Social Media Ventures - Work the Future Today
Enjoy the podcast with Jeff Stanislow (CEO of Chief Internet Marketer) and Whitney Vosburgh, the co-author of WORK THE FUTURE! TODAY
Social and Digital Marketing Focus: Just slow down a bit!
By slowing down and looking deep inside, you will see yourself in new ways and start to expand your personal leadership capacity, and over time develop a life map and pathway to start creating your future, starting today—to set the world on fire in your own unique way—with a focus on your:
1) PURPOSE: Why? Your unique gift/s — your destiny.
2) PLACE: Who and Where? Your community and stakeholders, and where to find them — your destination.
3) PRACTICE: How? Your practice of best serving them — your journey.
By finding and following your unique path guided by your North Star, you will be able to do very well by doing great good—win-win for all.
Enjoy the Podcast, and the transcripts are also below! If you would like to be a guest learn more and schedule your podcast with Jeff Stanislow here.
The Host: Jeff Stanislow, CEO - Chief Internet Marketing
Our Guest: Whitney Vosburgh, the co-author of WORK THE FUTURE! TODAY
Transcripts for the discussion:
Jeff S.: 00:01 Hi, this is Jeff Stanislow, the Chief at Chief Internet Marketer. Welcome today, Mr. Whitney Vosburgh. How are you doing today, Whitney?
Whitney V.: 00:11 I'm great, Jeff. Thank you for having me on your show.
Jeff S.: 00:15 Excellent. I appreciate your time. Today we're going to talk about the future and how to work in the future. So you've got a new book, co-author of "Work The Future" on Amazon.
Whitney V.: 00:28 That's right. They're actually two "Work The Future Today" books on Amazon.
Jeff S.: 00:32 Well, are both of them yours?
Whitney V.: 00:34 Yup.
Jeff S.: 00:35 Oh fantastic. So you got "Work The Future," and then you got "Work The future Today," is that the difference?
Whitney V.: 00:41 The first one is "Work The Future Today." Which is like an atlas of change, and the second one is "Work The Future Today 2019 Pocket Pal." It's like a guidebook. It's a summary and it's filled with actionable resources.
Jeff S.: 00:58 Oh, fantastic. So I liked the actionable side of things. You don't get that too much. You'd read a lot of books and you know, you have to write down your action items. You make it easy for us.
Whitney V.: 01:09 We try.
Jeff S.: 01:10 Well, good. Tell me a little bit about yourself Whitney, and I know reading some of the things that you've had $20 billion in value creation as a chief marketing officer. We'll talk a little bit about your book today and then we'll kind of tie in how "Work The Future" can help digital marketers, the listeners of our audience.
Whitney V.: 01:34 I'd be delighted to. Where would you like to start?
Jeff S.: 01:37 Ah, probably a little bit about yourself, the little histories and the things that you've done, you know, and why you wrote the book.
Whitney V.: 01:44 Yeah. My Dad worked for an airline, so growing up I lived in America, Asia, Europe. So, by the time I was 20, I'd spent most of my childhood abroad living, working, studying different cultures, different languages, different religions. I noticed that although people on the surface seem all the same, I mean, it seems so different at heart. Deep down they're all the same. In other words, we all desire a connection to be valued, to belong, to make a contribution, to be recognized, to be loved, liked, and respected and admired. So through my career as a artist, as a graphic designer, art director, creative director, brand strategists, VP marketing, chief marketing officer for Silicon Valley startups, and fortune 20 companies on a interim or a consulting basis, I was always brought in to point out the true opportunity and the true value for all stakeholders. I always emphasize that yes, shareholders important, but even more important are stakeholders. Everyone who has an interest in getting a piece of the pie.
Jeff S.: 03:17 Yeah, that's interesting. I often use the word stakeholders too because like, it's beyond like shareholders who want value related to like an investment, but being a stakeholder, it could be from an employee to a customer to an executive. And it touches all points of the value chain that you're trying to create, not just the, you know, revenues and profits and earnings.
Whitney V.: 03:44 Yes, because we live in a ever smaller, more interconnected, interdependent world nothing is done in a vacuum so that if you do one thing over here it affects so many other things over there, so you have to think in terms of your community of stakeholders, everyone who is involved either actively or quietly, but just people who basically they have an interest in you. They have a value. So it is so important for individuals, organizations, communities, companies have a value proposition which basically states: we will provide you with some value in return for your money, time, name, investment, attention, membership or what have you. It's all about we, you and I are going to be better together for having some type of relationship. So we're going from the transactional shareholder model to the communal stakeholder model.
Jeff S.: 05:17 And that's a great model. And I think a lot of marketers need to think a little bit more into, into that as well. You've done a lot of marketing and for startups in Silicon Valley, and I see that you went to Berkeley and then communication designs from Parsons School of Designs in New York and you've lived and studied abroad and, and done a lot of great things. In the digital marketing world what do you think we're doing well and, what do you think we're not doing so well? Just from a top of mind perspective.
Whitney V.: 05:53 Yeah. I'm old enough to have worked for a long time in direct marketing, which is the direct predecessor to digital marketing it's all basically the same principles. It's just now that with digital it's two way instead of one way. That fact makes all the difference, or at least it should, so that we'd go from the transactional to the personal to the relational. So it used to be all about making a sale now it's about making a relationship. It is so important to provide value, lasting value today, tomorrow, and long into the future, and to make it relational so that we recognize that each party has a role to play and that there is a value exchange. So, It's make a friend don't make a sale because if you make friends the selling is already halfway achieved.
Jeff S.: 07:11 Right. No, and I think I have some clients that say, "gosh, I wish I was back to the direct days where I can buy a yellow page ad or send direct mail because building a relationship is difficult.
Whitney V.: 07:28 It's dirty, it's messy, it's a complicated, it can be a bit frustrating, but it can also be very rewarding not just in terms of finances, or sales, or units shipped, but just in terms of having figured out in all the noise that we live in and all the chaos, the confusion, the complexity of today's world, to actually have figured out how to get someone's attention, keep their attention, and actually build a relationship, providing mutual value.
Jeff S.: 08:10 I think you kind of nailed something about creating the, I guess the chaos, that's out there and trying to build that relationship and build that relationship trust because like everybody now is in the digital economy, has the ability to build the relationship. So, not only is that difficult to do, but now you have to have the resources to manage the relationship. On the consumer side, you have so many people vying for your relationships. What is it that maybe resonates with you as far as someone that might be marketing to you that might get your attention that someone here listening could maybe have a takeaway? Someone that has the expertise that you have. What's getting through to you and what resonates with you to build a relationship with you?
Whitney V.: 09:10 Well, I have a perfect example. I've been on Linkedin almost since the very beginning. I was within the first hundred thousand people to sign up. I've seen it's highs and lows and see it grow and shrink and come back. More recently, because Microsoft paid way too many billions of dollars for Linkedin, they are trying to squeeze as many pennies, having paid many dollars for it, as possible. In the last, let's say two months, I've been flooded with emails and requests for connections and sales offers and what have you and I delete them all. Let's say 99%. Why? Because they try to sell me on something. They asked me for something before establishing a relationship with me. Make a friend, don't make a sale. So people, if people rush straight to the attempted sale, they're dead on arrival.
Jeff S.: 10:35 Yeah. I find it very difficult and often get like from maybe 50 to 100 of these in message boxes with people that use the same copy. It's just buy, buy, buy and I can't delete that fast enough.
Whitney V.: 11:00 It's literally been a flood in the last one to two months. Dozens and dozens and dozens of remarkably stupid, uninformed, insensitive, people who are digging their own grave.
Jeff S.: 11:20 Yeah, you're right, and wasting their time on top of it.
Whitney V.: 11:24 Not only are they wasting my time and their time, but they're actually digging their own grave.
Jeff S.: 11:30 Yes, I agree. I agree completely. You know, oftentimes I get messages from people being in the digital marketing space all the time for like link building and SEO and all these different types of things, and I just say send me a proposal, I'd like to buy it. Oftentimes, it's kind of funny the reaction that you get. Like what? What do you want to buy? Just to kind of see what their response is.
Whitney V.: 12:02 Yeah. My favorite question, which I was asking for a couple of weeks, Is what is it that you have in mind that is particularly targeted and relevant to my specific needs? Never yet got a single answer to that question.
Jeff S.: 12:23 Yeah. It's a shame because like, we know a lot of this stuff is now automated, and we value what automation can do when used properly, but I don't think it was really ever designed to find different ways to send spam, you know?
Whitney V.: 12:38 Yeah, exactly. You know, it, it's all about automation of stupid. It's just more stupid, automation of smart is more smart. Is that simple?
Jeff S.: 12:55 That is pretty good. Well, before we got... we talked on the show here live. We talked a little bit about slowing down, and I think the talking about this automation and doing it smart and not doing it smart kind of ties into slowing things down. I think because we can do something and it does things fast that we don't really think about it. We just execute on it and do things fast. Tell me where are you getting at about slowing down, your thought process on that?
Whitney V.: 13:32 Well, the thing is, this modern world seems to emphasize a need for speed. What we need actually is to allow ourselves to slow down. Just start asking, why am I doing that? Why do I want to do that? Why do we want to do that? As matter of fact? Why are we doing this at all? And going back many steps. Why are we here? What is our purpose? What is our unique gift to the world that we're here to share in service to others? To build bridges of trust because life moves at the speed of trust, to build relationship, to build, an esteem value exchange. So in other words, why are we here? What do we have to offer? What value we have to offer? Who are we most valuable to? Where do we find them and how do we best serve them?
Jeff S.: 15:01 Yeah, that's really interesting. I always wondered in building relationships, there's have to be some type of pinnacle of building a relationship that one can do. For example, in Linkedin, I got going on 10,000 relationships. Right? Those are just like connections that are digital connections. Where do you think one's capacity to actually build these valued relationships is, as far as the giving quality back and giving value back? There's the old adage, you know, one person, two arms, right? There is only so much you can do. Tell me a little bit about what your thoughts are on that.
Whitney V.: 15:46 Well, here's an interesting take on that. It;s the reason why we have two ears and one month. Well, by slowing down we will listen more and say less. That's how you build relationships by showing interest in the other person or persons.
Jeff S.: 16:12 Yeah. And you can only do it well for so many different types of people. I know that the stress of the media bombardment and then your personal relationships and trying to build this relationship, it can be quite daunting where, you know, some days I feel like I go to work and I work for eight, 10 hours and I come out of there and I'm like, "what did I do that was really valuable?" It seemed like you just kind of went through a bunch of different tasks and didn't create anything of value or take some time for yourself to build anything of value, but yet you have eight hours of your time that you just spent.
Whitney V.: 16:57 Well that's a great point Jeff. Everything starts at home and the really valuable stuff is the stuff that's not easily accessed. It's what lies beyond our ego or monkey mind. It's slowing down and take traveling that longest distance of 18 inches from head to heart and then the next 18 inches from heart to gut. So you have intellectual intelligence, emotional intelligence and intuitive intelligence. Intuitive intelligence is the smartest.
Jeff S.: 17:42 Yeah. You're right. I mean a lot and a lot of times in the world we live in we don't take a step back. We don't think intuitively we think reaction, you know, because so many things are bombarding us. I know just getting through the inbox and bombarding everybody back and you continue that melee and at the end of the day, you really don't have anything concrete. You can say you did a good job today or provided some value because all you're doing is just messaging people back and forth with whatever platform, whether it's email or social or whatever. It's just managing an abundance of relationships, but never really being able to get down to thinking and then providing the value proposition.
Whitney V.: 18:36 Yes, right. Less is more small is beautiful. It is all, or most of us are, most of the time are participating in a circular firing squad.
Jeff S.: 18:47 Yeah, no, you're exactly right. You know, I'm sending out that message, getting it back, shooting another one and another one, getting them back. I personally struggle with that especially as the visibility grows and your brand grows and people want to connect with you and interest you and then, you know, maybe build relationships or maybe just sell you something. So taking some of the things that we've talked about today, tell us a little bit about the book here as we kind of bring this to a close and then maybe something that someone didn't know about you as well.
Whitney V.: 19:21 Oh, sure. I'm the co-author of the two "Work The Future Today" books. The first one is "Work The Future Today," finding your path to purpose, passion, and profit. So, it's about the three steps of going from head to heart to hands from why, to who and where, to how.
Jeff S.: 19:48 Okay.
Whitney V.: 19:50 It's about the journey that we're all in from the old story of profit first with this focus on the shareholder to the new emerging story of purpose first with this focus on stakeholders.
Jeff S.: 20:14 Yeah, I liked that. That definitely resonates. We talked a little bit earlier about the stakeholders and vote with purpose first and for stakeholders. I think you would have align well into this marketplace.
Whitney V.: 20:32 Everything in life is about transition and we're transitioning from what was to this transition state we're currently into what will be and I can sum it up from going from me to we to us. The difference between we and us is us is a community. We as a somebody based on mutual convenience.
Jeff S.: 20:58 Yes. Why did you write the book you? You liked the question why, but tell us your why,
Whitney V.: 21:06 My whole career has been based on asking the question why and why not because being a brand builder more than anything else, that's what brands are about. Founder or founders start a company with a why, a purpose, which is their north star, and it's not to make money. That's like happiness. It's a site, a byproduct of doing, pursuing passionately your purpose.
Jeff S.: 21:41 Yeah, exactly. So, essentially you walked a thousand miles here or something like that.
Whitney V.: 21:51 My dad worked for Pan American Airways and the first place we moved from, we went from New York suburbs to downtown Tokyo. It was like, whoa, this is different. I went back to Japan 40 years later for an artist residency because I've been a lifelong artist on top of all my marketing and writing. I discovered that there was this thousand year old thousand mile pilgrimage and I thought, "Ooh, I want to walk that." So, over the course of four years, each in a different season, I walked the a pilgrimage. It's one of the best things I ever did because I slow down and moved at the speed of life.
Jeff S.: 22:38 There you go. There you go. That's really interesting. So it took four years?
Whitney V.: 22:41 Yeah.
Jeff S.: 22:43 Well, fantastic. I'm sure you got a lot of opportunity to really reflect on your life, your career, things like that.
Whitney V.: 22:52 Yeah. It was basically help me with my a midlife shift, which eventually led to going to the Divinity school where I studied social change, community building and then writing Work The Future books with my partner Charley.
Jeff S.: 23:11 Oh, fantastic. Well, I always try to close it with something in regards to a takeaway. So what do you think one of the most important things that you would like to communicate to our listeners for best advice for them based on today's conversation and then tie it out where they can find the book, websites or ways to contact you that you would like them, a listener, or possibly explore further.
Whitney V.: 23:47 Yeah. People have been saying this for thousands of years. So, it has been said often, and the reason why it is repeated so often is because it's so important. It's so true. It's timeless, which is slow down. Look inside, get to know yourself, get intimate with yourself, become a good friend of yourself because that's where all the good stuff, all the treasurer is.
Jeff S.: 24:16 That's work too, right? I mean, that doesn't just happen. I mean, you have to dedicate some time for it. I mean, yours could have been part of that pilgrimage, but how about someone on a daily basis, any recommendations, you know, take some time for themselves to think.
Whitney V.: 24:34 All right, if all you have is 10 minutes a day, schedule that 10 minutes each and every day, do it at the same time. Go for a walk by yourself, garden for 10 minutes, meditate, pray, sing, whatever it is that takes you away from the noise of your daily life so that you can slow down, have a little bit of quality time with yourself particularly if you can do it consistently so that you start saying, "wow, that was really good, that was powerful, kind of strange but I want to do that again and again and again." Eventually over time you'll create more time, more priority for yourself, and you'll deepen your practice of being a human being, not a human doing, not a human having, but being what you truly are.
Jeff S.: 25:34 Excellent. Tell us where one can get the book or contact you or what have you.
Whitney V.: 25:41 Yes, our website isWORK THE FUTURE! TODAY Our two books can be found on Amazon. Just do the search for: Work The Future Today. I can be followed and contacted through Twitter. My handle is @brandguru (link to twitter account).
Jeff S.: 26:04 I like that handle. That's great. Well listen, I appreciate your time today, Whitney. We'll get the page up and we'll set some of those links to the book and to your site, and include your Twitter handle. I just really appreciate your time and your insight and I think digital marketers today can maybe take some stuff back with them and just say, you know, maybe we're doing this stuff too fast because it is a fast ecosystem. We still need to take some time, so thank you very much.
Whitney V.: 26:36 Yeah. My pleasure, Jeff. We'll talk to you soon.
Jeff S.: 26:40 Thank you, Whitney.