Joe Apfelbaum

and Robert talk digital marketing. Joe is an expert marketer who specializes in Linked In and Google and shares about the power of networking and making connections.. He trains others how to find success in their life and business, even while being a father of five.

A little bit about Joe...

Joe Apfelbaum is the CEO and founder of Ajax Union, a B2B digital marketing agency in Brooklyn, NY. Joe is a business strategist, LinkedIn expert and Certified Google Trainer. He enjoys speaking and writing about digital marketing, professional networking, and personal development in his seminars, webinars, and articles. Joe is the author of High Energy Secrets, How To Lose 95 Pounds and Keep it Off, and his latest book, High Energy Marketing. Joe is the host of the popular podcast The Breakthrough Maze where he coaches entrepreneurs on how to go from frustration to ‘Mojovation’; he has also been featured on hundreds of popular podcasts. Joe is the producer of GrowTime.tv and has published over 1000 ‘Mojovational’ videos online. Joe is an active member of the Executives Association of New York City and a professional member of the National Speakers Association, a group of the top professional speakers in the USA. Joe speaks to groups of top CEO’s at EO, YPO, Vistage, and the YJP CEO Forum. Joe is a contributing member of the YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council), a community of the world’s most passionate, driven entrepreneurs. Joe is on a mission to help 1,000 hungry entrepreneurs go from Frustration to ‘Mojovation’ via his online courses, books, and speaking engagements. Joe is proud of all his accomplishments, but most of all he is proud of his 5 amazing kids.

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Twitter: /joeapfelbaum

Clubhouse: /@joeapfelbaum

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Facebook: /joeapfelbaum

Website: joeapfelbaum.com

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Joe Apfelbaum
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Show Notes

Robert Peterson  0:00  

I'm excited for today's guest Joe Apfelbaum. Joe is the CEO and founder of Ajax union, a b2b digital marketing agency in Brooklyn, New York. Joe is a business strategist, LinkedIn expert and certified Google trainer. He enjoys speaking and writing about digital marketing, professional networking, and personal development in his seminars, webinars and articles. Joe is the author of high energy secrets, how to lose 95 pounds and keep it off, and his latest book, high energy marketing. Joe is the host of the popular podcast the break through maze where he coaches entrepreneurs on how to go from frustration to motivation. He has also been featured on hundreds of popular podcasts Joe Applebaum, and Robert talk digital marketing. Joe is an expert marketer who specializes in LinkedIn and Google and shares about the power of networking and making connections. He trains others how to find success in their life and business, even while being a father of five. Man, I'm so excited, Joe, that you're joining me today. Thank you for taking the time.

Joe Apfelbaum  2:00  

It's my pleasure to be here. I'm really excited to chat with you about these important topics.

Robert Peterson  2:06  

All right, Joe, usually our guests just share their entrepreneurial journey. What moves them and what keeps them going.

Joe Apfelbaum  2:15  

Now there's a famous saying, If you build it, they will come. When I started out, I started building websites for people. The problem is, nobody came. I had to learn how to market those people. I watched my mother struggling in her store on the Lower East Side to try to build her business. She had a very difficult time doing it for many, many years, she struggled and eventually she went out of business. The reason she wasn't successful at getting to her goals is not because she wasn't motivated or didn't work hard. It was because she lacked a strategy. I help people create strategies to be able to grow their business because I believe that the right strategy will save you a decade, which means energy without strategies is a waste of time. Understanding how to be able to create that strategy working with someone to support you to build out the right strategy, knowing where you're going, is the way to get to where you want to go.

Robert Peterson  3:10  

So important. Let's dig a little deeper into your journey. Obviously, build websites, nobody comes. You start focusing on how to attract people and how to give them a brand. The strategy helped me understand that a little bit more just

Joe Apfelbaum  3:30  

When it comes to, once you have a strategy and what you want to accomplish, then what you need to do is you need to start sending traffic to that. You need to start sending traffic through search engines through social media through email marketing. Often people are just focusing on the tactics, they don't have a funnel setup. At Ajax union, what we do is we build out their marketing funnel, which means taking people through a buyer's journey. Not everybody's ready to buy someone lands on your website, they're not ready to buy right now a lot of people are assuming Oh, somebody came to my website, they're ready to buy, what do you want to order? Well, that happens with Amazon, they already have an established brand. That happens with eBay. That doesn't happen with most people, service businesses or companies that do not need to qualify a lead, they're not ready to just sell something to you. You need to educate them. You need to inspire them. You need to motivate them, you need to build trust with them. You do that with a variety of assets. We call that a marketing funnel. Giving people information, educating them, sending them emails, retargeting, Building all those assets, that whole funnel is really important. Once you build out that funnel, you can drive people from the top of the funnel or they're not ready to buy right now to the middle of the funnel where you're starting to build trust with them, then to the bottom of the funnel and eventually they buy and the way you fill your funnel is through tactics like SEO sem social email. Building out that funnel is really important in understanding the difference between a funnel and a pipeline. For me at the beginning, when I started, I was kind of just doing SEO for companies. If you build it, they will come. I said, that's not true. Let me make the people come, I made them come with SEO. Then they're like, Well, I'm getting the wrong customer. What do you ever mean and the wrong customers, I went through this whole journey of going from building it, marketing it, and then strategizing and doing it the right way.

Robert Peterson  5:30  

Well, it's interesting, you mentioned, Amazon as a website, but actually, I think Amazon's actually become a search engine for a lot of people, right? I mean, I need a camera, I go check out Amazon, I need to, and even if, if I'm, if I'm not buying from Amazon, I'm checking for Amazon reviews and checking for the quality and pricing. Yeah. There's so much more that people are using Amazon for. Of course, the convenience of today's shipping and the expectation, I heard somebody call it prime itis, that we all have prime itis we expect everything now in two days.

Joe Apfelbaum  6:07  

On the same day, in many cases, I live in Brooklyn. I can order something and get it the same day. I was running this morning in the park with someone and the person was like, I would love to go swimming in the ocean. I don't have a wetsuit. I was like, well, you can order one she's like, I don't really want to wait. I was like, No, you can have it delivered the same day with Amazon. She's like, what? I can't believe that. Yeah, you can order a wetsuit on Amazon and they will bring it to you the same day. You can go swimming today.

Robert Peterson  6:33  

Yeah, that's, that's pretty powerful. Which, of course, is now their specialty. I read an interesting article that talked about some of these companies that are creating service, especially through the last two years, are all going to go away because they haven't been profitable for these last two years.They've been providing the services that everybody likes, right, food delivery, and in grocery delivery, and all of these deliveries right to our door. We don't have to do anything.

Joe Apfelbaum  7:05  

15 minutes is a web, there's a company called fridge no more, I use them a lot. Then they went out of business.

Robert Peterson  7:13  

It's interesting, because all these companies that have borrowed, right, they're leveraged beyond, beyond their capabilities. They're not paying, of course, with fuel prices and all these things, they're not compensating their drivers enough to cover $8 A gallon fuel braces.

Joe Apfelbaum  7:32  

He's not doing it correctly, it's not going to work. You have to learn how to be profitable. You have to learn how to build out your funnel, and you have to learn exactly what to do. Then thinking about nurturing clients, they didn't have a funnel built out Frisian and more than have any funnel for me. They weren't hitting me up, I registered, but I didn't get any marketing from them at all, they were kind of just like, selling, selling, selling transactions. That's not enough. They could have sold me, they could have sold me membership, there's a lot of things they could have done. They didn't generate more cash that they wouldn't have to go to business.

Robert Peterson  8:02  

When I think about the mom and pop pizza shop. Just having a little collection jar on the counter that says hey, drop your business card in and we'll send you a monthly coupon and in sending out that coupon at four o'clock in the afternoon. That's a funnel, right? I mean, I'm collecting emails, and then I use that to send out Hey, on your way home from work, pick up a pizza and get 20% off. It's a way to market to that list and continue adding value to your list. That's some of the tactics, right? Obviously, SEO gets people on your page. Having those assets having that value on your page or being able to add value through your email list.

Joe Apfelbaum  8:45  

If you have a high value client, you also want to consider doing networking. For me, it was a lot of marketing, marketing, marketing, prospecting, prospecting, prospecting. My best clients that I've gotten, I've gotten specifically as a result of networking. When you say networking, a lot of people don't even understand when networking actually wrote a book called high energy networking, how to be able to get the right type of clients.If you think about someone that's going to spend $50, they're not going to ask for a referral. If someone's going to spend 50,000 or 10,000 or 100,000, they're going to ask for a referral. If you're a real estate agent on the b2c side, or if you're selling software or accounting services on the b2b side, or if it's kind of like both, you're a lawyer. There's a lot of business to be made by networking and the best networking platform is LinkedIn. You might say, Joe, why is it better than Facebook, Instagram, tick tock, there's more users there. The thing is LinkedIn has more CEOs, decision makers and millionaires than any other platform. Also on LinkedIn. You can see everyone's first name, last name, company name, what they do, where they went to school when they graduated school, their age. There's a lot that you can know about people on LinkedIn that you can't know about them on other people's web on other search. engines. Also people are real on LinkedIn. Think about it. If you're on Instagram, you see a handle, you just see a handle, that's all you see. On LinkedIn, I see your first name, your last name, your company name, I see everything about you. I see that you're real. I also see everything that you've done on LinkedIn, which is also really phenomenal. That's something that people don't even realize. The organic reach on LinkedIn is much higher right now than any other platform, because there's many more lurkers on LinkedIn than another platform. The reason why is because it's not a private platform, like everyone can see who you are, people are less likely to leave, the types of comments that people leave on YouTube and Instagram and Facebook, people don't want to, get hurt personally. They're not going to write nasty things. They're not going to write things, most of the things that people write online are things that maybe they wouldn't be saying, if it wasn't so anonymous.

Robert Peterson  11:03  

So powerful. Obviously, if you have come from a networking, face to face background, and I've just recently made this transition, it took me way too long, I built my business face to face networking, in rooms of 30 100 people, and shaking hands and meeting and doing one on one. Now I am creating a model on LinkedIn, doing something very similar, right. having a strategy of making connections, messaging connections, and then following up with a 15 minute one on one to learn more about their business, learn how I can add value. It took a long time to learn that strategy to figure that out. I made assumptions about digital space versus, face to face networking

Joe Apfelbaum  11:53  

100% That's why we teach people how to be able to do it properly. We teach them how to be able to create awareness, how to build credibility on LinkedIn, and then how to book those, get those messages to book those meetings. Most people have no idea how to do it, and they try to figure it out themselves. They do it all wrong. You said, it took you a while. I'm looking at your LinkedIn profile. I see that you're a Littleton Colorado, am I right? I see that you coach entrepreneurs, your podcast or author focused on mindset, I see a lot of information about you. I see a lot of opportunities for growth on your own profile, the average CEO has 930 connections on LinkedIn, the average user has 440 connections.There's a lot of opportunities for you to be able to use LinkedIn in a better way. I'm happy to give you some tips. I want you to know that most people are grossly underusing it. They're not using it correctly. It's not because they don't mean Well, it's because they haven't invested in education.

Robert Peterson  12:55  

Well, and taking the time to be intentional. Now we're intentional. We make 19 connections a day, we send out messages to our first level connections, and we're making connections with our second level connections on a daily basis. In trying to maximize our presence on LinkedIn. We're going on LinkedIn live once a week. Of course, we post the snippets from our show on LinkedIn. That's only been the last couple of months.We've gone all in on LinkedIn in the last two months.

Joe Apfelbaum  13:27  

I'm happy to show you if you take a look at my profile, you'll be able to see things that you can do on your profile right away. For example, you asked me for my name pronunciation. Now LinkedIn enables you next to your name to have a little icon where you can listen to a 10 second clip, you could have instead of a profile photo, you can also have a profile video. There's a lot more that you could do with LinkedIn. Most people even know and that's where we have really great workshops. If you go to my LinkedIn page, Joe linkedin.com, you'll be able to see a link on my page right under it showing how many followers I have to a LinkedIn presentation where I walk people through the nine steps to be more successful on LinkedIn.

Robert Peterson  14:05  

Nice. Well, thanks for sharing that for sure. I know how powerful it is. I believe in LinkedIn, I can't stand the other social media places because it's obviously the Wild West world of negativity.

Joe Apfelbaum  14:21  

You're a pastor for the Valley View Christian Church? I was you, sir. Nine years and eight months? How do you think I know that I wouldn't be able to know that if I went to Facebook or Instagram. I know that because I look at you. On your LinkedIn, there's at least 20 different things I can use to pique your interest. If I'm building a relationship with you, I really get to know you much deeper by looking at your profile on LinkedIn than any other platform. I'm a very big fan of networking, and using LinkedIn specifically to build rapport and build a relationship. 

Robert Peterson  14:52  

One of the powerful things that I do, obviously, you're seeing my story? You're I'm pulling out pieces of my story on LinkedIn and the value of the story. I think one of the things that entrepreneurs, especially in the beginning, don't realize is what stories are holding them back. I know you've shared a story on LinkedIn, they happen to find one on LinkedIn, about limiting beliefs that you had set up when you were nine, would you mind sharing that story and telling us how you change that story or changed your interpretation of that story for yourself moving forward?

Joe Apfelbaum  15:30  

Yeah, when I was nine years old, one of the teachers in school called me an idiot, you asked me to get up and read, and I couldn't read properly, or I didn't read fast enough, or whatever it was, and he called me an idiot. I sat down, and I said, I'm never going to read again, I'm never going to get up in front of the class again. For the rest of my life, I heard that little voice in my head saying that I'm an idiot. I kind of always tried to fight it. I always tried to fight that voice. In school. As I grew up, I became the class clown, I became the valedictorian. I kind of like being number one. At the same time, I made the most trouble, because I was always trying to prove that little voice in my head, that I'm not an idiot. We don't even know that we have voices in our head. Robert, that's what I want to let you know, I'm talking about the voice in my head, Are you crazy, everybody has a voice in their head, the people that you think are crazy, when they're speaking loudly on the train, it's because you hear the voice in their head, because their voice is on speakerphone, it doesn't mean that they don't have it, everybody would think you're crazy. If they heard the voice in your head.

Robert Peterson  16:28  

Yes, they will.

Joe Apfelbaum  16:30  

Everybody has a little voice. Some of them are sages. Some of them are saboteurs, there's a book called Positive Intelligence, I highly recommend everybody read it, that labels those little voices, and allows you to be able to not hear them, when you label a voice, you can control the voice, if you think the voice is you, you can't control yourself, because that's who you are. If you want to detach yourself from something, you got to first label it. When you start labeling the judge, if you start, you start labeling the things that are holding you back, suddenly, you can notice those voices. If you notice the pain, usually the pain will dissipate. Often it will go away, especially if you realize that the voice is an action signal pain is an action signal. That noise is being made, because there are certain actions that you need to take. For me, I needed to find that balance, I need to find the balance in my life where I don't always have to be the smartest, I don't always have to be the loudest, I don't always have to be the best to have value, I can add value just by existing. That's something I did not know, I was not aware of because of that wound that I had, when I was nine years old, I didn't know that me just existing was valuable in itself, that I didn't have to be the smartest, I didn't always, as you say add value to life, in order for me to have value, I can just be in that for is that enough value. When I see that in myself, I'm also able to judge people less, I'm also able to also give people my presence, and be able to connect deeply with other people and just kind of see them for who they are. That impacts me by being able to add value to other people's lives by giving them my presence, as opposed to giving them a present.

Robert Peterson  18:13  

Oh, that's so good. I really appreciate that I had a similar story of being bullied and, for me it was in eighth grade that I finally just had enough and I made the decision, I wasn't going to be bullied anymore in ninth grade. It changed, my life changed. I wish I remembered that more through my life rather than just, in that moment now looking back as a 50 year old going oh, oh, yeah, look at that. Look at that transition that I made as a young man, and it transformed my life. Didn't put the power of that into my early adulthood, which would have been super empowering.

Joe Apfelbaum  19:00  

When you do that, realize that wherever you are, is exactly where you need to be. Whenever you do that, that's the right time. They say when, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. It's because the truth is we weren't ready for it yet. We still needed more answers. We still needed more struggle, we still needed to kind of keep growing. When you're ready for it, you will have that awareness and often something you need to fall down in order for you to kind of see that there was a hole there.

Robert Peterson  19:33  

Absolutely, absolutely. One of the areas that you also help companies work with is branding and recognizing the power of their brand and obviously, communicating their brand through their LinkedIn activity through their LinkedIn profile, obviously through their own website. How important is developing a brand and making sure that your brand is consistent across your platforms?

Joe Apfelbaum  20:00  

Well, if you don't have a personal brand, that is your personal brand. Think about that for a second, a lot of people don't have their LinkedIn setup correctly. They don't have a background photo, they don't have a proper about section, they don't have a proper experience section. They're like, Yeah, I don't want to, I don't want to invest money in it. Well, not investing money in your company on your website, not investing money in your assets. That is your brand. Your brand is a person who didn't invest money and didn't make things look proper for themselves. If you want to drive around with a broken used car, and expect people to trust you, that's okay. Some people will, some people don't care about that. A lot of people, they say, don't tell a book by its cover. Why they say don't tell a book by its cover, because everybody tells a book by its cover. That's why they needed the saying to begin with, I tell people to take care of your brand, because it's not going to take care of itself, just like your teeth don't take care of itself, eventually, your teeth will go away if you don't take care of them. Same thing with your brand, you got to take care of your brand, you got to be intentional. You got to know your competitive advantage. You gotta put it out there. You have to constantly market yourself correctly if you want to keep growing your business because if your business is not growing, it's dying.

Robert Peterson  21:12  

Absolutely. Let's dig into your competitive advantage. The differentiators, right, I think one of the temptations for people is because the online space allows you especially the other platforms for sure allows you to put on a different put on a facade, right. Some people are really tempted to try to be Dean Grazioso or Tony Robbins or somebody else rather than being themselves. The power of authenticity and being able to have a competitive advantage when you don't feel like you have one.

Joe Apfelbaum  21:50  

The problem that people face when they try to be the Dean Grazioso is of the world or the Brendon Bouchard, or the Tony Robbins or whoever is that the people that are attracted to you are not your tribe. They're a Tony Robbins tribe. What ends up happening is you end up getting people that are attracted to the fake version of you, it's not even who you are. You're never gonna get fulfillment from connecting with people who don't like you for who you are. They just like you for who you're making them believe you are. The key is for you to have fewer followers, have real followers. You don't need to go viral, you don't need millions of people to follow you, you need the right people to follow you. I always say, if you have the right 1000 People see you 1000 times is much more valuable than having the wrong million people see you a million times. You want the right people to see you, the right people to connect with you, the right people to appreciate you. Not everybody is successful, because how they define success is not even based on their own measure. A lot of people are defining success based on other people's measures. When you start defining success and realize that success is personal, you'll determine what success is for you. As long as it's smart, specific, measurable, attainable, as long as it's time bound, as long as it's measurable, you're going to be successful, because you're going to have something that makes sense for you and who you are. You have to have the courage to do that. Your ego is going to stop you from doing that. The ego is going to start telling you hey, you need to be like Tony Robbins, you need to have 17,000 people in your auditorium. When you're talking. That's your ego talking, that's not who you are, who you are, is looking inside, seeing what you have going on noticing, we said about awareness. If you want to grow, you got to look at who you are, you gotta find who you are, instead of what you do. It's not about what you do. It's about what you're being if you want to have more in your life, you need to be more instead of do more.

Robert Peterson  23:49  

So, so good. I mean, there's so much in there just the idea of the ego, first of all sounds like another voice in your head, that's, that's trying to stop you from doing what you want to do. Or stop you from knowing who you are. Right? That does not sound like we have multiple voices in our head. The idea that we can control those voices, and we can change the story that those voices are telling us to work for us rather than against us.

Joe Apfelbaum  24:17  

100% 

Robert Peterson  24:21  

I appreciate you, you're talking about the awareness level? That's figuring out, what, who am I and, what is the impact I can have on the world? What is the impact I want to have on the world? And I think when you dig down and start trying to be more aware, you figure out there's something inside you that was meant to serve the world and, when you can bring that out and, feed it it'll flourish and it'll do great things in and it will attract, like you said, the 1000 people that are going to love you. If you have 1000 people that love you, you've got an incredible following that's going to take care of you and your family for a long time.

Joe Apfelbaum  24:59  

100% When you're in front of the right people and the right people are around you. Think about that for a second what you can achieve when the right people are around you. Most people are afraid or afraid to just be themselves. Be yourself because everybody else has already taken. That's the famous saying, Be yourself, because everybody else is already taken. Can you be yourself? Can you really just accept yourself for who you are, instead of trying to be somebody else instead of trying to satisfy a ghost? Most people are just boxing with ghosts. Instead of boxing with ghosts, just be yourself. Be the best version of yourself. 

Robert Peterson  25:45  

Obviously, a couple of things have brought up fear, right? Most people were afraid to be themselves. You talked about being afraid to read, being afraid to stand in front of an audience. Let's deal with your fear. How have you addressed some of those fears and made a transition to be able to go live on Facebook, on LinkedIn and be able to put yourself live on a stage and do the things that your brain is saying, Oh, no, this is gonna hurt.

Joe Apfelbaum  26:47  

A lot of people don't know this. I used to be afraid of public speaking, I used to be afraid of sharing my voice. I didn't like the sound of my voice. I didn't like what I look like or anything like that. What I found was that through a lot of personal development, I have a lot of these beliefs that I wasn't worthy, that I'm not enough, that I don't have anything of value to add, and who the hell am I and the fact that I want to share my voice is arrogance. The truth is, sharing my story is actually very inspiring to people, when I'm able to just kind of be myself and just share myself a lot of people get inspired. A lot of it has to do with mindset, first 80% of its mindset, then 20% of it's also skill set, because if you're good at something, you're gonna want to do it more often, Robert, you're not going to want to do what you're not good at. Getting really good at something is about learning the skill. It's also about repetition, repetition is a mother of skill. The more you do something, the better you get at it, if you fear doing it, you're gonna do it less. Networking, building relationships, putting yourself on podcasts, going on LinkedIn, live, interviewing people, having relationships, putting yourself out there sharing your voice, you're in quotes, if you're not reading books, if you're not hiring people, and taking courses and going to seminars and going to classes, if you're not learning, you're not growing. If you're not growing, you're dying. If you want to feel what it feels to have your spiritual needs met, you need growth, that's what you need personal growth and also contribution and charity and giving back to other people. That's how you're gonna get fulfilled deep down inside, because you can buy a lot of things in Walmart and Amazon. Those things are not going to fill you up inside what's going to fill you up inside constant and never ending growth, constant contribution and adding value to other people's lives because the secret to living is giving.

Robert Peterson  28:39  

Oh, that's so good. We're gonna dig into that giving thing. When did you learn the power of giving and how has that impacted the growth of your business and yourself?

Joe Apfelbaum  28:49  

I remember I was one sitting down for breakfast with the CEO when we were talking and one of the questions I learned from my mentor was, How can I add value to your life? What can I do for you? I literally was asking that to everyone I knew. He's like, I'd like a list of people that work in hospitals in New Jersey that have over 500 employees. I said, I happen to have access to that list. I'm going to give you all the hospitals in New Jersey with all the decision makers and he's like, Oh my God, that's gonna change my life. Thank you. I went back to the office and I sent it to him. Then when he got it, he replied to me. He's like, What can I do for you? I'm sorry, the NASS and I said, Sure. I'm looking to meet sales directors at companies that are growing fast. He's like, actually, I've one of my best friends working at a $400 million company. He's a sales director, and I'm going to ask him if he wants to meet with you. He asked him and the guy's like, of course, I want to meet with Joe, if you're recommending him, he must be a great marketer. That company ended up spending $2 million dollars with my business. Powerful, powerful, it's more than just that. It's more just about being present with people. It's about connecting with people. It's about building real relationships. real relationships don't happen by fly by Night spraying and praying. It's not about showing up and throwing up, it's about following up. It's not about hoping for the best, it's about really connecting with people and getting to know them. If you really get to know somebody, then you're going to feel connected to them, then you're going to feel trust. Every single person has value, maybe some people don't have the same values as you. All people have values. If you find people that match with your values, and you build a deeper relationship with them, then you have both you have people that have value, and you have people that have your values. That's really what I'm looking for is to connect with other people that value creativity, the value curiosity, the value levity, and then value, the things that I value that I can connect with them on a deeper level. When I see your value, you end up seeing my value, because Zig Ziglar said, people don't care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Robert Peterson  30:51  

Absolutely. Let's take contribution to an even deeper level than just business benefit. It's about contributing to the community or giving back. The ability, obviously, as you build multimillion dollar companies the opportunity to serve the community and do more good. With money then being broke.

Joe Apfelbaum  31:16  

A lot of people have money issues in their head. They think that wealthy people are bad people, or that money is the root of all evil. Money is just a tool just like anything else. Just like your brain, your brain is not the root of all evil, it's just a tool, your heart is just a tool. Religion is just a tool, it's a tool to be able to benefit people and to make a difference for other people. If it's not benefiting people, then it's a tool that's robbing people that's ruining people. You need to learn how to leverage those tools like money. The more you leverage it for the good, the more good you can do. The more money you have, the more good you can do, the more evil you can do as well. Money can be power. Take a step back and ask yourself, What good do you want to create in this world? How do you want to make the world a better place? When you start realizing that you have the power to capacity to make this world a better place with more money, you're going to be made and motivated to make more money, you're gonna be motivated to be socially responsible, you have the ability to be socially responsible public, publicly traded company, companies have $12 trillion available for socially responsible businesses, for socially responsible for the socially responsible world. There's a lot of money in being socially responsible and alleviating world hunger, in alleviating poverty, in ending the water crisis in the world, in ending the global climate crisis. There's a lot of issues going on in the world. If you can figure out how to solve those problems, you'll be like Elon Musk, you think about making the world a better place, one person at a time, could just be as easy as saying hello to somebody did you know that if you walk over to somebody and you wish them a good day, or you say hello to them, you can stop them from killing themselves?

Robert Peterson  32:56  

Absolutely, the power of a smile, the power of a hello is, yeah, I think obviously, we add value to life. I mean that in every aspect of my life that includes, a chat with the grocery store clerk, the guy on the street corner, I want every person that I encounter to leave, seeing me you're walking by me better than they thought, better than I found them. That's, that's, that's a goal. I love what you're sharing there, it touches my heart and is really, you mentioned it in a pretty cool way there, you have the opportunity to be piling on negatives in the world and creating disaster or you have the opportunity to be building up and adding value. It's really that simple.

Joe Apfelbaum  33:44  

It does take effort. I'll tell you why it takes effort, human beings have DNA that's programmed to survive, and part of surviving is being negative. If you're positive, and you're always putting yourself out there, there's a big tiger that's going to eat you hopping around, telling everybody all your information. If you tell somebody how much money you have, or what you're doing, or whatever, they're gonna want to somehow take advantage of you. You got to also protect yourself. It's three times harder to be positive than it is to be negative. We need to be really intelligent and really smart and know when it's hurting us and when it's helping us. Our DNA is programmed for us to be in responsive mode and in reactive mode and being able to survive, I don't want to survive, I want to thrive. I want to take my life to a whole new level. That means I need to be smarter than my DNA. I need to be wiser. I need to learn how to use positivity and gratitude in order to benefit my life. That's why every single morning I think about all the things that I'm grateful for, and I thank God that I'm alive, and I count my blessings and I smell the roses. Even while I'm smelling the roses, there might be a saber-toothed tiger behind me that's going to eat me. I might be afraid but the second I have that fear I just take a deep breath and say that There ain't no tigers in my neighborhood. I just take a deep breath and I enjoy the moment.

Robert Peterson  35:06  

You're speaking my language and I'm loving it, love gratitude and the power of positivity. The truth is our culture, I mean, 98%, I think 98% of people are negative 98 over 100 allow themselves to stay in that negative state. They think it's normal. It's survival mode. That to the two of us that can figure it out, I can control it, I can choose joy, I can start my day with gratitude. I can choose joy, I can choose to be happy, it is so powerful. I want to pull more people to our side, I want to pull more people to, I want to pull those 98 people over here and say, look, look how great it is over here. It's not just woowoo, right? It's not people talking about the power of positive thinking as if it's just this this woowoo thing, it actually changes the chemicals in your brain, it changes how your brain functions, and it changes what you can accomplish. It really is powerful to start your day with gratitude and to start your day in a positive light and commit yourself to when something negative happens, I'm going to choose to respond positively, I'm going to choose to be intentional, I think there's a lot of intentionality. In being on the positive side

Joe Apfelbaum  36:24  

Yes, there's a lot of powerful, powerful, powerful intentionality. With that. What I always tell people is, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Often, voices in our head are from different people. If we're listening to those voices in our head, we're actually spending time with those people. You have to move those people to a different room and focus on the people that are going to bring you up instead of put you down. That includes the voices of those people that are somehow renting space in your head, and you have to get those people evicted as soon as possible. Instead, bring the right people into your building, that your building can flourish, that your life can flourish, and that you could live a life of joy, of freedom, of power of gratitude, and ultimately, of fulfillment and self expression. The one thing that stops our self expression is judgment and negativity. Instead of allowing the judgment, the negativity to stop you from having this beautiful self expression, is allow yourself to be the flower and bloom blossom.

Robert Peterson  37:28  

Oh, so good. There's gonna dig into gratitude. You kind of took care of that one for us. Let's, you mentioned mentors, you mentioned some of the mentors in your life. You mentioned some authors as mentors as well. How valuable are mentors? How important is it for entrepreneurs to have those mentors? Or where where would you tell them to get their mentors,

Joe Apfelbaum  37:53  

I would say that entrepreneurs that want mentors have to think about people that have achieved what they want to achieve. If you find somebody that has overcome a certain fear, or has built a business to a certain level, or has written a book or whatever it is that you want to achieve, find those people and have them mentor you. If someone can only take you as far as they've gone themselves. Think about that for a moment, there are so many people out there that have what you want. Success leaves clues, go see what they did, go speak to them. Some people believe that successful people don't want to help other people, it's not true. Once you get to a certain level of success, the only way you can get to the next level is by helping other people.

Robert Peterson  38:35  

So true. You mentioned being able to achieve what you want to achieve being an author, and yet your book behind you, of course, in the image here, shares what the impact of being an author has been.

Joe Apfelbaum  38:48  

I published five books. For me, the impact has been tremendous. There's a limited amount of time that I can spend with people. If I have 1000 people in my life that know me, like me, and trust me, and I can spend an hour with each person, that's 1000 hours. That's a lot of time. Then, how much time do I have for my kids? How much time do I have for my family and for myself? When people want to spend several hours with me, what I tell them is, yeah, my book, that's you spending several hours with me. People sometimes read my book over an entire weekend. That means they spent the whole weekend with me. It's very, very powerful for me to be able to publish these thoughts, these ideas, these experiences and these books, and really help people be able to take their life and their business to the next level.Sometimes we will read my books over and over and over because it's so impactful for them.

Robert Peterson  39:38  

Absolutely. That's super powerful. The other impact that I think you have is your podcast. Let's talk about the impact. The podcast has combined with the impact of being an author.

Joe Apfelbaum  39:52  

Well, when you combine being an author with having a podcast it's very powerful because a lot of the time you want to interview people. Do you want to be able to connect with people and I do that often I'll interview authors. I'll interview people I'll do like coaching publicly, on with other people that want to get coached, like other CEOs, and I'll put them on my podcast, I won't always publish everything that they say. Some of the things are personally identifiable and obvious last permission before I do anything, a lot of that stuff helps other people. When somebody listens to a podcast episode that I put out, and they get inspired by it, I don't have to go and advise them on the things that I already coached another person on, they could just listen to the episode on that topic. It becomes a very, very powerful environment for them to be able to learn with the experience of other people. The book is powerful. The podcast is powerful. Some people also like listening versus reading. There's different mediums to be able to hit different types of people on.

Robert Peterson  40:52  

Well, you mentioned, I think, the piece that the podcast does that the book doesn't necessarily do is the network, and the ability to create networks with other CEOs, authors and other influencers that are willing to come on podcasts like you and I having this conversation. I think podcasting is a super powerful networking tool if you're choosing to use it that way.

Joe Apfelbaum  41:18  

100%.

Robert Peterson  41:22  

So, let's switch gears a little bit, for you in your life. How important is playing fun?

Joe Apfelbaum  41:30  

I think that if you're not having fun, don't do it. I love simple things. Yeah, don't do it. If it's not fun, why are you doing it? If it's not fun? Why are you doing it because you have to, you don't have to, you don't have to get up in the morning, make getting in the morning fun, if that's your option, if that's your choice of whether it's going to be fun or not, make it fun. If you can't make it fun, figure out a way to make it fun. If you still can't figure out a way, find out somebody else's having fun and figure out how they made it fun. Got to figure it out. You got to figure out how to make it fun.

Robert Peterson  42:02  

Give us an example.

Joe Apfelbaum  42:03  

For example, let's say you're let's say you have to sweep the floor, okay, you're in your house, you have to sweep the floor, the floor is full of crumbs, and you start sweeping the floor and you think to yourself, oh my god. This is not fun. I hate sweeping the floor. I absolutely hate it. It's the worst thing ever. What am I a janitor? What am I some low level person that's sweeping the floor now and I have to do it. There's nobody else here to do it. Or you could put on some music. You can start dancing while you sweep the floor and make it into a game. Now all of a sudden you're doing certain Chi Gong moves and you're sweeping the floor. It's that you're having the time, your life and you're just lost in the moment. Before you know it, the whole floor swept up and you got a beautiful workout. Life is great. You're like wow, oh my gosh, I can't believe people outsourced sweeping the floor. I had such a great time, so much satisfaction by making rows of dirt and then sweeping it up perfectly. It's fun, it's fun. Now some people might need an edible in order to make it fun. Join live.

Robert Peterson  43:05  

That's a different level. Obviously. I'm in Colorado. We were one of the early edible opportunities.

Joe Apfelbaum  43:15  

Colorado made it legal very quickly.

Robert Peterson  43:19  

We won't go into politics. It's just because our constitution is easily manipulable. Alright, what do you love to do in your free time, Joe?

Joe Apfelbaum  43:29  

I love to run. I ran five miles today. I like to write, I like to read. I like to play with my five children. I love rollerblading. Those are the things that I really enjoy doing. I like comedy. I like doing improv and standing up. I also like listening and watching shows. Those are some things that I enjoy doing in my free time.

Robert Peterson  43:49  

Nice. What has been the blessing of building your own business and raising your family?

Joe Apfelbaum  43:55  

I think the biggest blessing is being able to have my own time, being able to decide when I come and when I go and what I do and how hard I do. When I go on vacation and like being the captain of your own ship, like making sure of what you want to accomplish. That you know that you can create it. It sounds like you're relying on anybody else. You're literally creating the life of your dreams and you're the one doing it. Most people don't believe that they can do it. If you don't believe that you can do it, you're not going to do it. It's not going to happen. Belief is very very powerful because results don't come just from belief results come from taking action, taking action comes from believing that you can get results.

Robert Peterson  44:46  

You mentioned earlier about the repetition is the

Joe Apfelbaum  44:51  

A master of skill repetition is a master of skill and the mother of talent.

Robert Peterson  44:57  

I think repetition is also a devil's celebration of belief. To change your beliefs, you need to take action and you need to take action over and over and over again until you believe, kind of like running. You don't start out a runner. You put. You repeat an action over and over again until your brain says, Hey, I'm a runner. You probably didn't like running the first time. Maybe you did. I don't know.

Joe Apfelbaum  45:24  

I did not like running. I did not like walking. I did not like moving. I was a couch potato.

Robert Peterson  45:30  

Let's talk about that transition of your belief of, who you were and being able to transition that that belief into I'm a runner

Joe Apfelbaum  45:41  

I was severely overweight. Running when you're overweight is very, very difficult, because you're carrying a lot of weight, even just walking to the refrigerator to get another box of cookies is very hard. We do that because the cookies motivate us. For me, I didn't even think that running was an option for me. I was like, `` Who the hell's wrong? Why would you get exhausted? What runs? Why would it? Why is that guy running there? Why is he wasting time running when he could be making money? All I saw as valuable was making money, I didn't think that running was a thing that would actually give me happiness and create endorphins in my body and have dopamine. All this other stuff, I didn't know that I didn't understand the science behind it. Once I started to learn, I realized, oh, my gosh, I gotta make some changes in my life. If I want a healthy heart, my resting heart rate is above 60. Now my resting heart rate is below 50. Now I'm 43, or something, not when I'm talking to you, when I'm talking to you. It's a little bit higher. I'm 72 right now, because I'm really excited. In general, if I'm just sitting there doing nothing, or relaxing or meditating, I'm going down in my 40s. Most people can't get down there. They think, oh, my god, are you dead? What's going on? No, I have an athlete's heart. I spend 20 minutes at the 160 rate almost every single day. I work my heart out. I work with all my heart, as they say. I started, I always tell people, if you want to run, walk, the amount you eventually want to run. When it's really easy to walk that amount, it's going to be easier to run that amount as well. Start with walking. Most people don't even walk a mile. They're like miles I'm not walking, that's a mile away. It's a mile away. I ran five miles today, people like you're nuts, how are you gonna run five miles? I'm like, What do you mean how I just do it, it just happens? Well, it takes me less than an hour, I just make it happen. It's insane. I can't believe you can run five miles, I can run 50 miles if I wanted to. Most people in their mind, they don't believe they can do it. They haven't practiced, they haven't even walked that amount. If you said Joe, let's go for a 10 mile walk, happy to do it. It'll take me a few hours, no big deal. It used to be very difficult for me, I would get a rash, my foot would start hurting, because they just never did it. If you don't do something often you're not going to be good at it.

Robert Peterson  47:58  

Let's go all the way back to that starting point. You're overweight, you're on the couch, you walk to the fridge for cookies, you're certainly not putting on running shoes, or walking a mile. What transition allowed you to tell yourself a different story that got you out the door.

Joe Apfelbaum  48:16  

In my book, high energy secrets I talked about one day, I'm sitting on the couch and my kids are playing around and I'm taking a video of them. Then we're watching the video and I hear me. I hear like a huffing and puffing noise behind it. I'm not walking, I'm sitting on the couch. I asked my kids, my family. I'm like what was making this noise? They said, That's you. That's how you breathe. I was like, that was like a moment of awareness. I was like, I don't want to breathe that way. I don't want to die. I want to die from just sitting. I realized that I was extremely, extremely unhealthy. I needed to make some changes. I asked my friends, `` Can you guys help me lose weight, and they were all overweight themselves. They said, Let's go to a restaurant and talk about it. After a few meetings and a couple of sides and dessert I realize I'm hanging around with the wrong crap. Then I asked my wife at the time, now I'm divorced. I asked my wife at the time, `` Can you help me? She's like, No, your last case. He said, Okay, well, that's not going to work. I was walking down the street, I looked at my phone, I saw Facebook, I posted stuff on Facebook, nobody ever liked and commented. I said, what, let me post on Facebook asking my friends for help, right? I said, I really want to lose weight. I know that I have to start moving and if you guys like this, I will run one minute per like, and then I wrote maybe I'll walk one minute per like I'll try to run and then I close my phone I went to sleep and then when I woke up my phone had 10 likes on it. My Facebook had 10 likes. I was oh my god, this is crazy. I got 10 people to like something. Then I did it. I took a photo of myself and I started doing it every day. Eventually I got 20 Likes 30 Likes 50 Likes and then every day I was getting 70 likes a day. Oh, social motivation. made me want to start running and get and once I started one thing that I stopped drinking Snapple and orange juice, I started drinking water. Then eventually I learned about carbs. I learned about all types of stuff. That's how I lost 95 pounds.

Robert Peterson  50:12  

Wow. You built a network. 

Joe Apfelbaum  50:16  

I built a network of people and a bunch of people that got inspired, and many other people lost weight. Then I wrote a book about it and the whole thing.

Robert Peterson  50:23  

That's exciting. That's the value of the story. We are all living a story. People can learn from our stories when we're willing to share them. We're willing to put them out there in a meaningful way. That allows people to be inspired allows people to, to grow from our experiences

Joe Apfelbaum  50:42  

100% on your percent.

Robert Peterson  50:45  

What do you love to do with your kids?

Joe Apfelbaum  50:50  

I love to do what they love to do. For example, my son, he's 11, he plays fortnight. I love to play fortnight with him. My daughter likes going to the ice cream store, I like going to the ice cream store and eating ice cream with her. Whatever my kids like to do. That's what I like to do. I like to do what they do instead of getting them to do what I like to do, which I try, they're not very into my things. That's totally cool. They're not into running and all types of stuff. If the kids like doing something, I will learn how to do that, and I will become good at it.

Robert Peterson  51:18  

So valuable. All right. You mentioned your morning routine. You mentioned gratitude. You mentioned running, what other routines have helped you what are the routines Do you consider non negotiables, super important in your life

Joe Apfelbaum  51:33  

Making your bed in the morning, I used to never make my bed I used to say, my cleaning lady makes her bed for me. I have people that make my bed when I go to a hotel, people that the housekeeping makes my bed, I don't make my bed. Then I heard several authors and speakers talk about the importance of making your bed. I heard a rabbi talk about it. I heard a priest talk about it here. A lot of different people talk about making your bed. Then in business, I heard people talk about making your bed and the importance of it. I started making it just to kind of see what I would learn from it. What I actually learned was the power of habit. When you create a habit like making your bed, it happens automatically. I started realizing that I have a lot of habits in my life that happen automatically. When I wake up, when I go to sleep, what I reach for in the grocery aisle, all those are just habits. If I want to improve my life, I got to improve my habits, because the sum of my habits is my character. If you really want to be able to take your life to the next level, you have to take your habits to the next level because nobody has that much willpower to fight the automatic programming that they have in their head. I rewired myself and I made my bed every day. I made my bed this morning. I don't even know I don't remember making it. I remember locking my door. I don't remember, I just gotta remember putting my seatbelt on. I just do it. I put the blinker on, I put the seatbelt on, put the blinker on and I look at the mirror. I don't think about doing those things. Those are habits. They happen automatically. Now the first time you do it feels like oh my god, I got to do this all the time. This is crazy. It was taking up all your resources. Eventually, once you learn the power of habit, it changes your life.

Robert Peterson  53:20  

You recognize that you can intentionally change it. I think the challenge is that so many people feel like their lives are out of control. I mean 95% of our decisions are made by our subconscious. If we're not intentional about programming our subconscious, like you talked about earlier, those five voices you're listening to in your head or voices of other people that you're allowing to control the choices that you're making all day long. Getting up from the couch and going into the fridge you did it not because you wanted to eat it but because it was a habit.

Joe Apfelbaum  53:52  

Habits control us. Your automatic programming controls us and they make us who we are.

Robert Peterson  54:01  

Absolutely. I just love how you shared that you changed. Change that first habit in the day and make that a habit just like brushing your teeth is a habit. Hopefully for most of us. If you don't keep your teeth, don't brush your teeth, you won't keep them like you mentioned. So, so important. What inspires you, Joe?

Joe Apfelbaum  54:25  

Butterflies because a butterfly needs to go through a lot of pain, or for it to become beautiful in order for it to have wings in order for it to fly. Otherwise it's going to be a handicap. Otherwise, it's just not going to work. Caterpillar needs to sit there and rot and get into a shell and then kind of climb out of that shell and work really, really, really really, really, really hard to get out there. Eventually, it just happens. 

Robert Peterson  54:57  

That's so good. Joe, what's your big dream?

Joe Apfelbaum  55:03  

Be able to dance at my kids weddings, be able to play with their grandchildren to be able to be present just like I am.

Robert Peterson  55:12  

That's awesome. Joe, you spent the last hour with a group of entrepreneurs listening. Sharon, you want to leave him with Joe's Words of Wisdom, what would you share?

Joe Apfelbaum  55:21  

What I would say is, be yourself, because everybody else is already taken, have the courage to find your wounds, and leverage them to find your weaknesses and find the opposite of your weaknesses, which is your strengths. Every weakness that you have has a strength associated with it. Use those strengths to not just help yourself, help other people make a difference every single day. When you start making a difference for other people, you're going to start growing yourself and be able to take your life to a whole new level, you'll be able to not just have success in your life, but also deep fulfillment inside and that's what we're all looking for. Thank you very much for having me. Thank you for listening to everyone. I'll see you on LinkedIn. Don't forget to go to www dot Joe linkedin.com to check me out.

Robert Peterson  56:09  

Joe, thank you so much for appreciate you.