Imagine having a connector that would lead you to have long-lasting clients and effectively scale your business. Create Partnerships and increase your visibility!
We have our guest, Marie Mack online business coach who co-founded First Cup to Close in 2014. She’s very passionate about working with entrepreneurs such as online coaches, speakers, & authors, helping them scale their businesses. She helps them through referral-based marketing and creating powerful relationships with joint venture partners so they can peacefully create visibility & authority in their niche.
Listen to this episode as Marie Mack talks about referrals, connections, partnerships, and how these ways can effectively grow your business. Take a listen as we’re chatting about how a nurtured relationship with clients and partners lasts long and benefits your business. She also discusses the importance of follow-up and the power of systems in order for your business to thrive.
During this episode, Marie mentioned her must-read book …
“The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss
Be sure to connect with Marie after the show …
Marie’s Website: http://firstcuptoclose.com/
LinkedIn: Marie Mack
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Until next time, keep moving forward!
I don't think that there is a shortage of people if you're wanting to get that visibility plan together. And I think it's just a matter of finding people who are in the same community and and being able to connect with other people, if you, one of your friends or some other connector has done a summit before, like, Oh, hey, you had this person on your Summit, can you introduce me, that's a healthy way for every single person to win, right, because that relationship on their side is growing, you're now introduced directly to a referral. And then now you've created another relationship. So just like scales, and just like fire goes everywhere. So it's beautiful.Chuck Anderson:
Hey, it's Chuck here, and I'm so glad that you're listening to this episode. And I just want to take this quick moment right now to let you know about our free collaborators toolkit. And this episode is all about partnership and collaboration. And our guests share many resources, tools, and things that you can use to make collaboration and partnership easier in your business. So if you're looking for better ways to grow, and scale your business, through collaborations, and strategic partnerships, this free collaborators toolkit is going to contain the best resources from our workshops, as well as contributions from our guests. And these tools could be the missing link that you've been looking for. And they're going to help you to solve everyday business challenges, and access, highly effective ideas that can help and grow your business exponentially. I know they've helped me and I know they're going to help you as well. And the best part about these tools is that they're completely free. And our gift to you for being a valued member of our community, and a subscriber to the show. So you can get access to all of the resources contained inside the collaborators toolkit today by visiting the website at WWW.collaboratorsunite.com/toolkit. That address again is www.collaboratorsunite.com/toolkit. Go ahead and register today get access to all the resources, and I'm gonna see you on the inside. Now, here's the episode.Chuck Anderson:
Hello, everybody, and welcome to the show, Chuck Anderson here. And I've got another amazing guest for you today. And, and while we've been learning so much, and we're going to learn even more today, and if you are looking for ways to increase your reach or market your businesses in in ways that beyond what you can do yourself, then you're going to love what we're going to be talking about here today. I am so honored to have Marie Mack with me today. Marie, welcome to the show.Marie Mack:
Hi, Chuck, how you doing today?Chuck Anderson:
I am doing excellent and, and I just love doing these interviews because it just gives me a chance to like, you know, get to know my fellow entrepreneurs and dive deep into your story. And you know, so many amazing things happen after the show in terms of partnership and collaboration, not just the information that we share with our guests. But you know, the connections that we make afterwards, which is so, so cool. And I look forward to that. And I know you and I were already chatting before this interview about that. And we don't even know each other yet. And that's what's so amazing about this. So and it just tells me about you know what a connector you are as well. So Marina, I think a great place to start is I'll have you introduce yourself to our audience, you know who you are and what you do. And we'll go from there.Marie Mack:
Okay, awesome. Yeah, so I work as an online business coach, focusing on scaling and systems for businesses. I have my businesses first cut to clothes.com. And it was all kind of created around the fact that I really love systems checklists. And I started that whole love and passion from being a Blackhawk helicopter pilot in the army, and transitioned it into the business that I have today. But it's it's fun. It's a passion of mine. And I see how huge it is for online businesses to have systems and processes in place.Chuck Anderson:
So important, and I know we're gonna get along great because I'm big into systems and checklists as well. Not as a pilot, but as a McDonald's grill cook back when I was 16 years old, where I got introduced to a lot of systems, a lot of procedures and a lot of checklists, and that has followed me in my entire career where we document everything and we have a system for everything so we can thank Mr. Ray Kroc for that but amazing. So, you know what was transition. So you know, you're in the army and now you've got your own your own business here, you know, what's that origin story? How did this come up?Marie Mack:
Yeah, this is a fun one. So flying was that a passion of mine since I was really young, and I found in high school and opportunity to go into the army and have them send me to flight school. So actually, the beautiful military pay for my first degree, and it also paid for me to go to flight school. So I have a random aeronautics degree that I don't use at all. But as I was kind of moving through that career as a Blackhawk helicopter, pilot, I met my husband. And we started a family. And we had a beautiful six month old son, when we were both put on deployment orders to go to Iraq. At that point, we had to decide, are both parents leaving, and we're gonna leave our beautiful baby boy with grandparents? Or are we going to make a decision towards our family. So at that point, I resigned my permission. And we have now two children that I was able to stay home with for almost two, well, I guess was four years before I started my business. And from there, I just kind of looked at, I'm a kind of a go getter, right, like, I want to do something, having a family and being home with them was fantastic. But I needed this like something else to kind of thrive in. So I started my online business in order to help take what I knew inside the army, and partner with those people who are online visionaries. There's beautiful and amazing visionary people who have this really big and great idea, but they're not quite sure what steps they need to take to make that happen. So I partner with them, they give me plan, you know, or point B, I give them ABCD all the way through, and we make the steps so that they can actually see that happen. It's powerful. It's amazing. I do it every day. And I am super passionate about seeing all of those visions come to life.Chuck Anderson:
Amazing. Well, you're definitely in the right place. Because our audience is all those types of people who've got big ideas, big dreams, they're building their business summit, startup stage Summit, you know, their past startup, others that are, you know, they're trying to achieve that, that growth, or make that big impact that they know that their business and their message and all of that are destined to make. And sometimes for some, it seems easy, and for others, it's hard. I mean, it's a it's definitely a journey. And, and so, definitely supporting those people. I mean, you're definitely in the right place here. And so it's great that you're doing this. And you know, I'll just back up for a moment for something that you said, because as I have four kids, and I could not imagine the choice, you know, to have to, to leave, you know, six months old, right?Marie Mack:
And then, I mean, it seems to me like, I mean, serve your country, raise a child, they're both really, really, really important things. And, you know, totally get the, you know, the decisionMarie Mack:
What do you do Yeah, and I am beyond grateful for my husband, because he chose to go, and I chose to stay. And so as a parenting team, you know, we were able to do both, we were able to serve country and serve our family. Because any, you know, spouses out there have military people, that's a hard, hard job. And I won't go on a tangent on that. But just knowing that, that that's a, that's a sacrifice just as much to be able to support our service members as they're going out there. But I think the biggest thing is, is just to know that we put everything into what we're doing. And in the kids that we have your kids, my kids like, this is why this is our bigger, why right? And so I'm thankful that I had that opportunity and thankful to have a husband who supported me and like the hardest decision of my life to say, I'm gonna stop flying. And I remember getting that call where they're like, you're, you're officially out of the army. And I just looked at him and I was like, and that chapter is close, like it's just done, and all this love and effort, and I am just so thankful for those things that happened and the support for family and business. And it's just, it's just amazing. So thanks for kind of backing up a little bit and letting me reminisce about it, but it's a beautiful space to be in.Chuck Anderson:
Well, and I think it's important because I mean, in some of my businesses, we do serve parents as well. And we invest in a lot of different businesses. And our big thing is to support you know, to support humanity to support families to support parents, and help them to live happier, more fulfilling lives. And so, I always resonate with the parents stories, because it's, it's why I do what I do. It's why I work from home and why I left, you know, a corporate job that was paying me like, really, really well and and so It's, I've had my own decisions that were motivated by taking care of family and being there for them. And so. So I always perk up when I hear those kinds of stories. So it's amazing. And so, you know, getting back to your journey. So you go from military helicopter pilot to now you've got your online business. And, you know, the theme of our show is obviously, collaborations and partnerships, and, and, you know, really leveraging relationships, you know, how has that played a role in your business, as in terms of what you do? And then also how is it contributed to the growth of, of your business?Marie Mack:
Absolutely. So I am beyond blessed to have a primarily referral based business, I don't mark it very much on social media, I don't have any paid ads, I don't usually market my services and set it aside of any other marketing space, I get referrals, and anybody that's in business to have a referral that comes straight to you is gold. And knowing that I have a growing and thriving business because of referrals is absolutely fantastic. So it's impacted my business in a huge way, in the beginning when I was doing systems, and still currently those systems revolve a lot around visibility and virtual events. So my team and I, we put together summits, challenges, webinars, people are looking to create that visibility, and we create that system around it. But one of the biggest projects that I had about five years ago was to put together a really big summit, a really big giveaway. And I found that collaborating with those speakers and those contributors was a really good way for us not only to get our message out, but for them to see me as a connector. So for the last five years, I've used virtual events as a way to connect with other people and the people I'm still talking with today, I met five years ago at that first giveaway organizational space, and it thrives, right, like it's it's not disconnected, like you'll see the same people all the time in your business, because you're you're nurturing that partnership over and over again.Chuck Anderson:
Isn't it amazing how long those relationships can last when they're nurtured and, and celebrated and, and looked at, you know, at for the value that they are, rather than this, like, I always must find a new client, I always must find a new client. I'm going to work with this one for three months. Okay, you're done. Now, I gotta find another one. But you know, sometimes you find that one that you can work with, for so long. I'm in my 11th year, my longest standing client right now we've been together 11 years. And, and counting, right? Like, we're still going strong. And so imagine what it would be like in your business if you didn't have to try so hard if you didn't have to look so hard for people. And when you meet someone amazing, like we're meeting each other right now. And I know both of us are thinking what work can we do beyond all of this because we're both connectors and and we value relationships in that way. But you know, that I just really speaks to me in terms of what you're talking about. So you know what? So virtual events are, you know, a big part of that. And, you know, we always get asked all the time, like, you know, okay, great like I should partner I should collaborate like, what do I collaborate on? And where do I find people to collaborate with? So you know, what, what have you found has worked for you in your business?Marie Mack:
Yeah, so especially inside of virtual events, those are summits a lot of times and you'll see this as their summits that are out there. People gather some of their friends or other influencers. And they put together a common topic and they interview each other. Those people are everywhere caught a palooza for example. Like there's hundreds of us, we're all looking to connect in some space. And Kimberly has several different things that she does, you know, she does speaker play house. Those are places that if you've never met anybody, and you're like, I want to do a summit, they're open for us to go to for free and to connect with people and we're given that opportunity to open up those conversations. And so I find a lot of value in that because we've gathered everybody in one spot and if you've never talked to them on that event, that's okay because their contact information is probably somewhere and then just circle back around and say Oh, I saw you on Potter Palooza looks like you have something interesting. Are you up for being a speaker? So I don't think that there is a shortage of people if you're wanting to get that visibility plan together. And I think it's just a matter of finding people who are in the same community and and being able to connect with other people if you one of your friends or some other connector has done a summit before like oh hey, you had this person on your Summit? Can you introduce me, that's a healthy way for every single person to win, right? Because that relationship on their side is growing, you're now introduced directly to a referral. And then now you've created another relationship. So just like scales, and just like fire goes everywhere. So it's beautiful.Chuck Anderson:
What I love so much about virtual events and summits and you know, speakers play house and countless other networking groups that I could mention is that ability to connect and to find someone that you're looking for find a connection. And sometimes too many like it can be overwhelming and the follow up. So I'd love to hear from you. And it's not one of my usual questions, but I think it makes so much sense because follow up is so for me, it's it's it's the one I emphasize the most with my clients, because it's like, Hey, you don't have a lead generation problem. You don't need more people, you have a follow up problem, like you have people in your world that you're not doing enough with. So, you know, what's your, what's your go to strategy or your recommendation in terms of follow up and actually doing something with these amazing connections?Marie Mack:
Yeah, so we're gonna talk like for 35 seconds about very actionable tools here. So when I go to events, inside of examples, beggars Playhouse, they always say download the chat. So I download the chat, I send it over to my beautiful and wonderful bas. And I say take all these people and put them on a spreadsheet. Now automatically, I have everybody in a spreadsheet, I have their email, I have them in LinkedIn, I know where they are, I take them 10 minutes to review who I remember and who I really want to connect with, check them out a little bit, see what their LinkedIn looks like, see what they're doing, make sure they're a good fit. And then I have my VA send an invite to connect. So I lean on my team, mostly because it can get overwhelming but at the same time, I'm there not necessarily an expiration date on that relationship. But memories are short, right? And so if I can say within a couple of days, Hey, I just saw you at speaker's Playhouse. Would you like to connect immediately? Like, oh, yeah, I went to that. And I don't remember you there. But let's do that. And so that's the first way I have it. And as soon as an email goes out, I use a an extension on Chrome called Boomerang. And I will send an email request, and I immediately boomerang it for two days later. So I have my systems remind me about that follow up. And setting up the systems to help you remember means that you don't have to say, oh, gosh, did I email Chuck? Did I not email Chuck? I don't remember, if I email Chuck, should I email him again, like you don't have to like put your brain power in that you can just allow your systems to take it from there. So I think those are powerful tools.Chuck Anderson:
And that's the power of systems when you have a system. I remember having a mentor very, very early on in my career who said, and it was one of my very first, you know, experiences with managing people and said, Look, you manage systems, not people, right? When you train the systems and everyone's working the system, you'd actually don't have to manage the people because the system is working. And I just saw so many of my peers and other managers trying to manage people, and they're trained, and this is happening, or this is not happening. But when you have a system and everyone's following the system, you really don't have to work that hard to manage people. In fact, they manage themselves because they're following the system.Marie Mack:
Yeah, and not only do you not have to manage people, but you can create relationships with those people, because our team members, at least for me, that's why I have my business and I can do what I can do. So I would rather put emphasis on the culture that we're creating that Hey, how was your weekend? Oh, I know, your your daughter was sick, or whatever those things are, or oh, I just saw this thing. And it thought, you know, it made me think of you, those culture create a deeper connection, because systems and teams like this is the way we continue to do business. So I think that the systems allow us then to create this human experience around thriving businesses. So I totally agree.Chuck Anderson:
Yeah, and I you know, and I'm, it's so cool to meet another person who's like so into, you know, systems and checklists and like, organized and was it the military that really kind of gave you that or what did you already have? Were you already kind of predisposed to that before?Marie Mack:
Yeah, I think I actually was have you ever taken a DISC profile? The disc profiles like the personality tests?Chuck Anderson:
Yeah. So I am like a 95%. S, which is, I just can't not do systems. Now. How I got there. I'm not exactly sure. But I know like, I'm the oldest My parents divorced when I was sick. So I was always like in charge of my siblings. And so always became this thing that was in my life since I was like seven. So I don't, I don't know if it was like predisposition or nurture, or nature or whatever it is. But I'm beyond grateful that I'm just who I am and not trying to create somebody. I'm not like, I'm not a content writer, graphics freak me out. Like, if you tell me to make a graphic right now, I would sit here for three hours. And I'm like, I don't know what color to use. Like, it just is not me. But I can partner with people who do that really well. And I can have team members that do that really well. And just living and breathing and who I am allows me to be more true and a better leader for the people that are around me. So yeah, I don't know if it was a nurturer or not.Chuck Anderson:
Well, and I think it speaks to unique abilities, because I think we all have unique abilities. And you know, the most painful times in my entrepreneurial journey is when I'm trying to do something that really is not in my wheelhouse graphics, content writing. Yeah, for sure. Not my thing, either. But partnering with or hiring someone else to help me with those things. absolutely a necessity. And a, you know, Game Changer or, you know, me saver, really, because saving myself for myself, I should not be doing those things. So speaking, yes. Explaining, yes. Creating systems and checklists, yes. All Check, check, check, we do all of those things.Marie Mack:
And so focus there, and then outsource or partner with everything else. And things get so much easier. So, or at least it has been for me, this is, you know, this whole journey of being a business owner and entrepreneur, you know, so much of it is about our vision and our idea, but an even bigger part of it is about our growth. And always learning always expanding, always getting better. And, you know, I always like to kind of ask my guests, you know, who their go to sources are, what their go to sources are for learning. So one thing I want to ask you, Marie is, you know, if there's, if there's a leader or an author, or just anyone doesn't have to be famous, that has been a big part of your journey and inspirational to you, that has been your go to source for, you know, information, learning, whatever. Has that been for you?Marie Mack:
Yeah, so I think I'm gonna probably say Tim Ferriss wrote The Four Hour Workweek. Do you remember that one?Chuck Anderson:
It's been out for a while. And he's had a podcast. And it's been really amazing. But I only really, like tapped into that around the 2020 2021, where it was kind of like, what do you do with your time now. And I reread the book, I listened to it again. And I just sunk into the fact that I can protect my time. Really, what I got our out of the four hour workweek as a book is, I can protect my time. And it's beneficial for my business if I do that. But it also highly increases my productivity, right? Because I'm setting expectations not only for the people who are emailing me, but then also for my team, so they know how I'm setting out. So check, you email me more than likely you got a reply that says, This is how I like to work my inbox, and it sets expectations on both sides. And so I just appreciate the fact that he did all these things, and then shared that knowledge and just, in the last couple of years, completely transformed how I work my business, which is a powerful.Chuck Anderson:
Well, and I think Tim's story echoes so many of us as entrepreneurs, you know, that moment of being overwhelmed by all of the things that are coming at you. And then then that point of, okay, this isn't happening, I'm not going to be able to handle all of these things. So from now on, I'm checking my email first time of the day at noon. And so I can focus in the mornings on getting stuff done. And then I'm not going to check it again until five, like how imagine, you know, how amazing is that? Right. And so, so that's, that was huge for me also. And so, Tim, for Ferriss and the four hour workweek, I haven't read it for a while, but you know, I might go back and recheck it out now, and we'll definitely link to it here for our listeners. Yeah. So, Marie, thank you so much for sharing your story and your your recommendation here. You know, if anyone here has been inspired by what you said, or really needs that kind of help that you can provide, let everyone know where they can get a hold of you and where they can reach you.Marie Mack:
Yeah, absolutely. So I know I mentioned I'm not really a content creator. But social media for me is really LinkedIn. So find me on LinkedIn, Marie Mack at LinkedIn, which is pretty easy to find. And then I also have my website, which is firstcuptoclose.com. And on there you'll find a couple of different resources including my free I'm supercharge your productivity, which is a three part mini training that I just help people create this productive, productive space using Trello. SoChuck Anderson:
Fantastic. Well, we're going to make sure we link to all of that. And we highly encourage you to reach out to Marie, and brilliant name for a website. I'm so jealous of the the the name of your website, I think it's really cool. I'm a LinkedIn user as well. So we'll make sure you and I collect on LinkedIn will, will link to it down below in the show notes as well. Murray, thank you so much for being on the show. I wish I could talk to you for another hour, because this is just I think we've only scratched the surface of what we could talk about here. So I really welcome the opportunity to speak to you again. And you know, so just as we sign off, if you have one last word of wisdom or piece of advice for our audience, what would you say to them?Marie Mack:
Yeah, I would say just be true to who you are in your business. And don't try to stick yourself into what other people are doing.Chuck Anderson:
Great advice. Great advice. So, Marie, thank you so much. And for all of our listeners, thank you for tuning in. Please do connect with Marie, and tune into our next episode. And in the meantime, keep moving forward. Keep being awesome in the pursuit of your dream, and your world changing business idea. And we'll see you here for the next one. Thank you.Marie Mack: