Robert Glazer | How to Build Culture with a Virtual Team of 200

Robert Glaze

Robert Glazer is the Founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners, which is a global partner marketing agency. He’s also the recipient of numerous industry and company culture awards, including Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards for two years in a row. 

Robert is the author of the inspirational newsletter Friday Forward, which is read by over 200,000 people in 60 countries on a weekly basis and he also authored the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller Elevate, and the international best-selling book Performance Partnerships. He has a couple more books coming out including How to Make Virtual Teams Work and his newest book, Friday Forward, which will be released in September 2020. Robert is also a sought after speaker at companies and organizations around the world and he also hosts The Elevate Podcast

Join John Corcoran on this episode of Smart Business Revolution Podcast as he talks with Robert Glazer, Founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners, about Robert’s work in affiliate partner marketing and how he grew an agency to over 170 employees. They also discuss things like building company culture, creating scorecards and KPIs for a virtual team, and what Robert has learned from doing a podcast.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Robert Glazer talks about his podcast and what he has learned from it
  • Why Robert started the Friday Forward newsletter
  • What Robert does in affiliate partner marketing and how he scaled his team to become a big agency
  • How Robert gets and manages large companies as clients
  • Robert talks about his experience with the coronavirus pandemic over the last few months
  • How to build a good company culture for a virtual team
  • Why Acceleration Partners is a good place to work
  • The people Robert acknowledges for his achievements and success
  • Where to learn more about Robert Glazer

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally. 

If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network. 

To learn more, go to Rise25.com or email us at [email protected]

To learn more, book a call with us here

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and done-for-you podcast services. 

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:14  

Welcome to the Revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we asked today’s most successful entrepreneur to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

John Corcoran  0:40  

All right. Welcome everyone. John Corcoran here, the host of the Smart Business Revolution podcast. And as you know, I get to talk to smart founders, CEOs and entrepreneurs every week of all kinds of companies and organizations like YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, lending tree, Open Table, x software and many more. I’m also the co-founder of Rise25 where we help to connect me to be business owners to their Ideal prospects and before introducing today’s guest I want to give a big thank you to Fran Biderman Gross for recommending our guest. She’s the founder of Advantages and the host of the Drive Profit with Purpose Podcast. Check out threekeysbook.com/podcast to check that out or go on iTunes or any of you Stitcher, any of your usual podcasting apps. 

But I’m excited today because my guest is Robert Glazer. He’s the founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners, which is a global partner marketing agency. If you’re wondering what is a global partner marketing agency he will explain in a moment in a moment. He’s also the recipient of numerous industry and company culture awards, including this is amazing Glassdoors’ Employees Choice Awards two years in a row. He’s also the author of the inspirational newsletter “Friday Forward” which is read by over 200,000 people in 60 countries on a weekly basis and author of Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller “Elevate” and international best selling book “Performance Partnerships”. He’s also got a couple more books coming out like “How to Make Virtual Teams Work”, which is incredibly relevant right now as we record this in the end of July 2020 that will be coming out a couple weeks, and his newest book “Friday Forward” releases in September 2020. He’s also a sought after speaker at companies and organizations around the world and also the host of the Elevate Podcast. 

But first before we get into this interview, this episode is brought to you by Rise25. Rise25 helps b2b businesses get clients referrals and strategic partnerships with done for you podcasts and content marketing. You’re listening to this right now. So you’re probably thinking, Okay, I like podcasts, and maybe you’re thinking Oh, should maybe I do one as well, since obviously, Bob has one. John has one. Everyone seems to be doing it. Well, for years I’ve been saying yes, you should. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. We specialize in helping b2b businesses with high client lifetime value. So if you want to learn more, go to rise25media.com. And we’ll tell you more. But Bob, I’ll put you into the conversation, how they’re like doing your podcast, what have you gotten out of it?

Robert Glazer  2:57  

I’ve gotten a lot. I love learning from I’m very intentional with people asking me on and, and love learning from them. And I think, I don’t know something like 80% of people never get to a second episode or something like that. I think things like writing and podcasts, they sort of reward perseverance and longevity and sort of putting in the work. So if you think you’re going to get a podcast turned into an ad and it’s going to be great for users and great for your business. It’s not right, I think you need to create value for your listeners and and and, and then eventually it could be helpful to your business, but it’s very similar to our business and affiliate marketing and writing, like what kind of business should I start to make money as an affiliate? I was like, well, that’s your goal. I might struggle because most people actually have a real passion about something and they develop this world renowned blog for it, and then they focus on monetizing it. So I think these things can be great, but I think you need to really, you know, do it for the right reasons and plan on investing a lot in it before you get anything out of it.

John Corcoran  3:59  

Right. There’s So many great lessons of what you just said, being intentional about who you interview I think is a great lesson, you know, being in for the, for the long tail. And you know, one of the things you’re most known for is that Friday for a newsletter, which actually didn’t even start as something you intended to share with the world, it was just something you did internally for your team. So talk about that.

Robert Glazer  4:19  

Yeah, I started that as a note called Friday inspiration. My team it was I had been working on my mornings and from a leadership training and trying to improve my mornings and one of the core things is kind of reading and writing and the stuff I was reading supposed to read something positive in the morning, it was not it was a little too rainbow and unicorn for me, so I was like, You know what, I have some quotes and stories and I’m gonna write something right to my team. It wasn’t really about our business. I realized it was getting shared outside the company as I was getting feedback through spouses and brothers and sisters. And so at one point, I just kind of opened it up and put some people on it and figured I got a lot of nasty e-mails saying, What the hell is this? Take me off of this?” But I didn’t and they started. According to me the name became Friday forward, and now anyone can sign up for it. And it’s crazy for me every Friday when I go look at the little map of pins all over the world where people are opening it.

John Corcoran  5:11  

That’s cool. Now, I’m looking at your website for Friday for it right now. And I have to say for a guy who’s involved in affiliate work, I mean, you’re missing some opportunities here. I mean, even the most recent article is about this experience going to a lobster hut, in which I got family connections in Kennebunkport and my mom worked at a lobster hut and college. I love lobster huts, but please come and come on. There are some affiliate opportunities here. So do you feel pressure to do that given what you do or do you feel like this is a safe space that I have?

Robert Glazer  5:43  

So Friday for has always been non commercial. I mean, people pitch me stuff they want stuff covered. I have a separate sort of newsletter under my name that I do every month or two like a famous service or something they want me to talk about. They want an ad if you know, do that there but I’ve always kept that really pure and it helps to just help to have a universal policy and things and values on things. So the answer is just know that everyone, in fact, other than occasionally, maybe I’ve linked to something on Amazon. You know, I don’t, I would never even put a link in that because I don’t want anyone to think that that’s why I’m writing about it.

John Corcoran  6:19  

Wow, that is definitely principal to not even put an Amazon link on there. So that’s pretty, pretty impressive.

Robert Glazer  6:27  

Yeah, Amazon link, because it’s just sort of universal. But it yeah, it would actually follow the advice I would give to someone else, which is to say, and actually what some of the really big publishers are, they have content teams who develop the content, like they write the review. And then they pass it over the monetization team and say, if you can monetize what I wrote without changing it, go for it, but they try to keep editorial and monetization separate. Yeah,

John Corcoran  6:55  

yeah. So talk to me about a little bit explaining for those who are listening about what you do for partner marketing is affiliate marketing. I’ve done a lot of affiliate marketing in the past and haven’t done as much in recent years. But most, you know, you on LinkedIn, you got 177 employees on LinkedIn. I don’t know if that’s the actual headcount. Yeah.

Robert Glazer  7:16  

Yeah, that’s close. It’s about 70. Okay.

John Corcoran  7:19  

So that is extremely rare to see an agency of that size that is in affiliate and partnerships. So why, first of all, what is it? What do you do? And then why don’t you think that you’ve managed to scale up the team?

Robert Glazer  7:35  

Yeah. And there’s a great, probably learning in that, that I would tell a lot of businesses so affiliate partner marketing is a form of digital marketing where instead of paying for a click or an impression or some other metric you pay for an outcome so that you reach out to partners or publishers, it could be deal sites. They could be mom bloggers, they could be a podcast who’s linking to the guest books? Are there large public companies to people that control content media, and you have them join the program? It’s kind of like digital business development, and you track all their activity through to conversion, and you pay them on a conversion basis that could be revenue, elite or otherwise. So people really like this because it ties their budget to the outcome. It’s like paying for your marketing after you get the sale. And with more and more things going online and direct, there’s just a huge shift in performance. So we, you know, this is a channel that needs to be managed, kind of like your search needs to be managed and your social needs to be managed. And we started doing this years ago and just became kind of a large company that works with big brands and big programs on a global basis to run these programs, which may have hundreds, thousands or 10s of thousands of partners in them that have questions and needs things and need support. You know, from our trajectory, we used to do a lot more stuff. We did search, we did other stuff. We looked around and we said you know, this market keeps growing and no one seems to really want to do this and do this? Well, I, I would advise any business or particularly an agency to get to 10 million in revenue by doing something world-class, the more things you actually do below 10 million, I think the less you get yourself to that 10 million revenue mark, because you gotta be if you can give your world-class at something, you can build a $10 million business, a lot of times I look at a marketing agency or their website, and they have more people than practice areas, right? That’s not, that’s if you have seven people and eight services that you’re not really competent, and at scale in those areas. And so, actually, from the moment, we started peeling off some of the other stuff and really landed in that our business really scaled, you know, and that’s the point where you can make the decision to acquire, be acquired, go into other areas, we’ve actually continued to make the decision. We think this market is a market and it’s growing dramatically. We’ve expanded geographically rather than continue to add services. We’re now helping people with global programs, which there just aren’t a lot of agencies out there that can do that. So we’ve become a big fish in a small pond.

John Corcoran  10:05  

Right, right, and how have you managed to get these larger companies? A lot of people, a lot of business owners struggle with that or they’re curious about that, how do you get larger companies, we have a sort of a barbell approach. 

Robert Glazer  10:15  

So we try to service ourselves by doing really good work. A lot of our clients move around and we stay with them and we get a lot of referrals. And then we have really good content through leadership. So you know, that brings people to us looking for us finding an article finding a you know, to do or tip sheet that we had, and and really our sales team is there consultatively as people reach out and want to see how we could, how we can help them so we’ve always had advisors so that sort of the barbell which is like good content marketing, you can have a thin sort of sales bar and then you know, really good delivery so you get a lot of referrals and I think we just made life Have these larger enterprise companies comfortable with us being in charge of their brand, particularly since a lot of the businesses in our industry were kind of a lot of mom and pop operations, not someone that a fortune 500 company wants to have them sort of as their brand ambassador signing up these partners for their program,

John Corcoran  11:17  

right? In some ways, you’re pioneering it because you’re such a larger agency in an area that’s typically mom and pop. Like, I don’t know if this is a good comparison, but Home Depot, you know, which there were these small little hardware stores all around the country, but there wasn’t a large, you know, great experience hardware store. That was nationwide, perhaps.

Robert Glazer  11:41  

Yeah, we’ve had to create our mark a little bit. I mean, one of the things that we did that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend to most people but we felt like the market was misunderstood. It was rebranded under the partnership from affiliates. So we wrote a book three years ago titled performance partnerships and tried to go to the world and say, Look, this is the future and try to move the market. towards what we did, which is, which is a little bit like pushing the boulder uphill. But we felt strongly about that. And now, the term partnership marketing is just as in partnership automation is getting a lot of interest in financing. And there’s been a ton of m&a recently. So we’ve seen a lot of momentum in that direction. You think

John Corcoran  12:16  

using that term, your own term rather than affiliate as a term. Do you think that has helped? Yeah, we

Robert Glazer  12:25  

saw it more when the market was going if the affiliate is just a means a lot of different things. And there was a lot of low-end affiliate stuff that I think the high-end affiliate industry had a lot of like book swaps and list swabs and email stuff, which is very different from what we were doing with retailers. And so I think the industry really wanted to rebrand itself for a while because it didn’t totally explain what they did either. And, you know, when we like if we have a client who is advocating to get some resources, you know, internally if they say I need to do X for a partner of ours, versus an affiliate of ours. I just think the partner term is actually what they are, what affiliate is actually doing is morphing with business development. And it’s offering the tools to scale kind of business development and partner relationships in a way that the team you know, the small few ones that need a ton of customization and contracts and stuff can be helped by business development. But all these other relationships can be put on a platform and just much better managed at scale. A lot of companies waste our treasure, their BD team turns down a $50,000 a year partner because they want only one $2 billion deal, we can put that person on a platform and get them up and running in a day. If we had to sign up paperwork contracts, negotiate with them landing pages, then it wouldn’t work. Right, right.

John Corcoran  13:44  

I want to ask you about how you’ve got this book coming out and how to make teams work. We’re recording this ending July 2020. The pandemic is still unfolding. You’ve had a virtual team. Yeah, it’s not over unfortunately. You’ve had a virtual team all all this time. What has the experience been like for you over the last five months or so with already having a virtual team?

Robert Glazer  14:06  

It’s like going from pariah to, I don’t know, lecture. It was fun for years for a little bit. We had to even hide it. You know, we were this blue chip agency. This was a key thing that we use to get talent, we really believed in it. And I think even one of our clients would give us a really hard time if our people work from home and we have actually certain standards. So they’re not working from home with their kids running around and stuff. I mean, they weren’t. Now they are. But yeah, what people worried about before it’s now happening for everyone now. So because we have standards about how people need to be set up. But it’s been interesting. I mean, I have been speaking a ton. I’ve been asked to speak French to executive teams and companies around how we do this? Now everyone’s fascinated, both sort of, how do we get there now but now companies are really thinking about do I want to do this going forward and well, I can share a lot of the tips and tricks and things that we’ve done like the tools I’m really passionate about, like, the type of company that we build the culture that we build is the foundation to why remote work works for us. And so I’ve been really trying to share that with a bunch of companies. If you’re going to go all-in on this, then you need to, you really need to rethink your whole code culture. And if you have a bunch of micromanaging leaders like that, don’t trust people Good luck with your remote, you know, remote virtual work experience, we’ve always said, like, we were our environment was really about flexibility and autonomy, like remote work was just a byproduct of that. So people have asked me over the years to speak on stuff about remote workers at that remote work conference, and I was like, I’m not super passionate about just the concept of remote work from rote work. We love having the flexibility and account and autonomy and accountability. Like that’s what our culture is really about people that want flexibility and want to deliver outcomes. And it’s not that they never want to walk into an office. It’s just you know, that that sort of higher on the, on the needs for them. So most companies are not set up that way their management systems aren’t set up that way. We’re all on the same page, our company so like we have a world class, world class onboarding program because we have to, I just heard someone complaining, we can’t do onboarding virtually. This week. I’m like, That’s not true. It’s just you need a world class program because they’re not in the office. So it’s harder so we script out people’s first three weeks, you know, and they know exactly what they’re doing every hour. So it is but that forces us to be really thoughtful. I mean, my first job I started, they didn’t know I was starting that week, like, like, Oh, go follow windsurfer. Like that’s how a lot of companies handle onboarding. You can get away with that in person. It doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do.

John Corcoran  16:40  

Right. I had a few experiences like that at the end of your first day, you know, someone asked you how was your first day and you’re like, honestly, I have no idea. I don’t think anyone knew showing up that day. It’s a horrible

Robert Glazer  16:50  

like, John, just go. Just go follow Sally. Right. Yeah, you can do that. So I Sally’s annoyed? I think I think we have processes and systems of $100 million plus company because we’ve been forced to build those and, and it is actually, it’s something that makes you create a little more discipline in your operation as a business,

John Corcoran  17:10  

give us some tips on how to build a good company culture for a virtual team. That’s something that we’ve been thinking about a lot recently. One, one piece of advice I got from somewhere else was to have a question of the day, which we do in slack. And actually joy on our team kind of took the initiative on that. And I started doing it and then she started doing it, which is great. So talk a little about things like that

Robert Glazer  17:32  

was a tactic. So I think most meetings need to be rethought and need to cut down in half. You can have additional update meetings, you should send memos and have meetings that are actual dialogue and engagement. We try to use video, you know, for one off interactions all the time. Now it’s a little hard because you have sort of total zoom fatigue. When you use asynchronous video a lot of people we focus on helping people structure their day in routine in a way that’s most productive. And thinking about how they work. Actually, the biggest problem with remote work is working too much, not enough. I think there’s this fear that people are off, doing whatever. But actually they overwork when, when everything can stay on and they can take work to bed with them. A lot of it is having to create that separation. But again, at a higher cultural foundational level, if this is something that you want to do, you need to have a culture with a lot of financial and accountability and transparency where people have scorecards and they know the metrics and they know the outcomes because not you don’t manage their hours. And you have leaders that hold people accountable, and don’t view sort of the time seeing them as productive again, as someone who’s a draconian micromanager and who doesn’t trust people will not be a good leader in a virtual team like we have standards we have goals it’s all public like it was how do you know people are getting anything done like I can I get some scorecard every day rep represents that Right, but the clients happy, the revenue for the account is good. If those things are both green, then I’m not worried how that person spends their hour if you manage time, you will get time. If you manage outcomes, you will get outcomes. And I think that’s a big shift for people that should have gone on a long time ago, right? we all understand this in sales like if Mary, you know, works 14 hours a day and sells you know, thousand dollars a day and Sally works two hours a day and sells $10,000 a day you value Sally as a salesperson much higher, I think we need to start thinking about all positions like that.

John Corcoran  19:39  

Now, one question people ask about creating a scorecard or KPIs or metrics is how do you give that to everyone? If there’s someone on the team who it’s not immediately evident, obviously with the salesperson, okay, you can figure that out. But sometimes there are members of the team who, you know, how do you come up with KPIs or metrics for that person?

Robert Glazer  19:58  

We’re super aligned like we work from the top down like here are here’s our vision, here are our goals, here’s our values, what then how do we get there? You know, everyone’s got a top five, everyone’s got three things that they were gonna get done for the quarter everyone. So we just have systems where all of that stuff is out there. So, it either has a qualitative or a quantitative metric. And let me explain like, one of the ones that we have in our different levels of client service is like, you’re able to answer, you know, 90% of the client’s issues without escalating, right? That’s not a financial metric. But that tells us like, is that person doing a good job as a senior manager if they’re constantly having to fly everything up the flagpole we’d sit down with them and say, Look, your need to escalate things is way out of the norm for this role. So we need to figure that out because you’re being paid at this level to where it really should be the five or 10% of things that need to be escalated. So I really, look I you should know in any role what good looks Like you should be able to describe qualitatively or quantitatively what good looks like for people three to four months down the line. And you eliminate a lot of awkward discussions like when if you start a job at our company, your job in your in the thing that you responded to the job rack, it would have said, success at six months looks like x success at 12 months looks like why would have that all listed out both to make sure you do that when you took the job. And then John, when we’re sitting down with you at those times, either six months, we’re talking about why it’s not gonna work out or whether you’re gonna have a promotion. It’s still those six, five things. The problem is when the employee and the employer have totally different definitions of success. I think that’s where all of this and those are usually things that are unstated, like when people tell me they’re looking to hire a sales and marketing leader, what are my thoughts? My thoughts are don’t do that. As what would send me the KPIs like the sales team is gonna want them to sell the marketing team is gonna want them to market like I just seen These disasters when a person thinks they’re doing a great job and are working 100 hours a week, and marketing’s not getting what they think they want, and sales isn’t getting what so we force people to solve all this stuff before the person is hired,

John Corcoran  22:12  

hmm, anything else that you know, you’ve received this insane array of different recognitions for your company’s culture, best workplace. Anything else that you’ve been doing that has helped contribute to that? being authentic,

Robert Glazer  22:29  

so we can read all these great places and work awards and I would tell you and your audience like we’re a great place to work for one to 2% of the population, we’ve done a really good job finding people who are aligned to that. So I just find that you know, the ideal for a company is that what they think, what they say and what they do are all light. Everyone’s happy in those scenarios. So you know, their values match their actions match their sort of vision, and most companies do that. problem being honest. I always say like, if you’re founder and you’re competitive athlete and you believe in winning and losing, don’t put crap on the wall, like we value teamwork around here and everyone’s equal, no say, look, we’re about winning and losing 80% of our bonuses, go to the 20% of the top people, this is how it works here. And you will get those competitive people. I just, I think a lot of leaders aren’t self aware enough to know who they are, what kind of culture they want to build. So they just say a lot of things that aren’t really who they are and who the company is. We try to be really upfront and clear about what you will do, why you would love working at Acceleration Partners, which is mostly our core values, which not everyone is, and here’s why you wouldn’t we aren’t we are not for everyone.

John Corcoran  23:43  

Hmm, that’s great. Well, this has been great, Bob, and I want to wrap things up with the question that I was asked, which is let’s pretend we’re at an awards banquet, much like the Oscars or the Emmys, and you’re receiving an award for lifetime achievement for everything you’ve done up until this point. And what we want to know is who do you think are the mentors who are there? And who are the peers? Who are the business partners or the team members or the people you would acknowledge in your remarks?

Robert Glazer  24:05  

Yeah, I think it’s probably, you know, three groups. I had some incredible mentors, board members, coaches, over the years, and I wrote all the names out to make sure I didn’t reach them, you know, they’re the ones who are sort of coaching me. And then at the same time, I have a great team member that I’ve been part of on my Acceleration Partners team, Matt Will’s been our president. For years, our whole leadership team has really, you know, supported me and allowed me what I do well, and then I’d be remiss, my wife and three kids, you know, they’ve, they’ve probably sacrificed the most in terms of what I’ve been able to accomplish a lot of nights, a lot of weekends. And so those are really the three groups that I would want to thank.

John Corcoran  24:48  

Well, they’ve seen a lot of you recently, right?

Robert Glazer  24:50  

They’ve seen a lot of me recently to each other. Now like, what are you? What are you going away again?

John Corcoran  24:54  

Yeah. Back to the office that you’re not gonna Well, this has been great. Where can people go to learn more about you, Robert?

Robert Glazer  25:04  

Sure. Yeah, you can find everything at RobertGlazer.com. You could sign up for podcasts, learn about the books, and sign up for Friday Forwards. If you go to slash Connect, I put a bunch of the resources on virtual work and some of the stuff we talked about today on there.

John Corcoran  25:19  

Great. All right. Thanks so much.

Robert Glazer  25:21  

Thanks, John.

Outro  25:22  

Thank you for listening to the Smart Business Revolution podcast with John Corcoran. Find out more at smartbusinessrevolution.com. And while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the Smart Business Revolution podcast.

Andrea Heuston | [Pivot Series] Surviving, Thriving and Pivoting Businesses After 5+ Near Death Experiences

Andrea Heuston is the CEO and Creative Principal of Artitudes Design, an award-winning creative agency. She has over 20 years experience in the design industry and has won several awards including Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, the annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards for Enterprising Women Magazine, Cambridge Who’s Who for Women Achieve Award and many more. 

Andrea has a degree in Communications and Design from the University of Washington. In addition to being an entrepreneur, she’s also a speaker, author and a volunteer with a number of local community nonprofits. She’s also the host of the Lead Like a Woman Show, where she features top women leaders who share their inspirational stories on life and leadership.

John Corcoran, host of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, is joined by Andrea Heuston, CEO and Creative Principal of Artitudes Design, on this episode to talk about surviving, thriving, and pivoting your business during difficult times. They also discuss how the current health pandemic has impacted women in leadership and entrepreneurship, and Andrea also shares her best practices for virtual events.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Subscribe on Android | RSS

Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • What hosting the Lead Like a Woman Show means for Andrea Heuston and what it has done for her business
  • How the current health pandemic is affecting women in leadership and entrepreneurship
  • Andrea talks about how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected her business and how she has pivoted since then
  • How some organizations have combined physical and virtual events
  • Andrea’s best practices for virtual events
  • What Andrea does to maintain her positivity going during difficult times and how her business was affected by the 9/11 and 2008 financial crisis
  • The roles that the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Women Presidents Organization have played in Andrea’s business during the current health pandemic
  • The people Andrea acknowledges for her success and achievements
  • Where to learn more about Andrea Heuston

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally. 

If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network. 

To learn more, go to Rise25.com or email us at [email protected]

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:14  

Welcome to the Revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we asked today’s most successful entrepreneur to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution. John Corcoran.

John Corcoran  0:40  

All right. Welcome, everyone. John Corcoran. Here. I’m the host of the Smart Business Revolution podcast. And if you’ve been listening for a while, you know that every week I’m talking to really smart, cunning, strategic CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs of all kinds of companies and organizations like YPO Activision Blizzard lending tree, Open Table. Like software and many more, I’m also the co-founder of Rise25, where you help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. And first, before we get started, I want to give a big shout out to Alex lovak of across deck and darkwood, also of EO entrepreneurs organization in San Francisco who introduced us to our wonderful guest, who is Andrea Heuston. She’s the CEO and Creative Principal of Artitudes Design, an award winning creative agency. She has over 20 years experience in the design industry won several awards, including Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, the annual Enterprising Women of the Year awards for Enterprising Women Magazine, Cambridge Who’s Who for Women Achieve award and many more. She has a degree in communications and design from the University of Washington. In addition to being an entrepreneur, she’s also a speaker and author and a volunteer with a number of local community nonprofits. She’s also the host of the Lead Like a Woman Show, which our team at Rise25 Media were very privileged to help her launch and manage. 

And first before we get into this interview, this episode is brought to you by Rise25 Media. Look, I don’t need to tell you the world has changed. We all know that. The next question is what do you do about it and in this economy, it’s more important than ever to be able to connect and build strong relationships with clients, referral partners, strategic partners, even and especially when you can’t be face to face to face. So at Rise25, we have 20 years of experience in the b2b space connecting and building profitable relationships with clients and strategic partners using a podcast. You can and should be doing this too. We’ve helped hundreds of b2b businesses to get more clients and referrals and link collaborations with dream clients. To learn more, go to rise25media.com or email us at [email protected]

Andrea, you’ve done an amazing job with your podcast. So let’s just start right there. I want to hear about what it has meant for you, the Lead Like a Woman Show, you know what it has done for your business. And I know you’ve just really liked to follow through and you’ve connected with some amazing people. We’ll talk a little about what you’ve been covering on the show, and what people can expect there.

Andrea Heuston  3:08  

Sure, thanks for the great introduction, John, I appreciate it. I’m excited to be here. And I love Rise25, you guys have helped ease my way into the podcast world and launch it with a little bit of power. So I really appreciate that. So I know the lead like a woman show, and I interview female leaders who are empowering others. Really the goal is to help women rise. And what that means for me is key conversations with women who are either in leadership positions or will strive to be in leadership positions, or who’ve done something different in the world that we can share with others for inspiration and aspiration. People that I’ve interviewed there are so many good ones so far. This week, I’m interviewing Andrea Herrera of box perience amazing edibles out of Chicago. I recently interviewed Kristin. She’s an HR expert at San Diego. Alex low back is on my list to you just talked about. She’s a friend of mine. She’s in the San Francisco Bay Area and Texas with her company. Just lots of powerful women who have been able to create value for other people and especially other women, and I love what we’re doing. My passion in life is to help other women. Women have been maligned for many, many, many moons say centuries. And I think it’s important for everyone to be a feminist First of all, everyone, male, female, non binary, whatever, to be a feminist because really, when women are empowered, the whole world is empowered and we’re in a better place.

John Corcoran  4:50  

Yeah. I want to ask you since we’re on this topic before we hop into talking about some other topics, but on the topic of women and particularly women in leadership and, and entrepreneurship. You know, this is such an unusual time. We’re recording this in July of 2020, on the heels of the metoo movement, which was groundbreaking in so many different ways. And then you have the pandemic, which I’ve heard some people say that, you know, it’s going to be a big step backward for a lot of women, for the reasons that, you know, a lot of housework falls on them. And so, you know, it’s just a lot of women maybe leaving the workforce or having to shut down their business. What are your thoughts at this moment in time on how these two singular events in the last couple of years are going to affect women and women who want to be leaders and, and be entrepreneurs?

Andrea Heuston  5:45  

So I’m a glass half full or overflowing type of a person. So I believe this is an incredible opportunity in our history right now, as we’re making history for other reasons. I mean, there’s a global plague going on. I know it’s pandemic. I’m calling it a plague at the moment. And women have been thrust back into some roles that they’ve always had or always been targeted as just because of gender roles and gender biases that have run deep all within our DNA as a matter of fact, because you live what you learn, and you learn what you live. And so women are the caretakers of the family, women are the cooks and the cleaners and now they’re thrust into the role of homeschooling as well and entertainment directors. And there’s so many things that women do, I call it the mom load as well. Because in our heads, even if we have a partner, an amazing individual who can help us out with everything, and really lift their share of the load on an ongoing basis, even if it feels 5050 it isn’t because women in their brains are going I forgot to call the dentist for my son today. Oh, my daughter has a test next week. I think about that. Oh crap, I forgot to put my son’s lacrosse gear into the dryer. What’s he going to do? These things run in our heads and Whether we have a partner who helps us out or not, they’re still there. So it’s called the mom lode. And I think we’re at an inflection point in a lot of ways. Because there’s been studies out of one that I’ve read recently, and it was fascinating. That said, even the men think they’re doing more than they actually are. So there’s been some interviews and some studies done about this load and this workload, and men are like, no, I carry 50% of the burden. I’m getting the kids out of bed in the morning, I’m helping set them up on zoom. But it’s not everything. And there’s no way we can get out of our heads, everything that needs that needs help. So what we really are looking at as an opportunity is for men to take it to take it away from us, and to realize that they can have that same level of load. So we’re at a point of opportunity right now, where we can either fall back into those traditional gender roles, which some women love and I think that’s great. menlove that too. But we’re also at this point where we have the opportunity to move forward in a super positive way, and have people bear an equal share of a burden. Now it’s all about communication and talking about it and learning about what’s going on with that burden. And how we can divide it up in such a way that feels less burdensome.

John Corcoran  8:24  

Now, you have a unique perspective, having run your business for many years. Let’s, let’s jump backwards in time, about four months now to March when this global plague hit all of us. Take us back to what that was, like, you know, in those early days when, you know the news was coming at us really fast. Did you see this having a major impact on your business right away? Or did you anticipate that it would and when did you feel like Oh, man, this is gonna require me to make some big changes and shifts.

Andrea Heuston  8:59  

So I live in the Seattle area and I’ve run my business here for 25 years and our clients are in the fortune 100 sector. Usually we have a number of clients, buy bulk of what we do is with C suite executives in the fortune 100. And that said, our event worked. So we do a lot of event work, where we will help coach speakers and write their speeches and create all the visuals on the screen behind them, be it a PowerPoint presentation, a personal branding, a demo or motion graphics. And these are presentations for 20 to 50,000 people in the audience. And when this started happening, my first thought was, oh, it’ll be over by June July. our busiest months of the year will be fine. Because our Microsoft show season runs June July. We have Cisco in August. We have Tableau later on in September. So things run for quite a while for us. But by May every single one of those companies have shifted to a virtual program instead of doing things in front of a live audience, and for safety sake, I think that’s wonderful. But I thought 35% would come off my top line immediately. So we had open pios. That just started closing because they didn’t need our services in the same way. And that’s hard. It’s hard when you’re supporting a small business. We have been on an upswing for the last three years, because we have been in the dumps. I had an employee die three and a half years ago, who ran 85% of the clients. And in that time, he was also a friend, and a neighbor and my employee for nine years and I fell into depression and didn’t do anything about it. So we lost $600,000 in a year. So we were climbing out of that hole and had really good revenue numbers for this year and projections for this number of women COVID hits and I had to reset but not only reset, but also come up with new ways of looking at things To see where we could bring revenue. Yeah, our live event business is just slim to none right now pivoted to do a lot of different things now. So it’s good and the revenues are coming in.

John Corcoran  11:12  

I just talk about that pivot process. Oh, what did you do? You recently interviewed Andrea Herrera out of Chicago, who I also interviewed recently from box perience. She had an amazing story, those of you who are listening, you’ll check out that episode as well, because she had a $3 million a year catering business and knocked down to 5% or so of what it expected to be. And so she pivoted to this much different business. What did you know, did you? It seems like maybe kind of natural going from live events to virtual events. But did you evaluate a lot of different ideas? Did you talk to different people? How did you figure out how you’re going to change your services?

Andrea Heuston  11:55  

And we’ve been talking to everybody and their brother and sister seriously. So, being that we’ve been in the industry we’ve been in for many, many years, I would say 15 years ago, we set ourselves on a path to be the live event design specialists, which really means all sorts of different pieces. But we never worked in virtual events. This was a brand new arena for us. And we had never, ever done a virtual. And a virtual event from what we’ve learned from experience cannot look anything like a live event. There are no one hour keynote speeches, because really, you have somebody doing a one hour keynote on a zoom meeting or some of the other platforms that are out there that we use, and everybody’s tuned out. They are looking at their phones, they turn their camera off, they’re talking to their kids. They’re checking email, they’re even playing solitaire on their computer or something because they can’t stay engaged. Yeah. So what we learned is we need snackable content, we need to really get the content down. People say 25 to 30 minutes max for a talking head. 12 and a half minutes, and you have to mix it up. You have to look at things like attention span, but you have to look at things like energy too. So when you’re a speaker in a room, you can read the energy in the room. I mean, even if it’s 50,000 people in a room, you can hear the chatter, you can watch people look at their phones, you can’t do that in a virtual meeting. So instead, you have to create this false sense of energy in some ways. And by doing that, it creates real energy. So you do polls, you do moderated chat, you do q&a, and you plug it in every 12 and a half 10 to 12 and a half minutes, so it keeps the energy up. So there’s been some interesting learnings for us. I had a client come to me in April and say, we want to do a live event for 1000 people on June 24. And I said, it’s not going to happen. And that’s not usually how I run my business. I don’t usually say that to a client. But they said no, our CEO says we must do this on June 24. And it will be live. So tell you what, let’s create a proposal for a live event. And let’s create a proposal. That’s not a live effect. And I have some ideas around that. So to do a live event in June in the Seattle area, it looks like even if we were at phase three, that would mean 50 people or less in one space. If you have 30 people as crew, you get 20 people in the audience. So think of that if we have 1000 people that we need to have in the audience, and you get 20 at a time, we have a lot of events going on at a time. So instead of creating 50 different events to reach 1000 people, the client agreed to do this snackable content approach and said we’re creating 700 minutes, a video that’s rolling out in a seasonal way. So there’s season one with episodes one through three, season two without episodes one through seven, and then season three with a number of episodes as well. And each one is a three to seven minute video that people can watch on their own time. Get the information that they need to get in. So it’s a very, very different approach to an event. Even though this is not an event, instead, it becomes content that’s evergreen, and content that they can use in many different ways. So it’s fun to reimagine some of the stuff. We’re doing another live event.

John Corcoran  15:22  

Yeah, it’s innovative. It’s interesting. It’s interesting, just to even over four months to see some of the evolution and changes. It was kind of like, you know, in the first few months, it was like, Oh, do virtual events do exactly the same except over zoom. You know, very quickly, people learned that that didn’t work very well. You know, one interesting one I want to ask you about is some organizations eo included, which you’re involved in San Francisco, are in Seattle have come combined the physical and the virtual. So eo San Francisco had a gala event where they shipped food and food and And an alcohol and everything and had a gala where they had instruction in your in your kitchen like making the food with everyone else at the same time, or I’m doing an event for you actually this this Wednesday, where they mailed us a box that had a cocktail making kit and we’re gonna have a mixologist who comes in and midway through there. So talk a little bit about that learning. Have you been involved in any events that have done that sort of thing?

Andrea Heuston  16:27  

Oh, definitely. We’re seeing a lot of that through eo I’m also part of WP o the women presidents organization, and we have our virtual summit this week. It’s always been in person, always done the conference in person. This week. It’s not and they’ve already sent us stuff. I can’t wait to open it but you’re not supposed to open everything until the whole program starts. Now one of our clients, we’re working with them for a virtual event in August and it usually is a two day event we did in Chicago last year at the Navy Pier, which was an amazing venue for an event. It’s high end. It’s experiential, because these are distributors of their product. And they really want them to buy in. So they show them all the new product, they talk about the new product, they give them cool experiences. So this time we’re doing it virtually. And we’re going to do it in a broadcast style, almost like a TV news studio, where we do snackable content, and then something else QA and then more content. So they show videos, they do moderated QA, everything like that, and then we’re sending them an experience. So I’m not exactly sure what that looks like yet. But there will be wine and wine pairings, there will be something that they can interact with. And it’ll all happen within the construct of the virtual event. So not only are you an attendee at an event, but you’re part of it, the best events, engage all the senses, and it’s harder to do a virtual setting, but those who can figure out how to do it and we’re working hard to do that. We’ll get The most engagement from the audience.

John Corcoran  18:01  

Yeah. Any other best practices that you’ve seen people engaging in, like, for example, taking larger groups and breaking them up into smaller groups and having them discussed something, you know, I think that’s a, I think that’s a good model. Anything else any other best practices, you’ve seen

Andrea Heuston  18:18  

this. So that’s one of the best models, I think, that I’ve seen as well. The other thing that we’ve done in that kind of thing with breakouts and I was a speaker for 200 women recently doing a webinar for women on how to really get by in this virtual world in business because it’s entirely different than it was before. And I spoke for a few minutes and then we broke everybody up. And they each separately had a question and every single breakout so they were all different questions, and then we came back to discuss and not only was either one discussing it because I arranged the exercise, but we had a moderator as well, so that it didn’t get overwhelming. One of the other things that’s fun to do is a poll, so you can pull up People in the middle of a speech or some sort of interactivity, because then they can come in and go, Oh, yeah, I gotta pay attention to this. So if you tell them, you know, in 10 minutes, it’s not a test, there’s going to be a poll and we’re going to want some of your feedback, they’re more likely to pay attention.

John Corcoran  19:18  

Yeah, definitely. Um, I want to ask you about you mentioned earlier that your a glass is half full, or a glasses, overflowing type of personality, I tend to be the same way, you know, I really try to look through life at the positive things and there’s, you know, there are different practices that I have in order to try and maintain that it’s not always easy, especially this year. But what do you do in order to keep that positivity, positivity? You know, at times like when, you know, your trusted employee dies or a global plague is, you know, hitting all of us.

Andrea Heuston  19:59  

So, to give a snippet of background, I was in a coma 12 years ago. So I have four before and after in my life. The first was in fertility treatments and then adopting our children from a drug addicted birth mother. My second was a coma for 19 days and the recovery that took almost a year. The third was my house burning down and having to escape the house with my children. And then, yeah, and then the fourth was my

John Corcoran  20:23  

mother. Yeah, the pandemic yet.

Andrea Heuston  20:27  

My fourth employee died. And

Unknown Speaker  20:29  

then there’s five now.

Andrea Heuston  20:31  

Well, there could be six. I mean, my business lives for 911 and the financial crisis of 2008. So there’s been a lot. So I could either wallow in self pity, or choose to be a victim and I not. I’m one of those people who chooses not to be a victim. I’d rather take responsibility for my own actions. But one thing I do every day to set my tone is I have gratitude practice. And it’s first thing in the morning, and sometimes it looks like right before I get out of bed, I name things in my head that I’m grateful for. Sometimes it’s during my morning walk. Sometimes it’s while I’m drinking my coffee and I’ll write them down. But generally speaking, I spent 10 to 15 minutes in gratitude every single day. The other thing I do is I like to read quotes, I have a different quote every day. And I look at different ones today. My quote is I am deliberate and afraid of nothing. So it’s a mindset, and it’s something that I do consciously on a daily basis to keep that positive mindset. I also really honestly think it sounds a little Marisa Miss Mary sunshine or something, but I’m above ground. I have not been so every day is a good day.

John Corcoran  21:41  

I love that. reflect back for me on your mentioned 911 2008 financial crisis. You know, what, what was your business? What did your business go through then? And then I want to ask you about how the decisions you made now are influenced by them, but talk about to me about what you were like for your business going through those experiences.

Andrea Heuston  22:03  

So 911 I was a brand new mom, I had a two month old baby. He’s now 19. And I was freelancing and contracting is what I was doing. I was a sole proprietor. I didn’t have employees yet at the time. But all my work dried up, I had a brand new baby, we were building a brand new house, because the house we were in, didn’t have enough room for a family. And all of a sudden, there’s no work and I was the breadwinner at the time. So it was incredibly difficult. And I had to then be of the mindset that I take anything that comes my way. And I did what I’ve had to do that a few times, where we have a niche of what we do, but like after the financial crisis, which really hit the Seattle area in 2009, which was good because I was in a coma at eight. But with that happening, I had to lay people off. And then we had to change the tip of our spear to change what we did in order to stay afloat. And that When we decided we weren’t just going to do PowerPoint design anymore, we were going to get into motion graphics that we were going to get into other event graphics, which was able to expand our business footprint in a really big way. So I’m looking at this COVID thing plague right now is an opportunity to do something new and exciting with my business and we have some ideas percolating right now that we’re really excited about

John Corcoran  23:24  

and did you make decisions quicker when this hit because of that? Yes, you did. Like what? Tell me some stories.

Andrea Heuston  23:32  

So I actually didn’t have to lay anybody off but my decisions around events were okay. I have seven trips planned and we have this many live events with everybody are planning to cancel them now. I need to get the money back on flights. I need to get the money back on hotels. If you know, not just looking at Oh, wait, that’s down the line a bit. It’ll be okay. Nope. We’re gonna make decisions now. And then if we need to go back and read books the clients are gonna pay for it anyway. So there was some of that going on. But there was also Where can I get the most help? I know, I’m not in a silo. I love to talk to people and get ideas. And so I blatantly asked for help. I was part of this thing called catalogued. And it’s the Harvard MBAs helping businesses and COVID-19. And I had just finished the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small businesses program, which was amazing for my company. But during the pandemic, they pivoted for three weeks of content on how to get the PPP loan, how to go after funding, how to pivot your business, which was very, very valuable. But coming out of that I got this opportunity for these MBA students. And all I had to do is prove I was a small business, upload a project and students would grab my project and go with it. So I had two MBA students for eight weeks, who created a new line of business for me, and now we’re implementing

John Corcoran  24:59  

Wow, that’s really cool. I just heard from another someone we both know who beat me groceries told me about chooseapprentice.com, which is you hire apprentices. I think it’s like two grand for 25 hours a week or something like that they’re mostly college students, but you know, young and eager, young, scrappy and hungry kind of thing. Yeah. Talk about talk to me about the impact that your eo Forum has had, of course, you know, we respect confidentiality, but, you know, talk a little bit about what, how that has helped you this time through in terms of, for those who don’t know, the basic, you know, format of eo is you’re in a small group forum with peers, six to 12 peers or so. And it’s the opportunity to meet with other CEOs, business owners and exchange ideas. So what role did that play for you during this time period?

Andrea Heuston  25:53  

So for this one, my eo forum family has really been supportive and we’ve been supportive of each other and I’ve learned that even if I don’t have an issue that needs to be processed or something, some problem I need help with to solve. I can learn just as much by listening to other people. And that’s really what it’s been about for me this time. But also, I believe that my positivity has helped other people and reflects on me. So if I ever feel a little bit low, that’s the place I can share it with, and bring myself back up. I’m also a member of WPO, Women Presidents Organization, and that group has been incredible during this time, both my eo forum and WTO, we’ve created something where we used to meet just once a month, and now we’re meeting every single week. So I have a lunch hour with my forum every week where we can just bounce ideas off of each other and have that same thing. I have a happy hour with WP o so we can do the same thing. And there’s the women of you where we’re doing a weekly happy hour as well, with just the females in our chapter, which has been really valuable. It’s been good practice. Assessing.

John Corcoran  27:01  

Yeah, that’s great. Well, this has been great. Andrea, I want to wrap things up with a question I always ask, which is let’s pretend we’re at an awards banquet, much like the Oscars or the Emmys and you’re receiving an award for lifetime achievement for everything you’ve done up until this point. And what we want to know is, who do you think who are the mentors were the coaches who are the friends or the business partners or the for mates, who you would acknowledge in your remarks?

Andrea Heuston  27:26  

Without brown nosing, I’m gonna thank Rise25 because you guys rock and I’m having a lot of fun with that. So I’m gonna be

John Corcoran  27:31  

honest. Awesome. Thank you.

 

Andrea Heuston  27:34  

I would think my husband Eric, who’s been incredibly supportive. We’ve been married for 26 years next month, and he’s been really, really supportive. I would thank Carrie Searing who is my assistant and my operations manager at my office and has been with me, so she was my older son’s summer nanny 810 years ago. And she started with the company 14 years ago, and she’s been with me ever since. So definitely. thank her. Other people I think is my best friend from Denmark who lives in England cleanouts and might do for mates. My eo board mates, I’m on the board for the third time in a year or third time, not in a year, third year in a row. And then probably my other women have eo and WPA, who I really really like to bounce ideas off of because they’re not ideas that just bounce off and go into the effort we discuss them and work on them and figure out the best way for it. I’m sure there are other people I’ve missed but I’m not Sally Field yet spend 20 minutes on this part.

 

John Corcoran  28:38  

Exactly. Then we’re gonna share I’ll come up well, this is a great way to tell everyone where they can go learn more about you.

 

Andrea Heuston  28:44  

Go to leadlikeawoman.biz or artitudesdesign.com

 

John Corcoran  28:51  

Great. All right. And you have free zoom backdrops, I believe. That’s cool. 

 

Andrea Heuston  28:56  

We do have free zoom backdrops. I actually did some for Rise25 as well. But during the pivot, we decided to do that for our clients. And then for our Microsoft clients who don’t use zoom, we gave him free email signatures.

 

John Corcoran  29:09  

So nice.

 

Andrea Heuston  29:11  

We do that kind of thing. That’s a lot of fun. But if you need a free zoom background, go to artitudesdesign.com and click on virtual events.

 

John Corcoran  29:17  

smart idea. Thanks so much.

 

Andrea Heuston 29:21  

Thanks, John.

 

Outro  29:23  

Thank you for listening to the Smart Business Revolution podcast with John Corcoran. Find out more at smartbusinessrevolution.com and while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the Smart Business Revolution podcast.

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Chris Brogan | [Pivot Series] How to Tell Your Company Story to Build Culture

Chris Brogan is the President of Chris Brogan Media, where he offers business storytelling and marketing advisory help for mid to larger-sized companies. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and is a New York Times bestselling author of nine books and counting. 

Chris has spoken for or consulted with some big brands including Disney, Coke, Google, GM, Microsoft, Cisco, Sony USA, and many more. He has also appeared on the Dr. Phil Show and interviewed Richard Branson for a cover story for Success Magazine. He was even interviewed by Tony Robbins on his Internet Money Mastery series. Forbes listed Chris as one of the Must-Follow Marketing Minds of 2014 and listed his website as one of the 100 best websites for entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, Statsocial rated Chris as the #3 power influencer online.

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran interviews Chris Brogan, President of Chris Brogan Media, about podcasting and how company leaders can tell their company’s stories. They also talk about doing Facebook Live shows, Chris’ StoryLeader system, and building a company’s culture.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Subscribe on Android | RSS

Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • What attracted Chris Brogan to podcasting and how the podcasting landscape has changed over the years 
  • What Chris has learned from being a podcast host and how it has helped his business
  • Chris explains why he currently does a video show as opposed to an audio podcast
  • Chris’ thoughts on the fear of making mistakes on Facebook Live and ruining one’s credibility
  • Chris shares stories from some of the amazing interviews he has done
  • The concept of the StoryLeader framework and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected company culture
  • How to uncover a company’s story when talking to its leaders 
  • How companies have had to pivot and tell their stories differently in light of the current global pandemic
  • The people Chris acknowledges for his success and accomplishments
  • Where to learn more about Chris Brogan

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally. 

If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network. 

To learn more, go to Rise25.com or email us at [email protected]

To learn more, book a call with us here

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and done-for-you podcast services. 

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:14  

Welcome to the Revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we asked today’s most successful entrepreneur to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution. John Corcoran.

John Corcoran  0:40  

All right. Welcome everyone. John Corcoran. Here. I’m the host of the Smart Business Revolution podcast where I feel so privileged I get to talk to smart CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs of all kinds of companies like YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, LendingTree, OpenTable x software, and many more. I’m also the co-founder of Rise25, where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. And I’m really excited today because I get to interview someone who had been falling for a long time. But I’ve never actually interviewed him for a podcast. Amazingly, I always felt like at some point to get around to it, you know, nothing like a global pandemic to make an excuse to interview someone. But Chris Brogan is the president of Chris Brogan Media. He offers business storytelling and marketing advisory help for mid to larger size companies. But that only describes a small part of all the things that he does. He’s a sought after keynote speaker, New York Times bestseller author, best selling author of nine books in counting. One of my favorites, by the way, was the Impact Equation, which I remember reading seven or eight years ago, this was not long after I’d become an entrepreneur. And it was one of the few books literally one of the few books I can remember in my lifetime. I couldn’t read it on a couch because I was writing so many notes. I had to read it sitting at my dining room table. So I read almost the entire thing sitting on my dining room table with a notepad next to me because it was taking so many notes. It was that good. I would highly recommend it to everyone. Chris has spoken or consulted with some of the biggest bands you may know. Disney, Coke, Google, you name it. He’s also appeared on Dr. Phil showed and interviewed Richard Branson. All kinds of amazing luminaries turn to Chris for advice. And he was even interviewed by Tony Robbins on his internet Money Mastery series. We’re gonna get to him in a second. 

But first, before we do this episode is brought to you by Rise25 Media. Rise25 helps b2b businesses to get clients referrals. So huge partnerships are done for podcasts and content marketing, if you’re listening to this, and you’re thinking, you know what, I like podcasts and I do a podcast? Well, I’ve been saying yes, for 10 years, we really specialize in helping b2b businesses with a high client lifetime value. But even if that doesn’t describe you, I tell everyone you know you’d love doing it. So think about it. If you want to learn more, you can go to our website rise25media.com or email [email protected] 

All right, Chris. So super excited to talk to you We even did a webinar A number of years ago, but never actually sat down and interviewed you, which I’m excited about. But let’s talk first about the topic of podcasting is you were an early adopter of podcasts or even earlier adopter of blogging back in I think 98. But podcasting, you started around 2005. Right? And what was the landscape like back then? And what brought you into it in the first place? Because you’ve, you’ve gone, you come in and out of podcasting over the years, so I want to touch on that as well.

Chris Brogan  3:30  

So I was the year after the bleeding edge. So the very bleeding edge was pretty much 2004 that’s when people were like, you know, calling each other on the phone because they would have formatting issues and all that kind of stuff. Yeah, came 2005 and felt like you could almost teach someone how to get a podcast onto a device. Now two things were not true back then. 2005 is right before smartphone ubiquity. Like the iPhone wasn’t out yet. Is before ubiquitous broadband. So it was at a time when you could say something as simple as Oh, you have broadband, that would mean something in and of itself, like, categories of it was just. And obviously those things are different. Now. The other thing that was true back then was that the people who produce shows, there just weren’t any of these kinds of things done for your kind of shops, right? You know, you had to do the work. And so I liked that because I’m a bit of a nerd. So I liked the idea that I could make my audio trim the audio, take out as many arms as I could.

John Corcoran  4:30  

I like tinkering with things,

Chris Brogan  4:32  

pocket it up in a nice little bit. Take out, you know, one thing I learned as an interviewer, and you probably when you listen back to yourself, if you know you’re good, right, I mean, you’re being quiet. as a host, when I’m interviewing people. I’ll preamble so much. And I just had the simplest question and I just want to delete four minutes of me and just have the one sentence question and have the person and the guests that everyone came to get there. So what I liked in the old days was that now I’ve had a show since podcasting started, but I just sort of like, let him drop whenever I want. And I’m never fussy about it. And there are all these shows that are like, so excited about their 4,000th episode. But I’m just so like, you know, the first show is called fat guy gets fit. I figured if I just never lost all the weight, I could just have the show in perpetuity. I launched a little network of shows back when that was a stupid idea.

John Corcoran  5:24  

I said he did events around it to conferences as well.

Chris Brogan  5:26  

Yeah, we launched a bit of an odd camp in oh six, where Christopher pen and I decided that we’d have an unconference style event. And that was super successful. I mean, that went everywhere. But it’s a not for profit type event. So it was successful insofar as we get thousands and thousands of attendees all over the world. But my own shows, I mean, I started a little podcasting network where I convinced a whole bunch of people who had never done podcasting before to go out and buy things like rivers. And you know, there are pens that you could record into and all that back when there just weren’t the devices now, everyone’s phone has a full podcasting setup on it. Everyone’s laptop has everything in it. You know, it’s just all there ready for you. 

John Corcoran  6:08  

And so if you had to explain to people what a podcast was, they didn’t know what a podcast was. So you know, asking someone to do an interview for what I don’t understand.

Chris Brogan  6:15  

Well, we would lie. We just like you want to do our internet radio show? Yeah, sure. I’ll create a podcast and really what? And then for a minute, Apple tried to sue everyone who called it a podcast. It was very brief. They change their mind. They said, nevermind, we get it. It’s a word. But they were because they had iPods. And we were sort of stealing podcasts, right? Because you know, it was a cast that went to people’s iPod back when that was cool. Now shows up with an iPod to the playground. They’re gonna get beat up.

John Corcoran  6:44  

Yeah, no, now it’s now but it’s so much easier now to get a podcast. I mean, you just go straight to your phone. You don’t know downloading back then I was like, you had to download this file to your computer and then transfer over to find the cord transferred over to the iPod. Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t have time. It doesn’t Play, you know? Yeah. So what did you learn in those early days? Like, in terms of, you know, how did it help your business?

Chris Brogan  7:07  

what I felt was and believed so much sooner than it was actually vaguely true. It’s only now pretty much vaguely true. What I believed was this is a great delivery tool for information that will hit a very specific audience. So I thought b2b people would love this thing. I thought, you know, any kind of a niche experience where, you know, you really only have to get a few hundred people to hear something, or a few thousand people to hear something. I thought this is the best delivery system in the world. What do we have, we have people commuting everywhere, we have people walking their animal, we have people pushing their kid around in a stroller, or you know, crouched in front of the TV or burning drones on and all you have to do is stick one little earbud in one ear, you know, and then you’ve got them. And there are so many spots where non reading, consumption of content makes a lot more sense. And so I thought that if I could take everyone’s jog every day, and if I could take everyone’s commute time, I was a guy I was commuting, I lived in, worked in Massachusetts at the time I started podcasting, my commute was almost an hour each way. Near the end, it takes almost two hours each way. I was going all the way to the southern part of the state from the very northern part of the state. And you have to kind of like drive through Boston traffic to get there, which is never good. And so I had almost four hours a day in my car. And so where was I the guy? And I think that’s still true. I mean, obviously, we’re in the land according to when you and I are recording this. So however evergreen this will be. Right now. Some of the numbers on podcasting have gone down briefly. But that won’t be forever, you know, when everybody’s kind of back to as usual in some form or fashion. You know, this is still one of the best transmission mediums in the world for getting information into somebody’s ear while they’re doing other stuff.

John Corcoran  8:47  

Now you’ve bounced around as we said, You’ve started different shows. Now you’re doing a video show. I think that’s so admirable because so many people are afraid to start something they’re afraid if no No one’s gonna be listening. And you’re doing it publicly, you know, you’ll try a new social channel. Try it out for a little bit, even if there’s no one there and connect with whoever is there and build a relationship just to test it out. So talk a little bit about that and why now you’re doing a video show why you pivoted away from podcasting for now, and you’re doing it as a video show on YouTube.

Chris Brogan  9:22  

It’s interesting because the barrier to entry for audio podcasting is the lowest it’s ever been. So the hard work of doing a podcast is really just me recording with somebody because I like to do interview shows. So me recording with somebody sitting and doing a little bit of editing, just pull out a few arms and put it up. That’s it, slap, slap a little audio at the beginning, slap a little at the end, I’ve done my job. That’s pretty easy. You know, it’s even easier pushing a record on the video, doing our thing and then pushing stop on the video and then dragging the file onto YouTube and calling it a day. So I am using Facebook Live as my recording platform for no reason other than it’s just easy and everybody vaguely has a Facebook account. I recorded it using a platform called stream yard that my friend Carrie Gorgon showed me. There’s a regular stream yard so great. So yeah, everybody was using something. And then it felt like everyone had StreamYard once they saw oh my gosh, how can I make it look like a show, I’ll use this thing. You can once you pay for StreamYard, you have the ability to download the video file, just download the audio file. So you can make a broadcast that way too, if you really want to do the editing. So the video show is that and one of the things that I do in my show keeps evolving. So I’m on the fourth iteration of the show. We’re in which now I’ve gone from just having a good guest and kind of a very solid like me and the guest this is the show to I will have sort of a shot clock like in television, meaning I’ll do a segment there’ll be another segment I’ll bring in a guest I’ll let go the guest I’ll do another thing and then I’ll have a featured guest. And then I’ll do another thing and then we’re out, you know, so like a show. And the only reason for that is attention, right? We need to keep people’s attention. So if someone is eight minutes into the guest, and they’re like, they’re not sticking around. And so I can’t always control if my guest is the best in the world or not. But I can say that if you stick around, you know, you’re gonna get some other version of the show, as you keep waiting. And you might like another segment even though you didn’t like that guest. So it’s a little more,

John Corcoran  11:30  

there’s a little more work on your end, but you find it’s more worth it because of people’s attention spans these days. I think it’ll be

Chris Brogan  11:35  

I think it’d be I’m, I’m a few days before executing it. Full on, I’m practicing little bits of it, and then hopefully the orchestra comes together. And because I record this live, I really every mistake I make isn’t right in front of everybody. So when I push my little video intro, if it doesn’t go it doesn’t go in front of everybody who’s sitting there live looking at me funny.

John Corcoran  11:58  

Talk about that, because then many clients who struggle with that piece, you know, they say like, you know, no, in my industry, it has to be perfect or it’s going to damage my credibility. if things aren’t perfect. There’s a lot of fear over any kind of failure and how that will expose them. And you’ve worked with some amazing luminary, you know, fortune 500 companies from Disney, you name it, all kinds of different companies. And, you know, Coke, Google, GM, Microsoft, do you worry about that? Do you worry about, you know, fiddling around with Facebook Live and that that the video that’s going to somehow damage your credibility

Chris Brogan  12:36  

now depends on who in some ways. So if I were doing a project for Disney, it would have to be Disney good. The project they did for Disney before the couple projects I did. Were some live events where I keynoted. And then I did a lot of kind of behind the scenes sort of helping them take the community who came to these events and do something interesting with them. Now I could put my show out to that community and I feel great There’s no way that most logos would go on it because they would hate to be associated with me in that way. But that’s how it would work. But with lots of other companies who think what you said is true, it’s almost never true. Like if someone’s like, I’m Lockheed Martin, and I make jet engines and jets and things like that, I can’t have someone thinking, I don’t know how to make a video show. It’s not true. It’s not true because humans consume this. And humans are imperfect and humans, what they want least is to feel like they can’t reach or attain that spot. So the sort of secret goal of being Chris Brogan for all these years, is I mess up every day. And so every day someone sees it and goes, Hmm, well, if he could do that, I’m probably better at it than him. And you know, it’s attractive, thinking that you’re better than someone else and that you can still learn from them on the way up. Do you know what I mean? I don’t make it. If you’re working on your fitness, you don’t go and look at a Mr. Olympia and try to decide how you’re going to look like that. You look at the really big fat dude who lost 50 pounds, and then you see what they did and then you figure out how to get to the next Next level, right? So I try to make that explicit. In everything I create. I have a little video intro for my video, show it by choice, it doesn’t actually fit the screen. So you kind of see me in the background waiting for it to play. And it’s on purpose because I think it’s funny. But I also think it’s like, it’s fitting of the fact that it just doesn’t have to be perfect. It has to make you feel like you’re part of something. And people who have been at a show as an attendee, more than twice know, and think it’s hilarious the same way.

John Corcoran  14:33  

That’s so cool. Talk a little bit about you. You mentioned as kind of as an aside, you said, I do an interview show. And you know, for me, that’s a given why you would not do an interview show because if not, you’re missing out and amazing opportunities to build relationships, connect. Have a conversation with someone like yourself that, you know, you admire their work, don’t talk to all that frequently. I have the opportunity to talk to them. you’ve connected with some amazing luminaries, Paul khaolak I don’t know how to say his name Paulo Coelho qualia, I read his books, I don’t know how to pronounce his name, Harvey Mackay, Steven pressfield, you know, been interviewed by Tony Robbins. Talk a little bit about telling some stories about some of those experiences. And have there been times when you’ve just been kind of pinching yourself, like, how I’ve been able to talk to these luminaries whose work I admire

Chris Brogan  15:23  

every time so if I could get as name dropping as humanly possible, I’d love it. I’ll tell you a story. So this one day, a phone call comes in. And it’s one of my editors at Success Magazine back when I was writing for them. And they said, we’ve got to ask you some questions about their Kardashians. And I said, I don’t know the first thing about the Kardashians. So I hand the phone to my now ex jack and I say, hey, Kardashian, something and they talk for like 40 minutes. I get my phone back. 40 minutes later, almost out of battery. They hang up, they call me back and go can you rewrite the cover story about the Kardashians? And I’m about to say no. And then they stay to throw out how much they’re going to pay me because it’s a rush job. And the end will owe you something. So I say, I know what I want already. I want to interview Richard Branson. There’s no way he’s ever going to say yes to me. So can success and I interview Richard Branson. Yeah, done. So right. The Kardashian thing is great and works out. It’s fine. I don’t need to know anything. I just asked Richard Branson. I get his people and I say I want to interview him via Skype. It’s his first Skype interview. I can’t really use the video because he’s a bit nervous to route it. billionaire world

John Corcoran  16:38  

famous nervous about doing a Skype video interview

Chris Brogan  16:41  

wasn’t comfy. He didn’t know who I was. And he didn’t know. Like, is he going to like he doesn’t have hold of all the dimensions of this. Am I going to do something that makes him look bad, anything like that he just wasn’t feeling comfy, and it showed in the video, so I opted not to ever use the video. But what a moment to interview my business. Legend Richard Branson. Yeah. And I’ve had that experience a bunch of times a bunch of Navy SEALs, what I found and you may well know as well, the minute now author has a new book out, boy, are they susceptible to want to be on your stupid show you the number?

John Corcoran  17:14  

I’ve got? I’ve got a stack of them right here. Yeah, it’s a great opportunity. Absolutely.

Chris Brogan  17:19  

You know, I, every now and again, I don’t get someone I really wanted General McChrystal, Stanley, McChrystal, and he was like, I’m just too busy for you, dude. I was like, I get it. I don’t know how I get

John Corcoran  17:30  

this timing too. Right. You know, that could be it too. Yeah,

Chris Brogan  17:33  

my name dropped. Every military person I’d ever done. I stacked the deck. Oh, he was a Navy guy. I listed all my navy seals. He was still like, whatever. And it was fine. I didn’t get him. But what I like about it and what I like about the process and what I like about interviews, I mean, there’s lots of other reasons why you would do a show so you can do an instructional show. You can do a very how to based show. You can do kind of a thought leadership show which I think is So hard to sustain a pure solo all the time. But some people can. I mean, I don’t

John Corcoran  18:05  

know how people do that, I don’t know,

Chris Brogan  18:06  

liberation, and they have time left on the earth, right? Yeah, no, but I think that what I like about interviews if people do the work to practice to be a better interviewer, which is one of the only religions I’m following right now, as I study every day to be a better interviewer, I feel that you can really make magical things happen if you appeal a few threads out and not just ask kind of core questions. And I think that I strive for that moment where someone says, No one has asked me that question, or Oh, my gosh, I had never thought of it that way. That’s the part I go back and you know, there’s little clips that you stick on, you know, places to promo the show. I have a little secret file of those that I have for how much I feel. That asked a good question.

John Corcoran  18:50  

Yeah, that’s a great one. Let’s pivot now and talk a bit about the StoryLeader and so we’re recording this in mid July 2020. In a gold pandemic unfolding, you wrote a blog post in January of this year about your StoryLeader framework, which, interestingly enough, you had been working on for a long time. You said you trademarked the idea many, many years ago. So you know, the, I’ll let you describe what the StoryLeader is or what the concept was for it. But I’m also interested to ask about, you know, how leaders today are needing to tell their story in a different way and pivot and tell their story in a different way, in light of what’s been happening in the world.

Chris Brogan  19:37  

So one slight correction, I only applied for the trademark this year. But I’d been working on concepts in the StoryLeader concept for years and years. And since January, of course, it changed a little bit. So in January, I started pushing out. I’m known mostly as a marketing and sales kind of guy, slightly a technology kind of guy. And that’s who you think When you think of me, you think, Oh, I should talk to that guy about marketing, maybe about tech. And that’s the kind of crowd I get. But I wanted to turn myself towards leadership a little bit. Because really, whenever I had those marketing conversations, the C suite came Anyway, it was always there was always a CEO, a CEO, or somebody else in the room with the marketing person. And I had done some projects with both HR teams, and also Alex Schumann, who’s the CEO over at workfront. He had me in to do a project where we really had to change company culture kind of quickly. He was given a bit of a mandate from the board saying, you really have to make a shift faster than not, and I know that’s not really easy. What are you gonna do? And for reasons I don’t fully yet he called me, you know what I mean? Like, because there’s nothing, there’s nothing in my bond a few days and say, Brogan could do that. He just had a feeling that’s what makes him a great CEO, by the way, only because it worked out not anything to do.

Failed horribly, but

John Corcoran  20:58  

and yeah, what We didn’t win when it came to you for that. Did you think why come to me for culture? That’s not my thing? Or did you think,

Chris Brogan  21:05  

yeah, I can get it. I’m an aspirant about a lot of things. So I write very convincingly about a lot of things that I do. I may not have the backing to do, but that I have the passion to take a swing. Yeah, he was writing this. This is the real lesson. John, before I say what I did. The real lesson is I just kept putting out there my better ideas. And he went, Wow, I like that idea, which is the post. There’s nothing there’s nothing real. It’s just words I put out he said I really like that I want to explore that right. There was no business plan. There was no business model as a blog post when rolling by could have been a podcast. So he and I, he says, I really want to do this culture thing. And I say I think I can do it. That’s in my head. So January I start as a StoryLeader and I’m like, I could do this for more companies. I can do culture shifts stuff. I can do stuff where What I say in the premises StoryLeader is that, you know, stats, and numbers only tell you so far it’s like, it’s like carrying around your food on a pencil. You know what I mean? Like, you can’t drink soup with a pencil. And basically, story leaders use stories to do the heavy lifting. Meaning I could fill your head with numbers. But if I tell you a story that kind of encapsulates what I really need you to do, then you’re really going to go with it.

John Corcoran  22:24  

Oh, it’s all about that. I mean, so you think about all the big companies. They have a story behind them or they use stories in order to drive and motivate. You look at what Elan Musk is doing these days with SpaceX and, and with, you know, with Tesla, you know, it’s like a, it’s a big store. It’s a big vision getting humans to Mars. It’s a big story, you know, and that’s things that people rally around.

Chris Brogan  22:48  

And those mission type stories. So I have three types of stories and stories that have mission stories, belonging stories, growth stories, mission stories are like we’re all going to Mars. That’s the mission. Everybody who knows that we’re part of this, you’re coming to Mars, even if you are connected. Tesla, and you’re making cool space cars. That’s part of getting to Mars too. You just don’t know it because it’s day to day stuff. We need to make money to get to Mars. So let’s sell cars. Belonging stories are the type of people who, why did they make the boring company? Were the type of people who thought, Well, why can’t we do that? Why can’t we dig a hole in the ground? Right? That’s another musk story. Why can’t we make a hole that we can stick our Tesla’s in and have robots drive these cars, you don’t scrape them on the sides of the hole. And we’ll make another secret runway all the way underneath LA. Right? And so that’s a blinding story, because we’re the type of people who belong here. That’s an internal and an external story. We’re inclusive people is a belonging story, you know, black lives and all lives matter. All lives matter. You know, that’s two stories, right? one’s very cognizant of this time in our life. One maybe is tone deaf, so you go, oh, maybe I don’t belong with these people. And the third growth stories, they’re split into two one half is pure, motivational speaker stuff. It’s Tony Robbins, you know, growth. Just General Growth, I want to feel better. The other growth is correctional on whether or not you’re doing the stuff that’s going to get you to the mission. And so some growth stories are basically like, Well, let me tell you why. Even though we say we’re the most family company in the world, you can’t really take every day off to go back and hang out with your kids. If you miss four hours every single day, then every other person who has a family is in a little bit of a challenge because they have to pick up for you not being here. And so that’s really hurting your work family. And we’ve really got to kind of think about how we’re going to prioritize this right? It’s a growth story. What is changing and has changed since this beautiful quarantine has rolled around? Beautiful being a joke. The working from home setup of this, suddenly culture is not necessarily a given. It’s not you know, it’s not pies delivered on Friday. It is not water cooler chat is not the fact you can always go into any boss’s office and ask a question, because everything is different. So how does culture survive this? How do you hire a new person, when you have a team that’s used to working together? What if your ritual for working together was, you know, you’d all go out and just shoot hoops in the backyard at the office or something like that? What do you do now? Because you just hired your first person who’s 200 miles away, or you just hired your first person you know, you’re in the greater San Francisco area. That’s already happened. The real estate market. Oh, no problem. And suddenly Utah is getting popular, you know? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, great, but a San Francisco dead center Metro. Working human is very different from somebody who’s out of Provo waiting for the slopes. And, you know, my first experience like that ever was when I went to New Englander. I’m an East Coast guy born, bred all the way through bricks and mill buildings run through my blood went out to the LA area, to an action Sports Network event, which was held at Oakley headquarters, and it was the CMOS of like Oakley, Toyota, USA, Hurley, Patagonia and north face all the companies can imagine their companies. And just before I go on the stage, literally like a minute and a half the CMO of Oakley goes, Oh, dude, he goes, if the surf was really good today, there might not be anybody in that audience. What? Such an East Coast guy he goes, man, you know, out here we just kind of we work to live man. And I am flustered because I’m thinking, a very existential thought as I’m getting ready to go on the stage. Are they right? Or am I right?

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome, Chris.

There is a really bad surf because the audience was cool. But I thought at that moment, I think I’m doing this wrong. What did I just do, John, I told you a story. Yeah. story that talks about my work ethic. And the fact that I have to question my work ethic and the culture. That setup. That’s how I’m hoping the StoryLeader helps businesses. I’m hoping I can start to talk through those kinds of stories with companies so that they start realizing, oh, man, we’ve got to train in a different way.

John Corcoran  27:10  

You know, it’s it. It’s such a hard thing to figure out what a person’s story is. And so many people struggle to tell their own story. You know, for I remember for me, you know, I had someone tell me about six or seven years ago, as I was trying to start to do more things online. I said, John, I can’t relate to you at all. You seem like this guy was born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you worked at the White House, because that’s what I’m most known for. And, and you seem to get every opportunity. And that was the exact opposite impression that I wanted people to have of me, because my father got laid off multiple times as I was growing up because we had to move thousands of miles away because I knew what it was like to struggle because I’ve had struggles in my career, and I wanted people to know that so I started telling my story in a different way. And I started telling that story, starting sooner in my journey and saying about how when I was a kid, my father got laid off, and we had to move. So that people would relate to me so that when I talk about successes, they could relate as well. And I realized that you have to tell that story. But tell me for you, when you work with a CEO, when you’re talking to a CEO, and you’re trying to get into that organizational DNA, and trying to uncover what the company’s story is, how do you uncover it? Is it just rapidfire getting to know them? You know, do you have an instinctive attitude where you just eventually find what the story is? How do you get under the skin and figure out what that story is when they may not know what it is?

Chris Brogan  28:38  

It’s a great, great question, because what I want the answer to be isn’t what what the answer is, some massive amount of this so far is just pure craft on my part, and sort of like psychological skills on my part, and what I want the answer to be some simple formula that we can all just take out of a workbook and look at these three pages in the back of my new book, and You’re good, but it’s not true. Because what you alluded to, is that the real story that really defines itself almost always has that really open faced vulnerability fairly early on in the story. And here’s a name drop, I met Bob Iger at Disney. And it was on the Disney dream boat, media launch or whatever. So the boat is full of only like, you know, media and their family. So abc news, all the big name news, and a bunch of idiot bloggers, of which I am on and my friends and for no great reason convinces everybody in their brothers to get Chris Brogan to be the last interview of the day. And nobody knows who I am at all like it is not it’s not a thing. And so I get to be the last interview Bob Iger. So he is pushed to think about it all day, all day. Oh, he’s doing the interview. So he’s interviewing you? well known. He’s a pretty face, and they roll in yet another crew to ask him all the question but tell me how big is the boat

John Corcoran  30:00  

you’re interviewing urinating, Bob got it again. Bye bye. Okay, okay, Heather Disney here. Okay head

Chris Brogan  30:05  

of Disney. So, here’s the part that matters. I decided to pump up the story though, because you have to know this man is bushed. This man has been. He’s probably done a few hundred interviews all over the world from this doofus. He hasn’t stopped Really? I’m sure he got a sandwich somewhere. But yeah. So I come. He’s wearing a black turtleneck. I’m wearing like, you know, idiot blogger costume of the day, which was like a jacket with a button down and over jeans. And he shakes my hand. He’s very nice. And immediately the first he says, Where are you from originally? I said, Oh, man. Oh, man. He says, have you ever done any sailing? I’m the absolute working class. This working class guy that ever was no, I didn’t ever do any sailing. I was a boy scout. So we did canoeing. However, I said, I sailed once in my life, if you can believe it, and yes, it was me. It was serious for me. He goes, I’ve sailed to support me. I said why it was weird because they sailed on a really old sailing vessel and that’s kind of like a tourist thing, but you can crew on it. He says the Savannah Beale I agreed on that boat. Wow, I’m suddenly the chair of Disney and I have this thing in common. And we have both sailed the same 1800 zero vessel. I love that crazy right and, and there’s nothing bad is going to happen after that. He has his arm around me for the whole interview. Like we’re pals that there was no vulnerability. It’s no vulnerability. All it took was that Bob wanted to make a connection to me. And so there’s that one element of leading through story, connection through story. We make mistakes all the time. We worry we’re not good enough. We worry we’re not smart enough. We’re not whatever enough or something right? We’re too ugly. We’re too fat. We’re too old, or too something for the person we’re in front of. What is really true about a story is the story really comes most when we connect somewhere in To the person we’re around. So there’s a need to know your story. But what you most need to know is how can you make that story click hard enough with the people you’re with. And that’s how comedy works. You like comedians, when we watch comedians, the thing we love is that sort of 90 degree we didn’t think they were going there. But we love that other part where we go, oh my gosh, I totally do that. I thought I was the only one. And now a whole roomful of people are laughing. And that’s the thing and so what I’m trying to teach when I go in, this is the longest answer to the shortest question. What I’m trying to teach is, how do we help you find those elements? How do I help you tune for them? And also way most importantly, how do I strip away your armor? enough that you can say something like that, you know, I you know, didn’t have a lot of money. I always tell people, my parents growing up I was very upper lower class, very upper lower class didn’t know. And you know, my parents would be like, Ah, this is amazing. We get to have spam and rice twice. in a row, how No, you can’t believe it. That’s not normally how food goes. Normally you get something different every night, but you get to have it twice. I be like, wow, this isn’t me, I was an idiot. But you know, it really my parents, I never had an empty belly, you know, because my parents figured it out for me to work. My dad worked four jobs. My mom worked two or three. And when you tell a story like that, someone goes, Oh, you’re not like that. When people find out I don’t have a degree, but that I have 27 credits from seven different universities. They go, oh, how did you do what you’re doing? They say, well, the permission fairy came and they hit me on the shoulder. And then that’s how we get there. Right? We get there from breaking down the thing we thought was true about the other person. And then we’re like, oh, man, we’re totally on that ground. The only people you don’t ever want that from are like your surgeon and your airplane captain. What’s your airplane captain? I know everything.

John Corcoran  33:53  

Exactly. Exactly. Now, a couple of these points that you hit on here. I think we could spend a lot of time on The one of the ones you mentioned was stripping away the armor. Which is ironic in a sense, because so many companies, so many leaders’ armor has been stripped away, you know, publicly with this downturn with this global pandemic. So talk about how companies are having to pivot and tell their stories in new ways. Now in light of the changing circumstances, I was just listening to a podcast interview with the founder of Eventbrite and they, you know, went from a very successful company to laying off half their staff. And, you know, they’re still in the midst of redefining what their story looks like, because they were based on a software that was selling tickets for live events, right? I mean, that doesn’t exist for the time being. So how are you watching CEOs, companies pivot and tell their story in a different way. Now?

Chris Brogan  34:55  

I heard something the other day that’s haunting me and I didn’t write it down like you do. Here’s something that you like. And I’m killing myself that I did, because it was such a great sentence. And what he was saying is that the ideal brand doesn’t serve a specific function. It serves a specific emotional kind of state. Right? Nike doesn’t sell shoes. Nike sells a drive to pursue and go after. And Nike sells sportsmanship and all that sort of thing. And they also sell shoes and this and that, whatever. So when Nike makes a video and they say stay home, and that is a powerful message, they said also, we’re all on the same team. A year before the civil unrest that happens during COVID. The year before they said, we’re backing Colin Kaepernick and we know that’s going to make some of you mad. It’s our move. Our move is we stand with this guy who is a sportsman and who believes in the things we believe in. And you know what people did leave and so people went to Adidas and Adidas said, Well, you know, what we believe is we’re going to pull a bunch of plastic out of the water and we’re going to make a million shoes out of like, recycled out of the ocean plastic. So maybe someone who didn’t believe for whatever reason, in the other issue, said, well, cool, I’m totally for the earth, like people can die, but the earth I want to keep, and they sold 2 million plastic shoes, they thought they’re gonna sell 1 million they sold 2 million. And so clearly there was a voice there. When we have to return and kind of in pivot and shake ourselves to new space. Sometimes it’s just not going to be on the thing we are known for selling. Eventbrite might be in a spot right now. But what else can they do? How else are people gathering? They’re gathering online, we’re going to make it so easy to make your online gathering good. We’re going to do something that almost no platform does. So Joseph Jaffe does this video show called Corona TV. And he does the first part of it in an app called stream yard that we talked about. And he does an after show in an app called zoom. Do you know how hard it is to get somebody from StreamYard to zoom? You know, it’s like well, there goes my audience. They’re walking out right? The event made the hallway between those two so easy. That would change someone’s life. All they have to do, by the way, is get ideas for free events right? Got to know that they’re what companies exist to? Do they serve the needs of the people that they serve, right? So they have to serve their constituents ; if they’re Republicans, they have to serve Wall Street. But who they really serve is the person who puts their money down somewhere. And all I keep seeing are two types of companies, ones that like to crash into the wall and hope someone pays for it. or ones that are like, well, we got to do something. So here’s the thing we decided we’re going to do. And they’re helping in some way. There’s so many breweries making hand sanitizers right now. Right. Yeah, interestingly liquor sales are right up. But you know, they’re also doing their part. There’s a lot of companies that retooled their assembly lines to make more masks and more visors and more whatever during this pandemic, you know, and these moves are not going to be lost on people I’ve seen like The pushback I’ve seen people saying it’s gimmicky? Well, it’s not for the people that they helped. It’s not for the people that felt like oh my gosh, these guys happy.

John Corcoran  38:07  

And from a story perspective, I think it’s incredibly moving. I watched a video. I think it was a New England company that does these shutters like you see in an old colonial style, you know, home, and they’ve been doing it for like 250 years. And then in a pandemic, no one’s buying shutters. So they immediately pivot and start making mass, but only for like two or three months. And then this video was about how they were coming out of that. And then so the story really was that, here’s who we are. Here’s what we’ve been doing for 200 plus years, and we’re going to do it again. But when the shit hit the fan, we stopped. We contributed our part. And now we’re going to go back to what we’ve been doing and continue to do it. We’re gonna make people happy. And I love seeing the stories of these companies that are pivoting and that are finding their new story.

Chris Brogan  39:00  

One way to rise. I mean, I think that’s an important word, right? One way to rise is to say we’re doing our part. And then we’re here and we’re going to bring other people with us. The best stories in the world are the ones that are participatory. So my company is called StoryLeader, Donald Miller has a story brand. One of the coolest things that Donald Miller put together in his little process in story brand, as he teaches people all the time. You’re not supposed to be Luke or Leia. You’re supposed to be Yoda. You’re supposed to be like the wise person guiding people towards Charlie green and David Maister, a trusted advisor. You’re supposed to be the trusted advisor, right? So in story work, we forget that we don’t have to be the hero. We forget that what we could be is a really kick ass non player character on the way to some really cool experience. And that sometimes just adding in some way what we can bring to a picnic, right? What kind of things we can pull out of our backpack and bring to this next event are the things I think that we can contribute. And that will bring us to that next spot, even when we’re Stumbling on the way to that next spot, because they saw us there and they saw us pitching.

John Corcoran  40:08  

It’s great. I think this is really interesting work and relevant in these times. And with so many companies having to diversify and put their staff either working from home or changing everyone outsourced, I think that it’s going to be important for companies to be able to tell their story and, and, you know, redefine their culture at the same time. Chris, this has been great. I want to wrap things up with a question I was asked which is let’s pretend we’re at an awards banquet, much like the Oscars or the Emmys and you’re receiving an award for lifetime achievement for everything you’ve done up until this point, but we all want to know is, you know, initiative family and friends who do it. Who do you think were the mentors? Were the friends were the business partners were the peers who were the bosses, who are the people you would acknowledge in your remarks.

Chris Brogan  40:49  

I have to start with my mom and dad. My mom and dad were great at teaching me that it was okay to be a weirdo and an entrepreneur. They saw from a very early age that I was the kind of guy who’s going to see differently, and they kept empowering you at every turn. My mom also instilled a really heavy work ethic because she scheduled people to work at the phone company. And so I got a big car crash one day and I was like, I don’t think I can come to work tomorrow. And she goes, are you scheduled? They said, Yes, she goes, you’ll be there. And, you know, it was the first time I realized that I mattered outside of just my own body. I had great bosses along the way, Debbie Millan, who always taught us that brevity in meetings was really important, brevity and conversation and communication is important. She was like chop, chop, let’s get to the important part. And always in a loving way. Alana Fiedler, who taught me that strength and tenacity and persistence. We’re a great way to be a leader. As long as you really couched it in striving towards the mission, and not trying to go after humans along the way, you know, and making sure it was a team driven experience. Dan Carney who taught me nothing ever happens with the drama that you expected to have. My boss Dave Johnson, it was a sad day when you don’t learn anything. And really ultimately, finally, my Kids for teaching me the kind of leader that I have to be going forward. Because as much as we’d love to poca generations, Gen Z is a whole different kind of leader, they have way more social interests than we do. They have way more passion about marrying their values to the companies that they choose to serve. And they’re not going to settle for just doing the job. And I think that all leaders had best heed, people starting around age 16. And up, because there’s a whole new world coming in if you’re going to try to build longevity to your corporation. Those are the leaders of tomorrow that you need to really start engineering for today.

John Corcoran  42:34  

chrisbrogan.com is the website and on YouTube and Twitter and all those different channels. If you go look for Chris, you can find him there anywhere else in particular where you want to point people to go check and learn more about you.

Chris Brogan  42:46  

That’s all of them. If you swing by chrisbrogan.com just grab my newsletter because that’s the one thing I do every week that I think is probably my best work. And you can always just hit reply, and I always love to talk to people there.

John Corcoran  42:57  

That’s great. All right, Chris. Thanks so much.

 

Chris Brogan 43:00  

John, thank you.

 

Outro  43:01  

Thank you for listening to the Smart Business Revolution podcast with John Corcoran. Find out more at smartbusinessrevolution.com and while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the Revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the Smart Business Revolution podcast.

 

 

Use the online HTML, CSS, JS tool collection to make websites like a piece of cake.

Mark P. Fisher | [Pivot Series] What You Can Learn About Pivoting & Scrappiness from Camps and Retreat Centers’ Pivots During the Pandemic

Mark P. Fisher is the Chief Encourager of Inspiring Growth, a company that helps businesses with everything from sales and marketing to fundraising with a specialization in hospitality businesses. He also has many years of experience working with camps, retreats, and conference leaders, and recently provided a webinar to help the industry which has had to pivot and find ways to survive because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mark has consulted with 146 different for profit and nonprofit organizations with outstanding customer satisfaction. He has also worked with AT&T, Nissan, Red Lobster, and many more. 

John Corcoran, host of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, is joined by Mark P. Fisher, the Chief Encourager at Inspiring Growth, to talk about pivoting and helping camps innovate during these trying times. Mark also shares how a health issue and undergoing surgery changed the course of his life, what drew him into the hospitality industry, and what his organizational growth strategies are.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Subscribe on Android | RSS

Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • The surgery that went horribly wrong and inspired Mark P. Fisher to do what he does today
  • What drew Mark to the hospitality industry with a particular focus on camps, retreats, and conference facilities
  • How going to camps impacted John’s life
  • How a camp can preserve its identity while still being innovative
  • How Mark helps people rally around a new vision 
  • Mark talks about his surfboard strategy and how he has helped an organization in Los Angeles grow 
  • The clients Mark has been working with and how organizations have been pivoting as a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The people Mark acknowledges for his accomplishments
  • Where to learn more about Mark P. Fisher and his organization

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally. 

If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network. 

To learn more, go to Rise25.com or email us at [email protected]

To learn more, book a call with us here

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and done-for-you podcast services. 

Right Click here to download the MP3

Click here to subscribe via iTunes

Advertise on the Smart Business Revolution Podcast

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:10  

Welcome to the Revolution, the Smart Business Revolution podcast where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneur to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution. John Corcoran.

 

John Corcoran  0:40  

All right. Welcome everyone. John Corcoran. Here I am the host of the Smart Business Revolution podcast and I feel so privileged because every week I get to talk to smart CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs of companies and organizations like you know, YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, Lending tree, Open Table, so many others. I’m also the co-founder of Rise25 and our focus is on helping to connect b2b business owners with their ideal prospects and referral partners. And I’ve got a great guest here today he’s got an interesting background. His name is Mark P. Fisher. He calls himself the Chief Encourager with a company called Inspiring Growth. It’s a company that helps businesses with everything from sales and marketing to fundraising with a specialization in hospitality businesses. He also has many years of experience working with camps, retreats and conference leaders, and recently provided a webinar which was really helping that industry which has really had to pivot and and find ways to survive given that we’re in the middle of the whole Coronavirus pandemic right now as we record this. And you know, he’s also consulted with 146 different for profit and nonprofit organizations, one group by 98%, another 23% with outstanding 99% customer satisfaction, and we’re going to talk about that how to get great reviews for Your company in this world that we live in now where there’s Yelp and TripAdvisor and so many different review sites. Mark has also worked with AT&T, Nissan, Red Lobster, Nestle speed, and many more. [Read more…]

Vadim Polikov | From Immigrant to Founding and Exiting Multiple Businesses

Vadim Polikov is a serial entrepreneur with several companies that he has founded, grown, and sold. His first company was American Journal Experts. They edit research papers and international research so they can publish them in top tier academic journals. The company still exists today but Vadim has exited the company in 2008.He also started a venture-backed company in the residential solar installer space called Astrum Solar and sold it for 54 million to Direct Energy. 

Vadim’s current business is Legends of Learning, which believes that by working with our human nature to learn through experience and play, we can accelerate the pace of learning for humanity. It has over a million monthly active users.

Vadim Polikov, the CEO of Legends of Learning, joins John Corcoran in this episode of Smart Business Revolution to talk about his entrepreneurial journey of founding and exiting successful businesses. Vadim shares how he started from founding his first company that does academic research and review, to creating and selling his first foray into solar installation, and how he built his current academic learning company.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Subscribe on Android | RSS

Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Vadim Polikov talks about his background in engineering and interest in entrepreneurship, and how he started American Journal Experts
  • How Vadim handled the review of research papers and incentives for graduate students 
  • What Vadim did with the proceeds he received from the sale of the research company
  • Vadim talks about why he entered the solar energy sector, how the company was affected by the 2009-2009 economic recession
  • Vadim discusses the eventual sale of Astrum Solar to Direct Energy and what he did after selling his solar installation company
  • The similarities that Vadim has noticed in his businesses
  • How the coronavirus pandemic has impacted Legends of Learning and what Vadim is most excited about with the business
  • The role Vistage has played in Vadim’s entrepreneurial journey
  • The people Vadim acknowledges for his achievements
  • Where to learn more and connect with Vadim Polikov

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally. 

If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network. 

To learn more, go to Rise25.com or email us at [email protected]

To learn more, book a call with us here

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and done-for-you podcast services. 

Right Click here to download the MP3

Click here to subscribe via iTunes

Advertise on the Smart Business Revolution Podcast

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:14  

Welcome to the Revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we asked today’s most successful entrepreneur to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution. John Corcoran.

 

John Corcoran  0:40  

All right. Welcome everyone. John Corcoran here, the host of the Smart Business Revolution podcast where I talk with CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs of companies and organizations like YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, Lending tree, Open Table, X Software, and many more. I’m also the co-founder of Rise25 where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. And first, before we get into this interview, I want to give a big shout out to Ed Robinson, who I had on as a guest few weeks ago as a Vistage Chair. Go check him out on LinkedIn. He’s a very smart guy and check out that episode as well. And he introduced me to my guest today who is the Vadim Polikov. He’s a serial entrepreneur with several companies that he is founded, grown and sold. First company was American Journal Experts, which still exists to this day, but he’s exited it. They edit research papers of international research so they can publish in top tier academic journals. 


[Read more…]

Justin Breen | Building Connections and Networks to Fuel a Business and Land Media Coverage

Justin Breen is the CEO of the public relations firm, BrEpic Communications. He is also the author of the best selling book Epic Business: 30 Secrets to Build Your Business Exponentially and Give You the Freedom to Live the Life You Want

Justin is hardwired to seek out and create viral thought-provoking stories that the media craves. He is an amazing consummate networker who believes in the power of introductions. He has a degree in News – Editorial Journalism from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran talks with  Justin Breen, CEO of BrEpic Communications, about the value of building business connections and networks. They discuss Justin’s background in journalism, his reason for writing his best selling book, and why it’s beneficial for entrepreneurs to be a part of business networking groups.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Subscribe on Android | RSS

Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Justin Breen talks about his background in journalism and why he started his own PR firm
  • How Justin’s network has changed from the time he was a journalist to now that he is an entrepreneur
  • The kind of clients Justin works with and his advice how to do introductions
  • Why Justin decided to join EO and Strategic Coach and how they have helped his business
  • What Justin does when he meets interesting people with amazing stories who aren’t his clients
  • Why Justin decided to write his book and the most valuable thing people get out of his book
  • The Gallup StrengthsFinder Personality test and the benefits of learning about yourself
  • The people Justin acknowledges for his achievements and why it’s important for people to have mentors
  • Where to learn more and connect with Justin Breen

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally. 

If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network. 

To learn more, go to Rise25.com or email us at [email protected]

To learn more, book a call with us here

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and done-for-you podcast services. 

Right Click here to download the MP3

Click here to subscribe via iTunes

Advertise on the Smart Business Revolution Podcast

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:14  

Welcome to the Revolution, the Smart Business Revolution podcast where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

 

John Corcoran  0:40  

All right. Welcome everyone. John Corcoran here, the host of the Smart Business Revolution podcast where I talk with CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs of all kinds of companies and organizations like YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, Lending Tree, OpenTable, X software and many more. I’m also the  co-founder of Rise25, where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. First, before we get started, I want to give a shout out to Fran Biderman-Gross who introduced me to our guests, Justin Breen. She’s the host of the Drive Profit with Purpose podcast and definitely go check it out on iTunes. You’ll enjoy it. 

 

And I’m excited to talk to Justin. Justin is a consummate connector. He’s someone that I connected with originally through the EO and EO Accelerator program, which we’re both involved in. He’s the CEO of the PR firm, BrEpic Communications, and author of the best selling book Epic Business: 30 Secrets to Build Your Business Exponentially and Give You the Freedom to Live the Life You Want. He’s hardwired to seek out and create viral thought provoking stories that the media craves he actually started his background in journalism, and now has a PR firm. So we’re going to talk about that transition. And as I mentioned, an amazing consummate networker who like me believes in the power of introductions, so we’ll get into his philosophy around that. 

[Read more…]