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The Grateful Entrepreneur with Scott Colby
Scott, how are you?
I am doing amazing. It is great to be talking to you and your audience.
It’s great to have you on. I’m excited about this interview. I got a copy of your book. Thank you for sending me a copy.
You’re welcome. I want to get that book into as many hands. It was a pleasure to be able to send that to you.
I want to kick things off rapid fire. I have five questions so that my audience can get to know you a little bit. What is one of your favorite quotes?
One of my favorite quotes is, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” I love that. For me, it has held true throughout my life, especially in my working and business life. I feel that I have to step out of my comfort zone, whether it’s physically or mentally or just making a move. To make good things happen, you’ve got to get uncomfortable.To make good things happen, you've got to get uncomfortable. Click To Tweet
I know you’ve made some big moves, so I want to circle back to that up. What is one of your superpowers?
One of my superpowers is cultivating community. I used to live in Dallas and ran a women’s only boot camp. My business is primarily online. Through my online programs, I’ve witnessed the friendships that are built to the communities that I’ve started. I’ll give you a great example. Two people that have taken my online coaching program, they live in different states but they’ve become friends and they’ve done my adventure trips. They just got back from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro together. For me, that’s a special thing that they made the choice to do that, but they wouldn’t have known each other had it not been for the community that I built. I’ve had a lot of different examples of things like that and I love it.
What are your three favorite books?
Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie, the Founder of TOMS Shoes company. That book got me thinking about doing good in my business and giving back. That was a big one. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod has helped me establish my morning routine. Gratitude is a big part of my morning routine, as well as exercise and meditation. That helps put me first and doing something good for myself before I dive into my work. There are a lot of different directions I can go with the third one. I love Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler. He lived with a Navy SEAL for 30 straight days and did all kinds of crazy workout. I’ve read that book twice, and both times it helps me get off my butt and get me into the gym and work out even harder than I had been.
I got to hear Jesse speak at an event in Vegas and he is phenomenal. His stories of entrepreneurship and the rapping and where he grew up was mind-blowing. Not to mention he’s married to Sara Blakely of Spanx. It’s a power couple right there. What’s been one of your greatest lifetime achievements?
One of my greatest lifetime achievements was going to Guatemala. It’s a story that I talk about often. The achievement was to help built schools. I traveled to Guatemala not knowing the language and not knowing anybody. I volunteered through an organization called Hug It Forward. I was witnessing a different culture and getting out of my comfort zone and going to a third world country not knowing what to expect. I was witnessing the community that they have there in the village that I was building the school and the gratitude they have. They don’t have much in it. It struck a chord with me. One of the catalysts for me starting my gratitude business when I got back was seeing how grateful the community was over there in Guatemala.
You’re the guy behind the gratitude business and the book, The Grateful Entrepreneur. What are you grateful for?
It’s my friends. I feel that as I get older and move to different locations, sometimes it’s hard to make friends and the connection. You can feel isolated as an entrepreneur, but all it takes is going out and having a conversation with one. Even just having a conversation with you makes me feel good. It gives me new energy. I’m very grateful for friends.
Let’s keep the energy going. I did some research on you. Scott Colby, The Abs Expert. Talk to me about that because as I looked you up, that came out and women transformation. Talk to us about that journey of where that took you and where you are now with the book on gratitude and this whole gratitude business that you have created.
The Abs Expert came about when I started up in the fitness industry. I was running boot camps in Dallas, but I wanted more. I wanted more than my life. I wanted more flexibility and freedom. I wanted to take my business online and be able to move to a place like Colorado, which is where I am now. I built a list of following in the community and I would ask them, “What’s your single biggest challenge when it comes to fitness?” Most of the time, the answer was something to do with abs. They’re like, “I want to lose belly fat. I want six-pack abs.” I coined myself as the ad expert and developed a whole platform and a blog around getting nice looking abs. That was the pinnacle in reaching a fitness goal. Fast forward, my business transformed online, I ended up in 2012 developing a group coaching program called Fit For Photos. It was by accident. I needed to get my own button gear when it came to my physical health. I was trying to think of what I can do to stay motivated myself. Here I am a fitness professional, but I often let my goals slide. I’m the type of person like, “I want six-pack abs, but why don’t I have it yet?” I need something to motivate me to stick with my own fitness goals.
In early 2012, as I was working out in a local gym here in Denver, my trainer at the gym was working with a lot of fitness enthusiasts who wanted to train for a competition and get on stage. I was like, “I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to strut my stuff. What could I do to stick with my goals that are very similar to that?” I thought of a photo shoot. Long story short, I scheduled a photo shoot and it went well. I scheduled it for three months in advance and it went well. As I was talking to a friend and a business coach, she advised me, “You’ve got to develop a brand around that.” I developed a coaching program called Fit For Photos. That’s where my fitness career led to at the same time I was running adventure trips. Every year I’d run an adventure trip where I would help people get out of their comfort zone. We would come together and go to a nice vacation destination. We would do all of these adventure activities to get people out of their comfort zone. I was helping people transform more than their physical life, but also their relationships and their careers by doing things that they were afraid to do. That made me feel good. I started to think, “There’s more to me and to where I want my life and business to go than just telling people how to exercise and how to eat well.”
Fast forward to 2014, I took this trip to Guatemala, and I found and learned how much gratitude could play a role in people’s lives. It could play a role in your physical life and in your fitness because if you’re feeling down, depressed and not grateful, that might affect your activity level and what you’re choosing to eat. It can transform what you do in your life over the long haul, and it can lead to more energy, happiness and things like that. As I returned back to Colorado from Guatemala, I started to become aware like, “There’s a lot of complaining in this world whether I’m passing somebody on the street and they’re looking down and they’re not smiling. They’re on their phone or just scrolling through Facebook.” There’s a lot of negativity so I decided to develop a brand around gratitude. My goal initially was to be life is good for gratitude. I wanted to make t-shirts and thank you cards and things like that. It’s developed to a different spot, but that’s how I was known as The Abs Expert for and now known towards my gratitude.
I want to touch base on the adventure. A part of your brand is called Unplug & Play where it’s the adventure. It’s getting out of the business and focusing on you. You hit on a point where things people are afraid to do. In this Unplug & Play, what are you noticing? What are people afraid to do? What are some of the things that were holding them back or were afraid to do for whatever reason?It's our minds that play tricks on us and tell stories that hold us back. Click To Tweet
I love my adventure trips. They weren’t always unplugged. About a few years ago, I started to think, “We would all go out and have fun and do all these adventures and then in the evening, everybody would be on their phones uploading pictures or doing some work.” I was like, “That’s not what I want.” A few years ago, I made them unplugged. We don’t use any technology and it deepens the connection and the experience that we have. The two most common fears that people have had on the adventure trips are physical fears of water or heights. With water, oftentimes depending on where our adventure trip is located and what season it is, we might go whitewater rafting.
I’ve had some people come on the trip that is so anxious before getting into the raft. They work themselves up into having almost an anxiety attack because they have a fear of the unknown. They’re creating a story in their head that says, “I’m going to fall out and drown and this is going to be the last moment I have on this earth.” That’s the story they’re telling themselves. Because they’ve never experienced it before, it’s something that they’re thinking. It’s cool to witness them getting into the raft. Even though there might be a couple of tears at the beginning that they’ve got to work up, they ended up having a wonderful time.
I have two stories with the raft. One, I had a lady that was so scared and she didn’t want to do it. She did it. She goes back home and signs up for swimming lessons. She was scared of all kinds of water, not just whitewater. She took swimming lessons and got through that fear in her life, which was awesome. I had another woman, Debbie, a longtime client of mine. She was very fearful. She said, “I have to go in a raft.” She was so afraid of falling out. As we go through the whitewater rafting experience, one person fell out of the raft and it ended up being me. We laughed about that afterwards.
It’s the stories that people are telling in their head. It’s even been my story too because at one of our adventure trips, we had the opportunity to jump off a 30-foot cliff into the Colorado River. I was like, “No way. I am not doing that. This just isn’t me. It’s not something I do.” I ended up doing it and it felt like I could do anything. Tony Robbins has you walk on hot coals. This was jumping off a 30-foot cliff and after I did it, it felt like a real breakthrough like, “I can do that.” If I’m afraid to write a book, I can do that now because I know what’s possible. If I’m afraid to ask a girl out, I know I can because I know what’s possible. It’s our minds that play tricks on us and tell those stories. That’s what holds a lot of people back.
For you, making that transition from Fit For Photos online and transitioning to writing the book and going down from that trip back from Guatemala and writing that book and the whole gratitude brand, for you, what was the story as you were moving into this new brand or into this new business? It had to be scary. You’re giving up something you’re totally comfortable at and amazing at to explore this new venture and possibility. What was the story you were going through at that time? What was the story you were telling yourself? How did you work through that story?
With any new venture, there might be stories and some fears and some things we have to overcome. I had developed a good online program, Fit For Photos. It’s like, “I’m comfortable here. I’m making money. I’m online. I’m living in Colorado. Why change that? Why mess that up?” It’s the same thing when I lived in Dallas and I was running boot camps. I’ve got a great clientele. I ran boot camps for five and a half years. Why should I move to Colorado and move my business online? Sometimes it takes me a while. It’s not that the transition is instantaneous. It takes people, your community, your tribe, coaches and friends that you can talk through things with.
When I got back from Guatemala, I was reading The Miracle Morning and it was right after that, I started to think more and more about gratitude and hearing more about it and liking the brand. Life is good and wanting to emulate. I was like, “I want to do what life is good as doing.” I don’t want to just sit back here and listen to people’s excuses on why they didn’t do the workout and things like that. The business I built started to not feel good for me and I’m always surrounding myself with goodness, positivity and feeling good. I want to feel good about what I’m creating and putting out into this world and the impact that I am creating.
All of those push me to the point where I’m like, “I can slowly start to build this brand.” It did take my champions, my tribe and my people that I know that are going to be there for me. I started a low-risk venture in that and I was like, “I’m going to start by making thank you cards.” It’s not like having to put $100,000 into a product and development and research and things like that. It was low-risk and I started with a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. I was like, “I’m just going to put a modest goal out there of $10,000. I’ll ask everybody I know to help support it and promote it.” The thing that helps me and I know you do a great job of this when you put together your live event RISE is you’re teasing people of like, “Here’s the speaker or here’s who we’re looking at for as a keynote speaker. Here’s where we’re looking for a venue.”
You’re building that anticipation and you’re getting some good feedback and some positive reinforcement. I did the same thing. It tested it out there like, “I’m getting kids from Guatemala to draw the artwork for my card. Here’s one of the drawings.” I hold it up and ask on Facebook, “What do you think?” It’s not that you get them to give you, but you put something up and you see what kind of feedback you get. If you get positive feedback, that makes you feel good and it urges you to continue like, “I’m going to do this again and take that next step.” It’s about taking some small steps, surrounding yourself with good people and teasing people what you have coming up and people love that.
When you have a for purpose business to tease them about where you put a Fund Me account up there and it wasn’t a Fund Me for some random thing. It was like, “These are the kids in Guatemala that impacted my life. They’re doing the artwork. To help support them, I’m creating this business.” I want to talk about the Guatemala trip because it had a huge impact on your life. It changed the direction of where you’re headed. Talk to us about that. What was the trip for? What is it about? Was it something you did on your own? Talk to us about the trip.
I was at a place in my life where I was like, “I want to go somewhere and help kids.” It was as simple as that as far as the initial thought. Probably some of that stemmed from reading Start Something That Matters, which is the book that I mentioned about Blake Mycoskie starting TOMS Shoe company. There’s another book, The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun book on pencils of promise where he built schools in third world countries. Those books will get you thinking about, “What else could you be doing with your life?” I wanted to have an experience where I was working with kids hands-on and not make a donation somewhere.
I wanted to help them and visit a community and see what their lives were like living there. I decided on Guatemala and found an organization that called Hug It Forward and they’re awesome. They built schools out of plastic bottles. Not only some communities in Guatemala had an educational issue but they also have an environmental issue. There’s trash everywhere. They would get to the community if a community wanted a school built by Hug It Forward facilitating it. They’re getting a school or classroom built with plastic bottles. The community will have to be invested so they’ll go out and pick up all those trashes including about 10,000 plastic bottles. They’ll stuff the plastic bottles with inorganic trash until it’s hard as a brick. They call that an eco-brick.We’re connected through our phone, but we're disconnected through community, love, and gratitude. Click To Tweet
Imagine 10,000 plastic bottles as hard as a brick. They will fit them into a chicken wire that they put up and then put cement over the bottles and then paint them. That’s how they built their classroom. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I just saw the pictures beforehand and I looked at the reviews like, “This sounds good. I’m going to sign up.” As we were taking the bus from the hotel to the community where we were going to be building the schools, I was sitting on the bus with 25 other volunteers. I didn’t have any idea who they were. We were all strangers. Some of them were family members that had come together, but I didn’t know anybody.
I was sitting on the bus and we were getting ready to pull up to the site where we were going to build the new classroom and what I witnessed shocked me. The whole community was there to greet us. I stepped off the bus and I can remember two lines of people from the bus going all the way back at least 100 yards. Imagine the length of a football field. They were all cheering and there was music playing. They had American flags and they were clapping. I was walking between the two lines of people and I felt so much love. I was like, “This is an odd feeling. I’ve never felt this outpouring of love and support in the years that I’ve lived in Denver.” Here’s a complete stranger, a community in a different country than I live in and they’re making me feel like a rock star or a movie star. It’s as if I’m the best thing in the world.
They were so appreciative of me and the other volunteers being there. Over the week that I was there, what I noticed were these two words: gratitude and community. They all came out to build the schools too, whether it was kids or parents or grandparents. They were there to help facilitate one goal and that was to build this classroom. I felt like, “I don’t see this that much where I live in the United States, but I’m feeling so much love there. When I got back, how can I bring some of that love back with me and express it in a manner where I’m helping people feel good through gratitude?” I became hyper-aware of all the complaining that we do and even myself.
It gets me thinking, “I have nothing to complain about. Just remember these kids that don’t have much clean water back in Guatemala. They didn’t have much food. They don’t have any of the technology we have. They don’t have iPhones or any of those smartphones that we take for granted. They had families of ten to twelve sleeping in a single rundown room home where many of them were sleeping on the floor. I’ve got a bed.” It was a negative one when I went out to work out. I have nothing to complain about because I have a warm home. I started to shift my attitude and I wanted to bring that attitude to others. That’s what got my wheel spinning and starting Say It With Gratitude.
That trip was so impactful to you that it completely changed you. You came back and you started becoming hyper-aware of the negativity around you in a world that’s so divided right now. It’s connected but disconnected. We’re connected through our phone, but we’re disconnected through community and love and gratitude. How does someone live in gratitude? How does someone start doing that?
I believe it takes more than just writing down what you’re grateful for. You said a great phrase that I want to use which is to live in gratitude. How do you do that? It starts with creating an attitude of gratitude. First of all, there are different ways to practice gratitude. It’s got to become a habit. Once it becomes a habit, it can become an attitude and a real way of living. For you to do that, it takes a lot of practice. It’s easy to be grateful when things are going well. How do you be grateful when you have a hard time paying next month’s rent or you have an illness or you have a death in your family? How do you become grateful in those times? That’s when the shift can occur if you can find gratitude when things are either positive or negative.
There are a lot of ways you can express gratitude. Writing down any journal is great. It’s something that I do. You can take it deeper than you might be taking it. You might be going through the motions of like, “What are three things I’m grateful for now?” You write those three things down. It might be your job, your house and your wife. You go to the next page the next day and like, “What are three things you’re grateful for?” You aren’t living in gratitude. You’re just doing a surface level gratitude. When you asked me, what am I grateful for and I mentioned friends. I mentioned that as we’re older and we’re entrepreneurs, it’s hard to keep those friendships and the connections. A conversation like this can boost my energy.
I went deeper into gratitude. I didn’t just say I’m grateful for friends. I told you why friends, conversation and connection mean a lot to me. I started to feel it and get excited talking about that and answering your question about what I’m grateful for. When you can do that yourself, when you can say, “I am grateful for my significant other. I had a bad day at work and when I came home, my significant other asks me how my day was. She or he listened to me. We had dinner on the table. They knew my back was sore, so they rubbed my back. They made me feel good.” When you can start saying why you’re grateful for things and not just what or who you’re grateful for, you’re going to start acknowledging people and feeling it and going a little bit deeper in your gratitude.
Another great book that I read is called FLIP The Gratitude Switch by Kevin Clayson. He writes all about what I mentioned on how can you find gratitude when times are bad. It might be something big. It might be something trivial, but we make it big. An example I remember him bringing up is like, “We’re stuck in traffic. We ramped and we get mad and we feel ourselves getting angry.” That can change our mood. It can change how we perform work or how we converse with our friends or family members or significant others or whatever. It can spiral your day out of control if you’re stuck in traffic and you let it get to you. What can you do to flip that gratitude switch and start thinking of the positives of being stuck in work?
One, you have a car that works. Not everybody has a car. They might have to walk everywhere or take public transportation. Number two, maybe you live in a nice place like Colorado and you have scenery around you that you can enjoy. Maybe you have a passenger in your car, a friend or a family member that you don’t get to spend a lot of time with and the extra ten minutes in the car allows you to have a meaningful conversation with them. Maybe you just put on your podcasts and listened to them in the car and you get jazzed up. You make your car a personal development tool or an environment. Maybe you turn on your favorite songs.
Those are ways that you can start to think about, “I’m turning negative into positive and I’m going to keep my mood on a higher level.” It takes practice. We all have times where things are going wrong. Even me, I have to consciously step back and think, “Is this the end of the world? If I run out of money, is it the end of the world for me? I have got parents that love me and could support me if I needed.” Start to think about, “Things may not be good, but what do you have that is good around you that can help out that situation?”
The biggest takeaway from how to live with gratitude is one, it starts with you. It’s almost reframing the situation to see what is the positive inside this negative and not letting the negative impact you. It starts with us. If you lead a team, how do you lead with gratitude?When you are using and leading with gratitude, you're showing that you care about people. Click To Tweet
Leading with gratitude and is one of my focuses now in my business. Back when I started after college, I had a job in Vail, Colorado. I remember specifically that I was called in again for a 90-day review. It was a nine-month position. My supervisor proceeded to tell me everything that I wasn’t doing right. He’s not giving me praise or appreciation for the things that I had brought to the company. It’s like, “You can do this better.” I left there thinking, “This sucks. Is this how the next 40 years of my life is going to be like in the working world? Getting criticized for everything that I did and made to feel not good enough or that I wasn’t doing good enough?”
That stuck with me and it’s great that I have come back full circle now and I help companies use appreciation in the workplace. When you are using and leading with gratitude, you’re showing that you care about people. That’s what it comes down to, whether it’s your clients and customers, whether it’s your team members or whether it’s your vendors. It’s showing that you are putting their interests at heart. It’s not like, “You’re going to work on Christmas because we’re going to make a little bit of extra money as a company.” It’s realizing that family is important. As a business, we need to be together with the family and making an extra few bucks isn’t going to be what we stand for. We’re going to be a company that leads and has gratitude as one of our core values.
It’s treating people as human beings and not as a transaction and also thinking about, “I’m not going to tell somebody when they did something right.” I’m leading a team with gratitude. I’m not just going to say, “Good job for finishing the report.” I’m going to express appreciation on a regular basis. Maybe they didn’t finish a job correctly, but maybe there’s something about their personality or their character that I do love about them. It’s like, “You always make me smile or laugh. I love it that you have a great sense of humor. You make the office feel good. Thank you so much.”
Start doing those types of things in your company and that’s the first step in leading with gratitude. I won’t get too deep into it, but there’s actually The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, which is a spinoff book of The 5 Love Languages. The 5 Languages are the same as The 5 Love Languages, but they’re applied to the workplace instead of personal relationships. Almost 50% of people prefer words of affirmation in the workplace. If you don’t know how your team likes to feel appreciated, you can start there and start using your words to make people feel appreciated, whether it’s verbally or maybe you were uncomfortable doing that. You can write them handwritten notes and give that to them and they’re going to feel good. That’s a surface level touching on the beginning of how you can start leading with gratitude.
That book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace was huge light when I read. I read The 5 Love Languages and then I realized that there’s one for work. Leading a team of 25 trainers, each of them had a different love language. Affirmations was a big one. Some of them like gifts and some of them like high fives. You have to be careful because of other HR stuff. At the end of the day, the response I started getting back and the appreciation in the workplace that I started getting back because I was recognizing how they like to be communicated to was huge.
You mentioned that it starts with you. Personal gratitude starts with you, but also maybe gratitude in the workplace starts with you. You might have a boss or a CEO that’s not in tune with this appreciation stuff. Sometimes you can’t wait for them to be like, “Now we’re going to have an appreciation program.” It might be just something that you start to do in your work environment. You can take the lead even if you’re not the head of the company. You can still take the initiative to show appreciation to your coworkers and even your supervisors and that’s leading by example and it might catch up.
You mentioned writing notes and thank you cards. It was on your Facebook. You mentioned the resurrection of the thank you card. It’s something so simple but has such a deep impact and appreciation. Why are you such an advocate now of resurrecting the thank you card?
When I was a little kid and I would get Christmas gifts, my mom would say, “Write a thank you letter to grandma and grandpa and aunts and uncles.” I was writing all these thank you letters after getting Christmas gifts or birthday gifts when I was a kid. I thought it was a chore then. As I started to grow my fitness business a few years ago and thinking, “I want to make my clients feel good. What’s one way that I can do that?” That’s different. You go to a grocery store or a drug store and you see an aisle of cards. Cards are pretty prominent, but in the business world, cards aren’t very prominent.
It’s very rare that you get a card from a company after you do business with them, whether it’s a dentist or a place that you bought a product from. You rarely get a card in the mail. Sometimes when I run my business, I start to think, “What can I do as a business owner that nobody else is doing or very few people are doing where there’s maybe a competitive advantage if I send out a card?” As I grew my fitness business, I started thinking, “Not only am I sending my clients some cards and they’re feeling good because they don’t get cards in the mail and I’m sending them the cards.” I started thinking, “This is the way to stand apart from other fitness businesses. If nobody else in the local area is sending out cards and I am, why would they want to take their business elsewhere?”
I started to see it as not only good practice just to be a good human. It’s a good humanizing practice, but also a marketing tool to retain my clients longer and get more referrals. When I started to say it with gratitude, I started to think, “What is one way I could start this business?” There are a lot of gratitude journals out there. I thought about that for a little bit, but then I thought, “I use thank you cards in my own fitness business. Why don’t I start with a line of thank you cards?” We crave connection and we’re more connected, but we’re disconnected. We have these surface-level connections. We have 5,000 Facebook friends, but we only know about 40 of them personally or maybe a little bit more. I think that thank you card has a way of bridging that gap in this digital age that we’re craving for. We crave for some connection and a card can do that. There’s one thing to send an email or a text message or even a phone call, but what about getting a handwritten note in the mail, which is so rare?
When you go to your mailbox and you see that you’ve got a card and you read the note and it expresses some sentiment to you, you feel good. The person that wrote it feels good. For a business advantage, it offers you a little bit of a competitive advantage because not too many companies are doing this. I hope more will because I’m spearheading this. Sometimes people snap pictures. I remember people would snap pictures of my cards when I was a fitness trainer. They were like, “My personal trainer sent me a card.” They would post it on Facebook. It’s cool when that happens. I hope cards and other ways to deepen a connection can start to take off.
That’s something we did every month as a team. I bought a whole box of thank you cards. Each trainer picked a client and they wrote a thank you card to that client and we mailed it out. It’s like, “Thank you. I appreciate it.” They’ve told their friends and their friends were like, “Why would I work with your trainers?” Talking about marketing, you’re doing it from a place of thankful and gratitude, but it’s going to help grow your business without having to pour money into Facebook ads. It’s organically going to grow your business and you are right, a very small amount of people are doing it because either they’re not seeing it or they’re just not willing to invest the time into it.Personal gratitude starts with you. Click To Tweet
In your Facebook Ads, you can get a lot of reach, but it doesn’t create that connection. We know that business is built on relationships. A card has that way of building and deepening a relationship with that an ad can’t do.
I want to talk about the book, The Grateful Entrepreneur: 40 Gratitude Strategies to Build Relationships, Grow Your Business and Make More Money. Talk to us about the book. Where did the inspiration for the book come from? Can you share two or three of your favorite strategies that someone who’s reading can apply to their business?
The idea for the book came from Pat Rigsby. He’s been telling me to write a book for two years. It could’ve gone a lot of different directions with the book. The reason I wrote The Grateful Entrepreneur was that I wanted to steer my business into a direction where I was helping businesses. I thought I could grow my business and have it make more of an impact than just trying to write a book on how gratitude can change your life and selling packs of cards one by one. I was like, “I want to change the companies. There are companies that might be impacting thousands of people. If I can impact a company, the reach could be widespread.”
That’s why I focused the book on businesses and entrepreneurship. Pat Rigsby was the one who after about hundreds of time, I said, “I’m going to write the book.” As far as some of the strategies there, cards play a big role. Another strategy that I liked is the video. I’ve employed this both in my fitness business and in my gratitude business where you’re shooting a video. I would get people to sign up for my Fit For Photos program and I would make a 60-second personal video. It wasn’t a video that everybody was getting the same video. I will shoot it one by one, but they would take 30 to 60 seconds like, “Sally, my name is Scott. I’m a Fit For Photos coach. I just want to thank you for joining.” Giving a little bit of a personal connection through the video is big.
Anytime that they can see your face or hear your voice, that’s going to be huge versus sending an autoresponder email like, “Thanks for signing up. We begin on Monday.” I’ve done both manually where I’ve shot the video on my computer and uploaded it to YouTube and created a private link that just the person saw or their services now that make a little bit more automated and easier to do. Another one that is also video-related is called a Tribute. Their cool company interviewed the founder of the company and they allow you to create tribute videos. I’ll tell you how I use it at my company. My sister Jill used to work for my company when I was mainly doing Fit For Photos.
After a few years, she left and moved onto a different direction. I use the platform that tribute authors. What it does is it allows you to send the link to as many people as you want and say, “Jill is leaving the company. Create a 60 second or 30-second message on what she has meant to you while working for Fit For Photos. I had about 30 of my Fit For Photos clients create a 30 seconds video like, “Thanks, Jill. We’re going to miss you. Thanks for all you do.” Tribute creates a whole montage set to the music of everybody speaking and giving her acknowledgment and appreciation. I love that you could do it for somebody’s birthday or somebody who’s leaving the company or somebody that is doing a great job and is a great person.
The final one I’ll share with you is helping people with their stuff. One of my friends and colleagues launched her own book. Writing a review for her and promoting her book and helping her book launch because it feels good and I believe in her message and it’s the right thing to do. Help people even if they’re in your industry. Don’t see them as competitors. See them as somebody else that’s trying to do good in the world and they need your help. How can you help them? Write reviews and promote other people’s products and make connections. Be a connector for people. Those are just a few ways that I’ve written about in my book that you can show gratitude and grow your business.
Where can people get the book? I’m assuming it’s on Amazon.
I 100% agree with you with the video. I started doing that with RISE 2018. When somebody registered, I got a little ding and I used an app called Bonjoro. I would send you a quick 30-second video saying, “Welcome to RISE 2018. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the event. If you have any questions, let me know.” Emails are coming back like, “I wasn’t expecting that. This is different.” I’m so with you on the thank you cards and the quick little video messages. It’s those little things that we’re talking about, especially my guests who are gym owners, entrepreneurs and whatnot. How do I retain my clients? How do I create a different client experience? Those two things go a long way. I’ve got two more questions for you. Scott, what was your rise up moments? I ask every guest this one question. It doesn’t have to be one moment. It could be something happened a couple of moments. What was your rise up moment that put you on the direction that you are right now?
It was in the year 2000. I had lived in Dallas for two years. I hadn’t started my fitness business, but I wanted to get into the fitness industry. I was working on a children’s hospital in Dallas and I wanted to get into the fitness industry and start on my own while I had the opportunity to work for a small private gym in Phoenix. I chose where I wanted to live. I focused in on Arizona because I want warm weather and some outdoor recreation and things like that. I packed my bags and moved to Arizona in October 2000 and two months later, I got fired from my job. I was devastated because I had quit a well-paying full-time research job at the hospital to move to a state where I didn’t know anybody. I was essentially changing careers getting into the fitness industry. You get that moment of panicking like, “What am I going to do? My life is over. I had had a girlfriend at the time and I had left that relationship. What do I do now?” Now that I’m thinking about it, I took my own advice that I shared here. I started to be resourceful like, “Who do I have around me that can help me? What steps can I take?”
My parents were very helpful financially at that time. It showed me that I could take a chance and take a risk. Even if it doesn’t work out, I can come out of it better than I did if I didn’t take that chance. If I didn’t take that chance to move to Phoenix, I might still be working at that hospital nineteen years later. Without having that Guatemala experience, without creating adventure trips, without creating Say It with Gratitude and writing my book, it was all about getting out of my comfort zone and moving to a place. It didn’t work out initially. It was shortsighted. It looked like it didn’t work out, but I think it did in the long run. That was one of my defining moment because I feel that I’ve taken several chances since then that have led me to where I am right now.
What’s the one thing that the community or the Rise tribe can do to help spread your message? How can we help you spread your message?
My message is gratitude and treating people with kindness and appreciation. Any way that the community can get out there and cultivate relationships and whatever way you want to do. I am a big believer in cards; however, you want to cultivate relationships and remember everybody is a human being and they’re going through their own things. Let’s come together as a community and not against each other. Treat people with kindness and appreciation and cultivate those relationships and connection. Good things are bound to happen, not only to you the audience but in the world as a whole.
You’ve got my full support. I will be spreading your message as much as I can.
Thank you. You’re doing great things already. Thank you so much for being a pioneer here.
I appreciate it, thank you. I appreciate you noticing. That means a lot. I want to say thank you for taking the time to chat with me. Hopefully, our audience has got some great information and great go-tos now that you all can do in your business. Scott, thank you for coming on the show.
Thank you so much for having me.
It’s my pleasure. Take care. We’ll see you next time with a new episode.
- Scott Colby
- Start Something That Matters
- The Miracle Morning
- Living with a SEAL
- Hug It Forward
- Fit For Photos
- Unplug & Play
- The Promise of a Pencil
- FLIP The Gratitude Switch
- The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
- The 5 Love Languages
- The Grateful Entrepreneur: 40 Gratitude Strategies to Build Relationships, Grow Your Business and Make More Money
- Say It With Gratitude
About Scott Colby
In the summer of 2014, Scott Colby took a trip to Guatemala to help build schools with Hug It Forward that would change his life forever. During his time in Guatemala, he became close with both the students and parents of the students and was shocked by their overall positive demeanor.
Each family came from a place of struggle, having little access to clean water, not much food, and living in a small run down single room homes. However, their attitude towards life seemed to emphasize gratitude and graciousness and lacked the common negativity or “grass is always greener” mindset that we see here in America. They didn’t seem to care about material possessions (no iPhones or TV!); they were content with what they had and thrilled with their new school.
That trip to Guatemala left Scott feeling conflicted upon his return to Colorado. He couldn’t understand why the kids and parents in Guatemala seemed so happy, despite having so little, and yet a large percentage of people here in America struggle to feel even slightly content on a daily basis.