Chief Evangelist and Terminus Co-Founder, Sangram Vajre, takes a few minutes to open up to LeadMD CEO Justin Gray on this episode of the Catalyst Podcast. Sangram tells his story of coming to the United States and continuing his education at the University of Alabama. There, he developed his passion for marketing that led him to become a three-time CMO & keynote speaker. Sangram also touches on the importance of his wife and family when making decisions and how creating a legacy revolves around family. Find out how those decisions led him to the success he has experienced and his current position with Terminus.
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Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:35 – Tell us a little more about the start of Terminus
04:27– What was that impactful moment in your life?
09:45 – What is your motivator?
18:07 – When did you develop a passion for marketing?
20:20 – How do you work with others, driven like you?
26:10 – How do you inspire your employees?
30:45 –What do you look for in new employees?
33:55 – How can we keep up with you?
34:25 – Wrap-Up
3 Key Points:
- Life presents you with a lot of options. Everyone has choices and options in their life along the path of reaching their goals. Some people may choose option A, while others may choose option C. Staying true to yourself and motivated can help you to pick the best option to achieve your dreams.
- Seeking can lead you to blessings in disguise. When presented with a new experience in life, it might be tough but it will be worth it to explore. These uncomfortable moments may lead you to a brighter future.
- Remember what is worth it in the end. One’s professional career is important, but those who support you along the way should come first. That family is the only role you can’t outsource and as you focus on it, you’re creating a legacy. Your character and the way you treat others will go a lot farther than a title and materialistic items you possess.
Our favorite quote from the episode:
“So those things is what the legacy is, not all those things. So, at one point, I felt intimidated by all these big ideas and big things and I would want to do that because I think we all, as founders, have big egos. So we want to do bigger good things for egos, actually. And then I realized that no, at the end of the day, if something God wants me to do, and it comes to fruition, great, and that’s awesome, but that’s not what my legacy is about. My legacy is my kids and as long as I can be a good father and a good husband, I think that is worth it.”
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Justin: Hey, hello. Welcome! You are back on Catalyst. And I am joined here today by someone that everyone has seen. Although he is not wearing his red shirt today and I am a bit disappointed in. But I am joined today by Sangram Vajre, Sangram is the CMO and the absolute face of Terminus. If you guys don’t know who Terminus is that’s crazy at this point because they have literally pioneered a movement. Sangram, welcome to the show!
Sangram: Thanks, man. Thanks, man. I think I’ve moved on from CMO to Chief Evangelist and I don’t even know if I’m doing marketing anymore.
Justin: You do too many roles, but we’ll get into that. So, you’re a three-time CMO, you’re a keynote speaker, you have a personal brand that is truly like no other. And I actually misspoke there, so Sangram is now, his official title is chief evangelist, which I feel like is one of those titles that a lot of people … It’s kind of like ninja, and so on.
A lot of people have it and aren’t doing a lot with it. Sangram is living and breathing this stuff. So I’d love for you to give us a little bit of a background into how Terminus has gotten to where it is today and what may be a little bit of an average day looks like for a chief evangelist. And then we can kind of hop into what led to this crazy ride.
Tell us a little more about the start of Terminus
Sangram: Love to, love to. So Justin, thanks for having me. Sangram here. Just to share a little bit of the story before so it makes … Have a little bit of context to Terminus is prior to this, I ran marketing at Pardot and then we got acquired by ExactTarget and then ExactTarget and got acquired by Salesforce for $2.5 billion. And that was a moment of me going out of this hundred people company to this iconic brand, Salesforce, talking and doing things at a massive scale.
And I would never forget this, where Kevin, who was my boss when the ExactTarget thing, acquisition, happened. He said, “Sangram, you know what? Pardot is great. Think about … However, you think it’s 1X. At ExactTarget, you need to think 10X.” I’m like, “Okay, I get it. I can do 10X.”
Six months later, Salesforce acquires ExactTarget and he’s like, “Sangram, do you remember the 1X, 10X conversation?” I’m like, “Yes, I’m on it. I’m thinking 10X, our budget is 10X. He’s like, “No, no, now think 100X. That’s what you need to be thinking.” I’m like, “What does that even mean?”
And I guess, in retrospect, I think what he was really saying is that think really big, not in terms of budget, but things that you get to do and how you should think about it. You get to do things that nobody else can do when you are at that iconic parent level.
So, that made me think about brand as a really big thing than just a cookie-cutter approach with a logo and a website. And so, when we co-founded Terminus, we intentionally became very careful about building a brand as a company, as an organization that is beyond the logo and a cool name and a cool website. We want it to be human and that people can interact with, engage with, and put a face on it as opposed to just a whole bunch of website updates and PR press releases.
Justin: Totally. And so, remind me again, when you guys set out on Terminus, was it a funded venture at that point or was there … How did things start from a financial standpoint?
Sangram: I think we had $300K to start off and I remember-
Justin: So more of a typical startup, certainly coming from the Salesforce context.
Sangram: Very humble background. I mean, I’ll tell you, we were at Atlanta Tech Village over here where they literally, we got a table over there and it was three of us. Me, Eric Vass, and Eric Spett, and we only had one table and it was 250 bucks a person. So we didn’t want to spend too much. We’re cheap. So we only got two … We’re just going to get for two people and the third one will sit outside. So, typically, Spett and Vass who were
Justin: Short straw.
Sangram: Yeah, I was the one sitting outside trying to close deals and sell while they were trying to develop the website and the products. So that’s what we did for the first probably three to six months.
What was that impactful moment in your life?
Justin: Yeah. So the reason I brought that up is because I think, you know, to approach something and really focus on how the business feels is something that is often grouped in with the luxury of having funding, right? Like having a big cushion, like you said, you can go out, when you have a salesforce backing from a marketing perspective, you can go out and do things that no one else can really.
And when you take that same mentality and you build it into a true startup that’s bootstrapped and isn’t flush with cash from day one, doing that in a really authentic way and a way that makes people stand up and take notice is, to use your analogy earlier, a thousand times harder than doing so certainly with backing and sometimes then it even comes off as inauthentic. So, I think what you guys have done is really super interesting and I think the reason I wanted to have you on the show is when you see behaviors like that and you see people executing at a really high level and an authentic level, it seems that there’s always a commonality in terms of that backstory.
There’s these moments of inspiration areas where, you know, people’s life was headed in one direction and suddenly it took a hard left there. Right? And, oftentimes, entrepreneurs will have several of these points within their lives and they’re incredibly impactful. So, as you look back on your journey so far, cause I think you’re an individual who’s probably gonna have more and more of these moments as well. But, as you look back, historically, is there a big moment of impact? Is there a big catalyst in your life that you can cite?
Sangram: Well, I mean, I would certainly say my wife, and I’ll give you a con, like a real example, not just to say that yeah, my spouse, no, no, no. This is a real example with real stories. So this is typical like me since you know me, you know this, I meet the first time, co-founders, Eric Spett and Eric Vass. I just meet them, we go and have a lot of shrimp cocktails and get on a whiteboard and try this thing and we come out of the room and say, well this is a countless marketing in 2015 when there wasn’t really anything like that and be like, “All right, we’re going to do this thing.”
And at that time, my wife, we have two kids and we just had our daughter Kiara, she was about two weeks old at that time. And my wife wasn’t working, and I was at Salesforce, right? So I was making good money. My wife wasn’t working, we just had our daughter, probably not a perfect time to start a company, but I was so high on this idea that I think, “I got to do this thing.” So I go up there at like, and I think we came back at like 10:30 or 11 after meeting with my founders, came back and said, “All right, I have to do this thing. This is, this is something that I feel is really going to be awesome.” That just means I’m not going to make enough money. Which also means you need to go find a job because we can’t afford to live in the suburbs and two kids. And this is like she being in the dark upstairs in a room. I can still picture that.
And then I said, “I’m going to go sleep on the couch because I know you for a long period of time,” And we didn’t talk that night. Right? And then we have a moment of like two to three weeks where we go back and forth and she said, “Look, I know you for 14 years, I know that if you don’t do this thing, you’re gonna regret. And I don’t wanna see your regret. I don’t want to see that in your eyes. I don’t think that’s healthy. That’s good for us or anything. So here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to go find a job.” And she found a job in two weeks. So Kiara, I have a daughter, she’s like four to six weeks and my wife had to leave her at daycare and go to work, so we could do this, I could do this thing.
She said, “But here’s the thing.” She looked in my eyes and say, “You have to understand what I’m about to say.” I’m like, “Yeah, I’m ready.” She’s like, “You have one year, one year, and you have to show me this thing has legs, otherwise you’re going to find a real job.” She got me, and that was the moment. That was the changing moment. It wasn’t anything else.
I mean, if you think you know that we did like about six Flip My Funnel events in the first year of launching Terminus, I don’t know a single company out there in B2B that has ever done six events in the first year of their launch out trying to get it out there. You can look, even from Salesforce to HubSpot and I’m not trying to compare or what I’m trying to say, the sense of urgency was there, like baked into me, because every day I had to come back and look at my wife in, her eyes, and she’s doing her job and taking care of two kids and I’m just kind of, you know, having fun, trying to figure out what this thing is. I’m coming home and she’s working, but she never gave me grief about it, but I knew the clock was ticking and the fact that she said, “You have one year.” That’s all I thought about all day long.
In one year, we have to create enough massive energy around this that people want to do this and there needs to be investments here. There should be other companies that should be talking about this, not just Terminus, which is why Flip My Funnel, if you remember, we had every single competitor at Flip My Funnel speaking and on the stage. I didn’t care. We just wanted this category to exist more than anything else. And that was my catalyst moment, man.
What is your motivator?
Justin: Do you find that’s consistent in your life as a motivator? Is fear of failure or just kind of those looming, “This has to work.” Do you find as though that’s the most powerful motivator in your life or, if not, what is?
Sangram: I think people … I don’t know where I heard this, Justin, but I’ve heard this like, “Hey, you should have plan B, plan C, plan D in life.” And I feel, when you have those things, it takes away from the focus that you need to have on plan A to be successful. So, for me, I didn’t have an option. You have to have legs, otherwise, I was going to find a real job again and I wasn’t ready to go find a job again.
So, to me, this was depth, right? There wasn’t an option B. When you don’t have an option B, I think what you automatically do in your brand is that you just put all of your time, energy, you’re just thinking about stuff, you get obsessed about it. And New doors start opening, new things start happening.
For example, I tried to do a Terminus conference and nobody would pay me money to do a Terminus conference the first day to launch because they’re like, “We don’t want to support a vendor. We don’t even know what you guys do in 2015.” So I said, “What did we call Flip My Funnel?” They said, “Oh yeah, fine.” So the first four or five conferences we did, we didn’t have to pay a single dime. It was paid by our sponsors and competitors paid for it. So I’m like, “Okay, I have to go buy the domain.” So I went online and bought Flip My Funnel for eight bucks and that became the domain to just host an event.
Justin: Right, the Eventbrite page.
Sangram: Yeah, EventBrite, so all of these things don’t happen if you have option B, option C. So I feel having more options is a problem in itself. And I would say, if you want to go do something, just give it all and see where it takes you.
Justin: Yeah, it’s funny because I think some people listening to that would say like, “Well, option B is going to get a job.” But, I totally identify with that because that’s not an option for me and that is like the biggest fear that I would have. If this doesn’t work out, I’m literally going to have to eat a ton of crow and get a job and work for someone else. It does sound like that. I think going all in, or at least limiting the distractions or, or limiting the ability to say, “Well if it doesn’t work out I’ll be okay.” Sure, in the grand scheme of things you might be okay. But that’s not the goal here, certainly.
I also wanted to ask you about … So, I had you on a previous podcast and we talked a little bit about your kind of immigration story, and so on. I would imagine that that has a pretty big impact on where you’re at in life as well. I know that you went through some really interesting ways to pay the bills and, so on, even when you went through that story. Tell us a little bit about that part of your life where you’re coming to the US and … I guess, in that sense you didn’t have a lot of plan BS’s under that scenario either.
Sangram: Neither, right? I remember came here to do my masters and I was, I mean, think about this, from India all the way to University of Alabama. That’s a culture shock. You shouldn’t do that to even your enemies anyway.
Justin: Why Alabama again?
Sangram: Well, I think it because when I was … When you do your GRE exam, you have four options that are free for application. I just pressed one of those radio buttons and said, “Okay, that sounds like a good university, go.” So really not putting any … I couldn’t afford to pay for so many application fees. And I remember my parents taking loan from a bank for the first semester, which I had to pay them back as quickly as possible and I didn’t have the money for the three semesters. So I came here a week early trying to get a job so that we could pay off that loan that my parents have and figured out a way to pay for the rest of the three semesters that I have no idea if I could pay. Otherwise, I’ll have to go back.
So no option B. There’s optionally A and I had $350 in my pocket. And that’s all, that was more than enough for me at that point to be okay with. I mean, at that point, all of those things, to me, is like having no option is a great option. People should just take that all day long. When you have another bottom, you will fall to it. But if you are at the bottom, there is no other way to go.
Justin: And so you mentioned that $350 in your pocket. Like how did you, how did you make that work? So then you got a loan over your head, you’ve got to, obviously, get through school and you’ve got to pay your way through that process as well. So, what did you do to make those ends meet?
Sangram: Oh, I remember going first week, right before the school started, going from department to department trying to figure out if I can help them. And I remember this, like some people who are from the South would probably recognize this. I went to this chemistry department where this elderly woman was at the reception desk. And I said, “Hey, look, I just came here, I’m going to start school like in a week or so. Is there anything I can help you with? I’m looking for some sort of job, whatever it is on campus.” And she’s like, “Well, I’m not the sharpest pencil in the box,” and I have no idea what she meant. So I started to look for a box and a pencil and I say, “I find no pencils here. No box.” She started laughing. Then I started laughing, and we realized that’s a phrase.
And then I also remember my friends said, “Man, you are so dumb.” They gave me, and this is like 2002, 2003 they gave me VHS files. I don’t know how many people remember, get that, not DVDs or anything like that. VHS was big, bulky things. And they gave me Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, and Friends and they said, “Watch these three things and you will know everything you need to know about America.” I binge-watched all of that in 2002 to learn a little bit about all of those things, but to talk about like the, I mean it was … It was a godsend, man. I think there were a bunch of folks over here. So, I literally stayed with them for the first month. They said, “Hey, you can stay here for free.” And that was great from the people from the previous batch.
And then I was lucky enough to quickly find a job in there. And then part of thinking about entrepreneurship was in Alabama. I found a few Indian folks who knew American goals and I’m like, “Don’t you want to learn the same language?” So I came up with, I found a loophole in the system. I think most people who go to school probably know this. Every university has a critical languages department. And if you can find three to five people in any language to learn a new language, then they will pay 25% of your tuition fee, if not all of it. In the University of Alabama, I was the first person to start a Hindi class 101 for four people, which were like four people dating. And I said, “Yo, I didn’t learn Hindi, and I’m going to teach you guys.” And they’re like, “Great.”
So they signed up for that class. I went on Amazon, bought a Hindi book because I don’t know how to teach it … I can speak, but I don’t know how to teach it. So I learned 101 and we created 101, 202, 303, and that paid my entire tuition fee for the entire four semesters. That’s all I did.
Justin: So like a Hindi for dating?
Sangram: Yes. Yeah, pretty much. It was crazy. So, I think you find options when you don’t have an option.
Justin: Yeah, yeah. That’s a great way to put it. So, eventually, you get … And now, you went to school for marketing as well. We should-
Sangram: No. My Bachelor’s in India was in computer science. My masters has been in computer science. I have no marketing bone whatsoever.
Justin: We’ll talk about that. What made you change direction there and move away from computer science into … I guess very few people actually choose marketing. They kind of end up in marketing. So, what made you make that conscious choice?
When did you develop a passion for marketing?
Sangram: You know, in 2008, I was just working with a couple of folks. Dan and Robbie became really good friends of mine and we started working on a business idea. This is like early 2007, 2008, and we worked on that for about two, three years, like literally every weekend just trying to figure something out. At that time, I learned how to build a website. I learned the SEO pay per click thing and I was like, “Oh, my goodness, this is really, really cool.” You can do something and people can see the value of-
Justin: Found on the web.
Justin: That was a crazy realization to me. It’s like, you mean the world can become that small. Like that was a crazy, crazy mindset for me.
Sangram: Yeah, you can blog and people will find you and subscribe. You can send them forever. Those little emails, like all those things became like, oh my goodness, I know who … So, essentially, ended up just falling in love with the idea of honestly, customer experience is how I put it. I didn’t even know this was marketing or not. It was just how do you engage people so that they, they will connect with you. That became really the thesis in the early days. And as I think about it from now like 10 years later, 11 years later, I feel like that is still my thesis. That is still thing that I try to get is how do we create memorable customer experiences, or just experiences in general, that people would remember, otherwise we’re just a blip.
Justin: Yeah, so, let’s fast forward. Let’s get back into Terminus for a moment because I, you know, at that point in your career you’ve had some good wins, right? You’ve been part of several roller coasters and so on. And the interesting thing, to me, about Terminus, it certainly having owned businesses and having had partners in businesses before is that there are three co-founders in Terminus, which to me is two people too many.
How do you guys make that work? Just in terms of that dynamic and I guess how did you also find each other with a mutual passion for what you’re talking about? For customer experience and then also approaching that through the lens of a niche within our industry. And I know you’ll argue with that, but an area of our industry that was not defined at that moment yet either.
How do you work with others, driven like you?
Sangram: Yeah, great question, man. And I feel like there’s not enough written and there’s not enough clarity on that. And I wish there was, and we had our own challenges in the process because when you start when you’re excited, you feel like high five and all that stuff. And then, as soon as you start having customers, then you start to have clarity on roles and you’re like, “Wait a minute.
We all used to do that. We all used to hang out. Well, who’s now making the decision that, oh, now, so you’re more important than I am?” The equity situation, all those are real problems, real challenges, that I wish every … Before people get into it, there’s stuff on it. So I think I’m going to do my fair part in this, of sharing that as we go along the journey.
I think we, at the same time, we were extremely lucky because Eric Spett and Eric Vass actually started Terminus about four months prior to me joining them and they started this with the idea of how do we create almost an agency around advertising and getting people’s email addresses. Once we have that, how do we essentially advertise to people at mass scale? I saw them at one of the startup events and I’m like, “Well, if you can put that plus these three things, then that’s ABM.
Eric Vass is 100 percent product. He’s over CTO, he loves any number. He’s like, “I don’t want anybody reporting to me. I don’t want to own, I don’t want to be in the board meetings. I actually want to just build stuff. Get me out of all of it.” So it was, it’s awesome because he doesn’t care. He’s like no BS, just … And he loves building stuff. He loves creating, figuring out how things work and he’s in his world all the time. Awesome guy.
You know Eric Spett, my other co-founder, he loves, loves, loves running business. His whole idea is that, “Look, I want to just build a great business. I don’t care what problem we’re solving, we need to build a great business and I care about this problem more than anything else.” So, in a way, we became like all three of us totally respect each other’s role in every sense of the way.
What I do, they have to trust that I’m doing everything I can to drive the business forward, get awareness, but they’re not the one running marketing and sales. They’re running the business and the financial and other guy is running tech. So all three of us just joke around this that we have been incredibly lucky to find each other and be able to do something like this. And at the scale that we’re doing it right now.
Justin: Yeah, it’s a great division of labor there. Are you guys all pretty similar in age?
Sangram: Oh, no. So I think Vass and I are pretty … I think Vass is older, I probably look older than him, but he is older than me just for the record. And Eric Spett, he is in his early thirties so no, all three of us … Yeah.
Justin: Yeah, yeah. I think to your point would be a great … Whether it’s a book or just more insights around those areas. Because I think the thing I take away from what you just mentioned is you have to know who you are and what you want in order to operate in. I think any business situation, but certainly a partnership situation where there’s a lot of emotions involved and certainly as you grow there’s the desire to take responsibility for that growth.
And, certainly, “Hey, I used to do this and now we want to hire someone to do that. Was I not doing a good job?” There’s just a lot of ego and emotion certainly involved in any business. So I think there’s a lot of ways that you can garner that self-awareness or that understanding, but it certainly would be interesting to share more of those stories.
Sangram: Yeah. I don’t think it’s talked about enough. I don’t know why … I mean, I see Jason Lincoln kind of sharing here and there a couple of things, others, and I see people with like four co-founders and you know, three and two, even three as you said, it’s too many. And I think the whole idea of co-founder makes no sense to be very honest.
I think it should be like, yeah, you’re employee number one or something if there’s a number because it does become complicated. Now, at the same time, I have leveraged my founder title for all intensive purposes and I feel like, as a founder, you get to do things that not everybody else, like the seventh or hundredth employee can do.
For example, I’m running a daily podcast. If you go in and say, “Hey, I want to run a daily podcast.” We were like, “Oh, show me the ROI off it.” In this, I believe there’s ton of ROI and it’s my gut and my relationship and it’s driving and people are like, “Okay, well if you think you have enough ownership in the company that you’re not going to screw it up, go for it.” So I think you get some leverage, and I’ve fully leveraged some of those things, to be completely honest. But I think that if you are the hundredth employee, 200th employee, it’s hard to do some of these things.
Justin: Yup, Yup. Yeah. It’s, it’s the whole do as I say not as I do type situation because that’s, quite frankly, like we, as founders, want other people to go out there and innovate and so on. But you know, we do tend to put people in a box as well. Like, “Hey, you know, what are you doing with that time? Let’s figure out what we’re getting out of that.” So there’s some big lessons there to be learned as well. But I do want to take a … Obviously, we talked about some big moments in your life and, now that Terminus is growing, how many employees are you guys up to?
Sangram: We’re about 200.
Justin: Okay. So, I mean, lot of personalities, lot of things to consider. Certainly as you bring people into the organization, what do you … I guess number one, how do you create an environment that provides those catalytic moments or those … How do you inspire those employees as you get to these positions of scale where it’s just impossible to sit down each week and take everyone to lunch?
How do you inspire your employees?
Sangram: So, we’ve done a couple of things that I don’t think we are that perfect by any means. At the same time, we beat ourselves up that we’re not doing as good of a job. Quite honestly, I think we need to be doing better than what we do. But we have done certain things that I think have become almost the pillars of our existing culture.
So one of the things that we’ve started to do is that every six to eight weeks we’ll bring a customer in the office, have a 100% red carpet welcome to them, have them sit with our product team, have them spend time with our sales team, but more importantly, we’ll do an all-hands with them and have them share the journey that they have been on and how Terminus and how ABM has helped them grow and just talk about them and the whole all hands is dedicated to them because we believe that even the finance guy who’s doing the billing, or the call center, trying to figure out the sales.
Obviously, sales and marketing are on the front lines, but the operations person, the engineer on the second floor who’s trying to code and create a module for them. They need to know how our customers look, feel, and say, and emotionally what matters to them. How do they look? What is the … All these things.
I feel like, in a very fast-moving virtual world, we kind of lose that sense of understanding where our customer is and if you’re not in marketing and sales like you’re further and further apart from them. We just created this program I think almost a year ago now and every six to eight weeks there’s a customer that comes in the office and the whole office is like all about them from welcome screen to all meetings are arranged around them.
We just make them feel … There is a dinner with key people in the organization that we rotate through. So, all just getting the organization around this is who we are building this for and centering our thought process every six to eight weeks becomes a catalyst for our conversations like we need to find more customers like that or we need to … Did you remember what they said? We need to do that for every single customer. So, that has become a real important moment for us.
Justin: Yeah, it’s such an awesome take on kind of the customer focus group, right? To be able to really understand that journey beyond their experience, even with your software, but what are they concerned with? What are they thinking about? What’s going on with them, even personally. That’s gotta be just such a powerful experience, quite frankly.
Sangram: Yeah. And the reality, and then, you know, in our space right now, because we are an emerging category, there are a lot of customers who have no idea what, what they’re getting into. So a lot of them come in and go and they come back again later on. So, our sales team, our customer success team, are always on the receiving end, like, “Hey, is this actually working,” We hear a lot, but it’s not like we’re closing 100 deals every week. Like it’s not like marketing automation is right now yet, but it’s kind of getting there.
Maybe it’s bigger than that. And, obviously, we are full of energy and excitement. This is bigger than the world, right? So I think there’s a moment of reality that kind of sinks in here and there. And then, thereby, comes fear that are we on the right place or not? So, by bringing a customer every … I mean, it’s very important. I think every organ … If there’s one takeaway for every organization to take from this is that every few weeks bring … Find a way to center the organization on what’s important. If you do that, then I think there is a different level of energy that carries through.
Justin: Totally agreed. So I think one of the areas that sometimes I get envious of other industries and other problems that companies are tackling. I guess healthcare can be one of these, people enter the healthcare field because they want to fundamentally help people. They’re passionate about solving a disease or eradicating something that is debilitating us in society. And then you have B2B marketing.
People always talk about, “Hey, go find people that are just … Would do the job for free if they …” And I think that there are those people out there, but it’s harder to find masses of those that are passionate about B2B marketing or ABM. You know what I mean? And I think although you can find them, how do you … What do you look for in employees when you are bringing someone new to the team, maybe it’s someone critical, what are those signals that you look for that they are going to be inspired and that they’re going to love what they do every day?
What do you look for when searching for new employees?
Sangram: Oh man, that is such an awesome question. I think about this all the time, my man. I know we just finished off our second book, ABM is B2B. All the proceeds for this book goes to this charity called New Story where they’re building homes using 3D printers. So they literally can build like 100 houses in 100 days. That awesome, right.
And it’s a charity that has like 100% of the donations goes towards this kind of work and all the administrative cost is taken care by all these other tech company founders and stuff. So I fell in love and I met Brad who’s their see a CEO and co-founder and to your point, exactly, I’m like, “I feel so small,” or I think you know, immediately, in terms of what I’m trying to do.
But then I have to also come to grips like hey look, not everybody is designed to do like massive things and I don’t know what massive means. To me, I’ve heard Andy Stanley say that once in one of his episodes up in podcast, he said that the only role that is irreplaceable, the thing that cannot be changed ever and you need to make sure that nobody actually ever takes that role from you is the role of either a parent or a husband or a wife.
Like those are the roles, all the other roles, the founder role, the CRO role, the ego roles, the biggest problems in the world, solving things that you’re getting into. There are enough stories in the world that say, “Hey, somebody did some amazing thing but had a really shitty family life.” And then again. So he’s like, “You have to figure out what are you going to focus on, at some point?”
To me, in the last three years or so, it has become a big focus of me as to what are my family, what is my legacy? Nobody’s going to stand on my tombstone and say, “Sangram was the founder of the Flip My Funnel and did like ABM and wrote two books.” Nobody’s going to give a shit about that. It’s just not going to happen. Hopefully, they’re going to say, “He was a good guy. He did good things to others and he was a good family guy and he was a good dad or a good, you know … all those kind of things.”
So those things is what the legacy is, not all those things. So, at one point, I felt intimidated by all these big ideas and big things and I would want to do that because I think we all, as founders, have big egos. So we want to do bigger good things for egos, actually. And then I realized that no, at the end of the day, if something God wants me to do, and it comes to fruition, great, and that’s awesome, but that’s not what creating a legacy is about. My legacy is my kids and as long as I can be a good father and a good husband, I think that is worth it.
How can we keep up with you?
Justin: Yeah, really, really insightful advice there. So, Sangram, I know you mentioned earlier you’ve got the daily podcast and so on. I want to make sure that the people can find you, which is not a problem, but where can people go or where should they go if they want to connect with you?
Sangram: All right, so they can listen to the Flip My Funnel podcast. We do it daily. The whole community kind of runs majority of the podcast, I only interview one. The rest of the days are interviewed by other people in the community. So it’s pretty cool to hear different voices and things. And then I post almost daily on LinkedIn, on whatever we are learning as a business. I don’t pitch about Terminus, I talk about what’s going on in life. Very transparent, so you can connect with me on LinkedIn.
Justin: Awesome. Well again, man, I appreciate you taking the time, joining us here today, sharing what I knew would be multiple different stories of inspiration with us and they certainly were inspiring. So, I very much appreciate the time.
Sangram: Thank you, Justin, for having me, love the show.
Justin: Absolutely. So, and again, thanks everyone for jumping in and listening. New podcast. We need new subscribers, we need new reviews, we need new likes. So head on over on the iTunes and check us out there today. You can always check out these recordings on leadmd.com/bestpractices and of course, until next time, ensure that you never miss an opportunity to be inspired.
Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.