Rank #1: 110: Building a Brand That People Will Love with Dorie Clark
All of us have ideas. But how do we turn our idea into a brand that people will love? That's a question I get asked often and this week branding expert Dorie Clark shares her tips and secrets on how to stand out in the modern economy.
In episode 110 of the podcast, we'll find out how to build a brand that people will love.
We'll answer questions like:
- How do we make our ideas pop and take off?
- What makes a brand that people love:
- How do we find influencers to champion our ideas on our behalf?
- Do good ideas always win?
- How do we get traction for our brand?
Dorie Clark's Stand Out book: https://www.amazon.com/Stand-Out-Breakthrough-Following-Around/dp/1491552115
Dorie Clark is the author of "Reinventing You" (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013) and "Stand Out," which was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine. A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, she is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Entrepreneur, and the World Economic Forum blog. Recognized as a "branding expert" by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine, Clark is a marketing strategy consultant and speaker for clients including Google, Microsoft, Yale University, Fidelity, and the World Bank.
"Standing out is no longer optional Too many people believe that if they keep their heads down and work hard they'll gain the recognition they deserve. But that's simply not true anymore." - Dorie Clark
May 16 2017
Rank #2: Ep 79: Finding Your Voice, Breaking Bad Habits & Thriving with Derek Sivers
Derek Sivers is writer, entrepreneur, programmer, musician, and student. He lived in NYC as a musician before creating and founding CD Baby in 1998. CD Baby eventually went onto be a leading seller of independent music online and he sold the company ten years later, in 2008 for $22 Million. And what did he do? He gave the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education.
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Derek Sivers has one of the most popular TED Talks "How to Start a Movement," which alone has amassed over 5 million views. In his TALK he details how we all focus on leadership in life and business, but in reality it's about being "the first follower," and that following is critical when starting a movement. If you haven't watched the video, it's worth a view: https://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_how_to_start_a_movement?language=en
After amassing over $100 Million in sales at CD Baby for over 150,000 musicians, Derek sold the company and currently lives in New Zealand. He is both a father and business man and we candidly talk about both family and work.We talk about how people can find "the compass in your gut," and that you need to be honest with yourself about what works for you. That compass can move in two directions and often people don't take inventory about what is 1) thriving in their life or 2) what is draining them.
After selling CD Baby in 2008, Derek realized that he had spent the better part of his life focused on making money. And that when we focus on different parts of our lives, like making money, finding romance, pursuing a skill, freedom or seeking intellectual stimulation - sometimes things change and that he needed to update his priorities.
For him, making money had runs its course. It was something that he focused on from the ages of 18-38, and he had to break the habit of doing things for money. Which is of course a great problem to have. Now at 42, he is a father and his priorities have changed.
Derek believes that we all have control of our lives. At CD Baby over 85 people reported to him and he was frustrated about life. And his friend called him out and say "you don't have to do anything in life. There will be consequences, but you don't have to do anything." And Derek felt a deeper understanding that he could control his life. He believes that people who feel trapped need to realize they have control of their life.
Derek is a writer and his book "Anything You Want" is a universal best-seller. Derek puts himself out there as a blogger and writer, and has written over 34 books. He first got into writing when musicians asked him for advice when he was at CD Baby. He started writing and found his voice over time.
Overall his writing is conversational in tone and Derek aims to be useful to other people. It's easy to lay low and hide out and not put yourself on the line, but that's not very useful to others. People often lay low and wonder why the world isn't rewarding them with cash an fame. Overall you need to put yourself out there and add value to the world.
Dec 22 2015
Rank #3: 88: Seth Godin on Making a Ruckus, Being Bold & Knowing When to Quit
Seth Godin is a marketer, entrepreneur, and best-selling author. He's one of my favorite public speakers and an inspiring figure in the marketing world. I have talked about him a lot on the podcast.
Seth was founder and CEO of Yoyodyne, an interactive direct marketing company, which Yahoo! acquired in 1998. Seth worked as VP Direct Marketing at Yahoo until 2000, whcih is when his career pivoted in the direction of authoring books, public speaking and and blogging.
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Seth Godin speaks in depth about the iizard brain which is something that holds us back in reaching our goals and is an irrational part of our human behavior. Have you ever wanted to accomplish something but there's a voice of anxiety telling us to go slow or be careful? That is the lizard brain, which is a pre-historic lump that is responsible for rage, fear and our reproductive drive. And now it gets in the way of us shipping our work, products or ideas.
Seth Godin explained to me that this happens when we say we want one thing, then we do another. Like when we say they want to be successful but then sabotage a job interview. Or we say that we want our product to come to market, but we sandbag their shipping schedule. Or we want to be thin, but never work out. He quotes Steven Pressfield, who calls this process the resistance. "The resistance is writer's block and putting jitters and every project that ever shipped late because people couldn't stay on the same page long enough to get something out the door." It's something we all face.
And if you have not read Seth Godin's The Dip, Linchpin or Purple Cow, I recommend that you stop listening and buy them from Amazon.com. The Dip is a favorite book of mine that helped me move on from a job that I wanted to quit. I eventually was laid off from this job, which turned out to be one of the best career moves of my life.
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Quotes about The Dip from Seth Godin:
"The only way to become the best at one thing is to quit something else. And the thesis of the book is that we live in a culture where supposedly quitting is a bad thing. But people quit stuff all the time.”
“You need to figure out if you quit or stick,” but you also need to know that the Dip is “a temporary setback that can be overcome with persistence.”
We also talk about how Brad Feld invested in Seth's startup, and how Seth's company published Derek Sivers' book Anything You Want.
Seth Godin's The Dip: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/the_dip/
Seth Godin's Book List: http://sethgodin.com/sg/books.asp
Seth Godin's Blog: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
By Seth Godin's books on Amazon, click here.
May 03 2016
Rank #4: How to Overcome Depression, Anxiety and Negative Thoughts in 5 Steps
Many of us have been depressed, know someone depressed, or will become depressed at some point during our life. There has long been a stigma around depression which prevents us from having an honest conversation on the topic.
In the early 2000's, after college, I was clinically depressed. It was the lowest point in my life. It took a lot of hard work to survive it, but I am better for that work I put in back then. This episode is a big milestone for me. Rather than just talking about how much success that podcast has given me (it has), I wanted to open up to help others authentically heal. If this episode isn't for you, no worries! I get it. But if you want to learn more about mental health, I hope you get something from this one.
This is my 101st episode, and I wanted to take the time to get personal.
Join my community email list and get a free Action and Lesson guidebook on building a community, collaborating with influencers to grow your business. http://www.influencereconomy.com/
When dealing with depression, I created a 5 step framework for how to pull yourself out of the rut:
1) Find allies - Find your true friends and family who will help you get through your dark spell. You need people whom you trust to become your advocates and support network. Find atleast one person to become your confident. This is someone who you want to support you during your dark periods.
2) Eliminate negative people - When you're depressed you're feeling low. You need people to pump you with oxygen, not take it away. Old friends from high school, college, work or growing up can sometimes be negative forces that don't help us rise up. If your family is a bad influence on your mood, take a break.
3) Find an activity for introspection - When you're dealing with bouts of depression, find an activity to get your though the period. Yoga, meditation, training for a race, biking, etc. are activities to help. Many depressed people want to be alone, so embrace that feeling, and look inward during that experience.
4) Heal by seeking professional help - Find someone to help you. A life coach, business coach, therapist or anyone who can give you outside professional help can fill this roll. I'm not advocated hiring a $200 an hour therapist. If you are depressed and need a business coach to find a better job, or you are in a bad relationship and want a life coach to help you, or you're bummed and maybe need medicate - it doesn't matter. Find a professional!
5) Create Structure by Joining a community - Depression can happen after your graduate from high school, get laid-off or break-up with your significant other. Why? Because the structure, support and habits from those experiences go away. Once you leave a supportive environment like school or work, you looks that personal infrastructure that we need to thrive in a group environment. Work, school, a class, or any group activity will help you through this stage of darkness.
Dec 14 2016
Rank #5: 10 Ways to Have Better Conversations with Celeste Headlee (Episode 114)
Celeste Headlee (@CelesteHeadlee) is a best-selling author & her TED Talks have been viewed over 10 Million times.
We talk about how to: Master the art and science of conversation Become a better active listener How simple questions give us complex answers Avoid using email to communicate Use small talk to make us happier
Find Celeste Headlee at her website: http://www.celesteheadlee.com/
Dec 19 2017
Rank #6: 96: Finding Your Next Amazing Job and Pivoting Your Career with Jenny Blake
Jenny Blake is an author, career and business strategist and speaker who helps people organize their brain, move beyond burnout, and find the careers they love. After leaving what many consider to be a dream job at Google, she helps people find meaning and focus in finding their next job. In other words, she helps people pivot their careers.
Visit our Influencer Economy Website for my information on the book and podcast: http://www.influencereconomy.com/ Sign-up for our email list and I will send you an article: The 7 Habits of Influencers and an Influencer Economy CheckList for launching your business.
Jenny Blake's new book is called PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One. In Pivot, she helps people create a new mindset and framework for how to find their next career move. In the era of The Infleuncer Economy, all of us want to build build sustainable and dynamic careers they love. Jenny wants to push people into the right direction to find their own career paths and pivots.
Drawing from Jenny's experiences and her research talking to other successful pivoters, She has created a four-stage framework that teaches anyone how to seamlessly and continually:
- Double-down on existing strengths, interests, and experiences
- Find new opportunities and identify skills to develop without falling prey to analysis-paralysis and compare-and-despair
- Run small experiments to determine next steps
- Take smart risks to launch with confidence in a new direction
If you like our podcast, please leave a review on iTunes - it really helps new listers discover our work. We are independently produced and appreciate the support! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/stories-from-influencer-economy/id820744212?mt=2
Learn more at Jenny Blake's website on Pivot: http://www.pivotmethod.com/
Follow Jenny Blake on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Jenny_Blake
Sep 12 2016
Rank #7: World-Changing Ideas, the Future of Technology and The Inevitable with Kevin Kelly
Kevin Kelly is a blogger, author, editor, student of technology and future systems, and self-proclaimed "packager of ideas". He is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine and has written for the New York Times, Economist, Science, Time, the Wall Street Journal, and other national and international publications.
Kevin's current focus is the future of technology and its cultural and psychological effects. He predicts that the world as we know it, including human thought and behavior, will be transformed over the next few decades just as dramatically as it has been due to the rise of internet culture. Kevin has outlined this transformation in his new book, The Inevitable, in which he lists twelve technological forces that he believes will shape our lives over the next thirty years. If you're working to build a successful and fulfilling future -- and who isn't?! -- I highly recommend that you read The Inevitable immediately.
Kevin also writes several blogs on a variety of topics. His technology blog, The Technium, contains one of my personal favorite posts, entitled "1000 True Fans". This post describes a big part of Kevin's theory on success and networking in the digital age. He states that almost any content creator in any genre can make a solid living by using some basic strategies to build a base of 1000 "true fans". He defines a "true fan" as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.
The theory is that if each of these 1000 true fans each spends even $100 per year on content and merchandise, the creator will have an annual income of roughly $100,000. In today's podcast, Kevin acknowledges a few necessary tweaks to this plan but explains how, in general, it can work for anyone.
More broadly speaking, on this episode, Kevin Kelly discusses his thoughts about the future of technology and how it will affect our lives. He goes into particular depth about the ideas of accessing and sharing, two of the twelve principles covered in The Inevitable. Kevin believes that accessing (renting or borrowing physical tools, substituting digital tools for physical ones, using free or open-source software, contracting for services, etc.) will be far more efficient and useful going forward than possessing (owning physical tools or software, hiring long-term employees, etc.). Similarly, he believes strongly in the importance of sharing, in terms of both collaborative content creation and freely-shared products. He points out that the world that we take for granted, from Wikipedia to Uber and far beyond, would not be possible without these two principles.
One of Kevin's main talking points is the importance of experimentation in our lives. Because he believes that the most important technology of the next 30 years hasn't been invented or even imagined yet, he knows that it's not too late for anyone. Any one of us could be the one to have the next world-changing idea. However, that idea will only come from curiosity, exploration, experimentation, and an open mind. You can begin today to build that mindset -- or strengthen and inform it if you've already begun -- by listening to Kevin Kelly's episode of The Influencer Economy now!
Written by contributor Edi Gonzalez
Quotes from the episode:
"There's one thing that I'm pretty sure about, and that is that the most important product in 30 years, the thing that is kind of running people's lives, does not exist right now.... And the larger point is that that's great news because it means that you could be the creator, the innovator, who comes up with that technology, and that none of us are late. Great opportunity is all before us."
"I would encourage anyone... to do something silly. Do something that is sort of basic science and research... that has no obvious practical value, because we know that eventually this kind of work will become the most essential and practical thing possible. What I recommend people... to do is something that is really, really interesting to them. I'm a big fan of being unproductive in a long-term productive way."
"If you're too many steps ahead, that's just as terrible as being twenty steps behind. But what I want to emphasize is that you want to take that appropriate minimal step in the right direction. We are gonna do more sharing, more collaboration, more accessing, so all things equal, if you're heading in those directions, that's a viable direction."
"The only thing that's not increasing in this world of abundance... is our own attention, which is fixed. And not only is it fixed, but we also have to spend it every day. We can't bank it. We can't store it up. We have to expend our 24 hours every 24 hours and we have no more than that. And so we need technological tools to help us navigate and manage this exponential abundance of stuff."
Buy Kevin Kelly's books on Amazon by clicking here. (http://www.amazon.com/Kevin-Kelly/e/B001HCY1LE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1466622579&sr=8-2-ent)
Kevin Kelly's blogs, including The Technium, Cool Tools, and more: http://kk.org/
Jul 13 2016
Rank #8: 84: Battling Depression and Fighting Through Dark Times and Anxiety as a Creative Person w/ Rand Fishkin
Rand speaks regularly about Moz and is an expert in online marketing. At the time, Rand was giving talks about marketing around the world. But it didn't matter while he was depressed. After giving inspiriting talks to marketing audiences, people would approach him afterwards to compliment him. Audience members would say "it' so great to meet you, I've been a Moz customer for years. I love your tools and software." And Rand felt so bad, he tried to convince the attendees that his talks were truly bad. And he even tried to prove to these paying customers that his products weren't working properly.
Many of you know that I am a former standup comedian. And many of you don't know is that I struggled with depression in my early 20's, while performing stand-up. There was days I never left my room except for comedy and my day-job. I went through a dark phase and it was really hard talking to people about my own challenges with depression and anxiety. I discovered that there was a real stigma around depression amongst my friends and colleagues. People saw it as a stigma and thought that I was "weak." In fact most people told me to "suck it up," and deal with it. I've never told anyone outside of my close friends this story.
Listen to our archives with entrepreneurs like Brad Feld, Troy Carter and Burnie Burns of Rooter Teeth at our Influencer Economy website: http://www.influencereconomy.com/
Please leave a review on iTunes - it really helps us get organically discovered on iTunes by new listeners. And be honest: http://www.influencereconomy.com/itunes/
In Rand's case, startup founder depression is a real thing. And creative people are highlight likely to go through depressed periods in their lives. Talking about depression can be a hard conversation to have. It's not easy. But it's okay to be depressed. It's okay to tell others openly and honest about how crappy you feel. Severe depression and anxiety doesn't last forever. Any sort of self-loathing or misery that you feel is temporary.
What you'll learn from this episode:
- How to identify traits you may be experiencing as a depressed person
- How to cope with bouts of depression and anxiety
- How to share your feelings with friends during a dark period
- How the stigma of depression of often prevents people from asking for help
- How depression is often temporary and that people can get through it
- How startup founders can fight through depression
- Where to look for help if you're a startup founder depressed (start with friends and family)
Rand Fishkin's Moz article: The Long Ugly year of Depression that is Finally Fading
Rand Fishkin on Twitter: https://twitter.com/randfish
Follow Ryan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryanjwill
Mar 17 2016
Rank #9: Ep. 75: 2 Billion YouTube Views Later- How Cenk Uygur Built an Online News Jaugernaut
Ep. 75: Billions of YouTube Views & Bigger Than Fox News and MSNBC with Cenk Uygur from The Young Turks News network.
Cenk Uygur is the main host and co-founder of the American liberal political and social news network, The Young Turks (TYT). They are a massively successful YouTube network and recently raised over $400,000 to crowdfund their recording studio in Los Angeles, where I went to interview Cenk.
Cenk is a former MSBNC Commentator, CurrenTV host and founded Young Turks in 2002. How does someone build a YouTube Channel for over 2 billion views? We talked in depth about their strategy and execution for growing a monster YouTube network. And how they galvanize and build their fan-base.
The Young Turks online:
Nov 18 2015
Rank #10: Ep. 72: The Pivot From Investment Banking to Startup CEO with Farbod Shoraka of Bloomnation
In this episode of The Pivot: A series documenting the stories of tech startup founders who pivot their careers from another industry, I speak with Farbod Shoraka, founder of BloomNation a technology startup based in Los Angeles, which is similar to Etsy but for flowers.
Farbod is a reformed former investment banker who pivoted his career into launching his company, taking part in the Mucker Lab Accelerator and raising venture capital from firms like Andreesen Horowitz
Farbod changed careers after seeing a larger gap in the flower market. When working as a banker, he did a business deal in the flower industry, and he was shocked that the industry was so inefficient.
After talking to his Aunt Sharine, who was in the floral industry…He realized that he could solve a big problem in the industry that large companies like 1-800-Flowers were not adequately meeting.
With seed funding that came from a co-founder who was a world class poker player, Farbod and 3 friends jumped into the tech economy.
I hope some of what we discussed surrounding his "pivot" can help you, whether trying to pivot yourself, working with start-ups or already a start-up.
In less than three years, more than 2,500 florists in about 3,000 cities have signed up to use the site.
The company is a marketplace for local florists to list their labors of love -- and for consumers to purchase them directly from these designers. The emphasis is on local and handcrafted. Think of it as Etsy, but for flowers
I recently visited BloomNation’s new headquarters in Santa Monica to talk to Farbod, the CEO of the company. The space overlooks Third Street Promenade, bustling with shoppers and street performers. Inside though, it’s a picture of calm and playfulness. A ping pong table is the first thing you see walking in. There are flowers everywhere, not exactly a surprise.
And part of the conference area is laid with Astroturf. Farbod Shoraka said they did that to make people feel like they are outside while they are inside the office. To create a place where people can sit on the grass, have a conversation, to get their creative juices flowing. When we sat down to chat, I first asked Farbod to tell me more about him and his cofounders, and how they got the idea of BloomNation off the ground
What we learned:
- How Farbod went to speak with local florists all around Los Angeles proving their idea out for Bloom Nation
- How important it was Farbod to get feedback from his potential users before he built the product
- How non-coders can launch an internet tech business
- How the founders of BloomNation raised their initial funding from a poker match at the Commerce Casino
- How a startup accelerator can help your startup
Oct 27 2015
Rank #11: 85: Going Viral, Doing What You Love & Putting in the Work with Franchesca Ramsey
Franchesca Ramsey went viral. Her video Stuff White Girls Say to Black Girls (I addd a euphemism with Stuff) took off like a rocket ship. She was an early adopter of YouTube and created regular videos, but that one video really went viral. Imagine if your video was picked up by MSNBC, Mtv, the BBC. Even Anderson Cooper, who had a network show at the time, came knocking at her door for an interview.
We all have choices about what to do when the work we love gets super-popular. Franchesca eventually thrived as she now works as a writer for The Nightly Show with Larry Willmore on Comedy Central. But she hit a lot of bumps on the way. She is a great example of the influencer economy because she put in the work to become successfull. She wasn't solely focused on fame and money, like many people are in the digital economy.
Listen to the Stories From The Influencer Economy archives with entrepreneurs like Brad Feld, Troy Carter and Burnie Burns of Rooter Teeth at our Influencer Economy website: http://www.influencereconomy.com/
Please leave a review on iTunes - it really helps us get organically discovered on iTunes by new listeners. And be honest: http://www.influencereconomy.com/itunes/
Early on in life Franchesca a teacher of hers asked her what she wanted to be known for later in life. The teacher asked her to list three characteristics, and Franchesca wrote down she wanted to be known as 1) honest 2) smart 3) funny and when she was older Larry Willmore and the team @ The Nightly Show hired her for those traits.
Franchesca Ramsey's website:https://twitter.com/ryanjwill
Mar 24 2016
Rank #12: Ep. 76: Building Alliances, Starting a Startup and Acting as Your Personal CEO with Chris Yeh
Chris Yeh is an entrepreneur, investor, blogger and author of the best-selling book: The Alliance. He wrote the book with Founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman and Ben Cassanova.
The connected technology world is changing constantly. We are needing to think like entrepreneurs if we want to survive. And the The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age is all about trust, honesty and partnering with your employer to succeed.
Chris talks about a "tour of duty" where you work on a project with a company, versus working at a company your entire life. Employers are not your family because they can lay you off at any time. You need to partner with your employer if you want to win as an entrepreneurial thinker.
There is a new project-based era for work, and Chris teaches how The Alliance book's framework empowers people to work with your boss and also is important for managing your employees.
Chris shares advice for anyone who owns their own company or wants to start a startup.
He advice is to NOT quit your day job if you're building a startup. Oftentimes when you work a full-time job you can create runway for your startup to launch and build the company's Product Market Fit over time. Quitting your day job only gives you 4 hours extra a day, not 8 hours a day. Because it's often you are daydreaming about your startup for 4 hours a day while at your day. And it’s rare that the thing you set out to do is the final thing you build.
His advice is to make and keep promises to your employees if you want to build trust as a founder and boss. Building trust is the key to building long term relationships in life and business...
Chris Yeh's Blog: http://chrisyeh.blogspot.com/
The Alliance Book website: http://www.theallianceframework.com/
Buy The Alliance Book: http://www.amazon.com/Alliance-Managing-Talent-Networked-Age-ebook/dp/B00JTJ84EW/
Dec 01 2015
Rank #13: Payoff & The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations w/ Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely is the James B Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He's also a best-selling New York Times author. Dan does research in behavioral economics and "tires to describe it in plain language."
Dan gave a TED Talk in October 20 called “What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work?" and ultimately turned his talk into his new book Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes our Motivation.
Dan survived a horrific burn as a younger man, and he realized during his recovery treatment that he was fascinated by user motivation and psychology. He shares this story at the front of the book and it sets the table for a fascinating book for anyone looking to understand behavior in relationships.
What Dan has studied as a writer and teacher at Duke business school comes out in this book and Dan is a true influencer in the world of motivation and logic. The stories and research around how money incentivizes our work performance, or how human connections can sometimes go along way in working with others, are super interesting for anyone out there.
In this Influencer Economy episode, you will learn:
- Can giving employees bonuses harm productivity?
- Why is trust so crucial for successful motivation?
- What are our misconceptions about how to value our work?
- How does your sense of your mortality impact your motivation?
Dan's work has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Scientific American and CNN.
Dan Ariely's website: http://danariely.com/
Nov 30 2016
Rank #14: Conquering Depression and Overcoming OCD in business and life with Brad Feld
Brad Feld has had dark moments as an entrepreneur. He lives fast paced life as an entrepreneur and startup investor. Hailing from Boulder, Colorado, Brad has struggled with depression throughout his life. This episode he and I get real on the struggle that we go through when we're depressed. It's a truthful and honest chat into the world of depression and obsessive compulsive disorder OCD.
How common is the issue of depression in the world of entrepreneurs? Well, it's more common than you think. In fact, struggling with depression as a someone who is starting a company is more likely than you'd realize. Why? Because being a founder or entrepreneur is a lonely job. It's also very intense, with highs and lows that are un-common to those working more corporate and stable jobs.
Entrepreneurship is also a thrill. That's why we pursue the challenges involved. Brad Feld came on the podcast to chat about depression and his own bouts with it, and how he has fought through his own battles of obsessive compulsive disorder.
Brad is a world-class entrepreneur and investor. Having started Techstars, Foundry Group, he's invested in hundreds and hundreds of companies. He knows the hustle and flow that entrepreneurs go through and we dig in this episode on:
- How to cope with depression
- How to find support from loved ones when dealing with depression
- The signs of depression and OCD
- How Brad takes time off the grid to keep himself energized
Brad Feld's article on depression: http://www.feld.com/archives/2015/04/bringing-depression-shadows-startups.html
Mar 22 2017
Rank #15: Getting Your Hands Dirty and Solving Hard Problems with Brent Bushnell of Two Bit Circus
Brent Bushnell is the co-founder and CEO of Two Bit Circus, an educational entertainment company that provides a wide range of high-tech and hands-on experiences. The company's goal is not only to entertain but, more importantly, to inspire participants to become involved in engineering, computing, inventing, the arts, and other creative pursuits. Brent is himself an engineer and an entrepreneur who has founded a number of tech endeavors, including Doppelgames, a mobile game company; Anti-Aging Games, building games that reduce the risk of early memory loss; Syyn Labs, which creates content for entertainers and large corporations; and Tapcode, which provided self-service and entertainment solutions for the hospitality industry. He was an on-camera inventor for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and he also works as a consultant and mentor for game development and entrepreneurship. Brent is the son of Nolan Bushnell, a gifted engineer and innovator and the founder of both Atari and Chuck E. Cheese.
Read The Influencer Economy Book: influencereconomybook.com
Brent believes strongly in the importance of the STEAM paradigm, which integrates the arts (A) with the more traditional "teaming" of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). He works hard to expose young people to STEM topics in creative, engaging ways that will inspire both their intellect and their passion and thereby lead them to become inventors and creators themselves. He targets young people largely through his project called STEAM Carnival, a traveling event that includes a giant high-tech game arcade, a battling robot band showcase, a wearable technology fashion show, and much more. In Brent's words, it's "kind of like Cirque du Soleil for games".
Listen to the archives: http://www.influencereconomy.com/
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All of Brent's projects emphasize collaboration and interaction, and his advice for creators is no different. He has built his own companies and projects by listening to his passions and by seeking out collaborators who have similar passions and are willing to take risks. For example, when Brent started Two Bit Circus, he and his co-founder Eric Gradman started out knowing only the general direction they wanted to take. They spent the next few years experimenting with a wide variety of ideas. They funded their endeavors with entertainment consulting events (many of which allowed them to test their innovations) and invested the profits in further development. Only when they felt that they had sufficiently refined their vision did they seek out investors to accelerate their growth and mature into an established company.
In this episode, Brent encourages listeners to "get their hands dirty" and make physical things. As an engineer and high-tech entrepreneur, Brent certainly appreciates the value of digital solutions, but he also understands the importance of physical solutions in a physical world and fears that our current education system is alienating young people from that kind of thinking. Inspiration isn't just for the young, however. This podcast will inspire all of us to trust our imaginations, follow our passions, and build our dreams.
Quotes from the episode:
"There's no shortage of hard problems. And, frankly, no shortage of capable humans. But what we do have a shortage of are inspired, tool-capable, invention-capable humans to go out and solve those hard problems.... We've got this perfect storm of needing it badly [and] the tools are easier than they've ever been; we just need people to be aware."
"I love online creation. My background is software. But I think we got carried away with the success of the internet and [thought] that all of the great innovations are gonna be apps. And that's just not the case because there's some things you can't solve with apps. You need other stuff."
"I think that humans are really naturally creative and that our school system kind of beats it out of us in a very heart-wrenching and terrible process, and that what we need to now do is sort of unwind that.... The thing is to not get too much in your head about it. Just start doing stuff!"
"Failure's rad! The second you fail, that means you've been out there trying and that's fantastic!"
"If your motivation is to try to make a buck, you're doing it wrong."
Personal Website: http://brentbushnell.com
Two Bit Circus: http://twobitcircus.com
STEAM Carnival: http://twobitcircus.com/productions/steamcarnival
Grand Challenges for Engineering: http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/
United Nations Key Issues: http://www.un.org/en/sections/priorities/
Y Combinator Request for Startups: https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs/
Jun 30 2016
Rank #16: Ep: 71: Brad Feld on Doing More Faster and Giving Value to Entrepreneurs
Brad Feld is an author, blogger and he invests in early stage technology companies. In fact he has invested in over 1,000 companies between his Techstars accelerator, his Foundry Ground investment firm, and his own deals. He is our guest on The Influencer Economy podcast this week.Imagine a world where the only media channels were TV, radio, print magazines, and newspapers. And if you were a start-up entrepreneur, you had to do P.R. in order to get someone's attention for an article or any media coverage. When Brad started his first company Feld Technologies in 1987, while an undergrad student at MIT in Cambridge, that was the world for Brad to gain any media coverage for his company.This is one of the reasons why Brad was an early adopter for blogging back in 2004. In this episode Brad details his early motivations for blogging and writing on the web. In addition to his how and why he wrote his first book: Venture Deals.We talk about how often people think too much about their goals and sometimes it's worth starting something to figure out if it's a good idea or bad idea. When he started Techstars with his 3 other co-founders he had no idea if it would work, but figured it was worth a shot. And at the very least he would make some new friends. We chat about how people need to experiment as start-up founders, bloggers, podcasters and sometimes when you don't reach your goals, another less obvious goal emerges which can lead you down the right path.Brad and I both believe in the "Give Before You Get" model and helping people is all about giving in the system. And that oftentimes we meet people who are takers and over time you realize you spend less time with people who take. Often when Brad meets startup founders, he develops relationships with the founders in advance of investing. And he gives to founders before realizing if he'll invest in their ideas or not.Brad also pursues 20% of his life where he allocates his days to random things. He'll do a fake VC Day or a fake CEO day where he does stuff that allows his universe to be open to different connections.Brad's Blog Feld Thoughts: http://www.feld.com/TechStars:http://www.techstars.com/Sqord:https://www.sqord.com/SXSW: http://www.sxsw.com/Jeff Ullrich and Earwolf: http://www.earwolf.com/person/jeff-ullrich/
Oct 20 2015
Rank #17: How to Build a Thriving Community 117 | David Spinks
David Spinks delivers a master class on how to build amazing, loyal, and collaborative communities. I get a lot of questions from listeners asking "do I build a community first, and then a product," or "do I build a product and then find a community." David votes for community first, and we dive deep into that. Listen to all our archives with authors like Seth Godin, Dan Ariely, Brad Feld, YouTubers like Franchesca Ramsey or Freddie Wong: http://www.influencereconomy.com
The 4 steps in community engagement are:1. Identity The member’s identity aligns with the identity of the community. 2. Trust The member develops trust in other members and in the community as a whole. 3. Participation The member takes action to participate in the community. 4. Reward The member gets value from their participation and wants to experience it again.
May 02 2018
Rank #18: 86: Vlogbrothers Backstory, Crafting Your Geek Vision, Just Starting Your Ideas with Hank Green
Hank Green is one half the YouTube creators The Vlog Brothers, who he co-creates with his brother John Green. Hank is the entrepreneurial brother who has the leadership role on many of their co-ventures and has launched several of his own innovative charitable and education-based projects. But going back to 2006, when Hank and John Green first started to collaborate, YouTube was the dominant platform. And that’s where they first emerged as pioneers in the Influencer Economy.
“It was 2007, YouTube had been around culturally and people had known of it for about a year,” Hank said of his origins on the platform. So they just started making videos, creating Brotherhood 2.0, a year during which the Green brothers communicated daily with each other by video instead of by phone, e-mail, or text messages. “A fun, jokey, trying-to-one-up-each-other brother project” is how Hank explained it.
One of his vlogs to John, a musical tribute to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, made the front page of YouTube. Many fans attribute their discovery of the Greens’ yearlong experiment to that “Accio Deathly Hallows” song—coming across the video and then binging on the rest of the vlogs. After their successful year of Brotherhood 2.0, the Greens honed their vision and created their new Vlogbrothers YouTube channel with similar content and shared it with a growing community that they called “Nerdfighters.” This online community of Vlogbrothers’ supporters joined forces with Hank and John, and their vision evolved over time.
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Here’s how Hank explained what Nerdfighters are fighting for: “I do like the idea that a goal of humans is to decrease suck and increase awesome. That was a saying from early Vlogbrothers. But those are two different things. It’s so objectively better to decrease suck. You know, people have awful lives. People die of preventable diseases, hunger, wars . . . These are problems we can solve. The only reason we aren’t solving them is because we haven’t applied the right amount of resources, both cognitive and monetary. And that’s messed up. But you can’t go through life just playing defense. You also have to do interesting things. You have to send a rover to Mars and have the World Series. These things are good. They help us lead full lives and allow us to apply ourselves to other goals.”
I first knew Hank and John as the creators of VidCon, the largest conference for online video world, bringing together over 20,000 video content creators, the web video online community, and industry executives to an annual conference in Anaheim, California. It’s my favorite conference in the world because it’s the only conference where the community, creators, and companies all hang out under one roof. I have attended VidCon since its inception, when it was just a couple hundred people hanging out at a hotel bar and ballroom in the Century City neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Even before VidCon, the Vlogbrothers understood how YouTube-wide collaborations could help to improve lives. Since 2007, their Project for Awesome (P4A) has been an annual call for videos from fellow YouTubers and Nerdfighters that highlight charitable causes in everything from education and health care to food insecurity. In December of each year, thousands of people post videos on the across YouTube, where both influencers and the community promote and raise funds for these charities. Video creators are instructed to tag the videos with P4A in the video descriptions in order to help The Vlogbrothers and others discover each video. Joining forces with the crowdsourcing website Indiegogo, the 2014 and 2015 Project for Awesome managed to raise over a million dollars.
By 2013, Crash Course and SciShow had both outlived the start-up money provided by YouTube. This got Hank thinking that it was time to roll out a voluntary subscription service that enabled fans to fund his education programming and the work of other online creators. “It’s tied into this idea that we want to help creators create professionally. We want to do that for ourselves and for other people because it’s a great job.” He and his brother launched the crowdfunding website Subbable, which was enormously helpful to more than 20 artists and creators, as well as the fans who love their work. Patreon, the San Francisco–based crowdsourcing company, acquired the website two years after it went live. Hank said both companies started at about the same time and have obvious similarities. “When Patreon launched, we were like ‘Whaaat?!’ because, of course, we had been working on it for six months. I called [Jack Conte, the founder] because I had known Jack before then and said, ‘Just so you know, I’m about to launch the exact same thing, but we’ve spent so much money on it that we can’t not do it.’”
It’s hard to say if Hank and John will also end up saving the planet. After all, this is still the early days of the Nerdfighters’ fight. But just from the vibe at VidCon alone, it already looks like the world sucks a little less. For Hank personally, the conference and his other enterprises have at least become rewarding in ways that he never anticipated. “Running a business is a creative thing, like dealing with people and getting the best work out of them. Understanding their motivations aren’t the same as your motivations. It’s all a bunch of moving parts, a piece of artwork in its own way. The fact that I get to do 20 different things, and that Monday looks nothing like Tuesday, is just really satisfying to me. It’s allowed me to build up a toolkit of both personal skills and, you know, having all of these great people who work with me—it allows for creativity on a level that I never believed I could have access to."
Hank and John Green's Vlog Brothers YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers
Don't Forget to Be Awesome: http://store.dftba.com/
Hank Green's website: http://www.hankgreen.com/
Project for Awesome: http://www.projectforawesome.com/
Crash Course: https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse
Apr 05 2016
Rank #19: Ep. 73: Loud Speakers Network's Chris Morrow on Hip-Hop and Podcasting
The Loud Speakers Network is an awesome podcast network, featuring prominent voices of the hip-hip generation, and Chris Morrow is the CEO and co-founder. This week he joins me on Stories from The Influencer Economy.
Chris Morrow and Combat Jack (Reggie Osse) started Loud Speakers Network together and quickly they have become a podcast force. Morrow started as a fan of Combat Jack, and later after realizing that they had friends in common, they hit it off. Now they have over 15 podcasts as a part of their growing mini-empire. Combat Jack is like the Dick Cavett or Charlie Rose of hip-hop. It's an interview show that often has old school rappers on as guests.
Morrow has also published 4 books with Russell Simmons, including multiple NY Times best-sellers. He first met Russell in 2005, and we talk about what it's like co-authoring books with Russell, and their creative process in authoring books.
Chris has worked in radio and bee in a writer for years. Chris's success as an entrepreneur and the Loud Speakers Network co-founder comes from his ability to under-sell and over-deliver. He also strives for #authenticity when looking for talented podcast hosts, and focuses on being real in business and in life.Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/stories-from-influencer-economy/id820744212?mt=2
Links about what we talked about:
LoudSpeakers Network Podcasts on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSNpodcasts
Combat Jack Show: http://thecombatjackshow.com/
Loudspeaker's Network: http://loudspeakersnetwork.com/
Chris Morrow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrchrismorrow
Loudspeaker's Network on Twitter:
Chris Morrow's website: chris-morrow.com
Ryan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryanjwill
Nov 03 2015
Rank #20: 95: MasterClass on YouTube & Online Viral Video Creation with Max Joseph
Max Joseph is a filmmaker, director, and the co-host of Catfish, which has just completed its fifth season on MTV. Max got his start in online video but has also worked extensively on documentaries and feature films. He is the creator of the powerful and beautiful promotional videos Make It Count (for the Nike FuelBand and starring Casey Neistadt) and Follow the Frog (for the Rainforest Alliance) and he also directed the 2015 feature film We Are Your Friends, starring Zac Efron.
Max grew up in New York City, the only child of hardworking parents who were creative at heart. He grew up hoping to enjoy his day-to-day work more than his parents did, and was inspired by his cousin, who worked for Jim Henson, to follow his creative dreams. He realized at the age of 15 that he wanted to be a filmmaker. To this day he considers himself first and foremost a filmmaker (regardless of whether his work is released online or in theatres) and he calls his time on Catfish "a fun detour in an otherwise obsessive moviemaking career". He considers himself a "dreamer" (in contrast to people like Casey Neistadt, who he calls a "doer") because he sees his job as developing a creative vision which he can then hire and direct other people to develop into a reality.
On this episode of the podcast, Max discusses his philosophy and methodology for great filmmaking. He generally gets started with a general concept or even just a "vibe" and a general end goal, and then follows his creative urges to build a great product. He believes strongly in the idea that great concept + great execution = great art and follows this principle in his work. He talks, for example, about how the Make It Count video was built around a very simple concept -- use Nike's money to travel the world and thereby "make it count" -- and thoughtful execution, carefully blending video clips, music, text, and more to create a powerful flow of ideas from start to finish. In short, Max's goal is always to make "the coolest thing ever", no matter how he has to go about doing that.
Max is also a strong proponent of working together with other creative minds to build stronger, more balanced, and more interesting products. He discusses his own experiences with mentoring, collaboration, and other ways of learning from the people around him. He has worked with clients, professionals, corporations, and nonprofits and has learned the best ways to make any collaboration successful.
If you're interested in taking the art of filmmaking, online video, or any other creative pursuit to a higher, more successful, or more fulfilling level, you need to hear this podcast. You'll learn about following your curiosity, asking the right questions, getting paid to learn your craft, which things are better learned in a classroom, connecting with the right mentors and collaborators, and much more. Join me in this conversation with Max Joseph and let your creative spirit soar!
Quotes from the podcast:
"I like putting puzzles together. I started editing and I love just being in a room and playing around with pieces until they fit together in the right way. And once I get them right, that's when I'm in my flow creatively and that's when I'm probably most happy."
"Guilt is not viral. Making people feel guilty when they watch something is not going to end in them wanting to share it with anyone. You don't want to share something that bums out your friends. You want to share something that makes them smile.... There's a way to marry the two, though, so it works."
"That feeling of 'You are not alone' is maybe the most important part of any video or piece of content because that's where the audience gets on board. And then once they're on board you can take them on a wild ride."
"Follow your curiosity. If you have an idea... do it, and do it with all your heart and soul."
"Do weird jobs. Get paid to learn your craft and treat each exercise as a challenge to make... the most awesome, best thing ever, despite any challenge that anyone's giving you. The more constraints and challenges, the more you'll learn how to get around them."
Thanks to our contributor Edi Gonzalez for writing this description!
Max Joseph Links:
Official website: http://www.maxjoseph.com/
We Are Your Friends trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZzAeYWXFpk
Also, if you want to link the videos in the first paragraph, they are at:
Make It Count -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxfZkMm3wcg
Follow the Frog -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iIkOi3srLo
Aug 30 2016