164 - He lasted 45 minutes at his corporate job: Tom interviews James Feldman - Screw The Commute

164 – He lasted 45 minutes at his corporate job: Tom interviews James Feldman

Jim Feldman is a globally recognized transformation growth advisor and business advisor who's guided leading organizations such as Toyota, AT&T, Apple, Hyatt, Walt Disney, Ritz Carlton and Microsoft to ensure that shift happens, which is one of his trademarks. Incentive magazine recognized him as one of the top six innovators in the last century, along with the founders of Google and Dell Computer.

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Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 164

How To Automate Your Businesshttps://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/

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Internet Marketing Training Centerhttps://imtcva.org/

Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars

[03:28] Tom's introduction to James Feldman

[07:37] Hiring people that represent you

[09:54] Tips for infiltrating big companies as a consultant

[17:01] Talking to his mother and father for an allowance as a kid

[19:01] His first corporate job lasted 45 minutes

[31:00] A typical day for James

[35:14] Sponsor message

[38:51] The best and worst of working for yourself

[42:00] How James stays motivated

Entrepreneurial Resources Mentioned in This Podcast

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Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – orders@antion.com

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How To Automate Your Businesshttps://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/

Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Programhttps://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/

Shift Happenshttp://jfa.tips/SHWelcome

Real-time Video Reviewshttp://jfa.tips/VideoReviews




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Episode 164 – Jim Feldman
[00:00:07] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.

[00:00:23] Hey, everybody, it's Tom here with episode 164 of Screw the Commute podcast. We got Jim Feldman here. I've known this guy for a long time and he's always doing cool stuff. And wait till you hear the company he's keeping when I do his introduction in a few minutes. Oh, man, what till you hear. All right. Hope you didn't miss Episode 163. That's using eBay as a lead generator. I've brought in tons of new customers who first heard of me on eBay. And plus, you can create a great cash flow there, too, if you want to. So check out episode 163 and also do us a favor and tell your friends about this podcast. You absolutely know somebody that either wants to start a business or is in their own business and struggling and wants to improve it. Well, this is the place to be. And also go over to iTunes if you wouldn't mind, and leave us a review and a rating that helps out the show. Now our podcast app's in the iTunes store. You can go to screwthecommute.com/app and we've gotten complete instructions to show you how to use all the fancy features so you can take us with you on the road now. Hope you got your big freebie if you listen the last episode. But if you missed it, then go to screwthecommute.com/automatefree. This is a twenty seven dollar e-book I sell every day on how to automate your business. And just one of the tips in this e-book has saved me over seven and a half million keystrokes. The tools in this book has allowed me to to handle up to one hundred and fifty thousand subscribers and 40000 customers with one part time temp person, and she didn't even handle customers. So these are the kinds of tools that are super powerful and super cheap. So download that that book. And and kind of the only time I started hiring employees was when the accountant told me I had too much retained earnings. And I thought, you know, I got to pay more taxes because I've been keeping my nose clean. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I said I'd rather hire employees than buy bombs with my taxes. So I started hiring a bunch of people. But anyway, download that it screwthecommute.com/app and let's see what else. Hey, I'm looking for affiliates. It's the first time I think I announced this here. You can make commissions of you know, you can make easily up to 38 hundred dollars just for one referral to my school. And I have things in all price ranges and then for certain speaking engagements, you can make even way more than that. I haven't been beaten in back of the room sales less than one hundred grand in 19 years. So you can make five percent. But it's very specific type of speaking engagements. So if you have any inroads there, I'd be glad to kick those commissions to you. So let me know. You can always e-mail me at orders@antion.com and get the details.

[00:03:33] All right. Let's get to the main event. Jim Feldman is globally recognized transformation growth advisor and business advisor who's guided leading organizations such as Toyota, AT&T, Apple, Hyatt, Walt Disney. Listen to this. Ritz Carlton, Microsoft to ensure that, hey, and remember, this is not an explicit podcast. Shift happens. Shift happens, that's one of his trademark. Now, listen to this company he's keeping. Incentive magazine recognized him as one of the top six innovators in the last century, along with the founders of Google and Dell Computer. Can you believe that? Jim, are you ready to screw? The commute. How are you doing?

[00:04:26] I'm doing well, buddy.

[00:04:28] Oh, man, it's been a long time. I don't remember last time we talked. It's been awhile.

[00:04:32] We were smoking a cigar out by a pool.

[00:04:35] That's easy to say, cause that's happens like every time people like us get together. But. So tell everybody what you're doing now. You know, we have mostly an entrepreneurial and a small business audience. But I'm sure along the way you've got some great tips for for our audience. So what do you do now and then we'll take you back to see how you came up through the ranks.

[00:04:58] Sure. So as we know, after 2008, there was a shifting landscape of. Operational excellence, an end to end business transformation. And so we looked at what we had done historically and realized that there was not only a need but almost a demand that was not being satisfied by other let's just call them consultants or advisors. And so we started focusing on a couple of areas.

[00:05:31] When you say we, who do you mean you have a whole team of people?

[00:05:35] I now have a team. Team has been assembled. You can find them on our sosthinktank.com.

[00:05:45] We'll have the show notes for everybody.

[00:05:47] Ok. In the end, the idea was that a lot of these really bright people were either getting let go early due to mergers and acquisitions or they were being pushed in early retirement or quite frankly, they had just given up the fight with everything that was going on but didn't want to quit working. And so we started to assemble in together with the idea that we would become brains for hire, that we would be able to go into just about any kind of company and bring together and focus some sea level intellectual wisdom that not only helped transform me, transform the organization, but could impact the bottom line, shore up their employee relationships, do into in business transportation, embrace new technologies and obviously delight their customers.

[00:06:42] Now, how big companies you're talking about, what's the smallest one?

[00:06:47] The smallest company really is limited by what they can afford rather than the size of the company. What we typically find is that if you're below a 100 million dollar company to to hire someone like us becomes painful, even though we pretty much can guarantee that you're going to get a significant ROI. In fact, our premise is, Tom, you and I are walking down the street. I say, Tom, give me a dollar and I'll give you 10. How long would it take you to do that?

[00:07:19] Yeah. How many would I give you?

[00:07:22] But you know, Tom, if you don't have the dollar right. Doesn't matter what the ROI is. So like I said, we have found companies that are cash strapped at a hundred million. We have found companies that five or 10 million that are willing to put every penny they got back into it because they can see the benefit.

[00:07:42] Ok, well, let me take you in a direction that you might not have been expecting. So I've known you as a solopreneur, you know, back in the day. How did you go about hiring these people that are kind of representing you? Because, you know, you have a great reputation. And how did you pick the people that are working for you?

[00:08:01] Well, you knew me as a solo entrepreneur, because that was the way I branded myself. But I always had a team behind me. The difference was that at one point I had a hundred and fifty people on the payroll and I hated going to work. I hated the politics.

[00:08:19] Screw the commute, man.

[00:08:20] Oh, it didn't matter the distance. I just hated going in and listening to all of these bright people find minutia to complain about.

[00:08:30] Ok, I get it. Totally get it.

[00:08:33] And so I just basically started not tolerating it. You know, people would come in well, you know, her stapler's better than my stapler. Go get another stapler or go find another job. And some people left. And I started to realize that the more people that left, the happier I became.

[00:08:52] I get that.

[00:08:54] So s.o.s has no employees. Everybody in there is on a volunteer basis and they decide whether they want to work on the project or not. The difference is they share in the revenue.

[00:09:05] But they're technically ten ninety nine contractors.

[00:09:08] That's correct.

[00:09:10] So I'm I'm able to bring together the best and the brightest individuals and organizations from across key sectors that can then engage networked benchmark, benchmark and discuss key challenges in future trends of almost any company. So we're not limited by a sector or a distribution channel. We're limited by our creativity to come up with solutions that impact the bottom line. You know, there was a great line from the founder of Ogilvy Advertising said it's not creative unless it sells in our motto is it's not innovative unless it makes money. So everything that we do has a very bottom line accountability.

[00:09:59] All right, so let's say an entrepreneur's listening to this then and wants to to infiltrate big companies like you have on a consulting basis. What tips would you have for them?

[00:10:12] Well, the first thing is to find out what their problems are before they know what their problems are. So often you can read about a potential problem in something like Barron's or Investor's Business or Wall Street. Sometimes you even find it in a sidebar of Fortune or whatever. But let me give you an easy one. How many people predicted when Steve Jobs was sick? What was going to happen to Apple Computer? I mean, that was going on for a years. Well, Steve passed. I would be the first one to say that Apple has lost their innovative spirit. When you look at the innovations that come out of the Samsungs, the LGs, etc.. But what Apple created and no one has been able to replicate is the culture. When people buy an Apple product, they start drinking from the well of Apple. When you buy a P.C. product or a Samsung product or an Android product, it's just a tool that can be replaced by the next new shiny object. So you start to look at that and you start to say, are our companies today trying to delight their customers? And I think we can all very quickly say that that most customers encounter loyalty, eroding problems when they engage with customer service. And so people go, well, it's all customer services fault. And I've often said salespeople are the promise makers. Customer service is the promise keepers. When you don't have a connection between the performance and reward that a salesperson gets for making the sale versus what the customer service gets for keeping the customer in the customer service person disengages, they just start to phone it in. Which is why you see so much customer service being outsourced.

[00:12:17] Oh, and that's the talk about nightmares. I mean, even Google is you know, it's kind of half baked trying to take care of me. But their call center is in India and there's like enormous background noise, like a thousand Indians back in the same telephone line as me. And it just drives you crazy, just like, no, keep your customer service. I don't want it. And then online, I see people that have like just forms to fill out. No phone number. No nothing. Nobody filled them any more because, you know, they kind of called it like, hey, nobody's ever going to answer it. Why should I bother filling this form out? So there's just so many of these problems are running rampant still.

[00:12:58] So here's Rule 1 for everybody listening. The very first words out of your mouth when they answer the phone, are you based in the United States? If the answer is no, then you say transfer the call and they will do their best to keep the call. But unless you've got nothing but time to waste. Move yourself out of overseas and get yourself back to the US. I'm not saying the US is infinitely better, but you don't have a language issue. They're typically not reading from a script and they're normally sitting near a supervisor that can make a decision. Not always, but certainly much better.

[00:13:43] Yeah, I didn't realize you could do that. I never would would have thought of trying. So that's a great tip just for consumers that are listening to this show.

[00:14:00] I don't I don't talk to anybody. It doesn't sound like they're from the United States. And even so, you get people with Southern accents and eastern accents that you're not so sure it's here in the United States.

[00:14:16] You got to watch in this political climate. Oh Jim's racist. Jim's racist. No, no. I just want to be able to understand who's trying to help me with my computer.

[00:14:25] Listen, let me let me clarify that I am not racist in any way, but I am a communication expert and I am the first one to say that I can not communicate with that individual or they can't communicate with me. I don't care who they are, where they are. I want to talk to somebody else.

[00:14:44] Yeah, it's the same if I'm trying to help somebody, if they cannot understand me, it's like I don't know what to do. I mean, you, you know, get an interpreter to call me and all. I'll stay up all night. But. But the thing is nothing's getting done with with poor communication.

[00:15:02] Well, I think that what happens is the idea that companies must delight their customers has been so entrenched that managers really don't examine it. But but ask yourself how often you patronize a company specifically because it's over the top service, and one of my favorite examples is if you own a Mercedes in Chicago, I can only speak to Chicago. It is some of the best service you've ever had. They are on it. They follow up. They do surveys. They don't let you out the door without another follow up, etc. Are you paying for it? Yes. But are you assured that they're going to do what they promised to do in the time they promised to do it? And we'll follow up to make sure it's right. Absolutely.

[00:15:56] That's interesting because I had a Mercedes in Virginia Beach for 10 years and it wasn't quite that level. Put it that way. Well, that's what I mean. But the that particular you can make, no matter what brand you're associated with, you can make your part of it the best there is.

[00:16:15] Well, and what happens is we default to mediocrity because we accept it. And then the only choice we have is just consumers is to make price differentiation our buying decision so that we basically say, listen, I've got bad service and I'm not gonna pay you a premium. But if you're going to get great service, you will pay for it and you'll be happy to pay for it. So you've you've got to help focus on meeting customer expectation through continuous improvement. And that's where we get involved in the operational process as well as the culture of the organization. So our goal then is to develop one single integrated message that goes from the top to the bottom and the bottom back up to the top.

[00:17:05] All right, so I want to take you back, though. We'll get back to this a little bit on any of our customers happened to be in big companies and wanting to get out, but still might be able to use your services. We'll get to that later, but I would take you back. Were you an entrepreneurial kid? Did you grow up with lemonade stands or you probably were selling Rolexes or something.

[00:17:28] Well, let me let me answer that, because it's one of my a lot of people ask me that when I was seven years old, I went to my mother and I said, I'd like an allowance. She says, go talk to your father. I went to my father. I said, I'd like an allowance. He goes, Go talk to your mother. My first rule of business was get all the decision makers in the room at the same time. I've never forgotten that. They they refused to give me an allowance, but they gave me suggestions. Mow the yard, walk the dog, wash the car, set up a lemonade stand. Well, my father was a doctor and we lived in an area that was called Hill Hill. Doctors, lawyers and accountants all lived in the same area. I went outside. Tom There must have been a hundred. Lemonade stands. Every kid had a lemonade stand. And I decided that I couldn't compete. But as I walked up and down the street, it struck me that I had a different business. So I went back home to my mother and I said, I want to go to a place called Shoppers World, which was sort of a precursor to Sam's Club and Costco as it was a buyers club. And I priced out bulk lemonade, bulk sugar, bulk paper cups and I made lemonade replenishment kits. And I went door to door at night and sold them to the mothers. So they didn't have to make a special trip to the grocery store to replenish their kid's lemonade. At the end of this summer, at seven years old, I had three hundred and fifty one dollars in the bank. And it hasn't stopped.

[00:19:06] So take us up from there where your progression up through school and if you had any jobs and how did you get in to make that transition to be an entrepreneur?

[00:19:16] Well, I mean, I basically try to see myself in corporate environment. So my very first major corporate job was that I took on a position in and I won't name the company. But I took on a position sight unseen. I started my first day.

[00:19:38] How old were you at that time?

[00:19:41] I had just graduated. Grad school, because that was my first real job. So I was twenty two, everything prior to that was always entrepreneurial. Always. And this guy walks in the office and he goes, you're new here, and I go, yep, first day he goes, lose the beard. When you hired me, I had a beard. Well, we don't have beards here. Yeah, but when you hired me, I had a beard. So you do want to get rid of the beard? Not particularly. Fair enough. He gets up, walks out. Five minutes later, the guy who actually hired me walks in and he goes, I would've paid a year's salary to see you, tell the executive vice president of this Fortune 100 company to go screw himself. And that's been my life ever since. I don't play by those rules.

[00:20:35] Did you stay at that job for more than five minutes.

[00:20:40] I think from the time I sat down to the moment I left was 45 minutes. With two weeks severance.

[00:20:53] All right. Then what? Where'd you go from there.

[00:20:57] I went back to law school. And in law school, a fella came to me one day and he says, listen, I can't come to the study group. My part time job is I'm an insurance adjuster for the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. What the hell was that? Well, we lose railroad cars. How do you lose a railroad car? Well, at the time, Tom, all of this data of railroad cars was literally on a clipboard. They would write the number down. This railroad car would come into this large switching station and they'd move it around and one would get in front of another. And pretty soon this thing had been moved three quarters of a mile away. And they couldn't find it. So I said, I got to go with you. It's pretty fascinating. So we trot out there and in the middle of Topeka was this huge switching yard in the biggest place I've ever seen. I've often said I couldn't see the horizon no matter where I stood. It was that big. So it took us about 45 minutes to find the car. It was padlocked. We had to go back. We had to find a bolt cutter. We've got to go back. It's over 100 degrees out. You know, I'm very overweight and out of shape. I am literally drenched head to toe. And we cut open the lock and inside are numbered tin cans of Chef Boyardee spaghetti sauce. Now, a railroad car is 40 to 60 feet long, It could be 20 feet high and it's about four and a half feet wide. If you do the math, no matter how you calculate it out that's one hella of a lot of spaghetti sauce. So I said to this guy. Now what? He says, well, now we have to go to the salvage people and see what they'll give me for. You mean the salvage people? Well, I've already settled the claim. Now I just need to recapture whatever I can. I said so it's all 110 degrees on a Thursday. What would you take for it right now he goes five grand. Sold.

[00:23:00] The whole car or just the contents.

[00:23:07] You know, that's why you and I get along so well. Ninety nine percent of the people I tell this story who never see the value of the car.

[00:23:14] Oh, my God. The heck with the spaghetti.

[00:23:17] They only focus on the spaghetti sauce.

[00:23:18] Which is probably cooked already.

[00:23:23] Now the saga of the spaghetti sauce is one part, but the salvage value of the railroad car is the lucky strike bonus.

[00:23:31] Oh, my God. And must weight 20 tons.

[00:23:36] But if you look at the price the day of a new railroad car. Have you bought one lately?

[00:23:40] Not lately. No.

[00:23:43] It's between one hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand dollars. For one car. Back then, that car was probably somewhere between one hundred and one hundred and quarter because they didn't have economies of scale. So, you know, the prices have have changed because labor was cheaper and materials were cheaper, but it was still close to six figures. So, you know, now I'm sitting with all those damn spaghetti sauce. And here comes the fun part. Remember, I had to go to the bank. I had no money. I talked the bank into loaning me five grand. If I give them all my camera equipment, I have to go home. I have to get all my camera equipment, because that was how I was making money. I was a photographer. So I took all the camera equipment, bring it. They lock it up in the vault and they give me five thousand dollars.

[00:24:32] Well, what I'm trying to picture is you like leaning up against pushing the car down the track.

[00:24:37] Well, here comes that point, buddy. Friday afternoon, I get a phone call. Mr. Feldman. Yes. This is Mr. Schmidt. I'm with the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. Hi. Did you buy MDW9030? Yes, I did. Well, move it. Move it. You didn't expect to leave it here, did you? So I fall on the mercy of the court. And I tell, you know, I didn't think about that I'm a law student and I'm struggling. And he says, listen, this is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard of. But I'm off until Tuesday. Have a solution on Tuesday. Have a nice day. So I reconvene all the people in my study group on Saturday. I'd get a pony keg of beer, I get a bunch of pizzas and I sit down with the meeting going we're gonna play a game first. If you were a railroad car and you are filled with spaghetti sauce.

[00:25:43] You couldn't make up a story like this.

[00:25:49] Ok. So what do you do with it? Well, everybody started focusing on where it was going to. And the answer was schools, prisons, military. Well, I get out a map. Remember, there's no computers now. We find that there's a training base. Monday morning I'm on the phone to the training base. The training base, guys. What's the code number? What code number? You know, the product code number. Did this expire? How long has this been sitting here? Back to the railroad get the code number. Go find a pay phone call and back. Given the number, it goes OK. It's good for about another year. He says, I've done my calculation and here's my best off. Fifteen thousand.

[00:26:38] Just for the spaghetti, right.

[00:26:40] Whoa, whoa, whoa. He says fifteen thousand. I said I really don't think so. He says, I don't know what you're going to do with it, but 15 is my best off. I said, well, how do we do this? He says, well, you send me over your GSA number. No, I don't have a GSA number. How do you go on? Well, we'll mail you a form and you fill it out and you send it to Washington. And within a few weeks, Washington will send you a GSA number. Well, that's that's no longer going to work. So I at this point, you know, time is of the essence. So I don't want to say all the things that went wrong where it was going to. But as I'm sitting there, I went, wait a minute, where did it come from? Well, I know where it came from. It came from Chef Boyardee. That's that's now American Home Family Products. So I call them up. I find that the product managers at a trade show so I can't talk to him, but I get this nice young lady on the phone. I explain to her that I'm in grad school working on my dissertation on the cost of food through the distribution channels to the end consumer. And can she come up with a number for approximately what it costs to make this stuff? And she comes back with a number and it was like two dollars, two dollars and twenty five cents all in a gallon. I said I want to talk to the product manager as soon as he gets there. I was on hold waiting for this guy to come back about forty five minutes. I wanted to be the first call that he got. And I told them my story. I gave the product number. And I said, I'll sell it to you for less than you make it. And he says, you know. I don't know that you can tell me exactly what it is, but in the smallest number it would be somewhere around sixty thousand gallons. I gave you a sixty thousand dollars right now. I said no. Remember I got five grand tied up. He says, why no? And I said, well, we're only talking about the contents. He goes, what do you mean? And I said, well, how much for the car? Hold on, let me get logistics on the phone so he comes back and he goes, listen, we don't know the condition of the car, given the number on the car, we're just not going to hassle with your work. We're gonna give you fifteen thousand for the car. So 60 for the contents. 15 for the car. What does that come to? Seventy five. What do I do? Pay the bank back. I go back to buy the damn car. I've only had the money out for four days. They haven't finished the paperwork. They don't charge me anything. But here's the key. Everybody listening. Don't be a pig. How was I able to pull this off? No one. The guy who took me there to show it to me. I went to him and I said, you know, I paid five grand for this. I'm going to give you five grand. He could not have been happier. Then I went to the guy from the Atchison Topeka aailroad and I gave him five grand and said, the next time you got a lost railroad car. I'm the first guy you call.

[00:30:16] So lose them on purpose.

[00:30:19] So, Tom, I borrowed five thousand dollars, had it for less than five days and netted sixty thousand dollars.

[00:30:29] And you weren't a pig.

[00:30:31] And that's what I do all the time. I try to manage expectations. I try to find the right thing the right way every time. And I believe in the guiding principles of integrity, in questioning attitude. I'm always problem solving. I work on daily continuous improvement mindset for myself as well as my customers. I go to 60 to 70 trade shows a year and I'm very process and bottom line driven.

[00:31:05] Boy, what an inspiration for people. They'll be out there walking the railroad tracks, trying to duplicate that.

[00:31:14] Now it's all computer about it's, you know, all kinds of things that ruin their business.

[00:31:20] So. So what's a typical day look like for you?

[00:31:25] A day look like for me is because I do business all over the world. That's not bragging. This is the fact I have people that are calling me at 3:00, 4:00 in the morning because they're in China. And then I have people that want to talk to me because they're in Europe. So my day really is I grab sleep when I can. Not necessarily when you think you're going to get it. So it's not inconceivable that I will kind of crash by seven thirty eight o'clock and be back up at midnight and crash for a couple hours and be back up at three o'clock and crash for four or five hours and take the dogs out for a walk and then come back and start the day. And then typically, you know, one, two o'clock, I'll just stop doing everything. And, you know, it just kind of take a deep breath and kind of see where we're going. I've really started to focus as much as I can on elephants rather than rabbits. I've always said that it may take you six months to hunt an elephant, but it feeds the family for a year. Hunting rabbits may be faster, but you've got to continually hunt for them to feed the family. Now, don't tell me somebody is going to call in and say, why is he hunting elephants? It's a metaphor.

[00:32:40] So. So you primarily stay at home and. Right.

[00:32:46] Oh, yeah. I stopped commuting. We got rid of our office. Totally. Totally. About 10 years ago, we we kept offices because we thought our clients and suppliers needed to see us. And as the satellite offices started to take place and everything else and we realized we didn't have to play that game anymore. So everybody that is associated with me has basically a virtual office.

[00:33:17] Got it. Yeah. Screw the commute, man. Right. Right in line with what I believe in.

[00:33:21] And we embrace technology. I mean, we we were an early adopter of Zoom, which you're using. I think that's so much better than things like Skype.

[00:33:30] Yeah. We kicked Skype to the curb after Microsoft bought them.

[00:33:35] My my voicemail was picked up by a company called YouMail, which is an amazing voicemail system that will actually answer my cell phone using the ID that's associated with the number. And then I can actually put in a customized voicemail to every single client contact so that instead of Tom calling and leaving a message, my message becomes, listen, I'm going to be on a call from four to five. I will return your call after 5:00. So it becomes a two way communication. Yeah, I've got about 30 of those unbelievable technologies that we have found. One of them is called Tawk.to. And when you go into my Web site, there's a little thing it says, would you like to talk to somebody live and you type on that. And that goes right to my cell phone. Literally, somebody sees my Web site and it's not five minutes before somebody is not back to them.

[00:34:44] That's the advantage of all the technology.

[00:34:47] Yeah. Some of this stuff is so cheap and people aren't embracing them. Like, I you know, I have not the exact kind of thing, but I have a thing called speak pipe where somebody can just click a thing on my website, leave me a voice message. It comes directly to my cell phone. I listen to it and I can send them a voice message back, you know, and the thing is like 20 bucks a month or twenty dollars a year or something. Nothing. You know, but you gotta take care of. Back to your customer service thing. I really got to take a short break here just for a sponsor message. When we come back, we're going to check with Jim and see what he likes best and worst about working for himself and how he stays motivated.

[00:35:33] So, folks, I turned the Internet marketing training world on its head around the year 2000. I like to say the turn of the century. And people were charging 50 or 100 grand up front to teach them Internet marketing techniques. And I said, yeah, small business market that I serve, that's too much money puts them at risk. And the people doing this training are half of them are rip offs and there's no incentive for them to keep helping you when they've got all their money. So I changed it by having a small, relatively small entry fee and then a percentage of profits that's capped. So you're not stuck with me forever. Well, this really caught on in seventeen hundred students later. We're still going strong. Part of my program, you have an immersion weekend at the Great Internet marketing retreat center in Virginia Beach, where you actually live in this estate home with me for an immersion weekend. And you also get a scholarship to the only licensed Internet marketing school in the country. You can either gift it or use it yourself. And the guy joined the couple. I don't know, four or five months ago, gifted the school to his daughter. Within one month, she was making eleven hundred dollars a month on the side. After two months, she was making two to three thousand dollars a month and now she's quitting her job and going full time doing this. She's still got four or five months left in school. So really powerful program. So check it out at greatinternetmarketingtraining.com.

[00:37:03] All right. Let's get back to the main event. Jim Feldman is here with us. He's a world wide entrepreneur and always innovative. And one thing I forgot to ask you about, Jim, is the travel stuff that I remember you were into heavily when I knew you a while back.

[00:37:27] Well, we were always involved in incentive travel, in groups and meetings and like everything else that that shifted. You've got a lot of players out there, certainly on the consumer side, like Travelocity and all those guys. And then you've got a lot of do it yourselfers at the corporate level. So we have remained pretty focused on the certificate program where we offer a certificate through, let's say, Fairmont or Swiss hotels and you basically plan your own vacation. So it's a prepaid certificate. You get so many room nights, et cetera. We've expanded that into other certificates, countries, et cetera. And that leads me into my next venture where I'm trying to buy my own resort and try to make a one stop shop where we basically say not only can we offer you a certificate, but we will control the experience that your winner has because we own the property.

[00:38:28] Great, great, great. So. So we'll put all that stuff. You have Web sites and stuff for that.

[00:38:34] I'm still in the process of negotiating, so I can't tell you how much. But hopefully within 30 days that will be public now.

[00:38:47] These podcasts will last a long time. So check back, folks, if you're interested in that. The show notes and he'll update us for us. So what do you like best about working for yourself other than you can wear a beard? And what's the worst part?

[00:39:03] Well, first of all, I don't treat working at home any differently than go into the office. I get dressed. I will put on clothes. I will shave. I will shower. I will brush my teeth and go to work. And I try to be as professional at work. Even though it's myself as I would if I worked for somebody else. The second part of it is that I don't make excuses. So I'll basically set out a to be list. I call it it to be rather than to do. I want to be accessible. I want to be somebody that people can rely on. I want to provide exec executional excellence, et cetera. And I stay to that. I find myself looking for technologies that make it better, like I'm a very fast hyper, which means I make spelling errors and grammatical errors. So I found a piece of software called Grammerly properly use turns me into a really bright writer. I think I mentioned I go to 60 to 70 trade shows a year. So I found things like a neat scanner so that I immediately come back with all the business cards and load them up. You'll find that for me. I don't have a lot of backlog because I'll stay through a project or through a deliberation. So I've got it all done. So if I say to somebody, you'll have an answer for me tomorrow morning, if that means I'm up 24 hours to get it done. They'll still have it tomorrow morning. If for some reason I can't, I always call. Always call. Always text. Always email to give them an update as to why I think we as a country business country have thought that we could hide behind text and email. And I think there's a lot of mistakes and a lot of misunderstandings that could be avoided if you pick up the phone.

[00:41:06] I did a whole whole episode to episodes on business skills that a lot of the young people coming up just foreign to. They just, you know, these these these things that are credit, they make you credible. They make you believable. When, you know, if I tell you I'm to call you and I don't call how you're going to believe anything I say. So those are great, great points.

[00:41:32] I had I have a stickler if I meet face to face, if that person doesn't have a business card, their business credibility drops about 50 percent. If they do not have an e-mail that links to there URL and website that drops another 25 to 40 percent. And if they show up wearing thongs or shorts, the meeting is over.

[00:42:01] Well, there you go. Yeah, you got to have a business principle, that's for sure. So. So how do you stay motivated? You're working by yourself in the house. Do you have anybody working there with you?

[00:42:13] I have one person that comes in and keeps me grounded. You know, basically saying, you know, you need to take a break, etc. for for me, I've just gotten to the point in my life where I'm more choosy about who I work with. I have a very, very low tolerance of people that make commitments and don't live up to. You know, a guy asked me for a meeting and he shows up 45 minutes late and I said, wow, you know, bad traffic. And he goes, No. I said you couldn't find the place. He goes, no. I said, what happened? He goes, Well, I hadn't finished my beer. And I just kind of looked at him and I said, you know, this is a multi million dollar meeting we're having. And you stood me up for 45 minutes. So I suggest you go get another beer because this meeting is over.

[00:43:07] There you go. But he would do that again.

[00:43:10] Well, he's called me every 15 minutes to apologize. You know, you recall I wrote a couple of books and have always talked about customer service and I referred to it as dating your best. And if you can't get the first date right, you're never going to get the fifth date, right. I mean, your first date, everything. I brush my teeth, I floss, I shine my shoes. I showed up 10 minutes early. You know, the military says if you show up early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late.

[00:43:41] Exactly. I said that for years. If you're not early, you're late. Oh, boy. So. So this has been really great. Jim, thanks so much for giving us these insights and the good to catch up with you.

[00:43:55] You as well, buddy. You as well.

[00:43:57] Yes. So we'll have everything in the show notes if anybody happens to be in a company. What kind of referrals are you interested in? Referrals that somebody happens to be in a big company?

[00:44:09] I am always interested in a referral if it's a small business. The business guy that just wants to do it and get a referral fee. I'm happy to do it on a referral fee and tell him what the referral fees upfront. So there's no surprise. If it's somebody working at a company, we will do a 45 minute free consulting. No charge, no obligation, no sales, pressure to talk about how their organization has the speed and the ability to adapt to the changing market conditions, how they're applying new technologies, how they're dealing with innovation, and see if we can jointly come up with a problem and potentially a way to come up with a solution.

[00:44:55] Excellent, excellent. So keep your ears open there, folks, if you're in a company, I don't know. I know sometimes when I have people in companies that are referring me to the company, I get in, I want to make sure that I don't put them in a situation that, you know, it's like kickbacks to them. So if they can't take what I do is. If I ask them if they can't take a referral fee, I would be happy to donate that to the company's favorite charity. So that kind of gets everybody off the hook.

[00:45:27] I do the same thing, but I have a another twist to it. I will say to them, how about I send something that you can share with everybody in the company? Yeah. That's. Which is how we came up with our 10 pound bars of chocolate.

[00:45:41] Yeah. Yeah. That's. I think I've seen one of those and gain 20 pounds by eating it. All right, man. Well, thanks so much. I really appreciate it. Everybody is gonna check the show notes and see all the great stuff you have and they'll check back, too, because if you land that big resort deal, everybody is gonna want to go there. You know, it's like you or Mar a Lago U or Mar a Lago, which I know it's hard, hard to pick. I'd take Jim Feldman any day.

[00:46:08] And we'll have a special family discount for the people that are your associates.

[00:46:12] So you have a screw the commute weekend. There we go. Well, thanks so much, Jim, and you for reaching out. My pleasure. And everybody, this has been episode. What the heck was this one? 164. Yeah. You'll find the show notes at screwthecommute.com/164. And we will catch you all on the next episode.

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