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[00:00:00] Kevin Dieny: Hi, welcome to the Close The Loop Podcast. I’m Kevin Dieny, your host, and we’re going to be talking today about scaling your business like a weed. And I have a special, really exciting guest today. His name is Stu Heinecke. He’s a best-selling author. He is one of the wall street journal cartoonist. It’s actually so awesome some of the stuff he’s done.
[00:00:21] Kevin Dieny: He’s a twice nominated hall of fame marketer. His book, How To Get A Meeting With Anyone was named last year, one of the top 64 sales books of all time. While his next book, explores a new growth strategy model based on weeds, How To Grow Your Business Like A Weed, releases May 2022. So you want to get your hands on this. This is fantastic. So welcome Stu.
[00:00:41] Stu Heinecke: Hey, thank you. You can’t get your hands on it yet. There’s no pre-order link or anything, but I hope it’s coming soon.
[00:00:47] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, there’s some stuff out there about it.
[00:00:50] Stu Heinecke: Yeah, there’s a lot. I’m talking about it a lot and we just, it was kind of cool. We just, the publisher just sold the audio book rights. So when it releases in May, by the way, that’s intentional. That’s when all the weeds start popping up all over the Northern hemisphere.
[00:01:05] Stu Heinecke: They’re my memes. So anyway, the audio and the print edition will be releasing at the same time, which was really cool.
[00:01:11] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, that is awesome. And just so everyone’s understanding what we’re talking about today, and we’re talking about scaling your business, like a weed, uh, and that’s being the topic of Stu’s book. We’re going to be really diving into scaling your business. And I think this puts a lot of onus on the owners of businesses because.
[00:01:30] Kevin Dieny: The way I look at it is every business should and want to be growing, should want to be expanding either its market, its scale, its efficiency, and that’s a cultural component. A lot of that falls on leader, the owner, the business managers, whoever’s in charge of their departments, of the company. That’s a cultural component wanting to scale your business and making sure that that’s happening all the way down through the lines of your business.
[00:01:53] Kevin Dieny: I think is something that some companies, some business owners are like, ah, that sounds like too much. That’s too tough. That’s too crazy. So it’s easy to get comfortable, I think right, Stu? Maybe it’s just too much to do right now. And so what do you have to say about all that?
[00:02:07] Stu Heinecke: Well, I mean, if you’re talking about, about growth as a tangent to culture, the owner, the leader of the business is the one that leads the growth. That’s true, but they lead a team and that team has to be with them all the time. But here’s the thing, you know, I think the most effective thing you can do, and if by the way, it’s falls under soil strategy under in the weeds model.
[00:02:29] Stu Heinecke: I think one of the most effective things you can do is to create a movement around what you’re doing. So there are internal and external movements and, and certainly you want to start wherever it happens. But, addressing your question in particular, you’d want to create an internal movement so that everyone is saying, wow, this is the, you know what we’re doing it when we’re together for a reason.
[00:02:52] Stu Heinecke: And this is a moment in time that we’ll never forget and we’re going to do some really great stuff. Let’s say, if your company sells windows, that’s not quite a movement, so you’ve got to create some, some excitement about what you’re doing. So it might be that while you’re selling windows, you’re also doing something with habitat for humanity.
[00:03:11] Stu Heinecke: Or maybe you’re giving an award out. Maybe it’s a, maybe there’s an architectural award that you can give out. Like when the, when the book comes out, I’m going to have a blast and I’m going to have a blast with it because one of the things we’re going to be doing is giving out an annual Total Weed award.
[00:03:25] Stu Heinecke: So we’re going to choose the person who most exemplifies weed-like determination and grit and growth. I’m gathering a whole group of judges. So it won’t be up to me, thankfully. It shouldn’t be just up to one person, but my money is on Elon.
[00:03:43] Stu Heinecke: Does that make sense? So you create a, you create this, I’m like do something that makes people feel like they’re what they’re doing is important in the world. And there’ll be right there with you. So I think that, it’s important to do something important in the world anyway.
[00:03:58] Kevin Dieny: Also, my mind when you say weed, right? There’s a lot of synonyms, things, definitions. There’s a lot of things that you think about. Yeah, so when you say Grow Your Business, Like A Weed, why use that? And how does that really apply to the grand scheme of growing a business?
[00:04:15] Stu Heinecke: It’s a universal or universally understood metaphor. Everybody knows what it means to grow like a weed. Right? I mean, we all know what that is. And I think most of us who own businesses would love to have our businesses grow like a weed. And I guess then the point is. Then, well, how does that work?
[00:04:35] Stu Heinecke: And the other thing is all you have to, if you have a yard or if you have eyes, just look around, you’ll see what they’re doing. And so right now, they’re in senescence. So they’re, they’re resting. But their seeds are in the ground. They are ready to germinate in the spring and they will run their process.
[00:04:51] Stu Heinecke: This winning process. This process has been developed over tens of millions of years and it’s just programmed straight into their DNA. They just run it like programming. All of that is set to go. The timing of the release of the book is important because I wanted it to come out when the weeds are also sort of releasing themselves when they’re coming out of the ground and running their processes so that everyone looks around and says.
[00:05:16] Stu Heinecke: Look at these weeds, they’re coming up. Oh wait. But there’s that book? I’ve got to get that book. So I hope that it does that, but, but the thing is, it is an universally understood metaphor, growing something, growing anything like a weed.
[00:05:28] Stu Heinecke: But here’s what I hope the book will do. I think that what it’ll do is that people go out and they start looking around their yard and they notice… Oh, you know look at that. Look at the dandelion. Look what the dandelions are doing. I didn’t notice it before, but they’re running their process of flowering and seeding really fast. And they do it over and over and over again throughout the growing cycle.
[00:05:48] Stu Heinecke: Whereas more polite plants, less aggressive plants do it maybe once in the whole annual cycle. They’re doing it over and over and over again. The thing is weeds never do anything without an unfair advantage. And so if you watch them, they have cultivated all kinds of unfair advantages.
[00:06:06] Stu Heinecke: And these are the things that we can learn from in our businesses.
[00:06:09] Kevin Dieny: What would you say to someone who’s like, well, I don’t think my business can do that. I don’t know if my business is capable of that. I don’t know if my teams, if my product, or my service, could go that direction and scale. I think that there, there might be lack of a vision possibly where someone may think scaling is a luxury. And maybe that doesn’t apply to my industry.
[00:06:29] Stu Heinecke: Well, man, there’s a lot of ways to go with that because if your business can’t scale, what are you doing? Like why, why does it exist? We build our businesses to, to grow them. I think beyond that, a couple of things maybe might be implicit in your question.
[00:06:44] Stu Heinecke: They might be thinking to themselves I just don’t see my team doing this. Right. I don’t see this doing this, with my team or maybe my product or my service. I’m just a pizza place, but you know, there are huge franchises of pizza franchises out there. There is a lot of scaling around almost anything. I can’t give you the vision, I mean, the entrepreneurs have to grow their own visions, but assuming you have a vision, I would say anything that can grow can grow like a weed.
[00:07:11] Stu Heinecke: And I think though the thing is you just have to understand what that means. I’m not a botanist or even a gardner you know, I just don’t notice the weeds. And I was like, wow, look at them. How can we assume and assimilate what they do and what is it that they do?
[00:07:25] Stu Heinecke: And so what I realized is that through, through all this research is that weeds, they take all forms and come in all sizes. They’re on six continents. A lot of weeds spread across all six continents. They’re not in Antarctica because I guess it’s just a little bit too cold, but otherwise you find a dandelion they’re everywhere.
[00:07:45] Stu Heinecke: They’re all over the world. So there’s some really very successful strategies happening here. So here’s the thing. All I mentioned, they all come in all shapes and sizes, but they all follow the same formula and isn’t that interesting? There’s a simple formula, but it branches out from there. They all use this incredibly aggressive mindset.
[00:08:09] Stu Heinecke: And they leverage that and unfair advantages, which they cultivate and turn into force multipliers. They leverage their mindset and force multipliers against collective scale. That’s what they do. They do it according to a process that is programmed into their DNA, they just run it.
[00:08:26] Stu Heinecke: And that process is a miracle because it is honed over millions of years. The fossil record says that flowering plants showed up on the planet 145 million years ago. And we have to assume at least some of them, or maybe most of them, I don’t know. Cause the most successful were weeds.
[00:08:42] Stu Heinecke: And so that’s a long time to hone a process, but at the same time, this process is able to pivot on a dime. There’s one weed that showed up in agricultural fields about, let’s say 10 years ago, it really started showing up it’s called waterhemp. It’s just a weed from hell because waterhemp releases up to 4.8 million seeds as an annual.
[00:09:08] Stu Heinecke: So it does that every year. It’s not divided over five or 10 years. Every plant can release up to 4.8 million seeds and it does it every year. And so these seeds they’re like little Careway seeds, they’re little tiny seeds. They stick to actually everything they stick to everything. And so when the farmer comes through the fields and with their combine machine and they start spreading those seeds around.
[00:09:28] Stu Heinecke: You’re never going to get rid of this plant. Now here’s the thing, agriculture uses herbicides a lot to control this problem. And it’s a problem because these weeds, they grow faster than, than, the crop species like barley and rye and even corn, they grow faster than those crops do.
[00:09:47] Stu Heinecke: So if they’re doing that and they germinate before the crops do, they’re going to just blanket the crops. So they have got to get rid of them.
[00:09:54] Stu Heinecke: Well, waterhemp has has developed immunity to Roundup in four years. So here’s an ancient process it’s running, but it was able to, to evolve around Roundup in four years. That’s incredible. And so I think I’m still answering the question, what if my company can’t do this, but I think, we can all do this.
[00:10:14] Stu Heinecke: It’s just an, it’s an attitude, it’s a mindset. And it’s also a process of building advantages into your company, like unfair advantages into your company so that they become force multipliers, unique force multipliers, just to use so that your competitors can’t, can’t beat you. And then you do that against the collective scale.
[00:10:32] Stu Heinecke: And that is how we scale. That’s how everything scales, not only in the weed world, but it also is how everything scales in our world, in the business world.
[00:10:40] Kevin Dieny: So when you say force multipliers, is that like a competitive advantage, like something unique or something valuable that you can offer in a unique way that dominates or is special to you?
[00:10:50] Stu Heinecke: Yup. Yup. I’ll tell you, I’ll give you a good example. I’m not only an author and a marketer. I’m also one of the Wall Street Journal Cartoonists. I’m a cartoonist, and I’ve been using cartoons my whole career. And I wasn’t always in the journal, but I’ve been a cartoonist my whole career.
[00:11:05] Stu Heinecke: And I discovered that really early on that if I sent someone one of my cartoons and it’s personalized. That I would get through to anyone. In fact that’s the basis of the two books behind me. How To Get A Meeting With Anyone and Get The Meeting.
[00:11:18] Stu Heinecke: I started sending cartoons around to people about them. And, when I first started my business, I wanted to create direct mail campaigns for publishers, for magazine publishers.
[00:11:27] Stu Heinecke: So I sent this, I didn’t know what to call it. I called it a contact campaign, but an 8 by 10 print of a cartoon, each one about each recipient. These recipients by the way, were about two dozen VPs and Directors of Circulation Network, or Consumer Marketing at the big, big Manhattan based media companies.
[00:11:43] Stu Heinecke: Print media companies like Time Inc, and Conde Nast and the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review and Forbes. And there aren’t a lot of them, so I only needed to reach out to about two dozen people. So I sent this contact campaign, it’s a print of cartoon, by me and about each recipient.
[00:12:02] Stu Heinecke: And I said, this is art, with my note, this is the device I just used to beat the controls for Rolling Stone and Bon Appetit. I think we should put this to the test for your titles. Well, I ended up getting a hundred percent response rate to that campaign. I actually I had a hundred percent meeting rate.
[00:12:16] Stu Heinecke: All of them met with me. I got a hundred percent conversion rate. All of them became clients. It was worth millions of dollars. And I spent about a hundred dollars on this campaign. The point is. My unfair advantage there was cartoons. I was a marketer and a cartoonist together.
[00:12:31] Stu Heinecke: And there have been a few that have popped up since. The Marketoonist and Tom Fishburne but anyway, so some have caught onto that, but being a Wall Street Journal cartoonist, that’s just a huge advantage.
[00:12:43] Stu Heinecke: As an example, the there’s a huge LinkedIn group among sales. It’s like the salespeople and it’s like half a million followers. It’s called sales humor. So I reached out to Ken, the guy who runs it, and I said, Ken, I’m a Wall Street Journal cartoonist, I would love to contribute some of my cartoons to what you’re doing.
[00:13:02] Stu Heinecke: And he said, man, how can I, how can I resist? Right. So. Great. He’s going to start running my cartoons. And then I don’t know if he’s going to do this or not, but with some of the other groups that I’m working with, well, we can turn those cartoons into their personalized.
[00:13:16] Stu Heinecke: We can turn them into the same Christmas cards and I can produce a PDF card generator. So you can go in and change the, the name and the caption printed out convert it. And you’ve got a card like, like this, you know, It looks pretty cool. And you can write a note in there. Of course that’s what you would do, send it out.
[00:13:35] Stu Heinecke: So, I ended up waltzing into some of these circumstances or some of these situations because I’m a cartoonist from the Wall Street Journal. So that’s an unfair advantage. Nobody else can do that. No one else can match that. That’s a force multiplier because now, now with sales humor, I’m working with Ken and I’m serving his audience, but I’m reaching an audience of half a million people.
[00:13:55] Stu Heinecke: And that same thing happens when my cartoons, when they go into the journal itself, they’re circulation last I checked. Their circulation is a little over 2 million. So that’s an unfair advantage. Well, just being able to reach out to people, all the things that I covered in in the two books behind me in the two meetings books, you’ve got to get the meetings, books.
[00:14:16] Stu Heinecke: If you’re able to get a meeting with someone or like virtually anyone, that’s a huge advantage. If you have a way of doing that, that’s an unfair advantage and you want to cultivate all kinds of unfair advantages in the way that your business is structured and how you do business.
[00:14:31] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, I think of the times I’ve been, let’s call it like a home gardener. I’ve planted some things and thought I’m going to make a great garden. I’m going to eat out of my own backyard. I’m going to have a meal where it’s something I’ve prepared for myself. I think of that kind of like the entrepreneurial mindset.
[00:14:49] Kevin Dieny: I’m going to build a business. I’m going to create a department. I’m going to hire people. It’s going to serve something right out of the hard work that I’m doing. But a hundred percent of the time the garden goes awry. The garden gets untended. Something about it goes crazy. And the weeds pop up there.
[00:15:06] Kevin Dieny: And my plants that I wanted, the great setup I had completely wilted and die. And so it’s like, man, I wish these plants were more like the weed. But at the same time, at the end of the day, I’m always like, okay, this failed because of my lack of tending this, or my lack of getting this, this thing going.
[00:15:24] Kevin Dieny: So I look at that in the business world too. The application here of all of this. And I think, well, as a business owner, as a business leader, when things aren’t working, when things are going downhill. Maybe I can change from here.
[00:15:39] Kevin Dieny: Maybe that pivot, maybe I can flip from being in the red to being in the black. But what do I do? How do I, how do I move? What direction is best for me to move from here so that I can start scaling? So that this can become successful. It doesn’t keep going the way that it has always gone or that it feels like it’s just going to keep going.
[00:15:58] Kevin Dieny: And that pivot, maybe that change, that direction I switch, I think does require a force multiplier. Where am I going to go? Where, where is a good advantage for me to go where I can at least take that first step and use that to get a leg up?
[00:16:14] Stu Heinecke: You know one of the things you were telling me about your garden. You know, I’m thinking, well, you know, weeds do is they take advantage of disrupted ground, don’t they? You’re inviting them in when you. Essentially, you’re inviting them in, not because you actually said come on in.
[00:16:28] Stu Heinecke: But because you, when you disrupt the ground, their processes are set up so that they immediately they take advantage of it. Let me grab something real quick. I have two jars here, right? One has douglass fir, um, cones. And then these are believe it or not, dandelion seeds. That’s a lot of seeds.
[00:16:50] Stu Heinecke: But here’s the thing, I’m surrounded by Douglas firs are huge trees. They, I think they grow up maybe 150 feet. They’re big. They’re not sequoias, but they’re big. And they start from a little cone like that. And when you watch what their process is, they just drop these things straight. That there’s nothing there’s no, well, the squirrels like run around with them, but, but otherwise there’s nothing in terms of dispersion.
[00:17:17] Stu Heinecke: So they don’t have a secret. That’s not a secret weapon, is it? I mean, it’s like a, not a, not an unfair advantage at all. They’re just dropping their seeds at their feet. Dandelions and see if I can get it to you of these guys and not let them get away. But here we go. I don’t know if you could see it, but here’s some dandelions seeds.
[00:17:35] Stu Heinecke: We know what if I let these things go, they’re going to fly away. The reason why, all those years ago the thing that started me on this quest to write the book and just really formulate weed strategy as a new model for growth. Is that I saw a dandelion growing out of a crack in the median, actually it was on the Santa Monica freeway.
[00:17:55] Stu Heinecke: I think I’m not far, it wasn’t very far away from you. This wide concrete median and six lanes of traffic going this way and that way. No place for a plant to live like this, this sea of impossibility, but they’re process allows them to find exactly where they need to go to exploit essentially any opportunity to grow.
[00:18:16] Stu Heinecke: So there it was the seed like you look at and you think, well, how could that have ended up there? Well, we know exactly how it ends up there. Those seeds fly around and they probe every possible opportunity for new growth. And that’s exactly what was happening in your garden.
[00:18:30] Stu Heinecke: That’s exactly what they are up to. They pop those seeds out. The seeds are miracles, weed seeds are miracles. They’re amazing. And they’re going to go out and they’re going to just take advantage of every possible opportunity they’re presented with. And certainly we’re actually the biggest disruptors out there actually.
[00:18:48] Stu Heinecke: We disrupt ground that’s, that’s what we call yards and gardens and farms. All they have to do is keep running their process and they find them cause they find every opportunity. That’s how they do it. Not like the douglas fir trees at all. They’re not finding any opportunities.
[00:19:02] Stu Heinecke: These things fall right at their roots. Weeds just have this really interesting relationship to disruption and Clayton Christensen’s book, The Innovators Dilemma, he wrote a wonderful book.
[00:19:15] Stu Heinecke: Unfortunately, he’s not with us anymore, but he was a professor at Harvard Business School and he was studying companies that had been market leaders, just undisputed market leaders.
[00:19:25] Stu Heinecke: And then they, they lost it all. And they lost it all to new disruptive technologies. And he studied that look well, what’s going on there? A lot, like the weeds thing, what’s going on there. So he presented several case studies, but one of them was Eastman Kodak.
[00:19:40] Stu Heinecke: And Eastman Kodak, at least those old enough will remember, used to be the dominant force in film. We know that film eventually was disrupted by digital photography and so there were digital cameras and that has been disrupted by smartphones.
[00:19:55] Stu Heinecke: So his contention actually is that these disruptive technologies, when they first show up, they don’t look like they’re viable at all. And so the market leaders of the current incumbents will ignore them. And because they’re looking at, and they say, well, what are the numbers we’ll have there aren’t numbers. It’s not, it hasn’t been developed yet.
[00:20:13] Stu Heinecke: Okay. Well, then what’s the business case? Well, there isn’t much of a business case yet, but if the business case is, if you want to go into the future dominating the photography space or some part of it, you need to invest in new technologies, but what will they be?
[00:20:28] Stu Heinecke: We don’t even know who knows what’s going to work and what won’t. The ironic thing about Eastman Kodak is that digital photography was invented by one of their junior engineers and they ignored it. They didn’t invest in it. And so Christiansen’s approach is invest in disruptive technologies.
[00:20:46] Stu Heinecke: The weed approach is… watch for disruption and exploit it cause disruption is happening all around you and just run your process. That’s how they disrupt. They just run their process and their process is built around those tools, those force multipliers, the why the weed mindset, et cetera, and always pursuing collective scale.
[00:21:05] Stu Heinecke: By using that process, and just running it, sticking with it, but also being nimble enough to change it. As in the case of waterhemp, encountering Roundup, then the process will evolve around it, but you got to run your process. So that process is really important.
[00:21:25] Kevin Dieny: You mentioned disruption, and that is something really interesting. That is something that’s happened all of 2020, and still into 2021. We’re talking about the pandemic. That’s been like an external disruptor and there’s also things that you’re talking about where your company is the disruptor, you’re the one causing the disruption.
[00:21:46] Kevin Dieny: You’re the one taking it and finding. So in a disruption, there’s that interesting balance of it’s a risk. It could be a risk to you, but it could also represent an opportunity for a business and knowing how to exploit that, yeah?
[00:21:59] Stu Heinecke: Well, I was going to say it’s both. It’s really both. Sometimes you’re the disruptor. If you’re an entrepreneur. Let’s hope you’re the disruptor. And then other times you’re being disrupted. So there really are two different, two different sides of disruption. The thing that’s really interesting about what weeds show us is well, when disruption is happening, that’s your opportunity.
[00:22:19] Stu Heinecke: That’s your opening. You don’t have to invent the flying car to disrupt something. You can have your process and watch for these opportunities to disrupt. You mentioned the the pandemic. I think we’re always being disrupted and always, that’s a constant. That’s the only thing that doesn’t change is that things always change.
[00:22:37] Stu Heinecke: Right. But so the the pandemic really gave us some really interesting insight into this because we watched as the economy clamped down. We haven’t experienced this. Right. We know that there are regular disruptions. In other words, recessions, those just happen. It’s like breathing in and out.
[00:22:55] Stu Heinecke: That’s what the economy’s do. There are some businesses that we think of as being recession proof, like gyms, people sign, these long-term contracts and they continue to pay. And it really, they continue to pay whether they go or not, whether they use it or not.
[00:23:09] Stu Heinecke: And no matter what’s happening in the world, they have to keep paying. And it’s a nice way to relieve the stress anyway. So maybe the gym usage goes up. I don’t know but but that’s a model for being recession proof.
[00:23:22] Stu Heinecke: And another one is restaurants, food, people still eat. Look what happened to restaurants and gyms during the pandemic. They’re not pandemic proof. Their the worst. They’re the worst things to be in, the worst businesses to be in for pandemics.
[00:23:35] Stu Heinecke: But then Peloton stepped in like a weed and look what it did. There was a great deal of disrupted ground. And it just like the weeds that show up in your, in your flower bed, it said, okay, boom. They just moved right in. And, and Peloton now, and home gyms are the new gym business.
[00:23:53] Stu Heinecke: They may not be that, that for long, I guess eventually people will want the camaraderie of going to a gym, but they are the new gym they took over the disrupted ground.
[00:24:02] Stu Heinecke: Isn’t that, that’s totally weed like. A lot of the restaurants, they’re really an interesting case because if they had no email address or email list of all their their patrons, then they were in real trouble. Weren’t they? If they just stuck with the model of, no, you have to come here and sit inside and eat, then they perished.
[00:24:21] Stu Heinecke: But there were restaurants areas who said, okay, we have email addresses of everyone. We went ahead and collected those. We’ve been talking to them anyway, we’re going to tell them we’re going to go to a take-out model.
[00:24:32] Stu Heinecke: And so the local pizzeria here thrived because of that. Now there take-out model. You can’t go and sit. They’ve got a really cool place, this place is, it’s like a hundred feet above the water on a cliff, on stilts.
[00:24:45] Stu Heinecke: It’s a really cool, but you can’t go in and sit there in there now. You just go and they have a pickup window and their thriving. Then they took their branded pizzas and put them into the local supermarkets here as well.
[00:24:56] Stu Heinecke: So they, they pivoted and there’s part of the weeds model that is actually focused on dealing with disruption to you. Dealing with disruption that you’re not causing. Disruption that you’re subject to. As opposed to the disruption that you’re causing, if you’re Uber and what the disruption you’re, you’re causing to the taxi industry and on, and on lots of examples of that.
[00:25:18] Stu Heinecke: But isn’t that interesting. They that’s what they do. If you are functioning like a weed you’re watching for opportunity, you have this balanced stance? And you’re watching for opportunities to pivot into other circumstances. It’s actually part of your process if you’re a weed and it should be part of our process as business owners to do exactly what those weeds were doing to your flower plant.
[00:25:38] Stu Heinecke: I love that. I know you didn’t put, I think that’s great.
[00:25:43] Kevin Dieny: Yeah. Yeah, I know. And each time I was like, maybe there’s just some large sweeping change. Maybe I’ll just spray it with Roundup. Maybe I’ll just buy plants or soil that is weed proof. I looked for some large sweeping, easy, fast fix.
[00:26:00] Kevin Dieny: But I think something you’re pointing out too is it doesn’t have to be inventing the flying car. Like you said, I think a pivot in the disruption can be something kind of small. And when you see it works, you could take advantage. It doesn’t have to be investing your entire company switching it from one thing to another.
[00:26:20] Kevin Dieny: I think you could experiment a little bit with little things but you have to be in that mindset of, I need to be experimenting in the market, or I need to be able to be flexible to pivot, if something I’m testing out suddenly shows, promise, right?
[00:26:33] Stu Heinecke: Yeah. Yep. Yep. And we just have to know that we do know it, but that disruption is, there are two sides to it. We’re sometimes we’re disrupted and sometimes we’re, if we’re lucky, we’re the ones doing the disrupting.
[00:26:46] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, and I think a business could possibly break it down by thinking what is my purpose? What am I really doing? What’s my unique value here. And then at the same time, looking at it, like. At the end of the day, as long as my revenues are outpacing my expenses I am okay, but it’s more than that, right?
[00:27:04] Kevin Dieny: There’s going to be disruption coming. You’ve got, you’re going to want to find the opportunities to take advantage of that. That might mean investing in here, there to see if something will be insurmountably you know invaluable to you.
[00:27:15] Kevin Dieny: But, one other thing I was going to ask you about was like a roofing business. Something that you have some experience with before. It’s not, it’s one of those industries where I’m like, how much innovation has there been in the last, 50 years there? I mean, there’s just been different types of roofing material.
[00:27:32] Kevin Dieny: There has been solar has started to rise up and they’ve been like, you know what, we’re going to replace your entire roof with solar panels. And that’s disrupted the industry. But I think a lot of roofing businesses may be like, where’s the innovation in my industry. Small changes, what are you talking about?
[00:27:46] Stu Heinecke: Yeah, I mean, well, so roofing is an interesting business because as a homeowner or building owner, you don’t need those services all the time. It’s not a constant. Your roof failed okay call the roofer, or look at this roof, it’s a piece of crap. I need to get rid of it and your loathe to do that.
[00:28:02] Stu Heinecke: Cause it’s really expensive. So people resist working with roofers, but I think the innovation probably. Solar is a great one, actually. But otherwise it’s probably in the way that they market. I see roofers doing some pretty expensive mass marketing. I’ve worked with roofers that, that do, I think much, a much smarter approach and they, they keep a database.
[00:28:22] Stu Heinecke: They, they cultivate that database. They talk to it, all the time. And they, they promote to it all the time. And the reason is that, or they run drip campaigns all the time. And the reason is that if you’re a building owner, if you’re an investor particularly so on the commercial side, well then, you are probably going to need to do something with your roof.
[00:28:41] Stu Heinecke: Things do go wrong with them. But maybe what you want to be doing is getting them on a maintenance contract. But that’s not an innovation now that’s what they do. They do that a lot, but getting them on an, on a maintenance contract is a lot better than just waiting for 30 years for someone to say, okay, I know you don’t need another roof.
[00:28:59] Stu Heinecke: So if you’re a roofer in the roofing business, then I’d probably a lot of the innovations are going to be how you address your audience and how you keep them. How do you keep them engaged so that when they do, when the storm came through and it’s leaking all of a sudden, where’d that come from?
[00:29:14] Stu Heinecke: Who, which one are you going to call? And you want to be top of mind. I guess that’s probably where it is, but you know, if we go back to Peloton for a moment. Peloton they weren’t the, they weren’t the change agent in the marketplace. It was the pandemic. I mean most recently it was the pandemic, but people couldn’t go to the gym.
[00:29:31] Stu Heinecke: So they took advantage of that disruption. They weren’t about to be disrupted themselves. They were in a great position, but they took advantage of it. They just ran their process and very quickly started getting short on inventory and there were wait times. So that became another problem.
[00:29:46] Stu Heinecke: They changed their delivery times and, gear up their production. But they took advantage of it and they filled in the void left by membership gyms that people couldn’t go to anymore.
[00:29:57] Kevin Dieny: Is there anything last you’d want to leave? A final summary or statement or anything that wasn’t mentioned anything briefly you’d like to touch on and then yeah we will close out.
[00:30:06] Stu Heinecke: I think the thing that might be the most counterintuitive of all of this is to think of, of something that has no brain, having a mindset. But the weeds have a fierce an incredible mindset. That is marked by optimism and aggression and urgency and resilience. Resilience is the best one, but perseverance and adaptability.
[00:30:28] Stu Heinecke: They are all those things. We can see it, we can watch it happening in our yards and you can see what’s happening. So they don’t have brains, but they do have a collective intelligence. And they certainly have an intelligence and incredible intelligence built into their process.
[00:30:41] Stu Heinecke: But it’s how they run that process. That that’s why, why I’m saying that they have a mindset they’re really aggressive and, and I would say even optimistic. And look, they never get depressed. They don’t stop. If you cut them down, they start over immediately. You know that’s the, that was the, if we were doing that, we’d be optimistic.
[00:30:59] Stu Heinecke: There is actually a weed mindset and I can’t wait. I’m going to be launching a weed mindset bootcamp in a few months, it’ll be ready when the book comes out. And I can’t wait to teach that because. Well, how do you negotiate like a weed, you know? And they do, they actually do it.
[00:31:15] Stu Heinecke: So there are all these, all these insights and aspects that we can borrow from weeds that really will make us grow like a weed. Writing the book has been transformative to me. And so it was kind of like I’m reading it while I’m writing it. Right. So doing that has been transformative.
[00:31:31] Stu Heinecke: My business has changed because of it.
[00:31:33] Stu Heinecke: So, yeah, I guess that would, that would be it. Give the weeds. I’m like, take another look at weeds. They’re not just pests.
[00:31:41] Kevin Dieny: Thank you so much for coming on Stu. It’s been fantastic. I think. I think it’s a big takeaway to think about everything you’ve put in from, how to manage disruption, how to look at opportunities to scale and grow a business inside, outside. Maybe not even necessarily changing anything you’re necessarily doing, maybe positioning it differently than a Peloton has.
[00:32:00] Kevin Dieny: There’s a lot of lessons learned here and I really appreciate you coming on. This has been so exciting and so awesome to have you on. So thank you. And, if there’s a way that anyone wants to find you reach out to you, I don’t know, connect with you follow what you’re doing. How can they do that?
[00:32:13] Stu Heinecke: Sure, you can connect with me on on Linkedin. Just tell me, I just mentioned that you saw me on the podcast and I’m happy to connect. And you might also want to visit my author site, which is Stuheinecke.com, S T U H E I N E C K E . COM and I’ll have more and more and more, uh, really cool things about weeds.
[00:32:34] Stu Heinecke: We’re going to have a lot of fun, awarding the annual total weed award. You’re gonna want to know about that. Maybe you want to vote. We’ve got beauty shots of weeds that’ll be there. There’s some really cool things that you’ll find at the site.
[00:32:45] Stu Heinecke: So, uh, yeah, that would be the thing too visit my site. And of course, connect with me on Linkedin.
[00:32:50] Kevin Dieny: All right. Great. And thank you everybody for listening to our podcast today. Thanks Stu, and we’ll catch you again next time.
[00:32:56] Stu Heinecke: Sure. My pleasure!