Eric Verdi, a Fredericktonian and rising multi-media guru, was raised as the only child of Italian parents. He was one of eight first-cousins that used to regularly get together at their grandmother’s house on the farm.
One cousin, Zack Warfield, was just one month and one day older than Eric and was more like a brother. Zack attended Walkersville schools, Notre Dame and MIT, eventually landing in the CIA. When he was about twenty-nine, he started his own company.
Justin Warfield, Zack’s brother, attended UNC after graduating from Walkersville in ’93. He taught at TJ prior to moving to Hermosa Beach in California where he started Beach Brothers Tutoring.
Eric, following his own ambitions, also became a business owner and an entrepreneur, philanthropist, podcast host, editor, publisher, author and so much more. Armed with an MBA, he has been at the helm of an organization for fourteen years.
“For the first eight to nine of those years, business was great,” he shares. Then, change came along — in a big way. Over the next five years, his business increased a whopping 600%. Yes, that’s 600%!
In a recent keynote address to Walkersville business owners and entrepreneurs, Eric revealed what took his business “from Level A to Level Z.” Storytelling.
* Build Relationships With Stories
Eric notes that the biggest change over the last five years has been brought about by publishing a monthly newsletter in which “I can pass along my stories to my audience who can then share my stories with other people.
“The stories are creating a relationship between you and your audience — potential clients. You do this by opening up, being true, being passionate to yourself…creating value for those individuals in your audience.”
Eric knows that “it’s all about giving more value than you’re getting” to create a symbiotic relationship. This applies to all types of relationships, both personal and professional.
Three years ago, when he was about half way through that process, he made the decision to help other business owners share their stories with their audiences. He knows that what worked for him can work for others.
* Use Your Back Story To Grow Your Business Or Organization
Eric was advised that the best way to accomplish his goal was to start a podcast. At the time, he didn’t even know what a podcast was. “I hadn’t listened to a podcast. I had no idea of how to start a podcast.”
So, what’s a podcast? “We don’t watch ’em,” explains Eric. “It’s basically on-demand radio. We’re on iTunes, Stitcher, I Heart Radio — everywhere there’s podcasts.”
On Frederick Advice Givers podcast episodes, Eric does “a one on one interview where we start out talking about that business person’s background or story. Who they are, personally. Their interests.” And, then, their professional story.
The transcript of the interview is then sent to a professional writer and a story is written from the contents. The finished article is given to the interviewee to share with their audience and it’s also posted on the Frederick Advice Giver’s blog.
Wait! There’s more! Yes…more! “When we have enough articles,” Eric said, “we publish a magazine that you, as a business owner, can go out and share with your audience positioning you as the expert in that field.”
Frederick Advice Givers is now well beyond one hundred podcast interviews. That’s over one hundred local business owners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders building relationships through Frederick Advice Givers podcasts, blog posts and featured magazine articles.
Zack And Justin Warfield: Inspirations To Be The Best, Make A Lasting Impact And Build A Legacy
On July 4, 2011, Justin Warfield suffered fatal injuries in a tragic boating accident. Two things stood out for Eric at Zack’s funeral. The first was the tremendous outpouring of love, joy and compassion shown by everyone.
The second was the conversations that flowed from Zack’s remaining partners, other operatives from the CIA and top levels of the government. They all agreed. “Zack, for what he did, was the best that they had ever met.” He was only thirty-five.
Eric shares, “Last year, my goal — my passion — was to become the best at what I do; the best at helping others; the best at giving back; the best in my professional life. I found a way to study, to implement, to do storytelling, to do marketing, to do content creation.”
In May of 2016, Zack’s brother passed away after a long battle with tongue and throat cancer. Justin’s funeral was in Hermosa Beach and was flooded with people.
Halfway through the service, the priest requested that everyone who had learned something or been taught by Justin to stand up. Half the church stood up.
The conversations that flowed after the service were all about Justin’s warmth and hospitality. The door to his home was always open for his students. He was always ready to share a cup of coffee and talk about life.
Eric confides, “It was at that point, after Justin passed away, that I decided I wanted to make a bigger impact and leave a lasting legacy.” When the idea for the Impact Club came about that October, he was eager to bring it to his own community — Frederick.
“When I pass away…be it next week, next year, forty years from now… my kids aren’t going to care what I did professionally. But, how did I impact the community and make a bigger difference in the community?”
* The Impact Club: Local Charities Benefit From Sharing Their Stories
Impact Club Frederick is not a 501(c)(3). It’s simply a platform for consolidating individual member’s $100 donations to be presented to one charitable organization at a quarterly event to make a greater impact.
“Each member of the Impact Club can nominate up to three charities or one charity three times. Those charities go into a hat and we draw them out. There are three charities that present at our quarterly meetings.”
Eric continues, “They give a five-minute speech. There’s no Power Point, no slides, no passing out anything. It’s just getting up, talking, telling that charity’s story to our audience.
“At the end of that, our members vote. We tally the votes and the charity with the most votes receives that quarter’s donations.”
Impact Club Frederick: How Stories Can Impact A Community And Help Organizations
The first quarter of this year, The Heartly House garnered the most votes and was given a check totaling $18,200 from 182 members.
Every $100 donation will cover the cost of one day in a shelter for one person. The impact of this lump sum helped 182 people! Podcast #108 – Mark Trager
Blessings in a Backpack received the second quarter’s donations — an incredible immediate infusion of $23,200 from 232 members!
Every $100 donation will feed a child at risk of hunger and nutritional deficit for an entire school year. That’s 232 children that will be fed in the next school year because of the donations by the Impact Club. Podcast #109 – Hermine Bernstein
* As of this writing, 235 members of the Impact Club Frederick have voted to support the third quarter recipient. A check for $23,500 was presented to SHIP to help bring much needed services to the homeless youth in Frederick County. This brings the total Impact Club donations so far to $64, 900 in just three quarterly meetings!
Join To Nominate Your Favorite Local Charities — There Are NO Losers!
“There are really no losers that night because we’re positioning all of them. We have two videographers that come in and video the whole night. Specifically, they video the charity — the speaker — telling their story.
“That charity gets a video of their story to go out to the public. They can distribute it on Facebook, social media, directly to their membership and however. So, we help them to position themselves.”
It’s incredibly easy to join. Go to Impact Club Frederick and register. “You get a t-shirt, membership card, access to the meetings, free drinks and free appetizers that night — all of that is paid for.” Paid for by Eric! One hundred percent of every $100 donation goes to the chosen charity.
Want A Catalyst To Take Your Business Or Organization To A Higher Level?
Want to attract new clients? Ready to stand up as an expert in your field? Tired of wasting money on stagnant “cookie cutter” ads?
Imagine the impact of multi-media exposure — a podcast (radio-on-demand) interview, a blog article and a featured magazine article. What’s the catch? (There isn’t one.) Think you can’t afford it? (It’s free!)
Are you sitting at the helm of a 501(c)(3) or do you have favorite charities that you’d like to support in a bigger way? Looking for a new way to network and build valuable contacts and resources? Sign up today to reap the numerous awesome benefits of being an Impact Club Frederick member. (Free to sign up!)
Eric Verdi, MBA
Impact Maryland Real Estate
impactpropertystories.com Request Your Free Copy of The Psychological Approach to Sell Real Estate!
Contents Provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast Episode #112: Eric Verdi Keynote to Walkersville Business Owners/Entrepreneurs