In today’s conversation, I’m speaking with Robert Glazer. Bob is the CEO of Acceleration Partners, a global affiliate agency trusted by some of the world’s top brands to manage their partner marketing programs. In addition to serving their clients at the highest level, Acceleration Partners has built a reputation on being known for their incredible company culture, and they’ve been recognized globally with culture awards year after year. In fact, Bob was ranked #2 on Glassdoor’s list of Top CEO of Small & Medium Companies in the US.
Bob is also the author of Elevate: Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others, a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, the host of the “Elevate” podcast, and the author of the “Friday Forward” newsletter – five minutes of inspiration and motivation read by over 100,000 people in 60 countries each week.
If you’re looking to grow as a financial advisor, leader, and author, Bob’s proven framework and ideas, as well as the lessons he learned as his life changed along the way, make today’s conversation a must-listen.
Here are 3 of my big takeaways from this episode:
- #1: How Bob turned a weekly newsletter into a Wall Street Journal bestselling book. [08:26]
- #2: Bob’s unique 4-Part Elevate framework for holistic training – and how you and your team can use it to find spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional balance, build momentum, and excel in life. [12:30]
- #3: What Bob did to build an award-winning company culture that defines his business – including the unique concept of transitioning employees out of your business versus firing them. [58:05]
- [13:23] Bob’s unique 4-Part Elevate framework for holistic training – and how you and your team can use it to find spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional balance, build momentum, and excel in life.
- [20:44] Why it’s so hard for leaders to let certain tasks go as their roles and responsibilities change in a growing business – and how to recruit incredible talent to fill in gaps where you no longer have the time to do it yourself.
- [26:23] How affiliate marketing works – and what makes Bob’s company’s approach different from many other players in his industry.
- [33:22] Why Bob stayed with his FA, even after she decided to leave her firm to go out on her own. Big lesson here for those of you building your practice on the importance of taking care of your A players!
- [45:41] How Bob uses TINYpulse to collect regular and anonymous feedback from staff members – and why this is a great tool for small businesses to gauge feedback and satisfaction.
- [50:14] Why millennial and Gen Z employees need a strong sense of purpose to thrive within organizations – and the fatal flaws that can lead to massive turnover.
- [58:05] What Bob did to build an award-winning company culture that defines his business – including the unique concept of transitioning employees out of your business versus firing them.
- [1:08:16] How Bob writes from an authentic point of view as a CEO, author, and marketer – and why no one reads pre-produced newsletters.
- [1:12:35] Why Bob hopes our current feeling of being always available is a thing of the past in 2045.
- [1:15:41] What Bob has learned from hosting his own podcast.
- [1:22:55] Why understanding and being yourself is the one thing Bob truly believes has led to his success up to this point.
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Acceleration Partners
- Glassdoor Company Profile
- Elevate: Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others (Ignite Reads)
- Friday Forward
- Performance Partnerships: The Checkered Past, Changing Present and Exciting Future of Affiliate Marketing
- Mastermind Talks
- The Miracle Morning
- The Compound Effect
- Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool For Aligning Your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future
- Metronome Growth Systems
- Stillness Is the Key
- Hustle 2.0
- Jayson Gaignard
- Todd Herman
- Joey Coleman
- John Ruhlin
- Hal Elrod
- Jim Rohn
- Darren Hardy
- Cameron Herold
- Garry Ridge
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Ryan Holiday
- Cal Newport
- Philip McKernan
- Cat Hoke
- Michael Kitces
REVIEW OF THE WEEK
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Welcome to this episode of The Elite Advisor Blueprint Podcast with your host, Brad Johnson. Brad’s the VP of Advisor Development at Advisors Excel, the largest independent insurance brokerage company in the US. He’s also a regular contributor to InvestmentNews, the Wall Street Journal, and other industry publications.
[00:00:26] Brad Johnson: Welcome to The Elite Advisor Blueprint, the podcast for world-class financial advisors. I’m Brad Johnson, VP of Advisor Development at Advisors Excel, and it’s my goal to distill the best ideas and advice from top thought leaders and apply it to the world of independent financial advising. In today’s conversation, I’m speaking with Robert Glazer. Bob is the CEO of Acceleration Partners, a global affiliate agency trusted by some of the world’s top brands to manage their partner marketing programs. In addition to serving their clients at the highest level, Acceleration Partners has built a reputation on being known for their incredible company culture, as they’ve been recognized globally with culture awards year-after-year. In fact, Bob is currently ranked as Glassdoor’s Top 50 Highest Rated CEOs for Small & Medium Businesses. And I made sure to link to his company’s Glassdoor profile, just so you all could check it out. It’s in the show notes, as I’m not sure if this could be any better if Bob hired a writer themselves to actually write them up and it speaks to the success of much of what we cover in this chat.
So, besides running a company, Bob is also the author of Elevate: Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others. It’s a USA today and Wall Street Journal bestseller. He’s also the host of the Elevate Podcast, the author of a weekly email newsletter called Friday Forward that is read by over 100,000 people in 60 countries each week. So, if you’re looking to grow as a leader, Bob’s proven framework and ideas and the lessons he shares here today taken from how he’s evolved as a CEO, I promise you’re going to get a ton out of today. It’s a must listen. Here are three of my big takeaways from this episode. Number one, how Bob turned what was a weekly newsletter, the Friday Forward, into a Wall Street Journal best-selling book. Number two, Bob’s unique four-part elevate framework and how you and your team can use it to find spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional balance in life.
[00:02:24] Brad Johnson: And number three, what Bob did to build an award-winning company culture that defines his business. In fact, we get into unique ideas like the idea of transitioning employees out of your company versus firing them. Okay. Before we get to the show, as an aside, it was really a bit surreal relistening to this episode, as it was recorded in February prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, so especially at the end, where Bob and I talk about what we look back on and find absurd about 2020. Little did we know what was coming around the corner. So, it was just a great reminder to me that no one can predict what the future holds so we really need to live in the one place you can impact as much as possible, and that’s the present. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, which is why we call it the present.” – Bil Keane. Okay. Lastly, a gift Bob was kind enough to make available to all you, blueprint listeners. He was kind enough to send me a box of autographed copies of his latest book, Elevate: Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others.
If you would like your free copy, here’s what to do next. Number one, I just ask that you leave an honest review out on iTunes or another one of your favorite podcasting apps. I know Spotify is making a lot of news lately. So, if you’re listening out there, whatever you can do out there, follow and like. To make it easy, there’s a graphic right at the top of our show notes, BradleyJohnson.com/81 or if you’re listening on a mobile player, most times just simply scroll down. There’ll be a link in the show notes. Once you’ve left a review, just drop us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org with your iTunes username. Or if you happen to be leaving it on another service, just screenshot it and the best mailing address and we’ll drop you a copy in the book as a thank you. That simple. Also, quick apology to our international listeners who have been kind enough to leave reviews. One of these days we’ll get a distribution partner somewhere across the pond and make it easy to get you all books too. But for right now, they’re just too crazy expensive to ship.
[00:04:27] Brad Johnson: So, if you want to support Bob, just go grab a copy at your local bookstore or out on Amazon. So that’s it. As always, thanks for listening and without further delay my conversation with Robert Glazer.
[00:04:43] Brad Johnson: Welcome to this episode of The Elite Advisor Blueprint. I have special guest with me here today, Bob Glazer. Welcome to the show, Bob.
[00:04:50] Robert Glazer: Thanks, Brad. Thanks for having me.
[00:04:52] Brad Johnson: Well, it’s like we’ve been two ships passing and it was funny how we connected. I think you have a company that you work for that, “Hey, here’s Bob. Would you like to have him on the show?” And I was like, “Man, that name sounds super familiar.” And so, we connected and come to find out we both had been at Jayson Gaignard’s Mastermind Talks and just never actually connected out there. So, Jayson has a very cool lens of how he invites a group of people into there. So, it was like you’re already vetted before I even knew you.
[00:05:21] Robert Glazer: Same thing to me. I was like I know the name of this firm. I’ve seen it like four people mentioned it to me. I think Todd Herman just mentioned something so it’s funny. Yeah, it’s a small world.
[00:05:30] Brad Johnson: Well, many of your past podcast guests have spoken. Joey Coleman, John Ruhlin, so, yeah, it’s always cool when I meet mutual acquaintances or I feel like we’re already friends. So, with that in mind, I’d love to hear the first thing is I was really preparing for this conversation, man, you got a lot of things going on.
[00:05:48] Robert Glazer: Sounds like my life.
[00:05:49] Brad Johnson: You’re a CEO of a company named Acceleration Partners that’s been basically globally recognized multiple culture awards over and over and over and so, obviously, we’re going to get into that today but then at the same time, besides just being a CEO, you’ve got a personal brand and platform. We’re going to get into your book, Elevate, that just came out in 2019. You have an Elevate podcast. You have Friday Forward, that’s a weekly email. So, my first question to you, man, is how do you get all this done? How do you balance it all? What are your priorities if I was to open up your calendar and look at it? I’d love to hear more.
[00:06:28] Robert Glazer: Yeah. So, they’re all connected I think more than would appear on the outside. This lends itself to the spiritual capacity component of Elevate which we’ll talk about but five or six years ago, through a pretty intense leadership program, I got really focused on my core values and really understanding those and sort of aligning my life in my business around what I wanted to do. And so, I really do the same things within my business and outside of my business. My core purpose is to share ideas that help people in organizations grow. So, there is the business of what we do, but for a lot of it for us, and for me is how we run the business and some of the cool things we’ve been able to do to let us win those awards. And those aren’t things that I want to like keep a trade secret. I want to try to share those personal experiences with other leaders in the organization so that we can have better companies, more engaged workforce, and to me, this sort of effort is around open sourcing some of those ideas.
So, a lot of the stuff that we do is Friday Forward has actually become very ingrained as part of our business even though I had nothing to do with it. Even our leadership training program is actually built around the capacities in the book, which not until I wrote it that I realized that’s what we had been doing all along in terms of our training. So, it is a little more connected and it might seem on the outset, but the other thing that I’ve realized is we’re in a world now, particularly from a professional service organization, when you think about millennials, and Gen Z and buyers, and they’re making decisions for product companies around what the company stands for and what they do, and we’re seeing that in the D2C space, I think that’s kind of starting to evolve in the B2B space too around someone being like, look, we know you’re good at X but I’m choosing the type of partner, the type of companies that has the sort of values that are important to me. So, we’ve seen a lot of anecdotes around how a lot of this stuff reaches actually into our business world that leads people to say, “Oh, like, that’s the type of company or people that we would want to work with.”
[00:08:26] Brad Johnson: So, let’s go into the origin story of Friday Forward because I think that was kind of the first organic way that you started to say, “Hey, I want to pour more into my company, my culture.” Can you share kind of how that came to be and what that’s evolved into today?
[00:08:41] Robert Glazer: Yeah. It’s kind of crazy looking back. So, it’s probably five years ago now. I’ve been saying four years for a couple of years, which means it’s probably five years. I went to this leadership program and one of the things that came out of it in terms of a lot of the sort of introspection was about really being intentional, a morning routine. I had been turned on to Hal Elrod’s book, The Miracle Morning, the person who ran that’s really focused on that in the morning, you should kind of get up and think and read and write and read something that’s positive or motivational. And we were given a couple of cookbooks or maybe Chicken Soup for the Soul or something like that. I was like it’s not really like my sort of motivational like it was a little too rainbows and unicorns for me, but I had some of these stories and quotes and things that I like. So, I actually just decided one week that I would combine these things so I make some of my writing like I come up with something each week and I’d send it to my team. We’re 30 or 40 people at the time. We’re distributed. It’d be a good way to stay in touch. So, I’d read a note. I think I called it Friday Motivation. I called it a bunch of different things initially.
But it wasn’t about the business. It was kind of a story or a push to do something or kind of really about personal and professional development holistically. I set it for a couple of months. I was enjoying writing it. I didn’t think anyone was reading it and I did start to get a note back from people saying, “Hey, I did this and it made a difference for me,” or, “I really enjoyed these notes. Thank you for sending them,” or, “I sent it to my husband and he shared it with his company,” or, “I sent it to my spouse and my mother-in-law loves these.” And so, I started getting some signals that it was going outside the company. A few months later, I was at an EO event and we were talking to some other CEOs about best practices and I said, “You know, I started this note to my team. It’s been good for me. People seemed to like it. It seems like a good practice. I’ll send you guys a copy if you want to see how it works.” And after the event, I did that and one of them said, “I really like this,” and he started his own and he’s been doing it for five years. The other three like good entrepreneurs said, “This is great. We’ll just forward this to our teams every Friday, like put us on the list.”
[00:10:43] Robert Glazer: And so, that’s when I thought it might have some external value. What I did was and I was kind of managing all this through DCC. There was no way to find the old ones unless people asked me about when I went through my sent mail. So, I just bought like a WordPress website and I set up a directory of the old ones. I decided to call it Friday Forward because it was being forwarded. I sort of renamed it and I set it up as a newsletter system, but like it just looking like an email. I didn’t want it to look like a newsletter, but I just wanted people to be able to sign up for it and I put a signup link. And I dumped about 100 to 200 friends and colleagues on it and I was expecting this sort of like unsubscribe what the hell is this kind of dilutes back, but I actually just started getting nice notes. A couple of months later a guy in EO had a column in Inc. and wrote this article. This is the only newsletter I read every week and suddenly I saw like 2,000 people sign up in a couple of days and then from there, we added some people that we did work-wise but it just started growing.
And I wake up and look at the little thing with pins and there’d be people opening it in 50 countries and I was getting messages from people all around the world saying, “Thank you. This hit me at the right place right time.” And so, that sort of up the expectation. So, that’s how it started. And then I went to write a compilation book of sort of the best of Friday Forward because kind of like musicians, right? You get known but then, or authors, but you think like, “I’m like, no one’s seeing these old ones,” which were like some good. I only had 200 people on the list when I wrote this one and I went out to a bunch of agents, and they said, “Interesting, but no one buys a compilation book.” And then I found one agent who also said the same thing, but he said, “Look, I really love this writing. You’re building a platform. What’s the story here? I think there’s a book behind this.” And so, I took some time and I started reflecting on how our business had really grown dramatically. My life had really started to change in the three, four years since I had done this.
[00:12:39] Robert Glazer: And also, I was, you know, through MMT I was around all these high performers and noticing some themes around what made them and other CEOs and business leaders really good at what they did. And I kind of realized it was all the same and why were these emails having an impact on people I didn’t know and these strangers and it all actually boiled down to the same answer for me, which was the sort of framework I was using that I was seeing in the high performers that we were using as a training vehicle for the team at our company. And reaching these people was all the same thing. It was these four elements of capacity and they were consistent and actually, I’ve since taxonomized all the Friday Forwards into those buckets saying like these stories, I’ll touch one of these areas, which is kind of all part of the system. So, it took a while but it all kind of came together for me and sort of the framework of Elevate. And we even like when we always talked about how we built up people holistically, I didn’t have the term capacity building at the time, but we now use that and when we’re talking about training. We even use the nomenclatures of kind of spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional.
[00:13:41] Brad Johnson: Yeah. So, let’s hit that because I did love the simplicity and when you say Elevate, you’re talking about the book so for those joining on video, I’m holding it up here. So, before again, where spiritual number one, intellectual number two, physical number three, emotional number four. And I love the analogy, the little simple diagram. Yeah. Can you just share that just kind of how the balance works and how the momentum can be created based on that balance?
[00:14:08] Robert Glazer: Yeah. So, these are interconnected but they also go in logical order like, I think, if you’re trying to make these changes, I actually think you want to sort out the spiritual piece before you dive in the other piece and there are very poignant reasons for that. But if you think about a ball that’s inflated and then someone pointed out to me, it needs to be gas, not air because you’re talking about mass, right? And all of these things lose a little bit of air over time. If you’re constantly working on all of them and they grow sort of in unison, your ball is going to have a lot of mass and roll fast. If you got one that’s way down, and one that’s way up, it’s going to be really lopsided and they’re really interconnected, right? I can give you an entire narrative around what happens when one of these things falls off a cliff and you’re doing really well in the other ones. You really need, we’re all weakest in one at different times like I really, ironically, like in the rollout of this book like damaged my physical capacity in doing that for two months.
So, we go through cycles but I actually think awareness of where we’re kind of off or need the improvement is helpful because when you get them all working in a system, you’re really humming. And so, would it be helpful for me to just define them all quickly?
[00:15:20] Brad Johnson: Yeah. Let’s hit that though real quick because I think the idea of this wheel is not new. You know, Jim Rohn had it. Darren Hardy used it in his book, The Compound Effect, but what I loved about your book, I’ve always looked at it where it’s like a ranking system, and it’s like this wheel with spokes and where are your shortfalls but I’ve never actually heard it in any other books where it’s something in motion. And if you think about that same wheel with spokes, if one spoke was longer, and the other one was shorter, it’s going to be this wobbly, super, like inefficient wheel and to your analogy, like a beach ball with four different chambers in it, we’ve got to make sure that things equally inflated and when it is, there’s balance there, and then you’ve got true momentum.
[00:16:02] Robert Glazer: Yeah. And you see someone who’s locked in on all four and they are usually humming. I mean, when you talk about even in spiritual I think I said in the book like if you’re at a party or an event and you ask 100 people what are your core values, your core purpose, 94 will look at you with a blank stare, four more may like come up with a couple of words, and the other two will just answer like, “My purpose is to whatever, whatever,” and I can promise you that person is doing something pretty extraordinary because they’re locked in and are very aware about what they’re doing. I’ve never met someone who can just rattle off their purpose who wasn’t super dialed in to kind of what it is that they were trying to achieve with their lives.
[00:16:44] Brad Johnson: So, let’s circle back to yours again because I think you kind of mentioned it earlier, but if you said, “Hey, this is mine,” how would you clearly state that?
[00:16:51] Robert Glazer: Yeah. And for me, it’s the opposite of a company. I think I said this too in the book like a company probably has a clear purpose of why it started. The founder, you start this because you’re just so frustrated with the education in the financial service industry or someone, dad has these, and they started an organization, right? So, they’re more clear about the purpose than the values. I think it’s easier for individuals to say, “Here are my core values,” and then there’s kind of a logical integrating layer that sits above that, that often comes from pain, like in talking to people about this over and over and over again, like it usually resonates with something that was deeply impersonal or impactful for them. Whether they’ve made the connection or not, I sat with a lot of people as they made the connection and you can just see the emotional reaction to it. So, for me, that hierarchy thing is to share ideas that help people and companies grow, right? That’s what excites me. That’s what gets me out of bed. That’s why I wrote the book. That’s why I’m here.
When I speak to a company, I say, “That’s why I’m here like you guys you’re paying me, which is great but if you leave here and you guys grow yourselves in the business because of this, like that’s intuitively what’s exciting to me.” And that’s why when we figure out something in our organization that we think is a really better way to operate a business like I intuitively want to share that with others.
[00:18:10] Brad Johnson: I thought it was interesting. I’d never thought about it this way but it made complete sense out of the book. You said it’s easier for a company to have a vision, to your point, that was some problem or some issue we’re trying to solve and then you back into kind of the core values, oftentimes later, where as an individual, it’s a lot easier to come up with core values, things you stand for, but then it’s kind of like you’ve got to be in the game a while before you figure out, “Hey, this is kind of my vision.” Do you feel that that’s pretty accurate in just about every scenario that you’ve run into?
[00:18:39] Robert Glazer: Yeah, and because it’s a process. So, spiritual capacity, it’s not religious for me. It’s what are your core values? What do you want most? And I think the most important thing any of us can do individually or in an organization or to become leaders is to be able to articulate our core values. I would argue that we know though. We have a bad feeling when they’re violated, if you actually made a list. When you actually figure them out and you lay that sort of piece of paper back on your report cards and all the things you do, like it fits perfectly, like worked, didn’t work, bad outcome, good outcome, but we don’t have the ability to articulate them and if we don’t know how to articulate them, we can’t use them and make decisions as accurately. And so, it requires some work to dig into that. But when you have the ability to articulate your core values, your decision making just reaches an entirely new level of particularly around what I’d say is the big three of like, who’s my partner? Where do I live? Where do I work? Like, these are decisions that if you don’t make align to core values probably aren’t going to end well.
And if you look back on bad choices in those areas that you can probably see that. But I think it is easier for people to see that and then think about, “Well, if I added all these things, what is the purpose? Or if I’m clear on the purpose, maybe because I know where it came from or what would a purpose be that served all of these values?” Because if I want to feel really good, I should pick an overarching purpose that says that if it fulfills all those values, then I’m really going to enjoy my achievement rather than be very successful at something that I don’t care about and it doesn’t matter.
[00:20:15] Brad Johnson: Yeah. I think, well, I know you know Cameron Herold. I’ve had Cameron Herold on the show. It’s kind of the whole idea of the vivid vision. You look out three years, whatever that timeline.
[00:20:24] Robert Glazer: We’ve finally done that and our company was game. It’s been incredible.
[00:20:27] Brad Johnson: Yeah. He’s come out and spoke at our events in some of our most successful offices. That’s been a big key of how do you motivate a team to run in one direction? Well, you got to paint the picture first. I think a lot of especially in our space, I’d be curious to know if you felt the same way. I mean, a lot of financial advisors, they start, they’re pretty much a one-man show with maybe a couple of people helping them out so very small business and pretty much doing everything like a startup company. Then once they have success and now the team starts to grow, it’s like, “Oh, shoot, I’ve got to not be a salesperson anymore. I’m a CEO now and now I have to actually motivate and inspire people to go this direction.” Was that the same journey that you had as an individual moving from a very small team to a bigger team and you had to kind of figure out how to do that? Or did you naturally always paint a vision?
[00:21:12] Robert Glazer: No. I was scared to death to let go. Once you start doing it, you get addicted to it. So, I was really at that point when I figured out my personal core values that we had grown a lot, but we were hitting some walls and I think when people go down the path of leadership, I think what they do is they collect a bunch of best practices from other people like I saw Brad do this and Emily do that and Lisa do that. And I put these things on and because it’s very logical like, “Oh, I respect this person.” And it wasn’t really until I went through that process of realizing like that really what only works in the long run is an authentic like values-driven leadership, which means intuitively that what you value is not for everyone. But if you can put it out there and say, “Here’s our vision, here’s what we value like can get the right people on that journey,” that’s where it all comes together. So, we actually cut our core values as a business from six to three, kind of went to everyone and said, “Here’s our vision. Here’s what we’re going. Like, if this excites you, it’s going to be a fun couple years. If it doesn’t, this is probably like a good time to exit left like no hard feelings, but like, this is what we want to do.”
And from that point, I just sort of became unapologetic for my leadership. This is who I am. This is what we want to do. We have a lot of great comments on feedback sites like Glassdoor and stuff but one of the things you can see people trying to like scare off the wrong type of person. I can say, “Look, don’t come here if you want X, Y, and Z. That’s not what we’re about. I think building a great culture is just being aligned between what you say, think, and do. And as a business leader, it’s really exhausting not to do that. Look, if you want a family-oriented culture and you want to see we treat everyone like family, then accept that you’re probably not going to be high growth and high performance because what you’re saying is like, it’s really about the relationship. It’s not about performance. And that’s fine. If that’s what you believe and you want to run that organization, but don’t recruit in like a top person, whatever, because they’re going to be really frustrated when you don’t deal with underperformers in that sort of environment.
[00:23:12] Robert Glazer: So, if you flew your flag in the right way, you wouldn’t get that person. I would say to people, if you’re a hyper-competitive person like kind of a jerk and that’s the culture you want, there’s plenty of people like that. So, it’s going to be like, “Look, here’s how it works here and this is the bonuses that some of the Silicon Valley companies that, “This is how it works here,” like 90% of the bonuses go to the top 10 producers and our events are about competition and it’s about outcomes and like that’s the game we’re playing because that’s who I am. The real problem is everyone’s stuck in between, between taking these words, putting them on the wall. not believing and not doing that, like it’s kind of exhausting and really not productive to say something that you don’t mean. Like, don’t say we believe in harmony and all this if you don’t actually believe that. You’re better off, I said it’s like universities, right? There are tons of great schools out there but the person who likes Dartmouth is probably not going to like Alabama is probably not going to like UC. They have different value propositions that appeal to different people.
[00:24:09] Brad Johnson: So, how many years ago was that kind of, hey, we’ve got this vision, we narrowed the core principles down to…
[00:24:17] Robert Glazer: That was sort of six years ago and then three years ago, we did that first Vivid Vision and sort of probably four to five between that, laying out that Vivid Vision and saying, “Here’s the company we’re going to build on the Cameron Herold thing,” and then just marching down that path.
[00:24:30] Brad Johnson: And how scary was that for you? Because I mean…
[00:24:34] Robert Glazer: Terrifying.
[00:24:34] Brad Johnson: For you to say it right now and say, “Hey, if you’re not aligned, exit stage left.” It’s one thing to say, it’s another thing to actually walk that.
[00:24:40] Robert Glazer: But I also felt like you feel like a little bit of a liar like, hey, we’re a 5 million revenue company, we’re going to build a $20 million company in three-and-a-half years, we’re going to be in five countries, we’re going to write a book called Performance Partnership, and we’re going to win Five Best Places to Work awards.
[00:24:54] Brad Johnson: That was all in the making?
[00:24:55] Robert Glazer: Yeah. I was told I was crazy and I felt a little bit crazy but what’s interesting was I always do the onboarding and I would read that to people and walk them through it when they started. And then, as we started doing that in the last six months, I’d say like, “Look, guys like just so you know like none of this was actually true. Now, it looks obvious because we’re in five countries and all.” So, I’m back at the cycle again. Now, we have a new one and we’re three months into the new one so I’m now kind of sharing the next view with people but it’s intimidating to put something out there like that. But to me, the great culture comes from a differentiated point of view like you should not shy away from having a differentiated point of view. Like, we believe in fee-only. You’re not going to make everyone happy but you’re trying to attract both the talent and the clients who resonate with that. Every small business I found, particularly services businesses trying to get to 10 million in revenue, that really focus on too many things, the ones that narrow down and just own one thing grow so much faster.
They get to that 10 million level, which is really where you start having real true enterprise value and you’re not doing everything. And then they can think about like they become world-class at one core thing and then they can think about the other things that they may want to do. But when they’re chasing way too many strategies early on, it almost inevitably slows down their growth.
[00:26:20] Brad Johnson: Awesome stuff. All right. Let’s transition. So, we were joking a little bit before we went live here. And so, your company plays in the affiliate marketing space which is not, you know, I wouldn’t say people hear affiliate marketing and get warm and fuzzies and I’m like, “Oh, that’s a noble cause.” Well, a great analogy there is financial services. I mean, I think a lot of the average consumer out there, here’s financial advisor and they think of like, “Well, what are they going to try to sell me? How are they going to try to take advantage of me?” And there’s a lot of distrust out there. So, how did you take an industry that didn’t have a great image and create an incredible company with an amazing culture inside of that? And does any of that apply to financial services where financial advisors could benefit from the same principles?
[00:27:07] Robert Glazer: Yeah, it’s funny. When you make that analogy and I picture the 80-year-old Dean Witter and the jacket, selling like exactly the sort of archetype that earns the bad reputation. That’s true for our industry. So, to me, that core of the affiliate model, which is paying for performance has always been like the smartest thing that you could do in marketing. If I told you, you could pay your marketing after you got your sales, you would say, “Well, of course, I would want to do that.” So, the concept of sort of aligning incentives around paying for performance has always been intriguing to me. There was a lot of people…
[00:27:40] Brad Johnson: Hey, Bob, and let me hit pause there real quick just because I’m assuming people know what affiliate marketing is. So, could you give an overview of what is affiliate marketing?
[00:27:49] Robert Glazer: Yeah. At its simplest form, affiliate marketing is almost using technology to kind of agree to a business development deal where there’s a publisher or a content site or someone who is able to has a user interested in something. They drive them through to a store or a service, that entire lifespan is tracked, and then they are paid when that person buys the product, signed up for the service, or otherwise. So, it is sort of like a tracked business development. So, really simple example, Amazon has probably the biggest affiliate program in the world. It’s probably 20% of their sales. You have me on this podcast. You do the show notes. You say Bob has these two books so you can be an Amazon affiliate, create affiliate links to those two books and as you’ve created the demand for my books, and if people click through from Amazon and buy those books, you will get 5% of the revenue from each of those books. So, that’s affiliate marketing nutshell. What we do is we help set up these programs for really large brands with hundreds or thousands of partners all sort of working on a contingency basis where they take some risk about promoting that product or service and they get paid on the upside.
Now, the bad name, the Dean Witter, whatever, equivalent comes from a lot of email marketers and people in that industry, selling lists, promoting nutraceutical stuff at 60% commission, and really just trying to sell people stuff they don’t need so they can get paid a commission. We work with like a large brand like a Target or otherwise who are paying 5%. I mean, not the type of money that creates these bad incentives but it’s kind of like when people throw affiliate marketing together, it’s kind of like saying marketing’s not good or online marketing, like there are tactics that are good and their tactics that are bad. So, we kind of came out years ago as an agency and said, “Look, this is a really valuable channel.” We think there are all these cowboy people out there. We don’t see a real white glove agency helping large brands tap into the power of a huge performance channel and performance partnership. So, we always joke that we kind of came out in this white-glove service in the market where people didn’t have hands and trying to convince people that a premium offering when they’re used to kind of a lot of these fly-by-night shops and people kind of offering help them out of their mom and dad’s basement, it was a different approach.
[00:29:57] Robert Glazer: But we made a bet, we stayed with that, and now these large brands are all coming in the marketplace looking for a professional agency to help them with a strategy and execution on these programs. So, we’re very honest about the dark side of the industry and the things that you shouldn’t do. And I think that’s one of the things for anyone is to sort of not to get into the pre-politic discussion we’re having but you have to reach over that line. You have to say I can say as someone who’s sort of tries to be out there representing the industry, that there are parts of the industry that I don’t agree with and don’t like what they’re doing, and I can’t universally approve of what everyone’s doing and I think that builds respect. I think people say they love the self-deprecating lawyer and they probably like the self-deprecating financial advisor who says, “Yeah, our industry has got some bad reputations for a reason, and here are the things that people have done.”
My financial advisor who’s incredible, so her entire motivation for being a financial advisor was that she was a finance major in college and was sort of a CFO and worked with probably one of these archetype financial advisors who totally ripped her off and she sold these very expensive underperforming products and was so frustrated that someone who had a finance degree sort of got hoodwinked. Talk about passion and pain. It became her purpose to totally flip the model and go out there and work with small business owners to educate them and run a totally different type of financial planning firm and she’s just doing extraordinarily well.
[00:31:25] Brad Johnson: Okay. So, I want to go into that because one thing I do know that the audience loves is the psychology of a successful business owner and why they chose their financial advisor. Before we go too deep there, though, if I really summarize what you just said there is if there’s bad images or preconceived notions from your potential clients, transparency is the answer and truth in saying, “Hey, there are different aspects of our industry that I don’t agree with but here’s what I stand for,” and back to the core values, “Here’s what we’re about and why.” If I was going to apply this lesson to financial advisors, is it transparency? And here’s what I stand for and why or is there more to it than that?
[00:32:06] Robert Glazer: Yeah. I think it’s some humility too. So, probably very similar analogy, we’ll get on the phone with people who’ve had a really bad experience with like a Gen1 affiliate program, and we’ll just acknowledge that, like, yeah, I can see why you’d be upset with that because there was conflict of interest, there were these guys had no value, there was attribution issues. And so, rather than I’m sort of honoring and agreeing with and I was like, “We agree. That’s why we do what we do because we thought all that stuff was BS, too.” And if you look at our writing and our position, whatever for years, we were actually against all that stuff. So, at the conferences are all jokes. I’ll say, “Look, I’ll tell you all the dirty secrets of the industry,” because this is why we built our business around that. But it’s also then on the flip side of not being all things to all people. I mean, our advisor, she has a very specific focus that resonates with a certain type of person and again, not trying to be everything to everyone.
But the flywheel of referrals within that segment really starts coming when you get known for being good at that and you understand the specific services that your clients want in that industry that you may not have even realized.
[00:33:20] Brad Johnson: Alright. So, let’s go deep there. So, a lot of advisors, there are what I would call growth mindset advisors, high-performance firms, which we work with a number of. You’ve got these different marketing channels. So, you said here is the marketing channel that I fell into to get introduced to my current advisor. What was that?
[00:33:39] Robert Glazer: That’s referrals. Our business is all referrals and so, originally, I got introduced to her. This is a good lesson too for owners. I got introduced to her because I had a friend in the forum who was a wealth manager and we were looking to make a change and there’s a conflict thing where that’s just not a good idea. And I said to her, “If I couldn’t hire you, who would you send me to?” They sent me this person who was at actually another firm and this is a very good lesson for all businesses and financial advisors, and she was spectacular. She was just on top of everything and became, I think that the sort of rainmaker at that firm, where the owner was able to be passive. I didn’t know the owner, I didn’t really know your team, like I really knew her, which was great. And then I think she was told she’d make partner and then that didn’t happen.
And again, if you have someone who’s delivering 90% of your business and you’re not involved like take care of them. Don’t be greedy about that stuff. I mean, set that up. And so, she said, “Look, I’m going out on my own.” The firm reached out to me and these classic cases of, “So, do you want to go with me and follow me to the new firm I’m starting which is a risk?” They were introducing themselves to me. They had not gotten on a call in years. They had not come to a meeting for years. It was like dealing with strangers, right? They didn’t know me, they didn’t know my business, they didn’t know my wife versus someone who had like completely invested in us for two years. And as an entrepreneur, I wanted to support her so that was like a really easy decision. So, to me, there are a lot of lessons in that in terms of like I would never want, you know, if you have someone that great, you should take the 20% and give them the 80%, not the other way around because they’re not going to pull the whole sled forever.
[00:35:32] Brad Johnson: Yeah. There’s a saying I have in our coaching is A-players are always free. A-players, they’re doing 10X with the standard person you get off the street with you so you don’t want to lose those people and that’s a good lesson right there is you went with the A-player that started their own firm.
[00:35:50] Robert Glazer: I think all her business has been referrals. Yeah.
[00:35:53] Brad Johnson: So, let’s go into now the context of if I was going to go after the niche market of a small business owner, a CEO type of personality like yourself, that’s obviously doing very well for yourself financially, but also juggling a lot, what are the niche services that that firm does that really keep you there, keep you happy, and serve you at a high level?
[00:36:13] Robert Glazer: Yeah. So, I think they’ve really settled in on the sort of personal family office kind of model understanding that my stuff is very connected. So, she will spend time with my wife, working on this sort of budget, and she will also work with people on our business, looking at our projections, our taxes. She even just did a whole financial literacy call for all of our employees because the number one thing that people said was they want to understand more about 401(k) and savings and so she did that. So, it is this holistic thing where, for me, it really is that sort of like personal family office where she knows everything is ingrained in everything. If something happened to me or otherwise, I have that one call quarterback who my wife trust implicitly, people in my business know and otherwise because for me, for a business owner, it is all super intertwined. And so, that was something that was really important to me. It’s actually not as much about, look, some of the investment stuff with all the things these days, all the ETFs and all that stuff like the investment piece is a commodity in some areas, right?
You can build a model portfolio. To me, the value-added is all of that other stuff and understanding that entire 360 picture and also having those relationships with my wife and my finance team and everyone being integrated. So, I have people reach out to me all the time pitching their service, “We have this big platform and come over to this,” and I’m like, “You’re kind of completely missing what I need and what this person does.” I don’t need esoteric investment products. What I really value is that I have a sort of integrated quarterback partner who understands all of these pieces, both to look at it and help me. And there was something last week, actually, even in the budgeting where she said, “The homeowners just looks really expensive to me what I’ve known about your house, like, let’s go to the insurance agent and ask them to run this.” Like, that’s just not something that I think a lot of people do.
[00:38:10] Brad Johnson: Well, it sounds like your advisor has an incredible relationship with you and a high level of trust. What does the rhythm of communication look like? Is it emails? Is it text check-ins? Is it quarterly meetings, annual meetings? What’s that?
[00:38:22] Robert Glazer: It’s quarterly in-person. I actually pushed her to do Zoom and stuff. I was like, “Look, we can do Zoom like you don’t have to come down here.” So, she had been actually doing the kind of going over some of the budget stuff with my wife each month. We move that to quarterly. So, it’s really more of a quarterly or otherwise but again, another just value-added service. We had talked about our kids had some funds to invest from their Bar Mitzvahs. She found some fun curriculum and actually sort of did a session with them on understanding the basics and investing and helped us work with them to pick four or five stocks in their accounts and like, actually focused on like helping us educate them. So, that’s another just, again, a non-standard service but this is the type of stuff that when you’re talking about like competence. I mean, this is the type of stuff where like someone comes to me and offers to do it for $1,000 less like, that’s not interested, right? If you’re in a commodity world, if you make yourself a commodity service, and someone offers it for $500 less, you’re at risk.
[00:39:25] Brad Johnson: Well, what it sounds like to me, you go back to your Friday Forward, you’re obviously a personal development junkie, as are a lot of uber-successful people in all industries. It sounds like what also is resonating, she’s actually become that for you. She’s helping develop your team at work and she’s pouring into them, your children, and to where it’s almost like she’s doing personal development from the finance side for your business and your family, which is a really cool aspect to that relationship.
[00:39:53] Robert Glazer: Yeah. And for a business owner where their stuff is intertwined, feeling also like from a risk standpoint, that I have someone who really understand all of this stuff, all the pieces, if something happens to me, I mean, that’s critically important and that’s where the trust factor really comes into play.
[00:40:10] Brad Johnson: So, when you say family office, and then we’ll move on to the next topic, but when you say family office, I make the assumption that’s obviously your financial planning when you hit budget. That’s integrating tax planning. I would assume that’s personal and from a business standpoint.
[00:40:24] Robert Glazer: Which is the same thing.
[00:40:25] Brad Johnson: Estate planning.
[00:40:26] Robert Glazer: Yeah.
[00:40:26] Brad Johnson: And does she have CPAs, attorneys on the team? Is she referring you to outside attorneys and CPAs?
[00:40:34] Robert Glazer: I had a lot of people on my team but she acted the sort of quarterback of that or if there’s someone like recently she introduced me to someone with a special team that we thought that we’re looking at as we were thinking about something a couple of years ahead. She’s like this is the best person I know in this area. So, while she didn’t do the trust and estate stuff, she actually met with and got to know the trust paper. She knows what it is, she knows where it is, and just has that whole picture to sort of make recommendations as things change in our lives and scenario.
[00:41:07] Brad Johnson: That’s awesome. Yeah, I think QB is a great analogy. It’s like, she’s sourcing the rest of the team and ready them for you.
[00:41:14] Robert Glazer: It’s kind of like COO. But look, here’s an interesting thing. That doesn’t probably scale across 100 accounts, like she’s made a decision about the type of business that she wants to run. She might change that and find other people like her or figure out what she can do back office but that lends itself to this is why you can’t be everything to everyone. So, she probably right now wouldn’t want to be a 200-account firm because that’s not the type of model that she wants to deliver. So, there are always sacrifices to a certain type of model. If it’s me, it sort of start with the end in mind. What is it that you want to be? Are you trying to build a firm that you can sell? Do you want to build a certain type of firm that you want to run forever? Each of those has totally different paths that you might want to go down.
[00:41:59] Brad Johnson: Yeah. Okay. I’m going to be doing a massive disservice if we don’t dive deep into culture here. So, I’m just going to brag on you for a bit here and tell me if I leave anything out. So, your company, Acceleration Partners, Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards two years in a row, Ad Age Best Places to Work, Entrepreneur’s Top Company Culture two years in a row, Inc Magazine’s Best Place to Work, Great Place to Work, and Fortune’s Best Small and Medium Workplaces three years in a row, Boston Globe’s Top Workplaces two years in a row. So, I don’t know if there’s any awards missing off that but that pretty much covers the gamut.
[00:42:34] Robert Glazer: There are. I’m not going to remember or point them out.
[00:42:37] Brad Johnson: So, there’s obviously a lot of intention that you’ve taken as CEO to create that experience. We talked a little bit about the vision and culture bit. If you were distilling it and maybe this goes back to the book, how did you create that experience? How long did it take? I mean, if you’re giving us Cliff’s notes version of I want to do the same thing as an independent financial advisor assembling a team that loves to be here and performs at a high level, how do you go about doing that?
[00:43:06] Robert Glazer: Yeah. So, this will go in a circular direction but I think first as the individual, you need to internalize the principles and elevate and figure out what you want, how you want to get there, and otherwise because that then aligns to your business and making sure that your business goals and your business values serve that. So, there’s a formula I found in every high-performing culture and it is sort of three things and two modifiers. So, all of them have a clear vision of where they want to go and a picture because that’s what gets people interested, that prospective employee. Otherwise, funny, when we were going for an equity line increase with our bank, I actually brought our Vivid Vision along and it actually went a really long way with the bank around. This is cool and these guys have done what they said they were going to do. So, you need a vision, you need real values. Core values are not integrity and whatever, like they’re differentiated point of view of like the type of people that you want at your business, not these sort of permission to play variables.
[00:44:06] Brad Johnson: Bob, can you just give an example or two?
[00:44:08] Robert Glazer: You don’t need an acronym. Ours are own it, excel, and improve, and embrace relationships, like those define the type of person and the characteristic of someone that does well here. Integrity shouldn’t be a core value of your firm because, in theory, you wouldn’t hire anyone that didn’t have integrity, right? So, it actually should be a differentiated point of view. I was talking to someone last night like we do what we said. A lot of people, that’s not how they operate or we believe in X. And for me, a core value I should be able to sit down, Brad, on your check-in and be like, “Look, here are some cases this quarter when you didn’t own it and here are some examples.” Here’s where you could have leaned into the relationships we had really more and didn’t do that or did that well, and here’s where issues of or upside of, hey, where we did things really well or came up with an improvement or a better way to do it. I’m not going to sit down and be like, “Brad, like, let’s talk about your integrity this quarter. Like your integrity was kind of this is why to me, they’re not real core values.”
When you can get operationalized core values and Garry Ridge, who’s a friend of mine, one of the top CEOs in the world of WD-40, I love it how he goes, if anyone makes a decision in our company, under the umbrella of one or more of our core values, they’re absolutely safe. So, it’s sort of like the combination of good core values should supplant lots of rules. If people don’t know the right thing to do, are they owning it? Are they embracing relationship? Are they excel and improving? Like if they make that decision, they’re good. So, that’s the second one. The third one is goals and targets.
[00:45:38] Brad Johnson: Can I ask on that real quick? As the leader, as the guy that’s setting the rhythm for the company, do your employees, does a receptionist, for example, have the ability to call you out and say, “Hey, Bob, I don’t think you owned it right there?”
[00:45:51] Robert Glazer: Yeah, absolutely. We encourage all kinds of feedback, and particularly if people think their values and people have said that on my team or to me. And like, the first thing you should say when someone says that, I proposed to the Friday Forward this morning is thank you like thanks for pointing that out. Because if you react viscerally is the last feedback or challenge you will ever get. And now you’re the emperor with no clothes, but everyone’s talking about it. They’re just not telling you. That’s the only difference. So, yeah, we encourage people to speak out and shout out anything that they think is in congruence with our core values.
[00:46:24] Brad Johnson: Which by the way, today’s Friday Forward as we record this was around whistleblower and how that’s a healthy thing inside the thing to encourage it. So, how have you gone about encouraging and creating a safe place where people know, hey, it’s okay, if I’m no different than anybody else on this thing and I’m not living by these values. You need to let me know.
[00:46:41] Robert Glazer: We’re very open with feedback. So, we have regular feedback. We use a cool thing called TINYpulse, which lets people submit anonymous feedback every week. We read those to the…
[00:46:49] Brad Johnson: TINYpulse, the software?
[00:46:52] Robert Glazer: Yeah. It’s kind of engagement software that it’s a great tool for small business. It asks your employees one question each week, and once a month ask them how happy they are at work from a 1 to 10. It lets people send nice notes to each other, and you just get really good longitudinal data around engagement and you get that feedback. So, we ask people, are you happy? Presently engaged? We asked a lot of times, what are things that we should start doing, stop doing, continue doing? That’s a really good exercise to continue because people might express the same thing in three different ways. I always say like let’s say the problem is we’re taking on these clients who are a-holes, right? Some people might say, “We should stop working with clients that are a-holes.” Most people actually probably might not be that direct. They say, “We should start vetting our clients more carefully before we take them on for their personality or we should continue kind of looking at our client relationships and determine whether they…” So, like, it gives them three different ways to make the same point and some people are more comfortable with the indirect.
So, we do that a lot. We do live town halls where I intentionally do not look at the questions prepare for them. People can put them on the screen live and I have to deal with it right away because I think if you want an authentic answer, you don’t want a rehearsed answer. And so, people this year was like, “Are you selling the company? Why does our maternity policy suck?” And so, to me, it’s like, “Great, like let’s talk about it.” So, I think your willingness to even let people ask the questions, one of the things I did at our town hall was I had $10 Starbucks cards years ago, and I said, “If you ask a level 9 question or 10 questions, you can have a Starbucks card.” Because if you ask the difficult question, like, “Are you going to sell the business and kind of leave us all high and dry?” I know everyone’s thinking about it, so it gets the things going. So, this is just a mindset where you have to be comfortable with the questions and the feedback.
[00:48:44] Brad Johnson: Yeah. Did you have to grow into that? Or did that come naturally to you?
[00:48:47] Robert Glazer: No. I had to grow into that. It’s not a natural thing for most of us. But I think if you ever studied the Johari window or sort of blind window, you come to this awareness as you’re working on personal development that like those conversations are happening. So, do I just want to be part of them or not part of them? It’s always really interesting to me. So, I wrote some article on LinkedIn. It was one of the top articles on LinkedIn about how to avoid joining a toxic culture like here are the signs to look for. And one of them was the trends you should look on Glassdoor not whether pro or con, but like things that if you keep seeing the same themes over and over again, then be careful. And so, someone comment on that Glassdoor’s travesty and it’s like the dumbest thing and they just let angry people, whatever. And so, I see the guy’s name and I’m like, “Let’s go look up this company on Glassdoor.” And like literally all the things I read in the article like a one out of five rating. It was like, “This guy just wants everyone to work friendly.”
He was just so blind to what people were actually even saying about him to the fact that they were all saying the same thing and to him it was this like gross injustice of angry people. But, to me, like the one angry person, like whatever, but when 15 people are saying the same narrative, there’s something in his brain that just didn’t want to actually take that feedback.
[00:50:12] Brad Johnson: Yeah. So, Darren Hardy spoke for us. This was a year or two back and the one little analogy that always stuck with me from true leadership. You remember? I feel like every kid our age had this poster where it was the mansion with like the seven-car garage with like the Lamborghinis. You remember that? Like kind of fairly famous.
[00:50:30] Robert Glazer: Or like an Elle Macpherson life poster.
[00:50:32] Brad Johnson: Yes, one of those. It was Cindy Crawford for me. But he basically puts this up on the screen and he starts to tell this story about if you show up, if you put in the work, if you do what we tell you to do and if you follow these values, all of this…
[00:50:50] Robert Glazer: I’ll have these cars.
[00:50:51] Brad Johnson: …can be mine. Yes. And it sounds like basically the feedback on Glassdoor for that guy is just a lack of awareness of like his employees feel like they’re building it for someone else versus themselves.
[00:51:01] Robert Glazer: Yeah. And look, we have a liquid job market these days and this is the problem. That playbook would have worked 10 years ago in the gig economy and all this stuff that sort of come make me rich, and here’s why it’s good for me because you don’t have mobility. It just doesn’t work. I mean, there’s some enlightened leaders who don’t believe in that. But even if you’re not enlightened, let me tell you, it’s not going to work. You’re not going to get any employees in the millennials or Gen Z that just want to come and command and control and help make you rich. They want to do something. They want a purpose or else they can be… So, I recently gave my culture speech at an industry trade conference. And I was talking about a bunch of stuff and this guy comes up to me afterwards. He’s like, “Can I ask you a question?” and he’s kind of like, “So, what do you do if like you believe in all this stuff and you want to do this stuff?” And he’s like kind of in tears saying this to me. He’s the COO. His dad’s running the firm. His dad believes no one works as hard as he does. No one does this because it’s all about his dad. He has all the upside and they can’t keep people and the turnover is crazy.
And he’s like, “I just don’t think that playbook is going to make it another five years or another generation in terms of running a business that way.” But some people, again, have been enlightened around changing their philosophy about what leadership and business means. Others I say, “Look, if you’re not enlightened, at least be pragmatic. That playbook is not going to work for much longer.”
[00:52:23] Brad Johnson: Yeah. It’s no longer the company that you work for 40 years and you’ve got the pension when you retire.
[00:52:27] Robert Glazer: And that was just because the switching cost – there was the pension plus finding a job was not that, you know, you’re talking about newspapers. There’s no LinkedIn. There’s no Indeed. I mean, the whole job market is just far more liquid. Plus, you have stuff like Glassdoor and stuff where if everyone goes on, you know, now there’s massive warning trail of the companies that you should stay away from. If you’re a CEO of a company and you don’t have Glassdoor on your sort of scorecard, you’re not realizing why you may be having a huge problem recruiting if you haven’t paid attention to it.
[00:53:01] Brad Johnson: There’s a philosophy I took from Gary Vaynerchuk and he said, “In today’s day and age with technology and all of the tools like, literally, something happens publicly, there’s 15 iPhones recording it.” And like I think back just to even like Uber CEO just a few years ago, it’s like whoever you are at your core, you can’t hide it anymore. Eventually, it will come out. And that’s to the point on Glassdoor, like transparency is out there. It’s democratization of data and information. And so, you can’t be one person in the public eye and another person privately it’s like eventually it’s going to come out. It’s just a matter of how long is it going to take.
[00:53:41] Robert Glazer: You’re better off saying, “Hey, this is a family business. It’s me, mine, and myself and all stuff.” But if you want a nice stable job and whatever, you’d be actually better off saying that because there are some people who’d say, “You know what, right in my life right now, that’s what I want and that’s what I care about,” like this incongruousness between like what we’re saying, what we’re thinking, what we’re doing is I think where a lot of the problems are.
[00:54:03] Brad Johnson: Yeah. Okay. So, I derailed you a little bit. So, back to the three things.
[00:54:07] Robert Glazer: So, vision, vivid vision, real values. And then you need goals and targets so this goes to no one likes going to a game without a scoreboard. So, to me, the goals and targets are actually how the vision gets materialized. So, in saying, look, here are our metrics. Everyone’s got them. Here are the three-year goals, here are the year goals, here are the quarterly goals. We use a piece of software. All this stuff is public to our team. You can see that the goal you’re working on is part of the one-year goal which is part of a three-year goal, which gets us to that vision. It’s minor red, green, yellow in the system, like everyone else’s are and the scoreboard’s really public from a performance standpoint. So, we’re clear about how we’re going to get there and from an accountability standpoint, I don’t have to have a lot of difficult conversations. When you’re red for four quarters and everyone sees it, you know that it can’t stay that way. So, that’s the play. Define the thing of where we’re going. Here’s how we’re going to get there but we’re going to do it in the service of our core values. And that is the litmus test for what we decided to do and not to do.
And then the two modifiers on it, it’s either three or five, are clarity and consistency. What people really want are clear values, clear vision, clear goals and targets that don’t move, particularly with founders. Any founder who’s adopted the traction or gazelles, like people love it because it keeps them from changing what’s going on every day. So, it’s clarity and consistency. Then people want consistent goals, consistent vision. You know, those are the two modifiers that I think the systems like gazelles and traction really can bring if you set them up. Again, we’re going to be clear, we’re going to be consistent, here’s our vision, here’s our values, and here’s how we measure success here. And that turns a lot of your people problem into much simpler discussions of, “Is Brad the right fit from a value standpoint? If he’s not, then that’s a really easy decision.” But the other biggest problem people have is that, “Brad thinks he’s doing a great job and the other person doesn’t,” because they’re not clear about Brad was hired to do sales and marketing. And so, the sales guys aren’t happy, but the marketing guys aren’t happy or vice versa.
[00:56:07] Robert Glazer: So, these goals and targets just make it super clear for everyone like, what is success? What’s on track? What’s off track? And maybe Brad has all the core values but if Brad is in sales and he can never make the quota, which is how we get to the vision, then that’s a discussion that we have to have. But Brad shouldn’t say, “I wasn’t clear about what the goal was,” or he shouldn’t think that he was doing great when the scoreboard clearly says that he’s below the target that we needed in that area.
[00:56:39] Brad Johnson: So, Bob, if you were going to distill down to point number three, your goals and your targets and kind of what I would say is your company’s operating system, whether it’s software, you mentioned traction a couple of times, do you guys have an entrepreneurial operating system or what do you have?
[00:56:52] Robert Glazer: Yeah. We use part of VO’s, part of Gazelles. Our coaches do both. We use this piece of software called Metronome, which is what puts all the goals and targets and everything like in a single system where everyone can see it. So, what’s really cool is we use the concept of rocks. So, I might take a rock that we need to launch this new initiative this quarter, but then the people on my team get rocks that are part of that initiative, but the system aligns all that. So, they see that that little thing that they’re doing down here, actually, cascades up to the organizational objective, and they understand where the alignment is and where they fit into everything.
[00:57:25] Brad Johnson: So, would it be safe to say that Metronome is what creates the scoreboard based on kind of the traction being the underlying framework?
[00:57:33] Robert Glazer: Correct, based on the alignment. The three-year vision is literally broken down into 12 quarters of goals that will get us to that vision to then the annual plan and then to what everyone has to do. So, that’s the reverse. Because it’s great to have a vision, but then you got to get to, alright, well, how are we going to win five best places to work towards? And how are we going to write a book? And how are we going to operate in this work? It won’t just happen. So, I’m always in the middle of this. So, the people who are very visiony, but no reality or lots of tactics without any direction of where they’re going. You need both.
[00:58:05] Brad Johnson: I’d love to hear your thoughts on something that I feel like a lot of advisors that are transitioning into, “Hey, back in the day, it’s just me.” I can be accountable for me and that’s pretty easy. If I need to lose weight, I need to hit the gym. Where it starts to be tough is, well, now I’ve got to hold other people accountable. So, let’s go back to your example where they were red for four straight quarters. I’m guessing you probably would have addressed it before then but what sort of conversations do you and your team leads have when it’s holding someone accountable to not hitting like it’s supposed to?
[00:58:36] Robert Glazer: So, it’s really interesting is this transition from doing to manager. Most really accountable people actually struggle to hold other people accountable. It’s kind of an irony where like they’re not holding people to the standards that they set for themselves. When you see that off, I think, you have to have a discussion. This is a great, one of the best things that come out of traction, the GWC, like do they get it? Want it? And have the capacity to do it? So, is there something wrong about this goal? Do they not have the right training? Is there something we need to help them with? Or is this not even what they really want to do? Sometimes you have that discussion. They’re like, “I don’t want to do this.” And so, you might say, “Well, we don’t have anything else to do or we actually have this other great job and you can be a fit for that. This isn’t the right thing.” So, it starts a discussion and then we always talk about like getting to the root, not the symptom. The symptom is you have a headache. You can give three people a Tylenol. The only problem is one is dehydrated, one is allergic to gluten, and the other has brain cancer. So, they all have a headache but they have fundamentally different root causes.
So, we’re very big on like when there’s a symptomatic problem not hitting the goals like what is the problem? Is it this person doesn’t have the ability? They don’t understand that they’re actually interviewing for another job and are checked out? These are all different types of root things that would lead you to different solutions. So, we really train people to get into the why and have those discussions. The first one would be like, “Brad, do you want to do this?” And if the answer’s, “No, I really don’t want to do this,” like okay.
[01:00:07] Brad Johnson: And do you feel like their employees are in a safe enough spot where they can actually honestly say, “No, I honestly saw this and I would hate doing that on a daily basis?”
[01:00:14] Robert Glazer: So, we’ve created this open transition program. A 100% believe we have created psychological safety in our environment to have those discussions. After 20 years of training of not ever having those discussions in an open way, some people really struggle to have them or they will say to us, “Look, I know you have this and you have a transition, and if I tell you I don’t want to work here, I’m not going to get fired and we’ll work on a plan but like, I got to take care of myself and mine. So, I lied to you even though you asked me multiple times not to.” You know, it frustrates me, but I don’t like it, but I get it. But that’s what we’ve said, “You ever come to us and have a discussion about not happy, not sure, if you want to do whatever, you will never be walked to the door.” We will figure out a transition plan. Whether it’s suboptimal for us around that person like whether you work with us for the next three months or otherwise, like maybe it would have been better financially for me to have ended that earlier but it sends a signal to all the people behind that they can have that discussion.
Because what some people tell me is like, look, we let them go the same day they tell us, “Because we feel like we don’t get any value.” That’s fine. You can do that but there’s no way anyone is going to tell you the truth around here. And by the time they give their two, I mean, like we’re worried about stealing and I’m like this is devil you don’t know. If you worry about stealing, everyone sees what’s going on. So, the guy stole well before he gave his two weeks’ notice knowing that you’re going to walk him out that day. Like, if that’s what you’re worried about, he’s already, he’s been doing this for six months. So, don’t think that he hasn’t seen. I mean, our company that I worked with that had a great culture and they said, “But, look, when people give two weeks’ notice, we just asked them to leave that day and we kind of walk them out, but we want people to be open.” I was like, “It’s never going to happen.” Like they’re seeing that they don’t even get their two weeks that you think that like they can’t even be around their colleagues for two weeks. So, you are going to continue to get blindsided by people.
[01:02:07] Brad Johnson: So, just to make sure I understand the context, what I hear you saying is we don’t fire people. We ask them to be transparent and open and honest with us. And if they do, and our company is no longer the place, we have a transition program where we actually help them find their next gig?
[01:02:24] Robert Glazer: Yes, that’s what we do and it’s both ways. So, they can come to us or we also come to them and we say, “Brad, we just don’t think it’s going to work out but like, look, we trust you and we are happy that…” To me, I equate this to sports because we always almost think this is so weird in a professional context. Isn’t it weird? Like, you know Kawhi Leonard’s like not going back to the Raptors, but they won the championship. He was a good teammate, he worked together, like he’s not pouting around. Everyone got what they needed. We think it’s the same thing where we say, “Brad, so it’s January 1, like, let’s talk about what this could look like but maybe we’ll go like mid-March. We’d love you to wrap up your stuff. Train the person here. You can go interview.” We just think that, particularly, in professional services and for the people listening to that example I just told before, what is the worst thing that happens in professional services? That advisor, that employee leaves with a relationship and like you often don’t recover.
So, let’s say they know that you’re willing to do this and you say, “All right, Amy, what we’re going to do is we’re going to start having Cindy join all of your calls so at least get Cindy some FaceTime in there for every month. So, then when we tell the client that you’re leaving in eight weeks, there’s some other person in there and some other relation.” In a client service business, I feel like this kind of system is even more important. I did a TED talk on it. This is really hard. It takes a lot of years. You have to be totally in on it. You have to train your managers. But I think it is such a better way of acknowledging the reality today that people won’t work there forever. In my opening line in my TED Talk is, “If your partner came to you in your relationship and said they were moving in two weeks to a new city with a new partner like how would you react to that?” Because that’s basically how we weave businesses today and in the world of connections, like how it ends is really important. And so, the last thing you remember is, “Oh, Sally had all those doctor appointments,” like Sally was a great employee, but you might just remember this last thing where she was not around and engaged. Now you’re finding the cobwebs of disengagement. We all know that person leaves and that’s just the beginning of uncovering all of the work that they have been doing poorly for months or years.
[01:04:32] Brad Johnson: So, I mean, the analogy that comes to mind for me is it’s like a baton being passed as opposed to the baton being dropped which is what happens in a lot of situations. A salesperson leaves, they’re out the door, left on a bad note. Next thing you know, they’re calling all your clients. It’s, “Oh, no, actually, we’re going to pass the baton.” Sally’s on the calls for eight weeks. Now, that connective tissue’s been kind of passed on to the next person in line.
[01:04:59] Robert Glazer: You have to change the whole mindset where like, “Look, people are going to leave. There’s not lifetime employment. Leaving here is not the end of our relationships. It’s an ecosystem. You’re part of our alumni.” Like just change this notion or also that like, yeah, like, look, if there’s a core violation or you do something unintegral, I mean, we would, in theory, fire people. It’s been very few and far between where there’s actually some risks they created. But this discussion of, “Brad, you know this isn’t working like you’re not happy. We’re not happy. Let us help you find something that’s a better fit,” and give the person a little bit of respect. It’s also a lot easier to look for a new job with the cover of a current job and the blessing of say, “Look, I’ll give you my current boss as a reference.” You know, a lot of companies are very surprised by that. They say yeah, they want to do something different. We totally support them.
[01:05:48] Brad Johnson: That’s great.
[01:05:49] Robert Glazer: Yeah.
[01:05:50] Brad Johnson: So, are you literally, I work for you, Bob, and I say, “Hey, man, I’m out the door,” is your company helping them search for jobs? Or how far down the path do you go? Is it just we’ll be a great reference for you?
[01:06:03] Robert Glazer: So, remember, we own it. So, I will help them but they need to do the work. So, I would say like, “Look, go through my LinkedIn. If there’s people that I know at the company you want to go to, I’ll make an introduction.” Just like no different for a friend or family member like I’m not going to be a recruiter but set me up and use me. I mean, our HR people have helped people with their resumes. We’ve helped make introductions. We’ve provided people some of the training that they might need. One person wanted like professional photos for the industry she’s going into so we helped her with that. So, it does come back to our values like you need to own it. Like I’m the CEO of the company. I’m not going to start looking at job boards. This is the same speech I give to anyone when they reach out, like, “You know like who’s a good company? Who’s looking for a VP of Finance?” I’m like, “Don’t ask me to do work that you’re not willing to do. I’m not looking to be a free headhunter for you.” But come to me and say, you know, I just saw that, and as I said to someone last week, “Isn’t that what you should be doing?”
Where they come in and say, “Hey, I saw your friend, Brad. He’s the CEO of this awesome place. I actually want to get into financial services. I see they’re a great place. Could you introduce me to Brad?” I’m like, “Awesome. Send me a paragraph. Let me get you to the top of the pile and out of the automated tracking system.”
[01:07:14] Brad Johnson: What does your company retention rate look like from an employee standpoint with this sort of kind of open-door policy?
[01:07:20] Robert Glazer: Yeah. So, what we look at because we think there are mistakes made, there’s natural evolution of… We look at unwanted turnover in the last 12 months that’s under 5%.
[01:07:31] Brad Johnson: Awesome.
[01:07:32] Robert Glazer: We actually think it works pretty well if someone identifies that they’re not performing well, they feel misalignment with the values, and they sort of raise their hand and say, “You know, I want to be doing something different,” and so the turnover might be closer to 10% or otherwise but I think things change, right? People change. They move but we really look at this person was a rock star and we wanted to keep them and we lost them. That’s the quadrant that matters most.
[01:07:59] Brad Johnson: Awesome. Thanks for that. There’s so many golden nuggets in there. Okay. So, I see our time ticking down here and I have so many places I want to go. So, let’s circle all the way back around to the beginning here. The Friday Forward. So, you’ve got the aspect where you’re CEO, you’re running a business, then you’ve got something that many financial advisors right now are trying to figure out how to do and I think there’s a lot of parallels in the fact that you’re the CEO, you’re the head guy, but you’re also speaking from your voice for your business as well and the image for your business. So, give me your thoughts on how to be authentic, and if I was a financial advisor out there, let’s say I want to do a Friday market commentary where, hey, here’s a couple of articles going on, here’s my authentic view, and how we see it with the end goal of I want to build a list to where, hey, some of these people could be great clients and we just want it to be real authentic.
Because I think what happens in our industry a lot is, here’s this pre-produced newsletter. Let me buy it and send it and then nobody reads it. So, it’s the exact opposite of what they want. So, how have you gone about being really authentic? How do you find the time to put real thought into producing this weekly because that’s an undertaking? Just any views on that would be awesome.
[01:09:18] Robert Glazer: I think it’s got to be something you’re genuinely passionate about and I have had multiple things over the year where people even said in our business, “Why don’t you put a link to the company in this? Why are you doing this? People want to sponsor it.” Like, I’ve kept it pure and I’ve kept it on creating value for the reader. So, I think you have a lot of smart business owners. Marketing people are like, “Hey, start a marketing thing,” and they really want it to be conversion-based or call us. The best thing that you can do, like there was an ad years ago, they’re trying to all the Facebook companies, they were trying to just doing this like they wanted you to like mayonnaise, like helmets. People don’t want to like mayonnaise. So, from a social standpoint, I think the best thing that you can do and probably focus on LinkedIn or Twitter is write content that is so good and valuable to user that people want to share it. And the way that they share it is across Twitter and LinkedIn or otherwise, and then they want to follow you to that content, and they want to sign up for more.
So, I would look at that content, like pretend like you can never sell anyone with whatever you’re writing or the content. It had to just provide value to them. Its standalone value was so good that someone would forward it to someone else and say, “You got to read this,” and you want to get up for it. And don’t mix that with your marketing message. Just build a relationship. And what’s interesting, I always say like when I go to industry conferences in the affiliate world, we publish a ton of affiliate content like checklists, books, guides, all that stuff. No one ever comes up to me and says, “That five checklist thing that you did was awesome.” They say, “Oh, I love the Friday Forward on whatever.” Now, it’s not about what we do but I have a touchpoint to that person every week. They see me. They see what our company is doing. So, it keeps them, you know, they’re in our orbit like we’re on their mindset. And the day their financial advisor upsets them or does something or switch practices, they might say, “Oh, well, I’m going to give her a call.” That woman has been sending out this newsletter.
[01:11:11] Robert Glazer: So, if you want to do a newsletter, you want to do content, take what you’re passionate about, take your core expertise. When you finished writing it, say with the number one goal here is to add value to the user and that someone could think it was so good that they would forward it to someone else because it’s not a pitch. It’s actually value-added. And the best way to come from content is, particularly in their sales process, you’re an advisor, you’ve had the same discussion like 100 times with someone or told the same thing like that’s a great piece of content. Why it is that fee-based or this or why you should do this or why you shouldn’t do that, or how you can think about the type of relationship like things that actually demonstrate your differentiated point of view, I think are really good to write about. And we have those in our business world too like content around in marketing like people love the self-deprecating stuff, like the six difficult questions you should ask your financial advisor. Because in theory, though, they could ask you those questions. That’s a piece of content that’s not trying to pitch anything. It has that sort of like I’m willing to like poke fun at myself or whatever but it also lets you highlight a differentiated point of view.
[01:12:20] Brad Johnson: Yeah. Awesome. Okay. Are we okay for five more minutes and get a little philosophical here, Bob?
[01:12:27] Robert Glazer: No problem. Speed round.
[01:12:29] Brad Johnson: Speed round. Yeah. Okay. So, here’s the first one I want to go with. So, if we look out 25 years and if there was something like looking back, so we’re 2020 so what would it be? 2045. We’re our old gray ourselves and we’re looking back and we’re like, “Man, do you remember back in 2020 people used to do this? That was absolutely absurd.” What would you like to look back and be considered absurd about 2020?
[01:12:56] Robert Glazer: I think based on the thing I have heard from people is like how reachable everyone was and connected and I think because it’s exhausting people. So, I hope people are looking back and they found more personal space and more kind of time for them to have some quiet. I think Ryan Holiday just wrote the Stillness book and I think everyone is missing this. I just had Cal Newport on and he was talking what his next book is about. He thinks we’re going to look back in 5 or 10 years and be like, the way that we use email was absolutely absurd. So, yeah, I hope we’ve found a way to disconnect a little more and to use technology to solve some of the world’s biggest problems and not to just keep exacerbating new social media tools.
[01:13:42] Brad Johnson: Yeah. The interesting thing about that is you and I grew up in a generation, we didn’t have that when we were little. Now, I see my kids at nine, eight, and four. They’re surrounded by it. I really feel there’s going to be this superpower for that age specifically, on the ones that can look you in the eye, connect with you, have a real conversation. Five minutes later be looking at the phone like, just because it’s this safety thing that people get nervous so they just default to that.
[01:14:12] Robert Glazer: Yeah. All my kids went to overnight camp. That’s a big New England thing and they have no phones while they’re there for seven weeks, and they’re fundamentally happier. They don’t miss it. They run around the dirt playing with people like it’s a force thing and you just prove like it’s not better or just sort of, yeah, it’s just endemic in everything that we do.
[01:14:30] Brad Johnson: Are there principles that you practice or you practice with your family to try to move more in that connectedness and stillness direction?
[01:14:38] Robert Glazer: I think we try to bring awareness to it even little things around like put it down when you’re eating, like, trying to not multitask when we’re doing everything. It’s hard. I’m trying to bring awareness to because you don’t want to hear any of this stuff when you’re a kid but just…
[01:14:53] Brad Johnson: How old are your kids, out of curiosity?
[01:14:56] Robert Glazer: Sixteen, fourteen, and eleven.
[01:14:57] Brad Johnson: You’re right in the heart of it, then.
[01:15:00] Robert Glazer: Yeah. So, we try to talk about this stuff philosophically and what we see are the risks of it and point out the behaviors that are problematic. And they can see it too even like, “Hey, you came and you grab this, like, you didn’t have this at camp for four weeks, and you have like how do you not get yourself back into this or just shut it down?” And it’s hard. So, we’ve talked about it a lot like it’s not where I would like it to be. It’s still a work in progress. Not where I want it to be for me either. You know, same for you, I’m sure too.
[01:15:31] Brad Johnson: Yeah. It’s one of the hardest things I think in today’s day and age, especially when your business is on your phone. I mean, it’s really hard to turn that off. Okay. So, I want to go to you run a podcast also called Elevate.
[01:15:43] Robert Glazer: Yeah.
[01:15:44] Brad Johnson: I was just looking through it. I haven’t actually listened to a full episode. We’ve got a lot of the same guests that are amazing people. What are some of the core biggest learnings you’ve taken from running a podcast? Any nuggets of wisdom where you’re like, “Wow, that just blew my mind and changed how I view the world now?” Anything that comes to mind on that front?
[01:16:04] Robert Glazer: From the running the podcast itself?
[01:16:06] Brad Johnson: Either running it or conversations you’ve had with guests on there. Just anything that looking back because you’ve done this podcast the last couple of years, you fundamentally learned or view the world differently because of it.
[01:16:17] Robert Glazer: Yeah. I mean, there’s so many different ones like I really liked the learning aspect of it. For me, again, it’s like know the why of what you’re doing it. Like for me, it’s I want the best guest, the best conversations to create value, and whatever comes out of that otherwise or opportunities, I think, happens. It’s interesting. I’ve regretted like some of the guests who are sort of pushed on me, who I just, you know, they were there for the wrong reasons versus when I knew that there was someone who had something interesting to talk about when I wanted to talk about it with them. But again, there’s no commercial aspect, kind of nothing being sold. It’s similar focus to Friday Forward to create value for others and I learned a ton through the conversations. I’m asking the questions from people are best at these things, what they can do. So, I listened to him again because I’m sure you understand. When you’re doing the podcast, you’re looking at your questions, you’re looking at the clock, like not be not listening, but I like listening to it again and just really listen to that person sort of without any job that I have to do. And I learned a ton from it usually that second time.
[01:17:19] Brad Johnson: I was joking with, gosh, who did I just have on? It was a few episodes ago, but they host a podcast as well. Oh, it was Michael Kitces who has a big platform space. And I asked him which side of the mic and he’s like, “It’s easy to be asked things I know about, be interviewed.” He’s like, “It’s really hard to interview,” and our whole conversation was like I’ve got a newfound respect for Oprah because that girl is a master of her craft. Because it really is hard to, it’s exhausting a little bit to be able to navigate and keep the questions relevant, but…
[01:17:51] Robert Glazer: It’s a cognitive load like I always tell people like what do you listen to? I’m not telling you I’m narcissistic. I listen to my podcast, but I listen to it because I can’t hear, I can’t be fully in tune. Again, even now you’re looking down the clock and I’m not going to get to this question. So, I really do, I wanted to hear what this person had to say so I really do like to sit down and listen to it. I don’t need to hear myself. I hate hearing myself. But, yeah, there’s a point to the podcast and there’s a goal and sort of a narrative and the type of person I want. And I think when I deviate from that plan, it’s not as good. And you could see for the wrong reason, oh, hey, hook me up and I’ll come on yours and then you’re like, “I just feel like I cheapen my products, you know, a little bit.”
[01:18:35] Brad Johnson: Well, it goes back to so a lot of our business is based on phone sales, email sales, and the one time you burn someone, you send them the worthless email or voicemail that was completely all focused on you and what you needed from them. You’ve now burned that relationship and I feel it’s the same way whether you’re emailing, whether you’re doing a podcast episode, where you just always want it to be like, “I would want to listen to this.” It’s not then it needs to be…
[01:19:01] Robert Glazer: I just wrote an article about double opt-in emails and one of the things I said is like the best networkers do that. But it keeps you honest, right? If I say, “Brad, do you mind if I introduce you…” like because a lot of times people are introducing just as a favor to introduce and setting up someone with someone else who really wants to sell them something, it’s not really a mutually – but when you have to ask both parties, it keeps yourself honest, like why am I doing this?
[01:19:26] Brad Johnson: Yeah, completely. Alright. So, if there was one thing, so if you distill it down, I’ve done this many episodes over the last few years, and here’s the one thing that stuck with me, what comes to mind first?
[01:19:37] Robert Glazer: One thing that stuck with me…
[01:19:38] Brad Johnson: From a guest. Something that a guest shared.
[01:19:41] Robert Glazer: On my podcast?
[01:19:42] Brad Johnson: Yes.
[01:19:43] Robert Glazer: Philip McKernan actually I had on who you know through Mastermind Talks, and, yeah, he just really talked about something he said to me that has helped me and a lot of people was like honoring like your truth and something that may have happened to you. A lot of us who are self-starters don’t want to like put ourselves as a victim in that story so we sort of like change the narrative. And he’s like, “Look, it’s your truth. It’s your story. It’s part of who you are. It doesn’t mean that you’re blaming anyone or someone else.” That was actually really helpful for me and I know it’s been helpful for some other people to, again, try to connect some of that why do I do what I do and where did it come from without feeling like they’re blaming their parents or otherwise but just, it’s our truth. You got bullied as a kid in class like that’s just your truth and if that caused you to go lift weights like it is your reality. You don’t have to like blame anyone for that. So, he really talked about that and sort of making time to honor your craft and things that are important to you. And I’ve listened to that a couple of times because I think we always need that reminder.
[01:20:50] Brad Johnson: Yeah. I don’t want to drag this into like a two-hour thing. The first thing that I was just talking about this the other day and it came from Mastermind Talks, I think you were at this one. Cat Hoke, I think she was on your show and I was just telling this story. I think you’re at the one – were you the one, Chris, the guy bald-headed with face tats?
[01:21:11] Robert Glazer: Yeah.
[01:21:11] Brad Johnson: I remember and, listen, I’m ashamed of it a little bit but I walked in that room, 150 super successful people, and I saw him, I was like, “Wow, that’s kind of scary dude.” That was the first thing I thought. Well, I come to find out like I’m thankful I leaned into it. I’m like, I’m going to seek him out. I’m going to have a conversation. I want to hear his truth and his story. And come to find out his dad had him selling drugs at like eight years old. And, I mean, because he honored his truth and was real and transparent about it, I learned from it and I realized like, who am I to judge? I mean, roles reversed, I’m the guy in the room that has tattoos all over my body and I think there’s a really big lesson there. Don’t hide from it. Be transparent. And you can actually use it to connect with people if you’re real about it.
[01:21:55] Robert Glazer: Yeah. I went to Cat’s prison day and that was one of the most impactful days in my life. I mean, I totally changed my perspective on how I think about people and story after story like that of not a level playing field and falling into a vicious cycle and not having daddy to bail you out or mommy to bail you out or keep you out of trouble. And it turns into a pretty bad spiral pretty quickly.
[01:22:21] Brad Johnson: Yeah. What’s the name of her company? We can throw in the show notes.
[01:22:26] Robert Glazer: I think Hustle 2.0.
[01:22:29] Brad Johnson: Yeah. So, for those that aren’t familiar, it’s literally you go spend a day in prison.
[01:22:34] Robert Glazer: In maximum security like life sentences prison.
[01:22:39] Brad Johnson: Yeah. We did a little exercise at Mastermind Talks that was incredibly powerful where you kind of own your truths and, yeah, there’s a lot that can come out of that. All right. So, Bob, last question and this is the way I like to end every conversation. If you could close with one piece of advice that’s led to your success to this point that maybe applies to financial advisors out there, what would it be?
[01:23:02] Robert Glazer: It could be understand yourself, and then be yourself. It’s really hard to be someone else or the expectation that other people have upon you. I think things really come together if you just take that simple approach. It doesn’t mean everyone’s going to like it. It doesn’t, again, not trying to make everyone happy. I think that’s a key distinction.
[01:23:23] Brad Johnson: Well, Bob, and this was our first like real deep conversation other than pulling a bunch of people. So, I really appreciate it. This was I feel like we could do another hour or two. So, you’re welcome back anytime. Thank you for sharing your time with myself and the audience. There’s going to be a ton of learnings from this. Can’t wait to get it out to them.
[01:18:59] Robert Glazer: Thanks very much.
[01:19:00] Brad Johnson: Until next time.
[01:23:48] Brad Johnson: Thanks for listening in to this week’s show. On to this week’s featured review. It comes to us from user DanB-Life&Money, “Timely and Engaging. Five stars. Finding Brad’s podcasts this spring has been a game changer. In fact, in year two of my FA journey, I have developed my core focus and style. Now, this podcast is giving me tools to make it happen. The timeliness and insight in the Pat Quinn episode will help me right now. Next step is listening with the notebook in hand and revising my webinar presentation. Dan.” Dan, what’s up? Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts out on iTunes. If you happen to be listening to this, hit me up on Twitter and I’ll drop you a book in the mail to say thanks, if I haven’t already. You know, Dan, it’s interesting. I was just listening to a TED Talk with a guy named Tai Lopez. He’s the guy behind the kind of infamous book library Lamborghini YouTube ad that I think all of us have seen.
I think he doesn’t get enough credit for some of his thinking sometimes. And one of the things he talked about was his 33% rule. And he talks about how finding mentors is really a huge thing when you look at all of the successful people out there. Everybody’s had somebody kind of giving them a hand and pulling them up, the old quote, “I’ve stood on the shoulders of giants.” And I think one of the things that I really love about the podcast is, number one, I’ve sought out mentors. I mean, many of the people that guest on the podcast, it’s a form of virtual mentorship. I really consider myself really lucky to be able to have access and pick the brains of some really smart, intelligent people that many times there’s certain aspects I can learn from and aspire to be like. And I’ve also sought out mentors in my life. Michael Hyatt was an early one. I’ve had him on a couple times. I talked about him quite a bit, but he challenged my thinking. I learned from things that he’d made mistakes on. And so, back to the 33% rule, I think it’s a really cool one to live your life by.
[01:25:50] Brad Johnson: Thirty-three percent of your time should be seeking out those that are maybe 10 times in front of you, whether it’s money, whether it’s relationships, whether as a parent, but just there are superstars in that aspect of life that you’re seeking to be like. And then 33% of your time should be hanging around peers that challenge you, accountability partners. And then 33% of your time should be giving back to others. As one of my mentors said, somebody sent the elevator down for me. Once you take it up, make sure you don’t forget to send the elevator back down for others. And so, that’s one of the things I love about the podcast is it’s a way for me to also give back. I started in this industry when I was 27. And, man, I was just a sponge. I was learning as much as I could from whoever I could gather that information from. And so, if you two years in can be sitting here listening to this podcast, and I can be sending the elevator down to you to pull you up, that really fires me up. And that’s one of the things I really love about this podcast.
So, if you’re out there and you’re listening in and you’re new to the industry, just be a lifelong learner, be a student, and I can promise you that the results from investing in yourself will be exponential. So that’s it, Dan. Thanks for the kind words. Thanks for listening in. Once again, if you happen to hear this, hit me up on Twitter. Love to drop you a book of your choice out in the mail as well. So, other than that, lastly, I don’t just run a podcast. We do coach financial advisors between myself and my team. That’s the day job. So, if you have interest in seeing how we might be able to help you, go out to BradleyJohnson.com/Apply. It’s about a five-minute process. We’ve tried to make it really painless. It honestly just helps us understand you, your practice, where we might be able to help. And drop a note out there and love to connect in person for a virtual Zoom call and see how we might be able to help. So that’s it. Thanks for listening in and I look forward to the next conversation, the next podcast with you all, See you.
[01:27:49] Brad Johnson: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint. For access to show notes, transcripts, and exclusive content from our show’s guests, visit BradleyJohnson.com. And before you go, I’ve got a quick favor to ask. If you’re liking the podcast, you can help support the show by leaving your rating and review on iTunes. Not only do we read every single comment, but this will help the show rank and get discovered by new listeners. It really does help. Thanks again for joining and be sure to tune in next week for another episode.
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