How Can Mistakes Make You a Better Entrepreneur? – Justin Nassiri

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12/06/2021

Show Notes:

One day you’re on top of the world, the next day you feel lonely and insecure. Sound familiar? You must be an entrepreneur then! Let’s face it, the entrepreneurial journey is full of ups and downs, but if you want to go through those hard moments, you need to always keep going.

Our guest today is Justin Nassiri. He is the Founder and CEO of Captivate.ai, a software that helps brands convert long-form content into snackable content for social media. He’s also a host of the podcast Beyond the Uniform where he talks about his experience of a navy submarine and shares military career transition advice. Prior to Captivate, Justin was the CEO of Storybox, a Silicon Valley marketing technology where he raised $3M in Venture Capital from Google’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt.

Justin is a successful entrepreneur, to say the least, but just like every entrepreneur, he’s had his fair share of mistakes. He says entrepreneurship is like a roller coaster, one day you’re up and the next day you’re down. That’s why it’s important to always keep going.

In this episode of the Think Business With Tyler podcast, we talk about how to overcome the bad days and learn from your mistakes, why consistency makes a huge difference on social media, the importance of empathy in business, and why you should learn to be in tune with your gut instinct.

If you want to become a (better) entrepreneur, start by listening to this episode with Justin and enjoy!

Guest-At-A-Glance

 

💡 Name: Justin Nassiri

💡 What he does: He’s the Founder and CEO of Captivate, a computer software company that helps brands repurpose long-form content into data-driven, snackable content for social media and ads.

💡 Noteworthy: Justin is a navy submarine veteran, a podcast host, and a successful entrepreneur funded by Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt, with 35+ Fortune 500 clients.

💡 Key Quote: “I believe that we as entrepreneurs, we are creative beings, we’re creative organisms and creativity, it gets sapped when I’m sleep-deprived. When I’m going to back-to-back sales meetings for 10 meetings straight I’m not going to be creative.”

💡 Where to find Justin: LinkedIn

 

Key Insights

 

Entrepreneurship is an emotional roller coaster. According to Justin, what makes entrepreneurship so challenging is the psychological component and constant highs and lows. One day you could feel like a winner, but the next day you could start doubting your entire business. If you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone. That’s just a normal part of this incredible, one-of-a-kind journey that we call entrepreneurship. “ I still, a decade into entrepreneurship struggle to manage my emotions and perspective amidst this ocean of waves of ups and downs and uncertainty and certainty and feeling motivated and feeling unmotivated. To me beyond any skill set that is still probably the thing I think is most important to my success, is can I manage that psychology that goes along with this lonely roller coaster that we choose to hop on.”

Consistency can make a difference on social media. Social media is one of the wonders of the digital world. For entrepreneurs, it means more visibility and meritocracy. Justin describes social media as a level playing field. Unlike the major outlets such as TV news and magazines, social media provides more opportunity and visibility. That being said, consistency is key if you want to win the social media game. “When it comes to a time and effort standpoint, it’s achievable for any entrepreneur to raise your thought leadership profile, by speaking about things that you know, and doing it consistently and doing it where your customers are, which for most of us is LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, places like that.”

Empathy gives you a competitive advantage in business. Everybody makes rookie mistakes and so do entrepreneurs. Justin talks about some of the biggest mistakes he’s made in his journey so far. One of them was not having enough empathy and curiosity. If you’re not sure why empathy matters in business, hear what Justin has to say. “Empathy can be a competitive advantage. If I can really be open to someone’s experience and empathetic I might find a better solution to serve them, I might think of a better product feature. And I just know it StoryBox. There were times when I had my fingers in my ear and I wasn’t willing to listen to customer feedback. And as a result, the company suffered maybe I convinced someone and made a sale. But I missed out on this insight of this is a real pain point or this is something that doesn’t actually work in my product that I need to fix.”

Follow your instinct, but listen to the data. Justin says he’s learning to trust in his gut feeling more. According to him, when you’re in tune with your instinct, you learn to observe every situation, draw smart conclusions, and ultimately, do what’s best for you and your business. Data also plays a crucial role because it helps orchestrate your products and services in the right direction. “It may not make sense on a cognitive level, why we’re doing something or why we believe something, but usually it’s based on 1000s of hours of pattern recognition, that register more physically than intellectually. And so specifically, the way that I’m trying to work on that is more space and more silence in my life. […] If I can slow down a little bit and have more silence, it helps me be a little bit more in tune with that gut instinct.”

Top Quotes

 

“The biggest psychological change that it had for me, was external credibility. And I remember the experience for me immediately prior to fundraising telling people, you’re just always telling people what you’re doing and getting blank stares and people just not really knowing how to judge. Is this a real business? Is this just a make-believe? And then the same pitch the next day saying, ‘Oh, Google Schmidt. Google’s Eric Schmidt funded us.’ The reaction is immediately positive and people view me as a success or people view this business as viable and the only difference one day to the next was a very smart person giving me money.”

“We are fortunately living in a better era where there is some meritocracy. So when I invest pretty heavily personally on LinkedIn, for the most part, if I write a well-thought-out post, it will get a lot of visibility. Now there’s the seedy underbelly and there’s things called pods, and there’s lots of ways where you can get visibility because you pay for it. There’s still that, but I feel like compared to a decade ago, where the major outlets were TV news and magazines and newspapers, to me, social media feels like a more level playing field.”

“Numbers matter, but relevance matters more, and I’d rather have 1000 people on LinkedIn who are my ideal audience paying attention when I speak than 10,000 people where they’re not going to be a customer or a colleague or if I’m trying to hire people, if they’re less relevant, it doesn’t matter.”

“The philosophy that I’m trying to follow right now is more of I need to be the architect. And so the way that that works for me right now is that right now, I am a sales representative for Captivate. And as I’m doing sales, I’m building out a process and the moment that process is completed, I’m going to hire an actual sales representative, but they’re going to follow the process that I created. And the moment that I hire them, I get quote-unquote, promoted to sales manager. And I go back to the starting point of writing the process for how am I going to be a sales manager. The moment that that is defined, I’m gonna hire a sales representative so I can get promoted to something else.”

“I noticed that on those rare instances where I depart from a plan, or I depart from the way the structure is, and instead follow that instinct, almost always it leads to a good outcome. So that might be ignoring data, that might be following a little bit more of a hunch.”

“What I dislike in this hustle mindset is the sense that usually when I see the word hustle, it’s associated with working 20 hours a day, or working all weekend long. And there are times where I work long hours or I work over the weekend. But for me, the best ideas that I’ve had with my company didn’t come in the office. They came when I was grabbing coffee with a friend or I was going for a walk or I was going for a run or I was playing with my son. I believe that we as entrepreneurs, we are creative beings, we’re creative organisms and creativity, it gets sapped when I’m sleep-deprived. When I’m going to back-to-back sales meetings for 10 meetings straight I’m not going to be creative.”

Links

Captivate.ai

LinkedIn

Email: justin@captivate.ai

Think Business With Tyler Show Directory

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Justin N  00:00

A lot of entrepreneurs are headstrong, and that’s the opposite. They need to take more feedback. But I made the mistake of hiring salespeople or bringing on investors or overvaluing, an investor’s piece of feedback with the hope that they would figure it out. And I wouldn’t have any oversight, you know, and I feel that on a day to day basis, captivate the sense of, there is so much on my plate, can you just do this for me? The philosophy that I’m trying to follow right now is more of I need to be the architect. And so the way that that works for me right now, is that right now, I am a sales representative for Captivate. And as I’m doing sales, I’m building out a process. And the moment that process is completed, I’m going to hire an actual sales representative. But they’re going to follow the process that I created. And at the moment that I hire them, I get quote, unquote, promoted to sales manager. And I go back to the starting point of writing the process for how am I going to be a sales manager. The moment that that is defined, I’m going to hire a sales representative so I can get promoted to something else.

Announcer  01:12

Welcome to think business with Taylor sharing our methods and strategies for success. Join in on our conversations with business owners. As we highlight their triumphs and detail how they overcame the challenges they faced while continuing to grow and scale their business. It’s time to think life think success, and think business with your host, Tyler Martin.

Tyler Martin  01:33

Hey, everyone. Thanks so much for listening to the think business with Tyler podcast show. I’m so happy to have you. Here again, our guests is Justin Siri. And Justin is the founder of captivate.ai. This is a really cool service that converts long form content in the snackable bytes for social media. He’s also a host of a podcast by the name of the beyond the uniform. He talks about his experiences working as a Navy submarine crew member and shares military career transition advice. Prior to captivate, Justin was the CEO of story box. It’s a Silicon Valley marketing technology firm, where he raised $3 million in venture capital from Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt. Just like every entrepreneur, he’s had his fair share of mistakes. Justin compares entrepreneurship to a roller coaster. One day you’re up the next day you’re down. That’s why it’s important to always keep going. In this episode, we chat about how to ride the entrepreneurial roller coaster and learn from your mistakes, the power of social media, and why the consistency makes a big difference. The importance of empathy and curiosity in your business, and why you should always follow your gut. Justin’s a fun guy to listen to. And he shares several fascinating perspectives. So let’s get the show started. Hey, Justin, thanks so much for being on the think business with Tyler podcast show. I am so excited to be talking with you today.

Justin N  03:00

Me too. Tyler. I really appreciate the opportunity. Yeah,

Tyler Martin  03:02

thanks. So let’s start out with tell us about you. Like what can you share about you what you’re doing now? And what gotcha here.

Justin N  03:09

Yeah, I’m a father to a two and a half year old. I’m also a father to a company called captivate.ai, which has been around for about a year right now. We turn podcasts and webinars into three months of content. I’m a husband, I live in Denver, Colorado. I’m a dog father as well. I have a 11 year old dog named Hemingway. I love running, did my first ultra marathon this year and hope to do more next year. And I started my career as an officer in the Navy onboard nuclear submarines.

Tyler Martin  03:43

Yeah, that’s awesome. So ultramarathon that’s 50 miles or 100 miles.

Justin N  03:48

So the one I did was 31 and a half. Okay, so over over a marathon, technically anything over a marathon count. So if you take a wrong turn on a marathon, and you do you know, 26.4 miles, you’re technically an ultra marathoner, but, yeah, next year, I’m hoping to do a 50 miler and one day One day far away 100 miler, but that’s, that’s still a stretch for me.

Tyler Martin  04:12

Yeah, that’s insane. I mean, anything. I did a half marathon and my body was feeling it and it took me a while to even get to that level. I can’t even imagine when I’m a big fan of David Goggins. Yeah, he does these like 100 mile plus, I think even one might even be 130 miles. It blows my mind. Our body can do that stuff.

Justin N  04:30

Me too. I mean, I when I did my my 31 mile race, it was wild to think that for some of the people on the course that was their halfway point, and I was just like, I can’t imagine going and doing this again right now. It’s It’s intense. Wow, mad respect. Hey,

Tyler Martin  04:47

so I want to get to the fun stuff, a commander of a nuclear submarine. Now, does that ever sound cool? Can you tell me like what is that like? Does that sound as cool as it is? It is cool as it sounds,

Justin N  04:58

you know, it’s probably like any job where there are moments that are unbelievable. So when I first started on submarines, I was probably what 2122 At the time, and I was it was 3am, I was in the control room in control of this $2 billion war ship just looking over my shoulder thinking like, How on earth am I allowed to do this? It was incredible. And you have a crew of 160 people that you’re responsible for. So really grateful for the responsibility, the leadership, the training that that provided. And like any job, you know, there were days that just wore on, you know, you’d spend three months at a time out in the middle, the ocean, no email, no connection with loved ones, and you’re surrounded by co workers. So you can’t really get away if someone’s bugging you. So there was a lot of little paper cuts that made it difficult. But I guess like, even like an ultra marathon, when I look back, I just remember the good things. I just remember the good times and that the people that I met the bonds that I formed.

Tyler Martin  06:03

Yeah, that’s it’s such a cool thing to do. Hey, so let’s go on your entrepreneurial journey. So can you start us off? So I know story box, I believe is you had really good, not good start and good, good way through to a good conclusion. Can you take us through that?

Justin N  06:16

Yeah. So when I got out of the military, I went to business school at Stanford and learned about startups and out of Stanford started my first company, which became story box. And it was, you know, probably the same for anyone’s first venture, exhilarating, but a lot of mistakes. And just you don’t know what you don’t know. So there were a lot of wins, I raised $3 million from Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, you know, we brought on Disney and Levi’s and 35, fortune 500 companies and, you know, had a team of 30 at one point, but there was behind the scenes that that just in credibly painful startup experience of failing so much, you know, of those 30 people, probably five to 10, quit, you know, five to 10, I had to lay off, you know, we raised a lot of money, but then we blew through a lot of money. You know, it’s just kind of my experience is that what makes entrepreneurship so challenging is the psychological component, the component of feeling on top of the world at one moment, and then the next moment questioning, does this product matter? Is this business going to make it and I still, you know, a decade into entrepreneurship struggle to manage my emotions and perspective amidst this ocean of waves of ups and downs, that uncertainty, uncertainty and feeling motivated and feeling unmotivated? To me beyond any skill set, that is still probably the thing I think is most important to my success, is can I manage that psychology that goes along with this lonely roller coaster that we choose to hop on?

Tyler Martin  08:06

Yeah. So when Eric Schmidt or his venture group gives you $3 million? First, what’s the euphoria? Like when you get money from him? And then I guess, does it switch all of a sudden, to this tremendous responsibility of, man, I gotta get a return on this guy’s money or this this group’s money? Because, you know, I know, failure is a natural part of it. But does that also kind of worry you like, man, what if this doesn’t work out? I know, there’s a lot of questions in there. I’d be curious, your emotions?

Justin N  08:34

Yeah, you know, the first thing that comes to mind is it you know, obviously adds pressure, it adds a lot of external accountability. For me and my personality, it was more weighty the I had a couple friends and family who invested. And that still is the deeper cut the thought of, you know, I had someone I went to school with who wrote me a check for 100 grand, which, you know, that’s that’s very weighty to feel like if this doesn’t work, that person is lost that money versus someone like a professional investor, like Eric Schmidt, it’s this part of a fund. And they’re their whole portfolio is based on the thought that they’ll have big wins and big losses, so that that part didn’t matter as much to me, I’ll tell you the biggest psychological change that it had for me, was external credibility. And I remember, you know, the experience for me immediately prior to fundraising, telling people you’re just always telling people what you’re doing and getting blank stares and people just not really knowing how to judge. Is this a real business? Is this just a make believe? And then the same pitch, the next day saying, oh, you know, Google’s Eric Schmidt funded us right. The reaction is immediately positive and people view me as a success or people view this business as viable and the only difference one day to the next was a very smart person giving me money. It’s that confidence that feeling like I’m not crazy. But that’s also frustrating because like the idea was exactly the same the day before. But most people don’t know how to evaluate an idea. And they rely on these external signs of credibility, which, you know, I find that tremendously frustrating, because there’s a lot of great ideas that don’t have a great investor behind them. And sometimes those get overlooked.

Tyler Martin  10:27

Right? Wow, that opens up something deep. I want to pivot here a little bit. So even the way I got connected to you, frankly, your headline has Google’s Eric Schmidt. And that stopped me in my tracks, right? Like, what is this about? So it gave five seconds of engagement. And then we ended up getting to know each other and connecting, we see this on the internet, everybody’s screaming for authority and credibility? What’s your opinion on that? Like, cuz you have to have it to some degree, and it does help you but I agree with you. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re good. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re great. Yeah. So what’s your thoughts on that? Cuz I especially like for in the eyes of a business owner, because I think sometimes business owners, they don’t really know how to position themselves for credibility and authority. And I think they do get looked over what would you say to them? Or what are your thoughts on that?

Justin N  11:15

So two things as a 10 plus year entrepreneur, I’m very jaded. You know, I used to when I went to a website, I’d say, oh, it says, as seen on CNN, and Forbes in New York Times, and like, oh, they must be great, right. And then when I hired my first PR firm for storebox, and paid them $10,000 a month, and they got me an Ink Magazine. It doesn’t diminish the accomplishment, but it’s certainly not the meritocracy that I imagined it to be. And so I think that my assumption on everything is that the company paid for it, if there is any sort of publicity, I imagine, it wasn’t that they’re a genius, it’s that they have deep pockets, and they can afford the representation required to get that visibility. But the second piece is we are fortunately living in a better era where there is some meritocracy. So when I, you know, I invest pretty heavily personally on LinkedIn. For the most part, if I write a well thought out post, it will get a lot of visibility. Now there are still there’s the seedy underbelly. And there’s things called pods. And there’s lots of ways where you can get visibility, because you pay for it, there’s still that, but I feel like compared to a decade ago, where the major outlets were TV, news, and magazines and newspapers. To me, social media feels like a more level playing field. And you know, the number one thing that I would recommend to entrepreneurs listening to this is consistency, can make a difference on social media. So you know, I am making a commitment right now to post every day to LinkedIn. Wow. And I have, you know, using my company Captivate, we post daily to YouTube, and to Instagram and to Facebook. So that’s something I believe in. And that over time, that gets me more and more visibility. It’s not overnight. It’s not the same as appearing on the front page of New York Times. But when it comes to a time and effort standpoint, it’s achievable for any entrepreneur, to raise your thought leadership profile, by speaking about things that you know, and doing it consistently and doing it where your customers are, which for most of us is LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, places like that.

Tyler Martin  13:41

Yeah, that’s great feedback. And just to echo something, you’re saying, I’ve fallen off a little bit of the consistent posting, and when I was doing it middle, early this year, maybe all the way to middle. Wow, my lead generation went up, my interaction went up. It was just really paying benefits. But there is a challenge and doing it consistently. And I know, I know, we’ll get to that where your new company might fit in. I do have one other comment that you made about LinkedIn, it does have this weird thing, like there’s pods, there’s this whole incestuous like you like my thing, I like your thing, you come on a mind, comment on yours. But I will say, if people consistently post creative, unique opinions on their own feeling and experiences, I have found that I get a lot of engagement. When I do that without having to do any of those other avenues. It takes work, it takes effort. But you’re right, like that whole unique positioning of yourself. It does kind of create an even playing field for someone maybe that doesn’t have a voice and to your point, I’m sorry, but one other thing, it could be something really famous, but if they post on LinkedIn, and they don’t really have much to say they get very little engagement. I find that ironic in a way that just by your name itself doesn’t mean you’re going to get a ton of clicks.

Justin N  14:50

And you know, two things I would say to that is first of all, like anyone else I get caught up in the vanity, you know, I’ll compulsively check LinkedIn and say how many people quote unquote, viewed this post? One thing I want to say, to remind myself as much as your audiences is, numbers matter, but relevance matters more. And I’d rather have 1000 people on link in who are my ideal audience paying attention. And when I speak, then 10,000 people where, you know, they’re not going to be a customer or a colleague, or, you know, if I’m trying to hire people, if they’re less relevant, it doesn’t matter. So you know, Joe Rogan’s got millions of people listening to him. But there are some people that run a real estate podcast and they have 1000 realtors, listen to that podcast, I would take those 1000 Realtors over a million people where that might not be relevant. The second thing, though, is that with LinkedIn, one trick that I’ve used, that I think is helpful that I borrowed from someone else is this 10 Three, one mentality. And that is every day, I try to do 10 connection requests. Usually I’ll look at who has liked my posts or looked at my profile, that’s an easy way to add people to my network, or if I had a sales call, add them. So 10 connection requests a day, three meaningful comments a day, if you like, something people don’t really notice. But if you comment, they do. And so usually I’ll try to find a post that I either disagree with, or agree with, and I’ll write a meaningful comment. That’s a good way for me to get visibility. There’s also some reciprocity there. And then the one is one post a day, I try to do one quality post today. So 10, three, one, that to me, is my formula that I’m following right now. And, you know, trying to avoid any of the overtly gaming things like, you know, pods and things like that,

Tyler Martin  16:35

right? Yeah. Connecting, engaging and posting, I think you’re spot on. I like your 10 three, one, I’ve heard, you know, like 15 engagement today, or, you know, everybody has their own formula. But that daily, you’re back to that consistency, it does pay off benefits, and it does get you connected, especially if you’re engaging on people in your market. I think that’s the other big part of it helps a lot. So that’s great. So hey, I wanted to one thing you brought up was you were talking about mistakes along the way of story box. Yeah. And I think those are great teaching and learning moments for the audience, myself included. Can you share some of those, like pain points that you during your journey, what you experienced, and maybe even how you overcame them?

Justin N  17:15

Yeah, I’ll share what I think I’ve shared on the podcast before. One that’s, that’s pretty relevant for me in the way that I’m trying to build Captivate. I think one of the mistakes that I made at story box was the unbelievably tempting allure that someone else knows more than I do. And this isn’t true for all entrepreneurs, a lot of entrepreneurs are headstrong, and it’s the opposite. They need to take more feedback. But I made the mistake of hiring sales people or bringing on investors or over valuing an investor’s piece of feedback with the hope that they would figure it out, and I wouldn’t have any oversight, you know, and I feel that on a day to day basis, captivate the sense of there is so much on my plate, can you just do this for me? The philosophy that I’m trying to follow right now is more of I need to be the architect. And so the way that that works for me right now, is that right now, I am a sales representative for Captivate. And as I’m doing sales, I’m building out a process. And the moment that process is completed, I’m going to hire an actual sales representative. But they’re going to follow the process that I created. And at the moment that I hire them, I get quote, unquote, promoted to sales manager. And I go back to the starting point of writing the process for how am I going to be a sales manager, the moment that that is defined, I’m going to hire a sales representative so I can get promoted to something else. And it is very painful. It takes a long time. But to me, that removes the unknown of does this person know what they’re doing? Can they perform? Now I want to be clear, I get a lot of advice from a lot of people. So as I’m building out my processes, I am paying people I’m hiring people, I’m begging, borrowing and stealing for advice to do it properly. But I made a big mistake with story box of just hoping that someone would figure it out. And to be fair to those people. I didn’t give them the proper guidance and support to succeed. I put too much expectation on him. So it wasn’t fair to them either. So that’s that’s one mistake that I made that I want to try to fix with storyboard or with Captivate. Yeah,

Tyler Martin  19:33

I think that that’s so much wisdom there that you are actually learning the position for lack of better words, you’re getting in the trenches. You’re hearing the objections you’re hearing hearing. Thank you. And I had a wonderful conversation. I said, Hey, I’m a little worried about how AI works. And you and I got on the phone. You were the salesperson, and essentially, and you you took me through my concerns through my objections for lack of a better word. I’ll tell you one thing, in my opinion that kills deal so fast is when you have people on the frontlines your business that either don’t have the passion, the knowledge, or the awareness of your product line, I can’t tell you I’m, I really spend a lot of time learning about products. And I’ll get the salespeople and they just don’t even care, they don’t even know about the product. And you’ve just lost a customer opportunity by doing that. And so I think there’s so much wisdom in that you saying, hey, I want to roll up my sleeves a little bit, I want to understand this particular area of my business. And then I’m going to step back one degree, and then I’m going to learn that, that that area of my business, I’m going to step back to one degree, that’s frankly, in my opinion, how you build a great company. So that’s, that’s really cool.

Justin N  20:39

I love that. And it reminds me of one other mistake that I made that I want to share too. And that is it’s so easy for me and I and this applies in my marriage as much as it does in sales calls. But it’s it’s so easy for me to be so convinced in my position that I make the other person wrong, if they don’t agree with me. And one of the things I’m really trying to build in myself with Captivate and just in my life in general, is curiosity, and empathy. And so, you know, when you talk about that thing, where you you share a concern about, let’s say, AI, there’s part of me in a sales context where I want to make you wrong, but no, no, no, you’re wrong AI is this or that? You know, rather than what I hope to instill is a sense of like, oh, man, tell me more like what is your experience, let me empathize with your experience. And one of the coaches I work with says, empathy can be a competitive advantage. If I can really be open to someone’s experience and empathetic, I might find a better solution to serve them, I might think of a better product feature. And I just do it storebox There were times when I had my fingers in my ear, and I wasn’t willing to listen to customer feedback. And as a result the company suffered, maybe I convinced someone and made a sale. But I missed out on this insight of this is a real pain point. Or this is something that doesn’t actually work in my product that I need to fix.

Announcer  22:06

If you’re a business owner, feeling stuck in your business overwhelmed, responsible for everything that happens and working long hours, Tyler helps his clients develop processes, hire high performing team members and better understand their financial metrics and numbers to allow for a more predictable, less hands on business. To schedule a free no pressure consultation, head to think Tyler calm and click the Meeting button. Tyler would love to see if he can help you work on your business, not in your business. schedule a consultation today at Think tyler.com Think life think success, think business.

Justin N  22:39

Maybe I convinced someone and made a sale. But I missed out on this insight of this is a real pain point. Or this is something that doesn’t actually work in my product that I need to fix.

Tyler Martin  22:50

Yeah, I love your transparency. I want to switch gears a little bit different direction. Yep, business owners oftentimes overanalyze. They’ll just get stuck in this analysis and this paralysis? Do you see that in your own world? At any point? Did you overcome it? I mean, what are your thoughts on it?

Justin N  23:05

One thing I’m trying to cultivate in myself is more of a trust of my gut instinct. And I know, again, that might be a liability for some entrepreneurs. But for me, for me, it’s an asset. And by that, I mean, there are moments in a sales conversation where I want to continue the conversation, and there is some small part of me that’s like, hey, this person’s disengaged, or, Hey, what I said, just rubbed this person the wrong way. And I noticed that on those rare instances where I depart from a plan, or I depart from the way the structure is, and instead follow that instinct, almost always, it leads to a good outcome. So that might be you know, ignoring data that might be following a little bit more of a hunch. But I kind of adhere to what Malcolm Gladwell wrote about with Blink of this sense that like, man, we have wisdom in our body that it may not make sense on a cognitive level, why we’re doing something or why we believe something. But usually it’s based in 1000s of hours of pattern recognition, that register more physically than intellectually. And so specifically, the way that I’m trying to work on that is is more space and more silence in my life. So you know, I’ll get stuck in a routine where I’m listening to a podcast everywhere I go, when I’m doing the laundry when I’m doing the dishes, nothing wrong with that. But I’m noticing the benefit. If I can slow down a little bit and have more silence. It helps me be a little bit more in tune with that gut instinct. So if I can, you know, one out of three times I’m driving if I can just drive in silence, just kind of gives my mind room to unwind for me to sync from my my head down into my body. And then I’m a little bit more aware when I’m in college. perception or when I have an idea, I almost feel it in my body. I’m more attuned to my body. And I can think, oh, man, there’s something here that I want to dig down on. So not sure if that that answers your question. But for me, it’s it’s really top of mind if like, how do I get more in my body more out of my head? And of course, analytics, of course, data plays a big role. But for me, I want to value the qualitative gut feel more in my life?

Tyler Martin  25:27

Yeah, no, that’s great. And I think that connection with your own gut feel that intuitiveness oftentimes is right. And you can analyze the death variables this that get other people’s opinion. But I know personally, and working with a lot of clients, oftentimes, their gut feels are actually pretty spot on. It’s maybe their execution needs a little bit of clarity, but they’re feeling the direction. They know, oftentimes best. And it sounds like what that’s what you’re saying, is just really connecting with your gut feel, and then executing on that rather than getting too caught up in the paralysis. Another thing, I had a question for you, I’ve heard the term hustle culture, and I’ve heard you talking about it. I’d love to share, I’d love for you to share your thoughts that they’re really wise. And they’re, they’re fascinating what you said about it.

Justin N  26:11

Thank you. Yeah, it is something that’s really triggering for me is just the word hustle. And I want to just say at the outset, I’m sure many of us have different connotations for that. So there are ways in which I do, I would call it grinding or work hard, or like, you know, I kind of am disciplined. There’s certainly a component that that I like, what I dislike in this hustle mindset is the sense that you need to always be on like, usually when I see the word, hustle, it’s associated with working 20 hours a day, or working all weekend long. And there are times where I work long hours, or I work over the weekend. But for me, the best ideas that I’ve had with my company didn’t come in the office, they came when I was grabbing coffee with a friend or I was going for a walk where I was going for a run or I was playing with my son. I believe that we as entrepreneurs, we are creative beings, we’re creative organisms, and creativity. It gets sapped you know, when I’m sleep deprived. When I’m going to back to back sales meetings for 10 meetings straight, I’m not going to be creative. And I think that the author Cal Newport in the book, deep work makes a great case for like, man, you are, most of the time better served hard going offline at six o’clock at night and staying offline till 6am. And when you get back in the office at 6am, you are going to be more energized, more creative, more more resourced, to work effectively. So that’s that’s one thing that I would say. And then the other piece is I feel like sometimes hustling is equated to the this this word hacking, which is also has a negative connotation for me. Because I think that we as society, we as people, we as customers, we are craving depth, we’re not wanting to be living on the surface, we’re not wanting someone who hacked their way to the top, we want someone who did the reps built up the muscle put in the time to become a master, rather than jot it off an Instagram post every second, you know, we want this depth. So that’s the other piece for me is wanting to cultivate depth in my life, wanting to cultivate grounding, rather than just hovering on the surface or hacking from one thing to the next.

Tyler Martin  28:38

Yeah, that’s great answer. I want to segue now into captivate.ai. What problem are you trying to solve? Who’s your target customer? Let’s talk about that a little bit.

Justin N  28:47

So what I’m trying to solve for is that the typical CEO, the typical marketer today to be relevant, they have to be posting daily on half a dozen different social channels, and the quality of that content needs to be pretty high. And that is unbelievable expectation of a small company. So it’s an unbelievable expectation of a large company. And so what I’m trying to do with Captivate is to have insanely efficient production of extremely high quality content. And the playbook for doing that, for me, starts with a podcast or a webinar or an event. So let’s just take this conversation that you and I are having, if you would ask me to write a blog post about my thoughts on hustle culture, I would never do it. I’m going to pull it off and put it off and put it off because I hate writing. But in this conversation, I’m having fun. I’m enjoying speaking with you like we’re exchanging ideas. It’s enjoyable. It’s creating a relationship here that I hope will last for years. And if we take the video from this conversation, which we’re going to do together, we could turn it into two blog posts 10 LinkedIn posts, you know, 10 YouTube clips 10 Instagram reels from an hour or 30 minutes of enjoyable conversation, I now have a couple of weeks of really great content for social media. And that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make it easy for CEOs for marketers to create high quality content that they can leverage across a variety of social channels. And last thing I’ll say on that is that when you do that, not only do you start to build up an audience on social media, but you start to build up a lot of data. And that’s what we do it at Captivate as we start to look at, okay, what content is working? Where is it working? Why is it working? So rather than just one number, which is a podcast download, we get 30 to 50 numbers, we get a lot of likes, comments, views, shares on a dozen different social channels. And over time, that helps us be more effective and saying, Hey, this is the type of content that resonates with your unique audience.

Tyler Martin  31:04

So one thing I find sometimes in services along your lines, or I have found, I should say, is, when you’re pulling out that content, it’s a little bit hard for that third party company to kind of get the angle of positioning either the authority of the credibility or what your, what your main focus is, as a business. Is there anything you guys do to overcome that? Or is it just getting to the client? What are your thoughts on that?

Justin N  31:31

So I view it in two stages, when we work with a client, the first one is the, let’s call it the first two to four podcast episodes they give us. Yeah, in that in those initial ones, we’re doing a lot of iteration, we’re providing the content to the client, and then getting their very, very candid feedback on what they like and dislike. And that helps train our system and our processes pretty quickly of saying, Okay, this is what they like, what they don’t like, after that, we try to use more data. So little things like okay, we gave 10 videos to this client, which ones did they use? Okay, we saw that they posted them to LinkedIn, which videos, got likes, views and comments. Okay, what were the keywords that were in those videos? What was the length of those videos? Because our goal is to know better than our client, what content works, to be able to look at the numbers and say, Look, this is the characteristics of content that appeal to your audience, which most of our clients don’t really look at that stuff. They’re just kind of going off of gut feel. So this would be a case where we’re trying to get the pendulum to the other side of incorporating a little bit more data in analytics than just gut feel. Yeah.

Tyler Martin  32:46

In terms of getting that data, is that a manual process that you guys are doing that? Are you connecting into our social media accounts and actually able to capture that data? And then do the analytics, how’s that work? Hopefully, you can share that it’s not too confidential.

Justin N  32:59

Yeah, it is. So so right now we just do it for Instagram and for LinkedIn, but it is automatic. And so if you post to those channels, we’ll monitor how the content performs. We’re working to add that for you to Facebook and Tik Tok. But that’s still a little ways out.

Tyler Martin  33:16

Wow, cuz I can see the power in that I like gets me excited. Like, because data doesn’t generally lie. If you have data, and you can start to build a history of that. You can empower not just big companies, but small ones, and probably more even small companies, because we don’t typically have access to interpret or combine that data and compile it. It could really you it’d be great leverage, basically, for content to get the maximum viewership and engagement out of it. So that’s, that’s really cool. 100%

33:43

Yeah, thank you.

Tyler Martin  33:44

Yeah, really cool. Hey, I’ve got a couple fun questions. You mentioned deep work. Do you have any other books or, or book perhaps you’re reading now that you recommend?

Justin N  33:53

Yeah, I have two categories of books that I read. The one is, when I’m running, I usually listen to a book. And then when I’m at home at night, I’m trying to be better about reading an actual book before I go to bed. So the one that I’m reading right now, I’m blanking on the name, but it’s by Reed Hoffman, and it’s masters of scale. It’s taken from his podcast. I’m only a couple chapters into it, but I really like it. I have not listened to his podcast. And so this is like a very concentrated dose of some of the best minds in the world, how they scaled companies, what some of those trends are. So that’s one that I’d recommend that I’m reading right now. On the audiobook, I tend to read a lot of books about running while I’m running. And what I like about it, I’m reading Dean Karnazes. He’s an ultra runner. He has a book called runner’s high, which is really enjoyable. For me. I really like biographies, because it’s these stories of determination. It’s hearing people’s journey. I tend to get pretty motivated hearing other people and what they go through and it keeps my interest while running. I can’t really do business his books while running, it’s too hard for me to stay focused. So that that tends to kind of get me energized. And then I’ll also say my next audiobook, which I just purchased last night is the second book in the dune series. I just watched the movie Dune, I loved the original book, I loved the movie. And so I want to kind of deep in on that satisfies that will be one of my running books, too. Yeah,

Tyler Martin  35:22

I find that amusing that you say you can’t listen to business books, when you run, I kind of have the same challenge, even when it’s like walking my dogs, because I want to like take notes, or I want to, it’ll start giving me all these ideas. And I feel like I’m missing it. So I’ll have to oftentimes read or listen to books when I’m walking or running that are more along the lines of entertainment than for sure. Educational because it just takes it throws me off too much.

Justin N  35:44

And I you know, I think that story driven books help. But I feel like my assumption for an audio book is that I’m getting 60 to 80% of the material, like I’m not getting the same as when I read it. But most of the books that I do on audiobook, I wouldn’t really read otherwise. So I don’t mind, you know, book about running, I don’t mind if I get 60 80% of the value, because it’s not like I need the details. But that book by Reed Hoffman masters of scale, and like, I really need the details, I kind of need this just soak in. And the downside is it takes me forever to get through it. I’m doing maybe a couple pages a night before I go to bed, but still every bit counts. And And last thing I’ll say there is that, you know, part of it, maybe half of it is that the knowledge that I’m taking away, but half of it, like you said is the ideas that just gets stirred up when I’m just thinking about a problem in a different way. And I’m like, Oh, I didn’t even realize this. And that’s I feel like that’s part of the deep work is just giving our mind something else to focus on to tap into that subconscious.

Tyler Martin  36:43

Yeah, I’ll have to check that one out. I definitely knew it was out there. But I just haven’t got around to it. So I’ll add that to my list. Hey, I’ve got one thing I want to wrap up with one more question before we you know, close out, do you have some type of tip for us, whether it be a life tip or a business tip that we can apply to something that we can take away from this podcast.

Justin N  37:03

I want to make sure I’m not hypocritical sometimes I give advice, I don’t actually follow myself. And I’m trying to, you know, I feel like one thing that makes a big difference in my life is authentic and vulnerable connection with other people I trust. And I do this in a couple of ways. And I’ll throw them out just in case any of them work for your audience. One is I have a friend that I have a standing late weekly meeting with and I’ve, I’ve known him for years, we did some empathetic communication training together. So we have a shared skill set. And we literally take an hour and he events for 30 minutes. And we practice something that’s really powerful called reflective listening. So I’ll literally just hear him say like, Man, I’m hearing you’re really frustrated about this, you’re like no advice. No, telling him what to do, just literally feeding him back. What stood out from what he said to me. And for both of us, what I see is we start to process things. I’m like, oh, man, I didn’t realize I said that. Or, man, when you play that back to me, one thing I realized is I’m not thinking about this. And so it’s like, a really powerful tool to receive empathy to feel seen and heard. That just keeps me sane, you know, in a big way. And then a second one is I’m a really big fan of men’s groups. And it’s you know, I do two different types right now. But generally, they’re the form of meeting with with a group of men like eight men by zoom for about an hour and a half. And we just, you know, we do different things. But usually it’s kind of sharing what’s going on our lives, having people provide feedback and support and sometimes challenging like, Hey, man, like I had that guy say that to me. Like, I think that you’re, you know, in your relationship, I think that you’re copping out. You’re saying this, but you’re playing a victim. And I benefit from those strong truths of people willing to call me out. And so those are two vehicles that have worked for me, but they kind of hit that need for connection, and for being vulnerable and getting perspective. And I wish that more I wish I would have started that earlier. And I wish that more people did that as well.

Tyler Martin  39:04

Wow, those are two powerful things when you’re doing that hour meeting and you each take a half an hour to share things and then you recite back. What you heard. Are you doing it in their words? Are you reforming what you paraphrasing and how you think you’re hearing the things they’re facing? Or are you just trying to echo their words? How does that work? Exactly?

Justin N  39:21

It’s so it’s based on the body of work is called nonviolent communication. I think it’s a horrible word for something that’s really powerful. But a gentleman named Marshall Rosenberg is kind of the author of this body of work. What I have found for myself, is it it kind of is an experimentation. You know, when my wife and I get into heated argument when we’re good, we’ll fall back on this. And I know for her, she really the words she uses matter. And so for her I tried to be pretty precise in repeating back her words, because I just noticed that if I say a different word, it’ll actually get her more frustrated. My friend Dan, that I do This is the opposite. He doesn’t like that if I’m kind of giving him a verbatim repeat back of what he just said, it doesn’t hold any meeting. But for him, you know, usually I’ll kind of boil it up, he’ll go off for like five minutes. I’m like, Man, I didn’t get it all. Here’s some of the things that stood out to me, I felt that you felt really excited about this project at work. And I felt that you felt really scared about this relationship. And he kind of likes the summary. So it is an experimentation, and it’s just kind of seeing what lands and seeing what might get more agitated. And for me, I noticed that changes sometimes I really need to hear what I said, sometimes I’m looking for someone to synthesize it, because I just went off the deep end and just meant, you know, verbally vomited for five minutes that I need just the succinct summary.

Tyler Martin  40:44

Wow, that’s so fascinating. It just blows me away how to connect with people, really understanding what resonates for them, like, to your point, like maybe it’s a summary. Maybe it’s using their exact words, and it just creates that bond, it really reminded me of how, honestly how you manage people to it’s like, finding their common ground of where what’s gonna resonate for them and how you say it. Powerful good stuff. So hey, all put in the show notes, everything you know, all your links, your your main one is captivate.ai. I love that I love the name, and I love the extension captivate.ai. But if anybody wanted to reach out to you, is that where you would have them go? Or is there anywhere else you’d like them to

Justin N  41:23

go? Yeah, captivate.ai requested demo that will eventually get to me, as well as my email is just justin@captivate.ai I’m most responsive on email. I’m next most responsive on LinkedIn. And my last name is Justin the cirrie@captivate.ai to be pretty easy to find me on LinkedIn as well.

Tyler Martin  41:42

Awesome, man. Well, hey, it was great to talk with you. I love sharing your knowledge. I’m excited to do this on your service. Definitely will be something we get to share. And I’m sure it’s going to be great. So thank you so much.

Justin N  41:53

Thank you for having me, man. Take care.

Announcer  41:56

That’s all for this episode of Think business with Tyler. But we have plenty more resources to help you in your pursuit of business excellence on our website at think tyler.com If you’d like to be featured in a future episode of the show, feel free to reach out to us on social media at think underscore Tyler, we look forward to helping you think life think success and think business

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