Christopher Lochhead Follow Your Different™

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003 Cameron Herold Free PR, Beige Companies More

How do you make sure your company does not go “beige”? Cameron Herold tells us how and why simple is ultimately powerful. Cameron Herold – Running with Simple According to Cameron, some business persons may be likened to a fly hitting the window over and over in an attempt to get out instead of turning around and taking the door. This is something that’s not very advisable and in fact can result in ruin. “Why would you try so hard when there’s already a system in place?” – Cameron Herold All of Cameron’s techniques tend to be simple to execute. He grew up simple, an average guy in high school and college. He doesn’t run with complicated that he doesn’t understand. No to the A-Player Only Mindset  Something that Cameron has been decidedly against is the belief that a company becomes successful by hiring A players. This is impossible. A company’s A players are its race horses and the B players, the work horses.

A company needs a bunch of people who will work hard. They need to be good and fit into the culture  in order to grow into their roles. In short, companies have to be honest with themselves. “I guess it’s like baseball. You just need a bunch of solid singles and doubles and you’ll win the game. You don’t need everybody getting home runs.” – Cameron Herold A Diverse Team Building a company with this line of thinking is based on three things. These include money a company is willing to pay, results needed from the person to be hired, and whether the hire has done what is expected of them before. “Would you rather have someone who’s broken world records or someone who knows how to do it?” – Cameron Herold It’s impossible to have a whole bunch of marathoners. But you can have a few marathoners, people who run 10Ks, and lastly, people who are at least not sitting in the couch smoking all day.

To hear more about companies and PR, download and listen to the episode. Bio: Cameron Herold is the founder of the COO Alliance as well as a serial entrepreneur, author and top-rated international speaker. His  books include Double Double, Vivid Vision, Meetings Suck, and his latest, Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs.

He is known as a business growth guru and CEO Whisperer, and speaks around the world at CEO and COO events. Learn more and download Cameron’s personal Vivid Vision at CameronHerold.com.

Links: 

CameronHerold.com

LinkedIn

Twitter

FreePRBook.com

We hope you enjoyed Cameron Herold on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!

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002 Downturn Coming?

Is it wise to raise a round of funding now? On this episode of Follow Your Different™, Christopher Lochhead answers a question emailed by one of his listeners. Is there a downturn coming? Possible Downturn The CEO of a venture-backed startup has been hearing that venture capitalists are concerned about a downturn. Valuations are coming down and funding rounds are getting smaller. Because of this, they are wondering whether they should raise money when it’s supposedly going down.

Christopher is no stock expert and neither is he an economist. But indeed there have been ramblings about how the stock market is getting funky. The State of the Market Christopher had a conversation with the CEO of a company that he’s involved with from which he gained valuable insight. Venture capitalists are getting a little squirrely. The CEO has decided to raise money now since it’s unsure where things are going to be in six months.

Having been doing involved in all this for over 30 years, Christopher has made the observation that there is a correlation between the public and private markets. This is to say, the stock market affects venture capitalist behavior. In this same vein, it wouldn’t be surprising if valuations come down and the size of some funding raises come down heading into 2019. “I’m not sounding the alarm, it hasn’t gone to that level, but be cautious.” – Christopher Lochhead What to Do It’s smart to get on a little earlier and get ready for valuations coming down, because this is likely going to happen. Entrepreneurs need not pull back too much but they have to be more thoughtful about hires, spending and expansion. It is also important to evangelize your point of view and offer to solve a problem. “The bigger and more urgent and more strategic the problem, the more time, money and energy people will apply to it and spend on solving that problem.” – Christopher Lochhead To hear more about getting ready for the possible downturn, download and listen to the episode.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!

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001 TJ Welch – How Heroes Fight Wild Fires

How do you mobilize thousands of firefighters to tame a terror that could ravage lives and billions? On this episode of Follow Your Different™, Retired Battalion Chief TJ Welch tells us how. He shares a riveting story of leadership applicable to real life, how preparation is key to saving thousands, and so much more. TJ Welch – Starting Out in the City TJ spent the first years of his career dealing with brush fires and structural fires. He also had his fair share of wildland fires as a chief officer. But he and other city firefighters pretty much only stood guard in front of the houses.

It wasn’t until the late ‘90s when they made full use of city firefighters. They went to timber and brush areas to stop fires and perform other operations. “This was my moment where it kind of changed my perspective of my role as a chief officer.” – TJ Welch Wildland Fire in Numbers Back in the day, the biggest of wildland fires reached up to 160 thousand acres, which is equal to the same number of football fields. This number has been expanding in recent years, reaching up to 200 thousand acres of wildland catching fire.

The terrifying numbers make sense when taken in the context of the number of residences, the timber that is involved, how exposed the wood is, and how quickly it burns. These wildland fires burn a couple of football fields per second. They are impossible to outrun and risk many lives.

There’s a lot of reasons as to why wildland fires catch so quickly. On the other hand, timber could take a while to dry and get moisture back. With the drought that has gone on for so many years along with other forest products left out in the open, the wildland fires have become more gigantic. A Turning Point There was one fire that forever changed TJ. This gave way to a collective effort to train firefighters in the art of effective mobilization when tempering these massive fires. “When I left that fire, I said I’m not gonna be so ignorant when I come to another wildland fire.” – TJ Welch To hear more about how California firefighters move as a unit and how TJ dealt with the massive responsibility of being a leader, download and listen to the episode. Bio: TJ Welch is a 32 year veteran of the fire service. Throughout the course of his career he served in volunteer, industrial and municipal fire departments.

TJ was a member of CAL Fire ICT 3 from 1997-2005 and a founding member of CICCS. He was a qualified Type OSC2, OPBD, DIVS and STEN.

TJ retired in 2014 as Battalion Chief with Alameda County Fire Department. He currently teaches and writes Officer courses for OSFM, and is an Firefighter Safety Specialist for California Department of Public Health and NIOSH where he investigates firefighter line of duty deaths. Links: How to donate to victims of the Butte/Camp Fires in California:

Camp fire victims

Northern California fire victims

Survivors of Butte County’s Camp Fire

Background on the Butte aka the “camp fire”:

The deadliest, most destructive wildfire in California’s history has finally been contained

Paradise lost: the town incinerated by California’s deadliest wildfire – video

After a Wildfire, Rebuilding Life Can Be Hardest for the Oldest

We hope you enjoyed TJ Welch on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!

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000 Welcome to the Follow Your Different™ Podcast

From unfolding legends and losery, Christopher Lochhead moves on to unpack stories of how people embrace what makes them different. On this episode, he sits with his dear friend Jaime Jay to share the story behind the show and what people should expect from Follow Your Different™. “The number one question that I have for myself is why would you change something that isn’t broken?” – Christopher Lochhead Product of Evolution Starting a new show is both exciting and scary. But according to Christopher, Follow Your Different™ is a representation of what Legends and Losers, his previous podcast, has become.

For a long time, Christopher stuck to the theme he started with when he first launched Legends and Losers. But he also began to feel a little straitjacketed by how people viewed the show as a life and business podcast. “When I took a hard look at it, the theme that really seemed to run through the podcast was the… celebration of different, if you will.” – Christopher Lochhead Celebrating Different People readily embrace the mantra of following your different. According to Jaime, when Christopher first talked about the idea of the podcast, he didn’t know what to expect.

Legends and Losers requires some explanation, and that is something that Christopher hopes to do away with in Follow Your Different™. The new podcast itself actually has a double meaning. The diversity of Legends and Losers inspired this.

Firstly, the podcast is a celebration of different things, of people and companies with different ideas that may not be exposed in mainstream media. These make for very gripping stories for this very reason. Secondly, every episode is different. “We’ve been called the Internet’s box full of chocolates.” – Christopher Lochhead Different in a Lot of Ways With the theme so deeply embedded in Legends and Losers, you never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes it’s a top-tier venture capitalist, sometimes a CEO, sometimes a doctor who’s designing a legendary death. Other times, a convicted killer turned motivational speaker.

These two kinds of different should resonate with the audience of the brand new podcast. To hear more about how Christopher turns over a new leaf and launches Follow Your Different™, download and listen to the episode.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!

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233 BIG News

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232: Brett Hurt Serial Entrepreneurial Success

How does coding for fun lead to becoming a category king? On today’s episode, Brett Hurt joins Christopher Lochhead in a riveting discussion about his story of serial entrepreneurship, the future of data, and the power of community. “There's just this serendipity that occurred in life where these things really drew me.” - Brett Hurt on how entrepreneurship pulled him in Three Things We Learned Wired to do big things Brett has always had the knack for creating things that spelled massive success from when he was young. His parents had taught him to slow down when he finally becomes successful the way he defines it. For a time he tried out his parents’ lifestyle, but entrepreneurship has always pulled him in. A figure to emulate He took a three-year break from being the head of his company to be more hands-on as a father to his children. It surprised him when his ten-year-old daughter walked up to him one day to ask when he was going to start another business. He realized he was most inspirational to his daughter when he was working and not being on every field trip, and his children became data.world’s first investors and are very proud of chipping in their toy money when they did. Serendipity of success He got into his first big success as an entrepreneur when he started an e-commerce site with his wife on a whim. He was feeling bored one day so he began coding an e-commerce package that he and his wife utilized for an online store. There weren’t many people online back then, but a community eventually built around it.

The serendipity of building the e-commerce site directly led to the first category that he entered into, which is e-commerce analytics. Hence the birth of Coremetrics, rated the #1 Web analytics solution some years later. Bio: Brett is the CEO and co-founder of data.world. It is a Public Benefit Corporation (and Certified B Corporation) focused on building the platform for modern data teamwork.

data.world helps you tap into more of your company’s collective brainpower—everyone from data scientists to nontechnical experts—so you can achieve anything with data, faster.

Brett is also the co-owner of Hurt Family Investments (HFI), alongside his wife, Debra. HFI are involved in 59 startups and counting, mostly based in Austin (see http://lucky7.io/portfolio for details).

HFI are also invested in 15 VC funds and multiple philanthropic endeavors.

Brett founded and led Bazaarvoice as CEO from 2005-2012, through its IPO, follow-on offering, and two acquisitions (PowerReviews and Longboard Media).

Prior to Bazaarvoice, Brett founded and led Coremetrics. Forrester Research rated Coremetrics #1 Web analytics solution and, like Bazaarvoice, it expanded into a global company and category leader. IBM acquired Coremetrics in 2010 for around $300m. Links: data.world

LinkedIn

Medium

Facebook

Twitter

We hope you enjoyed Brett Hurt on this episode of Legends and Losers! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!

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231: Questions and Cocktails First Marketing Hire

On another episode of Questions and Cocktails, Christopher Lochhead responds to a question by an aspiring category king. What does a good first marketing hire look like? Do you choose potential over experience? “I think legendary CEOs are evangelists and they don't outsource the strategic part of marketing.” - Christopher Lochhead

Working on Lightning Strikes Josh Goodman is grinding to build his nine-person company to a new height. They have doubled in revenue for the last three years in a row. However, their marketing department has little to nothing besides SEO and social targeting advertising.

He has advertised for a Marketing Manager on LinkedIn and has gotten a lot of responses. With his venture for a first marketing hire, he wants to hear thoughts on whether to hire a 25-year-old or someone who’s hardcore in the trenches of marketing. Hiring Right for a Small Business It can often be tempting to hire a youngster with tons of potential and still has a lot of room for growth. The company can sell them on what they do in the business in order to help the new hire crush it in the role they will take.

On the other hand, there is the option to hire someone that has had their experience with email campaigns and content marketing. These people are all about creating a brand and helping manage and build assets. Outsourcing the Strategy For a small entrepreneurial company, the CEO also needs to take up the role of the CMO. A C-level executive sounds like a good idea, but it is far more beneficial for a CEO to act as the category designer and evangelist of a brand, especially at an early stage of the game.

Even when a company has gotten bigger, the E in CEO should still stand for “evangelist”. Prominent examples include Steve Jobs of Apple and Larry Ellison of Oracle.

To hear more from Christopher, download and listen to the episode! We hope you enjoyed Questions and Cocktails First Marketing Hire! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!

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230: Alex Hult from Pro Hockey to Restaurateur

What do you do when your dreams get crushed? On today’s episode, Alex Hult shares his awesome story of business and life success. He tells us how he rose from a halted hockey career and became a legendary restaurateur. “My mind was still thinking as fast, everything else was going as fast, but my body couldn't just handle the speed that I wanted to go.” - Alex Hult

Three Things We Learned Alex’s promising hockey career Hockey has been a gigantic part of his life. Growing up in Sweden, Alex was one of the youngest players in the elite league and was ranked second in the country. With a bright career ahead of him, the San Jose Sharks eventually drafted him in 2003. The injury that stilted everything Alex Hult got injured the summer right after he got drafted by the Sharks while in a playoff as part of the Swedish team versus Russia. He prematurely got back in the ice a month after the injury. He was late to realize that injury took six to nine months of rehabilitation, and his career took a turn for the worse. Becoming a restaurateur After he got married, Alex gave thought to what he wanted to do and the restaurant business sounded fun, so he opened up HULT'S in 2013. On the fourth year of the restaurant, he opened the first Flights location which took off like crazy. At Flights, they serve everything from drinks to food in three different ways.

They give good value to their customers and this commitment shows in how they are full every single day. The massive success birthed a decision to spice things up and remodel the old HULT'S location to become another branch for Flights. Since then, Flights have become one of the most reputable restaurants giving their customers a whole new experience. Bio: Alex is a Swedish native drafted in 2003 in the eighth round by the San Jose Sharks of the NHL. After a knee injury sidelined his career in hockey, he retired in 2009 after stints in the Swedish and European hockey leagues.

Alex met his wife, Sarah, who was Miss Nevada 2011 while pursuing a professional career in cards in Las Vegas. The couple married in 2013 and returned to the Alameda CA area where Sarah is from. Links: Flights Restaurants

LinkedIn

New Flights soars into Los Gatos with fanfare

Hockey player turned restaurateur

Former hockey pro Alexander Hult traded skates for skillets

We hope you enjoyed Alex Hult on this episode of Legends and Losers! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!

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229 Marjorie Scholtz Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

How do you find a passion in solving a problem that a lot of people face? On today’s episode, CEO of Verbhouse Marjorie Scholtz, shares the story of how she realized her passion. She also talks about how she built a diverse team founded on a single mission, designing a new category of company that makes it easier for people to be homeowners. "Especially in cities like San Francisco, the home ownership rate is the lowest it's been in 50 years." - Marjorie Scholtz

Three Things We Learned Keep walking if you don’t know what to do People often get stuck when trying to search what they want to do in life. However, when they can tell what they don’t want to do, that means they have something to compare it to. They have yet to discover what it is that they clearly want to sink their teeth into. Some entrepreneurs begin with problems to solve Marjorie considers herself lucky to have found a problem that she is so passionate about that it’s all she can do. It is this sheer want to make a difference by solving the problem that steered her into this venture. Most entrepreneurs she resonates with are those who have accidentally fallen into their ventures because they want to solve a problem. Building a healthy ecosystem of people Marjorie's team refers to a diverse set of people who really bring in different experiences and different viewpoints in the company. This distributed experience and viewpoints is what she calls the ecosystem. Despite the differences, however, they all share one common passion and belief in the problem that they’re solving.

One of the most difficult times of entrepreneurship is when you're alone in your head and you have no one else to start buying into your own theories and hypotheses. But with a mission-driven team, things get exciting. You are finally able to speak about your own ideas and get feedback, and this moves things along. Bio: Recognized as a national expert, Marjorie Scholtz is a tireless advocate of homeownership. Before launching Verbhouse, Marjorie spent a decade as founder and CEO of Stangl Advisors.

With more than $100M in loan modifications, real estate dispositions and acquisitions during and after the financial crash, she helped many homeowners find a path toward a more secure financial future.

Her passion to empower people, coupled with deep institutional knowledge, inspired her to create the Verbhouse Platform. Links: Verbhouse

LinkedIn

We hope you enjoyed  Marjorie Scholtz on this episode of Legends and Losers! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!

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228: Cannabis Category King Dennis O’Malley, CEO of Caliva

How does a button-down professional become a legendary pot entrepreneur? On today’s episode, Dennis O’Malley shares with us how he embraced his category. And he also talks about why taking on the pot industry is an exciting endeavor as any. “In cannabis, almost more than any other industry, there’s an ability to really create and own your category.” - Dennis O’Malley

Three Things We Learned Dropping the bomb to everyone Dennis started out like any other aspiring entrepreneur—a button-down, suited up professional who didn’t look the part of a pothead. He remembered the last time he ever smoked back in freshman year, and even then he thought it was mowed lawn grass. Naturally, people's reactions varied when he dropped the news of wanting to be part of the industry. Earnest involvement in the company He had no cannabis acumen or passion for the product, not even an understanding of the industry. But Dennis developed a great relationship with the owner of the company and began consulting for the business from there. Through all this, he realized how challenged the company believed it was and the impact cannabis could have to everybody’s well-being. Challenging himself as a leader When Dennis took the lead, he gave himself six months to do two things for the company. He tried to find out if he could recruit the people that he needed to be able to be successful. Tied together with the passion around the industry that he discovered, he thought he could be the doing things right.

He became the CEO of Caliva back in January 2017. And he finds himself continuously blown away by the number of people that he gets to meet as well as the passion that he learned about. Dennis can now confidently say that he has really endeared himself to the industry. Bio: Dennis O'Malley is the CEO and President of Caliva. It is the largest vertically integrated company based in the State of California. Links: Caliva

LinkedIn

Twitter

We hope you enjoyed Dennis O'Malley on this episode of Legends and Losers! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!

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