We continue our run on legendary authors today with none other than NY #1 Best Selling Author, Ryan Holiday. You see, the only authors we ever have are the ones that we think have ideas, teachings, and stories that are worth digging into.
Today, we go deep into the teachings of some of the greatest thinkers in history. Ryan helps us see the events of today through the lens of powerful philosophers and history, providing today, in an incredible context. We deal with big topics like truth, character, pain, and suffering humor, and a lot more.
Invest Time in Reading
Chris lauded Ryan for writing a historical book in the age where almost everyone is addicted to selfies. Ryan was actually amazed himself how in this age and time, people still invest in time and money reading books. He shares what he thinks about good books and why people still opt for a book, instead of getting validation in social media.
“I opened the book, there’s a story about Xenos, the founder of Stoicism. You get this prophecy as a young man that the Oracle tells him ‘you will become wise when you begin to have conversations with the dead.’ Years later at a chance encounter in a bookstore, do you come to realize that this prophecy was about reading, that books are a way to speak to the dead.” – Ryan Holiday
Condensed Life Experiences
Ryan and Chris discuss life-changing books. Ryan shares an anecdote from Socrates saying: “the reason you read is that you gain quite easily what others learned quite painfully.” He further describes his new book Lives Of The Stoics, as something less about him and more about the wisdom of the past.
“Reading is condensed information. It’s distilled down information. In reading one book, you could jump forward a year of your life, or 10 years of your life. It can save you painful trial and error.” – Ryan Holiday
An Escape and Reassurance
Ryan further shares what he thinks about good books being an escape and reassurance. Reading books, especially historical ones, will make you realize that you are not alone dealing with your feelings or that there are universal truths that span from generations. One of which is human struggling and the fight between good and evil.
“I find whenever I’m stressed about what’s happening, I try to study the past. This gives me a clear view of what’s happening right now.” – Ryan Holiday
To know more about Ryan Holiday and his new NY best-selling book, Lives of the Stoics, download and listen to this episode.
Ryan Holiday is one of the world’s foremost thinkers and writers on ancient philosophy and its place in everyday life.
He is a sought-after speaker, strategist, and the author of many bestselling books including The Obstacle Is the Way; Ego Is the Enemy; and The Daily Stoic.
He’s newest book Lives Of The Stoics is an instant New York Times Advice & Business Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller, and Wall Street Journal #1 Bestseller.
His books have been translated into over 30 languages and read by over two million people worldwide. He lives outside Austin, Texas, with his family.
In this episode, we do have a world changer. She’s both an entrepreneur, author, and podcaster. She’s the category queen of a new category of flavored healthy water. Her name is Kara Goldin and she’s the founder and CEO of a product you probably have tried and most likely love called Hint water.
Fortune named Kara one of the most powerful women entrepreneurs and Forbes says she’s one of the 40 Women To Watch Over 40. Today, she reveals how Hint Water could have just been another idea that never went anywhere if she had let her own doubts or the doubts of others be the end of the story.
Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters
Kara has recently launched a new book called Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters. It is currently number one on the Amazon charts. IN fact, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook says it’s a great read for entrepreneurs looking for proof that her dream can come true.
Even if you’re not an entrepreneur, you’re going to love this conversation with Kara and the story behind her book.
You Don’t Need To Know Everything
Christopher asks Kara about the statement, “you don’t need to know everything, you just have to know where to start. Kara expounds on her opinion on this statement. A lot of times, people give all sorts of excuses to not get a project starting. Most people say they lack education, or are not well-experienced enough or they spend too much time with their kids.
“Once you ultimately start moving it forward, that actually adds up to getting over challenges, making progress. Whatever it is, you just have to start somewhere in order to ultimately get it going in some direction. You may change direction as well, but at least if you start somewhere. That’s ultimately what helps you to achieve your dream success.” – Kara Goldin
Looking For The Perfect Job
Kara made a transition from the technology world — where she was an executive handling 200 people — into starting her own business. She was against incredible odds in creating a whole new beverage category and becoming the category queen.
She recounts in this episode what made her decide to do the transition and how while she was looking for the perfect job, she was also scouting to find the best diet and for the best doctors to diagnose her as she gained weight after birthing her kids.
“I saw this, ultimately, this void in the market that would lead me to launch my company Hint. A few steps before that was when I finally decided that the best thing for me to really understand why I wasn’t as healthy as I wanted to be, would be to actually look at ingredients and everything that I was eating and drinking.” – Kara Goldin
To know more about Kara, her journey to a healthy life, and why she is undaunted, download, and listen to this episode.
Kara Goldin is a disruptor, builder, thought leader, and successful entrepreneur.
She is the Founder and CEO of Hint, Inc., best known for its award-winning Hint® water, the leading unsweetened flavored water.
She has been named one of InStyle’s Badass 50, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Fortune’s Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink, and EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California.
The Huffington Post listed her as one of six disruptors in business, alongside Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.
Kara has successfully navigated the world of large companies and startups in many industries including media, tech, and consumer products.
In addition, she understands retail and direct to consumer well. She is an active speaker & writer and hosts the podcast Unstoppable with Kara Goldin where she interviews founders, entrepreneurs, and other disruptors across various industries.
Kara’s first book, Undaunted, published by Harper Leadership, will be released in October 2020.
She lives in the Bay Area.
Today, we have none other than Matthew Cowan of Next47. Matthew and Chris have known each other for almost 20 years now. He’s been both an investor and an entrepreneur and has invested in a lot of category queens and kings companies.
In this episode, we have a wide-ranging conversation with Matthew about venture capital, entrepreneurship, and a whole lot more.
How The Future Looks Like
Matthew shares that the first question we have to take into consideration is with respect to opportunities. Every evaluation should start with the question: can businesses scale and grow in the current economic environment?
He cites his company as an example, Visible, a platform that has an event management software. Prior to Covid19, they had their fair share of challenges. However, they found themselves on the positive side of this “new normal” as most companies shifted their conferences and events virtually.
“All of our customers said, ‘look, I know we can’t do these events in person, we still have to do these events. These are mission-critical for our customer relationships, and our forward progress. So we need you to help us figure out how to do events in a virtual construct.’ So very quickly Visible figured out a way to deliver you know, near term and experience that satisfies, you know, the key market requirements, and they just closed their best quarter ever by a factor of two x.” – Matthew Cowan
Invest In Product Development
Today is a great time for investors to think about the early stages of a new product. Further, Matthew says this is a good time to invest in a team of engineers, lock them in, and come out with a new product to launch. He further shares why this stage of focus is critical for businesses.
“It’s okay to lose a lot of money building a company you have to, but if your unit economics have never been positive, the only metric you’re going to do is figure out how fast you can burn cash.” – Matthew Cowan
The Wrong and Right Way In Investing
Chris cites that there is a wrong and the right way in investing. Obviously the right way is investing in things that hopefully payoff overtime and the wrong way is in unit economics that will not be fixed. Matthew agrees to Chris saying that the greater fool theory is asking: “how do I just get this to the next level and get someone else to buy it — market investors, private equity firms, and others.
“I think we’re at the beginning of what’s going to be an incredible wave of continued consolidation. We’ll probably see that with the scooter companies, as well. Ride-sharing. Companies have to figure out how to create, you know, improve utilization. The way that these businesses could succeed is delivery, density, and utilization. For them to figure out a way to keep the cars full.” – Matthew Cowan on Uber
To know more about Matthew Cowan and unicorn and camel VCs, download and listen to this episode.
Matthew joined Next47 in 2018 and is based in Palo Alto. His investment focus runs the gamut from the high-growth supply and logistics market to vertical software applications for the enterprise.
Though Matthew is a General Partner in the U.S., he also leads the firm’s activities in Israel and views the region as a vital source for deep tech startup activity.
Before joining Next47, Matthew was the CEO and co-founder of Breezeworks, a mobile CRM platform for small business owners.
Prior to Breezeworks, he was the co-founder of Bridgescale Partners, a late-stage venture capital fund with investments in companies such as BitGo, Jasper Wireless, Plum Organics and Proofpoint.
Matthew was also the founding General Partner of Bowman Capital’s venture capital group, where he was responsible for leading investments in Arrowpoint Communications (sold to Cisco), Atheros (NASDAQ: ATHR), Broadbase (sold to Kana), epinions (sold to eBay), FastForward Networks (sold to Inktomi), Onebox (sold to Phone.com), ONI Systems (sold to Ciena), RemarQ (sold to Critical Path), SupportSoft (NASDAQ: SPRT), Sycamore Networks (NASDAQ: SCMR) and The Street.com (NASDAQ: TSCM).
Matthew spent the earlier part of his career at Intel Corporation, where he was responsible for investments in CMGI (NASDAQ: CMGI), CNET (sold to CBS), Geocities (sold to Yahoo!), Illustra (sold to Informix), iVillage (sold to NBC), Launch Media (sold to Yahoo!), Liquid Audio and Sportsline, among others.
Matthew holds a BA from Tufts University.
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! Get amazing, different stories on business, marketing, and life. Subscribe to our newsletter The Difference.
In this episode, we are taken for a ride on how to go from sales rep to Chairman of the board with the amazing Elisa Steele. We have a powerful conversation about how she went from sales rep to regional sales to CMO, then CEO.
We also talk about what she’s learned from working in massive tech companies like Microsoft and Yahoo and many more, Wait for the part where she gives advice on how women can design legendary careers and have children too.
From Sales Rep to CEO
Elisa Steels is the Chairman of the board of two publicly traded tech companies, Cornerstone on Demand and Namley. She’s also on the Board of $25B Splunk. More of her career background includes former CEO of Namley and Jive and former CMO of Skype, and Yahoo.
She candidly shares what she learned from her career in these huge tech companies and from smaller entrepreneurial companies. From the time she graduated, she had a clear vision of what success looks like and she believes she will achieve it through sales.
“If I went into sales, then its really clear. If I’m successful, I made or overachieve my number. Nobody can be subjective about that. If I go into some of these other fields, that was like, a complete mystery to me, how do I know if I am actually gonna make it? – Elisa Steele
Legendary Career Woman
Initially, Elisa shares the only one thing she wished for her career: to not work with other people. The second thing she wished was to have financial independence. She believes that if women do not build resources for themselves, the critical decisions will be left to other people other than themselves.
“I was motivated by the fact or maybe even terrified by the fact that I wouldn’t have choices in life if I didn’t have resources. If you don’t have resources, then decisions in your life are up to somebody else. Resources equals choice.” – Elisa Steele
For Elisa, resources generally are assets. It is representative of the things that help women make a decision on what they want to do. Creating some wealth will make those choices, especially those that are critical in life.
How to Disagree and Commit
Elisa is a powerful executive and she shares the thought of disagreeing, but still committing. She describes herself as a consensus builder.
“Being the smartest in the room doesn’t actually help anybody. You have to actually make decisions and together, execute, because strategy is nothing without strong execution. Executiion is everything. Even if the strategy is off, you can still win, if you execute. Disagree but commit and be one team.” – Elisa Steele
To hear more information about Elisa Steele and to listen to his tips on how to go from sales rep to chairman of the board, download and listen to the episode.
Elisa Steele is the Chairman of the Board at Cornerstone (CSOD) and Namely; Board Director at Splunk (SPLK) and an advisor to Advisor to Tile and people.ai.
She’s the former CEO of Namely and Jive Software, Inc.,
Ms. Steele served as Chief Marketing Officer and Corporate Vice President, Consumer Apps & Services at Microsoft Corporation, a worldwide provider of software, services and solutions, and Chief Marketing Officer of Skype, an Internet communications company, from 2012-2014.
Ms. Steele also has held executive leadership positions Yahoo! Inc. and NetApp, Inc.
Ms. Steele has served as a member of the board of directors of Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc., a learning and human capital management software company, since 2018.
Ms. Steele holds a B.S. from the University of New Hampshire and an M.B.A. from San Francisco State University.
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! Get amazing, different stories on business, marketing, and life. Subscribe to our newsletter The Difference.
What exactly does reinventing yourself entail? Expert Dorie Clark joins us today for a conversation about designing one’s new identity, why social proof matters, and a lot more.
Winning Over the Team
To reinvent oneself means giving in to the want to go toward a certain direction. Once you figure this out, you also need to realize that a lot of the process is about winning over the internal team. Who you surround yourself with as you begin reinventing yourself matters a lot.
“Ironically in the reinvention journey, the people closest to you are gonna be the least supportive initially.” – Dorie Clark
People you’ve built relationships with are more tied to who you’ve been than you are. They come from a good place, not to mention that they have the most at stake in this reinvention. You need to develop a strategy to help them understand your intentions and see your determination.
The Power of Dormant Ties
Since reinvention involves established relationships with people, you must also grasp the concept of ties. These include strong, weak, and dormant ties. Dormant ties come from strong bonds shared with people who have gone off in directions completely separate to yours.
Dormant ties can be particularly powerful when rekindled, especially with the positive connection and thoughts that come with them. That you have some form of contribution to each other’s success makes it a lot easier when you reunite. With ties like so, you will find people to root for you in your process of reinvention.
Creation of Content
The other key component is proof that you can muster to support your new identity. People are skeptical, and you have to hammer it home that you are serious about them. This is where content creation around your new subject area comes into play.
“It’s a way of simultaneously demonstrating your expertise. It enables you to have a networking vehicle. It allows you to create these sustained reminders.” – Dorie Clark
To hear more about Dorie’s expert advice on reinvention, download and listen to the episode.
Dorie Clark is “an expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives,” says The New York Times. She’s an adjunct professor at Duke University and a bestselling author.
We hope you enjoyed Dorie Clark 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!
How do you overcome a compounded fear of failure to become legendary? On today’s episode, author, entrepreneur, and real estate investor David Osborn joins us in a conversation about making money, building capital, and so much more.
“You go to work for capital so your capital can eventually go to work for you.” – David Osborn
Thinking Big, Not Delusional
David started out as a realtor, working under his mom’s team for three years. Over time, he realized he no longer wanted to sell so he ventured out into setting up franchises. With the right company, time and work ethic as well as a dash of mistakes and failures, he and his team have sold billions.
When you focus on the delta of where you are and where you want to be, it becomes clear that making the first million is way too hard. But it’s just as important to think massively big, and not delusional, to get started. It takes so much longer and harder than people can imagine and be willing to admit, after all.
“People always look at the credit and the money that an entrepreneur makes and they way underestimate the amount of risk and amount of failure.” – David Osborn
An Idiot Prior to Success
David first opened up a franchise in 1996, and it took ten long years before he could make money. It was a sweet two years, until the massive crash of 2008. Luckily enough, he had a great company to support him through it. But not all entrepreneurs are on equal footing.
An entrepreneur that has to scramble all the way up will look like an idiot for ten years before they get rewarded. And sometimes, the rewards could be more than they probably should get.
“The reason is you spent those ten years where every day there’s a chance you could have nothing the next day.” – David Osborn
Overcoming Fear Through Crazy
It takes experiencing hurt and failure for fear to manifest. We find punishment, pain, and psychological difficulty so aversive that we steer clear of ladders going up.
Even the most successful entrepreneurs get afraid. But it’s finding the crazy force to drive you through the journey that spells all the difference.
To hear more about David’s views on free will and capital building, download and listen to the episode.
After sticking out his thumb and traveling the world, David returned home to Austin, Texas broke and unemployed, at the age of 26. Though his travels may not have yielded wealth, they instilled the key motivation that he brings to every part of his life to create it — freedom.
Because to have everything you ever wanted takes the opportunity to design your life and believe it can happen.
Through this intention, David began to test his entrepreneurial merits alongside his business-partner mom in the world of real estate. The results were nothing short of remarkable. In less than 10 years, David would go on to build one of the top real estate brokerages in the world, founding over 50 companies.
Yet, more than anything else, the inherent freedom derived from his success awards him the time to focus on the importance on what matters most: being a proud father of two beloved daughters, a son, and husband to the wonderful and talented Traci Osborn.
Today, still rooted in his boundless sense of adventure, David continues to travel the world not only to be enlightened by new experiences but to share his insight and expertise with others so they, too, can truly be free.
We hope you enjoyed David Osborn 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!
Today, Eddie Yoon unpacks a recent Harvard Business Review article with his co-author Christopher. Together, they answer some questions, concerns, and explain further why you should quit your corporate job and go solo.
It’s All in the Data
Eddie and Christopher’s HBR article has been receiving a lot of attention. Some of the people amid the buzz expressed their concerns about their thesis. But the data say it all: nearly 70% of solopreneurs make $100,000-250,000 in a year.
This figure is almost twice as much as the average US household. And it is much higher than what Glassdoor reports the average US executive makes yearly—$121,500. It seems solopreneurs are doing as well, if not exceedingly better, than most executives.
“If solopreneur was an industry and a company, everyone would be flocking to this industry in the same way that people did it for Silicon Valley or investment banking or consulting.” – Eddie Yoon
Importance of IPOs
Initial public offering (IPOs) have always been tech-related. But there are notable people who have done it in a non-digitized fashion. One example is Steve Hughes who launched a special purpose acquisition company and eventually skyrocketed as a solopreneur.
To go solo, a bridge needs to be crossed. You must know your investor story and who your target investors are. You must also know why they should believe that you’re worthy of your multiple.
“I think that more people are figuring out that market exists and [so], ‘Why not me?’” – Eddie Yoon
Breaking Out to Do Better
So many people are afraid to break out because of the corporate mothership and the financial aspect tied to the choice. But there are those who confronted their fear of not making enough and ended up earning more while working less.
The other odd benefit to going solo is that as an outsider, solopreneurs tend to be a lot smarter than those who are tied to a company.
“Maybe that’s the extra value that perspective gives you.” – Eddie Yoon
To hear more about the ultimate way of monetizing yourself and making an emotional business case for going solo, download and listen to the episode.
Eddie Yoon is the founder of EddieWouldGrow, LLC a think tank and advisory firm on growth strategy.
Prior to this, he was a partner at The Cambridge Group, a strategy consulting firm that helps Fortune 500 CEOs drive growth by unlocking consumer demand. His work over the past two decades has driven over $5 billion dollar of annual profitable growth in consumer packaged goods, durables, robotics and energy.
Eddie is one of the world’s leading experts on finding and monetizing superconsumers to grow and create new categories. He is the author of the acclaimed book, Superconsumers: A Simple, Speedy and Sustainable Path to Superior Growth (Harvard Business School Press, 2016).
He is also the author of over 40 articles, including Make Your Best Customers Even Better (Harvard Business Review magazine, March 2014) and Why It Pays to Be a Category Creator (Harvard Business Review magazine, March 2013). Additionally, he has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Forbes and has been a keynote speaker in the U.S., Canada, Kenya, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, the UK and Japan.
Eddie lives in Chicago with his wife and three children.
Harvard Business Review Article by Eddie Yoon & Christopher Lochhead:
We hope you enjoyed Eddie Yoon 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!
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.
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.
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!