Episode 35 Show Notes

Get Out of the Grind of Sales and Into the Flow of Connection to rise ROC with Josh Zepess, The Identity Archaeologist

Transitioning to an entrepreneurial mindset is all about finding who you are as a person and sharing it with the world. Even an engineer can take a 180° turn and become a successful entrepreneur, which is the case of our amazing guest today.

In this episode, we share mics with The Identity Archeologist Josh Zepess to dig out the truth behind personal branding and the journey to becoming a CEO. 

So in a world where dreams are crushed, and souls are forgotten, Josh Zepess, The Identity Archeologist, is on a mission to ensure talented solopreneurs turn every business first impression into a second impression where the sale happens by raising their ROC or Return On Conversation.

Today we discuss:

  • [01:23] Introduction to The Identity Archaeologist Josh Zepess. How does an engineer become a personal branding expert?
  • [12:50] Why is branding a core component for success and ROC (Return On Conversation)? Understanding personal branding to improve your marketing and ROC (Return On Conversation).
  • [19:17] How to stand out in the sea of sameness? Practical tips to improve your personal branding.
  • [30:50] Let’s define authenticity! What is authenticity and how to monetize it.
  • [36:37] 3 goal crushing tips to support your personal branding strategy. 
  • [30:22] Quick questions with Josh Zepess. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Find more about ROC expert and Identity Archeologist Josh Zepess on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn 

You can also visit his website Josh Zepess The Identity Archeologist to discover, articulate and monetize your personal branding.

Don’t forget we have a free assessment to test if your mindset corresponds to that of a CEO. It’s simple, do you think like a CEO?

Take our free assessment now and find it out! 

Thank you for listening to this episode of Flourish+Grow to CEO! We hope it has given you some tips and tricks to discover and monetize your personal branding and improve ROC (Return On Conversation)!

Thank you for listening to this episode of Flourish+Grow to CEO! We hope it has given you some tips and tricks to implement and start getting excited about what’s next for you. Remember to follow intentional life coach Sallie Wagner for more tips and tricks to get of your assets!

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Speaker 1 (00:20):


Pam (00:20):

Are you a lady boss making 50 to a hundred thousand in your business, and you’re ready to break through that six figure barrier.

Jane (00:28):

Have you done a great job of creating a nice life as the ultimate gig master, but no, your inner CEO is calling you to greater Heights. You’re in the right place. If you want to create and implement solid fundamentals in your business without sacrificing fun.

Pam (00:42):

I’m Pam Ivey, I’m certified in small business management and I concentrate in the areas of training and certifying real estate assistance, coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs in online business, marketing growth and profit acceleration. And I take men and women business owners aged 40 plus two bucket list destinations around the world for a month at a time to work, explore, and live in community.

Jane (01:08):

And I’m Jane Garee, known as the sales strategist for the non sales person. And I work with business owners who want to increase their conversion rate, shorten their sales cycle and have more impact and influence with the work they do all while

Jane (01:20):

Having more fun with selling. Hey

Pam (01:23):

Everyone. And welcome back to the flourish and grow to CEO podcast. We have a very special, wild and crazy guest with us today. His name is Josh ZepessZepess. Did I pronounce that right? Josh

Josh Zepess (01:38):

Know, I don’t know for sure. That’s how I pronounce it. Okay. Craziness is starting already. I love it. Yeah. I can come up with a name.

Pam (01:53):

Let me tell you, call about Josh Zepess, or give you a little rundown before we jump into all the craziness. Let’s be very professional first. So in a world where dreams are crushed, souls are forgotten and Russ never sleeps. Josh Zepess.

The identity archeologist is on a mission to ensure talented solo preneurs, turn every business. First impression into a second impression where the sale happens by raising their R O C or return on conversation so that they can profit more without grinding more. Doesn’t that sound good, Jane?

Jane (02:31):

Yes, definitely. So after

Pam (02:33):

Decades on the corporate farm, as a shy introverted engineer. Oh yeah, we, I don’t think that’s true, but anyway, he realized that the cubicle could no longer contain him.

So he escaped, it was a Rocky road through entrepreneurship in the financial and gym industries, but he finally stopped ignoring his genius and now plays in it profitably every day when he’s not digging business gold, he flies airplanes, brews beers, runs long distance obstacle, course races and creates literary masterpieces. Welcome Josh.

Josh Zepess (03:11):

Thank you. Honored to be here. So

Pam (03:14):

Excited to have you. Now the first question has to be this. How is it that an engineer is crazy and funny?

Josh Zepess (03:23):

Well, so I have to be honest, I’m a reformed engineer, so I’m not quite, not quite the engineer anymore. Well, I’ll give you the short answer.

The short answer is I grew up as a soldier, a good soldier, you know, like I did everything I was told to do. And I behaved, uh, and I did that for the first 37 years of my life. And part of that was engineering.

That was just what I was supposed to do. Safe, secure job, right. All that kind of stuff. And one day I said, I started seeing kind of like the code in the matrix. You know, when you start to see the glitches in the matrix, I was like, wait a minute.

I got to get out of here. And that changed everything I became myself is what happened. I stopped being the good soldier and I started being a human being. I started being a real person and discovering what I stood for. And that’s how I changed.

That’s how and craziness is part of it. That just comes that’s that’s the icing on the cake.

Pam (04:17):

Isn’t that interesting. We’re all told we have to go to school and go to school again and then go to school again and then get a great job and keep it for life. But it’s just not realistic today.

Josh Zepess (04:30):

No, not anymore. And then we get to go get the safe, secure job, which is no longer safe, nor secure. We get to sit in these cubicle farms and pretend, just be these what I call a human batteries, where they just suck up our energy, our power. And then when we’re done and we’re exhausted, they replace us. Jane.

Pam (04:50):

I think you have a rival with your analogies. Yeah. Yeah.

Josh Zepess (04:53):

Oh, I got tons of, I gotta be careful. You said you said it to be crazy here. So I’m testing the waters.

Jane (05:04):

Okay. Let’s do it. One of the things that you said is so true and it’s been true for a while, but I think more and more people are realizing that it’s going to be secure and provide you with stability and financial security because you’ve got this job that is not the world that we live in anymore.

And we haven’t lived in it for a while, but people are more and more starting to see it. And I do want to, I do want to say having a job is not a bad thing. I mean, having love is actually a great thing.

And if it’s what you want to do, and it’s a time where it’s really serving you, there’s nothing better than a really good job with a really good company. But tell us a little bit about, is there a final straw for you that finally made you realize this just is not going to work?

Josh Zepess (05:57):

There were a lot of straws, uh, but I’ll, I’ll tell you the first draw. Cause I think it’s the most interesting one, by the way. I agree with you too. Job is not inherently good or bad. It’s a tool and it’s gotta be a tool that based on what you’re building.

So the screwdriver right tool, I don’t know what are you building? So job, you have to look at a job the same way as should I get. I had a lot of kids ask me, you know, when I used to speak at high schools, Josh Zepesshad to go to college.

I said, I don’t know. What do you want to do with your life? What’s the purpose? What are you going to bring to the world as far as value and is college gonna help you get there? So it’s just asking the right questions around this, but the first wake up call was this.

Josh Zepess (06:37):

I had a friend of mine in the financial industry. He’s like, Josh, what’s your retirement plan? Like I got a 401k man. I’m set. Yeah. It was like my religion. I’m like, I’m good. I’ve been max funding this thing for 18 years.

I’m good. No problem. No worries. And he’s like, do me a favor, do the math on it. Just projected out and just see what it looks like. And I was like, sure, no problem. I’m an engineer. I don’t mind numbers.

So I take out my Excel spreadsheet. I run the numbers. Let me tell you something best case scenario. It would be mathematically impossible for me to retire on it. Now, do you think that made me mad and yeah, we’ll wait, but I got to tell you what really me off. What really me off is when I found out it wasn’t supposed to work.

Josh Zepess (07:25):

I designed, I went back and looked at the original Risa code from 1978 or actually 74. It was enacted in 78. Uh, it’s never, it was never designed as retirement plan. It’s not supposed to be.

And I wasn’t supposed to figure this out until it was too late. And I try to use it when I’m 65 years old. Wow. That sent me over the edge to say, well, if I got lied to about this, I almost like I could have been there another 30 years and never know that scares the crap out of me.

So I started opening up all the cabinet doors, right? I’m like, holy crap. I got lied to about this. What else am I missing? And that started my whole journey. Wow.

Jane (08:01):

That’s not reality. That happens a lot of times. And it really that you have to, you have to be very intentional about the life that you’re living, the life that you’re funding, you know, use of that word intentional because otherwise you’re really funding somebody else’s dream and you’re living somebody else’s dream.

And again, not to not to bash a job, but I think so many people just, they started out with the belief that if I do this and I make all the right moves and I do all the things that everyone tells me that I’m supposed to do, then I’m going to have this beautiful life.

And I know that we’re all of an age that we went through several recessions and we went through nine 11 and we went through the housing market crisis. And then we certainly went through COVID and you know, there’s just no such thing as a guaranteed thing.

Josh Zepess (08:51):

Right. Right. I completely agree. And my enemy honestly is ignorance of that very same type you’re talking about. It’s okay to have a job. It’s not okay to understand what a job is or to not understand what a job is.

Look, if you want to rent an income, if you want to rent a position, you want to rent the title. If you’re okay with renting your source of income and renting your future, that’s fine. I’m not here to judge you on that.

But what I am here to do is to call you out. If you think that you’re so important to the company, that they’re never going to let you off, or that this is the path outside of your control, that’s going to get you where you want to go, because that’s just not true. Let me tell you something companies, here’s a good one. Companies pay the position, not the person. Oh, that

Jane (09:36):

Is really good. You know, and I know when I was in my, when I was in my late twenties, I had a big fancy positioning in a, in a company. It was great company, but I, I went through that like, well, I’m really important.

I have the number one office. I have the number one reason, you know, we’re, I’m high performers. My team are, high-performers telling a rockstar, they’re paying me like, I’m a rockstar.

So I just figured that was the case. And then some things changed. And I, I realized I’m working my guts out for this company. And they actually really don’t. They don’t care about me. They care about the results that I’m giving them what, you know, companies have to, but that’s a different they’re attached to my results.

They’re not even remotely attached to me. I’m completely interchangeable. So I mean, talk about having a little bit of an identity, an identity crisis there. So I know your title is actually the identity archeologists. So tell us a little bit about that. How did it come to be and what does that really mean for you?

Josh Zepess (10:32):

So I get that question a lot. What does this mean? Josh Zepess is identity archeologist thing. I said, okay, well, first off, what it really means is that I have no competition or is it wouldn’t that be a nice place to be anyways?

Uh, but the way it came to be was when I left corporate America, I got into the financial industry, gym industry, a few other things, and you know, it just did it to make money. I was an entrepreneur and I, it was a, it was a Rocky path because I left corporate America with a, an employee mindset.

And I had to transition that to an entrepreneurial mindset. And that was a whole journey in itself. But one day I’m like Josh, time-out, he’s got, I’m just trying to make money with all these different ventures. I’m like, timeout, what are you really good at?

Josh Zepess (11:17):

What’s your genius? What’s your natural talent? What do you do better than anyone else? You know, and I made a list of all these things and I said, okay, now how can I take this and provide value to other people? And they monetize it away. And that’s literally where identity archeologists was born.

And I just, there’s certain things I do really well that I, and now I get to play. It’s just, it’s just wonderful. I get to, and the reason I call it identity archeologists is I get to ask people the right question.

They get to dig. I dig really deep into entrepreneurs, solo preneurs professionals. And I dig up their goals. I dig up all those, all that talent and passion and all those things that are trapped inside of them, that they’ve been kind of pushing away that like I had been, uh, I get to bring that to the surface.

Josh Zepess (12:03):

We dust off all the conditioning, all the bull crap. I don’t come out and say, but there, I just said it all the. I am a semi-professional comedian also. And I apologize, but I’m not the funny kinds of, don’t worry. We brush off all that conditioning, all that crap about, oh, Connie, there’s no money in that.

Or you can’t do that. Or you’re just not cut out for that. We get rid of all that crap. And then we Polish it and refine it until it shines so bright that people come from miles to see if people are compelled into your circle.

And these are your clients and prospects. So that’s where it came from. And that’s really, it speaks directly to how I take my genius and I apply it to the service of an authentic personal brand.

Pam (12:50):

I absolutely love that it is so unique, but it truly says exactly what you do. So branding and messaging, it’s one of our core growth pillars here at flourish and grow. So why do you feel it’s super important? That branding is kind of a core component of our personal success and professional. Oh boy. Where did it begin on that? Uh,

Josh Zepess (13:17):

So let’s let me say this. When people get into business and I made this mistake as well, we jumped right into marketing and I found out that people don’t know what marketing is. Let me define marketing and you’ll understand.

Then I think everyone will understand why branding is so important. Marketing is an amplifier. It’s not a message. It just takes a message good or bad. And it makes it louder. It puts it in front of more eyeballs. So yeah.

So branding though, is the message. So if your message at your brand is crap confusing, weird, strange, not authentic, not genuine.

Then all you’re doing when you go marketing and spending those dollars is you’re, you’re amplifying garbage. And then people wonder how come my marketing isn’t working. So bring that thing that happens before. Yeah. Yeah. It’s

Jane (14:16):

Not even scratch the surface. Then one of the most challenging things business owners have, and then it can be challenging when you are at a, another level of experience, I’m doing my marketing and then I would say, well, what are you not interested in? What you’re doing?

Tell me what your message is. Identify your ideal clients when they work with, or who do you work with? That’s usually what I start with. Yeah. So they’re pounding out all these marketing tactics and marketing tactics are working.

And I don’t know how many times I’ve had this conversation where marketing is not the messaging. And you have to start with the messaging because if you don’t, it’s what you said, Josh, all you are is doing something saying, Hey women, over 40, who are stuck, I can help you. And trust me, my stuff works.

Josh Zepess (15:19):

Okay. If I had a business owner that told me that I’d have fun with this, I’d be like, what are they stuck in? Are they in quicksand? Or are they playing with Elmer glue? And they kind of got the paste stuck to their face. Like, tell me more about this being stuck because it’s so ambiguous. It’s yeah, yeah.

Jane (15:35):

Face down in a trough, a cookie dough. I mean, what are we really talking about here? How does branding support or, or how does branding support marketing? And then I’m going to ask this, how could it possibly detract or can it from marketing?

Josh Zepess (15:52):

Well, so branding supports marketing in that it creates. And my focus is always to create clarity, clarity on the message, clarity on why you exist. Because what I find is most business owners, they don’t know why they exist.

And I’m like, why do you get out of bed in the morning? Ah, make money. Right? But what truly, uh, why do you exist? Why should people care? Why do you care about others? All these questions that people aren’t clear on. And if, let me tell you something, if you’re not clear on exactly your mission, your vision, your purpose, your values, your stand.

If you’re not clear on that, nobody else will be. I don’t care. What kind of marketing you do. It will never be clear to others. So branding really is about getting clarity. And then when you’re clear, here’s the cool parts. You actually start being more confident and confidence.

Josh Zepess (16:44):

Eventually, if you do it right, when it goes from your head to your heart is conviction. And when you have conviction, when you’re preaching a message and not just trying to sell, watch out, that’s where the real magic happens.

That’s where you’re literally unstoppable. So marketing again, once your get your brand, now marketing will help you scale. Now can brand be a detractor from marketing. This is a very interesting question. You know, I all right, I’m going to be a little controversial here.

I have a concept I’m working on it’s it’s not ready to launch, but I’ll share it with you. Anyways. It’s called skip the fricking marketing. I think you can do everything you want to do without marketing.

I think if you have a strong enough brand, which basically is your first impression, a business first impression, if you could make such a powerful first impression, you can go right into the sales conversation, which is the other side of marketing on the client acquisitions spectrum. I think you could skip the marketing.

I don’t think you need it, but wait,

Pam (17:45):

But wait, I have to be to jump in on the controversy here. If you’re not marketing, how to, how do you attract new people that get to know that beautiful message that you

Josh Zepess (17:53):

Have? Excellent question. So I want you to imagine, and when I say marketing, I’m really talking impersonal marketing like ads and doing all these things, you know, the fancy funnels and all that crazy stuff.

What if you just went out and just introduce yourself to a few people, but because your ROC is so high, that you’re getting enough people into your circle without having, so in other words, you don’t need a thousand eyeballs to get 10 people. You only need 50 eyeballs to bring 10 people in. Nice.

Pam (18:25):

And I just want to remind listeners that R O C as a return on conversation.

Josh Zepess (18:29):

Yes. Yeah. I kind of use that a little too loosely, but

Pam (18:34):

That’s so true. And you know, we talk about that a lot at flourish and grow is we got to move back to simplistic marketing, these things that drive you absolutely bananas all these, you know, 7,000 piece funnels. And it’s, it’s just detracting from actually going out there and meeting people in and

Josh Zepess (18:55):

Meeting new clients potentially. Yeah. And the dirty secret they don’t tell you in business school is that people buy you first product or service second. And the opposite is true. If they don’t buy you first, they’re not going to touch your product or service, no matter how good it is. And no matter how much they need it. Well, sad, you kind

Pam (19:17):

Of answered this, but I still want to see how, how much further we can go with it. So, you know, I was reading your profile and I’m coming up with all these questions and here’s one that’s um, now Nope. Nope. How can we stand out in the sea of sameness and how do we rise above the noise in our crowded?

Josh Zepess (19:39):

Ooh, there are so many ways the sea of sameness. So, uh, one of the people, one of the types of people I work with are solopreneurs and very crowded industries that kids can’t seem to get noticed.

They’re raising their hand, they’ve got a good heart. They’ve got a good business, a good service, but they’re in such a, they’re such a crowded industry. And they’re saying the same as everybody else. Same thing. Like if you ever went networking and listened to financial advisors, you can trust me.

I always put my client’s best interests at heart and I’ve got the best insurance and I’ve got the best investments and I know what I’m doing. And I watched the market and, and people just, they’re all saying the same thing. How the heck are you supposed to get business from that?

Not to mention, everyone’s got a financial advisor and their family.

Josh Zepess (20:28):

So now you have to overcome the familial attraction. So to answer your question, most people introduced themselves completely wrong, not wrong. I shouldn’t say wrong, but not in the best way they, um, I call it a case of the yams.

If you ever heard of the case of the games or yams disease, as it’s known, I think so refresh us.

So yeah. So yams disease is very simple. It’s you get up? You’re networking and you’re meeting people and you’re like, I am Josh. I am a branding genius. I am in Orlando, Florida.

I am looking for this kind of person. I am. I am, I am. It’s all fricking ego. It’s all over professionalism. It’s all the shield we put up. So if you don’t get to know us as a human, so you want to stand out via fricking human thing, stop with the ego.

Josh Zepess (21:21):

Stop leading with eyes. Why not start with I’d rather you start with what you off that day and what you’re going to do about it. Why you care about anyone in your anyone else, why you get out of bed, all of these things that come out of a brand, bring your humanity back to your business.

And I promise you will stand out because here’s the other dirty secret. They won’t tell you in business school, your product or service that you’re selling right now is a commodity it’s duplicatable. Anyone, and everyone can come along and do it better, faster, cheaper.

And I know this is going to a lot of people off. People are like, well, no, I’m different. My stuff is different. No, your stuff is the same as everyone else stop it. You know, it is different. You know, what is unique? You, your story, your, your unique, your mission, your values, your stand with what the hell you stand for, what you stand against. That’s what unique bringing that to the front of your message.

And you will never be drowning in the sea of sameness again. Sorry. I’m getting excited. I got to calm down. Breathe.

Jane (22:27):

Yeah. And I love what you’re saying too. And I hear that so many times. Well, what I do is really different. Nobody does what I do. And I always say, tell me what to do. And I’m thinking, I’ve heard this six times already this week.

And, and again, it’s not to, it’s not to bash anybody or make anybody feel bad about what they’re doing, but yeah, it’s, it’s not the thing that you do. That’s so different. It’s the way that you do it.

It’s your personality it’s or your filter, the way that you deliver it. So the work that you’re doing it, somebody else is doing it somewhere, but they’re just not, it’s kind of like the book that I’m writing, nobody has ever written before.

Well, no, not true. You know, there are plenty of books out there, but you can still make it your own. So can you give us maybe three practical tips of how somebody could make themselves stand out?

Josh Zepess (23:17):

Yeah. Okay. It’s a good question. There’s a lot that are flooding my mind. Okay. Here’s, let’s start with this. And this is kind of what I help people with too. Just as a fun thing, but have a, have an answer to the question. What do you do? You know, I’ve never, I have been absolutely amazed is this is the number one business question everyone gets asked and yet no one seems prepared to answer it or have an answer to it.

Pam (23:44):

Business coach. Yeah. Please don’t use a title

Josh Zepess (23:51):

Because they’re using a title. It’s called title. Litas when you’re stuck to a title because you’re afraid to be vulnerable and afraid to be open and human. So, uh, and by the way, here’s, here’s a little, uh, I’ll give you a little thing on, what do you do? What do you do?

What you do is not what you actually do. And often I’ll say that in terms of, let’s say you talk to a business coach and say, I coach business owners. No you don’t. That’s not what you do. What you do is the transformation.

You help business owners to whatever flourish in their blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever you want to say, but coaching them in businesses, how you do what you do. It’s the, how so make sure the, what do you do that answer speaks to the transformation, speaks to the problem that they’re going through, speaks to the transformation that you bring them through and then shares the Nirvana of how great the world is going to be when you get there, if they decide to trust you.

So having an answer to that, um, so you want some small, little small little hacks. Yeah. Going

Pam (24:56):

Along those lines, we always say focus on the outcomes, not the deliver deliverables. Yeah. People don’t really care about your process. They want the end

Josh Zepess (25:06):

Result. That’s right. That’s right. So the other thing is here’s, here’s a, this is actually more of like a sales one-on-one thing, but I find a lot of people still violate it. Stop selling your solution, stop selling your product, sell the problem, not the solution. So I got people like Josh, this is don’t you want my water?

This is the best water in the world. It’s triple ozonated and filtered. And it came off the Andes and it’s like tears of God. And in a bottle, it’s wonderful Josh. And I’m like, but I’m not thirsty. So I don’t care how great your water is.

So let’s first agree that I’m thirsty and that dehydration is killing me. And my family let’s agree on that first. And then you can scoop water out of the toilet and I buy it. So sell the problem, then offer the solution.

Josh Zepess (25:56):

And I promise every year, life is going to be so much easier if you’ve actually, you know, work on that. Uh, and then I guess there’s a third one. I would say, find out what your brand is. And here’s what I mean by that. You have a brand.

So, you know, people say, well, I don’t have a brand, no, you have a brand. It may stink. It may be like the worst brand in the world. However you have it because what a brand is, it’s the gut feeling a person gets.

The moment you walk into the room, it’s not the analytical thinking. It’s not like what they think about you. It’s what they feel about you. Right? Every time I drive past the golden arches, I get a sick feeling in my stomach. That’s to me, that’s their brain. Right.

Josh Zepess (26:43):

It just turns my style. Like I get sick. Right? So maybe so I would challenge someone, figure out what your brand is. Ask some people that you’ve done business with, why they did business with you, ask some people that turned you down, why they turned you down, figure out what your brand is and then do something about it to improve it.

Whether it’s work with you all and figure out how to rediscover and redefine it or whatever you gotta do, but figure out what it is. Don’t be ignorant of it. Don’t just assume you don’t have one. Don’t just assume that it’s not affecting your marketing. Figure out what it is. That’s a great

Jane (27:24):

Tip about ask them why they do business with you. That’s good. But ask them why they turned you down. That’s gold right there. If you can stomach it the harder, the better, I don’t care. It’s not gonna hurt my feelings because I need to know. And what, what you can actually do is turn that to a positive.

So if somebody says whatever they say, you’re too hyper. I don’t like brunettes. It doesn’t matter. You know what I know that I can do is play that up. I’m a hyper brunette. Your tribe will go, oh yeah. That’s what I’m looking for. I want to work with hyper brunettes.

So I love that so much. So everybody that’s listening, I really encourage you. Don’t be afraid to find out why people don’t want to work with you or why they’re just not into you or you’re just not their type it’s it’s. That is so much, that’s so much more right there. Gosh.

Josh Zepess (28:18):

Yeah. And by the way you have, you can turn that into even more of a positive because sometimes it’s just a misunderstanding. Well, I just, I thought you were too, you were priced too high in this area.

Uh, you know, $10,000 is just too much. And I’m like, oh wait a minute. No, no, no, no, no, no. That wasn’t the price. Oh, I’m so sorry. I must’ve screwed up something. Right. You just don’t know. Sometimes you’ll find out that it was just a misunderstanding and then they’ll become your client.

Pam (28:42):

Hey lady, boss. Do you think like a CEO when your business starts taking off, you’re ready to scale up. At this point, you’ve got to stop thinking of yourself as a solo preneur and start thinking of yourself as the CEO of your company.

If you remain in the mindset of a one-person operation, then you won’t be able to grow. You’ll never have the time, energy or expertise to do everything by yourself and your business. Won’t be the success that it has the potential to be.

So are you thinking like a CEO, take our free assessment to find out you can find it@flourish.biz forward slash think that’s F L O U R I S H dot B I Z Ford slash T H I N K. Once again. That’s flourished.biz for slash think. All right, lady boss. Let’s get back the show. Now you say you help solo entrepreneurs discover, articulate, and monetize their authentic. Oh my goodness. I, I am.

Josh Zepess (29:53):

That’s a good birth personal brands. So did you mean create? Not discover? No. I intentionally mean discover because it’s already inside. All we have to do is uncover it. Uh, most people suppress it.

See, when we’re growing up, we’re conditioned to like, keep our head down to obey, state calm, basically not be ourselves. And so we suppress it. We suppress our greatness or genius and we just tell ourselves, and that’s what I did too.

I’m a perfect example of that. For 37 years, I suppressed my genius. Like there’s no way to make money at this. This is stupid. And so we need to uncover it to discover it. So that is a very intentional work. Hence

Pam (30:42):

The identity archeologist

Josh Zepess (30:44):

Right? There you go. The artifacts are down. I love it. I love it.

Pam (30:50):

Let me ask you this because authenticity is a word that’s bandied around like crazy today. So what exactly is your definition of authentic?

Josh Zepess (31:02):


Josh Zepess (31:04):

Good questions for John definition of authentic.

Josh Zepess (31:10):

It’s come up with it. Just the intensity. Yeah, you’re right. You’re right. You didn’t, you didn’t stop me now, but I do agree with you. Authenticity has become a catch phrase. It’s very cliche. Uh, but authenticity is saying what you want to say and being what you want to be.

Uh, and it shouldn’t take any effort. I think that’s, I think that’s where you get to the inauthentic side is when you’re trying to use scripts, you’re trying to put on, uh, trying to be perfect. Uh, see professionalism to me is perfectionism. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a perfect human being.

So you can’t be perfect and be human at the same time. So authenticity really just means being that human being screwing things up, not being perfect, uh, and then being okay with it because that’s what we are. I

Pam (32:12):

Like it. That’s one of the best definitions I’ve heard actually. And I thought we stumped you during it. But really everybody always says, you know, clarity being true to yourself, yada, yada, yada. But I really liked what you had to say there. So.

Josh Zepess (32:26):

Awesome. So tell me how

Pam (32:29):

You help people monetize their authentic brand.

Josh Zepess (32:34):

Yeah. This is kind of a fun one. So I call it a signature service. So imagine your commodity, but we take the brand and we intertwine it inextricably into that service to where that service can no longer be duplicated. It’s basically, uh, it’s no longer a commodity because it can’t, you can’t separate who you are and your brand and what you stand for from the actual service itself. It’s fine.

It’s actually a very fun process. And it starts, it helps people think bigger about what they’re offering and offer insurance. Well, no. What else can you do? Yeah,

Pam (33:15):

Cause there’s a 150 million insurance sales,

Josh Zepess (33:18):

At least that’s that’s in your, within a five-mile radius.

Josh Zepess (33:24):


Josh Zepess (33:24):

That’s that’s that’s in your city. Isn’t that the truth? Like real estate agents, but what,

Pam (33:30):

What was I just going to say, oh, can you give us an example without naming any names, maybe somebody you’ve worked with and how you’ve done that for them just to, you know, make your process a little more clear for us.

Josh Zepess (33:44):

Yeah. Uh, so I’ll give you just an overview of the general process and I’ll give you the paper. Uh, so the first thing I would challenge someone to do is say, I want you I’m an open up up. So they call it like a fund. I’m gonna go to the bank.

I’m gonna open up an endowment, $250 million endowment. This is just hypothetical, by the way, don’t get excited. I’m opening up this endowment and it’s going to pay for all your future clients, but here’s the caveat. You’ve got to do the right thing for them. And I mean, 100% the right thing for those clients.

Long-term. So from the pain point where they are to the final transformation, what does that look like in your expert opinion? I don’t care what it is. I don’t care if it’s, Hey, we got to go out to Mars.

Josh Zepess (34:28):

We’ve got to go climb Mount Everest. We got to have a retreat here and then a group function here and then we’ve got to go one-on-one coaching. And then we got to take them through the Andes. And then we got to, I don’t care.

I just want to know what the right thing is. And we’re going to start there no matter what it costs. And from that, we can then break it down into affordable quote unquote, uh, pieces. Because what I find people do is they limit themselves right upfront with costs. Well, no one can afford it.

This can’t be done. This is crazy. It’s too big. It’s too much, no. Start with the right answer. And then we can go ahead and we can chunk it up appropriately. Um, I’m taking notes. Are you Jane? That’s good.

Yeah. That’s good stuff. Yeah. Uh, so, so as, just as this very small example of this, there’s a guy that does pretty as a personal trainer.

Josh Zepess (35:20):

Right. And, but he’s very, very big into mindset. Uh, and he’s very, very, very big. And he’s also in the financial industry. So we came up with an idea of like, what about the trifecta? What if we could combine all of these things?

Is it too big maybe, but let’s give it a shot. Let’s personal train people. Let’s get their mindset. Right. And let’s help them with their finance and let’s come up with this. I can’t remember what we called it. This was a while ago.

This thing, fitness, freedom, finance or something like that. Where now no one’s doing what he’s doing. No one is taking these three things that he’s really good at. He’s really passionate about. And combining them into this very unique program in journey that he takes people through because it’s really the three most important things people care about.

They don’t want to be stressed. They want to make sure their finances are good and they want to feel healthy. They want to feel good. Trifacta that’s for sure. Yeah. So he blows, he blows financial people out of the water. He blows the fitness industry out of the water. Cause he’s adding all this extra value.

Uh, and then a lot of people do that through the mindset. That’s always part of it. Right. It’s always the personal development aspect that comes with anything. Yeah, for sure. Hey,

Pam (36:37):

I was taking a look around your website. Sorry. So well articulated actually I thought imagine that, but I noticed that you used to be a competitive bodybuilder.

Josh Zepess (36:52):

That’s super cool. So

Pam (36:55):

As someone who’s been so disciplined about, you know, a thing or two about getting and attaining goals, right? So what are your best goal? Crushing tips?

Josh Zepess (37:06):

Oh yes. I do go crushing that’s. That is one of my things. Uh, so goal crushing tips. I would start, let me give you three questions to answer that to me are the absolute foundation of achieving anything worthwhile of crushing, any goal.

And in fact, these are so important that if you don’t answer these, it’s like trying to hang a ceiling fan on a house that hasn’t been built. It’s not going to work. So, and these are really basic questions, but I still find people don’t answer them properly.

So question number one is what exactly do you want? And I mean, so let me, let me explain this. Isn’t just the, Hey, what do you want? Oh, I want to be rich. I want, I want a new house. No, I want to know specifically, how does it feel? Taste, touch, smell like with clarity.

Josh Zepess (37:58):

What exactly do you want? Can you see it? Can you experience it? That’s my secret. When I go races, I can see the finish line. That’s the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that there’s a finish line, but most people go through life and they give up on themselves because they can’t see the finish line.

They’re bloody, they’re muddy. They’re sweaty either. They’re up, they’re tired. And they stop because they don’t know where the end is. So you got to know where the end is and that’s the, that’s the, what exactly do you want? That’s question number one, question.

Number two is why must you have it? That’s not the same question you’ve heard before, which is why do you want it? Right? Why do you want no, that’s it’s why must you have it? In other words, who’s going to die. If you don’t get it, who’s going hungry.

Josh Zepess (38:44):

Who’s going to lose their home and their livelihood. If it doesn’t happen. So if you say Josh, I want to lose 30 pounds in the next three months. And I say, okay, three months from now, you haven’t lost the weight. Does life go on, tell me about this. And if you say, yeah, you know, life goes on.

I mean, I’ll figure it out. Just stop, go back to question. Number one, you pick the wrong goal. It ain’t going to happen. Sorry. I’m sorry to be the person. That’s going to tell you the truth.

But if you, if it’s not something you must have it, ain’t going to happen. We’re not, we don’t do what we should do. We don’t do what we want to do. We only do what we have to do. So how do you take a goal and make it a half too?

Josh Zepess (39:24):

That’s part of my process. And then number three, the easiest question after you know, what exactly you want and why must you have it? The number three question is how are you going to get it?

And the good part about this is if you know where you are, and if you’re honest about where you are and you know where you’re going, you can always figure the middle out. Someone’s already done it.

If you’re in, if I’m in Florida. And if I want to get up to you to ladies in Canada, I know I got to head north, right? There’s still questions. Whether I do, I take a bike, I walk, I do somersaults. I do burpees. I take a plane, whatever. Right? As long as I’m heading north, I know I’m eventually going to hit Canada.

And so the health part is the easiest and there’s, there’s many, many layers of the how, uh, as far as environment and, uh, how, how exactly what what’s your plan looks like? So too much to get into here. But if you can answer those three questions, you actually have a chance of achieving your goal. I love

Pam (40:27):

It. And we’ve asked that of a number of our guests, because we have a number of, we’ve had a number of guests who have kind of been goal achievement specialists. And I haven’t heard it that while sad. That’s really interesting. And I’m going to be listening back to this so that I write those down

Josh Zepess (40:47):

And there’s more to it, but that’s just the basic, that debts. That’s like chapter one, I feel better to ask than a competitive bodybuilder, because you had

Pam (40:56):

To have felt like giving up a hundred million times, but you really envisioned winning those ribbons or whatever you went in competitive bodybuilding. Right?

Josh Zepess (41:05):

We actually get trophy. We get figurine trophies, like really cool stuff. So yeah. McDonald’s no, absolutely not. No, but I did have to get used to eating my tilapia and green beans in front of my friends who were eating pizza across the site. We tell you if that doesn’t build self discipline, nothing. That’s for sure.

Pam (41:36):

All right. We have some rapid fire questions for you. And if we haven’t already, we’re going to get to know you a little bit better, even more so

Josh Zepess (41:45):

Green. Oh, sorry. Are you in early bird or a night owl? Night out. Are you a dog or a cat person? Cat. Shut up. Okay. Can you change the same text or talking invisibility or super strength? Super strain. I don’t want to be invisible. What’s

Pam (42:08):

Especially not a branding. No. What’s one of the top things on your bucket

Josh Zepess (42:15):

List. Oh, wow. Not a place, not a place. I’m doing a standup comedy routine in public.

Pam (42:26):

I think you would truly Excel at that. You could go anywhere in the world. Where would you go

Josh Zepess (42:35):

To live for, for good or just visit? Just to visit. I would go to Latvia, which is where my ancestry is from. I haven’t been there. Excellent.

Pam (42:47):

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given. I know that’s not really a rapid fire. Oh, there

Josh Zepess (42:54):

Are so many, so many, but I’ll give you, I’ll give you a good nugget here. Don’t listen to broke people on how to get wealthy. Don’t listen to the unsuccessful and how to be successful. The unhappy on how to be happy. I don’t care how much you like the person. I don’t care how much family they are. Please, please.

Competence is not the same as familiarity. Make sure you’ve listened to the right people. Perfect. And okay. Quick, describe yourself in three words, describe myself. Uh, not funny, very, uh, calm. I didn’t say antonyms. Try it again. That’s right. Any of those? I don’t think it’s more of an ironic statement.

Pam (43:55):

Okay. Well, except those. So where can people learn more about

Josh Zepess (44:01):

Probably the best place I’m on social media. Under my name, Josh ZepessZepess and also website joshzepess.com. Perfect.

Pam (44:08):

And our listeners know that all of your contact information will definitely be in our show notes on the website. And with that, Josh, we want to say, thanks so much. This has been so much fun, but I’ve truly learned a lot.

Josh Zepess (44:22):

I appreciate it. You’ve asked some great questions. So we want it to chat. Gosh, today we didn’t before.

Pam (44:32):

Awesome. Well, thanks so much. Enjoy the rest of your day, everybody. Oh, sorry. Yeah, it’s been an honor. Thank you so much until next week everybody get out there and flourish.

Well, that’s a wrap everyone. Thanks for joining us this week on the flourish and grow to CEO podcast. Be sure to visit our website at [inaudible] dot biz. That’s F L O U R I S h.biz, where you can subscribe to the shows in iTunes, Stitcher, or via RSS. So you’ll never miss an episode.

You can also find our show notes and resources there too. And while you’re at it, if you found value in this show, we’d love for you to leave a rating on iTunes. Or if you’d simply tell a friend about the show that would sure help us out too. Now get out there and flourish.

About Flourish + Grow to CEO

What does it take to build a successful business? That’s the question we want to answer for women business owners, so we can flourish and grow together from solopreneur to strategic CEO. Flourish and Grow to CEO is hosted by small business management certified, Pam Ivey and sales strategist, Jane Garee, who share their experiences in business ownership, sales and marketing to help women entrepreneurs scale their business and flourish confidently into the CEO role.

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