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Ep. 191 – Curt Mercadante shut down his 7 figures agency: “My wife and I, sold our home and we’re just traveling around with our four kids.”

Curt Mercadante Headshot

Curt Mercadante helps businesses and entrepreneurs increase their authority brand exposure to the right clients so they can make more money.

For 25 years, he has counseled small business, entrepreneurs, as well as some of the largest corporations and associations in the country.

He’s built three profitable businesses, including a 7-figure Public Relations and Advertising agency.

Curt is Gallup-Certified Strengths Trainer, host of the Freedom Mindset Radio podcast, and author of the bestselling book, “Five Pillars of the Freedom



Curt and his wife sold their home and most of their possessions. Now they are just traveling around with their four kids.


Most passionate about

  • There’s business, which is important, but to me, the key is aligning your business with your family, your relationships, and your self-care.
  • The most important thing in our life, my wife and I, is that we sold our home and most of our possessions. Now we’re just traveling around with our four kids.
  • The reason we’re able to do that is because I’ve built what I consider a freedom business. It allows me to work virtually and serve my clients by doing what I love, what I feel like I was meant to do.

Best advice for entrepreneurs

  • The biggest thing is that we often think, when it comes to entrepreneurship or sales or branding or dealing with customers, that our biggest tool, our biggest weapon, is our mouths.
  • People love to be asked about themselves. People love to talk about themselves. And so when you ask the question and then just kind of shut your mouth and sit back and listen—you learn, right?
  • That learning mindset helps you to grow. It helps you to serve the client and what they want. We often think that we know what the client needs, whether it’s a potential client or an existing client. In either case, you have to use those ears. And then you’ve got success.

The biggest, most critical failure with customers

  • I built a successful seven-figure public relations and ad agency over 14 years. It grew and grew and grew. The problem was, I built a company around the definition of success that other people had.
  • I took money from clients who maybe didn’t value me. I took money from clients whom I didn’t really like working with, who didn’t fit my vision. I built that up over time and I became obsessed with growing the company, to the detriment of my health and my family. I wasn’t the husband and father that I knew I could be.
  • From a revenue standpoint, I woke up on a Tuesday morning and I shut it down. I said, “I’ve had enough.” I had been having anxiety attacks for years.

Biggest success with customers

  • When I shut down my agency, I started my new company, coaching and consulting and doing workshops and boot camps with entrepreneurs.
  • I had built my company off of rock-solid sales principles, having conversations with people, and not relying on “I’m just going to run a bunch of ads and hope I get clients.”
  • Impact story: That one sentence that clearly communicates the positive impact your clients get from working with you. If you don’t know those things, I don’t care how many ads you run, how much money you throw at it. It’s going to be garbage in, garbage out.
  • Time-honored principles of communication: Know your customer, know your impact story, and then together, a process that used the tools available to you at that time.

Curt’s recommendation of a tool

  • From an authority branding standpoint, and depending on what industry you’re in, it’s such a valuable tool because people are there to do business.
  • People put information about their work on LinkedIn. And so, LinkedIn has those tools to find people and get clients. I help people get clients by putting out content on LinkedIn and creating that community.
  • LinkedIn is vital. I think it should be the primary authority branding network in your arsenal.

Curt’s one key success factor

  • I think it’s a sense of detachment—when you focus on the process and become a little less attached to the results because there are things you can control and things you can’t control.
  • Don’t listen to your friends. Go on and start that company.
  • But take advice from some people who have done something. Take advice from some big thinkers. Don’t listen to the limiting beliefs of some people around you. I call them the scarcity pimps.

Curt’s Mountain

Since we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, I want to ask you: Is there a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed?

  • There are a few things to do when you’re going up that mountain. Number one is to define the peak and where you want to go. Then you should reverse-engineer it down to base camp.
  • So, one key is defining that vision, defining that peak, and then reverse engineering.
    • When you do that, it prevents you from just throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. You have a clear vision of where you want to go.
  • You and I might be going up separate mountains and we each have our own strengths.
    • All we have are what I call untapped superpowers, which are your talents. Those are naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior. When you invest in them, you turn them into strengths.
    • Once you use your innate strengths and superpowers and amplify them, instead of worrying about your weaknesses, you’ll find that they help and propel you.
  • Those are the climbing tools that help you get up that mountain toward that clearly identified peak.
Climbing mountains peek after peek - illustration



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