Episode 056 – Roland Siebelink
Welcome to another episode of The HERO Show. I am your host Richard Matthews, (@AKATheAlchemist) and you are listening to episode #56 with Roland Siebelink – The Commitment Sculptor – Your Guide from Startup to Scaleup.
Roland Siebelink is a 25+ year veteran of Internet business, entrepreneurship and digital marketing. He is a former landslide winner of the Silicon Valley Founder Showcase.
Roland was the CEO and co-founder of Topicmarks, acquired by Tagged, he has served in a variety of executive, strategy, product and advisory roles to tech CEOs and has worked and lived in four countries and speaks six languages.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- Helping startup founders scale up their companies.
- From working with startups to being a coach for startups.
- Bridging the technological product side towards the market sales & customer satisfaction.
- You don’t get people to agree; you get people to commit.
- A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.
- Facilitators are the glue that holds operations together.
- Founders are a special breed of people.
- Most founders have strong personalities resulting in overconfidence.
- Some of the best clients are those who love challenges.
- Fighting to make vulnerable startups into world-class companies that can stand on their own.
- Doing your own version of coaching for your own business.
- Building startups: for acquisition or to be market leaders?
- Avoid emulating bigger competitors all the time. Always find a better way to grow.
- Quarterly Workshops and Reviews
- Decision Sheets
- Tech Scale Ups
The HERO Challenge
Today on the show, Roland Siebelink challenged Rick and Rob to be guests on The HERO Show.
Roland thinks that Rick is a fantastic interview because he has a longer entrepreneurial story than most. It took him almost 15 years to reach an amazing exit.
Roland also challenged Rob, an early stage entrepreneur, who is working on real problems to change the world through wind energy.
How To Stay Connected With Roland Siebelink
Want to stay connected with Roland? Please check out their social profiles below.
Also, Roland mentioned his book Scaling Silicon Valley Style on the show. You can find that here and download free chapters!
- Website: RolandSiebelink.com
Call To Adventure
Don’t forget you can stay connected to me and the show by subscribing now. Just text ALCHEMY to 444999. Or you put your email address in the box at the bottom of this page. You’ll get all sorts of cool gifts, be updated about our contests and polls, and get notified when we publish new episodes. With that… let’s get to listen to the episode…
The Webinar Alchemy Workshop: https://richardmatthews.me/fs/waw-slf/
Hello and welcome back to the HERO Show.
My name is Richard Matthews.
I am on the line with Roland Siebelink.
Roland, are you there?
Yes, I am. Hi, how are you?
Awesome. Glad to have you here, Roland.
So let me, really quick introduce you to our guest
And we’ll get started.
So Roland is a 25-year plus year veteran of internet business,
Entrepreneurship and digital marketing.
You were the former landslide winner of
Silicon Valley’s Founder Showcase CEO and co-founder of
Topicmarks acquired by Tagged.
Certain variety of executive strategy, product advisory roles,
Tech CEOs. Worked and lived in four different countries,
Who speak six languages, which is a pretty cool.
And you’ve been recognized by the US government
As an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability,”
Which I think is an incredibly funny title.
And so what I want you to talk about,
Talk about to start with is –
Tell us what your business is like now, what are you known for?
Why do people come to you? What do they hire you for?
Why does someone call up Siebelink and say,
“Hey, I need to work with you?”
Well, I’ve been very lucky in my career to have been
Three times part of a startup with a group from 10 to 1000 people
In about three years time. So I think it’s pretty rare
That people –
… That even just once.
And I’ve been lucky enough to experience it three times.
In the 90s, and the 2000s. And then again in 2010.
So what this has helped me see is some patterns
In what are the drivers that founders, when they get it right,
Really drive that big momentum and hyper growth,
But lso some of the errors that founders typically make,
That may make it harder to then reach an exit or
Keep that growth up over time, or to even go public.
So what I do these days, since I’ve had that all experiences
I help founders that are in that phase of, let’s say,
Just as a product market fit, like when the company has
A real chance of growing like crazy to help them structure
That energy to help make sure that they get the priorities right
With their teams, learn to delegate, learn to hire the right people,
Learn to set the right and focus strategy or
Two is execute some discipline around execution.
Basically, all about scaling up that company further and further,
And keeping up the momentum.
Awesome. So when, are people going to be seeking you out
When they hit that specific point,
Or are they going to not know they have this problem?
So you seek them out and educate them?
How does that work?
So, I do quite a bit of awareness raising,
In terms of public speaking or sometimes just sending
A few tools to people for free.
It’s free for them to use of course, just to get them aware
That they may indeed have challenges I had.
They may not get advice from their testers, or
They may be the very first people in that company
To have ever experienced those challenges.
And ultimately, I think since most of the work we do is coaching
And facilitation, it’s not the kind of businesses that you
Call cold call people and say, “Hey, I think you need a coach,”
Because of course, the first reaction is going to be “No, I don’t.”
So, it’s more to make people aware that there is
You do so you have to sort of like get yourself
A whole body of knowledge that exists here in … experience.
And if they can want to tap into that experience, then –
That makes a lot of sense. As far as, how you would you get clients.
You sort of have to make them aware that you exist,
Because they may not even know they have these problems
Or the problems that are coming down the road and
Ahead of them a little bit.
So they know … a resource there.
Absolutely. And the other thing that I’m starting to notice
… That clients just refer other startups to me.
Just the other day, I had a long term client has been with me
For almost three years now. And they sold another startup
In their city has raised a Series A, and the first thing they do
Is introduce these founders to me and said,
“This is what really helped us get to Series B,
And Series C much faster.” So, … check for growth.
That makes a lot of sense.
So what I want to get to then next is sort of your
Your origin story. Every hero has their origin story.
It’s where you started to realize that you were different
That maybe you had superpowers and
Maybe you could use them to help other people.
It’s where you started to develop and discover
The real value you can bring to this world.
So how did that happen for you? How did you go from
Someone who’s working in a start up to being a coach for startups?
I think it probably even started before I was working
In a real startup because my very first job
After finishing masters in Brussels was to actually work at university.
It was kind of a startup inside the university,
… Research Center that was also growing crazy from
Just the professor to 50 researchers in a few years.
And interestingly, that Research Center was focused primarily
On adoption of new technology by the market.
So what are the drivers that consumers look for?
What are the drivers that make or break I mean,
Innovation to the market? And so I think
That was for a long while, what I felt to be my great chance,
To understand very well,
It’s not just about getting the technology right.
It’s not just about getting the marketing message
And the sales right, but how do you actually bridge the two,
And how can you be that person that leader,
Who can bridge the technological product sides towards –
To market sales and customer satisfaction side.
And that basically, that means … work in a variety of startups
And scale ups, always with that focus
On how do I bridge between technology and the markets.
And whatever hats I was wearing.
I was kind of a … product or strategy or marketing,
Or even on some quality at some point in time,
It was always about, how do I get the awesome technology,
That new innovation that’s out there, into the hands of people?
That makes a lot of sense, as far as, how you get into that space.
So sort of along the way, did you sort of discover
What your superpower was in helping these companies
To make that transition? So, I like to think of your superpower
Is like the one thing that you really think that separates you,
Differentiates you and makes it that kind of thing
That would – that people need you for?
Well, it’s interesting that you asked it. It’s always hard
To find your own superpower.
But luckily, when I was working with my first CEO
And I was just 28, he said, “You know, I call you when I really need
A broad variety of people to agree on the controversial proposal,
Because you don’t just get them to agree, you get them to commit
And I don’t know how you do it, but you talk a little bit here
Which is a little bit there and ultimately, it all feels to them
Like it’s the key way going forward that need to think
it’s their own idea.”
And so he called me a ‘commitment sculptor,’ which is a
Tagline I’m wearing with pride ever since.
A commitment sculptor, I like that. So you actually,
You can get buy in from everyone on the team
To actually make something happen.
Absolutely. I think it’s related to what I’ve known,
What I’ve noticed culturally,
So you can hear it by my funny accent.
I’m from the Netherlands or Holland, originally.
And our culture is known a little bit, outside of … our home country,
To be a little bit … Probably, we like to tell truth to people.
We don’t like to be skirmishing around the truth,
As some other nationalities are known for, let’s say.
But what people don’t realize inside our own culture,
We’re also extremely consensus-oriented.
We both take sometimes three, four or five hour meetings,
… Which last week in the same meeting.
Just to make sure that everyone still agrees to the conclusion,
So I think, I’ve also helped those two conflicting ideas
In my head, in my spirit all of the time, that on the one hand,
You need to start from telling people the truth,
And this is what it is and have an open debate
About how we see the world differently,
But also when it come together around
What’s our common view and what can we decide right now
To move this company forward. Rather than both putting up our walls
And shouting … “You’re wrong.”
One of my mentors used to say that
“A person convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
That’s an amazing quote.
So, a person convinced against their will is have the same opinion still,
And I feel like you’re the opposite of that.
You come in and you help them see the commitment
As if it’s their own idea, and move in and really take ownership of it.
And then, that’s probably also why sometimes
I refer to myself more as … than coach.
I believe that ultimate coach takes some time
To grab a passive view. Trying to understand what drives people
And then encourage them to focus even more on their
Purpose and attract certain … When you’re in a team setting.
I would say, it’s much more about making the interaction
Of the team easier. And that’s really what facilitation means
To make it easier. To understand well, but …
If A has an interest in that area and
Person B has an interest in completely unrelated area.
We can kind of combine them together.
They can both agree on this proposal.
Some people may call that politics.
I think there is a good and bad definition of politics.
Politics in the best definition is just how do we reconcile
A number of interests into come away forward?
That definition of politics would be –
I just tell everyone what they want to hear.
And … I think obviously, we’d like to avoid second definition.
We’d like to stick with the first.
That makes a lot of sense.
And the facilitation is a skill all unto itself.
I always sort of felt like, facilitators are the glue
That hold operations together.
Because you’re the one that makes everything really happen,
Because everyone else has their silos,
But someone’s got to connect it all.
That’s true. And actually, you bring up a very important points
That really can damage these fast growing startups.
Studies that these silos are growing …
Everyone in the silos wants to be an ever better title
With functional title called … network marketer,
Network … engineering, network … finance position,
But there’s very few people that actually try and
Look at the end-to-end result.
How do all these silos actually produce work for the customer together?
And so that’s something that give a lot of attention
To … the workshops I organized with my clients …
Also the CEO coaching. How do we make sure that that there is value
That is … crossed with functions, rather than within.
Because mostly it’s not about getting better in marketing,
Getting better engineering, it’s making sure that they’re actually
Intended at all time for the customer.
A lot of common and joint effort.
So I want to talk about the other side of the coin.
So, if your superpower is the facilitation and
The commitment sculptor. … your superpowers, your fatal flaw.
It’s something that holds you back, holds your business growth back
And that if you fixed it, you can really rock yourself forward.
Just like Superman has his Kryptonite or
Batman’s not actually a superhero.
What’s one of the things that you’ve struggled with
In growing your coaching business?
And more importantly, how have you worked on that
For other people who might suffer from something similar to yours?
I think it’s probably related to if you feel like you know very well,
… You are a person to do that, it becomes very hard
To also expand your coaching business with visual intelligence.
This is what I’m known for to really be great
At facilitation and sculpting. Then, I also have
Another coach or facilitator that may have different superpowers.
And so, I think every small business owner typically struggles
With that duplication challenge.
How do we turn this one person’s business into a 3, 4, 5
At a 20% … over time, that we can help ever more startups … ?
That makes sense. So, how have you been working
On that in your business to help sort of overcome that
And use that to your advantage instead of being a weakness?
Well, I started with an associate coach.
This year, we started to spend a lot of time
Understanding where our mutual strengths are.
Sometimes my superpwer doesn’t …
And we’ve actually been innovating with
What I call … coaching, where, just like … programming.
We started to take some meetings as two coaches together.
Where one is in the lead and that person is really coaching.
But the other coach listen in and providing some
Actionable feedback to the lead coach to make sure
That they keep asking other questions
That they get more inspiration off.
And that has been a tremendous increase
In coaching power for us to coach … to have that …
Support as a coach …
To provide much better coaching services …
That’s actually a really cool idea.
It’s something that I actually do that occasionally
With some of my clients. I don’t have a set up,
Like a professional business thing, but one of my people,
My business partner will occasionally get on client calls together
And he’ll do nothing other than just listen and
See where you missed questions. Like, “Maybe you should have
Dug a little deeper there.
Maybe you should poke that thing a little bit more.”
And it’s really helpful to have another eye like that.
I mean, I could see how that would be a –
That’s a really useful way to shore up
The skills in your coaching business.
I think it’s it’s having the confidence
That we can all constantly get better and more work.
And I think what really made a difference for us
And such a big increase in … was done live. …
… Actually texting. We just use norma text,
But I will get texts if I’m going to coach …
What’s the energy behind or why is he silent?
It seems like that.
If the other person’s the lead coach then,
I will basically just … in the background
… But make sure that the lead coach is constantly also getting
Snippets of suggested questions …
So how many coaches do you have on your team now?
At the moment, we’re five. They’re not always full time,
But it keeps growing. And basically some are more specialized
In one-on-one coaching.
Some are more specialized in team facilitation,
Business coaching, some geographical specialization,
But to be honest, we’re still figuring out how to
How the puzzle all fits together. …
You gotta do your own version of your coaching for your business
That’s exactly right. You’re not the first to tell me that.
So I know how that goes in my business.
I say, it’s like the cobbler’s son, he’s got no shoes.
Our own business gets ignored while we help our clients and
I think its primary problem of entrepreneurs.
I asked my mom, my parent’s work
What does your son do for a living?
Teacher of … basically, teaches teachers how to raise children.
Said, “Oh, well then you must be great parents themselves.
So, I still remember that look on their faces like
And some other varieties of the …
That’s funny. So my next question for you
Is about your common enemy.
Every superhero has their common enemy.
And in this case, think about it like when you bring on a new client,
If you could remove one thing from their life,
From their mindset, from their organization,
From something that is just holding them back,
You can just wave your magic wand and make that go away.
You could just get results for them better faster.
What is that thing you keep running into
That’s holding your clients back?
I have to say –
Fake self-confidence that makes people close …
And the people who are almost not comfortable,
so … have such a high-regard of themselves fake
Or true that they say, “I just know everything.”
That’s actually really interesting because
You’re one of the first people we’ve had on that works with startups,
Mostly, clients range all over the place from other guests.
And generally, it’s having too low of a confidence
That people are running into. And it’s interesting that
You run into the opposite problem in the startup space.
The people that are overconfident and maybe need
To realize where their own weaknesses are.
Well, founders are a special breed of people
To be fighting against the whole world
With the perspective … except that no one believes him.
It’s a very different skill set.
So every founder, that success has come through … years of that
Relentless fighting against what everyone else …
Is common sense. So no founder is without a very strong personality.
Some learn from that and say, “I need to stay open.
I need to keep … from all sources.”
But there are some others
Who ultimately always referred to I know …
I wouldn’t necessarily say that that means
That they’re so confident it may mean that
They’re almost afraid to recognize that …
There’s some deep psychological ego sometimes,
But it will not be something that we can fix in just a few sessions.
And that’s the case then, between …
I could see how that’d be difficult to to work through
But that’s why people hire you. So my
… Of course so if we can all challenge the clients
A little bit, then that’s usually a very bad sign.
The ones that
Have a great experience, when we work with them
Are the ones that actually liked to be challenged.
“Please say to my team that is super great to be challenged.”
So my next question has to do with your driving force.
So, if your common enemy is something that you’re fighting against,
Your driving force is something you’re fighting for.
So just like Spider Man fights to save New York or
Batman fights to save Gotham or in a startup space,
Google fights to categorize all of the world’s information.
What is it that you fight for in your company?
I fight for turning a say … vulnerable start up with a great …
Into a world … company.
That can stand on its own feet all the time
Where the founder can still be completely in-charge.
While all the time, they still kept that original CEO.
That’s my key point there.
It’s easy to turn a startup into maybe of more of a traditional company …
… That changes the world
… And that’s really my goal, to keep that company …
I can see it’d be quite challenging because as you grow,
It’s hard to keep that lean mentality and that movement
That sort of makes the startup. So I’m kind of curious,
Actually on that point, you mentioned earlier that
One of the things you’re helping the startups with is figure out
What their exit strategy is. Now, are most of the startups
When they’re looking to build their company,
Are they looking to build for acquisition or
Are they looking to build for to become like market leaders?
What’s the goal, generally?
I’d say the goal is usually just to grow, grow, grow, grow, grow,
But I help them crystallize a little bit more.
What does that mean? Does it mean that ultimately your …
Becoming a market leader?
Which I generally … , or does it mean that
You just want to have a couple of good years
And then basically, start moving on to your next thing,
Which typically wise if you want to
Optimize more towards your next thing.
In reality, it doesn’t make that much of a difference
In how you manage that because at any point in time,
We need to maximize value for investors …
I always say the best acquisitions are going … to be acquired works.
… Trying to sell themselves, right.
So in terms of the real day today …
Is what doesn’t make a difference is just keep your eyes open
To potential exit opportunities.
One startup by words within directly
for exit opportunities … for feedback.
And one of the VCs …
opportunities both got mutual relationship that actually
Turned into a …
I can see what happened. You helped raise that company
You want to bring it into the fold.
That’s exactly right.
So ask you a more practical question.
But I call this the Heroes Toolbelt.
So maybe you got a big magical hammer like Thor or
Bulletproof vest, like your neighborhood police officer.
Maybe just really love how Evernote helps you
Organize your killer slides? What are some of the things
That you use, practical tools you use to really help
Drive home the work that you do for your clients?
Well, I would say the the key thing is our quarterly workshops.
Next to that, we would be referring to the one page tools
That we put in front of our clients. And the third one would be
The tech scale of health check. So I start with quarterly workshops,
Even if they may be a little bit old-fashioned,
But it really makes a big difference for a team
To take one day, a quarter, to just sit together
In one room and discuss issues openly.
We fill up that day tremendously with eight to nine
Different exercises … which are designed to bring
As many thoughts to the table, as possible.
So we all use people putting their thoughts on sticky notes.
We only debate after the whole consensus
Is displayed on the wall.
And not only does that lead to consensus much more often
And much more rapidly than people would otherwise be able to.
It also gives people a constant gauge of actually what –
How valuable are the contributions of different people on the team.
How quickly do I see things actually working?
Because people are giving me new ideas,
Even if I thought that that person in the team
Was really not that useful. That’s a big, big thing that comes out
And every workshop finishes with five different priorities
That the team set themselves for the next quarter.
So there’s always a huge commitment at the end.
Maybe that’s related to my commitment-sculpting profile.
Making sure that there’s only a list of top five priorities
That they can then know. They know how to measure,
They know who owns them, and they know how to announce them
To the teams, as well for new energy for next quarter.
The second, I would say is, there are many
Management books out there and they’re all very valuable,
But nobody in a startup situation has time
To be reading management books all the time.
So what we do is we summarize some of these
Management books into simple one-page tools called,
We call them Decision Sheets. And these are often
The basis for exercises, whether it’s in the workshop or
It’s just remote when we do a coaching exercise.
We’re quickly debtors, the thoughts gives people,
Ask people some questions and very quickly gives an idea of,
“Okay, how do I solve this particular problem?”
For example, one is the talent gauge. And we asked people
To quickly map when they have some doubts
Whether they have the right people on the team.
We ask them to quickly map all the people on their team
Into a two-by-two matrix based on some questions that we ask.
Very simple tool.
But it’s amazing how quickly this leads to conclusions.
Actually, I’ve underestimated this person,
I need to mentor them more, or I need to provide them
With more coaching, maybe even promote them.
Whereas, that other person, now I suddenly see why
That person is taking so much energy because
They’re really just not a good fit with the values of the company.
And so that doesn’t necessarily have to mean
That a correction needs to take place,
But it just means that people become much more aware
Of what is sucking their energy? What is driving the team forward?
And where can they make slight changes
To move that in the right direction.
And the last one I mentioned was to tech scale up health check,
Since rating and assessments we’ve developed in-house
That gives tech scale ups an idea how well they are performing
On 11 different dimensions against other tech scale ups in the field.
And so it’s about; is your marketing better, is your sales better,
And your talent acquisition, your strategy.
All of these give a quick overview how you are performing
Against more of the norm, so that people know
What blind spots they may have and where they may want to
Sit the new priority for the next quarter.
Now, that sounds like some pretty powerful tools.
I’m curious on your quarterly reviews that you do with a big team.
How would you? – Because it sounds like a really good idea.
How would you scale that down to someone
Who’s running a smaller team, maybe a solopreneur or
Someone who’s got maybe one or two people on there?
They want to do the same thing,
When they’re wearing most of the hats.
What does that look like?
Well, first of all, I’d probably suggest that
That needs to be done more often.
So, a quarterly review is great for a company
Of 40-50 people or more. But if we’re talking about
Just a few people, or one person that takes all the decisions,
In most cases, I’ve actually recommend that
They do that on a monthly basis, and they don’t set themselves
These longer term quarterly goals
Because the world moves much faster.
Plus, you don’t need all the time to convince others in your business.
That this is the right idea. So, and that’s why we typically
Support single entrepreneurs or or solopreneurs
With more of a mastermind structure.
People who meet on a monthly basis.
They are remote groups, typically six to nine people
In one group or entrepreneurs in different fields,
But typically around the same development stage
Of their company. And we essentially asked them
To draw up these priorities in and even before
The masterminds share them with each other.
And then the team holds people accountable
To reaching those goals across the month that is going ahead.
Typically, we’re not looking at five goals or something like that,
More like just one goal, maybe two. But to keep it simple to say,
“Okay, this is the one critical point I need to fix about my business.
And I can take a first step before next month’s meeting.
That’s how we will help people more in a solopreneur or
Very small business situation.
I like that. That sounds like something I need to do
With some of my mastermind buddies and set like a monthly
Monthly like, “Hey, what’s our do or die thing
This month for our company?”
… at the moment in a mastermind?
So we do a number of things. But we don’t have a single
Do or die task that we’re we’re focusing on.
It makes it … I think it will make a big difference.
I do recommend you will try it. Yeah, absolutely.
Music is by https://www.purple-planet.com/
So, I want to talk a little bit about your own personal heroes.
So Frodo had Gandalf, Luke had Obi Wan Kenobi.
Robert Kiyosaki had his Rich Dad.
Who were some of your heroes? Were they real life mentors?
Were they speakers or authors?
Peers who were just a couple of years ahead of you?
And how important were they to what you
Accomplished, so far, in your coaching business?
Okay, very good and very interesting. I’d say –
I definitely have a few business authors
That were heroes to me.
Probably more general management-oriented ones.
I would say Peter Drucker has been a huge source
Of inspiration to me. For many years, I’ve read almost
All of the books and I will still. When I feel the demotivated,
Just grab one of the books, read a few pages,
And I’m motivated again. And then second,
I would say in the particular space of tech scale ups,
I’d recommend Geoffrey Moore with his Crossing the Chasm.
Body of Works and then, there’s a few other books, as well,
Very inspirational and really describing what works
In the tech scale up phase. And then afterwards,
I would say, Bernhard Nish with the book scaling up.
It’s also been a huge source of inspiration to me
Just by offering a practical guidance for how to –
How to grow a company, whether it’s a tech scale up.
In Verne’s case it’s more written for other kinds of companies,
Such as a hotel, or consulting company or any other company
That is just growing organically,
But I’ve learned a lot from that book nevertheless.
And joins for instance, coaching organization to make sure
I could apply these tools and these concepts
To tech scale ups, as well. Next to that, I would say definitely
Have a few heroes also a former CEOs I’ve worked with or
Sometimes known CEOs, like a controller or phone company
I’ve worked with or a head of marketing that I used to work for
And so I’d say, none of this none of them is probably
Become like the single hero that was always the best.
It’s more like you learned a little bit from everyone.
And how do you combine these learnings
Into a new body of knowledge?
And I love the Peter Drucker stuff as well.
I’ve read a couple of his things and they call him
The Godfather of modern day marketing, essentially.
And management’s right. And management was considered
A positive term and not just in opposition to leadership.
So let’s bring it home for our listeners and talk a little bit about
Your guiding principles. What are the top one or two principles
Or actions you put into practice on a regular basis
That you think contribute to the success that you have
In your company and the success that you’re clients see.
So I think for anyone in a leadership position,
The first principle you have to live by, I feel is
You walk the walk, and not don’t just talk the talk.
So you have to set the right example.
Actually, do what you want done and not just talk about it.
I think that’s one of the most important principles.
And the other one is to dare to think different.
In many cases, a startup that scales up alone will remain successful,
If they really work in a different way.
Then, the incumbent competitors in that field.
And so, if you’re always trying to emulate bigger competitors,
Or bigger companies in your field,
It actually will distract from your success,
And it’s much more important to find out,
“Well, why are they doing things this way?
Does that mean I should do the same or
Is it better for me to take a kind of opposite approach
Because there’s more room to grow in those fields.
Does that make sense?
I always used to think of that as, if everyone else is doing it,
It’s probably wrong. So we should go exactly the other direction.
Well, few years ago, we were in the aquarium
In Monterey, California. And they have this gigantic tank
With all the, I think it’s anchovies or sardines,
All swimming around in circles day and night.
And there was one that was swimming the other direction.
And my husband points to that fish and says, That’s you.
You’re the one going the other direction.
That’s the way I think about life too.
If everyone else is going this way,
You should go the other direction.
And it’s actually, it’s really helpful in business too.
Because when you are looking at the direction of your company
And what you’re doing, that’s how you stand out.
It’s the one fish you notice in the crowd.
It’s one going the other direction.
… Fish, that’s for sure.
You remember the fishes is going the wrong way.
And that’s an important skill. And I think it ties
Right into something that – I work in the marketing space.
And one of the things that happens all the time
In the marketing space is people are always talking about
Certain tactics or strategies that are dead.
Everything’s always dead. Email is dead and direct mail is dead,
And Facebook marketing is dead, and whatever it is,
It’s always dead. And I always, like, if it’s dead
That means if someone’s trying to tell you it’s dead,
They’ve got something to sell you. And I think,
You go the other direction with it.
And instead of talking about how everything else is dead,
Why don’t you just show people why
Whatever you’re doing is actually going to work.
And show people results. And it’s just doing the opposite
Of what the market does because the the lazy marketing is like,
“Hey, whatever you’re currently doing is dead.
You should try our way instead.”
And you’re so right, especially in the marketing space.
There are so many people who basically have a hammer
And to them everything looks like a nail.
And there’s not even a questioning of first principles
Like, does it even make sense to recommend social media
To one who’s only in business-to-business?
For example, are the buyers even on social media?
These things are, I think, fundamental questions that
No social media experts will ever even ask.
So there are like, if you run social media campaigns,
Then the answer to all of your clients problems is social media.
And I think sometimes, bringing someone like you in or myself
Come in and be like, “Hey, let’s actually step back a little bit
And where are your customers?”
And what are the problems they have?
And how can we reach them and use the strategies
That reaches them best, that might actually be direct mail.
It’s possible. It could be that’s how you need to get ahold of them
Is with direct mail.
… So it must be doing something right.
It’s still there. It still works. And it’s probably not dead.
So what I want to talk about last, but one of the last things
We do on the show is something I call the Hero Challenge.
Hero Challenge is pretty simple. I do it on every show.
And it’s basically this, do you have someone in your life or
In your network that you think has a cool entrepreneurial story?
Who are they? First names are fine.
And why do you think they should come share their story
Of entrepreneurship on our show?
Interesting. So let me think, I would recommend Rick
Who has had a longer entrepreneurial story than most.
Where it took almost 15 years for them to reach an amazing exit.
And so that would be an interesting story. On the other hand,
Early stage entrepreneurs such as Rob,
Who are working on real problems, to change the world through,
For example, wind energy, and working
… just as an ex students and trying to raise
The first rounds of funding, very interesting stories all of them.
So we can connect later about about meeting someone like that
On the show. For now though, what I’d like to do is
Find out where people can find you. If they’re in that space,
I don’t know how many startup entrepreneurs
I have in my audience. But if I do have someone
In the startup space, where can they find you work?
And what type of what’s like the ideal customer?
Where should they be in their business before
They reach out to someone like you?
Ideal customer is a company that has just just
Raised their series A or is close to doing so.
We typically start around that time.
And if they are in the software business,
They’re even more ideal because those are the ones
That we really focus on. It doesn’t have to be in Silicon Valley
Because we actually serve startups all over the world.
We’re not geographically focused, sometimes we can
Even help more outside of the bay area than inside it.
Because we bring a lot of that knowledge to people in
Other cities and other countries.
The best way to reach out to me is to find the website
Which is also the title of my book,
And where people can download three chapters and
Also reach out and just ask questions in every way,
Any way they want to.
Awesome, thank you very much for that.
So if you’re in that space, and you’re listening to this
And you need to – you want someone to come and
Help you take that to the next level,
Definitely reach out to Roland.
Obviously, he knows what he’s talking about here.
Has a lot of good knowledge in this space.
And with that, I just like to thank you so much
For coming on the show, Roland. Really appreciate it.
It’s been a very cool conversation. Thanks for coming on.
Thank you so much, Richard.
Much appreciated the invitation. It was a pleasure.
So last thing, do you have any final words
Of wisdom for our audience?
That’s a difficult question to finish off with.
I think ultimately, learn a lot. Get as much information
As you can from other people in your space. But be authentic.
Be yourself because as a leader,
As a somebody changing the world,
All you can do is be authentic to yourself,
And that’ll give you the driving force to really change the world.
You heard him guys, be authentic.
Thank you so much for coming on the show, Roland.
Really appreciate it.
Thank you, Richard.
How To Build Incredibly Persuasive Webinars To Sell Your Online Courses or Coaching
Pick your copy of my new masterclass today and learn the EXACT strategies that I personally use to build sales webinars that have sold more than $786,976 worth of online courses and coaching just in the last year.
How To Build Incredibly Persuasive Webinars To Sell Your Online Courses or Coaching
Pick your copy of my new masterclass today and learn the EXACT strategies that I personally use to build sales webinars that have sold more than $786,976 worth of online courses and coaching just in the last year.
What Is The Hero Show?
A peak behind the masks of modern day super heroes. What makes them tick? What are their super powers? Their worst enemies? What's their kryptonite? And who are their personal heroes? Find out by listening now
The HERO Show
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