Chris Brogan is the publisher and CEO of the business magazine Owner. He is a sought-after keynote speaker who has addressed crowds of thousands, he has been on the Dr Phil show, and he once presented to a princess.
Chris has consulted with Disney, Microsoft, Coke, Titleist, Pepsico, Google, Motorola, and many others.
He's the New York Times best-selling author of six books, including The Impact Equation, written with Julien Smith.
I invited Chris to Marketing Smarts to talk about his latest book, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators.
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:
Before you can build a business, you need to build a community (12:24): "All of my business beliefs exist around the concept that there must be some kind of community or audience... The big difference between audience and community is which way you face the chairs. An audience is when you say 'look at me' and a community is 'look how great all these people are that we've gathered together...' What I find is that, once you have interesting content which gathers an audience, you can build a community or you can ignore it, and most companies tend to ignore it. And then you can, from that community, build a little bit of marketplace."
With mobile payments and crowdfunding, anyone can start a business (17:49): "What that really means is that an ability for commerce, an ability to distribute directly, the ability to know that you have a potential audience to buy. Kickstarter and Square are perfect examples of that... I have a thought for a project that was given to me by Saul Colt, the smartest man in the world and the Internet's Master of Magic, and Saul told me this idea and I immediately thought, "Oh, man, that's a great idea, but it's going to cost me a little bit of money to do the editing for that, and I don't really have the extra money to do that,' and then I thought, 'well I can just start a Kickstarter, and if people think it's a great idea, they're going to fund it...' and so, immediately, it just opens up a business opportunity that I otherwise couldn't take in the existing world. Square and Kickstarter allow us not to wait for anyone's permission, which is a very important part of being a 'freak.'"
Define "success" for yourself, in business and in life (21:04): "You have to remember that worth and value are amazingly different than just cash. Being successful is not about the money you make. It's about being able to live life on your terms."
To get ahead in business, help others (25:02): "When you are sour, when you are bitter, when you are jealous, when you are worried that someone else has something more than you, nothing ever good comes of it. No good thing comes from that mindset. The mindset is this: 'I'm going to help as many people as I can help.' All of the money I've ever made, every dollar in my bank account, came from being helpful. I know that there's other people who are jerkfaces and they made their money being jerkfaces, but that is so small a percentage compared to the people who live and thrive just by being helpful, and the best thing is that every single one of those dollars I've made, I make it twice, because when I make a dollar being helpful, the person I've helped is like 'Wow, I love that guy! I can't wait to work with him again.' So, I can't give any better advice than 'be helpful."
Chris and I talked about much more, from bullies to "Bronies," so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
This episode brought to you by the MarketingProfs Professional Development Program.
Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
Chris Brogan, publisher and CEO of Owner Magazine and best-selling author of six books, including The Impact Equation written with Julien Smith, and The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth.