Episode 11: Chris williams

Entrepreneur Conundrum Podcast

Episode Summary

Chris shares the advice that has him only working 30 minutes a day in one of his businesses, plus more..

EC 01   |    4min

About The Guest

Hi everyone. Today, I’m talking with Chris Williams about how he helps businesses scale and grow. 

Chris has over 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship for profit leadership and socially responsible marketing engagement.

He has helped creative agencies build wealth and agency owners develop innovative winning strategies.

His expertise includes lead generation creative team building and allowing owners to focus on what they do best.

Apart from leading his own agency, Chris hosts a private mastermind for creative agency owners looking to scale and optimize their businesses. 

Elite Agency Inner Circle Facebook Group
@ChrisWilliamsHQ Instagram
Social Media: @ChrisWilliamsHQ

Episode Transcript

Time of Questions:

01:10: What was it like growing up?
02:15: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
04:08: So what are some of the common mistakes that you see business owners making?
05:16: Do you have any tips on how to get out of your own way?
07:21: Thank you. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received.
08:01: What’s the best advice you’ve ever given?
09:45: What are some of your goals that you wish to achieve with your company in the next couple of years?
11:32: Do you think there’s any roadblocks that are stopping you from getting that stretched out as far as you want to get it?
12:56: Weekly self evaluation
14:07: What’s working for you guys to attract more business?
15:51: So, is there anything that you would like to share that I haven’t asked you yet?
17:33: How can people find out more about you and what you do?

Virginia Purnell:

Welcome to Entrepreneur Conundrum with Virginia Purnell, where growing entrepreneurs share how they get visible online. 

Hi everyone. Today, I’m talking with Chris Williams about how he helps businesses scale and grow. 

Chris has over 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship for profit leadership and socially responsible marketing engagement. He has helped creative agencies build wealth and agency owners develop innovative winning strategies. His expertise includes lead generation creative team building and allowing owners to focus on what they do best. Apart from leading his own agency, Chris hosts a private mastermind for creative agency owners looking to scale and optimize their businesses. 

Welcome Chris.

Chris Williams:

Thanks, Virginia. Super excited to be here.

Virginia Purnell:

I’m excited for you today. I’m excited to talk to you about all of the things that you have done.

Chris Williams:

I don’t know. It might be boring.

Virginia Purnell:

Well, time will tell, I guess I’m sure you have a few good stories up your sleeve.

Chris Williams:

Yeah. How can I help anything I can do to help your audience? I’m all in. Let’s talk.

Virginia Purnell:

What was it like growing up?

Chris Williams:

Wow, that’s a deep question. And I think this is part of the entrepreneur journey too. So growing up for me, I had a very disciplined family, but a very abusive family. That’s that’s a deep dive right there, but I, I think, and I, in fact, I know now after years of therapy and, and tons of time spent healing, I know that that part of the hardness of, of growing up and figuring that out and learning to is actually, what’s made me really good at some of the things I do professionally, because it’s a lot of problem solving a lot of risk management, a lot of those things that you don’t want kids to have to deal with, but those traits when they can kind of be turned into a positive thing as an adult can become really positive. So that’s a fun question to start with because it’s deep, but it’s also like, yeah, you know, it was a very disciplined life, but a very hard life. And, and that’s, that’s part of who I am, right? It’s that’s life. We gotta, we gotta heal and we gotta grow and we gotta use those things to our advantage.

Virginia Purnell:

Yes, we each have our own story and it’s important. And part of who we are. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

Chris Williams:

You know, when I was 11, I, I wanted to cut grass and I realized I could make, you know, 20 bucks a yard. And that was better than anything else I could think of doing to make money. And I would want to buy stuff at the local pet store. I was really into fish aquariums and frogs and turtles and anything like that. So I traded my next door neighbor for a lawnmower. So they had a lawnmower and they hated cutting the grass. So I was like, Hey, if I can have your lawn mower, like, and keep it at my house all summer, I will cut your grass for free all summer. And then at the end of the summer, the lawnmower is paid off. It becomes my property. So I did that. And all of a sudden I was able to like, have a lawnmower, have some equipment that I got five more yards that summer. Cause I had tools now. And then I hired someone, I was 14, so I hired someone to drive me around eventually, cause we couldn’t drive at yards that I went elsewhere. And I started learning about people and systems and selling like at a young age when I was 11, I started out and that launched everything for me because it gave me a taste of what could happen with hard work and with structure and with people helping me,

Virginia Purnell:

That’s really inspirational. And it’s kind of fun. Like I can like see you out there, like trying to convince someone to, to drive you all around.

Chris Williams:

I had a 30 year old woman driving me around. So funny. And then I would go spend all of my money at the pet store every day. I’d go back to the pet store and just blow it all and then go back and cut grass.

Virginia Purnell:

At least you had motivation, right?

Chris Williams:

Yup.

Virginia Purnell:

So what are some of the common mistakes that you see business owners making?

Chris Williams:

You know, I think the most common mistake we all make me included over and over and over again is me. I am almost always the problem in my own business. I think for a while, Oh, it’s the person I hired or it’s the economy or it’s, whatever’s coming up in the news or it’s the holidays and I’m not getting any sale, whatever, that’s, that’s all a bunch of bull. What’s true. Is that in my own head and in my own heart, I have to decide number one, am I going to go freaking get the work done and do what I need to do, not be busy, but am I going to do the right things? And number two, am I going to stop doing the things I don’t need to do? Which typically is 90% of the problem. Just not becoming the roadblock, not becoming the thing that’s in the way of my myself or my family or my clients or my, my team succeeding. It’s almost always me. That’s the biggest hassle of being an entrepreneur is being me.

Virginia Purnell:

Do you have any tips on how to get out of your own way?

Chris Williams:

Yeah. Yes I do. So I am always in, I have been, I’ve been doing this for probably 15 years now. I’m always involved with the coach or a therapist or a mentor or a mastermind group or people that I respect that are actually structurally allowed to speak into my life. So there’s lots of categories you just mentioned there, but spouse or partner doesn’t cut it, right? Cause they’re kind of either too hard or too soft on you depending on the day and how the kids are acting and all that stuff. It’s somebody from the outside who can look in at me and say, Hey, love what you’re doing, but I’m noticing some trends here. And I think if you just kind of cleaned this up or took advantage of this or stopped doing this, you could really overcome something here. Where, they’re in a place where they can really help me. So sometimes that’s been a therapist right from healing, from stuff in my background. Sometimes that’s been a coach that I’ve hired for very specific reasons to help me get through something challenging in business. Sometimes it’s been mastermind style groups where I could actually hang out with other people like me that were at my same level, and learn together.

Those things have been super, super impactful and really helps me grow because they’ve been honest and they’ve been pointed exactly where I need to go. And I’m going to say one more thing about the coaching side of that. 

Anybody listening, I would only hire a coach or a mentor, or going to hire someone or buy into a mastermind or whatever. There’s tons of them out there. Lots of really good, what you want to do. Aright. If they just sell how to do it, that’s very different. And it’s weak compared to someone who’s actually done what you want to do and is still doing it, and has, has that kind of proof. That’s a really important thing. Otherwise I hear a lot of sad stories of people wasting money with coaches or mentors or whatever that they shouldn’t be. Shouldn’t they, they shouldn’t be selling. They shouldn’t be on the market, you know, so find somebody who can help you and get help.

Virginia Purnell:

Thank you. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received.

Chris Williams:

Oh wow. Best advice I’ve ever received. I would say, is being honest with me and being honest with the people around me, honest, and kind. I think those two things: be honest and be kind. The golden rule: do unto others as you’d have them do unto you, is so important. That’s kindness. And that honesty that comes with it is just not, not beating around the bush with what’s right or wrong for you or others, but standing up and being brave and knowing what you need and know how to say it.

Virginia Purnell:

Sometimes it’s hard being honest with yourself. So I like that one. What’s the best advice you’ve ever given?

Chris Williams:

Hmm. Wow. I wish I was one of the people who could just roll out quotes constantly and they’re like, Oh my gosh, I’m gonna write that down. I would say the best advice I’ve ever given is probably the stuff we tell our kids, which is to be honest, and to be kind and to love and be active in their communities and to understand who they are internally, spiritually, their faith, their personality, their own head and heart, their skill sets, those kind of internal things. So, knowing who they are as people, and I would say anybody who’s listening, same thing, knowing who, you know, who you are and ground yourself. And then be honest about that and be kind as you’re, as you’re honest, and as you invest in your community, that that’s the stuff that makes us enjoy our next door neighbor when they’re that way or our fellow family member or anybody else we hanging out with that’s, that’s the kind of person I want to be. And I think if we’re that kind of person as individuals, we’re going to make fantastic people as business leaders, we’re going to make fantastic community leaders, parents, you know, partners, whatever we are in life. And so many hats we wear. Yeah.

That’s the foundation.

Virginia Purnell:

I liked that I had to talk with my son about that this morning. He can’t just act this certain way right now and then expect to be a completely different person when he gets bigger. He’s laying that foundation.

Chris Williams:

Hmm. Good advice.

Virginia Purnell:

What are some of your goals that you wish to achieve with your company in the next couple of years?

Chris Williams:

Good question. I have two companies, Virginia, you know this. 

But for those listening, I have a creative and digital agency that works with surgeons and super niche specialties and very unique communities around the United States. So that business is growing and scaling and I work less than 30 minutes a day in that business. I love running a business that grows well and has high profit margins, and that doesn’t require the owners work. That’s, that’s just my thing in entrepreneurship. I love that. 

I also have an agency that teaches that process to other digital and creative agency owners. So they can do the same thing. We have a mastermind that we teach. We have online training, we have tons of free material in the Facebook group. 

We have all those different things but my goals surround those two things because I love building profit margins. And I love figuring out how far I can separate money in time.

So making a lot of money in a very small amount of time. And that’s not because I’m lazy and it’s not because I need more money at this stage. It’s because I like the machine. I’m not a car mechanic. I’ve never been a car guy, but if I was, it would be, that’s the kind of machine I like to work on. I like working on machines that are business and systems and people oriented. I like building other people. So, my goals all revolve around financial goals and I measure all my financial goals by a month or by a quarter. And then the time goals that are associated with that, just separating out money as far away from time as possible. Getting those two things stretched out as far as you can. I just wanna see how far I can take that.

Virginia Purnell:

That sounds like a fun goal that I want, that I want to incorporate too. Do you think there’s any roadblocks that are stopping you from getting that stretched out as far as you want to get it?

Chris Williams:

Oh yeah, absolutely. It comes back to me again. And even though I’m good at and practiced at systems and people that helped me, I still am constantly trimming things that I need to stop doing that I know I can train and delegate this thing out, which would free up time to either be more free or go find the next more productive thing I should be doing based on my unique skills and abilities. So there’s lots of people in our world around us who can help us do the things we do really well. And for me, my roadblock is consistently like literally weekly. I check back in on how I did that week. I look at what I should have done and I think are all these things on my calendar. I’m looking at my calendar on my screen right now, all these things in my calendar, the things that were really the best use of my time, or could I find someone else who could do these? And almost always, I can find someone who can do them. And then if I can’t afford that person because of whatever the profit margins are on my product or service, I forgot a way to sell those products or services at a higher profit margin to a slightly different niche. And, and that way I can incorporate someone in to let them do that work. So I can go to the next step.

Virginia Purnell:

I like that. Being able to, and it’s because lots of people do self-evaluation but they do it in longer intervals. Let’s say where you’re talking about doing it weekly.

Chris Williams:

Yeah. Yeah. In fact, to go a step farther in that I don’t think through years, like a 12 month year anymore. I think through my year, the way I function as a business person and as a regular guy in my family, our year revolves around 90 days. 

So every quarter is a year in our, in my, my mentality. And so every week in that quarter is like a month there’s 12 full weeks in every quarter of the year. There’s that little odd couple of days at the end that we do a bunch of planning and looking back in our business. But those 12 weeks are what are now my month. So every week I consider it, like I just burnt an entire month of my year, every week. Is that big a deal? I want to make every freaking one of them amazing. And I want to crush it again the next time. So I really want to make sure I do it right every day.

Virginia Purnell:

You must really love birthdays.

Chris Williams:

I get to have 4 birthdays a year now.

Virginia Purnell:

What’s working for you guys to attract more business.

Chris Williams:

Ah, yeah. So two things that are really, really, I don’t know, maybe I have to go into four things that are really crushing it right now. Cause there’s really four things. 

We’re really, really good at getting referrals. So I follow a really structured referral script that I learned, oh, year’s ago from a guy named Wayne Cotton. Anyway, I love that referral script. We use it all the time in our agency. We sell high ticket and we get referred to very specific people in our market. And that’s been really, really cool. So love getting referrals, do it in a structured way if you’re going to referrals, follow a script, ask intentional questions about who you want to work with. Be surprised how many people you can meet and work with that way. They’re the warmest best clients ever. That’s in our creative agency that works with surgeons. 

In our elite agency that works with other creative and digital agency owners, we do a lot of free content in our Facebook group and that’s been really wonderful. It brings a lot of people in our community and we also have webinar type structure. 

We have courses online that all feed in from some paid traffic that comes into those products. That works really well if you’re dialing on your message, but again, on any of that stuff, you have to know how to sell it organically. 

And ideally build a referral before you can do well on anything ads. If you’re running paid ads, if anybody’s listening, running paid ads, you have to figure out the organic human connection before you can replicate that in a paid ad. Otherwise you just spend a bunch of money on Facebook or Google and you wish you hadn’t. 

And then the third thing is Instagram right now, Instagram is doing really well for us. We do a lot of teaching and training and education and ideas on Instagram. And that’s really fun. It’s a great place to meet people and the people who want to engage with us more, step up and do that. That’s been really cool.

Virginia Purnell:

Thanks for sharing. So, is there anything that you would like to share that I haven’t asked you yet?

Chris Williams:

You know, I think the next thing I would want to say is for anybody listening in right now, use Virginia as an amazing example of someone who’s leading in what she’s doing and she’s creating content. She’s creating, not just content that are her own ideas, because it’s so easy for us to all talk about ourselves, but she’s actually pulling content from lots of other resources like me and so many others. I’m not the best speaker she has in this podcast by any means, she’s got amazing people. The thing that she’s doing though, is she’s sharing and building a space for people to learn and grow. And that’s critical if you’re going to hire anybody to do any kind of work for you, hire people who are leaders like Virginia, because it allows space in your own agency, your own model to really bring another leader in, not just a doer. Okay?

So it’s great to have people who just get the job done, but when you have somebody get the job done, who’s actually an influencer and a leader. And has that mindset to be forward thinking and building, they’re going to build into your team. They’re going to build into your clients. There’s going to be so much building and value there that you just can’t, you can’t get by just hiring out a job. It’s important to find a leader who actually wants to impact the world and that will impact your business and your clients in a really special way. So that honestly, Virginia, you don’t even know I was going to be going that path, but that’s, that is the truth about what you’re doing. It’s the truth about who you are as a person. And so that’s what I would, that’s what I’d want to say. If there’s anything else I could say, that’s it.

Virginia Purnell:

Well, thank you very much. How can people find out more about you and what you do?

Chris Williams:

Couple of easy ways. Social media handles are all the same for me. Chris Williams, HQ, So C H R I S W I L L I A M S H Q, like headquarters. So @ChrisWilliamsHQ on any platform and then our Facebook group is absolutely the best place. We do tons of Q & A in there. We dump tons of content there. We don’t even ask for email addresses. It’s just free and anybody who’s a creative or digital agency owner in that space will likely be blown away by what’s in there. So that’s Elite Agency Inner Circle. If you just look in Facebook for Elite Agency Inner Circle and that right there, you can ask to join the group. And if you are in that space, we’ll let you in and you just ask questions, we answer them. It’s super straightforward. And there’s tons of amazing rockstar agency owners in there who are constantly answering questions and helping people grow.

Virginia Purnell:

Thank you again, Chris, for coming on and for sharing all of your advice and words of wisdom with us.

Chris Williams:

Absolutely. Virginia. Thanks so much for having me. It’s been really fun.

Virginia Purnell:

You’re welcome. Have a great day.

Chris Williams:

Okay.

Virginia Purnell:

Thank you so much for joining us today. Be sure to subscribe and leave some love through a review and I’ll catch you on the next episode.

Resources and Mentioned Items

Distinct Digital Marketing.com
Elite Agency Inner Circle Facebook Group
@ChrisWilliamsHQ Instagram
Social Media: @ChrisWilliamsHQ
Wayne Cotton

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Olga talks about the things she is working on in her business and about her journey.

EC 10   |    22 min

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EC 12   |    18 min

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Meet The Host

Virginia Purnell

Virginia Purnell

Virginia lives in Northern Alberta on a small farm with her husband and three children.  

Virginia is a master funnel builder having been certified as an FG Society Master Marketer, Funnelytics, and ClickFunnels Certified Partner.

She also helps businesses with their visibility through online searches.

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