Entrepreneur is a sexy word. It really is. A word that symbolizes risk, creativity, and freedom for the total control over one's life journey.
I'm not an entrepreneur. Yet.
I'm a Naval Officer and a Nuclear Engineering Officer Recruiter for US Navy Aircraft Carriers and US Navy Submarines. I'm employed by the Navy and MUST take care of my current job first before I touch anything LSG. And it's hard sometimes. No, not placing mentally gifted and academically talented collegiates and recent college grads into the Navy. That is the easy part(most times). The hard part is not having enough hours in the day to pursue what I'm not getting paid to do.
Oh, and I coached a High School Varsity lacrosse team, which demanded 25 hours each week from early February to late May. I got paid(barely) for that. So my fellow coaches and incredible student-athletes also came before LSG.
And I'm a husband. That also comes before LSG(even as my wife is now helping me and would still surely say that she has sacrificed A TON of our time together so that I can get started).
In seven months, I have built my own website, built a new professional network, and built the skills needed to record/produce/present an audio broadcast that is intended to provide the best leadership insight ever recorded. I have learned a tremendous amount about life and leadership in the seven months that it took to produce the first 30 episodes.
So on the day I launch, I present to you how I was able generate my first 30 Episodes of Leadership Strike Group and, of course, how it all circles back to leadership.
Self-Doubt, Fear of Failure is Crippling for a Leader
I woke up every single morning for the last 210 days and wondered if I'm doing the right thing. Can I can provide the type of content you deserve? Will anyone say "Yes" to being on the show? Can I build an authentic audience that wants the same thing I do? Self-Doubt sat over my head like a cartoon storm cloud and it never went away. And with that self-doubt came the fear of failure.
The only thing that distracts me from self-doubt are my motivating factors; and they are things in my life that I fear WAY more than failure: dreading my job, working for someone else's dream, 8am to 5pm, not sharing my God-given gifts, not leading my meaning of a fulfilling life, not attaining my personal definition of success.
Bottom line: There HAVE to be things that tug hard on your heart that can overcome your fear of failure. Being a leader and taking full control of your life involves learning to dance in the rain of the self-doubting storm. Because trust me, that storm cloud will bring thunder and lightning every single day of your life. And people want to trust in people that do not fear the risk of getting struck by lightning.
Ideas are cheap, Execution is Priceless
I have 30 AMAZING guests to start my show. And I would bet you haven't heard of many of them. Spolier Alert: Mark Z, Gary V, and Warren B did not grace my airwaves in the first 30.
I did, however, get a litany of people who were Forbes 30Under30, featured in publications like the WSJ, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc., and have made huge waves in the world. A ton of them are start-up CEO's with a significant track record of success. Many of them are leading multi-million dollar businesses with an army of employees. And what do they all have in common? They're all generational leaders and they're all in GenY.
How did I convince them to be on my show? I had a product and I reached out. My conversion ratio for getting 30 featured guests was about 15% percent, maybe a little higher. I reached out to 200 people(give or take a few) whom I personally researched and studied based on their current and former work history and experiences. I reached out on LinkedIn, personal websites, and through already established connections.
To accomplish this, I needed something for these future featured guests to grab onto. I needed validation and verification that I am who I say I am. I needed to build a website. A website that was clean, organized, and showed that I know what the hell I am talking about.
Personal experiences of my years in the navy, my years as a sports coach, and time as a husband to show how I have aggressively observed what works in the world of positive influence towards a shared vision and what does not.
So I took 8 weeks and pumped out content. Good content. Not a series of shallow "top-ten" lists or hollow advice that I wouldn't follow myself. These pieces have taken me many hours, each, and were completed often at 5am or 11pm. They were received well(thankfully!) and they were something that perspective guests could hang on to.
Most of my featured guests did not just blindly accept to be on LSG; in fact, I don't think any of them did. My introductory emails all pointed in some way to my content and how I am here to provide them the platform to talk about THEIR leadership, not to talk about my own. Yes, I am here to supplement and recap their story, but in no way am I equating their experience to mine.
If You Aren't Consistent and Authentic, You're done
Business runs on economics and economics runs on supply and demand. The supply of content these days, just pure good and bad content, is pretty high. Probably way higher than the demand. So what separates businesses, brands, and people? Consistency and Authenticity in everything you do.
I am not the perfect leader. Far from it. But I have come a long way from where I was in my early 20's. I credit it to my time in the military, between the lines of the athletic field, and as a husband.
Early in my career in the navy, I was asked by my Department Head to scribble down actual notes about leadership, good and bad. He said they would help me down the line. Being naturally interested in the concept of influence(probably because I haven't always been the easiest to lead, influence, or coach), I always wanted to find out how I would best lead myself.
So I did -- actual notes in my leadership journal and mental notes about what works and what doesn't was a huge interest of mine. It made me want to become a better leader, a better man. Still far from flawless, I am authentic and consistent in my message: Leadership is the single most important factor for personal and team success and without it failure is imminent.
A lack of leadership destroys the "culture" of a workplace. It disintegrates marraiges. And it can rip apart any team at the seams.
And today, according to Gallup Research, when 50% of all US Workers leave their job "to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career", it's time to recognize that there are no bad teams, only bad leaders.
I'm here to help that.