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Season 02, Episode 17

How to Build a Successful Online Community People Love

With CEO of The Community Company, Author, & Founder of YEC and Forbes Councils, Scott Gerber
Podcasts
In this episode, I chat with Scott Gerber all about the process of building community. What I really liked about this episode is that Scott is locked up in his apartment in New York City with four kids and his family and he is teaching us about how to build virtual communities. He's done this for 10 years and built communities for companies and for himself and he knows how to do it in a very genuine way. That's why he is called the Superconnector, so whether you're starting a community for the first time or trying to re-engage an existing community that you started a long time ago or even just participate as a more active member in communities, I think you'll find this really interesting. 

Scott is CEO of The Community Company, an organization that builds and manages community-driven programs for media companies and global brands. He is the founder of YEC, an invitation-only organization for the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. He is also the founder of Forbes Councils, a collective of invitation-only organizations for world-class executives.

Scott is the co-author of Superconnector and author of Never Get a “Real” Job. He is a sought-after speaker, regularly published thought leader, and a contributor to Adweek. He has been featured numerous times on television and podcasts, and his work has been honored by NASDAQ and the White House.
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Full Transcript

Scott:

The reason I hate LinkedIn on every level when it comes to say InMail is because it opens up this channel to make the assumption that because I can connect with you, I am a connector. Because I can connect with you, I should contact you without really any fundamental understanding and with so many ways to gain that system today of these things that will send hundreds of emails and make them look personal. Like everyone knows the game. But the problem is, is the answer is not InMail as a system is a bad system. It's people bastardize the system and don't know how to use it.

Chris:

What's up everybody? I'm Chris Ronzio founder and CEO of Trainual and this is Process Makes Perfect as always, we're talking with experts in process creation, automation, delegation, basically the people that know how to make business easier. You just heard from Scott Gerber, Scott is talking to us about the process of building a community. Scott's the CEO of the community company, an organization that builds and manages community driven programs for media companies and global brands. He's the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council, which I'm a member of myself. He's also the founder of Forbes councils, a collective of invitation only organizations for world-class executives. Scott's the coauthor of Superconnector and the author of Never Get a “Real” Job. He speaks, he's a regularly published thought leader contributor to ad week and he's been honored by both NASDAQ and the white house. What I really liked about this episode is that Scott is locked up in his apartment in New York city with four kids and his family and he is teaching us about how to build virtual communities. He's done this for 10 years and built communities for companies and for himself and he knows how to do it in a very genuine way. That's why he is called the Superconnector, so whether you're starting a first community for the first time or trying to re engage an existing community that you started a long time ago or even just participate as a more active member in communities, I think you'll find this really interesting. Take a listen.

Welcome to Process. Makes Perfect. I'm your host Chris Ronzio, and as you heard in the intro today we're talking with Scott Gerber. Scott, thanks for being here.

Scott:

Thanks so much for having me.

Chris:

So I mentioned in the intro you're the founder of YEC, which is a group that Jonathan, my brother and I, are both in. I'm so bummed I missed out on the last retreat though.

Scott:

Your brother and I had a great time.

Chris:

I'm a terrible skier, so maybe if you do a beach retreat, I'll come to that one.

Scott:

I'm the first one to say, listen, we have a great activity. It's called Bourbon with Scott because I myself am a, I'm not meant to be on the teams. I'm meant to own them in my life. So I, I'm with you on the lack of skiing ability.

Chris:

Okay. Well next time I'll be there. Anyway, It sounded like fun. So Jonathan told me like a fun fact that you spend, is it 20 miles a day walking on phone calls?

Scott:

Yeah, so a pre-pandemic, cause I'm in the heart of Manhattan right now and there's a little bit of a stay at home order in place, but on average, you know, basically about two years ago, uh, you know, I have four children and it had caught up to me after my last son was born that I had just been for years and years, like accumulating weight and just felt like crap. And it was, you know, sitting behind a desk and I'm just like, you know, we're a distributed company. Why am I still sitting behind desks and whatever. And I just started walking. And since that day, again up to the pandemic, uh, you know, I would walk on average between going on a slow day, 14 miles and a heavy day, 23, 24 miles, um, and just be on the phone the entire day, do zoom calls from wherever I am. And it fundamentally changed my life, makes me feel better. Um, you know, obviously I'm still going to lunches or sitting with people, but I worked my, my walking trail based on where I have to end up at any part of the city. Uh, and I get to learn different things about the city I love. So it's never a bad thing.

Chris:

Yeah. I love that. So, so now are you like a hundred thousand steps around the kitchen Island or something? Oh, that,

Scott:

so literally, I'm not even kidding when I tell you, you are looking inside of my, uh, uh, Manhattan apartment. This is our bedroom. Uh, and you could see from here to the door behind me, maybe. Maybe it's 16 feet. Okay. 20 feet. We'll be, we'll be hardcore. Yesterday somehow I walked 11 miles in this room. Wow. You're crazy. Oh yeah. This drives sitting like this and doing work. Like this just drives me nuts. Uh, so, so, but it, it, it's just, it's in me, man. You gotta gotta move.

Chris:

Got to move. Yeah. I love it. Yeah. I remember when, when the watches and the Fitbits came out, everybody's trying to hit their 10,000 steps. So you're way ahead of the curve there, I guess.

Scott:

Yeah. Like yeah, on average about, you know, I would say 35 to 50,000 steps a day.

Chris:

That's crazy. All right. Well I'm glad I'm not friends with you on my watch. It would always pop up and piss me off. Alright, cool. So, we're going to talk about community building today, which I think is more important than ever because the communities that people are a part of are part of it. It's part of what's getting them through this time. And people that aren't part of something are looking for ways to interact with other people while they're remote. So you've had a long career in this and it seems like it started with founding YEC almost 10 years ago. Right. So tell, tell us kind of what led to that. What was the, what was going on in your life that you thought, let me create this group?

Scott:

Yeah. You know, it's interesting at the time, you know, I had heard about groups like EO, YPO, Vistage, and you know, I was a younger entrepreneur at that time. Obviously not nearly as seasoned as an executive as I am now. I had my business but couldn't really find anyone to identify with anyone that I met from other organizations. And I'm not knocking them. It just, it was my personal opinion. Um, wasn't really of the profile of like the two guys on this Skype call right now. Right. Uh, you know, younger have a different lens of technology and the kinds of businesses we're going to go in. And you know, I just started asking around and saying, “Hey, what should I join?” And a lot of my, you know, other, you know, uh, either up and coming or successful entrepreneurial friends sort of all said the same thing.

Like, “Oh, I don't know, but when you find something, let me know.” And that sort of naturally just became this group of people, which, uh, originally it wasn't a membership focus group. I didn't set out to start a community business. Um, which I think is a great thing because we went into it with true intent of helping one another. It wasn't like some business model. I think to a lot of people in community try to sneak it in with alternative motive and that's why it doesn't work. Um, but, but the way I look at it is, you know, I found a need that I myself had dot. A bunch of people together when we started seeing what the kinds of things the community wanted, like being able to have a platform to share content with other young entrepreneurs, we started partnering with media outlets or connecting one another through in person or digital events. Obviously less sophisticated digital events at that time. Um, and it just grew from there. You know, I always say like 10 members became 50, 50 became a hundred, a hundred became 500 and 500 became a thousand plus over a few year span.

Chris:

Did it start in any local geography or was it always virtual remote?

Scott:

It always was virtual remote. I will certainly say that the concentrations were initially around myself and then eventually Ryan when he joined as my partner. Um, but over time, you know, again, we would get a phone call from someone or an email like, “Hey, my friend who has a business in Chicago told me about this when I was at a summit event. I'm in San Diego, can I join this?” And we'd be like, okay, sure, join this. Right. I mean, there were no rules in the beginning. And really the aha moments for us came when we said, you know, we didn't want this to just be yet another group where you put your time and effort into something and eventually it falls apart. We wanted to invest against this. And as a business owner and a capitalist, the only way to do that is to have a service.

And so we sort of made a promise to ourselves, you know, Ryan and I said, look, if we can basically go to our initial numbers, at that point, I think we had around three or 400 people, we're going to go to them and we're going to say, Hey listen, we're going to charge at that point, if it was a couple of hundred dollars, um, we're going to see what percentage of people would say yes. And I am proud to say that of the original group, 85% of people ended up paying. Um, and that was the start of us understanding we could invest against a real business. And that then grew into where we are today.

Chris:

Yeah. So when people are building groups, you know, there's two, there's two kind of ways of thinking. One is let's just get as many people in there as possible and I want to show the numbers and have a hundred thousand person LinkedIn group. And then there's the other way. That's more of the application only exclusivity. And it seems like you guys went that way. Was it like that from the beginning or how'd you make that choice?

Scott:

Yes, it was definitely that way. Um, look, I don't want to make it sound like elitist or snobby line in the sand. That's not the intent. Um, you know, the first thing is to protect the group, from folks that simply aren't a fit, not because they're not great people, not because they're not aspirationally wanting to be part of it, but because you know, there's a certain level of individuals when they reach a part of their career, you know, they need to be a part of people that are of the same mindset, business, developmental stage and so forth, at least in business. And so the idea that you would say, Oh, I just started a business last week in my garage versus I have a $10 million company. You know, the $10 million company is not necessarily not going to want to talk to that person, but just not in that forum.

And so I think about creating these sort of barriers to entry also creates incentive for people to strive to be able to join. So there's a lot of psychology there. Um, I think that my, my rationale in the big groups and you know, Ryan and I wrote a book called Superconnectors, shameless plug, that has a lot of this psychology in it. Um, but, but the reality is we've, we fundamentally believe that smaller niche groups are better for many reasons. They're more powerful, they're stickier. Um, they create deeper relationship value because you really understand who the people are. And that's not to say you can't have a group of 5,000 people. Um, but you have to constantly be figuring out how to take the 5,000 and make it feel like five. Um, if you look at some of our forums and experiences within our various programs, you know, you'll see that there are different subgroups within different things.

Case in point, the folks that your brother was hanging out with, uh, one of our retreats, you know, that was a group of 50 people and when he came he sort of, you know, like most entrepreneur first timers that come to these groups, you know, sort of skeptical. It's like I don't know anybody yet, whatever. And I'm guaranteeing without even talking to him about it that he left feeling like, Oh my God, there's like six people here that I'm going to talk to twice a month. They're five times a week. And it's just a great experience when you can build that comradery in those micro-communities. And so yes, you can have the bigger groups, you really gotta think smart about segmentation and framework

Chris:

And he wears the YEC beanie, like the winter hat. Like half the time I'm on a call with him, he's got that on. So he's representing so, so in the book Superconnector, you know, even on the cover it says stop networking and the idea that you're just networking for networking sake. I want to talk about this because I feel like today I'm getting LinkedIn requests left and right are people that are just like, Hey, let's get on a call. Let's explore opportunities. So when is it okay to explore opportunities and network with everyone or when should you be a little more selective?

Scott:

You know, it's interesting, I just hate the idea of like the networker like this, this, this construct that, that basically if you really look at it has been around since the year of the flood and like any 1.0 effort when it started, I'm sure it was very wholesome. It was about, you know, mutual intent. It was about helping one another. And then like any marketing practice gets bastardized by gurus, coaches, and ninjas who then say, Oh, here's the five steps to success. And so the, the networker mentality to me is a very take relationship. It's a, you know, something that I think I'm certainly not the only authority on this. I mean there's, there's a bunch of folks that will talk about this idea that you're networking with the intent of selling. You're networking with the intent of succeeding in your efforts, right? Whereas relationship building or convening or building community or connecting are really about fundamentally understanding a person and then not saying, what can I get from that person?

But how can I be of assistance? How do we build a long term relationship that sometimes I'm going to help you, sometimes you're going to help me. We're not keeping points. Like it's just a different framework to look at the problem. And so to give your exact example in reverse, like the reason I hate LinkedIn on every level when it comes to say InMail is because it opens up this channel to make the assumption that because I can connect with you, I am a connector because I can connect with you, I should contact you. Um, without really any fundamental understanding. And with so many ways to gain that system today of these, you know, things that will send hundreds of emails and make them look personal. Like everyone knows the game, but the problem is is the answer is not InMail. As a system is a bad system.

Scott:

It's people bastardize the system and don't know how to use it effectively. Case in point, I won't name the person, but I would say Twitter DM is just as bad in some ways, right? But I Twitter DM someone yesterday that I have a very loose relationship with that is a very well known individual and got back to me in 20 minutes with an appreciative tone because I could see a win win for us and we're doing a call, am I networking? Well I guess by definition I am not selling, but I'm seeing if there's a mutual strategic partnership, but I wrote it in a way that's directly for this gentlemen because that was the goal. It's not this the spam mail that basically has just become the next generation of crap that feels people's inboxes. There's ways to do things.

Chris:

The point you're making them be specific in what you're asking and if you've got an idea of how you can work together and you position that to the person, then I would be so much more likely to get back to someone too. But these messages that are just vague and I'd love to expand our network and

Scott:

I'm a growth coach. I'm here to help you grow it or I have one come hit me today that said something like, I am a recession proof business coach. I'm sitting there like, yeah, okay. Yeah, and the perfect time to of course say recession proof right now. That's a great time to have that messaging. So I just, I think, look, the thing that I think gets convoluted is is the message isn't that you as someone who likes to connect with people, build relationships. It's not that you can't be a salesperson. There are ways to do things with tact, with a way of understanding the environment you're in, the circumstances, having the self awareness to understand all factors yourself and the person you're talking to included. I just think people try to assume they go from zero to Steve Jobs in one email and that's a problem for most people that don't have that level of self awareness. To understand that community is not the community of I, it's the community of we and the only way we cares about is if you play a role as one of the cogs and not the one trying to be the end all be all at every single moment and suck the oxygen. That's the difference.

Chris:

Right, right. Totally aligned there. Okay, so you've got tons of experience building communities. You run the community company, you started the Forbes councils, the business journals, leadership trust. You built all these communities of entrepreneurs. If someone was trying to create a community today, where do they build it? Like where is the place to build on? Is it a Slack channel? Is it a LinkedIn group? Is it a Facebook group?

Scott:

You know, I get this question a lot and the answer is who are you? Who is your community? Right? As an example, I have a group of people, it's a 20, maybe 30 person community and this community is made up of, I mean probably the average net worth of people in this community is like 50 million or higher. Okay. So this is a very serious group. They do it over text message. I have friends that do the LinkedIn-style forums. Um, I have friends that do Facebook, I have friends that do the SAS technology. The point is the tool is not emblematic of the community, the feeling, the trust, the implementation, the moderation, the curation, the convening nature, the value proposition. These are the things that matter. And I think people get stuck so much on the marketing elegance or I want to have this perfect, you know, end to end solution.

They forget the goal. Look, the bottom line is, especially today for business or for individuals, community is a moat. Okay? For yourself and for your business. And the question you really should be asking yourself is, who is that moat? Who makes sense? Like, for example, it is not evil or Machiavellian to say, you know, I don't want to have a generalist community. I'm in the, in, you know, the health tech space. I want to convene just the right 50 health tech people. Or you know, having something even more convoluted. Like, you know, I'm in a very hyper niche community of ophthalmology, right? Guess what? You can go to a conference of 5,000 ophthalmologists or you can have a dinner series, you know, whether it's a zoom dinner or a real dinner at this point, you know, I give it to you, but that convenes the right 10 people and it could be the most valuable experience of your life that you got to set the rules, the framework, the goals.

Because otherwise you are a networker. You're just trying to get numbers. You're trying to get vanity, LinkedIn metrics versus if you could have 10 people in a room that are the most meaningful people to you, that you can be meaningful to as well. Who are they? Why are they, why are they meaningful to one another to create cross collision of value. If you get that right, then what happens? Well, the 10th person you invite all of a sudden comes to you six months after seeing such intrinsic value comes to you and says, you know Jonathan, listen, I know this is a big ask, but I have my friend Scott who I really think would bring value to this group. And then Scott comes in after being accepted and then six months later says, man, I know a guy named Chris that should really join and so on and so forth.

And now all of a sudden the group becomes its own thing and the power that group and the validity and the trust factor transcends to new people joining. And I think that's the network effect you want. And that starts with almost building the professional organization of you. If you were going to start a professional membership group for making it as simple as an analogy as I can, who is it? What is it and why and how do you build the structure in place that makes sense, that community, whether it is Slack or day to day. Listen Facebook forums if you're a big Facebook group, but you get the idea. It's really about just finding that value proposition and then the channels to communicate it and just being tradition B, building tradition, building consistency and building that trust.

Chris:

Yeah, I agree. I think the point of of making a small group, an intimate group of people that is very intentional that you want them together for a reason and then just letting it organically grow is such a smart suggestion because so many people try to just get numbers, you know, they're just, they're there, they run ads, they make their group, and then it's just this diluted kind of thing that no one's getting real value out of. I have an advisor, Dan Martell, that does these founder dinners and invites me and 10 other people and you get such incredible value out of it. You know that even the placement of who you're sitting next to is intentional and it's like you should talk to this person. Yeah,

Scott:

yeah. I mean Dan is one. Jason Gay ignored is another, I mean there's, these are guys who live in breeze psychology of connectivity and you know, a, Dan does these things, and I forget his technical term, but it's basically like we're, he knows, um, that giving people serendipity is so valuable because if you are, for example, in a room with those 10 folks, and I've seen him do this before, um, and I do this as well. Uh, there's this basic mental exercise that most people suck about talking about themselves for never know what to say. And they're afraid that if they say too much, it comes off as you bragging. If you say too little, you're not getting value. And so Dan and other really solid connectors really know their community. And so if you said, yeah, I'm the, I'm the founder of Trainual.

Scott:

And he'd be like, Oh yeah, that's where it starts, man. But you know, he's also big into this event. Last year he had this big milestone in his life, just got married with a kid and all of a sudden he paints a picture that instantly gives you a one off. He one-ups you, right of your own self. But that's what true connection is about. It's about understanding who you're connecting to, provide max value. Because just by having those couple of little treasure trove pieces, he might be in his head knowing that you and John at the end of the table are perfect connectivity points. But by giving more context and by being that contextual detective, he's giving like sort of ideas to other people around of how to start conversations without having to be like, John, meet Chris John, meet this, you know that. But that's the level of connectivity you should have with intimate community settings.

Chris:

So we even have a sales rep on our team, Sara, who is amazing at connecting people and she'll connect our customers with each other. She talks to someone on the phone and she's like, Oh, I talked to this other person. You have to meet them. You just, you do. You two need to talk. I know something will come of it. Now, if people are trying to build communities in their companies, a lot of people, like you said, do this with kind of that sneaky motive of let me create another revenue stream. So what's the right way to build a community within a business?

Scott:

Yeah, I mean, let's use yours as an example, right? Trainual is a phenomenal product that has a very specific user, right? So I mean at this point, the HR world and you know, operations people like these folks are obviously keen individuals, about this subject matter. So if you have the definitive group of what is the most important stuff in the HR world, the operational world and so forth as it pertains to employment or procedures or whatever the case may be. And you could provide that with content and speakers and value, you know, look, why is that valuable? Because now all of a sudden you've got assets that those folks are sharing in their communities. You know, it's not just about selling, it's about retaining, right. You know, I think a lot of people try to create community as a top of funnel strategy, which is in my opinion, the mistake I think I look at people like Derek Coburn who, wrote a book called um, uh, networking is dead or networking is not working.

Scott:

It's one of the two of those. So remember which one they're a bunch of people love to shit on networking. Um, but Derek was like a financial advisor and his whole thesis was he would do these really high end wine events. Um, and he would always like compare it to his financial advisory colleagues have ridiculous referral rates. Whereas the standard industry was like single digit percentage of referral rates. He would blow that away and have 20 plus percent referral numbers and no one understood the psychology of how he did it. And it was very simple. He did high end wine tasting events, which obviously as a financial advisory, you know, you have a clientele that has a very select pallet. Obviously people that are, have discretionary income that are high net worth individuals. And he would turn it into an event, a customer appreciation event.

Scott:

So he would say, listen, John, you can come to this event. It's for you. Cause I know you care about, you know, this kind of thing. Um, I'm giving you a plus one. There's only two rules to the plus one. Number one, the person must have a real appreciation of wine. Uh, and number two, it's a non-selling environment. So no solicitation or anything, but what did he just really do? He basically gave a one up to a customer of his to say to their other probably wealthy friend who has their own financial advisor that does not do high end wine tasting events to get a plus one say, Hey man, why don't you come to this amazing invitation only event? Then by the time the prospect is at the event, this person knows everything about Derek. So Derek never needs to say a word about what he does, what his businesses, what his track record is.

Scott:

And by the time this person meets the chances of him saying, man, thank you so much for inviting me. You know, we'd love to know more about what you do. Even if he gets one out of every five people in that conversation, he just created a new top of funnel opportunity plus a retention activation and at the end of the day didn't sell a thing. So there are ways to do this in a smart community built. So my advice to starting for people that starting this thing is don't look at immediate top of funnel strategy around community. You will lose and that's where you get those 150,000 person LinkedIn pages that yeah, it's great to show like look at our 150,000 LinkedIn page. But from a conversion rate point of view, yeah, exactly. If you're looking at it intellectually, honestly like yes, you can use that on your marketing pages to say, look at our 150,000 person community. But it's probably very little engagement, very little conversion into your core metrics. If you start from your core base of the people that know you most. And again, strategy is the intimate thinking grow outward from the retention point of view. The people that love you the most. Let them share the content, the value, let them come and be the stewards of your brand. Then you are incentivizing them to help you because you're helping them. That's a circle that makes sense.

Chris:

Okay. I can talk to you about this forever, but I've got one more question topic. I want to cover a lot of people build these communities and then struggle to keep them alive. You know, you invite people in and then it's on life support where you've got one person on your team posting every Tuesday or something. Like how do you get your members to actually make the community vibrant? How do you increase engagement? Yep. Yup.

Scott:

Well like I said, this all goes back to what channel are you using and what is your main driver? Um, you know, look, I think there is this idea that a social media manager or uh, you know, a third party marketing person can run your community. Um, let me be clear. This is a living, breathing thing. Uh, if you suck it will suck. It's that simple. I mean this is not like very complicated. This, there's a reason why someone like Gary Vaynerchuk has the kind of engagement he has even at the mass scales cause he dedicates a significant portion of his life to doing this and infrastructure. So look, that's why number one, don't build a community just to say you have one because it will fail. Number two, if you're going to do something, I go back to the idea I said before, it's about frequency, consistency and tradition.

Scott:

You are setting user habits. It's the same reason why did Oprah initially fail after she went from the most successful television show on earth to a 24 hour network? Initially it's because she made an assumption that the brand would carry brand new user behavior and it didn't. Eventually she got it on track, but it cost her and discovery a lot of money. So what is it that you should be doing? Well, look, if you're going to do a monthly conference call, stick to it, right? Set a precedent of what the topics are, create the structure around it. If they're going to do a monthly founder's dinner or zoom call around something, again, set the infrastructure, create the RSVP structure, create the followup loop. Like don't overdo it thinking it's about, you know, when I say frequency, I don't mean daily posts. I don't mean you have to have a hundred forum discussions a day.

Scott:

That's not frequency. Um, frequency means something that you believe your community will get around. Don't overexpand until there's a desire, a need, and an urgency to do so because you're seeing that engagement level. You know, smaller things are more meaningful and more digestible than trying to go all in on these monster projects. And then lastly, and I'll say this, if you are building the community as a or steward in your business, don't think this is something. You can then say, okay, my executive assistant, okay, my social media manager just jump in for me would ya? It will have massive effects. You at the end of the day or the sphere of influence, that is the driving factor. You have to play a role. It doesn't mean you're always there, but until there's a stickiness, I mean YEC, you know, for all of its success over the years, the reality is it took years to build that kind of consistency. This is not a quarter to quarter effort. This is like you're in for the long run and if you're not willing to be in for the long run, I'm just telling you now you're going to waste a lot of time.

Chris:

So many good tips, Scott. Thank you for that. If you're building a community, you need to follow this guy. Check out his book, Superconnectors, the newer one, right? Super connector, stop networking, start building business relationships that matter and, and Never Get a “Real” job, which I love the title of that. To check out, write a check out Ryan and Scott's communities, uh, why you see the community code, the business journals, uh, thought, uh, or leadership trust and Forbes councils. Um, now to finalize this or to wrap this up, we do this thing called the double tap where we kind of zoom in on you and ask five questions. So just hit me with whatever your first answer is that comes to mind. Alright. What's a brand that you think has perfected its process that you admire?

Scott:

Stitch fix. I think that Katrina Lake is one of the best CEOs I've ever seen that transcended from a startup entrepreneur, IPO, post IPO, public company, CEO. The business is solid. The product, the experience, customer service, top to bottom. Excellent company.

Chris:

Love that. Who is someone that has coached or mentored you?

Scott:

Oh man, there's so many. Uh, I would say, uh, one of my best friends and deepest mentors though, he'll watch this and tell me he that I'm giving him too much props. But, uh, Jeremy Johnson, uh, he's the co founder of, to you and the founder of Andela. Uh, one of my best friends and also one of the smartest people I know.

Chris:

Oh, we'll have to have him on. Your favorite book or podcast.

Scott:

Uh, the book would definitely be The Outsider, um, which is, uh, a phenomenal book. Details how eight specific CEOs, uh, just crushed it, uh, compared to all of the, uh, what I'll call, uh, media friendly, uh, successful CEOs, the ones that get the hype but not necessarily delivered the goods. Uh, if I was going to go podcast, I think, um, I mean I'll cop out and say Tim Ferriss is great, but I'd also say The One Thing which was based on the bestselling wall street journal book is also a great podcast.

Chris:

Love it. Okay. Most entertaining person you follow online?

Scott:

Oh, boy. Uh, I, I mean, I'm a Jim Gaffigan sucker because I have four kids. He has five. We both lived in New York city apartments over the years and his comedy just resonates. My wife and I, he's hilarious.

Chris:

He's been doing these weekly recap things recently. Has any, have you seen any

Scott:

Oh yeah. Because his wife is a, uh, uh, a brain cancer survivor and has, it's a very, uh, uh, you know, an immune system that obviously he cannot go out during the pandemic. They've been doing like dinner with a Gaffigan's with their kids and it's just, it's, it's, again, for me it's therapeutic because everybody says to me, Scott, how can you have four kids in a New York city Manhattan apartment? I said, ah, I've got four, but I don't have five.

Chris:

All right. And, uh, one, one app you can't live without.

Scott:

I mean, one app I can't live without, but I wish I could is Slack. Uh, you know, our company is built off of that at this point. I wish I could, I wish I could walk away tomorrow, but, uh, it's more addictive than crack and I'm pretty confident that someone would kill me if I turned it off.

Chris:

All right, so Slack addiction. I have one too, so maybe we could get off it eventually, but Slack. Scott, this has been awesome. Thank you so much for everyone that's listening. We'll put everything in the show notes to check out all of Scott's projects and websites and companies and books and everything that he does because if you want to build a community, this is your guy. So thanks Scott for being here. My pleasure. Thank you. Hey, thanks for listening. Process makes perfect. If you're listening on your earbuds on a run in the car, we also have a version on YouTube, so if you want to see this in color video with me interviewing all these great guests, check it out on YouTube. Just search Chris Randazzo and you'll find my channel on there. If you found this helpful, we'd love for you to leave a review or rate the podcast. If you found the information valuable, please share it with a friend, a family member, or anyone else you think could benefit from the information. Remember to connect with me at Chris EO on all social media platforms or the company at Trane. UIL that's train you a L like a training manual everywhere that you want to follow us. Thanks again for watching or listening and we hope to see you next time.

Topics Covered

  • Why Scott walks 23-24 miles a day 
  • The story behind creating YEC ten years ago
  • How to “network” in a better way 
  • How to build an effective community group focused on quality over quantity
  • What tools to use to build your group
  • Letting your group organically grow
  • Not building your group as a top of funnel strategy
  • How to keep your community engaged over time
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