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We interview highly respected experts about business, management, marketing, relationships and self-improvement all in 20-minutes or less. New Podcasts air every Mon-Wed-Fri at 7am Eastern. David Brower is a 5-time Voice Arts Awards Nominee, his most recent was for this Podcast. There are over 300 episodes and counting. You can always find us at   https://www.davidbrowervo.com/your20minutepodcast/

Jul 31, 2017

Todd is a business and motivational speaker with a specialization in personal accountability and business accountability. He's also an ex-, expert in ego control and keeping things in proper perspective. Todd's received national speaker awards and spo-, spoke to more than 500 huge corporations, been sharing his perspective for, uh, since 2008 and has designed sales programs for more than 50 direct sales organizations.

Uh, he's got, uh, offered three book, authored three books, uh, "Think Thin, Feel Amazing", "Leverage Your Life", and your latest one, "Lose Your Ego, Gain the World". Boy, if that doesn't get your attention, I don't know what does.

TODD LEMENSE:               Oh yeah, thanks David. Yeah, my, my latest book is about, um, some of the struggles I had in business, um, not coming up but once I got successful, and how my ego destroyed every part of my life, my physical life, my financial life and, and all my relationships.

David Brower:                      I tell you what, and I don't know that it's primarily a male thing. You probably, undoubtedly, know better than I, but it sure seems like testosterone and ego cause a lot of problems when they're, uh, in high force.

TODD LEMENSE:               Uh, you know, I don't think it is mostly a male thing, but I, I can say this, I learned from my sales career that, um, one of the big rapport things is when you talk to women, you talk about their kids.

David Brower:                      Yeah.

TODD LEMENSE:               And when you talk to men you talk about their jobs. So, a lot of times, the two will find their significance, and, and that's not always right, but about 99% of the time it's right. So, men like to pound on their chest. So, we find a lot of our self worth in what we do and how much money we make. (laughs)

David Brower:                      Yeah. True story, true story. So, when you ... I'm intrigued by the accountability piece, because that, I mean, that encounters everything, whether it's business or relationships or kids or dogs or whatever. And how do you, how do you train that? Or how do you share that with people?

TODD LEMENSE:               Um, you want to be held accountable, and, and the reason, you know, in, in your personal life and your business life, is because you want to have control over it. Like, as, as humans we like to have control. And I think it really starts with honesty. Um, the people who are, who seem to be the most honest seem to be the most successful, and so if you can really be humble and, and, and, and be grateful for what you have and what you're good at, you'll go a lot ... You'll go a long ways.

David Brower:                      Gratitude's a big part of life, now isn't it?

TODD LEMENSE:               It is. You know, we forget. You know, a lot of times, you know, I get to talk to a lot of very successful people, and, you know, I have found that people who are really successful are not good self-evaluators because they've taken so much action ...

David Brower:                      Yeah.

TODD LEMENSE:               They don't really know what worked, and so anytime they start talking about ... And what they do always do is talk about how tough they have it, and every time they start down that road I always stop them and say, "Well, that's true, but I also want to hear about the blessings and the breaks that you've had and then the people that have helped you, because that is as much of the story as all the tough times."

David Brower:                      No question about it. I mean, if you can't ... I don't know. I'm a big fan of paying it forward, uh, counting my blessings and givi-, sharing gratitude where it belongs, and I think you're able to lift people that way, not only personally, but business wise.

TODD LEMENSE:               Absolutely.

David Brower:                      So, what's the biggest struggle you've found in, in sharing accountabitl-, accountability with, with people or businesses? Have, have you found people just kind of hitting their head against the wall and, "I have no idea what you're talking about"?

TODD LEMENSE:               Usually what it is is, "Oh, well, I have a lot of people at work who need that." You know? And, and what I try to say is I look at it like a grade school education. You know, David, you might be at Harvard in one subject, and I might be in the third grade.

David Brower:                      Right.

TODD LEMENSE:               You know? One, one, one of the problems I've had in business is is just, um, my emotional ... I'm an emotional person, and I, I can't seem to keep that at, at home I seem to bring that to work, and unfortunately I bring work to home too. So, that's just something I struggle with, and, and other people don't that problem. They, they go to work, and they work, and they go home, and they're at home. And, and I envy those people.

So I think that if you're good at something, you should be great at it. If you're already inclined at it, if you've got that in you, and I think that's the way people look at it. Not like, "Oh, I'm good in that area."

David Brower:                     Right.

TODD LEMENSE:              You know? Profess-, professional athletes don't say, "Oh, I'm great. I don't need to practice anymore." (laughs) Or they wouldn't be ...

David Brower:                     Right.

TODD LEMENSE:              Professionals anymore.

David Brower:                     Exactly right. So, I think on entrepreneurship is, is, uh, I mean, people go into that, start their own businesses. Um, maybe they work by themselves or have one or two partners that they work with, and sometimes I would think accountability in that area is absolutely critical to help, help grow your business.

TODD LEMENSE:              Um, it is. You, you've got to surround yourself with the right people. I think when you're starting out, um, what I've found in why when most people stop starting a business or, or what keeps from them from getting started is fear, or they think they don't have enough resources. And, and I think you're actually, my experience has been, I've started up several small businesses, some successful, some not. And what I've noticed is when I have more re-, resources, I waste more. And I don't ...

David Brower:                     Oh that's interesting.

TODD LEMENSE:              Yeah, and I don't do things myself. I, I, I more often to pay, write, write a check to somebody and hope that they take care of it. Well, I think in, in your small business, and especially if it's your small business and you have a passion for it, you need to have some competency in everything you do. So, you don't have to be an expert at it, but you at least need to know enough to hold the people you partner with accountable for what they do.

David Brower:                     No question, I mean, I mean, I remember a few year ... well, it's probably been 15 years ago, and, um, I was in Northern California managing a group of radio stations, and, and any time one of my friends would, uh, call me up and say well, "Do you know how to do this?", and I'd said, "No, but I've got a guy." (laughs)

TODD LEMENSE:              Yeah. Exactly.

David Brower:                     You know? And now that I'm out of that, and out of the, out of the corporate thing and running my own business, uh, it's, like, such a gift to be able to tap into different people, learn from them, mentor them, uh, do all those things, and, and not have the, the worries of being an employee. I think that's a real struggle for, for a lot of folks.

TODD LEMENSE:              It is. It's a different mindset. You have to, you have to throw out, you know, a lot of times when I, when I'm not being my most productive self, you'll hear me reading my resume to you. And, and what I'm doing is I'm insecure, because you don't care what I used to do. You care what I did today.

David Brower:                     Right.

TODD LEMENSE:              And what I could do for you.

David Brower:                     Right.

TODD LEMENSE:              So, a lot of times we get caught up in, "Well, I made this much an hour." Or, "I was the vice president of this." And, and, and those things are true, but now, you're, you're a newer, better person. You know? You learn from your ... Well, I only learn when I lose, and I'm more human than most, so I've made more mistakes. (laughs) And, and that's what got me to here, and that's why I'm a value to you today.

David Brower:                     So, how'd you get into this? How did you get in? What was the, what was the epiphany that said, "I gotta help people with accountability. I gotta help them control their ego and take proper perspectives and stuff"? Was it just your own, your own life's lesson that you wanted to share with folks?

TODD LEMENSE:              I did. Well, I started, uh, several small businesses. I've been a serial entrepreneur my whole life, and, and they all failed in my early twenties, but in my late twenties and early thirties, I had a business that I ... It was ... My ex-wife and I, we took it from just her and I to 80 employees, and ...

David Brower:                     Wow.

TODD LEMENSE:              We had a lot of success, and what the ruin of the company was all done through me, uh, taking people for granted, um, overspending, over partying, um, and I really had a sense of entitlement. I thought that, at the time, David, I really thought that I was smarter than everybody else, and I worked harder than everybody else, and this was my reward. (laughs)

David Brower:                     Yeah.

TODD LEMENSE:              And things were only gonna get better.

David Brower:                     Well, that's the, that's where your ego gets in the way. Right?

TODD LEMENSE:              Yeah. Absolutely. So, after that experience, and, and being behind on payroll, and going bankrupt and losing multiple houses, I mean, it goes on and on, I, I, I just wanted to share my story, so other people didn't, you know, repeat that same mistake I made.

David Brower:                     Good for you. Good for you. I've been in many of those places that you just rattled off. I've been there done that, and so I totally understand, uh, what you're talking about. Your, your latest book, "Lose Your Ego and, and Gain the World", so, somebody picks that up, uh, is it a hard copy? Is it available through Amazon? Is it an audiobook? How do, how do people get that?

TODD LEMENSE:              It's exclusively on Amazon.

David Brower:                     Okay.

TODD LEMENSE:              And there's lots of ... It's got lots of reviews, so.

David Brower:                     So, let's, let's kind of cut to, to what that book is about and why people should go, uh, invest in that, spend some time with it. What's it gonna do for them one on one? I'm, uh, I'm sitting here in my chair, and I want to read your book. What's going to be the payoff for me?

TODD LEMENSE:              It's going to motivate you to take action. It's gonna let you know that you're okay right now, and that you are where you are right now for a reason and that you're already ... You don't need to read anymore books. You don't have to go to anymore seminars. The most important thing is to get started right now.

And when I start up a business, I like to get started and start making mistakes. And what most people think is that people who are more successful than them know more than they do or are smarter than they do. And that's not true. The only thing different between you and them is that they took action, and they made more mistakes than you. That's how they got there. They failed more.

David Brower:                    Right.

TODD LEMENSE:             And everyone knows this from their work experience. Have you ever worked with somebody or for somebody and you say, "You know what? I'm more talented than this person. I'm smarter than this person. Why is this person my boss?" (laughs)

David Brower:                    Right. Oh my gosh. Hasn't everybody been there?

TODD LEMENSE:             (laughs) Absolutely.

David Brower:                    That's a true story, and then when you become the boss, you know that people are saying that about you.

TODD LEMENSE:             It's true. I always, in my seminars I talk about, when your boss asks you a question, they don't want the answer. They already know the answer. They just want to know what your thinking was or your, or your messed up thinking was. (laughs)

David Brower:                    Right, right, right. Yeah.

TODD LEMENSE:             So always, so always tell them the truth, because they, you know, they've got their 10,000 hours in this subject.

David Brower:                    Right.

TODD LEMENSE:             And so, they've already seen this movie or read this book five or six times, so just tell them the truth ...

David Brower:                    Yeah. Don't ...

TODD LEMENSE:             It's the best, it's the best approach. (laughs)

David Brower:                    And the, and the other side of that is people have a tendency to tell their bosses what they think they want to hear rather than just being straight with them.

TODD LEMENSE:             Yeah. Honesty goes a long way.

David Brower:                    No question about it.

TODD LEMENSE:             And it'll serve you well in your professional [crosstalk 00:10:33] and in the small business, it's absolutely, um, it's absolutely imperative. You know, my ex-wife used to say, you see a lot of, um ... you know, I'm a religious person, and, and, um, my ex-wife used to say, you know, a lot of times in businesses people will put fish up or brag about being Christians in their ads, and she said, "Don't tell the you're a Christian. Just show them you are." And, and, and that always stuck with me, and I always appreciated that.

David Brower:                    I could not agree more. I'm, I'm very much the same, and I think when you have the opportunity to model for other people, whether it's personal or religious or business environment or whatever, anytime you can be genuine and authentic and, and model what you want them to absorb, that's, man, that's a gift. Right?

TODD LEMENSE:             Absolutely. And when you're, when you're starting your own business, make sure that you tell everybody what you do. Tell them over and over again. You know, as humans I think we're, we, we, we seem to think that we're the center of the universe. Right?

David Brower:                    Right.

TODD LEMENSE:             David and Todd are the center of the universe.

David Brower:                    Right.

TODD LEMENSE:             And so, we just assume because we put a post on Facebook once that everybody knows we have our own business. And then you'll find out six months later they didn't even remember that you were doing that.

David Brower:                    Right, right.

TODD LEMENSE:             There's a, there's a reason Coke and Pepsi put's, uh, Super Bowl ads on that cost 5 million bucks. Everyone knows who Coke and Pepsi is, but they still have to keep reminding us, and if, if Coke and Pepsi has to do that, then, you know, David and Todd do also.

David Brower:                    No question about it. I mean, the amount of clutter that we have to compete with, uh, in any kind of marketing, whether it's radio, TV, social, I mean, you've got to figure out a way to cut through the clutter so people have a chance to recognize who you are and what you do.

TODD LEMENSE:             Absolutely, and get a healthy obsession for your business. You need to remember when you're starting up that you're competing with people who have already been obsessed with this business before you.

David Brower:                    Right.

TODD LEMENSE:             So, they've all, they've already got some momentum, and, and they've already made those mistakes. So, you're gonna have to put more time in than they are. A lot of times, people, we start our home based businesses, and all right. We think we just put a webpage up and people are gonna flood to our business.

David Brower:                    (laughs) True story.

TODD LEMENSE:             It's like getting into, that's like getting married or having a baby.

David Brower:                    Right?

TODD LEMENSE:             That's when all the work, that's when all the work starts. (laughs)

David Brower:                    Right. It's the, that's only the beginning, man. You've got to step up.

TODD LEMENSE:             Absolutely.

David Brower:                    So, when you're talking to people about, uh, starting businesses and obviously you've done tons of businesses yourself, and I think that's, I mean, honestly, I believe that's so important for you to fail. Uh, you can't, uh, you can't learn and grow unless you recognize your mistakes, and, and learn from those. So, when people are, are starting a new business and they're visiting with you, what do you encourage them to do from a, from a personnel standpoint, a marketing standpoint? How do you kind of motivate them to go in the right direction?

TODD LEMENSE:             Um, first and foremost, that's a great question. Um, get people who are not like you. You know, as humans, I always like people who are like me, and what I've realized I business, I like to put the analogy, I love football.

David Brower:                    Yeah.

TODD LEMENSE:             So, on a football team you need someone, a kicker, a quarterback, a receiver. You have people with different body types, different skills, different skills, different speeds, different strengths. And what usually people do when they start their own business is they just try to find their friends who are exactly like them. And, and you're gonna need somebody, first of all, you need to surround yourself with people who are honest with you.

David Brower:                    Right.

TODD LEMENSE:             Who, who will hurt your feelings, and find people who are good at things that you're not good at, and, and, and use them and appreciate them. And always have confidence in all your people. You know? And don't give up on them. So, the second you've given up as a boss, they're gonna give up on themselves. [crosstalk 00:14:08] It's impossible to succeed unless, unless someone believes in you.

David Brower:                    Absolutely right, and, and I mean, when you look at businesses today and the, and the turnover and the lack of loyalty and all that kind of stuff, if you don't model loyalty, if you don't model appreciation and gratitude, how do you expect to hang on to good people? You know?

TODD LEMENSE:             That's, that's absolutely right. You, you, you have to ... And, and, and you have take, um, you have to take massive action and just learn in your own business. Become a, a real student of it. You know, I, I always think it's funny as, you know, first and foremost, the number one parenting book was written by Oprah who never had a kid.

David Brower:                    (laughs)

TODD LEMENSE:                  Never had a kid. But I always think it's funny. I think if you have a passion as a, as a younger person, I loved baseball. So, I used to go to the library and read every book I could about baseball. If you really love something, you have to really put your time in it and get your 10,000 hours.

David Brower:                    Yeah.

TODD LEMENSE:             And, and, and it's gonna save you money, and it's gonna make you even more money.

David Brower:                    Absolutely right. So how, so how many business, businesses are you working right now? Just you?

TODD LEMENSE:             Just my speaking business and promoting my book.

David Brower:                    Yeah.

TODD LEMENSE:             You know, I thought, I thought if I wrote a book, that too, that millions of dollars would come floating in the mail, and I would be happy. (laughs)

David Brower:                    (laughs)

TODD LEMENSE:             I would be on these Manhat-, Manhattan book signings, and I don't know. It's a lot more work than it looks.

David Brower:                    And that, and now the, well it's, I mean, really, the, the analogy that you just had of having a baby it's just like that. You, you've got your book, and now you gotta go out and make this puppy grow. You know?

TODD LEMENSE:             (laughs) That's right. Water your flowers. Water your flowers not your weeds.

David Brower:                    Yeah. Well said. So, how many speaking engagements do you do a week, a month, a year? I mean, are you out there a lot?

TODD LEMENSE:             50 to 60 a year.

David Brower:                    That's a lot.

TODD LEMENSE:             Yeah, but I, I want to do twice that this year. And, and to do that, I, I, I'm working on, um, getting some new material. I, I write new content everyday. I write 500 words of content everyday. And, and most of it isn't that good. (laughs) But I keep, you know, I kind of look at it like physical training.

David Brower:                    Yeah.

TODD LEMENSE:             You've gotta get those reps in. You know?

David Brower:                    Well, yeah, I think that's right. And when you write that 500 words of content, what do you do with it?

TODD LEMENSE:             Uh, I make YouTube videos. I put it on blogs. Um, I share it with other people who, who need material, and, so, and then sometimes I put it in speeches, if, if there's stuff or replace some other stuff. So, I upgrade and change some stuff. A lot of the times, my speeches get revised by going and meeting with companies and then somebody will make a comment to me, and I think, "Oh, that's good. I'm gonna steal that. I'm gonna write that down."

David Brower:                    Yeah. I call that, uh, um, creative optimization. You know? You're just kind of borrowing it. [crosstalk 00:16:57]

TODD LEMENSE:             Well said.

David Brower:                    In a good way, in a good way. You know?

TODD LEMENSE:             Yeah.

David Brower:                    You still have them, and then when you, when you get success out of that one liner, you can go back and say, "Dude, thank you so much." And they'll go, "What are you talking about?" (laughs) You know?

TODD LEMENSE:             Right.

David Brower:                    That's awesome. So, how do you double, how do you double your speaking engagements? How does that grow for you?

TODD LEMENSE:             Um, referrals is a big one.

David Brower:                    Yeah.

TODD LEMENSE:             Um, but the big one is doing stuff like this, uh, promotional, doing, I do, two, two radio shows a day.

David Brower:                    Nice.

TODD LEMENSE:             And I enjoy it. It's a lot of fun. I mean, this is the fun part of it.

David Brower:                    Right? Yeah.

TODD LEMENSE:             You know, I feel very comfortable, but I didn't always. You know? It took me, it took me time. I still get a little nervous, and I like that because it means I care.

David Brower:                    Exactly right. Yeah. Butterflies are a wonderful thing.

TODD LEMENSE:             Yeah. When you stop caring then it's time to do something else.

David Brower:                    Yeah. So, people want to learn more about you and what you could do for personal accountability, business accountability, helping them learn about ego control and keeping things in proper perspective you can get your, they can get your book online. Right? At Amazon, and then reach out to you through your website? Or how do they learn more about you?

TODD LEMENSE:             Um, any of your listeners, if they want my book, they can just contact me on Twitter. I have over 200,000 followers on Twitter, and I'd be happy to just send you a copy, so.

David Brower:                    Okay. Cool, so, Twitter dot com, forward slash Todd Lemense?

TODD LEMENSE:             Just put me in there, and you'll see me.

David Brower:                    Nice. 200,000, holy crap.

TODD LEMENSE:             It's from doing all of these great radio shows like yours.

David Brower:                    (laughs) Flattery will get you everywhere, man, that's what I say.

TODD LEMENSE:             (laughs)

David Brower:                    That's awesome. Hey, Todd, it's really been a treat to talk to you, and, uh, thank you for going through all of the struggles to be able to, to pay it forward and help other people, uh, learn from, from your good stuff and your troubles.

TODD LEMENSE:             Thank you, David, and have me back on your show sometimes. It's a lot of fun.