Why Charlie Gaudet Loves a Bad Economy
Loren Feldman 0:47
Hello, everybody. I’m Loren Feldman, your host. Welcome to a 21 hats Conversation with Charlie Gaudet, who founded and runs Predictable Profits, a consulting business that coaches entrepreneurs. How are you doing, Charlie?
Charlie Gaudet 1:20
I’m doing awesome. Thank you very much for having me.
Loren Feldman 1:23
Let’s start. Why don’t you tell us a little about Predictable Profits? What do you guys do?
Charlie Gaudet 1:33
Well, the company was founded in 2010. We coach and work with some of the smartest entrepreneurs on the planet. They range in size anywhere from startup to we have clients that are doing over $100 million. Typically, they’re coming to us.
That’s a broad range.
That is, and part of the reason why is because we’re also partners with many large organizations that will send their business owners to us for coaching and development. And so, while we specialize in working with seven- and eight-figure companies, the reality is, we need to make sure that our team is adept to be able to handle companies and scale companies that are at different levels—though, I’ll tell you that startups are harder to coach than eight and nine figure companies.
Loren Feldman 2:25
Why is that?
Charlie Gaudet 2:27
So a business doesn’t fail because of a lack of a good idea. A business fails because of a lack of momentum. And so when you look at a company that’s doing even six, seven or eight figures, they’re generating lots of momentum. So they’re generating traffic, they’re generating leads, they’re generating sales. And so our philosophy and our methodology for growing companies is about looking at, what is currently working in these businesses? And how do we do more of it? And that sounds super simple. But when you look at the companies that we’ve taken to the Inc 5000 fastest growing companies list, it wasn’t because of some sort of awesome marketing funnel-whiz-bang-secret that’s never been revealed before. It came down to the fundamentals. So let’s look at what’s working, and how do we make it better? And on the contrary, let’s look at what’s not working? And how do we either improve it or just cut the fat all together?
Loren Feldman 3:33
One of the reasons I think I was a little surprised when you said that it can be easier working with the larger companies than with the startups is because I immediately imagined that the startup entrepreneur might be more coachable than a more seasoned entrepreneur. Is that the case? Or no?
Charlie Gaudet 3:52
It’s actually quite the contrary. Yeah, you know, with seasoned entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs that are doing seven or eight figures at this point, they start to know what they don’t know. And they know the questions that need to be answered. Startups tend to be overly optimistic. It’s not uncommon for me to meet with a startup and say, Okay, what are your goals over the next 12 months? And where they are generating no revenue for them to say something like $10 million, you know, that they tend to be overly optimistic—versus another entrepreneur that may be at the center of the bell curve.
Most companies that come to work with us, they’re doing about $1 to $3 million a year. And they’re saying, why is my business not growing any faster? Or how do we generate more predictability in our revenue? But they’re looking at that point for more scalable marketing and sales strategies. So you know, they understand, Okay, we got our company to this point. Now what do we need to do to get it to that next level. It’s less about, Oh, we’re here, we got a great idea, let’s do $10 million. Now it’s like, Okay, I’ve tried a lot. I need to get to the next milestone, and I realize I’m missing something. And it appears I’m missing a scalable marketing and sales strategy. So can we talk about that? So it’s a higher level of discussion. Versus let’s just go make a whole ton of money. And, so it’s funny too, right? Companies are at what we call a hierarchy of needs. Just like humans. Wiith humans, at a very basic level, we need to have food and shelter. And so with a startup, you know, they need to bring in money. And so, oftentimes, it’s whatever it’s going to take for a quick buck. And at that point, they’re looking at growth hacks, and something super simple—versus another company that’s doing over a million dollars a year. They’re higher up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. So they’re not necessarily looking for, How do I put more food on my table? At that point, it’s like, How do I make smarter decisions?
Loren Feldman 6:16
Interesting, that kind of plays into something I’ve thought about a lot, which is, one of the things I admire about entrepreneurs, is, they’re, by definition, willing to keep going, even when everyone tells them, they’ve got it, their idea is not going to work, they should go get a job. It’s too hard. There are a million reasons not to start a business. And they choose to ignore all those reasons. And sometimes, that builds even after they’ve, you know, opened their door for for business. So they, they learn to believe in themselves to trust themselves, if they have any success at all, and they keep going. But a certain point, they then have to learn to take advice, because nobody knows everything they need to know, to build a business. How do you convince somebody who has learned to trust themselves learn to keep going by ignoring what others are telling them and sticking to what they believe in their heart? How do you convince that person to try something different?
Charlie Gaudet 7:21
I don’t. And that’s the thing. So I don’t try to convince anybody to do something different. You know, it’s, it’s like going to the doctor, for example, many people have been told that you got to lose weight, you got to lose weight, you got to lose weight, right. And no matter how many times somebody tries to convince them to put down the beads, and you know, put down the alcohol and just lose weight, a lot of people just don’t do it. But their kids to a point people make decisions for two reasons, inspiration, or desperation. You know, you see a lot of people that finally decide, you know, I’m gonna lose weight, because I’m getting married. And I want to look great in the photos. And so that inspiration is enough for them to say, Okay, what do I need to do to lose weight, or, on the contrary, they may find out that they’ve got a terminal illness. And at that point, they’ll listen to whatever the doctor tells them. That’s enough motivation and leverage. And so I don’t convince anybody that they need to listen to me, it’s usually at that point when there is a pain, or they are certain amount of drive and inspiration. And they’re like, Look, I recognize that I can take my company to a certain level. Now I’m open to ideas to taking it to the next level. And I don’t sell people, I sell them through serving. So there’s no sort of hype, it’s selling through serving, if I can demonstrate a quantifiable impact, before they’re even paying me, they draw that conclusion themselves. They’re like, Oh, my gosh, we just spent, you know, 45 minutes on the phone, and you just shared something to me that I didn’t know. And that’s the key with any business in any sort of sales organization. It when we, when you look at a sales structure, there is where your prospect is now, there is where they want to go. The sale happens naturally, when you can bridge that gap between where they are and where they want to go. And when you bridge that gap, and they make this sort of connection in their minds, that goes, wow, that changes everything. The deal is sold, you don’t have to resort to hype or scarcity are all these other tactics. You know, that’s what they’re looking for.
Loren Feldman 9:36
It has to be something that is convincing to them, though. And it’s you’re describing a strategy perhaps with some promise to produce results. What makes it real for them, what makes them believe that that’s going to work?
Charlie Gaudet 9:57
So in my business, so much You know what we do? It sounds crazy, right? But it comes down to common sense. You know, we know that people do business with other people they know they like and what else? Trust, right. They know, like and trust. And so if you’re trying to put something into play, or you’re trying to create this business and you’re running into problems, chances are you’re running into problems. And the very fun ends because people don’t know like or trust you. So that falls into three simple buckets. So which one is it? And how do we solve it? And for a lot of people it comes down to, you know, they don’t know us, especially if you look at outbound, when people say my album processes aren’t working, okay, do they know, like, and trust? You know? How do we get them to know like, and trust you before you actually reach them for the first time? Oh, I don’t know, I haven’t thought about that. And it’s like, what if we did that? What if we did such and such? What impact do you think would make in your business? Oh, that would increase the response rate. Interesting by how much. I mean, if it, it just increased it by you know, you know, such and such a percent that make a huge difference. They just made that conclusion themselves. I don’t have to convince him, if I have to convince you, I’m doing the I’m doing something wrong. If I can show you something real like, That changes everything. That’s exciting.
Loren Feldman 11:32
Who are you seeing these days? We’ve been through a year unlike any other the past 12 months? Are the companies that are coming to you more desperate than than had been the case previously?
Charlie Gaudet 11:48
No, I don’t, you’re gonna you might find this shocking. And maybe it’s just the type of businesses that we bring on. I mean, you know, the most commonly we heard people say, my pipeline is growing, you know, what do we need to do to fill a pipe? Or, you know, we have a travel company that says, Oh, my God, you know, what do we do? I mean, all of a sudden, our sales have stopped. But these are entrepreneurs again, because the level of entrepreneurs that I work with I and maybe this is a plan cymatics, but they’re not desperate. Because they’re just they understand that, okay, the environment has changed. I need to adapt, and I’m so close to it. I just need help seeing what I don’t see. And so it’s so it’s just a matter of saying, Okay, let’s take a look at where you’re at right now. Because what was working prior to 2020 has all of a sudden stopped working. And so now it’s like, okay, it stopped working. Why? So they’re looking to understand why did it stop working? And what do I need to do differently in order to achieve a better result?
Loren Feldman 13:04
It does make sense, but might help, could you could you kind of walk us through your process
Charlie Gaudet 13:09
a little bit. Let’s say a travel company comes to you and says, a pipeline is drying up, we need to do something. This is a new client that they walk in your door. What do you do? So this is a great example. And this demonstrates the robustness of the methodology that all of your listeners can use inside of their own business. Because it’s real simple for somebody to tell you how to grow their business, when the markets going up, and the economy is doing well. But it’s another thing and where the rubber meets the road is if you can use a similar methodology and continue to grow it when all hell broke loose, right. And that’s what happened in 2012. So I heard so and that’s what happens. So, you know, I had a conversation with the CEO of global travel organization. Very, very, very smart, brilliant man. And he says to me, he goes, Charlie, helped me figure this out. You know, the Coronavirus by all intents and purposes has made it impossible for us to do business. I mean, we only get paid when we put people on on a plane. I mean, we’re selling international travel. What do we do? I mean, how do we resolve this? So our philosophy is broken down into three main things or our methodology. We go companies, OSI, it’s the OSI method, right? optimization, systemization, and then innovation. So the optimization part is about let’s find out where all the areas of momentum exist in your business. To answer the question, how can we do more of it and how can we do less of what’s not working, do more of what’s working less of what’s not working. So even in this case, with the travel industry, the world is shut down. We’re looking for the areas of momentum. So I said, well, let’s start with a basic baseline question. Do you have? Do you still have traffic coming to your website? Yeah, we have tons. Okay. Do you still have people signing up for your email newsletters and people opening your emails? whatnot? Tons of people clicking on the messages? Yeah, we have tons. That’s the momentum we’re looking for. So look, here’s what we know. There’s been
Loren Feldman 15:28
bias up there for one second. Yeah. Do you think that situation was typical of most travel agencies? Or was there something special about this one, that the interest was still being expressed, even though people couldn’t travel?
Charlie Gaudet 15:41
Well, we knew that people wanted to travel, it’s just in their minds, they felt that they couldn’t travel or it didn’t make sense to buy now, because they get on a plane anyway. So why buy now?
Loren Feldman 15:51
I get that. But I’m wondering, was this business exceptional? And that people were still coming to it and expressing that interest? Or do you think that pent up interest was there for most decent travel agents?
Charlie Gaudet 16:05
Well, I’m going to, I’ll go on the line and say that any industry because I’m giving you example, a travel industry, but in, in almost every industry, across the board, everything from you know, sheep horns, right, sheep horns, the end, this is a very nice to have item all the way through to, you know, we talked travel b2b agencies or whatnot. Every single one of these industries, we’ve leveraged the momentum to figure out how do we need to adapt and change the message in order to, to change with a with the changing buyers during, right, so when we change that we get different results. See, in my lifetime, we’ve had five inflection points, 1987 2000 2001 2008. And then now, an inflection point is anytime things change so drastically that everything that worked before the inflection point needs to be reevaluated. And so we had an inflection point in 2020. That means buying habits change, just like in 2008, when there was a massive financial crisis, buying habits changed, people started looking at things differently. 2001 911, right. So people looked at things differently. And so in 2020, we’re faced with four decisions, do more with the we have to change them message to meet the existing market, change the market to meet the message, change both the market in the message or sit tight, do nothing and pray that things change. So when we looked at the momentum in the existing travel agency, we said, okay, people are clicking, they’re seeing the message, but they’re not buying. So how do we have to change the message to meet the market. So we know that they’re still interested in travel that they can. So we change the message to say, hey, look, even though you can’t travel, we if you enroll now, we’ll give you something to look forward to. And we can still pass the savings on to you and so forth. And so the result of that CEO making a very strategic move and changing the message as quickly as he did, he ended up having record KPIs, month after month after month, in December of 2000. His e commerce sales were 400% greater than they were the year prior. So at some point in 2020, when the world was shut down for 100%, higher econ sales compared to 2019, when the world was still thriving. So we now has the best of our knowledge, the number one best producing travel agency in the entire world within his specific niche. Right. So if it can work for travel in the middle of Coronavirus, it can work for every business across the line. And again, for those listening. It’s how do you change your message to meet your existing market? Do you keep the message and change your market? Do you change both the message in the market? Or do you sit tight and do nothing and anybody that sat tight and did nothing inevitably ended up struggling? But there are examples across the board in the restaurant industry. You know, when restaurants were were shut down and you know some of them are now open to whatnot. The restaurants that thrived are the ones that adapted and said how do we change and do things differently? And there are restaurants that said you know what, what we’ll do is we will ship bags of raw goods to your house, including, you know, mixed drink, you know, combinations to your house. We’ll hold an event, we’ll do a zoom live with our chef. And we’ll walk you through in, we’ll make the meal together and make this a big community thing. And everybody else is on the zoom was to be there. And the restaurants that did that, you know, some of them thrive. We have a client that had more food sales, not alcohol, but more food sales than he did pre pandemic, just by running a whole bunch of different options. And then you had other restaurants that maybe didn’t do as well. But they did enough to be able to stay in business, which in, in these times are, you know, it’s uh, you know, there’s still a pretty good accomplishment. Right. But it’s adapting, I think it was Dr. Edwards Deming then has a quote that said, you don’t have to adapt, survival is not necessary. But
Loren Feldman 20:56
let me ask you this. Yeah, I host the podcast. And one of the regulars on our podcast, it’s a weekly conversation among business owners who I’ve been talking to throughout the crisis, and one is an owner who has a business that makes high end conference tables, for law firms for brokerage firms and for small business owners, somebody who wants to make a statement in their in their boardroom, and once a really nice table, he sells them for for a lot of money. As you can imagine, this isn’t a great time for him. Nobody needs a conference table. Right? Well, not nobody, but few people need a conference table right now. And, you know, there’s even some question about whether, you know, all these clients have his his that he’s worked with in the past? Are they even going to have offices in the future, you know, we’re all learning to work remotely. So he’s got a lot, you know, weighing against him at the moment. And he’s, he’s given a lot of thought to whether he should pivot. And at least for now, he’s come to the conclusion that he should not. And he’s, he’s trying to do that fourth approach of yours, see what happens. And he’s been able to do that, in part because he is getting some business there are like government offices and places like that, that have every intention of always having an office that are still placing orders. So he does have some business coming in. But everything else that he looked at, it was trying to do something that he’s not good at, he’s got, you know, he, he makes one thing he does it really well. And he thought about doing something like making a desk that you could, you know, that he could sell cheaply for somebody who’s working from home for the first time. And once a, you know, a desk to put in their living room or wherever they’re now setting up office, but then you’d have to compete with IKEA and wayfair. And all these places. He couldn’t make it, you know, as quickly as they do, or as cheaply as they do when he just decided to wait, does that? How does that strike you? Have you seen other businesses where it does make sense to hold off? Or do you think you really should be figuring something out at this point?
Charlie Gaudet 23:09
I don’t believe wading in using hope as a strategy is dependable strategy at all. So hope is not a strategy. There are some companies that obviously it’s more challenging to adapt than others. I interviewed a gentleman who was in office furniture, so once it out like different, different market, right, but who’s in office furniture, and he said when COVID hit, his business was instantly crushed. But instead of being crushed, you mentioned earlier in the podcast about hunters, entrepreneurs are very resilient people. Right? And so right away, he was like, oh, how do I have to pivot and change my message to meet the market or change the market to meet the message. And he said, I have to change the market. Because I mean, people are giving up their leases, their office furniture is not a place to to be And right now, when everybody’s working from home. And so he pivoted to the work from home. And his business has taken off and thrived massively, because he pivoted very, very, very quick. And he used the same market that he was reaching that was working the office, and he tried to pivot to all those employees that are now working from home. So how do I support all those people working from home, and he’s doing really well, when you’re selling conference tables? Obviously, not everybody has got the room for a conference table inside of their home, right. But how can you support the work from home person is one or the other question is, who currently is still buying office furniture, because there are still people that are still working in the office, and maybe it becomes a matter of we need to niche more specifically to service that particular needs. So what a lot of people don’t understand is that niching is also abroad. strategy. When we’re trying to appeal to so many people, we have a difficult time being heard. Like, for example, if you and I were standing at in the middle of a baseball game, when baseball games had grads, right? If you and I were standing in the middle of a baseball game, and we hear everybody talking and screaming and whatnot, we can’t differentiate one voice from another. But I can guarantee if I was five rows back, and I yelled, Lauren, no matter how loud and noisy it is, you’re going to stop and look back. Because your name is what catches people’s attention. Similarly, when we’re in a space that’s very noisy, and very crowded, and things are going crazy, the more niche you can become all of a sudden, you get heard. And so this is where niching become a growth strategy. And we took one agency that had he was working with people from Red Bull to Coca Cola to a whole bunch of other people, when we started working together, was doing about a million dollars a year. And we said, well, the challenge is, is we now need to niche you because it’s so difficult for you to be heard. Because right now, everybody and their mothers have an agency on every corner of every street, there’s so many companies there. So we need to niche use, you can be heard, that became the foundation of a strategy that took them from a million dollars to three years later, he did over 25 no 24 point 6 million
Unknown Speaker 26:25
Charlie Gaudet 26:27
thing becomes a growth strategy. And that also works in a pandemic.
Loren Feldman 26:30
You’ve kind of just touched on this a little bit, but we got a question in submitted by one of our attendees. And by the way, any of you listen to this, if you have a question for Charlie, by all means please drop it into chat or the q&a. The question we have Charlie is, what would you recommend for a company that was built for a down market? What should that company do to get a new b2b client when b2b clients are in more of a wait and see mentality right now? Not in full buying mode? I think you just gave one answer that question, you know, going niche, is there anything else you would suggest?
Charlie Gaudet 27:09
So b2b is doing fantastically well, right? fantastically fantastically well, across the board, across the board, across the board, it is doing awesome. And the reason for that is because the selling environment has changed. It’s largely digital first, prior to 2020. Most sales were done by word of mouth referrals, trade shows that type of deal. When 2020 happened, most salespeople didn’t really know what to do. And so they turned around and they would buy contact information on zoom info, they would blast it out to 1000s of people hoping to get a response that didn’t work that do LinkedIn automation, hope to get a whole bunch of responses. And that didn’t work. So we had to be a little bit more strategic and do things differently. Earlier in today’s conversation we talked about people need to know like and trust you. The problem with the way that most b2b prospecting is is being done is that people don’t know like or trust you. And yet you’re trying to hit them over the head with a whole bunch of emails and LinkedIn messages. So we have to solve that problem. And we found that if we solve that problem by pre what we call preheating the audience, before you reach out to them, their response rates go way up. And when I mean preheating the audience, let’s say we’ve created a list of the people that we actively want to reach out to. So we take that list. And the first step that we do is we’ll upload that list in places like ad roll, which I love, ad roll, or LinkedIn, Facebook, and we’ll retarget them. We’re not retargeting with a conversion goal were retargeting for an impression goal, we just want them to see our brand over and over and over and over again, we want them to be able to say, Lauren, oh my god, I see you guys everywhere. Because at that point, we’re starting to expand our share of voice. The laws of effective frequency say that somebody needs to see a brand message 20 times before becoming a buyer. So the more people see us, the more we’re starting to take them from a cold to a warm prospect plus, familiarity breeds trust. So then we’re warming people up, they’re seeing our messages, but that just gets people to know us and kind of sort of trust us because familiarity breeds trust. But we have to then solve the like and trust portion. And that’s when we can leverage LinkedIn, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, create some engagement, even before we actively reach out to people. When we actively reach out to people, then we’re omni channel. omni channel is not an addition problem. It’s a multi multiplication problem. You don’t just do LinkedIn plus Email, you get results LinkedIn times email. And so we use LinkedIn. We use email, we use telephone. People think we’re not using telephone, but we split tested 400% more appointments by using telephone. We even use good old fashioned direct mail, we have a paper email strategy, where we send a brief summary
Loren Feldman 30:20
about telephone. That’s interesting. Are you This is b2b still you’re talking about
Charlie Gaudet 30:24
b2b? Yes. And,
Loren Feldman 30:26
and people still pick up phone calls from unfamiliar phone numbers. I haven’t done that in 10 years.
Charlie Gaudet 30:31
Here’s the fun thing about it, right? telephone by itself. Does it work? No. But remember, this is a multiplication problem. Telephone times email times LinkedIn works. So we had two groups of people. We had one group that we said, you know, what, don’t make any phone calls. And let’s see how well this works. The other group, we said, let’s add phone calls into the sequence and see how well that works. There was no differentiation, just the difference between phone calls and no phone calls. The people who use the phone calls, they didn’t get through to a single gatekeeper. Get didn’t get through to a gatekeeper didn’t talk to a decision maker never got a return phone call back. So you think, oh, then it must not have worked? No, because they set 400% more appointments than the people who didn’t make a phone call. Why? I don’t know. I believe that there are reasons and results, the only thing matters the results. My theory, though, is that you’re sitting there going, Oh, my gosh, Charlie, I am seeing your ads all over the place. I’m seeing you on my newsfeed on LinkedIn. I’m seeing you commenting and liking on my posts. I’m seeing you in my inbox. Now I’m seeing you in my voicemail box. Holy cow. Persistence pays off. Interesting. So my, my CEO of my company. She came from the Chet Holmes organization. She was the former president of the Division of his organization. And so Chet Holmes, he’s since passed. But he was known as one of the world’s greatest sales people. Right. So I was listening to an interview that Chet Holmes gave way back in the day. And somebody asked chat, what was or what is your number one sales strategy. And funny enough chats, number one sales strategy, he said was persistence. It wasn’t some sort of like, some fancy move, or whatever. It came down to persistence. And he called it pigheaded persistence was his number one sales strategy. But that becomes the challenge in b2b, most salespeople give up too early. But when you have this omni channel approach, and your preheating and whatnot, and by the way, I mean, I could go on and on and on about this because of how effective this is. But when it comes to preheating, I if you get a cold prospect on the phone, your conversion rate is going to be about 10%. industry average about 10%. Right for b2b, they’re cold, and they’re a little skeptical. They’re not sure if they’re going to do business with you. But when you preheat them, and you get them on the phone, and now they’re warm prospect that goes from 10% to as little as 30%, often 40% conversion rate.
Loren Feldman 33:22
How do you define a warm prospect? What does it take to present someone,
Charlie Gaudet 33:25
it’s really somebody who knows likes you and trust you. So that preheating phase is the retargeting phase. It’s also engaging with people on LinkedIn and whatnot for b2b, right? Because that works. b2c, by the way. And I’m hitting you guys with a firehose because I want to give you as much as I can and limited time that we have together, right? Because this is what excites me with b2c though we use a similar strategy, but we’re targeting partners instead. So we’re saying, well, what’s a partner? So a partner is somebody who’s has, they create a hub, right? So they’re doing business with your ideal clients. So for example, when I owned a real estate development company, I had one of the highest profit margins in the entire industry. But part of why I had the highest profit margin is because I formed these partnerships with people who are also doing business with my ideal clients. And I would say, oh, you’re in furniture, can I get a preferred discount for my clients and for any, anything that they buy, I want a small piece of of their sale. And so I’ve created preferred relationship with them preferred relationship with alarm companies, TV company, so home theater companies, all alarm companies, if I didn’t already say that driveway sealcoating companies, I went on and on anything that my clients would need, I formed a preferred relationship, and they gave me a small percentage of every sale that they did. And so that created a massive profit center for me. If I’m looking for leads and sales, I’m like, okay, where can I create a preferred relationship with somebody else? Right? It’s Look, I’m in this business, if I can create a preferred advantage for your clients, would you be willing to send your clients our way, and I’ll create a profit center for you. And so there’s, you know, there’s all this opportunity that’s available for both b2c and b2c when you look at my own company, right? So our company, January of 2020, compared to January of 2019, we grew seven, and 711%. And one of the major differences between my company and our growth strategy was not worrying so much about one to one sales. It was how do I make one sale and benefit from multiple sales. So for example, we’ve formed a relationship with one particular partner, that one particular partner provides 20 deals or opportunities to us every single week, minimum 20 opportunities a week. So I make one sale, and then ultimately end up having these 20 opportunities per week. So it’s like, how do I make even more of those sales to create that much more leverage?
Loren Feldman 36:13
Does that make sense? It does that. That’s 700% growth. That was January 19, to January 20,
Charlie Gaudet 36:21
January 19, through January 2020. So our january MONTH, January 2019, compared to January 2020, we had 711%. Bigger month in January, I’m sorry, January 2020, compared to January 2021, or January 2021. was 711%. Greater than j Oh, God. Okay. So
Loren Feldman 36:42
it’s just this month?
Charlie Gaudet 36:44
Yeah. I mean, our company grew by many hundreds of percent in 2020. I just don’t remember that number of fans.
Loren Feldman 36:51
Well, that leads me to a question. And by the way, again, we do have a limited time. So if you have a question for Charlie, please ask it now. But Charlie, I know you’d like to say that you’ve love a bad economy. And that kind of plays into what you were just saying about your growth. January over January. Why do you love a bad economy?
Charlie Gaudet 37:12
Yeah, it’s funny, I get a lot of people asking me that question. And I wrote about it in my book, right? It’s, I think the first chapter I say I love about economy. People believe that they’re far more strategic than they are when the when the markets are doing well. Because you don’t have to be, you don’t have to work that hard to make a sale. It’s when the markets change, that the strategic people are going to survive, and those who are less strategic, it’s almost like a natural purging process. If you noticed, when the markets shut down in 2020, almost right away, people started scaling back, they scaled back their marketing scaled back their advertising, they started laying off and, you know, we’re, you know, what do you call protecting themselves, right. And so, for guys like me, that just opened up the playing field, because people are still buying, it’s just we have to change the message in order to capitalize on the opportunities. But now, people are still buying, but it’s like going to Disney World, and nobody’s enlightened for the rides. Right, I can still now I just, I just have to become a little bit more strategic in order to capture more market share. And so that’s why I love about economy, because most people will wait and hope for things to change. Most people will scale back. It’s the people that are the people that I would be afraid of, are the people that are going to lean in and say where’s the opportunity right now? Because there is always opportunity. But, you know, we can go to the smallest molecule observable by man, and you’re gonna see that there’s always a positive and a negative energy. And you can always see that, you know, whether we’re environments or economic patterns, or whatever it is, with every up there’s a down with it yet the Chinese figured this out the ying yang with every negative there’s an equal and opposite opportunity. And the same thing happens in a bad economy with every challenge. There’s a million opportunities you just got to look for it takes it’s just a just a little bit different.
Loren Feldman 39:29
We got a very smart question in chat from actually a friend of mine, Ramon Ray, a very smart observer of the Small Business scene. He’s asking for the growth you had January to January. What did you have to do to scale internally? Did you have to hire a lot of people? How did you handle that 700% growth.
Charlie Gaudet 39:51
We have had to hire, the way that we scale. So we’ve, we map out our years ahead of time, we even though we’re a small business, we like to think of ourselves almost like a public company. And so a public company will say, Okay, I’m going to put together our forecast for the quarter and even for the year. And if they’re one penny off from their forecast, what happens to the, to the company? What happens to the shares? Lauren? If they’re one thing out? they’re in trouble, right? So we take this very seriously, we put a lot of thought into what our profit that
Loren Feldman 40:28
makes any sense, by the way,
Unknown Speaker 40:29
Loren Feldman 40:31
But But I take your point.
Charlie Gaudet 40:33
So but we we set our pro formas. Very, very intentionally, we’re very diligent as to saying, okay, here’s what our performance is going to look like. And we map it out for the year. So I can tell you right off the bat, and every day, we go back to the pro forma, and we update it based on the revenues that have been received and the new clients that we have whatnot, we update it, so that we know how close are we to being on track of the pro forma? Or how, you know, are we exceeding or are we not exceeding, because we already know in accordance to our pro forma we have earmarked This is when we need to bring in more resources, more resources, more resources. And if we’re ahead of our pro forma, that just moved up the timeline for when we get need to bring in more resources. But earlier in our conversation, we talked about the three ways to grow the business optimization, systemization, and innovation. The reason why we do it this way is from the optimization part, we want to make sure that we’re creating a finely tuned machine. Once we created that finely tuned machine, entrepreneurs have got a million balls running at our juggling at any given point in time. But Lauren, if you’ve ever seen a juggler, juggling 10 balls all at once, and they drop one, what happens,
Unknown Speaker 41:47
they get fired?
Charlie Gaudet 41:48
Well, they might. But usually, if they dropped one after after juggling 10, all of them fall down. And so with an entrepreneur, that’s where I go to optimization systemization, so you systemize as many processes as possible in the company. So the company is not dependent on you or any one of those key employees. So it makes scaling that much easier when you have systems for all of your key processes across the board. And when you bring somebody else in there, Matt, they’re following the system. So you another thing that we talked about was the challenges that entrepreneurs have, there are two major major points that entrepreneurs are going to face an extraordinary amount of challenge. And I had a mentor of mine very early on that said, you’re going to be the closest you have ever been to success at the very moment, you want to give up more than anything else in the world. And now nobody’s talking about. And so that first part is when you’re starting off, when you don’t have a lot of momentum in your life, you know, you start with a lot of optimism and excitement, you’re like this is going to be awesome. And then all of a sudden, it just takes a lot longer than you thought maybe a few bumps in the road and you keep wondering, you know, should I give up Should I quit, I’m not sure this is so painful. Eventually, something happens, you keep through it, you get this spike of momentum, you get this nice little parabolic lift. And then of course, you’re gonna have your bumps and your bruises as you try to figure this out whatnot, but you get through it. And then you get to this other point. And this other point is what a lot of companies don’t prepare for, it’s when you’re actually most successful when the company is scaling and growing really, really well. And we encountered this ourselves. And it was a very surprisingly, and shockingly scary point where you just don’t know if you’re going to be able to survive it. And if you look at your business, like a rocket ship, you’re growing like this super, super fast, right? But then all of a sudden, as you start growing your your as you’re growing, you’re at a point where you can be intimately involved with every employee and client relationship that you have. But then it gets to a point where you’ve grown to such a point where you can’t be intimately involved with every employee anymore. You can’t be intimately involved with every client, and the booster starts to separate from the rocket. And so you are as the business owner, you have a vision, and you’re constantly sharing all these promises. If the booster isn’t aligned with the rocket ship, and it starts, that gap starts to widen, that can actually tank the company. And so we’re trying to figure out and through systems, we managed to align
Unknown Speaker 44:26
Charlie Gaudet 44:30
the booster and the rocket chip to make sure that everything is alignment. And so we’re in lockstep with one another.
Loren Feldman 44:37
Is that where we are are you at this point? Are you experiencing some of that?
Charlie Gaudet 44:42
It’s a good question. We’re still at this point. The booster started to separate and then we brought it close together. We’re not in what I would say. You know, we’re not clear you know in safety and focus on other things. My focus in q1 of this year, was less on growth or is less on growth. It’s more in optimization and systemization. So we’ve grown so fast that it’s starting to expose different challenges that I for a million years didn’t even know, was a challenge.
Loren Feldman 45:20
And you know, what you’re describing, you’re describing something that an author named Doug Tatum wrote about, I wrote about in one of my favorite books about entrepreneurship, it’s called no man’s land. excellent book, his his experience has been and he’s observed this in lots and lots of companies, including his own is that every successful business goes through this at some point, where are the things that have worked for you to get you to this point, no longer work for you, and you have to make some changes, just what you’re describing. And some of those changes may be getting rid of employees who were very loyal, and worked very hard, but are not equipped to handle the job that needs to be done going forward. And that can be incredibly painful. It sounds like your experience, not necessarily the employees situation, but that the general sense of having to, to make changes and do things a little bit differently. Sounds like maybe that’s what you’re thinking about a little bit?
Charlie Gaudet 46:22
Yeah, actually, that’s such a good book, that book by the way, Doug’s book is required reading for clients to reach a certain level of success. It’s a tremendous, tremendous book. And for any of the listeners here, it’s called No Man’s lands. I would recommend it. Doug Tatum has his lesson. Yes. You asked me a question. And I just completely when
Loren Feldman 46:44
I asked you, if you were being affected by that thing, kind of thing. And I think you’re you you answered that you are experiencing some of it.
Charlie Gaudet 46:50
Yeah. And you know, to be transparent, right? I’m, we’re not out of no man’s land yet. You know, where the beautiful thing is, we’re growing. That challenge. equal, every challenge has an equal and opposite opportunity. The same thing rings true, by the way, every opportunity comes with it nickel opposite challenge.
Loren Feldman 47:11
It’s like the company that suddenly gets that big contract to deliver whatever they make to Walmart, and can they gear up to produce the scale that they need to making the changes that Walmart demands and handling all that, they’re not going to do it with the team that got them to that point, they’ve got to make big changes. And, you know,
Charlie Gaudet 47:33
I’ll tell you, yesterday, particularly, was a very, very stressful time for me, because everything, all of the challenges all seem to happen, like one after the other after the other after the other and rapid fire, and I’m like, Ah, so only so much for me to, you know, to go around, and my team at this point, you know, they’re they’re very stretched certain key members of the team, they’re very stressed. But it all comes down to perspective. And I had to get myself back in this place of just feeling grateful, because when we look around at the businesses that are having challenges, you know, the challenges that I’m being faced with right now, I, Tony Robbins, and I I traveled the world with Tony, I invested a lot more money than I probably care to admit, to pay Tony to travel with him.
Unknown Speaker 48:25
Charlie Gaudet 48:26
But Tony says to me, he’s like big people have big problems. Small people have small problems, if you want to tell the size of a problem, if you want to see the size of a person, you know, look for the size of the problems. And when I look at the problems that we’re having right now, even though they’re bigger problems, they’re so much better than some of the other problems I could be facing. So I I try to remind myself have that and just just be super, super grateful and lucky in today’s day and age, if you’re making enough money to put food on your table, maybe put a little something you know in the bank yet, if you’re growing, if you’re healthy, if you’re whatever, but you’re faced with hiring problems or you’re faced with good problems. Those are good problems.
Loren Feldman 49:17
That’s a great point to stop on. I could talk to you all day, Charlie, but we got to close this What if one of our listeners wants to get in touch with you and and learn more? What should they do? Well,
Charlie Gaudet 49:32
I definitely highly encourage them to go over to predictable profits. And in fact,
Loren Feldman 49:39
you know total profits calm,
Charlie Gaudet 49:41
predictable profits calm. Please let let me know that you’re a listener here to the podcast. We just love to love to be able to connect the dots and how we’ve gotten to know one another. And you know, one of the beautiful things is you talked about You know, for the right business owner that’s really looking to grow. We’re in the results based business. And so because of that, we don’t believe in in really hard selling anybody. We want to be able to deliver results in advance and be able to find possibilities and ways in which we can, we can grow and add value to the business. And you know if that if that’s there, that’s why we start every relationship with a coaching session. And that opportunity is available to you if you go over to predictable profits, calm and happy to support you.
Loren Feldman 50:36
So this video, you could say is kind of a exercise in preheating when you say,
Charlie Gaudet 50:41
ah, very good. Good job. Daniel, son. Charlie, good
Loren Feldman 50:50
at predictable profits. Thank you so much for taking the time. Really appreciate it.
Charlie Gaudet 50:54
It’s been a pleasure. Thank you.
Loren Feldman 50:56
Take care. And thank you, everybody, for listening.