Today, I spoke to Larry Myler, who is an author, business strategist, and consultant for clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. For much of his career he has energized companies with new, concrete methods for reducing expenses and increasing revenues. His latest book is called Indispensable By Monday. In this interview, Larry talks about his start-up experience, how his personal brand has opened doors, his view on social media, and more.
You’ve been involved with six start-ups — do you find any similarities between one start-up and another? Is every new venture unique?
I have had an interesting career in that each start-up I have participated in has been in a different industry.
- In some ways each new company has been unique: Industries have their own distinctive products and services, customers, economies, competitors and success measures.
- In other ways every startup is the same: No matter the industry, earnings must outweigh expenses, you have to find the right people for the right positions, customers must feel like they’re getting more than they expect, and—as a business owner— you had better love what you do.
You consult some pretty significant corporations — what is the biggest thing that they’re missing in their strategy and vision?
Without fail, leaders at the top of large organizations don’t know everything they should/could know about what’s happening lower in the org chart. As a result, customers are not served as well as they otherwise would be, employees easily fall into the role of victim, costs are higher than they need to be, and revenues are lower than they could be.
As a consultant, all I have to show prospective clients are my past successes in helping companies become more profitable. Nothing else matters. While my brand is augmented by my book, past results form the foundation of who I am perceived by the market to be. Ultimately, I’d secretly like to brand myself as “The Profit Guy,” but it’s a little too gimmicky, so I’ll stay away from that one.
How do you see the role of social media and networking in developing a personal brand? What about in promoting corporations?
The web has opened up a whole new world which is available to even the least socially-minded segments of society. It has evened the playing field between those who have money and those who don’t; and it offers a never-before-available possibility of exposure and personal promotion to anyone who engages it. What we find, however, is that most people don’t fully comprehend the power and reach of this digital realm, much less how to access and take advantage of it. The holy grail of personal branding is to get third party, respected sources to say about you what you would want said about you. The internet not only makes this possible—it makes it easy!
What about in promoting corporations?
Remember when it was acceptable in business to not have a website? That didn’t last long. Now your organization has zero credibility without one—and it had better be a great one. The same can now be said about companies who don’t play an active role in the collective conversation that customers are having about them. Corporations must be proactive in putting the right content into the proper channels, as well as responding to changing customer preferences that can be discovered more quickly than ever before through those channels. To sit back and just watch what happens without playing an active role is the kiss of death, and will become more so in the days to come.
What does the future have in store for personal branding, do you think?
Who we are, and what others think they know about us (our skills, accomplishments, weaknesses, claims to fame, potential, personality, etc.), will be made available to more people in greater detail because of the connectedness of our world…maybe. It’s all up to us. Those who will be the most successful at creating positive personal brands will gain that success in two ways: First, they will master the art and science of moving information through the internet; and second, they will create valuable intellectual property that they give away for free. If you can establish channels and then insert valuable and free content into those channels, then you can monetize your brand in wonderful and lasting ways throughout your career.
Larry Myler is an author, business strategist, and consultant for clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. For much of his career he has energized companies with new, concrete methods for reducing expenses and increasing revenues. Larry has been involved in six start-ups, and is acutely aware of the nuances of business that lead to success. Larry’s new book, Indispensable By Monday, extends his expertise and vision to employees at all levels, teaching them how to add financial value to their employers—thus protecting their jobs in hard times, ensuring promotions in good times, and helping them rise above the competition in any job-seeking crowd. Larry has a BS in psychology from Brigham Young University, and an MBA with an emphasis in international business from the University of Utah.