Mike Arce Talks About the One Thing For Entrepreneurs

– My name is Alex Guevara
and this is Originals. We talk to innovative, creative, and rule-breaking people
from all walks of life. In this episode, we talk with Mike Arce, owner of Loud Rumor, a
digital marketing agency that helps gyms and fitness
studios gain more customers. We discuss how he grew his
business in a challenging economy and how his quest for personal growth sparked his own transformation. Mike Arce, husband, father, entrepreneur, consultant, coach, owner of Loud Rumor, host of the GSD podcast,
what else do you do, or what do you not do? – I forgot that it was that many things. I was already counting. – I’m really impressed
by folks like you, Mike, because there are only 24 hours in a day. I seem to be able to get maybe
two or three things done, but I’m just going to imagine
that you have a long list of things and you get half that done, you know, before 10 AM
in the morning most days. – So the truth is, I don’t, but I know a lot of people do and it
really works well for them. I actually focus on me in the
very beginning part of the day cause I have a lot of natural bad habits when it comes to getting distracted or not getting exercise in
or just being scatterbrained. So I’ve learned through some coaches that have been very helpful
that in the very beginning part of the day, that’s
where I do my meditating, that’s where I do my
reading, that’s where I’ll go work out and I’ll get some emails done and then actually, the
bulk of my stuff is done between 10 AM and 5 PM every day. – Super productive, though.
– Yeah. – Not a wasted moment, you
know, you have kids and a wife. – Our slogan is GSD. – Get shit done.
– Get shit done, so yes. – First question that I
really have for you is, is entrepreneurship in your blood? Do you have other family members who have kind of gone the
route that you’ve chosen or are you one of the first ones? – I don’t think it’s in my blood. My dad’s a business owner, but you know, I think there’s a different
definition for business owner and entrepreneur.
– Sure. – He’s a man of habits, so he
goes to the same restaurants, he wakes up at the same
time, he does the same stuff every day, he has the
same thing for breakfast, bread and coffee, every
day for like 40 years. The guy, I’ve never seen
him without a mustache. So it’s just like, that’s my dad. I am the exact opposite, where every day would be different if
I didn’t create habits. He gets uncomfortable with difference. So I didn’t want to be an entrepreneur, that wasn’t a goal of mine. I just liked working and I liked, you know, just having fun.
– Sure. – And we just had a
situation to where it was bad part of the economy, wife lost her job and my job, because of
the economy, wasn’t paying and we had to do something
cause we had a baby on the way and so we ended up starting a business out of necessity cause money had to come and no one else was paying.
– Sure. – And then I fell in love with it, but I don’t think it’s in my blood. – Right, so let’s transition
to that because I think, you know, necessity is the
mother of invention, right? So this is why you started Loud Rumor. Could you explain a
bit what Loud Rumor is? What is your main kind of function? Who are you serving? – We serve fitness studios
and independent gyms and we run the best lead
generation campaigns in the world using Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube and we just generate hundreds of leads for them on average every single month so they can grow their business. – So why did you decide to niche down to the gym and fitness industry? Because, you know, you could have gone a myriad of different
paths, different industries, but then that’s a really interesting path. – One of the pieces of advice
I’ve gotten from a mentor, it also matched what one
of my coaches told me, and then coincidentally, that same week that this guy, this coach told
me to niche, I read the book called Built to Sell.
– Okay. – And it just felt like
niching was the answer, and so I niched based on advice,
not gut feeling or anything. In fact, my gut was telling me not to, I was a little afraid to, but it ended up like right away, I saw that
that was what I should’ve done. – Did you have any other ideas
you were about to jump on before niching down to the
gym and fitness industry? – I had a hundred, a
thousand ideas, you know, and most of them were bad,
and I’ve already failed on a lot of ideas, so most
ideas actually are not good and that’s important that
I think entrepreneurs know. I think it’s important
that I constantly keep reminding myself, because
it’s easy to get discouraged. It’s important that
entrepreneurs and business owners let their employees know constantly because I think sometimes,
when you don’t know that, employees can get discouraged, like, “I thought that was a good
idea, you shot it down.” Well, you know, our own ideas
get shot down all the time by mentors, coaches, and even
just implementing and failing, so most ideas are not good, I think it’s important to know that. – Yeah, and so in this
aspect of you really helping these people in the fitness industry to generate leads, get customers, one thing I found that was
really powerful from your blog, you mind me reading that really quick? I love that you wrote, “Finding
out what your customers’ “unarticulated needs are is imperative.” I think that’s one of
the most brilliant things I’ve read in awhile
because it really speaks to maybe what you’re trying to do and help. Can you explain that a bit more, maybe give me an example of that? – Yeah, so everyone will
articulate to you what they want, but there’s an unarticulated
need behind everything and they’re not not articulating
it because they want to hold it back from you, they
don’t even know they need it. – [Alex] Sure. – And so for us, for
instance, everybody says they want leads and
they want more members, but really what they’re saying is, “I want to learn how to be
able to grow my business.” – Yeah.
– Right? That’s the unarticulated need. But they don’t know what they don’t know. And so we created two things
to help them with that. So the first thing is what, we
address the articulated need, we created an amazing lead
generation program for them. They articulate it, we’ll give it to you. – Right. – But along the way,
which you’re gonna learn, is that we’ve collected
through our podcasts that’s specifically for them,
and our learning center, which is filled with tons of videos and PDFs and downloads, we’ve aggregated a bunch of information
that the most successful fitness studios that we work with do in order to grow their
business, and so now, you take people that they
didn’t know they needed help with that, they didn’t
know they needed help with finding and hiring and
developing great talent. They didn’t know they needed
help with money management. They didn’t know they needed
help with all these things until they see someone else
doing it really, really well, and they go, “Wow, I
should be doing that.” And so now, they’re
buying into so much more than just getting leads,
they’re buying into, okay, now I got leads, now how
do I make the most out of it and get more out of it with my business? – And that’s like, the
leads gets them in the door, everything else you’re providing them keeps them there and coming
back for that support. – And it creates that
differentiator, so now, if they decided they wanted to go to a different lead generation company, they don’t have that
consistent flow of content. They don’t have that data
of what the best are doing. And so they’re just kind
of winging it again. – Sure, sure.
– It’s gone. – I mean, I think this support network and tools you provide them,
I’m sure you could attest to just how successful
some of your clients are. It’s really amazing. So you said grow in your
business a few minutes ago and this season, we’re actually
focusing on growth actually, like randomly just kind of occurrence. And growth can mean a lot of things, but when you think about
Loud Rumor, you think about the GSD show, you think
about your own personal life. What does growth mean
to you at this moment? – So you can grow the way
everyone is taught to grow by people that shouldn’t be teaching, which is get your revenue
up, get your revenue up, get your revenue up,
because it’s great to say I’m a seven-figure business or
I’m an eight-figure business. But you can grow the
way that I was taught, which I believe is the right way, which is how many customers you can serve and help, and we measure that, we know
what the record leads are we’ve gotten in per month
and per day and per week. We have stuff on the
walls, like the big wins for our customers and what
they’ve been able to do. We celebrate it when they open up a new location or something. So we measure that, but
we also measure profit and the reason we measure profit and we think that’s a really
important number is because, and when I say profit, I
should say cash, really, like how much cash the
business is bringing in. The reason we like to measure that is cause that lets us know
what our opportunities are and it also gives us that
security to take some risks because, you know, when
you build a business, you want to make sure you have
a really great place to work for your people and also
for yourself, right? You want to go in there
and high-five people and know that people care about you and vice versa, it’s a good feeling, but I think something that
makes you sick to your stomach is wondering if you’re
gonna have to fire people and so I don’t like to be in the position where one move can make me
have to let go of people. – Sure. – And so cash and saving
it up and making sure that I have cash available
to me to eliminate risk as well as to say yes to opportunities cause I don’t want to
say, if somebody goes, “Hey, Mike, we got this great opportunity, “we’d like to have an event with you “and I can bring in all these people. “Would you like to contribute? “We just need $125,000 from you.” And it’s like, “No, I don’t have that.” – Yeah. – But if you can say, “Yeah, let’s do it,” that’s a really good feeling, too, to have that control, you know? – We talked really about control, I was interviewing someone earlier and you kind of talk about
the opportunity to say yes, which I think is really important, but when do you say no to things? When are you gonna say no to something? – So I have people like
Kelsey and Sarah on my team to help out with that, because
I’m addicted to saying yes, and I’m getting better at it.
(laughs) But, you know, that’s something I’m trying to learn really well from coaches. I haven’t mastered it, so
I don’t wanna be the guy on the show that’s like,
“Oh, yeah, I say no.” I’m not good at it, but I’m getting better and I know that you have
to focus on your one thing. There’s a really great book I’ve read several times called The One Thing and the phrase is, “What’s the one thing “I could do such that by doing it, “everything else would
become easy or unnecessary?” So when you know what the main goal is, then you just have to
constantly ask yourself, does this help me get to the main goal or does this take me away from it? And if it takes you away from it, then you have to say no to
it, but then it gets gray and this is a part that some people need to know cause you can mess things up. So we have a podcast called The GOAT Show, stands for Greatest of All Time, right? And it’s like, how does
that directly contribute to what we’re looking to do? And it doesn’t. Like, we don’t monetize it
and it doesn’t help get leads for the fitness company that we built, the fitness lead generation
company, but indirectly, we’re meeting people, I’m getting coaching from some of the best minds
in the world, and also, I’m getting access to great
conferences I can speak at, great podcasts, like
yours, that I can be on. And so that’s giving me platform to be able to share my story in a way with a microphone that I just don’t have. – Sure.
– And so indirectly, it helps, so I have to be very
careful what I say no to cause some of those
things can be really good. – Sure. – But if I can’t come up with a way, or if I feel like I’m really reaching, then I know I gotta say no to it. – Yeah, I mean and I think you mentioned a couple of your employees,
I think you mentioned that building that team is
really, really important. You started Loud Rumor with
just you and your wife, right, in this moment of need. How many employees do you have now? – I think we’re at 19 or 20, 20? Yeah, 20. – And how many years was that growth? – Well, okay, so we grew to
like eight was our highest up until 2014 or 15, then we
just had a bad year even though we had a high revenue like
we talked about, right? – [Alex] Sure. – And when I say our revenue
was high, relative to us at that time, we had like
$500 or $600,000 in the year, but we made no money,
in fact, we lost money so I had to let a lot of people go and we went back down to three. Me, my wife, and then we hired Sarah, who’s still with us today. And so we went back down to three in 2015 or maybe late-mid 14, and so from that time to 2016, we maybe got up to six or seven, but then we went to like 20. We hired probably 14
people in the last year. – I mean, it’s really impressive. I walked into the office and I thought, and this is like a buzzing office, a lot of people here doing important work, so I get it, you know, you’re
trying to minimize risk, you want to be able to say yes
to things, and so with that, what has been that strategy this last year when you kind of made this big bump in growth in terms of employee size? What has directed that? – That’s been the hardest thing to change because people are so used
to me being a certain way and this year, I’ve really had
to focus on being a great CEO and that’s hard cause I have
to create habits I didn’t have and I have to speak in
ways that I haven’t spoke and so it can probably
come off as inauthentic or I don’t deliver it well
yet, and so because of that, I think there’s just
hiccups like everybody, you know, when you’re
wanting to learn new things. But just wanting to be a really great CEO, know what that means, being
able to look at things, at the numbers, being able
to look at down the road and plan ahead, be a few steps ahead and think about what could happen and how we can take
advantage of it or avoid it, depending on if it’s a risk or a reward. That’s been my big focus this year is really knowing all the things
that a great CEO looks at, not necessarily a great marketer or not necessarily a great salesperson, all those are part of it,
but what a great CEO looks at and that’s been a big
focus and it’s been tough, but I feel like I’m getting there. – You’ve talked about your GOAT show, you’ve interviewed some great people, you’ve talked about
some other great books. If someone were to come
up to you, you know, a budding entrepreneur or a struggling one and they really say, “You
know, Mike, I need to grow “as a business owner, as an entrepreneur,” what are you gonna recommend? – One of the things that’s
very tough to do, I think, even when you start
seeing a little success, not even tremendous success
but just even a little, it’s tough to always
remember that you’re not even close to being great yet,
cause when I hear great, I think Richard Branson,
I think Mark Zuckerberg, I think these guys that have built billion-dollar companies in 11
years, right, like Facebook. So I usually am wanting to more
find out, where are you at? Or what are your strengths, right? Or tell me a little bit more. Because depending on that answer, I may not make
recommendations or I may say, “Hey, you need to talk to this guy.” – Yeah. – But depending on their answer, let’s say they say something
and the biggest hurdle that they have, the
biggest struggle they have is something I’ve mastered,
then I’ll jump on it. So right now, the things
I feel most comfortable on are number one, finding a niche because it’s not only easy for you to get great at something,
but it’s also easy for your team to get
really great at something and be extensions of you
if you just give them one thing to get great at.
– Yeah. – So that’s one thing,
who’s your customer niche. Another thing is what’s
your service niche? What’s the one thing you can do? I think a lot of businesses, they realize that there’s opportunities to start this and you can add this, you
can sell this to that person, you can sell that to that person, next thing you know, you’ve
not really been great at developing any one product or service and somebody that is is just crushing you and so I think that’s another thing. And then the last thing
is constantly learn how a business should run. You know, not just so it’s
like if you’re taking sports, it’s not just like the cool
moves that people like to see and practice and all that stuff, it’s what’s the fundamentals of the game that you can work on that no matter what, if you have those things in place, you’ll always be at least doing okay. – Yeah, I like that a lot
because it’s kind of like when my coach in basketball was like, if you’re just good at passing– – If you can make layups
and you can play defense and you can rebound and can
make a pass that can connect, going through your legs
and doing reverse layups and dunking, all that stuff
doesn’t even need to be done. – Yeah, or you could be
5’5″ and still be successful if you could just get those things. – If you do the fundamentals
really, really well. – Yeah, exactly.
– Right, yeah. – Love it. So last
question, a slight pivot. And we touched up on this briefly. You have a really, what’s the word, prolific content out there. You have a lot of stuff out there. What was the genesis of that? I know that part of it was to just give yourself opportunities
to talk to different people, but what was the origin of
all this content that you do, what was the first thing that you did when you thought, I
need to start producing? – I started realizing that I became a fan, so I started becoming
a fan of certain people like Russell Brunson and
Ryan Deiss and Verne Harnish and I realized that whenever they came out with a piece of content, I was on board and I was more likely to opt into things and go to conferences
cause they were there. And so I saw that and I was
like, man, how great would it be if people were like that with us? Because I’m such an easy sell
for a guy like Verne Harnish. If Verne Harnish came up
to me today and he’s like, “Man, I got this course, “you gotta be a part
of it, it’s $5 grand.” I’m like, “Okay.” I don’t need to know anything about it. I trust him and I know what he’s great at and if that’s what I wanna follow in, I’m just gonna pay cause
I’m assuming it’s good. And so I built that
because I truly believe although there’s so many
things I have to learn, I truly believe I’m great
at what our business does and I believe our people are great at what our business does, and
I think if we can share that with that group of people
over and over and over that know, like, and trust
can start developing. Here’s the thing, I can’t buy
from you if I don’t know you. – [Alex] Sure. – It’s literally impossible.
– Yeah. – Everyone I haven’t bought
from that I don’t know, it’s cause I don’t know them.
– Yeah. – And I won’t buy from
you if I don’t like you. – That’s true. – And I’m very skeptical or I’m
gonna be a very odd customer if I buy from you and I don’t trust you. – Yeah.
– Right? – Because some people still buy if they don’t like or trust you if they really want the product, but if that like and trust
is there, they’ll buy, they’ll refer, they’ll buy again, they’ll come to everything,
they’ll do everything. – And they’ll be
forgiving of any mistakes. I think that’s really important too, it’s like if they get to
know you and trust you and like you, if there’s a hiccup. – They remember you’re human cause they’ve heard about your story. They know you’re human,
you’re not just a business. If you don’t know Verizon’s story, it’s easy to get really
annoyed with Verizon when your phone doesn’t work for an hour. – [Alex] Right, exactly. – But some of my favorite
coaches or people that I follow, if their stuff went
down for a couple days, I’d be like, look, I know he’s
working hard to get it up. I know this is bothering him. You know? So yeah, I think it’s really great for the business and the brand. I think it’s great for the customers, too, because I think they
implement better and faster as there’s more trust and
they don’t wanna let you down. So content’s been really
great and I think if you have the ability to create that
content, which I think most people do, then you
should definitely do it. – Good. Mike, I appreciate your time. I know you are a working CEO, you have a call coming up
soon, so I appreciate it. So loudrumor.com, the GSD show, Stitcher
on iTunes, I’m assuming. – Yep. – Anything else we should know about? – So right now, I’m actually creating a new show called The GOAT Show. So I don’t know when this
comes out, but in January, start following goatshowpodcast.com, or thegoatshowpodcast.com,
either one, actually, but man, I’m interviewing monsters. They’re literally GOATs. They’re arguably the greatest
of all time at what they do and so that’s been such an amazing part cause like I told you, you know, being around these people
and learning from them is what’s helping me, and even if it’s not exactly what I do, I’m
getting so many ideas indirectly from these guys, and so I think anybody that watches or
listens to this show, you’re gonna be able to
take, even if you’re in a different industry,
take it and just know what to do with yours.
– Amazing. So we’re looking forward
to the launch in January. Mike, I appreciate your time, man. – Absolutely, thank you.
– Thanks a lot. – Take care.
– Take care.

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