What Expert Authority World™ is saying about the show:
- Relavant for anyone!by HarloB from United States
I really enjoy Mario and his shows. The Stress and Anger in the Workplace episode was great because it cut to the chase of all the issues around this topic. Great interview!
- Mario nails it!by Mickiezada from United States
I've listened to Mario for a long time...his podcast is well produced, his guests are influencers and authentic authority, and chock full of insights and inspiration for entrepreneurs. Love it!
- Mario is the real dealby jamesnewcomb.io from United States
I’ve known Mario personally and professionally for over a year now. He is genuinely interested in helping people succeed, and consistently over delivers in his interactions and valuable advice with fellow entrepreneurs, podcasters, what have you. In this era of showmen who “give value” only if they think they’ll get something in return, Mario stands out as a man among men. Listen to his show and learn what true leadership and value in the marketplace mean.
- Listening On My Entrepreneurial Journeyby FromLisa2 from United States
I was surprised when I stumbled over the servant leadership that shows up in these episodes. It's collaborative. It's focused on relationships with clients versus transactions. I especially enjoyed the episode on getting clients without "selling" because it's more about genuine relationship building.
- A Giftby Lisa Vogt from United States
Mario uses all his talents, gifts and abilities to produce this life affirming show. It's incredible that we are able to grow our abilities and develop our talents and gifts just through subscribing and listening. Thank you Mario!
- This show is ON FIRE!by tibor.mindsethorizon from United States
Love your show Mario! Your niche is close to mine but I focus more on mindset and manifestation in a business setting. I tuned into episode #103 with Karen Brown which is dope! Keep up the great work!
- Entrepreneur Must Listenby HWoodwriter from United States
If you’re an entrepreneur this is a must listen show. So many inside tips and thought processes behind moving your business forward. Mario does a great job with the guests by asking the right questions at the right time. He and his guests give the information you need to grow your business and leadership skills.
- What a show!!by CWLuecke from United States
Man, do I love interviews with world-changers! Mario does an excellent job gathering the cream of the crop for his show and giving insightful interviews. Check it out!
- Loved it!by Seodrigo from United States
This interview was very enjoyable. Mario brought on a wise guest by the name of Michael Lauria. I loved the interview and Michael's perspective on the topic. He had wonderful insights and around min 31, he hit something very profound. Excited to share what I learned today with others. Way to go!
- Great listenby trinity3712 from United States
Good listen. Great range of guests and topics. Something here is you keep listening will help you in many areas of life and leadership b
- Great Knowledge!by Jon Vroman FRD from United States
Great show Mario! So much valuable information in one episode!
- Excellent show, very imformative!by Shaolin Soprano from United States
Mario loving the podcast bro, great content, immense value. Enjoying these interviews!!!
- Helpful Information!by The Medicare Nation from United States
Love the valuable information on these episodes! Lots of tips & tricks for every Entrepreneur to use. Kudos Mario! Diane Daniels Host of Medicare Nation
- Love Mario’s Attitudeby marisaimon from United States
Mario’s heart shines through his interviews, making these fun and positive, and the people he brings on offer such a wealth of knowledge.
- Lots of Great Info!by DarlajPowell from United States
Mario provides lots of great info and advice in this 7 day a week show.
- Great Content!by LanceJohnson_ from United States
Mario does a great job of share valuable information that every entrepreneur could use and apply to their journey. Great work! 🙂
- Important information!by Allmenow from United States
Very engaging information. Mario draws out experiences and knowledge from his guests. Loved the show!
- Difference-Makerby Unlimited Beliefs from United States
Mario is a master at bringing out, shining a light on, and internalizing the difference-making mindset. His knowledge and experience and mission enable him to synthesize information into diamonds for all of us! What you want is accessible by taking in this show!
- Excellent Informationby Stallion golf from United States
Great advice and information with a wonderful blend of topics! Loved the episode with the british healthcare professional and the ideas shared on how to make the industry better.
- Motivating and valuable informationby Calvin Javier from United States
Great insight on mindset from business leaders and entrepreneurs making things happen. Definitely worth your attention. Will be listening and learning more!
- Good informationby FIRE NATION! from United States
Engaging interview with a british health pro, I was surprised to hear the similarties and the application she has for making healthcare better
- Greatnessby MiaSportFanatic from United States
Have had the chance to listen to one show so far but man, we should be paying for this information. Lots of greatness. Thanks for the heart to serve.
- Listen to the experts - and thrive!by The Marketing Book Podcast from United States
There's a lot of advice out there these days but, sadly, a lot (and I mean a LOT) of is from people with little to no expertise. That's not the case with this gem of a show. Listen to what the experts say and profit from the experience!
- Show is amazing!by JohnnySwim32 from United States
I love learning about mindset and how to master my thoughts. This show provide the tools!
- Great show!by Jefferson_79 from United States
Great information for all businesses.
- Good value!by Audrey purplele from United States
Great information that applies to any business! I really felt he provided value for my time.
- Interesting Topicby Eric Oler from United States
Interesting topic. Great interviews. Keep up the hard work!
- Helpful Advice from Expertsby ichuck2 from United States
Mario talks to experts in a wide range of subject matters and asks good questions to pull out helpful advice.
- What a great show!by Christopher List from United States
Mario really brings out the best in his guests. The police dog trainer had such a great story. Can’t wait to hear more!
- Great!!!by tommye w-c from United States
Great podcast, awesome guests, incredible host!!!
- Fun & informativeby Saoirse Sky from United States
Some people want something fun, others want something informative. This podcast gives you both!
- Great show!by CJThomas6 from United States
Very inspirational show! Appreciate the advice and thoughts shared by the host and his guests!
- Great podcastby Rosie81200 from United States
Great podcast! Love hearing about the guests’ journeys and what they learned from them.
- Never Stop Learning!by Terri in Fairhope from United States
Tune in to this great podcast and host! You're probably really good at what you do (top of your game...an Expert Authority), but there is always more to learn...streamline processes and gain more freedom in your life. It's not always about the bottom line. This one is worth a listen!
- Amazing!by KatieBrooksIV from United States
If you're looking for inspiration, tune in to listen to Mario and his top notch guests. I find that I am always much more motivated after listening to an episode of Expert Authority Effect!
- Wonderful show!by @IV-Heather Tieben from United States
Mario is a great host & puts on a wonderful show. The quality of his interview guests and entire production is impeccable, I couldn't recommend Expert Authority Effect more!
- You Will Not Be Disappointed!by Composer 1853 from United States
Mario does such a great job of engaging his guests from several different disciplines.
- The hardest working man in Podcastingby EOFire.com from United States
Mario brings the HEAT with real energy and FIRE...don't miss the meteoric rise of this show! ~ John Lee Dumas
- Great interviews and guests!by Mel Good Karma from United States
Thanks for hosting such great interview guests. Look forward to hearing more and kudos on so many a week and also videos!
- Fantasticby Jason A. Duprat from United States
Awesome podcast, going to be adding this one to my list. Interesting topics with great interviews, good sound quality.
- Enjoying!by Slordan from United Kingdom
Enjoy listening to Mario and how he opens up the conversations to ensure it’s as relevant to us as listeners!
- Nice variety and interesting topicsby emjgreen from United States
Love the variety of topics presented here on this show. Looking forward to listening to more of Mario's show.
- Super Marioby jamesnewcomb.io from United States
Mario is the real deal and BRINGS IT to his own podcast and everywhere he interacts in the world. If honesty and vulnerability bother you, please move on to the next podcast.
- Great Content! Great Interviews!by No BS Mompreneur from United States
Wow! Really enjoy listening to all these fabulous expert authorities!! Lots of valuable take aways that I can implement into my life. I will continue to listen and share with others!! A+++
- A great addition to build authority and create an impactby Cloris Kylie from United States
A great addition to build authority and create an impact. Also, a different twist on the topic. Engaging. 5 stars!
- Filled with motivation and ideasby Thomas O'Grady, PhD from United States
Mario does a great job interviewing and pulling the stories behind people's stories or success. Good pleasant listen. If you are in a journey of your own, these episodes will give some things to bring into your on life.
- spartancvby spartancv from United States
Great job following your passion, your purpose and creating this podcast to help serve others! Keep up the excellent work.
- This podcast is the bombby Posturedoc from United States
Mario always crushed it, and this podcast is another example of his amazing insights and knowledge!! Great work.
- Wow - love the video show.by Thehighenergygirl from United States
Thank you for the encouragement and tips on how to succeed on video and the repurposing idea.
- Motivating and Inspiring!by KatyJoyWells from United States
Mario brings such enthusiasm to his shows and his content is fantastic. I’m always learning new things to implement or new ways to grow, thanks Mario!
- What a great show!by Gene_HPLN from United States
Awesome podcast! Mario brings great topic, great guests, and it is very easy to listen to. I definitely recommend for anybody interested in business success!
- It's greatby Ian Ryan from United States
Just had a chance to check out your most recent episode appreciate the great insight! Great delivery from the host & can’t wait to dig into future content.
- Love it!by Brendan @ Entrepreneurs&Coffee from United States
I love that this interview podcast doesn't feature the same old folks that everybody has on their show. Keep it up, Mario!
- Amazing!!!!by Lindsey Russo from United States
This show is so impactful! Hearing from the experts and how they take authority in their space is so amazing. Looking forward to more episodes!
- Learned what I didin't even know I neededby Camilla-Jean from United States
Great info. I love the Q episode because I get just quic interst snippets that may get me thinking about where my business might go.
- Fabulous Interviews!by Life&RelationshipCoach from United States
Mario does a fantastic job interviewing really interesting and successful business people who explain how they got to where they are - tips you won't want to miss when your trying to grow your business! Keep up the great work Mario! Coach Riana Milne
- A+ Showby Gisele_Oliveira from United States
I love this show. It's so entertaining and I learn a lot from the interviews. I highly recommend this show if you want to level up his game as an authority.
- Inspiration, transformation, success stories!by Chabo101 from United States
The title of this review should just be enough but it is just more than that. Its life lessons, its listening to personal struggles and how they over came those struggles. Love to hear from people that change the world through their struggle and the lessons that i learn from them are just more than amazing. I love this.
- Great interviews!by AlyciaDarby.com PodcastManager from United States
These interviews are well done and his guests are prepared to give really specific insights and stratagies... great podcast, Mario!!
- Inspiring story of courageby StrongHeart<3 from United States
I love that she found gratitude in her circumstances. lorie is an inspiration
- Powerful!by The Food Heals Podcast from United States
Mario's interviews cover a variety of topics and provide great value in all areas of your life! Episode 15 discusses how change is temporary and transformation is permanent which was really powerful for me. I love this message! Thank you!
- Great content!by Blakeob85 from United States
Great answers to common questions many entrepreneurs have! Thanks Mario for sharing your and your guests' insight!
- Real Actionable Tactics!by MattBMaverick from United States
What I like about Mario's podcast is that he pulls out actionable tactics from his guests that we, the listeners, can actually use. Great show!
- Great Listen!by Real Estate Investor from United States
Mario and his guests provide useful techniques to succeed in any business venture. The interview style promotes learning through real life examples of his guests. Great listen!
- Great interviews!by Matt B 1818 from United States
Love hearing these interviews and learning from people who are top in their industry. Mario is a great host and is not afraid to share his emotion!
- Love itby Duffash from United States
I love hearing interviews of successful business women and taking away what I can learn from their journey. Mario is a great host! I have enjoyed what I have learned so far. Congrats on the launch of your new podcast!
- Strong, professional, enthusiastic!by pm legs from Canada
If you're looking for an interviewer who's going to take you to investigative places to help you be your best you, through your professional life, you'll love listening to Mario!
Listen To The Episode
Watch The Episode
Subscribe to EAInterviews
3 Expert Authority Insights™ To Apply Now
- Relationships are things that you need devote time to
- If you are helping somebody, and you’re investing in a relationship for long term mutual benefit, only good things will happen
- You actually have to care
- Anybody can create a very strong culture that is a magnet for great employees
- The things that make a big deal of difference are oftentimes just little things
• Business Book Checklist: Save five-plus hours for every prospect to generate more leads and find out all the reasons why every business needs a book, including your reasons. Download the Business Book Checklist at BusinessBookChecklist.com!
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.**
[0:50] – We thank our sponsor, Business Book Checklist
[1:58] – Richard’s inspiration
- Richard’s parents are entrepreneurs
- Richard’s wife is an entrepreneur
- Richard loves technology
- Richard knew he would be an entrepreneur
[3:06] – Who does Richard’s company help
- People who are tired of their computer
- People who are tired of not knowing how to do things
- Helping people to achieve what they’re trying to get done
[4:59] – What happens when office processes are automated
- Employees will have different opportunities when not doing office work manually
- Employees will be relieved of some burden and get other challenges
- Benefits of employee’s untapped potential and additional value they weren’t able to see before
[8:11] – People facing skills won’t be replaced
[12:27] – Happiness circle
- They cannot introduce toxic elements if they are going to expand the circle of happiness
- It should help the greater good
- All conversations take a more holistic approach
- One-on-one check with every team member
- Find the gratitude
- Have very meaningful conversations
- Every customer you help is an opportunity to expand the circle of happiness
[21:07] – Transformation for clients
- Richard’s company gives clients the friendship, hope, and belief that they got their back
- They address the clients as people
- They know what the clients are working on
- The company gives clients real people that they can have a relationship with
[22:32] – Where does referrals come from
- It comes from lead sources
- It comes from friends, customers, end users, old clients
[28:55] – Dream Sessions
- People come together and dream together
- It is a facilitated discussion
- They share ideas
- It is entertaining, highly engaged, and very open minded
- The dreams becomes a reality
- People realize they have the power for change
- Most dreams don’t cost money
[35:56] – Best practice: Reset yourself
- You will be happier
- You will be more productive
- You leave feeling more successful
- You will be more excited to go to work
[37:01] – Time out to thank sponsor, Business Book Checklist
[37:16] – Imperfect Action Round
- The fastest path to the cash is to provide more value than you’re charging for
- Worry about how much value you can bring to the buyer
- The biggest problem that clients are making is they don’t know what they don’t know
- Expand horizons and learn some infinite possibilities
- The best way to maximize customer lifetime value is being sincere, caring, and establishing a long term relationship
[41:10] – We thank our sponsor, Business Book Checklist
[41:26] – www.EAInterviews.com
EA interviews Episode 77. Inspiration, transformation, success stories, and the Imperfect Action Round seven days a week. Join Mario Fachini for today’s Expert Authority Effect Interview.
Mario Fachini [0:07]
Creating a company with a culture that cares is not just something one company should be doing. It’s something every company should be doing. I know you’ve experienced it. I know you’ve seen it. But hopefully you’re not running one that isn’t doing it. That’s why I’m excited to have Richard Anderson here today, CEO of Imagine IT, two years in a row on the Inc. 5000. He has grown subsequently year after year and has a thriving company doing extremely well. And he’s going to be sharing these insights with you as to how he’s doing it. And you’re going to love what he has to say. I’m excited to bring him up right after we thank our sponsor.
SPONSOR Business Book Checklist [0:50]
Why every business needs a book including yours? Would you like to save five plus hours with every prospect, generate more leads, and profit in your business now? Visit BusinessBookChecklist.com and learn how you can implement this in your business today.
Mario Fachini [1:35]
Here he is ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Richard Anderson, CEO of Imagine IT. Richard, it’s great to have you here. How are you feeling?
Richard Anderson [1:43]
I’m awesome, man. It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Mario Fachini [1:46]
Well, I’m excited to learn more about what got you started into this? How did it all come to be? I know you’ve been doing it since 2000. But what inspired you to start your company?
Richard Anderson [1:58]
You know, it’s an entrepreneurial curse, I think. You talk about inspiration. Sometimes it’s just a calling. My parents were entrepreneurs. My wife’s family is entrepreneurs. My aunt’s are entrepreneurs and uncles. I don’t think there was ever a question as to whether or not I was going to be in an entrepreneurial venture like this or not. But I’ve always liked technology. You and I were talking about how many courses are in a computer. I mean, I had a computer back when I was probably ten years old, and back then they weren’t much of a computer but we thought they were pretty cool. So I think it was just inevitable. I was going to end up in technology in some way, shape, or form.
Mario Fachini [2:35]
I can totally relate to that. When I was in high school, people say when did you start your company? And I like to say which time? I know, you get that. But it was the same thing. Because computers have changed. They’ve gotten better and better. But I knew I was going to have a very expensive hobby or a very profitable business. But I knew the passion was there and I was going to be doing what I’m doing going on a while now, let’s say. So let’s talk about who you helped and how you helped them.
Richard Anderson [3:06]
Yeah. So you know, there’s the elevator pitching answer which is small and midsize companies in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul area, who are in need of IT services. But I think that deeper answers what you’re really asking, right? Who do we help? We help the business owners and the controllers and the HR managers and the operations managers who really are just trying to do their job. They’re trying to get the product shipped or they’re trying to get the new employee on boarded. And they’re tired of their computer. They’re tired of their application not working. And they’re tired of not knowing how to do things. These power users skills that they think are unfathomable, those are who we help. We help the people. It’s really, ironically, not about the technology. We’re a technology company but it’s not about that. It’s about the people and helping them achieve what it is they’re trying to get done. And that’s what all of our people are about. That’s why we come to work every day. That’s why we leave every day feeling good about what we’ve done is we get to help people.
Mario Fachini [4:10]
I think that’s so important because it very much is about the psychology and not the technology. It’s just a means to an end. People know here’s what you can do and here’s how you can help. But I loved what we were talking about. Because you were a lot like me and you’re taking it a step further than that. So let’s go a little bit deeper with when you’re saying “they just want the stuff to work.” Because I know what it’s like when all this stuff is working the way it should be. And I’m very thankful for it. But when it’s not, what do you do?
Richard Anderson [4:39]
Mario Fachini [4:40]
What’s the biggest problem you see them really having? I’m not talking about building a computer, piecing together a NASA base station Media Lab. But what are some of the common things that when you’re saying these advanced things, what is the biggest problem they’re having that you help them fix?
Richard Anderson [4:59]
The list is long. But to keep it simple, I think a lot of it is people just don’t know what they don’t know. And so they come to work, they do their deal, they beat their head against the wall. And then they rinse and repeat and do it every day. And we’ll talk to them and say, “Hey, I see you’re working with this big file of data. And you’re manually doing this thing. And then you’re emailing it over to this person who’s manually doing this thing. And you see these file folders routing about the office to get stuck in Nancy’s office, and then over in Joe’s office, and you’re not sure where they are.” And we come in and say, “Well, we could automate all that. We could take the data entry, we could make all that go away. Nobody would have to data enter that anymore. We could automatically route it to Nancy and Joe simultaneously. And I can actually track whether or not they’ve opened and processed it. And then I can give a status report up to the management team. How would you like that?” And they’re like, ” I’m sorry, what? What would I do with my job if you did all that?” And I’m like, “Well, let’s find that out. Because that’s the fun part.” You know, we had one client that literally had a full time person entering in credit card data to process their incoming orders from their website. Now, all of us who are in the web world now would kind of laugh and think, “Oh, that’s an issue.” So this was a couple years ago. We eliminated that person’s job. And I remember when we approached her and the first thing through our brain is, “Oh my gosh. I’m out of work.” And then very quickly she realized, “This is actually very good because there’s so much other things I could do.” And she could reapply and do other things. All of a sudden her dead end career became an opportunity of possibility. And that’s, that’s pretty awesome from our perspective.
Mario Fachini [6:44]
I would agree with that. Because I hear a lot of people say that. That’s very common. All the robots are going to replace the jobs. It’s like if you can get replaced, it’s probably a job you shouldn’t be doing because you’re not fully utilizing what you have at your capability. You know yourself, your brain, and all this. And I don’t know any business on the planet that doesn’t have stuff that they can find someone to help them with. There’s always something that can be done. But like you’re saying, do you need to be the one entering credit card numbers eight hours a day? No.
Richard Anderson [7:15]
And can you imagine the monotony of that type of a job? You’re happy you have a job. You’re paying your bills. You have benefits. That’s great. But you wake up in the morning and go, “Yay. I get to enter credit cards.” Like, no.
Mario Fachini [7:30]
There’s no fulfillment.
Richard Anderson [7:30]
That’s not fulfilling. That’s not challenging. That’s not inspiring. There’s nothing about that. So if we can relieve that burden and give them some career opportunities and challenge, awesome. And then how does the company benefit? Well, they didn’t save any money, right? Because they still – they have the employee and they still have the employee. But the upside of all that untapped potential and that additional value they’re able to add is benefits that they weren’t able to get before. So then they’re happy too. Everybody wins. That’s inspiring.
Mario Fachini [8:01]
I don’t know any industry that couldn’t benefit from better customer support? And you’re not going to automate that with,” Oh, send an email here. And support ticket.
Richard Anderson [8:11]
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, you hear about hold times. I called and one of my favorite messages is, “We’re experiencing an inordinate level of phone calls, please hold.” And I’m thinking, “Why aren’t I experiencing an inordinate number of call answers?” Like, you knew that everybody calls at 9:00 a.m. on a Monday, why don’t you have more people? But you’re right, those people facing skills, those hand touches, those going out and seeing the client, those aren’t going to be replaced anytime soon. And if you’ve got any of those skills, you probably have a good job in front of you for the rest of your life.
Mario Fachini [8:48]
Yeah. If you can do customer service – not customer service – customer relationship, because that’s what customer service is, and sales, you’ll never be out of a job. And I’d also venture to say that if you’re doing some rinse and repeat job, you’re replaceable at any point in time whether you upgrade the system or not. But not only, like you’re saying, the careers – you switch into these other roles, there’s no cap. You might start off doing customer service, then you move up to management, then you move up to somewhere else. But these will never go away.
Richard Anderson [9:22]
I loved your use of the word relationship. People say customer service but I like to use customer relationships. Because relationships are things that you need devote time to. They don’t just happen. You can’t say, “Hey, Mario. Rich.” We have this relationship now. Well, a little bit of a relationship because we’ve talked for an hour. But it’s not going to be real deep. Many of our customers, really, we get to know them, we go hang out, we have breakfast, we have lunch, we might go golfing. They invite us to events, vice versa. That takes time. That takes some energy. And if you can do that – forget about sales. Because you say sales and people kind of freak out. They’re like, “I don’t want to be a sales guy. That’s, like, you know, slimy, right?” And I’m not trying to offend any sales guys. I think sales people are awesome. But some people just think that it’s this evil thing. And yet you take somebody who can develop a strong relationship, a one-on-one relationship with somebody, they will be your best salesperson in the world, because that establishes trust, which creates a great conversation. And so if I go to my friend and say, “You really should consider this thing.” They’re going to consider it. Well, guess what? That’s sales. Call it whatever you want.
Mario Fachini [10:36]
I agree. And I like building relationships, whether it’s personal or professional. I was alluding to if you get good at people skills, and if you learn the skill set of people skills, and the skill set of sales, you’ll never be out of a job anywhere.
Richard Anderson [10:53]
I fully agree.
Mario Fachini [10:54]
But I do not like sale-z. I can’t tell you how many people reached out even this week that – there’s someone on LinkedIn that connected. I was like, “Hey, how’s it going?” And you know, I go to build a relationship. He sent me 13 links in the last two days. And I very politely was like, “Hey, thanks for the info. But let me get through these before you send any more.” I don’t know if it’s a bot or whatever but it’s like I’m always looking for the best in people. Everyone likes buying but no one likes being sold.
Richard Anderson [11:31]
Agreed. Fully agreed.
Mario Fachini [11:32]
I don’t like sale-z like bad. And really, there’s nothing wrong with sales. It’s more how people go about it. And most people are doing it wrong. But I’m also not saying to just build a relationship for like, “Ooh. There’ll be some benefit at the end that I can monetize.” Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. But when you focus on people, you’re golden no matter what you’re doing.
Richard Anderson [11:55]
And you just nailed it. It’s the golden rule, right? If you’re being sold to, it doesn’t feel good. And if you are selling to someone, it doesn’t feel good. But if you are helping somebody, and you’re investing in a relationship for long term mutual benefit, only good things will happen.
Mario Fachini [12:13]
And I loved what you were saying. Let’s dive into a little bit more of that. Because you’re an IT company, you have a very successful IT company. Congratulations on making the Inc. 5000 two years in a row now.
Richard Anderson [12:26]
Thank you. Yes.
Mario Fachini [12:28]
That is awesome. But what you told me that you’re known for is really – why don’t you tell the audience because I think it’s awesome.
Richard Anderson [12:37]
Happiness. And really, I can’t say it enough. Because if you tell someone, you’re an IT company and you’re focused on happiness, they kind of give you that nervous chuckle. Like, “Oh, that’s cute. That’s like puppy dogs.” But it’s real. And for us it’s like a calling. So everybody we interact with, we, first of all, kind of ask ourselves, do we want to invite them into the circle of happiness or not? Because if you do, then everyone else in the circle must be positively or, at least, neutrally impacted by that addition. By definition, if we are going to expand the circle of happiness, we cannot introduce toxic elements to the circle. And so the first thing we do when we look at a new employee or a new client – we call them partners – or a new vendor or a new relationship of any way, shape, or form, we ask, is this going to help or hurt the circle? So it takes every decision we have and puts it through this microscope filter, and says, if this isn’t going to help us, the greater good, then we’re not going to do it. That’s kind of like baseline. Well, second thing is, is all of our conversations then take a more holistic approach. Offline, you and I were talking about work life and professional and personal. And people say, “Oh, you need to a good-work life balance.” And then you hear other people saying, “You really can’t get balance. You just really are just trying to keep them within range of one another.” But there is no such thing as balance, at least sustained. And so when we talk to somebody one-on-one and we meet with our team members – you got to hear this because when I tell other business owners this, they don’t believe me – every two weeks, we have a check in. A one-on-one check in with every team member we have. And some people are like, “I’m sorry, what? We meet with our guys annually. Is this like a compensation?” “No, no, no. It’s a never ending discussion. And if we don’t honor it on at least an every two week basis, then we’re going to miss out on some of those things that are really important.” I mean, life can change at the drop of a hat. Somebody’s parents could be sick, or their kids could be hurt, or their car could have gotten an accident. Who knows? And so we check in very regularly, how are things going? What can we celebrate over these last couple of weeks? What do we show gratitude for? We find the gratitude. If you just take a moment and grab a whiteboard or a piece of paper and you write down some of the things that you feel your gratitude towards, all of a sudden, you just feel better. You could be having a bad day and you think, “Wow. I have a wonderful marriage and my daughter is excellent. And I got a mountain bike last night. Life is pretty good even if somebody caught me off on the way to work.” And so we have these very meaningful conversations. And they might only be 15 or 20 minutes long but they happen so regularly that we get to expand that circle of happiness all the time. There are support organization. We do IT support. It’s kind of like business psychology or end user psychology. It’s like you’re calling a psychologist and you’re thinking, “Oh, my computer is not working again.” And it can it can be exhausting. Nobody calls the help desk and says, “Hey, Mario. God, I love your show. It’s great. It’s great talking to you. Have a good day.” That’s not what happens. Mario would call and say, “You know, 13 of my 14 course on my computer just died. I can’t do anything. I’m losing money. Life sucks. You better fix it.” That’s how it feels. And so we have to work with our technicians and remind them every single caller is asking for help. And every single caller is an opportunity for you to expand their circle of happiness. If you can leave them feeling just even slightly better than they felt when they called, you’ve taken a step forward. If you can solve their problem, they’re likely very happy. But some of the problems are challenging, we might have to research and we might have to do some work. But you get to expand the circle of happiness every single day. And for some of our technicians that might be 10 or 15 or 20 times a day. What a great opportunity when you look at it from that perspective. So happiness is a big deal for us. Thank you for asking.
Mario Fachini [16:54]
Absolutely. That’s beautiful. Because so many people don’t realize that. Everyone has something going on behind the scenes. And “Oh, how are you?” “Oh, we’re good.” You know, you see them at the parties. You see them at the networking things. Maybe it’s the holidays or whatever. “Oh, we’re good.” “Oh, really. Your life is fantastic. There’s never any downside to it.” Yet on Facebook, you’re complaining about 14 different things. No one ever reaches out. No one ever reaches out. And the we had a guest speaker at church. And I remember seeing what he had on Facebook and I’ll never forget it. And it said “Thug. Troubled Human Unable to Grieve.” And I was like, how many thugs are there out there? And I’m like, that’s pretty much everyone. Another one is, “Don’t judge me just because I sin differently from you.” I was like,
everyone’s got their own, “Oh. They’re bad because of this. They’re bad because of that.” And it’s like, “Okay. And you’re bad because of the other 14 things.” So I absolutely love when you were telling me you focus on the people and what you’re really about. Because here’s the reality, any business can do this.
Richard Anderson [18:08]
There you have it. There you have it. And we’ve been very fortunate to be voted Top 100 Places To Work and Healthy Workplace Award by the American Psychological Association, the Minnesota Psychological Association, a number of different organizations. And they almost always ask, “What do you do? if we wanted to have a culture like that, what do you do?” And I go, “Well, first and foremost, you actually have to care.” You actually have to want to have an amazing, caring, a collaborative, vulnerable culture. Because if you don’t want that, it doesn’t matter what you do, or what you say, it won’t happen. Second thing is, there isn’t one thing you can do. What you find is that, initiatives or even people have kind of a useful life. You might only have a team member for three, four, or five years but maybe they’re the cheerleader. They’re the person who gets everybody to get up out of their seats and do ten push ups. Like, “Okay. That’s weird.” But people loved it. That gets old. And so if that was my best practice and then you talk to me six months later and said, “Hey, how’s that push up thing going?” “We’re not doing that anymore.” “Oh, it must suck working there.” “No. Because we replaced it with three other things.” So we have a virtual reality gaming system set up in our office. The guys go over there, if they need a break. They got a bad phone call, they’re stressed out, they’ll go virtual reality and play Beat Saber. Or they’ll go walk through some haunted house or do something. Then they go back to work. We’ve got a Nintendo Switch gaming center right around the corner from my office. And they have some smash beat up your friend game. I don’t even know what the heck it’s called because I’m not a gamer. But they would go do that. They would go play games. So we’ve got a massage chair over in our lobby area. And if they need a break, they’ll go get a massage in the massage chair. And we’ve got one of those big campfire size Jenga games, you know, the big two by four ones. We put that on a three foot high table. And so when that thing comes crashing down, the whole office can hear that somebody just lost Jenga. It isn’t one thing. It’s not the full time salad bar or the veterans leave policy that we give to folks that are in active duty. It’s 50 of them and it’s the fact that if you ask me again next year what those 50 things are, ten of them will be different. It’s because you care. Anybody can do it.
Mario Fachini [20:22]
I love that. What’s your thing? You’re not a gamer but I see you got the headset. What’s your thing you do? Where do you go when you need a break?
Richard Anderson [20:31]
I tell everyone give me a pair of handlebars and two wheels. It can either have an engine on it or not. I can be mountain biking, road biking, or I can be on a motorcycle and I’m in my happy place. I don’t even really don’t need where to go. I do go –
Mario Fachini [20:48]
I was going to ask if you had a motorcycle game in there. I know you like motorcycles.
Richard Anderson [20:52]
I do like motorcycles. No games. I would rather just ride the real thing.
Mario Fachini [21:00]
There you go. Creating a culture in this type of atmosphere, what’s been the biggest transformation you’ve been able to give to a client as a result of it?
Richard Anderson [21:07]
To a client? I think the mystique is the thing. So when clients come to us, they’re immediately defensive. And they immediately think that, “Oh, it’s the IT company. Oh, great, another black hole of a place that won’t help me with my problems.” So the biggest thing that we give them is this friendship and this hope and this belief that we got your back. And so they’ll call and immediately think, “First, they want me to hold for 15 minutes. I’m going to talk to Joe Idiot. And they’re going to hand me off to somebody else who’s not going to do anything.” And that’s not how it is. We answer the calls. We get them to a technician. We then actually treat them like people and talk to them and say, “Hey, how’s it going? How’s your day? Oh, this is urgent? Well, let’s get rid of the small talk and let’s get through this.” We actually address them as people. We get to know them. We know what they’re working on. We can almost anticipate why they might call because they’re an Excel user. And so you know, what’s the one thing we give them? We give them real people that they get to know and they can have the same type of relationship they would have with the HR person who sits down the hall and the sales assistant who works at the desk down in the corner. We’re the IT company that they get to know. That’s actually fairly unique in IT support, believe it or not?
Mario Fachini [22:29]
What has this done for referrals for your company?
Richard Anderson [22:32]
There you have it. We don’t really do marketing. We don’t have billboards. We don’t go in magazines. We’ve grown. As you noticed on the Inc. 5000 for two years straight, we’ve grown by about 25 to 30% compounded annual growth now for five years in a row. And our first, second, and third leading lead source are referrals, referrals, and referrals. That’s where we get our leads. It comes from friends. It comes from customers. It comes from end users. We have people who leave one company, go to another company, and then pull us into their because they’re so frustrated with the IT support their new company. They’re like, “Just call Imagine IT and they’ll take care of it.” So referrals are definitely the thing. And they hear the happiness thing, expanding the circle of happiness. And they kind of roll their eyes. And then once they get here and they know us, they realize that it’s real. And they weren’t happy before. They are more happy now. And they have friends that are unhappy. It’s a natural referral. So it’s helped us very well. And to your point, anybody can do this. Anybody can create a very strong culture that is a magnet for great employees and referring clients. It has nothing to do with what we do. That’s just how we do it and the people that we have in our circle.
Mario Fachini [23:50]
I loved when you said the kicker though, “You actually have to care.” You can’t just put it as a line item as care with all the customers a little bit more. I mean, that could be what? Send them two emails instead of one. If you don’t have that servant’s heart, it’s not going to work. Would you agree?
Richard Anderson [24:06]
I totally agree. And you kind of jokingly said that. But how many times do you see those words on a wall where its, “Oh. Accountability, integrity, and trust.” You hear people’s core values. I was at a prospect not too long ago and I saw those words. And I brought them up. I thought, “Well, this is a good conversation piece.” I’m going to show interest in their core values. And I said, “I see that you have accountability on the wall over there.” She kind of laughs, “Yeah. We’re not very accountable.” I go, “Well, isn’t it a core value?” She says, “Well, it’s more of an aspiration.” So you do. You could put care on the wall, but you actually do have to care.
Mario Fachini [24:46]
But what if you put some really cool acronyms and see psalms for confidence and –
Richard Anderson [24:53]
That could be very special for you. It might not work.
Mario Fachini [24:58]
I see so many companies do that. And the same thing with their marketing messaging, it’s like they’re just using these platitude known phrases. And it’s like, “We care about our customers.” It’s like, “Well, everyone says that.” There’s something I saw recently in a show and it was a mockery of – it’s a comedy show kind of. But the store they were replicating – I’m not going to say the name. If anyone knows where I used to work, it was that one. The store in the show was called Buy More. And it was an electronics retail giant big box store with a yellow logo. And on – yeah. You caught it. And on the side, they were panning the camera and they had all these pictures. The corporate people looking all fancy and doing all the right stuff. And it’s like, “We would be proud to help you spend your parent’s money.” So everything around the store their marketing was like, “Look at us. We’re the best because of this.” And I was like, “That’s hilarious.”
Richard Anderson [25:58]
It might actually work.
Mario Fachini [25:59]
And it goes into the point like you’re talking about, if you don’t care, it’s going to shine through. It might not be that overtly obvious but people can feel it. People can sense it.
Richard Anderson [26:11]
Well, like I said, people ask me, what do you do? One of my questions back to them is, what have you done so far? And if their list is nonexistent or very short, what are you going to really tell them that’s really going to chant? They clearly don’t care enough to have done anything, much less failed at it. But if you do care, the next thing I’ll say is this, people embrace the world that they helped create. I didn’t make it up. Some other smart person said that. But if you truly grasp what that means is, I actually don’t have the best ideas. And even if I did, they will work more effectively if somebody else comes up with them. And so when you ask what should be on your list, don’t try to answer the question yourself. Go get a couple people together that you value their opinions, maybe you really want their loyalty, or maybe they’re even disgruntled. But get them into a room and say, “Hey, we’d really like to double down on our culture. We’d like to make this a destination employee or employment opportunity. We’d like people to really love working here. What are the top five or ten things you think we should do here? I’m not going to promise we’ll do them all. We may not be able to afford many of them. But I’d like to start making headway.” And you have that open and honest conversation. They give you some feedback. And then you actually do one or two of those things. And then rinse and repeat. What you find is you have a highly engaged culture that will evolve over time. It’s going to take a little while for people to buy in and to believe that this wasn’t a fad that you saw on some fancy podcast. But if it isn’t a fad and if it’s real and they get to help create it, it’ll last. And then it can self-refresh. Because again, I went through all of my good ideas probably 15 years ago. I don’t have very many left. But our team does. And every time you bring in a new team member, they bring another idea with them. It’s self-refreshing if you let it be.
Mario Fachini [28:13]
So giving the team the empowerment and the leniency to say, “Hey, I want to bring this to you.” I think that sounds fantastic in it of itself. And it’s a great segue for my next question of, what was the first thing you did when you started doing this?
Richard Anderson [28:29]
Oh, I don’t remember the first.
Mario Fachini [28:29]
Because you were – what’s one that you remember earlier on? Because a lot of what you’re mentioning, you’re going, “Oh, we got the virtual reality room.” And you said – that sounds fantastic. But I do realize when you’re going, “Hey, go drop all this money on a play room” not everyone might be able to start with that. I have something at the top of my mind. But what’s one you think anyone could do early on to get the ball rolling?
Richard Anderson [28:55]
One of the first things we did, it actually was one of the things in the list that won us an award back in 2006, I believe. It was called Dream Sessions. It has a nice name. But the idea is this, you pull together a group of folks. And you say, “We’re going to dream together today. The things that we dream about today are things that we can’t do tomorrow even if we wanted to. They’re going to be too far fetched. They’re going to be too expensive. They’re going to be too big and too grandiose. But we’re going to dream about them today. And it might be opening a new branch. Or it might be creating a virtual reality gaming room. Or it might be having unlimited PTO for all of our team members.” Kind of just go big or go home. And we did invite people and we’d have these dream sessions. And they would be an-hour-and-a-half, two hours, you know, we’d make sandwiches or we cater in or maybe we do it even in a non-food environment. But it was not a politically attended event. It was anybody in the company who wanted to dream. It didn’t matter what your role. It didn’t matter how long you’ve been here. Come on in. It’s a facilitated discussion. And I tried to say as little as possible other than just directing traffic. And what you’d find is a whole pile of harebrained ideas that people would laugh about and poke fingers and do whatever. But it was first of all, entertaining, highly engaged, very, very open minded. Like once you kind of throw a couple of those crazy ideas out there, it just gets the avalanche going. And then it happens. Somebody says something that the whole room goes – and it gets quiet. And we think, “We could probably do that. Wow. How much would – ” the next thing you know, that dream became a reality almost instantaneously within the room. Even if I never said anything more and I left the room on that note, oftentimes, it would just happen. Because people realize that they have a lot more control over their environment than they thought. You come to work. You have a cruddy day. “I had to sit next to Sally and Joe and Mike and Bob and they were all complaining about their lives and budget.” And then they go home and they’re a victim. And then in this dreaming session, they realized they actually have power to change some of that. If they could do this, or if they could do this, or if they could do this, they would like their job better. They would like coming to work more. “Why aren’t we doing this? Wow, I think I’m going to go do this”. And they do. The other thing that happens is, you find out that many of those things don’t cost money. And if they do, it’s not a lot. The things that make a big deal of difference are oftentimes just little things. We’ve got folks on our team that like yoga. We have another group that likes to meditate. We have another group that likes to do Taekwondo, that’s actually me. And so we have a little exercise room over there that we have a little reservation panel on and people can reserve the room. And we actively have yoga and meditation and Taekwondo sessions in there. You know how much it costs? About 100 bucks for the mats. That’s it. But it’s not an idea I came up with. It’s an idea our team came up with in a session that we had, probably, three years ago. And before we moved into our new space, we had to move the desks out of the way and dim the lights and kind of make it work. Now we have a nice space for it and people love it. So powerful stuff.
Mario Fachini [32:12]
And it also goes back to the holistic approach of the personal side of things too. Because like those repetitive tasks, we are not machines. Just being able to go take a break, that sometimes can be the differences. But let alone doing yoga and Taekwondo. And I took it also, I like it. There’s these things that a lot of companies think you need to spend all this money and you really don’t. So I’m grateful to hear that you’re embodying it and giving that leniency. And also putting into action and not just having some trite picture on the wall that would make for a good comedy video.
Richard Anderson [32:48]
For sure. You know, you mentioned taking a break. So one of the things – I’ll just piggyback that last thought. One of the things we did at a couple offices ago, we had a pool table. And we thought kind of long and hard. Me and my business partner at the time, we like playing pool.
Mario Fachini [33:02]
Richard Anderson [33:02]
Darts are good, too. Right. Yeah. And I remember when we were contemplating it. One of the things in the back of our heads were the smokers on our team. I don’t have any issue with smokers. But they take breaks. They have to go and take a smoke break. And so we thought, “Well, if we get a pool table, the smokers are now going to take smoke breaks and pool breaks. Like, did we just double their breaks?” And it turns out, guess what, they didn’t. Smokers are smart enough to know that they want to use their break time having a cigarette. The problem we had was with the non-smokers. They weren’t taking breaks. They were getting burnt out. They were getting ornery. And they were sitting in their cube kind of festering. And they had no smoke break. And so we got a pool table. And guess what? Those guys stood up and they came and started to play pool. We thought, “This is awesome. This worked great. Wow, are we smart.” What we didn’t realize would happen was that the two people playing pool would then start talking about work. And they would start collaborating. And they would start freeform thinking. And they would start being creative. And all of a sudden they go, “Oh, you did. That’s great. That’s great.” And off they would go and they would go solve their problem and do their deal. We didn’t realize there was actually going to be work productivity and creativity happening in this smoke break. And so it’s kind of interesting how things play out like that. Sometimes you get even more benefit than you thought.
Mario Fachini [34:23]
How much would you say if – I’m sure you’re not tracking it empirically. But what have you noticed from implementing these? When you’re saying that productivity increased? If you were to just ballpark it, how much do you think it really helped?
Richard Anderson [34:38]
Like you said, you’re ballparking. And it wouldn’t surprise me if it was double digits, 10 or 20%. But there’s another number that people don’t talk about as much either. And it has to do with the retention level. And how much does it cost for you to hire a new person, train them, and get them up to speed and acclimate them with your culture versus how much benefit do you have by retaining somebody who likes their job, enjoys coming to work, refers you other employees, who then come and don’t leave. What’s the ROI there? There are people that put on that but it’s high. It’s a high number.
Mario Fachini [35:12]
And that’s the thing, you attract to you who you are not what you want. And right when the words were leaving my mouth, I didn’t want to interrupt, but I was thinking, “I should have said initially.” Because if you’re trying to calculate it long term, it’s pretty much endless. But even the initial boost, I was guessing about 15 or 20%, maybe even 25. Because if you do – personally, what I do is the shorter bursts. Like I’ll do a couple of these back to back and then it’s like, “Whoa, whatever.” And then come back. Because the whole eight or 12 hours straight, there’s no one. I mean, you can’t even run a car. You’re going to have to change the oil, the tires, or something. It breaks down over time. You know, computers, the heat, you got to keep those puppies cool. The same thing with your brain.
Richard Anderson [35:56]
Yeah. And we tell our guys, you know, it’s great that you’re on a roll. It’s great that you closed two, three, four tickets in a row and you’ve made for people’s day. But stop for a second, push away from your desk, stand up, go play a game, go get a massage, just go walk around the floor, if you need to go up. Do something to reset yourself because the next person waiting to receive your help, will get that much higher level of interaction from you. And for those folks that really can embrace that reset, you find that (A) they’re happier. They’re more productive. They leave feeling more successful. And they’re more excited when they come to work in the morning. I mean, it’s a really good habit. But again, everybody can learn. This isn’t an IT thing. Anyone of your listeners probably has team members that could benefit from this best practice.
Mario Fachini [36:46]
Absolutely. Just giving them more freedom and trust. Well, that is a great segue into the second half with the Imperfect Action Round. We’re going to come back with that right after we thank our sponsor.
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Mario Fachini [37:16]
All right. Rich, we’re back with the Imperfect Action Round. Are you ready to take imperfect action?
Richard Anderson [37:21]
I don’t even know what this means and I’m ready?
Mario Fachini [37:25]
Well, you built a successful company, you’ll do fine. What I do here is three simple questions, 60-second rapid fire answers. And no matter what interview – I know Expert Authority World already got tremendous value already without a doubt in my mind. But no matter what interview I’m doing, this area is something they can – the Imperfect Action Around – something they can take imperfect action and implement today in their business. And the first question is, what is the fastest path to the cash.
Richard Anderson [38:00]
The fastest path to the cash. Provide more value than you’re charging for. In other words, don’t worry so much about what the bill or the invoice or the amount of your proposal is going to have in it, worry about how much value you can bring to the buyer.
Mario Fachini [38:13]
Excellent. Number two, what is the biggest problem you see your prospects making and the fastest way they can fix it?
Richard Anderson [38:23]
The biggest problem our prospects are making. I’m going to say that they don’t know what they don’t know. I said that earlier, I’m going to say it again. There are so many infinite possibilities with technology or culture or people or loyalty or whatever they are. But too often we get into our rhythms. And so what’s the fastest thing you can do or the easiest way to correct that? Surround yourself with other smart people, reach out, join a peer group, read blogs, listen to podcasts. Do what you need to do. Expand your horizons and learn about some of the infinite possibilities that are out there so that you can reset your expectation.
Mario Fachini [39:02]
That is a great answer. That’s a very great answer. Number three, what’s the best way to maximize customer lifetime value?
Richard Anderson [39:14]
I’m going to go back to our previous conversation. It’s being sincere, caring, and establishing a relationship for the long term. If you do that, even if that customer leaves you, they may refer you business, they may come back in a different lifetime, or a different employment opportunity. But focus on the people, care about the service, and create and invest in that relationship. The rest will take care of itself.
Mario Fachini [39:39]
Excellent. What is a book that’s made the biggest impact on you?
Richard Anderson [39:44]
I would say any of the Patrick Lencioni series, Five Dysfunctions of a Team or any of those stuff. Those are classics tough. And then the other one I would probably reference is the EOS Traction books, Traction, Get a Grip, Rocket Fuel, any of those. For any small business or even medium sized business, just a phenomenal way to start making headway on that long list of actions and to do’s.
Richard Anderson [40:08]
Those are more great recommendations. I’ve seen him speak a couple times at the Global Leadership Summit. And he’s phenomenal.
Richard Anderson [40:16]
Patrick or Gino Wickman, or which one?
Mario Fachini [40:19]
Richard Anderson [40:19]
Lencioni, yes. Yeah. Amazing speaker. Yeah.
Mario Fachini [40:24]
All right. Well, where can people learn more about you and find out more about you and your company?
Richard Anderson [40:29]
You definitely can find me on LinkedIn, Richard Anderson. There are many of us but if you look for the one in Imagine IT that’s a good place to land. Otherwise, obviously our website, www.ImagineITi.com So there’s an extra I on there. Otherwise, of course this podcast, I’m sure, will have some great links to it and you can find more there.
Mario Fachini [40:47]
Absolutely. We’ll make sure they’re in the show notes at EAInterviews.com. And Richard, it’s been an absolute pleasure. I want to say thanks for coming on. It’s great having you and I’m glad we got to do this.
Richard Anderson [40:59]
Yeah. Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure.
Mario Fachini [41:02]
All right. Expert Authority World, we got another great episode here. I know you got a lot out of it. We will see you on tomorrow’s. Have a great and God bless.
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