Don't Sacrifice the People You Love to Make It (Josh Turner)
October 29, 2021
“My personal definition of making it has changed to be more holistic,” says Josh Turner, founder of Connect365. In this episode, Josh shares how growing up in his dad’s business helped him build entrepreneurial skills but also taught him not to sacrifice what’s most important.
Welcome to Making It. This weekly show explores the lives and stories of entrepreneurs as they share their unique perspectives on their success and the path to making it.
Episode summary: Long before Josh Turner, founder of Connect365, started his own business, he was helping out in his dad’s company. He saw first-hand what it means to run a business, to have to shut down a business, and how to get back on your feet again.
So, when he decided to start his own business, he was very focused on business growth, and “making it” was all about the success of the business. He knew that he had to put himself out there, to present himself as a leader and expert. He believes that it takes action to actually make it a reality, but, as he says, it’s all about balance. Over time, his personal definition of “making it” has changed to be more holistic; he’s careful not to sacrifice what’s most important to him.
“If you're getting into business for yourself, you have to just get out there, you have to put yourself out there; you got to have conversations with people.”
“But at the end of the day, when you're on your deathbed, I think it's the people that you love and are closest to that are the most important. And so to me, ‘making it’ is making sure that I don't sacrifice that.” – Josh Turner
Guest Bio: Entrepreneur Josh Turner is the CEO and founderof Connect 365 and a bestselling author. Connect365 helps B2B companies systematically build relationships to turn cold prospects into warm leads. It’s software that allows you to deliver highly personalized, individual emails at scale.
He is also the founder and CEO of LinkedSelling, a marketing coaching, consulting, and training firm that was recently named #252 on the Inc 5000. He is widely considered a worldwide leading authority in using LinkedIn and Facebook to generate leads, appointments, and clients.
With a team of over 33 employees, they represent clients like Neil Pateland Microsoft, to name a couple, in a wide variety of industries in the US, Canada, the UK, Asia, and Australia.
Josh is also the creator of Linked University and The Appointment Generator training and coaching programs that have together served over 12,000 entrepreneurs.
He is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of How to Create a Step-by-Step LinkedIn Marketing Strategy for Your Business and Booked: The Digital Marketing and Social Media Appointment Setting System.
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I'm Josh Turner and you're listening to Making It! I run a business called Connect 365 and we help small businesses generate leads and get more clients.
I think making it can mean whatever you want it to mean for you. For me it's really doing what I want to do. And that is about doing the work that I want to do, doing the things in my business that I get excited about and not doing the other things. It's about having the freedom to work when you want to work and to not work when you don't want to work. And it's about having, you know, a business that affords you the kind of lifestyle that you want. So I think if you put all those things together, that's really what it's about.
Long before I started my own business, growing up, I was around my family business and my, my dad, he started a small remodeling company and that was really my first exposure to what it was really like running a business because I was helping him with sales and marketing and his office administration and running crews and getting supplies and really the whole gamut of everything that we were doing. And then in, I think it was 2001 he was forced to shut his doors because he ran out of work and didn't have enough new business coming in to keep the lights on, essentially. And so one day I was in his office and he said, we just don't have enough money to keep it going. And that was his last day in business with that business.
Now, fortunately fast forward a number of years, he got back on his feet, started another company and he's been doing well since. But it was a tough time for him for a while. You know, I've I've seen a lot of stuff that doesn't work and you know, not just with my dad's business, but with other businesses I've been a part of and other businesses that I started before I really went full time working for myself in 2010. Prior to that I was the CFO of a construction and manufacturing company in St Louis. And that company suffered pretty much the same fate My dad's business. Where I worked in the company that in the downturn in 2008, when, you know, the economy was going down, this business was really essentially just ran out of work and had the exact same thing happened, couldn't keep the doors open. And so when I started my business, I was like, I can't have the same thing happened to me that I've seen happen to to these other companies.
And so for me, early on in the business, I was just very focused on business growth and making it was all about the success of the business, you know? So when we achieve things like the Inc500 and Inc5000, like I felt like I had really like that was making it. And then fast forward a few more years, like my definition of making it has changed to where you know, we've had financial success and recognition for how well the business is done and how we've grown and building a really great team and culture and all of those things. So my personal definition of making it has kind of changed more to be more holistic around my whole life and not just business success. Because at the end of the day, nobody is going to care about this business that I created. Like yes, you can leave a legacy, you can have people and employees that cared about it and feel proud of the work that you did together and you can work hard to make a difference, but like at the end of the day when you're on your deathbed, I think that it's the people that you love and are closest to their really most important. And so to me making it is making sure that my I don't sacrifice that because I'm so focused on my business, so that has a lot to do with balance too.
And I still, you know at heart and kind of an introverted finance guy. But if you're if you're getting into business for yourself, you have to just get out there, you have to put yourself out there, you got to have conversations with people. And you know one of the big things that I think I was fortunate early on in my business that I just realized like I have to position myself as a leader and an expert because the clients I want to hire me, they want to hire an expert and so like I can't act like I don't really know what I'm doing or act shy about it or something. I have to get out there and say like I'm a real leader in this space. And, you know, there's never a time where somebody's going to anoint you as a leader in your market. You just gotta put yourself out there and make the claim and go do it and make it happen. And so for anybody who's a little more introverted and doesn't know if they can make it in business, there's all sorts of people who are making in, in business. Over time I've kind of realized that we all have all of it within us; we walk around carrying these labels thinking I am an introvert or I'm more of an extrovert or whatever but we all have shades of it and if you want to, you can become an extra murder. So don't let that hold you back.
I think that for a lot of people, the concept of authenticity is a challenging one and it's a tough one for me to really nail down. Because what it means to be authentic, it really varies from person to person. But what I like to tell people is just put yourself in the shoes of your prospect and think about, what would get them to open up to you? You know, if somebody is reaching out to you online, what makes you want to connect with somebody? And usually it's somebody who seems like they're just being a normal person and like, you know, you, you kind of connect with them. And so to me like that's part of what being authentic is. And instead of sending sales pitches, you just share good content with people and show up as a valuable resource, people will just kind of view you favorably at that point and feel like you're being authentic and genuine and helpful and not a used car salesman and all that stuff is really important when it comes to online marketing and doing all the things that we do.
If you're just dreaming and not doing, then nothing is actually going to get done. But if you are, you know, if you're really taking action on your dreams then of course that's how you get it done. And I think anybody who's in business for themselves and really trying to make it is working off of some dream that they have for what they want to achieve, whether or what the impact they want to make in the world, what they want to create to support their family, any of that. We all have some sort of a dream in mind and then it takes action and doing something to actually make it a reality.
I think that if you're in a place where you're feeling like you're kind of stuck in a cycle of despair or hopelessness, you know, everybody gets there. And what's been helpful for me in knowing that it happens to everybody, you can rest assured that, you know, it doesn't mean that you're somehow a failure. But what I've realized now, looking back over a decade after starting my company, whenever I have a time that I'm feeling down about something in the business or it's not going the way that I want or I'm stressing about something or having anxiety about something in the business, I always think back on the times in the past, in the business where I had similar feelings and I realized that it comes and goes and so why there's no point in beating myself up about whatever is happening right now, because probably in a pretty short amount of time, it's not even gonna be on my mind anymore. So I think it's really important to figure out like how you can kind of control your mindset so that you're able to stay positive and focused. Because being in a cycle of despair, negativity is not going to be productive at all.
I'm Josh Turner and you've been listening to Making It1 you can find me at connect365.io