On our last episode of this year, the Happy Market Research team shares what their biggest lessons were in 2018, their favorite episodes and more. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome this year and can’t wait for you to listen to what we have in store for 2019.

Thank you to our listeners who continue to support us. We wish you a Happy New Year!

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Social Media: @happymrxp

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[00:03]

Happy Market Research.  This is our last episode.  Today is December 28th.  So, this is our last episode.  People are nodding because we’re on audio, of course.  

[00:12] – William

Last episode of 2018.

[00:14]

What did I say?

[00:15] – William

Last episode.

[00:16]

Of 2018, thank you.  Good point, William. Big difference.

I thought it would be a lot of fun, closing us out to talk themes we recognize in the 50+ episodes that we did in 2018 and then talk to my awesome staff:  Chueyee, Chloe, and William on some of their learnings and take-aways. So without further ado, Chueyee.

[00:41] – Chueyee

Hi.  [laughter]

[00:46]

Let’s start out with a little bit…  I mean you didn’t come from market research, right?  You came out of school with a journalism degree. So, what was that like for you moving out from journalism into a marketing company, specifically Happy Market Research Podcast?  

[01:04]

Well, I didn’t even know market research existed when I was college or until I got this job.  So my first day here I was super confused, but then as we got more into interviewing market research professionals, and I started listening to more podcasts from Happy Market Research, I just started to get a little bit better understanding of what market researchers do.  

One great example that Jamin told us was Yoplait yogurt.  And after he told us the story about that, it was like “Wow, market researchers are super important especially for businesses.”  If you guys don’t know the story, Jamin told us that back in the day, Yoplait yogurt, their main color was green, but then they did some data research and they realized that, if they changed it to red, then they would get more sales.  Once they did, they actually did get more sales. So that was just like mind-blowing to me.

[02:10]

The mind-blowing part was specific to how data is used or what part of that was really impactful?

[02:18]

Just the fact that market research is so little but has such a big impact.  

[02:23]

Yeah, I think that’s true.  I mean market research is the tail that wags the dog.  So, when you think about the billions of dollars that are spent in marketing every year, globally, market research represents a very small fraction of that.  Maybe – I don’t know what rule of thumb is – I’ve always assumed it’s about 10%. The total global market research spend according to ESOMAR is around $70 billion, which is a big ass space.  But I do believe that proportionally we’re holding at that – much smaller relative to how much money is being spent across the board. The decisions that businesses are making… You referenced a study that I had participated in in the ‘90s that was very interesting for me because it was also probably one of my “Ah-hah” moments moving into market research of, while data is important and can be used for impacting consumers and their preferences, I think what’s been interesting over the last two decades from my view and of my career is how the internet has empowered consumers in a unique way.  So before brands literally were blind on what the consumer preference was outside of sales data, of course, which is a lagging indication, but now through the internet, there has been a direct access to the consumer to the brand through social media.

Last time I was on a United flight, I tweeted to United, “Hey, thanks” because I got some free refreshment, and then United tweeted back to me.  So that direct connection now is public and that has influence, positive or negative, on that brand. Conversely, of course, the guy that was ripped off the airplane on United… that had a lot of social media impact and negatively hurt the United brand.  

While market research as a discipline has been used to inform brands of consumer opinions, now brands have to broaden their scope beyond just traditional market research methods but yet still apply the same rigor in order to digest and understand the consumer.  It’s a neat phase; it’s a neat time.

So what was your favorite episode?

[04:40] – Chueyee

For sure, it has to be the one with Dina from Survata.  I was able to actually go to their office with Jamin and Alexandra, and we were able to see the office and meet Dina in person.  I felt like because I was able to go there that was also one of the reasons why it was my favorite episode. But my most favorite thing that she said like during the interview was how even though she is a CEO, she is still a human being and she still does take out the garbage; she does whatever other people would normally do.  Like just because you’re a CEO doesn’t mean you can’t do… I don’t know, printing paper or like stapling stuff. So I feel like because of that quote, it just stuck in my head. Especially in a startup company, you’re really all over the place. And, even though you do have a job description, you have to do more.

[05:37]

Yeah, and I think it’s the people that do more are the people that wind up succeeding ‘cause my theory is that they see the whole picture or at least a more complete view of the picture.  The small things are what impact the big outcomes in our lives. If you’re in a situation where… This is New Year’s resolution season; so, everybody’s coming up or most people are coming up with their three things that they’re going to change, right:  “not going to drink any more or less,” “I’m going to eat certain types foods,” “I’m going to stop smoking,” “I’m going to spend more time with my kids,” whatever those things are. And a lot of times the delta is “I’m eating badly and then I’m just magically going to stop eating badly or eat well,” using that example.  That’s always a recipe for failure. Recipes for success of sticking with habits are “I’m going to make incremental or small changes.” So, for example, instead of eating whatever I want at lunch, I’m always going to eat a salad. That’s my first discipline. It’s a little, tiny change. Or I’m going to drink a bunch of water in the morning or whatever it is, right?  It’s like doing pushups: no one can just go do a hundred pushups, starting right away; you probably can do ten or some number. But, if you exercise that muscle, create that discipline in your life, eventually you’ll be able to do 12, 20, and eventually 100 pushups, right? Connecting that, the corollary to business is we have… Happy Market Research is a great example.  As a startup, everything is important. And I don’t get to choose as the founder of the company, I don’t get to choose “Oh, I’m not going to set up the mics” ‘cause the mics have to get set up, right? So there’s this like lack of entitlement or humility that we all bring to the table. And at the end of the day, that is top-down always. So, if the CEO is sitting there saying, “I’m doing my very important role and job, and I’m not going to set up the mics,” then you’re going to have a big problem because everybody else is going to start looking at the things that they’re not going to do, right?  And we need to define ourselves as a “Yes” culture as opposed to a “It’s not my job” culture.

So, I am really interested in this Dina piece.  How much of the – it being your favorite episode – was because you were on site versus the content of the episode?

[08:10] – Chueyee

I think both because I was able to hear in person and then also hear through the podcast.  I think that helped a lot. And also I think it was her energy that she brought out while we were there.  She was just so excited and so passionate about everything that she was saying. I remember that she said that, “Even on Saturdays when I’m working now, I’m replying to emails.”  And that really stuck to me as well because I’m just like “Wow, she’s always on.”

[08:38]

Yeah, totally.  It’s like a lifestyle.  There’s this blend that’s happened in the last 10 years – or really 15 years – through the internet again.  Because you’re an “always on culture,” you have the ability of turning it on and off. Like William this morning coming in at 9:30 was no problem, right?  He got to spend time with family that he doesn’t normally, but at the same time he was able to communicate to us that information last night and on the weekends when he’s doing work.  So like there’s this blur between work and everything else where it’s kind of all fitting together. Or like me: I was cutting frickin’ wood yesterday with my dad, and then we do a video call – which is hilarious.  Yeah, totally. Always on: you have to have that mindset ‘cause again, if you get into the “I’m going to work from 9 to 5” mentality, that’s going to be a problem, I think, for people that are overachievers. That definitely works for other roles and mentalities.  I’m not judging. Not everybody always has to be in that role.  I think that people who are going to be in that highly successful category are going to be the ones that have that sort of “always on” framework.

[09:53] – Chueyee

Yes, I noticed ever since I got my first job in college, email is like checking social media to me and even on the weekend.   And if I don’t check my emails, it’s like I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. Like I feel like something important is supposed to go on but I don’t know what’s happening.  

[10:11]

Alright.  So, let’s shift to Chloe.  

[10:14] – Chloe

Hi.  [laughter]

[10:18]

Chloe may be the shyest one of the bunch.

[10:20] – Chloe

Yeah, we can’t really have you see this picture, but we’re all standing around a tiny table and I just wish that everyone would turn around and not stare at me.  [laughter] But here I am.

[10:35]

So, you’re a master storyteller; you’re a master storyteller.  I mean seriously… My favorite social media post that I’ve ever seen in my entire life is literally your story of sneakers and first day as an intern, right?  That was such a well-said, well-articulated, told story of a person’s things that are meaningful and just kind of taking the ordinary and making it super relevant and interesting.  So maybe you could tell us the story about how you landed at Happy Market Research.

[11:14]

Yeah, it was such a coincidence, and also at the time, I felt like the stars really aligned for me.  In 2017, at the end of 2017, I graduated from college, and it was really a big journey to finding my first job.  I didn’t really have much experience, and I wasn’t getting a lot of interviews. But in August of this year, my mom sent me a Facebook event, and it was for this entrepreneurship talk in town that was close by.  And she said, “Chloe, you have to go to this.  You have to just get out there. You can’t be down; you can’t be depressed anymore.  You really just have to get out there and start meeting people. This is how people find jobs.”  And I was super reluctant to go because that’s way out of my comfort zone. I do like to go and be around people and meet people, but being around a bunch of new people was really scary to me.  But I decided to go anyway, and I showed up by myself. It was my very first networking event that I had ever been to. And Jamin happened to be one of the speakers. I didn’t really talk to anyone, but when I left that day, I thought, “OK, maybe, I could go to another one of these.”  A couple weeks later, I was scrolling through LinkedIn and I saw this post that someone had shared about a podcast. It looked really cool; it was a graphic for, I think it was, BuzzFeed – the interview that we did with BuzzFeed. And I was like, “Wow, that’s really cool. That seems like something that I would want to be a part of because I really do like video and maybe I can help them out in some way.  Then I saw that it had come from Jamin and his profile. I was like, “Hey, I remember him being a speaker at that event that I went to. Maybe there is some way that I can get in touch with him.” It was scary to me to kind of think about reaching out to him because I didn’t know him… I didn’t talk to him at all. And I talked to my mom, and I talked to my boyfriend. And they said, “No, you saw him. This is your in.  You could tell him that you saw him speak and that you really liked him. And I thought, “OK, I’m going to do it. I’m going to let go of my fears and do something because I need this. This is something that I really want.” I wrote an email; well, not an email – I actually contacted him through LinkedIn. And he responded to me. We had some communication issues to where I couldn’t get a hold of him. And the funny thing is Jamin was a really hard person to get a hold of.  I mean he’s a CEO; so, of course, he had a lot of things going on. But he made me chase him, and that was something that I was afraid to do because I was afraid of the rejection. And my mom said, “So, you’re just going to give up.” I think it was after a week of trying to get in touch with him and finally meet him. “You’re just going to give up.” I said, “Well, I don’t think that it’s for me. Obviously, the universe is giving me a sign that this isn’t for me. So I just got to move on; I got to find something else that is meant for me.”  And she was like, “OK, but I really think you should try one more time.” My boyfriend said, “No, you’ve come this far. He’s reached out to you three times. You have nothing to lose by trying one more time.” And it was actually through him and one of his co-workers that we got connected. Luckily, that was Jamin’s right-hand man at Focus Vision. That was what kind of sealed the deal but also just being really persistent. I did actually send him a text too to say, “Hey, you know I really want to do this. Can we meet?” So the combination of reaching out to him through text and having that connection through my boyfriend was what got me into this position.  So, I started out as an intern working for free, kind of paying my dues. And that’s how I became an employee. I think it was a great thing for me just because I would have given up. I think everything else before this point, I would have said, “It’s not for me” – just like I said with this. But sometimes you just got to push harder and be more persistent: that’s how great things happen.

[15:55]

100%.  [laughter]  The thing that stood out to me is as I was listening to you talk is… There’s two things actually:  one is fear. Fear of putting yourself out there is, I believe, the biggest inhibitor of success in the early stages of your career and, even to, I believe, a greater extent, in the later stages of your career.  Let me explain why: In the later stages of your career, you presumably have already done something; so, there’s a measuring stick of success, and the market looks at you and says, “OK, is it going to be bigger?”  It’s just expectation. If it’s bigger, then you win; if it’s not bigger, then you lose, right? So the fear that I had in starting Happy Market Research – ‘cause it took me, I want to say, three months to (pardon my French) sack up and start the podcast because I’m thinking to myself, “OK, what I’ve done in the past is meaningful; it’s still impacting the industry and growing and doing well.”  Starting a podcast doesn’t seem like the natural step forward. Intuitively, I’d be working with a Egon Zehnder and getting another CEO job for some software blah, blah. So, you know what I’m saying? It was a big dose, I guess, of just faith that everything is going to work out, and like you said, universe… whatever you believe in, that if you do step out, then it’s going to be OK. What’s the worst thing that could happen?  I mean literally what’s the worst thing that could happen? Somebody could tell you, “No,” or people could look at you and judge you. Well, the worst thing that could happen is you not take that step and not subsequently have the opportunities that are presented to you. Kind of like Chueyee was talking about in hers about this “Everybody does everything” mentality or this “Yes”-culture mentality… As soon as you start creating frameworks or “No’s” or limiters for yourself because of fear, then you immediately… you immediately set a ceiling on yourself that is unrealistic.  

I think if there’s one lesson that I hope everybody that’s listened to this podcast or paid attention to any of the social media posts that we’ve done or interacted with us on an individual level or in a public environment…  the one thing I would say is that we are our own limiter. We are the person, the individual, the being that creates the ceiling for ourselves and what sort of success looks like and what we can achieve. The sooner that you can break those ceilings and say, “I can be whatever you see as successful,” the next question then is “How do I achieve that?”  And the good news is there’s already an Oprah. So, what’s her journey look like? How do I reverse engineer that, assuming that’s like the go-to whatever your framework is. And then you start moving in that direction. Chances are the direction that we go isn’t where we end. I’ll tell you that for sure at almost 48 years old. But I will tell you that the more that you exercise those muscles of just stepping out and not being afraid, then the higher the probability is that you’ll achieve great things and have broader influence or have a happier life, better time with your kids, better time with your spouse, whatever it is that you’re into.

So tell me about your favorite episode?  

[19:27] – Chloe    

Well, having said all of this, that kind of leads into two different episodes that we recorded:  one of them with Marc Zionts and the other with Nancy Hernon. Those were two of my absolute favorites.  One thing that Marc Zionts said that really stood out to me was something that he looks for in people is that sense of resilience.  You have to be resilient and determined because sometimes things aren’t going to go your way, and when you’re at rock bottom, you have to know that things aren’t going to stay that way forever.  For me, with the whole job search thing, that really was like it was really bad at the time; it felt bad and it felt like it was the worst part of my life or whatever the case was, but at the end of the day, I knew at some point things would get brighter and things would get better and they did.  Also, with Nancy Hernon, when she was telling her story about her moving to New York and just getting up and going, she said, “Why not? What can I lose?” She always asks herself, “Let’s just do it. Let’s just see what happens.” Rather than the fear, “Oh, no, everything could go all wrong,” it’s a much better way to look at it as what could happen.  It’s worse for you to have that regret of not knowing what could have happened. I think those are just things that you can apply to your life in every way.

[21:00]

Right, the regret being the biggest problem.  At the end of life (we’ve all seen the studies that have been done over time, the interviews with people in old folks’ homes), there’s only one problem there:  it’s the things that they didn’t try; it’s the things that they didn’t step out with and just say, “I’m going to give this a shot. I wish I spent more time doing whatever it was.”  Well, we just have to step up and recognize that we are in charge of our time right now, and if I’m going to choose to play whatever it is ten hours a day of the trending videogame versus ten hours a day of building a personal brand or with my kids or whatever…  You just have to own those subsequent outcomes. I know some very successful people, financially successful people that are absolutely miserable now with hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank, and their kids won’t talk to them because they made choices. And, if you talk to them about what they wish they had, it isn’t hundreds of millions of dollars; it is meaningful relationships with their family.  So, we need to own the outcomes, which means we need to own the inputs and not operate like victims or “Oh, I just have to spend more time at business. I just have to, have to….” No, you don’t; you get to choose your own path. The other story that kind of piggybacked on that one was Robert Porter, right? It’s pretty impactful.

So, William, let’s shift gears with you.  What was your favorite episode?

[22:25] – William

Oh, you’re switching it up on me, OK.  Favorite episode? I think it is Robert Porter, and the reason I say that is because he out of everybody on the podcast opened up, I think, on a personal level more than anybody else did.  Seeing somebody who is very successful in business, very successful, just be that vulnerable and open about his life and the things he’s experienced and had to persevere through was just really eye-opening ‘cause those are the things where on social media and just in public, everybody puts their best foot forward and you see one side of things.  You could look at his LinkedIn profile and think, “Oh, man, this guy has never had anything bad go on in his entire life.” But then you hear his story and you’re like, “Oh, my gosh, you had to deal with that and that and that!” And it’s really incredible.

[23:25]

And, of course, the story that William is referencing is one where Robert Porter and his sibling were abandoned by his mother at an airport and then moved into the system at that point.  Subsequently, of course, he’s built a very successful business, just rocking it financially as well as impacting market research. So, very, very successful life outcome for him.

[23:57] – William

And then from there he had the merger that he was trying to do, that he successfully did.  And during that, his wife had this severe health episode. Fortunately, he had surrounded himself with good teammates and people in his life that could support him through that.  It just really speaks to the importance of building a solid team of people you can trust and having a solid network professionally.

[24:25]

So, you have worked for me before Happy Market Research started just to build some Instagram action, I’d say, and try to figure out that pop form.  Then, of course, moving into a full-time role at Happy MR. What has it been like for you, coming out of school recently, entrepreneurial focused, into a start-up?

[24:51]

Well, it’s been absolutely incredible.  I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunities with Happy Market Research and Jamin that I’ve had.  Having majored in entrepreneurship, seeing it first-hand, practical, being executed is totally different than what you learn in school.  It’s just really cool to see Jamin, who’s a seasoned entrepreneur, starting a business from scratch and getting to be here on the ground floor, seeing things unfold.  It really is changing my perspective on what it’s like to start a business. In a lot of ways, it makes it feel more realistic for me in the future. I’m like, “OK, yeah, now that I know that, I can do that.”  I can definitely see myself doing this in the future, but it also made me realize how currently unprepared I am to start a business.

[25:48]

I think you’re always unprepared.  It’s like being a parent. There’s no manual:  you just have to go through the process. I want to piggyback though on the point that you made about the difference between school and real life.  Where is the delta there? The gap between education and the practicalness of entrepreneurship?

[26:06] – William

They don’t teach you really how to be an employee in your business.  They don’t teach you even if you’re self-employed. They don’t teach you the day-to-day operational things that you need to do to successfully execute a start-up.  They teach you all of the HR compliance. They teach you all of the taxes…

[26:28]

Financial…

[26:30] – William

…Everything like that.  Entrepreneurship gets really nitty gritty with what you learn about business – different than management or accounting does.  But even still you don’t learn the really important, hands-on hard skills that you need to have to be a good employee in a start-up.  

[26:47]

By employee, you’re referencing both the people that you hire as entrepreneurs as well as the entrepreneurs themselves, right?

[26:53]

Exactly, yeah, ‘cause even when I was… I briefly flirted with having a consultancy over summer.  I had two months of success, but I wasn’t sure if I could keep the pipeline up. I just know that…  They don’t teach you how to make sales in entrepreneurship (that’s the big one); they don’t teach you how to sell.  They teach you how to figure out if you have a good business idea, a good value prop, but they don’t teach you how to actually sell the thing to people.   

[27:20]

That’s totally true.  There are a lot of salespeople that start businesses, myself included, and…  I think one of the limiters is… (This is a double negative, so I’ll rephrase it.)  They’re a good salesperson, but they don’t recognize that they’re not a good CEO. So what I mean is they’re a good salesperson, but they’re not a good CEO; however, they don’t know that about themselves.  Just because they were good in the early days means that they need to push through to the later stages of a company. I would say that, if I could teach a course at the undergrad level, it would probably be on entrepreneurship, self-awareness.  It would be a lot about understanding yourself constantly – not just from a Myers-Briggs 1 and done. But learn to listen to yourself, learn to see yourself.

[28:10] – William

Be self-critical.

[28:11]

Be self-critical, not in a negative…  constructive. And not in a way where you’re always thinking about, “Oh, I wish I would have done this better or that better or this better.”  I think that can be poison. But you need to see yourself through the eyes of whether it’s the employees or the market or the customer, or what have you.

[28:30] – William

Having perspective.

[28:31]   

Totally.  And that will really help round out for entrepreneurs where you are strong and where you’re weak and then apply humility to exactly those points so that you can bow out at the right time of the business’s growth, so that you do maximize your outcome at the end of the day.

[28:51]

That would be a really awesome course.

[28:53]

I think so too, actually, yeah.  So, 2018 is in the bag… the biggest lesson you learned?

[28:59] – Chloe

So the first thing that comes to mind especially with my story and my journey – my biggest lesson of 2018 is just to get out of your comfort zone even if it’s just a little bit because you never know where that can take you.  And I’m a super shy person, but my team… I’m so glad to be working alongside them because they’ve kind of shown me too that being silly and being fun and doing things that you wouldn’t normally do, that’s just what makes life great.  So I thank all of you for letting me join your team.

[29:36] – William

We thank you for being part of our team.

[29:38]

Alright, who’s next?  Biggest lesson learned?

[29:41] – Chueyee

Well, I really didn’t think about this a lot, but one of things that popped up is probably to always be prepared and expect the unexpected.

[29:50] – William

Always have a notebook.

[29:51] – Chueyee

Oh, my God, I don’t have one right now, but I usually do.  I’m usually the typewriter and the notetaker in our group.

[29:57]

So preparation is vital.  I can’t remember who it was – maybe William – that said that always bring a pen and paper to a meeting.  My favorite example of that was a co-pitch to a company. (I won’t tell you who it was with, but the guy is still in the industry.)  The company we were pitching was Honda – so this small, little firm, right? It was for hundreds of thousands of dollars of research annually or completes, I should say, annually.  So I really wanted this business. I came; I brought a guy with me. (I don’t remember who it was now). I had my notebook, my pad; I had done my research; I knew who we were meeting with, etc., etc.  The other guy comes in a little bit more like a cowboy and then about three minutes before the meeting he says, “Hey, man.” So he saw that I was prepared: I had a paper and whatever. He says, “Hey, can I borrow a piece of paper?”  So I tear out a piece of paper from my notebook, give it to him. He says, “Oh, yeah, I forgot my pen. Do you have a pen?” I look around, “No, I’m sorry. I only brought one pen.” And I turn around and look, and there’s a magic marker on the white board, right?  So, “Dude, here you go.” I swear to God he took notes with Honda executives in the room, using a f**ing magic marker on a piece of paper. All I was thinking was, “I bet it’s bleeding through and going to stain the table.” Is it “bring your kids to work” work day?  I don’t know. I was super pissed. Obviously, we lost the business. We opted out as soon as he brought up the magic marker.

Preparation is vital.  You can’t have successful, as you’re describing it, B.S.; you can’t have improvisation successfully applied to a business UNLESS you have the framework or the preparation that’s gone into it, right?  We don’t exactly know what’s going to happen… I’ll pick on PeerSpectrum, our marketing services customer, when we’re in a meeting yesterday, one of the executives said, “Well, what is our strategy or plan around us sharing and commenting on other people’s content, right?”  That’s a really good question, and I off-the-cuff come up with an answer. The view on that could be “Yes,” or the view is “He’s done this a lot and built an audience successfully with – whatever it is – 22,000 people on LinkedIn and many Fortune executives. So maybe he actually has that framework and understands how to be able to apply it.”  See what I mean? So I think earlier in your career, you definitely need to have the preparation side of it, and then, as you get better at the pattern recognition and have some success, you still have to have the humility of preparation. And that’s the piece that I think that we fall down on. Like that meeting would have completely failed had you not, and briefed the team ahead of time, on the things that we needed to do in order to be successful, right?  When I think about… (I’m going to ask you guys this question really quick.) One of the questions we had for most of our interviews in 2018 was Top Three Characteristics of an All-Star Employee. What was one of those characteristics that you felt was consistently said, brought up, or fairly consistently brought up by the guests and how did that impact you?

[33:11] – Chloe

I think it would be having an employee who is willing to change along with the company.  I think that stuck with me the most ‘cause I started this job at Happy Market Research in late July, and I was hired to do videos.  And now I’m mainly working with clients and marketing; so, I had to shift my job position to where our company is going. When we first started, we just were basically a podcast company and did podcasts about market research.  We had two different podcasts: MRX News and Happy Market Research. And now we’re dying down on Happy Market Research and next year we’re going to go to about two a month. Now we’re going to focus more on clients, and we also want to do more podcasts like at conferences.  So like that’s kind of what we’re leaning toward. But again, the number 1 thing I noticed that is you have to change along with your company. If you don’t, you’re just going to be stuck.

[34:14]

Totally.  You’ll be stuck without a job.  [laughter] It kind of gets down to – and that’s just talking about employee-fit or company-fit – the self-awareness of “Do I want to work at a 9 to 5 where I’m doing the same thing?”  There’s a lot of people who do and are really happy doing it. So we’re not judging that view, but if you’re going to work at a start-up or, I would say, even at a more or less progressive business, then it’s probably the case that you’re going to need to be adaptable to meet the needs of the organization because in war time – that’s when you have war time promotions…  that’s the other piece, the upside opportunity, right? Executives, even in a… I managed a 400-person business. I’m not saying that that’s a big business, but it’s a lot of employees globally, but I still knew the people that were overachieving even in that framework where most of the employees weren’t located locally where I was based. I was still spending time with them; I was trying to get to locations.  But I always knew who was overachieving in those offices, and I also knew who wasn’t achieving, right? And then when there were opportunities for advancement, Boom! – that’s really easy. And, conversely, when you’re having to cut staff because of underperformance for whatever reason by a market or at a company level or at a global level, that becomes pretty easy too. Alright, William.

[35:38] – William

I think for me it was the ownership mentality of employees thinking like the CEO thinks.  I think that we have the opportunity to do that a lot here at Happy Market Research because there’s four of us.  Sometimes decisions need to get made. We have a culture here I think you really empower us to make those types of decisions.  I think it’s really key for all employees to have that ownership mentality because if you’re thinking the way that your CEO does or the C suite thinks or shareholders think – whoever it is, you’re aligning your purpose and your daily operations in the business with kind of the end goal of the business, which is driving shareholder value, driving profit, driving revenue.  If you have that approach every day when you go into work of “What are the things I can do to really add value to the business,” then you’re obviously going to be the frontrunner for any promotions or raises or anything, bonuses anything like that.

[36:44] – Chloe

I think I just have to agree with Chueyee in the words of March Zionts:  agility is really a key characteristic that an employee should have because it’s true especially working in a start-up.  You do have to be OK with change because from one day to the next your direction can change. And you just have to ride with it.  Life is changing all the time too, and if you can’t accept that, you’re just going to get swallowed by the waves.

[37:17]

Yeah, from your mouth to every brand’s ears.  Social media, if anything, has illustrated the importance of attention for companies and the willingness to apply their resources towards touching generations in that space where the generations are going.  And that’s why I keep referencing the Edwin Wong interview with BuzzFeed in most of my conversations. I love the Facebook group they have on food. What is it 23 million? It’s understated. Maybe it’s 200 million?  

[37:53] – Chloe

Probably around that.

[37:54]

I think it’s 200 million.  I think it’s around 200 to 300 million people who are part of that Facebook group.  And when Edwin brought it up on the podcast, he said the reason that has been so successful and one of the, if not the largest Facebook group, is because BuzzFeed has a culture of going where the people are and talking about what the people want to talk about.  So it isn’t about BuzzFeed: it’s about the market. And as soon as you apply that mentality to what you do as an employee or as a husband or as a whatever (boyfriend or girlfriend), I’m just approaching from the male view, but you get the point. Then you immediately, I believe, start finding success in those relationships.  

Well, I think that’s a wrap for 2018.  You guys, thank you so much. It has been an honor to work with you this year.  I’m excited to see what 2019 brings. Like Chueyee said, we’ll be doing two podcasts every month: one will be with a brand; the other will be with an agency.  So we’re kicking off January with Kantar and Microsoft, talking about customer success and customer experience, how companies are leveraging technology and research to create excellent, amazing customer experiences, and how brands are applying that technology to the decision-making of their day-to-day operations.  

So that’s it from me, Jamin, 2018.

[39:24] – William

William, 2018.

[39:27]

What do we go out on?

[39:29] – Chloe

Hey, Happy Market Research here, wishing you a great New Year and that’s that.  [laughter]

[39:35] – William

Bye, Happy Market Research here.

[39:37] – Chueyee

Bye!

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