The power of influence in content marketing is immense. Not only does it help your business attract clients and create engagement, but mastering content also ensures building relationships and promoting credibility. A deep understanding of this is something we will get from Clinton Senkow, the co-founder & Chief Operating Officer of Influencive – an online publication that publishes unconventional, motivational and entrepreneurial wisdom from influential minds. Focused on business development and partnerships, Clinton shares how to access and do business development online using different tools, social media, and personal brand. As he dives into the nature of Influencive, he imparts the key to managing your time when you have a lot of projects to juggle.
Influencive: The Power Of Content Marketing with Clinton Senkow
We have Clinton Senkow, the Cofounder and COO for Influencive. I’m looking forward to learning a little bit more about you and the business and how you got involved with Influencive as a Cofounder and also COO, how you work as the chief behind the chief. Why don’t you tell us how you started the business? What it is you do day-to-day and give us some of your background as to how you got the skills to be able to run a company and work behind or with a CEO?
Thanks a lot for having me on. I guess the best way to start is to give a little bit of background for the readers in terms of how Influencive was started. Our Founder-CEO, my partner is Brian D. Evans. He was someone that’s done a lot of great things in business. He was in Inc. 500 Entrepreneur in 2015. He had the 23rd fastest growing marketing and advertising company in the US. He’s worked on a lot of great projects and he was someone that was always behind the scenes. He never got out. He was in front of the whole personal branding thing. He did all these great things behind the scenes. He was at this point in his business and professional career where he was ready to step outside the box a little bit.
At one point, coming from someone like Brian that I’ve known so well and got to know a lot over the past few years, is he was someone that has all this great knowledge and all this great experience, but he wanted to keep it inside of him. He didn’t think anyone wanted to know what he had to say or the experiences that he had and the wisdom and that he had. He bought the domain Influencive several years ago. He didn’t do anything with it. It was around January 2016 when Brian focused fully on Influencive and building it into what it is now. He started it as a personal blog. It was basically a site to share his wisdom, share his experience through entrepreneurship, building, growing and selling businesses.
As he started to take that to the next level, he started to see that he started to get a following. He started to focus on his personal brand and one thing led to another. When I joined the picture, it was a few months into him focusing on Influencive. He approached me and we were working on a few different projects at the time. He asked me to come and be a writer for the platform. At this time, I was writing for all these other different websites and whatnot. I said, “I’ll come right for you.” I came and wrote on the site and after about two articles, I saw the potential in the brand. I love the name. I love the message, the vision and everything that we had for the business. I also started to see who Brian was and I got to know him well. I knew there was a lot that I could learn from him and in everything that he’s done with business so far.
I knew with his skill set and the skills that I could bring to the table, we could take this to the next level. From there, with the help of many contributors over the past few years, we’ve been able to take Influencive from a few thousand readers per month to a couple of million readers per month. The page views on the site per month to no social media following to probably around 1.2, 1.3 million social followers across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and so on. We’re proud to say that we have contributors all around the world, over 400 that contribute content to us on a regular basis whether it’s daily, monthly, weekly or whatever is good for them. I joined the picture a couple of months in and in terms of the other part to your question, my day-to-day ranges for a lot of different things. Everything from contributors and writers to the platform that is needing help with different articles or changing of bios or pictures or people wanting to write for us.
I have new contributors that are coming to us. I mostly focus on brand stuff like business development partnerships. We’re working with different brands. We’ve done some types of influencer type campaigns and native advertising type campaigns. I focus on that stuff and Brian has been the mastermind, behind the scenes that have been able to facilitate the growth that we’ve had and maintained the website and everything. We have few other team members that also help us with different things ranging from content, whether it’s stuff on social media or whether it’s content and editing the content that our writers submit to us. Hopefully, that provides a little bit of background.
The growth has been stratospheric, to go from zero to a few million readers monthly in that short period of time. How many total writers do you have a ballpark in the system? How many full-time and freelance employees do you have so we get a scope of what you’re managing and the complexity of it all?
I’ve learned this from Brian and it’s something that can also be a blessing in disguise because obviously as building and scaling businesses, it’s important to bring in people with different skill sets that can help do things that possibly you’re doing in anything and everything. In terms of the writers, how it works right now is everyone is freely contributing to our platform. We’ve built such a great platform for entrepreneurs, businesses and brands to reach an audience, get a lot of shares, get a lot of visibility and a lot of publicity from our platform. In terms of our writers, I actually don’t know the exact number. I know we’ve had over 600 to 700 give or take people that have applied to become a writer on Influencive.
At this stage, we are very selective. We’re not looking for basically having any type of person write for us. We want to have someone that maybe is the business owner that has written a little bit or they have some content. They have some great wisdom and experiences to share. We are a little bit more selective but I would say probably that number of writers is anywhere from 350 to 400, and that’s not all of them contributing every month. We don’t put our writers in a box. If you want to write four times a year, that’s totally fine. If you want to write and submit three articles a month, that’s great as well.
All those writers are on their own timetable and depending on what fits them and their schedule. In terms of employees and freelancers and so on and so forth, we have anywhere from around five to ten different support staff that help Brian and I facilitate everything from content on the website to content on social media and creating things. All that stuff behind the scenes that sometimes you don’t see as you’re building a business. We keep it very lean for our reach and for everything that we’re doing on scale. We’re still very early. We still have a lot of room to grow. We still want to do a lot of great things with Influencive. We’re only a few years in. I definitely see us, as we continue to move along in 2018 and in 2019 that we will start bringing on more full-time employees and more people that help do some of the things that Brian and I have been doing from the beginning.
Even with that many writers and a small team, there’s a ton of complexity. It’s like herding cats, I would imagine. What technology tools and systems do you use, not control but to be able to manage the complexity, the people and all the moving parts? What are some of your hacks or tools that you’re using?
I think there’s a few that we use internally to help things. One thing that I’m sure you’ve started to realize and I started to realize is it’s almost at times a little bit overwhelming. I try to stay away from email communications as much as I can because I’ve found we get so many emails and there’s much going on. You get one in a day. If you don’t stay on top of your email, after a few days, it can blow up and you forget to email this person or that person. In this day and age, we’re mobile and we want answers right away and we’re on our phones and this and that. There are a lot of great messaging platforms that you can use internally within your team and it doesn’t matter what business you’re running or doing. It’s important to have some messaging platform that you can access from your phone, talk to your team, message your team and get questions answered right away.
One of the ones that we use is Slack. We like using Slack and being able to communicate with our team, with other writers and answer questions. The other thing is, I also find that there are times when I am on another platform. Let’s say Facebook and some of our writers or other people at work know that I’m on Facebook and the conversation transitions to Facebook as well. It’s still trying to find that happy medium and I think we’re overwhelmed with many messaging platforms. I’m still trying to find the best way to manage all these different writers, to manage all of our communications internally but I definitely know for myself, email communication is not the greatest. I don’t push that on people. I would rather use messaging platforms whether it’s Facebook Messenger, Slack, WhatsApp whatever it is to communicate and move things more smoothly and more efficiently.
The hack or insight that I can give to the readers is it’s important early on to talk with your employees, to talk with your team members. See what they use, see what’s easy for them and find that happy medium. I don’t think you’re ever going to find a platform that everyone is going to like or that everyone is going to agree with. If you can find a platform or a messaging system that works efficiently, can move the business forward and get the majority of people on board, I think it’s going to help prevent that email clutter that we all get. You’ll be able to push the needle a lot further and a lot quicker with making decisions and helping with your team as well.
I love that you’re saying to find out what tools your employees use and try to work with them on that stuff too. You’re removing obstacles and making it easier for them to work versus forcing them into a system. I would love if someone would create a bot or a tool that would allow an auto-reply to be set up from all the platforms. I don’t want to be communicating on it. Unlike you, I’d rather be on email because that’s one of my assistants triaging for me and we can run from that and drop it into Asana or Wunderlist, but all of the messages I’m getting on Facebook and Instant Messenger and LinkedIn. On my list of to-dos, is to go through my Facebook to unbury myself because I got slammed with a bunch of messages from a request that I’ve put up. I need some way to say, “Email me,” but none of those platforms want you off their platform so they won’t allow an autoreply.
That’s where I think it’s that personal choice by a lot of people and what works for you and that’s where there’s no one size fits all for any business, any entrepreneur, any CEO, COO or whatever. That’s where I made this conscious decision a few years ago when it came to social media. I wanted to create all my social platforms to be a tool for me in myself in business, what I’m creating and all the projects that I’m a part of. It’s something that I found probably which is funny and you might find it hilarious, but over the last years, Facebook honestly for me is a business tool. I use it more frequently than I do LinkedIn.
I use LinkedIn a lot as well but I use it for calls. I use it for messaging. I call people through Facebook Messenger that I’m already messaging with. Instead of going to Skype or instead of typing in my number to call me on my cell, let’s call within the app. It’s a great way to efficiently stay within one system and use that rather than jumping all over these different platforms. That’s something that I’ve noticed that was surprising to me. When I tell people that they’re like, “You don’t use Facebook just to share funny cat videos or to share photos of your family?” I try to keep it as professional as possible but also show who I am and what I’m doing but keep it as professional as possible and use it as a business tool.
I have not tried to go professional as possible because it’s never been me anyway. I’m completely transparent. Whatever hits my mind, I throw it up there and some people are like, “That’s weird.” I posted something about, “The government census says that people on average fart twenty times a day. Is that true or false?” I throw it out there and then the next post is like, “Here’s our Second in Command podcast and you guys should share it with your friends.” It’s me and they realize I’m human. For me with my business, I started my company many years ago and Facebook started getting adopted. I was using it at GOT-JUNK in my last months there. My entire business evolved and grew on the Facebook platform. It’s where my brand got built. It’s where people knew who I was. I’ve done 490 speaking events in 28 countries in the last few years and I’ve talked about all of them on Facebook.
It’s a great business tool for me, but I’m a starving for a platform. I wish someone would build a platform where we could only have 200 friends. There is no marketing allowed and because there are only 200 friends, you wouldn’t be marketing. How can you market with 200 people? That would be the place where you would have to be ruthless about who you’re going to be friends with and then you share your real friend stuff. I’m missing that social community of friends when I have such a big brand. I don’t want to say no to people joining me but then I’m like, “I don’t want to read everybody’s social feeds that ‘my friends’ were doing.”
That’s a cool way to think of it because something that I’m sure you’ve done in your career with the levels of success that you’ve reached and something that I’ve consciously done over the last few years too. It’s not about the number of followers or how big my community is. It’s the quality that is the number one thing to me. When it comes to, it’s the people that you choose to surround yourself with. I’d rather have three to five close friends that I can call on at any time to help with something or get their insight or get their business advice. Rather than having hundreds or thousands of people that I don’t even know or that are following me or that I went to high school with or whatever.
That’s a cool way to think of it as a social platform where you only have a set number and the set number is low. It’s important as you move along in life and business that you need to surround yourself with the right people and to reach those different levels of success. I’m trying to hang out with people that make me feel better, that makes me want to keep moving forward. They make me want to hit the other stepping stone in my career. They’re at different levels of success that I can help or they can help me. I think there’s a lot of junk out there in terms of people that you might be connected with that you don’t have a relationship with anyone.
I’ve got two groups. I’ve got the business associates that I want to have deep business relationships with. I’m managing those through Contactually and every day my assistant drops me a note that says, “Is there anybody that you spoke with or worked with that we want to add to that list so you can stay in touch with them?” The platform to say, “No, Cameron can’t accept you as a friend because we’re only allowing 200.” The platform is the bad person. Right now on Instagram, I only follow about 30 or 40 friends but I have a whole bunch of other people following me. I almost want to block a bunch of people, but then it feels rude. I need the platform to block for me somehow. Tell me about the relationship between you and Brian. You’re remote. Where’s Brian based out of?
Brian’s actually based out of LA and I’m up here in Canada. Everything that we’ve done with Influencive over the last few years has been for the most part remotely. Lately, we’ve made it more of an effort to meet up every couple of months or whatever whether I come down to LA just so we can have a little bit of facetime. For the most part we’ve done everything that we’ve done remotely which a lot of people are like, “How do you do that?” That’s the business landscape that we’re in nowadays where I don’t think it matters where your location is. We have the tools, we have the internet and we have all these amazing things that we can do. In terms of the relationship that Brian and I have developed, we’ve developed this business relationship and friendship where there’s a different skill set that he can bring to the table and that he focuses on or that he’s good at.
There are certain things that I am good at that I focus on and I contribute to the brand and to the business and to everything. It’s important that as you get to know someone especially in business and in partnership, make sure that whoever that person is, you like that person. You can work with them in an effective manner and in a positive manner. I know in business school, I know probably of the different structures that they always said about being a sole proprietor and just yourself or solopreneur and then there are partnerships and there are all these different structures of businesses. I remember my teachers and professors are always like, “Partnerships are the worst ones to get into. They’re terrible and all this type of stuff.” I’ve been fortunate for the relationship that Brian and I have been able to develop. I think it’s great that we can be synchronized with each other.
It’s an asset because there’s two of us that are building the brand. We’re building our skill sets rather than just one of us. I don’t think either one of us could have brought the brand to the scale that we’re at right now. It’s great to find that partnership and if you find that business relationship and partnership with someone, it’s important to keep working at it and keep getting better at it. Use that to your advantage because I think a lot of people see it as a negative, joining a partnership or joining forces with somebody else. Maybe it doesn’t go as well or you hear a horror story or whatever, but I’m definitely excited to be involved with Brian. We’ve built this relationship with each other where it’s based on trust. It’s based on results. It’s a great relationship that we have.
I can’t see any teachers or professors that have the right to actually talk about businesses. Most of them never run them. What tools do you guys use? Do you have a date night or do you have certain meeting rhythms that you have to keep you in sync? How do you get on the same page with vision and with the plans? How do you deal with all that?
I’ve learned this from Brian in the way that he works. When he gets a thought in his mind or I need to do this or I need to put something in action or this is what I need to focus on, he is laser-focused. He gets that done. This is it. Something that I originally was is like, “Let’s have set calls every week or let’s touch base or this and that.” We started doing that a little bit and then I noticed that with Brian. It’s funny because you have a great book that’s called Meetings Suck. I’ve noticed that we aren’t big meeting guys. I originally was a meeting guy. Let’s touch base and we’ve got to the point where there’s no point in us jumping on a call just to jump on a call to hear each other’s voice.
It’s important once in a while but the amazing thing is that whether it’s through iMessage whether it’s through Facebook, we have twenty different chats going on with different projects and things that we’re working on. We’re always in touch with each other. We talk on a daily basis. It might not be actual phone calls but we are always up to speed with each other on what’s going on and where we are and what we’re focusing on. We just don’t have a set schedule of meetings or we meet on this day or whatever. Something that has been great for our relationship and for our business is being able to meet more in person over the last little while.
That’s something that we’ve started to implement is making a conscious decision to meet in person. Whether it’s a mutual location, whether I go down to LA. “Let’s get real, I only want you to come up to Canada when it’s nice.” It doesn’t make sense for you to come up here. I don’t want you to come up here in the winter. Why would that happen? I think having that in-person time and strategizing, whether it’s bonding, hanging out or doing fun things that we like doing, it helps us. That’s important for our relationship moving forward because yes, we like building businesses and projects and doing great things together but we also like hanging out with each other and enjoy hanging out with each other and doing fun things. That’s important and that’s helped us as well.
Do you guys leverage video at all when you’re talking or do you just work over the phone when you’re doing voice communication?
I do not use video very much. We easily could and should, but we just honestly don’t. In the last few years, we use video once in a while, probably a handful of times. It’s maybe five or six times that we probably had a video chat. For the most part, usually whether it’s voice note over the phone. One thing that I guess I will provide a tip and an insider hack for some of the readers is one that we are using for a while, an app that we’re using. I don’t use too much of it anymore because I got an iPhone now. I finally converted from Android. We’re using an app called Voxer and you’re able to send voice notes to different people.
How did you use Voxer? I’ve struggled with it. I set it up, I tried it, I used it a couple of times with friends, but I don’t get it.
It was quite effective when we used it for several months and now, if I want to send a voice note I do it over iMessage. We would use it as a walkie-talkie-type system. Where I had an idea or I have something like, “We should do this or we should implement this strategy or I talked to this brand.” Rather than typing out an email or a message, I would press the button and record my voice talking and I would send that in and do a 30-second voice note. That way you can actually hear my voice. You can hear what I’m saying, and he can do the same thing and you can like those posts from people. There’s a little heart button on when you receive. It’s like, “If someone hearts it, I like that or that’s great or I heard it.” You can see when people have read or listened to your messages story too and then they can reply back right away too.
It was a great way to instead of, “Let’s jump on a call and actually phone each other.” I could be sending a little 30-second or a minute-long voice message to someone no matter where they are in a quick and efficient manner. It’s another way I guess of communicating with each other, but I think it’s definitely something that’s been effective. That way you get to hear the person’s voice rather than reading a message because some things can be misread or miscommunicated. That’s how we used it.
How about how about staying on the same page with vision? Are you guys true co-owners of the company or is Brian the CEO, you’re COO? Who controls or who sets the vision and if it’s both, how do you set it?
In terms of us, we both are partners in Influencive and we definitely make decisions together on the vision of the company and where we’re going. It’s not hard for us because we both have very similar visions for Influencive. We aren’t conflicted in our choices but when I say that I think it’s important for business and especially in partnerships or whatever type of business it is, to have some pushback or some ideas. For example, Brian says something and I’m like, “Maybe we should do it this way. Have you thought about doing it this way?” It’s important to have a little bit of pushback from partners, owners of a company or whatever it is.
That creates a better culture and a more cohesive vision. I think that’s healthy for business. If you just agree with whoever it is you’re running a business with all the time, I don’t think you’re building your business the best way that it could be. You’re not challenging yourself or you’re challenging the business. In terms of us, we’re always working together. We have different ideas. We give each other ideas when we can and we’re always looking to advance the brand to the next level. We keep that cohesive vision that we both have of creating a brand that helps inspire, helps educate people around the business, around entrepreneurship and all those great things.
One of the things I always work on is growing my skill set. I’m invested in four different mastermind groups that I’m a part of and I get coaching. I got an accountability partner and that was the whole impetus for even starting what we call the COO Alliance, which is the only network of its kind in the world for the second-in-command. Where do you get your skill development to stay ahead of the curve in growing companies the way we grow them? Also, as your company scales and it gets more complex, where are you working to increase your skill set?
I’ve developed this mindset and I think you’d probably be of a similar mindset that I always have more to learn. I always can get better at anything and I always want to continue to have an attitude. I always want to be someone that always is willing to learn. I don’t want to get stagnant. I don’t want to say that I’m good enough. I don’t want to reach that plateau. I’m always looking for things. I’m reading nonstop whether it’s books, articles, social media posts or whatever it is. I consume a lot of content. I create content as well. I am a firm believer in also having those in-person connections. I love going to different events. I haven’t been a part of a mastermind yet.
It is something that I’m very interested in moving forward, is being a part of one or finding the right fit for myself. That’s something that I’m very a big believer in but I think just a mixture of having that attitude of always continuing to learn. I’m always trying to stay ahead of the curve, seeing what other people are doing. I’m always trying to see what else we could do to apply to Influencive as a whole. I love the opportunities to go to events, masterminds or whatever it is, meet great people, learn from them, learn how they’ve done certain things, take and soak up as much as possible. It’s a multipronged approach but I’m always trying to learn more and expand and grow my skill set.
We had we had a CEO that I worked with years ago. I coached this CEO and led its strategic planning meetings for a few years. He’s based in Geneva, Switzerland and he applied all of his learning towards whatever the core projects he was working on. He would sit down and figure out what the plan was for the next three months and he would devour any learning he could relate to those core projects. That was an interesting way to focus on that. A lot of people spend time learning at random, me included at times and it seemed like a powerful way to get more ROI off of it. It was, “Why would I bother reading about Blue Ocean Strategy if I’m not worried about it right now? If I’ve got a board meeting coming up in two months, why don’t I read about board meetings?” He devours content related to that.
I think that’s great feedback even for myself because I can find that with me as well. With the amount of content that’s out there, you can go down different rabbit holes. You can start consuming all this content that might be based on something that isn’t very relevant to yourself as a person or as an entrepreneur or a business owner, but also your business and the stages that you’re at. That’s a great tip and insight for myself but also for other readers. It’s to consume content that is at those different stages that you’re at in your life or you’re in your business. That’s a great tactic that a lot of people can easily implement right now.
It works. My assistant said you’re also a VP of another company at the same time, is that true?
I am, yes. I wear different hats with a bunch of different projects and stuff that we’re working on.
How do you keep those separate and focused? How do you coordinate? I’ve always said that a person can only sit on one toilet at a time and if he sits on more than one toilet, it gets messy. How do you split your time or how do you keep yourself focused?
I’m definitely going to admit that I’m not the best. I haven’t mastered anything yet in terms of how to be the best manager of my time. I know time is important and I try to use it as effectively, as efficiently as I can and that’s good for me. I try to be productive on whatever projects I’m involved with. I don’t know if it’s a new Millennial mindset but if an opportunity comes around for you to be a part of a project or for you to be a part of a company or to help with something, I’m a firm believer in saying yes. If it’s a good opportunity for you, then figure it out later. If it’s something that’s going to push you in the right avenue rather than saying no and then looking back on it and saying, “I regret this, or I should have at least tried or I should have attempted that.” I’m a firm believer in saying yes and trying to figure it out after.
In terms of, how I structure my days and times, I’ve started to try to structure my days and times of the day four different projects that I’m involved with. I’m spending two hours here on Influencive stuff or spending three hours on the other project which is ShipChain. I’m doing different things but the other reason too, where I’m involved with two projects at the same time is they complement each other. It’s not like I’m doing one thing over here and another thing over here and they’re totally unrelated.
We have a platform that reaches millions of people that we’ve built a community around and we’ve built a great community of fans that enjoy our content, enjoy everything and we have a section on blockchain technology and it’s something that we’re firm believers in. On top of that, we’re building and growing a software company that is still in its early infant stages. We have this platform that can help share that road, that journey that we’re on with this. That’s an advantage that we do have, is we have a platform that can reach millions of people. It doesn’t matter what project we’re working on and it is able to work together.
Structuring my days can sometimes be a little bit crazy and I can have calls dealing with one project and another project and I bounce off of it a little bit. I’m not going to say I’ve mastered it or anything. It’s still something that I want to continue to get better at. If you have any ideas, any tactics or tricks that you’ve used working on two different projects at the same time, I would love that. If you’ve heard from anyone else that you’ve worked with or coached or something, I’m always looking to get better and I haven’t mastered it all just quite yet.
At least your cofounder with Influencive is also involved but this one, ShipChain, seems a completely different space. Is it going to become a core focus for you? Will you put a team in place to then manage that?
In terms of Influencive, we’re only getting started. Brian was essentially the creator of it and then I came in there and helped create more of it with him. I helped push it to the different avenues we have. I don’t think that’s ever something that we will ever let go of anytime soon. It’s still very early. We’re bringing in the right support staff to help us maintain that and continue to grow. Some of the calls I’ve been having and the people I’m connecting with are going to take Influencive to the next level. With that and ShipChain, it’s not overly that much different. Yes, it’s in a different space. It’s dealing with the supply chain, blockchain and technology but where my skills lie and everything that I’ve done with Influencive is I’m just doing in a different industry.
I’m just doing with a different set of companies dealing with Fortune 100 companies, business development partnerships which is what I focused on with Influencive already. Some of those things are similar but we have this platform now with the Influencive that also has a blockchain section. That we can share different articles or different updates, or I don’t like to call them press releases because I’m not a fan of press releases and neither is Brian. Essentially, we have a media platform, a media brand that can help get the word out about whatever projects we’re doing. That’s a great asset that we have with ShipChain is we have it. It’s great to obviously work alongside with Brian on the core team of ShipChain when we also have Influencive together as well.
Have you heard of a company called BlueGrace Logistics at all?
No, I don’t think I have.
They’re a big freight and logistics company based out of Tampa, Florida. It raised $125 million from Warburg Pincus. They’re a company that I’ve coached for four years. I’ve coached their CEO and their leadership teams. How do you manage your time then on a daily basis or weekly basis? Do you backward schedule? Do you go off priority and urgency? How do you plan?
The words that you said at the end, the priority and urgency, it’s something that’s I’m a real firm believer in. Let’s take for example something that happened. This is real life. You’re getting the real gist of it. I read an article that talked about different companies that are focusing on tracking and tracing things on the supply chain and were investigating with blockchain technology. I read this article on a site. Right away after that, I went on LinkedIn. I connected with the people that were in that article. They accepted my connections on LinkedIn. I send them messages right away saying, “I think that we should talk about some synergies or possible collaborations we can do together.” One thing led to another where I had a call. He wanted 8:30 AM Eastern Time call which is 6:30 my time. I woke up at 6:00 which usually I don’t want to wake up that early and I don’t have calls that early. It was a CTO of a 10,000-person company that does $2 to $5 billion a year in revenue.
I took that call, I acted on that because it was something that came up and it happened. If the right opportunity comes or I have an opportunity to jump on a call with a C-level executive for a big company for a partnership, if it has to deal with Influencive or ShipChain, I’m going to focus on that. That’s going to push the needle forward in one of the two projects. On top of that I had another call, which is a big potential partner for us with Influencive that will help our content reach even more people. It is that urgency and what comes up and what happens and it’s crazy with the types of things that happened and when you act on things. I don’t structure my days too structured. Besides, I like to also take some time in the morning to have some me time.
I like to read. I don’t like to jump directly into work right in the morning I check updates here and there. I’ll check my emails, I have three different emails. I check my social media feeds to see what’s happening but I don’t act on anything yet. I take some time to get into the day. Sometimes I’ll go for a run. Sometimes I’ll sit and read a book, have some tea or whatever it is then I’ll jump into the day and try and do it. Another structure that I try and do as well is I structure this with my calendar. I have certain times throughout the day that I will have calls with people rather than saying, “Here, I am open anytime.”
There are certain times throughout the day and I try not to have calls on Fridays. I try not to have calls on Mondays. I try to combine Tuesday to Thursdays jam-packed as much as I can because I find on Mondays and Fridays can be things that will just happen. If something fun also comes up and that’s where I think it’s important in business. It doesn’t matter how many projects I’m juggling, you also need to have a life and you need to realize that. That’s where I have realized that it’s not about the number of hours you put into the day, it’s about how productive you are. It’s about your results.
If you can do something in five hours a day rather than someone that maybe takes twelve hours, good for you. Also, take some time for yourself and make sure that you’re still in the condition and your health is important because that’s the other thing too. I know my health is super important if I’m going to continue to help build and grow multiple businesses at the same time. I also need to be able to focus and take some focus on myself and make sure that I’m in tip-top shape and I can act at the top of my ability.
You’ve done a good job with your time blocking and it’s critical. There are not a lot of people that do that especially somebody that sounds like you who are going to say yes more often than you say no. You’ve got to certainly be good at that. Let’s wrap up with a unique ability or strength or something that you figured out in the business world that maybe is your super power. You probably take it for granted but anything that you could pass on as a tip or something you do that others could benefit from.
I touched on this a little bit with one of my stories and insights into something that happened. I’ve started to realize it a lot more. Everything that I’ve been able to do, building Influencive has been remote. I’m not having meetings with people in person 95% of the time, 5% of the time when I am having meetings, I’m a great in-person meeter. I love meeting people in person. I love building connections on a deeper level. I love meeting people at conferences, going for drinks, having dinner, lunches and all that stuff but I’m very good at finding people and getting access to people online. It doesn’t matter where I am. I can connect with C-level people. I can connect with decision makers whether I’m on a beach in Mexico or whether I’m at home in Edmonton, Canada.
Something that I’ve started to realize is I have this ability to access and do business development online using different tools and using social media, using the personal brand that I’ve built to get access to people and to get answers from people and also to have people get back to me. It’s not something that has happened overnight and it’s not like this is something that’s just clicked. It’s taken time and it’s taken effort. It’s a bunch of things combined that have allowed me to do this. One of my superpowers is getting access to anyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, I’m basically one or two degrees away from, a lot of the top people in the world in business. If I really want to find a way to get to you, I will find a way to get to you and I think that’s my superpower.
You’ve definitely got this thing dialed. Thanks for sharing with us. I appreciate it. A former athlete like you are applying all those kinds of skills of an athlete into the business world and it’s working for you. Thanks for sharing all the ideas with us on the show. I appreciate it and stay in touch. Good luck with all this success.
Thank you much, Cameron. I appreciate it. It was awesome to be on the show and I hope the readers got some good insights and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with you some more.
- Brian D. Evans
- Meetings Suck
- COO Alliance
- Blue Ocean Strategy
- BlueGrace Logistics
- Warburg Pincus
About Clinton Senkow
I grew up the youngest of a big family in Canada (five kids). Like most Canadians, I grew up playing hockey and watching it almost religiously. It started to become my #1 thing in life and I started to excel at the sport at all levels. I had the opportunity to play AAA to college hockey.
It wasn’t an easy road though and I had my fair share of setbacks and roadblocks that stopped me dead in my tracks.
When I was 15 years old I tore the ACL in my knee and was told I needed surgery to reconstruct the ligament. The surgical team ended up taking a piece of my hamstring and reconstructing my ACL so I could continue to use my ligament-like I did before. The rehabilitation period took 6 months, and I actually made it back on the ice just over 5 months after my surgery, ahead of what most doctors told me would be possible.
From a young age I’ve been a fighter and someone that wants to show others what is actually possible when you set your mind on something.
A few months after I came back from my knee surgery I ended up spraining my wrist, doing, yes you guessed it, playing hockey. Well, at least I thought it was a sprain. After weeks went by and it didn’t heal I ended up going to the doctor and after a few set of x-rays, he told me that my scaphoid bone was broken, which is a very tiny bone in your wrist.
The doctor told me that the scaphoid is one of the worst bones in your body to break because of poor blood supply to certain areas of the bone, meaning it would take a while to heal. The x-ray told us that I needed yet another surgery and this time they would have to take a piece of bone from my hip to reconstruct the scaphoid in my wrist.
The rehab was yet another 6 months with wires put in my wrist to hold the new reconstructed bone in place. Oh, and I would have to get a new cast every month for 6 months.
So I ended up having a different color cast each month for over half a year in grade eleven at the age of 16.
I could have easily quit hockey and decided it wasn’t for me, but I chose to keep grinding. I ended up working my way through the ranks and leagues of Junior A hockey in Canada for 3 years after I graduated high school. Living in 4 provinces, playing for 6 teams, and meeting people from all walks of life. Yes it’s safe to say my nickname was suitcase.
After my last year of junior hockey, I accepted a scholarship to attend NAIT in Edmonton, Canada to play college hockey for the NAIT Ooks while also pursuing my business degree.
I graduated in 2013 with a business administration degree in management and have since immersed myself in the startup, entrepreneurial, and tech ecosystems of North America and the world. My new found passion and where I’m really started to hit my stride.
I take what I learned from hockey and apply it to all the businesses I’m involved with, the clients or companies I advise, and the projects I’m passionate about.