Mike Ciorrocco is the CEO of People Building, Inc. He is a performance coach, author, dynamic public speaker, visionary, and thought leader.
His podcast, What Are You Made Of? helps thousands of people become successful in their own professions. He also is a division manager at Nations Lending, a residential mortgage company. He is dedicated to helping others in various ways.
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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; we'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.
And with us right now we've got Mike Ciorrocco, also known as C-Roc. And Mike, you're the podcast host of what are you made of? And you have a background in real estate. And today, you're a well known speaker. You're a consultant you consult with small business owners with sales professionals with executives. Hey Mike, thank you so much for joining us.
Thanks for having me. Josh fired up to be here and talk to your audience to bring the water you made up movement to your audience.
Sounds great. So Mike, where do you come from? What do you do?
Well, I live in Maryland, Ocean City, Maryland. I have a background in real estate and running a mortgage company, the vision for nation's lending. And I've been doing that for in the real estate industry for 2000 2005. So what's that 15 years now? And so yeah, that's what that's what I'm doing and also got, obviously into the podcasting consulting world recently. And everything has just taken off with it.
Now in the mortgage and real estate space, you actually had quite a, you have quite a few accolades. You're not just a normal run of the mill. Guide showed up and just punched a clock. You did some stuff, go ahead and brag if you would. All right, first of all,
my friends and I, since we were about I guess we've known each other since we were 10 years old, there's four of us. We started a company from the ground up, mortgage company and got it to just under 10,000 dollars in revenue. And that one fell apart because of culture because of the ownership was a little bit out of our control. But we we take full responsibility for letting it happen. And then two years ago, we started with nations lending, again, from the ground up, started our division and just passed the $5 million revenue mark in less than two years. So we can move very, very fast. Because of the actions that we take, and the lessons that we've learned in the past, and we we try to develop people. It's not about me, it's not about my partners, it's about the people that work with us, and developing and building people. And that's what we focus on here, Josh.
And so what are the basic tenants of that? So if I'm the founder of a company, you know, I'm kind of this accidental CEO, you know, I just kind of started off doing something and then I started hiring more people, you know, now all of a sudden, I've got, you know, 10 to 20 people on the team. What are some best practices that you advise just in terms of you know, and you explained something that you had an issue with and in what One of your former companies, and that was culture. What did you learn specifically about that? He said, You know what, because of my experience with that this was what I believe that, you know, I'm going to make sure as a part of every company moving forward, and if I can be an evangelist for this, it would be what?
Well, first of all, about two years ago, I found my fire. I had a fire inside of me, I wasn't aware of what it was and how to use it. So let me take you back for a minute to when I was 11 years old, I came from a broken home, like maybe a lot of your listeners, I don't, I've never been to my parents together. And I used to do the every other weekend thing with my parents. And for three years from eight to 11. My dad sold me on living with him. And it I went through a lot of emotional and psychological abuse, things that a kid shouldn't go through. And when I was 11, I realized I didn't know the word culture, but I realized that that this was not an environment conducive to success or happiness as a kid. I just knew something wasn't right. And I started feeling like it was my fault those things were going on and then became aware of It wasn't. So I decided to tell my dad or tell my mom to get me out of here. My dad found out through court papers. And my dad, who was my hero at the time, had a masonry business. And that's why you see the black bricks back here, had a masonry business brick layer, block layer, and he was my hero, really good businessman. And he always had this wad of hundred dollar bills in his pocket. And when he found out that I wanted to leave and move in with my mom, he asked me if I was sure, because my mom wasn't that well off. And we my dad's house, we're going on trips and going out to dinner all the time in these nice restaurants and doing all the things you can do with money. And I told him, No, I'm leaving, because happiness is more important to me. So what he did was he took that $100 bills out of his pocket and he peeled one off, and he crumpled it up and threw it at me and said here, you're going to need this when you're living on the streets with your mother one day. Now that was 11 years old, and no kid should ever have that happen. His hero gave gives up on it. And that's what went through my mind right there for a second I was devastated. But then after that within a minute Two things popped into my head. One was, I'm not going to let him win. I was going to be a better businessman, Father than him husband than him person than him. That's what went through my head, my stubbornness. And then secondly, I knew that I couldn't be the only one that had been given up on in their life. I just knew that, you know, I can't be alone in this. There's got to be other people. And I want to be a role model for people and help others that have been through the similar situation. And Josh, I had no idea what I was going to do, except at that point, I was just going to strive to be the best and people were going to see that and eyes would be on me after I go through this because my family knew this was happening. And they're going to watch and see what happens to Mikey, as they used to call me back in the day. Then as things came about two years ago, I started to realize that that fire was designed to help people that have been through this not just by being a role model, still do that. But really focus on the people and see what you can do with them, building them up, whether it's leadership, communication, emotions, family life, they're saying As in business or finance, whatever it is, I am in the mortgage business for that to my vehicle, but I really am in the people building business, Josh. Yeah.
So I'll give you our four top things that we did when we started our company. The second time around and we focus on number one was gratitude. We have to let each other know how thankful for we're thankful for each other we are. And that's important because everybody decides when they come to work now that these people appreciate me, I'm coming here more than just a job not just to pay my bills. There's something more to it. And so we have a gratitude exercise every day. I'm sorry, every week in our sales meeting, we'll go around the group, and we name one person in the team that we're thankful for and something that they did the prior week, that has changed the game for our organization. Our processors used to get upset because the salespeople didn't appreciate them. Yeah. And now that's gone. Number two, we have our our goals and visions are very, very clearly defined. Our intentions are clearly defined amongst the team and we make sure We have alignment amongst a team with the individual goals and the team goals. If they're not in alignment, we get them in alignment. Or we give an exit door opening for people to leave, and we help them leave. So that's number two. Number three is accountability amongst our team, not just from leadership, but we hold each other accountable. We have a we accountability. So we don't have a problem with some of our team members calling up another person if they don't show up to a meeting or if they don't pull their weight or anything. And we have a way to go about asking it how's everything going? Everything okay, is there anything I can help you with because you didn't do this? And so that's changed the game and number four is unlimited income potential for everyone, including non sales staff, salespeople have unlimited income potential because if they sell more, they make more. But we told all of our staff that we need a brand ambassadors, we need people going out asking for business and bringing revenue into the company. So we'll take all of our processors and pay for their licensing for to be an ELO and they can go ask for And everybody that they've run into and talk to, they're asking, Do you know anybody that needs financing anybody's buying or selling in the next six months. And all that's done is is creates new revenue for our company that takes care of the overhead for the people that aren't generally producers. And it helps them have unlimited income potential where these people are doubling their incomes. And so, these four things have been a game changer for our business. And when we implemented them, our business went up 400% year over year.
What do you think happens if you don't take your team through that gratitude? I mean, what, what do you think the difference would be? I'm just saying, Listen, this whole past year if we never did the gratitude stuff, this is probably where we would be without that.
Yeah, I know it because I saw what happened when we built our company to over $10 million in revenue. The first company that we were in, in the mortgage business, we had everything going well. Hmm. Except for culture. We had it for periods of time so you can do well in a business or a new sales. Anything that you're doing in life, you can do well for a period. But if you don't have cultures, your foundation, a great culture, it won't last long. So what we didn't have that. So I've seen it without the gratitude, and I've seen the animosity that happens. I've seen the finger point that happens, the blame game happens. And when people are thankful for each other, your support staff will run through a wall for you. And so that's the difference I've seen so you can do well and then it just there's no foundation and it crumbles and people don't appreciate each other and when the difficult decision comes, and they have to make a decision one way or the other, they always choose themselves without gratitude instead of the team.
So I would imagine your training meetings for your sales training meetings are not a always be bc closing right? And you know, where you're, you know, again, just kind of threatening people but you're evoking this sense of community Hey, we're all in this together here. And you know, we we sink or swim together. So let's do everything we can to support one another. You know, as opposed to they'll, you know, again, if you're working in mortgage sales, you know, it could be easy to be very transactional in the office. So, you know, one, I guess one, one challenge you here would be, what are some ways that that folks could implement this if they have all virtual teams?
Well, with technology what we do, especially right now, where we're all working from home, because of the current situation going on in the world, we have Microsoft Teams. So we have Microsoft team meetings, and I require everyone to put on their video even if they're at home. Because it's just like being in the same office with someone and talking to them face to face. You can't actually touch them or smell them or they have cologne on or something like that. But you have all the other advantages, can't cough on them and call for them and spread diseases. But, um, the main thing that we get from this is We have the clear vision of where we're going. But we all believe our and I said, when we make our vision and our goals are huge, like we go after big things, because we all understand now that there's so much limitations that are imprinted on our brain from our past. And from people from that we've grown up with our family, we want to remove those limits, because we don't know what limits are real. And just because somebody else is only producing so much doesn't mean that that's what you're gonna do and that you can't pass them. So we raise our goals up real high, and we have everybody starting to believe in it, the people that aren't believing it, we pluck them out and send them on their way. And every time that we've done that our business has skyrocketed. When we've gotten rid of people that aren't in line with our goals, it's okay to not be aligned with our goals, but you can't be here. So, for virtual world, if you just get on these use technology, and it's got to be consistent. The message has got to be consistent. You've got to be doing things consistently, daily. Training daily, constantly being overwhelmed with it with the mission. And a lot of people don't do that nowadays because they think it's obsessive. Or they think that we're just supposed to be doing our transactions you want if you're just doing transactions, they end when the transaction is over. So we focus on building people in our organization, building relationships amongst us with the gratitude, and then we go into our clients and our referral partners and do the same thing with them. And so now, after the transaction is over, the relationship isn't over because we started in a relationship. And then we have the follow up process of ways to stay in touch with them, help them with things, answer questions for things, and we let them know, this isn't a transaction to us. This is a relationship we started we're here for you the rest of your life. And it works.
Now. I think a lot of times people could probably use the foul. We're not in office. So we don't need to focus on or we can't focus on culture and so it's easy not to make it a priority. So when you say culture, you know, again taking the time to encourage the the interpersonal or focus upon the why behind what we do. I mean, these would all be parts of that. But are there any other things that that you would recommend that that teams particularly virtual teams do on a regular basis? And particularly, I think, what should the leader be doing to set that sail?
Well, first, first of all, we will in order to set the sail we have a very clear like I said intention of what we're trying to accomplish and why we're trying to accomplish this. And we let everyone know that and let everyone know that we need to know what your goals are what's your what you want to focus on what matters to you. Okay, because the team's individual goals matter to me. their financial problems are my problems, their family problems, relationship problems are my problems, their weaknesses each individual person on my team weaknesses are my weaknesses. So we explain that to them, and let them know this is why we're focused on these things. And we want to continue to do that because we're not just doing loans here. We're trying to be the greatest that we cannot do in loans help the most amount of people and not be like everyone else. You know, what sets you apart from every other company. It's not just like, Look, everybody's got like, for example, in the mortgage business, everybody's got same kind of products. Most people go down to a certain credit score, most people can do closings fast, what separates you as a person and an individual. And so Josh, also, I think that the authority position in in in life and in business provides you with the ability to increase margins for your company as well. And the more you do not handle it as a transaction, the more authority that you have, the more expertise you have in your field allows you to have a higher profit margin as a company because we are in business to make money and obviously in business, you don't want to price gouge But there's a range, there's a window of people, services, prices for services, people pay every company, ideally, you want to be here at the top. Because if you're not at the top and you're down at the bottom, you're not gonna be able to provide great service, right? So there's some things we go over and we train our people on these kind of things. I encourage my people to learn about business and treat their position as a business. And I am very transparent when it comes to our business with them. Because that's to me, that's that, that creates a bond with us. And they understand where I'm coming from when I tell them a certain thing that they need to do. They understand the why.
So Mike, you're leading a successful office, and you're, you know, again, kind of setting the sail for for your team. How did you start then taking your platform and making it known that you're available to other people?
So 2017 I started getting this I was coaching my team all the time sales meetings, and People building. And I started at home, I would get this sense that I kind of, there's something missing here. I just had this thing i don't know if i know everybody's had something to the spec, but some kind of intuition, some kind of voice. And so I kept telling my wife, I said, I kind of feel like I got to speak, I got to get out in the world. So I sent a message to a buddy of mine, that's a speaker, and somebody that I respect. And the message that I got back was not what I expected. I had a feeling that he would say, maybe, hey, come, come hang out with me. I'll mentor you maybe come with me, one of my events, whatever. The thing he said to me was this, grow your following. And then that's it. And I hadn't heard from him again. After that, even though I've set up another message. He didn't respond back. So I'm like, Okay, this must be important, grow your following. So then I've started thinking to myself, and I got involved with Grant Cardone and the TEDx movement and started following the things that they were talking about because it stuck to me or he spoke to me I could I could relate to what he was talking about. And so I think started being obsessed with getting known. And we're all worried about getting known in our local market. And I said, You know what? The local market is small compared to what we want to achieve. And a lot of the people in the local market thought they were bigger than they should be. Some real estate agents have this ego about them. And it's very hard to break through that. And they didn't want to talk to anybody. And they thought they knew everything. So I said, Alright, that's fine. We're going to go around that we're going to go global. And I started being obsessed with getting known globally. And I said, If I get known globally, and take this message that I came up with, what are you made of? Because this came from when I was a kid. And anytime I run into a hard time, I think to myself, What are you made of look at all the stuff you went through and the custody battles your dad given up on you sitting in a child psychology, a psychiatrist's office to see if you were mature enough to make a decision on who you want to live with. I've been through all that that stuff. So anything I go through now Josh is simple. So I want to take this message here, the way mo we call it way mo that's the short for what he made up. We want to take this to millions of people now. So I need to go global and then the local markets will take care of themselves. And it has this things taken off. Once I told my story, people's feedback blew me away, I didn't realize people cared about my story. I didn't think people would relate to it. I thought it was normal that something I ever known when people started giving me feedback and the people that I started impacting, it started giving me fuel and rocket fuel from from for my mission. And so what happens now is this movement and the podcast started feeding our mortgage business. And when we go out to realtors locally now, and they see the Instagram account that I've been following that I've created that my buddy told me create a following. And they stay listen to the podcast, and they see where I'm coming from, and what's light my fire and how they can relate to me. They want to do business with us. And we're not asking them now they're asking us to do business with us, which is a weird phenomenon to me that I don't have to chase or call people they call us and ask us and they want to set zoom meetings just like this and say, Hey, can we have a zoom meeting with you and I want to hear about your business. We'd love to work with you. Yeah.
So sometime last year, look like your your Instagram really started taking off. So what were you doing to drive attention to your Instagram channel?
So a couple things. One, the podcast, I got the podcast out. And what I did every single day is I have a mission that I'm on on all platforms, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. And I do a lot of videos on Instagram, live YouTube Live, not YouTube, live Facebook Live, I'm getting ready to do YouTube Live. I started trying to be omnipresent and just try to be every single place. And then every single day i and this is crazy guys, I might sound crazy to you. on LinkedIn, and Instagram, I'll send messages to targeted individuals that I want to connect with. And I just send a quick message out to them, and they don't all respond, but the ones that respond, I start talking to them and engaging with them, introducing them to the podcast and tell them to tell their friends and family about it. And then so what happens is I repeat People I reach have friends and family. So I'm reaching certain people, but then it multiplies exponentially because of the fact that the approach that I'm taking and I'm literally Josh, I'm obsessed with it, if you can't tell with the passion that's coming through this, right now, I, you have to be obsessed with any goals and commitments that you have. And so what happened was I started seeing this, this cycle of growth, and then I just kept feeding me. And so that's where it comes from. And of course, there's there's methods that you can do with the podcast, and with Instagram to get more exposure. Back in the day, they used to have bots and everything with Instagram where you could grow your grow your following. And of course, that doesn't even work anymore. Instagram caught on to that shut those accounts down, and all that. So now you have to get creative, and you have to really literally be obsessed and omnipresent with it. And over the last actually last couple weeks, it's even grown further. And one other thing I'll tell you, I encourage everyone to get into mentor groups that are out there. That So many now mentor groups where people jump on zoom calls with as little as five people, accountability groups, or 1000 people. And when you do that, and you engage in those groups, whether they're free or if you have to pay for them and invest in yourself, the networking that happens throughout the world now can grow your following as well. So I have people from Australia that I know the UK, South Africa, I've connected with so many people throughout the world through those little mentor groups.
And so Mike, if I wanted to invest like and and hire somebody or invest money in my Instagram growth, like where would you put it because bots don't work right now. But what can you do?
There's several companies out there that do that. That'll help you with your branding that will help you with sending those messages out. They also with your content creation and and also basic guidelines to follow up how many posts should you post per day? How many stories should you post per day is consistency important? Of course it is. What else Oh, the types of pictures you should be putting up on your on your page. There's people that will guide you. And by the way, speaking of that, not just Instagram, Josh, but anything that you do that you don't know how to do, if you don't have the time to look it up on Google Facebook, that's a helicopter, sorry. And you got to keep, you got to keep in, in the know that you need to invest in in yourself. So I'd hire someone that has the knowledge to do things for me or teach me how to do it, and not even blink an eye. So for example, with Instagram, hire somebody to do it for you or show you how to do it. assistance if you don't want to send messages out like I do. Instagram LinkedIn, 10 a day, by the way, 10 a day each each platform I send messages out. Yeah, how many is that in a month 600 messages just on LinkedIn and Instagram that go out to people. It's work, but but you got to do it. And if you don't want to do it, have somebody send those initial message. Just out and then you just respond to the ones that answer by time for people to do that. So there's there's so many things and I look back actually, Josh that the some of the stuff that I've accomplished over the last year, I'm not blowing my own horn or to my own horn here. I'm not talking about that, but I'm talking about the work that went into it. And I can't even believe that I did all the stuff that I did.
Awesome. All right. Well, Mike, it makes Rocco you friends again. They call you see rock, you're the podcast host of what are you made of? Again, long and storied past within the mortgage industry built a lot of success. So today, Mike, you know, again, you're a speaker, you're a consultant, who would be a great person that you could help and what do they do to get in touch with you?
So any entrepreneur, salesperson or anybody that's looking to figure out what they're made of and use their past setbacks, let downs anything that appears negative is rocket fuel for their future, go to WAYMOCrew, W A Y M O, WAYMOCrew.com Ford slash(/) Blueprint, I've put together my blueprint that I use, and I'll give it to you for free WAYMOCrew.com Ford slash(/) Blueprint. Check it out. You'll also see a, a sneak peek of my book that's coming out this summer called What Are You Made Of As Well? And I'm fired up about that, to get that out to people so that they can start using the blueprint.
Excellent. All right. I'm there right now. So, Mike, I want to thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for a great insight, particularly in culture, and I appreciate some of the insights on your Instagram growth. You got a following of over you've got over 49,000 as a when we're recording this, you've got over 49,000 followers. So congratulations on that. And it is obviously growing on a regular basis. So you're doing good stuff. Congratulations on this and thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.
Thank you Josh. I appreciate you having me man. WAYMO, WAYMO.
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