27 episodes

Define, challenge and conquer the BIGGEST issues facing you as an early stage entrepreneur or founder. With powerful episodes from the world's finest business experts, each episode challenges one specific issue and provides detailed, actionable takeaways that you can implement immediately within your business.



Volume #1 features actionable interviews with John Lee Dumas, Guy Kawasaki, Rand Fishkin, Jeff Sanders, Bob Burg and Dragons' Den's Doug Richard along with multiple thought leaders, global business people and numerous NY Times / Amazon best-selling authors, Excellence Expected exists to help you live the life you want by dominating the problems that face every entrepreneur on their journey.



This isn't just another interview podcast, this is the straight-talking, accountable and actionable show that features one problem, one expert and multiple solutions every single episode.



Don’t forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!

Build a Better Startup Interviews Excellence Expected

    • Careers

Define, challenge and conquer the BIGGEST issues facing you as an early stage entrepreneur or founder. With powerful episodes from the world's finest business experts, each episode challenges one specific issue and provides detailed, actionable takeaways that you can implement immediately within your business.



Volume #1 features actionable interviews with John Lee Dumas, Guy Kawasaki, Rand Fishkin, Jeff Sanders, Bob Burg and Dragons' Den's Doug Richard along with multiple thought leaders, global business people and numerous NY Times / Amazon best-selling authors, Excellence Expected exists to help you live the life you want by dominating the problems that face every entrepreneur on their journey.



This isn't just another interview podcast, this is the straight-talking, accountable and actionable show that features one problem, one expert and multiple solutions every single episode.



Don’t forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!

    The End of The Road As We Know It

    The End of The Road As We Know It

    In this episode I discuss why I'm putting Excellence Expected on a hiatus.



    For more information, read "Why I Stopped Podcasting & 5 Lessons I Learned Along The Way".



    Don't forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!

    • 6 min
    Give Them the Fish

    Give Them the Fish

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”



    We’ve all heard that expression, haven’t we? And it’s a great saying when it comes to the benefits of education and passing on the skills that have served you well. As entrepreneurs we want to help people, solve problems and pass on our knowledge, but there are times when we have to forget this phrase and just give people the fish. Let me explain.



    Let’s say you’ve been having trouble with your car and you take it in to the garage to find out the problem. The mechanic has a look, a quick tinker under the bonnet, and then he hands you an overall and a spanner. Time for you to learn a little bit about car maintenance! You wouldn’t know what to think, would you? Sometimes we just want the fish and we’re happy to pay someone with more knowledge than us to help us out.



    In the world of web, design and digital, it’s easy to think that our audience will share our enthusiasm for how things work and products and services that we find innovative. However, what you might find interesting, others may not. Therefore, when thinking of building a business around something, we need to keep in mind the audience, because there’s a risk of spending time, money, and energy on something that there is no market for. The idea that you have may solve a problem, but is it a problem that people are willing to pay to have solved; does it have broad enough appeal?



    We need to understand their particular pain points and which of your services that they will value. Don’t start off by giving them your tools, give them an end to end experience of how your services could make them and their customers feel. Don’t start the other way around. If they want to know more about your tools and processes, then great, that’s something that you can discuss afterwards. Always show off the very best of your business with an end to end demonstration of how your service could solve clients’ particular problems.



    A great example of this approach is Apple. The whole experience, from walking into the Apple Store to using your new MacBook for the first time, is a prime example of being given the fish. You don’t need to think about which graphics card, processor or operating system you want. You simply buy the computer and turn it on. Building a new PC, on the other hand, can feel like a lesson in big game fishing that not everyone wants or needs. The vast majority of people want a computer that allows them to do what they want with the minimum of fuss.



    When dealing with clients, remember that while some people want to learn how things are done, most people just want to be given the fish!



    Issue Challenged in this Small Business Podcast:



    Which is the right approach with clients?



    Actionable Tips:



    * Ask customers what they really want. Let them tell you about their problems rather than pitching to them. Most people will say your idea is great just to be nice and not to hurt your feelings. Letting them discuss their specific problems is so much more valuable because you can then set out to provide tailored solutions. Ask as many people as you can so you can to start spotted trends.

    * Learn whether they are willing to pay for it. You audience may complain about a particular problem, but is it big enough of a problem for them to actually pay for it?

    * Give them the fish! Don’t try and teach anyone, don’t consult them on it, just give them the solution that will solve the problem that they are experiencing. Teach them how to use the solution, make the most of the solution but not how to build the solution.







    Top Quotes:



    * “We pay for convenience, we pay for value: we pay to be given the fish.”

    * “We find an idea and we stick on it without talking to people and we end up ...

    • 29 min
    Killing Your Business: How to Emotionally Deal with a Pivot

    Killing Your Business: How to Emotionally Deal with a Pivot

    The growth of the tech startup scene over the last decade has brought the idea of the pivot to the attention of entrepreneurs worldwide. A company pivots when it moves from one business model to another. Uber, YouTube and Twitter are just a few of the big names that came about when their creators pivoted from their original ideas. The reasons behind why companies pivot are varied and unique to each original business and it can be a tough process as I have recently found out through personal experience.



    If you’ve been following the podcast and my Startup Diaries, you’ll know that I’m currently on the Ignite accelerator program with Adam and our app, Cavalry. Well, Calvary has been shelved for the time being. After a lot of soul searching, it was decided that we wouldn’t be able to get the most out of the 14 week Ignite experience with a service that required us to build a double-sided marketplace, one of the toughest business models out there. This left us with three choices. Go home, create something new in the same space as Cavalry or come up with something completely new. Going home and wasting a fantastic opportunity was never on the cards and creating something new in the same space meant that some of the same issues would be still be present. Therefore, we’ve pivoted and created something new and exciting in hardly any time at all that has not only reinvigorated us but has also received great feedback from the Ignite mentors.



    And that is a huge relief, because the idea of pivoting a business can be difficult to wrangle with. Firstly, it’s easy to think that you’ve somehow failed and it can be difficult discussing the pivot with others as you think they might judge. They won’t, of course, but it can be hard to quiet your own mind which is often more critical of you than anyone else in the world. A pivot is a positive reaction to something that wasn’t right. A failure might be walking headfirst into something that you knew wasn’t right, but it’s certainly not making a positive change based on new information.



    It’s also easy to think of your idea that’s not working at the moment as rubbish, as something that will never work. It’s easy to think that but it’s not true. You’ve put a hell of a lot of work into that idea and it may not be right at this moment in time, but there’s no need to destroy all your hard work and bin your idea. Put your idea on a shelf and keep it ready for when the time is right. If you thought it was a good idea at some point, then it’s a good idea, wait for conditions to change.



    A pivot can be tricky and it can feel a little painful, but it needn’t. It’s a sensible, positive change in direction based on validated learning and new feedback. Onwards and upwards!



    Issue Challenged in this Small Business Podcast:



    How can I deal emotionally with pivoting my business?



    Actionable Tips:



    * Don’t judge yourself or be afraid of telling people that you are pivoting. A pivot is not in any way a failure. A pivot is a change in direction based on validated learning and feedback. It’s a positive reaction and something that you should do if things aren’t right.

    * Don’t destroy your idea. Perhaps the time isn’t right for your idea at the moment, but if you place it on a shelf, it will be ready for you when the time is right. Don’t destroy your idea because you can’t see it working. You may run into an opportunity or a person that give the idea new life. When that time comes, you will be ready to go.

    * A pivot is a huge learning curve. Pivoting your business can give you some of the most valuable business knowledge that you will ever receive. After you’ve pivoted, take some time out to record all of your thoughts and experiences about the process. This will allow you to get everything out and realize that a pivot is in no way a failure

    • 25 min
    Shark Bait – Finding the Right Finance for Your Small Business

    Shark Bait – Finding the Right Finance for Your Small Business

    Taking out a loan can be daunting process. Whether it’s a mortgage for your first home or a new car, there are a lot of details to keep in mind when looking for the best possible financing option. When applying for a loan for your small business, it can be even more confusing. You may only need the loan for a short time or you might work alongside partners which can further complicate matters. Joining us on this episode of Excellence Expected is David Waring, who is going to offer his expertise of this very important small business topic and tell us what we should look for when considering finance and what we should avoid.



    One of the main issues when small business owners start looking for a loan is that most of us don’t know the best type of financing for our businesses. There are so many different providers, all with different terms. What’s more, new financing avenues are becoming popular. Peer-to-peer lending has grown in popularity in recent years alongside the growth of the internet and this democratization of finance of seen many new providers enter the market. With so much information to consider, applying for a loan can seem like a minefield. David’s advice is to plan ahead as best you can. If you can give yourself more time to consider all of the different options, you’ll be able to do more homework on various deals and hopefully find the best financing option for your business.



    You’ll also be able to make sure that your finances are in order, which can give you a better chance of getting a better deal. Of course, that’s not always possible and there are always going to be times when we are caught off-guard by life and business. Bear in mind though that the faster that you need money, the more that you will have to pay for it.



    Financing can be a complicated and stressful process so David’s overarching advice is to do your research, take your time and plan ahead! You need to research the cost of the loan thoroughly so that you know the true cost of what you’re getting into. Know the payment terms and make sure that you can pay the loan back early if that’s what you want to do. Keep your financial records up-to-date and your taxes in good shape. This makes your business a much more attractive prospect to lend to. Finally, plan ahead if at all possible! Maybe you don’t need any financing right now, but perhaps you can envisage some growth or some expenses in the next six months. Get the ball rolling as the best value loans often take the longest to apply for.



    Issue Challenged in this Small Business Podcast:



    How can I find the best loan for my business?



    About David:



    David Waring is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Fit Small Business and Fit Biz Loans. He has a wealth of experience in small business management and marketing. David’s site helps more than 300,000 small business owners every month cut through all the jargon and get right to the important information. The site includes in-depth articles, reviews and how-to guides about almost every small business topic. Fit Biz Loans offers excellent advice to small business owners as well as low rate business loans.



    Actionable Tips:



    * Know the cost in terms of APR and total amount before taking out a loan. This is the single most important aspect to consider when it comes to small business financing. It can be easy to dive into something in times of need but you can end up tying yourself up in knots for the next decade or more!

    * Make sure you have your finances in order before applying for a loan. If there is money coming into your business that is not on your tax return, then the banks or financing providers will not take it into consideration when assessing your suitability for a loan. Your taxes should be done and you should have an up to date balance sheet to show that your business is in good financial health

    • 28 min
    Super Joe Pardo’s Processes Playbook

    Super Joe Pardo’s Processes Playbook

    What processes have you got in place in your small business? If there’s just yourself or a couple of others, it might not seem like you need any. After all, you know what you’re doing and you know who you’ve been dealing with recently. But, what happens if one you is stuck at home for a few days with the flu? Will you know which clients your sick colleague has been working with? What happens if you take on more staff? Will they just learn how things work, bad habits and all, from those already there?



    These questions will probably ring a bell with a lot of people out there who are running their own small business. When you think of processes, you probably think of business giants like Amazon, with their staff scurrying around the warehouse with a set route and schedule. However, processes can be a benefit to anyone in business, regardless of the size of their company. Going through each process in your day and noting down the steps can be a bit of a chore, but the benefits are massive.



    Firstly, you take all of that information from your mind and get it down on paper so if you’re ill or away, anybody at your company can step in and take care of the majority of tasks.



    Secondly, it shows you where your inefficiencies are and allows you to address them.



    When you’re working on autopilot, you’re not conscious of how things could be improved. By focusing on the process and writing it up in a ‘user manual’ style, you are thinking about things in a new way. You’ll realize that ‘that’s just how things are’ is not actually the case.



    A third great benefit of creating a ‘user manual’ type document for your business is how it can be used to help new members of staff.



    Say you have a new employee – they’re young and eager but a little bit nervous about working in a new environment. Giving them the manual and explaining the importance of processes could have a great impact on them. They’ll be able to complete quite complex tasks just by following the process and their competence, and confidence, will grow.



    Having a process gets a huge amount of buy-in from staff.



    Joining us on this episode of Excellence Expected is Super Joe Pardo who has extensive experience of implementing, maintaining and improving processes from his time as part of his family’s multi-million dollar auto parts business.



    He’s going to walk us through how he identified processes that needed to be changed, how he changed them and how he dealt with resistance from people who were less than eager to change their ways.



    He’ll also be leaving us with three actionable tips that you can implement in your small business today.



    Issue Challenged in this Small Business Podcast:



    How can I create specific processes in my company that will help me to excel?



    About Joe:



    Joe Pardo is a podcaster, author, motivational speaker and business coach. His motivational Dreamers Podcast has helped countless people pursue their dreams and embrace bright futures. Prior to all of his current activities, Joe was part of his family’s multi-million dollar business and he’s going to discuss with us the things he has learned about processes and what they can do for a business.



    Actionable Tips:



    * Identify inefficiencies. Analyse your business and its processes and work out how you could do things better, more efficiently and more economically. You need to be frank with yourself and your staff but by changing things up, you will make things better for the business and improve the working environment.

    * Be fearless, put a plan into action and make adjustments as needed. You need some courage to put a new plan in place but at the same time you need to be willing to modify it as you’re going along. Being flexible and learning from feedback will help you optimize your ...

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Developing a Secondary Income Stream from a Surprising Source

    Developing a Secondary Income Stream from a Surprising Source

    As entrepreneurs, we’re always on the lookout for additional revenue streams to bolster our main sources of income. In the early days, it may be through necessity as we’re trying to raise funds for our small businesses, but whatever stage we’re at, it’s always good to have different ways of bringing in cash. If these secondary income sources can generate revenue passively then even better! There are many ways that we can go about this and each method has its own positives, negatives and levels of relevance to our lives. Of all the possible ways to generate secondary income, perhaps one you haven’t thought of is vending machines.



    I know what you might be thinking. Vending machines are big, expensive and require a lot of maintenance. That doesn’t really sound that passive. It sounds like there would be a big initial investment of money and an ongoing investment of time. Our guest on this episode of Excellence Expected, Matt Miller, says that this needn’t be the case. The big electric drink and snacks machines can be expensive and time consuming to maintain, but mechanical vending machines can be relatively cheap, low maintenance and profitable. You may have seen them vending everything from toys and temporary tattoos in arcades to travel toothbrushes and mints at motorway services.



    Can there really me good margins in such simple vending machines? Well, according to Matt, there certainly can be. He has built a multimillion dollar business in the vending industry over the last nine years and he has raised millions for schools across America in the process.



    On this episode of your favourite small business podcast, Matt is going to talk us through his journey and what gave him the idea to try vending for himself. He’s also going to discuss some of the basics of the industry as well as leave us with his actionable tips for how we could follow his lead and make vending a low-impact, high-profit secondary revenue stream. Not only that, but he’s also going to be giving away his e-book on the subject so you can research if vending can work for you.



    Issue Challenged in this Small Business Podcast:



    How can I create a secondary income from vending?



    About Matt:



    Matt Miller was formerly a pilot in the US Air Force but he always had dreams of starting his own business. A chance conversation about gumball machines lead him down a path he hadn’t expected and soon Matt and his company, School Spirit Vending, were at the forefront of the vending industry in his area.



    Matt’s company has grown into a multimillion dollar endeavour that has helped raise millions of dollars for schools all across America. He’s with us on this episode of the number one small business podcast to talk about his journey and how vending machines can be used to create secondary revenue streams.



    Actionable Tips:



    * Learn about vending. There are lots of different types of vending machines so you should do some research to find the right type of vending for you.

    * Start small. Take a small risk that you can afford at first. Maybe buy some used equipment to test the markets and to learn the ropes. If all goes well and you’ve proven the concept in your market, you can then spend more money on the right equipment.

    * Begin prospecting immediately. Head out and work out where your locations are going to be and who you’re going to be working with. You can have your first location all lined up before you even have any equipment. Don’t get stuck in research mode.







    Top Quotes:



    * “I knew I was a lot better than the situation I was in so I didn’t get down on me, I got down on the situation and got busy trying to figure out how to get out of it.”

    * “I was looking to a quarter to solve my problems and most people don’t see real money in a quarter.”

    • 29 min

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