395 Bernadette Doyle: Stretching Time
Ever felt like you were running faster and faster and never quite reaching your destination? When we build businesses around something we love to do, we can just ending up doing more of it and we can burn out.
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we meet an inspiring entrepreneur who realized one day her business was unsustainable. She was thinking and acting like an employee in her own business … rather than the owner.
Bernadette Doyle knew she had to make a change when she found herself overwhelmed and constantly hustling … no matter how successful she was.
When she switched to an online model suddenly time went from being a scarce resource into a limitless one. Bernadette is the founder of Online Profits University helping entrepreneurs grow income streams.
Bernadette has an inspiring message and she’ll be here in just a moment … and first, if you want to put into practice everything she shares in this interview and step into a limitless life as an entrepreneur, you’ll want to take advantage of this, because …
Now back to the inspiring Bernadette Doyle.
She’s a transformational expert and the founder of the Online Profits University, an online school that teaches entrepreneurs how to create and grow new income streams.
Bernadette’s entrepreneurial journey began at the age of 26 where she was successfully trading her time for money and found herself overwhelmed and constantly hustling.
After the birth of her first son, Bernadette found that her own success had become an anchor. As the demands on her time grew, suddenly she needed a team and to house and manage that team. Her previous business model was simply unsustainable.
Then she switched to an online model and time turned from scarce resource to a limitless one.
By packaging her expertise into products and online programs and connecting with customers by teleconference and webinar, she doubled her income in her first year as a new mother, all with time to spend with her family. By 2008, Bernadette had generated a million dollars in online sales and even masterminded personally with Sir Richard Branson, all with the free time to be a single mother to her two children.
Today she shares some important advice about how to get out of our own way … in particular shed the beliefs that can hold us back in business and in life.
Are you ready to fly with Bernadette Doyle?
Melinda Wittstock: Bernadette, welcome to Wings.
Bernadette Doyle: Thank you. I’m delighted to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: I am so excited to talk to you because I know we’re going to cover so much ground that’s so near and dear to my heart, starting with the fact that if you want to therapy, you should become an entrepreneur because it’s the surest, fastest way to all kinds of personal growth, as well as growth in wealth and opportunity. What does it mean do you think to say that we don’t really grow our business that our business does in fact grow us?
Bernadette Doyle: Well, I believe that my business, and I think every business, really does reflect the values of the owner. And I think our businesses can only grow to our capabilities as an owner. So therefore, if we want to scale our businesses, and we want to grow beyond our own limits, we have to take ourselves beyond our own limits.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. And that can be painful for a lot of people, right, because you get challenged by so many things often in entrepreneurship that you cannot even control. The only thing you can really control is your own reaction, your own mindset, your own abilities, how hard you work, I mean, all these factors. What do you think holds people back the most?
Bernadette Doyle: Well, it’s interesting you should say that because I was talking to a group of clients today about this very thing, that we have to get good at distinguishing what can I control, what can I influence, and what can I do absolutely nothing about. And the more we are placing our attention on the things that we can control and focusing on improving and developing that, and I’m not going to say ignoring, but not stressing or worrying so much about the things that we can only influence, then what happens is, the circle that we can control actually grows bigger and then starts to impact the things that we can influence.
So I think one of the challenges is actually starting to really get clear about the distinction because many of us just out of habit, and I know I used to do this a lot, I used to pet put a lot of attention complaining about things that I had no control over, and possibly I couldn’t even influence. But I was putting a disproportionate amount of energy and time on to those things, then not putting enough energy and attention on, hold on, what can I do in this situation? And let me just focus on that.
Melinda Wittstock: And sometimes when we do have something that’s beyond our control, and we get tested, and we find ourselves reacting or we’re triggered, emotionally or otherwise, sometimes those are great opportunities for self reflection. Like, what is this showing me about me? Where do I have to change? Where do I have to grow?
Bernadette Doyle: Yeah. I think those are real growth opportunities because when we react on our triggers, what’s normally happening there is our primal brain is taking over. We’ve just completely been driven by emotion, by fear, by scarcity, and the more that we can take those moments and learn to respond in those moments versus react, every time we do that, it’s a victory for our modern brain, our prefrontal cortex, where we’re starting to master ourselves. So, I think it’s a great opportunity to look at those situations where we’re getting triggered and actually go, these are my opportunities for growth today because then it shifts that you actually say, I want to be triggered.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. That’s happened to me too because there’s always an opportunity. I think if you’re hardwired as an entrepreneur, you’re always looking for any kind of opportunity. There’s something. You’re almost like an alchemist, right? You’re turning coal into diamonds or trying to find a way.
Bernadette Doyle: Yeah. Absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: So, what are some of the biggest challenges that you find when you’re working with women entrepreneurs in particular, what is the thing that holds them back? I see there are some external things, but also a lot of internal things. What are the main ones?
Bernadette Doyle: I think one of the biggest ones is fear of what other people think. And I actually have observed a difference. The majority of my clients are female, but I’ve had a female client, and I realized that men just don’t put energy on that the same way that women do. Women are so concerned about what others will think, what will my clients think? What will my peers think? What will my family think? What will the people in my team think? And often they can’t make any decision because they’re trying to filter that decision through all of those possible reactions before they do anything. And as you know, decision making is crucial in a successful business. If you’re not making decisions fast enough, you’re almost certainly losing business. So, if I could change one thing, if I had a magic wand for all women, including myself, it would be to shift that.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. I think underlying that, it’s such a profound point, underlying it is just a fear that we’re going to be cast out of the tribe somehow. That no man is going to be attracted to us, or will alienate the man that we have or the partner, or that other women won’t like us anymore like the crab pot that doesn’t need a lid because the crabs at the bottom keep the ones from escaping at the top, it’s a real issues. So how do we shift that?
Bernadette Doyle: Well I think, first of all, by becoming aware of it. And the thing that I do with my clients is, rather than try to shift it on the macro level, is again, going back to what can you do in the moment? So, I was coaching a client earlier today day, and she’s been holding back on her sales calls. So she was talking to someone who was an ideal client for her, but she held back from asking a pointed question. And I said, Why didn’t you ask that question? And she said, “I was worried it would be rude. I was worried that I would offend her.” And so she’s not showing up powerfully and really taking a stand for herself, all her clients, because of that fear of how the client might react or they might think she was rude.
And so, what I do with my clients is just go in that instance, can you just take a step further than you have in the past, and we actually have a reward to actually train them to start rewarding those little moments because what I do with my clients, I say, I’m not attached to your sales results. I just know, if you keep inching a step further beyond the places where you stopped yourself, then your success is inevitable. You are absolutely going to make the money you want, the sales you want, but you have to start with your behavior, and you have to start with capturing those moments where you used to stop yourself and just taking just one extra step. That’s all it is in that instance.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, that’s so true. I had a great mentor who told me in a sales context, to go out and get as many no’s as possible. And it was counterintuitive, but it was very liberating because by having that as an objective, that, that was the success metric getting as many no’s as possible, it meant that I was actually asking for the sale.
Bernadette Doyle: Yeah. And it’s a really interesting exercise. I’ve given that to clients too and it’s one of the things that we have the reward jar for. Which sounds completely insane. Why would you start getting reward for no’s? But people misunderstand success. People think success is the absence of failure, and what they don’t realize, is someone who’s achieved success has just actually failed more times than you to achieve that point. So, you have to start embracing failure, you have to start looking for opportunities to fail and collecting those is a really, really great place to start.
Melinda Wittstock: Sorry, I’m just pausing there because my dog is doing some weird stuff here. Sorry. I love this point though about feeling more often. I mean, it’s really true. Okay, so I’m just going to pick up there. So, I like to call that failing forward. That failing, it’s interesting when we are actually co-creating with our customers and involving our customers and getting as much feedback as possible, that feedback, we may fear, because it may not be what we want to hear, we want to be right. And I joke that we can be right or we can be rich. And honestly, I prefer the latter. I think we have to get out of our own ego or out of the analysis paralysis that makes us fear, oh my God, what if they don’t like what I built, because we take it too personally. There’s so many dynamics running through this.
Bernadette Doyle: Yeah. And also the mistake there is to build something without validating it first. So, I’m a big proponent of go out and start talking to prospective customers before you have something to sell. Find out what their challenges are, find out where they’re stuck. A client of mine did this last week, she’s putting together a new offer, and she uncovered a pain point that she hadn’t dreamed of including in her program. And now she’s realized that, that’s actually causing a big pain to a lot of her clients, and it will actually make her program more attractive, that she would not have discovered that thing if she hadn’t gone out and spoken to customers.
Melinda Wittstock: You’re making me laugh because I’m a technology entrepreneur and in Silicon Valley, and different parts of the United States, you’d be surprised how many technology entrepreneurs with potentially massively scalable businesses that could qualify for unicorn status, getting all the moves right, genuinely believe that if you build it, they will come. I’ve actually heard people say that without irony, even now and it surprises me. I remember doing a lot of consulting for Tony Shay, who founded Zappos, the shoe company, ultimately sold to Amazon for a billion dollars. And he took a lot of his exit money to revitalize downtown Las Vegas. He put a lot of money into startups. So he had a team of people who would volunteer to mentor a lot of these startups. I swear to God, I come on the phone every day that I was doing it and say, well, hey, how can I help you? And people would say, “Hey, well, my product does this, does that, does this, does that”, and they’d be listing out all the features.
And you’d say, well, hey, that’s great, how can I help you? And they’d say, my product does this and it does that. 20 minutes into a half an hour call finally I was like, well, do you have any customers? Oh, no. Well, who are your customers? Who are you aiming? What pain point does this solve? And there’d be nothing on the end of the line. There’d be like crickets. And it’s amazing how prevalent that actually is. I remember being quite stunned by it because we’re innovators as entrepreneurs, often we see things that other people can’t see and your market may not even, if you’re inventing something, or doing something really uniquely new that’s going to change behavior or whatever, then your customers don’t necessarily know the problem in that type of entrepreneurship. There’s a tension there, right.
I don’t know the composition of your client base but for folks who really are taking that moonshot and saying, okay, I see a gap in the market and it’s a type of thing that requires education of a market. How do you co-create best with your customers in that instance?
Bernadette Doyle: That’s a really great question because you’re asking, how do you help someone see that they don’t know what they don’t know?
Melinda Wittstock: Right. It’s what Steve Jobs did with the iPhone. I remember he said that, God had he done a focus group or talk to his customers, or whatever, they wouldn’t have known what the hell he was talking about. And I think there are only really almost a handful of companies that are going to be like Apple with the iPhone. But all the same, getting that balance right can be tricky.
Bernadette Doyle: Yeah, but I think that certainly with the client base that I work with, often that reluctance to go and ask questions or really understand customers comes from a place of fear. I call it creative avoidance. So, they don’t want to go and ask questions that might expose them or make them look foolish. They think they have to have the answers figured out before they can ask where they’re stuck. So, well, I mean, I can’t take away from what Steve Jobs did with Apple, for most of the people that I work with, I would probably not want to use that example because I think it could encourage them to continue a behavior that isn’t really helping them. This idea, well, this is wonderful and people just don’t know that they need it yet. I’m going to carry on working on it and then delay the time getting to that point.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. Well, I think that’s exactly what’s happened. I think that’s what’s led to the, if you build it, they’ll come because everyone wants to believe that our next Steve Jobs, at least in the technology space. But for services companies and for things where it’s obviously very, very different. I mean, really understanding the pain, that three o’clock in the morning fear or difficulty that a potential client is having, and being able to speak to that, it’s impossible to do that unless you’ve gone through it yourself, or you have personally experienced that pain that you’re solving, or that you have really done loads of customer interviews and gotten really, really deep into that avatar research.
Bernadette Doyle: Yeah, it’s essential. I’ve sometimes spoken to people that say, avatar research, that’s what you’re supposed to do at the beginning and I’m beyond that, I’m too advanced to that. And my answer to that is, I’ve been lucky enough to mastermind and network with some very, very successful individuals. One of them is Richard Branson. When he flies on his plane, in his mind, he has two sets of customers. He has his Virgin team, the people who work for him. So that’s one, he thinks of them as a customer, and then the end consumers that those people are serving. And when he’s on a long haul flight, he goes and speaks to the passengers on the plane and the staff because he’s always wanting to learn more about, what’s your experience? Where could we improve? What are you challenged by?
And my take on that is, you know what, if a billionaire, when he works as hard as he does, and he’s flying internationally, if he can make time to get himself up out of his seat and go and speak to people, then that’s good enough for me. And I think that’s good enough for the rest of us. That’d be a good example.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, Richard is such a great example. I mean, I’ve had the the great fortune to meet him twice on his Island, Necker Island in the Caribbean. And yes, he talks about this, about that the user experience and it’s the only way he was able to really take on, I remember way, way back, take on Lord King and British Airways, you remember all of that. I mean, at the time, I was living in London so I remember that battle really, really well. And if you have superior user experience, if your team is really happy, right, and they feel fulfilled and rewarded, and that management is actually listening to them, and obviously, your customers as well, you can have the competitive advantage every time. I think that’s such a good example.
Bernadette Doyle: Yeah, great.
Melinda Wittstock: So Bernadette, I want to get into your story a little bit about how you made the leap into entrepreneurship because when we’re working for somebody else, and making someone else’s dreams, our work is never done. Our time isn’t even our own time. And so, what was it that really made you make that leap? What had to happen for you from your job, job into entrepreneurship?
Bernadette Doyle: Well, I think I was always entrepreneurial. So even when I was at university, I had a little business venture. And long before there was ever any TripAdvisor, I put together a food guide for my hometown, which was Oxford in England. And it was just like a restaurant guide because restaurant guides at the time only really featured the top places, I wanted somewhere that would show the smaller cafes, the unusual places, the quirky places that might do great food, or that never got mentioned in the food guides. So, that was my first project and the business model there was actually selling advertising to cover the printing of the book, and then obviously selling the book through bookstores and making money that way.
So I’d already had a taste of that but after university, I got recruited by Procter and Gamble and I went into their management training program. And I didn’t last two years. And I remember just really feeling like a square peg in a round hole. I was on this corporate track and it really just wasn’t me. I wanted to be more in an entrepreneurial situation. So I didn’t jump straight into my own business from there but I did go and start working in commission sales and I was working for a telecoms company. I loved that because it was a startup company. So it was exciting times there. And then there was a shift in that organization, I knew that it was becoming more of a corporate, and I just knew I wasn’t going to thrive there because of my experience with PNG.
And that was the time when I thought, well, I always thought that I would do something around sales training, but I always thought it would be down the line, maybe four or five years down the line. And I remember thinking these were the exact thoughts, I’m 28, I’ve got no mortgage, I’ve got no dependents, why don’t I just give this ago? The worst that can happen is, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll go and get a proper job. So, that was it.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s fantastic. I think it’s interesting that a lot of women who end up in entrepreneurship do have the signs or the markers pretty early on. I mean, even as a little girls that were very entrepreneurial, but then somehow society intervenes and we do the thing that we think we should do, because everyone’s telling us what we should do, but ultimately, perhaps we’re unemployable.
Bernadette Doyle: Yeah. Well, I know I am.
Melinda Wittstock: I know, I’m not too. I really have been my entire life pretty much I’ve been either an entrepreneur or a journalist. I mean, way back was a business correspondent on the Times of London, and on Financial Times, and Financial Times Television, and the BBC, somewhat inexplicably given my accent. And I was always very entrepreneurial within those organizations, but always got a little bit slapped back for it, and ultimately, it was a no brainer, I really had to go out on my own for sure. So, as a little girl, did you have the proverbial lemonade stand? Did you do things as a little kid?
Bernadette Doyle: I didn’t. And actually I can’t remember doing anything like that. My parents had their own business by the time I was about 11 and so they used to run a pub, and I used to help out in the pub, just closing glasses and things like that, and then later doing washing up in the kitchens. But I don’t remember having any little projects like that. It really wasn’t until I was at university and I bought myself a computer because I had taken a year out, and I’d saved up the money I done during the year out, and I bought a computer. And I thought, I’d really love to do something with this computer to make money. And now I look back and I go, that was actually quite farsighted me to be thinking of that like [crosstalk 00:29:18].
Melinda Wittstock: That’s awesome. What year was that?
Bernadette Doyle: That would have been 1989.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s really interesting and early, right? Because it’s pre-internet, right? That’s really interesting. I remember, way, way back, I think it was 1992 and I’m writing a story, at this point I’m the media correspondent of the Times. I’m writing a story and literally, Rupert Murdoch is standing behind my back and I turn around and I say, hey, you know what, I think we should do this more coverage of the internet. He said, “No, that’ll never amount to anything.”
Bernadette Doyle: Oh my God. That’s a great story. That’s a great story.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s hilarious, right? Because I’d be challenging my advisor, now we should do more of this because this is going to be big. This little thing called the internet. Yeah.
Bernadette Doyle: But it’s funny because you said something earlier about when you talk about, if they build it, they will come. And it reminded me of a Jay Abraham quote, where he said, “People are so busy falling in love with their products, and what they should be doing is falling in love with their customers.” And recently, Jay Abraham was quite big influence on me, but I was looking at one of his books that I read probably in the early mid 90s, and he had a chapter about the Internet, and the way that he was writing about the internet, well, there is this new channel coming on which is the internet. And for some entrepreneurs, this will be a great way of taking their products to market. And I was like, holy smokes, we didn’t have any idea. It’s funny to read that. Make way for Amazon.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. Well it makes you think like, what’s the new internet? When you look at all these new technologies and the opportunities that are available and say, augmented reality, or artificial intelligence, or robotics, there’s so many interesting things, and so many different ways that technology can be applied. So, there’s always room for innovation, it’s just kind of spotting things, is maybe just thinking differently. Do you think entrepreneurs have more of a pattern recognition brain?
Bernadette Doyle: I think so. Yes, I think so. But I also think that, that can be a deterrent as well as an advantage. I mean, I’m just really big on, listen, what you need is paying clients.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes. [crosstalk 00:31:39] It solves every problem.
Bernadette Doyle: Well, it does. And you need to put your energy and attention on getting those clients, serving those clients, retaining those clients. And so I think sometimes, I have met people, and maybe it’s a personality type that there’s such big thinkers, and they’re trying to have a crystal ball to predict what the big thing will be in 20 years, and to try and catch that wave, but actually stops them from missing opportunities that are right under their nose here and now.
Melinda Wittstock: You know what, I’ve made that mistake. I was solving the fake news problem before there was fake news.
Bernadette Doyle: Wow.
Melinda Wittstock: Seriously, I did. I created a crowd sourced mobile app with photo sharing and all these things before Instagram because I believed as a journalist, which was true, but that there was no way journalism could approach anything even vaguely approaching truth. So this, of course, is true, this is a fact. It’s just that the problem didn’t really arrive until about 2016 really, in a way that people understood. So you can sometimes be, in this case, five years ahead was painful, right? And so that can sometimes happen with visionary entrepreneurs. I’ve definitely made that mistake. I’m laughing at myself right now.
Bernadette Doyle: Well, that happened with Steve Jobs too because it’s all very well saying the iPhone was a product that we didn’t know that we wanted until he gave it to us. But he had some fairly big failures on the way to that.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. That’s absolutely right. Well, when I met him, because I interviewed him for the Times, he had just been kicked out of Apple.
Bernadette Doyle: Oh, wow. What was that like meeting him at that time?
Melinda Wittstock: He was interesting because he was very, how to describe it, just very sure of himself. It kind of came across I think to an English audience as a little bit arrogant, but very sure of himself despite the failure. He knew where he was going and very interesting, and I, of course, was asking him questions that most business correspondents would not be asking, like, how did it make you feel to be kicked out of your own company?
Bernadette Doyle: What did he tell you? How did he answer that?
Melinda Wittstock: He actually said, “Wow, you ask great questions. I hadn’t really thought about how I felt, I was just moving on to the next thing.”
Bernadette Doyle: Isn’t that telling. That says a lot, doesn’t it?
Melinda Wittstock: It really does because sometimes what we’re feeling is … and nobody ever asks that question, but that’s the ultimate customer question to ask, trying to figure out how your customers are actually feeling because that’s where the sale decision is made.
Bernadette Doyle: But what I find fascinating about Steve Jobs’ answer to you is that so many people in that situation would have been consumed by their feelings and would have either fallen into a depression, or got really bitter, or vengeful, and his answer is, I didn’t even think about what I felt, just moved on to the next thing.
Melinda Wittstock: So, this is instructive for women [crosstalk 00:35:03]. Yeah, exactly. But it’s for men and women, right. But from the lens of women and entrepreneurship, I think we can sometimes take things too personally and make it about ourselves when it’s not. It’s not personal at all. If someone says, no, it’s not about you, it’s just maybe the timing is wrong, or maybe it’s just not what they’re looking for, or sorts of things. Like right now I’m doing this series of retreats for high performing female entrepreneurs. High performing female entrepreneurs are super, super busy. I mean, they have other speaking commitments, and other places they’ve got to be, so you got to be. So [inaudible 00:35:40] I’m really sorry Melinda, I’d love to be there but I’m in Argentina. I mean, they can’t make it, it’s not about me, right?
Bernadette Doyle: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: That kind of thing. So yeah, very, very interesting. So, I’m going to just pivot here a little bit in the questioning. I love tape. Here we go. So, getting back to all those women who start out as coaches and doers … I’m going to start again. So, going back a little bit to what you do with helping people take things from offline to online. There are so many women, perhaps a preponderance whose first business is coaching something that they do well. When they start out as solo-prenuers and doers. They’re serving the clients and they’re also doing the sales, and they get caught in that chicken and egg pattern, and it’s not scalable.
Bernadette Doyle: Yep.
Melinda Wittstock: At what point do they come to you because they’re like, oh my God, I’m burning out, I’m in overwhelm, make it stop, you really, really need to figure out how to scale this business?
Bernadette Doyle: It’s normally at the point where the thing that they were aiming for when they started, which is a full client base, they now have, but they’ve now realized that it’s not giving them everything that they thought they would have. So normally, when people are starting out, they think, oh well, if I just have enough clients, then all my problems will be solved. But then I realized that actually, when you have enough clients, the one thing that you’ve lost at that point, that it’s time,
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, you don’t have time to develop your pipeline.
Bernadette Doyle: Yeah. And if you don’t have good systems, you can be caught up in managing clients for client fulfillment, you actually start to feel that you’ve just created another job for yourself. And the challenge at this point is now, the idea of stepping away from the business to now work on re-engineering it is no longer a possibility, because now you’ve got the paying clients, you’re on the hook, you’ve got obligations that you need to meet. And possibly at that point, you might even have other obligations in your business. So you can’t just walk away or go, I’m going to hit the pause button for three months while I figure this out. So the challenge is, how do you, in a very busy time pressed situation, start to then create something or start to put in place the systems so that there’s less dependency on you in the business?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. That’s true. So, I’ve had some clients though that put in all the systems before they even sold their first client, right? Wait, I’m going to ask this slightly differently. My dog is so distracting. And so Bernadette, I’ve had some clients that do a lot of work with female entrepreneurs, as well who sometimes get all caught up in the tactics like, what autoresponder should I have? Should I have cartridges? Should I have Click Funnels? All this kind of tactic and the systems before they’ve even sold anything to anyone? So at what point is the right point to really start thinking of the systems? How early is too early? How late is too late? How do you know?
Bernadette Doyle: Well, you’ll probably notice I’ve got certain style here. And I say, listen, build the plane as you’re flying it. And that’s not just about, hey, go and get a customer and then figure out as you go along, it’s because until you have customers, and until you start serving those customers, you don’t honestly know exactly what they’re going to need. And so, it would be like, I know, this is different business type to what we’re talking about but it’s just the analogy serves. It’s like, you have a cafe, you might decide, well, I’m going to have all the tables laid out in this place and then you get busy on the first day of running your cafe and you realize, we’ve got to completely reorganize this because that table setup is blocking the waitresses getting to the tables to deliver the food. There are some things that you just can’t see until the business is in motion.
So I think it’s a mistake to try and put a lot of energy and attention into building the perfect system, before you’re actually engaging with clients. And so that’s why, the way that I work with clients is like, great, if you’ve got an idea, let’s get out there, let’s see if we can sell one, then let’s start serving that client, and then in motion start to streamline, start to put the systems in place. But you do it as you’re going.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s so smart. So, I mean, the Holy Grail for entrepreneurship one of them in my mind is passive income. Thinking about yourself as an owner, as an asset, rather than just the doer in the business and creating enough of an asset or series of assets that they are just producing money while you’re asleep. I know you work with people to do that. What stands in the way of that for people? Is it just really a mindset block or is it just lack of knowledge about how to do it?
Bernadette Doyle: So there’s two things I would say there. So one, there is definitely, and I had this have this myself, I would say I’m still working through it. A belief that you only make money through hard work. So I’ve seen people create successful online programs, for example. So they can serve clients without having to be there in person. So then they create work in other parts of their business, such as marketing or promotion. So, what they’ve actually done is fire themselves from one area, but they’ve created a new job for them in another area. And if you don’t have some awareness, you can carry on doing that for years.
So that’s the first thing. The second thing is, realizing that if you really want a passive business, if you really want to earn money while you sleep, you need three things. So you need, first of all, a way of delivering value to clients without you physically being there. So, that’s an online course, or digital programs and automated delivery of those programs. The second thing you need is you need automated conversion systems. And a lot of people think, well, all I’m going to need is a sales page, and they don’t actually realize how much else needs to be in place supporting that sales page to really get people to get their credit cards out. It’s not just slapping up a sales page, you need to have conversion systems where you’ve really thought about moving the customer from interested to invested.
And then the final element of that is that you need automated lead generation and traffic in place. And frankly, those three things, they don’t happen overnight. It could take months, if not years of work, to put all of those things in place, but boy, once they are in place, wow. I mean, that’s when you could really step away from your business, if you will.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. It’s really about comes back to the customer again and really knowing them, and understanding a lot about who buys and why they buy, and continuing to stay close to them after they’ve purchased.
Bernadette Doyle: Absolutely. Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: I find one of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make is they think the sale is done when the sale is done. And in a way, that’s actually when it starts because that customer if happy is going to become a recurring customer, is going to bring more customers like them, that’s going to decrease customer acquisition costs, all of that but so many people forget that the delivery, delight piece is so important making your customer feel like they’re special, because they are and [crosstalk 00:44:15]
Bernadette Doyle: We’re back to Tony Shay now, aren’t we? Because that was his [crosstalk 00:44:19].
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. Well, I think it was so interesting taking the tour of Zappos and the customer service if anyone is in Las Vegas, they should definitely do that. Because you go in there and every employee that works at Zappos, at whatever level mandatory, has to go through customer service, has to work in customer service for anywhere from three weeks to six months, whatever. They have to master that. They’re given completely lee way about what they can do to get the sale. And there’s a really famous chapter in his book, Delivering Happiness, where he’s somewhere in New Hampshire or something, and they decide to call Zappos to see what happens if they order a pizza.
And the woman on the other end of the line says, “That’s awesome, well, where are you?” We’re in this little town in New Hampshire. She said, “Okay, well just hold on a minute, I’ll just see what I can find of pizza places that are open in your area, and would you like me to call and order the pizza for you?” I mean, very few companies give their teams leeway. I mean, most companies would say, we’re not a pizza company and the line would go dead, you know?
Bernadette Doyle: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: But that, just so much license, they could decorate their desks any way they want it. And the productivity was way beyond, the customer returns were [inaudible 00:45:49] they had this great return policy, but I mean, their attrition was so much less than any other company, so there’s some really instructive lessons there. And it’s not like this is new, all this knowledge is available.
Bernadette Doyle: Well, but it is interesting because as a customer, I’m thinking of different retail or hospitality environments that I’ve been in. And I know my experience as a customer is a direct reflection of what’s going on behind the scenes. I believe I can now go into a retail hospitality environment, and based on how I’m treated, I think I can predict the personality of the person running the show. I used to go to a resort with my kids in Portugal, where we had many, many wonderful family holidays, and I thought, we’re going to be coming here when my kids are in their 20s and they’ve got their own kids, I can see us still going there. And there was a change of General Manager and I carried on going there for about another two years, and I noticed the staff they were just different. And suddenly, so much of my involvement with them, it was always about them covering their backs and doing things to avoid problems, rather than just serve the customer.
And I’ve noticed that I’ve stopped going there now. And my view is, this was a place that used to be run by love, and now it’s been run by fear. And I’ve not met the general manager, but I believe that General Manager is someone that is really driving his staff based on fear, and threats, and here are the consequences if you get this wrong, versus, like you say, giving them license and trusting them.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. Fear begets more fear always.
Bernadette Doyle: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah.
Bernadette Doyle: Which brings us right back to where we started which is, this is where you’ve got to work on yourself because [crosstalk 00:47:50] if you haven’t done that inner work, then as a leader, if you are being driven by fear, then you’re actually just going to pass that on. If you can’t manage yourself, if you haven’t mastered yourself, you’re going to attempt to try and lead and manage the people who work for you in the same ineffective ways that you’re managing yourself. So, yeah. That’s why our businesses grow us. That’s the question you asked me.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. It’s exactly [inaudible 00:48:17]. We’ve come full circle. What an amazing conversation this is. I could talk to you for hours, so you’ll probably have to come back. But for everybody out there who really needs to make the move online, Bernadette, how can they find you and work with you?
Bernadette Doyle: Please come and join me on my Facebook group, it’s called Business Smarts With Heart. And we have many conversations along the lines of what we’ve talked about here, but also just a lot of practical advice, if you’re getting started, and trying to extricate yourself from your trading time for money business, into an online business, so that’s the place to come and join me.
Melinda Wittstock: Fantastic. Well thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us.
Bernadette Doyle: I loved it. Thank you.