Taming the Volatile World of Entrepreneurship with the Magic of Relationships and Mentors, with Nick Cavuoto – 208
Entrepreneurs know that their business trajectory isn’t easy to predict. It’s a roller-coaster ride that requires a certain kind of person. It also makes supportive networks more important than you might imagine.
Today on the AM/PM Podcast, Tim Jordan welcomes Nick Cavuoto, a former pastor who started his career with a specific idea of what service looked like. Life kept changing and Nick was soon on a volatile e-commerce journey.
He left the ministry making 25K a year. Soon he’d 10X’d his income, then did it again. After a spectacular (financial) fall from grace, he started off again at the bottom, this time determined to use the lessons he’d learned to help others.
There’s something in this one for everyone.
In episode 208 of the AM/PM Podcast, Tim and Nick discuss:
- 02:30 – Nick’s E-Commerce Resume
- 05:00 – Investing in Others
- 07:30 – Confidence and Competence
- 09:45 – 10 X’ing His Income Twice
- 12:45 – “Success isn’t Singular, it’s Sequential”
- 16:00 – “I Just Want You Guys to Figure This Out”
- 19:30 – Going from 150K Per Month to Not Being Able to Afford a $30 Meal
- 21:40 – It’s Hard Work but You Come Out Better on the Other Side
- 25:00 – “Dude, I Think You Just Found Your Calling”
- 26:30 – The Entrepreneurs’ Epidemic
- 29:40 – The Best Strategy is to Care
- 32:00 – Starting with a Personal “Story”
- 36:00 – Relationships are Rocket-Ships
- 40:00 – Components of Success
- 42:30 – Super Stars Aren’t Afraid to Ask for Coaching Help
- 43:20 – How to Reach Out to Nick
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Tim Jordan: The world of entrepreneurship is painted in a rosy-colored glow. Everybody talks about how awesome it is. Everybody talks about how glamorous it is. Everyone talks about the money and the – all those accolades that, we think we want, or maybe that we think we deserve, or maybe we think we can achieve. The truth is entrepreneurship is awesome, but it’s wrought with perils. It’s wrought with heartaches and headaches and stress and miserable failures, which become lessons and education to create those great successes. Our guest today is not afraid to talk about those. He’s gone from $150,000 a month to not being able to pay for a $30 lunch. His story is powerful, but more importantly, his lessons and his wisdom and his guidance in this episode are powerful. Make sure to check the entire thing out, watch it till the end. You’re not going to want to miss this on this episode of AM/PM Podcast.
Tim Jordan: I’m Tim Jordan and in every corner of the world, entrepreneurship is growing. So join me as I explore the stories of successes and failures. Listen in as I chat with the risk takers, the adventurous and the entrepreneurial veterans, we all have a dream of living a life, fulfilling our passions, and we want a business that doesn’t make us punch a time clock, but instead runs around the clock in the AM and the PM. So get motivated, get inspired. You’re listening to the AM/PM Podcast.
Tim Jordan: Hey everybody and welcome to another episode of the AM/PM Podcast. We talk about a lot of things. I usually start off by saying e-commerce, but lately we’ve been talking a lot about life. We’ve been talking about growth. We’ve been talking about marketing. We’ve been talking about entrepreneurism in general. And today’s guest, We have Nick Cavuoto, not to be confused with Caputo is I recently figured out getting a little sidetracked on a Netflix series. Nick has some pretty great wisdom to share with us today. He’s got a pretty cool story and he’s been pretty successful in the past. Nick, some of the headlines you’ve had over a billion social media impressions. You’ve been featured in Forbes, entrepreneur magazine, the Gary Vaynerchuk blog, all of the things that we all aspire to accomplish, these great accolades. How did you get to that point? What landed you in the position the right now where you are a social media marketing guy? What’s your resume leading up to this point?
Nick Cavuoto: So first I just want to thank you for the opportunity to sit here and chat with your community. It’s an absolute honor, man. So thank you for that. And, so jumping into the story, It’s going to kind of shock you or I’ll start with this, but my normal was actually at 21 years old, I had flunked out of college twice. I didn’t really know if I wanted to do with my life. And I’m always really successful in sports and had a great family upbringing, went to private school, all those – all the proper things. But I was really lost in the journey of what I wanted to spend my time doing and what I wanted to really – what difference I wanted to make in the world. And so, the first kind of explosion that hit where I had an opportunity to really excel was that after not completing college and figuring out what the next step was, I said, you know what, why don’t I just serve humanity? What’s the best thing that I can do to just kind of make the game simple and actually show up and help someone. And that came in the context of a nonprofit, which was actually in vocational ministry. So to cut the line, I was basically a pastor for seven years, that’s where I started. And the thing that was interesting about that journey, leading up to the finish line was that the day that I quit ministry, we had grown the organization from a thousand to 10,000 people every weekend. And it was really awesome. Getting a lot of traction, filling out arenas and I was running all the marketing for that while also at that time, I was about 24 running an eight figure budget under the leadership of the guy who was one step above me, but really I had a permission early to be successful and also to have lessons that were learned through failure. And the day that I left was a really tough day man, to be just super transparent. I had a panic attack under my desk that we can experience. And the reason why is the key here, it was because people had become a commodity to the organization. And that was a hard thing for me, a very hard thing. I showed up to serve. I showed up to be somebody who could create transformation for others. And it led to a point of where that whole entire narrative actually flipped. And it became about the success of the organization and all the wrong things. And so when that explosion hit me, man, and I just was like, wow, I can’t be a part of this anymore. It was really, really traumatic. It was a tough experience for me, but the benefit of what the new normal became after that was really getting back to the center of helping other people. I knew that my thesis was to essentially empower people, to actually be able to show up in the world the best way that they can, which has allowed, I believe a lot of the success around me. It’s been around investing in others, seeing them rise, seeing them succeed and just having the right intent and the heart behind it.
Nick Cavuoto: And so all the accolades, it’s funny I always feel like you’re talking about somebody else, but at the end of the day, I accept those things. I accept them, yet at the same time, understanding that integrity always wins in doing the right thing. It’s always the right time to do the right thing. And so a lot of the things that have been – what I would count as success in my professional career have come down to the intent and also the ability to leave something that I thought I’d be a part of forever, really in the question of the seeking for what my greater calling and purpose was. So it’s always been centered around that bigger idea. I’ve always had this stronger connection to source and allowing that to be a lot of the fuel as far as the things that I do in the world. So, a lot of those things, they just feel like they just happened but it had to do with my alignment and what I was really aligned to and where my vision was. So, yeah.
Tim Jordan: So you’ve talked about your professional career. What has been your professional career? We talked about your first eight year endeavor, but what have you done? How do you go from huddled up in the fetal position under your desk, leaving a kind of ministerial position to getting in Forbes and entrepreneur magazine? Give me the brief resume highlights leading up to that.
Nick Cavuoto: For sure, man. When I left ministry, literally, as soon as I left, I had a buddy who got me a job at a medical startup in New York. And the cool scenario in that was that I had an opportunity to do something really special. It was a company that was probably around like 15, 20 million, but they were the main competitor to Invisalign. So it was disruption. And I was like, yo, I’m all in. Let’s do this. And so that first company that I worked for created a lot of disruption for them. I took a hundred thousand dollars in print advertising spend, moved it over to digital and took them from five leads a month to 500 leads a month in nine months. And that was through the integration of HubSpot and some other platforms. And at that point, I hadn’t even finished college yet. I did go back to school and finished by the way. But at that point I wasn’t done. And so what was really interesting was the first at bat that I had, there were two key components to my success at that startup. Number one was confidence. I had to know that whatever strategy I laid out on the table for them, I had to know that I was making the right move. And the second one was competence. I had the reps previously from being around C level executives and people who were running a very successful, and a lot of money was going through that organization.
Nick Cavuoto: So, I had to have that competence to run a high revenue system and also to get the results that they were looking for. So that’s where the whole trick, that’s where the whole thing started playing out was competence and confidence. I was there for a year and a half and grew the company by $5 million in nine months. That was really the story there. Now, when I asked them for more responsibility, they were like, here, you can take over email marketing. And I’m like, y’all just, don’t get it. I was already doing that. But in addition, after growing the company that quickly, you assume that there’d be more responsibility given so quick decisions on this stuff of just knowing my calling, but also having competence and confidence are always the growth curve of where you’ll reach the next level. So I went from that startup to fortune 500. I got a gig in product marketing at Paychex, which is essentially they paid one out of every 10 private sector employees in the United States. So I went to work for them. Same thing happened. They gave me 300 performing brands. I took all those brands and doubled their revenue in six months. So again, same thing, same big idea, understanding where to apply pressure, what to shift as far as strategy or tactics or even mindset. A lot of transformational work was done with a lot of the reps as well. So after fortune 500, I was there for a year. And again, it was one of those scenarios where I’m like, I’m not done yet. So I got a call from one of the HubSpot executives that did a case study on us from the first company I told you about. And she said, Hey, I’m launching this new incubator. And I want you to come run our marketing. So just name your offer. At that point I was like, okay, I want 150K and I want another 150K in bonuses. And mind you, when I left ministry, I was making $25,000 a year. Okay. A year. And so just in about a year and a half, two years, maybe 26, 28 months, I went from making that to having a 300K deal on the table. So 10x my income in a very short amount of time. And so, I went to the VC, zero to 3 million in 18 months. Then I exited that and I went and built my own consultancy, which I had started, but I had someone behind the scenes running most of it. And then I leaned into my own personal brand and then tripled the revenue in my personal brand in the first quarter of being just focusing my full attention. So that’s really how this whole thing started. And then that agency that I started ended up doing multiple six figures or multiple seven figures a year. And then I kind of fell back out of alignment again. And that’s where the story of failure started coming in was in really understanding that season of that next seven year period.
Tim Jordan: Got you. So doing well, right? That’s the highlight that I’m seeing, things are going well, you’re making good money. You’re still young. You’ve got a lot of flexibility to kind of chase what you want to chase. And one of the highlights that I’ve seen reading your profile, is you talked about going from massive earning to literally not being able to pay for a $30 meal. Right. And I think this is important because there are so many people that get discouraged. And the truth is entrepreneurs, we suck at a lot of stuff. We make a lot of dumb mistakes. Sometimes it’s just bad luck. I mean, COVID hits and knocks, you have a very successful restaurants out of business forever. It’s nothing that was their fault. I remember when I first – I was trying to leave a nine to five job, so to speak and I was getting more entrepreneurial, wanting to chase my own business stuff. My father-in-law, he told me, he said, there’s no way you’re smart enough. You’re capable enough to run your own business. He said, in every business goes bankrupt. He said, if you’re an entrepreneur running your own business, you are one paycheck away from being bankrupt at any given time. And he meant this is a criticism. And I thought, man, how cool is that? Because if you’re one paycheck away from failure, you’re also one week or one marketing campaign or one opportunity away from massive success. And I started thinking about all of the business successes. I mean, you read the story of the founder of Nike who couldn’t make his payroll at times. I look around at local businesses, property developers that have gone bankrupt three or four times, and they’re raging successes. And I didn’t take that as a slight from him because I knew that that’s just part of the journey that I was willing to take, but it sucks. It’s hard, there’s anxiety, there’s depression, there’s failure, there’s lack of confidence. And I think that hearing your story of how you’ve gone through that is important because everybody is listening to this, whether they have, or they will in pursuing a business opportunity or business journey, entrepreneurial journey are going to find those failures. Now it may not mean that they’ll run into situation. They can’t pay for a meal or they go bankrupt, but there are things that don’t work. We’re not a hundred percent successes all the time. So tell us about how you dropped into that pit. How did that happen? What led up to that? And then how did you crawl back out of that seemingly despair feeling?
Nick Cavuoto: There’s two principles here that are really, really important. The first one is that success isn’t singular, it’s sequential. And as you grow and you become more successful, you have to understand that the journey is kind of a wave that rises and there’s going to be peaks and valleys. And you’ve heard that before, but when you experience it as a whole different level of meaning and also truth to it. So that’s the first thing, the success part was easy in a lot of ways, cause we have more money, but it also made a lot of relationships really complicated because then there were expectations that were set and everyone wanted your time who was trying to figure out what you were doing. And there’s a lot of different elements around it. So it is sequential, meaning there’s levels to it. And it doesn’t just happen once if you were, if you hit it once you can do it again. So if there’s somebody out there who’s in a really hard season, maybe post-COVID or the season that we’re in right now, or it’s something where you want to start the next big idea. Your success will build upon itself. It has compounding interest and you learn more as you go, but you got to play this mind game with yourself of the six inches between your ears and be very aware of the mindset that you’re bringing into your business because money is a container and it’s a container of energy. And so the transaction happens on a transformational level or it’s happening also on a very basic level of like, Hey, I want to exchange X to Y and I want to see how you can find that transformation for me. And so it’s a very interesting exchange. And so I just want to make sure that that concept has held on to, and the second thing around success, it’s sequential is a failure isn’t final. And so I’m going to tell you guys that part of the story about failure and what I experienced. So after I built the agency, we went for about a three year run rate. My best friend at 25 years was the one who was helping me run it. He came in probably about a year and a half into the business. And I remember this was in 2018. We’re getting through really the highest revenue we ever had almost $200,000 a month in revenue. And it was pretty easy. I didn’t actually run one ad. Client delivery was the reason why we were so good. Relationships and having tight relationships with the people that we served is why it was so successful. But at the end of 2018, I just moved my family across the country. I was feeling like I knew something was shifting for me. I knew there was bigger questions that were coming up. It’s kind of like when you solve all your money problems. I mean, I pay off my student loans in a month. It’s 70, $80,000, instantaneous just gone. Right? So it’s like when you have different levels of problems, it really makes you now start thinking at a different level. And the biggest misstep that I had in this season was that I didn’t have a mentor, that I didn’t have someone walking me through that scenario and be it somebody who had also already been through it. That was a huge, huge part of it. I did have somebody who I was working with, on values and goals for the business, but didn’t have a mentor. I had somebody who is more systems and process oriented and that just suffocates profit if you’re not in the right mind space. So the end of September 2018, I hired six people. I hired a COO, I hired a bunch of media buyers, a bunch of creatives. And I basically was like, I’m done. I’m going to back out, I’m going to go to founder mode. And I just want you guys to figure this out. I was at a hundred hours a week. My marriage was on the rocks, kids relationships. I just felt like I missed them so much. I didn’t see them the way that I needed to. We moved from a 6,000 square foot house in New York into a 2000 square foot townhouse in Denver. And that came with its own challenges and stuff. So, life still goes on when you’re having challenges in your business, life still is going to happen. But what ended up happening was had the crew, we went from about 200K a month. We’d probably dropped to about 120 over the next six months or so, but it was still, there was so much profit. It was totally fine. And then this is when everything started to shift. One of my media buyers and my buddy who started, well, they didn’t start with me, but about a year out. So, he really ran with me for most of the time the agency, decided to go do their own thing because they didn’t like the COO. And so they both quit within two weeks of each other, the main guy for paid media. And then the guy who was running a lot of the operational stuff within the business and also held a lot of the relationships because I delegate a lot of relationships.
Nick Cavuoto: It’s always a bad idea. Never delegate your relationships. That will screw you. I promise. And so in February and March of 2019, both of those guys left, they sell my leads list. They sell my IP. They sell my customer list and basically took us from 120. After that hit, we dropped to 60. And then I was like, I don’t even want to be doing this, but I didn’t have the courage to let the team members and the employees that I had just go. So while I was trying to figure it out, we ended up bottoming out the business in a lot of ways, because they were creating tons of friction. This is a small niche that we were working within. So they were just trash talking, right? All these things happen, all these external things that don’t really matter, but they do for certain reasons. But we get to the point basically of where I have a run rate, that’s negative for three months, I got $200,000 in the debt. Now I have never had debt in my life, zero. Besides some student loans or a mortgage, but never business debt, never credit card debt personally or anything like that. Never. So I don’t even know how to deal with this problem. And within three months, we basically go to that kind of debt. And that was an earth shaker for me. And I kind of maintain the entrepreneurial, uninformed optimist. I don’t really know how bad it is, so I’ll just – let’s just keep going and we’ll just, we’ll solve it. And from the the summer until December, it was one of the hardest time periods of my entire life. I had to make a lot of really hard decisions and I had a lot of arguments with God around, what do you want me to do? And I think that spiritual or that source connection is really important because it helps you navigate some of these tough waters. And when I asked the question, it was like, I want you to pass for entrepreneurs. And that was a very, very hard thing for me to accept. Because I had one dirty word mixed with something that I really loved and was passionate about. And so in December of 2019, I made the decision. I’m going to show up and I’m going to mentor entrepreneurs and help them basically not relive the same mistakes that I have. And it was at the end of the summer that I went from looking back on my life for the last six months. I went from making 150K a month with 70% profit, whatever, to not being able to afford a $30 meal. And I was sitting across from one of my buddies who lives in Denver who’s a photographer, who’s a freelancer, like 60, 70K a year. And he had to pay for my meal. There was a moment where I promised myself this will never happen again. And I remember that so vividly and it wasn’t – it did hurt on a humility level, but there was also a surrender to the process at that point. And that’s where things started to shift because the beautiful thing in the story is that the pain that I had led to the promise of what my purpose was. And so we all have to go through these seasons and sometimes it reroutes the journey. It’s like being on the highway with the GPS and it recalculates and pulls you a different way. And then you find out, Oh my gosh, there was a huge boulder that fell on the highway. Thank God this thing, this GPS rerouted us for a reason that we didn’t even know in the moment. And so that’s kind of how I feel that life works in a very similar way. Sometimes we get rerouted and we don’t understand. We want to be frustrated in the moments of uncertainty and then just, Oh, everything’s perfect. This too shall pass on both sides. And that’s something we have to have the perspective.
Tim Jordan: And we as humans hate change, but we also do a lot of boneheaded things. We make a lot of mistakes. And I think that what you’re saying is something that I think deep down I know, but even myself, it’s hard for me to remember that. I have the confidence of an entrepreneur and I have these what I think are great ideas, but I also hold on too long. I keep trying to make this work and I keep trying to fix it. And I keep trying to right the wrongs and I keep trying to do all these things and sometimes you got to take it out back and shoot it so to speak. And having something ripped from you, having to say no to something, having to stop something that you felt so passionately about or something that was working for so long is hard. But in my experience, every time that’s happened to me, I came out better on the other side. And people make comments like, wow, you seem so much happier now. You don’t seem as stressed. And once I get over my own bull crap and I get over this – my own personal feeling of failure, I realize nobody else cares. I’m the only one that considers myself a failure because there’s nobody else gives a crap. Right. And I think that we worry too much about what our idea of what we’re supposed to be doing is instead of things letting take their natural course, whether it’s destiny or divine intervention, or just good luck, whatever it is. So you’re only six, seven months out from kind of this bottom point in your life. And right now, you would’ve never guessed six months ago that you’d be as happy and content, I assume, as you are right now.
Nick Cavuoto: Yeah, man. Totally not. Yeah. I mean, December comes around, I fully commit and I’m like, alright, you know what, if that’s what you want me to do, I’ll do it. Fine. Right. It’s kind of that argument with God in my basement where I’m like 1:30 in the morning, I’m screaming. What do you want from me? My wife probably thinks I’m totally losing it. So I got clarity though, in that moment, that’s the crazy thing is I got clarity. I don’t care where you get clarity from, I don’t care what you believe in. Sometimes you got to lean in at a different level in order to get a different response. And I did. In an instant, I got the clarity and then I said, fine, I’m going to commit to it. So went to my coach and I said, Hey man, listen, this is what I feel like I’m supposed to do. I love your model. Do you mind if I leverage it in order to start this coaching side, just to get me through the season. And he’s like, sure. And at this point, I probably still had 30K a month from the agency that we had, but that’s a far shot from where we started at the end of the year. But it was enough to still take care of home. They were still kind of a safety net there. And he’s like, sure, just get three people. Just start there, here’s the price you do at four. And let’s go. My coach, his name’s Mike Kim, he’s one of the best copywriters in the planet, associated with Todd Herman, Donald Miller, and Michael Hyatt, John Maxwell, all those guys. So he’s like the genius behind a lot of them. And so, basically he says, yes, and here’s what you can do. Go for it. I closed 35 clients in 35 days into coaching. And now mind you, I had never coached before in the context of business, I knew business really well, but at the same time, I just knew that there was something special about my ability to coach or mentor or whatever, because of my past. I was leading people through divorces at 23, 24 years old. That’s not normal, right. To understand human behavior on that level of the effects of spirituality in life. It also pulls into the effects of business in life in a very similar way. So I was like, Hey, let’s go ahead and do this. He says, get three people. I get 35 in 35 days. And he’s like, Oh my God, what did you just do? And he loved it. He thought I was amazing. And so we go through month one, boom, we crush it. We have a video crew come out just these incredible expressions. I remember the first call, the guy, one of the guys who gave me the job at the first business that I worked for that was a competitor to Invisalign. He was on that call with me. So cool. How people boomerang in your life. And he goes, dude, I think you just found your calling.
Nick Cavuoto: And that was such a cool moment of the solidification of that decision. And also in a completely different vertical in space. And sometimes we jump verticals or we go into different spaces, there’s ultimate alignment here. It feels really amazing. So month one, boom. We crushed it. I do an upsell. We’re going to do a hundred K that quarter. Group two goes, we do a live event in Denver as well, crush it. It’s amazing, beautiful production of these videos. Group three hits just about to do their live event. It’s right in the middle to the end of March. So now we have COVID. So I just build a business that was predicated on coaching and live experiences. And now it’s like, Oh, let me take that. Oh, no, by the way, the 30,000, $40,000 a month that you have an agency, let’s erase that overnight. And in two days I lost 500 grand recurring in two days. At the end of March, I’m sitting there, I have $4,000 committed for April 1st. I have kids in private school, I have a million dollar house because--
Tim Jordan: Denver’s not cheap.
Nick Cavuoto: Right. Denver. If you start adding it up, life didn’t just stop because Oh, I had some circumstance or COVID, or this or that or whatever. It didn’t stop. And then you have the argument of, but that’s what you told me to do. And now I’m left with nothing hard stuff. And most of the people – this is the epidemic and entrepreneurship. These conversations don’t happen because you got to keep the highlight reel with the Ferrari so that you can try to get the person to show up for the Airbnb mansion that’s not even yours. That conversation’s done.
Tim Jordan: And I’ve seen that topic that you’ve discussed before. I think you called it the entrepreneur epidemic. This inability for entrepreneurs to have the hard conversations to speak truth, to be realist and be realistic. Can you explain more about, not necessarily about you, but let’s talk just marketing in general. You’re in the marketing space. Let’s talk more about what you view as truly being the entrepreneur epidemic, the problems that it causes in society and how we as entrepreneurs need to fix that.
Nick Cavuoto: Yeah. I mean, here’s the bottom line. The epidemic is that the conversations that need to be had are not being had just like there’s an epidemic in the United States in regards to mental health and a lot of ways. Everybody has to feel this way. So let me be careful how I say this, but it feels like there’s a lot of people who feel like they have to project a certain image or avatar to the world in order to show up as who they are. And it’s just not true. I mean, one of my best friends who’s in the internet marketing space has been, he’s been an entrepreneur for 20 years. He’s like, I have felt I can’t be who I am because I have to project the image that I’ve created digitally. And that sucks. That is not a life worth living. Not that I’m suggesting that you end it, but I’m suggesting that you fix it. And that’s a huge part of this story, man is that the stories of failure for me going 150K did – not being able to afford a $30 meal. You think that’s a fun story for me to tell, like, that sucks. It brings up a lot of stuff, but I know it’s going to help somebody who feels they’re there right now. One of my best friends in the world is Marion Jones. The Olympic runner from Sydney. If you go back to that story, now she goes around the world telling her story and it’s about failure. And I remember asking her a question and I was like, Marion, this has got to be amazing for you to go and tell your story. She’s like, you think it’s amazing for me to travel the world and talk about my failure? And that’s the mind of a champion. So I’m looking at it going like, man, these conversations had to have to be had because it’s either going to give someone tremendous hope to not throw in the town themselves on their family, on the relationship, on their marriage, on their business, whatever it is or it’s going to show them that the path is not easy, but it’s worth it. Because my story didn’t end at $4,000 in April. I probably wouldn’t be having this conversation if that was the case. It’s like, that’s the thing is their swings that happen. And so there’s an epidemic where we don’t necessarily talk about spirituality. There’s an epidemic where we don’t talk about failure. There’s an epidemic where we don’t talk about just actually showing up as your authentic self digitally, and actually giving a crap about the people that you serve. It’s important. The best marketing strategy ever is to care. If you truly authentically give a crap, people will be able to see it because we’re wired to notice what’s different. And most people do not show up in that way. That’s part of what I’m charging now. I feel like people have a mandate. I feel like people have a significant level of a calling that they’re supposed to objectively complete in the world. And so when I pack that punch, it really helps awaken what’s deeper inside of you. Who cares if it creates an uproar? Who cares if it flips your current business? Because I promise you on the opposite side of that is a promise. And that promise is so much more worth it than just projecting and just standing out in the world, pretending you have to be someone who you’re not.
Tim Jordan: I agree. It’s tough. It takes a lot of courage for sure. And one thing that I’m learning in life is everybody’s got some crap they deal with. Everybody, whether it’s history, whether it’s present, whether it’s mistakes they’ve made, whether it’s bad luck they’ve had, we’ve all got it. And I do feel like, especially in the world of social media, especially as it pertains to marketing is everybody has to put on that face and they have to put on that tough facade and entrepreneurs are actually held to a different level. Cause we see the big success stories and the Mark Zuckerberg’s and all these people and the Jeff Bezos’ of the world and we implement this own standard on ourselves. That’s not appropriate. It’s not realistic. And we assume we have to have that level of “success”. But even those guys aren’t talking about the miserable failures I had and the debilitating anxiety and stress and all that stuff. And I think you’re right. And I think that not only does it create a scenario in which we need to cover up our own shortfalls and cover up our own insecurities and cover up our own struggles, but it creates an unrealistic expectation of excellence. So the first time we launch a failed product, the first time we have a failed campaign, the first business that we have that fails, we throw in the towel and we assume, well, crap, I’m not cut out for this. I can’t do it. Everybody else did it. Why can’t I? I’m too stupid. I’m not educated enough. I don’t have the support system that I need. There is a reason why I can’t do this. And I think that it’s a massive fallacy that we fall under just because we’re not being realistic because the people that we’re watching aren’t being realistic.
Nick Cavuoto: Yeah. It’s that repetitive loop of the paradigm is to fit this box. But if you don’t, then how do you compete? I flip that whole entire methodology on its head. When I coach people on the seven steps to build a seven figure personal brand, the first thing that I start with is the story. It’s a very first thing that I started with. I didn’t get into full story. My dad was a drug dealer until he was 30. That’s what I grew up in. You see what I’m saying? He had to go re-engineer the way that he lived life and find a greater purpose and find a connection to source that would pull them out of those things. That’s all he knew. He has an eighth grade education. So when people start telling their story, it creates context to their failure and it creates context to their success. And so my thing, I go real and raw is better than authentic. So I teach people how to get in front. Content creates relationships, relationships build trust, and trust drives revenue. That’s the coaching process that we go through and it’s like, okay. So how do I go? How do I go connect with my audience in a greater way? My first thing is tell a personal story that’s vulnerable that creates transparency between you and your audience. So the minute that you lead with that punch, okay, now you’re breaking down all the invisible walls and here’s the crazy thing. Your community responds in a way that you’ve never seen them respond before. And the second thing is it frees you because we all have these skeletons in our closets where I don’t want to tell that story. I don’t want to do that thing. I don’t want – why are we diffusing the way that human behavior suggests that we connect with other people? If you walk into a bar and you see a girl that’s attractive and you’re like, Hey, I’m going to walk up and, “nice shoes want to—” how many times does that work for somebody? One out of a hundred, one of a thousand? What are the chances of success in that? And also, how are you energetically showing up in the world? It has a net-net failure, lose-lose situation. Yet, typically when we meet someone, we try to find common ground. We try to find an area of where we can actually connect with them on a basis that’s human and not just what can I get or give into this relationship. And that’s the problem is when we show up in the world trying to project, trying to show an image that’s not true, trying to whatever. What you’re doing is you’re setting yourself up for failure because it is a they want something from you relationship and they become energy vampires and they literally will suck the life out of you. And that’s what happened to my agency. It wasn’t centered on purpose. It was centered on profit. And what did I get? Energy vampires, people who just wanted to take, employees who wanted to take. We had clients who just wanted to take, they felt it was the next big shiny thing. And it was the absolute biggest misstep that ever made as a business owner, but lesson learned. And so now I show up in the world very differently.
Tim Jordan: Man, that’s powerful stuff. I feel like you’re preaching to the choir today. You’re telling me stuff that I need to be reminded of consistently. And I appreciate that. So the truth is you’ve had ups and downs and another truth is you’re going to have other downs. That’s just the nature of life. It’s the nature of business. That’s the nature of being a human, those ups and downs are going to continue to happen. But one of the most important tools that we have according to you to handle the downs, especially are relationships, right? So relationships can be used in the low times, but relationships can also be used to create more good times. Right. So the term I know you use is relationships are rocket fuel. Can you explain that a little bit and just kind of stress the importance of relationships?
Nick Cavuoto: Yeah, man. So the whole idea in relationships are rocket ships, where it came from was that I was actually sitting in San Diego at a meet up with my mastermind. And it was right after I had closed those 35 clients in 35 days. Now sitting there with my coach and I was pretty emotional in that moment. And I just said, he was like, so what’s your recap on the weekend? And I was like, I don’t know, man, relationships are rocket ships because without you and without your leadership and without your mentorship, with no strings attached, he’s the best coach, best mentor I’ve ever had in my life, no strings attached. I would not be sitting here today. I would have not just hung out with Billy Jean, Todd Herman, all these huge people in this industry, if it wasn’t for you creating access and opportunity. And there was just a massive indebtedness. He’s a very – how do I say it? He likes to pull people under his wing that he knows can thrive in that type of environment. And that’s what he’s done for me. And so, he’s just been an incredible, incredible person, but through that experience, it led me to where I’m at today. And so that’s where we were six months ago, he took me under his wing. He said and do this thing. I show up. And then I meet more people who are important in this space about my own relationship. Start doing work for them. When it was done for you model still. But then when we fast forward to today, I asked him a question. It was in June and I said, Hey dude, listen. I don’t want to keep focusing on building frameworks. I feel like I’ve been in this two year cycle of trying to figure out my product. I’ve used a segment of your IP that you’ve never released. It’s going to be coming out in a book in December. But I said, I’m going to – I want to present to you the opportunity to be able to use that IP and then pay you a percentage of my business. I said, but in order to do that, here’s what I need from you. A three-year commitment. I need you to understand that I feel that my mission is to train 500,000 entrepreneurs on this system, right. I start listing off the things that I believe are possible. And I said, if there’s one of these things that you do not believe then I’m going to end this conversation right now, I don’t ever want to talk about it again. That was a commitment to myself to show up and to be able to say if the person who I believe believes the most amount of me as a business owner, as a coach, as somebody who can create a lot of change in the world, if I can adopt his belief system in a weak moment, but also at the same time, really get crystal clear on what I believe is possible for myself. And there’s a grant, like this thing’s going to be really easy. And so same guy, right? This is the same guy that helped me way back when I was struggling and he said like, just get three people. So I go to them and I’m like, so this is the deal. Is this something you want to do? And do you believe these things? And he said, absolutely. 1000%. He said, in fact, you’ll probably be better known for my IP than I ever will. And he said, I’m totally okay with that. Don’t ever mention my name on the stage. That’s integrity. And the other side of the integrity coin is the fact that he knows that I will. So, I already have today. So that’s the benefit, right? So at the end of the day, just about a couple weeks ago, he had me go into a segment coaching of this kind of three tiered structure on product.
Nick Cavuoto: It starts with one on ones, go to group programs and then go to accelerators of courses. So he’s like, I just want you to get three or four people, same type of thing in one-on-ones. You’re going to do it for this cost and whatever. So I’m like, okay, I closed 12. And I had the best sales week that I’ve ever had in my life. In five days, I closed over $125,000 in business. So the benefit of that is I made deposits along the way. I kept relationships. High relationships are rocket ships that applies to the people that you have in your life or a mentoring training, collaborating with you. And it also applies to the people that you’re called to lead. I’m going to help them ascend by my own ascension. I’m going to help them get to the next level by the investment that I created myself, energetically. I’m going to help them push through that season of discomfort, just like I was able to do with my coach. And so the necessary elements of what’s required in order to experience a high level of growth are all of those individual elements, the people that you serve, the frameworks that you use, and of course, then the people who lead you. And so if you’re not in relationship, if you’re playing in this isolation, lone wolf, I got everything on my own game. It’s kind of like if you’re at a party in college or high school and someone swings out of the corner and knocks you out and you don’t see it coming, that’s kind of what happens. So that moment, you want someone to step in and to be there for you and to whether you have a hundred people behind you or you just have one dedicated person who’s there to help you in that moment. It’s something to just be very aware of. So the people around you, that’s where your whole diamond field is. You have all of these amazing relationships. If you’ve invested in relationships and been vulnerable and are willing and able to ask for help, that’s the whole concept on relationships are rocket ships. The people around you will take you where you want to go?
Tim Jordan: I feel like we could keep going deeper and deeper and deeper. One of the last things you said, be willing to ask for help is one of the biggest struggles that I have. And it hurts me. I know it is. We don’t have time to dive in that deep, but you got another. So I’ll tell you one of the biggest takeaways I’ve come from here. And I appreciate you jumping on here, being willing to share your story, share your advice, share your wisdom. Biggest takeaway is I need to go find a mentor. Now I look at everything I’m doing like I’m operating on a fairly high level and a lot of things, but it’s all kind of independent and I don’t have a central mentor. So that’s – I wrote it down here on my to-do list.
Nick Cavuoto: I’d love to make an intro for you if you’re open to it. Tony Grebmeier is actually one of my mentors. He runs shipoffers.com, which is a 25, 30 plus million dollar eCommerce fulfillment center. And he’s a phenomenal person. He has, Oh my gosh, a beautiful story but he’s also had a ton of success and I just went on a walk with him this morning and he’s my neighbor. He lives down the street from me. And so he’s starting to mentor people. And so one thing that I’ll mention is Mike is my central advisor, just like you have to, as the president, they have a lot of advisors, but probably one person they listened to the most. That for me has been Mike. He has the most context on my life and all of those things, but now I have five. I have five mentors, financial, there’s one for products and IP. There’s one for partnership deals. There’s one for spirituality. And then there’s one for – who’s the last one? Who am I going through here? Okay. All right. So then the last one is on sales. So it’s mostly different types of sales objectives and things I’m doing. I just did a post about this the other day. So having the right people in your corner is important, but I want to remind you, brother. Tiger woods has four coaches just for his swing. The best of the best of the best. They have so many people covering their blind spots and also helping them improve that no one makes it so low. Give me one athlete. Just one athlete who has made it to the highest level and been one of the greats of all time that had zero help along the way. They don’t exist, man. I’m watching the Michael Jordan documentary right now. And like, it’s amazing. They’re going through each player and how the coaches interacted with them. It’s so powerful, dude. So if you’d like it, I’d love to introduce you to Tony, just to set up a conversation. And for anybody else listening, if you do not have a mentor, please find one as soon as possible. I’m navigating people through some of the craziest stuff you could ever imagine, during COVID and all these times both personal and professional. There’s a lot around the world and we need people that we can hold onto when the storms of life get really rough. And so it’s an honor that I’m there for people in that way. And at the same time, I want to encourage each and every one of you to do the same.
Tim Jordan: Correct. Great man. Great content. Great advice here. I really appreciate this. If anybody wants to get in touch with you, how do they find you?
Nick Cavuoto: You guys can check out my site. nickcavuoto.com. And my last name is spelled C A V, as in Victor, U O T O. And you can check me out there, Facebook, Instagram, also on my website I have. There is a giveaway that I have on there. It’s called the 13 types of content every entrepreneur needs to create. And I was talking earlier about the personal story. That’s the first step in it. And there’s 13 different types. Most people just kind of go in for the kill, buy my stuff. But I show you using human behavior and psychology, how to start at one and go to 13, just like if I was coaching you in dating and I’m like, alright, here’s the steps you need to take to build the relationship. It’s the same thing. So it’s really, really valuable. A lot of people love it. It’s a great framework on how to create content and that’s what’s helped myself. Plus the clients that I’ve served, generate over a billion views online. It’s a very similar process. So definitely check that out. nickcavuoto.com, and otherwise just send me a DM online and more than happy to connect with anybody who’s out there. So the absolute honor.
Tim Jordan: Of you that are watching on YouTube, we’ve got all those links and all those different tags and everything in the show notes, check that out. For those of you listening to just the audio podcast, you don’t have that luxury. You’ll have to memorize it and go check it out. Nick, thank you so much for being on. All you listeners, we appreciate you listening. Make sure to leave a review, thumbs up this thing, whatever you have access to, depending on whatever platform you are so that it gets shared more. We would appreciate that. Nick, thanks again. We’ll see you guys on the next episode of AM/PM.