Our podcast guests for today is a serial entrepreneur of several seven-figure businesses, a virtual CEO, author, family man, and a motivational coach who aims to help entrepreneurs all over the world who wants to make a change in the world. We are about to go into his journey, the battles within him and around him, he needed to overcome, the mindset he’s in, and the leadership skills he honed to be where he is now. If you don’t take heed and apply what he shared in this episode, I am telling you, you are doing a disservice to yourself! Without much ado, let’s get on and take a peep inside the mind of Mr. Chris Ducker.
Early in his life, Chris wanted to become a pro basketball player. But basketball is not a big thing in where he lived, so he went on another thing. He wanted to be a publisher, so he did publish a magazine for about six or seven years which was called the Hong Kong superstars. As a true entrepreneur, he wanted to be a part of the solution. So he opened his first brick ‘n mortar business, a call center facility in the Philippines. It was a very successful venture and is still up to today, but it has caused him to burnout in a big way. The incident was a major wake-up call and Chris had drastic lifestyle changes in both his professional and personal life, which he shared in this podcast which may be the wake-up call you to need today. Sometime during this time Chris also started blogging and podcasting, which grew his online presence and pave the way to his other ventures, like his Youpreneur, Virtual Staff Finder, and him publishing a number of books.
We are very fortunate as Chris opened his life to us, sharing his wins, tips, programs, even his regrets and how he gets back up. We talked about the ins and outs of the remote working business, developing personal brands, and developing a strong mindset in achieving anything you may set your focus on. Gear up and take notes as I’m telling you if you don’t do exactly what he said, 1. about not comparing ourselves and having this impostor syndrome, 2. figuring out who were the people that can help you get to your goal even faster, you are doing a disservice to yourselves and of course the people around you. Let’s dive in!
Here’s What You Missed
- The importance of finding or even building your tribe
- What you get out of a mastermind groups
- How do you run a business and not you being run by your business
- The beauty of remote teams
- The truth behind impostor syndrome
- How do you build consistency
How To Achieve Virtual Freedom?
[11:53] To find it, the tribe, you’ve got to create, like to be able to attract the tribe, to be able to track people into your ecosystem, you’ve got to create regardless. You need to create helpful, valuable, original content that can genuinely help solve people’s problems and give them answers to their questions.
[15:33] It’s tough, but you can do it. You can do it through delegation, plain simple.
[22:11] It certainly helps to have family and those kinds of friends that is just going to give it to you real up front.
[23:16] On accountability: That’s honestly what keeps almost all high achievers continuing to want to achieve more and to learn more. Like I often say that as leaders, we’ve got to continue to learn in order to continue to lead.
[29:07] On remote team: The beautiful thing about this is that we are not. Or we’re no longer forced into a pigeonholed geographical constraints when it comes to finding the right people for the role, for which we’re hiring for. So absolutely a business can be set up from the outset and built and grow 100% remotely.
[33:00] It’s important to compartmentalize those individual aspects.
[39:18] You cannot, you should not compare your 10th step to somebody else’s 70 and 80 or 200, whatever it is. They got more, steps on the road, they’re already ahead of you because they started before you. You shouldn’t be comparing yourself, you know, and that at the core of it, that’s what imposter syndrome really is.
[43:52] Consistency is everything like, make no doubt about it. Like you show up two times a week for your tribe online. Regardless of what you’re doing, whether it’s a, an Instagram live or, a Facebook live or a blog post or podcast, like what you’re doing, like just show up consistently. Become somebody’s favorite. ultimately the consistency will create that win for you at some point.
[44:58] Masterminds for me have been the biggest needle mover in my business. When you’re investing in a mastermind, you’re actually paying for access into somebody’s program.
[48:19] We don’t actually need more ideas. We don’t actually need more content. Even what we actually really truly honestly need is more support and more accountability. We need someone to hold our feet to the fire when it comes to setting and getting our goals.
[50:36] Entrepreneurs do things to better other people’s lives. Yeah. They’re making money out of it, but ultimately that’s what that at the core of every entrepreneur is that problem solver. And if you stop yourself from doing what you feel like you were called to do, you can never affect change in other people’s lives because you didn’t start it.
Important Reads and Links
Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker
E-Myth by Michael Gerber
Fix This Next by Mike Michalowicz
See You At The Top by Zig Ziglar
Chris Ducker Website: https://chrisducker.com/
Chris Ducker Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chrisducker/
Chris Ducker Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChrisDucker
Chris Ducker Podcast: https://youpreneur.com/podcast/
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Click Here for a full transcript of this episode:
What’s up DreamNation. We are back again with another episode that I am sure. inspire you to do one thing, and that is take action. So without further ado, please help me and welcome me. My friend, mr. Chris, Ducker to the show. Chris, you want to go ahead and say what’s up to DreamNation
What’s up DreamNation?
I hope you’re doing very good. Is that good? it’s not as cool without an American accent. That’s the thing, us brits, we tend to make things a little boring, I think. “Hello, DreamNation. How are you? It’s a pleasure to be here”.
I love the accent and absolutely. when you’re listening at this, you need a pick me up depending on when you’re listening or watching you want something that’s different.
You want something that’s unique. You want something that’s going to say, okay. Let me listen at this a little bit. So I’m glad of the energy that you’ve already brought on. I always like to make sure that we give the proper introduction to every guests and the way that I do that is by comparing us as entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Changemakers to superheroes.
And the reason being is because constantly we’re putting on a Cape. We’re flying around the world a lot of the times, and we’re trying to solve the biggest problems that we can find. And so we all know of Superman, but behind every Superman, there’s a Clark Kent. So what I want to ask you is behind Chris Ducker, who is Clark Kent.
Ooh, good one. I don’t know. I think that, I’m going to say that. You know what, on a very serious note, like what with me is generally what you get. and it’s almost to the point where I, I think Clark and Superman with me, I’ll just amalgamate it together. I don’t think there are, I don’t think there is that split personality or that alter ego, so to speak.
I guess if I wanted to be a superhero, if I wanted to have those superhero type. Tendencies. I would just, I’ve morphed myself into Bruce Lee or something like that and just kick some butt that way. But I’m a, genuinely, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am very much, shooting from the hip pretty much every time I open my mouth, what is what you get.
If you don’t like what you’re getting, you can skip. It’s that Simple. It’s really that simple. And I am too old and too. Fuddy duddy, as we would say here in England and too long in the tooth to change at this point in my life. I’m in my mid to late forties now. yeah, if I was going to do any, if I was going to change in any way, that would have been done a long time ago.
Got it. I love it. Now, talk to me about when you were growing up, because now you’ve been, you’ve had the ability to do multiple things, everything from leading businesses around virtual assistants to building brands and to be an, a high profile speaker. But like when you were growing up, was this the dream that you had?
Are you fulfilling that or was it by accident that now you’ve become who you are?
I wanted to do two things when I was growing up, the first thing I wanted to do was become a pro basketball player. and in England, Hoops is not a game. like we play it at school and stuff, but it’s not a big sport.
Like it is say in the United States, we have rugby, we’ve got football or a soccer as you guys would call it over there. We have crickets, which is potentially one of those, the most boring sleep inducing sports on the planet. And When you were 12, 13 I discovered the game of basketball for the first time you realized actually I’m not too bad at this.
I feel like not only can I shoot the J but I can dribble, I can pass behind my, I got a little Magic Johnson in me. This is okay. Take it to the hole and all that kind of fun stuff. In fact, the matter is that’s genuinely what I want to do. Like my teens, all my, through my teen years, 16, 17, all the way up to 18, I just wanted to play ball.
That’s right. All I wanted to do, man. And I represented my country in an under 21 tournament, we played in front of eight and a half thousand people at Wembley arena. It was amazing. I played for clubs. I played for schools. I kept in my high school, all that fun stuff. But it’s still basketball and it’s England and there ain’t no money in it at all.
Like even the pro players have like regular jobs, that was of, that was shot down almost immediately. And then the other thing I really wanted to do was I wanted to. Publish a magazine, like I genuinely wanted to get into publishing. And, although I never got up, I never got around having a full blown worldwide distributed magazine.
I did have a magazine. I did publish a magazine for many years, six or seven years. it was called Hong Kong superstars and it was a magazine aimed towards people that were fans of. Hong Kong cinema. So if you were a Jackie Chan or a Jet Li, or Bruce Lee fan, or, Chow Yun-fat and all these John Wu or these big Hong Kong movie stars, if you like these guys, you would buy my magazine.
And that was like my two things that I really wanted to do. Still play ball every now and then, but probably not good enough to go pro.
Yeah, not probably not in your late forties for anybody to go pro
me on the hall. That’s all that matters.
That is all that matters. And if you could still shoot the jumper, there’s a lot of leagues out there that I’m sure could find this spot.
Hey, it’s the shooting. I’m fine with. It’s the running around that I have a problem with,
you might make it in the NBA then. Cause we know they don’t play a lot of defense until you get around the playoff time. So all you gotta do is just really sag back, hope that they don’t knock down jumpers.
So then you’ll fit in with everyone else.
There you go. Now we’re talking
now the things that I heard out of that and correct me is, were you looking for stardom at an early age? Because it sounds or maybe basketball I’m imagining you got exposed to it because were you watching it in the U S cause obviously over here basketball was huge, right?
Just like football and baseball, but it’s big. Then you also develop this magazine where you’re trying to, in a sense, still profile the biggest of names when you talk Jackie Chan, when you talk jet Lee. So for you, was it always, Hey, I wanted to do something big.
I think, retrospectively looking back on it, particularly with Hong Kong superstars.
And we did movie, we did movie premiers with Jackie and Jet in London. I was hung out with them, broke bread and, post facility, photo, isn’t, all that kind of fun stuff. And. It was with Allah, that one, but not the most fun times, that sort of five, six years or so traveled to Hong Kong a whole bunch of times as well.
met, went to movie sets at 1:00 AM because Lu Hong Kong is very noisy place. So they shoot everything at night. Cause otherwise it’s just too much noise and they dump everything back over in the editing suite after, and I, genuinely wanted. My whole thing back in those days is actually quite similar to what I do now.
And that is, I wanted to bring likeminded people together. To explore the things that they were passionate about together to solve similar problems that they might be having in a back in the day, it was finding the latest jet Lee movie on VCD, or VHS right now it’s figuring out how to write an incredibly high converting landing page for their web site.
It doesn’t matter what it is a site. My focus has always been around wanting to bring people together. and I think that’s definitely, yeah, there’s definitely a correlation there between what I was doing with Hong Kong super stars and what I’m doing now with Youpreneur and virtual staff finder and everything, everything else that I do say on the, on the stardom front and the whole, the whole basketball thing for me, When I first discovered basketball, it was not in the United States.
So it was actually through an American friend of mine at high school. So he, he was the cool American kid that came over with his mom and dad and just happened to go to high school. and so I just became buddies with him. And one day he was like, we were playing, net ball.
Which is like the girl version of basketball. There’s no backboard. And so we’re playing that ball and he, everyone else was shooting with two hands. But he was shooting, the way you shoot a basketball. And so I was like, what is that like? And he was just draining. it was just dropping them for everyone.
I was like, who’s this kid, he’s not, I forget the guy’s name. His name is Javier. I think his dad was from France or something. But, he, and he started, I was like, that’s the way you shoot a ball. You should have all like that. And so that was how I discovered it. But what happened was basketball, not being big here.
The only time we ever had NBA on TV over here. It was if you a have satellite, which nobody could afford back in those days, particularly mum and dad couldn’t afford it for sure. All once a year around the playoffs and finals times, we would have a 30 minute magazine highlight shows, screened at 1:00 AM on BBC two, which is way down the list.
And so that’s how I really started watching. The NBA and I’ll never forget it. It was the Celtics versus the pistons at the garden. And I was half Irish. My mom is from Dublin. There’s a leprechaun on the core. Then I became a Celtics fan. Oh, there you go. Right there. So that’s how it all came about.
But one thing is, you said it’s similar to what I’m doing now, where I love to bring together like minded people.
Do you feel like you always had a passion that was maybe. Made you feel like an outlier that you then created this brand, you created the solution out of a, the frustration is the best way to put it because you did when you were younger.
And then all of a sudden you go to Hong Kong and now, cause you felt like you didn’t have your own tribe. And the reason why I wanted to ask that is because there’s a lot of people right now because of this pandemic, no matter where they are, that they’re being exposed to something new, whether it’s.
Digital marketing and landing pages like you said, or whether it’s real estate or whatever, but they’re surrounding that they come from is not talking about that. So now they’re feeling like, okay, my energy, my passion is bringing me over here, but I don’t know necessarily how to connect the two. Do I have to go create something?
Or what’s the way that I find my tribe.
I think, to find it, the tribe, you’ve got to create, like to be able to attract the tribe, to be able to track people into your ecosystem, you’ve got to create regardless. but I, I don’t agree with everything that my friend Gary Vaynerchuk says.
but I do agree with some of the things that he says, cause he’s a very smart guy. And when he says his “document, don’t create” thing. I believe that’s true. I think people are more voyeuristic today than ever before in the history of media, period. if you go all the way back to MTV cribs and, MTV, what was it?
Real world or real life or whatever it was. I can’t remember whatever. Reality TV show. They have, you’ve got the Kardashian’s now you’ve got, selling sunset and all these other big shows. We all are voyeuristic society nowadays. We want to look into other people’s lives. So the document side of thing.
Yes, absolutely. And by the way, regardless of how boring you think your world, your life is. It ain’t that boring to other people that don’t know you. So you should absolutely do that. But secondly, I believe that might be enough to be able to get somebody’s attention, but to get them to hit that follow button.
And to get them to hit that subscribe button. And to get them to go ahead and hit that download button, you got to, there are a lot more than just document you do need to create. You need to create helpful, valuable, original content that can genuinely help solve people’s problems and give them. Answers to their questions.
And really when I think about being an entrepreneur and you could think about being a real estate agent or whatever it is like you are there to solve somebody’s problems, plain and simple. You’ve got a family to, you’ve got a mom and you’ve got a dad, you’ve got three kids. They want to Paul, they want to have half a court to shoot around and they need to be within 10, 10 minutes of the local school and no more than 30 minute commute to the guy’s job.
there’s a lot of problems you’ve got to solve right there as a real estate agent, or you better go find that property for them, otherwise you ain’t getting that commission. So like for me, I look at that from an entrepreneurial perspective, particularly with what we do at youpreneur.com, which is really focused around helping people build a genuine future-proof business around.
Their personality, their experience, their expertise, what they stand for, the people that they want to serve. So it’s people like real estate guys and girls it’s authors, it’s speakers, it’s consultant, it’s coaches, it’s content, creators from any and all platforms that you can think of. And. When I look at what we do.
ultimately yes, we’re bringing these people together in a similar environment, so they can all get to know each other and help each other out. But at the end of the day, what we’re really doing here is solving a problem. And at the very core of every entrepreneur is exactly that it’s that problem solving focus.
I love it. Now, talk to me about you created multiple businesses. How did you, did you create one or did you create them simultaneously? And you just decided that you were going to build multiple businesses, but just keep them separate because this is something that right now, a lot of people who are entrepreneurs or even intrepreneurs, they’re working on their personal brand, they’re working on building a business.
And they’re trying to say, okay, if I’m told that I need to be building a media company, which is essentially what you said, that everybody is always interested and curious about what’s going on in our lives. How, If I want to build two different businesses, how do I do that? Is there a way to do it or do I gotta focused on the one?
And then five years from now I could start to put in the other.
You can do it. It’s tough, but you can do it. You can do it through. Delegation, plain simple. I built my first business, which is a large call center in the Philippines about. 350 odd staff at any time during the year, still owning and operating that business.
Now it’s 12 years. We’ve had our best year ever in 2019.2020, maybe not so good, but nonetheless, we had our best year ever last year, we’ve still got hundreds and hundreds of people work for us. And I built that business up. We had our first seven figure year going into our third. Year. So it took us two full years of operations to hit that seven figure number, which is the Holy grail, right?
Oh, I’m a seven figure business owner. but then I burned out as a direct result of doing exactly that, doing nothing, but throwing myself into the business. So it was doing 16 hour days, six days a week for probably. Year and a half or so, and I was a total physical and mental. Emotional mess. Quite frankly, got myself better, spent a little time in hospital, on an IV to take care of acute dehydration, little anti-depressant.
action going on there for a little while. to get my way out of it. but yeah, after about three or four months to therapy on my lower back, which I ended up, unfortunately having to have a surgery on, but you put all that stuff to one side. What I truly do is I realized, well.
One, I can’t continue to run the business like this. In fact actually i’m not running the business as businesses running me clearly. and number two, if I want to grow it any further, I cannot remember the bottleneck in all these different roles that I’ve unfortunately ended up just working myself into.
And so in 2010, we put this goal in place for myself to ultimately remove myself as much as possible. Day-to-day from the business. By the end of that year, we hired eight people. To replace me so you can see how many different hats I was wearing. However, through the course of 2010 of that delegation focus coming into play, we also opened up the doors to virtual staff finder, which is our VA recruitment hub we just literally celebrating 10 years of that business right now.
So what was the first part of the business?
So the first part was the call center. That was a little cell group. that’s the mothership, right? So we have the lifter. So group, which is ultimately an Outbound and an inbound customer service type of call center. So we, we work with everybody from clients, from the educational world into real estate, into.
web development, you name it, anybody that needs a phone answered or appointments set or chat requests, taken care of that sort of type of thing. That’s what we do is very B2B all the way. Virtual staff finder. we’re set up really because there was a gap in the market between stressed out busy entrepreneur and.
Really good Filipino based or Philippines based VAs. And we just ended up being the gap or rather the bridge, to take care of that gap. And, we’re 10 years in, I’m still doing credibly incredibly well. you build the army, building those two businesses up for a little while, and then quite by accident, the personal brand element started coming into play and I was blogging and podcasting at chrisducker.com, from about 2013 or so, and slowly but surely, the book deal came in for the first book, Virtual Freedom and the speaking invites started coming.
And then all of the interview and the media, and I’m like, what is going on here? This is weird reaching out and saying, Oh, can you teach me how to build a personal brand? And I was like, I don’t know how to build a personal brand. And I’m just stumbled over it. And then in 2015, we opened the doors to Youpreneur, which is ultimately a personal brand business education company now.
Wow. So for, was there a mentor or was it purely just you having to have a talk with God, about, “listen, you can’t keep running it this way”. Because a lot of people, just, as you said, they want to be entrepreneurs, so they get in, but they find themselves being solo preneurs, and I think the best way. That I first heard about it was reading the book E-Myth by Michael Gerber and he talks about the three personalities that’s within everyone, right?
The manager, the executioner, the guy who’s got to do it. And then also the entrepreneur who’s the visionary. And so for you, was there somebody who said, Chris, listen, I love you, my man, you got to take a step back, stop working in your business to work on it, or was it just truly. Throw in your reel, your rehabilitation process, where you maybe felt because a lot of people it’s just like athletes is what I think.
And a lot of people they’ll just be like, okay, I’m going to get stronger. I’m going to come back the second time and I’ll work harder. What was that for you?
I think it was a combination of I knew I was burning out, honestly, man, I knew I was burned out or at least I knew I was headed for it.
Like when you’re not, when you’ve been active your whole life and you’re not working out no more, when you’ve slept really well all your life. And you’re lucky if you get five, six hours, when you rarely drank a cup of coffee and all of a sudden you’re doing four or five a day, And your diet has gone out the window as well.
you’re headed for something and looking back on it retrospectively, those were all the warning signs, right? All diet eating at my desk, not working out, sitting in a chair, 15, 16 hours a day, et cetera. Honestly, the big wake up call was. Not like one morning. I literally couldn’t get out of bed.
My body just said, Nope, I’m done. I need a break. And my wife had to call our company doctor, who was the one who admitted me to hospital for acute exhaustion and dehydration. So I was in the hospital on an IV for liquids and all the rest of it, for a while. And then. just by, because of the medical coverage that we had an MRI done because I told them I was being, I was sitting at my desk all day long, or we should check your back when you’re here, it’s all covered.
It’s all covered. Okay, great. Yeah. Do the scan, take the X rays, do what you gotta do. And then I’ll realize, Holy crap, I’ve got a herniated disc. I didn’t even know it was like that far away from going into my ciatic nerve And all this kind of stuff. And so I think it was the combination of honestly medical advice and my wife.
Saying it ain’t worth it. You’re running your yourself into the floor here. we’ve got kids like, this is not, it’s genuinely not what good to no one, including the business and the people we employ, if you can’t perform properly. So I think there’s a combination of, medical professional saying I needed to make some changes.
and my wife. the deal with wives, come on, we know deal, how high do you want me to jump, darling? Yeah, it was not common. I tell you though, through the years, there have been times we’ve been working on projects and, we run a big conference in London every year called the Youpreneur summit, which is sold out months of advance every year. That is a stressful time. there are, we have coaching programs with our Youpreneur incubator.
That can sometimes be quite stressful. There’s when you’re working with all these people around the world. And from time to time, I find myself maybe just slipping a little bit here and there. I’m only human at the end of the day, but I have a great support network with my wife and my kids. And with my own peer group, I’m friends with a lot of very smart, influential people that.
Are able to reign me in and we all reign each other in, we all were in each other. Like I remember I was having a zoom call with my buddy Lewis Howes about, I don’t know, maybe six, seven weeks ago. And we were just hanging out and I’m laying back in my chair and I’m a chain and he turns around, he goes,”have you been eating too many cookies recently?”.
And what are you talking about you? “So you got a little bit of a belly developing there, And I’m like, Oh my God. He’s like calling me out. there’s no, you don’t understand the rest. You don’t have kids. This is just the dad bald. You’re not in a position to like, But what I did, I hit the cross trainer, like a mofo that night. You know what I mean?
Yeah. I will say though, It certainly helps to have those kinds of friends is just going to give it to you, real, up front like that.
facts. Yeah, no, I got still my buddies and you appreciate that as you get older, because you start to understand that there’s so many “yes men”.
And people just genuinely don’t want the confrontation. They don’t want to make you feel like that you are inferior. So they just don’t say anything. And but the other thing is you need those people. If they know that you have potential, it’s just like your kids. I got to son and now my daughter and we want them to try to maximize their potential.
That’s why we put them in. Everything when they’re young, whether it’s sports, dance, choir. It Doesn’t matter because we want to see how can you be the greatest version of yourself, And so same thing, like I’m sure Lewis saw you. And he said, Hey, I know what type of competitor you are. And it looks like you’re getting a little bit laxed over there.
You’re sitting back, you got the angle showing and it’s you’d need those people in your life. And if you don’t have those people in your life, you gotta go find a group of people who are going to challenge you because otherwise. You’ll have some type of regret at the end of the day to be like, did I really go after everything I could have?
Absolutely. And that’s how accountability, that’s honestly, that’s what keeps I th I think that’s what keeps almost all high achievers continuing to want to achieve more. and to learn more, like I often say that, As leaders, we’ve got to continue to learn in order to continue to lead.
And I truly honestly stand by that and believe that 120%, which is why I read two, three books a month. That’s why I’m listening to audio books as, and when I can, when I’m traveling, when it’s not illegal to travel, all this kind of stuff. So I think it’s incredibly important to have those friends around, to You in as, and when you need to.
but yeah, generally speaking, I’m a pretty self motivated guy. I don’t really need people to kick me up the ass too much to, to take action on goals.
Yeah. And I think that’s why they got to stay at, because when all of a sudden it sees that you’re slipping and that self motivation is lacking, which it does for all of us.
You gotta point that out. But so one thing I want to ask is you now you had to go and hire eight people, right? So then replace yourself. What was that like? Was that a stretch? Because I’d imagine the reason why you wasn’t doing it before and correct me if I’m wrong. Was there a little bit that you didn’t want to relinquish the control?
A little bit, like all of it. I, I was, and I guess probably it’s almost and I don’t use this term. lightly it’s like a recovering addict to a certain, degree, if you love bourbon and you want to drink a bottle of bourbon every single night, you’re an alcoholic, So it’s do you want to control every single aspect? Every single department of your business, you are a micromanager. There’s no other way to look at it. You are a micromanager and, just like alcoholics are going to have their issues with health. a micromanager is gonna have issues in the, in terms of the health of their business.
And that’s I, that’s why I say I’m still a micromanager deep down. I think I probably, but he still am. The only difference is that I taught myself, what I need to do to Check myself every now and then, I also have great team around me. We’ve got incredible SOP in place to make sure that, pretty much everything other than what I should be doing, which falls into two categories, nowadays coaching and creating content.
That’s it. Everything else is handled by the team and we all know that, So I think everything was tough for me, man. Every, like I was doing the recruiting I was doing, the training was in the marketing, was doing the sales. I was walking around the it server room. Like I knew what the cables were doing.
Like it was just out of control and that’s why I ended up getting sick and burning out plain simple. so yeah, it was tough. Every single bit of it was tough. I was, you’re very. your quintessential type, a micromanaging entrepreneur, plain and simple. It was very hard to do that.
but I believe it was without a doubt, the best thing that ever happened to me, because once you get into that, Mindset of delegation. It’s actually quite hard to get out of it. Some call it laziness, some call it being smart, but like anything lands in my inbox, something lands on my desk. The first thing almost always that I’ll ask myself now is can someone else do this for me?
And that’s generally, that’s come about, honestly, I’ve just 10 years of just consistently tweaking procedures, tweaking habits, making sure that things get done by the right people at the right time and trying to avoid. meddling, trying to avoid getting involved when I shouldn’t get involved, which is tough?
Because my wife is a partner in the business. She handled a lot of the operational side of things. My daughter, my eldest daughter, she’s 22. She also handles all of our social media. And that sort of side of the business is sometimes when I hear them talking about something, I’m like, what’d you say? What was that?
Who were they out of? It’s not your job kind of thing. it’s tough when they’re working in the freaking house with you, dude, it’s hot. yeah, I just make sure that I keep my nose out of the stuff that I shouldn’t be getting involved with, or I try anyway.
So a couple of things, one you’ve obviously he built a business around virtual assistants, But you said you have your wife, and then you have your daughter and I’m sure some other people are there at least locally with you. How do you think that people nowadays can build an entire empire similar to what you’ve done being completely virtual? Or do you think. W what about having well, what’s virtual is virtual, like in your same town or as virtual and different companies, but you could still build it.
for me is anywhere in the world, plain and simple. And this is why I like the idea of working with virtual staff or remote staff, whatever label you want to put on it. Still the same thing they work for you, by the way, this is not freelancers. Okay. I don’t look as if at a free, as a member of my team, a freelancer is a service provider.
Plain and simple. So in my mind, anyway, other people might have different opinions, but that’s one man’s opinion. So I’m talking about my team members, people that work for me full time, I paid them a full time wage. They’ve got medical coverage, they’ve got dental plans. They’ve got pension contributions, genuine team members.
I have them literally all around the world, all around the world. And the beautiful thing about this is that we are not. Or we’re no longer forced into a pigeonholed geographical constraints when it comes to finding the right people for the role, for which we’re hiring for it. a lot of people say, Oh, where’s where is the best place to find, for example, a graphic designer.
And I’m all you’re asking the wrong question. Where can I think, where can I find the best graphic designer? It’s not, where’s the best place. Where’s the best country. Where’s the best territory because there are amazing graphic designers all around the world. It’s all about finding the right person for you, your business, your mission, your customers, and your overall focus.
And that’s the beautiful thing about it. So absolutely a business can be set up from the outset and built and grow 100% remotely. No doubt in my mind about it. In fact, actually the virtual staff finder team started out in the Philippines, all in one location. They used to come to the office every single day.
Now everybody’s, home-based every one management, right? The way down to recruiting specialists, all Homebase and they’re splattered all over the Philippines. It’s still all Philippines based because that’s what that business is. But ultimately they’re all completely virtual now.Casanova Brooks: Got it. And the second question that I wanted to ask is, do all, or at least those eight people, when you first started, were they all reporting to you or did you then decide to have one brand manager and they all report it to that one person?
No. Yeah. From the outset, that’s a very good question. And from the outset, it was quite clear who was going to be reporting to who? So for example, recruit, I think recruiting. Training and IT reported to my wife and still reports my wife cause she’s head of operations. and then I had our marketing assistant.
I had our sales director and I have our general manager reporting to me. And that’s still the case as well. Now there are other people. That then report to those individuals that I have very little, if not, no interaction with at all last year. Me and my wife flew from Cambridge here in England, over to the Philippines for our Christmas party.
Our staff didn’t know we were coming over. we missed it the year before, because it was the year that we moved back to the UK. And so we didn’t want to miss it two years in a row. So we just turned up on uninvited to our own company party and. It was amazing. And when I went back, I’m in this huge ballroom in Cebu city, in the Philippines 300 plus people in this room, I probably knew the names of 20 people.
I kid you not, could you not? And and then I have to get up on stage and give this and the VM motivational speech and all this kind of stuff. And I’m like, okay, I, I’m gonna wing this kind of thing because I haven’t really met the vast, 95% of the people that work for me.
I don’t know them, but actually that’s fine with me because the 20 people or so that I do know personally, they’re the ones then that are going ahead and managing everybody else and making sure that everybody gets the best of them. So it’s a good set up, man. It’s a good setup, wasn’t always, but it is now.
Yeah, no. And I think that’s good to know, because I think I’ve had those conversations as well. And when you first talk about I gotta release, but if they’re all reporting to you, it’s still a lot of them your time and you’re still trying to-
you’re still the bottleneck at that point, even if you’ve got other people and they’re still coming to you, when all these people are reporting back to you on all these individual aspects of your business.
When are you going to run the business? When are you going to grow the business? You can’t cause you still trapped working inside it. You don’t have any time to work on it. And so it’s important to, Compartmentalize those individual aspects.
Yeah. Now you said, you’re an avid reader, right, you listen to audio books and you love to read.
And I see all the books in your background right now and I’m sure know,
Oh, they go way up into the rafters of the house. Around the corner and everything. And I’ve got hundreds of books
what’s been over the last, let’s even say three years, because obviously there’s been a lot of growth for you over these last three years.
For a lot of people running businesses. Has there been one book that you’ve said, wow, this has had a profound impact in the last three years on the way that I do business and the way that I’ve built my brain.
that’s a tough one. I think one that I read just recently, it’s called, Fix This Next by my good buddy, Mike Michalowicz. What I loved about that book. It was that it was so simple, but it. It has the ability to have such a massively profound effect on the growth of any business, just by making it more simple, by bringing it down to priorities.
Ultimately, a great book Fix This Next, really good book. And it’s not a new book, but it’s a very old book, but it’s a book that I read literally every single year. And it’s See You At The Top by Zig Ziglar. Zig Ziglar. I never met, I have, spoken and hung out with his son on a number of occasions, but, I’ve never met Zig.
he’s obviously no longer with us now, but that particular book I remember, it’s a checkup from the neck up. Are you serious? Is that in the subtitle of a book? I’m buying the book. Give me the book. and so See You At The Top. It’s just such a good book. Oh, it’s just every, regardless how long ago it was written out.
Yeah. I don’t know how many years ago. I think the first printing was in the sixties, I think. but it’s still just one of those books. I just, devour cover to cover every single year. Without a doubt. See You At The Top 100% required reading for every body that wants to build great opportunities into their life, whether it’s as a boss of their own business or as an employee of somebody else’s.
but yeah, there’s a lot of good books out there, man. A lot of good books.
Yeah. And that’s the first time I have to read that. That’s the first time that I’ve ever no, one’s ever mentioned that book before, so I’d definitely put it on my list every time I hear it. No
book, it’s an book and I’m a big Zig fan.
So that’s That’s there as well. Like it’s like the ceremonious, yearly, screening of Enter The Dragon, with the surround sound and the popcorn. And like I love Bruce, sorry, every year as well, kind of thing,
Yeah, every time I, and see, I never have read, say one Zig Ziglar book, but for me, every time I hear Ziglar mentioned, it always brings to my mind Jim Rohn, who I’m, what Zig gets to you.
I’m sure Jim Rohn is to me and it’s so it’s not the, Revolutionize the information, right? It’s nothing that’s out, but the way that they say it, And the things in the way that it hits your heart, there’s so many things, right? Like one of the things that I always say when I start to complain is, “don’t wish that the load was lighter. Wish that your back was stronger.” Things like that it’s okay. you always got to put things into perspective because a lot of the problems that we have, no matter what you’re going through, you can always look at someone else who probably has it a little bit worse than you.
Sometimes a lot worse than you. And a lot of people who had it worse than you that are now taking the same cards and that are winning in their situation.
Absolutely. And there’s something also about, I think those older guys, they have, a lot of experience. They’ve got a lot of life experience as well.
and see, for me, Zig was just. Zig was doing stuff as well. Back in the day, like he had his seminars and speeches put on to vinyl. Like actually one of my community members gave me for my birthday a couple years ago, a signed Zig Ziglar record. Wow. I find it like, and I’m like, this is great.
And there was something about the way he would tell the story. I’m probably going to butcher the Alabama accent now, but it was like, you’re going to have, and a thing alive that you all, or like this is Zig man. it’s hard not to love with a person that speaks. So frankly, but with so much poetry thrown in, it’s hard not to want to listen to that person over and over again.
And the information is always evergreen and it just feels so relevant. So that’s why it’s wow, they were talking about this in the thirties, the forties, the fifties, and it’s still relevant today because mindset, it’s always going to be a challenge and we all go through what’s called the imposter syndrome.
And I think that’s a perfect segue into the next one. Cause I want to know, do you ever suffer it now? You’ve built. Multiple seven figure businesses, right? You speak all over the world, you have high networks, everything. So when people see you now, they say, Oh, he’s already got it all made. Do you ever suffer from imposter syndrome?
Do you ever feel like you’re not supposed to be doing what you’re doing?
Not now, not anymore. And I think that does come with a little bit and I don’t want to sound like a douche all of a sudden, but it’s I think you’ve, I think. I think once you’ve gotten a certain amount of success on the belt, regardless of, and by the way, that was success means totally different things to everybody, right?
Like it’s, you can’t compare, compartmentalize that. But I think that I know for a fact, eight, nine years ago, I had imposter syndrome. Absolutely. I’d look at guys like Tim Ferris and say. I can write good blog posts. Why aren’t I getting 300 comments on my blog posts? I’m only getting 20, It’s that vanity metric thing kicks in as well. I like to use Twitter. Why am I not verified right now? But that wasn’t back in those days, all these little things. And I think a lot of the time. Those vanity metrics play actually a very big part in imposter syndrome. And I’ve helped some of my coaching clients get over that as well and focus on their thing.
Not what other people are in is a thing You cannot, you should not compare your 10th step to somebody else’s 70 and 80 or 200, whatever it is. They got more, steps on the road, they’re already ahead of you because they started before you. You shouldn’t be comparing yourself, you know, and that at the core of it, that’s what imposter syndrome really is.
So yeah, I have issues with it, before, particularly when I got more active online, 2011, 12, 13, for sure. Absolutely. I would have handled, those sorts of types of feelings from time to time. But now I don’t, I think it’s maybe one because I have achieved a lot of the goals that I set out to achieve in terms of, speaking on great stages, publishing books and all that kind of stuff, which was all great goals to have.
and I hit them and they mean a lot to me, every single one of those goals mean a lot to me, but I think also, so you balanced that. At those levels of achievements quite nicely with the fact that actually, you know what, it’s not just about stuff like. I’m older now. I understand it. I get it a lot easier.
and to go back to our basketball analogy, one of the, one of the best, and there’s a lot of great, basketball documentaries out there. One of my favorite ones is the Larry Bird one, the Larry and magic one or the courtship of rivals, I think it’s called or something where they’re both talking about how.
They would look at each other, from college all the way through to pros, et cetera, and how Larry would get up in the morning and look at the sports section of the name of the newspaper and say, Holy crap, magic drops. 36 last night. I got to do better than that tonight now, although there was a rivalry there’s maybe even a little bit of imposter syndrome going on there as well, possibly.
So I think it’s a big issue. And particularly nowadays with younger folks, people like yourself, that millennial crowd, my oldest son is 24. My oldest daughter is 22. I’ve got an 11 year old, I’ve got a three, a three year old and I generally see it. And I think social media has a big part to play in this, a big part to play in it.
I just had a conversation with my son just a couple of days ago about you tubers. And he said, Oh, that YouTube is he’s a newb. He’s a nerd that used to be 8,000 scribers. This guy’s got 30 million or whatever it was. And I’m like, okay. 8,000 people. There’s a lot of people. Do you bring them all around here?
We can’t fit them in the house. I guarantee it’s a lot of people subscribed to that dude’s channel. and the 30 million guy here, he had a 8,000 subscribers, seven, eight years ago, whatever it is. So I think it’s an issue. It’s a bit of an issue. No, I don’t struggle with it anymore, but I certainly have done.
Yeah. That’s and I want to make sure that we shine light back on what you said. Cause I think that’s huge for any once a year. And that is you cannot compare your 10th step to I’m one else’s 17th step, because even myself, just like you said, and here’s what it brought back to, especially when you brought up the basketball analogy.
And I remember I’m a huge Duke fan, right? So Jay Williams was. One of my guys growing up. And then he went to the NBA, played for the bulls before he had that motorcycle accident. But I remember, and it wasn’t too long ago. He went on Instagram and he talked about a story that basically a time that he had with Kobe Bryant when he first got into the league.
And he said there, I think there were about to play the Lakers. And basically he got to the gym. Colby was already there. He then finishes up his workout, Kobe still going. And he was like, and I think he wound up going back and asking them, like, why were you working? So cause he was like, I didn’t want you to ever think that you would have an edge on me.
Is that comparison thing because then you take that. Yeah. You do it for the next. And you’re always comparing whether it’s. Up or down. and sometimes that can be used as fuel and you can become a Mamba, but sometimes that can be detrimental. And I think that it always comes down to self discipline, self awareness, right?
It’s a no here’s who I am, rather than always trying to focus on other people because yeah, it is a big comparison game in social media and YouTube. And my son is in the same thing. That’s the same. That’s the one thing you always ask me. Every kid,
every kid wants to be a YouTube nowadays.
CJ does too.
Really sure. That’s, it’s crazy, but that may, and I’m so glad that you said that and I hope someone hears that and I hope that they say, wow, okay, let me just understand that I’m right where I need to be right now. As long as I keep putting in the work that I need to do. I’m okay.
Consistency is everything like, make no doubt about it. Like you show up two times a week for your tribe online. Regardless of what you’re doing, whether it’s a, an Instagram live or, a Facebook live or a blog post or podcast, like what you’re doing, like just show up consistently. Become somebody’s favorite.
If you do that, the wind will come your way. You might not even see it coming at ya, but ultimately the consistency will create that win for you at some point.
Absolutely. Looking back at your journey and it’s been a magnificent one as you’ve described to us already.
If there was one thing that you could have changed to accelerate your dream, obviously it’s always a progression, but what’s that one thing that you think that if you would’ve just took heed or implement it sooner, it would have helped to accelerate. Your path
without a doubt, hands down. I would have got myself involved in a mastermind group a lot earlier.
Masterminds for me have been the. Biggest the biggest needle mover in my business. And when I say masterminds, masterminds led by a coach, a mentor of some variety. I’m blessed to be running two myself now, but it wasn’t always the case. So I’ve invested, dude. I’ve invested. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in being at the right tables or at the right events or at the right dinners, in terms of travel and hotels and fees and all that kind of stuff.
Without a doubt. Hands down. I would have surrounded myself with my peers and even those one step two step higher up than I am already. way earlier. Yeah. My career, even before starting businesses, myself, if I don’t know the power of doing that and not wanting to keep things right close to my chest all the time.
I’d be in, I’m doing fine. Don’t get me wrong, but I’d be in a whole different stratosphere if I started doing that a lot earlier than they did. For sure.
That’s something it’s so funny. Cause everybody’s, that’s the new power word everybody wants to mastermind. Do you think that is there because the information is not revolutionary.
Do you think that there’s value in these high level masterminds? Or would you say because if you could go get Chris Ducker, but Chris Ducker’s mastermind might be 50,000 or a hundred thousand dollars, would you say. It’s definitely essential. If you can invest that or would you say, listen, if you don’t have that, just go get a couple of group of friends that are right where you are and try to create your own
if you’re gonna, if you can’t afford it.
Yes, absolutely. Do it yourself. there’s nothing stopping you from doing that. And I absolutely believe you should do it. Yeah. That’s how I got started with it. 2011, 2012. I’d get together whenever I was in the United States, I’m usually going for a conference or maybe right at the beginning, like my speaking and things like that.
I would do the event and I’d stick around for another couple of days. That’d be three or four of us that would all get together a mastermind just for an entire day. And through the years, I’ve sat. I’ve sat down with people like John Lee, Dumas and Pat Flynn, and all these guys are being very good friends now, very close friends of mine, but a lot of the time I would have just met them via that environment as well.
And I quote those two guys just as examples. but yeah, I think the most important thing is when you’re investing in a mastermind, you’re actually paying for access into somebody’s program. The investment isn’t as important as making sure that mentor or that coach or that group is the right group for you.
and I think, it’s a personal journey, Like you’ve got to try and balance it all up in terms of time, in terms of investment level, in terms of what your problems are right now and what kind of. Solutions you want to be served up to you. I’ve been a member of a number of high end masterminds over the years, all actually for very different types of reasons as I look back on them now.
and I think that once you find that one person or two people, yeah. You really connect with, you tend to just stay with them because if there’s one thing I do know from doing all the things I’ve done in regards to masterminds and. And, brainstorming sessions and afternoons and retreats and all that kind of stuff.
Here’s the thing. And this is the big thing here above and beyond everything. Yeah. And it is that we don’t actually need more ideas. We don’t actually need more content. Even what we actually really truly honestly need is more support and more accountability. We need someone to hold our feet to the fire when it comes to setting and getting our goals plain and simple.
And it’s very hard to hold your own feet. To the fire, you will wriggle free because it’s plain and simple. So you want someone else to hold your feet to the fire for you. And when you say I’m going to do this next in the next quarter, I’m going to launch this. I’m going to make this much. I’m going to effect this much change.
When the next quarter comes about and you’re sitting there at the retreat and someone says, so last quarter, Chris, you said you were going to do this, and this. How have you done? You don’t want to look like the lazy SOB that did absolutely nothing. And that I, that accountability, the is everything.
That’s what you pay for quite frankly, that and the network of people around you nine times out of 10, that’s what it’s down to.
Man such valuable information. There’s somebody out there right now, that’s listening. This that’s so inspired by you and they want to blaze a path similar to what you’ve done.
But they have that little voice in their head. And that little voice says that they’re not smart enough. They’re not strong enough. Or maybe they just don’t have enough resources. What’s the one thing that you would say to that person to get them to just take action.
Stop listening to yourself. You’re full of crap.
That’s what I would say to them. that’s the, honestly, that’s that imposter syndrome creeping right there. and it’s like anything that’s if you want things that you’ve never had before, you’ve got to do things that you’ve never done before. That I’m not that much, without a doubt is a hundred percent agree.
And so if you keep, if you keep listening to yourself and allowing yourself to ultimately not take action, not only is it a shame because you won’t ever achieve what you truly honestly feel you’re called to achieve and doing your life, but more importantly, the people that you would have come in contact with.
You wouldn’t have been able to affect change for them. And that’s truly what the call is for entrepreneurs. They’ve got all the great entrepreneurs around the world. They’re doing things to better other people’s lives. Yeah. They’re making money out of it, but ultimately that’s what that at the core of every entrepreneur is that problem solver.
And if you stop yourself from doing what you feel like you were called to do, you can never affect change in other people’s lives because you didn’t start it. You didn’t get it going.
There, you have it for anyone who wants to stay connected with you, where can they find you at?
I’m a bit of an Instagram fan.
Now, if you’d have asked me a couple of years ago, I would said Twitter, but now I like the Instagram feeds. So @ChrisDucker on Instagram, hit me up in the DMs. Let me know that you found me right here on this show and yeah. Chrisducker.com all the links over there on my personal site as well.
Absolutely. And we’ll make sure that we have all of those links in the show notes. My man, I want to say thank you. This has been such an inspirational, such a motivational podcast. And I think anybody who’s listening to this, if they don’t do exactly what you said and one not compare themselves, but to get that imposter syndrome and just.
Figure out who were the people that can help you get to your goal even faster. And I think they’re doing a disservice to themselves and of course the people around them. So I want to be the first one to kick it off and say, thank you. Remember DreamNation and the dream we trust, but we got to take that action.
Otherwise it will only merely be a fantasy. We’ll catch you on the next one.