Greg is the man CEO’s call upon to turn great ideas into reality through thoughtful team leadership and the ability to attract large numbers of people to a common goal.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [00:57] – Greg lives between Los Angeles and South Florida
- [01:07] – He’s into fitness and loves being engaged in his environment
- [01:25] – He invests his time and effort into the younger generations
- [01:39] – His area of expertise is in turning ideas into reality
- [02:00] – Share something we don’t know about your area of expertise that as Entrepreneurs, we probably should: Thoughtful team building is the ability to attract people to a common goal. What entrepreneurs get wrong in this is conveying their “why” to people
- [03:30] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: The Legends of Oz was the animated film Greg assembled over the span of 7 years. It was an independent project. Greg raised $122M with 1,400 investors, paralleled Disney and Pixar, and created his own franchise. They launched the movie to an independent distribution company that botched their $32M marketing budget — resulting in them only having $8M in sales at the box office
- [05:53] – No one’s going to care about something you made the way you do
- [06:31] – The unforeseen was what took them down
- [06:55] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Back in 2004, Greg began to really understand his uniqueness. When he came in touch with his uniqueness and became intentional with that, he achieved success
- [08:09] – “You have to find out who you are”
- [08:41] – When you’re in tune with yourself, you’re grounded
- [09:54] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “What fires me up the most today is working with millennials”
- [11:41] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Nothing”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Fitness”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Google Alert
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Einstein – “it’s really the course of situation we’re all in”
- 14:12 – Connect with Greg on LinkedIn and on Twitter
- 14:25 – Get Greg’s 2-Part FREE video series on The Art and Psychology of Fundraising by visiting GregCentineo.com
- [14:52] – “Do what you want to do”
Greg: John, I am prepared to ignite, my friend!
John: Yes! Greg is the man for CEOs, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs to call upon to turn great ideas into reality through thoughtful team leadership and the ability to attract large numbers of people to a common goal. Greg, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro and give us just a little glimpse of your personal life.
Greg: I live between Los Angeles and South Florida. I’ve been doing this for many years now. I’m actively into fitness, and I love just being totally engaged in what’s going on around me and totally aware of new things happening in the world. I have two kids, really six kids with my girlfriend’s four, and I just enjoy investing a lot of my time and effort and energies and insights into the younger generation.
John: What would you say, Greg, today, as we’re talking, is your area of expertise? What do you specialize in?
Greg: For me, it’s taking ideas from an early stage and turning them into reality.
John: What’s something that we don’t know? We being entrepreneurs, want-preneurs, sole-preneurs, thought leaders, what don’t we know about that? What’s one thing that you find over and over again that we keep screwing up in your area of expertise?
Greg: Thoughtful team building is something that I think is really, in my area of expertise is the ability to, in team building, attracting people. In some cases, large numbers of people to the common goal which is what makes things happen.
John: Give me one specific step of actually building a team that people screw up on time and time again.
Greg: Conveying the why behind it. The ability to –, What moves people is when people get inspired to join something. A lot of times people communicate an idea but there’s no real life, or real why behind why should I invest my life, my time, my energy into your idea? They kind of fail to communicate the bigger picture behind an idea. There’s always a bigger picture behind those ideas, and that’s what really moves and motivates people to actually make your dream their dream.
John: Fire Nation if you’re gonna be “the man” or “the woman” you’ve gotta get people excited about what your dream is. You’ve gotta have them buy into it. You’ve gotta be that leader that holds that flag, that carries that torch and gets other people fired up. Greg, lets’ shift gears here. I wanna talk about your worst entrepreneurial moment, to date. I want you to take us to the worst, the lowest of the low moment that you’ve ever had an entrepreneur. I wanna be there with you brother. Tell me that story.
Greg: John that was one of the greatest moments of my life and it was also one of the worst moments of my life. It was the Legends of Oz, Dorothy’s Return, the animated feature film that we kind of assembled over a seven-year period. It was an independent project in the animation vertigo which never had been done before in Hollywood history for an independent to venture into those pathways with Disney, DreamWorks, and Pixar. I took the idea of a small production company.
We went out, and we did the impossible, raised $122 million during the recession with almost 1,400 investors in that timeframe. Paralleled Disney, DreamWorks, and Pixar created our own animated franchise, as great as that all sounds which was awesome, we had a worldwide release, 3,600 revenue streams from toy companies, to foods, you name it, everything that Disney or DreamWorks would have done, we did. All outside the studio system. Then the handoff, after seven years, was to an independent distribution company that was supposed to market and launch our film. We did. We launched it on a wide release, but they botched up the $32 million in the marketing of that film. That film only had an $8 million box office.
My friend John, I will tell you that was the lowest point of my life, it took me about three years to get over it.
John: Wow. Let’s get specific for one second. What was maybe just one thing that they really botched up? I mean, $32 million marketing, what happened? What was one thing they just really screwed the pooch on?
Greg: You know, they mismanaged it. I’m being kind when I say that. You know you give somebody $32 million to market something on 4,000 screens domestically parallels the big studios, that type of release. It’s really hard to botch that up. If you can read between the lines, I’m not sure how intentional it was, if you know what I mean, to have taken that type of money and really screwed it up.
John: Criminally negligent in some ways. What is the one thing that you wanna make sure that we get from that story? What’s the lesson? What’s the takeaway?
Greg: The take away is that no one’s gonna treat what you birth and care about what you have more than you. You never know. I used to say to the investors the entire time; they used to ask me what would keep me up at night about the project. I would always say nothing that I’m aware of. Confidence in my leadership, confidence in the leaders around me. It’s what you don’t know that’s lurking around the corner. My encouragement to people as much as we were aware of what we were doing, and aware of the problems and issues around us, we solved those, it’s was what didn’t see coming that took us out. You never know, man, it’s just the bottom line, life is life.
John: Greg, let’s shift gears again, here. I wanna talk about one of the greatest ideas that you’ve had to date. You’ve had a lot of ah-ha moments, we all have. Some of them kind of work and some of them don’t, but what’s one that did? Take us to that moment. Tell us that story.
Greg: That’s a great question. I’ve had a lot of great ideas, I’ve had ideas of others that we’ve taken to market in big ways that I was instrumental in helping. The greatest ah-ha moment for me was the ah-ha moment in 2004 when I really began to understand my uniqueness and what made me unique, what made what I do in the business world or in personal relationships successful. When I understood that and that really a moment of self-awareness of who I am and what makes me unique in the world. Everybody is unique in their own way when I got in touch with that and became intentional with uniqueness, John, that’s when I saw myself move from millions of dollars into hundreds of millions of dollars of success and bringing projects to larger markets. For me, it was becoming intentional with the understanding that I was who I was the greatest ah-ha moment for me and to go with that.
John: What is the take away there? What do you wanna make sure our listeners get from that ah-ha moment?
Greg: You have to find out who you are. You have to understand your uniqueness. There’s so much noise, John, in the world that in of people telling us who we are, what we should do and really, you need to find out, become more self-aware, more socially and emotionally intelligent about those things. Become confident in those aspects. Become convicted about those things, about who you are and go with that. When you’re in tune, and you’re in touch with who you are as a person, it doesn’t mean you don’t listen to others, a matter of fact, John, it’s the opposite, you actually can listen to everyone because you’re grounded you know who you are. I always say you listen to everyone, but you follow no one buy yourself. When you can have those two parallel dynamics in a place where your confident in who you are, in your leadership, in your uniqueness, and you can listen to every voice that’s out there, but follow yourself. That’ becomes the most powerful formula for living and has been for me, John. It’s become in touch with who you are.
John: Greg, I think you’ll love this quote it’s from John Mason, “You are born an original, don’t die a copy.” So, Fire Nation, you’re born an original you are completely original. So often people just try to morph into somebody else throughout their life, so don’t fall into that. Don’t try to be a copy of somebody else because you’ll be a weak copy of that person. Be an original, be born an original which you are, die an original. Now, Greg, what are you most excited about today? What are you fired up about right now?
Greg: John, in my five decades on planet earth, what fires me up the most today is working with millennials, this is a group in our culture now, worldwide that obviously it has a tremendous amount of energy, they’re disruptive in so many different ways. They get it, they see through the B.S. that’s out there, and they’re about true results and really true life experience. And I predominantly work with millennials now in the projects that I’m associated with. It’s been absolutely the time of my life. As a matter of John, I say to them a lot of time, many I’ve been waiting for you guys to grow up, waiting for you guys to grow up.
John: What do you say to people, because a lot of people say this, I’m not one of them, but a lot of people say millennials are so entitled. What do you have to respond to that?
Greg: You know, John, any time there’s a group out there that’s making a difference, or that’s disruptive and shaking up the status quo, people are goon find things to say to discredit that. They’re not entitled, what are they entitled to? You know, they’re the generation that knows that the ways that our parents, their parents, or their grandparents before that the American Dream doesn’t exist anymore. Graduate college and you don’t have a job. What do you mean entitled? They’re not entitled, they know they’re not entitled, they’re doing something about it, John. It’s like the book Who Moved My Cheese, they’re doing something they’re not standing around waiting for something they’re going out, and they’re doing it themselves. And they’re finding the pathway. You know what? For those of us that are older, we should actually take notice of that.
John: Fire Nation if you think Greg is fired up now, you’re right. It’s even gonna get more firey in the lightning round. When we get back from thanking our sponsors.
Greg are you ready to rock the lightning rounds.
Greg: Let’s do it. Let’s do it, John.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Greg: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
John: What is the best advice that you have ever received.
Greg: Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.
John: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success.
Greg: Fitness. Boxing, Basketball. My abilities I continually work walking to sports and be uncomfortable and train in those environments.
John: You know, looking at your picture right now I’m gonna guess you have a kill crossover and a dope fadeaway. Am I right?
Greg: Not really a man. But I try, I try.
John: Recommend one Internet resource.
Greg: Google. Google Alerts. And we just comment you on Google Alerts, whatever you’re doing in life make sure your Google Alerts are set for that because you’ll continually grow in knowledge and eventually wisdom in your field.
John: Greg, recommend one book and share why?
Greg: Einstein. I have three to recommend, John, but I’m gonna tell you the biography of Einstein by Abrahamson. Because Albert was a guy, who was rejected by his peers. He was divergent. He was disruptive, and he was the smartest man on the face of the earth when it came to an understanding the universe, and more importantly humanity, who we are, and what we’re doing. It’s really the cause of the situation we’re all in. If you go out there and something different you better read about somebody that’s done it and has hurdled the obstacles.
John: Read about it or listen to it Fire Nation. There are some great audiobooks at Audible which, if you’re not already a member you can get the i-signed book for free. Just go to eofirebook.com. Let’s end it today on fire with you giving us a parting piece of guidance sharing the best way that we can connect with you and then we’ll say goodbye.
Greg: You know, John, they could hit me up on LinkedIn, Greg Centineo, on Twitter, my website, gregcentineo.com if you go to my website, I think I have a great gift for everybody. A two-part video about an hour in length, sign up, email address, we’ll send them to this video series on the psychology of fundraising. Basically how to move people.
John: and what’s the parting piece of guidance.
Greg: Do what you wanna do this world. You got one life and do what you wanna do.
John: Fire Nation you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been with GC and JLD today, so keep up the heat, and head over to eofire.com, just type Greg in the search bar his page will pop with everything that we're talked about today. These are the best. In the biz, timestamps, links galore, and of course make sure you head over for Greg’s free gift take action on that. Greg, I wanna thank you, brother, for sharing your journey with Fire Nation. For that, we salute, and we’ll thank you on the flipside.
Greg: Thanks, John.
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