Adam Torres and Jonathan Shroyer discuss customer experience.
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Creating a great customer journey and ecosystem could mean the difference between growth and plateauing for many businesses. In this episode, Adam Torres and Jonathan Shroyer, Chief CX Officer at Arise, explore creating a customer experience ecosystem and Jonathan’s latest book, Mission Matters: World’s Leading Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Top Tips To Success (Business Leaders Vol. 9, Edition 2).
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(Business Leaders Volume 9, Edition 2) Every enterprise needs leadership and great leaders are formed through both success and failure. Are you and your organization positioned properly for this new age of leadership?
Adam Torres and Jonathan Shroyer are here to help you move forward. In this latest edition of Mission Matters (Business Leaders Volume 9, Edition 2), Torres and Shroyer feature 26 top professionals who share their lessons on leadership.
In these pages, through inspiring stories, you’ll discover:
- How to Transform an Organization
- How Simple Questions Can Lead to Amazing Innovation
- An Effective Way to Work with Global Teams
- The Simple Truth of What Motivates Us
- Optimization Best Practices for Entrepreneurs
- How to Lead with Internal Controls to Drive Revenue
- And much more!
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, just head on over to mission matters.com and click on BR Guest to apply. All right, so today is a very special episode. We are welcoming back Jonathan Schreyer, who is the Chief CX Officer over at Arise, and I’m proud to announce an author in our recently published.
Business leader series of books. And Jonathan, first off man, just wanna say welcome back to the show. Thank you. Thank you. And of course, I’m gonna do my, my shameless plug of the book here. An amazing book. I know we’ll dig into it. Really pleased to be here, Adam. Yeah, I’m excited to have you back and last time you were on, you didn’t have that hat on and you better believe I’m getting one right.
I’m for you here, brother. Just let me know and I got it for you. I want one. But well, before we get into the, my swag, we’ll start this episode the way that we, we start them all with our mission matters minute. So Jonathan, we at Mission Matters. We amplify stories for entrepreneurs, executives, and experts.
That’s our mission. Jonathan, what mission matters to you? Like what we talked about last time I came on, I had that same mission. It’s so important to me. I grew up in a small town in Texas. There wasn’t a lot of opportunities for me in the tech area. I had to move to a tech hub, and so when I started Atium Labs three years ago before we sold to Arise, the mission I had was to decentralize work and wealth across the globe and give opportunities for folks to live where they wanna live, work where they wanna work.
And help bring economic capital to the tier two, tier three cities, or wherever people wanna live in the world. And that’s still something I’m so passionate about, Adam. Yeah, it’s great love bringing mission based entrepreneurs on the line to share, you know, why they do what they do, how they do it, and really what we can all learn from that so that we all grow together.
So great to have you back on. And I guess just to get us kicked off here, let’s get into the book. And by the way, just for everybody watching, we have some other books we’re gonna be talking about today too. Jonathan has been busy, busy, so we got a couple other books. I gotta, I gotta do it that we’ll be talking about as well.
So you’ve been busy, busy. But let’s get started with the book that we put together, together, or that we put together, and that’s your chapter in the book is called Simple Questions Leading to Amazing Innovation. So a lot of things that you could have written about. As you mentioned, you know, you grew a company, you exited that company, a lot of different lessons in leadership and business there.
But in terms of topic, why this topic, why now? Well, I think to start off with, we want to recognize a lot of the other wonderful authors in the book as well. You know, you did a great job of bringing together these really great entrepreneurs and thought leaders to expand and to educate a lot of folks that are passionate about starting their own company.
The reason why I chose my chapter, and you could see that I’m in the lab here behind me. Is, you know, growing up 20 years in the industry, what I thought was missing was a place for people to ideate, to dream, and to imagine what the future would look like. And what I found is when you pull people out of the corporate office and you put them into a casual environment and you ask them just to think about the simple questions.
That will help them to think about how they solve the big problems of the future. You get some really great ideas. So in the book I laid out some kind of philosophies and a framework and how you can go about that, but that’s really how when I started at fiss, I started off with just a simple question, which is, how can we help gaming companies and other companies understand the impact and the value of customer service, the customer experience ecosystem, and how profitable it can be for them.
And so looking at that, at that ecosystem and what you’ve managed to build and how you’re even operating today, like take us through a little bit more of that process of question, of asking questions, especially for those that haven’t picked up a copy of the book yet. Because like, it sounds simple, right?
Like, okay, ask questions and it can promote imaginative thinking, but like, how does that work? Well, when I, when I generally talk to folks, I ask them to, to think about three questions, and I say, let’s keep it as simple as possible. As human beings, we have a natural tendency to be overly verbose, and it’s much harder to simplify things, and so we go through some ideation exercises in the labs with post-it notes and other things of that nature, which you could do virtually as well.
But what I say is write three topics down and then write a simple question that you have about that particular topic. And what you’ll find is if you make that question future forward thinking. Then you’ll be able to think that, well then how do I brainstorm and answer that question? And sometimes the, the answer to the question can be more complex.
Mm-hmm. And you have to prioritize ruthlessly to ensure that you get focus and you can deliver what you want. But in essence, you gotta start with the topic, then you go to the question, and then you start your branch out from there. But the last thing I would say is you have to timebox yourself. We could be thinking and talking about things forever, right?
Yeah. But if you timebox yourself, you force yourself to think more critically and more quickly. And what you’ll find is your brain will naturally simplify things for you and help you focus and get to more impactful answers. Yeah. So for some of the, the business owners and entrepreneurs out there listening to this, they may be, let’s just say, and, and I guess we could break this up in some different pieces here because obviously, or I should ask you if the process is different for maybe a larger, more mature company or a startup, but let’s just say that they’ve been working on, just to kind of put a little bit of more meat around this.
They’ve been working on a product or a project and they’re trying to, they’re watching this, right? They’re gonna pick up the book, they’re gonna read it, and now they’re saying, okay, so. Like, where do I start? How do I apply this with my team today? Like, like what would you tell them? Well, what I would say is, is most startup companies are trying to solve a problem, or if they are a startup company, they have an idea they should be trying to solve a problem, otherwise it’s gonna be difficult for them to be successful.
So what I would say is, what is the problem you’re trying to solve? And then what’s the simple question? That will help you go down the path and help your team to go down the path to get to the answer. So, for example, I think, you know, when Google first started, you know, they’re trying to answer a, a simple question of how do I get access to more robust information?
Hmm. And Google came out with, you know, everybody Googles it now, right? But it’s really a search engine, right? And then, you know, when, when Microsoft first came out, they said, how do I put a PC in everyone’s home in the United States at the time, right? Mm. And so when you think about these innovative companies, Uber is like, how do I help change the way that people move?
How was their simple question? So every founder has to go, well, what’s the problem you’re trying to solve? And then what’s the simple question to, to help your team think about that? And then you kind of build from there. Yeah. And so when we look back at your career, like, and, and maybe going back to even a, do you remember how you came about to that first question, or was it like a progression or was it like an aha moment of when you knew that, like you had your focus?
The first question for me was, I. How do I prove that customer experience is profitable for a company? That was the question I asked. And then from there, I invented the maturity service stack model. I built a whole product around it with my team, but it started off with just that simple question of how can I prove profitability through customer experience?
Hmm. Yeah, that’s great. And, and, and you’re right, that question does sound simple, but it sounds to me like that was, that’s just opening the can of worms, right? Like that’s just where it starts. Yeah. It’s where it starts, but it helps people when they’re going through the brainstorming process Yeah. To then go back and say, well, what was our question actually?
Mm-hmm. You know, human beings will naturally give you, oh, these are the a hundred solutions. We’re like, wait, well, what was the question that we’re trying to answer? And that helps simplify the brainstorming in the, in the, kind of the, the sessions from there to stay focused on that initial question. And you mentioned you know, setting a time for this, right?
Because we can all, yeah. We can all talk forever, right? Like how do you, any tips on how to go about doing that piece of it? Well, what I tend to find out is, so I had a great mentor early in my career and, you know, I was working 80 hours a week, you know, I was early director in my twenties, really passionate about my career, and he had a question for me.
He said, how much thinking time are you doing? And I was like, What are you talking about? I just told you I was working 80 hours a week. I don’t, I don’t have time for thinking I gotta do. Right? I gotta go, I gotta do and, but it was a provocative, again, simple question that he asked me. Yeah. He said, Jonathan, if you just give 10 minutes a week to thinking time, go on a walk, put your computer down, put your phone down, grab a pen, grab a paper.
However it is that you want to think. And he said, you don’t always have to think about business stuff. Just start thinking. Mm-hmm. And you’ll be surprised on where your mind goes. He said, if you commit 10 minutes a week, you’ll soon find 10 minute, not, not. I wanna make sure I hear this right though. Say, and everybody hears this.
You didn’t say 10 minutes a day, right? No. 10 minutes a week. Why? He said, if you do 10 minutes a week, you’re gonna 10 extra career. And he said, what you’ll find is that that 10 minutes will naturally to 30 minutes, and then you’ll start figure out that every quarter you kind of need a thinking day. So then you come to a lab like this.
Where you’re just disconnected from all the doing and you’re thinking, you’re imagining you’re dreaming. Mm-hmm. And then that will allow you to build the foundation. Simple questions or even more complex questions that you’re kind of building upon that will allow you an environment, a space to give your mind permission.
To be creative, to be thoughtful, to go into the alpha state instead of the beta state of mind that we’re all in, going, going, going, doing, doing, doing right. The Alpha State is creativity, imagination, all the things that we lose, you know, because as Kit, once we go from being. My son’s two. Right? He’s very imaginative.
Now, when he gets to be 22 and he has to do, do stuff at job, at his job, he’s gonna lose some imagination, right? So that it, it reinvigorates the human mind’s imagination capabilities. Mm-hmm. So, speaking of tapping in the imagination, I’m sure it’s gonna be different for everyone, but like, how do you best do it?
Like when you wanna get really in the imagination or imaginative mode? Like how do you, how do you do it? I think for me, there’s three ways that I’ve found to be successful. The first one is I turn off all the electronics. I go sit outside on the patio and I take a notepad with me with a pencil, and I just start writing ideas and things I’ve been thinking about, and I just, it, it just kind of morphs from there.
So that’s one way that I do it. The second way that I find is super successful is I meditate. And so I’ve trained myself to be able to meditate. And get to a point where I can visualize things in my head and I can really focus on how do I think about those things differently? How would a, a successful version of myself think about those things differently than the, the way that I’m currently thinking about it?
So you start to visualize it and mentally imagine it. So that’s the second way. And the third way is I like to get a group of people together, cuz oftentimes when we do thinking, we can only think about what’s in our head. But if you get a group of people together that also want to think with you, Then you get all these different viewpoints and it helps you to construct a much better solution or a much better long-term idea of where you want to go.
Yeah, I can see how all of those would work. And I have to ask, and I think that’s a good transition as well. Was it in some of these meditative moments and or sessions that you came up with, maybe some of the, the other books that you’ve been really busy, hard at work on? And maybe let’s take ’em, you know, separately.
But the first one, gaming service, volume one, I gotta put it up, available on Amazon, of course. Is this how all of that, that piece came up? No, I really did. So, you know, after, after I told the ssim two arise, I started thinking about all the thought leadership that either I, I learned throughout my career, I gained from other people, and I realized that there’s not a lot of books out there that will be helpful to that startup leader, that new gaming leader, or even just a CX leader, right?
What I wanted to do was I wanted to collect, All of this information into one place. Mm-hmm. And that way they could pick it up and say, oh, that’s interesting. I could use that, or, that’s interesting. I could use that. But I was meditating at the time and starting to think about, well, how do I create, you know, a book that will be relevant, interesting, and useful chapter by chapter.
And so the framework of the book, once, once folks pick it up, is they’ll see that I talk about, and I know you’ve seen it cause you’ve read it, but I talk about a topic, then I talk about a couple questions, and then I go into, A best case you study in the industry that already exists. And so it gives the ability for people to, to learn and to apply and to also know how it’s already been done successfully.
Mm-hmm. And so that, I came up with that when I was meditating one day. And so I noticed that this first one says volume one, so that leads me to believe that you’ll be building on this. Yes, that’s right. There’s more volumes to come. I’m actually working on volume two today. Yeah, I figured you’re hard at work as always.
And then the second book, so I gotta hold that one up as well. Here we go. So the Little Lion, lions and Lama. Where, where did this one come up? So these are two, when I look at all three of the different books that you’ve released in the last year, including including the one with us, of course, it feels to me like each one of these, they’re really just tapping into different parts of the brains and just different parts of Jonathan.
Totally. And I think we all have like different thought leadership components in our lives. So the third book as a father and as, or as my son calls me, papapa, that’s how he says he, he says Mama, but he always says Papapa, but he’s the little lion. And the book is loosely based on some of my experiences as a father, but it’s really a narration of some of the experiences I’ve had.
You know, in my life, some of the experience I’ve had as a, as a father, as a parent, as a husband, it’s written in a narrative way where it’s an easy read, it’s fun, it’s enjoyable, it has its ups and its downs, but it, it’s something that’s not businessy, but you can gather business stuff from it. You can gather personal stuff, and I think it really shows.
When you think about human beings and the complexities that we have, we have di all d have different parts of our lives. Mm-hmm. And so I wanted to demonstrate in the three books, like the first one is about entrepreneurship, right? The second one is about gaming, which is a passionary of mining business.
And the third one is more personal, you know, and more personal narration of writing. And I think it, it’s kind of a nod to the complexities and also the amazingness of, of all the humanity that exists in the world and who we are. Mm-hmm. So as you continue to add, it seems like every time we talk, I mean there’s another project, there’s another thing that you’re doing, which I’m always like, this is awesome.
First off, and I always think about it and I want you to talk maybe to some of those other senior leaders out there like yourself, cuz they hear me, especially the ones that have been listening to this show for a long time. They hear me preach all day long about the idea that people, especially people that have, you know, Have done something in this world in terms of business, like they need to be creating content.
They need to be thinking about other ways to give back than maybe have been done in the past. So like things like writing books, starting podcasts, writing a blog, like doing some type of thought leadership, not just for your personal branding and otherwise, but get the message out there to get great content out there because, so that more people can benefit from.
From you than just maybe your immediate circle. What kind of things would you tell to those that are still out there that are maybe kind of on the fence and not really creating content yet that are in that senior leadership position? Well, I think there’s two to three things that I would mention. I, I remember the first time that I gave a speech in front of a group of like 5,000 people.
Mm-hmm. What I ended up doing was writing a speech that I thought would be relevant, interesting, and helpful. But what’s interesting about that is it required me to collect all of the thought leadership throughout the years that I’d kind of compartmentalize in my brain. Because you go from job to job to job or experience to experience, to experience.
And so it was actually a great teacher for me on how I can, how I can narrate. And tell a story that’ll be meaningful and interesting to other people out there. So the first thing that reminded me, oh, oh wow. I kind of know some stuff. Yeah. And this stuff might be interesting. I think a lot of, a lot of leaders out there when I talk to them like, well, I don’t have anything to contribute and, and that’s not true.
And I think. When you actually sit down and you start to put yourself into an action oriented, whether it’s giving a keynote a speech, or a podcast or whatever it is, you’re putting your mind into a different space where you’re like, Hey, what is my audience gonna be interested in and what can I add from a value standpoint?
So I think that’s the first thing. And it’s helpful on both sides. For you and for the person in the mm-hmm. The person in the audience. I think the second thing, Is what I find is there’s so many different types of leaders in the world, and not just like from a diversity standpoint by the traditional definition, but diversity of thought and diversity of industry and experience and location and culture that most folks don’t know how much power they have inside of their head and the thoughts and the experience and how, what an impact that can be for people.
I remember like when I started doing content creation and sharing my thoughts, You know, I just, you know, somebody said, Hey, you need to get out there and you need to do it. And I was like, no, I’m not that interesting. I’m not extroverted, whatever. You know, there’s always something Yeah. That gonna block you.
But I did it and what I found is like randomly people were reaching out to me and say, Hey, thank you for that. That helped me during a tough time or that helped me during a key decision and I had no idea that my content was going to be helpful. But it did. And, and so that, for me, kind of giving back and, and helping people be successful, I think it’s, it’s, it’s part of like who I am as a person.
When I was 17, you know, my mission at that time, which has kind of transformed to what we talked about earlier. The call was just to serve and help people and help, you know, with no need for like recognition or no need for like people to pay me back. Just, just give it to the universe. It’ll come back, right?
Yeah. But I think that’s the second thing. And then I think the third thing that’s super interesting is, As we think about content creation, we think about branding. We think about who we are as a person. I think earlier in my career, people would be like, Hey, don’t do your own personal branding. That’s selfish.
And I think that that’s a very limited narrow point of view. And so I think it’s totally, you should have your own brand. You should know who you are. Mm-hmm. You should be comfortable with who you are and you should share that. And if people gravitate to that and they’re interested in you and they’re willing to, you know, watch you.
They’re willing to listen to you in some cases, buy your books or you know mm-hmm. You know, watch an ad for, to listen to your content on YouTube, then that’s great for you, you know, as an influencer, as a content creator, cuz that means they value what you’re providing them. And I think in all three of those cases, the biggest thing is like, take the blocker down and just go and do it.
You’ll figure it out. The first time I did it, it was terrible. I wasn’t great at it cuz you know, I’m not an actual content creator like Adam, like you or other people. But over time I learned and I got better. I took feedback on and I iterated and it’s like Nelson Mandela says, I never lose. I only win or learn.
Hmm. And for everybody listening, I am was not a natural content creator. Are you kidding me, Jonathan? I, my first thousand interviews were probably terrible. Maybe they’re getting better now, so, you know, many thousands later. But the whole point being, and I tell people that all the time, is that like what you start with, I don’t care how good you are in the beginning or how bad you perceive yourself to be, like, you can really help other people out there by doing things like creating content and, and I’ll tell you everything that Jonathan’s talking about.
He practiced what he preaches on this, like I remember when he first started on TikTok, like I saw him on there. Maybe he was already on there for a while, but when I first discovered him and I saw his content get better and better and better, and his videos better, better and better, he’s always a great storyteller, but he’s just adding other little features here or there, or different cuts and all this other stuff.
And I see the evolution of the content and I’m like, oh man, he’s onto something. Like it’s already was good, but now he’s just like little by little. It. I feel like when entrepreneurs take that same thought process that they take towards their business and they apply that to content and like get better and better, like that process is of refinement.
That’s what like ultimately leads to just creating a better and better product. And then really the better the product, the more people you reach and then you know, whether you’re doing it for a financial incentive or you’re doing it just to give back. Doesn’t, I mean your, your business there. But either way, it’s the content that you’re creating and that the fact that you’re, you know, trying to go out there and teach and of something based off of what you’ve done or been able to accomplish.
So, I, I’ve seen your progression. First off, Jonathan and that TikTok, I’m like, man, I gotta up my game on TikTok too. You’re killing it. Thank you for that. It’s very kind. The other thing that I would say for like the entrepreneurs listen is, you know, fundraisers or VCs or banks or customers in the beginning, they buy from you.
If they don’t buy your product, they buy because they trust you. Yeah. And so the more that you’re out there, the more that they see that you’re sharing interesting and thoughtful content. Mm-hmm. It’s, it’s a natural way for them to trust you as a founder and then want to open the door for, you want to buy your product, want to test your product out.
I hands down that like the first 10 customers I got when I started my company was because they trusted me or they were buying from me. They were buying Jonathan. They weren’t buying a, now they buy a Rise gaming. But in the early days, they always buy the person. And I think that’s something to remember as well.
Yeah, that’s great. Well, Jonathan, first off, it has been great catching back up with you. I’m thrilled to continue to promote the book that we did together. Your other books, your content I mean, what’s next? I mean, you got a lot going on on your MRIs. You got content, you got books, you got podcasts, I mean, what’s next?
I mean, I think for me, I’m doubling down on a couple things. One is I’m still really passionate about decentralization of work and wealth. Mm-hmm. And for by working at a rise, it gives me an opportunity to. Allow service partners on our digital platform to be able to live where they wanna live and work where they wanna work.
And so it’s just super amazing to ride those opportunities to people. Like when I was growing up where I didn’t have those opportunities in, in Texas and, and back in the country where I lived in Texas, but also in other parts of the world where we, you know, we do business and we’re opening up the, the digital platform.
So I’m leaning into that, which was my main mission. The second one is I love games. You know, I love games. I’m a big gamer. I got little gamer. He wanted the Purple Hat, so I made the Purple Hat and Little Gamer loves it. So we’ll keep doing our talks and, you know, I’ll keep sharing on our thought leadership platform’s, LinkedIn, you know, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, all that kind of stuff.
So I’m gonna keep leaning into that and sharing and, and hopefully helping other people, you know, grow and, and helping them to be successful. And I think the third thing is I’m just gonna continue to write. And continue to share thoughts and, and to learn, learn from other people like you, other authors, other friends, and see, you know, what kind of an impact can I have on the world?
What kind of impact can I have as a father, as a husband, I get, you know, 16 more years before my kiddo turned, decides he wants to go to college or not. And so I got a lot to learn there too. Fantastic. And Jonathan, if somebody’s watching this or listening to this and they wanna follow up and they wanna learn more about your journey or, you know, follow a rise or the books, I mean, what’s the best way for people to do that?
So I’m at Chief CX Officer on all the platforms. So LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Insta. I’m at Chief CX Officer, so hit me up. Anyway, there, most folks professionally hit up LinkedIn, but I’m on TikTok now, as you noted. I love your videos too, so like, feel free to gimme some feedback there. Fantastic.
And we’ll we’ll put all that information in the show notes so that our audience can just head right on over and click on the links. And speaking of the audience, if this is your first time with Mission Matters or engaging in an episode of the platform, we’re all about bringing on business owners, entrepreneurs and executives, and having them share.
Their mission, the reason behind their mission, you know, why they do what they do. And the goal here is for us all to learn and grow together. So that’s the whole point of the platform. If that sounds interesting or fun or exciting, chewy welcome. You hit that subscribe button because we have many more mission-based individuals coming up on the line and we don’t want you to miss a thing.
And Jonathan, really it has been a pleasure. Thanks again for coming back on the show. Yeah, thanks for the invite, man. I really appreciate it.