8 - Create Extraordinary Leaders: Tom interviews Cher & Bil Holton - Screw The Commute

8 – Create Extraordinary Leaders: Tom interviews Cher & Bil Holton

Cher and Bil Holton have been helping corporate clients be extraordinary in leadership teamwork and bottom line results. They take what they call Indiana Jones vacations, like whitewater rafting, skydiving, fire walking and ballroom dancing. You don't see those together too much!

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Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 008

NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.

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[01:13] Tom's introduction to Cher & Bil Holton

[02:24] What Cher & Bil do and what regular jobs did they have

[04:37] Tom was a hooker!

[05:15] Define your lifestyle and wrap your work around it

[06:16] “Spend in the good times like it's the lean times”

[06:46] “You're on total commission and your commission becomes effective when you do”

[08:04] How they got screwed in business and what they did about it

[09:16] Business “funny” stuff

[10:53] Working from home

[16:30] Bil's name is NOT a typo!

[17:04] The worst part about working for yourself


[19:59] Sponsor message

[20:40] A typical day for Cher & Bil

[24:07] Parting thoughts

Entrepreneurial Resources Mentioned in This Podcast

Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars

Screw The Commutehttps://screwthecommute.com/

entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

Extraordinary Leadership bookhttp://holtonconsulting.com/extraordinary-ldsp-book/

Cher & Bil Holtonhttps://holtonconsulting.com/

Via email: cher@holtonconsulting.com

Internet Marketing Training Centerhttps://imtcva.org/

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Episode 008 - Cher & Bil Holton
[00:00:08] 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.

[00:00:27] Welcome everybody to the screw the commute episode Number eight. It's a great podcast tonight. We've got a couple of lovebirds on here. We're going to tell you about Cher and Bil Holton here in a moment. Let's take a moment for today's sponsor it's the distance learning school the Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginia. Don't even think about retraining yourself or sending your kids to college until you check out our webinar. I don't want you wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars and putting yourself and your kids under crushing debt. We'll have the Webinar in the show notes at screwthecommute.com. I'll tell you more about this later.

[00:01:13] Now let's get to the main event. Since 1984, Cher and Bil Holton have been helping corporate clients be extraordinary in leadership teamwork and bottom line results. Their keynote speeches turbo training team building and coaching sessions are practical research supported and lots of fun to boot. They are prolific authors and ardent believers in practicing what they teach. They take what they call Indiana Jones vacations like whitewater rafting skydiving fire walking and ballroom dancing. You don't see those two together too much. But I was thinking about this when I saw this and I think if you really wanted to take it to the next level you skydive while you're on fire. And I guarantee you'll dance on the way down to the ground because they like to continually stretch their limits. So Cher & Bil welcome.

[00:02:18] Thank you. Thank you. We're glad to be here. Yes so tell everybody what you do. We help organizations maximize their leadership abilities. And our goal is to create extraordinary leaders who can facilitate employee engagement and great teamwork.

[00:02:38] Now have either one of you or both of you had regular jobs before?

[00:02:45] Oh yes we have. Let's hear about it.

[00:02:51] I worked for the postal service for 11 years and until I found out that the people I was hiring, I was in H.R. It occurred to me one day that I could do what they do and often times better. And I thought well why would I want to hire them when I can do it. So we began looking around to get out of government, both of were in the government at the time, looking at quite frankly self-employment.

[00:03:26] So I was working with the governor that's where we met. You met playing post office! We did! And then I left the post office and went to Westinghouse and when I got an offer that was what we were looking around for. And then when I got an offer at Westinghouse for a promotion that would move us to Pittsburgh, Bil and I looked at each other and said it's time for us to start our own business. So that's when we left.

[00:03:51] So this was a joint decision. Were you both married at the time?

[00:03:56] Yes we were married then.

[00:03:59] And so that was the moment.

[00:04:04] Yes. Anything is better than living in Pittsburgh for us.

[00:04:07] Now, you're killing me because I'm from outside of Pittsburgh, a little town called Claysville where it was named after Henry Clay. There still is only 500 people and he didn't actually sleep there. His horse took a dump there on the way through and that was good enough for us.

[00:04:31] Well my dad grew up in Trafford so you know where that is.

[00:04:36] And actually, technically, I started out as a hooker in Pittsburgh. That's the absolute truth. I started out as a hooker in Pittsburgh. One of the few jobs that I did have in college was for the U.S. steelworks where I hooked overhead cranes onto the steel I beams. And my job class was hooker. So I was a hooker in Pittsburgh. No wonder you didn't want to move there.

[00:05:07] So what would you say to someone who's thinking about leaving their job and starting a business?

[00:05:16] Well one of the first things we'd say Tom, and we still abide by this, after 36 years in business self employment, is to define the lifestyle that you want and then wrap your work around it.

[00:05:32] Ok. Now that's a good concept but at the moment that person is thinking oh my god I got this paycheck and then I'm not going to have a paycheck. I mean isn't that a pretty tough decision for a lot of people?

[00:05:48] It's a tough decision and it's very scary. You have to be willing to be a little risk taker when you start your own business of course and if you have money in the bank that's awesome. We didn't have as much in the bank as people would recommend but we had a real love for what we were going to do and we really knew the business very well. And so I think it's important to know what you want to do and be prepared. One of our credos again is spend in the good times like it's the lean times so that you can prepare for that.

[00:06:23] That's a great point. So say that again. Spend in the good times like it's the lean times? Right. You should make a poster of that. That is really a great thing for people to think about because if money starts coming in all of a sudden they're rich and then they blow it all. And when it starts raining it really pours.

[00:06:46] So one other thing we we've learned too is that you're on total commission and your commission becomes effective when you do.

[00:06:56] These are all great sayings. You should have your own quote book. Those are awesome sayings for entrepreneurs.

[00:07:04] And something else we did too Tom is at the point that we made the decision to go on our own, Cher was the one who took the first step. I was doing a lot of research. Cher was doing a lot of the Face-To-Face presentations and so I stayed at the job I had working for a power company and I planned on joining her and three four years after she got settled and after a year I was able to leave my corporate job and to join her and that was in 1983 and we haven't looked back since.

[00:07:41] Wow is that great. So have you ever gotten screwed in business that is? Don't go get a hotel room here while we're talking.

[00:07:53] Remember we have the executive suite right there. So any time you've gotten screwed in business and what did you do about it?

[00:08:05] It's been rare but we have a few times and one of the ones it really stands out for us is when we have always prided ourselves on providing lots of good customized information for our clients. And we had one request for proposal for team building and we gave them a pretty extensive proposal and they turned around took what we gave them and did it themselves.

[00:08:28] That sucks. What did you do about that?

[00:08:31] We didn't do anything about that because we just figured live and learn. But we did learn we are quick learners. That's another tip for anybody going into business.

[00:08:39] So basically you gave away the farm to people that were unscrupulous.

[00:08:44] Yeah we have since learned that we limit what we shared initially and if they want a detailed proposal we will charge for it and if they use us they don't have to pay but if they don't use us we've at least got paid for the information.

[00:08:59] Good. That's a good point for everybody out there because people will run you ragged and they'll just try to get ideas knowing that you want the job so you just can't let that happen.

[00:09:10] Now anything funny has happened throughout your business career?

[00:09:16] Well actually yeah. And this actually happened to Cher on a presentation we were doing in South Carolina.

[00:09:23] I gave a presentation and I was introduced. I was the keynote speaker. And when I was introduced it was supposed to be motivational inspirational. And the person who introduced me said before we introduce our speaker we have to share some information. And they talked to sales people and they shared a whole new plan for the sales people that was going to affect everybody's pay. Then they said, And now our speaker Cher Holton. This isn't the funny part. This was the miserable. I came on and I did my thing and it went OK. But it was horrible. I couldn't wait to get out of there. So we left as soon as we could get out of Dodge. We're in the car driving. We're about an hour down the road. And all of a sudden I realize I left my briefcase back at the hotel where the speech was.

[00:10:18] You had to work back through the gauntlet.

[00:10:22] Actually I did not because Bil did it for me and he became husband and business partner of the year that day. So they didn't know him, is that right?. No. So he could get in and get out. Snuck in, grabbed it he knew where it was and he comes back into the car and he just was so sweet and so understanding and I felt so stupid.

[00:10:45] So give the listeners some tips about working at home.

[00:10:52] We would say when you work at home one of the key things is to compartmentalize. It's a lot harder to because everything's available to you. Like what? You mean the refrigerator and ice cream? Oh yeah washing machine or refrigerator your neighbors and family who think because you work at home that you're not working. Get really compartmentalized. And we don't necessarily set work hours but we have very specific offices that are only used for work. And so that's where we do most of our work to keep it separate from what we do.

[00:11:36] We highly recommend that Tom, because when you're in your quote unquote epicenter your office you get into the habit of seeing yourself at work and you walk in there with a different frame of mind you leave your quote unquote work office with a different frame of mind because it's easy to get distracted. Cher mentioned before about the laundry and dishes and that kind of thing you don't do dishes when you're at work and you really do have to compartmentalize and make sure that you're actually working and doing something that's going to earn you the income while you're at work.

[00:12:14] Yeah but that ruins my whole podcast. I mean you had to commute from one room to the other.

[00:12:21] It's a great commute. There's no traffic.

[00:12:22] I can't tell you how many times I've had good morning america on in the morning and seen the information about traffic and just looked at Bil and said well I guess we start our commute to the office.

[00:12:37] It's beautiful that's what our book cover is. It's a big screw going into a bunch of traffic.

[00:12:44] Although there is one thing that we do and we've done this ever since we've been in business. We bought and continue to invest in an expensive car because we commute to the client. They don't come to our office. Of course they see us in a nice car.

[00:13:05] That's not really a commute though. I mean you're going to a client. And it's not like everyday drudgery going back and forth. No way.

[00:13:14] So you got a nice car out of it and you can justify it for tax purposes and everything it's really part of the deal.

[00:13:23] The other thing we have about working at home at least for the two of us because we are married and work together is having very clear roles about who's responsible for what. We talk about everything but each of us has our area that we get to be the final decision maker on and that's our focus.

[00:13:48] I want to get into that a little deeper but first I want to ask you in this compartmentalization that you talked about. Do you actually dress for work like you were going to work or do you still go in there in your pj's?

[00:14:05] I wear jeans. Usually we're not in PJ's because we do get dressed but we don't dress like if we were going to an office because being comfortable in my opinion is really important. And it's one of the benefits which you know here's another little thing another little tip is so often when you have your own business you focus on all the things you don't have like the benefits and the days off and regular pay. But what we want to do is be sure and acknowledge the benefits you do have and not feel guilty about them.

[00:14:40] Yeah that's a great point. And what was the thing I interrupted you and forgot. Clear roles. Yeah I want to know, so what if the other one really disagrees. Does it turn into an argument or is it just we decided a long time ago that I'm the decision maker on this thing and just shut up.

[00:15:06] That's right. I had made that decision. It's a business decision. And yeah whoever is the main person for that particular role has the final decision we discussed it and we disagree. But the person who has overall responsibility for that makes the final decision and we've been doing that for 30 years.

[00:15:27] So did ever regret agreeing to a certain role and giving it away to the other?

[00:15:35] I don't think so. I haven't. Me neither. We've shifted roles sometimes as businesses shifted or things have changed.

[00:15:46] Do you ever argue?

[00:15:50] Yeah, not argue fight. We're not the big fighters. I would say disagree but not argue and another thing we'd highly recommend to people if they're working together with spouse or significant other friend is do not compete with one another.

[00:16:07] Because Bil you'll lose right? His nickname for me is the franchise.

[00:16:14] Oh that's cool.

[00:16:16] Now you got to tell me about the origin of your name Bil. I just realized after knowing you all these years that there's one L in Bil. Was this a typo on your birth certificate or what? What is that?

[00:16:30] When Cher worked for Westinghouse they were really big with doing more with less. And so I just happened to think with the quality of movement that b i l l was a bit long so I dropped the other L still sounds the same. B i l is short for billion.

[00:16:56] So what do you think the worst part about working for yourself.

[00:17:06] You know what I think it is. I think that because we work in the same place together. If things go downhill or if you're going through a slump it's really easy for both of you to get depressed at the same time. That one can drag the other down. We actually have dealt with that we created you know how in basketball they show who owns the ball up the next tie ball and they shift back and forth. We have that kind of thing on a bulletin board and whoever has the arrow is the one who's responsible to stay positive even if we don't like it and then we switch back and forth. And this is 30 years you've been using these methods. Well then we learned that we needed a method first and as we realized we would both get down and it's hard when you both get down and to keep it upbeat and positive.

[00:18:02] So it was really useful to have one person ensure that happened and what really helps us enjoy working at home is that whenever we do go to the corporate client to present that kind of thing we can't wait to get back out of there. We are so happy to have the environment that we've established at home.

[00:18:25] You're a good team. So you walk your talk. So what's coming up what are you promoting now. You have a new book out there, don't you?

[00:18:32] It's a brand new book it's called extraordinary leadership and we developed it because we have been teaching leadership for quite a while. And the one thing we noticed was that even when leaders knew the tools to use and use them there were some leaders that excelled and were superstars and other leaders who it just didn't come across well they couldn't pull it off. And so we started asking why and did a lot of research and scientific research along with it were like psychology and neuroscience and even some quantum physics study that supports what we're learning and from that we found that there are seven core abilities that we all have within us. And if leaders can tap into those core abilities and use that to underwrite the skills they're using they come across much more effectively. And so this book is all about those seven core abilities.

[00:19:26] Well that's beautiful and we'll have the link to it for you listeners in the show notes at Screwthecommute.com.

[00:19:39] This is episode number eight. So if you're looking for it on the Web site.

[00:19:45] So we got to take a brief break for a message from our sponsor and we will be right back with Bil and Cher telling us how they stay motivated and what a typical day looks like for them. We'll be right back.

[00:20:00] Today, almost two billion of you will go online retrieving over 100 billion searches for information, goods and services, and 6 million of you will view a page on the internet before this commercial is over. The world has changed and so is the way we do business. At the Internet Marketing Training Center, you can study online at your pace to fit your schedule, and you can graduate with the skills and knowledge to compete in the global marketplace or start your own home based business. Call us today or go online at IMTCVA.org. Because, it's about time. Yours.

[00:20:31] Ok we're back and Bil and Cher so what's a typical day look like for massive 30 year screw the commuters.

[00:20:41] Well we generally bracket our day we call parentheses our day with meditation. We meditate individually but we meditate together as well and then we start our day and end it with a meditation about a half hour 45 minute meditation. If we get really busy we meditate for an hour twice a day. Yeah. Yes.

[00:21:11] It's amazing what power that has though it really centers you and keeps you focused on what needs to be done.

[00:21:19] Now that's a skill right because you know if I just sit down for five minutes and try to rest my mind is going 100 miles an hour and I'm not really resting. So how do you learn how to meditate.

[00:21:35] You practice practice practice. Matter of fact we call meditation an inexperience versus an experience. experience is when you use the five main senses and connect with the outer world for meditation you go inside we call it a laser focus moment and you concentrate on either a word or phrase a candle or an I AM statement that kind of thing a positive statement. It takes practice. And when you have an intruding thought. We call them a chatter bombs. when they happen We just allow them to come in and go brush them off like you would a piece of lint off clothing and then continue to meditate in the silence.

[00:22:22] What was that kind of statement you said? I AM statement. OK. So it's like an affirmation?. Most definitely.

[00:22:33] I am calm and collected. I am at peace. these kind of things. And if you say those in your mind then your mind is focusing on that and we'd like to tell people with meditation or laser focus moments we teach this to our corporate leaders but we call it laser focus moment rather than meditation in the corporate world. And really part of the process is learning how to recognize your mind chatter we call it chatter bombs and let it go that that's part of the experience or inexperience. So not to fight that but rather let it help your energy of learning how to focus.

[00:23:11] Wow. I need to practice on this stuff because my mind is going 100 miles an hour all day long. But these I am statements did kind of remind me of this comedian friend and he was at a hotel getting ready to do his comedy routine and he does affirmations and so he was in the bathroom in a stall thinking that he was in there by himself. And he said this is going to be the best one yet.

[00:23:57] So do you have any parting thoughts for all the screwballs out there that want to be like you and do what you do and make their own way?

[00:24:08] I would say that they really want to be like them not like us and to remember that lots of people will give them advice and it's important to listen to it all but then decide what's really going to work for them. Because there are lots of different ways to do your own business and if you try to do it like somebody tells you to do it you're not going to be as happy.

[00:24:33] And my parting thought to the folks is that your success your business success your personal success is not so much limited by unanswered questions as it is unquestioned answers. So we encourage people to question all unquestioned answers in whatever field you're in because a lot of people make assumptions and just follow the herd and the only problem following the herd is that you will probably end up stepping in something you don't want to step in. Or going to the slaughterhouse. Really. Along with everybody.

[00:25:10] How does everybody that's listening to this reach you if they'd like to reach out and check out your products you have a lot more products and services than just the new book. So I want to make sure they see that in the show notes. But how do they reach you if they'd like get in touch or maybe hire you too.

[00:25:28] Absolutely. We would love to talk with them about that and they could go online to Holtonconsulting.com.

[00:25:35] Ok we'll have that in the show notes.

[00:25:37] And they can reach us by email at cher@Holtonconsulting.com.

[00:25:48] We'll have that all in the show notes.

[00:25:55] So this has been a lot of fun. I love you two you little lovebirds.

[00:26:01] It's mutual. We feel the same way about you. You've been amazing for us. We're so glad to know you.

[00:26:05] That story 30 years and jumping out of the post office. I love it.

[00:26:13] So everybody this is Episode 8 of Screw the commute. Make sure you stop over to screwthecommute.com. Check out the show notes for Cher and Bil and check out their new leadership book. Also over there we have a section where you can leave a review of the podcast so if you have a good review to leave you click on the good link. If you didn't like it we have a bad link that doesn't go anywhere. Click on that or we send you to somebody else's podcast that we don't like.

[00:26:52] So keep that in mind. And don't forget to check out IMTCVA.org. If you really want to take a high level education for you or your nephews nieces your kids and you can get a really in demand education in about 6 months and not be crushed in debt for the rest of your life. So absolutely yes. Yeah these two know all about. We've done it and it's awesome. Highly recommend it. There you go.

[00:27:22] So thanks Bil. Thanks Cher. And we will catch you on the flip flop.

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