3 Keys To Winning Battles With A Volunteer Army

A Gallup study from a few years ago found out that almost 80% of people in America hold their job purely for the benefits, not because they are mission-driven or passionate about what they’re doing. So how do you get a volunteer army to help you build a successful business when they’re not fully compliant with you? In today’s podcast, Paul Blanchard talks about building teams, collaborations, and networks within a volunteer army construct. Understand how you can get what you want from them as Paul shares the keys for doing that in today’s power session.

We’re going to be talking about something that applies to a lot of our clients. It probably applies to all of our clients who are trying to build teams or work with other people. We’re going to be specifically talking about building teams within a Volunteer Army construct. This is usually an entrepreneurial construct. What we mean by Volunteer Army is any time you’re doing work with people that you don’t necessarily sign their paychecks, there isn’t a heavy undertone of compliance involved.

By compliance, we talk about a Gallup study from a few years ago where they found out that almost 80% of people in America hold their job purely for the benefits. It’s not because they are mission-driven or passionate about what they’re doing. That was quite telling in a lot of ways. In a Volunteer Army, a lot of the buffers and the compensations that we get to experience for those of us who have been in management or leadership positions in Corporate America, those get removed.

It is a tremendous upside but can be tremendously frustrating on the downside as well if we don’t understand how to connect with people. When we’re looking to run a Volunteer Army or when we’re looking to build a successful business with people who are not compliant to us, meaning they don’t work for us, we’re going to want to understand those rules. We’re going to want to understand how to get what we want from them. I’ll share with you the keys to doing that in this power session. Let’s get started.

Learning How to Connect

It is good to be back with all of you for a power session. I’m excited to be with you to talk about building Volunteer Armies. Building collaboration and networks with people where when they perform better, it serves you and helps you get what you want but not in a compliance environment. What we’re going to talk about can certainly be applied if you’re in a formal job situation or you’re a manager in a traditional company, and people work for you. You’re responsible for their paychecks. They have some fear or concern about getting fired if they don’t perform well.

This would certainly apply to you but I find that entrepreneurs are typically a little bit more motivated to dive in because entrepreneurs are generally working with other entrepreneurs. Meaning I don’t have to have you to succeed but I certainly want you to be able to succeed more, to be able to create better results. We want to talk about what are the things that apply when building a Volunteer Army? How do we get what we want from other people? This is an age-old question in being able to create greater levels of success.

Being able to build a successful home-based business is probably one of the areas where it is most potent, where you can’t threaten someone to lose their job. We can talk about the fear of losing their rank or getting less income or whatever the case may be. Many people in part-time entrepreneurial endeavors don’t have the same drive of compliance, the same drive of fear that they would if they were working a job. Whereas Gallup told us years ago that 80% of people are working that job just to get the benefits, the health, the dental, the vision, those types of benefits and the 401(k). Entrepreneurs especially in home-based businesses are not providing those things.

Stop Worrying

It provides a massive upside to not be working under the constraints of compliance and human resources. The sky is the limit. However, it does open up some tremendous challenges where we can’t feel like we can come down on people without being worried about it taking their morale. They may quit the business because there wasn’t enough on the line or we get frustrated with people talking more about what they want to create than actually creating it.

We get frustrated with chasing after the never-ending frustration of potential. This person has so much potential. We use all these different indicators and all these different things to often find ourselves way more frustrated than we need to be. If we’re working with a Volunteer Army, they don’t have to have us be successful. Technically we don’t have to have them but usually, from our position down, it feels like, “If they would just do this, then I would be able to do this. They would take care of them too but I’d finally be at this level. I’d finally be less frustrated with that.”

We want to get down to what solves this problem. It comes down to a frustratingly simple equation. If you know people that work with volunteer armies, if you know people in home-based businesses, entrepreneurs that work with other entrepreneurs, tag them. Share this session because this cannot be talked about enough. It is so simple that we seem to dismiss it or seem to assume that we understand it, that we don’t take the work to wrestle with it and apply it. That’s something we do often in our lives. We find something that’s simple and we assume we conceptually get it, so we don’t put in the grit.

Put in Hard Work

We don’t put in the time, the energy and the consistency to take it from the conceptual through however long it might take through the experiential to turn it into a habit. That’s what we want to pay attention to. Here’s the key. I’ll give you the punchline first and then we’ll work through three keys for making sure that you finally start to get traction with this principle. This principle is not new that has been around for thousands of years. It has been the same principle that drives cooperation, collaboration and massive success yet it seems to be the least well-executed principle in our arsenal of working with other people and it is this.

If you want to get what you want, all you have to do is give other people what they want. That’s it. That’s all you have to do. It’s super simple. Are there nuances? Are there qualifiers? Yes, and we’ll talk about a few of them. You can’t wake up and go, “How can I give people what they want?” That’s a poor assumption and that’s what we’re going to talk about. That’s where most people go wrong. They either don’t think about this equation at all, assume it, take it for granted or jump right to, “They want this. I’ll give them that.” It’s a little bit more intentional than that.

At the end of the day, it is giving others what they want and you will get what you want. That is a universal undeniable principle. That is how it has always been. That is how it will always be. This is one of the most pivotal principles you could ever learn in your business and what you’re trying to create. Whether you’re in a tech business, sales, recruiting, medical field, or whatever it is. Other people are involved. The more collaborative, productive and supportive they are, the more successful you are regardless of your industry and what you do.

What People Want

Become a master of not just giving people what they want, but being able to find out what they want. That is the key. That is the number one key to being able to do this. Number one is not just going out and giving people what you think they want. Number one is being able to learn how to discover what it is they want because we’ve got a lot of different factors that make that challenging. The first one is that a lot of us think that we want things we don’t want. Think of something you wanted in 2019 or in 2020, that you haven’t done or you haven’t accomplished yet. You wanted to lose 20 pounds. You wanted to make $2,000 more. You wanted to wake up earlier in the morning. You wanted a better relationship with your kids.

Volunteer Army: If you want to get what you want, all you have to do is give other people what they want.

If it didn’t happen, it’s not what you wanted. Not in a connected enough way to be able to take the baby steps to accomplish it, secure it and to be able to sustain it. You may have conceptually wanted it. It may have made sense logically to want it, but I’m talking about an intrinsic desire to accomplish it with the extrinsic and systemic clarity to be able to pull it off. What we want to understand is there are many of us that have been taught the things we’re supposed to want. This is something that you’ll want to master with others, and that you’ll master by being able to explore in yourself.

What are the things that you want in life because it’s been years and years of being taught that it’s what you were supposed to want? I’m not saying everything you’re going to discover in this closet is bad, but there might be a couple in there that are sabotaging you or weighing you down. We talked about taking off on the runway. The key to doing that is increasing velocity and reducing drag. I’m asking you to go into this compartment of what you want and find the things that you’re supposed to want that you do want so you can turn up the velocity on them, but also find some of the things that are in there. I guarantee you, they are.

Want vs. Need

Find the things that are in there that you are supposed to want that you don’t want that are creating drag. That’s how we’re going to take off on this runway. What are the things that you want that you are supposed to want that you don’t want? Those are some of the most destructive when you try to apply this incredibly simple, potent, and powerful principle for the success of giving people what they want and you’ll get what you want. If you give people what they’re supposed to want, then you’re going to get what you’re supposed to want. It’s probably not going to be what you want.

If you give people what you think they want and you’re wrong, they’re going to give you what they think you want and will probably be wrong. Isn’t it amazing how that lines up and reciprocates to itself? If you haven’t been getting what you want from other people, but you think you’ve been giving them what they want then you’ve probably been wrong about what they want. That’s a direct contributing factor to them being wrong about what they think you want. Our relationships with each other are that simple.

That’s karma. That’s a reciprocal experience. That’s the Law of Attraction which continues to prove itself day in and day out whether you believe it or not. Whether you believe in gravity or not, it continues to prove itself out. Whether you believe in physics and other things, it continues to prove itself out. If you give what you think someone wants and you’re wrong, you’re probably going to get from them what they think you want and they will probably be wrong because that’s what we do. We give other people what we get.

The first thing we’re going to want to do is to be clear about the differences between what we truly want and what we have been taught what we’re supposed to want. I’m not saying you go into that compartment and be skeptical that everything in there that you’re supposed to want is stuff you don’t want. Most of you will likely only find a few things, but they will be critical things that you want that are just because you’re supposed to want them.

What People Share

Number two is understanding that people will usually only share with you what they want, that they think is safe to want. If I’m going to a car dealership that I’m worried will swindle me for a big price and not take care of me and I’m worried that if I tell them how much I want that car, that I lose my leverage to try and get the cheapest price for that car, I’m only going to share what I feel is safe to want. I’m going to share it in such a way that I feel safe about sharing it. Rather than being like, “I want that car. I’ve done my research and that is the most incredible car in the world. Tell me how I can get in it.” I’m probably not going to feel that safe. I’m probably going to walk up and be like, “I don’t know. That one looks interesting. Let’s go check that one.” I’ll play it safe, which is likely going to send signals that I may or may not want that. It’s going to mix up the simplicity of this exchange.

When you are working with a Volunteer Army, when you’re working with other people, understand that what they are sharing with you, especially early on in a lot of cases is mixed with what they’re supposed to want. It means it’s not going to be a pure exchange. It is also mixed with what they feel is safe to want with you. Those can create all kinds of manipulations. If I look at you with some esteem like you’re a hero, “You’re in such and such business. You’re in such and such rank. That’s amazing.” Even if you don’t feel that you have that sense of celebrity, you may present yourself on social media as such. I run into this at times and it’s shocking to me.

People are like, “I got a message from Paul Blanchard.” Every time I get a response like that, that’s weird to me that I’m perceived that way. I’ve got to understand that if I’m in a position of any kind of authority or any kind of esteem from people that it is going to turn up the volume on what they’re supposed to want and what they feel like is safe to want. If I’m a part of a particular organization that I’m trying to help them get to a certain rank, not only are they going to share that they want that higher rank because they’re supposed to, but also that it’s safe too because that’s what we talk about all the time. That may not be what we feel is the most important thing but if that’s what gets talked about, that’s what gets recognized, that’s what gets the attention and that’s what gets the energy. They’re going to feel like that’s what they’re supposed to want, that’s what they’re safe to want and they’ll say whatever they will need to say to you to demonstrate that they want that.

What Are You Willing to Do

Do they do the work to get it or even more so, are you foolish enough to drive them to it without stopping to check in with what they want? Sometimes it might be checking in with how soon they want it or what they’re willing to do to get it, “I want this but I’m willing to do this.” Guess where you mentor them from? Where they’re willing to do. You don’t need to shoot their dream out of the sky, but you don’t want to go into it taking for granted that they said they wanted this, but did you get to the heart of what they’re willing to do about it?

That’s how we’re able to shed the supposed-to’s and the safe to wants. It’s finding out what they’re willing to do about it. A great measure of what they’re willing to do about it is the pain that they are experiencing around it. If someone comes to you and they already have a pedigree of success, they already have a track record of success, execution, accomplishment, and confidence. They have demonstrated that and I don’t mean five years ago. They’re on that path and they tell you, “I want this.” That’s someone you can probably succinctly fall in the line with. Those are unicorns. Those types of runners, as I’ve heard them being called in many different companies, are unicorns.

They are rare. They’re awesome. They’re out there. You don’t want to miss them if they cross your plate, but you don’t want to plan on everyone being that. We want to step in to find out what they want. To do that, we need to find out what’s important to them. To do that, we’ve got to bring their walls of resistance down. The only way to bring someone’s walls of resistance down is to be safe. What’s amazing is if you show up as safe, then they can feel safe enough to share what it is they want and what you’ll often experience to be able to explore and experiment with what they want.

Break The Walls Down

If you jump in there and go, “That’s what they want. I got it. I figured it out,” which many of us have such active minds that we can figure people out fast. “That’s what they want. That’s what they’re willing to do.” No, it’s face value. We have not deconstructed what they’re supposed-to’s are, what their safety checks are because we can only do that with patience. We can only do that by stepping into their world and bringing their wall down. Making this investment upfront is critical to find out what someone wants, not what they’re supposed to want. It’s not what they’re sharing with you because it’s safe to share what they want. Only this much or this part of it. Because you mix those two together, you’re going to get a distorted signal. If you have a distorted signal, you go, “This is what they want,” but it’s not because it’s compromised by supposed-to’s and safety mechanisms.

Volunteer Army: Be clear about the differences between what we truly want and what we have been taught we’re supposed to want.

We go and deliver this to them, then they bring it into their life and it’s not what they wanted. They’re not going to be able to reciprocate and give you what you wanted. You want it in terms of their activity, sacrifice, and passion. We want to clear the signals. We want to be able to connect with who they are, what they want, and what we want to provide to them to get what we want. It’s a simple principle, but we’ve made the application of it so complicated that we’re usually not working with what the other person wants. We’re working with a distorted version of it. No wonder we’re getting distorted and frustrating results because we’re not putting the time upfront.

What’s The Hurry?

We’re in such a hurry to figure it out. We’re in such a hurry to get the answers. We’re in such a hurry because they’re excited, so let’s ride the wave of their excitement and then we wonder why we ran out of momentum. We wonder why we ran out of oomph because it was a wave. It was an impulse. It wasn’t their heartbeat. You can get to someone’s excitement and enthusiasm easily, but if you can get to their heartbeat, something that will always be there as long as they’re alive, and you can be able to find the rhythm of that heartbeat and what they want, you can build a massively successful Volunteer Army.

That’s number one, which we spent the most time on because it’s the most important one. If you’re going to trust this powerful principle of success of giving people what they want to get what you want, then you’re going to need to become an expert at discovering what they want and get rid of the supposed-to’s and walls of resistance, and what’s safe to share so that they don’t expose themselves to an unnecessary level of vulnerability. We want to understand a couple of other things as well.

What Are You Willing to Give Up?

Number two is, what are you willing to give to get it? You’re going to want to be clear about your sacrifices and your boundaries. I want this from people but you want to be equally clear about what you’re willing to give to get that. Too often, those don’t add up, “I’m willing to give this to get this.” We want those to be balanced. We want to be able to step back and assess what I want from people. What am I willing to give enough to get that? “I want enough people in my business so that I don’t have to deal with annoying people anymore” is not going to counterbalance and work with being able to create a thriving and successful business.

We want to be able to engage and we want to be able to balance the weight of our exchange. Otherwise, it’s going to tip us off-center. It’s going to distort the process. Don’t be afraid to be clear about what you’re willing to give. Not what you’re willing to give for a time, but what are you willing to give? Are you willing to give trust to get trust? Are you willing to give a commitment to get a commitment? Are you willing to give love to get love? Are you willing to give money to get the money? I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to and they’re like, “I don’t know if I can invest in your coaching.” What’s your number one objection? “People can’t afford it.”

You want people to give you investment before you give an investment. It doesn’t work that way. If you want abundance in your life, you’ve got to give abundantly and get clear about where that level is for you. Don’t expect abundance here if you’re only giving abundance here. Don’t expect others to sacrifice here if you’re only sacrificing here. That’s what we want to understand in terms of giving to people what they want to be able to get what we want. It is to be clear about what you’re willing to give to get it. Make sure that’s balanced equity in that position.

Equally Investing In Both Wants

Number three, equally invest in both wants. Most people that suck at this are either totally focused on what other people want or totally focused on what they want. Without balanced with both, you will not be able to successfully apply this principle. Anytime you’re not getting what you want from people, you are probably more focused on what they want or more focused on what you want rather than equally collaboratively partnering with both. Seeing the way that what you want fits into what they want, all the more reason to be clearer about how to discover what they want while at the same time, discovering what you want.

This is a simple principle but you can see the way we make it complex and messy because if we can’t clearly see what they want, then we’re not going to be able to give them that. If we can’t give them what they want, they’re not going to be able to give us what we want. The whole purpose of collaborating with other people, no one gets to the top alone, success comes from serving the masses, finding the many to find the few, and whatever else you’ve heard all comes down to this particular principle.

Get clearer about discovering what people want. Understand the ways that that disguises itself from supposed-to’s, safety mechanisms, and walls of resistance. Also, let’s make sure we step back and understand what we’re willing to do to get it. If we’re not willing to do everything to get it, that may not mean we won’t get it. That just means we won’t get it as fast as we thought. Sometimes that means putting it out a little longer. Og Mandino talked about on the Scrolls that even with childish swipes, you can drop even the biggest tree in the forest.

Balance The Scale

Sometimes it’s not a matter of, “I’m only willing to do this.” That doesn’t mean you now exclude yourself from getting it. It means you get to not expect it in two months or in 30 days. Keep in mind that adjustment as well. Number three, equally invest in both wants. A lot of service-driven and heart-driven leaders, your challenge is focusing more on what someone else wants, denying what it is that you want, and not being able to have a clear evaluation of both. If you haven’t removed your own supposed-to’s, your own safe to wants, you’ll have a hard time being able to find out what’s behind other people’s supposed-to’s, safe to wants, and walls of resistance. There will never be a clean and clear exchange.

This is the last piece I want to share because this is important for relationships, let alone in businesses. That is, giving what other people don’t want only works on weak or vulnerable people. If you’re okay with manipulating weak or vulnerable people, please don’t ever come back to another Power Session again. If someone wants to be loved, which is universal, everyone wants to be loved. Some of us have created conceptual justifications and rationalizations that can be dark or withdrawn or whatever, but every human being is built to want to be loved, recognized and supported. Every human being is built to want to be more. We want to understand this stuff, but if you give someone something, they don’t want to get what you want from them, you will be building a weak business, a weak mission because you will have taken advantage of weak people and we’re not okay with that.

Vocalize Your Needs

If you’ve given your husband the cold shoulder hoping that he’ll be warmer to you, it doesn’t work that way. If you’ve yelled at someone or gotten frustrated and angry at someone for not doing what you wanted, but you were sitting there waiting that once they do what you want, then you’ll give them the praise or the recognition, we want to reconsider this evaluation. As we start to explore the simplicity of it, it also exposes the challenge of it. As human beings, we naturally withhold and wait. We naturally want to have proof before payment. The law shows us payment comes first, then the proof is given. We give people what they want and we get what we want. The only people that that doesn’t work with or that you can go against the grain on that with are weak and vulnerable people. We’re not okay with that. We’re not okay with you being direct, clear and kicking people’s butts.

It works with weak and vulnerable people or works longer with weak and vulnerable people. Sometimes depending on your esteem or your celebrity, it can work with a strong person, but in the short-term. You want to keep that in mind. Strip away all the complexities. Get back to the simplicity of, “If I can become an expert of discovering what someone wants by bringing their walls of resistance down, getting past their supposed-to’s and the safe to shares, and get to the heart of their pain, their challenges, where they live, that space where we find out how similar we all are as human beings.” That’s where we want to get.

Volunteer Army: If you want abundance in your life, you’ve got to give abundantly and clarify where that level is for you.

We want to get to space where we find out how similar we are as human beings, beyond preference, beyond personality, beyond whatever, to a depth of humanity that connects us all. You will be successful in any venture if you can do that. It’s always going to be messy. This isn’t going to work perfectly with everybody. Not everybody will bring down their walls of resistance. Not everyone will we’ll get past their supposed-to’s and the safe to share no matter how expertly trained you are, no matter how sincere you are.

If you can be ready for a few more than you would have otherwise, if you can secure someone’s longevity, someone’s connection in your business a little longer than it would have been otherwise in many of your businesses, that’s the difference of millions of dollars over the next 5, 10, 15 years. I would think that would probably be incentive enough for us to put a little bit more of an investment upfront when building a Volunteer Army or any army, any team to getting clear about how to discover what they want. Not just assuming what they want is huge, and then how to deliver it consistently.

Like gravity, like physics, if we will do that, you will get in return. The clearer you are about what other people want, the more consistently you give it to them, the clearer and consistently you will receive what you want. It is that simple but that’s what makes it hard. Let’s work on the thought processes. Let’s work on the patterns. Let’s work on the assumptions that we make that are getting in our way for this. Let’s clear that runway so that we can reduce the drag, increase the velocity and take off into the air or into the sky where it requires less effort to be able to sustain the same amount of speed, to be able to sustain the same amount of legacy and impact that we can have in this world. By adding real value, not perceived value, not distorted signals, but connecting with real human beings in a real way.

If any of you are looking for ways to do that more intentionally, get in touch with our team. Take the Habit Finder Assessment. Meet with my team. You get a complimentary one-time consultation on your assessment results. We’ve got an incredible program to help start putting in anchors in place for you to do this so you can shift. That’s what it’s called. We’ve got mastermind groups. We’ve got individual coaching. We’ve got opportunities for you to be able to demonstrate that if you want people to invest in you, that you are willing to invest in yourself. The same rule, the same principle. Thanks for being here. I hope to get an opportunity to work with you at a deeper and more thorough level. Until then, we’ll see you next episode. Take care.


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