Ron Karr has worked with leaders on six continents to eliminate risk, gain buy-in and achieve better results faster with the Velocity Mindset®. His presentations and advisory services have generated over a billion dollars in incremental revenues for his clients. Ron is the author of five books including his latest, The Velocity Mindset® and the bestselling Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way. Ron facilitates the Chief Revenue Officer Mastermind Group made up of CEO's and VP's building high-performance sales cultures.
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Intro: Welcome to the Lucky Titan podcast where you will learn how to fill your favorite platform with tons of your dream customers from some of the world's top entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Josh Tapp, now let's get started.
Josh: What's up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan podcas and today, we're here with Ron Karr, which I mean, realistically, this guy doesn't even need an intro to legendary guy I mean, this guy's written some amazing books, his most recent one being the velocity mindset, which I really want to dive into today, talking really about scaling pains, right, when we enter into that scaling mode of business, which you all know, as I plainly bring this up over and over again on this show is that we've had some serious scaling pains in our company and growth pains and so I'm excited Ron, to have you here to talk through some of those and hopefully, through this conversation, we can help our listeners who are having a lot of the same issues overcome the same problems so first off, excited to have you here, Ron, say, what's up, everybody will happen.
Ron: Thank you, Josh. It's exciting to be here with you and your listeners.
Josh: Well, we are excited to have you here and I just have to tell everybody here too is I had to cancel on Ron twice, which is like completely against my religion, my personal moral code and he's still being a great guy and coming back here on the show so I'm excited to have here on so Ron, you said something in our pre interview, you said, Josh, you need to manage outcomes, not tasks, can you dive into that a little bit because from a managerial perspective on I am like, I mean, what's the difference, right?
Ron: So that's a big theme of the velocity mindset. So if I asked you, what's the first word that comes to your mind, when you hear the word velocity, that word is?
Ron: speed and that's what most people think. Right?
Ron: But that's all you have you don't have velocity; you're probably going to find out what burnout. Let me give you an example, a lot of us are run by our to do lists, tasks and we're busy, busy, busy everyday doing a lot of tasks and sometimes we're so busy, we don't even have a chance for lunch and at the end of the day, we sit there exhausted but we're perplexed, because we checked off all the tasks, but yet we didn't move the needle forward.
Ron: too many people are task oriented and that's one of the biggest things that strips your velocity. You need to be purpose oriented, that's outcome based, what are the outcomes you're looking to achieve, whether it's a sales call, what is the goal of this call, most people have the wrong goals in their minds. That's why they get to the wrong results and if it's for a year, a new product launch, whatever it is, what is the outcome? Why is that so important? It's so important, because that's what drives your decision making process, and you will make better decisions and then you will do a better job of prioritizing the tasks that need to be done that are germane to the outcome. Otherwise, if he just tasks oriented, you're simply going to do the next task that comes up not looking at the outcome, you will complete that task, but do not move the needle. Let's look at pilots, you go to Newark Airport, you want to go to Miami, and you get to the airport and you go to the pilot where we're going he goes wherever the winds take us. Would you stay on that plane?
Josh: Yeah, Absolutely not.
Ron: Absolutely not. The pilot starts with the end in sight. First, they say we want to go to Miami, they work their way back. They look at two or three waypoints that they know they fly over the on the way they factor in potential obstacles, storms, winds, and they come up with the safest and fastest flight plan to get to Miami, I want your listeners to start with the end in sight for every project for every year, whatever they're looking at, and let that end in sight guide the decisions that they make, and the tasks and when they perform them. If they do that, they'll achieve greater success in a shorter period of time, and they'll achieve success when the past they may have failed.
Josh: You know, Ron, that actually brings up another question with that, because I feel like there's two categories of people, right, you have the people who set goals or seeking outcomes that are a little too short sighted and then you have people like me, like I'm shooting way too far, way too fast and I have a hard time like breaking the steps down so do you mind talking to those two and explaining like how to actually set an outcome?
Ron: Yeah, so an outcome is your destiny, what do you want to create for yourself, and outcome has got to have passion, it's got to jazz you because not everything is going to be easy, and you're going to have a lot of failure along the way and if you don't have that passion to keep picking you back up after you fall down, it's going to fall short. So I don't know what that I always say, don't go for something too small, because you're wasting your time, go for something bigger but if you go for something too big and totally unrealistic, then you can also set yourself up for failure and there has to be a thing called measured growth. You know, I was speaking to one owner one time and I said so, where do you want to call eight wants to grow at a double digit a high double digit number every year and I'm going well, you're thinking about the revenue you're gonna get but can you support that growth? Do you have the infrastructure? Do you have the resources, including the cash to fund the labor and everything else and if you don't, then you have to measure it because what's most important is that you meet your objectives if you keep falling short, there's nothing what the motivation on the map so you will have to look at the realities of the world, the realities of the situation, and then put them together and come up with something that's going to make you stretch, that's going to make you move the needle forward in a way that makes sense for what you want to achieve and what the world needs.
Josh: Yeah, I love that because it is looking at more of your destiny, right? But it's that change that you're really wanting to make and that's, I guess,
Ron: well, yes and here's where people make a mistake. And I can give you a case, an example case that it's in the book, the velocity mindset so we say start with the end in sight for us, a lot of people can't figure that out, right? One way to back that in back into it is think about what you don't want and many times it's the opposite, right but when people make the biggest mistake, we tell people to start with a clean piece of paper, forget the past, forget what you know, is possible, because that's a story in your mind, write down, if you can create the destiny of your dreams, what would it look like? Just put it down, don't decide on it, just put it down, what most people do is they don't do that, they will take that clean piece of paper but they will start bringing the past into it what they think they can cannot do limitations where they failed and then their destiny is tainted, you follow what I'm saying Josh, right?
Ron: And it's tainted to the point where all they're going to do is recreate the past. Yeah, they're going after the same thing. Okay.
Ron: If you truly want to create a new mark, a new differentiation, a marketplace, a new whatever, you have to start with the end in sight and the thing that separates people, the successful entrepreneurs from the mouths of successful entrepreneurs, the thing that separates leaders from non-leaders, and I'm not just talking managers, as leaders, is that if you do that, right, you're not going to have the answers at the same time as to how to do it and people don't like that, people feel that as a leader, you have to have the answers and how can you maybe just came up with the idea how is it possible to have the answers that that, and that's not a leaders job, a leaders job is to set the course where we're going, and then embark on asking the right questions that will lead to the answers that they need on how to get there but it's not to have the answers up front but that's what a lot of people are uncomfortable with and that's why they shoot too low or they recreate the past.
Josh: Yeah. What and? Yeah, it's a really good point. I'm curious with that from a team perspective, right so as the team is growing, and like you said, the leader is the person who feels like they need to have all the answers, how are you helping employees get to the point that they feel like they can come with answers without just blindly trusting your opinion because we run into that a lot in my company where they just like, oh, yeah, Josh knows what he's doing. So let's just follow him and I'm like, Whoa, sometimes you got to challenge me.
Ron: So I'll get to this was a sales example, the, where we help the client change the way in industry bought in this industry, which was the mining industry, clients bought on supply agreements, three years, every three years is a bid for best price and as price base and I did work for this multinational company that had a division that was catering to the copper industry, copper mines, and they spent 20 years creating a new agent that cut in half the cost of mining copper and when they came out with the product in the 1980s, it was the perfect storm for them. It positive copper mines going bankrupt, they got this great product cuts in half the cost of mining copper, the sales shoot up so much, so they started getting a huge market share and then the other two major players see what's happening, they re-engineer their version of the product, not as good as my client but then they try to commoditize it by beating it on price right.
Ron: So I spoke for Activision and the VP says, you know, we got the largest copper mining company going up a bit and they claim that our quality is three out of three means that the worst, which is bs o is this a positioning statement, just to get them to lower their expectations, right. Anyway, they had a meeting with this lesson team the following week they said can you fly out to Tucson and help us get ready so sure so does me and two people in the room, two executives and the first question I asked them is what do you want as a result of my intervention and they said they want to win the bid, now that taught me from the past, right, that's how they always did it and I said, I don't think you heard the question. Take out a clean piece of paper and I want you to answer from the heart, what do you really want? What's your passion? What do you really want to create for yourself and put his industry and they started saying, well, why do we have to bid all right? We got the best product, we save this industry. So what do you want? We want to negotiate a deal? So okay, how long usually do three years 10 years’ life for the patents, I said, Okay, you have 25% of the demand, how much do you want? 75? So let me repeat what you said, you don't want to bid. You want to negotiate a deal, 75%, not 25% of the demand and you want to pretend you isn't that great and then I said you could really do that if you want but you have to understand that will take a different set of actions than is simply when it did so now we got out that destiny, right, it wasn't based on the past because I've never done that before and all that right. Yeah and then they asked me the next question. I said, how are we going to do it and my answer, I have no clue. And they're going whoaa?
Josh: that’s why we pay for, right?
Ron: Exactly. I said, How can I have the answers? If we haven't done the due diligence yet. It's a failed expectation. Now I know in my heart of hearts, having been doing this for so long, that you're not even doing 10% of what I'm going to propose and I believe there's a lot of room here, we're gonna get exactly what you want, I can't guarantee that but you're going to be well on your way so nothing's guaranteed in life so we started looking at that outcome, and we let that outcome drive all action so I would go out there every quarter, at the beginning of the meeting, the first thing we did at that meeting was say, okay, what information do we have we put on the walls, what information don't we have, and whenever was key information that we had to find out, then next auto, a business go find that out in the next quarter and we come back every quarter, and we put the new information up, and the picture will be painted and we see where our points of power, obviously what's going on and then we see where we're having issues, now that company had five mines, three very small mines, that they only want to deal with my client because they had their own, you know, supplier,
Ron: but there were two big mines and one big mine was so big, that they just got a sole source with that one particular mind, that would be 75% of the total demand at a company, now I say that because as you start thinking about this thing, and we look at the information, I'm reading The Wall Street Journal one day, and I'm saying how can I call just signed a sole source with that mind and I call my client up and I said, Look, you got new purchasing agents in the home office and centrally and yes, and they want to decentralize the purchasing he goes, Yeah and this one mine, you're saying, can give you the whole demand plus, you and them grew up together in the industry they like you you like them, they know you if they use your product and guess what? They just signed a sol, sol, sol Conoco so we should tweak the outcome. Let's not do 75% of the whole company, let's go for 100% of this mine, and you still get that result.
Ron: But while that outcome is in your head, everything is related to that the actions, the questions, and then you're open to new opportunities, if that wasn't in my mind, I would have read that article and Conoco right and everything starts to fall into place so the end result for your clients, basically, that client of mine, close a $200 million contract negotiated for 10 years and 18 months after we saw it,
Josh: jeez, that is awesome.
Ron: All right. I didn't change the product. I'm not a chemist, right but we're not selling a product, we were selling a partnership to do that you have to know everything about your customer, you have to know where they're trying to go, and what they're trying to do and what they perceive your weaknesses are and so for example, we know that in a mind, they can set the price, right if somebody exchanges
Josh: Right, yeah.
Ron: so the only thing that they can do for the profitability is keep costs down so in the minds, Caterpillar would have men on site, so of a truck broke down of a tire failed, they could fix it immediately so they called me up one day and said, we got it. We want to be like caterpillar. I said no, Caterpillar is a benchmark, we want to become the next caterpillar so that became a basis for one of our meetings and I said, Okay, if we put a man on site, what could we do with that person and we came up with 20 things, benefits that we could do to help the client and so I said, Okay, now look, we're gonna offer that man on site for free initially, because we got to get into like it but sometimes giving some for free is harder than having to pay for it so that was a hard sell but when they finally bought that concept, they love the guy who was so valuable and we just gave it a name we called it a mindsight services program and I told my client a trademark and they said why I said because they to differentiation, and as we put them in on site, and they loved them, when the bid came out what was a big part of the bid Mindsight Services Program. And when the other two multinationals queried them and said, what's a mindsight services program, they said, Well, you obviously don't have it and that gave them permission to pull the bid back, and to enter a negotiation with my client and that's the cornerstone of how they got that deal.
Josh: Jeez That is a cool story. What I love about that story is you didn't come with the answers initially, right sometimes they fall in your lap because if I could, just because your mindset is open enough, but to accept them when they come, or is it?
Ron: well, the answers come from the questions you ask and then they beget additional questions, and then the picture paints, and then you start looking where your value. It's like that whole thing started falling the shape, the biggest supporters was that big mine, they grew up together, that was a point of power, then all sudden Conoco so now they have history of doing that so that led to the next decision and the next decision, it just fell into place and then another obstacle came up, my client was the only one who had manufacturing in Ireland, they were offshore, everybody else was onshore and so they can never get that client to go to Ireland and do a factory inspection, they finally got them to go because they were interested and they had a great trip, they encountered cost waiting to fly out, it's all five of them and the customer said to my client, while they're waiting for the plane, just out of curiosity, that was 747 farmers sky and wiped out your plant in County Court, where does that leave us? So all of a sudden, I'm out there for my quarterly meeting the VP never says that to me. You know, when he says it to me, as he's driving me back to the airport after the meeting, one block from the airport, I said, pull the car over because what's wrong? I said, why don't you tell me this? Now? Why don't you tell me this is the beginning of the meeting, I said, that's an opportunity for you because what do you mean, the World Trade Center, the first bombing 94, right and all these financial institutions were the pants them because they had all the trading and everything in the same facility they learned from that, put out a back office across the river in New Jersey and have redundancy in case something happens, you have one plan, you call them up and you say I heard what you said and as part of the deal, we're going to create a disaster recovery plan, we know that the chips on the water will have three months supply, we know that they will have supply on shore here and that even led to us coming up with an idea to build a storage tank so they have three months here, three months in a water gizmo six months and if something God forbid, happens, they have a plan in place where they can get the equipment, their facilities up and running within six months and they shared that plan and that took away the risk for the client and they went ahead with the deal but all this came out of questions and comments.
Ron: You know, no one had a Ouija board but to make it simple for your listeners, I remember this very well, I have one daughter 28. You know, but when my ex-wife was pregnant, you know, we had to start looking at baby carriages right? I could have sworn that I haven't seen a baby carriage for the first 32 years of my life but then all of a sudden, at that moment, I see them everywhere, on every block to the block and why? It's only because I'm thinking about it, it's in my mind so that's why I'm open to those opportunities, what do you think about is what you're open to?
Ron: What do you want to make happen is what you're open to. That's why it's important to worry about what you want to achieve not worry about what you can't achieve.
Josh: Yeah, we have so many quotable things in here, I'm gonna have to stop writing them and just go listen to it afterwards, I love that. So you know, everybody, you've been listening to this. I mean, it's such an awesome story a lot of great advice given here by Ron. So make sure you just save this interview, go back and listen to it again listen to it slower, get get what you need out of this interview, because it's been very valuable and go check out the velocity mindset. Guys, this is a fantastic book, I'm waiting for it to show up at my house right now. Such a such a great book, I've heard from many people. So I'm excited to see it for myself and, Ron, I want to ask you, before we hop off here today, could you give us one final parting piece of guidance for our audience when good takeaway for them?
Ron: Yeah, we tend to live our lives based on the stories we tell ourselves so whenever someone says something to us, or something happens to us, we create a story as to what it means and most of the time we're wrong, story is also fueled by emotion, that's a good story, it has emotion. Now, it's fueled by positive emotion and it's pushing you forward with the story but if the story is fueled by negative emotion, and it's holding you back, the good news is whoever wrote that story, can we write it but you can't write it or rewrite it when you're in the middle of an emotional bath? Yeah, give me an example and it's in the book. My first sales job was selling copiers, 1980 transformation they went from liquid toner to plain toner, I mean, dry toner, simple cartridge in and out you don't destroy your clothes anymore and then the seducing the world visit machines, beautiful copy 15 Chris copies a minute, can a call late in six months, can it duplicate in six months, go out and sell it, you gotta have a ball so I took the job for three months, I couldn't sell anything and after my buck got black and blue from all the doors hitting me in the back, I decided to pause, remember that sometimes if something's not working, pause, you'll get more velocity and I had stories in my mind, I can't sell to save my life, I can't sell a duplicator because they keep comparing me to the big zero to simulate. Therefore, I had all these reasons why I couldn't do it so I decided I have a board meeting with myself, me myself and I went to a diner in New Jersey sat down. And I said, what's going on? I go in and say I want to sell copier and they say, Well, can you duplicate? No, can I call late? No, come back when you have that so I started thinking about, well, what is a copy really do anyway and I realize it's nothing more but part of the communication process and accompany so I decided to have a different conversation, I didn't know it was going to work so the next company went into I said, Ma'am, to the office manager, would you agree the copy is nothing more than your communication process because absolutely. So what are your three biggest challenges, when it comes to that, she goes, Oh, my God, it's like all of a sudden, I'm a therapist, and she's laying on my couch, she goes, Can we talk? Sally, Joe has to get up from the from the desk on the first floor, make one copy by the time they chit chat and get to the staircase, go to the third floor, wait online behind all these big jobs come back, it could take two hours, I said How often does that happen, she goes try the equivalent of two full time employees and go wow, how would you like them back and she's looking at me a copy of salesmen. She goes, how are you gonna get them back for me, I said simple. I'm not competing with that big machine on the third floor, it's a great machine key, but I'm here to fill in your gaps. As a matter of fact, you shouldn't buy one of these you should buy three, one for every four photos one and two copy jobs, you know, get those two full time employees back and she bought three machines that day so the message that you're asking me to leave for your audience, you want to grow your businesses at scale, don't compete, create, if all you're doing is competing, it's everybody else on price and everything else is a zero sum game and you lose your passion, create fill in the gaps that people have that they're looking to solve, that was the basis for how Apple started, think about it, when Steve Jobs was there with the first little iPad, and then he wants to get into the phone, he said take out your phone, which most people have a Blackberry. He goes, what do you wish it had that it doesn't have, he started with his engineers and they start to make a master list of all the things they wish and at and they went out to produce it and guess what they were right, they had it as human beings everybody else probably had the same wishes and that's how the iPhone got started.
Outro: Hopefully you enjoyed this episode of The lucky Titan podcast. If you've learned anything from this or any other episode, make sure you rate it and share it with another entrepreneur could help. Thanks again and I'll catch you on the flip side