The best proof that a strategy works is the result it produces. There are a number of ways in growing your business, but there’s only a few that can help grow it big, even fewer if you want to grow very big. Executive advisor, business coach, and the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of The Jon Dwoskin Experience, Jon Dwoskin, joins host Domenic Rinaldi to discuss the different factors of what’s stopping business owners from moving forward and growing. Giving fresh insight about vulnerability in business and how it can be a source of strength instead of being a weakness, Jon shares the different business concepts and tools that are essential in getting yourself unstuck and begin moving forward.
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Jon Dwoskin: Growing Your Business Very Big!
One of the constant challenges for any business owner is how to maintain consistent and profitable growth. Most owners either hit a plateau or they can’t quite figure out how to get unstuck and start growing. Our guest, Jon Dwoskin, is an expert at helping businesses grow big, very big. He has developed a proprietary system called the THINK BIG Methodology. The great thing about Jon is these are not just theoretical concepts or ideas, he has built and sold some of his own businesses to substantial sizes using these concepts and tools. He has been featured in Forbes, he’s an author and was named Crain’s 40 Under 40 in Detroit. He’s a cancer survivor and was named Alumnus of the Year by his alma mater, Eastern Michigan University, where he double majored. Jon, welcome to show. I’m happy to have you here with us.
Thank you for having me. I appreciate you having me on the show.
Jon, the big thing hanging right there in front of us is you don’t only say you help businesses grow big, you say very big.
My company’s name is The Jon Dwoskin Experience and my tagline is Grow Your Business Big, Very Big. That can mean something different to everybody. Sometimes people say, “What if I don’t want to get very big?” Everybody is defined by themselves, but it’s important to get unstuck and not complacent and that’s where I want people resonating the energy around that. It is because we can all grow our business big, but very big makes us a little bit for another second or two where we’re stuck and where we want to get unstuck and grow.Complacency is a dangerous drug. Click To Tweet
Our firm specializes in mergers and acquisitions and helping people ultimately exit their businesses and realize the full potential. I can’t tell you how many times we have an owner come in and the first step in the process is we do an analysis. We show them the value of the businesses and invariably, they’re disappointed and we’re like, “You had this business for 20 or 30 years. One, you didn’t check to see what the value was and there were many things you could have done.” You work with owners day-in and day-out, when faced with the reality of hitting a plateau and being stuck, what keeps the owners from moving forward?
Complacency is a dangerous drug and we get stuck in our day-to-day tornado sometimes. We become complacent because we’re “way too busy.” If you peel back the onion and you reverse engineer where the main issues are, there are a couple that I see that are glaring when I go into companies. I’m working with companies that range from 2, 10, 50, 100 people, thousands, and tens of thousands of people companies. I don’t say that to impress anyone, but to impress upon the following. Typically, they all have a lot of the same problems. It’s how they handle it and that’s completely different. The problems are the following. They have the wrong people in the wrong seats, they are not constantly recruiting to get the best talent, and not training their current talent to evolve their mindset.
Because they don’t subscribe or don’t connect with the fact that the same level of consciousness that got that owner, division, manager to where they are and that company is not the same level of consciousness that’s going to get them to the next step. They constantly have to be looking at their people, how they’re training, and how they’re recruiting. If you want to be the best, you have to hire the best and train people to their potential so they can do the best every day when they come to work. Sometimes, people are in the wrong seats and if you move them, they do phenomenally well. A lot of times, companies keep toxic people and toxic people is costing you, depending on the size of your company, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars. Every time I work with a company and we get rid of somebody who’s toxic or a collection of people, they say to me within hours, if not days, “I can’t believe that person is gone.” It doesn’t even feel like they’re gone. Life is so much better and everyone else has stepped up.
I’ve been in those situations and have been an executive leadership for many years, most of my career. You look back in those times when you did get rid of toxic people and you sit there and wonder, “What took me so long to do this?” Jon, you’ve done this for yourself. You’ve built a couple of businesses to substantial sizes and you’ve sold them. What keys did you follow when you were building your own business? You did these at a young age, too, right?
Yes, and the number one thing, not only in those businesses but in other careers that I’ve had and in my coaching business now is a couple of fundamentals, one is to show up every day. Number two is to be consistent. When I talk about being consistent, it’s being consistent with the rituals and habits. It is critical that you have a business plan and you consistently work the plan. Many times, I see people do not have a plan. I’ve always had a plan and I’ve always been plan oriented, strategically oriented, but also nimble where I can pivot and change. I’m a big believer that you should look at your business plan every morning and every night or a minimum two times a day because it should be growing as you grow, as the market shifts and as the market evolves.
The next thing is if you want to separate yourself apart from everyone and anyone, then your follow-up should be impeccable. Anyone that’s ever worked with me can tell that my follow-up is impeccable. Many people don’t do what they say they’re going to do and don’t follow up. If you’re consistent, you work your plan, have a plan, show up every day and follow up the next person, the next layer of that is you build and understand how to build your brand as your personal brand. What is your personal guarantee that separates you from anybody else? There are many different avenues you can go to. Those are the bedrock fundamentals for me. Lastly, how quickly can you get back to your center where you respond and don’t react.
I have a business plan and I look at it, but nowhere near every day. If I look at my business plan twice a year, I’m guilty of this. I would imagine you find that quite a bit or you may even find that people don’t even have business plans.
Many people don’t have business plans. You talked about someone who comes in and says, “I can’t believe my company’s worth is this. I assumed it was worth more. I’ve been working my ass off. I’ve been hustling. I’ve been growing business,” and all those dozens of things that they’re saying. If they were to reverse engineer and look at their business plan, which is a review of their goals and people, can their people get them to their goals? Do the people within the company have their own business plan? They’re working off that consistently and in alignment with the master business plan. As you begin to do that, you begin managing the business plan through the entire organization by everyone having their own business plan. You’re not micromanaging, but everybody’s having the same quarterly goals. We’re moving to the same vision instead of everybody defining what they think the vision and goals are and their interpretation of what they think it is because that costs money. You see it at the end of the day. Reverse engineer that and the simple act of having a living business plan can make you a lot of money by the time they get to you.If you want to be the best, you need to hire the best. Click To Tweet
You developed this methodology called the THINK BIG methodology. What does it entail and who’s your primary client? What’s a good client for you?
My client is anybody who is successful, stuck and want to get to the next level. I work with CEOs all over the country and I have some international clients as well. I work with leadership teams, VPs of sales and a lot of salespeople and managers. I do a lot of group training when it comes to salespeople and managers. It’s typical that I work with a company and work with everybody where I’m going and I’m working with a ton of people within the company. Sometimes, I’m working with one of those groups within a company depending on where they need me. My clients are people who are aware and want to grow and know that they need somebody to brainstorm and strategize with. Also, to continually keep them thinking of new ideas to grow their business and have an accountability partner to say, “Do X, Y, and Z this week that we come up with together.”
The key is consistency. The key to coaching like anything is consistency. The people who want to grow their business, skillset and best practices are my clients. We do face-to-face. We do Zoom conference calls and I’m on the phone with clients. There are no walls to my client. The methodology that I use is the THINK BIG methodology and the goal and the center is to continually get unstuck. The way it starts is I work with my clients, not only on forecasting, projecting and building a plan, but reverse engineering all the nitty-gritty things I need to get done on a consistent basis and provide them the tools to make it happen. In quick summary, it’s working with clients to increase their awareness, raise their consciousness, frequency and vibration of what they’re doing, how they’re doing it and why they’re doing it.
I then worked with them to shift their mindset and it could start coming up with that beginning steps of taking action in a different way. Defining the bedrocks of their business, purpose, values, mission and vision and then clarifying that big picture with a business plan and incorporating a lot of how the culture is being affected. Also, reviewing and looking at all of the people within the organization and how to maximize and stimulate the most out of all of them. As we continue to build that, we build the playbook and business plan. The key is consistency because once you get through the different elements through the cycle, you’re going from alignments to action to adjustment back to alignment. We always want to be moving back into alignment because when we are in alignment as a company, we are able to take action quickly. That’s where you look at a company and say, “Why are those companies or those groups of people working so seamlessly?” Because they have a plan, they’re in alignment and it makes it look easy. When you’re out of alignment and adjustment, it’s difficult.
You have an owner or a management team that comes to you, they’re stuck and they decide, “We’re going to adopt the THINK BIG methodology.” How does that then reverberate through the organization? Will you work with them and their people? Are you giving them the tools so they can work with their people? Where is your involvement in all of that? What are some of the challenges from working with an owner of a business or a management team and getting them aligned, but then getting everybody else in the organization aligned?
One of the best ways is I’ll come in and I’ll do a 360. If the company is too big, everybody at the company, but if I’m working with a company of anywhere between 2 and anything under 100, I come in, sit down and meet with everybody at the company because people will open up to me. I can get amazing feedback and intel on where companies are stuck. We then take that 360 and create an action plan that entails a lot of coaching for different people within the organization. I work with those different people and leadership teams on how to roll things out. The key is consistency. You’ve got to be consistent. The biggest complaint most people have is they bring people in to do a training or this or that and then that person goes away and everybody falls back into their old habits.
To make this stick within companies, there needs to be consistency. Most of the clients that I work with, I’m working with long-term. Even after working together a lot and go into a maintenance program, there are still levels of accountability. The biggest challenge for companies is to realize that this is a long game. It’s not a short game and a quick fix. Another challenge is for people to be vulnerable, owners and division heads. Egos get in the way and you have to be able to surrender and be vulnerable to allow things to change and grow. Own where you maybe aren’t the greatest and need to grow and be open to coaching and growth. That’s how you get into alignment. Everybody starts singing and walking instead of the same vision. You get all the bullcrap out into the center of the room and then you start healing by giving tools. Everybody understands where you’re going and what the vision is. Everybody is being heard because there are a lot of people being trained and coached to get into alignment with the master plan.
That’s got to be hard. I’ve worked with business owners for many years and most of them are A-type personalities. They wouldn’t be business owners if they weren’t right. Imagine getting people to be vulnerable. They might accept coaching, but to be vulnerable where they’re willing to allow their employees to see their weaknesses and they need help, has got to be a big step for an owner of a business.To separate yourself from everyone, your follow-up should be impeccable. Click To Tweet
The bigger the ego, the bigger the step. It’s amazing watching someone transform when they realize something that they think is being vulnerable is accepted widely that then everybody else starts getting a little bit vulnerable. It’s not necessarily a therapy kumbaya thing, but sometimes, people need to let go, stop trying to be right and stop trying to make it work. Sometimes, you’ve got to take your foot off the brake, surrender to the process, and let somebody else come in and help re-facilitate because a lot of times, lens design perspectives get skewed. For example, when I’m coaching and going into companies, I can come in and provide a different perspective.
The same level of consciousness that got everyone where they are is not the same level of consciousness that’s going to get them to where they want to be. I’m in all different types of companies of all different types of industries, all shapes and sizes. When somebody comes in, people realize, “You’re coming with experience of what’s in your track record, but also having worked with all these different companies.” We will listen with different ears. We will see things through different eyes. It’s the consistency, spoon-feeding and reverse engineering things down to the simple to get things moving forward. One of the biggest challenges is companies and people overcomplicate things. Things should be much simpler than people make them out to be.
I would imagine the employees know intuitively what’s not working in a company if they’re stuck. The owner may not want to be vulnerable and they may not want to fess up to it, but the employees know what’s happening. When you create that communication, which I’m sure is the big role that you play here, as you open up those doors of communication, it’s a big a-ha moment for everybody.
The person who answers the phone knows more about business than anybody. If you take anything out of this talk that you and I are having and if you’re the owner of a company and you want to intel, go to the person who’s answering the phone. They’re the bartender of the whole organization and they will enlighten you. If you have a relationship with that person where you can protect that person’s identity, you can learn so much about what’s going on in your company.
I love that term, the bartender of the company. Everybody walks by him. All the calls come through them and chirps in their ears.
When I’ve had people answering the phones, if someone’s rude to the person who answers the phone, I don’t want to talk to them. That’s like someone who’s mean to a server, but your employees know. One of the challenges is sometimes, owners of companies don’t want to hear what they have to say. I know that sometimes, maybe it’s a lens or a perspective they don’t want to hear. All feedback is good and you just have to be able to dissect it on how it can then help you grow your company. It’s all about the nuances. It’s all about the little things and the small things and that you need to listen for. A lot of times, it’s what’s not being said. A lot of times, we have to be connected to our people and we’re not.
Almost in every phase of life where you can teach people big processes and you can take from this point to that point, but it’s the nuances between the points that make all the difference in the world.
The stat, if you look at the tone, words you say and the physiology, your words equate for 7%, your tone is 38% and your physiology is 55%. You’re talking 93% based on tone and physiology. We, as owners, who are running cultures and giving people a place to come and be their best and do their best, we need to pay attention to our tone, the way we walk and the way we speak to people. We can say one thing and people interpret it, especially if we have power, completely the opposite way.All feedback is good feedback; you just need to dissect the things that can help you grow. Click To Tweet
Jon, do you have a case study or a quick example at a high level that you could give to the M&A Unplugged community where you came in, a company was stuck in and you got them unstuck? What happened to their growth as a company?
I can point to a lot. I will point to a couple in a quick summary. One, I had multiple clients in this scenario where the company is not connected and is disgruntled to the CEO of the business. Coming in, doing a 360 and talking to everybody within the company to understand what’s going on and realize that it’s just a big miscommunication on many different levels. Once the 360 is done, people understand what is below the surface and at the bedrock of why things are being misunderstood. Fingers are being pointed at one person and many times, the wrong person. They begin to start to get an inner awareness with my coaching of their responsibility with what’s going on. Everybody begins to raise their level of awareness, shift their mindset and raise their consciousness. We start putting a plan in place and instead of pointing fingers, we’ve seen each person’s specific and measurable role, responsibilities and activity and putting a plan in place.
When I’m working with these companies, we see tremendous growth, an increase in communication and much more connection in communication. Many times, if we score it when we start off, we’re at 4 out of 10, and when we leave, we’re anywhere between a 9 and a 10. Consistency is important. I can point to many others where I come in and I’m working with an entire sales team who don’t have a sales manager. If you’re running a business without a sales manager or a sales manager that doesn’t know how to train their salespeople or even if you have a sales manager managing too many salespeople, you are pulled in too many directions. I come in and I work with salespeople who don’t have a VP of sales or who do have a VP of sales and they need the extra coaching, I will come in and do a lot of sales training, group training and then a lot of one-on-one training. I have a fifteen-minute power session that I do with a lot of salespeople every week. We start seeing tremendous growth in proposals and bottom lines.
You have a lot of resources that are available to business owners. You’ve written a book and you’ve got your different ways to work with clients. Give us a recap of all of the services and talk a little bit about your book. I know you’re available for speaking engagements. Give people a quick overview.
I do ongoing coaching for executives, C-level executives, owners of companies, managers and salespeople. If you go to my website, Jon Dwoskin, you can see all the different coaching. I try to put it in different categories. I also can come in-house for a couple of hours a week or a chunk of hours a week with companies and act almost as their interim COO. I work with all the teams and everybody within the organization to help. I call it my In-House Accelerated Program because it gets things moving quickly. Sometimes, I’ll do that for a long-term where I’ll go in and be doing seven hours a week and sometimes, it’s 1, 2 or 3-month accelerated jolt and then I go back to my normal monthly program with them.
I do sprint coaching, which is 15 minutes a week or 30 minutes twice a month. I have an online program that’s for salespeople that is accompanied by one-on-one time with me. I do a lot of sales and management training for groups of people. I do keynotes. The two of the most popular are How to Think Like a CEO and The Ultimate Time Management Training. My book, The Think Big Movement is a parable business book. It’s a business book told as a story. I feel like you can retain these stories a little bit better. I’ve got a lot of columns and blogs. I write for Forbes and I have white papers.
I have a few podcasts, Think Big Movement and 7-Minute Sales Minute that are on my website. I have a lot of video tips. There are a lot of resources for people to grow their business. I like the fact that I can provide a lot of content because I realized that there are some people in the world that I’ll unfortunately never meet, but I can still help them touch and grow their business. If anybody ever wants to call me, I give everybody my cell phone number (248) 535-7796. My book helps a ton of people so much so that you can either buy it on Amazon or you can go to my website, fill out a form, and I’ll mail you a free copy.
Other than your own book, is there a book that you’ve read that resonated with you, made an impact on your life and you recommend to other people oftentimes?
There are many books. I’m a huge reader. One of my favorite books is Dollars Flow To Me Easily, which is an incredible book about manifesting so much in your life. Another book I’ve read was Psycho-Cybernetics, which is an amazing book about mindset. Those were amazing. I love the book The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav. That was a life-changing book for me. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Good to Great are one of my all-time favorites. I love the book, I Can’t Accept Not Trying by Michael Jordan. I love to read and one of the books I’m reading is by David Goggins’ Can’t Hurt Me. It’s unbelievable. I’m listening to it and it’s like a book on tape and a podcast with him. Also, Principles by Ray Dalio is unbelievable. If you’ve never read Think and Grow Rich, it’s a must.
Jon, it’s been such a pleasure having you on. You’ve given the M&A Unplugged community such great insights. For those of you who don’t know, Jon has his own podcast called Think Business. If you haven’t checked it out, please do. It’s a great podcast and he has some great guests. Jon, thanks again for being on. I appreciate it.
Thank you and thanks to the M&A Unplugged community.
Jon brought up some key points. If you’re an owner, a business or a management team and you’re stuck, Jon can help get you unstuck. One of the key things is you need to be willing to be vulnerable. It starts there. If you’re willing to be vulnerable, you’re open to coaching and open to a third party helping you get unstuck, there are plenty of resources out there. Some of the other key things that Jon mentioned is when you have the wrong people in the wrong seat, it can become toxic. You should pay close attention to that. As an owner, you should always be recruiting. Finding the next talent that you can bring into the company and training and investing in your talent is important. You have these people there that are touching your clients every day. Make sure that you’re giving them the tools and the knowledge so they can perform their jobs.
When you decide to be vulnerable and get unstuck, make sure that you bring a consistent approach to that. If you would like to learn more about the process of acquiring or selling a business, please visit our website at SunAcquisitions.com or feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]. I look forward to being with you again on the next episode of the show and until then, please remember that scaling, acquiring or selling a business takes time, preparation and the proper knowledge.
- Jon Dwoskin
- The Think Big Movement
- Amazon – The Think Big Movement
- Think Big Movement
- 7-Minute Sales Minute
- Dollars Flow To Me Easily
- The Seat of the Soul
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Good to Great
- I Can’t Accept Not Trying
- Can’t Hurt Me
- Think and Grow Rich
- Think Business
- [email protected]
About Jon Dwoskin
Jon Dwoskin is a business coach, executive advisor, author and speaker.
He works with successful people who are stuck and want to get to the next level.
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