About Donnie Boivin: Donnie Boivin is the CEO of Success Champions. This online community gives you back your time while connecting you with other business owners looking to scale and grow their businesses. Donnie created the Badass Business Summit helping businesses unleash, be seen, and sell. And has appeared on hundreds of podcasts, spoken on hundreds of stages, and is going bigger with his message daily. Also, he is the Host of Growth Mode Podcasts, which gives you all the insights you need to know while building your business. Donnie is one of the leading global minds on sales, business development, and business growth. He is the first person to make sales and business development relatable and human. Donnie is a community builder at heart — he builds champions. Check out the latest episode of our Conversational Selling podcast to learn more about Donnie.
In this episode, Nancy and Donnie discuss the following:
- How did Donnie get into podcasting?
- Story of three profitable companies that all started because of a podcast.
- Donnie’s purpose in life is to get as many people to freedom as possible. What does he mean by that? And why is that?
- Why do so many people struggle with building a business?
- What is the Badass Business Summit all about?
- Is any particular facet of the business that seems to be more common than others?
- Success Champion Networking: How did Donnie come up with that idea? And what happens when you belong to it?
- Criteria for picking and choosing the players in the community.
- How many people are included per group?
- A fun fact about Donnie.
- Something that you know is true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
- What is the one takeaway you’d like to leave the audience with?
- How can my people find you?
- I was interviewing from the perspective of and trying to learn how other people found success.
- Badass Business Summit is designed to bring in expert speakers on very specific operational mindsets, marketing, and sales perspectives to teach workshop style, so you’re working on it at the summit. So, by the time you leave, it’s already functioning in your business.
- Networking needs to be a portion of your business development strategy, not the entirety of it.
- If you can sell and then network, and you can bring your clients back to the network, and you get a group full of people doing that – amazing things happen.
- I had no choice but to learn things and screw up things along the way.
- I realized that many people like me were struggling to build a business.
- I will share everything I screwed up and how we fixed it, and I will help people in those dark places scrambling to figure out how to build their businesses.
- In this moment of time that we’re in, the only thing you need to focus on is your personal brand.
“Quit focusing on the referrals and focus on whom you need to be introduced to, not from an in-client user, but from a place where their client base is your ideal client base and you guys can build this synergistic mutually beneficial relationship.” – DONNIE
“I think most people were like me, and we worked for somebody else for 20-plus years, and then we jumped out, and we wanted to start a business. And we don’t realize that somebody was telling us what to do during those times working for other people. And now you’re out on your own; nobody’s telling you what to do. And the second portion of that is when you work for other people; excuses are easy. If the business is down, you can blame marketing, sales, leads, the economy, and everything else. But as a business owner, you don’t get that choice to blame anybody. If the sales are down, go sell. Marketing sucks. Go fix marketing. You know, it’s whatever it is. And people have never actually looked at themselves in a mirror to see what they’re made of. And when business gets hard, they don’t want to face their own reality because they’re scared of whom they meet if they start looking inside. And so, I tell people, the greatest exercise in the world you can do is go to your mirror every night and say the words I’m proud of you. And whatever pops up that you’re not proud of is the thing you got to fix or do. It’s the greatest exercise I’ve found for me for self-discovery. ” – DONNIE
Connect with Donnie Boivin:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/donnieboivin/
- Success Champions: https://successchampionnetworking.com/
- Badass Business Summit: https://badassbusinesssummit.com/
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Connect with Nancy Calabrese:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/oneofakindsales
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/One-Of-A-Kind-Sales-304978633264832/
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- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Voiceover: You’re listening to The Conversational Selling Podcast with Nancy Calabrese.
Nancy Calabrese: Hi everyone, it’s Nancy Calabrese and it’s time again for Conversational Selling. The podcast where sales leaders and business experts share what’s going on in sales and marketing today and it always starts with the human conversation. Today we’re speaking with Donnie Boivin, founder, and creator of Success Champion Networking, an online community that gives you back your time while connecting you with other business owners looking to scale and grow their businesses. He is the host of growth mode podcasts which gives you all insights you need to know while building your business. Donnie created the Badass business summit helping businesses unleash, be seen, and sell. And he’s appeared on hundreds of podcasts, spoken on hundreds of stages, and is going bigger with his message every day. Welcome to this show, Donnie. You know, podcasting and networking are some of my favorite topics, so this is going to be great. [1:16]
Donnie Boivin: Oh! Nancy, I’ve already enjoyed us hanging out a little bit before the show so I think we’re going to have a lot of fun.
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, and yeah guys this guy’s a blast so yeah buckle your seatbelts, get ready for a ride! So, you know let’s just jump into how you got into podcasting. [1:36]
Donnie Boivin: It was actually a complete fluke. I was giving a keynote presentation in Fort War, Texas to a room of about 400. And this was April of 2017. And after my speech, a guy walked up to me and he’s like, hey, I love your energy. I love your story. Would you come to tell it on my podcast? And I said, What the hell is a podcast? And he explained to me, he’s like, Dude, it’s like news talk radio. He goes, I’ll bring you out to my studio. I’m like, Oh, I’m already in. I’ll do that. So, I went on a show. We had a blast, we laughed, we joked, and the show aired two days later, and this isn’t normal. I don’t want your listeners to hear this and be like, oh my God, I’m going to go get on the podcast right now. But two days after the show aired, one of his listeners reached out to me and became a client. And I went, wait, you can go on podcast and guest and people might listen and become clients? Hold my beer and watch this. So, I started going on a bunch of podcasts, and then I launched my first show then in May of 2018, five months later, that show became number 22 in the world. [2:41]
Nancy Calabrese: Awesome. Well, I am really appreciative that you wanted to be on my show and I’m going to walk away as I said earlier with a couple of nuggets, I’m sure. You said you built three profitable companies that all started because of a podcast. Tell us more about that. [3:01]
Donnie Boivin: So, my first year in business, I was under a non-compete and I couldn’t talk about sales, sales training anywhere in the US and potentially overseas. So, my business was in a really, really bad spot. I almost lost my farm; my wife’s car had gotten repossessed and she had to cash in her 401K to literally save our farm and get her car out of repossession.
Nancy Calabrese: Wow.
Donnie Boivin: And during that time, it happened to be the same time I found podcasting. And it was interesting that as I launched my show, it took off really fast. And I think it was because I was interviewing from the perspective of, I was trying to learn how other people found success. [3:42] And so, I was really just inquisitive about how they did it. And so, I was getting the pleasure of interviewing some of the biggest names in the world, I mean, household names that people would know. And I realized really quickly that I couldn’t have a shit show of a podcast by having these celebrities and household names come on there. So, it taught me how to develop processes. And then as the show grew, I had to bring on teams. So, it taught me how to hire and taught me the finance side of things. And then we launched our first company, which was a podcast production company, which led to a podcast consulting firm. And to a point where we were managing about 100 different podcasts. And that all came because, you know, we started down a path and it escalated rapidly, so I had no choice but to learn the things and screw up the things along the way. We’ve since set down that podcasting company just because it wasn’t the direction I wanted to go personally in business. So, we spun that off to another group, and they took it over from there. But ultimately, it taught me the mechanics of business, and then we took those mechanics and we escalated them into what you see now as our companies. [4:59]
Nancy Calabrese: I’ve read that you have one purpose in life and that is to get as many people to freedom as possible. What do you mean by that? And why is that?
Donnie Boivin: So, when my business was really in the dark, and it was a rough moment when you had to tell your wife that you’re about to lose everything, that’s humility at its finest. And it was interesting that I refused to let anybody know how bad the business was. It was just me and my wife. Nobody else knew how bad the business was. I thought if anybody knew how bad business was back in my first year, nobody would do business with me. Interestingly enough, I started sharing the things that I was screwing up in business, not how bad the business was, but the things that I was screwing up. And as I did that, more and more people were leaning in and started asking me questions about business and I would laugh. I’m like, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Don’t ask me questions. And, you know, but they kept asking questions. And what I realized is there were a lot of people that were like me struggling to build a business. So, I just made it my MO that I’m going to share everything thing that I screw up, how we fix it, and I’m going to help people who are in those dark places scrambling to figure out how to build their business, and I’m going to share all the details. So that’s why I’m going to give many people to business freedom or many people to freedom of building a business is because nobody was there for me. Nobody ever walked up and said, dude, you got this, stay in the game. Take one more step forward, go sell one more thing. And so, I just hope that as many people can hear my story, hear the things I went through, and they go, all right, I got this and keep moving forward. [6:47]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow, so why do so many people struggle with building a business?
Donnie Boivin: I think most people were like me and we worked for somebody else for 20-plus years and then we jumped out and we wanted to start a business. And we don’t realize that during those times working for other people, somebody was telling us what to do. And now you’re out on your own, nobody’s telling you what to do. And the second portion of that is when you work for other people, excuses are easy. If the business is down, you can blame marketing, sales, leads, the economy, and everything else. But as a business owner, you don’t get that choice to blame anybody. If the sales are down, go sell. Marketing sucks. Go fix marketing. You know, it’s whatever it is. And people have never actually looked at themselves in a mirror to see what they’re made of. And at the point that business gets hard, they don’t want to face their own reality because they’re scared of whom they meet if they start looking inside. And so, I tell people, the greatest exercise in the world you can do is every night go to your mirror and say the words I’m proud of you. And whatever pops up that you’re not proud of is the thing you got to go fix or do. It’s the greatest exercise I’ve found for me for self-discovery. [8:06]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow. So, talk about the Badass Business Summit. What is it all about?
Donnie Boivin: So, a lot of summits that I’ve attended personally are these summits where you take a crap ton of notes and then you do some networking and then you get home and you forget all the crap you actually wrote down and, you know, I’m one of those guys that draws into the margin. So, I’m like, what the hell did I draw that picture for? And so, we really wanted to create a summit that works on your business while you’re there. So, the Badass Business Summit is designed to bring in expert speakers on very specific operational mindset, marketing, and sales perspectives to teach workshop style so you’re working on it at the summit. So, by the time you leave, it’s already functioning in your business. You don’t have to remember the notes or things like that. And the other thing that I wanted, there were so many conferences that I wanted to do that I wanted to talk to the speakers and ask them questions. Well, all of our speakers are also attendees. So, you’ll be sitting side by side with the speakers as they work on their own business. [9:17]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow, any particular facet of the business that seems to be more common than others?
Donnie Boivin: I would say sales more often mainly because that’s my background and so everything I teach tends to have a sales spin to it. But mindset would be a second one, but not from a woo-woo place It’s coming from the very practical advice of how do you keep your head in the game. How do you continue moving forward when you’re getting your teeth kicked in out there in the marketplace? [9:49]
Nancy Calabrese: So, success champion networking. How did you come up with that idea? And what happens when you belong to it?
Donnie Boivin: Yeah, Nancy, you’re going to see a theme here. So, success champion networking was a fluke as well. We were getting ready to do the inaugural Badass Business Summit in April of 20, and we all know that that’s the time COVID hit. So, we had to postpone this summit and we knew that the whole world was moving online. What took us two and a half years to build a legitimate online business? So, and these companies didn’t have two and a half years. They had maybe 30 days to figure out to transition their businesses online. So, we were going to be okay as a company being an online business, but we knew we were kind of Liam Neeson at this point. We had a particular set of skills and we knew how to use them from our past backgrounds of running networking groups and organizations. [10:48]
Nancy Calabrese: Right.
Donnie Boivin: So, we launched it and did not understand that we were disrupting the industry at that point because what we really created is a mastermind peer group that happens to have a networking problem. So, the first thing we said was no MLMs, network marketing, direct sales, or anything like that. So, we work with service-based business owners that are proactively looking to grow their businesses. In our world, it’s not about trying to just get referrals and the like. We’re coming together on a weekly basis to work on growing your business through roundtables, very specific instructions, training, and the likes. And a lot of business tends to come out of these. So, everything we do is virtual. We’re the fastest-growing networking organization on the planet right now because we just got dialed in to bring in the right people together that understand that if networking is the only thing, you’re doing to grow your business, you’re going to lose. Networking needs to be a portion of your business development strategy, not the entirety of it. [11:56]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow. How do you pick and choose the players in the community?
Donnie Boivin: So, each one of our groups has a leadership team that we put in place and every member has to be voted in. We’re not looking for heartbeats here. So, just because you sign up does not mean you get to become a member. So, you’ll go through meetings with each one of the leadership team of each one of our groups and they’ll determine if you’re going to be a good fit because we don’t want the people that are coming at this looking to just sell the group or only kind of come at referrals perspective and the likes, we’re looking for the people that want to open doors for others. And I just know that if you can sell and then network and you can bring your clients back to the network, and you get a group full of people doing that, amazing things happen. [12:47]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow. I mean, it sounds amazing. You know, when I think of networking, I think of phone networking, right?
Donnie Boivin: Right.
Nancy Calabrese: There’s less face-to-face. And I happen to love it. I would rather be sitting at my desk getting introduced to people. So, it sounds fascinating. Curious, how many people are included per group? [13:10]
Donnie Boivin: So, we cap all the groups at 30 members our current largest chapter sitting on 22 throughout the U.S. and growing rapidly. So, we just brought on territory leaders which are individuals that are actually helping us manage and maintain territories because of how fast everything’s growing. [13:33]
Nancy Calabrese: It almost sounds like Vistage.
Donnie Boivin: There’s a vestige portion of it. We’re just targeting smaller clients. So, Vistage, you know, want you to be five million, I think, maybe 10 million plus. Most of our companies are under a million dollars in revenue.
Nancy Calabrese: Okay, cool. So, talk about a fun fact about Donnie. What should we know about you that’s going to make us laugh?
Donnie Boivin: Well, since you talked about cold calling, I used to teach cold calling by standing in front of a room of people and doing live dials. [14:06]
Nancy Calabrese: Oh really?
Donnie Boivin: Yep. And the first time I ever did it, I was so scared standing in front of that room because now people, I was on display. My number one client, the CEO of a Fortune 100, walks in the room the first time I’m doing these live calls. And so, I asked him and I won’t use his name, but I said, hey, great to see you here. What brought you in today? And he goes, I just want to see if the shit I’m paying for is worth it. So, that’s what I get told right as I get ready to do these live cold calls. And so, you know, my butthole’s puckered at this point is I’m getting ready. And so, I put it on speakerphone, and about the third dial-in, I miraculously, you know, actually set an appointment with a very large company to go in and talk about sales training. [14:56]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow.
Donnie Boivin: So, that doesn’t always happen, you know, and I haven’t done those for some time. But yeah, I literally would call companies up and say hey I got nothing to sell you, but I bet your sales team struggles with cold calling. Would you invite me in on my dime? I will do live dials in front of your team and teach cold calling the only thing I ask you is after that session You give me 15 minutes of your time and most times; they were like I just want to see the guy do live cold calls in front of my team. And so now I was going in and training and prospecting and selling all in the same move.
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, you’re a genius man. [15:39]
Donnie Boivin: It was fun.
Nancy Calabrese: You’re a genius. Hey, and anyone that can do cold calling is right up there in my mind. We love it. So, tell me something that you know is true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Donnie Boivin: Most people think that they need referrals, referrals, referrals, referrals, referrals, and I think they’re absolutely wrong. And the reason I think they’re wrong is because very rarely am I ever going to run into your perfect ideal prospect. Like you teach cold calls, very rarely do I hear somebody tell me out of the blue, hey, my team sucks at cold calling, do you know anybody that could teach that? It’s just not a conversation we hear. So, so what I tell everybody is quit worrying about referrals and start focusing on introductions. Like Nancy, if I knew specifically the top three industries that would refer to your business because they’re constantly in conversations with their clients who struggle with the problems and issues you solve. So, their client base is your ideal client. If you can tell me those industries, I can make those introductions all day long. And if I can make that right introduction, there’s going to potentially be millions of dollars based on that introduction because you two would film this synergistic relationship. So quit focusing on the referrals and focus on whom you need to be introduced to, not from an in-client user, but from a place where their client base is your ideal client base and you guys can build this synergistic mutually beneficial relationship. [17:26]
Nancy Calabrese: Yep. Wow. You know, we’re almost up with time. So, what is the one takeaway you’d like to leave the audience with?
Donnie Boivin: The biggest thing that I want people to understand in general, is that in this moment of time that we’re in, the only thing you need to focus on is your personal brand. And let me explain. You know, we saw this a lot when salespeople would leave companies. The company thought that it owned all its clients. When evidently, if they stayed in the industry, no matter whether NDAs or whatever were signed, eventually most of those clients would follow the salesperson because the relationship was formed. The same thing holds true in business today. So, people are going to follow you and your personal brand so right now the Opportunity to create as much business as possible is to pick one social media platform I don’t care which one it is and go all in on that particular platform. You know, there are these guys out there who put 18 posts out on every social platform I want to punch those guys in the face. Because the main guy Gary Vee who says that stuff, he’s got a team of like 40 people that are producing content and posting form, right? And most people are doing this on their own individual basis. So, I want you to pick one platform and I want you to work to become an influencer on that platform. Learn to put out content where people are actually DM-ing you don’t worry about the comments on your stuff. Put out content that gets people DM you into the right conversations and you know for me it’s LinkedIn. I have a team that helps me on YouTube. And then I go out of my way to be on two to four podcasts a week. I get on at least one to two stages a month, you know, and we’re constantly trying to find new audiences and people all to build the brand of Donnie Boivin, which leads back to everything we do as success champions. [19:26]
Nancy Calabrese: Whoa, Donnie is the man guys.
Donnie Boivin: Thank you for that.
Nancy Calabrese: How can my people find you?
Donnie Boivin: So, the best way to get in touch with me is to text the word success to 817-318-6030. That’s success at 817-318-6030. It’s going to ask for your email, and from there, it’s going to send you a quick video on how to get an endless amount of introductions coming into your business. But guys, if you’ll do me one favor if you hung out with Nancy and me this long, and you got any valuable tips or tricks out of this, do her the honor of sharing this show with one person. Having my own show, I can tell you how hard it is to build and grow an audience. So, if you think one person would get value out of this episode or any of our other episodes, share it with them, it’ll mean everything to her. [20:17]
Nancy Calabrese: Well, thank you, Donnie. Yeah, I would really appreciate everyone out there. So, I guess you’re gonna have to come back on.
Donnie Boivin: We can do that. We can do that.
Nancy Calabrese: Yep, yep, and next time we’ll do audio and video. How’s that?
Donnie Boivin: I like it, you should see these baby blue eyes, Nancy, they’re gorgeous.
Nancy Calabrese: I did before, but my guests can’t see him. Okay, so everyone, take advantage of what Donnie has to offer. Get in touch with him. Get involved in the networking community, and make it a great sales day. See you next time. [20:56]