Building A People-Centric Culture: From Employees To Contributors

Building A People-Centric Culture: From Employees To Contributors written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Kai Anderson, a seasoned strategist and the leader of workforce transformation at Mercer. Kai has spent years guiding organizations throughout Europe. His book Digital Human (2017) championed the concept of prioritizing humans in the digital transformation. Amid the pandemic’s upheaval, Kai continued his mission, helping clients reimagine their work and navigate decisions in a time of immense pressure and uncertainty.

Kai brings a wealth of experience, guiding organizations throughout Europe. Today, our discussion centers around his latest book, “Work, different: 10 Truths for Winning in The People Age.”

This podcast episode with Kai Anderson offers a deep dive into the transformative journey from employees to contributors, defining the people age, navigating the new rhythm of work, evolving leadership styles, and understanding the dynamics of the great resignation. Tune in for valuable insights on building a people-centric culture in the ever-evolving landscape of work.

Key Takeaways

Gain valuable insights into navigating the transformative shift from employees to contributors in the dynamic landscape of the people age. Kai illuminates the essence of this era, emphasizing the paradigm shift from command and control to a more balanced relationship between employers and contributors. Addressing the challenges of remote work, he introduces the concept of “The New Rhythm of Work” and advocates for finding synchronization in virtual environments. The discussion extends to the evolving role of leadership, with a focus on empathy as a crucial competency. Additionally, Kai delves into the great resignation phenomenon, shedding light on the quest for purpose and the changing preferences of individuals in the workforce. This episode offers a comprehensive exploration of building a people-centric culture in the context of the ever-evolving dynamics of work.

Questions I ask Kai Anderson:

[00:48] How do you describe “the people age”?

[01:32] What aspects make today the people age?

[02:37] According to your book, what are the most significant truths about the people age?

[04:21] How does the popularity of remote-work relate to the people age?

[05:58] What advice do you have for people trying to develop leaders in this new age?

[08:04] How does desire for individual wellbeing manifest itself in the workplace these days?

[10:58] Explain the value individuals have towards diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

[12:04] How do the 10 truths outlined in your book, help create a more inclusive environment?

[13:49] How do you leverage AI while keeping the human touch?

[15:12] How do you create a culture of learning that feels natural?

[16:58] How do you help people realize the return on investment in their people?

[19:25] Where can people connect with you and find a copy of your latest book?


More About Kai Anderson:

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Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Sign up for a 15% discount on annual plans until Dec 31, 2023. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!





John (00:08): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Kai Anderson. He’s a seasoned strategist who started with his own company and now leading workforce transformation for Mercer has spent years guiding organizations throughout Europe. His book, digital Human, championed the concept of Prioritizing Humans in the Digital Transformation. And today we’re going to talk about his new book Work, different 10 Truths for Winning in The People Age. So Kai, welcome to the show.

Kai (00:41): Thanks much, John. Great to be here with you.

John (00:43): So I always like to pick apart titles and subtitles particularly, and so let’s start with people age. How do you describe this thing you’re calling the People age?

Kai (00:52): I’m glad you’re picking that, John, because in fact, the idea was that the initial title was the People Age, but we turned it around. So why is it the people age? We had some major trends evolving in the past like 50 years, which brought us from the industrial age into another age. Some people argue it’s the digital age, we say it’s the people age, right? And of course we have some short-term events like the Pandemic that also accelerated some of these trends.

John (01:26): So what are some aspects that make this, I mean, what you referenced the industrial age, what are the aspects that make this the people age?

Kai (01:36): John the industrial age was very much the core paradigm of the industrial age was command and control. And that worked pretty well. And we have to see that employers and employees were not on eye level. So this was, as we see still in some organizations like military, that was a different kind of organizing work and it was a different relationship. And that has changed significantly through of course, demographics. Now that labor, we all face labor shortage, things have turned around, values have shifted. So that is something which is very different to what we’ve seen in the industrial age where we are now coming towards, well, the balance of power, if you would like to say. So where we’re coming to a new kind of relationship between employers and employees or contributors as we say.

John (02:36): Yeah. So the book also unveils 10 truths. I’m not going to ask you to name your favorite truth or name all 10 truths, but I wonder if there’s one or maybe two that you would say, Hey, these are the most significant things, or these are the things people get wrong the most in this age.

Kai (02:54): It really starts with John, what I just mentioned, the contributors. So the first chapter is Goodbye employee, hello contributor. And I think we need to get rid of the idea of an employee. People want to contribute, they want to bring their very best to work, and they want acknowledgement for that. And that is something that has changed a lot. I guess when we started working, it was all about getting a good paycheck and that was it. And that has changed dramatically. So the contributor, and we see that in our global talent trends, you might know that we do annual of course, surveys on what is trending and what people expect. And more than 40 of people say that they want appreciation for what they bring to work for their contribution. So that is a very important chapter. One of my favorites. It’s the first one. Of course, I have others.

John (03:46): And I also like the use of new language too, because I think a lot of times old language employee is kind of loaded with how people think about that. And I think it probably in some cases almost takes an entire, you mentioned paradigm, almost a paradigm shift of what an employee or the term employee even is.

Kai (04:03): Absolutely.

John (04:04): So you also mentioned the pandemic, and it’s hard to talk about any kind of thing around team and staffing without bringing it up. Hopefully we’ll grow out of that at some point. But remote work certainly has been around for a period of time, but talk about accelerating that. It’s certainly changed a lot of organizations dramatically. How does the people age, how do the 10 truths really relate to the idea that so many people now are not physically in a building with their place of employment?

Kai (04:31): I’m glad you’re asking. Of course. We have a dedicated chapter on that. It’s called The New Rhythm of Work. And that is, by the way, we have a lot of musical references. So if you’re not into music, you might not like the book, but if you’re into music, we have a lot of references here. And the new rhythm of work is the good thing. There was one good thing about the Pandemic then it was that it showed us what is possible with regard to working virtually. And in the beginning it worked out pretty well. But then we kind of struggled in organizations started to struggle because we were getting out of sync. So some people were starting early, others were starting late, some were commuting, others were working from home. So we are not in sync anymore. And that is why some companies are calling people back into their offices, which is of course not the answer because the ghost is out of the bottle. You cannot turn it back. But we need to find that new rhythm. We need to get back in sync with each other to make that entire thing work.

John (05:42): If the workplace is changing, if organizations are realizing this is the people age, what leadership, how does leadership have to change? Does training need to change? Do who we think of as a leader need to change? Certainly the hierarchical structure of leadership has to change. What do you tell people now when they’re trying to think, how do we develop leaders in our organization in this kind of new age?

Kai (06:04): First of all, leaders should read our book, John, obviously, of course,

John (06:09): Yes. Well, that of course,

Kai (06:14): Because, no, I think the book is not targeted at HR people, not primarily it’s targeted at leaders, at executives. It’s targeted at people that want to understand how this new world of working is working and what it takes. And I think we have some really great advice also for leaders in here. Let me take one or two things. The basics of good leadership have not changed, not really being on eye level, these kinds of things. But of course there things that are new. And let me take empathy for example. Empathy is something that has really emerged strongly with the pandemic because we had to get into the other’s shoes, really understand what is bothering you, how do you feel? And that kind of notion, think back 30 years ago, that would’ve been impossible, but now it’s a leadership competency we’re talking about. And empathy is the beginning of inclusion. And what we all want is a diverse and inclusive workforce. So the basis for that is empathy. So we are drawing the line here to make sure that people understand what is good leadership about what has changed and what do you need to know as a leader in the people age.

John (07:40): So there were a couple of terms that were certainly used throughout the us. I’m not sure if they were used as much in Europe, quite quitting, and the great resignation where people were up and leaving, choosing other jobs. And I think a lot of people initially kind of pegged that as, oh, people just don’t want to work anymore. But I think what really came out of that was people just don’t want to work for you anymore or at this place. So how does this real sort of desire for engagement, for wellbeing in the place that they work manifests itself?

Kai (08:12): It’s also something that has very much been accelerated by the pandemic. We were sitting in our homes, we were considering and thinking about what’s life about and what do I expect from life and what do I expect from work? What do I expect from my employer? And so it wasn’t really surprising that people in the pandemic and after the pandemic thought, is that it or is there more to it? And what am I going to do? And of course, we have to be fair, John, this was fueled to some extent by the labor market situation. Of course, when I can change like this, that’s not that much of an issue. I think it’s now a bit harder and the great resignation has stopped as a movement. But also here, I think we see a genuine shift of preferences with people. And we see people asking for purpose, for purpose of their companies, for purpose in their lives. And I think that’s a good movement.

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(10:25): Now, this offer is limited to new active campaign customers only. So what are you waiting for? Fuel your growth. Boost revenue and save precious time by upgrading to active campaign today. So you already mentioned diversity and inclusion. I think that workplaces have become more diverse generationally, I think, which is probably driving some of this. You think of some of what we’ve talked about has really been attributed to millennials. The I want to work at a place that matters necessarily that’s higher than what I’m paid. Maybe talk a little bit about, I know you have a whole chapter on diversity and inclusion and not as a regulatory process and more of a people want to work in companies that value that.

Kai (11:11): That is also some of the shift in preferences that we are seeing that is very much tied to, I want to bring myself to work. I want to be looked at as an individual. That entire idea of the workforce, the human resource is a very abstract thing. And that is not John. We are living in a world of hyper individualization. People want to be seen as an individual. I have been working with the former CHO from Betina Fox, and she’s a great woman. I did my last book with her and she said, everybody wants to be seen. That was her mantra. Everybody wants to be seen with an airline. Imagine. That is so true, isn’t it? And that is the genuine idea of inclusion and diversity.

John (12:04): So how do the truths that you share in this book or the insights you share in this book help people create a more inclusive environment, help people be more seen?

Kai (12:15): I think it’s the combination, and I think it starts with a general idea of this people age that has come and we have a dedicated chapter on AI and technology, but the idea is it starts with the people. And if you consider that when you ask executives what’s your most valuable resource? What will they answer to the people? It’s the people. But that has been a lip service, John, for years and years now. It’s becoming true. Now people start realizing it is the most valuable resource and that is the first thing I think that needs to not necessarily change, but that needs to be top of people’s mind to say, yeah, it’s the people that will make us successful or not. And it’s the diversity of people that will make us more successful. And we have studies on that. We know that diverse teams are better performing than non-diverse teams. So we know that. And I think you don’t have to argue about that anymore. The question is in fact, how do you do it?

John (13:29): Right? So you mentioned ai. That was my very next question. Certainly a lot of hand wringing in some circles just about the idea that AI is going to replace people, that robots are going to replace people. So how do you leverage technology? Because we also know that this technology sometimes affords us some great things. So how do you leverage technology with also then keeping some sort of human touch?

Kai (13:55): John, I’m a big tech fan, frankly, and I’m a big believer of technology being an amplifier for our capabilities, which is why the chapter on AI we call intelligence is amplified. So we see it as an amplifier for our intelligence. And then you mentioned the gains. We’re talking 10 to 30% productivity increase. So this is incredible, especially if we consider that the past years have been stagnating with regard to productivity increase. So here’s the kind of boost that we all want, and I see it as a means, or we see it in the book as something that is highly beneficial for the organization, of course, but also for the contributor for people within the organization. If we manage to of what we call have a fair distribution of the digital dividend.

John (14:56): I know in my organization, most of the members of our team are fit into the millennial generation, age wise. And one of the things that I find is very valuable to them, they always want to continue to learn what we talk about it every week. You learn this week, what’s a new thing you can share this week? How do you cultivate that kind of culture without also cramming stuff down people’s throats? It’s like you have to keep learning, you have to keep training, you have to keep reading. How do you create that in a way that feels very natural?

Kai (15:28): That’s a cultural thing first. And look at Microsoft. They did an entire campaign on learn it all versus know it all and look at where they are. So to me, that is first of all, really cultural development. And you need to get to a culture that first of all is about curiosity, being curious, trying new things, exploring things. I think we have cultural differences when we look at the US versus Europe versus Asia. Europeans are much more hesitating when it comes to new technology that’s different in different parts of the world. But start with the chances first, have that kind of curiosity. And then it’s about of course, embedding learning into everyday work, giving people the tools, giving people also some time, and most importantly, having the freedom to fail. So what we call psychological safety, create that psychological safety. You say you try it goes wrong, doesn’t matter. You’re not supposed to do it wrong twice, but once is.

John (16:41): Yeah. Right, right, right. So I’m sure you get this question, especially in a consulting role. If you’re talking to a CEO, you’re talking about change in some instances. This is not how every business is run, right? Today. So you’re talking about some significant change sometimes equates to significant investment. So how do you help people realize the return on an investment in their people? Like we’re talking about, is there a way to measure this has been successful?

Kai (17:07): Good question, John. When we are embarking on these exo, the first thing that we make sure is we are not really convincing people like the return of investment, but rather is it the right thing to do? So you want to get more profitable? Where does it start? What are you going to do without the kind of performance mindset? You want to be more innovative, you want to be more customer centered. Is that a structural thing or is that a mindset kind of thing? So this is first of all, you believe it or not, and there are people that don’t believe it, that rather want to get into structures, into processes and say, this is not about people. More and more people buy into the idea of at least people have something to do with it. So I’m not saying that we are not, of course we are setting objectives like net promoter scores where there’s a whole bunch of objectives and we are doing extensive employee listening to see what arrives with employees, with contributors. So this is something, and in the end, of course you want to see the business results of all of that, but it’s caused an effect. I know, and we know we have great examples also in the book from organization that managed to kind of become a digital champion, for example, by at least investing heavily into their people, into their cultures and their people practices. There’s the hardwired stuff as well. There’s objective setting, incentive systems, performance management, you name it. Of course, that plays a role.

John (18:54): I suspect if you want to default or what I would default maybe as a simple metric is retention too. I mean that’s so many people left companies they didn’t like working for and it was very expensive to replace them.

Kai (19:09): Retention. Meanwhile, retention is a business objective. Exactly. Just diversity is just as diverse, just as engagement. Of course. You’re absolutely right.

John (19:22): Well, Kai, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. You want to invite people where they might connect with you. Obviously find a copy of your latest book work different.

Kai (19:33): John, thank you so much. Yeah, please reach out LinkedIn, great channel. Make sure that we follow you, John. Great talking to you. Good fun.

John (19:41): Yep. Awesome. Again, thanks for stopping. Bye. Hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there in Europe.

Mastering Growth Momentum: Unveiling Your Agency’s True North

Mastering Growth Momentum: Unveiling Your Agency’s True North written by Tosin Jerugba read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch


In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Frank Cowell, the Chief Revenue Boss at Revenue Ranch. Frank Cowell is a speaker, best-selling author, and entrepreneur in the San Diego, California area. With over 20 years of sales, marketing, and leadership experience, Frank serves as Chief Revenue Boss at his latest venture, Revenue Ranch. He works regularly with business owners and executives who are looking to grow faster and smarter.

Frank is author of Building Your Digital Utopia, which details a concept he pioneered to help brands create digital experiences that systematically accelerate growth. An energetic and entertaining speaker, Frank presents regularly to regional and national organizations on topics related to revenue operations, business strategy, and digital marketing.

Renowned for his expertise in accelerating agency growth. Frank’s insights into mastering growth momentum and unveiling your agency’s True North are invaluable for those seeking to elevate their agency success.

Key Takeaways

Emphasizing the importance of a clear True North, Frank guides listeners in defining a razor-sharp strategic direction that informs every decision. He introduces the concept of identifying the number one blocker to growth, encouraging a systematic approach to chip away at obstacles in quarterly cycles. Frank underscores the power of intimate knowledge about your audience, advocating for the ownership of a specific niche to navigate technological shifts successfully. The journey to agency success is framed as a continuous process, with a focus on success stacking and the creation of a culture of momentum. Tactical adaptability is key, with Frank advising agencies to leverage their relationships to initiate collaborative discussions within their niche, navigating evolving landscapes with confidence and purpose.

Questions I ask Frank Cowell:

[00:54] Why do you believe the title ‘Chief Revenue Boss’ is well suited to you at this stage of your career?

[03:44] What key moments in your career best prepared you that title?

[06:51] In your book “Digital Utopia,” what’s the meaning of systematically accelerating growth through creating experiences?

[11:55] How do you apply ‘Momentum Management’ in the world of business ?

[18:05] What advice do you have for scaling in a world where technology seems to affect everything ?

[21:16] Where can people connect with you and learn more about your work ?


More About Frank Cowell:

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Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Sign up for a 15% discount on annual plans until Dec 31, 2023. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!





John (00:08): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is Jon Jantsch. My guest today is Frank Cowell. He is a speaker, bestselling author and entrepreneur, currently serves as the chief revenue boss at Revenue Ranch. He works regularly with business owners and executives who are looking to grow faster, and he’s also the author of Building Your Digital Utopia, which details the concept he pioneered to help brands create digital experiences that systematically accelerate growth. So Frank, welcome to the show.

Frank (00:40): Hey, Jon, thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

John (00:42): So a couple things I want to get in a little bit into your, I love always to hear people’s entrepreneur during like, how’d you get here? Right? But I want to focus on one thing. Revenue Ranch is your company. You’ve given yourself the title Chief Revenue Boss. Does that imply automatically what you think is the most important role for you currently in that business, or is that just what needed to be filled?

Frank (01:06): I think for me, the play on the Revenue Ranch aspects, so Boss is a common term on a ranch, and then revenue tying into the company name. Ultimately it’s my job to create direction for the company, but in this chapter of my life, after having exited an agency, this business is less about growing a massive team of people and more so about working with agency owners as they try to navigate this journey of being an agency owner. So I help guide them on that journey and we put a program together to make that happen. So Chief Revenue Boss is more so just a tie into the company name and that kind of ranch theming.

John (01:49): I guess what I was getting at a little bit is I see a lot of business owners, let’s call them rather than CEOs, who really think revenue and vision and maybe culture are my only real jobs because they’re so down in the weeds doing everything else, and I think it almost feels like a luxury if you get to a point in your business where you can say, look, these are the only three things that I need to focus on because they’re the only three things that matter necessarily to scaling.

Frank (02:18): What’s interesting about the CEO role is the CEO is responsible for what I call true North, and it sounds simple, but it’s a massive decision to make regarding what goes into creating true North. And then, oh, by the way, making sure that the decisions within the company and how you align the team so that they all are inspired by, they’re clear on true North, and they also make decisions about True North. That’s a very big deal, even though it sounds simple on paper. And then ultimately, if we look at the KPIs, if you will, of the other functions in the business, the major functions, those aren’t directly the responsibility of the CEO, but indirectly they are. If you were to go to the shareholders or the board, they don’t really care that there’s a head of marketing responsible for active lead generation that ultimately is going to fall on the CEO’s shoulders as to why the company isn’t growing at a respectable rate. So it’s kind of a yin and yang thing there.

John (03:19): Yeah, no, I actually agree with you. I think that a lot of people, it’s easy to explain the concept and a lot of books do of True North, it’s probably the hardest thing to actually get around to getting right, and I think that’s where people are really struggling. Give us a little bit of a snippet of your journey to how you got here. You talked about owning an agency already, and obviously we know what you’re doing today, but it’s always kind of fun, I think, to go through what molded you to this place.

Frank (03:47): Yeah, so I’ve always been a salesperson at heart ever since I was a kid. I was in love with this idea of product and creating a business and selling things and moving something into a market and satisfying the market. Even as a kid, I would order these products that I was responsible for selling and my parents would be like, what did you just commit to this? Hundreds of dollars of stuff that’s in our house now that you have to go and sell. I was like 12 years old, and so I’ve just always been that way, and if we fast forward, along comes the information superhighway. That’s what we called it back then, the internet, the worldwide web, we called it the Information superhighway, and there was a big theme back then of the information Superhighway is coming. That was the big message out there, and none of us really knew what that was.

(04:38): Well, me being very curious, I started dabbling and trying to figure out what is this thing? And it wasn’t long before I said I could probably sell stuff on this thing, and that’s when I launched my first web page through my America online web space, and I paid some guy 50 bucks to do it. I found him on America online, and at the time, 50 bucks, I had to ask my wife for $50. I said, Hey, is it okay if I spend $50? That was a big deal to me back then. And so she said, sure, I believe in all your crazy wacky ideas. So I got this thing uploaded and I was selling some information products, and then I decided I wanted to change it, and I was like, oh, this guy’s going to want 50 bucks again. And then I thought to myself, Frank Computers and back in junior high, you did a certain amount of programming that you learned, I could probably figure this out.

(05:31): So I cracked open a text editor, and lo and behold, I saw the words on the screen that I wanted to change. I changed it, saved it, uploaded it, and my mind was forever blown. I was like, oh my gosh, the power I now possess. So that led me on a journey to teaching myself how to program. I started programming in flat file databases using a language called Perl. Back then we’re talking, this was the late nineties, by the way, and so when it comes to the internet, I’m an old guy, and so that led me into creating my own content management system, and then I launched a web design shop, and then that eventually morphed into a branding agency and creative agency, and I went through that whole journey, did M&A type stuff, and then last year I exited my agency. So yeah, it kind of was a roundabout way of this sales marketing career that was underpinned by my desire to build things and deliver things to a market.

John (06:29): Yeah, it’s funny, I started my agency over 30 years ago, so yeah, pre-internet as well. But I always tell people the only thing I was sure of is I could hustle work, and I think a lot of entrepreneurs kind of have that bug, and sometimes it could be a weakness, right? We don’t stay focused because we’re able to do that. Talk a little bit about,

Frank (06:48): That’s such a point, John, such a

John (06:49): Great point, and we can come back to that. I want to talk about the book Building Your Digital Utopia. You talked about this idea of creating an experience that systematically accelerate growth. So kind of unpack that idea for us.

Frank (07:01): Well, I’m a systems guy. I’m a frameworks guy. Everything I do, I want to put a system around. I want to put a framework around, I want to put an ABC 1, 2, 3, so much so to where my wife sometimes is like, oh my gosh, there’s a right way to do everything, isn’t there, Frank? Because that’s just how I view everything. There’s a ABC 1 23 when it came to my agency experience and what we were doing for clients, which was essentially inbound marketing, content marketing. I wanted to create a way for our clients to understand the complexity of content marketing. Now to marketers that might be listening, we might think, oh, it’s easy to understand, but we also have to remember the people that buy what we have to offer, let’s say content marketing, it’s not so easy for them to understand and they don’t understand the strategic aspects of it.

(07:46): So I wrote a book that intended to teach the strategic aspects to get a business owner, a business executive, to understand what good inbound slash content marketing looked like. And oh, by the way, the underpinning, the big theme of that was relationships, that we can actually build relationships in a digital format. We have to just take that relationship psychology and apply it to the content. And so once you do that and you overlay that idea of relationship psychology, you now have specific types of content you need at various stages. And it’s not just so, it’s not enough to say, oh, awareness, decision, consideration, that’s not enough to say that we actually have to understand the psychology of meeting the psychological need at that place. And so that’s what we attempted to do was apply that psychology to that process and it works really well because now we can teach people, business executives a strategic understanding of content and digital marketing.

John (08:48): Yeah, 15, 20 years ago we were talking about content is king. You remember everybody was saying that and then it became air, frankly, and I think today we’ve risen it to the strategic level. You don’t talk about content as a blog post or as a content management system. It’s actually how are we going to use it to be the voice of strategy is how we talk about it, because I think it’s become that important, but it’s also, it’s complex. It’s changing, it’s getting harder. There’s so much garbage out there that I think I understand the confusion, right, and I’m sure you see it too. Yeah.

Frank (09:23): I think when, and this is Go ahead,

John (09:25): Finish that point.

Frank (09:27): I was going to say, I think when businesses don’t, I’m going to bring back something I mentioned at the top of the conversation, and we’ll get into it too. When we talk about the number one thing that I think CEOs are responsible for, especially in agencies, but what a lot of businesses lack what’s called a true north. And when you don’t have a true north, it affects everything. So specifically we’re talking about content marketing. Well, guess what? That’s why you’re going to produce a bunch of stuff for SEO and you’re going to produce a bunch of stuff for social and it’s all over the place. And then people wonder why it’s not getting traction. Well, because to get traction with marketing, this was true yesterday, and it’s so true today. To get traction, you need longevity. The problem is if you don’t have a true north, you will constantly be changing directions and you will never have the longevity required to get momentum going. And that’s actually the key word that drives everything I do right now with my clients and my methodology. It’s this idea of momentum. It’s the only magic elixir that ever truly exists in business and in life, and you could actually harness it.

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Frank (11:54): Yeah,

John (11:54): Let’s talk a little bit, I think you call it momentum management even. So let’s talk a little bit about that concept. Again, unpack that a little bit so that, I mean, I think people conceptually can get that, but how do you apply that in a real world, in a business?

Frank (12:10): Yeah, simply put, momentum again is the only magic elixir that really exists. It’s this magical thing that’s infectious that when you start harnessing momentum, everyone gets caught up in it, everyone gets excited, and you have people working together towards a common cause. Without momentum, things start to feel stale and stagnant. And as agencies, we know that is awful in the agency space because our people, which is essentially the product, when they start feeling stale and stagnant and the business isn’t going somewhere, they’re easily distracted by other opportunities. There are many other organizations willing to woo our talent. So we have to create momentum. So how do we do that? The way we do that simply put is by making sure that we obsessively work on the right things in the right order, and disproportionately deploy time, money, and resources against those things. So there’s a few things to define that and get there.

(13:10): I’ve already mentioned true north quite a bit, and I’ll go back to that. It’s really critical that you as the agency leader or any business owner that you e established a true north for the business. Well, the true north, what is it? The true north basically says this is who we’re for. This is what we do in the world. This is the transformation we bring and this is the mission we’re on to get there. It needs to be so sharp, it could metaphorically cut. Meaning when you come across opportunities, it’s either going to cut yes or cut no, and it’s going to be very black and white. The problem with most businesses, they’re not willing to make that sharp of a business strategy decision. So they end up taking some things over here, some things over there, some things right there, and then before you know it, you don’t have the focus.

(13:58): So the true north needs to be something that is razor sharp. Again, I like to tell my clients it should metaphorically cut. If you touch, it cuts you. It’s that sharp. And then your job as the owner is to make sure that all plans align to true North. All people that you hire align to true North, and all the day-to-Day behaviors and decisions align to true North. So that’s number one. We must have a true north, right? So we’re talking about things like vision, mission, values, how you articulate the brand, and then how you define what I call the boulder in the business. And the boulder in the business is the number one strategic imperative that you have to accomplish in the next one to three years. So that’s your true north. So if we start there, if we don’t have that, then gaining momentum is going to be really difficult.

(14:43): And then I can go on to a couple of more points if you want, but yeah, let’s do it. Are we good? Okay, so we’ve got true north. The next thing we need to do is is that we need to uncover the number one blocker towards True North, and we need to analyze that number one blocker on a consistent basis. I like to say in nighty day cycles or quarterly cycles. So what is our number one blocker towards True North? Now, I talk about there being seven core capabilities in every business. One is True. North two is exceptional execution. We’ve got world-class offering systematic sales process, actively generation, empowered work experience, and cash and profit optimization. Those, by the way, align with job titles, but I don’t use the job titles. Those are the seven capabilities. So what you have to do as a business owner is you have to regularly understand of those seven capabilities, which one is our number one blocker to growth.

(15:41): And you as a business owner must know that at any given point in time, and once you define your number one blocker to growth, then what you’re going to do is the third thing is you’re going to chip away at that blocker in nighty day or quarterly cycles. So the plans you come up with aren’t to boil the ocean, aren’t to get rid of that blocker to growth in one plan, your objective is what can we accomplish in this quarter to chip away at it and understand that growth getting to a place of big success is a journey, and it’s about success stacking those little wins quarter after quarter. So what happens when you do that? Well, you gain momentum because not only are you chipping away at the blocker, which frees up and makes your company spend faster, but you’re creating a culture of winning with your team. And when your team feels like winners, they start to get caught up in the excitement and enthusiasm of it. So those are the three things that I would say as know your true north, know your number one blocker to growth, and then in quarterly cycles relentlessly execute, chipping away at it in small chunks, quarter after quarter.

John (16:54): As I listened to you described that one, how often the number one blocker for people is they don’t have a true north, right?

Frank (17:02): It’s interesting enough, John, it’s actually if we put those in the right order, a lot of people might say, well, I don’t need strategy at this point in time or company’s small. It’s like, well, could you spend just a handful of weeks getting together with the few people you have and agree on what the strategy is? We’re not talking about spending months or years on this, but could you get together and just create some clarity around where you folks are going? Because if you can’t do that, you’re going to continue to spin your wheels.

John (17:32): So one of the things I’m seeing in the agency world is, and we’re picking on the agencies it sounds like, because we both serve a lot of agencies, but this is business in general, is just that they see what everybody else is doing out there. It’s like this is how it’s always been done, and I see a whole lot of pressure right now on marketing tactics, price pressure on marketing tactics today, and a lot of agencies going, we are just throwing bodies at stuff, but we’re making less and working more. So I’m curious if you see that same mentality out there, but also what do we need to be doing or how do we need to be looking at things differently if we are going to scale in a world where technology is constantly changing and creating a lot of pressure on price or on profit?

Frank (18:17): Yeah. Again, I’m going to be redundant here, but I go back to true North. I think about there’s two agency relationships in particular that come to mind for me in one relationship. In this one agency I know of, they made the decision to get really sharp on their true north, and they stuck to it and they relentlessly executed against it. The other agency who by the way, was bigger than this other agency has stagnated because they did everything else, but they didn’t have the courage to make the decisions about True North because they had this fear of missing out. So what ends up happening is they’re not magnetic to anyone audience, but because they’re kind of there for many audiences, now, why is this the answer to the thing that you just brought up? The reason it’s the answer is because as tactics shift, and let’s say we have these massive shifts like AI coming in with content, and how does that affect SEO and how does that affect content marketing?

(19:21): These massive shifts coming in. When you own an audience and you own a particular problem, then you are the one that has the voice within that community to start having conversation with them about how they’re going to leverage this technology or if it’s even applicable at all. When you have that kind of intimate knowledge about that audience, it’s okay that you may not have the answer, but you have the audience and you have the conversations there, and you have the relationships to go back to that audience and say, why don’t we do a roundtable? Why don’t we do a forum where we talk about the disruption that’s happening with this new technology? I’m not claiming to have the answers, but I do know your industry and I do know your problems, and I do know what we have to get you to where you’re wanting to go from a strategic standpoint.

(20:11): When you have that kind of intimacy, the tactical problems come and go. As you know, there will be another massive shift in the future, and there will be another one that will always happen. When you have that intimate knowledge of a given market and you understand them better than anyone else, and you’ve put in the work to develop the relationships in that market, you can then go to them and not claim to have the answers. And that’s really the big revelation. You don’t have to have the answers of knowing what to do with the technology, but you do have to have the relationships with an audience that’s greater than your competitors, so that way you can bring that question to that audience and have a round table discussion and start to create insights and ideas about what that industry can do with the new tech.

John (20:59): Such a great way to build such a great way to build trust too, with that audience doing exactly what you described. Well, Frank, we have run out of time somehow. I wanted to get to stepping away from your agency, which I know we could do a whole show on. So maybe we’ll have you back to cover just that one topic, but I’d invite you to invite people to connect with you or where you’d like to connect or find out more about the work you’re doing there at Revenue Range.

Frank (21:23): Yeah, I think the biggest thing I can do for listeners, because we talk so much about momentum and figuring out which area is your number one blocker and what you should do about it, that probably the best thing I could do is direct people to an online tool that I developed where people can go through and answer some questions about their business, and it will help uncover your exact blocker to growth. So if you just go to, you’ll have access to a tool where we’ll walk you through exactly what your number one blocker to growth is, and it’ll give you a roadmap on what to do about that.

John (22:01): Yeah, and we’ll have that link in the show notes as well. Well, frankly, again, I appreciate you taking a few moments to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

Unlocking Exponential Growth: The Blueprint to Scale Your Business

Unlocking Exponential Growth: The Blueprint to Scale Your Business written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Tony DiSilvestro. Tony is a seasoned entrepreneur, business consultant, and author of the Business Scaling Blueprint. With a passion for helping businesses achieve exponential growth, Tony shared valuable insights into the challenges and misconceptions surrounding business scaling.

Key Takeaways:

Tony highlights the essential principles of scaling a business successfully by emphasizing the intrinsic nature of every business as a people business, underscoring the importance of human interaction and fostering a culture that prioritizes growth. The significance of meticulous systemization is highlighted, with a focus on defining brand pillars and implementing robust internal processes. Tony advocates for embracing technological advancements like AI while maintaining a balance with genuine human engagement for sustained relevance. The holistic approach to management involves continuous improvement, rigorous attention to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and recalibration for effective decision-making, laying the groundwork for unlocking exponential growth in any business.


Questions I ask Tony DiSilvestro:

[00:45] How did you get to this incredible stage in your entrepreneurship career?

[01:11] What are the common misconceptions about business scaling?

[02:13] What is business scaling?

[03:00] According to your book: what are the core concepts of business scaling?

[04:20] How do you monitor business scaling as well as technological advancements in your industry?

[06:32] How do you deal with clients who resist the idea of being called a people business?

[07:52] Is there a framework for building a people-centric culture?

[09:59] How do systems build a better culture?

[11:35] How do you change the mindset of a non-people-centric culture?

[12:54] Are there must-have performance indicators, and how do we use them to make better decisions?

[14:24] What advice do you have for businesses that want to grow but feel stuck?

[16:10] After AI, what trends should we look out for in business scaling?

[18:01] Where can people connect with you and find out more about your work?


More About Tony DiSilvestro:

Get Your Free AI Prompts To Build A Marketing Strategy:


Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the DeskTeam360

Desk team 360 is the #1, flat-rate, digital marketing integration team, that helps small businesses and marketing agencies with graphic, web design, and on-page marketing services.




John (00:03): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Tony DiSilvestro. He is an entrepreneur, business consultant and keynote speaker, passionate about helping businesses realize their exponential growth, Tony’s successes, and these are his words and failure too, have afforded him life’s lessons that he enjoys sharing with others. He’s also the author of the business, scaling Blueprint, which we’ll probably dive into a little bit today as well. So Tony, welcome to the show.

Tony (00:34): Oh, thanks for having me today. Excited to be here.

John (00:36): So let’s talk about, we could take the whole show talking about your entrepreneurial journey, but let’s give a few high spots that give people a sense of where you learned your hard-earned lessons.

Tony (00:49): Yeah, I grew up on the Jersey Shore as a kid and learned what the value of a customer at such a young age, and it’s really given me the path to understand business and understand it doesn’t really matter what business I’m in, I’m in the people business. And that’s kind of where it all started for me.

John (01:04): So let’s just dive into, I think this is a good jumping in point for all the positive lessons we’re going to talk about. What are some of the things that people get wrong, the misperceptions about scaling, why it’s so hard to do, why people beat their head against the wall? I mean, what are we all doing wrong that’s not allowing us to scale sort of elegantly?

Tony (01:23): There’s a couple things. We all started out as business owners, we think we’re great at something. So we say, Hey, we get this wild hair and we start a business. And the problem with that is everybody thinks they’re entrepreneurs, but you don’t truly become an entrepreneur until you start systemizing your systems. Learn how to delegate and then invest in your people. So one of the things that I find with a lot of companies, whether they’re doing three to 5 million, 10 million a year, it doesn’t matter, they’re stuck. You know what I mean? They’re wearing every hat in the company still, and they can’t get out of their own way and trust people.

John (01:55): I can’t remember where I heard this or who said this, but somebody said, business owners look at everything that needs to be done. They say, how are we going to get this done? Entrepreneurs look at everything and said, who can we get to do this? And I think that’s a pretty key distinction. Right? Yeah. So this may sound silly, but let’s define for the context of this conversation, what is scaling even mean?

Tony (02:16): Well, it’s funny. Scaling for me means different things for every entrepreneur. So some entrepreneurs want quality of life to spend more time with their family. Some people want 10 x 20 x hundred x their business, so it doesn’t matter. And I work with so many ceos all over the world and founders of companies, and every one of ’em has a different vision of what scaling means and what success means to them. So it’s really, I don’t put entrepreneurs or ceos in a certain box. I’m constantly just working with them, working with their c suites and really helping them understand what scaling truly means to them.

John (02:51): Yeah. I assume though there are a few key concepts, a few strategies that you probably bring to everybody to at least explore. So maybe you could, especially from the book itself, what are some of the core concepts that you have to be maybe are overlooked or people just don’t think about them, that you find that you have to really focus on to get people started in the right direction?

Tony (03:12): The first thing I always start out with is really defining their brand. What are the three pillars of your brand? So many companies are disconnected with truly what the purpose of their company is. And it’s not just the founder. The founder has this vision but doesn’t resonate with the employees, and then ultimately it doesn’t resonate with the customers. So I redeveloped their entire brand and make them truly think some of this processes takes over two months to develop. And then I go into systemizing their systems. So I’ve been in franchising for 14 years, and systems are everything. Anybody that’s in franchising knows you’re not selling, say a restaurant or a handyman company. You’re selling a system, and that’s what people want to buy. And that’s why the failure rate in franchises is so much lower than regular entrepreneurs that are starting a mom and pop shop or a family owned business because they focus so much on the systems of the company. And then you can delegate and then you can train, and then you can market.

John (04:09): Talk a little bit though about one of the things that I know a lot of businesses, I’ve been doing this for 30 years, we can pick a change. I mean, there’s so much change that goes on in business. The current change is probably a technology one that’s got the most people buzzing right now, and that’s ai. I mean, how do you continue to scale or have a vision for a business while constantly monitoring wholesale changes that might be going on in your industry?

Tony (04:34): It’s funny, I love ai, but everybody’s got to understand AI is a tool, and if you’re not putting it in your tool bag, you’re going to be left behind because it’s happening so fast and you have to utilize it and see how you can adapt your business. I’ve changed so many parts of my business with AI already, but adapting technology is something I’ve done for over 30 years. Whenever there was something new out there, I’m wondering what’s going on. When Bitcoin first came out, I tried to take it in my restaurants and I wanted to accept Bitcoin, and this is before it was even out. It was like $4 of coin. And I wish I would’ve known to buy a wallet at that time, but I didn’t. But the thing is, if you’re not adapting to change, if you’re not understanding friction and understanding what’s happening in your business, then you’re going to die. You’re never going to make it. Change is inevitable in our companies, and you have to be a change advocate.

John (05:26): I often tell in the marketing world, people are talking about AI replacing their jobs. I mean to do content and all the things AI can do. And I said, no, AI’s not going to replace your job. Somebody’s as good as you that’s using AI is going to replace you. And I think, yeah, I think your point of it’s just a tool. It’s like, how can it allow us to do something faster and better? If it can’t, then it’s not useful. You mentioned my

Tony (05:51): Business,

John (05:52): Go ahead, finish. Go ahead. Was going to got just enough lag that we’re talking over each other. Alright, one of your businesses go,

Tony (06:00): I said one of my businesses a marketing company as well, and the same thing is always looking for results. And I’m always looking for AI and other avenues to help people grow their businesses and scale. So I mean, every tool that’s out there and it’s as accessible, you need to be educated on it and learn from it. Go on YouTube, find a video. It doesn’t matter. Just educate yourself.

John (06:19): So you mentioned already, and I want to dive into it, but every business is a people business. It doesn’t matter what they sell, what they do. So talk to me a little bit about that idea, but then let’s get into some specifics because I bet you get some pushback from somebody’s like, no, we sell blah, blah, blah widget. We’re not a people business.

Tony (06:37): So a lot of times I go into business and I truly mean it. We’re in the ninety-eight 0.6 degree business. That’s the business we’re in. And I’ve founded over thirty-three different companies in different industries. And every single business I’m in, it’s all about human capital and how are we helping human capital accomplish their goals and the results that we’re looking for? And people will push back and they’re like, no, we’re architects. I said, no, you’re designing somebody’s home. You’re not designing their house. This is where people are going to live. So I’m very results-driven, right? So if I walk into a sales team, I’m looking at sales-centric versus results-centric motivations of selling because if you’re selling, you’re dying. But if you’re focused on results, then you’re going to actually do something. So when we’re looking at human capital and businesses, we need people to grow. And when you talk about scaling, the number one way to scale is through delegation, as we alluded to before. But that is people. And I don’t care if you’re selling cars, widgets, food doesn’t matter, building homes. I mean, that’s what it is.

John (07:37): So yeah, it’s interesting. Your portfolio of businesses is all over the map. I mean, you have a building company, you have a restaurant. You already talked about some professional services that you offer. So do you have, not templates the wrong word, but do you have a framework that’s a better word for this idea of building a people-centric culture?

Tony (07:57): Yes. Invest in your systems immediately. Entrepreneurs go out of business right away. But when I’m talking about investing your systems, I’m talking about as granular as you possibly can. If I would’ve taken that time when I first opened my business to really think about the processes and procedures and really document every system, I wouldn’t have had two major failures in my life because I would’ve been way more educated. I would’ve had better systems, and I would’ve been able to delegate and actually avoid mistake avoidance to something I work with a lot with entrepreneurs all over the world. How are you handling mistake avoidance, right? Learn from those people. I was always surrounded, everybody’s like, go talk to those old people. They’ve been there and done that. You can’t replace wisdom. There’s no doubt.

John (08:38): Hey, have you ever tried to hire freelancers and found that the quality of work was lacking? Or you got all the outsourcing excuses as to why the work didn’t get done on time? Well, desk Team 360 has revolutionized the outsourcing game with their insourcing program that eliminates all those frustrations and excuses. You get unlimited graphic designs, website funnels, crm, email automation integrations, automations, really anything that requires you to log into software. Imagine all the time and frustrations you can save from trying to get your tech work done properly. We use Desk Team 360 every day in our business, and so I’ve negotiated you a 10% deal. That’s right. Just go to book a discovery call, and you’ll receive the special duct tape marketing 10% off because hey, your pal John always takes care of you. So that’s it. Go to and book your call today. I know where you’re going with this, but let’s make it as clear as possible for the listeners. How does systems build a better culture? How does that relate to people being happier or more satisfied in their jobs?

Tony (09:50): Sure. There’s no doubt. Systems create confidence, right? Systems give people a clear expectation. My training company is all about upper mobility training. So we train employees and give them a clear path to growth, but you cannot create that clear path to growth unless you give them a system, set proper expectations. And if they do fail, what are you looking at when that employee fails? You’re going back, fix your system because it’s not the employee that’s going, it’s typically your system that’s broken. So when I talk about systems, I constantly, I love friction. There’s nothing better than friction because the problem is an opportunity. Opportunities create solutions and solutions create results. And I’m driven that way every single day. We don’t have problems in our companies. We have opportunities. And if you’re focused that way and you’re creating systems that help people grow and achieve the result that you’re looking for, then the culture’s better in your company. They love coming to work every day. They know the path and they see a growth path. Because I’ll tell you, I’ve hired so many employees recently, and the one question, is there an opportunity to grow? Everybody right now is so focused on growth.

John (10:55): Yeah, yeah. More so than sauer is on there, but it’s way down the list, isn’t it?

Tony (10:59): Right? No doubt. Yeah.

John (11:01): So alright, if company hires you, I’m sure, especially if you have a training company, people are like, will you train those idiots for me? Right? I mean, unfortunately there’s a little bit of leadership mentality that still has that. How do you get the lead? Because you can train until you’re dead, right? I mean, if it doesn’t start at the top, how do you get people who have the wrong mindset to shift their mindset or just tell ’em, Hey, I can’t help you.

Tony (11:25): No, I show them a path. So it’s not only our training system, we go through the roi of the company. How are you increasing incremental sales? How are you working on customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction? So you can’t just walk into a founder or a CEO and say, your training’s terrible. You need to just train these people. So what we’ve developed is a very in-depth training system that’s all about upper mobility. And it’s not just for the low level employee, it’s all the way up to the top level managers. How are they improving themselves? So our system really gives them, they can self-analyze themselves and realize where they’re at any given time, and we equate it even to their salaries. So they can say, Hey, I want to make more money. Okay, well let’s do this evaluation on you, figure out where you’re at, and then show them a clear path for success. But most companies train six to 12 weeks, and that is it. The employee, we train 52 weeks a year. So training is about communicating. If you’re not communicating with your staff, it’s very hard to train them.

John (12:26): So we’re kind of getting into measuring. Everybody realizes they need to measure, they need to have kpis. Rarely do people do it or use it to manage by. Are there performance indicators that we absolutely all need to have? How can we get better at using the data to make decisions?

Tony (12:46): You have to know your numbers. So every company I go into, I can’t tell you how many companies I walk into, they don’t have a p&l. I’m like, how are you running a company without a p&l? You don’t know your numbers. So the biggest problem, and it’s so prevalent, you want to believe it, but the biggest thing is going into the companies KPIs are only as good as the person actually using them. I like to say, a lot of times meetings are useless. It’s what you do after the meeting, bringing KPIs and bringing solutions. Anybody can bring a problem to a meeting, but can you bring the solution and how we’re solving things going forward? KPIs follow systems. If your kpis aren’t working now you’re recalibrating your business. So I love KPIs. I mean, I use ’em in every business I do. We have weekly meetings with all of our top level managers every single week, and they are forced to bring it to the meeting. You better come with something. And a lot of companies don’t even invest time in meetings. They think they’re a waste. Oh my God, that’s all we do is have meetings. It’s because the meetings are useless. They’re not bringing enough to the meetings, they’re not holding their people accountable.

John (13:47): I love in marketing, not only kpis, but just every step of the funnel, so to speak, or something we’re doing. I mean, a lot of times people go, oh, this isn’t working. We’re not getting enough leads. It’s like, no, this one little place is not working. And if we fix that and we’ll fix everything. But if we just throw out the entire process because we’re not measuring happens all the time. So if somebody’s thinking, gosh, I want to scale, I’m stuck. You mentioned stuck from the stage give. Here’s my advice for how to get started.

Tony (14:18): Oh, for sure. If it’s a new business, I mean if they’re stuck, a lot of times what I go in and I analyze what they’re doing, it’s typically a trust issue or they have corporate fatigue. Entrepreneurship is the loneliest question in the world, and it’s because we’re afraid to talk to other entrepreneurs and we’re not getting out there and explaining. But if we realize we’re all in the same boat, there’s so many fundamentals that I go through when I’m coaching a CEO or an entrepreneur. It’s not just one. It’s typically, so if I teach eight fundamentals, eight modules that I teach, it might be delegation, it might be systems the next month, it might be marketing after that. Are you an experience creator? What is the experience you’re delivering to your customer? I’d love to say it’s a cookie-cutter system, but it’s never that way because every entrepreneur at different stages in their career are suffering from a different fundamental that they didn’t perfect well enough or they want to grow. And if you want to go from 5 million to 10 million, you probably have to retool everything in your company. So what I do a lot of times is I reverse-engineer. Every single company I go into, I say, where are you at today? Every process that got you to this point, because we have to redo everything to get you to the next level.

John (15:29): Yeah. You talk about the startup. To me, the sadder one is somebody that’s been in business 16, 18 years, they’re making a salary. There’s no joy in it anymore. To me, that’s the one that’s the saddest, quite frankly.

Tony (15:42): It happens all the time too. All

John (15:44): The time. A lot of jobs just get boarded up called companies after they just run out of steam, right? Yeah. So alright, let’s bring out the crystal ball. What should we be looking future-wise trends, things we should be having on our radar as we talked a little bit about ai, but what’s next?

Tony (16:02): Yeah, I think we talked about technology, but I mean it’s rapidly changing the business environment, especially in the marketing. I know you do a lot of marketing changing. Instant gratification is right there for everybody. And AI is making that even worse. We thought the cell phones were bad. Now you really have instant gratification. So it’s really adapting to the marketplace. Watch the news, watch the trends in the world and making sure you’re adapting your business to it because you’ll be left in the dust. And it’s seriously a big problem right now, but there’s still a point where humans like human interaction and don’t forget that. So making sure whatever, if you’re selling widgets or you’re selling jewelry, you’re selling whatever you’re doing, that human interaction is very essential because even though we’re in the people business, customers are our people, but they do want things faster. And I think they have to move very agile. And if you’re not focused on that and you’re thinking the old way’s going to work, it’s just not going to happen.

John (17:00): Well, you’ve been doing this for a while. I’ve been doing this for a long while. You constantly, you stay in this long enough, you see the pendulum swing back and forth, right? I mean, it’s like everybody’s into technology or social media or whatever the thing of the day is, and then all of a sudden direct mail works better than ever. It happens so often. I mean, you can’t just say, this is it. It’s like every 60 days, this is, it is going to be something new.

Tony (17:24): My daughter’s in peril. She’s many skirts are coming back.

John (17:29): Yeah, no question. I was just in Europe last week and they were in Brussels. They’re all wearing hot pants. So remember that from the seventies, right? So, well, Tony, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. You want to invite people where they might connect with you, find out more about your work,

Tony (17:47): Go to and my whole website’s there, come see me, love to give you a copy of my book, come see me. And then just, if I can help entrepreneurs all over the world, that’s my goal.

John (17:58): Awesome. Well, again, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by, and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

Crafting Unforgettable Experiences: The 3 M’s of Event Success

Crafting Unforgettable Experiences: The 3 M’s of Event Success written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch


In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Phil Mershon. Phil Mershon is the director of experience for Social Media Examiner and author of Unforgettable: The Art and Science of Creating Memorable Experiences. He’s been designing the Social Media Marketing World experience for over a decade. Drawing from over 25 years in creating customized events, Phil loves to create memorable moments and transformational experiences.

Phil introduces the concept of the three M’s—Memorable, Meaningful, and Momentous—as the foundation for crafting unforgettable experiences. He breaks down how events need to stand out, provide personal value, and create significant moments to become truly unforgettable.

Key Takeaways:

Phil Mershon emphasizes the importance of understanding the customer journey, surprising and delighting attendees with unexpected elements, and transforming event audiences into a supportive community. Phil shares insights on measuring success through post-event surveys and a 30-day engagement plan, ensuring that the impact of the event extends well beyond its conclusion. Whether you’re an event planner or looking to enhance your understanding of crafting exceptional experiences, Phil’s expertise provides actionable strategies for hosting events that leave a lasting and meaningful impression.

Questions I ask Phil Mershon:

[00:57] What makes an event unforgettable?

[02:50] Describe the 3 M method?

[05:22] How can you utilize social media marketing to convey the purpose of an event?

[07:52] How can you serve both audience and community ?

[09:45] What are some of the ways to make both customer and employee experiences unforgettable?

[12:29] What are some of the best practices for virtual event planning?

[15:17] How do you measure the success of an event?

[17:54] What are some of the ways to get people engaged before, during and after an event?

[20:39] Where can people connect with you and grab a copy of Unforgettable?

More About Phil Mershon:

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Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Sign up for a 15% discount on annual plans until Dec 31, 2023. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!





John (00:08): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Phil Mershon. He’s the Director of Experience for Social Media Examiner. It’s been designing the social media marketing world experience for over a decade, drawing from over 25 years in creating customized events. Phil loves to create memorable moments and transformational experiences. In addition, Phil is a jazz saxophone, so I didn’t know that. And a pickleball enthusiast who isn’t, and the author of Unforgettable, the Art and Science of Creating Memorable Experiences. So Phil, welcome to the show.

Phil (00:47): Thank you, John. It’s great to be here.

John (00:48): So I guess a lot of times I pick on titles. I don’t pick on ’em, I just want to pick ’em apart a little bit. So the first obvious question is what makes an event unforgettable?

Phil (01:00): So I just find it this way. There’s three M’S that go into it. So you make this easy, like the company three M. So it’s memorable, it’s meaningful, and it’s momentous. So let me break those down for you. It’s memorable. So it’s got to do something that stands out, something that’s going to get your attention, something that maybe you’re not expecting. It’s a surprise, it’s unusual, it stands out, but it’s also memorable in the sense that it’s engaging as many of your senses as it can. Even virtual events can do this, but live events, especially if you tap into all five senses, then it will become memorable, meaningful, it’s significant. It’s something that you personally are getting value out of. It’s going to stand the test of time for you. And momentous is leading on the work of Chip and Dan Heath. I don’t know if you’ve read that book, the Power of Moments, but it’s knowing that some moments are more meaningful than others. It’s Andy Stanley’s quote, you do for one, what you wish you could do for everyone. So you’re trying to do things that you’re leaning into those moments that really matter, and you’re causing those to stand out. And when you’ve got a bunch of meaningful moments, it’s been designed for you. So it’s like a customized, personalized event, and it’s memorable. Now all of a sudden we’re leaning into something that’s become unforgettable. You’ll be talking about it for years, hopefully decades, maybe the rest of your life.

John (02:26): Alright, so I’m going to put you on the spot a little bit because I know you’ve designed or been very instrumental in designing a certain experience that’s quite large. I’ve attended, I don’t know, you said a decade. I’ve been there at least six years, maybe seven years. I’ll be back this year to social media marketing world. Obviously I have a lot of context. Maybe listeners don’t kind of frame how you think about that experience based on what you just described, the three M method.

Phil (02:53): Yeah, so some of it comes down to looking at the customer journey. A lot of your audience are in marketing, so you’re used to looking at customer journeys. Well, the customer journey for an event believe starts the minute they buy a ticket and it’s all the way up until the event. So you’re looking at the phases of someone’s experience and saying, how can we make this more meaningful? What are they looking for right now? And three months before an event, people aren’t looking for a lot. About six weeks out, they’re starting to think about what’s the agenda? Who am I going to meet up with? What am I going to do before and after and during the event? So you’re trying to anticipate that journey. You want to make people feel as comfortable as you can. You want to understand what their goals are so meaningful.

(03:34): I’m trying to understand who are these people? What are their goals? How do I create experiences for them that they care about? Momentous. I’m looking at what are those key moments that are going to make the event better or worse. Again, you can’t pay attention to every single moment within an event. If you did that, then you would go crazy. So what are those moments that I can make a big impact that will become memorable? And then I’m looking at what are those opportunities to do something that is maybe unexpected? So you’ve been there for six or seven years. You’ll remember probably one of the years at least, where we had a musical that was on stage and people were not expecting that, especially the first year we did it. Mike finished his keynote and instead of getting up and making announcements, we broke into a 10 minute parody on Wizard of Oz.

(04:22): Totally memorable, totally unexpected. People who left the room had FOMO because they missed out on it. Not everybody did, but it was unexpected, and so it gave people something to talk about. So we’re trying to look at things like that, but also leaning into what did they really come for? They came to, first of all, learn from people like you, John, right? So how do we make space where you can show your expertise in not only in the classroom, but in the hallways and the conversations that you have. We want you to walk away having had a great experience, not just the people who’ve paid money to be there. We want the vendors that we work with to have a great experience. So the three M’S helped me to work with all those different people and create that experience.

John (05:07): I read in a book somewhere, it was called The Art of Gathering. I can’t remember the author’s name, but pretty big book, and she gets into dinner gatherings even. But one of the things I was struck with is she talks about this idea of before you ever design any thing logistics, it’s like what’s the purpose of the event? Do you feel like social media marketing world starts there?

Phil (05:27): We do start with what is our purpose? What’s our customer? I mean, some of that hasn’t really changed in the 10 years that we’ve put the event on, but we definitely start there. What’s changed in the industry? Who are these people? When we’re designing the content, we’re doing deep analysis on what’s going on in the industry, how do people respond last year? What are they responding to in terms of the things that we published, the research that we do, making sure that we have a lineup that matches the people are coming to the event so that we can put on the best thing. And then we’re doing the same thing with the experiences that we create. How did they respond to that last year? Who are the people that are really coming? We’ve made some mistakes over the years because we didn’t understand who the people were.

(06:11): And this is one of my mistakes, and this is something any marketer can do this. If you start to assume that your audience thinks and responds the same way that you do, you’re probably on a path to trouble. So John, I’m a jazz saxophonist, and so I assumed that people enjoyed jazz and that it would be good background music. That’s really all it was supposed to be is background music for people to network. Well, it turns out not everybody received it that way. They said it’s good, but it actually was taking my energy down. I want something that’s going to build my energy up. So when I started to realize that the average attendee at our conference is a 40 year old woman, not a 58 year old man, which I’ve been doing it for a decade. So I started in my forties, but that’s when I said, oh, they’re probably not listening to the same music that I am. I should probably figure out what they do listen to, and it’s an obvious point, but it’s easily overlooked. When we get busy, we start to think, well, everyone kind of looks at things the way that I do, and that’s not the case.

John (07:17): Well, I love jazz, but I am reminded of the joke. Country music is three chords played to thousands of people, and jazz is a thousand chords played to three people. That’s

Phil (07:25): About right. Yeah, there’s a thousand starving jazz musicians in New York, but they’re really good.

John (07:31): Oh, that’s every town. I mean, I live in this little rural town of Colorado, and they’re incredible bluegrass musicians just hanging out in bars. It’s amazing. So audience is a big part of an event or really of any marketing. Talk a little bit about, because I think, and I hate to keep leading on social media marketing world, but that’s certainly something we have in common. How do you view audience versus community? I know that the social media marketing world community is something that you talk a lot about as well. So how do you differentiate those? How do you serve both of those?

Phil (08:04): So yeah, that’s a really good point. We are trying to build community and certainly social media Examiner itself has a community. People who follow us, whether they’re getting emails from us, whether they’re reading our content, whether they’re following us on any of the social channels, I would say there’s that broad sense of community, but they’re really more consumers, the things. So people who come to the event now, they have the chance to become a community, and we are intentional. Usually about 60 days prior we launch. Right now it’s a Facebook group. In prior years, it was a LinkedIn group, and we’ve done other various ways to bring community together, but we try to get people together, meeting each other, knowing each other, making plans, supporting one another. That community ends up being something that people take part in all year long. And obviously there are deeper forms of community.

(08:57): So when I say audience, that’s, I’m a performer. And so when I look out from a stage out at a group of people, it’s an audience, but we want them to support each other as if they’re community, they know each other, and there’s clearly different levels of that emerge based on people’s own behavior, but also by our intention. We get a group of people that their whole job is to help people make connections before the event and while they’re on site, and it’s actually two different teams of people, and that’s what they do. Make connections with people and help them meet other people like themselves or that would be supportive of them.

John (09:35): So we focus primarily on a physical event, which obviously is an experience, but we have customer experience and we have employee experiences. What are some ways that that unforgettable should, could be applied to those environments?

Phil (09:51): So I think again, this principle of doing something that is unexpected or beyond expectations might be a better way to say it. I heard someone say creating little moments of wow, I think that’s in customer experiences. That’s what you can do when someone clearly goes above and beyond. I had this happen with an insurance company yesterday, John, where I was trying to get some information, and a lady literally spent an hour on the phone with me while she made all the phone calls for me to all the places and just let me stay on hold so that I didn’t have to go chase this information down myself. To me, at the end of that hour, I was like, okay, yeah, I spent an hour, but I actually probably only spent 10 minutes talking to her while she did all the work. I was wowed by that.

(10:36): So she went above and beyond my expectations. So I think that’s one of those things we can do in customer experiences, even in employee engagement. I think if we get to know who the people are and listen to them instead of assume we can start to create unique experiences. If I knew when your birthday was, and I happen to know that you’re a Chiefs fan living in Bronco country, I think we did this for you one year, didn’t we, John? Didn’t I buy you a hat, a chiefs hat or something like that when I know I’ve done that? You did.

John (11:07): You did. You did.

Phil (11:07): Yes. Yeah. So I think when you get to know people and you buy things for them, they don’t have to be expensive, but you do something special for a birthday or for a celebration. Those are things that when they’re not expecting it is when it’s the best.

John (11:22): Hey, have you ever tried to hire freelancers and found that the quality of work was lacking or you got all the outsourcing excuses as to why the work didn’t get done on time? Well, desk Team 360 has revolutionized the outsourcing game with their insourcing program that eliminates all those frustrations and excuses. You get unlimited graphic designs, website funnels, CRM, email automation, integrations, automations, really anything that requires you to log into software. Imagine all the time and frustrations you can save from trying to get your tech work done properly. We use Desk Team 360 every day in our business, and so I’ve negotiated you a 10% deal. That’s right. Just go to a desk team three, book a discovery call, and you’ll receive the special duct tape marketing 10% off because hey, your pal John always takes care of you. So that’s it. Go to desk team 360 info and book your call today. So technology is kind of crept into everything, including experience. I mean, we’re doing a lot of events virtually now. There’s some things, advice or best practices, knowing that in some cases we’re not going to get together and hug, we’re going to do this.

Phil (12:37): Well, number one, I think when you’re doing things virtually, we know that people’s attention is very short. So you’ve got to keep things moving. You’ve got to have some things that you’re interrupting patterns that keep their engagement. The same is true for you, John, when you’re speaking on a stage, I’m sure you probably are having to design your talks in a different way than you did 20 years ago because people are not sticking with you. But I think in virtual environments it’s even more so because before this call, I had 20 tab jumping. You told me to shut them all down through the app that you sent me, so I did, but I could have 20 tabs open and then I’m tempted to go look at one of them when a notification shows up. That’s what’s happening in virtual events. People are being tugged by things on their screen as well as in real life, most of us are working remotely anymore, and so there’s things happening in our real life that the dog’s barking the cat, the kids are crying, the other phone’s ringing.

(13:33): So I think that’s one of them is looking for ways to keep the content engaging. That can be the visuals that you’re using. That could be you’re interrupting patterns by telling a story. Stories are awesome, but it could also be just the way that you present something. One of the things I did, the core analogy in the book, John, is about baking bread. So in one of the talks that I did, I actually had a table set up on the stage and I had all the ingredients for baking bread laid out there, and I mixed it together on the stage while I talked about the importance of each one of these ingredients. And then we had some real life lessons where I didn’t have enough water. I had misdiagnosed how much I needed because the recipe I used was not fully accurate, which was a great learning because if you don’t have enough water flour or the dough becomes very lumpy, and some of it just the dough or the flour never gets folded in. Well, water is communication. So if you don’t have enough communication, people are getting left out, people aren’t getting folded in. The whole experience is going to have clumps of good stuff and bad stuff. And so it was just like this great visual learning that we had right there on the stage, on the screen. It was on video too, where people got to experience, huh. That’s real life right there,

John (14:55): Especially events. I mean, you can plan all you want, but something’s going to happen, right?

Phil (14:59): Something’s going to happen.

John (15:00): So I’m sure, well, I don’t know if you get this question all the time, but I’m going to ask this question. A lot of folks are cutting back on budgets and things and easy place to cut sometimes or frills at events, but a lot of that goes because we’re not measuring the success. So talk a little bit about how you measure success. I mean, let’s say our goal is we want people to be engaged and energized and happy. I mean, how do you measure stuff like that?

Phil (15:26): Funny enough, I was on a call yesterday with some people at Google xxi, and their whole goal is try to improve engagement at events. Like Google is putting aside a lot of money to help events get better at what they do, and particularly serving the neurodivergent communities. But there’s a company out there that can measure people’s delight through their face at an event. So if you’re online or even in person, they had cameras set up and they determined that eight out of 17 sessions that we did had above expectations in terms of people’s delight in what was happening. And that’s based on smiles in their eyes and who knows what, all kinds of things. So there’s that level of measurement that can be done. That’s next level, and that’s probably something that’s coming where all of us can do it. But I do think it’s the surveys that you do and what questions you ask, obviously will need to be things that you’re going to act upon, but they’ll tell you, did they really enjoy the way you did this or that?

(16:30): And so to me, very important, we send out several surveys after the event to understand the quality of the content. That’s obviously what people paid for. So we measure that. We want to know every single session, how did they do? Is there any feedback that we want to give the speaker so that they can get better at their craft? I think every speaker should want to get better. If they don’t, then maybe they ought to stop. You bet. But we’re also looking at all the other things, the intangibles, what did they care about? I had this suspicion that people really cared about the quality of the video on a camera in the recordings. Then I went and looked at the data of what people told us and like, well, nobody mentioned that. Maybe they don’t care about it as much as I thought they do. I mean, we do expect to see faces, but what we’re really there for is the learning. Maybe we don’t care to see what the speaker looks like when they’re saying, here’s how to do a Facebook ad.

John (17:28): So you started to go there, and I was going to ask you about, I think a real opportunity for a lot of people. I think a lot of people put a lot of energy into the actual event or the actual experience, but I know that you’ve hinted a little bit at some things you do to get people fired up ahead of time, and then some things that you do to keep them. Now, in your particular case, you want them coming back next year. You’re probably going to do it. You’ve probably signed a contract for three or four years on that convention center. So what are some things you do to get people fired up before they come, and then what do you get them to do to stay engaged with the experience they had? So it wasn’t just a Oh, that was nice.

Phil (18:03): Yeah, so I learned this from Aaron King who used to do social media for the Oscars, and she came up with a 90 day social media plan, which I don’t mimic perfectly, but I mimic to the way that works for us, and that looks like this 60 days before. You’re doing a lot of content that’s slowly building the engagement and the enthusiasm and getting people talking to each other, making plans, suggesting plans, giving guidance to the newcomers. We do a newcomers orientation so that they can come and learn, here’s the things that you want to make sure that you take advantage of. Then there’s the actual event itself, and so that’s also got this slow burn, and it’s kind of like yeast. You want it to slowly rise. So we’re trying to get it to slowly rise to this place where everyone’s really excited and happy to be at the event when they leave.

(18:59): Then there’s another 30 days. So we spend 30 days after the event, and most events I’ve noticed, and ours is included, after about a week or two, the attention drops off dramatically. I’ve tried to do a 21 day challenge to get people practicing the things that they learned at the conference, and I’ve noticed that it doesn’t happen. So this year, we’re actually going to make it seven days. Let’s make it realistic, something that people can actually do. Just say for the next seven days, here’s a prompt and we’re going to do this together, and we’re going to have some prizes. We continue to correspond with them, but eventually they become part of the broader social media examiner community. Again, that group, that Facebook group does stay open all year long, but we don’t keep pumping it with content after 30 days. 30 days, we do.

(19:46): We’re actively managing it, promoting it. We’ll even do some follow-up meetups after the event. But those are mostly just for networking and encouraging people that I’ve found that the majority of people, once that one week after Mark hits, they’ve moved on to the next thing. So we do everything we can during the event to help them make plans for how they’re going to follow through on this, and then they’ll get the videos, they get the recordings. We remind them of those things for a couple of months, and that’s pretty much where we are. It’s not a year long community for us. I know it could be, but that’s just a business decision we’re making of saying, you know what? We’ve got another paid all year long community that’s called a social media marketing society. So for us, that’s where we want people to be engaged all year long, the conference is more of a seasonal but annual event.

John (20:36): Yeah. Well, Phil, this was great. I appreciate you stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. You want to invite people to where they might connect with you, and then obviously check out a copy of Unforgettable.

Phil (20:46): Absolutely. So is probably the best place to go. There’s a way to get on email list with me. All of my social handles are there on the top. If you want to buy a signed copy of my book, there’s a way to do that directly there, or there’s a page slash purchase that will give you all the links to most of the places in the United States where you can buy books and you can support local bookstores or go to the big boys, Amazon, target, any of those that sell books, they’re all there.

John (21:15): And you’ve got a podcast as well, right?

Phil (21:18): Well, my podcast is currently doing it, so I would say I plan to start one related to events and experiences, but that’s going to be a next year project.

John (21:27): Well, for people who haven’t done a podcast are not a simple thing, let’s put it that way. They take a fair amount of work to get right. So again, I appreciate you stopping by and we’re going to run into you soon out there in San Diego.

Mastering Workshops: The Two-Hour Blueprint for Maximum Impact

Mastering Workshops: The Two-Hour Blueprint for Maximum Impact written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch


In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Leanne Hughes, a renowned consultant, speaker, and facilitator who specializes in maximizing team potential through influential and contagious work experiences.

Leanne Hughes is an Australian businesswoman, entrepreneur, high-performance business consultant, speaker and facilitator, maximizing team potential by creating influential, contagious work experiences that scale across teams, functions and regions. She combines her experience in Marketing, with her education (and obsession) with Group Dynamics and Psychology, to help leaders create engaging everyday experiences – that are so contagious they scale across teams, functions and regions.


Clients work with Leanne for her energy and unique approaches that provide cut-through strategies for embarking on a change initiative, or to shift performance or culture to achieve next-level success. Whether launching a change initiative, enabling shifts in performance, or building a culture to achieve next-level success, Leanne’s workshops impact both business and lives.

Leanne shared insights from her expertise, focusing on her book, the “Two-Hour Workshop Blueprint.” Discover how business-owners can design workshops that are fast, deliver strong results, and eliminate stress from the process.

Key Takeaways:

Leanne Hughes shares invaluable insights into the art of workshop facilitation, focusing on the strategic significance of the two-hour timeframe. The discussion delves into the transformative shift from traditional presentations to horizontal, engaging workshops, emphasizing the evolution of skillsets required for effective facilitation. Leanne guides listeners in identifying workshop opportunities by recognizing the telltale “how” questions in various contexts. Additionally, she provides practical tips for building rapport and connection with participants, highlighting the importance of pre-event communication and a thoughtful, engaging kickoff. Leanne’s expertise shines through, offering a comprehensive guide for mastering workshops and delivering impactful, results-driven sessions that resonate with diverse audiences.

Questions I ask Leanne Hughes:

[00:49] Why did you choose a two-hour timeframe for your blueprint?

[01:27] What’s the difference between a workshop and a conference?

[02:19] Do workshops require a different skillset?

[04:40] How can businesses view workshops as products or lead generation tactics ?

[06:20] What structure do you recommend for workshops to follow?

[07:29] What are the best and most time-efficient workshop strategies?

[10:22] How do you guarantee immense value for workshop attendees?

[11:41] How do you build rapport and get people to contribute during workshops?

[13:26] How does audience size effect a workshop?

[14:32] What is power up?

[16:08] Can you explain the value of metaphors in a workshop?

[16:47] What are the best employee engagement activities?

[20:06] Where can people connect with you and learn more ?

More About Leanne Hughes:

Get Your Free AI Prompts To Build A Marketing Strategy:


Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Sign up for a 15% discount on annual plans until Dec 31, 2023. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!





John (00:08): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Leanne Hughes. She is a consultant, speaker and facilitator maximizing team potential by creating influential contagious work experiences that scale across teams, functions, and regions. We’re going to talk about her book, the Two Hour Workshop Blueprint, how business owners can Design Workshops, fast, deliver strong and without stress. So welcome to the show,

Leanne (00:39): Amazing to be here, John. Absolutely love your work and really think about how to create word of mouth in workshops as well. So look forward to diving into that.

John (00:47): Awesome. So the first question I have to ask is why two hours? Is there something magical about that amount of time or did you have a publisher that said we have to be specific?

Leanne (00:57): I think it’s definitely about specific, and I think the fact that it is two hours is very intriguing. And I think for most, there’s facilitators and trainers and then there’s normal people like you and I who are hey, tapped on the shoulder. People want to hear expertise, and I think with two hours, if you can do a two hour workshop, you can do a two day workshop, you can do a one hour workshop because it’s enough time for you to open it, to run a few activities and to reflect out. So I thought it was a sweet spot.

John (01:22): Let’s talk a little bit about the differences you started to mention there. I mean, I do presentations, I do webinars. How is a workshop different than your standard stand up and open up a conference

Leanne (01:32): And actually I think conferences are actually shifting now because of the pandemic and the amount of content available. I think now it’s more about, I guess having a horizontal relationship with the people in your audience versus a vertical one. So vertical, you’re the expert. You’re talking at someone, it’s like a broadcast, it’s like a YouTube. You’re going on a YouTube live. Whereas a workshop is all about that interaction and getting people to connect to the content in the context that they’re in. And it’s more of a conversation, and I actually think it’s scarier doing workshops because it’s unpredictable. You don’t have that control. Whereas a keynote is, I move to the stage, I do this, I deliver that. And I think there’s absolute forums for both of them and they work really nicely together. But workshops are really about how do we land this for someone and help them make progress where they’re at.

John (02:19): Would you say it’s a different skillset? I mean, not everybody who can stand up and inspire a crowd can also lead a workshop. I mean, would you say that, I’m sure that there are people that can do both quite well, but would you say it’s a different skillset?

Leanne (02:32): Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s a different skillset. And I think when I’ve got a podcast called First Time Facilitator, but I was leading that, I was a keynote speaker, you should have seen my agenda, John. It was 9 0 1 mentioned this story, 9 0 3. It was so specific and precise and it wasn’t leaving any space for connection and anything else. And I think now as a more seasoned facilitator, I’m lazier, I’m less controlled, but it takes time on your feet and experience and going through some of the bad experiences to get comfortable with that.

John (03:03): And I know myself for doing this for years. You talked about a workshop can be scarier. I find that it’s sometimes scary when you just get a crowd that maybe didn’t want to be there. They’re there for the wrong reasons, they’re not very particip, but when you get one that’s really into it, I think they’re a lot more fun.

Leanne (03:21): Absolutely. And I think there’s something I talk about in the book as the Spark framework, and it’s all about the setup as well, and it’s very different if you’re working with an organization. I was talking to a friend about this yesterday. A client will hire you, but the people in that room haven’t necessarily volunteered. They’ve been voluntold to go there, and so you’re up against it. Whereas John, you work with business owners that would just screened to be at one of your workshops. So it’s on fire the moment you’re in the room.

John (03:46): Yeah, I’m envisioning accountants getting CEU credits, scary room. They don’t want to be there and they don’t really want to hear about marketing anyway. Yeah, but

Leanne (03:56): It’s interesting.

John (03:56): Sorry to all my accountant listeners for that one.

Leanne (03:59): Well, let’s not stop with accountants. Let’s talk about lawyers as well. Honestly, it’s really bizarre, but everyone’s like, what’s the best workshop you’ve ever been to? And it was run by, it was the code of conduct workshop at my old when I was working internally. It was like, we go in, we’re thinking, this is going to be terrible. We’re going to talk with us for three hours. It was the best experience ever talking through case studies, hypotheticals. And I guess John for me was after that experience, I was like, if you could make code of conduct interesting, you can make anything interesting. So that was cool.

John (04:29): Let’s talk about who needs to do a workshop. I’m sure that there are people out there thinking, well, I’m a trainer or I’m a coach, and so workshops have to be part of my suite. But there’s probably a whole lot of businesses that never really thought about a workshop as a product or maybe even as a lead generation tactic. Talk a little bit about how can we be more expansive in thinking who should do workshops?

Leanne (04:53): Yeah, I think it’s really, I mean, I always sort of rely on my content strategy to drive what I end up doing for workshops. So I might put out a LinkedIn post around something and people, I wonder how they’re asking questions. How do you do that? I think the second you have a how question is like, Hey, maybe this could be a workshop. And often as we take for granted the knowledge in our own mind and think everyone else knows this, but the second you’ve been sought out to, how do you do this faster? What systems are you using? There’s an opportunity, I think, to really dive in for the workshop experience. So a keynote, I think a speech is more about building awareness around a topic. I think a workshop is, I’m aware I want it. How do I do this?

John (05:32): Well, to that point, I mean, I think a lot of marketers think workshop and they think, oh, this is a way to top of funnel, maybe create some awareness. Maybe it’s a low ticket thing that’s going to lead to my high ticket thing. But where I see them terribly underutilized is we should be doing workshops for our clients. I mean, teaching them how to get more, how to do something more because we’ve already got that relationship and now we just really cement it. We

Leanne (05:57): Absolutely. Yeah, and I think because my business is, my main product is workshops, and it’s an interesting ecosystem once you have a workshop in that, because then you can expand to advisory retainer work, come in for a speech one-on-one coaching the utility of a workshop as the centerpiece is super valuable.

John (06:20): So you have structured the book as acts of a play. So talk a little bit, I mean, do you see that as kind of the structure of a workshop too, as acts of a play?

Leanne (06:30): Sometimes they can be non-linear, and I’m designing a workshop tomorrow where I don’t know where it’s going to go. We’re working through a process, so I’ve basically a series of post-IT cards and activities ready to go when we need to, which is very different to what I

John (06:41): Was Choose your own ending kind of thing.

Leanne (06:44): And yeah, choose your own adventure. I love that. But I think the reason I read the book is for people that I haven’t done workshops before and kind of need a structure and a format because I dunno how long it takes you, John, but when I was first starting out to design a two hour workshop would take me weeks. It was ridiculous. I was on Google searching for the perfect activity, and then after creating so many over the years, I’m like, actually, this is, what am I actually doing here? And let’s play it back to make it faster. No one has that bandwidth to spend that much time. And I think there’s a false assumption, the more time you spend on it, the better it will be. It’s totally false.

John (07:21): Yeah. More time you spend delivering it, the better it’ll be probably right where you really learn, right?

Leanne (07:28): A hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah.

John (07:29): We could talk about the various components of it, but I know one of the things early on, you talked about it used to take you a lot of time. I usually pack too much in them is what I did because I was like, oh, we’ve got two hours. How can I fill 120 minutes and I’ll put more stuff in it? And what it ended up doing was making it less effective. So let’s talk. Maybe that’s a good lead into the setup.

Leanne (07:51): Yeah, I think everyone in the world uses the GPS analogy, but what I like the most about the GPS analogy is that, and I didn’t know that this is how it worked, but you set your destination first. What the GPS does is actually cuts out the map. It doesn’t give you the whole map, it cuts it out. That’s the effectiveness of it. And I think especially with two hours and with any type of expert in a certain context, it’s not about the information. I mean, we can Google things as YouTube for everything. It’s more about for these people at this moment in time, what are the most useful thing and how can I cut out 90% of the stuff that actually doesn’t matter? Because I think often we equate more content to more value, but we end up overwhelming them. They don’t get a result. And as a result, they may not then book us back. But it’s hard. I think it’s kind of related to self-worth as well. My worth is in the content.

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(09:42): That’s Now, this offer is limited to new active campaign customers only. So what are you waiting for? Fuel your growth, boost revenue and save precious time by upgrading to ActiveCampaign today. Yeah, I mean, I distinctly remember doing some three hour workshops for a manufacturer for their distributors, and the first time I delivered it, about 30 minutes in, I was like, they’re overwhelmed. They’re done. I mean, you could see it on their faces and I mean, it’s really a hard lesson to learn because I think that’s probably one of the rookie mistakes people make is they’re like, I’ve got all this time. I have to shove stuff in. So if somebody says, okay, I have an inkling that this is a good topic, what’s next? What do I do next? I mean, how do I get to the right amount of content?

Leanne (10:32): Yeah, the right amount. That’s a really interesting question. But I think going back to the rule, there’s that rule in comedy like the rule of threes where you sort of set up one, two, and three. I mean, the number three is everywhere. And I think it’s a good number, particularly for a two hour workshop is I just think if someone’s leaving this workshop, what do I want to tell a friend and how I make that stick? And usually it’s like, okay, it’s three things or it’s wrapped up in one framework, like a Venn diagram or something like that. Three key themes. They can say, Hey, I went to this workshop, here are the three key things we talked about. And that’s it. Because I think the second you’ve and I talk about frameworks in the book, it’s kind of like an advanced thing, but it’s really about just gift wrapping information. You want to make it easy to remember, easy to recall, easy to share with other people. And I think so just meeting them, but also John, I think having conversations and some of the time where workshops for me didn’t land is where I wasn’t connecting with people beforehand. And I’ve made assumptions around where they’re at in their business

John (11:32): Just because I’m going to piggyback off of that. I was going to ask that a little later on, but how do you build, you walk into a room sometimes it’s the first time you’ve seen anybody the way it worked. How do you build rapport, get them engaged right away without maybe feeling cheesy?

Leanne (11:48): Yeah, that’s fun. Well, I think I was originally very cheesy and I was kind of going over the top and being a bit ridiculous

John (11:54): Or cheeky I should say, to be with your audience. That’s a more Australian term, right?

Leanne (12:00): Yeah, it’s very Australian. We can’t beat that out of ourselves. I think we’re just a cheeky country, but set up phase, I think we often, we think, and this is a Pri Parker thing, and her book, the Art of Gathering, she says, the event doesn’t start when it starts beforehand. And I think even the language you used around what are you going to call the event can really set an expectation. Often I will send, it’s not the first time I’ve communicated with the group, so I’ll ask either directly, I’ll send a video out to the people that have participating, just setting expectations, raising their level of certainty in terms of what to expect, the type of experience or the client will forward that on. And what I love about doing sometimes a pre-survey, it’s kind of like a mini listening tour. You’re hearing the language, and then what I like to do is something called the playback approach.

(12:46): So they’re in there, this is particularly useful if they’re kind hostages in the workshop, what are we doing here? You go, Hey, here’s what you said. And you just play back their language and they can’t disagree with that. So automatically you are lowering the objections in the room and getting people to feel a bit more comfortable. But also John, I’m chronically early. I’ll be there an hour before, an hour and a half, so that when people walk in 20 minutes beforehand, I’m not fluffing around and fiddling around with slides. I’m like, I’m there. I’m connecting. Just not so busy.

John (13:18): I’m the same way, only because every room, the technology is different and I always want to make sure that stuff is going to work. So talk about a little bit about size of audience, if that dictates what you can and can’t do. I know I speak to groups of 10 and I can hold their hands, whereas I speak to group of a hundred and it’s a whole different dynamic, isn’t it?

Leanne (13:39): Yeah. I’ve actually recently run a webinar on that actual, how do you host a large group? It is very different in terms of dynamics and also the level of instruction. So with smaller groups, I feel kind of weird having a group of four people and bringing in a PowerPoint and making it a bit of a performance. I’d feel extremely weird. I want to say even in the dynamics, you could just remove all the tables and sit around just with chairs and have flip charts and keep it conversational. Once you’re on over a hundred, 130 people, what I like to do is create, have roles at tables, so create mini facilitators and give roles out timekeepers. So you’re allocating responsibility, but you have to be much more precise with your instructions with bigger groups, much more deliberate with your use of language, which is tough. I like just riffing and at the smaller group level, but you’ll be very precise the bigger it gets.

John (14:30): Do you get into, so you have a section in the book you call Power Up. So I guess I’ll just let you explain that aspect. We talked a little bit about setup. So what is Power Up?

Leanne (14:40): Yeah, I think there’s two elements to power up. So one is the personal power up. I think the most important thing is how are you feeling? What’s your energy as you enter that room? Because particularly on virtual Mark, Foden body language expert, he said, we can’t read virtual body language. The best predictor of how anyone else will show up is how we lead our own energy. So we’ve got to be a beacon for that. But power up is also those first five or 10 minutes because that’s where you set the tone of engagement. And often where workshops can fail is it starts very predictably. And I sort of joke, let’s create an unpredictable experience that will predictably work. It’s welcome, housekeeping, it’s just here’s the content. Whereas I like to think, okay, how can we do the opposite of that? So do I start at the back of the room? Do we just start with an activity, just setting the tone that you want throughout the two hours that you’re there?

John (15:29): Yeah. The one I always hate, and there’s still lots of people tell you to do this, so please feel free to tell me I’m wrong, but the one where they put the whole agenda out there and then they’ve spent 20 minutes going, here’s what we’re going to do today. To me that’s like death, but maybe I’m wrong.

Leanne (15:43): It’s death. I mean, that could have been an email beforehand and it’s like, just get into it. I talk about the seven habits of Highly Effective Workshop hosts, and again, I’m working on this. One is it’s brevity. It’s like often I’ve been in, I don’t know, John, you’ve been in sessions where you hear things explain and we get it. It’s like, let’s move, let’s move on. Yeah, agenda is one of them.

John (16:05): And maybe you’re going to say it depends, but how about the use of metaphor in workshops to really drive home lessons? Do you think that’s something we ought to all strive to bring into our style?

Leanne (16:18): I think not only in workshops, I think in life, honestly, in our conversations with clients, the second I’m trying to explain a concept, if I can bring in a metaphor and people are like, they get it immediately. You’re in, you can see. Yeah, I mean metaphor is really powerful. It’s something I’ve been working with Alan Weiss, million Dollar consultant, and he just basically talks in metaphors the whole time and like, oh, I’d love to get to that stage. But even as I was writing the book, it’s like, what is the metaphor for the deep dive approach? Just really trying to connect in,

John (16:47): Talk about activities. Obviously workshop implies we’re going to work, so talk about how important they are, maybe how to do them well, I mean, just anything you want to talk about, give us advice on activities and how to make them great.

Leanne (17:02): Yeah, you’re right. Something I write at there is that it’s a workshop, not a do this later shop, and that was my biggest pet peeves, like, oh, we’ve got this content, but you’re have to go back into and play calendar Tetris and no one ever does it afterwards. So you’ve got that time and space, let’s do the work. And probably the biggest comment I’ve had about that is, oh, Leanne, it’s not content, it’s activities. It’s like, yes, let’s actually get implementing and things like that. And I think when it comes to activities, and what was taking me so long with designing workshops was I was trying to think of what’s a cool activity I can use for this scenario? And it’s like, actually just use the scenario that people are working with. If they need to free up time, let’s get them with their laptops. Let’s open up their calendar. Let’s see, and see how priorities are coming to life through the calendar in the session itself. Again, I like to weave in a bit of contrast. So with activities, it’s think about, like you said before, group size, an individual reflection, maybe it’s a conversation, then it’s doing the thing, seeing how that worked out, reflecting on it as part of that, the chunk of your workshop is about 75 minutes is dedicated to that

John (18:08): To people actually working right,

Leanne (18:11): To implementing, to doing the thing. Yeah, exactly.

John (18:14): So what’s your next workshop?

Leanne (18:18): Alright, a two day workshop. Yeah, and it isn’t a training.

John (18:22): We’re not going to be able to publicize that one because by the time people are listening to this, it will have occurred. So I guess maybe we’ll just go right into invite people to where they might connect with you and obviously find the book, but also you offer a lot more than just the book with your trainings and workshops. So I’ll let you just invite people to connect.

Leanne (18:41): Wonderful. Yeah, thanks John. Yeah, so you can see all my portfolio I’m very active on LinkedIn. I’ve got a podcast called First time Facilitator, back catalog of over 200 episodes talking about facilitation work. And of course, yeah, the book, grab it. There’s lots of templates and downloadables as part of that. And email me, let me know what workshop you’re running and how you’re going and how you’ve used it. There’s no bigger delight than hearing the impact of that book.

John (19:06): Awesome. Well, I appreciate you stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, and hopefully we’ll run into you on these days out there on the road.

Why Radical Humility is Key to Success

Why Radical Humility is Key to Success written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch


In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Jeffrey Hayzlett, a primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV, and business podcast host of All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite Radio. He is a global business celebrity, speaker, best-selling author, and Chairman and CEO of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. 

Key Takeaways:

The Hero Factor—a leadership philosophy emphasizing the prioritization of values, employee well-being, and community impact. Highlighting the importance of transparently publishing and living by these values, Hayzlett draws lessons from companies like Chick-fil-A and Starbucks. He underscores the relevance of conveying values consistently in both physical and digital realms. For CEOs aiming to instill change, he advises starting with defining and embodying core values. Humility, a key trait of hero leaders, is stressed as crucial in fostering a servant mentality towards employees and customers, ultimately shaping successful and impactful businesses.

Questions I ask Jeffrey Hayzlett:

  • [00:57] How do you view the expanding fractional C-suite industry?
  • [02:23] What is the Hero Factor?
  • [04:35] How do you instill values of radical humility in an organization?
  • [06:00] Is there a universal set of values every company should adhere to?
  • [06:54] As a company, how do you authentically communicate hero values?
  • [08:56] In a competitive market, how can values be communicated to attract like-minded individuals?
  • [11:56] Can a company’s actions conflicting with its stated values send a message of its own?
  • [13:24] In our increasingly digital world, are there specific techniques for communicating the hero factor?
  • [14:11] What suggestions do you have for demonstrating radical humility to employees?
  • [16:06] Can you give examples of challenges and misconceptions you’ve seen of people putting this concept into action?
  • [17:11] As a leader transforming company culture, how do you introduce the hero concept?
  • [19:18] What role does humility play in this scenario?
  • [20:06] Where can people connect with you and get a copy of the Hero Factor?

More About Jeffery Hayzlett:

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Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the DeskTeam360

Desk team 360 is the #1, flat-rate, digital marketing integration team, that helps small businesses and marketing agencies with graphic, web design, and on-page marketing services.



John Jantsch (00:03): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Jeffrey Hayzlett. He’s a primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and executive Perspectives on c-Suite TV and business podcast host of all business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite Radio. He is a global business celebrity speaker, bestselling author and chairman, and CEO of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of c-suite leaders. He’s the author of four bestselling business books and we’re going to talk about his latest, the Hero Factor, how great leaders transform Organizations and create winning cultures. So Jeffrey, welcome to the show.

Jeffery Hayzlett (00:45): Hey, thank you so much for having me, John. I really appreciate it.

John Jantsch (00:49): This is my own personal question. So before we get into the book, I’m curious, where do you, with all the time you spend with C-suite leaders, where do you fall on the growing fractional c-suite industry?

Jeffery Hayzlett (01:02): I think it’s a great thing to have. You got a heart problem, go to a cardiologist, you got a muffler problem, go to a muffler specialist, not some general practitioner. So in this case, one of the things we’re seeing is that a lot of these experts can go and do lots of different things. They do this for whether it’s a box of soap, a cure for disease, political candidate, it’s all in the packaging. And so if you’re a chief marketing officer, you can pretty much sell anything, do anything. And I think it’s the same for CFOs, CIOs, CMOs, you can pretty much handle it. So I think it’s actually a good thing for a lot of businesses because you actually get some expertise of people that you normally couldn’t afford.

John Jantsch (01:41): Yeah, yeah, yeah. It comes with executive level, but you don’t really maybe need to have a CFO sitting in the corner all day. Right.

Jeffery Hayzlett (01:49): A guy like me is going to cost you a couple mill in terms of cost for full-time if I wanted to do that full-time, plus stock benefits and everything else that you get. And that’s not to say, geez, are you bragging or whatever. No, I’m just trying to give you the full range of that’s indeed exactly what it costs at that level. But if you want to get that at a fraction of the cost for this time so I can help be the most strategic person in the room, that’s a great way to do it.

John Jantsch (02:18): Yeah. Let’s dive into the book and let’s begin with the beginning. What is the hero factor?

Jeffery Hayzlett (02:26): It goes back to the time in which a guy named Rob Ryan started the hero group back in 1996. He sold his company for roughly 24.6 billion and give or take, alright. And when he sold that, he set aside a percentage of the company for every employee making the single largest number of millionaires ever created in one day. It’s never been surpassed. Even with the sale of LinkedIn to Microsoft for 26 billion, it still didn’t create as many millionaires as he did, and he didn’t have to, it wasn’t in writing or he and his wife, Terry, chief legal officer at the time, just decided they were going to give back and said, the people that helped us do what we did. So they gave everybody a set number of percentage of the company and made everybody these millionaires, and they would run up to ’em, John, and say, Hey, you’re Mr. Ryan, you don’t know me, but I’m the night watchman.

(03:16): I can send my kids to college. You’re my hero. Or I’m the security guard, or excuse me, the janitor and my wife’s mother is dying of cancer, but now she can live because she can get the operation. So you’re our hero. And they didn’t think much of being about being a hero, they were just trying to do the right thing. And what they did was they put people above profits. And that’s really what hero leaders do. And we see that today where hero leaders, leaders of company put values at the top of their list of all the things to do rather than bottom line operational rather than just being in terms of single-minded focus around a theme or organization or a cause. But to really truly look at the people and all that they’re representing in the company and serve those people, what they do is they gross more money, they net more money than the competition. They have employees who are happier, they have employees who are more engaged, customers that are happy and pleased and meeting conditions of satisfaction and vendors who want to do business with ’em. It just goes on. And so that’s really truly what I hear our leader is all about.

John Jantsch (04:24): So you’re not the first person to suggest this idea of strong values manifest in an organization, but for a lot of people it’s sort of just an academic exercise. How do you instill these values so they’re not just nice to have, they really exist and we enforce them and it’s part of the culture?

Jeffery Hayzlett (04:42): Well, that sets companies apart because not everybody’s going to have that. And those that do lead better. In terms of on page 12 of the book, I actually have a grid around those values and what sets people up. Are you a wannabe? Are you a do-gooder? Are you a bottom line or are you an asset company? I mean, there’s lots of different ways you can set that on the grid, and it’s just really truly, what is it you want to drive in terms of your business? And if there’s nothing wrong with an operational excellence of company that’s based on bottom line principles, bottom line, things like Walmarts and the GEs of the world, they do great products, great things, they’re just not interested in values. And they might say, oh no, we give to the community, we do that. You do that because it meets your objectives and checks it off your box. You’re not doing it because it’s the primary thing you do. And that’s the difference between hero companies. They want to be great companies. They don’t want to be assholes. And in our group, they sign a pledge that says they’re going to operate with certain principles. And I, to me, I’d like to see more companies do that. I’d like to see more people operate with greater values. I’d love to see countries do that as well because we’re going through some real turmoil right now. So that’s the difference. Not everybody can do it.

John Jantsch (06:00): Would you say there are a prescribed set of values then rather than you just have to find your core values and live them?

Jeffery Hayzlett (06:07): I mean, certainly depending on your upbringing. Alright. And your socialization, you

John Jantsch (06:12): Should steal, right?

Jeffery Hayzlett (06:13): Yeah. I mean for some that’s a value form. I mean, it’s just a bad value. But there are some companies, some people, some groups, they actually do that and that’s what they believe in. I mean, there’s certain groups we all know that’s what they do. So it really depends on what drives your own moral compass in terms of how you want to be or your own personal conditions of satisfaction. We all have to have those. I talk about this all the time. I have my set of personal conditions of satisfaction, what are yours? And even with your family or with your employees or with your customers, you have to develop what those are.

John Jantsch (06:50): Alright, so let’s say internally everybody says, yeah, we’re going to be a hero company. How do you communicate that out to the world without sounding goofy at times? I mean, maybe some cases it makes total sense, right? To say we’re a hero company and people get that. But in some cases maybe it doesn’t make as much sense.

Jeffery Hayzlett (07:07): I don’t think people who are hero companies say, I’m a hero company. I don’t think that’s the case, right? Yeah. I don’t think anybody wakes up and says this morning, I’m going to be a hero. There are people that wake up and live great values and great ways of living your life and being great business people, being a great father, grandfather and so forth, grandmother for those women out there. And I think that’s what you have to do. You have to do that. And as a result, you’re a hero company as a result, you are a hero leader. And I talk about that in the book because there’s nobody that I know that’s a hero leader says, I want to be a hero. There’s none. They just want to run great companies with great people’s doing great things. And I think that’s the most important thing is to really sit forth and say, this is what I want to be, and then what I want us to do and the scale that we want to have and the impact that we want to have.

(08:01): And I don’t think we spend enough time thinking of that. Right? On the bottom of my website, it says New York, la, San Francisco and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is where I’m from. I’m sitting in Sioux Falls right now, but I have offices around the country and operate all over the world, and yet I say Sioux Falls, everybody says why? And then right behind that it says, because we can, and I do that because it’s an homage to my hometown of Sioux Falls, but we can do all these things in our business. Why? Because we can’t. You can choose these things and it might cost you more, it might be more time consuming, it might be harder, but you can do those things. You got to choose to make those a priority. And that’s really truly what it’s about.

John Jantsch (08:46): So a little bit of what I was getting at there is, I mean, you’ve clearly defined something that’s a competitive advantage that’s going to help you in the market that’s going to help you attract talent. So how do you effectively communicate that in a way that draws people to that same mission,

Jeffery Hayzlett (09:04): Publish your values. I mean, that’s one of the things you can do is right up front tell people, this is what we stand for and who we’re going to be. And we all know those hero companies in our community. They pay for the little league, they sponsor the symphony, they do the things because they can and they should, and they choose to do that. So one of those would be able to publish those and say, this is the values that we live by. And I’ve seen some great companies that do that. And by the way, you don’t have to agree with ’em either. You can disagree with them. I mean, let’s take Truitt, my mind escapes me a second, I’ll remember it in a second, but he’s the Kathy Truitt, the head of Chick-fil-A has certain values that they believe in. They’re upfront about those values.

(09:47): They don’t open on Sunday because he believes that’s the day of the Sabbath and we should rest. He also doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage. That’s one of his values. It’s out there and you can believe you agree with him, disagree with him, but those are the values. He puts ’em out there. And he also makes a really good chicken sandwich, right? With a pickle on it. I mean, no sauce been very successful. And as a result, by publishing that, pushing it, he attracts a certain group and doing a certain thing his way. That’s it. You agree with that or not? On the other end, you’ve got Howard Schultz from Starbucks, who is by the way, completely opposite on the political spectrum of Mr. Truett, but yet they operate in a certain way, certain form, and you could agree or disagree with that. And yet they’re very successful.

(10:35): So the key is to be able to really and live the values. And that’s important because you think back when I use it as an example in the book where two black men walked into a Philadelphia Starbucks and the manager said, if you’re not going to buy something, get out. We all know this, John, and you’ve gone to Starbucks, we’ve all gone to four bucks or five bucks, whatever you want to call ’em. And you walk in there and you can sit there all day and work in there and never buy a thing. That’s right. Because it’s really a place for community and it just happens to sell coffee and all this other stuff. And yet here was two black men sitting in this inner city, Philly, waiting for a business partner to come by or somebody they were pitching or something along those lines.

(11:17): And they were going to get coffee. They admitted that they were going to get coffee, but the police came, kicked them out the whole bit. It was a very big controversial kind of thing. And Howard Schultz shut the company down for a day and said, we’re going to go back and relive our values. We’re going to teach people again. This is what we are. We’re a place of community. You don’t have to buy anything to come in here because that’s what’s made us successful because we’re a meeting place for people to come together, and as a result, we sell coffee. And so I think those are really great things. So living the values, if you live those values, then people will see that’s what you do. It’s a slower way to get customers sometimes, but nonetheless, you get customers for life.

John Jantsch (11:55): But I think it’s a great point too though, because we’ve probably all seen companies that say, this is what we stand for, but then their actions sometimes suggest otherwise, I’ll use your Chick-fil-A example. A lot of airports are not very happy with them not being open on Sunday. And in fact, in some cases have said, you have to be. And they said, we’re willing to not be here. I mean, that sends a pretty strong message, doesn’t it?

Jeffery Hayzlett (12:18): I got to stand up for him. I mean, listen, I don’t appreciate his views on same-sex marriage. It’s not my belief. I don’t like that. I got a cousin who happens to be gay, and I don’t particularly care that they wouldn’t recognize my cousin’s partner. I don’t like that. But they still got a good chicken sandwich. And I know my cousin still goes there and eats as well. By the way, in this country, you’re entitled to your opinions. You’re entitled to your beliefs. Even though I might not agree with them, it doesn’t mean I can’t eat your chicken sandwich. All right? So it just means on those things we choose to disagree, but we’ll still be civil. And it’s okay to have that. By the way, politicians should learn that right now.

John Jantsch (12:58): Yeah, there’s actually a case to be made for a little polarization in your marketing if you’re going to stick to it, because the people you’re talking about are probably extra loyal to a company that maybe shares their values. Let’s talk about, we’ve been talking about physical spaces. Let’s talk a little bit about how this plays out in the digital world that we live in now, where increasingly we’re not interacting with individuals and companies. Is there something to be learned in terms of new techniques of communicating the hero factor in this

Jeffery Hayzlett (13:31): Increasingly digital world and breathing it? If you’re online or offline, you still have your own values of what they are, and you still should put those through, and they should come through digitally as well. That doesn’t mean just because you’re not there and face-to-face or you’re not communicating that by broadcast or by advertising. Certainly a brand is nothing but a promise delivered. If you’re delivering that promise online, you’re still delivering those same core beliefs and values that you believe in terms of being a hero club.

John Jantsch (14:00): How would you suggest this? There are a lot of people that they don’t necessarily treat their employees different than customers, but they view them different obviously, than customers. But I’m guessing that the hero factor doesn’t care. In fact, maybe starts with being a hero to your employees first.

Jeffery Hayzlett (14:19): You try to be, it’s hard for us because as business people, we’re always put customers first. We’ve been taught that since back in the seventies and eighties, when those books were there, who was it that came out first? Tom Peters customers always right. If customers ever wrong, reread rule number one. So we’ve grown up with that and know that to be true, but to serve the people that you’re going to serve, you have to make sure that those serving are treated at the same level. And we sometimes cut a little corners with that. And we have to go back and remind ourselves, I need to treat you in the same way I treat them because you’re an extension of me. And so most hero leaders do put their employees first.

John Jantsch (15:07): Hey, have you ever tried to hire freelancers and found that the quality of work was lacking? Or you got all the outsourcing excuses as to why the work didn’t get done on time? Well, desk Team 360 has revolutionized the outsourcing game with their insourcing program that eliminates all those frustrations and excuses. You get unlimited graphic designs, website funnels, CRM, email automation, integrations, automations, really anything that requires you to log into software. Imagine all the time and frustrations you can save from trying to get your tech work done properly. We use Desk Team 360 every day in our business. And so I’ve negotiated you a 10% deal. That’s right. Just go to a desk, team 360 info, book a discovery call, and you’ll receive the special Duct Tape Marketing 10% off because hey, your pal John always takes care of you. So that’s it. Go to go Team 360 info and book your call today. So in the organizations you’ve worked with, where have you seen the challenges and maybe even the misconceptions of people trying to put this into action?

Jeffery Hayzlett (16:18): Well, the biggest problem is that 53% of the company don’t even know what the values are in all companies, I think operate with some level of value or value system. But if a majority of your own employees don’t even know what the value system is, you’ve already behind the eight ball before you begin. So you got to really start there. And it’s not easy. Trust me, it’s not easy, especially with new employees, new ways of doing things. The post covid world where everything’s been speeded up days, weeks, became months, became years. So it’s been very difficult to do that. And we’re not having the interaction that human interaction like we have, but there are ways to get around some of that by making every meeting on Zoom or video and connecting as much as possible. So there’s better ways of being able to do it, but that’s where it’s really become more difficult for us to be able to do that. But you just have to try harder.

John Jantsch (17:11): Alright, so let’s say you’re the new CEO. You’ve been brought in to turn the ship around. And one of the things you realize is culture’s pretty pretty not good here. And you want to bring this hero concept in. How do you start?

Jeffery Hayzlett (17:27): You get together with the team that’s going to implement it, and you say, we have to come up with some great values. We have to say, what is it we’re going to stand for as a company if we know that a brand is a promise delivered, first of all, what’s our promise? What problem are we solving and how is that different from everybody else? Now in that, how are we going to do that? How are we going to operate together and are we going to operate with our customers? How are we going to operate with our vendors and how are we going to operate with those around us in the community and everything else that make up our city, our towns, our states, or whatever? And so that’s where you start is that fundamental conversation. You get agreement around that and then start living to that agreement, which is not an easy thing to do.

(18:10): But once you start doing that, then it starts to happen. And then I think you also have to address John, the mood. What’s going to be our mood? How are we going to do it? It’s one thing to operate with values, but are we going to go at it by dragging ourselves the line, or are we going to run into it? And that’s really where you have to have some really hard and very transparent discussions. And then with leaders, you have to operate with what I call healthy tension. You have to have some tension and confront things when you see things and allow your employees to confront you as well when you’re not operating inside those values.

John Jantsch (18:48): Yeah, probably the biggest rule breaker, right, is the person.

Jeffery Hayzlett (18:54): Sometimes it’s tough. It’s not easy being the ceo. It’s not easy being one of the c-suite leaders. We like to think that we’re the smartest people in the room or not. Our job is to be the most strategic people in the room. And our work at the C-Suite network that we do is to help people become that most strategic person that we’re serving in that room.

John Jantsch (19:15): I probably should ask this in the beginning, but I’ll wrap us up here. What role does humility play in this leader’s new life?

Jeffery Hayzlett (19:23): I think you have to have a servant mentality to be a hero leader, without question, you have to want to serve others, whether that’s cleaning the toilets or at the, sometimes standing in front of thousands or millions on television, talking about what your company is and what you’re doing and how you’re trying to serve your community. But the core is you got to get you better. Check yourself before you wreck yourself to quote a great movie quote. And it’s important for you to look inside and make sure that you’ve got everything set up and lined up. And sometimes that takes some coaching, it takes some, obviously some ongoing education, some motivation, some inspiration, and it’s important for you as a leader to get that.

John Jantsch (20:03): Jeffrey, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Is there anywhere you’d invite people to connect with you and then obviously pick up a copy of the Hero Factor?

Jeffery Hayzlett (20:12): Well, thank you so much. I appreciate that. You can go to,, or the C suite You could find us there, and we’ll be there for all, anything and everything you might need.

John Jantsch (20:26): Awesome. Again, I appreciate you taking a moment, and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

In the Know About Solar Roof Panels

Introduction to Solar Panels and their Benefits

Solar panels are devices that convert sunlight into electricity, providing a clean and sustainable source of energy. They have gained popularity in recent years due to their numerous benefits for both the environment and homeowners. In this blog section, we will explore the benefits of solar panels for sustainable energy and the factors that influence their costs.

Benefits of Solar Panels for Sustainable Energy

  1. Reduced Energy Bills: Solar panels can significantly reduce or eliminate your dependence on traditional energy sources, resulting in lower electricity bills.
  2. Environmental Impact: Solar energy is a renewable and clean source of power. By using solar panels, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a greener future.
  3. Financial Incentives: Many governments and utility companies offer incentives, such as tax credits and net metering, to encourage the adoption of solar energy.
  4. Energy Independence: Solar panels provide you with the ability to generate your own electricity, giving you more control over your energy consumption.

Factors influencing Solar Panel Costs

  1. Size of the System: The larger the system, the more expensive it tends to be.
  2. Quality and Efficiency: Higher-quality solar panels with better efficiency ratings may cost more upfront, but they can generate more electricity over their lifespan.
  3. Installation: The complexity of the installation process, including roof type and wiring, can affect the overall cost.
  4. Incentives and Rebates: The availability of government incentives and rebates can offset the initial cost of

Types of Solar Panels

When considering solar panels for your home or business, it’s important to understand the different types available in the market. Here, we will explore two common types of solar panels: monocrystalline and polycrystalline, along with their associated costs.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels and Associated Costs

Monocrystalline solar panels are made from a single crystal structure and are known for their high efficiency and sleek aesthetic. These panels have a higher price tag compared to polycrystalline panels.

The average cost of monocrystalline solar panels ranges from $150 to $250 per panel, depending on the brand and installation requirements. Despite the higher upfront cost, monocrystalline panels are a popular choice for those looking for maximum energy output in limited space.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels and Associated Costs

Polycrystalline solar panels are made from multiple silicon crystals and have a unique appearance characterized by their blue color. These panels are typically more affordable than monocrystalline panels.

The average cost of polycrystalline solar panels ranges from $100 to $150 per panel. They offer slightly lower efficiency compared to monocrystalline panels but still provide a cost-effective solution for those with larger roof spaces.

It’s important to note that the overall cost of solar panels is influenced by various factors, including the size of the system, quality and efficiency, installation complexity, and the availability of incentives and rebates.

By understanding the different types of solar panels and their associated costs, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your energy needs and budget. Consider consulting with a solar energy professional to determine the best option for your specific situation.

Installation Costs of Solar Panels

Labor and Equipment Costs for Solar Panel Installation

The installation costs of solar panels include both labor and equipment expenses. On average, labor costs can range from $1,500 to $3,000, depending on the size and complexity of the installation. This includes the time and expertise required to mount the panels onto your roof, connect them to the electrical system, and ensure proper functionality.

Equipment costs can vary based on the type and number of panels you choose, as well as any additional components needed for the installation. Generally, the price per panel ranges from $150 to $350. Keep in mind that higher-quality panels with advanced features may come at a higher cost.

Permitting and Inspection Costs

When installing solar panels, you may need to obtain permits from your local government or homeowners association. These permits ensure compliance with building codes and regulations. The cost of permits can vary depending on your location, ranging from $100 to $500.

Additionally, inspections may be required to ensure the safe and proper installation of your solar panels. Inspection costs typically range from $100 to $300.

It’s important to factor in these additional costs when budgeting for solar panel installation. Consulting with a solar energy professional can help you estimate the total installation costs accurately and ensure a smooth and efficient process.

Maintenance and Operating Costs of Solar Panels

Maintenance costs for Solar Panels

Solar panels generally require minimal maintenance, which is one of the reasons why they are so popular. However, some routine maintenance tasks can help ensure the longevity and efficiency of your solar panel system. These tasks include cleaning the panels to remove dirt and debris, checking for any damage or loose connections, and inspecting the wiring and electrical components.

The cost of maintenance for solar panels can vary depending on the size of the system and the specific requirements of your installation. On average, you can expect to spend around $100 to $300 per year for maintenance purposes. This cost typically covers the tools, cleaning supplies, and any professional services required for the upkeep of your solar panels.

Inverter replacement costs

Inverters are an essential component of any solar panel system as they convert the DC power generated by the panels into AC power for use in your home or business. Over time, inverters may need to be replaced due to wear and tear or technological advancements.

The cost of an inverter replacement can range from $500 to $2,000, depending on the size and type of inverter needed. It’s important to consider this potential cost when budgeting for your solar panel system and factor in the lifespan of the inverter, which is typically around 10 to 15 years.

By understanding the maintenance and operating costs associated with solar panels, you can better plan for the long-term investment of renewable energy. Regular maintenance, along with occasional inverter replacement, can help ensure the optimal performance and efficiency of your solar panel system

Financing Options for Solar Panels

Leasing and Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)

One of the most common financing options for solar panels is leasing or entering into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). With leasing, you essentially rent the solar panels and pay a monthly fee to the leasing company. The advantage of leasing is that you don’t have to pay the high upfront costs of purchasing the panels. Instead, you can start benefiting from solar energy immediately while paying a fixed monthly rate.

A Power Purchase Agreement is a similar arrangement, where a third-party company installs and maintains the solar panels on your property. In return, you agree to purchase the energy generated by the panels at a predetermined rate. This option allows you to enjoy the benefits of solar energy without the initial investment.

Getting a Solar Loan or Using Home Equity

Another financing option for solar panels is getting a solar loan or using home equity. Solar loans are specifically designed for installing solar panels and often come with low interest rates. These loans allow you to finance the purchase of the panels and repay the loan over time. Alternatively, if you have equity in your home, you can consider using a home equity line of credit or a home equity loan to fund your solar panel installation.

By exploring these financing options, you can find the best fit for your financial situation and start reaping the benefits of solar energy. It’s important to consider the long-term savings and environmental impact when making your decision.

Return on Investment (ROI) for Solar Panels

Calculating the Payback Period for Solar Panels

When considering the cost of solar panels, it’s important to understand the return on investment (ROI) and how long it will take to recoup your initial investment. The payback period for solar panels can vary depending on factors such as the size of the system, energy usage, and local incentives.

To calculate the payback period, you need to consider the upfront cost of the solar panels, installation fees, and any ongoing maintenance expenses. Then, you’ll need to determine your potential savings on energy bills. By comparing these costs and savings, you can estimate how long it will take for the solar panels to pay for themselves.

For example, let’s say you invest $10,000 in a solar panel system and your average monthly energy bill is $200. With the solar panels offsetting 75% of your energy usage, you could save approximately $150 per month. In this scenario, it would take around 5 years and 6 months to recoup your initial investment.

Long-term Savings from Solar Panels

While the payback period is an important consideration, it’s also important to look at the long-term savings from solar panels. Once the panels have paid for themselves, you can continue to enjoy reduced energy costs and potentially even sell excess energy back to the grid.

Solar panels have an average lifespan of 25-30 years, meaning you have two to three decades of energy savings ahead. Over this time, you can save thousands of dollars on energy bills, which can be a significant return on your investment. Additionally, solar panels can increase the value of your home, making them a worthwhile long-term investment.

In conclusion, while the upfront cost of solar panels can seem daunting, the payback period and long-term savings make them a financially wise decision. By accurately calculating your ROI and considering the potential savings, you can make an informed choice that benefits both your wallet and the environment

Conclusion and Summary

Factors to consider when determining Solar Panel Costs

When considering the cost of solar panels, several factors come into play. The size of the system, the amount of energy usage, and any local incentives can affect the overall cost. Additionally, installation fees and ongoing maintenance expenses should be taken into account. It is essential to calculate the payback period by comparing these costs with potential savings on energy bills.

Overall benefits and long-term savings of Solar Panels

While the upfront cost of solar panels may seem significant, the long-term benefits and savings they provide make them a wise investment. Once the panels have paid for themselves, you can continue to enjoy reduced energy costs and even potentially sell excess energy back to the grid. With an average lifespan of 25-30 years, solar panels can yield considerable savings on energy bills over time, making them a financially prudent decision. Additionally, solar panels can increase the value of your home, further adding to their overall benefits.

In conclusion, the payback period and long-term savings make investing in solar panels a financially sound choice. By considering the various factors that contribute to the cost of solar panels and accurately calculating the return on investment, individuals can make an informed decision that not only benefits their wallet but

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The Difference Between Off-Grid and On-Grid Solar Energy

solar pannels rooftop

What is Off-Grid Solar Energy?

Off-grid solar energy refers to a system that operates independently from the traditional power grid. Unlike on-grid solar systems, which are connected to the utility grid, off-grid systems rely solely on solar panels and battery storage to generate and store electricity. This means that off-grid solar energy can provide power to remote areas, such as rural communities or isolated cabins, where access to the grid is limited or non-existent.

Off-Grid Solar Energy: Definition and Overview

Off-grid solar energy is a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution that harnesses the power of the sun to generate electricity. The system consists of solar panels, which convert sunlight into electricity, and a battery bank to store excess energy for use during periods of low sunlight or at night.

One of the key components of off-grid solar energy systems is the charge controller, which regulates the amount of energy flowing from the solar panels to the battery bank. This helps prevent overcharging or discharging of the batteries and ensures their longevity.

In addition to the solar panels and battery storage, off-grid systems may also include inverters, which convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used to power household appliances and devices.

The Advantages and Limitations of Off-Grid Solar Energy

Off-grid solar energy offers several advantages. Firstly, it provides independence from the grid and reduces reliance on fossil fuels, making it a sustainable and renewable energy option. This can lead to long-term cost savings and reduce carbon emissions.

Secondly, off-grid solar energy can bring electricity to remote areas, improving the lives and opportunities for communities that are currently without power. It can provide essential services such as lighting, refrigeration, and the ability to charge electronic devices.

However, there are also limitations to off-grid solar energy. The initial upfront cost of setting up a system can be high, requiring an investment in solar panels, batteries, and other necessary equipment. It also requires careful monitoring and maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity of the system.

Furthermore, off-grid systems may not be able to meet high energy demands, especially during prolonged periods of low sunlight. To overcome this limitation, energy conservation measures and efficient appliances should be implemented.

Overall, off-grid solar energy is a viable and sustainable option for those seeking to be self-sufficient and reduce their reliance on the power grid. By understanding the advantages and limitations of off-grid solar energy, individuals and communities can make informed decisions about whether it is the right solution for

What is On-Grid Solar Energy?

On-grid solar energy, also known as grid-tied solar energy, is a system that is connected to the traditional power grid. Unlike off-grid solar systems that operate independently, on-grid systems work in conjunction with the utility grid to provide electricity.

On-Grid Solar Energy: Definition and Benefits

In an on-grid solar energy system, solar panels are used to convert sunlight into electricity. This electricity is then fed into the utility grid, allowing the user to offset their power consumption with clean, renewable energy. The main benefit of on-grid solar energy is the ability to reduce or eliminate electricity bills by using the power generated by the solar panels.

By feeding excess electricity back into the grid, users can also benefit from net metering. Net metering allows users to receive credits for the electricity they generate but do not consume. These credits can then be used to offset the electricity they consume when their solar panels are not producing sufficient energy, such as during nighttime or periods of low sunlight.

The Role of Net Metering in On-Grid Solar Energy Systems

Net metering is a crucial component of on-grid solar energy systems. It enables users to take advantage of the surplus electricity they generate and reduce their reliance on the utility grid. When the solar panels produce more electricity than is needed, the excess energy is sent back to the grid and credited to the user’s account.

During periods of low solar energy generation, such as at night or during cloudy weather, users can draw electricity from the grid and utilize the credits they have accumulated. This ensures a continuous and reliable power supply, regardless of the availability of solar energy.

Net metering not only allows users to save money by offsetting their electricity bills but also encourages the growth of renewable energy. It incentivizes the adoption of on-grid solar energy systems by providing a financial return and promoting sustainable practices.

In conclusion, on-grid solar energy is a connected and integrated system that utilizes the power of the sun and the utility grid to provide clean energy and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. With the implementation of net metering, users can maximize the benefits of their solar panels and enjoy the advantages of a renewable energy solution while saving money on their electricity bills.

Key Differences Between Off-Grid and On-Grid Solar Energy

Primary Factors: Energy Independence and Self-Reliance

Off-Grid Solar Energy:
Off-grid solar energy systems are not connected to the traditional power grid. They function independently and rely solely on solar power to generate electricity. These systems typically include solar panels, batteries for energy storage, and inverters to convert the stored energy into usable electricity. Off-grid systems are ideal for remote locations where access to the grid is limited or unreliable. They offer complete energy independence and self-reliance, allowing users to generate their electricity and not rely on external sources. However, the initial setup cost and maintenance of off-grid systems can be relatively high.

On-Grid Solar Energy:
On-grid solar energy systems, also known as grid-tied solar energy systems, are connected to the traditional power grid. Users generate electricity through solar panels and feed any excess energy back into the grid. When the solar panels do not generate enough electricity, users can draw power from the grid. These systems are more common in urban areas, where the grid is readily available. The primary advantage of on-grid systems is the ability to reduce or eliminate electricity bills by using the energy generated by the solar panels. They do not require batteries for storage and are generally more affordable to install and maintain compared to off-grid systems.

Secondary Factors: Cost, Maintenance, and Environmental Impact

Cost:Off-grid solar energy systems tend to have higher upfront costs due to the need for energy storage with batteries. The cost of batteries and additional equipment can make these systems more expensive compared to on-grid systems. On the other hand, on-grid solar energy systems do not require batteries, resulting in lower setup costs.

Maintenance:Off-grid solar energy systems require regular maintenance of batteries to ensure their efficiency and longevity. This maintenance includes monitoring battery levels, checking connections, and replacing batteries when necessary. On-grid systems, on the other hand, have fewer maintenance requirements as they rely on the grid for any additional energy needed.

Environmental Impact:Both off-grid and on-grid solar energy systems have a positive impact on the environment by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. However, off-grid systems provide a more significant environmental benefit as they allow users to be completely self-reliant and independent from the grid.

In conclusion, the key differences between off-grid and on-grid solar energy systems lie in the factors of energy independence, self-reliance, cost, maintenance, and environmental impact. Off-grid systems offer complete independence and self-reliance but come at a higher cost and require more maintenance. On the other hand, on-grid systems provide the advantage of reducing or eliminating electricity bills and have lower upfront costs, but users remain connected to the traditional power grid. Both systems contribute to a greener future by utilizing clean, renewable energy sources

Which Option is Right for You?

Assessing Your Energy Needs and Goals

Before deciding between off-grid and on-grid solar energy, it is essential to assess your energy needs and goals. Off-grid systems are suitable for those seeking complete energy independence and self-reliance, especially in remote areas with limited or unreliable access to the traditional power grid. On the other hand, on-grid systems are more suitable for urban areas where the grid is readily available and the primary goal is to reduce or eliminate electricity bills.

Considerations for Off-Grid vs. On-Grid Solar Energy Installation

  1. Cost: Off-grid systems tend to have higher upfront costs due to the need for energy storage with batteries. The cost of batteries and additional equipment can make these systems more expensive compared to on-grid systems, which do not require batteries.
  2. Maintenance: Off-grid systems require regular maintenance of batteries to ensure their efficiency and longevity. This maintenance includes monitoring battery levels, checking connections, and replacing batteries when necessary. On-grid systems, on the other hand, have fewer maintenance requirements as they rely on the grid for any additional energy needed.
  3. Environmental Impact: Both off-grid and on-grid solar energy systems have a positive impact on the environment by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. However, off-grid systems provide a more significant environmental benefit as they allow users to be completely self-reliant and independent from the grid.

In conclusion, the choice between off-grid and on-grid solar energy depends on your specific energy needs and goals. If you prioritize energy independence and self-reliance, are located in a remote area, and are willing to invest in batteries and maintenance, off-grid systems may be the right choice for you. However, if your primary goal is to reduce or eliminate electricity bills and you have access to a reliable power grid, on-grid systems offer a more affordable and convenient option. Consider your circumstances, budget, and long-term goals to make an informed decision for your energy needs.


When it comes to branding, it is crucial for businesses of all sizes to invest in creating a strong and unique identity. By doing so, they can stand out from their competitors and build a loyal customer base. Branding goes beyond just a logo or a catchy slogan. It involves crafting a cohesive image that resonates with the target audience and showcases the business’s distinctiveness.

Comparing Off-Grid and On-Grid Solar Energy Systems

In assessing the difference between off-grid and on-grid solar energy systems, several key factors come into play.

Firstly, cost is a major consideration. Off-grid systems tend to have higher upfront costs due to the need for energy storage with batteries. These additional equipment expenses make off-grid systems more expensive compared to on-grid systems, which do not require batteries.

Secondly, maintenance is another factor to consider. Off-grid systems require regular battery maintenance to ensure their efficiency and longevity. This involves monitoring battery levels, checking connections, and replacing batteries when necessary. On the other hand, on-grid systems have fewer maintenance requirements as they rely on the grid for any additional energy needed.

Lastly, the environmental impact is an important factor to consider. Both off-grid and on-grid systems contribute positively to reducing reliance on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. However, off-grid systems provide a more significant environmental benefit as they allow users to be completely self-reliant and independent from the grid.

Final Considerations for Choosing the Right Solar Energy Solution

Ultimately, the choice between off-grid and on-grid solar energy systems depends on specific energy needs and goals. Off-grid systems are suitable for those seeking complete energy independence and self-reliance, especially in remote areas with limited access to the traditional power grid. On the other hand, on-grid systems are more suitable for urban areas where the grid is readily available, and the primary goal is to reduce or eliminate electricity bills.

In making a decision, it is important to consider factors such as budget, location, and long-term goals. By carefully evaluating these factors, individuals and businesses can make an informed choice and select the solar energy solution that

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Enbridge and EDF Join Forces to Construct a Massive 577MW Solar Plant in Ohio


Enbridge, a Canadian oil and gas company, has formed a joint venture with EDF Renewables North America to develop and operate the Fox Squirrel solar farm in Ohio. With a capacity of 577MW, this solar plant is being constructed in three phases.

Enbridge has acquired a 50% stake in the joint venture, solidifying its commitment to renewable energy projects. The project is supported by 20-year fixed-price power purchase agreements, ensuring stable revenue streams.

The Fox Squirrel solar farm is located in Madison County, Ohio, and is being developed in partnership with Geenex Solar. The first phase, with a capacity of 150MW, is expected to be operational by the end of 2023. This project marks EDF Renewables’ entry into utility-scale solar facilities in Ohio.

Ryan Pfaff, Executive Vice President of Grid-Scale Power at EDF Renewables, expressed excitement about the partnership with Enbridge and the development of the Fox Squirrel Solar Project. This collaboration signifies a successful continuation of their joint efforts in the renewable energy sector.

By investing in renewable energy and partnering with EDF Renewables, Enbridge is taking significant steps towards diversifying its portfolio and reducing its carbon footprint. The construction and operation of the Fox Squirrel solar farm will contribute to Ohio’s renewable energy goals, creating a more sustainable future for the state.

This joint venture between Enbridge and EDF Renewables demonstrates the increasing interest and investment in solar energy projects, as countries worldwide strive to transition to cleaner sources of energy. The Fox Squirrel solar plant is set to make a substantial contribution to Ohio’s renewable energy capacity, supporting the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

The completion of the Fox Squirrel solar farm will mark a significant milestone in Ohio’s renewable energy sector, providing clean and reliable energy to thousands of households and businesses. Enbridge and EDF Renewables’ partnership showcases the power of collaboration in driving the development of large-scale renewable energy projects.

With this venture, Enbridge is not only making strides in the renewable energy sector but also solidifying its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. It sets a positive example for other companies looking to transition to cleaner energy sources and play a crucial role in combating climate change.

As the world continues to recognize the importance of renewable energy, projects like the Fox Squirrel solar farm are instrumental in shaping a greener future. Enbridge’s collaboration with EDF Renewables represents a significant milestone for the Ohio solar industry, and it paves the way for further investments in renewable energy across

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Revolutionary Breakthrough: AI Trained to Rapidly Create High-Efficiency Perovskite Solar Cells

Researchers in Australia have achieved a groundbreaking feat, training artificial intelligence (AI) to produce solar cells made from the mineral perovskite in a remarkably short period of time. This cutting-edge approach has allowed them to bypass years of human labor and potential errors, leading to the optimization of these cells in just a matter of weeks.

Dr. Nastaran Meftahi, the lead author of the study and a researcher at RMIT University’s School of Science, highlighted that international teams have been in a race to develop perovskite solar cells that are not only cost-effective but also stable enough for long-term commercial use. Thanks to recent advancements, these cells have reached a level of stability where they can be considered for widespread deployment.

Perovskite solar cells are particularly promising due to their potential to outperform traditional silicon-based solar cells in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. However, the challenge lies in finding the optimal combination of materials and fabrication processes to maximize their performance.

To address this challenge, the researchers turned to AI. By training machine learning algorithms on vast amounts of data and simultaneously carrying out experimental work, they were able to rapidly identify the most efficient compositions and fabrication methods for perovskite solar cells. This process significantly accelerated the research and development cycle, which traditionally took years to achieve similar results.

The use of AI has enabled scientists to overcome human limitations and biases that often arise during optimization processes. It can quickly analyze and interpret vast amounts of data, identifying patterns and optimizing parameters that human researchers might overlook. As a result, the AI-generated solar cells exhibited improved efficiency and stability.

The team’s successful AI-driven approach demonstrates the enormous potential of this technology in accelerating scientific discoveries and technological advancements. It may also pave the way for further breakthroughs in other areas of research that require extensive optimization processes.

These findings bring us closer to the widespread adoption of perovskite solar cells in renewable energy systems, offering a viable alternative to traditional silicon-based technology. By streamlining the development process, AI could play a pivotal role in driving the transition towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.

As researchers worldwide continue to push the boundaries of AI-driven optimization, the potential for innovation in the field of solar cell technology is boundless. The next step will be to further refine the AI models and methods to continuously improve the performance and stability of perovskite solar cells, ultimately making them a commercially viable and scalable solution

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