On today’s special episode, Christopher answers a question from a young woman who wants to know whether she should start a business. He touches on two points: the effect of formal education on entrepreneurial success and the distinction between missionaries and mercenaries.
Entrepreneurship is Not for Everybody
Christopher received an email from a 20-year-old woman thinking about leaving school to starting a business. Perhaps inspired by his own story, she sought out his help.
With very few options after getting thrown out of school at 18, Christopher started a business. Entrepreneurship was a way out of a life of struggle for him. However, even a huge proponent of entrepreneurship like Christopher thinks it is not the answer for everybody.
“It’s an interesting thing that for many entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship is the only root that we have.” – Christopher Lochhead
Education Remains Valid for Most
The first thing that you should ask yourself when you consider quitting school to start a business is whether you are really ready. True, a lot has been said about success after dropping out and how college is slowly dying.
But according to the Kauffman Foundation, adults without formal education are much less likely to be entrepreneurs than their educated counterparts. Research also shows that the more educated you are, the more you are going to make. While the media portrays lots of dropout-turned-rockstar tales, the truth is that most entrepreneurs get some education.
“This is coming from a guy who didn’t go to school. but I think you need to think twice before dropping out because for most people, school pays off.” – Christopher Lochhead
Are You on a Mission?
Another question to ask: are you a missionary or a mercenary? Christopher’s buddy Eddie Yoon makes this very important distinction. If you are the latter, then you are going to tap out when it gets hard.
There will be massive losery along the way and the disappointments will be huge. Things that will make you want to quit will happen on a fairly regular basis. Being mission-driven, like what most top VCs dub successful entrepreneurs, is the way to charge forward.
“Your commitment to the mission is what will get you through the hard parts. And there will be hard parts and the hard parts will be way worse than anybody ever expressed to you.” – Christopher Lochhead
To hear more about Christopher’s take on whether you should start a business, download and listen to the episode. Got a question for Christopher? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On this episode, Lochhead shares some of the amazing things going on in the enterprise tech industry.
Enterprise Tech on the Rise
Back in 2012, the legendary venture capitalist Jim Goetz of Sequoia made a declaration that tech entrepreneurs were too focused on the consumer world and have ignored the $500-billion market opportunity, which is the enterprise space. Soon after, the Cloud went bigtime—the tipping point for a lot of big innovations.
Bob Evans of the awesome podcast Cloud Wars said that for Q1 of 2019, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM will combine for $23 billion in Cloud revenue.
“Twice as many enterprise startups have become billion-dollar companies compared to consumer startups.” – Jim Goetz, Senior Partner Sequoia Capital
The Golden Age
Over the last 10 years, there has been an acceleration of innovation. According to Lochhead, this is the greatest time in history to be in the tech industry and particularly in the tech enterprise industry.
“The enterprise space is—if you’re willing to dig it out, if you’re willing to work hard on it and be smart—it’s less binary than the consumer space. With grit, some intelligence, some great technology and some category design, you can really make something of yourself.” – Christopher Lochhead
Enterprise vs Consumer Tech Companies
Rolfe Winkler, the author of the article, The Tech IPO Delivering the Most for Investors, points out that enterprise companies produced a median of 126% stock growth, compared to a median of 15% increase for consumer tech companies.
Consumer tech is a hit business, but it is hard to predict in a way that enterprise tech is not. Christopher also thinks that it’s getting tougher to find new niches in the consumer side and startups are afraid of the big players.
“Consumer-focused businesses may have more cachet, but technology startups that cater to companies are what is really hot.” – Rolfe Winkler, The Wall Street Journal
To hear more about the dynamic enterprise tech industry download and listen to this episode.
Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Best Selling Amazon Author and “Top 30” rated Podcaster. He is a former 3 time public company Chief Marketing Officer in the enterprise technology business where he spent more than 2/3 of his career. He’s been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “Off-putting to some” by The Economist.
He co-authored two best seller books:
• Niche Down: How To Become Legendary By Being Different
• Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets.
Links for Articles and Data Sources:
We hope you enjoyed Christopher Lochhead 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!
On today’s episode, Christopher talks about a relevant TechCrunch article on startup founders mental health written by Jake Chapman. He also shares how he’s able to go through his own mental health concerns.
“Just like we can proactively design our life and our business, we can proactively design our mental health.” – Christopher Lochhead
Entrepreneurs and Founders: Mental Health
In a study by Michael Freeman, it is said that 50% of entrepreneurs are susceptible to a mental health condition. Some specific conditions are prevalent among young startup founders. These include depression, ADHD, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, psychiatric hospitalization, and suicidal thoughts.
Indeed, Aristotle once said that there’s no great genius without a touch of madness. While some of the wacky can help a person be creative, it’s also quite hard to deal with. To address this, there first needs to be mental health awareness within ourselves and also in our entrepreneurial leaders.
“The second thing I tried to do is to create a structure for myself and for my life that acknowledges who I am.” – Christopher Lochhead
Christopher has personally gone through a lot of training and therapy to become a self-actualized person. He trained himself to increase his self-awareness. He used his own intelligence to manage his emotions and prevent them from getting the best of him.
“Even if I’m feeling really shitty, at least in some level, I know that this is an overreaction and that this, too, will pass.” – Christopher Lochhead
Getting Help from People
He also surrounds himself with people who know and love him for who he is. When he’s in a dark place, they know how to support him and love him through it. Most importantly, they know when to stop putting up with it and give him a nudge whenever he wallows in his self-pity for too long.
Professional help, of course, is always an option and nothing to be ashamed of.
To hear Christopher Lochhead share more insights into mental health, download and listen to the episode.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™ on Startup Founders Mental Health! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
On this episode of Questions and Cocktails, Christopher Lochhead responds to another question emailed by one his listeners. A 1st time startup CEO for a new venture-backed company seeks advice on how to become a legendary leader.
“Legendary people build legendary companies. It’s that simple.” – Christopher Lochhead 1st Startup Time CEO
Love the Problem, Not Just the Solution
Christopher breaks down his advice into seven points and the first of which is to love the problem. The most legendary of entrepreneurs make it a point to focus on either a problem that people don’t know they have or re-imagining a problem the market knows it has, viewing the problem in a completely different way.
Prosecute the “Magic Triangle” as a 1st Time Startup CEO
Christopher and his co-authors addressed the concept in both Play Bigger and Niche Down. The “magic triangle” is the three things legendary executive teams and entrepreneurs get right. These three are product, company and category, and all are equally important.
As a CEO, you must be focused on all three while at the same time being an evangelist for the problem. The bigger the problem, the more urgent and more strategic you have to be since people will apply more money and time to solve that problem. And in turn, these problems create categories, the product and company intertwined.
Surround Yourself with Legendary People
For years, Christopher parroted the prevalent notion in Silicon Valley that you must always hire A players. But the truth is you will never have a company full of them. This means a CEO must figure out where to put the A players and B players to bring out their best.
A good B player is what you need for a lot of roles that must be fulfilled. But in key executive roles, whether in engineering, sales, or marketing and especially in the beginning, you need legendary people to fill in these roles. In this regard, think about who your board is and who your advisers.
To hear the other four points Christopher offers, download and listen to the episode!
How do you mold a legendary career from curiosity and hard work? Today, Fortune 500 executive turned advisor and mentor Joe Morgan joins Christopher Lochhead in this free-ranging conversation. They talk about leadership, being a CEO, the power of curiosity, and so much more.
“In the microcosm of the world, because we’ve tried hard and we participated, I think we can leave a legend.” – Joe Morgan
Three Things We Learned
Buying is an Awesome Job
Joe attributes some of his success to luck, some to being in the right place and some to being consistent. After shifting degree programs three-quarters out of college, he ended up taking any job he could due to the massive-scale layoffs in his field. Eventually, he became a buyer in a chemical company, which opened a lot of doors for the young upstart.
Doing the Work to Produce the Results
A mentor’s advice on being part of what’s most important to the executive team guided Joe. So even as a young man and up-and-comer, whatever the task was, he took it seriously and delivered. Soon enough, his efforts paid off and resulted in his being fast-tracked, a chance to build his career to greater heights.
Joe has always wondered why younger people tend leave their curiosities unsatisfied. He is someone who’s always curious and has a knack of driving people into a corner with his queries. This curiosity didn’t land him the “corporate training” that most young people would undergo, but he got to learn from the people at the grassroots of the company, and this helped him achieve many great things.
Some people like Joe live a life that isn’t all that straightforward. However, they are able to make legends of themselves by putting in a lot of hard work, effort, and curiosity.
Joe Morgan is the founder and CEO of siY, LLC. This is a middle-market consulting firm focused on helping leaders with transformative change, cultural development, and go-to-market strategy.
Having spent his career serving as a CEO or Member of the Board for large public as well as start-up and growth companies. Joe brings a wealth of experience and demonstrated leadership in transformational business environments.
He has been successful in driving value and achieving strategic growth objectives in many industry sectors. These include service, technology, and manufacturing.
Joe’s experience includes having served as the CEO and Board member of Standard Register, a $1B+ public company, and recognized leader in the management of mission-critical communications for various sectors, including health care, financial services and manufacturing.
He also served as Chairman and CEO of Uniguest, the leading provider and trusted integration partner of secure managed technology solutions with focus in hospitality and business services; Chairman and President of Sony Chemicals, a leader in specialized coatings for the automatic identification and electronics market; and President and Board Member of eflatbed.com, an on-line marketplace for transportation.
Additionally, Joe is on the Executive Advisory Board for NexPhase Capital, a private equity investment firm focused on middle-market companies. He also serves on the Boards of Lion Group, OmniSYS, Heapy Engineering, JBM Envelope Company and Mary Queen of Angels Eldercare.
He serves on an advisory capacity at CURA Homecare, and is on the advisory board for WPI Life Sciences.
Joe is frequently called upon as a speaker and lecturer.
We hope you enjoyed Joe Morgan 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!
David Cancel is the co-founder and CEO of Drift, one of the fastest growing companies in the marketing space. A former engineer, he’s also a podcaster and author. Today he joins Christopher Lochhead to talk about building massive technological startups, sabbaticals, books, and why conversational marketing is the future.
“For me myself, engineer to tech to product to now, CEO… they’re kinda like a progression of the same thing… It’s like I’m trying to create our own world.” – David Cancel
Three Things We Learned
- Anxiety-ridden break
- Pulling off a sabbatical with a great team
- A startup faster than a rocket ship
Prior to Drift, David was the Chief Products Officer at Hubspot, another hugely successful company. The culmination of his experience from being part of large-scale bodies aided in growing Drift. And now his business is doing amazing, faster than any other company within and without their category.
Building a startup is one tough endeavor. Growing one is even more difficult because then you will have to learn how to brake and not implode. But with a team behind him willing to stay true to their visions from the get-go—sabbaticals included—, David thinks they can do it all.
David Cancel is a serial entrepreneur, podcast host (Seeking Wisdom) and angel investor/advisor.
Best known for creating hypergrowth companies, products and product teams at companies such as Drift.com, HubSpot, Performable, Ghostery and Compete.
David has been featured by media outlets such as The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Wired and Fast Company. David has guest lectured on entrepreneurship at Harvard, Harvard Business School, MIT, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Bentley and other Universities.