EP107: Melissa Agnes – The Ultimate Roadmap To Business Invincibility

Crisis ready.

No matter the size, type, or industry of your business, being crisis ready will help you to be perfectly prepared for anything life throws at you.Our guest today is the author of Crisis Ready - Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World. Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. She is a coveted speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today's leading organizations faced with the greatest risks, helping them become crisis ready and build brand invincibility.

During this interview, you'll discover...

  • Why it's important to become crisis ready 

  • What it means to build an invincible brand

  • How to prevent and manage issues before they become catastrophic, with the aim of never having them become catastrophic at all

To learn more about Melissa Agnes, visit here.

For her Facebook page, click here

For her Twitter page, discover here.

For her LinkedIn page, go here.

To get a copy of her book - Crisis Ready, check this out.


Michael Palmer: 01:24 Welcome back to the successful bookkeeper podcast, I am your host, Michael Palmer, and today's show is going to be a good one. Our guest is the leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. She has a coveted speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today's leading organizations faced with the greatest risk. Melissa Agnes, welcome to the podcast.

Melissa Agnes: 01:49 Well, thank you for having me, Michael. It is my pleasure and honor to be here.

MP: 01:53 It's so great to have you. And you know, uh, you seem to be all over the place advising people, all sorts of organizations, uh, big and small, but at a, at a global level. And I think it's such an opportunity for our listeners to hear what you've been up to for, for your career and, and helping small businesses get prepared for what risk may be coming out their businesses. But before we get into some of these questions, tell us about your career leading up to this point.

MA: 02:22 Oh, leading up to this point. Um, okay. So I have been an entrepreneur my entire adult life and I started off on, my goodness, it's kind of embarrassing. I started up doing photo montage is for senior people who were, I lost more money than I made in every sale. Um, you know, back in the day when I was very young and just starting off. But you know what it led to where I am today. So from that led to a digital kind of online agency that focused on branding and social and a website development and different things for digital, the digital realm for brands. And one thing to note I suppose about me is the way that my brain works and has always worked for as long as I can remember, is I see risk everywhere and then it takes on this pattern. So I see risk, I see mitigation strategies for risk and then I see opportunity through that mitigation, this kind of, if I were to put my brain into a linear fashion to describe it, that's the way that it has always kind of just played out.

MA: 03:31 And so back almost 10 years ago now, I was doing social media strategies right at the cusp of, you know, in time when brands were just figuring out that they could use social, that they should use social, that it presented all of these wonderful opportunities. And from there I remember one day, one morning doing my morning reading and it just struck me, why is nobody talking about all of the risks, all of the risks of technology, of the digital landscape, of you know, real-time communication, 24 seven news cycle at two way communication, all of these different factors that were becoming very, very prevalent in, you know, businesses day today. And then through that, of course, my brain went to, if we understand these risks, we can mitigate them. And then on top of that, through the mitigation, there's all of these wonderful opportunities that are unprecedented to actually communicate with our stakeholders in times of need.

MA: 04:25 And so that kind of triggered something within me, which led to about a year of studying, learning everything that I could on the topic of crisis management with before that point in time I didn't realize was a thing, and yet I discovered this thing that just really, really resonated with the person and the human. You know, the way that my I'm made up and at the same time I also realized that nobody was talking about all of these, you know, the digital components of all of this, which I kept turning to my business partner at when I pull them points saying there's something here, there's something here, there's something here. I just don't know exactly what it is. And then one morning I get a call from one of my clients, which was real estate investment trust. We had just launched their website and the VP called the very, very early saying in a panic saying, our president's in the car with a prospective investor, the radio is reporting that one of our buildings is about to explode.

MA: 05:23 Our investors are very concerned. They're thinking of with withdrawing their money. It's not true. It's total rumor. Apparently, this rumor started on Twitter. We have no idea what Twitter is, but we hear it's a digital thing and since you just launched our website, we thought to call you, can you help us? Right person to call. I walked in within a half an hour, I had the media correcting themselves. I had you know, the right information streamlining to investors. Anyways, long story short, I had the president of the company called me the next morning thanking me saying not only did our unit price not go down since yesterday, it actually went up a sense. Thank you so much. And that was my moment of, oh my goodness, I know what my purpose is in, you know, in this world, I had no idea where it would take me. I had no idea to what extent this was my purpose, but it was the, it was the catalyst for this career path and I jumped, I jumped a was started a blog.

MA: 06:16 Mine was the first in the world to really start addressing really big issues and, and thoughts and ideas and concepts that people, I felt people, businesses, professionals needed to be raising and they weren't and a right place right time. It kind of picked up from there. Wow, that's such an interesting story. I made the back story how it came to be and then really ultimately being put to the test where you actually created such an economic difference. I mean, you said 1 cent. I imagine that one sentiment that a lot of money to somebody. What I think no one was thinking about this or talking about it. I think, well, so you know, when I'm fluttering, it's a good question. Um, I have two kind of answers that I can give. One is when, so when I started blogging, mine was the first to start really addressing these issues at, or I was the first and I'm very, very prevalent online.

MA: 07:10 So I'm very, when there's something to think about or to talk about or to raise, I raise it. And I've always been like that. And I remember when I started the blog, I had a lot of, had many crisis management, longstanding crisis management professionals that were nearing retirement came to me and said, we found your work yet we absolutely agree that these are issues. We don't necessarily know if this whole digital thing is a fad or a trend or you know, how long it's going to last. And we're nearing retirement so we don't necessarily want to learn it, but we are smart enough to know that our clients need your services now can we partner? So there was one component there about, you know, it just those who were doing it didn't see it the way that I did and just happened to be that way.

MA: 07:57 And then the other component was, I remember when I first started, the reason that my business has always been primarily American is because even the Americans were more receptive to it. So I remember sitting down with businesses in Canada, which I'm Canadian, so that's where I was living. And they would look at me and say, Canadian companies don't have crises. So there was this mindset of being closed off to anything result, anything. Nobody wanted to look at the risk of anything. And that's what I do is I look at the risk, I prevent the preventable and I help organizations prepare and be ready for the unpreventable. Americans were more receptive to that, but I was also a little bit ahead of, that's why I was the first, right. So I was a little bit ahead of the curve. I saw something coming that people weren't ready necessarily to see it. So I basically had to, I basically created a marketplace of one as a friend of would say, and that would made it extra difficult. Today it's easier today, it's easier to, people see the risk everywhere and they realize how prevalent it is and they realize that they're not ready for it, the smart ones anyways. Whereas before it was kind of creating this market where I saw a need, but they didn't necessarily know or realize that this need existed and pertain to them yet.

MP: 09:17 Beautiful. Well, you know, I think that our listeners is probably a lot of listeners that are, are doing a fist pump right now in the air going yes, you know, someone else's is looking at these things. Cause often it's a, you know, people don't pay attention to things until they absolutely have to and then often it's too late. Um, and so, you know, I think our, our listeners as bookkeepers are, it's part of what they do is looking for the, the, the black and white in situations and making sure that it's eyes wide open and, and really looking at what the truth is, what the reality is and then preparing for that and dealing with whatever that might be at.MA: 09:54 Well, I mean, absolutely. And as bookkeepers, you do such a service for your clients just in preventing risk. When you do your job well, you mitigate risk for your clients and risks that is preventable. So therefore no excuse, right? As like from the client's perspective. Um, and does wonders in letting them sleep easier at night, have all of it risk mitigation. So 100% I agree.

MA: 10:22 There's more fist-pumping happening.

MP: 10:34 Awesome and so this came up you, you had this Aha moment really, and an economic like wow. For a client and then now it's taken you all over the world. What, what sets you're going to be in like?

MA: 10:46 It's been wonderful. I love my job. Um, it's funny, my, my little sister who is 19 at came and stayed with me in New York last week. It was her first time and I spent the whole week with her. I did about an average of two hours a day on work. And as much as I love and adore her, she's one of my favorite humans on this planet. I was, I missed my work. So I really, really, really love what I do. So that's, you know, it's been wonderful, but it's, I don't know how I started, so I can remember the precise moment when I knew that this was my, my path, this was my, my calling, if you will, if you will. I don't remember the precise moment that I decided to be a public speaker. I do remember a moment in grade eight winning an award, as you know, did giving a speech and having this feeling within me or this knowledge within me that one day I would do this, but I don't remember how that actually developed to be. I just know that I started one day and I love it and I continue, so it's the speaking that takes me around the world and then it's the advisory work I do for clients sometimes takes me to travel depending on the client, but a lot of that is is I'm tapped into virtually.

MP: 12:01 Yeah. Now it's interesting, your background, you said that you see risk and you see the Pitino this, it's like this way about you throughout your life. Do you, do you see where there were places in your life that showed you how to actually take this on and handle them?

MA: 12:20 More and more? I'm starting to realize in the last, really in the last about six to eight months, I've really started to realize how much crisis readiness, everything that I teach, everything that I do with clients, everything that's in my book is really, really who I am and always has been since I was a kid. So it's, it's interesting, I mean, I mean it's interesting to me. So for example, so I talk about, I often talk about identifying your high-risk scenarios. So every single business, I don't care if you're, you know, solo preneurs right through to the biggest brand in the world. There are a handful of high-risk scenarios, so most likely high impact events that can strike your organization that you're the most prone or vulnerable to every single business has. You know, whether it's two or three or a dozen of these high-risk scenarios that pertained to them, you know, and, and then I, I go into my work that I do as an advisor as well as where I, where I take people throughout the book is diving into those high risk scenarios and preventing the preventable and planning effectively.

MA: 13:28 For the unpreventable so that you are crisis ready and all of that to say, to answer your question, to bring it back full circle, about nearly a year ago, my husband and I got divorced and I realized today that we were together for 12 beautiful years. And in that, throughout that relationship, because I was preparing, so when you're in a relationship, one of your high-risk scenarios are split, right? Splitting up. That's it's, it's a high-risk scenario if you want to look at it through that Lens. And I was doing things throughout that relationship to allow us, enable us, help us be crisis ready for that potential risk one day if it were to materialize. And as a result things like setting tone or addressing it, talking about an advance, telling him things like I hope that I don't conform. I don't be, I have a strong thing with that.

MA: 14:21 And I was saying to him that if one day we aren't in love anymore, I hope that we are strong enough to, you know, hug each other, wish each other well and leave each other right. Not stay where we're not happy. And that's exactly what happened. And when we, not that we weren't happy anymore, we just weren't in love anymore. But when it happened I was able to call back on those things, those, you know, seeds that I had planted throughout the relationship and say things to him that enabled us to have this mutual goal of best case scenario. What we are striving to achieve in this throughout this divorce is a friendship because we both love each other dearly. We shared 12 beautiful years together and I don't, I don't want a picture of my life without him. I just don't want to be married to him anymore and vice versa.

MA: 15:10 So even throughout the management of that, let's call it a crisis because no matter what, it's an emotional time, it's difficult. It's difficult in every single regard, right? Just separating everything and going through the motions and life changes and all of these different things. Today we're 10 months out from the day that we decided made the decision and he's one of my dearest, dearest friends. So just to say that I, I'm, it's only now looking back in retrospect that I was doing everything that I talk about in my book and everything that I do with clients from a professional standpoint, a business standpoint I was doing in my marriage to address one of these high-risk scenarios. And so yeah. So yes, it is intrinsically who I am and how I see the world. And I really believe that being crisis ready means that your entire team can identify a rising risk in real-time is trained to understand and to assess properly the material impact that it presents to the organization.

MA: 16:12 So is it an issue versus is it a potential crisis and then can respond in a way that doesn't just manage the incident but manages it in a way that fosters increased trust and credibility in the brand. And that's where that lens of if you are crisis ready, you have built brand invincibility because it means that you can withstand or weather any type of negative event that may strike your organization or your business in a way that you walk out of it with even more trust. And credibility built up with those who matter most to your business, if that makes sense.

MP: 16:45 It does. It does. And I think what might be helpful is maybe a, an example, I know I've seen you sort of bring up different examples, uh, that are popular examples. I guess you could say. What would be one that you would typically share in one of your talks of a company that is crisis ready?

MA: 16:59 Well, a situation where maybe not, maybe they weren't crazy. I think I, the one I looked at that is very common was I think it's the United with the guitar.

MP: 17:11 Yeah. I mean, yeah, United United United's an interesting case study because one of my crisis ready roles is people above process and bottom line always United has the opposite culture process and bottom line above people. So they're constantly, you know, making gaps in the media, in the news. I'm dealing with issue management because they have a backwards culture and my perspective. Um, but if we want to look at something that I find at one of the case studies, one of, you know, some, a recent event that happened at the start of this year that is just so fascinating to me. I love it. Is happened with a crockpot. Do you remember that one? I don't. So at the beginning, do you watch this as us or did you, do you know of that show? I don't. Okay. I don't want to be, so neither did I. This is us as one of the most popular television shows on at nighttime television shows how prime time right now it's, it's been on for federal no button.

MA: 18:14 Likewise. Because when this happened, I watched it because it was a potential crisis for Crockpot and I was fascinated, but I had never seen the show, never heard of the show. If you go back and you watch this five minute, second segments, so basically this is us. Has the father dies in the show and everybody knows that he's dead, but nobody knows how he dies. So there's this buildup to the storyline of how he dies. He dies because, so finally I think in February, January, February of this year, they put out that show and it's this 5 million minute, brilliantly crafted segment, you know, of, of television that I'd never seen the show before. And it, it almost brought me to tears. Like it's beautifully, beautifully crafted as a storyline and as a production. So he dies because, so the scene is, he's in his kitchen at night, he's cleaning up, he's cleaning the kitchen, he's going to bed.

MA: 19:06 He turns on a generic slow cooker. It's not a crockpot machine, it's not, this is not product placement. It's a generic slow cooker that the storyline of this generic slow, slow cooker is that it was very old and a little bit faulty. So he turns it on, he goes to bed, this slow cooker, short circuits and sets flames to the house and he dies of smoke inhalation. So that's the storyline. And that takes about five minutes to, to really reveal this story through and through. Now, if we look at from the perspective of people, of society, of those who love, love, love this show, and watch it every week and they love this character, they're sitting at home, they're watching this show, they, if it almost brought me to tears and I'd never even seen the show, imagine the way that it captivated them on this emotional level and then their minds went, oh my goodness, I have a crockpot machine.

MA: 19:59 I don't want my family to die. That is literally like the pattern and it's not necessarily logical, but that doesn't matter because it had that emotional relatability factor and now logic goes out the window. We can never Trump emotion with logic. It's another one of my crisis ready rules. So in this sense it's very, very real and it instills this deep-seated fear that, oh my goodness, I don't want this to happen to my family. So crockpot wakes up the next morning. They weren't even on Twitter at the time, and they realize that there are thousands upon thousands of loyal customers threatening to throw out their crockpot machines because they are scared that this terrible incident might happen to their family. And so they wake up. It's primarily on Twitter. It's on, it's being talked about it.

MP: 20:53 Dave Colbert.

MA: 20:53 Uh, what's his name? He did a, sorry, go ahead.

MP: 20:54 Stephen Colbert.

MA: 20:55 Thank you. Yes, that's him. He did a monologue on it. It was in local morning talk shows like this. This new went viral and people were very, very upset and very scared. And so this is something that nobody can foresee. This is us. Couldn't foresee this happening. They didn't even put crap out in the picture. It was generic. A generic slow cooker crockpot could not have foreseen. This w I talked earlier about identifying your high-risk scenarios. This is not something we could have identified. It's not preventable because you can't, you can't fathom that it'll ever happen. And yet it did happen and it was a potential crisis for crockpot because they risked these longstanding customers having a negative association, emotional association with the brand and throwing up their crockpot machines and never buying from the brand again, so they did not want to lose those customers.

MA: 21:50 Whether it was one customer, I don't believe in any one customer being statistically insignificant as my friend Dave Carroll puts it, so whether it was one customer or 10,000 customers, there was this risk of this longterm negative sentiment on the brand as a results of this series, this show or the storyline and the way that crockpot answered this is for me, this was true crisis readiness. It was true brilliance, so they quickly jumped onto Twitter. They created a Twitter account, which was first moved to make because it the story, the, the crisis, let's call it the issue was going viral on Twitter. They then realized that they cannot, a lesser brand would have potentially said something like, this is irrational. This is crazy. In the history of our company, we have never set fire to a house. Nobody has ever died because of a crockpot machine like this is irrational and crazy.

MA: 22:50 A lesser company would have risked either saying, this will die down. I'm not even going to pay attention to this. Or it could have just come out and said, guys, this is ridiculous. It's a fiction fictional TV show. Like, come on. Right? So we had the risk of either one of those two responses, however, that would have done nothing. It would not have served, and either one of those cases. Instead, what Crockpot did was they understood that they could not come out and just say, this is ridiculous. You're being rational. They had to validate the emotions of their customers, otherwise, they would never have reached or communicated with them in an effective way that reached their brains, the logical side of their brains, because it was emotion had taken over. So what they did, and I'm paraphrasing here, but they basically went onto Twitter and they said things like, we are devastated with you.

MA: 23:41 We can't believe this is the way that Jack died, you where our hearts are broken with along with you. So they really, they focus first and foremost on validating emotion and relating to their audience on that emotional level. And then they followed through with, but we want you to know that your family safety has always been our priority and here is the proofs. And then they point to the logic and the stats and the history and the data that, you know, our machines are designed to never let this happen. And as a result of this brilliant Li intuitive and emotionally intelligence affective and quick response, I didn't take time to do this. They jumped on it the second they detected it, they were able to change the narrative. They were able to connect even closer with their stakeholders on an emotionally relatable level and they did not suffer any, what I call a crisis response penalties, CRP, as a result. So I love this example because it comes out of left field, like you can never expect this to happen or fathom that it could ever happen. And yet they responded so brilliantly because they were crisis ready.

MP: 24:58 It's such an interesting story and yeah, it makes a could have gone really, really sideways, something that's completely made up, but yet people watching that show, it's part of their reality and, and I love the story of how they connected with them on their level first and then reinforced once you have th they, they basically went in connected at what was happening and then we're able to change, like you say, the narrative's such an interesting example of the work that you do and this is a, what I love about it too is such an interesting kept vowels like waiting to hear what, how did they ae, how did what happened and then how did they actually deal with it. I was part of thinking of, you know, I have a family and you know right away I could feel the agitation and fear in myself. Right? It's like what are we plugging in or not plugging in at night? My first was like, I'm never plugging in a slow cooker at night again. I think a way to leave that up to the day, at least I could put the fire out or get out of the house while I'm awake.

MA: 25:58 Absolutely. And that, and so think of that on a scale of, you know, there's millions of people, I think it's, I think it's 13 or 14 million people that watch this show every week. We get absurd. I have the stats somewhere, so don't quote me on that. It might be a little bit off. It's a little bitty ball, like millions and millions of people. Yes.

MP: 26:17 You know, it's like, ah, I used to be growing up, I watched, you know, my, it was more of the a the nineties I guess. Or was it? Yeah, 90s with Seinfeld and friends and all that. We were just having a conversation the other day about how those were such a big part of our life and how connected we were to those. That's what it is today, but probably times two or three, uh, so massive amounts of followers watching these shows. And so the impact could have been catastrophic for the brand.

MA: 26:45 Absolutely. And, and like I said, a Lesser Brennan, I say a lesser brand, I mean a less crisis ready brand. Um, could have easily said, guys, this is ridiculous. Either it'll die down or just come out and said, guys, this is ridiculous. You know, and it would not have resonated. It would not have had the power. And again, crisis readiness is being able to do this instinctively and in a way that fosters increased trust and credibility and the brand doesn't just manage it, comes, manages it in a way that builds that relationship, that connection on an emotionally relatable level. And it's a challenging thing to do when things are going viral against your organization. Nevermind when you're blindsided by that by reality,

MP: 27:29 You're absolutely right. And I think one of the key factors must be having an organization with the right values meant, you mentioned United Airlines in their value system or crockpot probably has a better value system and set up where the customer really is first. I love how your first one is, you know, uh, humans before numbers. Was that what was headed just bottom line always. Yeah. Which is a great place to start. Tell me a little bit about what you would recommend a small business owner to be thinking about small to medium sized business owner to be thinking about around their own crisis and brand protection.

MA: 28:09 Oh, great question. Um, so there's a couple things and it's, it's a simple process that can go really, really long way in helping build Brendan Mitzi ability. The first thing is define issue versus crisis for your organization. Because of a crisis for one organization or for one company does not necessarily translate into a crisis for another. So, and I'm, I won't just leave that like that. I'm going to give it to you. So the definition, like a high level base point to start from crisis is a negative event or situation that stops business as usual to some extent. It stops business as usual and requires direct escalation straight to the top of leadership because it requires they're, you know, they're at their eyes, their minds, their directives, their guidance or decision making, et cetera. The reason that it needs to be escalated to leadership and stops business as usual is because it threatens long term material impact on one or all of the following five things people.

MA: 29:10 So stakeholders, whether internal or external or both business operations, the environment, if that's applicable, the organization's reputation and or the organization's bottom line. So we have people, we have business operations, we have environment, we have reputation, we have bottom line and we have a long term negative impact on one or all of these five things. That is a crisis. An issue on the other hand is a negative event or situation that doesn't stop business as usual. I see issue management as business as usual on hyperdrive. It does not require to take required taking leadership out of, you know, a meeting right away to capture their attention because it doesn't threaten that longterm negative impact on again, people, business operations, the environment, reputation and or bottom line. So understanding, defining what an issue versus a crisis is to your organization. And then I mentioned earlier, that's the first step.

MA: 30:14 The second step is then to take that definition and to look at your high-risk scenarios. So what are your most likely high impact issues and most likely high impact crises that your company is the most prone or vulnerable to? Every single company can add a few things to each of these categories or can put a few things into these categories. Then when you, when you understand the difference between an issue and a crisis, you don't get overwhelmed or you don't risk getting overwhelmed or you mitigate at least the risk of getting overwhelmed with things like virality, something going viral against your brand or your business does not necessarily translate into a crisis. Issues can go viral and not threaten longterm negative impact. Whereas crises can also go viral, right? So it's, it's about understanding that where those thresholds lie and what are the most likely negative events to strike and whether they fall into crisis or issue buckets. Once you have those defined, then you can do what I call is a deep dive approach and you can look at your both of those columns and say, what can we prevent? So how can we prevent the preventable and what can we prevent? And therefore if it were to happen, how can we be prepared for it?

MP: 31:36 You know, I do find that there's certain types of people that would work better in on these tight at this type of thinking than others. Absolutely. That's a great question. Um, absolutely. And, and the wonderful thing about having a team involved is that everybody brings a different dynamic. I mean, not every, so I often get asked, you know, how do I do this? How do I approach if, so, for example, I have a webinar series, um, it's a six part webinar series that takes registrant's through the entire process of becoming crisis ready. So doing all of these things and no matter the size of their business, no matter if they're corporate or business or practitioners who are providing these types of services to their clients, it's kind of who this is tailored to is as these categories of people. And I often get asked that question of like, how do we, how do we deal with, you know, confrontation internally when we know that there's, you know, two heads that continued to but, and in a crisis they have to work together.

MA: 32:35 Or what should we be looking for when we are, what types of attributes, if we're very crisis prone or risk prone, what should we be looking for in our higher, in the talent that we hire in terms of attributes that would be strong in issue and crisis management. So it really does depend on, on the people. And it's what's wonderful about having a team, even if it's just, just more than one person, is the dynamic that that brings. Everybody has a different touch point with the brand, with the business, with your stake holders and there and also everybody has a different expertise. So you know, your head of legal is not going to be thinking of the same risks as you're head of it. Um, and having both of those brains at the table will provide you with a comprehensive scope on different, you know, the different angles of different risks.

MA: 33:27 So your question was more along the lines of are there specific types of people that are, are better? I would say you want to look for emotional intelligence. You want to look for strong leadership, you want to look for, um, open mindedness, not closed mindedness. Cause that's a hinderer that I see often is, you know, that will never happen to us or you know, that's ridiculous. We shouldn't even address it. For example, with Crockpot as that could have, that snare could have gone in that direction. But then you just want to make sure that everybody, that everybody has a seat at the table that needs to have a seat at the table.

MP: 34:01 Yeah. I think the, uh, you know, that's really helpful because I think there are people in an organization that their thinking is completely opposite to this and almost needs to be in order for them to do their job. Because if they only thought of risk, they would likely not get out of bed in the morning. Right. But yet the openness, I think that's key in that everybody's got to be open to the fact that these things can happen and often do. And, and so it's not that somebody has to be always thinking about it, but making sure that somebody is and the right people are and that everybody's at the table. And you know, almost like one of these things like we've discussed it. We have a plan now I need to go over and be my risk and my risk world and you know, and then over here on this other side, they're there.

MP: 34:50 They're taking care of the, making sure the risk is mitigated. So just really interesting from perspective. It's, I mean, a lot to do with communication and, and dynamics of an organization. But this is a big one. And I think for our listeners, there's a lot of change happening in, in the industry. Uh, increased regulation, increased global, uh, effects happening. So no business really is becoming, uh, insulated from all these potential things that are, are happening. I mean, data is out there in the world. There's all sorts of regulation around the movement of of currency and money, but this is, this has been fantastic. I think it's probably an exciting opportunity for anybody that's listening in bookkeeping industry is that this is going to be part of the, I think one of the cards that will be in your deck. It might not be your key key thing that you're working on, but it's partly something that you will likely be involved with or advising your clients around and how does the, what's happening in the world of finance impact your potential customer and so such an interesting conversation and Melissa, you have a whole bunch of content out there, I'm sure.

MP: 36:05 What would be the best way for our listener to get more information to learn more and maybe even connect with the work that you're doing.

MA: 36:15 The best way is to go to Melissaagnes.com that is the hub of, you know, you can find everything there from videos and podcasts and blog posts and free downloadable resources that will help in your crisis readiness straight through to getting in touch with me. If you're looking to have a speaker or an advisor, the links to my book on Amazon as well as that webinars series that I, I mentioned earlier.

MP: 38:30 Beautiful. And we will have all of those links in our episode notes, so if you're interested, you can just click below and you'll see it all right there. Melissa, this has been truly an honor to have you and thank you so much for your generosity with your time and taking yourself away from the things that you're up to.

MA: 37:45 Well, thank you so much, Michael, for having me on. It's been a true pleasure chatting with you.

MP: 37:49 Yes, absolutely. And that wraps another episode of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast. To learn more about today's guest and to get access to all sorts of valuable free business-building resources, you can go to Thesuccessfulbookkeeper.com. Until next time,

MP: 37:18 goodbye.