Episode 73: Expert Positioning with the ‘Expert of Experts’ – Debbie Allen – Transcript

Wealth On Any Income Podcast Episode 73

Rennie Gabriel  00:10
Hi folks, welcome to episode 73 of the Wealth On Any Income Podcast. This is where we talk about money tips, techniques, attitudes, information, and provide inspiration. I'm your host Rennie Gabriel. In past episodes, we spoke about how to build an Income and Expense Report, how to measure the level of pleasure based on where you spend your money, how to track your money in 5 - 10 seconds, what to look for on a net worth statement to see how close you are to Complete Financial Choice®. And last week, we had Matt Champagne, talking about how to keep your clients forever, by using intelligent surveys versus the junk questions too many companies send out. Today we have as our guest, Debbie Allen. Debbie, also known as 'The Expert of Experts', is an internationally recognized business growth and marketing positioning expert. She has been a professional speaker and business mentor for 25 years, and presented before thousands of people in 28 countries. Debbie is a best-selling author of nine books, including The Highly Paid Expert and hosts the Access to Experts Podcast. She's also a VIP contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, and an award-winning entrepreneur who has built and sold numerous multimillion dollar companies in diverse industries. Debbie, welcome to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast,

Debbie Allen  01:44
Great to be here with you Rennie, for sure. Love to share anything we can do today to help people build their wealth, build their passion and make money from it. Love that

Rennie Gabriel  01:55
Well. Yeah, you know, talk about that. Tell me why you're doing what you do.

Debbie Allen  02:00
Well, I... starting out as a professional speaker was like, 'Okay, I get paid to get on stages', right. And then that whole thing changed in 2008, when I realized there's a lot more ways to create multiple income streams around my knowledge besides just getting on a stage or traveling. I mean, you read my introduction, 28 countries, super-exciting experience, culturally diverse, learning so many things. But you know, that gets old - 3 years on a world tour. So you know, I love helping people build businesses. That's my number one thing I'm jazzed about, and I've loved you know, as an entrepreneur, since I was 19. Never applied for a J O B in my life. I have to actually spell it because it terrifies me. I don't even know how to fill out a job application, I'd be like, just a mess. So I'd either be fired the first week or be buying the company -  I don't know which. And then, you know, never attended a day of college. And because I started out as a business owner since such a young age, you know, college was on an option. I was a terrible student in school. So that wasn't an option either. You know, I always wanted to learn what I wanted to learn to grow my business or what I was passionate about, not what I had to learn. And I felt that way from a very early age.

Rennie Gabriel  03:13
I'm so glad you just gave that much of a background because it's a fit for - I have two older grandson's 19 and 17. The older one is taking the traditional route and going to college. But the younger one, it's not a fit for him. And what you said makes me feel very comfortable that he doesn't have to go to college to succeed. Like I said, he's only 17 years old. He's already saved up and created a $300,000 account for himself. 

Debbie Allen  03:43
Oh my gosh, yeah. You are a good mentor for him. Yeah, he doesn't need to go to college. No.

Rennie Gabriel  03:50
No, he has read my book. He has quizzed me on what I've done and how to do the same thing. So thank you, Debbie. I appreciate hearing that. Well hopefully, my listeners are aware that I donate 100% of the profits from the work I do to charity. Tell me what your favorite cause Charity for Cancer does?

Debbie Allen  04:11
Well, you know, I've had a lot of family members I've lost from cancer and then my best friends. I lost two best friends that I just you know, would never have imagined that they would have passed from breast cancer. They were so healthy looking at them -  fit and both of them had such amazing personalities that to lose them and lose them so quickly. And my other best friend now has skin cancer - melanoma, stage four but her attitude has been amazing. But she got actually into a it was a new-funded, experimental, kind of an experimental situation where it would increase her immunity versus going on chemo. She never did that. And the doctors had when she was diagnosed four years ago, they gave her six months to live. And she's healthier, feeling great - four years later, right? So you can't listen to what doctors tell you, that's for sure, on something like that - to give you a sentence. But I think that the new therapies that came out to help her with her immune system were really amazing. And she didn't have the money - I mean, she's living on Social Security. So to get a grant, you know, and so that's what funding for that would help with - get grants for women like herself to live longer.

Rennie Gabriel  05:24
That sounds like such a fabulous organization. Thank you for sharing that. And let's get back to the topic about business and tell me who are your target clients?

Debbie Allen  05:36
Target clients are people that are kind of like me, want to learn my life's work. They want to be a speaker, they want to be a coach, they want to be a consultant. They want to have online courses and other - maybe master classes. All kinds of things around their expertise, their knowledge, what they know. And that's what I do. I teach people how to create an expert positioning statement and brand, so that they can go out and find clients easier and consistently, in multiple different ways. As we know, there's just a different form of communication, like a book, you know, a book is one way and then from the book you might want to go do an online course, you may want to go to a live event. So building a business around all of those income streams.

Rennie Gabriel  06:19
That makes a lot of sense. Now, since you've been so successful in business, having built and sold numerous million dollar companies. I'm going to guess not everything was a success. Can you tell me what your biggest failure whether personal or business would have been?

Debbie Allen  06:36
Well, one hits me right now when I think about it like, 'ahh that was that was painful'. I've reinvented myself many times as the business has changed, and the world changes around you. But I was - I've been doing events, live events for 15 years. 

Rennie Gabriel  06:49
Mm hmm. 

Debbie Allen  06:50
And I started out from doing like small, little 30 people, 50 people events to going to 600 people in a ballroom - like bam. And I had a partner at that time and we went 'we need to launch and big - we're like, we're going to go big now'. I went 'okay'. And then we were at that time, it was Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield - those author events, and those were the big ones everybody went to that was in our field of speaker, author, coaching. And I was like, 'wow, look at that stage production - gorgeous...' But how much does that cost, right? And then she meets the guy that's doing the whole stage production, and he's like 'I am going to fly out and talk to you guys'. So he flew out from California to meet us in Scottsdale, and look at the venue and then give us a quote, which is $30,000. And that's 2015, right? And we were doing little events, which had a very small budget, and we're like, we're not gonna hire him. We'll just see what he's doing. Right? And of course, we were drooling. And we just went, if we're going to come out, we're going to come out, we're going to do it. So we invested 30,000, just in the AV production. That's not even the ballroom or anything else - went all out. And so we launched it big where people are like, 'whoa'. Okay, and like who would I want to be in the room with? All the people I've attended events like, you know, Tom Antion was one of my speakers and T Harv. Eker, and John Assaraf and Loral Langemeier.

Rennie Gabriel  08:14
Oh, goodness. Yeah, I know the names. 

Debbie Allen  08:16
Yeah, so... even Harv told me, I'm not going to come and speak live at your event, unless you have 500 people. I'm like, we're gonna have 500 people like, what did I know? Right? Dan Kennedy didn't come. But he sent his his main people there for that they they filled 100 people, or they put 100 seats, they filled 100 seats in one day on email. So it was the right timing, where email marketing worked, where those multiple speaker events worked. And so we ended up doing a half million dollars in a weekend, which was 'Hooray, fabulous'. Then we found out that our merchant account was freezing our account. And then a month later, we were still jumping through hoops. And they said, well, it could be another five or six months before we clear all these charges. 

Rennie Gabriel  08:58
Oh, geez. 

Debbie Allen  09:00
Yeah, right. So yeah - hold your breath. And then I was actually speaking at an event in Las Vegas and I got a call from the merchant account telling me this I'm like, I've got to go on and speak and like, ah, yeah, where am I going to come up with $500,000 to pay all these? So yeah, so then of course, we had to find a new merchant account we asked some of the speakers to take some of the charges on themselves - and luckily we had such a great people that you know, we had built relationships with that we would trust them and know that they could take this on for them. We end up you know, stressing out for an entire month - the money isn't coming in, we're going to lose sales. Which we end up losing a number of sales from that, but it was I think one of the most stressful times because it was this big high like 'wow, we actually had success'. 

Rennie Gabriel  09:45

Debbie Allen  09:46
And then have somebody you know, with their thumb on you and say, 'Well, yeah, you had your success, but we're going to hold your money'. Like, that was very stressful. It just didn't seem fair, but I didn't know the game back then. 

Rennie Gabriel  09:49

Debbie Allen  09:54
I learned the game pretty quickly after that, but you know, one little thing you didn't check in that box, checked everything else off and didn't check that. So you know, it's... from that I've learned to just reach out to the people that can help you. And that's really what you do, don't freak out, don't think you got to take it on by yourself. And just like I met you Rennie's these collaborative partners and, and they helped me through that.

Rennie Gabriel  10:24
And it's one of the things I say over and over again, it doesn't matter if I'm talking about building a business or having a successful relationship, or creating wealth. It's a team sport, not a solo sport. And that's exactly what you're talking about. Thank you, Debbie.

Debbie Allen  10:39
It makes me stressed just by thinking about it so, go on to the next question. 

Rennie Gabriel  10:43
Yeah. Okay, let's do that. So what are the typical feelings your prospects experience? 

Debbie Allen  10:49
They experience confidence from the very first call. And the reason being is because a lot of them tell me I've been trying to figure this out for years, and you nailed it in one hour. What they could monetize, how they could position their business, who their most ideal target market would be, and how that target market would relate to the wisdom and knowledge that they would have to share with them. And then from that very first call, is we start out with that keyword rich business name, then we go grab all the domains, and we have a business plan from day one. So here's people who have been, you know, doing the squirrel, I call it the squirrel syndrome, you know, invested all these puzzle pieces and think it's going to work. And then one day that confidence happens, like, 'I see it, I get it, this makes sense and I can do this'. And then it's all planned out, they start seeing the vision. Because I can see the vision before they can most of the time. 

Rennie Gabriel  11:48
Oh, yeah, that's yeah, that's always easier when you're on the outside. 

Debbie Allen  11:51
Right - exactly. Yeah. And see, that's the thing - they were so close to it, they can't see the most obvious things that they could be doing. 

Rennie Gabriel  11:58

Debbie Allen  11:58
And we're all examples of that.

Rennie Gabriel  12:01
Well, that's a perfect lead into the next question, which is, do you have a case study to illustrate something specific that happened for one of your clients? Along those lines?

Debbie Allen  12:14
I have so many, but the one I like to tell the most is someone that didn't think like an entrepreneur. So they had to not only switch their business, their ideas, they had to create a business that made money and they didn't know how to do that. So my client Stacy Danforth, based out of Texas, she is just such an adorable personality. She was she was a school teacher, an art teacher for over 20 years. Didn't matter, Rennie, if she was a good teacher, a bad teacher, didn't matter if she was Teacher of the Year, nothing. She'd make the same amount of money no matter what. Here's your job - come and do it. And $45,000 a year is all she ever made, and all she knew was to get a paycheck. Like, I show up - I get a paycheck. And when she wanted to create this business on gratitude, first of all people told her, how can you monetize gratitude? It's like a soft skill - right? 

Rennie Gabriel  13:08

Debbie Allen  13:08
How... and then nobody was paying her to speak on gratitude, because she was speaking at schools and other places where they thought, 'Okay, this is a nice give back. It's a nice topic - but you know - and she's cute and adorable, but we're not paying'. Right? So then she met someone who knew me and they referred me, I started working with her before I even met her in person, and started saying, Yes, we can monetize this as a speaking business'. Definitely an online course, live events, retreats, all kinds of things, but we have to put gratitude with business somehow. We have to have, you know, show how it really works, so their average person can understand it. And so very early on, I learned that when she left her job as a teacher, she went back to school. That's what teachers know - go back to school. And paid a lot of money to learn how to be a neuroscientist, and specifically, a neuroscientist that studied how the brain is actually affected when we have gratitude in our in our lives. And the reason she chose that as her passion was because one of her students said - he came to her one day and he said, 'Miss Stanford, I'm so thankful for you. I would have quit school and been on drugs right now if it wasn't for you. Every teacher didn't like me. They didn't treat me well. I hated school. And you - I'm just so grateful for you, because you cared about me.' And that stuck with her, that's why she wanted to teach it and then started studying it, and then studying how the brain... And so I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, we can claim you as the world's number one neuroscientist on gratitude'. And then start teaching more of the brain features and how the brain is actually at work. And so then that really took off. So then she started getting TED Talks and then started getting high-end paid speaking engagements. Our first course she ever launched - $20,000 I mean, that's like half her paycheck, right?

Rennie Gabriel  14:58

Debbie Allen  14:58
Yeah. So she made over six figures her first year, not even knowing how to be an entrepreneur. And here's the thing she said to me, Rennie. She said, 'I only knew how to collect a paycheck - but I didn't know how to go out and make money.'

Rennie Gabriel  15:09
Hmm. Right. Oh, beautiful. Wow.

Debbie Allen  15:14
Yeah. So she's one of my favorites because of the whole thought process plus, you know, be able to monetize a soft skill with a uniqueness that, you know, that we found with the neuroscientist, you know,

Rennie Gabriel  15:26
Thank you, Debbie. That's going to be so very helpful to our listeners. And hopefully, you have some valuable free resource that people can get from you so they can connect with you. Do you have something that our listeners can use?

Debbie Allen  15:44
Of course, I just finished this landing page I'm really excited about because on the page is like you don't have to sign up for a webinar and then wait for it to come up, right? Like it's evergreen you go watch it when you watch it. Plan 30 minutes, go watch the video -  expertpositioningsuccess.com, expertpositioningsuccess.com. So you click on there, it's all about how and why expert positioning works to get you better clients make you more money. It also walks you through all of the multiple income streams that I teach. And then there's a one-page business plan, and I walk you through that saying, 'Okay, if you want to make $200,000 a year, here's all these things...' and I break it all down. So you can actually visually see it on the 30-minute video. Then you opt in for the handout, and the handout is a 16-page, high quality handout that gives you 30 steps to build an expert business. And it gives you that whole income stream wheel of all those different ideas. There's like I don't know, 20 different income streams I have, and then the one-page business plan so that you can actually do it. So it's all in there. And if you feel like you've watched the video, you've looked at the handout, this is for you and you want to learn more, then you can apply for a call with me. And I do have that by application and make sure you're the right fit. If you want to do a personalized program with me.

Rennie Gabriel  17:01
Terrific. Well, I'll be sure to put that in the show notes. Again, that's 

Debbie Allen  17:04

Rennie Gabriel  17:07
All right, so that'll be in the show notes. The last question is what should I have asked you, that would give great additional value to our audience? And also answer it. So what question should I have asked you?

Debbie Allen  17:21
Well, I have this quote that I leave on my desk and look at it every morning, 'what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?' And so I asked if you're listening to this, and you've been 'Well with expert positioning stuff sounds great. But I'm not an expert. I can't call myself an expert. I would beg to differ with that. Because a lot of people have had experiences in their life and have gone through different things that they just haven't discovered what area they can be an authority or an expert at. It's not for everybody. But if you want to make a difference in people's lives, you're passionate about sharing something and making a difference, then definitely consider doing that, because it's definitely the way to move way ahead of your competitors. And if you don't claim it, somebody else will.

Rennie Gabriel  18:00
Thank you, Debbie. Debbie, thank you for that. And thank you for being on the show. And to my listeners, thank you for tuning in. You can listen to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast on your favorite platform and please rate, review and subscribe. And if you'd like to know how books, movies and Society programs used to be poor, and what the cure is, then log on to wealthonanyincome.com/TEDx. You'll hear my TEDx talk and you can request a free 27-Page Roadmap to Complete Financial Choice® and receive a weekly email with tips, techniques, or inspiration around your business or money. Again, that's wealthonanyincome.com/TEDx. Until next week, be prosperous. Bye bye for now.

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