Evan: And we’re live! Welcome everybody to another YouTube hangout. Super excited to be here with good friend and one of my favorite CEOs of all time, Mr. Steven Kelly. How are you doing?
Stephen: I’m fantastic, Evan. I’m so excited to be in your home city. This is Toronto and this place rocks.
Evan: We’re back together again live. It’s always great to be able to do it face-to-face and not just over the internet.
Stephen: Yeah, this is the second visit, no, third one we’ve done live, I think, when we’ve done Sage Summits.
Evan: We did, CN Tower was the first one.
Stephen: Yes, CN Tower, wow.
Evan: New Orleans, I don’t think we did one.
Stephen: No, we did Chicago.
Evan: We did Chicago and then this is Toronto, third one. So there we go. Sage Summit’s happening here in Toronto today. I was a mentor, speaker, tons of fun. But we’re spending an hour with you guys today to talk about how to turn your business ideas into reality. And we have to start it off with Steven Kelly quotes because that’s what you guys look forward to.
Stephen: So I’ve got three quotes to kick it off with and good ones, actually. And I think also we might have a few quotes from some of the speakers who we’ve had at Sage Summit during the current broadcast. So, first quote is every morning you have two choices. You continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them and make them happen.
Stephen: Then the second one, a great author called Victor Hugo, there is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world and that’s an idea who has come to time. The idea that time has come. And the final one really, actually we had him as a speaker, I think it was in Chicago, Colin Powell.
Evan: Yeah, last year.
Stephen: He said, and he’s so right, a dream doesn’t turn into reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination, and hard work. So you’ve got to make it happen. And that’s so important for entrepreneurs. God, we all know, I think, Evan and I would say there’s probably even periods in our life where we just thought about stuff too much rather than have that buzz for action and just get on and do it sometimes. We know it’s right, especially if you trust your instincts is a good rule of life. So, three great quotes to kick off with. And, Evan, we’re in your hometown so let’s get the show going.
Evan: I like it. And Steven’s rocking some Canadian pride. We’ve got the Canada pin happening. Oh, there’s Sage at the top, too, I didn’t see that! Little Sage logo at the top. The cuff links, you can’t see his shoes. He’s got the shoes, he’s got the tattoo happening on the arm.
Stephen: We keep going, okay, here we are, upside down, sorry guys.
Evan: There it is, look at that. There it is, Canada flag.
Stephen: There it is, can you see it? Canada flag. I can’t get my arm around. Here we go there. Pretty crazy.
Evan: I love it, I love it. Well, guys, I see already questions pouring in so come in, say hi. I’m looking off to the side to get your questions. But before kind of diving in on that, oh, update. You know, since our last hangout, the channel, my channel just crossed 100 million views.
Evan: Across the channel, so, you’ve contributed a good chunk of those.
Stephen: I love it. On behalf of everybody out there and there’s some kind of regular sort of viewers to the channel and some new folks to it, but I just want to thank this guy, Evan, for giving a lot of people belief and conviction and confidence to do what they know is right and pursue their dreams and just make their dreams come true. And this guy’s been a great role model, I know, from just listening to a lot of what you say about Evan. And he’s kind of changed lives and given you the confidence and the belief to actually just start your business, grow your business, and be successful. So, credit to you. So, and I know, actually I know Evan as a good friend and it’s not about building his brand or there’s no ego about this, he’s just so committed to your success and just seeing you be the entrepreneur that you can be.
Evan: Thanks, man. I got to bring this guy with me everywhere. That’s a good intro. I love it, I appreciate that. Yeah, it’s been fun. I didn’t, I wasn’t even tracking the number and then someone on my team said, hey, we just crossed 100 million views.
Evan: Like, wow, that’s great. But, we’re here to add value to you guys, talk about how to turn your business ideas into reality. Before diving in on the questions, which we’re going to get to, quick thoughts, what’s your overall bit of advice on how to turn ideas into reality for entrepreneurs?
Stephen: Yeah, I think actually an amazing, not related to this, but an amazing guy, Martin Luther King said, to climb that giant staircase, you got to just take the first step. And I think the golden rule is if you have conviction, you have belief, you have an idea, then it’s all about down to you to make it happen. And it is so easy to just worry about stuff or think about the reasons why you can’t do it. And I think for entrepreneurs, that’s leap, you know, we all periods of self-doubt, let’s be honest. But you’ve to have, you got to clear those cobwebs away and say, alright, I’m going to do it and I’m going to absolutely do it. And within Sage, I say to all my colleagues, I say, guys let’s just do it. If it’s right for the customer, walk in the shoes of the customer. I keep an empty chair in every meeting for the customer. If it’s the right thing to do, then just go for it. I’ll give you 100% air cover. And I far prefer you fail fast, fail quick, and then find the idea that really meets the customer needs. Then just think about it in that kind of old analysis paralysis, which kills companies, kills entrepreneurs.
Evan: I love it. So guys, leave your questions in the Comments. Let’s get to a few. They’re already pouring in. J-Ryze first question, J-Ryze is a long-time viewer. Is there a set process that reliably, consistently works for everyone on turning a business idea into reality?
Stephen: Yeah, I think there’s some golden rules. I wouldn’t say there’s a cookie cutter process but there’s some golden rules. Kind of rule number one is always live in the shoes of your customer whether it’s a product or service. And that rule never goes away as you grow and scale your business, actually. You live in the shoes of your customer, you know, really be where your audience is and that’s the start of everything. Now, I, we’ve talked about, and I love this, if you’ve got something you really get frustrated by with a service that you’re receiving or a company you deal with, think about how do you disintermediate that or do that a lot better than they can do and then make that happen. And a lot of businesses have been created just through the genius of people who have become very frustrated. So, I think the key thing is golden rule number one is just be where your customers are and then have that sort of biased reaction to think of your idea and then test drive it with, hopefully, early adopter customers to make sure it’s real. If it’s real, let’s get it up.
Evan: Yeah, I would add, I think you’ve got to make sure you take an action. I think a lot of entrepreneurs have ideas but we’re talking in this episode how to turn it into reality. It’s taking consistent action, it’s waking up everyday and doing something to move your business forward even if you feel like it’s too big an idea or it’s too scary. I think a lot of times people are so worried about taking the perfect first step that they don’t do anything, where there is no perfect first step, it’s just go out and do. And like Steven started a vlog on our last episode, right?
Stephen: Yeah, yeah.
Evan: Like 20 days ago he started a vlog and you’ve done a second episode.
Evan: And you’re doing a third one here?
Evan: And, it’s just, we’re going to get started and we’re going to learn each time. And you’re like, hey, give us feedback and then we’re going to do it again and do it again and do it again and every time you do it, it gets better. You know, there’s no perfect way to start a vlog, you just get a camera out and you start vlogging and you make improvements every time. And so I think a lot of times entrepreneurs are in their own way, in their own head too much worrying about how do I get started, what first step do I take? Just do something and then tomorrow do it again, and do it again, and every time you get a little bit better. That consistency is going to be really important.
Stephen: Yeah, and I think, I know a lot of entrepreneurs and I’ll say, and sometimes I’d say this about me, one of the things I’ll be critical of myself, is sometimes, you know, I do seek perfection. Reality is, you know, we’ll probably never find perfection on this planet. And if you’re looking to have the perfect product or the perfect sort of market research or trialing or whatever, you’re just never going to do that and you’re going to spin yourself in circles. You’re much better off doing exactly what Evan said, is just that action, that action orientation to start. And, you know, on that video, vlog, that we’re doing, honestly, I didn’t know if it met the need but I thought, kind of a good idea so why don’t we just try it. If it didn’t work, we didn’t get the reaction, we didn’t the audience who really said that we’re meeting the need that they have, then we would have stopped it. And I think the other thing, actually, it’s hockey, we’re in, this is a hockey city, right, so Maple Leafs over at the center, yeah? And also, big plug for his team, Blue Jays, another great sport. So, Toronto, great city, great culture, great symphony orchestras, great theater, but great sport too. And Wayne Gretzky, arguably one of the greatest hockey players ever, amazing player. You kind of watch some of his dribbles on YouTube, just out of this world. What he said is he never, never, kind of, he never runs to where the puck is, he always runs to where it’s going to be. And I think we get inspired by entrepreneurs who have ideas about inventing the future, inventing, taking customers on a journey where the customer might not even know they have a need, a latent need, and just trying, and things like smartphones have done this. Clearly, 15 years ago, we would have said it’s probably crazy to have a phone and integrated computer device with a calendar, and apps and stuff. We probably wouldn’t have saw the logic of that because we all kind of walked around at that time, either we’re Blackberries, another great, actually, Canadian company, that got disintermediated. A great kind of lesson in terms of missing a big shift in that movement where they didn’t realize where the puck was going to be. They were putting the puck on the ice and just keep on going back to that puck and you can’t do that. So, I think that bias for action is so important and, Evan, you’re absolutely spot on with that advice.
Evan: Cool, alright. Well, let’s get some more questions. I see them flowing in so I’m going to scroll down and see what we’ve got. It’s nice to have anything at the Golden Forest. Fifteen year old entrepreneur who works remotely. Sorry, I just got sent an invitation from a good friend. He’s a 15 year old entrepreneur who works remotely on a daily basis. Here to learn, do you have advice. Do we have advice for a 15 year old entrepreneur who wants to work remotely in their business? What advice would you give?
Stephen: Yeah, I think if you want to work remotely then, I guess, first of all you want to ask yourself what are you passionate about? You know, I know this guy on my left is passionate about helping entrepreneurs. So, you know, the channel was just a vehicle where he can serve you, be your mentor, give you great advice, support your greater business. So, the first thing is, you know, as a 15 year old there’s got to be something you love. You know, is it sport, is it salsa dancing, what is it you love that really you get excited about? Because if you get excited about it you can inspire, you know, a movement, a movement of customers. Then, the second thing, I think, if you want to work remotely, you got to think about how are you going to deliver that service or product to customers. And again, I think the world of social media really does amplify that. The Internet’s changed everything. And it’s fantastic, it gives people huge flexibility in terms of where they work. And as a matter, you know, we’re doing this broadcast from Toronto, no fancy studios, just a laptop. Pretty low cost, probably the tech here costs less than $1,000. So the world has changed. This would have been unimaginable 10 years ago. So, I’d say, yeah, absolutely be passionate about something you really love because that will give you your idea for the business. And then think about where the customer is and how you get there. And I’d commend you if you want to work remotely to really look at social media and the channels, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, or whatever channel, where your audience is.
Evan: Yeah, I would say also continue to learn and reach out and model success. I wish that this existed when I was 15. I wish I could have asked Steven Kelly a question as a 15 year old entrepreneur and so I think continue to surround yourself with resources, with people, you know, watch YouTube videos, read books, go to Sage Summit if it’s in your city, continue to try to invest and learn and model success because surrounding yourself with people who’ve done great things, even if it’s not, maybe there’s nobody in your family who’s done great things but by reading books you get a window into somebody else’s mind or watching the videos that we make, you get a window into somebody’s mind and by constantly exposing yourself to those things, your perspective will shift, your opportunities will open up and you’ll see new ways to navigate to help you build that business. And so, Steven’s very, like, tactical, great strategies and I would just add just continue to educate, continue to learn, continue to reach out. Come back, ask more questions, right? It’s an amazing world we live in right now with the opportunity to reach so many people. And I think people are also willing to help and help out young entrepreneurs. I just like, I love, when I see someone say they’re 15 years old, it’s like, I love it. We’ve had 13 year olds on, it’s great. Like, I think a lot of people want to give back and help the next generation as well. So, use that, it’s an advantage right now, and then go take action on it.
Stephen: Yeah, I think, don’t underestimate how much people like me, you know, Evan’s obviously loads, way younger than I am, but he’s been down on the mentoring floor and I remember last year I was on the mentoring floor and I had a 13 year old come along to talk to me about a brilliant app idea that, in this case, he’d had and he started off and if it was going to be successful, he was even kind of thinking about reducing his education and college and that she’s starting a business in parallel with that. So, I just can’t believe how much people like Evan, me, would love to help younger generation entrepreneurs. The other thing, when I kind of grew up, I used to kind of think, wow, I’ll go to a conference and I’ll see someone I really respect and admire. I sort of try and hang around by the stage door to just, you know, doorstep them and say, I just, I’ve got this idea what do you think of it? And again, in your head, you will think, oh, they won’t see me, they won’t have time for me, they’ll have bodyguards, they’ll have security, you know, and now with social media loads of people DM me. I’m sure it’s exactly the same for Evan, loads of people contact him through social media. And, you know, now Evan’s got to a business where it’s hugely successful, he has sort of people helping him kind of categorize that but he still answers a lot of that himself. And just don’t underestimate that people are here to help you. So if there’s voices telling you in your head that I can’t access that guy or that lady, so again, back to what is your idea, what are you passionate about? Then think of the top three people who are the experts, the sort of, you know, the rock stars, the gurus, and try to reach them through social media. And say, look, I’m trying to think about this. I guarantee, if you’re 15 years old, they’ll give you the time, they’ll give you the benefit of their advice. And from that conversation, that idea, and it might refine your idea, you could have a nugget that you can actually start a business.
Evan: Yeah. Just to add on to that, I would say if they are doing an event, just speaking at a conference like Sage Summit, or they’re doing a hangout like this, be first. A lot of times you’re afraid to go up and be first and you want to wait for the crowd but then it just gets too crazy. You know, I’ve done three different chunks of mentoring time here at Sage. My first one was right after the keynote and it was empty because everybody was going to the bathroom and, you know, chatting and getting used to the surroundings. And then the other two were like insane where I’m being triple-booked and quadra-booked and booking on my break and talking as I’m walking into other meetings. And that happens, you know. If you try to get to a speaker after they’ve done their speech, they’re going to be swamped. Get to them first. You want to get your question answered on a hangout like this, like, get in there first. Get in there sooner so it’s noticed. So if you’re trying to get on somebody’s radar at that kind of event or a live event, just get in there. You have your question, this is what you came here for, you want to be around them, you want to get an answer to that question. Don’t hesitate to just jump right in and get it answered.
Stephen: So true. It’s great advice, really great advice. And I think conferences are brilliant, brilliant. And if you think about it, when Evan’s done a big conference speech or keynoted somewhere, typically, typically, that individual is not rushing away immediately to go and do another keynote. Normally they kind of spend, you know, we had Michael Hyatt, keynote here yesterday. Amazing entrepreneur. Actually, we had Rick, amazing comedian, a Canadian, Rick Mercer. And I was blown away. He came down here and spent an hour on the show floor and doing selfies and pictures. So, again, people are really generous, people are generous with their time. So be first and grab them and doorstep them and make sure, you know, you get your idea across because you’ll probably find, especially if you’re 15 years old, they’ll be so proud of you going up to them and having the confidence to do that. And they’ll spend time with you.
Evan: Nice, cool. Alright, let’s keep going. Ask your question, guys, in the Comments. Paula, you are together now. Quadra! Cool. Hi from Tokyo. Alright. Hi from near London. People are checking in from around the world. Oh, I just skipped, we’re skipping to the bottom. So who are our are top faves? Who are your top favorite entrepreneurs? I kind of ask you this question on our, on our Facebook hangout. But who’s your favorite entrepreneur? Who do you look up to?
Stephen: There’s so many, you know.
Evan: This is from Marnie, by the way, Marnie.
Stephen: Hey, Marnie. So, there are so many. What I would say in the spirit of there’s no one who’s the perfect entrepreneur. There’s lots of people. I love entrepreneurs who are very humble, who have that sense of humility to talk about their mistakes, I think that’s self-deprivation, it’s very powerful. And therefore, folks, you know, actually, take people like Evan, unbelievable, just very honest, very, very humble guy. But then the famous ones include people like, you know, Richard Branson from the sort of multi-, sort of consumer brand experience from airlines to music. The guys, and we had actually Richard on the stage last year at Sage Summit, and again, what a humble guy. Unbelievable, actually, awe-inspiring. And he’s, you know, multi-millionaire but you’d sit across and have a cup of coffee with him and he’s just a regular guy. And then people like, in our industry, technology, people like Steve Jobs. You could argue, probably, Steve Jobs wasn’t the nicest guy in the world but wow, what a genius, technology genius. And he definitely saw where the puck was going to go and he invented whole different user experience for consumers and he had dreams about integration and convergence of different technologies to give consumers something that he thought would be very practical. And I just, yeah, I’m sure you’ve seen the movie, or read the books. And when you look at him going into that board meeting trying to persuade people about the iPhone and half the board kind of weren’t there or maybe even thought he was crazy. But he had conviction, belief, and you know, because of that moment, it sort of changed the world and great companies were mentioned like Blackberry. They’re really kind of not the powerhouse that they were anymore. And what is it, I think in three years time, it seems like the data says they’ll be six billion smartphones on the planet. And that is 15 years ago technology that wasn’t even invented. So it’s those guys, Jobs, a great inspiration. But I think there’s a lot of entrepreneurs. You can get little nuggets from many different entrepreneurs. Who are your favorites?
Evan: I agree, so I agree 100%. My goal is never to be the next Steve Jobs or the next anybody and it’s not the advice. It’s you want to be the best version of yourself. And you can pull from lots of different people. You like this thing about Steve Jobs and hate all these other things, great, like, forget those and just take that one thing. And so it’s what I try to do on this channel is pull all of these different famous entrepreneurs and successful people. And if you learn one thing from them and that makes you a better you, that’s the whole point. If I had to pick, though, my favorite famous entrepreneur I default to AP Giannini, who started Bank of America, and he was the guy who bet on the little guy. He was the one who insisted on giving loans to immigrant workers when nobody wanted to give loans to immigrants, blue-collar workers. He would lend money to people based off a handshake and a look in their eye, if you can believe that from a banker. He gave money to Walt Disney when everybody thought he was crazy for wanting to make a full-length cartoon movie. So, not a lot of people know his story, even inside Bank of America, you say AP Giannini, and it’s like, who’s that? He’s your founder, he’s your founder, guys! You got to know this story! So he’s, if I had to pick one guy, it’s him because he’s the believe banker and always cared for the little guy. But I agree, like, you pull from so many different people, different things. I pull from my parents, I pull from successful entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, inventors, CEOs. You can learn something from anybody who’s had more success than you.
Stephen: Yeah. Actually just one other guy that’s blown me away and I think been a massive influence on technology in the last decade and started a company in 2000. It’s a guy called Marc Benioff and definitely worth reading his books as well. Inspirational leader, great technology visionary, but the reason why I’d pick him out is something we’ve been talking about earlier on a broadcast. And we featured it a lot here at Sage Summit is around this whole area of compassionate capitalism. Obviously, you want to build a great company, have awesome customers, awesome technology, all those things but we also want to give back to the communities and play and active role really kind of supporting youth and things we really care about. And Marc Benioff sort of pioneered that, whatever you call it, social philanthropy. I think the culture that he’s built in that company is just like, just to be so admired. So it’s about building a great business but doing it the right way and also giving back to the communities and really being an active participant of the communities. And at the time, what I love about Marc is back in, what almost 20 years ago when he started that company, it would have been very unpopular to do what he had a vision and a set of values around. Because, you know, traditionally you launch a public company and everybody says it’s all about return for shareholders. And he said, actually, I’m going to say yeah, it is about return for shareholders but I’ve also got to support other stakeholders, I’ve got to look after my colleagues, the people who work for Salesforce, I’ve got to look after my customers, I’m fanatical about customers and partners, but also I’ve got to play a really active role in the communities. And if that, in the short-term, means that, you know, we don’t maximize profit from day one, then that’s the right thing to do for the business because we’re about building a sustainable, successful business that has huge longevity and creates a massive legacy. So, that is, I love the concept and the reason why I’m telling you about Marc is it was completely against the, you know, the torrent of, I guess, the water flowing against it and he was very contrary in terms of that was a massive moment. And I think has been influential on the technology industry and other industries where they’ve come up with a big pledge around making sure they set up a foundation or work in the community. And that, you know, gives real context, particularly for Salesforce and companies like us, for attracting millennials. They feel that’s a really critical part of why they want to work and give some loyalty to a company. So, you know, hat tip to Marc. And I think it really is the way all companies should be run.
Evan: I’m just trying to think if we did a video, a top 10 on him, we may have on the channel, maybe. If not, we should.
Stephen: He’s a, he’s a such a dude. You know, again, if he was here, you know, he’d just sit across and have a cup of tea or a beer or whatever and he’s just the most regular guy, fantastic guy. Obviously, a multi-billionaire, but such an amazing, inspirational leader and shows a great sense of humility.
Evan: I think Darrel’s about to take off. Darrell! Get in here!
Stephen: Hey, get in, hey, yeah.
Evan: Darrel, Darrel.
Stephen: I like this, I like this. Darrel, yeah.
Evan: So, Darrel, Darrel works on team Sage. He is the guy that does all the behind the scenes stuff. The computer we’re using, background you see, the chairs and table, internet connection. The reason why it does so smoothly is this guy. Here he comes.
Stephen: What Darrel does for me, I’m a pretty average guy, and Darrel, through social media, makes me look okay. So . . .
Darrel: No, it’s a lie, it’s a lie. It’s all you, it’s all Steven.
Stephen: No, it’s all Darrel. You know, he just puts me forward but he’s the guy that makes it all happen. The wind beneath our wings.
Darrel: Wind beneath your wings.
Stephen: I love it.
Evan: Darrel’s got to catch his flight back to London so we won’t keep him but thank you, man.
Stephen: Any message, any message to our viewers? Come on, Darrel, you got to do a little nugget. Darrel makes this happen and supports us.
Evan: Word of advice. Here it is. Put on the spot.
Stephen: Sage words.
Darrel: Sage word is use channel you can to get yourself out there to the most relevant audience to you. So, if that’s Instagram, that’s great. If it’s Twitter, that’s great. Work out what’s the right channel for you and just use it to the best you can with good quality content like this.
Evan: I love it, man.
Stephen: Love it.
Evan: Have a good flight.
Stephen: Safe, safe flight, buddy.
Evan: Alright, cool. We got a little spontaneity happening there.
Stephen: I love it, good job.
Evan: Okay, guys, there were so many questions that came in that YouTube reset the thing. It went all the way to the bottom so you had a question we didn’t get to, ask it again because too much is happening. It’s a good problem to have. Roy. Can you touch on whether the process is different if my focus is a cause rather than entrepreneurship like targeting special needs parents? So, we’re talking about taking an idea into reality. If it’s for a cause instead of for a business, is the process any different?
Stephen: I think the process is the same and I think, wow, you know, I think both Evan and I would applaud your cause around special needs. And again, I think it’s, what is, identifying the gap that’s there now and identifying how through your idea you can actually improve the wellbeing of parents of special needs kids, in this case. And, you know, I think there’s many gaps I think whether you’re in the US or Canada or any developed economy. There’s a lot of gaps opening up because, you know, the traditional sort of welfare system is struggling to keep up with both the demographic shift in terms of things, and also other stuff like mental health, all these things that we’re really able to talk about it now. Whereas probably a decade ago people just kind of hid this stuff in the cupboards. So there’s a lot of stuff and a lot of people who are in need in a lot of support, so if you’ve got an idea around that, again, it’s making that idea come to reality. And I think around that one, it sounds like, without knowing the details, but it sounds like you can have an idea where at very low cost, you could actually create something that you could test drive with a selection of parents, just to validate your idea. And then again, scale it up, and I think that would be a fantastic course.
Evan: I was trying to scroll back to the question but there’s so many that came in that I lost it so. Roy, it’s a good problem. Same advice that I started off with, I think, like consistent action. Like, whatever that idea you have is to reach special needs parents, whatever thing you want to create, if it’s not a company, if it’s just an initiative or project, partnerships, whatever it is, that you do something everyday, you don’t let your head talk you out of doing the big thing that you have in mind, and that you create an environment that allows you to wake up everyday, whether it’s going for a 6:00 AM run like Steven does everyday, or watching a video, or reading a book, or reminding yourself of the vision. Like, whatever it is that gets you into the mode that everyday you’re going to go off and take action on achieving your vision, because otherwise it just stays here and never comes out. So whether you’re building a business or just moving a cause forward, I believe it’s the same thing.
Stephen: Yeah, I think so. And I think in that case you’re probably, you want to prototype something, test drive it. Then also, I think as an entrepreneur, what you’ve got to think about is how do you scale that? Actually, I think Darrel’s comment is, again, through social media, through content, that’s a great way to scale a business. So, but it’s always fantastic to validate it first and go and test drive it, road test it with, in this case, parents with special needs kids.
Evan: Roy’s writing back, thank you in caps, so much gentlemen. Three exclamation points.
Stephen: Oh, thanks, Roy. Feeling the love there.
Evan: Okay, let’s go to this one here. Grandpa’s farm goes sailing. That’s a creative name. How critical is a multi-platform marketing plane as opposed to just concentrating on YouTube?
Stephen: Oh, thanks.
Evan: We got to get Darrel back in here.
Stephen: Darrel’s the man on this. I think, yeah, what do you call it, multi-platform, multi-channel, I think the key thing is where is your audience? And if you’re audi-, you know, I was down in Madrid last week talking about Iberia, which is Spain and Portugal. No one uses Twitter down in Portugal so they use a totally different, obviously, and Chinese, totally different stuff. So every audience, every country has unique elements around what the social channel is. So, I personally think YouTube’s amazing. Again, we had Chad Hurley, who’s the founder of YouTube, up on the stage.
Evan: Last year.
Stephen: Wow, last year, and what an inspiration. But what he said was, I think at the time, he was hoping that would have maybe 10,000 videos kind of loaded in something like a month or something crazy. And now I think it’s like there’s is it 400 hours of content loaded every minute?
Evan: Oh, it’s, I don’t even know, it’s crazy.
Stephen: And what, there’s two billion users or something crazy like that. So, he could never have estimated just how YouTube’s become all pervasive. And again, what an amazing kind of channel, I think it’s incredible for content. Video, video content is really rich and normally it’s fantastic. Now, you might go to some parts of the world, if you’re not living in the US or Canada, and you might have really kind of slow bandwidth. So that’s got an impact on video and all these sort of things. So, just again, think about what Darrel said, what’s the channel that really your audiences are tuned to and then put a lot of the wood behind that arrow.
Evan: That’s good, I like that from last time.
Stephen: The wood behind the arrow, yeah, yeah.
Evan: It’s exactly right, you know. It’s marketing 101. You want to be where your customers are, you know. If you’re selling to red-headed women and this is conference of red-headed women, like, you want to be there. You know, wherever your audience is, you need to be there. The only thing I would add is combine it with what you’re good at. You know, if you suck at doing videos and the idea of doing videos just terrifies you, and you’re a great writer, you don’t have to be on YouTube, right, you can go to Medium, you can go to LinkedIn, you can go to Facebook, you can start a blog, right? You can go to Twitter, there’s a lot of other options. You’re customers are in a lot of different places so you don’t have to do all of those things, just figure out where your audience is, combine it with what you’re good at. You know, Steven started his new vlog series, it can do well. Most CEOs, I’ve met a lot of them, are super boring and would not have a great personal vlog. And so maybe that’s not the best path for them, right? Even though the audience is on YouTube, so you’ve got to combine those two things together. I think entrepreneurs try to do everything and then you do nothing well. You try to do YouTube and Twitter and LinkedIn and Medium and Facebook and Instagram and everything and then everything sucks. So, pick the platform that has your audience and combines your natural talent and then make that awesome! So that if I watch your YouTube video or I see your Tweet, I’m going to want to consume it again and share it with my friends. Making content that you’re proud of it way more important than making decent content across everything.
Stephen: Yeah, actually, that’s such an important, Evan, and any advice you’d give in terms of the different choices between the social channels? You know, because there’s a lot of factors in terms of whether it’s content, whether it’s a really high quality photograph pic, you know, there’s a lot of different things. Any advice you’d give?
Evan: Well, if you look at like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, they have all audiences. They’re so big that they cover everything. Instagram, too. You can go niche. Like, LinkedIn is going to be more for the business crowd and, you know, Pinterest hits a certain crowd, and SnapChat skews younger but it’s coming up older. So, you can be a little strategic about that. But, yeah, leverage your strengths. If you’re a great photographer, you know, you take beautiful pictures, you can turn that into a YouTube video. But it’s still pictures, it’s not as great as if you turn it into Instagram photos or Facebook photos. Or partner up with a motivational speaker and use their quotes to be on top of your pictures, right? So, leverage the thing that you’re really good at with where you’re audience is and just start with one.
Evan: I would get all the domains of all of them. Like, get the handles. So, if a new thing opened up, I would get the Evan Carmichael love, you know, SuTube, just to have it and then I’d figure out later if I’m actually going to use it or not so nobody takes your name.
Stephen: Yeah, actually, in some respects, what Evan said has huge impact on me, said start with one. I’d also, I’d encourage you to start with one idea. Don’t try and do too many things because you kind of become all things to all people and you’re good at nothing. So it’s the same with social media. Pick one channel. Same with kind of product or service, just pick one to start with. And then, you know, we call it a sort of beachhead strategy. You own one beachhead, you do really well there, then you think about the next one that’s related and then you do the next one and multi next one. And that’s how you kind of ultimately scale a great business.
Evan: I love it. He’s writing back to say once again thanks for the awesome content and motivation. So that’s great. Glad we can help. Next, Zack. Does a positive outlook play a part in quelling some young aspiring entrepreneur’s anxiety. So role of positive outlook on quelling anxiety for entrepreneurs.
Stephen: Yeah, I think that’s so good. We better start with the man who invented #belief. This is him on my left. It’s Evan. So important.
Evan: Yeah, I mean, just like I started off the talk saying I think the mindset is super important, I think, you know, 10% of your life is what happens to you and 90% is how you react to it and how you choose to look at it. You know, is this, it’s the difference between is this, am I having a bad day or am I having a growth day? Right? This is a me growing day. There’s a concept of would you know the difference between being buried and being planted? Because when you’re underground all you see is darkness around you and maybe you’re just being planted to grow stronger to come up and create this amazing thing versus I’m buried, I’m suffocated, I can’t do anything. If you look at all the people who’ve had massive success, it’s not inherited wealth, but genuine massive success that they created on their own, it doesn’t come from people who had super wealthy parents, right? People who grew up with massive safety nets and trust funds. It’s the people who had nothing growing up and they turned it into something amazing. And I think a big challenge is if you don’t have anything right now, the people around you can be telling you that you don’t have anything, that you won’t amount to anything, that you don’t have the education or background or money or anything and so changing your environment, whether it’s watching videos like this or reading books, all the stuff I talked about, whatever it is that gets you excited, because we’ve all had these moments of boldness and excitement and velocity, one of Steven’s favorite words, we’ve all had these moments where we want to just go out and charge and do these amazing things. Like, what led to that? And then how do you make that part of your daily routine instead of happening to come across it at five o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon, so that you’re applying it on a regular basis. I think the mindset, the environment is super, super important, much more than whatever resources you have.
Stephen: Yeah, I think it’s probably one of the most important aspects of a successful entrepreneur. And the thing we celebrate is we’ve all got different personalities. You know, we’re probably, ironically, introverts. And yet, you know, sometimes that has sort of naturally made us quite anxious about stuff. But, what I would say is there’s just such strong evidence that positivity and optimism is actually not only inspiring but it’s also quite contagious, it’s infectious. So, and you’re customers will detect this. And it’s tough to fake. So authenticity, we’ve talked so much about authenticity, it’s such a powerful, compelling quality. But if you’re going to hire like someone to come and work with you, you’ve got to be positive about your dream and your vision, your idea. So, and there’s just starting to be a load of like sort of behavioral psychology written around this and sort of nudging behaviors. But I think you waking up everyday and having conviction, having belief, and expressing that in optimism and positivity about how your product’s going to change the world in its own little way, is very compelling. And I think the other thing, just practically, because you can’t be always sort of on and always positive, so sometimes we all kind of have a bad day, whenever that is. And if that’s the case, maybe, I don’t know, you don’t want to do sort of front line work, you want to do stuff about thinking. So, if you’re not having a great day, do some thoughtful work, do some stuff about, I don’t know, product development, whatever. But if you’re having, you’re in the zone, you’re having a good day, you’re positive, get out there, talk to customers, talk to media, post stuff on social media. So play to your strengths in terms of how you are because none of us have like a consistent sort of mood that just always operates at the same level. But I would, I would absolutely always be encouraged by all the entrepreneurs I’ve met with. When they’re in the zone, they’re unbelievably positive. Because what they’re doing is really persuading us all there’s a better way, there’s a better world, there’s a better product, there’s a different way to do stuff, there’s a different way to crack the code. And all of us get compelled to follow in that vision then it creates a movement. And that’s how you scale great companies.
Evan: I like it. Vali’s asking how do you transform a bad day into a bad minute or hour?
Stephen: Actually, a great way, so if you are, you’re not in the zone, whatever. You could be depressed, you could just, just had it, something happens which kind knocks you off track. What you want to do is choo, actually sort of cauterize that and just move on. It could be loads of different things, you could, and it depends on what works for you. You could go for a walk, go for a run. I tend to, you know, if I’m, I’m certainly, the way that I beat jet lag and stuff like that is just go running, gets me feeling good, gets the old endorphins going, all that sort of stuff. Or you could just go and go to a mentor, you could go and have a coffee with someone, you could do breathing exercises, you could do mindfulness, you could do whatever works for you, really. I think it’s really important that you are always your unique personality and you find just what works for you and allows you to kind of recalibrate your optimism and positivity and come back. And if you can’t, you know, its great, instead of having a bad day, just have a bad minute. Wow, that’s powerful, really is powerful. And then bounce back.
Evan: A couple of things that help me. One, try to solve the problem. Like, if it’s a problem that’s happening, there’s this crisis in my business, or there’s something I need to solve, okay, go out and solve the problem. Like, do it even if it’s scary because the more you just let it sit, the problem’s not just going to go away on its own. So go out and solve it. If it’s the kind of thing that I can’t solve or I’m frustrated for a different reason, I like the line of turning your expectations into appreciation. So, I’m sitting in traffic, you know, or I’m waiting for the elevator and it’s not working or something happens that’s just beyond my control, just turning your expectations into appreciation, gratitude, like, I’m in a car, like, this is great. I can drive and like imagine if it was 100 years ago, I’d be on a horse, you know. And I get to talk to people like you guys over the internet everyday and it wouldn’t have been able to happen 100 years ago, right? Just that kind of stuff just resets and makes me realize that most of these things that I’m upset about don’t actually really matter and to get back on the horse and go do the thing that I care about. So solve the problem if there is a problem you can solve immediately, don’t delay. And two, trade your expectations for appreciation.
Stephen: Yeah, actually, the other thing, just looking back on my career, you know, you do worry about stuff at times. But when I look back on it with the benefit of hindsight, there’s never been anything that we didn’t overcome. And I think there’s a great quality around perseverance. And you just got to give yourself context. You’ve got to step back from the moment, sort of be your own shadow, and then watch yourself in the moment. And sometimes when you do that you think, wow, I’m being pretty ridiculous, I’m getting worried about stuff I don’t need to worry about. And there’s kind of a few rules for entrepreneurs, rules of life, really. You should only worry about what you can change. No point worrying about stuff you can’t, you know, if you’re worried about, I don’t know, the US president, you’re worried about stuff, what can you do? Honestly, what can you do about it? Let’s worry about stuff we can change, your customers, the product, the service, the channels, you know, those things you can really spend time on. And just become very pragmatic. But what I would say as well, you know, starting a business takes the guts, the perseverance, just to go cross the line and take the first step. But then a lot of it really is about continued perseverance, tenacity, grit, and all those sort of qualities come out to the fore in terms of just the consistency of execution over the longterm to be proud of what you created. So, I think a lot of it is definitely, you know, in your hands and we would definitely encourage you in that vein to be really positive, really optimistic. And when you are having a bad day just allow yourself to step back, just be objective, and say, you know, back to Evan’s point, what is the problem we’re trying to solve here and how do we fix it? And then you’re creative, you’re smart guys, you’ll find a way.
Evan: I like it. Daniel’s writing in. How do you balance real life, kids, bill paying, with investing in your ideas when you have more month than money? Not sure what that last part is but basically the idea of being able to balance your life, kids, bill paying, with trying to start a business.
Stephen: I think that’s a tough one. And I would say, you know, probably this a where I question some of the sort of media portrayal of entrepreneurs and sometimes entrepreneurs are painted as people who have everything and never have to make compromises. I don’t know those entrepreneurs because I, you know, for Evan, maybe talk, Evan’s got kids, there’s a lot of juggling you have to do. We sort of have a belief, I absolutely love life, I love being an entrepreneur and I say in Sage to my colleagues, you know, think of us as like the most excited start-up in the world. But in a business, I think you do have big dreams. Across your life, the sadness, the only sadness about life is you just get one, one life. And I kind of think for people like Evan, one life is never enough because we’ve just got so much to do with our one life. But what does that mean? What it means to me is that in terms of the context of balancing things, I think, you know, the reality is you’ve got one shot, you’ve got one life, you’ve probably got loads of business ideas and you have to juggle, you have to make compromise if you’re having kids, you have to, what I would advise, honestly, I think it’s tough to have it all. And, you know, have a career and work crazy hours and balance your life and keep all the balls juggling in the air, it’s tough because you have to compromise. But what I would say, and this would be advice that I would give to my younger self, just go into every situation with your eyes wide open. Always have the discussion, whether it’s with kids or partners or whoever it is, to be as honest as you can at that point in time. What you tend to find, again this sort of with the benefit of hindsight, is you can never really predict the future. The downside of me being an optimist, in some ways, as an entrepreneur is sometimes I say, well, we’re going to have to double-down for the next, I don’t know, say 30 days, 90 days. My experience tells me those 30 days always become 90 days or 180 days. It’s always taken me longer than I’ve anticipated. So my sort of, I guess, answer to you question is, I think you do have to compromise, you have to juggle the balls. But I think with that comes a responsibility to be honest to yourself and honest with the people you care about. And try and just be, you know, just have that conversation so you go in with your eyes wide open. But also, just to acknowledge that actually things might change over time. If your business really picks up and it’s going gangbusters it might take more time. And therefore you’re going to have to double down a bit longer so you kind of need a reset and a checkpoint down that journey. And again, worth having the honest conversation and just making sure all the people you care about are on board and all committed and have that kind of shared meaning.
Evan: Yeah, I’m reminded of Steve Wozniak, whose advice for entrepreneurs, he co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs, would say don’t focus on what you don’t have, rather, focus on what can do with what you do have. And I think even just that mindset shift is a huge difference because we tend to focus on all the things we don’t have, the money we don’t have, the time we don’t have, the resources we don’t have, the connections we don’t have, the education we don’t have, and if that’s the world you live in, you’re never going to build anything. You can’t just focus on what you don’t have because you’re operating in a world of scarcity. Where if you focus on, listen, I have half an hour a night, that’s what I have. Great, like, use that half an hour to build your business, every single day. You don’t need to have fancy gear or tools or anything to get started. You just start with what you have, where you are, you start. You want to start a YouTube channel, get out your phone and start making videos. Do you want to make huge productions? Yes, great. That’s your longterm goal. So start working on it because nobody’s going to fund that for you, you have to bet on yourself and start putting in the work to get good at it, using the tools that you have. And so even just thinking about it, like one of the most important skills of an entrepreneur is resourcefulness because you never have enough resources to do what you want to do. So we have to be creative, we have to be resourceful, that’s how new things are invented. You can’t just throw money at a problem, right, you need resourcefulness. And so it’s a great thing for you to learn right now. And it’s a real situation, right? You have bills, you have a family, you’ve got mouths to feed, you don’t have a ton of time. Great. Everybody’s fighting their own battle. There’s a lot of things that I could say about my life or the reasons why I can’t build my business, just like everybody else. But I focus, I make time for it. At the start it was an hour a day, half an hour a day, whatever it was, and you start expanding as you start being able to provide value and earn an income. And so just that mindset shift of I’m not going to focus on what I don’t have, here’s what I do have, here’s what I’m grateful for, here’s how I’m going to maximize what I do have right now. And how can I be more resourceful to figure things out? Just switching that mindset will make a huge, huge, huge difference, much more than any specific tactic that I can give you.
Stephen: Yeah, that’s a great quote. Resourcefulness is always the answer, not resources. And if you thinking of starting your business, actually, it’s a great thing to do to moonlight. So, you know, you time slice to what Evan said so you’re working full-time, you’re funding, you know, the family, the mortgage, the kids, and all that stuff. But maybe, when you put the kids to bed, you actually sit down and think about your business idea and use the evenings to start your business and start your big idea and how you’re going to do that. Maybe carve some time out on the weekends to do that. And then you start your business and when it’s kind of going up and it’s really taking off, then you think about when do you step down from your full-time employment. But I know, again, loads of great entrepreneurs who have, effectively, moonlighted to kind of pump start their business and it’s been very effective. And the amazing thing about entrepreneurs is just the resourcefulness that people come up with in terms of the scarcest resource we all have is time. Making it go as far as it can to be successful.
Evan: One thing I always remind myself of is no matter how bad a situation is, remember somebody has it worse. Somebody’s had it worse than you, had fewer resources than you and went on to do amazing, amazing things. You know, if you think of Oprah growing up, you know, being raped by family members and being so poor that she had to wear potato sacks to school as a dress. And just, it’s story after story after story after story of these ultra-successful people who started with way less than what you already have right now and the difference is they didn’t focus on what they don’t have, right? Focus on what you do have and be resourceful.
Stephen: Yeah, actually, when I was out in the Silicon Valley at the time, sort of late ’90s, loads of companies raising money and VC money. Typically the companies that raised loads of money, not always successful. And also it destroyed their culture because, to what Evan said, and I think this is so fundamental, is that I wouldn’t necessary argue that you want to run a company on fumes, but you want to run it lean and mean. Think that start-up, keep that start-up mentality as you grow and scale. And there’s some great papers around founders’ mentality, which keeps you fresh, keeps you young, keeps you focused on customer obsession. And there’s so many companies I see who grow and grow and then they become wasteful and they kind of lose that kind of wake up call of why they started their adventure in the first place. So, again, you know, as a start-up entrepreneur, I really think it’s pretty important if you really sort of almost run on fumes and you haven’t got loads of money to spend on marketing and stuff like that, you’ll find ways through just creativity and resourcefulness to get the job done, to meet the end results, and to find some really efficient ways to do that.
Evan: I love it. I know we’re starting to run short on time. Steven’s got a crazy schedule here today at Sage Summit. One last question. Let’s get to Cherique who’s saying does setting unrealistic goals work?
Stephen: I’m realistic. I guess, if I reframe that and said, you know, whether you call it big, hairy, audacious, I certainly think, well, there’s a couple of things. Goals are a result of plans, okay? One thing that’s really important and we probably should talk about this sometime, if you do an incremental plan from where you are, you can only see the next step. What you want to do as an entrepreneur is say the end game of, you know, what is it I want to dream? And you almost live in the future and then come back to the present. So, and this is the way most successful companies actually plan. They’ll say, you know, three years, what do we wan to do? You know, we want to, say for Sage, launched a million businesses, new businesses, help them get up and running. So if we did that then in three years, what would we have to do in year and then kind of work it back to month one. And then I think it really does give you an opportunity to have very ambitious plans. I think it’s great to have ambitious plans and share those plans. And the more ambition you have, typically, the more successful you are. The other thing I’d say is just the way the human psyche works. If you say, I’ll have a plan where we’ll have, I don’t know, half a million dollars of revenue in five years, or something like that. If you said, because the way it works is, then you’d be happy if you maybe got $400,000, but if you said actually we want to do a million dollars, it just drives your mentality to be more ambitious and achieve more. So I would set yourself higher goals and higher ambitions because, effectively, you’ll get probably 90% of that. And 90% of a double in ambition level is much better than 100% of a very low ambition.
Evan: Yeah I think it’s super important to have a big goal that you’re shooting towards, to have a reason to get up everyday. You know, I want to help a billion entrepreneurs, that’s inspiring, it leads me to create a YouTube channel and do book deals and speak and do things that has the potential to hit a lot of people At the same time, I think you also need to enjoy the work. I’m not only doing this to hit this goal, whatever your big crazy goal is, but I like grinding every single day. Like, I like do this, I like editing my videos, I like talking to you one-on-one. So, I think too many people just have a goal and it’s like, okay, I’ll do whatever it takes just to hit that goal. I don’t think that’s the right mindset. I think you have to actually enjoy the work that you’re doing every single day as well. You’re enjoying the climb almost more than hitting the top of the mountain, right? Because you hit the top and you’re like, well, now what do I do? You got to climb some more, right? So, goals are great, I love it, it’s part of what inspires me daily. But I think even more important is actually enjoying the day-to-day work that you’re doing.
Stephen: Yeah, I got a metaphor, because we’re in Toronto. So, you’re going to love this, I hope you love this anyway. So, I’d say as an entrepreneur you want to shoot for the stars. But you might find by shooting for the stars, you land on top of the CN Tower. That’s a pretty good place to land.
Evan: I like it, I like it. Cool. Well, thank you guys so much for watching. Steven, I know you’ve got to run to your next thing. How do you want to end this out? Do we have a quote to end it off, a final thought, what do you, how do you want to finish this session?
Stephen: Yeah, just, we had a great speaker down with us on Sage Summit, Michael Hyatt, who’s an amazing tech visionary, Canadian, very inspiring. And the quote that he left me with is I’m a 20-year overnight success. So, you know, you’ve got dreams, you’ve got ambitions, you had great questions here. But, actually, you need perseverance and you need tenacity. And the first think you’ve got to do in the context of today’s kind of broadcast is take that first step. And we compel you to take that first step forward because then you start living your dreams and you get momentum behind you and you get confidence when you start believing in yourself. And the more you belief in yourself, just the more successful you’ll be.
Evan: I love it. Well, thank you guys for watching. We’re going to do it again next month. Let us know in the Comments down below what topics you want us to cover and not in the live chat because YouTube destroys that, in the Comments afterwards, below. Steven, thank you again, man.
Stephen: Great job, awe, great, Evan. Really enjoyed it, great event in your city. Thanks for being an amazing host and go Blue Jays.
Evan: Thanks for the love, guys. Believe. Well see you soon. And let’s end it.
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