PODCAST 127: Leadership Lessons From 10 Years of Democratizing Youth Sports w/ Brian Litvack

Today on the show, we’ve got Brian Litvack, the first person that ever hired me as a sales consultant and my fast friend. He’s the Co-founder and CEO of a company called LeagueApps, which is democratizing the world of youth sports. LeagueApps is the operating system for youth sports leagues and helps people to compete in a healthy and wholesome way. It’s been a difficult thing to do during COVID.

If you missed episode 126, check it out here: How to Book a Meeting with Nearly Anyone in the World with Jeff Winters

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Show Agenda and Timestamps

  1. Show Introduction [00:10]
  2. Who is Brian Litvack and what is LeagueApps? [02:25]
  3. Key lessons learned in 10 years of top leadership [12:23]
  4. All About SPORTSDOG [16:16]
  5. Serving youth sports while social distancing [25:57]
  6. Who influenced Brian as a leader? [36:27]
  7. Sam’s Corner [39:02]

Show Introduction [00:04]

Sam Jacobs: Today on the show, we’ve got Brian Litvack, the first person that ever hired me as a sales consultant and my fast friend. He’s the Co-founder and CEO of a company called LeagueApps, which is democratizing the world of youth sports. LeagueApps is the operating system for youth sports leagues and helps people to compete in a healthy and wholesome way. It’s been a difficult thing to do during COVID.

Before we get there, we want to thank our sponsors. We’ve got two sponsors on the show today. The first is Sapper Consulting. At the moment, sales enablement is easy. All you have to do is create perfectly targeted content, stay informed on email best practices, drive more engagement quarter over quarter, spend less money, oh, and do all of this with less time. Okay, it’s not easy, but Sapper Consulting has built REGIE to help carry the load and keep your team doing what they do best, which of course is winning. REGIE uses AI to create entire outbound inbound, and even follow up campaigns faster. Using over a billion rows of performance data, REGIE uses your targeting to inform your campaigns, decreasing the time you spend creating campaigns. And because the campaigns are structured on email best practices, your campaign warmup period will shrink. The result, more sales meetings. So start creating better sequences faster. Go to go.regie.io.

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Now, without further ado, let’s listen to this interview with Brian Litvack.

Who is Brian Litvack and what is LeagueApps? [02:25]

Sam Jacobs: Hey everybody, it’s Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the Sales Hacker Podcast. Today on the show we’ve got a friend, a mentor, and an inspiration to many. His name is Brian Litvack. He’s the CEO and co-founder of LeagueApps. He’s also a member of their board of directors. And we will talk about LeagueApps and what an incredible company it is. But before LeagueApps, he was part of the founding team at Sports Fight and held various business development roles at CBS Sports, College Sports Television and the official college sports network. Brian is a board member of the NYC Chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance, and is involved in various other sports nonprofits. Brian graduated from the University of Michigan Ross, School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Go Blue. Brian, welcome to the show.

Brian Litvack: Thank you for having me, Sam. First time caller, longtime listener. I’m honored to be here today. I believe I’ve invited myself onto this pod many times. So I guess you finally took the bait here.

Sam Jacobs: It’s true. Well, first of all, thank you for your loyal listenership. I get texts from you often with comments about one podcast episode or the other. But you definitely deserve to be here. You’re an incredible entrepreneur. And before we dive into the story of LeagueApps, let’s just do a quick baseball card. What is LeagueApps?

Brian Litvack: We like to believe, LeagueApps is the operating system for youth sports. We power over 3,000 sports organizations and give them all the tools that they need to succeed, and equip them with software-data relationships for their organization. And that includes things like registration and payments, messaging, communications, and how they really lead their community in sports activities and programs.

Sam Jacobs: Wow! Let’s get a little bit of the schematics of how big the company is, how many people and all that stuff.

Brian Litvack: We work with 3000 different youth sports organizations across the country. That means about 10 million people have registered through our platform. About 400,000 a month right now. It’s an interesting time for youth sports. We have 70 employees. We’re based in New York City with our office in Northern Virginia as well. And we’ve hit a milestone last year of processing over a billion dollars. And our goal now is to process a billion dollars a year in transaction payments between the organization and the parents and players within those clubs.

Sam Jacobs: Wow! Incredibly impressive. What was the impetus originally for you starting and forming LeagueApps?

Brian Litvack: I’ve batted 220 in high school.

Sam Jacobs: 220 is not particularly amazing.

Brian Litvack: Above the Mendoza line, but yeah, nothing to brag too much about.

Sam Jacobs: You were seventh or eighth in the lineup?

Brian Litvack: When I cracked the lineup. My claim to fame is I hit a home run in my last at bat in my high school career, and then I was low so the ball had to go over the fence for me to have any chance of a home run. So, just close my eyes and swung as hard as I could for that last week of the season. Most of the time ended in strikeouts, but did have that home run. I think we’re losing 17-3 at the time. Well, probably the biggest grin I’ve ever had on my face as I rounded the bases.

Sam Jacobs: Was anybody on base at the time of the home run?

Brian Litvack: No, I slid home to make it 17-4. The umpire on the other team didn’t find that too amusing. Went out on a high note. I would have batted 218, otherwise. I had a passion for sports my whole life. And even if I wasn’t that good at it, it was just a part of my life and something that I enjoyed more than just about anything else.

And I was all set to go into more of a finance or consulting career, and my older sister, I started working in sports. And it dawned on me that, wow, this is a career and profession and something that can tie my passion and what I love to do with my profession. So I started a website in college. This was before blogging, so it learned how to code. And it was around college basketball. That’s my favorite sport to follow as a little kid. Go St. John’s. And I loved college basketball and made a website and it was just fascinating to me, how I was able to share information and communicate with other people and use the web to get my voice out there. And from there I recognize I’m spending all my time building this website. This is what I want to do with my career. And actually found a job with a company called Official College Sports Network, which built a web platform for college athletic departments.

So all the things that the college athletic department will need, from rosters and press releases and -commerce or ticket sales. And took that as my first job at a college. It also happened to be in San Diego, California. So I packed up my surfboard, which I was about as good at as playing baseball, and went out and worked in that company for a few years. And it was interesting, because about a year after I got there, I was acquired by a company, a venture backed company in New York called College Sports Television, which was a cable network. And then College Sports Television was acquired by CBS.

So, I was fortunate to see how acquisitions work, especially in the digital media space. And became really interested in being in that part of the business. Where there was fundraising, and there was uncertainty, and there was outcomes. And really, I already had a predisposition for being interested in the entrepreneurial and startup space, and even had more conviction after seeing these few experiences, and led me to meet up with a team that was building Sports Fight, and came on as part of that founding team. And Sports Fight was this idea that you can connect with other people in your community to play sports.

And it was exciting to me because at the time, this was 2006, it was to go on the web to get off the web, right? Find people in your community to play sports with. It was a little different than sports media, but it felt in some ways, more important and more beneficial to help people connect to their passion. And we ran Sports Fight for about three years, and struggled in a bunch of places in terms of strategy and execution. We did some things right and we formed some people partnerships. But the main insight we developed with Sports Fight was that there are people within every community who have tremendous influence and impact on how sports is organized within their communities. These are people who call themselves sports organizers. And anyone who’s played sports or is a parent and understands who these people are. They’re the most passionate, they put most of their time and energy and effort into making sure that sports happen. They may be volunteers or this might be their profession.

And we recognized, if we could build the tools for sports organizers, that we could have more impact and influence on how people play sports. And not till later did we realize that we’re a vertical SAS payments enabled platform, which is kind of, if you look at it from a VC bend, what our business has grown into over the last decade.

Sam Jacobs: Tell us about the formation of LeagueApps. How did you get started? Did you raise money? Did you have a co-founder?

Brian Litvack: Going back to when we had Sports Fight, we were part of a venture studio, like an incubator. We shared our space with some other companies. I’ll get to that later as we talk about values and culture. As I said, we did some things right but we also struggled a bunch and never really got to product market fit or monetization strategy in the Sports Fight community. But we were fortunate in that we learned a lot. And I think we were down to myself and a few of the engineers who decided to say, “Let’s pivot and evolve and build this new product.” And at about that same time, my business partner now Jeremy Goldberg, who is connected to the venture studio, started working more closely with us. And eventually, together we led the evolution of Sports Fight into LeagueApps and we raised some new financing, quads together some checks and started to build out that platform for most of 2010.

And at a time, we had just come off a product that wasn’t as successful as we wanted and really took a lot of grit to double down and say, let’s build something new. But pretty quickly saw the value that LeagueApps provided. It’s about 10 years ago this month that we really launched the LeagueApps platform and had a few organizations that were using it. We started to watch them transact registrations and payments and said, “Oh, wow! This is going to work.” And at the time, I probably didn’t realize it would take longer than I expected. But it’s been pretty steady growth over the last 10 years of really getting deep into the market of how to use sports organization, juice software and data to enable their programs and their activities within their communities.

And then come this March, that took a big curve ball with everything that happened. And it’s been an interesting experience since then. But we’re pretty bullish that sports are an integral and important part of communities, and that they’re already being played at pretty significant rates. And then once there’s even less health concerns that sports will continue to thrive within our society.

Key lessons learned in 10 years of top leadership [12:23]

Sam Jacobs: What are the key lessons learned, do you think, over the last 10 years?

Brian Litvack: Recognize what a grind and how much perseverance and grit it’s going to take to start an organization that does something meaningful in the world. My expectation after coming out of a few acquisitions in CSTV and CBS is, “Oh, wow, we’ll start a company and in two years have this amazing success.” And in reality, we spent three years working on Sports Fight, and then that basically pivoted into a new company, LeagueApps. And we spent 10 years on that. I think one thing that is very apparent is you have to enjoy company building or organizational building, you have to get fulfillment out of the journey, and not just fixate on the outcome, and be pretty proud of the work that you’re doing as you’re doing it.

It’s also just the realization that it’s going to be ups and downs. And it’s going to be all encompassing, and it’s going to involve a lot of struggles and a little bit of luck. There’s so much that goes into it and it is kind of unpredictable. So I’m still learning things. And man, I probably learned more over the last three or four months, and maybe the end of my full prior years because of everything that’s going on. But I think it’s important to appreciate and enjoy the act of leading and running a company and building a company, not just trying to do something that fits into your financial model when you originated your idea?

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Sam Jacobs: Was there a period when you shifted from doing a lot of things yourself to team building? When did you get religion around putting A players and great people into key roles and then letting them do their thing versus you trying to do it all yourself? At what stage of growth was it over the last 10 years?

Brian Litvack: I’m still trying to figure out that balance. From 2010 to 2015, we didn’t have traditional funding. We just went out there and clawed our way into angel rounds and individual angels, because there were some questions as to the validity and scale of our model. So you have to do everything yourself. We probably were between five and 15 people for those five years. And then you get funding and you have to switch pretty quickly. And that’s a challenge to say it all becomes about team building. And as the company continues to scale, it becomes clear that’s the only way that it will happen if you have a great team in place. And most leveraged things I can do is recruit people who are way better than me in each of the roles on our team, and then figure out an environment to let them do their thing and support them.

We use a lot of sports analogies at LeagueApps, and you go from being a player to being a player coach, to being a coach, to being a GM, to making sure that you’re just doing the things to put everybody in a position to be successful. And as you go from a basketball team to a baseball team to a football team, you realize there’s less and less you do yourself, and the ability to bring in the right people, to bring clarity of strategy, to help maintain and strengthen a culture, are the most leverage and valuable things that a founder or CEO can do, and probably much more important than any direct contribution that they can make to the operations. But I still work through that.

All About SPORTSDOG [16:16]

Sam Jacobs: One of the key moments was when you came up with this framework for SPORTSDOG. Why that was such a key moment. Tell us what SPORTSDOG stands for, and how it’s helped you manage and lead the organization.

Brian Litvack: Sure, so I’ll explain what it is and then talk through why it’s been so valuable to LeagueApps. So SPORTSDOG stands is an acronym for the values of our company. These are sportsmanship, passion, openness, results, team, student in the game, difference maker, own your role, and grit. Everyone in our company can recite those values. Within our office, we have banners that look like banners that are hanging from the rafters of a sports stadium with the values and definitions. And then we recognize team members who best exemplify those values and award them at the beginning of each year, and their names are on the banner as well. So we actually work under our values physically.

And we originated these back in 2012, I believe. My partner Jeremy Goldberg and I realized it’s a privilege to be able to have such influence on the organization and we said, “Let’s codify this. Let’s put down the things that matter most to us.”We started going back and forth. We joke about this often, I remember at first we looked at Amazon or Google, and we went back and forth. Then we said, “No, no, we can really make this our own. What do we actually believe in?” And as soon as we put down on paper what we cared about and the organization that we want it to be, then we put some more sports phrases against it, figuring we’re a company that’s mission driven, and that has a passion for sports, and very much aligns with character and development, that many people gain through team sports. And said, “Okay, these are our values.”

And in the beginning, we tied them to athletes, we gave everyone a set of baseball cards of these values and some things stuck and some things didn’t, but the acronym did stick. And more importantly, the ability to articulate, codify, and keep these front and center, I think has worked well, in that everyone in our organization, if you ask them to name our values, and I think believes that their meaning to them, so it is part of our onboarding, it is part of, at the end of our all hands meeting each week, we’ll recognize people and you have to use a value and you have to explain what they did was connected to a value. As I mentioned, we award people at the end of the year based on our values.

So it’s something that we like to keep front and center in everything that we do at LeagueApps. And I believe that the team members who have been here for a while are who enjoyed it the most, get the most fulfillment and satisfaction, and won the mission in what we put out into the world, but then to the environment and the culture that we’ve created that are based off of these values. That they align with what’s important to them with what we deem as important to the company.

Sam Jacobs: How has it helped your job as a CEO? How has it made it easier?

Brian Litvack: It’s almost a special cheat code that we have these strong values. Because I am constantly being faced with decisions or with situations that I don’t know the answer, or there might not be a clear answer, and we never faced it before, and we don’t know what to do. Right? And that’s part of any scaling growing company, is you go through uncertainty or adversity, and it’s happening in the world right now. And I think in those situations, yes, you can ask for advice, or you could talk to other people. But I think what gives us a lot of comfort is, when there’s not clear data on what to do, we’ll make sure that we align by doing things or doing things that align with our values.

So as I talk this through with Jeremy or with our management team or with department leaders, we’ll talk about, is this living up to the values that we deem important? Is this something that we can be proud of, even if it’s the wrong decision? Because we care about this, we care about adhering to this as much as we care about the results. And I think that time after time, we’ve had those conversations.

Earlier this year, we had to make a lot of tough decisions. Our revenue was significantly impacted, especially in April, by everything COVID related and how it affected youth sports. And there were a lot of unforeseen situations, from how we changed all of our OKRs to how we had to adjust compensation, or even reorganize the team. And during those periods of uncertainty, I think talking it through, especially with the management team and saying, “Look, we have to do things in a way that is open,” right? And share as much as we can with everybody and communicate this well. That’s something that’s important.

We have to have a grip because it’s going to take a lot of work from home, and with child care for parents and with things that are unexpected are moving from… We are really proud of our culture in the office. Everyone gets in at the same time. We have a lot of activities throughout the week. How do we adjust? All of those things, I think we were able to look within the prism of our values to make the best decisions for our company. And the way we check on that is, we tell the team, very clearly, hold us accountable to these values if decisions we’re making you don’t think live up to them. It’s everyone’s job here to let management or department leaders or decision makers know that.

Sam Jacobs: You mentioned when you were building the values, and probably still to this day, there things that don’t work. What are the things that you’ve tried around this structure that have not worked, but we can learn from?

Brian Litvack: As the founder or CEO, you can embody the values, but you can’t enforce them. That’s up to everybody in your organization and on your team. So as much as you want certain things to happen, you do have a lot of influence and you can act in that way. But it really has to be the entire team has to agree and believe that those are the things that the organization does value. So there’s a level of letting go and making sure that the team imprints this themselves and then they internalize it.

If they can’t recite them, they’re no longer explicit. If you aren’t explicit in putting them everywhere you can, just going around and graffiti and stamping, then it’s just like, “Oh, that’s our culture. That’s the behavior.” If someone new comes to the organization, they’re going to have to infer what those values are. So make sure that you put them everywhere.

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When we moved into our new office, and we didn’t have the banners up, I was actually anxious. Like, how is someone going to come into our office and know what our values are, and know what we care about, if they’re not plainly seen at all times by everybody in the organization? I think for a while I tried to define them perfectly, in saying, “Well, own your role means this exactly.” And that’s going to change as the culture changes, as the team gets to different sizes. We’ve tried things like tying standards of behavior against the value. So it’s like, this is what’s commendable and this is what’s acceptable. And sometimes you’re over engineered a little bit and it doesn’t stick. So it’s like going to the gym, you gotta keep on working on it.

We have another practice called OTAs, which are team meetings, and we do them two times a year. And there’s always part of that, there’s a value session. Is redefining them, or it’s almost like we could probably repeat the same exercise every year, every six months, but it’s just getting everyone to internalize what these values are, that these values are important and that our company is going to hold them up high and make decisions based on them.

Sam Jacobs: Do you worry about the lack of definition? That maybe SPORTSDOGS has a lot of acronyms? Or a lot of values are embodied in SPORTSDOGS, and maybe they conflict with each other? Or are you just comfortable that the totality of these things represents a good behavior and people need to have the judgment to interpret them as they wish?

Brian Litvack: I’ve learned it’s become the ladder, right? I told Nick Sutedjo I’d give him a shout out here. A proud member of the Revenue Collective, Nick is someone who in many ways embodies the values better than I do. So, Nick leads a good portion of our sales team. And Nick might interpret them a little differently. But the 90% that matters, I know we’re exactly alike. And same with Jeremy, and same with all of the leaders in our organization. So the more that you have trust and confidence in the team, the more that they’ll be able to internalize the value. And they might explain it a little bit differently, or they might use it a little bit differently, but they actually might be more right than I am in the way that they looked at how that value ties to our company, because what’s meaningful to them is just as important as what’s meaningful to the executive team.

Serving youth sports while social distancing [25:57]

Sam Jacobs: Makes a lot of sense. Let’s talk about COVID. Tell us what happened. What was your initial reaction? What was the business impact to the extent that you’re comfortable sharing? And then what have you done in response, as you look ahead to 2021, 2022, and beyond?

Brian Litvack: It was pretty surreal. In the middle of March, we were having a board meeting, and one of our board members said, “Oh, look, my son’s, all his sports were just canceled.” And then about 30 minutes later, another one of our board members said, “Oh, man, all my son’s youth sports activities are canceled too.” So we pretty quickly saw, in mid March, that youth sports was going to be severely affected by this pandemic. And it was something that we never could have imagined, just like most people out there did not see this as a situation that we had to plan for.

So right away, we went into almost try as mode or triage mode and said, “Well, we have to become a remote company.” I was proud that we made that decision a few days before everybody else. And that’s one place where I learned to trust the company, because after being an organization where everyone comes into the office, most of the time, we pretty quickly had to move to a completely remote environment. And then we really quickly saw that as much as this was hard for us, most of our partners, which are the sports organizations, or our customers, were totally unprepared for how to handle this type of situation, right? They don’t have scenario planning, they don’t they don’t have cash reserves. They were quickly having to understand what they should do about their events, how they should treat refunds and credits, what type of liability they have in their organization, what they should do with their coaches and referees and employees.

And in some ways, I believe we’re fortunate in that we have a consumption model where we take a piece of the transaction between the organization and the parent or player, and we do that because we believe it’s very convenient for the organization. There’s no invoices, some are nonprofits, a lot of them are passion based businesses or organizations. So pretty quickly, we saw our transaction numbers decline precipitously, and we saw organizers needing a lot of help. And I think I was proud that we pretty quickly recognized an opportunity to be valuable to our partners, by providing them with knowledge and thought leadership and ideas and situations on how to survive or get through this. And we did over 20 virtual town halls. We had a free virtual conference, everything was free, not just for our partners, but for everyone.

I think we engaged with something like 5000 organizations, we would have four or 500 organizations at each of our events. We stood up leadership forums. In part, an idea that Nick had with all the community being built at Revenue Collective, and I think we built seminar aid for Zoom leadership forums, where we’d have 10 to 15 organizers just talk through what they were facing and the adversity and how to work together. We had experts around how to obtain PPP, situations with whether their W2 or 1099 employees how to treat the employee, in HR related items for the organizations. And engender a lot of goodwill, a lot of thought leadership, a lot of support from our partner base over this time. And we basically put a pause on any type of forming new partnerships. Did as much as possible to support our existing partners, really work through things like refunds and credits, and as a payments platform, how to best protect these organizations. And came up with new OKRs.

I think by March 18, I think one week after everything went down, we shifted our entire business, recognizing a lot of our metrics were no longer relevant. Came up with new objectives and ways of measuring them, and ran that for six or eight weeks, a completely new playbook. So after going through annual planning for three or four months, literally in a week shift or reorganization into a whole new set of goals, and watch the team respond in really admirable ways, especially in remote and difficult circumstances, and watch people step up. And have some heroic stories around what we had to do for payments or for partners, helping their business to survive. And it’s been interesting to watch activity over the last few months in a lot of places around the country, sports is moving. A return to play has happened pretty quickly and it’s coming back. And there’s still a lot of adversity that these organizations face with how to keep their community safe. But there’s also a lot of demand or the desire for parents and families to participate in sports activities.

We had our most registrations ever in one day, last month. We’ve seen a lot of activity. August is one of the busier months for us. And we still see a lot of activity. It’s not what we projected. But it’s neat to see how motivated and entrepreneurial and passionate a lot of the organizations we work with are, to make sure sports happens. And whether they did virtual training or they just did some form of coaching, or just have a team come together. And now, even if they’re not playing in events, they’re doing practices and they’re keeping their equipment or their water bottles six feet apart and wearing masks and doing so much to ensure that kids can have great sports experiences.

It’s been pretty fulfilling for myself and I believe for a lot of our team, that with all the uncertainty going on in the world, that we’re working on something that we really believe in, makes the world a better place. And we’re putting something out there in the world of helping to manage and organize sports that has been important to many of our lives and is part of many communities. And I think the mission of our company and to help create amazing sports experiences for all, is something that makes our values stronger, because it’s something that is a shared passion for many of our team members.

Sam Jacobs: What’s your point of view on larger organizations, so they think about their sports seasons?

Brian Litvack: When it comes to professional sports, health and safety are important aspects. But it is a business, and I believe that business decisions are driving a lot of the return to play at the professional level. Whether it’s what’s happening with the NBA or talk about the NFL. In youth sports, safety and health are such important factors of any youth sports experience. So we didn’t get into it. But we actually have these belief statements of what youth sports should be. And one of the beliefs is safety first, right? It has to be a safety and health environment for anybody who participates in youth sports. Otherwise, it’s not positive and they won’t play and it won’t be something that helps them build character.

How to ensure a safe and healthy environment with what is going on right now is incredibly difficult. We see many of our sports organizers struggle because in some places, demand from parents to come back and play and travel to tournaments is more ambitious, then even the sports organizer who’s doing this for a living feels comfortable doing so. There’s this back and forth of, what’s the way that everyone agrees, at least in our sphere of the world, that youth sports is an important aspect of childhood development and education, and that getting kids out there and playing is important, but it has to be done in a safe and healthy way.

We’re constantly evolving the information out there to ensure that that happens. A lot of parents are pushing to, and we’re watching it, right? They’re signing their kids up or saying that this is really something that’s important. In many places, sports are happening even as school is being delayed. And therefore, some of the only social and educational activity is happening through youth sports right now across the country.

So it’s been interesting, as you said, this is a society question as much as it is a youth sports organizer question, but we’re trying to understand how sports and youth sports specifically, evolves from what happens in our world right now. And in many ways, youth sports is such an integral part of community and a part of society that it mirrors what people believe. And we do believe that we can have some impact on that, and we could have some impact from that entirely into ways that are things that we care about. So, as interesting and as complex as it’s been for LeagueApps as a company, we look at our partners or the people who organized sports, and empathize with all that they’ve had to deal with, which is incredibly difficult under the circumstances.

Who influenced Brian as a leader? [36:27]

Sam Jacobs: Brian, we’re coming to the end of our time together. This is the part of the show where we pay it forward a little bit. And we want to hear from you, who are some of your influences?

Brian Litvack: I’m a little bit of a geek when it comes to understanding SAS businesses and vertical SAS businesses, like to follow blogs and podcasts for things like SAS Star from David Cummings and David Skok at Matrix Partners, I just voraciously read everything that they put out there. A few books for startups, especially around culture, include High Growth Handbook by Elad Gil. The Culture Code is a good one. Understanding Zappos and Tony Hsieh’s biography, I found it valuable. Favorite band, there’s a band called Lipstick in the 1990s that had a profound effect on my formative years.

Then I’ll give my parents, my family, a lot of credit. They’re all, on both sides, very entrepreneurial. And they always, without even recognizing it, said, “Hey, work for yourself. And it’s more exciting and more fun, and do what you love.” And we’re always passionate about their work. As I was forming or getting in the early stages of my career, it always just made more sense to go out there and lead an organization, and start a business, and be entrepreneurial. Was much more normal than the idea of getting a job and having a boss. That’s had a big influence and impact on the progression of my career and my mindset as I went into my career.

Sam’s Corner [39:07]

Sam Jacobs: Hi everyone. Sam’s Corner. What can you take from this last conversation? I’ve been running Revenue Collective, and I reached out to Brian to talk about this very topic, which you may think it’s bullshit, but your values really do help you grow and help you scale. If you have company values that are distinctive, original, written in the voice of the founder, written in the voice of the management team, and they’re real and you believe them, what’s the point? The point is that those things help you make decisions. If you give the values plus a rough strategic plan to any employee in the company, that employee should be able to make decisions on behalf of the company that helped drive growth in the right way.

And Brian said a lot changed for LeagueApps when he finally wrote down the acronym SPORTSDOG, and had it stand for something. Now you have a framework for how you should make this decision. Well, let’s look at our values and make sure that we’re doing this decision in accordance with the things that we all put our hands in and said, this is the way that we want to do things. So that’s the thing to take away.

Revenue Collective has values. Our first value is members first. We want to make sure that every single thing we do is working towards delighting the members. And if there’s ever a question about whether we’re solving internally for efficiency, or externally for our members’ delight, we go with our members first, and that’s because members first is one of our values. It’s a lot of people’s values, but it’s our value too.

Don’t miss episode #128

Let’s thank our two sponsors. REGIE is using artificial intelligence to create entire outbound inbound and even follow up sales campaigns faster. If you want more meetings and more money go to go.regie.io.

Second sponsor is Outreach, the leading and number one sales engagement platform, they are revolutionizing customer engagement, the world over, check them at www.outreach.io. If you want to reach out to me you can at sam@revenuecollective.com or at linkedin.com/in/samfjacobs.

At Revenue Collective, we’re helping accelerate the careers of professionals that want to get to the C suite and need a community at their back to help them do that. So, if you want to become a member, go to revenuecollective.com and click on apply now. I’ll talk to you next time.

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