Bootstrap Podcast Transcripts: Vince Warnock – Founder, Chasing the Insights

Bootstrap Podcast Transcripts: Vince Warnock – Founder, Chasing the Insights

Please enjoy this transcript of my interview with Vince Warnock ( @vincewarnock) He is an award-winning Business and Marketing Strategist, coach, author and host of the Chasing the Insights podcast. 

An ex-radio announcer with over 20 years in marketing. Vince has been recognized by his peers with numerous awards including being named a Fearless50, a program designed to recognize the top 50 marketers in the world who are driving bold, fearless marketing and digital transformation. 

He has also founded multiple companies including the Chasing the Insights Podcast and Academy where he empowers entrepreneurs and business owners to grow the business they have always dreamed of.

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Miko Santos : Please welcome to the Bootstrap podcast under our syndicate, Vince Warnock Thank you for your time, Vince.

Vince Warnock :Thanks for having me. I’ve decided I need you to read my bio out everywhere now. So just get you to go around. Introducing me at events would be awesome.

Miko Santos : Love to hear about your journey as intrapreneurs. What got you from the starting point to getting here right now?

Vince Warnock : Oh, my goodness. That is a good question. And I think the biggest thing is survival. In all honesty, as you said, I did grow up in an abusive environment. A lot of people, as you know, we go a lot of people see the beautiful Sonis and they see all of the lovely landscapes and they see The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and everything. But what they don’t see is a massive undercurrent of child abuse, depression, or just poverty, basically. And that’s what I grew up in. So I got to the stage.

It’s like growing up I’ve got to what we call the intermediate school, which is basically ages 11 and 12  and it is an intermediary school between primary and secondary school. And up until that point, the home was a horrible environment for me. So home was a place where it was abusive. The home was a place where I didn’t feel safe. The home was a place where I never felt valued. But school, on the other hand, was my happy place. This was a place where I could throw myself into learning.

Turns out I was really good at it. I could flourish. I could kind of control my environment there. So that was kind of ages five to ten. But when I got to intermediate, I discovered something that I hadn’t come across in the school environment before and that was a bully. So all of a sudden I had a bully at home and I had a bully in the school environment as well, which meant that I had no safe space whatsoever. So entrepreneurship actually hit me at age 11. This was my way of surviving because I needed some form of escapism. I had nothing. I didn’t have a job. I had a paper round for a few years. But that was terrible. If don’t give much money in a paper round. So what I did instead was I discovered and please don’t judge me on this, I had no moral compass at age 11. I had no adult figure around me that could tell me things were right and wrong. But I started my first business and that business was pirating Commodore 64 video games and software because I discovered that because I managed to a long story, but I managed to build these computer systems at age 10, like fixing these ones that were broken. I managed to sell those off to a family of my friends and get enough money to buy a combo of 64. And that’s when I discovered, whoa, all the games and all of the software is actually on cassette tapes. Therefore you can copy this. So I used to go with my friends to the party room where you grew up.

Mieko used to go down to the dickered there and where they had all the stereos they had once they had high-speed dubbing. So I got my friend to go in there and distract the person behind the counter. Well, I would go up, take a video game that I had hired off this company for a dollar, put it in there with some blank tapes and just quickly high speed, a whole pile of them and then go and sell them to all my friends. And I made enough money from that to truly escape. And by that I mean to buy a whole heap of comic books because comic books were what I grew up reading. They were just my escapism. But then I also bought a TV, a VHS, a TV, and VHS, which I put in my caravan. I used to live in a caravan in the back of my parent’s house, so that was my escapers. And then I threw myself into movies. I would go down to the video store and rent all the Jackie Chan movies, all of the terrible Italian ninja movies, all of the science fiction I could get my hands on. So that was my first taste of entrepreneurship, was basically wanting to survive, wanting to find some way to be able to provide for myself so I could escape the world that I was living in at the time. I then discovered later on, by the way, that that was not only immoral but illegal. So I didn’t continue.

Every company I’ve had since then has been completely above board just saying. But I kind of really did start a spark inside of me. And I remember after college, I worked for a German company. I was a rubbish guy, used to go and do rubbish collection and things. But again, there I was always seeing things differently and looking for ways that I could make extra money, ways that I could try and, you know, earn some additional income on the side. And that became one of my focuses. I had a day job and then I wanted to be able to create something on the side. So then kind of fast forward through a number of different employment. And I then started to launch my own companies. And this is when things really started to take off for me. I was then in and out of corporate. Life and its entrepreneurship and back into corporate life and into entrepreneurship, I would do a number of different things there until finally I bit the bullet and oh wow, I can remember the year now, but it was about 10 years ago, I think it was. I decided to leave corporate completely and throw myself fully into full-time entrepreneurship. And that was when I started to common ledger your podcast.

And this came about from a good friend of mine and the two of us had always wanted to work on a project together. Little did we know that project would be a full-blown company working 24/7 in multiple markets around the world or like our home

But we came up with this concept. He was working with his stepfather and his stepfather was an accountant. And he had all these issues around dealing with different software. So we thought we can solve this real-world problem. So he came to me and he said, I think there’s an opportunity here. So I said, well if we’re going to do this, we do this right. So we took about I think it was around about eight months. Don’t quote me on that. But it seems like about eight months of basically doing research. So we would just talk to every accountant that we could. And every time that we did, it validated more and more that we had a solution that would meet a very big need. So that kind of started that journey.

Then we finally decided to jump in boots and all. But that would mean six months of absolutely no income. I remember the conversation with my wife whenever we’ve decided, by the way, completely sidetracked here, we’re never going to get kebabs again. Every time we go to a kebab shop, we end up making major life decisions. I don’t know what it is about kebabs, but for some reason, this is what happens. And I remember sitting there with her at the kebab shop and saying, look, this opportunity I’ve been telling her about over these months, I said, I really think there’s potential in this. I really do. And I know it’s going to be scary because we’ve got two kids and we’ve got to put them through school and everything. But the reality is this huge potential. And she was like, you know what, I think the time is right? And I said, yeah, I think I need to do this. But if I do it, it’s going to mean six months of no income because I plotted out a road map to when we could get a seed funding round done. So it was OK. Then she turned around me and said, actually, that’s really interesting timing because you know how I’ve been wanting to change careers for some time because she was an early child care teacher, but she had this passion to help people with addictions. There’s a passion to help people with problems. So she wanted to go back to university and study addictions counseling, and that would mean no income at all for either of us for at the very least six months. So at that point, my it was ten at the time, a ten-year-old son discovered that he was actually the highest earner in the household.

So he became like a little Don Corleone sitting there going, hey, you want to the money, you’re coming to see me. So so that got that then started a very, very fast-tracked journey. We were on track exactly what we thought would happen. We raised a seed fund of a million dollars after six months. We brought on board two other co-founders as well. And then we grew really rapidly. So we infiltrated the New Zealand market was very small for us, but we knew the biggest markets were offshore. So we set up a shop in Melbourne, up an office over there, and we target Australia and then we’re heading into the US and the UK. But that was an I think it was a three or four-year journey.

And at the end of that journey, I was exhausted. When you have four co-founders like us, where Dru who is Michael? He’s a developer. You don’t put a developer in front of your potential customers because they scare the crap out of them all developers. I’m sorry if you’re a developer, but all developers are mentally unstable as far as I’m concerned. Wonderful people. I love Drew to bits, but Hoho doesn’t put them in front of customers. And then the other two co-founders we brought on board were an accountant and a lawyer. So you can kind of see my problem here. Which of those four sounds like a bad joke, but which of those for a developer, a lawyer, an accountant, and a marketer could you put in front of people trying to sell? Well, that meant that it was me. So I was on the road non-stop meeting with accounting firms, meeting with accountants, just selling, selling, selling.

And I learned so much and I had an idea they were bought at the time. It was great fun. We were on a massive adventure, but there’s a point where that is very thin and there’s a point where you come home from a trip to Sydney and you’re sitting in your lounge and your son says he’s twelve at the time and he says, Dad, can we have a chat? And I said, Yeah, sure. And he goes, Look, I know that you’re trying to build a really good company, but I think we need to spend more time together. And as a father, that does two things to you. The first is it makes you feel this immense sense of pride that you’ve created, this relationship with your kids and with your family where they can be completely emotionally honest with you. Like, he didn’t feel weird about asking me that. He didn’t feel bad about asking that he. Just knew that dad, actually, I want to spend more time with you,

I’m going to tell you how I feel. So that was an amazing feeling. But the other half of me oh, boy, the other half of me was going, ouch, how did I not see that sooner? So I said, that’s a really good point. Hold that thought. I picked up my phone. I could see myself rolling his eyes going dark days on the phone again. I rang my co-founders who jumped on a conference call and I said, Hey, guys, I’m out, I’m done. I’m the majority shareholder. I’ll stay as the majority shareholder. But I want to hire someone to replace me. And I need to spend more time with my family. So you can kind of picture the scenario of my son sitting next to me, go, whoa, that was easy. And the co-founders are on the other end of the phone square and they head off and I go, I’ll talk Monday by phone.

And that’s that kind of end of that chapter. The next morning, I woke up with this incredible sense of relief going, oh, man, all that pressure is off me. No more travel. This is going to be fantastic. And then wait, wait. What’s that thing that people need? Oh, that’s right. It’s a job because you can’t actually go down to the grocery store and say, I’ll give you some equity in exchange for some groceries, because apparently, they don’t like that, despite how much potential there is in your company. So at that point, I realized I eventually took on their chief marketing officer role there. Now, as soon as I left college, we also decided I think they decided at that point we had a lot of companies sniffing around, trying to buy us all those kinds of crazy things that normal people do.

So that then maybe opened up an opportunity where I joined the team at Cigna, like what you hear so far, make sure you never miss an episode by clicking the subscribe button. Now, this. That is possible by listeners like you. Thank you for your support. Now back to the show.

So this became a really cool jump-off point where, okay, let’s actually have some proper negotiations. There was an emotional roller coaster. If you ever go through an acquisition, it is a crazy feeling until you see your bank balance and then it’s a really cool feeling. And then you look around for actual children you can sell. So that was good fun and then I joined the team at Cigna until January last year. So January twenty, where again, after five years at Cigna, I felt that I felt the need to get back into the entrepreneurial space. I had published my first book. I was really feeling an urge as the only way to describe it, to write my next book. So I talked to the team at Cigna and said, Look, guys, I’m the type of person that I don’t flourish in that environment. I don’t flourish when I’m at the C Street level, even though I operate very well in there. I getting some really good ones. The reality is I’m far removed from the impact that I make on people, and that’s something that I need to be knowing that I’m helping individuals and companies. So I made the call to leave them to focus on writing my next book. And so I left in January or February, actually early February twenty, just before covid had so good timing.

I tell you, as soon as that had I was a few, I got out of the right. So what about one of my colleagues who rang me up this week, you’d say, yep, your problem, not mine, but I left there to write my book, and then that very quickly kind of escalated into writing two books at the same time, because apparently I’m stupid and I like pressure.

I really do. At the same time, I then launched my podcast and then accidentally fell into a coaching career and fell into helping other entrepreneurs and helping businesses to grow into it. And a lot of that came through two things. One is when people realized it wasn’t Cigna, which means I wasn’t working 24/7. They were like, oh, now we can ask for some help, which was cool. But the other one was we covered head, which was like a bombshell for a lot of businesses. And when I was writing one of the books I’m writing at the moment, I was interviewing a lot of companies from around the world in the US and Australia, and New Zealand. And one of the things that happened was all of them said the same thing, which was, hey, look, we would love to help you, but it’s not in the right space at the moment. We still have all the same overheads. We still have all and costs associated with our business. But right now, we have absolutely no revenue coming in at all. And every revenue option for us has ceased. When you feel something for these companies which are you know, these are just awesome entrepreneurs. They’re wonderful people. I just looked at it and said, I can’t leave that. I can’t just go. OK, nevermind. Get back in touch with me when you find I had to do something about it. So I gave up my time. I sit down. I trained these two little old ladies in Melbourne and the knitting cafe. I trained them how to use Shopify and basic eCommerce techniques and how to market themselves. And within one weekend they’ve got their entire shop up and running online. Eight hundred and fifty products. And within two weeks we’re making far more money online than they’ve ever made. And the bricks and mortar store and through their events, which was just amazing. And then some of the other clients that are dealing with double or triple their deal, doing this is the time.

Miko Santos : So it’s doing a. Right now, do you think it’s it’s a good time for individuals to start up their business?

Vince Warnock :The sense of satisfaction you get from helping entrepreneurs and helping business owners is unbelievably cool? I’m OK. I’ll answer that in two ways. One is looking at the landscape at the moment. So one of the things that happened during when covid first kind of really impacted businesses as there was a huge influx of companies setting up online. So a number of companies going digital, a number of people where suddenly they were out of a job. So they suddenly thought, I need to start something or at least find some way of generating some revenue. So there’s actually a huge influx of businesses being set up at that point. So just from a landscape perspective, that would make you think maybe it’s not the best time to do this, but the other side on this is covered has done something else really important. And as for impact as devastating, it is impacting US companies.

There are a few plus sides to it. And I’m ever an optimist, optimist. So I kind of look at things through this lens. But one of the things I notice is covered in lockdown basically made people take the time to look at what’s important to them.

And for a lot of people, they are looking at their corporate jobs and realizing that corporate jobs are really, really fickle. And this is something that was really important to me with my own kids, something growing up, especially growing up in poverty. We saw that jobs came and went like, you know, we are parents weren’t careered parents or anything like that. They would jump from one job to another because they’d be fired from one for various reasons. But they would you would see that people we would have these times where parents would be out of work. We would have stress, we would have no money, no food on the table. Couldn’t even afford I think it was 50 cents to do swimming lessons back then. And that was too much. So I couldn’t even do that at the time. So as all these things that we had to go without because of the futile nature of this type of employment.

So I was really adamant that our kids would never grow up in that environment. So that forced me to always have something on the side, always have a day job, and then always have some kind of entrepreneurial, usually two or three different things that I’m launching at the time until finally taking the college into full entrepreneurship. So I really kind of inspired the kids and made sure that they knew that they could create their own wealth, that there were opportunities out there, there were ways to be creative, and both of them had their own companies from a very young age. My son started a comic book company from when he was seven until he was ten. And then he made modded Minecraft servers and would actually charge people to come in and be Edmans and charge them for extra little errands and things like that in there. And my daughter ran a dance school from when she was about, I think, 10, actually, and now she’s about to turn twenty-four. She’s got her own digital marketing agency. So so that is a lesson that I think everybody needs to learn. Everyone needs to learn that you don’t have to be beholden to a corporate. You don’t have to be beholden, beholden to a nine to five job that you actually can create your own wealth. So based on that alone, I would say absolutely, man. I think any time is a good time to launch your own business. But now, more than ever, you’re in a position where necessary, which is obviously the mother of all invention, but there’s so much necessity there to be able to generate wealth to keep your family fed and keep yourself basically gaining in earning wealth.

Miko Santos : So can you tell us what is the difference between you starting up a business today compared to in the 80s? You have to be passionate you have to believe in your product. But now, today, we have the latest technology to have social media.

Vince Warnock :  I think I think the biggest difference now is just the speed of everything in reality. So you see their hard work and their passion. I don’t think those things change. I think honestly, as an entrepreneur, if you want to succeed, you are going to have to put in some hard work and you’re also going to have to balance that and make sure you’re looking after yourself, which is another topic altogether. But also you have to passionately believe in what you’re doing. In fact, if you look at there’s a whole pile of studies done around success, look, particularly looking at entrepreneurs and success. And they found that there were three common traits amongst all successful entrepreneurs.

One of those is an openness to learn. One of those is optimism and the other is curiosity. So if you have those three things, then you are positioned well to succeed. Just keep seeing the positive. And things don’t just get bogged down by all the negative. Be insanely curious about why things work, why they don’t work, why people behave the way they do, why they don’t behave the way you think they would. And of course, you know, just to ensure that you are always, always learning and not assuming that you know everything. So that’s always been the case with entrepreneurs. But I think what’s happened now with all the technology that’s out there, particularly with social media, is the world has got a hell of a lot smaller.

So all of a sudden you have faster and easier access to individuals. So what that means from an entrepreneur’s perspective is you can test your theories, you can test your products, you can test your hypothesis faster than ever before by actually getting it in front of real people. You don’t have to actually walk down to the bricks and mortar store and interview individuals there. You don’t have to go and do a survey on the corner of the street. You can literally put a post on social media and go, guys, on LinkedIn. I’ve seen this done just recently and I’m going to be doing this year with a project that literally going out there on LinkedIn and saying, hey, guys, I’m thinking of doing this Hoosen.

And you will get 20, 30 people to respond and say, hey, that sounds amazing. Count me in. And then you can actually design what that looks like. Then you can build a product around it. Then you can start to interview these people, find out what it is about this that attracts them. What are those about this that actually works and doesn’t work? So I think that’s the biggest difference. Now, I think that in itself, if you can tap into that, that means you have you’re far better positioned now to succeed than ever before.

Miko Santos : Do you need a mentor for that? So because a lot of business owners are individuals, you just OK, I got an idea. Looks cool. And then and then failed. So I the entrepreneurs you like you need a mentor to do that.

Vince Warnock : OK, I don’t, I don’t know, use the word need in the sense that I know there are people that can make it out there without a mentor. However, why would you not like, in all seriousness, the most successful people I know. So I have two coaches and two mentors, so I have to mentors that I look up to, that I pay to speak into my life, to be able to, you know, help me when I hit the wall and things like that. I have a coach who digs deeper into my business and basically looks for the gaps that I have. So because you’re not an expert on everything, let’s face it, you just need to admit that as an entrepreneur, you don’t know everything. So giving a coach or a mentor will actually help you to fill those gaps. The other thing that they do is highlight the blind spots because we only know what we know. And often we can be operating in a specific way or in a particular way without realizing there’s a giant blind spot there. There’s something that we’re missing because we obviously don’t see it. So therefore we don’t know it’s there. And they can come in from a fresh view, from a helicopter view looking down on it and go, actually, that’s there is an area where you need to work on or there’s an area where that’s stopping your growth or stopping your success. And then the third thing they do, by the way, is and this is something that most entrepreneurs don’t like to admit, but we all have those days where you don’t want to get out of bed or those days where you’re like, you know what, I can’t do this, man. I need to go and get a proper job or I need to grow up and be an adult now because this is damn hard. It is hard there, but they’re the ones who will then take the time to reach out to you or you reach out to them and they’ll go. They’ll give you a perspective.

So they will sit down and they will go actually look, here’s the evidence that’s in front of you. This is just a bad day. You need to keep pressing through. People are relying on what you’re doing. So that is really inspiring and keeps you on track. And then the other type of coach hope, by the way, is I had an accountability coach, which is almost counterintuitive to what it is. So a lot of people, when they think accountability coach, that’s someone who makes sure that you’re working on the right stuff, make sure you’re constantly pushing and pushing and pushing, hustling hard, constantly grinding all those things that we used to hold as a badge of honor as entrepreneurs, but then realized they actually did terrible for you.

But in actual fact, she doesn’t do that. She does the opposite. Her entire job is to keep me from burning out and to make sure that I’m actually looking after myself and I’m taking the time for me and what she realized. She’s an amazing woman. But what she realizes after observing me and getting to know me for a while, she realized that writing is my happy place. So when I’m writing, that means I’m free. It means I’ve got my creativity open. That means that everything’s flowing. So one of the questions she asked me every single week is, so how much do you get written last week? Bernsten works not that much. And she goes, right, that’s the sign that you’re not looking after yourself because that happy place is the first thing I sacrifice when I’m under pressure, when I’m under stress and anxiety, that’s the first thing that goes. So then she’s got full permission to ring my wife and say, hey, I think this isn’t looking after himself and me and say, yep, I agree with you. I noticed this as well. And he won’t listen because he’s really stubborn.

So let’s gang upon him. So they do and they hold me to account. And I’ve learned, by the way, the biggest lesson you can ever learn as an entrepreneur if you’re married or if you’ve got an accountability coach when they say, are you overdoing it or are you not looking after yourself? You need to pause, reflect and act on it because they have got your best interests at heart. And this whole hustle and grind to your day thing are not healthy and it’s not going to create a good business. So, yeah. So now I look, I 100 percent agree. Every I genuinely think every entrepreneur should get a coach or should get a mentor. I like I said, I’ve got multiple and I know that all of my mentors and my coaches also have mentors and coaches and you can go all the way up. I can guarantee you that people like Jeff Bezos, all of them, have people they can reach out to give them perspective, to help them fill the gaps in their knowledge and things as well. So so don’t underestimate the power of a mentor or coach, that’s for sure, Wolf.

Miko Santos All right. That’s good information. I might need one. I don’t have them yet. So in relation to entrepreneurship, you say, how do you keep up?  So you have coaching, you get accountability coaches. Well, how do you keep up with the burnout? And also, do you believe in work-life balance as an entrepreneur?

Vince Warnock : Oh, this is a very good question.  I do and I don’t. And what I mean by that is I’m the type of person that overworks, mainly because I’m really, really passionate about what I do. I love being creative. I loved him. I work. But I am also terrible at seeing the signs of myself that I’m not looking after myself. So from that perspective, I do like this whole concept of work-life balance. I think you do need to balance things. However, I really don’t like the word balance, and the sounds really, really finicky and really picky. But there’s a reason for that because when you picture in your mind the concept of work-life balance, it feels like it’s the seesaw where on one side there’s work, on the other side is life. And you have to balance and make sure that you’re sacrificing from one to feed the other. But I don’t actually believe that that’s true. What I believe instead, I use the analogy of juggling. So it’s about actually juggling all these multiple different things and making sure that you’re clear that when there are too many balls in the air or too many things in the air, that, you know which of those you can let go of and which of those you have to focus on. And the fact, there was a theory doing the rounds, which really irritated me. Have you ever heard of Four Burners theory? Yeah, I, I’m sorry. Anyone who’s a fan of four burners theory, I’m sorry. I’m just going to say it’s absolute bollocks, like this whole theory that you have these four areas of your life that you can have success. Then there is health, there is family, there is work and there are friends. And I’m like, yep. And the idea is you only have enough gas to run all four of those.

All four of those at twenty-five percent each. So to power up your company to succeed, you need to sacrifice energy from one of the other ones. Now I know that the fortunate theory was designed to help people to learn not to put too much energy into one of those things. But unfortunately, you’re talking about entrepreneurs. Here we are some of the smartest, brightest people in the world, but we are also really dumb. Sometimes when you see things going forward as you go, OK, I need to get this done. That means I could just sacrifice my health. Sacrifice my family or my friends, but there is a whole pile of issues I have with that theory. The first one being there are far more than four areas of your life that you can gain success and far more than four years of your life. You need to focus on what about community stuff? What about your hobbies? What about your interests? What about your passions? What about sports and things that don’t fit under the health banner? But also I can prove it wrong with one swift action, and that is my relationship with my wife.

So for us, it’s really important that we invest in that relationship. So we have date nights quite regularly, but we also do something else together. We go to the gym together five days a week, and it’s really important to us that we go together. It’s not just about the exercise, it’s about spending time with each other. So usually we meet up at the gym about 15 minutes earlier. We chat about the day and all this kind of thing. How is it? How is the work? And, you know, she’s come back from her job. How was work and how was this pressure and all you were going to do this today, how they get on all this kind of stuff? And then we go to the gym. And by the way, we’ve been told off so many times that the gym for laughing non-stop because we have a blast, the two of us are just giggling and being cheeky and mucking around. So we always get told off there and the group classes. But this has proven that for beginners, they’re Iran because at the same time, with the same amount of energy, I’m investing in both my family, the relationship that’s important to me, which is my wife and my health. So so, yeah, I’d call B.S. on that. I do believe, though, as entrepreneurs, we need to learn to be really in tune with ourselves.

We need to know how our how we’re made up, how we work. We need to know when we need to drop some of those balls that we’re juggling at the time. We need to know a good example. This for me was a big push that I had. Oh, wow. I think oh, it’s no September, October on time and times lost all relevance for me. Late last year I did a ritual summit. I was called the Ultimate Marketing Strategy Summit. So I brought together thirty leaders and entrepreneurship and marketing and sales together from around the world. And we had this online summit where we were helping to give you enough information to build your ultimate marketing strategy. But I had a big push to get all of that ready. I was doing it on my own because I hadn’t had anyone because I was stupid to remedy that sense. But I was doing everything on my own. So I had this big push over a weekend. I thought I’m just going to have to knuckle down. And this is the time where I’m allowed to drop other balls because this is a short burst of focus.

But I got to Sunday afternoon and I was hitting the wall and I wasn’t I still wasn’t near where I needed to be, where it was. I was on the canisters coming. It is quite stressful. My wife walked up and said, OK, you don’t seem like yourself. Are you overdoing it? And I went, Yeah, I think I am. And I do not just listen to her, but listen to that inner voice of myself. And that’s when I went, OK, I need to take action on this. I’ve identified it. That means I need to act on it. So I stopped working. I thought, you know, I’m not going to die in a ditch over this if I have to delay it by a couple of days. It’s not ideal. But you know what? I’ll just pause. I spent some time. We went for a walk, came back, was some cheesy Marvel TV shows because that’s what you do. You know, what’s superhero stuff, which I love. And then I felt a bit more refreshed. I thought you know what, I’m going to get back to work now.

Vince Warnock : And then all of a sudden, there we are The rate that I managed to get through, the acceleration increased so dramatically that I realized the more and more I was hitting the wall, the more and more I was getting burnt out and tired, and everything. My productivity was slowing down and slowing down and slowing down. So actually taking that time for myself to invest in me for going for a walk through watching cheesy TV, all of a sudden my energy levels, my motivation, my momentum, all of us increased dramatically and I ploughed through that work and actually got it done before the deadline. So, yeah, as entrepreneurs, it’s not just something to think about is something you have to do.

You have to create. I hate the word but balanced. You have to be able to juggle those multiple things and you have to look after yourself because you are the thing that makes your company so unique. Another thing that makes your company so special. And without you, it’s nothing. Trust me.

Miko Santos : So, as you said, you don’t chase the win, you chase the inside. So tell us about chasing the inside where it came from.

Vince Warnock : OK, so this came from necessity. A lot of my things are going to come from necessity, but we know where they come from. And they are one of the things all entrepreneurs, and particularly if you’re in the Start-Up space, because you’re you know, when you launch, you have no money, particularly, by the way, particularly prior to doing our seed round, we were invested. We were bootstrapping the company ourselves and we couldn’t invest that much into it. So we’re like, OK, we have to be really, really efficient, which means that anything I wanted to do marketing-wise, I had to really know that it was going to work if I was going to invest and that I had to prove that it was going to work. So I thought, right, the only way I’m going to be able to do this is by testing things in little increments. So rather than investing all in and going right, we’re going to run a big PR campaign in Australia or we’re going to run a Facebook ad campaign in the US or whatever, I had to go, you know what? I’m going to test all of these different things.

So that made me realize that everything it’s just like science. You need to create an experiment. You need to go, OK, I have a hypothesis that this would work, that if I put some press out there in Australia or I could get some kind of traction on the press front, that I would see some results around this. So I would come up with the smallest what I call the minimum viable test. You would come up with the smallest thing to test possible and you would go out there and you would test it. And then the thing I learned very quickly was that is really soul destroying when it doesn’t work. When you’re looking at this guy, I had a hypothesis and I totally disprove this hypothesis. It really impacts you as an entrepreneur. You’re like, no, I thought this was going to work. But then I had an epiphany after talking to a scientist and we were talking about this whole concept of experimentation. And then I realized actually because I was a science background, the electronics and computer engineer. But the thing I realized is whenever we were running experiments in electronics or in any of science, actually, you’re focussed on proving or disproving the hypothesis. It’s not about trying to get the gains from it. It’s not about the winds.

It’s about being critically curious that you want to know is this going to work? And if it doesn’t work, why did that not work? So that’s when I realized it’s I have to change my thinking. I had to change the way I approach these experiments instead of trying to chase the winds all the time. I really had to frame it around. I’m looking for information. I’m looking for those insights. I’m looking to learn as much as possible about what works and what doesn’t work and about how my customers behave. And that I found gave me the fortitude. It gave me the confidence to keep pressing in. And even when those experiments weren’t quite going the way, I wanted to keep testing and testing and testing. And what happens when you do that when you’re actually chasing those insights instead of the gains in the winds, as you have these tiny little incremental steps? And before you even realize that those steps have ended up to a giant leap upwards and you look at your competitors, you look at where you look at all these things and you realize I’ve progressed so far here just off these tiny little incremental gains. So I took that learning from college. I implemented that when I joined the team at Cigna and I said, right, we’re going to say I was in charge of all the digital channels, particularly looking at how we could sell online. And one of the things I realized is this is a framework that I can actually implement here. I can actually bring in experimentation.

We can try all these different things, tweak them, look at where the challenges are like in our sales funnel, and look at the challenges we’re having on the website and experiment with something and see what results in we get. As many AB tests as you can, as many multivariate tests as you can, but just test and test and test. But then I realized that was OK for me because I had the right mindset in the right frame of mind for this. But I looked at my team who were getting really, really anxious and I really ran an experiment on it was just the lead generation campaign and one of my team had come up with this hypothesis. He had seen one of the campaigns we had earlier and he noticed that a lot of the people that enter that competition, the way they responded, was with this very altruistic kind of Beenz, like a lot of them were wanting to do work in the communities. So he said, what if we run a lead generation campaign where there’s nothing in it for you, where actually you get to choose what charities to give this money to? And I said, right, we’ll give it a go. And it failed so badly. If you look at it as a PR campaign, it generated almost not enough leads to be able to give away the prices.

Vince Warnock :It was that crazy that when you reframe that as you look at the insights that we learned from that we now had a benchmark, we had a bar where we know we don’t need to go anywhere near that bar now because that won’t work. So now we have to bend it back into what’s in it for them. So we ran an experiment on top of that experiment. We changed the price up a bit and said, oh, by the way, we’re going to give you something as well. And then suddenly all the leads started coming in. So that became a mantra I had to actually teach my team as well. Don’t chase the wins, chase the insights.

Miko Santos :So you also have a podcast as well. And you have a book on the same title. Yeah. Do you agree that podcasting is? Important as part of being a business owner or being an entrepreneur. I think you just for awareness of your brain.

Vince Warnock : Yeah, I think I think there’s a number of ways to answer this because I think it really does depend on your target market. And I want to see if your brand is Joe average consumer and your B2C kind of business. Not necessarily, because at the moment we know I think in the US it’s around 50 percent of people listen to podcasts, but only twenty-four per cent of people actually listen to those on a weekly basis. And they have an average of around I think it’s around seven podcasts that they listen to at the same time. So. So based on that, I would say it may be a wasted effort if you’re creating your own podcasts, however. And the B2B space. Oh my goodness. It positions you as a thought leader. It’s one of the best tools out there to actually position yourself as a leader in your industry. However, there is also light outside of starting your own podcast. There’s actually a lot of power and being on other people’s podcasts, like me being on yours right now. So there’s actually quite a bit of power that because you’re getting in front of different audiences and if you can get in front of your audience is in your target market, then a podcast is a really powerful way to do that. The thing to remember is outside of the actual numbers of how many people listen to podcasts, there’s another stat that’s really, really interesting. And that is people if you look at YouTube, the majority of people drop out after five seconds. And that’s not just because of the ads and things like that, but they drop out after five seconds’ notice. The video is not quite what I’m looking for. There’s a whole pile of other videos. They’ll click on that one on outlook on one. They are ugly on that one, or they’ll abandon about seventy-five percent of the way through. However, with podcasts, the majority of people listen to the entire episode.

So when they commit to listening to an episode of your podcast, they commit fully, which means you’ve got a captive audience for you. Thirty or forty-five in your hour. I’ve seen some podcasts, by the way, which are three hours long. I suspect not everyone listens to the entire episode for those. But. But you have a captive audience there that are listening to you and pat wisdom, listening to you, helping them, listening to you, adding value to them. And as we know, the more you add value to your target market, the more you give away for free, which essentially you’re doing on a podcast. You’re giving away your knowledge for free. The more that they feel a connexion towards you and the more that they mentally pitch you as being a thought leader.

Miko Santos : Great, interesting, so I said you also being a thought leader as well, why all entrepreneurs should consider stepping into thought leadership.

Vince Warnock : Yeah, that’s a really good question, I think, because it’s a lot of business, if you look at why people buy, like why people buy from you as an entrepreneur, they buy for three reasons. They know you. They like you. They trust you. We call it the no like trust layer. You’ll hear this a lot in marketing and entrepreneurship. So knowing you, that’s where you’ve got to be visible. You’ve got to consistently turn up. That’s the key. Be consistent and the like factor. That’s where your personality really has to come through. And then, of course, the trust factor, which is the harder one of the three to build. And often that trust factor comes from seeing you as a thought leader. Like if they see you as somebody who is an authority, then they won’t doubt what you have to say.

If they see you as somebody who is closer to where they are, then they may doubt what you’re trying to tell them. So, for example, you’re saying, hey, my product does this and this and this. Yeah, yeah. But you would say that. Whereas if you’re a thought leader, they look at it and go, well, I can trust what it is. You have to say. An interesting fact on this, and this is just a complete sidetrack, but it fascinates me as exits. So I’ve seen this before where I’ve been at a conference and I got up on stage and I said something and I was like, yeah, my team was there. And they hadn’t heard me talk about this particular topic before. So that. Right. So I’m imparting all this wisdom. I’m up there, go to my thought later, and putting all this wisdom. And then we had an American guy there and he got up there after me and he actually referenced what I talked about. He said as Vincent said, blah, blah, blah. And he repeated it. And afterward, I was talking to my team. I said once you get out of that.

And they said, oh, is when the American guy said and they quoted all the stuff that I said, I’m like, you realize he was quoting me for goodness sake. But because he had he had more authority because he had a different accent. So therefore he’s not as familiar to them. And because I was someone they already knew, they pitch. And what he said as being more authoritative and more accurate than what I said, despite the fact that he was literally just repeating me. So I think it’s a really important thing. Thought leadership is something that we don’t invest enough time and energy in. But I think particularly, by the way, if you’re in the B2B space, a business to business space, it is an absolute necessity because businesses need to know that they can trust you. They need to know that you know what they’re doing because they’re entrusting you with the money, with their data, with their customers, whatever it is, they’re trusting you with that. So they need to know, you know, what you’re talking about. So thought leadership is an absolute must.

Miko Santos :Thank you so much. Do you have any final advice or anything else you want to share with our audience?

Vince Warnock :Yeah, I think I think the biggest threat, and this is going to sound so vague at first, but you’ve got to believe in yourself a lot more than you do. The fact is, you’re an entrepreneur and you’ve got to understand that actually makes you something special. Entrepreneurship has nothing to scoff at. Like, you know, we often think low of ourselves. We think lower what we’re trying to think what we think, oh, this will never work. But you actually have the courage to try and create something that doesn’t exist. And by that, I mean, even if you’re creating let’s say, for example, I know you’re making Springs’ coming up with a random example that you’re making springs and there are a hundred thousand other spring manufacturers out there. But the reality is you are the only company that has you there, that has your experiences, that has your knowledge, that has everything you’ve learned over your career, that has all of the scars that you have, that has your DNA, your personality, your way of operating all of those different things that make your company so absolutely unique. So it doesn’t matter if there are one hundred thousand spring companies out there, you are the only you, which means you are birthing something that doesn’t exist, calling it into existence that is worth celebrating. So I think we don’t give ourselves enough credit as entrepreneurs. We’re quite harsh on ourselves. I think we need to learn to be kinder to ourselves. And we need to actually on those days where, as I said, that we all face and any entrepreneur that tells you they don’t is lying. But all of us face those days where we wake up and we go, what the hell am I doing?

I’m a moron. I should go and get a real job. My mom and dad were right or, you know, all these different thoughts that get their claws into our brains on those days. We need to give ourselves permission to be human. There’s permission to be to have a bad day and to have a good day. That’s kind of what makes us so special as human beings. But we also need to learn to be kind to ourselves and to back ourselves, because guess what? The only difference between you and other successful entrepreneurs isn’t your education. Right, because there are people out there. Look at Russell Brunson. He was a high school dropout. He was a dropout of an MBA. He never completed his MBA.

And yet he’s built a three hundred and eighty million dollar company in the US with college funds. So what’s different between him and a Harvard graduate is certainly not the education, you know. So what is it that makes it so unique is the fact that he just consistently turned up and even when he wasn’t feeling it, even when he was having deities, even when he was facing a heap of pressure and anxiety, he just kept backing himself, believing in himself. And now it’s the only difference between you and those entrepreneurs is the fact that they’ve actually stepped out and done it. So you can do that, too. So I’ll let you push my buttons.

Now, I’m a firm believer I’m going to get on my soapbox. I’m a firm believer that we need to be really kind to ourselves. In fact, I’ll give you a good analogy, because my wife is one of the most empathetic people you’ll ever meet in your life. She’s just one of the best human beings you’ll ever meet, to be honest. As I said, she used to be an early childcare teacher, but she so passionately wanted to help people with addictions. So she wanted to be able to make an impact on this world. So she got outside of her comfort zone. She enrolled in university again and thought, I’m going to change at a later age in life. So this is only a few years back.

I’m going to change my career. I’m going to learn something new. She didn’t feel like she would be any good at it. She didn’t feel like she thought all these young people, were going to be so much faster at learning. They’re going to pick this up far quicker than me. She thinks she’s not good at technology. She’s actually a lot better than she thinks she is. But, you know, she doubts herself. But she went to university and she nailed it. Right. She ended up graduating top of her class.

She was an exemplary student, exemplary employee. And now she’s actually landed her dream job. But the fact is, one day she was she had stuff that she made a mistake coming here. It was now. But she says something and she was really harsh on herself. It just came to me. I thought, wait a minute. Well, how would you react if that was me that made that mistake or that was one of your team that made that mistake? Was someone you were dealing with at work? May maybe a mistake?

You would be incredibly forgiving because that’s the type of person you are. But because you made that mistake, you’re incredibly harsh on yourself. You need to treat yourself like you treat other people. Unfortunately, she’s also incredibly smart and they realize very quickly that that’s exactly what I do as well. So she turned the whole thing around on me. Said what? You mean like you treat yourself like, damn, she got me. But it’s something we all do as entrepreneurs. We are far harsher on ourselves than we are on anybody else. So pick your favourite person, pick somebody that you really, really love and you want the best for and you will always be there for. Pick that person and treat yourself like you treat that person.

Miko Santos : Very well, said Vince. Any parting word before we end the show?

Well, before we go, no, just. Oh, man, Parting word, was that every time you give me a platform to talk. I love talking, I. I’m passionate about talking a passionate about helping people that I love, you guys are amazing. If you’re an entrepreneur, if you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, I genuinely believe it’s a high calling. So just do it because I know Nike kind of stole and trade outfits that they’re saying, but I reckon we should take it back as entrepreneurs and say, you know what, I’m just going to start I’m just going to put my foot in front of the other and I’m just going to do it anyway.

Thank you so much for that insight on the show. And all the links will be on the show, notes of this podcast. And also it’s going to show us on a different social media platform.And also, thank you for your time, Vince. I know it’s probably it’s already evening in Wellington, and I miss Wellington. I wish I can go back and visit my friends.

Vince Warnock: We wish we could travel anywhere at the moment. But we can’t we’re kind of pandemic free at the moment. We only have cases in isolation, but we can’t go anywhere because even if you get out of the country, the reality is you can’t go back.

And there’s a huge waiting line for a waiting game for getting into isolation. So frustrating. I’m feeling that that need to get overseas. I got so many clients in Australia and in the US and Canada. I just need to get in front of them and be there. But yeah, thanks, man. I really appreciate it as such. So much fun being on here, I will say, is one little last thing. We do have a summit coming up, but all those links will be in the show notes. They’re doing another virtual summit with 30 speakers from around the world. We have some incredible talent and they’re actually I’ll be blown away by that and also the Academy program, which is launching. So all of those will be in the show notes as well.

Miko Santos : So how would you if someone wanted to contact you, how are they going to contact you?

Vince Warnock: I’ve made their super easy, the easiest way is just to go chasing the insights dotcom. So that is the website for my podcast. You’ll also find my book there. You’ll find the summit on there in the next day or so. You’ll find the page from my Academi program, which I’m launching at the end of February. But also on there you will find the social media links and that’s the easiest way to get in touch with me. Come and join my Facebook group. It’s an awesome group of entrepreneurs that are really supportive of each other. That’s probably the easiest way to get in front of me. But just reach out to me. I’m always, always keen on virtual coffee. I’m always keen to jump on the phone with you, to chat through your problems, to get through when I say problems, entrepreneurial or marketing problems, seriously, if it’s a health-related problem, I’m not the person you should be going to. If you’ve got a rash, don’t come to me. I’ll just go. But if you need some help with something, I’m here. Just reach out to me. I’m always keen to help as many people as I can.

All right. Thank you so much and also thank you to my sponsor. Kangaroofern Media Lab, a podcast management service. Who is doing everything for me? Thank you so much. And see you next week for another episode of Bootstrap podcast under Auspine Syndicate. Thank you.

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