InterviewsPersonal DevelopmentProductivity & Effectiveness

From 0 to 150 million $ in 12 years : the story of Jason Friedman

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(Literal) Text Transcription of the video :

Olivier Roland: Hello the Intelligent Rebels. I’m currently with Jason Friedman.

Hello Jason. What’s up?

Jason Friedman: Hello Olivier. How are you?

Olivier Roland: Well, super.

Jason Friedman: Awesome.

Olivier Roland: So, we are currently close to Salt Lake City, in Utah.

We met maybe two years ago or one and half years ago?

Jason Friedman: I think longer.

Olivier Roland: Longer than that, yeah.

Jason Friedman: Yeah. It’s been almost four years actually.

Olivier Roland: Wow. But it’s really only recently that I discovered the whole impact of your story.

Jason Friedman: The story. Yeah.

My story has been kind of hidden. I don’t tell it to a lot of people.

Olivier Roland: Right.

Jason Friedman: So, you get the big exposé right here for your fans.

Olivier Roland: It’s like a worldwide exclusive interview.

Jason Friedman: Exclusive interview.

Olivier Roland: My goodness. So, please pay attention. Okay? Jason, you have an amazing story because you created a business that basically went from zero to 150 million Dollars in 12 years. Right?

Jason Friedman: That is correct.

Olivier Roland: Which is awesome.

Jason Friedman: Yes, it is.

Olivier Roland: Okay. First, can you just share with us a little bit of your history? Where do you come from?

Jason Friedman: Yeah, of course. My background was in theater and I worked as a lighting designer like theatrical lighting for rock and roll shows: for Peter Gabriel, Rush, Fleetwood Mac, Run DMC and Public Enemy. And then, I did a bunch of more legitimate theater tours for Man of La Mancha, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Fiddler on the Roof. And I toured all over the world with these shows.

Primarily, what I was doing was learning how to stage an experience. Every night after night, make the show fresh and engage the audience and have them forget about everything that was going on in their lives and really be present, really be engaged in that story.

Olivier Roland: So, that’s what your job was.

Jason Friedman: That was my job, yeah.

Olivier Roland: For example, what did you do to do that?

Jason Friedman: Well, it was about taking the script and really finding out how to make that script come to life. How do you make the words that are on the page become more real, become more engaging, be more compelling?

Anyone can write a few words on a page but how do you make it come to life so that people believe in it, that they connect with it, that they feel empathy and sympathy and they care about the characters to bring those characters to life.

Olivier Roland: Did you ask actors for example to say these words in a certain way or you were just…

Jason Friedman: Oh, the directors did. I was in the design side of that. We were designing the scenery and the lighting and things like that.

Olivier Roland: All right.

Jason Friedman: And the directors were working with them (the actors) to bring those characters to life. Our role was to support the story with the way the lights looked.

With “Fiddler on the roof” which was in a very hot desert type environment, the way that the lighting and the angles of light and everything try to tell that story and make it feel hot – when you looked on stage, you felt the heat. So, to make things feel more realistic.

Olivier Roland: Create an atmosphere.

Jason Friedman: Exactly. All set.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Jason Friedman: I did that for a while and then, I was given the opportunity to take that experience in telling stories in theater and all of that and really bring that into the business world.

We were approached by a company called “Foot Locker” which at that time, I don’t know if they are now, but they were the largest athletic shoe retailer in the world and they wanted to create a new store.

The internet which we all love, obviously we are here on the internet now but, it was being so disruptive to retail. People were now starting to shop online where they never did that before.

business en ligne n'existait pas

Olivier Roland: What year was that?

Jason Friedman: That was in 1997.

Olivier Roland: Okay. So, just the beginning of the internet.

Jason Friedman: Right at the beginning of online e-commerce. It was just starting and most brands didn’t even sell online but they had sales. They would have fliers so you would see their pricing all of a sudden online.

People stopped buying in this store because they heard that that other store had maybe a better price. This was very disruptive to the retail industry. And so, they wanted to create a store of the future to really engage their customers and have them have a better experience in the store and buy more shoes and other athletic apparel in the store.

Our primary focus was on what does a customer care about when they come in, how do we really understand that customer and take them on a journey throughout the store and have them leave buying more stuff and feeling better about that experience.

Olivier Roland: How did you come from this job as the “atmosphere engineer in chief” to this? How did they find you?

Jason Friedman: They found us because they were looking for a way to bring theater into the store.

Olivier Roland: So, someone was creative in this company.

Jason Friedman: Yeah. Actually, the person that was at that time the CEO of the Foot Locker was a gentleman that had been at Disney previously. And that’s how they knew us because we had done projects previously.

Olivier Roland: So, he was already in the world of mixing art with atmosphere.

Jason Friedman: He wanted to create a theme park for retail like when you go to a retail experience in a theme park, it’s very different than if you went to a regular retail store.

Olivier Roland: Right.

Jason Friedman: He wanted to find some way to make it be fun, to make it be engaging, to take the pain, the frustrating parts of the shopping experience away and to have it be pleasant and fun and bright and engaging, and tell a story.

So, what we did was we learned more about the customers. We understood what their frustrations or what their challenges were, why they were coming in the store in the first place.

And we got them into a state where they were in a better mood when they came in the store. One of the things I teach in my business about customer experience is that if you want to get the result that you want, you have to reverse engineer the entire process.

I say that the attitude plus the behaviors equal the results.

So, if you want to get those specific results, you have to make sure that the people are doing the right behaviors, that’ll get those results, and then, you have to have the right attitude or they won’t do the behaviors at all.

If we wanted them to buy more stuff, we had to put them in the right mood. We had to change the attitude when they came into the store. We don’t know what was happening in their life before they entered that store just like we don’t know what’s happening when someone comes to our website or when someone reads an email.

How do we bring them in? What’s the story? What’s the way that we engage them more fully so that we can influence that attitude the right way and create an experience that we know would then drive the right behaviors to get them the most wanted results?

Olivier Roland: He’s been asking you to do that for the physical shops, not for the internet.

Jason Friedman: Right. It was for the physical stores.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Jason Friedman: But it works anywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s on or off…

Olivier Roland: Even on the website.

Jason Friedman: On anything. Your website is your retail store. When someone walks into your store, you can tell a lot of stories because you have the walls and the ceiling and the lights and the carpeting and the flooring, and the smell, and the music.

But when they come into your website, if you don’t have a physical store, that is your store. You have to put as much thought, in my opinion, into that as you would into the way your store looks.

Why are people coming? What is it that you’re going to do to take them on a journey?

People enter that store. What we did was we made it so that people had a natural tendency where they knew where to go, they knew that they should go this way, the way that the store was designed and all the merchandise was laid out. People followed a specific path through the store so that we knew that they would have the right experience.

sensory stimulation to help influence the attitude

We had media, audio, video, lighting, scent… all sorts of sensory stimulation to help influence the attitude that they were having so we could drive those right behaviors and the result was that they had a 400% increase in sales in that store.

Olivier Roland: Wow.

Jason Friedman: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: When they asked you to do that, I mean at the beginning, were you confident you could have these kinds of results because it was a new world for you to explore. Right?

Jason Friedman: We were confident. The goal wasn’t a 400% increase. The goal was to increase the sales and have a better shopping experience.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Jason Friedman: But our confidence was that we could tell a story that would get people more engaged. Why do people buy sneakers? Because they want to play sport and there’s different kinds of sneakers for different kinds of sports. If they’re excited about that, one of the ways to do that is to get them excited about that sport.

One of the pieces of media that we had was called “heartbeat”. When you were in the store, you’d walk in and you would just start hearing “boom boom – boom boom – boom boom”, that was a heartbeat sound and it would start getting a little faster.

And the light would change in the store and it would focus your attention on different displays. And then, the media on the TV would start changing and it was getting your heart rate elevated, the music and the sound would start and get to you and lift you up, and you felt more energized after that three-minute piece of media finished.

You go to the gym; you listen to music when you’re on the treadmill and it helps. It’s the same idea.

Now, we’re getting them there in an athletic shoe store. They come in. Who knows what was going on? We were bringing them in and getting them excited and putting them in a good mood.

Olivier Roland: What did you do for example?

Jason Friedman: Like that video.

Olivier Roland: So, you put on a video. Okay, at the entrance.

Jason Friedman: Well, it was all throughout, in different places.

Olivier Roland: It was like a group of videos put before them.

Jason Friedman: Exactly. We had another one called “balls”. We had a “heartbeat”, we had “balls.” It was all these different balls in sports like tennis and soccer, football, racquetball, all sorts of sports that use balls.

And then, we would sell rackets and balls and the right kinds of shoes for that. I’m telling you the energy of the shopper that was in there when they would experience this media: they would be more engaged, they were more excited, they were in that buying mood.

We worked for other people after that, we would do department stores, for example, like Macy’s, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Macy’s department store. It’s a very large chain of department stores throughout the United States. They have different areas and departments and one of the things that we did was in their swimsuit area. We would put the smell of suntan lotion on the beach. And we would have fans that were gently blowing on them.

Olivier Roland: What is the smell of the beach?

Jason Friedman: If you have ever had a Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion, it has a very unique scent.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, okay. That scent. Yes.

Jason Friedman: Yeah, it has like a… I don’t know how to describe it but when you smell it, you’re like “oh, the beach”.

Olivier Roland: So, it was putting you in a very relaxed mood.

Jason Friedman: And it made you think of the beach and you wanted to be there. And the lights in that area were brighter, so, it felt warm and that changes your attitude; and the sound in that area was beach: the waves crashing.

People bought more swimsuits because we’re putting you in that place. We’re here in Park City Utah, where outside it’s snowing. If this whole area was really warm and there were swimsuits and I had that scent, you’d be buying a bathing suit.

That’s what happens. We work really hard to take that client and understand who they were, what was important, what the products were and match them up. How do you tell that story in a three-dimensional theatrical way that really makes them engage with it?

That was the secret to our success, it was “understanding the client”. There wasn’t only retail. I mentioned a couple of retail examples. We did it for financial institutions, banks, corporations, inside their offices.

Olivier Roland: That’s so interesting. You started in 1998. Right?

Jason Friedman: 1997.

Olivier Roland: 1997. How long did it take for you to have this 400% increase for this customer, like one year?

Jason Friedman: Yeah. The 400% increase was almost immediate, it was in three months.

Olivier Roland: It was your first customer.

Jason Friedman: It was my second customer technically, but it was my first big customer.

Olivier Roland: Ah, okay. It was very successful and then, you went bigger.

Jason Friedman: We did a pilot. That way, we did one store.

Olivier Roland: Oh, then, you did all the stores.

Jason Friedman: Then, they did another pilot because they didn’t believe it. I wouldn’t believe it either. It was like “okay, this is crazy how great this worked. It was a fluke.” We thought “oh my God, it can’t be right”.

Then, we said let’s try it again. So, we did another one and we had the same results. And then, we’re like “okay, we have got to test that on a third.” Then, we went, we did a third one and we had the same results. Then, we rolled it out to hundreds of locations around the world and that’s when my business was born.

I was like… me on site doing stuff. I was literally in everything.

Olivier Roland: So, you were alone?

Jason Friedman: I had a couple other designer friends. We were all working together on the prototypes. And then, once they decided they wanted to roll this out to lots of locations, they hired my company which was at that time just me to do that. And then, I immediately had to hire a full staff and…I was 24 years old or 25 years old. I had to do everything.

Olivier Roland: Wow. You were so young, yeah.

Jason Friedman: About “business per se”, I had always been fairly successful and I’ve had a few entrepreneurial things. But it was me and a buddy, and we made some money. It wasn’t like a company. And so, all of a sudden, I was forced into this and I was like any good entrepreneurs like “yeah, yes, let’s do it.” So, I signed a contract and then, the next thing I knew, I had to hire a whole staff. And within two or three weeks – it was in three weeks – I had 30 or 40 team members because I needed that.

Olivier Roland: In three weeks?

Jason Friedman: That’s the way I did that. Most people always say “wow, how did you do that?”

Olivier Roland: Exactly.

Jason Friedman: And the way I do everything is theater. So, I went to all the theater schools where I knew that kids were graduating because there’s a language, there’s a work ethic, there’s a culture and there’s…

It is something that’s so interesting about theater and if you look and you do any kind of research on theater and business, there is a lot on that. Like using theatrical practices when it comes to business is amazing. You talked about the 80/20 a lot. There’s a lot of that when you think about those connection there.

Obviously, I’m talking about the storytelling side of theater, but also the business side of theater. One of the interesting things was a study done by… oh gosh, who did the study? I think it was the BBC actually but I may be wrong, I may be misquoting. They studied and looked at a film and video production companies and theatrical production companies versus regular businesses. And they found that they were far more productive than any other business unit in the world because the roles and the responsibilities of all of the different departments in theater, film and television were so clear. That the teams could like, if it’s a broadcast, they’d have to fly in for an emergency or a hurricane’s happening. They’d have to get there and do it instantly and they do it flawlessly.

And it’s because they’re so clear on what their roles and their job descriptions are and what their responsibilities are. And that’s what happens.

theater people backstage

So, I brought in theater people. And then, I didn’t know all this back then, inherently, I knew theater, I knew theater schools, I went to people that I knew there and I looked for employees. I hired stage managers, lighting technicians, scenic designers, carpenters, people that learned how to do backstage theater stuff.

That’s what I did. I hired them all and then, I trained them, and then, we did it and that’s how it worked.

Most of my companies have always been focused on having people from the world of theater. We expanded at some point. I mean, we got to the point where we had over 1500 employees and subcontractors. It wasn’t all theater people, but at the beginning when we started out, it was.

Olivier Roland: It’s such an amazing story because one of the things you’re supposed to do to be creative and have new ideas is just to look at what is recommended in one industry and to bring it to a new industry where it’s absolutely not common. And this is exactly what you did.

Jason Friedman: Yeah, but I did it unintentionally. It was accidental.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, it was accidental.

Jason Friedman: At that time, it was all accidental and honestly, I didn’t realize it. A good friend of mine… Actually, one of the books on your reading list “Accidental Genius” by Marc Levy. Marc Levy who was my former Chief Marketing Officer ultimately but a good friend of mine. He said to me: “As a marketer, do you realize what our specialty is?” And I said “No, what are you talking about?” We were trying to figure out our positioning, our branding and how we were going to talk about ourselves.

And it was that we use theater. I didn’t even talk about it back then because I didn’t realize it was special. It’s just all I knew because I had grown up in that world. Now, today, I tell people like I’m saying: “I use theater to drive that” but I didn’t even realize that.

Olivier Roland: You need to engineer yourself actually.

Jason Friedman: It’s a great story zero to a lot of money whatever, but here’s the thing: we struggled a lot in the beginning, in the first several years. We had this great success with Foot Locker and then it fell apart. We were always up and down.

Olivier Roland: They stopped working with you?

Jason Friedman: We did all their stores. What I didn’t know – this is the learning how to do business – is that you always have to be selling, you have to bring in new clients.

So, I had this big staff, when we finished the last store.

Olivier Roland: You didn’t think in advance that you should have…

Jason Friedman: I didn’t even know what I… How would I know?

Olivier Roland: That’s kind of cute because now, I’m sure, you look at it and you’re…

Jason Friedman: Yeah. At that time, I wanted to die. Literally, I was freaked out, I didn’t want to fire anybody. I’d spent so much time; I loved the team and I saw it as failure and it was. I had failed them as a leader in the business by not kind of thinking about that.

So, when I went to go out and start selling and trying to get clients, I went out with a corporate PowerPoint presentation and I would try and sell, go to meetings and tell them how we can help them. I talked about putting televisions in and how to use televisions and media to make more sales. I wasn’t talking about experience; I wasn’t talking about outcome and results. I was selling features, not benefits. I didn’t understand.

Olivier Roland: Which is a big mistake that a lot of entrepreneurs make.

Jason Friedman: Right. I didn’t even realize it. I thought they would be like “oh well, how many TVs would you put in?” Who cares? If you need a thousand TVs to get this result, that’s a thousand. If you need five, it’s five. It’s not about those features and I didn’t understand that at that time but that’s what I was selling and I was getting zero clients.

And that’s when Marc…

Olivier Roland: Even though you had these amazing results with Foot Locker.

Jason Friedman: Which is why I got the meetings. That’s why they spoke to me but they didn’t buy.

Olivier Roland: They weren’t convinced.

Jason Friedman: They didn’t even understand. They knew it was a new approach and it was not understood. Nobody totally trusted the numbers because it was huge results. And I wasn’t selling the results, I was selling what we did like they would say “So, what did you do?” Just like you asked to me “What did you do?” “Oh we had TVs, we had these media” and so, I’d talk about that. They weren’t saying: “So, why did you do it and what were the results of doing it? How did that change their business?”

That’s how I should have been talking, about how it changed their business not about how we did it. Once I explained how it changed their business, then, we could have gone into how we did it, but I didn’t do that. I didn’t know, I didn’t understand. Anyway, he was trying to help me understand and that’s when he starts saying Theater.

Olivier Roland: The author of “Accidental Genius”.

Jason Friedman: Yeah, Marc, who is an amazing guy. He is an amazing magician and creative and strategist. He is an amazing dude. We’ll have to hold a… Next time you’re in New York we’ll grab dinner with him or some time a bit far.

Olivier Roland: Oh yes, with pleasure.

Jason Friedman: Maybe you can interview him, he’s amazing.

Anyway, the thing with him was it’s that theater, it’s that storytelling, it is that backstage magic that is behind the scenes that makes that front stage client experience happen.

And he was the one that helped me understand that we were different. We were different than other people. People always said “You guys are so different” but we didn’t know why. We were too close to it; we just couldn’t see it.

Olivier Roland: And you couldn’t see what the competition was doing.

Jason Friedman: We didn’t. We had no idea. So then, we started testing that and he said this also: “if you want to sell experience, you need to do it. You can’t just talk about it; you have to walk the walk”.

One of the problems we got… I would go in with a corporate PowerPoint presentation. That’s not theater, that’s not engaging, that’s not storytelling.

Olivier Roland: The idea was to create like a mock shop.

Jason Friedman: To create an experience. We wanted to have this kind of meta thing. As we were selling to them, were introducing ourselves to them, they were actually having an experience, they could experience what we might do with their clients.

So, what we started to do. What we realized also is that working with a referral partner was always the best way. Someone that had a relationship with the end client that would sell our… that would hire us.

For example, if Foot Locker was going to hire us, they were usually working with an architect or a branding agency that was helping them come up with the new store design first, and so, they could then refer us in. So, we could much more easily get to the architect than we could to the right decision maker at that big company. We started going after that “middleman” if you will.

Olivier Roland: And that middleman can recommend you more than once.

Jason Friedman: And the third-party endorsement from that middleman is more valuable than me going direct. It’s social proof. I didn’t know it was called that back then but now I knew.

Olivier Roland: And authority too.

Jason Friedman: And authority, exactly. The positioning of that was massive. Today, I realize that but I didn’t realize it back then.

The way that they took meetings as architects was that they had these things called “lunch and learns”. Someone would come in, they’d buy like a tray of sandwiches for the team and then, the team would eat lunch and you could talk to them for 20 minutes while they were eating lunch. That’s how anyone that was going into architects’ offices could get an audience with them.

sushi and learn experience

So, what we did instead of buying a tray of sandwiches, we created what we called “the sushi and learn experience”. We had a sushi chef come in and make it fresh and literally roll it in the room and we had a whole story and experience around it. And where other competitors… not competitors but other people that would do lunch and learn with these architects, they would get like four or five of the junior associates, the lower-level architects in the space, we were getting the CEOs like their partners, the highest level because they were like “oh my gosh, they’re having fresh sushi, they’re doing this whole thing.”

There was music playing and we had branded napkins, the chef came in and our logo was on his hat and on his jacket and he was in costume. We were in our costume with our logos and everything. It was just very dialed in.

What would happen? Before that, we would research all of their projects and as we were explaining some concepts, we would use images, pictures and things that we found on the internet about their projects. We would use those as examples so they were paying more attention.

What would inevitably happen is they would end up asking us at the end of that, like it was supposed to be 20 minutes, it would end up being an hour and a half. We have their undivided attention. We’re literally shutting down their business for an hour and a half. They were all in this room and we’d end up sometimes with standing-room-only because everyone would just keep coming in to see what was going on. It was amazing.

And then, at the end, we would offer up, listen “if you have any projects or just some ideas, we’ll brainstorm with you for free. Here, we’ll sign up for 30-minute consult for free with everyone.”

Now, this is kind of what we do online today but we were doing it physically in the real world. We would sit there for hours and hours afterwards, having them one at a time come in and talk about their projects, tell us what their challenges were, what their problems were, what they were trying to accomplish with them?

We’d come back with a proposal and they’d introduce us to the client and we started growing like crazy but it was because we understood that we had to walk the walk. If we were going to sell an experience, we had to provide an experience.

Olivier Roland: You wouldn’t have understood this so fast without this mentor who helped.

Jason Friedman: A mentor, a coach like we’re at a mastermind now. And everyone’s a mentor to me. It’s in our group in a different way, in a different area of our lives. I’ve told you how much you’ve helped me so much as well, just in understanding so much about my schedule, my time management and productivity. It’s been amazing.

I think there’s nothing better than having a mentor like that. You don’t even always know that someone that is a mentor is doing that until all of a sudden you realize it afterwards. I didn’t know that he was going to be able to do that. It was one conversation and it was just a random conversation.

Olivier Roland: a one hundred million dollars conversation.

Jason Friedman: Yeah, it really was.

Olivier Roland: Right? It was.

Jason Friedman: One of the most valuable conversations in my life.

Olivier Roland: So, you transformed yourself into a good salesman. With that, you didn’t have to hire anyone to walk the walk and convince the customers.

Jason Friedman: Ultimately, we ended up hiring more sales people, but I never thought of myself as a salesperson, I thought of sales as a bad thing. It was dirty, you were slimy, and you were sleazy.

And what I learned was I was doing it for my clients but I wasn’t doing it for myself. It was about serving. We gave him all those conversations, all those 30-minute brainstorming sessions. If they hired us, great, if they didn’t, okay. We were delivering value in advance.

In the internet world, we have a lead magnet or something. They give them something of value in exchange for their email address. So, we have permission to have a conversation and to keep deepening that relationship.

There’s nothing smarmy with good people – I’m sure there are bad people out there – but the intention is to do something that’s positive, to create value in advance, to be serving your audience. That’s what I help my clients do. It’s how do you create an amazing experience for clients? How do you understand what they need? How do you anticipate their needs before they even know what they are? That’s serving.

We focused only on serving. We didn’t have to sell, we just served and then, they would ask us how do we hire you. And we would say “Oh great, if you were interested in talking about that, that’s fantastic”.

Actually, I did a presentation yesterday. In the middle of the presentation was how we just hire you to do this? That was not my intention and I even said like “That’s not what this is about” But it’s because you are serving, you’re just genuinely there.

Olivier Roland: Actually, it’s very rare but you got a standing ovation. And in this group, it’s rare.

Jason Friedman: Yeah. It has been fantastic.

Olivier Roland: I didn’t see a… I don’t even remember seeing it before. I’m sure it happened but it was a long time ago.

Jason Friedman: Yeah, but again, I knew the people in that room and you see me do a similar presentation before.

Olivier Roland: Right, in Thailand.

Jason Friedman: But I tailored it to this group. I customized it based on the conversations we were having so that it touched specific people and it referenced conversations that we had so that it was more relevant to them to be in service of this room.

That’s how I teach people to do this for their clients all across the board and that’s how we grew. We grew by being interested in our clients not trying to be interesting and show off to them. We weren’t about us being better or smarter or anything else, it was being interested in how we can help you bring your business to the next level. How can we help you connect more with your clients?

I think this is for any business, if you can serve them. I think you’re a phenomenal example. The way that you try and help entrepreneurs live the life of their dreams, have the freedoms that they most want, make money, make impact, you’re serving them.

Olivier Roland: I hope so.

Jason Friedman: Well, you are. I see it all the time and I’m so impressed by what you’ve done and what you continue to do but that’s the same thing. It’s that ethic that I think is so important and most people don’t do that. That’s a rare talent, I believe.

Olivier Roland: When you started to do this method to convince prospects and referrals to hire you? When was that? What year?

Jason Friedman: Probably 2001 – 2002.

Olivier Roland: Okay. It was quite fast because you started in 1997. So, it took you four to five years to really understand how to sell what you were doing. It means, before, you were like surviving, but you told me you were doing 3 million a year, more or less.

Jason Friedman: The first year, we went up like this, we finished all the Foot Locker stuff then, we went down like this. We got another project then, we went down like this. Then, we got another project, maybe another project then, we went down because we weren’t able to get that consistency.

So, it’s not like we never sold anything, but we went on a lot of meetings. And the other thing that we were doing, that we learned, that we did very differently, was that in order to get a project or a client or whatever, we spent a lot of time working on it for free for them, giving them ideas, giving them prices, giving them all the stuff before they hired us.

And at some point, we stopped doing that because we spent so much time. So, we would maybe have nine prospects all out there and we would spend so much of our resource like trying to figure out what could we do, presenting things, coming up with ideas, all of this stuff to hopefully get their business.

Olivier Roland: It wasn’t working too much.

Jason Friedman: It wasn’t. We maybe got one out of nine. Maybe.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Jason Friedman: And I think it was probably more like one out of fourteen ultimately. You know what I mean? Thankfully, that one was big enough that it would help fill in the void but we weren’t moving forward, we were just barely treading water. It was very hard.

Olivier Roland: Did you have to fire people?

Jason Friedman: I never fired anybody.

Olivier Roland: Awesome, high five. Wow.

Jason Friedman: But I also didn’t pay myself anything for a very long time and took money out of my savings to keep them as employees.

Olivier Roland: Really? How come did you have so much savings because of your previous jobs?

Jason Friedman: When I worked on the road, touring, you make quite a bit of money. You have no expenses, so…

Olivier Roland: For how many years didn’t you pay yourself?

Jason Friedman: I probably didn’t pay myself for the better part of two years. There may have been a check in between somewhere but I really didn’t.

I might have run a couple of expenses through the business as well. I paid for gas or something like that, but I wasn’t taking a regular salary and I was taking money out of my savings in the empty times to keep the payroll going. But I believed in what we were doing, I just didn’t understand exactly what that formula was. It’s like I knew the value we were creating, like every project we did had great results for our clients. We just couldn’t get enough projects. We couldn’t get the same results for ourselves that we were getting for our clients. We were so close to it.

fresh brain new set of eyes

And that’s when Marc came in and explained that, and helped me see that, it’s like I needed a fresh brain. I say this to people often: “we need a fresh brain at the table.” You need a new set of eyes that are not glossed over. You don’t see things clearly when you’re so close to things sometimes, so having an outside. And that’s why when we come here, we do hot seats, we share…

Olivier Roland: Exactly.

Jason Friedman: It’s a way to step out and get another set of eyes and other brains on it. You can have the same exact problem for yourself that someone else has. And you can see it for them, but you can’t see it for yourself. You can give them great advice.

Actually, our friend Ricardo often says  “If you have a hard time making a decision or whatever, it’s because it’s about the emotions of it because it’s you. And if you think about a friend or someone else and help them with that advice, you take the emotion away, you can make a decision”.

Olivier Roland: It is a good hack.

Jason Friedman: It’s a great hack.

Olivier Roland: Just imagine yourself now like someone else that has to make the same decision as you with the same amount of emotions.

Jason Friedman: Yeah, it’s not perfect but it helps a lot of the time. So, it’s an interesting thing but we were up and down and up and down. And I couldn’t… we called it porpoising, like the fish. And we just… it was stressful.

Olivier Roland: Yeah. I imagine that, especially when you don’t pay yourself.

Jason Friedman: Fortunately, I was okay but I was stressed. And I was worried and I was… you know, it’s that entrepreneurial journey. And I was not sure in the early days that I was cut out for it.

I questioned myself all the time and I say it now “I knew that we had a good business” and I know that I felt that somehow or I wouldn’t have been taking money out of my savings but, I don’t think I ever said that.

I was worried and I was hiding it. I was just fighting and I would work more hours, more hours, more hours.

But what I did was, I went in to… I had a mentor, I had a coaching group that I was in, I went to conferences and I read books.

Olivier Roland: You were looking for help.

Jason Friedman: I was looking for a growth, knowledge, help or whatever and I leaned on a lot of people, that’s how I found Marc.

I didn’t know Marc initially, I met him through a friend through a group at that time was called YEO, Young Entrepreneurs Organization, which is now EO, which is a global organization of entrepreneurs, an amazing group.

And my good friend Kevin, down from that group, introduced me to Marc and it was just like “boom.” Marc is a theatre person, he’s a professional magician. He was another theatre person that came in but understood marketing incredibly well, branding, positioning, strategy.

Olivier Roland: So, he gave you everything you needed.

Jason Friedman: He was amazing, I mean, truly amazing and I’m so grateful.

But after we had that understanding, it’s not like everything was like perfect but still started getting better and better. And then, we packaged. All of the things we were doing for free for everyone, we packaged into a process and we sold the ability to do that work that we were doing for free as a project at that point. So, we weren’t doing it for free any longer.

At that point, instead of doing this work hoping that they’d hire us and we’d make money on the back end, what they ended up doing was they would hire us and they would pay us like a hundred thousand dollars for the design. And so, once we were able to shift that…

Olivier Roland: But you still did the free sushi meal?

Jason Friedman: We would do the free sushi meal to get more clients.

Olivier Roland: Just to show the experience, yes.

Jason Friedman: Yeah. But then, we had so many people that would then call us. They thought of us for projects because they had already had that sushi experience. So, we did that with new people to bring them in.

We didn’t have to keep doing that with all people. Then we said: “Okay well, how do we keep furthering those relationships?” It was by making them look good by creating great quality ideas and concepts and such.

We ended up with a suite of core referral partners like the 80/20. 80% of our business came from 20% of our partners.

Olivier Roland: Yes and with that, you didn’t have to convince new people all the time because they already knew you.

Jason Friedman: And they would tell their clients that they got and it was amazing. It just worked in scenario. At that time I had a blog.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, really?

Jason Friedman: I did, yeah.

Olivier Roland: So you mean what year? Like 2004?

Jason Friedman: It’s 2005-ish. It was called “The Anatomy of Wow” and the idea…

Olivier Roland: I love the title. Is it still online?

Jason Friedman: I don’t think. I sold it when I sold the business.

Olivier Roland: Ah, okay.

Jason Friedman: But the idea… and I wrote a book at that time called “Meaningful Wow” and it was the same kind of brand of connection. What we did on this blog was we talked about the great work that different architects were doing. They were Wow. They were creating Wow experiences for people.

meaningful wow brand connexion

And so, we would be promoting those people that were also promoting us. Their work, we would comment on it as an expert in a customer experience and they would drive traffic there. And because we were a third party telling future clients for them how great their works were, they were getting more business that way and then, bringing us in. And it really worked nicely.

Olivier Roland: In 2001, it began to really grow. In 2005, it accelerated?

Jason Friedman: Yeah, accelerated.

Olivier Roland: You told me like basically, you went from 3 million to 150 in 3 years, at the end.

Jason Friedman: It aggregated more to the end. So, 2005 is when it really started. It was going fast but it’s when it started going straight up, like a rocket ship growth. A few things happened but it was from that point forward that we got massive momentum because just everything was in place.

I had become a very different person. I was now more of a leader than I was a micromanager at the beginning and I was really developing much more business skills in different areas. I had brought in an amazing team, a leadership team and they each owned their own parts of the business, I own my part of the business, and we were all working really well together.

And we added more of the right structure and processes and systems and as we added more and more of that, we got better and better and more efficient.

Olivier Roland: How did you live in this amazing world? Was it not too stressful? Because you had to scale everything, I’m sure, to hire a lot of people, to train them, I mean everything was like multiplied. Right? How many people did you have at this time?

Jason Friedman: I’m guessing but probably 60 to 70 full-time employees and then, I don’t know several hundred subcontractors. And then, we were literally doubling after that.

Olivier Roland: Doubling like every…

Jason Friedman: Internally every year, like double…

Olivier Roland: Every year?

Jason Friedman: Yeah… and that’s when we got into trouble. This is where we got into trouble financially.

Olivier Roland: That’s why I asked, yeah, because usually, it’s not easy to go like that.

Jason Friedman: It’s not. And we took all the profits of the company and had to keep reinvesting all of them. And the growth from the sales and the more work that we were doing, it was so much that our profits weren’t enough to fund the growth. And we were going to go into bankruptcy.

Olivier Roland: So, what did you do?

Jason Friedman: I had to sell the company.

Olivier Roland: Oh, you couldn’t just get loans from the banks?

Jason Friedman: I was fully leveraged and we were super profitable, it wasn’t that we weren’t positive, we just didn’t have the cash flow.

Olivier Roland: You couldn’t just stop the growth a little bit?

Jason Friedman: We could have stopped the growth.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, but you didn’t want to.

Jason Friedman: No.

Olivier Roland: So, you sold the company. You wanted also… where you a bit tired of the adventure?

Jason Friedman: I was exhausted, that’s fair, but what we tried to do was to bring in an investor not to sell it and we couldn’t. Everyone wanted to buy it. We had a bidding war between multiple companies that wanted to buy it but they wanted to buy all of it and then…

Olivier Roland: They wanted to have you at the top.

Jason Friedman: Yes of course.

Olivier Roland: But was it something that was interesting for you?

Jason Friedman: It was because the promise was then to expand and open offices around the world and to do… and through mergers. We had offices in certain places.

I think at that time we had a lot of offices in the US, maybe six or seven and we had an office in the UK, we had an office in Asia. But we didn’t have all throughout the rest of Europe and whatever.

And then, when we brought on the new company we ended up with offices in 15 cities around the world. It was very quick. The idea of also doing mergers and acquisitions, we started buying some businesses that were in key geographic locations where we needed a presence because we already had some clients and we hadn’t have local talent to service them, who had client relationships, who had good staff and team members, who culturally would fit with our organization.

It was good, a great learning experience. I was excited about it. I had not done a lot of purchases of other companies. Most of my experience, I’d sold a business or two but I never bought a business. So, it was exciting for me from the… I’m a learner. I love learning, so, it was exciting to be able to go out and learn about the buying process, about doing business.

Really do, I mean we did business, we did installations and we did client work in different countries but we never had a business that was based in another country, like the cultures and the customs. I was excited about all of that and I was okay with that. But what I didn’t realize was that, I would completely lose control of my baby and that I would no longer really have a say. I was CEO but it was not the same as when it was my company.

Olivier Roland: Because you started alone, your company was 100% yours.

Jason Friedman: Right.

Olivier Roland: So, you sold it for a very good price I’m sure.

Jason Friedman: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: Because you’re supposed to sell it two or three times the annual revenue, no?

Jason Friedman: Well, no. It was a deal based on the EBITDA, based on the Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization.

Olivier Roland: It was not on revenue, it was as profit.

Jason Friedman: Essentially, yeah.

Olivier Roland: Okay but still.

Jason Friedman: Yeah. It was a good multiple, I mean we did well. No question but…

Olivier Roland: And the deal was… so, you didn’t take any part of the company anymore. You sold everything.

Jason Friedman: I sold a 100% of the company and then they paid me…

Olivier Roland: But why didn’t you want to sell 60% and keep 40% for yourself.

Jason Friedman: That’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to sell 40% and keep 60% but they wouldn’t do that. Basically, I sold a 100% of the company. I took, I don’t remember the percentages at the moment, but I took let’s say 60% in cash and 40% in stock in the new business of that company. But my 40% that I took was maybe 7%…

Olivier Roland: Of theirs.

Jason Friedman: Right, yeah. Like it was…

Olivier Roland: You didn’t. Yeah.

Jason Friedman: Yeah, whatever was?

Olivier Roland: You had the voice but not the majority.

Jason Friedman: I had a whisper.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, a whisper. Okay.

Jason Friedman: It wasn’t loud for a voice.

Olivier Roland: So yeah, I’m sure it’s not so easy to go from a place where you can make all the decisions to one where you’re supposed to follow, maybe not orders, but at least strategy guidelines or this kind of stuff, right?

Jason Friedman: It’s hard. I mean there’s a lot of things. Number one for me, it was my first really big business that I built that was mine and my identity was tied up in that business.

So, if you would ask me: “who are you?” I would say: “Oh, I’m that company”. And now, it’s not mine anymore and it’s making decisions on its own without me and it was hard. To this day, I still think I have a little post-traumatic stress disorder from that because it was my baby and then, it was gone. So, there was that. There was also the challenge of the… our business was all about our customers and for those people, it was all about the bottom line, all about profitability…

Olivier Roland: Do you mean the profits?

Jason Friedman: Yeah and in every little aspect. We made bets on our clients. We made bets on like if we do more right now and take a little less profit on this, it’s going to help them. They’re going to have better success and it will come back to us later. And that was not okay anymore.

So, it fundamentally shifted our way of being with those clients and it was a big problem, yeah. It changed everything. Everything changed when we did that.

global and mondial business

And some things for the better, for sure, like I said, we were able to expand on a global footprint much better. They had a lot of experience in acquisitions like we bought, I don’t know probably a few companies, I don’t remember how many, smaller companies we bought them for no money. I didn’t know you could buy a company for zero dollars.

Olivier Roland: Because it was not profitable, right?

Jason Friedman: They were not profitable and of course…

Olivier Roland: Or they were maybe in a bankrupt?

Jason Friedman: They weren’t necessarily bankrupt. But, they were not making a lot of money like they might have had like zero profit after they paid the owner. The owner was stressed.

So, we could give the owner a salary and keep their people on, and absorb them in. And the owner could still make money and not have the stress of worrying about making payroll.

They solved our problem, we solved their problem. Everyone was in a win-win.

Olivier Roland: And it was supposed to be the same when they bought you.

Jason Friedman: And, you know.

Olivier Roland: But, how long did you stay as a CEO?

Jason Friedman: I stayed for… I tell people two years but it was really like a year and a half.

Olivier Roland: Wow.

Jason Friedman: When you look at the actual timeframe, it was about a year and a half.

Olivier Roland: It was not supposed to be like that when you did the deal.

Jason Friedman: I had a contract for five years.

Olivier Roland: What happened?

Jason Friedman: I resigned.

Olivier Roland: You went to see them, you said: “I cannot do this anymore”?

Jason Friedman: Yeah. I resigned and then we had a client at that time who insisted that I be involved or they were not going to continue on. So, I made an agreement with them that I would work with just that client for two more years to complete that contract.

Olivier Roland: As you’re like an external consultant.

Jason Friedman: Yeah I was essentially as an external consultant. And it was for… Stanford University was the client and so, we did that.

Olivier Roland: They wanted to incentivise students to study more?

Jason Friedman: No, we were helping them raise money. We were doing a campaign to raise six billion dollars for the university, which we did. We successfully completed it but they didn’t want to lose me. That was one of the few clients that I was personally involved in on a day-to-day basis. So, we finished that contract and then they sued me for leaving early.

Olivier Roland: What?

Jason Friedman: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: Oh really.

Jason Friedman: Yeah. We spent two years in a lawsuit after that.

Olivier Roland: Did you win, did you lose?

Jason Friedman: Nobody won, it was a mess.

Olivier Roland: It was tiring.

Jason Friedman: It was a long stressful experience.

Olivier Roland: Everyone lost money.

Jason Friedman: Everyone lost money, everyone lost time. It was not a good experience.

Olivier Roland: And you had these non-competitive…

Jason Friedman: Yeah, I had a non-compete agreement that essentially took me through 2016, so…

Olivier Roland: Not so long ago.

Jason Friedman: Yeah. So, I couldn’t do anything.

Olivier Roland: Anything related to customer experience.

Jason Friedman: Anything related to marketing anywhere in the world.

Olivier Roland: Wow, it’s super wide.

Jason Friedman: It was a lot of money; they paid a lot of money.

Olivier Roland: Oh, but they pay you.

Jason Friedman: I mean what they paid me when they bought the company. So, right, I mean.

Olivier Roland: Okay so, how is it to have created this amazing company, to resign from it because you don’t want to be anymore with the direction and to basically have a lot of money but nothing to do?

Jason Friedman: I had a few other businesses but I could do marketing for those businesses but I couldn’t do marketing for others. So, it was fine in that I was still busy, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do like big picture.

Olivier Roland: What other businesses you had?

Jason Friedman: I had a medical diagnostics company. We helped people with narcolepsy, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.

Olivier Roland: What?

Jason Friedman: And I had a…

Olivier Roland: Oh my God. What else?

Jason Friedman: And I had a driving business where I…

Olivier Roland: What?

Jason Friedman: With race car driving…

Olivier Roland: But you are not the main owner there. You were like an investor, right?

Jason Friedman: In which? No, I was the main owner of both of those.

Olivier Roland: And the CEO too?

Jason Friedman: I was the CEO of the driving business. I was the…

Olivier Roland: So, you’re like a mini Elon Musk, in a way.

Jason Friedman: No.

Olivier Roland: You manage different companies at the same time.

Jason Friedman: I have done a little bit of that but I wouldn’t consider myself as mini Elon Musk. But I definitely…

Olivier Roland: But, was it a hobby for you or?

Jason Friedman: I need it. I like working.

Olivier Roland: Really.

Jason Friedman: I mean, you like to do lots of things. I do like to work. I enjoy it most of the time.

Olivier Roland: So, you like Erico who said “My surname is rock”.

Jason Friedman: Yeah I know. I like that. Since I’ve had children, I think that changed a little bit but I like to work, I like to feel productive; I like to help other people. In the way I see my businesses, I can help create jobs for my employees and my team members; I help create value for the clients that I work with.

And now, my passion is helping entrepreneurs, transform their lives. Just like you, I just do it a slightly different way. I work with entrepreneurs that are really trying to build businesses and companies, any entrepreneur really but I used to help mostly larger companies. So now, it’s about entrepreneurs and so for me, to be able to help them grow and have those freedoms, that’s awesome and that’s why you do it too.

Right, it’s amazing. It’s an amazing experience doing that. So for me, that makes me happy so I love doing that.

And when we were doing these other businesses, the team driving business, the number one killer of teenagers in the United States of America is motor vehicle crashes because they don’t know how to handle their car, they don’t have the skills to make good decisions and to know what to do. And so, that seemed like a worthy cause to help.

Olivier Roland: You had a profitable business in that?

Jason Friedman: Yeah, and we sold it.

Olivier Roland: Because what was the product you were selling?

Jason Friedman: So we sold events. So, we had race car drivers that really know how to do car control.

Olivier Roland: Oh, so it was like an experience.

experiential learning obstacle courses

Jason Friedman: An experiential learning. So, we would take them to large like football stadium parking lots and we would set up obstacle courses, and skid pads and show them how to manage and manipulate their vehicle. It was a lot of fun.

We put them through a six-hour intensive clinic and they would leave with a lot more awareness. Imagine that I told you to never let “this” happen and I never explained to you what “this” was. Like if their car was really going out of control, they didn’t know what it looked like, they didn’t know what it felt like.

So, when they get into that situation for the first time, when they don’t have a parent or an instructor next to them, the first five seconds of that was what we call the “Oh shits” moments.

They’re panicking and so they can’t recover. They don’t even know what to do. So, we wanted them to experience that, so they got that kind of out of the way and anyone could start to learn how to handle the car. Not be like gripping the steering wheel like ready to ride, white-knuckling it. They would be calm and they would know how to handle it. And it was changing lives like I have hundreds and hundreds of testimonials from parents saying you saved my kid’s life. And it was amazing.

But, it wasn’t where my passion lies. You know what I mean? I was passionate about the mission and we got it to a certain point. And then, we were able to give it a home with other entrepreneurs where that is all they want to do for their whole lives. They are absolute like diehards with it.

So, for me that was an amazing experience as well. And that’s actually what got me to this mastermind group.

Olivier Roland: Oh, really?

Jason Friedman: Yeah. We were having a hard time getting the message to enough parents within the region to get them to sign up for the class.

I was literally personally going out and speaking on stages at high schools, trying to get them to sign up, and that was killing me. I didn’t see my kids, I mean all the same problems I had with a big huge company and I didn’t have a big company and I was exhausted.

Then, I saw Jeff Walker’s book “Launch”. And I saw you know what? This I could get my message out and sell these people on the value of this because I had to educate them. I needed an hour on stage to educate them on why they should invest the money in this because our program was the “drivers’ education” after they already spent money on “drivers education”.

It wasn’t required by law what we taught. So, I needed to educate them and show them the pain points and the dangers and whatever.

Olivier Roland: That’s how you wanted to do your first project launch.

Jason Friedman: My first product launch was that and it was hugely successful. Only from the book, I didn’t even buy his program. I had never learned the full program from the video series and whatever that Jeff sells, but it was amazing and it was like “boom! It worked.”

So then, I went and I signed up to buy his course, and that’s when I signed up for his mastermind. So if I didn’t have that business, I wouldn’t be here.

Olivier Roland: Yeah Wow. But so, you sold this business and the others too?

Jason Friedman: Yep.

Olivier Roland: So, now, you…

Jason Friedman: I invested in a whiskey company as you know and we sold that. So, I’ve invested in several businesses. I’ve started and built and sold several, I’ve had a couple that were absolutely dismal failures.

Olivier Roland: Of course.

Jason Friedman: But all of it has been a learning experience and it’s been a fun ride and an incredible journey. And now, realistically, I get to help entrepreneurs every day of my life which is… What’s better than that?

Olivier Roland: Because what are you doing now?

Jason Friedman: So, I have a company called CX Formula and I help entrepreneurs through online courses, mastermind programs and workshops where we help them learn the ways to use the formula that I kind of created using theater to connect to business, to create raving fans, to create loyal customers, to create systems and processes in your business that deliver “Wow” repeatedly over and over, that give you and empower you with skills, tools, mindset that you need to really think about your business from the customers perspective instead of from the company’s perspective which is a mistake most everybody, myself included, we all made that we get so stuck on thinking about it from us. We don’t see it from theirs.

So, I give you systems and tools and mindset strategies and things to really shift that perspective and create culture about your customers, that’s customer centric, instead of company centric.

That just works a hundred percent of the time. Every one of those strategies that I was able to use from the beginning, before even Marc told me but then, I was able to start to articulate it better, that’s what I teach now.

Olivier Roland: For people who want to know more, you have a website?

Jason Friedman: Yeah, they can go to cxformula.com.

Olivier Roland: Cxformula.com, so we put the link in the description.

Jason Friedman: Yeah, that would be great.

Olivier Roland: So, if you want to… And you also have a YouTube channel right?

Jason Friedman: I do.

Olivier Roland: I heard.

Jason Friedman: Yeah, this crazy guy Olivier challenged me to do 30 videos in 30 days.

Olivier Roland: And you did it.

Jason Friedman: And I did it.

Olivier Roland: The first time you didn’t do it too much.

Jason Friedman: Yeah. So, if you go to that channel there’s two videos. One of them is called “the power of accountability” and that was on June 12th of 2016. And then, there’s “the power of accountability 2” which is on December 1st of 2017.

Olivier Roland: It’s just so funny.

Jason Friedman: Yeah. So, watch both of those because it’s very funny. And it’s this guy’s fault.

Olivier Roland: Yes, we also put the link to your YouTube channel in the description. Well, it was amazing.

To recap what we can learn from your amazing story. First, it’s very interesting to merge different industries because usually what is very common in one is completely unseen or unheard in another and that’s when magic happens and that’s what happened to you.

Jason Friedman: Absolutely.

Olivier Roland: The importance of a mentor and it didn’t stumble upon you by chance, you were really looking for help. You said “I was reading books, going to seminars, I was part of coaching group”. So, it was a process. You were really looking for “Yoda” if I can say that.”

Jason Friedman: Absolutely.

And I always am. The one thing with mentors, don’t lock in that you only have to have one mentor. Look for mentors that are in certain areas of things that you need help, might be in your personal life, in your relationships, might be in business, might be in just marketing…

why to have many mentors

I mean people think: “oh I have a mentor, I can’t talk to anybody else”. Don’t limit yourself. And there are people that can help you with all aspects as well. So, just be clear and certain to know what you’re looking for, and then find it. Absolutely.

Olivier Roland: What else? I mean you transformed yourself, you reinvented yourself because you believed in your product, in your service.

Jason Friedman: Yeah. My coach Dan Sullivan asked me a question – I should have mentioned this earlier. The question was: “Who do you need to become to get everything you want?”

Olivier Roland: Wow. That’s such a good question and it is so reverse clue like when you compare to what we do, what we think normally.

Jason Friedman: Absolutely.

Olivier Roland: Yeah. It’s like reverse engineering.

Jason Friedman: Yeah. That idea got me to… And for me, it was “I need to become more of a coach and a leader to be able to get what I wanted, not to be this manager” and that shift changed everything from me, from a personal development perspective, from that point forward.

Olivier Roland: Because when you decided to become that you…

Jason Friedman: That’s when I started reading the right books.

Olivier Roland: Yes exactly.

Jason Friedman: Right? Because I needed thoughts

Olivier Roland: Because you were aiming for thoughts.

Jason Friedman: I was looking for a leadership. I was looking for coaching like what’s the difference? And you know, there’s a difference between growth and scaling. Like growing is one thing, scaling is another. And I didn’t know the difference either.

When you start looking at scaling it’s about repetition, it’s about… So, we were growing and scaling at the same time and I needed to learn what those meant. What skills I needed to deal with those? What capabilities? What team members I needed to bring in?

But it started from that question that Dan asked me: “Who do you need to become to have everything you want?”

Olivier Roland: So, you can ask this question yourself.

Jason Friedman: Absolutely.

Olivier Roland: Awesome. Who do you need to become to achieve what you want?

Jason Friedman: Yeah. Powerful question.

Olivier Roland: And also a big focus on customer experience obviously.

Jason Friedman: Yeah. Focus on… Look at everything in your business, everything from the client’s perspective. Put yourself in their shoes, see what they see and be open and honest about it.

Don’t assume that… It’s so hard to look at it from a client perspective because sometimes we’re doing things that we’re not proud of and to admit that is really hard. Don’t beat yourself up, just change it.

But look at it from their perspective. That’s really powerful exercise. Do that with your employees too… like look at your team members and stand in your team member shoes and look at how you, as a leader, communicate with them and say “Wow, am I communicating with my team the way I would want to be communicated with as well?” because we missed that piece as well.

Olivier Roland: Okay, Wow. You even have something practical to implement right now in your business to improve customer experience and the team experience which is awesome. Well, thank you very much Jason.

Jason Friedman: Thanks for having me buddy. I appreciate it.

Olivier Roland: Thanks to the intelligent rebels. I hope you learn a lot of things like I did and it was amazing.

So, don’t forget to check Jason’s YouTube channel and his website. Go to see these videos also and see you soon and don’t forget be intelligent, be a rebel and be part of this amazing entrepreneurial world. Ciao.

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