Invest in yourself.
Travis Chappell is a direct sales consultant, real estate investor, and professional connector. He is the creator and host of Build Your Network, a top rated business podcast dedicated to helping entrepreneurs cultivate genuine relationships, grow their inner circle, and leverage a powerful network the right way.
Where did the idea for Build Your Network come from?
I was doing door to door sales, training, and management for a few years, and after seeing some success financially, I came to the realization that if I didn’t put myself on a different career path, I’d be knockin doors for a long time. I personally didn’t want that. The problem was I didn’t know what to do, so I dove into books, podcasts, and content to try to figure it out. While I was consuming podcasts for the first time ever, I had this epiphany that it would actually be really fun to do it and that I thought I could pull it off.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day for me starts the night before with reviewing my schedule for the next day so I know what I should be doing as soon as I wake up. And typically, I don’t allow for any of my client calls, interviews, or OPA (other people’s agenda) until after noon so in the morning I can take care of myself. I spend time with my wife and my newborn son, get a work out in, drink some coffee, listen to some audio, and work on projects that don’t require other people in order for me to work on them.
In the afternoon, I do any calls that I may have scheduled, and in the evening I button up everything one more time like checking email and all social and take the time to respond to any comments on any post on any platform to make sure I’m interacting with and getting to know my audience.
After some dinner, my wife and I usually wind down by watching some comedy or playing a card game. And lately I’ve been trying to put my phone on airplane mode around 9 pm and not take it off until 9 am to be sure that I get good sleep and stay present.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Mentors. I get connected to the top people in whatever industry that idea may be in, and I ask a lot of questions. If it checks out, I’m in.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I like seeing that people are finally catching on to how powerful it is to have a podcast. Lately it seems that even fortune 500 companies are realizing the value the platform and jumping on board. And whenever big money and big media start validating an idea, it really starts to take off.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Networking. May sound a bit odd, but I truly believe that. Because if you have a well balanced network, you’ll have people all around you. You’ll have people that you mentor; you’ll have people that are colleagues; you’ll have people who mentor you. All of these people in my life help keep me accountable to being productive in a variety of ways with a variety of motivation.
What advice would you give your younger self?
There’s too much advice for this answer. But to pick one thing professionally, I would say to do whatever it takes to get around the people that you admire the most, and find a way to add value to their businesses so that you can learn from them. If you are hungry, ambitious, and eager to learn, people you look up to will value that.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Business cards are dead. Okay, maybe not quite dead. But they are dying. And what I really mean by that is if you are relying on your business cards to make you “legit” or to make you a ” good networker,” you’re doing it the wrong way.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I invest in myself constantly. If you are trying to get everyone else to invest their time, energy, money, and resources in you by offering you a job or buying your products, services, or ideas, and you won’t even make a move to invest in yourself…how can you get upset with anyone else when they don’t?
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Collaboration, specifically in podcast guesting. We live in a world of collaboration, not competition. I try to add value to as many people as I can (especially in my niche), and opportunities just seem to come my way because of it. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can amplify your message and your brand when you get in front of engaged audiences of over 100,000 people fairly often.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I invest in real estate on the side of my main business, and one time, I bought an out of area deal with my partner and I made the mistake of trusting people in that market that I had no previous relationship with, and no real reason to trust them other than that I thought they were good people. Well being a “good person” doesn’t make you a real estate expert. So we ended up being completely upside down on that deal when we went to sell. However, it was a good learning experience, because it taught us to do better due diligence, but it also taught us that money is just money, and if you do a good job hedging your bets, you can come out okay and everything is fine. Now, we just tied up some capital and have an extra rental property that we didn’t want. But after a couple years of the tenant paying the mortgage, we’ll be able to sell and make a profit anyway.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I know this may be a cliche answer, but any form of e-commerce. If you can learn how to sell things online through those channels, and you build a list/community of online shoppers, you can create or build any product that adds value to those people, and make it almost instantly successful because of the previous success you’ve had in that space selling other people’s stuff. Oh, and the best part is, no inventory! There are plenty of drop shipping companies that can do the fulfillment for you.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a small roller suitcase that fits under the chair in front of you on flights and classifies as a “personal item.” It fits all my stuff, allows me to travel light, and I never pay for bags.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use a software called Loom to record my computer screen and myself so I can show members of my team things that need demonstrating even though they aren’t local
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Soooo many! But I’ll boil it down to one. The Greatest Salesman in the World…and it’s even better on audio
What is your favorite quote?
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” -Steve Martin
- Get a mentor however you can
- Invest in yourself constantly
- Build Your Network! If you can connect to the top 1%, you can become the top 1%. No matter the industry
- Money is just money. Don’t be afraid to use it, flow it, and exchange it. Especially if it saves you time! You should value your time more than a green piece of cotton.
- Just because someone is a “good person” doesn’t mean they’ll give you good advice.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.