A 3:1 return on ad spend (ROAS) is the goal for advertising; that’s how you make your money on Facebook. Quite simply, invest $100 into Facebook advertising and you should be getting $300 back. When you hire a marketing company, they should be able to get you a 3:1 ROAS on Facebook in no time, and if they don’t, find another marketing company. It’s so simple…and complete bullshit.

If you understand this one little nuance of Facebook you will change the way that you look at Facebook ads and marketing: You do NOT spend money on Facebook to make sales. That is a myth. The ROAS Myth. If you believe in 2020 after Facebook has been around this long and had hundreds of billions of dollars run through it, if you still believe the point of spending money on Facebook is to make sales, you are 100% wrong. You spend money on Facebook in order to gain data.

“Facebook is an economy of its own.”

A lot of people don’t realize this, but Facebook is more than just a place to keep up with friends and family, pass along funny memes, and waste hours watching silly cat videos. Facebook is an economy of its own. An ecosystem in which you can cause inflation, you can cause deflation, and you can manipulate the algorithm.

Facebook advertising is not “guesswork”. In some ways, it’s like the Matrix. You’re given a set of rules, and as long as you play within the rules, you can bend some of the rules. I’m not talking about black hat tactics or dark web dealings. What I mean is when you’re spending $1 million on a weekend, you can make very good, very clear decisions about every hour or 45 minutes. That’s because you’re running tens of thousands of people through that landing page or through that sales cycle.

“A dollar a day isn’t going to cut it.”

Some business owners like to tiptoe into Facebook. They say, “let’s test on low dollars”. Sure, you can boost a post for a dollar a day for seven days. I know people that have tried to capitalize on the “Dollar A Day” strategy in an attempt to make sales. But remember, when you boost a post, you’re just trying to reach people and get likes on the post. If you’re trying to run people through an ascension ladder, or get people to know, like, and trust you, or you’re going through the awareness, engagement, conversion phase, and you’re doing everything right, a dollar a day, isn’t going to cut it.

If you’re only spending a thousand dollars a month, you might have to wait a month before you can make any changes. Now, what happens is most people don’t understand how the algorithm works and they don’t understand the Facebook ecosystem that’s driving that algorithm. It’s one of the things as a digital marketing company we’ve been able to capitalize on.

It’s a pay-to-play world. At a thousand dollars a month, you’re not getting enough people into that algorithm to allow Facebook to understand who are really the people that will convert. When you’re spending $1 million a month, on about day two, you’re getting enough people per hour that you can say with confidence, “10,000 people landed on this page, we need to switch out this video, we need to change this headline”.

Run it for another 45 minutes or an hour, then you can say with confidence, “10,000 more people went through, but they’re getting to the cart and not converting. Let’s change the cart, change the offer or the deal, change up the bump sell or the upsell, change the positioning or targeting…”, whatever you need to do. The point is, when you’re spending money like that, you are very quickly gathering data that you can then very quickly interpret and use to make corrections.

“Facebook gives you data.”

That’s when sales happen. If you spend money with Facebook and you don’t get sales and you blame it on Facebook, you couldn’t be more wrong. If you spend money with Facebook and they don’t give you data, then you can yell all day long and I’ll be right there behind you. I will be the first one to go to bat for you. Facebook gives you data, it then becomes your responsibility to understand that data.

Instead, at this point, what most people focus on is ROAS. Which is incorrect and can be detrimental to their business. Nobody that’s doing this for a living, or at least doing it well for a living and really, truly understands how it works, is focusing on the magical 3:1 return on ad spend. ROAS should be the fourth or fifth thing you’re looking at.

There are so many digital marketing companies whose big hook is the 3:1 ROAS, and just because they can put up a Facebook ad does not make them a marketer. Unfortunately, they’re hard-headed enough they won’t actually learn and hone their craft. Facebook marketing is what SEO was three years ago. Everybody was an SEO expert three years ago, but very few people knew how to actually get deep into SEO. Yeah, they would know how to put on Alt tags, and yeah, they might know how to change some anchors on a guest post, but they didn’t understand a lot of it. The guys that did understand it would always be at the top because they were going deep on SCHEMA and they were doing things the other guys didn’t even know. They may have had a vague understanding of it, but they were not well versed.

In the past, I gave potential clients the 3:1 ROAS warm fuzzy. I used it as a selling point because there was a time you could not land a client without talking about a ROAS guarantee. Most potential clients are so laser-focused on the 3:1 ROAS, because they were told by someone, they read an article or post, or they did their own research and heard ROAS is the be all/end all. I have told potential clients I will 40x their business and they do not care; they want to know what their ROAS will be. And they want it immediately. And they only want to spend a thousand dollars a month. I have taken clients from $100,000.00 a month in total sales to half a million dollars a month in profit in less than three months and they don’t care in the slightest; they just want to know whether or not they got a 3:1 ROAS.

“…they can 40x a business, but nobody will listen to them.”

This mythical number leads to a lot of misconceptions. Because of this, you get marketing companies that really know what they’re doing, and they can really 40x a business, but nobody will listen to them. I’ve been in that spot. I’ve fired so many clients because they just wouldn’t let us do what we needed to do to grow their company. Clients start listening to outside entities, and then try to tell us, the experts they hired, how to do our job.

I can always tell the people that don’t understand Facebook when ROAS is the first thing out of their mouth. It’s usually business owners and I always have one question for them: “Have you ever been to court before?”

After their initial surprise, they typically answer, “yes.” So I follow up with, “Did you hire a lawyer?”, to which they always respond, “Of course.” Then I ask, “Did you stand up there and tell him how to litigate when you got to court?” Without fail, I hear, “Of course not.”

Then why did you hire a marketing agency, especially one that’s doing really great things for your company, then put them in the golden handcuffs of ROAS?

“Marketers can manipulate those numbers…showing you exactly what they want you to see.”

Let me explain something about ROAS to you. Marketers can inflate their numbers. When you look at Facebook Business Manager, it looks legitimate; very professional, very accurate. However, marketers can manipulate those columns, products, and numbers, showing you exactly what they want you to see. For example, setting the price of their product at $10,000.00 instead of the $19.00 they’re actually selling at. They spent $100.00 and got one conversion. Now you’re looking at a 100:1 ROAS. So it looks like they’re getting these amazing returns, but it’s just not true.

The ROAS Myth is so ubiquitous, we actually created a calculator for it because so many people cannot get it through their brain housing group that it is just not where you need to be focused. ROAS is not the be all/end all. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and Cost Per Client/Customer (CPC) are what you need to be looking at first.

CPA is for one sale. A one-time cost per customer, multiple times over. For example, if you’re selling a cell phone, your client is going to buy one phone and probably not buy another phone for a while.

“Lifetime value of a customer is what matters most.”

Contrary to popular belief, CPC on Facebook does not Cost Per Click, it’s the above mentioned Cost Per Client/Customer. An example of CPC is selling a plan for a cell phone with a monthly recurring charge. This means I can go in the hole on my first sale, which will show a negative ROAS, but next month I’ve made money off the client’s recurring payment with only the initial money spent. This is why the lifetime value of a customer is what matters most, not ROAS.

I’m able to outspend competitors every single time because they want to have a 3:1 ROAS. I can suck up all the ad space. Competitors will never get to be in front of the cream of the crop of the algorithm because I’m outspending them on everything. With this mindset, my first month can show a 0.08 ROAS, but my second month can show a 2.7, and by the third month I’m up at a 5.0, which, if you’re picking up what I’m throwing down, that’s a 5:1 ROAS. Because this myth of a 3:1 ROAS has been perpetuated over and over again, people just can’t understand you can go in the hole and still be mega profitable on the back end.

This is especially true if your follow up systems and sequences are designed to help your customers become part of your community instead of just buying one of your products. I hear business owners say, “There’s not enough room in the profit for me to get anything less than 3:1 ROAS”. Well, let’s think about that for a minute.

If I spend $100.00 and I get a 3:1 ROAS that means I got $300.00 back. Sounds really good, right? If I’m spending $1 million and I’m getting back $3 million, that sounds great.

Now, for the sake of round numbers, let’s imagine I’m getting a 3:1 on $1 million, or I’m getting a 1:1 on $1 million. The 3:1 on $1 million gets me $3 million. But the 1:1 gets me 300,000 recurring customers. The next month I’ve spent the same amount of money to advertise to brand new potential customers, and I’m getting a 4:1 or 5:1 ROAS because I’m only remarketing to my 300,000 recurring customers. I’m not going out after a cold audience.

“I can give you a 3:1 all day long.”

The ROAS Myth is just that: a big fat myth. Marketers can manipulate ROAS quickly and easily. I can give you that 3:1 all day long, systematically, for as long as I have content. I can spend about 30% on a cold audience, and then I just beat those people to death on remarketing. But I’m not picking up any more or new audiences for you, I’m just selling to all your past customers, and that’s not how you grow a business. That’s how you stay a $1 million business for 10 years, believing your business is worth more than $1 million because you’ve been doing it for 10 years. One myth perpetuates another, and before you know it you’re stuck on the wrong key performance indicators (KPI’s).

If you truly want to grow your business, you need to focus on your total cost to acquire a new customer and how much that customer is worth to you throughout the lifetime of them using your products or services. ROAS, when properly used, is a brief snapshot of the health of a specific part of a campaign as it relates to the customer journey. ROAS should not be the factor that determines whether or not you pull the plug on your business, and it should not be the blunt object you bludgeon your marketing team to death with. After all, it’s just a myth.


How impactful is schema? That question is asked all the time and all over the place: in LinkedIn posts, Reddit threads, and at professional conferences. I hear, “Where can I find good examples of websites that use schema markup?” and, “Help! I can’t find websites that thoughtfully markup their pages!” Well, I have an answer for you. Take off your floaties: we’re going to deep dive into a schema. 

Schemas are incredibly valuable, but even the Schema Dot Org site is terrible for someone who isn’t well versed. Most of what I learned originally was completely self-taught and basic at best. Now, I work with schemas every day and my skills have only improved by trial and error, and by working with other industry professionals who were also conducting their own tests.

Here’s the good news: Schemas work. All the time. Every time.

“They are terribly underrated…”

Here’s the bad news: They are almost endless in updates, they are terribly underrated for their effectiveness (hence why you can’t find good ones), and there aren’t countless resources to help you along the way.

If you’re using a WP website, try this basic plugin to help you:


I use this one for all of my basic sites. Again, schema goes way beyond this plugin but this will get you started.

There are 2 major defining markup types: Local and Organizational. Local is for local targeting. Organizational is for National or International trade. There is no such thing as World Wide anymore.

There are 2 basic coding methods of Schema: JSON-LD and Microdata. JSON-LD is what Google and Search Engines read, but does not show to the website viewer as they look at the individual page. Microdata markups are displayed on the screen on each webpage. There are different ideas of which is better, but Google and Yahoo have both said they are verified in the same way.

“I’m not a web designer, I don’t even pretend to be.”

I personally like JSON-LD. It seems to be easier to apply, easier for a “fill in the blank” type of data entry, and I don’t have to worry about messing with any design features on the web pages. I’m not a web designer, I don’t even pretend to be, so I leave that part alone.

The main thing you need to know about schema is that you are telling Search Engines EXACTLY what you are offering. No guesswork. Let’s look at some Schema background.

Schema was a huge venture between Google, Yahoo and Bing to streamline all information about a site. Kind of like a template of how to collect data in a structured way. No more trying to guess about addresses, or products, or the difference between commonly used phrases or terms.

In flies “Structured Data”. Structured Data is nothing more than the template that everyone agreed to, and how it is presented for indexing.

For example: Search in a Search Engine for “Anaconda”. Do you mean the reptile? Or the book? Or the movie?

Google may display the reptile results first because the users in the past “clicked through” to those sites. Therefore, Google makes the decision that all users searching for “Anaconda” will be served top results for reptiles. Bing, however, may display the movie first because it happened to get searched more during the last 3 months. Who knows?

Here’s where schema comes in. If your site is about Anaconda the book, your site will show up way higher on results if you have schema present, even in Google searches.

If the user happens to get too many results from Google about the reptile, the user may elect to change their search query to “Anaconda book”…voila… you are way more relevant than the 10,000 other web pages talking about the book.

That is just one example, and for everyone out there that knows “all there is to know about schema”; relax. I’m talking about a basic understanding here.

Here is another tool that will help you. Once you install the plugin, or you present schema manually, you need to check your structured data.


On this page, you can simply put in the full URL of the site you are marking up. By the way, “marking up” just means “clarifying”. You are clarifying what you are talking about on the page in a structured way.

“If Google can read it, so can all of the other search engines.”

On the left of the page, after the scan is complete, you will see your site’s coding. On the right, you will see the Structured Data that Google can read. Don’t worry: if Google can read it, so can all of the other search engines. There is no need to do a different schema markup for individual search engines. 

The page will also show you missing data, errors, and warnings. Simply go into the WP console, click on your Schema Markup tool I spoke of earlier, and make the corrections.

Here are some other benefits and warnings.

  1. If you are a local business, you absolutely positively MUST have your schema markup completed. You will drastically improve your local ranking.

Inside of the schema markup tool, you will see a spot to enter your physical address. This is entered by longitude and latitude. Here is a tool to find your lat/long coords: 


Once entered, especially if you have a Google My Business profile, Google will know your business address and serve it to local people on local searches. An example of this would be: “Pizza near me”.

If a schema markup is done on the local pizza shop website, the users GPS coords are close the coords on the site, the site coords match the verified Google My Business profile, and the site is optimized for anything dealing with “Pizza”, chances are incredibly good that you will show up near the top.

Keep in mind, you will be competing with every other major “Pizza” place, also. You better believe Dominoes and Pizza Hut have their schema markup on full tilt.

  1. Schemas are not magic. If your onsite SEO is trash… schema won’t hurt you, but it won’t zip you to the top.

The SEO Puzzle

Think about SEO as a puzzle. Yes, it’s analogy time. If you have decent SEO strategies on your website, you have a $10.00, 1000 piece puzzle that is nice to look at. The pieces all fit, there is a solid picture with no holes in it. It has nice edges and the colors are clear.

If you have awesome SEO, you have something completely different. It’s still a puzzle, but now you have a $1000.00 puzzle. The pieces don’t just fit, they fit so well the spaces between the pieces seem to fade and become hard to see under the colors of a masterpiece picture. There are no holes in the picture, and to your surprise, there are no edges to this puzzle! You could keep building it in any direction you want to go! This puzzle is so great, all of your friends that see this puzzle wonder how you found a picture so grand and how in the world you got so much color into one spectacular place. They all start to take photos and share the most incredible puzzle they’ve ever seen with their friends.

Now pretend the puzzle is your site, the pieces are information, and the friends are search engines.

All of the pieces need to be present, separated, aligned, categorized and flow in one definable way. That means, your site needs everything! You can’t do just a little bit. You need schema. Just like you need Alt tags and text, like you need H1-H6 tags. You need to have analytics. You need to be watching heat maps. You need high res photos, and good quality blogs. Keyword research is a must. Backlinks with diverse anchors. You need to have a sitemap. The site needs to be mobile friendly. I could go on and on.

The point is, a well ranking website has it all. All of them can be improved. None of them are bulletproof. None of us own Google or Yahoo or Bing. And Search Engines can change the rules at any given time with no warning.

If you do everything, you become diversified in your search for Ranking success.

The last tid-bit of advice I can give is simple, but incredibly powerful.

Schema markups are one of the least used of all SEO strategies. Mostly because it’s not highly publicized, it’s considered high level SEO, and most clients don’t know about it, so lots of “SEO Experts” have no need to even bring up the subject.

“SEO Experts…’they all suck.'”

“SEO Experts” are a dime a dozen these days. Everyone claims to be an expert and everyone knows “how to do it better” than everyone else. Ask any SEO Expert you meet what he thinks about every other SEO Expert and, with a handful of exceptions, the answer is always the same: “They all suck”.

The truth is, there are some great SEO folks out there. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and work with some of the best. The one thing the greats all have in common? They all use schema.


Over the years of my military, and subsequent entrepreneurial career, I have learned one thing is the absolute truth: You can’t win ‘em all.

Winning is a funny word in that it implies zero losses. However, this is almost never the case. You will have losses and you must plan accordingly. Although not popular in many circles, “acceptable loss” is the true measure of how badly you want/need the desired end state.

Winning should always be the goal. If you start out any mission with the mindset that you can’t win, or that you shouldn’t be playing the game, you will lose. In those moments, you didn’t give yourself a fighting chance to be a winner.

For example, think of a sport – any sport. A team or player can win the final game or make the final score, but that doesn’t mean they played a flawless game. A team can even be the season champion, but that almost never means they won every game or match. In fact, most games are won by identifying, adjusting and capitalizing on the mistakes of not only your opponent but also your own team.

Winning is not exclusive to a tally of points. I have changed my personal definition on the philosophy of winning in many ways over the years. For most people, especially winners and the highly competitive, winning is about the scoreboard of the game they are playing at that moment. But, I have come to realize this is not the case for the biggest players. The elites don’t keep score the same way as others.

Finding Your Personal Level of Competition

Don’t take this intro to mean that I don’t like winning. I am a winner. I will go to great lengths to win. I am highly competitive. But, not like you may think. Competition is a real thing in business. But, not like you may think.

In the military, the expression is “train like you fight”. Meaning, every practice gets the same attention, skill, and effort as if it were the real thing.

A few decades ago, I realized during a shooting event on a range day that I was competing in the wrong way. I was competing with other Marines and their score. I was in first place but my score was not nearly as good as my average over the past month or so. I couldn’t figure out what was happening. I wasn’t nervous, I was well rested and the weather was in my favor. I took a seat on the spotter’s bench between the next round…

And it hit me like a ton of bricks. Right in the face at terminal velocity.

I was competing with their score cards. I was mentally doing just enough to win, and therefore I was certainly not at my best level.

I went back to my shooting mat and laid down in the prone position with the mental picture of my target from a few days before. I didn’t drop a single shot out of the black for the remainder of the event. I went on to win the event, but inside I knew I could have done better if I had started the day better.

That day I changed my entire mindset on competition. My biggest competition is me. If I beat my best self, I will change the world.

If I can be better today than I was yesterday by even a fraction of a percent, I am becoming a better person.

Competitor’s Edge

Business is no different. Setting your entire attention on “competitors”, as in competing companies, most of the time is a lack of focus on your part.

I’m not saying that you never check in to see what they’re doing, or that you lose touch with an industry. I’m simply making it clear that you must strive to keep your focus on your own mission and goals.

Just remember, the “Competitor’s Edge” can cut both ways. The company you think is your competition may be trying to head in a different direction than you. They may be financially burdened in a way you can’t see from the outside. They may be ultimately trying to copy you, which means you‘re actually chasing your own tail.

Instead, focus on being the leader in your industry. Ask yourself: Where are the gaps in services and products that I offer to my clients? What can I do to make their experience better?
Be the industry leader that everyone wants to follow.

The only way to do that is to innovate.

There is a Time to be a Copy Cat Emulate

There is no reason to reinvent the wheel as part of your innovations in certain areas of business. In fact, there are many times that I use what others have done to fast forward my learning curve in a new area of business.

For anything in printed form there is probably a template. That doesn’t mean that I copy/paste all of their material and send it out as my own. I can usually detect “how” they created a particular pattern or flow to the material and I can use that to accomplish the same thing in my own words.

For any job requiring manual labor, I research how other companies perform the task and look for the gaps or inefficiencies. I simply apply automations or machines to speed the process.

For anything related to products, I determine their market share and evaluate their effectiveness to deliver the goods at their publicly displayed retail price. Then, I negotiate better deals with manufacturers and shipping services. I can market better. I can set up a better funnel or buy more traffic.

The point is, I can look at any business and emulate where they are doing well in the market, and at the same time, pick apart the holes in their model and fill them within my own business.

This is the fast track to market, in any area of business.

Taking the Losses Like a Champ

I’m a sore loser, but not like you may think.

I’m sore not because I lost, but because I gave everything I had in those moments. I held nothing back.

You see, the key to losing like a champ is simple: Learn something from each loss.

Each loss should act as a table of contents to all the ways it didn’t work.

Warren Buffett knows that growing at a massive scale is a game of math. He can lose millions in a single day, and not feel the hit. This is because he’s running enough deals that he can afford to lose a few because the gains he’s making on a few far surpass the losses.

Do your best to win the battles, but winning the war is what goes in the history books.


Secrets to success. You’ve heard many of them, but perhaps the best-kept secret is this: Make meaningful deposits in the lives of other people. When you go out of your way to help others without asking for anything in return, you open doors that can pay dividends. 

It’s like making deposits at a bank; you can withdraw from the account at a later date. With five minutes of your time, you can make a million dollars. Here’s how it works.

1. Help Others.

This doesn’t require much time or effort. Be available for others and consider how you might help them. Sometimes it’s as simple as a conversation.

For example, you might be able to connect two people who can help each other. Do you know a guy who owns a chocolate factory, and another who owns a peanut butter factory?  Make a phone call, make the introductions, and BOOM! You have Reese’s.

I don’t send many Christmas cards or birthday messages because they’re expected. Instead, I check in randomly via text or email. I’ll choose two letters that go together, such as R and E, then search my contacts and email whoever pops up. Sometimes, when I save a new contact in my phone, I also include the words “Follow Up” so I can search for that phrase later. 

My messages are as simple as, “Hey, just checking in to see how you are.” I’ll ask if they need help with anything, and if so, schedule a call with them. 

Bonus tip: I only take video calls because you can connect more deeply when you see each other. Trust me, this will transform how you do business.

If they ask what they can do for me, I explain that they owe me nothing, and I only want to help. I may never ask for anything in return. 

2. Be Genuine.

Here’s the thing: This only works if you genuinely enjoy helping others. Otherwise, it becomes a burden, and people can sense that. You can’t fake sincerity. If you’re inauthentic, people will be suspicious of what you want in return. 

However, when you genuinely help someone without selling anything, they become your biggest advocates, and they will sell you to others. Then those people can become paying clients.

Many business owners think they’ll only be successful if others fail, but that’s a scarcity mindset. I don’t believe in competition other than myself. I try to be better than I was yesterday and help my “competitors” often, even introducing them to my best leads. In return, I’ve gained thousands of leads myself.

3. Take Advantage of Unexpected Free Time. 

I don’t set aside time to check in with people. When someone cancels a meeting at the last minute or joins late, I fill that time by investing in my network, which negates the time/opportunity loss. 

If you think you don’t have time for this, it’s because you don’t see the value. We make time for what’s important to us. That said, building a strong network doesn’t happen overnight. You have to work at it for years. 

4. Focus on People You Enjoy.

You’ll be surprised how much time you have when you only deal with people you like. I prioritize people I enjoy and separate myself from anyone who drains my energy. As a result, no one has taken advantage of me for being generous with my time. 

Listen to your gut and be a magnet for good people. If someone seems like a snake oil salesman, don’t engage. But if they have a good heart, get close to that person.  

5. Build a Diverse Network.

To meet like-minded people, join mastermind and business groups like your local Rotary Clb or Chamber of Commerce, which host regular in-person and online events. Whenever I meet someone, I find them on LinkedIn. But I don’t just add them and now we’re connected. I send a short message explaining the connection and offering to talk about their business. It’s key to add that personal touch based on your initial interaction. 

Diversify your network with people from other industries. Then when you have a problem, you’ll know someone who can help. You can find everything from investors to partners, suppliers, employees, and software this way.

I strive to always be the one who says, “I know a guy”. For example, I met and stayed in contact with a man who sells fish, even though I never thought I would need an abundance of fish. But one day, I acquired an interest in a food products company. I said, “I know a guy” and called my friend the fishmonger. He introduced me to his distributors, and we moved tons of products together. 

6. Reap the Benefits.

When you help others, they’ll want to help you back. Building social currency created tremendous leverage that you can call on when needed, even if it’s months or years later.

Talking to people has taught me so much and opened doors I didn’t know existed. A few years ago, one of my companies was having a shipping problem, which randomly came up in conversation with a gentleman who happens to be in the shipping industry. He recommended contacting companies that connect distributors with the Post Office to leverage their unused truck space, which significantly reduced our costs. 

When you help others, you’ll meet increasingly influential people and will eventually be one call away from anyone you need. Recently I was introduced to a national director of a federal department. I traced our connection back to someone who introduced me to someone else, who introduced me to someone else, and so on. I reached that person by investing in half a dozen others along that chain. 

7. Stay Positive.

If I’m having a bad day, I know many people who would go out of their way to change that. If you don’t have those people in your life, you either haven’t invested in others, or you’ve attracted the wrong “friends”. 

To gut-check what you attract, look at your Facebook feed. Facebook knows who and what you engage with. Facebook’s goal is to serve more like engagements to you. Whether your feed is primarily positive or negative, it’s because you are, too.  

Give others joy, and they’ll return that to you – which is what we need now more than ever.


Every successful entrepreneur knows that you can’t do it alone. You have to hire a world class team who not only work well together, but all have the same desire to move your company forward. The job market is saturated with qualified candidates, but how do you find the ones who are right for you and your company?

You have to be very, very smart about the people you hire. I don’t even look at résumés. That may sound crazy but think about it. When you enter the “real world”, you’re taught from day one to beef up your résumé; make yourself look a little more accomplished, a little more experienced. What I’ve found over the years is that people tend to look way better on paper; they have a hell of a representative. The reality is usually severely lacking.

“They have to work well with my whole team.”

When hiring a new team member, I focus on mentality and initiative. I also go into an interview knowing 80% of my decision is going to be made based on whether or not this person fits within my current team, not just me. They have to work well with my whole team.

If I like them and nobody else does, they’re not going to work out. If everyone likes them but they have no work ethic, they’re not going to work out. If the whole team likes them, and they’ll work their ass off trying to come up with new ways to make money for the company because they want to run with a bunch of other Grade A Players, they’re a winner.

The fastest way to ruin a Grade A Team is by hiring a B Rate Player. And you will destroy a Grade A Player by bringing them onto a B Rate Team. It is far more beneficial to fire all B Rate Players and bring in an all A Rate Team than trying to replace one at a time because you’ll bring down the Grade A Player’s tenacity.

Take football. Fans may wonder why a team will change half the roster mid-season, and it’s for a good reason. You can’t put Tom Brady with a player who only occasionally shows up for practice, and does the bare minimum while he’s there. It will lower Brady’s confidence in being able to get the win and lower team morale. It will also make Brady not give his best because his best is six or seven times more than that of a B Rate Player.

“I don’t have employees.”

Let me make something very clear: I don’t have employees. I have teammates. My companies are not designed with employees who punch a clock. My companies are designed for each member of the team to be their own leader within their own lane, helping to constantly move the company forward.

General Mattis used to say, “Stay in your lane and own the road”. When driving a line of humvees down Route 1 in Iraq, we sometimes drive nine lanes across, and 300 trucks deep, with each truck just a few feet away from each other, maintaining speed and distance. If you saw an obstacle in your lane a mile up the road, as the first truck in line you had to deal with the obstacle. This means moving ahead to push it out of the road in order for the rest of the convoy to keep moving forward.

The truck behind you takes your place, you wait out of the way until the convoy passes, then jump back in at the end of the line in the now vacant space. This enables the convoy to never stop their forward momentum, while also allowing each humvee to take responsibility for their own lane and deal with things that get in the way. Working together, these actions enable the group to own the entire road. If the obstacle isn’t in your lane, stay out of it.

Here’s the thing about my team: they are winners. Every single one of them. They want to win and will do just about anything to get that “W” on the board. My team is very aware that they are in it together. They take their wins and losses together. They are all on the same page, and all aligned in their goal of moving the company forward.

“Take the day off.”

Something else about my team. I expect 100% of what you have to give in every moment. I am
so tenacious about that. You can ask anyone on my team, “If you come into work and say you’re at 99% but still good to go, what will Patch tell you to do?” Across the board, the answer is, “take the day off”. I would rather you not be there than dragging down the team. If the rest of the team plans on you NOT being there, everything will be taken care of for you. If you’re not coming in giving 100% of what you have to give, take the day off. Find something else to do.

By the way, I don’t believe in giving 110%. To me, that’s not pushing harder – it’s overloading. Think of it this way: you’re weightlifting 100% of your max weight and you add 10%, what happens? You crumble. Another way to look at it is by redlining the engine in your car. You can’t do more than 100% – that’s all you got.

I also don’t like the term “grind it out”. I hear people say that all the time: “You just gotta grind it out”. You cannot grind it out for an extended amount of time. You will ruin your engine. Eventually, you have to get those gears to line up because an engine is a precision instrument; a well-functioning machine. You need to find the gear. Even a well-functioning machine pushed above the redline too much will break. You have to stay within that consistent output level.

“You are perfect 100% of the time.”

When you stay within your consistent output level, you are proving 100% is reasonable; you are perfect 100% of the time. Soon, you will have that thing that meshes and clicks and 100% becomes the norm. It’s not a redline. It’s 100% of what you’re able to maintain forever. That’s how you and everyone on your team should be operating daily.

That’s not to say there are not times when you’re giving more than you can reasonably sustain. When you’re pushing for eight, two, or one week – really the number doesn’t matter – you know you’re giving more than you can do sustainably. However, you’re only doing it for a short amount of time in order to avoid burnout.

In order to properly function as a cohesive team, you have to let your pride go for a minute. Be good with all getting to the finish line together. It’s not about beating your teammates, it’s about getting that “W” together.

You can’t be the weakest link on the team all the time. But it’s okay this one round, this one launch, this one day, this one effort. Others will help drag you along to success. The next project you have to be the strongest so you can drag other people along. There are times when you have to rely on others to push a project further than you have time, ability, or energy.

“I have built a culture of winning.”

In my businesses, I have built a culture of winning. I don’t need to unlock anyone’s potential or push employees to be their best. I hire Grade A Players who, because of the team we have created, will get on each other. They police themselves really well because nobody wants Patch to do it.

I want everyone to help each other out. The team believes in our mission and takes it upon themselves to achieve mission completion. There is no other option. If you don’t, we will find someone else. The team appreciates that. It’s not a dig or negative. They appreciate that they come to work everyday with a set of teammates that are all looking for the win and because of that everyone works harder. You cannot be second rate, or take a slow day. You have to be constantly learning, constantly pushing forward, constantly bettering yourself.

Because I hire these types of people, I rarely have to fire anyone. Those who can’t keep up tend to figure it out quickly and bow out gracefully. And I don’t look down on them for it. In fact, I respect them for knowing themselves and their limitations. For quickly realizing that this might not be the best fit and moving on – no hard feelings, no dragging everyone else down.

“Why didn’t you train them better?”

If I do have to step in, the decision has typically already been made because I trust my team. For example, I have a Facebook expert to oversee all ads running on Facebook. He doesn’t run all of the ads, he oversees those running the ads. The expert had to teach each person below him and get them to a level that will pass his scrutiny. If they fail, I yell at my expert. I’ll ask, “why didn’t you train them better?” If the first thing out of his mouth is, “I have; he’s not listening”, or “not learning”, or “not performing to minimum basic standards”, then they’re gone.

I encourage my team to always learn something new, something they have never done before. Once they learn something new, I ask them to teach it to someone else. Then I ask my team to present to the rest of the team something they applied their new skills to. This is really fun and really causes company growth. I’ve had SEO guys learning Facebook ads, Facebook guys learning SEO, web designers creating apps. Everyone is learning but in the process all trying to outdo each other. That is the culture we have created. That is the minimum basic standard.

Everyone on my team is constantly striving to do better, do more, use initiative, learn more, use good judgement, all in an effort to move the company forward. It’s the culture I’ve created. And all the team members appreciate it because they are all Grade A Players.


Patch Baker · The Second Shift Suck

Today’s entrepreneurial journey is complicated. It’s technical. It’s a sea of pivots and transitions. Every successful entrepreneur I know is asked the same question hundreds of times on every podcast, in every interview, during every Q&A: “What is the one thing you would tell anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur to get them started today?”

Here’s the cold hard truth: There is no right answer. 

Bonus Tip: Most of us make up those answers on the spot. If for no other reason than to give us some type of variety in what we say to keep from sounding redundant. And repetitive.

When you start out as an entrepreneur, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Most people who are deemed an “overnight success” have spent years earning that moniker; they are anything but new to the scene. In fact, most of those people go on to be wildly successful because they have put in the work. They have staying power. They are accustomed to the rhythm of their craft and they understand how to capitalize on the spotlight when it shines their way. 

“Hard work for countless hours.”

Business and the military have taken me all over the world and after countless conversations, and maybe a little banter over unprepared show hosts, one thing seems to find its spot at the top of the leaderboard as the golden secret to success: Hard work for countless hours.

This does not mean busy work, rather this means focused hard work toward a singular goal. The more focused you are, the more hours you put in, the more dedication you give to mission accomplishment, the more likely you are to succeed. At the start of your entrepreneurial journey,  being the boss doesn’t mean sitting back and watching the money roll in. In fact, if you’re doing it right, this time will be the busiest with the longest hours.

In the military, we had a phrase that described the hardest things we had to do without an option otherwise: “Embrace the suck”. Simply put, it means to endure what has to be done and just get through it knowing you will come out stronger on the other side. When you start a business, you must embrace the suck.

“‘…nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week'”.

Elon Musk took a lot of flak for Tweeting, “…nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week”. He was berated, provided with “statistics” about lack of sleep and its correlation with poor performance, and critics told stories of people dying from working too much overtime. Some even noted penicillin was discovered because Alexander Fleming went on vacation. Now, I may take some flak here, too, but I agree with him.

That’s not to say you have to run yourself ragged 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you do it right, it will only be something like 16 to 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a few months. You have to make the conscious decision to make your new business your top priority. What I mean is you have to embrace the Second Shift Suck.

Before you start your business, ask yourself two very simple questions: Do I have the money? Do I have the time? 

“You’re already at a deficit.”

If the answer to the first question is, “Yes – I have an investor” and the answer to the second question is, “Yes – I’m quitting my job”, then stop right there. You’re already at a deficit. 

Here’s a much better way to start your entrepreneurial journey: Don’t quit your day job. Yeah – I said it. Keep the job you have now and go on a financial diet. Stop spending, start saving. In today’s world, it’s nearly impossible to save your way to wealth, but you can save enough to get you started on the right foot. 

Most entrepreneurs start strong with a ton of enthusiasm but that quickly fades without money coming in and with the workload getting harder. Morale decreases and your business becomes your burden. The second shift is how you avoid this pitfall.

Give 100% of what you have to give to your day job. Don’t cheat your employer. Don’t work on your new business on someone else’s dime. You’ll regret it when you become an employer. After your day is done, go home and work the second shift. 

That second shift is where you start building your new business. It has hours, it has rules, and you’re responsible to show up every day and work weekends. 

“No four hour days.”

Work a full second shift from 6pm or 7pm to 2am or 3am. No 4 hour days. Not yet. Instead, put in the full 8-10 hour day. No date nights, no leisurely restaurant dinners, no bar time. This will also help to keep your spending down while you’re growing your new business. Plan on 50-60 hours per week working on your new business. 

Figure out what you’re going to do and how you will do it. Get your website together and figure out how to complete transactions. Start developing your systems, the avatar you want to sell to, and figure out who the essential employees are that you will need to make your business work.

When you’re ready, start setting appointments in the evenings and on weekends for your prospective clients. Find the objections. Adjust your systems and checklists. Try again.

Land your first client. Test your deliverables. If everything works like a charm, and money is coming in, instead of quitting your day job, hire your first employee. 

When the money from new clients outpaces your day job, congratulations, you have just learned how to embrace the suck.