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Aug. 8, 2022

Ep44 Jake Thompson - The Power of Consistency


Today on the show, Strategy + Action = The Power of Consistency

Jake Thompson and I just had a phenomenal conversation. I'm so excited to bring this to you. We cover so many topics in this one!

Usually, on the show, we like to kind of dig in around one main theme.  And my idea going into this was to talk about how to take consistent steps to get you to your end goal.  And we definitely get there in this one.

But we talk about so many aspects of how Jake helps people.  He's got a book called Compete Every Day.  His company with the same name which is both a clothing brand as well as speaking and coaching and training around this concept of improving and taking those kinds of necessary actions to get to your end goal. B

We dig into so much around this from how he got started, how he made a big pivot in his brand, including how maybe he did too much of a pivot at once, but it was still all worth it.  And he's doing just a phenomenal job right now helping large organizations and individuals through some of the same work to really improve their lives and improve their companies to get where they want to go.

As you'll hear in the interview, we just go right into it without the usual "Welcome to the show" banter.  It was great to catch up.  I know Jake from back when I was in Dallas through my good friend and past guest, Julian Pacino.  It's an amazing thing when you get really wonderful driven people in your life.  They attract more of them and I've had the good fortune to know some amazing people.  Jake is definitely one of them.  And I'm really excited to bring this interview to you.

Transcript

Jason Croft  
Today on the show, Strategy + Action =  the Power of Consistency. 

Jason Croft  
Welcome to the show, everybody! Jake Thompson is on today. And we just had a phenomenal conversation. I'm so excited to bring this to you. We cover so many topics I know on this show, we'd like to kind of dig in around one main theme. And, you know, my idea going into this was, you know, really talking about how to take those consistent steps, you know, to get you to your end goal. And we definitely get there on this. But we talk about so many aspects of how Jake helps people, he's got a book called compete every day company called that T shirt line, really a clothing brand around that plus speaking and coaching and training around this concept of really improving and taking those kinds of necessary actions to get to your end goal. But we dig into so much around this from how he got started, how he made a big pivot in his brand, how, you know, maybe he did too much of a pivot at once, right? But it was still all worth it and really good. And he's doing just a phenomenal job right now. Helping large organizations and individuals, you know, through some of the same work to really improve their lives and improve their companies and get to where they want to go. So this has just been a blast, you know, you'll you'll hear in the interview, we just we're going right, as soon as we launch into that without sort of the formal, you know, All right, welcome to the show aspect of it. It was great to catch up. I know, I know, Jake, really, you know, back when I was in Dallas, and my good friend Julian Pacino, you know, he sponsored his show. So there's a good connection there. And, you know, it's an amazing thing, when you get really wonderful driven people, you know, in your life, they, they attract more of those. And I've had the good fortune to just know some amazing people. Jake is one of them. And I'm really excited to bring this interview to you. So let's jump in.

Jake Thompson  
Yeah, and that is that is what I found, especially as we continue to grow. But you know, one of the challenges is as we grow, which is never a bad problem to have my focus for the last two years hasn't been how do I grow an E commerce brand? How do we sell more shirts? My thought is how do we build the audience generate more revenue. And so my cap switched. And so because of that I'm focused sales training, leadership development coaching, how my coaching mindset is building leaders and then creating either our own sales program or building for clients, which I do. So when I look at that I have like zero bandwidth to say, Okay, I'm gonna go learn more copywriting more funnels, let's build this e commerce piece. And when I was talking to a buddy that just does op stuff the other day, we were trying to pinpoint some different people that could be a fit. And he was like, if you could get like some of that day to day or just having to think ecommerce off of your plate, would that give you time to create more ideas and generate content? And I'm like, 1,000%. And so that's the focus figure out how we do that.

Jason Croft  
Yeah, because then you can just because I'm assuming from what you stated there where you want to just mainly focus on that's the goal is like build that and then the Econ just reaps the benefit of it. And then again, some of those high level strategies you can say, Okay, how do we make sure that best practices we're connecting the dots with our funnels optimized and we've got all this and all that stuff?

Unknown Speaker  
My my business coach was great about it back in November she's like, You need to look at they're separate businesses, but they're very symbiotic. The shirts have driven a ton of speaking leads and a ton of speed and speaking has driven a ton of apparel sales and book sales. And she said but you've got to look at the apparel as a standalone business like on high high level a Ryan Reynolds does aviation gin or the rock does Tara mana like you want to promote it, you want to be around it? But you don't want to work on it. You want to create content and brand and so that's really where I've been very intentional last handful of months of how do you do that more because the speaking and writing is what sets me alive and That's where I am in a sweet spot. That's kind of that creative, good box for me to be in. And so as it's grown, which is great, I'm spending more time there but less time, keeping some of the day to day and then it just piles up. So some challenges of owning a business, you know, things I never thought I'd deal with six years ago I deal with now, and it's a fun challenge to have. So yeah, I can't I can't complain about having the challenges because there was a time I would have craved.

Jason Croft  
Oh, yeah, exactly. It's far better than sitting in a you know, dark room, bro, going, man. I wonder what I do.

Unknown Speaker  
And I was about to say we've all every one of us have had those moments where you're sitting in that dark room after you've been going, like, what did I get myself into? What am I doing? What do I need to change? And you just start trying to say, Okay, what's the next step? Figure something out? You adjust? And that's kind of been the past 11 ish years. God, it's been 11 years. Wow.

Jason Croft  
But yeah, but that that really is a very purposeful shift, though. Because when, when you are someone who's been at the dark room, we'll keep that analogy. It's, it's so much easier in that time that you're in right now of like, overwhelmed with stress to go like, Okay, hang on. I know how that over there feels. I don't want any part of that. And so that's what I've brought on. Let's embrace the good here and get through.

Unknown Speaker  
Yeah, it's really identifying I mean, is, you know, this, what do you want life to look like for you? And what do you want success to be for you and knowing that that's incredibly different for everybody. And, you know, I almost sunk and I've said it before to people, but like, I literally almost crashed and burned the business in 2017, when I made this pivot, because I just kind of went all in, I said, I firmly believe this is the direction. And it was, but I made too many changes all at once. And literally 17 and 18. Were just like, dark room, hang on for dear life, just get through one more day. And it paid off. I mean, it was ultimately the right move. But you've been in the you get in those moments. And so you just kind of have to go back to him say okay, what did we learn? Don't make that drastic of a shift initially. But it's this is the lifestyle I want and have wanted that how do you just keep making the shift to further alignment, because we often start businesses and projects and chase things. And, you know, most people start their business to have a little bit of freedom or creative outlet, and then it ends up owning them and dragging them and they spend more hours and they're more of a slave for lack of a better phrase to the job than they ever were to an employee role. And you never want that. And so how do you reframe those situations, so they work in your favor, because every job has stuff that sucks. And you're always going to have to do some things that are not so much fun. But the less you have to do, or the less often you have to do that the better life seems to be.

Jason Croft  
Yeah. And in allowing and allowing yourself to. Yes, like, have that frame of like, okay, this is the crappy stuff I'm gonna have to do. But also allow yourself to realize that, you know, it's better business, it's better for the business, but less of those things that you do.

Unknown Speaker  
Right. 1,000% and I think a lot of us suck at and find somebody else to do it better.

Jason Croft  
Yeah. Yeah. And, and part of it, you actually you may even be great at it. But you don't enjoy it. So it takes three times as long, right? And it's just it's taking you away from the important things. I just wrote. I started rolling a while ago, just so you know, just because we were like, talking and going.

Unknown Speaker  
Yeah, let's I'm always game we can man. Let's let this gang go wherever to give as much value as we can to vote.

Jason Croft  
Absolutely. Jake Thompson. So glad to reconnect and have you on the show here. This is a blast.

Unknown Speaker  
Thanks, Jason. Excited hanging out today. It's been a while I hadn't seen him. It's been probably before the world went crazy.

Jason Croft  
Yeah, for sure. I guess I was still back in Dallas. Because I remember. Are you still? You mentioned your coach a little while ago. Is that Carrie still? Awesome. Yeah. Yeah, that's how we connect because I remember just randomly getting some invite from her just a quick connection invite from her and yeah, I saw sistema there at the event and that was a blast. That was a that was a good time. That was the first time Yeah, I think we will not the first time we connect because we've connected like coffee house and stuff like that a little bit, I think but um, but yeah, it was good to hang out that day.

Unknown Speaker  
Yeah, I actually chatted with her this morning. So she is She has been a mentor of mine for Parliament 1617. And really over the last I don't know six months. I was like, I want to get to the next level and I have no idea how to connect those dots. I can see spots. You've done this let's talk and so yeah, so she coaches me we weekly session. winds and learning and has been just a blessing. I'll say.

Jason Croft  
That's awesome. Yeah. And that's I mean, that's such a key point. I mean, yeah, with your your book, you know, compete every day. Fantastic. Not without me I listen to hold him audiobook guy. So I gotta listen. But just just great. And the only problem is that, you know, now I have 100 things to talk to you about instead of, you know, one that I tried to focus around, right, tackle one at a time. Well, there we go. In all seriousness, that's really where I landed, honestly, was this notion of incremental, you know, what you say every day, but seriously, like that one small step every day. And I want to go deep into that a lot of because I think I think, not just in the book, but on recent podcast episodes of yours and all of that stuff diving into that. And then as it's been a, not a realization to me, but in allowing to let in the truth for me lately, of, you know, not fighting it so hard to just go like, okay, just make this one little, you know, incremental improvement, and let's, let's move from there and actually stay consistent with something and reap those benefits, you know. But yeah, but a big piece of this, where before I kind of went down this road a little bit was, I really want to call out to folks. I mean, you're a coach, you help companies, you help people you have all of these folks improve themselves. And you have a coach, right. And there's just an important lesson I want people to, you know, focus on this isn't, you know, you get to a point and you know, everything and now you go teach people stuff, you teach people your journeyman, you constantly get better you need that help you find someone who's been there and get you to the next level. And I love that you're still in the middle of all that, you know, and, and vocal about it and making sure people know.

Unknown Speaker  
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And it's interesting, because I've had different coaches over my career. You know, when I was starting early in business, I probably had more mentors than coaches. I wasn't paying for that advice. But I was I was attending groups, I was getting involved in like, EO entrepreneurial organizations and their accelerated programs. So I was learning in those sense. But then when I went down to speaking path, I hired a coach worked with the coach and his team for five months, on learning the process of the performance. When I finished with them, I hired another coach to teach me the business side of it, then flash forward, I would absorb stuff and read stuff and had mentor relationships, but nothing like an active ongoing coaching relationship, because I was investing time in kind of masterminds and being around other people to learn and facilitate that way. But when I saw, okay, this is where I'm bumping into that ceiling, I've got to get help and an outside perspective, as well as wisdom to say, how do you get to that next level. And so that's when I hired Carrie, because I was like, This is what I want this where I want to go, I know you've done it. And I think that's so key, because the lesson I always give, like some of my sales guys is Michael Jordan was the best player in the game in 89, or, let's say, 90, when he hired Tim Grover, as a trainer to change his game to make him bigger, stronger, more physical. So he had a better chance, beating the pistons, like if you're the best in the sport, and you have a coach and a trainer, then why wouldn't those of us that are not the very best in our industry do it. And then once you get to that top, you already know that coach helped you get there because of everything they put you through and the accountability, you would keep the relationship. And so a lot of times we get our ego in the way or we get this idea that once we get out of school, we don't need a teacher or a coach anymore, you just kind of have to figure it out, get on Google. But there's real value from the accountability, even making the investment in a coach because you've got to have something in it if you're going to someone and what you're paying them for the experience and the wisdom. So there's value in it for you. But additionally, it's going to also probably hold your feet to the fire to get the work done. Which is why in traditional sense in gyms like 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness, like they make a chunk of their revenue off people who sign for 30 or $40 a month membership and never show up. Like that's kind of part of that big gym box model. And that's totally okay, that's their model. But you're 100% more likely to be there if you were paying 100 and 150 bucks per session for a personal trainer, because you've got more invested in that and so, for everyone listening like career wise lifewise starting a business like there's a huge value in having a coach to bounce ideas off of to give you a different perspective and more than anything, they should challenge you to answer those questions yourself. And that's really how we grow and get out of this comfort zone and the habit that a lot of people have of just settling.

Jason Croft  
Yeah, and that paying for it as well. It also Oh, makes you hold that, that coach to a little bit higher standard to write if somebody's just helping you out for free, you're like, Okay, well, that was cool. But but it allows that back and forth, they keep you accountable. You want to show up because you've invested in this, but you also want to like, okay, let's, I'm not quite getting what I need, you know when you can kind of push back and everything.

Unknown Speaker  
Absolutely. And it takes the idea of, you know, on friends, friends give advice, but sometimes friends don't want to give each other the truth and a coach, like you're paying me to tell you the truth. And so if you're sucking, like I'm going to tell you, this is what you're doing, you're getting in your way, let's talk about how we get around it. And together, we'll source an opportunity and solution whether it's for you, whether it's how you manage your team, but a friend, it's kind of that your and you also like you I mean, I only remember starting up like your Hey, can you design this, Hey, can you do that, like you do favors for friends, but just saying you're not as invested in it, they're not as invested in it. And so there's really some impact there. And so, you know, if you're ever stuck from a career life standpoint, a coach has a tremendous amount of value, not just a trainer, not just in sports, but actually in business career life.

Jason Croft  
Yeah, and some people they don't have, you know, jerks like me as, as a friend, who is just blunt and honest. And you know, I tell people all the time, like, if you really want my opinion on something, I'll give it to you. I'm a jerk. So just be ready for. For that if I don't like it, I don't, I'm not just scared. If

Unknown Speaker  
you love them enough, exactly. Accountability is the best source and best example of love because it says, here's the standard, I believe you're capable of, here's the standard you've said you've wanted, when you fall short of that, I'm going to challenge you and encourage you to raise your game because I believe you're capable of more than you're giving. And there's no other better way from a friendship standpoint for that, because you're not allowing people to settle for what's comfortable that they would end up regretting later. You're challenging them to say how can you find out what you're actually capable of? And go after it?

Jason Croft  
Yeah, and when I do love something that, you know, a friend has done, or I do see doing, I make sure to, to call that out. And then they always know that's the truth, too, right? You know, they like Oh, man. Jason's a big old jerk. And he liked that oh, man, okay, might be maybe on the right path. And, and the other aspects to a coach, I just want to I want to hit on really quickly is I've made this mistake, too, when it comes to finding that either coaching programs specific coach, and all of that, which, you know, going into it with a mentality of, I don't have things figured out, I don't know what I want to do in business or this and that. I'm sure they have the solution, right. And there's benefit, there can always be benefits rather than doing nothing. And again, sitting alone and trying to figure it out. That's, that's a better step in the right direction. But it's far more valuable. When you approach coaching in these programs, like you talked about when it's you've hit that next problem, right? And maybe it's still at the beginning, like, here's what I'm doing with my business, here's the offer I've gotten out in the world, but I'm not getting traffic, let me go see who's great at that, you know, and then getting in and, and then at each level and each problem, you get those solution.

Unknown Speaker  
Absolutely. And some coaches can scale with you. But some coaches are specifically designed for specific lifecycles and areas. And that's 100%. Okay, when I started, I was just working with people new to sales. And they created challenges on my end. And it was a very limited time on there's because once we built the habits, the little thing is the systems in place. And as they scaled into manager roles and things like that I can assist them. But that wasn't the purpose of our program at the time. And so pass them on. Whereas now it's really executive and team focused is what I do. Because I want to be able to coach the coaches as they're building the teams and the people and I can go top to bottom, but it's a very different lifecycle than before. So the intentionality as you said, going in is, is huge. And there's life coaches out there that will help you kind of figure out what you may want to do. And they're great at mapping things out or putting pen to paper for you. But they're incredibly helpful when you know, this is what I want to work toward. And this is where I'm trying to get to and where I feel stuck because you can better identify who specifically helps solve those problems when you're interviewing coaches because you need to interview them as much as we would interview you to see if you're a good fit for us.

Jason Croft  
Yeah, that's That's strong. So I feel like I've taken a shorthand approach in there so I want to make sure we give the audience some geography here and some just background on you and what you've got going on you referenced your businesses and in all of that, but I want to make sure that that we all know that that journey a little bit so compete every day is is the company, clothing brand kind of started as a clothing brand, right?

Unknown Speaker  
Yeah, about almost 11 years ago in May, I was selling T shirts out of the trunk of my car behind a CrossFit gym in Dallas with just compete everyday message and other messages on it really around this idea of how do I encourage people to adopt this mentality to not settle to actually show up and not worry what everybody else is doing, but compete against who you were yesterday to be that incremental 1% better every single day. And so that was 11 had a phenomenal run. In the business. I'll say the apparel still runs, we still have wholesalers, we still sell a ton to BTC. But about 2015 16 I started just getting worn out on it. I was traveling Thursday to Monday for a lot of weekends doing trade shows doing race expos, fitness events, work in the booth. And even though we were growing at a great rate, like long term, this isn't what I wanted. I was accumulating debt carrying inventory, which is always a product space business challenge. And I started looking at other things and my team at the time phenomenal group of five, we just started talking and said what do we do differently? Like how do we actually scale up? And we started sort

Jason Croft  
of started in a in your bedroom. But even that, what was what was the vision in the beginning? Like when you started

Unknown Speaker  
we thought it was gonna be like the next Nike and Lulu like everybody that starts in apparel brand, like grand visions, I'm going to change the world through this message and apparel is how I'm going to do it. And that was really it is I and I sunk 20 $30,000 I honestly would say got stolen, but it was put into trying to do custom production, and not having any factory like I start when I started this, I had no ecommerce experience no screenprint experience no printing T shirts, no custom apparel, like this is literally a wild wild west. For me, I have no idea what I'm doing other than I have a message I firmly believe can impact how people show up in the world. And so I worked in money.

Jason Croft  
Where did that? Where did that vision even come from? Where did that thought process?

Unknown Speaker  
Yeah. So I grew up thinking I was gonna be Jerry Maguire, I really had this passion to be a sports agent and knew I was ever gonna go pro and just wanted to be around the game. And I spent a couple of years in college and then in grad school working for an agent realized that's not what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I finished my MBA in the fall of 2008, which was the recession. And so I couldn't get a job. I had non traditional work experience at the agency, I was spent part time with the Cowboys, the Dallas desperadoes arena team, as substitute taught, like I had a really a plethora of just trying to get paycheck while I'm in a commission only job. And so when companies would look at that, and an MBA in a recession, it's like, you're out of luck, we have no room, either entry level didn't want you because your MBA or experience doesn't want you because it's non traditional experience. And so I was kind of forced into a spot of consulting, just bare necessity have to eat to survive. And I started doing basic consulting of like, I know brand strategy and marketing. Social media is really new. Let me help your company stop just trying to shove messages out and say how do we create content and things that people want to engage with. And so I started building just a pretty small marketing consulting practice. And I worked with a couple of tech firms locally, an E commerce group, a sports minor league sports franchise. After a few years, I had a pretty good consulting practice, I was making good money, I was single living in Dallas. But I was super unfulfilled. And I kept seeing that lack of a better phrase, a sandcastle I built, and every paycheck and everything I've done was building this elaborate sand castle. But what happens when the tide comes in? Every sand castle washes away, and you never know it's there. And for me, it was this idea that I was not living and creating a story that impacted anyone other than myself and my bank account. And I wanted to change it. And so I started looking at what do I want differently? What would it look like if we stopped settling and giving into fear? And literally it was just fear disguised as complacency or discomfort or fear of what other people say rejection and failure? What would it look like if we just stopped doing that started living? What would we be able to achieve? Because I saw friends settling for jobs, they hated relationships that were toxic things that were comfortable because the unknown was scary. And I did it broke my heart. And so I started toying with this and spent about eight months trying stuff until my best friend was like, Have you ever thought about T shirts? There's a company out of Boston called Life is good, simple phrase stick figure guy ironically named Jake. And he said I think you should give it a shot. And so that was it. Literally I had money set aside to go on a guy's trip to New Zealand. He spent his on an engagement ring for his now wife. And so instead of doing the trip solo, I put mine into a cup Little boxes of shirts and tanks and said, Let's see if this works. And so that was literally it, it was, it was kind of no idea, I just knew I wanted to build something bigger than just me and impact people beyond just adding to my own bank account. And so that launched it. And so you flash forward a handful of years, and I'm getting tired of always being on the road for extended time when my friends are out, or my friends are off work. And my team is just like, listen, we print at the time we print on shirts that a lot of groups print on, we do great design. So a lot of other groups. There's a lot of people in this space, what separates us is this idea that it's not just an apparel brand, it's not just a shirt, there's actually meat to it. And so how you talk about it and how you teach and how you tell this message is what separates us. So you need to figure out how you can do more of that. And so I was like, okay, so that I just kind of chewed on it, and ended up going to Social Media Marketing World in San Diego, Mike seltzers event, and saw a guy named Michael Port, do a workshop on coaching speakers. And I'd read one of Michael's business books in grad school. And I watched him and it was one of the coolest experiences sitting in the audience because you knew immediately this guy's good. Either he planted these people in the audience, or this guy's really good. And he's really good. And so he offered his conference. That was kind of their package deal. He offered his conference, I looked at it, it was I don't know, a few $1,000. It's like, man, it's a lot for a conference ticket. But you know, maybe there's something I want to do. So I invested in and said, Let's go and I had another commitment. So I take a red eye to Fort Lauderdale to this conference, I roll a land that morning, I'm on you know, you ever do the Red Eye, like you're off the plane, you're like, I need so much coffee. I've like double double red eye from Starbucks. I'm like walking in there. And I sit at the table in this first breakout session. And I look to my left, and it's Jay Baer. And I look over here and it's clearly a bear. And it's it's these big New York Times bestsellers and marketing influencers and they're taking notes like crazy. And I'm like, I don't know anything else other than if these guys are working like that these people are legit. And so I was in it. So I was taking notes. And so at the end of their event, they offer their grad program, which at the time was like $22,000. And when they put it on the screen, I was like,

Unknown Speaker  
like, I've never seen a program run that much. Here's me small town kid trying to figure out what's going on in the world. And I laughed, I looked at it and thought, God, that's a lot of money. And so I go back to my hotel, I look at kind of our budgets for the year, we'd had a good year and 16 I was like, Oh, we've grown every year, we're gonna keep growing at 17 all these changes are going to work. And I was like, if I'm going to do something, putting this much skin in the game is going to require me to do it. And so I said, Okay, let me do it, I did a payment plan with them paid it off. And went spent five months in Philadelphia training for four to five days at a time. eight to four or five, met some incredible people is a life changing experience. And when I laughed, I was like, Cool, now it's time to go earn it. And so I just want I hired another coach to teach me the business and start going from there. But it was that kind of investment that was so scary for me to make that was like I'm already all in like I thought I wanted to do this now man. And then once I started doing it, it was like this is 100% the path. And so now the business dramatically looks different. I've got my book that came out a couple years ago, I've got the podcast, I do a lot of coaching and consulting in the corporate team space, as well as keynoting is still one of my main drivers, and then the apparel. But everything really goes back to the core principles at the end of the day, how do we help people not settle for what life gives them and start striving for greatness. And we just packaged it a little bit differently to say we help you build the mindset, the focus and the habits to be successful or have a competitive edge. And so that's kind of that top level but at the real bottom, it's we don't want you to settle because at the end of the day settling leads to the biggest regret so little bit of a roller coaster.

Jason Croft  
That's huge bear. That's, that's That's wild though. It's interesting and different too. Because you know, at the top like you say it's it is, you know, with the apparel with speaking with coaching like it's, it's the same through line, right? Yep. It just shows up as something I can put on something I can be coached on something I could really like. It's it's having that message through through those different different channels. And I'm sure each feeds the other like you were kind of talking about earlier, right?

Unknown Speaker  
It's very symbiotic. And I looked two years ago, you know, do I want to sell the apparel and just go this other route? And it made no sense because the brand is is everywhere. And it's how do we how do we touch you? So T shirts, they're designed to have empowering messages and they're in a 20 to 30 bucks. It's a low entry. It's like a book book is 15 bucks journals 20 bucks I get a low entry point to getting into the community understand What we're about learning because we put out a ton of free content. And then as you move up, okay, coaching, let's help shift your career, your team keynote, let's change your event. It's all that line that goes back to and from my end, it helps me really influence an audience. So when I go speak to a team, or at a company, everybody, we can give them all shirts, we can give them books, like, we can make sure that the 60 to 90 minutes were together, extend six to nine months, so that your investment is not just hey, we're investing in a 60 minute keynote and everything he's learned over the last 10 to 15 years, we're investing in this keynote, and here's how we're going to extend the life because we're gonna give everybody the book, and we're gonna do a book club and video content. So there's a really cool way that we can stretch the life out of it, which changes the conversation of how much do I need to pay you for keynote? Two, how much do we need to invest in a partnership, so we really transform your team. And it's not just hey, we walked out of this event, we're feeling really good and excited. What did we do on Monday? We already know what we're going to do on Monday. And here's how we're going to extend it.

Jason Croft  
Yeah, it answers that, that human need of us to satisfy that I have something I can hold in touch, right? Whether it's the shirt, the book, something like, and that that's a trigger, but right, even if nobody took any notes, like, it's gonna bring them back to that 6090 minutes to where like, Oh, that's right. I remember, you know, Jake went deep on this story, and reminded, but then that action plan, and that's a big giant takeaway for everyone to anybody out there speaking or coaching is like to have that long tail for all of this, right? Because not just so Oh, I can charge more now for my speech. But actually, everybody who sits through that 60 to 90 minute keynote, wow, they're going to be impacted so much more, they're going to reap the benefits of all those principles that you're talking about during that during that speech for those six months year down the road.

Unknown Speaker  
Yeah, I heard from Anton Gunn, who's CSP speaker, real famous speakers phenomenal. He talked about from, you know, our keynotes essentially, like it's just, it's the what it just what we need to do, here's some high level, the training and development. That's the how that's where we dive into the weeds. And so my model, the competitive advantage model, from a high level is mindset, focus, and systems. That's kind of the individual side, I have a team version that's all around leadership, communication and development. And so what we look at, we talk about him. But then if you want to get into training, like each of those have three models underneath, and three, so like, I have a good 12 to 24 months a curriculum, that if we wanted to meet once a month, we can really train your team up on these areas, or identifying what's the key one. And so for those speaking and coaching, it's exciting to get on stage and do a 60 minute, I love it. I love the energy. I love stepping on stage. However, our goal is to add value and change lives. Regardless if we're teaching them marketing hacks, mindset shifts, or how to be a better leader. Our goal is to change and impact lives. And so we have to look for opportunities, how can I create more value for you? Because we know what happens after a 60 minutes, especially if you're one of 10 speakers, they've got some notes, but what's the follow up on the back and how you continue to help and change their lives besides just getting them to opt in to your email list or get your free download? And so when you come at it from that sense, like every day for me is just that opportunity, whether I'm recording a podcast, having this conversation, writing a blog later, it's how can I add a little bit of value so that one person two people reading this are impacted and do something with it. And so that's really that shift where you create that longtail because it's less about how do I sell a speech? And more about how do I change the lives?

Jason Croft  
Yeah, so who you working with the most right now? Is it? Is there a particular industry? And then how are you? How are you helping you

Unknown Speaker  
two are kind of there. So construction and sales, specifically real estate are kind of the top two in my wheelhouse right now. For a number of reasons. One construction, the the work ethic in that industry fits right into this mentality. How are you showing up every day controlling your controllables and competing, real estate sales like that is 100% like you're in that sales mode. And in fact, one of my clients in Florida in the Miami area, I do onsite training two days a month, every month with them, little bit of executives, small group for the sales floor, and then one on ones with their management team. And so for them, it's a mix. It's kind of full on professional development at the bottom level, and then helping their team build out training and then their managers. It's it's teaching them to shift out of management mode to coach leader mode. Because for a lot of us in a lot of organizations, we become managers because we're really good at the job we had underneath or we've been with the company long enough, not because we're trained in skilled in how to manage properly. And so we're kind of thrown in the fire and not having a clue what to do. So really helping them do that. And that's a big one on the construction.

Jason Croft  
Because that becomes a huge that becomes a human aspect, right? Your job aspect. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  
And it creates a random cycle me my wife is in real estate, she got promoted two and a half years ago into the management role for her office when her boss suddenly retired. And she had no training, there was no training in how to be a manager how to run an office, how to lead, she was just really good at her job. And that happens everywhere. It's why you have top salespeople that when they're promoted to a sales manager, director, they don't do well. Because what made them really good in that role is not what's going to make them good as a manager or leader. And so we don't train that. So a lot of its training that. And then even on the construction side, it's the same one of my bigger clients in the construction space, we do quarterly trainings with identified future leaders. So we went through with their leadership team and said, who were 30 to 50 people that have the potential to step into a leadership role in the next one to five years. Who are those people that you see traits, you see how they work, you see opportunity, we put them in a room. And then over the course of 12 months, we're about to wrap up at the end of next month, we'll wrap up the year, we did four pillars. So we talked about just leadership as a basic getting everybody on the same page, the importance of developing yourself, how are we personally growing because you have to lead by example, you have to bring your best in order to get the best out of others, then how are you leading your team, so talking culture, communication, building other leaders. And then this last one is kind of a mix for all of them in the ongoing in addition to homework, so we recommended six books throughout the year for them to read some YouTube videos and podcasts, and then have a Slack channel where we do just open questions, ask questions to me, let's have conversations about what you learned. And so that really helpful sense for them is how do we groom the next group. And what you see over the course of 12 months is who's doing the homework, who's not who's going to be a fit, who's not, and helping pull along the ones that are struggling, and then really set up the ones that aren't? And so that leadership development is a perfect space on that industry? For me, where's the sales side, I do some sales training. So we get into the process and identifying your prospect and how are you working it? But with a lot of them, it's controlling your controllables and time management? And really, how were you not just running fire to fire but saying how Am I blocking my time? How am identifying my priorities? And then how am I being coachable on the things that we're talking about?

Jason Croft  
And how powerful to be selected to be you know, for those folks who maybe they would have come up, maybe they would have gone into some leadership role maybe, but to be pulled out and said, Here's what we see in you like, whoa, that's kind of that's kind of like something that alone,

Unknown Speaker  
right, that empowers them, you know, a lot of we talked about this last time with them is every organization is going to tell you what you need to do to succeed in your role and how to not get fired, like everybody knows the job description and basics. Fewer organizations, then will tell you how your work. And what you do on a daily basis helps your small team and the larger company succeed, like why your work is important. So that empowers them to know like, here's what I'm doing is actually making an impact. Versus I'm just a cog in a wheel collecting a paycheck. The third group, and this is the one I stress with them. And a lot of my teams that most people don't do is when a manager or leader will sit down and understand what are your actual goals? What do you want to achieve in life? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do, and then helping them connect the dots between what they do right now and how it's helping them build the skills or experience to do what they want to do, regardless of whether it's in an organization or not. Because once people understand, Okay, here's where I want to go. But here's what I'm doing on a daily basis and how it helps me, they're way more motivated to work. Because they're understanding how it connects the dots versus it's just a job. And if it's just a job, you don't really care about the output or the results and you're not doing your best because you want to ultimately be doing something else. And so that requires some work on both parties to identify what do you want, where do you want to go? What do you want to do? And then on the manager side to invest in the relationship, get to know the people don't look them as part of payroll, look at them as a person and help understand them and then help connect those dots for them because they're going to be way more bought into you leading and you working together if they know this person cares about me and helping me get to where I want to go even if it's not here.

Jason Croft  
Yeah, big time. It's it's one of those human things. It's it's funny we have to teach but it's okay that we have to teach too because we all do we get that mindset of like, this is my job. This is my role. This is the person I'm interacting with. You know, we Have to get like shaking a little bit and go like, Okay. Look at look at Sally, who you're standing across from right now as the person and interact that way,

Unknown Speaker  
can you tell me about other than what picture is sitting on her desk? Like, what do you know about her? Who do you? Coaches, sports coaches always tell me, like, their goal is to always get to a player's heart. Because if they can get to their heart thing, get to their head, it's the old adage of people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Like that holds true for a reason. And so in the workplace, like, what are we doing to build and forge relationships with those we work alongside? Instead of just worrying about, you know, when's your project do? Where's the red stapler? Like little things like that?

Jason Croft  
Exactly. Yeah, you said one thing that you kind of help help people with it is a great transition point, I want to take into this aspect of the steps to get somewhere, right, you help these folks identify what they want to achieve, whether it's within the organization just in their life. What is that, that shift that you help people make when they you know, especially entrepreneurs, like we have the vision, right? We have the big like, we know what we want this thing to look like you when you wanted to be the, you know, the next Nike, it was like, Okay, I just want to be there. Like, you know, it's hard to then go, Okay, what's, what's step one, right? Like, I really don't want to write this email today. I just want to go be the next Nike. How do you help people connect those dots so that they look up and six months and go, Oh, holy smokes, look, when I look what I've done, you know, I gotta

Unknown Speaker  
remind them, you can't tell the game winning touchdown pass until you've thrown 1000s of them in practice. Because nobody just walks on the field ready to go. There's a there's some truth to that. And really, the process and who we become in the process is what positions us for that big being that Nike down the road. And so one of the first things I tend to look at, because a lot of people get stuck on that first step. Don't know what the first step is. I don't know what the excuse me, the perfect first step is or the perfect time and we get caught up on, you know, making the wrong move. And inaction is a choice. It's failure by default, but it's still choosing to fail, because we're not taking action. And so what I love to ask starting is, what's one thing that you could do small specific today, maybe this week, that would at least help you better understand it tomorrow? What's an action step you could take? So if you're wanting to start a business, so the easiest thing you can do today, search for trademarks? Make sure the company name you want not trademarked? What's the what's the easy thing you can do tomorrow, Google, how to file a business license in my city, or file it with the state an LLC with the state or a single solo solo solopreneur a sole proprietorship? Why am I blanking on that? It's been years since I've been a sole proprietor. That's why That's why I blanked on it. So it's literally the question, What's one small thing? So it goes back to that incremental steps? There's a huge benefit to identifying asking yourself, what's one thing because there's really no right or wrong when you're getting going? Because every question is helping you discover is this the right path? Or where do I need to course correct? What's the next step? Or is this the right step? Or do I need to take another one? We get so caught up looking in the crossroads of this on this one, this one that we don't take any steps versus take one evaluate? Was it the right step? Or Should I've done something else? Cool, I can always course correct. You're never stuck. You're never muddied. They told me this when I started speaking, because I heavily fought against going into an industry like sales. I was like I'm working with like, 15 different industries. Now I'm working with healthcare and trucking. But they were like, You need to go down one, it doesn't mean you're married to one forever, but you build your reps and credibility going down one path and then understanding this works, or I need to pivot. But you don't know until you start taking action. So the first step I always tell people is, what is it you want? Like, what is that big picture in the sky? You want to be the next Nike? Awesome, what's one thing you could do to learn more about Nike? Well, you could read Shoe Dog if you want to learn how they got started. Or you could go down and talk to a local screen printing company and say, Hey, talk to me about your process for printing. What does it look like? How do you do shirts? Like what what are all the costs that go into it? So you better understand what numbers are. There's a million little bitty steps. And we don't have to know all 1000 of them. We don't even have to know 100 of them. We just kind of have to think of three to four to get us going. And then you figure out another two to three to four to get going after that. And it's the incremental teeny tiny steps that we want to be there tomorrow. But nobody gets there overnight. It's overnight and the illustration I use in the book is the iceberg and icebergs take 1000s of years to develop. And we really only see 10% of it which is above the water and for us that's the success that's that outcome that bonus that award that everybody craves because everybody sees but underneath that is 90% of ice and That's the little steps you take every day, the failures, the changing course, the bad days, the good days, the building the skills that take so much time to develop, that when people see you, they think you've come out of nowhere, but you haven't, you've just been putting in all this work where they've never watched. And so that's kind of what you have to keep in mind. And so writing things down is incredibly helpful. Because like you said, you can look back and say, six months ago, I didn't have a clue what I was doing. But here's all the things I've done. So it reminds you you've made progress and boost your confidence that I'm capable of starting to connect the dots and steps as I get going. And then just continually ask yourself each day, well, what's one thing I could do today to be a little bit closer tomorrow? To being that person being in that role doing that?

Jason Croft  
Yeah. And I think I think there's something to that visualization of it too, even if it's not even going back and reviewing and a visualization of your you're building your own map, right, as you go, you know, and here's where I started, here's what happened, here's what we go. And I promise everybody out there that do, getting in motion, staying in motion towards even just that general direction is 150 times better than sitting there thinking about your next move. And I've, I've done both in in great, you know, webs, right? Because you know, you get so so you know, even when you do get going and you get momentum, and there's that feeling of just like, whoa, let me let me stop and see where I'm going. And you can do that for an afternoon. No, and you should, you know, it's like, okay, where's my path? What's that next step? The problem is when you you know, you put on the brakes, because you're just like, whoa, I'm out of my comfort zone. I'm like, Really, I'm free falling here, you know, let me see where I am. And you stop for six months, right?

Unknown Speaker  
And then then you can't get going again. You know, James clear talks about atomic habits of the importance of the daily action, just for identity as much as consistency. And that's one as you talked about beginning that teeny, tiny, incremental of getting into the habit with it. And I talked to somebody, too few days ago on Instagram of like, two weeks ago, I just did an Instagram real about my day got away from me, I was dealing with some crap I didn't want to be dealing with but needed to. And it had some more to be at six o'clock, and it's five o'clock, and I hadn't gotten my workout in and I'm like, Well, I'm not I can't make it to the gym. I'm not gonna make it all the way down there stuff, shower and change. I've got like 15 minutes, we'll say. So I just went in the garage do on the timer for 15 minutes wrote into kettlebell swings wasn't the workout I wanted, wasn't as long as I wanted wasn't probably the best workout I've ever had. But it kept the streak going. And if I did just that for 15 minutes, it stacks pretty consistently over a few weeks or a month, way better than maybe an hour workout every so often. And I had a couple of people DM me and they were like, I've never thought about that only focus on how much time I don't have versus how much I do. And I was like, if you have 10 minutes every morning, read, like use it 10 minutes, you're not going to get maybe get through a chapter some days, you won't. But over the course of a year, you're going to stack up 20 to 30 books by reading just 10 minutes every day. But most of us get so overwhelmed. We put on the complete breaks, we don't do anything. And then like you said, it turns into six months, versus the person that gets overwhelmed says, Whoa, I got 10 minutes. What's one thing I can do for 10 minutes to help move the ball a little bit? And that's what they do. And it just stacks consistently over time. Oh, yeah.

Jason Croft  
You mentioned something that that I've discovered in the last couple of years. That's a game changer. And something I wanted to talk to you about too, and how much you coach people on this, but that that idea of identity is huge, right? I've found that, you know, in some big changes I've made like, you know, a couple years ago, I stopped eating sweets and like, some people were like, I don't care. I know, like sweets. I never understood those people, right? And I was the guy who was just like, at the birthday party and like, Oh, you're not going to eat your icing. Give me that ice. Like, I'll eat that. I

Unknown Speaker  
like the on that. I mean, totally.

Jason Croft  
And then I just went and I made a decision one day. And it was like, I don't eat sweets. Like I just don't that's not who I am. And I try to convey to people that it's so much easier to go to zero than it is to like, Oh, I'm someone who eats sometimes and you know, am I going to do that today or I might do that it may be if I do it today and not tomorrow. When I'm just let's just not who I am. You know and that speaks to your your workout. You're somebody who's I'm going to work out every day. If it's 15 minutes like in and when you stay true to that identity man It's it's easier to stick to something but it also it doesn't move you forward in leaps and bounds.

Unknown Speaker  
Yeah, and I'm gonna echo one of the things you said there, as you said, I don't eat sweets. So there is an empowerment in this idea of I don't, versus I can't. And from a self talk standpoint, it's huge because I can't feels heavy like, I can't I can't have that cake. I'm on a diet. I can't go to this. Like I always think when we think I can always think like when I'm a kid, and I would ask go to a friend's house for a summer party and mom was like, No, it's I have to be like camp mama, let me like it feels heavy. I don't, it's a very empowering statement. Oh, I don't, I don't drink Monday to Thursday, because I like being sharp at work. I don't eat sweets anymore. I don't do this. Like it's a kind of a confident statement that this is just who I am. I don't do that. And so if someone if you're struggling with that kind of flipping that switch, changing your language from what I can't do to what I don't do is is a very in confidence building in that process. And is a really huge piece of that. The other is really the part of separating who you are from what you do. And I struggled with this when sports were over for me, I was still an athlete, a quarterback in my head, even though it wasn't playing. And it created huge internal conflict for me mentally, because what I always identified as where I found confidence, where I found things was no longer part of me. And we all struggle with this, if we always tell ourselves, Well, I'm an entrepreneur, what happens when you sell your business? Well, you feel lost a lot of times unless you start another one. And you're kind of aimless, if that was your purpose, or I'm a wife, and then you suddenly get a divorce, and you're not a wife anymore, and your whole identity has been wrapped up in the one thing you did versus who you were. And so there's a huge amount of work into this space, but really focusing on our language and what we don't do and who we are, as I'm a guy who played football, you're a person who's also a wife, but this is who I am. And I'm also these other things, is incredibly important, because it helps us shift, it helps us when we fall short on something to not identify as a failure, but failure as an adventure that happened. And here's how we shift around it.

Jason Croft  
Yeah, I'd be curious to, to get your take on how you walk people through discovering that a little bit. You know, I work with a good friend of mine, Gary de Rodriguez, we have another show called concentric. And it's all about that kind of stuff, like digging in and discovering your values. And, you know, it's all about aligning with other people in relationships and stuff. And, and he's got a process that I've gone through a couple of times now. And it's a brutal, painful process of going through. Yeah, identifying what are your top five values? What do you do, at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, and you throw all your values in into an arena who's come out alive, right?

Unknown Speaker  
And that's, I mean, really, that's that core process, because you have to know what you stand for what you believe in and what you want to be defined by, before you can go anywhere else.

Jason Croft  
Yeah, and if you don't know that, a lot of times those places where we're hitting a wall, and we're, it's because we're living in alignment, and we don't even know it, we don't know that our top value is, you know, innovation, let's say, you know, the in, we're not doing any of that. And we don't understand why we can't get past a certain things like, Oh, we're not embracing this, or we're, we're living in violation of that. And until you go through that process and dig in. Oh, okay. And that doesn't mean you have to change your entire world. But you can shift some things so that what you're doing, you can do it in a different way you can align with that. I'd be curious to know, like how you kind of walk somebody through. Okay, great. I'm not just a wife. I'm not just a quarterback, like, how do I find out who I really am?

Unknown Speaker  
Yeah, and I would say a lot of it comes from identifying a few areas what what do you believe your purpose is? What do you want it to be? Which some people can answer some don't? Who do you want to be in 15 years, like in that ideal state? Because that 10 to 15 years is a little bit out of vision, it's a little blurry, but like, Who do you want to be? And what characteristics do you want to be defined by? Because usually, we always believe that habits and things we can't build now we're gonna suddenly build one day, we may not be disciplined at work out now. But we're gonna definitely be doing in 15 years where we can't take care of our finances now, but we absolutely will in 15 years, we're going to be rich and all of them. So we asked for that, because we want to I want to know, what do you believe your mission is your purpose? Who you ultimately wanting to become or think you can become? And then working through the values piece of like, what are the things you value? Well, then let's go through process of elimination, what are kind of your top three to five? And then from your three to five? What are actions that you do consistently that reinforced that? And what are actions you do consistently that don't reinforce that and let's figure out where you're at of alignment and where we can better get you in alignment. Either by changing the actions or understanding what you say is valuable, you're not living at all. So you actually value something else. So is this accurate with that person you want to be in 15 years or not. And so going through that process helps them see because most of us never write it down, we just have in our heads of what we think's important and what we're where we kind of want to be and really with a lot of money in blurry a gap. So we live that kind of operate in that space. But once you start writing it down, and saying, Man, I value courage, and I value for me competition, and I value relations, and you know, all of these things, then you start looking at, where am I in alignment with these things? And where am I off? And what am I doing consistently to reinforce not only reinforce these values, but also if someone were to look at me and how I live my life? Would they see those values reflected. And so when you start to see that, then the self awareness comes in, you become a little more aware of what's going on and intentional with your day to day decisions.

Jason Croft  
Yeah, and have those in front of you. Like, as silly as maybe it sounds, have those constantly in front of you. So that it, it acts as a filter, right? Through your life through this as decisions come at you throughout the day. Either how you approach something that someone's asking you to do, or whether you even do it, you can you can gauge that like, Okay, I've done the work to know this is this is really me, and what's important. So let me filter everything through that.

Unknown Speaker  
Yep. Yeah, because you've got it, you've got to have the lens, we already all see the lens through our experiences. That's why we have a hard time if you've ever read Malcolm Gladwell book talking to strangers, we have a hard time talking to people we don't know, because we come at it from our own experiences and lens and how we see the world and they see it very differently. And so there's a lot of miscommunication and conflict. And so we do that with ourselves, because we have all these experiences. And if we're not intentionally looking at situations and choices, through the lens of what are our values, who do we want to become? Then we kind of go on autopilot. And usually what happens on autopilot says what comfortable and complacent and what we know. And he's never helping us grow and get to where we want to because it's not it's something within our within our comfort zone versus finding opportunities to expand it.

Jason Croft  
Yeah, that big time. Jake, I could talk to you all day about this stuff. It's such such a blast, man. It's it's important stuff. I think that's what's makes it extra fun. Yes, I'm interested in how people operate and how people can change and get better. And I love talking to people who help people do that like yourself. But it's also incredibly important that we all do that. And do what you just talked about is, is pushing ourselves just enough every day to keep moving forward. Because it's not like, oh, you know, we sit in complacency and we go and we watch Netflix and everything's just maybe it's not great, but it's fun. No, because it's actually misery. And that's when we get sick. And that's when you know, things go downhill quickly. Because we know we're violating those values. We know we're not living up to the potential that we can feel inside.

Unknown Speaker  
Yeah, Daniel, Daniel Pink, has a new book called The Power of regret. And I haven't read it yet. But I've read some excerpts. And he talks about the earlier we are in life, the more we fear and regret actions we take. So when we're a kid getting in trouble at school, sticking your finger in the electrical outlet, it's choices and actions we took that we regret. However, over time, the level of regret for that drops off dramatically. Because what you see is over time, it's the inactions we have that we greatly regret at the end. Because when you don't take action when you sit in that complacency over time, you start to ask the questions. What if I tried? It's never a what if I hadn't gone after that? It's always what if I tried? What if I had not given up when I was uncomfortable? What if I had put aside 30 minutes or 20 minutes or 10 minutes a day to work on building a new skill or goal or cleaning up my resume on LinkedIn than watching another Netflix episode or video on YouTube? And over time that it's the inactions we regret so as you're saying that that's what I think about is action action will lead to failure. Sometimes, however, failure if evaluated always provides lessons for growth and getting better at inaction provides nothing except long term regret. And so it's always better to bet on yourself to try to explore to take those steps to figure out what works, what doesn't, to grow, to identify what your values are and how you can better live in alignment with it. Then to sit and do nothing and hope and magically appears 1015 years down the road.

Jason Croft  
Yeah, big time. Awesome. So who should reach out to Jake Thompson to connect and how do they do so?

Unknown Speaker  
Yeah, so easiest way, if you are, I would say from the content I put out if you are someone ambitious or driven, you want to find a way to improve your mindset, how you talk how you see the world or your focus and habits. Definitely reach out Instagrams where I tend to hang out the most there and LinkedIn. So you can find me on LinkedIn, just search Jake Thompson, on Instagram, it's @JakeThompsonSpeaks. And then otherwise, if you'd love to learn more about our coaching programs, speaking programs, you can find a ton at my website, https://jakeathompson.com/, or https://www.competeeveryday.com/. And I work with organizations from probably 50, up to 1000 to 5000 people on all of these sorts of things. But really, how do we give your employees and your team members a competitive edge, so that they can show up better in their professional life, which also helps them show up better in their personal life? But man, this was a ton of fun, Jason, I appreciate you having me on.

Jason Croft  
Of course, man.  Thanks so much for being here. Always, always good. We may have to have a part 2,3,4,5, and 6!  So much to talk about.

Unknown Speaker  
Let's get Gary on. We'll jam through the values and identity this next time.

Jason Croft  
Perfect. Perfect. Thanks so much. 

 

Jake Thompson Profile Photo

Jake Thompson

Author & Chief Encouragement Officer

Jake Thompson is a keynote speaker and Chief Encouragement Officer at Compete Every Day, a brand he started in 2011 by first selling t-shirts out of the trunk of his car.

Jake works with organizations all over the world as a performance coach, teaching how they can develop the focus, habits, and culture in order to grow their businesses and their individual lives.

It’s through his entrepreneurial sales experience, client work, and research that he’s built a proven CE³ Model to help people build a competitive mindset, grit, and create more influence as an impactful leader.

Jake is a third-generation entrepreneur and a graduate of both Texas Christian University (B.S.) and the University of Dallas (M.B.A.). He lives in Dallas/Fort Worth with his wife, Elena, and their three dogs, Sugar, Biscuit & Donut.