Relationships, Goalsetting And Business
Brandon has built and sold successful companies. He’s also helped many other people build their own. He is an investor, entrepreneur, author, and teacher. He is known for his ability to keep things simple, while being very thorough at the same time when creating a business.
We talked about content creation, relationships, entrepreneurship and goal setting. We took a deeper dive into the specific steps we can take to build a business that we can be confident will succeed.
It was really a master class in going from idea to validation while making sure you aren’t surprised by your finances.
Know Your Priority
Brandon is a really skilled business builder. Put simply he’s good at building a business the right way. Whether it’s identifying market opportunities, creating products, or keeping the books in order, he is on point.
We talked a lot about building business of course. But we also talk about relationships, achieving our goals in life and how to deal with things that can get in the way.
Cultivating meaningful relationships—be it with employees, clients, or other stakeholders—not only boosts the emotional intelligence quotient but also creates a reservoir of goodwill and trust that can be drawn upon during challenging times.
When it comes down to success in any of these areas, quite frankly in life, it’s all about knowing your priority and then focusing on that priority.
If you become overly co-dependent on people you won’t have a healthy relationship. So, the interesting thing we talke about was the counter intuitive need to focus on your self first in order to have positive relationships.
Self Care First
One of the things that we talked about was how self care is not at all selfish. For business owners, it can be easy to have the stress and rigor of managing your venture to have a negative impact on your self-care, yet these two elements are crucial underpinnings for sustainable success.
Self-care is not an indulgence but an investment that pays dividends in the form of improved decision-making, creativity, and resilience. A business owner in optimal physical and mental health is better equipped to steer the company effectively, make good decisions and inspire teams.
Brandon shared how he’s always had a commitment to exercise, bodybuilding and cycling from a young age. This is something that compounds, like interest, in a healthy way. The younger we start the better!
If you don’t take care of yourself first, you risk burnout. But you also won’t be available for the relationships that matter most to you. And this never ends well. So the funny thing is, taking care of yourself. Your spiritual, mental, physical health. Is the first step to being able to take care of others.
Build Business The Right Way
Brandon shares a bunch of the businesses he has worked on. He tells us about the ones that succeeded, failed, and those in between.
Often times the idea of “exiting” or selling your business can seem like a mystery. So it was fun hearing how he built and sold his online fishing business.
We talked about the importance of content creation in today’s entrepreneurial environment. How he got into content creation and the things learned along that journey.
How To Build A Business Plan
We got into a conversation that was an absolute masterclass for starting your own business. Brandon shared his tips for creating a plan that will work for you. It’s created in a way that actually tests your ideas and keeps things organized so you either win, or learn.
People often act like business plans are boring. But they shouldn’t be. A business plan should be the overall story of a project within your company. This should be something you really enjoy making. It is the story about what your business does, why it will work and how.
Quarterly, or at the very least twice a year, you should take some time to work on your business. Remove yourself from the day to day, review the plan and set goals that improve the different aspects of your business.
Here are the key topics that Brandon shared:
- Know your elevator pitch. It’s not about you. Keep it under 30 seconds. Allow it to tell the story of the problem and solution that creates value for people.
- What problem do you solve? In less than two minutes, describe what pain points are you trying to help your customer with? Fill in the blanks X, Y and Z. Person tries “X”. The pain they experience is “Y.” Existing solutions don’t work because “Z”.
- What solutions do you provide? In less than two minutes, describe how your product, or service solves the problems in a simple to understand, or frictionless manner. Fill in the blanks Our solution helps you because it “A” “B” “C”. Example: Saves money, saves time and helps you connect with other creators quickly. It’s not the product, it is how the product solves the problems.
- Describe and share your product. Customer story of using that product and how it works. Like giving a sample, how can you describe in a concise way what exactly the product is? Know all of the costs to produce every aspect of the product.
- Identify Market opportunities. What is the overall market? What is the total addressable market? How specific and niche can you get at first to own a piece of the overall market? Get as fine tuned as you can to strategize to own your serviceable share of the market.
- Your business model. What is the supply chain, workflow that your product, or service goes through in your enterprise? How do you make money? B2B or B2C, or a combination of both. How do you create the offer, how do you get leads, how does the transaction occur, how do you fulfill the offer, how does customer service work and what feedback loop exists?
- Create Traction. What are the assets you currently posses to help the business build momentum? These areas can also be creating bottlenecks. Essentially what elements can you lean on and continue to grow that will give your business leverage? Organic SEO, influencers, sales, social media, affiliates, stores, newsletters, email lists. Set current goals for your first few months to improve your traction. This is where your KPI should come from. Get these ideas in a spreadsheet to track progress.
- Study Your Competition. Use your competition as a learning tool, not to compare your business to theirs. How do they currently operate? How do they create traction? How do they market? How are they priced? What teams do they have? What tasks do they regularly complete to operate the business? Differentiate yourself from your competitors. How can you create your own category to own? What are the things you can focus on within your strategy to make yourself unique and serve your customers? Use a strategy to study such as SWOT Analysis, X/Y Axis, Blue Ocean, Category Design, etc. but don’t obsess over your competitors.
- Create Barriers to entry. How can you achieve a moat between you and your competitors within the market. Overcome challenges that make it harder for your competitors to do. There are many ways to differentiate yourself and make sure that other people couldn’t just copy you and succeed quickly within your market. Any form of content leverage, SEO owenership, IP, network, trade secrets, etc. Continue to set goals that tilt the odds in your favour.
- Track Financials. In less than two minutes, summarize your financial situation. The most important piece is cash flow. In terms of money, this includes your current balance sheet, sales, gross margin, expenses, earnings and net profit. In terms of marketing, or recurring revenue this includes social media, lead generation, conversions, subscribers, unsubscribers, upsells, churn rate, abandonment and returns. Of course this will evolve. But don’t be scared about it. It should be fun to see how much money you can make. Don’t make it complex. This can start on a napkin. But make sure you do it!
As you can see from this recap of the things Brandon shared to help you create a successful business plan, it is simple, but extremely thorough and valuable.
In his podcast, The EDGE with Brandon C White, he goes in more depth on these topics. Throughout an insanely valuable 16 part series he also tackles building your team, funding the business and 7 tips to get started right away.
“If you build a good business that is profitable, growing and solves real problems, you don’t have to shop it. Someone is going to come and try to buy it.”
“If you’re not dialed in yourself and you don’t have an existing life, then codependency can lead to a lot of unhealthy things happening.”
“I didn’t even know what I was doing, but eventually at some point in that, I was like, oh, we can flip this and make a lot of money”
“There’s so many things I’ve tried that didn’t work that I even forget them. The graveyard is long, but you just have to figure out quickly are they going to make money?”
“At the end of the day, you can make more money, Justin, but what you can never get back, and you realize this as you get older, is you can never get your time back.”
Brandon is an entrepreneur from California with two exits (so far).
He has a lot of strikeouts, but learns every time. He is an angel investor, former venture capitalist, business coach and started this journey in marketing at America Online.
As an internet pioneer, he founded Worldwide Angler, Inc which was recognized as the #1 social networking and e-commerce site for sport fisherman on the internet. It ended with a successful sale to a large social media company.
Brandon is a family man, tremendous podcaster and avid fitness enthusiast. Be sure to check out his work because he has a lot of great educational material to help you succeed with your own business and life.