Entrepreneurship and business leadership are two different things, as we have learned in the previous episode. The principles of the latter are going to be what gets your business through in these challenging times. What do we need to do to grow our business from a business leader’s perspective? We have covered a lot of this in Part 1, but there is more. In this second part of Jeffrey Edwards’ interview with business leader and entrepreneur, Aaron Scott Young, they talk about social media, messaging, attitude and the mindset of successful leaders who have sustained long-term success.
Listen to the podcast here:
Business Leadership In These Trying Times With Aaron Scott Young – Part 2
It’s wonderful to be spending this time with you and thank you for allowing us to be a part of your day. This episode is part two of my interview with Aaron Young, a business leader, entrepreneur. In our conversation, we’re talking about social media and messaging and attitude. He talks about the mindset of successful leaders who have sustained long-term success. Part one of this interview is available on the show. Without further ado, here’s part two of the conversation with Aaron Young.
Most of these people, not all, there are few people out there that we see in social media a lot, Brendon Burchard and Russell Brunson. Some of these other people are doing who’ve built themselves either directly on social media or by providing technology that could be leveraged over social media like ClickFunnels, social media, or internet sales, and those people are legitimately successful. They certainly have acolytes, disciples, followers who have had success too, but the vast majority of the people almost everybody I meet at these small business conferences at these pitch fests where I go and I’ll be a judge. I did a thing with IBM where we were looking at a bunch of pitches for businesses. They wanted to get this grant from IBM.
We had that here as well.
I’ve done a bunch of those as a judge and my experience is that, first of all, there’s a lot of feigned success. A lot of these people have these small business conventions. They’re buying everybody’s program. Everybody’s writing a book, give a speech, and improve your Facebook ads and everybody’s snake oil. Not that any of them are wrong. It’s that somehow these buyers they want somebody else to have the magic pill or the pixie dust. They see people in these bright, shiny things in a beautiful home in front of an automobile on the beach and they go, “That person must know what I don’t know.” I’m going to offend some people but for the most part, the people that are out there selling these things, people will stay in that small business arena until they’ve exhausted all their money and all their credit cards, or until they see that the emperor has no clothes. Most of the stuff that’s going on out there that I observed, it’s not that in and of itself it’s bad, they don’t provide the service, or that there isn’t some value in going through the process. The hope of the buyer is usually that, “If I give this person $5,000, $10,000, $50,000, $100,000, or if I give all of these people $10,000, that they’re going to do the work for me to make my stupid idea work.” Most of the ideas are useless, worthless ideas, and they’re never going to work, but that doesn’t keep these folks from taking the $10,000 apiece.
I’m of the mind, go out and build something on your own and then when you see that you have lacked, if you’re being invited to stand in front of small groups and you have a fear of that then get a speech coach, somebody to help you write a talk, rehearse, or to have stage competency. Maybe not stage presence, but you’re not shaken out of your boots. Unfortunately, too many people are early and they go, “If I can give a talk about being a cat psychic, then I’ll get paid $25,000 a speech and I’ll make great money.” That’s a lie. It’s not true. Build a business if you feel that there’s a legit lack, you’re making money. You’re not living off the $40,000 you inherited from your grandma. It’s not that. You’re not selling your VW so you can go to this event. Some people think that’s noble. It’s silly. Build something, do the work, figure out if anybody wants to buy your thing. As you start to become more proficient at selling, whatever it is you’re trying to sell to the world, then you can start to inspect where are you weak and how can I bring somebody in? In my case, technology and accounting are weak spots for me.
For me to be doing my QuickBooks or to be trying to create a webpage or something is a fool’s errand. It’s stupid for me to do it. I know that so I don’t do it. People will say, “I don’t have any money.” No. What you mean is that your lifestyle is going to have to go down a little bit in order for you to hire the person to do the work that must be done. You’re saying, “I don’t want to get into my pocket and take a risk on hiring somebody.” That means I won’t be able to go on my vacation, I won’t be able to buy that nicer car, or I’m going to have to keep living in my parents’ basement for another six months. The question is, what are you willing to sacrifice to have all other cool stuff down the road? If you’re trying to do it all so that you don’t have to pay anybody else to do anything, you’re never going to grow past your own competency. You’re never going to get any bigger than your ability to fill twenty hours a day and live on caffeine and four hours of sleep. You’re never going to have a life.
You’re never going to have anything. You’ve got to figure out, “Do I have something people want, what can I do? Where am I weak? How do I bring in full-time or part-time or virtual help to shore up my weaknesses so that we can go from the level that we’re at to a higher level? How do I hire more people to get me to the next level? I deserve a pay increase.” We’ve gone from not having two nickels to rub together to maybe we’re making $40,000 or $50,000 a month in sales. I can pay myself $5,000 a month. What most people do is they make $5,000 a month, take $5,000 out and wonder why the company doesn’t grow. It’s because you’re selfish. Sorry for being blunt but that is the reality of it.
Tell me what you think here, Aaron. I wasn’t clear on that last point.Hire the best people you can afford, pay them what they're worth, and hold them accountable for the work you've hired them to do. Click To Tweet
I know I get a little obscure sometimes.
I’m blown away from this conversation. There are many things popping through my head. Being honest and being open with you and a person reading, I’ve been that guy. I’ve fallen. I’m going to buy this product because it’s going to help me boost my profile or it’s going to help me launch my business or do this and that. I reached that point where you reach a win. The biggest thing I need to do is focus on what I know and build my company before I started building everyone else’s company, except my own. I run into how many people do you run into and we’ve run into over the course of our lifetimes where we were seeing people doing that.
It’s much easier to buy than it is to sell. You can feel cool when you buy something you get to show up somewhere and dress up and tell your story that all feels nice but at some point, you have to sell something. If you don’t, you will run out of money. By the way, you need to sell something at a profit. I see a lot of people out there selling things way too cheap, and then they wonder why they don’t have any money they’re selling, but they’re not making any money. The reason is they’re afraid to ask what it’s worth or sell for what it’s worth or they’re selling something they’re behind the curve and they’re not having to be the cheapest person in town whereas if you’re in front of the wave, you can make a lot of money. I can go on and on about this.
We can and I fully appreciate you coming on here. I want to say one thing to you while I have you here, Aaron, this is almost like you. It’s entrepreneurs like you who are willing to go out there and tell it like it is, I admire. It’s no issue talking about you. I share your stories with people I know because there’s a passion behind what you’re saying, and I can tell that you get ticked off when you see the stuff happening out there and you want the best for people and the best opportunity for them to be successful.
I do. My life’s work at this point, my goal for the rest of my life, I’m 56 years old. A few years ago, when I became clear that 86.3% of GDP in the United States is created by companies of 50 employees or less 86.3% by all the main street businesses. Yet, 80% of those companies will fail within five years. They’ll close up. I thought where all my life I’d been explicit in how many people I wanted to charge, how many this I wanted to do, those dollars I wanted to make. I always had clear numbers and I still do on specific projects. My Aaron Young’s personal goal or my benevolent goal, this isn’t about my personal relationships, my children, grandchildren, my spouse, but my business goal at this point is a little more generic, it’s to help more companies stay in business for more years making more money. I don’t have a number in mind. I want to do all I can to help more companies stay in business longer, making more money, because they will hire people. Those people spend money in the community. Those companies that are making more money pay for health insurance, they sponsor the Little League teams, they do that kind of stuff.
It doesn’t matter if I get any credit for anything. It only matters that if I can influence more companies so that they stay in business for more years, making more money, then my life’s time will have been well spent. I’m going to continue to have personal goals for my own businesses and hitting certain benchmarks. For these conversations, for the talks that I give all over the world, for my podcast, for all that stuff, I don’t have any specific number. If I can help somebody stay in business for more years, making more money, hooray, I’ve done the right thing with my life and my experience. I am grateful to you for helping me with that goal. Hopefully, at least one person has picked up one thing that will help them be more successful, that they’ll make some adjustments to their behavior so that they can get to the goals that they dream about achieving. Contrary to what all the crap that I hear in the media, the vast majority of business owners that I know are incredibly dedicated to their employees, customers, and vendors are not raping and pillaging the businesses. We hear about a few mega-companies where even a crappy CEO who works only in for 2 or 3 years, gets paid hundreds of millions of dollars and they have these golden parachutes and that is not representative of American business. It’s representative of a small, tiny itsy-bitsy handful of people.
The millions of business owners that are out there are trying to do the right thing and are happy to spread the wealth around. I’m telling you, I’m a big proponent of hire the best people you can afford, pay them what they’re worth, but then hold them accountable for the work you’ve hired them to do because that builds the company. You do that right, the owner makes money. Look at Warren Buffett. He doesn’t own any of these companies. He owns significant chunks of Coca-Cola, Burlington Northern, GEICO Insurance, Fruit of the Loom, Dairy Queen, and so on. He’s not the owner, but he’s a participant in helping them be more successful. The more successful they are, the more money he makes. The more successful we make our people, customers, and vendors, the more successful we become as an individual. It’s the old Zig Ziglar, “If you want to get rich, help 1,000 other people get rich.” That’s a paraphrase if you want to get what you want, help 1,000 other people get what they want, you’ll get everything you want. It’s true for all eternity. As soon as we start looking at the big picture instead of our selfish pocketbook, we end up doing better and that’s the truth.
That’s a great place to end our time here. I can’t add more to what you’ve said. As you’re reading this episode, I hope you’ve been taking a copious number of notes or you’re going to read this over and over again. Map out where do you need help? What’s going to help you move your idea, your business, and your people forward in a way that’s going to allow you to take flight? Aaron, I want to thank you. I’m standing here, everything’s tingling. I want to say another, “Amen.” I love your spirit, passion, and respect everything that you’ve accomplished. You truly are one of the beacons not only in the business world but in the world itself. I know you’ve inspired many people to be better and you’ve done many good things for a lot of people around the world. I want to thank you for being part of this show. If people ask for you to come back, would you be willing to come back?
Anything for you, you know that. All you have to do is ask. I’ll be back.
I appreciate it.
That’s it. I want to thank you all for being here and thank you, Aaron. We will pick it up again. Until next time, please remember to lead well and be good.