By Chief Executive Optimist of The Life is good Company Bert Jacobs
I met BJ 3 years ago at a business conference in Chicago. He led a group of 25 or so CEO’s through a workshop. When the session was over, he and I went out for a few beers at a local dive bar. We had some good laughs and a meandering, yet riveting conversation. I found it refreshing that he didn’t need to tell me about his accomplishments. I meet interesting people in my travels all the time, and I am sometimes the type that connects instantly, but this was different. Midway through our conversation, it became apparent to me that BJ and I would be friends for the rest of our lives.
We talked about The Shawshank Redemption and the power of a good story. We spoke of the vision and persistence of The Wright Brothers. We talked about Bob Dylan and the way music and great lyrics enable your mind to travel. We talked about our childhoods and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. We talked about the universe – and the incredible human journey. I think we talked about everything that night, except business. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To the enlightened mind the whole world sparkles and burns.” BJ and I were sitting on broken stools in a dimly lit room, but to us, that place was on fire!
He is easy going, but BJ is not easy to define. He is a funny man. He follows the trends of pop culture, but I think that’s so that he can make jokes about it. He goes on retreats with shamans to explore the unconscious mind. He practices martial arts. He practices magic (I’m not sure what that means exactly, but I’ve seen him freak out entire rooms by making stuff disappear). Although he is a very peaceful person, he plays to win, and he is a devoted student of The Art of War. Wherever I go with BJ, beautiful women approach me to ask about my mysterious friend. In summary, when the guy who plays “The Most Interesting Man in the World” for the Dos Equis commercials retires, BJ should be his replacement.
It is his profound and varied interests that give BJ a powerful advantage in the art of business. He and his team at The Cult Branding Company respect and understand what so many strategists miss – Before we can be experts on product or sales or the market, we must first be experts on the human mind (human nature?)
The Cult Branding team is not playing with academic exercises. They are working in the real world, and they have a proven track record of building healthy, sustainable businesses for some of the best brands in the world.
At my company, we have a strong brand, smart, dedicated leadership, and good instincts, but right now we need more. In 17 years of business, we’ve grown the sales of our apparel from $0 to over $100 Million. We believe our best years lie ahead, but we need stronger, clearer guidelines for decision making. Working with The Cult Branding Company…. As I write this, my partners and I are in the process of implementing the exact Brand Model strategies outlined in this book.
Do what you like.
Like what you do.
This post is an excerpt from our book Customers First: Dominate Your Market by Winning Them Over Where It Counts the Most.