Transcript of Efficiencies Expert Jason Helfenbaum On How To Increase Your ROI Through Training And Efficiencies
Author, Thought Leader, And Podcaster John Corcoran On The Power Of Podcasts That Will Help You Increase ROI, Authority, And Legacy

[00:00:05] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.

This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.

Your liquidity event is the largest and most important financial transaction of your life.

 But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave anywhere from 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

 I should know. I said no to a seven-figure offer and yes, to mastering the art and science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said yes to a different buyer with a nine-figure offer.

Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?

If you believe that you either don't have the time or you'll prepare closer to your liquidity event, think again.

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.

After all, how can you master something you've never done before?

Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our nine-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.

At the end of this episode, take a moment to hear from business owners, just like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience.

John Corcoran is a recovering attorney and a writer, author, father of four, and a former Clinton, White House writer and speechwriter to the Governor of California.

Throughout his career, John has worked in Hollywood, the heart of Silicon Valley, and ran his own boutique law firm in the San Francisco Bay area, catering to small business owners and entrepreneurs. He's also the author of three books about relationship building and client acquisition and has written for Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Life, Hacker, The San Francisco Chronicle, and basically anywhere else that will let him.

He's been the host of the Smart Business Revolution podcast since 2012 through which he has interviewed hundreds of CEOs, founders, authors, and entrepreneurs from Peter Diamandis and Adam Grant to Gary Vaynerchuk and Marie Forleo.

Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast.

Wow. Do I have a guest for you today! If you were to look up the word success in the dictionary, you would see his picture. A lot to talk about. John thank you so much for coming onto the podcast today. We have a lot of ground to cover. And we can start with how you started off as an attorney, and then you went to the Clinton White House.

You're an author, you're a thought leader. You've covered it all. A serial entrepreneur, just an amazing guy, and a success story in every which way. But the one question I'd like to start with is there's always a story behind the story. John, what's your story of what got you to where you are today?

[00:03:04] John Corcoran: Thank you, Jeffrey. It's such an honor to be here. Yeah, it's such a great question. The funny thing is I don't think of myself as a wild success. I have succeeded in some capacities, like any entrepreneur, I'm always thinking about ways in which you can improve.

And it was failure really. That kind of drove me from the get-go. My father was in a tough industry when I was growing up. Journalism. That's changed a lot over the last 20, 30 years. And he actually got laid off three separate times when I was growing up. And as a result of that, I desperately wanted him to just be able to get a job.

And unfortunately, he didn't have those types of connections or networks and the industry didn't exactly function that way. And each time he got laid off, we had to move to a new city, a new set of friends, away from family and friends. It was really hard. And as a result of that, it inspired me, lit a fire under me to prioritize relationships. And so really when I was in high school years, I devoured biographies and autobiographies learning about how successful people across different industries functioned. And I found that it was really was about who you knew it was about who you built relationships with. And so, I've just applied that to my life.

And as you mentioned, had some amazing opportunities throughout my career, working in the White House, speechwriter for a Governor of California, worked for DreamWorks written for Forbes has been an attorney and all kinds of great clients that way. And so, I now really take that to the next level, by helping others to do the same thing. Helping others to prioritize relationships and to build relationships strategically and intentionally so that it can support their career or their business.

[00:04:36] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. That's so much to unpack there, John. And I like how you focused on relationships as really the core of how you become successful and studying successful people. So, let me ask you this, John, when you read all these books and you met these different people and certainly President Clinton, probably one of the best networkers of all Presidents that we've had.

What would be some of the common trends or themes that you saw with who you met and what you learned that we can learn from and become better at what we're doing?

[00:05:06] John Corcoran: It really was about setting sites on a course and being deliberate and taking intentional steps to build towards that future that they wanted for themselves. For example, I worked for DreamWorks. At the time it was very early in its gestation. It's like the Tesla of its day.

It was this hot company and everyone would work there and it was such a cool thing working for them. And, Steven Spielberg, the famous director was one of the founders of it. And there's this great story about him when he was something like 19 or 20 years old, he goes to Universal Studios, Hollywood, and he shows up one day and he does a tour and he's like enamored. I want to work here. I want to work in Hollywood. He wants to break in, but he's struggling to break into the industry. And so he comes the next day comes back and he shows up with a suit on and a suitcase. This is a true story. It's been documented a number of different times.

And he just goes up to the guard gate and waves, a 19 or 20-year-old kid waves and goes straight on in. And he did this every day during this summer. And he ends up finding, there's a different version of this story. So, it's hard to tell exactly what's true, but apparently, he ends up finding an office and moving into an office.

And what I love about this story is eventually he started making connections. He started building connections, but what he did is he discovered. This is where all the relationships are there on this studio lot and other studio lots, but that's where I need to be. And he did whatever he needed to do in order to be there and to build those relationships.

Today, these days you don't need to sneak past security. There are better ways to do it. But what you do need to do is you need, think about where are my relationships, the industry that I want to break into, where are they, how can I develop those relationships? And just like Steven Spielberg go out and deliberately build those relationships and Bill Clinton's the same thing.

He grew up a poor kid. Father died before he was even born. So, a single mom raising him, the stepfather was an alcoholic, had just a really rough upbringing. There's plenty of people from a poor state and Arkansas who their life would've gone in the opposite direction.

But he was driven. He was focused. He decided the people, he needed to build relationships with and he built relationships with those people strategically. So, I just tell people all the time, it's not a build it and they will come type of scenario. It's not a, you just wait and hope for the right opportunity will come along.

The people that I admire, the successful people, they are deliberate. They go out there, they build those relationships with those people. And that's what leads to great opportunities for them later in their career.

[00:07:40] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, John, these are amazing stories and you're part of some of these stories, which is even more incredible. I can imagine though, I can hear people saying, John, that's terrific. However, I'm not a Spielberg, I'm not a Clinton, and good for them.

Where do we even begin? I don't even have a name for myself or I'm so busy running my business. I don't even have five minutes in the day to grab lunch. How am I supposed to build these relationships? Where do I start? What do I do? How would you answer someone like that?

[00:08:09] John Corcoran: Yeah. Clinton and Spielberg, both didn't start from a famous family. They didn't have any high-level connections or anything like that. So, everyone starts at zero. Most of us don't have Trump as a last name. So, we don't have, big opportunities that we're walking into.

There's a great story from someone who followed my website, my blog, my podcast, a while back. A young kid who reached out to Mark Cuban, the billionaire star of Shark Tank. Sent a cold email to him and ended up interviewing him and posting it on his blog, on his, no one's reading it like a tiny little blog.

So, these days there are so many more tools available to all of us. It just takes gumption. It just takes some conviction. It just takes some intentionality and going out and reaching out and not taking no for an answer. Or if you get too many no's moving on to the next person and finding someone else, there are lots of people out there.

There are so many opportunities to research who you can connect with, and then you can use a tool like we're doing right now, like a podcast or a video interview that you published on YouTube or a written interview where you write an article and you publish it somewhere online. By marrying with networking, you end up getting this wonderful connection where it's a win-win all around.

You're delivering value to someone you're giving them exposure. So, you're not inconveniencing them. And you're also given the opportunity to build a relationship with that person as well. But you said, people say I don't have enough time. I'm busy running my business. I hear that all the time as well.

But here's the thing. Our network is evolving. The people that we know are constantly evolving and changing. We're adding people all the time. We're dropping people all the time, just cause people to go out of our life. They come into our life. What I espouse is being intentional about it.

Being deliberate about it. Don't let it happen to you. For some people, their network is comprised entirely of people who happen to be in their life through pure circumstance, former neighbors. Former people who are at your college. People who, formerly worked down the hall from you. None of those things are within your control.

And I'm not talking about friendships. I'm talking about deliberately growing your network with people who will have some kind of collaborative opportunity of some sort in the future for you. Being intentional about that. So, going beyond friendships, but if you deliberately decide on the people and by the way, it could be people in your local community, they don't have to be world-famous individuals.

They could just be someone in your local community who's successful. You admire. You share their values and every day, do something in order to build relationships with those people, it will go a long way.

[00:10:44] Jeffrey Feldberg: And so that's interesting as you're talking about that, John, I am hearing a lot of things and resiliency is just jumping off the page. Being resilient and believing in yourself and just going on out there to do it. There's a term out there called imposter syndrome. And even the most successful people, gazillionaires will feel an imposter syndrome.

And so, for someone who's just starting out or doesn't have that experience or that track record just yet, what can they be doing? They've identified someone that they feel would be incredible for the network. What would you be recommending if you're coaching that person?

[00:11:17] John Corcoran: It's a great point. And you're absolutely true that there are people at all kinds of levels that feel that kind of separation. They feel like they're an imposter. I've told this story before; you can imagine a room filled with Fortune 400 CEOs. And you can imagine whoever's number 400 or number 399, entering that room and seeing someone on the other side of the room that's in the Fortune 100.

And so they think, Ooh, I can't possibly talk to him. He's in the cool kids’ stable, right? But the truth is it's all a perspective from where you sit. You know, for someone else outside of that room, they're thinking, wow, how wonderful it would be to inside of that room. So, some of these are the constructs that we create in our head, and we decide that you know, we can't possibly have relationships with those people, but if you're worried about that break, it down to its most human level. Look at ways in which you can deliver value to the person who you're talking to in any possible way. I've been fortunate. I have had conversations with Presidents and US Senators and famous individuals and the more you can break it down to something normal and natural and just, separate out the vocation of it, separate what you're trying to get in terms of upward mobility in your career with your business. And just try and be helpful to that individual. That really goes a long way. There's a story when I left the White House, they at the time, what they would do is they would invite some staff who was leaving down to the oval office on Saturday morning and their family could come in and they'd watch the President record the historic radio address.

And then he would take pictures with people. And it's all members of Congress. It's high-level cabinet officials. It's famous people. And I did this right before I left. My father, my brother flew in and we go up there and we thought ahead, we brought with us a DVD of an old Western and Bill Clinton was a big fan of old Western movies.

And so when we got up and it was our turn, we handed over these old westerns as a gift to him. And we said, hey, we know you like old Western movies. I heard you're building up your DVD collection. This is back when DVDs are new and we hand it over to him. We ended up having a four- or five-minute conversation with him about old Western movies. I was way out of my depth. My father, fortunately, was a movie critic for many years. So, we had this conversation, my dad and him are going back and forth, talking about old Western movies. And everyone else in line is like, who the heck are those guys? Why is he having such a long conversation with these guys about that?

If I can have a conversation with the leader of the free world, the man who's got his finger on the button, in the heart of power and the oval office about something as common and mundane as what's your favorite movie is then you can certainly have a conversation with whoever it is you admire whatever VIP or influencer or guru or successful individual in your community that you look up to.

And it will go that much further. You will solidify that relationship that much further by not trying to launch into a conversation that is related to your vocation, what you do, but just actually connecting on a human level. And then from there, you build trust and you can go into other areas that are more related to the vocation that you have.

[00:14:28] Jeffrey Feldberg: John, what a wonderful story, a wonderful story. And for all our listeners out there, next time, you're up against something that feels daunting. I want you to imagine John in the Oval Office DVDs in hand, and then having that conversation. But it's such a powerful takeaway and really, it's a way of life, John.

I think you would agree with that, that as we travel in our different circles, meeting different people, if we can put our egos aside, put ourselves aside and it's all about John, how can I help you, Mary how can I help you? Taking the time to, like you did research the person that you're going to be speaking with.

What are their interests? People are people we're all the same in so many ways. And if you can find an area of common interests with whomever you're going to be talking to, and it's a passion of theirs, start with that and see where that goes. Because I think you'd agree with this. John, people like to do business with friends, not strangers.

And so when we get to know someone and we like them, we consider him or her a friend, we have a trust that's built and that's where all the magic happens.

[00:15:32] John Corcoran: Yeah. Yeah. I just interviewed a guy on my podcast. Jason Spievak is his name he's from Entrada Ventures in Santa Barbara. And he started a previous company called Invoca. He started it because he was having coffee with two good friends who had worked with, at a previous company and they just wanted to do something together.

You know, they're like, what could we do together? That company is now approaching a billion-dollar valuation, but it started with that humanity. It started with that friendship and then it grew from there.

[00:15:59] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, John, for all those introverts out there who are saying, this is all great, but I'm not really out there. I'm not comfortable speaking to people. I'm not gallivanting around town, even as things that open up as we get behind this pandemic, thankfully, and all those good things are happening. So, for people who aren't, those extroverts who are very comfortable in those kinds of social situations, there's still a role and there's still a need.

So, what would you recommend, what would be in your experience some advice that you can give?

[00:16:26] John Corcoran: Well, this may come as a surprise, but I actually think many introverts are much better at building relationships than many extroverts are. You've seen those extroverts out there they have a big personality, they fill up a room, they might get a lot of attention to themselves.

But then when it comes to other things like following up or going further, they are just focused on themselves or they don't actually do it. Whereas I've known a ton of introverts that they're much more comfortable in a one-on-one. They're much more comfortable not being on stage, but they make up for it by actually following up with people, by looking at ways to deliver value.

And that is going to be much more of an impact. It's like the story of the tortoise and the hair, the hair might fire off be really fast in the beginning, but the tortoise is the one who's going to come around and in the end, is going to ultimately have the bigger impact. And as far as what we talked about earlier about marrying content, and relationship building.

You know, if you can handle a one-on-one conversation over Zoom like we're doing right now, then you can handle creating content with one person. And yeah, it does take a bit of being deliberate and maybe getting a little bit outside of your comfort zone and having a one-on-one conversation with someone you haven't met before.

But as we mentioned earlier, we're all doing it all the time. We're always growing our network, whether we like it or not, and it's better to be deliberate, it's better to be intentional and build relationships with people who we want to potentially have a collaboration with, or potentially serve in a client relationship because that's going to be much more fulfilling in the end.

[00:18:02] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, John, let's talk about that because for our listeners, by the way, all of this is going to be in the show notes, John, you have an unbelievable podcast, The Smart Business Revolution, and you have interviewed the who's who of successful entrepreneurs and founders and business owners. But I would imagine when you first started, you didn't have your name yet, and you didn't have your reputation in the podcast world.

Can you share with us how you started to marry the content with the networking to get these successful people onto your podcast back in the early days?

[00:18:34] John Corcoran: Yeah, absolutely. And it started around the 2010 timeframe. I was practicing law. I had a good client who came to me for a tiny little matter. It was just writing a lease for a spare bedroom in his house. These days you'd put it on Airbnb and be done with it. But you had to hire a lawyer back then. And it turns out he was a very successful entrepreneur.

He started businesses that have gone public, and I was like, I really want this guy to become a bigger client. And so, kind of on a whim, I said, can I have 20 minutes of your time? I'd love to interview you over the phone. I did that at the end of the conversation he was like, that was a lot of fun. Can you help me with some more stuff?

I've got a couple of other legal projects and I was like, sure, that sounds great. And flash forward today, I've just continued to do it, but you're right. When you get started, I wouldn't recommend to anyone you immediately try and go to the top. I think that's a big mistake before you've gotten some reps under your belt.

I think you should start with people that know like, and trust you. The people that aren't going to get embarrassed and you're not going to get embarrassed if you flub a line in your intro or something like that, and get more comfortable with the medium from the beginning. And then you can, stair-step your way up.

You can work your way up and you can do this in virtually any industry where once you start to get some different people in a particular industry and you build this kind of critical mass, then you can say to subsequent people, I've interviewed this person and this person, and then you get others who will say yes to giving you a slice of their day to be a guest on their podcast because of the social proof that comes from you saying that you've interviewed others, especially if it's in their field in their industry. And so it's a great strategy for working your way up and getting the bigger and bigger names.

[00:20:07] Jeffrey Feldberg: I love it. And the social proof and building your way up and really starting locally. And then over time you can start going up nationally, perhaps internationally, and growing from there. But let's circle back, John with your experience. You've been podcasting now for like you said, since 2010, for people that are out there that are a little bit of the naysayers saying John, that's all fine and good.

Maybe if I started, when you did in 2010 and I kept at it. Yeah, sure. I could be having a podcast for my business and that would be terrific. But with the internet now, there are so many podcasts. There are so many blogs with different articles and content. How am I going to stand out, how am I going to make a difference?

Am I wasting my time even doing that right now, here, and today, what would you say to that?

[00:20:51] John Corcoran: I love your questions because there's so spot on with the types of objections, I hear from people all the time. First of all, I think now is a much better time to start a podcast than 11 years ago. 11 years ago, it was super hard to get podcasts. You know, plug in your iPod through a physical cord, to your computer, download files into your iTunes and then sync it over.

And half of the time it didn't work. It was really hard. People didn't know what a podcast was. Now it's actually a pretty hot topic. Everyone's starting podcasts, and so there's a much greater awareness of it and that's a great thing. The other thing is that who cares if other people are doing it?

Who cares? Honestly, I like that I have listeners to my show, but I would keep doing it even if no one was listening, because the value comes from the discipline and the connections and the relationships and the opportunities and the collaborations and all the things that come from it, and you should do it so that even if you don't get a big listenership, It's still of great value to you.

It's still something that you want to keep on doing. And that's why I keep on doing it because I meet great people like yourself. You are a great guest on my podcast. I get to talk to smart people all the time and people tell me all the time, I'd like to do it one day, but first I need to get everything figured out.

Or, you know, in the midst of rebranding the business or thinking about pivoting or something like that. Frankly, I don't know any better way to have a deep understanding of your market or be able to, ask smart people great questions. It really has created amazing insights for me over the years from all kinds of different people.

So, I say, you should do it because your network is constantly evolving. You'll get access to a higher caliber of people than you would otherwise who wouldn't otherwise just give you a slice of their day for any particular reason. And there's greater awareness. It's growing all the time and because you are unique and the way you would do it is completely different from the way everyone else would.

[00:22:45] Jeffrey Feldberg: John. I love your reasons. And like you said, John, you have a unique spin on how you look at things that you're going to get value out of it.

You're learning as you go along. Target market, your customers, your employees, all of your stakeholders also have that opportunity to be brought into your world to learn together. You can pay it forward and make a difference. So, let me ask you, speaking of stakeholders, we've been talking right now about building relationships, externally Meeting other people growing the network, helping to grow the business. And by the way, all of these are in the Deep Wealth Experience. We talk a lot about these X-Factors to insanely increase the enterprise value of your business when you're doing these things. But it also ties back into culture, which is another X-Factor.

And I would imagine John, that when you master this skill like you have, the ability to build a relationship. You can now take that with your clients, with your employees. And I'd love to hear from you how this skill has made a difference for you. What has enabled you to do that you otherwise couldn't have with any of the stakeholders that you're interacting with on a day in day out basis?

[00:23:51] John Corcoran: It's such a great question. There's a number of different advantages. One is just the professional development that comes from it. There have been so many great insights. Times where I've been interviewing someone and be like, that's a great idea. I'm going to apply that to our business.

So, just having the insights and applying things, that's a great one. It also helps you to, put your ear to the ground and connect with people that are going to lead to other opportunities that benefit members of the team that benefits your employees and contractors that work for you.

And the other thing it does from a cultural perspective is it allows you to reinforce some of those cultural values through content. Our team is at the point where we're not huge. We're not small, but it's at the point where I'm not able to talk to people in a one-on-one fashion on a daily, weekly, or even quarterly basis.

But when you're creating content, you can reinforce the values of the company through that content and they can listen to the podcast and they can get to know how you think, what you focus on and you can reinforce those values. I'm all about content creation that is one to many because it takes your time, that much further. It leverages your time that much further. And you're creating content, which can lead to referral partners and it's going to help reinforce cultural values internally and help to drive insights and ideas that you can bring back internally for the company

[00:25:19] Jeffrey Feldberg: And what a great insight, John, that you just shared. And for our listeners, I hope you're listening really carefully. It's so easy to lose sight of sure content creation is wonderful for our prospective market and for marketing and for sales and for getting new customers. But John as you're sharing, as your company grows the opportunity to share a podcast with your team and have them hear your message.

And you're not having to do that on a one-off basis. It's now the one to many, it's saving your time. It's enriching your culture and it's really like passing the torch through your podcast as an example, or through an article or whatever someone's passion is going to be in terms of how the medium takes form.

And in terms of the content to just get that out there, that everyone's on the same page. We're saying the same thing. We have the same vision. We're looking at the same future. That's powerful.

[00:26:07] John Corcoran: Absolutely. Yeah, for sure. And you look around and there are billionaires that do podcasts. There are venture capitalists whose time is incredibly constrained. You know, that have a lot of demands on their time and yet they carve out the time in order to do these things.

So, I say to people all the time, I actually feel sorry for people that don't have a podcast. Cause I know that they're probably working harder than they need to because of all the ways in which if you do it right, your time is actually going a lot further. So, if you feel like you don't have enough time to do a podcast it's kind of like that saying about meditation.

And if you've heard that before, if you don't have 20 minutes to meditate a day, you need to meditate for two hours. You know, And the joke is you really need it. And it's kind of the same way I think if you feel like you don't have the time to spend 30 minutes a week to do a podcast, then you really do need it. You need it more than you realize.

[00:27:03] Jeffrey Feldberg: It's such a good point. And it's going back to the old saying of what gets measured is what gets done. And if you make that a priority, and you'll find the time to, to make that happen and you'll get the benefits that come with that. So, let me ask you this, John, as we record this podcast, we're at a really interesting intersection because we're getting through the pandemic.

But a lot of the social norms I suspect have forever changed and the new normal is going to be different. So, as you look to networking for the remainder of this year and into next year and beyond, what do you anticipate?

[00:27:35] John Corcoran: I think a lot of people are going to be reluctant to travel. A lot of people going to be reluctant to be in larger crowds like people did before.

A lot of our clients that have come to us in the last year were people who depended on going to conferences to get clients, to get referral partners, Dependent on, small networking events or dinners or things like that, that they just couldn't do over the last year. They were looking for other ways and in order to develop a relationship.

So, I think the podcast will continue to be a valuable tool for all those reasons. Also frankly, one of the big advantages is people are really more comfortable and familiar now with the tools like a Zoom. Most people know how to use Zoom. And they've got a quiet spot in their house or their office where they could have a conversation and that's all you need.

And the advantages that you can have a conversation with someone virtually in any part of the globe I would not want to go back to just interviewing people that are within my geographic region because you and I wouldn't be having a conversation. There are people who are all over the globe, with who I've had great conversations with.

The geographic constraints that governed our economy a hundred years ago are no longer present. They've been completely plowed under. So, you know, If you have a business that isn't, a plumbing business in your local town if you have a business that can actually serve clients beyond your local geographic region, then that's a huge advantage to you. And you might as well build your relationships further.

[00:29:02] Jeffrey Feldberg: Good points. It'll be interesting to see how all this rolls out and combining the old, combining the new. So, now let's circle back here, John, we've talked a lot about relationships, the importance of relationships, how to go about doing different things.

Let's now focus on relationship building in the midst of a liquidity event. And as a business owner, you could be saying. I’m sure I'm going to have my advisory team though. They're going to be doing that for me. I have my investment bankers. I'm going to have my M&A lawyer.

I'm going to have this person and that person, but John, ultimately the future buyer, who's looking to buy your business. They want to know about you. They want to know about the team. So, from that perspective, John, how can we leverage relationship building with potential buyers to really take the liquidity event over the top?

And I know this is more of the art side of a liquidity event, not the science side, but I find increasing the value of the business is as much art as it is science. So, I'd love to hear from Mr. Relationship, Mr. Success, vis-a-vis John, what would you be doing, John?

If you were selling your business, knowing what you know about relationships, how would you weave that into the fabric of the liquidity event?

[00:30:10] John Corcoran: We've had a number of clients who have sold their business and they've used a podcast for various different functions from, vetting, prospective acquirers to vetting prospective professionals who are going to advise them through the acquisition process, to just having conversations with others who have sold their business before and getting ideas and insights and things that they should do. Getting referrals and introductions to other people that are professionals that can help them through that process.

It's a wonderful tool for vetting perspective, acquisition targets, or acquirers in the future of actually selling the business, as you're getting into a place where the business is ready to be sold, you can be having these regular conversations with people who might be a good acquirer in the future because it's a really low commitment, easy way to have a conversation that then opens you up to a further conversation. There's nothing weird about it. You don't have to send a cold email to someone and say, hey, we're thinking about selling our business, which no one's comfortable with doing anyways. You can send in an email to someone who might be a good acquirer in the future.

Maybe not. And you can say, I'd love to have a conversation. It will only take a half an hour of your time, 45 minutes of your time, whatever. And then it gives you that opportunity to get to know that person a little bit. Are they punctual? Are they not? Are they someone who you'd really want to partner with in any way or maybe not?

And then you can circle back with them later in the future and explore. So, you know, are you acquiring companies of this size with this number of assets? You can play that kind of dance. So, it allows you to open that up. And in addition to, as we said, just allowing your time to go further.

So, you can explore potential referral partners. You can explore strategic partnerships while you're creating content at the same time.

[00:32:03] Jeffrey Feldberg: Some terrific strategies there. And for our listeners, you heard it from John himself who has been leveraging the power of a podcast for many years now. And I love it. It's in your words, John, it's a little commitment of time and reaching out to someone. Can you come on the podcast? I have some questions for you.

Let's talk about this. It really takes the spotlight off. hey, I'm going to be selling my business. Maybe you can help me down the road with that, or I wanted to speak to you about that. And you're speaking about very important or tactical things as it pertains to the business. So, what a great way in advance without the pressure to get to know people and really build those relationships and see where that goes.

[00:32:42] John Corcoran: Yeah. I'll throw in one other point, it allows you to really establish your connections in that industry, in that field. You can really impress an acquirer by saying, you know, when they come to talk to you about an acquisition and you say, oh, I know this person. And I know this person, I know this person, because you've deliberately built relationships with all these different people. And then what's wonderful too, is it's not just about the people that you interview, because then you can create great synergies by connecting people. I'm doing this all the time, where I'm introducing my past guests to other guests.

That's one of the big values, big pitches that I say to potential guests on my podcast after I'm done. After I get to know you, I like to introduce my guests to other people, and I've literally had people start businesses together. I've had people move from one city to another in order to start a business together from an introduction that I made, I just found out the other day that two people who met through our business became fast friends.

Their families went on vacation together. And then one of them moved with his family to Puerto Rico and then the other one moved with his family to Puerto Rico, shortly afterward. And they met through and because of us. When you making those types of connections, all kinds of great things will come from it.

[00:33:56] Jeffrey Feldberg: That's amazing. And John, it really circles back to what you started the podcast with and that is, think of the other person, pay it forward. How can you help them? And it's not all about you. It's about helping other people. And I'm just a big believer if we help enough people get what they want eventually, and over time, we can get what we want in that order. Not the other way around.

[00:34:18] John Corcoran: Yeah. And everyone read Give and Take by Adam Grant, a tremendous book. And what's really great about that book is that it really uncovers some social science research behind that premise. I always lived my life thinking, try to be valuable to other people that good things will come from it.

But that book actually dives into some real great stories and case studies and research that demonstrates that if you do that without allowing people to take advantage of you, you don't want takers to take advantage of you. But if you are a giver generally in life, you are more likely to rise to the top of the success ladder.

[00:34:52] Jeffrey Feldberg: As you read that book and you've applied that in your life, John, why has that happened?

[00:34:57] John Corcoran: Personally, I think the biggest driver of it is the principle of reciprocity, which Dr. Cialdini wrote about in his seminal book Influence. And that is when you are delivering value to other people. We are driven. We are hardwired as humans at least most people are to want to repay that favor in some fashion. With the caveat that there are some takers in this world, and you have to be mindful of those people because they will take advantage of you.

So, you have to be very careful about that. But having said that most people want to repay the favor and that's a big part of the reason that I've been doing the podcast for 11 years is because when I started this 11 years ago, when I was practicing law, I started interviewing my clients and I started interviewing local businesses in my community, like the local independent baseball team that had started up and the ice cream shop owner and other lawyers in my community.

And when I started doing this, all of a sudden, I started getting referrals and I started getting introductions and I started getting, guests on my podcasts who then ask me legal questions which has led to some legal work that I did for them. And it was really wonderful because it was a win-win all around. There was nothing manipulative or evil about it.

I was giving exposure to them. We were creating some great content. We were getting to know one another and then other good things came from it. So, I think that's really the principle behind it. And that's the reason that principle of delivering value to people will lead to great things for your career for your business.

[00:36:21] Jeffrey Feldberg: And it all goes back to building relationships and it's just amazing what comes out of that one concept. Now, speaking of relationships, John, looking back over the years that you've really mastered this way of life, what would be the top tips of what you found to be the most impactful way to master the art of relationships?

[00:36:40] John Corcoran: Oh man. So, first I would say take some time ahead of time to think through what are your ultimate goals? Where are you actually going with this? Perhaps not surprising that we tend to get stuck in a rut sometimes. And so I talk to people all the time, they might've been doing this one thing for 10 years or 20 years, but that's not really ultimately what they want to do.

They are interested in going in a different direction. And if that's the case spending all the time, building relationships in the old you with the old focus is just going to drain your energy. And so you have to be really clear from the get-go on what direction you want to go with your career, your business.

That's important. Put together a list, then decide on what tools you're going to use in order to build these relationships. And I talked about marrying content with the relationship building, and I've used every different type of tool out there from writing a book to writing articles, to blog posts, to videos, to podcasts. Ultimately, I found that the podcast has the right combination of utility, ease of use, and also maximizing the number of relationships. I wrote for Forbes for a while, wrote for Entrepreneur, I've written for Huffington Post, you name it, all these different places. Those are impressive. They would get a response email really quickly.

If I said, I want to write something in Forbes about you, but the problem was, it was a lot of work. It was a lot of work and it was difficult. And so ultimately at the end of the year, I've written about a dozen people or so. I wasn't building as many relationships as I wanted to. When I shifted the focus to doing the podcast, it allowed me to build a lot more relationships.

So, for you listening to this, you want to think about what tools you're going to use. Whether it's a podcast or something else in order to maximize those relationships. And then you also want to think about how am I going to take that relationship further. So, carrying on through that relationship, how am I going to continue to remain in touch with that person?

And people ask me that all the time, how do I keep in touch with all these different people? You know, If I've interviewed 10, 20, 50, 60, 100 people, how do I keep in touch with all these different people. And the podcast is the answer to that because the content creation as well if you choose a different medium because creating that content, many of the people who listen or who are our guests in your podcasts will then subscribe. And then you will remain top of mind with them by continuing to put that content out into the world. I've interviewed over a thousand people. I couldn't possibly send one-on-one emails to all those people all that frequently, but I've got a podcast feed going out. I have an email that goes out to my email list. I post content and social media that originates out of the podcast or appearances on other podcasts. And then that's how you can remain top of mind with a scalable number of people.

[00:39:27] Jeffrey Feldberg: It's the gift of giving. The gift of giving in this case, the content creation through a podcast, someone comes on your show, they now become a member of your community. You're interviewing other people, but you're now paying it forward with life strategies, business strategies, just good things to optimize your life for happiness all through the podcast.

And it goes back to that one too many, but the podcast, it's a gift that keeps on giving and in such a valuable way. So, that's wonderful that you've been able to master that and really make that work for yourself and your community. John, let me ask you this. As we begin to wrap up the podcast, there's one question that I absolutely love to ask every guest and the question is this.

I'd like you to think about the movie Back to the Future. And in the movie, you have that magical DeLorean car that can go back to any point in time. So, John, I want you to imagine now it's tomorrow morning, you wake up, you look out your window, lo and behold, there's the DeLorean car. The door is open and it's waiting for you.

And so now you walk out and you can go into that car. John, you can go back to any point in time of your life. John as a young child or a teenager or an adult, whatever it would be, what would be the life wisdom or lessons learned or do this, but don't do that. What would you be telling yourself?

[00:40:46] John Corcoran: Man, what a great question. It's funny, I was on another podcast recently where the question was similar, but the question was what's the best, worst decision you've ever made in your life. And after thinking about it a little bit, I answered that it was going to law school because I'm no longer a practicing attorney.

Many of my family members would probably say that was not a great decision. And I'm not saying that I would go back to before I started law school and say to the previous me that I should not go to law school. I actually am glad that I did go to law school, but I would go back even further than that.

I would go back probably to junior high me, which was pretty awkward, which was, had a lot more insecurities. And I would tell them to keep my head down, keep it focused on the longer-term path. It took me a while to get around to entrepreneurship. I think I was 30 or 31 or something by the time I started my own business and I love it.

I feel like I could have been here a lot earlier. I spent a number of years working in the White House and in politics, which I enjoyed, I stuck with it. Cause opportunities came along and it was hard to turn them down. But I’m really enjoying where I'm at now. And I think that I would have just communicated to the younger me to not worry about junior high school, peer pressure.

It's difficult when you're going through it, but then you get past it and you just realize, wow, why was that something that bothered me at the time? I think that's what I would tell the younger me. Remain focused on the bigger future and the potential. So, we mostly have B2B clients, but we have one Meredith Sims is her name who is a 16-year-old aspiring sports broadcaster.

She's the daughter of another client who had a podcast and he was really enjoying doing podcasts with us and he came to us and he said, I think my daughter could start a podcast. She would love to be a sports broadcaster. And she'd like to interview professional athletes and we said done, we'll do it.

And so it's been really cool and fun to help guide her to move towards her future profession. She's going to have such a leg up. Can you imagine, you know, she's going to be like 22 years old interviewing for a sports broadcaster job. And she's going to be able to say, I've been doing a podcast all these years, interviewing all these professional athletes, going to be such a huge advantage.

So, I wish I was that. I wish I was that 16-year-old doing that. And that's probably what I would say to the younger me do something like that. And it'll give you such a leg up in your career.

[00:43:17] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. Some terrific words of wisdom and some insights. And John, I will put this in the show notes for our listeners and you have a few different websites. Where would be the best place if someone wants to find you online, learn more about what you're doing, what would be the best place?

[00:43:34] John Corcoran: Yeah, rise25.Com is our website. is my podcast website. And if you go on any of the podcasting apps and just search for my name, John Corcoran. Or Smart Business Revolution you can probably find me on any of the apps out there. If you want to connect with me, you can connect on LinkedIn.

Say you heard me through Jeffrey's show and that you wanted to say hello and I love to connect with people.

[00:43:58] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific. And again, for our listeners, all that will be in the show notes. So, John, as we wrap this up, thank you so much for taking part of your day and spending time with us on the Sell My Business Podcast and the community and wishing that you stay healthy.

[00:44:11] John Corcoran: My pleasure. Thank you, Jeffrey.

[00:44:12] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.

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[00:46:42] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?

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 As we close out this episode, a heartfelt thank you for your time. And as always, please stay healthy and safe. 

This podcast is brought to you by the Deep Wealth Experience. In the world of mergers and acquisitions, 90% of deals fail. Of the successful deals, business owners leave millions of dollars on the deal table.

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Author, Thought Leader, And Podcaster John Corcoran On The Power Of Podcasts That Will Help You Increase ROI, Authority, And Legacy