THE IMPERFECT SHOW NOTES
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Suzanne Evans 00:00
There’s a great story of the founder of one 800 flowers. And he actually started one 800 flowers as a side hustle. He was an executive director for a Boys and Girls program he was making, I think it was making six figures. But he started this as a side hustle. He ended up having a board of directors and when the business cross like the $3 million mark, and it was looking to go, they could see the trajectory the next year might be like 25 million that it was going to go public. The board brought him in and said you have to quit your job. You’re still an exact he said, I can’t. You said this is the only reason this works. He said if if I’m here all day, I’ll I’m bound to screw all this up. There’ll be way too much time. And I love that story because too much time on your hands is is the greatest opportunity for disaster.
Achim Nowak 00:56
Hey, this is Achim Nowak, executive coach and host of the MY FOURTH ACT podcast. If life is a FIVE ACT play, how will you spend your FOURTH ACT? I have conversations with exceptional humans who have created bold and unexpected FOURTH ACTS, listen, and to be inspired. And please rate us and subscribe on whatever platform you are listening on. Let’s get started. I am just delighted to welcome Suzanne Evans to the my fourth act podcast. Suzanne is a mom, a wife, sister, an entrepreneur and a risk taker from North Carolina. Her firm driven Inc, blends business strategy, lifestyle and storytelling to help people build vibrantly successful businesses. Suzanne’s path to her own success is truly exceptional. She went from working as a secretary in Manhattan, to surpassing the seven figure mark in just over three years. Her business hit the Inc 500 Slash 5000 for five years straight, and she wrote a New York Times best selling book along the way. I am just scratching the surface here. Suzanne is an inspirational and in your face human who has created an extraordinary life for herself. And for her family. Hello, Suzanne.
Suzanne Evans 02:25
Hello. Glad to be here. Happy to be here.
Achim Nowak 02:29
I’m glad you’re here. So we didn’t really know each other in Manhattan, but we sort of kind of crossed paths by being working for in very different ways in it for a theatre company, the Creative Arts team. Yes. And where I’d love to start is my sense is that theater and performance are very important to you. Would you talk to that? Like what did you learn from theater? How does performance matter to you?
Suzanne Evans 02:58
Yeah, well, I’ll try not to make the story too long. But think it does start when I was four, almost turning five, my parents on a seventh generation farm family. And my parents had taken me to the local dinner theater to see guys and dolls. I was like, I think almost five, maybe I was five. And I was all dressed up. What I thought was exciting was if you went to the ladies room, you could see backstage, and I kept getting back and forth. And so at intermission, this man comes to the table to my parents and says is that your little girl in the red dress? And they said, Yes, I’m sorry. I know. She’s gotten up a few times. She can see backstage when she goes the bathroom and they said, Well, we’re having auditions tomorrow for the sound of music. And she should come. My parents, you know, maybe I’d sing in church a couple of times for something. So my parents took me to the auditions, that lots of kids, their dad said my dad tells a story. He said I was shocked how many children were there. I thought the way they asked you there would be like eight or nine there were tons of kids. They asked me that’s most the kids like can you sing something kids would sing happy birthday or Old MacDonald? And they said, Can you sing something? And I said, and they said, You know what? Show this is the sound of music. Could you sing happy birthday? And I said which song? Would you like me to sing from the sound of music? And oh, okay, well, which one do you know? And I went, I could do a dir. I could do Edelweiss. I could do I was obsessed with the movie. So I had watched and listened to the record with my cousin. And so I sang one song they said thank you. So but I would like to do the rest. I practiced all. I share all of this with you because for two reasons. Number one, so I got the role of Brettell it was the first professional theater I ever did. And I did theater from then on, you know, until I went into college, which I continued to do theater but honestly in college kind of went to more of the directing producing side of things. And I share that for two reasons because I as an adult asked my dad, my dad, you’re a farm Are right like how did he had to we did everything in the arts, everything. I said, Dad, how Where did you even come up with this? You’ve never been to really I think he and my mom on their honeymoon, saw Hello, Dolly in DC, right or something it was like But you didn’t go to theater. He said, Well, here’s how I decided to raise children, I decided to raise you. I said probably the best way you could be a parent is everything you knew nothing about entrench them in that. And, like, I always get emotional when I tell that story, because it’s so profoundly wise. And I think how I’ve lived my entire life and run my business, which is alright, Suzanne, figure out everything you know nothing about, and just, you know, immerse yourself in that. And so it’s I haven’t really known a life without, like performing arts and art in it, um, from a very young age. You know, as I said, that’s what I did. And before I even had my own child, I think something being in a position of sass, I guess I’ve been in some position says people would come to me all the time, say, what advice would you give my children? I’m like, you realize I don’t have children, right? says, Well, what? The number one piece of advice I was good, as I said, don’t worry about anything else, get them in theater. Because if you can communicate with people, nothing else matters.
Achim Nowak 06:25
You know, I’m a believer, but like, I love so many things about this story is that but the thing that really tickled me Suzanne is when you said you did one song, and you insisted on doing the others. There’s a lot about you right there Suzanne Evans. There were already so many has, I wanted to follow up on that story. But before we get into that in your business, I know you’re told your story often. But I also know that there will be many listeners who don’t know how Suzanne Evans working as a secretary in Manhattan, went to within a little over three years making a million dollars in their business people say, you just friggin can’t do that. But Suzanne Evans did it. Yeah. Would you give us just a snapshot of how you got from there to there?
Suzanne Evans 07:17
Yeah, you know, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. But I’ll paint the picture for you. I worked in the Broadway theater industry, I got a job as an assistant. And I’d worked there for about nine years and really worked my way up through the organization I was working for, and I wasn’t unhappy, I’m just not an unhappy person, like, you give me the assignment of ditch digger, and I’m like, Oh, this is like, let’s look how we can innovate this. Exactly. But I also knew I was kind of stuck there. And the past that in that industry, I won’t bore people with the theater industry. But there’s only a couple of paths you can take in the commercial side of it. And neither one of them really interested me super deeply. And I was really craving, autonomy. And just, you know, I grew up in a family where my dad was a farmer, like the original entrepreneur. And my mother went back and forth. She did some small jobs with my dad, and she was a teacher for a time, but really, both of them did whatever they wanted to when they wanted to, except unless you had to be moving an irrigation system or cropping soybeans. And when they’re ready, they’re ready. But my point is that they had freedom. So it was kind of I was, it’s what I kind of grew up in. So I knew I wanted to do something different. I really had a strong calling to like, give back. And so I went through a lot of different iterations. I was like, do I want to be a nurse? Do I want to be a therapist, and I randomly came across coaching. And you know what they say like the universe starts to align for you. So when I came across coaching, then my wife Melanie said, I’m DVR in a show that’s about that has life coaches on it, you should watch it. And it was a morning show called starting over so that I watched that. And then that got me even more interested in coaching. And then I’m talking to one of the people on the tour one of the actors on the tour of any Get Your Gun one day, which was one of the shows I was working on. And he said, Yeah, you know, I do live coaching, like on the weekends, and when I’m not on tour, and it kind of supplements and so then we start talking about it. So before you know it, I was really interested in this coaching thing. I started a small coaching program to get certified. I started building the business at the same time while working a 60 hour week day job in the Broadway theater industry. And I built it to six figures in the first year really as a side hustle. And I built it to a quarter of a million the second year still is the side hustle working.
Achim Nowak 09:44
Let me stop you because you sort of tossed that out easily. And people are going like shit. I’ve worked for 10 years and I didn’t I don’t I’m not up to 250. So just is it let me just test Some things is that you’re just to use your business name your driven nature. What made that manifest for you as quickly as it did?
Suzanne Evans 10:09
Yeah, I think a couple of things. As my mom, I would say unsuccessful people have too much time on their hands. That’s number one. One of the reasons I was successful as I was really busy, I was working a 60 hour week day job, so I didn’t have time to wait to, you know, so many business owners live in this perpetual state of getting things ready. And I just couldn’t do that. It was like, listen, I I’ve got about an hour in the morning before work, I’ve got a little bit of time at work, quite frankly, when I cheat the job. You know, it’s been a little time working on it. And I’ve got a couple of hours in the evening. That’s what I’ve got. So I don’t care if this was light blue, and it was supposed to be dark blue, send it out. Right. And so there’s a great story of the founder of one 800 flowers. And he actually started winning 100 flowers as a side hustle. He was an executive director for a Boys and Girls program he was making, I think it was making six figures. But he started this as a side hustle. He ended up having a board of directors and when the business crossed, like the $3 million mark, and it was looking to go, they could see the trajectory, the next year might be like 25 million that it was going to go public. The board brought him in and said you have to quit your job. You’re still an exact he said I can’t. He said this is the only reason this works. He said if if I’m here all day, I’ll I’m bound to screw all this up. There’ll be way too much time. And I love that story. Because too much time on your hands is is the greatest opportunity for disaster. Because your
Achim Nowak 11:42
story to that is that just ah, I want to mention this is because it’s your public narrative on the website. And, and I think you’re addressing the people that you serve, but you say, you know, I wasn’t an obvious success candidate. You describe yourself as fat. I would say a big girl, you say I’m a lesbian, you’re an out lesbian. It’s easy to carry your whole narrative. Well, it’s harder for somebody like me, right? I’m not the Madison Avenue type of success. You know, I’m not the poster child. Did you have to navigate any that inner stuff? Or you just said, Fuck it excuse my English?
Suzanne Evans 12:24
No, I did. Of course. I mean, you know, I’d be lying if I was like, oh, no, you know, I was fat, gay and broke. And I thought about all those things. And I thought about being a, you know, a simpleton from a farm family in North Carolina. And my parents in my high school years into my college years had some very, very, very, very difficult, aggressive, challenging financial problems. And I carried that with me going, Oh, I’m gonna just probably screw it all up like they did. So yeah, I carried all those narratives with me. But you know, they were present. But what I was keenly aware of from the beginning is that the worst case scenario was the same scenario I was in now. It’s like, what? What’s going to happen? So this isn’t going to work? Okay, well, I’ve got this, why didn’t quit my job. I tell people don’t quit your job. You know, this whole, like, Great resignation, and people are going, you’re not happy, quit know, if you’re not happy, figure out how to fucking get happy doing what you’re doing. Because if you can’t get happy doing what you’re doing, you will never get happy running your own business. It’s too hard. It’s too stressful. It’s too too many moving parts. So I stayed in my job because I was fairly clever about it. I was like, I’ve got I can pay the bills, and I can keep the lights on. And I will do live for a few years, I’ve lived my life for a few years, like most people won’t, so I can live the rest of my life like most people can’t. I was willing to work 80 hour weeks, I wasn’t willing to do that my whole life. Right. But I was willing to do it then. So I did have a backup plan. And so that not a backup plan. But I had financial support. I called my job, my business loan. And I treated it with that level of respect. If I took out a business loan, I would be thinking, How do I pay the bank back? And what is the plan to do that, and I want to, and I treated my job that way, this job is affording me the opportunity to build my own freedom. I’m going to show up, do a damn good job and do it in half the time I used to so I can have a little spare time to work on the business.
Achim Nowak 14:29
What a beautiful way to look at it. I love that as well. Now, the other thing that strikes me about you and I want to test this because I could be totally wrong is that you would like to try things you try new offers you try new ideas. You’re willing to experiment and you’re willing to put it out there. Am I correct in seeing your approach to business that way?
Suzanne Evans 14:54
Yeah, I think everything’s a test. I mean, I have been able to achieve the success us that I have, with only about 20% of everything I do working 80% fails. So I eat and live. I’m a New York Times bestselling author and employee, you know, 18 employees all off of 20% working. And the problem is, is that everything is a volume game. I was talking to a friend who was visiting me this week. And he was talking about dating, and he was talking about how he hadn’t. He was like, I don’t know, it’s not working out for me. And I said, people go and try to fix themselves around partnering and dating, oh, maybe I’m, I need to work on my inner self. Or maybe I need to lose weight. It’s a volume game, you paid enough people, you will learn somebody. Everything’s the volume game. So I put a lot of stuff out so that I can hook on to the things that work. And I, I try a lot of things because it’s also what I tell clients, people like I need to get better in my sales conversation, or I need to have a better brand. I’m like, Nope, you need to talk to more people. Because the more people you talk to the volume game will always pull to your side. And every problem will fix itself with volume.
Achim Nowak 16:06
It makes total sense. Since we since you talked about dating. Even back in the days Manhattan you were with your wife, Melanie. So I’m curious, because somebody might go Yeah, I empathize with the guy who wants to date easy for Suzanne to say all the time. She’s she’s married, She’s a longtime married, she doesn’t have to worry about that part. She can focus on the business. Give us a snapshot of what it’s like to be married, or be partnered for a long time with the same person in your case, Melanie, or and what it’s like to also be in business with that person.
Suzanne Evans 16:43
Yeah, it’s a nightmare. But it works. Listen, Melanie and I are two feisty, incredibly opinionated fighters. And I mean that sincerely. Like, I wake up in the morning, and I’m like, I’m fighting for the truth. I’m fighting for the answer. I’m fighting for the opportunity. I’m fighting for all of it. And some people go may go, oh, that’s exhausting. Well, you got to do you. For me, it’s exhilarating. Because I kind of wake up for the fight. And Melanie and I butt heads a lot, because we are so opinionated. But we also know who we are. So 90% of the time, we’re not taking it personally, right? We’re like she’s fighting for her position, I’m fighting for my position. And of course, a lot of times we are on the same page. But for us, I’ll tell you business partnerships don’t work unless there’s a clear 51% Somebody has to have one more percent in the game and a business partnership. And in this case, that’s me, you know, started the business, and it’s my business. So I defer to her a lot, because she will what I call Swiss cheese, some of my stuff, she’s great at poking holes and things. And I’ll go okay, I see this, this is right. But sometimes I don’t agree. And I’m the 51%. So she she’ll say it, sometimes she’ll go, Listen, I’m gonna fight you on this. But at the end of the day, I know you’ll get to make the decision. But it allows me to see a lot of different perspectives. So we have a lot of respect for each other. There’s no separation of work and fit. For business we do our kids we write we have my parents to take care of we have family we like it all just runs together. And on a Saturday, we’re putting out a fire on the business on a Saturday to two o’clock and on a Wednesday at four o’clock, we’re taking the day off for massage, you know. So it’s, it’s the ability to not get into these routines and these traps that make you feel guilty about like, oh, it’s us time and it’s business time. And it’s family time. And it’s kid time. It’s like our Life is one big pot of goulash and it’s delicious.
Achim Nowak 18:52
A word from your sponsor. That’s me. I invite you to go to the website associated with this podcast www.my Fourth active.com You will find other equally inspiring conversation with great humans. And you will also learn more about the my fourth act mastermind groups where cool people figure out how to chart their own fourth acts. Please check it out. And now back to the conversation. Another thing that I adore about you and I’d love for you to speak to this as well view if anybody looks up Suzanne Evans, you know Suzanne, you’re not afraid of the word messy. You celebrate the word messy and the fact that life and business are sometimes messy. What have you learned about being messy and moving through messiness?
Suzanne Evans 19:48
It’s the only way to do it, right. I mean, it’s the only way everything is messy. Like I never, you know this whole ease and grace. I’ve just not experienced it. Right I just haven’t It’s like it’s all messy. It’s all complex and complicated and chaotic. And sometimes you get off easy. And sometimes, you know, I was literally having a massage the other day talking to massage therapists, and I said, Oh my God, and then that was bloodwork. And then it was on the phone for tour. She goes, isn’t everything hard? I said, yes. But here’s why I’m okay with it. I wake up expecting it today. And that’s not a negative thought thing. That’s the like, life is complicated. It’s hard. It has a lot of moving parts. It has a ton of complexity to it. And I expect that. And I expect me to be a human who is who has trained myself to navigate that with a smile on my face, and a great sense of humor. I don’t expect the world to get easier. I expect me to get better.
Achim Nowak 20:50
Beautiful. As you’re talking, I was thinking again about the when you describe your business, and we’ll talk some more about Dragon as you use the words business, strategy, lifestyle, storytelling. In my mind, I’m very clear about how they’re connected my life, those are all words that matter to me. But if there’s a listener, who goes, I’m not sure I know what the intersection of business strategy, lifestyle and storytelling is. How would you explain that to that person? Suzanne?
Suzanne Evans 21:22
Yeah, I mean, I think the easiest way to operate a business that is kind of a personal brand based business, which is my business, and most of the people that I work with, is to live your life, capture the stories of living it, hold out the ones that have a great fable, or moral, moral lesson opportunity or lesson opportunity, and then use that to be the very fixture and the content of your business. Right? I really tell people that like you’re overcomplicating it when you try to become a marketing expert, stop trying to become a marketing expert, and become a storytelling expert. Well, how do you become a storytelling expert, you start paying more attention to your life, right? And you start noticing, like, people always like, how do you come up with stories? Well, I got out of bed this morning and drove one place. And I could have 10 stories. Just from my experience of getting out of bed this morning. To get into this interview. People are looking for some big moments have I climbed Mount Everest with one lag? No, the great stories are the cereal in the morning that you poured out and it went all over the table, and in your rush to go clean up the cereal because you’re hysterical, and you’re gonna be late and it’s awful. You turn around, and now all the cereal is gone. And you’re like, the cereal just spilled all over the floor. Where’s the cereal gone? And then you turn the corner and your dog is like crouched around the car and you realize the dog ate all the cereal? Oh, my God has eaten and I’m gonna be sick. Isn’t this how we live our lives waiting for the next emergency. Now I have an hour long story I can tell. And I can lay out plans of how most people are living their life waiting for the next emergency and how you can live a happier life. Like I’m just using that as an example. But that’s the very Art of Living. Yeah, is content.
Achim Nowak 23:07
What strikes me, this is a belief I have. And I think you just said it, I want to test it. That in the end, you know, your business marketing strategy person, whatever label I want to put on you. There are other people who do that as well. And they’re good at it. You’re really good at it. And so in the end, what people hire is really use Suzanne Evans right. And your stories and your life, you know, are the narrative of that. And this is why I want to work with Suzanne Evans, and Joe or sandy or somebody else. Right.
Suzanne Evans 23:38
Right. I hope. Right? I mean, that’s the goal. That’s the hope. Yeah.
Achim Nowak 23:43
No part of the lifestyle. You and Melanie have a son. And I have a hunch that your life changed significantly with your rival over yours. Could you give us a snapshot of how your son has impacted your life?
Suzanne Evans 24:04
I would say I’ll give you the logistical snapshot. And then the obviously the more philosophical and emotional snapshot. You can’t get a goldfish and not change your life. Right? I mean, you add something and it does you had a baby and an obviously all of the logistics, the schedule, the lifestyle, all of that it shifts. But we also were really good at preparing for that. So we weren’t these people who were like surprised like we knew it. And I think that comes from owning his brain of running a business. So you know, we had a lot of support coming in because we knew we had to I was on the road a lot at that time. We had a big busy business, a lot of employees that depend on us clients. So I would say it changed our lives logistically in all the ways we thought it would. And we prepared for this so everything is easier if you plan for it. Right. That being said, obviously it’s changed our life and you know, he’s the most fun. I enjoy, I homeschool him. So in addition to Are you running a business?
Achim Nowak 25:01
In your spare time? So then do
Suzanne Evans 25:05
I homeschool him? It’s shifted in the sense that a lot of things that used to matter don’t matter. Your priorities are always shifting in your life and for me, I always think about how this affects Adrian or When Adrian is an adult and with this you know, and I just tell it barometer that I use for a lot of what goes on in my life and in my world. It allows me to make better decisions I’ll Adrian has allowed me to make better decisions, faster decisions and feel more clear and certain in the decisions that I make.
Achim Nowak 25:42
What a wonderful teacher, huh?
Suzanne Evans 25:44
Oh, he’s the eighth listen. Oh my gosh, when they say that they send you the teacher I’m like, Okay, can we just let class be out for a little while? Yeah. suburbia.
Achim Nowak 25:57
Because you had different business entities, and I love the name of your current business and I love anybody who doesn’t know you’re probably is already figured out that you’re pretty straightforward in your face person in driven ink is a very straightforward in your face brand. What do you what do you like most about driven ink and the current business that you have?
Suzanne Evans 26:25
Um, I do like the simplicity. I read a book and took a course about three years ago. Now let’s see agents, turning six that might have been four years ago now. Kim, John Payne, fascinating author, he wrote a book called simplicity, simplicity, parenting. And I took a course on it. And he’s a brilliant educator in the middle of the course that Melanie and I took I she looked at me and she goes, Suzanne, she was like, it’s a great course. I’ve got one page of notes, and you’ve got 15, what are you writing, and it was all about business, I applied his simplicity parenting to my business. And I let go of a lot of things that were making some money, but not making the biggest money in our business, I let go of some team. The business was very complex at that time. And it worked. And it was great, but it was complex. And so I think one of the things I like the most right now is the simplicity of it. And we continue to simplify, you know, I love the people that I get to work with, I love the clients to get to work with that. That’s kind of obvious. But it being less complex is is the real joyful part.
Achim Nowak 27:34
What I, when I hear the word simplicity, and I’ve been through the same process, I sold a business that had a lot more people in it. So I just applaud you for everything you just said. But I also feel like spiritually, when we simplify, we make room for other things and allow other things to come in. So are there other things that are either organically coming in or that Suzanne goes, I’d love for these things to come in and making room for these.
Suzanne Evans 28:03
Yeah, you know, i i Not making room for a lot more in the business right now. My goal is really to have a business that serves our clientele. And that serves me, I’m always wanting to be served before my clients. That’s not a popular opinion. But if I’m not served, they will never be served. So a business that serves me allows me to be on stages, it allows me to do things like I’m doing right here. It allows me to coach allows me to teach, it allows me to train it leads me to manage, I enjoy managing, and our clients get served really well and all of that. But you know, I was just watching something from a colleague of mine, he sent me where he’s, you know, opening up the this whole new division of his company. And I’m like, and that would have really intrigued and inspired me six, seven years ago. And I look at that now. And I go, Oh, bless his heart. Yeah, no, because it’s not right for him. I’m sure it’s right for her. I
Achim Nowak 28:58
totally get it. Totally Yeah. But
Suzanne Evans 29:01
for me, it’s about you know, how much life can I squeeze into the business? Not how much business? Can I squeeze into my life?
Achim Nowak 29:10
Yeah. I hope everybody heard that there’s so much wisdom there. Because I have seen you on stage. I want to go back and we started with theater. And you are. And I mean this in a very authentic way, not in a fake way. You are a fantastic performer. You bring the larger version of yourself on stage. You fill the room. And my hunch is that besides it being a wonderful business tool, it also really energizes you. So can you give to any listeners who might be going on? Suzanne sounds great. She has all this energy. I wish I could do half of what she’s doing but like Oh, be on stage and bar. What about being on stage? Do you love and how does that support and energize you?
Suzanne Evans 29:58
I like the tension Yeah, I mean, I do I Melanie knows, like, get out of the house and go get some attention because I don’t want to give it to you, right? It’s like, I really like attention. I love storytelling. I love to find what moves a room. For me, there is no, you know, we could go way back and get really philosophical, but there’s no greater art form than live performance, right? And we can experience art in a million different ways. And they can be delicious and wonderful, but live, art, it, there’s something about it. And so I’ve never really seen myself as a speaker. I do a lot of events. And I’ve never really seen myself as, oh, you know, a business coach, who does events, always seen myself as an artist, and how can I take all those years, I’m also a people pleaser. And see, I don’t think that’s negative. I actually think we are living in a world where people don’t want to please people enough. I think it’s a big problem in the world. The last part of that audition, when I was read on the set of music was after we sing all the songs, the director Mailand bar, who my family became very good friends with sat, I guess what he would think like the top 10 kids on the stage. And he said, he took a piece of chalk and drew X’s on stage. And he said, Sit on your ex, until I come back. And when he came back, like five minutes later, there’s only two of us sitting on the X, me and another little girl. And he told my parents later obviously if a kid can’t follow directions, it’s very hard to direct them and show and that came from people I always wanted to please my parents I wanted to please teachers to this day. I want to please an audience right. And people who are a bit of people pleasers, I’m not talking about the detrimental type that’s ruining your life and but if you really love pleasing people you’re never unhappy. I’ve got next week I know this is going to the recording this is going to come out later but when we’re recording this, I’ve got 21 People coming to my house next week for vacation here in Maine where I’m in Maine, and I’ve spent hours I’m talking about days like when they arrive there will be a bag the bag will have a towel in it with their name embroidered on it they will have sons I spend days putting things together that please people even in my in my social personal life, why nothing that brings me more joy than seeing someone pleased. And when people are pleased they pass the pleasing on
Achim Nowak 32:25
you made me think about I was for a brief while for two three years I was an Airbnb super host. And I loved and I discovered the part of me that wanted to really take care of my guests right and it was extremely satisfying. So is so relate to you. I want to just maybe start wrapping up with one question that’s emerging as I’m listening to you. You do such a fabulous job of sort of taking down some what I call sacred cows about how we grow business. And this is what you have to do and data and and I think part of your success is that you say we screw this shit, right? And so what is one other if you think about this is a sacred cow that everybody is told that this is what you have to do if you want to be successful. But you Suzanne have learned from me now I didn’t do that. I didn’t.
Suzanne Evans 33:19
I am. I didn’t do it the way anybody else did it. I just didn’t care. And here’s why. I was sitting in a meeting when I worked in the Broadway theater industry. And it was drew Hodges is a brilliant marketing. He used a company called Spot CO which was a big advertising company for Broadway theater industry. And he said in the meeting, we just got a Pizza Hut this and everybody seemed to know what he was talking about. And afterwards I was like, true. You just have to watch his pizza. Anyway. What I learned in that meeting was Pizza Hut is really only ever sold one thing. Now they’ve got some wings, pizza. But think about just in the last six months what you’ve heard about it, they will stuffed the crust, they will garlic the crust, they will thick it they will thin it, they will meet it like meat lovers, they will vegetarian. They have 1000 iterations of pizza. The reason people struggle in business is they go from pizza to hamburgers to hot dogs to lobster rolls to chicken sandwiches. And you stick with the pizza. And you painted a million different colors. And you constantly reinvented and you constantly evolve it and you constantly go Oh, somebody said they’d love more pepperoni. Let’s do that. So I’ve decided I’m not going to do business have anybody else in our industry does it and I’m going to only watch people outside of our industry. So I would Pizza Hut or I started this was about six seven years ago a highly successful launch I did came from two women who started a fitness app? And I saw the way that they did something, and I integrated it into a challenge that we did in our business. So if you want to be successful, don’t look inside of what an industry in which everybody’s trying to mimic each other. Yeah. Look outside of your industry for what other people are doing that you can bring into your industry, and then you’re always an innovator. So I don’t know if that’s a appropriate answer to your question, I came, but for me, I was like, if I do this, like everybody else, I’ll be bored. I’ll be too competitive, and I’m a competitive person. But there’s an unhealthy competition when you’re trying to model everybody else. So I had to find my own way, so I could go faster, clear.
Achim Nowak 35:42
So I can’t imagine that our listeners are going to want to learn more about Suzanne Evans and driven Inc. in the work she does and want to be clear, I really listened to it if you have an inkling about wanting to launch your business. So then has been ridiculously successful, and she helps people do that. Where do people where should they go to learn more about us?
Suzanne Evans 36:04
Yeah, thank you for asking that. So two things that they can do they can always just go to driven Inc, not like the tattoo I NK. We don’t do tech tattoos, driven Inc. I nc.com. That’s our website, you’ll find a lot of great information. And then for those listening to the podcast, we have a gift for you, which I’d love to share in it Suzanne’s gift su ZANESGIFT Suzanne’s gift, and that is a free ticket to come to our next event. Our next event will be Yeah, in November. It’s a brand new event that we have never done before it it’s called Captivate live. And it’s learned how to captivate a room captivate a viewer and captivate a reader so that you never lacked for clients. So there’ll be a link, no a cable get
Achim Nowak 36:51
promoted. No, you and I hang out in a world where people know about events, but some of my listeners might go, what the heck is she talking about live event? Can you give us a snapshot? How long is your event? How many people will show up? Because some of our listeners had never been to that sort of okay,
Suzanne Evans 37:09
great. No, that’s that’s a really fair question. So I hold 3d events, they’re virtual. So that’s the good news is is they’re virtual, you don’t have to leave your home you can be anywhere in the world to attend. And they are three days and we usually go from about 10 eastern standard time till into the night. And it is step by step what you need to captivate a room captivate a reader for this event captivate an audience so that you get attention, you get more leads, you get more clients, you get more speaking gigs, you get more PR you get more, get a book deal, you know, everything you can imagine to captivate who you are going after, so that you can build your business larger and serve more people. And it’s very interactive. We’ve been talking about theater, we’ve been talking about performance. So you can imagine my events are they really are productions and shows more than an event. But you’re gonna walk out of there with a plan to add six or seven figures to your bottom line, not through complicated, expensive marketing funnels or tactics. But through understanding how every great business leader in the world has actually become successful. And it is through understanding the art of being captivating. So the customer comes to you over someone else.
Achim Nowak 38:23
I believe in every single thing you just said, Suzanne, I want to just thank you for the gift of your energy, which is ridiculously awesome and big and inspiring. And I want to thank you for being such a great role model of hope for individuals in the world. So I honor you and I’m glad that you’ve been a guest.
Suzanne Evans 38:47
Thank you for having me, you know how much I adore you. And I just appreciate I was honored to be asked. So thank you for having me. Bye for
Achim Nowak 38:55
now. Like what you heard, please go to my fourth act.com And subscribe to receive my updates on upcoming episodes. Please also subscribe to us on the platform of your choice. Rate us give us your review and let us all create some magical fourth acts together. Ciao