CXChronicles Podcast

CXChonicles Podcast 208 with Lloyed Lobo, Author, Founder & Community Builder

September 12, 2023 Adrian Brady-Cesana Season 6 Episode 208
CXChonicles Podcast 208 with Lloyed Lobo, Author, Founder & Community Builder
CXChronicles Podcast
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CXChronicles Podcast
CXChonicles Podcast 208 with Lloyed Lobo, Author, Founder & Community Builder
Sep 12, 2023 Season 6 Episode 208
Adrian Brady-Cesana

Hey CX Nation,

In this week's episode of The CXChronicles Podcast #208 we  welcomed Lloyed Lobo,  Author, From Grassroots To Greatness, Co-Founder at Boast.AI & Traction. 

Lloyed Cofounded and helped bootstrap Boast.AI to 8 figures ARR. Boast is a fintech platform that provides businesses with R&D and Innovation funding.
 
He also Cofounded and helped bootstrap Traction to more than 100,000 entrepreneurs and innovators. Traction is a global community that brings leaders behind the fastest-growing companies such as Shopify, Atlassian, Twilio, MailChimp, Github, Intercom, Calendly, Zapier, and more to share learnings on how to build and scale companies via podcasts, meetups, retreats, and conferences.

In this episode, Lloyed and Adrian chat through how he has tackled The Four CX Pillars: Team,  Tools, Process & Feedback and shares tips & best practices that have worked across his own customer focused business leader journey.

**Episode #208 Highlight Reel:**

1. Being a refugee of the gulf war and understanding the necessity of community
2. Compound interest on consistent actions & performance yields huge gains over time
3. Every company in the world begins as a human to human experience 
4. Why luck and risk are two sides of the same coin, you have to keep flipping the coin
5. Spend time understanding the puzzle pieces in your customer journey to find success
 
Huge thanks to Lloyed for coming on The CXChronicles Podcast and featuring his work and efforts in pushing the customer experience & customer success space into the future.

Click here to learn more about Lloyed Lobo

Click here to learn more about Lloyed's new book From Grassroots To Greatness

If you enjoy The CXChronicles Podcast, stop by your favorite podcast player and leave us a review today.

You know what would be even better?

Go tell one of your friends or teammates about CXC's content, CX/CS/RevOps services, our customer & employee focused community & invite them to join the CX Nation!

Are you looking to learn more about the world of Customer Experience, Customer Success & Revenue Operations?

Click here to grab a copy of my book "The Four CX Pillars To Grow Your Business Now" available on Amazon or the CXC website.

For you non-readers, go check out the CXChronicles Youtube channel to see our customer & employee focused video content & short-reel CTAs to improve your CX/CS/RevOps performance today (politely go smash that subscribe button).

Contact us anytime to learn more about CXC at INFO@cxchronicles.com and ask us about how we can help your business & team make customer happiness a habit now!

Huge thanks to our newest CXCP sponsor Timetoreply. Visit their website today at www.timetoreply.com/cxc

Reach Out To CXC Today!

Support the Show.

Contact CXChronicles Today

Remember To Make Happiness A Habit!!

Show Notes Transcript

Hey CX Nation,

In this week's episode of The CXChronicles Podcast #208 we  welcomed Lloyed Lobo,  Author, From Grassroots To Greatness, Co-Founder at Boast.AI & Traction. 

Lloyed Cofounded and helped bootstrap Boast.AI to 8 figures ARR. Boast is a fintech platform that provides businesses with R&D and Innovation funding.
 
He also Cofounded and helped bootstrap Traction to more than 100,000 entrepreneurs and innovators. Traction is a global community that brings leaders behind the fastest-growing companies such as Shopify, Atlassian, Twilio, MailChimp, Github, Intercom, Calendly, Zapier, and more to share learnings on how to build and scale companies via podcasts, meetups, retreats, and conferences.

In this episode, Lloyed and Adrian chat through how he has tackled The Four CX Pillars: Team,  Tools, Process & Feedback and shares tips & best practices that have worked across his own customer focused business leader journey.

**Episode #208 Highlight Reel:**

1. Being a refugee of the gulf war and understanding the necessity of community
2. Compound interest on consistent actions & performance yields huge gains over time
3. Every company in the world begins as a human to human experience 
4. Why luck and risk are two sides of the same coin, you have to keep flipping the coin
5. Spend time understanding the puzzle pieces in your customer journey to find success
 
Huge thanks to Lloyed for coming on The CXChronicles Podcast and featuring his work and efforts in pushing the customer experience & customer success space into the future.

Click here to learn more about Lloyed Lobo

Click here to learn more about Lloyed's new book From Grassroots To Greatness

If you enjoy The CXChronicles Podcast, stop by your favorite podcast player and leave us a review today.

You know what would be even better?

Go tell one of your friends or teammates about CXC's content, CX/CS/RevOps services, our customer & employee focused community & invite them to join the CX Nation!

Are you looking to learn more about the world of Customer Experience, Customer Success & Revenue Operations?

Click here to grab a copy of my book "The Four CX Pillars To Grow Your Business Now" available on Amazon or the CXC website.

For you non-readers, go check out the CXChronicles Youtube channel to see our customer & employee focused video content & short-reel CTAs to improve your CX/CS/RevOps performance today (politely go smash that subscribe button).

Contact us anytime to learn more about CXC at INFO@cxchronicles.com and ask us about how we can help your business & team make customer happiness a habit now!

Huge thanks to our newest CXCP sponsor Timetoreply. Visit their website today at www.timetoreply.com/cxc

Reach Out To CXC Today!

Support the Show.

Contact CXChronicles Today

Remember To Make Happiness A Habit!!

CXChronicles Podcast #208 featuring Lloyed Lobo.mp4

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:00:08) - All right, guys, thanks for listening to another episode of the CX Chronicles podcast. I'm your host, Adrian Brady Chisana. Super excited for today's show, guys. We have an awesome guest, Lloyd Lobo, is here to join us today. Lloyd, say hello to the CX Nation, my friend. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:00:22) - Excited to be here, stoked to be with you. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:00:24) - You have great energy and I know you're going to just pull it out of me, you're going to make me explode. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:00:31) - Hey, that's what we try to do here, Lloyd, that's what we try to do. But guys, I'm super excited. Lloyd has got a ton of awesome things going on that he's going to chat with us about. He's an author, he's a co-founder. He is a master community man with just so many different connections and friends across the world. So Lloyd, I'm pumped for you to come on the show today and kind of share your story. Why don't you start off today's show, like we start off all these episodes, man. Take a couple of minutes. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:00:57) - Give us a sense for how you got into this whole space. Give us a sense for what some of your stepping stones were early in your career that led you to where you are today as the founder of Boast and give us a sense for how you got into this whole world that you're in today of working with business leaders and working with entrepreneurs across the world. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:01:16) - I'll give you the whole background, but going all the way to my childhood, because I think there's a lot of meaning there in terms of what drove my purpose in life. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:01:26) - I spent my childhood in the slums of Mumbai as a kid. My fondest memories in my childhood were from this community. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:01:34) - My mom grew up in the slums of Mumbai. She had nine siblings. We were living in Kuwait at the time because a lot of people from India would go and work in Kuwait for better, I guess, better prospects. And so the summers were spent in the slums of Mumbai where like watching TV was communal, eating was communal. Man, it would rain all the time and puddles would turn to ponds. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:01:54) - Even going to the bathroom was communal because there was no toilet in their house. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:01:58) - They made a movie on that. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:02:00) - And so those were my fondest memories because at the end of every summer when we had to go back to Kuwait, I would cry and not want to leave. Fast forward a few years, I was eight or nine, and Kuwait was hit by the Gulf War, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:02:12) - Iraq had invaded. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:02:14) - And the security had lapsed. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:02:16) - Currency became invalid. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:02:18) - There was a time where there were no cell phones or no internet. And that was the first time I experienced how the love and power of a community can create a massive impact. It was a time where every building essentially became a sub-community. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:02:31) - That night when I went down the building with my dad, everyone was like, let's solve this thing, right? And as an eight or nine-year-old, I felt like Little Rambo. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:02:38) - Somebody's like, guard the building from 12 to 6. And somebody else is like, hey, we'll do it from 6 to 12. And somebody else is like, I'll organize food supplies. And another person is like, if you have displaced family members, we have some extra room. And so every building became a sub-community, communicated with the next, with the next, with the next. The word of mouth spread to embassies, UN, to governments. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:03:00) - It became the largest evacuation movement to rescue people to safety at a time where security had lapsed, no currency was valid, and no phones, no internet. After that, fast forward a few years, I moved to Canada, finished engineering, and I went right into sales. My first job I took was in cold calling. Now I was driven by doing something different. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:03:24) - I didn't want to sit in cold like an engineer who graduates, like get a job nine to five. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:03:30) - I wanted to actually become an entrepreneur. And as I think back, what drove that entrepreneurial spirit was two things. That experience as a Gulf War refugee showed me how aligning with a great purpose can do to even the lowest common denominator, which is me. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:03:47) - I was a kid, and I felt like Little Rambo alongside my dad. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:03:50) - Even though I wasn't rescuing, it felt like, hey, every little part I was doing was contributing to the greater purpose of getting people to safety. The other thing it did for me was this whole entrepreneurial spirit, right? What is entrepreneurial spirit? It's not about making money. It's about taking an obscure idea through execution and impact while dealing with extreme risk and uncertainty. The risk and uncertainty is key. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:04:16) - So I started gravitating towards that, and the community was part of my DNA. So when I graduated, I asked somebody, hey, you know what? I want to challenge, like I want to work in business. I want to start something. I want to create. And they said the best skill you can learn is communication, selling, like those kinds of things, because that drives everything from convincing your spouse that you're not going to bring money to convincing customers when you don't have a product to investors and everything in between. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:04:43) - So I'm like, hey, what would give me the best shot at improving my communication as an awkward engineer?

Lloyed Lobo (00:04:52) - And I said, nothing better than cold calling, right? Nothing, if you want to get better at something, put yourself in an environment that forces you to do that something over and over and over again. And cold calling was it. So the first cold call I made, I think I prepped four hours. And then when the DM, the decision maker came on the phone, I hung up and became a laughing stock. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:05:10) - But it kept going and going and going and going. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:05:12) - And over time that I moved from cold calling to sales, to running sales and marketing, and that's how my life progressed. But you know, in those early days, I needed to learn a lot about sales and marketing. And there was not enough content out there in terms of the new ways to sell and market. And a lot of the content I found online in 2005, 2006 was some HubSpot's inbound marketing community. So I joined, I learned, I took their inbound marketing certification. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:05:39) - I still remember Gary Vaynerchuk had a video course on how the future of video is gonna drive all marketing. And that has played off, right, his consistency. He was like a chubby little young kid back then, and he was just consistent, he never stopped. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:05:55) - He never stopped, yep. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:05:57) - He never stopped, right? Like Larry Ellison never sold a share of Oracle as the richest man in SaaS or Warren Buffett. Compound interest on consistency is what overnight success is. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:06:06) - Yep. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:06:07) - And then over time started another company, Boast.AI, which is a product that automates access to government funding for companies that are building new products or improving existing products. My co-founder, Alex, was in the space and he called me and he said, man, it's a manual broken process done by big four, we should automate it. So I jumped at the opportunity to work with him. And lessons from building that company is what led me to community. And that was all the journey. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:06:36) - But when we started Boast, I picked up what I knew to do, which was cold call first, right? That would work. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:06:44) - Yep. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:06:44) - And slammed the phone and kept diving for dollars, manufacturing, construction, oil and gas, all the big companies, nobody would talk to us, then started hounding their events. And I'm like, it doesn't feel like I tried. Like the conversations are so forced. They look at us like we're two guys who threw on a suit jacket on top of a hoodie and don't want to spend time with us. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:07:07) - Yeah. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:07:08) - So we started gravitating and going to all the startup tech events and then started building a community of innovators, which today has grown to over 120,000 people. We've got a podcast, we've got a YouTube, we've done number of conferences, hundreds of events, every major C-suite from like Uber's old CEO to Zoho to Twilio to Gainside CEO has been to our events. But that was the evolution. When we started the company, nobody would talk to us. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:07:39) - And so we had to build our own community to build social proof and credibility and visibility and get customers and become successful. And so sometimes necessity is the mother of all inventions, but I don't think if I had come from the DNA of community, which was spending time in the slums of Mumbai or being a part of the Gulf War and drawing energy and passion from communities, I don't think I'd be able to do that. So that's the journey in a snapshot. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:08:05) - I love it, brother. Number one, thank you so much for sharing that. Number two, I just think that totally different type of stepping stone story than some of our early guests, man. Like when you talk about laying the foundation, eight, nine-year-old kid, Kuwait War, talk about just tons of volatility around you, tons of uncertainty, makes a ton of sense why community and coming together and pulling people together and strengthen numbers makes a lot of sense. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:08:32) - That type of thinking and that type of logic started really, really early in you as a young man, Lloyd. So thank you for sharing that. Second big thing is just the journey, brother. A couple of things I wanna call out right out of the gates is just like, you're right, man. So many people, they look at entrepreneurs, they look at business executives, business owners, they think, oh, I want that, I wanna do what they're doing, I want that money, I want those Ferraris, I want those Rolexes. Okay, cool, fine, fine, totally fine. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:09:00) - Most people have zero idea underneath the iceberg. I always call it like the iceberg, man, tip of the iceberg, right? You're looking at the very top of that stuff. You got no idea what 99% of those people had to sacrifice, what they had to go through, what the work was, I love that you call it the overnight success for like Larry Ellison. Dude, this stuff takes lifetime sometimes for business owners and for founders and for entrepreneurs to figure this stuff out. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:09:27) - And I think the other piece that you called out that I just think is so important for our listeners to think about today is like, I know it sounds a little bit cheesy, but like there's total truth into like.

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:09:37) - if you've got some passion for the thing that you're gonna go after and tackle or the thing to your point that you're gonna pick up and smile and dial a million times on, it makes it a little bit easier to pick up that next call. It makes it a little bit easier to take that next no. It makes it a little bit easier to get hitting the head of that next negative thing that's coming because the passion part is what keeps your interest. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:09:57) - The passion part is also what over time, and it can take a long time, guys, but the passion part is what people start to notice and people start to recognize and people start to be like, man, why is this guy so, what's he so cranked up about this type of trade or this type of subject matter expertise? But the reality is when you love something and you've got that passion for it, you will find a way. And then oftentimes you're gonna have the fuel, man. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:10:19) - You're gonna have the fuel or the gas, for lack of a better term, to keep ripping on it, man, because this stuff is hard. It is a very lonely journey being an entrepreneur. And it's hard. And I think like so many people think that they want to do it, and the reality is most people just don't have, frankly, what it takes to be able to persevere and to be able to just, the last part I want to call out that you said that I just couldn't agree with more is, you have to get super, super comfortable being uncomfortable all the damn time. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:10:48) - And that is not for everybody, man. Most people are built to kind of be in their little safety. It's literally like goes back to like caveman stuff where like you're trying to be safe. You want to be protected. You want to be close to the people that you know or the things that you know or the places that you know. And I think, I mean, so many incredible entrepreneurs and founders, they do the opposite, man. They literally go sail the furthest seas away. They go climb the tallest mountains. They go do the craziest stuff. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:11:15) - And that's kind of where they get to where they are. So I love that. Lloyd, thank you for setting us up with that. I would love to talk a little bit more about Boast. And I'd love to talk about, and by the way, as we talked about earlier, Lloyd and I were talking to you guys before the show, but feel free to kind of intertwine this into all of the endeavors that you've kind of done. But I'd love to start like this first pillar of team. You've spent time at all these different companies. You've built a bunch of companies. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:11:36) - And then more importantly, you've worked with some incredible executives that have built some ridiculously awesome companies. I'd love for you to spend a couple of minutes kind of talking about the first pillar of team. What are some of the things that you've seen, Lloyd, or what are some of the things that you've personally experienced while building Boast that you just kind of really sort of like want to double down on when it comes to team? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:11:55) - If there's two or three big things that you're always kind of thinking about that are paramount for team building, I'd love for you to share that with our listeners. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:12:02) - Definitely. You know, I wanted to add a thought to what he said previously, right? I say this a lot to young people, that when passion meets profession, you become Michael Jackson. That's your only shot, right? It's true. It's really hard out there, especially in a community-led business. And when we were starting Boast, like I said, we tried to hit up manufacturing and oil and gas and construction, and we didn't feel a connection, right? We didn't feel like it was our tribe. And then we started going to the startup events, and it started to resonate. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:12:36) - We started to have great conversation. They became friends. We started hanging out, partying together. We participated in hackathons together, and that became our first customer base. And then I realized something. Looking back, everything looks like a successful framework, right? But when you're in it, you're throwing spaghetti on the wall. But if I had to conclude the learnings from that day one to day 30, day 60, it was this. In the beginning, you're trying to figure out which target market should I even tackle, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:13:06) - And so there's four things that come out of it. One, are you passionate about this audience? And this is even what Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio, said when he spoke at our conference. He's like, the previous companies, I just hate the customers. I just dreaded coding for them. And so fall in love with your customer and have passion for them, and let that be your primary guide, is what he said. And so the first thing is, do you resonate with that customer base? Do you have love for them? Do you have passion for them? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:13:35) - If you're building any other kind of business, it's okay, the money will sail you through. But if you wanna build a long-term enduring company that's community-led, that's customer-led, you need to have passion for that audience because you need to go in front of them day in, day out. Second thing is, is it a large and growing market? Third thing is, do they have a propensity to pay? And the fourth thing is ease of access. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:13:58) - You may love a market and it may be large and growing, but if you can't get access to it, then maybe that's not your starting point. Maybe that's the next market you add. And so we started with the startup market because the ease of access was key combined with the passion. Now, early days at Boast, honestly, to get customers, we had to build this community.

Lloyed Lobo (00:14:22) - I think the first year, eight, nine months, we had no employees. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:14:26) - It was me and my co-founder, right? So it's like, how do you build a team? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:14:30) - And you talk a lot about people. People is everything. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:14:32) - In the age of AI, we tend to forget that innovation always comes and goes, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:14:39) - Yesterday's innovation always becomes tomorrow's commodity. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:14:41) - Look at what happened to Harley, the Japanese manufacturers, commoditized electronics. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:14:46) - Harley almost went bankrupt. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:14:48) - It's an iconic brand today because they built the company on the ethos of community and created these rider clubs. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:14:53) - And it became about the camaraderie amongst the customers, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:14:57) - Employees became riders, riders became employees. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:15:00) - Today people tattoo the brand on their back. You can recognize a Harley what they're wearing. And so the internet came and the cloud came and mobile came and social came. We don't say internet company or cloud company or mobile company or social company. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:15:13) - The same way we won't say AI company. Every company is human to human first. And what I wanted to do was drive the message that, hey, we built an AI company, which was bootstrapped to eight figures in revenue and been successful largely because we built a community-led company because it is customer to customer. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:15:35) - Until the day robots are buying from robots, people will always matter. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:15:40) - People do business with people. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:15:41) - And you can see what's happening out there on the socials, on the internet. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:15:46) - People know now when something is copy pasted from AI, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:15:49) - So you can tack on the list of things people are irritated with. One is the sea of sameness, seeing the same thing over and over again. Ads, pop-ups, giving personal details to access crappy white papers. And now they're seeing like very similar, similar things from chat to GPT, which is a specific tone. And so you got to realize that when people are consuming content or connections, making connections, they're doing it with people, not with brands. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:16:16) - Brand content consumption is going down and human-to-human is going up. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:16:21) - So when you're starting out, you got to think, how do I build a human-first company? That starts with four things. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:16:28) - And I tell you, man, great companies are built on great alignment. When you have no alignment going in, it's going to be very hard because in the early days, think about it, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:16:41) - You've started at the ground level. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:16:42) - In the early days, you don't think about values and alignment as much because you're surviving. When you have no food to eat, you're thinking about surviving. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:16:50) - But as soon as there's more food than you can eat, and there's more food to share, then you start thinking, who do I share it with? How do I share it? How do I split that, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:17:02) - When money comes into the equation, Adrian, your true values come out, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:17:08) - And they always say money doesn't change people. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:17:11) - It just brings out your true self. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:17:12) - What that means is you always were a certain way. It's just when you were poor and you were surviving, you didn't have time to think about it. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:17:22) - But when you have, the first opportunity comes, your values come out. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:17:25) - So in terms of building your team, I think the first step is figuring out alignment. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:17:30) - Great companies, great cultures, great movements, great communities are built on great alignment. And if you don't set that on day one, when you hire executives and people, you'll have misalignment. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:17:40) - And trust me, employees don't watch what you say on your lips. They watch what you do, right? They don't read your lips. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:17:46) - They don't read what's written on the wall or on the website. They literally watch what you do. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:17:51) - And so start with a purpose, a great purpose, especially what I've found in community-led businesses. They have a purpose that's much greater than the profits or the product. The purpose that transcends beyond the product, service, or profit. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:18:08) - It is a greater impact. The next one is the vision, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:18:13) - What will the world be as a result of your existence? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:18:16) - Then it's a mission. How do you do it? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:18:19) - And the last one is the values. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:18:21) - How do we behave? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:18:22) - How do we show up day in, day out? And having that alignment is really key. And hiring and firing people, scoring people, that should be your rubric. I'm not saying hire your beer buddies, because diversity is everything. Diversity of thought is one of the biggest enablers of growth. What I'm saying is hire people with diverse backgrounds, but make sure you find alignment on your core values. So if you care deeply about empathy, then don't hire people who behave like tyrants. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:18:59) - And even if you can't catch it in the interview and the first two weeks, three weeks, four weeks on the job, no matter how senior they are, if they're leading with tyranny, they gotta be out. If your value is customer connectivity, because you're a customer-led, community-led company, but you hire a head of product and the first two weeks are not spent calling customers and talking to them and they're spending time in spreadsheets, you know this person gotta go. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:19:24) - Like you gotta have a conversation, you gotta go. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:19:26) - So I think that is the first step of building a team. The other two or three things that I think are invaluable in general, in building a team, in building a company, whatever, is communication.

Lloyed Lobo (00:19:39) - creation and consistency. Your ability to communicate, because communication drives connection. Without connection, you have an empty room. You don't have an audience. Communication is the rails of everything we do. The next one is creation. Your ability to create things out of thin air, especially in the early days, right? You're creating playbooks, you're creating frameworks that don't exist. And your big company or mid-sized company or a startup that hit like 510 is not gonna work out for somebody at zero or one. So you gotta adapt. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:20:08) - You can't run a company out of spreadsheet or else everyone would be a billionaire. So no two companies are the same. So your ability to create templates, create spreadsheets, create playbooks, create content, creation is key. And the last one, if you don't have it, no matter how good you are at communication and creation, if you don't have consistency, you'll never succeed. So those three things we look for. Alignment with values and ability to communicate, create and be consistent, like sticking with things. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:20:38) - I love it, man. Lloyd, all incredible thoughts, all incredible ideas for listeners. I think it's amazing, man, how many companies we've worked with at CXC where we'll come in and we'll start with our CX accelerators and we're doing either customer journey mapping or we're doing living playbook curation to your point of like, it almost ain't real until you write it down. And there's so many companies out there that they're maybe excellent at the creativity piece that you just talked about. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:21:04) - Like they're really good at like, you know, kind of like flying off the cuff and they're just really good at sort of being creative and working to the moment. But at a certain point, once you start to put more people around the table, you are spot on, man. The way that you get alignment from a bunch of people, it's literally by setting out the expectations. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:21:23) - I always like the analogy I always use is, people got to know, both customers and employees, they got to know if your business is a ship in the ocean, they get, number one, they got to know what type of ship it is. Number two, they got to know what direction that damn thing's heading in. And then number three, they got to know whether or not they're down and they're ready and they're willing and they're able to deal with whatever conditions you might endure across your journey, right? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:21:47) - And all of those tracks might be wildly different for every single solitary business. So all incredible thoughts here. I think the other thought I want to kind of pick up on that you just laid down here is like, the consistency piece, man. It's like, man, Rome was not built in a day, right? Rome was not built in a day. It takes years and years and years to build an incredible company. Some do it faster than others, right? I know you and I were joking before we jumped into today's recording, but like, some companies can get there really quick. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:22:12) - Some companies can go from an idea in somebody's head to an IPO in five, six, seven years. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:22:18) - That's obscene, guys. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:22:19) - That's not normal. That's an anomaly that does not happen. But like, it does, it can happen. I think a lot of what's a lot more common is, people or the right types of teams taking years upon years upon years. And to your point, the consistency piece, just being consistent, right? Finding one customer at a time, figuring out how to deliver value, figuring out how to deliver some really positive yield, learning from them, listening to them, understanding how to do it better. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:22:45) - Then maybe now the next 10 customers line, you can do it a little bit better, a little bit faster, a little bit quicker, a little bit more value in time. So all awesome ideas here. And it's tough, man. I think the other thing is this, is like, you're right. I like your idea of like, man, when you're starting these things, you're right. There's only, you are in straight up survival mode. Where is my water and where's my next meal coming from? That's the bottom line. That's the reality. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:23:08) - For those of us that are fortunate enough to get past that point, you're right. The super interesting concept that you kind of bring up, which is like, once you start getting really excellent at harvesting and hunting, and you understand how to live off the land, and you know how to literally sustain for yourself, not only yourself, but many others around you, that's where stuff gets interesting. Because right, you do need to think about what type of people you want on that ship with you. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:23:28) - And you do want to think about what type of people on your team are going to be able to really set you up for success. And last thing is this, man. I know from a lot of the business leaders and a lot of the business founders that we have on the show, like, nobody really starts their own business to work with a bunch of people they don't like either. So like, there's another piece to this, which is you do want to have a super diverse team, and you do want to have a super diverse set of experiences in different walks of life. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:23:52) - But man, most of us spend most of our time working. We don't spend most of our time with our wives or our kids or our husbands. We literally spend more time with our coworkers than almost anybody, right? That's what we're doing Monday through Friday, you know, 50 hours, 40, 50 hours a week. And I think it's important to kind of call it, you also want to make sure that you're kind of working with people that it's enjoyable to work with. Because this stuff, like, work is hard, and work is also something that we do a ton of the time. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:24:16) - So all awesome ideas here, Lloyd. I'd love to jump into the second safest pillar of tools, man. This one you can answer however you like, but I love just kind of asking our guests.

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:24:26) - along their journeys to share a couple tidbits around sort of number one, how they think about either for their own business or for what they're seeing with their clients, for example. Have you kind of thought about building a tech stack for Boast and how have you kind of thought about building a tech stack for the traction community? I'd love for you to... kind of talking about tools. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:24:48) - And in this regard, primarily talking about software or some of the different SaaS solutions that you use, but like some of our guests come up with other different tools that have nothing to do with SaaS at all, but they've been key in terms of them finding success and key in terms of them finding growth. But I'd love to kind of hear you wrap for about tools for a couple of minutes later. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:25:05) - Definitely. So, you know, to close out the thought in what you said previously, right? Anything worth doing is actually a long slog. Sometimes you get lucky, but everything great is on the other side of pain and suffering. Pain is the precondition for growth. It's like working out, right? If you keep lifting the same weight over and over, you won't get stronger, you won't get bigger. You get bigger when you keep increasing the weight. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:25:28) - It's progressive overload. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:25:29) - And as a function of increasing the weight, pushing more weight, pushing more load, you get stronger. And so that is important. Anything worth doing is on the other side of pain. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:25:38) - Sometimes you get lucky. Instagram, you know, and I shouldn't say the word lucky because luck and risk are two sides of the same coin. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:25:47) - And you get lucky. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:25:48) - Those who get lucky are the ones who keep flipping risk, risk, risk, risk, risk. And you keep taking risk, risk, risk, risk, risk. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:25:56) - And one flip eventually ends up being luck, like the company you mentioned or like Instagram. But that doesn't mean they were sitting at home and doing nothing and they hit the lottery. To even win the lottery, you got to buy a lottery ticket. So I think that luck and risk are different sides of the same coin. And it's really, really important to understand that the ones who get lucky are the ones who keep flipping and keep going very consistently. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:26:18) - They engineer the networks, they go out there to talk to customers, they win business, they make things happen, they drive growth. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:26:25) - That visibility turns into credibility and eventually becomes profitability. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:26:31) - In terms of tooling, honestly, I always think about process before tools. My way of thinking is people first, right? So understand the pains and the needs of the people first, then map out the process and then figure out the product. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:26:48) - And the reason why I go that way is even with boast, we bootstrap boast by building a services business first, right? So, and I had this post on LinkedIn not too long ago, which went absolutely viral. I said, this is literally the best way to bootstrap a company to 1 million ARR. And in fact, that's what we did to bootstrap boast to 10. And that is something that a UiPath, which was the largest IPO in the last couple of years and Basecamp even, that's what they did to start. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:27:23) - They started by selling a service. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:27:26) - And the reason why you do this, although the VC world tells you, oh, you know what? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:27:30) - It's more manual, it's unscalable, it's low gross margins, is because today more than ever before, customers want an outcome. They don't want software. I want to get fit. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:27:40) - I don't want a gym membership. I don't want an app. I want more leads. I don't want the next marketing automation tool, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:27:45) - And so you get really focused on delivering the outcome. No outcome, no customer. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:27:53) - You can't hide behind toggles and switches. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:27:55) - You get really good at consultative selling, meaning listening to the customer, actively asking them targeting questions and gathering the right insights so you can precisely tailor the solution to them. You get good at customer success, right? Again, customers are paying you for an outcome. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:28:11) - So you need to be very deliberate on how you onboard them, how you check in with them, making sure they're getting the value. The time to value is really high. And then as a function of offering that service, what you get really good at doing is delivering or creating the right process to deliver that outcome. Because when you get paid to do it manually, nothing hits the rubber.

Lloyed Lobo (00:28:39) - makes the rubber hit the road faster than a paying customer giving you feedback, right? There's no problem. That's spot on. They're not hiding behind toggles and switches. They're like, hey, where's my outcome? Where's my outcome? And so you're delivering this and then you know exactly what to build. And that's effectively what we did at Boast is we were getting people research and development funding from the government. We would collect this data, fill out the forms manually and file it. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:29:04) - What was the difference between our process and what the big four accounting firms would do is big four accounting firms would come in after the tax year is over and go and ask a CTO in a company, tell me what you did in R&D that meets this criteria and I'll file it with the government. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:29:17) - Now a CTO is gonna take like, I can't remember what I had for lunch last week, man. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:29:22) - How am I gonna remember the R&D I did last year? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:29:24) - So it creates all this downstream work on a office of CTO to come up with what they did. And so rather than doing that, what we said was, hey, we'll just meet with the CTO once a month and we'll look at their code repos, their tickets and we'll pull it out of there, have those conversations. So it's proactive as you did it. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:29:42) - So end of the year, the claims filings were done, they were already prepared and we had all the information we need. So we were not leaving any money on the table. We could get them the maximum amount of money rather than like, you know, doing your expenses. It's like doing your expenses at the end of the year. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:29:56) - You're like, ah, who cares? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:29:57) - I missed these five things, who cares, whatever. As long as they got the bulk of it. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:30:02) - And then over time, we really nailed down a process which was getting us like 90% accuracy. So then we use that process to build the first version of the product, which was the tool. And we leveraged Zoho Creator with Zapier because all technology is what? All automation of services is nothing but I got to collect data. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:30:23) - I got to normalize that data. Then I got to analyze that data and make sense of it. And then I got to do some workflow. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:30:28) - So you're like, okay, what is taking the longest? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:30:30) - Oh, collecting data. Let's build some APIs. Let's pull some data automatically. Then the next step is we got to normalize this data because we're collecting a bunch of unstructured data plus financial data, which is zeros and ones. And the technical data is unstructured. So bring it on the same page, flatten it. And then the next one is, hey, now let's make sense of this data. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:30:49) - What needs to go where? And then the last one is just put it where it needs to go, right? It's workflow. So that's what I think. That's how I think about tooling also, man. Like I get asked a lot today, like, oh, how do I start a community? Do I start a Facebook group? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:31:01) - Do I start a WhatsApp group? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:31:02) - And I'm like, no, man. Start by understanding your customer. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:31:05) - Figure out where they eat, breathe, drink, sleep. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:31:08) - What are their aspirations? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:31:10) - It's like that, I think CS or product graphic where you see Mario, he eats a mushroom. He becomes Super Mario. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:31:17) - The mushroom is not your product. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:31:19) - Super Mario is your product. Customers want the outcome. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:31:21) - So understand their aspirations and their goals and their problems and what gets in the way of getting over that or getting to that. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:31:28) - And then map out their circle of influence, meaning what are the products they buy? So you can partner with them. What platforms they hang out on, what magazines, blogs they read, and which influencers they respect and follow. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:31:41) - So that gives you a circle of influence. And then once you understand how to deliver the service or bring them together, whatever it is you're doing, then you can find the right tooling in my view. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:31:54) - I mean, I can give you a list of tools we used from a CS perspective, which evolved over time, but in the early days, I think until we raised a significant round at Boast, we didn't have Salesforce, man. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:32:06) - It was Zoho. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:32:07) - Zoho created for the product, Zoho for the CRM. We built our own CS tooling because it was very custom, right? We had to pull data in automatically, then analyze that data, and then make sure all our customers were proactively being followed up on so they could know how much money they were getting from the government. And if we needed to upsell them to say, hey, why wait for the government to give you the money? We'll lend you the money now. Then we could upsell them. So all those upsell opportunities. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:32:38) - There's also the account growth opportunities where if we're not proactive with them and leave it to capturing that information at the end of the year, I don't know if they're spending more on R&D. So I know now I can, the more R&D dollars we get them, the more money we make. So all those things we had to build in. Now we could use like a gain side or any number of tools out there to customize that flow. But the thing is that ended up becoming a product. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:33:05) - Effectively, we had to, in order to digitize the business we were building, we had to build our own customer success product, which was all about who's the customer, understanding the data, then figuring out at what touch points you follow up with them to make sure they're getting the outcome they signed up for. So the tooling came later. And then over time, we layered on other things. Some things you absolutely have to build. Within our product, we need to ingest technical data like from Jira, GitHub and every code repo and project management tool. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:33:42) - But then we need to make sense of that data and normalize it. So that is our IP. But other things like when you're sending messaging or when you're doing like a knowledge base in there or when you're doing chat, those are other off the shelf tools that you'd leverage like Twilio or SendGrid or an intercom and you bring them in or you use Pendo for analytics to see who's using your product and when. So based on that, you can follow up accurately. So in a way, we had to understand the process. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:34:11) - And I tell people, at least it's never worked for me.

Lloyed Lobo (00:34:16) - putting the tool before the process is like, start with the process and really nail it down. If I can do it manually, then I know exactly what to structure in terms of tooling. And that's the same thing we did on the community side to build the Traction community is literally, first we had an email list and a website and a way for people to register. It was visible. People would sign up and come to our events. And then we had Zoom for people to sign up for our online events. And that's how it was. And it's not far more complex than that today. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:34:45) - It's like, you need a database and you need a way to communicate. And now you need some triggers. And that's how I bring it down to process. It's like, okay, who's your ideal customer? How, what is your method of communication? What are you gonna say to them at what intervals? And then you need like a place to store them, a way to communicate with them and some way to remind you when to say what. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:35:11) - But 100%, I think number one, it's just like, there's so many people out there. I couldn't agree with you more about starting with the process piece first. And by the way, Lloyd, we literally, at CXC with our clients, one of the big things that we do is we'll start, as I mentioned earlier, man, part of why we start with journey mapping or living playbooks first beyond anything else is to literally dump the puzzle pieces onto the table. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:35:36) - Because if you dump the puzzle pieces onto the table, then what I just heard you say, man, is the minute you start sorting them out, you sort colors, you sort shapes, you sort sizes, you can start to make sense of what the hell's going on with everything. That's number one. But then number two, you force yourself to really think a little bit more strategically and a little bit more deeply around what really truly matters. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:35:59) - I think humans have a tendency, especially, and then for our listeners on this show, many of the folks listening to this show are their startup founders, they're the guys and gals that are leading the customer charge. So whether that's sales, revenue, success, support, experience, et cetera. It's really common for leaders to just want to jump to a bookshelf of tools and just pull off the tools that they need. But they don't always do that first stage of dumping the puzzle pieces out and understanding what the hell they actually need. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:36:28) - I think one part of it is just we live in this world and we live in a day and an age when, and you joked about it earlier with AI, for example, but we live in this world where technology is supposed to solve all of our problems or supposed to aid all of the things that we're doing in life. And that's true, that's definitely true. But it's not going to figure everything out. And then the other thing too is technology still needs really smart people who understand the problem really deeply to understand how to apply that technology to it. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:36:54) - So I couldn't agree more with just the fact that like being thoughtful around sort of how, not only what types of tools you need, but what are the goals and what are the objectives and what's the mission really all about? Because I think unpacking some of that stuff first, it'll give you a much better sense for which tools might actually be the most helpful. And then this is another one. I'm just going to drop this. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:37:17) - I know some of our listeners probably heard me say this on the last couple episodes, but like, dude, I think the, personally, I think I love, I promise you, I love technology. I've worked in tech and startups my entire career now, but like, I think the world's got a software problem. Like reports suggested within the next five years, globally companies will be spending three quarters of a trillion dollars a year on their software. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:37:39) - The best companies on planet earth, man, mid-market and enterprise companies that are fully built, fully capable of supporting their employees, they're only seeing utilization rates in the 20 to 30% range. And some of my friends keep poking me on the side. I got a couple of messages last week being like, dude, that 20 to 30% utilization rate is bullshit. It's lower than that. And so it's funny. So you got this world where we're gravitating towards almost a trillion dollars of spend on a thing, but with such a low utilization. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:38:07) - I just think that's wild, man. I think it's wild. But I do think that it creates a huge opportunity, right? Because of everything that me and you were kind of talking about right now, for the right types of business leaders and the right types of individuals that are going to actually take the time to be thoughtful around which tools are going to actually aid their scale, their scaling efforts, or which tools might actually have the most economical benefits. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:38:29) - And then lastly, just in CX and EX, brother, there's so many companies out there that don't take the time to think about.

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:38:36) - as I make the investment in these tools, will these be the tools that make my customers happy? And will they be the tools that make my employees happy? And I'm sorry to always be pounding this drum, but like, you want world-class CX, you've got to start with employee experience. You've got to start with building your world-class CX, right? The people that you're going to build and the people that you're going to coach and the people that you're going to support are going to be the guys and girls that are taking care of your customers anyway. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:38:57) - So it all goes aligned with each other. Lloyd, I'd love to dive into the third pillar, process. And I love that you already started bringing us there, round out some of the things that you're thinking about process. You mentioned playbooks and you mentioned your spreadsheet example of like, if everybody can build process into a spreadsheet, then everyone would be a billionaire. But I'd love for you to go a little bit deeper on process. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:39:18) - If there's been one or two things across your journey that you think is just paramount for any business founder, any business leader, any business executive leadership team to think about as it relates to process, what would be the one or two key points of wisdom that you would give us? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:39:33) - Definitely. You know what's interesting? I love what you said about employees, right? Because employees create processes, employees build companies, not the other way around. And one of the key things is the job of a leader is to build, inspire and motivate a team to deliver. Deliver is the lagging indicators. If you treat people with love and help them grow, they'll treat your business with love and your business will grow, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:39:56) - And so a key element there is inspiring people through your communication, communicating the vision and clearly articulating it to inspire, excite and motivate people because people who do that will move mountains for you and it's your job to do that day in, day out and not one and done kind of thing. And so a big part of the process is one, are you bringing on people who are excited about this customer base, this problem set, are excited about giving and helping customers. I think that is a big one. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:40:26) - The next one is the alignment on values like I talked about early on. Then the other thing is understanding the end-to-end delivery mechanism, right? So in products, we have this whole thing about user journey and user flow. So you talked a bunch about customer journey, which is like, how do they get from A to B? So customer journey would be, for Uber would be something like, I need to order an Uber, I pull up the app, I put my location and the Uber comes and takes me to my destination. So that is the user journey. But what is the user flow? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:41:00) - The user flow is, I pull up the app, I input my address, I input the two location, then I hit like screen by screen, what is the entire end-to-end user flow? I think that is really, really important in terms of mapping the process, right? So if you're delivering any service, any outcome, any CS offering, a customer wants an outcome and their outcome is, let's say they get X. And what happens? What is the emotional benefit when they get X? Is delight, some sort of delight. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:41:39) - So write those down and then map out every step along the way for them getting that. And that's how you create a process in my mind, by mapping out the user flow end-to-end. Because when you have that, it's a calm conversation also, because you can validate it in the product when you build it out, or using the tooling that, hey, customer goes through this, then this step, then the other step, and this is the delighted state. This is what it looks like. And so your job is to map out the entire process. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:42:10) - And what you also will do through that process is you learn, hey, what can I eliminate completely? Like it's like double, triple touches. Like these things shouldn't be there in the user flow, because it's a redundant step, or it's unnecessary, and it's creating friction. So it should all come from the point of customer delight and customer love. Like how do you get the customer maximum delight for the least amount of work, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:42:39) - And so mapping the process is all about understanding that user flow and removing redundant steps, unwanted steps, wasted steps in there. And then you're like, okay, what do I eliminate? What can I delegate to the right person? And then what can I digitize by way of automation? That's how I built Playbooks, even for traction, even at Boast is what we did. And that's early in my career, I think my second job was being at the intersection of sales and product in a supply chain software company. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:43:10) - And my job was selling or being a part of selling these multi-hundred thousand dollar deals to Tiffany, Armani, Simon & Schuster, et cetera. And it was basically digitizing or streamlining the warehouse so they can pick pack more orders faster for the best rate. And so it was all about like walking their floor and understanding every step in the user flow and writing down how long each step takes. So then you can design the right process and then insert the right technology to get the customer the best outcome. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:43:49) - I know it sounds crazy, but what you just said, that is literally the art of it, right? It's putting yourself in that user or that customer shoes. It's understanding all the intricacies that they're going through with the good, the bad, the ugly. There's one other layer I wanna add on here, Lloyd, too, man, which is like.

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:44:06) - It's wild how often when we're doing journey mapping with teams, you start to see the areas of overlap or stepping on toes internally, meaning you'll see areas where I know we all look at good sales and customer success argument. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:44:19) - Who doesn't like those? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:44:20) - Those are always fun to witness and observe. But you'll literally see areas where the lines in the sands are muddy, meaning sales will be like, wait a minute, onboarding, I thought CS picks it up at that point. Then CS is going, no, you don't have a contract signed yet. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:44:36) - What are you talking about? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:44:36) - We don't pick it up. Even just seeing some of these areas of overlap or consternation internally, those become easy low-hanging fruit areas to go smooth. From an operational smoothing perspective, those become easy areas to create some extra definitions, create some updated expectations, create clarity around who the hell owns what. Then frankly, as leaders of these companies, guys, that's up to us. That's up to us to identify that. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:44:59) - That's up to us to call that out, or that's up to us to call out what the new expectation needs to look like so that we can actually give an incredible experience for that user flow or for that customer journey. I love it there. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:45:11) - That's why I like starting with the user flow. When you write down the user flow, every little step they need to do, and don't miss anything, even the unwanted steps like if they have to go drink water in between getting to the next step in their flow to getting to the lightest state, write it down. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:45:29) - That counts, yeah. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:45:31) - Every little thing counts. If they have to go and switch on the light bulb, write that down. Write down how long each step takes, then write down who are all the actors involved, what are all the tasks involved, what are all the actions involved, and then you can figure out, okay, what are unwanted steps, what we can combine, what we can remove completely, and how to deliver the delighted states. The actors involved are a big part of it, because then you know who's doing what, and you're not stepping on each other's toes. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:46:01) - Yep, 100 percent, man. Lloyd, I'd love to dive into the fourth and final pillar of feedback. Across your journey, man, give us a couple of ideas. For number one, what have been some of the best ways that you've been able to collect and act upon customer or user feedback? Then I want you to answer this in a two-way. Then the second part is, what are some of the best ways you've been able to leverage your employee feedback and your team's feedback to be able to allow you to grow, boast, and to be able to find new customers and new users? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:46:33) - I'd love for you to spend a minute or two talking about feedback. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:46:37) - Yeah, definitely. So for me, the best way to get feedback, I like the surveys and all of that, nothing against them, the ENPS survey, the NPS survey. What I find though, man, is a lot of these surveys are lagging indicators. So I'll give you an example. If you do an NPS survey with a customer, every six months or once a year, what happens is you've missed out on the day-to-day feedback on their usage data. If a customer churns and told you, we churned because we didn't like the product, you missed out on checking in with them through the year. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:47:15) - The leading indicator of churn is engagement. If they don't get the value from your product and they don't use it, they will churn. The leading indicator of engagement is onboarding. If they're not onboarded well, they won't see the time to value and they won't engage in the product. If they're not engaged, they're not going to be a retained user. And so that's the same way I like getting feedback is, yes, the NPS and ENPS is very important, but there's no substitute for walking the halls, right? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:47:43) - In product language, walking the halls means, do you have telemetry in your product so you can see usage patterns? You see they're using the product for the intended use case. You see where they're facing trouble. If you designed a product or a feature that is a core part of the flow, it's a core action and they're not using it, there's a problem. You don't have to wait six months for ENPS. You better believe if your customers are not using...

Lloyed Lobo (00:48:12) - your product for the core action that they signed up for, even if they paid an annual contract, their churn rate is going to be very high, right? So I like engaging with like customers beforehand, when they sign up, reach out and ask, hey, like, you know, thanks for signing up. Could you tell me what would success look like for you? I'm the founder, here's my email, schedule a time. So do that frequently. If they're not using, just reach out saying, hey, I saw you signed up, did you stop using or you're not using this feature? Could we get on a call? 

Lloyed Lobo (00:48:42) - I love enabling that side of things, having early conversations and that helps make the product smoother. And the same thing with employees, man. If they're unhappy, your ENPS is going to be bad. You don't need an ENPS score once a year to figure out your culture sucks, right? You can just talk to people and if they're not transparent with you or they're just nodding their head, they're not engaged. Engagement is the leading indicator of retention and excitement and growth. And people are not engaged, disengaged people you'll see right away. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:49:16) - And so to me, feedback is great. The earlier you get, the better. And now you can't just ask people for feedback, give me feedback, give me feedback, but you can just show empathy and spend time with them. And without asking, you'll get the feedback you need. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:49:33) - I love it, man. I think that's awesome. Lloyd, this has been absolutely fantastic. Before I let you go, brother, can you let the CX Nation know about your new book, man? We're looking right behind you guys for folks that are watching on video right now. Lloyd's got From Grassroots to Greatness right behind him. He's got the book in his hand right now. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:49:47) - Lloyd, spend a minute talking about the book, man, and let people know where they can find out more about you, more about the book, and where they can find out all the awesome stuff that you guys are working on. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:49:55) - Definitely. So the book's gonna be on fromgrassrootstogreatness.com or you can look on Amazon. I put the digital for 99 cents so that it's accessible to everyone. I put it up for free, but then I have to rely on spreading it myself. If it's for 99 cents, people can leave a verified review that spreads it. The hardcover is collectible if you wanna give it as a gift. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:50:15) - It's all about mastering the principles of building community and people-to-people connections to skyrocket your business, building customer communities, building product communities, building evangelism. And what I've done is talked to around 1,000 people or so, looked into the guts of some of the most iconic brands, and re-watched all of our content on our channels and some of our conferences over the last seven years. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:50:42) - And what's really interesting is I found a lot of commonality but to close this out, I'll say, what I found is that every obscure small idea that eventually became a global phenomenon from Christianity to CrossFit went through the exact four stages. And I've tried to pull back the onion or peel back the onion and distill those four stages into 13 rules to build iconic brands with community-led growth. But one of the things is those four stages at a high level are people listen to you or buy your product or service, you have an audience. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:51:21) - You bring that audience together to interact with one another, it becomes a community. When that community comes together to create impact towards a purpose that's a lot greater than your product or your profit, it becomes a movement. And when that movement has undying faith in its purpose through rituals, sustained rituals over time, it becomes a cult or a religion. If you build a community, you won't become a commodity. So that's why I wrote the book. I wrote the book. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:51:50) - I love it, man, that's awesome. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:51:52) - The quick reason of why I wrote the book is all my life, I talked about the journey from the slums to building a successful company and writing the book. The only time in my life I was depressed was when I left the day-to-day of my company. And I felt that I lost my tribe and I started running around from place to place trying to meet the people and connect with them. And it was a fitness community that brought me from a face plant to health, good health. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:52:19) - And as I looked back and reflected on my journey, I said, dude, every time that I had nothing, I was happy. And then I came into a lot of money and I got depressed because I lost my community. And that's when my soul searching started to happen. I'm like, let's look at the most enduring brands. Let's see if this is actually a thing that others face as well. And I found this commonality over and over again. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:52:41) - Now, both got to build a journey to community, not a movement, but a lot of companies like Mr. Beast or Harley Davidson, they've built movements and calls. So we talk all about that centered around the human to human connection. If you treat people with love and help them grow, they'll treat your business with love and your business will grow because ultimately yesterday's innovation will always become tomorrow's commodity. But if you build a community, you won't become a commodity. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:53:06) - I love it, man. Lloyd Lobo, thank you so much for coming on the CX Chronicles podcast, sharing your story, sharing your wisdom. It's been an absolute pleasure, brother. 

Lloyed Lobo (00:53:14) - Thank you so much, man.