SEP Episode 1: How ManTalks Thrives

 

PODCAST

 

Today on the show, we have Connor Beaton from ManTalks.com. We’re gonna hear from Connor on how he has done a unique combination of online content and community with live events, and speaking to create the ManTalks brand into a massive success, in a very competitive marketplace. We’re also gonna get some insights into how he has built his team, so that he could scale his brand quickly, while still staying true to his original core purpose and message. Without further ado, let’s get over to Connor.

Key Takeaways

 

[2:26] The rough road that led Connor to start ManTalks

[7:41] How Connor built the ManTalks brand

[10:16] Connor’s ultimate advice on how to build a brand

[11:57] How Connor obtains and utilizes feedback to grow his brand and business

[17:57 ] How to put together an exceptional team

[21:24] The specific skill set Connor looks for in hiring for key roles in his company

[23:19] The identifying question Connor asks in hiring self-starters

[25:13] How Connor perpetuates self-improvement among his employees

[29:04] Why you shouldn’t separate online and offline in your brand ecosystem

[31:35] Connor’s secret to creating a communal atmosphere among his fans

[34:28] How to create your purpose and put it into the work that you are doing

 

Connor Beaton Information

ManTalks

ManTalks Podcast

ManTalks Blog

ManTalks LinkedIn

ManTalks Facebook

Kevin Kelly 1000 True Fans

Lewis Howes. Summit of Greatness

Transcript of Podcast

Kyle:                                         

Hello everyone and welcome to the Story Engine Podcast.  Connor, how are you doing today?

Connor Beaton:               

I am doing great. Thank you so much for having me on the show.

Kyle:                                         

I’m so happy that you’re here. Connor, the reason I wanted to talk to you, is to discover, kind of the origin story on how you’ve grown ManTalks into such an incredible and powerful brand. I know a little bit about you already, but for those of us that don’t know, could you tell us a little bit about what ManTalks is, and how you got started?

Connor Beaton:               

Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. ManTalks is a personal, professional development organization, specifically for men, who are looking to get the most from themselves and their lives. A lot of guys that are looking to be better fathers, husbands, business owners, entrepreneurs, and that are really looking for an edge in their life. We’ve got a podcast. We’ve got a blog. We’ve got an online community, specifically for men on Facebook. We’ve got a bunch of access points, events, mastermind groups, coaching, that kind of stuff.                                       

There are many, different access points in what we do, and how we serve people. How this all got started, is, I think a bit of an anomaly, for most businesses. It wasn’t intentional. I wasn’t intentionally set out to build a company, which is kind of the funny thing. This actually came out of my own personal story, where years ago … Seven or eight years ago, I really hit a rock bottom in my life. I was changing careers. I had come out of a long-term relationship that ended badly.                           

I fell into the typical masculine trap, typical mantrap of, deal with it by yourself, don’t tell anybody what’s going on, and don’t show your vulnerability. And so, because of that, I ended up, living in the back of my car for a few weeks, because I didn’t wanna tell my friends, I didn’t wanna tell my family how really crappy I felt like my life was going. I felt pretty directionless. I stayed in that space for a while.     

Finally, when I came out of it, when I came out of that space, I started to connect with other guys in my life. You know, I was just very open and honest about what had been going on. I realized that most of my challenges had come because I had hidden these parts of myself. I had hidden the challenges that were happening in my relationship. I had masqueraded around, pretending like I had this great career, when really I was struggling with what I was doing and I wasn’t fulfilled.

I had read a quote by Tony Robbins, where he said, “Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.” I just remembered that sort of piercing my soul at the time, because I had success from the outside, what looked like success in my relationship, in my career, and I wasn’t happy with any of it.

When I started connecting with a lot of these guys in my life, a lot of my friends, guys that I had known for decades. I was sharing my story with them. I was met with a very real, raw, and honest version of what was going on in their life as well. It was this brilliant moment where I realized that, as guys, we tend to masquerade around each other quite a bit. We posture a lot around one another. It creates these very surface level relationships, where we talk about booze, beer and bloodsports and babes, right? That’s kind of like, where we often have our conversations reside.

The real conversations about parenting, and what’s happening in our relationships, and how we’re struggling in our career, those things are often left behind the scenes. I ended up taking a few years to get my proverbial shit together, and kind of get my life back on course. It wasn’t until five years later that I decided I wanted to put on an event in Vancouver. I wanted to raise some money for a friend’s charity. The idea was to have men come out and share their autobiography as if their life would end the next day, as if this was their last day on earth, they were gonna share their autobiography with the audience and we would raise some money for charity.

The first event was not so successful. It was like 50 people in an ING direct, which is now Tangerine, which is like a bank, and insurance company that bought out by a bank. It was really interesting because it was open to men and women, which was new for some people, to have men talking about men’s issues in front of all genders. There wasn’t really a lot of people there, but the response afterward was huge. People reaching out, being like, “I went home and called my father, who I haven’t talked to in five years.” I connected with one of my buddy’s, who I know has been struggling and called him out on it. We had this great conversation about how he’s been really depressed.

It just opened up all these doors and really, I had people reaching out saying, “When’s the next event? How are you gonna keep growing this? What can I do to support you?” Just the sheer amount of feedback that I got from people, positive feedback from people, I was like, “Okay.” Intuitively, I know I should follow this. I just started following it. At the time I was working at Apple. I had a very successful career, that was going for me. I started building up ManTalks on the side, hosting some events over the course the next year and a half. Eventually, it took off in this place where I could leave Apple and the rest is sort of history from there.

Kyle:                                         

I think that’s amazing. I love the different events that you’ve put together. You’ve got a couple of different events now, running all around the United States and around the world. You’ve also built a really strong online presence. Did you start creating content, just on the side, while you were working at Apple, were you kind of blogging in the evenings, putting together different articles? How did you build up this brand from, just this small event that people love, into what it is today, this very successful blog, successful podcast? I think you’ve got a YouTube channel as well. Where did the online presence come into pair with your physical presence?

Connor Beaton:               

Yeah, the online presence … Initially, my initial idea was that I wanted to build this online platform where men would come and tell their stories. I realized very quickly that I didn’t know the first thing about online presence. I didn’t know anything about building a blog, or WordPress, or SEL. I didn’t even know what that was. I was so ignorant to online presence, that it was just hilarious.                    

To be honest with you, those parts, the online presence and the podcasts and those things, that actually came about, because I just started listening to people in the community, people that were coming out to the event, people that were volunteering their time, people that were supporting what we were doing, started saying, “You know what you should do? You should build a website.” I was like, “Okay.” We built the website. “You know what you should do on your website? You should have people write for you, that are really passionate about these topics.”

I was like, “Okay.” We started to build the structure to allow people to write for us. Then, one of the guys that had helped us in the very beginning, he said, “You know what we should do? We should start a podcast,” cause he was this really podcast fanatic. I had actually never even listened to a podcast in my life, not one single episode. I was like, “Oh, I don’t know.” I had a lot of resistance around it. I was like, “I don’t know if I should do this.” He said, “Look. This is a great space to have these conversations.”                               

Finally, I gave in. I was like, “Fine. You plan it out. I don’t know the first thing about podcasts. You plan it out, and you tell me how we’re gonna build this. We’ll put that into action.” Thankfully, I had really good people around me. I did a lot of the work to create the first articles and source out the first guests for the podcast, and find people that I genuinely wanted to hear from. I wanted to hear their story. I wanted to hear their expertise, and I wanted to learn from.                 

You know, I felt like I was in this space of just, becoming a sponge, and knowing that I didn’t know everything, knowing that I was such a blank slate in a lot of ways. That served me so incredibly well, where the podcasts from the last year and a half. We see 50,000 downloads a month now. That’s no joke in the podcasting industry, where a lot of people will be running a podcast for a year and a half and struggling to get 1,000 downloads a month. It’s really grown quite a bit.

It’s taken time. It’s taken consistency. If I can give one piece that is so important, it is to listen to the people who are engaging with your brand. From day one, I just started listening. What are people looking for? How can I serve them best? Assume that I don’t know the answer. If you can treat your consumers like Google, like they have all of the answers, it will serve you so incredibly well in the long run, in my opinion.

Kyle:                                         

What’s so encouraging about what you’re saying to me and to a lot of the people listening out there is I think, you came in and you didn’t have a lot of technical expertise. You didn’t have this big vision. I think a lot of people, kind of when they start out with content marketing, a big mistake is to imagine having those super successful podcasts, the viral YouTube video and the cascade of traffic from Google visiting your blog articles.                 

Just by listening to your audience and focusing on there, and growing from that, that is how you manage to build this. Also, another thing that I really liked, that you said, is about how you followed your own curiosity and your own passions to say, “Oh, I wanna learn this about myself, so I wanna connect with this person. I wanna discover this, and invite this person to come interview with me.”

What are some, of the ways that you get this feedback from your audience these days? Are these people just reaching out to you? Are these, kind of, one-on-one conversations at your events? Do you have some kind of way to kind of consistently listen to your audience, built into a system?

Connor Beaton:               

Yeah, it’s a great question. A lot of it has come through face-to-face conversations at the event. The first year, year and a half that we were running ManTalks in Vancouver, I mean, I took every opportunity to have every phone call, every conversion, every coffee chat with every single person that I possibly could. It didn’t matter what their job title was, who they were, whether, or not I thought they could add value. None of that mattered. I just sat down and got face-to-face with as many people as humanly possible at our events and outside of the events.  

Honestly, that’s a catch 22, because what ends up happening is that people end up seeing you as the resource for the brand and you can very quickly become the bottleneck within your company, within your brand. You have to be cognoscente of the fact that, the more of that you do, the more that people are going to see you as the influencer of your brand, which is great. There’s nothing wrong with that, but to know how to delegate properly, to also encourage the people that, whether they are working with you, whether they’re volunteering their time with you, to be doing the exact same thing. That will start to help.

The more people that started to get involved with ManTalks, the more that I encouraged them to actually do what I was doing, sit down with people, hear what they were really looking for, from our brand, some of their ideas. And then, seeing how and if those fit in with our culture, our values and our beliefs and our mission of what we really wanted to do, and how we wanted to serve men. There isn’t really … I don’t have a specific system that’s set up. To be honest, sometimes I miss things. I have people reach out all the time on Facebook, and Instagram and Twitter and through, just emailing me through the website and stuff like that and I do my best to try and get them all towards my email. So when people reach out I’m like, “Please email me here,” because otherwise, I’m kind of bad with how many people reach out. But I really try and take the time to connect with all of them. Especially when they have a specific ask or if they’re looking for something specific in terms of support. And then being able to provide them with resources is incredibly important so. Yeah, those are a few things that I would recommend.

Kyle:                                         

I think that’s really powerful. And something that’s interesting to me that you were just talking about is kind of the catch 22 of making yourself a bottle when you’re making all of these connections. And you’ve described how very early on you created a contributor system where you had other writers writing for you and that you’ve brought in many other team members. I think one of the biggest differences between a good content marketing campaign and a great content marketing campaign is just that being able to delegate and remove yourself from a lot of the time-intensive and heavy lifting tasks. And I’d love to know just your process or your experience kind of starting that delegating some of this work and building a team to help tell your story and share your vision with the world.

Connor Beaton:               

Yeah. So I just wanted to … Just before I dive in, I just wanted to say one last thing about the previous question which is there’s a great article that I think everybody should read. If you … It doesn’t matter what type of business endeavor, professional world that you’re in. There’s a great article by Kevin Kelly and it is called 1000 True Fans. And the basis of it is that if you really want to build a powerful brand, that you build a following, you build a foundation of 1000 true fans who are going to consume whatever piece of content you put out, who are going to read the articles, who are going to read the blog posts, the Instagram posts, the tweets, the podcasts, the whole thing. They’re gonna share them. And that you really focus in on those thousand true fans. And if you can do just that one thing, it will revolutionize everything else that you do. And so many people, especially in today’s world, are looking to try and make this huge splash and have millions of views and millions of followers within one to six months. And it’s just not done like that. Even people like Jay Shetty who has 15 million people following him on Facebook, it took consistency and it took 1000 true fans. So I just want to throw that out there.   

To circle back around to your question, which I think I’ve already forgotten actually.

Kyle:                                         

Yeah, we can bring that back. And just from what you were saying there that totally resonates with me, it’s a very … Also, Seth Godin is very much that strategy. Find the very specific single person that you can create an article for and send it directly to them and say, “Hey, what do you think of this?” We get so caught up. Again, we see the big successful Kickstarter campaign and we think that it just came out of nowhere when really people have been working very hard to build this audience, build this following, and create this conversation, and make sure that not only are there people out there that want this, but what they’re building and what they’re making is exactly tuned into that deep need that’s resonating with people.

And so my following question was one of the biggest things that make the difference between a good content marketing campaign and a great content marketing campaign is being able to have a team that you can delegate to that you can … That can be creating in your voice and moving your vision forward without you having to be there managing every single detail along the way. And so I’d love to hear about your process for building your contributor system of writers or bringing on team members to help do some of the heavy lifting that goes into all of this content that you’re creating.

Connor Beaton:               

Yeah, great. Great. Thanks for the reminder. So I think a couple things are truly important. One … And this I hope is obvious for a lot of people. But I really … I learned this lesson so profoundly in my time at Apple. Which was find people who are not only better than you, who are more skillful than you but who you really almost in a way look up to and admire. And so the people that I brought in to do things like marketing, and writing, and create content strategies, and run the operations, I really had a deep respect for their gift, for their skill set. And I really admired what they did because I didn’t have those gifts. I didn’t have those skill sets. And it wasn’t necessarily about me trying to learn those things directly from them so that I could do it, it was me empowering them to say, “Look, you’re the expert, you really know what you’re doing. And I’m going to speak to you, I’m going to delegate to you, I’m going to give you the freedom and space to really allow your gift to run free. So you tell me what the plan is, you tell me how we’re going to action this.”

[bctt tweet=”Find people you admire, and have a deep respect for their gift, and give them the freedom to use their expertise to your advantage. Connor Beaton ” username=”kylethegray”]

So the content strategy, for example, I brought in a guy who had helped to build a lot of content strategies in the past. He was a ghostwriter. He’d ghostwritten 30 plus books. And I said, okay, tell me what the plan is. Build a plan, let me know what it is, and I will trust you to execute on it because I trust you as the expert. And he built this amazing plan because all of a sudden he was like, “Yes, I have a part of this business. I have a part of the direction. I believe in this. I believe in the vision.” And what he built was incredible. And he literally took our website from having zero traffic whatsoever to having tens and tens of thousands of views a month.

And that just continued to grow, and building our email list, and then all of a sudden when we put those pieces in place, he was like, “Okay, I have these pieces in place and now because you’ve given me the freedom and the autonomy, I also want to go learn about sales strategies, and marketing, and Facebook ads.” And so then he came to me and said, “Can I go down this route as well?” And I said, “Absolutely.” And so it empowered him to really sort of get an informal education in these other areas because he started to see within his realm of the company and the organization that there were opportunities for us to grow and that because he didn’t know certain information, he wanted to go and acquire that.

So honestly, one of the biggest pieces is again, not only finding people who you respect and admire, not only empowering them to use their gifts but then making sure that you are finding self-starting people. I think that’s … Especially in key roles. If you just have people that are managing certain things like managing posts, or scheduling things out, or doing different types of tasks that you’re gonna assign to them, that’s fine. You don’t necessarily need a self-starter in that role. But especially in a start-up space where most of the people that are probably listening to this or like myself, it was very much in start-up and there was a whole bunch of things that I didn’t know. And I was learning on the fly. And I became very adept at learning on the fly.

And so one of the greatest skill sets that I looked for in people who started to come work with me was people who are willing to learn on the fly but also that were able to incorporate their learning with the vision, and the values, and the beliefs that we have as an organization. And because of that, people would automatically identify gaps that I hadn’t even seen. And they would not only identify gaps, but they would come with a plan in place of here’s the gap, here’s how I think we need to fix it, here’s what I’m gonna do, here’s what I think I need from you, and here’s what I think I need from other people in the organization. And it just blew me away. I was like, “Okay, cool. Let’s go do this.” So that type of empowerment is incredibly important.

Kyle:                                         

I think that’s amazing and that is so crucial in team building. How do you … Do you have a process, or through your hiring process, was there a way that you sought those things out or was there a way that you could filter for those kinds of people to make sure that you were getting that kind of quality of person through the application process?

Connor Beaton:               

Yeah, so that’s where I am thankful for my time at Apple. I did a lot of hiring while I was at Apple. And I hope to oversee or run the Vancouver market and did a lot of things for them. But one of the things that I really enjoyed doing was the hiring and leadership training side of things. And one of the things that I learned from them was not only seeing how the person does an interaction with you by getting buy-in from other people within the organization. So I would actually not only interview the person that was gonna come into the group or into the organization. I would have other members, other volunteers, people in the community check in with them and get their feedback, and get their insight. And it would have to be a collective decision that everybody believed that they would be a good fit for the organization. So that was one major thing.

How I identified for the self-starter component was really just asking about projects that they had handled in the past. And actually inquiring about self-taught pieces of their life. So I would inquire about their creativity. I would say, “Do you do photography? Are you artistic? Are you creative? What’re your hobbies? What do you really love?” And when people would say things like, “Oh, yeah I taught myself about ForEx,” foreign exchange currency, or, “I’ve taught myself photography,” that immediately was a green light for me. When people weren’t able to identify that they had self-taught themselves certain things, or certain aspects, or taken on certain projects for themselves, that was usually a pretty big red flag. So the self-starters, you could hear it in their hobbies. You can hear self-starters in their hobbies because they’ll usually say things like, “Oh, yeah. I’m just so passionate about it that I went and figured it out myself.” And that’s like … Those types of people for really key roles are the ones that you want to snag up as quickly as humanly possible because they’re also somewhat rare and they’re in high demand.

[bctt tweet=”Look for the people with self-taught hobbies or have a passion for creativity when hiring, as they are the ones that you want to snag up as quickly as possible. -Connor Beaton ” username=”kylethegray”]

Kyle:                                         

That is amazing. I love those different techniques. And a very unique insight into having people from your community be part of the screening process. That’s something that I haven’t heard before. And I think that that’s really powerful. You also mentioned you do leadership training or you did leadership training with Apple. And I’m certain that that is a big part of what you do with your current team. Are there ways that you currently develop your team members to improve them? And it sounds like there’s a lot of ways that they just decide what they think they should do and bring it to you. But how do you direct that self-improvement?

Connor Beaton:               

Yeah, I mean, we’ve … It’s kind of embedded into our culture and what we do. And so the nice thing is is that we really focus in on purpose. That’s the huge, huge focus of ManTalks. So in our events, we talk about purpose, in our mastermind groups we talk about purpose, in the groups that I run it’s about purpose. And so part of what we do is that everyone within the organization has a definite purpose document. And they actually have a document that annually they will update. And this document is their own sort of life vision and mission and it also includes their goals. And so there’s just a quarterly check-in of being able to check in with what’s aligned with your purpose in life, is the organization still aligned with your purpose in life, are you attuned to your goals, what do you need in order to move towards it, what’s missing.                                

And really utilizing that resource as something that is a gauge for us as to whether or not someone is aligned with the work that they’re doing and what tools and what skills they might want to be learning in the very near future in order to feel like they’re making progress. Because one of the biggest challenges is that any organization will face regardless of how big the organization is, is that people will get bored. People will get bored easy. They do a job for a year or two and they feel Like they’ve mastered it. And all of a sudden it’s time for something new. And so what I’ve really tried to do within our organization is that … And most people will feel this is in a start-up is that there’s always more work to do, right? There’s always more work to be done and so there’s no shortage of areas that people can learn in. But this document, this purpose document allows us to keep a very specific path for the people that are within the organization as well as myself and I share my document with everybody that is a part of the organization and I share it with people that are part of the community and it’s a means to allow people to get insight into where we’re going.

Kyle:                   

I think that that’s really powerful. I was going to ask if that document was available anywhere so yeah if anyone listening wants to get their hands on something, something that can help guide and define their purpose and that way check out the community, which we’ll link to in the show notes.

You also mentioned you’ve got your Mastermind, your events and you’ve got this very fascinating hybrid of live, in-person events and online products and you also in a similar way, your marketing is like that too. You’re doing a lot of speaking and you’re creating a lot of content and I think one of the biggest challenges that a business like yours could face is bridging that gap. How do you make it so that your content you’re creating online is fueling your events offline and how do you make it so that your speaking and events and all of these things, also fuel your online presence?

Connor Beaton:               

Yeah so when we first started like I said, we had no online presence and so was kind of … Most people actually do it the other way around. Most people create the online platform and then they do events later on. Like if you look at somebody like Louis Howes. He built up this huge online brand and then he launched the Summit of Greatness, right? That was the in-person event. 

So we did a little bit backward where we started doing the events first and then when we built an online community because we had been doing monthly events, people naturally just started following and posting content about us and it started to grow that sort of organically. How we bridge the gap is the realization that your brand is an ecosystem in a way and in many ways, and that you shouldn’t segregate or separate online and offline from the ecosystem.

[bctt tweet=”Your brand is an ecosystem in many ways, and you shouldn’t separate online and offline from the ecosystem. -Connor Beaton” username=”kylethegray”]

A lot of people look at them as two completely ecosystems and they try, and treat them as such. But the reality is, is that those are a part of the entire ecosystem as a structure, right? So if we look at the ecosystem, the very like low touch point really is online so we’ve got free groups. The free ManTalks community, the podcast, the website, the blog posts. We’ve got all of this content and then people, if we’ve done a good job in that area, people want to engage with us.                               

So the next step is either one of two things. They have a choice because some people aren’t ready to show up in person. So they might join something like the alliance which is an online four-month program, that we walk guys through. Or they might say, “Well I don’t really want online, I want to join a Mastermind group and meet guys in person and be a part of that. Or maybe I just want to go to an event and check this out, and see what the conversation is like and see if the vision and the mission and what they talk about online actually equates in person.”                                   

Because the reality is that most consumers are skeptical and they are always looking to see if things are congruent in any touch point within your organization. So whether they are consuming a blog article or showing up to an event for $30 or buying a program for $10000, they are really looking to see if this is congruent with what you’ve been putting out prior.         

So our entire ecosystem, I see it as one. Whether it’s online or offline and we use some of the online tools to help get people into our in-person events. But we usually try not to push our online platform in person. That’s one of the big mandates that I’ve really had because so many people are pushing online. They’re like screaming it in people’s faces. You go to events and they have these Twitter things set up where it’s like live streaming tweets and people are just dicking around and not really taking it seriously.

Stuff like that doesn’t really help brand engagement. If you’ve done your job right in person, people will want to follow you. So all you need to do is say “By the way, here’s me, I would love if you enjoyed this event, if you found value in it.”

One of the things that we’ve done really well through the podcast, through the events, is I will do this same thing in all areas. I will say, “Man it forward and share this with one person, just one person. That’s all you have to do.” And whether it’s sharing the podcast with one person or sharing the event with one person, or the Mastermind group or the online program, it’s that communal feel where people don’t feel the pressure to blast it out to their entire audience and network. That they came to your event and took a selfie with you or something like that.                                    

So it’s a really low barrier, low ask to engage people and it’s word of mouth which is by far, the most powerful form of marketing out of everything that we’ve ever done.

Kyle:                                         

And it’s such a clear and concise call to action. It makes so much whereas a lot of people are saying, “Yeah, just blast this out everywhere.” It’s not so clear what you really want or what the end goal is but by just saying, “Share this with one person.” It’s such a measurable and easy and it even gives the person a little bit of fulfillment knowing, “Oh, I did that. I really did do that.” I think that that’s powerful marketing and powerful salesmanship and at a very subtle level.

Connor Beaton:               

The other thing that I’ll do is be very candid with people. I’ll say, “Look, we don’t do traditional marketing. We’re not in the newspapers, we’re not on billboards, we’re not running thousands of dollars of Facebook ads to try and get you to follow us on these communities.”

So if you really enjoy this event, and you found value in it, or this product, then share it with somebody. If you didn’t, tell them that too. Like I’m pretty straight up. I’m like, “If you didn’t like it, like tell people that too.” Because the reality is, is that any in the current marketplace, in the current state of online, there’s so much noise. There’s just so much noise and so getting people to just engage verbally if you can do that, is a bigger win than almost anything else that you can do.

[bctt tweet=”Be candid with people, tell them you don’t do traditional marketing or advertising and ask them if they find value in your service/product to share it with someone. -Connor Beaton ” username=”kylethegray”]

Kyle:                                         

Oh, I think that, that’s so amazing, and I think just throughout this whole interview, something that’s just been coming through loud and clear to me is one of the reasons you’ve been able to cut through the noise in your marketplace is because of your deep connection with your purpose and your deep confidence in what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

I think that is the ultimate foundation for creating good content, creating good products or building something that’s successful and has a big impact. I know it’s something you love to explore. So I’d love for you to close this out a little on how somebody can do that kind of reflection and start to understand their purpose and bring that into the work they’re doing.

Connor Beaton:               

Yeah, so there are two things that I want to share and they might seem a little obscure at first but, the one is relentless optimism and the other is relentless passion. I think a lot of people have been sold on the idea that passion and positivity will go a long way. The challenge is, is that we as human beings, we have great BS detectors.                         

So when somebody comes up to me, and they are naively positive about something, it immediately, it’s like a magnet that pushes people away. We can feel when somebody is naively optimistic or naively passionate about something. Where they don’t seem to have much of a plan. Where they don’t really seem to like at a core level, believe in what they’re doing, and we can intuitively feel that.                                

The two things that I would really say to people is, cultivate relentless optimism and relentless passion, because this requires a certain degree or like ruthless honesty with yourself. When you have a certain degree of ruthless honesty with yourself, you are able to show up in front of people and speak about your brand and speak about your mission in such a way that provides clarity for people.

 

If you have clarity on your brand and on your mission and on your vision and the direction you’re taking your brand, your organization, other people will want to be a part of that because in a world where most people have no freaking clue where they’re going. They are looking for people who know where they’re going. If you can be one of those people, and it takes work, it takes you to internally know that you know where you’re going, not this fake, pretend style. You actually have to really believe and know fundamentally that you know where you’re going and that you’re doing the work to make it happen.

Other people will come along for the ride. They’ll want to learn from you. They’ll want to be a part of it and it will create this tidal wave of momentum behind you that is almost unstoppable and the second thing is be humble. You don’t know it all, you don’t need to know it all. People don’t expect you to know it all. You’re not running a Fortune 500 oil company or Coca-Cola. You don’t have to always showcase this side of impenetrability. People actually want real vulnerability for you to say, “I don’t have the answer to this and I’m sorry and I dropped the ball.”  

That has served me so well in the past, say like, “I screwed up, this wasn’t good enough and I’m sorry for that and let’s make this right.” That’s gone a long way when I am trying to figure something out that maybe isn’t crystal clear or perfect because people respect the fact that we are flawed, all of us are flawed. That type of realness will just keep people coming back into your brand and your organization.

[bctt tweet=”People respect the fact that we are flawed; all of us are flawed. Showing that realness will just keep people coming back. -Connor Beaton” username=”kylethegray”]

Kyle:                                         

Connor, this has been such an insightful and exciting interview and I’m certain that many of the other people listening out there are gonna be feeling it too. Thank you so much. Tell us where if somebody loved this interview, they can go to learn a little bit more about you and maybe some first steps if they want to learn or engage deeper with ManTalks, what can they do?

Connor Beaton:               

Yeah, I mean the easiest way is to go to ManTalks.com and check out the podcasts or you could go to Facebook and check out the ManTalks Community, which is great resource for a lot of people. If you want to learn more about me, you can just go to connorbeaton.com and check out a little bit more about my story and my journey there and some of the work that we have up and coming and yeah, that’s probably about it.

Kyle:                                         

Thank you so much for joining us Connor.

Connor Beaton:               

Thanks for having me.

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