Jared Kleinert, Jayson Gaignard & Gesche Haas

Contributors to 3 Billion Under 30

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON January 24, 2017

Discussion

Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
What's up PH!?! We are Jared Kleinert, Jayson Gaignard, and Gesche Haas. We, alongside a total of 75 top-performers in tech, overall entrepreneurship, sports, media, women's empowerment, content creation, fashion, music, and more, represent the "tell-all" experiences and practical advice shared in a new book called 3 Billion Under 30. During the day, we each lead communities and "movements" of our own. Jared founded 3 Billion Under 30, which is the second book in an award-winning and bestselling entrepreneurship series and network of the world's smartest and most talented Millennials. Jayson runs MasterMind Talks, one of the most exclusive events for entrepreneurs which is harder to get into than Harvard and annually hosts the likes of Tim Ferriss, Marc Ecko, Ryan Holiday, Dave Asprey, Lewis Howes, and many others. Gesche started Dreamers // Doers, a high-impact community for trailblazing women, encompassing thousands of high-performing women in business and tech all over the world. You can read more about our stories in www.3billionunder30.com (Jared wrote the Intro and Conclusion, Jayson's story starts on page 248, and Gesche's story starts on page 255!) A lot of what we've shared publicly can be seen in popular press outlets like Forbes, Fortune, TIME, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, etc. We want to go deep however, and we are all happy to discuss what we've learned about creating meaningful relationships with "super-connectors", building community, growing relationship-based businesses, our thoughts on the tech industry moving forward, how to bootstrap businesses, and more! Learn more about Jayson Gaignard at: www.http://jaysongaignard.com/ Learn more about Gesche Haas at: www.geschehaas.com NOTE - since there's three of us, please point your questions to one of us at a time using @jared, @jayson, and @gesche, and for questions pertaining to all of us, just make that clear too somehow 😉. Thank you!
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Community Lead, Product Hunt
What is your number one top piece of advice for gaining traction early one - whether for a book a launch, event or new business?
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@bentossell Ben - I would collaborate w/ as many people as possible. Your customers, other content creators or entrepreneurs, etc. In 2017, you must "out collaborate" your competition in order to get ahead. @jayson does this by having others mold and shape the flow of his events and dinners, and by creating spaces for others to meet. I did this by involving 75 world-class contributors to 3 Billion Under 30, who collectively have over 50M+ social media followers and 250,000+ people on their email lists. @gesche did this by building a really kickass online community and bringing others in to speak to the Dreamers and Doers. How can you replicate this collaborative ideaology in your business? You may find some success there...
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@bentossell #1 advice for gaining traction = you don't need a full-blown product to garner interest/build a community around it. That's prob the #1 mistake I see ppl make = that they hold off too long with garnering initial interest, herewith increasing cost of failure. I.e. even if your product/book is only in ideation phase you can do things like launch a newsletter to engage or better create an interactive community via FB groups or alike. Early on you will likely tap more into your immediate network - but as word spreads it will increasingly become ppl you don't know + but rather who care about the subject matter. I like FB groups especially bc set up is so quick, it's native for many ppl, it gives quick validation, has notifications built-in and so many more benefits...I view them as no-brainers for initial customer development/feedback/community-building for nearly any type of product/business/book.
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@bentossell "THE BEST TIME TO PLANT A TREE WAS 20 YEARS AGO. THE SECOND BEST TIME IS NOW." - Chinese Proverb Start investing in your network and the building of your platform sooner rather than later.
Abhishek Mishra@abhi_shek1994 · Founder @BetterMonk.
What's your take on the internet media trends now a days?
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@abhi_shek1994 great Q. Pro: democratization of content in the sense that more diverse viewpoints are represented and that each one of us has the power to play a role...hopefully, a positive one! I.e. prior, media was slower in creation/spreading and more centralized, this no longer is the case which comes w the new opportunities but also pressures and of course criticism. Con: same as above...bc everyone has a microphone now if they want to, are loud enough, incentives can be misaligned and has now led to trust being broken in many cases. However, I hope/think we are at a low point in this regard...it seems like nearly everyone is acutely aware these days that we need to use common sense and can't just trust what we find on the internet which has already spurred technological advances/businesses to help with better vetting media/news/content. @abhi_shek1994 - what are your thoughts?
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@abhi_shek1994 Like Gesche speculated, I also believe democratization is in effect, which means it is a land-grab RIGHT NOW to build your own following on social media, via email lists, etc. Own your distribution networks and you won't have to rely on others to share your thoughts and ideas with customers or people you are looking to positively influence.
Abhishek Mishra@abhi_shek1994 · Founder @BetterMonk.
@geschehaas yeah I agree. We as an audience have to be more cautious, also I feel that social media platforms should filter contents more often. We have seen results of fake journalism and click baits in the past. It's better that these companies should start taking moderation seriously.
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@abhi_shek1994 YES agree - social media platforms carry particular responsibility and as the media/content landscapes shifts...so does their role in it as well...as a commitment to the human race.......with their power comes responsibility.
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
A tad more about me if it's of benefit: forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2016/11/30/by-taking-the-agony-out-of-networking-this-lean-startup-broke-1m/#fe608b47f343
Eric Yang@eric_yang2
Truly great having 3 amazing entrepreneurs under one roof! Question: What are the core concepts a future super-connector (with 0 social capital) should follow to build an audience and following in 2017? @Jared @Jayson
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@eric_yang2 @jared @jayson Amazing people become increasingly amazing over time, so invest in people like others would invest in businesses. Play the long game.
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@jayson_gaignard @eric_yang2 @jared @jayson "TRUEEEEEEE!!!!" (said in my best 2 Chainz voice)
Jacqueline Pelsey@jacqueline_pelsey · Event and Community Engagement
All three contributors have found fulfillment in ventures focused around community building and collaboration. As someone who is interested in accomplishing the same, can you tell us a little but more about how you decided which community niches you decided to serve? #TheStruggleIsReal :)
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@jacqueline_pelsey Like most community builders, I am passionate about serving people who have similar core values to me. With that said, I love being in service of fascinating people. My filter is asking myself "would I want to have dinner with this person".
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@jacqueline_pelsey In my case the community / niche found me - it wasn't intended to be "female-focused" but when I was working on my first company (different from what I am working on now) and realized I was lacking a support system, I very organically connected with other female founders --- some of the issues we were facing were simply different from many of my male peers + I found I could be more honest about my struggles w fellow female founders.
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@jacqueline_pelsey + if you're curious, here is more detailed info on how Dreamers // Doers started: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/en...
+ cant wait to see what you end up building 😍
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@jacqueline_pelsey the baseline was that I wanted to (and still do) focus on people with high-integrity who were also leaders in their field. Beyond that, I look to find who will be running the world in various industries over the next 5-10 years, and be as valuable to them as possible. The important thing really is to go deep on whatever "niche" you pick. Be your friends' biggest cheerleader. Go out of your way to help them. If they succeed, so will you. Thanks for chiming in today @jacqueline_pelsey
Jacqueline Pelsey@jacqueline_pelsey · Event and Community Engagement
@geschehaas This is incredible! I love the heart and soul behind this venture- thank you for taking the time to cultivate it! I will look further into following along this group of amazing women :)
Jacqueline Pelsey@jacqueline_pelsey · Event and Community Engagement
@jayson_gaignard Such a great example of member-driven evangelization! Love that the concept is really an extension of you and that it resonates with so many. Very cool.
Jacqueline Pelsey@jacqueline_pelsey · Event and Community Engagement
@jared_kleinert Thanks for hosting, always appreciate the insight!
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
SO excited honored to be answering questions today! Similar to Jayson - adding one more link to give you more context on my work / background - and will give into answering Qs now 🎉 http://money.cnn.com/interactive...
Matt Guthmiller@mattguthmiller · Founder, Quant Financial
What advice can you give to new founders looking to bootstrap their company?
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@mattguthmiller Hey Matt! Thanks for chiming in (and for being a contributor to 3 Billion Under 30 alongside @jayson, @gesche, and others!!!!). I would focus on building a "world-class" product/service first. During product iterations, I would bring in potential customers and experts in other fields (and your own) for feedback, but be careful as to when you ask and what you do with their responses. Sometimes, you'll be too early for feedback, despite Lean Startup methodology that would claim otherwise. However, if you are following "lean startup" then you'd know to invest only a small amount of time and energy in the early phases of product. Let feedback dictate how you market, talk about the product, etc, but only after you are sure you're asking the right experts, customers, etc. And, balance your conviction with their feedback. If you are so strong-minded about something, weigh that heavier than a few pieces of negative feedback. And, find data to back/refute your ideas when possible. Hope that's helpful...
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@mattguthmiller I burned through savings for 2 years building Dreamers // Doers (we're profitable now, albeit via a lean structure). Being practical about is important - in the early stages, most imp is for you to not die as a company...if you have zero runway left...that's it! So I don't think it's a terrible idea doing side gigs or finding other sources of income very early on as it will also take more pressure away from having to find product market fit right away an possibly lead to desperation and herewith harming your thought processes. This changes the more certainty and path to monetization you develop with your product. Also...it's a good idea to let friends & family know that you are bootstrapping so they can be thoughtful around that - i.e. stop proposing expensive ways of spending time together...as you're trying to get a company off the ground.
Theoharis Dimarhos@theo_dimarhos · Marketing+Biz Dev at AngelouEconomics
@Jayson What have you found to be the 3 most compelling reasons for a "superconnector" to say yes to a request from you, if he doesn't know you?
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@theo_dimarhos @jayson Social proof (a.k.a mutual friends) + How is it a win for them
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@theo_dimarhos @jayson Social proof is huge. Providing value to them is another big one (make it something they would care about or that would help them). Finally, along similar lines, you can find ways to make them look good (i.e. asking for an intro so you can provide value to their friend/favorite charity/something like that).
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@theo_dimarhos @jayson 1) establishing a mutual connection/interest 2) showing appreciation for his/her work 3) being thoughtful/respectful of their time/trying to add value first before anything else
Talia Koren@talia_koren · Influencer outreach specialist
I'm thinking about writing a book too. What's the #1 mistake to avoid going into it if you want to self-publish?
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@talia_koren Having nothing to say.
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@talia_koren #1 mistake would be to do it in "rookie" fashion. There's so much noise out there that you have to make a better product, involve better sources/experts on the topic (if you are doing nonfiction, which I think you are), and think about how to better promo the book when you launch it. PS - thank you Talia for being one of the 3 Billion Under 30 team members who made our self-published book go pro! You're the real MVP!
Talia Koren@talia_koren · Influencer outreach specialist
@jared_kleinert you're an inspiration dude. thanks for the s/o!
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
THANK YOU everyone!!! We really loved your Qs. Thanks again to @gesche and jayson for joining me today, and to ProductHunt for being such lovely internet hosts. if this interested you, definitely check out the book at www.3billionunder30.com and read Jayson and Gesche's stories :D
Alex Baker-Whitcomb@awhitcom · Founder of Whitcomb Works
If you could step back and give yourself 1-2 pieces of advice when you first started your ideas at zero, what would it be?
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@awhitcom Hey Alex! Thanks for the Q - the biggest thing for me (and probably @gesche and @jayson) has been to build meaningful relationships as early and quickly as possible. This will help you w/ launching a product, raising money, growing a company and getting key team members, etc... I'm linking you to a few articles where I've shared how I build relationships, why it is important to meet as many "super-connectors" as possible, and how you can do the same in your career. This is fresh advice as these all went out last week to the public... Inc. - "This 21 Year Old Has A 2-Step Process to Develop a World-Class Network In Record Time" http://www.inc.com/benjamin-p-ha... Forbes - "How To Rapidly Attract Apt, Diverse Achievers To Your Project" http://www.forbes.com/sites/kare... Linkedin Pulse - "Studying The Outliers: Learning From 75 Of The World's Most Successful Millennials" https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/s... Basically, everything I shared in those interviews comes down to 3 “steps” for building meaningful relationships. 1) Be a good person (listen, empathize with others, and care). 2) Provide value without expectation of return. 3) Consciously build relationships with well-connected, high-integrity individuals. Click through to those articles and see the Q&A between me and each interviewer. Then, if you still have questions on "networking" (I prefer the phrase relationship-building...really, we're just making new friends), reply back and I'll attempt to go in detail with you. :)
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@awhitcom I focused way to much on what I thought I was "supposed" to do and took a lot of advice ppl were giving me at face value... So #1 advice I'd give is: DO YOU! Spend time really getting to know you, figure out your way, learn how to say NO (A LOT) and pick the path that works for you. There'll be stuff you love on your path, stuff you hate...but the better understanding you can get on why this path is the right one for you, the higher your success chances, fulfillment and likelihood that you will change the world as we know it.
Laf. Julius@laf_julius · co- founder @evolvesports
@jared_kleinert @geschehaas @jayson_gaignard Thanks for taking the time out to chat....what's the hardest part of building a billion dollar company? How do you sustain/scale it? What's the next adventure for you guys in 2017
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@laf_julius @jared_kleinert @geschehaas If you want to have a billion dollar company, you need to solve a billion dollar problem. Most billionaires I know (and I know a few) rarely had the aspiration of having a billion dollar company. It just happened...
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@laf_julius @jared_kleinert @geschehaas I'm working on our next MMT event (http://www.mastermindtalks.com/c...) and I'm writing a book on relationship building for Q3
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@laf_julius @jared_kleinert @jayson_gaignard re: billion dollar co's specifically - to get there you need to grow at breakneck speed (at least for parts of your journey) and for that reason many co's aiming at 1 billion die just for that reason and might have otherwise still been around. Risks are opportunities so being thoughtful around which risks carry most upside vs. might lead to the end is crucial re: sustainability/scale. 2017 adventure: extending Dreamers // Doers reach + impact + scaling operations. Curious to hear what you are most excited about in 2017, @laf_julius ?? :D
Laf. Julius@laf_julius · co- founder @evolvesports
Do you think Millennial's will gravitate to VR commerce and AR? @jared_kleinert
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@laf_julius Yes! and "meh"....Actually I was w/ another book contributor last night, Taryn Southern (big YouTuber and content creator) and she was telling me about how there's a real need for storytelling and marketing to catch up with tech advances in VR and AR. Pokemon Go did a good enough job adding a story (i.e. Become a Pokemon Master!!!!!!!!) to their tech, and it worked. We need real-world applications for these sorts of tech and examples of how it will impact our inter-relational interactions as humans and consumers...there aren't many great examples yet.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
Hey folks thanks for joining us today. I'd love to learn more about how to create meaningful relationships with "super-connectors" and how this has impacted your respective careers. How did you go about this and what can others learn?
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@ems_hodge Hey Emily! Thanks for helping us set this up today. I went into detail w/ @awhitcom above - definitely go "upvote" that. As far as how meeting super-connectors has influenced my career, it's meant everything! Case in point: I became an entrepreneur at 15, and started a company while making EVERY business mistake you can think of. The biggest was poor mentor selection - I was working with a guy who I later found out had done some really shady sh*t in the past… I realized if I wanted to ever make it as an entrepreneur, I needed to have better influences, and so I eventually reached out to a guy I read about in Forbes, mentioned as the “Most Connected Man You Don’t Know In Silicon Valley”, who has a company called 15Five that you may or may not have heard about. I ended up working for him for about 2 years, and during the process got into the Thiel Foundation’s community of young entrepreneurs and scientists. I’m not a Thiel Fellow myself, but early on I realized how powerful it would be to unite the voice, influence, and expertise of those types of young people to counteract negative Millennial stereotypes and force people to look towards this community as way to accelerate their own careers and lives. Two books later, we’re going strong! (Join us at www.3billionunder30.com!) #plug
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@ems_hodge Fantastic question! + thank you for having us. I think this applies for any situation when you "have an ask" for someone else --- trying to figure out what motivates them + how their day-to-day reality looks like. The advice I hear too often is "just ask"/"ask more" -- and I do agree, asking more is important but it's much more important HOW you ask. "Super-connectors" specifically oftentimes have an incredible amount of touch points every day and a lot of people trying to build meaningful connections so a bit more effort needs to be invested here...I would lead with trying to add value first with not the slightest intention or sign of wanting anything in return. I find, esp super-connectors pick up on "intentions" / are really good at reading humans. I'd also say the best relationships with super-connectors are built over time, i.e. showing up regularly on their social/personal channels, supporting, showing love, adding value, being thoughtful...that does not go unnoticed. What's important / can easily spoil a relationship w super-connector...is hitting them up with asks which either weren't very well thought through or exert a lot of pressure...I find esp super-connectors don't react very well to that but a lot of people are tempted to engage that way.
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
Hey everyone! :)
Jeremy Slate@jeremy_slate
@jayson_gaignard Hey Jason! My partner Daniel and I had a call with you not too long ago!
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@jeremy_slate Hey Jeremy! I remember you :) Thanks for coming on!
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Community Lead, Product Hunt
What are your daily routines?
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@bentossell Got to get back into daily ice baths :)
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@bentossell I journal every morning. It's my corner stone habit and makes the difference btwn being reactive vs. proactive, let's me identify fat in the system, re-focuses me on my why and maximizes productivity. ++ I work out most mornings! This is the system I use for journaling...it's literally CHANGED MY LIFE: https://docs.google.com/document...
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@bentossell normally it involves going through airport security and letting the people in middle and window seats up to go to the bathroom :P
Jeremy Slate@jeremy_slate
How does one become a "Super Connector?"
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@jeremy_slate Big question / No magical answer... It's a balance of being a great listener, caring immensely about others (the biggest fan philosophy), going the extra mile (i.e "the follow up"), investing a considerable amount of time on relationships, etc...
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@jeremy_slate There's a lot of awesome content up and down this Live page, but it comes down mostly to what Jayson said. In one word: empathy. In a few words: applying that empathy to working with and providing value to the right people. Then, be yourself! Like, you've been to my birthday bashes and met my family. That's as real as it gets. That builds trust, and opens the door to new relationships and experiences.
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@jeremy_slate before asking "how" I think it's important to ask why would want to become one (many pros/cons with being one - so just has to be a fit for you/person interested in becoming one). I find most connectors naturally gravitate to it - but a way to increase connection/hacking it: making it a priority + being able to reach many ppl meaningfully. In order to be a true connector you need to be able to add value to those who feel connected to you and in a way obsess about connecting the dots for others.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community, Product Hunt ✌️😻
What is your definition of success?
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@jacqvon Success (to me) is life on your terms. Thus the importance of discovering what success truly looks and feels like for you :)
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@jacqvon To me, success is multi-pronged. 1) Business/Financial 2) Lifestyle design (freedom to be where I want, do what I want, work on what I want, with whom I want, etc). 3) Health (body, mind, etc) 4) Relationship-building (personal, for sure, and professional...I want to LOVE the people I spend time with, and so far, i do!) 5) Community-building (how can I build communal structures that advance a greater good or "legacy" as some people would think about it). However, everyone "defines" success differently...We’ve enlisted world-class experts from all walks of life to share their formative life experiences and practical takeaways in 3 Billion Under 30. People like... >Matt Mullenweg, founder of Wordpress (which powers over 26% of all websites on the Internet) and Automattic ($bil+ company) >Furious Pete, Competitive Eater and sponsored bodybuilder with over 4 million YouTube subscribers >Jake Paul, actor, social media influencer, and entrepreneur with over 17 million social media followers >Katrin Davidsdottir, the 2015 and 2016 Fittest Woman on Earth >Neil Patel, serial entrepreneur named one of the top 10 online marketers by Forbes and one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under 30 by President Obama. And 70+ other top-performing Millennials including Hollywood A-listers, successful entrepreneurs, and social media influencers. Crazy to think, but ALL of these people would give you a different answer as to what they define as success. And that's OK! I think it's actually pretty cool.
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@jacqvon the opportunity to CREATE, the excitement to tackle challenges that are meaningful to me and the opportunity to spend time with people who share strong values +++ YET that is not enough...I've noticed in order to "feel" successful I also need basics in place such as exercise/sleep/occasional breaks, oftentimes very underestimated factors and FUEL for success :))
Ayrton De Craene@ayrton · Code @ Product Hunt
You are all such high achievers, (how) do you manage a work /life balance?
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@ayrton HAH, (sorry). Good Q - I try to let them mix together, and by surrounding myself with amazing people (many of whom happen to also be amazing at building companies, or becoming top-performers in their industries), they actually improve my personal life too. My health, personal relationships, etc have all grown as a result of my professional or "work" relationships and experiences.
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@jared_kleinert @ayrton There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.
Jayson Gaignard@jayson_gaignard
@jared_kleinert @ayrton Another way to look at it is to design an "integrated lifestyle". There are no lines between my work, play, friends, clients, etc... I have 150 "clients" and would easily have 85% of them to my wedding.
Jared Kleinert@jared_kleinert
@jayson_gaignard @ayrton and you're happier than ever, right Jayson?
Gesche Haas@geschehaas · Founder, Dreamers // Doers
@ayrton prioritization. I can't do everything...but I can do the things that are most important to me. +knowing what fuels + depletes me the most and structuring my life accordingly. (LOVE this Q btw) <3