Josh Tapp 0:01
What's up everybody? Josh Tapp here. Welcome back to the lucky entrepreneur podcast. We're so excited today because we've got Rob Campbell on the mic. Rob is a retired US Army Colonel having led over 5000 men and women, he took those leadership lessons and wrote a book called, it's personal, not personnel, an amazing book, he goes into to what he teaches in that book, and he also shares with us how to get in the door of any company that you want to work with. Also, he shares with us how to leverage LinkedIn to be able to take that platform and build a huge audience and to be able to, to go out there and get business from it. So we're gonna delve into that today. So I'm so excited to have Rob on the mic here. So we're gonna delve right in. So Rob, tell me something about yourself that most people don't know.
Rob Campbell 0:44
Something about me that most people don't know.
You know, I've never been diagnosed with this, but I have ADHD. My son was diagnosed with it right. And so I see a lot of things he struggles with or the same things that I struggle with. I have a hard time getting started on something I mean, you have no idea what we'll be lucky to get off a question one
Unknown Speaker 1:05
day, that's a good thing.
Rob Campbell 1:07
bracket easy, I really do.
And so, you know, I, these are things I have to overcome as a leader, because, you know, I've led I've obviously succeeded, but you know, being conscious of these can overcome, say, you know, I miss small details, you know, I'll be sitting in a meeting and someone will spit out information and they'll go right over my head. I'm a visionary, big thinker, right. And so I've always had to surround myself with people to protect me from myself as how I put it. Right. But different from me that can catch those small details, but most people don't know that. And isn't that the curse of leaders? Right? Do they manage these perfect beings, but they're really not their core.
Josh Tapp 1:48
Right. And I would say that's the entrepreneurial curse, right, is that we all have, I think most of us haven't been diagnosed, but I think it's a I think it's a real problem.
Rob Campbell 1:57
There's this notion out there, I think, you know, it's just convention. Wisdom or just you know that this false notion that, you know, all entrepreneurs have to be, you know, Steve Jobs and you know, very extroverted and you know, inspirational. People of all kinds can be entrepreneurs that really can
Josh Tapp 2:15
write. I love that, Rob. Well, so tell us a little bit about yourself, Rob, how you kind of got into business and a little bit about your book and everything how you got involved in that?
Rob Campbell 2:24
Sure. Well, I did 2727 years and five months in the military and very much institutionalized in that profession in the army and had really no earthly idea what I was going to do when I transitioned out. So it was a journey in and of itself and still is, I'm three years into my retirement and or transition, I should say, he's retired very lightly, but I knew that I liked writing. I knew what my core purpose was when I came out, which is to make a difference in the lives of others through optimistic leadership. And I always when I'm talking to other entrepreneurs or those that want to get into it, I always really Try to get them to start with that. What is it that drives you every day gets you out of bed. And therefore what idea, you know, it'd be related to that, that you can drive forward. So for me, it was that, you know, it's making a difference in the lives of others, I had a lot to give back 27 years of experience three combat tours leading at several levels. And I knew that businesses were suffering and leadership because they don't address it the same as the military does. And so I thought, Okay, what a great opportunity to help. And I did that through and I do that through my writing and speaking. So I started networking, very heavy moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. A lot of businesses there wrote the book on leadership, which is really a story of how I did it, the things that I got, right, the things that I got wrong and how a business leader could take what I did and put it into practice, which is a book about investing in people, you know, to invest in something is to give time and energy and get something in return and for me and my leadership journey, about making people better people, because you really can't define the environment very well. It's very, very ambiguous and very stressful and moving very fast. But if you care for people, they'll rise to the occasion. So the reason I wrote the book, it's personal, not personnel leadership lessons for the battlefield, in the boardroom in 2017. And I kind of use that as a big business card to go out and speak and coach and write. And that's been my, my entrepreneurial journey, because it was, you know, an idea from scratch. And it's doing well, I'm really proud of it.
Josh Tapp 4:33
Yeah, when you said you, you know, in our pre interview, you're saying that you have you wrote the book in under 100 days. Is that how you did it?
Rob Campbell 4:40
Yeah. Well, certainly no, I had time on my side. And you know, and I have a military pension. So I've got a constant paycheck that comes in which I'm very aware of, and I talked to other entrepreneurs, I'm always reluctant to, you know, go for it, but all in you know, it's okay to get a job. It's okay to few other things, but if you got a really good idea, you want to stick to that, get it up and running. Yeah, so I had time on my side, my wife, you know, God bless her was working and supporting the family for the year transition that we got out. And so yeah, I started like on the second of February, and I was done by May, with a rough manuscript. So yeah, I mean, it's there it is. So a hard time getting started. But once I do have a machine, I can just crank it out
Josh Tapp 5:27
when you've got the vision for it, right? Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 5:31
I love that.
Josh Tapp 5:32
Well, so you've already briefly touched on this next question for us. But, you know, how did you find your business initially?
Rob Campbell 5:38
Yeah, that's a great question.
A lot of it through my own investments and just you know, but the income that was coming in, wasn't easy. I mean, I did put some stuff down on credit cards, I had to fund my book on a credit card. I'm not I've not gone out and sought funding or anything. I'm a one person business. So it's very easy for me to work out of my house, you know, so the overhead For me is very, very manageable. But but it was just really self funded. And it didn't require a lot. It's not like I had to go out. And I certainly was attracted to, you know, advertising and getting other, you know, assistance and helped all that stuff that cost money. But I was very judicious and doing those kind of things. So I kind of did it on my own through LinkedIn, building out the network there getting into network events, and just you know, being out there and showing up every day, which is huge advice I give to entrepreneurs, if you believe in it, and you want it to move forward and show up every day somewhere, write your personal LinkedIn, if you're in a you know, or you're cold calling or whatever it might be, but every single day, show up, but there's lots of and you know, one of the things I think is a huge obstacle you and I discussed a little bit is the funding side of entrepreneurship. Right. And I think once people realize what it's going to take to get to that spot, they shy away. And there it is, right the idea gets boxed up and buried forever. There's so many opportunities now with with crowdfunding and, like, I just got onto Patreon, one of the websites there for, you know, creators in my second book, and brand new I just getting started with and I'm hoping to use that to fund the, you know, the writing of the publishing of the book, this crowdfunding, you know, this owner financed businesses is this thing that you can do. And my advice is, you know, find something that might be close to what it is that core idea that you have that entrepreneurial idea that you have, and do that. So let's say you jump in on a franchise and you do that, okay, but it's not your core purpose and passion, but it's close, right? You do that and then they let that be the vehicle to get into where it is you need to go hands a funding source, right? You're going to creative ways to do that. And that's where I'm hopeful that entrepreneurs can be more creative when they hit those spots to say, Okay, how much is gonna cost How can we fund them?
Josh Tapp 7:58
Yeah, absolutely. Well, one of the reasons I asked that question to everybody that we interview is because most of our listeners run into that problem. I mean, when you're starting an entrepreneurial venture, and you don't have the initial funding, you're saying, Well, you know, how can I get the money, right? What am I terms, I guess in entrepreneurial ism. It's from Russell Brunson I've ever heard of him, but the marketing guy online, right. And he's, he talks about, it's not about having resources. It's about being resourceful. Yeah. And I really love that. Because, you know, in your case, you went out you were resourceful. I know, you mentioned earlier in our interview, too, that you you offered some free work to somebody as your first client. Yes. How long was that again that you did that for?
Rob Campbell 8:41
I'm glad you brought that up.
But 90 days, I went in and just kind of laid out a contract and said, you know, do it. This is what my feet would be. But I'll waive that for 90 days to show you that. You know, I can do this. I'd asked for some travel pay and whatnot if I'm not to go out to remote locations and they will find With that, I mean, what what a great deal. Right? Right. So that's what I did. And, you know, my wife looked at me like, I was crazy and, and our blamer I mean, you know, I'm bringing three decades of leadership and so that's worth a lot of money. Okay, so what you know, I mean, as a businessman, you know, has dollar signs associated wants to see the value that I bring. But then after 90 days, and the other thing on speaking, you know, one of the philosophies is speak for free, and eventually people will pay you for it. There are those that say, oh, I'll never I would never do that, you know, do anything for free. You can always charge money for it. But I don't subscribe to that. Maybe that's the selflessness I bring from my service in the military to assist others because I get a ton of fulfillment out of it. That's my paycheck when I'm speaking to a group of people that Yeah, I want to pay but when you can go in and do these things. Again, it's about showing up, right? You don't get paid for LinkedIn post a lot of the articles that I write on there, but eventually people will get you know, latched on And some of these sites, maybe like Patreon can help you, you know, get money for these ideas and things that you're doing.
Josh Tapp 10:06
Yeah. Well, I have to commend you a second here because I don't know if our listeners know this. But So Rob was a colonel in the army. So he had, he was over 5000 men and women, right? And, and for your average sized company, you're sitting at around 100 people, right? Yeah, managing 5000 people is a pretty, pretty big feat, but he was humble enough to go out to step out and say, Hey, I'm gonna offer the service for free. Being able to do that. I mean, that's so so huge in our industry is a lot of people who don't have anywhere near as much experience as you do will go out and say, Well, I should be paid for this, you know, there's so much value in you going out and saying, Hey, I'm gonna do this for free just to prove to you I can do it. And then for you, you gain all that experience. And it's it's such an amazing thing to see how many companies are willing to let you in their doors, you know, they're willing to let you in and to have you come do it for free. So I love that well, Well, let's let's turn the tables a little bit then Rob. So the next next question I have for you is, you know, what's one obstacle that you've had in your business? You know, in the recent recent months, that's really kind of kept you up at night? And how did you overcome that?
Rob Campbell 11:15
Yeah, I think it's,
it's, it's being known, right? It's it's, is getting your name and your brand out there what you do, because, you know, you want a lot of people to know you, and most of which will never, you know, cross the line and say, Hey, come and let me pay you some money, but, but they know who you are. I mean, and one of the, the effects I see of that, is that, you know, when I get connected with somebody in Wilmington, or Raleigh or you know, anywhere really that they tell you, I know, Rob, so I've seen you on LinkedIn. I mean, you're really doing some neat stuff on there. Okay, cool. You know, it looks to a lot of people that I get connected with that I'm just crushing it. Now. I'm not bringing in huge money. Right now, but I show up a lot. So the the optic is there that, you know that I am. So back to your question. It's that it's getting known. It's getting, you know, people aware of what it is you're doing. It's showing them that value proposition of Yeah, I can come in and really decrease your employee turnover and grow leaders so that they can really perform in your organization without your direct oversight every single day, and things like that. And so to overcome that, it does, it goes back to showing up every day. And then putting that idea out there. And I just I had these ideas where I sit in different places where I see companies like, Oh, yeah, I could write an article about that. And they just pop into my head and I lock them down and I get out and I spit out a blog post or something on LinkedIn, or I show up at a networking event. And so that's how I overcame all those things. And it took time. Josh, I mean, this this stuff doesn't happen overnight. Right? The problem we have is a word drive thru window society. You can go in right if you want a meal, you know, I promise if you're nearby, you know, in a city somewhere, you can have a hot meal in your lap in 10 minutes, right? Next tend to be done in 20 minutes you're, you're completely finished. So we just want this overnight success but it took me a while to build that out. I've got over 17,000 connections on LinkedIn. And so anytime I broadcast something on that, you know, medium alone, it gets on instantly hundreds of hits. One of the you know, you can get into Okay, so you get his big deal with what's when you close them in and you can get a lot of science out but for me was just about networking and showing up and coming and continuing to communicate a message that I completely believe in. That's how I overcame that obstacle.
Josh Tapp 13:55
Yeah, I love that. You know, it's that the value prop right? What are you really adding in And being passionate about what you have. I love that. Well, so when you when you get obstacles like this, where do you turn for help? I mean, do you have a mentor? Or how do you how do you go about it?
Rob Campbell 14:10
Yep. Excellent point. And for any entrepreneur out there, you've got to have a mentor several in fact. So here's here's a unique one for me. And I think a lot of military veterans is that just you know, so I am a military veteran. And my mentors throughout my leadership life have been army officers and army noncommissioned officers that I turn to for advice. And but I don't need them anymore right because I don't need military leadership and how to wage Modern Warfare Those days are gone now I need somebody else. Now I still have military mentors I turn to and you know, we talk every now and then about leadership and things because at its core, transcends, you know, the service in the private sector. But I have one of my mentors, Jim, use the untamed entrepreneur, you can go to his website. He's hilarious. He and I could not be more opposite. Kids. He just got married. And I think he's is in his early or mid 30s. And he's a bit of a vagabond he travels around the world and really helps people find their core purpose and passion and align a business with that young entrepreneur, Jim and I talk frequently, and I consider him a mentor of mine. And when I when I come out of those sessions, I always feel better about myself. So I think it's two things you know, where you lean for help is is mentorship. And in a network, I promise to any entrepreneur out there. There's somebody going through or has gone through what it is you're about to experience. And you're really crazy not to tap into that. One of the things I was really enlightened by when I transitioned was when it's not the case across the board, but there's so many people out there and just willing to share what they do. Right. I thought that you know, member a little tight lipped and hold our cards closely because it's our money right? If you show someone what you're doing, then you've now just made a competitor. They're gonna take away your market share.
Unknown Speaker 16:05
Rob Campbell 16:06
to be the case and a lot of places where people are really willing to share Oh, yeah, I tried that. Here's what I did. And here's how it failed. And here's how you can do it better. So it's mentorship, and it's a network. And when you're struggling with somebody like that don't suffer in silence. Reach out to somebody by email, or LinkedIn or whatever is, hey, we got a few minutes, can we jump on a phone call? Looks like we're in the same space and have a conversation
Josh Tapp 16:29
as LinkedIn kind of been that platform that you found the most success in reaching out to people that way?
Rob Campbell 16:34
It has Yeah, for me, it's not for everybody. But I mean, you know, I'm a leadership consultant, Speaker coach. In the veteran space Council, a lot of people like that in LinkedIn where I have I've expanded that network out and helped a lot. Some use Instagram, some Facebook to an extent. You know, some are small enough where they can just go into networking events in a major city somewhere. Wilmington is not a major city, small city. But it's not businesses happening there. And I've been networking enough to get known. But yeah, LinkedIn works really, really great for me. I should have gotten on it much earlier in my military career, but I didn't. But I did once I started to transition, it's been very, very helpful.
Josh Tapp 17:13
Yeah. I'm a huge advocate of LinkedIn personally. So if you had to recommend one tool for any entrepreneur, would it be LinkedIn? Or do you think there's one that you think every entrepreneur should be using?
Rob Campbell 17:25
Yeah, I think it is LinkedIn. Josh.
It is very helpful to me, you can you can, you know, you bump into people there, you pull up their profiles, see what you would space or in or post or an article that you think is in the same ballpark of what you're doing, or somebody that might need your help. And then you can message them, it works for me. One advice I would give is, you know, be careful with a cheap sales talk, you know, hi, Josh. Have you ever thought about you know, that's the last thing when I see posts like that and people reach out to me and send a link to what they do? I deleted right He's coming from my wallet. When I connect with somebody, I just want to learn about what they're doing I want maybe there's some value I can provide. They certainly I am looking to increase my business but that's not my going in. You know if I was reaching out to you it might my goal in life Josh, how can I help? Is there anything I can do holler if I can help? That's kind of my bumper sticker on a lot of my LinkedIn connections. Hey, great to be connected with you, Josh holler if I can help. Yeah, even at that, and I've helped a lot of people on LinkedIn, I've communicated with a ton of people on LinkedIn, a fraction of which have become clients of mine. Right. Well hang out and that's how I do it. I think it's really powerful.
Josh Tapp 18:43
Yeah, I think that's really powerful for for b2b like like, you know, you're in trying to find these businesses. We've seen a lot of success with that as well. And like you're saying it's, it's about being genuine. If you come in trying to sell people or you set up an automation software, something that's just just throwing out generic messages, you don't get that relationship Yeah, you might make sales but you don't make true connections and like true friendship, you know that that end up benefiting both of you in the future. And I love
Unknown Speaker 19:08
that. Yeah, excellent. So
Rob Campbell 19:10
if you're, you know, if you're just genuine about it, I mean, I remember I was at a, an expo, stand there with my booth, you know, live book and business cards and this, this lady walks up and I can see her on her phone. And she's looking at something and she puts it down and walks up to me, hey, Rob, I had a look at your website, you know, we can really use a boost and salute. You know, like, Okay, get away, you
know, you don't know anything about me. And he was just going through the wallets and that that was just, yeah, it was it wasn't wasn't legitimate.
Josh Tapp 19:43
Right. He hadn't really friendship with the
Rob Campbell 19:47
loan at all. Hi, Rob. What do you got? What are you doing here? Tell me about what you got going on. Okay, good. Let's talk about that. All right. There's something we can do while I work on websites. Here's my card. Give me a holler if I can help you have a great day. Yeah.
Josh Tapp 20:00
And then that's the person you're gonna think of when you say, Man, I can't figure out the stinking web website.
Unknown Speaker 20:06
Josh Tapp 20:07
I love it. Well, that's kind of I mean, being genuine everything is kind of part of the premise of your book, is it not?
Rob Campbell 20:13
It is. Yeah. I'm in chapter five, I talk about myself, you know, I give a what I call a biography, sketch, it just talks about Rob Campbell, my strengths and weaknesses. You know, what I shared with you at the beginning of our interview here, a host of other different things, but I believe, transparency, and really the key word is vulnerability, when you can show a vulnerability that you don't know everything. But you do know a lot about something and you can really help an organization that can be really powerful and being genuine. And I do talk about that a lot in my book to invest in somebody else's story with me. So if you were one of my subordinates, and I was your leader, you know, I want to know all about you, Josh, your family, what's going on where your strengths and weaknesses are what you struggle With not to pry into your closet, but to help you grow and be better. And I'd be the first one to share all those things with you, about me. And so it's just having that authentic, that real discussion, you know, between people, which I think is really powerful. I hate the word consultant. Everybody does, right? You know, you walk in Josh, you got these things going wrong, and I can help it's going to cost this much and you get this much hours, right? I'll come in certainly, here's my scope of work, Josh, and what I can do for you, but if you need something while I'm here, take advantage of all of my years of experience, the I promise, I haven't seen a single thing in a business that from a leadership perspective that I haven't experienced already in the army. Oh, yeah, I see. I just I completely understand what just happened. Here's how I screwed up from it and got it right. Right. It's just about that letting your guard down being a real person. That's what's going to attract people.
Josh Tapp 22:00
Love. Well Rob, where can our listeners go to get that book so personal, it's personal, not personnel, right?
Rob Campbell 22:08
It's personal, not personnel. So that came from a discussion I had with a HR professional in the army that wanted to move one of my soldiers, you know, really just a name on an Excel spreadsheet or cut and paste instead of getting to know the person or what was going on in his life. I said, Listen, this stuff is personal. It's not personnel, personnel, it is human resources or pools of talent, you know, just so these objects that you're managing, you know, we lead people, that's what we do. Rob Campbell, leadership calm is my website. That's the central place to find me. I'm on LinkedIn at Rob Campbell leadership. Those two places are where I hang out the most. My website is where you can learn more about me the link to the book is in there. My second one will be out. It's about the veteran transition for senior service members. Hopefully you early spring. Yeah, about that, but, but I'm having a ball with a book. It's just a lot of fun. I think it's very useful. I want to make it useful to business leaders. So that's where you'll find me.
Josh Tapp 23:11
Absolutely. Okay, I'm just gonna keep that for our listeners, so they know where to go. So to get his book, it's at Rob Campbell, leadership calm. And one more time. That's Rob Campbell leadership.com. And you can find him on LinkedIn as well. So Rob, before we sign off, you know, what's one of the last pieces of advice you would give to our listeners?
Rob Campbell 23:28
last piece of advice to give to a listener, find out what it is, if tomorrow money wasn't an issue, and you could do whatever you wanted to do, what would that be? Or think of it this way, five moments in your life, you know, where you were in it, and you were doing something that just felt right, you were in a flow state, your energy was great, you were confident, it felt good. Those are places you want to go back and revisit and answer those questions. And the answer to those questions is going to point you to something that's out there. Real. And that gets to your core purpose and your core passion. If you get that right, and you stay on that path and you you have a high, you are more likely to live a fulfilled life and be in places but it's been hard with my businesses, they're their business. There's, there's, there's times when I wanted to jump off the ship and and I almost did a few times, but I stuck with it. And my wife says I'm crazy busy like I was in the army. sure that's true lives are at stake anymore. But I love what I do. And if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. So find out what your core purpose and passion is. and never forget that revisit that all the time.
Josh Tapp 24:40
Awesome. Thank you so much, Rob, for sharing your passion with us. Also, we want to thank you for your service because without you and the other men and women who serve in the armed forces, we wouldn't be able to be here on this podcast, speaking freely, you know, enjoying the freedom of speech. So thank you for that and we will talk to you soon.
Rob Campbell 24:56
My pleasure. Thank you very much.
Josh Tapp 25:00
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