Ideas Collide President & Chief Strategist
Current Time 0:00
/
Duration Time -:-
Progress: NaN%

How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
you know, my background and story. I started at a young age really excited about storytelling, actually, and wanting to build stories. And at a young age, I actually had an opportunity to submit a script to the Sundance Institute and got recognized for that as a young writer, uh, in their labs and that helped connect me, Teoh. A lot of great storytellers that then help me launch my career. And I've gone, um, into telling stories for brands and, uh, individuals who want to build their own personal brands in my my marketing background. And so that led me to working in New York agencies, big firms in New York to Fortune 100 companies, working with consulting firms and then eventually leading toe launching My own business Ideas collide in 2005 where we do the cultivating of story, building of custom marketing solutions and launching brands for ah lot of great organizations.

Can you walk us through your first few weeks, especially challenges, when you started working as a consultant? How did things change over the next few months?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
a scary time when you maybe jump from having a steady, consistent corporate paycheck to doing it all on your own and starting up from scratch s Oh, you know, I I really wanted to. It's really about that initial phase, and starting is about sending you surrounding you with smart people, people that are going to challenge you, people that are better than you to elevate your game and work better in your efforts. And so I I really tried to do that in the very early stages, finding, um, very wise people that could guide and direct me, especially in the areas. I was not a strong. So I always believe in you. Start with your strength. So I I knew what my strengths were and then anything that I felt like I identified as a weakness. I tried to find partners that would help me strength in that area. And so those were some of the first steps I made in working as a consultant and allowed, you know, advisers around me to help me in those areas so I could focus on those strengths so I could go after I'm bringing clients, building their brands, building their opportunities, growing the company on. Definitely those were the first steps I took

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) do you use at work? Do you prefer certain tools or services more than the others? Why?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
So in terms of frameworks, you know there's a way do follow a very disciplined process and everything that we dio in our efforts. We start with a define and discover phase. So and I think you can apply this in any type of work and and thinking whether it may be in I t consulting and technology to brand building and digital marketing. So define and discover using data and insight to inform what you're going to do. Understand your audience. Um, if you're building a tool or solution, a technology platform going to use a platform, really define and and discover what that's going to be, identify all your requirements. So that is an initial phase that we take. Our second phase that we really implement is to then create and develop. So taking all the insights and the data that informs you the audience we're trying to build or create for identifying what their needs are in creating and building us a solution. So you create and you develop that, and then we moved into our third phase, which is the build and test space. So it's where you really start to apply on the creative and the business intelligence together to build that solution on whether it's a campaign again. It could be an app. It could be ah, website. It could be a new technology platform. Whatever it is you're you're building and testing that your going back to your original define and hypothesis and making sure that you are accurate and reaching your audience and and you're and goals. And then the final phase that we work in is called launch and then analyze and enhance. So I don't think any project is ever over it. Z always evolving and growing and changing. And so, in that mindset you launch the product. You analyze the data again, and then you allow that to inform what you need to take next steps or to enhance or grow whatever you created. So those air that's like the primary framework and we've worked in that framework for 15 years. So we're We've been in operations and building customized marketing and technology solutions for 15 years, and that's always been our framework and process since day one. And we also relate that back to our mantra, which is invent integrate impact. We we talked about that a lot is that any client, any any individual that brings us a challenge of business challenge, a communication challenge, a technology challenge. We take an invent, a solution for that integrated into the marketplace, integrated solution for it and then launch it for impact. So those are the primary frameworks and steps that we follow.

What are the profiles of your clients? What kind of projects do you handle? What skills are needed in these projects?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
as a full suite marketing services firm. We do everything from again technology platforms, marketing automation to brand building content, marketing, social media. So it can. It can vary widely across what we we offer, but, you know, skill set at the core of anything. I think if you're an entrepreneur, if you're gonna work in technology, if you're gonna work in communications, I think core to that is being and and this is I stress this a lot. And some people don't always see this, but I think being a great writer is really important. And you think about in today's current environment where we are doing a lot of virtual communication. But we're doing a lot of written communication to more than we have in the past. And so being able to articulate your ideas, um, clearly, even if you're gonna, you know, present your ideas, you have to write them down and articulate them carefully. So I think having writing skills is really important. And it's not a strength for for everyone. So something that you can continually work on Andi and being able to articulate your main idea. Your hypothesis, your you're thinking your reasons all of that in business communication. No matter what you're gonna do, if you're an entrepreneur, you're gonna have to get people to invest in you. You're gonna have to get your, um, people toe to believe in your ideas. And I think that comes down to writing that out first and then learning how to present and define it further. So writing and being able to communicate really well, I think it's really, really important no matter what field you go into, because we all have to have that communication that business communication to grow, excel, attract talent, attract investors, attract clients on drily, promote ourselves and our ideas. So that z one of the core things that we do a lot of training for, Um, I think you know other skills that way. Look, for you know, obviously, if we're doing a lot of in the technology space having abroad, um, understanding of technology, but also being able to be very, you know, specific in ah, certain type of coding or platform that you work in honing that, getting experience. We do a lot of work in video. We do a lot of video and short content and long form content. And the great thing about that, especially if your student is whether it's coding, whether it's video work, whether it's writing if it's creating, designing, there's so many tools that you have in your hands today like that, you can access toe, build your work. Thio learn. Um, there's so many online learning capabilities. Thio further and grow in your skills. So I always encourage students and even people that are in their careers toe always have ah, passion for learning and growth, learning it, accepting new ideas, growing in new ideas and build upon those. So those would be I would I would narrow those down to, like three big ideas there. Which is, um, no, your communication. No, no. Your ability to write and communicate, uh, Thio No, the tools that you need to continue your education, no matter what you're learning from knowing that, um, specializing and growing your specialty on top of being broadly aware of your field is always important and continual education. And then and then lastly, the third thing is, is this really good business acumen? Um, being able to navigate business, understand the business basics and being able to really have, um, the business intelligence to to whether you work for a big company or work for yourself. You have to understand those those basics. Okay, right?

How do you reach out to potential clients? What are the roles of people you reach out to? What are their typical concerns and how do you address them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
reach out to everything from a new startup company. May may work with us. Thio. We work with Fortune 100 organizations. Um, often the conversation starts with again that challenge statement of I'm trying to solve for X I'm trying to grow act I'm this is broken Fix It s o the needs air. You really trying to hone in on the need and get really clear with what that need is to be able to articulate what you can solve for them And again, that goes back to strong communication, strong written verbal and written skills. Uh, so we may we may get a challenge Where, um you know, we're actually working with the organization right now that, due to co vid is wanting to create a new app or a tool that will help the state a crisis, that there's a comfort industry and being able to connect with, um, the community faster to help solve for that problem. And, you know, that's a typical challenge. We get, you know, a phone call or we reach out to them, and then we immediately start to build in our framework that defying, discover that create Andi, develop, build test launch phase for them in that. So we always were working in those phases. Um, and that's how we we really connect to the challenge and the solution that we're working towards. So it could be anything from technology challenge to hey, help me. Just make my social media look better and make it look more compelling and interesting. And so breaking it down into the steps helps us solve the problem for them. Yeah.

What are the roles of client's employees you routinely work with? What are the challenges in working with them? What approaches help to overcome challenges?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
people. We have two offices, and we also have about six remote locations, people that work remote. Obviously, right now we're all remote. But in our two locations, we have everything from project managers, two coordinators, thio developers, content developers, Web developers, marketing automation specialists, digital strategists, creative directors, designers. So those were some of the roles that we have across our agency and in our business, all working towards that solution that we're building for a client and so, you know, experience wise and skill wise. We're really looking for those that are adaptable, agile, really know. They know their background, they they have good experience or they could grow into that experience. But But really, what matters to us is not just your skills and capabilities, but your ability to problem solve your ability to listen and to come back with solutions. Um, your ability to say Okay, I understand these are the challenges and do the critical thinking to come up with a path or a solution and also, you know, in in our line of work, it's nothing is linear. We try and make it linear, but everything kind of zigzags in in a solution. Set so you sometimes have to train. I even have toe sometimes train my mind to knock. Okay, It's This is not a linear path. It's gonna be, uh, sometimes it's roller coaster on bits still on a track, right? You still wanna put on a track and a guide, but you've got to be able thio be agile and bouncing through various disruptions, various changes. And so that's really important to, and something that we look for in a skill set is how you demonstrate that, uh, overall fields and answer that question like specific skills would be programming background, elopement, background, graphic design, background, content, writing background. Those would be the skills that we're looking for.

Can you discuss career accomplishment(s) that you feel good about? Please discuss the problem context, your solution, and the impact you made.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
growing companies in the United States. We made the list this year s Oh, that's a huge achievement on accomplishment that came with understanding how to scale a team which is very challenging. Aziz, you grow is a organization. You gotta also be mindful of not overextending yourself, not over exceeding your growth, being able to manage your cash flow and also manage your team and reward them. So being able to grow this business from, um, what was just me? One person to now 75 people we serve clients globally, uh, every every month of that journey and every year has been enormous challenges of getting to scale and being able to operate with Thea understanding and taking care of our people first, so that then they could take care of our clients. And, you know, the big achievement there was being able to get named on the Inc 5000 list to just shows that we were able to sustain growth and and build that We've also achieved that by retaining over 85% of our people. So we retain 85% of our work team. Um, they stay with us and they are on this journey with us, which is, uh, another challenge is you always have to be if you're gonna lead people and you're gonna need a team, both of your own organization or for another company, how do you motivate them? How do you keep them focused? How do you How do you solve for their challenges? How do you listen to them and help them further their careers? How do you get them to buy into your vision, to grow with you and to take on tough challenges? And with that is, you know, there's been times where we've had to, you know, pull all nighters, Thio, finish a project on time for a client. We've had Thio. You know, there's been mistakes made that we had to learn from and grow from. So those are all learnings along the process to reach that achievement

How has the demand for certain skills and technologies changed in your field? What kind of consultancy work or jobs would see big growth in the upcoming years?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
That's a lot. So we think that conversational commerce is a new emerging and important, um, technology platform. So being able to code and build would have to be even right and create, for that is important and changing. Um, definitely seeing that we do a lot of marketing automation. So, um, the more you can automate kind of going back to a I the more you can automate something to make it easier for a flow for the customer to, you know, think about how you know, even in the Covad era right now and you can read, you know, even Microsoft and others have claimed this, that they've seen this leapfrog this adaptation to technology that's gone from what would have normally taken two years. And so the disruption but the the new plant had dived into new plants. Eso, you know, being able to build solutions for interactions are really key technologies that we're looking forward and needing skill sets for eso those air definitely areas and just creating that creates side. Being able to tell stories still is important, being able to think critically and build, you know, compelling short form videos that lasts six seconds is an important skill, and it it takes. It takes creative and business intelligence. Do that. You have to use both sides of your brain toe work in that type of, um, filled. So those air Definitely things that we're looking skill wise and how we're seeing technology and creativity evolved. Yeah. Yes. So when I worked for the airline industry, um

What responsibilities and decisions did you handle at work? What were the challenges? What strategies were effective in dealing with these challenges?

Based on experience at: Sr. Marketing Manager, America West Airlines
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
um saw great. You know, the tragedy of that day in that time, that impact on our country. And it was astounding but to be in the front lines of an airline during that time, too. We had just emerged from bankruptcy. Um, and now we were now facing a new crisis that no one had ever even imagined I'm having to deal with. So I really had Thio and learned a lot from some exceptional leaders at that time had to be very adaptive and to think more e which we don't talk a lot. We talk a lot about empathy now in business, but back then we didn't as much and bringing empathy and understanding into business conversations definitely did that And, you know, to get you every time a plane takes off, your If you don't have every seat filled, you're you're losing an opportunity. It's it's getting people in every seat, um, tiu create that revenue. And so we were faced with people having a fear of flying much like the industry is going through now on. So we had to be very adaptive and creative intern are thinking, and how we could get the public again with government local organizations to build marketing solutions that would help the public want to travel again. And in that time, I I really learned from actually anybody to get through that Very, um, and in different frameworks in different styles toe find the solution needed. And that really helped prepare me. You know, that time in the airline industry with a very, uh, demanding and hard. And it works 24 7. You know, planes, air always flying, always going, Andi. And that that time helped prepare me for other crises and challenges that now we face today. And so, you know, I think my take away from that experience in the airline and for any student is everything that you go through is going to prepare you for that next thing in your career. And so we owe now and learn from them and grow from them because they're gonna prepare you for what's next, and it's gonna help set you up for success to make you stronger for that Next check. The next company. Three life lessons. Um, uh huh.

What three life lessons have you learned over your career? Please discuss the stories behind these lessons, if possible. Stories could be yours or observed.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
situation. It's best to communicate in person, not Vietnam. Even if you're e tested or chat, you miss out on cues and understanding from each other. So I think that's important lesson per se. But it is something that over over the years is, too. It's better sometimes just to pick up the phone, do what we're doing right now. Face to face conversation. Have someone come into your office uspto person on you. Give them a chance for them to dialogue back with you versus kind of it going, you know, very, you know, way back. So that's a possible face to face or in dialogue and so that you can come from it from understanding the other point of view and that person walk in their shoes as much as you want to be heard also. So that, uh, number two is wow life lessons. Um, I would say way put the views and it's in our It's in everything that we do is we put people first, so we have a statement that's called Love the team, and they'll love the work and the client. And so a with expect, Um and you know, it's hard. You could direct and honest with people and get them to perform and still show concern. I often if you don't get the feedback. I think you showed that you don't care about someone. So we we refer to it as candor with They're loving the team, being honest and direct, but in a way that shows kindness and concern. Thio better grow an individual or to better grow a team. So we love that team. And we put that team first because then we've seen repeatedly unites and repeatedly that it gives back tenfold. And that's probably my my final life lesson is that the more you give, the more you really receive. So, you know, sometimes a project or or some, you know, we give a lot to the community like volunteering, and sometimes those things are hard e up or you're like, I don't wanna put another hour into this. It's not worth it, but I always feel that the more you give, the more you get back. And I've seen that over and over again in my career in my life that those that you give to and you work with abundance, it may not come back to you directly. And you don't have to carry that mindset that Oh, now you owe me. But somewhere down the road, uh, it has, like, where we've really gone above and beyond and delivered for something. Or we've given something in generosity to a client or to a community organization, and years later comes back to us in a way that we never expected. And so that's an important life lesson as well. So can you repeat that one so I can understand the first part? Oh, so I believe you don't have to wait to graduate to get experience so you could get experience now like, if you wanna code on the side if you want Thio If your entrepreneurial and you want to start your startup, get to experience now because no matter what job you go after, you're going to show you have ambitious drive to make things happen. You're not just waiting to complete your degree. So I think that's really important. A zai mentioned you have in our in our hands and our phones are these incredible machines that can do so many things

What starting job (after internship) would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Sep 14 2020
it's on me when I'm hiring people. I look for that, uh, that I encourage people to go after and then, you know, in my field, you know, I think the making a great first. So sometimes I'm problem solving with a CEO and trying to help them deliver a message to, you know, 1000 people or to their shareholders. And then another day, I'm working with the CMO on building a brand campaign, and then the next day I'm working with the the CEO on a technology solution that they need launched. And so I've been able to be very agile in a lot of different things. So I think that first job is about setting your path for what you're passionate about and knowing how to find that. And you may not find it right out of the gates, but like I said, use that first job, whether it's you know, you know, in my space, my first job was in advertising and working in New York on an ad agency and just learning from people and I was a sponge. I just wanted to learn as much as I could, and I grew from that. Andi I think that's the important thing is no matter what that first job is to help it inform you of where you want to go next, use whether it's a good experience or a bad experience. Learn from it and start to observe what you want to be doing further to further your career goals. And it's it's such an exciting time. It's such an exciting time to be, even in a very unsettling era right now that we're in for students. What an exciting time to go and build a future with a lot of new opportunities and new changes coming on the horizon. So embrace that embrace the positive embrace. What's coming for you to go and and learn and grow in your career so that that I would leave you within and wanting to really go and meet some exciting challenges, difficult challenges that are ahead but with the bright promise that you could make a difference