When veteran, award-winning business developer, and philanthropist Sonny Tannan was offered the opportunity to become one of LinkedIn’s first video content creators, he began developing a LinkedIn article and video series called Through the Eyes of Om.
Lessons taken from raising his son to encourage others to approach the world with a little more creativity and curiosity.
As #Fansof3, Om & Sonny capture moments of insight from their day-to-day lives and give readers three takeaways to encourage others to focus, collaborate, and inspire.
Their hope is to inspire children and their parents to live life with curiosity and enthusiasm for other adventures to come.
Listening to Heart Sells Podcast has felt like meeting a soulmate! That initial excitement of knowing this is exactly what you’ve been looking for, the peace of feeling completely understood and that burst of energy from knowing that anything is possible! Every episode has been chock full of awesome nuggets and beautiful reminders. The combination of incredibly successful powerhouses sharing their journey, practical and applicable tools and Christine’s heartfelt and authentic approach and energy, is an incredible gift for all heart-centered entrepreneurs!
Loved the interview! Dondi has a great way of reminding us that we get to choose the lesson in our experiences.
I just started listening to Christine's podcast and the content is amazing! Can't wait for the next episdoe.
Love this podcast! The lifeblood of any business is sales and Christine does an amazing job of making sales something you'll fall in love with instead of dread. These podcasts are short and get staright to the point, filling you with both the knowledge and motivation to go out and bring in lots more money to your business by selling from your heart. If you want to bury the notion that sales is sleazy or avoid "gurus" who make sales sleazy and instead learn to how to sell in a way that is heart-centered, easy, win-win, and non-pushy, then look no further... you have found the right podcast!
Great show about creating a business with heart. If you think it, you can achieve it and Christine show you how to use your heart and mind to find success. I'll listen again.
Wow, what a great interview with JLD. Christine your energy is great and I look forward to listening to your other episodes. Well done! BTW I love the title so much!
... and your mindset will take it from there. Yogi Berra once said "90% of the game is half mental." With your heart and mind aligned (like planets) you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Subsribe, listen and start selling!
These are wonderful interviews with successful entrepreneurs, (including the Queen of Sales Mindset, host Christine)......who share how they began, what their difficulties were, and the sales mindsets & strategies they used to get to their top. If you've ever had that icky feeling when it come to 'selling' you or your stuff....get some great inspiration here of not only how to sell, but how to think.
Just listened to ep 5. Love the POWER formula. Christine explains it clearly and makes it simple for me to understand. Great podcast!
Let’s be honest, we can ALL be better at selling. I know I can, and I’ve been studying selling for years! Have a listen if you want to start getting better. I’d recommend it!
Christine is a joy to listen to and learn from! I am so glad she now has a podcast so I can keep learning from her wisdom on sales, money, mindset, business and more. Great information!
Wonderful energy and such valuable insight! Thank you, Christine!
Christine does such an incredible job of helping her listeners to find their way with selling with love, from the heart. Her guests offer so much value—looking forward to more interviews!
Christine has a wonderful energy. She is a great coach and teacher. I love how she teaches tools for shifting our mindset into creating habits and behaviors that build our success.
Have gotten a lot of value out of the first episodes. Christine is a great host!
I'm an entrepreneur and I sell every day of my life. It's easy to neglect the heart side of things, but I think it's important to balance that since we're all humans on the same team. Christine does a great job providing really valuable insights!
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Through the Eyes of Om: Exploring Malaysia by Sonny Tannan
3 Key Points
For FULL Transcript click here:
Christine Schlonski [0:02] Hi Gorgeous. This is episode number 087 with a wonderful, Sonny Tannen.
Sonny Tannen [0:08] Hi, this is Sonny Tannen. You’re listening to Heart Sells! Podcast with Christine Schlonski. Enjoy.
Christine Schlonski [0:15] I am so excited to have Sonny Tannen on the show today because we are going to learn a lot. He’s going to take us back to how it was to be a child> How to explain the world and how to understand the world. He’s making such a big impact on LinkedIn, inspiring all kinds of entrepreneurs, CEOs and his followers so often through the eyes of. Win Veteran Award, winning business developer and philanthropist. Sonny Tannen was offered the opportunity to become one of LinkedIn’s first video content creators. He began developing a LinkedIn article and video series called, Through the Eyes of Om. These are lessons taken from raising his son, encourage others to approach the world with a little more creativity and curiosity. As, #Fansof3, Om and Sammy capture moments of insights from their day to day lives, and give readers three takeaways to encourage others to focus, collaborate and inspire. Their hope is to inspire children and their parents to live life with curiosity and enthusiasm for other adventures to come. So let’s dive into this adventure episode with Sonny Tannen. Well, I am so super excited to have you on today’s show, Sonny. Welcome to Heart Sells! Podcast.
Sonny Tannen [2:02] Christine, it’s my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.
Christine Schlonski [2:05] Oh, you’re so welcome. So you have had this amazing journey. I think, especially since this podcast is around sales, around impact and serving more people. You have this amazing journey on LinkedIn, growing your followers from only 500 to over 10,000 in just a year. So give us a little bit of background. How you achieve these numbers, because the more impact and influence we have, the more opportunities we have to serve, the more opportunities we have to serve, the more we can sell, and actually have a thriving business. I’m really curious of your secret sauce.
Sonny Tannen [2:54] First of all, thank you. I really appreciate that introduction, you kind of hit everything on the head, where, my journey. I don’t, I guess I’d like to start by saying, I don’t think it’s quite that unique. But then, I like to play devil’s advocate and say, “Well, gosh, I think it is pretty unique”, the way I’ve started, I’ve progressed along the way and where I’ve ended up and where I would like to continue to go towards. So I’ll start a little bit back at the LinkedIn journey that you referenced earlier. A year ago Christine, you have said, “Sonny, you are going to have over 10,000 followers in your network, you’re going to launch a show, the first show on LinkedIn with five other awesome co-hosts, you’re going to leave corporate America, leave your military background behind, launch a business. And you know what, while you’re doing all of that, go ahead and just throw in, you’re going to write your first book, I would just look at you and just roll my eyes and say, “That is absolutely ridiculous”, and I’d probably laugh about it as well, which I still do to this day. It’s amazing, where a year ago, I was both professionally, personally, and just in all walks of life to where I am today. My journey, if you will, from the sales and marketing or just how you can, Heart Sells! just like your podcast is titled. I think that the critical core or the value that I’ve carried from every part that I’ve done so. From my military background to my experience with corporate America to my experience in the profit and the nonprofit world, to being an entrepreneur, to being international speaker, to now about to become an author, I think that there are a couple of core things that I’ve always stuck with. My hashtag is Fansof3, F-A-N-S-O-F-3. Everything that I tried to impart teach, learn myself, I try to break it down into three parts. The three parts that I share with every single message, it’s in person, if it’s virtual, if it’s a video if it’s an article post, it’s in pieces of three, if you will, and my three big ones are focused collaboration and inspiration. So my journey all along the way has tried to wrap those three critical components to everything I do.
Christine Schlonski [5:23] Wonderful. So your background, you did quite a lot of things. But what led you to becoming an entrepreneur?
Sonny Tannen [5:34] That’s a really, that’s a great question. I don’t think there’s any one thing that contributed to me becoming an entrepreneur, I think that when I reflect back, and I look back at everything I’ve done, since I’ve been a child to becoming an adult, to now becoming a father. I think that everything that I’ve done has had some sort of component of me being able to do things in the way that I wanted to. That’s really what an entrepreneur is. They’ve found something that they’re truly passionate about or something that just drives them, maybe it fulfills them, maybe it fulfills others, maybe they’ve identified a need that they can provide a solution and value to and they act on it. They take action and they do something about that. For me, I think every stage in my career, so my military background, in my corporate America background, I’m now launching the book background, I think all of those contribute to me becoming an entrepreneur. But that being said, the absolute critical, the most important thing that has led to my taking that leap, jumping in with two feet and having the courage to do it, is because I’ve had an extremely supportive partner, my wife, and I have my family that they may not have always agreed with the decision I was making but at the end of the day, I knew that I could count on them to be there to support me if I needed that support. So my wife, my family and then of course, the third thing is, I have a three-year-old son that has just led me to want to create something better for himself and for myself at the end of the day. That is why I chose to become an entrepreneur.
Christine Schlonski [7:17] Yeah, it’s again, if you have noticed. So I love it. So for lots of people with children. That’s their big why, why they do what they do and that gives them a lot of energy and the power to move forward, to overcome challenges. But again, back to that secret sauce, sharing your your three things. How did that impact your massive growth on LinkedIn?
Sonny Tannen [7:54] Yes, that’s another great question. So I love the fact that you keep referring to a secret sauce. I wish there was a secret sauce that I could bottle and hand out to someone and say, “Do this, and it’ll work every single time.” The great thing is, there isn’t just one secret sauce. I think that the thing that probably helped me most was, few things out, and once again, I’ll tie it back two, three, but I probably shouldn’t keep doing that. Because now my son thinks that everything revolves in threes and there’s more numbers than just threes. I’ll probably
Christine Schlonski [8:27] Yeah, but you can keep it simple.
Sonny Tannen [8:30] So interesting enough, we just shared a post the other day, where we did our first cooking video with Instant Pot. One of the points that we made was the KISS principle, which I’m glad to bring that up. But in my case, I’ve actually made it even more simple. So it’s K-I-S-S right, kiss. But for me, it’s Keep It, Simple Sonny. I’m really trying to make it a little bit personal for me. I’m tying that back to the secret sauce question that you just asked. Number one is authenticity. Number two is connectivity. And then number three is simplicity. So I think the three things for me that helped me to grow from a little over 500 connections. So I think last check, we’re probably about 11,000. Now in less than a year, a little over a year, to be fair, I think it’s number one for me is authentic. So I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve met people, either virtually or even in person, where they have approached me and said, “We cannot believe that you are recording LinkedIn videos, on your couch, in your pajamas on a Saturday morning with your son”, and I kind of looked at him and I said, “Well, why not?”, and they said, “Well, because we we wouldn’t be able to do that”, and I said, “But you don’t have to do that.” I said you have to find the voice, your own messaging, if you will, that will resonate with both either your ideal client, your customers, family, and friends, whatever you want to make it out, you have to find that authentic message for yourself. That’s number one, is authentic, for me, is different for someone else. Connectivity, so the second point is, how do you want that message that you’re sharing to connect you to others. So at the beginning of when I started creating those videos, I didn’t really have a well laid out plan to say, “Well, this is exactly the market in the demographic that I want to go after.” Guess what? That’s okay. You don’t have to have something crafted out every single step of the way to find out where you’re going to be successful. I think people tend to forget that sometimes. They think that you’ve got to create this box and there’s got to be these pre-planned, pre preset stages that you have to flow through, the customer journey, the UX, if you will to get to a certain endpoint. I don’t think so. I think that sometimes when you do that, you lose your sense of creativity. And you lose that piece of potential innovation, of maybe missing demographics or audiences that might be interested in what you’re saying because you just thought you knew better. And then, of course, the third thing is, I like to actually say this is, “How do you humanize your brand?” So it’s, each and every one of us does this all the time, we may not know but we tell, or we have a really great story, right? We might have this really unique journey. But sometimes we just don’t know how to share that with others, or we don’t know how to spread it in a manner that it’s going to be well received. And so for me, I think that from day one to where I am today, I’ve had plenty of people along the way say, “What about doing this? What about doing that?”, and I love I absolutely love getting ideas from people, because that’s where I learned what people are interested in, what inspires them, what interests them about our, my messaging and homes messaging. But I’m the first person to say that I don’t know it all. I’m very much about learning and self-development. Quite frankly, there are people that are out there, that probably have so many more ideas, they just don’t know how to implement them. So I absolutely welcome people giving that type of feedback to continue improving the message.
Christine Schlonski [12:16] And just for people in case, they don’t know, so what you are doing on LinkedIn is, you are actually providing little videos together with your three-year-old, a three-year-old son and exploring the world through his eyes. That’s the magic. So just for the audience. Who might be thinking, how, pajamas couch, how does this all go together, LinkedIn, right? That’s the story. That’s what you came up with, to share through the eyes of, Om. Like, how he sees the world and you kind of help him share his message.
Sonny Tannen [12:58] Yeah, absolutely. You’re absolutely right. I should probably take a step back, there are probably people out there, just on LinkedIn, 575 million users in the world, people that are jumping onto social media platforms, LinkedIn is the business professionals network. Christine, you bring up a great point. What is it that we do? What is it that we share? Our video channel is, Through the Eyes of Om. It has always meant to be sharing the perspective of a son and his father as they experience the world, both professionally and personally. I kind of with a chuckle, share that story of the sweat pants in the couch and I’ll tie it back to why in a second. But the whole intent for, Through the Eyes of Om, was to be able to share a perspective of each one of us, when we were younger, we looked at the world through a different lens. As you grow, and for those of you that get married, or those of you that choose to stay single, whatever it is, your choice happens to be, you have kids, you don’t have kids, we all have perspectives. I think that, when we’re younger, we have a very open and broad perspective, if you will, as we start to become shaped by life experiences, we start to kind of create funnels or paths that we maybe unintentionally start to go down, and we forget about some of those things that we have experienced as children, or we forget about being quite as open-minded, the buzzword for today is inclusiveness. So having that inclusiveness of diverse thought or openness to thought. The intent for these videos with my son was to bring that back or to shed light on that to everyone. Something as simple as, Om loves Legos. So being able to play with different shapes, different colors, and interchanging them in different ways. The professional lesson from that is, well, we typically have teams, we typically have people that come from all walks of life, different backgrounds, different experiences, something as simple as different genders, I mean, gosh, let’s just start there. And so taking Legos and interchanging them and, and interlocking them is just like pieces of a team, or pieces of people. And understanding that, there may be an instruction manual that says do this, this this in this order. But when it comes to people, that’s not necessarily true, right? There’s different generations that learn at different speeds, there are different people from different parts of the world that retain and take in information in a variety of ways. So those Legos, in that particular video, we were talking about how connectivity of Lego pieces can be just like people that you have to be conscious of how those pieces needs to go. And you might not always be able to follow the instructions to build whatever it is that you’re trying to build. So there are life lessons, both professionally and personally, that we shared through the eyes of Om, and of taking people to a simpler way of thinking of things.
Christine Schlonski [16:02] Yeah. Especially when you see how it can be used in a sales process, you never know, where the potential customer comes from, you never know what kind of background do they have, what kind of pain are they in, what solutions they are looking for. That’s a really cool example, how you can also see it in such a simplified way. Good reminder, right? Every person is not the same package or box or color of Lego. You have to find an individual approach, and to support somebody and serve somebody on a much higher level than just going for the cookie cutter approach.
Sonny Tannen [16:56] It’s so interesting that you say that, because from the salesperson perspective, you think about it this way, that particular video that we created, when I’ve gone to networking, or just defense in the community, so different conferences, whatnot, I actually had somebody approached me and said, “You know, we saw that video”, and we had not done business together before, by the way. So our company was trying to do business with this particular company as well. An individual came up to me and said, “You know, I saw that video on LinkedIn”, and he said, “We didn’t know much about what your company does,”, or there’s always been cold calls, cold emails, just an outreach to connect with us. They said, “But until we saw that video, we now have an idea of the person that’s representing that organization and what that person represents, and would you be interested in meeting?”, and so something as simple as a LinkedIn video, and I’m not saying this is going to happen every time by any means. But something as simple as that LinkedIn video of somebody seeing, once again, me authentic, right on film, with my family, in the comfort zone, my own home. So being vulnerable, if you will think about it, that allowed that person to say, “We now know who you are, without ever having met you”, and that is huge. Having people know who I am, and what I represent what I stand on what’s important to me. That, to me, I think builds those long-standing relationships and partnerships, that sometimes are really hard to develop or take a lot of great deal of time to develop. So I have people reaching out to me, or knowing who I am before I ever stepped, step foot into it until.
Christine Schlonski [18:38] Lots of people when it comes to sales and building their business and serving more people, they somehow fall into that thinking that they have to be a different person just because they are making an offer. So can we touch on the authenticity piece and on the, just being you and being okay visit like, standing for something or maybe standing against something. How to position yourself so that by being you and showing up as you no matter what will actually increase your business opportunities?
Sonny Tannen [19:23] Yeah, great question. So I think that, once again, you have to look at the state of the business world today. Not to just pick one generation. It’s not just about millennials, but like the Gen X’s, the Y’s, the Z’s. Almost probably going to be like generation 4.2, whatever they’re going to call them because we’re out of letters now. I think that the generations that are coming up, now, let me start there. They want a different way of doing business period, they’ve got access to technology that, Christine you and I probably never had access to when we were coming up. And we’re we’re playing catch up to be honest with you. And so the method of communication, and the way that they connect today, or the generations they’re going to come in front of us are behind us, if you will. They’re going to expect to do things in a different way. So for me, carrying or having that authentic being you is just how you convey yourself on social media, or any type of platform today is probably even more important than it was, you know, five years ago, or 10 years ago, not all organizations have a large PR firm, or like a marketing firm, or public relations group that says, “You can’t say this or you can’t do this”, I mean, to what some of us may think are common common sense practices, you just look at what’s going on today, just in the news every single day. And people are losing their jobs. They’re losing titles for certain things that they might have one because of something that they’ve either posted said or liked or disliked and types of comments on social media. And so for me, I think it’s by being myself, being my authentic self, and then putting it out there for the public to view and to see, I think you just have to be just as cautious as if you had somebody that you truly respected sitting across the table for me. And I love this example, somebody shared this with me. Probably last year, they said, before you put something out there in social media, both for yourself or you’re just even commenting on something, just ask yourself, “Is that something that you would say to your grandmother?”, I was like, “Wow”. In my case, I didn’t know my grandmother very well so I replaced it with my mom, I said, “Is what I’m about to put out there something that I would want to say to my mom, or that I would want my mom to see?” I think that’s helped me to shape the way that I brand myself. So I think to answer your question, for myself, I brand myself the way that I want my family, especially my son, now, I want him to see me. And of course, at the end of the day, I want him to be a better version of me, hands down, he already will be, he’s got half of his mom, half of me. So thankfully, he’ll be super smart like her. Hopefully, he’ll be whatever the good stuff, I haven’t myself, funny, maybe I don’t know. But I just I feel that people sometimes feel that they can just put something out there without a lot of thought, because they just think that they need to do it without any barriers or filters. And I would say for myself, just think, even before Think before you speak, I think before you post, I guess, just understand, by you putting out some sort of message, what are you trying to gain or accomplish. And it could be something as simple as like, in my case, it’s, it’s to inspire other people. So you don’t have to have a sale at the end of something. But you can be building your brand. And that’s exactly what I’m doing, is I’m building my brand, building my son’s brand.
Christine Schlonski [23:02] I think you always have the sale, because every interaction, it’s either you buy a story, or you believe the other person or they get into what, whatever you are offering. So just being mindful of how you present yourself and how you can inspire or motivate or empower others, I think is really, really important. And I love this idea, I have heard that as well. like think about it, would your mom approve, if she would read it. Probably depends where we live and how we are brought up and what we want to accomplish. But that is definitely a good thought to have, especially when you might go into the trap that you believe on social media, you don’t need any filters, what so ever. Just being mindful to coming or setting the intention that this, whatever you’re going to put out, it’s some kind of service to somebody else, it’s supporting somebody else.
Sonny Tannen [24:08] It’s really interesting you say that, because I also think that, you mentioned you’re always selling. And I think that people sometimes tend to forget that even if it’s a service or a product, whatever it might be that person or that group or that team of the organization you’re working with, they may not be the ultimate buyer. But you make a lasting and a good impression. So you said something earlier, and I’ll add on to it as, in every engagement, you’re either building or breaking it. If you’re building your credibility, or you know your persona with that group of people organization, even if they may not be buying, they may be connecting you with somebody else, that’s fine. And so you always have to remember that might not be the end customer for you. But they may be somebody that puts you in touch eventually with another customer. And a perfect example for me, was a board experience. So sitting on my very first board, I was invited by one of my customers to join that board, not because of something I sold that company, but because they said, “As we’ve gotten to know you over time, we realized that some of our social and community engagement and you know, activities they align. And we would like to offer you this opportunity to join our board because of things that we were doing in the community together.” So what a great opportunity. For me humbling, for somebody, both of my age, of my demographic, of my experience, I had no board experience up to that point. And to have that person say, “We’re nominating you.” Like that was a huge step for me to get involved in philanthropic work, and I’ve said on numerous boards, and I’ve chaired the boards. I’ve created my own nonprofit. So it’s it was a great stepping stone for me to be offered that opportunity simply because it was a building engagement.
Christine Schlonski [25:55] Just love that. What a great interview. I’m so excited to have you back on the second show for Heart Sells! Thank you so much for sharing today. And can’t wait to talk to you again.
Sonny Tannen [26:09] Thanks so much, Christine and once again, you’re listening to Heart Sells! Podcast with, Christine Schlonski.
Christine Schlonski [26:15] What wonderful lessons that Sonny shared with us, especially how to brand yourself like you want your children to see yourself. I mean, that’s amazing. And as we learned going from a little over 500 followers or connections on LinkedIn to over 10,000 and now 11,000 and about a year. That’s really, really amazing. So I hope you can take some of the advice and really turn it into gold for your own business so that you can accelerate and that you can come from that heart space really creating these connections. Make sure you’re tuning in for the next interview because I do have a second one with Sonny coming up. And I can’t wait for you to tune in on that one as well. For all the show notes, the transcripts, the resources we have talked about. hop on over to https://christineschlonski.com and find the podcast tab. And there you have the whole episode and all the podcasts on Heart Sells! And also, make sure you are signing up for the empowerment notes and with that you will receive empowerment, once a week to your inbox. Thank you so much for listening for tuning in. I so appreciate you. If this resonates with you please share Heart Sells! Podcast with your friends. Subscribe, leave a rating and a review and wherever you are in this beautiful world. I am wishing you a fantastic day and saying bye for now.
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