084: Greg Rice | The Art of Communication: Helping Entrepreneurs Become Better Leaders, Increase Sales, and Raise Funding

Founder and Host of the Art of Communication Podcast, Greg Rice has a history of blowing away sales goals, managing multi-million dollar relationships with fortune 500 executives across a variety of industries. He helps entrepreneurs and leaders transform their businesses and lives by enhancing their fundamental communication skills.
In this episode, Greg talks about how he helped his clients raise over $20M in early-stage funding and how he made the shift to being a full-time entrepreneur. He also shares what you can expect when working within his program, and how an easy 5 minute morning exercise can help change your day. Check it out!

[02:27 – 09:36] Greg’s learning journey and Masterminds

The Mastermind Effect:  02:30

The ability to learn over the last 5 to 10 years has changed drastically. When you and I were younger, it was the educators, teachers, family, friends, co-workers, and the people around us, but that’s a sliver of what’s possible. How has your learning changed from your early years versus today?

Greg Rice  02:50

Yes, it changes so dramatically. Starting in a more traditional education path, I got my undergrad, bachelor’s, and MBA. One of my previous jobs was as a consultant to small businesses in Pittsburgh at the University of Pittsburgh.  We did a lot of education of entrepreneurs. Back then, we didn’t have all the tremendous tools like masterminds and coaches. They were few and far between and hard to find. I juxtapose that with today, as I’m on my entrepreneurial journey. There are so many tremendous ways to find education. There are coaches, masterminds, and mentors. It’s just changed so dramatically.

For example, I got excited about starting a podcast. I’m excited about communication, wanting to learn about it and share that with the world. I went out, and I found a coach. Somebody, you and I both know, Travis Chapel.  He has been tremendous in guiding me throughout the entire process from end to end. Without him, I would be lost trying to put together my podcast on my own. That’s an example of something I wouldn’t have even considered, probably even five years ago, right. But now, those folks are accessible; you can reach out to them and find them. It’s such a powerful thing.

The Mastermind Effect:  03:56

That’s the amazing thing. You want to have similar connections and your podcast; you said Travis had helped both of us and where our podcast journey began and then where it’s at today. Those kinds of people are unbelievably accessible. They want to help you succeed. They want to see what you’re doing and move the needle forward. That’s the great thing about people like Travis and others you and I’ve connected with.

We have a lot of ways to take in information right here. Got the podcast going on right now. People use masterminds, accountability buddies, coaches, online courses, and many different ways to take in information. Who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you connect with them?

Greg Rice  04:37

There’s a couple—some with personal relationships, and some are virtual. Travis has been a major coach for me around podcasting and getting my own business up and running. He’s definitely somebody I’ve learned from. It’s interesting how did I connect with him. I’ll take you through the whole process.  When I saw Knowledge Broker Blueprint from Tony and Dean, there was a section on podcasting from JLD, John Lee Dumas.  That’s what got me so excited about a great way to step into the communication world. From there, I sent a note to John Lee Dumas I was like, “Hey, I loved what you presented here. I’d love to talk to you about starting my podcast and what it takes.” He’s the one that put me on to Travis. If I would have never taken a step to get in that course in the first place, then if I would have never had the courage to reach out to JLD and then reach out to Travis as well. That connection would have never happened. Travis is a big person I’m learning from right now.

Another person is Russell Brunson. I’m looking around a lot right now to market my business and build sales funnels. I’ve been spending a lot of time listening and learning from Russell Brunson and his presentations and his programs. It’s two different examples. One is more of a one-on-one mentoring sort of relationship. The other is figuring out who has done it well and learning from them.

The Mastermind Effect:  06:01

I think it’s important for anyone that’s listening to understand this. You chose right there to invest in yourself. I know the original cost of KBB (Knowledge Broker Blueprint), which is around $2000. That amount to invest in yourself. From that investment, you went to John Lee Dumas. Then, from having that conversation, whatever the investment is with Travis.  That’s the important thing that you have to remember when you’re looking at success and what success is to you. The first and foremost thing you got to do is invest in yourself. Where do you look at your investment ROI and why you went there?

Greg Rice  06:39

I think that’s a great point. First of all, I had to make some level of investment in myself and some level of belief. You have to stop and think about what do I want to achieve? What’s the best way of getting there? How much time will that save me? What’s my likelihood of succeeding without that kind of guidance?

As I mentioned before, I wouldn’t have a podcast today without Travis. You and I wouldn’t be talking today, and I wouldn’t be connected to other folks that he’s been able to open my network up to. That’s been huge. When I think about the initial ROI, it is a guidance of coaching and the relationships I’ve already built. I think there’s a massive ROI down the road as that network continues to expand. So each of those touch relationships I’ve built that Travis has introduced me to expand into broader networks of people, I touch more people and help more people. And as I do, I grow my business too. I think over time; there’s a huge ROI on that. If you’re thinking about investing in these kinds of things, it can’t be a six-month kind of thing; you have to look at a much longer time frame. Where might you be 5 or 10 years from now if you take step a versus step B?

The Mastermind Effect:  07:45

Absolutely. When you were talking about expanding your network, I’m going to give a piece of advice that I wish I had gotten earlier.  Get a programmer. Understand how to use words to build out trees. I use MindMeister because at this point, with the amount of the network and how someone’s connected to me, I can draw it all back to a singular place.  If you’re going to go down this journey of entrepreneurship, know how you’re connected to whomever it was because you want to remember that it started in the beginning. Even if you only have five people to add to it, start a mind map immediately. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on why investing in yourself is important because we talk about that in the solo shows.

A lot of people get stuck, and they don’t know how to execute what’s in their heads. We are still going through a pandemic, and it’s causing a reset and how we’re able to accomplish things. How have masterminds helped you when you’re looking to get unstuck and reset yourself?

Greg Rice  08:46

They’ve helped me reshape my thinking in a lot of different ways via masterminds and coaching.  By getting on the phone or the video, and having conversations with people who are doing it, I learned something new. A new approach, a new way to look at it, the way to think about it, and the new target to go after. It’s changing my thinking because I tend to get stuck in a linear way of thinking. When I can get a couple of new ideas, it blows it all up, but in a good way. I come out of it with a much more excited, unstuck-focused, and a lot of energy to go in a new direction and try something else. When you do that, you learn new things and grow.

The Mastermind Effect:  09:24

The growth because of learning from the people around you. They’re able to help you see around a corner that you might not have access to. It’s amazing what you’re able to take away from the group mentality.

[09:37 – 18:01] Self-Education and Greg’s reality

The Mastermind Effect:

Masterminds, in general, have been around for a long time. As I always say, probably the first mastermind was the apostles. Then, Benjamin Franklin, way down the road, creates something called the Judo Club or the Leather Apron Club.  Then there’s Napoleon Hill. He solidifies what a mastermind is.  There’s been such a large boom of self-education in the last 10 – 15 years; where do you see the parallel between standardized education versus self-education going?

Greg Rice  10:10

Let me step back to that last question quickly before moving on to that because I wanted to follow up on your point about learning from each other. I’m in a mastermind with many other guys who are successful podcasters. I take away something from each of them, whether it’s how to communicate with guests, find guests, follow up with guests, who to work with to produce my episodes, or how to record an intro. I take something away from everybody. I would never learn if I wasn’t part of this group. There’s so much value in that you don’t even know what you don’t know, and to kind of get in and start having those conversations.

So to your next point,  education will continue to change dramatically. We’ll still have the foundational education. My wife’s an elementary school teacher, and we have five kids, four of which are teenagers and in school right now.  We push heavy on the importance and value of education. I believe in the value of that, but I also try to get my kids to open up and think about where else they can learn things. It only expands from there as they continue down the path and start looking for masterminds, coaches, mentors, or groups to join, leading to the right direction. Education in the near future, especially in the entrepreneur world, will continue to multiply from this self-education side.

On the one hand, I think that’s a great thing because folks were willing to invest in themselves; more time and focus to learn and master something.  They will have a tremendously greater ability to succeed if they think that this will magnify their ability to do that. In the entrepreneur world, we’re going to see self-learning continue to multiply.

The Mastermind Effect:  12:07

I agree with you. Not only do I have a show built around it, but I’m betting on that changing with the Success Finder. It would be awesome to start seeing younger generations, the teen year, starting to create their own masterminds and their entrepreneurship journey earlier. That’s going to happen. We need to remember the generation they think differently from you and I did when we grow.

The Mastermind Effect:  13:08

Typically, when someone invests in their future, they’ve got a better than a vague idea of what the outcome is going to be. They have an expectation of what can happen if they follow through with the steps that you’re working with them on. What should people expect when they enter Greg’s reality?

Greg Rice  13:27

A couple of different things. One, a shift in focus when you’re thinking about communication and connection. Shift and focus away from manipulation and making my point in getting what I want from this person. A shift instead of more self-awareness, more connection, and influence by better understanding yourself and better understanding others. Less faking everything, more vulnerability, and more empathy. Those are the big focus areas for me that I want to see. I want to help others grow within themselves, and we need a lot more in society.

The Mastermind Effect:  14:08

I agree with you right there, and I used to always hear, “fake it till you make it.” But we’re becoming a society where that’s not okay. It’s starting to be where vulnerability is a good thing.

Greg Rice  14:30

I’d say in my sales career, some of my biggest sales and biggest successes had come from times when I was willing to be vulnerable and share, “Hey, I don’t know this. Or I don’t know if this is the right thing for you.” Even sharing a personal story that I wouldn’t usually open up in that way. It’s not showing weakness or anything sappy. It’s just about sharing your authentic emotions, authentic view on the situation, and being honest and open. Trying to understand who the other person is under that veneer they’re showing you.



The Mastermind Effect:  15:04

I feel that the people you work with have a way of surprising you from time to time, whether it’s their drive or willingness to learn.  Give us a success story of someone that’s gone through your program and worked with you that, because of that, the outcome was even unexpected to them.

Greg Rice  15:30

I can tell you about an individual in pharmaceutical sales. He played college football. He is a big strong guy, not the kind of guy you would think would be fearful of anything. He was very nervous about speaking in front of people, and in his job, he needed to be up in front of groups of people speaking every day. A couple of things that helped them: One, to change his focus away from worrying about him so much and worrying about the message he’s trying to get across. The listeners aren’t so worried about you, the individual; they’re worried about the message you’re trying to get across. If you let your natural passion come through about that, which he certainly has, that’s going to connect with them. It’s not about saying the perfect words in the perfect way. It’s about sharing that authentic passion that you have for whatever you’re selling and honestly communicating why it would be great for them to try it. Then, Next is to help them think about preparing more effectively and just thinking about getting ready for it and getting it right in his head right before speaking.

The combination of those two things worked out very successfully for him. He was already successful. But this helped magnifies success.  He’s amazed at how much more comfortable he feels in front of folks. Just with that bit of shift in the mindset of “it’s not about me, it’s about the message.” He said, “you’re like Tony Robbins, man; I’m so excited and fired up to get out there now.” And I was like, “If you want to compare me to Tony Robbins, that’s amazing. I feel really good about that.”

The Mastermind Effect:  17:05

You probably have a little bit bigger hands. I love how you shifted or reframed what was important when he was up there speaking. That small reframe and shift made a world of difference for him to feel confident and already good. That’s why coaching is so important. That’s why in the solo shows, I’m constantly talking about why you need to get a coach and you want to get the right coach. Finding the right coach will make the world of difference. I have a coach for my mindset. I have a coach for my finances. I have a coach for growth. Don’t limit yourself to one area of what you’re looking to accomplish. I think coaching with what you’re doing is amazing. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for you and the program that you’re building.

[18:02– 25:48] Creating Success

The Mastermind Effect:

On the solo shows, we talk about success. One of my mentors says, “once you define success, you’ve in essence defined failure.” That’s why so many people will not define what success is then. I think there’s a lot of things that go into success. There’s mentorship, coaching, partnerships,  and being okay with failure. What do you feel is a key ingredient in being successful?

Greg Rice  18:29

It’s going to be different for every individual. It depends on your purpose and what you’re hoping to accomplish. The easiest way to define it for me would be; first, you have to define your “true why” and understand that. Then when you’re making true progress against that “why,” that’s a success. If your big “why” probably isn’t going to be achieved, maybe even your lifetime, but it’s all about making progress towards that “why.”

One of my big “why’s” is I’d love to develop an organization that helps mentor kids in troubled situations like kids in juvenile detention.  They don’t have a lot of resources to help them make the right decisions in their lives. Setting up an organization that connects people who want to help them and then also trains them on how to connect with them more effectively. That’s a big “why” for me and something that I’m not building at all right now. It’s my longer term focus. First, I want to master the fundamentals of connection, both from a business perspective and from a mentoring perspective, and find ways to teach others to do that effectively. I can then start plugging people into some program like that.

Another big “why” for me is getting people to listen to each other and appreciate each other. We yell at each other a lot. We’re in our silos. We don’t want to hear anybody else’s point of view. But there are far more things that we have in common than what differentiates us. I want to help people come together on those common things and discuss those that seem to differentiate us in a way that helps us appreciate each other’s points of view. Not everybody’s going to be open to that. I am thinking about bringing together groups of people in certain regions where many folks might be in my network. I bring together groups of people to connect, giving them simple pointers on connecting more effectively and helping them open up around things they might disagree about. I’ve even thought about putting an app together that connects people on what they have in common, but they have one fundamental difference. They’re both willing to have a conversation and explore that together. Those reflect my bigger “why.” If I’m achieving those things and moving in that direction, I’m feeling really good about my success.

The Mastermind Effect:  20:46

I would assume anything that deviates from that goes away from your “why.” You quickly get rid of that outside noise if it’s not going towards your common goal, which is your success or your “why,” they’re out.

Greg Rice  20:58

That’s the ideal scenario. But a lot of us don’t look at it clearly enough. I certainly don’t every day. But you always try to get back to that. The more you come back to what’s my “why,” then you can make that assessment and say, “Okay, I don’t need to be doing this thing over here.”

The Mastermind Effect:  21:10

That’s great advice.  I like how you framed it with the “Hey, what’s my why,” and then go from there for the success portion of it.

As we’re getting closer to the end, I feel that there’s always new ideas brewing when times are good. It’s easy to succeed when everyone else is being successful. Innovation and ingenuity come when we feel the squeeze, and the world has been feeling the squeeze this year. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you?



Greg Rice  21:42

What excites me is building the courses we talked about briefly before, right? Two great courses.  One is the Save methodology. It’s self-awareness and being curious about the other person, vulnerability, and empathy. Helping folks deep dive into those topics about themselves and about the people they’re speaking with to learn to connect more effectively. The other one I’m working on is around mastering conversation. How do you ask questions? How do you tell stories? How do you speak with authority? How do you learn to focus? So you can be present with that person. How do you learn to read body language and micro-expressions?

Building those courses out excites me over the next six months or so. I’m hoping to have that built out in the next two to three. From there, it’s about continuing to build the podcast, interviewing really interesting people, reading a lot of really interesting books, and just continuing to learn more about communication and helping others do the same.

The Mastermind Effect:  22:38

I’m looking forward to seeing what those courses look like. Helping promote those and making sure the right people find the right person in you and what you’re building.

What’s a tip, a tactic, an actual item that if someone listening today, implemented over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, they’d see real action and results in their personal and business life?

Greg Rice  23:01

Two simple ones. One has been huge for me.  That is just a short, easy mindfulness practice. Five minutes a day focusing on your breath. You have an idea your mind drifts; bring it back to your breath. That’s a rep. Doing that allows you to see what’s happening in your head, which allows you to be much more present with the world around you. Because you start to see that when I’m talking to you, or I’m talking to somebody else that I’ve started to see a stray thought about dinner tonight, and I’m like, “Oh, I gotta get back in focus.” It’s the practice of focusing and centering yourself to be much more present and a much better communicator.

The second piece is to start paying attention. I tell folks all the time, grab a notebook.  After you have your following conversation with somebody, take two minutes, and write down a few things like what they talked about? What was important to them? What body language did you recognize? What sparked them? What sort of emotional reactions did you see?  What were you thinking during that conversation? were you thinking about what they were saying? Were you trying to make your own point? Like, this is what I’m going to say next? What could you maybe have done differently? How could you have handled it a little bit differently? If you start doing that? And again, you don’t have to answer all those questions. If you just answer one or two on a pretty regular cadence, you’re going to start recognizing clear opportunities to get better at communicating and clear opportunities to build better relationships with people.

The Mastermind Effect:  24:25

I love that and the five-minute one. I think that’s my big takeaway and something that I could probably do better at—being open and honest. There’ll be times I’m listening to a video, and my mind starts to ramble. Well, bring it back. If I started practicing that in the mornings when I’m watching something of purpose for me, will my mind won’t even stray during moments of that as often?

Greg Rice  25:06

To a degree, and it’s not so much that it won’t stray. It’s more that you’ll catch it a lot more quickly and easily, and you can bring it back to focus. Your mind is always going to stray. You can’t stop your mind from thinking thoughts, but you can become present to them and send it to yourself again.

The Mastermind Effect:  25:08

I appreciate it. It’s been amazing. We’ve got the founder of Authentic Connection Academy and the host of The Art of Communication, Greg Rice. I appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

Greg Rice  25:21

It’s been great. Thanks for having me on.

Tweetable Quotes:

“I think self-education in the near future, especially in the entrepreneurial world, is going to continue to multiply.” – Greg Rice  

“In my sales career, some of my biggest sales, and biggest successes have come from times when I was willing to be vulnerable.” – Greg Rice

“It’s not about saying the perfect words in the perfect way, it’s about sharing that authentic passion that you have for whatever it is that you’re selling.” – Greg Rice

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Greg, check out his podcast The Art of Communication with Greg Rice on any of the major podcast platforms, or you can visit https://gregjrice.com. Also, be sure to visit https://bodylanguagemastery.gregjrice.com/ for a 6-week free body language course.

Be one of the early adopters of The Success Finder! Download it from the App Store or Google Play Store

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can live past beyond your limits.

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