Welcome to the Adventure, Grasshopper!
Jan. 12, 2023

📍Epic Engagement Adventure: Business Improvement with Cody Nielsen

Is it best to surround yourself with like-minded people? Or can we learn from our differences? And can these differences in turn help our business?

Let Cody Nielsen tell you the truth⬇️⬇️

Cody built his first business from the ground up, a construction landscape company, as a way to fund a business degree in the summer. It quickly snowballed into a full-time business running multiple crews and services year-round resulting in putting his management degree on hold to focus on the growth of the company.

Connect with Cody here.

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--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/epic-engagement-adventure/message

Still reading? Fantastic!!! For those that read this far, I have a special gift. 🎁

Come join us in the We Kick Bot Community. It's full of people who are looking for a better way to do their marketing. Also, we have fun. Lots of it. 🎉


Interview with Cody Nielsen

RJ Redden: [00:00:00] Hold on to your goggles. It's time for the epic Engagement Adventure.

Greetings, grasshoppers. You know what time it is. My name is RJ Redden. If you don't know me, I create epic engagement adventures for folks, and I do a beautiful interview every Thursday. But this Thursday even more beautiful. I have with me I have with me Cody Nielsen and he is a coach. And I must say a friend at this point.

I love this guy. I met him at probably some social networking, you know, type of thing or another, but he really stuck in my head as a person who A cares about coaching a great deal and B, cares about his clients a great deal. And I invited him here so that he could [00:01:00] tell us all about himself and all about how he engages his audience.

Welcome Cody. How you doing today?

Cody Nielsen: Happy to be here. Yeah. Excited for the conversation.

RJ Redden: Beautiful. Well, so tell us, give us the start out with the basics. Who are you, what do you do, and why do you?

Cody Nielsen: Cody Nielsen, as you said, I reside up in the great white north of Alberta, Canada, and I work with small business owners that want to take more control of their business, that want to enjoy business ownership more fully.

There's a epidemic of stressed out unprofitable business owners that have gone through the honeymoon phase of maybe starting a new venture or start on with a new company. And it gets harder and harder if you don't have the right tools and resources. So as a entrepreneur myself for the last 12 years, [00:02:00] I know the stress that comes from it.

I've been that dad that brought my work and stress home. Strained the marriage, not there for the kids. I had managers making more money than me, questioned why I was doing it, but I've also had the years of success and making more money than most people around me, feeling the fulfillment that comes from serving clients and building a company that you built.

And through all of that, I wanted to continue to work with business owners and help them avoid the stresses that I went through because it's could be very lonely. It's, they're not, there aren't many business owners in your community, right? There's a lot of businesses when you go and drive down the road, but the vast majority of people are working for businesses not running one.

And so it can feel very lonely to be in that sphere on your own and feel like you're the only one dealing with hiring issues and cash flow issues and high debt. [00:03:00] A bad client complaint to review, so I just wanted to insert myself into there. I've always loved teaching. I've always loved serving in that.

I'm also a pretty driven, visionary type person, and so I, that just made sense. Go help work with small business owners as a coach and consultant and help them take control. Like, that's usually why people get into business is because they want more time for themself. They wanna make more. They want to introduce some product or service to people and love it, but too many of us aren't hitting those marks and now we're just putting out fires.

So I'm on a mission to help the business owners take control and love what they do make a bunch more money and have happier clients. And hopefully I make some money along the way myself.

RJ Redden: Yeah. Yeah. It sounds like you're on a mission to take the fire extinguisher out of people's hands.

Cody Nielsen: Yeah, put it on the shelf. Like you might need it every once in a while, but like, let's take it [00:04:00] out of your. Not keep it on your desk where it's in arms reach all the time.

RJ Redden: Let's get the death grip. Let's get that not going anymore. Was there a, was there like a specific incident that made you go, this is, I need to focus my life in this direction, or was it just sort of a slow realization for you?

Cody Nielsen: It was more of a slow realization. Business was not something I wanted to get. . It was an opportunity we saw to start a business while I was in management school to fill the gap between semesters and the summer. And that snowballed and turned into a full-time business to the point where I couldn't manage both.

So I put school on hold, ran the company for a while. It was a construction landscape company, so it wasn't like my passion or dream to continue that on. So eventually that was shut down. And I went back and got my management degree. But now having experience as a business owner, building a business from scratch, seeing kind of the [00:05:00] pros and the cons of it.

School teaches you how to work for someone else typically. Yes. And I came out with a finance major and I thought, I don't know if I wanna work at a bank. I don't know if I wanna go work in corporate be a financial planner. Go get hired somewhere. I was like I've had the reins before. Now I know what that's like.

How do I continue to do that? And so I learned about coaching and consulting through some research. And it wasn't an, a field I was very familiar with while I ran my company. And I wish I knew about them more cuz I probably would've utilized them. So it was just through that process of what do I wanna do with my education and now the experience I've had as an enterpreneur.

And coming to find coaching and consulting where I can run my own independent practice and I'm still working with business owners in that world. It just, it hit, it checked so many boxes for me and but it came over time. It wasn't like a snap of the fingers epiphany that I knew I needed to do [00:06:00] that.

It, yeah, it slowly built and it still is. To be honest, cuz I, I see different ways to do it every day. Different ways to help and serve customers, build my own business. So I feel like I'm continually getting that. It's becoming clear and clear by the day as I just keep moving forward.

RJ Redden: And that's, you know, that's something that a lot of times you know, when we do what we're supposed to do and get that corporate job.

That was what I was supposed to do. And it, you know, that way seemed so, it just was Groundhog Day all the time. But you're right, when you get into your own business, there are so many things that are just like, Hey, is this normal? Is this thought normal? Is this circumstance normal? And when you don't have anyone to ask, that can be an incredibly lonely world to be in [00:07:00] it.

Cody Nielsen: It really is. Yeah. And this, maybe this is more of a male thing, but we also have a harder time being vulnerable and reaching out. You know, we're, we try to breathe the problem solvers and the solution makers. So when we get into those situations in small business, that's lonely already, and then we don't reach out, just compounds.

So, not that you're asking for it, but a suggestion if you're listening to this and you're a male, small business owner. You know, don't be too proud. Reach out. Whether that's a friend, a mentor, business coach, whoever, like, just don't stay in your hole by yourself for two.

RJ Redden: Yeah, climb out of the foxhole, please.

It's true though. I mean, ever since I've been in business, I have always had a coach, at least one, honestly. Because we, I mean, I am a coach. I need a coach. I need and I want someone to be looking at my [00:08:00] business with an objective eyeball and, you know, telling me when I might have, you know, I might need to do this part differently next time.

I, you know, I appreciate coaches who have a little bit of a soft touch when telling me my mistakes. But I need, I, I mean, I need that input or else. , everything. Just kind of, you know, everything conspires to drive you a little bit nuts, I think.

Cody Nielsen: And as a coach, how are you supposed to convince others of the importance of having a coach if you don't have one?

Yeah, right. Exactly. And yeah, like we may understand the principles, but it's the, you know, the shoemakers kids or barefoot. That's how I see it. Like, I don't know how to coach myself. And so we coaches need coaches. Everyone needs coaches.

RJ Redden: Can you tell me about a really great moment that you had with a client that really made you know, Hey, I am on track.

This is this is a great, you know, this is a great thing for me to be [00:09:00] doing.

Cody Nielsen: Not one in particular sticks out, but there's a few that do with kind of different situations. One of the first clients I ever had, and this is when I. , you know, a new rookie coach and still trying to feel myself out, am I doing the right things?

But over the course of about a year and a half, I was working with them. They had two businesses at the same time, and they were being spread thin between the two. And after the year and a half of working with him, he had hired enough people to manage the one business so that he could focus on what he felt was more profitable.

That business has now been nominated for awards on a national level in Canada. And the other bus, like, he's not as stressed out. He had a young kid he was married, his wife was a business partner with him. And it was very eye-opening and fulfilling to see, you know, being spread super thin, really stressed out and over time, cause this doesn't happen overnight [00:10:00] I tell that to clients, we're not, I'm not this quick fix guy, I don't have a special sauce. This is, we're farming, we're planting seeds. We gotta nurture it and grow it. We gotta take care of it and we're gonna see some moments of reaping the rewards and gathering the fruit sometimes down the road. And that was one of those moments to see him detached from the one business still have oversight and making money from it, but he's not in the operations of it.

Right? And focusing on this other one and now being nominated for major wards. Really cool story. Another one, this is a very simple one. Started off had about 6,000 in sales. The client I was working with a month and now they're up to about 20 to 25 on NICE. Any given month. So it's, every story's a little different.

Some people it's relieving more stress. It's not all money. Money will tend to be a result. But sometimes it's income, sometimes it's building your team. One client that sticks out to [00:11:00] me with that question as well is I do extended disk. I don't know if you've ever done behavioral assessments like Myers-Briggs disk.

So I'm certified in extended disk, and this client of mine needed a front end office staff member, and she had a few applications come in, narrowed it down. and I said, okay, what are you thinking about those two applicants? And she said I think I like this one. I was like, okay, tell me a little bit about her and why you chose her.

And after she explained it to me, I said, I know why you want that person. She says, okay. I said, because she's exactly like you. That's not who you want though. You're, you are this extroverted. Don't know how to maintain a schedule, messy desk person. You need a secretary, right? She's like, yeah. I was like, you need someone that can tighten up your schedule, keep the desk clean, vacuum the floors, keep you in order, but you don't know how to handle that.

Your other applicant is that person, right? And she's like, [00:12:00] yes. Okay. , yes. I'm not telling you what to do here, but as your coach, I'm just trying to help you, you know, see what's going on. And so she said, okay, I know. So she hired the person that was complementary to her. Nice. And ever since she said it's awesome.

It's been great, you know, and she's just had to learn, you know, how everyone needs to do this. How do you communicate with someone who communicates in a bit of a different style than you? You're extroverted. How do you converse with introverted people? Well, you can learn, take some time, but everyone can do it.

So that was another success story. It didn't have to do with money. It's obviously gonna help the income stream down the road, cuz now she's got some more efficiencies. But it wasn't directly related to let's just increase your profit, right, do the right things and that will be a result.

RJ Redden: That's true. And there's so many areas in our lives where we [00:13:00] can profit that don't have a lot to do with money.

you know, the time spent with family that is profit for me. Time spent with family not worrying about my business. Even better. You know, time spent with friends, meaningful time spent you know, we just went through the whole crisis of 2020 and all of a sudden everybody started working from home and and it was like, , you know, all of a sudden we're around our families all the time.

There wasn't any difference for me. I have worked from my second bedroom for a long time but but yeah, you know, all of a sudden it was like people started to think about where they spend their time and how profitable that can be, not just financially, but also mentally.

Cody Nielsen: And that's why you do what you do anyway.

It's like your money is supposed to do something for. . Yeah. Right. And so if all you have is, you know, a big vault like Scrooge McDuck that you can just go dive in, but no time, then what's the point? [00:14:00] So Yeah, you're right.

RJ Redden: Yeah. Well, and I, you know, just so everybody knows, I have experienced Cody's coaching method and you know what?

You're right, you're not a weekend warrior with a canned repetitive solution for everybody you meet. You are a person that helps people dig into themselves, because a lot of times I know the answer. It's just covered up by all the stories I tell myself. Right. And and so, you know, I just I love the way that you do things.

I think that it it just demonstrates how much you care. I mean, there are tons of people out there that will, you know, I can make you $10,000 in 10 weeks or 10 days or whatever they're promising today. . There are also people that have a formula, not a formula you know, sort of a lock step. This is what you have to do next, [00:15:00] but it's much more, Hey, let's dig into what's going on with you.

And I just think that is so. , I think that's precious out in the world. I just think that is something that I wish that more people did. Honestly. What led you to do you know, kind of, that kind of more, more inquisitive type coaching?

Cody Nielsen: It's a good question. I don't know if I've answered that very specifically before.

RJ Redden: I'm on here with all the good questions. I'll give you a minute to think. It's ok.

Cody Nielsen: Well, I think it comes from I'm a pretty all or nothing person, so I'm very driven. But I have a little bit of, in the disk assessment, what you would call C, which is the conscientious they're your very analytical, detail oriented.

But I'm mixed with the D, which is the dominant, which is very, can be very impatient driven, goal oriented, focus future oriented. And so I've always had this [00:16:00] desire that whatever I do, I want to do well, and I don't want to just do well. I kind of have this maybe prideful idea that what I do, I want people to go, oh, that was like, I haven't seen it like that before.

Or he's really good at it. You know, I, there's something about that feeling giving to other people that has always attracted me. You know, it's, I grew up loving Michael Jordan. That's what he did for people, right? It. He gave that sense of awe. So I think there's a little bit of that in me that wants to maybe selfishly impress people, but for the purpose of their benefit too.

You know, I want them to walk away having a great experience, and I wanna be really good at what I do. So as I got into the coaching realm, I started to look like who are the best coaches? How do I become a good coach? Because you get into coaching, not very skilled, and you start to lead people or project on people, right?

I've been a business owner, I know what to do. Or this is, you know, you start [00:17:00] shooting on people. You should do this, you should do that, you should do this. And that's not what a coach should do. We shouldn't, should it on people. We're supposed to find the knot in their head, help them untangle it, help them find clarity on where they want to go.

So the. . The first person that comes to my mind that I learned from, his name is Rich Litvin, and his trainer was Steve Chandler. Maybe you've heard of them, but I wrote a really good book called The Prosperous Coach, and it's not for business coaches necessarily, it's for any anyone that coaches people, but that's where it really hit me that coaching is a science and it's a very, can be a very well-respected profession in industry, but it's not intuitive.

I guess. And so I started there, and then in my coaching association I talked to some of the really success, like, you know, multiple six figure coaches. And I was like, teach me, can you coach me? Where are my weak spots? You know, tried to be as vulnerable as I [00:18:00] could to, to break through. And so again, over time, practicing little things here and there being open to opinions from other people about how I could improve.

Learning from the best. But in the end it comes down to the client like, I've been the person that needs help and I don't. And I've had people that think they're helping and they're not because they have an idea of what they think I should do, but they don't know the whole story. And you need someone who's got some coaching skills to just ask good questions.

You, like you said, you know the answer. Yeah you understand where you want to go and what's best for your business and best for your life. I just need to help pull that out and organize your thoughts and then maybe give you a little pat on the butt to get moving a little bit and light some fire under you so that you take some action.

So that was a, maybe a longer answer than you were looking for, but in the end it was, I want my clients to walk away and go, that helped, that [00:19:00] worked. and I like kind of a litmus test for me is how long am I working with my clients? Yeah. I, you know, I work with a lot of my clients for well over a year, which is a good sign that this isn't just a, let me tell you how to re read an income statement and then your problem is solved.

It's actually like, hey, when there's a roadblock that comes in my business, I have a coach that I can bounce things off and I can work through this cuz there's no finish line. No.

In business,

RJ Redden: it's a process. Yeah. Yeah. Well, no, I think that was an, a awesome answer. I just you know, it, it always intrigues me, you know, those, to those turning points and those reasons why I think that those are often more telling than the actions themselves sometimes.

Well, so now we come to the question that I ask everyone that comes on the podcast. How do you engage your audience?

Cody Nielsen: I like this question because I've had to shift how I [00:20:00] engage my audience. So running my landscape company, it was totally different method of attracting and acquiring, engaging people. I could have a promotion, I could have before and after pictures.

I could be in the trade show with a trade show sale and a booth. I could, I, you know, I put flyers on the door, and now as a business coach, It's completely flipped on its head. There's no promotions, there's no sales. I can't put a flyer out to the neighborhood cuz most people don't need what I do. It's very trust based, relation based and so engaging my audience really looks like networking and it's finding ways for people to look at me and have some experiences with me that show I'm credible, trustworthy. And then a couple other people have heard about me that they can ask and go like, is he okay? Is he legit? Have you worked with him? Have you heard from him?

That's the only way I really gain any ground. So [00:21:00] the way I try to do that, a lot of networking events, which is where I think we met on speaker connections. Yeah. Yeah. If I'm correct. So I love to go to networking events and connect with people in those. I just try to set up one-to-one meetings, you know, how do, how can we support each other's business?

And then I also put on some, a lot of free workshops online. One of my favorite ones that I do is a book summary. Yeah. And so monthly I put on a book summary. It's a business or leadership book. Oh, there you go. And I do want, every month they'll be on topics like, the next one is Atomic Habits by James Clear.

One of the best, obviously not specifically a business book. A hundred percent applicable to everyone in business. But leadership books on team development, sales, marketing, financials and they're completely free. They're only one hour online. And we just go through the main points of [00:22:00] that book.

If you want the book summary, I sell it for 10 bucks and you can get that too. But so that's one way I engage is just serve them, educate. They get some exposure to me. If they're interested, they'll call me up and say, Hey, I'd like to learn more. Can you help me implement this? I also do strategic planning sessions.

I'm doing another free one February 2nd, I believe it is two hours completely free. Come you get a workbook and plan your 2023 in your next 90 days. So that's the most part. And then if someone's really interested, it's me and you did this, Your first session with me is free. I want you to test drive the process so I don't sit down with you for 20 minutes or 30 minutes.

It's 90 minutes and I'm not gonna explain coaching. I'm just gonna coach you. Yeah. I want you to know if that process is valuable. I want you to go through it so that at the end of that call I say, Hey, if this was valuable to you, we can work [00:23:00] together. If not, that's okay, but I'm not gonna strong arm. I'm not gonna pull any pushy sales tactics.

It's just, you know, if that process is something you think will help in your business, then let's talk about working together. So, that's how I engage. Did that answer clear enough?

RJ Redden: It was beautiful. It was beautiful. I mean, you engage, I mean, if I may summarize what I got out of that. You engage by serving first.

Cody Nielsen: I try. Yeah. I try.

RJ Redden: I mean the, you know, the book club, which , you know, I'm gonna be there for Atomic Habits. I love that guy. BJ Fogg. Is it James Clear? James Clear? Yeah. James Clear. Those are the two habit guys that I just absolutely love. You know, because they're all about systems and at goals and I just, ugh.

Yes. I love that kinda stuff. Yeah. But also, you know, with your 90 minute session, with your strategic planning sessions you're looking to serve first and, you [00:24:00] know, if you're interested, come this way. It's not a desperation, , you know, it's not a one of those sell heavy things. And all of that goes to show which is a, you know, one of the mantras that I kind of keep repeating a lot is nice people can finish first everybody and Cody here is an example of that.

Thank you. Yeah, I mean, it's not always about the hard sell. Holy moly. And I, you know, that's really popular, super popular. And I don't know if anybody's ever told you this, Cody, but I think I've been told so many times in my life, you've gotta be more aggressive. Have you been told that

Cody Nielsen: Oh yeah.

Be more assertive, be more aggressive. And it's not a hundred percent false. I think we default to that when we don't know that there are other options out there, like serving and educating and not strong arming [00:25:00] people. Yeah. Cuz no one likes it.

RJ Redden: No one likes to be strong armed .

Cody Nielsen: No. We just we know what we like.

You know, if you're gonna solve my problem and your puzzle piece fits mine, I'll let you know. .

It's there you go, put the ball in their court. That's kind of how I see it.

RJ Redden: Well, and it seems to be a process rather than an event, which I love as well.

Cody Nielsen: Yeah. I would agree with that.

RJ Redden: Yeah. Well, we are running out of time.

I knew we would I knew we would, Cody, just because I like spending time with you. But if you, do you have any final words of wisdom for for the people.

Cody Nielsen: Where's wisdom would be, it's 2023, early 2023. Don't go into it with goals, and you kind of mentioned this, go into it with a vision of where you'd like to go, but then create a game plan, an execution plan of how to do it.

Don't live off [00:26:00] motivation, live off systems, live off efficiencies, and that's part of what the Atomic Habits books is about. That's part of what I help my clients build. But if you're stressed out as a business owner watching this, or even in your personal life at home, check and see what systems you have in place that are helping you.

So you have consistencies and efficiencies and you know, life can be better, business can be better, it can be a little easier. You can make a little more money.

Hey, buddy and enjoy life. Enjoy the little things like that. Right? Yeah.

RJ Redden: Well, my friend, I'm gonna we'll wrap it up here. Thank you for coming. This was an absolutely stellar podcast today. Thank you so much for being here.

Cody Nielsen: Yeah, my pleasure. Thank you for the invite. Hope we can.


RJ Redden: Everybody click on that link that I threw down there and go to the book club. I'll be there till this month. We'll cheer Cody on together. [00:27:00] And that's it for this week. We will see you in a bot.

Cody NielsenProfile Photo

Cody Nielsen

Failed out of high-school. Battled addiction. Lived behind his guitar and long hair. And not going anywhere fast.

Now a Certified Professional Business Coach, university business undergrad, successful business owner, leader, husband, father to 4 beautiful children, and living successfully with purpose, Cody uses his personal experience of transformation and business success to help you build a highly profitable business.

Cody built his first business from the ground up, a construction landscape company, as a way to fund a business degree in the summer. It quickly snowballed into a full time business running multiple crews and services year-round resulting in putting his management degree on hold to focus on the growth of the company.

With many successful years and a few battle scars, over the course of a decade Cody learned to love and appreciate the role and life of the entrepreneur and leader. This led to a career working with business owners to grow their businesses, make good money, develop their teams and systems, and in the end take control and enjoy business ownership!

Those who work with Cody grow their bottom line, their efficiency, their teams, themselves, and their love for what they do, because they're committed. They have more time, more money, more control, and more success.