What Success Looks Like in Nebraska With Harrington

What Success Looks Like: Not  All Business Paths Are the Same

What does success look like for others? Is there just one unique path to achieving business success in the state of Nebraska? 

We often believe that to become a successful entrepreneur, we must follow the same steps as others, but this is a complete lie!

In this Midwest Mindset episode, Shane Harrington from Club Omaha joins Matt Tompkins to discuss his success story and how he overcame, against all odds, all the challenges along the way. 

What Success Looks Like in Nebraska

What Success Looks Like for a Business Owner

Did you know that, of the roughly 32 million companies in the United States, only 6% of them are ever going to reach $1 million in revenue? 

Of course, success is not only measured by money but also in happiness and satisfaction with your occupation, but it’s sure nice to have a million dollars, or more, in revenue. 

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For Shane Harrington, success meant breaking everybody’s expectations of what an entrepreneur was, redefining the industry, and finding happiness in what he did. 

Success for business owners comes in different shapes and colors, and there’s no set-in-stone way to achieve it. 

Shane Harrington’s History 

For Shane Harrington, success came a little differently. Operating in the adult industry, a realm that still carries a taboo for many, has presented its fair share of challenges.

You see, Shane’s childhood wasn’t all that easy, with no one believing in him; in fact, it was quite the opposite. He even got voted most likely to go to prison in a school.

Growing up, Shane was led to believe that success only came by following the established path – going to college, doing things by the book, and settling for a modest business. 

However, he soon realized that life had much more to offer and that this path isn’t for all; that there are other protocols and ways to achieve triumph and make money.

Club Omaha Shane Harrington

The First Million

One of Shane’s biggest blessings was also one of the scariest moments of their business life. 

The story begins with his ex-wife posting spicy pictures on an adult website, with his help, of course. 

This was going great; he had the money and the comfort he needed at the moment; however, when his ex-wife published a nude picture in a bar, this really started to go south.

As you can imagine, this caused quite a stir, and the citizens of Lincoln tried to find her for public nudity. At that moment, it may have seemed like everything was falling apart.

The Beginning of Club Omaha

Amidst the chaos and controversy, something incredible happened: people started calling left and right, eager to get an interview with Shane and to see more content. 

This was the turning point, the spark that started it all. From this point on, Shane decided that it was time to start his entrepreneurial journey and continue down the path of adult content. 

Soon, with his newfound success, he was quick to achieve his first million dollars in this business. The rest is history. 

Make the News

If we can learn something from Shane’s history, it’s that success can come when you least expect it and being prepared to seize the momentum is crucial. 

For Shane, this meant understanding how to navigate the attention his case was receiving in the media.

So, how can you make the news? What guarantees visibility and recognition?

Sex Sells

While it may not be suitable for every business, Shane’s experience in the adult industry demonstrated that tapping into a controversial or taboo subject can generate attention. 

Nebraska Business success

Go Against the Grain

To truly stand out and make headlines, businesses often need to think outside the box and challenge the status quo.

Stand Out

Differentiating yourself from the competition is critical for gaining visibility. Whether it’s through innovative products or services, exceptional customer experiences, or a compelling brand story, finding ways to stand out will make you more newsworthy.

You don’t need to be as wild and out there as Shane; this is what worked for him; the important thing to make the news is to shine a light on the attributes of a business that make it different from the rest. 

What Success Looks Like When Delegating

What makes a successful and long lasting business? How can you make sure that your initial success only keeps growing?

Shane learned that delegation was an essential part of business success.  This means finding, training, and working with people who are the best at what they do.

You want the best players you can find for your team, but it’s not just about their skills. It’s about how well they work together. 

You know what they say, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Your team is everything; they will be the ones to do the tasks you don’t have time for, and you want to make sure they do them right.

Remember, success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and a great team to build a business that lasts. 

So, focus on finding the right people to delegate to, treating them well, and working together towards your goals. That’s the real secret to a lasting business.

Shane Harrington and Two Brothers creative_ success in business

What Success Looks Like When Changing the Industry

One of the keys to becoming a successful entrepreneur in Nebraska, or everywhere else, is not just doing good business but having a motivation and a desire to help and change for the better. 

Shane harbored a vision: to transform the industry into a better place for all women who were a part of it, a safe space where they are now able to work, earn good money, achieve their careers and dreams, and invest in their future and their lives. 

Learn Everything

To truly be a successful leader and entrepreneur, you need a comprehensive understanding of the industry. This meant learning about every role, every process, and every challenge.

From entry-level positions to top management, Shane sought to understand the intricacies of everyone’s work. He observed, asked questions, and learned from the best in the business.

The goal is to gain insight into the operations of the industry. After all, how could he lead effectively without fully understanding his industry?

Authenticity in Marketing being creative

What Success Looks Like for You: We Are Ready to Help

Ready to achieve business success with great marketing? We are here to help you craft the perfect business visibility and success strategy.

Download our free  6-step Marketing Plan pdf. 

The Easy Box

On a budget? Don’t Worry! With the Easy Box, you give us only 30 minutes of your time, and we give you 30 days’ worth of content. 

Forget all about long hours and marketing failure; this is marketing made easy. 

Midwest Mindset: How Shane Harrington Built a Business

Shane Harrington Built a Business

This is a written Transcription for the Midwest Mindset episode: What Success Looks Like in Nebraska

What Success Looks Like in Nebraska

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

How Shane Harrington Built a Thriving Business Against All Odds

Matt: If I told you that there was a business that generates over $2 million annually, and whose success was built on old school grassroots marketing tactics, you’d probably want to give them all the credit in the world, right?

I mean, this is a huge success story. Unfortunately, many people don’t give the credit that’s due because this business operates in the sex industry. Dun dun dun. Oh, yes. Today we’re joined by Shane Harrington, the owner of Club Omaha.

Now Shane has built an incredibly successful business from scratch, from nothing. Today we are going to give him the credit that’s due, and he’s going to share with us the ways in which he built his business successfully. There are roughly 32 million companies in the United States, of which 81% have no employees.

They’re all solopreneurs, so that means only 6% of all companies nationwide are ever going to reach $1 million in revenue. Of those companies, only about one out of ten are 0.5% of all companies nationwide ever make it to $10 million in revenue.

If your company or my business or anybody’s in the state of Nebraska hit these goals and achieve these accomplishments, they would be celebrated.

Matt: Um, we would be asked repeatedly, what’s the secret to your success? How did you do it? That’s not necessarily how things have played out for our guest on today’s podcast, uh, Shane Harrington.

Uh, I feel like you are a man of mystery. Um, I’m excited to have a conversation with you today about entrepreneurial ism and your your, your business traps the success that you’ve built.

You can’t deny, you know, and I look at it on paper if if it was no name attached to it and no industry, no line of work and just said, hey, here are the straight numbers.

Here’s how long we’ve been in business, here’s how much money we’ve made. Here’s our success story. Anybody would say, man, that’s incredible.

And there it’s all legal. Nothing. Yeah, nothing wrong with what you’re doing, right? However, it has this, uh, this doubt cast on it. I mean, is that, like, tough to live with that a little bit, or is it just. Is that fuel for the fire, uh, to just kind of stick it to the man, flip them, flip the bird. Just keep moving forward.

Shane: Uh, fuel for the fire? Definitely. Yeah, yeah. I mean, at first I took it personal. Uh, the posts, the comments, the, uh, friends that I lost because of the business I was in that chose not to hang out with me.

Some just, uh, ghosted me. Some were, uh, had a conversation like, well, you know, with my job and the church and, you know, I, you know, if we were hanging out, it’d be bad for my, you know, growth at my company or this or that.

Um, so at first, you know, I was a little butthurt, I won’t lie. Uh, but then it kind of became a me against the world.

And when it’s you against the world, but it literally is you against the world, you find ways to fight and persevere.

Because not only do you want to prove, um, your friends wrong, you want to prove everyone who is commenting and hating on you and says you’re this, that, or whatever.

Well, the proof is in the pudding. If you can be successful, nobody can really argue with that.

Matt: I mean, 51% of all businesses in the United States will fail in their first 3 to 5 years. So majority of businesses are just going to fail first 3 to 5 years. And all these statistics that I’m rattling off here today, they’re staggering. It is an uphill climb. It is a battle to get to that top of that mountain. Right?

Yeah. And to do it and then do it again and again and again and do it on a level that I think very few, uh, businesses see in our state here in the Midwest especially.

And then to not get that credit, that that was really my big motivator for initially wanting to have you on. Um, when we started this podcast, um, the, uh, partner at the time that we were, uh, having on the show opposed to you being on the show, I believe it, uh, due to some, uh, religious, uh, you know, beliefs.

And so it kind of got put on, on hold. And I’m glad you’re here today, because I do feel like it is. It is unfair. It is unfair that we judge men and women, especially in this industry, who are not doing anything wrong.

They’re doing it by choice. They make a great living. It is. It is. Sex is something everybody hates talking about. And I feel like.

Shane: Everybody loves.

Matt: But everybody loves and everybody’s obsessed with it. Here’s a here’s a number that will blow your mind. And I want to ask you how you built this.

So correct me if I’m wrong. Over 50,000, um, male is your mailing list or 50,000 subscribers on your website? What’s this, like 50,000 number, uh, that you’ve built up? It’s like a subscription. Yeah.

Shane: So we did a membership. Um, and people would fill out a membership form and subscribe. And I think actually, through all of my clubs, we reached nearly 100,000. But at Club Omaha, it was 50,000 when we stopped doing our our membership. But still.

Matt: Like, you know, how much I would give for a 50,000 member subscription list. Yeah. I mean, how much would any business give for 50,000 members of their own tribe? Yeah, because, you know.

Shane: Like you said, it’s 50,000 of your people. You can buy mailing lists anywhere. Oh, yeah. Yeah, most of the people on that list, maybe 2% of them actually are interested in the product you’re selling. Go get us. We have them all. Yeah.

Matt: Go get 50 people to sign up voluntarily for something. Yeah. Related to your business. And then. Yeah. Try and. Take that to 50,000. So when you first started out, I know, um, you are notorious for making the news, which we’ll get to in a second. Um, I’d like to, I guess maybe ask you this to start. Like, why do people love to hate you so much?

Like, what do you think it is? Is it your set?

Is it your success? Is it the fact that you are successful despite all the haters that you won’t back down? Like, what is it that just you mentioned your name and people like? I mean, I used to think I had a face that angered people, but man, I.

Shane: Mean, no, no, my.

Matt: Name, Shane Harrington. And it’s like, yeah, it changed some people going.

Shane: I think it’s a combination of everything. You know, I was, um, I gotten a lot of trouble in high school. I was voted most likely to end up in the Nebraska State Penitentiary.

So prison was where people thought I was going to go. I ended up being the first person in my graduating class of, like, 732 people to make $1 million. So, um, I wasn’t supposed to make it. I didn’t have family money. I grew up poor. I didn’t go to college. No one loaned me any money to do my business.

Um, and I think that that upset people because the status quo is, is that you do these steps to become successful, and you don’t deviate from them because they’re they’re pre put in our minds from when we’re children and we go to, you know, elementary school and middle school and high school and then off to college that you have to take these steps and follow this protocol and be a good person in their mind.

Them being the church, them being, uh, the people who followed that protocol.

Matt: They have to sign off.

Shane: They have to approve. Yeah, it has to be to allow it.

Matt: It’s a control thing. Yeah.

Shane: Because when I made a lot of money the first time, we we, my wife and I had bought a house in Wilderness Ridge Golf Course in Lincoln, Nebraska, and we lived next to, like, judges and and all the well to do, you know, uh, had a Corvette and the license plate said paid for because I was proud I was I was able to write a check for a brand new Corvette.

And I remember getting my mail one day and one of the older gentleman that lived in our, you know, house area, he looked at the license plate and he said, paid for. How’d you do that?

And it was just like, wow. Like, it really is like that. Um, you know, he’s probably looking back, maybe 68 years old. I was maybe 31 or 2. And so to him, I clearly didn’t follow the correct protocol.

And it upset him. Um, you know, so I think that’s, you know, you know, number one. And then number two, obviously, sex, um, people don’t want someone to speak freely about it, to encourage people to speak about it, to engage in it, to have fun with it. And those are my two things, I would guess.

Matt: And sex is a topic I feel frustrated on a personal level. Um, I feel like probably eight years, ten years of my like my prime years, my 20s were just wasted because there was never a conversation about it.

There was no sex ed class in high school. Small town Nebraska. Uh, parents didn’t have a to date, and thankfully they haven’t brought it up like recently, like today. No conversation about it whatsoever. We didn’t have the internet like Pam and Tom and Lily. The sex tape was like the first introduction to that when I was like a senior in high school. And so and we were like.

Shane: Wow, yeah, you.

Matt: Know, we’re like, oh my God. Like there was no roadmap to follow. Um, there’s a lot more information out there for good or bad for kids today online, on the internet. But it really is frustrating that we can’t just talk about it, because I think that that’s what shuts things down. Um, you know, you say, okay, well, I’m a dancer,

I’m a professional dancer. I’m, I’m an escort or whatever. You work as a sex worker. People don’t even know what that means. I mean, there are a lot of legitimate workers in the sex industry who are just. They just sit behind a camera at their computer all day long, right? And they just produce content.

And so but there’s this stigma that comes with it was I’m curious with your, um, your entrepreneurial start, did you, um, was that related to sex or like, what was your first how did you make your first million?

Shane: Uh, first million. Yeah. Was, uh, on the internet website. Okay. An adult website. Um, my, uh. Ex-wife. Um, she became, you know, kind of a big deal in Lincoln. Omaha, Nebraska. Um, she I was able to place her in some magazines, and so she started getting a following.

Uh, my research told me that, you know, we need a place to send people so they know what she’s doing next. I thought simple, like, oh, she’ll probably do another magazine. We can promote that. Linked up with someone who said, no, you need an adult website like you. You need to create content. I didn’t even know how to barely turn on a computer. Like, what year.

Matt: Was this, by the.

Shane: Way? This would have been in 1999. Oh, wow. Okay, so so like the the beginning of.

Matt: Like AOL chat room days. Yeah.

Shane: Oh, yeah. Dial up internet. You couldn’t you know, sometimes it took 15 minutes to get the connection, you know, the whole bit. So yeah. Yeah. So that was it.

But we got in before anyone did. Um, we were able to build, uh, at the time and still to this day, actually the most successful single girl website in the world, um, thanks to, in part to the church’s, um, and the city of Lincoln who found out about this website and attacked us with everything they had. Um, and they ended up ticketing my ex-wife for being nude in a public place. But the catch was, they actually didn’t catch her nude in the public place.

They saw a picture on her website in a bar in downtown Lincoln, and they gave her a they’re.

Matt: Really trying to stretch there.

Shane: Well, the thing was, is it was the scariest thing that ever happened, but also the biggest blessing we ever received, because here’s my ex-wife calling me from work saying, the police are here, they’re giving me a ticket. They want to take me to jail for public nudity. Those pictures that we took at the, you know, bar downtown, it was Mars Bar was the name. It’s not in business anymore, but, uh, um, we freaked out.

We’re thinking about closing this thing down and next thing you know, we’re getting calls from every newspaper across the world, not just in the United States. They said you’re the first person to ever be ticketed from a picture off a website. This is a huge constitutional issue. All these law firms started calling, and Jay Leno is talking about it has a it’s one of his jokes of the night because he has these jokes and he has a joke about her. She’s the little park going across the bottom of CNN and we’re like, Holy shit, what just happened?

And from that moment on, it just it just just exploded. And then we just work outworked everybody. We just we didn’t stop. It was like, we accomplished this the next, the next, the next. And we just kept going and ran until millions of dollars just came rolling in.

Matt: And when when you started out, when you had like the idea for the website before the, the publicity kind of jump started, everything was that like just something you were naturally into? Like, how did you have the foresight to say, you know what, internet’s going to be a thing.

The dial up isn’t going to suck forever. We’re going to be past the 56, uh, you know, was it 56,000 K, uh, modems or whatever? Uh, back in the day, what was it that made you say, this is where I’m gonna I’m gonna invest and dedicate my time?

Shane: Well, I’d watched I’d watched a show. I don’t even remember what channel it was, but I’d watched a show, and it was this guy who was explaining how the internet was going to be like the the next big thing, like the biggest thing ever, like, you know, and he really hyped it up. It got me a little bit excited. I thought he was dreaming a little bit because, you know, look where we are. I mean, who would have imagined?

Um, but I knew that. She was building up fans, and there was no way that people were going to able to find us, connect with us, connect with her.

And so there had to be somewhere where we could go and create. All I was creating in my mind was very simply a landing page. I was just going to create a landing, a Melissa landing page so that they could go and see next magazine here, next feature, you know, strip club here or whatever it is. I never thought of it as a way to make millions of dollars. I never I’d never signed up for adult websites.

They were there was only a handful of them, even on the web at that time. So for me, um, you know, yeah, I tried to, you know, obviously look at porn and, you know, do my thing, you know, like everybody else did. But I never thought, you know, like putting a website up for my wife was was even a big deal. I thought once I got her in that first magazine, I thought I was the man.

I was like, whoa, how did I pull that off? I’m Lincoln, Nebraska, I have no connections. And here is my wife on the ex-wife on the cover of all these magazines. And yeah, it was, uh, was a crazy ride.

Matt: So from what I’m hearing, just to kind of translate this into terms, I think any business owner listening can take away something here. The make the news is a real strategy. Oh, yeah. Like, go make the news is a legitimate strategy. It sounds kind of silly. Um, but go make the news and then stick to the boring shit.

The routines, the mundane, uh, monotonous tasks that, you know, you want to automate day in and day out. Walk us through that. Like, what are your tips? What are Shane Harrington’s tips for making the news?

Like how do you make news headlines in a way that’s going to it because it can’t come across like fake, you know, no. Phony. No, you can’t. Like you’re seeking attention, right. Um, but it has to have a kind of a, a wink and a nod to it. Like, you know, we we understand that. Yeah, this is ridiculous that we’re on the news for this.

Shane: Well, sex sells. And so I think as a business owner, if you’re not afraid of that, push the envelope, you know, don’t break the law, but push it right to that line.

You know, and any business right now could sit, you know, ten scantily clad women out front holding up, you know, signs, and their business would increase exponentially. Now, will they do that? I don’t know, you know, it’s a big risk. You’re, you know, people are going to talk about you, but you want people to talk about.

Matt: I can’t get one woman to, uh, dress scantily clad in my life, you know? I mean, yeah.

Shane: You pay him enough, they’ll they’ll come. Good. You still gotta pay him.

Matt: I don’t have I don’t have that kind of persuasion.

Shane: You also return every email. You know, when we. My ex-wife and I were really big, I remember we would be flown out to Vegas for, like, the internet awards. Um, and we would have to go to our hotel room and people would say, well, where are you going? Well, we have work to do.

Like, what do you mean you have work to do? Got to return emails. And they laughed at us. The other models were like, we don’t return our emails. Our webmaster does. It’s like, no, we return every single email. Personally, we want to know what our customers want, what they need, and we would return hundreds of emails a day. And yeah, it was crazy. Yeah, it took hours, you know, sometimes 4 to 6 hours in a day to return all the emails.

But we knew that we wanted to grow. We wanted to do all the things that nobody else was doing. But most people just don’t want to work. Even business owners are afraid to work. They want to work Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, and then they want to check out. And it’s like I’ve never checked out since

I’ve been a business owner, I don’t. There is no such thing as checking out if I’m on my honeymoon, my vacation, my birthday. I’m returning emails. I’m working still at the same time because that’s how you take your business to that upper echelon that very few people make. Like your statistics said, it’s because people do not want to put in the extra work.

Matt: Yeah, and it’s not just put in the work because I think there’s that’s kind of a misnomer. We think we equate how many hours we worked to the quality of hours we worked.

And I think, you know, you talked about the 4 to 6 hours with the emails, like that was a lot of hours, but you were using those hours efficiently in a way that’s going to net a return on that investment of time. That’s probably 10 or 20 fold because they’re going to be we need lifelong yeah, fans.

Shane: And to learn what was going on. And the only way to really learn how people like your you know, it’s one thing to say, well, people are signing up. They love us, you know, like we’re making money. No, no, no. Why are they signing up? What what picture sets videos do they like the most? What would they like to see? You know what you did type.

Matt: Of things unknowingly. I think you you you built out you almost Mr. Miyagi yourself back in the day here, right? You built out a legit business ideal customer persona. Yeah, that’s what you did, right? You got in the weeds, you listened, you talked with your customer, you got to know them, and you built it out. What are their desires? Their pain points, their needs, their fears. And when you can get into that headspace, you know where they are, where they. Been time where they want to be with where they don’t want to be. Um, that’s where you can really dial in your marketing and how you’re going to approach, you know, selling your products or service, uh, to that individual, that ideal customer of yours.

Shane: Yeah. I wanted to do an automated one, don’t get me wrong. Like, it would have saved me a ton of time, but there’s that. They wouldn’t have made me money because the customer is not dumb. You have to remember like they’re spending their money. People are smart when they spend their money.

They want to be getting a value. And we were the best value for your money because we had the best product and the best customer service, both at the same time. It wasn’t good enough just to have one or the other. You’ve got to have both.

Matt: And I think in today’s, you know, age of AI, it’s very easy. It’s too easy to just let I do everything for you and miss the point entirely. Right?

Because what you’re talking about is you’re giving customers an experience. Yep. Right. And that’s what that’s really the only commodity that there is in life is an experience.

You know, you you can’t take your cars with you. You got the the memories of the experience. Um, and so like as far as putting in those hours though, like I feel like for a lot of entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs I think is they’re sometimes called, I’m working 60, 70, 80 hours a week.

Okay. And then are you having meetings with your staff? Are you setting metrics and measurables? Are you implementing, uh, like we use an iOS here with our company and operating system for your company, uh, to your business to set goals and just measure success over three, five, ten year plan. And they go, no, no, I’m just working a lot of hours and I feel like there’s a lot of people who just want to have a job they can’t get fired from.

They don’t really want to be a successful business owner. And you can see those types. They’re rare. Like those those numbers we mentioned at the beginning of the episode are it is rare to find that I don’t know if it’s that quality of just constantly seeking learning and, uh, just kind of it’s like a relentless, um, approach to just never giving up, which I know you have every entrepreneur that’s successful has that as well.

And the, the, um, as far as the button up, the, the making the news, any other like, secret tips you can give us on like making.

Shane: No, I just I think you press the envelope on every way, shape and form and that’s how you do it. You go against the grain, you know, um, if they tell you to go left, you go right, you know, you do your own thing and then you stand out and people pay attention to you. And for me, the business I’m in, they pay attention to me in a negative light.

So then they’re trying to get me. They’re trying to destroy me, show me up. And so, you know, craziest story I have, I think, from the websites is, um, I got a call one time from the FBI. I was a little scared.

The FBI was calling me like. Like it was the FBI. It wasn’t like a prank call. Like they they they was legit. And and they said, um, you know, uh, we’ll make this quick. Um, your website was reported to us from local law enforcement where you’re from. Um, and there was illegal activities going on on it.

And I said, okay, you know, like, like, okay, like, did we do something wrong? And he said, no, I literally wasted 12 hours of my life going through your entire website. I can’t find any bestiality, any child porn, anything. And I said, well, that’s illegal. We would never have that stuff.

And he said, well, it was reported to us that it was a very serious matter. And so then we have to go and then investigate it. And literally the conversation was 32 seconds or something like that.

He said, I’m sorry, Mr. Harrington, to waste your time, you won’t hear from us again. And I thought somebody really in law enforcement baited the FBI into hopefully because in their mind, these conservative Christians in Lincoln,

they thought that this just people having sex on a, on a website was had to be illegal. And it’s like, no, it’s not illegal. And you just wasted this man’s time. Who could have actually been investigating a website that maybe did have illegal activities on it, and he missed it because of you.

Matt: And I feel like we have to understand where people are coming from. I’ll use this like a minor analogy here when you’re in traffic. I used to get really frustrated, you know, people cutting you off, you get angry, you get the road rage going. Now, it doesn’t get to me because I can kind of take a step back.

And I realize that dude is angry. He’s got road rage, cut me off. Has nothing to do with me. Yeah. Has something to do with something going on in his life? I don’t know, maybe his mom’s in the hospital.

It could be something serious. Things going on. Right. So I have a little bit more empathy and compassion and and and and grace, I guess right under fire. And I think that’s the case here too, with haters on a bigger scale when you have somebody.

When we did our comedy television show Omaha Live, there was a lot of hate, not nearly the hate and vitriol you’ve gotten because it involves sex with your industry.

But, um, you know, you have to consider that these people who are telling you that you’re going to. Hell, this is wrong. You’re the spawn of Satan. You’re all of these things.

Shane: Those were pretty nice, actually. They’re a lot worse than that.

Matt: The, um. That’s all. I cleaning it up here for the podcast.

Um, those very same people are the ones who are often doing far worse things behind their own closed doors. Sure. I mean, how many times have we seen this story play out where it’s the, the the pastor who is, you know, homophobic and then turns out later, he’s actually gay and he’s in the closet and he’s battling his own demons and identity crisis.

And so I think that sex is an easy scapegoat to just whitewash and just get, you know, throw a bunch of hate at. And I don’t think it really solves anything. It doesn’t do anything because it doesn’t help the women who work in the industry.

And it doesn’t help anybody. Um, with the women who work like, give me just an idea of like some of the boring, mundane things we probably don’t know have to happen on a daily basis at, uh, Club Omaha, your strip club, because there has to be just, like, boring, like t.p.s. reports level. Just like.

Shane: You know, for us, um, I don’t know that that I find any of it boring, to be honest with you. For whatever reason, this was the job that I was meant to do. I, my mom and I have had this conversation and she was a very Christian person.

))))))I grew up very Christian, went to Catholic Church and was confirmed and, you know, lived in the church basically for years of my young life. And, and, um, you know, we battled back and forth because, you know, obviously she didn’t like what I did. Um, and then one day she, she obviously, as success grew, bought her a new car, things like that. She, you know, she finally was like, you know what?

I still don’t like what you do, but you’re damn good at it. And my mom doesn’t cuss, so. Damn is like, actually a cuss word for her. So it was her way of, like, letting me know, um, that I accept it because I see that this is who you are. So for me, I don’t really find, um, the the job itself boring in any way. What? I mean, like what?

Matt: I mean by it is like like there has to be a moment. I mean, this is what I’m envisioning in my head, like where you’re sitting there and you have to get a clipboard out. You got, like, your Walgreens, like readers, you know, because we’re probably about the same age. So let’s be honest. You got to I.

Shane: Squint, I haven’t, I haven’t, I haven’t sucked down to the Walgreens readers yet.

Matt: And you have the clipboard you bust out like the, um, the, uh, printed off, you know, uh, Excel form that’s got, like, everybody’s names. So, you know, for, like, attendance for the night and you’re like, all right, um, Barbie here, you know, Mercedes here, I guess I would say, like, there has to be Daytona, whereas. Is she late again? All right. That’s. Yeah.

Shane: We our girls are independent contractors, so they literally can come and go as they please. So there isn’t a lot I don’t have very many employees because none of the girls are actually employed by me. Um, I would say the part I guess that I would dislike the most is just paperwork in general. Um, we’re constantly changing, adjusting, and adapting our contracts to fit, uh, new laws, um, new rules at the club. Um, there’s constantly a girl that’s. Doing something you never thought could be done. Like, oh, we never thought about that. We better add that into the contract too. So when that happens, I have to redo the contract and then I have to have all of them sign it again. And so we have to read through to be legal. You have to read through every single line. We have about a four page contract. Um, and there’s a lot of initialing and things like that. So it’s probably about every 2 or 3 months that, you know, we’re printing out a new contract. That’s the kind of stuff that that’s that’s the part stuff. Yeah. That, that that’s the part that’s the hardest for me is it’s like it’s so repetitious to what I already did. And I feel like. Sort of a waste of time. I mean, obviously you have to do your legal work, but it becomes a bit much even for the girls.

Shane: They’re like another contract. I’m like, well, so and so decided to do. And we never thought about that. So it wasn’t in the contract because you the one thing about this job is, is no night is the same as the next night and in a way that you just can’t even fathom. Like every time you think you’ve seen the craziest thing or heard the dumbest thing, it’s like the next night just blows you away and you’re like, oh yeah, I can’t say that anymore because you just know, you know, tonight we have, uh, you know, Toy Show Wednesday.

Tonight we’ll be really busy and, uh, something crazy will happen. And but it’s what makes the job so fun is you really never know what’s going to happen. So you don’t get that lull so much. And then I also believe in the jobs that I don’t like generally are the jobs that I’m not as good at. Um, so then you hire people for those jobs, you know, delegate. Yeah. I half of my success is being able to train, hire and put the best people in the best positions that they’re good at so that I have the best at this, this, this, this, this. So, you know, my team is really, you know, what’s taken me to the next level in the website time my wife and my, my ex-wife and I at the time, we did everything ourselves.

Shane: Like, literally like we almost killed ourselves. We were working 120 hours a week type shit, but we did make a lot of money. I don’t have any regrets for it, but I learned a lot then, moving into this phase of my life and into the new business being the the gentlemen’s clubs, um, you you hire great people and then once they prove to be great, you pay them a great amount of money. So now I overpay all of my people, if that’s even a terme. I sometimes feel like, um, that undermines their abilities when you say overpay. But comparative to any other gentleman’s club, I pay significantly more to all of my staff, and I do that because they make me look good. They make my job easier. Um, so as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten smarter, which we all should. I hope you know, you get wiser, smarter. Um, and so for me, um, you know, my, my slogan on life is teamwork makes the dream work. And my team is stronger than anyone. I don’t care any strip club in the whole country. I put my team against them and we smoke them every single day. I don’t care if you’re the, you know, biggest strip club in in the world. Nope. We still smoke you.

Matt: I don’t know, you’re you’re you say that you’re just lucky, though, that the original Chippendales is not still open because they may give you a run for your money. Yeah. Um, but you’re right. These are some of the basic building blocks for any successful business. You know, you want to bring in the right people, build the right team. You have to surround yourself with a leadership team, too, like you’re talking about not just people. You give orders to people who can step up and lead. And, uh, you know, it’s taken us time. I think I would compare your, uh, two different, uh, timeline trajectories, but like your, uh, your go at the website and kind of just the Wild West at the time was how we did it with Omaha live. And it was like, I don’t even know how to what an entrepreneur was, let alone how to spell one. You know, I didn’t have any hours or any consistency. It was just, you know, late nights, all nighters, drugs, just bad all around bad, bad, bad. Right? Yeah. It was a party.

Shane: And, you know, that’s how we were.

Matt: Um, but looking back on it, there was a lot that I learned by doing it the wrong way. Yeah. And so now I can apply that today and like, okay, I’m going to pause. I’m going to take time to really find and build the right team and build this team that. Now, like you said, we have we have a team here as well where it’s like we are really performing at a high level and this team has come together, um, in both leadership and in execution. And so I think that that’s important to, uh, to be willing to delegate. Yeah. Good rule I kind of learned is like, if they can do it 80% as good as you, then let them do it. Yeah. You know.

Shane: Exactly. No one no one’s ever going to be like when it’s your business. No one’s ever going to quite work it as hard or as thorough as you would. But if you like you said, if they’re at 80%, you thank them and let them run with it.

Matt: Or in the case of, you know, our production director, Martin, um, who’s producing the show right now, 22%, you know, you gotta no, I’m kidding. He does a great job. Um, he’s probably like, 95, 96%, you know?

Shane: You know, sometimes you get really lucky. Yeah. You know, I have a lawyer, and my lawyer is, like, 100%. And, um. And I’ll pay this guy until the day I die because he helped me on the one thing that I could not do at all. Legally, you cannot represent yourself. Not against city, state governors, mayors, city council, the police chief.

You know, you need a good lawyer. You need somebody who will grind for you, who will fight for you. No matter what gets thrown at them. And for me, you know that that’s where that whole teamwork thing he introduced me to. Um. I need somebody that’s good. I need to pay them well. And if I do, and they do their job, I’m going to succeed and I’m going to make it. And he kind of helped get me over that hump.

But also, like I said, taught me that valuable lesson that if you put the right team together and we’re all working for the same common goal, uh, you know, there’s no limit to what we can do. So I pay a lot of my guys on bonuses, too. So you get a great hourly wage, don’t get me wrong.

Shane: But you also get a bonus. Every time we do something great, everybody gets paid. It’s a team win. Yeah. So then everyone’s fighting to break records. Like, if we break a record on privates, or we break a record for the night or for a Wednesday or for it’s it’s everybody gets paid extra.

And I think that that really changed the whole game for me. Um, because it’s like if we don’t do well, they get paid good still, but they don’t get that bonus. You get start getting used to that bonus and you’re like, shoot, we can make that again and again and again and and when we’re all working together, we’ve broken, I would say, upwards of 100 records in just the last year.

Wow. So it’s like we break a record and we think like, oh man, we can’t do any better than that. And it’s like, nope, we did better and better and better. And everybody’s kind of gotten, uh, high on the bonuses, you know, like, no, I want I want to keep getting these bonuses. We can keep doing better. And and we just all keep pushing.

Matt: Yeah. I mean, you want your team excited, you want to get them motivated.

And that has to come from inside. It can’t just be a forced external thing. Yep. Um, you know, the the drivers for solving any problem. You know, you have your internal I need money, you know, your your external, your internal. Like I really want this bonus so I can show up. My neighbor Todd and philosophical is the one people forget often. And that’s where you’re a part of something bigger than yourself. Yeah.

That’s why George pride in it. Yeah. George Lucas said like pizza, free pizza and beer is is more effective than any six figure salary you can give. Yeah I mean it is it. People love just that that camaraderie that that teamwork and that, you know, being a part of something bigger than themselves. What would you what’s the if we, as we kind of wrap up here, like what is the biggest misconception about yourself and what is your what would be like your single greatest tip for an entrepreneur or business owner right now?

Um, because we’ve talked a lot, a lot of different things that we talk about a lot on this, on this podcast. But, um, it’s interesting through your lens how they are identical. They mirror each other because you’re a a business. Yeah, it’s a legitimate business. Yeah. We do.

Shane: I know we pay taxes. Yes, I know the whole bit.

Matt: And I think people forget they’re like, oh, it’s not a business. It’s, you.

Shane: Know, you know, if they knew how much I was paying in sales tax every month and income tax every year, they would say, oh, wow, you’re.

Matt: Probably paying for those like schools and churches that, you know. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re protesting you.

Shane: Yeah. It’s it’s crazy. And, uh, so what’s the biggest.

Matt: Misconception about you today that you still feel lingers.

Shane: On? Um, you know, you I don’t know if you can ever shake like, you know, the creepy strip club guy, you know, like that. That’s just, um, because there are so many of them, you know, people always say, like, do you feel like you were unfairly treated? Well, of course I did. My, my my civil rights were violated, and I proved that in court. But. I understand why sometimes. Now I don’t understand the churches and things like that.

But I understand that you. See those 60 minutes and 2020 specials. And they are about the creepy strip club owner who was hooking his girls on drugs and was prostituting them out, and was encouraging underage girls to drink and things like that. That is kind of how that name or that thing got associated. Obviously, with us, they not just were an easy target because they were in a business that people didn’t like. They actually held true to exactly what people thought they were. They actually were.

Matt: Some people earned the reputation.

Shane: Yeah. And it was.

Matt: It was unfair to other people who may be doing it a different way. Well, it’s.

Shane: Actually what made me get in the strip club business. So my ex-wife would feature when she became very well known, she would feature all over the country. Strip clubs would hire her to come in and, and and I obviously met them because, you know, I work hand in hand with her.

I did all her contracts and everything, and almost all of them were complete pieces of shit. Really? Yeah. They were sleeping with 17 different girls. They were, you know, partying every night with them. They were getting drunk and doing coke in the bathroom with the the customers and things like that.

Matt: Sounds like a normal day here at our studio. So.

Shane: So what I thought was I at that time, I had a lot of money, but I thought, you know, if I ever decide to go into a different business, I’m going to go into the strip club business and I’m going to try to run it as close to a fortune 500 company as you can. We’re going to have contracts and rules and regulations, and everyone’s going to follow them from me to security to the dancers to whatever.

And when I would tell this to owners that they would, they just laugh at me. They’d say, oh, you’re dreaming, can’t be done. You don’t know these girls.

They’ll screw you over in a second, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I said, no, no, no, I really think you can create a more positive environment. Sure, it may be harder to get your staff of girls that follow that protocol, but I believe if you do it, you will reap the benefits for years to come. And so when I decided to get in the business, that was my thing. How do I help make these girls better? How do I get them to quit smoking? Quit doing drugs, quit drinking?

Um, how do I get them to build their credit up? To save money, to invest money to come up with a 2 to 3 year plan? Because I tell every girl that comes in and trains with me, I say.

Shane: Tonight is your first night at my club. I guarantee you I’ll make you a life changing money and I will keep you safe. Those are my two promises to you. I want you to promise me that this isn’t your lifetime job. That in 2 to 3 years, you will then move on to your big. I call it the big girl job. Mhm. Um. And so. I am doing things as good as possible. Um, I look in the mirror at night and I feel good about who I am. Um. I feel good about the changes that I’ve made in my girls. I can’t fix them all now, you know. Of course not. Do all of them listen to my investing tips and not drink and things like that? No, but I would say I probably have somewhere around a 30 to 40% of them actually follow through and come up with a escape plan, so to speak. They go to school, they pay off their bills, they buy a car, they get an apartment. We help them do all of that. Um, we’ll do reference letters, we’ll do income verification letters. We’ll even call the apartment complex on the phone, and I’ll speak to them directly. No other business is doing that. No other strip club is. But no other business is probably doing that.

Matt: Yeah. No, you’re you’re you’re 100% correct. And I think that that’s admirable. Admirable to, uh, to hear that you’re doing. And I’m glad that you shared that, because it’s interesting. We talked about the churches and these groups who have a this moral, uh, motivation. It’s against our values, what they’re doing over here.

Where are they? In helping young women who maybe need some guidance, who maybe they are dancing or stripping, and it’s because they’re desperate for money, but it isn’t what they want to do their whole lives. Where are they actually in stepping up to help them? Instead, they’re just casting a stone.

And I remember this because my our dad’s a pastor, so I grew up in the church. And I remember, um, you know, there is a there is a reason that the first person that that Jesus revealed himself to was a prostitute in the town, very first person. Yeah. You know, and and I think, you know, yeah, it’s like, uh, people in these organizations, we get high and mighty, and they feel like I’m just going to cast the first stone and judge, and they forget what their Christianity is.

They describe it is actually supposed to be all about. Yeah. You know, and so, um, so that’s good to hear. And then what any last tip you have for like a, um, for an entrepreneur or business owner, we talked about, like, standard operating procedures, your checklist, your, your, um, um, get your processes and procedures in place, make the news as much as possible, um, and, uh, and pay attention to the legal stuff. Any other big tips you can leave us with here today?

Shane: Uh, learn everything you know. Know how to do every single thing that your business does so that no matter what happens, somebody quits. Uh, what gets sick?

You know, you can literally cover anything, you know, um, whether it’s fix the computer, DJ, uh, plunge a toilet, um, you know, whatever it is, you need to know how to do it. Um, you’ll go a lot further. You’ll also gain a lot more traction.

My girls. When they saw me in a suit plunge in toilets one night because they backed up and I got shit all over my pants and they were like, oh my God. I know. Had to be done, you know? And so if you’re willing to do all of the shit work. Mhm. As well as take the credit and whatever. Well, well you’ve got to be able to do both sides.

But if you know how to do every single thing that your business does, even if you have someone better than you at it, go learn from them how they do it. So that if you need to to slide by, you can. Because there’s nothing worse than having, you know, five people on your team and one calls in sick or two get Covid or whatever it happens to be. Um, and then you have to shut your business down because you don’t know or no one knows how to fill in their spots. You don’t want. That is important.

Matt: You don’t want to let an employee of yours hold your business hostage because they hold the keys. They’re the only ones who know how to do it. Yeah, I’m a big proponent of that as well. Like do every job in your company.

Shane: You don’t have to be the best at it, but you have to know how to do and manage through every single scenario that your company does.

Matt: It’ll help you gauge things like how to measure, you know, progress. And should that take that much time, you know? Or is that are they just kind of, uh, going slow like it took me ten hours to do that? It’s taking them 20. That doesn’t seem right, you know. So the.

Shane: Only thing. Oh, correction, though, there’s always something you can’t do. Because though I can dance and I could strip, no one would. Actually, my customers wouldn’t want to watch me dance. But if I needed to get up there to buy us some time, I goddamn would be up there.

Matt: I did, I actually did this last year, uh, last, uh, fall, uh, a I tried a pole like a stripper pole. Yeah, yeah, 20 foot tall, uh, stripper pole. Now, they didn’t have it hooked up correctly, so the pole didn’t spin. Okay, okay. And it was very painful. Yeah, it was very painful. I have all the respect in the world now for for dancers on poles. That is like, I don’t know how they do it.

Shane: Like, it’s not just that, you know, I think that people need to understand that to be a dancer is one of the toughest things that you’ll ever do. You sell a little bit of your soul every time you go there. You it’s not.

Matt: Really that sexual to them. You know, you crush your.

Shane: Body because you’re constantly on nine inch heels, dancing on a pole, walking a 10,000 square foot building all night long in a.

Matt: Thong. Yeah.

Shane: So, so mind, body and soul. These girls are giving up a lot to entertain you. Um, yes, they are being paid very well, but. But I think a lot of people forget, you know, if you put yourself in their shoes for a night and had to give your mind, your body and your soul the way that these girls do, you would have a newfound respect for them.

Matt: Absolutely. Or just watch the movie, uh, hustlers with Jennifer Lopez. They they lay it out pretty good in that one. Uh, I appreciate you coming on, man. Yeah. Thanks for having.

Shane: Me. I appreciate you.

Matt: And, uh, congratulations on your success. And and here’s to cheers to all the controversies to come. Yeah.

Shane: Oh, yeah. There’s going to be more. I’m opening another club soon. So when you get on the news, keep going. Next time you get on the.

Matt: News, then we got our coordinate something so that like, we can somehow get some like cross promoting collaboration. You got you two brothers in there.

Shane: Yeah. Got you. We’ll come.

Matt: Do our podcast from wherever they’re protesting you.

At in the corner. Sounds good man. I’m in. All right.

Effective Advertising: Why Do Cheesy Drug Commercials Work?

Effective Advertising: Evoking Feeling and Action

What is the secret to effective advertising? Why do cheesy drug commercials of people running in a meadow work, but your ad doesn’t? 

What’s the magic in those ads that makes them so effective and hypnotizing?

In this episode of Midwest Mindset, Austin, Ben, and Matt discuss the elements that make drug commercials effective and how you can implement this strategy in your own ads. 

Effective Advertising_ Why Do Cheesy Drug Commercials Work

What’s Missing for Effective Advertising 

Look: we are not saying your ad is bad (maybe a little bit); we are just saying that it’s missing something to make it effective. 

Effective advertising is more than just showcasing your product or service, it needs to tell a story, to talk and engage with your audience. 

Read Full Transcript

So, how are drug commercials doing so? What story does a woman running happily in a meadow tell? Are we missing something? 

The Secret Sauce: The End Result

The true power of these commercials lies in their ability to show viewers the end result. 

They paint a picture of an ideal life that could be attainable, showing consumers not just a product but a potential lifestyle change.

Humans are inherently emotional beings; we think with our “feeling” brain rather than logical reasoning. 

These commercials effectively tap into that emotional side, presenting scenarios that evoke positive emotions and desires. 

These commercials aren’t fixated on bombarding the viewer with technical specifications or intricate details about the product; let’s be honest, we don’t care about those things in the first instance. 

That’s why, instead, they focus on showcasing the benefits of the product, not the process or the specifications. 

How to Market Yourself on LinkedIn_ Don’t Miss Out on this Opportunity

Effective Advertising: Emotion and Results 

Think of those commercials from animal nonprofits that tug at our heartstrings with super sad images of puppies and cats. 

Yes, they are indeed sad and can evoke a powerful emotional response; they make us think with our “feeling brain.”

However, they lack one crucial element: the depiction of the end result. They don’t often show what happens when you do donate; what positive change does your contribution lead to?

So, how can you showcase the tangible results of your product or service and make sure your audience is intrigued enough to turn into a potential lead?

There’s a formula that most successful advertising strategies employ, and understanding this can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your campaigns.

There’s a formula that is most effective advertising, and we will tell you what it is.  

The Formula for Effective Advertising

Firstly, it’s important to recognize the power of emotion in advertising. 

As humans, we are wired to respond to emotions. When we connect with an advertisement emotionally, it becomes more memorable and impactful, but we also need a direct action message, or what we know as a Call to Action (CTA.) 

Mindwest Mindset_ Effective Advertising two brothers creative

The Power of a Strong Call to Action (CTA)

A CTA serves as the directive that guides your audience on what they need to do next.

Here is where your viewers transform from passive observers to active participants, nudging them toward engaging further with your product or service.

Showcasing the End Result

The final piece of the puzzle involves showing the end result of taking that action – the benefits of doing business with you. 

This paints a vivid picture of how the consumer’s life could be positively impacted by your product or service.

By highlighting these potential benefits, you give your audience a compelling reason to follow through with your CTA.

feelings in advertising

Enjoy the Benefits of Effective Advertising

And there you have it; by implementing these elements, you will have an effective ad that people watch till the end, and they will become more likely to think of your product or service in a positive way.

If you still don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to craft your effective ad, don’t worry! We are here to help! Contact us today, and our team of experts will create the most compelling commercial for your brand! 

The Easy Box

On a budget? No problem! With the Easy Box, you give us only 30 minutes of your time, and we give you 30 days’ worth of content. 

Forget all about long hours and marketing failure; this is marketing made easy. 

Midwest Mindset: Why Do Cheesy Drug Commercials Work?

Why Do Cheesy Drug Commercials Work?

This is a written Transcription for the Midwest Mindset episode: Why Do Cheesy Drug Commercials Work?

Mindwest Mindset_ Effective Advertising two brothers creative

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

Matt: Have you ever watched those drug commercials? That make no sense. It’s just people happy frolicking through fields. But yet it works. And we’re going to talk about why it works in today’s episode.

Matt: Of Midwest Mindset.

Matt: Hello and welcome back to Midwest Mindset, the podcast that makes marketing easy and simple to do for any business. I’m Matt Tompkins of Two Brothers Creative, where we believe every business deserves affordable and effective marketing. Uh, let’s intro everybody on the show.

All right. Big round of applause for this. We’re going to lead into it with some positivity. Okay. Uh, first up, we have a man who he is recovering from Covid. Mhm. Uh, he did not take him out.

Next to him. Austin. Yeah. Well, we’re in the clear at least I hope. Right. You’re negative. Right. You’re good. Yep. Okay. Thank thank you. All right. Sweet. Um, I.

Austin: Would feel terrible. I don’t wish that on anyone. It is the worst.

Matt: Here’s my question. With Covid, like, okay, people when they get Covid. All right, I gotta stay home. I don’t want to get anybody else sick.

But then any other illness we get, like, you get strep throat or the flu or, you know, cold. It’s contagious as well. You just go to work. Like, why don’t why aren’t we applying that mindset to all the illnesses? I think you’re supposed to.

Ben: Stay home for those two. But I agree with you.

Austin: No one does. No one.

Matt: Does. No one does. If you get a really bad cold, people still come to work. Yeah. And they spread it.

Ben: It’s because you don’t have the test with Covid. You have the drama of you have this test and this big thing.

Matt: I mean, you test for the cold. Well, you can.

Austin: Test for strep throat.

Matt: So congratulations on congratulations on surviving and still being alive. Uh, Austin, uh, he looks like the kind of guy who always puts it in the wrong hole.

Ben: Oh, yeah. Yeah, that is you.

Austin: Gets me in a lot of trouble.

Matt: Trust me. I know we’re.

Ben: Talking about golf, right?

Matt: Uh oh, yeah. Probably golf too. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I was talking about. I was thinking about pool.

Ben: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you gotta call.

Austin: That’s what I was thinking about.

Matt: Yeah. And if you’re thinking about something else that’s on you, you pervert. Uh, next up, we have Myron. Uh, Myron McHugh. He is the producer extraordinaire. He’s in the control booth right now.

We still don’t allow him to have a microphone. Uh, for reasons, uh, maybe someday. But, Myron, you know, he, uh, he looks like the kind of guy who makes his own slippers. That’s Myron.

Ben: Oh, that is him.

Matt: Yeah, he probably hand knits them. Maybe some crochets.

Austin: Involved with human hair.

Matt: With human hair.

Ben: That’s why he’s grown a beard.

Matt: It’s all wool woven together.

Ben: Oh, God.

Matt: And you don’t want to know where he gets the human hair from. That’s the weird. That’s where it gets weird. We don’t know. That’s where it gets weird.

Austin: Toilet seats.

Matt: And last but least, uh, of course, the other brother from the same mother, Ben Tompkins, who, uh, he looks like the kind of guy who is always near jello.

Ben: Uh, yeah. You know, it’s a quick and easy meal. Yeah, it’s very practical. So I always. I know where all the jello spots are in town.

Matt: Uh, so growing up together, since we’re brothers, you know, that’s how it works. Um, Ben would sit and eat a whole tub of frosting. He would get cake frosting and just devour it. I mean, it was like it.

Ben: Was real jam. It started with Dunkaroos. Dunkaroos? You could buy the little graham crackers or the kangaroos.

Austin: I remember those.

Ben: Dunk them into frosting. And then I started to think, well, I just like the frosting. So I would just eat the frosting. And then I started to think, let’s just take out the middleman and buy the frosting.

So I just go buy frosting and eat it. But I’d have to hide the frosting, because if my parents or anybody found me, they would take it or they would judge me. Yeah, that’s the perfect.

Austin: Metaphor to for drugs. Like, you start small and then you move up. You’re like.

Ben: My drug.

Austin: Container. My name.

Matt: Is Matt, and I’m addicted to.

Ben: Frosting. My drug is just cake. Frosting.

Austin: Yeah.

Matt: It was it was bad. Like, it was. It was crazy. Like, I mean, I’m.

Austin: How old was he?

Matt: Oh, he’s like, you know, I don’t know. I still do it. Yeah. He still does it. Yeah. So his entire life I think it started out young. He was like probably six, five years old, six years old. And he would just devour it. And he loved it. He was so happy. I didn’t want to stop him. You know?

Austin: God, it is a it’s a miracle that you’re a skinny guy.

Matt: Ben. Is that how.

Austin: You felt when I see if I eat tubs of frosting? My metabolism was so terrible, I would have been even a fatter kid.

Matt: Yeah. Uh, I mean, is that how you felt, Ben, when I went through my addiction, when I was just taking all kinds of drugs? You’re just like. Yeah, but Matt looks so happy. Uh, you know, I don’t know.

Ben: I got it. I was like, no, I get what he’s going through. You try to.

Austin: Give.

Matt: I had the same issue.

Ben: I know it just got to let it play. Yeah.

Austin: You try to get on Matt about it, and then he freaks out about your frosting, right? Yeah. Ben, you the.

Matt: Frosting, man. Leave me alone with my my OxyContin.

Austin: Take the log out of your own eye.

Matt: Uh, okay. So today we’re talking about focusing on the end result. Okay. And this is key to your marketing for any business. So if you guys seen the drug commercials, right. Yeah.

The ones I’m talking about. So these are the drug commercials or the there’s all this, like, video footage of people, like, frolicking through a field or they’re they’re just going to the market and it’s like all this weird shit and you’re like, what does this have to do with anything?

What is your take? What is your take on those commercials?

Like, why do you think they’re effective or not effective?

Ben: Um, I think they come from a time when they’re an older form of advertising. So they’re they’re probably still effective. They’re not as effective, I don’t think, as they once were, because I see them and I think these are the same cheesy commercials that I saw when I was a kid.

Austin: Yeah. Every time I see one, I wonder the same thing. Why do they still make them like this and who can’t see it? Um, you know, like who? Who is this fooling?

Matt: So the answer is they work. That’s why they still do it. Why do they work? That’s the other question, right?

Austin: I’m excited for the answer.

Matt: They. Work, because what they’re doing in this commercial is they’re showing you they’re in a visual format. The end result. This is what your life will look like after consuming our product, in this case, our drug. Right. So if you take this, they’re going to have paint the picture of the end result.

So that’s why it’s all this happy footage that makes doesn’t seem to make any sense. It’s not really connected to anything they’re showing you.

Here’s how good your life can be. You know. And with businesses in their marketing, a big mistake it’s easy to make is to just talk about the product. And we’re going to say this is the best product. It’s the best. It’s here’s the specs, here’s the facts. And you are. When you do that, you are targeting the thinking brain for your customer.

And nobody makes decisions based on their thinking brain. Nobody makes any decisions based on the facts or the specs. And we like to say that we do, but nobody does. That’s just a hard fact.

That’s a reality. Reality check. We make decisions based on our feeling brain. Right. So the end result is targeting your feeling brain. It’s saying this is how it’s going to look.

This is how your life is going to feel after you buy our product. Right. Um, focusing on the specs just does not work. It just doesn’t work. It’s not going to attract anybody. So what do you think of the drug commercials now that you know that?

Austin: That makes me think about the difference between features and benefits. Like they’re showing they’re showing the benefit because no one really wants to hear about the features they want. They want the benefits.

Ben: It makes me think there are a bunch of liars.

Matt: What?

Ben: Yeah, because they’re gonna sell this prescription and they, number one don’t know. They don’t care about the other consequences of the prescription. And some medication does terrible things to people. Some people abuse medication. Some people have a horrible past with medication. They don’t care if you actually feel that way. They’re just trying to manipulate you and trick you into thinking that so that you buy their product.

Matt: Well, in the case of drug companies, probably you’re probably right. But like, let’s just say overall painting the picture of the end result.

Austin: Like like Diet Coke. Yeah. And when I first, when I was younger and I was, uh. About five years into standup, I wrote this whole thing about Diet Coke and how it’s, uh, brings the party alive and all that, because just those commercials growing up, it’s like, you crack open this.

Ben: If I.

Austin: This time of your life.

Ben: If I saw a drug commercial that said, hey, we have this drug. But first, have you tried changing your diet? Have you tried increasing your. Yeah.

Austin: They would go out of business, tried all.

Ben: At least if you did. And it still doesn’t work. I would buy that drug even if I didn’t need it, just because I would respect that company. I used to.

Matt: Think that way too. I used to think, man, if somebody did a commercial that just came on and they said, hey, listen, I get it. Commercials suck. Here’s my product. Here’s why it’s good. I always thought that would work, right? Nope. Why doesn’t anybody do that? Well, there’s a reason. Like, you know, it doesn’t work.

Ben: I mean, you’re not going.

Matt: To sell, you know, and like. But what you’re saying, I’m not discounting that. That’s probably true in a lot of cases. And that’s unfortunate. Manipulating people, especially when you’re targeting their feeling brain sometimes it’s very easy to do.

And so a lot of companies will do that, especially drug companies. Um, it’s the drug commercials are hilarious, though, with the disclaimers at the end.

That’s what gets cracks me up like, you know, side effects may include, you know, explosive diarrhea. Because what.

Austin: Your dick flying off. Yeah.

Matt: You’re going to lose.

Ben: Coming back to you like a boomerang. Yeah.

Matt: If, uh, your dick will turn into a boomerang if you take this drug, I actually would take that drug. That would be fun.

Austin: About the party dudes outside shooting their dicks in the air, talking about.

Ben: The party coming to life.

Matt: This is the best drug ever. Not only does it prevent scabies, but it also is a boomerang.

Austin: Dick, an epidemic has swept the nation. Yeah.

Matt: Boomerang. Dick. Speaking of drug commercials, this is a total side. Side note here, a side tangent, but like, um, shingles. What’s going on with shingles?

Ben: 1 in 3 people will have shingles. And that means somebody in this one of us will have shingles.

Matt: One of us has shingles.

Ben: It’s already inside of us. Yeah. The virus.

Austin: Yep. That’s what’s wild. Yeah. Because it’s part of the chickenpox.

Ben: Just needs to be activated.

Matt: Yeah. It’s like chicken. If you’ve had chicken pox, then you can get. Yeah shingles or it’s not scabies but.

Austin: Shingles and apparently stress.

Matt: Scabies is something totally different. And I don’t want to talk about that. No. Okay. Listen, I got scabies once. I went to summertime, we went to the I was like 21, maybe went to the club. There’s some club in Omaha Cadillac. It was guitars and Cadillacs.

Ben: It was this. Yeah.

Matt: Scabies guitars and Cadillac Cadillacs. I go out on the dance floor. There’s a pretty girl wants to dance. So we’re dancing. We’re kind of grinding, right? Well, I’m wearing shorts. She’s wearing a skirt.

Ben: Shorts to a club.

Austin: It was guitars and Cadillac.

Matt: Guitars, a Cadillac. What are you.

Austin: Don’t judge. Yeah. He was. You can’t wear shorts out.

Ben: No, you can’t wear cowboy boots.

Austin: Okay, well.

Matt: You know, I was 21, I was little, I went out with shorts. So anyhow, we’re dancing. So, like my inner thigh.

Austin: I’m on your side.

Matt: My inner thigh. It was rubbing up against her inner thigh. And then over the next couple days, my thigh just turned. It looked like, uh, it looked like like not chicken pox, but worse, like just red bumps everywhere.

And then it started spreading. And pretty soon I’m like, I’ve got scabies. I didn’t know what it was, but it was all over me. Went to the doctor like, hey, you got scabies. Here, take this medication, clear it right up.

And it did. But I’m like, you know, that lady should have told me. She should have gave me a disclaimer herself. Listen, I wanted to dance with you. Want to bump and grind? But just so you know, the.

Austin: Music was too loud.

Ben: She needs to go to see one of those, uh, frolicking. Dancing?

Austin: You thought she was singing along to the song, but she was screaming. I have scabies.

Matt: By the way. I have scabies, like, uh. So anyhow. Okay, side tangent over. Um, but the shingles is interesting because, like, I don’t remember ten, 20 years ago, I didn’t even know nobody knew what shingles was.

And now it seems like these commercials make it. They are terrifying too. But that’s really are grinding. Like, did you know you could have shingles right now? But that’s the.

Ben: Other thing with this. I mean, I know this focus of this isn’t just pharmaceuticals and drugs. I know you’re I would imagine you’re applying this approach to all advertising, but with pharmaceutical companies it’s a business. So there who knows? I mean, you can find out, I’m sure, by doing research on how prevalent shingles really is and how dangerous and painful. But it’s a business.

They want you to buy their product, so they’re going to promote it. It’s not a health thing. That’s the other thing when it comes to drugs, is that you’re not treating it as if this is a community service.

They’re treating it like it’s a business, which is probably the biggest problem with with this whole thing is that they put their money first. They don’t put the customers interest first.

Matt: So I’ve been here, Ben, is our ethical morality check.

Austin: Yeah. And well, now I’m thinking like, okay. Yeah, I always feel like they’re manipulative, the commercials. But if human beings, if it’s a scientifically proven fact that we think with or, you know, we make decisions based on our feelings and we don’t think about it, don’t they don’t really have a choice.

Ben: Right? I would argue that that because.

Austin: Like, if we’re if we’re programmed to, to make decisions that way, they have.

Ben: To I would argue that that’s the way of thinking of your emotional brain is making most of your decisions, and facts aren’t playing as big of a role as maybe we would like, is true for a majority of people, but it doesn’t have to be true in all decisions, and it doesn’t have to be true for that majority. I think that’s where education, where not leaning into like, well, this is just the way it is. We can’t change it. I think you can change a lot.

Of how we learn and receive information and process information. Back when we only had three news channels and newspapers getting our news, I know there’s still a lot of manipulation and propaganda out there, but the misinformation wasn’t as prevalent as it is today because,

I mean, today we’ve just accepted this idea of we’re going to believe what my brain tells me to believe. We’re not going to trust a process of elimination or research or peer review. We’re not going to trust that that’s credible sources.

Austin: That’s yeah, that makes me, me and Matt are going to stand up on his desk and say, captain, oh, my captain. Yeah. After that. Wow. What movie was that pulling a reference there.

Matt: Robin was in that. Yeah, it was a book book club.

Austin: Yeah. It was a.

Ben: Teacher who.

Austin: Inspired everyone.

Ben: Dead poets.

Matt: Dead Poets Society. Yeah. That was that was a reference pulled out of the back of the box there. Um, so the end result. Let’s let me give you an example of an inn where a commercial gets it wrong. Okay.

And they focus too much on what you’re talking about. We’re talking about like negative that that’s called the stakes. You’re highlighting the stakes, right. So any commercial, anything, you know, you follow this story, you know, so you have a hero who’s the customer and the hero has a problem. And then the hero meets a guide.

The guide is the business. The business is there to give them a plan and say, hey, one, two, three. You do this, you buy a product, you do this and it’s going to work. And then they call them to action. And the last two things are highlighting the stakes, which is like, here’s what happens if you don’t buy our product, and then painting a picture of the end result. If you do so, a commercial that gets this wrong or a type of commercial is the commercial is about the the dogs and the animals, um, like the ASPCA, whatever the name of it is. And they load this commercial 60 minutes or 60s or even two minutes, right? With just horribly sad images. The whole thing is just it’s terrifyingly depressing. Yeah. Every time that commercial comes on, I have to change the channel. Now. They should highlight the stakes.

Austin: It’s interesting. So do I they.

Matt: They highlight the stakes through the entire thing. The reason that they it would perform much better for them if they had a little bit of stakes and then show the end result. So hey, here’s what’s going on right now. If you donate your money, call to action. Here’s the stakes. Sad puppy, abandoned, starving. And then here’s what happens when you donate. End result. So that’s an example a.

Austin: Dog running into a loving family.

Matt: Yes, sprinting along but big in that park.

Austin: From full House.

Ben: That. But those commercials. I think one reason why they might be effective or they might continue to do them, is that they stick in your brain as there is no result that those, those dogs and those animals that are in the commercial are forever in those cages.

Austin: So are they are they are they marketing with trauma?

Ben: Yeah, absolutely. If you see a dog run into a happy family in your brain, you’re thinking, oh, the dog saved. I don’t need to worry about it. But you’re always, you know, you.

Matt: Highlight both you.

Ben: Always you.

Matt: Show, show the dog get trapped and you say, here’s what happens when you donate your money and you show the end result, but you do both.

Ben: When you come to like, you’re saying that.

Austin: People are so stupid, they’ll think the dog is saved and they won’t give money.

Ben: They won’t feel as guilty when they see the dog.

Matt: But here’s the thing I so I donate to causes a lot of local, uh, like animal nonprofits and stuff here, here in the Omaha area. I haven’t donated anything. I’ve not felt motivated to donate to those commercials just because I’m the same way. I’m, you know, and it’s like, it’s not that I’m not a giving person. It’s just. And I love animals, but they just got it wrong. Like, now, listen, I don’t say they got it wrong. Their commercials likely work to a degree. What I’m saying is they’re going to work a lot better if they just put a little bit, a little bit of the end result in there.

Ben: Now, I agree that I wish again, I think there’s manipulation. I mean, that’s all it’s all types of marketing is propaganda in some ways, or capitalizing on your guilt or your fear or whatever.

Um, but with that, if you see and you know that these animals are safe, I’m sure once you donate, that’s when you see this result. You get just inundated with with things that are showing happy animals and all this stuff, and you start feeling like, yep, I’m doing it. So I’m going to keep donating.

Matt: So let’s, let’s do this little exercise here to wrap up this episode for any business who’s going through this? Let’s pick a random business like, I don’t know, a company that does kitchen countertops. Right? So now it’s easy on your website and your content on social media with all your marketing, um, to say this countertop is made of, you know, blah, blah, blah, you know, stone that’s imported from Egypt and it’s, you know, ground down by using the teeth of former deceased, uh, uh, American soldiers. I don’t know, but it’s like this. It’s this high end enlist. It’s easy to list off the specs.

You’re not going to win anybody what we’re talking about here today. So how would you take that?

A countertop company and paint the end result. So the end result would be the experience that your family is going to have in this beautiful kitchen. So something like, you know, come home to a loving family. You’re talking about the experience with this countertop. And that’s the feeling brain, not the countertop itself.

That’s how you sell kitchen countertops. Free tip for any kitchen countertop company. But that’s the end of the.

Austin: Perfect.

Ben: Good way to wrap.

Matt: It up. Uh, cool. For for Austin, Ben and Martin, I am Matt Tompkins. And thank you so much for joining us on this episode of Midwest Mindset. We have free resources for you to help you grow your business. Right now they’re free. That means they don’t cost any money. They’re you know.

Ben: You just have to. Yeah, you just have to be my Facebook friend.

Matt: All you have to do is become Ben’s Facebook friend and then click the button in the show notes. You can download our resources there. We have them for you every week and you can find out more at our website. The content box.com toodaloo.

Is Nebraska’s Local Advertising Really Effective?

Effective Local Advertising 101

Interested in boosting your business through successful local advertising? It’s important to learn what strategies work and what to avoid.

Join us in this installment of the Midwest Mindset Podcast where hosts Matt and Austin welcome Chad Dodd, collaborator on the Two Brothers Creative team and owner of Klar Inc

In this discussion, we dive into crafting a local advertising approach that delivers results. We’ll explore effective strategies, common pitfalls, and also touch upon the Nebraska Tourism Department’s advertising efforts.

WITH Chad Dodd klar, inc

What’s with the Nebraska Tourism Marketing?

If you live in the State of Nebraska, chances are you’ve seen the ads: “Visit Nebraska, Visit Nice” or “Nebraska. Honestly It’s Not For Everyone.”

Nebraska’s tourism marketing seems to be trying to be clever and unique, yet somehow really misses the mark. 

Instead of exploiting the authentic charm and natural beauty that is Nebraska, they divert their focus, something that happens more often than we think with many brands and companies. 

Read Full Transcript

How do you avoid this from happening? How can you effectively convey your message to potential customers in your local area who might not be even aware of your existence? 

This is precisely the challenge that Nebraska’s tourism department is trying to do: invite hundreds of passers-by to pause their journey, stay for a few hours or days, and enjoy what Nebraska has to offer. 

Don’t worry if this is happening to you; there’s effective ways to communicate and resonate with an audience that’s yet to discover you, and we will tell you how. 

Effective Local Advertising is About Clarity

Being clear and straightforward is the core of effective local advertising; Say it like it is,  and don’t overcomplicate things. A lot of the time, meaning gets lost or buried in a phony or unrelated marketing strategy. 

Instead, let your message resonate with simplicity and directness.

Is Nebraska’s Effective Local Advertising Really That Effective_ Avoid these mistakes!

Creativity with Structure for Effective Local Advertising

While creativity and innovation are valuable assets in marketing, they shouldn’t overshadow the essence of your message. 

Without a solid plan or strategy, even the most creative ideas might fall flat. There’s a reason certain strategies work. 

They’ve been tried, tested, and proven successful. So, when it comes to your local advertising, it’s wise to follow a winning formula.

Now, how exactly do you create and follow a formula?

The Formula for Effective Local Advertising

There are a lot of marketing formulas for local advertising out there, and while we encourage you to try and test to find what’s good for your business, we also recommend that your strategy always include the following winning points. 

Identifying Your Buyer Persona

The first step in any effective marketing strategy is understanding who your customer is. To do this, you need to create a comprehensive buyer persona. 

This persona should include at least the following:

  • Demographic information
  • Interests
  • Buying behaviors
  • Pain points
  • Online behaviors.

By identifying this persona, you can tailor your messaging to resonate with them more effectively.

Mindwest Mindset_ Effective Local Advertising

A Resonant Message

Once you’ve identified your target audience, the next step is to craft a message that speaks directly to them. 

This message needs to address those needs, wants, and pain points. 

It should evoke emotion and action. A message that is relatable and compelling, making your audience feel understood and valued.

Simplicity and Clarity

In an age of information overload, simplicity and clarity are essential! People don’t want to read overcomplicated messages that don’t go straight to the point. 

Your message should be easy to understand and remember. Avoid complex language. Instead, focus on conveying a clear core message that won’t get lost in other meanings.

Two Brothers creative podcast effective local ads


Marketing today is all about being authentic and caring for your audience, especially since the pandemic. 

Consumers today are savvy and quickly sense when a brand is being disingenuous or trying too hard. 

Be true to your values. Don’t attempt to be something you’re not or adopt trends that don’t align with your identity.

Embrace Your Identity

Of course, to be true to your identity, you need to know what your identity is and what you stand for. 

Each business has a unique identity that sets it apart. Embrace this identity in your local advertising. Whether it’s your origin story, your commitment to sustainable practices, or your exceptional customer service, highlight what makes you unique. 

Understanding Your ‘Why’

Finally, it’s crucial to understand and communicate your “why” and “what.”

Why does your business exist? What problem are you trying to solve? What value do you bring to your customers? 

Understanding your ‘why’ and ‘what’ gives purpose to your work and helps you connect with customers on a deeper level. 

Effective Local Advertising Nebraska tourism case study

Start Effective Local Advertising 

By following these points and creating an effective marketing strategy for local results, you will not be compared with the Nebraska Tourism department. 

Need some help? We are here to help you craft the perfect strategy for business visibility and success.

Download our free  6-step Marketing Plan pdf. 

The Easy Box

On a budget? Don’t Worry! With the Easy Box, you give us only 30 minutes of your time, and we give you 30 days’ worth of content. 

Forget all about long hours and marketing failure; this is marketing made easy. 

Midwest Mindset: Nebraska Tourisim and Advertising

Nebraska Tourisim: Too Cute for the Room or Effective Advertising

This is a written Transcription for the Midwest Mindset episode: Nebraska Tourisim: Too Cute for the Room of Effective Advertising

Effective Local Advertising Nebraska tourism case study

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

Nebraska Tourism Too Cute for the Room or Effective Advertising?

Matt: Nebraska. Nice. Honestly, it’s not for everyone. Just how many shitty slogans has this state come up with to try and bring tourists to our state? And have they even worked?

We’ve got national headlines for them, but in this episode of Midwest Mindset, we’re going to talk about the pros and cons of failing and winning if that’s something Nebraska is capable of doing anymore.

Was that too harsh? I feel like that was too harsh. I was trying hard. I feel like that was too harsh. Oh, this is what we’re doing. No. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to dive in. I was like, wow.

Chad: We just went.

Matt: Full throttle leave. Uh, leave that in. Editor. That’ll be good. That little tail in there. Was that too harsh? All right. Hello and welcome back to Midwest Mindset, the podcast that makes marketing easy to understand and simple to do.

I’m your host with the most toast from neither coast who has an extra toe, which makes me extra good at swimming. And that’s pretty much it.

All right. Uh, now we have today sitting in here today instead of the other brother Ben. Uh, we’ll get to who this handsome devil is here in a second. Uh, we have our returning champion, Austin Anderson. He is bringing plaid back, whether you like it or not. He’s like 90s fashion. He’s just here, and he’s not going anywhere.

Austin: Dude, I you know, I just like the. I like how Wrangler shirts are long. They don’t come untucked.

Matt: So you’re a wrangler man then, huh? Yeah. You’re a wrangler. Shirts and jeans.

Austin: No, not jeans. Okay, I do have one pair, but those were just, well, broken in from woe will style.

Matt: Those are. Those are bro broken in. Those are bro.

Austin: Broke. So bro broke. Those are comfy. But I’m not breaking them in my own pair of wranglers. Man I don’t got the time for that. You have somebody.

Matt: Else break them in.

Austin: Yeah. No I got an interesting.

Matt: Okay. You got it. Yeah. All right. Uh, once again, being silenced in the control booth is our producer, Martin McHugh. We intentionally do not put a microphone in front of him because he says very inappropriate things on a regular basis. It’s become an issue with air, and it’s just I’m not really willing to pay for the fines.

So I don’t even know if YouTube issues fines or not, but if they. It’s just an excuse, really. We don’t want to hear Martin. Sorry, bro. Man, that was a harsh too. I’m just like I’m just dishing out the harshness today. Wow. Scorched earth Omaha I am, I am so guest. Hey, guess who’s next then?

I guess in the guillotine. Uh, here is, uh, the one and only leave. Yeah. He’s gonna walk. I’ll see you later. What happened here? Sitting in for, uh, Ben Tompkins? Uh, who’s busy in the other room working, whatever that is.

I don’t even know what that means. Um, is Chadwick Dodd otherwise known as Chad Dodd or Chad the Bot. Dodd, as we like to call him. Oh, gosh. No. Yes. Yeah. You know, you keep walking around bragging about losing all this weight and looking good and stuff, and you’re going to get that title. This is what happens.

Chad: I have nothing to say about this.

Matt: Yeah. Uh, Chad is, uh, Chad not only has an awesome name. Chadwick, uh, which I think you should fully embrace. I’m embracing Matthew. I’m embracing Matthew for a change.

Chad: Uh, that’s my middle name. Is it? Yeah. Wow.

Matt: Oh, now the connection makes sense. Yeah. It all comes. Yes. Yeah. So Chadwick is the founder and owner of clink. I think he said that. Clink claw. Oh. Claw Inc?

Yes. Claw no claw Inc with a k. Uh, we partner with Chad for all of our website builds at Two Brothers Creative Design. He’s a marketing guru, branding expert.

Uh, and he’s got his hands in, like, 20 different companies. Now he’s just found. He’s just, uh. What is it? What is it? What do they call that, a serial killer entrepreneur. A serial entrepreneur?

Yes. That’s what it is. My bad. I see I’m getting all mixed. See, the thing is, it a little inside baseball, behind the scenes? So, like, I am, I am, I’m stopping vaping and. And so now I’ve made the switch to no nicotine. And so now I’m on like the Nicorette, which I guess still has nicotine in it, but I don’t know how. So this is.

Chad: What we get is the.

Matt: Hyper. You’re gonna get basically bipolar Matt for a while. All right. Worse than normal because I am bipolar. So you’re going to get like, it’s like an accelerant added to this equation.

Austin: In and out of those nicotine withdrawals.

Chad: It’s more like a dumpster fire. Yeah. No, you shut up.

Austin: I just cut back to you. Just chewing on a bunch of. Yeah.

Matt: Um, so. But it’s all for good things, so I, you know, don’t die sooner, right?

Yeah, yeah. So, uh, welcome to the show, Chad. It’s good to have you here. We’re talking about branding, and we’re talking about slogans and marketing today with Nebraska tourism.

Uh, the brutally honest and, I don’t know, some would say brilliantly genius.

I don’t know if I agree with that at all, because I don’t, uh, but you were a guy. You’ve taken a lot of clients through this journey, through this path. And, uh, let’s start because they’ve had what?

Nebraska. Nice. We’re nice.

Which, by the way, our parody of that commercial still gets shows up number one and gets more views than the actual ad. Yeah. That’s fantastic.

We did a parody of it. And I think people, because we pulled like very similar photos and clips, it looks like the real thing. And um, and I think people probably think that’s the actual tourism commercial when they. Oh, that’s right, look at it, which is awesome.

Austin: Let’s go ahead and, uh, show that video. Yeah.

Matt: So let’s play it. Cue it up. Well, you didn’t have it ready. See, this is why Mierden doesn’t get a microphone you didn’t have fucking ready.

Chad: You know, I did.

Austin: That for me because I’m gonna edit that in.

Matt: Yeah. No, we’ll we’ll put that in there. Yeah. That’s a note for Austin who’s also editing.

Chad: Yeah.

Austin: So I’m just giving myself cues.

Chad: Right. Uh.

Matt: Punch in a.

Chad: Funnier joke there for me. Cut this out.

Matt: Accentuate my thighs. Yeah. Um, so they have had what? Nebraska. Nebraska. Nice. Was one. Yeah. They had, um, what was it then? The recent one was, um, honestly, it’s not for everyone. That’s the one that made.

Chad: National headlines the.

Austin: Colorado agency like.

Matt: 50 grand to do or something crazy.

Austin: They didn’t even pick anyone from here. Yeah, and Colorado’s like, it’s not for everyone. Yeah, like, of course they’re gonna say that.

Chad: I mean, football.

Matt: I wish I could have been in the meeting because I want to hear all the other ideas that they tossed out, like, you know, Nebraska. Fuck it. You know, like, here’s an interesting fact for you, though. And then, Chad, I want to hear your thoughts on, like, where they went wrong because this is your like, wheelhouse. Right? Um, more people drive through the state of Nebraska going to play like, touring, you know, than any other state. And yet we can’t get people to take a right or a left turn and stay, you know, I mean, we’ve got Stonehenge or Carhenge Carhenge.

Chad: We have Stonehenge.

Matt: We don’t have Stonehenge.

Chad: Falls.

Matt: Every time. Maybe that’s our problem. We should just start advertising things that aren’t here. Like, yeah, the Mona Lisa.

Austin: Buffet’s got the money. Bring us the Stonehenge.

Matt: Um, but, you know, we’ve got carhenge, which is just like ghetto Stonehenge, which I don’t even know why we want to even, like, have that. Uh, we’ve got the the chimney Rock state capital, Pete Ricketts and many other things that resemble a penis. So we’ve got things to come see here in the state, is what I’m saying.

Um, but we can’t seem to get people here. And it made national headlines, but I don’t from what I saw online, like, it didn’t really increase tourism. It didn’t actually get the job done. So we were I don’t know if people were laughing with us or at us in that situation that.

Chad: That I don’t know.

Austin: I don’t think that how are you going to convince people to vacation here? You know, they get one vacation, they got to spend a bunch of money. Like, why, you know, they want to go somewhere that’s like exotic.

Chad: It’s like like.

Austin: They’re not going to post Instagram photos where.

Chad: They were.

Matt: The dollar store of vacations. You know, it’s like we’re cheap. We’re cheap. Uh, but, Chad, let’s start like, where should somebody start with an actual slogan to actually accomplish an end goal, whether it’s a state or a business?

Chad: Oh, it’s like really? Where do you want to start?

Matt: Yeah, where do we start? Because I feel like they I don’t know where they started. I don’t know how they got to this.

Chad: This comes down to who who you really are.

Rather like we’re looking at the state or whether we’re looking at, you know, a company like really who who you are and embrace who you are. Um,

I don’t think Nebraska embraced who they are, you know, and, and with the nice slogan is like the way I took it from being a coast boy. Is Nebraska nice or, like, nice? Like, it’s just.

Matt: Like the O in there.

Chad: Like it’s just like nice. Like, is it a nice place? Is it a nice place to drive through? Like, there’s nothing there to it. And if it’s not for everybody, that same slogan.

Well then who is it for? Like they’re not defining who we are as a state. And I think that’s where they kind of screwed up.

Austin: Almost too simplistic.

Matt: Yeah. Well, and there wasn’t a lot of meaning or substance behind it, like you said. What does that mean? Like the people are nice because I know a lot of people here. They’re not nice. Um, so driving nice. No. Drive traffic. Nice. No. Um, but you’re right, I think, like, that’s a mistake a lot of businesses make, uh, you know, steering this back to, like, what, a small business can do or something like this is, like, you don’t know who you really are or who you’re really speaking to. And I don’t know that they went through that process. I think this is a.

Chad: Who are they? Who are they attracting? Yeah. Like, are they attracting people from Kansas? Iowa? I mean, if it’s nice and they’re attracting people from Iowa, then of course, like we’re, we’re we’re better.

Matt: We’re better than, we’re better than Kansas.

Austin: Yeah. We are.

Chad: Better. But like, who are they. You’re not going to get somebody from Florida. You’re not going to get somebody from Boston. You’re not going to get some from somebody from California. So who are you really attracting into India’s? Like, are you trying to build your own tourism inside of the state, like.

Matt: And like building out a persona, like you can build out a persona for literally anything and you should. It’s a great exercise. I mean, whether it’s like, hey, we’re going to attend this conference, we’re going to build out a persona for the people attending this conference. We’re going to build out a persona for this specific sale or this campaign or or for your business overall. Right? I mean, I think that’s a that’s a common misstep is we don’t know who we’re actually trying to attract or who are we targeting, who are we trying to reach, and then we don’t lean into who we are. And this is a marketing mistake. I would say it’s like a marketing one on one mistake where we try and get too cute for the room, we’re too cool for the room where it’s like, yeah, okay. Yeah. It’s not. Honestly, it’s not for everyone. Ah ha ha. That’s a funny joke. It’s going to get national headlines, but is it going to move the needle? Is it going to be able to laugh and then say, you know what. But it is for me. No, I don’t think I mean the statistics. I don’t think so.

Austin: Why would why would anyone not for me like, why would anybody go, ooh, I’m gonna go check that out. Yes. I don’t see.

Matt: Something nobody else likes. Maybe I will like it.

Austin: Right. Or maybe they were trying to get the people that are, like, want to be different than everyone else.

Matt: But who are they? Like, are they going on vacations? Weirdos.

Austin: Those are like school shooters.

Matt: Yeah, I feel like those like they’re going to the theaters in Colorado and doing horrible things. Or they’re I mean, it’s like, I don’t know, I don’t see the connection. You gotta keep up with it. Chatter podcast has gotten weird since you last were on okay.

Chad: Like, here we go.

Matt: Uh, it’s new formats, a whole new life. Um, so. But, Chad, like, walk us through the process. As though it’s like you’re trying to come up like a slogan, like, do you even need a slogan? I mean, let’s start there. No.

Chad: Yeah. Like, no. I think we’re looking at like, marketing campaigns or advertising campaigns or brand statements or whatever it is, like you’re trying to figure out, like how you’re going to communicate to somebody.

And a lot of times it’s just say what you mean and you don’t have to overcomplicate it, you know?

And so that’s where I think people try to be cute and clever and, you know, it falls flat. If you go too cute or too clever, you’re going to alienate people. It’s going to be confusing to people. Um, and too, you could offend some people as well. Like, I mean, there’s other campaigns where it’s like, okay, that’s kind of offensive.

And it wasn’t meant to be, but it was just a simple like, you’re trying to be too clever with something, and in that you’ve lost the audience. Yeah. And so just say it like it is, you know, and if it takes you like, if it takes you just a little bit to say something, you know, and just say like Nebraska. Nice.

Like, that’s too small. Like what is nice. You’re not clarifying it. You’re not simplifying it for somebody. You simplified it too much. And in the simplification you confused it. So simple simplicity isn’t like in length. It’s in clarity of what you’re saying. Like be precise in what you’re saying and.

Matt: Also understand like what are the words actually mean?

Because nice. Let’s be honest. Like, I mean if you were to describe like yeah, like, okay, this is, this is, this is not like PC, but this is the this is the real life. All right? So is this real life.

Yes. You have a group of girls or guys and they have that friend and they’re trying to hook their friend up and you’re like, oh, you’re single now. And like, oh, you need to get with Chad. He’s so nice. I’m sorry, Chad, that I didn’t.

Austin: Yeah, no, it’s a stereo.

Matt: Thinking of a different.

Chad: Chad that really cut deep. No.

Matt: Or Brenda. Oh, she’s so nice. And it doesn’t mean they don’t. It’s they it’s like a it’s a.

Austin: Way of getting out. Yeah. Of, like hooking up with that person. Yeah. It’s like a stereotypical thing. Yeah. From decades and decades of, like, no one wanted to be voted like, the nicest in their class.

Yeah. No. Yeah. You know, I’ve even seen that in TV shows and sitcoms and Goldbergs, there’s a whole episode about it. He, like, he gets voted like the nicest, and he’s like, no one wants to be nice. No one is nice. You know? It’s like, what is that?

Matt: Well, yeah. Like, because you never want to be the nice friend because then you’re in the friend zone. And trust me, I’ve spent my life in the friend zone.

That’s where I’ve resided. I have built my camp there, and it’s like the nice. It’s like. It means it translates to like, uh, I don’t know, like all the things we say we want, but we don’t actually want. That’s what it translates to. Like, oh, he’s nice or he’s he listens, he’s friendly, he’s supportive, he’s loving, he’s caring.

Are you going to date him? No. Nope, nope I’m going to go date. The guy’s a piece of shit who you know, doesn’t live with his parents. And he’s 35 and he’s got, uh, you know, uh, uh, what do we call it in that previous episode, the, uh, the Al Capone syphilis. Oh, yeah.

Austin: Yeah, he’s got the syphilis syndrome. You missed.

Matt: That one. The Al Capone syphilis syndrome. But, yeah, go back and watch links in the show notes. It’ll make more.

Chad: Sense. Nice is safe. Like when you. When you want a vacation.

Do you want safe? Like adventure. Like you want adventure. You want something that’s out of your norm. Your normal life is safe, right? You wake up, you go to work, you go home, you make dinner, you maybe go to the movies. It’s all consistency. It’s just safe. And then when you go on vacation, you want to go clubbing. You want to go to the beach.

You want to do, you know, the adventurous things. You want to go mountain climbing, like whatever it may be. And Nebraska is nice, is just we’re safe.

Matt: It’s like an average. It’s like it’s equates to boring. Yes it does. And I feel like that, that that one was a swing and a miss. And then honestly, it’s not for everyone. I think the big miss there is it’s like they’re trying to be too cool for the room, trying to be too clever.

And like, I think, Chad, tell me what you think about this. Because marketing, I think this is one of the biggest and easiest mistakes to make is where we try and get too creative and we only focus on creative and we don’t focus on the formula. And I’ve always believed it’s like formula.

First, there is a rhyme and reason to what works, why it works. Psychology. You’re not reinventing the wheel in a lot of things, just somatically. Um, and then you incorporate your creative into that.

And I think we sometimes think, oh, I’m just going to come up with a great catchphrase or a goofy lizard mascot and, uh, you know, I’m gonna he’s gonna be a hand puppet. It’s gonna be hilarious, but. Well, is it actually fitting into the formula of resonating with your ideal customer?

And is it reflective of you? Is it just there’s so many different things you can just skip over, gloss over, and yeah, you’ve got something that’s funny and entertaining, but like, is it going to, you know, unless it’s a Super Bowl ad where you got hundreds of millions of people watching, is it really going to connect or resonate deeply with anybody?

Chad: Well, even when you watch the Super Bowl ad, you see so many ads that try to be funny and they fall flat, right? Yeah. Oh yeah. And there’s only a few that really do a great job at it, you know, over time. But they’ve perfected it over the years of falling flat on their face with it.

But when you’re looking at like when you’re looking at coming up with a. Campaign or something that is quote unquote clever is be true again, be true to who you are as a as an organization and then present that to the people you know, you don’t want to sit there and like like I’m kind of just I am safe, right?

Like I am like that guy who like, I like simplicity. I don’t, you know, my place is clean, OCD, like, that’s who I am. And so when somebody approaches us as an agency, they’re looking for, you know, like things to be in order. They’re looking for structure. They’re looking for clarity and simplicity. And that’s what we’re attracting because that’s who who we are. I’m not trying to be another agency that’s, you know, flamboyant with things and go over the top.

Chad: I’m being true to who I am. And those people are then coming to me. And so I think that’s the key is just be you. And we’re so quick to wanting to get like a lot of like followers.

We’re so quick to want to have, you know, big numbers. But we’re not thinking like long game of it, you know, and, and how are we really building an actual following of people who want to be part of us? And so you get skewed numbers over the time too, right? Like if you’re not being you and you like just following a trend, you’ll get a huge number and then it will drop off and you’re not sure like who your followers are anymore.

And then leadership is like, what the hell’s going on here? This isn’t right. And then you’re then the next thing is like, we have to now chase the next campaign or the next trend. And so you’re always a trend chaser, not a trend setter. Yeah. And you look at big organizations, they’re setting the trend. They’re not following the trend.

Matt: It’s easy to make pivots based on false information. When I say false I mean like information that you don’t it isn’t accurate. You don’t have a big enough sample pool like and this is a mistake. I mean, we I’ve made this mistake in the past. I think probably most, if not all business owners, when they start off make the mistake of just I just need a logo, I’m going to get somebody from uh, like what was what’s the what’s the Fiverr?

Fiverr. Yeah. 99 design. I’m gonna get somebody for Fiverr to do it for five bucks and throw it up there. It doesn’t matter. And then you don’t really know the resounding impact things like that have on the long terme play for, in this case, the state of Nebraska.

Because now you’ve made the state of Nebraska a the butt of the joke.

And how long is that going to last? Can that even be reversed? So then when you put out your next thing where you try and make your next slogan, your next pivot, your next, uh, you know, present yourself to the, the, the country for travel and tourism. They’re going to think, oh yeah, they’re the joke.

Chad: So but why do we get away from the Arbor Day thing?

Austin: I don’t know, what was the Arbor Day like?

Chad: We were we’re home of Arbor Day. Yeah. So why did we get away from like that was our that was on all the the signs coming in when I first moved here that was the big thing. So we would.

Austin: Probably have more people because people really care about trees now.

Chad: Yeah, that was my pitch.

Matt: I sent that in to the state secretary of state. Say, here’s my slogan. Trees, trees. It’s it’s simple. It’s simple. It’s one word just like nice, you know?

Austin: And people would be like, man, we gotta check out I love trees.

Matt: But that’s the thing. Like, that’s embracing us. Because, like, when I tell people about coming here, you know, we don’t have mountains, we don’t have oceans. It is beautiful here, though. Like in the summertime, in the fall. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in the country.

Austin: The whole state to.

Matt: The whole is covered in trees. You have trees everywhere. And Chadron, you know, it’s that Ogallala Aquifer fueling those trees.

Austin: Long Pine Bassett, great territory.

Matt: Yeah.

Austin: Well, I’ve been everywhere. Okay.

Matt: Yeah, well, he wears plaid. Chad.

Chad: No.

Matt: That’s true. Wow. Plaid Chad and even.

Chad: Oh, Lord. Wow.

Matt: We just got a new, new nickname.

Chad: Well, plaid Chad Thibodaux. We’re moving on from that quick.

Matt: Okay. Wow. That’s gonna stick.

Chad: Nebraska has a lot of different, like, landscapes in one state where you don’t get that, like, yeah, where I’m from in Massachusetts, it’s mountains, it’s trees, it’s lakes and rivers and like, but it’s the same landscape. When you come here, you have the plains. Then you have to go further out west. You have gone into this unique mountain forms, you know, shapes. You go to Valentine, Nebraska. That’s a different look. And so it’s a unique thing. So why aren’t we playing on. Mhm. You get all the states in one.

Matt: Or just embrace like Husker football. There’s so many things that are like the identity of the state that we try and like steer away from. Like you don’t have to say obviously you can’t do Husker football because they would trademark and bill the state, you know, millions of dollars for that.

But embracing the color red like it’s a red state. It’s a conservative state for the most part. It’s a Cornhusker state. I mean, like our blood is red. I mean, there’s a lot of red people eat is red state.

Yes, exactly. So, um, so to button up this conversation about branding, coming up with a slogan like, um, what? Like if we had to break this down in like, three simple steps.

Steps, you know, and you can correct me if I’m wrong and toss in your thoughts here, guys, but, like, know who you are, what is your identity and embrace it. You know, even as weird and awkward and scary as that is, embrace it. Know who it is you’re speaking to. You know who is your ideal customer. Build out a persona, know exactly who you’re speaking to so you can actually connect with and resonate deeply with them. What else would you throw in?

Chad: I would throw in there the why? Like why would somebody want to be here? So you have the who I am. Why am I doing this and who am I talking to? Like, I think that’s a key thing because if you don’t have the why, like.

Matt: Yeah, if you don’t have the why, you don’t have the what if you don’t have the what, you don’t have the how. If you don’t have the how, you don’t have the where. If you don’t have the where, you don’t have the why. And that brings us back to today’s.

Austin: Who’s on First.

Matt: Episode. The letter y. All right. Chadwick. Thank you so much for popping on the show. If you need help with your branding, if you need help with your marketing, if you need help with your graphic design, your website builds. Uh, we’re just going to refer you to Chad, because that’s who we go to, because he’s actually the secret behind everything we do now. Uh, but we do partner with him because he’s a phenomenal. Uh klaa. Inc.com. Check out his brand new website. Oh, my God, let’s give a big round of applause to the brand new website.

This guy has been just working on this thing for, uh, years, and, uh, it turned out phenomenal. Check it out. Clarin.com. The link is in the show notes. You’re just one finger away.

Finger that thing and the notes I really need to work on how I’m, uh, I need to do. I need to contract that company out of Denver to come up with a new out, a new out drill.

So. Okay, uh, you can use your finger to push on the thing in the show notes. Takes you to his website. You don’t have to use your finger. You can really use any body part you want. This is really spiraling.

Austin: Unless. It’s unless it’s, uh, got a deep callus. Um, I don’t think.

Matt: Or if it’s a crevice, it probably wouldn’t work. It’d be as effective in protecting my things.

Austin: All right.

Matt: Uh, that is how you sell your services there, Chad. Thanks. Uh, but all joking aside, uh, check it out. Link is in the show notes. Uh, the content box.com.

That link is in the show notes as well. For everyone here, except for Martin, who, you know, once again, he didn’t chime in with a single funny, uh, you know, anecdote, thought question. And yes, he doesn’t have a microphone, but still, that’s no excuse.

Austin: You could have you could have yelled.

Matt: He could use sign language. Yes. So Martin is still in the bullpen, and we’re going to keep him there until he’s been picking on Martin. See, the lack of the the nicotine gum is wearing off. It’s wearing off now. Docex. Yes. I’m in. I think that’s what I said.

I don’t know, my Lasik is starting to wear off. All right. Well, thank you so much for joining us here on this episode of Midwest Mindset. We’ll see you next time.

Legacy vs. Likes: A Conversation with Mike Smith

Legacy vs. Likes: Mike Smith’s Guide to Honesty in Social Media

Legacy vs. likes, what’s more important? For business, this can be a tough question to answer because, sure, we all want to leave a legacy and make the world a better place, but likes and recognition are also super important to have a successful enterprise, right? 

What if we told you that likes are not a direct reflection of your business’s visibility or success? And that legacy can be achieved while still having a compelling but honest marketing strategy?

In this Mindwest Mindset podcast episode, Matt and Ben are joined by Mike Smith, storyteller, community builder, guide, and author of “Legacy vs. Likes,” to discuss the world of social media and the possible harm of validation through likes.

Legacy vs. Likes_ A Conversation with Mike Smith

The Story of Legacy vs. Likes

So, how did Mike’s book come about? “Legacy vs. Likes” explores the social media vortex, highlighting the issues that come along with it, especially for younger people.

Mike has spotted a worrying trend – the way we’re getting sucked into social media and how it’s altering our behavior.

And with more adults hopping onto the social media train than ever before, the desire to become influencers isn’t just a childish idea; it’s an adult’s dream as well. 

Read the full transcript.

A lot of the adults online right now have grown with the influence of social media, so it’s no surprise that current young adults and new parents want to be influencers and are, in some way or another, influencers of social media.  

The Internet has changed the game of how we see each other and everything around us. It paints a picture of what’s cool, what’s acceptable, and what’s beautiful. However, this is a very distorted, unreal image.

The New Generation

With the internet and social media being an integral part of their daily lives, Gen Z has a unique way of interacting and connecting with the world. 

They see these platforms not merely as a medium to showcase their lives but as a tool to engage, learn, and express themselves.

This doesn’t exclude them from the toxic behavior of social media and “likes” driven interaction. 

They are also more aware of brands’ values and the legacy they intend to leave in the world, making it harder for businesses to stay relevant across different generations.

So, how can we make sure to stay relevant across all generations while still making an impact?

First, we need to understand something: Like are not that important

Legacy vs. Likes two brothers creative

Legacy vs. Likes

In today’s landscape, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers game. The number of likes, shares, and followers can seem like an equivalent of success. 

And while they might look impressive on the surface, they don’t necessarily translate into real-world results or long-term success.

A legacy is about making a lasting impact that goes beyond our lifetimes. It’s about building authenticity, consistency, and true values and making our content reflect that. 

That’s how we leave a legacy.

Entertainment vs. Quality

We live in an age where social media platforms are evolving into entertainment powerhouses; much like TV channels or Netflix, brands are looking for ways to stay relevant. 

This shift has driven brands to pump out high volumes of content to keep their audiences hooked. However, this rush for relevance often sacrifices quality for quantity, and on many occasions, users won’t stick to receiving poor-quality content.

While entertaining content might capture attention, it’s the quality that keeps audiences coming back for more.

Legacy vs. Likes: How to Build a Legacy

Now comes the million-dollar question: Can we build a legacy online? In a space full of fake influencers and photoshopped pictures, how do we carve out a lasting presence?

To build a lasting legacy, brands must focus on targeting the right people with quality content and maintaining consistency, But how can we achieve it?

More Legacy and Less Likes

Here are some key steps to building a true and honest social media presence that will keep your audience hooked.


Knowing who you are and what you stand for is the first step; have a clear vision of what you offer and how you help others. 

Are you selling a product or service? Are you reaching out to people who genuinely benefit from what you offer? 

These questions can help you align your social media strategy with your purpose.

Core Values

Identify your brand’s core values and ensure they are reflected in every aspect of your social media presence. 

These values act as your guiding principles and will help you stay true to your brand.

At Two Brothers Creative, for example, we believe that everyone deserves affordable and efficient marketing. 

Legacy vs. Likes book Mike Smith

Know Your Audience

Who are you trying to help or engage with?

Understanding your target audience is crucial for effective communication. Are your posts reaching them? If not, it might be time to revisit your content strategy or explore different platforms.

Website Quality

Think of your website as your digital storefront. If someone stumbles upon it, what will their impression be? 

Is it easy to navigate? Does it provide useful information? 

A quality website not only reflects positively on your brand but also helps in lead generation and conversions.

Content Quality

In the rush to stay relevant, quality often takes a backseat. 

But remember, content is everything. High-quality content that resonates with your audience can drive engagement, foster loyalty, and elevate your brand above the competition.

Soaical media likes vs legacy

The True Power of Authenticity on “Legacy vs. Likes”

Mike emphasizes the need for authenticity and staying true to one’s values, even in the face of fleeting trends and the constant pursuit of likes.

Remember, it’s impossible to please everyone. Instead, focus on resonating with the right people – those who align with your values and appreciate your authenticity and honesty, those who actually find your content valuable and useful. 

While likes and shares provide instant gratification, they are fleeting and don’t necessarily translate into a lasting impact.

Turning Failures into Legacy

Now, let’s talk about failure; it happens to the best of us. But here’s the thing – failure isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s an important part of the journey.

Mistakes will happen, it’s what you do after you’ve stumbled that really counts. So, dust yourself off, learn from it, and get back in the game. 

The way you react to setbacks will talk about who you are as a business. After all, it’s not about how many times you fall but how many times you get back up.

Two Brothers Creative podcast omaha

Legacy vs. Likes: The Two Brothers Case

For us, what defines us is a real wish to help companies; we believe marketing should be affordable and easy to understand.

We don’t believe in marketing companies that overcharge to present results that most people won’t understand. 

Our dream? To build a company that’s in the business of helping other businesses. We’re not just here to make a quick buck. We want to help your business flourish through awesome content that makes a real impact.

Our legacy and quality content? From our podcast, free PDFs, blogs, and everything we do, we do it to inform and make a better environment for entrepreneurs looking to expand their marketing.  

The Easy Box

Looking for ways to grow your business? Don’t spend unnecessary time on marketing; focus on becoming a better leader and entrepreneur; leave the rest to us! 

With the Easy Box, you give us only 30 minutes of your time, and we give you 30 days’ worth of content. 

Forget all about long hours and marketing failure; this is marketing made easy. 

Midwest Mindset: Like vs. Legacy with Mike Smit

Mike Smith: Storyteller, Community Builder, Guide

This is a written Transcription for the Midwest Mindset episode: Mike Smith: Storyteller, Community Builder, Guide

Legacy vs. Likes_ A Conversation with Mike Smith

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

Mike Smith: Storyteller, Community Builder, Guide

Matt: Would you rather have a legacy or more likes? You can get the likes on Instagram and Facebook, but what’s that actually doing to move you and your business forward?

Today we are joined by the guest of the author of the book here, A legacy Versus Like Mike Smith, also written with Andrew Norman, and we are excited to talk about how this translates into your happiness, your success, and the impact you leave.

For your future.

Matt: Welcome back to Midwest Mindset, the podcast that makes marketing simple and easy to do. My name is Matt Tompkins. Here, your host with the most toast from neither coast. There we go. See, I just did an ad lib rhyme in the middle there to kick off the episode. That was beautiful. A+.

Ben: I heard you practicing that.

Matt: But I did throw the with no coast. The new coast was new. All I got through was the host with the most toast.

Ben: Just left out. Rump roast? Yes.

Matt: Who has six toes?

Mike Smith: And Omaha. Omaha doesn’t coast. It doesn’t.

Matt: It doesn’t coast. Yes. And we’re nice.

Ben: Still don’t know what that means.

Matt: Yes, yes. Uh, also joined by, of course, Ben Tompkins, the other brother from the same mother. Yeah.

Ben: We look exactly alike. Yes.

Matt: Neither one of us were adopted. And as I mentioned in the intro there, Mike Smith here with us. Mike, uh, it’s a pleasure to have you here. It’s been a long time coming because I.

So this book here, legacy versus likes. You wrote this with Andrew Norman and who my my wife knew Andrew from the reader and had this connection. And so I’m reading this book and I actually be honest, I stole this book from, like, she was reading it, I walked in, I’m like, hey, this looks kind of cool. I started reading it and I didn’t give it back. And so I kept reading it and it was, you know, related to it on a lot of levels.

Coming from a small town in the middle of Nebraska, like Ben and I grew up in, uh, Hastings, Nebraska. Uh, so similar backgrounds, but it really hit home, uh, because I think this is an issue that is only gotten more, uh, has more more of an impact. It’s more important now than ever before.

But you wrote this, it came out 2017. Uh, and we’re looking here six years later. I think it’s more more prevalent. It’s more important for people to focus on this.

And it doesn’t matter if you focus a lot on helping kids and you help us a lot on on families, parents and kids and and not getting this current generation too sucked into defining their self-worth by how many likes they get, how many views, how many heart emojis.

But it also pertains equally, I think, to what businesses are doing, uh, you know, with their companies, because I think it’s a big misstep to think that that’s all that matters, that that’s the only metric is how many likes, how many views. And it usually doesn’t, you know, may not push the needle at all. So excited to have you here.

I guess that was kind of a long introduction, but, uh, Mike, you’re also the co-founder of a rabble mill and founder of the Bay, residing from Lincoln, Nebraska. Give it up for Mike Smith, everybody. Yes!

Ben: Insert studio applause.

Matt: I hope we don’t have any like Omaha. Lincoln rivalries go down in this episode. No, no.

Mike Smith: No, I love Omaha, love Omaha. We’re, uh, we’re expanding into Omaha, which is exciting. So we’re we, uh, we do a lot of programming at the Bay in Omaha after school programming and stuff, but we’re headed here. So.

Matt: So when you were writing this book, like, Take us back when you started, like, what was the thought? Because legacy versus likes. It’s a cool title. Yeah. Um, I think it’s kind of self-explanatory.

But take us back to where you started with this project you and Andrew worked on with this book. Like, was this just something you were just observing in real time around you on social media?

You’re like, man, I’m. I’m motivated, I moved, I got to speak out. I got to say something, uh, because I think most people probably feel the same way. They just don’t articulate it into words like you guys did so well in this book. Sure.

Mike Smith: So in 2017, I was, um, actually a youth speaker speaking all over the world. So I would host these tour stops and events where schools would bus in, you know, 10 to 100 kids to an event center or a college.

And it would be this, like all day leadership conference where we would talk about how to make an impact back on your campuses. And so I was speaking in front of hundreds of thousands of kids every single day, and social media was, you know, I don’t TikTok wasn’t around.

Snapchat was kind of in its infancy stages when we wrote this. And I think everybody I was seeing a generation of kid get more and more sucked into their phone every year. It would be cellphone was the issue. Social media was the issue.

There was more issues happening online than in real life. Every single year. It was like that was increasing more and more. And when school principals are telling you something, hey, this is happening in our schools all across the country at the same time, you kind of got to listen to it because that’s the finger print of finger on the pulse.

Yeah. That’s it. And so I was like, wow, this is really where people are at. And so, you know, I wanted to be able to leave something that my hope was there’s, you know, there’s challenges in the book. So each chapter ends with, hey, do this. Hey, there’s action steps, there’s action items. And so I wanted to leave school specifically with something they could give youth that called them to action and was a lot to think about, but also kind of made them put a little bit of skin in the game. And so you actually have the first edition of it. So it’s been around for so long that we’re on our third cover of it. And I went through and so I’m old school. Yeah. I’m like, oh yeah, you are OG.

Matt: Fan over here.

Mike Smith: Yeah. And so the the cool part with the third one is I went and did every challenge in the book and made this like virtual book club during the pandemic. And so during the pandemic, I acted out all of the challenges in the book. And then schools would have their kids do the the book club, and then the kids would go do the challenges. And so I wanted it to be something that if you picked it up, there was a call to action to it, and it kind of made you think, not just think about it, but then go do something. And so it’s been cool to see the stories and the the comments or emails I get from parents, teachers, kids all the time.

Matt: This feels like it was kind of a precursor to there’s a great, uh, Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, which came out, and I forget the guy’s name, uh, who’s in it, but he was like one of the Facebook, uh, one of the one of the first whistleblowers, if you will. And, uh, he’s he’s been a big advocate for the issues that come along with social media, especially with.

Teens like teen girls cutting and attempted suicide, and suicide rates spike right at the moment that these apps hit mobile phones. And so it’s a real issue. I think parents were.

Ben: More about the like the self facing camera, the selfie, whatever that was like 2010 or 2011 that you saw a huge spike in self-harm. Yeah. Um, and things like depression and anxiety rising and it’s connected to to the selfie to social media.

Matt: Right. And there was never this conversation. We never like parents didn’t have it. We just thought, oh, this is a cool new toy. It’s technology. We can’t criticize technology out of Silicon Valley.

Therefore it’s all good. It’s all good, it’s all good. And then over that, like, you know, in your case here over the probably a 5 to 7 year stretch, rapid increase in all these harmful, destructive things, social media can do some very cool, positive things. But we didn’t have a conversation about the impact of on kids especially.

And then now you look at like generations and even people. I’m 42, even people my age. It’s like we’re defining our our worth by how many likes we get. And, uh, you know, we’ve talked on the podcast for a business how that’s a big mistake because business needs to make sales like conversions. And if you’re only focused on how many likes you get in a video, that’s not going to translate.

You know, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to sell more things, just like in real life with kids who look at this and they say, okay, I got 200 views I got, but the classmate got a thousand views.

That means I’m worthless. And like, the worth isn’t tied up. Like, when do. What conversation do you think parents are having now looking at this? You know, 11, 12 years after the advent of the Facebook and Instagram on the mobile devices?

Mike Smith: I think to be honest, that’s why it got out of control, is now you have more mommy Fluencers dad influencers. Family influencers, like it started through kids. It was like kids trying to get famous on the internet. But then you have a generation of parents now I see moms dancing on TikTok and you see hunters doing.

I mean, it’s like every genre knows I’ve got to do this thing on this thing so I can get views and likes and engagement. So it’s it’s not like it stopped at a younger generation. It kept.

Yeah, it kept going. It kept going. So there’s this conversation around where with parents, it’s like the competitive momming like the Christmas time, like the posting of that showing of that. Like it didn’t it didn’t just stay with youth, which is largely who I wrote this for. Yeah. But six years later, it’s now, especially with TikTok and the way Instagram is, you’ve got more adults marketing to adults through.

That means then you had kids just looking at it, because kids use it as a form of communication. Kids use it as a form of like, okay, you know, I’m in my bubble in my school and my thing, but parents have taken it to a whole nother level. And that didn’t that didn’t start there.

And so this conversation’s actually evolved into the parents as those kids grew into adults. And so that’s interesting. It’s been very interesting for me to see how many mom influencers you see on the internet when ten years ago, that wasn’t it wasn’t as prevalent. Yeah.

Matt: I mean, and it’s such a highly competitive space. We did an episode recently about like LinkedIn versus like Instagram. Linkedin is they have 830 million active monthly users, and it’s 1% of their users are posting weekly content. And then you look at Instagram and Facebook, it’s like 87. They got 1.2 billion users on Instagram. 87% of those users are posting weekly content. And so you look at this mad rush to just stay relevant, not even like to get an effective message across or to be heard, like, actually heard. It’s just to be in the conversation. You got to be posting stuff constantly. And I think that’s where we’re at, where it’s just for business owners. I know it feels overwhelming for kids. I know it feels overwhelming in a different way. Um, but, you know, we look at all these different platforms and options and how fine tuned they are on getting us addicted to them. Like, is there an actual. Like solution to this very real problem, because the conversation, like we’re talking about here is not one most people want to have, I would say.

Ben: I mean, the solution, one solution potentially is time. I mean, all of this is the news. Anytime something brand new is. And as revolutionary as this kind of technology is, you’re going to have cautionary tales.

So you’re going to have 2000. You had iPad kids, parents at the time giving iPads, giving this technology to kids because they didn’t understand the effect that that’s going to have on them.

Um, it’ll be interesting to see the time aspect of the kids who are in school now, seeing their parents consumed by social media, seeing their friends consume by social media, how they raise their kids, knowing the effects, knowing how, how addicting it can be because their parents didn’t know that.

They didn’t know that when they were kids with it. And so I think a matter of time and I think you could see a potential like blowback on that and that it’s not the cool thing to do when mom and grandma and everybody else is doing these TikTok dances. But are we too.

Matt: Addicted at this point? I mean, I’m in this current generation.

Ben: This current generation.

Mike Smith: But yeah, I mean, parents are on Facebook, so kids ditched Facebook and went to Snapchat and then parents are now on Snapchat. So kids went to TikTok. Parents are on TikTok like, yeah, kids are going to find their way to communicate in their internet space, which it’s honestly kind of what gaming is turning into it.

Kids are spending a lot of time doing that because they can connect and communicate and talk and meet someone around the world that way. So you see it.

Kids are always going to find their space. You know, their third space, they say, which is like, you know, they need that and so they’re going to find it. But for adults, like, I think you’re going to use what you’re comfortable with, you know, and like boomers use Facebook, you know, and kind of Instagram sometimes and like X uses what they use and millennials use what they use. And you know, you kind of can look at it generationally and it’s really easy to see who’s using what.

Matt: When you’re talking to kids because you travel all over the globe, talking to kids, talking to working with parents and schools like what today are like because I’m guessing, you know, I mentioned the movie Social Dilemma that came out a few couple, two, two years ago or so.

This is such a rapidly changing and evolving digital landscape, right? Right. And so what are the challenges now that like you’re seeing with kids that are facing with this technology,

I’m guessing what the parents are probably mirrors it in a lot of ways. We talk about businesses here, primaries in a lot of ways compared to some of those early warning signs like, you know, with the first edition came out, you know, like 2017 where we’re seeing this.

Mike Smith: Yeah, I think, you know, the the more you’re connected to the world, the more options you have. And so kids today, I think have this kind of paralysis by there’s so many choices in the world. And so they’re they’re online. And I think you constantly feel this sense of like, I could do this, I could do that.

There’s kids my age that have are famous already. There’s kids my age that are doing x, y, z. And I think some kids feel defeated and deflated by that.

And then I think some kids feel inspired and challenged and want to raise raise to it. But I think what I see is a generation of young people who recognize the path for millennials, and Gen X isn’t the path that they want to take. Like they don’t want to do the four years of college, the I’m going to follow this traditional sort of path. You know, they just don’t. And the reason that they don’t is largely because of social media.

And they’ve seen it on YouTube. They’ve seen it on the internet, like they have access to all these awesome other pathways. And they realize I don’t just have to go to college for four years to get the perfect job, perfect grade, perfect house, perfect life. They don’t think that’s real anymore.

And so what you’re running into is a generation who’s kind of figuring it out very differently for themselves. You know, like they’re taking weirder paths to get where they want to go. And they’re jumping from this to that, where Gen X didn’t. Millennials really didn’t, you know, and like it’s just different now. They’re just approaching it so differently. We didn’t even.

Matt: Have sex ed in school, let alone YouTube when I was like going through puberty. Oh yeah. I mean, I just imagine the difference.

And that could be for good or bad. I don’t know, it could be a double edged sword because I mean, obviously rates of like porn and and how that has influenced sex.

You look at like body image types and Instagram and how that has influenced like just the way most human beings look and physically.

Oh yeah, I mean, it’s it’s substantial and it makes you wonder, like, where is this going? Like where are we going to go? Like, yeah.

Mike Smith: I think you got to watch like an episode of Black Mirror to figure out, I think so, yeah.

Matt: Exactly. There we go. Yeah. Um, so let’s talk about this because you work a lot with, like, content creation and all in the same kind of sphere we do. We were nerding out about storybrand, you know, before we started recording this episode. So let’s talk about some of, like, the practical things, like a business. I say business owner.

That sounds so like cold and disingenuous. It’s a person. Yeah, who has a business. They have a company. And if they have, if they have a real solution to a real problem and they really want to serve their customers. Um, you know, in this competitive, we talk about like having a legacy versus likes in the book.

You talk about you’re looking at like the tweets of like world leaders, people who are actually doing right. And it’s like a fraction of what the Kardashians are tweeting, like the Kardashians are tweeting like, I just got off a plane, you know, and then and then you have, you know, a Barack Obama.

Hey, I just, you know, we just negotiated this, you know, $200 million and aid donated to this country or whatever it might be. So if you want to have a legacy, you want to have an impact, big or small, like what is the direction that you recommend people go?

As far as I’m a small business owner, yeah, I want to actually have results and actually help people, you know, how do you get them away from focusing on the likes or the wrong analytics and focus on what actually matters?

Mike Smith: I think it kind of boils down. Onto a couple things.

The best brands, just like, uh, if you know, even the best humans, you really know yourself. You you know what? You you know what you value. You know what you care about. You know what’s important. You know what matters to you. And I think for a lot of people, they get caught up thinking that getting likes matters.

And so you get into the analytics game and how do I play it and how does this happen? And at the end of the day, if getting more likes really does matter to you, then go play that game.

But I think for most business owners it’s like, I want to make more money, I want to sell more of my stuff. I want to help more people. Yeah, I want to help more people. I were a nonprofit, but we’re we’re selling something. We’re selling impact. You know, we’re constantly selling like.

And what matters to us is changing kids lives. Yeah, that’s what we’re selling. That’s our product, you know? And so we’re constantly talking about that. But I think as I see it, I, you know, I’m not this isn’t just a shout out to liquid death because shout out liquid death, but.

Matt: Shout out liquid death. We’ll give him a shout out.

Mike Smith: Yeah, yeah. But that’s a brand that they’re not every single day beating you over the head with it. They’re this one hilarious video that takes a long time to put together. That was really thoughtful. And boom, they drop something great and it goes nuts. And the reason why is they understand themselves and they’re not trying to beat you at the we put out more. They’re putting out just incredible content.

I think a friend of mine told me this who’s the a guy at Ithaca? Ithaca is a action sports underwear brand. Awesome. Work with him for years. They’re great people. But a friend of mine over there,

Danny Evans, said it’s easier to be relevant for 30 minutes than it is for 30 days. And so sometimes you just have to come up with your thing that’s like loud and big, and then you ride that for a while and you do something else.

But the whole it doesn’t matter which way you go, it matters if it’s true to your brand and know yourself and your audience really identifies with the content you’re posting. And I think for most brands, they’re mimicking someone else, just like most kids are mimicking someone else. And it doesn’t change. And I see it all the time.

You see entrepreneurs that are they want to be where the Uber of this, we’re the something of that. And it’s like, okay, you don’t necessarily fully get yourself you know, and I think that when you can truly say, no, this is who I am, this is what I really give a shit about.

Mike Smith: And we’re just and you run after that sort of a thing. It makes your content so much easier to post. You don’t have to copy other people because it’s flowing out of who you are. And I think why social media is so interesting to me. I get the opportunity. I was just in Paris talking to kids and I humblebrag. Jeez, it was awesome, right? But you’re in the you’re in the fashion capital of the world.

This place that’s like it’s Paris, you know what I’m saying? And it’s where it’s the epicenter. And they look exactly, exactly like the kids at Bay High in Lincoln, Nebraska. I’m talking identical, and I honestly think our kids were a little bit swagger because just the skate part. But, like, truly. And that’s something that’s different.

But because of the internet today, every kid can look like every kid everywhere immediately. And it can happen overnight like you can find it overnight. Didn’t used to live like and Imperial Nebraska and growing up in Hastings, you had to wait for it to get mailed to you in a magazine and hope you found it. By that time, the coasts had already been doing it for months. You know, it.

Matt: Was like, if Sears didn’t have it.

Mike Smith: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And we weren’t there was no Sears where I, you know, we were an hour from a Walmart. You know, we tried.

Matt: We travel with the Conestoga mall in Grand Island. That was like the road trip.

Mike Smith: Totally. Yeah. Grand Island was was like.

Matt: Big city.

Mike Smith: Huge for us, you know, way too far to drive to. So I just think for, for a lot of brands and for anybody that’s listening, you know, if you actually know yourself, know what you value and know what what you’re trying to kind of accomplish it, you know, company Cam’s a good it’s an app for contractors in Lincoln and their marketing is great. It’s hilarious. It’s on brand but they know who they’re talking to.

Their guys. It’s people driving around with ladder racks on their vehicles and logos on the side, like they know exactly who they’re going after. So they make content exactly for them. But they’re not counting the algorithms and the likes. They’re trying to tell a great story about their product that’s solving problems.

And I think people just get get caught up in trying to chase what other brands are doing. And I see youth speakers do it, but I also see kids do it every day. It’s like, oh, this is the famous way to talk on the internet today. We’ll do this.

Matt: And there’s so many, there’s so much of this with entrepreneurs where they want to be, they want they’re in love with the idea of being a successful entrepreneur.

But then when you start talking about, okay, well, here’s how you get there. And it starts here with what are your core values? Yeah. What are your core values?

Define them. And then let’s put them into something you can memorize. You can say you can rattle this off and it feels right. It clicks right. And I thought core values was a cheesy exercise when I started. But it’s not. It becomes the filter and the foundation for everything you do moving forward.

And then like you said, what is the problem you’re actually solving? You know, who is your ideal customer? Create a full, detailed persona. Give them a name, an age you know, are they married?

Do they have kids like all those things? Oh, yeah. But that’s it’s that’s a hard work. Yes. That’s not the sexy part, right? No, the sexy part is like pulling up and a brand new Tesla and you’re like, yeah, take that Todd. Like you know. Right. We all hate Todd around here.

Mike Smith: Nobody likes Todd. The coolest breakdown. The coolest breakdown I’ve ever heard for the persona was, uh, a guy who did marketing for the Timberwolves. And I got to have a conversation, and he said they used The Simpsons, so they had every.

They did all the characters of The Simpsons, and they made it. So it was like, Who’s Homer, dad? What platforms does he pay attention to? This one, this one and this one? What kind of content does he consume? This. What about Marge, Lisa? Bart, Homer?

And it’s like, if you’re if you’re marketing to Maggie, you got to get Marge to drive her there. You know, it was, like, so cool to see how they broke it down. So we really took that same model and built some of our email campaigns and marketing campaigns around The Simpsons. And so it was really a fun way for us to be like, is this a Homer conversation?

So we’re talking to Bart right now, and it was just great for us to break it down. So what you’re saying.

Matt: The Simpsons have done everything they have.

Mike Smith: Yeah. They can. They can be used for the foundation of anything.

Matt: Um, the other thing I wanted to hit on, too, because I think the overwhelming nature of just one individual platform on social media for a kid or a small business owner is it’s too much as it is to try and understand it, the nuances, how it works, each platform. It’s like its own own planet, almost like they don’t mix well like they used to.

Like YouTube wants you only on YouTube, and Facebook doesn’t want you to leave Facebook watch. And so then you layer on top of okay, most business owners, they start with like 6 or 7 different platforms all at once.

And I’ve joked, it’s kind of like the movie. I’ve joked that you shouldn’t be everywhere. Was it everywhere? Everything. Everything everywhere, all at once? Like the movie? Like that’s a recipe for disaster for most people, because it’s just too much and you’re going to end up putting out mediocre at best content on all these things.

Or more likely, you have a bunch of dead channels that just sit there and not active for years.

And so when it comes to like, you know, we always talk about start with one platform that’s the right fit for, you know, is it a platform that you spend time on and that your ideal customer spends time on, like increase the likelihood?

But what what advice or tips do you have for people when they’re trying to like, just manage the sheer quantity of social media platforms and picking which one is right for them.

Like because that that’s a that’s like a probably 30% of how or more of how overwhelming social media is. It’s not just posting content, it’s you’re on all you have to post it seven different places.

Mike Smith: Totally. I would go to who’s your audience? You know. And if you know, you’re selling to a certain demographic, hyper focus on that demographic.

And if if they’re on all of them and you can be on all of them, that’s great. I don’t look at social media. I’ve never looked at social media like that. You know, I’ve always looked at it like it didn’t matter where it was. It’s all just my website. Yeah. Like I didn’t care, like I didn’t. I know you got to engage. I know you got to do all the thing I know. Like, it really matters and everybody really cares about that.

But like, truly when you go, it’s like, how do you look at someone’s Instagram? If that’s where you go, you click and then you scroll and you immediately start to kind of get a feel for it.

Then you pick one of those random boxes that stuck out to you, and you click on that thing, and then you go and then you do it again and it’s like, that’s how you do that. How do you do Twitter? Will you go on there thing and then it’s immediately like, which tweet slot machine.

Yeah, you can do you know what I’m saying. That’s how the user consumes you. So like okay, don’t think that they’re following you like episode one.

Mike Smith: Episode two. This is they’re not. No one does. You don’t consume like that. So don’t assume that they would. So I always just assume this is my website. Somebody’s going to find this someday.

And I want I want them to find the right things about what I care about now, what it’s important now, what problems I’m solving now. And sometimes that means clean up the back end, go back and delete old stuff. But it to me, it’s all your website, so it doesn’t matter. And if you really have to engage people all day long on your Instagram or Twitter or TikTok to sell your product more, then do that.

But I bet most of us don’t. I bet it’s just your website and you’re hoping to drive traffic to some site something so I didn’t really care about the I tell people all the time, I lose more followers a year than most people will ever have in a lifetime. Yeah, I do like I’ll lose 5000 followers a year, but I might gain 15 sometimes. Do you know what I’m saying? And it’s like, I don’t care. Like the who’s my customer is different than who’s my audience when I’m talking, you know what I’m saying?

Matt: And that’s like, we’re big proponents of, you know, organic traffic anywhere because organic traffic, it’s like real estate to your investment portfolio. It’ll just pay off as long as you have it up, you know? And there isn’t a lot, most, most I won’t say most, but I don’t know the exact statistic.

But I would say most businesses don’t even think about that. They just think about, okay, how many people can I pay to click today?

It’s that like hunter versus farmer mindset where, you know, yeah, sure, that’ll get the job done today. But five years from now, where do you want to be? Do you want to be like maybe not working at all and have it just paying off and reaping the rewards? And you know, your website should be your home base driving that organic traffic. But social platforms all work the same. It’s all based off of engagement. Stay. Yes, there are changes and nuances, but if the if the quality of your content isn’t there, if you’re not speaking to the right audience, who’s your customer and you’re not doing it for the right reasons? I think that authenticity factor, you know, it really doesn’t matter if you’re on six platforms or ten platforms or one platform, you’re just going to be a swing and a miss.

Mike Smith: Yeah, it’s go ahead.

Ben: Or how long did it take you then to find your brand, and did that require like a lot of just test, trial and error? You’re throwing up a bunch of different kinds of content early on, because I think that’s a concern a lot of businesses have is they don’t want to throw up all these different identities. But how else do you find out what your brand is without testing things out?

Mike Smith: Totally. I, I wanted to and really tried to push the edge for my industry. So like you think youth speaker to kid like you don’t think me. You know what I mean? Like I’m not what pops up.

Matt: I know you kind of would be, to be honest.

Mike Smith: Like maybe now, today, but like, if you think about who spoke at yours, right, right. Like, who did you have? So I was like, for a long time I was like the, the UN speaker,

like the guy that was very different from the other people who did it. And so for me, it was really easy to just my brand was like always what I was doing, like the nonprofit stuff that I was doing, the impact I was trying to make, like the things that I cared about. That’s what I would talk to kids about.

So I would just talk about giving, you know, giving socks to the homeless was this thing called skate for change. And it was skating around, and I told the story of how that started, and it went all the way back to college, and I tied it into my coach and all these lessons, and I just talked about what I was doing, and it clicked with kids because I’m not. Really special.

Like I always make the joke. I’m like the most average dude of all time. My name is Mike Smith, for God’s sake. Like, it’s the third most common name. It’s in the book. Like, I’m not this exceptional human. I just tried to do these things that were really meaningful to me, and being able to communicate that to kids.

Related. Because you can’t all be the the best in your school that went to Harvard, that was the one that everybody expected to be the best.

I was never that. And so I think for me, my brand was always this idea of you can kind of just like double down on yourself and really go for it. But like, it takes one of the coolest things we ever created was this thing called an adventure log.

Mike Smith: And it was like I challenged kids to come up with a list of 100 things they want to do before they graduate high school. And it’s this like real adventures, real things. Like the things you said you always wanted to do in your small town, but you never did them.

The things that you say, oh, we should do this sometime, but you never did it. Make that list. Go out with your friends and go and do the thing. Yeah, I did the same thing. I put an adventure log in the book and I was like, I want to do this dirt bike adventure, flip an old truck, like all this stuff.

And I went and did all the things from the time I wrote the book till now. But it was a if you don’t challenge yourself to go out and kind of live, you’re not going to go out and live. And so for me, it was really this brand of being about it and doing it. But I’ve had the same logo. I don’t even really have a logo. I’ve had the same kind of website and vibe, but like, I’ve just all the good. Mike Smith domain names were taken.

So Mike Smith live was all I could come up with.

You know what I mean? Like the Michael W Smith took all the good names, you know, and so like they’re all gone. So I just, I kind of, I don’t know that I even really thought about my brand. I thought about I’m going to show people what I’m doing and I want to solve real problems.

And that was all it was. And I think that people maybe were drawn to the the relatability of it.

Matt: Yeah, yeah. And like we went through that process and I so I can attest to this how a lot of people feel where it’s very scary to commit to the process. And by the process, I mean, like figuring out what your identity is and what you actually want to do, like what’s the legacy that you want, right? And even for us, like, you know, initially I thought because everybody has these crucibles,

I believe in their life where these, these, these, uh, events, these things that define you for good or bad moving forward, you know, for me, I thought it was my addiction. And so I’m, like, doubling down on that. Um, and while that was a crucible, it wasn’t really the defined what we’re doing here today and like, what our purpose and mission was. And so as we were going through this process with this podcast,

the Midwest mindset came and the Midwest mindset we define as helping other people without expecting anything in return, which in business in life ends up having the highest return of all. Like if you do it genuinely. And that is like the core theme for our lives, from growing up in small towns, just how we were raised to like all the favors and ways we help people.

Never in a million years thinking, okay, you know, 20 years from now we’re going to own a company and they’re going to want to come to us for their services like it was just doing it for the right reasons.

The phenomenal thing about it is, even though it’s scary to go through that process, once it clicks, it’s like you’re unstoppable. It really is like, I think I feel like for us, not just with the podcast, but for our company, it’s like that defines us. And that’s how we approached everything.

And it feels right. It connects, it clicks, and we have we have our story to tell. Right? And so even though it’s scary, stick through the process. Right? I mean, would you say I agree with that. Oh yeah.

Mike Smith: I mean, I think and I, I think you got to really kind of embrace your failures. It hasn’t always worked, you know, and I tell I know, you know, I tell I tell kids all the time. I’m like, you know, make a failure resume. Talk about was it really a failure? Did you learn something?

Can you take something great from it? But like, if you’re not failing forward, you’re not really doing it. But that’s the process. And so I think I think if you can’t kind of fail and be like, okay, I’m taking 5% and going this way after that, you miss it. But the process for me has been a lot of like fumbling my way forward and figuring it out as I go, but not being scared of of that part.

Matt: Embracing failure because, I mean, like, I don’t I don’t know if it’s attributed to to Will Smith because it was in a meme, or if it’s one of those fake memes where they put his face on it and somebody else quote.

So I don’t know. But it’s like when you go to the gym, you’re literally pushing your muscles to failure. You’re tearing them apart because that’s the only way they can rebuild stronger. And so you do want to be failing forward.

Ben: It’s always bragging about you going to the gym every which is every even just in one on one conversations. He just brings it up every chance.

Matt: Hey, Ben, have you seen the, uh, you know, staplers over here?

Speaker4: I’m just gonna go rebuild my muscles.

Matt: Yeah, uh, but failing is something we are afraid of. You can’t succeed without failing. And those who who are the most successful have failed the most.

Mike Smith: You know well, and you got to swing big sometimes, and it doesn’t always work, you know, so I yeah, I’m, I’m a big fan of just giving things a go. And sometimes you got to run a lot of options to the end too. Yeah. And not everything’s going to work out well.

Matt: Last thing I want to ask you like with, you know, this book into context, what we’ve been talking about here today for for business owners, for kids, for parents.

Because this touches every corner. Um, what is what like what would you tell people to go through? I mean, because I know the book holds up, uh, I mean, I read the first edition, uh, you know, I think it was last year when I first read it and stumbled upon it.

So it’s not that the first edition doesn’t hold up, but, like, what would you tell people when they’re trying to define, like, their essence, their who they are, what they want, all these important big things like is there kind of a simple like one, two, three step process. You can say, listen, start. Here, then go here and then go here.

Mike Smith: I mean, I think, uh, I’m kind of. That’s what I. Are you familiar with the flywheel like that concept? No, the Jim Collins, I believe. Is it the guy that wrote good to great somebody? You have a fact checker somewhere up in this place? Fact check. It’s pretty sure it’s Jim Collins. Yeah. Good to great guy.

But there’s a book called Turning the Flywheel. And it’s really kind of like Amazon has a flywheel and companies have flywheels. And it’s like, if you do this, you can’t help but do this, can’t help but do that. And once it sort of starts turning, you build that momentum.

And so I’m trying to combine this idea of creating a like a flywheel for your life, you know, and like if you do these things in a certain order, it can kind of lead to building momentum to get where you want to go. And for the most part, I think it starts with most of us have a genuine curiosity or wonder or I’ve always kind of wanted to or I really if I could just. And it’s like this thing we wonder about and we’re kind of curious about.

And so I think the first thing is follow that, like chase that a little bit and see where that gets you. And to chase that, you typically probably have to like, try it and like get immersed in it a little bit and like then you have to call somebody who’s doing it and then you have to like kind of ask them real questions about it.

Mike Smith: And I think for me, it’s like most of us are terrified to jump in and immerse ourselves in a new thing. Try it, look like a fool, get ousted by the locals, and then we’re gone.

Do you know what I’m saying? And it’s like, I think for most kids and for most parents and people today, they’re afraid to follow their curiosity and just sort of chase the next sort of thing. It even happens in marketing. You really want to try something outside of the box, but the rules say do this so we don’t.

Or my boss said, do this so we can’t. And so I think for a lot of us, there’s this like sense of wonder out in front of us. And if you can keep sort of chasing that, that is what I think the, the growth edge and the bleeding edge and the cutting edge is, is, is that ability to sort of chase these new curious spaces, if you see it all over the internet and if you see it all over the world, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it, but it just means it’s been done.

And so I think that in some ways you’ve got to sort of chase new things.

Mike Smith: So for kids, what does where does that translate to parents. And you see parents, it’s the ironic part is you see parents doing this all the time on the internet.

And so you can do this without posting it on the internet, but come up with this, this list of things to have your kids try and do that is outside of your comfort zone and their comfort zone and try it. I bet there’s amazing life lessons at the end of it. I’ll bet you there’s core legacy memories that your kids are going to remember forever. It’s not going to be the time that you came home and watched the screen again.

Whichever screen everybody’s watching, whether it’s the big one, the little one and the medium sized one, it’s the shut them all down.

Make a list of some things you can actually go out and do and experience together and like, see what happens. I just read a cool article about the Nebraska couple that like, sold all their possessions and traveled the world with their kids for a bit, and it’s like a guarantee you those parents lives changed forever. But those kids, yeah, there’s core memories in there. Those kids are going to see Nebraska differently forever. And I think that I’m not saying sell everything and go travel, but.

Matt: That’s what I’m doing.

Mike Smith: Yeah, do it if you can do it. But for some of us it’s as much of travel around Omaha. Take your kid all over Nebraska, take weekend trips to shatter and and go see what’s out at toadstool. Like give your give yourself a chance to sort of follow the things that you’re curious about.

And I think that being bold enough to immerse yourself in those things next is where the pay dirt is for most of us. But most people kids will tell me, I want to do this thing, and you’re like, sick.

Have you ever called anybody, talk to anybody, reached out to anybody doing it, and they’re like, no. Have you ever gone to an event where it happens? No. Have you read a book or studied it? No. And you’re like, get in there. Like go give yourself a shot. And so, yeah, don’t live vicariously.

Matt: Just live.

Mike Smith: I would say stop watching people do it and go, go for it. Yeah.

Matt: There’s a I always believe that like we worked in comedy doing the television show Omaha Live. And like every comedian, every I think every person has a great idea. But there is this thing that always gets in the way. And our our old sales director in radio or not sales director general manager in radio, used to have this slogan he put up until HR made him take it down. It was af die actually. Fucking do it and you have to actually fucking do it.

Yep. And you know what that means. You got to be a little bit delusional. You got to be like, ah, there’s no way to succeed. And I’m just I’m going to go ahead and just try it anyhow.

I’m going to jump in there like, yep, I’m probably going to I mean, I’ve humiliated myself and I just humiliated myself this past weekend. I mean, I do it on a regular basis, but the stories you take, the experiences you take, not only do you learn from them, but those become the stories that you tell your friends. And you’re like, hey, remember when I biffed at snowboarding down the mountain? I had to be towed down and a fricking medical sled.

And it was embarrassing. Oh yes. Like, those are the memories we take with us. And those are the things that define us, whether it’s a fun memory or how you’re building your business. I mean, I agree, like taking that risk, committing to it. And don’t be afraid to fail.

The Most Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Avoid The Most Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make 

Are you making some of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make? Sorry to break it to you, but you probably are, even if you don’t think you do. 

We know that being a business owner is no easy job, and we have the solution for all of these typical mistakes, so you don’t have to keep making them.

In this Mindwest Mindset episode, the Two Brothers Creative team is in the studio to talk about their experience with entrepreneurship and how they’ve learned to avoid making common mistakes. 

Main entrepaneural mistakes

What is an Entrepreneur and What Do They Do?

“Entrepreneur” is a word that we like to use a lot, especially in business, but most of the time, we don’t even know what we mean; we are just throwing the term around because we like the way it sounds. 

Before going over the most common mistakes, we first need to understand what an entrepreneur is and what they do.

Read the full transcript.

An entrepreneur is a driven individual who identifies opportunities, takes calculated risks, and creates value by establishing and managing a new business venture.

Entrepreneurs usually do a lot of planning and directing daily operations, having new innovative ideas, and managing conflict. 

What Does An Entrepreneur Really Do?

While the definition of entrepreneur might sound supper innovative and cool, the truth is that entrepreneurs are often overworked and stressed, very far from a glamorous lifestyle. 

As Matt and Ben discovered early on in their careers, most entrepreneurs also try to be everything, everywhere, all at once. 

At Two Brothers Creative, we know this because we have been there, working impossible hours and being way too involved, micromanaging everything, and pushing our limits. 

The ugly truth about all this is that this extremely hard work doesn’t pay off. 

How to Avoid The Most Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make 

So, now that we know all the things that come with being an entrepreneur, how can we avoid business failure?

Here are the top mistakes we have made along our entrepreneurial journey, so you don’t have to make them yourself. 

Business mistakes of entrepreneurs

Failure to plan 

They say that a goal without a plan is just a wish, and for most entrepreneurs, this is true.

If you don’t have a clear roadmap to action, how are you supposed to reach your goals? 

Having a solid plan is not just useful; it’s crucial. A clear, strategic direction provides a blueprint for action, a guide that navigates through the complexities of business operations. 

All Talk, No Action

Next, is not taking proper action. Business owners love to share their ideas and projects, but a lot of the time, it’s just that: a thought without real action. 

To take your business to the next level, you need to take the time to act on your goals. This involves rolling up your sleeves, diving into the nitty-gritty, and doing what needs to be done. 

A proactive mindset is what will drive your actions to success. 

Won’t Ask for Help 

Admitting that we need help can be a hard thing to do, especially if we believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. 

Do you know what’s even harder than asking for help? Having a successful business. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

People respect business owners and entrepreneurs who need help because (breaking news:) we all need help. 

It doesn’t matter if you hire an expert to help you run your business full-time or ask for a quick favor here and there; having a support network is essential for smooth operations. 

Become an entrepaneur midwest mindset

Being Impatient

One of the things that can break a business is being an impatient entrepreneur. Running your business is a big deal, and we often get so caught up in our vision that we get frustrated when we don’t see the results fast enough. 

But Rome wasn’t build in a day, and neither will your business, so take your time. Your strategy will need a few months to produce the results you wish to see. 

Everything has a process; building an audience takes time, and a successful business can even take up to a year (or more) before you reach your goals. 

Hiring Friends and Family

This one is a hard one to do, especially because here, at Two Brothers Creative, since we are, in fact, brothers who are best friends.

So, while having friends and family working in your organization might work, we strongly discourage you from doing this. 

This kind of close-knit relationship can create tension and problems when inconvenience arises in the workplace. 

By keeping your friends and work separated, you are creating healthy limits that will set your business up for success.


Perfection Doesn’t Exist

We all want our business to be perfect in every aspect, but perfection doesn’t exist, especially in something as changing and evolving as a business. 

Things will go south sooner or later,  so you need to be prepared for things not going the way you want them to. 

If you are trying to be a perfectionist with every detail of your company, you won’t achieve much, so don’t stress out, breathe and let things happen. 

This doesn’t mean tossing your business plan in the garbage; it just means finding the perfect balance for your peace of mind. 

How to be a better entrepaneur and leader

Not Leading Your Sales Team Porpperly 

A lot of us believe that, once we are a boss, leadership should come naturally, but being is not just about giving instructions and telling people what to do, but about helping your team reach their highest potential and become a better version of themselves. 

Learning to lead might take some time and use, but with the right effort, you can avoid being a terrible leader for your organization and create a healthy work environment. 

Lack of Discipline 

Lastly, lack of discipline. This is by far one of the worst things you can do to your entrepreneurship.  

Discipline and repetition create habits, and if you don’t have the proper habits or get impatient and change your course of action, it is unlikely that you will see results. 

What To Do Today to Be a Better Entrepreneur 

Now that you know every mistake to avoid, here are some things that we recommend you do and work on to strengthen your leadership. 

Remember, being an entrepreneur is not just about avoiding mistakes but working through your professional goals with an innovative spirit. 

Linkedin marketing strategy

Embrace Constructive Criticism

Feedback, particularly criticism, can be a tough pill to swallow. But for an entrepreneur, it’s invaluable for growth. 

Instead of viewing criticism as a personal attack, see it as an opportunity to learn and improve. Use it as a compass to guide your decisions and actions. 

Most of the time, people give constructive criticism because they care about you and your business’s success. 

Stay Grounded and Humble

Success can easily lead to overconfidence, but humility is a trait that can keep you grounded. 

A humble entrepreneur is more open to new ideas, willing to learn from others, and appreciative of their team’s efforts. 

Practice Self-Reflection and Self-Evaluation

Taking time each day for self-reflection and self-evaluation can provide profound insights into your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. 

It helps you understand what strategies are working, which ones need tweaking, and where you should focus your energy moving forward.

Organize and Compartmentalize

Being an entrepreneur often means juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities. To manage this effectively, it’s essential to keep your work organized and learn to deal with crises effectively. 

Prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance, delegate when necessary, and always try to keep a clear and judgment-free mind. 

This will help you stay focused, reduce stress, and increase productivity.

The Easy Box

Looking for ways to grow your business? Don’t spend unnecessary time on marketing; focus on becoming a better leader and entrepreneur, leave the rest to us! 

With the Easy Box, you give us only 30 minutes of your time, and we give you 30 days’ worth of content. 

Forget all about long hours and marketing failure; this is marketing made easy. 

content marketing and sales funnel awareness

Midwest Mindset: What Does an Entrepreneur Do?

The Most Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make and How to Avoid Them

This is a written Transcription for the Midwest Mindset episode: What Does an Entrepreneur Do?

How to be a better entrepaneur and leader

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

What Does an Entrepreneur Do?

Matt: What does an entrepreneur do? Most entrepreneurs have no idea. Most likely. In fact, I couldn’t even spell entrepreneur until . Today we’re going to break down what an entrepreneur does and the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make so that you don’t have to make them to.

Hello and welcome back to Midwest Mindset, the podcast that makes marketing easy to understand and simple to do.

I’m Matt Tompkins of Two Brothers Creative, where we believe that every business deserves affordable and effective marketing. You give us 30 minutes, we give you 30 days of content, check it out at the content Box.com and now would like to introduce the other brother.

Who’s that? His name is Benjamin. Michael. That’s. That’s Ben’s real name.

Ben: That’s my middle giving away. Why don’t you just give everyone my Social Security number while you’re at it? Do you have two names?

Matt: 05062193.

Ben: That’s not it. Got one number wrong.

Matt: I know it was my. I gave away meriden’s. He’s he’s screwed now. He does not have an identity.

Austin: Probably not even his real one.

Matt: Probably not. Yeah. He’s like a CIA spy. I’m pretty sure our producer, Myron. But Ben, Michael Tompkins, Mike Tompkins. Mike, can I call you Mike?

Ben: No.

Matt: Okay. Mike. Mike Tompkins and I’ll be Wayne, because that’s my middle name, Wayne Tompkins. Okay. Mike and Wayne. Wayne and Mike.

All right, why don’t you introduce everybody? Because I feel like you’re working on all these these jokes in this, like, stand up comedy.

I feel like Austin Anderson here, he’s a stand up comedian. I really want to see if your material holds up. So, Ben, I’m putting you on the spot. Introduce the rest of us.

Ben: Don’t have any jokes. I’ve never done stand up in my life, but. Okay, well, in run on the board back there, we got the one and only Myron McHugh mired in McHugh.

He looks like the kind of guy who apologizes during sex a lot. Oh he does, he does that. He does it. Then we sitting.

Matt: I think I think he does. He apologizes before too. Like very.

Ben: Preemptively. Sorry.

Austin: This is going to happen to you.

Matt: I’m so sorry.

Ben: Sitting to my right, we’ve got the one and only Austin Anderson.

The new, new addition to the crew. Austin, you look like the kind of guy who has a closet full of overalls. Oh, is that true? Am I anywhere near.

Austin: I have one pair.

Ben: One pair of overalls? Yeah. Okay. Well, I’m gonna be honest.

Matt: Austin Anderson has one of the most unique approaches to style I think I’ve seen in a while.

Because, like, today, he’s got. It’s like a it’s like a Miami Vice meets biker meets Midwestern Idaho cowboy, you know, retiree, like. Yeah, it’s kind of what it is.

Austin: And I bought these jeans at the goodwill when my wife forced me to go there on Sunday.

Matt: Oh, nice. I feel like the shirt like from the waist up. It’s like I’m an Idaho potato farmer who retired early, invested well in bitcoin.

And then the boots are like, I’m a biker. Like, I rode here on my Harley, but then the hair, it’s just like full of Miami Vice action. So well done is what I’m saying.

Ben: Well done, well done. And then to my left we have the owner of two brothers.

Matt: Creative shit. Don’t let people know that.

Ben: The the one who started it all. The kind of guy who looked like the kind of guy.

Speaking of potatoes, you look like the kind of guy who eats a lot of potatoes with nothing else on him. Just whole potatoes like you eat them like an apple.

Matt: Oh, wow.

Ben: Yeah, that’s that’s the kind of guy you look like.

Matt: Yeah. Okay. I mean, I can see how I look like that guy. I do eat a lot of potatoes, though. Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes. I don’t eat them raw. Side note my head. When I shave it, it looks like a lumpy potato. So maybe you’re.

Ben: Turning into a potato?

Matt: I’m probably. Yeah. I remember in high school, they, they, we did like Mohawks. And then we shaved our heads and everybody thought I had, like, some really bad disease for like 3 or 4 weeks, like, oh my gosh, son, you shouldn’t be out at the Walmart. You should be home resting.

So today we’re talking about what does an entrepreneur do. And if you don’t know what an entrepreneur is, well, you’re not alone. I don’t know if this is actually defined for people who get into business. People like to say I’m an entrepreneur, entrepreneurial ship, entrepreneurial ism. It’s it rolls off the tongue.

But what is an entrepreneur and what does an entrepreneur actually do? And we’re going to dive into the top nine mistakes that entrepreneurs most often make, so that hopefully you don’t have to make them too. So I want to hear from you guys, though.

What does an entrepreneur do? When I say entrepreneur? It’s like, hey Bob, you’re Bobby’s an entrepreneur now. What’s Bob the entrepreneur doing?

Ben: Ben I think Bob doesn’t have a job. That’s what I normally. That’s what I used to think before I started working here, when someone’s like, oh, I’m an entrepreneur. It’s like somebody saying, I’m a life coach. It’s not. It’s like, okay, well, you probably you probably don’t have a job.

Matt: You don’t have to get a license, probably certified or.

Ben: Probably made a lot of bad investments. Oh, so.

Austin: You didn’t go to college, right?

Matt: An entrepreneur is really just you have a job that you can’t get fired from. That’s really all it is.

Ben: But now that I’ve, I know and I’ve met many entrepreneurs, the first thing I think of is if you’re a successful entrepreneur, just hard working, driven, um, business minded thinker.

Matt: Business minded thinker. That was my high school band. Yeah, actually, um, it’s interesting though, because all those things you mentioned. The hard worker.

The long hours. We think of those first, but those are not. At all related or connected to what defines a successful entrepreneur.

You know, we’ve mentioned like 51% of all businesses fail in their first 3 to 5 years. Only 6% will ever reach $1 million a year in recurring or gross revenue for a year. Which are some staggering stats.

Austin: I was blown away to hear that everybody works hard.

Matt: Not everybody. I mean, like our cousin Adam, he’s pretty lazy. He’s pretty lazy. He’s doing.

Ben: His thing.

Matt: He’s just chilling. He’s just chilling out in California. But the hard work isn’t enough to do it. So, Austin, for you, what does an entrepreneur. What defines an entrepreneur?

Austin: Someone who is trying to get people to give them money and then crying.

Matt: So like a like a carney, I think is what you’re describing.

Austin: Yeah, I think it’s a I don’t know, there’s there’s the freedom aspect of it, you know, kind of like a free spirit or a free, free bird. Yeah.

Where you’re like, all right, I’m going to do this. Like, you have a vision and, and, you know, maybe you’ve worked at other places and didn’t quite fit and you’re like, no, I’m going to go out. I’m going to do this my own. I see it working a better way.

Ben: I think that was beautiful.

Matt: That was. Yeah, that was like poetry. I kind of lost my train of thought. I think entrepreneurs, this isn’t a mistake on our list, but I would say I would define it as what I most commonly see. Entrepreneurs try to be everything, everywhere, all at once. They try and micromanage.

They’re too emotionally involved in every single decision, and I think that’s a big contributing factor why people work really, really hard and long hours.

But most businesses don’t succeed, you know, most of them fail. And so most entrepreneurs are actually solopreneurs. It’s like a I don’t know what the statistic is like. 80 or 90% of the entrepreneurs in the United States are solopreneurs.

So it’s just them just solo. And, you know, you look at like real estate agents that talk about a self-proclaimed solopreneur, the average salary of a real estate agent, though, is like 17 grand a year and the age is 60. It’s 65% women. So we have these like misconceptions of what is an entrepreneur?

What do they do? And we see entrepreneurs make these mistakes left and right. I think when I looked this up on the Google, I don’t know if you’ve heard of this thing. I think that’s how you say it. Google the Google, it’s either that or it was my my face or face space.

One of those my grandma was telling me about. So here’s the list of like typical responsibilities for an entrepreneur. Planning and directing daily operations. Having new ideas. Yeah, I mean.

Ben: I can do that.

Matt: Yeah, yeah. Ben does that every day.

Austin: Like the second one. The first one is, I think, difficult for a lot of people managing conflicts.

Matt: Learning supervision, sales and marketing or overseeing supervision, sales and marketing. So your your entrepreneur though because there’s different roles you have like your like your visionary integrator depending on if your iOS or what, what operating system you’re looking at, you have I think they call it an orchestrator or a what’s the conductor? Maestro. A maestro. There you go.

Austin: An opus, I.

Matt: Think an entrepreneur, though you have to be first and foremost. You have to be willing to eat crow. Not literally, but like, you have to be humble to be able to recognize your own flaws.

Yeah. I mean, would you agree? Like that is a commonality we see with a lot of entrepreneurs and why a lot of entrepreneurs struggle is because they don’t want to face reality or the truth and think, okay, you know what? I need to hire somebody who’s better at this than me and let them take the lead on this.

Austin: You got to do some intro introspection and do some. Be self-aware, just like what you’re good at.

Matt: And what did you take mushrooms before this? I feel like you’re very chill and wise today. All of a sudden.

Austin: I think it’s just towards the end of the day. Yeah.

Ben: Like like really mellowed out. I think any in any profession, being able to take criticism and feedback and learn and grow and not let it break you down, having a thick skin, you’re going to succeed.

And that’s what entrepreneurs have to do. I mean, you fail probably more than the average person in most jobs, but not being being able to get back up and keep going and build from that is is huge. But that that applies to any profession or anything in life really.

Matt: It’s just on a different scale with when you when you own a business or you’re on your own.

If you’re a solopreneur or you have employees, it is a different scale or different level of just pure terror that you have to compartmentalize on a consistent you know, hour by hour, daily basis. Yeah, you’re.

Austin: Right about that because you really do. Like if you’re like, oh, I got all these expenses I have to pay coming up, but where is the money going to come?

Like, you have to put that in a box somewhere in your mind. Otherwise you will you will not sleep. You’ll just be in a constant state of panic. You got to be like, all right, it’s going to come.

But I’m going to put this in my mind where I can’t think about it.

Matt: It’s kind of like how syphilis killed Al Capone, right? I mean, we all know this story very well, right?

Ben: See this?

Matt: So Al Capone had had this approach to when he was told he has syphilis, right. And it will kill you or it’ll eat away your brain. Right. Slowly. Or maybe it was chlamydia. It was one of those bad syphilis. It was syphilis. Okay. Right.

Austin: That it wasn’t a bullet that would kill him, but his own dick.

Matt: So Al Capone was just in denial. So he’s in prison, and they’re like, hey, we want to give you treatment. We want to give you penicillin for the syphilis you have that’s going to likely kill you. And he’s like, nope, not going to think about it. Not going not going to think about it.

There’s nothing to see here. And he just was like, you know, deaf, blind, ignorant. He intentionally where he’s like, I’m not even going to pretend like what they’re telling me is actually happening.

And I feel like a lot of entrepreneurs have the Al Capone syphilis syndrome because it was a I’m trying to get that hashtag going, by the way, at that.

Austin: Time it was curable. It was curable.

Matt: Yeah. They had penicillin.

Austin: And that’s yeah, that’s good.

Matt: It was an easy fix. An easy it was like a shot and you’re good and. Yeah, but a lot of entrepreneurs have the Al Capone syphilis syndrome hashtag.

Austin: And that’s a great book.

Matt: Title I’m going to start doing. I’ll start doing that afterwards instead of going hashtag before. I’m just going to do it afterwards. You know, like, you know, Al Capone syphilis syndrome hashtag.

But a lot of entrepreneurs have that, that fall. It’s like a fault or a flaw that they have where I’m just going to be in denial. I’m not going to I’m going to be stubborn about it. I’m going to pretend like, okay, I’m looking at my bank account.

There’s one side of that where it’s like, okay, well, I don’t know how I’m going to get an extra ten grand to make payroll this month in ten days, and I’m just going to ignore it entirely.

Or you could be like, okay, I got to compartmentalize this. I can’t ignore it. You know, let’s follow up with some invoices and make sure people are paid up and see what’s going on with our our cash flow.

And so that Al Capone syphilis syndrome hashtag is it’s a real business killer, though both mean metaphorically and literally. Like if you have syphilis and you’re refusing to treat it, not going to be good. If you’re an entrepreneur.

Austin: Either your business will fail. Yes, along with your.

Matt: Life and your along with your sex life. Probably not going to do very well either. So we’re talking about some of the mistakes. So an entrepreneur though I feel like is the leader of the organization.

They are the face of the core. The the core values stem from them. And you look at any company, it doesn’t matter how big or small it is, even if you’re a solo preneur, entrepreneurs at the top are what set the tone for the entire company. And I’m a big believer in this.

Like you can’t really get mad. As somebody who’s on your team for making a mistake. Because they’re just following what you’re doing.

So if you come in as an entrepreneur and you’re like, hung over every day and you just are, you’re phoning it in or you’re not going through the proper processes, procedures and just having systems in place. Well, your employees, your staff, your team, they’re going to follow what you’re doing.

So it’s a reflection of the leadership. So I think the most important thing that an entrepreneur does is effectively build a team and lead the team, right. Getting those players, those top talent people that you want on your team and and then leading them.

And leadership is not easy like most people who think they’re like a good leader. It’s this ready, aim, fire approach, which is not how you should shoot a gun because it’s very dangerous.

Ben: Yeah, you’ll get in trouble.

Matt: Yeah, you’ll.

Ben: Do something bad.

Matt: Ben does that outside on the highway all the time with his cap gun. Shoot at birds. Yeah, it is that.

Austin: That’s why you go on those walks around the building. Yes. Pow!

Matt: He gets he gets 12 caps per day that he gets to go fire off.

Ben: I like the smell. Yeah. Sulfur.

Austin: He goes into your office. Can I get another cap?

Matt: Ben? That was your 17th cap today, buddy. All right, so let’s let’s take a look at some of the other the top nine mistakes that entrepreneurs make. Failure to plan.

What was a team where he’s like, I love it when a plan comes together. Right. Um, there’s a quote. I’ll probably butcher it. It’s one of my favorite. But a goal without a plan is just a wish.

And I feel like that hopium drug we talk about, like, hope and just hoping it’ll fix it, or wishing it’s not going to do anything might make you feel a little better in the moment, but you really have to have a plan and doesn’t mean you have to have, like, everything laid out from day one or a business plan from day one. But if you’re not having some sort of strategy organization, that’s a big one.

Austin: I had a sales manager in radio and she was great, and her line and it always stuck with me, and I don’t know if she got it from somewhere else, but it was, you know, make the plan, work the plan that’s, you know, right. That’s simple to follow.

Matt: I mean, a plan is like it’s a checklist, it’s a system. It’s just it doesn’t have to be super complicated. It’s just okay. When you go to the grocery store, you go with a grocery list, right?

Ben: Shopping list. Not me.

Matt: And let’s just go. He just wings.

Austin: It, then he just goes there and buys meatloaf supplies.

Matt: You probably go there when you’re really hungry too, don’t you? It’s the worst.

Austin: That’s why the other. Yeah. The other day I was like. I was up till midnight making meatloaf.

Ben: Yeah, yeah. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes at midnight.

Matt: And I was trying to figure it out because your wife shared how much you spend monthly on groceries, and I am struggling to do the math.

But if you’re going there when you’re hungry and without a list, that makes sense. That makes total sense. Yeah. She shared a lot about your personal life.

And and we’re going to get to that in future episodes. Um, another mistake is all talk, no action. So this is the false bravado, right?

Austin: So many people are guilty of that.

Matt: Entrepreneurs are notorious for their egos. I mean, we all have an ego, right? But entrepreneurs, by and large, it is. It’s a confidence game. So you have to kind of fake it till you make it to a degree, but you have to be able to back it up at least somewhat at some point. Right? Right. Yeah.

Austin: There are so many people that fake it but then never back it up. Yeah. And then you just realize that, oh, you’re an insane person. Yeah.

Matt: That’s a sociopath is what that is. Yeah.

Austin: There’s a lot.

Matt: Um, not asking for help is another mistake. How do you feel about leaders who ask for help? Do you respect them more? Do you respect them less?

Austin: I respect more, right? Yeah. I respect everyone more if they’re willing to ask for help and.

Matt: Not even just asking for help, but sharing that you’re struggling with something or that you need a break or you need, you know, whatever it might be.

Austin: And not having the Superman syndrome. Yes. Where you just think that you can handle everything.

Ben: It’s much better than the Syphillis syndrome.

Matt: Yes, hashtag and I have the Superman syndrome. It’s just where I walk around in red Spanx. It’s not really a Superman outfit. It’s just kind of my thing. It’s my. It’s my Tuesdays, right?

Austin: We’d be bothered by it. You look good in it, so. Well, thank you very much.

Matt: Thanks. I mean, I spend like, four hours manscaping just to be able to pull off those red Spanx.

Austin: And I was shocked to find it was painted.

Matt: Yeah, the tube socks I painted with spray paint to look red. So, um. Impatience. This is a big one. Like shiny object syndrome is a notorious virus within the entrepreneurial community. And not having the patience to give things the time that they need that are due.

That is a big mistake. And it’s really hard because you get very passionate and excited about things and you want to go, go, go. And I’m horrible at this, but you end up saying yes, yes, yes to too many things or too quickly.

And then, you know, one day Ben’s going to just have a total meltdown and. Really just kind of snap at you in a way.

Ben: All those caps.

Matt: You know, he just started shooting his cap gun at me in the office and was saying curse words I don’t even know. I’ve never heard before. I don’t know where they came. I don’t know if they know they’re English or what, but.

Ben: You know, I’m mad. I start making up curse words.

Matt: What’s a good curse word that you made up?

Ben: Blubba Blubba.

Matt: Yeah, mine is Dave Nabity. That’s a good one. Like Dave Nabity like, that’s that’s a person.

Ben: Matt. The name of a person. That’s a.

Austin: Good.

Matt: Yeah, it’s a good curse word, though. I feel like if I was Dave Nabity, I would totally take that and own that. Right?

Austin: Take Dave Navidi’s name in vain all the time.

Matt: If you’re wondering, you, Dave Navidi is by the way, that’s a local, almost politician. He was on the city council in Omaha, Nebraska, where we’re based out of but think maybe I don’t know. I mean, you know, I know he drives a convertible and he loves that thing.

Austin: What kind is it, a.

Matt: Vw bug or something like one of those, like, kind of, you know, not a normal one, but like, it’s still it’s a convertible. Yeah. You know. No. Another mistake hiring friends. So guess.

Ben: Uh. Oh, we.

Matt: Need to make some cuts.

Ben: You hired your.

Matt: Brother? No.

Austin: You got hired.

Matt: Family and friends. Yeah. Family? Two friends and three strangers from Mexico. That sounds like a sitcom. Sitcom there. Yeah. Um, hiring friends is tough, though, too. And there’s this exercise you can do with your leadership team where you you have everybody write down, put a name and assign a role.

And sometimes they’ll be like six, seven people in this meeting. And there’s only three names that have been written down on all the sheets. You got four people sitting there with no designated responsibilities. And that happens a lot when you are just hiring friends.

And it’s really hard to have blunt conversations because it’s a business. It’s not personal. It’s not a family. Right? I mean, you family is grandma. You know, you can’t fire grandma for, you know, ruining the mashed potatoes and.

Austin: Push her down the.

Matt: Stairs. You can. Yes. And been tried. Fortunately, she had one of those electric chairs that caught her and took her all the way down nice and slow. So it worked out. She’s she’s she was notorious. It was notorious.

Austin: No, I don’t even know what your grandma looks like, but my visual was awesome.

Matt: Our grandma Nola is like, if there was a picture of a grandma in the dictionary, it would be her. Like, it was just, you know, I mean, next to, like, homemade milkshakes, mashed potatoes, fried chicken and the best hugs ever. That’s. Oh, yeah, that’s notorious

Nola right there. But hiring friends is tough. And you really only want to do that or work with family if you know for sure, you can manage it and it can work. And Ben and I have worked together for like 15. I know years like Ben just can’t get enough.

Austin: I think where that goes wrong is if people like a friend needs a job, but they’re not really, they don’t have any experience for whatever you’re going to hire them for or training or passion. And you’re just like, oh yeah, you need a job. Yeah, come do this. That’s where I’ve seen it go bad.

Matt: And I think because I thought about this when, when you came on board because, you know, we’ve known each other for quite a while and doing the TV show and everything. And so it was like, okay, well, I know he’s capable. We have like, we’re friends so we know each other.

So on the flip side, like there’s trust. So, you know, you can trust a friend, right? Most well most friends, some friends, some are just jerks.

But. I had to look at it and say, okay, but can I separate like in the workday? Like, can we separate it where it’s like, okay, so then there’s that separation of, I don’t know, not powers, but like separation of like roles or responsibilities where it’s still work. We still got to like have quality standards and critique each other constructively.

But having a friend that you can trust or a brother you can sometimes trust, who occasionally steals your left sock when you’re taking a nap. I’ve stolen it is a it is a plus. It’s just you got to kind of know it’s such a weird gray area. Yeah. You know, um, it’s kind of like dating your your fourth cousin. It’s like, why did it take four cousins to figure out that? Yeah, you shouldn’t be. I think it comes with.

Austin: I think it comes with age and maturity. Yeah. Don’t you like, like the older for sure that.

Matt: Don’t hire your best friend when you’re in your 20s. Yeah.

Austin: No. Then then you guys will probably both just party all the time and the business will go away.

Matt: I mean, yeah, especially if you were in a fraternity. Yeah. Just coming out of college. Yeah, that would be a recipe for disaster. For getting the customer is a big mistake.

And I think this is like maybe one of the biggest on the whole list, because that’s what the entire business should be focused on.

And we forget about the customer. When I say we, I just mean entrepreneurs in general. A lot like way too much. We don’t focus on the customer, we focus on ourselves or the business.

And so forgetting the customer is a big mistake. Um. This one is fearing theft. Fearing theft. I don’t even understand what that means. Maybe read my handwriting. Wrong.

Austin: I scribbled that on after I did.

Matt: You write.

Austin: Ben steal a bunch of that.

Matt: Feral theft? Did you write feral theft again on here? We’re not talking about that last couple here. Um, so perfectionism is another one. And this is one.

I kind of hate this word because people always say this in interviews. Like, what’s your what’s your what’s your downside or what’s your weakness? Well, I’m a perfectionist.

Austin: They say that it’s a weakness. Yeah, I struggle with it. But, um, I don’t know. It’s weird you want it to be the best, but like, then you can it can just waste your time. And it’s kind of hard to.

Matt: There’s like a I forget who said it, but it’s like, fuck it, ship it or something like that. Or like maybe, maybe it was Jewel. I think it was the company jewel. So maybe it’s not that great, but I think they actually.

Austin: Like.

Matt: That. It’s like, fuck it, ship it. If it’s at like 70%, get it out into the world. That is a that is a mistake. We see a lot especially with like websites and graphic design. And you can go.

Austin: Down forever because it can never be perfect. You can always find like a mistake here or there. So that’s nobody wants things.a thing.

Matt: Nobody wants perfect, right? Like imperfection is actually what people seek and authenticity.

The last mistake here is leading sales. So like leading sales, knowing how to actually lead your sales team. Because without sales, your business isn’t going to grow, it’s not going to succeed.

And it doesn’t matter how great all these other mistakes are that you avoided, if you’re not bringing revenue in, you’re not going to be in business for very long. And I think sales is such an important and old school tactic, like cold calling people is still the top way to like, drum up new business and sales.

But not a lot of people want to do it or learn how to do it. Right. So so there you have it. Those are the mistakes, Ben.

Ben: We’ll just avoid. We’ll just avoid those.

Matt: Yeah, we’ll just avoid those.

Austin: Like how those. And they really are the the hardest ones to become disciplined in.

Matt: Yeah. Discipline is really that’s if you want to pick an extra one, a bonus. Yeah. Discipline is the biggest challenge in business because it is so hard to be consistent.

And with the boring shit that’s like, no fun. Like, this isn’t sexy to do my TPS reports, you know, like, come on, I don’t want to do panels all day long. And it is important. So having discipline. Speaking of discipline, that is our episode as we got a I don’t know is it was that a good got away. We got to.

Ben: Wrap it up.

Matt: We got to wrap it up. We’re going to stay disciplined and not go over our 27 minute mark here today on the show. So thank you so much for joining us here on Midwest Mindset. You can learn more about us at the content Box.com. Where if you give us 30 minutes, we give you 30 days of content. Plus Ben gives you.