Dr. Relly Nadler: We are always looking for some tools and tips to add to your toolbox that will be beneficial for you. Along those lines, we always have great guests.
Steve Cunningham is with us today. We are going to talk to him about entrepreneurial learning and leadership. He’s got an interesting background, but he also has a platform, www.readitfor.me. We will talk more about it.
And then he also has a new product coming out. We will get into all that and I’ll give you his bio and some of his background so that you can take some of these tools and add them to your toolbox.
Let me say a little bit about Steve and then we will bring him on.
Steve Cunningham has an interesting background. He is the founder of www.ReadItfor.me; we will get a little bit more about that. It’s the world’s best business and personal books and how they get them into a twelve-minute video and you can also have a transcript. So, all these key books – and I’m going to be asking about which books that he has been influenced the most by.
He has also created www.Growitfor.me, which we will get a chance to talk about.
So, a little bit about the background, Steve loves being an entrepreneur. We will get a little bit more information about that.
In his bio, he talked about how he started selling baseball cards and hockey trading cards in grade four.
One of his past entrepreneurial efforts was a digital marketing company called Three30 that would help clients make more money using a blend of content marketing, a deep understanding of human behavior, and the scientific method.
He has also gone to law school and practiced law for, as he said – we will hear a little bit more about that – one full week. And now here we are nine years later, still recovering from that.
He also has a background of being a guitarist and songwriter.
So, Steve, welcome to the show.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Yeah, so, we’ve talked over the years, me and Cathy. I’ve seen your www.readitfor.me grow and have also been a lifetime member and have passed on that.
As we get into this, just a little bit of history – who have been some of the key influencers, and leaders that have made you who you are today?
Steve Cunningham: That’s a great question. I think, certainly, a lot of people have played an important role in where I am today.
Probably starting with my father who as a child kind of instilled a growth mindset in me. I still remember sitting in our basement breaking open the personal development tapes. That’s how long ago that was. I was with him as he was working on himself, I was just kind of seeing that and emulating that. He was gracious enough to let me be a part of that as I was growing up.
As I’ve gotten into the entrepreneurial world, I’ve had so many folks that have been influencers in my life. One of them that has probably had the biggest impact on my life was a gentleman by the name of Bram Weston. He was here in San Antonio which is where I am right now, just guiding me as an entrepreneur, giving me support, and kind of seeing how he has built his business over the years. Seeing how he has approached his entrepreneurial journey has been a huge impact on me.
I could probably talk for hours about the folks that were influences on me but those are two of them.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Okay.
So, as a psychologist and I know about these kinds of defining moments, especially in our family. I missed a little bit of what you said that your dad did. He opened up something around you? I didn’t get what he opened up when you were there.
Steve Cunningham: Yeah. We were sitting in the basement and we would listen to personal development tapes. He would crack open the newest set of tapes that he had purchased, and we would go through them together. I have lots of fond memories of that.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Oh, that’s great. Do you remember who it was, that you listened to?
Steve Cunningham: Yeah. The one that comes to mind most was Tony Robbins. I forget exactly which set it was. I can still hear the package opening and the tape going into the cassette player and all that good stuff.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Oh, that’s great. I’m sure I’ve listened to those. I’m sure many of our listeners have listened to those. But being able to do that with your dad, that’s really special. And it sounds like quite the imprint.
So, then, tell us a little bit more about your background. It sounds like from law school and anything you’d like to say about that. Where this brings you to, where you are today with www.readitfor.me.
Steve Cunningham: Yeah. My background in law, which you pointed out I had an illustrious career of exactly one week. If you know any lawyers or people who have gone to law school, they’ll tell you that law school is about three years of reading hundreds of pages of case law every night, taking studious notes, and summarizing the information, so that when you go back to class the next day you are not embarrassed in front of all of your friends.
So, I got very good over my span of law school of just summarizing a lot of information very quickly. As I graduated from law school and had my illustrious one-week law career, which I believe is still a world record, I ended up joining my father’s business at the time. Because I got a job between my second and third year of law school at a law firm and I realized at that point, although I loved learning about the law, the practice of it seemed to as I projected myself into the future something that would be a kin to sticking hot pokers in my eyes for the rest of my life.
So, I decided I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life and got out and joined my family’s, my dad’s, at that time, small finance company. I decided I didn’t want to do that for a living, so I started a marketing agency. It was around the time where social media was starting to become a big thing, but nobody had been using it yet for business.
Because I had about three thousand Twitter followers at the time, which at that time was a lot, it gave me the ability to be received as “social media expert.” I got to go around giving keynotes at conferences and speaking to groups of CEOs teaching them how to use social media to get some interesting content out into the world, how that can drive people back to your websites so that you can get them on an email list and then do more business with them.
Kind of like what everybody understands as content marketing today. What I learned quickly, although that was a very good way for me to get in front of the folks that I wanted to do business with, because it was so new nobody wanted to be the first one to cut a big check to invest in it. So, we thought we are going to have to create our own social media case study so we can show them here’s exactly how we did it and here’s how we can do it for you.
So, that’s exactly what we did. I noticed that when I went to speak to a lot of the folks that I was attempting to do business with; CEOs, chief marketing officers, and so on, they would have a stack of books on their desk. I would walk in and I would say – because I had invariably read one or two or three of them – I would try to reach some rapport and say, “What did you think about this idea from that book or that idea from this book?”
Eventually, they would all sheepishly admit that they hadn’t had the time to read that book.
So, that created, in me, the spark of I know what we can do for our social media case study. I started turning my notes that I had been creating as I was reading all these business books to try to get up to speed on how to run a business because I came from one week of law school. They don’t teach you how to run a business in law school.
That’s what we did. That was kind of the creation point of www.readitfor.me was designed to be a content marketing strategy for my marketing business at the time.
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