Active Appreciation and Building Your Business Through Relationship Marketing | Kevin Thompson | 326

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Dan Kuschell Featured Image - episode 326

Kevin Thompson is the Founder of Tribe for Leaders, a community for high-level experts and CEOs. With this network, Kevin’s mission is to ignite opportunities for accelerated growth and impact through strategic relationships. Kevin is also the Owner of Maximum Response Marketing, where he has collaborated on hundreds of joint ventures with the world’s top leaders.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Kevin Thompson shares the five types of currencies — and why money isn’t the most important
  • Kevin’s strategies for building relationship capital in 2021
  • The mentors and role models that have guided Kevin throughout his career
  • Kevin explains how just one idea or relationship can have a huge impact on your business
  • How to practice active appreciation today

In this episode…

Are you looking to build a more purpose-driven, meaningful company, but don’t know where to start? If you’re struggling to reach the next level in your business, it may be because you’re focusing on the wrong thing: money.

According to Kevin Thompson, money is actually the least important currency when it comes to growing your business. As he says, there are four other currencies you should be focusing on: time, identity, energy, and, most importantly, relationships. When you focus on building relationships instead of making business transactions, all the other pieces start falling into place. So, what is Kevin’s advice to business leaders looking to boost their relationship capital in 2021?

Join Dan Kuschell in this episode of Growth to Freedom as he interviews Kevin Thompson, the Founder of Tribe For Leaders, about the importance of relationship capital while building a purpose-driven business. Listen in as Kevin explains why money is the least important currency and shares his strategies for practicing active appreciation today. He also reveals the mentors that have had the biggest impact on his career. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode

Thanks for listening to this episode of

Are you struggling to get a steady flow of new clients every day? Or maybe hit a plateau or hit a wall in growing your business? Well, let’s help you solve this problem today. Let’s review your business and have a conversation. You can do that for free today at That’s

In addition, if you’re looking for a simple way to implement some of what we’ve been talking about in today’s episode, I want to encourage you to get our free small business toolkit. You can get that at That’s

If you’d like access to the special resources and all the show notes for this special episode, make sure to visit

Episode Transcript

Dan Kuschell 0:06

Welcome to, the show that brings you inspiration, transformation and leadership or helping you connect the dots, see the blind spots and get unstuck. So you can go out and generate more leads, more sales, more profits. More importantly, so you can go out and have a bigger reach, a bigger impact, and make a bigger contribution. So let me ask you this. Have you ever met somebody that walks their talk on the front stage and the backstage, that is true to their values? That are someone who goes way out of their way to help others at times even more than themselves? And then you see them succeed as one of the good guys in business. Like, how does that strike you as you’re watching or listening right now, the reason I bring that up is someone who I’ve been inspired by the way he lives, the way he leads, the way he’s works at home the way he works his business and has for wealth, close to two decades that we’ve gotten a chance to know each other. He’s someone who’s a trusted connector for high level entrepreneurs for well over a decade, and helping get those introductions that literally have been worth millions and millions of dollars. He creates positive change on a global scale by facilitating these connections between influential people that get them to come together to make the world a better place. And that’s not just the same from him. That’s who he is. His name is Kevin Thompson, I’m lucky enough to call him a friend. All kinds of stuff on someone I look at as a mentor in a lot of ways because of the way he lives, his life. And I’ve been inspired by your work, Kevin, and who you are, what you do, and a whole lot more. So welcome. Welcome to this episode.

Kevin Thompson 1:53

Well, thank you, Dan. I mean, it’s my pleasure to be here cuz, man, right from the first time we’ve met all the way back in ‘07. I mean, we just, you and I just made a connection right off. And there’s been a whole lot of pretty amazing water under the bridge since then.

Dan Kuschell 2:09

Yes, and I know, you’ve had quite the business journey, you built a seven figure, you know, online business, you, you know, have helped in this range of, you know, getting people connected together for your relationship building, deal making and a whole lot more, that’s translated into multi millions, hundreds of millions of dollars over time. So, you know, you see how the world has changed, right? I mean, it’s changed, that’s just the way that it is in the last, you know, six to nine months. And, you know, you’re still, you know, really growing a great business, you’re working with a lot of entrepreneurs, so you get behind the curtain, like, you know, you’ve got, you know, close to 100 clients and a very high profile kind of community that you’ve built up called Tribe For Leaders. What do you see right out there going on right now, Kevin, that are like some of the biggest challenges or mistakes that a lot of people might be making as they’re looking at making this move with what’s happened?

Kevin Thompson 3:03

Well, you know, I think a lot a lot of entrepreneurs are right they want to grow their business and and they even want to find partners that you know, strategic partners that can help them grow their business, but a lot of times they’re focused on the wrong thing, especially when it comes to currency. You know, a lot of people think that way we got you know, we’ve all had somebody approach us and say, Hey, if you send me business if you refer business my way I’ll compensate Yeah. And you know, they they mistakenly think that money is the most important part and currency when it’s not, you know, there’s there’s four other currencies and timer is a good acronym for them. There’s time, identity, money, energy, or energy and reputation or relationships. And in many cases, you know, the relationship is the far more valuable currency to people, especially established entrepreneurs. And so when we focus on building relationships when we actually care about other people and appreciate other people you know, it’s been long said that you know, what, we appreciate appreciates and we focus on the relationship first. The other pieces just kind of start falling into place. Yeah, I

When we focus on the relationship first, the other pieces just start falling into place. - Kevin Thompson Click To Tweet

Dan Kuschell 4:26

mean, that’s there’s so so much wisdom wisdom there and that’s been a constant theme throughout our our segment here Now, I can’t I can’t help but wonder you know, the theme of this episode is really your one breakthrough away. Right? One and I have a feeling I know what you’ll say to this as it relates as you view it as what will give you that one breakthrough but you know, is you’re working again in the current now because what was working a lot of ways you know, 90 days ago, six months ago is not necessarily working the same way now is you know it but whether it’s A strategy you deploy or use or implement, or at some of your clients, as you’ve got, like I said, have close to 100 people in this amazing community. What are 1 to 3 strategies, Kevin, that could potentially lead to that next big breakthrough? As you said, What would you say?

Kevin Thompson 5:15

Sure, you know, I mean, the first thing that I, I’ve been using this for a long time is just genuinely showing appreciation for other people. Because I can tell you, and especially now, more than ever, you know, no matter how successful somebody is, no matter how big their business is, no matter how good things look for somebody else on the outside looking in, there’s not an entrepreneur, there’s not a person on the face of this planet that gets enough appreciation. And when we show you know, genuine appreciation, not with an agenda, not not with this thing of like, oh, if I give, then I’ll be able to receive too, but just give to give just show appreciation for no other reason than to just do that. Don’t look at that as a strategy or a tactic. Just let that be who you are, and you’re going to attract so many more people to you. And people will start wanting to have conversations with me, I love having conversations with entrepreneurs. And you know, I’m not looking to promote myself or promote my thing. I want to have a conversation with them. And I’m always looking for like, what what are they working on? What opportunities are they trying to take advantage of right now? Or what challenges are they dealing with right now? That and I’m always looking in the course of those conversations, and I’m thinking the back of my mind, well, based on what they’re sharing with me, who do I know, that would be the best person to connect them with based on what they just shared? And and, you know, by having those kinds of conversations with people, you know, I mean, you people talk about networking all the time, and so many networking environments, everybody’s talking about themselves and their business and what I do and this and that, and and when everybody’s talking like that, nobody’s listening, yet when we just ask questions, and then listen, because we genuinely want to know the answers. Man, when we make people feel like they’re being heard, that just endears people to us. So

Give to give. Show appreciation for no other reason than to do just that. Don't look at it as a strategy or a tactic. Just let that be who you are, and you're going to attract so many more people to you. - Kevin Thompson Click To Tweet

Dan Kuschell 7:22

that’s amazing. And as you’re listening, or you’re watching right now, like, how would it change your business? For you to be in a place where you realize that capital is not just money? Right, they’re going for an opportunity for other things, and recognizing that the probably the least important, especially for high, high level and high profile people is actually the money side. It’s the other things like time, identity, energy, reputation, then most importantly, relationship, right? And what if you made a three degree turn, because maybe you’ve been a little focused on what you get out of it focused on the wrong thing, versus what you can add to first, what you can contribute. First, what you can seek out to find first in their opportunities, like Kevin described, or their problems or challenges and just become a point guard, so to speak, and get them connected to the right people who can help it which sometimes leads to you but more times than not doesn’t, but the indirect and direct byproduct are amazing. With that as well. Now, I’m curious, Kevin, with what you do, why are you doing what you do today?

Kevin Thompson 8:36

You know, what, honestly, I just, I love being the hero, I love people come back to me and just saying, Kevin, Wow, thank you so much for that, you know, I I connected with someone so I had a conversation and whatever came from that. And it furthers the relationship capital that I have with people and, and people appreciate me for doing what I do. And that’s what feeds me. And when and when people start sharing their wins, man, I mean, that is really exciting. I mean, we hear from people on a weekly basis now, sharing their wins. And I’m Kevin, you know, I talked with so and so and this is what came from it and, and we’re doing business together now or whatever came from that. I mean, that’s totally what feeds me. And I love hearing that. And I, quite honestly, I can’t get enough. That’s what motivates me to keep doing what I want more of that. And so

Dan Kuschell 9:30

and what’s amazing about your business Kevin and I have admired for over a decade is the fact that you built it around what you want, like not accustomed one size fits all. You didn’t build it on like what everybody else thought a business could or should look like. I mean, you’ve always been very respectful of your family, very respectful of your kids and being present and available to them. Most it seems from the outside looking in, and then the business stuff around in other words, you built your business Be your lifestyle wasn’t separate residence, your front stage is one thing and backstage is another was congruent. And you’re probably one of the most congruent people that I’ve met. And you now have this business, which serves you, as well as serving others, because it’s congruent, it’s in alignment. And, you know, it’s so great to see as you know, a friend and appear and all of this different stuff, and all the success that you’re having with it. I’m curious, because both of us have invested a lot in coaching, we’ve invested a lot in mentoring, we’ve invested a lot in masterminds and all these different types of things, probably both of us well over seven figures in our investment into our growth, right, overall. And we see it as a real ROI, return on investment, return on interaction return on implementation, versus a cost. So who has been a couple of your favorite, you know, coaches or mentors or guides along the way that you’d want to, you know, shout out?

Kevin Thompson 11:01

Well, easily hands down Joe Polish. I mean, in fact, he was my introduction to direct response marketing all the way back in 1996, was when I met Joe. And, and, and through watching Joe, and watching what he does, and how he because Joe is brilliant at connecting with people and being a connector to, and he’s definitely been a role model for me. And, and, you know, I look at how long he and I have been friends. I mean, my goodness, that’s 24 years now. And it’s it’s been such an amazing experience, another friend of mine, Jesse Elder has also become a huge mentor to me, I met Jesse in 2012. And just his whole take, I mean, this whole idea of active appreciation, and really, you know, understanding that appreciation is what is like that opens the door to so much more. And that’s just one of the things that I learned from I’ve learned so much from Jesse over the years, but like, those two guys, they have had a huge, huge impact on my life over the years.

Dan Kuschell 12:11

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Now, if you I mean, if you’re listening, or you’re watching, and you, you know, are intrigued and gone beyond intrigued, and you’re fascinated to apply the idea of connection, you’re fascinated to apply and implement the idea of adding value first of seeking out to understand, you know, where someone is out with their opportunities, or where they’re at with their challenges and really become really focused on them first, right? And you can see how this could help your business. Right, Kevin? How can people connect with you learn more about you or learn more about all the great resources you guys have available?

Kevin Thompson 12:52

Oh, I’ll tell you I, I’m a big fan of Facebook. And be a quite honestly, you know what I’m not. I just have not used LinkedIn that much. I’m firmly entrenched on Facebook. I love sharing, you know, insights that I’ve learned along the way and connecting with people there and just Yeah, really easy. look me up on Facebook. Kevin Thompson, I think it’s Kevin the connector, you can hit me up there. And if you know, if you saw this podcast, you can like you know, shoot me a message let me know that you found out about me through Dan. I mean, that would be a great way and and hit me up. And if it makes sense. I’m more than happy to make time to talk and get to know you a little bit better.

Dan Kuschell 13:31

So I encourage you to go check out what Kevin’s doing. Go find him on Facebook, Kevin Thompson Kevin the connector, Kevin Thompson, Kevin the connector, and find out like you want to meet somebody maybe like you that’s realizes that your business can be meaningful, that it can be purpose driven, that you can build it on your terms, that you can still be an amazing husband, you can be an amazing father of how many kids 897 I don’t know that many. Sounds amazing. Right? And, and run a great business at the same time you want to work with someone and get to know you know, get a look under the hood. I encourage you to reach out and learn more about what Kevin’s up to as well. You can do that. Go check them out on Facebook, Kevin the connector, Kevin Thompson. Now Kevin, what’s something I should have asked you that we didn’t just get a chance in again, these are just short segments. But what’s something I could or should have asked you that we didn’t?

Kevin Thompson 14:29

You know, we didn’t talk about this, but I got to give you a shout out Dan, because several years ago, you and I had that one conversation when I was running the training business where you you were like, Kevin, what if you do this? And I say wow, I don’t know. But that sounds interesting. So we did implement that and i i forgot the actual dot i can find it I forgot the actual dollar amount of revenue that came from it, but I know when you follow it up with Several years later, and as I had my assistant bought up, and I know, it was over 600,000 from that one thing, and and we implemented that, and so you know, I mean, first and I want to acknowledge you for that. And and just really kind of point out that you know, what, one idea one one thing when implemented Well, can be worth so much revenue for your business. And and you know, one relationship and I look Dan, you know, how long do you and I have known each other and like, now with everything that’s going on and and you know, like one relationship can be so valuable. And you know, don’t focus on the building of the relationships. And of course, the implementation piece too. When you when you when you hear from mentors who give you ideas and say, Hey, you should try this. You know, what, don’t don’t just pull that stuff off, if it resonates, if it hit hits home, then implement take action on it, because man, you’re gonna see results.

One idea, one thing, when implemented well, can be worth so much revenue for your business. - Kevin Thompson Click To Tweet

Dan Kuschell 16:01

So true. In fact, speaking of results, and taking what what are 1 to 3 action steps you hope that our viewers our listeners take from our conversation?

Kevin Thompson 16:09

Well, first of all, I hope the the whole active appreciation thing, I mean, reach out to somebody right now you know, you have contacts in your phone, you know, look through those contacts and send out some messages of appreciation, don’t ask for anything in return. Just send out some messages, let people in your life know one thing that you genuinely appreciate about them, and just send some of those messages. And I guarantee you, you send seven to 10 of those messages out, you’re gonna make people’s lives and you watch what happens when you try to watch the response that you get. And when you see that, I will assure you, it’s going to be like, wow, I want to do a lot more than that.

Dan Kuschell 16:50

There you have it, I encourage you to take action with what Kevin shared with you, you know, recognize that people get engaged with you, and your products and your service for different reasons than just money. Right? It’s time its identity, its energy, its reputation, its relationship, and then maybe Maybe it has something to do with the financial reward. Let’s make sure you’re not focused on the wrong thing. Let’s focus on the right thing, your potential conversation. One person, one relationship can open the door to so many opportunities, so many opportunities. You keep hearing that repetitive theme throughout this series that we’ve been sharing with you act of appreciation, identify their opportunities and challenges. And who can you help get them connected to you want to learn more about Kevin? Go find him on Facebook, Kevin Thompson, Kevin the connector. You know, Kevin, your gift to me to my family, your gift to business, your gift to the world, man. I’m just incredibly appreciative of your, the way you operate. I love the way you operate and show up in the world. And I’m grateful to call you a friend and also doing business together, which is a lot of fun to.

Kevin Thompson 18:04

Well, thank you, Dan. I mean, the feeling is 100% mutual, appreciate you too.

Dan Kuschell 18:09

So there you have it. Now we got a love fest going we’re gonna roast marshmallows and sing Kumbaya. No, just kidding. So take action, seize the day with what Kevin shared with you. And by the way, send us a note. Send out those seven, 5, 10, 15 seven messages, act of appreciation, and then drop Kevin and I a note and let us know the impact? Let us know because I can promise you what Kevin shared with you. It will open up whole new doors and doorways of opportunity that you never thought possible. And then what will happen likely is you go What if I did this once a week? What if I did this twice a week? Oh, what if I did this three times a week. And then you start getting this cascading this exponential. It’s almost like a penny doubling every day, which is why Kevin has gotten the results he has and you can start having the ability by just doing something simple act of appreciation. Take advantage of it, seize the day, and come from the right place and watch what happens for you, your business your family more. That’s it for this episode. Thanks for watching, and come back to this episode of If you never want to miss an episode go to Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next time to freedom calm. Thanks for listening to this episode of Are you struggling to get a steady flow of new clients every day? Or maybe hit a plateau or hit a wall and growing your business? Let’s help you solve this problem today. Let’s review your business and have a conversation. Do that for free today at That’s In addition, if you’re looking for a simple way to implement some of what we’ve been talking about in today’s episode, I want to encourage you to get our free small business toolkit. You get that at, that’s If you’d like access to the special resources and all the show notes for this special episode, make sure to visit


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