Tag Archives: entreleadership

Our Debt-Free Scream With Dave Ramsey

Posted on November 7th, 2013 | Leave a Comment
We’re wrapping up a special Dave Ramsey Week here at T60 the best way possible… with our debt-free scream. All week we’ve been focusing on some EntreLeadership marketing lessons, but today it’s all about wrapping-up our debt-free story.

Mrs. G and I became debt-free (besides our mortgage) a couple of months ago. Over the last four years we have paid-off the lease on an SUV, all of our credit cards, business debt and a student loan. Let me tell you… that debt-free scream last Friday felt pretty good.

I blogged about our debt-free journey back in September, so I won’t rehash what’s already there. All we have left to pay off is our house and that’s next on the list. We are committed to being debt-free for the rest of our lives, and that includes our business.

Anyway, for me, one of the most inspiring parts of Dave’s radio show continues to be the debt-free screams. People who have sacrificed to win, call-in or make the trip to Nashville where the show is broadcast to share their story and proclaim they’re debt-free. Every time I heard one of those calls over the last four years I thought to myself… someday we’re going to do that. I was pretty determined.

Behind the scenes of our debt-free scream

Well, we got our chance last week. As a birthday surprise to me, Mrs. G contacted Dave’s team and arranged for us to do our scream there in Nashville the day before my birthday. Yeah, she’s pretty awesome.

We arrived at Dave’s studio which sits behind some glass in the lobby of Financial Peace Plaza… the home of his company. It was especially cool for me because they recently started broadcasting video of the radio show everyday live on the internet, so I spent most of our time there chatting with members of his video staff.

Our Debt-Free Scream with Dave RamseyWhen it came time for our scream they gave Mrs. G and I some headphones, and a member of Dave’s team occupied our daughter. The interview went by so fast. It was nearly 9-minutes long, but it felt like just a couple of minutes. We both had things we wanted to say and failed to talk about.

Mrs. G wanted to mention that in addition paying off our debt, we managed to pay for our wedding with cash as well as the medical expenses associated with the birth of our daughter. I wanted to talk about how paying off our debt has completely changed our outlook on money, and how we don’t plan to change the frugal lifestyle we’ve grown comfortable with.

Despite that, we were both happy with the interview, and the actual debt-free scream was fun. Dave came out to the lobby a couple of times while we were there, so we got some photos with him and chatted for an another 5-minutes or so.

My Nashville takeaway

It was great to meet Dave and thank him personally for the financial plan that has put us on solid ground, but that’s not what the trip was about. It was really a stepping stone to the next phase of our lives. I feel so fortunate that Mrs. G and I were able to start our marriage working this plan together. I think it has only strengthened our relationship, and we now know that we can tackle any challenge that comes our way.

Was it tough? Yes. Did it take a long time? Yup. Was it worth it? Totally.

We’ll look forward to another trip to Nashville after we pay off our house and finish Baby Step 6.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 12 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.


Seth Godin Video Marketing Lessons

Posted on November 4th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Dave Ramsey Week: Seth Godin Video Marketing LessonsWe’re kicking off a special Dave Ramsey Week here at the T60 blog that will culminate on Thursday with a blog post about our trip to Nashville to meet the man himself and do our debt-free scream on his radio show. For now, however, we’ll stick to video, marketing and what we can all learn from Dave and his EntreLeadership team.

If you’re not familiar with EntreLeadership, I’ll let Dave explain it to you (VIDEO). He recently re-did the EntreLeadership website and I love it. I subscribe to the free portion of the site, and it offers a wealth of valuable material on operating a business. One of my favorite recent posts laid out the takeaways from Seth Godin’s appearance on the EntreLeadership podcast.

Video Marketing Lessons Courtesy Seth Godin

Godin talked about three main things for marketing success.

  • discipline is key
  • a matter of trust
  • share your story

Those are great takeaways, but they also tie specifically into video marketing.

Share your story… yes, storytelling is a fantastic way to communicate. You should be sharing all sorts of stories from throughout your business. Share stories about how your products were created. Introduce team members and let them talk about their jobs and their lives. Produce stories that answer customers’ frequently asked questions. I could go on and on, but you get the message. Your stories can be highly effective marketing tactics.

A matter of trust… that’s what video can help you earn. We trust people we know. Video allows you to speak with your customers. It gets you in front of them. It allows them an opportunity to get to know you through your stories. The more they see, the more they’ll trust you.

Discipline is key… you need it for a successful video campaign. Whether it’s the discipline needed to follow-through on producing a whole series of videos, or if it’s simply sticking with a plan to continually promote a single video via email and social media. Discipline is the character trait that will keep your video strategy rolling.

Seth Godin wasn’t speaking to video specifically, but he might as well have been. The power of video… it can do great things for your company if you go for it.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 12 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Pride Improves Your Performance

Posted on January 10th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Picture 1EntreLeadership podcast host Chris LoCurto got me thinking yesterday. He blogged about how he shifted his leadership mentality from customer-first to team-first and the benefits that followed.

It got me thinking about how T60 does things. See… I’m a solo-preneur. I pretty much do it all. I occasionally get help from freelancers, my wife certainly, but something really stands out for all of us.

Our standards

Everyone who works for T60 has high standards. Our videographers and editors… take their craft seriously. My wife… wants perfection. And I comb through every frame of the videos we produce.

I’m sure a lot of this is lost on our customers. In many cases, we’re looking at details they don’t see or even think about, but that’s okay.

Influenced by college football legend

Picture 2My college football coach John Robinson used to tell us, “Just do your stuff.” What he meant was if everyone focuses on their job, the team will succeed.

That’s what we do. Each of us takes pride in our performance, and the customer gets a great video.

Does pride play a role in your job performance?

–Tony Gnau

Company Culture As A Sales Tool

Posted on December 18th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

EntreLeadership-PodcastI was recently listening to Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership podcast about his no gossip policy, and it really hit home for me.

The discussion turned to company culture with podcast moderator Chris LoCurto interviewing best-selling author Jon Gordon. Not only have I worked in worked in good and bad cultures, I’ve also seen how a company can leverage its culture as a sales tool.

Case Study

Electri-Flex is a suburban Chicago-based company that specializes in producing electrical conduit. The leadership and employees there are passionate about their product, but maybe even more so about their culture.

We produced their company video. They wanted something their sales team could carry with them to show prospects what they’re all about, and culture is the focus of the video.

My initial reaction to their pitch was skepticism. Then they started telling me how important their culture is to sales. It’s a family business. They treat their employees like family, so the employees treat customers like family.

Everyone has bought in, and it fuels the entire company.

It has been a while since we produced that video. Since then, I’ve pitched the idea of featuring company culture to a few other prospects, but nobody has been willing to bite. I wonder why more business leaders aren’t willing to put their culture front and center for customers to see?

Maybe it’s because they need some work on that end of their company.

–Tony Gnau

Dave Ramsey’s Daughter Ditches Radio For Video

Posted on September 12th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

I’m a big Dave Ramsey fan. My wife and I started on his financial plan when we got engaged, and we haven’t looked back.

If you’re not familiar with Dave, he’s a financial counselor who’s spread his vision and brand via a hugely popular, nationally syndicated talk radio show and best-selling books.

While those mediums have been a big part of his success, his daughter is going a different route… VIDEO.

Move Over Radio, Hello Video

Rachel Cruz is the face of FoundationsU, Dave’s financial curriculum for college students and young adults. How’s she communicating with her audience? YouTube videos via a vlog.

What’s significant about that? Rachel is the next generation of Dave’s company, and she and their team clearly understand they’re gunning for a different audience. Instead of being stuck on past mediums, they’re turning where these new followers reside… the internet.

The company is moving forward and not stuck in the past. While radio and print have served the brand well, they have embraced digital marketing and all it offers. No doubt, video is a HUGE part of it.

Learn From Dave And Rachel

Your company might be doing well. It might even be a success, but if you want it to continue to grow… watch those companies already growing and take some notes.

Dave and Rachel see value in video… do you?

–Tony Gnau

Don’t Hold Back Content

Posted on May 4th, 2011 | Leave a Comment

I’m not a big fan of “under-promise, over-deliver.” Obviously, I don’t advocate the opposite, but under-promising to me seems like you’re holding back something from your client from the get-go. It feels little dishonest.

If you know in advance you’re going to deliver something to a client, lay it all out on the line from the beginning. Then once you’ve started, if you come across ways to give them additional value-added service, go for it.

Over-deliver… just don’t under-promise.

–Tony Gnau

Delivering On Promises

Posted on March 29th, 2011 | Leave a Comment

A client had a last-minute request yesterday for some DVDs and I was happy to be able to accommodate them. I also promised to deliver them myself. A promise made and a promise kept at about 8:20 a.m. this morning.

Pat on the back… nice job Tony… thank you T60. If you’re a hard worker and want satisfied customers, this is pretty standard stuff, nothing noteworthy. Believe it or not you deserve that pat on the back because that’s not always how it works.

I got a reminder on the way home while waiting at the Clark & State “L” stop. Looking for my train I spotted at flat screen monitor operated by the Chicago Transit Authority. Various ads were running, the time, weather, and then something that caught my attention… a graphic that said, “CTA Train Tracker.”

Standing there in the cold I anxiously awaited to see how long it would be until my train arrived, only the information never followed. The CTA announced they have a train tracker, but that’s it. Frustrating.

About 10-minutes later my train showed up and I was on my way, but it really made me appreciate people who deliver on promises. If that’s you, this is your pat on the back.

–Tony Gnau

Always Educate Yourself

Posted on March 22nd, 2011 | Leave a Comment

I’ll tell you what… I know a lot about storytelling… enough to teach a class. I better. It’s my profession… my passion.

Business on the other hand? I’m still learning. Which is why I continue to pour through business books, read Seth Godin daily, listen to Dave Ramsey, and constantly look for innovative ways to better T60 as an organization.

We’re getting a little help with that. Earlier this year T60 opened its doors to business students at Kendall College who spent a quarter evaluating our company. Today, we get to hear their assessment on where we are and where they think we can go.

Ready to be a student again?

–Tony Gnau