Turning Loss into Leadership with Business Expert Robert Poole

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Show Notes:

As your business grows, you can get easily caught up in the everyday operations and lose sight of the bigger picture. That’s when it’s time to shift from an ‘operator’ to a ‘business owner’ mindset. Our guest will tell you how!

Meet Robert Poole. Robert is the Co-Founder and CEO of Total Business Results, a marketing company that helps small businesses that sell to other businesses consistently grow their sales and revenue. With over 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship, business consulting, and marketing, he is the go-to person for creating effective and customized marketing strategies. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a BS in Economics. Before launching his own company, he served as an officer in the US Army and worked in various industries, such as commercial real estate, technology, and financial services.

Robert is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs who are tied to their businesses to transition from operator to owner in their business and achieve their well-deserved freedom.

In this episode of the Think Business with Tyler podcast, we talk about the importance of accountability in entrepreneurship, why business is a team sport, the power of a simple mindset shift in business, and why your ‘Owner Time’ should be your top priority.

If you want to regain control over your business growth and redefine your approach to entrepreneurship, this episode is perfect for you!



💡 Name: Robert Poole

💡 What he does: Robert is the Co-Founder and CEO of Total Business Results.

💡 Noteworthy: He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a BS in Economics.

💡 Key Quote: “When things just can’t seem to [work out], like there’s no hope at the end of the tunnel, but if you put your one foot forward, you get through the day, sometimes that’s all it takes.”

💡 Where to find Robert: LinkedIn

Key Insights


Accountability is a crucial skill for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is unpredictable, and you can never know what’s waiting for you around the corner. While external factors often throw curveballs your way, how you handle them defines you as an entrepreneur.

Robert emphasizes the key role of accountability. He says, “The idea also was to teach you accountability and teach you that no matter what the situation is, you have to take responsibility for it. If you want to be a leader in business, that’s so critical. And that’s one of the things that has really helped me realize that. I can look at a problem and say, ‘Geez, it’s the economy,’ or ‘It’s this vendor that messed with us, this employee screwed up,’ all I can come up with all these excuses. But if I don’t take ownership of that and realize, you know what, it starts with me. I need to take responsibility for it and accountability for it because that puts us in a position of power in a position of power to deal with things that if we try to mentally pawn it off on somebody else, it doesn’t work.”

Business is a team sport. We cannot emphasize this enough – your business is a team sport. Success requires a collective effort, and you can hardly do it alone. As a business leader, it’s crucial to adopt this mindset if you want to see your venture succeed. Robert explains, “This is a team type of thing. It’s just like any good sports team that the best ones are the ones that are not focused on themselves and are focused on the team as a whole, and that includes everyone from the quarterback, you know, on the football team to the lineman, everybody else. So, when you’re the leader, you’ve got to get your ego out of the way and realize that somebody who,  from an economic perspective and their status and everything, the receptionist, may have ideas that are just as valuable or even more valuable than the executive has been there for years.”

A simple mindset shift can make all the difference in business. Sometimes, a simple mindset shift can change your business results. When you change your focus from chasing to attracting and from selling to serving, you can achieve unbelievable results for your business. Robert shares an interesting example regarding cold calling. He says, “If we focus on the people that are actually looking for us that need us and we focus on their needs, which, I was talking about how I had that backward for many years. If we look at it in the sense that there’s somebody on that list that we’re calling that is waiting for us to call, they need what we have to offer.”

Schedule your ‘Owner Time’ ahead. Your ‘Owner Time’ is an important time period that allows you to reflect on where you are, envision where you want to be, and plan how to get there. That’s why it’s so critical to always set aside at least an hour per day for your ‘Owner Time.’

Robert explains, “We’re so caught up in our day-to-day doing tasks in our business that it’s very hard to focus on the bigger picture of things like growing our company, the direction we’re going on, the large strategy, the big picture, owner type of mentality things. […] So I developed this thing I call ‘owner time,’ which is I personally do it for an hour a day, and it was difficult when I started, but basically I spent an hour, I took a half an hour, and I literally go into, I’ve been an empty office that I sit down with a pen and a piece of paper and I think about what’s going on in the business. I think about, where are we now and what kind of company are we trying to be?”

Top Quotes


“When things just can’t seem to [work out], like there’s no hope at the end of the tunnel, but if you put your one foot forward, you get through the day, sometimes that’s all it takes.”

“When you have a business partner, sometimes I found that you mentally, it’s kind of a crutch, if you will, because you think, well, if something bad happens, it’s like, well, maybe he should have done X, Y, Z. It’’s a mental crutch that there’s somebody else involved, but it’s a whole different deal when the buck stops with you.”

“It changed me and forced me to change into the kind of person who could handle a company of that size by themselves and become that person and change our company because we fundamentally changed the way we did business within the years afterwards and it was because sometimes in life, you get forced into re-evaluating things.”

“We’re all connected. We’re all so critical, and I’m a big believer that as human beings, we’re all equal, and our value and everything so regardless of what our particular position is.”

“The biggest asset we have is our people. From maybe from an outsider investor’s perspective, it might be our client list or something. But from small business owners, if something really bad happens, we get sued out of business, any number of things, if we’ve got the right team in place, we can rebuild.”

“Cold calling is like any form of marketing. Everything works sometimes, but most things for our businesses as small business owners are not going to work for our business. The key is finding those few strategies that do work and putting all of our resources into that.”

“There’s things you can do to help keep your mental focus. One technique that really helped me early on. I remember a sales trainer talked to us about, if you come into the morning, you’ve got to make an hour of cold calls that day. You decide that’s what you want to do. Don’t do it at the end of the day or the middle of the day. When you walk into the office in the morning or walk in your home office, whatever it is, don’t look at your email, don’t check social media, don’t listen to your voicemails, don’t do any of that stuff.  Anything that could potentially have any kind of negativity or whatever, and jump on that first phone call.”


The Road Less Stupid by Keith J. Cunningham

Total Business Results Website

Email Robert at robert@operatortoowner.net

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