Business Gets Personal: A Day with Masters

IMG_7582Seth Godin, Dave Ramsey, and Gary Vaynerchuk co-hosted a one-day event in New York last week, titled Business Gets Personal.  These three thought leaders continuously created remarkable content and build loyal tribes.  The opportunity to hear the trio deliver keynote addresses and interact with one another was a highlight.  Their talks were authentic to the philosophy’s they share through their selected mediums.  A few highlights follow.

IMG_7586 Seth Godin

Seth expanded on his theme that the world has changed from the three television networks and local newspapers.  You now have permission to bring something that matters into the world without waiting for gatekeepers.  His mantra, ‘people like us do things like this.’  We cannot exist just by demonstrating competence and if we get into a race we will find ourselves doing it cheaper and faster and may just win the dubious title of being the cheapest competent.  Seth encourages us to look for people who gravitate towards the edges.  If we are just trying to get the word out then we are simply marketing to the masses.  If failure is not an option then we have also taken the option of success off the table.  The underpinnings of Seth’s recommendation include being generous and being an artist.  Do work that matters so much so that you will be missed if you do not show-up one day.  

Dave Ramsey

This was my first occasion to see and hear Dave in-person.  He centered his time around four elements: 1. People Matter.  Dave remarked that vendors, customer, and competition are not units of revenue, production, or supply.  2. Team and Culutre of Excellence.  He outlined the importance of unity and discussed the biggest threats to unity, including poor communication, gossip, unresolved disagreements, lack of shared purpose, and sanctioned incompetence. 3. Slow and Steady Matters.  Using Aesop’s fable of the Tortist and the Hare to illustrate his belief that slowing down in many aspects of business is vital.  To be hired at his company takes 7-10 interviews as he looks for people’ ‘inner donkey’ to appear so he knows what talent he is really hiring  4. High Calling.  Be generous in everything you do and recognize that there are no shortcuts. 

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary is well known for going off-script and improvising.  He did not disappoint, ditching his keynote for an impromptu question and answer session with the audience.  In classic fashion he entrained and informed.  The most powerful takeaway for me were his remarks on social media.  Gary implored the attendees to act more like a media company and focus less on being a virtual social gathering platform.  The delivery of useful and engaging content supersedes the desire of most groups to manipulate users into taking an action.  Gary considers the ‘Editor-in-Chief’ of any enterprise the most important individual in the company.  When asked to recommend the next social media platform he responded that he only cares about what works today, he can adjust in real time when the next platform gets traction.  The cost of entry into a remarkable social media effort is your organization’s content.  If the content is useful, informs, and engages then people will rely on your cause as an expert.  An actionable step is to visit and enter in search terms that are relevant to your cause.  The results offer costumer insights at a scale none of us could ever afford to produce on our own.

Being of service to others by producing things that matters may be a simplistic summary but equally profound for me.


The final surprise give-away, a poster reproduction of a custom print commissioned by Dave Ramsey for the session.

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