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shawn kinkade kansas city

Meet Shawn Kinkade of Aspire Business Development

Shawn Kinkade is a full time certified Professional Business Coach, Strategic Advisor and the President of Aspire, a business strategy, consulting and coaching company founded in Leawood Kansas in 2007. He works with entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking for traction and momentum in their business and are ready to take things to the next level.

Shawn’s experience has been a mix of Management Consulting (Accenture and as an independent) and as a Corporate Executive (at Sprint PCS), both roles required extensive work on developing and fixing business processes, making people productive, instilling leadership and coaching success with a dedicated focus on solving business problems.

For the past 10 years, Shawn has been working as a coach and strategic advisor, helping his clients reach (and exceed) their business goals. Using an entrepreneurial focus along with his corporate background and experiences, clients get a unique perspective and powerful insights into their challenges and solutions.

You can reach Shawn:

Via email at SKinkade@aspirekc.com or
By phone at: (913) 660-9400
On LinkedIn: Shawn Kinkade
Or check out the website at www.AspireKC.com

Meet Shawn Kinkade & Aspire Business Development in Kansas City

Phil Singleton:  Shawn, welcome to the show.

Shawn Kinkade: Well, thanks for having me.

Phil Singleton: This is a pleasure. Why don’t you, if you could, just give us a little bit of background in terms of how you got started in the business world? I mean literally like the first couple days or weeks that you got out of school, what’d you do? How’d you get started?

Shawn Kinkade: Well, my degree out of college was mechanical aerospace engineering, and so I had some job offers at the time that would have been with my degree. In fact, one of them was actually with the Space Program, so I would have been sent down to Houston, I would have been working on some different things, not with NASA directly, but indirectly with NASA.

I ended up not taking that job, mainly because the more I looked into hardcore engineering, the more I realized I probably wasn’t really a hardcore engineer. So, the job that I did take out of college was with a company called Anderson Consulting, which is actually Accenture now, which is a global consulting company that really focuses on management consulting for primarily Fortune 100 type of corporations around the world.

Phil Singleton: Sure.

Shawn Kinkade: That was my first job out of college. Was in the Kansas City office, and I guess my first project technically was in Kansas City but after training, end up doing that. Basically was on the road for the next seven years with that job, which was cool. When you’re right out of college, that’s kind of fun, but at some point that gets old.

Phil Singleton: Well plus, Accenture, from what I remember, I mean, that’s like jumping into a real job right away. It’s not like you fumbled around at all, and I’m pretty sure that … Tell me if I’m wrong. I’m sure they have their own independent training program, they put you to work right away type of thing.

Shawn Kinkade: Yeah. You definitely, they do a pretty hardcore three or four week almost bootcamp type of thing, where they put you through some pretty long days. Getting you up to speed, and then they basically put you out on a client site. There’s an element of, “Hey, you’re just out of college, but you’re expected to project yourself as if you’re an expert.”

Phil Singleton: Baptism by fire.

Shawn Kinkade: Yeah, exactly. You learn pretty quickly how to respond to the clients and how to at least say, “Hey, I don’t know, but I’m going to figure it out and I’ll you moving.” It was a great way to learn and I worked with a lot of really smart people which was a big plus, but it’s also one of those companies where, unless you really want to be on the road, especially if you’re from Kansas City, because there aren’t that many local clients that are that size, then if you don’t want to be traveling, they probably need to find something else to do.

Phil Singleton: Right. So then what was the next step after Accenture? Did you know you wanted to do something else? Another opportunity crop up, or?

Shawn Kinkade: Yeah. Once I finally realized, “All right, I’ve got to get off the road,” the timing actually worked out really well that about the time that I was leaving there, that was when Sprint PCS was just starting up. So that was the wireless side of Sprint and I was actually one of the first 300 employees on Sprint PCS, which was actually, it was interesting because it was actually technically a startup. They just happened to have 10 billion dollars in funding.

Phil Singleton: Right, wow.

Shawn Kinkade: It was actually, it was very entrepreneurial, especially in the beginning, ’cause nobody really knew … I mean, now we’re all so used to what the wireless phones are and how they work and everything else, but really, we were figuring it out. So, to be able to be on the front end of launching that kind of service, and my focus was really more on the back-end, billing and how do you bill for different things and how do you invoice people, and all the systems that go behind that.

The first three or four years was actually really fascinating, and then unfortunately the rest of Sprint looked over and said, “Hey, that wireless thing looks like it’s going to be big. We should get involved.” That brought a lot of old school wire line mentality to a very new endeavor, which kind of killed off the entrepreneurial spirit, unfortunately.

Finally, I just burned out on the whole corporate culture thing which is what prompted me to start Aspire, which was just over 10 years ago…

– Shawn Kinkade

Ultimately that bureaucracy and that corporate culture basically, I lasted a while longer and ultimately ended up leaving, but coming back as a consultant. Finally, I just burned out on the whole corporate culture thing which is what prompted me to start Aspire, which was just over 10 years ago, was I just basically just boiled out on or burned out on corporate culture, and wanted to work with entrepreneurs and business owners who actually wanted to get something done.

From Fortune 100 to an Entrepreneurial Venture

Phil Singleton: Very interesting. I’m always asking, when you went from corporate, had the I guess traditional type of a job so to speak, and then you stepped out. I mean, some people today when they’re in their current career and they want to do something, maybe go out on their own, maybe start their own business, there’s that period of sometimes they’ve got their foot in two boats type of thing, but ultimately there’s a lot of times, one time where they’ve got to figure out what they want to do and jump out and maybe do it without a safety net or whatever, and leave the comfort of that corporate-

Shawn Kinkade: Out of a job, right.

Phil Singleton: Right, having it. But it sounds like in your case, correct me if I’m wrong, you left but you still almost had your first client or client there, so it wasn’t super scary that way. Was there still an element of, “Hey, I’m going out on my own. There’s a scary part of this?” Or?

Shawn Kinkade: No, having somebody lined up would have been really smart in hindsight. I really wish it had worked out that way. No, for me it was definitely, it was a jump. I got to the point where I knew I wanted to do something different. Luckily for me I did have enough money saved up that I could afford to take a risk. I was in a situation where it was certainly possible for me to be able to do something different.

But when I started, I realized, and this was probably poor planning on my part, but I realized probably three or four weeks after I had actually launched the business, that my key target market were entrepreneurs and small business owners and even though I knew thousands of people in Kansas City, I don’t think I knew hardly any who were actually entrepreneurs and small business owners, so I was literally starting from scratch.

Phil Singleton: Wow, interesting. Because I know you to be somebody that has a lot of passion for what you do, and where did that part come from?  You’re coming from consulting, and then a tech, then a large tech company. Now you’re totally, it seems like your calling now is doing what you’re doing right now. How did that come about? Was that something you always wanted to do?

But ultimately, [big companies] end up having a lot of the same problems that entrepreneurs have in the sense of whether it’s systems or it’s people, or it’s strategy, or whatever it is. Just the size of the problems tends to be different.

– Shawn Kinkade

Shawn Kinkade: You know, I think what I looked at was the consulting aspect of it, I always really enjoyed the game of business, right? When you’re doing it at a Fortune 100 level, it’s a different game, in really large corporate environment. But ultimately, they end up having a lot of the same problems that entrepreneurs have in the sense of whether it’s systems or it’s people, or it’s strategy, or whatever it is. Just the size of the problems tends to be different.

So, that’s the part that I think I really started with was I love solving problems and I love helping people figure out, “How do I make this work?” Then, what I discovered when I started Aspire and was able to start working with a small business owner was the impact that I can make with a guy that’s got 10 employees and doing two million dollars worth of revenue.

I can probably get him to be able to double the size of his business, and start working less. That’s life changing for that particular business owner. That’s when it becomes a lot of fun, because now you’re really making a difference. If I help a large corporation do 2% more on the top line, does anybody really notice except maybe Wall Street? You just can’t make that much of an impact. Even though that’s a huge dollar amount for a large corporation, it just doesn’t feel the same.

Phil Singleton: Absolutely. Love it. I mean, it takes me really back to how I got into what I’m doing which is I did one small website on barter for a guy, and got it ranked on Google, and his phone started ringing like never before, and he literally called me up with tears and that was … It’s what you said. It’s that rewarding aspect of it where you’re really helping somebody get to the next level or do something different, and all of a sudden, that’s how it felt for me, is I’ve got some purpose now, and you make that connection with somebody and it becomes I think more real. It sounds like a very similar feeling.

…what I discovered when I started Aspire and was able to start working with a small business owner was the impact that I can make with a guy that’s got 10 employees and doing two million dollars worth of revenue. I can probably get him to be able to double the size of his business, and start working less. That’s life changing for that particular business owner.

– Shawn Kinkade

You started doing that and obviously no turning back. This is what you’ve been doing the last 10+ years.

Shawn Kinkade: Yeah. To some extent, especially after getting started and making the jump and realizing, “Well, wait a minute, I literally don’t know anybody that’s in the space that I need to work in and so I’m starting from scratch.” I was lucky enough to just really hit the streets hard and go out and try to meet as many people as I could, and I think I landed my first client maybe two to three months in. Then picked up another one, and gradually started to pick up from there.

For the most part, every year, over the last 10 years, every year’s been better than the year before. It’s the kind of thing that it’s been building and that’s certainly good, ’cause the first year or two was pretty challenging.

Phil Singleton: That’s so awesome. So glad to hear that. Well tell us, I want to get into a part where the things that you’re doing or have done to help you get more access to ideal clients, but before that, can you tell us a little bit, like what is your ideal client? Is it like the 500 or million dollar guy that’s trying to get to two million? Is it two million getting to 100 million?

Shawn Kinkade: It’s probably on the smaller end. One of the things that I’ve realized as I’ve done this is that if it starts to feel corporate, so if it’s somebody that it’s big enough, that they start to look like they’re corporate and they have a lot of politics and stuff, I can probably help ’em, but I really don’t want to. I’ve had a few of those clients.

But the ones that I really enjoy, to your point, are probably at the low end, maybe around a million dollars in revenue. It could be less, depending on the type of business. Actually I’ve got some startups that I’ve really enjoyed working with. A lot of times startups don’t have any money so that’s not necessarily ideal, but they’re always fun.

the ideal is somebody that’s doing well and they’ve got a real opportunity for growth….it’s taking them from one million to two million, or from one million ultimately to five million, or five million to 10 million.

– Shawn Kinkade

But I think the ideal is somebody that’s doing well and they’ve got a real opportunity for growth, and so to your point, it’s taking them from one million to two million, or from one million ultimately to five million, or five million to 10 million. Once they start getting up to 15-20 million, then they do start to feel more corporate, and that’s great, but just not, that’s not the area that’s as much fun for me.

Phil Singleton: Not your zone, yeah. Yeah, I can definitely see that, where I’m thinking while you’re talking, maybe a lot of them are in and around that E-myth area where they’re taking it a certain point and they’re just like, “Hey, I need some help. I’m not sleeping as much, I’m working a lot, I can’t scale anymore. I’ve got a lot of opportunity, I’m leaving money on the table” and all that kind of stuff.

Shawn Kinkade: Yeah, absolutely. And the E-myth is a great example. He wrote that back in the ’80s and it still resonates.

Phil Singleton: Isn’t that unbelievable?

Shawn Kinkade: It’s still absolutely the key. You see business owners struggle all the time. There’s very natural plateaus where they get stuck, so he actually figured out the first couple places where somebody gets stuck, and the first one is as the owner, you can’t afford to do it all. If you want to grow, you’re going to have to get out of your own way, and a lot of business owners struggle with that. So helping them figure that out a lot of times is the first step.

Lead Gen Tactics for Business Coaches & Advisory Firms

Phil Singleton: Nice. All right, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to shift over to just some of the things, ’cause I look at you and admire you on a lot of different fronts. I mean, you’re probably, you’re one of the most well known people that I know in the Kansas City business community, and one thing that’s really interesting about you is the people that know you, when they say they know Shawn or, “Do you know Shawn?,” everybody lights up and that’s really interesting how people think so super highly of you.

Not that that’s … It’s just more so than everybody else I’ve ever met here which I think is a testament to the type of person you are.

Shawn Kinkade: Well that’s very nice hear to hear. I guess that means something’s working, right?

Phil Singleton: Exactly. It’s true, but I mean, a lot of things I think you do that are really interesting, just on a marketing front, is you seem to be really active, pretty active on LinkedIn. You’re going to have correct me where I’m wrong. I’m viewing Shawn Kinkade and Aspire from the outside in, you can.

Shawn Kinkade: Sure.

Phil Singleton: … tell me what things have worked for you, but certainly I would guess that your track record and referral marketing is a big part of it. I know, just from knowing you, that you do really interesting things in terms of generating your own content, book reviews, you’ve got a great email newsletter. You do certain types of events and things like that, and those are the kind of things that I see that seem like they all are things in the marketing groups that I’m in, and things that we tell other, all businesses to do, not just professional services.

Can you give us some insight on the stuff that’s worked for you, where I’m wrong, what else that you’re doing, and how some of these things have paid for business?

Shawn Kinkade: No, I think you probably hit the highlights. When I first got started and realized, “Hey, I’m starting from scratch, I’ve got to get out there,” part of what I recognized was that, and you may appreciate this as a marketing expert, I didn’t necessarily know that much about marketing. Because I was helping people with strategy, I was helping people with overall business organizational models and growth, and things like that.

And marketing’s part of that, but it wasn’t necessarily anything that I’d had a lot of previous experience with. So, I tried to learn as much as I can, learned enough about SEO and AdWords and things like that to be dangerous and to know that I needed to know people like you if my clients needed help with that.

Okay, so the one thing I can do is I can be consistent. I’m going to do a blog post…between my business partner and I, we do one [blog post] once a week, which I think is actually a pretty good rhythm.

– Shawn Kinkade

But for me, what I decided was, “Okay, so the one thing I can do is I can be consistent. I’m going to do a blog post,” actually when I started, I think I decided I was going to do a blog post every three or four days, which I did actually, for two or three years. I did one every three or four days. Now I’m down to, between my business partner and I, we do one once a week, which I think is actually a pretty good rhythm.

Phil Singleton: That’s great.

Shawn Kinkade: But that’s basically almost a commandment of, “We will do a blog post every single week, come hell or high water and that’s what we’re going to do.” That gets back to my idea of, “Okay, at least I can be consistent.” What we write about, how long they are, how intricate they get, those will vary, but we’re at least going to do something every single week.

Same thing with the newsletter. I do one every month. It comes out the first Tuesday of the month, and I’ve been doing that now for 10 years, and I don’t think I’ve missed a month. It’s just one of those things where, “Okay, I may or may not be brilliant, but at least I can do what I have to do.” I think that’s a big part of what I see with business owners that I talk to and it sounds like you do, as well. You just have to commit to things and see what works.

Phil Singleton: Right. You blog, you email, I know that you’re active on … At least I know, my thing is LinkedIn more than anything else, but [crosstalk 00:17:18]-
Shawn Kinkade: Yeah, and I’ll use LinkedIn and a little bit of Facebook as a way to supplement the other information. I’ll use those as when we post a blog, make sure that it gets sent out to those different challenges and out to Twitter. Occasionally on LinkedIn I’ll do some other articles that are something different, but yeah, just try to be visible and try to be active so if somebody is looking for me, they’re going to find me.

Phil Singleton: I know over time you’ve done events and things like that.

Shawn Kinkade: Yeah, that’s actually been really helpful. I think for the last four years, I’ve done a monthly business book review, which is where I take a business book that I think clients probably should have read, and I know they haven’t, and I’ll summarize it. I’ll write out a seven page summary, and then I’ll also create a presentation document, and then present it as a discussion over breakfast.

We usually have 20, 25, 30 people in the room, and it makes for a great discussion. People walk away from that after an hour and a half, they get breakfast, they learn all the key points of that particular book, and they had a chance to meet a bunch of people and talk about those ideas with all those people. That’s actually been a really powerful event, and I get a lot of people that I’ll meet somebody and they’re like, “Oh, you’re the guy that does those book reviews.” I’ve never met them before, and they just happened to hear it from somebody else.
Phil Singleton: And you’ve been doing that for a long time. I know it’s been-

Shawn Kinkade: Yeah, about three or four years now.

Phil Singleton: That’s great. Then, you also speak at events and those type of things?

Shawn Kinkade: Yep. I try to do probably once every couple of months. I’ll go speak to an organization in whatever topic they want. Sometimes it’s a Chamber of Young Professionals meeting, or I’m doing one this week actually for NARI, which is the Remodeler’s Association here in town. That’s going to be on goal setting and some other stuff, so just kind of depends what people want, but yeah, I don’t really want to have a speaking career, but I do like getting up in front of a room. I think anytime I can do some education, that’s a plus. I enjoy doing that.

Phil Singleton: And you’re involved with communities? I know you were or are a part of the Leawood Chamber of Commerce. Are there other things like that?

Shawn Kinkade: Yep. I’m on the Leawood Chamber Board, and I’ve been in the chamber really since I started the business, trying to keep active in a couple of different those kinds of groups. Yeah again, it’s just a matter of you’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to be visible. You need to be able to run into people, and then from a networking perspective, I think what’s been most effective for me is through all of that, I’ll run into somebody or I’ll get introduced to somebody and it’s a one on one networking meeting. Where my goal is to go into that and say, “Okay, how can I help somebody?”

Whether that’s with an introduction or whether it’s a resource that I can give them, whatever it is. And what I’ve found is when I go into those kind of meetings with that approach, that people respond well, and that may be why to your point, people are like, “Oh yeah, I know who that is” or, “Yeah, they helped a friend of mine” or whatever.

Phil Singleton: That’s awesome. Then also, obviously a big part, I’m guessing, tell me if I’m wrong, but I mean you must have an awesome referral system for yourself where you do get work with other people and they introduce you. Plus you’re out and about, so you’re doing good work, but you’re also out educating and really when I look through your list, I’m writing notes as you’re talking, and everything that you’re doing are the types of things that pretty much all businesses I think should be doing.

But in particular, professional services, right? You’re just doing it by nature ’cause you’re a smart person, but also ’cause you studied and applied this stuff and took action I think, is what I’m guessing. But every one one of them’s like we’re at this hub. It’s like the perfect inbound marketing hub of what we try and get all of our clients to do, in a variety of different businesses. That’s pretty amazing that you actually have all of these on your list and you have this disciplined approach of actually doing them.

I can name, I can count on one hand all the clients that I have that blog once a week. They all do, but they’re not actually doing it in-house type of thing. Help ’em do it, but most of them, they know it’s important but they just don’t commit to it.

Shawn Kinkade: I think for me, I mean, to some extent I told you earlier, the first couple of years, I mean, that was really my opportunity to learn about marketing, and so I did do a lot of studying. I read a ton of books, I followed a whole bunch of people. All the different resources that are out there, but then the other piece was I’m trying to get my clients to do this as well. So, if I’m not modeling it, then I really can’t tell my clients, “Hey, you need to be doing more marketing” or, “You need to be doing this or that.” I figured well, that’s my obligation, that I at least have to try to do it right.

Phil Singleton: So I guess when you have a coaching client that could be all sorts of different things. “I’ve got too many leads. How do I process more? I don’t have enough leads. How do I do this? I don’t have enough time, I’m not efficient.” Does it kind of go in all those different areas or is there something that it’s 80/20, or it’s like, “Most of the time, people need this?”

Shawn Kinkade: No, you’re absolutely right. It depends on the business owner and the industry and the business that they’re in. There’s a large percentage that don’t have enough leads, but there’s equally a large percentage of, “Man, I’ve got leads, I just don’t know what to do with them” or, “I don’t have the bandwidth with my team to be able to process them, so now we drop the ball and that makes us look bad.” There’s definitely a series of challenges that people run into, and every business owner is different which makes it interesting. But also makes it kind of fun.

…when you look at the businesses that end up closing their doors, most of ’em aren’t closing because they didn’t add any value or that they couldn’t help people. They close their doors because the business owner is exhausted.

– Shawn Kinkade

Phil Singleton: Sure. I think a lot of people probably … Like I am, when I first got started, I was like, “I don’t understand who would ever need a coach.” Once you’re in that pre-E-myth stage, it just seems like, “Well, why would you need anybody to help you if you’re already rocking and rolling?” But then you get to a point where you’re just like, “I might need help” type of a thing. Everybody gets there at some certain point, so I can see how that would be the million dollar mark, depending on what it is, like you said, or beyond.  To the point where it’s just the E-myth problem, there’sno way.

Shawn Kinkade: And when you look at the businesses that end up closing their doors, most of ’em aren’t closing because they didn’t add any value or that they couldn’t help people. They close their doors because the business owner is exhausted.

They get to the point where they’ve stretched so thin and they can’t make it work anymore, and so they actually have a choice of, “Okay, I can either go back and be small or I can go take a job somewhere and work half the amount of time and make the same amount of money.” That’s ultimately what they’ll end up doing if they don’t figure it out.

Phil Singleton: Well, and you get some people that are probably scared too where it’s like, “I see I scale, I see I can do more leads, but if I hire more people and make the beast bigger, I’m going to make 10 million and make the same I was making at one million type of thing, and nobody wants to do that” or some people do. I don’t know, but I can see that.

Shawn Kinkade: Yeah. If you’re doing it wrong, if you don’t really have a consistent margin and you’re not growing the bottom line, but you’re growing the top line, then yeah, you end up taking more risk, you work harder, and you get less from it. That’s not a great recipe, ultimately.

Shawn Kinkade’s Kansas City Favorites

Phil Singleton: Fascinating stuff. Look, we’re going to shift into a couple of the last questions I’ll ask here, and wrap this up, but the first thing I want to do is ask you, you’re in Kansas City, half the people that we interview are here in Kansas City, so I always like to ask people what your favorite things are about KC? Places you like to go, coffee shop, restaurant, bars, whatever it is. Something that somebody would be like out of town, and they’re just like, “Okay, we’ve only got you for a day or two, we’re going to take you to these one or two places.” What does Shawn Kinkade love about Kansas City?

Shawn Kinkade: So, Kansas City’s an interesting place because it doesn’t necessarily have a lot of big splash, but I’ve been here for quite a while and it’s a great place to live. When I think about the question coming from, “Hey, if I had somebody in from out of town, where do I take ’em?” The first thing that came to mind was the World War 1 museum, if you haven’t been, is actually spectacular.

Phil Singleton: Cool.

Shawn Kinkade: So that’s kind of a cool thing that I like to do if somebody comes in from out of town. The other which I’m sure you’ve heard from probably everybody is of course, the barbecue side of things.

Phil Singleton: It’s almost like on their list sometimes, too.

Shawn Kinkade: Oh yeah. It’s amazing, when people do come in from out of town, they sometimes know more than I do. They’re like, “Have you heard or this restaurant or this one?” But we just had a Q39 opened up down South. We’ve now been to that a couple of times in the last month, and if you haven’t been to Q39, that’s definitely an experience worth having.

The $10,000 Question

Phil Singleton: It’s on my list right now, so sweet. Appreciate that. Okay, let’s shift into the $10,000 question, which is, you’re going to wake up tomorrow, have no job, no business, we’re going to give you $10,000. You’re going to have all your liabilities, so you’ve got to build back what you have today. What do you do to get started? I mean, how do you get your first client again? I’m giving you all your knowledge, so I could probably read it off for you, but I would be interested to know, you’ve only got 10,000 bucks, you’ve got to do some marketing. You’ve tried all these things. Where would you focus on day one to try and get money to start paying the builds again?

…you have to have a website, I think you have to look professional, so that means you’ve got to get cards, you’ve got to get an email address that matches your website, so you need branding and you need a logo, so you need all the basics…

– Shawn Kinkade

Shawn Kinkade: I mean, in a lot of ways it’s kind of how I started the business in the first place. Was, “Okay, I’m making this jump.” I didn’t make a huge investment to be able to open the doors up. I didn’t have to put together a website and did a few other things and went through some training. But really probably ballpark, $10,000 to launch my business was probably about right.
Now, that said, I think you have to have a website, I think you have to look professional, so that means you’ve got to get cards, you’ve got to get an email address that matches your website, so you need branding and you need a logo, so you need all the basics. But then from there, depending on what kind of business you’re in, for me, because it’s got to be a knowledge based value add type of business, it’s just a matter of getting out there and trying to find somebody to help.

You’ve got to build up relationships and do some educational stuff, and get out there…

Phil Singleton: Would you join a chamber or something and then start working that right off the bat, or how?

Shawn Kinkade: Potentially, yeah. A chamber would be a good way to go. The other thing I would do is I probably, in fact, I did this my first couple of years especially, and I still do a little bit, but I would probably put on some events, some workshops, that go out there and get the word out. Because it’s a fairly low bar to get somebody to pay 50 bucks to go to a two hour workshop, or 100 bucks for a half day, or 200 bucks, or whatever it is, but you get people to go out, and when they learn something and you’re at the front of the room, that opens up the door to say, “Hey, I can do other things for you.”

You start building your audience and that’s probably a big part of what I would do, is start setting up a couple of different workshops every quarter, just to be able to get in front of people, and then use networking to start filling those seats and getting people in.

Phil Singleton: So awesome. Shawn, look, I really, really appreciate you coming on today and giving us such amazing insight. Can you tell us where we can find you online, where you like to hangout the most in terms of being able to connect on social media? You mentioned Facebook and LinkedIn, if those are the main spots, we’ll make sure to [crosstalk 00:29:00] in the show notes.
Shawn Kinkade: It’s mostly LinkedIn. I feel like I have to have a presence on Facebook just because it’s there, but it’s not really my favorite. But LinkedIn is definitely where I spend probably more of my time. Then, if you want to go to our website, it’s AspireKC.com, and we’ve got, obviously have the blog there, so it’s a resource. There’s all sorts of information.

Phil Singleton: Great newsletter that I’m on, as well, so I recommend everybody sign up to that.

Shawn Kinkade: Yep, that’s definitely a good way to get in touch with us. Between the newsletter and then on the website as well, we promote the book reviews, so those are monthly. We just launched a new program that’s an annual program called The Growth Council, which is basically a group of 10-15 business owners that we’ll be pulling together every quarter for a half day workshop, and then on top of that we’ll be doing other stuff as a group.

That group dynamic brings a whole different kind of aspect to helping people out, so that’s kind of a fun thing.

Phil Singleton: That’s really cool. Are they all different industry type of things, different sizes? Are they handpicked or are they just kind of-

Shawn Kinkade: They’re definitely different industries, and they are different sizes, and it’s really, the common thread is it’s a business owner who likes to learn stuff and wants and is actively trying to grow their business. So, when you get those kind of people together, what happens is that they start helping each other out. So, we’re going to be bringing our best ideas to these sessions, but it’s the other business owners that really make that powerful.

Phil Singleton: I can attest to that myself. One, because I’m part of the Duct Tape Marketing network, and there’s like 120 of us in there, so one of the true values is just what you said. I mean, people compare notes and nobody has time to try all the stuff, right? So we can share, “Hey, this is working for me. This is having the same problem,” or, “Here’s how I resolved this.” You’ve got your own little brain trust there. I can see how that would reallybe valuable.

Shawn Kinkade: And it only takes one good idea to really turn something around sometimes.

Phil Singleton: Exactly. Well look man, you are the very best at what you do here in Kansas City, and one of the nicest guys with the most integrity and most talented in this space, so I really appreciate you coming to spend this amount of time with us on the show, and I want to encourage everybody to follow you on LinkedIn, and make sure that we visit Aspire Strategic Advisors website, and continue to get educated and steal some great ideas from you.

Shawn Kinkade: Absolutely. Well, thanks for having me and I appreciate the discussion, and look forward to seeing more of the podcast. I like ’em. They’re good.

Phil Singleton: Thanks a lot, Shawn Kinkade!