A conversation with Stan Baker about his experience in the program.
Alzay Calhoun: That's right. That's right.
Stan Baker: What's the most important thing I should talk about today? I just did!
Alzay Calhoun: That's exactly right! That's exactly right. All I can do is just submit to that. All I can do is submit to that. That is right. That is right. So here we go. We're gonna follow the formal outline and make sure we get all the questions asked. Let's begin with, Stan, so your name and your company's name?
Stan Baker: Stan Baker. Restorative Resolutions is my company.
Alzay Calhoun: Let's talk about ... You've experienced the entire program here, let's talk about what you enjoyed most from the program.
Stan Baker: I made a few notes, so I may just refer to those.
Alzay Calhoun: Sure.
Stan Baker: I think the Thursday video conference call was the best part of the training. It did a number of things for me. It provided a huge positive accountability for all the lessons. It's what kept me on track. "I gotta get this done because I know Alzay's going to ask me about this on Thursday."
Stan Baker: The other thing about them that I really, really liked was there was an opportunity to get further clarification on a point in one of the modules. I liked the feedback, you're very direct, and it's very, very helpful as well.
Stan Baker: I mean, if you said it once, you probably said it 100 times through the training, "Focus on the problem. Focus on the problem." And they're times where I got off of that, where I veered away from that and you were very, very good at saying. So, I had this really, really great idea on the discovery and I thought this was going to be fantastic, and all you did was ask a simple question, "So would your avatar, would that be part of their problem?"
Stan Baker: It's kind of like ... It's that keep coming back to what the problem is. I also, and this is beyond now the Thursday video conference, I really, really like the way you gave feedback on the assignments that you did. The combination of written and your commentary was really, really helpful, along with the little cursor that flies around the screen to show what you're talking about. Just so you know.
Stan Baker: And if I hadn't had those bits of feedback, if I hadn't had those video feedback pieces, I don't think that I would've been able to refine my productized service down to the simple thing that it is right now, 'cause it really is a very simple approach right now. And that was something else you said, "Simple is better than complex."
Alzay Calhoun: Man.
Stan Baker: You must've said it a 100 times as well. I also really liked the structure. I'm an educator, so I look at the pedagogy. Sorry, it's an occupational hazard, man. I just can't help it.
Stan Baker: But what I was looking at too was the way that things ... The way that you presented things in the modules and I really liked the presentation, the way you used the images and so on on the screen, and then the follow-up assignments and then the feedback. That kind of sequencing is something that I'm definitely interested in practicing in what I'm doing.
Stan Baker: That's also the format for that, but also the format that you used for the video conferencing. A big part of my project, my service, is the follow-up video conferencing. And can you guess what the question will be, that will lead off each of the video conferencing? Can you guess what it's going to be?
Alzay Calhoun: What is the most important thing?
Stan Baker: That is the question right there! That is the question right there, man. The other thing that really, really struck me, once I got over the limitations that I had with this, is I really liked doing the phone calls. I really, really enjoy them.
Stan Baker: Every single one of the conversations has just been terrific. I talk to crazy awesome people and they're not long phone calls and it is quite incredible to be able to get to as much as we do in about 30 minutes.
Stan Baker: I have honestly not gone over 35 minutes on any of my calls. I can live with that, because it's nice and short. The first call today was, I think, 27 minutes. The second one was 24 minutes. And I have another call scheduled for the first potential client.
Stan Baker: I don't leave the phone call without getting another date for another ... If the conversation needs to continue, let's set a date for it. And then, the other thing that I really, really liked is that you brought your experience into what we were talking about.
Stan Baker: Sometimes it was experience that had just happened that day or that week and while I thought that was appropriate, you never brought it in first. You would always bring it in second. And I think that's just a really, really effective way of doing it. Certainly that I appreciated.
Stan Baker: So I could tell the story, "Here's the situation that I dealt with," and then as a result of that you would say, "Well, look. Here's what I've had in a similar situation that may be helpful for you when you consider this [inaudible 00:06:23]."
Alzay Calhoun: Thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. I'm glad the program hit on those different points for you. It's designed to take people a very long way in a very short amount of time, and you even kind of said it in passing. You said, "Once I kind of got over the ..." blank, there's some blank you gotta get over. Whatever that blank is.
Alzay Calhoun: But if you can kind of deal with that initial friction, the initial discomfort, 'cause it's new. There's always going to be a level of discomfort. But once you get past that, there's some real chunks of movement you can pick up, and you've done that. That's part of what you were describing. So I'm happy to hear that reflected back.
Alzay Calhoun: Let's flip that question. What was the least favorite part of the program for you, sir?
Stan Baker: Well, I think like you just said, actually, it's the flip side of doing things very, very quickly, is there's just so much stuff to get through, that I actually have to go through it again now with the eyes of having my first client. Or with the eyes of now having to use LinkedIn.
Stan Baker: I'm only now beginning to get into some of the LinkedIn assignments. I have actually gone through some of them a second time just to say, "Oh, okay. How does this have to get set up?" As you saw from the intro video that you weren't able to open, I have to figure some of those kind of things out yet. Like how to get that set up in there.
Stan Baker: So I guess the thing that still remains for me is there are some ongoing questions in terms of some real practical things around stuff like LinkedIn that I haven't had a chance to actually practice and work on. Because of the short timeframe.
Alzay Calhoun: Got it.
Stan Baker: So for example, one of the things that I think is great is this is how much it has a lag time. The routine of doing some work on LinkedIn didn't start, for me, until this past Saturday. But since Saturday, just doing it two days, I've added six or seven more contacts who are actually my avatar.
Stan Baker: I'm only sending out 10 connection requests a day and I've got, out of the 20 I've sent out, I've got 6. And they are the people that I want to reach.
Alzay Calhoun: That's right.
Stan Baker: That's why I gotta get this video link stuff work, though.
Alzay Calhoun: Absolutely. Again, good to hear. Good to hear. Yeah, there are a lot of moving parts, which can be hard to articulate, hard to appreciate from the outside looking in, sort to speak. But there are a lot of moving parts here. But they can be put in order, or at least put in an order.
Alzay Calhoun: And so you can begin to work them in an order. Like you just said, listen, when I finally kind of get myself settled into it, I can begin to work it and I can begin to see some results from it. I mean, that's the ... But I wish it all happened at once, and it doesn't all quite happen at one time, but it does happen in pieces. So that's-
Stan Baker: No, because I have a part-time job in addition to this and I've got a couple other active clients that I'm working with on other projects. If this was the only thing, that would be one thing, but it's kind of working it into some of the other stuff as well.
Alzay Calhoun: You bet. That's right. Which, frankly, matters a lot to me. All of my clients have a life, and so the idea of being inundated or overwhelmed by one thing is just not very attractive. So it's really important to me that the systems you use can be put within whatever and wherever you want to spend your time.
Alzay Calhoun: That's a big deal to me personally. So then, if you've already said it, just repeat it. What is the number one thing you are taking away from this experience?
Stan Baker: I guess it's overcoming some of the self-constructed barriers, ways to do that. I can talk myself out of stuff pretty quickly or rationalize my way out of, "Well, I've never done this before," or I forget the term that you used, the barriers, those-
Alzay Calhoun: Limiting beliefs.
Stan Baker: There we go. Limiting beliefs. It's overcoming those limiting beliefs, I think, that has been probably the most significant. I've tried different things in a business. And I guess the second thing, the second number one thing that I took away-
Alzay Calhoun: That's right.
Stan Baker: ... is the idea of working on a business rather than in a business. And that's been a profound shift for me. 'Cause I don't want to be the business, I want to be working on it. So that distinction was a really, really big one for me, too.
Alzay Calhoun: Yeah. Personally, that one means a lot to me, too. I just made a connection about being able to live your life and do the things you want to do. It's hard to do that if you are the business. If you're in it every day with your hands full. It's hard to think about anything else.
Alzay Calhoun: But on the flip side, if you've designed it better, designed your business better, there's space for this and that and this, which makes everything else better. It makes the business better, it makes your personal life better, it makes your hobbies better, makes your smile brighter. It just changes all the stuff.
Alzay Calhoun: Again, thank you for saying that. That one, to me, is important. So then, next question here is what is the number one thing you still have to do? So clearly you're still growing your business, what's the number one thing that you know you gotta do going forward?
Stan Baker: Practice. It's really practice everything. It's practice the LinkedIn habits. It's practice the phone calls. It's practice the tracking. It's just practice ... There are a lot of people I'm discovering who really want to talk about student attendance.
Alzay Calhoun: Get out of here!
Stan Baker: Go figure.
Alzay Calhoun: Get out of here. Man.
Stan Baker: So even though I get a bit uptight about the calls, once I get into them and I just learn how to practice it as a conversation, they're really, really enjoyable.
Alzay Calhoun: What's the energy like for the person you're talking to, for the other person? So you're saying, "I really enjoy them." What's the energy like for this perspective client? Are you finding them apprehensive? Are you finding them excited? Are you finding them concerned? What's the energy like when you're having problem calls?
Stan Baker: On the second call, which was the one where we said, "Yeah, we're gonna do something together." They were more excited than I was, and I was pretty excited. On the first one, she was actually saying, "We have to keep this conversation going. Send me some stuff so I can do a presentation and make the ask at a meeting," and I'll call her after that meeting.
Stan Baker: So I mean, she was ... There was a pretty high level of energy. Recognizing that she is one of the people who's a specialist. So she's a social worker and one of the things that she mentioned that's a problem is, "There're so many kids that are chronically absent and so few of us as specialists, and wouldn't it be great ..." This was her problem, this is the way she described it.
Stan Baker: "Wouldn't it be great if people talked the same language and wouldn't it be great if when a kid came to school, the person talking to them would talk to them in a way that would not make them feel that they were disliked as a kid?" I'm thinking, "Check, check, check."
Alzay Calhoun: And she's saying that to you?
Stan Baker: She's saying that to me.
Alzay Calhoun: Versus you having to stoke it up and create it and push it and draw it out of her? She's saying that to you. I would argue, that is the byproduct of just a better conversation. A better designed conversation. A conversation with a different intention. To even be more direct, a conversation where you've left space for her to tell you about whatever it is that's affecting her.
Alzay Calhoun: That's how it's supposed to be. That's how people communicate. That's how people communicate. Awesome, Stan. Awesome, 'cause when you go into sales mode, nobody wins, but when you talk to people, then something good can happen.
Stan Baker: I agree.
Alzay Calhoun: Good deal. Good deal.
Stan Baker: I've gone into sales mode accidentally on a couple of these calls and it's just, "Oh. This does not feel good."
Alzay Calhoun: Right. It's immediate. I mean, especially once you know the different. Once you've felt one versus the other, you can feel yourself leaning to the other and you're like, "I am out of bounds. I just did it by myself, I'm out of bounds. I gotta reel myself back."
Stan Baker: That's right.
Alzay Calhoun: Yes, indeed. Let's see here ... Stan, what would you tell ... Again, on the outside looking in, a lot of these coaching programs look similar, if not the same, to be honest. And so, you took the leap. You got in the program. You've received some value. What would you tell someone else that's considering joining the group?
Alzay Calhoun: Whether it's a warning, a watch out, an encouragement, what would you say to someone considering joining the program?
Stan Baker: Well, one of the reasons why I selected you as someone to work with is I probably watched 15 or 20 of your YouTube videos. I mean, you said similar things in those videos to what's in the training, but it wasn't put together. It didn't hang together in as coherent a way.
Stan Baker: I really liked the way that you have presented things. And so the first thing I would say is, "If you're not sure, just check out the YouTube channels and watch some of these ... Watch this guy in action. Watch him with the whiteboard. There really are some great things that you can pick up."
Stan Baker: And then secondly, the course itself is structured in a way to pull all of these pieces together in a way that makes sense. The third thing that I would say is that you need to be prepared to do some heavy lifting. I think that was one of the terms that you used in the first call that we had before I signed onto this. Like, are you ready to do some heavy lifting? And it is very true.
Stan Baker: And then the fourth thing is it's heavy lifting, it's not easy, and it's worthwhile.
Alzay Calhoun: Okay, Stan. Thank you for saying that. It is the truth. Sometimes I wish in my marketing material I could make these promises of, "It's easy. Don't worry about it. Press a button and ..." Every time I try to do that, it doesn't ... I yell at myself, because I know that's not the truth.
Alzay Calhoun: The truth is, there's some lifting you gotta do, but if you do it, there's ... You get a return on it. There's a return that comes from the efforts you apply. Thank you, sir. Thank you, thank you, thank you, sir.
Stan Baker: Can I just add one thing that I thought of? And that is, that effort also includes the being quiet parts. So in the second call that I had today, it was hard for me not to say something at a couple of points, and I was just quiet.
Stan Baker: And she started talking. She started saying stuff that she wanted to do next and so on. That's a hard part for someone who likes to talk like myself. But again, it does make a difference.
Alzay Calhoun: Yes, sir. Thank you. Goodness. Goodness. Also true, Stan. And by the way, if I have it right, you'll correct me, you're talking about someone who actually made the purchase, right? So you being quiet-
Stan Baker: No, this was a referral. So this was the first call. The only thing I did with that was to send her some information and then to set up another problem call.
Alzay Calhoun: Okay. Got it. Got it. Good. All right. Wonderful. What did I miss Stan? Is there something I should've asked? What else is floating out there?
Stan Baker: Well, you-
Alzay Calhoun: So now let's talk about ... What's next?
Stan Baker: Well I have to double my clients before the end of the calendar year, man. I've got one.
Alzay Calhoun: Maybe we can get two. Yes, sir.
Stan Baker: I also need to get up to my 100 contacts. I'm really excited with this first client to actually now have the opportunity to start to develop some data that I can say, "Look. Here's hat we did. Here's how it worked." "It didn't work. Here's what we changed."
Stan Baker: So it's the value of experience, and I recognize that this is not something, even just in terms of measurement, that you can measure in a week, and that you and I have had this conversation too. You should be able to do something more quickly than ... Or ideally, more quickly than what's out there.
Stan Baker: At the same time, things like attendance need to be measured over months, not days, and so that's the opportunity to be able to do that and get some data will be awesome. And of course, I need to fine tune the product too.
Stan Baker: And I don't know if you're still open to giving any advice on LinkedIn, but I'm still looking for a way to get that video on there. So I don't know.
Alzay Calhoun: We'll talk about that in just a moment. Yeah. We'll spend a minute or two on that in just a moment. While we're talking about projects, so you've got the project that has recently signed on. And just a note that might even be obvious at this point.
Alzay Calhoun: The other project, the larger project over a series of years, perhaps, the amount ... Now that you're thinking about working on the business and not in the business. Now that you've got that paradigm, what you learn, how fast you learn, how much better your service will get as a result of that intense interaction is about to hit an exponent.
Alzay Calhoun: So yes, it will cost you a lot of your time, sort to speak, because that's just what the service is. You're also being paid a premium, so you gotta weighs the pros and cons of that, but because you're going to be deeply in there, sort to speak, doing the work, you're gonna see, "Oh, I see. These people don't talk."
Alzay Calhoun: "Oh, I see. No one raised this data." "Oh, I see, there should be a software tool right here." "Oh, I see. We should have an excel spreadsheet." Whatever it is. And so, it's going to greatly increase your understanding of how the service should be best delivered. Whether it's in person or virtual, or whatever. Or whatever.
Alzay Calhoun: Those are pros and cons of when you get those really big premium opportunities that demand your one-on-one attention. The con is, sort to speak, it's intensive, but the pro is, if you're thinking right, it makes you really smart, really fast, and every other arrangement after that gets the benefit of that insight, which benefits you, benefits those you serve. As long as you're thinking, got the right framing. Good. Good.
Stan Baker: That's actually something that I'm really looking forward to, 'cause I expect that while the basics of my product will be the same a year from now, I expect it will be better-
Alzay Calhoun: Yes, sir.
Stan Baker: ... because of both the clients that I sign on separately and this one that's more face-to-face. I absolutely know it, and I'm really excited about learning about how we can make it even better.
Alzay Calhoun: Man, I'm telling you. I'm telling you. 'Cause now the work is happening, Stan. See, now it's not conception. Now the work is happening. As you do the work, get the data, get the benefits, touch the people, deliver the value, then you become known as a company that delivers its work. Here comes your multiple.
Alzay Calhoun: As we discussed, once people find a trusted vendor, a trusted expert, if you will, they don't swap you out. They don't swap out trusted vendors. Trust the experts. They come right back to you. "Can you help me with something else too?" There's your multiple. There's your multiple. I mean, that's why we do this.
Alzay Calhoun: Again, if you deliver right up front, everybody wins at the end of this thing. It's a good deal. You hear me? 'Cause I'm excited too. That's the thing, that's what it's all for. Okay. Great. Good to go. So Stan, I'm gonna conclude this formal part of the conversation, good sir. And we'll do some technical things in just a minute. Thanks so much. I appreciate it.
Stan Baker: You're very welcome.