Something completely different today...
I'm going to talk a bit personal, a bit business, and share a big announcement later in the show---so stay tuned for it.
Recently, I've been doing a LOT of personal-dev training and development. (Way more than usual, in fact.) And as part of that effort, it hit me that one of the things I preach---*know where you are at any given time* wasn't being followed.
Things had been so frantic with client business growth, that other areas of the business weren't getting the right levels of attention. And I was completely out of step with 'knowing where I was'. (Not a good place to be in life or business.)
I'll share a bit of that discovery today's episode and along with it, and a very practicable 5-Point Framework To Always Know WHERE You Are---And What To Do About It
Show notes and resources for this episode available at https://corbinlinks.com/cls055
Let's hit it!
Short but intense episode today.
I'll be talking about a topic I see come up way WAY too much with first-time business builders: That's the subject of "tools". Software. Toys. "Infrastructure" AKA -- *Distractions* Software, apps, productivity tools, web services and all manner stuff is great.
There's a time and place.
But when you're getting started and building the first legs of business? This stuff can KILL your time and income. So I'll share a little story from this weekend, along with *specific* suggestions to reduce your 'research' time, tool cost, and just build build build!
P.S. If you're already a VIP member, you saw part of this covered in your copy of the "Mondays Rock Letter". This is the bonus audio for that.
Show notes and resources for this episode available at https://corbinlinks.com/cls054
I love coaching and being coached—don’t you?
But let’s face it: not all coaching sessions are blissful trips to happy land, if you know what I mean. Like anything else in business, coaching sessions can get off track, or go terribly wrong. And whether you’re on the client or coach side of the table, a bad session can wreck things for both sides.
A bad coaching session can be anything from tempers flaring, to boredom and lack of interest, to frustration and feeling results were missed, and all points in between. Best case, you both escape with your professional relationship intact and try again another day.
But worse, and far more likely, a bad---and certainly a super bad---session may never be recovered. These can and do happen even to the most experienced coaches. After all, this is a people business.
As coaches, it’s 100% OUR responsibility to keep coaching sessions from flying off the tracks. And that’s exactly the topic of today.
I’ll share with you some of the top and most frequent things that can and will go wrong, and what to do about it. OR…prevent things from happening in the first place. Lots to cover today, so let’s dive right in!
Show notes and resources for this episode available at:
Are you a pleasure to do business with?
I’ll admit to a few times in my past that the “pleasure to do business with” statement didn’t maybe...completely apply to me.
In fact, it took a few lost sales and failed client renewals to pull it all together. Fast forward to today—there are precious few companies, or consultants, who bother to ask themselves this question.
Let's face it: Many companies and consultants—especially in the corporate and government space—are a drag. Endless procedures, huge documents, endless calls, dour people, ridiculous numbers of sales reps showing up from the same company, endless email threads, crazy #'s of meetings, and the list goes on.
And ask yourself: when is the last time you or your firm heard the phrase “it’s / it was a pleasure doing business with you!”
If you DO hear it constantly, then congrats! This mail may be just a refresher, and add a few new tools to your arsenal. But if not…
My premise is business shouldn’t be dry. Boring. Exhaustively corporate. Unpleasant on a person-to-person level.
And one way you (and all of us, me included) can combat this is by being a true ”pleasure to do business with." How? Let’s start with a list of:
5 No-Hassle Ways to Become a “Pleasure to Do Business With”— right here and now (guaranteed!)
Hang on to your ear buds, this could get bumpy...
Complete show notes and resources available at: https://corbinlinks.com/cls052
I've been getting a few questions lately from consultants asking about client renewals.
Why don't their clients renew with them?
How come contracts don't get extended or renewed?
Why no call backs from previous clients?
If you've been in this business for more than 5 minutes, you've come across this issue. Things are going really well. You may also be delivering great results to your clients...
But when the agreement comes up for renewal, they decide not to. Another way to look at this is keeping a high "client retention" rate or percentage. And it's right to question client attrition numbers, because something is clearly wrong.
High client retention rates and long relationships better yet---ever-expanding ones---are key to a thriving business. So today I'm tackling the topic of client retention head on. I’m sharing the TOP 5 Reasons Clients REALLY Leave (regardless of what they say to our faces), and how to deal with them in your business.
Another practical and action-packed show, so let's do this!
(Show notes and resources over at https://corbinlinks.com/cls051)
It's Milestone Time!
The Corbin Links Show has just hit its 50th episode for this season. Season 1 ran 39 episodes, for a whopping 89 so far! I'm barreling toward a full 100 episodes!
And to celebrate the 50th episode of this season, I'm going to do something a bit special, which I'll share in just a few minutes.
But for now, the topic at hand is how to filter and prescreen your clients. So often, we worry about whether or not a client will choose us. And just as often, we think these decisions are related to price, economics, politics, the weather---whatever is handy. I want to flip your thinking. Instead, I want you to be thinking about qualifying those select people who CAN and SHOULD work with you.
(Hint: the answer isn't "everyone". But the RIGHT ones.)
Today is another 5-point framework for filtering and screening clients to preserve your time, and boost your income. Sound like a plan?
Full show notes and resources available at https://corbinlinks.com/cls050
I don't do many interviews on this show, but today is one exception...
The Corbin Links Show is joined by Dr. Stephen Hobbs, a true change agent who brings a "wellth" of experience in the areas of:
- Interpersonal Communication
- Organizational Behavior and Dynamics
- Change Management
- How to create a truly creative and effective workplace
- How to Be a More Effective Coach and Consultant
- Models for Rapid and Total Company Transformation
Well, I'll let the interview speak for itself. So get ready to get inspired, pick up some new tools for your consulting and coaching toolkit, and take notes.
Get show notes, resources and links from today's episode at https://corbinlinks.com/cls049
Let's say a company hires you to support a big, really big project or program...
You’re all excited, and at first, it looks promising. There's a "new vision" at your client site, approved budget for whatever you’re hired to do, and even support from the C-suite and the full board.
All seems good.
But as you start the project, you quickly find that there are a few dissenting voices who REALLY REALLY REALLY don’t want your project to succeed. Maybe even kill it themselves, if they can.
Or they can't kill the project, at least sabotage it and make it look bad, so that their competing effort can look better. You get the idea. Today’s feature segment is aptly titled “How to Sink Project Torpedoes” and it’s spawned on by a question I received some time ago from listener Garrett---though it comes up a lot with our big-biz consulting clients.
I’m going to give you a 6-Point-Framework for dealing with project torpedoes, stalls, and challenges and suggest exact steps for these situations. You can take these steps, add them to your bat belt or consulting solutions box for future use.
PLUS a deep dive on the dreaded "change order"--and when to use it to your advantage.
Lots to share so let’s dive right in… Show notes: https://corbinlinks.com/cls048
It seems like every podcast, post, article, social media message these days pitches the siren song of "leave your clients." Take your business online, and never have to do client work again.
Or how about this: "I decided to get out of the client business altogether and do products only."
Is that really why we get into coaching and consulting? I don't know about you, but client work and helping other IS why for me. We built up a business this way and products and other goodies came much much later.
That said, I want to address a few points in today's show. Mainly:
1. Why client work, vs. product development, or something else entirely?
2. Are you really tired of client work, or is it something else?
3. The 5 key factors ALL high-achievers at some point in the journey, and how specifically to deal with each one.
4. Do you have obligations to your clients beyond mere contracts?
5. Is there really any such thing as a “customer-free” or “client-free” business?
6. What some of the biggest product creators in the world still do…
And much more.
Another fully-packed show, so let's get to it!
Full show notes for today’s episode available at:
Productivity-boosting strategies from a recent VIP Mondays Rock Letter.
Full show notes and resources: https://corbinlinks.com/cls046
Got something totally different today! In this special “Mondays Rock” edition of The Corbin Links Show, I’m reading a full copy of a recent VIP-only "Mondays Rock Letter".
But Corbin, what the hell is a “Mondays Rock” letter anyway?
Stay tuned, and I’ll share how to get yours for free, week after week.
Here’s the intro from the letter...
...(Note to self: No one liked the "Speed Kills" headline from last week. Maybe a bit too negative.... This is a slightly updated version of last Mondays Rock letter.) Last weekend, I was reminded of a powerful object lesson in speed, productivity, and results… …
Tune in for the rest of the story!
Show notes and resources: https://corbinlinks.com/cls046
Complete show notes: https://corbinlinks.com/cls045
I’ve been discussing books a LOT with my inner circle and VIP members lately. One of my bucket goals this year was to read a minimum of 25 books.
I've read 11 so far, and have a good shot at 25. But it got me to thinking: what are some of the most impactful books I’ve personally read?
I mean, I’ve read a LOT of great books, mostly non-fiction with a few fiction here and there.
Many of the hundreds of books I’ve read over the years were entertaining, and almost all have something to take away. But there are a select few that impact my life and / or business in some way, each and every day. So my top 10 must-read (or listen) business and self-development books is the topic today.
Lots to talk about, so let’s hit it!
Complete show notes: https://corbinlinks.com/cls045
It’s the height of political campaign seasons here in the states, and what better time to dive into the world of business and client office politics.
I’m a firm believer in the old adage of keeping religion and politics out of business discussion. BUT—business and client office politics themselves are a different matter. Many of us would rather not deal or “play” politics at the office. And if you ask most organizations today, they’ll insist their companies “aren’t political.”
But the fact is, wherever you have people and multiple interests in the same place, you have politics. More so in the business world. And as consultants, coaches, and service providers, we’re exposed to client office politics if we spend any real time with them. (which is most of us). We may even be awkwardly brought into the middle of political internal project or turf battles between competing projects and departments. In extreme cases, our work and services may even be used as leverage points between two or more competing factions.
So today I’m sharing 6 Strategies to Win at Client Office Politics. This episode has been a long time in coming and I’m super pumped to share it with you.
Let’s dive in!
Show notes and resources: https://corbinlinks.com/cls044
I was recently chatting with a coaching client who asked me about tech skills. She didn’t consider herself very computer literate or technically savvy, and wanted advice on what tech skills to focus on. It’s a great question, and something I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while.
Today is that day!
There are literally endless business and tech skills to learn when starting and running your own business. I’m cutting through the clutter and focusing ONLY on those tech-related areas you need right now.
FYI, this is NOT by a complete list by any stretch of the imagination. But, it should get the ball rolling.
What You Will Learn
Let’s do it!
Show notes and complete resource list available at:
The long-overdue, money segment is here!
If you’ve been with the show for a while (thank you), or brand new (welcome!), you’ve heard a lot about clients this, business that, and productivity that.
But what about cost containment? After all, 3 ways to improve the bottom line:
1. Spend less
2. Make more
3. Make more AND spend less (which is usually an inverse relationship, and topic for another time)
We’ve talked all about the “make more” part. (No worries—I’ll be coming back to that again and again.)
Today is about the “spend less” side of the equation. Really successful businesses have a LOT coming in, and make sure it’s ALWAYS more than what’s going out.
I know, I know…we all think we know this---but the majority of new businesses, and especially startup business, operate on the “let’s stay in the red long enough to build a business, then shoot into the black.” Honestly, sometimes that DOES work. But mostly—not so much. And since we’re ALL about building a strong, well-founded business from day one, that includes strong cost management and cost containment.
So get out your virtual ledgers, notebooks, and comfy earbuds and let’s hit it!
Full show notes: https://corbinlinks.com/cls042
Sitting down with a new coaching client the other day, she asked me what I would do over or differently in my business today, if starting over from scratch.
Great question, and one that forced me to think on it quite a bit There are a couple parts to this. I got a mini-taste of this during my “business crash” phase in 2009, which I talked about in episode CLS006. That is one of the true must-listen episodes of The Corbin Links Show, as it deals with existing businesses who need to restart-get “re-profitable” and fast. (Will link to it in the show notes.)
There was a key difference back in our 2009 mini-crash: we HAD an existing business, with foundation, structure, systems, it was just severely wounded. Not quite the same as today’s scenario.
Today, I'm talking completely clean slate “do-over”. What would the new business look like? How is it different from today? What would I tell my pre-business self?
Partly, my CPI course was created for this very thing. It’s all about getting a solid, profitable business up and running quickly. BUT, each person and business situation is different, and mine would be a bit different from the current setup.
So there’s some backstory. No “What’s Been Happening” or promo segment today, I’m just going for the content.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Today I’m tackling another side of the virtual assistant business. And like any business—as with coaching or anything else—there’s great and not-so-great things about it. And since Tim Ferriss’ famous “4 Hour Work Week” came out, the Internet has been abuzz about virtual assistants.
But the concept goes back a LOT farther than that, pretty much to the dawn of the web itself. Many different names for it; remote worker, web guy or gal, contractor, etc. But all amounts to the same thing: someone who does work for you somewhere OTHER than your physical location.
And it seems attractive, this idea of outsourcing a lot of your tasks to virtual teams and workers. And it can be in many situations, IF you tightly manage it and are willing and able to put in the wok needed to get the right folks.
But if you’re new to working with virtual assistants, or maybe been hearing about it for years and thinking about taking the plunge, THIS is your podcast. I’ll share a few things to be aware of.
Now full disclaimer: our firm has worked with many virtual assistants in various capacities over the years. Despite the title, this is not a big negative on the VA business. I’ll share a few real world points without the internet marketing spin on it, and what our firm and many of our coaching clients have experienced in this area.
So grab a notebook and your favorite beverage (or pump up the volume if you’re running or working out) and let’s hit it!
Show notes and resources: https://corbinlinks.com/cls040
I’ve recently had a few ‘pick-my-brain’ type of requests, plus consultants asking me how they should handle it.
If you’re a coach, consultant, or any acknowledged expert—even if you’re not paid as an expert in that area—you WILL get approached by brain pickers, maybe a LOT of the time.
A brain picking request may take the form of something like:
“Hey, I’d love to get on a Skype / chat with you for a few minutes and pick your brain about XYZ.
Or, say “let’s grab coffee”, or “lunch”, or…
Some people at least are blatant about it, while others may bypass pleasantries altogether and hit you with questions.
Either way, it all amounts to the same thing: *free consulting* or coaching. But free devalues your time and resources, is disrespectful to you, and even more importantly — is not held in the same value / esteem by the person receiving it.
Sure, we’ve all heard the idea that people gain more value when there is skin in the game, be it their time, money, or both. And the same for us.
In today’s episode, we’ll tackle brain pickers head on, and share 6 common brain picker profiles, and 5 brain-picking responses you can use—right now, TODAY—to convert brain pickers to clients, or if not, save your valuable time for paying clients.
Lots to cover, so let’s roll!!!
Show notes: https://corbinlinks.com/cls039
Today, I have another special treat for you:
Priest Willis, Senior—successful entrepreneur, affiliate expert, founder of Affiliate Mission, and host of the Missions and Marketplace Podcast is in the house.
Priest has an interesting background, in some ways similar, and other ways very different from my previous guests. And he is chock full of actionable advice and strategies. Today’s interview covers the gamut topics such as:
And…and… well, check the show notes over at CorbinLinks.com/cls038 for full details. I’ll have a full list of “what you will learn” items over there.
So for now, let’s HIT IT!
Full show notes for this episode are available at
Today I’m super pumped to be joined by Jeffrey Goodman, international photographer, business consultant, speaker, and creator of the popular CareerHearted Essentials and Business Fundamentals courses.
In this longer-than usual, but power-packed episode, Jeffrey and I dive deep into topics of how to live life by your rules, not someone else’s, how to create transformation in you life and the lives of your clients, what seasons and business have in common (a whole new model), quotable and tweet able take-aways.
One of the many things I love about Jeffrey’s teaching style and material, is the way he uses lots of illustrations, stories, and metaphors to help the material sink in. Truly one of the best teachers you can come across.
This interview is a bit longer than some of my others, but it’s packed with actionable information for your life and business. So pull up your favorite beverage, grab a notepad (unless you’re running or driving…)
What You Will Learn
Full show notes and resources for this episode:
Are you a corporate or big-company employee thinking of going out on your own? Taking charge of your career and starting your own consulting or coaching business?
Think the whole thing sounds a bit scary and uncertain?
A listener pointed out to me that I’ve talked a lot about the details of starting and running a business, but not so much about what it’s like to do it.
What’s a day in the life? What are some of the biggest challenges in making the shift from the hourly or salary model, to the independent business model?
Important things to think about, and honestly, I didn’t give enough consideration when I got started either.
So in today’s episode, you’ll learn:
My goal is that after today’s episode, you’ll be crystal clear on your next step—whether staying where you are for now, or building your own business plan.
Ready? Let’s do this!
Over the past two seasons, I’ve featured brain hackers, productivity masters, growth hackers, one-page marketer maestros and now….one of the premier experts on startups and lean business.
Well, today I’m joined by none other than Ash Maurya, best-selling author of “Running Lean” and his upcoming book “Scaling Lean” due out in mid June.
Ash’s work has been featured in…well, pretty much anywhere and everywhere in the startup and lean business space. Ash is considered a go-to expert in the area and teaches principles from his books, businesses, and workshops to entrepreneurs all around the world.
I’m super-pumped to have the opportunity to talk with Ash today! Grab a notepad and your favorite beverage (unless you’re running or driving or something) and join me for the interview.
Let’s hit it!
Today is a special “Classics Wednesday”, where I roll a popular must-listen episode of The Corbin Links Show.
Today’s season one classic is one of the most popular episodes ever—something all consultants and coaches can relate to. Most of us are not just in it for the money of course. We actually want to see our clients get BIG results from our coaching sessions. Our tools, methods, and materials, and advice.
But what happens when clients either ignore our advice, or do something contrary? Frustrating isn’t it? But more than that, some clients may even lay blame at the consultant's door when they follow something contrary to advice?
That’s the theme. This episode was originally published as “6 Ways to Increase Acceptance of Your Consulting Solutions”. I’m rolling the full thing in its entirety.
Oh! One other thing: if you’re brand-new to the show, you might not know The Corbin Links Show was originally called “Bangin’ Your Business”. Don’t let that throw you when the show rolls…
I’ll be back next week with a brand-new show and bonus interview.
Let’s hit it!
And now for something completely different…
Lately I’ve been getting all
sorts of letters about my trademark. Some are from lawyers wanting
to charge money for “services”.
I get others from different countries and individuals wanting thousands of dollars or other currency to ‘register’ there. But I’ve had a trademarked logo for 3 years in the US. Some of the letters look really official, but I’m not sure. Should I just ignore them?
Andrea, excellent question. You’re prompting me to do an episode on something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time: trademark predators.
Anyone who trademarks anything here—at least in the States—goes on public record. And, due to freedom of information acts and related legislation, anyone around the world can seemingly tie into this public data and use it to extort legit business owners.
We get a bunch of correspondence on our trademarks too, and I have a few choice opinions to share on the whole thing.
Let me preface today’s topic by saying first and foremost: I am NOT a trademark attorney, and do not represent a law firm. Everything I’m sharing today is for research purposes only, and based on our direct experience, that of our clients, and research.
So without further ado, let’s dive headlong into the world of trademark pirates, trawlers, and predators.
I’m combining a couple related questions this week.
One is from Rachel, who asks if she needs good credit to build a business.
The other is from Roman who wants to know if he should bother with a Dun and Bradstreet “DUNS” number.
Both great questions, and very closely related!
Business credit is a concern for us all, whether just starting out, or you’ve been in it for years. It’s a huge topic, but I’m going right for the heart of the matter today.
The topic of general business credit and Dun and Bradstreet are so tightly linked, especially here in the States and elsewhere that it makes sense to cover both in the same place.
What You’ll Learn:
- Do you need business credit, and if so how much? How “good” should it be?
- 3 Ways to Build Business Credit NOW
- How does Dun and Bradstreet play into the mix?
- Do you need a data universal number system or DUNS number?What is it anyway?
- And so much more.
Lots to cover, so let’s just do this thing!
Full details, resources, and show notes: https://corbinlinks.com/cls032
It's questions and ACTIONS Friday!
Today's question comes from Chandra, who writes:
“I hear a lot of people talking about "six figures" this and that in their coaching business. Is that really the goal? Are five-figures good?”
Great one Chandra!
We've even used the "multiple six figures" number in some of our marketing. And you're right, a lot of various businesses use that phrase or number, especially with online marketing, coaching, and business-building.
And like any other metric or indicator (which is really all it is), there are a LOT of different ways of looking at it. For me, the danger becomes using some number as a yardstick to measure yourself against someone else. For example, someone starting at 0 and reaching penny over cost to become profitable, the numbers may look a whole lot different, then to someone who's been around and struggling for 5 years.
I've even seen some recent backlash against using numbers at all; while there are others who wonder what the heck six figures will even DO for you in today's world (especially those who live in super high-cost areas.) Lots of different perspectives, all over the map.
To me, it's all metrics. So I'll tackle your question today by talking:
Lots to cover so let's do this!!