Business:Management & Marketing
Episode 009 Ken Rochon, Visionary at The Umbrella Syndicate shares the 3 questions that lead to success
Ken Rochon is an accomplished entrepreneur of over 30 years with Absolute Entertainment, published author of eight books, including Becoming the Perfect Networker, Succeeding 1 Connection @ a Time, global fusion DJ, founder of Perfect World Network/Perfect Networker, photographer, world traveler, and recipient of America’s Most Influential Business Connector of 2010.
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Here is a transcription of this podcast:
UMAR HAMEED: Hello everyone welcome to the no limit selling podcast and today I’m honored to have Ken Rochon of the Umbrella syndicate. Ken, tell us who you are and what you do?
KEN ROCHON: Well, the main thing we do is we help leaders amplify their message and we’re dealing with authors, speakers, and leaders; we help them with events for promoting. We also help them with creating books or something that’s going to create a legacy or a lead generation item.
UMAR HAMEED: That's pretty brilliant because there's like a gazillion people out there that know that they have a book within them but have no capacity to get it out in a way that somebody would want to read it.
KEN ROCHON: And the other part about it is that when you get the book out you forget that no one knows the book exists so there is the other part of marketing letting and people know that not only the book exists but it also solves a problem and that problem will get the sales happening.
UMAR HAMEED: Absolutely, so like if a tree falls in the forest. If somebody publishes a book will someone ever know it exists, and you help them do that.
KEN ROCHON: Right.
UMAR HAMEED: So, Ken to give us a better sense of who you are? Who is your favourite superhero? And why?
KEN ROCHON: You know I have been thinking about that since the beginning of this year and I'll tell you it’s probably Superman. And I know that's probably just too predictable, but Superman is just a good guy and he really is trying to solve problems. And I think he has a good heart. All these other guys they have these, I think…and they don't rub the right way with me, so I think Superman.
UMAR HAMEED: Superman it is. So Ken, what motivates you? You are doing a lot of stuff. What keeps you motivated? Keeps you going?
KEN ROCHON: Well, I used to think what motivated me was having a productive day, so I own an entertainment company and low and behold about 2005 my mom came down with Dementia which leaded to Alzheimer's and I started having a lot of questions about what is my purpose. And honestly, if my mom hadn’t had Alzheimer’s, I don’t think that would have been a question that was in the forefront of my mind. So, what is a purpose driven life to me is actually leaving a legacy and helping other people do so.
UMAR HAMEED: That’s brilliant. So, Ken who is your mentor?
KEN ROCHON: I have several. One is a gentleman, that I just had on my show this morning and his name is Berry Shewer and he's very purpose driven. He has an app that is called "Delighted" and if you use delighted to make your purchases you actually give 2% to the philanthropy or cause or movement that you desire without any cost to yourself and his goal is to reach a billion dollars by having the world use his app at no expense on them. and then his "Keep Smiling Movement” I think you can see that with his keep smiling card Its been something that I've not only embrace but have caused the rest of the world to notice. So, Berry Shrewer is a very important man to remember. My dad is the other one from a standpoint that he keeps me really in tune with what is the most important asset that you have which is your character and as I bring up my son in a weird way he becomes a residual of that mentorship.
UMAR HAMEED: Yeah, that's brilliant. So, you just pass on the knowledge?
KEN ROCHON: Yes.
Umar Hameed: So who would you like to have lunch with Ken? Somebody from history, someone you know, someone you know of. Who would that be and what would you ask them?
KEN ROCHON: Well I suppose if that was a living person, I would say Sir Richard Branson just because he's a rebel and he's defied the odds. He's lived the life he wanted to live, and I think just getting into his hearing and him seeing how pure my heart is, I think I would get his friendship and more importantly his advisement on how to be more powerful with where my thoughts are and my vision of making a difference.
UMAR HAMEED: Yes, this is all about a matter of perspective and sometimes you just can't get the perspective you need unless you have somebody that's walked a different path and they can go "Ken, why aren't you doing this?" "Be bolder"
KEN ROCHON: Well, I know this is an interview where you’re asking the questions, but could I ask a question to you?
UMAR HAMEED: Of course.
KEN ROCHON: Who would you want to meet?
UMAR HAMEED: The only person I'd want to meet is Tesla. Nikola Tesla is one of my heroes, and...... It's seen the world, what it could be is pretty amazing.
KEN ROCHON: Right. That's a great answer
UMAR HAMEED: Not many people know this, but the first X-ray taken, I'm not sure if it’s the first but according to the biography of Tesla he had the Tesla coil with those high voltage snaps that also release x rays and, so he had a film in front of his friend Mark Twain and Mark Twain was the first person to get x-rayed. Isn't that amazing?
KEN ROCHON: That is awesome.
UMAR HAMEED: So tell about your first sales job. What was it and how did you like it?
KEN ROCHON: I think I liked it. It was at Sears Roebuck Company, I was in my teens going to college and It was selling electronics. Since I was a DJ at the time I looked at it as a way as getting discounts and learning more about the electronics field and they had a photography department which used a heck out of for my travel, so I think that first sales job did its job. It taught me how to sell. I was the number one part-time salesperson there and it was really teaching me that people want to be heard and they want to know that the value and the problem they want to solve is not something they are going to regret later so I just acted as if I was them.
UMAR HAMEED: Brilliant, walk in their shoes. So, what’s the best deal you've ever done?
KEN ROCHON: I would say they're coming because they are in the work right now. I'll share them with you and they're not deals yet because they have not happened yet but I'm working on a deal with a gentleman who has a jet company and my hope is that I can build his influence magazine for his members. He has about 300 members for his jet. And If this happens I would have lots of rides on jets which would save me a lot of air travel from other events and I would be able to something that is very purpose-driven, and I'd be able to hang with movers and shakers because these are people that are flying 25 thousand and 40 thousand-dollar seats. I will tell you I'm learning a lot from this deal because this has been two months and today I did my tenth communication with them and the deal is not south and it’s also not happening but it's in the works.
UMAR HAMEED: It’s a process and yes, just keeps on going. It's like one of the things that.....separate people that are highly successful and the ones that are not is that they are built to stay on course and just keep going.
KEN ROCHON: Well that particular question I anticipated based on our earlier conversation that was going to happen and I would say that most of my deals are 10000 or less. I have three potential $100.000 deals happening right now and so none of them are in the bag, but they are the ones I'm most interested in.
UMAR HAMEED: Why? I don't get it but anyway. So, who's the best sales Manager you ever had and what attribute? So it’s either Sales Manager or Leader and what was the attribute they had that support to you?
KEN ROCHON: I actually have not had a great Sales manager that I can recall but I also haven’t worked for many sales managers to be fair, but I have worked for a lot of leaders an through my RTC I had a major that taught about how you sacrifice yourself and about you are the person that shows that you want to do whatever you ask others to do. And I remember one time in a field exercise a grenade ....one of those fake grenades, they got loosed and he actually jumped on a grenade on his belly. Damaged could have happened, fortunately, it did not go off, but he didn't know that.
UMAR HAMEED: He walked his talk.
KEN ROCHON: He walked his talk.
UMAR HAMEED: That's integrity, it's important.
KEN ROCHON: Exactly
UMAR HAMEED: So, in your career tell me about your come to Jesus moment where you had like to rethink what you are doing or re-evaluate or take a new path.
KEN ROCHON: Two of them. One I reference with my DJ
UMAR HAMEED: There weren't two coming of Christ. We’re waiting for the second you've had two of yours. That's nice.
KEN ROCHON: Well one is to reiterate about what I was saying about my mom passing when I was watching her pass and taking care of her with my dad and I really did ask the question how important is DJ and how important is doing weddings every weekend and there is the point when you say, "I don't know if it is " And so how many lives am I impacting or affecting. So, when I left Deejaying and my mom had passed I wrote my first book. It was called: “Becoming a Perfect Networker...... Succeeding 1 Connection at A Time" and without that book happening, I don't know if I would have loved publishing because I certainly hated that experience.
UMAR HAMEED: Oh It’s horrible. Isn’t it?
KEN ROCHON: It’s a horrible experience:
UMAR HAMEED: Especially when it is to meet the editor finally. You think you've sweated, bled you have not until the editor says, "What’s this shit?"
KEN ROCHON: Yes, the only thing I think is honestly worst is probably delivering a child, but since I'll never know what exactly, I'll just say a book is a nice second. But the other Come to Jesus moment was really last year I was doing so many great things with the Umbrella Syndicate except for one thing in the world and that was making money and I heard you have to do that with a business otherwise It's a hobby. So, my Come to Jesus moment was that I had to create a system to monetize it, so we went back home, and we are now creating something that's quite magical right now and I have three people that are very system oriented and so
UMAR HAMEED: That helps. You're the visionary
KEN ROCHON: Exactly, and so I didn't have the right team members and so that was a come to Jesus moment for me.
UMAR HAMEED: Nice, have you ever had a deal that you saved from the jaws of death?
KEN ROCHON: .....From the light of the jaws of death that you're going to lose it many
UMAR HAMEED: Yes.
KEN ROCHON: I'll start off with the ones that build my deejay service which was "Hey Umar, so you are having a deejay event in four weeks. I’d love to be your Deejay this is my price and I need to hear back from you the next day. So, I would call you the following day and what are you thinking knowing you are not going with me and then I would say I'll do your event for free so that's called saving. But more recently it’s really about negotiating what people don't want to spend in order to get what you want so you are in the doors, so you can do future business with them. So, I call that I take jobs away from other people that they may not know that it's just a transaction, I want to develop a relationship, so I did a short of half million dollars last year in barter and for instance, you’re a recipient of that whenever I go to your events, you're not paying me I'm a sponsor. That sponsorship has a value. It’s an In-kind sponsorship and it has a true value because you acknowledge me in front of people I get to meet people at your events and I get to learn and here I am today I would say this is a very big reward for two events that I’ve done with you. We get a chance to talk and say, “Why don't you be on my show which is happening next Monday and I'm going to be on your show" And this is all about just thinking about how we give value to people.
UMAR HAMEED: Absolutely....So looking at sales in general, what do you think the biggest challenge in sale is, in this day and age of Social Media and everyone moving at the speed of light and Globalization. What is the biggest challenge, sales people face in sales?
KEN ROCHON: Can I use your answer? You have got to be able to address the need of the customer so quickly that they are so satisfied that they don't want to look at anyone else at all. And if you don't do that you will probably lose the job because someone else going to do that. And that’s probably the biggest focus you have to have now in sales.
UMAR HAMEED: So, what I'm hearing you say is that "You have to anticipate the needs of customers and deliver beyond and that way you retain customers and grow and if you're not doing that. Someone's going to eat your lunch.
KEN ROCHON: That is true. and just restating and possible more simply is the first person to reach that customer and say what’s important to you and I promise that what’s important to you, I can take care of that important thing and here's my proof that I can take care of that important thing and the price I'm going to give you is considerably fair. I think they are going to say, "You know what, I got other things to do this is the right person"
UMAR HAMEED: Brilliant. So, what’s the best advice you've ever gotten?
KEN ROCHON: This is so corny, but be honest and treat a customer like you want to be treated. So, when I started my deejay service, I asked three questions..... At eighteen, this is kind of looking back and say, 'Wow that was actually pretty smart" because I use those three questions every time I open up a new business and it was 1. What I want to own it? 2. What I want to work for it? 3. What I want to hire? And If I couldn't answer yes to those emphatically, there's something wrong with the puzzle. Because you either have a retention problem, or you have a boredom problem, or you have a client problem, because that sale is full of problems.
UMAR HAMEED: So just kind of digging deeper into that. Most people would assume whatever they are selling whatever they are doing, that they are doing in the right fashion and the right way for the right people. But the reality is unless you ask that question you don't know the answers to that. If you assume the answers are going to be Yes, I'm perfect. When you ask the question "Would I hire myself, and you go, yes but...." That's the thing you need to fix.
KEN ROCHON: Yes. And you know the answers to that was actually No in some of these categories which I had to fix.
UMAR HAMEED: So, give me an example of one those.
KEN ROCHON: Ok. So, NO was "Why would I hire you? You're 19" That's when I started my company. I was 18 So I said I had have three USP’s that are so phenomenal that 19 is not a factor anymore that anyone looked at my age. I even had a baby face back then, so I probably looked like I was 12 when I was 19. So, I came up with I’ll be the only one with a full-time company, I'd be the only one that had a full-time office and I would do Demos, so people could know what they are getting. Most Deejays, and it’s even true of today. You called them, and you meet them for coffee and when you meet them for coffee, your coffee and their personality sells the job, not knowing what the equipment is, not knowing their music knowledge not knowing their mixing ability or anything. So, when I did this stuff in front of them, they said "Yes, that’s the experience we want to have"
UMAR HAMEED: Brilliant. So going back to that, I was talking to this gentleman, his name is Elliot at the Strathmore, and so they had to raise a ton of dollar to make that happen.
KEN ROCHON: Right.
UMAR HAMEED: I think it was a hundred million dollars or something and so one of the things they used was that they got the artist rendering of what it would look like to be looking at the stage. They purchased two seats that were actually going to go into the facility when it was done. And "do you remember during the olden days when they had these things called "Records" and they had this plastic dome above the record station that only you could hear the music underneath the dome. People around you couldn't"
KEN ROCHON: Yep that's right
UMAR HAMEED: So, they got these two seats looking at the rendering of what the theatre is going to look like, and they had classical music raining down upon them and they say they got fatter cheques because people could just imagine. It was like being there, and what you did for your clients was not "This is what I'll do, but let me show you what I' can do"
KEN ROCHON: The experience.
UMAR HAMEED: The experience sells.
KEN ROCHON: And then as time went by. The experience became the way of creating a social proof because they said the experience was valid.
UMAR HAMEED: Yes
KEN ROCHON: So, I was able to say we don't just give you the experience we prove the experience happens again.
UMAR HAMEED: So, one of the things you mentioned Ken was that now you have the right partners. You don't have any employees per se' but you have partners.
KEN ROCHON: We have some employees, but we have more partners than employees probably.
UMAR HAMEED: So, tell me about, how do you know that you are picking right employees or the right partner. What do you look for, to know that you've got the right person because everyone looks pretty on paper?
KEN ROCHON: Yes, so that comes to values and it come to conversations where you understand that there is going to be a partnership and I think the secret of a partnership if you are going to have that conversation with someone and say "Listen, I'm in this for the long haul and I'm going to compete with you to give you more unconditionally that what you can give me and what I mean by that is I'm not going to keep track of points, I'm really going to be there for you " And you got to give a test period about three months. You don’t just sign the papers and say "Hey, Good Luck and everything. And you also really need to look at what the shortcomings are of that partner so that they come out now and not later and you’d say this is how we would fix these shortcomings. So, one of my shortcomings is, I'm not a detailed guy. I just don’t do well with it. And ....I am not punctual all the time. Those are things. So, you just let that stuff out and then if that means a lot to the partner you have to adjust yourself, but you have to let people know what your weaknesses are.
UMAR HAMEED: Yeah. But I think it comes back to ...Sometimes...when people get married.... They know they can change the other person, And I was like "No, you can’t"
KEN ROCHON: No, you can’t
UMAR HAMEED: But if you know what the reality is, and you can live with it
KEN ROCHON: Yeah. I'll give you an example of something that interesting is, the way I ran my company back in the day, is if you are creating sales. I honestly didn't know how, and I didn't care how you created them as long as the sales stuck. Meaning, the clients never came back and said: "they sold me this and I did not get this" So if someone did, let's say $10,000 in sales that week and they only worked two hours, but another person did forty hours and did $4,000. I really like the person that did the two hours work.
UMAR HAMEED: Yes. Makes sense
KEN ROCHON: And so, that's result based leadership. And so, I say that because that's how when I'm running late I may actually create a result that could only happen because I made that extra phone call, and I knew I was dicing a little bit, but when you're juggling and your productive sometimes timing is not thought of as much as the result.
UMAR HAMEED: Right.... Makes sense....So...Ken, sometimes you come across people that are your employees or friends or families that get into a slump. How do you help people get out of a slump?
KEN ROCHON: I think there are probably three ways to do it. One is to have a conversation about what's going on in their life right now. The other one is having them come with you and give them that inspiration and get them more on that mindset because as you know it’s typically when you are in that slump your mindset is actually feeding that.
UMAR HAMEED: Right. It deepens it.
KEN ROCHON: So, there's something going on so they're probably not hanging with the right people and having the right experiences. So, getting in their world and getting them out of their world by having them hanging with you or putting them with someone that’s more upbeat, surrounding them with the right type of communication. And then, Three, I think role-playing Just say "Hey, let me hear what you're doing because we change as we think we are evolving and sometimes that changes not, actually evolving. It’s like we're cutting things out. So, if you have this thing that the seventh thing you have is really your closing piece and you have ten things you say and the seventh was pulled out because you're in a slump. That’s notice, and you say, "What happened to Number 7?" And so, I think those things are going to help a lot.
UMAR HAMEED: So, What I hear you saying is, if you find someone in a slump. The first thing you do is take them out of their environment..... You get them some positive motivation or guidance and then your role plays to really understand what’s going on so you can give them proper coaching to kind of move forward and just re-focusing their attention on better results, is the best way to get that change?
KEN ROCHON: Yes and just to expand that the book I did when you're in is it keep smiling shift happens is, the shift is what has to happen. Because when you are in a slump you’re going to continue to be in a slump until you shift. And I think it’s really amazing that is the only thing that is stopping you is you just continue in this mindset that's driving you down instead of changing it.
UMAR HAMEED: Yep. And it’s so easy to do for other people. Like why don't to just change that? But when you are in it yourself, it is tough to see. That's why God invented spouses.
So how important is having the right mindset to success?
KEN ROCHON: I'm going to say it’s worthless, it's meaningless.....
UMAR HAMEED: It’s horrible.
KEN ROCHON: Laughing. You know again that Keep Smiling book it is actually a book I wrote for myself. Sometimes we write for ourselves in order to help ourselves and then we give it to others. But when I was going through that period of time that I wasn't monetizing it the right way I can tell you we were losing thousands of dollars every month personally and business-wise. I really had to either believe in what I was doing or just say this is not for me and move on to something else. So, i got up every day believing this was the right path and that cause me to meet the right people which are my partners now.
UMAR HAMEED: Brilliant... It kind of goes back to the outage. It’s like you know that you teach what you need to learn. And I help people break through their barriers, so they become “awesomer” and I look at myself saying "oh my God" where am I stuck?
KEN ROCHON: You know there is another thing about the slump I wanted to say the Henry Ford code, where they think you can or you can’t get it wrong. You’re right, because when you're in a slump they’re actually saying this is continuing and, so they prove it right. They go "see I told you".
UMAR HAMEED: Yep.... so, in my world, our beliefs dictate who we are and our beliefs of self-fulling prophecies and if you believe that the world is out to get you, it is.
KEN ROCHON: Yes.
UMAR HAMEED: So, what’s something you know now Ken that you wish you knew 10 years ago?
KEN ROCHON: I wish I knew that's when I was partnering with someone what their ultimate belief system is and what their partnership works or not. Because it’s funny but people that don’t believe in partnerships again will prove they don't work and 80% or more people I don't think to believe partnerships because they have had bad partnerships. And it takes only one thing in a lot of things to ruin something. And if you have a mindset where that was wrong Umar it's not working for me let’s just call it a bad partnership. That’s the type of partnership that will never work. Because that’s not a working on a partnership. Whereas someone that actually is in that 1% or maybe up to 20% says hey Umar we have to have a conversation, we committed ourselves to we're going to be great partners and I’m committed to that and i know you are just one thing that you are doing is actually holding us back. Can we work on that? And that’s a different conversation. So, one. I think is of love and the other one is of scared city or fear.
UMAR HAMEED: Fear. The opposite of love is not hate its fear.
KEN ROCHON: Right. That’s why I didn’t chose hate I agree with you. And I think that’s the reason partnerships don’t work, is so many of them operate in fear of I’m doing more than that person. I'm afraid that I’m going to exhaust..... and all these things are working against you instead of what you're creating together.
UMAR HAMEED: So, Ken it'd be fear to say that you probably meet more people than the average bear, right?
KEN ROCHON: Maybe even squirrel.
UMAR HAMEED: Yep. So, you also meet a lot of people that aren't living up to their potential, that have the resources, have the passion have the drive but just aren't getting the results that they want, what do you think, what’s that piece of advice you could give those people? Why do you think that people get stuck? What is the disconnect?
KEN ROCHON: I think that the biggest disconnect is their reality. Which is I have to do this and if I get out of this zone I’m not going to have enough or I’m going to fail so it goes back to fear which is what we talked about earlier. What I’m doing it takes courage being an entrepreneur it takes courage. What you are doing you know developing something new in Baltimore, it takes courage I don't know any other word how to put it. So those that are not living their potential are not being courageous and they are living in fear. It’s not to say that I’m not in fear myself, it’s that I have to overcome it.
UMAR HAMEED: And that's where the definition of courage is it’s not a lack of fear it’s like moving in spite of fear. I came across this brilliant advice the other day it was a Tv show and this is geeky kid and he said look when I come across something really scary like theirs a really pretty girl'' and he's about seven or eight "and what I really want to do is get on my bike and go the opposite direction as fast as I can I trick myself and go in the direction of the girl and that way I overcome it. So that's what we need to do is overcoming fear.
KEN ROCHON: Yea and I think a lot of it comes down to, is someone wanting to live their full potential because they may not want to. I’m not living my full potential.
UMAR HAMEED: So, I really think that a lot of people don’t know the heart of, who we are, we need to know what our purpose is. Why are we here, what’s the difference we want to make and once you figure that out, then you can pick a goal worthy of you along that path? some of the times people pick goals I want to be a millionaire or I want a business like this or I want to do this but if they knew what their purpose was they could pick a goal that's on purpose and that way has more power because that’s what you were put on this planet to do .
KEN ROCHON: And I love your last conference because I went deep in that and I was so on point because if you don’t attach the purpose to its just this flagrant little goal that was just kind of wishy washy and it just dissipates.
UMAR HAMEED: Because its way too many people that are 40s and 50s that have this life that they built that looking from the outside is a successful life and they are wondering how did I get here because I never wanted to be a lawyer a doctor a surgeon or whatever and the reason they know that is because they are making a tone of doe, but they are not happy. And so, if you can find purpose you build something that inspires you ....
KEN ROCHON: You actually hit something with me about a movie that I saw I don't know the name of it we can always put that in the link later but the guy gets fired and he's been at this job for a very long time getting paid enormous amount of money but they are doing cut backs and the guy who is firing him says 'I want to ask you a question is this what you want to do with your life?" And he says, "no this is not what I want to do." So, he says "what do you want to do?" I think it was a George Cluny movie. And the guy says I want to do this with my life and the he says and why didn’t you? And he says because I took this job because its stable and he says you do realize after you leave, and you have time not today but later you will thank me for what i did because it’s not too late to do what you want to do with your life.
UMAR HAMEED: Yep. It’s never too late.
KEN ROCHON: Right.
UMAR HAMEED: So, just before we part company Ken, what’s one book you'd recommend for folks to read?
KEN ROCHON: I'm not going to say the predictable. I have over two thousand books in my library and I will say a somewhat predictable one, any by Malcolm Gladwell, but Tipping Point first. And I say that from a stand point that, so many people get a great start in life on what they want their dream to be and they don’t wait for the results to kick in and the tipping point is that it takes nine months to years to see the result from what you did. That you're going to exhaust yourself and I have not thought of anything to include in a book that doesn’t come to foliation or some sense of wow all that effort is finally making sense now.
UMAR HAMEED: And the thing is that nine months things is maybe a little short because if you take a look at any one hit any band that gets this amazing breakthrough. So, you are an overnight sensation. Yea it took seven years or dive bars and then we finally made it. But I’ll leave everyone with this one quote Winston Churchill "When you get to hell keep going.'' So, Ken thanks so much for coming here. How can people get a hold of you?
KEN ROCHON: they can go to Facebook which is where we live more than anything else and that’s the Facebook page the umbrella syndicate where they can email me at email@example.com.
UMAR HAMEED: Thanks so much for chatting with me today I really enjoyed it.
KEN ROCHON: Thank you very much it was a pleasure.
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