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Hey, everybody, it's 3:00 three here, and I am very honored to have these two guests today. They're both worked with Advance Your Reach, but when I met them both, I was blown away by their brilliance. I'm excited to have Meredith with you today and Moe with you today. And I remember being with Moe at a dinner thanks to our good friend Chad Cannon with Michael Hyatt and another group in Nashville. And I was blown away by Moe's ability to help organizations grow and understanding how to help organizations grow and in scale and really create business development within their organizations.


But I've also been so blown away, meridith in the things that she's done to help solo producers, especially right now during these times, understand what it takes to kind of really build that team around you and really grow that team around you. Whether you're hosting events where you're a speaker, like having a dream team around you is so important in whatever you're doing. And so I'm stoked today because we just hired a director of business development at a your reach because of the fact that we just really want to continue to grow and scale and build the business out.


And that's why today I think you are going to learn so much, whether you're a solo producer trying to figure out how to how to how to grow and build the dream team, or you're a big company and really trying to take things to another level that's been most specialty. So I'm excited for both Meredith and Moe to be inside the green room today, two of my favorite people. And so let's dive into the green room with Mo and Meredith.


Welcome to Inside the Green Room with P the three each week. Pete Margitza third. Yes, that's me. Lets you inside his virtual green room to hang out and learn from the meeting planners who control the most prestigious stages in the world and from the speakers who use those stages to increase their income and impact. Now let's dive into the green room. Hello, everyone.


You are joining us live inside the green room with PV three on your show hosted by Brian Nichols. And today, we've got some awesome guests for you on. So let me introduce them both and then we're going to dive right in. Meredith, Vegas was born and raised in St. Peter's excuse me, St. Petersburg, Florida, and relocated to central Texas when her husband, Jonathan received orders from the Army to Fort Hood. After years in the insurance, banking and real estate world, she was ready to take a huge risk and start her own business.


She is the owner of the award winning Central Texas catering company Let US Do the Cooking and a certified John Maxwell, speaker, trainer and coach. Mariusz, years of experience and the corporate and customer service world have led her to become a passionate, passionate about empowering others to discover, believe and act on their full potential. That passion had led her to our most recent endeavor. With the start of empowered you, she equips and entrepreneurs to smash through the ceiling of their limiting beliefs and develop the right team to put systems and processes in place that allow them to grow more profitably with less of their own time.


And we also have mobo. Now, MO helps complex organizations grow by scaling business development skills across the organizations and creating a growth oriented culture. Is the author of The Snowball System, the host of the video podcast Real Relationships, Real Revenue, and the founder of Bernell Idea Group Big, who has trained over fifteen thousand stellar experts at over 400 clients all over the world. The IGs clients have used. Moe and his teams grow big training to give their experts a system for growth that creates raving fans, gives a comprehensive business development framework and is fun to use.


Most started out as careers and expert himself, passing all the actual actuarial exams to earn their highest designation. Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. And today it's most excited working with big clients that usually fall into two camps professional service firms like GE King and Spalding and Sothebys and service based companies like Aetna, Constellation, Energy and TransUnion. It was Atlanta with his wife of nearly 30 years. His two daughters went home from college and their miniature, Louis Hamilton.


Welcome, Joe and Meredith.


Thanks so much for having us. Yeah, I'm excited. Yeah, I had to include the part about the manager, of course, because that is that's a great detail to include and so excited to have you guys. And I always like to start off asking our guests about kind of how they got their start in the area of this business. So let's start with you. I know you moved to central Texas when your husband was relocated with the military, but you started your own business.


And that's amazing. I love we're going to talk more about your catering company and some of the creative and interesting things you've done. But I want to start with what led you to start moving into empowered you and wanting to help entrepreneurs and moving away from just being an entrepreneur yourself to helping others do the same thing?


So the moment for me actually occurred about four years ago when. I distinctly remember walking into my office on a Friday afternoon and just thinking I'm done, like finished, I'm done, I'm walking out, I don't care anymore. I can't pull another 80 hour work week. And if I sit down at this computer one more time to do payroll and just pray that a few people don't go straight to the bank to cash their check because the cash flow is not there, I was over it like the stress.


It was exhausting. And so I remember just thinking, like, I can't do this anymore. Something has to give. And so it started me down a process. Right. And I decided to go to a personal development conference and just get my mind right and, you know, thinking, OK, it's stress and I'll get over this. And really what happened for me is one of the speakers, the last day of that conference said something kind of like that moment you have in church.


If you're a person of faith where you've heard the same thing week in, week out, over and over again your entire life, and then one day it just like hits a little bit different. And so in that conference, I walked away and said, you know what? I have the ability to change my mind about this entire situation. And I came back and I got to work. And that started me on a journey, quite honestly, of thousands of hours and hours of just really developing myself.


And as I did that, the business started to grow with me as well as I went through that process and the business continued to grow. What I found when I began talking to other business owners is that I wasn't alone and I really thought I was for a lot of years.


I thought I was the only person dealing with those issues and I didn't know any better. So when I had built my catering company, you know, here we were 10 years in one hundred employees later the picture of success to everyone else. I was miserable and I thought I was the only one. And there were hundreds and thousands of other business owners that were dealing with the exact same things. And as soon as we started having those conversations, I realized, you know, I could take all of those hours of my training and all of the money that I've spent.


And what's worked really well with a 10 year old company that turned it around for me. And I can condense that process and start helping other people. If somebody had told me that 10 years earlier, my God, how many headaches could I have saved? Right. So it was just one of those situations where I realized I there's so much that I've gone through. And if I can help someone else eliminate a little bit of that time and frustration, that's what I'm here to do.


And I found that out over the last few years in working with entrepreneurs. So it's just that understanding of what that frustration truly feels like. But then knowing that there is a very clear way that you can turn it around and even if you're established or if you're newer, you can really change that and go so much farther, so much faster. And it's completely possible. So for me, that experience and in and of myself and then seeing how it's worked for others, much better even than it worked for me.


That's where I'm at.


I love that. And I imagine that resonates with you, too. You know, you got to the highest designation in your field and then you decided to start your own company. So take us through. What was your thought process and what was it like making that pivot to starting your own company and helping others grow their career beyond what they might have imagined as possible?


But I guess that's a great set of Blair and Meredith.


I feel like I've known you forever, you know, just through that story and our prep beforehand, because by my moment, that shift you mentioned, Blair started in a moment of pain, you know, just like yours.


It's amazing how moments of pain can be bad, but great afterwards. And my moment of pain, Blair, to your point, was the month I passed that last actuarial exam. Twenty four of these things. Right. We wanted to be an accountant, but didn't have the personality.


That's that's those are the actuaries out there like me and I passed. The last exam takes about a decade to do so. Back in the day.


In that very month, I got promoted to a role where I was asked to bring in business and lead really, really big client relationships at this big consulting firms.


And I went to my boss that morning and said, hey, where's the manual on business development? I had been used to studying actuarial stuff, so I thought there'd be like a tome of information of here's how you develop relationships and things like that.


And I wasn't prepared for his reaction. He laughed at me and he slapped me on the back and said, there's no manual.


You don't just treat the client right. You'll do great. Maybe we'll get your mentor.


And so I attack that fear, fear of failure, fear of I don't know what I'm doing, fear of why did I leave that comfortable thing? I was I liked to do this thing that I have no idea what to do. And I attacked it like an actuary and I studied. And over the next couple of years, I went from working too much, having OK results, but knowing I could do better and not having a lot of fun, honestly.


To amount to after I had a system working a reasonable amount of time, getting ridiculous results and absolutely loving what I did, and it was that Blair that I realized I wasn't just in love with business development and helping her clients. I was in love with teaching other people how to do business development. And then that about 15 years ago, left and started by the idea group. And from that point, we've trained, like you mentioned, over fifteen thousand experts literally on every continent around the globe.


So it's super, super, super fun stuff. Love that.


We've had so many amazing entrepreneurs and business owners on this show and, you know, always feel like part of the core DNA of being an entrepreneur is wanting to be your own boss. And for a long time, entrepreneurs, they're very self-reliant and solo partners. You know, there's tons of them out there. But Meredith, you found that one of the keys to actually building a business was creating your dream team. So tell us more about how getting out of the hat of being self-sufficient, solo partner and helping people move into imagining their dream team and building a business that can support that?


Yeah. So this is probably one of the scariest but also most important elements of being a small business owner specifically is when you start that business, you're you're everything. And so in that right, you are your biggest your company's biggest asset. You know how every job description works. You know how to do every piece of that puzzle. Because of that, you become your company's biggest liability, because until you can turn those things over to someone else, you are fundamentally getting in the way of the growth of the company because it cannot.


I'm here to tell you. I promise you. I promise you, you can only work so many hours in a week. And I've tried to work them all. You can't do it all yourself. So what happens in this process is that a lot of entrepreneurs get really scared because they want to find them. And so they're out there looking for that person that can do everything that they can do. And when you really realize that you have the potential to be the liability in that process, you can say, OK, guess what, me?


One hundred percent is not out there. It doesn't exist. No one can do it like you do. They're not going to do everything the way that you do. And that's OK. So one of the things that I talk about a lot when I talk about building your teams is the five biggest mistakes that most small businesses make in hiring, because most of the time we can identify with those estates mistakes first and learn the lesson from them. One of the biggest ones is hiring for skill and not for value.


So the first thing I talk about with a lot of my entrepreneurs is when you're going out there and building that team, you can find about 70 or 80 percent of the skill in that person. But when you align the value, you bring a partner into your organization. And when you've got people who line up with you on a value standpoint and you bring a partner in, you can teach skill. And realistically, if you're here and listening to people like us, it's because you're already at the top of your game.


Right. So I am assuming that you're the best at what you do. And if you're the best at what you do and you bring in someone who matches your value and has 80 percent of the skill, you're still better than everyone else in the marketplace.


So it's it's OK to to bring on those people who really align with you and then you can teach them as you go, but you've got to get out of your own way first.


That that process and getting that mindset shift is so important for entrepreneurs. And and when we talked in our call, you were describing kind of your three levels of growth that you take people through. So why don't you walk us through that and share how you bring people through a similar process of discovering how they can actually better leverage their time and grow a team?


Yeah, of course. And it builds on what Meredith talked about, the three big things we see for the folks we work with, which is people who have one foot in the delivery of some complex services. Maybe they're a lawyer or a consultant or accountant. Are they their account manager, the big outsourcing company or big health care company? Big organizations like that.


If somebody has one foot in the delivery of services but one foot into the retention and growth of them, that's a crazy hybrid role where you have to have deep expertise. But it's usually most professionals learn that first and then they have to bolt on this idea of business development. And that's where we come in. So simple generic terms would be in a professional services company where somebody level one, to your point, Blair is partner. You've learned enough expertise that the organization can trust you to lead client relationships.


That's a really big deal.


And typically somebody has to build enough business around that or retain enough that they keep themselves busy. That's level one. Level two is when you get so darn good at the business development part that you can keep a team of that first level folks business.


So in a professional service firm that might be senior partner, like you might have ten partners that you're keeping busy or helping succeed that are a younger part of their path to learn business development. And then the third level would be more like practice level, practice leader, geographic leader, sector leader, office leader, something like. And those are those folks are so good at business development, they can scale it across a whole organization of hundreds of people. So keep yourself busy.


Level one, keep a team of people level to keep teams of teams, people busy, level three.


And one of the things that I thought was interesting when we chatted to Prep was that speaking is one of the tools we teach in in our in our methodology and that you guys are so great at. We've gone to your courses, adventure reach and love them. Absolutely love them. Speaking as one of those ways that you can rise up from level one to two to three because you can develop a you talk, you can get out there in front of new organizations, you can reinforce your message in the marketplace.


You can build a personal brand that helps your entire team. And it's one way to scale moving up the ladder in that way.


It's a really exciting one and a fun one, too.


Yeah, well, thank you for bringing that up, because I was that was exactly where I was going to go next is how I was speaking. Also help build your business, Meredith. So it's a little bit about as you grow your business and in catering and then beyond, how did you leverage speaking and getting in front of the right audience to continue to grow and improve your business?


So one of the key pieces of speaking for me over the years is understanding that people want to be part of your story. And so when you get the opportunity to go out there and speak about your business and you do so in a way that lets them in, they partner with you. So I talk about partnering with your team, but I also love to partner with my clients. And so what's interesting is, as I've been working with Advancer Reach over the last year or so, I've honed this in a lot more.


But I didn't realize that there were elements of it that I've sort of been doing all along now with the catering company. I will be completely honest. It's a little easier to get in front of your ideal audience because everyone eats food. At least I'm assuming they do it right. So fortunately, with that particular audience, I didn't have to search too hard to find them. I just had to find the ones who were willing to spend their money with me in that process.


Right. But with with them.


How are you? What's been really, really interesting is I found that as I talk to people, when I found those audiences of the other small business owners, they just got it. And I know we're on a Zoome call here so that people can see what I'm doing right now. But if you can't and you start that conversation that says, I remember I was so frustrated, and before I even finish the sentence, these business owners, they're like, oh, my gosh, yes, they're nodding their heads because they get that.


And as soon as I see that that moment of frustration resonates with them, I know I'm in front of that right audience now, unfortunately for a lot of people in the world. But fortunately for me and my business, there's a lot of people that fall into that category. And so we've been able to help them in different ways. But what's been really interesting is I never thought about speaking to my audience before outside of the moments where I am on a stage or I am on a podcast or things of that nature.


And what has changed for me was really taking the topic of speaking and bringing it to every every interaction that I have. And so with what I do for Empower You today, what's interesting is having that signature talks, so to speak, those few minutes where I could sit and talk to someone is how I acquired my most recent company, because when Desiree came to me back in December, who was renting space in my kitchen and said, I can't pay my rent, I was able to share my talk with her, talk about my frustrations as a business owner, take her through the process of what I do with other entrepreneurs.


And in the midst of covid crazy, she and I put some systems and processes in place, brought in the right team members and grew that company by three hundred percent in four months. So that talk and the idea of speaking to an audience has become a much bigger part of everything I do in business, because my perception on what that speaking process looks like has changed drastically.


I love that. And you're living proof of how powerful that can be for small businesses and business owners. And you helped a lot of them. But I know you also work with large organizations like we mentioned in your intro, so people may not think about being an entrepreneur within an organization or growing them their career within an organization in the same way. But how do you approach that? Is it is it the same approach or what are the nuances that are a little bit different if you're trying to grow within a large organization to really advance your career?


Yeah, well, it's a it's interesting.


I was just on a Zoome call with a partner a couple hours ago and we were talking about the parallel between business development and in general more broadly influence.


So a lot of times that these big organizations we go through because we the because the internal functions like IT department or H.R. or finance or things like that, they'll hear a. At our work, as we work with the client facing roles in all the pyramid that reports up through from them and the internal functions will say, hey, can can you do a talk on how to communicate better using brain science? Like, yeah, sure. Or could you give a talk on how we can prioritize our internal relationships for the folks that we serve?


No problem.


So everybody in an organization, everybody and in the higher up you go, the more true this is everybody's in the business of influence there in the in the business of helping people, being proactive, trying to ladder up their ability to to help others. And at its core, that's what business development is. So if people can learn these skills of sort of how to how to proactively manage their opportunities, how to proactively, proactively manage their most important relationships, and most importantly, how to proactively manage themselves, being able to say no nicely, something we teach to the things that aren't as important to their future success to free up time.


That is, those are the same skills that work for a client. Facing roles are our core audience that are true for anybody. That's an executive inside a big organization. I love that. Learning to say no, just as often as people are instructed to say yes to everything is just as important as managing your time. Such a key element, and I know that you have the snowball system, so I imagine that's all around the system that you take people through.


So tell us a little bit more about the system and give us kind of an overview on how you apply that to various businesses. Yeah, no problem.


And maybe give some tips and tricks to the audience to you know, I think there's three differentiators for us. One is the systems comprehensive. So it's going to teach everything. Somebody needs to be positive and proactive and helpful and influential to others, literally everything from reaching out and meeting somebody for the first time all the way through, developing a relationship advantage to creating demand, overcome overcoming objections, getting, I guess, things like that. So that's a big thing that the second thing that's interesting is it's all based on science.


So at this point, over one hundred and fifty great peer reviewed studies are part of the system. So it's all it's all based in science. In the last thing that's interesting is it's about being authentic and always being helpful, always having your client's best interests in mind as opposed to the weird, cheesy version of selling right where I've got stuff and I'm pushing it on you. This is all about the flip of that, being able to be served, serving others and helping them succeed.


So if people go if people learn an entire system like that, the little tip and tricks that I can I can help with our get get the opportunities out of your head and get them written down. We've got very specific tools to do that, not only just writing down the opportunities, but knowing where you're at in a scientific process and writing down what the next proactive step you can take to help that person or to get a yes managing relationships, whereas opportunities you almost can't have too many with managing relationships.


It's important to write down just who are the top eight or ten people important for your future success. Get a small list and they may not be people you know well now, but they're the people you want to say my my future self. A year from now, I want them to be raving fans. I want to go out of my way to help them. So may know some of them. You may not, but writing down eight or ten names and sticking it on your wall and focusing on those relationships week in and week out to be helpful, then the last thing managing yourself, we call it a imit process.


Most important things in the simple trick on this little hack, your own habits is is picked 15 minutes once a week. And you just take a look at your opportunity list. You take a look at your relationship list and you pick three things in the next week that you want to hold yourself accountable to do. They're going to have a big impact that are in your control and growth oriented. Big, big, big impact in your control and growth oriented.


And you just go out and do those three things. And if you do, if you take a look at both those lists, pick three big impact things every single week. It's one hundred and fifty a year, fifteen hundred over a decade. And you just create momentum that's unstoppable. If you keep repeating that that process. I love it.


So you see the snowball effect taking place. That's bingo.


You got it. Nice, nice pullback there. Nice job.


Here you go. And as you mentioned, you give business owners how to build the systems to grow their business and also take them through a similar process as they're getting started. So walk us through kind of your process with clients and what you share with them that helps helps get them on that path. Absolutely.


So what I do is, is I start with you as the owner. Some small business owners that I'm working with have been in business for three to five years. They've had a little bit of success. They may or may not have a small team already really in that growth mode. So for a lot of small businesses, it's easy to have some initial success. And then you sort of hit that first plateau. And what they don't realize is the business cannot outgrow the business owner.


So I start with the process of changing your mind as the business owner. We've got to do that piece of. Because whether you realize that or not, you play some limitations in your business that need to be addressed so that the business can grow. The second part of that puzzle is to develop your people. And I know that most people get a little freaked out by this because they think they need to be a certified coach or they've got to have some training in this area.


That's not what I'm talking about. Developing people develops the core value of who the person is, understanding what you value about that person and the partnership that they bring to the table with you. So when you start working on them as a person, you can almost let go of the business development side of it from the standpoint that they'll care about growing that business as much as you do. So you work on yourself and then you develop your people. And once you develop those people, you have to get out of the way.


If you don't get out of that way, out of the way, the business will start. It will hit another ceiling. And the thing is, is you've spent all that time and effort developing the team around you. Let them go, grow the business. They will probably be as motivated, if not more so than you are to do just that because you're empowering them in the process of that growth. And I tell people all the time that I would love to sit here and tell you that like I'm the poster child for the right way of doing this.


I had to learn it the hard way. We got a massive contract that we were catering a few years ago. Four thousand soldiers a day, two meals in the desert. We were like in the sand. Our kitchen was intense. It was we had to hire new people to pull this thing off. It was a massive contract. And so this was a company shaping thing for us in the very first weekend of that 30 day field exercise that we were catering.


My husband was rushed to the hospital. And when I got the phone call from his fire chief saying, we're on the way to the emergency room, here are John symptoms. And they sounded pretty extreme at that point. My kitchen manager and my dining room manager literally had to kick me out of the tent to get in my car to go to the hospital, because my first reaction, and I'm not proud to say it was, are you kidding me?


This is the worst possible time for this to happen to me. Right to me, not to him. Just to me. And so, you know, it was one of those things where they physically we're going to pick me up and put me in the car. If I didn't go on my own, I went I was in the hospital with him for three days while they ran every test under the sun. And I had more leaders step up during those three days than I knew we had on payroll.


And that was a temporary exercise where people were supposed to work for us for 30 days. And that was it. Every single person who stepped up into a leadership role in that time and said, it's fine, I'll take responsibility for this team. I'll help with this in the kitchen. I'll take care of inventory three years later. Every one of them is still part of our team today. So when you get out of the way, you make room for people to let you know who they really are.


And if I wouldn't have left, they would have never stepped up to the plate that way.


I love that it's a testament to a great team and also how to create opportunity out of crisis, which is where I want to go next. I mean, obviously, what's on everyone's mind this year is everything that's going on in the world and both of your systems and principles. I feels like it applies to any business at any time, whether there's a recession or not, like these are things you can still be doing and how effective they are at any given time may vary, but they're not going to change just given the circumstances.


But we all saw a lot of change this year and a lot of pivots. And you worked with clients that had to make some hard decisions and you had to help them through some some difficult times. So I want to go back to you and just start share with us a little bit about when when it hit and things started happening. What was the reaction of your clients and how did you help begin to steer them in a new direction or help them overcome any of the obstacles that they were now facing?


And and what are some of the new opportunities that came out of that?


Well, there a lot Blairite it's fun to share because people are still working through that journey right now. So what's the biggest thing? I'll start with a big thing and I'll give three trends that we're seeing. And I'm going to apply it specifically to speaking, because there's so many people watching that either give speeches or line up speakers.


And the big the big thing that changes from a mindset perspective is the post.


The folks that we saw the most successful in the really reaping dividends now were the people really early on that said this is not going to change. And they took it a really, really extreme viewpoint. And while they may not have believed it, they said this is never going to go away and we would coach people through that. Just assume what what would what would you need to be true to be successful if covid never went away, ever?


Well, the folks who made a switch right away because they felt like if they take that extreme view, whether they believe it's really true or not, of course, we don't believe it's true.


But the folks that made that mental switch and actually started pivoting to digital work, to giving speeches online as an example instead of. And that started doing the things that are easier to do now, it's easier to be a little vulnerable, it's easier to pop on a zoom call and meet somebody in India if you're in New York now than it was years or just just a year ago, that would take two weeks and two months to orchestrate and two weeks to do.


Now, you can do it tomorrow if you want, and you can be vulnerable with that person and ask how the weekend went. And it's not a throwaway question. You know, you actually 10 minutes later, you're still talking about the weekend. We can bond with people more so. So at a high level, the folks who made the mindset switch and they said, hey, I'm going to grab onto the things that are easier now and do more of them and quit complaining that I can't fly to New York and take people to the fancy steakhouse or whatever they used to do.


They're the ones being successful. From a sporting perspective. We're seeing three big things really work well, and this hopefully will work with everybody in your audience. What is speak more the the professionals in our network that are speaking more they can do. They used to have to fly somewhere, give a speech, fly back it, take two or three days. They're going to a conference. Well, now they can give three speeches a day on, zoom in and not have to travel at all.


So nine and three days instead of one. So it's it's really more powerful now to get on Zoome convert to digital and start meeting new people that way. That's a big thing one. And it's working like crazy for people that are doing it.


The second thing that I think this is interesting is I think these days it's easier to dial up the engagement. What I mean by that is video is incredibly powerful. PV three unbelievably good at video, right? We all know PV three, the guy is insanely good at connecting. What we're seeing work really well in this world is to develop a video series like two, three, four or five videos that you send out to the audience ahead of time.


Maybe they go daily for four days or whatever that exposes the audience to the speaker. Maybe you give a couple of tips or a couple of worksheets to go through or things like that. And then when they arrive at the live version on Zoom or whatever, they are primed. They cannot wait to hear that speaker. They feel like they already know them.


If there's an open Q&A, you have a lineup of questions, whereas if you hit a group cold, nobody ever raises their hand. So the ability to combine like a PV three style video series with a live event, incredibly powerful. The third thing I'll say is which which is really working well is make you make an offer to go from the one to many experience to one to one and do that in your presentation. I'm seeing the percentage flow through rates for those for our speakers that are we call to give to get off or Chapter five and Snowbowl system goes over it, but making some offer to be helpful for a specific subset of the group.


That's your perfect clientele making that offer and being able to put a link in a zoom chat or something that's easily clickable. We're seeing the flow through rates for the folks that that are our clients, that are speakers much higher than live events because people are running off to the next session, three doors down. They can click on that link, hold it in their browser and come back and revisit it and then flow through rates much higher for gift to get kind of offers.


Maybe it's a county link or a free service or a download or whatever. But anyway, those three things are working great, speaking more, dialing up that engagement, especially with the video series ahead of time and then making an offer to be helpful to extend the one to minute to one to one later working like a charm. Those people are crushing it that are doing those three things. I love that.


And thank you for sharing, because that is what you've heard us talk about on this show, how digital stages have been so impactful, how they have been better for speakers because you don't have to travel. And every digital event, how they market it is really a digital marketing campaign. And being a part of it, leading up to the event, like MO mentioned, is such a great way to increase the engagement and to get that awareness before you ever set foot on stage, because then people have that exposure.


They're already primed to to think about what they may want to ask or what they're going to learn. And that's just really valuable. And I'm glad to see that it's working for all different types of organizations and people and all different areas. You know, Meredith, your story is a little bit different. Your business in catering obviously took a huge hit this year, but you've done some really creative things to pivot. And you've also been growing and powered you and had other opportunities.


But take us through a little bit about how this year has shaped up for you and what are the things that you've done that have continued to help you grow.


Yeah, so I'll I'll speak to this from from the other side of what was said, as, you know, my my extraverted heart that needs to be in a room with other people is hard to separate. So I'm ready to be back into physical events. And obviously, my catering company, we specialize in large events. We're at our best when we're serving more than five hundred people at a time. So clearly, we haven't been doing that any time recently.


But what we are finding, not only with the clients that we're still able to serve, but with a lot of the event planners that we do work with. Is that for. Any type of events, when we get really creative and we find a way to get the participants in that event to feel more connected virtually than they did when they were in person. Couple of things are happening. Number one, we're still able to create moments for them.


And ultimately in our catering company, that's what we do. We're with people on the most important days of their life, were there for their weddings, were there for their birthday parties, were there for their engagements, were there for their anniversaries, were there for their funerals. We're with them every step along that journey. And for a lot of people right now, they're going to remember of the anniversary this year. They're going to remember the birthday party this year.


And if you made them feel special in that moment, guess what? You're spending every year with them for the next 10 years, 20 years and on down the road because you made that moment count when it couldn't be normal for them. So the event planners that we're seeing that are really making things happen right now, we're finding really unique and creative ways. One I think I mentioned to you earlier when we were talking the other day was a wedding where people couldn't travel.


Literally half the wedding party was diagnosed with covid. Nobody could get on a plane. It was one of those deals. So the bride and groom in the officiant did the ceremony, we assume, and they did a toast afterwards where the event planner had had cupcakes sent to all the participants. So they all still had the exact same cake. They did their toast and they all took a bite at the same time. It seems like a really simple thing, but the back excuse me, the bride and groom were so happy that the event planner reached out to them and said, look, here's an idea that I have.


I know this is not what you planned on, but here's something we can do instead. So one thing that I have coached so many small business owners on over the last six months is that even if you are a brick and mortar business and you're a face to face business, yes, you can do some things. Are catering company is doing a meal service. It doesn't account for anywhere near the revenue that catering for a thousand people does. Right.


But it still keeps the doors open. It keeps our primary staff on payroll. It does the things we need it to do so that we can stay relevant during this time. But what I've been coaching my small business owners on, and this goes back to your audience a lot, is you should be speaking in front of your audience so much that they are sick of seeing your face. But they're going to remember so much of seeing you during this crazy time that the second the doors open, they're lining up to do business with you, because if you stayed home during quarantine and you were not in front of your target audience, do you know how long it's going to take when the doors open for them to come back?


You're going to spend a lot of time. So, you know, we're not out of the woods yet. There's still a lot of things that are closed right now or they're not back to one hundred percent. So if a lot of your audience that would have normally been foot traffic is still online, get online immediately, do whatever you can to make sure that they know what services you are offering right now, because if you're a small business and especially a traditional brick and mortar company, chances are the service you offered six months ago is not what you're doing today.


And it's up to you to make sure that your clients know exactly how they can spend whatever money they happen to have at the moment with your small business. And we're very transparent with our audience. And can I teach this with people I work with as well? And meeting planners should do the exact same thing. We let them know, hey, we've got some options for you. We're thinking about offering this service or we'd like to do this for you.


Please, please, please don't like don't comment, don't smiley face unless you'll get your credit card out at the same time and spend your money because we don't have time to play games right now. We're in a little bit of a challenging situation, so we're just very transparent with our audience that way. And that, again, lets those clients be part of the story because in ten years they're going to go, oh, I remember that crazy year when all I could do was pick up my lasagna once a week.


You know, those things are going to come back. So it's just been front of mind right now for all of those small business owners staying in front of those audiences and then to the event planners out there, create a special moment now because that will be remembered for a lifetime.


I love that.


I mean, I think a lot of what we've been talking about today is about building relationships and building relationships that will last. I know that's a big focus for you as well, though. So talking about event planners, you know, this is an industry we serve. This is where our heart is at. And we're talking about pivoting quickly. You know what advice to both of you have from beyond this, around the relationships and the pivoting for event planners and what they need to be thinking about right now.


And even if they feel like they're behind, you know, they can still they can still jump in and catch up. What what do you what do you suggest to to people in this industry that might have found just the challenges and obstacles to overwhelming right now to to get creative and to get pivoting?


Right. Well, I'll pop in, Merideth.


I do have to say that I love your stories in the way that you communicate is so compelling. And I also want to. Kick like right now, all I could think about was a cupcake for like a minute. So Blair, I've got cupcakes on my mind because this is so compelling.


But I think what's interesting about event planners is event planners are sort of our clientele. You know, you've got one foot in a really complicated delivery of services. You know, the big annual partner meeting, the event, the the wedding, you know, the whatever it is. But you've also got one foot into finding people to hire you to do it.


Right. So the thing I would say is there's some research that shows that people that double down on relationships and this goes both for just pure advertising, but I think it's even more powerful. This is anecdotal. There's no research around that I've seen, but it's even more powerful for just staying in touch with people doing what you can to be helpful. It's the people that do those things in dips in recessions when they're not as busy that come out the other side stronger.


The research I just saw from a good friend, that's a big stat had sort of like me last week as he shared people that that really doubled down on relationships in when when people can't purchase something, come out on the other side of it, like two hundred and fifty to three hundred percent stronger than those who don't. So what does that mean tactically? Three big things. One is commonality, mutual benefit and frequency commonality. If you can stay in touch and promote the things that you have in common with somebody else, somebody that would love to hire you, but they can't right now because there's no big event show that you're going through this together and building off what Meredith said, stay relevant, stay, stay connected, both on your email marketing and things like that and social media, but really on the phone, like dial them up somehow.


Find a way to stay in touch, promote the things you have in common. The second thing, mutual benefit. Meredith, I think this follows from what you said, too, is that research, that first research, by the way, was by Dr. Jerry Berger in Santa Clara, that people like people that that there have more in common with. The second piece of mutual benefit is from Adam Grant at Penn. And what he found was that people that not just help someone but get help from them have deeper relationship.


In this case, a two way road is faster than a one way road. So if we can go out to the folks that we serve and not only help but ask for help in times like this, we'll have a deeper bond that will last forever. The third thing is probably the most important. It's frequency. The science here is called the mere exposure effect in our Ymir, not merely like look into, but the research shows that the mere exposure to something strongly correlates to likeability.


And that's why I use the word frequency at first.


We need to proactively be helpful and stay in touch with, we like to say on a monthly basis with our most important relationships, whether they can hire us now or not, if we're proactively reaching out to them, seeing how they're doing, sending them a TED talk, sending them something funny, sending them a cupcake, whatever it is, but somehow staying top of mind, commonality, mutual benefit and frequency of interaction.


Those will rule the day and get you through dark times, and then you'll come out the other side at two to three hundred percent, your competition of that.


And Meredith, we talked also about, you know, like like moggies mentioned. It's not all virtual. Not everything has to still be virtual. There's still ways you can connect in a physical way. And I love what you shared about when you send brownies to clients to reinforce really what your business is all about. So when you share a little bit about about that with our with our audience as well.


Yeah. So one of the things obviously I specialize in with Empowered You is helping business owners grow more profitably with less of their own time and with let us do the cooking. One of our signature dishes is our triple chocolate brownies. So oftentimes when I'm sending I'm sorry, I'm just going to be hungry over here.


I'll pay your credit card. I'm ready. Where's the link? Frowning And when I cover shipping options, we're working on it.


I promise you, it's one of the things I often send to event planners when when I am looking to speak at their events or things is a box that has some of our brownies in it. With just a quick note that says I used to be the one to shop for all the ingredients, bake the brownies, package them and go to the post office. Today you have these brownies courtesy of my dream team. And so one of the great things about that is that there is still ways that you can physically do something for people where they feel connected to you.


Right. Even though you're at a distance. And that is something that I actually that process was something we came up with pre covid and it just still happens to work with, you know, the situation we're finding ourselves in today. But, you know, so many event planners, too, I think, to speak to what you had said a few minutes ago, Blair, which is, you know, if you feel like you're a little bit behind or if you feel like you still need to make that transition, we're going to be in the process of change.


And I'm trying not to use the word pivot because I'm just over it. But we're going to be in the. Process of change for a long time. Normal is not coming back next month, probably not even next year. We're all being really honest with ourselves and we may not go back to what was once normal. So if you can kind of keep in mind that you're just need to always learn something else. You need to always do something else.


And it is perfectly OK if you hear an idea or you see someone else do something. Put your own twist on it and steal it. Like, go make it happen better. Right. Do something different with it. But I think that there are so many people who do feel a little bit behind right now. And I've actually talked to a couple of the wedding planners that I work with that kind of feel like they're in that boat. And what we've had to come back to them and say is, look, so many of our events right now are postponing almost a year.


You've got a lot of time to get creative. You've got a lot of time to think up new ideas. And if you feel like that's overwhelming, just take a deep breath. It's OK. And for event planner specifically here, use your other vendors. Part of the reason that that we're finding different things now is because we do have a group of vendors that we call our Saturday family. You know, we have the same decorator, the same cake people, the same event venues, the same for you guys that are in the event planning space, whether it's your hotel people, your banquet committees, your, you know, all of those people, your sound and audio staff, they're all going to have ideas about things that they've seen during this time.


So, you know, schedule an event related Zoome call or do whatever you need to do, but rely really heavily on your community of vendors right now, because that's how you're going to come up with unique situations and suggestions. But it is OK. I think a lot of people are rushing because they feel like they're already behind the merch.


We don't know what behind the marquee it looks like. We're still, if you think about it, we're six months into this process, but there's a long road ahead. And so it's OK to still be figuring it out.


I love that you guys this time has just been flying by.


You both have shared so much wealth of information. It's going to take us a while to recap everything for the show notes. But, Mo, I know you've got a special gift for the audience, so I'd love for you to share a little bit more about what what you'd like to share with them.


Yeah, happy to. Not in. This will work both for the speakers and the event planners in this amazing community that you've all built.


So we've got a free video course on business development habits, its beauty habits. Dotcom will put it all in the show notes and follow up and all that stuff.


The what people get from it is six videos directly from me, worksheets, posters, one hundred point self-assessment that lets you figure out exactly what you should focus on next. Super powerful. We literally put hundreds of hours in developing this little mini course and we want to offer that to everybody. You can go to Beedi Habits Dotcom to check it out, but we've got a bonus offer for you, event planners or anybody who pulls groups together. If you wanted to.


If you have a group of fifty or more people and you'd like to sign them up, we've got a process we go through that's foolproof. It works ridiculously well.


You'd site we'd sign up those fifty folks for you for the course, the have its course and then we'll give you one free signature talk totally on our dime to recap with the group. So like that idea we mentioned before, where use a video of course with tools and job ads and really mind opening things that people can learn the science, get the new steps to be successful stories to help them put it in action and remember it and then pair that with a live event afterwards where they're primed to learn more.


It can be a transformative experience. So if you anybody can sign up for beauty habits, if you think that would be helpful for you, if you've got a group of 50 or more that would like to get the live experience, we'll do that on our dime where I or somebody in our team can can lead a live virtual event for you.


Fantastic. And that's bad habits, dotcom. And how else can people learn more about what you, you and what you do if they want to just hear a little bit more about you? Yeah, I would say one or two things.


One is we've got to show ourselves real relationships, real revenue. You can find it anywhere. Podcasts, our interview, people like Kelly O'Haire of the US Women's National Team, James Clear, Michael Hyatt, Dan Pink, folks like that, that's one that's a free way to do it. In addition to Beadie haven't stuck the other way. That's 20 bucks is their book, The Snowball System.


It was named number one networking book of the year. It came out it was named one of the top five sales marketing books of the year. It came out by one 800 Seefried. And that's a really simple way to get if you want to dive into the complete system.


I'd go over to Amazon wherever you buy books and grab the snowball system and say, thank you, Mo and Meredith, I imagine you're going to get event planner setting you up for cupcakes and brownies and business owners that that want your help getting their business off the ground. But what's the best way for people to get in touch with you and learn more?


Yeah, so I've got a website. It's Go Dot empowered you and it's. A letter m howard y o u dot com and what you'll get there is we've got a free gift for you. It's it's just a simple five mindblowing mistakes that small businesses make in their hiring process. It's going to give you just some quick things that no one you can identify with if you've made the mistakes yourself or seen them made. So hopefully you haven't gotten to that point yet, but also some quick solutions that will help you around the thought process as it pertains to that particular issue.


If you want to connect with us on social media, Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn, it's empowered you again. It's the letter M powered y o you and you can connect with me there. You'll have the opportunity to join a Facebook community where I just do some live Q&A. What I find works best with so many small business owners is for us to just have a conversation. And and so I've got almost 20 years of experience in business and most of them on the frustrating side.


So I have a lot of information to share from that side. But that quick PDF is going to give you five things that you can take action on very quickly. And that's one of the most important things that I work with my small business owners on is like five minutes after we get done. One thing can you do to take action to move your business forward right now before another call comes in, before another email comes in, before you get distracted, what can we do right now?


And so these five things are going to help you move forward if you'll take action quickly.


I love that. Meredith, Mo, thank you so much for everything you've shared with us today. Thank you for the gifts that you're offering the audience. And and thank you all for joining us inside the green room. If you're part of our meeting plan or community, please join us in your events matter. It's our private Facebook group where we do these conversations live every week. And you can also find more about inside the green room at anywhere you listen to podcasts and inside the Green Room podcast Dotcom, check out the resources tab.


We've got some free gifts of our own there and you can reach out. And interestingly enough, if you're interested in talking about NMO or Mérida speaking at your events, you can access them through our state agencies. So find all that on the website again inside the Green Room podcast. Dotcom, thank you all again for joining us. I'm Brian Nichols and we'll see you next time.


Hey, thanks for listening to Inside the Green Room with PV three. If you liked our show, make sure you never miss an episode. Subscribe and leave a review. Wherever you listen to podcasts. To see the full show notes and more resources go to Inside the Green Room podcast dotcom. Make sure to join us next week for more cutting edge actionable tips from the meeting planners who control the most prestigious stages and the speakers who use those stages to increase their income and their impact.