Brad Sugars’ Show “The Big Success Podcast” with Robbie Kellman Baxter

Brad Sugars’ Show “The Big Success Podcast” with Robbie Kellman Baxter

Do you know what your customers want and how they want it?

Robbie Kellman Baxter is a leading authority on the membership economy and the author of two best-selling books, The Forever Transaction and The Membership Economy. She has consulted with some of the world’s most successful companies, including Netflix, Fitbit, and Microsoft, on how to build and grow successful membership and subscription businesses.

This episode is about the importance of understanding your customer’s journey. Robbie Kellman Baxter learned about The importance of understanding your customer’s journey when she was laid off and had to reevaluate what was most important to her. The main points of the episode are that success is about knowing where you want to go and working backwards to figure out how to get there, that failure is a good teacher, and that consistency and focus are key to success.

“I think for me, it’s always been think about where you’re going and then work your way backwards.” – Robbie Kellman Baxter

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. What is Robbie Kellman Baxter’s definition of success?

2. What was the defining moment that caused Robbie to change her thinking about success?

3. What is Robbie’s theory on how success happens?

Additionally, Robbie Kellman Baxter is a leading authority on the membership economy and the author of two best-selling books, The Forever Transaction and The Membership Economy. She has consulted with some of the world’s most successful companies, including Netflix, Fitbit, and Microsoft, on how to build and grow successful membership and subscription businesses.

All in all, this episode is about The importance of understanding your customer’s journey. Robbie Kellman Baxter learned about The importance of understanding your customer’s journey when she was laid off and had to reevaluate what was most important to her. The main points of the episode are that success is about knowing where you want to go and working backwards to figure out how to get there, that failure is a good teacher, and that consistency and focus are key to success.

“I think for me, it’s always been think about where you’re going and then work your way backwards.”

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. What is Robbie Kellman Baxter’s definition of success?

2. What was the defining moment that caused Robbie to change her thinking about success?

3. What is Robbie’s theory on how success happens?

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And today on the Big Success Podcast, we have Robbie Kelvin. Baxter now, she’s written some amazing books. The Forever Transaction, the one that changed my thinking massively is a very simple book, but it’s so powerful, the membership economy. Robbie is obviously a genius at this whole membership and subscription stuff. She’s consulted with the people like Netflix and Fitbit and Microsoft.
She’s a graduate from Harvard and also from Stanford. I got to say that someone that’s featured in Wall Street and CNN that is an expert on membership and subscriptions, that’s who we want to be learning about success from. She’s also coming to Nashville, speaking at BizX 2023. That’s who we got today. And we are live here with Robbie Kilman Baxter.
The membership economy. The book changed my thinking so dramatically. I can’t wait to ask her about success. So, Robbie, thanks for being on my podcast. Oh, thanks so much for having me.
Brad, when we talk success here on the big Success podcast, I like to start by asking, what is success to you? How do you define success? Success is achieving my goals and living the life that I hoped for. Excellent definition. So when you think about that definition, how does that play out on a day to day or week to week for you?
So I’m a very analytical person, and so I’m constantly reevaluating. I’m constantly looking at what is it that’s most important to me, and am I focusing the right level of energy on those areas to achieve what’s going to make me happy, what’s going to make me feel successful? And so in my case, some of that is professional, a lot of that is personal. And I feel like I have a checklist in my head all the time. Are you putting enough time here?
Are you putting enough time there? And then I have to remind myself, set that aside, and you have time to go through that and reevaluate. But you’ve done this already, and you’re in good shape. So that’s what goes on in my head, kind of a constant recalibration of what is success. And am I on the right path with trying to give myself a little bit permission to turn off the success machine sometimes and just live for a while and trust that all the trains know where they’re supposed to go and I don’t need to check and see that the track is still there?
I love the word path. I think that that’s a wonderful word when you’re talking success. Am I on the path because it’s not a place, it’s not a thing. It’s a path to get there. I love that word.
So think back in your life. When did you choose success? Were you a young person? Was it in college years? When did success become your choice in life?
Honestly, Brad, I was thinking about this, and I honestly think that it started as long back as I can remember. I remember being a little girl and telling people I wanted to be the boss, being very aware, honestly, of how other people define success. What people expected from a five year old, from a nine year old, from a twelve year old, and trying to be that for people. It’s always been on my mind. I think what’s changed is that the definition of success is now coming from me instead of coming from other people.
Yeah, I think that there’s a big change in our life when we move from what other people think to what we think. Was there a defining moment that you changed to that? Or was it just something that naturally occurred? I feel like there was a period of time when that was happening which was pretty painful, to be totally honest, which is when I stepped off the obvious path. So I was always a good student, I was a hard worker, I was a pleaser, I went to a good college, I got good jobs, I went to business school, I got a good job after business school.
And then I got laid off while I was on maternity leave from a really good product management, product director kind of role. And suddenly I was no longer on the path that came with other people’s expectations of success. And in fact, people didn’t really know how to respond to what I was doing. Oh, I’m an independent consultant, I have three kids, whatever. But it wasn’t the kind of thing that I’d always been used to people’s eyes lighting up and being impressed with me.
And at that time, I really had to get clear on what mattered to me and less on what mattered to other people. So I think I was about early 30s, early 30s when I really switched paths. Early 30s is quite young for a lot of people to be able to actually say they got on that path. I mean, that’s quite amazing. Well, being laid off was a hard pill to swallow, I guess is the expression.
And as I said to you, I’ve always been goal oriented. And I realized, okay, so I can’t go for the goal that everybody else and whatever my college cost, my business school class, my company that they’re going for. So what is it that I want and need that will make me happy? And I think that was such an important thing for me. And something that I realized being an independent consultant, is that I have complete control over what I do with my day.
And so I should know what the desired outcomes are. Is it money? Is it discretionary time? Is it experiences? Is it meaningful conversations?
And that’s ultimately up to me, which in some ways is wonderful, and in some ways it’s hard to have that kind of responsibility. I sometimes joke that I’m not always the nicest boss.
So let’s look at success then. What’s your theory on how success happens? Or what’s your formula? What’s your methodology for that? I think for me, it’s always been think about where you’re going and then work your way backwards.
Because I think if you just look forwards on the path, you don’t see what’s around the next curve, and you don’t think far enough ahead, so you don’t necessarily bring the right stuff with you. And so I’ve always been a person that’s interested in kind of the next phase. So what is it like to go to college when you’re in middle school? What is it like to be the partner in a consulting firm when you’re an analyst and then working backwards and saying, okay, what are all the things I need to have done if I want to get there? And what does that mean for me today?
And that’s always been my approach, whether it’s having kids or getting married or starting a firm, writing a book, starting a podcast. Not just writing a book, writing two bestseller books that let’s be open about this. I worked backwards on those books. Right. I thought about, what are the outcomes I want for my readers?
What are the outcomes I want for myself? That was where I started, and then I worked backwards. And when you start to do those things, what are the outcomes I want for my readers? It totally changed the way I wrote the book. Right?
What are the outcomes I want for myself? Totally changed the way the book is structured. Love it. So let’s flip it over, then. How does failure teach success?
How do you learn from your mistakes? Yeah, I think there’s a few things about failure. One of them is most of the time you’re still alive after the failure. You can pick yourself up and dust yourself off and move ahead. I think that’s a big learning.
If you haven’t failed, you don’t know what it feels like, and it kind of looms large. It seems worse than it is. Most people don’t really care what you’re up to for more than a minute or two, so it’s really just for you to move forward. I think the other thing is that a lot of times when you fail, it helps you understand yourself a little bit better. Why did I fail?
Did I fail because this wasn’t the right path for me? Because I didn’t use the right approach? Because there are skills that I lack, because I was unlucky, because it just didn’t work out this time. I did everything right, and it just didn’t work out. I think that kind of reflection is a really good teacher to help you make better decisions going forward and also to begin to make distinctions when you have a failure of, Is this a failure?
That’s just there was nothing I could have done right. I’ve worked with companies that I think have all the right products, all the right team members. Everything going right, and it’s just the wrong time or the market has a downturn and nobody will give them money and is it their fault? Did they do anything wrong? No, they didn’t catch the wave.
And understanding that that is different than I did something wrong that I should have done differently and I’ve learned from it. I think understanding those distinctions can only happen if you fail and those are the kinds of self knowledge that help you to succeed. Yeah, sometimes it said success is the worst teacher type thing. Sometimes we need to make those mistakes and I know in implementing all of the stuff you’re writing it’s like I’m sure we’re making mistakes as we go but we’re learning and we’re taking it step by step. So let’s think about success overall and because be it in life, be it in business in all the areas and in the creation of books, running your own business and all of that sort of thing, what do you think is the difference between someone who does succeed and someone who doesn’t?
Oh gosh, lots of things I have to say I think luck is a little piece of it. Definitely. My husband played professional baseball for many years and there are a lot of people who are very good high school and college baseball players that never make it to the pros and there are a lot of very good people in the minor leagues that never make it to the big leagues. And some of that is there’s a few players where you’re like well, those are really the best players in the world and then there’s a bunch that are just right place, right time, right connection. And so I think part of the difference between a success and not having as great a success is luck.
I also think it’s about consistency and about focus and about clarity of where you’re going. There’s a lot of people who either say they want something I want to be a professional baseball player for example. So then the question is working backwards that means probably if you want to be a pitcher you have to throw at least this hard. How are you going to do that? What are you going to do now?
What do people do that get to throw that hard? What is their training like? What is their body like? You’re not going to be a professional gymnast if you’re 6ft tall. It’s just not going to happen for you.
And so I think having interstate, this is my goal, this is how I’m going to get there and these are all the things that I need to do along the way is really important. A lot of people have the goal but don’t actually figure out the path and a lot of people don’t have the goal and just wander on the path that is in front of them. And so I think both of those are equally ineffective routes. Either knowing what the destination is but not spending any time figuring out how to get a map or having a map and just kind of walking on the next path that you come across without any kind of discernment. Those are two bad routes that I’ve seen a lot of people do that take up a lot of energy and don’t get you where you want to go.
Fantastic. You’re on the big success podcast. We’re going to be back in just a moment. I’ll be back. So she’s going to teach us all about membership and subscription success.
There has never been a better time to become successful in life than right now. Creating success in your life isn’t about chance. It’s about learning what it takes to create a great life. And that’s why Brad Sugars has put together 30 X Life. You get his 30 years of success in 30 minutes a day for 30 days.
You only get one shot at this thing called life. Let’s build an amazing life for you. And you’re back on the Big Success podcast. Robbie Kellman Baxter, the genius of the forever transaction. Something I love the theory of.
I’ve always talked lifetime value, but I want to get your thoughts. How do we first of all, let’s look at membership and how do people succeed at transitioning or even creating a membership in their business? Yeah, it’s really straightforward. Whether you’re a solopreneur or a big company, if you want your customers to behave like members, meaning that they come to you first, that they trust you, that they are interested in, kind of tell me the best that you have, and I’m all in. If you want to earn that kind of relationship, you have to deliver on an ongoing goal or an ongoing problem that needs to be solved for that customer.
So you have to know who you’re designing your membership for. You have to know what’s their ongoing goal or what’s their ongoing problem that you’re going to help them with. And then you need to look at your entire business through that lens and say, what are all the things I can do to increase the likelihood of that ideal customer now a member achieving their ongoing goal or solving their ongoing problem? And so it kind of changes how you look at everything. Instead of saying, let’s say it’s a clothing store, I come in, I want to buy a blouse.
It’s asking, why are you buying the blouse? Well, I’m buying the blouse because I’m giving a speech. Oh, you’re a speaker. What else do you need? Well, I need to look professional and approachable and successful when I’m on stage.
Oh, well, you probably need makeup. You probably need hair. Maybe you need help with PowerPoint slides. Who knows what you need. But it’s it’s that kind of thinking.
It’s that ongoing. What’s the goal? It’s not just about the blouse. Yeah. So thinking of that, what are the top two or three things we need to think about in structuring our product or our service to be membership oriented, to price it, to get it right for that.
Yeah, there’s a bunch of little pieces that go into developing the offering for your membership. I think one way of thinking about the product itself is what are the acquisition benefits and what are the engagement benefits. So what’s the reason someone joins? Oh, I joined to take your course. Right.
You can only take the course if you’re a member of the organization. But why do you stay? I stay because these are my people. I stay for the community. I stay because this is a place where I can give back.
That’s often in a lot of associations, a lot of membership groups, many people, when you ask them why they’re still paying their dues, it’s really because it’s a place for them to give back. But it’s understanding that which requires understanding the journey that the member is on and thinking about not just that acquisition benefit that gets them to sign up, but what’s going to keep them paying month after month, year after year. What are the ongoing benefits? Many organizations either under invest in understanding what drives acquisition or under invest in understanding what drives retention. And then I would say in the middle of that is onboarding, which is really about when somebody comes to you for that short term goal, right.
That short term pain point. How do you establish habits with them so that they keep coming back? If you sign up for Disney Plus because you want to watch Hamilton with your family and you’re planning to cancel in a month right. And just pay whatever it is, your 699 or 799 for one month, it’s up to Disney Plus to surface other programming for you and ideally get the password to your kids so that you can never cancel because they’re watching their Star Wars or their Princess movies or their National Geographic specials. That little piece, that onboarding piece makes the biggest difference in retention.
And I think many organizations assume that retention is about the day the person calls to cancel and what you do on that day. Retention is really about how you onboard them so that they don’t want to leave. Yeah, I know we put a lot of energy into that 1st 100 days. What happens in that 1st 100 days so that we have that relationship. So let’s bounce across then to not just membership, but subscription based.
There’s so many great lessons you teach us on that. What are some of the keys that people have to understand to build a subscription based business? Okay, so number one is subscription is just a pricing decision, right. Without a membership mindset, regardless of what industry you’re in, if you aren’t thinking of your customer like a member and optimizing for their goals on an ongoing basis, you’re never going to justify subscription pricing. Right.
And a lot of organizations really have only a transactional product, they don’t actually solve an ongoing problem. Let’s say I have one course, right, that does not merit a subscription, because someone can take that course and maybe they want to look back on it every now and then, but it’s not an ongoing solution and so it doesn’t merit subscription pricing. So if you’re moving from transactional to subscription, you have to take a step back and say, what’s the reason that they’re going to join me and how am I going to get them to stay? Do I have enough of an offering to justify that? So, in a lot of cases, you need to layer in community, live events, concierge services, so sort of being able to call a person and get real time advice, those are the kinds of things that people keep coming back for.
And so if you want subscription pricing, which everybody wants, because we all know when you sell your business, you get a higher valuation if your revenue is recurring. And so everybody wants subscription revenue, but I get people calling me all the time for consulting advice, saying, hey, we just want to get some subscription revenue so that we can get a higher valuation. How do we do that? What should be our price? Well, you don’t even have a subscription offering to price, and those things really go hand in hand.
And so if I have a wedding dress business and all I do is sell wedding dresses, it’s going to be very hard for me to have a subscription unless I create some other offerings, like helping you have a successful wedding, which might have a subscription for a year or two, or helping you have a successful marriage which might have a longer runway. But helping you get a wedding dress is a very hopefully for most people, it’s a finite one time deal, does not merit a subscription. If you’re in the wedding dress business and you want subscription revenue, you’re going to have to think more broadly. What is the bigger issue that brought this person to my store and how can I build around that? I remember when, years ago, before I read your book and we were doing this, we had a client in the UK, they were in the milk business and we helped them create a cheese lovers club.
So now they add value to their product, they now get a much bigger margin. They now have a subscription based business. If I’m understanding correctly, what you’re saying is we got to almost rethink the business in order to be able to offer that. Absolutely. And if you have a going concern, if you have a business that’s been successful for a while and you create a subscription, you have to think about what subset of your audience is this subscription really for?
So it might be most often either for the lightest customers, the ones who haven’t really committed yet, or it’s for your heaviest best customers who are like, I just want everything you’ve got. I want the best you can give me. Or It’s somebody that has a really quirky problem that you’re not solving well, that’s kind of pushing at the limits of what you can do, and then from there, you can optimize around that group on an ongoing basis. So in your case, this Cheese Lovers club, they knew they had a group that loved their cheeses, I’m guessing probably a small subset, and they said, what is it that they love? Well, they love is it about discovery?
Is it about never running out? Is it about cost savings? Is it about bragging rights? Like a lot of wine clubs and cheese clubs are really about knowing more than your friends and introducing them to something that they may not have tried before. The better you are at knowing not just who they are, but what it is that brought them to you and keeps them with you, the better you can design it, because I’ve done a fair amount of work in the wine business.
Right. And you can have a wine club that’s about, oh, I drink a lot, so I’ll get it. The wine club is 10% off if you buy six bottles a month or whatever it is. But it might be about discovery. Right.
Six new bottles every month of a certain variety. Or it might be about, I went to this winery when I was on vacation, and I loved it, and it’s a memory for me. I like this wine because it reminds me of my time in Napa or my time in New Zealand or my time in whatever wine region that you went on your vacation. It’s really important to understand that, because everything you put around it the packaging, the messaging, the extra features, depends on why they’re with you in the first place. Love it.
So let’s talk about that forever transaction. How do we get that level of engagement and retention with members? Yeah, I mean, I think it’s about first the things we described, right? What is that forever promise that you’re making to them? That justifies their loyalty.
I was just working on a piece, actually, about the Federal Trade Commission in the United States. The FTC, the watchdog for business, for consumers, really. But, you know, they they’re the watchdog of business. They’ve come out really hard against subscription businesses because of all the bad actors, the ones who say, oh, you know, they’re going to sign up for the subscription. They’re not going to read the fine print that says it’s impossible to get out of this, or, you know, it’s $10 a month plus $70 a month of shipping and handling.
Right. All these crazy things. Yeah. If you want to have this, you know, subscription really work. The core of it is trust.
Right. If I’m a member of your Cheese of the Month Club, I’m not really looking at the price. And it’s not because I’m dumb. It’s not because I’m not a good consumer. It’s because I trust you.
And I’m like, well, they told me I love this brand. They told me that they’re going to give me great quality and variety at prices I could never get myself. I trust them. I’m not going to look now. If one week I unbundle it and I go to the store and I realize that I’m paying a 20% premium, I’m going to be really angry.
I’m going to tell everybody I know. I might try to get the FTC involved if I’m really upset. But the point is, if you’re thinking about a subscription for your members, for your best customers, you have to be trustworthy. I love it. So let’s talk branding then.
How do we succeed at the whole branding aspect of building a great business and building really a brand that people want to be a part of? Yeah, well, you have to know who you are first of all, and you have to be confident enough to say who you are. I think a lot of brands want to be a lot of, let’s put it this way, a lot of really small brands want to be all things to all people. If you’re Microsoft, maybe you can be all things to all people. But if you’re Robbie’s Cheese Shop, you can’t credibly claim to provide all types of cheeses at all price points to all types of buyers.
Right. And so I think the first thing when it comes to branding is to be specific and to be clear, not just on who you’re for, but what that ongoing promise is. I sometimes think about the Forever Promise compared to, let’s say, what people talk about as a brand promise. Forever Promise is actually what your customers say about you. It’s what they say.
They say, whatever, whatever Brad is selling, I sign up for it because I trust him to help me build a better business. Right. And if he says he has a book, I’ll get the book. If he says he has a new show, I’ll go to the show. That is the kind of brand, because they’re telling you what they count on from you.
No matter what is the product, what is the packaging, it’s what I trust. And I think when you’re building a brand, you want to have in mind what you want people to be saying about you and optimize for that. Love it. You’re on the big success podcast. We’ll be back in just a moment.
We’re going to go into scaling up, going from good to great. Robbie has more than 20 years of experience providing strategic business advice to major organizations including Netflix, Fitbit, Microsoft and Consumer Reports. Baxter has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and on CNN. She earned her MBA from the Stanford GSB and graduated with honors from Harvard College. For more information, head to her website robbie
You’re back on the Big Success podcast with Robbie Kellman Baxter, amazing author and genius at subscriptions and membership. Robbie, let’s talk about good to great. How do we take a business that’s got maybe a good program, a subscription, or a good membership? And how do we make it great? Yeah, it’s a good question.
Of course, the answer is it depends. It depends on where you’re good and where you need to be great. I think one of the things is having a dashboard and making sure that you’re looking at all the parts of the business. So something that I see all the time. Businesses that have been successful for a long time, let’s say 30 years, often have grown up with one set with membership.
Businesses often have grown up with a customer set. Right. So you think about a newspaper. So it was the new newspaper or the new source of news when you were, let’s say, coming out of high school or coming out of college and starting to want to understand the world around you. You sign up, you subscribe, you stop looking at alternatives, right.
So you’re very loyal, right? And now you’re 50. But your 25 year old child who’s now choosing what they want to read or how they want to consume news, they look at it and they say, this organization hasn’t evolved. They’ve kind of rested on their laurels. They’re not really speaking my language.
I’m going to go look for what’s new. And so what happens is that organization says, we’re great on retention and we’re really struggling with acquisition. And then I ask them, well, who’s your ideal member? And they say, a 55 year old guy has been subscribing to our paper for 30 years. Right?
And so you say, no, your ideal member is somebody who’s making their decision about news at this moment and who’s ready to commit and pay to get access to understanding the world around them. And by the way, that person is 25 or 20 or 18, and your product no longer connects with them.
Instead of, like, just listening to the violins, who are, let’s say, the longtime members, you have to be listening for the OBOS and the flutes and the trumpets, all these different parts. But the people who left, who used to be your subscribers, why did they leave? Where did they go? Did they fill up? And they feel like they got everything they could get from your organization.
Like, I’m the best one at all the meetings. I’m the most experienced person, so I left. Are they leaving because they didn’t feel welcome anymore? Are they leaving because you made too many mistakes? All of those things can go into taking you from good to great.
And then on the acquisition side, why aren’t people joining? And very often it’s because you haven’t evolved enough. It’s very easy when you have a membership offering and your members tell you all the. Time how great you are. It’s very easy to stop innovating.
Yeah. So you’ve consulted with some amazing memberships that have scaled dramatically and worked with some that have scaled dramatically. What have been the keys to scaling those memberships and going massive with them? Not just the big ones, but the massive ones. Yeah.
I think one of the biggest things is two big things systems and culture. So when you’re starting a membership, when you’re starting anything, the skills that you need you need to be entrepreneurial, you need to be scrappy, you need to be thick skinned and resilient, you need to turn on a dime. All of that until you kind of get product market fit and you start seeing evidence that the membership is working. And at that point when it’s time to scale, you need different skills. And a lot of times organizations under invest in those different skills or they don’t bring in the right people.
I live in Silicon Valley. In Northern California. Lots of tech companies are here. One of the things that we see a lot is when a company gets to a certain size, they bump out the founder and they bring in what they call professional management. Right.
Somebody who’s great at infrastructure development, processes, culture development, hiring, all of those things. And I think in a membership organization it’s the same in the beginning. You’re changing things every day and you’re probably doing it with spreadsheets and bubblegum I would say chewing gum and paper clips. And then it becomes time where you’re actually going to pour the concrete, right. And you’re going to put in the rebar and you can’t make a mistake because it’s really hard to fix.
You’re spending a lot of money building something substantial. That is what scaling is. Right? You need better infrastructure so you can grow bigger. And I think if you don’t have the right team and you don’t have the right mindset for that, it’s very hard.
And I think a lot of entrepreneurs, honestly, they find that part of the job really boring. They’ll say, oh, I don’t like that day to day when everything is the same. But that is exactly what it takes to scale it’s consistency and its structure. So that’s what I would say is know the right time to move to that phase. Yeah, I know for me as the entrepreneurial person, my chief of staff actually runs the company.
I’m CEO, but chief of staff still runs the place. Well, I think that’s very common, that you have sort of a CEO who’s visionary, outward facing, creative, and you have a COO or, a chief of staff who’s focused on the operations, who does the hiring and the technology and the infrastructure and the managing of projects and the making sure that all the trains are leaving on time and often that’s a very beautiful partnership. So what’s your thoughts then on how do people actually thnik that big? Because you’ve worked with some people that have thought small and you’ve worked with some people that are massive thinkers. What’s the difference in that thinking realm?
I think to scale this kind of gets back to your question earlier about what’s the difference between people who succeed and people who don’t. And I think you need a couple of things to be successful. One of them is you need to have a vision of where you’re going. A big vision. Right.
You know, again, here in Silicon Valley, everybody is going to change the world, right? We all, you know, nobody is just going to build a small, comfortable business so I can support my family. Everybody is changing the world, disrupting everything. We have all these people that have these visions. Imagine a world where you never had to go to the store again.
Imagine a world where the energy was free and available and renewable. It’s such big ideas. You have that idea, but then you have to go all the way back to the beginning and say, how am I going to get there? Some people don’t have a big vision and some people don’t spend any time figuring out how to get there. And I think those are sort of the two, the two big challenges with scaling.
Yeah. I guess when you’re surrounded by those big thinkers, it’s easy to think big. And a lot of people aren’t surrounded b them though. So what might they do to get themselves into that massive thinking? I think it’s, you know, for a lot of, a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners, they, they got into the business to help their customers.
So one of the ways of thinking about that was, how can I help the most customers in the best way? What would that look lie if I were really delivering on my mission? Having a mission is sometimes an easy way to kind of backdoor into vision. They talk about mission, vision, values, right? If your mission is, let’s say you run a lunch shop, right?
And your mission is, I want people to eat delicious, healthy food when they’re out and about, when they’re not at home, when they don’t have a lot of time. You could say, and therefore I’m going to have Robbie’s Luncheonette, which is a small shop that’s open from eleven to three on Tuesdays. Or I could have a chain of service, or I could provide food to every hospital, school, hotel, you know, all these different things. So it’s like, think about what can you really do for, for the world? And then you go all the way back and say, what are the first three steps to get there?
Step one, have a store. Step two, have multiple stores with other people managing it. That’s a big hurdle. I always think about learning and leverage goal. So learning goal is, what do I need to learn so that I’m confident enough to have a bigger vision?
Right. Where I’m like, I don’t know if I can do that, so I need to figure this stuff out. Write down what you don’t know that’s keeping you from having a big vision. And then leverage is when you’re really confident of your big goal, but you need other people to do things for you in order for you to achieve that goal. So that might be you need somebody to give you money.
That might mean you need a big customer to take a risk on you. That might mean you need a big partner to sign up with you. That might mean you need to get other people to come work for you, right? What do you need to be able to show them so that you have the evidence or the leverage to get them to do what you need them to do? So thinking about what are your learning requirements?
What questions are bothering you that are keeping you from thinking bigger? And what are the leverage requirements, which is what are those big hurdles in front of you that you don’t know how to get over in order to get to your goal? Love it. Let’s go to the quick fire round then. What are the keys to success in your mind around self development?
Always be learning. Love it. I think, yeah. Keys to success around setting goals.
Know the vision and then look for the path to get there. Fantastic. Key to success in relationships?
Make them a priority.
I like that answer. Key to success in health. In health, yeah, same thing. Make it a priority every day. Do it in the morning.
Love it. First things type thing. What about fun? What’s the key to success of enjoying yourself?
Have fun. Whatever you’re doing. Ask yourself the question, how can I make this fun? Whatever it is you’re doing, don’t make it a thing. You do Saturdays between four and eight.
A mindset. Yeah, I get that. Fun during happy hour. That’s it. I’ve got that’s the time.
Everything’s got to be fun. So, final question. What’s the best advice you ever got or the best quote you ever found on the subject of success?
You get to define what success means to you. Don’t let someone else define it for you. Love it. Robbie Kelman Baxter. Love having you on the podcast.
Thank you so much for teaching us a whole bunch here on the Big success podcast. It was a real pleasure. Thanks so much for having me. Brad and that’s the big success podcast for today. Hopefully you took a lot of notes, hopefully you learned a bunch and hopefully you’re going to take action on it.
BS. Brad Sugars. Big success. Take action. Check all the show notes for all of the links.
I’ll make sure that you have links to every single thing that every speaker has in our show notes. Check them now. Click the links, take advantage of it, and I’ll speak to you again. Next time I’m on the big success podcast.

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