Seth Godin: How to Do Work That Matters for People Who Care


– Hey everybody, what’s up? It’s Chase, welcome to another episode of the Chase Jarvis Live
Show here on CreativeLive. You all know this show. This is where I sit down
with incredible humans. I do everything I can
to unpack their brains with the goal of helping
you live your dreams in career, in hobby, and in life. My guest, you will know him immediately as I start revealing some
of the things about him. He’s, I think he’s done 18
books, global bestsellers. He created a couple of start-ups, he is the creator of altMBA. We’re here to talk about his new book called “This is Marketing”. It’s the one and only, the inimitable Seth Godin in the house. (energetic percussion music) (applause) We love you. – Thanks, man, thank you for having me. – Thank you so much. – Been looking forward it. – Oh, well, I confess, we
were talking a little bit before the camera started rolling. We have done another interview
a couple of years ago and I, it was super engaging for me. I personally have watched
it a couple of times to take the nuggets out of it that you have put into your books. I just devoured this, I got galley. Thank you for overnighting it. I don’t know, maybe,
Stephanie or someone– – Yeah, she’s great. – Overnighted it and
just crushed this thing as I was flying across the country to come sit with you today. This to me feels different
than a lot of your other books. You know, books like the Purple Cow, there’s 18 of ’em so I won’t list them, but I felt like those all
took on very specific things about marketing, about
audience, about engagement. This to me is like a bible. This to me is like you
put it all into one place. So was that intentional,
am I reading that into it or is that intentional
like you packaged it all? To me this is like– – Yeah, I don’t think that was the intent; it’s what happened. The intent was– – You started out with
something and, yeah. – No, I spend a lot of, I
don’t do any consulting, but I spend time with people I care about helping them achieve
where they’re trying to go and it tends to be
something that many people would call marketing problem. And to help them, I
built this online seminar called The Marketing Seminar
and 6,000 people have taken it. And the cool thing, as you
know from doing the same thing is you can watch what’s
resonating, what’s changing people. – Yeah. – So it’s 50 lessons, it takes 100 days. And I’m taking notes and adjusting it, and then I realize some people aren’t gonna devote that kind of time. – Yeah. – I have something I wanna teach them and that’s what led to the book. And as I was writing the book
I realize it’s really a book about how we market to ourselves, about the story we tell ourselves, about our sufficiency, our worth, our assertions, our contribution. And so I had to lay that
whole groundwork out. And then on top of it talk
about how other human beings hear us and see us.
– Yeah. – So there are no pages that say, Tuesday afternoons are
the best time to tweet. And there’s nothing that says, here’s how you make SEO work better Because those are tiny, tiny tactics. And they don’t separate
winners from losers. What matters is doing work that
matters for people who care. And a lot of the people
who are watching this want to do work that matters. But we trip ourselves up because we think that we then have to
become an evil marketer and spam the world and I
don’t think that’s true. – Well, you’ve laid out
a very convincing case and there’s lots of places where we could start this conversation. I don’t wanna just talk about the book– – Absolutely, yeah. – But I do wanna like get
right into it because it’s, having just consumed it’s
very, very fresh for me. But talk about the smallest audience. – So that’s probably the
most controversial idea for the first pass through the book. You may have heard about
lean entrepreneurship and you should make the
minimum viable product. – MVP as they call ’em. – And if you look back to the
early courses you launched you wouldn’t launch one of those today. But you need to put it into the world, not ’cause it’s lousy,
’cause it wasn’t lousy, but because it’s primitive. But what primitive means
is I solved a small problem for somebody and I can see how it works, and that has been proven to
work over and over again. Well, in marketing, I wanna argue that we’ve all been trained to pitch the largest possible audience. Because for spams–
– Total investable market where we’ve got all these acronym– – Exactly. – And talking about how you’re
supposed to only think big and words like scale
total addressable market that drive me crazy, but– – Exactly, gross rating
points, gross, right? What if we did the opposite? What if we got specific? What if we said, if there
were 100 people I changed, 200 people I taught, 1,000
people who were my patrons, what if we could do
that, would it be enough? It wouldn’t be magic, it
wouldn’t be a homerun, but would it be enough? If the answer is yes,
then we become specific and obsessed with that. Because if you can’t pull that off, well then you’re not an artist. But if you can pull that off,
you know what they’ll do? They’ll tell their friends. Because it’s so extraordinary
they have to share it and then it gets bigger and bigger. But we begin by having
the guts to be specific as opposed to hiding behind infinity. – So you said, I gotta make that enough. Enough for what? Enough to get started,
enough for life, enough for, like what’s the enough for? Give me the–
– Exactly. So there are two kinds of enough. The first enough is, is it enough for me to make my next piece of work? Is it enough to fuel this journey? Because artists can be insatiable. They can want more ’cause they think they have something to give. We’ve noticed that. (laughs) But then the second enough, which I don’t talk about in the book which I’ll talk about a lot in my book, is what happens to your happiness, what happens to your craft when you define whatever you have as enough for now? Because if you can live in sufficiency, it’s way easier to be generous
’cause you’re not drowning. Drowning people don’t offer
life jackets to other people. But the act of offering a
life jacket to somebody else that connection that comes from that actually supports our craft,
but we have to tell ourselves the story of sufficiency, not I’m done. But I did that, this happened, now what? – Yes, I think there’s something about it feels complete, the
way you just phrase it, it feels completely
different than our product because you’re just, you’re trying to give people that, in that small subset in
experience, an 11 experience– – Exactly. Exactly, right? – And it feels, to me
they’re like tours of duty, I don’t like military analogies really, but it’s like you get in,
you did a tour of duty, you gave them what they
needed at that moment and then you’re learning. And it’s not, I’ve always had this debate inside of CreativeLive
or whenever I looked at other founders and friends
who are building products, you hear this MVP, and
if you look at a triangle of like the bottom is
like it actually does what it supposed to and
then the middle is like it’s got some nice polish
and the top is like it’s extraordinary,
everybody tries to slice through the bottom middle section, like it does a little bit of something which there’s no emotion around it. I hate minimum viable products– – Well, but that’s a
wrong definition of MVP. That’s what people are
telling you an MVP is but they’re wrong. – They’re slicing it the wrong way. – Correct. – Yeah, I don’t remember,
I saw a diagram somewhere. And so the fact that I don’t love MVP helped me really get
into this very quickly, but I think that the
idea of a small audience is it feels risky to people. – That’s right. – And is it a thing you have to get over or is this a risk that you have to sell inside of your organization? Like what’s, how do we think about it? How do we give, people who
are considering doing this, how do we give ’em tools to persevere? – This is brilliant. You should edit my next book. These are brilliant questions. There’s a difference between
feels risky and is risky. The risk is–
– Say that again. There’s a difference
between feels and is, okay. – Right? The riskiest thing you can
do is make average stuff for average people and
pitch it to the masses. The riskiest thing you can do is, say, we’re gonna be the next
Banana Republic, right? This is like not a lot of
chance that that’s gonna work. The safest thing you can do is, say, there are eight people at table four, if I can go bring magic to table four even though I’ve got a
long shift ahead of me if I act like it’s there, the only chance those people ever gonna have ’cause it is, to have the experience of
a lifetime here, right now, that’s the safest thing you can do. Not worry about the people who haven’t even clicked on open table,
not worry about the people who are thinking about
a restaurant to go to. Table four, what’s happening at table four ’cause if you can change
their life even this much– – Yeah. – They’ll come back and
they’ll bring their friends. And when you think about
the growth of my projects, of your projects, isn’t that
what they’re about, right? Like the brilliant insight,
I was telling my wife about the brilliant insight of here it is, it’s live, for the, people
came for free, great, and now it’s going to cost. How can that make sense? Well, because the people you changed are now your sales force. – Yeah.
– Right? And so does it feel risky, you bet. Why does it feel risky? It feels risky ’cause you
have to make an assertion, because you have to go to
people and say, I made this. And if you say to a
special person I made this and they say I hate it, it hurts. Whereas, if you just
stand on the street corner and say to everyone I made this, there’s so many bystanders, you feel safe. So what I’m pushing people to do, because the internet feels vast. – Yeah. – It’s not a mass medium,
it’s a micro medium. It’s the smallest medium ever created next to a billion other small media. So you don’t get to be
in front of the internet. When I was at Yahoo, the
homepage was sold out two years in advance ’cause
amateur marketers with money say let’s buy the
internet, buy the homepage. But it wasn’t worth anything. – Remember those takeovers
and stuff, I remember that. I remember that, yeah.
– It was worth nothing. Because it was way better to
be in front of the right person on the right day for
the right reason to say, this thing, instant yes. And if you can’t build an instant yes, then all the spamming of
your friends and family isn’t gonna make it any better. – So you talked, I loved how you framed it which is, it’s actually the
least risky thing you can do is focus on one table. But you have to believe, like somewhere in the back of your head, you’re letting fires, other fires, burn. – Sure. – ‘Cause like you said, somewhere someone’s having a problem on open table, somewhere, I love the
restaurant analogy by the way and I think a lot of us had been servers at some point in their
lives so we can relate, and you’ve got table six
which they just got sat and you haven’t given them their drinks but the willingness to
focus on table four, is it table four, I’m already lost. – Yeah, table four. We love table four.
– We love table four. But the willingness to focus on them. When you put it as you have, it’s unequivocally the right thing to do. And then the challenge, the
next challenge that I see– – Exactly, is what do you
do with your resources? – Is, yeah, what next? So I did, I was super excited, I did a great job with
table four, but now– – Does doing a good job
with table four take time or does it take love? And that’s the distinction. So most of us are super lucky, we don’t do physical labor anymore, we don’t dig a ditch for a living, we don’t work in an
overheated nuclear power plant fixing gaskets, right? We do emotional labor. And emotional labor is also
exhausting but it’s different. So you have seen in the last 12 hours a receptionist or a frontline person coasting through their day. They’re not getting paid enough, they’re not led well,
they have bad conditions so they’re not exerting emotional labor. The question is in the
same amount of time, could they have made a difference for you? A flight attendant, a waiter, a senior vice president
of talent relations go anywhere on the spectrum. What does it mean to look
someone in the eye and say, I’m really glad you’re
here, ’cause that exchange didn’t take any longer than
your tables over there. – Yeah.
– Right? So I’m not arguing that we need to make every restaurant
the Union Square Cafe. What I’m arguing is the
sense of sprezzatura, this Italian word for
“effortless care”, right? I’m here for you, that
takes emotional labor just as much emotional
labor as making a painting that isn’t like everybody else’s painting. In both cases, we’re having to wrestle with that other thing inside of us called heart, if you want. That is why most
conversations about marketing tend to be about tactics
’cause now I don’t have to expose my fear. – Right. – And that’s not where I’m going. I’m trying to help people see there’s more opportunity than ever but you’re not gonna find
it by learning tactics, you’re gonna find it by
marketing to yourself and believing that the world
deserves what you have to say. – So I wanna hinge Max’s question around the point you
just made about seeing. So give us the connection
between seeing and being seen. – Right. – I think it’s a really
central point of the book. I think, it might even be– – The subtitle, yeah.
– Yeah, is it? Oh yeah, you can’t be seen
until you learn to see. So help me understand exactly
what you mean by that. And I think, I understand
you don’t want it to be too tactical, but what does that, what precipitates when you understand that you can’t be seen until you see. What precipitates from that? – So toddlers have a deservedly bad rap because they’re selfish, narcissists. (laughs) Me, me, me all the time. The toddler never comes
up to you and says, how was your day, right,
’cause the toddler just wants to be seen and fed. Marketers are like toddlers
and that they’ve worked hard to make something and now me, bring it on, I want more clicks, I
want more page views, I want better Google traffic, right? The thing is that selfishness cannot stand in a world where we have lots of choices. ‘Cause if I can bestow
my attention on anybody, why should I bestow it on a toddler? I don’t need to. I’ll just go over here. So what it means to see before being seen is to say that person I seek to serve, what’s the story in their head, what’s the narrative in their head? There’s this great new word called sonder which means realizing that other people also have a noise in their head that way you have a noise in your head. And for most of us that’s a revelation. You mean other people have a noise and it’s not the same as my noise? So once you accept that there’s
that noise in their head that they don’t know what you know, that they don’t want you want, that they don’t believe what you believe you can learn to see them for who they are and where they’re going. If you can do that, you
know what they’re gonna do? See you in return. But we have to go first. And particularly when we’re
not a Fortune 500 company, when we’re the sole
practitioner, small folks like you and me and the artists, that’s all we got, but it’s
enough, it’s more than enough because everyone is thirsty for that. And in the altMBA we spend
an enormous amount of time teaching people to see,
to see the world as it is, to see that other people
have their own narrative. And once you gain that
empathy you can serve better. – So that makes a ton of sense to me. And I’m, as, I think hopefully
everyone who’s watching and listening they’re like thinking about how this applies to them. So I’m sitting here doing
the same thing, selfishly, trying to create a conversation here– – It’s not selfish at all. That’s why I came, yeah. – I’m trying to like learn in the process. And I remember writing a blog post some time ago and it was called Stop Trying to Get
Everybody to Like Your Work. – Yeah. – And it’s I think been
shared 18 or 20,000 times or something–
– Deservedly. – And what I realized
at some point is that if you’re so busy trying to
get everybody to like your work when the reality is, is just
do the math for a moment and like how many do
you actually need with, especially if you’re
an independent artist, solopreneurs and like that, how many people do you actually need to make your thing successful? And what I learned from you
is it’s not even successful, how you like do tour of duty number one, like what is that number,
and when you realize how small that number was– – It’s even worse, though, ’cause if you try to please
the person in the back– – Right. – You’re gonna stop pleasing
the people you care about. So I gave a speech in
Mexico six months ago and I’m ashamed at what I did. And I’m saying this story out loud so I could tell it to myself. So it’s in a convention center, worst place to give a speech. It’s simultaneous translation, worst conditions to give a speech. And it’s 2,000 people and I’m up there and I’m doing my work and I feel like I’m doing it pretty well
and in the third row is a woman on her cell phone. She’s not listening to her
cell phone, she’s talking. – Oh. – She’s talking on her
cell phone in the third row while I’m up there doing my thing. And I just, my mentor Zig
Ziglar taught me not to do this but I couldn’t help myself. I focused all my energy on this woman and I kept interjecting
references to social media and how we can’t put it
down and hang up the phone. – She’s talking louder.
– Right. I got, can you be quiet, please. I’m on the phone here. And I know that I deprived
the people in that room who were there for me of my best self. How dare I do that? And it’s even worse when there
isn’t someone on the phone, you’re just imagining so that
when you’re sitting there typing or drawing or,
you’re imagining the troll, you’re imagining the non-believer and what they’re gonna say. Maybe it’s your mother-in-law,
maybe, who knows. And then you start averaging
it out to make them happy. You start delving it
down to make them happy. No, no, no, no, wrong, do the opposite. How can you make them even more unhappy? How can you make it even
less of what they want? So if you’re a contemporary artist, don’t make it more like Norman Rockwell because Norman Rockwell
already did Norman Rockwell. He’s taken. Make it more like you. And the person, the
Morley Safers or whoever, who hated contemporary art, not for you. Don’t even come in the building. – Yeah.
– Not for you. Warning sign: this is not for you. And as soon as you have the freedom and the confidence to do that, your work keeps getting better. – It takes guts, though.
– Yeah. – I think this is, like you
have to let things burn. And part of, especially for new, oh, actually I came to say I like it. And every table that I’ve ever sat at at a bunch of different levels that is not the commonly held belief. – Right. – ‘Cause there’s a desire to please. – Plus we gave the critics a microphone. They didn’t used to have one, now they do. – Right. So I’m gonna reference Brené Brown, she keeps a very short list of people, about six people, in a
little teeny piece of paper, fold it up in her wallet, she brought it, she showed it to me
before which is a great, I think it’s a great way of thinking which this is what I care about, these are the people that
I care about what they say and if you’re not in the
arena, you’re not in this list, I don’t care. And what I took from your book is that if we can take a similar mentality and focus it on how we
talk about our products or services and who we are– – Yup. – That we’re gonna be
infinitely better off. – Happier and more of service to the people we’re
trying to serve, right? If you run a non-profit and
you’re trying to raise $100,000, who is the best person
to raise $100,000 from? Someone who’s never given money to charity or someone who gives money to charity? It’s pretty clear, right? Okay, among people who
give money to charity, do you wanna call on people who donate to the American Care Society, the American Heart Association and one other old school charity or do you wanna go to people who are eagerly on the frontlines? Well, it depends what
kind of charity, right? So you’re doing work that
matters for people who care and they demonstrate how much they care through their actions. So find people who are already
acting like people who care and make something for
them that they can’t help but be glad you made. – Smallest possible audience. – Viable. ‘Cause possible is one,
you can’t live on one. So what’s the viable,
what’s the one I can live on that will get me far
enough to do it again? And my friend, Brian Koppelman
talks about the question he gets asked the most,
is how do I get an agent. Because the mindset is my
agent will help me get picked. – Yeah. – Well, the way you get
an agent is actually doing work so that an agent will call you. – Yeah, totally, being so busy– – So that an agent will find you. And the way that happens
is you make YouTube video, it doesn’t work, you make
another YouTube video, it spreads a little, you
make another YouTube video, 500 people watch it, now
you’re on to something. Your next one maybe will
only reach 5,000 people but it will change them, it
will change the way they see, the way cameras work, whatever it is. Oh, now the phone rings,
because you did something worth seeking out. – How do we get people, I’m saying, well, maybe people refers to me or someone who might be listening, how do we lean in to this concept? I can understand intellectually that, hey, as soon as I make
something for everyone I’ve actually made it for nobody. I understand the math but
actually doing that thing and it’s sort of an inward journey– – Yup. – How do we make that habit when it is certainly not intuitive? It’s not what you’ve been told. This information is not in other books, it’s about total addressable market, how do you make a product that scales– – Exactly. – And I know and understand
and respect those people who build those huge scale businesses, the Airbnbs, the LinkedIns
that they’ve been on the show. – Sure. – So how do you reconcile that we have to make something small and individual and unique and (mumbles). – Try this trick. – This is what I’m looking for. I tricked you into giving me a trick. (laughs) Yes! – Think about the best
teacher you ever had. This teacher did not use
test in measure compliance, standardized testing, and this teacher was not the best teacher
everyone ever had. This is the best teacher you had. What happens if instead
of thinking about yourself as a marketer, you think
about yourself as a teacher? And you are teaching not everyone but people who are enrolled in the journey where you are going. And I would argue, Airbnb and LinkedIn are perfect examples of businesses that did not try to be
everything to everyone. They try to be important to
a very small group of people. And those students of theirs
who were in the early classes said, oh, teach me about this, teach me what it’s like
to be an Airbnb member, teach me what it’s like to have these kinds of interactions in LinkedIn. And as students, you
didn’t have to yell at them because they were
enrolled in your journey. And as a teacher, you’re thinking, oh, that leap was a little too fast, let me go back and do
this a little bit slow, let me find out where that
person is holding back. And once you realize
that you’re a teacher, a generous teacher, not the
kind who’s yelling at people, but a generous teacher,
everything that I’m talking about suddenly fits into place. – I figured I kinda
shot myself in the foot ’cause as soon as I’ve asked that and you started talking,
I was like, wait a minute, and so I had Joe from
Airbnb on and he was like, what they did is they,
originally it was for, they rented their apartment and literally put air
mattresses on the floor at South by Southwest because
they knew that the city would be sold out and they needed to make money to make rent. So talk about small. And then ultimately what
tipped was they came, they opened the market in New York and they came here and they, individually, the founders and a friend, and photographed the insides of Airbnbs ’cause they realized that the photographs were very unappealing. – Yup. – Very non-scalable, very, I
think they did 20 in a weekend. – Exactly. – And that was the thing that Joe credits as tipping the business. – Right, which leads to this
next cool idea as you scale. And you have done this masterfully, which is people like
us do things like this. That sentence is what marketing is. People like us do things like this: establishing the culture. So if you’re a supreme fan, that’s, you know when to go to the store, you know which one hat to wear and which hat you’re
not gonna wear anymore, you know what to sell and
what not to sell, right? That if you ride to Staten
Island Ferry everyday to work you know what people like
us do when we commute. The rules are very clear. Where they did they come from? They’re not laws of physics, they’re just the rules in this moment. So people like us, contemporary artists who are working in 2020,
what do people like us do, where do we show, what is our format? People like us do things like this. So who gets to invent those rules? The cool thing is we do. – Yeah. – So you’re either a victim of those rules or you’re following those rules or you are the inventor of those rules. And because of the way
I came up as a teacher, as someone who helped run a summer camp, inventing cultures, this is what we do. We use expressions like this,
not expressions like that. And when I was running
my internet company, there were 50 of us in one big room, and there was one person
who had a bad temper and I knew that because he had status, if he persisted, it would
be okay to have a bad temper in my company and the
culture was brand new. And I took him aside and I said, if you lose your temper
again in the office there’s no warning, you’re just fired. And he knew I was serious
and he never did it again. He needed to leave the
room then he could lose the temper all he wanted
when he wasn’t around us. But people like us, we
do things like this. And that’s why it’s
different when you walk to the halls of IBM than to
walk to the halls of Microsoft. That wasn’t an accident. Someone picked people like
us do things like this and you get to do that with your work. And as you build your call
them a tribe, the community, whatever you want, you’re
the one who’s determined what those are if you can make assertions and if you could own it and
then we get back to the fear. Who am I? Well, you’re you that’s why
we picked you to go do this. – That is like, I think
that’s a major unlock for a lot of folks. And let’s go back to
the individual creators, the entrepreneurs, people
wanna start something for whom. Deciding, there’s this
fear, I remember this fear in my own work that, but
I wanna show a portfolio that has everything in it. Because when I’m showing
a prospective buyer and they’re gonna look at it and say, oh, he shoots, not just action sports, he also shoots puppies. – Right. – And because I want, I need the money– – Yup. – I need to, but of
course I quickly realized that this is sort of poison
because this is nobody, this is, I do everything for everybody– – Yeah, this is $12 an hour. – Yeah. – So let’s do the freelancer
rift ’cause it’s important. Freelancers are different
than entrepreneurs and most of the people
watching this are freelancers. – Yeah. – I’m a freelancer, I
like being a freelancer, nothing wrong with being a freelancer. But stop pretending
you’re an entrepreneur. Freelancers get paid when they work. They don’t build an asset
bigger than themselves, right? – Yeah. – So I don’t have a building. Okay, great, you’re a freelancer, how do you move up as a freelancer? The answer is you can’t work more hours, you need better clients. Better clients challenge
you to do better work. They respect your good work. They pay you more, they tell other people. Your good work spreads the
word that’s how you move up. Get better clients. So if you go to people and
say, I will do what you want, what do you need, that’s
the kind of client you’re gonna get. But if you go to a client and say, I have a point of view and I’m leading, the only clients you’ll get are ones who have a point of view and are leading. Is that who you wanna be? So will it be much harder
for you to get those clients at the beginning? For sure, that’s a dip.
– Yeah. – But the ones you get through and get to the other side, right? What you want are people
in the world saying, get me Chase, and someone
says, Chase is busy, they say, okay, get me someone like him. That’s what you want to have happened. But first, you gotta
have that first sentence, be true about you, and if you’re the one who does sports photography and puppies, no one’s gonna ask for you. – For sure. There’s something also about,
let’s go back to the story we need to tell ourselves to
believe that we’re good enough and we’re worthy, I think that’s, for, again we’re gonna,
we’ll stay on freelances or independent creators. There’s a I’m not worth
it, I haven’t earned it, I had plenty of advantage, I grew up in a safe home,
I don’t have this brutal, artistic struggle in my history, I don’t have anything to say,
I don’t have a point of view, how am I gonna be, how
am I gonna breakthrough? And what would you tell someone, because I believe that of the 10, if there’s 10 people listening
or watching right now that eight and a half of
them have that feeling. So what do you tell them–
– Me too. – Yeah, okay, me too, that’s good. What do you tell them? – The first thing I’d say is you’re probably not good enough, and no one is, but you could get better. And if you keep getting better, then sooner or later you’ll be better and that’s the journey. So at the beginning, we’re going to people who have a problem and we’re going, not in our head, but trying
to get it into their head what is your problem. Your problem is you have a deadline. Your problem is you have to tell your boss you got this problem solved. Your problem is you feel insufficient. Your problem is the last three people feel like that, blah, blah, bla. But you know what your problem isn’t? Your problem isn’t that
you can’t find a freelancer who is the world’s best at blank, because that’s actually not
part of your narrative at all. That may be the freelancer’s narrative, is that I’m insufficient and incompetent, but that’s not what the
client’s problem is. So if you present to the
client as this person who will make promises and keep them, who will exert emotional
labor to be easy to work with or difficult to work with if that’s what the client is working for, right? But you make an assertion
about what role you are playing as their teacher in that moment. If that’s the story they need to hear you’re doing them a service. And that service is just
like the service you look for when you go out for a nice dinner. When you go out for a nice dinner, the chef isn’t saying to himself, I’m better than David Chang, the chef is just saying,
I’m making a promise, and if you want this
dinner for $24 here it is, and if you don’t want my
point of view about food there’s an Ethiopian restaurant
right down the street. But in order to be a
productive professional we have to present to world and say, I will make this for you,
and they keep the promise. And if you wanna get
better at it tomorrow, please, go get better at it tomorrow. But you can’t wait until you’re perfect before you can present to the world ’cause you’re never gonna get there. – That goes back to the non-MVP, MVP, and when I put something
out in the world– – Exactly. – Make it better, make
the thing that you do, make an 11 out of a 10 and
then make another course or another thing. So when you set out to write this, was this a project that you said, all right, I need to write
the definitive thing, Again I’ve opened with this, it seems different to
me than your other books because it puts its arms
around more big ideas, there’s not a lot of tactic, as you said, and I’m gonna try and
get you to get tactical. I knew you’re gonna resist– – It’s all good. – But did you set out to write that book where you put your arms around, I mean the title was
like “This Is Marketing”, it sets a very bold like,
yeah, it’s right here. – So I’m not good at making
up stories that aren’t true so my true story is this. I did that with Linchpin. Linchpin is the best
book I’ve ever written. I can’t write a better book than Linchpin. I spent a year of my life trying to craft a testament on paper
that I could not deliver in any other form. And I experienced what that felt like and I don’t know if I could do it again. Maybe I could find a reason to care enough to go through that pain. But in this case, what I’m trying to do, as I’m often trying to
do is deliver a value in a format that’s
appropriate for the value I’m trying to deliver. So in the Marketing Seminar, I said, if I can get 6,000 people to
come on this journey with me every day for months I can change them using new teaching technologies we built and it works. But it’s arrogant for me to say, that’s the only way to learn marketing, ’cause a lot of people will say, I don’t have that kind of time, I’m not willing to put
myself into that position. – Yup. – Well there’s this 500-year-old medium that has magical powers and
its biggest magical power is that you can hand it to
your friends really cheap and that you can all go on
the journey at the same time. Your colleagues can all
read it at the same time. So I haven’t written a full-length book in more than five years
because the publishing industry has its own issues. And I said to myself, wait a minute, I have this nail, I have this hammer, why am I, I’ll be a hypocrite, I’ll go back into the
book publishing world because I care to serve people who want to read it in this format. And I am fully aware that
most people on earth 99.9 will not read this book ’cause
they don’t wanna read a book or ’cause they don’t wanna
read a book about this. Fine. But for the people who
wanna go on this journey and bring people around them with them, this was my best effort to do that. And so when I read it as
a book and write as a book I’m not under the illusion that
this is Tequila Mockingbird. I wish I could write Tequila Mockingbird. What I’ve tried to do
instead is share the way I care about people who are
doing this work that matters. And I’m really hoping that people who do the other kind of work
won’t read this book ’cause I don’t want them to
use some of these approaches to manipulate people. We have to own the work we do and so I’m giving people a toolkit and I’m saying, please,
do a work you’re proud of. – Is this an attempt to capture people who wouldn’t
otherwise take the course? – Well, I don’t think
capture is the right word. – Yeah, serve.
– serve, exactly. So I’m trying to teach people– – I’m learning, I’m
slow, but I’m learning. – ’cause you will soon
discover that writing a book is a not very smart
financial endeavor, right? I’m never gonna stand on the corner and try to sell my books,
it’s not worth my time. What I am happy to say to people is if you’re doing work that matters, and I’ve tried really hard to signal everywhere in this book,
that’s who it’s for, then I’ll tell you
everything I know for $20. – Trust is as scarce as attention. – Yeah. – For those who are
listening and watching, I just read the name of, this
is the name of a chapter, Chapter 18. Explain that. – So attention used to be strip
mined by the big marketers. So if you’re over 30 years
old you remember network TV. And network TV was a bargain for 40 years. You always made money on
the TV ads you ran, always. And then cable came and
then the internet came and suddenly attention
is not longer a bargain ’cause there are more
people trying to buy it but they’re not making any new attention. There are more choices
but they’re not making any new attention. So the race for attention is characterized for the last 20 years, that’s
what Purple Cow is about. Okay, so now we’ve got that understood. But then trust has been strip mined where someone says, oh,
I’m in your email box, you sorta know my brand
name or you’re in the store, buyer beware ’cause I
can rip you off once, but I can’t rip you off twice. And so what we’ve done is taught a billion people not to trust, we’ve taught a billion people
to think everyone’s lying, a billion people to be hesitant. – Yeah. – So if you can earn
attention through permission, through the privilege
of having a newsletter or a broadcast like this– – Or subscribing to
someone’s YouTube channel in the case, that example you gave. – Exactly. And you can be trusted, everything else takes care of itself, done, done. – So let’s go then grab
a little of attention a little bit more because that’s, I think that’s what we feel
like we’re always competing for in this day and age. How do you think about attention ’cause I’m trying to think
about a small audience, like what’s the smallest viable audience? – Right. – And then attention,
the attention seems like this big thing that you
need to get a lot of people pointing at you, you need to get people, you need to get people, right, (mumbles). – It’s a great, yes. No, you’re setting it up beautifully. If you have a funnel view of the world you need a million people
to get 10,000 people to get 20 people, right? But if you have the
smallest viable audience view of the world your
classroom has 26 people in it, they are eager to be there. If you didn’t show up, they’d be angry. 26 people, that’s not a
funnel, that’s a classroom. That’s magical. So Banksy doesn’t have to
go do a media tour, right? Banksy doesn’t need a funnel. Banksy is Banksy. And the people who care
about Banksy follow Banksy. He doesn’t even want them
to follow him sometimes. And that is where you
wanna go as an artist, is that your work matters enough that people will choose
to pay attention, right? Jerry Garcia didn’t have
to do a sponsorship deal with Dove or Axe deodorant, right? He was Jerry Garcia. People lived in a bus
to follow him around. – Yeah. – Now please don’t say,
but I’m not Banksy, and I’m not Jerry, because their genes are the same as yours. This is not about God-given talent, this is about caring
enough to change a small group of people and it
doesn’t have to be very many. The initial years when The Dead
was really becoming The Dead they grossed a couple hundred
thousand bucks on the road, it wasn’t huge amounts of money, wasn’t huge numbers of people. But the song lives on
because in that moment an exchange was made between people who wanted to be in the room and musicians who wanted
to be in the room. And what’s worth noting is
they had only one top 40 record their entire career even
though they were one of the top 10 grossing
live bands for decades. And the one record they
had almost ruined them because it brought the
wrong people to the show. – That’s fascinating to
think of it like that. Brought the wrong people to the show. – Yup, that’s when the
violence started showing up, the drugs got out of hand
because the people who came for Touch of Grey were outsiders and they didn’t get the joke. – I’m reminded by that story of a friend of mine, I don’t know, he’s a New Yorker, maybe a
mutual friend of Brandon Stanton, who created the Humans of New York. – Yeah. I don’t know him but everyone says he’s– – He’s incredible. And what I love about
his sort of origin story without going into details, he
was a bond trader who failed, lost his job in Chicago, moved
here like with the goal of being in control of how he spent his time, not how much money he made. – Beautiful. – And so, it’s a beautiful set up. And then he tells this
great story about how his first sort of like
and his second like. And it’s hard to think now of someone who the second that they put out a book. It goes to literally the
very top of the list, stays there for several weeks because he’s in an audience
of 25 or 30 million people who’d buy anything that he puts out. And it’s very hard to think of, and that’s why he tells the
story of here’s a photograph of the first photo I ever posted. Actually, it had one comment and no likes. – Yeah, it’s horrible. The first ever comment he did, could you even bother to like it? – Exactly. It’s an extra click and I’m tired. But I think it’s hard for
people to believe or to, I think intellectually,
you can understand it, but emotionally, it’s very hard to believe that going from zero to one is a win. And then from one to two and two to three and that’s where actually if your focus is really on that group because you just don’t see how that, it’s sort of like compounding interesting. You just, what is it if you gave someone– – Double the pennies.
– Yeah, double the pennies. – Takes a month to make a million dollars. – Yeah, takes a month to
make a million dollars or would you rather have
some other big number. So, is your book, we’re trying to just put an end to that and you feel like that’s the stake that you’re trying to put in the ground. It is like stop trying to think big, you have to start small. And is that the core of this book? – I think that it sits in sort of a trio or quartet of ideas. The idea of big is challenging. So if you talk to someone who admires art and you mention Amanda Palmer, they’ll say that the music she’s created,
the footprint she’s made, she had the most successful
music Kickstarter in history, what they don’t realize is when she was in the Dresden Dolls, she got kicked off her label because there were only 20,000 people who are following her work
and buying her record. And when she did her Kickstarter, the most successful
Kickstarter in history, she had 20,000 people. So it’s not millions, it’s 20,000 makes you Amanda
Palmer, that’s all, right? So, don’t sacrifice your
work for a big number ’cause guess what, you probably
won’t get the big number, you’ll just have sacrificed your work. And number two is the big number
isn’t gonna fuel your work, your work is gonna fuel your work and the people you’re teaching. But next to that idea, which
we haven’t talked about yet is two ideas that sit next to each other. The first is status roles,
which is super important when we try to understand the story someone is telling themselves. The short version comes
from Keith Johnstone and, who works in theatre,
but works everywhere, who eats lunch first? When two animals meet in the jungle, who’s gonna eat lunch first? Who’s up, who’s down? Where two characters
meet in the Godfather, who’s gonna move up,
who’s gonna move down? Status roles, they’re everywhere. When you get on the bus, who’s
gonna sit, who’s gonna stand? At the Art Gallery, why
did someone just pay a million dollars for
this painting at this, at Mary Boone, but the same painting on the street corner couldn’t have sold for
100, what did they buy? Looking for status roles. Once you see them, you can’t unsee them. And you can play with are
you trying to sell to people who are moving up? Are you trying to sell people
who are eager to move down? Surprisingly, there’s a market for that. Are you trying to sell
the people who are just working hard to stay
where they are, right? So when the fall fashion stuff comes out, why do people run to buy fall fashion, they don’t have any clothes? Obviously, they have clothes, but they are trying to
maintain their status. And if they don’t have the new clothes, their status will go down. Next to that is this issue of
are we measuring affiliation? Who are we with? Who is like us? Where do we stand with them? Or are we trying to measure dominance? Who are we above? So professional wrestling is
a competition of dominance and that’s all they do is manipulate who’s up and who’s down status wise. And if you’re a fan of Hulk
or whoever it is on top, that makes you feel good. Affiliation is at the parade who’s marching side by side, arm in arm. So one of the challenges
we have as creators is temperamentally, we’re affiliators. Temperamentally, we wanna be in sync. Oh, everyone is wearing
a black turban like– – What do you mean temperamentally? – Before we get to our
craft, we think about– – Before we even start, we
haven’t even started yet. Now, we’re just looking around, right? – We’re not a pro-wrestler
kind who did I beat today? I’m part of a crew kind of person. But then when we do our work, when we do our work, we
have to be willing to break from the system. We have to do something
that hasn’t been done yet. It’s not people like us
do things like this yet. First is just I do things like this. And if you wanna affiliate with me, you’re gonna do things like
this too, and that’s super hard. That’s why if you look
at 10,000 TEDx talks, 9,500 of them are the same because it’s scary to get up and do one. But 500 of them, well, I
never heard that before and they say that person is
an idiot and you delete it, we say, now I believe. You taught me something new,
I wanna be people like that. And that pioneering spirit,
the assertion-making, that’s all artists do. It’s not a craft, it’s the
art of making an assertion that I didn’t know before and now that I know it, you’ve changed me. – You said earlier, but I’m not Banksy, but I’m not fill in the
blank, fill in the blank, what about the people who
are at home saying, yeah, but like, what do I have
that’s original to say? Like what’s my corner of the world? – Yeah, and I don’t think
you’ve tried hard enough. That if you say I have writer’s block, I say show me your bad writing. Once you show me 50,000
words of bad writing, then you can tell me
you have writer’s block. But first, do some bad writing ’cause over time, your bad
writing will get less bad. If the magic of the DSLR is for 300 bucks, everyone has a state of the art object. But you’re a lousy photographer. Do you know why you’re
a lousy photographer? ‘Cause you didn’t take
enough pictures yet. Show me 10,000 pictures. Put the pictures in the
world one at a time. Listen to how they’re resonating with the people you’re seeking to serve. Take more pictures, take more pictures. It doesn’t cost anything,
then come back to me and tell me you have
no photographic talent. But first, do the work. – That is gold. If you are listening to this, you need to hit that 30
second backward button. If you’re on the podcast right
now, you need to play that. I wanted a photography book. It is called The Best Cameras. The one that’s with you. It was the first book
on mobile photography and it’s said in there
that’s the dirty secret in photography is that you
have to take a lot of pictures to get your work and to find your work. And that is the thing, I just did a great, co-created something with
Apple called Photo Lab, where this program is
in all 500 Apple Stores worldwide every day. And one of the things that
we’re trying to cement in there is that the difference between
a pro and an amateur is that pros see something and
they’ll take 10 pictures of it versus you just see the Grand Canyon, you walk up to the edge of
Grand Canyon, you take a picture and you wonder why the pro, I mean, sure there’s other
distinctions, but you wonder why the pro got a better
photograph than you did and it’s because the pro hiked down, took 10 pictures from down
below, took 15 from above, took pictures of their friends, themselves and I just love the concept of the work. I think it resonates with people who are actually committed to it. Is there a way that that
separates the people who are allowed into the club? Is this like people like
us do things like this? Is doing work a reasonable divider ’cause the people who’ve done
it, the people who haven’t? – Yeah, well, there’s a bunch of dividers. One of them is slowly
fading, which is the divider of what you look like,
where you came from. It’s totally unreasonable, but
it’s true in a lot of places particularly in photography with gender and things like that. Fortunately, I think that
we’re gonna see that fade. But there is a tiny group of lucky people. A tiny group of people who
their first video went viral. I tell you people who from
the day their blog went up, they just kept going and going. I wasn’t in that group
when it came to my writing. I did 120 books as a book packager before I became an author. I wasn’t in that group with my blog. 20 people read my blog every
day for months or years before it was 200, blah, blah, blah. But then I got lucky ’cause Fast Company let me be a columnist. But that luck happened
because I had already written 50,000 words, 100,000
words before that occurred. So, yeah, I think you can look at people. I look at you and say, this
guy has been working generously for decades at this. And people don’t notice
until you had the last zero. And they’re, whoa, look at that. Shake Shack, right? We’ll talk to Danny Meyer
how long Shake Shack took. – Right, the 10-year overnight success. – Maybe 20, yeah. – Probably 20. All right, I wanna read
another chapter title and that’s around price. – Okay. – I think this is an area– – Yeah, I like this one a lot. – This is an area that I
think screws up a lot of even startups like how
we price our product. And certainly, if you’re an individual, I have told the story about
realizing, oh, my gosh, if I charge this much,
I literally only need like 30 clients a year
to make a great living. Oh, my gosh. So then it became about pricing. I think people are two things. One, afraid of talking about
price and experimented with it and two, they’re just
they’re ignorant about it. They don’t know. So, to me, there’s a bunch
of wisdom here on pricing and if you could like put
your arms around that force about how you talk about the book. – Okay, so I’ll start
in a surprising place. If you’re selling to businesses,
begin by understanding it’s not the person’s money, it’s their boss’ boss’ boss’ money. So their engagement with
money isn’t the same as yours. If you’re imagining how you would feel paying $5,000 five for a photoshoot, that’s the wrong question. This person is going to go
to their boss with a story and that story might be all
photographers are the same. I got this one for $500 less. If that’s a story you wanna give them, be prepared to be the cheapest. But there’s a different
story you can give them, which is this trade show
is super important to us. And I managed to pay double so we will never have to worry about whether the photography
comes out all right or not ’cause I got the best person. Well, that story is actually
more appealing to them because that story shows their
boss they put the effort in. So if you are the one and only, if you are the specialist at
shooting trade show booths in Tucson, Arizona, this can
be a waiting list for you. If it’s true, right? Because it’s worth paying extra for that. The low price is the hiding
place of the average creator that you say, well, I
can’t afford to be better ’cause I’m the cheapest. Well, the opposite of that is I’m the best so I can afford to charge extra for people who want the
best, and that is the key. The story they are telling themselves is if I am paying extra, it must be better. I’m the kind of person who wants better, so therefore, I insist on paying extra. And I don’t think it’s immoral
to bring this emotional labor and this effort to somebody
who wants to tell themselves the story they like paying extra. In fact, if you get a choice
of your minimum viable market, why would you pick people
who like paying less? Just pick people who like paying more. – It sounds so simple, but
it’s literally like it’s, the way I talk about it is that it’s like it is almost exactly the
same amount of effort to sell something for
$100 as it is for 1,000. It’s just a different buyer. – Yeah. – So put that lens on the people who are listening right now. Put that lens on it. – Well, if you are going to do the hundred versus the thousand, perfect! – Reframe it as your market.
– No, perfect. Please understand, you’re
not a greedy megalomaniac. If you sell one-fifth as many, you’re still gonna make
twice as much money, right? You can do the math. Hit positive on that. Which means you’re gonna get turned down 80% of the time, right? One-fifth. Fine. So when you get turned
down, what you just heard was not that you’re inferior
that you’re a bad person, what you just heard is
I’m not the kind of person that likes to spend $1,000 on this. Great, congratulations. Here is the phone number of several who likes to sell for 100. Great. I don’t hate you and you don’t hate me, you just want to me, I don’t sell, right? So if you wander into a
fancy boutique and say, hi, I’d like to buy a $9 pair of sneakers, they shouldn’t hate on you, they should just say, the
Payless is six doors down. We don’t sell $9 sneakers,
we sell $900 sneakers. And when you’re ready by
$900 sneakers, we’ll be here. And if you can accept that,
then selling $900 sneakers and making them worth 1,000 is
a fine way to spend your day. – That’s I think a brilliant, that’s another thing you have
to rewind to listen to again and I think that that
creators get that wrong over and over and over again. And that’s the sort of trying
make some for everyone, making it for no one, the
same is true with price. I have found that in small, and again, what you ultimately I think realize this took me a while is
that the sea of people that you’re gonna
encounter is not that huge and there’s a lot of crossover. And for every person that
you are wildly polite and engaged and positive around, but you steer them to somebody else, if they say, oh, it’s 10
grand, oh, I’ve got five and you say no problem. I can introduce you to a lot
of $5,000 fill in the blank. And they’re like, but I really want you and I’m like, oh, no sorry, I’m at 10, and let me introduce you to a five. And what people get hung up on, I’d like to hear your comment about this as soon as I finish my little
narrative here, which is, but when I get 10, I’ll come hire you. Just do it for five now. And when I have a spouse is, that if you become that person, when they get 10 grand,
they’re going to the person who risk 25 and then
they’re gonna offer 10– – ‘Cause that’s the kind
of person that they are. – They’ve categorized you as that person. – And they’ve categorized themselves as the bargain seeker, right? So the challenge in that
setting as you’ve pointed out is that once you lower
your price to that person, you have signaled to them
I’m the kind of supplier that likes to work with
people who negotiate and hassle about the price, and if that gives you
pleasure, call me, right? And it also makes them at
some level disappointed because they are thinking, I
could’ve gotten them for four. And if you pick your customers right, if the pricing is a
signaling strategy for them, they want you to charge more. And there are plenty of
fields where this is true. Contemporary art,
photography, public speaking that’s what the way it works is, boss, you’re gonna be so excited. He said yes. Not I got a bargain, but they said yes. That’s what you’re bringing to the table. The challenge is the acting as if and the getting the momentum. So one of the ways around it for people for example for photography
is have two kinds of clients. Clients where you work for free and clients where you work for a lot. So if you do photography
for zoos, nonprofits, kids’ schools, et cetera, that filling your portfolio to the edges, you can then look a
corporation in the eye and say, I’m $10,000 a day and they say, yeah, ’cause those are charities. When you started charity, please call me. And so now, I’ve divided the
world into different buckets and that’s totally appropriate. Another way to do it. Shepard Fairey, if you want to
the original Shepard Fairey, it’s $80,000. But every month, he puts 100 lithos on his thing for $800 and you can sell them on eBay for profit. He doesn’t care. That’s all good because
he’s put this into the world treating different people differently. But if you’re gonna treat
different people differently, you gotta have rules ’cause otherwise, everyone’s gonna feel like you’re not treating them fairly. – It’s a really interesting distinction. I like to say work free or full price, but stay out of the middle. – Yeah. – And when someone is asking
you to sort of negotiate down, that’s when you wanna send
them to somebody else. I think it is the pricing
psychology is fascinating and I could talk about it forever, but I wanna move on to something that is I wanted to get to it, but you
just gave me the perfect door and that is it’s not about
sort of them hating you because you cost 10 grand
or you didn’t negotiate and you want to negotiate, it’s separate the creator from the work. You did a beautiful job, sum
that up at the end of the book. So I think that’s also a big hang up for the people who are
watching and listening and give us a way to think about
it that deliver us, please, from this challenges that we have. – If Jerry Seinfeld gives
a standup performance in a club in New York and no one laughs, it could be ’cause he’s
having a bad night. Or it could ’cause
everyone in the audience is from an Italian tour group and doesn’t speak a word in English. He shouldn’t beat himself
up if it’s the second one. They just speak a different language. So when you go to somebody
and say this is what I make and they get angry at you or in your head, you think
they’re angry at you, that’s not really what’s happening. What’s happening is they have
their own noise in their head. They know what they know,
they want what they want, they believe what they believe
and you can dance with that. And they maybe wanna be seen
by you having those feelings. Or maybe you just wanna disengage, but has nothing to do with your work. – You’re the human.
– Right? They’re not saying, how dare
you even breathe the oxygen on the same planet as me. What they’re saying is it’s not for me and they’re just not polite
enough to say it that way, and you, your own worst boss,
are busy beating yourself up for being inferior as opposed
to saying who does want this? Who does want to dance
with what I’ve made? And then you have to be
honest enough to say, you know what, it’s not that good. I’m gonna make something better. – That’s huge. I think a reframing, if
you’ve had that self-doubt, which is I can say I believe
we all have at some point. There is this reconciliation between when you put something
out there in the world and it’s crickets, what’s your response? Was it not good enough? Was it about me or did I do
something that was disingenuous? Was it that I served table
four’s food to table six and they got there like, I did not order the chicken cacciatore. Like all of those things are possibly true and we have to fix them
the internal self-talk, which is the problem
for this cross-section of the people that I think
we’ve decided to serve. – Right, and the good news is you and I will never run out of stuff to talk about ’cause it’s not like we say, okay, done because it’s so deep. It’s there for a long time. You just have to dance with
it, you can’t make it go away. – I promised I would handcuff
you to the chair if I could. I’d promise to use–
– Tactics, bring it on. – Okay. So, I wanna get some tactics and I know you don’t
love talking about them, which is part of the reason
I want you to go there, but there are set of
habits that have created the books that you’ve put out there. There are set of habits that
whether their daily habits or work habits or how you
think about things help us, I have never really heard you
talk about like your routines and I think it’s, I don’t know, I’m not even gonna fill
in the blank for you. But can you give us something,
like what does it look like? And I understand that people, like these are potentially
very esoteric things, but I hope that they help
other people understand what’s possible. You can actually craft your own thinking. You’re not beholden to
what your phone says the first thing in the
morning when you pick it up, but what are some of your
personal habits for creating? – Here are the ones that
I think are universal. – Well, don’t tell me
everything about everybody ’cause they need to
*know nothing about me. – No, habits of mind that
I think are applicable to other people, right? The fact that I’m a vegetarian,
probably irrelevant, and I don’t think becoming a vegetarian will make you a better *man. – Fair. – Neil Gaiman’s said
that when he feels stuck, what he needs to do is get bored because if he gets bored
enough, he invents something to keep himself entertained. That’s how he gets unstuck. So, I’ve tried very hard to eliminate all the things that I can
that make me feel like I’m busy and productive when
I’m not actually productive. So I don’t go to meetings and I don’t have a television. So right there, I have seven
or eight hours every day that most people don’t have. I don’t use Facebook
and I don’t use Twitter. That’s another hour and a half not to mention the
drama that goes with it. So already, I start every day
with an eight-hour head start over almost everybody else. And then what I’ve chosen
to do is pick places or digital spaces that are sacred in the sense that I only enter them with the intent of
coming out with a trophy, with a gift with something to share. So, I’m not gonna open this word processor unless I’m there to write
a certain kind of writing. And for me, with my blog, I
was on Typepad for 15 years. The Typepad user interface
made me a better writer because if it opened, I
knew why it was there. I knew why I was there. I knew what this was for. And so these practices, every few years, I invent
a uniform for myself that I wear at work ’cause if I put on the smock,
if I put on the lab coat, I just got one the other day the new one. If I put that on, there’s a reason. We’re here to do stuff. And surgeons are great at this. They wear a mask, they wear gloves. They’re like bank robbers,
except they don’t just like say, yeah, I’m having a coffee. Okay, I’ll do some surgery now. There is this process
that makes you a surgeon. And salespeople, famously with some guy who’s bothering him finally sat down and he said I’m not here
to sell you anything. And so he’s like, then why
are you wasting my time? If you’re here to sell me
something, sell me something. Well, say to yourself, I’m
here to get better at my craft. I’m here to get better photography. I’m going to shoot 400
pictures of this tulip and I’m not gonna stop until there is 400. We do reps in the gym, we
should do reps with the camera. And so for me, if an editor
comes back to me with a book that I’ve handed to them with comments, I don’t get all defensive,
I say thank you. Can you believe that this person
cared enough in this moment to say something to you for you? And as soon as I say thank you, I’m wearing a different hat, right? Whereas Amazon reviews,
haven’t read one in five years. I don’t think anyone should
read their Amazon reviews or their Yelp reviews. I’m never gonna write that book again. Why are you giving me feedback
on the book, it’s done. I’m never gonna write it again. I’ve never met an author
who’s better at writing ’cause they read their one-star reviews. What those one-star reviews
say is this book wasn’t for me. Thanks for letting us know. We don’t need to read anything else, you just announced it’s not for you. Okay, get it. Thank you. And so, if I’m asking
for advice from people, which I like better a word than feedback, I’m asking the right people who are gonna give me
advice in the right spirit. I’m not walking up to a
stranger on the corner interrupting them and say,
and what do you think of this? Because it’s not for them
and they’re not trained in how to give me a good advice. – It’s so obvious when you
think about it that way. I’d love it. Sorry, keep talking because– – No, no, I mean, so all of
these things are the practice of someone who calls
himself a professional and we expect it from surgeons. But somehow, we expect that
writers will just drink a lot, not dress very well and
complain about writers block That’s not what Isaac Asimov taught me. Isaac wrote 400 hundred
books as a published author and he wrote 400 books by
getting up every morning and typing until noon ’cause
he was a professional. So, generally, when I see people who, the reason I don’t share
what I had for breakfast is because that puts me
in a different place. And what I’m trying to argue
is I’m in the same place, but I’m trying to do it as a professional using these tools for a reason. This book is not me. I wrote a book, if you don’t like the book, it doesn’t mean you don’t like me, it means you didn’t like the book. And if I didn’t do that, I
could never write another word ’cause the thought that
there are tens of thousands of people who will now
announce they don’t like me, I’m not up for that. I can’t handle that. – So, you just gave me a thing
that I haven’t heard from you on any other place, which
is like this is a process. I’ve been reading your blog for, how many years you’ve been doing that now? – Off and on, like 20. – Ken and me are the first
people on that platform and certainly one of the last. Didn’t like WordPress environment. – Yeah, it’s a long story,
but now it’s at Sethst.blog. – Okay. What does it mean to
write to write every day? Like you sit down and– – How can you not do that? Why wouldn’t everyone do that? I don’t understand, it’s free. You can put in someone else’s name on it. The fact that I know that
tomorrow, a blog is going out makes me a better thinker
and a better human today because I know I’m going
to write something tomorrow that has my name on it,
that’s going to stick around about my view of the world. Why wouldn’t everyone
want to be able to do that even if no one read it? I would definitely write
my blog if no one read it because this chronicling
of what did I noticed today helps me see the world for free. And I get to feel like
I’m producing something even if I don’t get paid for it, even if I don’t have to argue
with a publisher, an editor, it’s just here. I thought of this. Use it if you want to. I’ve never once had a blog
post win the Internet. I’ve never had one of my
posts go viral and be a hit. Some have more traffic than
others, but it looks like this, it’s never like this and
I think that’s great. ‘Cause if this happened
to me, I would be tempted to try to make it happen again. Top 10 ways to increase
your creative performance. I share my secrets in this
exclusive post, right? But I don’t wanna do that ’cause that’s not what the blog is for. – You just captured probably
10 million blog posts, but like almost probably word per word. I love it. All right, so the book
“This Is Marketing”, you talked about a couple
of the other class, let’s talk about the longer class. – So there’s the altMBA,
which is my flagship doing it. altmba.com and that is a 30-day intensive. People in 45 countries
have taken it so far. We’re up to 2,600 alumni. It changes people’s lives. It’s really cool. I’m not in it. There’s no video, there’s
no secret content. That’s not what it is. It’s got coaches and video conferences and cohorts of people who
become friends for life. So that’s our flagship in the sense that if you’re enrolled in that leveling up and you wanna commit to it,
we have a place for you. And then the marketing seminar, which starts in January 2019 again is this community discussion board that’s only for the
people who’ve signed up. There’s a video of me every two days, seven minutes long or so, and then I give you a challenge. And then the whole group shares their work and comments on their work. So when it’s up and running, there’s a new post every minute. Every three minutes. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and you can’t fall behind
’cause it’s always happening and it unfolds over 50
videos over 100 days, but we keep it open for 200 days. And what people come in and
say, how can I find a tactic to sell more fur coats? And they leave with this
whole student-teacher mindset of service and maybe a different project, but it’s the connections
between and among. I’m just there to start a fire. It’s that that that’s
the future of education as far as I’m concerned. I think free video online
is gonna stick around ’cause it’s powerful. If you’re gonna pay for it,
I think it’s gonna involve interactions with other
people to get you to be momentarily uncomfortable
on your way to being better. – Beautiful. Congratulations on the book. “This is Marketing”. Mr. Seth Godin, you’re a legend. Super honored to have you on this show. You didn’t realize that you’re handcuffed and we’re gonna talk
for another two hours. We’re gonna turn the cameras off and talk for another two hours while
I got him here in New York. No, huge thank you. Inspiration to so many. I appreciate you being on the show, man. – Thanks for everything. – And for everybody home,
you know where to get Seth. Pick this up, it is a gem
and thanks for tuning in. See you tomorrow. – Go make a run. (relaxing music)

The casual office dress code: 30 outfits for every occasion. // Capsule Wardrobe for Work Series.


[Music] hi and welcome nice to be here again on my channel today I’m starting a new video series about creating a sustainable wardrobe for work and this time I will try to create a capsule wardrobe suitable for the casual dress code a casual dress code is one where anything goes really into the jeans and knickers and this dress code usually means that you will be uncomfortable in anything too formal although you can wear whatever you want you still need to look professional and presentable in front of your both colleagues and clients and to achieve this balance between comfortable and professional you need to pay closer attention to the styling and functionality of your wardrobe basically if you have a casual dress code at work it means that your wardrobes can fit your personal style but it should also include some business style elements you don’t have to go with this for example you can always choose something more fun and colorful but you obviously feel icky if you work in a creative environment that maybe you should defend that in your outfit maybe try some unexpected colors and interesting designs if you work in a more conservative office and maybe try to include in your capsule on classic and the people that have a mustache and always remember about appropriateness where it is not a place to wear extravagant clothes neon colors or miniskirt leave them for your freaking your office should tell how Stevie’s dedicated and organized arrives at your workplace and of course you always can express yourself to colors don’t be afraid to wear bright colors in your workplace when it’s done simply it can even help you for example if you need to present your ideas or be in front of the audience from and the sun’s bright colors will help concentrate the audience attention on your combinations of black gray and Navy with white bedroom and light pink may look very fresh and slightly more formal perfect for Mondays for important meetings color combinations with less conscious will make your outfit look more practical and relaxed once we do together your castle for work you should remember about functionality you should have outfits for any situation you might have at work so think about what you do at work and it will tell you so much about what kind of outfits you need for example if you travel a lot for work then your approaches shouldn’t crease too much and be more practical so pay attention to the fabrics you choose if most of the times you are sleeping in the bed you should include bottoms that don’t put too much pressure on your abdomen if your work requires a lot of movement or maybe finding out you need outfits go very well with fashion today outside create a capsule wardrobe for spammer and the beginning of autumn with 30 interchangeable outfits using only 5.5 bottles and treatment and for the style I’ll try to combine a creative style with business elements and minimalist aesthetic so I hope you end up with outfit there are pathways and absolutely appropriate for their casual office desk my color palette for today’s capsule looks like this I’m choosing bright orange in the maxim and i love how different it looks with other colors fresh with baby blue different with medium blue and so casual when mixed with bench as always I will start looking for my statement pieces first I have orange as the accent color so I’ll try to find some cool orange pieces first I’ll start with them these are quite cool I really like that they are tailored and have this classic shape but the fun color makes them look less for multi they will also usually accentuate the waist length and I’ll give the length actually Daniel Furstenberg is a great destination for elegant business goals I always find there something beautiful and work appropriate for my client I you know what else is good Donna Karan New York I often find modern and Spanish pieces that can be easily worn at the office and I think this curve is beautiful and has an interesting and delicate design I also wanted to check out a short I found Jason’s if it’s called good day club and they sell t-shirts with beautiful ice cream full t-shirt here are made out of combed cotton that is much stronger and softer than regular cotton I do like this one it fits to my color palette and it will give an artistic nod to the castle you [Music] here’s the capsule wardrobe I just made it includes five top five bottom two dresses and jumpsuit to jacket two parachutes and the back and when I combine all these pieces together I will get 30 fully interchangeable outfit I have all kind of looked here some earlier the more formal they are meant to be worn to important business meetings some outfits are less formal and are perfect for everyday oversized inverno meetings and presentations the ribs are casual and more practical suitable for both busy and small uneventful day [Music] I will have two jackets that are interchangeable let me fix it to all outfit specifically chose different styles for more functionality to thank both portion I have here compare that we to whole outfit so because I want to wear high heels I can always choose website no big deal I also chose this jumpsuit on purpose so I can make different outfits today an accident these gestures can be infinite and forced into a perfect office party outfit the thing goes with this dress you can style it a little bit more formal or casual or if you add a fancier pair of shoes and a smaller bag you can ready to party [Music] and that’s what I mean by functionality is very important most of the people only concentrating on finding beautiful sisters without even thinking what kind of houses can be made with them particularly or forward situations your wardrobe should expect not only your fashion sense but also keep your lifestyle and when you reach this balance between beauty reliability and functionality I promise you’ll wind up with one perfect and sustainable wardrobe that’s it I hope you found this video interesting and helpful let me know what you think in the comments below and accept next time we’ll discuss the business casual stress part and build another wonderful example for work so if you like this idea please press like and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel thank you for watching see you next time [Music]

Fox Business: Blueseed President Dario Mutabdzija with Shibani Joshi, 2011-Dec


Dario, we’ve got 10 seconds, quick answer: Logistics: sanitation, power, electricity [NB: what other kinds of power??] Internet, all that stuff worked out?
Yes or No. Uh, it’s gonna work out, we are located in Silicon Valley, we are creative, we are connecting with high-tech, uh, creative startups and solutions in the maritime industry, we’ll bring the,
uh, the best of the both worlds: maritime operations and the Silicon Valley,
and create the cleanest best environment that can be found on any ship anywhere in the world.

Setting up business structures – KBTV


Wez I was actually quite interested to
find out your take on the best business structures for this particular use
we’re looking at accumulating some assets or some savings and trying to
minimize tax and I was yeah just interested to get some advice on
how you would suggest that in a business structure up to reduce the amount of tax
that you’re paying and be able to save as well as purchase assets more
effectively – Great all right well without knowing all of the situation you know
and what you do and don’t have I’m going to have to say that what I’m going to say
is kind of general but ultimately I think the best structure is to own very
little in your own name, you know in an ever-advancing liturgist world then you
know especially in business you know you don’t want to leave it your hard-earned
assets open for the taking so I mean the most obvious structure without because I
mean you can go completely overboard and just spend too much money on accounting
fees the most obvious structure is to have a company and a trustee for a trust
so maybe a family trust that has a business as a trustee what that means is
that if somebody was to sue you they’re not suing you they’re suing the company
and it means all the IP is held in trust so it can’t be sued so that what that
does is it removes you personally from from because their interaction is
with the business obviously, you can have insurances and things like that in
between the business and the customer as well to limit those things and that’s a
good idea and then I if I were you I would have
another trust that’s not the trust that is your family trust and I would put
real estate and other holdings in that as just a Holdings trust that doesn’t
trade for the sole purpose of you are once again another entity
removed and that that trust will just build and build and build and build and
build and build a build over the rest of your life and you’ll probably pass that
trust on with all its asset Holdings to the next generation and keep going from
there so you know there is a little bit of accounting fees in amongst that
structure more than if you were to just be a sole trader you know you’re
probably taking you in fees from a thousand bucks a year to
no six something but yeah that to answer your question of how to best protect
yourself when you have assets that would be the most obvious way I mean you’d
have to take into consideration a whole bunch of little issues which your
accountant or lawyer will do but that’s typically how I would set it up yep
that’s great was the other thing was is as well what’s your opinion on using a
self-managed super fund for purchasing assets and those kinds of
thing – So I mean I’m not a fan of superannuation I’ve said that on the
show only that’s not true I’m only not a fan of it for me it’s a great investment
tool for somebody who’s you know fifty-five or something like that and
and wants to use it so self-managed super would probably be in my eyes a
better version than superannuation because at least you get to have a say
on where your investments go I really like the idea of using self-managed
super fund to buy may be your office or you know your work premises or
assets like that it’s the only concern for me is the trade-off is you have to
wait so long you have to wait so long to be able to access the gains right so you
know the the the real estate that I bought in 2008 you know I could
liquidate right now and keep all the money and don’t have to ask anybody
permission to do anything you know the tenant paid him off and life’s good
whereas you are restricted in super on what you can and can’t do so that that
concerns me a little bit that you know you know if you’re young then it’s
there’s a long way between now and when you get to access your money and you
know you would hate to be you know financially okay at 50 but you can’t
touch it for another seven years I think that would be a bit of a shame so it’s
it’s definitely got some reasons to do it me personally I won’t be doing it
because I would rather immediacy and be able to juggle and take advantage of
things and self-managed super is too restrictive having said that I don’t
need to be putting money aside for retirement so that’s the trade-off yep
that’s super and the other thing I was just kind of run past here as well as
in regards to who am properties, as well as shares, would you buy
those two to trade antennae miser or would you sort of buy them and hold on
to them just to get more capital growth so I think if you do if you do share
market trading as a business every day then that’s fine you do it as a business
and you watch it and you’ve got the time and you’ve got 50 hours a week
to to monitor if you run a business you don’t have the time to do this so to me
it’s a buy and hold strategy is I don’t want the pressure of ups and downs in my
life and I’m just looking at building assets for the long term so for me or my
real estate is buy and hold I literally expect my kids to bulldoze those houses
and put new ones up I’m that’s how long I intend to keep them in terms of share
trading you know I mean go and read the Intelligent Investor and you’ll fully
learn how to do share market share trading by Benjamin Graham it’s it’s a
phenomenal book and the way I look at it is I’m only buying shares because I want
to actually own part of the company I’m not buying shares to do a quick deal
and I only want to buy the company because I like it and I like their
products and I think they’re gonna go up and then the way I look at this is you
know I’ll just pick a company right let’s say BHP maybe that’s not a great
example their yields are pretty low but let’s say BHP shares I would buy and
hold for the long term and the what I would do is every time there’s a dip and
they go down I’ll buy some more and then hedge and then you know keep them for a bit longer and then you know whatever happens happens and the next time
there’s a little dip on there right now go buy some more and that way it will
explode over you know the period of a life it’ll be absolutely ridiculous what you
would end up with

Richard Branson: Lessons in Business and Life | Chase Jarvis LIVE


hey everybody how’s it going I’m chase
welcome to episode of the chase Travis live show here on creativeLIVE
you guys know the show this is where I sit down with the world’s top creators
entrepreneurs and thought leaders and I do everything I can to unpack their
brains to help you live your dreams in career and hobby and in life my guest
today is probably well he definitely needs no introduction but I’m just gonna
try and actually not give an introduction because you’ll know who he
is the second I say his name it is the guest today Sir Richard Branson and I
see thank you welcome you just got in yesterday from
the other side of the pond I got in from Washington actually I was trying to see
if we could rally the World Bank and the IMF to help the Caribbean that’s been
trashed from the Hurricanes so and then of course I came here to watch virgin
sport do a great performance and now and now Sonoma and Napa Valley being trashed
as well so strange estranged the the world is yeah the strange poor sees it
so many so many strange things happening right now your book just dropped a
congratulations first one losing my virginity 20 years ago this year I think
so we’ll talk about that and a little bit but I did want to mention I like to
open the show when I can with current events most recently I think it was two
days ago now maybe three you introduced Hyperloop one now in partnership with
virgin so it’s virgin Hyperloop one and how long has that been in the works that
you’ve got some summers things so many things going what was the oh well
there’s a guy called Sherwin who took me out to the Nevada desert some months ago
and I saw this wonderful tunnel outside Las Vegas where they were test running
Hyperloop one and and the chief engineer happened to be somebody I knew from
Virgin Galactic before and and it was very exciting and I’m in the rail
business we have the number one rail network in the UK but our trains are
restricted to about 135 miles an hour because of the track so the idea of
being able to transport people that 600 650 miles an hour was it was too good to
miss so so virgin Hyperloop has been born and there are countries all over
the world who’ve expressed an interest in taking it
it’ll transport both and transport passengers and it’ll I
think trans transform you know like cities likes you know places like
Scotland that are miles from from London suddenly there will only be 45 minutes
away and and so to make such a such a big difference in bringing people closer
to each other yeah just the fact that cities that are separated by States or
vast spaces we’re gonna be like metro stops basically in 700 miles an hour
yeah and it you know I mean actually technically if you give it’s a straight
line you could almost go a thousand miles a night it’s just the g-forces if
you’ve got corners so but so anyway realistically 600 650 which is pretty
damn good well Sherwin founder of Sherpa ventures
I know sure went a little bit he also really in in store in uber and a couple
of other investments super smart guy was at a relationship I think a lot of folks
at home are curious about how that kind of stuff happens is it just because
you’re you and and you’ve transcended all kinds of different transportation
environments that you get you get to be on the inside of this I think we’re I
think we’re lucky that the people trust the Virgin brand so you know you know
whether its Virgin Atlantic Virgin America Virgin Australia you know our you know previous
transportation businesses have been successful and so companies that have
got come up with cutting-edge technology I think quite liked the idea of being
associated with the Virgin brand and so yep you know we put an investment in the
company but the thing that excited me the most was the fact that it became
Virgin Hyperloop and and and and that you know by as long as we put the brand
onto products that are exciting that that enables us then you know the next
exciting project that comes through it makes it that much easier for us well
one of the things that but we serve sort of a couple of different audiences here
at creative live I think of them in certainly two buckets one is the bucket
of people from 0 to 1 and that people are just figuring out what they want to
do and can they make the leap from their full-time
job to do something more entrepreneurial or as a creator and then there are
people who are already identify with with being a creator and in I think you
stand as an inspiration to both of those groups what you’ve talked a lot about
your dyslexia and I surveyed some of the folks in our community instead of you
know if you could sit down with Sir Richard as I have to forget fortune
doing what would you talk to him about and that was one of the things I think
when people think about moving on in their career they think about their
barriers first and you’ve talked at length about it in other interviews but
I was wondering if you could just put a little context on this how what would
it’s like what was it like in school and then how did you in a sense I’ve heard
you talk about using your dyslexia to your advantage and how do you how should
you think about that or how should folks at home and so it’s interesting three
days ago I climbed a mountain in Morocco and it was the 18 hours up and up and
down and so a lot of times on my on my feet and then and I talked at great
length about dyslexia and first of all just the basic name dyslexia is you know
why have they come up with a name that is so negative and so difficult to spell
and so difficult to to pronounce for dyslexic so by the time we got to the
bottom we thought right we’re going to push alternative thinker as the new name
for dislikes dyslexia and we’re gonna blog about in the next few days so if
anyone’s got any better names for dyslexia we really thought would has to
be brand new that now I mean maybe 10 or 20 years old property they didn’t have
the trim when you were no they didn’t have it when I was young and I think dis
anything it sounds pretty nice to it anyway so yes so I think I was pretty
hopeless at school you know the conventional education passed me by and but I think that was a good thing
because you know come 15 I decided to quit school and bizarrely for a dyslexic
start a magazine to campaign against the Vietnamese war and and my dyslexia really helped me become
a really good delegator and I think and that’s been one of my great strengths so
I’ve had to find brilliant people around me over the last 50 years and all the
different ventures we’ve done and be willing to give them a lot of freedom
freedom to do good things and freedom to make mistakes and and by and large it’s
worked and and that’s freed me up to you know worry about yeah the next Hyperloop
one well they’ve never met the next projects but also just to look after
oneself you know and look at you know spend time with one’s family and I’d be
ready to troubleshoot when something goes wrong so so not to get bogged down
by the my new tie and and I think the best bit of advice I can give in anybody
any entrepreneur is you know find somebody better than yourself you know
give them the freedom to you know step into your shoes and then you know clear
the decks yourself and all those things that you were doing hand over to them
and then you’ll you’ll find very quickly you know the desk will be full up with
new ideas which you can then hand over again and you can keep doing that and
and and then you can become you know a cereal philanthropist as well as a
serial entrepreneur so let’s go back to speaking about the preneur go back to
the magazine for just a second because often people’s first projects are
indicative of where they’re gonna go and and that was in publishing right you
published a student magazine why magazines and you know how did you get
it off the ground I think people are interested in the tactics like how did
you actually do so so the last thing I thought was that I was becoming a
businessman or an entrepreneur I just wanted to be an editor of a campaigning
magazine to campaign against the Vietnamese war which was one of the most
unjust Wars ever and that pretty well every war is unjust but this was a
ghastly ghastly war and young people between the age of 15
and you know 30 were all marching on streets and trying to bring the water to
an end and I didn’t have any money there weren’t such things as mobile
phones in those days we had a mobile phone box at the school with a fixed
line telephone and if you wanted to make a call you had to keep putting money
into the into the phone box and and if I chose the time today where other kids
were not using the phone box to go and ring up at advertise potential
advertisers and see if I could persuade them to advertise in my magazine and
there was one occasion where I was putting money in and I lost the money
and like didn’t get through and I rang up the operator and they said oh don’t
worry we’ll put you through so then I started using the operator as my
secretary I just ring up so I’ve lost the money never put any money in and and
so I had this push these Porsche operators being put through I’ve got mr.
Branson for you and so I finally had my free three telephone calls and I just
had to hope that I didn’t get the same the same operators of two or three times
in a row and and then I would talk to coca-cola and say you know perhaps she’s
just taking a look full page ad I learned these think tricks quite early
on and I will have perhaps you doing it we all have to do it and national
Westminster Bank oh well if they’re doing it then Barclays would do it and
so on and when I got about four and a half thousand pounds of advertising
promised I was 15 and they’re huge brands from big yeah I think they I
think you know there was this young enthusiastic but they actually they
wanted to get to young people so there wasn’t a magazine for young people in
those days so somehow we persuaded them and and then the headmaster had be in
and said look you either run this magazine and leave school or you stay at
school and you don’t run the magazine I went thank you and I waved him goodbye
and and the magazine became my education and and I suppose I became an
entrepreneur by defaults because I had to you know worry about the advertising
worry about the distribution worry about the printing in the paper manufacturing
and and being an editor you know was important but it it but but well it was
at least fifty percent at the time was being becoming an entrepreneur a word
that didn’t exist fifty years ago I’m becoming by mistake some French
dictionary probably had it in there yeah and I’m sure I’m sure the French knew
what entrepreneur was but but in those days every company in Britain was run by
government ready so you had you know British Telecom British Gas but she’s
still British coal you know and they were awful you know badly run and and
then the myself and a woman called the DITA Roddick who
started body shop there were just the two of us as entrepreneurs and you know
anybody want to interview a woman they interview didn’t eat if they want to
interview demand they interviewed me so we got more than our fair share of
publicity for what we were doing and the fact that I was young you know gave me
an added added advantage to and and then just one thing led on to another and I
you know I found that music was really expensive to buy so I thought screw that
let’s yeah we’ll use the magazine to start selling music much more cheaply
than anybody else and of course we were selling music we liked so it didn’t have
you know it wouldn’t we wouldn’t have had Andy Williams it would be Frank
zapper it would be you know we’d start having a credit we’ve got a lot of
credibility by the quality of the music we sold stones so stuff exactly and and
then we started you know we came across tapes of artists that we loved and
nobody would put out so we thought screw that was that a record company and and
Virgin Records was born and it became the most successful independent record
label actually in the world with Janet Jackson’s and anyway a whole lot
of Phil Collins Peter Gabriel boy George etc etc and and was a lot a lot of fun
well you said two things in there that I want to hold on to one was that the
magazine was your education so you do what do you have to say about
traditional education I mean I frankly creativeLIVE exists because I don’t I
don’t feel like that the traditional education is preparing people for the
future and features skill based and went on and obviously you’re an investor in
creative life so there’s an overlap there but talk to me about how you think
about traditional education versus just the doing I we’ve we one of the one of
the reasons we started the magazine was because I couldn’t stand the education
system at school you know people left left school after years and years the
years of learning French but hardly speaking a word of it people left school
after years and years of learning Latin and how do you spoke a word of it and it
was just facts being crammed into you and one of the reasons we started the
magazine was to campaign against the system many many years later you know
we’re still having reimagining education conferences on Necker Island and things
and and I just suddenly you know still think you know we ain’t sorted the
problem out yet and what what you’re doing is tremendous and and there needs
to be more of what you’re doing but school schools you know still a very
fact fact-based and exam based and so you know so I’m I’m yeah determined to
see in the you know the next ten years of my life whether we can you know
really make a difference and yeah maybe we would love to work with you and
thinking how we can properly reimagine education and and make kids bouncing to
school you know really really being stimulated you know in a wonderful way I’m call
yourself a grand dude got a couple of grandchildren and as do you think about
the world that they’ll go to school in and do you think it’ll look anything
like the one that we’re in now or how do you think about well I think I mean in
in Britain an education system has not changed that much in the last 50 years
so yeah and it and and it still needs to and yeah with four grandchildren or two
years old yeah I would like to try to get it help get it right sooner rather
than later all right we’re on it right in the second thread that you were
working off of that I want to pull on is you started with the magazine the
magazine allowed you to sell music music transfer translated into a record out a
record label use the financing as I understand from the record label sale
record label for the airline and etc etc is that a is that what you prescribed
because everyone wants to not everyone but the people that are at least
listening and watching to the show here like they want to find their thing and
that is a question that I hear so often in entrepreneurial circles is how do I
know what to focus on what advice would you give someone who’s wondering like
how do I find my passion and how do I pull on these threads and and where
where they going to lead to help us understand how you got started and and
how they should think about it well I think I mean most most people listening
to this show know know what their passion is and and they make it could be
a hobby it could be you know they could love reading they could love playing
tennis they couldn’t you know have passions and if you have a passion it
makes sense to spend a lot of your life and involved in that passion and quite
often you can turn your passion into a business you can see that maybe there’s
some aspect of your passion that people are not doing that well and and you know
you can say screw it you know I I could I could I could do it better and I think
all you know if you spend your life with your eyes open looking for looking
for things that frustrate youth looking for a gap gaps in the market that’s all
the businesses is it’s fulfilling that you know filling in a gap and doing it
better than it’s been done by anybody else and and and you know it if people
who don’t have closed minds will most likely find find that or to find those
opportunities now I suspect there will be a hundred people who will have come
up with that idea before you but there 100 people you know won’t won’t have had
the courage just to go and do something about it so you know so there’s a few
people who just say right you know I’m gonna give it a go that and often end up
you know being being successful you starting small I think is another thing
that I see I see people miss this is the second time you’ve been on the show and
we recounted this that the how you got started with virgin with the here in
Puerto Rico and all that folks go listen to the other show for that story it’s a
beautiful story but you you had one plane you were an airline with one plane
and I think that’s to me that’s remarkable that the concept of an
airline you you think of American Airlines or something that has you know
vast fleets of planes and is is starting small
Hyperloop one it’s not exactly small right there’s now you’ve got this
massive vision but I mean how do people go from zero to one like you have to
start somewhere and you happen to start with a 747 so
it’s not like it’s the small plane but is there any advice that you have on
getting started because I think that first step paralyzes so many people yeah
I mean the rules I set myself was you know first person well I was sure that
that the airline business stank and it was it would you know the quality was
ghastly and and you know it wasn’t fun and it was yeah pretty pretty miserable
experience to travel from A to B on British Airways or any of the other
airlines so I thought you know if we could throw
into the mix a plane that was you know great fun which was beautifully designed
that had staff that really you know loved what they were doing you know
where the food was great wherever the seating was nice where there was
stand-up bars where the you know just you know the entertainment was great
that we would have a chance we couldn’t be sure and so first of all I did a deal
with Boeing that so I could hand the plane back to Boeing at the end of the
12 months you know if I was wrong about this and that was protecting the
downside so at least I knew the worst that could happen was about 50% of the
profits of Virgin Records for the year if it all went wrong and then we threw
this one plane in in against Pan Am with 300 planes TWA with 300 planes British
Airways with 300 planes air Florida with a couple of hundred planes people
Express a couple hundred planes British Caledonian with a hundred planes you
know Air Europe down air etc and let’s talk about that and we and people loved
it and you know I used myself to make sure
we got on the front pages of the newspapers not on the back pages and and
come the end of the first year we rang up Boeing and asked for a couple more
747s for Florida and for a couple more routes and slowly but surely we grew and
as we were growing British Airways decided they didn’t they didn’t like
this at all and even although we were only had sort of four or five planes and
they launched what famously became known as the dirty tricks campaign and you
know we took them to court we won the biggest libel damages in history we
distributed it at Christmas time and and they became known as the British Airways
Christmas bonus and and all their staff were smiling
happy and and and and British Airways backed off somewhat and and as we were
growing every one of our other competitors went bankrupt TWA went
bankrupt Pan Am you know British Caledonian anyway yeah
the whole lot air Florida the lot disappeared
and the only reason I think British Airways survived was they had a monopoly
of the slots at the main airport and and you know so it is possible for a much
smaller company you know to be the David taking on the big liars and as long as
you’ve got quality and you panache and fun and style you can actually beat them
or at least yeah you can be most them and and that’s what Virgin Atlantic did
and the fact that you’ve you’ve done that in so many different industries is
that a method like you’ve always had Apple needed Microsoft there’s always a
bad guy and it was clearly British there was this crappy service you talked about
this you know state-run or state subsidized and you talked about panache
and style and and all these other things it does is that a requirement to the
dynamic that there’s something that needs changing or disrupting or is that
just the way that you think or build businesses I think it’s not a
requirement but I think competition is good for everybody and and you know
having a bigger competitor with a fat belly to prod makes it a lot more fun
than you know if you just suddenly had had a monopoly in a whole new industry
it makes you much more sleeker foot than I think if you were if you were the only
player in town so 20 years later you you have written finding my virginity after
losing my virginity release let Matt get a good shot of the cover there for the
folks that are watching explain the concept behind the book
which is finding my virginity at I thought virginity can only be lost well I’m sort of finding my virginity
all the time with new new ventures and my my final book in another 20 years
will most likely be virginity found hopefully I’ll finally get they’ll
finally get there but but they first of all I think everybody should write a
book I think every single person on this earth has great stories to tell which
they can share with their children and their grandchildren and and it you know
it’s a pity that these everybody’s life is not it’s not captured and and you
know the stories your parents taught you when you were young you know your
friendships everything I think of worth capturing I mean I’ve I’ve led you know
I’ve been lucky enough to have a very full on I think quite interesting life
and and therefore I think sharing sharing my stories with you know with
without with with others hopefully people can learn something from them
losing my virginity was sold millions of copies and and I’ve met a lot of people
who said it affected their lives they’ve you know maybe dropped everything
started their own business they’ve done very well as a result and and I hope
finding my opportunity will have the same sort of effect on people’s lives
and that they will you know take a few few bits from it and you know learn from
it I’m a I’m a storyteller I love telling stories I think that’s the best
way of getting messages across humor is important and there’s quite a lot of
humorous moments as well while having steamrolled through it in the last 72
hours thank you for having doing that oh it’s brilliant
and also speaking of the other books like I’ve collected
biographies of amazing artists and entrepreneurs my whole life
it’s those have been inspirational to me and so yours your original book it
certainly did that this strikes me as a little bit more almost of a leadership
book there’s so many and in modern times where we’re our own leaders were able to
start a company with basically nothing we’ve got more access to tools and
technologies and we ever have before all these things are democratized folks who
used to be followers are now becoming leaders and I feel like leadership is a
huge area of growth and opportunity I myself had to figure out how to be a
leader as creativeLIVE and turning to you and others you taught me how to
mitigate the downside and whatnot but what do you have information or ideas or
any advice for the folks that are leaders in businesses that you feel like
is often missed or ignored or what has been the key to your success in
leadership well I think yeah a good leader is a bit like you know being a
good father really or good mother you know I think what you do at home and
what you do at work should be all my almost one at one and the same you know
so if you’re a good father you you know look for the for the best in your kids
you praise your kids you you you love your kids and and a good leader is
exactly the same you’ve got to love it lavish praise on the people you’re
working with you’ve got to be a good listener make sure that you know you’re
listening all the time you absorb in what you learn from from the people who
you’re working with you know I mean I I just hate when I see leaders jumping
down people’s throats or lording it over people or not listening you know hearing
their own voices all the time and and it’s so counterproductive
and so I think the the the traditional sort of stereotype of you know the sort
of Dallas if anybody can remember that TV series
the leader that tread trades all over people to get to the top is the absolute
opposite of what what one needs and leaders today yeah trumpets trumpets
aspect is the absolute opposite of what one needs in a leader today and but
fortunately that that’s the exception to the rule
you know most you know most modern-day leaders are great with people and they
bring out the best and they’re people and therefore they get a really loyal
group of people around them and to ask somebody to leave a company you know you
know should be so rare I mean generally speaking you can you know if you’re
talking about a company is a real family you find that you find another position
for them in within the company that suits their role better than the one
that maybe they’re not working out in and this whole sort of slightly more
American approach of firing and firing people have got to to readily is I think
very wrong how important is vulnerability and an authenticity to
leadership you’ve you’ve you show great empathy whenever you’re you know I from
that time a lot of time with you and you’re always concerned about folks as
you said like firing is that a is that something you’re very cognizant of like
empathy and vulnerability you you share a lot about you know being scared and
then wine-cellar when the hurricane hits your house just how important is that
for folks at home that are well I think you know I think I think you need to you
know again yeah you need to be human you need to you know you need to be willing
to cry on occasion so I mean if you know I mean you know we’re not when our
spaceship went down you know I met talked about it in the book met the 700
engineers and you know we all cried together we all had a big hug together
and then we picked ourselves up and you know we’ve moved on to create
ESS unity a new spaceship which will hopefully get me going up in a few
months time so yeah so you know don’t be people shouldn’t be afraid of being
human human beings and and with all the vulnerabilities that human beings have
this the space component was also really big I think you’re can you talk to me
about your fascination with space is it literally space in and of itself or is
it the concept of space being something that’s so vast and that’s the next
frontier for you besides of course hyper live one but why space why why you on
these why not I suppose I would say I mean like I think it’s something that oh
I would say 80% of the people I meet would love to go to space and it’s up to
us to produce spaceships and that enable them to go safely and and affordably and
that’s the challenge that we set ourselves and and you know creating a
space line it look it’s fun I mean factor you know I mean like you
know only live once and and and if you know if I didn’t if I’d done nothing
else my life of create a space line and that you know could take people into
space I’d feel pretty chuffed and and and and there’s a lot that can be
achieved through it I mean you know we’re putting up you know two thousand
satellites around the world with with one web as part of as part of an you
know we have a company called virgin orbit that is putting it you know
putting up satellites and and that will make a big difference back here on earth
and and because our spaceships are designed like you know they’re real
spaceships like you know in the shape of airplanes we can you know move it move
into point-to-point travel one day and so it’s ridiculously good fun it’ll be
great for the Virgin brand and you only live once and
it’s horribly expensive but you know will if you can pull off the best in an
industry generally speaking you’ll find that you’ll get your money back one day
and so you just got to create the best in the first place which when we’re
nearly there in doing on a final theme are explore in the book is that of you
talk about the elders folks like Nelson Mandela have been a big inspiration to
you how important is mentorship and a peer group and community to you and and
to building not just a brand but a life that you’re proud of yeah really important I mean they I was
lucky enough to get to know Nelson Mandela really well and and he has a
wonderful sense of humor as does Archbishop Tutu who they’re both very
good were both very close and you know building the elders with them you know I
think it’s one of the most important things that we’ve done that would Peter
gave her and myself have done in our lifetimes and and the you know they’ve
you know the elders have been going about 10 years they go into conflict
regions try to resolve conflicts and they set up some wonderful organizations
things like girls girls not brides and so on
you know they’ve spoken out strongly on things like the climate change and so so
it’s magical being involved with that and and about fifty percent of my time
was now spent on not-for-profit ventures you know like campaigning against the
war on drugs and trying to you know get government’s to treat drugs the health
problem not a criminal problem trying to protect the species in the oceans
through oceans unite and the oceans elders trying to rally businesses to
become forces for good and make a difference in the world through the
b-team you know getting the carbon war room and
the Virgin Earth prize to try to help tackle climate change so there’s a lot
of a lot of really really great people running these
wonderful not-for-profit organizations that that hopefully can make a
difference as well so you’ve your chronicles as an entrepreneur are well
documented and also I’ll reference our earlier conversation it’s been very
popular there’s a lot of talk about your near-death experiences your film had
just come out at that time and so if folks want to hear all the numerous ways
that you’ve almost done yourself in from ballooning I want to flip the script in
this particular and and I think so much of your world is is giant for people in
a wildly aspirational but you have to get out of bed just like everybody else
you have to put your pants on one leg at a time what are some of the tactical
things that you do like maybe for example in the morning how do you get
started with your day what are some things that you do that have provided a
really good life for you and health is dramatically you know really important
to you I know that about it yeah I mean I you know I mean looking after yourself
your body it’s the most important thing you can do because if you don’t look up
to yourself you can’t look up to your children you can’t look after your wife
you can’t look after your businesses everything else falls apart so you know
so the first thing I do in the morning is get up early go and play tennis with
somebody that’s tennis pros better than me and we have a full on a couple of
sets of singles tennis and I’ll do the same again in the evening then if the
wind is up I go kite surfing and and then and I would have all done all that
by by seven o’clock I’ll then go to have some breakfast and trying to make sure
the breakfast is relatively healthy and and then you know I’m set up for a you
know set up for a really full-on day and you know at least once a year we serve
ourselves as a family a big challenge you know so and we try to raise money
for an organization for young people that my children’s set up called strive
and to do with education actually for young
people and so last year the kids rang me up and said dad I’m not sure you’re
gonna want to come on this one but you can if you want to so foolishly I said
yes so we started at the matterhorn we did an eight day hike across and the
Italian Swiss Alps we then did a two and a half thousand kilometer bike ride
through the mountains since something from the north of Italy to the
southerner step of Italy we then swam to Sicily we then did a marathon another
hike than a mountain bike and then a hike up to the top of Mount Etna and and
at the end of it I felt like a 25 year old I had a body of a 25 year old I’ve
never felt so fit you know for years and and you know and the great thing is
by setting these challenges you’ve got to train for them and and then you know
last week I did we just we just climbed the highest mountain in North Africa
called Mount toubkal and you know 18 hours on our feet and and and you you
curse and swear at the time but afterwards it just feels so good
so I think setting setting yourself family challenges or said you know just
just every year just sort of set a challenge which you can work towards is
a good idea it’s well that’s well chronicled in here as well so last point
like to to here for me that in the last interview we also I asked you to tell me
something you hadn’t told anyone else in a different interview and that he
struggled with that for just 20 30 seconds then you came up with a great
stories you cited yourself as a storyteller about getting pulled over by
a copper and I want you you pounded a buddy in the stomach and I’m gonna he’ll
and you were speeding I’ll I’ll leave it at that but it was a great story instead
of a story that no one else had heard one thing I haven’t heard from you is in
previous interviews what’s the most important thing to you you talked a lot
about building businesses and you you you’re so I think about you know I’m in
in the end in the end everything comes down to your
family and friends and there’s nothing yeah that’s that’s you know that’s all
that all that matters in the end and so we’ve been very lucky you know my
parents were very lucky they loved each other throughout their lives I’ve been
with Joan for 40 years and and and as I told her last week she’s still a sexy
beast and and and you because we’re happy together that has helped you know
helped with our kids and helped with their relationships and and you know my
guess is that they’ll stay together and they’re very very happy and that’ll help
with their children and so as it we’ve just been very lucky in that way I mean
obviously 50% of families are not so lucky and then they have to sort of pick
themselves up and try to so keep keep that those friendships and and and and
and those family together I’ll end with one fun story so my which had told in
the book but and my dad when he was about 86 87 I took him on a hike through
Africa following the migration of the wildebeest and and and and he loved
Africa it was kissing was raining every day and you know for a poor 87 year old
have to get up and go and try to squat down over a hole in the ground in the
middle of the night in the pouring rain was not much fun for him but but anyway
he was you know it was it was it was a wonderful thing for a father and son to
do and anyway on the last day he woke up and he had the biggest smile in his face
we were sharing a tent and and I said to dad you did you have a happy dream he
said yes I said did it involve a woman he said yes I said did you misbehave
with her he said no he said but she misbehaved with me outrageously anyway
so yeah humor humor is important the book is laced with it speaking of sexy
beasts you you’ve got to pick up the book if you’re
watching you’re listening finding my virginity by Sir Richard Branson I know
you want people to pick up a copy of the book I want to say thanks for supporting
creativeLIVE of course there’s another way that I’ve heard you asking people to
get involved and that’s you’re building that rebuilding the Caribbean or doing
something to help what is a way you know after recent devastation from the
hurricane there is there a particular way that people could could donate funds
or time or what would what would it ask be there for the community um one of the
there’s so many causes that you know I mean here my in San Francisco and you’ve
got Napa Valley and Sonoma on far and there’s so many causes for people to to
help they there is a tiny little foundation called unite PPI that’s
trying to help rebuild the British Virgin Islands but you know we you know
we can we can put our resources into that so yeah so look just I think
everybody out there I’ve got very important courses that they’ll put their
spare pennies towards and right now what we’re trying to do is get the World Bank
and the IMF etc to look after the Caribbean as a whole and really try to
get in there and try to move the Caribbean into becoming you know being
powered by clean energy and you know get to help get it back on its feet in a big
way and and and you know actually the best thing you can all do is in a year’s
time once before once we’ve got it rebuilt come and visit us in the
Caribbean because that that will that’s what the carrot that’s what people are
going to need cuz we need they’re going to need to get tourists back thank you
so much y’all will see another dime probably tomorrow thanks Evan you

How to Start & Run a Design Business: Pricing & Estimating Creative Design Jobs


Hey everybody. Welcome to The Process. On this episode of Ask Me Anything we’re going
to be talking to Frank Shi he’s got a lot of business questions I think
you’re going to be interested in hearing and answers that we’ve got. So stick around. Let me try this again. I want you guys to listen to me– Yeah. I design sandwiches. My name is Jose Caballer
and I talk about the business of design. hahahaha I talk about a lot of stuff. My name is Chris Do
and I talk about the business of design. At the center of this operating system it’s
about underst– [Cough cough] Jose, can we just tell em what the show title
is? I hate you dude. You are watching, The Process. Hahahaha, nice. Alright So let’s give everybody a little context
about for what you are doing Frank. Talk to me. Frank: Um, so I’ve been given this unique
opportunity to have a partnership with a Chinese production company
and they have a lot of clients under their belt that’s looking for
high quality studio production. Chris: Mhmm Frank: …and my partner has come to me because
a lot of international brands are using China as their main point of sales and their wanting
to kinda keep that production domestic. Chris: And what’s your background? Frank: My background is, I graduated from
Otis College of Art and Design and the folks in digital media. Chris: When did you graduate? Chris: Two years ago. So thats 2013? Alright cool. So just two years barely. Interesting. Summers almost over. Alright, so let’s get right into the questions
and let’s see how we do. This is kinda unrehearsed so let’s roll. What do you got? Frank: Uh so first questions what are some
common business mistakes as entrepreneurs make in the creative field? Chris: Hm, common business mistakes. Ok now I gotta think back to my past here. Um, some things I got right some things I
got wrong. So let’s start there. First is, you need to get paid upfront. A lot of designers do work and don’t collect
any money. And there’s a lot of people out in the work
that want your creative services, want you to design them a logo, build you something,
but you need to get paid first. That’s how you know the job is real, cause
otherwise it’s just all talk and I think as creative people we get really flattered when
people show interest in us and they wanna talk to us about a commercial or some kind
of branding film, and then you get real excited. Frank: Right, right, right. Chris: So let’s contain the excitement and
turn it into something that’s very real. So what I would do is, uhh, put together a
proposal or talk about a budget and get that 50% upfront. That’s when you know it’s real. You need to get the 50% upfront. So, get paid upfront, ok? And then about 3/4 of the way through the
job get paid another 25%. And when you deliver the project you can either
ask to get paid on delivery which is not realistic sometimes but you can get paid the remaining
25% net 30. Meaning in thirty days they have to pay in
full or they pay interest. And that way really what you’re risking is
that 25% which should be your profit margin. So if you do it like that you should be ok. Cause the last thing you need is to especially
book a big project and for them to bankrupt and now you’re stuck holding the bill. And this has happened to a lot of designers
out that own studios and run companies. Ok? So get paid upfront. Umm. If you’re in a partnership, which you mentioned,
now we’re just talking about the partnership not so much with the clients, is you gotta
start thinking about, unfortunately, the exit scenario. We all go in with all the hope and optimism which
is really great but we have to think about how are we gonna separate. If you can bring the conflict up front and
have that conversation out in the open, you can sleep at night not worrying if this is
ever–how it’s going to play out when it falls apart. Cause eventually partnerships do fall apart. Nothing is forever. So you have to start thinking about that. And you need to learn how to bid. So I believe you told me before that you’re
a creative and you’re partner’s a creative. Somebody needs to know how to bid. And so do you know how to bid? Frank: Yeah, I’m learning the process of how
to bid slowly, umm. That’s some of the questions I have for you
also how to bid. He’s more of an EP. Creatively he doesn’t really have much control. He’s more about like the business and the
bidding. So he’s helping me kind of sell like our services
and what–build that relationship between Chinese clients and me because of course their
value on well what we do is a little different um compared to here. Chris: Ok, so executive producer when you
say EP, some people in our audience may not know what that means, excuse me. Stands for executive producer there are a
couple different types of executive producers. The one type is in charge of new business,
business development, sales. They really just go out and hustle and meet
with clients, potential clients and try and sell the services of the company. They typically do not sit down and break out
the excel spreadsheet and work on the bids. That’s a different kinda mentality. This person is usually very outgoing, very
short attention span, really is gregarious, extrovert, and isn’t always the best on details. And you need that kind of person. Cause that person’s–guy or gal who’s gonna
go out there and get you business. The other kind of executive producer is one
who runs your company for you. In some instances they’re referred to as Head
of Production. They do the bidding, they do the calls, they
set things up, and they close the job. Closing the job requires very specific set
of skills that we may or may not have time to talk about. So, that’s a different kind of person. So sometimes you have a person that does both,
so they’re going to be a little bit weaker or stronger one than the other. And you have to kind of think about that. So, that leads me to the next thing about
common mistakes is, sales is everything, sales and marketing. With robust sales and big budget projects,
you can fund any kind of company and you can run it the way you want. Without those sales, without that cash flow
coming in, you’re going to start to suffer severely. Okay? The other thing I wanna talk about is, there’s
two ways to make money. There’s one way to make money which is to
bid high and produce it um–to build yourself a cushion of profit. The other way to make money is to spend less
money to produce the project. And so you kind of have to think about that. Sometimes people focus all on getting higher
revenue, grossing revenue and they’re not thinking about how to spend that money. So if you get a million dollar job but you
spend $999,999 it’s really a $1 job. And so we get caught up in the idea that it’s
a $1mil job, when really it’s a $1 job. Conversely, you can do a $100,000 job and
only spend $50k and have a gross profit of $50,000. Now if you ask somebody, would you rather
get the million dollar job or would you take the hundred thousand dollar job. Most people don’t think about it and they
say “I want the million dollar job”. It’s really at the end of the day what you’re
able to keep after all expenses are paid. Including paying yourself and your partner
and seeing what else there is in the profit margin. Alright? Umm, let’s see what else I got here. So we talked about bringing the conflict up
front in negotiations. I would do that with my clients as well. So often times I think we sit around and think
the client has all the power. And they have a lot of power, but they don’t
have all the power. They have as much power as you’re willing
to give to them. So if you’re concerned about certain things
like the schedule, the budget, maybe they’re asking for something that would be fairly
tricky to do, given the budget, you need to address those upfront. And that way we can act like adults and professionals
and run a real business and talk about these things verses dealing with it after the fact
and kind of griping about it later. There’s a really great line in here from The
Win Without Pitching Manifesto, get a shot of that, by Blair Enns. He talks about this. He says you know a lot of times we underbid
projects. We underbid projects and later on we regret
doing that so he says in the book, think about the client when they call. Are you anxious to pick up the phone? Or are you grimacing and trying to avoid that
call? And often times it is directly related to
the budget. So a client that’s asking for lots of revisions
and needs a lot of hand holding and customer service and you’re feeling bad about that
relationship is because you’ve charged too little. But if a client’s gonna pay me a million dollars
you can call me as much as you want and you can bug me as much as you want cause I’ll
take care of it. Cause it’s worth the trouble. Usually what happens is the lower paying clients
tend to pay less and are harder to deal with. That is the tricky part. Ok? Alright so let’s go. What other questions do you have? Frank: Um, so. The second one was how to effectively communicate
your business ideas to partners and we say “be more specific”. I thought about it from what you just was
saying–talking about. How do I negotiate like fair terms between
like, um, ok let’s can we rewind? I feel like– Chris: Yeah fine. It’s your question man. Frank: Ok, so, how do you sell your company
or your service without much experience to show? Chris: Ok, you’re going to sell your company
mostly on your confidence. Believe it or not. You can have a gigantic body of work that’s
won every reward but if you don’t go in there representing yourself well, in terms of like,
“I know what I’m doing. I can take care of this.” Then it won’t matter at all. So there are a lot of people out there–think
about this if you are an executive producer or you’re a sales rep a sales agent, you don’t
do the work. You didn’t do any of it. But what you do is you’re managing the relationship
between the client and the person who can get it done. You as the head of the company aren’t that
much different. You know, I don’t know if a lot of our clients
are out there thinking that I’m the guy who’s working on the box. I opened up After Effects the other day and
I was a little rusty. I haven’t opened it up in a while. It’s coming back to me but that’s not what
I sell myself on. What I’m selling is I’m a problem solver. I’m a business designer. Come to me with your problems, I’ll help to
solve them in a way that makes sense for the parameters of what you’re trying to achieve. So that’s what I’m selling. I’m selling confidence and assurance. Assurance not insurance. Assurance, I’m going to assure you that the
job is going to get done and based on my experience and my confidence the client’s going to make
a decision if I can do it or not. So you actually don’t need any work. Believe it or not. Because later on if I walk away from this
company and for whatever reason I sell all the assets to the company including the portfolio,
I’ll still be able to go out there and get work. Cause I’m selling who I am and what I can
do. Not the work. Okay? So, number one mistake there is to sell the
portfolio. Number two mistake is sell the process. I think you should sell the people. Frank: Sell the people? Chris: Yeah, sell the people. The people are the ones who are going to make
this work. Ok? Alright what’s your next question man? Frank: Um, how do you effective–efficiently
excuse me brand what we do and who we are? Chris: How do you what? Frank: Effectively like, um so we can also
look into the kit with The Skool and there was a mission statement and I was having a
really hard time writing one. Chris: Writing one? Yeah, they’re really hard to write. Frank: Yeah because you have to kind of like–I
was looking at the Jose’s and he talks about it and his mission statement. I was like “Wow, this is really kind of broad– Chris: Pretty broad. Frank: Yeah but it’s hard for me cause I know
who we are as a team and what we wanna do but how do we communicate that and how do
we put that in a sentence or effectively get the client to look at it and be like “Oh I
get what you guys do”. Chris: Ok. One way to look at writing your mission statement
is to think about your value. What value do you provide to your customers? What do you really do for them? It’s not really about you. Okay? So I know that writing a mission statement
is very difficult and if you go through the exercises in The Core 1.7 kit it’ll help break
that problem down to much smaller kinda bit size piece. But it’s really not about you. Think about the value you provide. What value do you provide to your customers? So the one way to do this is to profile your
customers to figure out who are they, are they ad agencies, are they entrepreneurs,
are they startups, who are they, in China, and who’s gonna need your services and what
problem are they facing what challenges what pain points do they have? Think about their job and think about their
pain points and think about which one of those pain points you can solve and start thinking
about how to communicate who you are, based on that. K? Frank: Um, ok. This is close to some of the budgeting stuff
questions like that so. Chris: Sure, like money stuff? Frank: Like money stuff. It’s like an awkward topic for a lot of people. How do you budget for unexpected things that
goes wrong in a project? So other than label costs, overhead, stuff
like that, how do you budget–how do you bid for a project, ok this might be a mistake
or someone might screw up this and that. Chris: It’s a mistake that is caused by you
and not by the client? Frank: Yeah so unexpected–say you hire someone
who’s like a effects artist who’s like super expensive but he’s like one of those dudes
who just puts stuff on a reel and doesn’t really have any, you know. You kind of like, “Ohhh, my God. This is really expensive but you didn’t really
do anything.” And how do you budget for that and how do
you deal with that? Chris: You talking about our last job? Frank: No. Chris: Ok, hahaha. Ok hiring uh “experts” that don’t deliver. It’s a big problem especially in effects. The effects world is fraught with challenges
because you come in under budget and often times the scope of the work is, well we don’t
like it so you have to just keep working on it. And so you can easily drive your company into
the ground so you have to be very careful about how you bid. There are only a handful successful visual
effects companies out there that are still doing what they do today. And why is that? Because they’re under bidding projects and
they having hard time managing very expensive artists. Ok so let’s first look at who you are. Let’s look at your company and your infrastructure. Something I’ve learned is that where relatively
small company. We don’t have dedicated departments or teams
of specialist who can do a particular job. So larger visual effects companies they have
a whole department that just does modeling or does lighting, like there’s a lighting
TD and there are technical directors who just optimize the code for rendering. So when the models and all the lights you
put in it can’t render and it can’t render it under four hours a frame, which is unacceptable,
they have a guy go in and or a gal, and the code and they optimize the scene and then
all of a sudden it can render in 10 minutes. You don’t have that. So what happens is you have people that come
from that world who are moving on. Either they quit or they were laid off and
they’re used to working with a pipeline and a technical director and all these kinds of
people and then they come in and they can’t produce. It’s not that they’re not capable of doing
it or they’re misrepresenting the work it’s just they need a certain infrastructure. So more specifically like houdini guys need
a whole team, generally speaking. I know I’m making a broad accusations here
but they need a big team to make it work because it’s a very computationally intensive thing
that they’re doing. Lot’s of processing power. So that’s one thing. What I’ve learned is, I would be very upfront
and this is gonna be a theme in business here, whether you’re gonna be dealing with your
partner or a client or a vendor or artist, is to be very upfront. Say ya know what, we’re a team of six people,
we need more generalists to work on the project so if you have a problem I need you to fix it. Can you do that? And here’s what we got. And they say yes and you’re still not sure,
I’d just be very upfront. I’m willing to try you for X number of days,
and if it doesn’t seem like you’re gonna hit it I need to be able to move on. You need to know that upfront. Are you ok with that? If you have a–you’re booking with Weta,
I advise you to take that. Because this is not that stable. Just be very upfront. That way people can’t get mad at you cause
you were hiding something. And I think on the other side, if I was a
vendor I would appreciate that kind of level of honesty and directness versus somebody
who’s like, “Oh we’ll book you” and then unbook you and I missed out on an opportunity or I
canceled a vacation with my wife or girlfriend. That would be horrible, right? So, the thing that you also need to know is
if you’re a business owner is, cut your losses quick. You bring somebody in you say, “You know
what I’m give this x number of days.” And you stick to it and you talk to them,
“We’re not hitting it, the benchmarks. We’re not doing it. I’m gonna give you two more days to kinda
figure this thing out. Do you feel confident about that?” And, one thing that I’ve learned is you need
to give them space to say, “No I can’t do this.” I think especially for guys cause you know
if effects world there’s generally it’s very male dominated, there’s an ego issue and a
pride issue. I don’t wanna say I can’t do something. And so if you say, “Can you do it” of course
I’m gonna say, “Yes I’m gonna do it. So you gotta give me an out. Say, “Look, I can see that we’re all stressed
out here and”–put it on yourself to say that, “you know what, this job’s harder than
I thought and our pipeline isn’t there.” Or whatever reason there is tell them that,
“so if there’s a chance you don’t think you can deliver I would rather shake hands
with you and part ways and look at you for something else as opposed to us kind of burning
this together and maybe moving in a direction where we can’t recover from this.” Be very upfront and be that transparent and
you don’t have to be a jerk about it. Frank: And, another one talk moneywise– Chris: Talk money as much as you want. Frank: So like if an artist cost like $1,000
a day and they’re like– Chris: Don’t hire them. Frank: –like example, top of the crop like
and you have them say booked for 5 days. How do you put like a margin on their mistakes
if they do screw up? Chris: Ok, you should not be–ok so, this
is actually to the heart of your question cause I see now what you’re saying. How do you bid a job and cover for unexpected
delays or missteps? Now when we get to bidding cause I had asked
you before, do you know how to bid, and you said your EP knows how to bid. So I just shelved that whole topic all together. But I’m just gonna give you a broad overview
ok cause this is something I learned early on. So let me tell the people how you’re supposed
to bid and if you guys want to know more just comment below and we can do a deeper dive
into that and do it with fancy shmancy graphics ok? So how do you bid? Here’s how you don’t bid, you calculate your
time and you do an hourly rate and you guesstimate uh–so let’s just give me a reasonable hourly
rate that somebody starting out might charge. What do you think? Frank: $50. Chris: Ok $50/hr so that’s, 8 hour day–let’s
say for 10 hour day that’s $500 cause those numbers are more round ok? So you’re gonna charge $500 day so you guesstimate
that it’s gonna take you 10 days. Keeping number really round. So that’s gonna be $5,000. So you submit that. So $5,000 is the number you submit to the
job and they say, “Ok go ahead and do it.” What’s the problem with that model? Well that’s not a business. There’s not profit and there’s no room for
error. Ok? The way you look at it as a business person
as an entrepreneur is, how much would you have to pay someone else to do that job and
that’s how you bid it, and you have to pay yourself. Ok so there’s things that we’re missing in
here. Alright let’s go to the board here. Can I? Alright so, here we go. So you have an artist and they’re $500 right,
a day. That’s pretty typical of a person who knows
what they’re doing, ok? It can go much higher it can go a little bit
lower, but that’s about it. So you look at it as that times–so there’s
a rate there, times 10 days. So your spreadsheet would look something like
that right? The name of the artist times the number of
days. So this is days and this is rate and this
is the tile or job description, ok? And so then you would have a subtotal here. And what’s the math on that Frank? Frank: $5,000. Chris: $5,000 ok so far so good everybody
is following me, right? Ok so $5,000. Like I say, if you submit the bid for $5,000
you’ve done yourself a disservice. Ok, so who’s managing that artist? And what if that artist takes longer than
10 days? Now you’re paying for the job. So the first thing you’re gonna need to do
is you need to mark this thing up, ok? So you can mark it up to–what rate do you
think you can mark it up to? Frank: I’ll say $600. Chris: Alright $750, I like that number. So you’re gonna mark it up to $750, ok? Because artists always underestimate what
it’s gonna take to do the job. So so far if you do it $750, the new number
would be $7,500. So if all goes well, which it never does in
visual effects, you’ll have made an extra $2,500. You can send 10% of that to me. Everybody that’s watching that if you make
that money send 10% to me, alright? I’ll do a PayPal thing and we’re all good. Is everybody good? Ok, I don’t work for free. Frank: We’re good, hahaha. Chris: I got two kids to raise and they go
to private school so we’re gonna do this the right way. Alright, so now who manages this person? You have a producer coordinator, ok so you
have a producer. Ok what are they a day? Let’s say $400, ok? And so they’re gonna run that project for
the duration of it which is another 10 days. Ok so now you’re gonna come out at $4,000. Ok that’s a number that you didn’t put in
there. Now whether or not you hire a producer and
pay that amount isn’t relevant. It needs to be in there because somebody has
to manage the project. So again, if you wind up producing the project
yourself that means you’ve made another $4,000 on top of the $2,500 so so far we’re up $6,500. So initially you were talking about having
an artist at $500/day for 10 days. So by the math that would be $5,000 but the
problem is if you run into a problem if things are delayed or you underestimate the job,
you are now gonna go into the red. So you cannot pay the person and you cannot
charge the same amount as you’re gonna pay the person. It doesn’t make any sense. So there’s two areas in which you can do this,
one you change the rate and you can also change the number of days. But I like just working on the rate. Ok because perhaps is a hard deadline and
in 10 days this thing is due, so you can’t just put more days in there. Ok there is a way around that too. So the difference there just by doing this
is a potential profit of $2,500. The difference being from $5,000 to $7,500. Now you’re going to need to add in a producer. Cause somebody’s gotta run the job. Somebody’s gotta look at the assets and manage
the team. Ok so the team is one person that’s fine I’ll
just put in their rate of $400/day. In Asia you’re gonna pay a lot less than that
so let’s assume that’s ok. So at 10 days that $4,000 now, ok. So, who’s gonna direct this person, this artist? Oh, that would be you. So I’m gonna put in an art director. Ok an art director what do we gonna put in
for an art director? What dollar amount should we put in for the
art director? Frank: I mean I would say like $700 – $800. Chris: $700-$800? It can’t be less than this guy. So this guy’s coming in at $750 I’m gonna
say like $900, ok? Now we don’t need to art direct this person
every single day of the job. So you can just put in a random number there. Let’s say 5, ok? So let’s say 5 days and it’s not that you’re
not working with him everyday it’s just you’re prorating your time across the length of the
job so there now we’re up $4,500, ok? So let’s say that’s pretty good. Now if you need more artist help I would put
that in there. So are we good yet? Should we submit the bid? $7,500 plus $4k
plus $4,500–it’s $8,500 it’s um, $15–$16k I believe. So, right now we’re at $16k. Is my math right? Uh my business majors? $16k? Ok so we’re at $16k. Remember initially you were gonna come in
at $5k. So this is how you do a bid, ok? What else do you need in here? Are we good? Frank: Um, what about overhead? Utilities, rent, etc… Chris: Right. You can’t just show that in there. Frank: Yeah so how do you– Chris: How do you put that in there? Ok well these guys they don’t work on paper,
they work on a machine and there’s software attached to that machine so I’m gonna call
it a workstation. Now I can’t charge for the laptop to do the
bid but I can charge for the PC/3D workstation, ok? And I find a reasonable rental rate. What’s a rental rate for a machine? You know per– Frank: Per day? Chris: They usually do them by the week. What is it per week? What do you think? Just throw out a number. Frank: $1,000? Chris: That’s too much. $1,000 a week? Let’s say $500 a week. I don’t even think it’s that much. Cause we rent computers. So $500/week times 2 weeks, right? So now you have another $1,000 in here. So this number just keeps growing. What else do you have in there? Now I’m gonna roll in hardware and software
cost cause I don’t wanna delineate every single part to the puzzle right? So let’s just do a subtotal now. So now you have $17k. That’s your bid now, ok? $17k. I drew that one too close to the dollar sign
so you guys are gonna have a hard time seeing that, $17k there. Are we done? No because now as a business we need to make
profit. This is where we cover our overhead and our
stuff, k? So profit is gonna be anywhere between, depending
on what country and where you’re from and what industry you’re in, can be anywhere between
10-30%. So you just mark that up. So let’s just say because my math is not so
good, let’s say it’s 20% ok? So we’ll say 20% is our markup and you just
tell them, it’s markup, it’s our profit. Everybody that runs a business understands
that because if you paid everybody you still wouldn’t make any money. Ok? So 20% of that–so 10% of that is $1,700
so $3,400–so it’d be $3,400 right? So you’re gonna add that together, so now
you’re at $20,400 for this job. That’s how you do a bid and that’s how you
stay in business, ok? There’s a lot more parts and pieces to this
like a modeler, um you can charge for rendering even. Cause those are things that are out of your control. Does that help you understand how to do a bid? Ok, so I’m gonna come back to here. Alright. Now, those of you that are watching and you
just saw how you did a bid, if you wind up making an extra I dunno, let’s look at this
again cause I wanna make sure this is on camera. The difference between your initial bid at
$5,000 now and your new bid at $20,400 is $15,400. You can send me a check 10% of whatever that
profit difference is cause I got kids they go to private school. Somebody’s gotta help me out with the bills, alright? And I don’t do this for free. Ok. What’s next? Frank: Um so, how do I insure myself as like
a business owner to get over that first year? That first hump. Chris: The first year, first hump? What do you mean? Frank: Like the–um, I’ve been talking to
a lot of business owners they say the first few years are the hardest. So how do I play my cards right so I ya know
get over that hump and don’t like crash and burn? Chris: Ok. So your question is, how do you prevent crashing
and burning because you run out of runway? Right so you have a cash flow issue. There’s a couple things you can do. First, you can get a line of credit if you can get one. So if you have some kind of credit history
you can get a line of credit from your bank. Right now I think we have a $400,000 line
of credit with Wells Fargo. It’s necessary. It’s how companies fill the gap
against pending orders right? So if you get a new contract, say it’s $100k
contract now you gotta staff up you gotta buy machines, you can usually use that and
go and take that invoice to the bank and get a line of credit. Because clients don’t always pay you upfront. The good new is, if you’ve been listening
to this episode you have gotten $50k upfront. But before you even get that you’re pretty
sure it’s a lock you need to start getting the team ready and get things together. So you may do a little expenditure. I would rent everything I would work on crates
and boxes and buy your furniture from IKEA if you can. You don’t need fancy shmancy furniture and
things like that, ok? I would go to Office Depot and buy a $79 chair
and don’t worry about getting the Herman Miller Aeron chair. You don’t need it right now. And the last thing that you wanna do is create
this cash flow expenditure that you can’t manage. So run it very lean. That’s why when you go to startups, you’ll
notice, it can be some of the most valuable companies but they’re working on milkcrate
boxes with a door for a table top. Do it like you would do it in college, keep
your expenses down, ok? That’s how you manage that. So once the job comes in don’t start spending
that money right away. Some people thing, “Ok it’s a $100k job. I got $100k in my pocket I’m gonna go buy
a new car.” Don’t do that. Do not do that. So live within your means, ok? Where you want to spend money that you don’t
have is potentially because there’s a staff or an artist or a designer or somebody that
you really think you need and you need to take a little bit of an educated guess or
risk at the new work that’s gonna come in and you roll the dice and that’s what entrepreneurship
is about, ok? You have to take some risk. Don’t be stupid about it but take some risk, k? Frank: Here’s my follow up question to that. What’s the benefit between I would say doing
a startup from your home like digital nomads just kinda like everywhere scattering and
managing that team compared to say having a small space thats kind of like very manageable
like very small space. So what’s the benefit and pros and
cons between the two? Chris: It’s a lot–ok so the question is,
what’s the difference between a brick and mortar company verses a–
I think the term is fluid model? Where you just have a very small core team
of people. Everybody else just works remotely from all
over the world and you manage things remotely. Well, the first thing is–you wanna compare
the benefits and the pros and cons, or just one or the other? Frank: The pros and cons. Chris: Ok pros and cons and you know what
the pros and cons are going to be. Communication is gonna be much more difficult,
you’re gonna spend more time dealing with project management because you gotta get the
assets out to everybody, and not everybody’s working with the same version of software
and not everything’s synced up so you have to figure out some way to manage that. And what are some of the tools that people
use to manage teams across the globe? They might use Trello, they might use Basecamp,
or Slack, there’s a bunch of project management software that’s out there that can help you do that. And they can ever use it to track time, like
time sheets, things of that nature. The benefits are, you get to work with anybody. It’s a higher quality of life for those artists
cause they get to work from home and do whatever they need to do as long as they do the work. It would most likely pay less because you
can work with whoever you want wherever and so you gotta look at in the U.S. or the U.K.
maybe the pound or the dollar is quite high relatively speaking cost of living’s quite
high, and so there are a lot of people in Brazil, amazing artists and animators, some
people in Korea and Japan or wherever else it is, I shouldn’t say Japan. Japan isn’t gonna be cheap. Or in China, in your case and India would
be another place so you can leverage what the local economy is cost of living with the
quality of the artist. Now generally speaking, the best artist do
go to the biggest markets. So they’re gonna come to San Francisco, LA,
New York, the U.K. you know probably London. Wherever the big effects shops are. That’s where they’ll migrate, ok? So you probably will not be getting the same
quality artist that you’re used to seeing here. So more management. Alright, I’m gonna give you one more question
because I think we’re way over time. So what other question do you have? Frank: Um I guess, the last question would
be, what is good company culture and like team building? I feel like you’ve been talking a lot about
management and I feel like the way I have to run this thing it has to be you know digital
where everyone’s scattered, for the initial startup. So how do I manage the team and um you know
get them to feel positive and feel confident in me and themselves to do this work cause
i feel like that’s very important in this kind of upsetting. Chris: Right, so you have multiple time zones
now you’re trying to sync everybody up right? Assuming that they’re not all local to you. So, first of all getting everybody on the
same page is tough. So let me just talk about company culture
first and then we’ll figure out how to do that over distance based operations like this
kind of fluid agency that we’re talking about. Company culture to me is one of the most important
things that you need to focus on as a company. You get it right at the beginning and you
just go from there, ok? So what values are important to you as an
artist because you’ve worked at places where you are an artist and now you’re gonna flip
uh you’re gonna go on the other side of the game, so to speak, you’re gonna go on the
other side of the fence. So now you gotta remember what was important
to you as a person. What attracted you to a place? Now chances are when a freelancer’s out there
or a person who’s kinda considered taking a staff position, they’re looking at everything. They’re looking at how much am I getting paid,
how good is the work that I’m doing, and how do they treat me, and how do they manage their
companies. So very likely you cannot compete on price
or the quality of the project so you gotta focus on the other two components. How do you treat them, how do you manage projects. So that’s your competitive advantage to kind
of level the playing field if you will. Some companies, won’t mention who they are,
they do amazing work. Their company culture is less than desirable
but they can get people to come in because the work is so good, right? So you’ve been there you’ve done that so you
know and so you kind of know what kind of company you want to have. I kind of look at it like this, people that
come into our company whether they are freelance or staff, I wanna make sure that their long
term career is protected and nourished as supposed to just using them up and spitting them out. Because if you go at this kind of rate where
you’re working all day and night, and I’ve done that. I’ve stayed up all night I’ve worked all night
with freelancers before, when the sun’s come up together, right? It takes a toll on you and you can only do
that for a certain period of time. So the idea is that you wanna minimize those
moments when you’re taking those kinds of jobs that require you to do that. Where you’re staying up all night. Something’s telling you it’s wrong. You accepted a job going in knowing, that
there’s not enough time, the job is too big or complicated, and you don’t have a big enough team. So that’s the recipe for burning everybody
out, including yourself. I’ve been doing this now for almost 20 years. I’m as passionate about the work I do today
as the day I first started. Cause I learned how to manage the projects,
my time, and what I put into it. So what else we wanna know about company culture? And if you haven’t done so already, I would
highly recommend, I don’t have the book here. I could go grab it but, Delivering Happiness
by Tony Hsieh. Definitely read that book and Tony Hsieh for
those people who don’t know who he is, he’s the founder of Zappos and he sold his company
for like a billion dollars to Amazon. That’s not an expression. I think it was right around a billion dollars
and he’s selling shoes and he writes about how the margins are so small, the only thing
they have is culture and he’s a big believer in that. So, read that book then come back to me and we’ll talk. Again, if you have questions after you read
that book, Happiness, I’ll provide a link down below to buy the book. Once you guys read it you can post questions
or we can have a little conversation about it. These are two books that I believe are really
important in shaping my thinking about business. First is The Win Without Pitching Manifesto
and the other one the virtual book I’ll hold it up here maybe there will be a graphic that
Aaron can provide for us and it’s called Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. He sold his first company when he was in his
20’s for a couple hundred million dollars so he know’s what he’s doing. Frank: From what I heard he lives at like
a trailer park. Chris: He lives in a trailer park now. Frank: He I was looking at a video of him
like he cherishes experiences and culture more than anything. That’s something I really admire. Chris: So there’s one thing I read about him
recently he says everybody’s talking about work life, balance, to manage those two things. He’s like that’s not his idea right now. His idea is about work life integration. That if your life and your work can be the
same you’re living a pretty good life and you’re working in a pretty cool way, and that’s
why he lives in this park that he’s asked everybody to come out and live next to him. So he’s got a llama living in the desert in
Las Vegas so it’s pretty cool work life integration. Frank: Is that something you– Chris: I’m striving to achieve that same kind of goal. Yeah. Frank: Yeah I mean that’s most questions I have. Chris: Alright. Well guys, thanks for tuning in for another
episode of Ask Me Anything. Thanks for tuning in, see you guys next time. [music]

‘The Creative and Innovative Business Analyst’ by Ian Richards


My name is Ian Richards. I’m a Principal Business
Architect for Serco. I’d like to thank, start with thanking Chris for inviting me here to
speak. It came about that Jamie. Is Jamie in the… Jamie came to an IIBA presentation.
An event, I was presenting at for Barclays and Jamie said that I’d be an okay fit for
this kind of event. So I’m hoping he is right, but it is normally for the IIBA (International
Institute of Business Analysis). So, there’s quite a bit of a difference between Business
Analysis and User Experience, I guess. But as you can tell, I’m from Wales, I have got
this big sing song accent and please rest assured I’m not going to sing a song but I
do talk fast so hopefully, you can hear, you can understand me because I was glad that
Jamie asked me to speak at this event because it meant that he can understand me, talk fast.
And especially when I get excited, when I’m talking about rugby or something, the six
nations and so on. I can tell I’m not making many friends here (Laughter). Let’s get it
rolling. But as analysts we do this listening thing quite well so I’m hoping there’s some
fast listeners as well. So, BA and UX. I though how do I need to adapt my presentation for
User Experience because I don’t know a great deal about User Experience but then I tried
to draw parallels. Business Analysis and User Experience practitioners both employ analysis
and design thinking to bridge the gaps between business needs, user needs and technology.
Yes. So, BA is a more business-focus and User Experience is more user-focused. However,
in practice, neither can work in a silo and BA and UX skillsets overlap more than they
diverge. I did this little diagram. Can I have a show of hands – ones like that, like,
can I have a free beer kind of hands. Who sees themselves right at this angle, purely
UX. As I slide my hand, can you raise your hands to see so that I’ve got some sort of
idea what I’ve got here? Yeah, lots of free beers. So, that means that there are a few
who down this end where I leave – and there’s a quite a few. But there’s more, the majority
is here. So, thank you for that. It’s just so that I know what’s going on. So what are
we talking about today? Creativity and innovation in general but I’m going to pick up on four
subtopics. Does the current trend towards methodologies, templates, frameworks and reference
architecture catalogues stifle creativity for analysts? And we’re also going to touch
on, where can analysts “unleash the potential of the mind”, express their creative side
and have the opportunity to innovate? A question that was asked the other day to me was, does
it cease to be creative to re-use? Because it’s created. Past tense. We will just touch
on that. Just a thought that got me thinking sort, so I thought I’d add it in. Is creativity
and innovation key as a method for analysts to demonstrate their value to clients? So
I’m going to touch on those subtopics in this general envelope of creativity and innovation.
So, creativity and innovation. Creativity is the generation of ideas whereas innovation
consists of transforming these ideas into action through a selection and implementation.
Creativity, coming up with the idea. Implementation, making it happen. Albert Einstein came up
with a quotation “Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what
no one else has thought.” So, the human brain, we’ve all got them. On the left side,
this is the logical thinking brain… methodical. On this side is the chaotic crazy side. So
show of hands again. Who sees themselves at this side? The crazy, it’s a crazy gang. Who
sees themselves over here as the mathematical, kind of logical? Our brains are built for
creative problem solving, and it’s easy to both uncover and enhance our natural inventiveness.
I say it’s easy. It is easy. But it’s also easy to forget to use it. Our highly evolved
brains are always assessing our ever-changing environment, mixing and matching our responses
to fit into the situation. We all know them. They’ve got an answer for everything, yes?
We know some… There’s some in our families, I’m sure everyone’s family, who’s just quick
enough and can just compute very quickly. The human race is very good at innovation
and that’s why we kind of dominate on this planet. The late Steve Jobs said “Technology
is the intersection of science and engineering with the liberal arts and humanities.” That’s
us, I guess. We speak geek. Yet we still write poetry and prose. Does anybody know what this
is? I’ll give you a clue, it’s not Moses and it’s not Robinson Crusoe. Anybody know? Father
Christmas? No. (Laughter) Its da Vinci, I think we all know that’s Leonardo da Vinci
and he used both sides of his brain. Can anybody tell me what he used his more creative side
of brain for? Helicopters? (Laughter) You could argue that. I’m going to argue otherwise,
The Last Supper and obviously The Mona Lisa. Er, Helicopters. This is probably the more
– I guess it’s a part of creative thinking as well. However, it’s very logical and I
know mathematics gone into that. So, let’s have a look at not so creative people then.
Okay, we didn’t do very well with Leonardo Da Vinci, I’m sure we wouldn’t do very very
well at all with this – anybody who he is? Jamie, maybe? This is Harry Warner. He started
Warner Brothers. And he actually said “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”. They
do everything, the Harry Potter films and a lot more. I’d be amazed if anybody knows
who this person is. His name is Charles Duell, US Patent Office and he said “Everything
that can be invented has been invented.” And that’s in 1899. From more recently, anybody
know who that is? (Laughter) I guess we all know what he said “You can’t win anything
with kids.” But are these people not intelligent? Children. Who’s got children? Do they look
like that? Have they looked like that? (Overlapping Conversation) (Laughter) So, praise and encouragement.
I remember when I was a child and I’d come home from school with something like this.
My daughter, she’s eleventeen at the moment. But before, a long time ago, she came up with…
it hasn’t survived the journey. But it’s a lantern. Lantern. And I remember when I used
to go from school with this pile of old tosh. And my parents used to say “Oh great, look
at that”. And it was useless. I’ve still got some of the stuff now. But praise and
encouragement, they’ve got the ability to go wrong. Children are creative because they’re
inquisitive. The five why’s. That’s because children keep on asking “why?”. We use
it now. The child thinks innovatively. They’d put their hand over a flame. They run across
the road for an ice cream without thinking. Whereas adults, we seem to be focused more
on risk and benefit. (Laughter) So, many people think that creativity is a mysterious trait
like charisma — you either have it or you don’t. Now, I’d agree that people are better.
Certain people are better and more talented at creativity and innovation. But we shouldn’t
just leave it to those. It is a talent. There’s a talent in athletics. You have a natural
talent for something. However, with training and tools and techniques, we can all get better.
As a teenager, a young teenager. I mean, teenagers, they are bored, bored, bored. Is that not
creative? You think that’s not creative but it probably is because they’re trying to create
something to happen, yea? So, I think we’ve established that you don’t have to be intelligent
to be creative which is great news because I’m in with a shout. So, what happens, then?
What’s stifling our creativity? Are we as adults are afraid to be creative because of
senior management and colleagues? Are we afraid to break the mould… and stand out on our
own? This is the way we have always done it so why should we change? The group before
did it. The group before that and the group before that and my father’s father’s father’s
father did it. Like that – so if I do it like that, it might not be the great result that
I want but I won’t stand out. I won’t be blamed. The current risk, the current trend is for
the client to get us to take the risk. We go fixed price on a lot of things these days…
so we take the risk, not the client. Does that mean we should be creative? Or should
I go and do it like it’s always been done? I’ll come back to that. Because the competitive
environment in which you’re working today, sometimes doesn’t encourage us to take risks.
The environment, the financial state of industry today in our country. So, in an effort to
standardise our work, we’ve lost focus on the importance of creativity. Have we lost
focus on the importance of creativity? My guys come to me and they say, “do I really
have to use this tool?” “Do I need to produce, documenting this template, one size
fits nothing template?” “Do I need to use this methodology or follow this framework?”
“Do I need to work in accordance for this governance?” Am I channelled down this route
where I cannot step outside? “Do I have to reuse from this reference catalogue?”
When I say reference catalogue, what I mean is you create something and you put it in
the catalogue to be reused. I don’t know what that translates to the UX world. I mean, hang
on, isn’t analysis the most creative part of a team? Shouldn’t we have the most freedom?
We standardise down this route. Look what we’ve created as analysts. This is the new
checkout. (Overlapping Conversation) We’ve done it. We’ve standardised everything. So
most creative thing, is a doughnut like me walking down with [inaudible] and I don’t
know to put them through. Because everything else is standardised. But is this the way
– is this the same way that all professions are going? Will it mean that anyone can follow
a set of guidelines, complete the checklist, apply some metrics. I told you I talk fast.
Complete a template, assemble them into a proposal. Can anybody come in and do that,
go on a course and learn to do it? Why not? I’ve seen adverts on the TV with… so that…
people with very little technical knowledge can build a company website. Yes so why not?
My friend’s got a car which parks itself. So let’s look. Let’s look, like, more creative.
Before we get too down on our profession and the way that it’s kind of maybe heading, let’s
have a look at other professions. This is Andrés Iniesta, he plays for Barcelona and
plays for Spain, one of the most creative footballers in the world. And know that Cardiff
are in the Premiership he’s thinking of coming to Cardiff but watch your space on that. (Laughter)
Haven’t they got frameworks to work to? They’ve got a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3, I’ll get the maths
right now, or a diamond formation or a zonal marking. Have they got these – these frameworks
to work to, same as us? I know this guy did, didn’t much last night if anybody saw it,
it’s pretty good. But step back a while and he – not just him but every footballer. They
have to follow a pattern and if they don’t, they won’t get selected for the next match.
And so, let’s have a look at another creative profession. Anybody here play a musical instrument?
Yes? This is William Tell’s Overture. These are notes – . so these – I mean, they tell
us how long to play a note for, there’s rules around it, there’s the Italian phrases or
words tell us to pietismo, fortissimo, morendo, crescendo. They tell us how to play it. Loud,
quiet. I mean, I’m in the regimental band of the Royal Welsh. So, I’m in a kind of TA
marching band. So, when I’m marching, playing the music, I go to beat of the bass drum.
I go to beat of the man with the big stick and the man with the conductor. There’s no
room, not much room there for me to be creative. So, when we’re looking at our own professions.
Let’s have a look at what we consider to be creative, not so creative. There’s me with
the Six Nations trophy (Laughter) I did say I’ll try not to talk about Rugby (Overlapping
Conversation). Jazz is a little bit different. You’ve got a bit more freedom here but you
still have 16 bars or however many bars you have to repeat and you have to take it in
turns depending on whatever you do. And there’s harmony. So, when I’m in my backroom, in my
corner it’s just me. It’s not very creative. But when I get a couple of people up who play…
a bit of harmony, then, it sounds a lot better. That’s the same with being creative. Maybe
you’re not very creative on your own, but get a couple of people, then it might sound
better, share it. My journey today. Let’s forget all professions for a while. My journey
today. I had to… these are my constraints… this is what I had to do. I had to follow
the highway code. Get my car – make sure that my car was MOT’d, follow the signs so I didn’t
go down the wrong way, one-way system. And I had my car insured. So, here’s where I get
a bit of choice. Do I choose a map or do I go online and print out a map, my route, or
do I use a Satnav? I choose to use the Satnav. It’s cut divorces in half. You know, people
who are reading the maps the wrong way around and asking questions. So, a bit more creativity.
Now, I’ve really got a choice, scenic route, direct route, avoid motorways. How many stops,
places of interest, clean the car – get the car serviced or not? I saw a couple on my
way up here who hadn’t had their car serviced on the side of the road. It’s their choice…
creative. (Laughter) What I’m trying to say here is that, yes, it’s constraints, not just
imperfections in everything we do. But there are little – you need to find the place where
we can be creative. Because we need to get the right balance between creativity, uniformity
and standardisation in our workplace. There’s lots of opportunity left where we can be creative
but these tools, these frameworks, these methodologies ensure that personal preference is removed,
ensure a standard output, nothing is missed, everyone is engaged, ground rules are followed
for comparison with other sites, I guess… and provide our clients with fact-based evidence
around benefits and usage. I’ve adapted a few of those for UX, kind of – I hope it fits.
So, let’s look at our own profession then. What is our 4-4-2? What’s the shape of our
football team or our orchestra? How do we get people buying tickets to come to our concert?
The reviews say that our tickets are overpriced the concert goes on forever and it’s hard
on the ears. So, how are we going to score goals instead of own goals? Right. I hope
you’re familiar with this, I found it. But I was hoping that it would be something like
this… because this is my rule book for analysis. This is the BABOK, I guess you have got the
equivalent. That one might not be it. I remember my parents, they have got this big static
caravan in Tenby. And I got my head in that for one week on my own. My mates called me
trailer trash and they said I should be on Jeremy Kyle if I stayed there longer than
a week. But I got my head into here and this is – and I always go back to that and say,
“Right, I’ve got this question. What did the experts say about this?” And they say
the – what they say about creativity and innovation, so Business Analysts may be effective in generating
new ideas for approaches to problem solving and in generating alternative solutions. Now,
I’ve highlighted some things in red that I like here. So, creative thinking involves
generating new ideas and concepts as well as finding new associations between or new
applications of existing ideas and concepts. They don’t have to be brand new. They can
be existing things. But they should be effective in promoting creative thinking in others.
This is very pertinent to you, I guess, as well as Business Analysts. So, we measured,
by the application of new ideas to resolve existing problems and the willingness of stakeholders
to accept new approaches. We need to be negotiating; we need to impress the importance of creativity
on our customs. So, some of the working relationships we have, all teams sometimes look for the
most creative and innovative way to form a solution within their disciplines. Let’s have
a look at the analysts. I’ve picked out three things. Three places where we can maybe have
a closer look and say, “Right, let’s be creative here.” Issues and problems, it’s
a given, stakeholders and product design. I’ll whizz through these, we’re in the business
of solving issues. So, without issues and problems, is there any need for analysts?
Yes, so we make it up as, “You know, I’ve got a problem.” You know, head in her hands
and says, “I’ve got a problem.” No, it’s not a problem. We need to look at this different
because we have a toolbox full of ideas and we identify the problem, break it down into
smaller problems. Yes, so instead of seeing an issue or a problem, couldn’t we create
a culture where we see there’s opportunity to create solutions and innovate? Let’s change
our thinking a little bit… let’s not be negative. How we deal with the emotional interpretation
by our clients. So, we have – we’ve all had them. We go and sit next to a client and say,
“It’s okay, I know what it’s going to be… I need this here, this here, same as them
down the road and then it will be great.” That’s what we need. So we need to find a
way of turning their mind and saying, “Look, I’ve got a group of people here, if they come
up with a better way of doing this, would that be okay with you?” Or words around
that. Be creative in ways to get the best out of everyone you work with in every discipline.
My – a colleague of mine said, “I start every meeting with a new client by going in
to say, ‘I’m the person who knows the least, who needs to know the most'” I said, this
is a good one size fits all. I said, that’s – it’s not always the right way. Get together
with your other mates, you know, with other Business Analysts or UX and say, “How do
I deal with this client?” Now, be creative. Inspiration, energy, enthusiasm, drive, professionalism,
creativity and innovation. We need to get a place in this market place. We need to be
there, we need to be considered not late, not only small budget. We need to be the scary
IT people who come and solve problems. Product design. Another sliding scale. Business requirements…
technology solutions. We need to come down here a little bit towards the techy guys.
Around about here is the sweet spot, I think, to get the best solution. We can’t just write
basic requirements and throw them over the fence we need to meet them half way. Now,
this is an example of a project I was involved in where we have a foreman out in the site
using a clipboard and a pen and we wanted to make that more electronic so that they
could do stock levels and staffing levels, etc. So, we had three options of what we could
take out in the field. And in the end, they went for this because the person who gathered
the requirements wasn’t there at the end point. And then, further down the lane, when they
say, “Okay Blackberry, great, we’re going to go for this.” We said, “Hang on a minute.
These foremen are ex-brickeys. Their fingers are that big so they’re not going to be able
to use this.” (Laughter). So, product design. So analysts tend to have a relationship with
the client. We share the stakeholders vision and expectations of the end product. We sit
with them. We see their pain and we solve their pain. We tend to deliver the solution
to our client. We’re like Father Christmas, there you are, that’s going to solve your
problems. So what happens if that’s the limit? (Laughter) It’s not going to be a very happy
Christmas for the client is it? So we need – we need to be there all the way along though
to delivery, not throw it over the fence. Okay, so I guess that in Agile working collaboratively
right across the cycle. A little graphic I picked up there was Agile and UX. It’s made
for it really, isn’t it? Prototyping, etc. Just want to cover reuse, slightly. This is
reusing a ladder. I can’t get excited about it myself. I wouldn’t have one in my kitchen
but some of you might (Laughter) Here we are, I would have this (Overlapping Conversation)
This is reusing a onesie and a rug to – And this, maybe, I’ve seen them on the tube in
London. They kind of sue themselves for whiplash. But if you shake the pattern about a bit,
you get something new. Otherwise, you get the same old pattern and the same old result.
I mean, of course reuse is a good thing, it cuts down on rework and it cuts down on effort
and cost. So try and do it, it’s worth investing and doing it. So creativity is using the same
things, back to what Albert Einstein said, creativity is using the same things and seeing
the same things as other people but creating something new. It’s not only you who is looking
at this reference architecture, this reuse catalogue. This is the best reuse, the best
example of reuse. Periodic table, 118 elements. Okay, about seven are from outer space but
our world is made up of these. We shake the box around a bit and see what comes out. So,
why do we as Business Analysts…so why do we as analysts need to be creative? So, what’s
wrong with going down and following due process, sitting with the customer? With your pad,
with your iPad or whatever. Because surely discipline done well is the difference between
a successful and a struggling project? “Your idea of doing it like this was genius.”
How nice is that to hear? That’s great, isn’t it? It’s great if you can make it your client’s
idea and kind of push them down the road. But it’s more likely that you would find a
creative and innovative way to work… if you find an innovative way it will save you
money. Now, back to what I was saying at the very beginning about fixed-price. Should we
take on the risk? Should we be more creative? According to this, yeah, I guess we should
be because it’s going to save us time and effort across. But what do we get all too
often? “That’s what you asked for so that’s what you’ve got.” Where is the added value
in that? “Clients pay inflated costs for skilled analysis, but some simply ask the
client what they want and write it down.” Is this unleashing the potential of the mind?
It’s just a thought. Isn’t the bad perception of IT as a result of an army of diligent and
dedicated IT professionals doing precisely what they were asked to do? Can’t we add more
value than that? This is probably the last but one slide or last but two. So, we’ve established
that there are rules and guidelines in any profession and every walk of life. We’ve had
a look at that. We’ve proven that, we’re the most creative professionals. Let’s be regarded
as clever analysts who will come and solve problems. Let’s keep our profession in demand.
Let’s not be the supermarket, the new, you know, the new supermarket person. We need
to promote a culture of creativity and innovation within ourselves and within our organisations.
It needs to be a culture, it needs to spread. Creativity and innovation. Because one thing
is for sure. Without the drive to come up with breakthrough ideas and the confidence
that a creative and innovation – innovative solution exists. One won’t be found. We have
to believe it to be there. I’ll just skip over this, I won’t read them out again. Those
are the four things we looked at, I know time is of the essence. But I will pause on this
a little bit. Last slide. Take a moment to reflect on the legacy of creative innovation
you have left in your wake, personally. Have a look back at how creative you’ve been in
the last 12 months. Not only the products that you have contributed, but with the coaching
developed in your teams and I’m sure I’m talking to the converted here because you’re all here,
you know, trying to learn something and trying to pick something up, and I’m sure that there’s
some creative and innovative superstars among you. But – so some of you will identify a
need for a slight amendment in your attitude and approach. Some of you have the right attitude
and just don’t know how to apply it. So just Google it have a look. Scamper, brainstorm.
There’s lots and lots of techniques out there to be creative and innovative. So that’s me
finished. I guess questions are not for here, I’m sure we’ve overrun but I am going for
a beer so if you want to talk to me there… (Applause)

Alexander Wang Explains How He Balances The Creative And Business Sides Of His Global Fashion Empire


Alexander Wang: I’m always thinking, OK, what is the end objective? You know, what are we trying to create? What’s the concept? Who’s the customer profile? What’s the price point? I’m not just being like, OK, I’m gonna design this T-shirt and then I’m gonna give it to them and then, like, have them figure it out. Rich Feloni: How do you
know how to balance, like, your time and your energy into the business side of things with the creative side of things? How do you figure that out? Wang: You know, it’s funny you asked that, because I was thinking about this, and I don’t know if it’s just being Chinese. Not to say, not that, like, I always really think
about the business aspect tied into the creative
decisions, you know. I always say to my team, you know, we, as a brand and in our culture, we always try to apply creative thinking to business decisions and business acumen to kind of creative, you know, creative, you know, process. And I really flip that back and forth in every project that I work on. You know, I think about the big picture, you know, when I work on a collaboration or I work on, you know, any kind of partnership, I’m always thinking, OK, what is the end objective? You know, what are we trying to create? What’s the concept? Who’s the customer profile? What’s the price point? What’s the distribution model? You know what I mean? I’m not just being like, OK, I’m gonna design this T-shirt and then I’m gonna give it to them and then, like, have them figure it out. That’s never been the way that I work. And I think that was probably
also one of the reasons why my time in Paris was difficult because in those kind of structures you are put a bit into a box, you know? Where I was not used to being in a box. I was very much used to being part of the whole conversation. And so, so, yeah, I always think about a project from beginning to end.

Oxfordshire Creative Industries Showcase 2019



[Applause] this is a fantastic day we're here at Oxford Brookes campus which is amazing and we will be looking at if and how technology is changing the way we tell stories personally I find the way that VR is going to change film the gaming landscape very intriguing and hearing people's thoughts about where that is going in the future there's a ticket of interest to me we've got some really exciting conversations to be had in the future and can't wait to see what happens and it's great to know this is all just going on on on our doorstep Oxford's a hotbed of creativity and it's going to be really exciting to see where it goes in the future the highlight for us was the diversity of attendees at the event to be excellent into high-quality in an event and high-quality networking we found actually it's been a really important today it's just been such a good event and I hope the first of many Brussels really really wonderful day it's been a really great day and some really interesting conversations