Nels Henderson is the Co-owner of Santa Barbara Mobile Notary and the Digital Marketing and Organizational Management Consultant at Nels Henderson Consulting. He is an Adjunct Professor at UC Santa Barbara, teaching digital marketing strategy and project management and an Adjunct Faculty at Antioch University, teaching digital marketing strategy courses. Nels has held numerous leadership roles, including the Director of Digital Marketing for AGIA, Senior Web Project Manager and Scrum Master for Citrix, and International Web Marketing Manager for j2 Global Communications.
Nels received his bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of California Santa Barbara, has a master’s degree in organizational management from Antioch University Santa Barbara, and is a Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP) through the Digital Marketing Institute.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Nels Henderson describes his early career experiences and his journey from politics to marketing
- How Nels made an impact at a national level through campaign work
- Why you need to understand privilege to help others
- Nels talks about overcoming challenges to enjoy his life and career
- Using your intuition to sense if a potential client is the right fit for your brand
- The ways mentorship can be crucial for accelerating your career
- Nels explains why marketing copy needs to be simple to reach a broad audience
- Nels discusses playing chess and his favorite podcast
In this episode…
In a fast-paced environment, how can you network with others to produce effective strategies? What can you do to optimize your strategic decisions for digital marketing?
Nels Henderson credits his knowledge and leadership positions throughout his career to mentors, so he also recommends that emerging individuals use their network to seek out mentoring opportunities. One of the best pieces of advice Nels got was from a mentor. The mentor explained that growing your marketing career and business comes with challenges, but marketing copy doesn’t need to be complex. In fact, it is best to keep it simple to reach and appeal to a broader audience which can lead to accelerated growth.
Join host Michael Renfro in this episode of 15 Minutes as he sits down with the Co-owner of Santa Barbara Mobile Notary, Nels Henderson, to discuss how intuition and collaboration are elements for success. Nels talks about conquering challenges during his career, why your gut should be your guide, and how keeping it simple is the best marketing method.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Michael Renfro on LinkedIn
- Gladiator Law Marketing
- Nels Henderson on LinkedIn
- Santa Barbara Mobile Notary
- Patrick Caddell on IMDb
- The Dave Chang Show
- Things 3 on the App Store
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, where we deliver tailor-made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential.
To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. At Gladiator Law Marketing, we use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decades of experience to outperform the competition.
To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com or schedule a free marketing consultation. You can also send an email to Adam@gladiatorlawmarketing.com.
You’re listening to 15 Minutes, where we feature community leaders sharing what the rest of us should know but likely don’t.
Michael Renfro 0:12
Hello, everyone, Michael Renfro here I’m the host of 15 Minutes where we talk with top notch law firms, lawyers and other professionals on what it takes to grow a successful business and many times, obviously law practice. This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing where we deliver tailor made services to help you accomplish your objective and maximize your growth potential to have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI possible. Your firm does need to have the best and better website if you will, and better content than all the other competitors. And I thought, excuse me a Gladiator. We use artificial intelligence combined with machine learning and literally now more than a century of combined experience to outperform that competition. To learn more, please go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com, which is GladiatorLawMarketing.com. Or you may schedule a free, excuse me to schedule a free consultation consultation. On the website, you can also reach out to me directly. And my email address is Michael M i c h a e l that’s Alpha echo, Lima, at GladiatorLawMarketing.com. And I can schedule one for you. Anyway, let’s go ahead and get right into it. Today’s guest is a little different than our normal guest. He is out of Santa Barbara, his name is Nels Henderson and he does he want to tell you this, though, he guarantee the man works with a ton of attorneys and knows attorneys very well. But he does more of a notary thing. And he’s also worked with a lot of campaigns politically from I think he said all the way down from the smallest local to even federal campaigns, city council
Nels Henderson 1:53
all the way through Congress. And I even worked in a presidential, the Iowa caucus one year in 1988. For Senator Paul Simon.
Michael Renfro 2:04
I remember, I remember that, guys, but actually old enough to remember that.
Nels Henderson 2:08
Exactly. It was an experience of a lifetime just to be there, you know, I think he got a chance to meet lots of people,
Michael Renfro 2:16
I find doing any of that kind of stuff. And and what I mean by that is, you know, I’ve said it before on the show with other guests, many times, we don’t realize when we’re actually a part of history, you know, and in fact, we’re always a part of history, we’re making our history as we do it, and all of us are going to be a part of it. Some of us are, may be mentioned more than others. But you know, I truly believe in the six degrees of separation, as well as the butterfly effect. So even though some of us are not maybe seen it, we’re definitely heard in other ways that we’re all part of this history. It’s really amazing as you look back, because I’m now half a century, right. And that’s enough to really take a good gander. And you look, man, and you know, just talking to you and reading what you were going to talk about today. I mean, you’ve done quite a bit yourself, you know, and it’s really awesome to get a chance to start looking back, you know, I feel privileged to make it this I you know, anybody who dies younger than I am already, I feel for because, you know, again, the older you get, the more you kind of get to take in and not look back in a bad way. But look back in a good way and and use that to continue to move
Nels Henderson 3:24
forward. If that makes sense. It’s important to have a lot of gratitude for where you came from. Sure.
Michael Renfro 3:28
Yeah, absolutely. How did you get started, man.
Nels Henderson 3:31
So I got started, probably, I should say, in college, my intern for a State Assemblyman. And he asked me to take care of lawn signs on his campaign. So I’ve turned out I was good at campaign work, and just kept on doing it every six months or so want to know, when the next campaign would start. And before you knew it, I was running those campaigns. And I had a political consulting firm for quite a while. And that got me into marketing really. And, you know, one of the things about it was that, you know, there’s a lot of growth in that time period, in terms of the work I was doing. And I was ended up running campaigns to different counties. And at the time of my life, I wasn’t making much money, but I was able to time my life. And, you know, I, you know, I was thinking about how many jobs I had back then. Right? Because not only was I campaign manager, but I was also waiting table. I was a graphic designer at a at a printer, you know, and like putting together ads for real estate companies, that kind of thing. So I was trying to, like gather as much experience as I could at that at that point. And, you know, it took quite a while. I mean, there were months that I you know, I didn’t know where I was gonna be able to pay rent, but I did you know, and, you know, oftimes barely making it and it took a few years, you know, get everything together. But it’s one of those things that I’m really happy that I had those experiences like, like we’re saying and a lot of gratitude for. So Oh, yeah,
Michael Renfro 5:10
they they made you made you who you are. Yeah.
Nels Henderson 5:14
So later on, I was lucky enough to like, actually worked for a congressman and then he ended up passing away. It was Walter Capps. He saw him one morning, and he flew to Washington later that morning and ended up having a heart attack at Dulles International Airport. When he got and I kind of got me he was one of the good ones, you know. And so I ended up getting out of politics. I went in the tech field for a while work for Citrix Online or go to my PC go to assist GoToMeeting. Had a great time there. I learned so much about marketing, and especially digital strategy and tactics. And at the same time, I was getting my master’s degree and then Antioch University asked me to teach and now I’m teaching at UCSB as well. And you know, I’m still doing quite a few things. It’s kind of like that in living colors. Sketch for a long time ago. Remember that one with how many jobs you got. So at the West Indians, it’s pretty fun.
Michael Renfro 6:14
You know, what’s funny is I’m right there with you, though, because I myself have ADHD, and I don’t like to take medications. And what I find is if I have an overwhelming amount of projects, there’s there’s a stress with it. But there’s also a comfortability for me, where I continue to do a little bit of each one and make sure that they all get done on time. I am a classic procrastinator.
Nels Henderson 6:36
Yeah, but it ends up happening. Right, right. Yeah. And when we were kids, they didn’t really talk that much about ADHD, right? Or they just give you
Michael Renfro 6:43
your own guess. They just called it bipolar. As a matter of fact, typically, it was it was misdiagnosed. Because, yeah, you know, ADHD are still there, up and down. The same, very similar to the bipolar. Yeah. Are you? Are you yourself a DD or ADHD?
Nels Henderson 6:58
Um, you know, I wonder now, you know, properly diagnosed, but I’m always doing something. And I enjoy that, you know, so yeah, you know, I probably have some tendencies, but I wouldn’t say that I am necessarily, but I
Michael Renfro 7:14
think the entire social planet at this point has a little. Yeah. Because the way that information content is delivered to us now, it’s almost impossible to know why something new every three minutes?
Nels Henderson 7:28
Yeah, yeah, it is. It’s overwhelming. So, so that’s how I started just doing a lot of different things, trying to gather as much experience as I could. And I think the farther I got, the longer I was in it, the more context I was able to put towards what I was doing, you know, one of the things,
Michael Renfro 7:49
continued networking, in the sense of finding those right people and kind of putting them off until the right moment, if you will, yeah.
Nels Henderson 7:57
And learning. Like, a lot of times I like doing lately, like what to do, or how to do you know, but, but then it would be someone a mentor, or a person I was working with it would name when I was doing right. It’s like, oh, that’s a good strategy. Oh, that strategy. Cool. And I just keep on going. And that’s how the early days were, you know, just, you know, learning, learning as fast and failing as fast as possible. And pivoting continuing, you know, no, I
Michael Renfro 8:26
get it. What, what do you think was the biggest turning point that took you because, you know, obviously, you’re talking a lot there about the early days and how not just, you know, you were barely making it, but you would have to have two or three different gigs in order to make it right. But now you have two or three gigs, because you want to? So where was the turning point from where it went? You know, where it was not a need, but a want to have multiple things, if you will.
Nels Henderson 8:53
I think I probably had a few turning points, frankly. I mean, when I really looked at it, you know, in the early 90s, I was running a nonprofit organization, and it was an HIV AIDS education organization makes me interacting with President Elect Bill Clinton, close by here in Summerland. And the news about it went around the world. And nice, I’ll never forget, like running down to the LA press club because back then you didn’t really do podcasts or you know, or YouTube, or whatever. Facts. Yeah, our founder and I went down there. I was like, coaching him on what to do in front of TV and you know how to talk. Don’t say that, you know, being a PR guy, and that was a big turning point for me because it was so exciting to make a difference on a national level, you know, to to bring that kind of education to people. And sounds like it was a blast. Actually. It was it was and Bill was generous and kind thing to my friend who had HIV and And we, we kept on going and I educated probably like 5000 high school students locally about HIV and AIDS in that time period, I’d go into the classrooms. That was one of my one of my odd jobs. You know, but then I’d say, you know, like going to Iowa for their presidential caucus, that was obviously a turning point as well. You know, one day I’d be George Stephanopoulos, Bill Clinton, and then General Haig on the Republican side, I had Jesse Jackson asking me when I when I was going to move over to his campaign. Republicans Democrats, like and we’d all get along back then. And yeah, please.
Michael Renfro 10:35
We’re talking about for many.
Nels Henderson 10:36
Yeah. So it’s a different world, it seems like,
Michael Renfro 10:39
Yeah, I’m just gonna stop for a minute and say that that was what the old show to me was all about. Like, it used to be a time that we all knew. It didn’t matter. This was, you know, being republican or democrat was just another one of those things on the ladder that you either chose this side, or you chose that side. And I still played golf with you. I still ran with you. It didn’t matter. Like, you know, it’s funny, because I’m truly trying to get back to that and preach that. And what’s funny is, without even trying, you know, you put what you get what you put out there, you get back, I believe that in the universe, whether you believe in God or whatever it just karma, call it what you want. And, you know, with me, I have been trying to prove that and by no sheer coincidence, over the last year and a half, one of my best friends that has become like literally one of my closest buddies ever is a Republican, you know, and I tell people like, Dude, it doesn’t matter. Why do you have to hate on son of somebody? Because they voted for this person. Even if you just really hate that guy. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make the person that voted for them. That person.
Nels Henderson 11:42
Great. Right? Great. Yeah.
Michael Renfro 11:44
It just makes them. Like, it’s so funny, because it just doesn’t make sense to me. You know, and I remember it. I remember that time, because it was the same thing for religion. And I’ve even had this conversation with some of my many, I have many different friends from many different races. Right. And I remember less racism, in the sense of it wasn’t. When we weren’t as divided, it felt like it wasn’t as divided on all counts, and the more divided things have become than the more pronounced division, that is their economy. Yeah, you know, and also, magnified, there might be more magnified. And maybe I think it was always there. It was, I’m not saying it wasn’t there, it just didn’t feel the same. And I understand that I’m white, but I’m also a Native American, and Irish, which is the the beatdown of the European nations, right? So I have some blood in me, too, that really understands. But I have the skin of white privilege. And I mean, I get that, you know, I’m not I don’t deny it. But I just know that I didn’t. The same friends that I hung out with, we’re not saying some of the same things now. Maybe they were holding back or whatever. But they surely weren’t being as negative as racist, as I saw around 2016. To, you know, even still now, like, what what feels like, you know, a backtrack, if you will, to me, but I’m the believer in if there’s a backtrack, that means it’s two steps back and many steps forward.
Nels Henderson 13:15
Yeah, that’s so yeah, I think I think everybody needs to travel and see the world, you know, huge difference. I mean, out there. Ya know, I was recently in Trinidad a couple of years ago, right before, you know, we kind of locked everything down. And I was a minority there. My sister’s adopted, she’s half black, half Vietnamese. And we found her biological family went back to visit her grandmother. And it was a real moment of, like, understanding my privilege, not only as a white person, but also someone who lives in Santa Barbara, California, one of the richest, right. Oprah lives down the street, right? Yeah. Like it’s, it’s so it wasn’t, I mean, it was amazing experience because it really got me in touch with, with, with, with my privilege in general. So it was a good trip. And I think everybody needs to do things like that. See how the rest of the world lives?
Michael Renfro 14:09
I haven’t been I haven’t been out there in the rest of the world. But I can tell you this. My wife, who we met again that 15 years been married for over 12 years, closing in on 13 as a Hungarian American, but she was adopted. So she was originally born in Hungary, Hungary. And she’s, she did her she’s very dark skin. We always thought it was purely Gypsy, but we found out that she’s mostly still mostly European when you look at the Bushido that 23 years. Yeah, yeah, you know. Yep. So she did that and so predominantly Asian, but then there’s African there’s Indian, there’s obviously there’s some gypsy there’s a lot of something else to do. Total mud, which I know I am because I already know my bloods but even without doing it, I’m Scotch Irish, Cherokee black. Put German and English that in its, you know I have a comma. Yeah. Well it is. It’s funny because I tell people I’m like, and they’re like, so that’s six. I’m like, No, there’s four because there’s scotch, Irish and Scotch Irish and Blackfoot, there. There’s Cherokee, there’s Blackfoot. And then there’s Cherokee, Blackfoot, which is a whole, you know, that’s the two that didn’t merge. Nonetheless, the whole point is that I, I’ve gotten a lot of that, especially she reached out and found her original family, which was really cool. Just recently, we’re gonna be probably going over to, I would say, in the next couple years, we’ll be making that trip over there. if not sooner, you know, money. They’re open to it, frankly, because not everybody is no, no, they’re extremely, she’s got a brother, and her and her brother talk all the time. Now, you know, doing FaceTime. And it’s awesome. I was, you know, just renewing me, I was really reluctant in the beginning. I’m like, because I just didn’t want to see take anybody, I didn’t want to see anybody take advantage of my wife. Right? So I was like, I just was like, please be wary of all these things. If any of these flags or any of this stuff happened, these probably aren’t your family, which they continued to not. So you know, I finally have let down my guard if that, if that makes sense. And I’m truly because they, you know, there’s never any mention of money or anything like that. It’s all about how you doing? Yeah. And that’s, that’s what you want to hear. Right? Yeah, exactly. I know that sounds a little jaded. But unfortunately, I’m 50. It’s just good to be careful. And that was all I was ever, you know. So let’s talk about this. And I talked about earlier, so we’ll just kind of put it all together. What was and if you have more than one, please share because I know you had more than one turning point. What would you say was the biggest challenge hurdle mistake, whatever the heck word you want to use, that you feel like gave you the most? On the other side? You know what I mean? So going through it was was tough. And it was brutal. But it also because of it gave you more than any other challenge maybe that you had had surpassed?
Nels Henderson 17:02
Sure. There’s probably two things I would think for sure. But the most challenging is probably gaining my sobriety got five years sober as a gym. gratulations Thank you. Yeah, I take it one day at a time still. I mean, there’s still so every
Michael Renfro 17:19
single day. Yeah, that’s all my son that.
Nels Henderson 17:21
Yeah. And at the time, I was a marketing director and two months into my sobriety, I got fired, and I had never been fired in my life. And you know, I have, I can give you a big story about it. I’m not gonna
Michael Renfro 17:36
just curious was it was relation to how you were when you were a drunk? Did it happen? Not at all? That was another like what I
Nels Henderson 17:43
mean? I mean, when I’m when I seriously take a look at it, I’d say like, who I was being was affected. It wasn’t like, I was like, No, I get it. I get it. Yeah, but who else?
Michael Renfro 17:53
That’s many times the harder people are the folks that have the harder time actually coming to terms by the way, because bottoms are not as drastic and not always as disgusting, let’s say as some of the others.
Nels Henderson 18:05
Exactly. And I remember, you know, afterwards, I left the building, I went around the corner, I was still smoking back then, because I quit that to sound smoke. And I see these boots sticking out of the bushes. And right at that point, I really wanted to get a drink. That was I was gonna go down the street to the bar, it was only 12. But I was gonna do it. And I walk over and there’s a guy with a big bottle of fireball stuck in his waistband, you know, blacked out the bushes. And what I did was it just like made me give me that moment of that can be me. You know, like, that can be any of that. It’s really, and I don’t want to do that anymore. So I call the sheriff’s made sure the guy was okay, you know, went on, but that changed me, you know? And what happens there for a reason? I happen
Michael Renfro 18:57
that I’m sorry. That that happened? That absolutely happened for a reason. Because it made you go no, I’m not gonna go back to this. Yeah, even.
Nels Henderson 19:06
You know, right. You know, like, Oh, yeah. And, you know, at that point, I was like, okay, out of a job, what am I going to do? How do I do and how do I take care of my family. And that was a big challenge. And what I ended up doing was within a couple months, I decided to become a notary public, like my wife and expand our business and using my marketing experience, I grew the business and I do not regret it at all, you know, it’s like, I’m gonna, I can go to the gym in the morning, and still make plenty of money during the day. You know, like, I remember about a year later, after I started doing it, I’m, I’m looking at these goals I had written down, you know, and I had an X amount per day, you know, 20 days a month, I had it all worked out. And I had blown that out of the water. You know, and I’m like, I’m so this I’m better off than I was. I get to see my daughter, I get to have lunch with my wife, I get to, like, say go to the gym in the mornings, where a lot of my friends are still running into work, you know, and still doing well. So and I still take on some marketing clients as well. Consulting wise, I still teach at UC Santa Barbara and university, it’s great. But I really enjoy Ella my life. And I don’t think that would have happened without kind of like overcoming that challenge.
Michael Renfro 20:26
No, and that, that brings me to just a beautiful sunny point that I I love to talk about. You know, the good are, for me have like every good thing. And, you know, to give me an example, one of the best things in my life was moving out here to Colorado Springs, right. I’d been wanting to move out to Colorado since 2011. And didn’t get out here until 2018. And the only reason we got out here and I and it’s my wife knows it. And everybody who knows knows me knows it was because my wife got hit by a car nearly killed was crossing the street as a pedestrian not not far hit by car but you know, walking and hit car was doing about 4045 miles an hour 85% of people hit at that speed are done upon impact. Out of the 15% that are left most of them are tragically messed up, you know, broken hips, broken. femurs broken, neck back, you get the point, like really, really messed up. My wife somehow was hit thrown 25 yards, hit the pavement, you know, so first took a what she did, she suffered neurological damage because her head hit the windshield and then thrown 2025 yards and then her head hit the concrete. But other than that she had a little if you can believe this. She jumped up because she saw the car just at the moment and the car was in a turn. So essentially everything happened just right for her to kind of ragdoll in the air and take minimal and impact her head taking most of it her fibula was cracked, but she was literally walking. That weekend hit Wednesday and she’s walking around in a walking cast on Saturday. Or excuse me Sunday watching the Falcons.
Nels Henderson 22:16
You guys are lucky. It Well, I
Michael Renfro 22:19
don’t. I don’t believe in luck anymore. What I mean by that as that happened exactly the way it was supposed to it gave the guy driving, funnily enough was a 20 year old. But the car was his father’s that had more than a quarter million dollars of coverage. And we’re here because of that, because you’re able to do that. Yeah, that that gave us a huge settlement that gave us everything we needed to make a move. I have a total of four kids. Now I have five because after that move, one moved out with us and stayed with us and has become my fifth son. So yeah, everything happens the way it’s supposed to be right on Colorado Springs is great. Yeah. Oh, man. It is it is. I don’t know if I’m ever gonna leave here because I really love like just sitting here on my window, I sit and stare at Pikes Peak. And that is just a gorgeous.
Nels Henderson 23:06
I’ve seen this park in Colorado as well. No, no. Yeah.
Michael Renfro 23:11
Great. So, with all of these different things, what would you say is your proudest single moment? And you had another challenge? Did you want to mention that too? We kind of Yeah. So that’s to challenge that challenge? And then tell me your proudest moment? Maybe it’s one of the say,
Nels Henderson 23:30
Yeah, I was thinking about a lesson, you know, like a pitfall for me, in terms of how I approach things. Throughout my life, at least the marketing consulting part of my career, is, it took me really way too long to recognize that when I meet a prospective client, and we’re talking about what I can do for them, it’s as much me interviewing them as them interviewing me. And it took me a long time to understand that because I would go into these meetings and I’d have my intuition is usually my emotional intelligence is pretty high, I can kind of like, sense people’s energy and go, this would be a great fit, or no, they’re gonna want to be an art director and tell me, you know, to move things over to pixels, and that they have to use fuchsia as their color. Right. You know, like, those kinds of things. This kind of clients I don’t work with very well.
Michael Renfro 24:25
Right. You know, they’re trying to do their job and yeah, hey, yeah, instead of letting you do the job they paid you to do Yeah, so I learned to develop marketing. Remember that brother? 36 years, man, I know exactly who you’re talking about. Yeah, we’ve turned on as as we’ve accepted because of this, literally, yeah.
Nels Henderson 24:44
Yeah. So it took me a long time to get that and so now oftentimes, I might meet with someone and go hey, I just don’t think this is a good fit. Because, you know, my instinct, my intuition, their actions of kind of show me speaking
Michael Renfro 24:58
on it, and it goes from Are sorry, acting on it. Yeah. Acting on those on those those intuitions rather than money. You know, like my I used to be the same way like, no, I need the money Shut up.
Nels Henderson 25:13
And I’ve done that probably one too many times, you know, but like in terms of, you know, other moments that have really changed my life. I think accepting the job at Citrix Online was was another big one. I spent 10 years there.
Michael Renfro 25:29
Yeah, that’s huge. Yeah, still there certifications? Oh, yeah, cool.
Nels Henderson 25:34
It’s a great company to Citrix Online was where I was at. And, and, you know, my, I had to, I had a supervisor and a VP that worked with me every day. And they were, you know, I was think about mentors here. And that they, I don’t know, if they would know that I call them a mentor. But they have the sense that, you know, they have my back, you know, and they would teach me stuff I didn’t know. And we always collaborate and work together. I learned agile while I was there, which is kind of like collaborative working. Yeah, that’s good stuff. And those kinds of things, like really made a huge difference for me. And it’s just like that kind of support and little things like, you know, the first week I started there, they sent me to an website analytics Conference in Washington, DC, where my dad lives. So I got to see my dad and go to the conference, you know, the first week of working there. And that’s a nice bonus. It was nice. They were really good to me. So my wife and I got to go to Hawaii a couple of times with the sales team, because I was the MVP, you know, for the marketing department. And it was a lot of fun. So I really appreciate them. And they gave me a lot of knowledge, which has helped me today, you know, and I’m always still trying to learn, I recently got my certified digital marketing professional certificate from the Digital Marketing Institute. And it was interesting, right? I teach this stuff, right. But I went through their program because UCSB became a partner with them. So I they gave me a free course and certification, so let’s do it. Why not
Michael Renfro 27:10
do it? Yeah. And it was you’re gonna add to it. And let’s face it, I know where you’re going, you get a nugget out of everything you do, do always get a nugget.
Nels Henderson 27:18
And that was the thing, like, I learned how they would teach it, you know, versus how I would teach it. And I’m like, Oh, that’s pretty good, gives you a different perspective. And I can incorporate in my teaching, so it worked out pretty well. Which,
Michael Renfro 27:30
ultimately, you know, that makes you just a little bit better, not just for your clients, right, and your potential partners in the future, but also the people that you end up training and teaching and all those people that you affect below you think so. And I don’t mean below you. I mean, in the sense of your teachings down anywhere downward, right. I don’t believe in higher above just
Nels Henderson 27:51
sign my mind a lateral lateral organizational map Cena.
Michael Renfro 27:55
Yeah, I only talked about learning learning trickles down, right. And although it’s funny, because sometimes, actually learning trickles up to right, if you’re really receptive. If you’re a great leader, you’re gonna learn from your team as well. But then it just turns right back around and you put it right back out to the team.
Nels Henderson 28:12
So like last night, I was teaching a class on web analytics and UCSB, we have some internet, what do you say Web? Web analytics? Web analytics? Yeah, good. Yeah. So the data that comes into websites and right, me, and we have international students there. So I have a mix of people that are ba students that are taking my class. It’s a Professional and Continuing Ed class. And I have international students from universities in Germany and Sweden and Japan. Awesome. And what’s great is that the international students teach me so much, because I’ll ask them, you know, like, how does it work? You know, in Germany, do you guys do email marketing the same way? And they’ll go, oh, actually, we do it this way. And it’s fascinating to me to see what other cultures do. Because sometimes they can give us ideas for what to do here. You know, like in Europe, they’re so much more into privacy.
Michael Renfro 29:07
Email, they truly believe in privacy. They don’t just say it, they actually.
Nels Henderson 29:13
Yeah, I think we can take some cues from there, frankly, ya know, I’m a marketing guy. I want to make money from my client. I think we could take some
Michael Renfro 29:19
music, it’s still you could do it. Like they’re, they’re a working model that you can still do it with a a huge modicum of privacy. Yes.
Nels Henderson 29:28
Yeah, you can totally do. So. Yeah. So I learned a lot from them too. And teaching is just a joy. It’s again, it’s not something I make a lot of money at, but I enjoy it. So I continue to do it and and, you know, it’s, it’s worthwhile. So, yeah, I’m currently I’m also working with a local company to make marketing education videos for learning platforms. I was going to ask you, I know we had the things that you so do you want to just kind of talk about that for a minute. Because that’s yeah, I’m not sure which learning platforms, it’s gonna go go to, right. But I’m, but it’s really nice. It’s a cool company there, I had audition. And I’m in the middle of starting making the script. And what they’re going to do is professionally produce it. So they’re gonna have a nice, they’re gonna have a set makeup, you know, we’re going to decide what to wear the teleprompter, it’ll be pretty cool, because I will be able to professionally produce what I already teach. And it’s really the future of education in my mind. I mean, I think we’ll always the future of
Michael Renfro 30:31
the world, rather, is like all over. Once we got this and iPhone said, Here’s FaceTime. I’m not saying that, that, you know, it’s because of iPhone, they were just the first one to do it in the sense of on a platform like that. I was like, Okay, this is it, you know, give it 20 more years. And that’s the way we’ll talk to each other on. It’ll be soon we’ll have on our watches, it’s just a matter of time. Well,
Nels Henderson 30:54
I, you know, I taught only via zoom during the whole lockdown. That that was interesting. And it was good. You know, like, I’m, I’m comfortable enough because of GoTo Meeting. You know, I can I have create a breakout rooms, I can create, you know, empathy, I can create, like connection with people online. But I still, I like HyperFlex. Right now I’m doing it that way where students can choose to come in and I can see them in a classroom, there’s a camera in the corner of the room. And we’re doing zoom at the same time. And it’s working out pretty well, because I didn’t hear that
Michael Renfro 31:34
wasn’t high points. high flex, it’s all high flex, I have high clarity is that is that spelled h y
Nels Henderson 31:40
fel dx. So it’s kind of like the most recent education term for that, where people can choose to be on Zoom or be in the classroom. And we’re testing it out. I’m kind of a guinea pig. You know, since I’m comfortable, it’s still in beta. They’re letting me do it. Right. Yeah. So
Michael Renfro 31:59
would you would you spell it one more time? Please?
Nels Henderson 32:01
Michael Renfro 32:06
Yeah. Okay, so I did here. Okay. It’s
Nels Henderson 32:08
just, yeah. And so, you know, there’s a couple of things I’ve learned from that. And like, in the sense that, you know, it helps if the students in the classroom have their laptops, so they can
Michael Renfro 32:18
write it gives them more, you know, complete feeling of being in a classroom virtually.
Nels Henderson 32:23
So rather than half kind of halfway. Exactly. So it’s good for me, because I respond better to people in person. And I do feel
Michael Renfro 32:32
better. Do you feel more comfortable throughout that whole process? Yeah,
Nels Henderson 32:36
yeah, I feel fairly comfortable with it. And it’s not more it’s like either or, for me. Like I said, I don’t mind doing it this way. I don’t mind being in the classroom, but I do enjoy actually meeting them. Because there’s something different to that.
Michael Renfro 32:49
There’s something for the visceral life connection exam happening, like face to face,
Nels Henderson 32:54
I can value if you’re in Japan, and you want to take my class. All right.
Michael Renfro 33:00
You know, like, that’s exactly. That’s the beauty of the world we’re in today is that you can’t actually do something like that. And vice versa. You can you can attend courses and things like that. Over there.
Nels Henderson 33:11
And then the best teachers will went out. Thank
Michael Renfro 33:14
Oh, yeah, no, I believe so. I think. You know, it’s funny, but like, even interview, like, everything is being done this way. Now, where, you know, if you do an interview, then they send you a link, and they want you to create a video video answers. Yeah. It’s really, it’s quite interesting. So yeah, I like, yeah. Who are some of those mentors? By the way? What was like the, just just the names? And what would you say was the one best piece of advice that you got?
Nels Henderson 33:45
Yeah. Well, my direct supervisor, Sarah was great. She encouraged me with everything I did. And then Katie, my VP, always had my back. You know, like, if I wanted to do a campaign that wasn’t really like the normal kind of thing you do. She’d asked me for the data first year, she want me to prove it, else can we do a test? You know, and so I learned the value from her and Sarah, about AV testing. So, like, just about any change we make on that site, we test it out for a week because we had enough traffic and we could find out within days, whether something was good or not,
Michael Renfro 34:18
especially when you have those kind of numbers. I mean, I’ve told people if you have anything more than 5000 numbers that you can consistently deal with and you’ve got stuff that you can easily Oh, yeah, easily AV test
Nels Henderson 34:29
down to button color on the you know, on the Senate and it matters.
Michael Renfro 34:33
Like you, you can get it. My one. My one issue is when somebody that doesn’t really know quite the process of AV testing, and they give me two or three changes, and I’m like, one at a time thing, man. I can’t How do I know what affected it brother like?
Nels Henderson 34:53
Unless you want to get like a really expensive Adobe test and target to the right because like, you
Michael Renfro 34:57
know, I’m trying to do with the noggin appeared and as cost effective as possible.
Nels Henderson 35:03
Exactly, exactly. And then my, my buddy James owns a, a AutoGlass company. And I consider him a mentor, because he’s just kind of like, he always gets up, dust himself off and keeps on going. You know,
Michael Renfro 35:19
although there’s something to be said for that. Yeah, it is a great school of thought. And I just really,
Nels Henderson 35:24
whether he’s up or down or whatever, he just keeps on going forward. And, and it’s been a really real inspiration to me on that. Now, that’s, that’s awesome. Yeah. So
Michael Renfro 35:36
I’ll go ahead. No, were you gonna say some,
Nels Henderson 35:37
I was gonna see if there was one other ones I’d probably say. Also, like, there’s been some more academic mentors as well. I was lucky enough to take a class at UCSB from Pat Condell, who was Jimmy Carter’s campaign manager back in 76. And you said Goodell does it Yeah. Cid, lol, Pat. And he told me once you know about writing marketing copy to write it as if the person reading it is in sixth grade. And I think that’s like the advice that stuck with me to this day.
Michael Renfro 36:10
You want to know what’s really funny, like the internet, you know, the SEO, and I’m sure you know, some great deal about this. But the SEO, the school of thought, for the last few years is to right around that nine to 11th grade. But what’s really funny is I’ve explained to him like if you do that you’re actually you’re and this is where it gets kind of funny. But technical, Google, at best, at best, their AI that is doing the bulk of the reading of the content now because the human eyes is at best a fifth grade level, and I don’t even think it’s truly there. It’s more like third or fourth grade level. You know, it’s it’s a really, it’s a brilliant AI. Yeah, but it’s still a young AI in the sense of its reading capability. So like, for attorneys, and we tell them, like we really want to write on a fifth sixth grade level, so that the AI can read it. But it’s got to be interesting enough for a collegiate person to also find it interesting. Yeah, that’s tricky writing.
Nels Henderson 37:06
Yeah, I’ve done some, like keyword research for a friend of mine is a family law lawyer. And, like the peak of the things people put in search. Like, once I created a keyword phrase list, she’s like, What? Why would that be on there? Well, that’s where people actually put in,
Michael Renfro 37:25
you gotta you got to the one mistake, I think that, particularly attorneys, and obviously I’ve worked with them most, but I have worked with every single type of service industry as well as professional on both all the different professions and all the different blue collars, okay, both sides. They, they have a hard time as business owners, right, because you no matter what business you are, whether whether it’s blue collar, white collar professional doesn’t matter. Once you stepped into the business owner role, you have to look at things differently. And many times they have a hard time looking at and accepting the fact that they are not gonna think like probably 90% of the people that buy from them. And what works for them, right. And they all I’m like, and you, if you think of it that way, it’s really the worst thing that you really have to go by the numbers and the averages and who your target audience is. And then then you use the information you know about your audience and attack it from your best numbers possible to funnel down leads.
Nels Henderson 38:25
It’s just, I mean, it’s,
Michael Renfro 38:27
I’ve been doing this for too long. And I tried to tell him that and I will say today, most people get it, the way that I explain it. But there’s just still some guys like you talked about, or girls in this day and age, quite frankly, I have a lot of women business owners, and they’re many times between you and me, the women because they feel it seems like they feel like they have more to prove. And that’s what I’ve heard from them directly. They’re even stronger and harder than some of the guys. So the ones that are wanting it their way. I’ve even have a harder time dealing with them. But they you know, they want to dot the eye their way and rather than the way it needs to be and I know you know what I’m talking about here and you just try to explain to them, look, take yourself out of this. Put yourself in the shoes, put a whole different hat on. I know you’re an attorney, but as a business owner, you’re you’re making a decision that’s going to affect the attorneys leads. That’s how I’ll say it to them. And they’re like, that’s when I get applause I know that base. But when I tell them like look, what’s your decision you’re making over here is gonna hurt the guy. You’re trying to help them here, which is you. Right? So yeah, sorry to go off their
Nels Henderson 39:32
Michael Renfro 39:33
What’s something strange, quirky? Give me one of those genes that nobody that nobody knows about you or I shouldn’t say nobody but the probably like something more like your wife, you know?
Nels Henderson 39:45
Yeah, right. Um, I’m an avid chess player and not a lot of people know that. And I actually have a twitch username. So a lot of the, you know, the kids these days there’ll be on to Which for video games, right? Like this an amazing place for chess education. So there are grandmasters that go on Twitch, and that will give lessons for free right there. So I use Twitch a lot, I play probably a tournament chess game a week, I used to play when I was a boy. And then when Queens Gambit came out, I got excited about it again, and I’ve been doing it again. So
Michael Renfro 40:21
I’m a chess lover, but I do not know the specific rules of tournament, what is the time limit for the chess game, or is there truly no time limit, and it’s just keeping time of how long the turn the match less,
Nels Henderson 40:32
usually you create a by agreement, it’s either 3060 90 minutes, something like that. And you agree on the Grandmaster level, it could be three hours,
Michael Renfro 40:42
you have a per move time limit,
Nels Henderson 40:46
not necessarily, but you might have 45 minutes, let’s say right now I’m playing in a 45 minute game with 15 second increments, which means at 45 minutes to win or lose the game. And if I get to 45 minutes, and I’ve made something like 40 moves, I can get extra time based based on how many moves you get. And usually the games done within the hour and a half, you know, 45 minutes a player, right? But it’s when you’re down to like four minutes, and you’ve, you’re like 10 moves away from winning. If it gets a
Michael Renfro 41:19
little, you’re like, Damn, I’m like, I don’t have enough time to actually make my moves. Yeah, right. That’s that’s that I was kind of trying to go there. Because I am a chess player, my grandfather, my grandfather was the one that taught man. And he taught me the old school way in the sense that he just kept whipping my ass until I learned the tactics that he was doing. Right, exactly. And he’s like, that’s the he’s like, this is really the only way to learn. Because the beautiful thing about chess, which some people get, I mean, excuse me, there’s still a few people they just don’t get, but there’s only so many games that can be played. It is it is, you know, it is a game that every game that can ever have been played has been played on more occasions than we can count. Right? Well, actually. Oh, is there? Is there one that hasn’t been played yet?
Nels Henderson 42:01
Well, I would say that the first eight to 10 to 15, at the most moves have been played before. But after that, it’s usually a brand new game. Brand new. Because think about it, you got 68 squares, and all those possibilities. You know, like,
Michael Renfro 42:19
there’s only what we know is it can be planned out.
Nels Henderson 42:24
Or you can it can be planned out for the first dozen or so moves. But and even after
Michael Renfro 42:28
that you can look at it. I mean, that’s the beautiful thing about chess is you can look at, if you’re good, then you’re looking at every single thing that can happen based on every single move you can possibly make from there now that’s that’s, obviously we tend to focus on certain pieces, right? And have a strategy. And then that’s how that goes. But to me, that’s what I meant is like, there’s only so many ways you’re going to play it. I haven’t heard of anybody coming up with a new strategy and new way of playing chess, there’s not many new openings. Yeah. You either master what’s been around for literally 1000s of years at this point.
Nels Henderson 43:04
Or, you know, yeah, that’s a fun thing.
Michael Renfro 43:10
I don’t know if you saw but I actually developed the game that I tell people is a combination of chess checkers, as well as go pen Tei. And what’s the other one that I that I always put in there Connect for? So and the reason that I say chess, is because you’re still chess is still done on a structurally eight by eight grid, right? Mine is a seven by seven by seven. So it’s three dimensional. But essentially, it’s Kinect, five on a three dimensional plane that you’re stacking down, and the table rotates. So you can only turn the table. And when you’re talking about turning the table on a three dimensional plane. Let’s just face it, wouldn’t it bring a whole new degree all together? If you could turn the chess table every time it was your turn, and literally continue to turn it around and look at the different angles of what you’re trying to do? Sorry? Yeah. So that’s, that’s a, it’s called stacking five. Yeah, I patented that back in 2011. And I think you would, you would actually, really I say this because we’re not too far from each other. So if we ever find the means to be at the same conference, or the same Grand Canyon, or Las Vegas or something? Yeah, I take my game with me almost everywhere because any board gamer plays it understands it gets it in less than 30 seconds and agrees that it’s really great. Here’s the best part about your love it. Every abstract game that I mentioned that this game has like, has one thing in common and most abstract strategy games due
Nels Henderson 44:41
to player. It’s kind of
Michael Renfro 44:45
almost in the definition of abstract strategy that you only have
Nels Henderson 44:48
two players, right.
Michael Renfro 44:52
Stack and five will allow up to eight players at the same time. Oh, interesting. Yeah. And every single variable between two to eight nails brings different strategies and a different type of gameplay depending on the number specifically that is playing. Because once you add a third person, you now have the cutthroat factor. You also have the factor of did they see it? Or am I going to have to block it? Right? And the more you add that becomes, it’s really very fun and
Nels Henderson 45:25
a lot of fun. Sounds cool. So, we’ve gone
Michael Renfro 45:29
over time. I know so I’ll make are we getting close to Oh, no, we haven’t. We haven’t gone. Okay. We’re not quite there. What’s the craziest thing? The one single craziest thing you’ve ever done? Do you have anything in mind? Did you write something down for there?
Nels Henderson 45:40
Not not not probably marketing related. But I was working at the Biltmore Hotel and room service in Montecito. Oh, this sounds good in the 80s. And it was Heather Locklear and Tommy Lee’s wedding. Oh, my God. And first thing that happened was as I’m writing, we had these bikes these tricycles with, with, like, food warmers in the front, right? And I go out and there’s other lachelier on putting green in our wedding dress, and I fell over. It looks so good. But uh, later that night, it was about 2am I was just about off work. And Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull at the Oh my god. He’s like, he’s like, why don’t you stay hang out, have a beer with me. And so I called him right there. And I said, Guys, I’m not coming back. But I stayed there and party with him all night. And because I was invited, and it was crazy. It was great time.
Michael Renfro 46:35
I have to ask you just named one of my all time idols. When when I was growing up, everybody would always name you know, Pink Floyd, the doors. Led Zeppelin. Yeah. And when I when asked me, you know, I always said the same thing. I was like, I’m a total fan of like, in there, like who’s told him like Jethro effing tol? And I wouldn’t I would pull out like, songs from the woods, because to me, that’s one of the greatest. Although I mean, don’t get me wrong benefit is is clearly an incredible album. And I don’t deny it. But I would always pull out that one to me, it was where he started to kind of get crazy. And I say, Yeah, because by that time in was doing, you know, a lot of people will know it. But by the time it was in the 80s, he was pretty much basically the band except for who he hired to go on the road with him right now. And he’s the only single thing that has remained throughout that entire time. And I brag about him all the time. So I have to ask, Did you did you keep his contact information? Did you do you still talk?
Nels Henderson 47:35
I did not. We had a good time. And I got there was a bunch of rock stars there. But it was fun. That’s awesome. I probably don’t remember enough of what happened that night. Right, yeah, I
Michael Renfro 47:55
mean, you named my idol I had to ask.
Nels Henderson 47:57
Yeah, no worries. It was it was a pleasure meeting him and that the other thing at the Biltmore was, I got to meet Ronald Reagan staff. Baker would stay there and all the press people. And you know, I’d serve Senator Cranston and, and Chief of Staff Baker there, you know, in the room, so it was awesome.
Michael Renfro 48:18
That was kind of one year then earlier exposures into politics without even without even knowing when that was going to probably be a direction that you went into? I would imagine at that time. Yeah.
Nels Henderson 48:28
Yeah, I was surprised the Secret Service I’ve been through since I’m still. There, we’re going to do those are the days that’s fine.
Michael Renfro 48:37
Well, listen, it will be the last question because most of the other stuff and I was just curious. I’ll ask it like this favorite podcast and favorite tool, in the sense of, you know, most of the time, this is software this day and age. So what’s your favorite podcast? And what’s your favorite tool using throughout the day to do your job?
Nels Henderson 48:57
So not to do my job? Because I love Dave Chang’s podcast, right? I’m into cooking. What was that one? Dave Chang? Got it? Yeah. So you know, he owns Momofuku in Vegas in New York. And he does amazing things with Asian food. He’s got you know, product line. That’s really cool. I love how he talks about food and learning more about it. That’s one thing but my my indispensable piece of software besides any of the Adobe products would probably be things which is a to do list manager on iPhone and it used that came out about to get things done five years ago, right? Yeah,
Michael Renfro 49:37
I remember that was one I remember I got that one myself before I even I was just like, this looks like a really cool to do
Nels Henderson 49:45
way ahead of its time. And it’s really, it uses to get things done framework is what I do every morning when I get up after my coffee and I read the news as I I kind of make a list of because otherwise things would be going on in my head all day. So I read him down. And I have three buckets I have doing now, which is like stuff that I need to think about today. Not doing now, which is some things that I can schedule in the future. And definitely put in a calendar with a time of place, you know, a phone number, or zoom out, you know, whatever. And then there’s never doing now, which is like, in the realm of someday, I want to write that book,
Michael Renfro 50:27
right? Like, I can only work on this if these other ones have have been satisfied.
Nels Henderson 50:32
And I’m not going to schedule that right now. Because I just don’t know when I get to it. And that allows me to get the stuff out of my head, basically, every morning, and I’ll put stuff in the calendar right there. And things is a great product because it like allows you to make that To Do List put things in your calendar at the same time. It’s good stuff,
Michael Renfro 50:52
does it give you some customization to I’m assuming and the sense of like, you know, maybe you can, can you create kind of your own flow?
Nels Henderson 50:59
Yeah, some way you can create your own categories. And it works well with Siri. And it connects with your reminders on your on your iPhone, etc. So it’s a really, really good stuff. I’m amazed at how powerful they were in building software. So that’s my that’s my unsolicited review there.
Michael Renfro 51:19
No, I It’s funny, I’m gonna I’m gonna probably recheck them out. I just we knew me they knowing how bad I am. They may still be downloaded on my iPhone.
Nels Henderson 51:29
Maybe it does. It is it is something you pay for actually, because it is so much better than everything else out there. Right. It’s me, it’s
Michael Renfro 51:35
worth it. Now that makes sense. It makes sense. Yeah. Well, listen, man, I really enjoyed it. I hope that one thing I extend out to the folks that seemed like they had a good time and we had a little bit of a connection is hopefully maybe we can connect again in a year and see where you’re at. Sure. Sounds good.
Nels Henderson 51:51
Appreciate it. Thanks,
Michael Renfro 51:52
man. Have a great afternoon. I really enjoyed it.
Nels Henderson 51:54
You too. You too.
Thanks for listening to 15 Minutes. Be sure to subscribe and we’ll see you next time.