Erik Huberman is an award-winning CEO of one of the fastest rising marketing companies, Hawke Media. Winning multiple awards from Forbes 30 Under 30 to Inc.’s Top 25 Marketing Influencers, Erik has to be the most motivated entrepreneur I’ve ever met. If there’s a new business idea to be had he’s the first one on it! Just the type of person that we can all learn from.
Unlike me, Erik has always had the entrepreneurial spirit – he was definitely the kid with the lemonade stand. I was the one lining up for whatever it is he was serving! He has to be one of the youngest entrepreneurs I’ve ever met as he had his first successful business at age 8 years! Yes, you read that correctly 8! At that age I was only concerned with my kickball and dolls. Ha! However, after being offered $450 for a beanie baby Erik realized his “toys” could be used as a way to make money. With his parents support, Erik was off to the races selling Beanie Babies on Ebay – the first of many successes for the budding entrepreneur!
When I say Erik has won a lot of awards – I mean it! Just this week he was listed on LinkedIn’s Top Startups. I loved Erik’s insights as we talked about one of the best kept secrets around…nominating yourself for opportunities! Have you ever wondered how that person or company just keeps winning awards when you can’t seem to get your name out there?! Chances are they are nominating themselves and so should you! We dive in deep to the mindset and strategies of how exactly to nominate yourself. My biggest piece of advice: Talk about yourself the way you would a best friend.
With Erik at the forefront of marketing I was excited to ask him about what he sees in terms of future opportunities in the space. Where is the the big blue ocean of opportunity? I thought Erik’s answer was surprising. Instead of acting fast and rushing in, Erik suggests slowing down and being wary of oversaturated spaces. His view is that most success stories come from an entrepreneur who took something that was already established and made it better. Basically building a better wheel!
Note: Erik had one big warning for fellow entrepreneurs: Do not overvalue your company.
“If you’re trying to be too data driven in marketing you can end up cutting off your nose,” is one of my favorite quotes from Erik.
Data is important but there’s also a time and place to try something new! Especially in this unique time we find ourselves in with a global pandemic. If you, your company or your team are thinking of trying something new here is what you need to ask: “why”. Why are we doing this? What is our ultimate goal? Be realistic about what’s actually possible.
Hawke Media’s mission is client accessibility and making it as easy as possible for clients to work with them. The biggest difference between Hawke and their competitors? Hawke allows month to month contracts. In the agency world this concept is unheard of! And I would know because I worked at an agency (it was only for 90 days but hey that counts!)
While this is usually a positive key differentiator, Erik was nervous when the pandemic hit. When business owners and CFO’s are looking at what to cut from their budgets marketing is usually the first thing to go. Erik took the pandemic in stride telling all of his clients that they can “fire” him whenever they need too however he encouraged them to be patient and to see how Hawke could them amid the pandemic. Erik’s bet of client patience paid off with clients doubling down on their social media platforms as their businesses moved from in person to digital.
Wait…turning down clients!? Yes, you heard that right. Erik is all about making sure his clients are the right culture fit for his team. With a “no asshole” policy in place he is not afraid of telling clients that they aren’t the right fit for the Hawke Media team.
I thought Erik’s quote of, “What you nurture is what progresses,” says it all. If you want to create a culture of respect and strength then you have to nurture that behavior in your company on the inside and out.
The job title of CEO should actually be called fire fighter as that is what you spend the majority of your time doing. You hear the biggest complaints and have to solve the biggest problems – whether you want to or not! Eriks’ best piece of advice for anyone in leadership: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I couldn’t agree with Erik more on this and I’ll be book marketing this section to watch again on days when the fire fighting is hard.
Best life hack you’ve been doing lately? Burning 900 calories everyday for 80 days straight! Erik would take conference calls during walks at times to meet this goal. He explains how getting healthy was in his control during this year that seemed so out of control. I couldn’t agree more!
Best gift you’ve given to yourself? Mountain Bike.
Best resource? YPO , a global leadership community of chief executives that Erik not only learns from but serves by being apart of multiple boards in his region.
One thing you need more of? Travel. Don’t we all?!
HOMEWORK: One thing we should all try this week? Move everyday! Set aside one hour a day for movement. Tag Erik and I in your social media posts of what you’re doing this week to get some exercise! @erikhuberman & @kimkaupe on all social media platforms so that we can see and share you taking part in this homework assignment.
Alex Lieberman CEO of Morning Brew will be joining us. If you haven’t signed up for his newsletter yet do it today! You won’t regret it. Every morning you will have a handy overview of all the news, stocks and global events straight to your inbox in bite-size form. It’s going to be a fun one.
Let us know you’re coming and check out who’s next here.