Growth Marketing – Sean Sheppard and Will Bunker

sean-sheppardSean Sheppard (@seanasheppard) and Will Bunker (@wbunker) co-founded GrowthX Academy. GrowthX Academy trains individuals who want to transition into a career in Sales and Business Development, Growth Marketing or UX Design.

Sean Sheppard is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully grown dozens of early-stage companies across a wide variety of products and markets.

At GrowthX Academy, Sean is focusing on sharing his expertise in monitoring and adjusting revenue pipelines to help startups improve the probability and predictability of sales and marketing success.

Before co-founding GrowthX, Sean built and ran the sales and business development track at Tradecraft, a flipped-classroom trade school where people develop the knowledge, skills and training to succeed in traction roles at startups. Sean also co-founded the Professional Sales College to change the way the world values the sales profession through graduating the best educated and trained sales professionals in the world.

will-bunkerWill is an investor in more than 150 start-ups, Will has made it his life’s mission to help other entrepreneurs succeed in developing successful companies and achieving their goals. His skill and experience in connecting people have allowed him to build a global network of investors and entrepreneurs, all of whom he considers members of his extended family.

Before co-founding GrowthX and GrowthX Academy, Will raised and led the Silicon Valley Growth Syndicate, a seed-stage MicroVC. Will was also a selling-founder of, the largest internet dating site and one of the top 100 sites of the 90s, acquired by Ticketmaster for $47 million dollars and rebranded as

Contact Sean and Will

Sean Sheppard

Will Bunker

Full Podcast Transcription Follows

Sean: Yeah, it’s our second go-around, we did it, we tested this hypothesis previously when we launched Growth X. So we have got quite a bit of data. What might be interesting is that conversation around, the students are coming here, all these people looking to move up, we get a lot of smart, young marketers, or traditional marketers, wanting to move in digital or technical, or hyper analytical marketing, or what we call the T-shaped gross marketer where they’ve got that top line understanding conceptually of all the demand aspects of growth marketing, but they select one particular area that they want to dive deep into and become and expert in.

Will: How we met originally was, Sean was teaching sales course, I had a portfolio of 80 companies, and of course the first thing your realize when you start investing in a line of start-ups is that Will Bunker is not a piece of software, he doesn’t scale. And so I would bring in my portfolio companies, and Sean would get students apply these sales techniques to the start-ups. And we had an early win where they took one of our company 30 000 a month to a million in a month in less than a year. And I just went “Holy shit, I wish that happened more often”. And so I am a big believer in the process that Sean has put together for getting to the truth about how to sell something. That’s kind of been the foundational truth around Growth X because we first started doing it internally for portfolio companies and then now we are again going out and trying to teach the methodology to students. Some of whom have and hopefully will continue to go to work for our best portfolio companies.

Scott: So how– I mean that’s pretty cool. So you have seen different kind of incubator areas like that. One of my old bosses used to work at a place called the Launch Factory around Boulder. It sounds familiar.

Will: So what’s interesting is that a normal incubator works along NVP and raising money. We only work with people after they have got some customers, and our whole thing is “how do you build a sales machine”.

Sean: Yeah, the valley of depth– the thing we figured out is that in today’s market place it’s easier to start a company than just to grow one. It’s easier to get a product to market than just to get people to pay for that product. And these incubators have all, 8000+ of them evolving purpose on developing product and raising money. No one was focused on marketing product and making money. And the valley of depth would exist between that seat state when they raised that around based on developing a product, and the A[?] around, where a company is found product market to fit in and is ready to raise more money to grow sales and marketing. And no one was in the middle there, helping them. And that was our area of expertise. You know, Will did build the world’s largest online dating site, on a 90,000 dollar bootstrap investment out of Dallas. I started in consulting different companies as a sales and marketing founder with great product people.  Mostly everyone is traditionally focused on TFI product developers, and they ignore market development, and they don’t respect it, they don’t appreciate it. By the time they do realize how important it is, it’s often too late.

Will: They run out of money, they run out of cash.

Sean: And we got tired of hearing people say “Shut it down because you won’t be able to raise more money”. When the truth is, they just mis-allocated the money that was given to them.

Will: Right, you don’t run out money, you run out of traction that would attract more capital, or make money.  You know what? It’s funny, after doing a match, I helped my brother and sister bootstrap a company, and they sold it last year, but I watched them wander in that valley of depth for like ten years trying to figure out how to sell a good product that companies use, they got an utility out of, but they never built a sales channel that worked, so instead of getting 200 million, they sold for 20 million. Which is still a good victory, but it’s not the value creation that could happen if you get that sales channel worked out.

Scott: So what are some of the, do you guys have a list of lowest common denominators that you see amongst all these companies, and then that’s what you guys try to figure out, and push into the academy?

Will: There is a process, right? So we haven’t– when we think about it, the academy is for individuals.

Sean: Right, we said we invest in companies that– with smart product focused founders, that are humble and hungry enough to recognize that they don’t know what they don’t know yet about the marketing side of their business. Once they are invested in, they can apply for accelerator program, marketing acceleration program, which only a handful like 12 to 15% of our portfolio actually qualifies for. The conditions have to be right, they have to have the right resources, they have to have the right attitude, most importantly. They have to let us help them to the point to where then we can replace ourselves with more talent, and that’s when we realize, there isn’t enough talent that knows how to work in a start-up because you already know. Scott start-up work is very different that mature company work. The behaviors, the knowledge and skills you need can apply in mature companies, mature company experienced employees who don’t know what they are getting themselves into when they go to a start-up. And 90% of these sales marketing leaders that are hired out of bigger companies in the similar industry, because they have relationships by start-ups as a way of moving up by the way. This is one of the classic strategies, right? You hire a marketing manager form the same customer-base, same market segment, who wants to be a director of marketing, or who wants to be a VP of marketing, or CMO. They go to a small company for the title and look at the upside, but they don’t realize that there is a significant learning curve that they have to go though. They don’t know how to navigate that, they don’t know how to behave, and they certainly don’t know how to interact with the product and engineering team who is usually shitty at talking to humans. And so what you end up with is expensive people who wash out. The product team and the investors playing the sales and marketing people, and it has nothing to do with them. It has to do with the learning curve of being efficient at finding the truth, getting the product market set before you– scale.

Scott: And so you guys are trying to shorten the learning curve, or put skilled people back into this eco system?

Will: A lot of it is to build a learning model within the company on the human to human selling side. I mean there has been a ton of, you know, there is a lot more knowledge around how to close a loop if you have a touch-less digital system, with your analytics and analyzing your funnels, and getting the feedback. What really is missing is that same system for the human to human interaction, and how do you talk to human beings to get market feedback that you didn’t put into the product; how do you qualify the right people instead of try to cram it down their throats.  And so Sean has a whole methodology around early sales development for start-ups that really works. I mean the answers that come out are different for every company but how you get the answers is the same.

Sean: I go to line as your path, you product in your market maybe unique but that path of product market is not.

Scott: Right because, I mean, you are looking at all the different customer segments and value propositions, like everybody has a different value proposition, but essentially you got to find people and you have to talk to them, and you have to convince them of your value prop, I mean that would all be different.

Sean: Well, the first thing is that you have to– everything that comes out of your mouth or out of messaging needs to be designed into one thing, and that is generating positive reaction. And if you don’t generate that, then you have to continue to learn until you do. But most people do because there is a product focus, so they start and lead with product, and they don’t– and they make it about them as opposed to about the market, the customer. One of our fundamental beliefs is that it’s not products that creates value, it’s customers. And building things and taking it to market as suppose to going to market and then building is another fundamental mindset ship that we have to help people make. We are trying to do that with the academy, and teaching them link thinking, and principals around “market first product second” as suppose to the other way around.

Will: I mean the biggest mistake I see constantly when dealing with founders and when we are evaluating investments is they want to define the unknown trillions in the universe as their customer, and when in reality if everyone on the planet called in today, they couldn’t fulfill it anyway, they couldn’t answer the phone, they couldn’t talk to everyone. So who is Mr. Right Now that you go after for the next three months that gets you the most value creation in your company? And you know from that company that they took from 30,000 to a million a month, it was one industry that happened to have a particular need that this company could have meet immediately, and they—10x the company of that one customer segment.

Scott: Yeah, that’s always great. Especially if you are chasing some type of compliance rule, or some type of industry standard that’s coming down everybody’s throat, and finding those is unique. But I imagine most of the guys that you are dealing with, they are shooting for the Moon. Like you said, there are several examples, one out of Dallas I think was the PooPouri, if you guys have ever heard of that. They had a really successful video, and everyone came to the website at the same time and it crashed. They basically couldn’t fulfill orders. But that’s kind of a CPG example, but there are lots of different examples like that. Do you guys teach by example, do you have some favorite stories that you guys…?

Sean: Yeah, the academy is the learning model by Dr. Wayne Neale who is the general manager of the academy who has a background specifically of this kind of learning. Which is we build a Flipped-Mastery Competency-Based education program that’s completely immersive, only experiential. So during the twelve weeks whether they are growth marketers or sales people or designers, they are working up real projects with real clients. Those are companies that are either in our portfolio or in our community. And they are gaining the experience they want, so it’s tightly scoped work, both sides get what they want out of it, and then it creates organic relationships that can turn into jobs. But if it doesn’t, he is going to have a portfolio of experience which says “Look, this is what I did while I was there”. And then they can learn and understand form the career standpoint where they want to work, what kind of work they want to do in a company, what industry sector, what kind of people, most importantly, they want to work with. Because it’s always about the people.

Scott: Yeah, it really is. I mean because people still buy from people that they like. That’s just how you find those guys.

Sean: Your point about, you know, finding a compliance rule is an example. I can tell that there are always four reasons of why businesses buy from other businesses: to make more money, save more money, create a competitive advantage or stay out of prison.

Scott: Yeah, the stay out of prison. I forget how long ago Sarbanes-Oxley came out, but that is, it’s a very effective stay out of prison methodology. Haven’t used that one before in the past, but that’s interesting.

Sean: Yeah, feel free. I mean people are generally scared, right? Fear, uncertainty, and doubt drives a lot of behavior much in the same way just like an opportunity does.

Scott: Yeah, but you know too much of the FUD and you’ll be accused of being a fear monger, right? By selling by fear.  I’ve seen that in the past. It’s just like sell the negative so hard it’s hard to see the value. So in terms of some of them more successful, you know, companies that I’ve worked with, some of the students, what’s their feedback? I would assume this is pretty great, because are they getting free labor, or are they paying for this?

Will: Well it’s a project and so it’s free because we’re dealing with people on a learning stage, they get input from us as the instructors. So that’s probably worth, you know, they perceive some of the value, but then some of it is just having someone do the grunt work, the hard work.

Sean: But the real value that we gain out of it as an ecosystem, you know, we believe that the– we think the new product is an ecosystem, and by that I mean we think that it takes several different legs of the stool to build an ecosystem that supports entrepreneurs, founders, funders and the people that want to work with them. It starts with bringing the founders and funders together, so we created a seed stage fund for that. Then the market development expertise to help them grow through the accelerator program; and then the talent development through the academy to help them continue that growth. One of the byproducts of that is we find amazing opportunities to invest in that we otherwise never would have found. A great case and important story is that we had a student come through, who had had two jobs as a sales development and worked for bad bosses. Very smart, young, hustling girl, through the course of learning from us, she was able to source her own project through a prior relationship she had with a company that was growing at thousand– close to a thousand users a day, called “Free Camp” which is essentially open social version of Base Camp, project management software. They got over million users. They have never had one single piece of outbound sales of marketing. It has all been organic inbound and quite viral. So we saw through that the opportunity that existed there. She had a successful project, they hired her as their first developer evangelist, or user evangelist, and now we have the right to be first money in when they decide to go raise money, because they hadn’t done it yet, it has been strictly organic. So we got that opportunity through that deal. Another example is another girl that was from Dallas. Who went to SMU masters in accounting work for Earnest and Young. Hated accounting, and then decided she wanted to move to San Francisco and she wanted to do some in tech, but she didn’t want to be an accountant. And everyone out here wanted to hire her as an accountant or companies selling into accounts wanted to hire her. And so she came to the academy. She found out that what she liked was sales operations, we put her in one of our companies. That’s one our unicorns, called Distribute. She’s happy, they’re happy, the company is growing, she knows the methodologies to apply to that company and she gives us even additional– more additional insights into that company’s day-to-day operations as a result of the relationship and what we’ve done to support it.

Scott: That’s pretty cool. Yeah. And especially in the sales ops model being an accountant would be a huge advantage because it’s basically just math back and forth.

Sean: Yeah. But she said, “I don’t want to look at numbers. I want to deliver insights”. Actual intel. Great, sales ops is for you, and because our curriculum supports that, we put her on that path. She worked on two projects, one with the high-profile startup that we didn’t invest in and the other one we did. She chose to go to work – they both made offers to her, and she chose to go to the one with our portfolio, which we love because we want them all to work in our portfolio or in our company or one of our companies. So, it’s working out quite well that way, and we think that’s the virtuous cycle of the future, you know, not the vicious cycle in the past.

Scott: Right. Right. So, when– what other things, if you were, you know, sitting around the office and you had ideas– you had time to think of ideas or look for other opportunities, what do you guys look for?

Sean: Well, we’re stamping out the model here. Over half of our investments are outside of Silicon Valley. We’ve all built our companies elsewhere. I did it in Arizona. Will did it there. Our partner, Andrew, did it in Asia, and now he’s in Nashville. We have another partner in San Diego who’s from South Africa, and we want to have this model exist in the 30 largest startup ecosystems on the globe.

Will: Where, you know, we have a school that teach talent, an accelerator to help companies that we’ve invested in, and a partner there sourcing deals and managing the deals.

Sean: Because we don’t think founders should have to leave their hometown which is what we see all the time and come to the most expensive city in the world to be close to their capitalist as opposed to close to their customers.

Scott: Right. Yeah. And especially when we’re all connected all the time. It really doesn’t matter where you sit, so that is an important part, right? Because even, you know, like we talked about earlier when you take the really expensive person and you displace them and it doesn’t work out, you’re trying to eliminate that with the founders as well because, I mean, displacing yourself adds stress, just life stress, right? And not necessarily work-induced stress. It’s just basically, you’re displaced, so it’s always nice to stay at home, if you want to.

Will: I mean, everyone– you know, it’s funny. There’s a huge pressure to move to Silicon Valley, right? And why? Well, because the perception is that’s the only way I’m going to get funding, so I got to move out to Silicon Valley, make friends with capitalists, they’ll put money in it. However, when you do that, the cost of time and the amount of money that is going to take to build your company because of the competitive environment out here goes to the roof. But, you know, you’re best source of startup capital is your customers. That’s where we made all our money when I was building We cash flowed it from our customers. That’s where my brother and sister got their money. I mean, there was a whole world built before they were venture capitalist and most of the money comes from selling to people, and so, you know, we want to take that focus and help people, you know, efficiently start selling to their customer so they don’t have to raise the next round, or if they do raise the next round, it’s on their terms, their timing, their valuation.

Scott: Right. Yeah. It’s much better to be on that side of the fence than the other when you’re just burning cash you’re getting the worst deal because people can see it.

Will: I mean, I met a gentleman down at South by Southwest. He was from, I want to say, Dallas. He sold his business for $75 million and he made $300,000 and that was all that he got out of it because he raised too much money and it took too long and by the time he got done, he didn’t own anything. It’s sad.

Scott: Yeah. That is sad. Yeah. You don’t want to find yourself in that situation, right?

Sean: Yeah. This fundamental shift that Steve Case talks about Third Wave, you know, we believe in it in our version of it, the way we described it is we live in this age of applying technology as supposed to development which goes back to the initial piece of statement of it’s easier to start a company than to grow one. First time I raised money in 2001, I raised $8.5 million just to build an MVP for a network, an IP tracking management solution. I can build that same product today for about 200 grand, because all the infrastructure exists. So, people are rapidly building things without actually talking to anybody, and so venture capitalists are saying, “Alright. We’re going to take the same amount of capital, and we’re going to spread it across more companies, less of it, across more companies,” and say, “Alright. Let’s see how you execute,” and so, it ultimately comes down to that. CB Insights tracks all the reasons why startup companies win or lose. They do great research in this area, and the top 10 reasons startups fail, six of the top 10 are related to the market, two are related to the people or team, and only two are related to the product, and everybody’s focused on the damn product, and that’s the area that we continue to say matters most. So, there’s a guy in Cincinnati, Ohio who’s got a great idea. He’s bootstrapping a company and he’s doing it the right way because he has limited resources and isn’t that a luxury focusing on things other than getting customers to pay him for, and we find those people, those are the ones that we want to invest in, and the only way to do that is to get that word out that that’s what we’re looking for and then eventually create ecosystems around them to support them.

Scott: So, when you say “get the word out” how– what’s your favorite method of doing that?

Sean: Well, we’re helpers. I mean, part of our attitude is help is our due diligence. We speak in a lot of events. We do these podcasts. We– our partner, Andrew Goldner, was a publisher of Reuters for seven years and he’s a very content guy. He’s real strong with it. So, we have live events. We have online meetups and events. We do a lot of education. We do a lot of speaking engagements. We do a little bit of paid acquisition for the academy, but…

Will: Some content, you know, like we bring in ventures and then we try to share with the bigger world, you know, what they’ve learned, and just be as helpful as possible. I mean, that was– people– when I first became a VC four years ago, you know, there’s hundreds, if not thousands, of people in Silicon Valley with that title, and people go, “What’s your competitive advantage?” And my answer was, “I’m going to be the most helpful person these founders meet.” And I just– you know, we live by that credo.

Scott: Yeah. Well, that’s a good way because you definitely do see a lot of people that, you know, seem to be or claim to be helpful and, you know, they’re really not, right?

Will: Well, the typical investor relationship is very combative, especially when people are evaluating a company, they sit in a meeting, and they criticize and knock down everything the founder says. It’s part of their due diligence. I just don’t have that attitude. I mean, we lean in and try to find who could we introduce you to that would be another customer. Who could we– how can we help you to determine if this is a good idea or not, because at this stage we’re talking hell nobody knows. I mean, it’s really easy to pick apart something and say it’s not going to work, because statistically, you’re right. Most things don’t work, but that’s just not helpful. So, we just have a different approach.

Scott: That’s great. Not getting customers is a big issue, right? Because the customer teaches you a lot of different things, right? Once they’d become your friend, they’ll be honest with you, and “Hey, your product should do this,” or, you know, “Your process took too long,” right? And you can learn from that and then that also produces the content, right? Because the content from a customer is the Holy Grail, right? Everybody wants to tell customer stories. It’s just, you know, how do you do that, and from a– you know, a lot of times from a product perspective, right? The product guy can tell you how the thing works and why it’s better than you know product Y, but from a customer value perspective, you know, he’s got no idea, right? Because he’s just like, “Hey, this solves this problem,” but the problem may or may not have the value that he thinks it has.

Will: I’ll give you a great example. I’ll let Sean tell it, but there was a company, Life Detection– it was a group…

Sean: Life Detection Technologies, one of our portfolio companies. They have a patented way to measure human vital signs without touching the human body through a low-frequency magnetic field that they create, and the– you can imagine the applications that measure human vital signs without contact. There’s myriad of them, right? That’s the problem, is when you have everybody as your customer, nobody’s your customer. It’s no different than everything’s a priority, then nothing’s a priority. So, we took them through a very simple process. Our approach, alright, let’s identify some ideal customer profile hypotheses and let’s test those hypotheses and let’s see what the market says, and we settled on baby monitor integration which is a big problem. Integrating this kind of technology to a mattress or to other monitoring devices. We developed messaging. We identified a group of about 45 individuals across the seven largest manufacturers in those areas, C level and heads of a product BD, and we ran a very simple one off personalized email campaign to each one of them asking if this is the kind of thing they would be interested in reviewing and discussing. We received a 100% response rate, and we made a market where four of them were competing for a nonrecurring engineering opportunity to have an exclusive, you know, go to market right to use this technology, and that was before we invested.

Will: That was our due diligence…Because we helped them land the first deal that made them investable as due diligence.

Sean: And then we invested in them in a $2.5 million valuation and they just raised money at $15M less than a year later, and that’s the kind of stuff that we do to help our companies grow.

Will: And you know, the normal VC would’ve said, “Hey, come back when you have a customer.” Our approach is, if we like you, and we think you’re coachable, let’s get you that customer so we can invest in it.

Scott: Right. Then, I mean, that is definitely unique, right? Yeah. I would assume that the VC would say, “Hey,” you know, “Go get five customers and come back to me then,” because then that proves to me that you can do it, whereas, you know, you guys took the other approach, right? Let me see if it can work and then, if it can, you know, just like with your other opportunity where you were talking about, you know, first-right money in, then, you know, that’s basically how you guys are finding these unique opportunities, right? So, I would assume that, you know, more people contact you than you work with and you’re just cherry picking from that, right?

Will: Well, we just try to find people we want to help. I mean, ultimately, this whole business, like when you invest in a startup or when you begin a startup, it’s a three- to seven-year commitment at a minimum if you’re successful, and so, you’re stuck with each other for a very long time. So, the flipside of that was we helped another company get into Apple. We’re not going to say their name because the story doesn’t end well, and what we learned by helping that person is that they were a jackass, and guess what? I’m glad I knew before I put my money in, because that person’s personality is not going to change and we found out by trying to help them how they behave under stress, and it told us, don’t do it.

Scott: Interesting. Interesting. Yeah. I mean, you saved yourself a lot of heartache there. You know, if – with that guy, so, because, you know, I mean, the stories that you guys are telling are, you know, the stories that I hear often because I read that kind of stuff, you know, you hear about somebody winning the lottery, so you play the lottery, but you know, the odds are against you. But you guys are pretty unique situation in terms of how you’ve, you know, looked at the problem just, it’s the same problem but it’s definitely a different view in terms of, you know, one, how you’re helping the customers sell and making sure that they’re selling a solvable problem, you know, from a value perspective, and then the whole methodology behind it is really, really cool. Sean, can you explain a little bit more about like how you learned your process maybe or in how far does it…

Sean: Twenty years of recognizing patterns from buying startups and, you know, a wide variety of products, markets, and verticals, and then getting into the investing game and then advising and then in the course of that, being able to take a step back and say, how can I be most helpful? What’s the most systematic and appropriate way to scale what I know? And it was to develop a methodology that was product and market agnostic and industry and sector agnostic that applies across marketplaces, B to B, B to C, doing it in a way that never really talks about a specific product or market, but that there’s an approach that works to get to the truth which is ultimately what this is all about. We all want to learn. The two things from our program, from our methodology that we set out to accomplish is number one, organization out of a company where everybody’s learning together because at the seed stage, you need to be learning, and then two, can we find a repeatable, scalable, predictable, economically viable business model where costs mean less to acquire customers than they pay me. And those are the two overarching objectives, and the other part of it is, is that I’ve always had a passion for the misunderstanding called the myth of the salesman, I suppose the death of the salesman, this idea that we’re all raised with which is salespeople are slick, manipulative. There’s a negative connotation. It goes back to the snake oil and used cars and Willy Loman and all that crap, when the reality is that when you do this well, there’s no more valued number of an organization, and there are no college degrees for professional sales. No one grows up saying I want to be in sales. The entire industry, it’s one of the greatest professions, if not the greatest, it has the highest average income over a lifetime of any profession, lowest divorce rate, happiness quotients through the roof, but people don’t know that it’s even a thing until they graduate college, and 50% of college graduates end up in sales-related roles in their lifetime with no background, no training, and certainly no appreciation for it.

Scott: I don’t know how long it would take to evolve, but we get a bad connotation of salespeople because years and years ago, they had more information than the buyer, and now the buyer, a lot of times, has more information than the salesperson.

Will: Well, at its highest form, you’re helping people solve their problems, and you’re looking for people that your product adds a lot of value to, not trying to trick them into buying it.

Sean: Yeah. Our philosophical approach to this is that our success comes from the success of others and in order to understand and in order to help other people to be successful, you have to understand them and their business as well as you understand as well as they do if not better, and so, business acumen and market– and marketing acumen are the first two primary things that we teach our companies and our students. Then, we get into all the models and methodologies that exist and how to apply them. Then, we teach them communication, management, and leadership skills. Personal development is huge. We say there’s no distinction between personal and professional development because behaving well in a startup is not easy and so…

Sean: Stress is often unbearable for people, and you have to understand if you are naturally someone who’s motivated by that or you are frustrated by that, and then, how do you react to that, and then, it’s– we do a lot on career development and we teach them to apply the same methodologies they learn and going – and finding product market fit, what we call person-company fit, so that they can enjoy – make – immediately make an impact with the work that they do and enjoy it, and then it’s project time. Now, we’re throwing you to the wolves. You’ve got a foundation. We’re going to support you. It’s the safest place you’re going to be for 12 weeks. Feedback is a gift, you know, people come here believe in our core values which we plaster everywhere, and we make sure that they know that this is a community and that this is a family and that this is an ecosystem that we’re building and they have access to all of it, and then, the other side of it is we have an amazing community of mentors. We talked about the companies and the founders and the financing but we have people like us, our peers, people like you, Scott, that participate and give back to the community either through wisdom, by hiring, by referring talent in, and extracting their own, you know, career advancement, development, and networking from it as well, and so, it becomes this large ecosystem where everybody can help each other.

Scott: That’s great. That’s great. Well, I appreciate that, Sean. I mean, that is– that’s a good summary and, you know, makes me feel good and I hope everybody listening feels better now.

Scott: What do you do in your spare time? So, you got any favorite hobbies and like if you had all day to yourself, what would you do?

Sean: I play golf. You know, I grew up– I played in college and I played professionally for a little while and I– it’s my favorite thing to do outside of my family and my work.

Scott: Oh, that’s cool.

Will: I read books.

Sean: He’s a big reader.

Will: My goal – my current goal is to read all the great books of literature and that will take a while.

Scott: Okay. Well, define great.

Will: It’s arbitrary. So, I just picked a list and right now, I’m reading Don Quixote, which is actually pretty damn funny.

Sean: What about the oldest book in print?

Will: That was terrible.

Will: A thousand pages of portrait of cows.

Scott: It was tough to get through. Well, guys, I really appreciate the time that you invested to my listeners, and you know, I hope you guys, well with the Growth X Academy and we’ll link to you guys in all the show notes and everything and make sure and send you guys some great referrals.

Will: Have a good one, man

Sean: Thank you, Scott.