Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
February 7, 2012 4:01 PM

How To Get Started As A Business Leader

Your life and your success is not obvious. It's not a given. It's not a direct path.

I often say that the best careers in marketing (specifically the ones that have a digital/new media slant) are very squiggly. They involve everything from stumbling through university and very crappy jobs to bad choices and decisions that were driven by financial debt instead of personal opportunity. Every year, I do my best to attend the TED conference. A couple of years ago, the name Chris Sacca was bandied around as someone who everyone wanted to not only meet, but hang out with. He was (and still is) a venture capitalist with a background at Google (in the early days) and an early investor in companies like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Kickstarter and others (you can see what he's about right here: Lowercase Capital). On one of the nights at TED, we both happened to be on the same shuttle bus (I was shy and didn't say anything). Later that evening we both sat next to one another at a late night jam-session that was being hosted by one of the hotels (I still didn't say anything). I didn't want to look like a fanboy (I was just impressed with everything that he had done at such a young age). People were constantly swarming him. It felt like there was an air desperation in hopes that some of his magic pixie dust might sprinkle over them. It turns out that - shock of all shocks - Chris is a lot like you and I. He's a normal guy that is just following his dream by trying to help others. He was actually two million dollars in debt not that along ago, but was able to turn his life around. He's endured crappy jobs growing up, and as a venture capitalist is first to admit that he's wrong much more frequently than right. His life philosophy and how he thinks about opportunity should be turned into a book. You'll just want to be a friend's of Chris. If you don't want to be his friend, you will be refreshed by his perspective on business.

It's about your foundation.

Kevin Rose (Digg, Milk, Revision3, etc...) hosts an incredible video podcast called, Foundation, where he has in-depth conversations with, "influential founders, entrepreneurs, and business leaders in the tech community," according to the website. With all of my heavy consumption and infovore mentality, I had not heard about this show until today and somehow stumbled upon this incredible hour-long conversation that Rose did with Chris Sacca from July 2011. I could not stop watching it. Not only is it a fascinating look at Silicon Valley and how relationships are built, it's an amazing education for everyone in marketing to learn from. They talk about the value of networking and relationships, what success looks like, how business models are created and much, much more (including how Sacca thinks Twitter will not only make money and become a big business, but what this means to marketing today... and moving forward).

Stop what you're doing and immerse yourself in this world...

By Mitch Joel