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IAM330- Serial Entrepreneur Creates Hyper Growth Products and Product Teams

Podcast Interview with David Cancel

David Cancel is a serial entrepreneur, podcast host (Seeking Wisdom) and angel investor/advisor. He is best known for creating hypergrowth products and product teams at companies such as Drift, HubSpot, Performable, Ghostery and Compete. David was named the top-ranked CEO by of USA Today and has been featured by media outlets such as The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Wired, and Fast Company, and has guest lectured on entrepreneurship at Harvard, Harvard Business School, MIT, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Bentley, and other universities.

  • CEO Hack: Reading a lot and multiple books at one time
  • CEO Nugget: It takes years of persistence and resilience to learn the important lessons in life
  • CEO Defined: Chief explainer officer

Website: https://www.drift.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dcancel
Book: www.drift.com/book
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dcancel


Full Interview

 

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Transcription

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and have a very special guest on the show today. I've David Cancel of Drift and author of Conversational Marketing. David, it's awesome to have you on the show.

David Cancel 0:41

Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:43

No problem. Super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about David so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And David is a serial entrepreneur, podcast host (Seeking Wisdom), and angel investor/advisor. He is best known for creating hypergrowth products and product teams at companies such as Drift, HubSpot, Performable, Ghostery, and Compete. David was named the top-ranked CEO of USA Today and has been featured by media outlets such as The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Wired, and Fast Company, and has guest lectured on entrepreneurship at Harvard, Harvard Business School, MIT, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Bentley, and other universities. David, are you ready to speak I AM CEO Community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

David Cancel 1:27

Hi, I'm super excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 1:30

No problem, super excited to have you on. So they kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story, what led you to start your business?

David Cancel 1:41

Sure. So this is actually the fifth business that I've started. So if I go all the way back in time, my parents emigrated to the US. And they both worked for themselves. And I grew up in that environment. And I think that had a lot to do with me wanting to start a business. And back in the day, I had no idea what a business was, how to start a business or any of these things. But like five companies later, I think I've figured that part out that at least that little part of it out. And I started this business because I basically wanted to fix some of the problems that I think I helped create in other companies that I had created. And I try to bring something new to the market.

Gresham Harkless 2:20

That makes perfect sense. And definitely, I think you're doing pretty well if you're five companies. And so it's great to hear that you not only were able to solve problems within those companies, but you found other problems that you're able to solve too. So wanted to hear a little bit more about these problems and what you're doing with the draft and how you're helping to solve them.

David Cancel 2:37

Sure. So all my companies that I've started and been a part of basically marketing and sales software of some type or another. And what I realized when I was thinking about starting Drift was that those tools that exist, which are most of the tools that we all use today, in marketing and sales out there, were really built for this world that doesn't exist anymore. And what I mean by that is that in a world where the company has all the control over the sales process and the consumer, the buyer has no control over the sales process.

And I think what we observed was that the world had flipped upside down and that now the customer has all the power and has infinite supply of choice, and they can buy anything anywhere 24/7 365. And so now companies have to change the way that they market and sell to this new reality. And that is the basis of why drift exists.

Gresham Harkless 3:29

Nice. And it definitely is right. In this day and age, especially with all the opportunity and the technology. It's day and age, everything is literally at your fingertips. So if you don't like this, you can move on to that. And you're saying that drift is created in order to combat that.

David Cancel 3:43

Exactly. And the truth is that most companies in the world, although theoretically, they may understand this, or intellectually, they understand this, haven't changed the way that they market and sell yet. And because all the tools in the market were built for that old world. And so we're trying to usher in this new shift that has already happened as you said yourself, like it has nothing to do with FOSS. It's already a reality. But we're trying to create software that makes it easier for people to make this transition.

Gresham Harkless 4:10

Nice, nice. Can you drill a little bit deeper and tell us a little bit about how that software is doing? And how somebody who thinks that it may be ushering in that technology may not be doing it as much as they could be doing it.

David Cancel 4:23

Yes, it will. If we think about the typical sales, the sales process today, and the marketing process, you get people to your website, and you make them fill out. If it's not e-commerce, which most businesses are not, you make them fill out a form. You put them, you send them a bunch of emails, you nurture them, and at some point, you decide that this person would be a good fit for your business and then you get back to that person. But that usually happens days, weeks, and sometimes even months later. And again, that worked in a world where you were largely a monopoly or had very few competitors and so you can control that process.

But in today's world, you have doubts about an infinite number of competitive solutions. And so in today's world, what we do with drift is say, don't do that we're instead trying to be available 24/7 365, seven days a week on your website, and instead of directly into a form, have a conversation with that person, because you're never going to if you have salespeople, you've never sold anything until you had a conversation. So that is the core thing, instead of putting hurdles in front of them, enable the conversation.

And of course, we need to sleep and we're not available 24/7. So drift enables and is built with bots so that the bots can have these conversations and can help people while your team is asleep. And then, at the same time, provide you with this 24/7 365 experience for that buyer.

Gresham Harkless 5:49

That makes perfect sense. And it's funny because it sounds like and corrects me if I'm wrong. A lot of times FAQs were created because a lot of people have the same questions over and over again. But you don't really have that conversation that back and forth that I guess drift provides.

David Cancel 6:03

Exactly. You're not getting the context, which is important about where is that customer. Where can I meet them? What is their real question FAQs existed for a long time and they exist today. And they have their fine. But FAQs are really driven by deflecting, right again, like forms or deflecting FAQs, or deflecting. So that's about scaling a relationship versus having a conversation, understanding the context, and trying to solve for that customer.

Gresham Harkless 6:32

Absolutely, that makes perfect sense. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And it could be for you or for your organization. But what do you feel sets you apart and makes you unique?

David Cancel 6:43

In the market today, a number of things I mean, we were the first didn't as far as we know in the world to have those types of bots for sales qualification specifically on the website. And so like that there are now other companies who have emulated that, but we were the first in the market to do that, we have built our entire company around this paradigm and the shift and so you cannot just tack on a feature, or add something to your product and make it this new thing because it's a fundamentally different data model. And so just like you had Salesforce as a CRM, and that's a cloud-hosted database paradigm.

And then you had new companies come in like Facebook and LinkedIn, they use the social graph, which is an entirely new data paradigm. And Salesforce could not take that technology and put it on Salesforce with like chatter or one of their other products and make it LinkedIn or make it Facebook, you're always going to have winners in the categories that emerge. And so this is an entirely new category entirely new data model, you can't really tack this on to something else. And so you have to build your company around this conversational database idea. And that conversational data being the core of everything,

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Gresham Harkless 7:57

That makes perfect sense. And it definitely sounds like correct me if I'm wrong. It's not just a software technical thing. It sounds like it's a core principle for a company in a culture that you want to be able to have those conversations and nurture, as you said. So it's also the technological part, obviously, but also some of the culture as well.

David Cancel 8:15

Absolutely. So that's why theoretically, when we look at companies, like companies startups should never exist, new entrants and markets should fundamentally never exist. Because if you look at a company, theoretically, they could do the same thing, they could copy exactly, they could come to the same conclusion, they can build this thing, they can rejigger their products. But we all know that that's not true. And the reason that new entrants exist and startups exist is that most companies cannot get out of their way.

Because they have aligned all their incentives within their company to work along the paradigm that they're in and the products that they're in today. And they can't just wholesale shift into a new model. That's why this exists, right? If they were everything was theoretically perfect and efficient, then new entrants would never exist. And those existing companies would continue to shift and take all of the market share. But we know that's not true.

Gresham Harkless 9:08

Absolutely. And that's why the word disruption exists, definitely. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or book or habit that you have, or even something that we don't know about drift, but something that can make you more effective and efficient.

David Cancel 9:25

Yep, I'd say there's a bunch of things you probably heard, everyone's talked about, like routines and habits and morning practices and all that. So I won't go into that. But I do think that's important. For me, the most important thing is that I'm an avid or addictive reader or obsessive reader. And so I read a lot. And the trick that I will pass on to the audience is that you don't have to read a book, the way you were taught in school from a table of contents to the end of the book. And when you know, at one go, you can pick up multiple books and this is where I do it. I read multiple books at a time three to five books at any given time. And I'm bouncing in between those books as I lose interest in a book, I'll put it down, I'll open up another book.

And I will read that and then I go back or revisit the original book. And what you learn is that look, every time you read a book, you can read the same book every few years, and you'll get something different out of it, because you're bringing in different contexts to that reading, right? And so things emerge out of there. The other thing that happens when you read multiple books at once is that those ideas start to associate with each other. And you start to think of new combinations, new patterns, and new synthesis of ideas by reading multiple books at one time, and they can be nonfiction and fiction, they can be totally unrelated, but those ideas pollinate and you come up with even better ideas.

Gresham Harkless 10:49

Absolutely, it speaks definitely to the evolution of us as people or companies, or where we are in our lives as well, too, because you will look at it from a different perspective. And I love that you touched on as well that a lot of times we're indoctrinated might be the right word, to basically read a book from Table of Contents. And understanding that that's not necessarily the best way to always do it. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Or if you can happen to a time machine. What would you tell your younger business Self?

David Cancel 11:21

I think it's what's probably what everyone says, which is, relax, don't take it so hard, but don't be too crazy. But I think it's the most advice I find, I spend a lot of time thinking about advice that I've gotten over time, it sounds trite. It sounds like, you know, we ignore it. And you think like, oh, there must be a more complicated answer to this. And what I realized over time is that that's not true the fundamental lessons that you need to learn in life, most of us know, before we're even a teenager, early in life, already know what they are. The problem is that it takes most of us a lifetime to actually learn those lessons.

Because it's easy to gloss over this simple simplicity in those lessons, right, if you spend time with your grandmother, when you were a kid, or your grandmother probably imparted, or everything that you need to know life pretty early in your life, but it takes us years and years and years of resistance, and then fighting. And then finally Mother Nature, teaching us either through pain, or we get smart in some cases and learn from others, that these truths that these simple lessons about whether it's treating people the way that you want to be treated, whether it's don't be too hard on yourself, and enjoy life like all these things sound trite and sound like greeting cards, but they are the most important lessons in life.

Gresham Harkless 12:48

Yeah, absolutely. It always goes in circles, so to speak, because a lot of times the things that you knew and already know the answers to or whatever makes sense, you ignore that, or it gets so noisy in life that you start to think and overthink things. So it's a great reminder for us as CEOs and business owners. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote-unquote, CEOs on this show. So David, what does being a CEO mean to you?

David Cancel 13:17

Well, for years, I would tell people that it means like, I'm the chief experience officer, I like an experience for all the people right experience for our customers experience for our team members experience for our investors, our community. Like, that's really what I spend my time on, and other times, especially earlier in the history of my other companies, I would say the CEO is the chief explainer officer. And so I'm in that phase right now with drift, which is, what I mean by that is most of the time, as you scale a team and you're bringing a product or service to market, you spend most of the time explaining right, and you start to learn like, Okay, this is why people who write speeches and politicians and others, like they repeat simple messages over and over.

And as a CEO, you have this, that is a lot of what you're doing, whether you're translating for your investors, the public markets, your team members, your customers, you're explaining, explaining, explaining over and over again, and one of the hardest things that I've had to learn is that I don't like repeating myself naturally like that. I like saying something once and I think it's obvious, and that is exactly the wrong thing and a wrong way to approach this when you become a CEO.

Gresham Harkless 14:34

Absolutely. It's just like any marketing or sales, sometimes you have to say 7-8-9 or 100 times before it actually comes in and people dictate that and understand it, and it becomes like the gospel, I guess you could say.

David Cancel 14:48

Yeah, I didn't believe it. I didn't believe that again, another idea that it's taken me many years of pain to figure out which is I didn't believe that was true. And now I'm like, wow, this is so true.

Gresham Harkless 15:01

Absolutely, absolutely. Well, David, I truly appreciate your time what I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak. See if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know then of course, how best they can get a hold of you get a copy of your book, and share about all the awesome things you're doing.

David Cancel 15:15

So you to find me, I'm Dcancel on Twitter, Instagram, and everything. So pretty easy to find. And we offer free copies of our book. If you go to drift.com. And I would say, definitely don't take it too hard on yourself budget CEOs, alphas, listening to this thing. And you don't have to learn everything on your own. Most of my career has been brute force, aka pain. You don't have to do that. You can learn from mentors, you can learn from books, and you can learn from other people, most of what we need to learn in doing this job has been figured out because most of this job involves people and people have not evolved. And so the lessons are all there.

Gresham Harkless 16:04

Absolutely. Well, I definitely appreciate that. Appreciate your time, and we'll make sure to have the links in your information in the show notes as well. But David, thank you so much. I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

David Cancel 16:14

You too. Thank you so much for taking time with me and letting me be on the show.

Outro 16:19

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

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Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and have a very special guest on the show today. I've David Cancel of Drift and author of Conversational Marketing. David, it's awesome to have you on the show.

David Cancel 0:41

Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:43

No problem. Super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about David so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And David is a serial entrepreneur, podcast host (Seeking Wisdom) and angel investor/advisor. He is best known for creating hypergrowth products and product teams at companies such as Drift, HubSpot, Performable, Ghostery and Compete. David was named the top-ranked CEO by of USA Today and has been featured by media outlets such as The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Wired, and Fast Company, and has guest lectured on entrepreneurship at Harvard, Harvard Business School, MIT, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Bentley, and other universities. David, are you ready to speak I AM CEO Community?

David Cancel 1:27

Hi, I'm super excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 1:30

No problem super excited to have you on. So they kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story, what led you to start your business?

David Cancel 1:41

Sure.So this is actually my fifth business that I've started. So if I go all the way back in time, my parents emigrated to the US. And they both worked for themselves. And I grew up in that environment. And I think that had a lot to do with me, wanting to start a business. And back in the day, I had no idea what a business was, or how to start a business or any of these things. But like five companies later, I think I've figured that part out that at least that little part of it out. And I started this business because I basically wanted to fix some of the problems that I think I helped create in other companies that I had created. And I try to bring something new to the market.

Gresham Harkless 2:20

That makes perfect sense. And definitely, I think you're doing pretty well if you're five companies. And so it's great to hear that you not only were able to solve problems within those companies, but you found other problems that you're able to solve too. So wanted to hear a little bit more about these problems and what you're doing with draft and how you're helping to solve them.

David Cancel 2:37

Sure. So all my companies that I've started and been a part of basically marketing and sales software of some type or another. And what I realised when I was thinking about starting drift was that those tools that exists, which are most of the tools that we all use today, in marketing and sales out there, were really built for this world that doesn't exist anymore. And what I mean by that is that a world where the company has all the control the sales process, and the consumer, the buyer has no control in the sales process. And I think what we observed was that the world had flipped upside down, and that now the customer has all the power and has infinite supply of choice, and they can buy anything anywhere 24/7 365. And so now companies have to change the way that they market and sell to this new reality. And that is the basis of why drift exists.

Gresham Harkless 3:29

Nice. And it definitely is right. In this day and age, especially with all the opportunity and the technology. It's day and age, everything is literally at your fingertips. So if you don't like this, you can move on to that. And you're saying that drift is created in order to combat that.

David Cancel 3:43

Exactly. And the truth is that most companies in the world, although theoretically, they may understand this, or intellectually, they understand this, they haven't changed the way that they market and sell yet. And because all the tools in the market were built for that old world. And so we're trying to usher in this new shift that has already happened as you said yourself, like it has nothing to do with FOSS. It's already reality. But we're trying to create software that makes it easier for people to make this transition.

Gresham Harkless 4:10

Nice, nice. Can you drill a little bit deeper and tell us a little bit how that software is doing? And how somebody who thinks that it may be ushering in that technology but may not be doing it as much as they could be doing it.

David Cancel 4:23

Yes, it will. If we think about the typical sales, the sales process today, and marketing process, you get people to your website, you making them fill out. If it's not ecommerce, which most businesses are not, you make them fill out a form. You put them, you send them a bunch of emails, you nurture them, at some point you decide that this person would be a good fit for your business and then you get back to that person. But that's usually happens days, weeks, sometimes even months later. And again, that worked in a world where you were largely a monopoly or had very few competitors and so you can control that process. But today's world you have doubt an infinite number of competitive solutions. And so in today's world, what we do with drift is say, don't do that we're instead try to be available 24/7 365, seven days a week on your website, and instead of directly into a form, have a conversation with that person, because you're never going to if you have salespeople, you've never sold anything until you had a conversation. So that is the core thing, instead of putting hurdles in front of them, enable the conversation. And of course, we need to sleep and we're not available 24/7. So drift enables and is built with bots so that the bots can have these conversations and can help people while your team is asleep. And but then, at the same time, provide you with this 24/7 365 experience for that buyer.

Gresham Harkless 5:49

That makes perfect sense. And it's funny because it sounds like and correct me if I'm wrong. A lot of times FAQs were created because a lot of people have the same questions over and over again. But you don't really have that conversation that back and forth that I guess drift provides.

David Cancel 6:03

Exactly. You're not getting the context, which is important about where is that customer? Where can I meet them? What is their real question and FAQs existed for a long time and they exist today? And they have their fine. But FAQs are really driven by deflecting, right again, like forms or deflecting FAQs, or deflecting. So that's about scaling a relationship versus having a conversation, understanding the context and trying to solve for that customer.

Gresham Harkless 6:32

Absolutely, that makes perfect sense. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And it could be for you or for your organisation. But what do you feel sets you apart and makes you unique.

David Cancel 6:43

In the market today, a number of things I mean, we were the first didn't as far as we know in the world to have those type of bots for sales qualification specifically on the website. And so like that was there are now other companies who have emulated that, but we were first in the market to do that, we have built our entire company around this paradigm and the shift and so you cannot just tack on a feature, or add something to your product and make it this new thing because it's a fundamentally different data model. And so just like you had Salesforce as a CRM, and that's a cloud hosted database paradigm. And then you had new companies come in like Facebook and LinkedIn, they use the social graph, which is an entirely new data paradigm. And Salesforce could not take that technology and put it on Salesforce with like chatter or one of their other products and make it LinkedIn or make it Facebook, you're always going to have winners in the categories that emerge. And so this is an entirely new category entirely new data model, you can't really tack this on to some something else. And so you have to build your company around this conversational database idea. And that conversational data being the core of everything,

Gresham Harkless 7:57

That makes perfect sense. And it definitely sounds like correct me if I'm wrong. It's not just a software technical thing. It sounds like it's a core principle for a company in culture that you want to be able to have those conversations and nurture, as you said. So it's also the technological part, obviously, but also some of the culture as well.

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David Cancel 8:15

Absolutely. So that's why theoretically, when we look at companies, like companies startups should never exist, new entrants and markets should fundamentally never exist. Because if you look at a company, theoretically, they could do the same thing, they could copy exactly, they could come to the same conclusion, they can build this thing, they can rejigger their products. But we all know that that's not true. And the reason that new entrants exists and startups exists is because most companies cannot get out of their way. Because they have aligned their all their incentives within their company to work along the paradigm that they're in and the products that they're in today. And they can't just wholesale shift into a new model. That's why this exists, right? If they were everything was theoretically perfect and efficient, then new entrants would never exist. And those existing companies would continue to shift and take all of the market share. But we know that's not true.

Gresham Harkless 9:08

Absolutely. And that's why the word disruption exists, definitely. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or book or habit that you have, or even something that we don't know about drift, but something that can make you more effective and efficient.

David Cancel 9:25

Yep, I'd say there's a bunch of things you probably heard, everyone's talked about, like routines and habits and morning practices and all that. So I won't go into that. But I do think that's important. For me, the most important thing is that I'm an avid or addictive reader or obsessive reader. And so I read a lot. And the trick that I will pass on to the audience is that you don't have to read a book, the way you were taught in school from a table of contents to the end of the book. And when you know, at one go, you can pick up multiple books and this is where I do it. I read multiple books at a time three to five books at any given time. And I'm bouncing in between those books as I lose interest in a book, I'll put it down, I'll open up another book. And I will read that and then I go back or revisit the original book. And what you learn is that, look, every time you read a book, you can read the same book every few years, and you'll get something different out of it, because you're bringing in different contexts to that reading, right. And so things emerge out of there. The other thing that happens when you read multiple books at once is that those ideas start to associate across each other. And you start to think of new combinations, new patterns and new synthesis of ideas by reading multiple books at one time, and they can be nonfiction and fiction, they can be totally unrelated, but those ideas pollinate and and you come up with even better ideas.

Gresham Harkless 10:49

Absolutely, it speaks definitely to the evolution of us as people or companies, or where we are in our lives as well, too, because you will look at it from a different perspective. And I love that you touched on as well that a lot of times we're indoctrinated might be the right word, to basically read a book from Table of Contents. And understanding that that's not necessarily the best way to always do it. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Or if you can happen to a time machine. What would you tell your younger business Self?

David Cancel 11:21

think it's what's probably what everyone says, which is, relax, don't take it so hard, but don't be too crazy. But I think it's the most advice I find, I spend a lot of time thinking about advice that I've gotten over time, it sounds trite. It sounds like, you know, we ignore it. And you think like, oh, there must be a more complicated answer to this. And what I realised over time is that that's not true that the fundamental lessons that you need to learn in life, most of us know, before we're even a teenager, early in life, we already know what they are. The problem is that it takes us most of us a lifetime to actually learn those lessons. Because it's easy to gloss over this simple simplicity in those lessons, right, if you spend time with your grandmother, when you were a kid, or your grandmother probably imparted, or everything that you need to know in life pretty early in your life, but it takes us years and years and years of resistance, and then fighting. And then finally Mother Nature, teaching us either through pain, or we get smart in some cases and learn from others, that these truths that these simple lessons about whether it's treating people the way that you want to be treated, whether it's don't be too hard on yourself, and enjoy life, like all these things sound trite and sound like greeting cards, but they are the most important lessons in life.

Gresham Harkless 12:48

Yeah, absolutely. It always goes in circles, so to speak, because a lot of times the things that you knew and already know the answers to or whatever makes sense, you ignore that, or it gets so noisy in life that you start to think and overthink things. So it's great reminder for us as CEOs and business owners. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote unquote, CEOs on this show. So David, what does being a CEO mean to you?

David Cancel 13:17

Well, for years, I would tell people that it means like, I'm the chief experience officer, I like an experience for all the people right experience for our customers experience for our team members experience for our investors, our community. Like, that's really what I spend my time on, and other times, especially earlier in the history of my other companies, I would say the CEO is the chief explainer officer. And so I'm in that phase right now with drift, which is, what I mean by that is most of the time, as you scale a team and you're bringing a product or service to market, you spend most of time explaining right, and you start to learn like, Okay, this is why people who write speeches and politicians and others, like they repeat simple messages over and over. And as a CEO, you have this, that is a lot of what you're doing, whether you're translating for your investors, the public markets, your team members, your customers, you're explaining, explaining, explaining over and over again, and one of the hardest things that I've had to learn is that I don't like repeating myself naturally like that. I like saying something once and I think it's obvious, and that is exactly the wrong thing and a wrong way to approach this as when you become a CEO.

Gresham Harkless 14:34

Absolutely. It's just like any marketing or sales, sometimes you have to say 7-8-9 or 100 times before it actually comes in and people dictate that and understand it, and it becomes like the gospel, I guess you could say.

David Cancel 14:48

Yeah, I didn't believe it. I didn't believe that again, another idea that it's taken me many years of pain to figure out which is I didn't believe that was true. And now I'm like, wow, this is so true?

Gresham Harkless 15:01

Absolutely, absolutely. Well, David, I truly appreciate your time what I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak. See if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know then of course, how best they can get a hold of you get a copy of your book, and share about all the awesome things you're doing.

David Cancel 15:15

So you to find me, I'm Dcancel on Twitter, Instagram, everything. So pretty easy to find. And we offer free copies of our book. If you go to drift.com. And I would say, definitely don't take it too hard on yourself budget CEOs, alphas, listening to this thing. And you don't have to learn everything on your own. Most of my career has been brute force, aka pain. You don't have to do that. You can learn from mentors, you can learn from books, you can learn from other people, most of what we need to learn in doing this job has been figured out because most of this job involves people and people have not evolved. And so the lessons are all there.

Gresham Harkless 16:04

Absolutely. Well, I definitely appreciate that. Appreciate your time, and we'll make sure to have the links in your information in the show notes as well. But David, thank you so much. I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

David Cancel 16:14

You too. Thank you so much for taking time with me and letting me be on the show.

Outro 16:19

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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