Archives for December 2009

The Vivid Vision in Action

42bAt 1-800-GOT-JUNK? we did a great job of making the Vivid Vision (formerly Painted Picture) come to life.  Brian Scudamore was the visionary who would write down what he saw ‘in the future.’  He handed me the first Vivid Vision in October 2000, after spending some time sitting on his parent’s dock on Bowen Island. It was a vision of what the company would look and feel like by the end of 2003.  He didn’t know how he’d build what he saw that day from the dock, but he wrote down everything he could conjure up. He knew if he could see it, we could build it.

In later versions of Brian’s Vivid Visions, he began asking employees and Franchise Partners what they saw in the future.  Some of their ideas got baked into the Vivid Visions created for the years 2006 and 2009.  Many of their visions were placed in large vinyl letters on what we called our ‘Can You Imagine?’ wall.  We included brief descriptions of our ideas for the future, too. For example, at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, we called our office the ‘Junktion,’ and envisioned it becoming a famous tourist destination,  an idea generated by Katie Dunsworth.  Then there was Lindsay Peroff’s vision of seeing our company on Dr. Phil, which she later made a reality.

What we proved was that the visualization techniques taught by an ex-Olympic and sports psychologist were as applicable to business as they were to high performance athletes. We didn’t worry about how, and instead, focused on the end result, the vision of success.  By building on that concept, and involving employees, we enlisted people to help us create that vision, and make it a reality.  Then we figured out how to reverse engineer it to make it happen. As a business coach and mentor, I help CEOs create a very goal oriented Vivid Vision for their business. Scroll down here to read my Vivid Vision for BackPocket COO.  Do you have yours in writing yet?

For more information on this topic, check out: Building a World Class Culture and Leadership at 100MPH.

Get Stuff Done Remotely

Outsource Labor Save MoneyI coach CEOs to get stuff done properly for cheap by using websites like,, or Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.  Or check out an awesome new service called Outsourcing Things Done.

It’s really cool how they work: You post the projects or work you need done and people around the world bid on the project, offering their price to get the work done for you. They even provide references and samples for past work they’ve done. Over the last year alone, I’ve had research done by someone living in Karachi, Pakistan, for $2 an hour. I needed to get some contact info, addresses, and information related to venture capital firms and angel investors in Washington state and British Columbia. It would’ve taken me all week to do it and an employee would have cost too much when this person was thrilled to do it for $120 in total.  And the output rocked.

I needed to have all of my training DVDs from speaking events transcribed so I used the transcription services of someone in Sweden for $8 an hour.  I also had some media interviews that produced content I thought could be useful, so I simply emailed her the files and she typed them all up in Word for me. Many transcription firms used to charge $75-125 an hour for this. Her 20 hours of work was a little more than $125 in total.

I’ve used virtual assistants around the world to work on miscellaneous tasks for me. Even CEOs that I mentor are already starting to outsource work they used to delegate to employees. It just doesn’t make sense to delegate work to people for three to ten times what it costs us when you can outsource using services like this. As long as you’re getting the right quality out of these services, it’s worthwhile.

Laptops Rule

see_thru_laptops2Nine years ago I gave laptops to all of my employees. The productivity gains that happened when they took their laptops home with them to work for a couple extra hours a week was outstanding – totally worth the investment.

As a business coach, I suggest that you should get everyone in your business using a laptop.  My MacBook Air has a 6-hour battery life and I can use it on flights, in the dark, and turn anywhere into my office.

Paper notes are a waste of time and resources.  It drives me nuts watching employees sit in meetings handwriting all their notes, knowing many will go back to their desks to ‘type everything up.’

Some people don’t like others using laptops in meetings because they worry that they are checking email.  A great little system to prevent that from happening is through the use of a ‘fine jar’.  Allow anyone to call someone else out if they suspect them to be using email.  If the person is checking email they put $2 into the fine jar.  If they weren’t checking email, then the person calling them out pays $2.  People will learn to not only avoid checking email in meetings, but to trust that using a laptop in meetings is actually hyper-effective and not a needless distraction.

pic: makezine

Leaning Out

Leaning out of car

The old adage of, ‘hire for attitude, train for skill’ doesn’t work anymore.  A good attitude can’t overcome a lack of skills, and when you’re growing at 100% revenue growth a year, you need the people that will get the job done right away.

What should you do? I coach and mentor CEOs to go attract those who have proven skills and a personality.

Brad and Geoff Smart wrote an awesome book called Topgrading It’s one of the best systems for interviewing candidates and determining why you should bring someone into your organization. Topgrading recommends ‘leaning out’ two years into the future with every prospective candidate and determining what they have to achieve for you to be happy that you hired them at the end of those two years. Once you’ve started this ‘scorecard’ for the role, construct your job description around the milestones your candidate needs to have achieved after two years.

Once you have a tight job description, then you can interview against it to make sure that candidates have what it takes.

For information on this topic, check out: Leadership at 100MPH.

Best Twitter Tools for Business

64bTwitter has become an invaluable PR tool for all business owners. It has been one of the greatest online tools where we can get a good quality yet free PR. It is very easy to use and is really effective in reaching out to your target market.

Last week one of my friends and former co-workers Andrea Baxter and now Founder of Bratface marketing and I were talking about Twitter.  We agreed that a list of Twitter resources always seems elusive for companies.  So here it is…

Before you get all the Twitter tools though – make sure you are following her on Twitter (@andreabaxter) she has some great marketing info you’ll want to have and share.

Now – lets put these to the test…

The Basics
1. – you sign up for the account here (but who isn’t on Twitter yet?).
2. – follow me here if you’d like – highly recommended 🙂
3. (disbanded) – great place to see where you rank, to find others to follow etc. – Add some from the Twitter elite who interest you such as your favourite brands, influencers, newsworthy publications, politicians etc.  You can also search terms here and add people who rank highly on those terms as well.
4. (disbanded)– you can use this site to automatically follow people who follow you (this is the fastest way to start adding followers) but it’s not for everyone. If you choose to keep your follow list low, then this is not the app for you, but why wouldn’t you?

Searching & Tracking Stuff On Twitter
1. – you can use this to see what’s happening on Twitter – think Google for Tweets (messages people send out).
2. – another great way to see what’s buzzing on Twitter.
3.  (disbanded) – a good desktop client for Twitter – personally I use TweetDeck. Hootsuite is also great.
4. (disbanded) – a great way to search for keywords – and send replies to people – i.e. those talking about your company or product. Great tracking & marketing tool!
5. (disbanded) – this is where you register your company – so people can find you if your twitter name is your personal name, you can also find companies to follow here too.
6. (disbanded) – one of my recent favs where you can see what’s hot on Twitter (think Digg for Twitter).

Advanced Stuff
1. (disbanded) – you can upload photos to Twitter from here – great way to share your story…in images to add something extra to your tweets.
2. – for the advanced tweet-a-holic and if you really start getting into it, you can see tons of stats.
3. (disbanded) – how to upload an audio tweet. Use this to upload radio interviews and podcasts you are on. Get my PR DVD to learn how to land Free Press.
4. (disbanded) and are both great ways to automatically a) shorten URLS and b) send them out as tweets. A MUST have tool to fit into the 140 character count. You should also have these features available on your desktop application (Hootsuite, Seesmic Desktop and TweetDeck).
5. (disbanded) – basic stats

PR People on Twitter
1. – journalists on Twitter if you’re a bit of a media junkie.

Put these in action and leave comments here of others I should add to the list or try out too.

How I Rebuilt My Destroyed Confidence

61bI’ve never been a good student.  I got about 64% in both high school & university.  I’ve never felt smart.  I’ve often felt like I have no idea what I’m really doing.  And I often feel like I must be doing something wrong otherwise how could it be so easy?  My mind would spin with thoughts of ‘How could someone that was always told by the education system they were a C or D student actually be smart enough to really teach CEOs how to grow companies?’

Something started to change for me about 6 years ago, when I was already 38 years old.  I was taking a course trying to learn how to get better as a leader and I came across my ‘unique ability’.  I realized that I’m awesome at using quick intuitive alternatives to help CEOs reverse engineer their dreams.  Like architects help homeowners put their ideas into blueprints and get them built into a home, I help CEOs get the ideas out of the heads, and help them build the teams and systems to make their dreams happen.  To me it feels easy.  To me I wonder why they’d pay me to do what feels so simple.  And to me I keep thinking I’d do it for free – but my kids like to eat and I like expensive toys.  So I gotta charge for it. From there, I became a more effective business coach.

Once I learned what I was great at, I began eliminating everything else from my day-to-day.  I began to focus on finding clients that fit me.  I found that I work best with young, fun, entrepreneurial, high viral, high growth, pre-public companies.  My ideas resonate with them.  They get huge value from my systems.  And they feel like I’m cheap compared to paying for someone with my skills full time.

The more time I spend in my ‘unique ability’ now coaching & mentoring CEOs and the teams running entrepreneurial companies the more I feel I’m on my game.  Malcolm Gladwell said a person needs at least 10,000 hours to be an expert.  I’ve been coaching or building entrepreneurial companies for 60,000 hours (45,000 hours alone in the franchising space).  No wonder I’ve more than maintained my nerve.  My company is growing very fast and I’m helping tons of great companies globally with my coaching programs & training DVDs on leading and building companies.

I realize now that the teachers and professors who told me I didn’t know what I was doing had never built a company.  They’d never run great teams of people to lead. They had however perhaps unknowingly destroyed my nerve and confidence for years upon years.  Five years ago I started writing down the things I’d accomplished each week.  Weekly writing down my successes like this helped re-build my confidence.  Now companies that I helped build and lead are case studies in textbooks and are studied at MBA programs around the USA & Canada.   And last year I was the highest rated lecturer at MIT’s Entrepreneurial Masters Program.  It wasn’t easy but I have definitely got my nerve back.

A quote I read by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910 has given me the confidence now that I’m smart and perhaps my teachers weren’t as smart as I thought…

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement.”

For information on this topic, check out: Leadership at 100MPH.

Step 1 To Landing Free PR

How do you get free PR?

Here is the first step:

1: Know Your Angle

There are some important questions to ask yourself in order to determine your angle: What is your story idea, and how will you pitch it to writers?

When you started your business and tried to explainit to your spouse, your banker, or your parents, you probably told them a story about how your great idea came about. Those stories–whatever you were saying to them to convince them about your great idea–consisted of three or four angles that make your business stand out.

·      “I’m going to be successful because I’m a female entrepreneur.”

·      “I’m married and I run this company with my spouse.”

·      “I’m going to become successful because I quit my job to do this.”

·      “I dropped out of school to pursue this business idea.”

Any of those explanations is a potential story.  When you read through newspapers and magazines from now on, be certain to read with two different “lenses”: one that reads for enjoyment, and one that identifies potential angles that reporters use to create interesting stories. By engaging yourself in this way, you’ll start to see potential angles everywhere.

Potential angles could include:

·      Your sales approach or strategy

·      Your advertising and marketing methods

·      The systems you use to run your business

·      Your product’s features

·      How you use IT to run your business

·      Your personal entrepreneur story

·      Lessons from the edge when you almost lost your company

·      Charity projects or efforts to give back to your community

·      Stories about how you created your signature corporate culture

·      Strategic alliances you’ve established

·      Stories about specific employees

I’ll be posting a worksheet with more specifics soon. Subscribe to my RSS feed or follow me on Twitter to get notified when I do.

For more information on this topic, check out: Generating Free PR.

How To Be Successful in 2010


As a business coach, I believe the number one thing that every company can do in 2010 to be successful is focus.  Pure and simple focus.

Too many employees and companies are off plan, stuck in email, wasting time in poorly planned meetings, and chasing after big shiny objects instead of getting hyper focused.

It’s about getting the critical few things done, not the important many.  It’s not rocket science. Focused effort will beat everything else, hands down, every time.  Prove me wrong 😉

I coach & mentor CEOs in 5 countries.  And last year I was the top rated lecturer at MIT’s Entrepreneurial Masters Program.  I’m certainly not the smartest guy out there but I can get more done than almost anyone due to one thing.  Focus.  And when I’m not focused I’m pretty useless just like everyone else.

Shortcuts = Greater Productivity

shortcutsYou may not have a deep love for technology, but you better get used to it.  CEOs that resist changing will be left in the dust even quicker as we continue integrating tech into our lives. If the rate of change outside your business is greater than the rate of change inside your business, then you’re out of business.  Period.

As a business mentor, I recommend you and your employees learn one tech shortcut each week.  Here are shortcuts to Outlook, Gmail and Apple, but these are just the beginning.  Shortcuts and quick, savvy web navigation have proven to be faster and increase office productivity.

If something tech related feels complicated or expensive, it probably is. Look for simple ‘tech hacks’ via bloggers and Twitter search to help you before you try and figure it out.  ‘R&D’ (rip off and duplicate) should be your mantra when finding tech solutions to make your company faster.


Meetings Suck: Turning One Of The Most Loathed Elements Of Business Into One Of The Most Valuable

We all know that meetings suck, right?

You hear it all the time. It’s the one thing that almost everyone in business can agree on.

Except it’s not actually true… 

Meetings don’t suck.

We just suck at running meetings.   

When done right, meetings not only work, they make people and companies better.

In Meetings Suck, world renowned business expert and growth guru Cameron Herold teaches you how to use focused, time effective meetings to help you and your company soar.

This book shows you immediately actionable, step-by-step systems that ensure that you and everyone in your organization improves your meetings, right away.

In the process, you’ll turn meetings that suck into meetings that work. 

In life, we always hear about people who’ve made huge decisions from their gut – without data.Today, I want you to make a decision, not only from your gut, but also from some data.  A decision that is only $12 per employee but will be priceless for your business.

Right now, your gut is telling you something is wrong with your company’s meetings.  You KNOW everyone complains about meetings.

People HATE going to them, they HATE running them, and they really have NO idea which meetings are truly necessary but they hold meetings simply because they think that is what they SHOULD do.

Even some of the smartest CEOs in the world complain about meetings – Elon Musk publicly told employees at Tesla & SpaceX to walk out of meetings if they weren’t being run properly.

I sent Elon a message saying that wasn’t going to fix anything – the key is to fix the root of the problem – NOT continue to ignore why meetings suck.

A Meeting is – Any phone call, video call or occasion where 2 or more people meet to discuss or work-through office topics.

Most employees on average spend 1-2 hours per day in meetings.

And likely, none of those employees – front-line staff or leaders – have had any training on how to attend meetings or participate in them, LET ALONE How to RUN THEM.

Consider this…

If the Average employee spends just 1 Hour per day in meetings – that’s 1/8th of their time.

If the Average employee earns $50,000 per year.

And they’re spending 1/8th of their time in meetings, that means you’re paying $6,250 dollars per year for just ONE employee to attend meetings.

The reality is, employees spend 1/8th of their time – and 1/8th of your company’s payroll – doing something they have literally NO idea how to do.

The Reality is…

95% of employees are booking & leading meetings – and they have NEVER been trained on how to run them.

95% of employees have had NO training on how to show up and participate in the meetings they attend daily.

And 95% of employees and companies have no idea what meetings are even necessary to hold.

Meetings CAN be hugely effective – IF you know how to run them

Meetings don’t SUCK, we just SUCK at running meetings. 

Investing $15 per employee – to help ensure the $50,000 a year you spend on them is an obvious and easy choice.

This could be the most impactful $15 you’ll ever spend and will save the company’s money, time and resources instantly.

Buying a copy of Meetings Suck for 100% of your employees and having them read it this month will have a huge impact on your company’s success.


Free PR: How To Get Chased By The Press Without Hiring A PR Firm

Public relations has always been an essential part of doing business which is probably why you’re shelling out big money to an outside PR firm. But the truth is that you don’t need them. You already have all the necessary tools in-house to do as good a job as the so-called experts. 

Cameron Herold and Adrian Salamunovic have taught thousands of company execs how to exploit free media coverage and ditch these expensive, often ineffective outsiders. 

Cameron & Adrian have also built in-house PR teams, spent decades learning how to generate Free PR and how to leverage public relations to complement their sales and marketing strategy. 

In Free PR, you’ll learn how the media world operates while you gain invaluable insider knowledge and actionable advice on how to: 

  • Build your own in-house PR team
  • Provide effective interviews
  • Score great media coverage for free with just a few easy steps 

Landing public relations coverage for yourself and your company is a powerful tool to help elevate your personal brand. PR is easier to generate than marketing, PR is easier to leverage than marketing and PR is more cost effective than marketing. In other words, Public Relations is more critical than ever in growing your brand and your business. 

You’ve got more passion, commitment, a larger stake, and a deeper understanding of your business than any outside PR firm could ever have. So stop wasting money and take the reins yourself.  Learn the secrets to landing TONS of Free PR for your company.

What they’re saying:

“I think PR is the core for promoting any business. Public relations acquires customers! That’s what’s cool about this book.”

– Kevin O’Leary,  Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank

“The ultimate guidebook for those looking to get press, grow their brand, and get in front of the masses. Free PR is the roadmap you’ve been looking for.”

– Peter Shankman, Founder, Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

“Adrian and Cameron will show you the secrets of getting massive exposure for your business. This book is packed with actionable insights from two guys that actually know how to to do it.”

– Dan Martell,  Serial Entrepreneur & Investor (, Unbounce)

“I told Cameron to write the book on generating free PR. I’m excited to see that he’s finally sharing his secrets with the world. This is a must read for any entrepreneurial company and marketing team.”

– Verne Harnish, Founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)


Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool For Aligning Your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future

Many corporations have slick, flashy mission statements that ultimately do little to motivate employees and less to impress customers, investors, and partners. 

But there is a way to share your excitement for the future of your company in a clear, compelling, and powerful way and entrepreneur and business growth expert Cameron Herold can show you how. 

Vivid Vision is a revolutionary tool that will help owners, CEOs, and senior managers create inspirational, detailed, and actionable three-year mission statements for their companies. In this easy-to-follow guide, Herold walks organization leaders through the simple steps to creating their own Vivid Vision, from brainstorming to sharing the ideas to using the document to drive progress in the years to come. 

By focusing on mapping out how you see your company looking and feeling in every category of business, without getting bogged down by data and numbers or how it will happen, Vivid Vision creates a holistic road map to success that will get all of your teammates passionate about the big picture. 

Your company is your dream, one that you want to share with your staff, clients, and stakeholders. Vivid Vision is the tool you need to make that dream a reality.


The Miracle Morning for
Entrepreneurs: Elevate Your SELF to
Elevate Your BUSINESS


A step-by-step guide to enjoying the roller-coaster ride of growth — while getting the most out of life as an entrepreneur. A growth-focused approach: The book is divided into three sections, which cover planning for fast growth, building a company for fast growth, and leading for fast growth. Each topic the author covers — from creating a vision for the company’s future to learning how to generate free PR for a developing company — is squarely focused on the end goal: doubling the size of the entrepreneur’s company in three years or less. A down-to-earth action plan: Herold’s experienced-based advice never gets bogged down in generalities or theory. Instead, he offers a wealth of practical tips, including: How to design meetings for maximum efficiency; How to hire top-quality talent; How to grow in particularly tough markets; How to put together a board of advisors — even for a smaller company; How even the busy entrepreneur can achieve a work/life balance.


Hal Elrod’sThe Miracle Morning has helped redefine the mornings and the lives of millions of readers since 2012. Since then, careers have been launched, goals have been met, and dreams have been realized, all through the power of the Miracle Morning’s six Life S.A.V.E.R.S.


Now The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs brings you these principles in a whole new light—alongside the Entrepreneurial Elevation Principles and the Entrepreneur’s Elevation Skills. These are essential skills that you need to create a successful business and personal life. Cameron Herold— Bestselling Author and a widely-respected expert on entrepreneurial mindset—brings his wisdom and insight to you using Hal Elrod’s powerful Miracle Morning framework.


The principles and skills you’ll find in this book will help you to channel your passion and achieve balance in a remarkable new way. – Learn why mornings matter more than you think – Learn how to master your own self-leadership and accelerate your personal development – Learn how to manage your energy—physical, mental, and emotional – Learn how to implement Hal Elrod’s invaluable Life S.A.V.E.R.S. in your daily routine – And much more… You’re already an entrepreneur. Now discover how to take your success to the next level by first taking yourself to the next level. The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs is your roadmap to masterfully building an empire with a powerful vision, utilizing your areas of personal genius, with the right team at your side.

Start giving your business and your life the very best opportunities for success, right now.

A step-by-step guide to enjoying the roller-coaster ride of growth — while getting the most out of life as an entrepreneur. A growth-focused approach: The book is divided into three sections, which cover planning for fast growth, building a company for fast growth, and leading for fast growth. Each topic the author covers — from creating a vision for the company’s future to learning how to generate free PR for a developing company — is squarely focused on the end goal: doubling the size of the entrepreneur’s company in three years or less. A down-to-earth action plan: Herold’s experienced-based advice never gets bogged down in generalities or theory. Instead, he offers a wealth of practical tips, including: How to design meetings for maximum efficiency; How to hire top-quality talent; How to grow in particularly tough markets; How to put together a board of advisors — even for a smaller company; How even the busy entrepreneur can achieve a work/life balance.