Access to Experts
Access to Experts

Episode 105 · 8 months ago

EP 105: Scale Your Business!

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Access to Experts features special guest Mitch Russo, who started a software company in his garage, sold it for 8 figures and then went on to work directly with Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes to build a $25M+ business together. Nominated twice for Inc Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year, Mitch helps companies scale rapidly! Mitch’s 1st book is “The Invisible Organization and his 2nd called Power Tribes – How Certification Can Explode Your Business has helped thousands of companies scale rapidly. Listen in as Mitch shares how he helps coaches solve an age old problem with his new coach practice management system called ClientFol.io 

Welcome to access to experts podcastwhere business success secrets are revealed from world class experts andnow your host to te Al. I am your host Debbi Alena host of theaccess to expert show, and I'm super excited to have this guess with metoday. Fact I' very honored he's been around for quite a while doing someamazing things in the business world, especially for coaches, going to talkabout that today. So many of you that follow my podcast and also follow meand what I do our coaches or want to have that as part of their business,you can tell you how to expand it exponentially to a whole mother level.He knows how to see a vision of what you're doing and then really blow up abusiness, and so let me read a formal introduction. My special guest todayMichrussau was started a software company from his garage, Okay Yeah. Sothat's a pretty cool thing, always love that you hear about stories how peopledid that they in grew with to aigt figures. Yes, I did say that eightfigures, then, after doing that, like Oh hey, why don? I go work for AnthonyRobins yeah. Why not, because I've done some cool things and he build a twentyfive million dollar business. TGETHER nominated twice for ink magazines ODFORTHE YEAR YEAH! That's why I'm excited mitchhelps CONKL company scale rapidly.We all hear that word scaling right and then it's like how do you scale rapidly?How do you do that as a coach? How do you make yourself from one person to amultiplean magnify your Your Business? MHICH is firstbook Wat' called theinvisible organization and is second book, which I absolutely love is calledpower trit. How certification can explode your business and how it's heso many companies also scale rapidly so todays helping coaches solv, the old, aold age problem of what the coaching advice is. You know how to Wa. How dowe multiply ourselves and magnify Your Business and scale it so help me walkwith my very special gas MITC Ruso to...

...the show today, hey debbie great, to behere. Thank you for having me today and I'm excited to be to have met you thismorning and now to be talking with you. It's fantastic! Well, you know it'slike this there's a small world in the expert world and then we flying peopledoing you know things but they're doing things at big levels. I know that youworked with people, you know working with Anth, robins and you've alsoworked with some big names like Kevin Harrington. You know helping the scalewhath they're doing and it's another way of thinking. You know it's like, asan entreprerneur been a nentrerener all my life there's a different way ofthinking, besides being a solo orngpreneur and doing it for yourself,then to think scale like you do and then how you do that and how you teachpeople through that is through a system, and I a fan of system so tell me abouthow you started this business and how it developed into this new system. Sure!Well, that's that's present time. So I'll start here in present time, andthen we go backwards a little bit further. So, as you mentioned, I'vebeen a coach now for at least twenty plus years, probably longer, and I lovecoaching. I love seeing and helping people accelerate excell rigte theirbusiness in their lives, but but what I have found is that to deliver acoaching session properly, my way not doesn't mean anybody else's way is totake detailed notes to create homework for each session, to attach themindmaps that I use guiding my clients every session to check in with themevery week using accountability, questions which I change out all thetime and by starting the session by keeping track of their stafts. If youwill theiar goals, you know, where are you on your sales go? Where are you onyour publicity or your linked in connections Goa? And what we do isthat's what I do with every client. But my problem was: is that when I wasdoing that before I had two huge monitors, heare all open filled withapplications and spreadsheets, and and...

...all these other things to conduct mywork to do my ccessions and then, of course, after I'm typing into fivedifferent windows on two different screens, I then have to consolidate allof this and drop it into an email that gets sent to my client. Well, that wastaking me ten minutes from for the session to read last week's email andthen another thirty minutes to construct all of that stuff again aftereach session. So I started looking now. My business is getting bigger, I havemore clients, and now I start looking for software, and I was incrediblydisappointed. I did not find anything that I felt would serve me and I don'teven care what the Priceis I mean. I just couldn't find anything that Icould learn in ten to twenty minutes. I don't have a lot of patience. You knowI cares greturn on investment, so if I can get it get it done faster. It'slike I need this where's it at eit. Wasn't it wast didn't exist exactlyhere, coms Miterisocoi, all right! I can do this well, you know it's funny,because this is the. This is the story of my life. I end up in the situation.I find something that doesn't exist and I created- and it's not because like Iset out to do that, it's because I'm still obsessed with solving the problem.So you know my. Why is to find a better way? And if I can't make what is outthere work for me or I can't learn it in under twenty minutes or I can't. I can't help others, because I don't have the proper supportin my software. Then I got to find a bit away. It', that's simple right,because you have to make it easy enough for you that it's actually transferableunto other people. I mean, if they're going to do this and now you'reteaching this. You know you know the system that it's like. Okay, it's easy!It's transferable, it's proven to work and it saves U on a time money and timeare the two things areready. You know...

...want more of well there's you, you saydsomething very important in your book and it's about Prestige. You know it'salso making sure that when people recognize who you are, they realize the value of you, yourwork and what you've accomplished. Well, one of the most important ways ofcommunicating that with a client is through what I call the client reportor the homework email. Well, I I spent, I would say, a lot of time perfectingthe homework email. I mean we brand it with your logo. Every person, uploadsTeir logo and the emails go out that way, and we detail everything in yoursession that you talked about, including all of the things you youspoke about, all your attachments, your zoom link to Recordin call. I meaneverything, including your next session date. Everything is there and it comesto your client and they could click a link inside that email that downloads.This is a p DF as well as readed an email. Well. What this did for me wasit cut my priest time my presession time from ten minutes to two minutes,because it's all inside the software. The second thing it did. It took mypostsession time from thirty minutes down to seven minutes and now I'm happybut again, because I'm happy and I'm using it. Iwant to share it with others and that's what that's what this has been allabout. Well, I think you know well one thing that you said is really key. IsYou know experts want to find solutions like I got to diggin there to ApplinThi solution and to you it was like something doesn't exist. I need to amake that happen. Here's the key thing! We get a lot ofcoaches. Listen to this call, because a lot of my followers are coaches. Imeanit's SA one way to go out and say: Hey. I choose to be an expert and as anan expert, I'm gon to share my wisdom as a coach, but you see so many andyou've seen this. You see so many struggling coaches just trying to getthe next client ind. The next client-...

...and they just can't seem to get aheadand they can't think outside the box of how could I magnify what I have tooffer wore? Somebody else could be teaching what I teach, because theydon't think they're duplicatable and one of the two. You know one of thethings as an entrepreneur is Bible to magnify and that's what you're teachingthrough a certification process. So, let's start from the beginning of this,let's get rid of that mindset that you can't duplicate yourself, absolutelyand- and I want to put some caveots in place first. So if you recentlygraduated from a coaching school and you have your nice shiny certificatehanging right behind you on your behind your desk in front of your zoom camera,that's great, nothing wrong with that, but you're not in a position. Yet to dowhat you just described and here's. Why Number One? You have not created yourown intellectual property yet, but you will, if you keep working at it and youkeep perfecting what you were taught and then adopting it to your lifestyleand your coaching style and your clients needs soon over the course ofsix months to a year or two you going to create your own intellectualproperty, and you know one of the things that I, when I work with clientson intellectual property, one of the things I stark tha session with this,your intellectual property might be more valuable than your whole business.Your processes and proscedures might become the template for hundreds ofother organizations and far outstrip your earning capacity in your commentbusiness. So I pay a lot of attention to these little details and I bet youdo to dbt when you work with clients as well. It's so important is how youdefine your expertise, and if you want to be a highly paid expert, you musthave ay way to dlinneate exactly the difference between you and anotherperson through your body of knowledge, an your expertise. So that's the step that we like tostart with. The second part of this is...

...how many clients have you had again ifyou've had five for six seven plints, that's great keep going Wen you're, notat the point yet where it makes sense to create what I would call a powertribe or a a dynamic heart, centered certification program and the reason Isay it's not enough yet is because what you want to do is get to the pointwhere the number of clients is a base by which a percentage of those willraise the hand a go, yeah I' love to do and learn from you I'd love to do whatyou do Debbi and I want to learn from you now. Not Everybody in your clientbase wants to do that, but a percentage of them do or definitely when you starthearing, I want to be you. I hear that Alon. I want to be you, but I hear thisamen: TAK, ekay yeah! I don't Hav W TATU, not sure I would say that. But Idon't look. I lipstic, I promise that's FIHT. Sometimes it doesn't work, but Ihear that only because they're saying I want to build my business be successfullike you, but what you're saying is they want to be able to teach what youhave to teach like? If I could t you could learn that knowledge from you,but it's not just here's a process go ahead and sell it and do it it's. Youhave to teach your way of thinking as well, because you know you can't justtransfer decades of enteprer wisdom onto somebody else and say go ahead anddo this exactly the way I do so true and the Nice thing about this is thatI've devised he system by which you can make that transfer in a step by stepfashion, again my own systems that I've developed over the years and this walslstarted by the way in one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine after I hadjump, started my little software company and we were really rocking and the problem. I had again go back toMitch having a problem. He can't figure out how to SOLV problem. I had, as wewere, selling so much software that we couldn't support it. There were toomany people, new customers coming into...

...our world, and if they had supportquestions you know w our phone lines were like blocked. Every day was tha.We were twenty thirty minutes on hold. Sometimes I hated that I can't standthat I' have no patience at all, so I can't stand it right. I mean and I'mdown in the OCEER NE Yeahri, I'm walking around going w. what's going onhere I mean look at the counter on the on the walls. There's this thirteencalls on hold. You got to get. You got to move this along guys. Well, I'm struggling with this whole idea ofthis, and how do I get more support people and how do I you know we'reconstantly banging on the software, making it easier and easier and easierwhy cause will get less support calls? Finally, I end up in a situation again.This is where I believe that there's a little bit of divine guidance in all ofour lives, and this is for me where it showed up. So I of course, were looking at the time to get lawyersto use our time and building software and a very important person at the LosAngeles Bar Association, the head of the technology division went over toeggheads software and bought a copy of our product and said that it crashedher computer and she's going to tell the world wow H. am I gonna do bad apple right right?So what I do is like I actually get on the phone with her after she's yelledat everybody in my company, and I said to ward, tell me what the problem is.She teld me the problis. I said: okay, so I'll figure out het, we'll getsomebody down there tomorrow and we'll take care of this, I'm in ssexMassachusetts, which is a tiny little forse town in the burbs of outside ofBoston, and she, of course, is in Los Angeles. Well, how am I going to dothis remember the year? It's like one thousand, nine hundred and eighty eightand eighty nine I mean booking a flight is, is like an ordeal and no one gets aflight the next day right. Ye, like a million dollars, Tan thousand dollars,whatever it was yeah. So so I had this...

...thought I said you know we just had ameeting in Los Angeles, and it was this one woman who was so. She was just soeffusive with her joy about the software, how much he loved it and Whithe could make it do. I remember her name and I called her on the phone andshe was shocked to hear for me and then I said to her. I have I have a favor toask him happy to pay you. Would you go over to this woman's office andstraighten her system out she's having a problem, and she said, of course Iwould love to thank you for the opportunity. So she goes over now, I'mon pins and needles, because if she screws up I'm gone, idon' want to say screwid on the ArButis, my podcast Wi cu say whatever you want I'll screw that all right, so I'm pins and needles have it's nineKennat night already, because after all east coast, West Coast and the phonerings in my house and it's her so everything okay, when had it go ecause,oh jees, fine Ol. She had a small problem and I fixed it for her andshe's upor running. She loves the software. She was so happy Bah Blahblahblh. So I said to her: Oh my goodness. I can't thank you enough. CanI send you some money? YEU GOES NO! No, no you're, not going to believe whathappened. I said. What's that she said she gave me a hundred dollars and I said Oh well, Anne, that'swonderful, and then she said this is. These are the words that changed thedirection of my company. She said, and if you need anybody else in the LosAngeles area, to help your clients, you let me know- and I my brain exploded at that point. Icould not sleep. All I could think about is how can I get hold of all ofthe experts on my product all throughout the country, give them atest and and get into the point where theyre fully compitent at helping myclients- and that was the beginning of the time slips certified consultantprogram. I had no model to work from DEBBI IAM telling you I was operatingon on njust instinct. At this point I...

...was only myself. I was only twentyeight years old. I had no business experience. I was you know seated, butsee the pants management. That's how I did it, but so at this point I instructed my teamto create a really hard test and if anybody could pass the test they'recertified, so we sent out a e whenl. I us say I just gointo say email. Therewas no email. We sent that a letter to our clients ince look we're startingthis new thing. We're selling these tests they're five hundred dollars forthe test. If you pass the test, we can then certify you and you coul payanother whatever it was thousand dollars to be certified. Well, I mean we were blown away. Wewere selling twenty housand dollars worth of tests before we knew it.People were using the test to qualify their own people, which was very bright,and then we ended upcerdifying about sixty people nd. Now here I am thinkingwhat wow, what a genius Mitch is. Well, I really came up with a good one hereright well, six weeks later, one two three threats of lawsuits: startecoming in Gosh, so I I said: Well, you know every so often and of course, whenyou're dealing with lawyers is your customer, the first thing they think ofis look you don't like giting going to Su you you know so bottom line is I goton the phone and I started to realize. I had a problem. The people that I hadquote unquote certified we're showing up looking like Elmer Fudd, smellinglike a farnyard and and just disrespectful disruptive course, andsome didn't even show up at all and others didn't deliver what they hadpromised. Well, I shut the program down Yeah Yan hi, your name and your brandon that you're O freaking out like these people, would never be workingwith me yeah. Actually, so I went and interviewed every single person who waswho had a problem- and I personally did this because I didn't trust anybodyelse. While running my company...

...exploding and Growth and here's what Ifigured out, I need to do a whole lot more training than I did when I firstlaunched this program, and this was the other piece that became quitical to oursuccess. I can't just create a business program. I need to create a community. The idea of creating the community camefrom one of my other certified coaches at the time, one of my other cert ofBie Consultants, and so I of course realized immediately that that wasbrilliant. And so I started building guidelines for creating powerfulcommunities, and then I started to develop how to develop powerfulcommunities, how to create your core ethics and your code of ethics aroundyour community. How to translate the values of the CEO into the entirecommunity and making sure that everybody is aligned with those values,how to make sure your. Why is part of the culture that you're building intoyour community? Well, this all of a sudden. This took six months and Iliterally crossed my fingers close my eyes and dropped. I think it wassomething like five thousand pieces of mail going directly to what I wouldthink of as my best clients and the response was overwhelming. Now,in a matter of sixteen months, eighteen months we had three hundred and fiftypeople sign up to be an r certified timeslips consultants, each paying usover fifteen hundred dollars per person per year. A component of those people, usuallyabout two thirds of them, would show up every year at our simposium and it waslike a love fest. I mean we sure eds community, exactly fa. I call it thebusiness family yeah. Well, that's what I I mean look I I didn't know thisstufps. Until until I started to live it and then what happened? Was the companyexploded? Yet again, so we doubled the...

...value of our company by applying thecertification formula. Eighteen months after we started the second round, as Imentioned before, so from all this, I built a series of what I would calllessons if you will ifforor at the time. I just basically kept ha notebook withideas about this and that notebook remained somewhat dormant, because, twoyears later we sold the company and we sold it to sage Plc. They integrated itstill to this day available our software that's integrated into all oftheir accounting products as well. So recently, honestly, recently back intwo thousand and thirteen, I think it was a a friend, a member of our mastermindsaid Mitch. I read that article on your blog about creating certification.Could you us that for us I said sure you know again without having a secondthought sure, and then I got to work codifying everything in those notebooksand bringing it back out again, but now using all of the tools that we now havelike the Internet, like learning management systems like powerfulsequencing and emails and videos and all the things that today are just partand Parcll of how we do business ey you've had to reinvent you know to thewhole process. That's your th Yo know every time get a system done, you kindof have to reinvent with what's happening and Updat Eit, but you knowhere's one of the key things you say you know as an expert. It's like youknow. If people see you like, I hear that I read that introduction and I gothat you built this main. You know this huge business from the garage and thenyou went to work with anthe, robins and all sounds fabulous, but you know Dalyou're telling y hey it. Didn't all start that way you had to go throughsome challenges to do it. Here's the thing that most people won't do whenthey hit a challenge. Take over that didn't work. Okay, fine! QUIT! You knowyou didn't! Quite you still ere trying to find this solution and the how ofall of this, because you knew it you needed to be there and I think that'sthe crytinal thing that makes you one...

...of the best experts is that you justkept going like you knew that it wasn't me. Somebody else is going to figurethis out. Absolutely. In fact, when I first started time subsceporation, itwasn't even the product that we started with. We were solving a completelydifferent problem that the irs had created by not allowing people todeduct the personal computer from their taxes, and so they basically said thatif it's not being used for business, you can't deduct it well. How do youapprove it's being used for business? You must keep contemporary ous recordsof its use. Great I'll, just get some software to keep contemporary recordsof his juise Nope doesn't exist. HHow was you know, just crazy stuff, likeall of that development of way of thanking first ago, from way ofthinking to systems. So you know I guy ask the question that some peoplell be,you know, are listening to the podcast are going. You know, therthey're anthe,robins fans and they're going Ho. You know I'm thinking o myself to how didyou go to get that opportunity? Did they reach out to you based on thesuccess you already had their organization Sai, they knew about youcome in and work with us is that how it happened? Just get a none call one day,nope not at all it wasn't. It didn't happen that way at all. It happened. You Remember Chet homes he's, yes, ispen poke on my stage Ye for you yeah, so chat, and I met at time slips when Iwas at time slips. He called on me selling me ads and he was the peskiestmost persistent sales guy I'd ever run into pretty out there yeah, he sure was,but there was something about him that was incredibly likable and I loved hispersistence, took him eighteen months to sell me ads, but then once I boughtthose ads and they were like working like crazy became friends and thatfriendship endured all the years that I built time slips after I sold it, andthen I went to work and por venture capital and built companies for themall this time. Chet and I are still talking on the phone every weekdiscussing debating the the the philosophy of life a indeed well Iget this phone call and it's chatand.

He says Mitche, I'm just so upset it'sour normal weekly call and I sa what's the matter and he goes well ther's thisguy, that's upsetting me and let make a long story short. I volunteer to helphim and I did so out of friendship. I did notwant money or payment. I just wanted to help so I did and when I did that Ibecame very involved with his company and his company was doing a few milliondollars at the time. I thought it was kind of cool and then he said to me. Iwant you to stay. I want you to eventually be the president and run thecompany. I said I would well after I did and after we built three newdivisions and we really started to ramp things up. He then says to me: Chetsays: Look I've been trying to get a phone call and a meeting with Tonyrobins now for seventeen years and it's you know how persistent I am Mitch. Isaid yes, I do that's made him successful, that's whathappened so he basically flies out. I believe it was to Tony's home and I'mthinking somewhere in Vancouver, maybe or Canada, but somewhere in Canada, buthe got him meeting with Tony Tony and the two of them clicked and jet toldTony about me said well. MIT should run this whatever we do, Mitchis going tobe running it and that's basically what happens to the following Thursday night.I met Tony for the first time on the phone. After studying his materials, Iheat his tapes got me through some of the darkest times of my life, and hereI am on the phone with the guy that I haveeerro right M. I vitalized allthese years and then next thing I know we're on the phone almost everyThursday night, trying to figure out how to build this business together andthat's how we met and from there we created a story and we created apathway and a plan and then, while all of this is going on we're trying tobring five hundred people to Las Vegas and launch this as a as an event bywhich we can record all the content and...

...then build programs from that, and itall happened relatively. It felt like it was crawling at the time, but whathappened relatively quickly, yeah for a big organization like that, and sothere's two lessons in there that I believe in the power of relationships.So you had the relationship and friendship with chat and and he's likeokay, so I'm you know, I found some success. I've been chasing this tryingto find you know this connection with anthea robinsand. Then I'm going to share success. That's myother model business, so he shared it with you like bring you in. Like Hey,you know. If I'm here, I want mic char and that's that's a powerful thingright there that you could say you know that you never would have maybe metthat if HEU didn't have that persistent friend that got you in there and I lovethat how it works, because you know when somebody sees your talents andthen they go off and have success onwhere they go hey, come on. Let's allplay together and that's kind of the bottle of whatyou do with with your licensing even too, like okay, Somebody sees yoursuccess and say come on. You know you can have some of this too an and youcan share, make money from this. That's right, exactly yeah love that monomost.Definitely so what are your next goals? I mean you've. You know you've donesome pretty big stuff, yeah Ye, another big goal in the works here. Well H, ofcourse I have several. Naturally I mean it's a busy mind is a happy mind as faras I'm concerned, and so for me you know right now, I'm on my fourth yearof podcasting, and so your first thousand clients is doing really reallywell getting lots of downloads, we're getting some fantastic people on theshow and and what changing lives, with theshow we're getting response from people who are who are basically waiting everyweek for the next show I booked as a model. I've now teachpeople how to create podcasts so that they generate revenue from their shows,so I basically helpe them position...

...their show so that their ideal clientends up in their guest seat, and at that point we have a system by which we find those ideal clients and create theenvironment, to systemized environment, for them to become guests on the show,and then we only my instruction to my clients and it's the same thing I do isto ask a simple question. After the e after the interview is over, I ask onequestion and the question is: Do you have an extra few minutes to hear alittle bit about what I do and with that question I have closedpeople on coaching contracts on power, tribe, large certification programs, onjoint ventures on on live appearances, because when you're in a position tospeak to somebody you' just interviewed you just celebrated your life. You just endorse them in effect by having themon o show yeah. It's like it's like a backdoor way of promoting yourself. Youbuilt a relationship through supporting them. Like you know, fanlylan yeah,exactly we've done that a lot on our on my show, as well with like clients thatwe have that we're working on working with their franchises and then have theCEO on the show. They're not always asked to be on a podcast, so they'relike Oh yeah, I'd love to, and then you know, instead of a marketing call Orasales call your you're saying hey. Let me help you. Let me from Ro Hope CoulWrot, your business, excellent, excellent. I love that so Mitch. I knowyou've got an awesome gift to share with our listeners here on the podcasttoday I went out and checked it out and great value, so it tells us a littlebit more about what that is and where we can get that sure. Well, I want tojust mention that the coaching software system that wehad talked about earlier today, that's basically called client folio and theway this fellit is client, fol, dot Io. So I'm trying to be ell, modern andcool. How the young guys do it now with these weird extensions and stuff, but Ilove it because I was able to craft the little. You know a little a littlepuzzle in there by using the IO as part...

...of the name, so clainfolio s availableright now. If, if you get in quickly, you can tryit for free. The free trial is ending shortly, but after the free trials over it'sonly in acrost the dollar, but the bottom line is you can get in there andgive it a shot work it with some clients, see if youlike it like. I said ten minutes to learn can't be B, but the other thing Iwanted to share with your audience es. I have a guide: It's a basically aguide to how to get great publicity for free and that guy is simplydownloadable and download it and enjoy it because it's you know it's twentyyears of my of my understanding of how PR and attention works and it's allthere for free and it's called profit stacking secretcom, profit, stacking,yeah secrets. I love it, so I want to spell that out against seerbody gets atclient folio, so it's client, client, F, Ol, dot, ioh client, fully toto yeahyeah in Fulever, yeah, clever. When you get it, you get it. Okay, my client,Flo dot. I go there, get the gifts from my frond Mitch and thank you so muchbun honor to have you f here on the podcast. I know you're gonna help a lotmore people and keep doing what you're doing keep being you you're. Amazing.Thank you to be my pleasure. Thank so much thanks for listening to access toexperts podcast with Debiallan the expert of experts. You can also watchour podcast videos at debiallan DOT TV for more information about your hostvisit us at debby. Allencom, remember to subscribe.

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