Joe Apfelbaum
  • Are you growing? Or is fear holding you back from reaching your goals?
  • Do you feel like you're making the same mistakes over and over again?
  • Do you harbor self-limiting beliefs?

On today's Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, I have the ABSOLUTE PLEASURE of introducing my guest, Joe Apfelbaum, CEO and Founder of Ajax Union, a B2B Digital Marketing Agency focused on enhancing the online presence of businesses over the world.

Joe, always open to learning, brings his usual great energy to the conversation. Facing the challenge of wanting to build a business, and not just another software, we talk about his previous experience with software creation, how he's been handling his own existing businesses, his plans for the near future, and...the meaning behind the acronym "TOMATO"!

Plus, he tells us all about his fantastic new project!

You can click here to check Joe’s new book “High Energy Purpose”. And you can check his other books here!

This was an amazing conversation!

Are you struggling with something? Share your story! If there's a challenge you'd like to talk about on the podcast or privately, please reach out to me at I'd love to hear from you!

Episode Transcript

Kim Ades: [00:00:05]
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades and I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching, and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we welcome leaders from all over the world to come on to the podcast and get coached live and in person.

Today... Oh, it is my absolute pleasure to introduce to you a friend. Someone who is very, very unique, someone who jumps off the screen. You're going to have to jump, Joe. His name is Joe Apfelbaum and he is the President and Founder of a company called Ajax Union.

Joe, welcome!

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:00:43]
Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for having me here, Kim. So excited for today's program.

Kim Ades: [00:00:47]
So tell us a little bit about you. Who are you? What do you do? What are you up to? Fill us in.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:00:54]
So who am I? Who am I? So, I run a company called Ajax Union. Started it over 10 years ago. We are a B2B digital marketing agency. We build marketing funnels for business to business companies.

So, traditionally, you go to somebody's website, it says, "buy now, schedule a call, get a demo". Most of the people that are coming to your website are not interested in scheduling anything yet. They're not interested in buying anything or getting any demos. There are top of the funnel traffic. There are people that are just looking for information right now.

And so creating a marketing funnel to give them a lead magnet, some information to capture their email address, so then you can send them email automations and put them from the top of the funnel to the middle of the funnel, to the bottom of the funnel, is what we do for clients. And in order to fill the funnel, we do SEO, SEM, social media, email marketing, all types of ways to get traffic into the funnel.

But the key is that a lot of people don't understand that they need a marketing funnel, especially when they're nurturing leads to get them from the top of the funnel to the bottom line. So that's kind of, like, what we do. We have a great team and they're all over the United States. You know, we used to have everybody in Brooklyn, like full-time in house, but I had a vision to make the company more virtual so that I could have more free time to spend with my five children. And now I'm able to do that because, you know, we don't have to-- nobody has to go into the office and COVID forced everybody to start working from home.

But we started this way before COVID hit. We had like a mandatory, like, we started off with one day a week mandatory work from home, to kind of test it out and then two days a week, and then, you know, then work from home, wherever. So we have people in Massachusetts, people in Florida, people in California, in New York, of course, New Jersey all over the place.

And it's just a pleasure to be able to have that type of business where we really make an impact for people, and we do it while people are having a really good work-life balance because they don't have travel time. They don't have to travel.

Kim Ades: [00:02:51]
So COVID, didn't impact you at all.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:02:54]
It did because our client base was heavily in hospitality and all that stuff. So we lost 75% of our reoccurring revenue in one fell swoop. But because we had such a great pipeline, we're able to pick up and we didn't get back to where we were last February, but we are recovering, you know, like, most people that recover from things like alcohol or COVID or whatever it is, you know, you stumble and fall and you try to get back up. But most of the time, you're trying to do the best that you can.

And so, we're going to be fine. You know, the government helped also with PPP and EIDL and everything had happened-- you know, they really helped significantly. That was so helpful. Especially, you know, during the peak, when things were really just crazy.

So I'm just very grateful that I got to grow this business, but more importantly, I got to grow myself. So I used to be afraid of networking, afraid of public speaking, afraid of writing, and of course, afraid of being on podcasts with amazing coaches like you, to be vulnerable and get coached.

But you know, I had to get over my fears and by working with coaches, exactly like you and even a coach that was trained by you on journaling and all types of exciting things, I've been able to grow significantly. I've been able to have the pleasure to write books. I'm a professional public speaker now, and I just love being able to live a life that's on purpose.
I just wrote a book called High Energy Purpose.

Kim Ades: [00:04:15]
I know.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:04:15]
How to be often on your life. And I'm just so... I'm so fascinated about the difference between the way that I do things now, Kim, and the way that I did things when I launched my business.

You see, when I started my business, it was a business based on need. Like, I needed to be successful. I had like-- that was like, based on need...

Kim Ades: [00:04:37]

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:04:38]
Desperation, need, scarcity. You know, and I was still able to significantly grow the business at the detriment of my health. I became 265 pounds. I... At the detriment of my relationship. I had a lot of things that didn't work for me, but my business worked really well.

I didn't have that balance, but now the businesses that I'm starting and that I'd like to start, and then I'm running. I started a new company last year called Evyrgreen. We train coaches, consultants, and entrepreneurs on how to use LinkedIn. And we've had over 500 people that have used our system and they're loving it. I've, you know, over 300 testimonials on LinkedIn, recommendations. Most people don't even have three.

So the beauty is that we've been able to impact people's lives. And my goal is to help 1000 hungry entrepreneurs grow from frustration to motivation. One of the big challenges that I had  growing my business is networking.

That's one of the biggest challenges that I had is networking because I didn't really have a very big relation-- like a base of relationships before I joined Entrepreneurs Organization and Vistage, and started really doing this high end networking that I do, and really connecting with people and building meaningful relationships all over the world...

I didn't know how to network and I didn't even know where to begin. And I just had the relationships of the people that I worked with and I got some referrals, but it wasn't... It wasn't the types of referrals that I needed in order to get the business to where it is today.

Kim Ades: [00:05:57]

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:05:57]
So I had to learn the process of networking. And one of my biggest challenges was following up, having a strategy, all this other stuff that people have no idea how to do. And I've always had trouble with the CRMs that were out there. And I always had a passion, a desire, not a need, but a desire to create some type of software. And I've created a few softwares...
And so the challenge today that I'm bringing you...

Kim Ades: [00:06:19]
Tell me!

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:06:21]
Is that I failed so many times in the past at building software. I have successfully built software, at a full-time developer or a full-time graphic designer. And I built a software, but then I kind of just like was afraid or just gave up on it or people weren't interested. And I was just busy with Ajax Union.

I don't want that to happen this time. I want to build...

Kim Ades: [00:06:42]
So, let me understand. Where was the failure? Was the failure in selling the software or was the failure in the development process of really creating something? Not only that work, but that matched the needs of a specific market.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:06:56]
So we didn't have a niche, that's for sure. Right? So that's number one. Number two is we developed the software, but I just always focused on the development, not so much on the marketing of the software. That's number two. And number three is I didn't really have my team behind it. It was kind of like my solo pet project, where I kind of just went off as a lone wolf and decided to build a software that might be successful on its own.

And I didn't really have a strategy for it, for the marketing of it. I didn't go out and do all the things that I needed to do. And the question is why.

Why didn't I do that stuff? Is it because I had some self limiting belief around whether the software had value? Is it because I didn't really want to succeed? Is it because I was afraid of success? Is it because I was just making enough money through Ajax Union that I didn't really need it? Like, I didn't really need to do that...

Kim Ades: [00:07:45] Well, let me ask you a question. Let's go-- Let's kind of take a step backwards. Because you're asking all the right questions. It's like, I just have to sit here and you can ask all the questions and I don't even have to open my mouth, but let me ask you a very important question.

Why build the software to begin with? Like, what was your motivation or Mojovation? What was your-- What was the thing that drove you to build a software? I've been in the software industry, actually twice in my life, still in the software industry. Even though I coach, we have a software. But I know that not only building and marketing software is completely different from other industries, but what made you decide, "Hey, I want to build this software"?

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:08:28]
So, there's a particular software that I'd like to build in 2021 that solves a unique problem. In the past, I've built softwares that was for the sake of building software. It wasn't to solve a unique problem. I came up with a name, I came up with a concept, we had a full-time developer, or like "let's build a software and let's see if it takes off!"

And we built softwares. We build RankZen and Statbanana and Intromoose and a variety of softwares. And we even built software for Ajax Union, for our clients to use, and for our team to create proposals... We did a bunch of stuff.

This is different. This, I don't want to build a software for the sake of building software. I want to build a business. So this is very, very different. But I don't want to fall into the same trap that I felt into the past. So I could use some coaching around trying to figure out how can I differentiate it this time and make sure that I don't just build a piece of software that I kind of give up on.

And I'm also a different person than I was then, you know, like a different stage person than I was when I built Intromoose. You know, Intromoose was a software that allowed you to make introductions between people in your network. And I was so excited about it.

And I remember so passionate about the idea and I was like, you know, Kim, you would love to make introductions between your connections, right? Between the contacts that you have on Google and on LinkedIn and on Facebook. But you don't have an easy way. Just to click on two names and press create introduction, and it just makes the introduction. So I wanted to buy, it wasn't available. So I said, "what rhymes with introduce? Intromoose!"

So I built it and the software worked! And I tried to get people to use it, but people didn't want to use it. Like, you know, a couple of people made suggestions. "Can you add this feature?" So I added the feature, but they still didn't use it. And it was free! I was like, "use it! It's free!" But people didn't want to use it.

So, after just, you know, pushing it here and pushing it there and not really having a solid written marketing campaign, not having my team behind it, I myself stopped using it and I just gave up on it and then it started having bugs and I didn't want to invest to fix it. So I just basically gave up on it.

Kim Ades: [00:10:44]
Okay. So I'm going to ask you a different question. Right now in Ajax Union, what is your role? What is your function?

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:10:51]
I have three things that I need to do at Ajax Union right now, and this is by design. I am not involved with the operations. I'm not involved with, you know, like client work or any of that stuff.

When I started  Ajax Union I said, "I don't want to do the work. I want to hire people to do the work." That's the way, because in the past I was the person doing all the work. I was the web developer, the SEO guy, and like all that.

I said, "I don't want to do that. I don't want a job. If I wanted a job, I just go get a job. I want to own a business. And I want to do three things: I want to make sure the bank has money. The bank always has to have money. So I keep an eye on the cash, make sure that we're not spending too much, making sure that like all this stuff, looking at the numbers. So number one is cash. That's my responsibility".

Another responsibility I have is making sure that we are getting new clients. So I'm making it rain. I don't close the deals. I don't want closing deals, but I like opening the door. I'm a door opener. So, you know-- It's also known as a Rainmaker. I'm the person that will schmooze with a thousand people a year, bring a hundred potentials and close 10 big deals. But I'm not going to close the deals. I'll bring it to the team and let them decide if they want to close it.

So I get people really excited about what we do and we do really good work and our clients refer us business. It's really nice. But Rainmaker is number two. Okay? So I make sure the company has cash. And number two is I make sure that we get new opportunities and people know about us. So I do a lot of public speaking. I do webinars. I'm always out there on social media. You see me on LinkedIn, I posted on LinkedIn a few times a day. I'm always finding ways to get in front of the right people.

And then the third thing that I do, which is probably one of my favorite things to do is I find people. I find people that are amazing human beings, to work for us. And I love offering jobs to people. The right people. I love testing people out. I love, you know, the whole recruiting process of everything, from putting up an ad to screening, to having a conversation and just kind of getting to know the person, to testing them out, to making them an offer and then growing them from the bottom to the top.

Kim Ades: [00:13:06]
Got it. So here's what I think. Ready? So you asked me before, like, "it didn't work out. Did I have a false belief? Did I was--  Was I sabotaging myself? Was I trying not to fail? What was I scarcity minded? Was I all of those things?" Here's what I think.

I think you were trying to be a different kind of business owner than you want to be. And there was a mismatch between who you want to be and who you thought you needed to be in order to run this business. Does that make sense?

So, a startup needs a certain kind of business owner compared to where you are in your life now. And you're like, "well, I need to go back and be that guy", but you're not that guy anymore. You're just not that guy. You're... You've been doing this for a while, and when you describe these three things, these key areas that you're responsible for, it's not really related to rolling up your sleeves and doing software development or even specifically marketing. Right?

But you're like, "well, why did I let it go?" At the same time you said "my team wasn't behind me". And what you're really telling me is I didn't build a strategy, I didn't build a team to execute this properly. I didn't recruit the right people.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:14:24]

Kim Ades: [00:14:24]
I didn't promote, I didn't do all the things...

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:14:25]
I had a developer. I had a developer.

Kim Ades: [00:14:28]
Sure, but you weren't the leader you are now. You didn't do these three things that you're doing now.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:14:33]
I wasn't the owner.

Kim Ades: [00:14:34]
You weren't the owner.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:14:36]
Right. I wasn't the owner. I was the visionary without any execution.

Kim Ades: [00:14:41]
Or without a partner who can do all the operational pieces, or a team who would do all the parts that needed to be done in order to bring it to where you needed it to go. So...

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:14:53]
I also think that it wasn't a business. It was a piece of software, it was a tool. That's what people told me in the past. "Joe, you're building tools. You're not building businesses".

Kim Ades: [00:15:01]
Right. So, you know, the thinking that you applied to at Ajax Union was never the thinking that you applied to these other ideas.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:15:11]
These other software products, these tools.

Kim Ades: [00:15:12]

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:15:13]
Yeah. That's true.

Kim Ades: [00:15:14]
And now, when you're thinking about solving this critical problem and building a software for that, my strongest piece of coaching advice is, think about it as a business.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:15:28]

Kim Ades: [00:15:28]
Right? And apply what you do naturally over here. And what's required is for you to pull together a team with the expertise you need to execute a business.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:15:40]
Cool. Awesome.

Kim Ades: [00:15:42]
Does that make sense?

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:15:43]
Yeah, and I already started doing that, like, differently. So what I started doing, and it's great, it's right in line with what I needed to hear. And also just the fact that I spoke it out really helped me be able to take away some of the fear that I had around, "Oh, maybe I'm going to fail again this time".

I'm absolutely not going to fail this time. I'm going to succeed this time because this time I'm doing it differently. Instead of going and getting a developer right away, which is what I did last time, and starting to develop software and have the software working and test it out and keep giving him feedback and meet with him daily. And, you know, they put it out there and ask people to use it for free, I'm doing this completely differently.

I'm going to do-- Step number one is I'm going to-- I found a UX/UI person. And they developed a flow and I sit there and I had a meet-- I've been meeting with her once a week and we review the flow. Once the flow is complete for everything from the front end to the back end...

Kim Ades: [00:16:34]
Do you mean like a wire frame?

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:16:35]
Before the wire frame, you need to have the flow. How do things work. Before the where the things are. The wireframes is where the things are. The flow is where-- How the things work. "When you click on this, this happens. When you drop this, drop down, that happens". So, this is like the theoretical flow of how people walk through the hallways. And then the wire frame is where are the hallways? How wide are the hallways? Are the hallways going to be on the top or on the bottom? Type of thing.

So, yeah. So step number one is flow. Step number two is wireframe. Step number three is design. Once I get design done... So, those three things: flow, dararara... Prototype. Show it to my partner at Evyrgreen, Tammy. Have her commit to being the operational person for this new business, if she has the bandwidth to do it.

Kim Ades: [00:17:26]
Well, maybe that conversation should come earlier on in the game. What do you think?

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:17:31]
She said she's excited, but she needs to see a prototype before she can, even... She goes like, "you have, like, ideas. This is an idea. It's not something that I can wrap my hands around". At the same time, when I have my prototype, while she's deciding if she wants to run it. I'm going to try to get a hundred people to say that they're interested in purchasing the product. A hundred people to pay a premium price that when we launch they're committed to jumping on and using the product.

And in addition to that, besides that, I'm going to commit to using a daily. And I'm also going to run networking events around. So, I'm going to run events around the software. So it's not just going to be software.

Kim Ades: [00:18:12]
And what if Tammy says no?

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:18:13]
If Tammy says no, I'm not going to do it.

Kim Ades: [00:18:16]
So you're going to put all that time, all that money, all that investment and it's hinged on one person's yes or no decision?

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:18:24]

Kim Ades: [00:18:25]
That seems a very volatile to me.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:18:28]
Okay. I'm not going to do it now. Meaning I'm not going to do it because there's another business that I'm growing with her...

Kim Ades: [00:18:34]
No, I understand.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:18:35]
...That we put a lot into it and I'm not going to risk that other business to start getting another partner. It's either she's going to do this, or I'm going to put pause on it and I'm not going to throw all that out. It's something that I'm going to have to do later. I'm not going to do it this year.

Kim Ades: [00:18:48]
So my question for you is, and I think it's an important question. How do you establish Tammy's buy-in earlier on in the process? And I think that's a very important conversation. If Tammy is that important, or somebody else.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:19:02]
I already had a few conversations with her and I got the buy in from her. I didn't get the commitment, but I got the buy in already. So... She even helped me... Like, I even gave her a bunch of names for the company and she said, "those names are terrible". And she's like, "absolutely not".

And then I finally came up with a new name, with a name that I'm so passionate about. And then she told me the name was terrible, but then I sold her on the name. And she's like, it's an amazing name.

Meaning at the beginning it was a bad name because it had no meaning. It was just a fruit. And then after I sold her on the acronym and what it means to me and how it's going to play into the whole brand and the whole thing, "she's like, I'm all in. This is it. This is amazing. And it's a great idea. And it's something that we're going to need to do".

But she didn't commit to being the operational person yet, which is something I'm going to need to either have her do. Or figure out if I can hire a person to do that. But with her blessing. I'm not going to do things, you know, without her.

Kim Ades: [00:19:58]
Sure, but I would like to accelerate that. In other words, bringing her into the discussion, not after it's designed, but maybe...

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:20:06]
Maybe during wireframe. Right.

Kim Ades: [00:20:08]
Exactly. Because I think you're waiting way too long. And if she says no, you've got to make a decision about whether or not you continue investing or find a replacement for that particular role.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:20:20]

Kim Ades: [00:20:20]
Right? Because what we know is that when it's all in your hands by yourself, when you want to do these three things, right?

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:20:28]

Kim Ades: [00:20:29]
It's not going to move forward. So you need that other person and you need to build a team. And so that's really the linchpin for you. And right now your linchpin isn't securely in place.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:20:40]

Kim Ades: [00:20:42]

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:20:43]

Kim Ades: [00:20:44]
Okay. Any other questions?

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:20:46] No, I'm good. I'm totally good in terms of questions. I want to tell you the idea and I'm wondering if...

Kim Ades: [00:20:52]
I want to know, but I wasn't sure if it was a secret!

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:20:55]
No, I don't have secrets. See that's-- I used to have a mindset where, you know, I didn't want to share my ideas with people. I'm an ideator and I would still come up with ideas and I was like, "Ooh!" My mother's like, "don't tell anyone, that's a good one. Don't tell anyone, that's a good one!" And that totally kind of did not allow me to-- Like, it really limited my ability to get out there.

And now, every idea I have, I basically just tell people the idea, because if they can execute better than me, and they're just as passionate as I am about that idea, then go ahead, let them execute and let them be my competitor. I don't care. Like, no one needs my idea.

Kim Ades: [00:21:27]
So tell us the idea.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:21:28]
Okay. So the idea is as follows. Do you ever go to a networking event, and at the end of the networking event, you have a bunch of business cards or a bunch of new LinkedIn connections. And then nothing happens. Have you ever done that?

Kim Ades: [00:21:41]

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:21:42]
Why? Why does nothing happen?

Kim Ades: [00:21:44]
Well, you try to make something happen, but then the other person kind of doesn't pick up the ball or doesn't respond or...

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:21:51]
And if they do respond and you have one conversation, then what?

Kim Ades: [00:21:54]
You don't know the next move, you know, like, it's like a bit of a, you know, the first step in the dance, but you don't know the whole choreography.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:22:01]
And if I said "Kim, here's another question for you. You have lots of contacts, lots of relationships, lots of people in your life. You have thousands of people in your life that you've interacted with over the past decade. Who are your top hundred and 50 relationships? Who are the people that have the best position to refer business to you that know you like you and trust you? And how often are you communicating with them? And how well do you know what they're up to right now? And how well do they know what you're up to right now?"

I don't know that most people would have a system that has artificial intelligence that helps them be able to figure that out, out of all the people. So, the problem that I'm solving is, number one is how do you establish and follow up with new relationships? That are not sales relationships that are just relationships. And also, how do you identify who are the most meaningful relationships right now that I need to be building? And what are the actions that I need to be taking on a regular basis to literally stay top of mind?

I call it Top of Mind Awareness Transforming Opportunity. Okay. Top of Mind Awareness Transforming Opportunity, Top of Mind--

Kim Ades: [00:23:07]

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:23:08]
Exactly. And that's my favorite fruit. So, the idea--

Kim Ades: [00:23:12]
I had to do it fast in my head.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:23:16]
So the idea is as follows. There's a piece of software, an app, piece of software, where you literally synchronize your LinkedIn, synchronize your Google contacts or whatever database you have, and it puts everybody into the system. And then you're able to log in and it starts telling you, based on a series of exercises, questions, gamifications who are the people that are literally your relationships versus your contacts versus the strangers.

We all have strangers in our life, right? We all have strangers in our life. We have people, you can look at your Google contacts, you have 3,500 people. 50% of them are people that you haven't talked to in the past five years, maybe they used to be a relationship, maybe they used to be a contact, now they're a stranger.

Then you have people that are contacts. You're okay speaking to them every six months, but they don't need to be top of mind with you. You don't need to be top of mind all the time with them. They know who you are, you know what they do, but they're not in the position to refer business to you. And frankly, you know who they are, you trust them, but you don't particularly like them. They're not a brother from another mother.

But then you have the 50, a hundred, 150 people that are like, "I want to be in touch with these people monthly". These are people that were in your forum, that are in your chapter, that are just in your... Like, they-- Like, you need to be in touch with them. But you know, six months passed and you didn't, and then you scramble and email two of them, and then you forget, and you get busy in your life.

Another six months passing, before you noticed two years. And it turned-- that relationship turned into a stranger because you haven't even been in touch. Now you're afraid to touch base because what do you have to do with this person? And meet-- so you never kept up with it.

But if you keep up every month and you have something to do, and there's a software that tells you what to do five a day, and you're basically just clicking a few buttons and it logs in, and it texts and it emails and it's fine. And it gives you tons of information about these people using AI, using big data, using all this stuff.

And it's not overly complicated because it limits how many relationships you can have because you're limited anyway. So when, if you want to transfer a contact into a relationship, then you have to remove a relationship. You can't just, there's a limited amount of slots.

Kim Ades: [00:25:22]
So it's focused on those top 150.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:25:25]
It's also focused on your context so you can introduce... So I'm going to take the Intromoose concept that I had before, and I'm going to be able to take two different people that should be meeting each other, or want to meet each other.

I'll be able to click both of their names and push a button. And then it generates an introduction, a proper introduction through my email, and it sends them both an email. And it's just-- and it logs the whole thing. So every introduction I get, gets logged. Every introduction I make, gets logged. And then there's a point system. So that's basically the idea.

Kim Ades: [00:25:57]
So what you're really saying is we're not only going to teach you the choreography, we're going to help you execute it.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:26:03]
And the beauty is we're also going to have coaches, trainers, farmers, people in the system, so if you're too lazy to do it yourself and you have more money than you have time, there's going to be trained consultants in the thing that will teach you or do it for you. Like, we're going to have both options there. So it's going to be-- it's not just going to be a software and we're going to have built-in networking events that you could join with other users of this platform that are connectors too.

And it's going to be very, very limited. So we're only-- we're going to have people apply and we're gonna have to make sure that they're committed to networking and it's going to be a high monthly fee. And you're going to come in and if you're not committed, if you're not using the software, you're not getting points. And if you're not getting points, we're not going to renew you. You have to use it, otherwise you lose it, because there's a limited amount of people I want in the system. I don't want just someone paying.

Kim Ades: [00:26:49]
So what's the future, like when is this going to be launched? Do you guess? You know, what I noticed with software is you say, "well, we're aiming for six months from now", but that really means a year.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:27:02]
Yeah. So, I would have loved to have some type of thing going by the end of January. By the end of January have some type of a prototype that I could start showing to my relationships that I think would purchase it right away. Because I want to come in the door with a bunch of people that are ready to purchase it, that are saying "yes, as soon as you launch Joe, I commit to purchasing it". So I want to know who those people are that are committed to purchasing it. And literally just know that I have a hundred people that are in the door coming out of the gate.

So, you know, realistically end of February, maybe end of March or maybe six months, I don't know. But, you know, I would like to see myself have a prototype and start talking to people about it. And this is the first public conversation I'm having about this.

So, hopefully a lot of people will see this and if you're interested in this, just hit me up. You know, you could easily find me, just Google my name, and just hit me up and let me know that you're interested in knowing when we're going to launch, but I'm going to make it very exclusive. And I'm going to let very few people in every month.

It means you're going to go on a waiting list. And then when there's an opening, because I want to do a training for those people that come in, I don't want someone just to come in and then never use the software again. I want to hold their hand, make sure they build a habit, because I know that I've purchased CRMs before and I just didn't use them. And I don't want this to be just another CRM that you pay $150 a month or whatever, and then you're, you're just not using it, and it's worthless.

I want people to come in. I want to hold their hand along the process, make sure they're using it, make sure it's working for them, and then track the ROI they're getting from their networking.

If I asked you "Kim, what is a measurable ROI that you can give me about your networking?" Most people can't put a number on it, but this tool, this software, this business will help you be able to put a number on it and be consistent. That's my vision for it.

Kim Ades: [00:28:55]
Well, I think it's fascinating. I do like the name tomato. I think it's memorable. I think it's catchy. And I think that for me, I've been exposed to you for many, many years and the things that you work on, I'm always paying attention to. I think you're, you know, one of the most interesting, extraordinary people in my network. So I'm happy to be connected to you.

And I just want to say thank you for being on the podcast for sharing your challenge. I hope that you walked away with at least a thought about, you know, how do I accelerate the conversation with Tammy or someone else, but how do I also play a different role in this business compared to the past software products that I've tried to execute?

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:29:33]
I love that. I love that. And I did, and it was extremely helpful for me to talk about my previous experiences. So if anybody listening to this... You know, speak to Kim, have a conversation with her about your challenges and your-- just by sharing your own challenges, you're going to have breakthroughs yourself with a person that creates a space, a nonjudgmental space for you to be able to share your challenges. So thank you for creating that space for me and for being the great coach that you are.

Kim Ades: [00:30:02]
Thank you! And for those of you who are listening, if you have a challenge that you want to share on the podcast, please reach out to me.

My email address is

And if you have a challenge that you're not so willing to share on the podcast, but you do want to discuss, please reach out to me as well.

My email address is

Joe, thank you so much.

Joe Apfelbaum: [00:30:23]

Kim Ades: [00:30:24]

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