From the archive: This episode was originally recorded and published in 2020. Our interviews on Entrepreneurs On Fire are meant to be evergreen, and we do our best to confirm that all offers and URL’s in these archive episodes are still relevant.
Andy Goldstrom is 2X Inc. 500 Business Owner, consultant, author, and professor who helps entrepreneurs achieve similar success in both good and challenging economies.
Andy’s LinkedIn – Learn more and connect with Andy on LinkedIn
Midcourse Advisors Website – Sign up for your FREE strategy assessment, order Andy’s new book Grow Like A Pro and download the 4 Strategic Shifts!
3 Value Bombs
1) If you can identify a set of changing needs in today’s market and execute, you can grow your business against the toughest of odds.
2) Great leadership is needed more than ever. You can inspire by doing your homework, looking ahead, communicating well and trusting your team.
3) Midcourse Advisors leverages the success of 2X Inc.500 Entrepreneur Andy Goldstrom to help business leaders focus on the right pursuits with the right tools and methodologies to scale and grow their businesses effectively and efficiently.
HubSpot: HubSpot’s all-in-one CRM helps you automate tedious tasks, keep track of all your deals in one place, and make sure your whole team has access to the same data. Get started for free at HubSpot.com!
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: Mastering the 4 Strategic Shifts to Sustain and Grow Your Business in Today’s Challenging Economy with Andy Goldstrom
[1:29] – Andy shares something interesting about himself that most people do not know.
- He is a comedian
[2:51] – Why is now is a good time to start a new business or invest in your existing business?
- Because of so much change going on, now is a good time to set off a new business or invest in your existing business.
- There are a lot of opportunities to address the change in people’s needs and preferences.
- You can have your business adapt and expand in this time of crisis.
[7:11] – Why are entrepreneurs hesitant to take action right now?
- There are uncertainties caused by politics, the pandemic, and civil unrest.
- Entrepreneurs are hesitant to take action because there is so much that you cannot control right now, and it is challenging to put hard-earned money into a business.
- You have a low chance of succeeding if you operate your business based on fear and uncertainty.
[9:30] – How can you increase income and reduce risk?
- 4 Strategic Shifts:
- Win Today
- Enhance your service
- Close your current pipeline
- Focus on collecting on your accounts receivables
- Connect with people and improve your network. Your network is your net worth
- Think Different – envisioning what your business can be
- Achieve Disruptive Growth – scale your business
- Gain Control and Independence – allow your business not to be solely dependent on you.
[14:50] – A timeout to thank our sponsor!
- HubSpot: HubSpot’s all-in-one CRM helps you automate tedious tasks, keep track of all your deals in one place, and make sure your whole team has access to the same data. Get started for free at HubSpot.com!
[17:38] – What can leaders do to inspire others in these turbulent times?
- Leaders can inspire others by leading by example.
- Do your homework.
- Primary Research
- Secondary Research
- Look out ahead of the hood.
- Plan ahead.
- Be transparent with your team.
- Trust your team.
- Do your homework.
[21:51] – Why should female entrepreneurs pay special attention to your message?
- Females make up the majority of the population, however barely 10% of females have management positions.
- Women often put their careers on hold for their families, yet they have the same drive, intelligence, and ability.
[23:28] – What does Andy do to help entrepreneurs succeed?
- His company, Midcourse Advisors, helps business leaders focus on the right pursuits with the right tools and methodologies to scale and grow their businesses speedily.
- Start-up phase
- Midcourse phase
- Re-entry phase
- He has developed a proven system that helps entrepreneurs succeed.
- He offers different programs that fit the needs and budgets of entrepreneurs.
- 1-to-1 tailored fit coaching
- Group Coaching
- Robust online course
- Midcourse Advisors Website – Sign up for your FREE strategy assessment, order Andy’s new book Grow Like A Pro and download the 4 Strategic Shifts!
[26:28] – Thank you to our Sponsor!
- HubSpot: HubSpot’s all-in-one CRM helps you automate tedious tasks, keep track of all your deals in one place, and make sure your whole team has access to the same data. Get started for free at HubSpot.com!
Boom, shake the room. Fire Nation JLD here and welcome to Entrepreneurs on Fire, brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network with great shows like CEO School. Today we're pulling a timeless EO fire episode from the archives, so the giveaway may not be active and we'll be breaking down how to master the four strategic shifts to sustain and grow your business in today's challenging economy. To drop these value bombs, I have brought Andy Goldstrom into EOFire Studios. Andy is a two-time Inc. 500 business owner, consultant, author, and professor who helps entrepreneurs achieve similar success in both good and challenging economies. And today Fire Nation we’ll talk about how if you can identify a set of changing needs in today's market and execute, you can grow your business against the toughest of odds.
How great leadership is needed. Now more than ever, you can inspire by doing your homework, looking ahead, communicating well and trusting your team and so much more. And a big thank you for sponsoring today's episode goes to Andy and our sponsors Outbound Squad, hosted by Jason Bay is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Tune in for convos with leading sales experts and top performing reps to help you land more meetings with your ideal clients. One of my faves, The Monthly app with Jason Ethan, where they share hacks, tips and tricks. Listen to Outbound Squad, wherever you get your podcasts. Andy, say What's up to Fire Nation?
0 (1m 23s):
And share something interesting about yourself that most people don't know.
1 (1m 28s):
Hey, John, great to be on your show. I'm so excited. People who don't know me that well, don't know that I'm a comedian. So I've actually performed on a number of stages and really have a great time with it, partially cuz it's a new skill and it gets me outta my comfort zone. And given all we have going on today, we could sure use a laugh once in a while. Wouldn't you agree?
0 (1m 52s):
That's so true. And speaking of which, I'm not gonna do that typical thing and ask you to tell us a joke right now. But if Fire Nation wanted to get a couple chuckles and learn more about that side of you, where could they find a skidder? Two,
1 (2m 5s):
They can go onto LinkedIn for Andy Golds Strom, where they can go on YouTube and, and, and Google my, you know, and Google my name Andy Olstrom as well. And there are a few different acts that are performed that are a lot of fun. Cool,
0 (2m 18s):
Man. Well I appreciate that and we'll link it up in the show notes as well. In Fire Nation, as I shared in the introduction, we're gonna be talking about mastering the four strategic shifts to sustain and grow your business in today's challenging economy. And Andy, I just wanna dive into it because a lot of people are just in paralyzed mode. Like they just have this analysis paralysis, but why is now actually a good time to start a new business or if you have a current business, invest in that existing business?
1 (2m 50s):
Sure, great question. There's a a saying that I like to think about, especially that's really relevant today and it's the best time to have planted a tree was 20 years ago and the next best time is today. So I really feel that way about business and there's a lot of strong precedent there. So I think people know that, you know, these big companies like General Motors and IBM and Disney, I think those are pretty common names. They were all founded, you know, in the right after the Great Depression or right around the time of the Great Depression. And then Google and Salesforce and eBay and Amazon all came out of the.com bubble and Uber and Air b Airbnb and many others came out of the crisis of 2008.
1 (3m 34s):
So my view is now is a very good time to start a grow business because there's so much change going on, John, when this, when this occurs, people's needs and preferences change. That's when opportunities to address these needs are greatest. Because you can either provide new products or services or really be a disruptor with old ones, money is still being spent out there. But on new and different things, I think we're all cognizant of, we talked before we got on the call about Pete Vargas and him on stages and how he's adapting to vir virtual stages. And you know, instead of heading out on vacation to a crowded area, people are taking staycations and putting pools in their yards.
1 (4m 18s):
You know, instead of going out to restaurants, people are doing takeout or learning how to cook better at home instead of going to the doctor, people are using telehealth, you know, and and exponential in, in such growing numbers. And so while businesses are struggling or even closing, I'm actually working with entrepreneurs in my business and they're adapting and expanding. One example is a group of educators who are creating online or virtual offerings. A second is a real estate property owner who's now actually renting space for webinar and podcast hosts and participants. Mm. Which is pretty cool because they have plenty of space available, it's safe and there are no dogs and kids running around.
1 (5m 1s):
So for people who don't know me that well, I've been a two-Time Inc. Business Inc. 500 business owner. And in my first one, which was a commercial real estate firm, it was launched during recession, probably the worst time. Not unlike this time, companies were reducing headcount to save money, but instead of retracting, we actually created a full service outsourcing business. And it exploded even the bad market because the needs were changing and we were able to identify that and solve that problem. So to answer your question, John, if you, if you can identify a set of changing needs and deliver the goods, now's as good a time as ever.
0 (5m 41s):
Fire Nation, it is easy to make hay while the sun is shining. And guess what? People have been making hay for quite some time now. I mean we're talking 12 years of a bull market. I mean of course we had a situation with Covid 19 and that's really turning a lot of people into struggle mode right now. But hey, it is easy to make that hay while the sun is shining and the people who are able to get out there when it's dark and cloudy and scary and just terrifying and actually keep making that hay, those are the businesses that are tried and true through the years. I can remember so clearly back in 2008 to being a real estate agent in San Diego, man, so many people got wiped out almost overnight it seems in the mortgage industry as well because things turns and they only knew the good times.
0 (6m 31s):
They had no idea how to survive during the down times. But every single real estate agent that I talked to back in oh eight and oh nine, that was actually still around and in some cases thriving. They had stories of the last downturn and how they had learned and adjusted and pivoted through it. And now they were applying that to today's world and now it's 2020 and beyond Fire Nation. And it's a different world that we live in, but it's still a world full of opportunity. So Andy, we still at the end of the day have to call a spade a spade. Entrepreneurs all around the world are still hesitant to take action. Why is that the case?
1 (7m 10s):
I get it. There's so much uncertainty out there, you know, with all the politics and covid and civil unrest, if any one of those three things were happening that would create change and and uncertainty. But all three things are happening right now. It's kinda like a perfect storm. Yeah. And there's so much out there we can't control. Putting hard earned money into a business where we might have even less perceived control is challenging. That's why people are hesitant to say the least. I get it. Things are are tough right now, but the fact of the matter is want to emphasize this to your listeners. If you operate based on fear and uncertainty, your chances of succeeding are really, really low.
1 (7m 50s):
One of my favorite bands from childhood is called Rush. And they had a phrase in one of their songs that I kind of live by and like, it's, if you choose not to decide, you will have made a choice. So you need to make a choice in your business to adapt and move forward or to, you know, or to tread water or close. But you can't just stay the same. And so I John, I I say to you and to your listeners, instead of furloughing or laying off employees, why not create new and enhanced revenue streams instead of wearing how your employees may work effectively, remotely? Why not give them the trust and tools to succeed? John, I know you used the phrase zone of fire.
1 (8m 32s):
Yeah, that's right. That's where you differentiate yourself and can succeed and you're in the zone. It occurs really when you know your client's struggles. So people call me because they're uncertain and they need help, prioritizing and executing. They want predictability that helps them make be less hesitant. They realize resources are really limited and so if they're gonna make a bet, it better be right. So they wanna be in that zone of fire and I help them get there.
0 (9m 3s):
So Andy, all entrepreneurs, they want to increase income, but when you're increasing income, that often requires a massive increase in risk as well, which is pretty scary for people at this time. The reason why I wanted to bring you on the mic today is because you have a way to talk about increasing your income while at the same time reducing risk, which is incredibly appealing, especially in today's world. Break that down for us.
1 (9m 29s):
Absolutely. So there's four strategic shifts. You mentioned that in the title of my, of the, the podcast itself today and in the first strategic shift, which is called Win today. People want cash now and they want to manage their risk. That's part of the hesitancy and the way to cash in involves three different things. It isn't starting something new on a whim or trying something different, it's looking at your existing business or what you're starting. But if it's your existing business and you're an entrepreneur, you, you need to look at your existing customer base. They are people who trust you, who have bought from you, who know you, who know what you can deliver.
1 (10m 10s):
And you need to find what is bothering them now and what they would value differently in their changing environment and willing to pay for. So if you can enhance your service in one way, shape or form, make it, you know, a more premium service or a different complimentary kind of service, you will be able to shorten your cycle time and be able to land more business sooner. The second thing is with your on cashing in is your pipeline itself. You've got people who were interested in you or are interested in you that you're already having your gun sites. And if you can focus on closing those deals as opposed to just focusing on on longer term long shot things, those are ways to get more income in sooner.
1 (10m 59s):
And the last thing is your accounts receivable. These are people who have already consumed your products or services, who owe you money, and you've got terms and conditions where you're trying to collect and, and you really need to stay on that like a laser focus because if companies are struggling, they may not pay you and you need to be creative and their ways to be able to do that in order to bring that money in sooner. And then, so tho those three components are about cashing in getting cash and reducing risk. The other way to kind of look forward a little bit is connecting. You can never not have a robust network, whether in good times and bad, whether you're gainfully employed or, or looking for a job. People will come to me and say, I want to get a new job, or I want to increase my work, or I want to do some kind of new kind of work.
1 (11m 46s):
The first thing I ask them is, what is your network like? And more often than not, I get, well I was really busy and I really haven't been reaching out and adding value to other people and, and, and networking and connecting with people. And I basically say, well you need to be doing that if you, if you haven't. And that takes time and there's a really unique opportunity now to add value and show you care with people. And one of the reasons is it's easier to get ahold of people because many of them are still home, they haven't gone back to the office yet. And you can see them at home in their home environment, be able to look at their pets or their, you know, what their house looks like or what their family looks like or what.
1 (12m 30s):
And, and you can have a more personal discussion to really understand what they need and you can maybe identify something that, that they need or they can reference something that, that you need. So that's the first part of the four strategic shifts that business leaders need to act on to sustain and grow their businesses. Again, it's called WIN today. There are others that are called Think Different, which is about envisioning what your business can be achieving disruptive growth, which is how to scale your business and then gaining high end independence, which is allowing your business not to be solely dependent on you because you're able to automate and duplicate.
1 (13m 11s):
And I wanna offer the listeners that if anyone wants more detail on these four strategic shifts, they can download firstname.lastname@example.org slash four. The number four dash strategic shifts
0 (13m 25s):
Fire Nation. So many value bombs here. I want to go back over those four points that Andy made because they were so critical. I mean, number one, think about enhancing your service or services right now. I mean that can be a great way to increase income, but at the same time reducing risk cause you're just enhancing what you're already doing. Close your current pipeline, like look at those people that are right there in your pipeline. Close those individuals that are already close to that finish line and then focus on your accounts receivable, collect on that laser focus. And by the way, maybe even go back to some of your past clients and with these enhanced services and talk to them. I mean your buyers are, your buyers are your buyers. And lastly, but definitely not least improve your network, your net worth Fire Nation is based off your network, always has been, always will be.
0 (14m 14s):
It's critical to always be adding value to other people to build that network up. And one more time, Andy, before we go to break, what is that URL for people to get that download?
1 (14m 25s):
Www.midcourseadvisors.com/four strategic shifts. And I couldn't agree more with your summary. Thanks for doing that.
0 (14m 35s):
Appreciate it. Well listen, Fire Nation, we have a lot still coming. We'll be talking about being a leader. We're gonna be talking about Andy specifically helping entrepreneurs succeeding even in these times and so much more when we get back from thanking our sponsors. Tech is great, it can help us grow and scale our businesses in so many ways, but it can also be clunky, time consuming to manage and expensive. That's why I'm excited to introduce you to HubSpot, CRM, the best platform to speed up your sales and scale your business without blowing your budget. HubSpot's all in one CRM helps you automate tedious tasks, keep track of all your deals in one place and make sure your whole team has access to the same data.
0 (15m 18s):
No need to worry about the management and cost of a massive tech stack. HubSpot gives you everything you need all in one place. Plus, with fast activation, HubSpot makes it easy for the entire team to get up to speed, saving you precious time. And best of all you can try before you buy. No commitment, no hidden fees, not even a credit card is needed to sign up. Get started for free at hubspot.com. That's hubspot.com. So, Andy, we're back and you are a leader. I'm a leader. Many people are listening to this podcast right now, they are leaders and they are leading people. What can leaders do today to inspire others?
1 (15m 57s):
A lot of it is leading by example. The best leaders are the ones who through tough times, are actually able to shine as opposed to retracting. And people look for guidance and direction, especially in tough times, not just good times. So there's several things. One is do your homework. A leader should really do their homework as they're adapting and changing and making sure they just aren't chasing what somebody told them. Seems like a good opportunity or because others seem to need seem to be doing it. So there are two ways to do it. One is primary research and another one's secondary research. So secondary research is goo.
1 (16m 38s):
You know, going on Google and looking at keywords and trends, Google Trends, looking at Pricewaterhouse Coopers online or other tools that are free or could be paid for that actually are people who understand the industry and report on the industry that you're in that can give you some high level information on what's going on in the industry, especially how much it's changing currently. Trade industry groups also have a lot of good information, but then you have to do primary research, which is getting out of the building and getting in front of your customer. And obviously that needs to be done differently in in in today's current times.
1 (17m 18s):
But if you, if you don't talk to a a customer, you're not going or a prospective customer or an existing customer, you're not gonna be able to adapt. So you need to do your homework as a leader in order to have the best path and opportunity to succeed. Then you need to look out ahead of the hood. I love this analogy. If you're driving and you only look directly in front of you, you're likely gonna hit something pretty quickly. And that's what I told my daughters when I taught them how to drive, where they were holding the wheel so tight and just looking right out past the hood, but no further. So similarly in business, you need to face today's struggles and we've been talking about that, John, but you also need to look and plan ahead because if another, if not others are gonna adapt a lot faster and they're gonna pass you and then you're gonna be struggling again.
1 (18m 5s):
Third thing is to communicate. So be transparent. Let your team know where things stand, be honest, open and transparent and let them know what you envision and how each person can contribute to its success. And then the last thing is you gotta trust your team. No matter how small or how large for those working at home, they are likely balancing, watching kids, taking care of their pets and adjusting to this new normal. And for those working back at the office full or part-time, they're likely somewhat apprehensive and scared. They don't wanna get sick, they don't wanna get others sick, but they want to stay employed and do their job.
1 (18m 46s):
So when I work with leaders, I work hard to make sure that they foster trust, they make sure to communicate and agree on what's to be completed and by when and what help they may need. Then just let them go and do the work and let them do it the way they do it best, not the way you want them to work because it's about the results not punching a clock. So those are the, those are four key things there. Do your homework, look out ahead of the hood, communicate and trust
0 (19m 16s):
A lot of value bombs, air Fire Nation. A couple things I wanna reiterate. So number one, are you leading by example? Like are you getting out there in leading by example? And then the next thing I wrote down that I thought was key is doing your actual homework. Because confidence is key Fire Nation. And when you actually know your stuff, you're able to exude confidence and leaders have confidence, and then get out in the field and actually do that work. I mean, I remember being in the army, it was one thing to be on our tanks in the motor pool, like turning wrenches, but it was a whole other thing to take our tanks out into the field and actually train and actually do the work. So don't just hide behind your desk or in your inbox or on your phone, like get out in the field and do the work.
0 (19m 59s):
So Andy, I wanna speak to the ladies that are listening right now. Why should female entrepreneurs be paying special attention to your message right now?
1 (20m 9s):
I'm glad you asked about this. It's, it's interesting question. Females actually make up a majority of the population over 51%, but only 10% of them have management positions in the standard of poorest list of companies. That's kind of a shocking number. And more importantly, from an entrepreneurial perspective, I think this is a commonly known fact. 4% of all businesses reach a million in annual revenue, which is a low percentage, but only half or 2% of female owned businesses achieve achieve the same success. So, you know, a lot of people wonder why does that happen?
1 (20m 50s):
Well, women get married, they sacrifice their careers to raise children and they put, they often put their careers on hold while their partners grow theirs. Yet I I think we all know they have the same drive intelligence and ability, if not more, to be successful entrepreneurs. And they're actually overall better educated than men. The only thing they lack is the same amount of experience, which can create challenges. So I I feel quite fortunate that I've had the opportunity to work quite well with dozens of women entrepreneurs to make sure they're on point with their efforts so they can succeed. Don't get me wrong, John, I work well with men as well, but I do enjoy working with women and help them succeed.
1 (21m 36s):
0 (21m 36s):
Andy, I wanna talk specifically about how you help entrepreneurs succeed, both men and women. What specifically do you do that sets you apart from the rest?
1 (21m 47s):
So my company's called Mid Course Advisors we're business strategists and growth experts who help business leaders focus on the right pursuits with the right tools and methodologies to scale their businesses and grow, grow rapidly. And we talked about the predictability and the path to be able to grow. And mid-course advisors was named, it was kind of after a rocket analogy where you have a startup phase and a mid-course phase and a re-entry phase with a rocket and the mid-course is about 80% of the life of a business. And that's where I really shine helping businesses make appropriate adjustments in their journey.
1 (22m 27s):
I I certainly work with a lot of startups and in fact I teach entrepreneurship at a major university as an instructor, but, but mid-course is, is is focused on that 80%. So as a two time Inc 500 business owner, I've developed a system to help entrepreneurs succeed. It's a proven system that works. It it, it's helped my companies be successful, but more importantly it helped our clients add 90 million in new revenue in 20 million in new profit in just the last couple years. Wow. So yeah, so I offer different programs to fit the needs and budgets of entrepreneurs.
1 (23m 8s):
And this ranges at the top end with one-to-one coaching, which I do used to fly a lot more to the clients, but now I do a lot more remotely. But it's one-to-one tailored personalized coaching to help clients succeed. I also have a robust online course that if people want to learn a lot of the things that I teach and a lot of the, a lot of the things relating to the four strategic shifts and how to apply it to their business, I've got this fabulous online course. It's much more affordable than the one-to-one coaching and then it's not, it's an opportunity where they can take, they can actually have access to certain tools and templates and, and a, a Facebook group and a community that really adds a lot of value at that price point.
1 (23m 53s):
And then the last thing is, I actually have a book that came out in June called Grow Like a Pro. So it's a, I wrote it because I was pulling a lot of information that I, and tools and methodologies that I had developed and learned over time from my own personal library and applying it to every client and I, and I thought to myself, why not package it so that it's easier to distribute and then I can reach more people. And so Grow like a Pro is a, is a really great book. It's very actionable. It has a lot of case studies from, from me and my own personal experience as well as, as well as those of of very well known companies that I've studied. And it's available on Amazon and people who wanna know, they can find information on the book and my programs can all be found on the website, mid-course advisors and I do offer, you know, whether somebody isn't in, just wants to talk or, or make a connection or is interested in one of my offerings, I do offer a free strategy assessment.
1 (24m 58s):
You just have to go to my website and sign up and, and again, there, there's that free download of the four strategic shifts that I talked about before at midcourseadvisors.com/fourstrategicshifts
0 (25m 14s):
Fire Nation, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you have been hanging out with AG and JLD today. So, keep up that heat and check out what Andy has offering. I mean, it's some incredible content that just builds upon everything that we've been talking about here today. His book Grow Like a Pro, his website is a place you can start and again, get all those great downloads and information and maybe find ways to work with him. And again, that's all gonna be on the show notes page over eofire.com. When you type in Andy, a n d y, that show us page will pop up or again, just go directly to his websites or of course get the book Grow like a Pro.
0 (25m 55s):
So I just wanna say, Andy, thank you for sharing your knowledge, your truth, your value with Fire Nation today. For that we salute you brother, and we will catch you on the flip side.
1 (26m 5s):
Thanks John. Really enjoyed it.
0 (26m 7s):
Hey, Fire Nation, today's value Bomb content was brought to you by Andy and if you had your big idea Fire Nation, well you would already be ready to ignite. If you don't have it, well guess what? I have a free training for you. It's called Your Big Idea. And in less than an hour, I will get you to that big idea. Visit yourbigidea.io and I'll catch you there or I'll catch you on the flip side. Outbound Squad hosted by Jason Bay is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Tune in for convos with leading sales experts and top performing reps to help you land more meetings with your ideal clients. One of my faves, The Monthly app with Jason Ethan, where they share hacks, tips and tricks.
0 (26m 50s):
Listen to Outbound Squad wherever you get your podcasts.
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