3 top tips from Richard Blank:
- Fortune favours the brave, so be brave!
- Be true to oneself
- Listen to this podcast series (& no we didn’t pay him to say that!)
people, Debra, center, life, business, client, friends, overextend, Richard, agents, call, build, pay, company, podcast, share, realizing, choosing, sorts, responsible
Debra Chantry-Taylor 0:12
Welcome to another episode of Better Business Better Life. I’m your host, Deborah Chantry Taylor. I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs and their leadership teams get what they want out of business and life. On the show, I invite successful business owners and expert speakers to share their successes. They are open and honest about the highs and lows of business and also life as a business owner. We want to share those learnings with you to inspire you, but also to help you avoid some of the common mistakes. My hope is that you take something from each of these short episodes that you can put into action to help you get what you want, not only out of your business, but also your life.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 0:50
So good morning, and welcome to another episode of Better Business better life. Today I’m joined by the delightful Richard Blank, who is a CEO of the Costa Rica’s call center. And we’ve just been having a wee chat before we came on live today. And just hearing a bit about Rich’s background, it’s absolutely fascinating. So I can’t wait for him to share his stories with you. Richard, welcome.
Richard Blank 1:09
I’m so happy to be with you today, Debra. I cannot wait to share my ideas and my journey with you and your amazing audience.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 1:16
Thank you. Hey, so yeah, there’s we had a bit of a chat about your background, I’d love for you to just tell people a little bit of your story. So where did you come from? Where are you now? And how did you get there?
Richard Blank 1:27
Well, absolutely, I know we’re far away from one another. But this is a great story. I grew up in Northeast Philadelphia. And when I graduated the proud Abington High School back in 91, I decided to double down on my favorite class, which was Spanish. Now there was a lot of pressure because opinions are provided for you. And certain people may expect career paths such as medicine, law, engineering, and architecture. But I really wanted to follow through on something that would make me marketable, that I could be a little bit different from all my friends and also had a passion for so I could have the fidelity and really love what I was studying. So warm weather called me and I decided to move southwest to the University of Arizona in Tucson, and be a Spanish communication major. And During college I interned for Telemundo for a few years and post grad I sold for the importers of Corona. And when I was 27, Debra had a one in a million opportunity to move to Costa Rica for just a couple months, and work on my friends call center teaching English well, that barn door was left open. And if you can get past your parents guilt, you can live anywhere in the world. So I decided to take that chance in two months turned into four years and I learned the business from the inside out not as a C level executive, but with the T goes with the people. And in my mid 30s, I decided to throw my hat in the ring, I had impulse control and maturity and some cash stashed away, and started my company. And here we are almost 15 years later. And it’s been an amazing journey with some ups and downs, twists and turns. But thankfully, I’m here today alive, ready to share these additional stories.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 3:02
Perfect, we’re gonna hear a bit more about that in a moment, just in terms of, I always like to ask my guests around their professional and personal best just so that listeners can get a bit of a sense of who you are. So what would you say are your personal and professional best?
Richard Blank 3:16
My professional best is showing empathy towards those that work with me. When I was at my friends center, I understood dignity and how people felt about themselves. Sometimes people not just in call centers Debra but any industry could feel like a number expendable. They just grinding out their time. And I believe that the way to get the best out of somebody is to motivate them and to invest in those individuals and find ways to promote and to delegate. So it was very easy for me to start this company in regards to compassion. I hired professionals in IT, HR, Accounting and Law. But I was really more focused on the soft skills, the onboarding, the training, and building relationships with people. That’s my professional side. Now, on my personal side, I’m almost 50 years old. So I’m really looking back at my 18 year old self, where I made that commitment to take that force March and sometimes alone, because as a dreamer, Debra, you might not be able to compare notes with your friends and family. And the last thing I wanted was a Debbie Downer in my life telling me I couldn’t do it. And it’s the sort of thing that people may love you and support you, but they may not under stand you and you and I were on vision quests. We had spiritual life journeys, I was being responsible. I had good intentions and good faith. But I also realized that there were certain things that I needed to do to have a fulfilled life. My good friend, I really didn’t want to live somebody else’s life. I was really looking to live my own life. And so those are the sort of two accomplishments that I could share today.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 4:56
Wow, that’s fantastic. And I know that you were saying before, you’ve got about 100 to 150 staff at the moment in the call center, it can grow up to 300. And you actually know most of them by name, you spend time with them. And tell us a little bit about the special room that you’ve got there.
Richard Blank 5:12
I know everybody’s by name. It’s like a carwash, they have to go through my section if they’re working at the call center. And it usually happens on the first day Debra, before they take a single phone call, or even going to the training room for soft skills and product training, I bring them into my free play arcade. I’m an avid collector of American pinball machines, jukeboxes and retro arcade machines. And gamefication is very important for my environment. It reduces attrition, it builds friendships, people can let off steam recharge batteries and, and hang out with me Debra, in a neutral environment where they can beat the boss and pinball, one day.
We’re having fun instead of just absorbing, now they’re contributing because they really are bonding and, so for me, Yes, ma’am. I know every body’s name. And when they come here, I try to break bread with them. And besides what COVID did, which caused a lot of the agents to work from home, and we can talk about that later. While they are here, when I am with them, I will make sure to walk the road stop and not just say, ‘Debra, you’re doing a great job!’ I literally have listened to a call or I’m there at the moment and give you that sort of positive feedback about your rebuttals, a positive escalation, your tone, or just sounding amazing on the phone. And I’ll do it in front of everybody. And you might say to me, ‘Well, Richard, you’re the only boss who does’, and I go first, that’s a shame. And second Debra, the reality is, I might be the last one that ever does it unless I’m the last boss you ever have. And you start doing it as your company culture and tradition, I think the best examples are given is when you do it yourself. And so that’s the sort of hands on sort of company culture that I believe I’ve created here.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 7:01
Certainly sounds pretty special. I seriously mean that. I mean, I think there are very few people who do take that on board, I think there’s a very much maturity in you as well to say, hey, look, I’m not good at all that other stuff, the legal, the HR, the things that are not my things, this is what I’m good at. That’s what I love. And you’re obviously stuck to that, and that shows through in terms of the way the business is run.
Richard Blank 7:23
It gives me peace of mind, my goodness and also, I’m selective of the campaigns that come in, if I can’t understand it, let’s say in regards to technical skill set, or a language that I just personally don’t speak, I won’t take it. Because I just don’t want to re engage in or something where I just can’t jump in real quick and take over, you know, the wheel or just laying the plane. But it’s my pleasure to see individuals grow at the company and be promoted to supervisor levels or in the IT department. And my main goal here is not how much money I make Debra, it’s to see how many families that I can feed because success is built on a million thank yous,you and I can earn money 1000 different ways. But the fact that I’m able to create that sort of environment where I work with people and watch them grow, meet their family, when they come here to the call center, see that age and and it gives me a chance to go downstairs and speak to your mother and tell you how amazing Debra is, you almost have to pull me away. But I know that it’s a gift that keeps on giving. And I’m very authentic and sincere about that i i really do know their names and the years that you are with me I can mention a half a dozen times in which you were the champion and I was there with you. And those are the sorts of things when I look back, it’s not about licking my thumb and counting the money. It’s about those personal experiences where you know, it was me today, you tomorrow and I was able to pay it forward from people in my past that added to my momentum, and gave me the sort of encouragement to build on my own self reliance and self confidence.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 9:01
We talked about in the EOS life, you know making a huge difference. And it certainly sounds like you’re doing that. One thing I’m really intrigued by, call centers don’t have a great rep do they? How many of you’ve been here so talk about call centers, you almost see this look of sort of horror on people’s face if they have to talk to a call center. So tell us a little bit about you know, why did you get, why call centers and what do you do differently with your team? Then other potential call centers?
Richard Blank 9:27
My friend Debra, the first thing is, I will never call you during dinner. Cause if I do and make me get up from your steak and answer the phone and it’s my company we you and I can’t be friends anymore. And you’ve seen the movies I know you saw boiler room and Wolf of Wall Street and Glengarry Glen Ross and prime gate there’s, so many movies out there and what I love is the art of speech today most people are doing omni channel non voice support with either emails or chat. But if you find an individual that’s glued that’s clever that has an extensive vocabulary and amazing listening skills, it is an art of speech. Now, not every call center sell stock. In fact, there are five campaigns we do not do here. It’s sports books, casino stocks, pharmacies, or sweepstakes, I don’t have anything against it. But I’m in a very strict Catholic country. And it’s imperative that the agents can go home and tell their parents what they do for a living. But oh no, Debra. And, in fact, there are some extremely talented people out there that can do first call resolutions can retain a client so they don’t quit, possibly get a referral, because they’ve done such a good job, maybe make a suggestion and get an upsell. Or how about this, earning enough respect from the client to get an exit interview, worst case scenario, where they will share with you areas in which you and I could have improved, or what our competition had done in order to earn their time attention. And so these are the sorts of things as long as you see it as a crowd. And I’m not trying to force a hand, or put on such a sense of urgency where the other individual is uncomfortable on the call, then I think it’s still a means to an end. And if you’re very good at it, then your earnings potential can be limitless. I’ve made a very, very good career by making and receiving phone calls, by analyzing calls through our quality assurance department, by selectively choosing the right clients to where ethically, we’re not compromising our values, and we’re able to fulfill their needs. But there is a beautiful art to it. And people might become complacent and only prefer to do things in chat. And I see it as the old school way, I think we should put our phones down Debra, and look at each other for having lunch and talk like people used to do and enjoy those sorts of experiences you might be here, but your mind is elsewhere. And these are the sorts of guess muscle memory and skill sets that once again, if people have they could be the incredible individuals that are bridging groups of people together and resolving issues and not letting things get escalated or out of hand in regards to emotional situations with family or friends. And really just once again, finding their composure. So when they do give a delivery and they make their case that it’s representing themselves in the best light. And we try to do the same here, man, this call center.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 12:23
I love it. So I heard you mentioned and then obviously you live by your core values. So that will be part of your process in terms of choosing the right people. Once you’ve got the right people, how do you train them? How do you bring them on board? What is the process for becoming part of your team?
Richard Blank 12:39
That’s a great question. Well, first is I like to address their second language capacities. Anybody that speaks a second language to me bears the mark of higher education. Secondly, I don’t need someone Debra that has call center experience, I can always teach them a CRM and a phone system that can be done in like 20 minutes. But how about someone that has never worked at a center before with skills. You and I can mold them, they can be our squire to the night, and they’re not coming in with bad habits. They’re not a jumper, they’re not a cancer. Because if you bring in someone that is exceptionally talented, it’s almost like a mercenary, they’re not loyal to a single flag, they will just go to the next place that will pay them more. And they might even become someone that might got a campaign and bring three or four people with them for a referral bonus in another call center. And so, you know, it’s the sort of thing where not actively we’re trying to steal each other’s staff, everyone shares the same labor pool within Costa Rica. But all fairs Love and War, I’d like to earn the seats and earn the people I just do wouldn’t want somebody coming into the center with different intentions or not really long term thought. But no, the process is quite simple as long as the client gives me all the resources and allows me to be on a level playing field. And even if they do not have the script ready, or the rebuttals, I can work with them on that. Just make sure that the list is complete. It’s been scrubbed through the DNC, so we follow those telecommunication laws, and that you have somebody on your end that can fulfill our appointment setting, our lead generation, our customer support. Because if we’re working with the virtual, you have to meet us in the middle, to continue with our momentum. And so there’s no surprises, the best clients are the ones that I can be forthright with. And additional to that they need to follow the labor laws. So my agents follow the labor laws and how their rights. And so those are the sort of things that need to be discussed with the agent, with the client and everybody so everyone’s on the same page. And no one is doing something uncomfortable, but oh no with the agents here, if I can expand on their vocabulary with a thesaurus, if I can work with them in the quality control department, so their timing is on their pausing, their tone. They know when to show active listening, confirming certain information to reduce any sort of stress and rabbit holes, reducing talk time because they’re in more control of the conversation, getting verbal and written escalations, positive ones from the client, letting me know how amazing Debra is, those are the sort of positive reinforcements my friend, that enables somebody to see this more as a career and not as a transitional type of job where they’ll be burned out within six months.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 15:25
That’s a that’s great, really good insight into because I think that often, I know over here in New Zealand, that a lot of the call centers are just seen as a transitional thing. You know, when I come out of university, it’s somewhere I can go that I can get some experience and then move on. But as you say, there’s a lot more to it. And I, I love the fact that you talked about the old fashioned, you know, talking to people, you know, we are so sort of reliant now on emails or even asking my assistant sometimes, you know, can you sort something out and she immediately goes to email, I go, can you just pick up the phone and talk to the person, it’d be so much easier, but it’s become less common, I suppose. We’re using those other technologies to almost escape that human interaction. And that can be so misconstrued. I personally find emails really tough because I am half German. And so when I write an email, I’m very purposeful. And I end up writing what I want or what I need, or what I’m asking for. And then I kind of go, I didn’t actually ask any nice questions of the person or engage with them. So you’d be very, very careful when you’re doing those kinds of communication, I suppose.
Richard Blank 16:26
And then when you finally get somebody on the phone, imagine your frustration level are about to pop, as you’re coming in guns blazing. And so it’s a really good buffering technique. You really can’t eliminate the majority of the stress and answer most of the questions prior to that I think companies may be getting lazy, or they’re thinking that’s the way to go. And I don’t agree at all, I think there will always be a market for live individuals to make and receive phone calls.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 16:53
People do business with people. And I think that aside, when you’re talking to somebody, it’s a very, very different experience when you’re – I’m really interested, I mean, 15 years is a long time to be in business. And you’ve obviously built a hugely successful business. Was it a smooth ride, the entire way? Or there are some challenges along the way?
Richard Blank 17:11
Nothing’s ever a smooth ride, name me one single business that starts in fifth gear on cruise control. But I knew that I had the foundation ethically, morally, and with the experience that at least the odds were in my favor. Now, when I first started, I launched my website, October 4 of 2007. February 6 of 2008, I landed my first account, it was one seed 50 hours, I could have overextended myself rented some space did the whole bells and whistles to make that impression. But it didn’t make much sense to me, that wasn’t the sort of image that I was trying to do was like the old western towns, if you walk behind the front of the building, you’ll see is just the sustain, there’s nothing behind there. I didn’t want to be a billboard cutout. I wanted to have depth. And so what I did was I was renting turnkey stations from a blended call center. So I didn’t have my privacy, but I did have the support the security and the IT structure. So I was able to pay that rent, pay the agent, pay the taxes and make a margin, it is very easy for me it’s very resp+onsible just wasn’t fancy. And after a while, when I was building up a couple dozen agents, it didn’t make sense for me to be paying that prime cost when I could be renting space, buying furniture, buying equipment, building out the server room, and recuperating that sort of investment. And I had done that for a number of years. And then when I had the foundation and the stability of clients long term, and the resources, I decided to really put my hat in the ring and build out a 300 seats center that we’ve been here for the last four years. And I wish I could say that it was glamorous and shortcuts but no, its more the tortoise and not the hare. And also, I had to weather a couple of storms even prior to COVID. And by being conservative with my money, I could weather those storms. I didn’t need to beg for a client to pay my lights. And I wasn’t showing irresponsibility to the agents by not paying their salary and benefits. It’s not just about me. I am responsible for families. And there are multi generational families here where these young men and women do take care of their parents and grandparents. It was a little bit more than that. And I sometimes like that sort of story. Because if you can build something brick by brick, you can withstand it. There was no rush. You didn’t overextend yourself, you got the experience by the different levels. And by doing so, I was able to last this long in such a competitive industry. Slow and steady. The right agents, the foundation, the best clients, being accountable, being responsible and still loving what I do. Debra. The moment that spark goes out why even doing it. And we could talk about the attrition rates that happen, or the occasional disappointments from people that I had high expectations for sure that happens. But the most important thing is how I feel about myself, how I can put my shoulders back, chest out and chin up and realize that another day, I might have lost a tooth or two and broke a rib. But I’m still fighting. And I still want to do this. And I think that’s a beautiful thing. And that’s why Time moves so fast. If it was terrible, would have been dragging on slow.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 20:33
I think you’re absolutely right, about overextending. I think a lot of businesses almost get sucked into this idea that, you know, you have to grow really rapidly. In order to do that you have to overextend, but it puts you in a position where you’re then desperate for the money, which means you make poor choices about who you work with what you do, sometimes those things go out of the window, because it’s like, I need the money to pay the the expenses. I know that Gino Wickman, who obviously is the founder of EOS talks about the fact that in every 10 years, there’s always going to be a couple of years that are really, really bad. And you need to prepare for it. It’s a cycle, right. And it happens with whether it’s COVID, whether it’s a global financial crisis, there’s always a couple of years and every time whether it’s bad, and having money put aside for that is really important otherwise, you find yourself in that situation where you’re having to make decisions that maybe don’t fit with your normal way of working.
Richard Blank 21:22
But you know, no one ever wants a setback. But here’s the positive that came out of it versus I got to judge myself during chaos. And I really liked my composure and how I handled myself I’m a real person on you have emotions, but I didn’t lose it. I was able to stand tall with that. Secondly, it was almost like seeing if I was a one trick pony. But no, lightning did strike twice. And now is a nice reassurance to myself that I just didn’t get lucky that I really do have these skill sets. And yes, you are correct. It’s to sweeten the salary, you can really appreciate the good times with the bad and I did want to learn it. But I guess everybody has war scars, and I have mine. But I could have hung up my hat and throw the towel in and quit. But there was something in me that says Continue. There is a forced march every now and again. My wife and I who started this company with me, we made that decision to continue. And I’m very happy that we made that decision.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 22:22
So you talked briefly about COVID earlier and opposites affected a number of businesses around the world. I know for me personally, I’ve always done my work in person. And I enjoy being in person. I think there’s a certain energy when you’re in a room with somebody, but we had to make changes because that wasn’t possible anymore. How did it affect your business in terms of the call center?
Let’s give you the good, let’s give you the bad. The bad? The bad is that I missed people terribly, the government said I can put 50% of the people here I chose 20% for PCI compliance onboarding, and something happens to your computer, but I send 80% of my people home. And we lost the sort of synergy that we had when people were on site, you do build friendships and the arcade and time with me and you know, we’re a very social environment, it is a call center. So you do feed off of that sort of energy. Okay, that’s the bad. And the good part about it is that I survive. If I were a mom and pop pizza shop, that couldn’t let people in, couldn’t hire and couldn’t deliver, that would have put me out of business. So for the I’d be remiss to compare myself to other sorts of companies, I was exceptionally fortunate that I was able to do this through VPN through computers, and internet connections, and people with the skill set to be able to work from home. It was, it was a blessing, you know, so I clearly couldn’t complain, I lost some accounts. And there were some downsizing because of COVID. But in essence, I think I came out of this situation, much better than a lot of the people that I know. So that made me even more humble, grounded, and appreciative and realizing that, you know, the stars were aligned, I got very lucky. And also to myself, it’s, you know, you’re 3000 miles away from your parents, laws are changing, there’s health issues, people are panicking, what do you do? And the first thing I did was accept reality. And the second thing was to really focus on my own health and my own state of mind because you could pace or you could do push ups, you could meditate or you could freak out. And I chose to do certain things that I could control that I didn’t need to go somewhere to do. And just to find ways to get outlets, to reduce stress by washing my car, playing pinball working out in the gym, taking walks, so I can decompress and do some sort of meditation, not Eastern meditation, but ways that you and I can just find balance, Debra, and connect and get that center and maybe laugh at things. And, you know, my favorite thing is if you allow me the chance to sleep on it or to think about it, where the next day we can pick up where we left off, I can write a draft, I can ponder it. And a lot of the times, I can come back to you a little more level headed, realizing I would have said something or not said enough, and possibly cut some fat and focus on the meat, and really calm down and possibly even say, Debra, I’m so sorry for my tone yesterday. Let’s start again. And you say no, Richard, it was me. And then we both arguing about whose tone was worse, and who has the better apology and, and I’ve saved so many relationships, and I’ve been able to build upon that. And if somebody just gives me the luxury of time, instead of doing something immediately, I guarantee we can make our relationship that much stronger. And so those are the sort of things my friend that I that I had to make peace with there in COVID.
It’s really interesting. I was listening to Brendan Bouchard, yesterday, he’s got a program, he was talking about how we deal with chaos, he talks about the three phases. And the first phase is about the running out of toilet paper. That was because the only way we could get through the first phase of chaos was what can we control. And so we went out there and and tried to do things that we were comfortable with and knew that we could actually control. The second phase, like you just mentioned was around how do I have self love? How do I do self care? How do I make sure I’m actually doing all the right things for myself. And I was talking about the fact that we’re moving into the third phase where we actually have to get back to being productive. Because you know, it’s now time for us to be on our, in our best possible light doing the best possible things playing the a game, really getting back to that productivity level is phase three of what he calls it dealing with chaos. So what are the plans for you in the future? I mean, it sounds like you’ve done a really great job of coming through COVID What now?
Richard Blank 26:56
I’d like to start writing children’s books. That will be my next phase of my life. I’m going to give you a hint, it involves Rube Goldberg experiments and mini golf. So be prepared, you’re gonna have a lot of fun with my books.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 27:08
Alright. Sounds like it. Yeah. Okay, great. So, have you started yet? Or is that on the agenda?
Richard Blank 27:14
I have some ideas already in mind, I’m talking to some people to put some prototypes together for me. But you know, it’s once I reduce a little bit more of my focus on the call center, then I’ll be able to move that mass into other areas. But no, I guess you almost take life at a daily basis. You never know what happens tomorrow, I have to still be responsible for certain things here. But no, I, I see a different phase in life. You know, it has to be more of just giving back. And if I travel, I’d like to spend tons of people I haven’t seen for a very long time. And that’s the most important thing for me, I don’t need to keep score, or do a tit for tat. And there are certain things that I’ve seen where people strive to do for their own. It’s almost like the philosophy that if I come to the door, do the flowers speak for me, or do I speak for the flowers. If for me, it’s like, Thank you, Richard put the flowers in the vase. And now we’re out my break. If you’re with me all night, I don’t need these sort of things. I have acid. I know who I am. And the fact that I’m very comfortable being a guest in another country, being humble, realizing the things that I grew up with and that you kept score on and how to judge somebody really don’t make a difference here. So I wasn’t starting with a home court advantage, really, it was starting from scratch. And if I can live life by speaking second language is accepting plates of food and learning new things every day. That, to me is a much more fulfilled life than how many different Rolexes I can have and how many square feet my house is, and what sort of country clubs I belong to. I mean, if that’s important, that’s fine. But to me, I think after a period of time, your jewels and diamonds lose their luster. And there are other things in life that you might find to be more important. They’re multimillionaires out there that are lonely, and there are people that are broke that have love and so go figure I’d rather have just more of a naturally fulfilled life.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 29:13
I’m with you on that I talk a lot about love. I think love is all there is and I think that often we don’t have enough love in business. You know, we should be and when I talk about love I mean yeah, loving what you do, but loving the people that you do it with, being part of a community that is all there to raise each other up. That’s where I think we need to focus a lot more on business. Yeah, it’s nice to have all the toys and the money but it’s not it’s not the big means.
Richard Blank 29:35
Debra Chantry-Taylor 29:36
So it sounds like you have you know, you’ve got a you’re very strong in terms of knowing who you are knowing what you want to achieve what you’re doing any tips or pointers that you could share with the audience around you know, how you got to be where you are and the things that you have learned on the way is there any tools any I don’t know what are your top three things that you could share with the audience that would help them on their journey?
Richard Blank 29:58
Sure. I always believe fortune favors the brave. If you never leave a castle, you can’t slay a dragon can’t save a princess and never become a prince. So I wanted to do that. But here’s an interesting story when I was 18. And I’ll revert back to the pressures that I had to potentially choose Ivy League and other sorts of careers. My great grandparents came from Europe, at the turn of the 20th century, they came to New York City, they are in the garment industry, entrepreneurs and had to learn English. And so maybe it skipped two generations. But when it was my turn, my argument was, well, they came to the United States from Europe, they learned a second language and started the business. I’m not going back to Europe, I’m going south. And I just wanted to continue being a nomad. And this sort of passion that we have in our blood to go somewhere that might be calling us, I was responsible about it, I did my due diligence, I was dipping my toe in the water a lot before 27 Choosing to come here. So it just really wasn’t on a whim, the opportunity was, but the preparation was always in momentum, since I was 18 years old. So that’s number one. And number two, I always believe about being true to oneself, the worst thing you could ever do is not look in your own eyes in the mirror. Now, I won’t be a professional golfer, there are certain things that you have to be realistic with, I can’t be a rockstar. But if you set out certain small goals, and you can accomplish those, then you can easily master other levels. And even though some people might have not taken your path, it doesn’t mean it’s a wrong path. It’s just it’s not their path. And as long as your intentions are honorable, and you’re not hurting anybody, you’re being responsible with your family and finances, then by all means, take a chance, take a bite out of life Drink it, and see where it goes and and tested. If it’s not the right fit, then you can always go back. But my goodness, if you’re on a certain trajectory, and certain people are encouraging you and you see this momentum, then you should, you should continue it. And my third bit of advice is that your audience continues to listen to your amazing podcast, and that they feel inspired like I did that row to reach out to you and just let you know that you’re amazing. And to see if I could have the pleasure of being a guest here and sharing, sharing some time with you. And because there’s so many 1000s of people out there that I’ve listened to you that you’ve changed their lives that you’ve never met it, you have no idea who these people are, but they know you. And I just want them not to be nervous, they can raise their hand or write you and just say go Debra go because you know, it’s the sort of, as you say, love that you give and it comes back and, and you’re not even asking for anything in return. You’re just doing this because you want to. And everybody knows that. And so I just want them to realize that this is a natural meeting that we had today. There’s no sales here, I’m not pitching anything. It’s just two friends hanging out and making each other’s lives better. And so those would be my three bits of advice to share with you and your amazing audience.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 33:11
Thank you. And I just want to say here, it is absolutely true. So Richard literally just reached out to me, I got this email completely out of the blue from him that I had no idea who he was, and just said, Hey, I’d love, I love your podcast, I’d love to be on it. And it was very different. So I get a lot of people who use VAs who send out, you know, media kits and go can this person be on your podcast, but this actually came from you directly. And it sort of it tickled me because I was thinking, I’m not really sure how we can talk about call centers and you know, find some usefulness from that. But we certainly have and I think we could talk for hours about it to be honest. So thank you, thank you for reaching out, it’s really appreciate it. I do do this just because I really want to help people, my whole mantra is that life is too short, to not be doing what you love with people you love. And so I think that you know, just helping people on that journey and making sure they are cherishing every moment that we have, every precious moment we have on this planet is really important. So I’d love to I’d like to say thank you so so much for your time. Really, really appreciate it. And if people do want to get in contact with you, I know you’re not selling anything, but I’m sure that from the stuff that you’ve shared here. People might want to delve a bit deeper they might want to ask you some questions. How would they get ahold of you?
Richard Blank 34:21
Thank you so much for the first thing is to buy a first class plane ticket and fly to Central America and come visit me in beautiful Costa Rica paradise. If not, you can give me a call toll free at triple 82716750 Send me an email to Costa Rica’s call center.com and Debra, I got a very very large Facebook fan page 99,000 Local Costa Rican T goes and they can’t wait to meet you. You have so many new fans but it will give you and your audience a chance to see the pulse of the business outsourcing industry in Central America now, just real quick and it’s not a final exam question but I am north of Panama south of Nicaragua, we’re the only democratic society in Central America. So there’s no standing army 95% literacy rate, the most neutral accent companies such as Amazon, HP, Intel and or core here, and we’re very much known for ecotourism. So if you love waterfalls, butterflies, beaches, monkeys, iguanas, and some of the most incredible exotic fruit, this is definitely the place to be. And since I am a telemarketer, let me at least leave your audience with one telemarketing tip. If you’re ever prospecting and calling into a company, make sure to give a positive escalation. If you get transferred to a decision maker or somebody assist you make sure to speak to a supervisor and say something verbally, follow it up in writing. Because it’s giving a gift. There’s a lot of times you will show good faith prior to a contact, if you happen to call that company back that individual thank you for paying that compliment and add to your momentum. And Debra, it’s only going to separate you from the 1000s of people that are calling that are just trying to angle their way in, it’s really showing some class, it’s slowing down, it’s making friends. And then instead of looking as telemarketing is something bad, you will see it as strangers as friends you haven’t met yet, and look at it differently and enjoy it. So that would be my advice as well.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 36:21
I love it just turning on its head. That’s absolutely brilliant. I have to say, my husband and I actually have a bucket list book. And we review it on a regular basis and we go through and we don’t want it to be things that are potentially too big that we might never get to do. So they’re usually things we know we have it in our power to achieve. I have never ever considered Costa Rica because I just not not been on my radar. But you’ve mentioned waterfalls and butterflies and iguanas. So it’s going on my bucket list, I show a chat to Steve this evening and go we are going to go to Costa Rica at some point.
Richard Blank 36:53
And we’re the best surfing in the world as well. We’ve had some movies that were made here, the Endless Summer surf school, the movies full shares point, but as I say, it’s beautiful here, you know, lose yourself, find yourself and understand what por vida pure life means in regards to this amazing culture.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 37:11
Don’t wait to actually come over and hopefully I can catch up with you when I do that. Hey, look, thank you for your time. Really appreciate it. Thank you for making the initial contact. I look forward to keeping in contact and we’ll put a couple of links in the bottom of this podcast is one of the things that you’ve mentioned. So your Facebook page, your email, and people actually find it there. So again, very grateful. Thank you, Richard, have a wonderful rest of your day. And we’ll talk again soon.
Richard Blank 37:36
Thank you so much. The pleasure is mine Debra.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 37:39
Thanks again for joining us on better business better life with me your host Deborah Chantry Taylor. If you enjoy what you heard, then please subscribe to this podcast. And let us help you to get what you want out of business in life. Each week we release a new short episode which will give a success story and three takeouts to put into action immediately. These will help you take your business from good to great. The podcast is also supported by free resources, templates and useful tools which you can find at Deborah Chantry. taylor.com I am a trained entrepreneurship and business coach, a professional EOS implementer and an established business owner myself. I work with established businesses to help them get what they want. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to have a chat about how I might be to help you. Or if you’d like to join me as a guest on this podcast. Thanks again to NZ audio editors for producing this podcast. See you on the next episode.
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