Scott McKain: Are You Iconic? Distinguish Yourself & Your Company In Today\’s Changed World

Scott McKain, the author of four #1 business bestsellers on Amazon, is known as a customer experience and distinction expert who teaches companies and people how to stand out from the competition …



Scott McKain, the author of four #1 business bestsellers on Amazon, is known as a customer experience and distinction expert who teaches companies and people how to stand out from the competition.

He has played the villain in a Werner Herzog film that Roger Ebert called one of the 50 “great movies” in cinema history, he has been booked to speak by Arnold Schwarzenegger for an event on the White House lawn in front of the President of the United States, he\’s been a successful entrepreneur, and has been the member of multiple Boards of Directors. The tapestry of Scott McKain’s distinctive experiences have blended to create the inimitable content that makes him one of the world’s most in-demand business experts and speakers.

Today, he\’s a Corporate Educator in Residence at High Point University, a member of the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, a member of the Sales and Marketing Hall of Fame, along with Zig Ziglar Seth Godin and Dale Carnegie, and his latest book titled “ICONIC”, was named by Forbes one of the “Top Ten Business Books of The Year” and by American Express as one of the “Six Books to Help You Innovate” through the pandemic.

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Scott McKain: Are You Iconic? Distinguish Yourself & Your Company In Today\’s Changed World

Joining us is Scott McKain, the author of four number one business bestsellers on Amazon, known as a customer experience and distinction expert who teaches companies and people how to stand out from the competition. He\’s played the villain in a Werner Herzog film that Roger Ebert called one of the top 50 movies in cinema history. He\’s been booked to speak by Arnold Schwarzenegger for an event on the White House lawn in front of the President of the United States. He\’s been a successful entrepreneur and been the member of multiple boards of directors.

The tapestry of Scott McKain\’s experiences had blended to create the inimitable content that makes him one of the world\’s most in-demand business experts and speakers. He\’s a Corporate Educator in residence at High Point University, a member of the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, a member of the Sales and Marketing Hall of Fame along with Zig Ziglar, Seth Godin and Dale Carnegie. His latest book, ICONIC, was named by Forbes as one of the top ten business books of the year and by American Express as 1 of the top 6 books to help you innovate through the pandemic. Please join me with the incredible Scott McKain.

Hello, Scott McKain. Thank you for joining me the show. How are you doing?

Chris, I\’m good but I\’m getting better because it\’s great to be with you. I have loved the interviews that you have done with David John, Marshall Goldsmith and our mutual great friend, Kenny Aronoff. You\’ve had some literal rockstars in many different fields on this. It is a privilege to be here. I appreciate you having me so much.

It\’s a big get for me to have you. You\’re one of the giants in this industry. You\’ve been at the top of everything you\’ve done in this industry. One of the best speakers somebody can hire or book because automatic guaranteed rave reviews every time. I love knowing people like you because you are iconic. I will tell you, your latest book is called ICONIC but when I saw that I said, \”That\’s Scott McKain. When Scott walks down the hallway of an NSA Conference or any conference at all, he\’s walking into a room or down the hallway, he owns it.\” There\’s something about you that is contagious in a good way. It lifts the room up.

From a young age, you\’ve done a lot of incredible things. I want to get into a little bit of that journey because I don\’t know if a lot of people focus on that or know about that. I also want to talk about the world we live in. I like to do this with speakers. I like to figure out what the main word is. If there\’s one word, that\’s even better. If there are few words, that\’s great. One of the main words, if not the main word with you, is distinction. You\’ve another book with that title in it. This book subtitle has it in it ICONIC. Tell me a little bit about your definition. It\’s changed, I\’m sure over all these years. It\’s even more important to you than it\’s ever been. Tell me a little bit about what that word means to you, distinction.

I hear a lot of folks talking about differentiation, Chris. It occurred to me that I could slap every customer in the face and be different. It doesn\’t mean they\’d ever come back or buy anything else from me. I thought there has to be a higher level. There has to be something that is not only setting you apart in the marketplace but is so strong that it attracts customers to do business with you. It attracts the kind of employees that you want to hire to be interested in you. To me, that was a higher level in differentiation and that\’s where I came across the word distinction. That\’s been my guiding principle for the last fifteen years is, what can you do to create distinction? What can you do to be so compelling and attractive that you in some ways make the competition irrelevant, that you attract to such a degree, that it\’s easy to get repeat business?

[bctt tweet=\”What can you do to be so compelling and attractive that you, in some ways, make the competition irrelevant?\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

It\’s easy to get a referral business. All of those things can come into place and that\’s what I\’ve spent in the last few years of my life researching and refining. To your point, you\’re right. The definition continues to be tweaked and to expand because the world is changing and marketplaces are changing. I think the principles of distinction are the same but the arenas in which we apply them are certainly varying because of not just a global pandemic but all of the other economic, social and political aspects that are happening in the world.

In the book ICONIC, the subtitle is, How Organizations and Leaders Attain, Sustain, and Regain the Highest Level of Distinction. Tell us a little bit about why this book differentiates itself from the others.

One of my clients is Fairmont Hotels and one of their properties brought me in several times to work in speaking, consulting and coaching. I’m having breakfast with the CEO of Fairmont Hotel Princess. This property in Scottsdale, Arizona. I use this in my speeches. He shows me the map on one of the services. All the dots on the map are other resorts. He said, \”We want to be distinctive, to stand out. We followed your process of standing out. We are the number one rated property here. What\’s next?\” I\’m like, \”I\’d written this book on how you get there but I hadn\’t written how do you keep it or if you lose it, how do you get it back?\”

As we\’re sitting there eating breakfast, he said, \”Next we\’ll become iconic.\” The light bulb went on over my head. I said, \”That\’s it.\” I started researching. To me, distinction meant that you attain that within your field, within your industry. It\’s not just on a global basis. In our local communities, Starbucks is iconic. It\’s everywhere but there\’s a local coffee shop that is pretty distinctive. They stand out from other coffee shops but how do you get to that top level? I started looking even in communities.

I live for many years in Indianapolis. In one six block area, there are eighteen steakhouses. One of those steakhouses has higher revenue than Tavern On the Green in New York City. It has higher revenue than many of those other steakhouses combined. What makes St. Elmo\’s the place? The Rolling Stones played two nights in Indianapolis on the Steel Wheel\’s Tour. LA got two nights. Chicago got two nights. How did Indianapolis get two nights? They wanted to eat twice at St. Elmo’s. How does that happen? That\’s part of what I researched and that was the book ICONIC. The thing of it is there are some principles in there that are different than what we might think. I\’ll give you one. I heard forever, I might\’ve even said at a time or two from the stage, “Under promise, over deliver.” We\’ve assumed that\’s a mantra. I\’m going to under promise but I\’m going to over deliver.

Here\’s the problem. Research particularly at the University of San Diego has revealed that for those of us that have clients we go back to repeatedly, our clients begin to perceive this as manipulative. It\’s a negative aspect. The reason for that is if I\’m always under promising and over delivering then from the client-customer perspective, they begin to see me as trying to make myself a hero. It\’s self-centered not customer-centric.

What customers want us to do is to do what we said we would do when we said we would do it, to deliver on our promises. I\’ll give you an example. Uber is overused as an example but when you look at what they\’ve also done is how do they accelerate the promise as they advance their performance? That\’s why they developed Uber Eats. There\’s also Uber Health because they realized that one of the problems that senior citizens have is getting to their medical appointments. They devised a whole new way that they can do that even with flip phones. You don\’t even have to have a smartphone anymore to use that service, all the things that they\’re doing in terms of expanding connections.

\"VSP Becoming Iconic: The principles of distinction are the same, but the arenas in which we apply them are certainly varying because of the economic, social, and political aspects that are happening in the world today.


There\’s part of the thing too. Iconic organizations broadened the view of who and what they are. Uber doesn\’t look at itself as a car ride service. It\’s a connection service. How do we get the food? If I\’m a car ride service, it\’s taking you and me to the airport. If I\’m a connection service, it\’s how do we get medicine from the pharmacy to the patient that needs it? How do we get the patient to the doctor? How do we get the food from the restaurant? We have to change how we think about ourselves.

How do we solve the problem of connection? How do we become the ultimate connectors in every way in this city, in this town and this community? That\’s awesome. One of your top stories that is an example of iconic, that\’s an example of somebody getting to the top, being iconic and staying there, an easy way for us to see how they did it and to learn from that. What\’s one of those?

There are so many examples that have become clichés. It\’s easy to talk about Apple, Southwest Airlines and all the things that everybody talks about. That\’s why I stayed away from that in the book because we know Apple is iconic and we know the story but the example I used is St. Elmo’s Steak House. It is one of them. It was founded when Grant was the president. What all of the owners have done over the period of time hasn\’t changed hands that many times but with the Hughes family that owns it is to protect the reputation as they deepen the connections. Let me give you an example. Employees, waiters and servers there are encouraged to look at it as a career, not as a part-time job. They have 401(k) plans and all types of benefit plans. Every server has a business card. At the end of your meal, they present you their business card and say, \”I hope you\’ll return. When you return, I hope you\’ll ask for me as your server.\”

These servers have a client list. The line they said is, “We want them to be intrepreneurs.” In other words, “Have an entrepreneurial spirit inside our organization.\” I love that. One of the funny things is every year, they honor their employees and part of how they do it is they have a bottle of wine. The vintage of the wine is the year that you started with St. Elmo. He said, \”Little did I realize when I started this, we\’ve got people here that started in \’79. The \’79 Cabernet is not a cheap bottle of wine to present.\” It\’s part of what they do to deliver the ultimate customer experience. That\’s what this is all about.

You\’re not an owner and you\’re not paid to talk about them on the show or anywhere else. It also gets people to study them and fall in love with what they\’re doing. That\’s what they did with you. You\’re literally an example of them winning you over and you wanting to find out how they did it and falling in love with being there because of their story. There\’s a place in LA called Apple Pan. Have you heard of that?

No, I haven\’t.

I know you lived in LA and it\’s been around since 1950 or even maybe before that. It\’s standing room only. It\’s a little burger stand. It\’s cash only. They do millions of dollars a year. All of their cooks and all of the people that work there have worked for twenty-plus year. They bought one of their chefs a BMW. You go in there and there are celebrities sitting at the counter that have been going there for years. It\’s this idea of the story also, the lure and the caring and taking care of the community, which is places that will be around forever. People would like them not to be torn down or get the rent raised on them.

That was part of the message of this book. You and I both know there are so many folks who get up and tell the stories of these iconic companies. There are so few of them we tend to go back to the same ones over and over. \”Here\’s another story about Amazon that you haven\’t heard any before.\” I want to find these others that were locally iconic or regionally iconic. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess was named the number one resort in the world. After going through this iconic process, the general manager, the CEO that I was telling you about, was just named the number one hotel executive in the world by their industry trade association. It is something that you can do with one store, one business or one outlet. It\’s a great process to follow regardless of the size of your organization.

[bctt tweet=\”We\’re chosen for our differences, not our similarities. \” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

The great thing about this topic of distinction and what you\’ve always talked about, differentiation as well is it helps with your brand and your company dealing with the consumers, reaching out to customers and keeping customers and clients. It also works with people who are trying to get jobs. It also works with employees and how they\’re seen by potential employers or by their current employers. This world that we live in now, there are a lot of people looking for jobs.

The most important question that we can ask is why they would choose me instead of another alternative? We often think that an employer chooses us or we think that a customer chooses us. That\’s not the entirety of the situation. They choose us instead of the other viable alternatives that are out there in the marketplace. Many times, we go in and think, \”If I say the same thing and do the same thing as everybody else, I\’ve got a chance to get this job.\” We\’re chosen for our differences, not our similarities. There have to be baseline qualifications.

When I got on my knee and opened up that little jewelry box to propose to Tammy, my wife, I did not say, \”Honey, will you marry me? You\’re exactly like every other woman I ever dated.\” I talked about, \”You\’re special. You\’re the only one. You\’re it.\” That\’s part of the problem. In business, we seem to think that being like our competition or if we\’re going for a job, being like the other applicants is the way that is most secure. Instead, it\’s the way that we blend in with everybody else and become indistinguishable. There\’s got to be something unique about what you do or else why would people choose you instead of the competition?

What if people are having difficulty figuring out why they\’re unique? How do they figure out what their iconic potential is and what their differentiating factor is? I think a lot of people don\’t have a lot of confidence in themselves. They don\’t see those special traits. They miss out on their greatness. They miss out on their opportunity because they don\’t realize how great they are. How do they tap into how great they are and what makes them different and special?

I think they have to drill into the uniqueness of their own experience. If there\’s anything I\’ve discovered over a period of time is that we run from our own uniqueness. Let me give you an example. Chris, I know that you\’re an experienced drummer. If you were going to apply for a job, one of the things I would say is, \”Here\’s the resume,\” but on the side, \”I\’ve been a drummer.\” That should tell you, Ms. Prospective employer, a couple of things. Number one is few drummers have solo careers. They\’re part of a team. \”You should know from my experience as a drummer that I know what it means to be a part of the team. I know what it means to get along with other people. I know what it means to be able to be a contributing part of a group. The second thing is if you know anything about drummers, they have to be consistent. I can\’t be playing one time and the band be performing another time. I can\’t be right on the beat for half the song but be a little bit behind after.\”

They have to be reliable. They have to be good leaders. I know you\’re a drummer too, so don\’t try and pretend like, \”I don\’t know that.\”

All of a sudden, we\’ve shifted the conversation from what my GPA was and how long I stayed at my previous position into strengths that make me unique in the marketplace. We are attracted because of our differences, not our similarities. It\’s finding those unique aspects that we can bring forward. After they\’ve interviewed twenty people and they\’re trying to decide who they\’re going to bring back for the second interview, I\’ll guarantee you somebody would say, \”Remember that drummer? That\’s what he said was unique, was different. We need to find out more about him and talk to him again,\” which is what you\’re looking for at that point.

\"VSP Becoming Iconic: Under-promising but over-delivering is not cutting it anymore. What customers want us to do is to do what we said we would do and deliver on our promises.


They\’re sometimes looking for a cool factor. What makes you different but also did you do something cool getting here. That is a perfect segue because I wanted to ask you about you. I want to ask a lot of speakers this question. I either forget to or I don\’t feel comfortable doing it or sometimes it\’s obvious. With most people, it\’s not obvious. How did you get here? How did you get to be a guy who gets to talk about differentiation? What makes you so special? What did you do as a young man that got you into the world of success? I think it was entrepreneurial. It\’s where this topic started for you.

I grew up in a rural community in Southern Indiana, North of Louisville, Kentucky. When you hear the John Mellencamp old song, I was born in the same small town. John used to play our middle school dances. The funny thing was I was born in Seymour. I grew up 15 miles South in Connersville, Indiana. We looked at that town that John was from as the big town. My town was so small. We thought the small town was big. My folks were on the one grocery store in the town and then a supermarket came in to our community.

I look back at the things that my dad did to survive and thrive. He didn\’t attend business seminars. He didn\’t hear professional speakers but I still have a great deal of amazement for the way that he made that store successful in spite of incredible competition. It was the learning laboratory for everything I talk about. I got involved in a student organization, got elected state president in Indiana and national officer. You lay out of college a couple of years and do nothing but travel and speak. I gave 1,000 speeches before all types of groups.

By the time I was 22 years old, I had met with the president in The Oval Office. I had a private meeting with the Chairman of General Motors and the boardroom at Detroit. I\’d spoken in front of groups as large as 25,000 people. It was the greatest experience in training for this that you can imagine. What happened is I would go out and people heard me speak as an officer of this organization. Parents would say, \”Why don\’t you come back and speak to the tellers at our bank? Why don\’t you come back and speak to the school board?\” That\’s how I pay my way through college. What happened is somebody would come up and say, \”I got a good idea. You might want to use this in your speeches.\” I\’d write it down. It might be the person that owned the local jewelry store or hardware store. The next speech, I would say, \”Last night in Dubuque, this guy said this.\”

One of two things would happen, either people would write it down or somebody would come up with a better idea. You do that for ten years. It wasn\’t theory. It was practical experience. I started my own business, got involved in some other businesses but people kept asking me to speak and that led into writing books. The other real twist is after I\’d been doing this awhile, my first wife Sheri developed ovarian cancer and we struggled with that for a while. I had to leave the speaking behind to be a caregiver.

After she passed, I was left with seven figures of medical bills and an empty calendar. I had to figure this out. Speaking is a competitive business as you know better than anybody, Chris. I started looking for, \”What could I do to make my speaking business stand out?\” Back then, if somebody said, \”What do you speak about?\” I would say, \”About an hour. What do you want? You want time management. Sure, I\’ll figure that out. The time of speech is all I have.\” I was a mile wide and an inch deep.

I started studying, \”What could I do to stand out in my profession?\” You got to remember this is years ago. I couldn\’t find anything. There were things like differentiator die. There were other books but there wasn\’t a real deep study on what did it take? Was there a process that you could follow that would help you stand out from competitors? The blinding flash that was obvious for me was if I can\’t find it, maybe there are other businesses out there. I really made it a study. I was so fortunate. I published the first book on it and 30 major newspapers, Miami Herald, New Orleans Times-Picayune and Sacramento Bee all put it on their ten best list of the year.

What was the name of the book?

[bctt tweet=\”People remember how you make them feel. Too often, we don\’t focus enough on the experiential aspect of doing business with us.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

It was called The Collapse of Distinction. That was written during the economic collapse. The economy rebounds and the publisher says, \”Maybe we need to tweak this a little bit.\” I updated it and called it Create Distinction. That book did well. The next book was ICONIC. That\’s my latest book. I was really fortunate that Forbes had it on their ten best lists that it was released. It\’s something that when you try to help other people, when you\’re struggling and what you learned through your struggles can be a benefit to other people that are going through the same challenges and struggles themselves.

It\’s so interesting to me because I get to hear these stories a lot. Even with the show, I get to hear even more of them. By the way, American Express also said that it was one of the six books to help you innovate through the pandemic. Don\’t forget that because that\’s a pretty cool endorsement on ICONIC. The two things that are interesting about you that I tell people all the time and that I hear a lot with successful speakers and people in business, one is the world around you tells you, you should be a speaker.

People wake up in the morning and they\’re like, \”I know these people make this money doing this speaking thing. I could do that too.\” Probably not. You don\’t just wake up and decide you\’re going to be a speaker. I think the world around you tells you organically because of something you\’ve done as a success, you\’ve overcome something or you\’ve created something amazing, the world around you, your friends and your family are like, “You\’re personable. You\’ve got a great personality and you\’ve got charisma. Can you come tell your story down at the church or at the school, my business, to my people that I manage or whoever it is?”

You were the president of an organization, so that was your job also. That was fortunate for you to get that title and then you had to speak and you had to learn how to speak on behalf of that organization but still after that, people were asking you to speak. You naturally had that going on organically. The other interesting thing about you is in so many speakers, business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs do is they solve a problem for themselves. They have a big problem. They don\’t know how to solve it. There\’s not a lot of help out there, so they got to solve it themselves and then they want to share that with the world. That\’s what you did with this, \”How do I get back in the speaking industry? How do I become distinct? How do I differentiate?\” You\’ve been sharing that ever since. Those are two exact ways to do it the right way. People say, \”How do I write a bestseller? How do I become a speaker?\” That\’s how you do it.

When people say, \”I want to be a speaker. How did you get here?\” I say, \”It\’s because of the student organization I was with.\” That was voluntary. I say, \”I gave 1,000 free speeches before I got paid. If you\’ll go out and do half of that, I\’ll bet you\’ll do fine.\” I have yet to have a single one. Nobody wants to do that. It\’s the old Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours thing but there\’s a lot to that. How many calls do you make in the early part of your career that I know, Chris? How many calls did you make that people didn\’t buy from you or they hung up on you? We all have to pay our dues. The thing I think that a speaker can do for the audience like you do for your clients is to shorten the curve. That\’s one of the things that bugs me about what\’s going on out there is that there are people that are marketing. There is this silver bullet. There\’s this one thing that you need to know or there is this secret.

In the age of the internet, in the age that we\’re in with social media, if that was a secret, it won\’t be a secret anymore. We\’re not keeping it. There\’s no one thing. It is discovering a process and helping people work through that process to get there. Can they get there? They can. It seems to me my job as an author/speaker is to shorten the curve, to tighten it up so that you\’re not doing unnecessary things. There\’s not wasted motion, so to speak. You do the same with your clients. There\’s a plethora of speakers out there. Part of what you do so well is to help get the focus, narrow the focus and make the right choice so that they don\’t make mistakes. There\’s no wasted motion.

Saving people from doing some work that they shouldn\’t have to do also and helping them tighten that up like you said.

\"VSP ICONIC: How Organizations and Leaders Attain, Sustain, and Regain the Ultimate Level of Distinction

One of the things whether it\’s in booking speakers or in buying cars or whatever it might be, we need consultants, experts and coaches. Yugo made ads that made the Yugo, if you remember that from a million years ago, look cool. It was a piece of junk. This happened a few years back. There was one speaker that had the most incredible demo video that you can imagine. It was phenomenal. It was eight minutes long and it blew you away. Somebody I know booked that speaker and I said, \”How did they do?\” He said, \”We booked him for an hour keynote.\” \”How did they do?\” \”He had eight fabulous minutes.\” They didn\’t talk with the Bureau. They didn\’t talk with somebody like you, Chris. We all need that whether it is in booking a speaker or how do I stand out from the competition or how do I hire more effectively? I own the federally-registered trademark on the term ultimate customer experience. How do we connect with our customers more effectively and in a distinctive manner? We need help with those things. That’s hopefully the service we can all bring.

We\’re in the pandemic. We\’re in a new world. We\’re in a new year. People are trying to get new jobs. They got fired. They lost their companies. They got furloughed. People are looking for customers. People are looking for clients. People are looking to rebuild their business. Distinction is more important than ever has been. It\’s almost like you\’ve been practicing for this moment your whole career, Scott. You\’ve been teaching and preaching this thing. Now, it\’s the most important thing somebody can do as a potential employee to get a job but also as a company to make it through this, to distinguish themselves and to differentiate themselves in a way that makes it so they can get through this. What are your rules? I know there\’s no secret. I would guess that you\’re excited about this time as well because there\’s a lot of potential. There\’s a lot of optimism where people can begin again and find more success than they had before by reinventing and looking at things differently. How do you look at all of this?

I\’m going to give you the four cornerstones to distinction quickly, Chris. Number one is clarity. We\’ve got to be crystal clear about what separates us from the competition. Our customers are buying the destination and we\’re selling them the plane. It\’s like we want to unload on them everything that we can do as opposed to the one core thing that is truly important and unique to us but once we center on what our clarity is, which by the way is the hardest of the four to get to than that core clarity then we want to do creativity.

Creativity doesn\’t mean we blow everything up, throw everything out and start over. It means we find this one innovative approach. You look at Enterprise rental cars. It\’s the same Ford you get from Avis and Hertz. There\’s zero product variation but they had the idea, \”What if we brought the car to you? What if we picked you up rather than made you come get the car?\” They are the biggest in the industry not because the product is better but they found one point of innovation. Creativity is second.

Third is communication. We are a society that we\’re story junkies but yet I go on websites and you click on the website where it says our story and it\’s the resume. Your resume is not your story. You tell a story. You put in a narrative about how a single customer benefited from the service of the product that you have. The fourth is the customer experience focus. It\’s focusing on what it feels like to do business with us? How does this make us feel? The Maya Angelou quote has been said a million times but it\’s so true. “People remember how you make them feel.” We don\’t focus enough on the experiential aspect of doing business with us. When we have clarity and creativity, communication through narrative and a customer experience focus, we are doing the process that it takes to make us distinctive in a hyper competitive marketplace.

On LinkedIn, I\’m seeing so many people are furloughed and out of a job. I think this is a great question for you to help us all with. If you\’re going in on an interview, how would you differentiate yourself when you get to that live in person conversation with somebody on Zoom, on a phone call or in person? What would you be thinking that whole time? I don\’t want to be blending with the crowd. What else?

HR executives that I talked to are almost unanimous in saying this. In most interviews, it is employee and prospect-focused. “Here are my qualifications. Here\’s what I have done. Here is why I\’m the right person for the job.” The old cliche is, \”Describe your biggest weakness.\” \”I worked too hard. I cared too much.\” Instead, I would flip that. If I was being interviewed, I would try to change the situation a little bit. With your most successful current team members, would you describe for me what makes them so successful? I want to make certain that my strengths play to what you\’re looking for. I would keep it focused on how I could serve them. I would also talk about the research that I had done. I understand that one of the challenges that you face is the growing. It\’s all focused on them and why you\’d like to help them, not why they should hire you.

That\’s the same thing companies need to do with their consumers and with their customers that they already have and the ones they don\’t have. Put yourself in their shoes and figure out what they want. Scott, all I can say to you is this has been way too fast. I feel like we just got started and I know pretty much done a full-length interview here. I know there\’s so many stories that you can share. You\’re such a great storyteller and you\’re such a fun guy to talk to. Leave us with something as you\’re thinking about the future. You\’ve been through a bad time. You\’ve been through losing your first wife and going through that recession. I think it was around the same time when that all happened. You had to rebuild. I know a lot of people are feeling down and not as optimistic as the rest of us about how this is going to end up and how the future looks. How are you looking at the future? Are you excited? Are you unsure? Are you conservative about it? How are you feeling about it? Leave us with that.

[bctt tweet=\”Plan for the spring and be prepared when it arrives.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

I\’m excited about the future but I think that is a matter of personal and professional choice. I heard this audio many years ago of Jim Rohn and I never realized how powerful it was until it happened in my life. When I\’m dealing with a terminally ill spouse and no business or income because I\’ve got to be the caregiver, it was the winter of my life. I heard this quote that, “After every winter comes spring. It happens every time.” I didn\’t realize in the darkest winter of my life and my career that a spring awaited. Part of what happens though is when spring arrives, you can\’t keep thinking like winter. Now that we\’re in a winter with the pandemic and with the challenges that we face, I think it\’s time that we need to start if we haven\’t already started planning for the spring. How are we going to be prepared when the spring arrives?

Some years we have a spring that arrives late. Some it comes quickly. We don\’t know when it\’s going to get here but we do know that it is coming. I would encourage as corny as it sounds some spring thinking. What are you going to plant? What are you going to do to grow? What are you going to do to develop in a way that takes you beyond what you ever imagined? If we think about that then we will be prepared for the opportunity that\’s around the corner.

It\’s a little bit of reflection and it\’s a little bit of education. Preparing yourself in what ways you think you need to be ready for what\’s coming and where you see yourself or your industry. That\’s great, Scott. That\’s a wonderful place to leave it. Thank you so much for your time.

It\’s my privilege. Thank you.

It\’s been fun. I look forward to seeing you again soon and hearing more great reviews from everybody I book you with.

I appreciate you so much. Thank you, Chris.


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About Scott McKain


Scott McKain is a globally recognized authority on how organizations and professionals create a distinction to attract and retain customers — and stand out in a hyper-competitive marketplace.

Scott\’s recent book, ICONIC: How Organizations and Leaders Attain, Sustain, and Regain the Ultimate Level of Distinction,\” was recently named on as a TOP TEN BEST BUSINESS BOOK for 2018. The first edition of his book, \”Create Distinction: What to Do When \’Great\’ Isn\’t Good Enough to Grow Your Business\” was named by thirty major newspapers (such as the Miami Herald) as one of the \”ten best business books of the year.\”

Scott\’s expertise has been quoted multiple times in USA Today, the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, and International Herald-Tribune. His commentaries were syndicated on a weekly basis for over a decade to eighty television stations in the U.S., Canada, and Australia – and he\’s appeared multiple times as a guest on FOX News Network.

Arnold Schwarzenegger booked him for a presentation at the White House with the President in the audience, and Scott played the villain in a movie named by esteemed critic Roger Ebert as one of the \”fifty greatest movies in the history of cinema,\” directed by the legendary Werner Herzog.

With a client list that represents the world\’s most distinctive companies – like Apple, SAP, Merrill Lynch, BMW, Cisco, CDW, Fidelity, John Deere and literally hundreds more – Scott McKain was honored with induction along with Zig Ziglar, Seth Godin, Dale Carnegie and just twenty more in the \”Sales and Marketing Hall of Fame.\” After thousands of presentations in all 50 states and 23 countries, he was honored with membership in the \”Professional Speakers Hall of Fame.\”


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