me. 

Todd is all about performance. He knows that performance starts with your head. What’s in that mind of yours and what’s holding you back. That’s what we’re going to focus on today. 

I will say my favorite thing about Todd is he is actually just a farm kid from Alberta but he is living in New York City and he has a wonderful wife, Valerie; two adorable, squeezable-cheeked little girls that I can’t even get enough of, Molly and Sophie. I just recently got to meet them and they are absolutely precious. Todd is a family guy through and through which always makes me love to  work  with  somebody  even more. 

In this episode we’re diving into the mindset challenges many of us face when building our businesses. Again, the goal here is to help you move past some of those challenges. I think you’ll be able to identify with some of them that I am going to bring up here today. The goal is to help you move past them so you can actually see stronger performance in everything that you do. 

My favorite thing is that when my editor was editing the meat, that’s what I call the interview part, of this interview he said, “Amy, this is the most insightful podcast episode you’ve ever done.” 

Coming from a guy that’s heard all of my podcasts, that definitely means a lot so I think you are in for a great treat today. 

In this episode you are also going to hear Todd and I talk about a special task tracker that I’ve been using for the last 30 days now and it has definitely rocked my world. Basically, it’s called the entrepreneurial scorecard. I have to use it everyday and I track the work I’m doing but I track it in different columns. I’m not going to tell you all of the secrets to it until you hear the interview but if you want to get it before you actually listen to the interview, you can go to 47download or you can text 47download to 38470. You can text me or just go online and get this free PDF giveaway that I’ve been including in every episode. This one is really, really cool so I want you to grab that and then I’ll talk a little bit more about it inside the interview. 

One more thing, at the beginning of the interview, because Todd lives in New York City and they are freezing their buns off at this time of year, you will hear the heater come on. The heater is on during this first few minutes in the first question I asked him. Then I had him turn it off and then the dang thing came on later on at the end. It wasn’t his fault. 

I don’t know what happened but just ignore it. Don’t let it throw you off. He has so much great stuff to say that you will just hear a hum in the background. It’s no big deal, right? 

As always, this episode is brought to you by Lead Pages. Lead Pages is my favorite tool that I use every day to build my business. I can’t get enough of that company. I think they are spectacular at what they do. There is no coding, no design, no programming. They make it really easy to create an opt-in page and start building your email list. 

If you want to see a mini training of how I use Lead Pages and how you can use it too, I created it from scratch. It’s brand new at newleads. So get that free training right now. 

I am not going to make you wait any longer, let’s go ahead and dive in. Todd, thanks so much for being here with me today, I truly appreciate it. 

Todd Herman: Absolutely. I’m excited to talk about the different topics we have lined up. 

Amy: Yes, we’ve done some research in advance. We’ve asked our audiences questions in terms of what they are struggling with as they build their business. So we’ve got a lot of good stuff to dive into. But, before we get there I want to make sure that everyone listening really understands you and gets you because your business is different than the other guests I have had on the show before. 

So, tell people a little bit about what it is that you do and how you get results for people. 

Todd: I’ve had a coaching and consulting business for about 18 years now. I guess the easiest way to describe it would be if anybody has ever been at the golf range and met someone or heard someone complain about the fact that they are fantastic on the practice tee but when it comes to actually going on the course and performing there is a huge difference between how they hit the balls on the practice tee and how they actually hit the balls when they are on the course itself. 

I have helped professional and Olympic athletes make sure that their practice performance looks the exact same as their game-day performance. The way that I do that is through mental toughness strategies, sports psychology consulting, helping them with their confidence, relaxing in the moment, eliminating stress and anxiety. 

I have been doing that for a long time. I have worked with lots of Olympians, pro athletes in football and basketball, professional golf, and then about ten years ago I transitioned into doing a lot more work in the corporate and entrepreneurial space. I built up a big leadership program with a large group of companies around the world, Fortune 50 companies, so I help people perform at a higher level so that the vision they have and what they actually do in their day matches up. 

Amy: And you’re pretty dang good at what you do. I can say that personally because I have now hired you to be my coach and you have been kicking my butt, to say the least. And it’s a good thing. But I love this term you use, mental toughness. 

I think we are going to see some of your specialty in that area come through in all of these questions that I’m going to ask you. We have these scenarios that I would love you to take us through in terms of how you would coach someone through these challenges I am going to put in front of you. Are you cool with that? 

Todd: Absolutely, fire away. 

Amy: The first one is actually mine before I started working with you. It’s something that I continue to work on. So let’s just dive into mine first and then we will get to some of the other questions that were sent in. 

My challenge is this: No matter what I do to fix it, I am constantly working on a million things at once and nothing seems to ever get my full attention. 

Todd: This is a phenomenon that we call context switching. The metaphor would be that a lot of people have been to a buffet and there are so many great things that are staring back at you and we want to take some of it. But by the time we walk away and go sit down we have a heaping plate of food that the average person can rarely get though. There are actually some special people out there that can actually finish off and polish off that plate and they are determined folk. 

We have the exact same thing in the entrepreneurial space. Whether it’s a particular marketing platform we could go to or a way we could generate leads for our business or the way we actually deliver our products, or the types of software we can bring into our business. We start working on bringing in one piece of software and we like it but then we hear someone else is getting amazing results on another software platform so we decide to maybe check out that one and we will download that one or sign up for it and we start working in that (maybe an email system). 

What is happening is we are stacking up all of these different projects. There was a study that was done in the early 1990s. They had people essentially sitting at a computer screen and once a dot flashed on the screen they had to, at the same time, press a button. It was pretty simple, see a light, press a button. 

Then there was another group who had to, not only push a button when the light was shown, but they would also then have to push a corresponding color that was next to it. If it was red they had to push the red button, then blue, yellow, or green button, and so on and so forth. 

They found that they would actually lose a whole bunch of time with the more sequences they had. They would lose 20% of their time in just trying to reacquaint themselves with the next thing they had to push. 

How does this translate to you? If you’ve got five projects on the go right now, which is actually a very low number. The average entrepreneur actually has multiple projects or multiple things they are working on. If you haven’t organized your day in a way that you are working on one specific thing at a time then you are working at five things at the same time with email open and working on a Facebook campaign and then also writing an article. 

Or, if you are in a retail business, somebody walks in the door and you have to greet them but you are also talking to a supplier on the phone. If you are doing all of these things at the same time, the conversation with your supplier on the phone actually ends up taking you longer because you have to reacquaint yourself to that person. 

If you are working on one project and one project alone, context switching says that you have how much of your time available? Well, you have 100% of your time available because you are working on one project and that’s it. Of course you will have 100% of your time. 

But then this phenomenon kicks in where you are working on two projects at the same time. I ask people how much time they have available and most people will say they have 50% for one project and 50% for the other. That isn’t the case. 

You actually have 40% for each project because context switching will cost you 20% of your time. It is literally a lost amount of time in your day. So if I have eight hours and I was working on two projects and skipping back and forth between the two of them I could literally cost myself a hard cost of 20% of my day. 

That compounds and compounds over time so that if you are actually working on five projects at once you have actually lost 75% of productivity at the end of the day. That’s 75% of the day’s hours to context switching because you have to reacquaint yourself, where was I again? Or maybe you’ve moved a notebook around and you can’t find it. Or you don’t know what page you were on. Maybe you had a tab open and now you can’t find it. You are wasting all of this time to try to reacquaint yourself. 

The reason an entrepreneur can’t feel like you are getting any traction underneath yourself is because you just haven’t learned the model for really managing the activities in your day. I say that word instead of time because this idea of time management is a complete fallacy. No human being can manage time. Time is not a manageable thing. 

What is manageable are the activities in your day. Plus, the idea of managing activities is far more empowering to people because this idea of time management seems to be super daunting. I have control of my activities. 

The reason you aren’t getting any traction on all of these things is because you have way too many things you are working on at one time and haven’t learned a new way of managing yourself and those activities in your day and sticking to it. 

There’s a great story that kind of goes around this too. Back in 1903, Charles Schwab, who had just become the president of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, which was a huge company owned by Andrew Carnegie. Ivy Lee, who really was the father of the publicity industry, had said to him, “If I could give you a way to  increase  the productivity of your company, what would that be worth to you?” 

Charles Schwab’s response to that was, “I would pay anyone, within a reasonable amount, any amount of money that could increase the productivity of myself in the company.” 

Ivy Lee gave him his strategy to do that and asked him to pay what he felt it was worth once he had a go of it. Three weeks later Ivy Lee received a check from Charles Schwab for $25,000. I plugged that amount into the online calendar of conversion and that total $598,013. 

Amy: So it was a lot. Wow. 

Todd: Yeah. Basically, the strategy was to write out the six highest priority tasks that you will be working on tomorrow and prioritize them from one to six then only move to the second one after you have completed number one. 

Amy: Oh, so good. 

Todd: That’s it. It’s super simple. Have other people heard this before? Of course they have. But if you are looking for the most convoluted, complicated strategy then you have already started with the wrong tool in your hands. It’s simple. It’s not challenging or difficult. The challenging and difficult part is the “you” part and sticking to it. 

After a while you’ve callused it up and you have created a habit and behavior and it’s easy. 

Amy: So Todd, I mentioned in the podcast right before this, #46, that I read a book, Scrum, that you and my friend, Devin, recommended. In that book they talked about doing these sprints and actually having a task to completion, whatever that 

completion looks like to you, before you move on to this next kind of concept. Is that a little bit like what you are referring to there? 

Todd: Absolutely. It’s all about establishing some sort of result that you’re trying to get out of the project. I know what it’s like out there. People tell me they can’t complete Project #1 because it will take three weeks to even complete that project. That’s not what I’m talking about. 

I’m talking about the activity within that project. Maybe it’s to write an email. Don’t move on to the next project you have until you’ve completed the email for Project A. And only do that one thing and then move on. You’ve closed a feedback loop, you are seeing results, there’s a buildup that happens with that. 

A big part of the work that I do with people is breaking things down into two-week sprints. Closed feedback loops are really, really quick. 

I’ve talked about this before in many, many other talks I have done on this idea, but never ever, ever should anybody be setting anything beyond a 90-day goal. Goals are only meant to be within a 90-day period. This idea that’s been out there in the self- help world that we should be setting one-year, five-year, three-year, six-month goals is a complete fallacy. It actually breaks how human being brains are structured. 

Our mind cannot conceive anything tangible beyond a three-month limit. That’s basically the horizon line to our imagination of seeing something working for us that’s tangible in our business or personal life. 

That doesn’t mean we don’t have a vision that we are trying to get to. A vision and a goal are two very, very different things. Visions are more ethereal. It’s an idea. A goal is something you can see and you can hit. That is the equivalent to an archer pulling back an arrow and some self-help guru came up to him and told him to hit a target five miles away. That’s impossible yet that is what people have been working with for a century. 

Amy: That’s so true! 

Todd: That’s silly. That’s why the people that I typically work with see huge improvement in their performance because we are working on the highest impact, most leveraged thing in their business right now. 

Amy: Okay, let’s talk about an assignment you have me doing right now that is not so much fun but is hugely insightful. And, just a little bit about me, I’m so bad at doing something consecutively for 30 days. This is something I am really trying to get better at. So Todd has me, for the next 30 days, texting him a piece of paper where I write out how I spent my day. But tell people a little bit about the $10, $100, that whole concept you’ve got me doing. 

Todd: This is a concept that I call the entrepreneurial scorecard. Right now what Amy is doing, every single day she has four columns. There is a $10/hr column, a $100/hr column, $1,000/hr column, and $1,000/hr column. Every couple of hours an alarm goes off and Amy has to put into each one of those columns the activities she was doing. Something that goes into the $10/hr column is a task that someone could be hired and paid $10 to do that task. That is obviously a $10/hr task. 

Over the course of time entrepreneurs have a tendency that if a lot of things are piling up in the $10/hr column it is painful because we value our time and skill sets far higher than $10/hr. So, what I am trying to get my entrepreneurs to do is move themselves, obviously, closer to the $1,000 and $10,000/hr column. 

We then add up all of those hours and multiple  by  the  dollar  amounts  in  each column and that tells you how much you have paid yourself today.  Now,  is  that actually hard money that is sitting in your account? Of course not. But, we know through this law of sowing and reaping that there is a harvest that will build up three months or six months from now based on the activities you are doing now. 

If you are filling your days today with $1,000 and $10,000 activities there is a huge harvest that will be around the corner for you. 

Amy: That’s so true. So here’s what’s great about that assignment you have me doing, one it is very clear when I’ve spent the day on things I shouldn’t be. But, also, because I know I am going to track it, I start something and question where it is going to fall. If it is going to fall in the $10 or $100 category I try to then delegate. But, you know my business. 

A lot of people listening are in the online marketing business. They do similar type things as me, at least a handful. So, give me an example of what would be in the $100 column versus the $1,000 column. 

Todd: Well, web design or graphic design. A well-paid graphic designer or engineer or people who are doing campaign planning and things like that inside of Infusionsoft or Ontraport or HubSpot or something like that, those people are typically more highly skilled than a $10/hr person. 

If I was drawing it out I would put more of a black sharpie line between the $100/hr person and the $1,000/hr person. When you skip between a $100/hr person and a 

$1,000/hr person, the $100/hr person is usually still on the red side of your ledger. They are usually costing you money. They are not revenue generators inside of your business. The graphic designer has an impact on the look and brand and feel of a person’s business but they are not usually generating money for you so they are typically costing you money. 

The $1,000 and $10,000/hr activities are all revenue generating. Sales people are typically on that $1,000/hr. Joint venturing, depending on the scale of the business, is a $10,000/hr activity. When I speak on stage, I have more than one business, but for some businesses there is a $50,000/hr column. 

I have  a  couple  of  billionaires  that  I  work  with  and  they  have  $1,000,000  and $10,000,000 columns that they work with because it is an economy of scale. A person that is working on my $10/hr would be writing an article. How do I know it is $10/hr? Because I can go online and pay someone $10/hr to write an article. 

Does that mean you don’t want to maybe tweak it once it comes back into your own voice? That’s fine but at least you aren’t spending the hour doing it. You can tweak it in only ten minutes. So you are buying back time or buying back the value of activities when you start delegating and outsourcing these things. 

Amy: Another way I’ve used it, we are in B-School right now, so I’ve been writing a lot of email copy and bonus copy for B-School. So to write that copy I put it in the $1,000 category or even sometimes $10,000 depending on what I’m working on because I know that will translate quickly into sales if I do it right. 

Whereas, if someone is writing copy for a smaller program of mine, or just a lead magnet, that will go into a different category. It also  depends  on  what  you  are working on and the end game for that, right? 

Todd: Exactly. That’s why I was talking about the whole economies of scale thing. Depending on where this activity is leading, that number can fluctuate up and down slightly for people. 

Amy: Perfect. Good. So that definitely makes sense. 

Okay, I’m interrupting this interview here because after we recorded the interview I had a really great idea to create a special tracker that Todd and I just talked about, the entrepreneurial scorecard, to be exact, to actually give you so that you can take action with it yourself. 

I’ve been using it for the last 30 days, or at least going onto 30 days, and it has been incredibly helpful and I want the same for you. You can download this entrepreneurial scorecard at You can get the scorecard yourself and then start using it for the next week or so to start tracking where you are spending your time. 

This will give you a really good picture of what’s worth your time and what you should be leveraging or delegating so that the time you are spending on projects is really quality time that’s making a difference in your business. If you would rather text to get this free download you can text 47download to 38470. 

Let’s go ahead and jump back into the interview. 

Let’s go on to the next challenge. This challenge is from Marsha. She says, “I am so scared that I will fail that I can’t make a decision. What if the decision I do make is not the right one?” 

Todd: Well, it’s such a common challenge that people deal with and Marsha is definitely not the only one, there are probably a lot of people on the other end of this that are nodding their head and saying, what have you got? 

Amy: Come on, you had better have something magical coming out of your mouth. 

Todd: This had better be good. I had better put on my big boy pants for this one. Here’s the reality, there is no such thing as a right and a wrong decision. Right off the bat, the model or the framework or the lens that people are looking at this stuff through, is already a Catch-22. 

For people, really the attitude of a successful-minded individual is that they want to make as many decisions as quickly as possible with the information they  have available to them a lot. So we are trying to make a lot of decisions because the challenge people have is they are clinging to this rationalization  that  with  each passing day you are going to get more information and will get greater wisdom with which to decide something with; therefore, you will make a better decision. 

The only problem with that is that all of our knowledge does not come from information. Our knowledge comes from experience and most of our experience comes from being wrong. So I am a person with the attitude that I want to get to as many wrong decisions as I possibly can. I am hunting for them because I can learn something from them. 

Does that mean I am making decisions so that I can be wrong? No. I am okay with being wrong though. That’s where I’m going to be learning the most. In athletics we call this periodization, it is just a type of training where we are closing these feedback loops and working on a specific thing repetitively and consistently over a short period of time. That’s why you can get rapid improvements. 

For someone that is scared of making decisions because you will lose a few dollars if you choose to go with AWeber instead of GetResponse. The success factor between the two is literally minimal. You question which email program you should use or whether you should be doing Facebook ads or hopping on Pintrest. Just test it, that’s the whole point of entrepreneurialism, to test constantly. 

I was just talking to a group of people a couple of days ago and I was telling them that their job as an entrepreneur is to offer, offer, offer, offer, offer, and that’s all you do, come up with an offer. Come up with a new product. Come up with a new service. Offer it and see what the take rate is. That’s how we learn really quickly. That’s how you gain wisdom. 

That’s how you get to the Amy Porterfield level. 

Amy: Please. 

Todd: I mean, how many times did you make a mistake? 

Amy: All the time. And I always say that the secret to my success is truly that I am constantly taking action. I never say I am taking the right action. I am like the caveman. If I don’t touch the coal and realize it is hot I don’t learn quickly. So I’ve got to just do it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. 

But I also quickly take action to change it. I am  not  sitting  on  something  and watching it go down the drain for three weeks. I am just getting in there and fixing it. And you are right, that’s what is so amazingly great about being an entrepreneur. We have an amazing flexibility to change course at any time we feel that course needs to be changed. It’s so cool. 

Todd: Exactly, that’s the power. But she had said that she was so scared that she would fail and that’s the thing that she is attaching herself to. It’s that Marsha has become her business. 

If we were writing an equation I would write on a piece of paper: Me=My Business. I would put a big slash through the equal sign. Me≠My Business. Who Todd is and who my business is are two very separate entities. So Marsha is wrapping up herself image and her self esteem in this business thing and that is not what it is. 

Business is more like a laboratory. There is a lot of testing that happens there and a lot of mucking things up. If you are attaching that to yourself and thinking people are going to judge you or laugh at you for making a mistake, I welcome that. Yes, I made a mistake. That’s freaking awesome because I just gained a whole bunch  of experience and wisdom from that. And, it will make me, as a coach or consultant, that much more valuable to the people I work with. 

Amy: You bring up a really great point. If Marsha is equating Me=My Business, I think that is happening a lot. I have definitely been guilty of it because so many of us are our own personal brand. So part of me thinks in my head, “I am my business, Todd, my name is all over it, my face is all over it. How can you say those two are separated?” 

Todd: Because you are not your entire business. Does everybody see every single part of Amy inside of that business? No. People in this personal branding space need to learn to compartmentalize and say, “Okay, this is the part I’m going to pull out of Todd.” Then you pull out parts and magnify them and put them out there in the marketplace because that is the thing that will serve people the most. 

The other part that trips people up is the reason they are attaching themselves so much to their business. This goes from more of a coach/consultant service-based professional, but they really haven’t created some sort of model or intellectual property around the thing they know. 

The moment you extrapolate and extract being a marketing expert that works in the dentistry space and figure out your philosophies around how to best market to that space and create some sort of model around that world or product you are taking out to people you have sort of removed a lot of your personality from it. As a person who has actually sold a consulting business, the only way you can actually take a service business and then sell it to another company is by creating intellectual property. 

I’m not really all that attached to my philosophies on high performance because I know that we as human beings are constantly learning new things about how we are built, how we are structured at running so many things, how our brain works, our motivation, and things like this. If I get attached to my ideas, boy, I have just made a huge mistake with helping out my eventual clients because I have attached myself way too hard to that idea. 

I’m looking to constantly iterate on this stuff I have. The stuff I have today looks way different than 15 years ago. 

Amy: That’s so true. 

Todd: You are a part of your business, as you are learning, because you are building a team out around yourself that if you are still the cog in the center you will just be turning at a higher rate of speed with a lot more friction; because,  now  you  are working where you have more people depending on you. 

Amy: You are so right about that. I think coming back to that whole mental toughness and looking at your business not as your baby because when you start looking at it like that you are in big trouble because you won’t want to experiment and you won’t want to take those risks. You don’t want to do stuff that could go wrong because you are afraid of really messing up. That brings really good light into that. I appreciate that. 

Todd:  Here’s the one thing, I don’t care about my business as much as I care about who the business serves. 

Amy: Yes. That takes a lot of ego out of it. 

Todd:  Absolutely. And that’s why my attitude is all about asking whether what I am doing today is really the right thing, right now. Is there anything that has come up recently? I would read a lot of scientific reports and studies. In the online space there are fantastic blogs out there, and you talk about it, getting data on your business. Maybe that shifts the way you do a marketing strategy. And, of course, you are more valuable to serve because you are actually operating on the newest and latest information and not stuff that happened two years ago. 

Amy: So true. I’m with you there, for sure. 

Okay, we have some good ones coming up. This one is from Denise. She says, “For me, the challenge is about getting started and not knowing the right things to do at the right time. I want to know what I need to do first, what I need to do second, and third while staying focused.” 

Todd: That’s a super common challenge and there are any number of things people can be working on when it comes to growing a business. You hear people all the time saying that you have to systemize, make sure you are building some processes for your business. 

There is an element of truth there but it is not necessarily true. I have these five stages of business that I talk about. If you are looking at it from a pyramid perspective, at the bottom of the pyramid is a dream-up stage. Then the stage above that is start up, then ramp up, scale up, and finally leader up and that is being in a leadership position in your niche or marketplace. 

People in the dream-up stage have an idea. They have been thinking about it for a long time but there is no money coming in because they have never taken any action on it or are still procrastinating on it. Maybe they just haven’t had time to take action on it because they are working a full-time job or something like that. This stage has some sort of excitement but there is huge trepidation and there is some fear. There is anxiety questioning whether you should even do this. You wonder who you are to think you could go and do this, and things like that. 

At the start up stage we have some traction. We have actually sold something or have a client or even a couple of clients. Maybe we sold a few products online, depending on what business it is. In the start-up stage, processes and systems are not that important. What’s important at the start-up stage is all about continuing to get the message out there. Market, market, market, offer, offer, offer because one thing you don’t have is a lot of money. 

Whatever got you into that start-up stage, continue doing more of it or continue to get that message out there in whatever means you possibly can. The best way to decide is to question what skills do you currently have and what platform can you use to take your skills and more easily amplify them. So, when I first started my business, I had a skill set of speaking. 

I did a lot of speeches growing up because I was in 4-H. If you don’t know what that is, it’s the agricultural Boy Scouts because I grew up on a farm and ranch in Canada. So I spoke. What I did was, literally this was my entire plan for how my company started, I did 68 speeches in 90 days. 

Amy: What? That’s crazy town. 

Todd: I did it throughout my province of Alberta. Immediately people asked how I could book 68 speeches. I tell them I booked two speeches. That’s all I did. Then I sat at the front of the room. I was talking to youth sports teams and the parents were in the back of the room and I was talking about the importance of building out a whole athlete that not only had exceptional skills but that also had exceptional emotional and thinking power as well. That is what mental toughness is about, uniting these three things together. 

I was doing these talks for free and didn’t care about getting paid. I just wanted to get the message out there. I would say to people, “If you want me to come, I know you have other kids in other sports and they might not be in this room right now, so if you want to come to the front of the room and talk to me about coming and talking to their association or team, feel free. I would love to get this message out there to more people.” 

That’s how it started because I had half of those parents come up to me and say, “my daughter is in swimming,” or “my daughter plays on a volleyball team,” or “my son is on a lacrosse team” and that’s how it proliferated from there. I did 68 speeches in 90 days. 

That was 18 years ago and I have never had to market since. Everything that I choose to do, even this. People say I am marketing now on this podcast with Amy because I am getting my message out there. Yes, but this is because I like doing this. This isn’t some intentional thing inside my business where I decide to do five podcasts every single month. 

I leveraged the skill I had of speaking and I went and spoke to my audience. So if you have a skill of excellent writing skills then I would be looking at who has the market that I want to serve in larger blog networks. And that is what I would be going out and doing. 

Or, if I am really good on face-to-camera, I will be doing a whole bunch of videos and throwing them up on YouTube and then taking that YouTube video and maybe redistributing that onto someone else’s vlog network as well or doing custom videos for vlog networks. 

There are different ways you can go about doing this. 

Amy: With that, this next question is a little bit similar but I am wondering if you have an extended take on it. Pria’s challenge is, “I feel like businesses need to constantly reinvent to stay relevant. There is so much noise of people marketing to businesses and sometimes it’s hard to pick what is right for my small business. I need guidance but feel no one size fits all.” 

Todd: Well, that’s very true. There is no one-size-fits all. Again, this goes back to looking at the resources you are bringing to the table right now and what level you are at. Which level of these different stages of business are you at? 

There is actually a deeper thing going on in this marketplace that I have looked at. I have sort of gotten involved in it in the last couple of years by coaching and working with a few of, what would be perceived as, the big players inside of the online business space and there is a real sort of need that people are coming to these teachers, like yourself, and they are coming at with this lens to see what you can teach them and how can you give them all of the answers. 

That is never the right strategy because now you are not developing your own thinking power. I don’t want the content. That’s never what I look at. I want the context. I want someone to give me the big picture of why something is done this way and this is what it is about. 

Amy: I have to stop you there because you have a different take on this. So basically what you are saying is a lot of people in the online marketing space are giving content 

such as teaching someone exactly how to do XYZ and all of the things you need to teach it. That is pretty much what I do. 

You have a different take on it. That is the context. I want you to expand on that but I wanted people to realize the difference you are talking about here. And it is very interesting, especially in your program. I know it’s not for sale right now but you did a program that you are involved in right now, and that’s kind of the play. 

So talk about that and the whole experience. 

Todd: When I was doing the research into what was needed in the marketplace I saw the devouring of a lot of content and how to do things. People would go and do them and they could even get a result but could never replicate it because they didn’t actually know the real strings that were pulling the levers that made the thing successful. That is really the “why” part. 

You could become the puppeteer instead of the puppet. The puppet is the how-to stuff. The puppeteer is the why and what stuff. You know what strings to pull, you know why we are moving in the direction of social and community selling or something like that. 

That isn’t to put down that what you do isn’t important. You are delivering a system. But what is wrong is going from Amy to this person to that person to that person and following six different teachers and then getting your wires all crossed up. You will see that one person says to do something one way and another person says to do it another way. 

Sometimes there is no right or wrong. There may be more optimized ways of doing things but this idea that you need to be spoon fed every single process with this dot to that dot to that dot makes you completely dependent. When you become dependent on the guru, your self esteem, self confidence, and self image are shot. 

Amy: What I don’t like sometimes when I get into programs is they are giving you the big picture but are not giving me any of the how-to-get-it-done to take action. I am an action kind of girl and that’s how my mind works. But you are not necessarily talking about the big picture. That’s not what context is to you, right? 

Todd: No. Big picture does matter. But what I’m talking about is strategy. It’s bigger picture. That’s the way we are going to do it. How we get there, there are multiple ways to do it. There are so many ways to do it. I can do a Google search on the content and it’s pretty much out there on different ways to do it. 

But if I really like Amy’s model then I am going to stick with Amy’s model. And I do like your model. I told you this before we worked together or even really knew each other all that well. I saw one of your webinars because I was curious about this Amy person. You were, by far and away, the best webinar I had ever seen for content delivery, for the way you taught, and actionable things you could actually take out of it. 

Amy: Thank you for that. 

Todd: I’m not saying that because you are my client. I told you that long before we ever worked together. But, people need to know the strategy. They need to kind of stick to one good-quality trusted advisor. That person will steer them in the right direction. 

Here’s the thing, if you are getting context and are getting strategy type work that isn’t layered in a lot of how to, which is a lot of what the program is that I have been working through with the people that are in it right now, you had better be getting some good quality coaching through it. 

There is a lot of time I am putting into it because when people come to me, they naturally come back and ask me how they apply this. As a coach, I will ask them clarifying questions so they uncover the “how to” because I don’t want people dependent on me. That is not a good coach. 

Amy: Tell people real fast, because I am sure they are wondering, what is the name of your program? 

Todd: It’s called the 90-Day Year. It’s all about how to get four times the results than other people get in an entire year. We work on this constrained timeframe of 90 days. I show people the actual proper way to unpack and create goals for themselves that will actually produce the results and not context switch and make sure they are working on the highest priority activities that are at the stage of business they are in right now. 

Amy: That’s good stuff. It’s not live right now but I am going to put a link to some information about Todd in the show notes. When it does go live again, if you are interested, it’s an amazing program and I highly recommend it. 

We’re going to go down to one more question. But I want to just kind of touch a little bit more on the whole context thing. I think it’s going to be fairly new to a lot of people listening. 

When you talk about context, give me a little bit more in terms of how to apply that. Let’s say they like my model. They like what I am doing in my business. I am going to be their how-to girl. I will be where they are going to learn how to apply these strategies. 

But, pulling back a little bit, what do they need to understand about the context before they get into the how to? I might have asked that in a weird way. I just want you to talk a little bit more about what context looks like versus the how-to stuff. 

Todd: The how-to stuff is the process. It is the steps, 1, 2, 3, 4 to do something. Context is like a case study. It’s the research and that type of information. That’s what content is. Context is, again, bigger picture. It is the overarching model. Process is at the bottom; the overarching system, this is how the Facebook ecosystem works. That is the big picture stuff. This is how you can go and take this ecosystem and apply it to your niche. That is the content. 

Amy: Okay, how about this, would context be, “I’m going to show you the importance of creating an automated marketing funnel for your business.” 

Todd: Yes, that is the context. Definitely. 

Amy: Then how you get there and how you put it all together, you can go to ten different people and they will have ten different ideas for you. Many of them would probably work but just having the understanding that my business needs an automated marketing funnel so I am not killing myself every single day trying to generate revenue. 

Todd: Exactly. Why do I need a marketing funnel? That is the context part of it. Exactly. You are exactly right. 

Amy: Perfect. I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. I’m going to ask two more questions and then we will wrap it up. But this one question, again, back to that mental toughness, is from Lisa. Lisa says, “I have insecurity over getting that first paying client.” 

Todd: This kind of gets to that thing we were talking about before of really attaching ourselves so much to our business. I know, especially with coaching, I am bringing myself to it so, of course, I’m going to attach myself to it. 

I think you and I have talked about this before and maybe Amy you could tell me whether or not this would be a good place to talk about this and that’s the idea of alter egos. 

Amy: Yes, let’s do it. 

Todd: How I kind of got my name famous in the sports ranks in the professional and Olympic niche is I developed a system for developing alter egos. One thing I noticed from working with high-performing athletes, in just paying attention, they actually all had some sort of alter ego or character they stepped into for their performances. 

In talking to them and sort of unpacking that there was no real system that people followed. So I created a process for how to actually create alter egos for people. What this does is it allows you, on the field, in our personalities we all have certain insecurities. The worst thing you can do in the context of performance is take who you are and all of your insecurities onto the field of play. 

With those insecurities we start worrying about other people criticizing us, judgment from other people, and then those things snowball into this thing we call fear. We have fear of failure, fear of rejection, and so forth. What I started doing was working with people and helping them craft these alter egos. 

What is important in crafting an alter ego is you could use anything. You can use animals as inspiration for an alter ego, you can use super heroes, you can use characters from television or movies. You can use a compilation of other people that you really admire, let’s say Mother Teresa and Susan Sarandon or anybody you can think of. You can mesh people together because you really like that person or their no nonsense approach and you wonder what that looks like, what does that feel like to be that. 

Then what we do is actually come up with a trigger, something we wear. We need some sort of totem. On an athlete it could be a headband or a wristband or a special way we tie our laces where once you cinch them up you become that alter ego. When you step on the field you are that {name}. I have a name for mine and I am that. I am no longer Todd because I need to remove those insecurities so that they don’t show up and so that all of the hard work I have put into practices and have been executing on for the last eight years actually shows up in my performance. 

For myself, I’ll tell you this, when I first started out I was baby faced, young looking, 21 or 22, and was going up to speak. My mentor that I talked to each month for 13 years was Jim Roane. Jim kind of helped me get over a little bit of that but I still had a nagging thing inside me that people were judging me because I was so young. 

I wondered who would listen to someone so young. For whatever reason, I always thought that people who wore glasses looked smarter and were smarter than people who didn’t have glasses. So I went and got a pair of fake glasses. I actually have 20/15 vision. I do not need glasses whatsoever. 

I put on the glasses and, for me, it was actually reverse Clark Kent. Clark Kent wears glasses and when he takes them off, all of the sudden he becomes Superman. Mine was the reverse, I became a super business person. 

I became more articulate. I was far more in control of myself and my emotions in the moment because this is the one thing that would get away from me. Todd is normally sort of the hyperemotional, not necessarily anymore but back in those days, I was very excitable and easy to manipulate with some sort of grand offer. 

With my glasses on I wasn’t that way and I developed this alter ego. It helped out so much. So, Lisa, if you are insecure stop taking Lisa into the delivery of your business. Become something else. Become someone who is secure and really trusts that she has good content, good skills, good competency to deliver results for people. That person’s name could be {come up with another name} and then wear something. 

I’ve got women who have gone up and actually created custom bracelets for themselves that they only wear when they are going into competition or when they are going into work or a presentation. Or it could be a special ring. 

Maybe you had some sort of grandma that just had an iron will and an iron backbone. Maybe you have one of her old rings and you put that on and you channel that type of energy to yourself. Or, even if you don’t have that ring it doesn’t mean you can’t go and still do it. 

Maybe you will get her birthstone inside of a ring for yourself and you put that on and it reminds you that your grandma is there, she is watching you, and she is channeling her iron will into you. But, it’s the fastest way I have ever seen to get people to a higher level of performance, to create some sort of alter ego to step into. 

Amy: It’s so cool. I’ve heard it works like gangbusters. I have never tried it and it’s definitely something I want to do. But, when I worked with Tony Robbins he did this with some of his huge high-paying clients. They all had these alter egos that he would reference every time he did coaching sessions with them. So I know it works, definitely, I have seen it in practice. 

I highly recommend, if you are struggling with confidence, if you are just starting out in your business and are thinking something doesn’t feel right and you are out of your comfort zone every minute, then get out of your own self and create someone else, your alter ego, that will do the work for you. I love that. 

Todd: One other tangible thing is also to stand in front of the mirror as if you are talking to that other person, because you have never actually said the words, “and for my coaching services it is $500 per month.” 

What most people do is their inflection actually goes up at the end. That is a sign of doubt. It is like they are looking for some sort of approval. So work that out of yourself and just say it flat, “it’s $500 per month.” You tell them it is $500 for the coaching you give to help them get over procrastination or $500 a month to help you get over the emotional scars from divorce. Whatever the service is that someone has, just repeat it and say it often. You have got to role play this stuff. 

There’s a reason why athlete’s go on the practice field to practice. There is a reason why actors and actresses sit there and read their lines over and over again. It’s so that in the moment of performance they hit the mark each time. 

Amy: I love it. That’s so good. It is actually where we should end this podcast because it’s so good. But I promised one more. And the final question is really good too. Let’s jump on that and then we will go ahead and wrap it up. 

This question is from Bill. He says, “I never have ‘me’ time. It is either work or family and other commitments. When and how do I make the time to go do the stuff I loved doing before I became entrenched as an entrepreneur?” 

Todd: That’s a great question. If I had Bill sitting in front of me the next question I would ask him is, “Bill, what is you not having time to do these activities that light you up costing you?” 

Amy: I bet he would know instantly. 

Todd: He would. Is it costing you resentment with your family? Is it costing you a lack of energy? Is it costing you a lack of excitement in your week because it’s just the same old week, week after week? What are all of those costs and where do you think that’s going to end up leading you six months from now or a year from now or five years from now? 

Here’s how we can avoid this thing costing you all of these things. If I have my calendar in front of me and “me” is truly the most important  time  that  we  have whether that is 20 minutes of meditation a day or sitting down and  reading  a magazine, whatever the past time is that you enjoy, playing tennis; the first person that we don’t commit to is ourselves. 

So we need to fill in on our calendar those pieces of the puzzle before we throw in the other folks. It’s that whole metaphor of, if I have a bucket what are the rocks that we put in first? It’s definitely not the sand, it’s not the gravel, it’s the big rocks. If this thing is that important to you because you really do feel like it is costing you a lot then make sure that rock goes on your calendar right away. 

Amy: That’s so true. I was in a mastermind recently and two women in the mastermind are women that I highly trust and they have amazing rocking businesses. I was saying that I struggle sometimes with creativity in terms of having a bunch of ideas for different projects I am working on. Both of them brought up the topic of when was the last time I did something fun. They asked when was the last time I went and had an adventure or really experimented with something that had nothing to do with work. 

I looked at them like they were crazy and asked, “what do you mean had nothing to do with work? I have a million things to do with work right now, why would I do that?” 

They both basically told me that their business makes more money and they make a bigger impact because they have always built in time to be creative and adventurous and have fun. One of them goes to Buddha yoga. That’s her thing. She swears that since she has been going to Buddha yoga and taking that time each week she has seen her revenue soar along with her happiness in her business. 

So if you need a little incentive just to make more money in your business and impact more lives and have more fun, I see a direct correlation with finding that time to do what really fuels you. 

Todd: Yeah, and it reconnects you to why you are doing this thing as well, typically. 

Amy: I totally agree with that. The good stuff. 

Todd, this has been awesome. I really appreciate you kind of getting into the minds of some of the entrepreneurs that are listening today that have been struggling with these very common challenges that we all face when growing a business. I know they are going to want to find out more about you. 

So where can I sent people to learn more about Todd and all that you do? 

Todd: People can simply go to to find out more. There isn’t very much there because I really don’t have a lot of an online presence. I have kind of always worked behind the scenes inside of big businesses and corporations. I have had businesses that are more boutique and private. 

Amy: I feel like that’s going to change. 

Todd: Yeah, that’s sort of the plan right now. 

Amy: Todd has kind of taken the online marketing world by storm in a very unique way. Kind of watch what Todd will be doing in the next year because it is going to be pretty awesome and you are going to be creating more opportunities for people to get to work with you, maybe not at the high, high level, because you are very expensive in a very good way. You should be proud of that. 

But, for people that might not be able to afford your one-on-one coaching you are possibly going to be starting some new opportunities for them, right? 

Todd: Absolutely. That is what the whole 90-Day Year program is all about. People have found ways inside of that community to make sure they are extrapolating as much value as they possibly can out of Todd and I am super happy to give it because at the end of the day I care about delivering people results and helping them perform at a high level so they can serve people more and lead the lives they have always kind of imagined for themselves. It has been a fun trip building up that leverage program. 

Amy: I bet. It sounds like it has been a lot of fun. You have been highly involved so you know what people need and want. That is only going to make all of your online training programs even better as you start to work on some more. 

Thank you so much, Todd, for being here. I truly appreciate it. 

Todd: Absolutely, thanks Amy. I appreciate it. 

Amy: Take care. 

Todd: Bye bye. 

Amy: There you have it. I hope this episode has helped you gain insight and some inspiration on some of those challenges you might be facing as an entrepreneur as you continue to grow your business. You are not alone. We all face these challenges, so be patient with yourself. If you really focus on moving past them and don’t let the fear stop you, you will start to see bigger results. 

Also, don’t forget to download the entrepreneurial scorecard, the same one I’ve been using to track my tasks for the last 30 days. It’s extremely insightful to actually see what projects and tasks are getting the most attention and which ones really should be getting the most attention and which tasks you should be leveraging. 

My challenge for you is to track your work for a full week. The next seven days, if you don’t work on weekends then you just have to do it for five days, but if you do work weekends, the next seven days track your activity. That way you will start to see really what is taking up so much time and where you can make some really big shifts. 

You can download this entrepreneurial score card at http:// or just text 47download to 38470. I hope you have a fantastic week full of really big wins for you and I cannot wait to talk to you again soon. Bye for now. 

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