A conversation with John Butler about his experience in the program.

Transcript below:

Alzay Calhoun: John, if you would just for folks. Please introduce yourself and the name of your company and what you guys do.

John Butler: John Butler, JB Benefits Consulting. We are a consulting firm that focuses mainly on resolving healthcare issues for small to mid-size employers.

Alzay Calhoun: So you've been in the program for a while. Tell me please what you enjoyed most about being in the program.

John Butler: So going back to the very beginning, what I really found myself enjoying the most was to just look online to try to find out how I can get some help in consulting. Not having anything to do with social media ... Anything like that. But just consulting.

John Butler: So I could've been a consultant in umbrellas for goodness sakes. You know?

Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

John Butler: To try to find any assistance ... A really good assistance with people who are qualified out there who help in a consultant business was really, really difficult to find. And I would challenge anybody to google consulting services, consulting help, consulting coaching.

John Butler: And so what your program was most enjoyable was that you had something already thought through. That's really the biggest. But that I needed to focus on my own strategy. What was I trying to do from the very beginning of my consulting practices?

John Butler: So as you know over six months, that's actually morphed quite a bit to where now I'm focused like a laser beam on just exactly what I want to do, how I want to do it, and how I'm different.

John Butler: So what I enjoyed really was getting to a point where you allowed me to kind of internalize a lot of ... Like first things first. OK? Yeah, you're a consultant. But what are you trying to do? What are you excited about? How can you actually make a difference as opposed to the other brokers around the country.

Alzay Calhoun: Yeah.

John Butler: And so this is a bigger animal than even I thought when I first started this.

John Butler: And then on a personal level actually just your personality. I know and I think you know that we just clicked. It's like we have the same type of business minds, similar type of personalities. There isn't ... Although I have more wasted words than you do.

John Butler: I know I can tend to go on a little. I really don't [inaudible 00:03:05]. Again, I'm 60. I'm a lot older than you, so I can let thing [inaudible 00:03:11]. But that's another thing. You just to the heart of the matter right away. And then you actually didn't say anything and allowed me to talk which is a lost art.

Alzay Calhoun: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

John Butler: So whether you're a sales person or a consultant or whatever, part of the program being you need to ask questions, and you need to shut up. You need to let the person talk and tell them what their pain is. Not your pain or what you think their pain is. So we were able to work through a lot there actually. And as things progressed with us, it just seemed to just get bigger and bigger and more exciting as we went.

John Butler: So that was a long answer to a short question there, but I probably could go on for another half hour on how much I enjoyed this. It was really, truly helpful to me first of all. There's value to what you're doing. And I've told you this before ... I don't think you actually realized how much value you added.

Alzay Calhoun: I appreciate that. I appreciate that.

John Butler: So I think you're onto much bigger and better things as you go, too. So that's kinda where I'm heading. I think that's where you're heading.

Alzay Calhoun: So as you reflect back, is there one thing ... Or if I challenge you to express the one thing you took away from the program, what would that one lesson, takeaway be for you?

John Butler: This is almost like an epiphany, and it's not something that nobody else would have an epiphany about this as well. But I told you this before that it was probably halfway through the program ... At the beginning, I considered myself, “OK. I am not going to go out of my way to change the world here. I'm gonna try to do this in Minnesota.”

Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

John Butler: And so I, it was kinda had my head wrapped around ... One-on-one meetings with people, me going out in person consulting with them, helping them and move on to the next one. Well the whole program blossomed into me having the realization that social media is incredibly powerful.

John Butler: I not only can do this locally, but I could do this nationally. And it will take some work, and I'm definitely ... I'll tell you more about this as we go through this, this morning. But it will take a lot of work for me to get myself positioned properly.

Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

John Butler: But I can do this nationally, and that's what really sparked a fire in me that if there's other businesses around the country, if there's other brokerage firms around the country that don't actually have the knowledge of what I have right now, I want to spread this thing like wildfire.

Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

John Butler: So nobody's an enemy.

Alzay Calhoun: Right. Right ... Right.

John Butler: Really, I came to the realization that OK, I am such a competitive person in the first place that I don't like losing almost anything.

Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

John Butler: And a board game for instance. And so I'm all at the beginning, “I'm gonna be better than the other person locally here. We're above where they are. And I'm gonna charge forward, and we're gonna make a difference by competing.”

John Butler: Well now I'm a realization that, hey if this news is really real news, and it is real ... Why not spread it to everybody and anybody? Employees, employers, brokerage firms ... Everybody. And the only way I can do it is through social media if I wanted to do it quickly.

Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

John Butler: So I'm in the process of setting up a kind of studio, and this wouldn't have started in my trying to expand my consulting practices. I didn't find you on YouTube. How about that?

Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

John Butler: So all this stuff and like I'm on the page of, “Oh, don't like me on Facebook.”

Alzay Calhoun: Right.

John Butler: What the hell? I don't care who likes me, who doesn't. That shit's not important. Now I'm like, "OK. Well wait a minute." I have missed the boat on this whole thing. And I'm sure other people, like I said, have had this realization. But it was like a total epiphany for me.

Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

John Butler: So now I'm even more motivated to keep this thing going forward and position myself properly.

Alzay Calhoun: Before you go there ... So I think what's important for those who haven't seen the inside. There's two things I heard from you really loudly. So you said, “I think that there's opportunity in social media. I thought it was a waste of time, but there actually is some opportunity there. There's things that I can do to accelerate my goals. Accelerate my business.” And what might be invisible for folks, again who haven't seen the inside, is clarity came from your effort in productizing.

John Butler: Right.

Alzay Calhoun: That's the word that I would use. So as you thought about it, got more specific and more clear about what problem can I solve. What do I know I can really solve for? And once you outlined that, then you saw opportunity. That focus opened up opportunity which is counterintuitive-

John Butler: Right.

Alzay Calhoun: But you just explained, “Now that I know what I'm solving for, I can help these people, these people.” I mean it began to explode. So again, kudos to you for taking that challenge and focusing in 'cause we had some dialogue about focusing ... Pick a problem, let's fix it. And in doing that work, now you see a chance to 5X, 10X and do some really amazing things.

John Butler: Well and let me say the differentiator in consulting practices. When you hear the word consultant, it just conjures up a whole bunch of things in your mind. But at the core of what I'm always thinking about is, “OK. This is a person that really diving deep ... Questions and answers, and let's get to the heart of what you're dealing with.”

John Butler: Maybe they're spending long hours doing this, going back and forth and so forth ... Which is, I think a lot of people have that in your mind. That's what a consultant does. They're bringing their experience to the table, and let's ask some questions that have never been asked before. And then I'm on board, and I can help in any regard in an ongoing basis 'cause I'm your consultant. Right?

John Butler: Well the shift came with your productize services to say, “OK.” This is in spades what I deal with ... Have dealt with for 30 plus years almost ... Is that you think you've got to the point of what their problem is or their [inaudible 00:10:03] is. And then you come back the second time, and then, “Oh. You know what? We need another proposal that says this now and says that now.” So the scope creep is dramatic in a consultant's practice unless you have some kind of control over it.

Alzay Calhoun: Yes, sir.

John Butler: And then when I finally ... You had me kind of widdle this thing down to say, “OK. It's a five or six step, 60-day transformation that I control.” I don't say that to them, but I know that it's something that I control. So now I work on those five or six steps really, really distinctly and say, “OK. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.” And if they ever get off track on that, I'm stopping right there. [crosstalk 00:10:48]

Alzay Calhoun: Right. That's exactly right.

John Butler: Hang on a second now. And you did this with me actually. And hang on 'cause those are in your modules coming up. So don't veer away from us right now 'cause we're trying to do something here. And if it's too much of a back and forth, and too much of a pain ... I'm very comfortable saying where this is probably the right of [inaudible 00:11:09].

Alzay Calhoun: Right.

John Butler: And because what we're going to be doing is solving this problem and this pain in 60 days, and you have to just stay with the steps, and we'll get there.

Alzay Calhoun: Right.

John Butler: That is an enormous shift, not just in a productized service ... Online productized service that you're-

Alzay Calhoun: Right.

John Butler: Working with. That is an enormous shift for almost anybody else. That is something that nobody else that I've ever seen has done before. And that has to get into their soul somehow.

Alzay Calhoun: Yes, sir.

John Butler: That step-by-step service ... Scope creep is no longer an issue.

Alzay Calhoun: Yes, sir.

John Butler: You just don't even waver from that. You can't waver from that. And so that's what I'm trying to still put together and keep on track. The whole thing is about keeping on track.

Alzay Calhoun: Indeed. Indeed.

John Butler: Anyway ... Hope that helps.

Alzay Calhoun: No, it does. It does. It does. So John, what would you tell somebody who was considering being a part of the group program?

Alzay Calhoun: So what warning would you offer somebody? What advice would you offer somebody? What would you tell somebody who was considering joining the program?

John Butler: Again, I would open it up to any consultant of any kind. What you will be able to do is to ... And I'm not sure the productized service describes it.

Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

John Butler: 'Cause when I think of productized service, I don't know exactly what that means. And maybe that's just me. So don't take that as a universal thing here.

John Butler: I would say that it will help you zero in on exactly what you're offering, and it help them put together a consulting program that will be step-by-step resolve of issues that you're trying to solve for the public ... Whatever your market is.

John Butler: And it will give you a systematic way of taking your consulting practice and put it into a scope creep avoidance, step-by-step way of saying, “Hey. We are offering X, and all you have to do is Y Z before you launch the X program.”

Alzay Calhoun: That's right. Right.

John Butler: So I can't stress enough that the idea of opening up to a consultant of any kind ... Any kind. Doesn't matter what it is. And I would challenge you to find anybody online ... Even the people that you go to that have probably a relatively good video on consulting, you can tell they're probably a pretty successful consultant.

John Butler: Maybe they're making a quarter or half-million dollars a year, but they don't give you anything. They don't say anything. They don't have any kind of website. It's amazing. I mean, isn't that amazing?

Alzay Calhoun: Yes, sir.

John Butler: That is amazing.

Alzay Calhoun: Else while we're live having this interaction, you wanna ask about or say?

John Butler: Now that you've taken me this far and so forth, I sincerely just wanna say thank you. I don't have many business relationships that are on this level, frankly. A strategy of well-thought through kind of stuff, I see you ... I don't know where you're going with this thing, and that's completely up to you. But two to five years from now, man you could be in a very big need out there. And I think your potential is unlimited at this point.

Alzay Calhoun: It's been a pleasure ... Seriously. Honestly.

John Butler: Yeah.

Alzay Calhoun: It's been a pleasure working with you. We've come a long way.

John Butler: Yeah.

Alzay Calhoun: And you're at a really dangerous place, and I mean that in a good way.

John Butler: Yeah.

Alzay Calhoun: You're at a place-

John Butler: That's a great line. I'm using that line.

Alzay Calhoun: You're welcome to have it.

John Butler: No, that is a great ... I don't know if that was just top of you mind or whatever or not planned, but a dangerous place.

Alzay Calhoun: Indeed.

John Butler: I'm using that in my videos.

Alzay Calhoun: Indeed.

John Butler: I held back 'cause that's like, “Wow. Really. Dangerous, yeah.” Bring it on, baby.

Alzay Calhoun: Indeed. Yes, sir. Yeah. Is there any other way to play?

John Butler: No, I know it. Exactly. Exactly.

Alzay Calhoun: Yeah, so I'm gonna let you go. I'm gonna let you run. Thank you for your time today and your effort in this program. See you soon, man. See you out there. See you out there.