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95. How to Drive Success with Great Business Processes

(Episode 1 of 2 with Louis Grenier)

95. How to Drive Success with Great Business Processes

Today I am joined by Louis Grenier, founder of the popular contrarian marketing podcast, Everyone Hates Marketers. His show has reached more than 1 million downloads with no ads in less than four years. He has 10 years of experience in marketing and has worked with businesses like Dropbox and Hotjar. 

Today, we will learn how to drive success with great business processes. 

Louis’ Story 

Louis studied mechanical engineering until he realized it wasn’t quite for him, and he eventually moved to Ireland for an internship and found a job in marketing. A few years later, he had saved up enough money to launch his first agency. He learned quickly just how difficult that can be. The four people that worked with him got burnt out and quit after two years to join another business. 

Louis continued to work on his startup for three years and eventually started Everyone Hates Marketers on the side. He published an episode every week which became a huge success, and he has now been podcasting for four years and has published 175 episodes. “It wasn’t part of the grand plan or grand design,” he said. “It was just a feeling that I could do this, that it could be quite fun.” 

The Process

“I believe that the process trumps everything else, meaning what matters is not the number of downloads—that’s just a vanity thing,” Louis said. “Yes, it’s a bit for my ego and a bit for status so that you find me credible, but what matters the most is [producing content each week] because, without that, I wouldn’t have gotten the feedback I got from early listeners.”

Louis’s early listeners told him what they liked and didn’t like on his podcast. He could then take their feedback and apply it, adjusting his podcast to fit the needs of his listeners. While the critics might have made him feel uncomfortable or irritated at first, it ultimately helped him grow. 

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He compared the process to the making of a pearl. A pearl begins to form when a small piece of sand or other irritant gets stuck in an oyster. The oyster begins to cover the sand in a protective coat, nacre (a mineral substance), and layer upon layer, a pearl is formed (Source: Live Science). This process can take up to four years (Source: American Pearl). 

“The process is more important than anything. Because by shipping and putting that grain of sand out, it’s not perfect, but it’s going to turn into apparel because that’s what makes you grow. You need to ship,” Louis said. 

He explained the number one thing we need to do is to ship, meaning we must constantly create and send out our services, products, or our content. Being prolific is more important than being perfect. We just have to get our content out there. That’s number one. This requires us to be patient. Success doesn’t happen overnight, just as a pearl can’t be created overnight. It takes time. It has taken Louis four years to get to the point where he is today, but the process was worth it. 

“The key is if you don’t show up, if you don’t ship something, if you don’t stop caring about what people will think before it’s live, you can’t really grow it. Nothing is real until the people you seek to serve see it,” Louis explained. 

Getting Feedback

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We have to learn from our audience. We’re not going to be perfect the first time we go out there, so we’ve got to learn lessons from them. It’s not just about our audience seeing our content, it’s about them giving that feedback and then taking their feedback and iterating and pivoting based upon that. 

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After Louis’ podcast became successful, he launched an eight-week program. He described it as a “high-intensity program for risk-takers who want to really stand out.” He starts by running an early access cohort to get feedback and then applies that feedback to the second cohort he runs. Because he learned the value of feedback early on, he has been able to use it to his advantage and his second cohort sold out. 

The goal of the program is to provide people with a roadmap to launching or relaunching a product and making it radically different. The biggest takeaway people get from his program is clarity. After completing his program, they aren’t worried about missing out on opportunities. They feel confident in making decisions for themselves for the rest of their entrepreneurship journey. 

“All I’ve been doing is just learning from my own mistakes, reading a lot of books, interviewing a lot of smart people in my podcast, and making sense of it,” Louis said. “And so in that sense, creativity is connectivity.”

A great way to learn is to look at examples of people who have succeeded in what we want to do, and then apply some of their principles. We take portions of inspiration from the different people around us and use it towards our own success. 

Louis’s greatest home run has been his podcast. For the first time in his life, he followed his gut and didn’t second guess himself. He went all in. He didn’t let the critics pull him down, but used their feedback to improve. 

Understanding a Key Fundamental of Business

One of Louis’ other keys to success has been to focus on business fundamentals. 

“I’m going to tell you that even though there are shifts happening, and I could pick a few, [putting] the audience first is absolutely one, radical transparency is another one . . . But what matters the most, above all else, is your ability to navigate those shifts without being scared,” Louis said. “Once you understand the fundamentals, you can basically do anything you want. You can really see anything coming and evolve if you want to and change things around because you have this foundation.”

Change through Tectonic Shifts

The fundamentals of business are things that will never change. One key fundamental Louis emphasizes is people. “People are never going to change,” he explained. “We are creators that have been created through 4 billion years of evolution. Our brain is the result of all of that. 20 years of smartphones or 10 years of smartphones is not going to change our DNA and the way our brain is done.” 

The most important thing is understanding the fundamentals: taking care of the people. The second most important thing is understanding how to identify and leverage shifts as they happen and as they’re appropriate to us. There will always be new changes, and the ability to identify and leverage them as appropriate without changing our core fundamentals is important.

“Once you obsess over a specific group of people, you have a market,” he said. We need to identify our audience, our people, our tribe, and obsess over them. And then if we can leverage shifts to better serve them, great. If not, don’t worry about it. It all comes back to that core of obsessing over our people.”

We don’t have to jump on every single trend or tectonic shift that occurs. That would be impossible and overwhelming. We only need to change when the tectonic shifts affect our people—our fundamentals. 

Key Takeaways

Thank you so much Louis for sharing your stories and knowledge with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:

1. The process trumps everything else. 

2. It is more important to get our content out there and ship it instead of waiting for perfect content.

3. Being prolific is more important than being perfect.

4. We have to learn from our audience and accept and implement their feedback. 

5. There is creativity in connectivity.

6. The most important thing is understanding the fundamentals: taking care of the people. 

7. We don’t have to jump on every single trend or tectonic shift that occurs. We only need to change when the tectonic shifts affect our people—our fundamentals. 

Connect with Louis

If you enjoyed this interview and want to learn more about Louis or connect with him, you can find him on his website, everyonehatesmarketers.com. You can also watch, listen, or read episode two for more monetization strategies Louis shared in his interview. 

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    About the author

    Nathan Gwilliam

    Nathan Gwilliam

    I help organizations navigate tectonic shifts that are transforming the business landscape, so they can optimize marketing, accelerate profits, and make a greater difference for good.

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