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Guest: Scott Duffy
Episode in a Tweet: Former Tony Robbins and Richard Branson colleague Scott Duffy on marketing, thinking big, and launching new products.
Quick Background: Scott Duffy is one of the few people on earth who have worked for Tony Robbins and Richard Branson. Couple that with his entrepreneurial experience in building some of the leading online brands from the early days of the internet and you know you’re in for a treat. Scott shares some great stories and lessons he learned from Robbins and Branson as well as his own insights on how to do successful product launches.
Transcript: Download the full transcript here.
1. Key to launching a great business.
After a horrible car accident in college, Scott spent time recovering by listening to tapes from people like Tony Robbins. Eventually, he went to work for Robbins. At lunch one day, Robbins said, “Scott, I always want you to remember, you’re going to have good days and you’re going to have bad days, but you won’t know which is which until sometime way down the line, because you don’t know what you’ll make of the experience.” Reflecting back on that day, Scott said, “I think that the key to launching a great business starts with really learning how to manage yourself through the ups and downs and those highs and lows of entrepreneurship. I think that’s what Tony was trying to teach me then.”
2. Biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when launching a new product.
“The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when launching a new product or service is they focus on too many things at one time.” Scott counsels entrepreneurs to focus on one thing. “It doesn’t have to be the hardest thing, it can be the simplest. Focus on solving one problem for one person and getting that one thing to market as fast as you can so that you can get something into your target customer’s hands. Let them play with it. Get their feedback. Iterate based on what you learn, and re-launch.”
3. Finding riches in niches.
Scott learned this marketing lesson the hard way. “When it comes to marketing, the key is to go deep, not to go wide. I believe there are riches in niches. You can go farther faster with far less capital if you really focus your efforts and your energy on that one really sharp target customer.”
And what if you want to build a billion-dollar company? Here’s the recipe Richard Branson shared with Scott. Branson said, “I look for big markets where people already have their wallet out, so I don’t have to convince anybody to buy. Then what I do in that one big market is I find one big customer, that’s it. I find one person that has one problem. I know that if I solve that one person’s one problem, and it’s a big enough market, I have a billion dollar business. That’s why I have five.”
5. Overcoming a business setback.
How do you dig yourself out of a hole when your business suffers a major setback? Change the story you’re telling yourself by changing your questions. Scott said, “For me, by asking yourself a better question you’ll get better quality answers. That really is the key. I learned from people like Robbins and Branson that no matter how tough things get, they always ask an empowering question. Not just of themselves, but as leaders, they ask the group.”
6. How strong is your “why?”
What’s your why? “If you’re an entrepreneur, and you don’t have a strong enough why, a strong enough reason why you’re doing this thing, don’t do it at all. Because, business can be tough, and if you’re not truly connected to your purpose in this business, it’s too easy when things get tough to quit,” said Scott.
7. Tony Robbins and Richard Branson on achieving big things.
Robbins and Branson are huge thinkers and doers. Having soaked up their wisdom and witnessed their success in person, Scott learned this, “If you have the right mindset and the right people and you put the right resources around you, you can achieve virtually anything that you dream.”
8. Identifying the most important person in every company.
Scott told a story about a meeting with Starbucks chief Howard Schultz and the important lesson he learned. “What I learned in that moment is this; I always thought as the entrepreneur the most important person in every company that I start was me. The reality is that it’s not. The most important person in every company is the person that we come home to.”
9. What Scott’s wife Rachel taught him.
On a more personal note, Scott said, “My wife, Rachel, taught me the way that you spell love with an entrepreneur is T I M E. You have to make time, and if you don’t have much, when you do have time, you’ve got to be fully present.”
Launch! The Critical 90 Days From Idea to Launch — Get Scott’s new book.
1. Learn to manage yourself during the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. Ask yourself empowering questions instead of demoralizing ones. Reconnect with your “why.” Change your mindset.
2. Narrow your focus when launching a new product. Identify your ideal customer and focus on solving one problem for one customer, launch, then quickly iterate.
3. Take care of the person you come home to. If you have a loved one at home, they feel the ups and downs of your business too. Take good care of them and be fully present when you spend time together.
Transcript: Download the full transcript here.