Colton Briner has spent his entire career where the rubber meets the road between product development and branding on the one side and marketing and sales on the other side. This experience has enabled him to combine strong strategies with creative execution to help companies grow fast while spending less. Or, as he likes to call it "Modern marketing with some stank on it.
Insightful and informative, Colt brings a passionate spirit and a practical mind to inspire and empower his audience. Through educational, fun and energy-infused programs, Colt captures the imagination and delivers real-life tips, techniques and resources for business success and personal fulfilment in the 21 st century.
Even though Colton might not take himself too seriously, he is a seasoned executive with experience growing businesses and driving brand visibility for organizations of all sizes. At Scrappy AF Solutions, he has proven that he can take average marketing teams and guide them so that they can become exceptional.
If you are looking for a unique yet authoritative speaker on B2B marketing or purpose-driven leadership to really engage your audience and add a touch of humor then Colton is your guy!
Intro: Welcome to the Lucky Titan podcast where you will learn how to fill your favorite platform with tons of your dream customers from some of the world's top entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Josh Tapp, now let's get started.
Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again, welcome back to the lucky Titan and today we're here with Colton Briner. We, we were having a whole discussion about this beforehand of how to pronounce his name but last few episodes had been that way for me of just stuttering and skipping over people's names and all sorts of good stuff but so guys, Colt, I just have to put this out there is like one of the most diligent man I had to cancel on him like four times and so glad he was stuck it out to, to come here on the show, he's probably sick of me saying Max, I've said it like 15 times in the past 10 minutes but Colt is the founder of scrappy AF solutions. This guy is marketing company is unparalleled, I really loved his own branding, what he's trying to do with his company and he's here really today to share the prompt that I always give to my guests and nobody fills out but it's how would you take a business from zero to a million dollars and what are those seven key factors that you believe can take you from zero to a million dollars, so Colt first off, say what's up to everybody and we'll hop into that framework.
Colt: Run on with ace Josh, What's up, y'all excited to have this conversation and I, I guess I'm glad to be one of the few people who actually filled out the form ahead of time, this is great.
Josh: One of the few people who even like thinks about it when they come on the show. So I do appreciate you, man. So let's dive into the I I'm just curious, you know, and you can go as deep or shallow as you want into this, I'm just really curious from a marketer's take, you know, obviously, being a marketer myself, I love to hear it from that angle so so I'll just shut up. Now you do your thing.
Colt: All right, well, so I did write down seven things. I don't know that they're necessarily a sequence or a roadmap, they're just, they're just points of guidance that have certainly colored my path to success and the approach that I've taken to support the businesses that I've been in as a C suite member and grown to billion dollar valuations, that type of thing, these are the tools and tactics that worked for me so I would say first, number one, is updating your mindset for the new market paradigm of access and what I mean by that is, single individuals, now have access today to things that only billion dollar corporations had access to a couple of decades ago so if you think about whether it's knowledge, talent, capital, production resources, audience, whatever it is, we now as individuals are massively empowered so if you have a sense of where you want to be, and maybe you've identified you know, what I don't have, as I don't have a chemical engineering degree, I can't do that, well, you can go get the chemical engineer that you need for the six hours that you need them for, you know, right off of Fiverr, right up of up work, they're there yet, they're going to charge you $250 $300 An hour, but you can skip the whole thing about hiring that person having the benefits package, etc, recruiting, you just need them for six hours, go get them for six hours so whatever you've identified that that is the obstacle or barrier that you're missing, it's there and you need to get the mindset going, that you have that access and if you find that you're not actually missing anything, but you're still not there, the one thing you're still lacking is accountability and lo and behold, accountability is also available to you online so if you need like a marketing coach to hold you accountable, if you need the general business coach, if you need the get my act together, coach, they're all out there, just like going to the gym, you've got the gym membership is you know, the weights are you know how to work out, but you're not doing it and you haven't gotten to where you want to be, accountability is the only thing missing, go by it and you'll get to where you need to be. That's my first tip
Josh: like call it you're gonna be the guy to hold them accountable to getting an accountability coach, right, that's that's how it works.
Colt: Absolutely, totally, that's your step on.
Josh: so Well, I wanted I was gonna interrupt you for a second or two, because what I think is so interesting. I'm curious, do you believe the statistic that 95% of businesses still fail, do you believe it?
Colt: I, I don't I think that they they either get, you know, acquired, and that could be considered a success, they get they get more figured merged, I mean, we really if that's just like, is the name is the name still on the shingle out front, gone or not gone that the way we're looking at that? I don't think that that's really the right measure.
Josh: Right? Because in the online space, I'm I I do a lot of entrepreneurs, I haven't met a single one who has like closed their doors, totally years
Josh: I just to support your point, I think that it's because all the resources are available to us now.
Colt: Absolutely. When I will say okay, so if you if you look at the the list of companies that was in the Fortune 500 In the year 2000 50% of those companies are now gone. It is expected that in the next 10 years, 40% more of the remaining 250 will also be gone, does that mean that they got acquired merged there's a lot of consolidation going on, when did the technology get purchased and the shell got dismantled or what, all of those things are possible? So if you're just looking at the list and saying not here, not here, not here, okay, then you can have the thought about all these businesses failed, but I don't really think that's what's happening.
Josh: Yeah, I would agree with that entirely. I heard a different statistic where they were saying that 95% of first businesses sale, or fail, but the I think it's 80% of the second businesses succeed. I still don't think that's what 100% Correct, it's a little bit more believable.
Colt: Sure. Yeah, I like that.
Josh: But in the online space, I'm the only failing in like, the services or online space is just quitting, like, just giving up on it, you know?
Josh: It's just a time game of figuring out how to get leads and how to close sales and then how to fulfill on it, right?
Colt: Yeah. Do you need to really get like, I mean, you need to do some corporate proctology to figure out what is really going on inside a business, what what did the founders aim to create, did they succeed in that, we have to define failure, as as much as we have to define success to really answer that question.
Josh: Yeah, yeah, it's really I know, it's like, totally I digress on that but it was just something on my mind.
Colt: I think it's 1960 the the lifespan of a company on the fortune 500 list was 75 years now. It's 15.
Josh: Wow, is that um, that that's believable though, because everybody's like, just trying to sell on acquire and yeah, cash out at the next level?
Colt: Totally. Right. Yeah.
Josh: Interesting. I don't really like that world, to be honest with you, the whole like acquisitions world, at the top tier is just not my cup of tea, but
Josh: Yeah, it's I like the scrappier side, right, it's your brand.
Colt: Thank you for that.
Josh: I think that's honestly like that branding is gonna stick with you for life, it's perfect so let's move on to step two, you have seven steps.
Colt: Step two is lean validation so the quickest way you can get to buy it now, that is what I would recommend so you're trying to find that market fit. I know that it is that it can be comfortable, easy, rewarding, fulfilling to craft your product to craft your solution to code, your software to tweak your SaaS, whatever it is, I know that it can be fulfilling, rewarding fun, you can do it all night long, just you know, burn the midnight oil kind of thing, stop it, stop doing that shit, create a screenshot, create a video of some fake thing that you build an actual put together a prototype that has, you know, shell front and is completely empty from the back, whatever you need to do, to get something in front of an audience next to a button that says buy it now, do that as fast as you possibly can and if the experience that they get when they click the Buy It Now button is I am so stoked, you want to buy this solution, thank you so much, we're right in the middle of delivering it, we wanted to make sure everything's awesome, you are now going to be on the list, we're gonna let you know we're going to give you early access, you can make that experience, excellent for the person who clicked that button instead of that's not around. Sorry, screw you. Yeah, can you can turn it into great exclusivity, you can turn it into whatever you want to make it a rewarding experience for that person but make sure that you've, you've built an experience that that has that emotion of I'm going to commit my money to this now, right? The Buy It Now button is there and get there as fast as you can.
Josh: Yeah, I love that speed to market right. So funny that people sit here and they just you analyze and analyze and analyze, I was actually just in a mastermind and guy said sounds so funny, we're all podcaster like, we have different companies in the podcasting space and he's like, I have this guy who was just about to launch his podcast two years ago and now he's just a little bit closer to launching his podcast today, I'm like that is like the atypical entrepreneurial foci guess where they're sitting here, I've got to make it perfect and you're like, just launch it, just nobody's gonna buy it either way, just launch it and then see what happens.
Colt: Yeah, and I put the first one out. I mean, like if you're, if you're aiming to create a podcast, the first one. This, let me say it this way, the second one is going to be a lot better than the first one, I always tell people, let's make your first piece of shit, man. Let's do it right now. The next one is going to be better and if you're trying to avoid making the bad one, the first one suck, if you're trying to avoid that, you're just gonna keep spinning, you're just gonna keep spinning, move past the idea, let it suck because you're really aiming for the second one, that's the one you're trying to create and you can't possibly do that until you've made the first one.
Josh: Right, fail fail forward, right? We see a lot shows all the time and they're they're so concerned about everything, I might launch your first 50 app nobody's even gonna listen until you're 50 episodes.
Josh: like, if you get 50 episodes and you're like, Yeah, that sucks. You could just change the topic nobody even noticed.
Colt: That is so true.
Josh: And it's the same thing with business. It's like, even if you sold a whole program that you put together, you've got five users, right, keep filling on the product for them and then change it. Yeah, they get better, they're not going to complain if you make it a better offer for them. Geez. Okay, step number three, let's move on.
Colt: Step number three is build up your creative capacities. People will be asked, Are you creative and generally they think about, Do I paint? Do I draw? Do I sing? Do I dance? It's like, if it's like, no, no, no, no, it's not great. If Well, first of all, creativity comes in 1000 dimensions and building up your creative capacities means you're going to be better positioned to succeed as an entrepreneur in every possible way, much like interpersonal communication and emotional intelligence, creativity, will impact the areas of your more areas of your business than almost any other skill sets that you can develop so creativity will apply in your package design, sure, it's going to apply in your deal-making, it's going to apply in the way that you craft your job descriptions, it's going to apply in the way that you recognize and reward employees who are doing well in your organization. You, you can't name something in your business that creativity isn't going to enhance so think of it like creativity can be built up much like athleticism can be built up, you just have to know the exercises and tools, find the fun ones that work for you got a great book from the Stanford d school called creative acts for curious people, it has like 70 different exercises that you can take to build up your creative capacities, it's a phenomenal book, tons of fun, great stuff to do with your business teams, too, if you build up your creative capacity in the creative pet capacities of your team, you're going to outperform your competitors every time.
Josh: Yeah, that is a brilliant point. I love that because I started to tell myself, I wasn't a creative person, because I am not very good at drawing something or painting something or anything like that, I just think I'm impatient, it's it's half the problem, but but what you're talking about is like that gives you an eye to know when things are being created correctly when you start to understand those things so that is a brilliant point. I love that.
Colt: Yeah, there's, there's if you look them up the nine intelligences, it's an easy thing to Google. You can also think of it as the nine creativities and you will find that there, certainly you will find that there are areas where you actually have a great strength in areas where you have weakness, what I would say is find the areas of your strength and play to them in your work, find the areas of weakness and play to them in your play time, right so like use use your play time to build up the areas that you weak use your work time to leverage the areas where you're strong, nine intelligence is just think of them as creativities.
Josh: Yeah, I'm pulling them up now. So I can see him spatial naturalist musical. Oh, that's cool. That's a personal linguist, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal, existential, interesting. So I mean, you can adopt some of each of these that's cool.
Colt: Yeah. And everybody is some of each of those for sure. It's not like it's not like Myers Briggs thing where your ENTJ or not, right? You're you are a combination of all those things. Absolutely.
Josh: Yeah, that is cool. I love that I'm going to totally steal that. Okay, so number four, let's move on.
Colt: Number four is go purpose driven, purpose driven organizations are outperforming in every measure of business right now, including, and probably for some people, most foremost, on shareholder return and what it means is more than just having a slogan on the wall about like the impact you're trying to achieve in the world, it means you've actually operationalized purpose in your company, which looks like the top item on the agenda, whenever you have a meeting is the impact that you're having, relative to what you're trying to achieve in the world, your job descriptions included, the way that you reward and recognize your people includes it, how basically everything that you do is oriented around purpose, everybody who sits in your organization knows how they're role ties all the way up to the ultimate purpose that you can take the story of, of John Kennedy's visit to sorry, JFK, JFK, his visit to NASA when he encountered a janitor, I don't know if this actually happened or not but it encapsulates the theory here encountered a janitor and asked the janitor, what do you do here he said on putting a man on the moon, it's like if you build an organization in a way that that regardless of the role that a person is playing, they know the impact they're having on the world, on people on life on nature on whatever it is, you will be succeeding as a purpose driven organization, you'll attract and retain better talent, you will attract and retain better clients, you'll be better defended, better able to defend against disruption and on the converse of that you will be better positioned to be the disruptor in your marketplace.
Josh: Right Wow. Just as a side note here, how do you do that as a marketing company because it is such a flooded niche nowadays, right, how are you guys doing that yourself?
Colt: So for me, my I think of my purpose as It's a combination, I’m driven by purpose and powered by creativity, which is why this this my number four, and the number three, which is the one that you just heard are together and I'm, I'm out there to make sure that people who are working in companies are able to flourish in their creative abilities, because I think that's very important and that organizations are moving towards a new model of business on this planet, that being one that is purpose driven, where it's not just about how much money can we make, but it's really about what kind of impact can we have and ultimately, I think that that's the sea change that's currently happening in the same way that sea change has occurred in the in the electrification of companies, when we went into robotics, we went into digitization, then computers, web 1.0, web 2.0, all these things were huge sea change shifts, right and each one of them left huge swaths of winners and losers when they happened, I swear to God, right now, the shift that's happening is the purpose driven shift, companies that figure that out and operationalize purpose now are going to win in the same ways that companies that adopted all the things I just mentioned, robotics, web 1.0 2.0, huge winners are happening right now and those are the ones that figure out how to go purpose driven.
Josh: Yeah, that's actually a really cool point and I agree with that. It's coming along with like, almost like an air of transparency that people are trying to do you know, I, I'm not a big fan of like social media platforms or anything, but like, everyone knows what I'm talking about when I say that, but I do think that I do, not even going to mention it because I don't plug social media, because it's all stupid so I think that the, that changed, though, of being more transparent, like we're watching brands who have been quote, unquote, professional for decades, right, are humanizing themselves.
Josh: And it's so cool to see because it allows us to stop saying, Okay, well, we hate to be like, like Apple, and we need to be like, XYZ, huge company, it's starting to be like, we need to be like, people keep saying Zappos is a good one and I don't even really know about their culture to be real with you but, but yeah, there's all these different companies who are big companies that have adopted that so I agree entirely and I think there has been a big shift in the market with that.
Colt: Yeah. And the winds have been huge.
Josh: Yeah. 100%. So then, number three, you said, you hit it, I missed it. What was the third one?
Colt: Oh, so yeah, well, I'll just recap from one to four so update your mindset to the unprecedented access that we're in with the new paradigm, two was the Lean validation get quickly to buy it. Now three is building up your creative capacities, and four is going purpose driven.
Josh: Okay, so then five, what is five?
Colt: five is around intellectual property. I see a lot of people freak out about, about protecting their ideas. I also see people freak out when they bring me an idea and I say something like, Oh, that's a little bit like such and such, and they just collapse, right? They just become puddles on the floor and I'm like, Hey, settle down, man. First of all, being first in the market is brutal and often means you won't be succeeding ultimately, in the longest run second in the market is sweet,
Josh: Yea, it's a very good thing.
Colt: it's a very good thing. exactly. So if you find something that's similar to your idea, don't puddle out and stand firm here, you're actually in a really good shape, somebody has already done the hard work of defining the market for you, excellent stuff, number two is, as people pursue intellectual property protection, I do have a caution, number one, it can really slow you down and it can be very expensive, number two on that is, even if you do secure, actual patent protection, really what you've done is you got yourself a ticket to a courtroom, you haven't bought the ability to stop someone, you bought the ability to take someone to court to maybe stop someone and that is a massively expensive idea, especially if you're if you find yourself in a fight with a large organization, it will be expensive. A lot of intellectual property protection is easy to get around. If they've got great lawyers, they find a way to work around so here's the deal. The best way to protect the value of what you're creating is to gain traction in the market. I mean, get a following get people who like you have a personality, something that people can connect with, don't just be out there supplying XYZ widget be out there as something that people want to see when right build fans, not customer’s kind of thing, that's really the best protection you can get for your idea.
Josh: Yeah, good. I mean, you could change your brand and they're like, well, we love you. It doesn't matter what the name of the company
Colt: Totally right.
Josh: you are cool, man, you're you're actually shifting my paradigm so this is good. You know, it's funny that you look at a lot of companies that deal with this, I know I'm talking about it on a much larger scale, but everybody thinks that being second to market or fifth to Market is a horrible idea but what's so intriguing is if you watch the way that Apple and Samsung play the game, yeah, yeah, I sold cell phones in college so that's just always top of mind right, Apple has the most people have killed each other to get the first iPhone? It's insanity like, yeah and I don't know how you sleep at night making a product that does that but anyways, but then secondly, you have the Samsung users and everybody thinks that it's like Apple versus Samsung and it's not it's it's Apple versus I'd want anything but Apple and they're like, they will take any phone. Luckily, Samsung just provides another great solution, right and truth be told, there's not really a big difference between the technology and everybody's like, well, why does Samsung not surpass Apple ever and I don't think it's their plan. They're like, we're just going to right right behind them and we're going to pick up everybody that they burn, and we're gonna just keep killing it, you know.
Colt: shrapnel collection,
Josh: exactly and yep, selling it, sell it for five cents, or a nickel or whatever.
Colt: That's a really good point. I hadn't thought about that as it's like, potentially, their actual strategic dynamic being we don't intend to this is just working. So well, we'll do this and, you know, I think that Apple does have the potential to alienate big sections of the market, if they keep doing some of the behaviors that have just piss people off and ultimately, it's not a matter of do something better, it's just wait for the leader to screw up.
Josh: Yeah, exactly and the second, if the second screws up, nobody even cares. It's not even like posted.
Colt: Totally, yes.
Josh: Oh, anyway, so we could go on for days about that but anyways, number six, let's move through it.
Colt: Six is have a personality. You know, big companies do have to play it safe and if you're, if you're small, and a growing company, you have the ability to express something in the marketplace that you know, might put some people off but if you do that, then you have the potential to also be something that others go that's for me, you've actually said something besides total vanilla, you've expressed something besides, you know, completely flat, and I can dig it and this is how you go from building a customer base to building a fan base, because fans want to see you win and if you think about how to how to build a personality as a, as a company, work first from your own personality, don't fake it, start with where you are people, people who like you, like you people who don't, don't need to be bothered with for now, stick with the personality you have express it in in a meaningful way that that's kind of like come out there boldly, this is me, this is who we are, this is what we're about, this is our purse or attitude, whatever you want to say and don't be shy about it because again, that's an advantage that smaller companies can play to that big companies have to go super conservative on.
Josh: Right? Yeah, I agree entirely. You haven't said anything I disagree with, this is no fun. Come on.
Colt: Let me see. Let me see if we can do on the last one
Josh: I'm just kidding, go for number seven.
Colt: Number seven is really being honest with yourself so again, the prompt that you gave me was seven steps, rules or strategies to, to getting to a million dollar businesses under a year,
Colt: That's a that's a big undertaking. And this is where I say Be honest with yourself about what you're really trying to do because a million dollar idea takes a million plus dollars worth of effort to actually get the million dollars out of it and doing it in in the timeframe of a year, massive undertaking, right and people can sell you shortcuts all day long, but they're selling you shortcuts is what they're trying to do their look, if you just want a lifestyle gig if you want to if you want a company that is going to generate a million dollars a year and that's that's what you want. Because you want a million dollars a year, not because you're driven by producing some great solution or fixing some problem or having some kind of impact, if the million dollar mark is what you're trying to hit, just go buy a company that's making a million dollars a year, right? I mean, that's the ultimate shortcut, there's there's plenty of companies out there, they have different in different industries, different multipliers for valuation, and that that wheel is invented so just go buy it.
Josh: Right. People don't don't know that or believe that we're having another guy back on Carlyle and if you are looking to acquire companies, he's a great guy to work with on that but like you're saying, it's more about being the creator and building the lifestyle that you want. I've been finding recently talking to people, like you know, people who've become so successful and the pervading belief is like, you pass about 250,000 in income, you've pretty much hit everything you could possibly need if you wanted to buy it on payments, right, like if you want to buy everything encounters, that obviously won't do it, but you can afford about anything that you would want. Yeah, and for most entrepreneurs I talk to it stops being about the money at about that point. because they're like, you know, I am fully safe and taken care of and this is US dollar, so I don't know what it is in other countries so it's just so interesting to me to see how everybody deals with that and.
Colt: That is 100% consistent with my experience,
Josh: Love it!
Colt: so come on, you gotta tell me like what do you think, what do you think is something that I would disagree with you on, do you have like some controversial like belief that you put out there often the be like, I don't think so man.
Josh: Social media is definitely one. I think it's a complete waste of time.
Colt: Yeah, it's a time suck. I agree with that, I remember, it was about a year ago now. The moment I decided TikTok had to come off my phone and I hadn't been in it for long. I know people can get into tick tock streaks lasts for hours, I was in there for about 45 minutes but there was something about just, you know, how, you know, the Dalai effected in a movie where the camera moves away but the zoom in and the background was like super far back.
Josh: Exactly. Yeah,
Colt: that was exactly like came up from my phone, it was just like reality sort of like came swimming back in and I was like, Whoa, that was an intense encapsulation of my full focus. I didn't even know where I was kind of thing and that was like, within seconds, I was like, this is off by phone now. Can't use it anyway.
Josh: Yeah, It's not even like, like, I still have social media, my team uses it, I think people overvalue social media in a business aspect.
Josh: I think the ads side of them can be very valuable but I think so many people are chasing these likes and followers and hundreds of 1000s or millions of followers. I've worked with people with a million followers who can't close a single sale, it's, it's the saddest thing like you want all this time and you can even make five bucks.
Josh: that's, that's just kind of sad because like, even if you suck at marketing, you should be able to sell something for $5.
Colt: But we have, we're gonna have to get another conversation at some point because I really want I want to open something up where you and I aren't aligned and figure out what's up, you know?
Josh: Yeah and we are you on it, that's always fun
Josh: I'm not like, Okay, I'm an extremely opinionated person but I like to hear other people's contrarian views because it allows me to say, okay, this is why I believe what I believe and maybe I'm wrong, and I'm okay being wrong, I will say clubhouse is one thing I argued with people over and over and over again, and I evangelize that it was going to fail, it was a straight Yeah. Anyways, I'm not gonna go into it but it's it's funny to me that people who are like, shocked you need to have a clubhouse room and I'm like, No, I doubt. No, I know. It's going away. Anyways, good stuff so but we'll have to have one called we'll do a we'll do a co interview later and dive into it.
Colt: Yeah, right on.
Josh: Well, I really do appreciate having you on here, man. It's been awesome conversation. So I'm going to ask you the cliché final question to get a good mic drop moment for our social media that we don't care about listeners, right.
Colt: Oh, man,
Josh: which is just could you leave our audience with one final parting piece of guidance?
Colt: Oh, yeah, I mean, it's a repeat of my I'll say the two things that I think are the most important build your creativity and go purpose driven, those are the two things that are going to separate the winners from losers in the 2020s.
Outro: Hopefully you enjoyed this episode of The lucky Titan podcast. If you've learned anything from this or any other episode, make sure you rate it and share it with another entrepreneur could help. Thanks again and I'll catch you on the flip side