Legends & Losers

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031: Chris Brogan on Batman, Video Blogging & The Future of Content Marketing

Why is it so necessary for the world to become more video literate? How has technology made this one of the best times to be an entrepreneur? Is email marketing on its way out? On this episode, Chris Brogan joins us to talk about this, why we need to put humanity front and center, as well as his love for Batman.

As long as enough of us think all the water is going to raise all the boats, I think there’s so much opportunity not to think about competition. - Chris Brogan

Takeaways

  1. Batman is relatable because his origin story is grounded in reality.
  2. There is always an opportunity to use technology to drive better human interaction.
  3. Bigger companies are more conservative, so the great ideas are going to be spun from the little guys.

At the start of the show, Chris talked about his love for Batman and what he likes about him as a superhero. He also talked about how he got into blogging and podcasting early in the game, the opportunities video marketing provides, and why a lot of people are lying about being entrepreneurs. We also talked about category design, and the importance of asking the question “why hasn’t anyone?”

Chris also spoke about;

  • The curse of knowledge
  • Why video changes a lot of things
  • The death of email marketing
  • The database of one

With access to so much infrastructure and the culminated power of technology and connectivity, this is a great time to be an entrepreneur. While there are many people who call themselves entrepreneurs, the people who are really making an impact are the ones solving problems, making life easier, creating categories and driving meaningful human interaction. We have so many opportunities for velocity, friction and connectedness, we should take advantage it.

Guest Bio

Chris Brogan is CEO of Owner Media Group , providing strategy and skills for the modern business. He is also a highly sought after professional speaker and the New York Times bestselling author of nine books and counting. His latest is called Find Your Writing Voice. Go to ChrisBrogan.com for more information.

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030: Trading Legendary Stories

What do we think of the new color shifting beverage Starbucks recently introduced? Why are some people in California painting phallic symbols on the street? On this episode, we’re back to outdo each other with stories taken from the news. Whose stories are going to be more legendary? Find out on our latest edition of Trading Legendary Stories!

The interweb is unbelievable, at 8 years old you can learn how to drive and take your sister to McDonald’s. -Christopher Lochhead

Takeaways

  1. A findom: A woman on Snapchat who has fans that get off on being pressured and belittled into giving up their money.
  2. Biodegradable, edible water blobs, an eco-friendly alternative to water bottles. http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/ooho-water-bottle-blob/#iJkEqu0FUsq7.
  3. There’s a guy catching marathon cheaters from the comfort of his own home. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39584495

At the start of this episode, we talked about how a Burger King ad backfired, as well as license plate flippers. Next, we talked about ephemeral ink tattoos, and how physicists have created negative mass. We also shared on the man who caught a marathon cheater, potholes in Oregon and the shrimp named after Pink Floyd.

We also talked about

  • A financial dominatrix on Snapchat
  • People walkers and what category they belong to
  • A boy who learned to drive on YouTube
  • The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

Where there’s category design, there’s also needless problem design. How would you consider the innovations we discussed on this episode? The findom, the Unicorn frappuccino, and the edible water bob are all new things that have been announced recently, and these are just the beginning. The interwebs are powerful, the American muscle car is having a great time, marathon cheaters will be caught, and if you want a human walker, go to LA.

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029: Marketing in the Modern World w/Stephen Woessner

Modern marketing often feels like it’s mystic, dark, magic voodoo. How do you unlock what will make your small business succeed? How do you get the most out of podcasting and create the right kind of content? How do we overcome imposter syndrome? On this episode, Stephen Woessner shares on his podcast, and gives us some interesting marketing insights.

Content that is exceptional and doesn’t feel really commercialized really gets traction. It’s a safe environment because it’s a haven away from the clutter. -Stephen Woessner

Takeaways

  1. The best podcast content has to have the listener in mind first.
  2. There are 28 million business owners in this country, 24 million of them are solopreneurs.
  3. Small business owners have to master LinkedIn, even above Facebook.
  4. LinkedIn: have a deep professional summary that adds value

At the start of the show we talked about podcasts and why ranking well on iTunes is not a viable strategy. We also talked about how to build your own audience and the importance of creating great stuff consistently. We talked about the problems internet users have with ad-heavy content, and how to overcome that as a content creator. Stephen also shared on predictive ROI, and the main problems small business owners are facing. Towards the end of the show we talked about long form content and overcoming imposter syndrome.

Stephen also shared insights on;

  • Why there’s no shortcut to podcasting
  • Marketing tactics for small business owners
  • A big mistake people are making on LinkedIn
  • Which businesses benefit from podcasts

When it comes to marketing a small business, building an audience on Facebook makes a lot of sense. Podcasts aren’t for every type of business. If a business is run by a thought leader, and the content of the podcast ties into the business, customers will appreciate it. The secret is getting your content strategy right, developing a nation of true fans, creating great stuff consistently and distributing it effectively. Remember we’ve all dealt with imposter syndrome and if we work hard, and grit it out success will happen for us.

Guest Bio

Stephen is a digital marketing authority, entrepreneur, speaker, educator, and bestselling author two books, The Small Business Owner’s Handbook to Search Engine Optimization and Increase Online Sales through Viral Social Networking. Clients include Cisco, Advisors Excel, Agency Management Institute, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and others. Linda Fassig-Knauer, US Channels, Cisco Systems, said “Stephen really engaged the audience at our SMB Advisory Council. His presentation hit the mark.” His digital marketing insights have been featured in Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and The Washington Post. He also hosts the podcast Onward Nation. Go to OnwardNation.com or follow him on Twitter @stephenwoessner.

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028: How To Be Smart: The Power of Business Books with Sally Haldorson from 800-CEO-READ

Do stronger interpersonal relationships make for better colleagues? How has the business book genre shifted in the last 30 years? How has the advent of technology changed things for authors and publishers? In this episode, Sally Haldorson, the general manager of 800-CEO-READ, brings her expert knowledge on the business book field to discuss these questions and many more as we delve into the changing work culture that is taking place in America right now.  

The people who do the work are now in the driver’s seat and that is changing business and changing corporations for the better. – Sally Haldorson

Takeaways

  1. Everything is interlocked and how we perform at work is impacted by our lives and vice-versa. We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about that.
  2. The business book genre has expanded to go beyond leadership, management, marketing and sales to self-help, personal development and cultural development.
  3. Because of technology and community there has been a power shift so that the people doing the actual work are in the driver’s seat rather than the corporations.

We began this episode discussing the more humanistic approach that has been implemented in business since the 1980’s, and how we’ve grown increasingly accepting in embracing the human aspect of business. Sally discussed whether she feels that this shift makes for better colleagues and employees. Sally then went on to talk about how this has been mirrored in the business book world through books such as ‘Solve for Happy’. Later in this episode we moved on to discuss how technology has affected business and the pushback that has occurred to non-face to face connections and social media. Sally spoke about how this technology shift has affected both publishers and authors. Sally finished off by recommending some business books that she feels people should read and we spoke about the idea of empowerment.

We also discussed;

  • The growth in physical books versus e-books.
  • How you toe the line between marketing yourself effectively and not selling yourself out.
  • The history of her publishers and how the advent of Amazon affected them.
  • Whether it is acceptable to write about personal topics on a business blog.

Over the past 30 years there has been a huge shift in business culture which has seen a move away from strict, regimented control to giving more power back to the workers themselves and creating a more personable, empathetic workplace environment. Inherently, empathy makes us better people and empathy allows us to do better work and this has been realised by businesses. This has been partially driven by a change in the business book genre which has seen an increase in books about self-help, personal development, cultural development and other psychosocial issues.

Guest Bio

Sally Haldorson is the General Manager at 800-CEO-READ. Her job is to make it a great place to work for employees, and a consistently high-performing service organization for their clients, authors, and partners in the publishing industry. Also part of the company’s marketing team, Sally reads, writes, reviews, curates, and edits. For more information head over to Sally’s LinkedIn page; LinkedIn.com/in/Sally-Haldorson-23a5a222/

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027: Silicon Valley PR Legend Sabrina Horn

Great PR and communications can very well be an x-factor in the success of a tech business. What are the greatest lessons learned from a successful career in this space? What is the future of the industry? What is love-based marketing and what will it do? On this episode, Sabrina Horn shares insights from her perch as the grand dame of Silicon Valley PR.

The worst mistakes I ever made were because I didn’t make the right decision soon enough. -Sabrina Horn

Takeaways

  1. People are afraid of a lot of upcoming technologies. Communicators have the role of making these things less scary.
  2. NYC is now number 2 after San Francisco in innovation. Boston has shifted innovation towards life-sciences.
  3. A reporter’s job is tough. Put yourself in their shoes and relate to them in a human way.

At the start of the show, Sabrina shared on her life story, her parents’ own entrepreneurship and how running a business is very humbling. Next, she talked about her life outside of work and the new wave of technology that is based on AI. She also shared tips for getting the most out of media relations and the biggest mistakes she’s ever made.

Sabrina also talked about;

  • Love marketing and love-based campaigns
  • The importance of category creation and recreation
  • How to cultivate a good gut

As tech draws nearer to AI, and the media continues to be turned on its head, communicators are necessary now more than ever to take the fear and uncertainty out of these times. It comes down to keeping your head on your shoulders when things go nuts, learning from mistakes and filtering the noise out so you can listen to yourself, ask smart questions and make the best decisions.

Guest Bio

Sabrina is the Founder of the Horn Group, a Leading PR/Digital Communications Agency. She is also a partner at Finn Partners and she has 20 years of tech, enterprenuerial and media/leadership training experience. Follow her on Twitter @SabrinaHorn or find her on LinkedIn LinkedIn.com/in/SabrinaHorn

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026: American 4-Star General Stanley McChrystal on Confidence, War & The Paradox of Leadership

The army is overweighted in military capability but underweighted in the other things. What are the lessons that can improve this? What can the military teach businesses? What is the paradox of senior leadership? On this episode we are joined by the legendary General Stanley McChrystal, who shares his life journey, his military career and his company.

When you don’t have a discipline in a system, and there’s not a way to fail, then it’s hard for anyone to really succeed. -Stanley McChrystal

Takeaways

  1. When you become Captain you get to discover if the work is for you, and if you’re good at it.
  2. Military training has always been skewed to the war fighting tasks, and not the softer, community skills that are also necessary.
  3. General McChrystal asks soldiers “if I told you you couldn’t go home until we win, what would you do differently to what you’re doing now?”
  4. The paradox of senior leadership is displaying confidence while also being honest.

At the start of the show, General Stanley McChrystal shares how becoming a grandfather has impacted him, and the lessons it taught him about fatherhood and having a career. “When we say work-life balance, I don’t think we mean it on a daily basis.” Next he shared on how he came up in the army, and how he joined the US Army at a time where it was looking for its identity. We also talked about why younger soldiers aren’t affected by the need to make things look good, his book and the work his company does. Towards the end of the show, we talked about the importance of discipline.

We also discussed;

  • How soldiers develop bonds with the people they are helping
  • Leading soldiers as a general officer
  • The paradox of very senior leadership
  • If information technology drives more transparency

Senior leaders walk the line between not BSing while also conveying confidence to the people who look up to them. The best path to take is to be as honest as you can all the time - so your credibility never comes into question. In military and in business, it’s important to focus on the human element as much as you think of the capabilities and technical side of things. Technology is something we can leverage to create understanding. We tend to hate the people we really don’t know, so the right tools can make us a better society.

Guest Bio

Stanley A. McChrystal was born on August 14, 1954, in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1990, he became action officer for Army Special Operations, working in Joint Special Operations Command. In 1991, he saw action in the Desert Shield and Desert Storm tours. He was commander of the Joint Special Operations Command from 2003 to 2008. He became top commander in Afghanistan in 2009. Stan founded McChrystal Group in January 2011 to deliver innovative leadership solutions to American businesses in order to help them transform and succeed in challenging, dynamic environments. As Founder and a Partner, he advises senior executives at multinational corporations on navigating complex change and building stronger teams. Go to McChrystalGroup.com for more information.

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025: How to Become a Best Selling Author - Playing Bigger with Newsweek’s Kevin Maney

Struggling to find inspiration for a new book? Feeling downtrodden after being rejected more than once? In this episode, best-selling author and award-winning columnist Kevin Maney discusses the geography of thought and how to deal with rejection when you have poured your heart, soul and time into a book. Kevin also shares his insight on how he thinks technology will revolutionise the healthcare industry, and how that will in turn completely change the economic landscape of the country.

Every novelist has to write two and a half books worth of sh*t before you can write one good book. –Kevin Maney

Takeaways

  1. Chances are the first thing you write is not going to be great and neither is the second. You have to understand that and not get put off by rejections.
  2. It is important to find new ways of looking at things and broaden your horizons, this way you can continue to grow as an author and a human being.
  3. Technology is going to revolutionise the healthcare industry and this will have a direct affect on the economics of the country.

We began this episode with Kevin discussing the geography of thought and how you need to learn to remember that what you think in that moment is the best thing ever might turn out to be rubbish and vice-versa. Following on from that Kevin spoke about how not to take rejection personally when you have poured your heart and time into writing a book that gets canned at the final hurdle. Later in the episode we discussed ‘Play Bigger’ and Kevin revealed how he was unsure that we would ever actually write the book and how his mind was opened up after having understood what we were talking about. We finished up talking about how technology is going to change the healthcare industry through the advent of things like Watson from IBM and how these things could totally change modern economics.

We also discussed;

  • The secrets to Kevin’s success.
  • What drives Kevin to find a new way of looking at things.
  • How you know whether authors and publishers are serious.
  • His past work with USA Today.

When you start out as an author you are not going to write best sellers straight away. Chances are, you are going to have to write two books worth of rubbish before you actually end up writing something good. If you send book proposals out and you get rejections back you have to understand that even though it might seem like the worst news ever, it usually isn’t. You just have to try and learn from it and not get downtrodden. It’s not easy being an author and you need to learn as much as you can and broaden your horizons so that you can grown as not only an author, but also as a human being.

Guest Bio

Kevin Maney is a best-selling author and award-winning columnist. Maney co-authored, with Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson and Christopher Lochhead, the 2015 book Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets, published by Harper Business.  Maney’s other books include The Two-Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future...Just Enough, a 2011 New York Times bestseller. He also co-wrote the most widely distributed business book of 2011, Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company, which marked IBM’s centennial. His other books are Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don't; The Maverick and His Machine: Thomas Watson Sr. and the Making of IBM; and Megamedia Shakeout. For more information about Kevin head over to his website; KevinManey.com

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024: Inside Sequoia Capital, Entrepreneurs & Legendary Marketing with CMO Blair Shane

Building a business that goes the distance is a challenge for today’s entrepreneurs. What makes a good CMO, and how do they fit into building lasting businesses? How do you market a company as successful as Sequoia Capital? In this episode Blair Shane, CMO of Sequoia Capital answers these questions and shares her expert insight into the world of venture capital. She also talks candidly about how Sequoia runs and how she balances her work and home life.

We will have lost if the companies we back don’t transform the world. – Blair Shane

Takeaways

  1. A great CMO is someone who knows their audience inside out, knows their product inside out and puts together the right, integrative plan, to connect the two.
  2. You can only be as good as the next company that you partner with.
  3. If you want to stay ahead you have to be willing to change, even if things are working well.

We began this episode by discussing what being legendary means and Blair gave us her views on this, as well as some information about her background within the working world. Blair then went on to discuss everything related to Sequoia including what they look for in the people they decide to work with, and how they continue on the mission that their founders created by valuing teamwork over showmanship. Following on from that Blair explained to us what she feels Sequoia’s secrets to success are. We moved on to talk about why companies are waiting longer and longer before going public nowadays. Blair moved on to talk about how she markets brands that are already dominating their category and how she markets a firm that doesn’t want to market its own successes. We finished up by talking about what it means to be a CMO today and what category design means to Blair.

We also discussed;

  • The skill sets needed to be a modern day CMO.
  • What it’s like joining a high powered alpha workplace.
  • How Blair manages her work/life balance.
  • Generational transfer within business.

If you want to change the market you must have an idea that is based on a market need and you must not only have the ego to push and realize the full potential of the product, but also realize that you are not bigger than the product itself. It should be the idea that fuels you, not a desire for fame or wealth. The people that fit that bill can become true legends and category kings.

Guest Bio

Blair Shane is the CMO of Sequoia Capital where she is responsible for building Sequoia's global brand and helping to build the enduring companies of tomorrow. Previously to this she worked as the Associate Dean and CMO at Stanford School of Graduate Business. She is a results oriented, creative and resourceful leader dedicated to making a difference. With a strong background in marketing, strategic planning, and building team and a passion for identifying possibilities and making things happen. For more information head over to her LinkedIn page.

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023: Entrepreneur Roundtable: How to Design & Dominate Your Category w/Rhonda Smith - Part 1

People in business make an unconscious choice to attack an existing space, market or category. Why is this the wrong way to go about things? Is your business marketing to an existing space or category? What do you miss out on when you take this approach? On this special episode of Legends and Losers, we are joined by Rhonda Smith and other entrepreneurs for a mindset on utilizing category design in your business and how you sell yourself short when you don’t use it. You’ll learn how you can start using it today to improve your business.

This book changed my life, I don’t mean it changed my business, it changed my life as well as my business – Rhonda Smith

Takeaways

  1. Category design for a niche services business is fundamentally about making the skill gap as wide as possible.
  2. Categories make brands, not the other way round.
  3. You have to decide what you want to share and what you don’t and no matter what you do, you have to make it really authentic.

In this episode we began by discussing what category design is by showcasing some examples of companies using it to their advantage. We then went on to discuss personal branding and how important it is to be authentic in your branding and advertising. Next, we talked about the importance of category design in branding and how branding without category design is a bad idea. Later in the show, we discussed how someone can become legendary and design a legendary category. We shared on the success of CEO of Salesforce, Mark Benioff and how companies like Netflix have created their own categories by marketing new problems to people that they didn’t know they had. We finished off by discussing the importance of not selling yourself short.

We also shared insights on;

  • The book ‘Play Bigger’.
  • How to differentiate yourself from everyone else.
  • Whether it is possible to be successful without being 100% authentic.
  • Whether money and resources are the key to category design.
  • Tips for smaller businesses.

Every product or service that we love exists because a legend executed the magic triangle; company design, product design and category design. They are all equally important and many people in business don’t even understand what category design is or how best to utilize it. You can see great examples of category design through the ages, like Henry Ford marketing the car as a horseless carriage. In many ways the category is in the context of what it isn’t because we understand a prior category. The most important feature of category design is marketing the problem, not the solution. Categories make companies. Categories make careers.

Guest Bio

Rhonda Smith is a leading Lifestyle Architect and Success Coach for men and women who are ready to stop feeling stuck in the life that they are living and are ready to design a life that they love. Go to Cosmicsmith.com for more information.

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022: Entrepreneur Roundtable: How to Design & Dominate Your Category w/Rhonda Smith - Part 2

People in business make an unconscious choice to attack an existing space, market or category. Why is this the wrong way to go about things? Is your business marketing to an existing space or category? What do you miss out on when you take this approach? On this special episode of Legends and Losers, we are joined by Rhonda Smith and other entrepreneurs for a mindset on utilizing category design in your business and how you sell yourself short when you don’t use it. You’ll learn how you can start using it today to improve your business.

This book changed my life, I don’t mean it changed my business, it changed my life as well as my business – Rhonda Smith

Takeaways

  1. Category design for a niche services business is fundamentally about making the skill gap as wide as possible.
  2. Categories make brands, not the other way round.
  3. You have to decide what you want to share and what you don’t and no matter what you do, you have to make it really authentic.

In this episode we began by discussing what category design is by showcasing some examples of companies using it to their advantage. We then went on to discuss personal branding and how important it is to be authentic in your branding and advertising. Next, we talked about the importance of category design in branding and how branding without category design is a bad idea. Later in the show, we discussed how someone can become legendary and design a legendary category. We shared on the success of CEO of Salesforce, Mark Benioff and how companies like Netflix have created their own categories by marketing new problems to people that they didn’t know they had. We finished off by discussing the importance of not selling yourself short.

We also shared insights on;

  • The book ‘Play Bigger’.
  • How to differentiate yourself from everyone else.
  • Whether it is possible to be successful without being 100% authentic.
  • Whether money and resources are the key to category design.
  • Tips for smaller businesses.

Every product or service that we love exists because a legend executed the magic triangle; company design, product design and category design. They are all equally important and many people in business don’t even understand what category design is or how best to utilize it. You can see great examples of category design through the ages, like Henry Ford marketing the car as a horseless carriage. In many ways the category is in the context of what it isn’t because we understand a prior category. The most important feature of category design is marketing the problem, not the solution. Categories make companies. Categories make careers.

Guest Bio

Rhonda Smith is a leading Lifestyle Architect and Success Coach for men and women who are ready to stop feeling stuck in the life that they are living and are ready to design a life that they love. Go to Cosmicsmith.com for more information.

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