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Interviews

Interview with New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce’s Lisa Ducharme

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Ducharme, Executive Director of the New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce. She comes from a family line with over 200 years of military service in all branches of the military.  She is a 20-year Air Force veteran, daughter of a retired Air Force Veteran and mother of an Army retired soldier.   Ms. Ducharme has an in-depth understanding of veteran benefits, and experience as a business owner, she has been a partner with Veterans Outreach Into Community Engagement (VOICE) for over 5-years, where she participates in military outreach opportunities connecting military, veterans and their families to resources.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?  When I retired from the Air Force in December 2006 I struggled to find a job, when I found a job that I enjoyed, after 5 years, in 2014, I was laid off.  I decided I needed a change, and went back to school to get a certification in 3D Animation and Interactive Media, which led me to start a business.  In starting my own business, I made all the mistakes you could make and didn’t really understand what assistance or resources were available.  When my business wasn’t going anywhere and I couldn’t make it work, that is when I started looking for assistance, and I applied for and was accepted into the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities at UConn.  I learned so much from that program and about other resources available to businesses and veterans.  When I was given the opportunity to establish the New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce (NEVCC) to connect and help veteran, military and family member businesses under the United States Veterans Chamber of Commerce it was an opportunity I could not pass up. 

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?  I was planning our kick-off for the NEVCC, which was scheduled for 11/11/2018 at 11:01 a.m., the reason for this date/time is because this year is the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I.  The launch was our tribute to those who served and sacrificed, “A Century of veteran businesses in the making.”, as our veterans past, helped our veterans present and we want to help our veterans in the future.  As we were figuring out how best to make this tribute, the World War I Centennial Commission launched the “Bells of Peace” and asked Americans across the U.S. to ring a bell at 11:00 on 11/11/2018 in honor of those who served and sacrificed. 

We wanted to add bells to our kick-off, so after searching where to get the commemorative bells, we found the perfect place, Bevin Bells in CT.  It turned out that Bevin Bells is not only a 6th Generation family run business, but the current owner is a veteran. 

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?  The NEVCC will be the hub of veteran entrepreneurship, and provide New England veteran, military, and family member businesses with the education, tools, resources and network connections necessary to launch and/or run successful businesses. We connect veteran, military, and family-owned businesses in New England through advocacy and professional and community networking. We do this by facilitating workshops and trainings with organizations and individuals that are experts in their field, such as Quabbin Mediation, VETRN Streetwise MBA, SCORE, Small Business Administration, and Veteran Business Outreach Centers.

Early on as we were establishing the NEVCC we connected with Leroy Ashwood, owner of BRAVE for Veterans, whose business is successful, and is working on starting another business, as well as working on a variety of veteran issues.  We have been able to collaborate with Leroy and also connect him to resources and provided him information that will assist him.   

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?  Use resources that are available, you are never alone!  It is never too late to make sure your personal credit is in good shape, if you don’t know how to start, reach out to the American Consumer Credit Counseling services, they are there to assist.  The stress of personal finances can be a big drain on business owners.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?  I so agree, everyone has a mentor who helped them get where they are.  In my case, my mentor is a friend and she has been my “business buddy” since 2013.  Anita Eliason, has owned her own business and now works as a Senior Business Advisor with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC). 

The most important thing about your “business buddy” is they need to be supportive and honest.   Anita has always been supportive and honest.  When I started my business in 2013, I had picked a business name that I thought worked, LLR2000 and Anita, said how does LLR2000 equate to your business?  As I explained what it stood for and we continued to talk, the reality set in, if it takes this much to explain it to Anita, who fully understands my business, it was clear my business name did not fit my business.  After some brain storming and looking online, we came up with Your Visual Alternatives.  When I was thinking about establishing the New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce, Anita and I brainstormed what that would look like and what kind of resources would be needed, and she was the first person added to the Advisory board.  The military has “battle buddies”, Anita is always going to be my “business buddy”.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? For over 20 years the quote I have relied on is by Abraham Lincoln, “I do the very best I know how—the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”  When it comes to business, I have many quotes that inspire me, one of my favorites is “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” — Colin Powell

We are only human, which can be a positive and a negative.  When I do the best I can and it is not good enough, is it a failure?  It is only a failure, if I do not learn from it.  Over my lifetime and throughout my time as a business owner, I will always do the very best I can, and will prepare and work hard.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Use resources – When I started my business, I did everything by myself, didn’t use resources and went online and downloaded other people’s business plans.  It was the wrong way to do it. 
  2. Get a SCORE mentor – SCORE is available to anyone to use https://www.score.org/SCORE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.”  I didn’t get a SCORE mentor (or have a business plan) until 2 years after my business was started.
  3. Work with the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) – “SBDC’s provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and funded in part through a partnership with SBA.”  https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/sbdc
  4. Ensure you have a Business Plan – Although business plans can be very difficult, you should always have one.  You do not have to do it by yourself, SCORE mentors can provide you tools and assist you through the process.  https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/sbdc
  5. Learn Social Media – Social media is not for all businesses, but it is for most.  Social Media includes blogs, LinkedIn, YouTube, and a wide variety of other social media formats.  The reality is, in today’s world how are you going to be found in this noisy world without Social media?

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement  that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂  My movement is “Buy Veteran New England”.   Our Veteran and Military members serve 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  There were many times that they work through holidays and weekends. Many times, they get deployed or need to leave their families to go to training or to help others.  Our family members serve as well, they need to adapt to all kinds of situations, and the children who move need to continually adjust.  Here in the New England States, which include: CT, MA, ME, NH, VT, and RI, we want to run a “Buy Veteran New England” campaign and encourage businesses and consumers to purchase from veteran, military and family member businesses.

How can our readers follow you on social media?  We are on twitter, and Facebook:  @NEVCC2018 and can be found on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/new-england-veterans-chamber-of-commerce/.  Our website is www.NEVCC.org

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Anthony Delgado (born February 6, 1986) is an American software developer and internet entrepreneur widely known as a professional hacker in the developer community. Anthony Delgado has won numerous hackathons sponsored by Fortune 500 tech companies like Google, IBM, Intel, Facebook and Microsoft and hosted by organizations including Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the AT&T Developer Summit in New York City.

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Entrepreneurship

Jordin Roussell – Scaling a 7 Figure Real Estate Company

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Recently, I was fortunate enough to sit down for an interview with Jordin Roussell. Jordin has scaled his Real Estate Company, Gulf South Home Buyers, to 7 Figures very quickly. I asked him how he got started, and for tactical advice for anyone looking to get into Real Estate Investing.

  • Hey Jordin, what do you do?

 


Jordin Roussell: I’m a real estate entrepreneur, I am the Founder of Gulf South Home Buyers. 

 

 

  • What made you become an entrepreneur?

 

 

Jordin Roussell: My first journey with entrepreneurship was actually network marketing. I was sold on the idea of having freedom, creating impacting, and getting to travel the world. The venture came to an end rather quickly, but those desires for freedom, impact, and travel never left me. After I dropped out of college, it took me a little time to pick myself up after some personal things took place in my life, but I knew with what I wanted out of life my options for obtaining the three things I desired were very limited which led me back into entrepreneurship. 

 

 

  • How did you get started investing in real estate?

 

 

Ravi Abuvala: It’s a funny story! I was 19, scrolling through Instagram and this guy I was following had just posted a video about this 18 year old kid, one of his students, making $25k with none of his own money and no credit. I was stunned, I did some more research and for the next 2 years consumed everything real estate I could. Just after my 21st birthday I was fed up with working a 9-5 and took the plunge, quit my job, and made the decision to go all in on real estate. 

 

 

  • How have you scaled your company?

 

 

Jordin Roussell: Other than the traditional ways of increasing marketing. I became genuinely obsessed with helping people out of their distressed situations and because I stopped focusing less on money and more on the people I could help. This quickly established me as a leading authority in real estate in my city.   

 

 

  • What advice would you give to someone looking to get started in Real Estate?

 

 

Jordin Roussell: There’s several ways to get started in real estate and make money, but the most important thing when getting started is to find one strategy. Whether it’s wholesaling, fix and flips, purchasing rentals, bond for deeds, or anything else, just go all in on the strategy until you can do it in your sleep, then transition into another strategy. Focusing on too many strategies at once is similar to shiny object syndrome in my opinion.  

 

 

  • How do you find deals?

 

 

  • Ringless Voicemail
  • Direct Mail
  • Google Adwords
  • Referrals 

 

 

  • How do you find investors?

 

 

  • Direct Mail
  • Meetups
  • One of the best ways to get investors and cash buyers is to obtain a list of properties that have been purchased for cash in your city. Filter the ones that have bought 2 or more because the chances of them being investors increases, and send them a post card explaining what you do with your contact info on it. 

 

 

  • Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?

 

 

Jordin Roussell: Operating in multiple states within multiple markets. Helping 1000’s of families per year close a chapter and start a new one. 

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Interviews

Personality Sales: The Path to Success with James Winn

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From a young age, James Winn was always concerned that no matter what direction he took in life, he was going to be unable to achieve his full potential.  he constantly bounced from dream to dream, seeing quickly that without focus and resolve on a specific topic, results would never come. He began to realize that one of the reasons people aren’t successful is because they were unwilling to change consistently, and that is when he decided to make a change to himself.

 

He entered college two years early, and achieved a business degree, which opened his eyes to the business world, and he stated that he loved it, ultimately because in business, it isn’t what you know, it is about your ability to sell yourself and exceed expectations.  He learned quickly that people don’t choose individuals for opportunities solely based off of qualifications, rather off of the amount of qualities that he was able to show that he possessed in the networking process.

 

His current chosen career path is Banking, and at the age of 24 he is a branch manager for one of the largest Credit Unions in the western United States.  Being a branch manager has challenged him in many ways that he did not anticipate, but he stated that the beauty of doing something you were approved for through your self-sales ability is that when you are approved for a position by those above you, you can make mistakes and still be appreciated and supported.  Even though he is young, his ability to network and sell himself has kept him in a position where the average age of those employed is over 30.

 

A perfect example of making mistakes that are easily forgiven, is one that he made in his first few months as a branch manager.  He sold himself on his ability to motivate people and provide direction to teams, but his first couple of months, his team was struggling to meet goals.  Their production had even dropped. On top of that, he was going through a very difficult breakup, which caused him to lack the focus and resolve that was needed in order to maintain structure on my team.  He was failing as a manager for the personal reasons like losing someone he loved, and because he was not truly ready to take on that position. He was expecting that his managers would not take the fact that he had promised results and was not delivering very well, but was surprised when they quickly offered their support and assistance.

 

He stated that in retrospect, the reason they offered their support is because he sold himself so well, that they could not believe that the lack of success was who he truly was. His personal brand was one of efficiency, excellence, and success, and he had confidently sold himself to them as that type of person through networking, testimonies, interviews, success stories, and overcoming challenges that were thrown his way.  he realized that in any walk of life, in any business, you can find success if you sell yourself effectively, following these 5 rules:

 

 

 

Anticipate Their Needs

 

When someone is looking for an individual to fill their need in their business, research their business to understand what qualities and needs they will need to fulfill that need.

 

Create Examples

 

Once you have determined the need they have for their business, create examples from life experiences to show how you are exactly what they are looking for.  Use personal experience, the experiences of those around you, or education to create perfect examples that the business is looking for.

 

Network, Network, Network… and Network

 

Success is a long hard road, and in order to achieve greatness, you have to have individuals around you with influence that are willing to vouch for you.  A friend can be made easily, so the more friends you have, the more likelihood you will maintain your reputation throughout struggles. I maintained my job through struggles because I knew people, not because I was doing a good job.

 

Utilize your successes as stepping stones

 

Successes can  be individuals, achievements, or other things that impress those around you.  The key to selling yourself is to mention your successes to build relevance in yourself, but not to show that you are overly proud of them.  After mentioning a success, modestly mention how you are proud of the accomplishment, but cannot wait to prove what you are truly capable of

 

Bring up those around you whenever possible

 

In order to be successful, you must be surrounded by success.  Whenever you have the chance to elevate someone into success, they become a beacon of your personal brand.  For example, Apple would not be popular if they did not have individuals who loved their products. Depending on your business, you may not be selling products, but you can build relevance in yourself and your brand through the success of those who have associated themselves with you.

 

“Ultimately, if your goal is success, you must be willing to make changes to yourself every day.  Anticipating the needs of future customers, employers, and businesses will require change, which is difficult for some people.  My favorite saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The question is, what will you do today to sell yourself to those around you and become more successful?”

 

James Winn

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Entrepreneurship

Jeremy Haynes – Scaling Megalodon Marketing to a Top Digital Agency in the World

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Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jeremy Haynes for an interview. Jeremy owns Megalodon Marketing, which is one of the top Digital Marketing Agencies in the World. He has worked with Personal Brands like Dan Lok, Garret White, and many more. I asked him about scaling his agency, how he got started, and for his best tips and tricks.

  • Jeremy, what does your company do?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: I have two companies that I actively run. Megalodon Marketing is my marketing agency I’ve run the last few years, and we focus on scaling the world’s largest personality brands. We help take these entrepreneurs to 6 or 7 figures monthly selling different information products.

 

My second business I actively run is Jeremy, INC. That business acts as an umbrella to all of my mentoring programs and events. Currently, I help over 1,900+ paid students with starting and scaling a marketing agency, digital marketing, and personal branding.

 

 

  • How did you choose digital marketing?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: This might sound cheesy, but digital marketing chose me. I was selling phones in Costco down in Miami Beach, and this guy who I sold a phone to offered me a job as his head of marketing. He had confidence in me that I could learn fast, and that I likely knew social media more than him. All of the responsibilities of a digital marketer were thrust upon me to figure out and I welcomed the opportunity with open arms. That later led me to getting recruited by a prominent sales trainer and mentor named Grant Cardone, which later helped me get into entrepreneurship full time.

 

 

  • What made you choose Personal Branding as your niche? Did you start your agency only focused on that niche?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: I’ve tried a few other industries, and didn’t find the same level of fulfillment I get helping personal brands. When we help a personal brand get more clients and customers, we’re selling transitions, skills, and outcomes.

 

There’s nothing better than getting feedback from thousands of customers telling you their lives are infinitely better from an investment into a course, event, or mentoring package that you helped get into their hands.

 

 

  • How have you leveraged Personal Branding for yourself?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Absolutely! I’ve managed to teach in 3 different Tai Lopez Programs, a Mentor Box program without being an author, have trained over 1,900+ paid students, impacted hundreds of thousands through content and press, have scaled a marketing agency to over 7 figures yearly all through my personal brand.

 

It’s natural human behavior to connect to other humans who you have commonality with or can get value from. People have a different and unnatural behavior when attempting to communicate with a company.

 

As a simple example, look at human behavior when they call a corporation to complain versus the behavior of bringing a problem to the attention of one singular person’s attention. The person who calls McDonalds and complains about their order treats the rep with less respect typically, because talking to a company is interpreted different mentally. It doesn’t feel like the same accountability model we have when communicating to someone on a one to one level.

 

 

  • Best tips for a beginner agency owner?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Focus on results that help businesses make more money, do not focus on time and effort intensive services.

 

I’ve sold it all, funnels, advertising, marketing automation, chat bots, social media management, graphic design, web development, video services, etc. At one point I had 27 staff and 3 offices here in the USA.

 

The lessons I consistently learned the hard way, were that clients did not respect our time or effort, they respected results. Even if we set expectations several times throughout the relationship that you can’t make money until we get xyz done first, the client always only cared about the results, nothing else.

 

So that’s what we started selling, for more money and with less staff, less time, and less overhead. We started only taking the highest revenue driven actions, and didn’t bother with anything else. This changed the game for my agency! We realized that if something took us an hour, but produced massive ROI for the client, they could care less if we only worked an hour for the month.

 

We had to overcome the employee conditioning that more time invested and more hard work does not equal achievement and results.

 

 

  • Top 3 Personal Branding tips?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Content is content, and ads are ads, do not confuse the two. Most personal brands will make call to actions in their content, or will add links to their posts not knowing that significantly reduces the organic reach of the post.

 

Content should be strategically created, because all social interaction is now retargetable. This is the modern day email marketing, and the segmented lists are in the Facebooks Ads Manager labeled as ‘Audiences’.

 

If you learn to apply psychology into your content, like managing to establish the authority bias, curiosity bias and social proof in your first piece of content you show an ideal future customer who doesn’t know you yet, you’ll be lightyears ahead of other person brands. Most of the marketers and advertisers in the personal brand game go straight for the pitch, which disrespects people in the sales process. The key is to show your ideal buyers content in a strategic sequence first, and then move them into your direct response ads.

 

 

  • What are your 3 core principles?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Low time commitment, low responsponsibility and high profitability for both myself and the client.

 

These core values keep me focused on the highest revenue driven actions and the most impactful actions for myself and others in any situation.

 

In a world full of others who rob you and your time and consume your energy, I’m thinking like an engineer solely focused on efficient results. How can I put the least input in, and produce the most output.

 

This thinking goes into everything, including ad spend for clients as an example. How can we spend the least and make the most?

 

Or for my students, how can they invest in my course and put the least amount of time and effort in to get the most results compared to other investments?

 

 

  • What makes Megalodon Marketing different?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Our long list of previous wins and losses and our depth of applied knowledge in the Personal Brand industry. We’ve managed to produce some significant results for clients over the years, and we’re always excited to help the next personal brand we work with to get to 7 figures monthly while impacting millions around the world.

 

 

  • What are your future plans?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: I’d love to get even more results for my students and clients while expanding my own personal brand. Impacting people and expanding their potential has become a main focus for me, you don’t know what you don’t know, and that can kill you or seriously limit your opportunities!

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