Episode Thirteen features Joe Apfelbaum talking about Mojovation, his High Energy series, and LinkedIn marketing.
My Key Takeaways:
The right strategy will save you a decade in your business. Energy without strategy is a waste of time.
Joe defines Moj...
Episode Thirteen features Joe Apfelbaum talking about Mojovation, his High Energy series, and LinkedIn marketing.
My Key Takeaways:
Now next week we'll have Allan Milham on talking about his company called Questage and how it helps Seniors plan and realize an active retirement.
Greg Mills: [00:00:00] Our guest today went to rabbinical school and was ordained as a Rabbi before realizing that he wanted to focus on business and technology. He has run his own web design business, IT Support company, eBay business, SEO company, graphic design business, construction company, and real estate website, at the same time while having a full-time job. It wasn't until he focused on one business and moved on from the others that he truly went to the next level business-wise. He currently is the CEO of Ajax Union, a B2B digital marketing agency based in Brooklyn, New York. He's a business strategist, marketing expert and certified Google trainer. He is the author of High Energy Marketing: everything you need to know to properly grow your business online as well as three other books in the high energy series. When he is not motivating the entrepreneurs at events and on social media or rapping, he chills in Brooklyn with his wife and five kids.
[00:00:58] Without further ado, Joe Apfelbaum.
[00:01:01] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:01:01] Thank you for having me here. I'm excited to be here.
[00:01:04] Greg Mills: [00:01:04] Thank you for being here.
[00:01:06] Joe, can you take a few moments and fill in the gaps from that intro and bring us up to speed with what's going on in your world.
[00:01:12] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:01:12] There's a famous saying, if you build it, they will come. And I used to build websites for lots and lots of people, but nobody came to those websites. So I had to figure out how to market those websites, how to advertise those websites. And that's essentially what I did. I learned how to be able to grow businesses, to be able to make a difference and drive traffic to those businesses.
[00:01:38]That's been my focus with Ajax Union, figuring out what are the steps that I need to take in order for me to be able to help other people, in order for me to be able to grow business, in order for me to be able to learn about it. In the beginning, it was all about search engine. That was when I started; it was all about search engine optimization, but then eventually it became about. Okay. Well, I sent traffic to you now, right? Build it and they will come. Now I sent traffic. I did SEO for you.
[00:02:09]How do I take it to the next level? How do I actually make a business impact? Not just sending you traffic, but how do I actually grow your business?
[00:02:18] And that was a game changer. That was a real game changer for me. Once I learned how to do that, once I learned how to be able to actually grow a business. And I realized the following: the right strategy will save you a decade. And so I look at a lot of companies and their strategy is throw stuff at the wall and hope for the best. Energy without strategy is a waste of time.
[00:02:40] So I had to learn the step-by-step process myself, apply it to my business, see it work, and then start applying it to many of our clients. And we've served over 1100 clients in the past 13 years, made a difference for many people. And now we're doing the LinkedIn training as well. We over a thousand students that we've serviced and we're helping people to learn how to use LinkedIn to grow their business.
[00:03:02] Greg Mills: [00:03:02] Okay. Now, stepping aside from that for just a few moments, I mentioned mojovation in your bio. How do you define mojovation?
[00:03:11] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:03:11] The way that I define mojovation is for someone to get into joy, for someone to figure out who they are and what they want to accomplish in their life and live a life of purpose and freedom. Instead of constantly just worrying about what other people are thinking about me. Did you know that other people's opinions are none of your business?
[00:03:31] So really getting into that, really getting into like, how am I going to make my life better? How am I going to help other people, how am I going to make a difference for other people is really, really key.
[00:03:44] Greg Mills: [00:03:44] Okay. So what are the seven things one should remember every day to have mojovation energy?
[00:03:49] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:03:49] If you want to be able to increase your energy, the first thing you need to realize is that a 5% drop in hydration is a 30% drop in energy. What does that mean? If you want to get mojovated, you gotta be hydrated. So number one is you need to have water every single day. And that's a reminder that I remind myself, I'm gonna take a sip of water right now.
[00:04:13] Every single day, you got to have the right amount of water. The next thing that you want to think about besides drinking water is making sure that you have gratitude. If you're not feeling grateful, you're not going to be able to be in the abundance mindset. What I learned through my journey is that if you're always thinking that you're missing and that you need, and that you desire, you're never going to be happy.
[00:04:37] So every single day you got to remember, what am I grateful for? Get in that state, get in that vibration of energy and go make a difference for other people. The next thing you want to do is you want to measure. And so measuring is about making sure that you know where you are and where you want to go.
[00:04:54] And what are the steps that you need to take to get there. So, for example, If you want to drink enough water, you got to measure. If you want to feel gratitude, you got to measure how you feel. Are you feeling gratitude? Are you in the zone? Are you feeling what you want to feel in order for you to attract what you want to attract?
[00:05:12] And then after doing that, then you take a step back and you ask yourself, well, am I communicating properly? Do I have the proper communication? My journaling. Am I speaking to people. Am I expressing what I wanted in my life? And often people are in their head. And I always say, if you're in your head, you're dead.
[00:05:31] So you got to have the right amount of communication, both internal communication and external communication. You got to tell people who you love, that you love them, because those are some of the regrets that people have at the end of their lives. So every single day, you need a reminder who do I need to communicate with and how do I communicate with them?
[00:05:48] Then you need to be growing every single day. If you're not learning, you're not growing. So, what does it mean to be learning? Read a book, read a few pages of a book, watch a Ted talk every single day. If you're feeling burned out, if you're feeling like you're not progressing in life, progress equals happiness.
[00:06:06] So you need a daily reminder to be learning because we get into our comfort zones and we stop learning. And so if you're not learning anything new, go out there and change your environment, hang around with different types of people. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
[00:06:22] And then after that, what you want to do is you want to think about how you can make a difference for other people.
[00:06:27] So contribution is one of the most important things that you can do because ultimately for us to really feel fulfilled, not just happy but fulfilled, deep down, we have to be in a state of giving. We have to be in a state of contribution. So for me, when I'm in a state of contribution, I don't have a better feeling than that.
[00:06:45] That is a feeling I want to be in. I have joy when I am able to give to other people. And then finally the seventh thing that you want to consider every single day, the seventh reminder is being present, really being present, really getting in the now. We're so used to doing and doing and doing, that we forget that we're not human doings.
[00:07:05] We are human beings and being means getting between the thoughts, meditating, being in the present moment, getting in the zone, getting in flow, getting into the right vibe. If you want to attract your tribe. You first have to get in the right vibe. And what does it mean to get in the right vibe? That means taking a step back from the like noise.
[00:07:26] There's so much noise in our life. And instead of it being noise, make it a beat, put on some type of beat that you can have in your life. So for me, I'll put on like a little beat. I don't know if you can hear this beat playing in the background. I can hear a beat.
[00:07:43] So I put on a beat and I kind of just rock to the beat because beats is what makes you present. What makes you connected every single day. If you want to flow, you want to grow. You've got to start to get into your own show, out of your head, out of bed, jump, change your state. That's what you gotta do. You gotta take a step back and look at your life and ask yourself, do I have what I want?
[00:08:06] Do I have what I need? Can I be grateful. Can I be present? Can I be blessed? And if you don't have water, if you're not measuring, if you're not in a state of gratitude, if you're not communicating, if you're not learning and growing and contributing, if you're not present, it's going to be very difficult for you to uplevel your life.
[00:08:24] So if you want to Uplevel your life, those are the seven reminders to have better energy. Boom. That's what I have to say.
[00:08:31] Greg Mills: [00:08:31] Knowledge dropped. Have you always been a very positive individual or is this something that you've had to learn?
[00:08:39] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:08:39] I've always thought I was a very positive individual, but I had something called toxic positivity, which means I'm just grateful and happy no matter what happens, but really I feel resentment inside and really I'm not happy and really I'm angry and I'm, I'm confused and I'm lost. And I say that I'm positive because I want to be positive, but I don't understand what positivity even means.
[00:09:03] I don't understand what happiness even means. And I was a zombie for many years. I was a happy go lucky zombie, but I was a zombie. And there's a very big difference between being positive and being in a state of joy. Being positive, it's kind of like, you know, looking at the glass half full, but being in a state of joy is not thinking positive, but being in a state that is blissful; being in a state that you're on, that you're leaning into, that you want to be in, that you desire to be in that you don't want to leave. See what I'm talking to you right now. I'm not just being positive. I'm on, I'm in the zone. I'm in the game. I'm with you. I'm here. I'm now. So many people are thinking about, oh, what messages did I get or what emails, or when can this be over?
[00:09:51] I don't want this to be over ever. I want us to be here in this moment now forever because where we are right now is exactly where we need to be. And I did not always know that. I did not always have consciousness. I did not always have awareness. I did not always have the ability to manifest in the way that I have the ability to manifest right now.
[00:10:12] So it's a progression, it's a progression to consciousness to awareness, and that is my job.
[00:10:20] Greg Mills: [00:10:20] did you learn this?
[00:10:22] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:10:22] a combination of life lessons experience teaches us. A combination of books that I've read that have given me more insight. Coaches like Tony Robbins, going to landmark, being, spending time with other successful entrepreneurs. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So when I went from spending time, just with my partner and my employees to going to networking events.
[00:10:47] And meeting CEOs and learning from them and seeing what they're doing and seeing how they're manifesting millions of dollars and the impact that they're making in the world. I started realizing that it's not just always about control and power. It's also about influence and desire. It's all about gratitude and connectivity and joy and bring in the right state.
[00:11:08] And that's how I lost 95 pounds. That's how I went from being a person who hires writers to writing himself and making a difference for thousands of people.
[00:11:17]Greg Mills: [00:11:17] Now, did you come from an entrepreneurial background? I know that you had mentioned before that your mom had a business. Were there other people in your family that have had businesses as well?
[00:11:28]Joe Apfelbaum: [00:11:28] My grandfather had a manufacturing company. I didn't know about his company. He didn't really speak about it a lot. I know that he had some partners and some difficulties, and he wasn't really ultimately as successful as it, as he could have been in life. , My mother had a business. She tried to make it for 10 years.
[00:11:44] She struggled and I saw her, you know, work really hard, 16 hours a day, hustling, hustling, hustling, and eventually going out of business around nine 11. So I've seen a lot of people growing up, suffer or have trouble with business. And I always wanted to make that right. Maybe that's a little chip on my shoulder that I want to help hungry entrepreneurs go from frustration to mojovation, but that's been something that I've always like aspired. I looked at business owners and I always like, huh, are they really successful? Are they really making it? Or are they just making noise? And what I found after servicing thousands of people by training them, coaching them and having over 1100 clients in my business is I realized at 96% of businesses are doing less than a million dollars in revenue, revenue, not profit revenue sales, and as a result because they're 5% profit may be on the bottom line.
[00:12:37] There barely making 50K. And so if you have a business that's barely making 50 K how do you feed your family? How do you live? How do you live an abundant life? And the answer is 96% of people are not living an abundant life. They don't have their dreams come true. And if you're in the 1% and you're lucky that you were there, well, part of it could be luck, could be that you inherited it.
[00:12:57] But part of it has to do with what strategies can you put in place? Because a third of all billionaires are self-made billionaires. Nobody made them, they didn't come from money. So how did they create it? And they also say, if you take all the wealth from all the billionaires in the world and you spread it around to everybody else and you wait a bunch of years, what's going to happen is those same billionaires are going to get their money back.
[00:13:19] It just is the law of attraction, manifestation. It's just what it is. I don't know if that's true or that's not true. What I can tell you is that you can only grow your business as much as you grow yourself.
[00:13:30]Greg Mills: [00:13:30] I mentioned that you went to rabbinical school and became a rabbi. And bear with me. This is probably going to be the dumbest question anyone has ever asked you. Do you think that learning to read and write the Hebrew language going from right to left has given you a different perspective or leg up in business than most? Where I'm going with this is that in programming classes, the people that had musical backgrounds did particularly well and seemed to have an easier time than us non-musicians.
[00:13:58] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:13:58] believe it or not. I did not really know how to read very well. So I wasn't a good reader in school. So although I learned how to read Hebrew from right to left and all that stuff, I didn't have a lot of confidence in reading and I didn't enjoy reading Hebrew in general or even English for that matter.
[00:14:15] I think what gave me the edge is not so much reading right to left or left to right. It's my insatiable curiosity. One of my core values is curiosity. And even as a child, I remember I used to go to my mother's store and she used to say, stop playing with the cash register. Cause I would want to figure out how to create receipts that had all types of interesting characters on it and say messages.
[00:14:38] So like when she would print out a receipt that would have an inspirational message on the receipt. And she'd be like, how the heck did you do that? And this was the cash register that had numbers on it, but I read the instructions and I messed around with it. And I figured out how to program it to say certain things by clicking on, you know, spending an hour, clicking the letters to get it, to say things.
[00:14:55] It's the same thing. Whenever we rent a car, if we'd gone a business trip, my mother would take me to business trips in Miami when she would go buy clothing there for her clothing store. And I would figure out every nook and cranny in the Cadillac to figure out how to open the trunk, and how to program the radio with her favorite stations, and how all the different components in the car work.
[00:15:16] And she was like, how do you know all this? Like how do you know how to take apart a computer and put it back together? Like, for me, that comes from curiosity. And when I'm networking, I'm asking lots of questions. When I'm building relationships, I'm truly interested in you. I want to know what makes you tick.
[00:15:32] I want to know who you're connected to. I want to know why you became who you are and what are your childhood wounds and what are your desires and dreams and goals and fears and pains. And I want to know everything and I take that information and I'm able to help you because I'm able to make connections that most people can't make, because I have this certain level of curiosity, which leads to creativity.
[00:15:55]Greg Mills: [00:15:55] Now, would you say that relationships are one of your particular skills?
[00:15:59] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:15:59] I don't think relationships is a skill of mine, but I do think that networking is something that I've spent a lot of time studying and practicing and building as one of the skills that I've learned in my life that has helped me be able to generate millions of dollars in revenue for my businesses.
[00:16:21] Networking I think is, is a skill, just like any other skill, but most people are afraid of networking. And let me tell you why. My friend Jeff Goldberg, he's a sales trainer and he always says, people do things for reasons. They do things for reasons. And in order to figure out what the reasons is, the why behind, why people are doing things, and you have to really build, build a network of people that will trust you to tell you their reasons.
[00:16:45] But building a network of people that will trust you to tell you the reasons is a scary thing because my friend Michael Goldberg, who wrote a book called 'Knock Out Networking', he says that public speaking is something that most people are afraid of. 90% of people are afraid of public speaking. I think Jerry Seinfeld said that people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy .That they're really afraid of getting in front of a crowd or even five to 10 people.
[00:17:09] And networking is kind of like that you're getting out of your comfort zone. People are judging you. And most people, even people that say they're not afraid of it, they are afraid of it. They're shaking when somebody asks them what they do for a living. And I was one of those people, I was afraid of public speaking.
[00:17:23] I was afraid of networking. And so really like honing in that level of confidence. Nathaniel Brandon and his book 'The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem' wrote about there was actually a process to gain more self-esteem. And so relationships, I think the skill of relationships, if you really want to be good at having a relationship with other people, you first have to be good at having a relationship with yourself and really getting to know yourself and have confidence in your own abilities.
[00:17:52] I remember when I signed up to Facebook, I used to be afraid of Facebook. So when I signed up, they asked you 'about me' and like, what are your hobbies? I would be like, I don't have hobbies. I don't know anything about me. Like, who am I. And I had that level of self-confidence a really, really low level of self-confidence.
[00:18:07] And so for me, I would have to take a step back and really ask myself, who am I? So I became really good at who am I and that helped me with networking and relationships. Does that make sense?
[00:18:19] Greg Mills: [00:18:19] That makes sense. I think everybody's a little bit afraid of being found out that they're not who the image that they try to portray.
[00:18:28] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:18:28] Okay. I agree.
[00:18:31]Greg Mills: [00:18:31] How would you advise someone that's starting out in business what to focus on? Is there a particular market or business that you find easier to start or easier to build?
[00:18:41] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:18:41] The service businesses typically have a lower barrier of entry because you don't have to invest in products. And it's pretty simple to get customers. You find somebody that has a problem. You can get started with them right away. You're selling your time. Often people will start with service businesses.
[00:18:57] I think that ultimately has to do with what do you know? What do you know? Like I knew computers and marketing. That's how I got into marketing. I was passionate about that. I was excited about that. Now, I know business coaching, so I do business coaching. Now I know podcasting. So I do podcasts and do webinars.
[00:19:15] The things that you know are the things that you are good at and the things that you can get better at and you can help other people with. So the lowest barrier of entry is something that you already know how to do. If you're going to start learning from scratch, how to be a programmer, it might take you a while for you.
[00:19:31] If you're in a rush to make money, if you start making money of programming, if you have absolutely no idea what programming languages exist, or even if you like programming. So what I would say is if you want to be able to make money. Look at what's already around you. You are where you need to be. You are exactly where you need to be right now in your life.
[00:19:51] And so wherever you are now, embrace that, accept that and love that. And if you can do that, you're going to be able to make money and just, you know, hang out with the right people, hang out with coaches, hang out with people that will make you think differently. People that are on the same awareness journey as you.
[00:20:07] And if you vibrate with them and you're enjoy in a state of joy and a state of freedom in a state of happiness and a state of gratitude and a state of fulfillment, you're going to be able to generate income and manifest whatever it is you want to create.
[00:20:19] Greg Mills: [00:20:19] That's what I love about this podcast. It just gives me the opportunity to talk to so many folks that I wouldn't have otherwise have the opportunity. How do you create a plan to grow a business to seven figures?
[00:20:33] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:20:33] well, step number one is, do you have a desire to have employees? A lot of people want to get to seven figures, but they don't want employees. And it's really, really, really hard, to do that. So I would say step number one is, ask yourself, do I want to manage other people? Because you know, to get to seven figures as a business, probably you're going to need 10 employees.
[00:20:57] If you're really good, you might need five, but you're going to need people to work with you because you know, to build a village, it takes people. That's number one. Number two is, do you really want a million dollars in revenue or do you just want a number? Because some people are making a million dollars in revenue.
[00:21:12] and have nothing left in the bottom line and all they have is stress. So you really have to just ask yourself, it's not just about a building a million dollar business, but it's about making a difference. Making a difference and figuring out what you really want in your life. So now, if the answer is yes, then start solving problems for people.
[00:21:29] If you want to build a million dollar business, how much money will, will people pay you to solve a problem for them? And how many people can you get an X amount at the time? And that's the math you have to do. Grant Cardone. Big influencer in the real estate space. He has a 10 X conference. He wrote a book, 10 X.
[00:21:44] One of the things that he teaches his students is, do the math. Do the math. Most people are not willing to do the math. So I say, how do you get to a million dollars in revenue math? It's really arithmetic as I have a partner. Her name is Tammy. She is a PhD in mathematical neuroscience. She's brilliant.
[00:21:59] She runs the companies and she's really good integrator, good operator. We talk about the difference between math and arithmetic. And she's like, yeah. Getting to a million dollars is arithmetic. It's not even math. Math is making sure that it's profitable. So yeah. First do the math to figure out what you want to do.
[00:22:19] But ultimately at the end of the day is getting to a million dollars is literally putting it on paper. What are you going to do? How many clients are you going to have? How often are you going to service them? What are you going to do for them? How are you going to help them? How many employees do you need?
[00:22:30] How much are you going to pay the emmploees? So write it down and come up with a plan, do it on the back of a napkin, do it on a piece of paper. If it's too complicated, it's probably not going to work.
[00:22:39]Greg Mills: [00:22:39] I can't tell you the number of times I've heard of people that do have million dollar revenue, but their expenses, like their advertising expenses are unfortunately much higher. That doesn't quite workout.
[00:22:53] What beliefs stopped business owners from getting past the six figure mark?
[00:22:59]Joe Apfelbaum: [00:22:59] The three major beliefs that people have that stop them from succeeding in business in life: number one is luck. I call the first one luck. People believe that in order to make money, you have to be lucky. I think being alive has to do with luck. I don't think it has to do with making money. I think if you are alive right now, You're lucky because there were many cells that you could have become, and you became a human cell, right?
[00:23:27] You became two different cells combining together at the right time with the right temperature in the right place. You became a human being and then you lived your life to get to this point where you can listen to this podcast. So you're lucky that you're alive and you're lucky that you have the technology to be able to hear our podcast and get the information that human beings for millennia did not have access to this type of information at this speed. So that's number one, you already are lucky. But more importantly, what is your strategy? Stop relying on luck. Don't believe that you have to be lucky to make money, believe that you need the right strategy because luck shows up when you mix the right amount of work with the right amount of strategy, with the right amount of right place at the right time.
[00:24:05] But you have to be prepared to be able to access that blessing. And most people, they don't have the right strategy so that when they do get the blessing, they don't know how to leverage the blessings that come your way. You're going to have amazing things coming your way, but if you're not prepared for the rain and all you're holding is a plastic cup.
[00:24:21] You're not gonna be able to get enough rain to feed you for a year. But if you pull up with a dump truck, you're probably going to be much, cause you had a strategy. You know it's going to rain. You have friends with the meteorologist .You know, where it's gonna rain the most and you pull up with a dump truck or a group of dump trucks.
[00:24:35] You'll have enough water for a long time. So you've got to understand how to do that. Where to fish and where to hunt and what to do and how to do it. So, number one belief: don't believe that you're unlucky. Instead believe that you need the right strategy. Number two belief: and beliefs are the, basically the foundation of whether or not we're going to take action.
[00:24:54] So action leads to results. Belief is what creates action. If you don't believe that you're going to get something, you're not going to do something. And if you don't do something, you're not going to get something which is going to reinforce the negative belief. And so the second belief is around trust. People don't trust themselves. They don't have self confidence. They also don't trust other people. Like I'm just sharing openly with you. Most people are not willing to share openly. They want to hide their ideas. They don't want to tell a competitor what they're about because they're afraid that competitor will steal their business.
[00:25:24] And the truth is if the competitor wants to steal your business, they would have already stolen your business. My mother always said, never hire a sales rep. Why? Because a sales rep is going to get really good and steal your business. And I was like, Ma, the sales rep doesn't want your business.
[00:25:39] They want to do sales. They want to go home every day. They don't want to sit here dealing with your business. She's like, it's not true. I was like, okay, well, the first person that I hired before I paid myself, sorry, it was a sales person. And I ended up building one of the fastest growing companies in America.
[00:25:51] So I was able to trust this person with my leads, with my CRM, with my knowledge, with my information, with my training. And as a result, I made a lot of money. If you can't trust other people, how are you going to make a lot of money? You got to learn to trust. And trust isn't a guarantee that you won't get screwed.
[00:26:06] I've got screwed. I had my fair share of losing,as Frank Sinatra says, "But I Did It My Way." I had my fair share of losing, but you know what? I have regrets, but not enough to mention, as he says in his song "my way". Personally, I believe that if you can trust other people, that if you can trust the government, if you can trust yourself, You're going to be much more successful and get past the six, six figure and even seven figure mark.
[00:26:33] But you have to be willing to fail in order for you to scale. And then the third self-limiting belief that I see a lot of people having is if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And most people would say that are broke. You are broke, fix it. So instead be willing to change, be willing to go with the times, be willing to optimize what you're doing.
[00:26:53] You don't have to change every day. But if you see something's not working, if you see, you're not feeling joy with what you're doing, so don't do that anymore. Find what brings you joy, find the joy in what you're doing and do more of that and get really good at doing things that you love doing. Chances are what you're good at you like doing. I'm good at being on podcasts.
[00:27:13] That's why I like being on podcasts. I'm good at singing. That's because I worked on it. And so I like rapping and singing and doing those things. I like being in the zone. I like being present. I like being in flow. I love coaching and mentoring and guiding and marketing and advertising. Cause I'm damn good at that.
[00:27:31] And so are my employees. And so if what you do brings you joy, you will do more of it. And the more you do, the more results you get. And so the three self limiting beliefs are number one. I have to be lucky. Number two, don't trust anybody. And number three is I want to stay in the same state. I don't want to change.
[00:27:47] I want to do what was done before. What worked yesterday is not gonna work today. And what works today is for sure not going to work tomorrow when things change and there are electric cars and flying people. So you got to change with the times and you got to acknowledge that you are a human being and you have plasticity in your mind than your brain.
[00:28:03] So optimize yourselves and infuse more joint gratitude, and you're going to be able to manifest anything you want.
[00:28:09]Greg Mills: [00:28:09] That was a great Sinatra by the way, for what It's worth coming from a guy from North Carolina that you could probably barely understand accent wise, but it was great. You founded one of the fastest growing digital marketing companies around. What do you attribute that success to? I know you mentioned a great hire and it sounds like you've had multiple great hires.
[00:28:36] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:28:36] Yeah, I would say my number one, attribute to success is my insatiable insatiable thirst for growth. Growth just grow, just keep growing, keep asking questions, keep growing and surround yourself with the right people. Not just employees. Employees are really important, but also coaches. Also mentors.
[00:29:00] Also just people just like human beings. I mean, the people that I've spent the time with, whether they were my employee, my partner, my coach, my investors might, whoever it is, whoever just believed in me, whether it was somebody that I paid or somebody that paid me. I learned from the people around me. And so I believe that my success comes from me taking action, but from the things that I learned, knowledge is not equal power. Applied knowledge equals power.
[00:29:28] So that's, that's basically where I'm at.
[00:29:32] Greg Mills: [00:29:32] Yeah, applied knowledge equals power. I think we're seeing a lot of knowledge addiction, people learning for the sake of learning, but never executing .
[00:29:41] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:29:41] Execution execution is how you get results.
[00:29:45] Greg Mills: [00:29:45] But it seems like people just, learn for the sake of learning and I'll be honest. I've fallen into this category before.
[00:29:52] It's something that I struggle with. I like information. I've spent a career in IT. I like to know how to do things, how things work and flow, but there comes a point where you actually have to make a decision and execute. And if you don't do that, then , you're on the side of the road . What would you consider one of your weaknesses or your biggest weakness?
[00:30:17]Joe Apfelbaum: [00:30:17] The way that you find your weaknesses is by looking at your strengths. So for me, my strengths is I'm an Activator. If you take the Gallup test, there are 34 human strengths. He wrote a book called StrengthsFinder 2.0, I highly recommend you guys check that out and do the five, the tests to see what your top five strengths are.
[00:30:34] But I'm an activator. I'm really good at getting things started. Well, every strength comes along with it, with a weakness. So if I'm really, really good at starting things, what am I terrible at? What am I terrible?
[00:30:47] Greg Mills: [00:30:47] Finishing perhaps.
[00:30:49] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:30:49] Perhaps finishing. So I need help with people. I need people to help me be able to make a difference.
[00:30:58] That's what I need. I need people to be able to help me make a difference. One weakness that I have is just finishing. I like starting new things, but like being consistent and finishing it'd be really hard for me. So I have other people help me; coaches, guides, mentors, and employees and partners, people that help me finish.
[00:31:15] The other strength that I have is I'm really, really good at strategy. So if I'm amazing at strategy and I'm a great strategist. What am I terrible at?
[00:31:24]Execution. I'm not the best at execution, which means that I need to rely on other people that are achievers to execute on my behalf. So I'll come up with the plans, but I'm not going to execute now.
[00:31:36] Sometimes I'll execute. Sometimes I will. I have to do the pushups. If I want to have muscles. I have to go for the runs and I run very often. I have to be the ones that's on the podcast and I'm executing right now, talking to you. But most of the execution that will happen, I would say 80% of the execution will happen by people that are good at executing and can rely on my energy, my strategy, energy.
[00:31:58] So I w we can go through my list, my list of all my strengths and talk about my weaknesses. But my point is that everybody has weaknesses because they have strengths. And if you can double down on your strengths, And get other people to support you with your weaknesses. You're going to be much more likely to succeed.
[00:32:16]Greg Mills: [00:32:16] Going back to starting a business, how do you generate leads online that turned into clients?
[00:32:24] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:32:24] The way that you generate leads online that turn into clients is figuring out where your clients are and spending time in those areas. You can look on search engines and get people to buy from you. You could look on social media and get people to connect with you there. you can use email marketing.
[00:32:42] There are many different ways, but depending on where your clients are, that's where you need to be. And you need to be speaking in their language. That's what you need the right strategy to figure out who your client is. And based on who they are, you can determine what type of language they speak. What are their pains?
[00:32:59] What are their goals? What are their fears? What are their dreams? Because human beings are emotional beings. We make decisions based on emotion. We back it up with logic. So you need both, but because we're emotional human beings, we got to be resonated with. We got to resonate with our audience. And so LinkedIn's a great place to find CEOs, professionals, decision makers, to network with and turn into clients.
[00:33:22] So if you're not using LinkedIn today and you're a business to business, or you are business to consumer, but with a high lifetime value type of client and valuable client. LinkedIn is a very big missed opportunity. And if you want to learn how to use LinkedIn, we've developed an incredible course and coaching program.
[00:33:38] And we have trained over a thousand people in our course and coaching program to be able to help them grow their business using LinkedIn. So if that's something that somebody wants to learn, how to do, definitely check me out on LinkedIn, Joe, linkedin.com. Reach out to me and I'm happy to send you information about our course in coaching.
[00:33:57]Greg Mills: [00:33:57] What is the best way to leverage LinkedIn to build real relationships?
[00:34:01] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:34:01] LinkedIn gives you the ability to connect with 30,000 people. You can have 30,000 connections on LinkedIn. Now I know this for a fact, you do not need 30,000 connections to generate a million dollars or 2 million or 5 million. You need the right connection. So this right strategy will save you a decade.
[00:34:20] So for me, what I always tell people is, step number one is know who you want to connect with, know who your centers of influences are. Know who, where the people are and connect with those people. That's number one. Number two is you need to create a role. You need to start creating awareness about your own personal brand.
[00:34:36] So have a really good profile and have a good content strategy will help you create awareness. You also need to be engaged on LinkedIn and you need to create the right amount of credibility. People do business with other , people that they know you have awareness, but also that they trust. If someone doesn't trust you, they're not going to use you.
[00:34:52] So you need to use levels of engagement in order for you to build that trust. And then finally it needs to all lead to one thing, conversations. If you don't have conversations with people, you're not going to close business. So how many conversations did you have in the past week? So we teach people how to use direct messaging to generate conversations on LinkedIn.
[00:35:12]Greg Mills: [00:35:12] Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
[00:35:16] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:35:16] I am more extroverted according to the personality assessments that I have. That doesn't mean I don't like spending time alone. I love spending time alone. I love, love, love, love, love. Absolutely love it with all my heart, but I get my energy from others. So if I'm with you, I get more energized. I get recharged when I'm around other people.
[00:35:36]The difference between an introvert and extrovert is just where you get your energy from. Do you get your energy from being alone or do you get energy from being with other people? I get my energy from being with other people, and that's why I create my own networking events. And I set up my own times to be with people.
[00:35:50] I love being with other people, some other people they need to be alone in order to recharge. So I'm definitely extroverted, but I also enjoy being by myself and having my own peace of mind.
[00:36:01]Greg Mills: [00:36:01] Do you have any tips for somebody that might be introverted to kind of break out of that shell, or should they partner with an extrovert?
[00:36:08]Joe Apfelbaum: [00:36:08] I don't think you need to have extroverts around you. I don't think it makes a difference if you're an introvert, an extrovert, what makes up the differences? What are the strengths of the people around you? I always tell people to use StrengthsFinder 2.0, to figure out people's strengths and then try to find other people that will compliment your strengths.
[00:36:26]Greg Mills: [00:36:26] You mentioned LinkedIn and going back to that, why should an entrepreneur update LinkedIn every day?
[00:36:33] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:36:33] The reason why you should be on LinkedIn every day is because that's where your customers are. And if you want to create more awareness for yourself, you need to start posting on LinkedIn. There are 756 million people on LinkedIn, but there's only a million posts going up on LinkedIn each day. It means there's a lot of people on LinkedIn, 40% are logging in daily.
[00:36:51] And so you want to make sure that you're there when your clients and potential clients arrive, and most people are, don't know what the post, I just posted an article on LinkedIn. And you can put this in the show notes. The article that I posted is entitled 19 types of posts, posts on LinkedIn, and they're broke down every type of post.
[00:37:09] And I gave examples for every post. So, you know, if you need ideas, I have plenty of ideas for you. The key is for you to take it action.
[00:37:17]Greg Mills: [00:37:17] I was just going to ask you about the different types of posts too. It seems like you either see something advertising a new product or a motivational story. Some of those motivational quotes are kind of pithy. How effective are they at keeping somebody, , forefront of mind?
[00:37:37] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:37:37] Most people are not posting at all. So even if you just post a motivational quote, at least you're staying top of mind, especially if you have a good profile, good photo, good name, good headline, because that's what people see when you post. So you want to remind people that you exist. Stay top of mind. You shouldn't only put inspirational quotes or inspirational messages.
[00:37:55] One of the things that we teach our students is tell your story. People want to get to know you, Greg. So what's your story. What's your story. And so I have lots of different stories about growing up in my mother's store and my business with clients turning down million-dollar opportunities because they don't align with my core values.
[00:38:12] I have lots of stories to share. And so does everybody else. Stories, failure, stories of successes, stories of challenges, stories of wins, stories of people that you've met, questions that you've have, tips. There's so many things that you can do with in terms of content. The key is for you to take a step back and ask yourself, what does my audience want to hear? If you have an audience that loves motivational quotes, share motivational quotes. If you have an audience that are more it engineers, then maybe you won't want to do a motivational quotes, and maybe you want to do how tools and tips and tricks and hacks.
[00:38:45] So it depends on who your audience is and who you're connected to. Because remember there are 756 million people on LinkedIn. You can only connect the 30,000 and most people are only connected to 440. So knowing who your audience is, will help you craft the right content. Does that make sense?
[00:38:59] Greg Mills: [00:38:59] That makes sense Say you're. LinkedIn to several people in the company that you work with, and you're starting an entrepreneurial business on the side, and you're just not really ready to publicize that fact yet. Is there any way to get around that?
[00:39:16] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:39:16] if you are the type of person that you are just not sure who you want to connect to, and you're not sure what you want to do, and you're not sure who your clients are. Then you need to speak to a coach. That's what you need to do. You need to speak to a coach to help you figure yourself out, because if you're in your head, you're dead.
[00:39:34] If you're overthinking it, you're not going to take action. I've trained over 10,000 business owners on behalf of Google as a certified Google trainer over the past decade. And one of the questions I ask people is how much money do you want to make? You know what people answer Greg.
[00:39:47] Greg Mills: [00:39:47] They'd probably answer a million dollars because that's pretty much, what's been programmed into us.
[00:39:52]Joe Apfelbaum: [00:39:52] They say as much as possible. They say, I don't want to limit myself. I'm not going to give you a number. I always tell people, if you don't have a number, then you're not getting anywhere, a ship without a rudder, a person without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.
[00:40:04] Eventually it's going to hit the rocks. It's going to float and hit some rock and then you'll have a hole in your boat and the boat will sink. So instead of waiting for your book to sink in life, get a rudder and know where you're going and go somewhere specific. And you might say, well, that specific place might not be aligned with my values.
[00:40:20] Okay. Well, once you get there, well, then you should shift to the next place and try to find a place that is aligned with your values. That does bring you into gratitude and joy and freedom and presence and, and abundance. But you got to just make mistakes. I turned down a multi-million dollar opportunity and the COO of the company said, Joe, this would probably be the biggest mistake you ever made in your life, turning down an opportunity like this. And I say, I learned from my mistakes. If this is the biggest mistake I made in my life, I am ready to learn, baby. I am ready to learn because that, that means it will be the biggest opportunity I have in my life. So you didn't even know what to say to me. It's like, oh my God, I can't believe you're turning this down.
[00:40:59] I was like, you don't have to believe it. You just have to experience it.
[00:41:02] Greg Mills: [00:41:02] Okay. So how has the pandemic impacted you personally and also your business.
[00:41:08] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:41:08] The pandemic has impacted me personally by. Number one, it made me question a lot of things in my life. As a result of going through a divorce process, my business took a very big hit. We lost about 75% of our revenue. Like within the first few weeks of the pandemic, a lot of the businesses we were servicing closed down.
[00:41:30] So a lot of personal things happen, but because it had all this training, because I had worked on myself so much, I didn't take any of this stuff personally. At first a little bit. But long-term working with some coaches hiring the right people, getting out of my comfort zone. I basically tied my shoes up, got back up, using LinkedIn, got most of the clients back.
[00:41:55]Got new clients, grew our evergreen business. We're doing lots of corporate training to sales teams now. So for me, it's like, it really helped me be able to realize, how life can really put you in circumstances that will challenge every aspect of your life. And if you're able to stay strong, if you're able to stay consistent, if you're able to stay in a very powerful place, then you able to move forward.
[00:42:22] And then from there, from that place, you're able to make a differencefor other people.
[00:42:27]Greg Mills: [00:42:27] It sounds like one of your core values is serving and making a difference for other people.
[00:42:33] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:42:33] Definitely making a different. My, why is I wanna help 1000 hungry entrepreneurs go from frustration to mojovation. What does that mean? Really making a difference for others.
[00:42:45]Greg Mills: [00:42:45] Yeah. So what's next on the horizon for you?
[00:42:49]Joe Apfelbaum: [00:42:49] What's next on the horizon for me is, just adding more entrepreneurs that want to learn. Coaches, consultants, entrepreneursthat want to learn how to use LinkedIn. Making a difference for them and continuing to grow that part of the business, continuing to stabilize and grow Ajax Union, post pandemic, adding maybe five new accounts, and just keep making a difference.
[00:43:13] Keep staying in that state of joy and attracting positivity and abundance and creativity and just keeping curious.
[00:43:21]Greg Mills: [00:43:21] Do you think there'll be another book in the High Energy series? Like maybe a High Energy: Mastering LinkedIn.
[00:43:27] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:43:27] Yeah. So my next book is going to be High Energy: Networking. I already started writing it. I wrote about 10,000 words towards manuscript and my goal is to launch it this year. And I have a series over an additional 10 books that I'd like to write over the course of the next 10 years. I don't know that I'm going to write all of them, but, you know, as, as I live my life and I have different experiences and I learned things I'm able to take a step back and connect with connect and create
[00:43:55]Greg Mills: [00:43:55] When you were say 16 or 17, did you envision where you're at now?
[00:44:03] Joe Apfelbaum: [00:44:03] I did not envision that when I was a little boys, 15, 16, 17, I had no idea like what I wanted. I was always attracted to advertising and attracted to marketing, and I was always looking at the circular as in the ads and all that other stuff.
[00:44:17] I always wanted to add value. For me, it's all about adding value to other people, adding value to, for myself and just keep growing. And so using my curiosity, that's something that I'm very, very excited about.
[00:44:34] How do people go from a state of frustration to a state of mojovation? Like a lot of people are super frustrated. So I love talking about that idea, realize that if you're frustrated right now, it's just a signal for something that needs to change in your life.
[00:44:52] There's something that needs to change in your life. And if you can kind of take a step back and really ask yourself, what is it that I want to create? What is it that I want to create in my life? And you can just take a step back and live that thing that you want to create, and really get to know that and not have attachments to by when you want to create it and say, oh, I have to do this by this and this date. Otherwise my life is over, but stop trying to control things that are outside of your control. The only thing you can really control are your thoughts and your feelings.
[00:45:30] And your thoughts and your feelings will vibrate at a certain rate and help you either manifest what you want or manifest what you don't want. And if you're scared and you're in fear, frustration is a form of fear and lack, and you're going to get more of that. And so if you want to get into mojovation, if you want to get into abundance, if you want to get it to freedom, if you want to get into inspiration and joy, then you really have to take a step back and become really present with where you are right now, and see what you're not willing to surrender to, what you're not willing to accept and then surrender and accept and then get inspired and go create. You are a creator. You are a manifestor and you can manifest anything that you want. You just have to hang around with the right energy and be the right energy and you will be able to create.
[00:46:20] And with that, I want to thank you, Greg, for having me on your show. This was marvelous!
[00:46:24] Greg Mills: [00:46:24] Well, thank you for being my guest on Entrepreneurs Over 40. This has been great.
[00:46:29]Joe Apfelbaum: [00:46:29] All the best.