Catch Karl Gibbons on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns 0:20
And it's beautiful day for a beautiful day. And Karl is in the room, a new pirate, brand new pirate, joining us from upstate New York.
Karl Gibbons 0:29
Nautical salvage expert. I'm not a pirate, I'm a preemptive nautical salvage expert. It's marketing, come on.
Russ Johns 0:39
Word smithing to the maximum. Pirate is no longer the right term. Preemptive Nautical...
Karl Gibbons 0:48
Nautical salvage expert.
Russ Johns 0:52
Karl, thank you so much for being here, I really appreciate the the opportunity to have conversation, you know, you have been in business for a while, and you know, you've started businesses, you've sold businesses, you've helped other business owners survive and thrive. And so have you always been an entrepreneur.
Karl Gibbons 1:16
I didn't know, I didn't know what that meant. I had no idea. But I know when the trigger was pulled. And I used to live in London, and funny accent, right. And I like most of all the people I would commute every day to work and I would be on the train. And when you're on the, when you're commuting in on the train, all the seats were taken way down the line, right. So by the time they got to me was hanging on, you know, and of course, you've got your cup of coffee, and maybe a piece of toast, right. And the next thing you know, all down the front of the tie. That means, you know, because it was a suit and tie world I lived in at that time was the coffee. And the next thing you know, I've got I'm going to a meeting with Russ. I can't meet him with stuff all down my tie and so one day I was travelling into into central London, and my commuter my main terminal was Waterloo station, which is one of the busiest railway stations in the world. And one sort of like geeky fact, it's so busy, they play military music of over the town in the morning. Because psychologically then you walk faster, you start to march. Because that's why they get people through that many. And out of the corner of my eye. I saw this little kiosk. I mean, there's nothing huge It was 300 square foot on there. And it was like what's all these guys going in and out? Hey, what's going on? Right? Yeah, well, I'll go over and take a look. And there's a little shop a little kiosk with a gal there. And she's selling silk ties, men's silk ties. And people are scooping them up, they're scooping them up. I mean, literally, no, you remember, if you cast your mind back a few years ago that not that long ago, ties were a luxury purchase, like a silk tie. Christmas, and you only wore at weddings and special occasions and lots of stuff. And this place was selling silk ties for like $6.99 like seven bucks. And then we had a brilliant marketing strategy. Because like all guys, he's like, do I have this one? Or do I have this one. So they'd sell one for $6.99. And if you wanted to buy the two, you could have the two for $6.50 each. And if you wanted to buy four, you get it for $6.25 each. And I thought, what a brilliant concept. And that is when the light went off. I can't tell you how, I can't tell you why. But the light went off. I went in, spoke to the gal found out a little bit about the business itself. I tracked them down. And I said have you ever thought of franchising this business? And they said yes, but we're still new. I said don't worry about that, let's have a conversation. And we met and the rest as they say is history. Tie Rack was born and became the largest men's fashion accessory chain in the world.
Russ Johns 4:26
Karl Gibbons 4:27
I cannot tell you. I you know, I didn't, I had no idea. And in fact, one of the little secret is I was five grand short. I was five grand like I needed an extra five grand Sterling pounds dollars. I was five big ones. Sure. I did what every startup bootstrapping entrepreneur did. I go and see mom and dad and mom and dad gave me the money and allow Never forget this get this. I want to borrow the five grand, I'll pay you back over five years. I mean, really five? Coffee, I'm drinking and you're drinking his passport right? Now, I paid them back within six months, but nevertheless that was the deal. And my father will still share a story with you though, when they gave me the check. They were like, well, we're gonna kiss that money, goodbye. But yeah, that's how it all started.
Russ Johns 5:30
Once the injection was there, it was gone. It was Karl was off to the races.
Karl Gibbons 5:36
Off to the races man better than...it's just better than anything. It's just better than anything.
Russ Johns 5:41
So, what was it that was unique about...was it the the game of making the transaction take place? Or was it the freedom and the flexibility of your lifestyle not having to get on the train and spill your coffee?
Karl Gibbons 5:59
All of the above. Also, that the adrenaline was, you know, I was I had a very good job. I was the the president of a fashion company. So you know, what is it? I used to get my drinking vouchers on the first and the 15th of the month. And I have all my other benefits, right, and the company car expense account, and now all gone. So there was the married, house, mortgage. So the adrenaline of getting up and making it happen. There could be no, you know, I don't feel like it to that I'll coast today. Well, you know, I'm not saying that we don't occasionally slip into that. But there is that adrenalin where nobody was coming to help me. Nobody was. There was no administrative department. There was no HR department there was that it was down to me. And that's what I liked. That's what I loved. And ultimately, I benefited 100% from my labor's and vice versa. If I screwed up. Yeah, no, I had nobody else to blame. I'd know.
Russ Johns 7:17
So you had to take responsibility for you and no one else?
Karl Gibbons 7:22
Russ Johns 7:23
Yeah. If it got done, Karl did it. Andrew says just to let you know, accent what accent?
Karl Gibbons 7:35
Thank you, Andrew. Check's in the mail, man, check's in the mail.
Russ Johns 7:39
The funny thing about it is, and this is why it Angie jumped in. Angie is a treasure in the world. She's been she said good morning pirates. She shared with me a book that sounds a lot like an experience that you had. It's called Big Magic. And, and Angie, I always forget the author, so forgive me. And it was this idea that when something like that happens, and you get this notion that you should do something with it, if you don't do something with it, it's just gonna go away. And it's not gonna, it's not gonna plant and it's not going to take off. And when these ideas come to us, because everybody receives an idea, and they look back and they say, Oh, I had that idea. 10 years ago, it's like, well, you didn't do anything with it. So that idea was someplace else.
Karl Gibbons 8:27
Look, I could have been the heavyweight champion of the world. I just didn't put the time in and I didn't practice and I didn't go to the gym. And you know, I'm now I'm big fat and bald, right. But I could have been the world champion, if I'd have done the work, if I'd followed through.
Russ Johns 8:42
Yeah, exactly. If you don't do the work, you don't get the rewards. It's as simple as that. Well, Karl, I, you know, the entrepreneur, the entrepreneurial journey right now is somewhat wide open. I mean, there's a lot of opportunities, I see a lot of opportunities, even as catastrophic and the pandemic and everything that's going on in the world right now. I every time I turn around, I see a opportunity to do something good to move something forward. So what do you love to focus on right now with with entrepreneurs in helping them out? Because I know you've had companies and you sold companies. We'll get back to that in a second. But what is it that moves it forward? And, and really, we talked a little bit about it before the show, but I want to have you share a little bit about how people can stay on track and make get results.
Karl Gibbons 9:40
Okay, there's four R's to recovery. 4. The first one is you've got to rethink what it is that you do and how you do it. Because the fact is, it is different today, right? And so what have you got to adjust, what have you got to amend, what have you got to flex? Then you need the second R is retool, do you need a different set of tools? I mean, this is my first time on on this platform on stream yard. Very impressed, you know, by the entire process of engaging with coming aboard on #PirateBroadcast™. And so do I need this as a tool? Do I need a different CRM package? Have I got a CRM package? Do I have, you know, what tools do I need? Do I need to reach all, then I need to redirect the business. Once I've taken all that into evaluation. Now I'm ready to reboot. Now I'm ready to reboot. And once you've done those things, I think you'll be you'll be in a very good place, you'll be in a very good place. A lot of what I'm finding at the moment is people are falling into the the fear and they're becoming paralyzed. Don't don't do nothing, be proactive, react, you have to change, you're gonna have to constantly evolve anyway, in your business. Yeah, you know, back in the day, but today is the day, it's no good looking over your shoulder. My grandfather was my very first mentor. And he's still my mentor today. Although he's been passed for many years. Now, the one thing that always stays with me every day, every week is don't look back, look forward. Don't look back before, it's no good saying, well, pre COVID, we did it this approach. The fact is, we're here and we've got to move forward. Now you got to make you got seven moves you got to make now, number one, you got to review your promise, you got to make it big, bold, and in your face, you engage with us, we will do this. And if you don't do this, here's what we is, here's how you will be compensated, don't use the word compensated to equal money. There's all sorts of ways that you can substantiate and backup your promise, but it's got to be bold. It's got to be really, really in your face, then you've got to identify and leverage how your differentiated, okay? Just Say No more USP or, you know, you've got to really leverage what makes you different. And please, please, please, please, people don't say we offer great customer service. Really, really, I mean, you know, when was the last time you saw an ad, that said, you know, our customer service is crap, were useless. It's a given, right? People, you've got to, you've got to have something that makes you different. You got to cut focus on the customer experience. Because that's what it's all about. It's not about you, it's about them. No, got to focus on it, then you've got to make sure that you've got flexible consumption. What do I mean by that? Think of think of your products, goods and services as a menu. You don't just want to say, Russ here is like, take it or leave it, you know, now I do it, here's what passed, do you want it? Or don't you? You know, I'm gonna give you options. Okay, you might be able to try before you buy off pink services. We're all used to a, if you like, a nine to five economy, what about a five to nine? Yeah, totally, you know, we have a client, for example. And when all of this kicked off, they are in the the, the bedding, business matters. And they, you know, like everybody else, let's be fair here. There was that little bit of, you know, that panic moment, oh, my God, the world is coming to an end, brick and mortar is finished, it's doomed. And I said, let's just make it by appointment timeline. Forget this. There's only you know, you've got to keep a foot away from each other. And, you know, if Russ wants to come to the shop, he'll book an appointment, and they'll have the entire place to himself for a period of time. Their conversion rate went through the roof is that because the buyers are already qualified, pre qualified buyer. They felt special, they have the whole place to themselves, that the South just went through the just because they sort of thought a little bit different right?
Russ Johns 14:38
Two degrees, two degrees away.
Karl Gibbons 14:40
Right? And of course two degrees, 50 miles down the road is huge, right? Think about bundling your products, goods and services. You know, put bundles together for people and the insurance companies are great at doing this. Look at the Geico's of the world. They're great at bundling,
Russ Johns 15:03
Put your house, your boat, your car, your family.
Karl Gibbons 15:08
it's gonna be contact free making this comes I mean carvana right out the gate, they just crushed it right? They come on and just crushed the whole, they lead the way and others and are following the entirety you can buy a car brought to your house, you don't you don't touch it, you the guy delivers it, it puts it off the back of the car carrier. The keys are sort of in the ignition for you. He's all mashed up, he leaves, you come out, you drive it around for a month, and then decide whether you want it or not. I mean, how cool is that? Try before you buy, contact free, bundled packages, I'm sure there was all sorts of other stuff in there. You also need to repurpose your message. That's number six. Repurpose your message, you've got to go back and look at the words you use in your marketing. People are looking for trigger words now secure, protect, safe, stable, they're all words, if you're at their comfort word, right? They're all words, the people. So use them, you know. I'm not saying you take out the dynamic, flowery stuff. But you know, nevertheless, you need to go back and repurpose what it is you say. And then last, but certainly by no means least, you guys have got a JV around, you've got a joint venture, you've got to start looking for people who complement your products, goods and services. And vice versa. Do you complement their products, goods and services? And link up? I'm not saying you give them your database, and they give you your database. But what about if you were to say, well, look, I will give all of Russ' clients, a special deal, a special package. If you send that out for us to all of your people, I will be more than happy to do likewise, we can sit down and find out what you can do for my people. And I will send that out. And we just joint venture, it's going to be so important. So those are my seven must make moves for you guys.
Russ Johns 17:12
That's fantastic. You know, there's several things that I really wanted to kind of jump in with. But I wanted you to finish this.
Karl Gibbons 17:21
And this is not your wife telling me I'm going on too long.
Russ Johns 17:24
No, no no. Nuggets of knowledge, Carl, I really appreciate the value you bring to the table. The one thing that I wanted to suggest though, is to everyone that's watching in the audience is this applies to every single business. It's just not brick and mortar. And if you don't have a brick and mortar, if you're online, if you're a coach, or if you're anyone doing anything with for anyone. This applies, and this is really important stuff. So this is really valuable information. And I just want to give a shout out to some of the individuals in here, Carl, because we got a good community here. Glenda is in the room. There Darren Burch was on last week. He's an author and doing some great work out there. And Angie said, let's see, she looked up the Yeah. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert was the author. So thank you so much. Great stuff. And guess who's in the room? Oh,
Karl Gibbons 18:21
it was coming so well. It was this guy so well. And there's always one.
Russ Johns 18:32
From Gianna. Thank you so much. Appreciate you being here. And Andrew goes, did he say salvage or Savage.
Karl Gibbons 18:43
You can take your pick man. You can tell me. It's great.
Russ Johns 18:48
When you lose everything, you appreciate everything. Yeah. So that's so true. Thank you Michael Baker and he's in from Florida. Your neck of the woods. Right. So it's very good. Monique is here. Good morning, everyone. Howard Kaufman, very inspirational journey. Karl, thank you so much for sharing that. Howard. Howard is a entrepreneur from day one. So he's been out there in the woods doing some stuff. Nick Dorsey. Good morning Russ and pirates. Candace is here. I like what you're saying about repurposing your wording. It's really important to know what you're going to say and what you share. confusion. Confused buyer doesn't purchase right? So you have to really get that down. Jeffrey Berger, Michael Baker. Good morning. And style matters in from Naples, Florida. So there you go. And so the reality is, is we have an opportunity. I mean, business is not dead. We're not stopped. Things are getting creative. And when you stop and get out of your own way, Karl, the doors are open, wide open, you know, they just open up wide, and we can walk through them and get to work. Yeah, you're rolling up our sleeves. So how do you how do you think about the you know, starting an online business with? You know, you messaging, you talked about messaging and making sure your words are right. You brought up some several great points. Are there any tips to, for people to think through this messaging thing? And the way you, you know, because like with the mattress store, you just say, by appointment only, that's a simple term that changed their whole world.
Karl Gibbons 20:38
Totally. And, in fact, if I can tell you now, that when, when the high street reopens, again, I've made the executive decision that staying like that this time like it, they're not going back? Because we're better now than they were before. Oh, yeah. So but but but let's, let's move away from retail, ask yourself, ask yourself, sit down and say, What value? What difference do I make? How do I make it better than it was before for my customer? How do I make it faster? slower? fatter, thinner, bigger, smaller, easier, more convenient? What difference do I make? And if you go, if you don't make a difference, then go back to the drawing board. Because you've got to look for the resource. It's changed. We've moved from a standardized economy. And when I say standard, as the best example I can view is like the big box, right? Mass volume, a standardized economy, we're now in a customized economy. We're looking for curating services, people, you know, if you're going to be a dog walker, be the best dog walker there is. And maybe let's go down and curate even further, I only walk big dogs, they have to be, you know...
Russ Johns 22:22
exceeding 50 pounds.
Karl Gibbons 22:24
Right. Or vice versa. I only look after the little, you know, Chihuahuas. It's a customized economy, be as customized as you can and be the best in that field. Stop, do not do not try and be everything to everybody do not. Because those days are gone. They are gone. People in for really tightly focused services. So if you're if you're online marketing, look at a niche of that online marketing on the best seo guy in the country have decided to beat me. That's all I do. I don't deal with anything else. I don't put up your pretty pictures. I don't do your social media marketing. I don't you know, I don't create graphics for you. All I do. I focus all day on your SEO. That's all I do. Now, you know, you've got my attention.
Russ Johns 23:21
Candace says people are so overloaded giving them the problem along with the solution is great. Yes. And she also loves the stash.
Karl Gibbons 23:35
Preemptive nautical salvage experts have to have one.
Russ Johns 23:39
Absolutely, positively. You know, Karl, I think about selfish, selfishly, I think about what I'm doing here, because the #PirateBroadcast™ is essentially the experiment to run all of the systems, the solutions, the process to increase and improve the, you know, the experience for you, the guest, and over at the #PirateSyndicate™, as I build and produce shows for other people, and then teach other people how to produce shows for other people, you know, my goal at the end of this year is to be able to produce 100 shows a month for, you know, where guests, and the hosts show up, and everything is done for them. You know, the graphics, the experience everything else. So the technology is behind the scenes, you don't have to worry about it, everything is done for you. And the reality is, is that there's so many pieces of the puzzle. You have to focus on one piece at a time and get that one moving. It's almost like a flywheel. You know, once you get the flywheel moving, then you can add to it, then you get to fly while moving in the add to it. So the messaging is being is evolving. The systems are evolving and it's really a process that you have to go through. So don't, I guess my message is, is don't get stressed out about what isn't done six months from now, focus on what you can do to make it move forward in that process today.
Karl Gibbons 25:12
Right. I think one of the things that entrepreneurs have got to learn, especially the single shingle warrior, is you've got to learn how to quit and quit fast. My book quit and get rich, you've got to learn how to quit. Now, what do I mean by that? Right? You're not the CEO, the chief executive officer, you're the chief of everything officer. Right? You know, when we were talking about my, my Tie Rack days, you know, I had no HR people. If there was, if the photocopier ran out of paper, there was no photocopier fairies to fill it up. If I wanted airplane, you know, I have an assistant that took care of all that, for me, all of a sudden, there was me, you know, I need to book an airplane, right? So you've got you, you didn't get into it, to do all of that other stuff. Not into it, to do whatever it is that you do. My build up painter, artist, writer, dog walker, SEO expert. So you've got to learn how to take all of those caps off, and learn how to quit doing it. Now I can hear you all groaning right now, I've only just started, I can't afford to do all that. Here's how you handle a lot. Here's how you handle that. I want you to draw up a list of all the things that you need to quit doing. Yeah, I'll give you I'll give you a perfect example. I'm useless, useless with a capital U when it comes to finances. That's why I've got a CFO now, but back in the day, my number one goal is I've got to get a bookkeeper. Because I'm not good at this. Do I understand it? Can I do it? But you know, I'm a packer and uh, you know, check it once, check it twice. And I can't get two columns to add up ever. Right? So it's just the way it is. So I'm now good at it. But I know I am good at. So why am I spending two and three hours on stuff that I'm no good at, when if I spent the same two or three hours on something that I am good at generating sales, marketing my business and helping a client that's going to generate the revenue that will help me to pay for the bookkeeper. So draw up your list of the stuff that you need to quit, then I want you to prioritize it in terms of low hanging fruit. Now we know there's the thing that you want to quit. But really, we need to be a bit further than that be top of the list, right? It might not be the top of the list. So let's go over some low hanging fruit. And so okay, if I can just generate 1-2-3 clients that will cover that, go do it. And the quicker you quit, the more successful you will be. You will, I promise you.
Russ Johns 28:01
And the other thing that I want to before we will before we wrap up here, Karl, the other thing that I think a lot of business owners or a lot of new entrepreneurs struggle with is they think, Okay, I need to make six figures, or they put a big figure on what they're doing. But they don't think about the process of getting there. And like you just outlined, if you need to hire a skill, you just need to say how many sales do I need to make in order to hire this skill out? What's the monthly recurring revenue that I need to justify in order to hand this thing off, so I can go do more of what I love to do. And it's a simple equation like that. And when you start thinking about it in those terms, it changes your dynamic of what you spend your time on. So it's really important for us to understand that kind of that kind of process.
Karl Gibbons 28:49
Because you hate doing it. You know, I mean, I'll just say that, you know, I don't like doing the spreadsheets and the P&L accounts. I've got to have them. They're important, and it's different for different people. Some people might be great at that and can you know, just they knock it out. That's fine. Get rid of the stuff that you're no good at, and focus on the stuff that you are.
Russ Johns 29:12
Fantastic. Karl, this has been a gold mine. A savage expert. Jeffrey says love #PirateBroadcast™ work. Russ Johns, you have amazing guests. Thank you for the invaluable information you're sharing with your guests. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Jeffrey is really appreciated. Tracie. So here's one example. Tracie produces the show. I don't produce the show. I produced the show for the first 300 episodes. The next 300 somebody else produced the show and Tracie's now the producer of this show and she's an awesome individual that helps me every single day. And Angie is the one that helped get me there. So you utilize the friends and the family and the community around you and start handing this stuff off and start finding people that you can use to help create what your vision is for next year.
Karl Gibbons 30:15
Russ Johns 30:16
Karl, always a pleasure. Thank you so much for joining us. You're always welcome now that you're a pirate, and I'm sure that our conversations will continue down the road. We have a couple of mutual friends that we're doing work with. And so let's continue down this path everyone for 2021. I don't see that the light switch has changed automatically and everything's changed or, you know, wake up and I roll up my sleeves and go to work every day. And I encourage everyone to do the same. So #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree and you #enjoytheday. Thank you.
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