Remote Entrepreneurship: Navigating the Challenges and Advantages with Robert Glazer

Episode Transcription

Glenn Harper [00:00:00]:

Welcome everybody to another edition of empowering entrepreneurs. I’m Glenn Harper.

Julie Smith [00:00:03]:

Julie Smith.

Glenn Harper [00:00:04]:

Julie, what you got? You got an off brand coffee today.

Julie Smith [00:00:07]:

I knew you were gonna ask So I don’t know for our fellow listeners, but sheets, I had to get gas this morning. And so I their coffee’s not bad.

Glenn Harper [00:00:15]:

You’re cheating on Starbucks. That’s I know.

Julie Smith [00:00:17]:

I’m gonna get a lot of backlash for that.

Glenn Harper [00:00:19]:

It’s gonna ruin the whole endorsement contract. Alright. Well, we’ve got a special treat for you today. We’ve got, Robert Glazer has put the b in busy. Rob found a way to teach companies, to teach leaders, not workers. He’s an entrepreneur who has decided that writing books and public speaking is the best way to feed his ADD. His primary business is Acceleration Partners, a worldwide marketing agency. He publishes he also publishes Friday Ford, a weekly newsletter that has some 200,000 readers look forward to every week. and authored a few books just for fun, such as Elevate and Friday Forward. He enjoys getting up on stage and speaking to people who wanna grow. Of course, he loves to share his story and provide inspiration to others to get out of their own way and be the best they can be. Thanks Rob for being on our show.

Robert Glazer [00:01:04]:

And, like, that’s the first time I’ve heard the ADD intro used. I don’t know where you got it from, but it’s true. so if that’s not part of the standard bio

Glenn Harper [00:01:11]:

— Right. Well, we figured it’s

Robert Glazer [00:01:13]:

in your homework. Yes.

Glenn Harper [00:01:15]:

Right. Any entrepreneur has it in a really bad case. And and by looking through, you know, like, oh, yeah. He’s re he fits in right with us.

Julie Smith [00:01:20]:

Yeah. Glenn likes to write your own by in in case you haven’t picked up on that. It’s it’s always something a little little off the path that was maybe not provided online.

Robert Glazer [00:01:30]:

Yes. I I I like that against it’s get boring with the,

Glenn Harper [00:01:33]:

you know,

Robert Glazer [00:01:34]:

reading the same one. Yes. Horrible.

Glenn Harper [00:01:36]:

Well, I tell you, you know, I just have a few warm up questions to try to get you know a little bit and get things going on and and in my extensive research arm at, at empowering entrepreneurs, I I’ve got these few questions, and I’m I’m hopeful that you can figure them out me, but

Julie Smith [00:01:51]:

He’s sweating right now.

Glenn Harper [00:01:52]:

Who is? Me? No. No. No. Rob’s golden. He’s he’s others for living. Good. I’m trying to figure out is acceleration partners agency. Is that, like, Sterling Cooper at agency from admin? Is it the same type of thing?

Robert Glazer [00:02:03]:

No. That would be much more interesting. but acceleration partners were kind of a big fish in this mall Pond. we focus in this niche called affiliate and partner marketing. So helping brands build these large digitized partnerships where instead of getting paid for an oppression or a click, the partner kinda signs up and using technology, they are paid for all the leads they send or the sales they send, and a real time basis. And so sometimes it’s managing 100 or 1000 of of partners. So we’ve we’ve really become kind of the biggest firm in the world that does this agency. We have about almost 325 people in, I think, 7 or 8 different countries managing some of the largest programs in the world.

Glenn Harper [00:02:43]:

So you’re not drinking Scotch all afternoon is what you’re saying?

Robert Glazer [00:02:46]:

No. No. Okay. No triple martini lunches. you know, sadly, since COVID, all of our clients are are probably remote too. So can’t even get them to go out to dinner anymore?

Glenn Harper [00:02:56]:

Oh, wow. Well, you know, it’s, a funny thing too is a try to do a little research and find out where you’re from and and, you’re very elusive on that. And I’m I’m gonna guess the peak of Kansas, but I might be off a little bit. Is that where you’re from originally?

Robert Glazer [00:03:09]:

I’m elusive and where I’m from. Google would I’m I’m from Boston.

Glenn Harper [00:03:13]:

Yeah. Well, it’s Brookline, really. Is that true? Yes.

Robert Glazer [00:03:16]:

Brookline. Yeah.

Glenn Harper [00:03:16]:

And And so, again, it’s always fun to see where people come from and how they get where they get and what’s going on. And, I guess you’re based out in need of Massachusetts, right, at this point. And —

Robert Glazer [00:03:27]:

Yeah. I moved from Brookline to Newton to Needham. Those were all concentric towns, so I have not made it very far. I had a brief stint in Arlington Virginia. but then my wife and I are both from from Boston area.

Glenn Harper [00:03:39]:

Yeah. We call those the West Virginia move. You just move next door through everything over the fence, and there you are. So that’s where you’re at. And I I I’m wondering, are you close to the Needham town forest? you know, rumor has it that, Robinhood spent some time there hiding out from the red coats. Are you near that forest?

Robert Glazer [00:03:54]:

I am near that. I’ve come out and biking there several times.

Glenn Harper [00:03:57]:

Sweet. It’s cool when you get a forest in the middle of a suburb when they call it that. I thought that was unique.

Robert Glazer [00:04:02]:

Yeah.

Glenn Harper [00:04:04]:

so it looks like you love the, the working remotely space, and you’re a big advocate of that. And from there, as I can tell, you mostly mostly work remotely from either the mountains or the beach somewhere. Is that is that true, or is that just vacations?

Robert Glazer [00:04:19]:

that’s just vacations, more of a more of a mountain than a beach guy. Yeah. We we’ve been fully remote for, almost 13, 14 years. It it started just from a talent issue in the US, and we used to keep it kinda hidden from our clients because we’re working for all these big clients as before Zoom, and it was just kinda weird at the time. And it wasn’t about I’ve never been kind of the, you know, remote for remote. There were people I had to get asked to speak at conferences, and this is before COVID around kind of these company all about remote. We were kind of about flexibility and accountability and, and it was a niche industry and needing talent. And we thought we’d grow out of it, but then people really liked it. We had a lot of parents of young kids, and they’d like because actually we we get together a lot. We do things together, but, getting talent was hard. if we just set up in, in our industry, as I said, kinda big fish and small pond, one city, we would not have there wouldn’t have been enough people with experience, what we do. So our culture was really built around this accountability and flexibility. I think we knew how to do this before COVID. And COVID hits and now suddenly all, you know, I’m being asked to speak about this and talk about this. And I think a lot of companies you know, rush to hire people and said, oh, you can work from home, but they just really didn’t build their systems or culture around that. And a lot of that’s kind of falling apart now. so in some ways, like, I’m happy about that because I think we had kind of a unique advantage and then after COVID, everyone would just say anything to get anyone to come work for them. And now I think we’re starting to sort out, like, who’s serious about this, who’s is very different having your entire team remote, having specific events designed around that, having things where the team gets together, having everyone communicate on the same page, or having an entire team in San Francisco and someone who’s remote in Pennsylvania kinda joining in on Zoom on in office meetings. Like, I I don’t think people thought through a little bit what that dynamic might look like in some of these cases.

Glenn Harper [00:06:10]:

Yeah. It’s funny. You know, you’re a pioneer in before was even trendy and cool. So when it became cool, you’re like, yeah. I already got this. This is easy. So that’s kind of exciting.

Robert Glazer [00:06:19]:

It’s good to warn people that it wasn’t not all remote was the same. I think, again, during the great resignation craziness, it didn’t matter what you said to anyone, but I mean, we’re seeing a lot of that shake out right now. And the people who really don’t wanna do it or weren’t committed to it now are kinda telling people they have to come back to the office and changed their mind. Again, we always had an environment that was if you are accountable, you can get the flexibility. A lot of remote work has no accountability these days, or people have said to me, hey. We’ve got Julie on our team. And Julie, like, doesn’t wanna come to anything or do anything and just wants to kinda sit home alone and do her work and like, well, what kind of culture do you want? Like, is that is that Are are you making that permissible or not permissible? Like, this is this is where lead leaders need to lead. You need to step up and decide, like, what what it is that you want and not be kind of a wuss around it. I think I think so many leaders have been afraid about us upsetting one contingent of their employees. by sort of declaring what they’re doing, that they have all of them confused as to what the actual long term solution is.

Glenn Harper [00:07:20]:

Yeah. It’s weird that these, the big thing is all these, remote workers are doing the co employment thing. Right? They’re working for 2 different companies around 2 salaries and saying they’re working. and, it’s just hard to navigate that. So I think if you bring and bring people in every once in a while to the real office or meet up, I think you can eliminate some of things. Right? And that’s that’s the whole culture thing you’re talking about. Your, your college journey, you spent some time at the University of Pennsylvania where you got your BS and business along with industrial psychology, which is an interesting one on its own. But, you know, why didn’t you suit choose like a solid Big Ten School like Penn State?

Robert Glazer [00:07:57]:

I, you know, it’s interesting. I haven’t done all these college tours and stuff now with my kids. Like, you just didn’t do that back then. And there were less flights. There wasn’t the So you kinda you do with what you what what you know, and I had a a bunch of family that had gone to Penn and kinda grew up knowing that school and wanted the city. So, that was a that was a great experience. But, yeah, if I could go back and do it again, I would say having been in service businesses now for most of my career, psychology stuff has been much more useful than the business stuff.

Glenn Harper [00:08:25]:

Crazy. And that who knew?

Robert Glazer [00:08:27]:

Generally. Yeah.

Glenn Harper [00:08:28]:

Did you do any sculling on the, school called river at all? while you’re at University of Penn?

Robert Glazer [00:08:33]:

I watched it, but I I I did not.

Glenn Harper [00:08:35]:

I was you hear about that. You see that movie. Just wonder who actually gets to do that. I just didn’t know if you’re that guy.

Robert Glazer [00:08:41]:

Those are expensive boats.

Glenn Harper [00:08:42]:

Oh, boy. Oh, boy. We just go borrow 1. They don’t care. They don’t care. Exactly. So, you know, part of this thing is trying to figure out you know, for our listeners is is the entrepreneurial journey. What what does that look like? How does one get started? And, you know, when I looked when I stalked you a little bit, you only hit your LinkedIn only has 20 work experiences, which is not a lot. Right? I’m kidding, of course, but You know, how does one decide? How did you decide that you wanted to be an entrepreneur? Was it when you grew up that way? Is it once you went to college? Is it after you had a few you know, positions and you’re like, wait a minute. I can do this better myself. When did that resonate with you?

Robert Glazer [00:09:19]:

I think I so I was always entrepreneur. creative entrepreneur. I wanted to do it my way. I also I had a not great paradoxical thing of I had sort of a low risk tolerance. And so while I was very passionate I wanted to do things, I didn’t really kinda, you know, take that risk. And then eventually, I I remember talking to a friend of mine, and he wanted me to move to San Francisco to work at this company. I had been working with them on something. And he said, you know, if you don’t take this job, you’re basically gonna become unemployable. And and and he didn’t he goes, this could be the last job you have. And and he didn’t mean that, like, in a negative way. He’s just like, I just don’t see you working for other people much longer. And I think I actually reached a point of frustration with other people and and and sort of flipped. And I was like, look. I I feel more comfortable being in charge of my own career and and and future and and particularly the last experience I had had, which was helping 2 other founders build a business and and then sort of setting up a clear divide between where the founders and the other two people on the executive team are are not. I I was good at growing thing. I was good at building things. so I ended up starting a company where we did that for other companies, but we also did it for ourselves because we were our own brand. You know, we worked with all these cool growth companies, but without all the chaos and stuff that I, you know, saw and sue. So I I just hit a breaking point. And once I that switch flipped, there was absolutely no, going back. I I do think it’s funny how, you know, I think the advice of You know, get up, get a good safe job, all this stuff. I I I’m not sure that there’s any safe job today where you have no control over it. And That’s not just the companies. I mean, think about the industry changes, the speed of change, the supply chain, the this, the that. And so for some people, like, look, I’d rather I I I much rather be, in charge of this, but, it’s harder than it looks. Like, look, there are a lot of people particularly kinda you know, gen y, gen z who they’ve gotta, you know, I I always like the phrase there’s no heckling in the play, like, so you invite people up. You know, they’ve got an opinion on everything, and as they should do it and you then you look at their man. They’ve got 9, 1 year jobs, and it’s like, look, it’s, I mean, it’s it’s harder than it looks. Like, come come try. Come come make these decisions. It’s not it’s not for it’s not for everyone.

Glenn Harper [00:11:40]:

What what age were you when you decided that, hey. I’m I’m it’s time to tap out and do my own thing.

Robert Glazer [00:11:47]:

I was twenty seven years old with a six month old. Again, back to the adage of there’s no — Perfect time.

Glenn Harper [00:11:52]:

Robert Glazer [00:11:53]:

no good time. There’s no good There’s no good time to have a kid. There’s no good time to get married. There’s no good time for tragedies to happen. It’s never I mean, those are all excuses we can use and perpetuity.

Glenn Harper [00:12:03]:

Well, it’s not only it’s never a good time, but if you wait till you have enough money to get married to have kids or start a business, you’ll never do that either. So it’s one of those things you just gotta go. Did you

Robert Glazer [00:12:11]:

either have to have the passion or or, again, the switch flips and you’re like, look, I it it was boring to me to get the same paycheck. I mean, I like the notion of work hard, see the results, bigger checks come in the mail. that’s not for everyone, though. And I think there are I think there are intrepreneurs and there are entrepreneurs, and there’s a big difference. Right? and, an entrepreneur is that person at the company who’s really good at doing the new things, taking it on. Sometimes they come through an acquisition or otherwise, but the difference is, like, they wanna do that from the risk and security. Like, they like having the the the, you know, they don’t like jumping out of the plane, you know, without with the engines, you know, not working fully, and they like having the backpack and the thing. the entrepreneur, like, just that is so unenticing to them at some point that they would rather jump out of the plane without the parachute figure out the engine as they’re going to it. And I think you really need to figure out which kind you are because some people, and, again, the other big difference I found is the true entrepreneurs, like, look. I I think we’re gonna go to x, but, like, I don’t know how it’s gonna go left. It’s gonna go right. You’ve seen this thing of the path, like, where you start, and then there’s the end. And then it, you know, it looks like this. Some of the people I know that are kind of fake entrepreneur, they just they won’t start the thing until they feel that they can map out every possible step and how it’s gonna go in the 3 or 4 years, and you’re just like, that’s not gonna happen. None of the it’s not it’s not gonna look at that. So you press probably not in your DNA if you’re not willing to even start until you’ve mapped out exactly how everything’s gonna go because it’s not gonna go like that, and it’s actually more about how you respond when doesn’t.

Glenn Harper [00:13:52]:

You know what? Go ahead.

Julie Smith [00:13:53]:

So we talk a lot about the peaks and valleys and — Yeah. Yeah.

Glenn Harper [00:13:57]:

Julie Smith [00:13:57]:

being an entrepreneur. And you kinda

Glenn Harper [00:13:58]:

spoke You

Robert Glazer [00:13:59]:

know the chart I’m talking about, like, there’s like a and a guy, and then yeah.

Julie Smith [00:14:03]:

You kinda have to bottom all bloody and try and just to to get back up. But so as you, you’ve obviously went through that multiple times. What do you think? Do you think you learn more in the peaks or the valleys? And then as you answer that, what is the Biggest thing that you’ve been able to kind of learn and grow and evolve from as you’ve been through your journey in regards to those peaks and valleys.

Robert Glazer [00:14:27]:

Yeah. I, I think you definitely learn more from the valleys. Right? And oftentimes, the peaks are just market stuff and things that are frothy and you think you’re brilliant and but everyone’s got unlimited venture capital spend and needs to spend it today. and then you see a lot of people quit in the valley. I mean, one of the things for me in the last couple years I’ve written about this and talked about this is like, I think it’s fine if it it was in a wake up moment for you to change industries or change companies because you didn’t like the people. You didn’t like what you were doing. But a lot of people just wanna change because it was hard, and they wanted that kind of hardness to be wiped out. Like, that’s not really a thing. I’ve seen a lot of people switch jobs and be equally as unhappy, you know, in the new one, but you can’t just Sometimes things are hard, and it’s about getting through it. And if you ever listen to how I built this or all this show, you, these are where everyone else would have quit. you know, at their kind of darkest, hardest, moment. So I I think, look, what you’ve kinda find out is whether you’re whether you’re really interested in the people in the journey and you’re willing to see it way through. If you’re willing to quit at the, first sign of any trouble, then it’s not something you’re really interested in. I think what I’ve learned through the valleys is about who you wanna be in the Foxhole with. I think, you know, when I was in my twenties thirties and you’re thinking about what company you wanna work with or whatever. It was about, oh, they’re doing something cool or they’re doing something cool. Getting your thirties and forties, I think you start to realize, like, who? Like, the who is much more important You’re gonna have these ups and downs. When you’re in the trenches, you know, people that, you know, you see people turn, people apply a little pressure, you see who they are. And you kinda like who are the types of people I wanna work with, and who do I wanna be in the foxhole with? So that’s what I kinda learn every time on the way down. Like, I I’m either super impressed with people, or I see that, you know, this person’s great riding the waves, but as soon as you apply a little bit of pressure, they totally fall apart. That’s not someone who I wanna be on a kinda long term journey with.

Glenn Harper [00:16:33]:

Yeah. It’s it’s funny. The, the entrepreneurial mindset of the reason we choose this is because it’s hard. Like, we don’t we don’t if we’re not challenged, we feel like we’re wasting our time and wasting our skill set. Right? If you just go to work and do what you do and you’re not making an impact, you’re just putting in your time, how can that be rewarding? We again, the the the purpose of this podcast is is obviously to inspire entrepreneurs to kinda just keep going, right, if if there’s a a path to it because it is hard. And we’re just programmed. If we like waking up negative and we have to make that happen for the day, it’s very rewarding. And to wake up and just show up somewhere, it just doesn’t seem to get it done. So, again, most entrepreneurs yourself were psychos. I mean, who does that? Who chooses for a living. When you can just go have a nice job and have a beer on the weekend and relax, we we just don’t do that. Right? So in entrepreneurship, once you know that about yourself, just recognize you gotta just embrace it. Don’t fight it. Right? Just embrace it.

Robert Glazer [00:17:30]:

Prop problem solvers. And look, most businesses, it’s a struggle right now, but they’re having talk to so many other leaders. What they found is, like, you’re coming off 5 or 10 years in some cases of just adding. And very frankly, products and people and things and whatever. Probably haven’t worked for a while, but no one had the time to really look into it. And now they’re looking into it now. And I I so many companies are have stopped doing things and actually have seen addition from subtraction, where they’re just kinda again, look, like, it’s a moment to say, I I mean, I’m fortunate now where you think my resource allocation and all this stuff. And am I doing something that, you know, doesn’t doesn’t really, work? so I I I I’ve seen a lot of people recalibrating their teams, their business models, and things. You know, there’s think it was Buffett or Munger. I never can tell said when you when the water goes out, you see who’s not wearing their bathing suit. And I always thought that was a good That’s a great analogy.

Glenn Harper [00:18:26]:

That’s a good one.

Julie Smith [00:18:27]:

So as you went through these Peaks And Valleys and you talk about, you know, what what you believe you’ve learned the most. You’re Like, who do you want on your team? Who do you want beside you? At what point in your journey did you decide to build a team? Was that really early on, or did it take some time for you to to get there?

Robert Glazer [00:18:44]:

No. That was an inflection point of growing really fast. hiring lots of people to do the work, being totally burnt out, doing everything. And I think sometimes you gotta I I was like, I just I I it was a fork. Like, I couldn’t do it anymore. So, you know, the la I started giving up things. I think the last thing I get so funny now I can’t remember. I mean, it’s usually finance. Like, I think that’s the hardest one. Like, I would send the invoices every month. It’s really hard to give that away. But once you start doing that, then you’re like, kinda start giving away everything. Like, like, how do I find someone smarter at each of these things? I think, to me, the entrepreneur is often. I they come from different disciplines. Right? They can come from finance or maybe not finance usually, but they come from sales a lot of times. They come from you know, operating or different things or product development. but to me, they’re a little bit of the executive producer. Right? They’re they’re not rated any of those things individually. They’re very good at pulling it all together, seeing the story, rallying, getting the financing, getting the direct getting the actors, you know, that that’s that’s what they’re good at. And so being put in a position to do that. In fact, I think a lot of entrepreneurs, I’ve I’ve I’ve wrote an article on this, which updated recently. They take the CEO title early on, and I wouldn’t do that. First of all, you should not call yourself CEO when you don’t have an executive team. You could be president but CEO means, you know, chief executive officer. I actually didn’t take the title until we were over a hundred people. I was general manager. And then we had other general managers, and it was, like, very confusing to people. but you should think about, like, what what do you like to do if you like to sell then maybe you should sell. If you like to market, you should market. Bring someone in who’s gonna manage a team and lead a group of executives because that’s the role of a CEO. And frankly, a lot of entrepreneurs don’t wanna do it, but they’re too much ego to to not do it.

Glenn Harper [00:20:36]:

Is there a You know, this is always a tough one because there’s no you know, as an entrepreneur, we never do the f word. We never, you know, f a i l. We never we never, but we pivot and change a I but and we never really regret what we’ve done, but is there something in the past where you’re like, man, if I had just done that sooner, My whole trajectory would have probably been different. It not better or worse, but just in a different direction that probably would have been better as a whole for everything, you know, you can’t change who you are and how you got there. But is there one thing you’re like, if I had to gave up that CFO role quicker, right, would that have changed something for you or empower somebody on your team. Do you have a an moment or like, man, if I could just change that, that would have been really cool.

Robert Glazer [00:21:21]:

It, it’s more of a theme. If I just made harder decisions earlier, I think it would have been almost better in every case. I think We try to convince ourselves that this person will work and it’ll get better. This will be okay. And we try to avoid a hard conversation. And all we create is a harder conversation

Glenn Harper [00:21:40]:

3

Robert Glazer [00:21:41]:

months later. I was saying to someone yesterday who was asking for advice around this. I said, look, this is what happens. He has a you know, this person was in a relationship. I’m like, you’re in a relationship. Right? So when when you when you don’t have the conversation and you don’t have the conversation, you don’t have the conversation, then you finally have it 6 months later, you inevitably start listing all of the backwards stuff when you when it went to the dam finally burst. And and then it’s just even a bigger mess. So, you know, I we all fall into that trap. And then you did that and that. And we we you’ve been pissed about this stuff for, like, 6 months, and I haven’t heard about it. So I would have said universally, I think if I had just made harder decisions earlier, and I am still not great at that. I find it a little bit sometimes in conflict with the role of being the cheerleader or or, you know, the person who’s supposed to kind of bring people together and and and make them feel better and and but but those hard decisions are are are part of being a leader and 99 I also saw a quote once said that the longest point of an entrepreneur’s life is the the difference between when they know what they have to do and they do it. And I think that’s the case for a lot of people.

Glenn Harper [00:22:48]:

bought on, you know, it the looks like you have successfully navigated, you know, entrepreneurs. They go on. They want to do business, and they wanna do whatever it is they are that they do. That’s your skill set. And they’re gonna run a business, but they’re basically self employed do everything. Right? And then you make that transition, which is perfectly fine, but you’re you’re just self employed. You’re not an entrepreneur per se. Right? You’re you’re doing the things, but not Then you make the commission where I want to build a business. How long were you quote an entrepreneur before you said this is BS? I need to build a business. How how long did that take you to make that switch?

Robert Glazer [00:23:23]:

That was a couple years. It was about a 1,000,000 in revenue, 7 or 8 people, and and again, totally burnt out. You know, like, I I’m at the max of me. So that’s when I actually hired kind of a VP of client service who’s now our CEO over 10 years later. But that was the inflection point of very clear that this was not gonna work much longer and, what what kinda got you there wasn’t gonna get you there. What got you here wasn’t gonna get you there?

Glenn Harper [00:23:50]:

No. And that’s hard as an entrepreneur to what you just did is you had to trust somebody. You had to empower them. You had to delegate and And that’s really hard for entrepreneur because we know it all. Right? We we can do it. We’ll figure it out.

Robert Glazer [00:24:01]:

Yeah.

Glenn Harper [00:24:01]:

But you don’t have to do that. —

Robert Glazer [00:24:02]:

people that are smarter than you. It gets really addictive. Right? And then you’re like, I don’t wanna do anything anymore. Like, let’s just keep finding people that are smarter than me.

Glenn Harper [00:24:10]:

It’s it’s — Yeah.

Robert Glazer [00:24:11]:

because I think the entrepreneur is is like the glue, right, that holds the they’re not the best finance person. They might be the best salesperson that, you know, and but but eventually, they’re not gonna be the best salesperson when the sales requires a process and a sales team management. They are probably the best evangelist. which is the salesperson early on. And and I just it’s that realization that everyone else will have better nuance. Like, I I’m a good marketer. I’m a marketing person by DNA, but our CMO knows much more about tactical marketing than I’ll never. I’ll never. I’ll ever know.

Glenn Harper [00:24:46]:

That was a good hire for that one.

Robert Glazer [00:24:48]:

That was a great hire. Yeah.

Glenn Harper [00:24:49]:

Do you have a, you know, when you’re really good as an entrepreneur in your line of work and do what you do. Do you ever say, man, I just so believe in my our product and service, if I could just get that client that you have some kernel knowledge of, say, if I just could get that I could rock the role to make them the best ever. Do you have that dream client that you have that you would love to go after?

Robert Glazer [00:25:15]:

I’m not that involved. Like, I’m not day to day anymore. So, and we have some great brands. So that’s not sort of out of my, like, I’m I’m I’m working with the team on leadership development and M and A. I think the business is much more in the hands of of other people. So I I haven’t thought I haven’t thought about that, but but generally, we believe we can help anyone kind of improve what they’re doing.

Julie Smith [00:25:39]:

So I guess then I’m gonna switch what he said and ask. So what is it? What’s your vision? What’s something what’s something big you’re going after then? at this point in your journey.

Robert Glazer [00:25:51]:

Yeah. I I’m trying to help, like, a 100,000 people discover their personal core values because I to me, that is the foundation of leadership. And as we have done work with our team, and I’ve written about this and eventually created a course to help people with this, I think that If you wanna become a level 4 or 5 leader, you are not gonna do that in in a in a in a cookie cutter way. It has to be aligned with you and your values. And most people are not aware of these things. They’re not aware of the things that are showing up in their management style every day that have to do with deep back to the psychology childhood and formative experiences about who they are, and they’re totally missing this connection. And when they put it together, it’s pretty, it’s pretty amazing. You know, I I I’ve seen managers who who, you know, they they they are managing based on trust. in, and and it turns out, you know, they have a core value of trust and a violation of trust at some point in their life where, again, if you’re someone on their team and you show up 5 minutes late, or you miss a deadline, like, you’re dead to them, but they don’t they don’t know that. They don’t know how to communicate that. And when we work with them on then they go to the team and they say, hey, Glenn and Julie, like, welcome to my team. Like, just so you know, like, trust is super important to me. Like, I have a small group of of friends and colleagues. And I give trust right away, but, like, it’s really if you lose it with me, it’s really hard to get it back. And here are the ways that you can lose trust. So they’re kinda like, given the team the operating system. because once someone is, you know, thirty, forty, fifty years old, like, you’re not gonna change who they are. And and that is very endemic in the style of leader that they show up with. So I’ve done a lot of really deep work with a lot of leaders, and I it even for too. It runs really deep as to why they do what they do, how they show up. And I think people should understand that and go use that as a strength.

Julie Smith [00:27:36]:

So I’m just curious. How did that passion come to the forefront of doing that? How did How did you go from doing this over here to, like, you were like me, and I’m just gonna dive in 2 feet, and this is my passion, and this is what I wanna do?

Robert Glazer [00:27:51]:

my passion’s sharing ideas that help people and organizations grow. So there’s a logical progression from building an organization focusing on building leaders, the focusing on building leaders and leadership in some outside my organization and outside on leadership development having these conversations over and over again about strengths and weaknesses and values and and and when really getting into them seeing that there were these core things for people over and over again that were really driving them and fundamental to their leadership that they had not kinda discovered or figured out yet. So it was really just of a pattern in saying, I think this is really the one of the key things that most people can do. Again, that level

Glenn Harper [00:28:31]:

4

Robert Glazer [00:28:32]:

or 5, like, tran, you know, transcendent leader who makes everyone else better, that I’ve seen companies with their standards for leader. This is what a leader does well, but you can’t tell someone the type of leader that they have to be. That’s very unique to them and and and who they are. And as you do some of these personality things and why things you realize, like, they are acting in this way already, they just don’t understand the why. They haven’t connected the the dots. Right? They haven’t connected why you know, someone who’s embarrassed about being an underachiever, you know, for for a lot of their childhood and speaking of myself is is then trying to make everything better all the time and where that’s good and where that’s bad, right, in the context of the organization and their and their leadership style.

Glenn Harper [00:29:21]:

Is it a fair statement to say, do you work with Megacorp or smaller companies? when you

Robert Glazer [00:29:29]:

say work, so it it’s a little — Your clients.

Glenn Harper [00:29:32]:

Robert Glazer [00:29:32]:

spread out for me. So, yeah, so accelerations partners, clients, are pretty big companies. I I can’t say half the big ones, but you you you’d you’d see them. I mean, the Home Depots, the the you know, and we’ve worked with companies that rhyme with fruit and stuff in the past. So, yeah, pretty pretty big companies, although we have a products for emerging companies as well. you know, separately, my my books and speaking and stuff that I do is is more towards companies and trade organizations and otherwise. So I have sort of those 2 parts to my to my life right now.

Glenn Harper [00:30:06]:

And the reason I asked that is because it it seems like Megacorp generally, like, I remember back in the day GE that’s all they did is develop leaders. They had a great program under Jack. Like, they just they just developed that. And you think the big companies got it figured out but everybody else, they never shared that manual with all the smaller companies. Right? And so I didn’t know if you were able to take what they do and put it to the smaller company or if you’re just augmenting the bigger company. Right? I I just that’s why I was asking.

Robert Glazer [00:30:34]:

I think it’s a little bit of both. My guess is some of those programs were were overly designed to be a good leader at GE, right, and a not leadership overall. To me, some of the capacity building stuff I’ve I’ve written about is you should become a better there are some things that would be your leadership and your work, life, family everywhere that would improve all aspects of your lives. And and while work gets the business benefit of that, people outside. Like, if you, again, you get better on time management and communication and prioritization and fiscal literacy. Like, these these are all things that will, help you. But it’s tricky these days because you don’t those were like multi year commitment programs, and you don’t have that kind of tenure. at large organizations. But I I defer to that sort of, you know, meme the CEO and the CFO. What if we train all these people when they leave and the the the CFO says, and the CEO says, well, what if we don’t and they stay? I I I’m I’m very happy developing the next generation of leaders, whether they stay at our company or then move on to our industry and create kind of a halo effect.

Glenn Harper [00:31:40]:

Yeah. Just it’s all about creating excellence. Do you when you have this type of thing, you know, as an entrepreneur, like, anybody listening here, the premise would be is, okay, what point in their journey would one want to bring in somebody that can help them not only identify who they are and what their values are and those things and how to lead and then expand that to the rest of the organization. At what part of that journey do you think is that important? Is that, you know, in the in the 1st month? Is that the 1st 5 years? when when does that should that go in? I know it’s an individual thing, but, you know, when is it probably a good time?

Robert Glazer [00:32:17]:

Yeah. I look. Before you manage, you should learn some basic tactics around management. I mean, it we kinda teach people afterwards normally when they’re in trouble rather than before. It’s like kinda you get your driver’s license, but you haven’t driven a car yet, which kind of a weird, concept. But in terms of real transcendent leadership training, I like starting that after you’ve been managing for a year or so. I think you need some reps. I think you need to, like, a lot of us start with best practices. Right? So I worked for Glenn and Julie. And my first thing as a manager is I love the stuff Glenn did, and I’m gonna double down on that. And, god, I hated the stuff Julie did, and I’m gonna avoid that. kind of like we do with our parents’ styles. We and then I think eventually we’re like, that’s not really me. Like, I’m I’m I’m patchwork quilt. I’m throwing on some stuff from other people. So I I think it takes a couple reps where people then are willing to lean in. I think if you do the really deeper leadership stuff before people have led. They won’t have the context for it. So I like starting to work with someone after they’ve been managing for the first time. maybe for a year or 2 where they’re like, I I could a lot of stuff isn’t working for me and why is that? I think they realize there’s a There’s sort of a a lack of authenticity to some of the things that they’re doing, and they’ve been using a lot of best practices, but some just aren’t them. And and and and then they’re kinda more willing to do that work. Yeah.

Glenn Harper [00:33:40]:

I kinda equate that. I went and got a a golf lesson and, when I actually saw what I was really doing on video, the horror. But until you do it and see it, you don’t know. And then you’re like, oh, now it’s time to get some help because I am absolutely effing this up so bad. It’s horrible. And I think it’s the same thing. You have to not fail, but you just have to kinda mess it up and put

Robert Glazer [00:34:01]:

that context. — club. Yeah.

Glenn Harper [00:34:02]:

Right? You gotta be try.

Robert Glazer [00:34:03]:

The the The lesson before you swung the club would be would be really hard. Okay.

Glenn Harper [00:34:07]:

because you have no you have no framework to know what that even looks like. So I I think that’s a good analogy golf it transcends everything, Julie.

Julie Smith [00:34:14]:

Uh-uh. I’m not a golfer. I can’t do it. Takes too much time. But I have, I have a question, and I think you’ve alluded to it. What is your superpower?

Robert Glazer [00:34:26]:

It’s a good question. I think my superpower is to find mutually beneficial relationships. and and I’ve done that my whole career is to put together a, b, and c where everyone benefits from it. and that’s kind of a little bit what our organization does overall, not not not surprisingly. But that’s something that’s always come pretty naturally to me.

Glenn Harper [00:34:51]:

You know, when you’re an entrepreneur, it’s a lonely, lonely journey. Right? nobody can comprehend what you’re dealing with, and you can’t share that you made a 1,000,000 and lost a 1,000,000 because people look at you like you have 2 heads. and and it’s kinda scary at some points. And at some point, you know, you’re faced with the monster behind the door. What was your biggest fear you had to overcome and just said, I just gotta grind this thing out. You you recall what that might have been where you’re like, this is this is it. If I don’t get over this, this is never gonna happen.

Robert Glazer [00:35:22]:

well, I think it’s always just a sort of fear of loss, right, of what you built. In fact, like, we’ve all been talking about this recession for 10 years. that hasn’t really come other than 2 months.

Glenn Harper [00:35:32]:

Oh, it’s coming. It’s coming.

Robert Glazer [00:35:33]:

I know. Yeah. But but had I had I 5 years ago and everything land and locked down all the hatches for the re look. And I I actually believe on always being conservative at money for a rainy day, and we did a lot of things that got us through 2020 much better than other people. But our business would be 1 10th of the size if we had batted down the hatches for the recession 7 years ago that haven’t that hasn’t happened yet. So I don’t think you want you don’t want all your chips on the table. Right? You don’t wanna be putting yourself always in a position, but if you’re planning for the worst all the time, which which as you build something, you can get into that loss prevention mode, then inherently, I think that’s fairly restrictive.

Glenn Harper [00:36:12]:

So you’re saying that if you try to inhibit what you’re destined to do, you’re not gonna make it.

Robert Glazer [00:36:19]:

Exactly.

Glenn Harper [00:36:20]:

Bingo. Do you have any, you know, Julie usually ask this question, but, you know, you wanna do this one? No.

Julie Smith [00:36:29]:

You got it.

Glenn Harper [00:36:30]:

No. Go ahead. You you do do do it well.

Julie Smith [00:36:32]:

don’t know which one you’re referring.

Glenn Harper [00:36:33]:

The this one right here. Oh.

Julie Smith [00:36:37]:

Ah. Oh. I do love this question. So it’s a trick question. What is your end game?

Robert Glazer [00:36:45]:

My end game, is to try to positively impact the lives of a million people.

Glenn Harper [00:36:51]:

Or is that something you’re gonna retire when you’re 45, 50, 60, 90? I think that the context is that you’re gonna ever stop being an entrepreneur.

Robert Glazer [00:37:00]:

I don’t think that’s something that no. I I mean, I don’t think I’ll ever stop being creative and have ideas. I do believe So, brilliant guy named Dark Sivers, founder of CD Baby, you know, how how one of the first big econ businesses and interviewed him when I introduced him as an entrepreneur. He’s like, I haven’t started a business in 10 years. I’m not an entrepreneur. Now I’m kind of an an artist and a creator and of these things. And I kinda love because he’s like, look, you can’t you can’t hang your hat on that. So I will always be putting new ideas, creative, all this. But if I haven’t started a business in 10 years, then I’m I I’m probably not an entrepreneur anymore. So I love I love that Derek said that because to me, and he’s got the guy who likes to change his mind and be convinced where you know, you don’t wanna live in this past definition of our our ourselves. So so we’re all bought. Maybe I’m a author who helps people or maybe I’m a teacher or a professor that talks about entrepreneurship, although I don’t I don’t think you should teach entrepreneur in a classroom. Whole different discussion. Yeah. I think our identity is always always shifting a little bit. but but, yeah, if I haven’t started a new initiative or business in 5 years, next 5 years, You can say I was an entrepreneur. I’ve been an entrepreneur. I’m not sure I am an entrepreneur.

Glenn Harper [00:38:14]:

Oh, you’re an entrepreneur.

Julie Smith [00:38:15]:

And I don’t think you’re ever gonna stop. Just like you said, I think you can’t you You’re not wired to stop. Whether or not you own said company or not, you’re not your brain’s not stopping.

Glenn Harper [00:38:26]:

Yeah. Thank you. Well, I think and again, the the cool thing, to give some entrepreneurs hope is there there is no end game, but ultimately when you can make the conversion from, you know, doing business to building a business, it can step back. All of a sudden, you realize it’s not about you anymore. It’s not about that one client. It’s not about even what you’re doing. It’s something bigger than you. And I think what you said is your end game is really defines that, and you’ve probably, you know, you’ve whatever that chart would look like. You’re lower in testing, but it you reached a point where what you wanna do is it’s bigger than you. It’s changing something. The the world, the people, just something that is more impactful than just helping client ABC, you know, get about bigger margin or something. It’s it’s something bigger than that, which I think is really cool. And most entrepreneurs in that phase, it’s really about something that’s not about them. You can

Robert Glazer [00:39:15]:

you you’ve got a shift. Right? And I just there’s a great book. Everyone seems to be reading. Maybe it’s the midlife crisis book now, but it’s from, from strength to strength. by, David Brooks. And he just talks about that. Like, the the the first leg of the race just needs to look different from the leg of the race. And particularly those who are high achievers, the problem is as soon as we cross the line, we move the line. We stop even trying to figure out why we’re achieving stuff. And and, actually, it becomes less fulfilling and less fulfilling. And so you need to shift. Right? You’re you’re your your cognitive ability, you know, you look at the data, the physicists, like, no one’s ever done anything meaningful after, like,

Glenn Harper [00:39:54]:

30,

Robert Glazer [00:39:55]:

you know, in terms of a new idea. So his thing is it becomes more about your experience and synthesizing and people. And so I I I think we all need to make that shift or else will be kinda running on this treadmill for for no reason.

Glenn Harper [00:40:08]:

Which is no good. Well, Rob, I appreciate you being on the show. I know, Julie, this as well as you wanna give a little a plug on your company and things for people that listening to this might go, wow. I’m I might need that guy.

Robert Glazer [00:40:22]:

Yeah. So if you’re interested in, partner marketing, affiliate marketing, how we could help you. You wanna go to accelerationpartners.com. if you’re interested in learning more about my book speaking writing, I also have a newsletter that started to my, team, 7 years ago, just kind of a note and everyone started sharing it. That kinda now goes to

Glenn Harper [00:40:43]:

200,000

Robert Glazer [00:40:43]:

people a week around the world called Friday Forward. So that’s all at robertglazer.com.

Julie Smith [00:40:50]:

And we’ll make sure all that gets in the show notes.

Glenn Harper [00:40:52]:

Yes. Well, really appreciate you know, going on here. And I, you know, I hope your, I hope your patriots do do well with, with Al Brady. Right? he’s he’s never coming back.

Robert Glazer [00:41:02]:

we’re we’re moving on a succession. It’s a big part of leadership. Yeah.

Glenn Harper [00:41:05]:

It’s a big deal. It’s a big deal. Yeah. Appreciate your time today. And, I hope that listeners will get some value out of that. I know I did and appreciate your time. And Julie always a pleasure, and we’ll see you on the next one.

Robert Glazer [00:41:17]:

Thanks so much. Thanks.

Episode Show Notes

We have an exciting episode lined up for you, featuring Robert Glazer, a seasoned entrepreneur who has been fully remote for over a decade. In this episode, Robert shares his insights and experiences on remote work, leadership, and finding your authentic management style.

Here are some key takeaways from the episode:

🌍 Remote Work: Robert discusses how his company was built around remote work long before COVID, highlighting the importance of building systems and culture for remote teams. He also touches on the challenges of having a fully remote team versus incorporating remote employees into in-person meetings.

💡 The Entrepreneurial Mindset: Robert explores the distinction between “intrepreneurs” and entrepreneurs. He emphasizes the need to understand your risk tolerance and willingness to adapt to uncertainty in order to find your authentic path as an entrepreneur.

📈 Leadership and Personal Values: Robert delves into the significance of aligning your personal core values with your leadership style, emphasizing the importance of self-awareness and gaining experience before diving into leadership development.

💪 Overcoming Challenges: Robert shares his experiences with overcoming challenges and making tough decisions as an entrepreneur, highlighting the importance of perseverance and learning from the difficult times in order to grow.

🌟 The Journey: Lastly, Robert discusses the importance of being interested in the people and the journey rather than solely focusing on company success. He also reflects on the evolving nature of identity as an entrepreneur and the need to continually challenge and redefine ourselves.

Robert Glazer is a prominent figure in the world of affiliate and partner marketing. As the founder of Acceleration Partners, he has built a successful agency that specializes in helping brands establish and manage large-scale digitized partnerships. Unlike traditional models where partners are paid per click or impression, Glazer’s innovative approach ensures partners are compensated in real-time for the leads or sales they generate. With a team of nearly 325 professionals spread across multiple countries, Acceleration Partners has become the leading firm in this field, overseeing some of the largest affiliate programs globally.

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