[00:01:06] Jude Charles: A.J., thank you for having me. I’m a big fan of the show and it’s definitely an honor to be here on the show with you.
[00:01:11] A.J. Lawrence: I’m glad you’re here. It really is kinda cool.
[00:01:14] In going through your background, I love that you had this moment in high school where things just like crystallized for you and you had a teacher tell you, reading the story was just really cool, you should go do this. I love that.
[00:01:34] And I thought it was so funny cause not in such a direct manner, but I’ve had people, especially when I was younger, oh, you should do this, you should do this. And I went in completely different directions and like my journey became very different and did things. So reading your story, I just was like, wow, that is so cool that you locked into this in high school. It’s been what, 17 years now?
[00:02:00] Jude Charles: 17 years now, yep.
[00:02:02] A.J. Lawrence: Developing film to video, visual storytelling, it’s such a cool concept. As we were just chatting a little bit before the beginning of the episode, you were like, yeah, you’re still doing the same thing just more. So where do you see yourself as an entrepreneur these days?
[00:02:26] Jude Charles: As an entrepreneur, I see myself as a leader. So I’ll start back at 17 years old, 2006. I was in a TV production classroom, and at the time I didn’t really know what I wanted to do or be in life. But the teacher of this class, Mrs. Donnelly, she spent my entire junior year of high school teaching me everything she knew about video production.
[00:02:47] And then at the end of that school year, May 4th 2006, she said, Jude, you’re really talented at video production. You should start a business. Now A.J., I’m the youngest of 10 children. My father worked as a construction worker. My mom worked at a chair factory, and so I didn’t have any examples or understanding of what it meant to be an entrepreneur.
[00:03:09] But the following day, May 5th 2006, Mrs. Donnelley walked in classroom, handed me a yellow envelope and I was like, what is this? And she’s like, look inside. And when I looked inside of the yellow envelope, it was my first set of business cards. Until this day, 17 years later, I actually have the very first one that I still keep at my desk as a reminder of this journey I’ve been on for the last 17 years.
[00:03:31] You .know I see myself as a leader. I started with that because part of where I am today, I still run the video production company, but I also am mentoring and I come on podcasts like these to talk about storytelling and help others learn how to tell stories.
[00:03:43] But my biggest thing honestly, is what I believe in just being relentless. As a leader, as an entrepreneur, you have to be a little crazy to want to be an entrepreneur, to run a business.
[00:03:53] A.J. Lawrence: Yes.
[00:03:54] Jude Charles: But it requires a relentless spirit. And so 17 years later, that’s what I see is like even when I’m creating what I do today that I wasn’t doing back then is I create documentaries for entrepreneurs. So that means that I follow the entrepreneur around. I interview them for between six to eight hours and I package it into this three-part documentary series that tells their story. But what I understand is that when a client hires me, they’re not hiring me just to create a video to help tell their story. They’re hiring me to lead them through the process.
[00:04:28] And so when you ask me where I am today that I didn’t understand back at 17, is that I’m a leader first and foremost. Whether it is with the people who work with me or the clients I’m collaborating with, that’s how I see it today.
[00:04:42] A.J. Lawrence: That is such a great way of looking at it. Because so often, I’ve heard all sorts of, this is the fun part of having so many great entrepreneurs on the show, but inherently it is this idea that we’re here and we utilize the attention and capabilities of other people, to harness their capabilities towards a goal that we define. And inherently that is leadership.
[00:05:09] That is as basic as you get. But so often, the oh I am this, I am that. I myself would never say leader but that is what we do. We are the leader. And what that requires of us as individuals to then be able to be that for other people is, that’s a great way of structuring cause it simplifies it. You can get into definitions and the values and whatever leadership, but it does focus very much what you have to do in order to make this work. That’s cool. Thank you.
[00:05:45] Jude Charles: No problem. And again, it’s been 17 years. So I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years. I have had to learn what it means to be able to communicate effectively, which I think is a part of leadership to be able to be patient, or to be able to bring certain things out of people.
[00:06:01] So like I mentioned, I’m very clear when my client hires me. They’re hiring me to lead them through the process. But what that also means is sometimes they’re afraid to tell their story or afraid to be vulnerable. Right? And there’s two parts of it. Part of it’s telling their story, their journey as an entrepreneur. But other times, part of it is the people that you’re helping along the journey too.
[00:06:23] Which means that as a leader, I’m helping to form and build up other leaders. I just happen to do that through video production. It took years to learn that. I think part of it I learned from my father, as again I come from a big family. He was never an entrepreneur, but him leading us through our own journeys, I think that’s just how I’ve learned it over time. It’s understanding where I come from and then being able to pass that on to others.
[00:06:47] A.J. Lawrence: So okay, you see yourself as a leader, but while you’re still doing the same thing, you have evolved. Where are you now? Let’s talk about now and then maybe talk about some of those transitions along the way. Because obviously day one with the business card, there was a lot, a lot I would assume, and I’m gonna assume so please feel free to correct me, but there was a ton of trial and error, if not utter failure of like understanding what to do. Except you didn’t stop and you haven’t stopped. So while as painful as that early process may have been, it did sit the foundations. But where are you now? Where do you see yourself now as an entrepreneur? You are a leader, we get that. But like, what has this become for you as an entrepreneur?
[00:07:36] Jude Charles: It has become a way for me to be able to tell stories, to help other people tell stories. So like, okay, I started at 17, I was only doing church events, weddings, different things like that.
[00:07:50] A.J. Lawrence: Cool.
[00:07:50] Jude Charles: It was kind of cool, but I wasn’t like where I am today, where I’m doing specifically I’m niched in documentaries for entrepreneurs. That’s specifically what I do. So what does that mean? What does that look like? That means that I will follow an entrepreneur for 6 to 8 months, filming behind the scenes of their personal life, filming behind the scenes of them at work, which means as the CEO of the company, and then what are they interested in. What are they doing on their off time that isn’t just family oriented. My whole goal in doing that is to show a three-dimensional view of who they are and what they’re about.
[00:08:24] How did I get there? 2011 or 2010, I started working with an entrepreneur who was building her company from the ground up. It was a cosmetic business.
[00:08:33] A.J. Lawrence: Yes, I saw the reference.
[00:08:36] Jude Charles: She wanted me to film, at first it was vlog videos and I was like I’m not interested in vlog videos. What I really was passionate about at that time was documentaries. And she was the first client that was willing to not only believe in that vision, but then exchange money. Right? To be able to give me money.
[00:08:52] A.J. Lawrence: Yes.
[00:08:53] Jude Charles: Right? And I think that’s a big deal as an entrepreneur. It’s just an idea until you exchange money.
[00:08:57] A.J. Lawrence: It’s our origin story, always.
[00:08:59] Jude Charles: Right.
[00:09:00] A.J. Lawrence: That’s how we become superheroes, yes. The first dollar.
[00:09:05] Jude Charles: The first dollar. But my first five years in business, I failed. And what I mean by that is I struggled to make $20,000 a year. Now again, I’m 17 at the time, so 17 to 21-22. I have a lot of time to try to figure it out. I didn’t have at that time mentors or coaches outside of Mrs. Donnelley, but she was a teacher. And so, I’ll never forget I woke up one morning to the sounds of chains hitting the ground. And it had always been a nightmare for me to hear these chains hitting the ground.
[00:09:33] When I jumped up out of bed to look outside the front window, what it was was a tow truck driver coming to repossess my car for the second time in 8 months. I went back in the room, sat on the edge of my bed, and I’m just thinking, you know what, I’ve gave it 5 years. I can always go back to college. Cuz I decided when I started the business at 17 that I would not go to college when I graduated high school, so I decided I’d run the business full-time.
[00:10:00] It’s like I can go back to college. I’m still 21, 22. And in that moment, I’m sitting there on the edge of my bed for about 30 to 40 minutes and I get a phone call from this same client who was running the cosmetic business. We had been working together at that point for a year. Her name is Keyshia Dior. And Keyshia calls me in excitement. She’s like, Jude, Jude, you won’t believe it. You won’t believe it. I’m like, what happened Keyshia? And she says to me, she just got off the phone with her accountant and she’s crossed over the seven figure mark. She’s made a million dollars in her business.
[00:10:28] Mind you, A.J., at this time I am still struggling to make 20,000. But somehow this documentary that I created for her, at the time it was a a 10-minute documentary, helped her cross over the seven figure mark in 12 months of her starting this business. I could have been really bitter in that moment, but instead I chose to look at it as a moment of, wait, I haven’t figured out how to make money but I do know what I’m doing because it helps another client make money. I just need to go back and learn marketing and sales.
[00:10:56] For me, it was that client and that moment that helped me realize, okay, this is the niche to focus on. Yes, I started with weddings and I started with church events and birthday parties and things like that, but there was something special here that I really enjoyed.
[00:11:10] A.J. Lawrence: Your tactical skills.
[00:11:10] Jude Charles: They were tactical skills, right. But there was something I really enjoyed working with an entrepreneur and being able to tell their story in a way that I’ve never seen before. Before then, I had only ever really seen it in sports. Like basketball, they do these vignettes. Or football, they do these vignettes. But not in entrepreneurship.
[00:11:28] And so that is what’s led me here, 17 years later. Because I saw proof from this client. She’s made money. How do I repeat that? And so I went back to the basics. There was a course I took, an online course called Earn 1k and the basics was if you learn how to make $1,000, you can just repeat it.
[00:11:51] Now, I had already made a thousand dollars. But it was important to make it the right way, to learn processes, to learn systems. And that’s what’s kind of led me to where I am today, where I’m helping entrepreneurs tell their stories. I’ve really mastered this idea of how do I pull it out of someone where they’re 1) feel comfortable telling the story, but 2) they tell it in a very passionate way that helps others understand the journey that they’re on or help others understand the impact that they’re making with their clients. And so that’s how I’ve gotten to where I am today where I just think I went back to what I started with, which is I’m a leader. But that leadership, to guide someone along a journey, is important to being able to do what I do today.
[00:12:37] A.J. Lawrence: That is really cool. I think back sometimes on like the early days where I just did stuff and I’ve talked with other entrepreneurs and I think is similar where it’s like, the stuff that helped us survive, that subsistence on the church work, on the weddings, the really basic things, it gave us tactical skills. But as our own entrepreneurial concepts come into focus, that allows us to kind of begin that transition into that first step of entrepreneur.
[00:13:08] Some people do really well without being able to do the work at all, so I won’t say it fully that way. But I believe that being able to do the work allows you to then see what’s possible to go larger. And I love how you got to that skill, five years. I mean, making a dollar when you’re not doing it traditionally is so hard. No matter what.
[00:13:31] And fact that people were paying you to do this, shows that you were doing that. And that consistent 5 years of making money on it, that’s pretty damn hard. Cause I know lots of people who say, oh, I’m gonna go freelance. And they can’t even create that consistency, let alone then take the evolutionary step of, oh, let me build a system, let me figure out the infrastructure in a sense, the marketing funnels, the systems productization, et cetera. That goes along to go further up.
[00:14:07] I’m fascinated by these videos ’cause I’ve watched a few both on your site and from some others. Let’s talk about then the value entrepreneurs are getting from something like this. One ofreasons I’m so fascinated about the concepts of being deliberate and I try and develop it from things I’m learning from guests like yourself and other guests we’ve had on the show is, I’ve gotten very lucky.
[00:14:32] I’ve done some things very well, I have some great skills, but the reality is I know a lot of my entrepreneurial success has been luck, hard work that created the foundations so I could. But the reality is it could have gone so many different ways so easily. But when I see people who do approach things in a deliberate manner, who develop a message about what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, when they’re telling a consistent story, that’s not the only thing you need for success, but it does seem like it helps increase the likelihood thereof.
[00:15:11] So let’s first talk about the type of people then sort of that value generation that happens from going through this process. Cause to me, this is fascinating. They were so cool and I was immediately like, oh yeah, I could see how the position. Oh, if they were my client, I would have them work with you and then we’ll do this. So I wanna see it from your side, not me jumping all over your business as an agency guy.
[00:15:35] Jude Charles: No, it’s actually, I think even for the listeners, it’s great insight. What happened is before we got here, you went to watch the documentaries of these entrepreneurs you’ve never heard about, right? Is that correct?
[00:15:46] A.J. Lawrence: Right. Never.
[00:15:47] Jude Charles: So, what it shows, even listening to you talk about it, I didn’t even know you had gone to watch the documentaries, but what it shows is that it now creates this interest and attention that wasn’t there before. So most people when they come to your website or when they find out that you exist, like Beyond 8 Figures the podcast, the one question on their mind is, why should I do business with you versus anyone else or every other option I have available? If we shorten that, the question is why you?
[00:16:16] A.J. Lawrence: Yep.
[00:16:17] Jude Charles: What I do is I try to create this answer to why you? And in my opinion, most people wanted not just hear what you have to sell, they wanna know who you are and what you stand for. So, I’ll backtrack a second to this Keyshia Dior documentary, cuz that was the first one. And that is where I learned the foundation of how to do this.
[00:16:40] Now, it’s twofold because I learned it. I went and looked at, okay, why did this work? Why is it that when people saw this documentary, they then went on to her website to purchase cosmetics? And a lot of this, she set it up in this way. She was a smart entrepreneur that I then learned from.
[00:16:59] Part of it was at the end of the documentary, there was a code that you can use to go to the website and buy the lipstick. That was her way back in 2010, 2011, where she was tracking, okay, if people watch this, are they then transferring to the website to buy something? That was the other reason I knew the documentary is a part of this million dollars that she made. It wasn’t the full million dollars for context, but it was part of it.
[00:17:28] And the other part though, is when I told her I wanted to tell her story and I explained how I wanted to do that, she really leaned into it and she really told parts of her story. Like it wasn’t just, I’m making these colored lipsticks. No. Back in 2010, the colored lipsticks weren’t popular. So you use a blue lipstick, yellow lipstick, green lipstick. They weren’t popular. But she leaned into the idea that she would, what I called at the time, bring the person into the entrepreneur’s mind so that they can understand how you’re building this, why you’re building this. Right?
[00:18:00] And it wasn’t just about lipstick, it was about women empowerment. Now that was one part. Okay, this Keyshia Dior I’m breaking down. How is she telling this story? What is it that she’s bringing people into? What world is she bringing them into? But the other part, for context, I only got paid for part one. We ended up doing three parts. It wasn’t originally the contract, but we ended up working together for three years and then doing three parts. But the first part is where she made a million dollars.
[00:18:24] For context, I only made $3,000 on that. And so I looked at, okay, I got paid 3,000, she made 1 million. How do I position this, cuz this is all positioning at this point, how do I position it to be able to when I speak and communicate with the next entrepreneur to get them to understand, you may pay me let’s just go up to 10,000. You’ll pay me 10,000. But as there’s a likelihood you may not make a million. Let’s just say she was an anomaly and she made a million. You may not make a million, but you may make a hundred thousand dollars and now I can position myself.
[00:18:57] But what also changed that I focused on and what I continue to focus on today is that, I focused on my story, the Mrs. Donnelly story that I started with in the beginning today. I never really shared that story cuz I was just like, oh, no one cares about that. That’s not really important. But what it did is it allowed someone to connect with me in a deeper way beyond just, I’m going to hire this video guide to create video content for me.
[00:19:21] A.J. Lawrence: It’s funny you say that because I was listening to a conversation on a different podcast, Acquisitions Anonymous, and they were talking to someone and they were like, wow, you have such a great story. It’s so amazing you had such hardship and you tell it, and you know, it makes you so much more sympathetic.
[00:19:40] And I was sitting there listening and I think like you and I were joking before, it’s not about the formal storytelling structure, but it does come into play. It’s not that some teacher reached out and said, oh, you need to do this. It’s what you then did from there to be here. It’s the evolution that’s set in place, the internal journey.
[00:20:04] I love the concept of the hero has two journeys. The external, where they go and what they do and all that. But really that what happens internally. But that’s the thing. It’s like without being stilted, it is this concept that oh, because of that and because of what you’re doing and the work you’ve done and the quality of your work, having seen quite a lot recently in short form video of trying to do things and seeing some of the video and you’re just like, okay.
[00:20:34] You’ve evolved your skillset. You’ve gone on this. And I like that because by telling this and framing it of where you began, it’s very obvious how far, and you’re not having to tell people how far you came. You tell a good story. You articulate well what has happened and how people can use stories and all this. It’s that ‘how you know an expert without someone telling you you’re an expert’ type of process.
[00:21:05] I always get a little like, uhhh. Anyone who says they’re an expert, even myself when I kind of find myself saying, oh yeah, I’m an expert. It’s like, oh, no, no, no. But that’s separate, that’s a whole different conversation.
[00:21:17] But I love that you frame it that way because that is such a great way because inherent to that is the evolution you’ve had, the journey you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
[00:21:27] Jude Charles: I think even with that, you just mentioned something that I think is very important. Most people tell statements, right? So like, you’re an expert, or I’m really good at what I do, or I’m dedicated, or I’m passionate. These are statements. But they’re statements anyone can make. What a story does is it allows you, I bring you into my world. I wanna make sure people get this and understand that very basic level, a story is just a recounting of a very specific moment in time. That’s it.
[00:21:55] So when I bring you into the high school classroom with Mrs. Donnelly, that’s a very specific moment. And I even told you the date May 4th, 2006 or May 5th, 2006. Right? I’m bringing you into a very specific moment in time. When you do that, that allows someone to make their own decision about working with you or about who you are.
[00:22:14] Like I’m never looking to convince someone that I’m the best choice for them. But I do want to guide them to making the decision on their own. 2014, I went to a leadership conference in Spokane in Washington, and for context, I live in South Florida. So Florida is the furthest southeast point of America, Washington State, Spokane, Washington is in the furthest Northwest point.
[00:22:38] Now, I had this crazy idea, A.J., that I would go from northwest to southeast. I’m 25 years old at the time. And I’m like, you know what? This’ll never happen again. I’m going to this leadership conference, 3-day conference, but I wanna be able to digest what I just learned cuz I’m beginning to understand that leadership is important to me.
[00:23:00] I’m 25, 2014, so I had this crazy idea I would take a Greyhound bus from Spokane, Washington to Florida.
[00:23:08] A.J. Lawrence: Oof.
[00:23:10] Jude Charles: It was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. I will never do it again. But as I’m on this trip, I have my phone off. On the second day, we get to Chicago, Illinois. I turn my phone on and as soon as I turn my phone on, I get this text message from my sister and it says, call me back, it’s urgent. Now, this is July 2014, and in March my father had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and then my mother was also suffering through depression and had attempted suicide before. So when I saw this text message from my sister, I knew he was either mom or dad.
[00:23:45] I called my sister back, embracing myself. I called her back, unfortunately, ends up being dad. And so I take the first flight back home. Now, they haven’t told me he’s passed away. They just said they found him unresponsive in the home. Because I’m on the road, I’m assuming they don’t want to tell me what’s actually happened. So I fly back home the next morning.
[00:24:04] I get to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, get to the airport. My brother comes to pick me up with his daughter, my niece Ayanna. And I hug my brother, I don’t say a word. I hug my niece, I don’t say a word. But I sit in the backseat with my niece, Ayanna, and I’m just staring out the window cuz like I mentioned, I’m 25, have not imagined I would lose my father at such an early age. And as I’m sitting there, Ayanna looks to me, she’s maybe nine years old at the time, she looks at me, she says, Uncle, why did Grandpa have to die? And I just stared at her cuz I don’t know how to respond to that, to a 9-year old trying to explain death. And she says that again, why did grandpa have to die?
[00:24:43] As we’re making funeral arrangements, I get to my father’s house. We’re making funeral arrangements, we’re doing all these things to get to this date, to bury him. And that question rang in my ear, why did grandpa have to die. Well, on August 9th, 2014, I drew Charles, the youngest of 10 children and asked to give my father’s eulogy.
[00:25:04] And in this moment I’m realizing that through difficult moments, people call on me to lead. Because it’s not easy to give my father’s eulogy that I realized like that is what I’m called to do, to lead and empower others. And part of preparing for this eulogy, I had to look up the word lead because I’ve always shied away from leadership.
[00:25:27] I’ve always shied, cuz I always thought it was always the pastor, it’s the president, it’s the person up front. But lead, L-E-A-D, all it means is to guide a person along a journey, a person or a group of people. And so that is my mission today, to lead and empower entrepreneurs to have relentless courage. All right, A.J., you’re probably thinking, why did you go down this route of telling me this story?
[00:25:48] That is the story I use when, right before I get to work with a client, so before we ever press record on a camera, before we get to that point, I do what’s called a road mapping strategy session. It’s a workshop, 6 hours long. And that is the story I opened up with to set the frame of where we’re going. I am not here to create videos for you. I’m not here to tell you a story or to help you understand how to tell stories. I’m just here to guide you along a journey.
[00:26:17] And when I start with that, that is the positioning cuz we talked about positioning in the beginning. That is the positioning I start with so that this client understands I’m not, oh, this isn’t just another video production company. When someone is asking, why should I do business with you versus any and every other option available, that story answers the question without me having to tell them. Like I started with on this podcast, you asked me where am I today? 17 years later, how do I see myself as an entrepreneur?
[00:26:45] And I just said, I’m here to lead. I’m a leader. But that didn’t give you context in the same way of you understanding this trip I was on in Spokane, Washington, and this big moment that has happened in my life. And so again, that’s why I think storytelling is so important. It’s not just the statements, it is the stories that help someone understand who you are, what you’re about, so that they trust you when you’re taking them on this journey.
[00:27:12] A.J. Lawrence: The collaboration. It is interesting cause I’ve always said, in different areas where I know I had toiled in, you can usually tell someone who knows what they’re talking about just by the type of way they describe the process. There’s usually very generic ways or very common ways that you see written, ways about almost anything in life. But someone who’s done it, usually will add their word or phrase or a sentence or a framing to description that puts it in their personal space. And all of a sudden it’s like, oh. They’ve walked the walk, they’ve done this because all of a sudden, it’s now in their frames.
[00:27:59] It’s not a guarantee of a way to say that person is or is not. But it is a way that I know definitely, when someone does frame like you just did this whole way of why and how you tell from your journey to this, to them. Having experienced this with family and having to step up, cause that’s kinda some of the things that the listener is going to put into that. Like okay, the family’s going here, you’re the baby. My grandfather was the youngest of 9 kids, so I kind of just like picture. You kind take things on so you can put them in a picture you see.
[00:28:36] So that is such a great way of doing it. But okay, how are you seeing your clients gain value from this? Because you are generating great value by doing this, but how do you see that and what are some of the things people in the audience can think about, talking to few or doing similar things themselves. How can they go about this process working with you, go through the workshop and then develop this, how does that create value for them?
[00:29:07] Jude Charles: It creates value in a way that allows them to have an asset that they use over and over. I’ll take you as an example. Well, you haven’t been a client, but I just want to use you as an example. You have the deliberate, I forget, I think it’s called The Ultimate Guide to Deliberate Entrepreneurship. Correct? Or I might have gotten a little wrong. Is that right?
[00:29:30] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, pulling together from all sorts of cool things guests have talked about in different areas of entrepreneurship.
[00:29:39] Jude Charles: So that’s an asset, right? It’s packaged into a PDF, but what I happen to deliver is a video. But what you’re doing is you’re allowing someone to download that and then read it in reference to it over and over. When you come on the podcast, you talk about it over and over, right? And you use that as a frame.
[00:29:55] What my clients do is the same thing. We’ve packaged it into a documentary or a documentary series, and the way that I try to guide them along the path is understanding that this is something you get to use over and over and over. You may repackage it, you may put it in a different form, but you get to use it over and over.
[00:30:14] So let’s, let’s take Keyshia Dior, cuz that’s what I started with, the Cosmetic. We created that documentary series from 2010 to 2013. I went back on her Facebook page in 2017 and I took a screenshot of it. She was still using in 2017, this documentary series that we had created in 2010-2013. So the value comes in where it’s not just something short-lived.
[00:30:37] It’s not short-lived. It’s a long-term play that you get to use over and over and over because again, it’s not coming from the position of I’m just telling you about what I do, telling you who I am and who I am never changes. Part of what we do in roadmapping is we work on core values. I believe there’s five core values that every business has, and what I try to do is illustrate those core values through stories within the documentary series.
[00:30:59] So those core values aren’t going to change over time, right? That is one way that my clients are using it. But let’s look at a different way. We go back to this deliberate entrepreneurship example. There’s this story of Kobe Bryant, he was playing with the US Olympic team overseas and he calls up his strength and conditioning coach at 4 o’clock in the morning to come and help him do strength and condition.
[00:31:22] And so strength and conditioning coach comes. He walks into the gym and he finds Kobe about 5 o’clock. Kobe’s like sweating, he’s dripping. And they work on a few different things, few different stretches and exercises, and then the coach is like, Hey, I’ve gotta go back. It’s about 7 o’clock. I’ve gotta go back cuz our actual practice is at 11 o’clock. I wanna get some more sleep.
[00:31:43] Coach goes back in, Kobe stays cuz he’s like, I just wanna continue to shoot around. The coach comes back at 11, all the players are there at 11. Coach walks in, coach sees Kobe, he walks over to Kobe. Again, Kobe’s drenched in sweat. And the coach says to him, great job this morning. What time did you leave? No, what time did you finish?
[00:32:02] And Kobe said, finish what? And coach was like, well, we did exercises and we did all these things. But what time did you finish? What time did you leave? And he was like, oh, just now. I wanted to get 800 shots in and I just finished the 800 shot.
[00:32:16] Now that’s a story that talks about deliberate practice specifically, which I know you talked about in your pdf, but also it speaks to the point of what deliberate entrepreneurship is about, right? It’s being intentional.
[00:32:29] The reason I tell that story is because that’s a story that can be used over and over. Although it’s not an A.J. story, it’s a story that can be used over and over, and that is the whole point I think of the value is that you create this asset, just like you would have an asset in real estate, you create this asset that makes you money over and over because now it gives someone a different connection point on how to understand what you do or understand what makes you valuable.
[00:32:56] Because I could say core value like integrity, many people love to use integrity. But what’s a moment in time where you lost out on a $100,000 deal because you had to do the right thing? To me, that illustrates integrity. But it also tells that story over and over that shows someone it’s not just, oh our business is all about integrity. You now have framed it in a way that gets someone to understand that in a much quicker way, believe it in a much quicker way.
[00:33:24] So to me, that’s the value. The value is how do I tell this story over and over? I happen to do that with video, which means that you sit down with me one time or two times, and now that video gets to work for you when you’re not there, when you’re not available, right? When someone goes to your website, they get to watch this in the beginning to better understand what you’re about and what you do.
[00:33:48] I’ll give one more example that I think is important to this conversation. If we use a business like Apple. In the most recent years they created the Apple Watch, not just smartwatch, it’s just like any other watch on the market, right? Theoretically, it’s just like any other watch on the market. But Apple created this commercial, 2-minute commercial. I believe it was 2021, and I might be a wrong when they created it, but I think it was 2021. And the commercials calling 911, and all it is are three different people who called 911 from their Apple watch.
[00:34:18] One of them was a guy who worked on a farm and fell down a 21-foot hole somehow. Another one was a woman who got into a car accident, and her car flipped into a body of water. Third one, I believe was guy who was paddle boarding and the wind took him out further into the ocean than he expected, but they’re able to make a phone call from their Apple Watch. And now the Apple Watch is not just another smart watch. It’s positioned in a way that shows you this is a device that can save your life.
[00:34:48] Now, I already mentioned it’s a commercial. We’ve all watched TV and we get to see these commercials used over and over and over and over again. That is the value, I think. It’s not just telling your story, but then being able to reuse that story for years to come.
[00:35:03] A.J. Lawrence: No, the ability to have and framed in that so all of a sudden the inherent value of the watch, of your documentary, is like here’s the declared inherent value. We help you make sure you stay alive, Apple. Two, yours, here’s who this person is that makes this X that you’re looking at. Does this resonate or not? If it resonates, it inherently sits there and continues ongoing. So it’s like someone today comes, looks at the video for the makeup company, wow, I like that. And the 20,000 other people who, depending on the website traffic and all the other stuff, and depending on the business model.
[00:35:52] From a tactical point of view, it’s a conversion enhancer. More likely, it’s a lifetime value enhancer because those are the types of things that would deepen the connection point of like, why do I do business with someone? Oh, look at this documentary. This person does this business in a way that does or does not resonate with me. If it does, therefore I probably would want to do repeat. Once again, depending on the business model and the value. God, sometimes it gets too crazy when you like discuss, but it is that concept.
[00:36:26] It’s like first it’s just there because it’s like, okay, should I or should I not? Oh, okay, this helps me decide. But more importantly from the deepness of the ones I saw is that idea that you’re probably, when you look at that lovely equation of what is lifetime value, it’s not just how much do they buy, how frequently they buy, it’s like how often do they tell other people? How often do they suggest? What’s their reasoning? You know all those factors that kind of come in and you can turn those into little numbers. But the story is what enhances each of those pieces. So that’s really pretty cool.
[00:37:06] Jude Charles: When you talk about how often they’re talking about it or referring to it, we all know word of mouth is one of the best forms of market. But now you’ve created this asset that allows them to say, not just, ‘you really should use this product’ hypothetically, or ‘you really should go work with this person’ to go watch this video that tells them what you’re all about.
[00:37:29] I recently created a documentary series for a woman by the name of LuAnn Nigara. She runs a podcast, very popular podcast specifically in the niche of interior design. The vision behind that was, the podcast literally drives the rest of the business, meaning, she has online courses, she has live event, but the podcast is where people start. Now, she’s at a point where she has over 800 episodes.
[00:37:53] So if you’re wanting to refer this podcast and you want more listeners, she’s gotten over 7 million downloads, but you want more listeners. How do you get someone to understand why this podcast is special. What we did is we filmed for six months following her round too, cuz she speaks at different events. And what happens is when she goes to these events, there are people who talk about listening to this podcast. Or there are people who have been featured on the podcast. Again, it brings, instead of you having to go listen to an episode that may not have been a good one.
[00:38:20] A.J. Lawrence: Here’s why you should, here’s the people talking about that, and here’s the people who gained value. Yeah, that reflection. Showing versus telling. In context of showing is so much deeper, so that is very, very cool that you do that and bring that value out and then condense it. You don’t want to overwhelm someone. That value is really the intelligent framing of the conceived value.
[00:38:59] Jude Charles: You talked about showing versus telling, and I happen to call it dramatic demonstration. So what I’m providing for my client is a dramatic demonstration of who they are and what they’re about. And of course that ties into the business, but the business starts with the leader, starts with the CEO.
[00:39:13] There are five different dramatic demonstrations that I always look for. There’s behind the scenes, so that’s just again, pulling back the curtain to showing them your world. There’s live illustration, which is sometimes when I’m speaking on stage, I’ll use like objects, right? So like one time I used a Jenga set to talk about, in 2020 I went through burnout and I had to learn how to pull things out of my life.
[00:39:37] And so when you play Jenga, most people are familiar with playing Jenga, when you play Jenga, you pull the pieces out. Well, on these pieces that I pulled out while I’m giving the talk are things written on there. So some of it might be like, spend less time in meetings, or spend less time on social media, different things that I wrote on the pieces. And the illustration that I use there is that when you take those pieces out, instead of putting it back on top, like you do a Jenga set, you just take it out altogether.
[00:40:04] So I take out about 16, 20 pieces, but you realize the structure still holds. And so instead of me telling you if you’ve gone through burnout, if you’re really feeling unmotivated and all these things, just remove things from your life. I’m showing you how to remove the things and realize you didn’t need them to begin with. So that’s live illustration.
[00:40:21] Social proof is a third one that I look for. Social proof we talked a little bit about, where you just mentioned with the podcast, how I said like I went to these events and there’s people that have been on the podcast or people that listen to the podcast. They are telling the stories of the podcast, not just you as the host telling the stories of the podcast.
[00:40:39] There’s unique mechanism. So unique mechanism is what makes you as the person unique. There are these different quirks in the way that you believe in things that makes you unique, your personality. I look to show that. And then finally, it’s transformation. So it’s life before, after, but more importantly, life after.
[00:40:58] So if we think about the fitness world, it’s not just I lost 100 pounds. It might be, I no longer feel embarrassed about how I look. Quick example of that is a fitness coach that works with women who are over 40 and she received this text message from her client. The text message is the image of a picture and then the text. And the picture is of an empty airplane, and then in the text, this woman who is over 40, she says, this is the first time in my life I haven’t had to ask for a seatbelt extension. It illustrates, in a different way, life after. It’s not just she lost whatever, a 100, 200 pounds. She no longer has to ask for a seatbelt extension, which may come with anxiety, embarrassment, whatever you want to call it.
[00:41:41] So those are the five: behind the scenes, live illustrations, social proof, unique mechanism and transformation. Those are five ways to show the story versus just telling the story. But it is the show and tell that’s important.
[00:41:54] A.J. Lawrence: No, I like that because each of the pieces you can so go into, you can craft and position and you can counter even to that. But having spent time and knowing people in the fitness space and having worked with various fitness brands, just that one example I think is so great because 99.9% of the marketing is to that like perfect. Like, look at this person now they have the ultimate six pack. And whilst people can sell off of that, the reality is most of us, no matter whatever we do, are not going to be able to get to the six pack.
[00:42:33] But going from truly to just to the point where they’re not needing special treatment is huge, lifestyle change beyond belief. And the reality is probably with a much larger audience, not talking about weight, but the reality is that something we talked about earlier that is really an authentic improvement. That’s an authentic change. So capturing that for your client and getting that there, I think that is really powerful.
[00:43:04] Those are the types of things that are hard to see in the moment, but just in the retelling, immediately I’m like, wow, that’s such a great reframing. Great explanation of value from a social proof standpoint. That is very, very cool. I like that.
[00:43:19] Cuz we’ve been talking your ear off here, why don’t we talk about how you are going about defining your own personal success as an entrepreneur? You have this viewpoint of developing these stories, these documentaries of your clients and the value they create, but how are you going about defining what success is gonna be for Jude Charles?
[00:43:43] Jude Charles: That’s a great question. I mentioned a little bit earlier, I didn’t go into detail about it but in 2020, I burnt out in video production. So at that point I had been in video production for 15 years, I think. Actually 14 years. And part of why I burnt out is because, when the pandemic happened, when the borders were closed February, I believe, or March, March 11th, I think it was, I happened to be filming.
[00:44:08] I already mentioned I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I happened to be filming in San Diego at the time when it happened, and I had gone through the 2008 recession, cuz I started the business in 2006. So I’d gone through the 2008 recession and I knew what it was like not to make money for six months. And so I was like, it’s definitely gonna happen again. We’ve never seen a pan, at least in my lifetime, I’ve never seen a pandemic.
[00:44:25] And so, I started to operate out of a place of fear. So when you asked me like, how do I define success? And again, I love the way that you ask it because it’s not just how do I define success in the business, but how do I define success as Jude Charles.
[00:44:37] Work comes along with that, but how do I define success? It is living out my purpose, and I think that’s why I spent a lot of time. Again, I knew leadership was important, but I never really defined my purpose in a way that I define it now, which is to lead and empower entrepreneurs to have relentless courage.
[00:44:54] I came up with that because every year since 2013, I had started taking two months off from work. Believe it or not, I’m an introvert, and so I need that time to recharge after working hard in the business throughout the year. I used to take November, December off. Now, it’s changed. Since burnout, I changed it to June and December. But part of that is to continue to redefine, not redefine, refine my core values and then to refine my purpose. So what does success look like for me? Am I, when I come to speak on a podcast like this with you, A.J., am I helping to lead and empower entrepreneurs to have relentless courage? Am I sharing stories that help them understand how to do that for themselves, but also with my clients.
[00:45:41] It is great to have the videos that go viral, right? To have the stories that go viral. But I think what I look for is, have I changed the perception or perspective that this client has of themselves? And that’s often what I’m looking for, is like when I have these conversations, are they changing who they are in a deeper way, in a better way? Am I impacting them in that way?
[00:46:08] Again, the deliverable happens to be video. Because I understand business, I think one thing I didn’t mention, so when I started at 17 years old, I was a technician. I was just doing videos. But when those first 5 years, maybe even 7 years, after those 7 years, I think when I became a leader and I understood part of that. That is what helped me become an entrepreneur, which is the ability to make money for doing something. Right? For creating value for someone else.
[00:46:34] So video happens to be the deliverable, but it is not the mission. It is not the core of what I do or who I am. And that’s why when I started this podcast with you, you asked me like, where is my entrepreneurship taken me? It’s taken me as a leader, but a leader who understands his responsibility to impact. I use video production as the tool, and that tool will change. Because part of this though, in 2026, I will have been doing this for 20 years.
[00:47:03] I plan to walk away from video production at that point. To completely shut down the business and start something new because the tool will change. The tool, the deliverable happens to be video production. But the mission is what doesn’t change. The purpose of why I exist on this Earth. So I try to focus from that area of, am I fulfilling my purpose every day that I wake up?
[00:47:23] Even the days where like I’ve, I’ve built a great, big business, but even the days where I don’t feel like I’m enough. I change my perspective to am I fulfilling the purpose that I feel like I’m called to do and be on this earth? So that’s what success looks like for me. Am I leading and empowered entrepreneurs to have relentless courage?
[00:47:41] A.J. Lawrence: I think that’s really powerful because I know for many entrepreneurs it gets to be very hard to walk away from that which brought you here. And yet, as we know, almost every stage you have to change what you do to get to that next level, and at the same time be willing to adapt to the change to the environment and the situation.
[00:48:12] So who knows, from a very tactical point of view already. Some of the video editing with AI, like I was just playing around with songs with shorts. You type in a few words and it does stuff. I know I spent on my video editing days were very long ago and very, very basic. But like, hours if not days of work for now it’s just a couple of lines.of Oh, take this, change the shader, you know. Literally it’s getting to that point. And that’s just tactical, that’s still not the concept of the storytelling. But looking at where things are going, I like that you are already planning on transitioning from that by keeping that inherent core. Still moving forward of the value of the storytelling.
[00:48:57] So I can’t wait to see that. I can’t wait to, not to rush you ’cause I know you have four more years. But still, I think that’s really, really cool.
[00:49:06] Jude, thank you so much for coming on the show. And I do wanna continue this conversation ’cause I think it would be worthwhile to really even get deeper into the specifics of the 5 principles, the values, and how they can resonate and be used and talked about. We’ll talk off and we’ll figure something out from there.
[00:49:26] But Jude, if someone is listening here and they wanna reach out to you, what’s the best way for them to go about doing that?
[00:49:31] Jude Charles: Judecharles.co, which is my website. I write a newsletter that talks deeper about these concepts and principles that I talk about, the Dramatic Leverage Newsletter. You can find it on judecharles.co. But also my contact information is there, Judecharles.co.
[00:49:47] And more importantly, if you’re looking to leverage storytelling in a powerful way, one thing I would recommend that I happen to have is what I call a story bank journal. We didn’t get to talk about that today, but I wanna make it practical how people can do this.
[00:50:01] In the same way that we talked about Kobe Bryant, like taking those 800 shots, he deliberately practiced in order to become one of the best basketball players in history. You can do the same thing through storytelling, whether it’s you or someone on your team. And so I would recommend storybankjournal.com. It’s a physical journal and a digital journal, so you could have it on the go. But that is one way. Another way to get better at storytelling, to be able to use this in a strategic way, what we talked about, using it as an asset, right?
[00:50:29] Using it as an asset that positions you and frames you in a different way, that also makes the sale easier. Whether it’s the product or service, it makes the sale faster and easier. I’ve seen that hundreds of times, like I’ve been on a lot of podcasts and part of the way that people find me is through podcasts. But I also noticed like the conversation is different. Because they get to understand who I am and what I’m about early on through listening for an hour or so.
[00:50:54] So anyway, storybankjournal.com or judecharles.co. Best places to connect with me and find me.
[00:51:01] A.J. Lawrence: All right, we will have those in the show notes and our social media and in the newsletter when this episode comes out. So Jude, thank you. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. I really appreciate it.
[00:51:13] Jude Charles: Thank you, A.J.
[00:51:14] A.J. Lawrence: All right, everyone. Thank you so much for listening today’s episode. Remember, we have an episode coming out every week, so please go to the website, beyond8figures.com, sign up for our newsletter. Since Jude is talking his, I’ll plug our humble newsletter. Sign up and that way guests like Jude coming on the show, you’ll be the first to know about it. So, hey everyone, thank you so much for your time and I’ll talk to you next week. Goodbye.
[00:51:49] This episode of Beyond 8 Figures is over, but your journey as an entrepreneur continues. So if we can help you with anything, please just let us know. And if you liked this episode, please share it with someone who might learn from it. Until next time, keep growing and find the joy in your journey. This is A.J., and I’ll be talking to you soon. Bye-bye.