GGOB + 21 Hats-1

 

About Our Podcasts

Podcasts for entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders. These messages are brought to you directly from CEOs and business thinkers to help build healthier companies, better businesses, and better lives for both you and your employees.
 

How to Waste Money on Marketing

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Shawn Busse, Jaci Russo, and William Vanderbloemen talk about a whole slew of marketing challenges. From strategizing for trade shows, to whether your logo has to tell a story, to understanding what constitutes a brand, to whether that iPad ad that Apple pulled was terrible or brilliant, they discuss what makes marketing so difficult. It all starts, Jaci says, with the industry’s refusal to set standards: “I can’t find another industry that treats themselves so badly. Electrician, CPA, Realtor, hairdresser, nail salon tech, everybody else has some semblance of something to say, ‘I am a legit entity.’ Except our industry.” Which is part of the reason, Jaci says, that this is the constant refrain she hears from frustrated business owners who hire agencies: “We paid them all this money. And we got nothing for it.” Plus: how do owners get past that feeling that they need to be the hardest worker in the office, the first one in and the last one out?

— Loren Feldman


 

I Don't Hate Regulation, But...

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Shawn Busse, Jay Goltz, and Jaci Russo talk about the new rules that may—or may not—ban non-compete clauses, increase the number of employees who must be paid overtime, and eliminate TikTok in the U.S. How much would those changes matter to each of their businesses? What might the owners do differently? Do the changes make sense? And why does it so often seem as if it’s small businesses that get caught in the cross-fire when the government tries to rein in abusive big businesses? On the question of non-competes, Shawn says he thinks they are often used by lazy businesses that haven’t done the real work of building loyalty with employees and customers. Plus: Do Shawn, Jay, and Jaci ever regret starting a business? Have there been times when they’ve thought about packing it in and trying something else? And also, are the terms “business owner” and “entrepreneur” interchangeable? Or do they carry different connotations? Might there be a better term? Jay thinks there is.

— Loren Feldman


 

Can Jimmy Beans Wool Sell Yarn on LinkedIn?

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Shawn Busse and Laura Zander discuss what exactly Laura’s job should be. She’s CEO, of course, and she’s been focused on acquisitions and growing the business, but she’s never really found someone to take over the big role she used to play, which leads to these questions: Should she go back to being her own chief marketing officer? Or does she need to go out and spend real money to hire one? And then, toward the end of the conversation, Laura actually devises a plan on the spot to sell yarn in a surprising and creative way, which perhaps answers the very question we’d been discussing. Plus: Shawn explains how having the right partner can make a business in the beginning and break it over time as he celebrates having made his final payout to his own former partner.

— Loren Feldman

 

Managing Your Tasks, Your Credit Cards, and Your Anxiety

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Jay Goltz, Jaci Russo, and Sarah Segal talk about whether it’s finally time for Jay to enter the brave new world of task-management software. That’s, in fact, what his two kids in the business are encouraging him to do. As it happens, Jaci and Sarah have tried most of the project-management tools out there—Monday, Basecamp, Asana—and they kind of love them, but with one caveat: They can be a lot of work. Which is all Jay needed to hear. After that, we talk about the challenges of managing credit cards and points, and Jay explains why, after 40 years, American Express is no longer what’s in his wallet. Plus: the owners tackle a question posed by an entrepreneur with a very new startup: “When does the anxiety of a new business subside?” asks the newbie, which prompts some laughter and this answer: The anxiety subsides in the 42nd year, says Jay, who’s been running his business for 42 years.

— Loren Feldman

 

I Had to Fire the Guy

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Paul Downs, Jay Goltz, and Sarah Segal talk about sexual harassment and where you draw the line with employees. Is it sexual harassment for one employee to ask another for a date? Is it sexual harassment to ask twice? Does it make sense to have a policy of zero tolerance? Or is it better to leave room for discretion and judgment? The conversation was sparked by a recent situation Jay experienced with an employee who had been with the company for almost three decades, having started at the age of 17. “It was a very sad thing,” Jay tells us.

Plus: Sarah Segal asks whether it’s better to build her business on a bunch of small clients or a smaller number of large clients. And is being CEO a health risk? We begin the episode by talking about an eye-catching story the Wall Street Journal recently published noting that an increasing number of CEOs have been dying on the job, presumably because of the heightened levels of stress. I asked the three CEOs on the episode if they’ve been taking care of themselves—but they weren’t having it. Instead of thanking me for my concern, they chided me for highlighting an article they consider complete BS. Which, of course, is what we love about these guys. They call ‘em the way they see ‘em.

— Loren Feldman

 

Why Would You Want to Own a Business?

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Shawn Busse, Jay Goltz, and Jennifer Kerhin respond to a somewhat depressing view of business ownership offered by an investor who buys businesses for a living. That view, essentially, is that for most owners, building a business is a daily knife fight of long hours, unexpected risks, slow growth, and meager returns. In this episode, I read most of the investor’s observations to Shawn, Jay, and Jennifer, and get their reactions, which hit upon a bunch of issues that are not widely understood—including how fast growth can destroy a business, how even a profitable company can go bust, and why a good metric to assess the health of a small business might be how many people have been crying in the bathroom this year. While Shawn, Jay, and Jennifer disagree vehemently with a few of the investor’s assertions—”Kiss my ass!” says Jay in response to one—they do acknowledge that he makes a lot of good points, which leads to an obvious question: Why would anyone do this? Why would anyone subject themselves to this kind of life? As you might expect, Shawn, Jennifer, and Jay have a response to that as well.

— Loren Feldman

 

The Worker Co-Op Solution

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

In this week’s bonus episode, Cameron Madill takes us on his succession journey, which began years ago when he started having conversations with older business owners, many of whom seemed to feel trapped. They’d had a lot of success, they were proud of the business they’d built, but they weren’t sure what to do with it or how to leave it. None of the usual options seemed terribly appealing. Hoping to write a different ending, Madill, now in his 40s, started looking for better options much earlier than most owners, and the one he landed on was an unusual choice: a worker cooperative. Now, there are aspects of this model that are likely to give some owners pause. For one, a co-op probably isn’t going to produce the biggest payday for a selling owner. And if the owner wants to stick around as CEO, he or she will have to report to a board, and that board can challenge any and all of the owner’s decisions. But Madill, as he explains in a conversation we recorded late last year, before he stepped down from his role as CEO, decided to sell to his employees anyway. Not only is he glad he did, he thinks co-ops are an option far more owners, especially those struggling to find a buyer, should consider.

— Loren Feldman

 

About The Podcast

GGOB + 21 Hats-1

The Great Game of Business has partnered with 21 Hats to bring the 21 Hats Podcast to all entrepreneurs in The Great Game of Business community! Hosted by Loren Feldman, this podcast offers real-world business insight. Tune in to stay up to date on today's business issues, hear real stories about organizational challenges leaders are facing, and take away strategies CEOs are using in the business world today. When you subscribe, you'll receive a weekly email notification of this podcast. Plus, receive a message any time a new podcast episode is published on The Great Game of Business "Change the Game Podcast."

 

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