Interview with Jacob Warwick – How Your Career Narrative Can Help You Become a VP – Episode #91

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Jacob Warwick is the CEO of ThinkWarwick, an executive leadership and career growth firm. He’s on a mission to help more people love what they do. Prior to starting his own business, he grew into c-suite marketing and product roles in Silicon Valley and was the CEO of a multi-million dollar a year career management company.

Questions and topics covered:

  • What the transition between marketing tactician to marketing leader looks like.
  • How can marketers who are trying to grow, make themselves recession-proof?
  • What is a career narrative and why is it important to have this clearly defined?
  • How Jacob has created a newsletter that actually helps grow his business.
  • The advice Jacob has for anyone trying to grow their LinkedIn audience this year.
  • Is it possible to become a CMO without a personal brand?

And more!

Full Episode Transcript:

Kenny Soto 0:02  

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the people of digital marketing with your host Kenny Soto and today’s guest, Jacob Warwick. Hi, Jacob, how are you?

 

Jacob Warwick 0:16  

Doing great, Kenny got some, finally good weather in northern Montana. And I’m not complaining.

 

Kenny Soto 0:21  

That’s awesome. It’s raining cats and dogs here in upstate New York right now. And as always, April and May. And at least the first week of June is always a transitionary period. For good weather. Hopefully, we’ll get better weather soon. But that’s beside the point. I wanted to say that first. 

 

And I said this prior to recording, I’m really grateful for your time. I’m sure the audience will get a better understanding of who you are as a person. But I just wanted to preface that by saying that your career is very impressive. 

 

And I think that there’s a lot to learn from you, not only as a marketer but more so just as a professional navigating the world that is startup life, corporate life, etc. So I wanted to start off by getting more context about who you are as a professor, and the professor excuses me. So my first question is how did you get input to marketing?

 

Jacob Warwick 1:18  

That’s a great question. It wasn’t on purpose. So I’m sure that many of your listeners, maybe wanted to be in marketing, but I sort of fell into it by accident. I have always kind of been the kid that fixes the VCR, and coated websites. seventh eighth grade did some of that through high school, I was the AV nerd that didn’t play football, but videotaped all the football games for the high school and got my first opportunity as a journalist, while I was still in high school for the local news station in California. 

 

And they wanted somebody that could speak on air and showcase the local sports the school I went to had a championship-level or state championship-level football program. So it was pretty hot in our little local scene. So I got my start as a journalist, and after high school, I didn’t go to college, it was right during the economic collapse of Oh 708. and think it through it, I looked at the ROI of going to a big school and how I was going to make the money and gas was 550 a gallon and everyone was paying $8 An hour and it wasn’t going to happen. 

 

So I continued working as a journalist, and I got a lucky break running into one of the producers from the Deadliest Catch in our local staples if you remember Staples and Office Supply Store, and he needed a video editor. So I started editing episodes of The Deadliest Catch when I was 19 years old and still have this journalist background. And it turns out that doing some video editing and some reporting and journalist work helps you become a stronger storyteller, which is one of the core components of a great marketing professional and poking around on Craigslist looking for my first jobs. And then LinkedIn started taking off early in my career and stumbled into my first kind of startup growth roles from there.

 

Kenny Soto 3:12  

Can you give the audience context into what you’re doing today?

 

Jacob Warwick 3:17  

Yeah, so today, I teach executives primarily how to find work that they love doing. Yeah, and this is a big fast-forward from the early days. So thanks for giving me that challenge, Kenny. But I use what I learned as a journalist, marketer, and storyteller to propel my career pretty quickly, probably faster than is advisable. 

 

By the time I was 24, I was a director of marketing and a fortune 500 and went on to become a vice president of marketing by 27. The startup, so not quite the same status that you’d have at a fortune 500. But got into some VP roles. And I found that it kind of sucked. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. A was a little arrogant and had probably too much of an ego too. And some of the work that I was doing wasn’t very enjoyable. It paid really well, which is a great, great problem to have. 

 

But it wasn’t very fulfilling. And it didn’t make me happy. So what I found that I was good at was getting jobs. And I was pretty good at talking myself into jobs that I probably had business being, but I wasn’t happy so something wasn’t clicking. So I turned my career around and started coaching others on how to find work that they loved took some early-year marketers under my wing and help them find work that they liked and help them market themselves a little bit better. 

 

Basically turned all the skills I learned in marketing around to help others market themselves. So now that’s what I do. I teach executives essentially how to go to market with their careers and find work that they love while still getting paid really well. In the meantime.

 

Kenny Soto 5:02  

This is a vague question because I just want to see what your mind goes with it. Could you paint the picture? What is the picture of that transition from marketing tactician to marketing executive?

 

Jacob Warwick 5:20  

So the picture is, and this is probably a resume if you have some early career marketing folks, you, you end up learning a lot of hard skills, a lot of email optimization, and AdWords and you’re, you’re going into SEO, and then you’re going into content marketing, and then you’re learning maybe some design practices, and maybe you’re optimizing landing pages or creating copy, or you’re just learning everything as fast as you can. 

 

And eventually, you get pretty good at it. Or you just keep doing more things where you become a specialist in one particular area like you could be the best email marketing person in the world. Well, I did a lot of that a lot of tactical things. But the real transition to becoming more of an executive starts to become more soft skills, it’s less about the hard skills, it’s less about the tactical because you’re only one person. 

 

So you need to find a way to get more out of not just yourself, but the people around you, and to support them and help them grow in their careers as well. Otherwise, the whole business isn’t going to be successful. So the two breakthroughs I had to become an executive were soft skills, it’s about treating others with respect, being humble, helping those up, and supporting others. And then tying your career back to performance and revenue as much as possible. 

 

So if you can tie the work that you do, whether you’re a social media manager, or you’re running email campaigns, but if you can tie that back to how it’s impacting sales, or money, or typical KPIs, or OKRs, or any of those buzzwords you want to throw around there, if you can tie your career back to money, and then you treat others with respect and polish up some of those soft skills, we’ll start to make that transition, at least from marketing manager or senior marketing manager to Director of Marketing. 

 

And then the more you polish the soft skills, the closer you can start to get to now VP, and you should be in a position where you can influence three to eight people or eight to 15 people or 20 people or start working, cross-functionally with other teams. When you become a VP, it becomes more important how to how you get the most not just out of your marketing team, but out of the sales team. 

 

How about the customer success team? How are you influencing product decisions and or the engineering team? How are you managing up to your executives, which starts to become more about everything around you and less about specifically what you know, in marketing? And so there’s a big transitionary period there that you need to know all those tactical things. 

 

But if you only try to focus on those tactical things, there’s only so far you can push a boulder uphill. Like, you just can’t keep multiplying your time to the fact that you can start performing more than just a single person. So you have to be the buzzword is a force multiplier, like one person to make a 10x impact on multiple people through an organization. And that’s when you start to really break through that ceiling.

 

Kenny Soto 8:16  

I’ve experienced a similar issue recently, where I’ve gotten really good at interviewing, I actually got that first marketing hire role at a startup, where I was being groomed to eventually become head of marketing, then VP of Marketing, and CMO. But what I realized, and this probably is related excuse me to any role, especially at the executive level, is being able to successfully pass an interview is a skill in and of itself that should be practiced. 

 

But at the same time, that doesn’t necessarily equate to all the other skills, the hard and soft skills that you mentioned, that a marketing leader needs to have. What advice or recommendations would you have for someone who wants to make that jump, but may not know that all they really have is the interviews, and interview skills ironed out?

 

Jacob Warwick 9:17  

So the best thing that I found works for my career was surrounding those that had done it before that have made that climb. Similar to what you’re doing, you have a podcast, and you’re connecting with other leaders in the space, whether they’re either earlier in their career may be equal to your career, or above you in your career. One of the things that I did a long time ago now, but I’ve spent 1000s and 1000s hours on LinkedIn. 

 

When I was a marketing manager I connected with some times a day. This is before LinkedIn had limitations, but I connected with 1000 directors of marketing in roles that I wanted or thought I wanted at some point in my career. So I’m just 22 two-year-old kid talking to a mid-30s 40-year-old Director of Marketing at big tech companies and like, Hey, can I buy you some coffee? Do you want to hang out like really obnoxious before? You know it, it’s kind of ruined now without that, like everyone’s doing that. 

 

But it was really more about building relationships with those that had already done that. And then when I became a director, I said, Okay, let me connect with all the VPS. And then when I was a VP at connected with all the C suite, I just, I continued to have those conversations above my paygrade significantly. And a little weird fact about most of my friends is in their 50s. Like, they’re much older than me, like I, I have a thirst for knowledge. 

 

And I always want to learn from others. You should treat everyone like there’s something to learn, right? Like, I have plenty to learn from you, Kenny. And I’m sure we can all share the wealth of that knowledge. But that’s really what helps propel me through that, especially since the imposter syndrome is not having the skills yet. And it just is willing, to admit it to just say, you know, I haven’t done this yet. Maybe I haven’t been there, I’m really good at interviewing and they’ve taken a chance on me. 

 

And now’s my chance might Now’s my chance to shine. Right. And so there was, this may be funny. But in one of my first marketing roles, I was sitting for the first time at the bar, at this little board table. And there’s our VP of marketing or VP of sales, the CEO, and the co-founder in the room and one of the board members is in the room. And I’m sitting there supposed to be doing this report on marketing, and I have no idea what I’m doing. 

 

Like, I’m like, sweating. And so the CEO has a very simple question, which was like, what was the ROI of the campaign over some other thing, and as he used like, for acronyms that I’ve never heard of before, like, I hadn’t even heard of ROI before. Like, that’s how bad and so I, I remember being so nervous, I just said like, I’m gonna get that information for you. But I really have to go to the bathroom. And I took off in the middle of the meeting. 

 

And I sat on the toilet, and I got my phone out. And I looked up all of the acronyms to understand what the hell he was talking about in the first place. And then I knew how to answer it. Right. And so then he came back, he’s like, You know what, thank you, I want to share a little bit about what our return on investment was with this. And we spent $22,000. Last month we had this many impressions, blah, blah. And I actually like, kind of saved my own ass, I guess. But what I should have done at that moment was like, ask for some clarity and like, hey, help me out here. Right? But that was my little hack of, oh, no, no, they’re gonna see me I shouldn’t be here kind of.

 

Kenny Soto 12:39  

What does it mean? And this doesn’t need to just be with marketing can be of any profession, what does it mean to be recession-proof in your career?

 

Jacob Warwick 12:50  

Oh, yes. So now you’re putting me on the spot for the article I sent out this morning. You know, really, the point that I made was that you can either pretend it’s not happening. And the metaphor I gave was like being an ostrich and burying your head in the sand and just hoping that you’re not going to get taken out. 

 

Or you could be a honey badger, which is a funny meme from my generation of being a little bit more aggressive with it. And what it means for me is that look, even early career marketers, and maybe marketers will get this reference. But I found that in my career marketers are often last to hire and first to fire, right you don’t, you don’t create the product, you don’t sell the product, you help sell the product, and you help influence the product. 

 

But oftentimes you’re seen as a nice to have and not a need to have, especially at smaller companies, where they would prefer to save their engineers and their marketing talent. And so that means that you’re not necessarily as safe in your career as you’d like to be. And it’s not that you don’t have loyalty for the company that you’re in. But you shouldn’t put all of your livelihood and your power in the hands of somebody else. And that is you could be working for slack or a company that’s really well off. 

 

And one day your boss can quit their job or get fired. And all of a sudden you don’t have any AERCO. Now all the power that you put into someone that you trust is up to somebody else. And somebody else comes in and says yeah, I don’t need someone like Kenny on my team by and you’re gone. Well, that happens but you still got a mortgage to pay, you got rent to make sure you got a car payment or you got a cell phone bill, you got insurance, you got student loan debt, or you got to know, your life doesn’t stop. 

 

Because somebody above you moves in. So you can be the most loyal person in the world. You can be doing a kick-ass job, you can be overperforming, and even give your heart and soul like you don’t need to do anything else. You don’t have friends, you don’t have a relationship. You’re 16 hours a day, early career marketers just totally kicking ass and the rug gets swept out from under you. That can happen during a great economy. 

 

Now in a recession, that happens significantly more often than you I had the realization just like I came out of high school and didn’t have a college degree. And it was right during the recession, great, mid-level managers, executive managers, like marketers, got fired. In the recession, I took their job as a kid for $12 an hour, because I didn’t know any better. And that’s why I had an accelerated learning path with these folks who were making 100 150 200 grand a year. 

 

Like they lost their jobs. And they were replacing them with folks like me. So it was an opportunity for me and tough for them. That could happen to any of us at any time. So the moral of this story is long-winded, thank you, is keep the door open, keep opportunities coming in. You’re not disloyal. By having a company reach out to be like Kenny, I’d really like, to interview you for this. Take it. Take the interview, you could love your job, and you can be one week into a job that you love. 

 

Take that interview, and see what they say. To be honest, yeah, just took a job. I’m not really looking to leave. But you never know what you’re going to learn. Just keep doors open, keep planting and planting seeds. Like tell other companies you may be interested, do those things. Just because an opportunity is open for you doesn’t mean you need to walk through it. So it doesn’t mean you need to bail on the company because they want to hire you can say no, not the timing is not right. But thank you. 

 

And let’s build a relationship or maybe. And this is one of the ways I started my entrepreneurial career was that maybe somebody wants to hire me and the timing wrong. So they don’t hire you full-time. They hire you as a contractor, you start consulting, and you start doing multiple works. Now you have, maybe it’s just 10 hours a week, but you have money coming from here. So if this job goes away, you have a little bit of money, and you can get paid while you look. 

 

And all these little things, you have multiple revenue streams, and these multiple opportunities to make money start to come in. And that really, recession proves your career. Like right now I own my own business because it’s in my hands, I trust myself more than I trust the manager, more than I trust another executive that I’ve worked with. And well, I’m not one of those, like I have a bunch of real estate investments, or I have money coming from the stock market or I invested in crypto like I don’t have any stock. I don’t have any of that. 

 

But I can make money through freelance writing, or being a marketing consultant or direct career consulting, or getting a job or getting a small contract, or just having all this confidence to be able to make sure that you’re well taken care of is how you recession-proof your career.

 

Kenny Soto 17:36  

Now, this is a perfect segue into a career narrative. Right. So let’s say the goal is obviously to become as recession-proof as possible, even during a great economic upswing. Now, a career narrative can help in that endeavor. Can you tell the audience what a career narrative is? And two, why is it important to have that clearly defined?

 

Jacob Warwick 18:03  

So your career narrative is really your why. Right? It’s, it’s why you do what you do. It’s the story that you tell others of why they should believe in you and why they should be confident in you. And your narrative is also how you paint the picture for others, and what perception you want to leave behind them. So if I want you to feel like I’m the world’s best marketer, maybe I will choose to share more marketing-related stories. 

 

If I want you to feel like I’m a career consultant, I will handpick the pieces of a story that I want to tell you that point in the direction of a career consultant. So the little pieces that I shared with you about running to the bathroom and looking up, SEO, KPIs and ROI, and all those things. I don’t normally pull that piece of my story out for everyone I speak to. So one way I like to equate this for my clients is that end your Katniss, right? Katniss Everdeen, right. 

 

So she’s got a quiver, and she’s got a quiver full of arrows. And you choose the arrows that you want to pull out. This is your narrative. So I’m talking to somebody that knows a lot about marketing. I’m going to start pulling out more marketing-related arrows. And those are the pieces of the story that I’m going to talk about. I’m going to talk about that time I grew an email list by 40% Or whatever. Right? I’m going to talk about marketing attributing 4 million ARR to the whole company over the course of a couple of years, I may pull those pieces out. If I’m talking to an executive, I may pull the air out where I was the CEO of discovering podium and had 20 employees. 

 

And I led 20 employees through the COVID pandemic. And I talk a little bit about the pressures and what it was like to be an executive and have people looking up to you through hard times because I can build a stronger connection with that person. So your narrative changes depending on who You’re talking to in sales, they would call this mirroring, or something like mirroring, where that’s more of a tone match. Like, if you’re kind of quiet and conservative, I might slow down a little bit, and articulate more, if you’re hyped up and excited, I might pick it up and build the tone up. It’s similar to that. 

 

But it’s also with the stories that you choose to tell. If you’re speaking with a highly technical founder, they may really want you to get into the weeds get into the details, the numbers and the metrics, and how you did something. If you’re talking to a sales leader, that’s fast-paced, vague, and broad, they might be more excited by the energy in choosing stories that are funny or more anecdotal. So that’s how you craft a career narrative. 

 

And you have different pieces that you prepare. And one thing I recommend is just to write out a handful of them in some bullets. It’s like funny things that happened, or pieces of a story, or little things that you can choose to pull out and just have prepared. You may not need them for a few years, you’ll need them in different contexts. So hopefully that defines I think there was a second part of your question, I might have missed that.

 

Kenny Soto 21:06  

Why is it important to have a clearly defined?

 

Jacob Warwick 21:10  

So it’s really important to be able to highlight your past in a way that paints the future that you want. And so this is really tricky. So who you’ve been isn’t necessarily where you’re going. And one of the traps that we fall into in our career, especially for me, I never wanted to be in marketing. And here, I am a VP of marketing, I got chief growth officer roles as I did, right, I never actually wanted to do that. 

 

And that’s because the stories that I told along the way were in the ways that I thought about thought of my about myself in a marketing vein. And I thought about myself as only being a marketer, and I thought about myself as growing into CMO and staying within that track. And you’ll see that if you look on LinkedIn, you’ll see that through career progression. 

 

So maybe from some of your favorite marketers, you know, marketing coordinator, intern, associate marketing manager, Senior Marketing Manager, Senior Marketing Manager, again, Director of Marketing, and like it’s a very linear path. But what happens if you never want to be in marketing? What happens if you wanted to save puppies from their parent? What happens if you wanted to start your own business in sales, or something completely unrelated? Like, your story suddenly doesn’t make sense? If people can’t logically make that connection, like, if I’m looking at your background, Kenny, I’m like, oh, cool, I will keep Kenny in mind for marketing things. 

 

But you’ve never told me that, you know, actually, I’m more interested in not being in tech, I’d actually like to do something more with my hands. Maybe you want to learn something else. So your narratives are important because you can drip the pieces of where you’re going into it. And what that does is it invites other people to help build that future with you. And so this is really tricky because I could say, you know, Kenny, I’m building a media company. And I’m planting a seed with us like Jacob is now connected with media. 

 

And if you hear about that, and other points and I keep our relationship strong, and you bring me opportunities, or you at least think about things or you talk to other people about me or you, I’m talking to your audience about me. Now, they might say like, oh Jacobs is associated with media, and I can start to move my career over in a new direction. I’ve never owned a media company, I don’t have a media company as I do in New Zealand, basically. Right. 

 

But if I say my vision is media, then people can start to make stronger recommendations and push my career in that direction your narrative has a lot of power, what you choose to tell people and trust with other people, and how you want that information to spread is important.

 

Kenny Soto 23:47  

Tying into the career narrative, and making it so that there’s some actionable advice, there are three questions that I have planned, as far as how to leverage the career narrative, once you have some idea of how to define it. You mentioned your newsletter, and having a newsletter is still tried and true, great tactic to use whether you’re growing a business for yourself or for someone else. How do you approach the growth of your newsletter?

 

Jacob Warwick 24:22  

Yeah, that’s it’s a loaded question. Because I will not say what everyone else says in that I don’t approach growth. So I actually don’t care so much about its growth of it. I have decent growth on it. I do say that you know, the content is king. Right? But I haven’t, I haven’t done a whole lot for growth other than manually telling a couple of people about it. What I actually do is take the Congress situations that I have with clients, and use that to inform the content that I write because I know more people are going to like it. 

 

And then I try to write in a way that is controversial and not fluffy and take it very, very seriously. My, I have a very kind structured content regimen that I follow, and, consistently it. But I previously bootstrapped a million-dollar business without a newsletter. Yeah, and, we built it off of basically messaging people on LinkedIn, and having conversations using a LinkedIn recruiter to understand who was looking for jobs. 

 

And while it is tried and true, like we didn’t pay for advertising, we didn’t do all of the traditional marketing things, which is essentially blasting me as some with somebody that has a fairly strong marketing background, that we didn’t even do marketing for a company. But in terms of approaching the growth, I do want to grow the newsletter, a couple of things I’m working on right now is migrating to a stronger website, that’s going to give me a little bit more creative control. 

 

And I’m starting to put some of the pillars of SEO that I’ve had in place so that I can increase some organic without really bastardizing the message, right? You don’t want to have 6000 words where everything is what is a career narrative? Why is career narrative important? Oh, but do you have a backlink from Wikipedia, you’re the best page on the subject, right? It’s not gonna be watered down like that. 

 

But I’m considering how some of that SEO stuff works. But the most important way of growth, for me, is giving back to others, providing your time always, and always giving more than you take. And ultimately, it’s through partnerships that it really grows. So if you write something great, and it resonates with Kenny and your audience, hey, I might pick up two or three subscribers from talking on your podcast, and hopefully, some folks learn from that. 

 

But I’m not going to if I got no followers, even if I lost Fox, who said How dare you talk to Kenny, right? It’s still worth it. Because you’re putting yourself out there and you’re learning. So I approach more of the growth from a partnership level by doing podcasts speaking to communities and engaging in communities versus listing or advertising or anything like that.

 

Kenny Soto 27:15  

Just to confirm this is the same approach you have for growing your LinkedIn audience in general to correct.

 

Jacob Warwick 27:23  

Yeah, I haven’t been concerned with my LinkedIn for it a long time. I think I probably have close to about 32,000 or so followers. I’ve, I think most of that is augmented just from connecting with people. Right? I had 45,000 connections back in like 2014. And then LinkedIn put a connection cap on, I manually had to delete 15,000 people to keep my profile. So I’m not. I’m not too concerned with LinkedIn follower growth, either, though, maybe I should be some of the other career coaches who did something totally to kill it. 

 

I don’t particularly like the approach to how they share content, in a lot of ways. I know there’s, there are hacks for the algorithm. And it’s usually say something with a strong opinion, that’s not well researched, and see what happens because people get really mad, and it tends to do well. And then I also think I found that I unfollowed probably 25,000 connections that I had because I was trying to trim down the newsfeed. And I think that LinkedIn punishes me for the algorithm and doesn’t share my stuff quite as much. But I could also, you know, just be a little hurt.

 

Kenny Soto 28:41  

When it comes to your writing, what is your approach to pitching to publications?

 

Jacob Warwick 28:51  

I have an official publication actually in probably 10 years. I’m trying to think about I got very, very fortunate. I had a really good break in order to get into those publications. And I was working at a tech startup, the same one where I had to Google what my job was. And I was part of a 50-person layoff. Again, don’t put your put all your eggs in one basket. 

 

And I had already done a lot of LinkedIn work made a lot of connections and made a connection with a marketing consultant. His name is Brian Honigman. And he’s at a New Yorker. I think he’s out of Philadelphia now. Rhine Oh, Brian. Okay, so Brian used to be my boss. Everything I learned from writing about writing is from Brian. 

 

And I got very fortunate the day that the company announced the layoff. I got an InMail message from Brian, looking for a copywriter to join the team that knows about marketing. And I had been a marketing manager at the time, and I had no frickin idea what I was doing. Don’t tell Brian enough, but I had no idea what I was doing. And he said, Alright, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to write a blog post a day, a day. 1500 words, 1000 Words 2000 Words. 

 

And you’re going to help me and we’re going to work together and we’re going to get stuff published. And so I did some of the I did a lot of the heavy research work and some ghostwriting for Brian. And he basically took my first article, I spent like, 1213 hours on it, just really like I was in tears, it was so freakin hard. And he likes to read lines. And I was like, This is bad, this is bad, you should do this like, not that maybe he’s not mean at all. But he basically like I took it that way. I took it way more intense. 

 

And he basically polished it up. And then he submitted it and got it published in the New York Times, like, right away. Like, because he has all the connections like Brian is the one you want to talk to about pitching publications. But he taught me how to write he said, Look, here’s how you research, here’s how you now spend this much time researching, here are the ideas, here’s how we do this. And he just honestly, he’s changed the course of my career, just having that one good break like that. 

 

And some of them he let me write some articles for myself, they got syndicated to the entrepreneur that started the chain. Once you have the chain of events and a strong personal brand, it helps sell that story a little bit later.

 

Kenny Soto 31:22  

For more questions, does a potential marketing leader really need to focus on their personal brand? Or could they actually achieve the role of CMO without one?

 

Jacob Warwick 31:42  

There’s an easy answer here, which is yes, we absolutely do need to work on their personal brand one way or the other, and or their personal network. The delineation that I have is that if you want to be a CMO in tech, you absolutely need to have a personal brand that is going to carry you through your career. Because you’re looking for a job every time you get one. As you’ll see the best CMOS only are at a company for 18 months in tech. 

 

So that’s pretty exhausting for what it’s worth. They need to have a great brand and make sure that they’re not out looking for work all the time. They are naturally looking forward, they’ve built the habits to protect themselves. That’s why they’ve made it that far in their career. So that personal brand and more importantly, that can be developed not just with what you put on your LinkedIn, but with how you treat other people. 

 

Can you treat other people with respect and take care of them and get the Golden Rule to give more value than you expect to receive in return? People carry that with them through their careers. Now, the caveat and where you don’t necessarily need it, I work with a lot of clients who’ve never even used LinkedIn. 

 

A lot of executives don’t need it, and there are some career paths. And I don’t know how many of your audience would even be on this path. But you know, we live in a pretty small tech bubble, like if you’re on LinkedIn like they have a lot of users and there’s a lot of folks there. But we are still stuck in this kind of echo chamber of just tech or just small startups or in LinkedIn perpetuates information in a circle that you’re in. 

 

So if you’re a healthcare executive like you have a different approach, it’s not often through LinkedIn, at least I can’t see it, and you probably can’t see it. They may be doing more events and more networking and more speaking and other contexts. So you do need a personal brand, regardless of whether you’re online or off or whatever the medium is, but we have to recognize also that we live in a very small bubble. 

 

And that’s all we see. So there is no like one-size-fits-all answer there. You can, can become a CMO by being a janitor at a company first. I know a guy who started as a lineman working at an energy company climbing the lines and like building the lineman, like wow, whatever they do, right, the actual physical labor part, been at the company for 25 years and it’s been the CEO for the last five entire careers. 25 years working up from alignment to the CEO, and CIO. Personal Brand Yeah, integrity in that industry. In that space. No one knows him as anything less than full of integrity and a great person, right? Some paths are untraditional, what we see on LinkedIn is not necessarily reality.

 

Kenny Soto 34:30  

There’s a clip of I’ve heard one. My last question for you is hypothetical. If you had access to a time machine, I can go back into the past about 10 years doing everything you know right now. How would you accelerate the speed of your career?

 

Jacob Warwick 34:46  

I’d actually want to slow down and take a little bit more time. In the enrolls a little bit longer. But the number one thing I learned about six years one of the biggest weaknesses I have was not being assertive enough, and not creating my own boundaries. And being smart with those I took, I had to take a personality assessment for my very first VP of marketing role. And the executive recruiter said You score well, in everything is actually quite cool. 

 

Like you’re really well-rounded. But you’re not very assertive, and we don’t like having, like, executives on assertive. What I realized was, if I could go back 10 years and read a book, it would be radical candor by Kim Scott. And you can Google that one right there. It’s a good one, I’ve read maybe 50 business books. I’m not one of those crazy business book-type persons. But there are only two books of like anything that I would ever recommend. And it’s radical candor by Kim Scott and atomic habits by James clear, which is phenomenal. 

 

But Kim Scott has a model of kind of four quadrants that you can fit in, one of which is manipulative, ly insincere. So those are the people that are kind of stabbing you in the back but smiling at your face. And you’ll probably recognize that if you’ve spent any amount of time in any culture, then there are those that are typically really well-performing. But they’re obnoxiously aggressive. They’re kind of like overly assertive. 

 

This is usually the bro culture. They’re like, kind of assholes and really obnoxious. But they’re also the bosses and created the company. So you kind of have to bow down to it, then that culture is typically rewarded more than the category I fell in, which is ruinously empathetic. Like I care so much about how you feel that I’m not going to tell you when you’re doing something wrong because I don’t want to hurt your feelings. Right? So I don’t want to say like, Hey, Kenny, you could have done this podcast a little bit better. Right? I don’t want to say that that’s like, I care about your feelings. I don’t want to hurt your feelings. But in doing so I hurt your growth. Right? But if I say like, your podcast could have been better, then you’re obnoxiously aggressive. 

 

And so what Kim Scott says is you should be kind of both in the sweet spot is called being radical candor. And that is you want to be direct and honest with people because you care about them. And so it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. So Kenny, I really appreciate the work that you’re doing. 

 

When you make a rough transition. You’re not doing this, by the way, but when you make a rough transition, it makes your podcast come off a little amateurish. And I think you’re better than that. And you’re like, well, that’s some feedback, I can actually do something with, right? It’s not done that sucked. Like that’s aggressive. And there’s nothing constructive about it. So if I could go back 10 years, I read that book that wasn’t out yet. But to be helpful.

 

Kenny Soto 37:51  

That’s perfect. If anyone wants to say hello online, where can they find you?

 

Jacob Warwick 37:56  

On LinkedIn or the website, think work.com I’m usually pretty easy to reach. I respond to everything that I get unless it’s clearly spam. So that’s.

 

Kenny Soto 38:08  

Perfect. Thank you, Jacob, for your time today. And thank you to your listener for listening to another episode of the people Digital Marketing podcast with your host Kenny Soto. And if you have the time, rate us on Apple and Spotify, that way we can get more people like you. So listen, and as always, I hope you have a great week.

 

Bye.

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