Facing uncertainty can be challenging – being a business owner facing uncertainty is tougher.
Red Direction helps you [fast track and] grow your business – authentically, pragmatically, and resiliently.
Starting the conversation:
Knowing the bottom line is vital to maximizing what you get from your business. Understanding the mechanics is also important — how you make money, what difference you make in the world, what you can be best at … and why you are doing what you do. Clint White, Founder of Tattoos Not Brands Inc., Author, Podcast Host, talks about the importance of a business strategy that is achieved through deliberate and considered branding.
You decide what a successful business is. The choice is yours, as are consequences stemming from your decisions. That’s OK. Your creativity, as well as the ability to adapt and optimize systems, are steeped in that bottom line — what your non-negotiables are. These priorities drive what you really can do, so take a look with open eyes and have fun doing the work.
In this broadcast, you will discover how to shift your thinking to have a successful business the way you want it; the importance of and doing more overall planning; as well as when to let go so that all the planning work has a chance to get results. Jess Dewell talks with Clint White, Founder of Tattoos Not Brands Inc., Author, Podcast Host, about being an impactful brand in your community by focusing on your strategy.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guest: Clint White
What You Will Hear:
To be a brand 8/10 people in the country must know the person, place, or thing (think: NYC, Coke, Michael Jordan).
Embrace and utilize what you have and what you can do.
A business IS NOT a brand, focus on the mechanics of making money and then add the story constructed from your core values and beliefs.
Dynamic businesses look at business growth year to year.
Embrace the adoption curve.
You deem what comprises a successful business, and it can be different from the mainstream.
4 Growth myths that have worked, yet it is difficult to repeat results.
The better you plan the better you can adapt.
Choice is essential! You have choice before, during, and after you engage with customers.
Additionally, for the Fast Track Your Business Today Uncut conversation:
The more you plan the easier it is to adjust and refine as you execute.
WARNING: don’t let your brand become rigid.
Let go and know you can (and will) adjust and grow with the choices you make.
Know your bottom line and make decisions from there.
Learn your steps to move forward and backward, up and down, and creatively around your weaknesses, threats, strengths, and opportunities.
It is BOLD to recognize and embrace that you can be impactful as a brand in your community.
Find out more about how to Fast Track Your Business.
Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. Your business has many directions it can travel. The one true direction of your company creates the journey for you to move toward a new, exciting level. We call this the Red Direction. In today’s program, we delve into one idea. The idea will support you as you work on ever-present situations, including how to stay competitive in a changing market, how to break through the business plateau, and how to anticipate the changing expectations of your stakeholders. Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place. Your unique True North. Now, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell 00:51
Welcome back to the Bold Business Podcast. And you know why you’re here? You’re here because, because you are interested in staying curious understanding what’s going on hearing from people who have walked the path you’re on right now. What did they learn? What did they wish they knew? How could you take what they’ve done? How can you take the experience that they bring and apply it to the problems and the exciting opportunities that you are working on in your business right now? I did say problems first because that is on purpose. If we didn’t have problems, there would be no reason to get up every day. And I know some of you were like, Are you kidding me? All we want is ease. Well, of course we do. Well, there’s fun in that there’s more fun and getting to be creative on the fly, working with the resources we have having the opportunity to stretch and think and grow and lean in and rely on in new ways that we never thought possible. And today’s program that’s going to be no different. No different. Clint White is here with me today. And you know, even though he’s an English major, no knocking there at all, because I have to tell you, my husband is a computer programmer these days, and I met him when he was an English major. And you guys do great things. And this is something that I think is so important. Listeners, I’m already talking to Clint But hang on. You know, what do we do? Where are our passions? Where can we see the opportunity to show up? And, and Clint has done that with business building, not only in business building in extremely challenging pressure cooker situations. Not only has he worked with the world’s largest, most impactful and an ambitious brands, he has also worked with companies like mine, not me personally directly yet, but his book, his book is something that we’re going to be talking about today, which can help me which can help you. And more importantly, as a marketing consultant. Yes, we hear about sales. Yes, we hear about marketing. But you know what, there’s some truths in here that people talk about, but they don’t actually said, and Clint says them. And I’m really glad to have Clint here with me today. So we can talk about this. We can get in we can see what is going on. So that we know, how do we leverage our achievements? How do we know what we’ve got? How do we work with the resources we have effectively, and in a way that helps us and helps our employees and our customer base and our communities? Clint, welcome to the Bold Business Podcast.
Clint White 03:25
Thanks, Jess, that is a very, very ambitious lead up and I appreciate it. And I’m very happy to be here. You have a great show and great audience.
Jess Dewell 03:34
Thank you so much. You know, I have to start out talking about your book brands, not tattoos. And the reason I say this is because when you and I first talked, one of the things that really caught my eye was this concept of I don’t even understand what brands not tattoos meant. And when you explained it to me, it made me realize this is so important for us to consider because we talk about spending money. We talk about investing money, we talk about creation, and we know that there’s a cost to all of that, but we don’t quite understand if marketing is not the area that we specialize in. What that actually means. Can you like dial it back? And tell us the, the reels behind that?
Clint White 04:17
Yeah, sure. There’s a lot to it. You know. The reality though, is there’s about 100 True brands in the world, you know, Apple, Nike, Disney, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, etc. Michael Jordan, New York City, those type of things, right things that eight out of 10 people walking down the street of a of a town in the United States would know what you’re talking about and probably have an opinion or have experienced that product or service. And that’s great. That’s amazing. And those things become brands because they, You know, are in the market for a long time, they have at least $2 billion of resources to keep the, keep the products services, top of mind. They, they have ubiquity, they have a necessity to somebody’s life, they have also, generally something magical about them, that is not replicated by, by someone else. So it’s those are almost like, they call it like winning the lottery or getting, you know, sort of, to the holy grail of, of achievement in, in marketing. It can be, you know, it’s extreme, it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen for your company doesn’t mean that it won’t happen for an athlete or an actor or, you know, a marketer. It’s unlikely, and that’s okay. Totally. Okay, there’s nothing wrong with, with being ambitious, but it’s much more valuable to utilize what you have, and to create clarity about what you can do now, and then next year, and the year after that with, with some, you know, some sobriety and actually making a plan a business plan and building around the math of what is available to you. So, I’ve found in working with, you know, not only small mid mid-cap businesses, but also important and ambitious nonprofits, as well as hybrid businesses that generally on day one, this type of conversation has to happen. Because the, you know, the assumption is, almost always I’m building a brand, I have a brand, I’m growing a brand, you have a business, you’re growing a business, and you are on the pathway to, to growth, that should be, you know, reasonable, comfortable, and smart. And that’s, that’s really what my book is about.
Jess Dewell 07:04
Okay, so that is a very unpopular and maybe very controversial. Don’t create polarization here. I’m kidding. No, it’s true reversal, what you just said, to say, Hey, you’re building a business, you’re building a business. So when you say that, and you say, Hey, okay, you’re building a business, you’re not building a brand. You’re saying once you have that core business plan, then the branding is what does what?
Clint White 07:38
The branding is the story behind it, it’s the reason why you are a tattoo is because it’s a personal statement. And is it, is articulated and exposed in a way that you choose? Brand is brand is imposed on people, it’s, you know, it comes from the cattle industry where, you know, if, if cows are grazing in 1000s of acres of farmland, they need to be delineated. And that’s done by heating a piece of iron to about 1000 degrees and, and burning it into, you know, the backside of something that’s owned, right, the wrong way that makes sense. It’s a, you know, it’s it’s part of an industry and I’m not, you know, I’m not squeamish about it, it’s, it’s, it’s just not exactly probably what most businesses should visualize when they, when they visualize their growth. You know, they know it’s something it must be something bigger, but it also needs to be constructed from their own values, their ideas, their, you know, their belief system, their their narrative, which is not necessarily personal, but is a reflection of, you know, experience. It’s a reflection of, of ideas of timing of their own mean and their own rationale for deciding to create something as opposed to follow something.
You’re listening to the Bold Business Podcast. We will return to the show soon. But first, I want to take a moment and give you a peek into what additional services and solutions you could access to Fast Track Your Business. This program was created to develop your capacity on demand by sharing insights, tips, as well as lessons learned by business leaders, unedited and uncut. And we don’t just stop there. There are three additional benefits to help you reach your growth goals. You will also have unlimited access to one, hearing tips and insights to develop yourself as a leader to get better results more often. Two, experiencing viewpoints from many different business leaders. Three, receiving frameworks to build core competencies and to more effectively focus on business growth and leadership. Altogether, The Fast Track Your Business program will allow you to face uncertainty, anytime, anywhere. You can access what will become your most versatile tool in your toolkit by going to FastTrackYou BusinessToday.com. Now back to Jess.
Jess Dewell 10:29
You talked about branding in relationship to agriculture to a way that we did business to make sure that our assets were not lost to somebody else. I totally, totally unrelated yet very much the same is a stage of life we all go through when we put our name on everything. And I know this because I’m bringing this up here. I do have a point of this because one of the things that is happening in our house right now, right, I have an 11-year-old, my 11-year-old likes baseball cards, he got really mad when he went through all my baseball cards from when I was his age. And he found some of my favorite ones that I had written my name really big on Jessica Schnapp. And I’m like, what? Why would you be mad about that? He goes, Yo, my baseball card. Like when it was mine first, right? So we go through this thing? And why am I bringing this up, because behind the business is the people and behind the people is the way that we view things to your point about the ideas about our belief system about the values that we’re bringing to the table. And if we have expectations, but we’re not communicating them, that is where I think there tends to be a break between whatever this concept of business model is, and concept of story that markets, the ideas and what happens. And if those aren’t connected, then we have this problem. And I think there’s an expectation mismatch in there. of, well, here’s what I’ve done, but this is what I can bring. Here’s where I have been. But this is what’s possible, right that we have that constantly in business, which is a very good thing most of the time to be able to have that dynamic. And I think we try and push it a little too much. What do you think, Clint?
Clint White 12:13
Well, the idea of growth is, is broken. In my experience, there’s a, there’s a blind spot, especially, you know, it’s sort of like, the smarter the person, the bigger the blind spot in this idea that you can, you can be exempt from the adoption curve, you know, and you can somehow harness a rocket, and that’s the only acceptable idea of growth as opposed to, you know, the adoption curve, it’s a bell-shaped curve, right. And the early adopters, those that tend to take action, based on simply having a shiny object put in front of them is a tiny part of the market. Yes, it’s true, right, and it’s anywhere from a fret, you know, a tiny fraction of 1% up to maybe two and a half percent if you’re lucky. So, this idea that that generally an, an articulated number of sales, customers, acquisitions need to happen in order for the business to be deemed successful within, you know, a week a month, a quarter is much more prevalent than I am comfortable with, okay, tends to come from of from a private equity or venture capital idea that I need to get, you know, I need a return on investment.
Jess Dewell 13:49
Clint White 13:50
Right away. It puts, it puts the founders in the, the business builders in a, you know, kind of a fear-based mentality as opposed to saying, Alright, I’m gonna let this breathe, this is a baby, it’s going to, it’s going to grow, I’m going to feed it I’m going to, you know, I’m going to parent it well, and I want to be patient, I’m going to capitalize this. So that when the, the science of marketing and media starts to do its thing, which is deliver multiple impressions at the right place at the right time and articulate the, you know, the benefit of why you would choose this over that people start talking about it and people, people, the real rubber hits the road when a person you trust does something, it makes the decision consume something and tells you about it and everybody has that hierarchy in their lives, I mean, it is, it is different, I acknowledge in, in a Gen Z construct Where lives our decisions are? Very much what’s the right word? centered in the social media and digital world. However, the idea that that’s the entirety of their ecosystem is just wrong. Right? I don’t care whether they live in small, medium or massive sized city, everybody has a life that is in the human world, until we are in virtual reality. That will be the case. And I think people that listen to this show are building real businesses and, and are wanting their passion to carry through to their lifestyle. And business. Building a business is a big part of that. But just like anything, nobody goes from, you know, a first date to a marriage in a week or a month, it takes a while, right? So, you know, no, I know I was ever gonna say, Well, I did it. But you know, it’s one out of 1000, as opposed to, you know, one out of 100, where something happens that quickly, and that’s fine. But you have to, you have to.
Jess Dewell 16:19
You have to lie, we tell ourselves that we wish to meet right, we wish this lie was true. So we hold on to the idealism of it, even though everything in our presents our wisdom, our experience, in our life, and in our business tells us otherwise. And I think that that’s what I hear you saying a lot of and, and that’s, that’s, well, the hour taught, you know, now we’re talking about mindset, we’re talking, we’re talking about this thing, where we’re getting in our own way here. And to get out of our own way, is actually fairly straightforward. I’m not gonna say it’s easy because it looks easy. But the right way is typically easy. The way that’s going to work for me, and the right way is going to be different than the right way for you. And that is actually something that I also think we don’t embrace well enough. Now, and I’m thinking about this, and I’m thinking about what we’ve been talking about so far. We also share that we, we are investors in it. So that is actually something that we share outside of our jobs outside of the consulting that we do outside of the book that you have written in the podcasts that I have, we invest in companies, and we’re talking about this really important thing of, well, there are some of these laws that we’ve accepted as the way that they are. And so maybe they’re a quasi-law. They’re right for, they’re right for certain kinds of situations, but maybe not every so it kind of goes into that. Do I really want to accept this as true mode? And then there are the ones that you were also just talking about around the things that well, we’re people, we have a lifestyle, we have all these priorities, we have things that are going to be balanced out, or have to work together for ourselves, let alone how we come together and work together with those that we work with. Are there? Are there common blind spots or other lies that we wish we were true? We think or we wish that were true that would that, that get in the way of setting up this concept of what you’re talking about? That? We design, we design what success is in terms of growth for our companies.
Clint White 18:27
Yeah, I think it’s not self-defined. Yeah, hardly ever. It’s, it’s backed into based on myths, you know, there’s the Shark Tank myth. There’s the, you know, there’s the get rich, quick myth. There’s the 15 minutes of fame, there’s, there’s, there’s the the the all it needs to do is go viral to blow up. Myth, right? And, you know, myths are just like, cliches or stereotypes they’re, they’re there because there’s some truth in it. It is possible it does happen it’s often manufactured it’s often it’s often spawn and PRT and, and is, is benefiting from very good luck. Nothing wrong with that people when people win the lottery people win big jackpots you know, my mom won a big jackpot at the, at the casino in Florida. It happened cool. Yeah, it is. It is cool. But don’t go to the casino expecting that to happen. You know what I’m saying? And that’s okay. This is, this is not don’t dream big. This is not. Don’t be ambitious. This is that’s your fun part. The hard part is the building and the Patience and the, you know, the capitalization that says, if I’m going to do this, I should probably make a life plan for you. No, I’m not. I’m not saying the rest of your life. I’m saying, if you want to do x, it requires y and z. And x is not the only variable just because you want to do it doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen magically. But all right, all right.
Jess Dewell 20:36
And I don’t know about you, I’ll tell you this, and in my world, right, and I work in strategy. And so like you, there are tons of myths out there like you, there are certain things I’m looking for in companies, and I’m helping clients of mine build, right, and instill to increase their capacity. And one of the things that really, I’m hearing you, you talk about here is, well, how do we honor that the goal that we have, and the plan that we make could be happening yet it looks like it’s in a parallel universe, because everything else that could be happening is actually what’s happening, nothing that we planned, yet we see ourselves on the right path to get to that destination. And there’s, there’s a good amount of creativity in that. And it’s an eye, I’m like, well, until we actually have a lot of successes. And we know what that path to concise, consistent, ongoing, iterative success looks like, in terms of, I’m going to achieve these goals and whatever the constraints are. Or I’m going to have this set of milestones happen for revenue of my business, or these are the types of things that are showing up based off of the resources that I have available right now. Just creating space to let them bubble up is just as important as having a plotted path forward. Because if we don’t have a plotted path forward, we could accidentally get stuck. But just because we have a plot at bat path forward doesn’t mean we have to be stuck in it doesn’t mean that we have to at all costs stay on that path. Because very rarely does, does a really cool idea we start with actually look like the very cool results getting outcome that we get.
Clint White 22:24
Yeah, it’s that’s a good point. I think I think those statements speak really well about to why I came up with this. Okay, concept of tattoos, not brands is yeah, you know, the better you plan for a tattoo, the more happy and the more satisfied you’ll be with it. And yeah, you know, doesn’t mean you can’t get a tattoo in 10 minutes, if you’re, you know, if you have a tattoo parlor down, down the street, it also doesn’t mean that, like, I don’t have any tattoos. You know, I’m 50 years old. And if you look at my background, I probably really should be somewhere I’ve lived what I’ve done where, you know, the machinations that I’ve been involved with, but I made a choice not to get a tattoo yet. And that’s, that’s okay, that’s totally okay. And I, you know, most people under 40 In this country, the majority of people under 40, and actually, it’s not just the country in North America, you have a tattoo and are planning to get another one.
Jess Dewell 23:38
So I didn’t know that. How long has that been around? Stepping around? I’m only 44 By not know how to tattoo either.
Clint White 23:44
Yeah. Um, it’s a, it’s a late to late 2000 10s.
Jess Dewell 23:55
Category, okay. Yeah, right now one of that group, okay.
Clint White 24:00
No, no, it’s exactly yeah, it’s beyond okay. It’s it means that you’ve, you’ve that choices are essential and a tattoo again, it’s a choice not, not a not, a not a for some it’s forced anywhere that a brand. Like it or not, Starbucks is forced on you. It doesn’t mean you have to consume it. Right. You, but you will have an opinion on it. You will have a, you probably will have experienced it or I know somebody who has Exactly, yeah. And that that that comes from being so top of mind and front of brain that you just have to factor that in if you’re building a business that has any cross-reference to that space. And you know, Starbucks. Starbucks is not really in the coffee business they’re in. They’re in the loyalty business, right? They’re in the lifestyle of how can we get as much ELV out of you as possible, be cognizant of the fact that we can’t be greedy, we need to give back, you know, we need, their loyalty program is just about as good as it gets, where you feel, and you can borrow from that as a tattoo, don’t have to you don’t have to replicate it. But the point is, user experience is not just the way that a consumer interacts with an app or a website or a piece of technology, user experiences is exactly that. It’s how you feel before, during and after consuming or experiencing something. So a lot of thought is put into the before part, how do I get somebody to care about this? How do I get somebody through the virtual door, the actual door? Or the, you know, some, some blend of that, however, what I think tends to be underplayed is how do you feel as you’re doing it? And how do you feel after, and the way you feel after is, is very much in the hands of the marketer and the, you know, the business builder that says, I have a relationship with this person, now, we’ve done something together, we’ve, we’ve created a handshake of, of, of something that is human, or has had a delivery of, of something. So the demeanor, the vibe, the tenor of how that relationship takes place, is essential to continuing that relationship or, or being, you know, in a position to be the concierge, the architect, the, you know, somebody with a role to play in that. That I find that I find that, that most businesses, most organizations don’t put enough effort into that, yes, they there’s their software that I’ll send you a email, how did we do? And that’s bullshit, honestly, it’s bullshit, because nobody has time for that. And if the people that do are the ones that you know, they just, and listen, I’m being hyperbolic, I get it, but you have to be human about it if, especially if you’re not a brand. Because the, you know, the statistics of you know, the local coffee shop, getting reaction from 10 people is just as valuable as Starbucks getting, you know, hundreds of 1000s Because you’re, you’re scaling your ambition is, you know, is personal. It shows in that.
Jess Dewell 27:56
Now, everybody remember, this is the Bold Business Podcast, you already knew that part. The part you really need to remember is that this is Clint white. He is the author of tattoos, not brands. He is the founder of the same name to company. He is also a podcast host and here’s the deal. You know who you are. You’re a business builder, who wants to be innovative, creative, dynamic, get your mission out in the world and live a life that you want. So keep on listening.
Thank you for tuning in and listening to the Bold Business Podcast. If you have learned something from this show that will help you in your business right now, consider what additional impact you can get by subscribing to the Fast Track Your Business program. You owe it to your business to seek out new ways to achieve more while building a resilient and profitable business. Subscribe now. Visit FastTrackYourBusinessToday.com Special thanks to The SCOTT Treatment for technical production.