Daniel Marcos

It’s true that the world moves faster and faster, and we tend to feel the need to move as fast as we can too, just to keep up. The issue is that sometimes that isn’t such a good idea. We don’t think about our next move, through properly in our haste, and we end up getting hurt. Therefore, our business gets hurt. But we often don’t realize that the best way to solve this is by slowing down! You may be asking yourself: how is that even possible?

In this brand new episode of The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, I have the HONOR of not only talking to, but actually coaching, the amazing Daniel Marcos! Daniel is the Co-Founder and CEO at Growth Institute, a premiere online training company specialized in business growth and scaling.

Today we tackle an important issue: what could be the best strategy for when you’re trying to keep up with the world? Daniel tells me that lately he and his team feel exhausted and discouraged when their expectations are not met. And when I ask him what he has done to try and fix it, he says they change the strategy over and over again.

But that’s the trap! So I encourage Daniel to actually slow down for a moment, take a step back, sit down with his team and think “how are we thinking about this? What are the beliefs we have that are leading us to feel discouraged and tired?". That way they’ll better understand how to move forward and regain their productivity.

Have you ever experienced something like this? Do you have a challenge you’d like to discuss? Reach out! If there's any issue you want to talk about here on the podcast or privately, or if you’d just like to give us some feedback, please send me an email:


Episode Transcript

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

Today I'm so excited about this. I have Daniel Marcos from The Growth Institute on the podcast. I don't know if you've heard of Daniel, but he's everywhere and I've been following him for forever. And so I'm so thrilled that I'm going to get to coach him today!  

Daniel, welcome.  

[00:00:40] Daniel Marcos:
Thank you, Kim. And this is going to be interesting. I'm used to coach people, not being on the other side.  

[00:00:44] Kim Ades:
You are used to being the coach.  

[00:00:46] Daniel Marcos:
Yes. [Laughs]  

[00:00:47] Kim Ades:

[00:00:48] Daniel Marcos:
It could be a lot of fun. 

[00:00:49] Kim Ades:
So tell us a little bit, for those listeners who have never heard of The Growth Institute, who are you? What do you do? What is it all about? And who are you helping?  

[00:01:00] Daniel Marcos:
So we started scaling companies pretty young. I was like 24 when we... let's say, scaled our first company, significantly. 1200 employees, operation nine countries. And we realized how much drama and stress scaling companies create, not just for the founders, but everyone, the team, and all the haphazard of the operation.  

So we started reading a lot and really understanding that every problem or opportunity we have in business, someone already have gone through the process and they wrote the methodology or a format or a framework to go through it. So what we started doing is reading a lot of books and methodologies, taking courses and be able to implement in our business and do much better. 

So what we do at The Growth institute is we bring all these resources in a cost and format that makes sense for mid-market companies. As an example, implementing scaling up: you hire a coach and everything, it's an amazing process, but you're talking about eighty, a hundred thousand dollars. You go through the same process online for three thousand. 

And that's exactly what we do. We just bring something that is very difficult, usually to do on a class, something that needs a lot of coaching and help implement in a price and format that makes sense.  

[00:02:15] Kim Ades:
Okay. And again, the ideal client is an entrepreneur who's running a company for how many years, at what level of revenue? 

[00:02:24] Daniel Marcos:
So our, let's say, most of our clients do between a million and twenty million in revenue.

[00:02:31] Kim Ades:

[00:02:31] Daniel Marcos:
And they want to scale... Not necessarily scale revenue, we get a lot of people saying "I want to scale revenue", but other people say "Hey, I'm bringing enough revenue. I want to make more profit. I want to work half of the time" or whatever. 

[00:02:43] Kim Ades:

[00:02:43] Daniel Marcos:
So they want to improve something significant in their business, and that's how we help them go through that.  

[00:02:49] Kim Ades:
Okay, great. And I'm so happy to be talking to you today because a lot of people come to me for scaling coaching, and I say "that's not what I do". So what I do is I help leaders become really much, much better leaders and be able to influence their teams more effectively, but also achieve their goals inside and outside of the company with greater speed and ease really.  

And so I'm excited that, you know, we're coming at it from slightly different angles, but happy to talk to you today. So what's going on? What is--  

[00:03:23] Daniel Marcos:
Let me go back a little bit. I've always said, if you want to 10x your company, you first have to 10x your team in quality and quantity, but it's really about mindset. Like, I have a firm belief that you could not build a great company, you could just build a great team and that team is going to build a great company for you.  

[00:03:43] Kim Ades:
And I have something else that I say is that if you want to 10x your company, you have to look at your own thinking, because if you're not at a 10x place, your mind isn't there. So I start with the leader, then the team...  

[00:03:57] Daniel Marcos:
We're very aligned.  

[00:03:58] Kim Ades:
Great. Okay. So what is your-- 

[00:04:00] Daniel Marcos:
I'm writing a book that is going to be published in January...  

[00:04:02] Kim Ades:
Oh, okay, amazing! 

[00:04:03] Daniel Marcos:
...That does exactly those three steps: focus on you, focus on your team, and then focus on your company. 

[00:04:07] Kim Ades:
Great. So what is your greatest challenge right now? What's happening?  

[00:04:11] Daniel Marcos:
So, the world is changing really, really fast. I mean in online education, we've been nine years in business and we started way in front of the trend we were doing-- I remember this discussion... So we partner with people that write books, famous people, like, the other day I was talking with Salim Ismail, the first Executive Director of Singularity.  

And I met Salim at Singularity and he was studying, he was writing a book and I said "Hey, I want to buy your rights online", he said "what do you mean?" And I was like, "you're going to sell your rights of the book to a publisher in paper. I want to buy your rights of your online course". And he was like, "what are you talking about?" And he was the head of Singularity and that was still not very common.  

So we started doing that and then COVID came and everything went online, like, education just got transformed dramatically.  

[00:05:04] Kim Ades:

[00:05:05] Daniel Marcos:
So now our industry is in the speed of change that is really, really dramatic. And we had to learn how to adapt and evolve much, much faster than before. So my biggest challenge today is helping my team be able to change and adapt as fast or even faster than the industry, so we could dominate the industry.  

I always said that if you want dominate your industry, you have to grow a two times the industry average. My industry is growing supposedly this year at 26%, so we have to grow at least at 50% if you want to lead the industry and having that change creates a lot of drama, a lot of stress.  

[00:05:45] Kim Ades:
So tell me about the drama, the stress. Where you are seeing people having a hard time changing, and what you're looking for them to do and what they're falling short on. 

[00:05:56] Daniel Marcos:
So as an example, on the selling process. 

[00:06:01] Kim Ades:

[00:06:01] Daniel Marcos:
When all of this online education started for the last 10 years, the most effective way was to do webinars, right? You get all these traffic, you get people to a webinar, you will come to a webinar. And then from the webinar, you used to pitch them and sell them something. At COVID our webinars had had our highest attendance, our highest conversion, like, everything. Now, people are up to here on Zooms and webinars and the rest. 

[00:06:30] Kim Ades:

[00:06:30] Daniel Marcos:
So we have to significantly change our selling process and then you have to try three or four ways, and then we need to find one and then adapt and change all our marketing and sales process to a new sales process. That's the example, that's a big challenge. 

And it was working, we're getting all these clients and revenue and it was easy. And we just got comfortable in the process of selling. Today we know that process is not working anymore, so we have to significantly evolve that process.  

[00:06:59] Kim Ades:
How do you approach it right now? When you say "we have to change this process", first of all, how many salespeople are on your team? Just as a start.  

[00:07:07] Daniel Marcos:
So today we're on 30 people and my sales and marketing team are 10-12.  

[00:07:14] Kim Ades:

[00:07:15] Daniel Marcos:
So it's a significant chunk of the company, probably 40%.  

[00:07:18] Kim Ades:
Okay. And I imagine that you already approached them and say "we need a different approach"? 

[00:07:22] Daniel Marcos:
Hundred percent. 

[00:07:23] Kim Ades:
Okay, and then what happens?  

[00:07:24] Daniel Marcos:
The problem is that, in the past, if we are an effort of one and got a result on one, they got used to getting a result equal to their effort. Today it's very different. They're giving five of efforts and getting one of results and it's pretty challenging. And it's discouraging that they say "Hey, I tried this and I was expecting five and I got one" and it very discouraging for them. 

[00:07:54] Kim Ades:
So they're discouraged and... I'm trying to understand, are you trying to keep them encouraged? Are you trying to keep them trying different models so that they are finding the one that gives them a better ROI?  

[00:08:08] Daniel Marcos:
So, I think that the big challenge on both is having an effort that you expect a result and be okay of not having that result and still pushing. When you know marketing and sales... like, if you expect all your campaigns to work, you've never done marketing.  

[00:08:27] Kim Ades:

[00:08:27] Daniel Marcos:
You can have a lot of flops and we haven't had a flop in three years, so we got used to everything that we put out there, it was working. And now one every five that we're putting out there is not working. So they have all this work, they put it in the market, it doesn't work and they have to restart again and do a new one. And that's very tiring, right?  

[00:08:47] Kim Ades:
And are they feeling like they want to quit? Are they saying... you know, what's the impact for you? Is it that your growth is slow? Or is it that--  

[00:08:58] Daniel Marcos:
As an example, the summer was a tough summer. even with online education. People with all their vaccines coming into the market, everything, people said "I could travel, I could at least go outside. I'm gone". So we talk with a lot of clients, the recurring clients, and they said "hey, let's talk in September or October. I don't want to talk about anything that is being on Zoom for the next five months". 

[00:09:23] Kim Ades:

[00:09:24] Daniel Marcos:
That's really a challenge, right? Last year everyone was home. They could not do anything else but learn and be better. So our attendance of course, was really, really high. So I believe it's just a part of people being tired and the summer and the rest, and the process of selling, usually people gave you an hour, hour and a half for a webinar to sell. And that's not a reality anymore. 

[00:09:50] Kim Ades:
A thing of the past.  

[00:09:52] Daniel Marcos:
A thing of the past. And one more thing: now we have Apple with their phones, having a significant change on the way you track people and all the metrics. And we have become really, really good with digital marketing, and all the things that we used to do, they're not working anymore. Some of them are not working because of all the privacy. And by the way, I am a big believer of that. Now my phone, everywhere, every app that I open, it asks you "do you want the app to track you or not?" And I say "no, no, no, Nope, Nope". 

[00:10:23] Kim Ades:

[00:10:23] Daniel Marcos:
I think Apple was expecting like 25 or 30% of people will say no, and like 70% of people. It's double what they were expecting.  

[00:10:32] Kim Ades:

[00:10:32] Daniel Marcos:
So that also screws all our numbers and KPIs of our funnels because we are used to be able to track our funnels very, very detailed, and today's very, very hard. We have a really good culture and the team is super engaged, so it's not an issue of them quitting. They're troopers. But it's tiring.  

[00:10:53] Kim Ades:
It's tiring.  

[00:10:54] Daniel Marcos:
At the end of the day you say "you know what? I worked like hell. I worked 10 hours away. If you have the result I was expecting..." It's just... tough.  

[00:11:05] Kim Ades:
Yeah. You know, you use the word "expecting" a lot, and that's a very interesting word for me, as I'm listening to how you're describing it. And you know, you probably already know this, but I'll tell you, just for the benefit of the audience who's listening, is that we know that the results that people get are a function of their thinking. Right? 

[00:11:23] Daniel Marcos:

[00:11:24] Kim Ades:
And what we see in your case is that the thinking that was useful in the past is no longer useful. 

[00:11:31] Daniel Marcos:

[00:11:32] Kim Ades:
And so what happens is when that thinking isn't useful and it's not generating the results that are required, what we need to do is go back and revisit our thinking and really look at the beliefs that we have that are fueling our emotional state, that exhaustion. And what you're really needing is for people to not get so tired, not feel tired, not feel discouraged.  

[00:11:56] Daniel Marcos:
And understand that it's normal.  

[00:11:58] Kim Ades:

[00:12:00] Daniel Marcos:
You and I are in our-- I'm in my fifties, almost into my fifties. My metabolism when I was younger, you was really fast. If I want to lose weight, I just went through a half-hour and that was it. Today my metabolism is completely different and it's challenging. Kind of like "oh my God, like, I go to a gym every day and I still cannot move."  

[00:12:18] Kim Ades:
I understand that. [Laughs] 

[00:12:20] Daniel Marcos:
[Laughs] But it's something that, whenever you're a young, it's like "come on. That's not an issue" and all my friends in their forties and fifties, we're all struggling with the same thing. 

[00:12:29] Kim Ades:

[00:12:29] Daniel Marcos:
In business it's exactly same.  

[00:12:33] Kim Ades:
Right. And perhaps that's one kind of approach to it. But the other is to really, from my perspective, is to do a little, I like the term irrigation. And what I mean by that is I like to irrigate and look at how people think and how their thinking creates the beliefs they have, because the beliefs they have drive their expectations. And so right now you see, let's call it a little bit of a break or a little bit of... disconnect between their beliefs and their expectations, right?  

So they believe that if they put in X number of effort or X amount of effort, they're going to get X result. And when they're not getting the results that they're looking for, they feel low, they feel tired, they feel discouraged. And so there's a disconnect between what they're putting in and the results that they're getting. 

[00:13:25] Daniel Marcos:
You got it right.  

[00:13:26] Kim Ades:
And so the real work that needs to be done is very often what I see, and leaders do this all the time, is that they say "okay, we're not getting the results we want, so what we need to do is we need to use a new strategy. We need to do something different". Right? Normal. We hear that all the time. 

"This isn't working, let's try this, let's try this, let's try this, let's try that", without really doing the irrigation first. And so from my perspective, I don't want to encourage you to do anything different. I want to encourage you to take a moment with your sales team and say "how are we thinking about this? What are the beliefs we have that are leading us to feel discouraged and tired?" 

And so instead of creating a new strategy or creating a new approach, it's actually to slow down for a moment in order to speed up dramatically. Because what we see is that what we need to do is line up their beliefs with the desired outcomes that they want in order to get the results that they want. 

[00:14:25] Daniel Marcos:

[00:14:26] Kim Ades:
Right? So, what we're doing is imagine putting everybody in a room and, you know, literally saying "okay, we're not going to do anything new. We're going to think something new. What kind of thinking will lead us to the results that we want? Because this thinking is creating an experience where we're all tired and that's not the outcome we want. What kind of thinking..." 

[00:14:49] Daniel Marcos:
And what kind of effort we're going to have to put in.  

[00:14:52] Kim Ades:
Well, but again, you're jumping ahead. 

[00:14:56] Daniel Marcos:

[00:14:56] Kim Ades:
You're jumping ahead because you're already making it tired. You're making it hard. 

[00:15:02] Daniel Marcos:
[Laughs] I'm only telling them to expect it's going to be hard. 

[00:15:05] Kim Ades:
Well, but you know, you're already making it hard. And so what I want you to-- like, you're already saying "Hey, you know, you're gonna have to put in more effort to get the results you want", and they're thinking "is that the kind of thinking that excites me? Not so much!" Right? Does that make sense? 

[00:15:26] Daniel Marcos:
Makes sense.  

[00:15:26] Kim Ades:
And so what I want you to do is go back and say "okay, what is the thinking, that's causing us to feel tired and exhausted and disappointed? And what is the thinking that's creating the results that we are currently getting? Which isn't ideal. And now what kind of thinking are we going to need in order to get the results we want?" 

So I don't want you to talk about effort. I don't want you to talk about strategy. I want you to talk about thinking first. Why? You know what? It's kind of like going up to a dog, and I've said this before on the podcast, and saying "you know what, I want the dog to wag his tail. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the tail and shake it". 

[00:16:03] Daniel Marcos:

[00:16:03] Kim Ades:
But that's not how it works. And that's what you're trying to do. Right? You're trying to say "okay, dog, your tail needs to wag faster. Let's make it move more quickly. Let's look at that tail engineering and make it go faster". And what I'm saying is no, let's not do that. Let's look at the emotional state of the dog. Let's look at how the dog feels. Let's look at how the dog reacts to things.  

[00:16:28] Daniel Marcos:
Let's get the dog happy.  

[00:16:32] Kim Ades:
Exactly! When the dog is happy, the dog's tail naturally wags.  

[00:16:36] Daniel Marcos:
That's correct.  

[00:16:37] Kim Ades:
Okay. And so very often we're doing it upside down. And so for you, it's really digging, irrigating and getting at "how are we thinking now and how do we need to be thinking? And if we need to be thinking like this, what strategy naturally flows from that thinking?" So it's turning it upside down. 

[00:16:59] Daniel Marcos:
Interesting. I will definitely test the proposal.  

[00:17:02] Kim Ades:
Okay. Test the proposal and let me know. And if it works and maybe we can talk about more strategic alliances. 

[00:17:08] Daniel Marcos:
[Laughs] Love to! 

[00:17:11] Kim Ades:
Okay. Daniel, thank you so much for being on my podcast. It was really, truly an honor. 

[00:17:16] Daniel Marcos:
Same. Thank you Kim, for the invitation.  

[00:17:19] Kim Ades:
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 Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.  

And if you have a challenge that you are experiencing, but don't want to talk about on the podcast, please reach out to me as well. 

Again, my email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.  

Daniel, how do people find you?  

[00:17:46] Daniel Marcos:
Growth Institute, that's our company. And then LinkedIn is probably the easiest. The only thing is I've already reached my cap. There's like 30,000 people cap and I've reached it, so you have to click "follow". We post a lot of things on how to scale your company.  

[00:18:00] Kim Ades:
So growthinstitute.com, probably a better way to reach Daniel. 

[00:18:01] Daniel Marcos:

[00:18:03] Kim Ades:
Again, thank you. And I do hope that this is the beginning of a long friendship.

linkedin icon