Ep642: Cameron Herold – Unleash the Power of Your COO

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Quick take

BIO: Cameron Herold is the mastermind behind hundreds of companies’ exponential growth and has earned his reputation as the business growth guru.

STORY: Cameron is back on the Podcast with tidbits from his upcoming book, The Second in Command: How to Unleash the Power of Your COO.

LEARNING: A working relationship between a CEO and a COO can grow a company exponentially. Make your company culture conducive to retain your employees.


“The very first thing that a smaller company should do before they hire their first second in command is hiring an executive assistant.”

Cameron Herold


Guest profile

Cameron Herold is the mastermind behind hundreds of companies’ exponential growth and has earned his reputation as the business growth guru. He has built a dynamic consultancy with clients that include a monarchy and a Big 4 wireless company. The author of six books, Cameron is also a top-rated international speaker, having spoken on all 7 continents. The founder of the COO Alliance, the World’s Leading Network for Seconds in Command, he’s also the host of the Second in Command: The Chief Behind the Chief podcast, where he interviews COOs and other seconds to share their insights with his listeners.

Cameron previously joined us on Episode 266, and today he’ll be telling us about his upcoming sixth book.

The Second in Command

Cameron’s sixth book, The Second in Command: How to Unleash the Power of Your COO, comes out in a couple of days. As with all his other books, Cameron listened to his clients and took their guidance on where they wanted more information from him. He runs an organization called COO Alliance, the only network of its kind in the world for the second in command. Cameron also hosts the Second in Command: The Chief Behind the Chief podcast. In both of those platforms, what he kept hearing was that it’s hard for CEOs to find a second command. They don’t know where to look for them or how to hire them. And once they have one, they don’t get along perfectly, or they think differently. Cameron decided he was going to focus on this in his new book.

The yin and yang relationship of the CEO and COO

After years of being a CEO, Cameron realized that a CEO and COO’s relationship is a very yin and yang relationship. A CEO could grow a company alone—so can a COO. But when they work together, the growth becomes exponential. Cameron’s book aims at helping entrepreneurial and mid-sized companies to put that solid yin and yang together. It also tackles the time and place to get rid of the second command.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • Make the culture of your organization great, so people want to be there.

Cameron’s recommendation

  • Cameron recommends checking out the Invest in Your Leaders course that offers 12 strong modules around coaching and delegation, time management, and project management. The 12 modules are what Cameron considers the 12 core competencies of successful leaders.

No.1 goal for the next 12 months

Cameron’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to find a place where he and his wife can buy a home. They’re currently looking into Dubai, Portugal, and Spain. His other goal is to scale up COO Alliance.

Parting words


“Remember that at the end of the day, we’re all gonna kick the bucket. So let’s enjoy our journey.”

Cameron Herold


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:01
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning in our community we know that the winning investing you must take risk but to win big, you've got to reduce it. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives and that mission has led me to create the become a better investor community where you get access to the tools you need to create, grow and protect your wealth go to my worst investment ever.com right now to claim your spot. Fellow risk takers this is your worst podcast hosts Andrew Stotz, from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guests, Cameron Hill, Harold Cameron, are you ready to rejoin the mission?

Cameron Herold 00:44
We got it already. Thanks for having me back.

Andrew Stotz 00:47
I'm excited to have you back in you are episode 266. And the title was, don't let your mindset block your next $108 million investments. Ladies and gentlemen, you can go to the website and listen to that one. But it was a great. And you probably still remember that one, huh? It seems like you've been generating another 108 million you know, you've got so many things going on. I thought maybe what I'll do is first, let the audience know a little bit more about what you're doing now and what's going on. So, Cameron is the mastermind behind hundreds of companies exponential growth, and has earned his reputation as the business growth guru. He has built a dynamic consultancy with clients that include a monarchy and for an in a big four wireless company. The author of six books, Cameron is also a top rated international speaker having spoken on all seven continents, the founder of the C O Alliance, the world's leading network for seconds in command. He is also the host of the second in command podcast, the chief behind the chief podcast where he interviews CEOs and other seconds to share their insights with his listeners. And I was just listening to your episode with the head of Kajabi. That was very interesting. So tell us a little bit about what's going on over the last two years and what you got going on right now.

Cameron Herold 02:13
Yeah, lots and lots of change. Actually, since you and I spoke two years ago, my wife and I sold our home in Arizona, I got rid of the home in Vancouver, sold all of our cars, sold all of our furniture got rid of all of our assets. And we're literally down to backpacks. So I am sitting in a colocation space in Tel Aviv right now, I can I could show you, everything I own is right, there is a small backpack and a big backpack. That's it. But we've been on the road full time. So we've been to about 20 countries in the last two years, maybe even a little bit more, we're just living on the road full time now. So and what was going on, I'm also focusing on building out the ceo Alliance. Just, you know, we've been, we both love to travel, I've been to about 65 countries, I've been to every single continent, including Australia, or Antarctica. In fact, I was paid to speak in at Arctic in January. So we just the love of travel, wanting to explore wanting to see the world and just kind of realizing that, you know, we've kind of done it for North America, there's a lot more out there. So let's go see what else is out there.

Andrew Stotz 03:14
There's a lot out there and having lived now 30 years in Thailand, looking back at let's say, the West, and you know, it's just kind of crazy, you know, and I like the fact that there's a lot of grounded people all around the world. And sometimes when I look at what's going on in America, I feel kind of sad, you know, I don't know, what have you learned from being able to vote?

Cameron Herold 03:37
Well, one is that the rest of the world seems to be connected to the rest of the world. And the United States seems to be very kind of insulated into their little bubble. And they're starting to, I think, because of social media get exposed to what's actually happening. And they're waking up a little bit, which is powerful. You know, they're realizing that companies give five or six weeks vacation not to and they're realizing that companies give maternity leave and want women to take time off. They have a baby, and they don't do it for six weeks. And, you know, it's just, they're seeing people connected and not fighting about every issue. You know, like we might, if we're in Israel, we'll talk about politics. I was speaking with a woman yesterday from the Jordan area, and she was from Palestine. And I said, I was talking to her about some political issues and she was like, and you know, what's going on in your life? Like, it wasn't like this confrontational thing. We talked about an issue, we agreed that we were on different sides of the fence that was like, So what are you doing, get your holidays? Where are your kids? And but in the United States, it seems to be like if you talk about wanting to go out for pizza, like, oh, you're a damn Republican, and you know, I'm gonna go for a burger. Oh, you must be a Democrat. It's like, Well, I'm just going for a burger like it has nothing to do with my political views. And they're just so contentious. So I think the rest of the world is looking back in and seeing a very divided USA I think we're seeing a much more connected rest of the world. In many ways.

Andrew Stotz 04:56
It's interesting because if you look at for instance, one When I left the US in 19, let's say, well, let's say I left Ohio in 1985. And I went to California. And if I just look at the obesity epidemic, you know, and, and, and the idea that people are not talking about it, or even thinking that it's healthy in a way to live in, you know, a severe level of obesity. It's just so interesting, that not only has something really tragic happened physically to people, but then trying to somehow justify it or say that, you know, it's okay, it's good. It's something you know, and then you look at the division that you just talked about, and you know, you see it growing, you think, Oh, I don't know. But you know, at some point, you got to say, Wow, something's going on here that's causing so much.

Cameron Herold 05:54
My wife and I were just speaking about this yesterday, when we were in Jerusalem, and I said something about, you know, she's now wearing a continuous glucose monitor to see what she has on her glucose to make sure we don't have spikes. We both work out, we both work out with trainers, we're watching our sleep. You know, we exercise a lot like 10,000 steps in a day. It is a low day for us. We did 25,000 A couple days ago. So we're always we're just much more healthy. And I said, I think we need to be careful when we meet with our doctors or anybody advising us on health. But when they give us the healthy range, we actually need a healthy range for athletes, not the healthy range for Americans. Because the healthy range for American isn't a healthy range. And they basically taken the middle class American said that's healthy, and basically they're all overweight and not healthy. And that's becoming the norm. So now if you're in this normal range, or considering it's, it's scary, and so we're actually going to start benchmarking ourselves now against athletes and saying, Where are we against? Not the Olympians, yet, but people that are fit, where are we in that range? Right, versus where are we against the average, you know, obese person who's sitting on the couch eating doughnuts,

Andrew Stotz 07:02
yet? Average is such a very, very general, nonspecific, you know, Target, I want to be above average, well, there's a lot too.

Cameron Herold 07:12
And we were just in, sorry, we were in Bhutan, two months ago. And we were there in Bhutan with the monks for about 20 days, or for about 10 days, we were there with about 25 entrepreneurs. And almost every single entrepreneur was obsessed with health. They were tracking their health, they were measuring monitoring things, they're living great life having fun, but they were very focused on it and the conversations we were having. I hadn't heard, really, unless I was at a conference about those issues. And it was fascinating that it is the whole like you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with, right? And that's the truth of your mindset and your wealth, your health, your fitness level of everything, between who you spend your time with.

Andrew Stotz 07:53
Yeah, well, you're the second person I see that has some sort of ring on your finger there, which I'm wondering, is that an aura ring? Is that what that is? Or is that some other type of it is yeah, that's,

Cameron Herold 08:03
it's an aura ring. It's one of the things that we do to track where our sleep is. And we wake up every morning, and we look at what our night was like the night before and what we can course correct. So we now are understanding the proper temperature to sleep.so. Even though we're on the road and Airbnbs, we try to get the room set properly, we wear these wax earplugs, we have these little white noise machines that we put on in our room to send out white noise, we try to go to sleep at a certain time, we have written red glasses that we wear at night. So it for watching a movie on our laptop, we don't actually get any of the blue light from the screens. So we're trying to understand certain things, when to eat and when to stop eating so that we can have often more sleep, I'll tell you, my ad and D has gotten better. I'm way more focused and ability to track and focus. I'm waking up more energized and wanting to go and work out because I'm getting better sleep. So there's, I think opportunities to end it's kind of fun to think about your health in a different way.

Andrew Stotz 08:56
I've had the Fitbit for about six years and really enjoyed it. And I also take care of my mother who's been living with me now for six years. So maybe I have my Fitbit since it first came out maybe eight years or whatever. But my mom has it too. And so I can you know, I also you know, you learn a lot of things like your heart rate starts to rise when you start to get sick. And before you even feel symptoms of flu, let's say you may see your heart rate rise, and that allows me to make some, you know, adjustments. And then also I think really critical thing for me is the time of eating these days, I tried to have a big, big, I have a big breakfast, a big lunch and then I don't eat until breakfast again. And when I do that, man, I can get my heart rate down to about 48 beats per minute, you know, in the middle of the night, which is you know, good enough for me, I think.

Cameron Herold 09:41
Sure. Well, we're also now learning that there's the order of operations with our food as well that you're supposed to eat your salads and your vegetables first. And then you eat your proteins. And then if you want to have things like the grains you have it at the end of the meal, and dessert isn't even necessarily a bad thing as long as it happens within 20 or 30 minutes of finishing the meal. But if you end up having dinner, and then waiting an hour and a half, and then having dessert later, you end up with these two big spikes in your glucose, which can really screw up your whole system in your body. So just even I didn't understand that. So now we're playing with those, you know, the order of eating things. And we're realizing our glucose isn't spiking, we're feeling healthier, we're not feeling tired after a meal. And we're eating stuff that we used to try to cut out, you know, like bread or something.

Andrew Stotz 10:29
You just got so much stuff going on. And you've done so many things between writing books, the CEO Alliance, you know, you've got a lot of different things going on. And I believe you got a little new book that you've been working on that's coming out in a few days, I think. So maybe tell us a little bit about what you've been working on with the new book, and then maybe let's talk about some other stuff that you're excited about that's going on in your life?

Cameron Herold 10:52
Sure, I had never set out to be an author. Years ago, I wrote my first book about 11 years ago, I've now written five. And my sixth book comes out in a couple days, as you mentioned, my new book is called The second in command. But all I've ever done with my books was listened to my clients and take their guidance on where they wanted more information from me. So I run an organization called the CEO of Alliance, which is the only network of its kind in the world for the second in command. And I have a large podcast called The second in command podcast. And in both of those communities in groups, what I kept hearing was, it's hard to find a CEO or it's hard to find that integrator that second command, I don't know where to look for them, I don't know how to hire them. Once I have one where we don't get along perfectly, where we think differently. You know, I'm a visionary. They're an integrator, I'm a visionary. And they ask all these questions. And so I've constantly been getting asked, like, literally every day, where do I find them? How do I, so I'm like, you know, I'm just gonna put it all into a book and kind of push it out there. And it's a really strong book, but it also is good for the marketing of the CLO Alliance as well. But yeah, it comes out, it comes out in a couple of days, it's called the second in command. And it's how to unleash the power of your CEO. Wow.

Andrew Stotz 12:05
So maybe, tell us just a maybe a couple of tidbits of what you know, what you learned and what you shared, you know, writing a book is such a process. And I noticed also that when I look at your books, you know, you're you're, you've got some other people working with you on some of them, which I think is a great idea. Because sometimes when you look at it, it can be a bit daunting. But you know, if I look at some of like, you know, the miracle morning for entrepreneurs, for example, with Hal Elrod as an example, and some of the other ones, so tell us a little bit about what you got out of this journey, and what people are gonna get out of this book.

Cameron Herold 12:39
Sure. So I recognized after being the CEO for one 800 got junk, that it was a very yin and yang relationship, and the power of Brian plus myself, exponentially grew that company, you know, if it was just Brian, he probably would have grown it. If it was just me, I probably would have grown it. But together, there was this exponential, almost like nitroglycerin. And we actually doubled the size of the company, six consecutive years in a row, we went from 2 million to 106 million in revenue in six years. And we gave up no equity, and we had no debt. But it was because of that magic between the two of us. And I've kind of almost seen that too, in a box with many, many companies. So a book came out years ago called Traction by Gino Wickman. And he talked about the visionary and integrator. And I think that really started to unlock for companies. I need to have that second in command. I actually came off a stage years ago, and someone came up to me, he goes, Oh, my gosh, your camera. And I said, Yeah, he goes, everyone at this conference has spent three days saying I need a camera. And I thought it was a saying like I thought it was like a B hag, or I need a vision statement. Because I didn't realize it was a person. I'm like, What are you talking about? He goes, I realized that they were saying that Brian had you and they needed someone like you to help them grow the company. So I just started to try to codify that to help entrepreneurial companies and the mid sized companies really put that solid yin and yang together. And I think there's also a time and a place to, you know, get rid of the right the second command. There's like I was the right CEO for one 800 got junk for the 2 million 200 million stage. But I would have been the wrong CFO to go from the 100 million to I think they're 500 billion today. And the person Eric has been the CEO now for 10 years, I've known Eric for 35 years, he would have been the wrong CEO for the first six years, right? His skill set was better matched from the 100 million to the 500 million. So just trying to give people those because there's not much written on the concept or on the topic. There's lots written about everything else in business.

Andrew Stotz 14:42
And what is the skill set for that first period of time let's think about our audience here that have you know, they're in that growth stage and they've got some good products and services and they're hitting the market and they're, they're they're finding themselves stretched and their CEO visionary as an example. You know, what, what is it that they need? And I'm also thinking about, you know, all the value that you bring to clo Alliance as an example. But based upon all the different stuff that you've done, how would you define what's needed?

Cameron Herold 15:13
Yeah, so I'm going to give you a couple of different stages of a company, and I'll talk about the value the SEO plays, or that second command plays at each stage. Okay, so when a company starts, it's the entrepreneur. And then that, so there's one employee, and sooner or later, they have three people, right? Well, one of those becomes kind of their go to, right, I'm going to delegate some stuff. Maybe they're like good at projects, but it's kind of so your first second in command is kind of a go to person, you're not going to call them a COO, they might not even have a title. But it's who is your first go to person kind of a jack of all trades, master of none. And then you go from three people to 10 people, and one of those people has to start managing people for you. So now you've got someone reporting to you, and they manage five or six people, that's really your first manager. So it might be an operations manager or a director. Well, that's really your first kind of second command is someone who's managing people for you. And then you go from 10 people to 30. And you probably have your first management team, right, five people reporting to you. And each of those five people have people reporting to them. Well, if you wanted to take four weeks vacation, who's going to run the business for you, who has the stronger leadership ability to think about strategy and execution, who can pull people together for consensus and good healthy debate, and that becomes kind of your first VP of operations or executive VP, or maybe a CFO at that point. And then when you go from 30 people to 100, you've now got a solid leadership team, you're probably hiring some outside experts to come in as leaders. And you actually need someone who can start thinking about the company politics, the silos that are happening, really someone who's there to grow people, and thinking about growing the skill sets and the capacity and building of the virtual bench. And then when you go from the 100 people to 300 people, that's really a very seasoned solid, you know, true C level executive, I think, unfortunately, for a lot of companies, they give big titles to people far too early. And you don't want to give a C O title to a person in a 20 person company. So that's why I think of it as the second in command, there's a different title, depending on the size of the organ organization,

Andrew Stotz 17:28
it's quite remarkable to me, when I look at some companies that have grown so fast, like, you know, got junk as an example, or Amazon or whatever, it just, it just seems like you're riding a tiger, and it just every day, it's just flying. And I think about how overwhelmed, you know, even let's say some of my listeners have good, you know, little businesses, and they may not be growing that fast, and they're already overwhelmed. And they may even have kind of a right hand man or woman or something like that. But the I'm curious, like, how is it that you can get that growth mindset and get that growth activity? That's really, you know, driving in?

Cameron Herold 18:04
Well, for I'll speak to my experience, and I'll speak to what I would suggest people do, you have to actually bring people into your organization that have experienced and done growth before. Right one 800 got junk was not my first rodeo. It was the fourth company that I built. So seven or eight years before I was building a company where we were hiring three people every single day, right at college pro painters in four months. And so we'd hire 800 people to become franchisees. And then in one month, we'd they would hire 8000 people to go paint houses. So in a four and a half month period, we hired 8800 people, and I was in the top 30 people in that company for four years. So I had already done growth. So the way you get growth is by hiring people that get growth, our growth minded, you know, one of the skills or one of the mindsets of a growth oriented person isn't just the minimum viable product. Its Minimum Viable everything. It's like, get it done and get it out the door because momentum creates momentum. I think too often when you have really really smart people, they're trying to perfect everything. Perfect doesn't scale. Alright, if you were trying to have the perfect podcast, you wouldn't have 600 plus episodes right now. But your podcast is pretty damn good with pretty damn good reach. Because you're getting it done. You're getting it out the door. Right?

Andrew Stotz 19:29
It's fascinating. I mean, one of the things that I would I feel myself at times and I know plenty of my listeners feels like, yeah, I get it. I need someone that's experienced in it, but I can't afford them.

Cameron Herold 19:42
You know, the very first thing that a smaller company should do before they hire their first second command is hire an executive assistant. If you don't have an executive assistant, you are one because you're working on a lot of the administrivia in your business. You need to delegate all the minimum wage jobs off your plate. So you're working on the higher impact areas, as your company scales from the 10 to 30 people, you might at that point, hire the full real solid second in command, right. So, the other thing is clo has to obsess about in the early stages are the flywheels that you're going to put in place. For your company, what are the one or two or three things that if you obsess about those three things, will create a flywheel effect for growth that will start to propel the company faster and faster. So at one 800 got junk, some of them that we did were number one was I actually raised our prices by 40%. Within about a month of me getting there, I raised the prices across the board 40%, because no one was making money, we couldn't pay our people, well, the company wasn't doing very well, the franchisees weren't doing very well. So we became kind of the Starbucks or the FedEx of junk removal, you can go get a cheaper coffee somewhere, but you don't get the same experience. Now you go to these hipster coffee places, and they're even better than Starbucks, right? pay a little bit more. So we priced ourselves probably more like a hipster coffee place. Okay. Second thing we did was we wanted to become a little bit more than a business a little bit less than a religion. And I wanted to get the company into the zone of a cult, because the culture would attract people it would attract brand, it would attract marketing would attract customers, we'd become like a magnetic force. And that's what would actually allow us to scale. And then third was leveraging free publicity, we really wanted to get press coverage to talk because we had no money for marketing. So the more press coverage we got, and we were on Oprah, we were in every physical print edition of every major newspaper, all the major magazines covered us. And this all happened before social media existed. So in an early days, see, oh, it's defined two or three things that if you push on those things, the flywheel effect will get bigger, like an example at one 800 got junk. We landed 5200 individual unique stories about our company in six years. So massive flywheel on PR, we came the number two company in all of Canada to work for. And two years in a row, we were the number one company to work for in British Columbia, which was the west coast of Canada. So that culture, culture or cult was definitely there. And then we priced ourselves at a level that we could afford to have a great brand and good marketing and great people, and really outperform everybody at the actual customer doorstep.

Andrew Stotz 22:21
increase price flywheel, figure it out, scale it, the culture of the organization make it great. So people want to be there. And free publicity, you know, such great things. I remember talking to you before about these things. And there's simple things. They're not complex things. And that's what's kind of always fascinating about businesses, sometimes when we get into it, and we're stuck, and we're trying to grow, but you know, we're overthinking it, and just increasing prices. Now, there's risks involved with that. But hey, that's business. And as you said, you know, you had to make sure that the business was profitable. And even if that meant, and even that maybe it's a smaller business, but it's profitable, he makes all the difference.

Cameron Herold 23:04
Well, and I said that to Brian, and to our franchise partners at the time, we only had 12 franchise partners. But I said, you're either gonna go out of business because you're not making money. Or we're gonna go out of business, because we're charging too much. But at least charging too much gives us a shot to stay in business. And if we're going to charge, you know, so we just went to talk, let's try it right, because the other way it wasn't certainly didn't work. I see what you just talked about was business is not difficult. For everybody who's listening right now, remember, the last time you saw a fly trying to get out a window, and it's kind of banging its head on the window. And then the next day, you go back and the fly is dead on the windowsill, it just kept trying harder to get out the window. And I always step back and look around and go, oh, there's a door over here, it's open up, I'll just turn and go out the door. So I always look for the shortcuts, I always look for the path of least resistance, I always look for the easy to implement systems that scale. And then I tried to teach companies and I tried to get CEOs to understand this as well, when you're going to put a new system in place in your company or a new project that you're initiating to try to get something that once it's done, it'll pay dividends forever, kind of like launching a satellite. If you launch a satellite, by the time it gets up into orbit, it just goes around the earth for a couple of decades. And it doesn't cost a penny when it's in orbit. It costs money to get it there. And then for years, it's free, will try to put projects in place it will pay dividends for years. And I think people will miss that they always put in place that the hard projects that the integrating software stuff and I like the low hanging fruit easy to implement Quick, get minimum viable everything that will pay dividends for a long period of time. A good example of that for every company out there, go get a lot of Google reviews or Trustpilot reviews about your product or service or your company and get every happy employee you've got to go on indeed and Glassdoor and leave a review about your company today. Because those reviews will be like satellites and they'll pay dividends. For the next five to 10 years, if you can get 50 More indeed reviews today, those 50 reviews will pay dividends for you for the next five years. And that makes it easier to hire great people.

Andrew Stotz 25:13
Yeah, that's an why is it that we don't do that? I mean, I know in my case, what I do is in my, for instance, in my courses, I asked my students quite often to give me, you know, answer this question. And then I turn that answer into a testimonial. I asked him what, what was the best thing that you got out of the class? What was the transformation that you went through? How would you describe this class, and what you got to someone who was interested but didn't know anything about it? And I asked that at different times. And then, and then, in, in Thailand, and in Asia, where most of my students are, they're not necessarily native English speakers. So I rewrite all of the testimonials and I send them back to him and say, I cleaned it up a little bit, because that sounds as I say, this course and so I say the valuation masterclass boot camp. And they love that because now they look even smarter. And I have 800 testimonials for one of my courses, and another, maybe, maybe 90 Or you know, 100 for another one of them. But I give them back to the students and I say, could you post these and share them. And so I do get that traffic back. But maybe what I should do is focus on Trustpilot, or something like that.

Cameron Herold 26:20
Okay, I love what you're I'm actually writing that down. Because so my the way I learned everything, I call it r&d, rip off and duplicate. And so I gotta write this down. So what I love about it is something that's very simple to do. So I have a course called invest in your leaders. And I've got about 500 members that are using the course right now. Some of them have 32 of their employees signed up using the course, I'm just gonna go out to all those 500 people and ask them one question, or a two question survey. That's kind of leading them to give me comments about the specific things. And then I'll say, hey, thanks very much for that, would you mind actually copying and pasting that or rewriting it a little way, and here's the link to Trustpilot and putting up a review. That's gold, that is freaking gold. But sadly, sadly, so many listeners today are going to think that it should be harder than that, or it can't be that easy. So they just won't do it. And I can guarantee you that within 30 days, I can probably boost the number of reviews I've got on Trustpilot by 30%. Because the thank you businesses and difficult we overcomplicated.

Andrew Stotz 27:27
Keep it simple. And the other thing that that I wanted to talk about briefly was the flywheel concept in like, when you described about that fly smashing on the window, there is a bit of a dilemma because you know, we're also told in in in this life that you know, be persistent, don't just give up that it doesn't work the first time. How do you make that judgment? Like, okay, if I keep compounding on this, you know, I mean, there's plenty of people that will pound on something until that it practically destroys them. How do you draw the line?

Cameron Herold 27:58
Well, so there's two parts to that. The first part is you and I grew up in an era where we were kind of groomed with that Protestant work ethic work hard, and you'll get results for cardio, you will get results, study hard, and you'll be a smart person. But remember, when you and I went to school, we had to study hard and be the smartest person in the room. Because there was no Internet, there was no Google, there was no access to information, so we had to remember it all. Whereas now you don't have to remember anything, you have to know how to find it. So now it's how fast can I find information? Who can I collaborate with. So we can all work together, it's almost like we should tell all the kids in school, pick four friends, all of you work on every project together, all of you do the exam together. All of you do an open book exam with your computer and Google in front of you. And here's all the questions and use Google and each other to problem solve and find the information and hobble it together and come back with the answers. And we'll give you an A plus because you're all learning how to collaborate and work together, right? That's how companies are now built companies are built because of collaboration and access to information and understanding how to problem solve. But so often we were groomed in this way that we must work hard. We must be the smartest, I don't have to be the smartest person now. I have to know this smart people. I've been a member of seven different mastermind communities over the last 20 years, some of them for 10 years. Some I still go to and and because I'm in these mastermind communities. I'm no longer the smartest person in the room. I'm smart, but I'm with other really smart people to so now I'm going in with my lessons to help them but I'm also going in with my questions and problems and opportunities and they're helping me and it's like this massive kind of ideas having sex model that's amazing. That's why I started to see oh Alliance was I wanted to give coos and the seconds and commands of companies a space for them to go and learn with each other and connect with each other because they don't have to be the smartest person in the room anymore.

Andrew Stotz 29:58
And just sharing ideas too is so exciting I mean, and trying to learn. One of the things that I found was that I had a problem with my valuation. masterclass bootcamp students is really tough material, it's six weeks, it's intense. And I gave each one of them a company that they would value, they could choose a company out of a list. So let's say I have 40 students, and they're all picking different companies, it makes it really difficult for me, but it also makes it difficult for them, I can't help them that much. And then I found out that, you know, some of them are just lost in the wilderness with this, it's over and overwhelming. So what I did is I broke those 40 students up into 1010 groups, four groups of 10, I said, You guys are all going to die you the same company, Ferrari, or Samsung, or Apple or whatever. And all of a sudden, they lit up, because now the research they're doing on that company starts to you know, they're sharing in their group, I said, cheat, help each other. The objective is you all want to end up and they all ended up with great presentations, and I didn't feel a lot of duplication and that that part was great. That's the first thing that I did. The second thing I did, is it. I always asked my students at the end, like how can we improve? And the students said, We want more personal feedback on our work that we've done. And I thought, Oh, God, this is going to be hard. How am I going to scale this? I mean, we're at 40, or 50. Right now, I want to get to 100. And my next one, and I want to get to 500. Every time I launched the bootcamp. And then I came up with an idea. And that is feedback Friday. So I got more clear, I got more clear on what is my assignment for this week for everybody. They worked, I introduced it on Monday, I talked about it a little bit. And then they worked on it together with their teams and all that I said, Now the two people, yeah, the two best people on the team present on Friday and myself and my team will give you feedback. And then we do that. And then everybody is benefiting from it. And then and then now they fixed that section, they understand how to do it. Plus, I have new material, I can add back into the course to say, Hmm, I think I missed something here. Yeah, and that way, feedback Friday meant that when we surveyed the latest group of students, and I asked them what they wanted to see change, feedback was not a major issue anymore. So feedback Friday really helped me along.

Cameron Herold 32:21
Well, I think we're both also touching on something else, when it comes to building great companies is we need to put our employees into rooms where they can learn from others as well, within the company, within mastermind communities for them within industry groups, with mentors, through courses, whatever. But the more that we grow our people, the more they'll grow the company. I think too often the CEO is trying to grow themselves, but they're forgetting the people that are actually doing the work. We need to grow them too. We need to grow their skills, and we need to grow their confidence.

Andrew Stotz 32:53
It's an interesting point, because when you hire someone you think you know what to do, you know, do it. But truthfully, everybody needs ideas, they need support. And maybe you could talk just a little bit about what people you know, what do people get when they join the CEO Alliance? You know, what, what is it? What's the value from that?

Cameron Herold 33:12
Sure. So to be a member of the CEO, Alliance, they have to be the second in command, running a company of at least 5 million or greater in revenue. So our average clients around 40 million. We've got members from 17 countries so they can be global. Our events are three hours a month online via zoom. And then we have two in person events every year that members will fly into those are optional, but we have one in April that's held in Scottsdale, Arizona, we have one in September that's held at MIT. And members can actually come to those events, they meet with each other, they collaborate together, they learn from each other, they build a network of other like minded CEOs for the first time, instead of spending time with their leadership team or their CEOs. They're within their peer group. And they're helping each other on all different areas of the business. I'm merely a facilitator, like I'm trying to bring these people in and we do issues clearing and problem solving. We work on presentations, we bring in guest speakers. And each month we have a different theme. And each of the two and a half day in person events, we have different themes. And then they also have a closed private slack group where different different channels where they can ask questions and share information with each other. And then we've got about 100 videos of speakers from the last six years that they have access to that video library as well, to be able to, to learn from each other there. And then lastly, we have a partner program with a number of partners that are closed, we don't tell anybody who they are until the remember that they can actually use a number of partners that have been vetted to help them scale their company as well.

Andrew Stotz 34:41
That's it's, I didn't even think of the idea of doing a live where people fly in, you know, part of what I I have a community that become a better investor community, which is we have about 100 people in the community right now and it's growing and I want to continue to grow it but I also think it's time for me to start a CFO community as CFO and CFOs, in Thailand CFOs in Asia, and I was just thinking, you know, if we did an event in Bangkok, I think a lot of people would be happy to fly in. And we make it so that, you know, we have some fun, and we have lots of different activities. But we could really do something far. Sure.

Cameron Herold 35:17
Well, what's really nice about the in person events, as well as it also builds a really tight community of the more bought in members as well. But ones who are going to pack up and fly somewhere for two and a half days and spend that time. So we actually are now pricing it at a point, it's almost irresponsible not to send someone, I used to try to make money off the in person events as well. And now I'm trying to bring the price down and bring it into a break even so that all of the good members can come. Because then they spend two and a half days together, they build relationships, they get to know each other, when they're on Slack, they're helping each other, they're more open and vulnerable. And going into the discussions, you know, like they should be. So it's starting to become a very powerful component. And we had missed that with COVID, we weren't able to do any in person events. My old model, when I first started the CLI, and six years ago, it was five in person events a year and they picked three of the five to come to, there was no online component whatsoever. So I'd forgotten how good that connection was. And COVID gave that back to us. Or it gave us two parts of the model. Now it's been pretty cool.

Andrew Stotz 36:21
Well, it's just so much exciting stuff. And I think, for the listeners and the viewers out there, get the second in command, unleash the power of your CEO, and get all of these types of nuggets. And in addition, the, you know, the community, right, the CEO, Alliance and go, I'll have links to that in the show notes so that you can go and check it out. And I just think it's a lot of gold there. And I think I'm at a stage in my life to where I'm constantly thinking about how do I grow? How do I grow, it's time to really, you know, grow, either drop the product, or grow it, if it's not gonna grow in scale, if I can't build the flywheel out of it, then get off of it. And I think that's something that I feel excited about after talking to you.

Cameron Herold 37:09
Thank you very much. And there's also if they check out the invest in your leaders course, I'll give your listeners a discount code. It's Cameron, Cameron, ah, so see a MERONH. And then the number 10. So Cameron, age 10, another give them 10% off the invest in your leaders course, it makes it about $650 a person, but they get 12 really strong modules to grow themselves in. And it's me teaching all the content around coaching and delegation, time management, project management. That's what I consider the 12 core competencies of successful leaders. If they get that for them, themselves, and any of their core managers don't really scale the company for sure.

Andrew Stotz 37:48
I'll have that in the show notes. And let's take advantage of that. I think I need to be in that. So that's fantastic. Well, last question, what's your number one goal for the next 12 months.

Cameron Herold 38:02
It's probably my wife and I are trying to find a couple of hubs where we're going to buy places in they're going to become kind of a bit of a grounding for us. So I think we're going to try to buy a place in Dubai, and we're going to look in Dubai in March. And then we're also thinking of Portugal or Spain. So we're going to be over in that area, this fall, and kind of looking there as well. So just starting to keep our minds open for where our two hubs are going to be personally. And then on the business side, it's just, you know, really scaling up the CEO Alliance, we have so much good traction, we have so many amazing members. So, you know, really big building the big push now to bring on more great members globally.

Andrew Stotz 38:41
Hmm. Well, I just want to thank you for coming on the show and coming back and sharing what you're doing. It's so exciting myself to catch up and hear all the great stuff that's going on. And I know, for the listeners and the viewers out there that they are going to appreciate it. Also, do you have any parting words for the audience?

Cameron Herold 39:02
Yeah, and I might have said this two years ago, I don't remember how I did, but it's become my theme for a long time. None of this shit actually matters. This is just what we do to make money. Right? Like, this is just what we do to pay the bills. So let's hold hands and have fun and, you know, be good to each other. And remember that at the end of the time, we're all gonna kick the bucket. So let's enjoy our journey at the same time.

Andrew Stotz 39:23
You are a consistent man, because that in fact, was your same great advice. So you know, I think what does matter is deepening the relationships with the people that you love. And that's what you're also doing, you know, being out on the road with your wife. So, Fantastic.

Cameron Herold 39:41
Well, thank you. Yep.

Andrew Stotz 39:43
This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz, saying I'll see you on the upside.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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