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This business coaching lesson teaches you how to grow your virtual workforce.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Powerful Moves To Grow Your Business: 11. Growing your virtual workforce
  • Notable Quotable: "Find talent that can expand your capabilities without increasing your payroll expenses. Form strategic alliances and connect with expert vendors and colleagues."
  • Notable Quotable: "Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." - Walt Disney
  • Lesson Nugget: As a leader, you either repel or attract top talent.


-All right, Jim. Today we are talking about growing your virtual workforce.


-And I'm excited.

-People that don't work for you, but they work for you.

-People that don't work for you who work for you. That's interesting. I'm excited to hear you further explain that. Because right now that's still kind of confusing.

-That's kind of like employees you don't have to pay. See, that sounds great.

-This could be a big beneficial key right here.

-You bet.

-This fits in what we're talking about, where these power moves to help you grow your business.

-Yeah. These are not just good little strategic moves. Some of these are game-changers.

-Love it. That's huge. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to read a notable quotable from you, and you unpack it and give us some action items.


-Here's what you said. You said, "Find talent that can expand your capabilities without increasing your payroll expenses. Form strategic alliances and connect with expert vendors and colleagues."

What do you mean, these people that work for you who don't work for you?

-Well, first off, you've got existing customers who buy from you, and clearly don't work for you. You work for them, right?


-But if those customers love you, if they think you're the coolest thing since hiking boots--

-Is that a thing? Is that a saying?

-Pulled it out of the air. The coolest thing since collars for donkeys. Right.

-Wow. Again, I've never heard of that.

-Coolest thing since monkey breath.

-[INAUDIBLE] on fire.

-Then if your customers really love you, they're going to recommend you to their friends. They're going to talk to their colleagues about how pleased they are that they're doing business with you. It's like when Walt Disney had expressed that he wanted people to not only enjoy coming to Disneyland or Disney World, he wanted them to want to come back and to want to tell their friends and bring them with them.

-That's so good.

-So he actually made his own customers his best sales force. How much did he have to pay those customers?


-Nothing. They paid him. Wow.


-Wow. People are paying him for the privilege of helping him grow his business? Yeah. And it happens again and again and again.

You look at companies like Zappos and Googles-- all the companies that are the stereotype examples of really cool success. Apple's another great example. The Apple Store is an experience. It's not just a retail shop. People go in there because it's cool to be in there. They go in there to hang out with the other people and see the latest cool things.

And so it becomes an experience. And people say, hey, got a few minutes? Yeah. Let's go to the Apple store?

Really? Really? I mean, I don't want to buy-- I'm an Android guy. I don't want to--

Yeah. But lets go. It's really cool.

OK. And people go in there and they say, you know what? We should probably buy one of those, too.

So that's part of your virtual workforce. But also your vendors. So you need to think of everyone that's connected with your business in any way as a potential power player on your team.

-Anyone who's connected.

-Anyone. Anyone. Someone who supplies the water for the break room. Right? Somebody who is the driver that picks up your shipments when they're going out. Your UPS guy. The person that comes by and reads the meters.

You need to be intentionally such a cool, favorable person to work with or be around that people want to be around you more often. And in more meaningful ways.

So it's like my mother, she lived in a retirement home and I went to visit her one time. And I'm sitting at the table-- lunch table in the dining room-- with Mom and her friend Marguerite, and another friend, let's say there are three other friends. And Mom said, look at this, Jim. She said, I'm-- I think she was 89 at the time-- she said, Marguerite's 93.

She said-- I'm going to make up names now. Amy is 103. OK. Ellen is 81. And so and so here is 89 like me.

And I said, wow. You guys look good. And Mom said, well hey, everyone in this retirement home wants to sit at our lunch table.

I said really? Why?

She said, because we're the only table that laughs.


JIM: Whoa. We're the only table that laughs. In other words, they, in their little culture, had found fun and interest and stimulation and you know, and--

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Lesson Nugget: Negativity, rumors, and gossip can spread it left unmanaged.
  • Lesson Nugget: Be intentional about spreading positivity.


JIM CATHCART: I remember one day-- my mother's maiden name is literally Fudge, like the candy, Fudge. And Paula's mom's maiden name is Flowers. Whoa. Fudge and Flowers? There's a match made in heaven.


-Anyway, so one day they're sitting there in this group around the table, they said, well, what will we talk about today? And one of them said let's compare maiden names and see if anyone knows anyone else with that maiden name.

Mom said, I win. And they said, what? She said, you don't know anybody with my maiden name. What your maiden name? Fudge. Marguerite sitting right next to her says I know a Fudge. Really? You know a Fudge? Honest to Pete, you know a Fudge? Yeah.

And she says, where did you grow up? Little Rock, Arkansas. Well, Mom said, well, I grew up in Louisiana. And she said, well, who did you know named Fudge? She said, Harvey Fudge. Harvey Fudge? My older brother Harvey Fudge who lived for only one summer in Little Rock?

CALEB TAYLOR: That is so funny.

-She said, yeah, we took a class together in school and he made eyes at me in class.


-Harvey died at age 20.


-And in that 20 years, he spent one spring, summer in Little Rock and evidently went to school for part of that.

-That is wild.

-And of all the people on Earth, the one who happens to be near my mom, who didn't grow up in Little Rock, but grew up in Louisiana--


-You know--

-I love it.


-You know, virtual workforce. I mean, that's a little bit of a stretch.


-But what I want you to get is that connections are endless, the possibilities.

-That's so good.

-You never know who could be on your team, and you never even realized they were on your team, or who could be your adversary and you never realized they were spreading poison about you.

-I love that. You never know who could be on your team, where those connections could come from.

-You could have a poisonous virtual work force and if you didn't know it. There goes Yelp every day with anonymous postings running you down.

CALEB TAYLOR: See, that's what I want to touch on. You gave us an example of that first vehicle which could be the customers. There's obviously many of them you mentioned. It could be vendors, like you say. It could be anyone.


-But let's focus on customers. You're saying, these guys, you gave Disney as an example. Disney's customers, they were so blown away, they wanted to bring friends.

-Yeah. So they became his sales force.

-They did. But if I'm a Thriver watching right now, can that really apply to my business? I know we've got a Thriver who's got the insulation company.


-Does that work for installation companies or is it just a theme park for kids?

-It so works for every company. I mean, think of an installation company. Who are the people that you interact with? All right? And if you've got a virtual workforce, who is it? Well, it's the people that supply you with the installation because they're part of your regular ongoing team. They get the supplies, the tools, the equipment to you to do the job that you do, right?

You've got your own sales team. You've got your own existing customers, former customers. You've even got dissatisfied customers that if you go back and wow them with a great solution and don't require them to pay a bunch of extra money in order to get that, they're going to start bragging about you. You know what? I did business with this guy a couple years ago and I was so dissatisfied, I was just kind of spitting every time I said his name.


-And then one day he contacted me and he said, you know what? It's been bothering me. I've been losing sleep thinking about how dissatisfied you were with the job we did. And I apologize for that and I have an idea for how to help make that better. And it's not going to cost you anything extra, I just want to do X for you. And you do whatever it is that's a sensible thing to do. I'm not suggesting you waste a great deal of money to try and buy back a disgruntled customer.


-But you find something creative to do and you do it in a generous spirit, not a now will you do more business with me? Now will you write me a testimonial? No, no. Just giving, pay it forward. Go out there and be a force for good. And you'll find that will start working in your favor.

CALEB TAYLOR: That's huge. So let me ask you this then. What's the first step? I mean is it just a change of mindset or what do we do? What's the action step?

-Yeah, it really is. It's a change of mindset to be aware that there are lots of people that you're communicating with on an ongoing basis and you don't even realize you're communicating. Because there are people that if you're a cheerful, happy, uplifting person, a person finds good in others, there are people who think really favorably of you and even tell others about that that you're never conscious of.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Lesson Nugget: Praise positive reinforcement in your workforce and you will see a difference in your team's attitude as a whole.
  • Action Step: View each person you come into contact with as a potential member of your workforce.
  • Action Step: Make the people you come in contact with glad they know you.
  • Action Step : Make each contact aware of why what they do matters.
  • Action Step : Notice each person you come in contact with.
  • Action Step: Look for ways to make people you come in contact with glad they know you.
  • Action Step: Inform the people you come in contact with the value you can provide them.


-I try to be intentional about this and my heart's in the right place, thank heavens, so it works for me occasionally, or most always. One of the things that I did when I recently moved, I moved from a town home to another town home, a larger one, but I moved from a lease to a purchase. Well as a lessee I was occasionally interacting with the landscaping people, the gardeners, and I would have them do a job for me and I'd give them a little tip. And it wasn't like I paid them a bunch of money, I gave them appropriately sized tip to the work that they did. But I also, if I had something that was in good quality that I wasn't going to be using anymore that I might have taken to goodwill or something I might ask them, hey do you ever have need for one of these?

And one of the times that was a television. I mean a nice television, flat screen, little thing you put in the kitchen or something. And I said, you ever have need for one of these? He said, wow, yeah. How much? I said, nothing, just a gift. Well hey, guess whose yard is kept better than anybody else's? Wow. And I really wasn't trying to buy favors. But then we moved next door and I learned the guy's name. And I thought, well heck, now that I'm an owner I need to know his name. And when I pass him on the street I need to waive at him. I need to, whatever.

-Sure. And I love that because that's the impact that is had specifically for you in your house and you're saying this applies to business owners. I mean--

-Be a cheerfulness bringer. Bring cheer everywhere you go. Be a good finder. Look for good in other people and praise it. Say hey, you know something I appreciate about you? You always only take one parking spot and you never park in the best parking spot. You always seem to park over at the edge where the best parking spots are still available throughout the day. I think that's very considerate. Thank you for doing that. And the person says well, I just that's the way I was brought up. Well good for you, and good for you parents. And you go on your merry way. Is he going to remember you said that? You bet your eyes yeah.

-So I love in the action item you gave when you talked about the mindset it sounds like you're saying that we need to just start viewing everyone as potential members of our workforce.

-That's right. And how do you make a person a part of your virtual sales force. Let's focus on selling. Well, first off, you make them glad they know you. That's a number one, big, mega item right there. Make them glad they know you. How do you make them glad they know you? Well, it's not by talking about you. It's by finding good in them, doing good things that, whatever, good things we've been talking about so far.

-Second thing is, they need to know what you do and I don't mean the function, I mean the value. Say, Caleb, you know what we do here?

-Yeah, you make those machines.

-No, that's a function that we perform here, what we do here is with those machines we shorten people's workday by half because this is a time saving device and what it does is da da da da da da da. And that frees people up to do so many other things. So that's why we exist, is saving people time and effort and the machines are simply one of the tools we use to get there.

-Really how's it work? Oh, now Caleb's interested.

-Well here, put your hands on that, let me show you how those are built and why that way, and see this, that's an example of one of our recent clients.

-Wow, I've seen them before. They're well known and now all of the sudden he's got on of the brochures. Could I keep this?

-Yeah that's good.

-So what's he going to do with it? He's going to put it in his glove box and forget it? No, he's going to take it home, or he's going to take it back to the office and he's going to show it someone. Hey, see this, that's the guy, I know that guy. I was in his office the other day and I saw one of those things he showed me how it worked.

-Well that's cool. Now then three, or four, or seven, or 20 people know about you in a favorable light.

-What did that cost you? Let me think. In round numbers, what's the roundest number we could come up with? A really, really, really, round number.

-0 maybe?

-Yeah. Nothing. So it costs you nothing. -I love it. That's what we're doing here. Growing the virtual workforce slash sales force and you've got to equip them, You said specifically how are you the person that they enjoy being around and they like.

-Number one, figure out who they are, notice them. It always comes back to notice more, with me. Notice who they are and think of all the people that there's any kind of touch with, at all. OK. Like even a tollbooth operator if you always go tollbooth. One morning as you go through do the fun thing, you know, pay for the person behind you and say here's double the toll that covers a person behind me, and by the way here's something for you. Just give them a little tiny gift, or something, that relates to your business and lets them know who you are.

-I like it.

-And then just go your merry way and don't ever expect anything back. I guarantee you they're going to remember you. Next time you come through instead of-- it's going to be, oh hey! So now you get a smile instead of just a function.

-So first you're noticing.

-Noticing. The second thing you're doing is you're looking for ways to make them glad they know you.

-Glad they know you.

-Right, OK. Third thing you're doing is looking for ways to inform them of the value that you provide.

-Inform them of the value.

-Yeah. So someone says, what do you do? I'm a banker. Really? Oh, that's exciting. No it's not. OK.


-What do you do? I help people have more control over their money. What? Yeah, I'm a banker and what we do is we give people ways of accounting for their money, investing their money, providing interest on their money, getting reports on their money, understanding the various uses of money, da da da da da da da da da.

-But what's the purpose of a bank? Storage? No. Interest? No. Investment? No. Control over your money. Only your money, not other people's money, your money. So the purpose of a bank is control over your money. What do you do as a banker? I give people more control over their money. Cool. In that case I do need a bank, thank you very much.

-That's so good. I love that. So in final wrapping up thought here, what do you say to that Thriver who's watching that's saying yes, I see the value in this now and I'm excited to turn everyone into a member of my sales force. What do you say though is that final like, you can do this, this isn't something just for Disney or Apple.

-It's absolutely for everybody. Just remember this. You are not entitled to this. Nobody's entitled. This is something you earn. This is something that if you expect it you're going to ruin it. So just do it. Pay it forward. Be a generous, giving, person. Be in the gratitude and generosity mindset as you do this, and just look for ways to make other people's lives a little bit nicer because you're in it.

-I love it. That was incredible. Thank you for these action items. Now it's to apply them and I love love hearing the wisdom from you. Thank you Jim.

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