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July 6, 2022

Jayson Gaignard On Why Massive Success Is Community Made And Not Self Made (#140)

Jayson Gaignard On Why Massive Success Is Community Made And Not Self Made (#140)

"Everything's going to be okay." - Jayson Gaignard

Named one of Forbes 'Top Networkers to Watch,' Jayson Gaignard founded one of the world’s most exclusive communities for entrepreneurs. With just shy of 19,500 applications since its inception in 2013, the invite-only MMT Community has a lower acceptance rate than Harvard University and brings together brilliant minds from various industries for curated networking, targeted troubleshooting and custom events, both live and remote. Jayson’s work has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, Life Hacker, Business Insider, and as part of Tim Ferriss' New York Times bestseller Tools of Titans. Jayson is also the founder and host of Community Made, a top-rated business podcast on iTunes.

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Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. 

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Enjoy the interview!


[00:00:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.

This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.

Your liquidity event is the largest and most important financial transaction of your life.

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave anywhere from 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

I should know. I said no to a seven-figure offer and yes, to mastering the art and science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said yes to a different buyer with a nine-figure offer.

Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?

If you believe that you either don't have the time or you'll prepare closer to your liquidity event, think again.

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.

After all, how can you master something you've never done before?

Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our nine-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.

At the end of this episode, take a moment to hear from business owners, just like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience.

Named one of Forbes, Top Networkers to Watch. Jayson Gaignard found a one of the world's most exclusive communities for entrepreneurs. With just shy of 19,500 applications since its inception in 2013, the invite-only MMT community has a lower acceptance rate than Harvard University and brings together brilliant minds from various industries for curated networking, targeted troubleshooting, and custom events, both live and remote.

Jayson's work has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, Life Hacker, Business Insider. And as part of Tim Ferriss's New York times Bestseller tools of Titans. Jayson is also the founder and host of Community Made. A top-rated business podcast on iTunes.

Welcome to The Sell My Business Podcast. And as always, I have an over-the-top, amazing, incredible, terrific guest lined up for you today. You know, there's a saying that it's not who you are but who you know. And our guest today, well, he's a thought leader. He's an author and he's really walking the talk and you're going to hear all about that, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. So Jayson, welcome to The Sell My Business Podcast. Really excited to have you here. And Jayson, there's always a story behind the story. What's your story? What got you to where you are today?

[00:02:57] Jayson Gaignard: Well First, I appreciate that intro. I hope I live up to the standard, but yeah.

We were talking offline. I think you know, this whole podcast could ultimately be dissecting of my story, so to speak, but I'll keep it as succinct as I can. Really, my entrepreneurial journey started where I dropped out of high school.

And I started a service-based business. I realized that without strong entrepreneurial chops service-based businesses can be rather hard to scale. So I pivoted it to an online product business, which I grew to about $6 million a year, over four years with no outside investments. I was traveling the world, making a ton of money, but with all that money and all that free time, I started to ask myself questions like, why am I here?

Will it be remembered? How many people show up to my funeral? And I was unhappy with the answers I was giving myself. And around that same time, I realized I built a business I hated to enable me to buy things I didn't need. To impress people I didn't like. So I made the decision to transition out of that business.

 And the goal was to remove myself and have hopefully a soft landing over 12 months because I could have sold the business and I wasn't familiar with you and your work back then, unfortunately. Didn't know the landscape didn't have entrepreneurs to lean on. And for me, the idea of selling the business I'd have to position the business for sale.

I'd have to do some kind of earn-out because the business was very much hinging on me and my expertise. And I just couldn't dedicate another two, three years down a path that didn't excite me so to speak. I wanted to scale that business down to zero and then land on a cushion of cash and start something else.

Unfortunately, there's a couple of things that happened beyond my control that when the dust settled in August of 2012 I had no business, no cashflow, and I was a quarter-million dollars in debt and there's a saying that when one door closes another one opens, but it sucks to be stuck in the hallway.

That was a very dark. And I didn't know what I was going to do next, but a friend of mine posted that she had a ticket to go see Seth Godin in New York. And I've always been a big fan of Seth's work, but I've never had an opportunity to see him in an intimate kind of live environment.

And I didn't even know what the topic of the workshop was. But I had no other obligations at the time. So I said I'll take the ticket because I can convince my wife, if the tickets free, all I have to cover is my flight and a hostel. And I ended up going there and it turns out the theme of the workshop was the connection economy and how there's huge value connecting like-minded individuals.

And at the time, I felt very isolated and alone. As a business owner, I didn't build my previous business at the expense of relationships, but I didn't allocate any energy fostering, my own networker or that kind of stuff. I was just very focused on the business itself. Ultimately left that workshop I came back.

On the flight back, I committed to doing a mastermind dinner is what I called it, where I would invite eight entrepreneurs out for dinner, with the core focus of connecting them. And the first one I did, I almost canceled two hours prior because I'm like, nobody's going to see value in this.

They think I completely wasted their time, but thankfully being two hours out, I couldn't cancel it out of integrity and you know, conversation didn't skip a beat for four and a half hours. And. I just got clarity that being in the presence of fascinating entrepreneurs and just being a fly on the wall was something I wanted to do to some capacity for the rest of my life and not as a business, because I was actually paying for those first couple of dinners out of pocket, which was in hindsight a little crazy because I didn't know how I was going to make right. But at the time I was considering bankruptcy. Because I didn't know how close my rock bottom was, but it was really close. And the way I rationalized it was the bank could take my car. They could take whatever measly assets I left. But they couldn't take my relationships, investing in myself and investing my relationships with the safest investments I can make.

And then thankfully, a couple of months later, I had an opportunity to do an event with Tim Ferris who somebody I knew about a year and change prior, and just saw it as a chance for me to do what I do in the dinners on a larger scale. And again, not as a business to me, if I could break even and bring a hundred amazing entrepreneurs together in a room for two days, I just added a hundred amazing people to my peer group.

And I often say ignorance, confidence, and hard work can go a long way sometimes. And MMT turned out to be almost like a wedding, then it was a conference as far as the assigned seating and the quality of people in attendance and just the high touch nature. So year one was a success, I think again, in part, because I had no frame of reference on how to do events and it was rather ignorant.

So we decided to do a second event to prove that the first one wasn't a fluke and our last live experience was in Cabo, Mexico, pre-pandemic in 2019. And we have a gathering coming up again in July, in South Carolina.

[00:07:11] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow, Jayson, a lot there to unpack. And like we spoke about before this could just be the whole episode itself, but you're really a modest guy and MMT for those that don't know. And for the listeners, we'll put everything in the show notes, and I really encourage you to take a look at this.

I mean, Jayson, if we're open about it, I think MMT, it's harder to get into MMT than an Ivy League school. You have world-class entrepreneurs reaching out and you have the best of the best that are coming to your events and get-togethers. But what was it, Jayson, from the beginning when you're near rock bottom that you put relationships first and just building that out to the quality that you really done all the way through. What's behind that thinking?

[00:07:51] Jayson Gaignard: Yeah. So when I own an e-commerce business I didn't have an opportunity to choose who I served. And there came to be a point. Where I again, had this level of disdain for the business, so to speak, as I just realize I built the wrong business that didn't light me up and I'd have clients' credit card in hand, calling to purchase something and I wouldn't answer the phone. So I started to sabotage money-making opportunities because I didn't want to deal with these people. And I knew when leaning into MMT again, it wasn't designed to be a business. It was designed to be a vehicle for me to surround myself with some fascinating people. We've been part of groups before where there's some kind of criteria in place.

So if you're in the Entrepreneur's Organization, your business has to do seven figures. If you're in YPO, your business has to do eight figures and there's a couple other checkboxes there as well. So traditionally organizations similar to MMT their criteria is based on demographics.

And for us when I was leaning into doing MMT, I think we both know entrepreneurs that are very successful on paper and have lots of influence that you wouldn't necessarily want to share a cigar with, so to speak, or a coffee with. And for me, when I was considering somebody for MMT, what I ultimately landed on was after I had that first interaction with them, I'd ask myself, would I want to have dinner with this person?

And if the answer was no. That was my gut-check test, so to speak and I wouldn't extend an invitation. And I didn't know if that level of curation would pay off because I had mentors at the time. They're like, you're crazy for doing this. I refunded $42,000 in paid tickets for that first event for people who I extended invitations to, and then realized they were not the right fit in advance of the event actually happening.

And yeah didn't know if it was the right direction, so to speak but that has turned out to be our advantage one could say in the marketplace. And ultimately a question of would I want to have dinner with this person? Is there an alignment of core values? So years later, we became clear about that and really unearth the guiding principles of the community.

And now we use that to curate on the front end, to hold our community to a high standard as well, once they're in the membership.

[00:09:44] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Jayson, obviously you and I have both drunk from the Kool-Aid and I've had the privilege at being at one of your MMT events, which was really out of this world and over the top. But I imagine there are listeners out there who are saying, hey, Jayson, terrific. You sound like a really amazing guy. And you've done some wonderful things, but you know what I'm busy. And yeah I speak with my clients as I need to, but I'm just running the business. It's all-out 24/ 7. I don't really have time to build relationships. I don't even have time for something like an MMT to become a part of. Jayson, what would you say to that person if they were with us now?

[00:10:21] Jayson Gaignard: So, honestly, I'm not a good salesperson and I'm not a good marketer. Honestly, a conversation with somebody who voiced those concerns is it an indication they're not the right fit. I'm not wanting to twist someone's arm to make them prioritize relationships. The opportunity either speaks to you or doesn't, there's a philosophy for those who are the right fit, no explanation is necessary.

And for those who are not the right fit, no explanation will do. For the right entrepreneur, they find themselves in a phase of their life and their business where surrounding themselves with fascinating entrepreneurs stretches them both personally and professionally, and that's how they advance in the world.

And at some point in time, there was some moment in their life where they realize the importance of these relationships and that all problems can be solved with the right peer group. So for us, our acceptance rate on invitations is 91% over the last nine months. And that is as a result of being very careful as far as who we serve.

So yeah, there's no judgment. There was a time in my life. I didn't value relationships either. So when somebody, regardless of their age voices, those concerns Yeah. I'm not one to convince them. I'm just like, stay on your path. And maybe we'll cross paths again in the future, but yeah, again, I'm a terrible salesperson, terrible marketer as a result.

[00:11:27] Jeffrey Feldberg: I think you're really coming from the heart and doing what you believe in and hey, here's how I see the world. If you see that terrific. Let's talk. And if you don't, that's okay too. Maybe it's not for you.

And what's interesting. And maybe I can put you on the spot here for a second. Through MMT, all kinds of incredible things have happened.

You've had new business ideas that have formed. You've had partnerships that have arisen because of that. Perhaps you can share with our listeners, maybe a success story or two, because of MMT that made all this possible.

[00:11:54] Jayson Gaignard: Oh, gosh. Yeah. There's a ton. I mean, even this last weekend, one of our members was in LA And was stuck in LA and his daughter was sick. And he needed to get a charter airplane to go back to Colona and within two hours another MMT'er of arranged it. In 2015, actually, the live experience that you joined us for in 2015 in Napa the type of individuals we bring into the community as well don't look at relationships transactionally.

Steve Jobs has a philosophy that you can't connect the dots looking forward. You just need to trust that they'll somehow connect. So almost everyone's taking a little bit of leap of faith. It's not traditional networking environment where hey, maybe you can open some doors or I'm looking for an investor.

We have a strict non-soliciting policy in place, so you never know what can happen. But again, the nice thing is over time, these amazing things do happen and you can connect dots looking backward, so to speak. And I share that because another great example is in 2015, we do assigned seating on our events.

So I pride myself on having a really intimate relationship with as many people in the community as possible. I don't want to just know their name. I want to know their business, what keeps them up at night, what they're excited about, their hobbies, all that kind of stuff. And if I know somebody in the community is struggling with culture, I'll sit them next to somebody who's a rockstar in culture.

Or if I know somebody who wants to sell their business, Jeffrey guess who I'm going to sit them next to? You Of course. That's how we look at things. And in Napa, I sat two people next to each other who love mountain biking. They didn't know each other, but they hit it off. And then I sat one of those individuals with another person on the other day Because that one individual who loved mountain biking is world-class at e-commerce and I sat them next to somebody who was struggling with his e-commerce brand.

Ultimately what happened is all three of them got together and started a company called Pela so they did $260 million last year in the eco plastic space. They have investment from Jay Z when they reached a hundred million dollar valuation. So they're just a rocket ship right now.

And that came from a simple seating that happened in 2015. So we have lots of examples like that. And one of the things, I think it's a beautiful thing, is that we can't always connect those dots. Sometimes this stuff gets back to me and sometimes it doesn't, and I know we're doing video and this is going to be audio, but I have like bags to the right-hand side of me of thank you notes from over the years, which I cherish immensely, like physically written thank you notes. Yeah, we have lots of examples, and especially what's worth noting is like the size of our community is capped at 150 people annually. So it's not like we have 10,000 members.

So that level of intimacy, we bring amazing people together, amazing things can happen.

[00:14:12] Jeffrey Feldberg: What's amazing. And for the listeners out there, anyone who thinks that he or she is self-made, let's just put that notion out the window. Nobody is self-made we all need help from each other. We're all in some kind of a community together. But as business owners or founders or entrepreneurs, we tend to view the world differently.

We think differently. And when you can combine what we're really good at, and you can play a little bit of a matchmaker, like what Jayson is doing at these curated events or even in the community. And so for the listeners out there to be missing this from part of your business, from part of your life, because it really straddles both the business side and the personal side, you're really not living and the opportunities that you're missing out on, it doesn't only affect you, but it's all of your stakeholders.

And Jayson let's take a quick sidestep for a second. Again, you're a modest fellow and a terrific thought leader. You wrote a book, Mastermind Dinners: Build Lifelong Relationships by Connecting Experts, Influencers, and Linchpins.


[00:15:10] Jayson Gaignard: Yeah. So the book shouldn't be as successful as it is. I put it out 2015 and the reason was is because I was doing these dinners, throughout 2012 to 2015, up until the book. And I was getting asked about how does one structure a dinner and how do you start a dinner with no peer group, because mind you, I did our first dinner it was like November of 2012. I got married September 1st of 2012. I could count the amount of people on my two hands that were at my wedding. I knew nobody back then. So I didn't start with a peer group. I really started from scratch. So I just tried to metabolize that and put it into a little book.

That's like a hundred pages. You can read it in an hour and change. And yeah, the book is done exceptionally well, way better than I originally anticipated. If I knew it was going to do so well, I would have put more energy into it. Maybe got a better cover. Maybe came up with a better name. But yeah, so that spirit of the book is if one wants to lean into doing dinners, building out their peer group, their network, or what have you as sort of as a playbook effectively. And I will be doing an updated version in the near future because one of the things that's unique with the dinners that I do is I pay for them. It's a great lead gen for the business, but that's not why I do it. I just love being in the proximity of amazing people. But I have a lot of folks that have taken principles from the book and used it as a sales tool. And they want to be like, how do you charge for a dinner and those kinds of things.

So I've learned a lot since 2015, so I will be doing an updated version, but I re-read the book recently because I'm like I hope the book is good Because I don't remember. It's been seven years. And thankfully the principles still reign true. So yeah, that's Mastermind Dinners.

[00:16:34] Jeffrey Feldberg: So let's talk about that for a moment and let's take it from the vantage point of a business owner, particularly in the Deep Wealth community. So as you know, Jayson, if I'm a business owner, I'm thinking about some kind of liquidity event, maybe it's a year from now, five years from now, ten years from now, it doesn't matter whatever the timeframe is going to be. One of the things that we do in the Deep Wealth Experience in the 9-step roadmap, we talk about advisors it's actually step number six. How do you hire the world's best advisor for you in your particular case?

But when you take a step back and knowing what you do and how you do it, it's that ability to connect with people to build those relationships. So for the listeners, I would love if we could take a look at your secret sauce if your willing to share that with us, and what would be some takeaway strategies Jayson if I'm a business owner and I want to start building relationships with different advisors out there that I'm not going to be using for a liquidity event necessarily today, but I want to begin that process.

What can I be doing to put me on the right path and ultimately not have these advisors as just transactional advisors, but to be, may I dare say friends and we just get along and there's some terrific synergies there. What would you be suggesting?

[00:17:44] Jayson Gaignard: Yeah. First. There's a philosophy that I have, like the best peer group is the one you already have. Oftentimes we're looking externally, like who I need to connect with. And sometimes that answer is within your existing peer group. Not that you may already have advisors, but putting it out to your peer group I'm looking for an advisor.

Do you have any suggestions, any recommendations? Because at the end of the day, a warm introduction will go much further than a cold outreach. If you find yourself in a position of cold outreach, standing above the noise is really important. Given the work that I do I have quite a few reps when it comes to reaching the unreachable in the entrepreneur community or whatever the case may be when it comes to getting big-name speakers for our gatherings and that kind of stuff.

 There's a philosophy that if you go the extra mile, it's never crowded. You think if a busy entrepreneur may get 300, 400 emails a day. Well, If you want to level up that you could do a video email and that used to work really well, five, ten years ago, almost everybody does them now to some degree or it's a practice that's used quite a bit, or maybe it's a traditional mail kind of outreach or those kinds of things.

So how can you stand above the noise when it comes to just that first kind of communication? And then the other thing I would really stress is transparency and vulnerability, especially in the business world. So to reach out, like if I put myself in the shoes of I'm looking to sell my business and I want to start building relationships with advisors, I would have no qualm reaching out to an advisor and say, listen, I don't know what I'm doing.

Here's what I have. I have a successful business you know, I've heard about you. I've done some research on you. We all have a deep desire to be heard, seen, and appreciated. So for example, if somebody wants to connect with you, there's how many podcast episodes have you done to this point?

[00:19:12] Jeffrey Feldberg: We're approaching our 150th.

[00:19:13] Jayson Gaignard: No way! That's way more than I thought. That's fantastic. Congratulations on sticking with it because the amount of podcasts statistically, that don't make it this far is incredible. But all this is if somebody wants to connect with you. They could listen to a lot of podcast episodes and that kind of stuff, and then reflect back something of oh, Jeffrey, I heard you in this episode, or I love your philosophy on this.

I mean we all have a deep desire to feel seen and heard and appreciated. So that's another kind of way to stand above the noise, so to speak. But again, the idea of reaching out and being honest, as far as what you know, what you don't know I think is a lost art, just the idea of like mentorship and that kind of stuff.

The amount of individuals that I know that are like mentor capacity the want to mentor, but there's not great mentees out there, so to speak. And again, in the business world, there's a lot of posturing and that kind of stuff. So it's incredibly refreshing to just do a genuine outreach. And that's what I would do.

 And then continue to nurture that relationship. And there's lots of ways that you can invest in relationships, but that initial outreach is important. And again sometimes the best network is the one you already have. So looking at your existing peer group, and if they can open any doors for you.

[00:20:13] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Jayson let's circle back to something that you said and transparency and vulnerability.

We hear that a lot out there, and it seems to be.

[00:20:21] Jayson Gaignard: It's a buzzword now.

[00:20:21] Jeffrey Feldberg: yeah, a little bit of a flavor of the day or week or month, whatever you want to call it. But if anyone is transparent and vulnerable, I'm going to put you as the person. You put your heart and soul into these messages, and I never shared this with you, but when you shared your message with the community earlier in January or so I put that aside and said, okay, I'm not just going to blow through this.

I'm going to make sure I have, it was hour and a half or so of you just putting everything out there and just really intently listen and hear what you're saying, because you've put the time in, let me at least pay that respect back. But the question is, how do you have that courage? I'm going to say where a lot of people will say, hey, wow to really put myself out there because Jayson, you hold nothing back. Whatever's going on. You're putting that out there. And that is easier said than done. What's the thought process of how you're doing that so that our listeners can walk away saying, hey, yeah, I can be transparent and vulnerable. Jayson was sharing how he did it.

And he said A, B, C, and D I'll do A, B, C, and D what's that like for you?

[00:21:21] Jayson Gaignard: There's many stages to get to where I am so to speak and maybe where I'm continuing to go when it comes to being just open and honest and transparent. There's no other way I'd operate at this phase of my life. And I'm grateful that I surround myself with incredible peer group of individuals who create the safe space, that if I open up about something, I'm not going to be judged or is used against me. So I think it's again, just leaning in, look whatever feels uncomfortable, sharing it. You don't have to go off the deep end right away, but vulnerability is layers and you're just taking off layers, so to speak.

And as you take off those layers, you over time, you start to see that it's well-received. It's nourishing for others to be in the presence of somebody who's willing to remove the mask and say, things are amazing or things are not amazing or everything in between. And just bring humanity back into relationships. So I think it's just leaning into that unease. And then when you get positive reinforcement, lean in a little more in the future, and then, 2, 3, 5, 10 years down the road you may find yourself to be a rather open book and you'll be on Jeffery's podcast.

I think I'll be saying how vulnerable and open and transparent you are.

[00:22:25] Jeffrey Feldberg: And let's circle back to something there. Let's go back to relationships. So, Jayson, you're like the king of relationships and you've just been out there and putting your heart and soul into this.

What kind of attributes or good things to be doing to really foster meaningful, real relationships? What should I be doing or what's doing it right if I want to build those kinds of relationships?

[00:22:47] Jayson Gaignard: Yeah, there's a couple of things. A philosophy called Social Exchange Theory, which is basically that we want to surround ourselves with individuals who can be assets to us. Whether it be personally, professionally, financially, spiritually, emotionally, whatever the case may be.

So unconsciously that's going on in everyone's mind. And I share that because there's a philosophy in the dating world called mating value, which is effectively would you date yourself? If you want to date somebody who's a 10, so to speak, are you yourself a 10?

And I share that because just there's a lack of focus on improving oneself so to speak. There's a book Be So Good They can't ignore you. So I look long-term at relationships. I don't force them which is very important. And although, I put a lot of good energy out into the world and build relationships over the long term.

I'm also focused on like increasing my own stock. How can I be a value to other individuals? And I think that's important. Another important philosophy, which I think a lot of people miss out on this opportunity is that amazing people become increasingly amazing over time. Everybody wants to be friends with the Richard Bransons of the world or the Tim Ferriss' of the world or whatever the case may be.

But they're not looking for new friends, they're probably tapped out socially. For me, what excites me most, even at this phase of my life where my social cup is pretty full, what excites me most is the philosophy of investing in an individual, like you would invest in a business, find somebody who is undervalued and invest in them.

And investing could take many different forms. It could be feedback, it could be connections. It could be an actual financial investment, but as I look at these relationships, one great example I can share is a gentleman named Ryan Holiday. So Ryan Holiday is a well-known business author, widely respected, incredibly well-connected.

I met Ryan back in 2018 when he was an awkward blogger so to speak. And I remember it was an event that actually Tim Ferriss was putting on and it was Tim. It was a gentleman named Louis House, who again, back then was a no-name and there's two or three people on the stage and they kept on referring to this guy Ryan Holiday, who's sitting at the back of the room and he was this 18-year-old kid. And I'm like, this guy sounds fascinating. So I started to be friendly with him. And then over time, that relationship grew and now he's this big author.

He writes New York Times bestselling books every six months. And again, huge influence so to speak. So if I tried to reach out of the blue and I didn't know Ryan and I tried to foster a relationship now it would not work, but I planted that seed 8, 9, 10 years ago. So I'm always looking for who's the next Tim Ferris because I met Tim Ferriss back in 2011 where he just had one book that's it.

He wasn't a big investor in Uber, all that kind of stuff. So who's the next Ryan Holiday? Who's the next Tim Ferriss? Who's the next Jeffrey Feldberg? Because the best time to invest in relationships is again, in those earlier stages, similar to a business.

[00:25:24] Jeffrey Feldberg: I love that. And so let's flip it. You talk about what to do right. And that's being a value to people investing in people, particularly in the early stages. What's all wrong that maybe we've been led to believe is the right thing to do when it comes to relationships but it's the furthest thing from the truth. Which is run as fast as you can in the opposite direction, whatever you don't do these things. What would those things be?

[00:25:46] Jayson Gaignard: The one, I guess thing that you said that triggered me a little bit was like the being of value and how most people approach that is they will go out to someone and they will say, how can I help you? And to me that puts the onus on that individual. You just gave them work because they have no context of as far as who you are, what your skills are, and that kind of stuff.

And now you're asking them, hey, you tell me how I can be of service to you, as opposed to the flip side of that is if I want to connect with somebody I will do my own research. So for example, let's say was you're coming out with another book or something like that, this is actually a great example.

There's a gentleman who's become a friend. His name is Shep Gordon. And there was a documentary by Mike Myers on him called Supermensch. He created the whole celebrity chef movement. Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, all that kind of stuff. And he's also been the huge in the music space.

He's been Alice Cooper's manager for years and I share this because I historically, don't try to connect with big names, but I watched the documentary because a friend told me to, and I was like, this guy's like my long lost father. If I could connect with any interesting individual it would be him.

And I found out he was coming out with a book and I say bingo. I already have experience with launching books. I have a lot of friends, that have launched books. So I reached out to him and I said, listen, I have no clue if getting your book out to the masses is of interest. But if it is maybe I can be of service.

And we hopped on a quick call and on the call, I said, I know you're based in Maui. I will fly to Maui and spend 15 minutes together. If there's synergy there, fantastic. If there isn't no expectations I will hop back on my flight. And I ended up staying at his house for three days, we cultivated this beautiful relationship.

But I didn't reach out to him and be like, hey, I want to be friends with you. And how can I be of service? I was very clear, had a good understanding of what he was working on, what was important to him, where he was and where he wanted to go, and how I could move that needle. So that's a mistake I see a lot of folks make And just the short-term nature of how people approach relationships.

 I love surrounding myself with amazing people. And this doesn't necessarily have to mean financially wildly successful. There's a philosophy of, you can surround yourself with people who are batteries or black holes.

And I try to surround myself with individuals that are energizing and overtime again, amazing people become increasingly amazing over time. I have a long-term approach. I'm excited to grow old with the people in my peer group. Take these relationships to my finish line, so to speak.

And I don't know what that means. I don't know what the ROI is going to be in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 50 years. But that's not the reason I'm doing it, but thankfully it just, now I can connect those dots looking backward and be like, yeah that was a good investment. I planted that seed eight years ago and nurturing those relationships is bringing me great opportunities.

[00:28:15] Jeffrey Feldberg: I just love how you're saying, hey, play the long game, put the time and do the research tune into what I call WII.FM, the world's favorite radio station. What's in it for me as the other person. So in the Shep example, hey, he's coming out with a book. Maybe I can help them get that book out there.

And maybe that's of interest for him. And it was genuine and it was authentic and things just clicked from there. And speaking of genuine and authentic, I've got to ask you this. The pandemic of any industry, your industry was one of the most difficult ones to make things happen and it effectively shut you down.

. Jayson, a lot of people would have just walked away, and understandably so, and there'd be no judgment. I get it, tough times out there and you can't make things go in a pandemic, but you hung in there despite the challenges, financial difficulties, everything else going on with that.

What has you show up everyday, Jayson? What is making you say, hey, I'm going to be here, rain or shine pandemic or no pandemic? And here we are, and we're not too far away from the next event.

[00:29:14] Jayson Gaignard: Jeffrey, you're going to make me cry? Well, Listen we thought we weren't that far from the next event, but the goalposts kept on moving, you know, with new variants and that kind of stuff. So, you know, really, I think for me, emotionally, it was one of the toughest challenges I've ever navigated on several fronts, but I guess on a personal level, and I really took it day by day and I just had this narrative in my, the back of my head.

Cause I had many opportunities to like burn bridges, cut corners, preserve cash, and that kind of stuff. And this narrative or this voice of be the hero of your own movie, how does this play out in 20, 30 years? How do you want to show up if your life was a movie, so to speak, or a storyline, what would the hero do?

And the hero would act with integrity and play the long game and that kind of stuff. So that was the mindset, but why a lot of people don't invest in relationships is they can't peg an ROI to it. It's much easier to say if I work with this consultant, it'll do X, Y, Z for my business.

If I go to this workshop. It'll help me with sales here. Relationships aren't that easy. And we've invested heavily in relationships for the last eight years. Danny Meyer has a saying, which I love, which is business-like life is all about how you made people feel it's that simple and it's that hard.

And you never know the value of your relationships until you really need it. Going into the pandemic March of 2020 is when the floor fell from under our feet. We had an event lined up in June of 2020. Our old business model was all of our revenue was hinged on one live experience a year.

So if we weren't able to execute on a live experience we've made no money. So when the pandemic hit at the end of March, early April, we decided to push our event from 2020 to 2021, which back then a lot of people thought was crazy. Because many of us felt like we do a 14-day quarantine and a lot of these things would be behind us. That wasn't the case,

[00:30:57] Jeffrey Feldberg: Surprise.

[00:30:57] Jayson Gaignard: Yeah, exactly we have many surprises. So we push it to vent a full calendar year out and back in March of 2020, it was a bloodbath. Nobody knew if it was going to be a recession on the horizon, a depression. We had people in our community that were laying off hundreds of staff each and I went to the community.

I said, listen, you can either move your spot to 2021. And everybody was fully paid and it's a significant investment is whatever five-figure investment to join MMT. So either you can move your spot to 2021 or accept a full refund. And I said, this was like a straight face, but I knew if we had 20, 30, 40% of people ask for refunds, which would have been totally reasonable, we'd be out of business.

Thankfully, every single person moved their spot from 2020 to 2021. In 2021, we had to move the event again, that wasn't part of the plan. We had to move it again because of another variant. And yet again, every single member moved their spot from 2021 to 2022. If we weren't able to roll over that revenue good, sir, I would not be here on this call. So that is the power of relationships and the best part of this is. I as an entrepreneur, you talked about this notion of self-made right, and we're not self-made and somebody in our peer group coined the term community made. Great entrepreneurs are not self-made they're community-made.

And one of the things I often articulate with our community is many of them are relationship-focused. So they build this world-class network, which is phenomenal, but that's only half the equation you need to be able to ask for help. At the same time, which is again, that vulnerability and that kind of stuff.

And I share this because the last two years have been incredibly challenging for me to ask for help. But it's forced me to do so. So it's been the biggest growth I've had personally in those last two years, being able to receive help. Because I grew up in a way that you're proud you do it all on your own.

It was deeply ingrained that you don't ask for help for anything. It's a sign of weakness and a couple of weeks into the pandemic. I had a check, show up in the mail. I had this UPS package show up in the mail and that is this check. It was a $10,000 check from one of the people in the community and said, hey, this is for you and your family.

You've been there for me. I just want to be there for you. That was one of the hardest things I've ever had to accept. I was trying to think of all the reasons I could send this back. But that check came and then another $50,000 check came. And then another $5,000 check came. And then two entrepreneurs in our community went public with their companies and gave me shares in their company.

Me not saying anything. I have pictures of when somebody sent me a text saying, hey, we went public and I gave you 5,000 shares or something like that. And I took a picture as I was crying afterwards. Because I'm like, this doesn't make sense. This life doesn't make sense.

But you never know the value of relationships until you really need it. For us, my relationship, the skills I've honed, being a relationship builder goes right into the customer experience. We use the same principles, as far as how we invest in relationships, the same way we invest in customer experience.

So Yeah. Again, a lot of people don't invest in relationships because they can't peg an ROI, but trust me at some point in time, you'll reach rock bottom. And you hope that your relationship bank account is full and not in overdraft.

[00:33:52] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. Jayson, just some incredible stories. How do you even put words around that? Just the faith and the belief in you and in what they're doing and not even being asked they are just doing it, just because, it doesn't get any better.

And you use the word customer experience. What would you say, Jayson, from what you just shared in building those relationships and that whole client experience, what can a business owner be doing? What should he, or she be thinking to really take that customer experience to the next level?

You haven't written the book on it yet, but you have written the book on it because you just, live it, you do it. And it's when I get these outreaches from you, I'm like wow. You know, the thought that just went into this so if we could bottle just a fraction of a fraction of a fraction, we can bottle that up and put that out there for people to help them in and to pay it forward what should we be thinking about?

[00:34:42] Jayson Gaignard: I think an area of customer experience that nobody focuses on, which I think is where all the heavy lifting should be done is ensuring that the individual that you're serving is the right fit. Ensuring that you can move the needle for them. And because if you do that heavy lifting, the rest is a piece of cake.

You know, our approval rating for our last live experience was a 9.90 out of 10. We have five different ways we serve our community throughout the year. All of which I have a 9.3 out of 10 or higher rating. Our renewal rate for our last cohort was 96%. I shared none of that to impress you but to impress upon you that we're not in the business to serve everyone.

We serve a core group of people deeply. And we do a lot of heavy lifting on the front end, really treating and not as a sales call, but as an exploration call. We pride ourselves on turning people away that are not the right fit for the community. And for us, when we have a good understanding where somebody is where they want to go, there's not a fit.

We'll suggest other groups and organizations that may better suit their needs. There's definitely lots of opportunities to talk about, like the tactical, how do you create incredible customer experience. But I think that's something that doesn't get talked about and is where all the heavy lifting should be done because most entrepreneurs and I was like this earliest stage of my business.

I'll serve anyone with a pocketbook in a heartbeat. But unfortunately, you can't serve everyone. You can only serve a core group of people deeply. And the more clear you are on who that core group of people is it just makes your whole customer experience a piece of cake.

[00:36:02] Jeffrey Feldberg: Love that serving just a core group of people, really knowing who you are, what you're all about, what the company's mission is, and then surrounding yourself with those clients, with those people who help you fulfill that.

[00:36:13] Jayson Gaignard: And it's worth noting, refining it, over years because we didn't know who we want to serve initially and that kind of stuff. But over the years, we continue to refine. And we continue to take feedback. We have this culture of feedback within the community where we not only encourage feedback, but then we closed the loop as far as how we're going to use the feedback.

And it's as beautiful momentum and all the changes, significant changes, and refinements we've made to the model over the years is based, purely off feedback. But sometimes you get feedback. And it's a good indication of oh, this person isn't in alignment for where we're going.

And you have an honest conversation at that point in time when it comes up for renewal, in our case of we feel that this is what you need, this is not where we're going. And that's how you honor the relationship. You can put a bow on, that, that customer experience right then and there.

And, but again, it's overtime you get more clear. As far as who you serve and you just have to have the courage to turn people away, even if they're already paying clients.

[00:37:07] Jeffrey Feldberg: You took the words out of my mouth. Courage.

[00:37:09] Jayson Gaignard: Sorry. Great minds. Think alike.

[00:37:12] Jeffrey Feldberg: The courage and how many business owners are out there saying, wait a minute, Jayson, you have these paying clients and they're going to be wanting to come back but you're saying thank you. But no, thank you. You're turning away that client. You're turning away that revenue.

Yeah. Courage that's really something, but it goes back to what you said earlier of just that client experience and knowing who you're serving and just being able to hit it out of the park without, and I think that's uniquely you, Jayson you do that so well.

[00:37:38] Jayson Gaignard: I appreciate it. Thank you.

[00:37:39] Jeffrey Feldberg: And so Jayson, we could talk for days and days on these different things and go down to all these different rabbit holes.

But I find we're starting to bump up against time. So let's transition and you have a little bit of a headstart here because you shared offline you've listened to some of the other interviews. and,

[00:37:55] Jayson Gaignard: But I have short memory. So this is working in your favor. I know there's a way you end these podcast episodes. I forgot.

[00:38:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: Okay. So we're going to rely on that short memory. So here's the thought experiment.

Let's do this. Remember the movie Back to the Future and in the movie, you have that magical DeLorean car that can take you to any point in time. So imagine now it's tomorrow morning and Jayson, you look outside your window. The DeLorean car is there. The door is open and it's waiting for you to hop on in.

So you'll hop in and you can go to any point in your life, Jayson, as a young child, a teenager, adult, whatever the case may be, what are you telling your younger self in terms of, hey, Jayson, here's some life wisdom I want you to know or do this, or don't do that. What does that sound like?

[00:38:39] Jayson Gaignard: There's a handful of phases of my life that I can point to. But honestly, the spirit of what I would say is everything's going to be okay. And I share that because I've dealt with debilitating anxiety and different phases of my life and in business. And I've stared down the barrel of bankruptcy far, too many times than I would like to count.

And yeah, just to know everything would be okay in the end would be something that would be so therapeutic. And give me the courage or the excitement to move forward or even the curiosity to move forward. When you're an entrepreneur, the highs are high and the lows are low.

And there's some dark days in there. So just the notion that everything's going to be okay, everything's going to work out. I had a friend of mine who had a public company that she got ousted out of last week and her identity was tied to like being her role. And I'm like, we both know further down the road, this is all going to be okay.

So yeah, that would be my own personal nugget of wisdom for myself. Everything's gonna be okay.

[00:39:32] Jeffrey Feldberg: And what I love about that Jayson, was implicit in everything's going to be okay. What you're saying, but not saying is everything's going to be okay, because you have the wherewithal to make sure it's going to be okay. You have that talent, the skill, the ability to get you to the good place. And I just love what you're sharing out there and it's you know it's in front of us, but it's so easy to miss.

And not that it's simple because simple is not simplistic. But it's easier said than done but you're doing that. You're a living example for that. And I really honor you for that.

Let me ask you this, Jayson, I'll put this in the show notes. It would be a point and click for all the listeners in terms of your book and the community, and all the other links.

But if someone would like to reach you online, what would be the best place?

[00:40:15] Jayson Gaignard: My assistant not me because my email's a disaster. I'll give you mine. And my assistant manages it, but jayson@mmt[dot]community. But pretty active on LinkedIn and Instagram and Facebook. So I'm readily accessible on those platforms.

[00:40:31] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific. And again, for our listeners, we'll put that in the show notes and I would encourage you to check out the MMT community. You don't know what you're missing and something that you should really be a part of.

Jayson, you've got so many things to do and you've been busy, but you took part of your day to spend it with us on The Sell My Business Podcast. A heartfelt thank you. And as always, please stay healthy and safe.

[00:40:50] Jayson Gaignard: It's an honor. Thank you for who you are and how you show up in the world and also sharing your wisdom on the podcast as well.

[00:40:55] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.

[00:40:58] Lyn M.: This course is one of the best investments you will ever make because you will get an ROI of a hundred times that. Anybody who doesn't go through it will lose millions.

[00:41:08] Kam H.: If you don't have time for this program, you'll never have time for a successful liquidity

[00:41:13] Sharon S.: It was the best value of any business course I've ever taken. The money was very well spent.

[00:41:19] Lyn M.: Compared to when we first began, today I feel better prepared, but in some respects, may be less prepared, not because of the course, but because the course brought to light so many things that I thought we were on top of that we need to fix.

[00:41:35] Kam H.: I 100% believe there's never a great time for a business owner to allocate extra hours into his or her week or day. So it's an investment that will yield results today. I thought I will reap the benefit of this program in three to five years down the road. But as soon as I stepped forward into the program, my mind changed immediately.

[00:41:57] Sharon S.: There was so much value in the experience that the time I invested paid back so much for the energy that was expended.

[00:42:08] Lyn M.: The Deep Wealth Experience compared to other programs is the top. What we learned is very practical. Sometimes you learn stuff that it's great to learn, but you never use it. The stuff we learned from Deep Wealth Experience, I believe it's going to benefit us a boatload.

[00:42:21] Kam H.: I've done an executive MBA. I've worked for billion-dollar companies before. I've worked for smaller companies before I started my business. I've been running my business successfully now for getting close to a decade. We're on a growth trajectory. Reflecting back on the Deep Wealth, I knew less than 10% what I know now, maybe close to 1% even.

[00:42:39] Sharon S.: Hands down the best program in which I've ever participated. And we've done a lot of different things over the years. We've been in other mastermind groups, gone to many seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, read books. This was so different. I haven't had an experience that's anything close to this in all the years that we've been at this.

It's five-star, A-plus.

[00:43:06] Kam H.: I would highly recommend it to any super busy business owner out there.

Deep Wealth is an accurate name for it. This program leads to deeper wealth and happier wealth, not just deeper wealth. I don't think there's a dollar value that could be associated with such an experience and knowledge that could be applied today and forever.

[00:43:25] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?

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