Create a career you love.
Dr. Benjamin Ritter is the Founder and Leadership Consultant of Life for Yourself Consulting.
LFY Consulting offers leadership and empowerment coaching and consulting services for intrapreneurial business professionals that are in managerial or directorial level positions and entrepreneurs that feel stuck or unfulfilled at work. They work with individuals to develop their personal brand, get clear on the work they were meant to do, and grow that into a meaningful career either in an organization or out on their own.
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Josh Elledge: Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.
With us right now we've got Dr. Benjamin Ritter. Dr. Can I call you Dr. Ben or
you can call me whatever you can call me Ben. If you'd like
to throw in though,
I just I I have this tendency if someone's got a doctor like I, I just love throwing that doctor in there named Dr. Ben just sounds really cool. That's very brandable I'm getting
I'm getting lab coats printed out even clinical. Well, great.
So So Dr. Ben, you are a Leadership consultant, you do a lot of speaking on this, you work with some great companies. And so you also work with individuals, can you kind of give me just kind of give us kind of an overview of what your, what your company does?
Yeah, so I work in two main different fields, I say that I work with individuals to help them create careers that they love. And that can be launching a business, it could be pivoting to an industry they have no experience in, or it could be navigating their current career space. But I also work with organizations to train their leaders to prevent them from ever becoming personal coaching clients. So how do you create organizations where your employees can actually feel that they're in a career that they can love?
And so obviously, I think there's going to be a lot of people that are going to say, Okay, well how did this because you now have a very successful practice, as a speaker as a coach. I mean, as your as a consultant. You do very, very good business and this is actually something that You haven't been doing this for decades and decades, you actually launched about three and a half years ago if I'm if I'm not mistaken. And there's really kind of this past year that you really went all right.
Yeah, like exponentially. And so I have been I have coached for eight years, but in different areas of industry, but three and a half years is where I kind of took a step back and said, What do I want to do with this? Where am I going? I was still working full time in healthcare. I just was promoted, like a year and a half before that into an executive level position. I had a bunch of things going on that were related to coaching. I was selected for leadership training programs for 16 months, I received a grant from the Public Health Department for six months of life coaching, like I was side hustling as a coach. And it was like, Okay, what I want to do with my career, where am I going, I have this experience as an entrepreneur, and I have this career track ahead of me in healthcare that I don't want, and I'm not really enjoying my side business. I need to really take control where I'm at what I'm doing and figure this stuff out. And from that brainstorm from that sit down, it was actually on a flight in the air going to LA, I created live for yourself consulting and basically plan out the next five to 10 years of my life.
It's amazing what can happen on an airport or an on an airplane. We're like, okay, there's nothing else to do. Bam, now it's time for my focused time to just start brainstorming all of this.
Yeah, there was there are actual moments where I booked flights, because you know, I have I can work anywhere. But I literally booked flights because I wanted three to four hours of being in the air where I only had my thoughts in the notebook. Yeah,
yeah. Okay, so obviously, I think a lot of people are going to want to know Okay, so how did you do it? Like how did you get the sales? How did you grow your practice? And I think that that for earlier stage, obviously, that's probably one of the number one number one concerns for you know, people that are also professional consultants have like, you know, I want a great steady stream of business. If I want to make an impact in the world, and so how did you solve that problem?
Yeah. So when I was first thinking, what do I need to build my business? What do I need to invest in? What is going to have the greatest ROI? And it really was like, Okay, I need clients, and we'll Okay, so how do we get clients and it was, well, I need to have trust, and I need to be seen as credible. So I initially went back because I know I wanted to work with more professional organizations and business professionals, and like proven entrepreneurs, I went back to get my doctorate in organizational leadership. And I actually ended up publishing in the field on value congruence and job satisfaction. So it's like credibility done door open, don't have the titles done. But I tell people all the time, when they come in, they come to me and say, Do I really need to go back to school and I say, No, that was that was the direction and path I took to build trust, right to build basically a brand immediately based on those credentials based on not having experience not having career capital, not having a network in The leadership development and coaching space. So that was my choice that was only one way out of many that I could have went after I ended up getting that credential it was okay, let's build a brand. So building a brand it's Do I have evergreen content online? am I creating an ad network that relates to the field that I want to work in? Am I putting in that grunt work and then trial and error in terms of what messaging really relates to my target audience? And where do I find them? And I tried a bunch of I mean, I think the reason why I exponentially shut up this past year was because I found the platform and I found the message that gave me clients and that that they took it took a while but my so I try to name my years my name for last year was crack the code, crack the code and where can I find clients because I don't have clients that have a business right. So I you know, I have a series of live events I host every month, I tried different different social media platforms and writing articles and appearing on different shows and appearing on you know, appearing on YouTube shows on on podcasts Live on live shows and panels and the sweetspot. For me, this really big sweetspot not just from building a brand or getting more evergreen content out there for getting clients has been LinkedIn. Yeah. Yeah. And and a certain type of messaging because I remember I would test out different messages, track that data to see what worked, what converted, what didn't work out replies, what got connections. And then once you figure out what works, you have quality, then you can just work on quantity and just throw it out there as much as possible. You can hire services, you know, you can set automation tools, you can, there's so many ways that you can do things on such a greater scale once you know what works
now. So we've got right now to Uber LinkedIn fans right now. And, you know, for us, you know, we're a little agnostic in terms of lead gen, but right now, I just for b2b, nothing comes even close to the potential that you can do with LinkedIn and we will We actually do a lot of sales system setup for our clients. But you know, so we've tested everything. And, you know, again, for b2b, I mean, we've we've done a lot of testing on Facebook, Google, you know, just just going and scraping data off the web, which is, you know, that is a way that you can reach out to people. But LinkedIn, just it's so doggone efficient right now. But this is my question for you. There's absolutely messaging that does not work on LinkedIn. And maybe you've tried some of that, and you've discovered some things that don't work very well. I'm curious what you have found that does not work well on LinkedIn.
Yeah. If you if you treat LinkedIn, like a sales tool, yeah, last, yep. You know, it's, you have to look at LinkedIn as if you're walking into a networking event and meeting people. For the first time and writing rules apply, if you walk up in pitch and pitch at all, you've automatically defined yourself as someone trying to take something. And if you ever define yourself as someone that's trying to take someone, take something from someone that isn't ready to buy from you right there that is certain buying stage where they don't know you, they're not, they haven't told you they're looking to buy anything, then you've lost them. Because now you're trying to take something from him take something from them instead of actually giving value, you know, and so any, anything that's formed as I need something from you, is a lost leader.
You know, so it's kind of like and this is, here's kind of my thinking on this is if you are selling a product, and that product is say, like $59, and that's your average lifetime value. You're just not going to have a lot to work with in terms of, you know, your outreach and messaging and so you're gonna have to rely more on you know, Cpl. CPA kind of advertising and paid ads. I mean, that's really your best option. If, however, and I'm just guessing, based on the services you provide, which we'll talk a little bit about, your average lifetime value is, is probably pretty valuable because of I know what you provide organizations. That's some pretty valuable stuff. So because of that, your average lifetime value and you probably have an okay close, right? It makes sense to spend, you don't want to just blast to thousands and thousands of people. That would be horrible, like because if I would, if I were, if you want to do if you want to meet a higher you, for example, and you're just blasting spam at me, I'm just going to ignore that right, you would ignore that. And so the idea is to spend more time on the front end with people and create a conversation. That's kind of a no brainer, as opposed to getting right into The sales pitch as it was that kind of, I would imagine that your philosophy on this
Yeah, and if if you are going to do any sort of pitch, let's say when a non organization, let's say I'm working with a personal coaching client, and I have a very targeted list of warm leads that might be interested in coaching, then a lot of times because of the brand I've built, I can send out a mass message that offers like a free clarity coaching session or something, oh, because they're already ready to buy, they're looking to buy and the conversion rate on that is fairly high. But if I'm looking for a contract with an organization at all, or I'm speaking to someone completely cold, and I need to invest the time in the relationship, and like you said, I can't, you know, these deals are fairly significant. spend the time to build that relationship. It's not even to create a sale. It's to build a relationship to build awareness of who I am, because, you know, you look at the leadership space. And you're like, there are so many people operating here. Well, in reality, if if someone's in an organization and they're the buyer of leadership development services, they're they're probably not googling leadership development services, you know, in XYZ city. They're they're probably going to other executives of VPS are people that they know in the area. And they're going, Hey, did you hire someone for leadership development, right? So if I built a positive, trusting relationship with my potential buyer or target market, all of a sudden, now, I am going to be the person they remember. Because they because there's not a you know, how many people do you keep in your head? Like, how many accountants Do you know? You know, how, you know how many, like, even even something simple like how many massage therapists Do you know how many personal trainers Do you know, and probably not a lot?
Yeah. And probably the person that you remember is someone that invested a little bit more time on the front end to build that relationship or you know, that they helped with someone that you know, like in your current network, you know, to The person who's listening to our conversation right now imagine if in 2019, your your major accomplishment was that you created four to 500 meaningful relationships with with an and they may have not purchased your services, but they network with people that inevitably they're going to have someone in their circle that that will purchase service and imagine if you know when it comes to top of mind now when they say leadership development, leadership development, you know, I had a conversation with a guy, let me check my email real quick because he seemed he seemed like a really cool guy and seemed like he was really talented knew what he was talking about. Imagine that you had an army of four to 500 people out there every year that know you and you are top of mind to them when the topic comes out in their life. how valuable that is.
An even if you just look at it. Once every other month. I'm going to reach out to this specific person to see how they're doing or send them a resource or to kind of, you know, really just ping that relationship. You don't even need four to 500 people, I'd say half that half that you're gonna massive scale. I mean, look, look at your average, you know, average Viper client. And then look how much you want to earn for your, for your lifetime. And then do the calculations and see how many people you really need to touch with, like, actually touch base with and have a strong relationship with. I mean, if you really break those things down, you can you can find your motivation, you can find the motivation to invest in relationships and create quality connections.
So document talk to me then about the actual give me a little bit more specific. Give me give some more some specifics on the problem that you solve within an organization or with an individual executive or leader or founder. In terms of how would they know Hmm, huh? This is coming up for us or for me, I could really Use Dr. Ben's help.
Yeah, within an organization, it's simple as wanting to increase retention and engagement. And so you're basically if you're looking at your, your financial statements, you're seeing a huge cost come from from turnover and, and costs from lower productivity. Because really, coaching now is a leadership skill that is becoming more and more prevalent for organizations and organizations are kind of throwing their hands up in the air and saying, how do we do this? How do we give our employees you know, more humanistic stuff, more human humanistic style of leadership, and if we just focus on like the extrinsic factors like pay or benefits, then people are going to, to not feel truly connected to their job, not feel that their work is meaningful, and they're going to leave, and that affects that I mean, luckily, hopefully they leave. Cuz if you have a disengaged employee, they're more expensive than an actual employee. That's like, semi engaged. Right, really look at look at the bottom line in terms of what are your turnover rates? Are employees engaged in their work? What's the ultimate like? How what's the culture of our environment where they're working in? And if those if those things need improvement, that's where you can look at we'll do our do our leaders actually feel empowered to be a coach at work to connect with their employees in a way that individualizes leadership that focuses on intrinsic factors that that basically, make your employees want to come to work every day make them excited.
Yeah. And so for ourselves, let's say that someone is, maybe they're just working with a handful of independent contractors. But what would they feel within themselves where they say, you know, what, Dr. Ben can help me.
So basically, I work with a lot of clients that are very achievement oriented. Mm hmm. I'm pretty good at getting stuff
done. I know these people.
So you probably even Despite any sort of professional success, you probably don't feel successful, feel more successful, you feel like you could achieve more you could obtain more. Yeah. and due to that, you feel stuck. And due to feeling stuck, you also feel overwhelmed. That could also relate to higher levels of stress and frustration. Yeah. And and really, ultimately, you feel like you could be doing more, you should be doing more, but you don't know what that is. Or if you know what that is, you actually can't take yourself like get yourself to actually take action to get there.
Yeah. Let me give you a scenario if I could be very vulnerable here is, you know, I, I'm a high achiever from like 10 to six, right, and that like I'm generally pretty on, but I'm dissatisfied. And then I'm usually a couple of hours of taking care of family stuff or whatever few hours and you know, taking care of stuff around the house. Maybe I'm exercising before afterwards, but I find that I spend And more time than I'm comfortable with, with downtime, like in terms of like, I can very easily go from 9am to 9pm to one in the morning on my iPad, you know, streaming stuff, browsing Reddit browsing the news, you know, playing Sudoku play, you know, whatever it is, right. And I'm mildly unsatisfied with that, like, I think that I could be doing better. So what would what do you think the first steps that I would take? If I say, Listen, I just want to I want to change this behavior. Or like I expect more of myself? Or maybe I'm being too hard on myself. I mean, what are you kind of hearing in that scenario?
You kind of hit it on the head a little bit at the end there because he started exploring the actual emotion. Yeah, first step to do anything is to get curious about that emotion. Is it? Is it a Is it the fact that you have misled expectations? You're too hard on yourself? Or is it that you need that time to recharge for some reason that something else is off? Or what it what is what is the desire actually mean? So dissect that a little bit more. And I'm not sure how much time we have right now. But first you dissect that you understand what that emotion is really telling you. And then when you figure out what that emotion is telling you actually figure out well, I need to gain greater clarity on how to achieve what I truly want, it ends up being I actually do want to change his behavior, then it's exploring, well, what does that what does that behavior give you? And can we can we find other ways to give that to you with a behavior that you actually would prefer? So getting clarity first on the emotion itself, getting clarity on what you actually want to achieve for yourself? And then once you gain a little bit of clarity in terms of, of those two specific issues, you can take action forwards to either alter the behavior or accept the fact that your body needs that behavior. Hmm. Yeah.
That's I you know, I bet just some Yeah. No, I need a plane ride is what I need. Boy, there's a good call back.
Well, let's say let's say you had full control over your time that and you didn't actually have any sort of habit to be on, you know, do do Sudoku puzzles, or to stream live, you know, videos and things like that. What would you prefer to be spending your time?
Hmm, yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, you know, left to my own devices, you know, I would work 24 hours a day, but I guess I, you know, part of it is like, you know what, I did that for a lot of years. And that's, it's really hard like emotionally so in some ways, let me tell you what I think is going on and if you have a hard sell, do you have a hard stop right now? No, no, I have a few more minutes I have a few more minutes and and by the way, thank you to the listener who's like listening in on this therapy session here. So uh, you know, to at this point in our business like things are really like we're doing well right now. And it's, I tell you, it's been years and years like we had a great you know, at horrible I mean, decades of Pain, you know, until I launched savings Angel 13 years ago. And then the first two years were really tough and I was working, you know, 1216 hours a day, every single day. And then things really took off. And then I was able to, you know, train for and run marathons and and, you know, do personal things that I was really interested in. And then consumer interest in what we were providing really started tanking. But thankfully, I'd start doing some consulting on the side. But, you know, we had a handful of years there that were a little like, Okay, I'm back in startup phase again. And now, you know, we're year five without my influence, and I've got an amazing team. I love generally love everything that I do. You know, we're making an impact. And, you know, I am finding where I can take a little bit more free time. And that's, I got to tell you that that's actually very recent. So this is actually a pretty new phenomenon. So it could Be that I've just maybe enjoying kind of getting to a base camp right now in so, you know, I'm going to base camp here for just a little while longer and then, you know, knowing that I'm gonna have you know, it's kinda like a Jim Rohn seasons of life kind of thing. Maybe that could be what's going on. I love this. This is why I love having a podcast I can tell I step out with really smart people.
Congrats, congrats. Yeah, I would say, I mean, I'd be curious say like, what would life be like, if you didn't have to work? And what would you spend your time on? Oh, gosh, yeah, please, then look at your life now and say, Well, now I have this free time. And is this really how I want to be spending my time because
I think I do. If I were, if I were absolutely retired, I mean, I would I would spend I would still spend a solid eight hours a day, just engaged in creation and making the batter. Like I have to do that like for me, like, I can't imagine retirement without that contribution of just, you know, I'm all about self feeding and self nurturing and growth. But I also need to give and produce things like that's just, it's just innate in who I am.
So maybe that nine to 1am time slot needs to start off with, these are my successes of the day. This is what I did. This is what I accomplished. Now I can do whatever I want and I give myself permission, it is my job to literally not care about what I spend my time on. Right? Hmm, wow, this is gonna be completely devoted to me. And so you almost just give yourself permission each day. Like literally say it out loud if you need to, to then just be free. Because you've had your success. You've done what you need to do. And then you may decide during that time that will actually have this one thing that I really want to spend my time on that isn't just kind of edging out and that's Because you made that decision, like specifically
for yourself, you know, my biggest hope is that there's someone who is encountering a similar situation as me and that this was super valuable for them. Otherwise, thank you so much for listening in on my therapy session. So Dr. Ben, one thing that you provide is that you have a free report. Tell me about that to 12 traits you need for success that only rely on you.
I'd say the I mean, the huge bulk of my coaching programs, honestly, is, is just getting the mental game. Right, right, is getting your head on straight. And so I've discovered 12 specific traits that that you can develop within yourself. I mean, I talked about self leadership, I said, the most important leader you're ever going to meet in your life is going to be yourself. It doesn't have to be a mentor. It's not going to be just it's not going to be a boss or superior. It's literally going to be you're always making your own decisions for yourself. And so if the if these 12 traits are off, if you haven't spent time developing them, you're Gonna find you're gonna find it very, very difficult to create success for yourself.
Yeah. Well so Dr. Ben, your website is if you could share your website anything else that people you'd love for them to know about like how they can engage with you learn about your services I'll just give the website here it's LiveForYourselfCon
sulting.com in terms of social media, which is your favorite to engage with with new people on you know, I will respond to any message on LinkedIn or Instagram is usually where I'm most active. I actually am not very active on Instagram anymore, but it used to be kind of the main place but now LinkedIn I'm it's my home. So if you want to send me a personal message, I will I will read and reply to
that sounds great. And and who would be again, I think we already kind of talked about, you know, kind of the ideal person that could benefit from your services. But let me ask Where are you based and geographically do you serve But where do you serve? Like who else would qualify to work with you?
It's a personal coaching clients are all remote. So you're anywhere in the world, I can work with you. If you're based in Chicago, we can actually say hi to each other and attend some of my events if you want. Yeah, and then for organizations, I go and show up. And so that's also really anywhere. So it's pretty. I travel a decent amount sometimes. A bulk of my work is in Chicago,
and where are you in Chicago? So my wife is originally from Gurnee and and Desplaines and northern northern area, you know, Wicker Park. I've been in this neighborhood for probably about Oh, yeah,
Yep. You're, you're in you're in the city or around the city anyway, right,
like hearing ambulances when I go about my day.
Ah, well, Dr. Ben, thank you so much for joining us. Again, your website is LiveForYourselfConsulting. Thank you so much for kind of chatting with me personally as well. It's really great chatting with you. was people got great minds and again, I appreciate your wisdom and experience and leadership consulting. Thanks so much for joining us. And thank you for having me.
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