Get the 3-Day Weekend Entrepreneur's Book of Wisdom & Learn a Simple Path to a Better Life

Sept. 14, 2021

119. Taking Dead Aim at a Well-Defined Niche with Scott Anderson

Waste less time and create bigger results more quickly by getting super clear on who you are serving.

Waste less time and create bigger results more quickly by getting super clear on who you are serving.



  • The Risks & Rewards for Taking Dead Aim & Niching Accurately
  • Consistently Creating Magical Experiences for Clients
  • Clarifying What You Want for Your Life, Lifestyle, & Legacy
  • The Costs of Trying to Be Everything to Everybody
  • The Charity Scott Founded



Scott Anderson is founder and CEO of Doubledare, an executive coaching and consulting practice which dares entrepreneurs and executives to fully live their unique talent, passion and purpose.

He’s an executive coach, LMH therapist and has managed closely-held family businesses, launched four for-profit companies (sold them) and two not-for-profit organizations.

In 2007, Anderson founded At Ease USA ( a research accelerator that develops and distributes leading edge PTSD treatment technology for military families, first responders, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and children recovering from abuse. Anderson published his first book, Playing Big, in 2013.










The market has a way of straightening us out. You can even read about that. There are lots of great books that say this precisely. But until you've been at least a little humble, I don't know that it will ever stick.


All right. Welcome, everybody. I'm excited to have with you today, a gentleman who is truly multidimensional and is going to talk with us about taking debt, am, creating niche marketing and a niche focus in your business to help you really help more people make more money in less time doing do best as we always talk about. Scott is the founder and CEO of Double Dare and Executive Coaching Practice. He's a licensed mental health therapist. He's founded a nonprofit, done a lot of different work. I'm going to let you read the bio more in the notes, but I'm so excited to have him with him here today.


And thank you so much for joining us.


Scott, great to be here. Thank you.


So one of the things that really intrigued me about when I saw your information and for those dont know, people say, hey, I'd like to be in your show or whatnot. And I was looking at what Scott's doing.




In fact, I might even reach out to you, I forget. But so much of what you're doing, I thought, was so powerful around not only helping people address change, not only helping people with the project you have that helps wounded warriors, PTSD, that sort of focus, but just this idea of understanding that there's this sort of integration between sort of the intangible, the mental, the abstract, the ethereal to some people and the tangible. A lot of people. When you talk about Niching, it seems very mechanical. And then if you say things like, do what you love, the sounds very woo and kind of out.


How do you bring those two together and share a little bit? If you don't mind about what it means to you when somebody says you are taking the name, what does that mean?


It's such a great question. Wow. I'm going to have to think about that. You know, the expression taking dead name comes from a golf coach, actually, the late great Harvey Pennic, who wrote a book called The Little Red Book of Golf. And he was a golf coach for University of Texas, I believe. And he wrote this book that was meant to be sort of a straightforward golf book, but it became famous because so much of it had wisdom beyond the golf course and kind of married to the two things you just mentioned, sort of woo and ethereal and imminently practical.


But a lot of what he was talking about was exactly that the Nexus between practical execution, concrete blocking and tackling, et cetera and mindset. So the concept, specifically that panic had around take that aim was instead of when you tee off instead of aiming for the middle of the fairway aim for a blade of grass in the middle of the fairway. And his belief was that if you did that, first of all, would relax you to focus on one thing. But it would also allow mind body spirit to do what it does naturally, if you can focus on one thing and very, very precise is one thing versus million things.


The ten0 things is Buddhist. And so I love that expression because what I've noticed not just in Niching, but in everything that I do, and so many of my clients do is that we tend to instead of taking that name, take a scatter gun approach to so many things that we do, mainly just to put out the fire. You know, we come up with something that will just sort of make the problem go away temporarily. Whereas when we take that aim to solve very, very specific things, it really does harness and engage mind, body and spirit.


So, for example, I'm working with a client today that owns an advertising agency in Oakland, California. And what we're going to be talking about, what I'm asking them to do is to take debt, aim on their sales goal, their revenue goal, and that profit goal. And to do that, what they've said is they wanted to triple profit and double that income. But I'm forcing them to come up with a specific number for both of them because it really does engage mind body spirit, and it becomes real suddenly, and we can't.


It's much more difficult to measure our progress against tripling and doubling than it is against a specific number. So that's the concept behind it. And the reason I like it is because it answers just what your question said is, how do you create this Nexus between mind body spirit, mindfulness woo sounding ethereal ideas with very, very practical ones.


Awesome. I think of a couple of things I think of when you're doing a yoga pose, that's a balance pose to talk about. Fine. I think the word is director or director, a point you focus on one point because normally think, okay, I'm going to look around me and make sure I'm balanced. And you do that. You're just going down. And I even think of a video series, the Master Class Series. We invested in that. And we were watching Steph Curry, the shooter or the point guard from the warriors teaching shooting.


And he talks about the little on a basketball hoop, the little hooks that hold the net. He says, look, no matter where you are, there's going to be three of those. Find the middle one. You aim for that one very similar concept. And I've never really been coaching basketball SaaS, helping my son do this. And yet I started doing this. And one of the other things in basketball or any sport. If you meet beginning soccer players, they dribble like this. They're looking at the ball, they're basketball players.


They're dribbling like this. And I'll tell the kids, there's nobody that's open down there. They're open. They're out there. So I was listening to this thing, and I'm just sitting here and I'm watching now and I'm shooting like this. And then normally I look at my hands when I shoot. But I'm just doing this. And I guess so much it was just letting go of those 10,000 things, all the different things I could get obsessed with. And of course, if you've not done this, it's not going to work.


So so many people say, Well, do you have self esteem said, yeah, I have self esteem. But I also have performance esteem. As a coach, I feel very confident in that. If you ask me to be a brain surgeon, my confidence level is at about a zero. Rightfully so it doesn't mean I feel less of myself. I mean, I don't know how to do brain surgery, so obviously there's work involved. But I think a lot of people try to do that thing being all things to all people because it feels safer the same way when I'm teaching kids to shoot a basketball, that it feels safer to think of all ten things they're supposed to.


It's like, okay, and there's a coach. If they're especially, like, in a game, they're free through line, they miss a free throw. And I'm saying, okay, what's the one thing? And usually with these kids, okay. Put more arc on it. And that's the only thing is if I say three things, then they can't do that. How does that get in people's way of maybe being fearful or trying to do too many things? How does that in a very practical sense, that people make them unproductive and work more than they need to or maybe even exactly, just had an opportunity?


Yeah, exactly. And this is something I certainly learned myself haven't been an entrepreneur for a long time and started nine different companies. One of the things I know about myself and about most entrepreneurs is that we are imminently distractable by shiny objects and ideas, period. Bad ones, good ones, mediocre ones. And that's a good thing. But it's a blessing and a curse. And so what tends to happen is that we lose interest. Entrepreneurs lose interest if you can think of it from a golf standpoint, it's like and you're standing at the tea and you take the club back to hit the ball and you sort of lose interest midway in your back in.


And you think what I really need is a new car or whatever. And this is what happens. Sadly, it certainly has happened to me a lot. This happened to my clients, and so our troubles. We think of our own making as a friend of mine set the problems that the economy offers or coat even offers are nothing compared to the problems that I unleash on myself by not being single minded. Also to the point of confidence, one of the reasons that most people lose confidence is because they're trying to do something impossible, which is the whole ten ideas at the same time and to execute ten ideas at the same time.


Whereas if we do focus and do take that, whether it's on solving the problem of how do we break through plateaus sales to be very, very practical problem? A lot of my clients face their business takes off. They hit the five year Mark for some reason, sales Plateau, they don't know why. And often it's because they're doing too many things at the same time, and they're not doing enough of the essential things that will take them past the Plateau very quickly. But it means letting go.


And shading, as I like to say, the things that aren't essential to taking them farther. And so at first to your question earlier about is it niching kind of scary because you forego the idea is if I'm everything to everybody that no one can say no, the problem is no one can say yes either. And that's the point that most of us forget is that when we mean nothing to anyone, no one's going to say yes. And everybody who is taking debt at contractors or insurance agents or whatever are going to win every time.


So it is sort of a leap of faith, though, for particularly for entrepreneurs who are mainly focused on survival to begin with not really success, but on the other hand, it's transformative. Once you begin to really focus on a particular person, take debt, am on a particular problem. Things really begin to shift.


Absolutely. One of the things that I've learned over the years I've been in a little over 20 years now, and one of the things that I noticed is I sometimes get caught looking to other people's business models, and then I question mine and I start changing mine. Oh, that looks good. And they're in their Lane doing their thing. And I'm actually in my Lane doing my thing. But the board distractable thing. So I want to want to do what they're doing. And there's this fine line between being open minded, being willing to learn, which normally can be a good thing and being so influenceable.


I remember I was at a workshop, one of an online marketing program and SaaS maybe about five, six years into my software business, which was a very specific thing. I was going to be a coach and a sales coach and executive coach. I started doing that, and I was doing okay. And one client said, Wade, we need to compensate our team members better, and we need a software that'll do it quickly. And I focused on that for about five years. Years, income goes through the roof compared to what I've been doing.


And then all of a sudden, I'm at this online marketing thing, so I want to expand my market again. I wanted to get out of my day that loved me knows me again, got a little bored, a little distracted. I want to go bigger. So I'm at this workshop, and a lot of it had to do with launching new businesses and launching anything that takes a lot of energy. And there's a lot of stress. And it's like trying to go for a Grand Slam home run as opposed to base hits.


It's trying to make a lot happen. And somewhere in all of this, I'm, you know, fan bone to the people that are there. One of the guys pulls me aside. He says, Wait, tell me something. He said. You told me you're making X amount is over six figures with your software business that you're working about 30 hours a week, and you don't have this crazy stuff. He says, Wait, just so you know, other than one or two, those two or three people over there, you're doing better than all the rest of us.


And it literally took about ten years for that to sink in, literally, because maybe he's not successful. Okay. Pour him. And really what it was is I have this niche and still have them that I understand very well. And, yes, it allows me to take that wisdom to other people. And I still want to do that, cause I'm not done growing. But I find and my wife gets so tired of hearing this every time. You know, when I really help those insurance agency owners that I've worked with in that business for 35 years, gosh, they really appreciate me.


I really do great work for them. And they pay me really well. And they do awesome. Like, wait, I made ten times what I paid you.




And yet the inside, even to your point, where is the insurance industry going and what self driving cars, like all these things? And if that trickles team all these thoughts and it's like, Wade, you're okay. And again, I think so much of that. You and I talked a little bit about this about having this small business or smallish business, a business that feels like it's not big enough. How do you help people look at or what's? Actually, when we start here, what's the best practice for a person to start thinking, what is that niche?


In other words, because some people say with niches. Well, parents. Well, there's a lot of parents on the plant. They might say part. How does the person know if they have truly a niche or they just have sort of a demographic or a classification of people?


Yeah, that's a great question, too, because you're right. I mean, how many parents are there? Presumably there's billions and billions parents worldwide and not quite narrow enough. That's so funny. I'm going through a similar or Niching exercise, take, eat and exercise with one of my clients today, later today. And what we're going to talk about to begin with is to have them talk to me anecdotally about clients that they have worked with and the ones where everybody felt like this was an incredible deal where the client felt like, just as you said with your clients, you can the money that they pay you scenarios of that kind where my client felt overpaid, where the client felt like they underpaid, where everybody felt really happy, where they send each other Christmas cards, kind of the brass ring.


And I want them to talk about that because ordinarily there is a lot of wisdom there and kind of speaks to you've seen this? I'm sure so many of my clients, this is sort of the definition of imposter syndrome is you get really, really good at something. And so it feels too easy. And you wonder why you're charging such high prices. And it's imposter syndrome. And yet for you, it's easy. It's just like for the brain surgeon, it's easy. Sure. I'm sure it's easy for them.


But for our clients, it's impossible. So that's what I'm really looking for is that magical moment where my clients are serving their customers in a way that is almost magical and almost always. And I've already talked to this client about a couple of instances. There are four or five, maybe ten cases, depending on the age of the business, where they can point to customers they like to clone and more than customers experiences I want to clone and both for my clients and what they do, but also for their customer.


And that's usually really good bread crumbs. You can really trust that the more you can become really analytical to a fault, I think. But mainly it's how did everybody feel? And if customers say, before you hit the ball out of the park, your ten my expectations. Plus, I love you. And it was fun. Let's do a lot more of that, whatever that is. And you can call it a niche or call whatever you want. But basically, what we're trying to do is to recreate an experience that everybody loves.


So that's that's how we sort of begin to focus on it.


That works really well, actually, that's awesome. And you just hit something funny how things work. I've heard about imposter syndrome for twelve years. I've denied it for twelve years and literally, about a day ago, I realized, wow, because exactly what you're saying and this might resonate with some people. I'm one of those people. So I I was raised Catholic, and my mom tells a story about one day we came home from elementary school. My cousin and I and we both get and we get picked up by one of the parents.


We both get in, and my aunt asked. Her daughter was thinking, how was school was great. Wait, how was it? Oh, my God. Did you hear what they did? Did Jesus. They nailed him to a cross. It was horrible. I internalized this so much I couldn't pass this. And so when it comes to charging people. I'm very aware of the financial strata in the world. I'm aware that six out of seven people on the planet live on less than $32 a day. So when I'm doing multi thousand coaching dollar coaching contracts.




That's something to me that I'm very sensitive about. Okay, I've got to make sure I'm giving well, I definitely have that. I got to be careful that I don't think, oh, my gosh. People make a lot of money. They've got to be bad people. No, they don't. I have that. And I come from a family with it's done well. And I so believe in the affluence, the circulation of money and value. And you watch people who have done that. It's awesome. But it's funny. I have this thing of these are some of my people that just love what we've done together, those magical sort of situations.


And like you said, want to clone the relationships, the quality of them. And yet somewhere in there, there comes that voice for me with the Niching of, okay, maybe if I'll recharge them enough now, as if there's some amount in the lifetime that I'm supposed to charge them. And yet again, and I'm literally working this through as your yes.




But if they ten exed it, why would I literally would I stop that game or if they even had a friend? And that's the part that for me has been exciting when I say, okay, can I go one off? Not ten degrees to the right or the left, but one degree to the right? And then, okay, well, then what's that next thing they have. And that's where Niching has been very powerful for me, because it would sometimes like, what if I run out of these people? I, in my case, there's a very specific company I work with in a lot of them.


There are a finite number of people that have that position. So pardon me. Get so fearful and think, hold on. But they might have a second issue. I don't know. People might have more than one issue that they could be Wade finding out. Yeah. And so that's been exciting to them for that same group help the same group with another issue, not just the software in this case was recruiting or sales coaching at what's a practical way for a person who's may be caught in this time that they're putting 10% of their effort into ten things and they're trying to at least get down, I don't know, two, three things.


What's a practical way for somebody to look at their business and say, okay, this is working. This is not working. And maybe more importantly, I might have to get to this later. I'm not giving up on it, but maybe I'm going to get to it later, because right now it's not working, and I still need to pay the bills and be the provider for my family was how do you help people get through that. And what's some wisdom around that?


Well, yeah. Boy, that is such a common problem. I've been through it for all my life. I have to confess, I've been like you, I'm a lifelong entrepreneur and run into that a lot. And it requires a lot of discipline for people who are truly entrepreneurs to to kind of all their eggs in three baskets, even is a huge vet. And because we're capable and this is the other problem with being an entrepreneur is that we're capable of a lot of us of doing a lot of things pretty well.


I guess the main that failure is kind of the best teacher. I think if we're taking dead aim at what we really, really want in our lives, and I want to go back to something you said at the beginning of the conversation. That's so right is that you could have your life may only be one degree away from where you want it to be. If we stop comparing ourselves to other people, we realize point. I'm working 30 hours a week. I'm making six figures. You know, really?


How much farther does this need to go? I mean, really, truly for me to be happy and comfortable and so on and so forth. So again, it comes back, I think, to taking debt. What do you really want? Unfortunately for most entrepreneurs who don't decide, well, this is what I'm after. This is the whole then we never get perfect. But just generally, these are the things that I want with respect to lifestyle, income, charity, community, et cetera. And once we take a dead aim at that, then we kind of know where we're going and we can make better decisions.


But for most entrepreneurs, motivated both by ambition and by terror, there's no goal. I mean, you'll never get there. The goal posts keep moving. There actually aren't any goal post. It's just further, more work harder, etcetera. So a lot of it has to do. I think we're starting with, look, this is what I'm trying to do. And then you can make a decision that's a bit more rational around. This is what I'm trying to accomplish. And therefore, here are my options to get there, because otherwise we're sort of doomed to if we run into a bit of a wall, not a brick one, maybe a paper, one wrapped to say, oh, sh--.


This model doesn't work, ditch it and so forth. So, again, the concept of kind of deciding where you really want to go is something that's hard for a lot of entrepreneurs to do, surprisingly and particularly hard to choose. What are the two or three baskets and equip my exit really hard. And yet I've seen a payoff over and over and over. And just as it had for your business, where all of a sudden it really takes off by making that commitment.


Yeah, I think one of the things that private times, try to explain to my children to keep it simple, just say, look, if you focus on ten things over 50 years, you're going to get five years worth of work in each of them, and you focus on five things you're in ten years, you're going to be better if you focus on two things that's 25 years. So of course, then the next question becomes, okay, but wait, what are those things? And so there's that nervousness around that.


But something you said I want to jump back into about not having in a sense of where people are looking to go. One of the things that I found, I share a background in mental health counseling, psychology that area. And when I was working on my Practicum got to meet a lot of different people. And I thought most of the psychology would be in the runaway homeless shelter where I was volunteering, not in my clients. And a lot of what would keep coming back up for me was the software have helps compensate business owners, team members.


And very often one. The main goals is we know how much money you want to make. And the answer that always raises an eyebrow for me is as much as I can without being judgmental. That is of the quality of the addict that is, there will never be enough. I just need more. What would that mean to you? Well, I don't even know what it means. I just need more. And you say, Well, okay. I've seen people that want more. More. I mean, there's countless movies, books written about that, as opposed to if I had this amount, it would be worth this to me.


And I recently got reminded of a study that was done a while ago, worried about at least in US dollars, about $65,000 a year. Once you get over that, there's almost goes off a cliff as far as increases in, you know, satisfaction with income and work and life and happiness. And that's self report. It's not, you know, that people saying, yeah, the people at the lower amount. Yeah, I want to get there. But once it hit 65,000, you think so many people in our country that are looking to hit, you know, ten times that a hundred times that and thinking that if and when I get there, then that will be, you know, that'll be happy.


Then I'll be happy. Then it'll be worth it. And they seem to be taking such big risks, being everything to all people. Like you said, I love that. Then you're really nothing to nobody. How do you minimize that risk then? Because it seems like the smaller risk is to be everything. It seems like if you have a website to say, everybody come to my website. I've got a coaching program, whatever it is, it's for everybody. And yet even if you watch something as simple as Gatorade or soccer balls, they niche their advertising they might not change the product, but they certainly niche their advertising.




They're talking to how can people make that more practical and doable so they're not having to do 50 things, but they're figuring out where to put that a couple of things.


Unfortunately, the market tells us that the cost of trying to be everything to everyone and on a very practical level, if you look at your website, let's assume that you're doing great SEO and you've got Google ads or whatnot Admiral running ads to traffic to your site. So that's good. Let's say we're doing well from a Google standpoint and we're getting good traffic if you find and I've had this happen a couple of times back. I'm just launching a new site now and it's not quite there because what I've noticed is that the visits are not long enough as compared with where I know they need to be.


And I'm convinced that the reason is that we're not to be specific enough. And so this is the problem. You can drive a lot of people to a website just as a very practical example. But if they aren't converting by requesting appointments or opting in for your information, then you're really wasting money. And that I find is the biggest cost of being everything to everyone is that you may be able to generate someone to visit your site once, but not twice, and also their visit will be very low quality and very brief.


That's the problem on a practical level. I ran an advertising agency for 25 years and for the first ten we tried to be all things to all people and our niche, if anything, was that we had very popular and very well known creative, so sort of a horizontal niche. And that was okay for a while. But there's always another pot agency that also has a creative and it's very subjective anyway. And our sales Plateau and I couldn't figure out why. And it was because we meant nothing to nobody if you wanted a very unique and of course, our credit was only valuable in the eye of the holder.


We didn't have a specific reason for people to say yes. And so it took a long time of hitting my head against the wall wondering why sales are plain. And we finally realized the people who are really winning in our industry were people that were niching that were solving very specific problems for very specific customers. And what happened to them was not only did they go out of business because they had too few clients, the reverse happens all of a sudden they became when people hit their website.


If they are the right people, they engage, they requested appointments, they scheduled calls, they downloaded information, they joined the Facebook website or Facebook page and so on and so forth. Plus, this is the most important part. I'm sure you've seen this. If anybody has is that your clients because you are now totally differentiated. And because you can really point to the ROI that you can deliver for your clients, you can charge more. You're not commodity anymore. You're now totally differentiated. Plus, clients can really see, based on testimonials and other past history that you do ten their investment and any entrepreneur with their soul to content can spend $1 and get ten back.


It's going to do that all day long. And then it becomes really, as you know, then it not only becomes very profitable. You break through the sales Plateau, but more importantly, you break through the profit Plateau. And also the quality of your life changes dramatically, because now you're coming to people not begging for business as a commodity, but auditioning clients to see whether you have time for them, whether it's a fit or not. And you have great confidence that you are, in fact, the brain surgeon.


And that what you're selling is something that nobody else can do. And the whole it just feels so much better to be a specialist offering bonifide value, then to be a commodity salesman who has goats for sale. Basically, wouldn't you like some nice got?


Well, you know, it's funny you say something there and some just connected for me. Well, yeah, because in my mind, well, brain surgeon is better than what I do. We'll know if somebody needs what I do know brain surgeons up better brain surgeon can't help them. That's something we forget again, I think. And again, I've done so much inner work and a Masters degree in a certified coach and all these different things. And I've done a lot of the work. And it reminds me of the movie with Counter Reeves and and Al Pacino Devil's Advocate.


And there's the end part, or he gets right back in the loop. I don't want to say too much because it's an Awesom movie. If you've seen that one comment, if you don't. And you're like, just when he thought he'd gotten through all of that and he's like, right back and it's like, you do this work. And I think definitely the clients that I've worked with, there's also a different level of depth. So a couple of things. And this is where if you need in more wo language, you'd say better relationships in more left grain language.


You say lifetime value of a customer. A lot of those people that whose picture is held up I've worked with for 20 years. And there have been years in my software business where we've not made a lot of improvements. We've not done a lot of like, I could even look back and say, yeah, you didn't really do much. But number one there the relationship had been there. Number two, if it keeps delivering, that's not a problem, because pardon me. So I have to do something more.


And maybe I don't. But the other thing is I just think about it in different stages of the difference between, let's say, the stage of our live or lives. If you've done this where you're dating a lot of people and you're going on a lot of first dates, and it's the same experience over and over again. And then if and when you get engaged, get married, have kids. You probably don't do that with 200 people. But there's a depth of experience and things that you'll never get.


You can go on a thousand dates for dates and you'll never get there. And that's that level of also understanding your niche to a certain degree, even to where, in my case, with a Mount, wel counseling background. Like, okay, sometimes I'm like, okay, I want to go too far into this because then you start knowing more stuff like, okay, I don't really go there. But even the simple fact that you're wearing you could refer people to read this book or whatever it is. But I just think more and more about again.


I've heard so often this concept, the avatar, your ideal client, the person who you would love to have you help them, or you'd love to have as your client. Or if you could have 1000 people in a room and you were pitching something, who would those people be, like, describe that person? And of course, usually it's what's now being called, what a psychographic. It's not. They're a certain color or a certain gender or a certain age. They have this mindset. They have this aspiration of something in common.


How do you know there's that quote I talked about it. I think it's from understanding when you can understand and articulate your customers pain points greater than they can. They'll believe that you can help them. You have the answer. What does that look like in real? Because I've heard that maybe people listen, I have heard that. What do you see that that looks like, how does a person know when they're doing that, that they really have that sense, not in the manipulative sense of, hey, well, I just stole your words and I'm regurgitating them back to you.


But I truly understand what it is and where you're at and then that gets communicated in such it's like, oh, yeah.




You can help me.


Yeah, it's funny. And for some reason, in business, sometimes in small business and entrepreneurial business, it's almost counterintuitive. It's like I have this solution. In my early advertising days, I love to produce television commercials that are that are funny and clever and memorable. And so I'm going to try to that's what I'm going to do. So let me try to find somebody who will give me money so I can do that. And just to trifold my OPEC and self centered. And you wonder why sales plant does.


But that was certain my idea, right. But it's surprising. And I don't cast this version since I am guilty of this. But it's amazing how many entrepreneurs go to market with that in mind. And it's a passion project. It's what I always wanted to do. Whatever. And I think there's just there's a humility that has to come. And if it doesn't, then you'll be humiliated. You'll either be humbled or you'll be humiliated and hopefully just humble. You realize, you know what? No one gives a sh-- about you.


They just don't. All they care about is I work for Networked in Advertising Agency, a Boston. There was this giant Irishman who scared the sh-- out of me. And I was writing these clever ads, and he thought it was just despicable. He thought I was wasting our clients money by doing that. We ought to be talking about features and benefits and so forth. So I said, okay, Tom, what do you think is great advertising? And he just spent in a New York City subway car. And I said, what do you think is a great headline?


And he said, I just saw one for preparation. H. And the headline was Hemorrhoids Question Mark. And this was appalling to me. I thought, Boy, that's not very clever. He said, if you have memories, it's Dan clever. And that's really having the humility to realize that we're not going to get anywhere until we serve people. And again, hopefully we go through a humbling. In my case, I went through also humiliation when I was pitching things that people either didn't want or I really didn't care if they wanted it.


Or I wanted to produce. Television commercials are a little bit to make the point. So the market has a way of straightening us out. And I think I'm not sure it's really possible you can even read about that. You know, you can. And there are lots of great books that say this precisely. But until you've been at least a little humbled, I don't know that it will ever stick. And my principal business partner in my advertising agency, his mantra was making about them. No matter what I would come up with, he would say, make it about them.


As long as you make it about them, it's going to be fine. As long as you take you out of it, you're going to be fine. But the more you that in it, the worse it's going to be. And the more meaningless it'll be. And we're going to stay flight towed forever.


Yeah. I remember one of my first supervisor said, Wade, sometimes you do some really, really brilliant things that help the people that we serve. And sometimes you do some brilliant things like you're clever. But it didn't help for darn bit train of love that he waited for it to land. I was young as it took a while for it to land. So you're pretty much always brilliant. Bravo. Who cares? When do you have sure people with it that match.


Yeah. I definitely went through a couple of those conversations in my career.


I was looking. I'm going to take a couple of pieces from the book you've written, narrow thinking and just a couple of just pieces that really stuck out for me. And one of them was the concept of if it wasn't about money, where would you specialize? And I know that can go into the conversation of do what you love and the money will follow, which can be a dangerous conversation because you can say I love playing video games, and some people make a lot doing that. And many won't the idea of if it wasn't about money where you specialize, how does that play out for people?


And how is that? Because I found that to be definitely true of what I do. As I've now been an entrepreneur 20 years. I'm leaning that direction anyway, how can that help somebody look at where they're at and what they're looking to do next?


And again, it comes back to the market, teaching us lessons every day. And so the reason that I ask people that question is just because it's a little bit disoriented. I mean, it's not as easy as it sounds can take money out of this conversation is just so completely ribbon into everything we do and say as entrepreneurs and think about. So the reason I asked that question is to try to jar people a little bit and bring them back to what I was trying to do was to be not as a passion project, because that really is an immature adolescent thing that I did for a while.


I want to make funny TV commercials because it just kicks ass to do that, and you got to get past that and the market will take you past it, whether you want to or not, but to more think about what is the quality of the experience not just for me, but more especially for the person I'm with, because I've often found that when people are really hate to use this expression in the zone or whatever, where they're really, really helpful to other people and they lose sight of themselves.


That's kind of the moment that I'm marketing after when you're working too hard when you're sweating too much, where you're forcing square pegs and round calls is typically a sign that maybe this isn't the right thing, not just for you, but more especially for the people you're trying to help. And again, it goes back to the exercise of what are some experience we've had in the past where everybody felt like a million dollars. That's sort of what I have to. But to take the money out of the equation is very, very hard for people to do.


In fact, usually when I ask it, they look at me kind of deer in the headlights a little bit like, what do you mean, what do you mean?


Yeah. And I think one of the things that so interesting about that is there's that saying, what would you do if you had $100 million in the bank or whatever is a good number for most people. That's enough. What would you do with your life? And some people say that's your your life work. And I did that exercise a couple times. Like, for me, at least that's not my life work. That's my ideal lifestyle. What I do is my life purpose is me gaining up in two in the morning and feeding the baby or changing the diaper.


It's not what I really want to do always. But there's a different level of commitment to it. And at the risk of sounding again, kind of going out there, there is this sort of not just altruistic, but interconnected nature to business that if you talk to people about whether it's Maslow's hierarchy or the old idea of survival, success and significance. And people are like, oh, significance. Is this nice, really happy place? We just give stuff I'm like, no, if you give stuff away, nothing comes in that's not sustainable.


That can be victimhood. But if you think of it as dependence and stages in life of a child that's dependent and then they're independent and they're like, I can do anything like, no, there's actually stage after that. For those you where you might not depend on any one person. What you realize you're part of a community and you'll see different nations as somebody who lived in different parts of the world. There are some nations that prevailing energy is that of survival for a lot of reasons, but it perpetuates SaaS and success.


And very few Nations I think that have really gotten down. That true sustainable significance where there is success financially. But there's also some sort of altruism. And again, it sounds like a way why don't I do that? Because that's how you keep lifetime customers forever that are not a pain in the butt that love working with you that tell their kids about you. Those are the sort of things that to me. If someone were to say to me, how would you define or how would you know when you have your niches when you're having those sort of interactions with people and it's not.


Well, they're famous. Well, they're hot or where they're rich or it really is those people, wherever they're at are bringing that back to you. And there's another question you had in which I love, can you raise your prices when you want to? And that being a test of whether you have a business or not. Yeah, sure about that a lot, if you don't mind.


Sure. Well, this goes back to a I live in Omaha, Nebraska. And so everybody from Janitor to President of the bank, quote Warren Buffett, and I mean, truly, everybody sort of knows you buy and hold. Everybody knows that, right. A nationwide everybody buys high and sell low, not in Omaha. Everybody buys low and holds for their lifetime. I'm exaggerating anyway. So Buffett said, this is Buffett's idea around pricing power and why he buys the companies that he buys and the brands in particular in the later part of his career.


Why he buys the brands that he buys is because they have pricing power, meaning they can raise prices. And so companies like Apple, for example, can can raise prices or Dairy Queen can raise prices. The reason I mentioned that also is sort of one of those that brutal market telling us what's reality and what's fantasy. So sometimes we think we've really got it going on, you know, maybe making funny Tomasing commercials because I like to do that. Well, if you can't raise prices and do that, and that was the shocking humbling reality for us.


For me early on in my advertising career was I was a commodity and I didn't know it. And that is bad as a horrible humbling that here. And you find out, not only can I not raise prices, in fact, I have to cut prices to get the business. The only way I can get business is by cutting the price because it's the only thing that differentiates my product or service from your product or service. That's why matching another reason cold, hard market truth that we will sooner later run into is that, you know, if we're not differentiated and we don't have a mention, we don't solve a pain that is very painful and people really want removed and we have no pricing power.


We're just a commodity. At that point. We're in effect invisible. And the only way we can sell it, then, is the price per pound of whatever it is we're selling. So it's it's definitely not about gouging people having pricing power and gouging people. It's a sure sign that you're a commoditized business. That means nothing to nobody. Every time you raise prices, you lose all your customers.


Absolutely. Thank you. Yeah, there's so much to that and definitely it's not about price, cause I think one of the things that's happened in the coaching field that's been a little at times borderline Wild West ish is people saying, Well, since I can make you ten X, I'm going to charge you eight X or five is like, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. They might make ten X. Some are going to make one X. We're going to make exactly half whatever it is exactly. But I think there's a a realistic balance and there where people will still legitimately say and not just say it once on your website and then want to retract it a year later.


But they'll actually say it and you say, yes, that's a good thing. I want to shift gears to one other thing, share a little bit if you don't mind about ad ease USA because that's one of the main reasons. Also, I love seeing when people or to me, it's proof in the pudding when somebody is doing work and then they're also giving back in a way, especially when it has to do with nonprofits, not just giving money but also doing things. Now, there's anything wrong with giving money, but when the time goes there as well, share a little bit about that, if you don't mind.


And what led you to do that project?


Sure. Well, thanks for asking. Yeah. The organization is called Ades USA. Org, and it was originally developed. I started it founded in 2007 in response to a report by then present Bush called the Report on Wounded Warriors. It was the first time I'd ever heard that term might have been one of the first time the term was used, and it was a reformer, Secretary of Health and Human Services Calla and former Senator Bob Dole on what happens to military when they return from in this case, specifically from Iraq and Afghanistan.


And without getting overly political, I thought I thought Afghanistan and Iraq was a terrible idea. And so when people started to return and with these incredible injuries, not just physical injuries, obviously, but psychological injuries, it was deeply saddening and concerning to me. But what the report on the Warrior said was that of the people that return with post traumatic stress disorder, that only a third will ever get to treated for it. And by that specifically, they're saying that they'll go to the VA and take advantage of the benefits that they're entitled to and meaning that in those days there were something like 500,000 people a year.


And obviously we've shifted gears there. The 500,000 people a year were returning, and 300,000 of them were not only not getting help with the VA, but weren't getting any help with any kind from anybody. And as a result of that, today, we have a suicide every 15 minutes by military people, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan era, but also Desert Storm in Vietnam and so on. And that may seem to be not just a tragedy, but really a crime. And the more we dug into the reasons why we discovered that part of it was there's a stigma or was a stigma, and I think it's decreasing somewhat against the VA.


The idea of confidentiality was that there wasn't confidentiality and that to admit to a psychological disorder of any kind would capture military career. And so people didn't want to do that. There was also just sort of an inherent distrust of the VA. And then there's the illness itself, which creates distrust, the nature of the illness of post traumatic stress disorder and genders doubt, let's say, at a minimum. Anyway. So when we first got into this, at first, we started by creating a clinic system that was anonymous.


On one hand, you didn't even have to give your name to get treatment. And also, unlike the VA, it was available not just to the combatant but to the combatants family, because the VA doesn't cover moms and girlfriends and wives and children. And what we found was that we were seeing more wives and children than we were combatants because they're typically the head of household with respect to health decisions. And also women are typically more open to this kind of thing. And what ended up happening was that as the moms and daughters and wives and girlfriends and children recover, it ultimately began to attract the combatant into it.


And since then, the problem with that model is that it doesn't scale, even if you have group therapy, it just doesn't scale. It's too expensive. And our advisors early on, our board of advisors said, this is great, but it doesn't scale. You got to figure something out. So we did a lot of research and partnered with a psychologist at University of Telaviv University and all of the cutting edge post traumatic stress disorder workers being done in Israel. And in part because this gentleman told me half of the people have behalf of Israelis have PTSD.


And so they came up with an incredible technology that we've since run clinical trials on. That is very, very different. It's all computer driven, it's computer based treatment and doesn't involve a therapist, except to the extent that a therapist will sort of supervise the administration of it and so forth and very, very promising. Our clinical trials were incredibly successful, and we're rolling it out now not only, and this is the exciting part for me, not only to military families, but also we've done other clinical trials on women who are survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and also on children who have civilian PTSD based on mainly on child abuse.


And we found it's very effective there, too. So, yeah, very, very exciting, very rewarding stuff. And actually that led because we were raising a lot of money and spending a lot of money in mental health. That was what caused me to go and get my master's degree in clinical counseling was because I was raising money and spending money, and I wasn't sure what I was doing. They're spending it on. So I had to had to bone up real fast on that stuff.


Well, that's great. And I wanted to share that because that's just to me, there's a there's a certain point, I believe, is an entrepreneur, maybe as a person, too, but where hopefully if you have experienced a certain level of success, that then you can at least pause for a second and it takes a while to get there. And this is not to shame. Maybe he's not there. The survival period can be a long time. Yes. But hopefully you reach a point where then you can look around and say, okay, another doohickey, another do, dad?


No. Okay, wait. Actually, I have time for a moment. I can pause for a moment. What else is there going on? And then the irony of that is that you meet so many other people who actually have their cups running over. And so you actually meet even more people that are doing well, financially, emotionally, spiritually, multidimensionally. But yeah. So thank you for doing that. That's so awesome work. That's such a big thing. And I think that's one of the there's a couple of entrepreneurs I follow that they have this sense that entrepreneurs can be the heroes of the world.


And certainly we sometimes see the not so nice side of when greed gets involved or shady stuff. But certainly, whether it's contributing to nonprofits or different things, that can be very awesome. Thank you so much for that. So where can people find more out about your work and about even the book that you and I were talking about that relates to Niching?


Absolutely. If you email me and hopefully you can include my email address someplace. Wade. But my email address is Scott S-C-O-T-T. At Double Dare. Double Dare. You us. My business is double there. Anyway. Email me at Scott at Double Dare us, and I'll send you a copy of Narrow Thinking, our book on taking that in and niche marketing. And also you can get a lot of other information. And we have a program on workplace burnout called Extinguishing Burnout. You can get a lot of information about that on our site.


Also assessments and treatment ideas and so forth for Burnout. Again, a Double Dare us.


Awesome. Thank you so much. And my pleasure.


Thank you. Yeah.


And one of the things that just remind people and some people relistin might say, well, wait, why did you why did you take that right turn to talk about a non profit, because what I found is that the entrepreneurs, especially there's a couple of criteria I've been looking for more and more as I'm getting more experienced as an interviewer. So I'm looking for people who've been in the game for a while because you take some licks, you take some bruises, then you actually understand that some things are cyclical and you find out some things.


And most of the people that I've interviewed that really have a great deal to offer. Usually they're either already involved in something like this, something outside, something beyond themselves, or they're starting something. And again, that's just even more of a litmus test to me that somebody's not just in it to try to sell some. There's plenty of people that can talk about Niching. I know that, but I really feel like you brought something Austin or audience today. So thank you so much for that. Is your listing this and just applied it and think about it in every one of these situations.


The more you're clear about who you're serving, the more you can make greater impact. You can help eventually. Yes, help more people or help the same number of people more deeply and not just get caught up in that. Well, I'm going to help 20 million people and then, of course, make more money and do it in less time. So thanks again for listing and as all afford helping you create the life and lifestyle desires you can better enjoy your family, your friends in your life. Thanks again.


Scott AndersonProfile Photo

Scott Anderson

Founder and CEO @ DoubleDare | Refocusing Time & Energy for Agency Owners | Conquering Burn Out

Scott Anderson is founder and CEO of Doubledare, an executive coaching and consulting practice which dares entrepreneurs and executives to fully live their unique talent, passion and purpose.

He’s an executive coach, LMH therapist and has managed closely-held family businesses, launched four for-profit companies (sold them) and two not-for-profit organizations.

In 2007, Anderson founded At Ease USA ( a research accelerator that develops and distributes leading edge PTSD treatment technology for military families, first responders, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and children recovering from abuse. Anderson published his first book, Playing Big, in 2013.