The WHY Of Contribute: Making An Impact On Society Through Speaking With Grant Baldwin

BYW S4 24 Grant | WHY Of Contribute


Want to be part of a greater cause, but don’t know how? Learn from this episode’s guest, who is the epitome of the WHY of Contribute. Grant Baldwin, the founder of The Speaker Lab, has helped thousands of people build successful and sustainable speaking businesses. A renowned speaker himself, Grant shares his stories and experiences with his audience to contribute to their growth. In this episode, he discusses strategies and techniques for being a great speaker. He also shares stories of challenges throughout his speaking career and how it has impacted his life and the people around him, especially his family! Tune in so you can gain valuable insights and unleash the creativity you have within you.

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The WHY Of Contribute: Making An Impact On Society Through Speaking With Grant Baldwin

In this episode, we are going to be talking about the why of contributing. If this is your why then you want to be part of a greater cause. Something bigger than yourself. You don’t necessarily want to be the face of the cause but you want to contribute to it in a meaningful way. You love to support others and relish success that contributes to the team’s greater good.

You see group victories as personal victories. You are often behind the scenes looking for ways to make the world better. You make a reliable and committed teammate and often act as the glue that holds everyone else together. You use your time, money, energy, and resources to add value to other people and organizations.

I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Grant Baldwin. He is the Founder and CEO of The Speaker Lab. He has helped thousands of people build successful and sustainable speaking businesses. Over the last several years, he has become a sought-after speaker, podcaster, author, and accomplished entrepreneur. He’s featured in Inc 500 list, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and The Huffington Post. He has committed his expertise and insight to equip others to share their meaningful message with the masses.

With a mission to motivate other leaders and entrepreneurs, he has developed a training course with The Speaker Lab completed by over 2,000 speakers and counting and created a multitude of additional resources for speakers with varying levels of experience. His leadership and dedication to creating a one-of-a-kind organizational culture are evidenced by the impact of the team he leads. His favorite moments are those spent with his high school sweetheart, Sheila, and their three daughters. They live in Nashville, Tennessee, where he enjoys playing pickleball, summer days at the pool, and living the life of Chuck Norris.

Grant, welcome to the show.

Gary, thanks for letting me hang out with you. I appreciate it.

This is going to be fun. The timing of this is perfect because there are so many people that I know in particular, and many of our readers are coaches, speakers, entrepreneurs, and going to be speakers. This is great to have you on the show. Let’s go back to your life. Tell us where did you grow up, where were you born, and what were you like in high school.

I was born and raised in Springfield in Southwest Missouri. I grew up in a normal middle-class home. My dad worked for a radio for most of his career. When I was in middle school or so, he switched careers and was working in the power co-op space doing marketing and consulting for them. A bit of a freelancer that we would think about it.

That was my first foray into him working from home, having some freedom and flexibility. I was like, “That seems like a nice gig.” I wouldn’t mind doing that, and with that entrepreneurial bug. My mom has been in healthcare her entire profession. In high school, my parents split up, which had a big impact on my world. With that, I’ve got involved in my local church.

My youth pastor had a big impact on my life. That was the path I was on. I was like, “I want to do that. That seems like a rewarding and fulfilling career. If I can make the impact on others that he made in my own life, that seems interesting.” That’s the direction I was headed. I went to Bible college as a youth pastor for a little while and got a little taste of speaking but other than my parents splitting up at the time and even looking back, I felt like a normal middle-class childhood.

In high school, I was involved in my local church and had various leadership roles there. Speaking is one of those things that I had an opportunity to get on stage a few times. The bug bit me there. It was like, “I could do this. I would love to do more of this.” Even in college, I worked for a guy who was a full-time speaker. I’ve got to see a little bit behind the scenes of what that was like. There were some highs and lows to childhood and high school life but everything led to this moment. I’m happy with how things have turned out.

You went to high school in Springfield. Where did you go to college?

I went to college in Springfield. It’s a small little private college, Central Bible College and it merged with another school, so it’s not even there. That’s where it was at.

What was your first career path or job?

Strive to make a big impact in someone’s life. Click To Tweet

My first career thing was I was a youth pastor at another church. I did that for about a year and a half, which gave me a lot of opportunities to speak. I was speaking every week to students, and then from time to time, I would get to speak on the weekend at the big church. I’ve got a couple of at-bats there. It was one of those things that I enjoyed. I felt like I was decent at it. I wanted to do more of it. When my wife was pregnant with our oldest daughter, there’s nothing like bringing a kid into the world that causes you to question everything.

As a youth pastor, there were parts of it I like and didn’t like but one of the things I enjoyed was speaking. I was like, “I want to give this speaking thing a shot but I wasn’t sure. What does that even mean? What does that look like? How do you find gigs? What do you speak about? Who hires speakers? How much do you charge? How does this mysterious black box of speaking work?”

I started emailing, stalking, and harassing speakers because, at the time, there wasn’t any coaching or training, books, resources or podcasts on this. It was a DIY figured out on your own. My best effort to figure it out was emailing a bunch of speakers, pestering them, trying to get a couple of answers, piecing some stuff together, and trying to take action on it.

Being a pastor that’s even more of a legit gig than a speaker because you’ve got to do it every week. You’ve got to be different and be on. There’s a lot of pressure, I would have guessed.

One of the pros and cons of being in ministry and speaking is that you have largely the same audience every week. Most of the time, as a professional speaker, you are telling a lot of the same stories and doing a lot of the same material. Each time you tell a story, you are getting real-time feedback from that audience. When you tell it the next time, it becomes better over time.

Whereas, in ministry, when you are speaking, you have the same audience. If you tell a story that kills this week, you can’t tell the same story next week. It forces you to come up with new content. Sunday is always coming, and you’ve got to come up with new material. There were upsides to that that helped you to figure out real quick if you could keep up with this at a sustainable pace.

I have always wondered what is it like. I speak as well, and it’s the same presentation with some tweaks here and there wherever you go but to do a different one every week, there’s a lot of skill involved there.

It takes a lot of preparation. You’ve got to have a good system. If you are doing 30, 40 to 50 new talks a year, that’s a lot of stuff. Thankfully for me, if I was speaking with the students, it’s a little bit more casual. You are having more discussions and small group-type stuff. It’s not like you are having a 60-minute keynote every single week or something like that.

Even the times that I would speak on the weekends in the main services, it wasn’t like I was speaking every single week. I might speak 5 or 6 times a year. Even though I was having to be 5 or 6 new talks, it wasn’t like a week after week where you are trying to come up with something new but I always knew what my schedule was. For example, Sunday is coming in two months, and I’ve got to have something to say, “Here’s what the series or topic is.”

It also helps you to put up your radar so that I know I was speaking about being a good parent. I’m in-between points A and B. I’m looking for things that are on my radar related to parenting and illustrations, stories or things that have happened in my life or anything related to that that I could utilize or tie in. Maybe something I saw in a magazine or an article that I read, a YouTube video or whatever but having your radar up of, “Some of type new presentation has got to come together.” You don’t want to sit down the night before like, “What are we going to talk about?”

BYW S4 24 Grant | WHY Of Contribute
WHY Of Contribute: One of the pros and cons of being in a ministry and speaking is you have largely the same audience every week. So most of the time as a professional speaker, you’re telling a lot of the same stories.


It’s collecting those thoughts, starting to organize them into something, and having that ready a few days out. One thing I did and still would do is to spend a lot of time practicing and preparing. There’s a misconception that the best speakers in the world scribble a couple of ideas on a napkin and then hop up there, wing it and shoot from the hip. It doesn’t work like that.

They spend a lot of time practicing, preparing, and rehearsing behind the scenes. When they hop up on stage, it looks supernatural. It looks like they are shooting from the hip and talking off the cuff but that’s not the case at all. They do spend a lot of time. I try to spend a lot of time making sure that when I’ve got up there that even though it was the first time I was presenting this that I felt confident and prepared.

What would you say is the best thing that you learned from giving a different talk every week? Most of us, if not all of us, will never do that. You did that for however many years. What’s the most valuable lesson you learned from a different talk every week?

It forces you to get good at content, finding content, identifying content, and learning what works. You and I have the same 3, 4 or 5 stories that we tell over and over again. It’s easy to become complacent, lazy and be like, “I know this material works, so I keep going back to this,” versus, “If I couldn’t tell any of those five stories again, then I’ve got to find something different.”

There’s a speaker and a friend of mine who calls it the new two. Meaning every time he speaks, even though a lot of the content is the content he’s done before, he forces himself to find a new 2, 2 minutes that he has never presented before. Sometimes maybe you present those two minutes, it goes somewhere and works, then you turn it into 5 or 7 minutes, and it worked. It makes it to the cutting room floor but it forces you to be into the rhythm and routine of, “I’ve got to try new stuff,” versus resting on what’s worked and thinking that will always be the case.

When I think back to my first speaking events versus where I am, there’s this nervousness about interacting. It was all about me. When you get up there for the first time, you are like, “I hope I don’t look stupid and sound bad,” and all the things that you go through, whereas after you have done so many, you become good at interacting with the audience or crowd and being able to engage differently with that level of comfort.

One interesting thing, especially in the church world or the ministry world is when you have the same audience, they are at least familiar with you. If you do 50 events in a year and it’s 50 different clients, then every time you speak, you are trying to build rapport and connection with the audience. They have no idea who you are.

Whereas when you are speaking to the same audience on some type of consistent basis, you will at least have some type of familiarity there, so you don’t have to go into too much background of who you are and why you are here, this song and dance but for the most of the audience, you get some type of connection there because they are already familiar with you.

It’s the difference between going to a comedy club to see any comedian, whoever’s up there that’s selling jokes, versus you bought a ticket to see a specific comedian or a band versus going to a music venue because you are like, “I want to hear some live music.” There’s at least some familiarity there that makes a big difference in terms of the rapport that has already been established.

You graduated from college and then started as a pastor at a church. You then went outside the church and started doing more secular-type talks. What prompted that direction? What were you speaking about?

Spend a lot of time practicing and preparing if you want to be a great speaker. Click To Tweet

I did a lot in the education space, in high schools and colleges. Working with students was a world that I was familiar with and understood. It landed itself well to speaking in that world. There are a couple of guys that I knew that were doing some speaking in that world. I was pretty young myself. I was 24, 25 at the time. The idea of speaking to corporate CEOs or something that are like, “You could be my son.”

Early on, I worked with a similar company. They would book me to go out, speak and present their content. I would speak on time management or organization. A lot of times they would send me to environments where I was the youngest person in the room. There’s a lot of Imposter syndrome, especially early on. I’m like, “Who am I to be here? I don’t have anything to bring to the table.”

I did a lot of school assemblies and student leadership conferences. Those were environments that forced you to be a good speaker. You have a lot of adult audiences that are polite and friendly. If you are not doing a good job, they will still smile, nod, and play along but if you are talking to a group of 15, 16, and 17-year-olds that don’t want to be there, you better be good as a speaker to keep them engaged. That also helped me to become better as a speaker over time because those are unique audiences and environments.

From education, where did you end up? How did you get into coaching other speakers?

I was a full-time speaker for several years. In the 1st year, I was doing 20 to 30 events and then 40 to 50 events. Eventually, it got to a point where I was doing about 70 gigs a year. I enjoyed it. There’s a lot of fun. The nature of speaking is that it’s a high-paying manual labor job. I would get paid well to stand on stage and talk but the nature of it was I had to leave my family, get on a plane and go somewhere. It’s like a surgeon. A surgeon makes good money but like surgeries, you’ve got to show up and do surgery. I felt like I had a good job but I didn’t necessarily have a business. There’s this limited flexibility.

I was like, “Now what? What do I do from here on?” The only way to broaden your impact, reach or income is you either have to do more gigs or charge more. I was already at the upper limit of what I felt comfortable charging in that particular industry and the education space. I didn’t necessarily want to be on the road anymore.

It was 2013 and 2014 when I started noticing more podcasts, online training, and the online business world. At the time, I had a lot of people who are asking me, “I want to be a speaker. How would I go about doing that?” A lot of times, what would happen is people would use the phrase, and we have both said this phrase to other people as well, which is, “How did you get into that?”

What I decided to do is, at the time, I was doing a lot of speaking around the topic of careers, helping people think through and figure out what they wanted to do with life, especially high school and college students, so I started a podcast called How Did You Get Into That? We were interviewing interesting, unique people who had crazy careers like a guy who was a LEGO master builder, one of the top LEGO builders in the world, a guy who worked for Nike and Michael Jordan designing the Air Jordans, a guy who was an NBA mascot and a lady who was one of the top cheese experts in the world.

These types of careers where you are talking to people going like, “I don’t personally want to do that but it’s fascinating that you make a career from that. How did you get into that? What does that look like?” I did that for a little while. I had a lot of people asking me, “How did you get into that? I want to be a speaker. How would I do that?”

At that point, I started doing a little bit of coaching and teaching around that. I enjoyed it. I felt like we were creating a solution to the problem that I had when I’ve got started. There wasn’t anyone readily available. There was no podcast, coaching, training, books or resources about how do I become a speaker. We tried to create some resources that I wish I had when I’ve got started. One thing we quickly figured out is that there are a lot of people who are interested in speaking and who could do this that need some help in the next step.

BYW S4 24 Grant | WHY Of Contribute
WHY Of Contribute: Spend a lot of time just making sure that when you got up there that even though it was the first time you were presenting something, you are confident and prepared.


When I’ve got started, I felt like I had the potential but I needed the plan. I feel like I was a decent speaker. I wasn’t the best or worst. I always knew that there was something there but I needed a plan and someone to tell me. “I can do the work. Just show me what to do. Tell me what steps I need to take. What are the action items I need to execute here?” I felt like there were a lot of people in that same spot. That’s when we started leaning into the speaker training and coaching that has evolved into what we do.

Who would be an ideal client for you? Who are you looking to connect with you? Why would they be looking for you?

There are a lot of people who are interested in speaking and people listening who have done some speaking. Maybe it’s something that fell in your lap. It was a word-of-mouth thing, a referral or something for your company. It was something that was a friend recommended you to. A lot of times it’s like this, “We enjoy speaking and want to do more of it but we don’t know what to do next. Do I sit back and wait for other people to magically find me? Do I click my heels together, close my eyes tight, and then hopefully another gig falls in my lap?”

We both understand, and everybody reading understands that that’s not a way to build a business. Rather than being reactive, we want to teach people to be proactive and understand the steps that you need to take to build and grow a speaking business. There are going to be people who are reading that’s like, “I would love to do 60, 70, 100 gigs a year and be a full-time speaker.” Other people are like, “That has zero appeal to me. I would love to do 5 or 10 gigs a year, maybe in addition to what I’m already doing in my business or within my company. Maybe in addition to my coaching or consulting. Maybe using it as lead generation for some other stuff that I’m doing.

We want to do some level of speaking but we don’t know how to get started. We don’t know what we don’t know. “How do I find gigs? What do I charge? Who hires speakers? What do I speak about? How does this mysterious black box of speaking work?” That’s who we work with. We try to demystify that and give a roadmap and framework for how you consistently be able to find and book paid gigs and also share your message with others.

This is probably crossing the minds of people reading, and it was crossing my mind. You did 70 gigs one year. Is it positive or negative? You made a lot of money and did a lot of traveling but what’s that like?

It’s a blast and fun. I will give you the highs and the lows of it. The upside is travel can be fun. I have been to 49 US states and multiple countries and seen a lot of parts of the country that most people will never see in a lifetime. That’s cool and enjoyable. The downside of the travel part is you are away from the family, sleeping in another hotel, eating hotel food or food on the road when you want a home-cooked meal. There’s certainly a lot of that.

The upside is it’s not bad. Speaking and having hundreds or thousands of people listening to you, people wanting to shake your hand, take pictures with you, ask for your autograph or give you a standing ovation. Most people don’t get applause when they do their job. To finish sharing some ideas and everybody claps for you is pretty fun. There are a lot of upsides to it.

Being a speaker, the actual speaking part is a very small part of it. You spend a lot of time waiting. You are waiting backstage, on planes, at the airport, in hotels, in rental cars, and then you do your thing, your little dog and pony show. You then go back to waiting and heading home. Doing 60, 70 gigs a year led to being on the road 80, 90 nights a year. It’s also can be a little bit cyclical over a year. You would have seasons where you were busy. You may have 4 gigs in 7 days, and you are on the road going from city to city.

December would be slow. Nobody is booking things around the holidays. You may be gone for a long, long stretch of week to week but then you may be home for a full month and not going anywhere. My wife is going like, “You’ve got a gig or something you could go do?” It comes and goes in waves but it’s enjoyable knowing that you are doing something that’s making an impact, able to travel, connect with some great people and make a difference with the work that you are doing. There are downsides but it’s also incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.

Who you are is more important than what you do. Click To Tweet

I was talking to a friend of mine that does a lot of speaking more than I do. In 1 year, he did 134 events. He said it was mind-numbing and was too much. He did 4 in 1 day. I don’t know how you can function that way but the high is really high.

One of the great things is that the pandemic has been good for the speaking industry. What I mean by that is that prior to COVID, virtual speaking wasn’t even a thing. Event planners and speakers weren’t taking it seriously. When COVID hit, all events come to a screeching halt, and there were no other options. Virtual speaking becomes the only game in town.

For several months there was the Wild Wild West, and everyone was figuring out what this new normal looked like from a speaking presenting standpoint but a couple of years later, hopefully, we come out of the pandemic more and more each day, we are seeing that live events have come back with a vengeance because apart, they haven’t happened for a while, so people crave being together in person. There’s nothing that compares to being together with other human beings in a room.

Even in the handful of events that I have been to in a few months that people are like, “We are back. We are together. This is awesome,” hugs, high fives, and handshakes, people crave that type of community and atmosphere that a live event can provide. What’s happened is that although live events have come back, they have not come back in replacement for virtual events. They have come back in addition.

There are a lot of virtual events that continue to exist. We have seen more events than ever because both live and virtual events exist. We are also seeing a lot of hybrid events that are taking place where a speaker may come in and speak in person but there’s a virtual audience or where speakers are speaking in person once. Maybe they are doing three months of follow-up Zoom calls, where they are going deeper on the content or helping to apply the content that was presented.

It sounds weird but the pandemic is one of the best possible things to happen to the speaking industry and has created enormous new opportunities that didn’t previously exist. All that to say, there are a lot of opportunities for people to say, “I want to be a speaker but I don’t want to be on the road that much.” That didn’t exist in 2020. There are a lot of speakers who are killing and doing it while staying home. There are pros and cons and trade-offs to virtual speaking versus in-person speaking but the point is, there are a lot more opportunities and options that exist with virtual speaking that didn’t previously exist.

What have you noticed to be the difference between virtual speaking and live speaking?

It doesn’t compare to being together in person. One of the best parts of speaking is being able to feed off the energy of the audience and see people nodding, taking notes, laughing, smiling, elbow in their neighbor or anything like that. You lose all of that with virtual. As you and I are talking, we are each sitting in our rooms and talking to ourselves via a screen. It’s a different atmosphere and environment.

It’s not that it’s bad. It still works and is effective. By giving a virtual presentation, you are able to give multiple presentations on the same day to multiple states, audiences or countries. You can have attendees from all over the world. It opens up opportunities that physically and geographically are not possible whenever it comes to physical in-person speaking. There are pros and cons to it but there’s nothing that compares to being together live in person with an audience.

Have you noticed that the presentation has to be different for a virtual audience versus a live audience?

BYW S4 24 Grant | WHY Of Contribute
WHY Of Contribute: You have a lot of adult audiences that are polite and friendly, and if you’re not doing a good job, they’ll still smile and nod and play along.


Yes. Just because someone is a good in-person speaker, doesn’t necessarily mean they are a good virtual speaker. What a lot of speakers found out early on in the pandemic is that some stuff that may work in person doesn’t translate online and vice versa. We have to figure out how do you engage an audience and keep an audience with you because the other thing that’s difficult in a virtual environment is all the audience is watching on a screen, where you are also going to be competing with other tabs, their email, text message, TV, Slack and other notifications that may be popping up.

Whereas when you are in person, you may still have some of those things but it’s a little bit harder for them to be massively distracted when you are sitting there right in front of them in person talking. When you are just a talking head on a screen, they can turn off their camera, muted it, and not necessarily have to talk. It’s a little bit easier for them to get distracted. You’ve got to be aware of that and make sure that you are looking for other opportunities and ways to keep them engaged.

Have you got any tips or secrets for us that can help us keep people engaged in a virtual presentation?

Some of it depends on the nature of the presentation, how long it is and how big are the audiences but one thing that you can do is utilize the chat. Simple things like every few minutes, these pattern interrupts, “If you are with me, type in with you. Tell me in the chat where you are from. If this has ever happened to you, type I in the chat.”

Anything like that where normally you might be like, “How many of you have ever experienced this? Raise your hand.” People would physically raise their hands. “Turn to your neighbor and say this. Nod your head if you have had this experience.” Some of those interactive experiences that we would do in person, we can still do virtually.

Chat is a good way to do that to force people to re-engage and lock in. Also, utilizing slides can be helpful and effective, so it’s not just a talking head but it’s giving us something to look at. If you are going through slides quickly, it keeps them engaged in the same way that you are watching a TV show or sitcom. They are changing scenes and camera angles every few seconds because they know that people’s attention span is going to start to wane, lose interest, and be distracted. You’ve got to keep people on their toes and keep mixing it up.

Also, the length of a presentation. If you are talking with a potential client and they said, “We want to do three hours on Zoom,” that sounds like a disaster. Zoom fatigue is a real thing. None of us want to do that. Keep it short, concise, and half the length of what an in-person would be. If you were going to do 3 hours, try to keep it to 1 and a half or 1 hour and tighten up everything. Even 1 and a half or 1 hour is a long time staring at a Zoom screen. It’s things that you want to be aware of. You can also do a Q&A, mix it up with that or do some type of breakout groups. There are a lot of good breakout room options within Zoom that you can do to mix up the formatting of a presentation.

When you would speak on stage, did you typically speak with a presentation deck or without one?

As far as slides, I typically have not used slides. There are pros and cons to slides. Slides can be beneficial for keeping an audience engaged but can also be a big distraction for speakers. What we always tell speakers is, “If you are going to use slides, you want to use them as an enhancement, not a replacement to your presentation.”

Here’s what I think about this. I remember a few years ago, my wife was attending a conference, and she texted me. She was in a session and said that the presenter was there. They said that they couldn’t give their talk because their slides wouldn’t work. A good litmus test would be, let’s say, you have slides, and five minutes before you are going to go up, the projector fails, the computer crashes or something happens, and you can’t give your presentation with the slides. The presentation should still be able to stand on its own. It should still be solid.

If we're great speakers, authors, entrepreneurs, business owners or coaches or consultants, but we dropped the bomb as husbands, dads, moms, wives as if we are the shell of a human being, then we've really missed the point. Click To Tweet

What happens oftentimes is that slides become a crutch and cue cards for a speaker. That takes away from the presentation. If you are going to use it, pop-up slides with tacks on them and read off everything that’s on there, then just play a video. You don’t have to be there. There’s nothing wrong with slides. Slides can be powerful and effective but they should be an enhancement and not a replacement for your talk.

It takes a better speaker to speak without slides because the focus is 100% on you. There is no getting around that one. You can’t show something funny or throw something up that’s interesting. It’s got to be all about you. It feels that way. What’s your take on that?

You’ve got to be a solid speaker. You can use a crutch in a couple of different ways like, “I’m going to put up some stuff, and the image is going to capture people’s attention. It means that I can be less engaging for a few moments there while people are looking at the image, watching a video or something like that.” When you have nothing up on the screen that people can look at, you’ve got to be good on stage. The other thing is when speakers use their slides as cue cards and go like, “I’m trying to remember what comes next, so next slide,” it can become a cop-out, and you become lazy.

I remember at a conference a couple of years ago that I was speaking at, I was backstage and talking with a speaker who was getting ready to go on. He was obsessed with his slides. I was like, “What about the talk? That’s what people are here for.” There’s nothing wrong with slides, I’m not saying it is but they should be an enhancement, not a replacement of the presentation.

How many talks do you think you’ve given in your life so far?

Live in-person over 1,000 presentations and talks, threw in virtual in there. We are in a day and age where everyone’s definition of what a presentation is looks different. Is this a presentation, webinars, podcasts, interviews, Facebook lives or anything like that versus what we typically standardly think of as a presentation like, “I was hired to do a keynote or a workshop and break out in front of this audience?” A lot of times, for sure.

The reason I’m asking you that is because I’m curious what percentage of the time when you show up to do a speaking event, let’s say live. Is there a tech glitch or something doesn’t work? How often does that happen?

Not often but it happens. I will give you a couple of thoughts. One is those moments help you to become a better speaker because something happened outside the norm, and so you’ve got to be able to roll with it. I would rarely use slides. That was one less variable that I could control that wasn’t going to be an issue but there were times, especially when I was doing a lot of speaking in high schools when it hasn’t had a great sound setup, sound system or anything like that. It wasn’t uncommon for a mic to fail or be staticky.

I remember one time I was in a gymnasium with over 1,000 students, and the mic goes down. I was looking for some help with some backup batteries or a new mic, and no one was doing anything. I was like, “Screw it.” I put the mic down, yell, project and make it work. The show must go on. When those moments happen that are outside the norm, a speaker can utilize and lean into that. Everyone loves an inside joke, and you had to be there. When something happens that is not scripted and not supposed to happen, it creates this moment that we can all laugh about.

A few years ago, I was speaking at a conference center, and a dog comes running in, zipping around the room. That’s not planned, and it was not my dog. I don’t know whose dog that was or how it got into the building but it creates this raw, real moment of like, “You had to be there. We can all laugh and joke about it,” then you move on. As a speaker, when those moments happen, it’s a good chance to build this rapport with the audience but make some humor and also realize, “This happened outside of my control. How do I address it?” Deal with it, do whatever, move on and continue the presentation.

BYW S4 24 Grant | WHY Of Contribute
WHY Of Contribute: If you’re talking to a group of 15, 16, 17 year olds that don’t want to be there, you better be good as a speaker to keep them engaged.


It seemed like for a while, every single event that I spoke at had different setups and attachments. Everything was different. There was no standardization of anything. Half the time, it would work, and half the time, it wouldn’t work with a Mac. Sometimes I’m putting it on a thumb drive and stick it into their computers. The screens would go out or something would happen but it ended up being something good because I almost expect it to happen and when it does, so what? It’s not a big deal.

That speaks to how important it is to do some type of test run with the AV team. Even if I wasn’t using any slides, one of the things I would always make sure is I can get some type of tech run-through so I could get a sense of like, “What’s the lighting going to be like? Where’s the audience going to be? If there are going to be cameras, where are those cameras going to be? Which microphone? Am I going to be using the handheld? Is it going to have a wire or cord to it? Am I going to use a lapel that sits on my shirt? Am I going to use more of a Countryman that fits over my ear?”

There are all these different nuances and variables. You want to be prepared for all those things. If I’m using sides, I want to plug it into my computer, hook it up and see those slides on the screen. I want to see if the orientation is correct or if something looks skewed in any way that I want to make sure we get that fixed. You are not trying to scramble and adjust those things on the fly but like, “No, I have shown up and prepared. Make sure all the variables are correct and where they need to be.”

It’s part of being a professional. Part of doing a good job is not just what you do on stage but also how you work offstage. “Were you on time? Were you nice to the tech crew? Did you make sure that you had your ducks in a row and your slides look good?” All of those little nuance things add and contribute to you as an overall presenter, whether or not people want to work with you.

Are you saying that being a professional speaker is more than taking a couple of shots of tequila, running up on stage, and talking?

Yes, 1,000%. Part of being a great speaker is what happens on stage but a big part of it is what happens offstage. You think about it from an event planners’ perspective. The speaker at an event is an important part of the event but it’s 1 of 100, if not 1,000, moving pieces that they are trying to handle, think through, and be prepared for. The easier you can be to work with, the simpler that you can make things on them, the better you can make their life, the less of a pain in the butt you are, the more likely they are going to want to work with you, refer you, recommend you and bring you back.

This isn’t exclusive to speakers. This is any type of vendor. If you were hiring someone to mow your grass and made the grass look amazing but they don’t show up on time, charge you weird, don’t do what they said they are going to do, reschedule for you, they are a pain in the butt, not like a diva or a prima donna. They are dropping the ball on simple things. Do what you say you are going to do. If you can’t do what you said you are going to do, communicate with the event planner. If you do those things and you are average on stage, you can be successful as a speaker.

Last question, what’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever gotten or given?

The thing that I tell our team regularly is something I used to speak about was, “Who you are is more important than what you do.” If we are great speakers, authors, entrepreneurs or business owners, coaches, and consultants but we dropped the bomb as husbands, dads, moms, and wives, as if we are the shell of human beings, then we have missed the point. I love talking about speaking. I love being an entrepreneur and business owner. I love making a little dent in the world but my most important roles on this planet are being a good husband and dad.

I’ve got married to my high school sweetheart. We’ve got three beautiful daughters. It’s me in a house full of women. It’s the absolute best. Those four ladies are the most important responsibility in my world. I love all this other business nonsense we get to play around with and this sandbox we get to play in but those things are the important thing. I try to remind people and keep it top of mind that who you are is more important than what you do.

If there are people that are reading this who want to connect with you, learn to be better speakers, and get into the speaking game, what’s the best way for them to connect with you?

I would encourage you to check The Speaker Lab Podcast. We’ve got nearly 400 episodes. They are all different subjects or topics related to anything and everything about speaking. That’s a great resource. Everything else we do is over at We’ve got a lot of free resources and articles over there. We have a Speaking Fee Calculator there.

When people ask, “How much should I charge as a speaker?” The answer is it depends. There are a lot of variables that go into it. We have put together a calculator. It’s free. Answer a couple of questions, and it will spit out several what you should be charging. You can also find that directly over We try to do anything that we can to support speakers as they build and grow their businesses.

Grant, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate your time. I look forward to staying in touch as we go along our paths.

Gary, thanks for the time. I appreciate it.

Thank you so much for reading this episode with Grant Baldwin. If you have not yet discovered your why, then go to You can use the code PODCAST50 to discover your why at half price. If you love our show, please don’t forget to subscribe, leave us a review, and rating on whatever platform you are using. Thank you so much for being here. I will see you next time.


Important Links


About Grant Baldwin

BYW S4 24 Grant | WHY Of ContributeAs founder and CEO of The Speaker Lab, Grant Baldwin has helped thousands of people build successful and sustainable speaking businesses. Over the last 15 years Grant has become a sought after speaker, podcaster, author, and accomplished entrepreneur.
Featured on the Inc. 5000 list, Forbes, Inc. Entrepreneur, and the Huffington Post, he has committed his expertise and insight to equipping others to share their meaningful message with the masses.With a mission to motivate other leaders and entrepreneurs, Grant has developed a training course with The Speaker Lab, completed by over 2,000 speakers (and counting), and created a multitude of additional resources for speakers with varying levels of experience!
His leadership and dedication to creating a one-of-a-kind organizational culture are evidenced by the impact of the team he leads. Grant’s favorite moments are those spent with his high school sweetheart, Sheila, and their three daughters. They live in Nashville, Tennessee where Grant enjoys playing pickleball, summer days at the pool, and living life like Chuck Norris.

Implementing A Better Way: Working To Improve And Change Lives With Dr. Scot Gray

BYW S4 1 | Change Lives


Dr. Scot Gray knows that there is always a better way. Ever since he opened his own chiropractic practice, he has always worked towards finding ways to impact the lives of others, to make their lives better. Dr. Gray focuses on training people smarter than him so they can deliver services that impact others.

Join Dr. Gray as he is interviewed by our host, Dr. Gary Sanchez. They talk about how Dr. Gray got his start in the practice and how he learned to take risks and let go of the reins of his business so he can do what he loves: helping others.

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Implementing A Better Way: Working To Improve And Change Lives With Dr. Scot Gray

Welcome to Beyond your Why. We go beyond just talking about your why and helping you discover and then live your why. Every week we talk about one of the nine whys, and then we bring on somebody with that why so you can see how their why has played out in their life. We’re going to be talking about the why of a better way.

If this is your why, then you are the ultimate innovator and you are constantly seeking better ways to do everything. You find yourself wanting to improve virtually anything by finding a way to make it better. You also desire to share your improvement with the world. You constantly ask yourself questions like, “What if we tried this differently? What if we did this another way? How can we make this better?” You contribute to the world with better processes and systems while operating under the motto, “I’m often pleased, but never satisfied.” You’re excellent at associating, which means taking things from one area or business and applying them to another always with the ultimate goal of improving something.

I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Dr. Scot Gray. He is the father of two wonderful girls and husband to his beautiful bride, Jen. Dr. Scot is a serial entrepreneur and author. He has been featured on ABC, NBC, Lifetime Network, and other television shows. He built and sold a successful chiropractic practice, the Ohio Neck and Back Pain Relief centers in Marion, Ohio. Dr. Gray owns several medical offices in Ohio and Florida, a physician referral network called Konnect Relief, and has helped many doctors. Dr. Scot focuses on building teams of people smarter than him to run and deliver services in these businesses in order to change the millions of lives of patients and doctors. Dr. Scot, welcome to the show.

Thanks, Gary. Great to be on here with you. Good to see you.

This is going to be a lot of fun because there’s a lot more to you than that short bio. You and I are in a mastermind group together. I’ve gotten to know you there, but I’m anxious for the rest of our audience to get to know you. Take us back to where were you born and where’d you grow up? How the heck did you get into chiropractic?

I’m originally from Columbus, Ohio. Born and raised right in the middle of the state there. I’m a Buckeye fan, just like most folks there in Columbus. Honestly, the chiropractic thing was interesting. I knew from a young age that I always wanted to help people. I wanted to get into some type of medicine or be a doctor in some way. I didn’t know anything about chiropractic for years.

In high school, I started talking with one of my family friends. One of the friends that my parents went to high school with was a chiropractor and I started talking to him. I got in a car accident, of all things. I was going to school one morning, and I was on the highway, and I got rear-ended at about 55 miles an hour. I was sitting at a dead stop, so it basically destroyed my neck and my back.

Where did I go? My mom told me to go to a chiropractor. I literally had never been before. Dr. Glenn Ives over there in Dublin, Ohio was another big influence on me saying, “Scot, the way a chiropractor does things is a little bit different. We’re looking at the cause. We don’t like to cover things up with medicine or ‘That thing is fine.’ We look at the person holistically. Everything that’s going on, and look at how we can help that person improve.” I just love that model better. That spoke to me and connected with me. I’m a big believer of the power that made the bodies, the power that heals the body. When I started learning about it, it just connected and off to the races I went. That’s how I got into chiropractic.

Chiropractic school and building your chiropractic practice was not an easy thing for you. Is that right? It wasn’t like, “Everything was paid for. Everything was simple. You just fell right into a beautiful practice, and it was all roses from there.” Your story was a little different.

It was a little rockier than that. I was that typical kid coming out of school with a lot of loans, a lot of debt, and nothing to my name. My parents didn’t have money to open a practice or even help us through school and that type of thing. I had to how to figure out how to do it on my own. I went through school with my brother. My brother is also a chiropractor. We were together for years, literally every single day. Luckily, we get along pretty good, so that worked out well.

BYW S4 1 | Change Lives
Change Lives: In school, you get all the clinical stuff. You learn how to diagnose, how to treat, and all that, but running the business and how to get your name out there and share what you do with the world? You don’t learn any of that.


What happened was, after chiropractic school, I went to a program where you would call it an apprenticeship, a preceptorship, where I worked with another doctor. He showed me the ropes of how to run a business and how to see patients and all that stuff that you don’t learn in school. In school, you get all the clinical stuff, how to diagnose, how to treat, how to do all that, but running the business, how to get your name out there, and share what you do with the world, you don’t learn any of that.

I went with this group. What he decided to do is, he said, “Scot, we’ll do this program. When you’re ready to go, we will find a spot and I’ll help pay for your way to open your practice.” I go through all this. We go through the program. I’m getting ready to get my own place. I literally have a contract in hand in the new place. We’re going to sign on this thing and we’re going to open this practice.

He’s going to help me, and then I would pay him back over time. What happened though, was his business went bankrupt, and all their investors pulled out. Everything disappeared overnight. It went from, “I had a weekly paycheck. I was going to open a practice. Scot, there’s no money. You literally have no income. You got to figure out how to do it from here.”

My brother and I went through school together. We had decided, “We’ll open our practice. It is separate. Let’s not mix business and family.” When this happened, he was also in that program. He was in the same boat as myself. We decided, “Let’s figure out how to do this together.” It’s the only way. We both have a lot of debt. We didn’t want to work for somebody. We knew we wanted to have our place. We’re bound and determined to figure this thing out.

February of 2004 was when we were dropped from this program. We went from bank to bank. I was 24 at the time. My brother was 26, 27. A couple of twenty-year-old kids going in and asking for a bunch of money with a ton of debt. Most banks just laughed us out of the establishment, but we kept going. We’re trying to find out how to do it. It’s crazy. We did everything from. I would watch his kids while they would go and work nights just so we could pay the bills.

We lived together. It was my brother, his wife, two girls, two dogs, and myself in a two-bedroom apartment. That’s how we started. We did that for probably at least a year where I would watch the girls at night and on the weekends, they would go to work. We would do other things just to make money on the side so that we could get this thing going and profitable. What happened was, we ended up finding a chiropractor that wanted to move and start a practice and do something somewhere else.

We’re able to come in and secure a loan with a company from a small local bank for $50,000, enough to get us started to pay for payroll for the first few months. That was in June of 2004 that we got that started. From February through June, we were scared. We had no income again. We’re doing side jobs, and then, even after we started the practice, we still did those side jobs because the practice did not pay us enough to get the thing going. It was a struggle. We had our ups and downs.

By 2008, my brother decided to go off and do something else. He wanted to do a nerve conduction test, EMG, NCV, these different tests that were more neurology-related things. He went and got more education and went to do that. He still does some of that stuff to this day. I ended up buying him out of the practice and took it from there and went a different direction.

For the people that can’t see you, and even those who can, how tall is your brother?

Seth is 6’4”.

You need to make yourself redundant in your business so that you're not needed. Click To Tweet

How tall are you?


Seth is a 6’4”. You’re 6’6”. A wife, two little girls, and two dogs?

It was crazy. It was a wild place. You got to do what you got to do. We wanted to make it work. Rather than get a comfy job where we knew we could pay the bills, we wanted to take that risk to be able to have a bigger ceiling, an opportunity to help people and create change.

You now own this practice by yourself. What was it like when you bought it? How long did you own it? What happened? Take us on that journey with you.

It was an interesting time when I bought the practice in May of 2008 because I was just getting over an injury. I had a bad cough for several months and I pulled a rib away from my sternum. I couldn’t adjust for about 8 or 9 months. What happened is, the patient visits started going down. The business was suffering. I ended up buying it from my brother, and we’re seeing about 110 patients a week. I went nuts. I started to realize like, “I got to get out there, and I got to meet people. I got to go out and share what we’re doing.”

I was totally focused on the practice, focused with my team on growing this thing. We tripled the size of the practice within about twelve weeks after I bought the practice. A lot of that, when it’s painful, and you’re scared and worried, you go out and you do everything you possibly can. That’s what I was doing. We did that and created a successful practice, and then I started hiring associate doctors to work with me so I could grow it even more and start focusing on running the practice the way that it should be.

Running a practice takes a lot of time in and of itself, on top of the time you’re spending with patients. That allowed me to focus more on that. Eventually, we got two associates in there. I was out of practice. They were doing all the adjusting and I was just working on growing it and doing everything we could to help more people.

How long did that take you to go from buying it to then just running it?

May 2008 is when I bought it. I had this epiphany. I’ve got a mentor by a guy named Vinnie Fisher. He said something to me in October of 2015. This is seven years later. He said, “Scot, you’re never going to grow your business and affect the number of people you want to affect if you keep adjusting patients.” I realized that if I want to help more people, I have to stop seeing patients.

BYW S4 1 | Change Lives
Change Lives: My mentor told me, “Scot, you’re never going to grow your business and affect the number of people you want to affect if you keep adjusting patients.”


It was this weird idea that didn’t make any sense to me at first, and then I’m like, “That’s it.” I went back from that meeting that I had with Vinnie, and I told my staff that I’m done seeing patients. I’m going to work on growing the practice and helping more people. It took me a little bit of time, a couple of months. It was December 17th of 2015 that was the last time I saw a patient in the chiropractic office. It took me 7.5 years to get there. It worked out. My associate was with me for six years already.

I had a great guy working with me. He still runs the Ohio offices that we have. He’s just an awesome guy, that I love to be a business partner with, and does a great job. I worked hard to train him and get him to where he could just run it on his own. The beautiful thing that that did is I was able to move on to the next phase of my life and sell the practice. That was in 2017. This was about 1.5 years later. One of the things that the bank loved about it is that I had not seen a patient for 1.5 years. Nothing was going to change.

Gary, you know that with the mastermind that we’re in, one of the things that they always talk about is like you need to make yourself redundant in your business so that you’re not needed. That was one of the biggest things that helped me there to be able to do that and move that along to him. Also, it’s better for the practice because nothing changes and it’s just smooth sailing. It was that seven years. It’s funny. I have thought about it, but I never thought I would get there. I didn’t know how I would get there.

It was just certain things like that with Vinnie speaking that to me, and then it was our mentor, Randy. I had a bad day, a stressful day at the office. He asked me, “Scot, are you happy right now? Do you want to keep the office or should you move on to what you want to do?” That was that word to me of, “I need to focus on what I love, what I want to do to be able to help more people.” It’s created an amazing amount of freedom in my life.

I went through this same thing. If I’m a doctor, or a lawyer or a chiropractor reading this and I want to do the same thing, how did you do it? I understand the concept. I understand what you’re saying, but what did you do to go from being the producer to being the promoter? From being the one who does everything to one that builds everything? How did you change that?

I started to phase myself out. The first thing you have to do is get good people and train them. Spend time with them. I would train my team at least an hour a week. Different little things every single day. I went through so much stuff with Dr. Dave, who took over my practice. We would read books with them. We would go through different mindset things. We would talk about case studies with patients. We spent a lot of time. I put a lot of time into my team and the training into how you do something. You’re always training on, “How could you do this better than me?” because that’s what you always want to find.

I interviewed one of the founders of Pixar. That’s what they said the secret to their success was. It was just hiring the smartest people that were smarter than them even when it was scary that they might take their job or be better. That was the key. Find people that are better, who can do things better than you, and train them up, and you’ll see them surpass you.

One of the things with chiropractic, especially, maybe the same in dentistry, I don’t know, is that when someone sees you, maybe you’re the first person to treat them, adjust them, or meet them, they get used to you. What I wanted to do as fast as possible is have that first encounter to be with Dr. Dave and not me, so that they like being with Dr. Dave and not with me. That was one of the biggest shifts.

When I was able to get to where he would see all the new patients and start with everyone, I’m the odd guy out coming in if he’s out of town or whatever. It used to be, “All I want to see is Dr. Scot.” Now, it’s “I want to see Dr. Dave.” I would deal with that, but that was one of the biggest things. It’s the expectations, too that you have. I would get this question a lot. They would say, “Scot, how do you get your doctors who work for you to do so much?” It blew my mind that I don’t understand how they, “You don’t have them do a lot. You’ve hired them, you should be training them and giving them the most experience you can.”

A lot of docs will do this. They’ll say, “You’re with me for 2 or 3 years in this contract. You better not go out, try to start a practice, and take my patients.” They tried to put the handcuffs on them. I did the complete opposite. I said, “I’m going to teach you how to have a great practice. I’m going to teach you everything you need to know. If you want to go open up a practice somewhere and have your practice, awesome. Go do it.”

Everyone says they're too busy to train others, but the problem is you'll always be busy if you don't train them. That's the reality. Click To Tweet

My thought process was if he wants to leave, he’s going to leave. Why would I want to keep somebody there that doesn’t want to be there? That’s a toxic thing. I just said, “If you want to take this out and do it on your own, go ahead and do it.” The biggest thing was training, letting them have the freedom to want to learn, to want to do good, almost planning to have their own practice because if they don’t plan for that, they’re not going to try to achieve it.

I said, “If you want to achieve it, you’re going to have to work your butt off just like any of us who own a practice.” Having then the faith to hand that person off to them and trust that they’re going to do a great job with them because that’s the hardest thing. Vinnie told me, “One of the things you have to be okay with is that sometimes you have to be okay with the 70% version of yourself because no one’s going to treat your business the same way you do. It’s always going to be your baby. You’re going to have to be okay with maybe they don’t do quite as good.” What I found is that if you train the right people in there, a lot of times, they can do better.

It seems like most of us bypass that training part. Both of them, the training and the freedom.

Everyone says they’re too busy to train them, but It’s like the promise, you’ll always be busy if you don’t train them. That’s the reality.

How was that on your ego because you went from, “The guy. Everybody wants to see you. Now they want to see Dr. Dave?” How did you handle that, “I went to school. This is my place. This is my thing?” Now, it’s more, “I want to see Dr. Dave.” Was that tough on you or was that just an easy transition?

It was an easy transition. I don’t have an, “I need to be the guy.” Honestly, it’s funny, because I promoted the practice that way. I did a lot of videos. You could YouTube me and see that I’ve done a lot of videos. I’ve done a lot of TV stuff. I’ve written books, and it was always about, “Dr. Scot comes to,” and honestly, to get out of the limelight was awesome to me. I’m more of an introvert. I forgot if it’s Randy who says the situational extrovert. I’m that situational extrovert where, what I need to be, I can be extroverted.

Most times, if you were to leave me to my own devices, I’ll just sit over in the corner and be quiet, and I’ll be completely happy and content. In our group, I’m not the most talkative guy. I’m way more of an introvert than most people. The ego thing was nothing. I’m always focused on results. I want to have the best practice. I want to have the best team. I will have the best results. Whatever that looks like, that’s what I want to do. I don’t think that I have to be in the center of that for that to happen.

I feel like my superpower is more of having the vision of where we can go, and creating a better way. That’s what I’m always thinking of like, “How can we simplify this? How can we make this better? How can it be a better experience for the patient? How can it be a better outcome for the patient?” I’m always trying to think of that stuff.

When I’ve got all the providers treating the patients, I can be back doing what I’m best at, what I love, and have a fun time, too. I was going through pain management literature just to see if there’s something that we could add or tweak that would be beneficial to our patients. How can we make it simpler? How can we make it better and more effective?

I’m thinking, “We’re working on the system that we have to connect people with doctors across the country to get pain relief and other relief that they need.” I’m that guy. I’m totally happy being behind the scenes doing that stuff. I just like to see the results that patients get and the jobs we can provide all that stuff. That’s the more fulfilling part for me.

BYW S4 1 | Change Lives
Change Lives: One of the things you have to be okay with is that sometimes, you have to be okay with the 70% version of yourself because no one’s going to treat your business the same way you do.


You had one practice. You were running that instead of being the doctor in it, and then how did you grow from there? Take us on your journey through that to where you are now.

This was not planned at all. What happened was, I sold my chiropractic practice in 2017. I had another practice that was doing regenerative medicine in Ohio. I was just behind-the-scenes vision, had a great operating team, great medical doctor and nurse practitioners. They’re running the whole show. I didn’t even have to show up. I was just doing the things in the background that I needed to do so that we had great company and things are moving along well.

Scot, for those that don’t know, what is regenerative medicine?

Regenerative medicine got big when people started talking about stem cell therapy. With the way the FDA is changing things, we don’t do stem cell therapy in the US anymore. There are great people that we can connect you with within other countries like Mexico that do stem cell therapy. This is using stem cells from, sometimes, your own body. Sometimes they use them from an umbilical cord. A mother will donate the umbilical cord.

Basically, there are two things they’re going to do with it. Either they can donate it or it’s going to go in the trash. What’s going to happen is they can donate it and obviously, goes through all kinds of testing and sterility to make sure it’s clean, good and usable. After all that, they can take those stem cells, those Day 0 cells, that are just amazing.

What they can do for the body is they can release all these cytokines and growth factors and things that help regenerate tissue in the body. There’s this amazing regenerative function in the body, and people see amazing results. When we first started doing it, stem cells in the US were becoming a bigger thing. We’re part of that movement. What that changes now, we can use tissue allografts to where we can help people. We can use tissue that has stem cells in it, but we’re not doing stem cell therapy in the US anymore.

Our offices are based more on insurance-based things like hyaluronic acid, PT, and different things like that. There’s still is a regenerative medicine aspect that we can do but it’s not the old stem cell therapy that we love so much. We still send people down to folks in Mexico that have great programs. Regenerative medicine has just been great.

I’m skipping around here a little bit because I got to be careful. I don’t want to make claims and things and act like it does more than what it does. We want to be careful how we talk about it. You can look up studies from all around the world and what it does, and how it helps people. In other countries, they’re treating things like rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, lupus. They treat all kinds of crazy stuff down there because they can do things differently than we do in the US. Here, we focus on helping people with joint pain, back pain, knee pain, those types of things. Regenerative medicine is an amazing thing. I wish we could do more of it in the US, but things have changed.

I know you’re dancing around it. I don’t know if I can ask you this question or not. Why has it changed so much? I know a few years back, it was okay to do “stem cell therapy” and suddenly, it’s not okay to say that you do stem cell therapy. Why the change? Is that something you can talk about?

I feel like a lot of it is abuse by doctors that go out there and said, “This thing was a silver magic bullet that was going to heal everything in your body.” There are crazy people out there, doing crazy stuff with it, saying stupid things, so the FDA has to come in and regulate it and say, “We got to talk about what we can and can’t say here.”

Marketing and advertising are really just psychology and math. It's understanding people. Click To Tweet

Even when people say stem cell therapy, there’s way more to this than just stem cells. They’re saying, like, “You are talking about it wrong. You’re making claims that aren’t true. We don’t have double-blind studies.” The FDA basically gave us a window and said, “We can test this out and see how it works, but at the end of that, we’re going to have to come in and set up regulations around this as to how we can use it, what’s being said, and what products you can use.”

They came out on May 31st of 2021 and changed things up. They said, “This is what you can say. This is what you can’t say. This is what you can do. This is what you can’t do,” and no one was talking about the risks involved in it. Anytime you get a surgery, anytime you get any procedure, any injection, there’s a consent form. We did that all along.

There are bad players out there. There’s always going to be players like that in the market where FDA had to come in and say something to do something. Unfortunately, it hurts a lot of other people that were doing it right and had good processes down. One interesting thing about that, though, is that what we did here, we can manipulate the cells. What we mean by that is you may have been able to get like 10 million, 20 million stem cells here. In Mexico, they can expand those out to 100 million, 200 million cells.

What you’re able to do in those other countries is even better than what we were able to do here. It may not even be a bad thing. We just love being able to do it. We love helping people. We never made claims. We always told people, “This is experimental. There are no double-blind studies, and there are risks involved with it.” We went through the consent form and we did those things. Like anything, there’s always going to be people that blow it up to say it’s stuff that it’s not and it creates a problem and then regulation has to come in.

You went from one chiropractic office to multiple chiropractic offices, and then to multiple regenerative practices. Is that the path?

I have the chiro office, and then I had the regenerative office at the same time, so just those two. I then sold a chiropractic practice and had the regenerative practice. At that point, it was basically running on its own. I didn’t have to be there all the time. I had the opportunity where I could come back and be there every once in a while, do stuff on Zoom, and all that before everything was really big on Zoom.

My wife and I decided we wanted to move to Florida. We moved to Florida on a whim. We said, “Our girls are young enough. Let’s do it before school. Let’s see if we love it.” We’ve been talking about moving to Florida for 3 to 5 years. We just love it down here. That’s where I am. I’ve said, “I could do some regenerative medicine down here. Let’s see who I can team up with and build a team down here because I didn’t want to just sit around and not do anything.”

I obviously was working with the team in Ohio. I was like, “I could do it here at the same time.” I met with a doctor down here and said, “Can I rent space from you? We could do something together.” Long story short, we ended up partnering together. We have six offices down here and building that out. What started as regenerative medicine is something totally different now. It’s changed through the changes that we had to make but that came out of nowhere. I wasn’t even planning it.

It was a great opportunity to work together and help more people. I bring my assistant down here and do what we do so well. Once we got that going, then in Ohio, they said, “Let’s do some more offices here.” We’re opening our fourth office in Ohio. That’s how it happened. We have great teams that love to do this. They love what we’re doing. They love the mission. We just keep expanding and working to help more and more people.

One of your specialties that I know of is marketing. You have learned from some of the best and you’ve implemented many of the things they share with you. You’ve taught me a lot of stuff. How did you become proficient in marketing?

BYW S4 1 | Change Lives
How to Win Friends & Influence People

When I first started, I realized, “These patients are not knocking down my door to come and get adjusted.” It was a rocky start. I started reading. It was out of necessity. It was, “How do I do this?” I bought a program from this guy named Ben Altadonna. He was big in helping chiropractors learn how to share the message of their office. I started doing some of what they call direct response marketing of sending stuff out, sharing what we can do, and having people respond and find people that need us that we can help.

I just loved it because one of the big things why I went to Louisville, Kentucky, is it’s where I did that program, my preceptorship, my apprenticeship. I’m an introvert, so I started reading a ton of books on communication because I didn’t know how to start a conversation with people. I’m not like the life-of-the-party guy to be able to just strike up a conversation with everyone. I got to learn how to do this. I got to learn how to talk to people. I’m trying to think around here. I still have it. I have this old program called How to Start a Conversation in 90 Seconds or Less. It’s like this little audio thing. They’re trying to learn how to talk to people.

I started loving the whole concept of communication, which is what I feel marketing and advertising is, is how do I communicate with people on a super high level to help them understand what we do and how we can help them and understand them, what they’re dealing with and what frustrations they have. I just fell in love with it.

I’ve got hundreds of books. I’ve probably spent over $1 million just in courses, going to seminars, being in masterminds, and learning from the best people in the world how to do marketing. When I say marketing, I feel like it’s communication with people and it’s being able to create a community and get the message out that helps more people.

What is the best book you’ve read? If you were going to tell the audience one book they just can’t miss they got to read it on marketing, what would that book be? What’s had the biggest impact on you?

If I take it back to communication, probably the most profound book to me was just the old classic, How to Win Friends & Influence People. That one changed my understanding of how to talk to people. Before that, I just didn’t know what to do. If I could cheat and give a couple more, I would say, The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes was one of the best books I’ve ever read on how to run a business. That includes marketing and advertising.

One of the things that people have said is that marketing and advertising are just psychology and math. It’s understanding people and then it’s making the math work to where, “If I spend this much on marketing, I’m not going to go bankrupt. I’m going to make money on it,” because you can’t just keep spending money if you’re not getting any money back in the business. Those are the two big things.

The reason I say that is because one of my favorite books is the Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. That book was, you talk to any marketer, it’s just understanding basic concepts of human psychology. I was such a novice to this. Those early books were huge to me, and to some people, it may be simple concepts, but to me, it was earth-shattering.

You recommended a book to me that we’re utilizing quite a bit called The Conversion Code.

By Chris Smith. That was good for understanding the psychology of, nowadays, a lot of people are doing online advertising. This is from the guy that was probably the most successful with my understanding. He worked for Quicken Loans. His job was to handling incoming leads off of Facebook to Quicken Loans. He goes through what it takes to connect with an online lead and how to handle that, and understand the psychology of that.

It’s different from someone that read a newsletter or saw you on an infomercial. Understanding where people are when they come in, and raise their hand and say, “I’m interested in what you’re doing,” the way you speak with them, what you say to them, and how fast you respond to them. There’s a lot of things that go into it that a lot of people just don’t understand. It’s like simple concepts. You just got to know it. You got to read about it. You got to learn it, and then you got to implement it.

There is a better way to fix your pain. There is a better way to get relief. There's a better way to be healthy. Click To Tweet

I could read The Conversion Code and say, “That was a great book,” and then go read another book. I’m notorious for I outlined books when I read them. I read a book with the intention to implement everything that I read in that book. That makes sense to the business. When I read The Conversion Code, I literally have a whole presentation that I gave to my team. “This is how you use it.” One of the things I do also is I used to hold quarterly seminars, and I would train doctors on how to run their practice in business. I would take these and put them into presentations and transform them.

You talked about a better way to take something from somewhere and puts it somewhere else. I do that all the time. I take this concept from Quicken Loans. How do we do that in medical practice? Anyone that ever sees anything that I’ve done will find out quickly that I’m a huge Disney fanatic. Gary knows this. I try to take every concept of what Disney does and what Walt Disney did and put that into our practice. How do we give people a better experience in the practice? The better way thing, when you started describing that, when I first met you and learn about all the why. It’s like, “That’s me in a nutshell.”

That’s why we connect is I see the same world you see. It’s got to be a better way. What you’ve done, I love that, how you outline the books and then give a presentation to your team so that you can implement everything. I can read a book and then jump to the next book. What’s the next one I got to read? I love the way you’re implementing. It’s the whole thing.

Yes. Here’s the thing, too. My video library is fast. I literally have a university for my team to watch. One of the things that a lot of people do is they’ll teach that stuff, but then they have to keep teaching over and over again and reiterating it. We do have to do that in business as the leader is the visionary. They say in the Bible when the vision is gone, the people perish. There’s got to be a vision. You’ve got to reiterate it. Most people forget about it within 30 to 45 days and your company, if you’re not going over your vision every month, everyone’s lost. They’re just doing day-to-day stuff. They’re not on point.

What I’ve done is document it so that everyone new coming in can see that and you’re creating clones for lack of a better term. That’s what I do with Dr. Dave. My whole point wasn’t just to say like, “Dr. Dave, look at this cool concept.” It’s like, “No, how do I teach this?” Have that person do it and have it become part of their routine. If it becomes part of their routine, it becomes part of our system. Anyone new that comes in, that part of the system is now there. It can be taught. They can take it and put it into practice.

How do I learn it? How do I disseminate it down? How do I get them to then do it? Now, I’m hands-off and I don’t have to do that again. They can just take it and then, what do we want them to do? We want them to train the next person so they can move up so that they can train. Of course, when they train, they get better at it. There’s a whole system that I focus on to take it and implement it and help other people implement it.

That’s my goal is to get other people to implement it because that’s the only way you’re going to get the leverage that you need, which is a big word that we focus on. How do you leverage your time? When you see successful people who can have multiple clinics and multiple things going on, I could never do that if I had to see every patient. If I had to manage all the staff. I had to know its leverage. How do I train this so that they’re basically becoming a clone, doing these things as part of the system? It’s making yourself redundant in the business and you’re just leading the way.

It’s interesting because this all came from pain on your side. The pain of not having the practice, of not having the ability to just go out and buy it. Maybe a better word would be resourcefulness.

I wouldn’t have been that resourceful if I had the money. I had to figure it out. Once you do that, then you start to have more confidence like, “I can do this. I can start a business. I built a business. I can build another one. I trained that person and sold that business.” Stuff that you never thought you could do. All of a sudden, you’re starting to build chops and build your confidence up as you do these things. That’s one of the things where money can be a killer because it can kill your resourcefulness. Look at most immigrants that come over here that become successful. Talk about resourcefulness. They couldn’t even speak English. They have $1 to their name. Resourcefulness is the name of the game, not money.

What’s next for Dr. Scot Gray?

BYW S4 1 | Change Lives
The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies

I’m trying to help a billion people get relief from their pain and their suffering. I’m building a network of doctors that will have approved, certified treatments that we approve of. We help certify their team so that we know that people are getting great care. Another thing that a lot of people don’t know about me, I served as president of the city council for a couple of years in my town. Unfortunately, in my town, we had a big opiate and heroin problem. I became aware of how huge an issue this was, how it was destroying families. It was destroying people’s lives. It was just killing the people of Ohio.

Unfortunately, we were on the national news because our state was so bad. Our town was literally one of the worst in Ohio. We were in the pit of this thing. People went around and put signs up in my town and said, “Heroin is our economy.” It was that bad. I started to see this and I became passionate about pain relief.

I feel like the way that we treat pain right now is like caveman days. I feel like we’ve done this for years. We’ve been brainwashed that when there’s a problem and a symptom, there’s a pill to fix that problem or that symptom. Just take the pill and go about your day. That’s completely inaccurate. My goal is to educate the world, educate people to understand there’s a better way.

It goes back to that, that there is a better way to fix your pain. A better way to get relief. There’s a better way to be healthy, especially in these times where health needs to be at our forefront. There are viruses. There are things out there that are dangerous. People need to understand that the healthier you can be, the better your ability is going to fight off anything that you get, too. If we’re on that morning cocktail of medications, what is that doing to our immune system and our ability to fight things off?

I could get on a big soapbox here, but that’s what’s next for me is building this program called Konnect Relief. I want it to be like the home advisor of pain relief, where we’re almost like a WebMD in information where you can get great information, but in the new way of taking care of your body, your mind, your spirit, all those things that you need to do. Putting the medical side into it and what’s available, but things that aren’t dangerous.

Things that aren’t going to destroy your immune system. Things that you can do quickly to get out of pain and dealing with some underlying symptoms and issues, not symptoms but issues that are there causing you to have pain. My passion is to be out there, connecting people to the best practitioners to find out why they’re having pain and to be able to get rid of it. If not, anything to reduce medications and opiates and things like they’re on so they have a better, healthier, happier life. That’s my mission.

If there are people that are reading that want to follow you, is it How do they connect with you, follow you, and see what you’re doing to keep up with you?

You can go to, or you can go to I always tell people that the hardest eight-letter name to spell in the world. I should be putting all the things up there that I’m doing. I’ve got a podcast as well. That is going to be moving over to that page. We’ve interviewed one of the founders of Pixar. We’ve interviewed all kinds of great people like the founder of the Orlando Magic and all kinds of good stuff. We talk a lot about this thing. Gary, you and I are like-minded in this stuff. We love talking about it. We love figuring out how we can help the world with our information and what we do.

The last question I got for you is, what’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received, or the best piece of advice that you’ve ever given?

The time is now. I’ve lived by that since that day, October 2015. That’s when I heard those words spoken for the first time. That’s when Vinnie said, “If you want to have the impact you want, you got to get out of practicing.” I went back and I stopped practicing. I stopped seeing patients, and when I realized I needed to sell the chiropractic practice, I made the decision and I sold the practice.

People need to understand that the healthier you are, the better your ability is going to be to fight off anything that you get to. Click To Tweet

When I started thinking, “Maybe we could move to Florida. The time is now. What am I waiting for? I’m not getting any younger. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I want to live in Florida. Go do it, Scot.” I did it. Amazing things have happened. I just live by this. It’s one thing to hear it, but again, I’m a guy that I like to hear it, then I like to do it.

I say, “The time is now.” Whatever that one thing is that you’ve been waiting to do, that you’re making all kinds of crazy excuses as to why not to do it, I’m telling you, do it. I’ve made that decision over and over again. It’s just been such a blessing to myself, my family, and the people that we’re helping. With all the clinics, I’m helping way more people than I ever could have helped before. The time is now. Take action today.

Scot, thank you so much for taking the time to be here. I know we see each other every quarter, at least, but there’s a lot I learned about you that I didn’t know. I’m glad we got a chance to talk. I love that the time is now because I’m going to use that myself. I’m stealing a lot of your better ways stuff and applying it to my better way stuff.

That’s how we do. We got a swipe and deploy.

I love it. Thanks so much for being here. I look forward to staying in touch as we continue on our journeys.

Thank you, Gary. I appreciate you.


It’s time for our last segment, Guess the Why. For this segment, I want to use Michael Jordan. What do you think Michael Jordan’s why is? I’m going to take a stab at what it is, because if you remember, he was the guy that tried out for his basketball team as a junior. He didn’t make it, went back and practiced and practiced and found the right way to do things. He then made the team and became a superstar. He went off to North Carolina and became a superstar there. He went to the NBA and became the best of all time.

He was always that guy that was willing to have a tantrum. He was willing to go out on a limb. He was willing to do what was necessary in order to get the results that he wanted. I’m going to say that Michael Jordan’s why is to do things the right way in order to get results. Practice over and over the same shot, the same layup, do the same things over and over because they’re going to get results.

People with the why of the right way follow processes and systems that work. They stick to things that work. They’re willing to get in people’s faces, yell at them, have a tantrum, have a fit if they’re not getting things done the right way. I see this in Michael Jordan. What do you think Michael Jordan’s why is? In the comments, let us know what you think Michael Jordan’s why is.

I want to thank you for reading. If you have not yet discovered your why, you can do so at You can use the code PODCAST50, and you can discover your why at half price or share that with your friends. If you love the Beyond Your Why show, please don’t forget to subscribe below and leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you’re using or listening to so that we can bring the why to 1 billion people in the next five years. Thank you for reading. I’ll see you soon.

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About Dr. Scot Gray

BYW S4 1 | Change LivesDr Scot Gray is the father of two wonderful girls and husband to his beautiful bride, Jenn. Dr Scot is a serial entrepreneur and author. He has been featured on ABC, NBC, Lifetime Network and other television shows. He built and sold a successful chiropractic practice, The Ohio Neck & Back Pain Relief Centers in Marion, Ohio. Dr Gray now owns several medical offices in Ohio and Florida, a physician referral network called Konnect Relief, and has helped many doctors start clinics in multiple states. Dr Scot focuses on building teams of people smarter than him to run and deliver services in these businesses, in order to change millions of lives of patients and doctors.


The Why Of Mastery: Why You Should Ask Better Questions With Ben Baker

BYW 40 Ben Baker | Why Of Mastery


Ben Baker knew he had to shift careers fast, so he asked himself the question “Is there a better way?”  

Ben’s Why of Mastery led him to find the solution to save his marriage. Today he helps companies streamline internal communication to expand their unique value.  

Tune in as Ben talks with Dr. Gary Sanchez about living your Why of Mastery. Shift your mindset to be a learner. Because masters don’t think they’re masters. They’re lifelong learners! As a learner, you always ask vital questions. Keep doing that and you’ll live your Why of Mastery to the fullest.  

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

The Why Of Mastery: Why You Should Ask Better Questions With Ben Baker

Welcome to Beyond your WHY Podcast, where we go beyond talking about your why and help you discover and live your why. If you’re a regular reader, you know that in every episode, we talk about one of the nine why’s and we bring on somebody with that Why so you can see how their why is played out in their life. We are going to be talking about the why of mastery, which is the most rare why. If this is your why, you have an insatiable thirst for knowledge but not at a superficial level. The thirst is all about exploring the depths and intricacies of a particular subject.  

Masters never think they're a master. They consider themselves lifelong learners. Click To Tweet

You’ll pursue this goal until you are viewed as an expert in your subject area. You find enjoyment in the sheer act of immersing yourself in something new. You are fearless when it comes to learning about new subjects or ideas but often cautious when it comes to expressing your thoughts and feelings. You love to peel back the layers of the onion. Always going deeper and looking for subtle differences on any given topic. Short answers to questions are a challenge for you because you know you won’t get to the depths needed for someone to truly understand the subject being discussed. We’ve got a perfect guest for you on the way of mastery. His name is Ben Baker.  

Ben has been helping companies and the people within them understand, codify and communicate their unique value to others for more than a quarter of a century. He is the President of Your Brand Marketing, an employee engagement consultancy. He’s the author of Powerful Personal Brands: A Hands-on Guide to Understanding Yours, and Leading Beyond a Crisis: A Conversation About What’s Next. He’s the host of iHeart and Spotify syndicated Show with more than 250 episodes behind him. Ben believes that if companies understand, live, and build cultures around their purpose, employees will engage, stay and want to grow with the company. This takes great leadership, communication, and awareness of the brand.  

Please welcome, Ben Baker. 

That introduction gets longer every time I hear somebody read it. I want people to say, “Here’s Ben Baker.” Gary, thank you for having me on the show. I am excited about this. 

This is going to be fun. Ben, take us back in your life. Tell us the quick version of your life story. Where are you from? Where did you grow up? How did you get into developing your branding process? 

I was born in Minneapolis and moved out of there in 1974. We decided that we wanted to thaw a little bit. My mom was originally from Winnipeg. Her sister, her husband, and the kids all moved out to Vancouver. My mom wanted to be near her sister, so she said, “Let’s move out to Vancouver or out to the West Coast.” Back then, the Canadian dollar was worth more than the US dollar, so we ended up moving to Canada. If it had been the reverse, we probably would have ended up in Seattle. Back in 1974, we moved up to Vancouver and I went through elementary, high school, and university up in Canada.  

Through all that, I did a lot of traveling. I went to the University of Victoria. I lived in LA, Seattle, Toronto, and New York for a bit through university. I lived overseas but Vancouver is always been home. I’ve always had a box of my stuff somewhere in somebody’s basement. It’s like, “Can you hang on to this stuff?” You have a few choices. We have books and knickknacks and stuff like that but that stuff ended up back at my house in probably about ‘96 when we got married. I’ve been back in Vancouver since about ’95. What happened was when I came back to Vancouver in ‘95, I was brought back on a contract.  

I was still in the high-tech industry. I was brought back because one of the major companies in the distribution area had a problem with a client. They said, “Can you take over the account and be able to help us resurrect it?” I said, “Sure. No problem.” It was a $100 million account. I spent probably about 1 or 1.5 years flying across North America, meeting with people, changing things, challenging things, and bringing things back to normal. About a year and a half later, I met my wife and we got married. We both realized this was a divorce waiting to happen. I was in the air 200 days a year. I was gone 250 days a year.  

Circumstances changed, so I went up to my boss and said, “You have two choices. You can either double my salary to pay for the divorce or you can cut myself my travel days in half.” He said, “Why don’t we buy you out?” I said, “I’m listening.” He says, “Stick around for 30 days. Help us hire your replacement. Fly them around for 30 to 45 days and we’ll pay you a six-month override.” I said, “Done.” He says, “Do you need to check with your wife?” I said, “No. Trust me.”  

They said, “One more thing. We’ll pay for you to take the What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up training,” because they knew that every job that was comparable to the one that I had that was good allowed me to make the same money. I was going to be doing the same amount of traveling. It didn’t matter if I was working for Intel, Epson printers, Hewlett Packard, or whoever. Everybody was going to want the up on a plane. They realized this was bad for me, so they were generous enough to sit me down with an industrial psychologist, run me through the Myers-Briggs and all those types of tests and come up with some solutions. It came up with two different things.  

One, you’re good at helping people tell their stories. Number two, work with large corporations. Don’t work within large corporations. They realize that what I’m good at is finding the solution, fixing the problem, and leaving. That’s what I do well. See what their problem is, understand the challenge, help them fix it, and leave them to be able to move on their own. I don’t want to be there. That’s the person who’s there for the next 10, 15, 20 years doing maintenance on it. I’m the fixer.  

That’s where my new career began. I ended up in direct mail. I ended up working for a large direct mail firm and we ended up doing an enormous amount of $500,000 to $1 million piece runs. I killed a lot of trees. What it came to the realization was that a lot of my clients were in the grocery, the casino business and they were reactive. They were like, “Our competitors are like this. We need to put something in the mail right now.” I’m like, “Let them chase you instead of you chasing them.”  

That came down to understanding brand, strategy, vision, market and getting to putting together a year-long plan for them. Every time they drop something in the mail, somebody else had to react not them reacting to somebody else. It worked well up until 9/11. We were a Canadian company working with US clients. Good, bad, or indifferent, the US companies decided, “We want to deal with American folks.” Because the Canadian dollar was getting stronger and there wasn’t as much value, the factor of the American first wanting to deal with Americans, that business started to go away. I started to look and say, “Where can we go from here?” That led to promotional marketing, tradeshow development, social media development, and your overall branding.  

How do you brand a company? How do you understand what their story is? Where did they come from? Where are they now? Where do they want to go? Who are their clients? Why do their clients care about them? What differentiates them in the marketplace? Being able to help my clients tell their stories through various types of mediums. In 2008, at the beginning of the crisis, I left the company I was working for and started out on my own. It’s a perfect time to start a company but my clients were large and substantial enough that they said, “We don’t care who you work for. You take care of us.”  

They have supported me and that’s what got me through those first three years of chaos. It was looking at my clients going, “You guys don’t have $1 million to spend anymore. You have $500,000 to spend. How can we take that $500,000 and get the most out of it? How do we enable you to tell your story as effectively on a smaller budget where everybody else was saying, ‘You guys spend more. You guys spend more.’” I’m going, “No. They only have so much money to spend. Let’s take what they have and be able to figure out how to do more.”  

BYW 40 Ben Baker | Why Of Mastery
Why Of Mastery: Most companies are good at telling their story externally, but they’re horrific at telling their story internally.


That led me to work with clients and understand their philosophy and what they are. A few years ago, I came to the realization that most companies are good at telling their story externally but they’re horrific and telling their story internally. Their internal clients and employees don’t know the brand story. They don’t understand the genesis of the organization. Why was it started? Beyond the dates and the times, they don’t understand what the impetus was of who, what was the original problem these people were trying to solve, and how did it move from where it was to where it is to where it’s going. For the last few years, my mission is to help clients communicate more effectively inside, get rid of the silos, break down barriers, have more effective communication across different divisions, and allow them to be more successful because they’re not wasting millions of dollars through ineffective communication. 

What was that moment when you realized that companies don’t tell their internal story very well? What was going on? What were you seeing and how did you come to that conclusion? 

Here’s a perfect a-ha moment. I used to work with a lot of government clients and a lot of health authorities. We did a lot of work with smoking cessation, alcohol awareness, and drug addiction programs. One of the health authorities that I belong in and work with is 200 or 250 square miles. They spread out all over the place. I was doing by tour de force, going out and you’re checking on the track line and talking to a whole bunch of different divisions and having a bunch of meetings.  

At the end of the day, I started realizing I went, “I’ve had this conversation before today.” I realized that there were three different groups that had a similar problem, slightly different audience but the same thing that they were trying to achieve basically and none of them knew each other. None of them had the budget on their own to be able to solve this problem. They are all saying, “What can you do for cheap?” I’m like, “We don’t want to do cheap.” What I did is, I got all three groups on a conference call together. 

I introduced these people and I went, “You’re all talking about the same problem.” We’re like, “We’re going to have to change the logo and we might have to change the message a little bit but we can buy in bulk and be able to create something that’s going to work for all three divisions. Gain it all together and make it work effectively.” Ninety-five percent of the message was exactly the same. They were able to take the three budgets, put them together, and do something better than any one of them wanted to do. None of that would have happened because none of them even do the other teams existed, let alone they were working on a similar problem. That happens time and time again, Inc. Magazine says companies that have 100,000 employees or more wastes an effective $62 million a year because of ineffective communication. The number is staggering. 

Ineffective communication means that everybody gets into their group, does their thing, and doesn’t get outside of their department to find out what’s happening? How do we look at the big picture, instead of our little picture? 

The left hand, not knowing what the right hand is doing. Here’s the perfect example. You have a job that goes from ideation with a sales team through marketing, product development, into the hands of operations, and out through distribution. Do these five groups ever get together and look at this thing as a unit and say, “What is this going to take to get this out the door?” You have packaging people that are not talking to your production people that are not talking to shipping people. What are the little things you need in order to make this thing work? How many of these boxes are going to fit on a pallet? What are the things that we need to do to make sure that the box isn’t going to crash when we ship it along?  

How do we make sure that these things are being able to be done on a production line versus having parts of it hand done? Because the different departments are not talking to each other and finding out what the other department needs, I hand it off from one division to the other division to the area division. That can happen in accounting, legal, and finance. It can happen anywhere. It’s people not understanding what other people need. When I give this to you, am I giving it to you in a way that you can use it or do you have to totally repurpose it to make it work with the systems that you’re already working on within the same company?  

What about this problem that you’re solving? Why is this interesting to you? What is the excitement over solving those problems?  

The older you get, the less you know. Click To Tweet

For me, it’s all about watching companies become more effective and profitable. I’m a lousy chess player. I wish I was a better chess player because I don’t play the game as much as I used to. I like watching the whole board. I’m that 50,000-foot person that likes to see how the different pieces come together. How do you make sure that you can look three moves ahead and make sure that things work effectively? It drives me crazy when you see ineffective policies, process procedures, and miscommunication because a lot of it’s due to laziness.  

A lot of it’s the fact that you’re too lazy and embarrassed to ask the question you think you should know better, or you think you do know better, which is even worse and therefore, things that should go smoothly. Things that should go effectively, things that should cost X end up calling X times ten by the time they get out the door, and nobody’s stopping to realize this, oh, okay, cost $100 instead of $10, where it could have easily cost $10, if people took the time to reverse engineer things. 

If they had more detail and depth and that they knew more about it. When your why came up as mastery and you read about mastery like what I read to you, how did that feel to you? 

It truly made sense because the one thing that you were telling me about a master that you didn’t mention is a master never thinks that they’re a master. I consider myself a lifelong learner. I consider myself always sitting there going, “Is there a better way? Is there a different way? Is there somebody that I should be aligning myself with or consulting with or talking to that may know more about a specific part of this than I do?” I may understand things from a grandiose point of view but when it comes down to the weeds, the nuts, and bolts, I want to talk to the person who’s doing that.  

When I was in the printing business, if I wanted to know the challenges of putting something on a press, I would talk to the pressman. If I need something about how do we convert something from a great big piece of paper into a box or into a package or something like that? I talked to somebody who’s writing the converting line or the dye maker. They’re going to have insights into things that I didn’t even know what questions to ask, let alone know what the answers are. Maybe being over 51 years old gives me a little bit better ability to not have the ego to think that I know everything. The older I get, the less I know. I don’t see that as a weakness. I see that as a, “How do I find the answer?” “How do I find somebody who knows the answer and bring them on board for us to be more successful?”  

You started helping companies communicate better. How did you get from doing that to podcasting? I know you have your own show. You help people tell their stories. How did you get there? 

I’ve been podcasting for years. I’ve had my own podcast, the Show. I’m over 250 episodes or I might be over 270 episodes by now but I’ve been on podcasts for a couple of years before most people even knew what a podcast was. People were inviting me to be on their podcast to sit down and talk. I know some of the grandparents of the podcasting industry. People sit there and go, “You’re an old man of the podcasting industry.” I said, “You don’t even know.” These guys have been doing this for fifteen-plus years or longer.  

A few years ago, I got into my podcast and during COVID, a couple of different things happened. I speak around the world. February of 2020, I had speaking gigs lined up in Australia, Europe, the Caribbean, and across the United States. Three days in March, it was wiped out. Everything was gone. Not only the years’ worth of speaking gigs that I had but probably the next year of speaking gigs because you go to one gig, somebody taps you on the shoulder there and says, “We’ve got an event coming up. Could you come and speak to us?” I sat there and said, “I have two choices. I can either grab my knees and rock back and forth or I can figure out what’s next.” What I realized is that there’s a lot of large organizations that are either trying to do podcasting and doing it poorly or they have no idea where to start. 

I created the podcast host for hire program. What it is, is for the most part, these are internal-only streams-only on a secure platform podcast. Allowing companies to have an internal communication message that’s asynchronous and allowed to have communication across multiple divisions, multiple people, multiple projects, and allow to have better insight into the company. I help them with strategy. I voice the podcast for them and help them with the entire distribution channel, the editing, and everything.  

That became a COVID baby but it’s starting to become fairly successful. There are companies that are reaching out to me going, “What would this look like? Can we try a six-month trial to see whether it works?” People asked me three months ago, “Three months isn’t going to give you enough time to understand whether it’s going to work or not. We need to do it in six.” There’s a lot of companies out there where productions and conversation with a variety of different people doing test markets for them to see how this works for them and how this is making it better for them. So far, the information that I’m getting back is fairly positive. 

Give us an example of a company that would want to have its podcast. 

I can’t mention names because everything I do is under NDA, nondisclosure, but we’re talking about hundred million to multibillion-dollar corporations that are across different cities, different states, different countries, maybe they have multiple divisions. They probably have 1,000 more employees and they have multiple projects going on simultaneously because we’ll work on things like change management, culture and purpose issues, diversity and inclusion issues.  

If you’ve got a new division, project, or a new thing that you’re trying to get out into the marketplace, we’ll work with you to build a launch strategy for that through podcasting, so everybody knows. Everybody is on board and sales prepared to sell this thing when it goes out the door, so those are the types of issues that we deal with. Bangalore main has no idea what LA is doing and they readily admit it. That’s where we tend to get involved. 

They bring you in and say, “Ben, we need to create our own podcast. This is the goal for it. We need you to help us set it up and to get the right equipment.” If you’re reading and you want to set up your own podcast for your own company or how about if you want to help someone start their podcast business, would you be somebody that they should call? 

BYW 40 Ben Baker | Why Of Mastery
Why Of Mastery: Many organizations are either trying to do a podcast and are poor at it, or they have no idea where to start.


Not if they want to start their own podcasting business. If you’re looking to start your podcast, there are two different ways. If you’re a small to medium-sized business, I’ve got an online course called That’s a course designed for small to medium-sized businesses to teach themselves how to podcast effectively. It’s everything that they need. There’s a resource page, what do you need to do every day for your first 30 days to make sure that you’re successful. I host a monthly Zoom chat for anybody who is a client that they can come up and ask me anything. I have an email that people can email me if they’ve got questions. It’s designed for that.  

The next level is the companies that are sitting there going, “We want to start a podcast. We’re not do-it-yourselfers. We don’t want to do this. We want somebody who can grab us by the hand and help us through this.” That’s where the magic is. It’s to help them. Either I can host the podcast for them. I can co-host a podcast and teach somebody how to become a podcaster or I can train the person and give them the tools that they need to be able to be on the air themselves and be successful moving forward. My goal is to enable your company to shine on your own and for me to be there in the background like that security blanket. If you need me and how you need me, I’m here for you. I’m not going away but use me as it makes sense but let me help you set it up properly and get you up and running.  

That would have been so great when I was setting mine up for the first time. I had no idea what I was doing. I was winging it and doing a bunch of poor ones at first until you started to figure it out but I know there’s something about you that our audience doesn’t know, which I found fascinating. I’m going to ask you this question because I know you have an interesting answer. Why would I choose you for somebody to help me with my show because I know what you’ve been doing the last five years as far as being on other people’s podcasts? 

You would use me because I’m the person who’s going to have the details. I’m the person who’s going to be looking ahead. I’m the one who realizes that there are 2 million podcasts out there. In 2018, there were 500,000 podcasts and now there are over 2 million podcasts. Seventy-five percent of those podcasts fail within ten episodes. The reason for that is, people don’t understand why they’re podcasting, who they’re podcasting to, tone of voice, strategy, what they’re trying to achieve from the podcast, and how to set it up for success.  

For me, I’m all about the process and understanding you as a person or you as a company and no two podcasts are going to be the same. You and I could talk about the exact same type of things on a podcast. We could have the same audience, and your audience and my audience are going to get different insights out of the same information. We can even talk to the same guest and we’ll interview that person differently. That’s the beautiful thing about podcasts. You’re not in competition. What you’re doing is providing long-tail communication, building trust, and relationships with your audience, that eventually you’re going to sit there and go, “We should talk to them about the project that we’re working on. This isn’t advertising. This isn’t an immediate call to action thing. This is about know, like, and trust.”  

How do I know that you know all these details? That’s what I’m getting at because you told me something that surprised me. I was like, “You do that?”  

I’m trying to remember exactly what it is.  

You’ve been on 50 podcasts a year.  

That’s what you’re getting at.  

I was like, “Who goes on 50 podcasts a year to find all this information out?” Why are you on those podcasts? 

It’s true. I go on somewhere around 50 podcasts a year. My goal is 50. I made 57 in 2020. During COVID, it was a little easier but my goal is to find out what do people do, what people do not do well, what are the new and innovative things that people are doing like different intros, exits, and cadence that people have. They have a different tone of voice. People have different questions people ask and all that stuff gets built into a repository in the six square inches between my ears. It enables me to sit there and go, “Do this but certainly don’t do this. This will work for you but it won’t work for somebody else.” I’ve got somebody that we ended up putting the strategy behind the podcast and it’s a rock and roll podcast.  

It’s all upbeat heavy music and all that but that’s his audience. I would never listen to this thing in a million years but once we realize who his audience was, his audience is the young Turks. They’re the guys that are out there storming the walls in the business community. The guys want to work 80, 90 to 100 hours a week. The go-getters, the wannabes or call them whichever you are but that’s who this guy speaks to and that’s who his audience is. That’s who he relates to because he’s one of them. 

For me, it’s a podcast for these people, so the podcast needs to reflect that. I knew the perfect piece of music and perfect intro for him. I knew what we should be talking about who the first five guests should be. A lot of that came down to the fact that because I’ve been on 50-plus interviews a year besides my show, but plus the shows I do for other clients, it gives me insights into things that most people don’t have. 

In our case for you and I, when I knew I was going to have you on the podcast, you sent me an email and said, “I was listening to one of your show and you need to get a new microphone.” I’m like, “What?” You’re like, “It sounds like you’re underwater.” 

I felt bad about that. I never liked giving that advice to people because I’m certainly going, “I’m costing somebody money,” but I’m going, “If you’re doing one interview, you had a bad mic but not having good sound on a podcast is horrific, because nobody listens to it.” If people are fighting through the sounds of being muffled and stupid and nobody can understand what you’re saying, people are going to tune out. Nobody cares. You can be as brilliant as you want to be but if it’s not easy for people to listen to, they’re going to go find somewhere else to be. 

For the readers, Ben was going to be on the show and he sent me the email that said, “You need a better microphone.” I have a good microphone. The one I’ve been using all these years was at that time when I got supposed to be one of the best ones but he said, “That’s mid-level. You need to get a better one.” I ordered a new microphone, so I’m using this new microphone right now and I waited until I got it. In fact, I postponed our interview until I got it so I could have the good mic, so I wasn’t going to get a post podcast interview email that said, “I wish you had a better microphone for our interview.” I got a nice one here and hopefully, we sound better. 

Here’s the thing. You didn’t pay $500 for that. You certainly didn’t pay $1,000 for that mic. How much did you pay for that?  

About $150.  

For $150, you sound 100 times better and it’s not about spending a fortune. The mic that I’m using right now is $150. The new mic that I have on order is about $450. I’m ready for that next level of mic, but I’ve been using this mic for almost a few four years now and it’s time for me to take that next level up but for most people, a $150 microphone is all you’re ever going to need for your podcast. That’s going to make you sound good, it’s going to be crisp, it’s going to be clean and it’s going to allow you to be able to sound good to your audience. 

What’s interesting is I have headphones plugged into the microphone so I can hear my own voice in my ears where I couldn’t do that before with my other. I could do it. But I didn’t know that I could do that, so I didn’t know how I sounded. I’m sure this microphone is still better than what it was when you heard it, I didn’t have it in the right place on the right settings and I didn’t know that. You had me buy this one and I realized that I could hook my headphones up to it to hear myself. That little tweak was valuable, so you’re the guy that dives in deep, looks for all of the nuances and little things.  

That makes a big difference. That’s the whole thing with the why of mastery because that’s the question I asked you. If you remember, I said, “Your why of mastery, give me an example of an area that you have a lot of knowledge about.” You said, “Podcasting.” I said, “What do you mean?” That’s when you started talking about the 50 podcasts a year that you’re on, so what works so you see the nuances because it’s the little things that make the big difference is what you told me. It’s super valuable. 

I don’t need to know everything. There are a million things I don’t know about. My son is brilliant at Physics. My wife is brilliant at other things. Neither were the things that they’re interested in are not things that I want to spend a lot of time working on because I know if I have a question about it, I know where to go for the answer. My thing is, the things I want to know about, I want to know a lot about and because those are the things that are not only going to help me but are going to be helping to help my customers and my customer’s customers and that’s where I focus. 

Ben has half of his screen and on the other half of his screen, he has his logo and it says “What’s Your Story?” Tell us about that. What do you mean, what’s your story?  

What’s your story logo came out of Your Brand Marketing real logo. It’s two people sitting there talking to each other. That came from the show story but the first question I asked everybody is, “What’s your story?” I may not ask it directly. I may not sit there going, “Tell me about what your story is.” A lot of people ask us, “Where did you come from? Where are you? Where are you going? What are the things that are important to you? What are the challenges that you’ve had? What are the insights? What have you learned along the way?” That’s your story. The more we can understand people’s stories, the more we can understand what they’re passionate about, what they believe in, what’s the hill that they’re willing to die on, and what are the things that are so important to them that they’re deal-breakers.  

It's time for you to take that next level up. Click To Tweet

If we can understand that about people, we can help them better if we assume that everybody wants the same things that we do. As we all may be part of one race, the human race, but each person wakes up every morning with their own hopes, wants, needs, fears, and desires. It’s our job to understand people on their own terms. We don’t have to agree with it. We don’t have to believe what they believe but we need to understand and empathize with them because if we can, that’s how we can help them. That’s what your story is all about.  

Is there a way that you like people to tell their story or is it however you want to tell your story? 

I let people tell their own stories. It’s interesting. I do a show weekly. I know the first question that I’m going to ask somebody and I know the last question we’ve asked them as they walk up the door. Between that, it’s a conversation. It’s like, “What did you mean by that? Can you elaborate on that? Where did that take you? How did you feel when that happened?” The more I can sit there and listen not to interrupt, not listen to ask my next question but to actively listen to care and to go understand what their internal motivation is, the better the conversation is.  

I have guests ask me all the time, “Can you give me some prepared questions?” The answer is no because I don’t know what the questions I’m going to ask are and I tell them that. I said, “I don’t have a clue what I’m going to ask you until I ask you. I have done the research. I’ll comb through your social media and your website. If you’ve done other interviews, I’ve done that. If you’ve got a book, I’ve read the precis.” I never come into an interview unprepared but I don’t care where the conversations are going as long as I understand where we’re going. To me, I understand where I want to get to, this is the angle, and these are the things that we want to discuss. How we get there or what happens along the way doesn’t matter as long as it helps us achieve our goal. 

The last question I’m going to ask you. What’s the best piece of advice that you have ever given or have ever got from someone else? 

I teach it at universities all the time and I find that these 3rd and 4th-year students are smart but they have no idea how to tell their own story. I tell them, “You need to understand who you are. Don’t worry about a job title, career path, or any of that stuff. Understand what you’re passionate about and what you’re good at and they are different. Just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you’re good at it and vice versa. It’s got to be the combination of the two. If you can understand how you can solve people’s problems, listen, understand how to listen and understand people, and fix people’s problems, you will always do well, and your career will blossom regardless. It’ll go in directions that you never thought it will.” That’s the biggest piece of advice I probably give every 3rd and 4th-year student that I come across. The best piece of advice given to me is that a lot of what you see on stage is an illusion. Our job as speakers is to touch hearts and souls.  

If we can touch hearts and souls, they may not remember 90% of what we said but if they feel it, internalize it, it means something to them, they see how it benefits them, and see a clear path to success, that’s when you’ve got them. That’s when they’re onboarded and running with a check on their hand towards you. That’s what I do. Every time I’m on stage, it’s like, “How do I connect emotionally with this particular audience and how do I give them what they need to succeed?” Maybe not what they want, but what they need. 

Ben, if people are wanting to get in touch with you, they want to set up their own show, they want to connect with you, what’s your story, or the podcast host for hire, how do they get ahold of you? What’s the best way to connect with you? 

BYW 40 Ben Baker | Why Of Mastery
Why Of Mastery: The better you understand people, the more you can help.


The repository is Everything is there. There are 50 different websites that all push to one central location but the central hub is That is where my podcast is. That’s where all my programs are my workshops. Anything and everything that you want to know even free chapters of my two books are on there. People can download it for free. I don’t have a paywall. You don’t have to give me your email address or anything. You can even sign up for a free 30-minute conversation. I’m more than happy to talk to anybody. Find out what you’re trying to achieve and if I can help you, great. If I can’t help you, I’ll try to find somebody who can. 

Ben, I appreciate you taking the time to be here. I look forward to staying in touch with you as we continue on our journeys. I know that I was on your podcast, so that was exciting. I’m looking forward to staying in contact. Thank you for taking time out of your day to be here. 

Gary, I loved every minute of this. Thanks for being such a great host and I’ve enjoyed sharing the mic with you.  

Sounds great. Thanks, Ben, and thanks for my new microphone.  

You’re welcome but don’t send me the bill.  

Take care.  

Thank you all for reading. If you have not yet discovered your why, you can do so at The code for that is Podcast50. You can discover your why for 50% off. If you love the Beyond Your Why Podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, leave us a review, and rating on whatever platform you are using. I’ll see you all. Have a great week. 

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About Ben Baker

BYW 40 Ben Baker | Why Of MasteryBen Baker has been helping companies, and the people within them understand, codify, and communicate their unique value to others for nearly a quarter of a century.

He is the president of Your Brand Marketing, an Employee Engagement Consultancy, author of “Powerful Personal Brands: a hands-on guide to understanding yours,” and “Leading Beyond a Crisis: a conversation about what’s next,” and the host of IHEART and Spotify syndicated show with more than 250+ episodes behind him.

Ben believes that if companies understand, live, and build cultures around their purpose, employees will engage, stay, and want to grow with the company. This takes great leadership, communication, and awareness of the brand.