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Finding Entrepreneurial Community

Entrepreneurs Need Other Entrepreneurs!

Being an entrepreneur is often very lonely. But it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to connect with other business owners on a regular basis that can offer incredible value to you, no matter how long you’ve been in the game.

In this episode of Expert Marketing Matters, Chris, Mark and Lauren discuss the value of finding community as an entrepreneur, both for you as an individual, as well as for everyone on your team.

You can listen to the episode using the player embedded above, or you can read a full transcript below.

Episode Transcript

Chris Butler: Welcome to Expert Marketing Matters, I’m Chris Butler.

Lauren McGaha: I’m Lauren Magaha.

Mark O’Brien: And, I’m Mark O’Brien.

Chris Butler: Welcome back. You guys were on the road.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Lauren McGaha: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Chris Butler: You guys are generally on the road.

Mark O’Brien: Generally on the road.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah. Constantly.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Chris Butler: You guys should-

Mark O’Brien: There a Bob Seger song about that, I think.

Chris Butler: Right. You take a Volkswagen bus to live in.

Mark O’Brien: With stickers.

Lauren McGaha: Can it be branded new things-

Mark O’Brien: Stickers. Stickers.

Chris Butler: A banjo, a ukelele, yeah.

Mark O’Brien: Stickers. More stickers than your car.

Chris Butler: Yes.

Lauren McGaha: That’d be hard to do.

Mark O’Brien: Little known fact, Chris Butler’s car is covered … the back at least, is pretty well covered with stickers.

Chris Butler: There’s a lot of stickers.

Lauren McGaha: How many would you estimate?

Chris Butler: I’m guessing there’s over 20.

Lauren McGaha: Two dozen?

Mark O’Brien: I was thinking 20 to 30, yeah.

Chris Butler: Yeah, and the reason why is because I’m not that, like, fun of a person generally.

Mark O’Brien: That’s not true.

Chris Butler: Well, I don’t think of myself in that way and-

Mark O’Brien: You’re not whimsical. You’re not a whimsical person.

Chris Butler: I’m not a whimsical person. But, when I’m on the road, and I’m behind someone whose car’s covered in them, but they’re not, like … it’s a specific genre … like not preachy-

Mark O’Brien: Not at all. No.

Chris Butler: I think that person must be fun. Like they must-

Mark O’Brien: It’s just-

Chris Butler: They must be, like, a little more free livin’ than I am.

Mark O’Brien: And, his says things like, be the change you wanna see in the world.

Chris Butler: Yeah, there’s a part or that…

Lauren McGaha: That’s really inspirational.

Mark O’Brien: I’m kidding, I’m kidding. I’m kidding.

Chris Butler: No, but there are little odd ball but what happens is when you start putting stickers on your car, people start adding that stickers to your car. It’s kinda like signing somebody’s cast, you know.

Mark O’Brien: Sure. Right.

Chris Butler: So I’ve received a lot of stickers, they’re fun. I will say that David Baker, when he was visiting us, we were gonna go out to lunch…

Lauren McGaha: Oh, I remember this… yes.

Chris Butler: And we were going out to my car, to drive him to lunch-

Lauren McGaha: And he wasn’t sure that it was your car.

Chris Butler: He didn’t know it was my car, and he started immediately ripping on them, and it’s like, basically like a little before outraged about that. And when I revealed

Mark O’Brien: Well, hey-

Chris Butler: To him that it was my car-

Mark O’Brien: It forces an opinion.

Chris Butler: Yeah it does.

Mark O’Brien: It does.

Chris Butler: Now, I’m gonna have to, at some point share with the world the back of my car, but that will not be today. But speaking of David, I wanted to mention, we can now publicly say that because as of today, he’s going, and this will be a couple of weeks ago, for you listening. His new site is live. instead of

Mark O’Brien: Big change.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Chris Butler: Big change and we can proudly say that we had a role in that. We played a role in the new site and the new branding, and hopefully giving him the push he needed to rethink the name of his company-

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Chris Butler: And how he’s positioning it, which was a lot of fun. That began when? When did we have that meeting with him?

Mark O’Brien: May?

Lauren McGaha: Over the summer. I think it was July.

Mark O’Brien: Was it July?. Okay.

Chris Butler: Yeah. So, like nine months ago.

Mark O’Brien: Months ago. Yeah. And he was great client.

Chris Butler: Absolutely.

Lauren McGaha: He was.

Chris Butler: Yep.

Mark O’Brien: Really good client.

Lauren McGaha: Continues to be.

Chris Butler: Yeah, so really proud of that work and excited for David. Excited for all the opportunity that’ll probably come from the new site for him.

Mark O’Brien: It really feels like him. That’s-

Chris Butler: It does.

Mark O’Brien: That’s the fun thing about it, and that’s interesting, working with an individual instead of a firm.

Chris Butler: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Mark O’Brien: It’s really about that person.

Chris Butler: Yep.

Mark O’Brien: And that was part of the reason of moving to David C Baker because it’s David C Baker.

Chris Butler: Right.

Mark O’Brien: That’s who you’re hiring. You’re not hiring recourses. You’re hiring him.

Lauren McGaha: Sure.

Mark O’Brien: It’s so him, in a very modern fresh way.

Chris Butler: Yep.

Mark O’Brien: It’s just, I’m really excited about it. It looks beautiful and it’s a very strong business tool.

Chris Butler: Yep. It’s a lot of fun to work with David, and something that’s unique about that engagement that we don’t do anymore is we actually built that, created that site for him.

Mark O’Brien: Including designing it.

Chris Butler: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: Or Chris did.

Chris Butler: I personally did the design, which I never get to do anymore. It was a lot of fun to work with David on that, and to have that kind of project to just mess around with a little bit.

Mark O’Brien: The other thing that was fun about that was that, the way we started it. He came for two days, and we just did a whirlwind session. Just went through everything. Automation, CRM, and the branding and the content strategy, and all of it just back to back to back. He’s such a fast processor, we can just do that. We can just set up meeting back to back for two days straight, and talk about everything and get a pretty significant headstart. We covered what could’ve easily been a month of work in two days.

Chris Butler: Absolutely.

Mark O’Brien: Which is a lot of fun.

Lauren McGaha: Our whole team loved it.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah. So fun.

Lauren McGaha: It was great having him here.

Chris Butler: What was amazing about that also in hindsight is that we didn’t really do a whole lot of prep for that meeting. I think we all had things on our minds that we wanted to bring to the surface for him to think about and consider. As I recall in that conversation, I was not aware that he was even considering his branding or his name.

Mark O’Brien: No.

Chris Butler: And I remember bringing it up, and you had been thinking about it. I don’t think you and I had talked about it.

Mark O’Brien: No.

Chris Butler: So it was clearly on all of our minds, and nobody brought it up, and as soon as it surfaced, it was like yes, this is obvious. This is the direction that we need to go. It’s nice to have had that experience. I think a lot of it has to do with the intimacy that’s been established between us and David over the many years and trust. I think that’s a natural segway to … Something I wanted to let you go off on Mark, because we were talking about this the other day, is community and intimacy.

Mark O’Brien: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Chris Butler: Just the other day, I was on the phone with one of our current clients, an agency principal who’s very far away from us, and she was talking about craving being around peers, and getting that encouragement and that stimulation and that push that you can only get from peers.

Lauren McGaha: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Chris Butler: That community, and she doesn’t have it. And she’s got some venues that she’s looking at to tap into that, and I was able to speak for you about some experiences you’ve had like the strategic coach, and saying, look this is a great next step. It’s gonna bring so much to you, but also so much to your firm. So you brought this up the other day, and I just wanted to hear from you. What does that mean? What does community mean to you when you think about your role and also our firm?

Mark O’Brien: The first think is to, just like what you said, is that these agency principals are typically going it alone. They often times don’t know many people like them.

Chris Butler: No.

Mark O’Brien: They ended up in their role through various paths. You don’t go to school for that kind of thing. They don’t go to class reunions, et cetera. There’s no real cohort.

Chris Butler: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Mark O’Brien: These people are making a bunch of decisions. Sometimes on their own, sometimes with their groups, ad they’re not sure if they’re doing the right thing or the wrong thing, and they hire people like David and Blair, but that’s a one on one situation, and those consultants aren’t like them.

Chris Butler: Right.

Mark O’Brien: Right. They’re not them. They’re not doing the same thing. So I have just seen throughout all the years of, how hungry people are for some level of community. When I say community, I don’t mean like digital community. I mean actually getting together with their peers-

Chris Butler: Face to face.

Mark O’Brien: Face to face for a couple days and just talking.

Chris Butler: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: And we’ve been, the three of us have been fortunate enough to facilitate a few of those, when we did the two Newfangled summits and the reason we wanted to do those was because we had seen what happens when a few principals get together. There’s this like ravenous energy that is created and it’s so fun to be around because they’re so sicced to talk to someone who just gets their day to day in that way and they can finally talk about all this stuff. My first experience with that was being part of one of the peer groups that David set up. The bell buckle peer group. There were ten of us, ten agencies. Calling them Newfangled agency just for the ease of the word there, but there were ten firms from around North America. We got together twice a year and for the first three years, which is a really long time if you think about it, it was like that. We couldn’t wait to see each other. David’s done the very first meeting, you all are gonna become best friends, and you’re gonna know each other the rest of your lives and we’re like , uh maybe, but it’s true. Almost everybody in that group still speaks or communicates with each other on a regular basis.

Lauren McGaha: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Mark O’Brien: I would imagine that would continue to happen. But there’s not really a outlet for that now. There was MYOB, Howe did a great job of getting partners with David to create MYOB. That was a really cool conference for about ten years, but the last one was maybe six years ago-

Chris Butler: Right.

Mark O’Brien: Or so. Five years ago.

Chris Butler: Yep.

Mark O’Brien: These peer groups don’t exist anymore. Yes, coach was a cool thing, but that’s not an agency thing at all. So we’ve had some ideas about maybe creating something that is … Something that these people can take part in.

Chris Butler: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Lauren McGaha: Did you find in going through it, that it was a significant percentage of your time that was spent on it in terms of preparing to go to these events, and facilitate these events? Was there a leader who was putting on the agenda that took on more of a leadership role, or was it really just about everyone coming together without planning and just seeing what happened when you got there?

Mark O’Brien: For the agency peer group?

Lauren McGaha: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Mark O’Brien: That host went around to the different offices, so this would be Seattle, and then it would be in Boccie, never in Boccie, and then it would be in Chapel Hill. And the host would do a fair bit of work. Agencies are very into experience and their very creative. So some of the hosts really went all out.

Chris Butler: It’s like throwing a party.

Mark O’Brien: It’s throwing a three day party.

Chris Butler: Three day party.

Mark O’Brien: For your close friends who you kind of want to impress.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: Some people really went all out. When it came time for Newfangled to host, I chose Farington, which is really Chateau kind of resort a few miles outside town. It was incredible. That was what begot the Newfangled summit. The experience of being there with the bell buckle group was that wow, we could recreate this. And we did. Getting it together for bell buckle, my direct experience in creating one of those, wasn’t hard because Farington made it so easy. Then we decided, the three of us together, let’s do the Newfangled summit.

Lauren McGaha: Right.

Mark O’Brien: That, to be completely honest, I just hated selling those tickets. I really, really disliked that. I love speaking with people about how we can help them and change the trick to their firm over to marketing. I love that, and that is very much a sales activity, I understand.

Lauren McGaha: But selling an event. It’s a different thing.

Chris Butler: Yeah.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Chris Butler: The pressure … There’s an immediate out of pocket pressure.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Chris Butler: Yeah, and it does feel … I remember when we were dealing with the marketing, you’re stress was high. The impression was that we were needy.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Chris Butler: And it’s hard to avoid that impression.

Mark O’Brien: It’s impossible, really.

Chris Butler: Like even when you know, hey this event’s gonna be amazing-

Mark O’Brien: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Chris Butler: It is a good event.

Mark O’Brien: Right.

Chris Butler: There’s no … It’s not even a hard sell.

Mark O’Brien: Right.

Chris Butler: But there’s something about that transactionality of it that I think was a little bit not really our cup of tea. Not our personality as a firm.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah. I think something that we struggled with was being able to communicate what was gonna make it so amazing about the environment and the experience. I guess that’s why I’m asking about the amount of time that was put into hosting the peer group events that you’ve been a part of in the past. I’m trying to get to, what is essential for it to be valuable-

Mark O’Brien: Oh.

Lauren McGaha: And what part can be let go of? Because that might actually increase longevity of these things, for some people looking to get into this.

Mark O’Brien: I think the most essential ingredient, is the right group of people.

Lauren McGaha: And it being in person, definitely.

Mark O’Brien: Definitely, being in person and being the right group of people. That matters more than anything else. And by the right group, I mean people who have had similar experiences. If you have somebody that’s a two person firm and somebody that’s a two hundred person firm, they’re gonna have very little to talk about.

Lauren McGaha: Sure.

Mark O’Brien: Right. Now the actual disciplines they’re engaged in, don’t matter as much. In the beginning, we thought, oh it will be about sharing the work. It was never about sharing the work. It was never, ever, ever, ever about the work. It was always about how do you run the business?

Chris Butler: Right. It was always behind the scenes.

Mark O’Brien: Always behind the scenes.

Chris Butler: The interesting thing about this is that when we did the traction group, which was very much, not even something we marketed. It was just like, let’s bring a bunch of agency people we know and by a bunch, like four.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah. Four firms.

Chris Butler: Farington, again, there was barely any agenda.

Mark O’Brien: Right.

Chris Butler: Most of those people had just onboarded traction, if at all.

Mark O’Brien: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Chris Butler: What was interesting about it was that I think we went into it thinking, okay, we’ll be able to talk about traction from a little bit more of a veteran’s standpoint, but we walked away with a lot of epiphanies.

Lauren McGaha: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Chris Butler: I think there’s just something about being in a space where, no distractions, no client work, away from the office, investing in the time with, as you say, the right people. You just have to know it’s gonna yield a benefit. You don’t know what it’s going to be. You don’t know what those epiphanies are gonna be-

Mark O’Brien: And-

Chris Butler: But they’re gonna be there.

Mark O’Brien: And to be open. Everyone has to have the right mindset.

Chris Butler: Right.

Lauren McGaha: A certain level of trust.

Mark O’Brien: Definitely. People have to go there to share, and the opposite of sharing is bragging. If you’re there to show how great you are, it’s over, and it’s so clear. That person’s trying to do that, and their ego is the main reason they’re here. That’s not gonna work.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: But to actually want to share and want to learn. And the right size group and to have it be-

Lauren McGaha: Yeah, that’s was what I was gonna say. The size is gonna matter right? You want it to be somewhat intimate.

Mark O’Brien: I believe so. We were talking about this the other day, when we were thinking about the idea for another sort of event, but a different kind. We were batting it back and forth. Farington only holds thirty people, and that was a good limit, but we thought maybe that’s too many. Maybe around a few dozen or so. Tops.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Chris Butler: Because once you get into detail, it takes a long time to expose the level of detail to get to the question you’re asking, or to get to the answer you’re giving.

Mark O’Brien: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Chris Butler: I think that’s really important. What I’m hearing from you so far though, is that in regard to pursuing community, as an agency principal, as someone who runs a business of this kind, it takes work. It’s not something you can just plug into instantly.

Mark O’Brien: No.

Chris Butler: It’s not something … For instance, the principal I was speaking to, she was talking about going on and on about how she feels like she’s in a community by listening to certain podcasts of people in the space.

Mark O’Brien: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Chris Butler: But she says, I know that’s a lie. I know that it’s an illusion that I have, that I’m in this community. I’m receiving a one way, one directional-

Lauren McGaha: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Chris Butler: Experience.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Chris Butler: And that will take me to a certain point, but it’s not real. It’s not the same. The next level, getting that need met. It requires investment of time, of resources, of travel. In her case it’s gonna be significant travel.

Mark O’Brien: Right.

Chris Butler: It takes work. It’s hard.

Mark O’Brien: The hardest part would be inventing something to go to, because it doesn’t exist.

Chris Butler: That’s right.

Mark O’Brien: That isn’t a thing. There’s no thing. I don’t know of a single thing. And we’ve been doing this for a long time. We’re kind of in touch with these groups.

Chris Butler: For what we are looking for, it does not exist. There are things, like you’re starting to get involved with Bureau of Digital,-

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Chris Butler: Owner camp, I think is very similar to an aspect you would describe from bell buckle, which is owners getting together, opening up the books, talking shop.

Mark O’Brien: Yes.

Chris Butler: That’s certainly an equivalent.

Mark O’Brien: The only thing there is that it’s Bureau of Digital, and they are really strict about them being digital firms.

Chris Butler: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Mark O’Brien: All of them have developers, many developers-

Chris Butler: Right.

Mark O’Brien: On staff, and that’s kinda what they’re doing.

Chris Butler: Right.

Mark O’Brien: The marketing firms don’t really fall into it.

Chris Butler: Right.

Mark O’Brien: That’s if they were a version of that, and I think Carl should probably pursue that. This feels like a build up and so I’ll just cut to the chase. That wasn’t intentionally a build up, but I think we should do another kind of event at Farington, where it’s sort of an at cost event. There’s no profit for Newfangled. I just wanna have the opportunity to bring in a few dozen agency principals together who are like-minded but don’t know each other-

Lauren McGaha: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Mark O’Brien: Or at the very most, they could be familiar with each other. For a couple of days, not even to talk about marketing, just talk about this. Like how do you run a business? What’s working, what’s not working? I think the idea could be really cool of pulling each of them. What’s the number one … top two things that you want help with, and what are the top two things you excel at?

Chris Butler: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: And taking all 24 people and looking at those, and figuring, okay these are the points, and having those people moderate that. So it’s not a Newfangled event.

Lauren McGaha: Right. Facilitating it.

Mark O’Brien: Where we’re putting it together. Because we know how to do it now. Like we can do it. We’ve done it plenty of times.

Lauren McGaha: I think it’s a pretty cool idea. The agenda is not set until the attendee list set. So the agenda is then tailored to the needs of the attendee list.

Chris Butler: I also like that backbone, because that serves us so well from a traction standpoint. Whenever we do our off-sites, we begin with the same exercises.

Lauren McGaha: Yep.

Chris Butler: What’s working? What’s not working?

Lauren McGaha: Yep.

Chris Butler: And everything that we do, even according to the agenda, after that point, comes from that input we all share. We need to take a break. When we come back, Lauren you had brought up, when we were brainstorming about this particular episode, thinking about how an event experience like that, that one person attends, brings benefit to the rest of the firm. How does that trickle down? I know you had some things to share about that, so let’s take a break, and we’ll come back and hear from you.
You’re listening to Expert Marketing Matters, a podcast about generating ideal new business opportunities by creating and nurturing digital marketing systems and habits that have a measurable impact on your bottom line. This podcast is brought to you by Newfangled. A digital marketing consultancy, focused on empowering experts to do better digital marketing. You can learn more about Newfangled’s digital marketing method at
Welcome back. We were talking about events and community and what it takes to draw value from those, especially when you’re a tightly positioned marketing firm where a big tent event, like maybe an AIG event, is not gonna give you what you’re looking for. We left talking about some event experiences we’ve had and the idea that when one person experiences that event and maybe it’s because it’s appropriate to that person, the owner or the principal of the firm. What happens to the rest of the firm, when that person makes that choice? What trickles down? What’s brought back? Lauren, you had some thoughts on this.

Lauren McGaha: The thing that’s interesting about it is most of the, and Newfangled’s like this too, but most of the creative services firms that I’ve met are, they’re all really interested in what other firms like them are doing. How they are answering tough questions. That pattern is not relegated to the principal of the firm. Everyone at the business wants to understand what other similar, like-minded businesses are doing.

Mark O’Brien: That’s right. Yeah.

Lauren McGaha: What I’ve observed here at Newfangled is when you come back from one of these trips, where you’re collaborating with other kind of similar business models, we’re all really eager to understand how that affects the different divisions inside of similar companies. It’s motivating for us. It inspires more creative collaboration internally about how we might take those lessons learned and apply it, not just at the higher kind of big picture level, but how do we practically distill that down to how we inside of Newfangled do business?

Chris Butler: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Lauren McGaha: The main thing I was thinking about there is that if you’re weighing what are the pros and cons of getting involved in something like this, we’ve noted earlier that it is certainly an investment. It’s an active activity, right? It’s not a passive thing like listening to a podcast. To really get benefit from this, you’re gonna have to invest time, probably money and travel, but that benefit extends to the other people who are working for and toward the future value of your organization. We’re just as curious about how other businesses are going about running things, and want to apply those lessons learned inside of the organization and inside of different divisions.

Mark O’Brien: It’s especially true if you are a small organization like ours. 16 people. There’s basically nobody on staff here that is continually or always inheriting a directive from up high.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: We do shape a vision as a traction team. There’s six of us, which is actually fairly large for a company of sixteen.

Chris Butler: Percentage wise, yeah.

Mark O’Brien: Right. But that’s actually nice, because it does distribute directive activity pretty evenly. It means that there’s almost nobody here who’s entire experience of their work is being told something to do. Now if you’re a traction organization, even if you’re on a larger scale, that would probably be true. I think that these kinds of experiences, even if you have one person going off and bringing it back, you’re right. There’s gonna be an interest in every level of firm to show and tell, I think.

Chris Butler: The other part of that, again, from my perspective, is that for years, Blair and I would go to events starting back with Dream Force and things like that, and the coach program. We would go to the event and see all these things. Wow, like we could do that, and that, and that, and that. And then I would come back to the company, and start speaking with everybody about, here are all these wonderful things that we could do, and then things would start getting done.

Mark O’Brien: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Chris Butler: I would meet back with Blair months later, and he for years had an individual who was helping him out, often times on a part-time basis, and he had all the same exciting, well not the exact same things, but he had things that he wanted to do too, but he wasn’t bringing them back to the company. And now he has a company. He has quite a few wonderful employees, now, and he can bring that back. So, I realized the value of the company, and I’ve realized that in many ways over many different lessons, but the value of a company in that. Like wow, somebody, anybody can bring inspiration in, and then we have a whole system of people here who can process it and add their thoughts to it, and bend in all kinds of ways-

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Chris Butler: And create something in short order.

Mark O’Brien: Yep.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah. It’s a really beautiful cycle too, because we’ve seen it again and again. With the coach program, it was every quarter. You would go out every quarter and come back with some new idea or new seed of a thought. Then all of us would attack it, and think about it, and break it apart, and brainstorm on it, and then it would become this new thing. And that would happen, and have that regular infusion of creativity every single … on regular intervals was really nice to see.

Mark O’Brien: It goes without saying that what we’re talking about, it’s a kind of event experience or kind of community experience that has nothing to do with public speaking.

Chris Butler: Right.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: I think that needs to be said. For those of you listening who are interested in events. Interested in public speaking, that’s not was this is. I mean, I’ve been to many, many events, none of which I ever came home with any insight. It was a good experience to be able to share with prospects and peers, depending on the context, but speaking at an event, I think honestly, the chances of you getting what we’re talking about at an event where you’re speaking are way lower than at an event in which you’re there to listen and commune. I think those are two very different things.

Chris Butler: Commune. Because you could go to an event to just listen to a bunch of people speak, [crosstalk 00:22:52] and you’re not gonna have very much interaction with that.

Mark O’Brien: Correct. Correct.

Chris Butler: And we’ve all been there, I think. When we go to the event, and we’re the only one there that we know, and everyone seems to be friends with each other but not you. I’m quite the extrovert, but I remember the first few events I went to, going back many years, and it was really intimidating.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Chris Butler: Just being a face in the crowd. And not knowing what to do. But the communing and the other thing about the communing I think relates back to everyone who did not go to the event is, okay, it wasn’t I heard this person say this thing. It was this group of people have done this thing this way-

Mark O’Brien: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Chris Butler: And so the whole company, everyone involved, has more confidence that okay, a firm like ours did this, and succeeded.

Mark O’Brien: Right.

Chris Butler: Which is better social proof. Okay. Yes. This is doable. People like us do this kind of thing which gives everyone more confidence that we can do it too.

Mark O’Brien: That’s the most concrete, but even just listening to someone else talk, outside of the context of your normal work. The chances of you coming up with an idea or a solution to something that’s been troubling you or something that’s been a challenge for a long time. That’s high. I recall when we did the traction event, which was what a year and a half ago now, or almost two years ago now?

Chris Butler: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: There were numerous times where I was just sitting there listening to people, and writing down ideas in the notebook for solutions to things that we’d been struggling with. Not because someone gave me the solution, but because the act of listening to them talk about something what perfectly related or maybe unrelated. It’s just, you need to get out of the context in which you work.

Chris Butler: That goes back to one of the first points I mentioned. The energy that happens when these creative people get together is thrilling, and that energy creates thought in everyone’s minds.

Mark O’Brien: Right. Right.

Chris Butler: Just the actual vibe of the room … It generates ideas.

Mark O’Brien: Yep.

Chris Butler: Even though, like you said, no one’s saying the thing-

Mark O’Brien: Right.

Chris Butler: But everyone’s firing on all cylinders.

Mark O’Brien: In a way that’s very different than sitting in an audience, watching someone on stage-

Chris Butler: Right.

Mark O’Brien: With a power point-

Chris Butler: Yep.

Mark O’Brien: Behind them. That experience, in a way, it’s so passive kind of experience-

Lauren McGaha: Right. Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: You almost stop thinking, in some ways. I’ve seen that from the speaker’s standpoint. You can look and see a lot of-

Lauren McGaha: Sure.

Mark O’Brien: Dead eyes.

Chris Butler: I’ve never seen that when I give a talk.

Mark O’Brien: Really?

Chris Butler: I’m kidding.

Mark O’Brien: Maybe you’re just not looking.

Chris Butler: People are applauding the whole time.

Mark O’Brien: Oh, the whole time?

Chris Butler: Yeah, the entire time.

Mark O’Brien: They are definitely listening. They’re definitely listening. We should wrap up. Any parting thoughts about events, community, or say a little bit more about what you’ve got on your mind about our event?

Chris Butler: Yeah. I wanna do one. After the second seminar, well you mentioned that too. Selling the tickets for the seminar, I really did not like. Really, the least favorite thing I’ve ever done professionally at Newfangled, I can say.

Lauren McGaha: Really?

Chris Butler: It was so demeaning.I have to be honest.

Lauren McGaha: Wow.

Chris Butler: Like the feeling needy. I never felt needy at Newfangled.

Mark O’Brien: Just one word comes to mind for me. That I just feel like-

Chris Butler: No. Even that.

Mark O’Brien: Even?

Chris Butler: Even the cakes.

Lauren McGaha: I thought it was gonna be cakes.

Mark O’Brien: Really?

Chris Butler: We need to start the next podcast off with cakes. Describing cakes.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Chris Butler: That might be our cliffhanger.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Chris Butler: But, what I’m saying is once we got to the event, it was wonderful. I am prone to hyperbole, but the first statement I made is absolutely true, but this next one is also true that some of the greatest heights I’ve ever had inside of Newfangled is that event. That event brought all the great people together and being in the room with them, and just feeling. That was a thrilling, so I want all the fun, without the pain. Yeah. I think it’s time for us to do an event, where it’s an at cost event. There’s no market of any kind for Newfangled. Just like hey, this is so affordable for what it is.

Mark O’Brien: Right.

Chris Butler: You, 30 people, 24 people should be here. Just do something like that.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Chris Butler: And I think we should do it soon. If anyone listening would like to be part of that invitation, just send me an e-mail at

Mark O’Brien: Alright. We’ll wrap up there and in two weeks we’ll talk about cakes.

Chris Butler: Cakes.

Mark O’Brien: Cake is a big subject for me, as well.

Chris Butler: It is.

Mark O’Brien: Take care everyone, and we’ll talk to you next time.