The best people go through life picking up lessons that will guide them with their next adventure. Shane Fielder is a modern-day Samurai with a 4th degree Black Belt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido. Not only that, he also set on a mission to find out what made large national brands extremely successful over locally grown entrepreneurs. Combining the two, he is now the President of Samurai Innovation Limited where his Black Belt level of focus has helped him transform start-ups and franchises and mature businesses with over $100 million revenue per year to be leaders of their industry. In this episode, he joins host, David Adelson, to share with us how to live and achieve success with the samurai mindset. Who is the modern samurai? How can we make our business powerful and successful? How can we build a big brand presence on a small local budget? Shane answers these questions and more, sharing with us the big brand corporate success secrets to help us create highly profitable results.
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The Modern Samurai: How To Build A Big Brand Presence For Business Success With Shane Fielder
My guest is Shane Fielder. He is a modern-day Samurai with a 4th-degree black belt in Aikido. Many years ago, he wanted to know what made large national brands extremely successful compared to locally grown entrepreneurs. He pursued that business education by working with iconic brands that you and I, and everyone has probably helped build. During this time, you discovered how to apply big brand corporate success secrets into a variety of businesses to create highly profitable results. Your company is Samurai Innovation. You’re here to help people by giving them some of these ideas and principles so that they can take advantage of what the big brands do on their small, tiny town budgets.
Thanks for having me.
Why don’t you give me a 1 or 2-sentence idea of what we’ll cover so people will want to stick around and then we’ll go from there?
It would be great to cover how businesses can build a big brand presence on a small local budget. We’ll also cover the mindset and the point of view that the owner or the operator of the business has to have so they can achieve that.
Those are incredibly powerful and I want both of those, so I’m excited. I want to remind everybody to like and give a review of the show, and subscribe to our show. I also want to remind you to share it with your friends and spread it around. We give a lot of useful advice. It all seems to be around spiritually-oriented entrepreneurship and building relationships. It’s all good stuff for the heart and mind. Check out which episodes will be useful to you, share them with your friends, give them a five-star rating and buy billboards for them, whatever you feel to do to share that. Also, this show is sponsored by the Peace And Harmony Company, PeaceAndHarmonyCo.com. We make Quantum-Infused, Unified Field-Infused programs and products that you can use to solve everyday problems in the simplest way possible, including the problem of peace and harmony within your own family, business, neighborhood or community.
This is the time that we can heal things because of the development of quantum programs. We can affect things from the quantum field, from the unified field, which is outside the realm of space and time. You can buy peace for your neighborhood, police department, prison, hospital or for people overseas. You can sponsor it. We have systems that are on the homepage of Peace and Harmony Co. called Peacemaker Systems that you can use to affect 10,000 people to 30,000 people, 10 square miles to 30 square miles. You should get them and use them. If we get enough of them, a lot of the chaos in the world will evaporate overnight quickly.
Please take advantage of that and there’s even a free sample that you can click, download and try. People love them. I want to encourage everybody to do that. Shane, I want to touch on what you want to talk about. You have a special planning course that you’ve created. We’ll tell them how to receive this during this episode. Tell me a little bit about the major shifts you think people need to take to become a national brand or become highly influential on this small-town budget. Where would you start?
Let’s get out of the way early on the complaints. I’ve heard a lot of complaints over the years. I used to be in that category until I joined the ranks of the corporate large franchise businesses and found out what all the practices and secrets are. One of the complaints is, “That’s nice for a big company, but I can’t do that. I don’t have a big company budget. I don’t have a corporate budget. The big machine keeps on surviving and thriving and they’re gobbling up all the smaller, local, independent operators like me.” That’s one of the things we have to address early on.
There’s truth to every side of the equation, but there’s also some false thinking that’s in there. Never has it been easier in this day and age to look big, be big and seem big to that user or that visitor that’s going to buy or adopt your products and services. Everybody has a website now and everybody’s website can look just as great or even better than some of the large corporate websites that are out there. Everybody can hire a branding designer to create a corporate professional looking brand image. Everybody can have that translated to their website. You can hire copywriters that can help you create your copy. Never has there ever been a time in human history where we’ve had easy access and easy point of entry into any market that you want to get into.
From that point forward, it’s how you differentiate yourself in the market and how your product or service differentiates itself. You selling peace is a whole differentiated idea. The fact that you have a device and there’s a way that you can do it. If you don’t want it in your area or you have enough and you want to sponsor someone else, you’ve got a different concept there that’s differentiated. You’re able to promote that. Whether you’re a local person selling coffee, cupcakes, or you’re selling a professional service, it’s easier now to get access to look like a big brand even though you’re a solopreneur, you’re a solo operator, or maybe you’re a small team of five or you started in the garage and now you’re moving to your first commercial premise.
The number one mindset is it’s easy to look and feel polished and professional. That’s been one of the secrets. If we go back to the late ‘90s when I started venturing away from entrepreneurism into corporate, back then it was not easy to access a brand designer. It was not easy to find someone that could create a logo and signage and all this other stuff. The web was just starting then. The websites were horrible, ugly and clunky. You have to have almost a programming degree to be able to build a website. Now, the barriers to entry have been removed. As long as we start saying and thinking, “How do I access those people? Who do I access?” There are lots of people that will fit your budget.When you're calmer, your thinking is clear, and you make better decisions. Click To Tweet
If you say, “I want a $500 brand identity and logo created.” There’s a designer out there that will do the job for $500. There are some that will do it for $200 and some will do it for $2,000. It’s easy to match up with the right person and energetically, you’ll find the right person. You’ll find somebody coming out of design school that says, “If I could get $500 to do your logo, that’s a win-win for both of us.” Five years from now, they won’t do that logo for $500. Right now, in both of your space and time, you’ll match up and you’ll be able to do good work together. You benefit them and they benefit you. There are a lot of win-win relationships. Let’s shift the mindset to, “You’re able to compete. How do you want to go out and compete?”
One of the things that I love and I love you bringing it back to the ‘90s is because of COVID and even because of what’s been going on the internet, major national brands have been closing their retail outlets. You don’t need $50,000, $200,000, whatever it is now to get a big building or to get an architect to build a skyscraper so that your logo can be on the top. Now there are ClickFunnels, Leadpages, Wix or WordPress sites that you can find. For $100 a year, you can have a website that has an amazing presence. I know there are places that you can go to match up to find designer student or the person who’s finishing their copywriting course or whatever. Where would you go to look? Where do you recommend people to start with for that?
Upwork is a good place for some of the professional design services. I’m a little biased because I’m married to a designer. I just go upstairs and say, “Cheryl, I need this, this and this.”
She doesn’t charge you the same thing that she might charge the rest.
She gives me the friends and family rate. There’s 99designs. There’s Upwork. They have good and talented people that will do great work. There’s Fiverr and different places like that. Access to that is easier now.
I used to work with a marketing company way back and they used to do designs. I know stories of where they’d be in the meeting and the guy would be telling him the design. There would be the rep there and then the designer would be doodling. By the time they left the office, he had their logo. He’d show it to them. He’ll do it up professionally, not rough sketch. This is in the mid-‘80s and they were charging $1,500 in a small town in the Midwest what they would charge in the big city for that kind of stuff.
Now, my ex-wife has a logo that I am jealous of and she got it for $59. I tried some of those services. I ended up tweaking them and changing some things. I’ve done all kinds of things with our logos and stuff, but I know people have paid a lot of money. I know people who get something that if not as good, it’s so close that it doesn’t matter. That’s not an issue. We then get the website. Those same sources like Fiverr or Upwork are also good for finding copywriters who can do things for you.
I use the word “complaint” but it’s more about allowing the possibility that you can compete truthfully internationally now on a budget. The next question that’s going to come out is, “Now I have my website, my copy and my funnel. I have my offer or whatever it is, and then they’re going to get put into a funnel. How do I get people? There are millions of websites starting up every day. How do I find my tribe or the people who want to use my services?” What’s the next step that you would recommend for them for that?
It is one of the most complex questions that has been over complicated. In my business, one of the things I do is help entrepreneurs answer all of these questions on a regular basis. Here’s the thing, everything works. Every day you can jump online and whatever neighborhood you’re in online, there are a lot of people saying that everything is dead except for the thing that they’re selling or the service they’re promoting. If you’re a social media person, email’s dead. If you’re an email person, social doesn’t work.
I have friends that help people create YouTube content and YouTube channels. They say, “Video is the way to do it. Everything else is dead.” That’s not true. What’s going to work the best for these people is to find a mechanism that’s going to deliver the way that they are most suited to. If you like talking and you’re not shy, then probably podcasting and video are going to be a great medium for you. If you have no problem jumping on camera and it doesn’t make you sweat, access to entry is $300, $400. You have a pro camera, video, microphone, audio set up, and you’re ready to go. You just have to have the ideas and the content.
If you’ve already got your offer and you have a thing or a service that you’re promoting, then it’s you telling that person how to buy it, how to access it, the benefits of it, and getting good at that. I have a client and she struggled with, “I have to have a YouTube channel. Maybe I should have a podcast and I should do this and that.” I said, “What do you enjoy?” She, “I’m a good writer.” I said, “Let’s start doing content marketing and writing articles. Blogging is not dead if it’s done in the right way. Blogging is not dead if you’re able to write an article.” We then said, “You’re going to pair it down to content marketing plan for your blog and for your website so that your content is out there first. We’re going to adapt that content and put it onto Facebook.” She has a Facebook group.
She helps empower women. She then took this article and she wrote this empowering article about life in your 50s as a woman compared to life in your 20s, and went with a raw approach. It’s the most engaging piece that she’s written all year. Ladies are saying, “Where were you in my twenties? I love you.” She needed that little bit of push to be aligned with her talents. If you are a writer and love writing, then go to those channels, forget everything else. If you like talking and you’re great on video, and you’re the guy that can do some funny antics, handstands, and cartwheels, do video, podcasting, and things like that. The biggest question is, what are you most energetically aligned to and what will you match up with? That will then become “easy” to you. When it’s easy, it becomes fun. When it’s easy and fun, it becomes more interesting and you’re going to have better-staying power to be more interested in how do you build the craft and how do you develop your skills. It’s the same question that people ask me, “What’s the best martial art?” I said, “The best martial art is one that matches your inclinations.”
That’s brilliant because I can identify and I know a lot of people in the audience will. We feel these days that we have to be everywhere. When I talked to one person who was giving me some suggestions, I said, “What you want to do is you want to be everywhere. You want your name to be everywhere.” The truth is you don’t need to be everywhere or to be perceived everywhere if your tribe or your audience all goes to one block of downtown. You need to be in every store or on the billboards of that one block. You don’t need to be anywhere else.
I love what you’re saying about whatever venue it is that resonates with you, that is fun for you, start there. I was talking to one of the icons from the New Media Summit. I said, “It seems like you’re everywhere.” She says, “No, I target. I do a lot in one place, which is where my audience is. You won’t find me anywhere else at all but in that one spot.” In her case, it was Facebook. She was all over Facebook, everywhere you could possibly be, but you don’t find her anywhere else at all.
I agree with that approach. The targeting options now are good. It’s easy to target, but you are right on. For a lot of years in my personal business, I didn’t do a lot of social media. I meet my clients through networking events. I have content marketing systems that draw them in. I do a great job of engaging people. I don’t call people that are on my email service a subscriber. They’re part of my audience because when they are part of my audience, the onus is on me not to be the performer necessarily but to provide something of value to that audience and to treat them as an audience.
Imagine when you go to the rock concert or music concert and you pay for a ticket, you’re expecting value for that ticket. The performer knows that he or she has to give said value back to the audience. Even the language and the mindset of how you frame these things up, I call my people an audience. We call our people Dojo Members at Samurai Innovation because we have our dojo, our virtual dojo, and you’re now part of the dojo. Later on, they can advance into different parts of the dojo. You’re right on in terms of finding and meeting people where they’re at, and then selling and talking to that crowd and helping them.
I love this idea of the audience because when it’s an audience, it’s somebody who has a vested interest in wanting you. When people pay to buy a ticket, they want you to do well unless they’re going to a demolition derby, but we’re not going to go there. If somebody goes to a concert, a play, a performance of any kind or a lecture, they want you to do well. Your audience wants you to do well. I can see how that inspires you to want to give them what they’re looking for. I don’t even want to say their money’s worth because they may not be paying at that point to be part of your audience. More important than that, it’s not always about the money.
You want the audience to support you and to wish you well. You want to support them and to give them something of value so that they want to stick around. Maybe they’ll get something from you at one time. One of my friends, Christian Mickelsen, who’s a mentor and a coach. At one point, he was saying that he has a huge mailing list, hundreds of thousands. He said, “Only 20% of that list is ever going to buy something from me but I don’t care. I give everybody something of value because I’m adding to the world. I’m helping people. These percentages don’t matter. I just want to serve my audience,” which is brilliant.
People’s mindset is too much on the money and not much on the heart connection or the feeling or these other things. You mentioned being part of the dojo and we haven’t touched on your special thing, which is Samurai Innovation. I want to make sure we get your particular angle. What you’ve said so far has been useful, but let’s talk about what Samurai is. Let’s talk about why you feel that what you learned in martial arts is what’s helping you build better business leaders. What do you want to say?
Being a modern-day samurai, I have a 4th-degree black belt in the art of Aikido. It’s Japanese martial art. It’s one of the newer martial arts. The founder is Morihei Ueshiba. He developed the art in early 1900s, right around World War I. It was called Aikibudo at that point. It was a combative style martial art and effective for the wartime culture that he was living in. It was steeped in Samurai tradition and hand-to-hand techniques and the weapons systems.
It was an effective system, but after World War I, he was disgusted by humanity. He said, “How can we treat each other this way?” His only solution that he could come up with was to adapt Aikibudo to Aikido which means the way of harmony. I love the fact that in your name is Peace and Harmony and be a superhero. We’re aligned that way. We call him sensei, meaning the first sensei. He decided like, “There’s got to be a way that I can change the art to create more harmony and have mankind and people harmonized together versus fight,” and he did that.
He adapted the art into what we now know as Aikido. Instead of going head-to-head with somebody, we now think about how do we blend with that person. It’s about cultivating the mind, the body, the spiritual and the emotional connections, whether that’s internally. The training can teach you self-defense skills. It can teach you how not to get punched or kicked or find yourself in a horrible situation or whatever.There's enough to go around that we don't need to, in any way, be competitive. Click To Tweet
What he did then is he adapted it so that it started forging the inside of the person as well. We started cultivating that mindset and that relationship between your mind, your physicality, and your spirituality. It’s a different approach to say, “I’m going to go show up at the dojo for 90 minutes, sweat, learn how to evade a punch, a kick, and then go home,” versus “I’m going to the dojo because I’m refining myself. In the event that I ever would need to use and apply the martial art in real life, then my goal at that point is to save the individual, not to harm their body and maybe just bruise their ego. We all walk away at the end of the day, peaceful, happy, intact and nobody’s injured.”
That’s a whole different training approach on how do we train with that partner and how do we value that partner. The dojo and churches and religious organizations are probably the only two places where you will find such a cross-section or demographic of people that come together for a common purpose. In the dojo, we line up and sit down in a seiza position, which is a kneeled sitting position. We’ll line up on the left side the newest members of the dojo and to the right side, the most senior members. We bow into the senior instructor and we have our class.
What’s amazing is down the line, you all have the CEO, the accountant, the tax advisor, the police officer, the stay-at-home mom, the retired person, and the youth person, all sitting there together. These people in a million years never would connect in day-to-day living. They come to the dojo, they connect, and they start harmonizing together. It’s a beautiful thing to see. When you’re training, you realize that you need that training partner. You can’t disrespect their body on the mat. You want to train together and you want to challenge each other. It forges great people.
When you take that philosophy into the boardroom or you go to work or you’re out at the grocery store, we realized that people in those settings are as valuable as they are in the dojo. We should honor and respect people in those settings, just as we do in the dojo. That starts changing the way that we’re maybe less offended. Does a guy cut me off in traffic? May I get mad? Maybe. Would somebody jump in line in front of me at the grocery store? Sure. Do I need to get all upset about it? Not really. What happens is it teaches us a greater level of skills for conflict resolution. That’s the piece of it that I start taking into the work that I do with clients.
I love the idea of conflict resolution because if you’re going in with the idea of resolution, often you can avoid the conflict. I’m going to give a little plug here for our Peace and Harmony program. We’ve had people put it on their laptops when they go into the boardroom with all these other departments and everything. They have their spreadsheet in front of it and they’re playing the Peace and Harmony program in the background. It completely changes the dynamics of meeting because everybody’s calmer. When you’re calmer, your thinking is clear and you make better decisions. We’d like to see that going on in all the major decision-making places in the world, especially in the country at this point. We don’t know what’s going on but it looks crazy in the world.
I love this idea of making harmony the goal because so often, the angle that we’re presented with is about finding the differences between. I don’t think that’s necessary anymore in the world. We have a lot of programs on my website that may serve you, but they may not. What I will tell you is whatever problem you’re trying to solve, whether it’s a health or relationship or whatever, if we have something and it works for you, great. If we don’t, somebody does. “Here’s my favorite. Here’s somebody who was on the podcast. He’s a friend and he offers something completely different. Here’s somebody else who I know from a friend. He is good.” The point is that you can find the solution for whatever it is that you want.
I honestly believe that there’s enough to go around that we don’t need to in any way be competitive. It’s a situation where we have coconut-flavored ice cream and they have strawberry-flavored ice cream. There are enough people who want coconut, and there are enough people who want strawberry. I don’t have to say, “Strawberries is this and that.” I don’t have to go there. Tell me more about when you get into the workplace. What are the principles from samurai that you want to guide your people with next? Take me to the next step with your people. You work with people one-on-one and their companies.
I have a couple of different capacities, coaching and consulting primarily. Coaching is working with the executives, the leaders or the owner of the business. That’s one-on-one and sometimes I will go in and deploy a workshop to their team so that we can get the team onto the shared goals and aligned with the direction that the leader or the owner wants to go. That’s one track, then there’s a consulting track where I will go in and help solve a problem, and give specific prescriptive step-by-step directions and solutions for them to then deploy on their own. There are two different ways that I can go about doing that.
Let’s say you’ve got somebody and they’ve got their website set up, they’ve got their blog going. Maybe they’re doing something on Facebook and they’re building an audience. What are the next principles that you want to share with them?
Let’s talk about the samurai aspects and what you feel about that knowledge and experience that helps you target your particular audience? Just the idea of where your people are.
It’s important to set the stage here that in my world if I’m looking at the real dojo and I mean the dojo training, we always have something called the moment of truth. The moment of truth is when the sensei calls two students up into the center of the mat. He says to one of them, “I want you to attack David with an overhead strike and David now has to defend himself.” Maybe the sensei calls out the technique and says, “David, I want you to use Shihonage to defend yourself.” You have to execute that technique or it could be freestyle like, “David defend yourself.” The sensei wants to see what you’ve got. The moment of truth is that there’s no readiness for that. You have to be able to perform.
I’ve always taken that into the work that I do with clients. Anything we do has to be a real-world battle-tested. They have to be strategies that work. It can’t be just a bunch of theories that, “I’d like you to try something because I would not be in business long if we had theory-based coaching going on.” It has to be in the real world. The first thing from a samurai perspective is samurai means to serve. The mindset that I always do a check with clients on is, how are you serving your tribe, your audience, your customer, your client, your guest or whatever you want to call that person that your business is designed to serve? We get talking about the value equation which is, how are you adding value to that group first?
Going back to the original conversation, when you’re a smaller owner-operator, it’s easy to say, “I need to earn X number of dollars per month. I need to generate revenue. I need to do this.” You’re in an “I” conversation at that point, until we flip it around and say, “How can I go out and deliver value to the guest or the group?” I have twenty years of hospitality experience behind me. I’ve got fifteen years of property management and parking asset management experience. I’ve had several careers where my experience is different but in each one of those, the question of how do I add value, how do I serve that customer or that guest, that doesn’t change. That’s the foundational part. We have to go through and ask, “How are we serving the person that you’re going to be doing a transaction with at some point in the future?”
You made a good point about Christian Mickelsen. I’ve met him over the years and gone to his conferences. He’s a great guy. It’s the right thinking in the sense that they may not be my client, guest or customer now, but I want to hopefully persuade them down the road when they are ready, that I would be the right company and the right match for them. There are customer value journeys, and there are all these different tools and strategies that we use to think about that. It’s important to answer that question, “How am I adding value to tribe, audience, customer, client, guest or participant?”
I love that you brought this up because there is a mentality that I know way back when we ran a store for a while. I know other people who have worked and we’ve all had different jobs in our careers. We all grew up. We all did the dishwashers or whatever. One of the things that can happen is from the owners and the management side, “I have to pay the bills.” They get caught up in that but the workers also get up. I love now that things are online. It’s a little bit different.
I’ve heard people say, “If it weren’t for all these customers coming in the store, I could get my job done.” They seriously mean it and be upset at the customers coming in. They’re not making the connection, which is why they’re not in management and they’re at that level. I love that you talk about giving programs to a company so that they’re in alignment with the thinking of the leader. They get that if the customers don’t come in, if you don’t have more boxes to ship at the end of the day than when you came in, how are you going to get paid? How are we going to grow?
I have a good example. I have a client who runs a gifting business. I did a workshop with them and initially, the conversation was, “How do I grow my business?” I was looking at these metrics and that’s the owner of the business. She was asking me that. We got into talking about culture, leadership, the team, and what their skills were like. It came out that there’s a big opportunity to build some skills into her team to develop better relationships with their clients.
We did a workshop and the whole idea of that workshop was becoming the trusted advisor for those clients. The idea was becoming the go-to person that when David has a question about buying a gift, he can call Shane knowing that Shane’s going to have his best interest at heart. Shane’s going to say, “David, what kind of gift? What kind of budget? Who’s it going to? Do you want a wow factor or is it more of a sympathy gesture?” The nature of the event is going to determine the gift and how that all needs to be delivered. We went through that. The biggest value of the workshop for them is realizing we can cultivate that relationship. We can do more than what we have been doing versus being an order taker.
I love what you said about having their best interests at heart. There’s an old movie titled Miracle on 34th Street. The whole point is that in Macy’s department store, Santa Claus is actually Santa Claus or he’s close enough. He never quite tell but he does things. At one point he’s got somebody on his lap and the kid wants something. He says, “We don’t have that. You have to go to Gimbels,” which Macy’s and Gimbels in New York were the big competitors and everything. When the bosses found out about that, they were all up in arms and ready to fire him, but the feedback came back that, “Here’s a reliable source.” More and more people started coming in. When you have their best interests at heart like, “Maybe we have something that will work for you, but if we don’t, how about here? How about there? Maybe you need it individually created. You need to talk to Bob, Fred and Mary to put together the package that you want and the gifts or whatever it is.” That idea of service is hugely profound.
What I’d like to address is the fear factor and that is, “How do I pay the rent?” It’s easy as a business owner and as somebody trying to launch a business or even if it’s been going for a while, especially with COVID. How is it that you can stay in the service attitude and not go into the, “How am I going to pay the bills, pay the rent or pay my workers?” What does samurai have to offer us about staying in that frame of mind or out of that frame of mind?
There’s a time and a place for everything. There are a time and a place that you need to create space to sit down with your books, your accountant or bookkeeper and say, “What are the real facts? What do we need to make payroll this month? What do we need to pay the rent? What’s in our cash reserves? How long is that going to last if we have zero customers versus the current customers?” You do need to be honest and realistic and do that analysis. Don’t shy away from that because that will create more fear. Knowing your numbers is an important part of the equation.Do only the highest, best use of your time, talents, and abilities, and then move forward that way. Click To Tweet
I’m Canadian and one of the companies I worked with for five years early on was a company called Tim Hortons. They’re a coffee company and they’re iconic in Canada. They’ve been spreading into the United States over the years. One of the things that was interesting is we knew that the average store needed about 1,200 transactions to break even that day. We would know by the time the 10:00 AM rush was done, we would look and see what was the transaction count. We would know if it was high enough, we can keep the schedule the same. If it was too low that day for whatever reason because it snowed and people stayed home from work or whatever, we’d have to cut staff from the lunch in the afternoon time to make the store profitable.
Having realistic knowledge of what’s going on in your business is the number one starting point. A lot of people shy away from that. Don’t shy away from it, just know it. Have a space for that and then leave it there. You then go into the space of, “Now I’m back into value creation. How do I market? How do I bundle? How do I discount? How do I pivot? How do I run a flash sale to generate some revenue right now?” You can run a flash sale and discount things 50% for one day only, and that’s not going to wreck your business model if you do it intentionally and you communicate it well. There’s always a time and a place for everything. The focus of that gets lost in the fear and the panic of, “I have to make payroll by Friday and I’m $5,000 short.” Those are real things and we don’t want to dismiss it but we also don’t want to hide from it. That’s being courageous enough to address it head-on.
Are there particular techniques or is it the overall growth from being a samurai that helps you be even with that situation? For the spouse or somebody who may be not as involved in the business and not fully understanding, it’s easy to get caught up in, “What am I going to do?” There’s a book by W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill, Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude. W. Clement Stone, who was hugely successful in the insurance field talked about a major blow that happened to him one day and how he handled that. He did not tell anybody, didn’t tell his wife, and did a prayer thing.
He then called the key person and said, “Why are you doing this? What’s going on? What’s the real problem? What do we need to do?” He got the whole thing handled in a day and a half where it went from his whole business collapsing to him being fine, but losing some small portion of something. Things need to be done to develop that ability to not be blown over by every single sale or every single good day or bad day. What’s your feeling about that? What tips or suggestions do you have to help in that arena?
Consistency in systems. We need systems in our business. It’s why the accounting world runs on a month-end. All accountants across the world run a calendar. They have a month-end. They have deadlines to meet their reporting requirements and stuff because that then goes upstream and helps other people in the business make decisions based on those numbers. If you’re looking at your numbers on a monthly basis, that means business is good. If business and sales are down, and traffic’s down, and things aren’t happening, you’re looking on a weekly basis. You’re doing reforecast. You’re asking the what-ifs and you’re trying to figure that out on a weekly basis. There’s a system to that.
It goes back to the original conversation we started with, “How do you be like a big business?” Big businesses have systems. They have month-end reviews and quarterly reviews. They’ve got regional meetings that happen 2 or 3 times a year. They’re always looking at, how do we move the business forward? They have marketing committees that are saying, “What are the new products and services we’re going to launch? When are we doing it?” All that kind of stuff. It goes back to my earlier comment about time and space. You need to create space for things to happen. That is the beginning point.
We came through a rough patch of the pandemic start, COVID, and all that kind of stuff. Hopefully, we’re onto greener, sunny days from here on, in which I believe we are. There’s going to be a need for some behavioral adaptations in different regions and things like that. I’m confident that that’s going to happen and we have smart people in our country and your country that are figuring these things out. I have a client who runs a hair salon in a small town in Northern Alberta, where I live. It’s 180,000 people. She does a great job of it. When COVID came, she had called me and she was in tears saying, “I think this is going to be the end.”
I said, “Why would you say that?” She goes, “How am I going to operate if I have no people to cut their hair and they can’t come in? The government’s forcing me to close.” I said, “Hold on.” In the last few years, we’ve been working together to develop her business from the inside out. She has a great culture. She does an amazing job. She is dialed into her business. She’s involved in her team, building them up and educating them. There’s this amazing little culture that’s inside the business and she’s done a great job. I said, “We need to bring that out onto your website.” We redid the website and started showcasing the culture through blogs, articles, videos and letting that be present. We’re developing that into social so we were connecting the two of them. We’d already laid a foundation.
When COVID came upon the scene and the government mandated her to shut down, we made a major pivot. We went back out to her customer base through social media and through the website. We started saying, “The number one problem that you have right now is how are you going to wash and condition and style your hair? You still have to go to a virtual meeting on Zoom, or you still have to be human. We don’t want you to resort to drugstore products and pharmacy products and other things like that. Here’s what you do. You go to our website, have a look at our brand product page, tell us what you need. Fill out this form and we’ll get back to you.”
She would go in, phone them up, take payment over the phone, and then deliver their product in a nice little gift bag on their doorstep, contact-free. Eighty-five percent of her normal revenue is captured. We increase the cultural value because her cultural relational capital quadrupled. People were writing notes on our social media page saying, “I can’t believe you’re going three extra miles for me. I can’t believe that you dropped off little samples in the bag and extra goodies that I didn’t even pay for or ask for.”
When we were coming out of COVID and we were looking at re-entry and reopening, she had 300 people lined up that wanted their haircuts because they were there. They want to support the salon and they are deeply engaged with the salon. They look at the salon like she’s not a commoditized product or service anymore. She is an extension of that person’s world. It’s like, “I need those ladies to cut my hair.
I don’t go anywhere else,” even though there are 25 other options within a 10-mile radius. To me, that’s one example of what we created because she had been modifying her mindset through the coaching process over the last two years. She’s changing from more of a scarce button mindset to more of an abundant mindset like you were saying, “If I’m not the right provider for you, somebody else is.” That’s an abundant mindset.
It’s hard to be abundant when you are faced with real situations like, “How do I make rent? How do I make payroll?” There was a real situation and I said to her, “If you trust me enough, give me the steering wheel. Let me drive this for you and you participate. We’re going to come out of this.” The results were better than I had envisioned going into it. I knew we could generate results in sales for her. It was fantastic because she had started laying the foundation earlier on and started engaging that culture and looking at, how do I add more value? It was an amazing experience.
What I love about it is that the true answer starts with, “I have this client base. How do I serve them more now that the bridge is out or it’s flooded and we need to bring their services by boat?” How do I serve the more seems to be the basis of the solution that built greater loyalty and stuff? They seem to have solved it now but on the late-night talk show, the hosts, all of their hair and beards, and everybody getting interviewed looks like they forgot how to shave. I don’t know what it was, but there’s Stephen Colbert. His hair is getting ridiculously long and all these other ones. It’s like, “They still needed to be done. How do we serve them? What can we do to help them in that situation?”
This is a brilliant tactic to come back in. When I’m feeling the lack of abundance to come back to the abundance to say, “Let’s forget about me for a while. What do other people need? How can I serve them?” Like what you said to your client, “If you trust me, we can get through this.” If we trust ourselves and what’s going on, we can allow pivot. People do major changes. Whatever is happening is happening. The potential is there for something good to come out of it if we’re open and we allow it to happen and we look for it. What’s good being presented at this moment? How can I make this better? When you do what she’s done, the loyalty for potentially decades to come is substantial. Loyalty in this day and age is huge.
You’re talking about W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill. One of the major principles I’ve always taken away from Napoleon Hill is the seed of equivalent benefit. In every opportunity or disaster, there’s always a seed of equivalent benefit. There’s always something amazing that can come from it if you’re looking for it. Going back to my hairstyling client, one of the things that we had started doing back at the beginning of 2020 was I asked her, “What’s the next level of serving your client?” We were focused on increasing her retail sales. That’s the shampoo and conditioner, and the different styling products that the ladies take home.
For some of the stylists, they’re shy and they feel like it’s sleazy to sell something to the lady in the chair. We had to change that mindset. She’s spent $200 having you professionally style her hair. She looks amazing and she’s going out. If you don’t offer her the techniques and the styling products that on Wednesday, she can replicate that, then you’re doing a disservice. The minds of the stylists opened up to the fact that, “You make sense. How do I teach her how to have that same hairstyle all next week when she goes back to work?” Now it’s like, “Mrs. Smith, do you look good right now?” She’s like, “Yes. I look great. I feel great.” You say, “Great. I want to show you what you need to take home with you so that you can look this great next week or the week after, whenever you choose to look this way.” That started increasing it.
I said to my client, “What’s the next evolution? Why don’t we start sampling?” We went and we sourced a little 1-ounce bottle with a flip cap. We had a custom label made. This goes back to how she’s looking like a big brand with the professionally printed label and professionally made little plastic polyethylene bottle with a flip cap. They were filling in the product. They have what they call the back bar. They’ve got 40 different five-gallon jugs with pumps and stuff.
What we would do is we would say, “David, I know you normally use this type of shampoo. Would you be interested in a different shampoo?” He says, “Yes.” We wash your hair with that shampoo that day and “How do you like it?” “I like it.” “Would you like to take some home?” “I’m not sure. I still have a liter of the old stuff.” We would then go fill up a sample bottle of the stuff we just washed your hair. We’d put it in the bag with you and you would go home. When they run out of the old stuff, you’d try the sample, and then the client could make their choice.
We just started this program. When we started shifting from no sales and no people in the salon to the home delivery program, we started throwing in a couple of samples. Weeks before the shutdown happened, we brought in a natural organic hand cleanser and hand moisturizer. That’s why we were putting in samples because we know people were increasing their hand washing during COVID and things like that. That reciprocated where people were coming back on social media saying, “I got my bag. It was awesome and you threw in some goodies. That’s incredible. Thank you.” It’s that willingness to say, “What can we do to innovate?” That’s the question we asked. The way we solved it was, we came up with an approach that was right for her and custom unique to her. Now that has been paying off hugely for her.
I’m happy with those stories but now I want to come back full circle. How much money are we talking about? When we’re talking about somebody who wants to be a local shop but have the wherewithal and the benefits of national stuff, some people are starting on a shoestring. Some people have a little bit of money saved up. Some people are doing it, especially if they’re starting with an online website like, “I’m starting that while I’m still keeping my accounting job to the extent that I can.”
What kind of budgets do you feel are useful for people? Give me something to work with here. I talked to somebody else that we did an interview with, and he said, “Before I can help you, you need to have at least 500 to 1,000 people on your email list who love you. From there, I can take you to eight figures and beyond, but you’ve got to start somewhere.” If somebody’s just starting out or maybe they’ve been doing it for a little while, and they’re small, and during COVID, a lot of people have been starting their own online thing. What do you feel is a reasonable budget or how to make the most use of their funds because maybe I can’t afford to? Maybe I can give away download online but I can’t go giving out 100 bottles without panic?In life, setting an expectation is half the battle. Click To Tweet
I’ve done that myself. I started Samurai Innovation off the side of my desk. I had a full-time day job. I was working, managing a company of 300 employees, a busy job, but I knew I wanted to do something different. I started a blog. I started a website. About a year in, I realized the name was wrong, the market was wrong. I shifted it and Samurai Innovation was born. Whether you want to use the term bootstrapping it or shoelacing it or whatever term you want, the approach that I took was I set a budget and that was my initial seed money that I used for my startup.
It goes back to saying whether it’s $300, $500, $1,000, or $5,000, wherever you’re at, set a budget then find out what do you need. You need a website, hosting, and theme provider. You need a brand designer to help you with some branding, a logo and stuff like that. Find out what can you get for your budget then start. What I would do is I had a monthly budget. I was prepared to subsidize the business for the first little while. I had a monthly budget, a few hundred dollars a month that I could put toward maybe marketing or its product creation or whatever the case is and you start.
The most important is the time budget. The time budget is more important than the money because what I would do is, I would say, “When am I going to work on my business?” For me, it was Tuesday nights and Saturdays. Tuesday night, I would sit down and I would do as much whether it was building some website stuff or building an article, creating an article or making a video. I would build that on Tuesday night and Saturday. I started taking coaching clients. Guess when I did my coaching? Saturdays. It was always Saturdays because I still had my day job. I found clients that wanted to be coached on Saturday and they were easy to find.
As the business started growing and I started realizing a profit, what I did next was figured out what amount could I reinvest in. In the beginning it was, “This business is great. It’s not going to allow me to replace my full-time income yet, but it’s going to pay for a vacation or two. It’s going to pay for my car payment for a while.” It did a few different things, but then I would also have a certain amount of the income where I would say, “Now I’m going to invest that. I’m going to invest it back into my education and I’ll take an online marketing course. I’ll learn how to build my website or I’ll take an online marketing course or I will hire someone to do the copy.” I hired someone at one point and they came in and wrote some articles for me, and they did some copywriting because I only had a certain amount of time budget.
As I started taking clients on, the actual time budget to work on the business reduce, but that was okay because I now had income that I could outsource some stuff. To me, it’s the time budget and having consistency in that so that you keep your day job running. That’s great, but now whether it’s one night a week, two nights a week, ten hours a week, you run that budget and you get the maximum out of that budget. You don’t feel guilty and you have a plan. You go into that week asking yourself, “What am I going to do for my ten-hour time budget to build my business?” Do only the highest best use of your time, talents, and abilities, then move forward that way. That strategy has worked for me. It’s worked for my clients. It’s worked for friends that I’ve said, “Try it this way.” It always works.
What I love is this idea of consistency and patience and putting it all together. I can’t help but think that that’s also coming back to your samurai background to your Aikido that learning that things take time. Many people are looking for the, “What can I do today so I can retire tomorrow afternoon by 4:00?” “What’s your plan?” “I’m going to win the lottery. That’s how I’m going to make my fortune.” This idea of, “We’ll put together a plan and we’ll start.” I love that you did it for a year and then realized that you needed to make some shifts because as we grow, we realized that sometimes what we originally thought we were doing may not be the alignment and it gets more sad as we move forward.
We start realizing, “It isn’t that that I want to do. It’s not vanilla ice cream that I want to sell but marble pistachio.” That’s okay. We’ve been moving in the ice cream direction. It’s not that big of a shift, but it can make all the difference to us because if we’re the only one making pistachio swirl ice cream and people want it and there is a tribe that will only want that, then you need to connect with them. I know we mentioned it, you have a special planning course that you’ve created called the 8 No Fail Planning Methods and you want to give that to our audience. They go to NoFailPlans.com. They can get this and that will connect them. You’ll give them some more ways to connect with you if they want to.
That’s a course that I produced because I have a lot of clients that come in and productivity and how do I get these things done and what we were talking about. What do I do in my 6 or 8 or 10-hour time budget to work on my part business? If you’re full-time at it, then what do I do and what do I have to do? I created this course and I sell it on our site. I’m happy to gift that to people to develop a relationship and add value in advance to them. It’s a simple course. You can get through it in about an hour and there’s going to be 1 of 8 methods that are going to call out to you and resonate. My ask is to try it out, put it to work and test it out. If it doesn’t work, there are seven more. You’re going to find the one that’s going to get you a marginal shift in your productivity, and that’s going to do a lot of good things for you.
Thank you for offering that. You talked about something which is to help people understand how balance is a myth. That’s the only thing I think we haven’t covered that would be good to get to. What do you mean by balance is a myth?
This comes from Aikido training as well. When you try to balance things, you’re playing an either-or game like an if-or. I’m trying to balance work, 70 hours a week, grow my career, get the next promotion, grow the business, whatever your focus is in that work arena. I’m trying to be the dad of the year at home. I’m trying to make it to the hockey games and the practice. In the middle, you’re going to combust because you can’t be the perfect employee or leader and perfect dad of the year and win all the awards and then feel fulfilled as a human being as well. You’re going to lose a game somewhere and then that isn’t going to make you feel good because you’re going to be out of balance.
One of the things is it’s a myth. When we go to what I call work-life harmony, the question is, how do I harmonize these different demands? How do I take my goals and aspirations at work? Maybe you’re in a peak season. Everyone has a peak season. Accountants have peak season between January and May every year. They have to get tax season done and they have a huge push. They come off of that and they take some time off. I know my accountant, after peak accounting season is done, they take every Friday off from May until August. That’s how they reclaim some of the extra time they put in the wintertime.
You have a high energy output season. You’re going to cycle down into a low energy season. Harmonizing is, “Dad or mom is going to be at work. They’re in this high energy season. They’re working six days a week, 10, 12 hours a day.” How do they harmonize that with the rest of the family? How do they harmonize that with themselves and say, “Maybe I can’t go to the gym six days a week in this season, but I can go four? In those four sessions, what am going to be doing and how can I adapt my eating so that I don’t have to worry about gaining ten pounds because I’m not eating correctly?” The question is, how do I harmonize that? How do I make all things work together? When you ask that question, it’s a hard question because it’s like, “I don’t know if I can, or can’t.”
That’s the value of having a friend, a confidant, a coach, or somebody that you can get some external perspective on, but it’s then saying, “I’m going to have a major push and then you’re going to go down.” Here’s an example a few years ago, my sensei came to town from Japan and he said, “I’m coming back in eighteen months and I’m testing you and your three other friends for your 4th-degree black belt. I will see you then.” It was like, “Oh no.” There’s a lot of preparation to go for that test. It’s your last test in Aikido. As time went on and about six months out, I sat down with my wife and said, “My training has to increase for the next six months.” I still have teaching responsibilities at the dojo. I still have work. At that time, I was still working my day job, running Samurai Innovation training. I said, “How are we going to put this together when I need to be physically training and preparing 15 to 20 hours a week for my test?”
She and I mapped out a date night. Non-negotiable date night is going to happen on these nights. We’re going to do stuff on these other nights. What are our cooking schedules going to be? I cook half the meals. She cooks half the meals. That’s harmony because we put everything on the table. We created a plan. We negotiated and we had an agreement. It went off well and there was no guilt. There is no criticism, condemnation, nobody felt left out and everything was managed. That’s the benefit of work-life harmony. It’s when you can make those things harmonized, because you’re intentionally asking that question versus saying, “I’m going to balance it all. I’m going to hope and pray it all works out.” Somewhere along the way, something explodes and now you’re frustrated.
Coming from a company that is called Peace And Harmony, we love the idea of harmony. We have these systems that can help harmonize because while you’re saying this, and I’m certainly getting it from your side of evenness. I know in my situation and in a lot of situations that I sit down to say, “This is what I’m doing with people.” No matter how much they support, we want them to be emotionally nourished as well and not feel, “You’re putting this instead of this.” I don’t want to say it this way, because I know how important it is to you but I have a friend who wanted her whole career to be about horses. She was a hospice nurse. She’s dealing with people dying and she had a horse or two or something.
Her teenage son at one point said something about she spent an awful lot of time and money on her hobby. Not getting that that where she wanted to move, not getting that if you’re dealing with people dying all the time, you need something to help nourish you after that. In that situation, how do we keep the harmony going? I love what you talked about, but in that particular case, maybe some supplemental things. Maybe we have a product, maybe we don’t. I love what you’re saying about having the intention. Let’s create the harmony. Let’s balance off the time and figure it out. That’s something we’re striving for. Every problem on the planet couldn’t be resolved with all the resources we have, except I don’t think people are thinking clearly. Therefore, they’re creating problems for themselves and for others. Shane, what else? I think what you’ve given us is valuable. Do you have any ending words of advice or wisdom or a shout out that they should all call you and hire you? How would you like to end now? How can I serve you more?
They can connect with me through the course and from there we can connect and we can start a relationship. That would be great. I need to answer your question and give it one piece of advice. The answer to your question with your friend is meeting needs. Everybody has a set of needs that they meet. You will meet them positively and intentionally, or you will not meet them positively, and you will meet them negatively and unintentionally.
One question that can get around that is, how do we make this work? That’s another way of getting out that whole work-life harmony. How do we make this work for you and for me, and what would work? Maybe there would have been an opportunity had she’d asked that earlier that her son would realize, “This is an important part of mom’s mental sanity, recovery from the hard work that she does.” It’s tough when you can’t go home and tell a young child the ins and outs and nitty-gritty of a hospice worker. That an interesting care profession. It’s hard to tell children about that, but it’s easy to say, “When I’m with the horses, I’m rejuvenated. I feel better. Would you like to come and would you like to come to the stables and walk a horse with me?” There are ways to say, “How do we meet your needs? If you let me go to the stables for Saturday afternoon, what would you like to do on Sunday afternoon?” The word of advice I’ll give to everyone reading now is it comes down to one word and that’s expectation. In business and in life, setting an expectation is half the battle.
If you’re McDonald’s and you set an expectation that for $5 you get this said hamburger, and here’s the qualities and the nutrients in the hamburger, and you pay $5 and you get what’s on the picture, you feel satisfied. Whether it’s the best or worst hamburger, who cares, they’ve delivered on their expectation to you. You go to Starbucks and they sell you a beautiful drink and it’s handcrafted and you get to sit in a nice, comfortable chair and that’s why you pay $5, or $6 or $7 for that beverage versus another coffee shop that will sell you a similar product for $3. Maybe they have plastic chairs you’re sitting on. The question is, what expectation am I setting? What’s the agreement to that expectation? That solves a lot of problems in personal and professional living.
That sounds fabulous. Shane, thank you so much for your time. This has been valuable. I wish you all success and I hope we connect again sometime soon. I love what you’re doing and how you’re helping people become bigger without being bigger, and without having to come up with all the resources and everything. I loved your stories and thank you for sharing. Thank you for being here.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve your folks, David.
We’ll talk again soon and this wraps up another episode of our show. Stop by PeaceAndHarmonyCo.com. See if we have something that can help you. If you want peace in your family, neighborhood, community, you can buy it. It’s simple and it comes with a guarantee that if you don’t notice something in three days, you can send it back and shipping is on us. People say they want peace and they want harmony, and here’s a way they can get it. They can also take advantage of Shane’s program. Go to NoFailPlans.com and take advantage of his 8 No Fail Planning Methods. Thank you again, Shane, for being here.
Thank you, David.
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About Shane Fielder
Shane Fielder is a modern-day Samurai with a 4th degree Black Belt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido. 24 years ago, he started an exploration to find out what made large national brands extremely successful over locally grown entrepreneurs. He pursued a business education by working with iconic brands that your patronage has likely helped build. During this time, Shane discovered how to apply big brand corporate success secrets into a variety of businesses to create highly profitable results. Shane’s Black Belt level of focus has helped him transform start-ups, franchises and mature businesses with over $100 million revenue per year to be leaders of their industry.
Shane can help you get highly focused so that you can become a Leader Who Can’t Be Ignored. Inquire with Shane as to how he can help you move beyond three common challenges that stop good businesses from growing into an industry-leading brand.
All our episodes are recorded using a sample of our peace and harmony program that can reduce tensions, end arguments, and create peace quickly. Try it for free at www.peaceandharmonydownload.com and enjoy your own pocket of peace!