Marinucci is the Co-Founder and CEO of the award-winning, digital performance advertising company Digital Media Solutions, Inc., which is a leading provider of technology-enabled, data-driven digital performance advertising solutions.
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Digital Media Solutions – Visit Joe’s website to learn more!
3 Value Bombs
1) If you can get yourself comfortable with being uncomfortable – having the mindset that no matter what happens you can handle it – there’s nothing you can’t do.
2) Stay positive no matter what happens, and control the narrative and storyline that you’re telling yourself first. Don’t allow negative storylines or narratives to get ahold of you in a way that takes you down the wrong path.
3) Stress is inevitable. How you deal with that stress usually leads you to the decisions you make.
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**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: How to Manage Through a Crisis.
[1:16] – Joe shares something that he believes about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
- Vulnerability and authenticity are key to connecting with others. Connecting with others creates mutual respect. That mutual respect is what gets people to go the extra mile. People don’t want to be vulnerable and authentic because they think it’s a sign of weakness – it’s actually a sign of strength.
[2:23] – Joe’s entrepreneurial journey that brought him to Digital Media Solutions.
- The journey all started with a paper route when he was 12 years old.
- It’s a team effort from the beginning. When they set a strategic vision for whatever they’re going to do, they are always able to rally the troops behind the vision. Everybody plays all in.
[4:17] – The impact of the pandemic and the overall leadership mindset brought into the equation.
- The mantra is simple: Protect yourself, protect your family, and protect the business.
- Prioritize the people first. Give them what they need so they can take care of themselves and their families – and then they will be able to show up for the business.
[7:24] – Leading from the front.
- If you want to lead from the front, you have to become a master of self-management. It then leads to time management. From there, it will allow you to help manage others.
- Stress is inevitable. How you deal with that stress is usually what leads you to the decisions you make.
- If you are ineffective with dealing with stress, and you can’t shut it down in a way that’s healthy, then it will make you reactive and lead to decisions that may not be the best possible ones.
[9:38] – A timeout to thank our sponsors, Thinkific and HubSpot!
[12:01] – People, Process, and Technology — Joe’s mantra. This has helped him survive and thrive for the past year. Joe talks about the technology side.
- Connections are so important for human beings.
- Identify the technology that will keep people connected.
[15:46] – Joe talks through the overall aura of a leader.
- In order for people to lock in during a video conference, we need to come up with a standardization during a call. They had the same shirt on, in front of the same background.
[19:33] – Tips on being prepared for whatever may come next.
- Where you’re at is where you’ll take others. Stay positive no matter what happens and control the narrative and storyline that you’re telling yourself first.
- Don’t allow negative storylines or narratives to get ahold of you in a way that takes you down the wrong path.
- If you reframe a problem as a challenge, and you take the challenge on, then the challenge becomes an opportunity. Opportunity is growth. The more challenge, the more growth there is.
[21:58] – Joe’s key takeaway and call to action for Fire Nation!
- If you can get yourself comfortable with being uncomfortable – having the mindset that no matter what happens you can handle it – there’s nothing you can’t do.
- Digital Media Solutions – Visit Joe’s website to learn more!
Boom, shake the room, Fire Nation. JLD here and welcome to Entrepreneurs On Fire brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network with great shows like I Digress. Today, we'll be breaking down how to manage through a crisis to drop these value bombs. I brought Joe Marinucci into EOFire studios. Joe is a co-founder and CEO of award-winning digital performance advertising company, Digital Media Solutions, Inc., which is a leading provider of technology enabled data-driven digital performance advertising solutions. And today Fire Nation, we'll talk about Joe's journey to digital media solutions. We'll talk about leading from the front.
We'll talk about mantras people, process and technologies, and how to not just survive, but to thrive when things get tough and so much more. When we get back from thanking our sponsors, have you ever thought about what it takes to make you profit by selling content online? Then you need to join amplify with Thinkific. This free event features 30 plus expert creators who will show you how to make revenue selling content online. Visit thinkific.com/amplify to RSVP for free. The My First Million podcast features famous guests, discusses how companies made their first million and brainstorm new business ideas based on the hottest trends and opportunities in the marketplace. One recent app was all about how venture capitalists make money.
0 (1m 25s):
Listen to My First Million, wherever you get your podcasts. Joe say what's up to Fire Nation and share something that you believe about becoming successful. That most people disagree with
1 (1m 41s):
Warren and John, really excited to be on with Fire Nation today. And that's a great opening question. I love it. Something I believe in about becoming successful that most people disagree with. I'm going to go with vulnerability and authenticity being the key to connecting with others because connecting with others creates mutual respect. And that mutual respect is what gets people to go the extra mile. And a lot of times people are not okay with an are, you know, scared to become vulnerable and authentic with those around them because they think it's, it's, it's a sign of weakness when it's actually a sign of strength,
0 (2m 20s):
No one wants a pale, weak imitation of somebody else, Fire Nation. They want the real authentic, genuine, vulnerable sometimes version of you and Joe. We have a lot to get to in the present moment, what you've done over the past couple of years specifically, but real quick, let's be concise here, but let's talk about your entrepreneurial journey that brought you to digital media solutions,
1 (2m 43s):
Melissa and I, who was in our corporate marketing department. We're talking about some stuff last week, cause we had done a piece for another publication and she asked me where my entrepreneurial journey started and we collectively tracked it back to my paper route that I had when was 12 years old. So fast forward, you know, 35 years. And here I sit as the CEO of digital media solutions, which is a New York stock exchange publicly traded company. And it's been, it's been quite the journey from paper, route and pro river, New York to, you know, global ad tech company. That's publicly traded, you know, 700 employees.
1 (3m 24s):
And next year it'll probably be close to half a billion dollars of revenue. So there's, there's a lot of dots to connect there. But what I will tell you is, is it's not been a how I built this. It's been how we built this. And from the very beginning, when we started the company in 2012, it's been a team effort and everybody's been bought in. And when we set the strategic vision for whatever it was we were going to do in the direction that we were going to go, we were always able to rally the troops behind the vision, which we collectively agreed upon. And then everybody always played all in. It's very much been that way from the very, very beginning. And that's why we are where we are today. Otherwise we wouldn't be here.
0 (4m 3s):
Well, I do love how you can trace it back to a paper routes. And I think it's important to have both sides of the equation because there's some people who are born entrepreneurs, they were always on that path. And there's other people that wake up at 30, 50, 70 years old and they say, you know what? Now it's time in Fire Nation. There's success stories on both sides of that equation. Now let's be Frank. We want to live in the present moment, which is we're living in a new world now. And COVID nineteens impacted a lot of people's businesses over the past year or two. How did it impact your business plans specifically? And just the overall leadership mindset that you brought to the equation?
1 (4m 40s):
I track it all the way back to February of 2020. And you know, I'd gone to a financial summit up in sun valley, Idaho, and they were talking about COVID and you know, the potential impacts that it may have and you know, people, I don't think people had fully gotten their arms around it in February, but it was certainly something that people were talking about. And then as we moved into March, you know, we were thinking about the impact that this could potentially have. And obviously things significantly accelerated March, 2020. I mean, it's, it's an understatement to say that they significantly accelerated, you know, the most significant health crisis that modern day has ever dealt with.
1 (5m 28s):
And, you know, we, we boiled it down to when I was thinking about, you know, myself and how my family was going to handle it. You know, we, we, we realized this would be a very personal experience for everybody. And we came up with this mantra that we thought would carry us through. And then we would make decisions based upon that. And the mantra was really simple. It was protect yourself, protect your family and then protect the business because it's like that old airline analogy where they talked to you about the mask and you put your mask on first, because if you don't put your mask on first, you're useless to everybody else around you. So, you know, we kind of backed ourselves into, well, the employees got to take care of themselves because if they can't take care of themselves, what good are they to anybody else?
1 (6m 14s):
And then if their situation on the home, front deteriorates in any way, shape or form, they can't possibly show up for work. So we need to start prioritizing the people first, give them what they need so they can take care of themselves, take care of their families, and then there'll be able to show up for the business. And then from there, we're able to make very strategic decisions on what we were going to do. I would tell you that we were at the forefront of being a first mover with sending people home, putting them in a remote environment where they would have the greatest degree of safety. We pulled out of major trade shows. So early in fact that the trade shows pushed back on us with our strategy to pull out, which looking back on that is absolutely shocking, but you know, that's how quickly we made decisions to work around that mantra that we came up with because how could we travel people?
1 (7m 8s):
If we were dealing with a global pandemic, it all came back to protect yourself, protect your family, protect the business. And the decisions we made were, you know, I would say circulating around that mantra and it made things really simple. Cause we had agreed to a great degree of clarity. Once we figured out that that was the best way to manage. So we put the people first
0 (7m 27s):
Now as an officer in the U S army for eight years. And we were really big about leading from the front, which is something that you actually have brought to the equation as well, which you mentioned a couple of times already here, but I want one specific example of a one thing that you've done that you haven't discussed yet today that shows you leading from the front.
1 (7m 47s):
First of all, I'd like to thank you for your service. I do have your book and I have read some of it, not all. It's an incredible story. If you want to lead from the front, you have to become a master of self-management because self-management leads to time management. And from there, if you can self-manage and you can time manage that as what is going to allow you to help manage others. And depending on the situation you're in, you know, I can't even imagine some of the stress that you've been under, but you know, for, for myself and for other leaders in my organization, I am a proponent of setting up routines that you can rely upon that help ground you.
1 (8m 31s):
And that can also push slash pull you through various stress points, choke points that you're going to encounter in life because stress is inevitable and how you deal with that. Stress usually leads you to the decisions you make. And if you are ineffective at dealing with stress and you can't shed it in a way or manage it in a way that's healthy, it's going to put you in a place where you're going to be very reactive and it's going to lead to decisions that may not be the best possible decisions. So, you know, in order to lead from the front, you gotta be a master of self-management so that you can manage your time.
1 (9m 13s):
And that puts you in a place to manage others. And in order to do that, you need to develop powerful routines around yourself. That help keep you grounded and manage your stress so that you have balance in your life. If you can do that, no matter what's going on around you, you're always going to have the clear mind. You need to make the decisions that are best, not only for yourself, but for your family and for your business.
0 (9m 35s):
Self-management leads to time management. I love that phrase, Fire Nation. I hope you're really absorbing how that starts this waterfall of awesomeness. And we have so many more value bombs to get to when we get back from thanking our sponsors, the new year is here. And my guess is that you have big goals set for you and your sales team over the coming months from new projects to bringing in more leads a new year can often feel like a totally new start, but let's not forget the most important part, arming your team with the best tools so they can focus on giving your customers the best experience possible. And this starts with getting ahead of the learning curve so that new challenges turn into new ways to grow with new features, dedicated to helping your sales team improve your customer experience.
0 (10m 19s):
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0 (10m 59s):
And that 2 million is only scratching the surface of what's to come. How would you like to start making more money by creating and selling content online? Great news. Our friends that think havoc are inviting you to kick off 2022 at their free online events amplify, where you can learn just that this jam packed virtual summit will empower you to turn your knowledge into content that will sell over this two-day virtual event. You will hear from 30 plus industry leaders at the forefront of the digital creator movements. So if you're ready to learn how to create and sell digital content to reach a wider audience, build revenue and make a bigger impact than amplify 2022 is a must attend events tune in from anywhere, even from the comfort of your home sign up for free today at thinkific.com/amplify. That's T H I N K I F I C.com/amplify. Joe we're back in, you have a mantra, we talked a little bit about it already, people process and technology, and this mantra is one of those things that helped you not just survive, but really thrive over the past year.
0 (12m 6s):
Can you share something on the technology side of that mantra that you implemented? That really was a reason why you were able to thrive over this timeframe?
1 (12m 16s):
Connection is so important for human beings. You know, w we, we need it. You know, we are social animals, right? And we like many other companies, I guess like most companies had to send everybody home into this work remote environment. We were very concerned about connections and how we were going to maintain those connections. And, you know, when you think about communication strategies, if people are not in front of each other, the ability to communicate changes the ability to connect as a result of that changes. So we were concerned about that. So when you think about people, process and technology, we were thinking about the people first, obviously, you know, the process around how we're going to manage the company and then what technology we could leverage to do that.
1 (13m 5s):
So we've great proprietary internal technology that helps us, you know, be at the forefront of the ad tech MarTech industry that we sit inside of. But, you know, our technology was not developed to manage a remote workforce. So for us, it was more a function of what do we need to do? What do we need to change in order to adapt the company to what is going to be remote work? How are we going to facilitate an environment where people can stay connected and we'll communicate because we can't have everybody just slacking each other, instant messaging, each other, text messaging each other and emailing each other that does not create meaningful connections. You know, we're going to see deterioration of the connection of our people.
1 (13m 48s):
This is problematic. So for us, it was what technology can we employ to keep our teams connected. And, you know, we basically migrated the whole, I mean, we were using video chat and we, we adopted the zoom platform, which has a lot of features set that work for us. But we use third-party technology, which had become, I might say, relatively commoditized is the main connection point to facilitate, you know, all the communications in the company. We were, I would say, highly advocating for video calls almost a hundred percent of the time so that people would see each other would be able to see facial expressions, make eye contact with each other and in an environment where it was going to be impossible for people to be in front of each other, recreate that environment as much as possible.
1 (14m 39s):
Because, you know, if you can't maintain those connections, humans being social animals, you know, communications, you know, can digress, especially when you get into email and stuff like that. You a lot of the personal flare and that could be problematic. And when connections break down, you know, that's where things can go awry. And we were very, very focused on people, process and technology and keeping it together. People come first, what technology were we going to use to keep the people connected? So, you know, that it was, it was more of a third party player as opposed to the proprietary technology that we used to run the business because we needed something else. It wasn't about the proprietary technology to run the business.
1 (15m 21s):
It was what are we doing to keep the people connected? That was, that was critically important
0 (15m 25s):
Before we move on, we did have a pretty cool pre-interview chat that I had to stop you on. Cause I was like, Joe, this is too good. Like we need to share this during the interview. So let's talk really briefly about that because I do think that a lot of our leaders that are listening right now could take away just a couple of things that you implemented that really do make a difference, really do make you stand out. You know, when it comes to backgrounds on your video call, when it comes to the outfit that you're wearing and rocking just when it comes to the overall or that you're presenting as a leader. So talk that
1 (15m 55s):
When we talked about rolling out this communications, this new communications initiative, what we, one of the first decisions we made was to go to a, we called it a weekly town hall format, which meant that myself and my partner, Fernando who's the chief operating officer of the company. We would get up in front of the company every week and do a town hall. It was on Tuesday. It still is. And in doing that, we had to think about, you know, now you're on a video conference with hundreds of people and everybody basically fades into their backgrounds, right. You know, bookcases, bookshelves, plants, kids, dogs, you know, it's all there.
1 (16m 37s):
Right. And when Fernando and I were talking about it, you know, we, we had figured out that in order for people to lock in, on us during a video conference, we needed to come up with some standardization during the call. And as nice as the backgrounds that we had were, you know, we were sort of feeding into our own backgrounds. So we came up with the idea to go to a static background, which is actually an eight by eight trade show banner that sits behind us on a stand. And it's consistent. It's, it's themed its logo for the company, digital media solutions and Fernando and I adopted, you know, these white polo team shirts that have the company logo on them. And then anytime that we would get on these zoom town hall calls, which have since been renamed our weekly huddle, we would have the same shirt on and we would be in front of the same background.
1 (17m 29s):
And, you know, our teams that would run these meetings would highlight us so that we stood out. And what that enabled us to do was, you know, further enhance the connection with the employees, because it was very clear that, you know, Fernando and I were uniformed, we were together on this and we were presenting a message, the company. And, you know, I don't know what the lift on that was or how, how much that enhanced the connection with the employee. All I know though, is that we had to, you know, get angles and leverage where we could. And that was an angle and leverage point for us to make sure that we were staying connected with the company.
1 (18m 9s):
And I think it also sent a message like, Hey, these guys are prepared every week. Like this is meaningful to them. Look at how they show up to this meeting that we have every week. And oh, by the way, we're still doing them. We've done almost 90 of them now, every single week. And they track linearly back to March of 2020, we've kept doing them. And I wanted the company to know like, Hey, Fernando and I are going to prepare, we're going to show up and we're quote in uniform, ready to go here because this is an important meeting. We're going to get up in front of the company and we have an important message to share. You matter to us. That's why we show up the way we do. This is not just some random meeting that I roll into every week. There's a prep session for this. We've got important information that we want to share.
1 (18m 50s):
We're here for you. The company is your leaders. And that sent a clear message to them that we, that they mattered to us. And that we were going to show up a certain way. So yeah, that's where I was going. When we started this before we actually got into it, sometimes it's the little things that add up to really make a difference in everything that you're doing. And those may sound on sometime in some way, shape and form, like just a little bit, a little things, just kind of all over the place. But when you now add them all up and you now say, okay, listen, everything that we're doing here is to show you and to prove to you that this really matters. That makes a huge difference. So what tips can you share Joe, with Fire Nation to be prepared for whatever may come next?
1 (19m 36s):
What are your personal routines? How do you mentally prepare yourself for the day? Like, what message are you telling yourself and how are you showing up for yourself first, right? Protect yourself, protect the family, protect the business. Then you get into people, process and technology. This all comes back foundationally to the same thing. Like where are you at? Because wherever it is you're, you're at is kind of where you're going to be able to take others. So, you know, stay positive no matter what happens and control the narrative and storyline that you're telling yourself first, don't allow negative storylines or narratives to get ahold of you in a way that takes you down the wrong path, right?
1 (20m 17s):
You always have to be positive and ready to reframe and how I can best put that in. If you talk to any of my executive team that I've worked alongside and with for many years now, they would tell you that Joe doesn't see problems as problems. Joe sees problems as challenges. He doesn't like to use the word problem, because if you reframe problem is challenge. And then you take the challenge on the challenge becomes an opportunity. And on the other side of dealing with that challenge, the opportunity is growth. And the bigger, the challenge, the more growth there is, if you can just continually reframe your, your thought process around looking at problems, not as problems, but as challenges.
1 (21m 4s):
And then you can get excited to go after them. You're going to find yourself in a completely different space than you otherwise would. If you allow problems to truly be problems, because then you're going to go down the negative path on that. And who knows where that goes. So you gotta, you gotta be able to control that narrative and storyline in your own head first and be able to reframe it. And if you can do that and you can do it, you don't have to do it the way that I do it, or the way that Fernando does it, but find a way to control that and flip it and take it on in a way where you can go at it with positive energy. And you're just gonna, oh, you're gonna find yourself in a way better spot than if you don't do it that way.
0 (21m 44s):
Joe, you dropped a lot of value bombs from the very beginning throughout now, to where we're wrapping things up. So take the microphone, share with Fire Nation. The one thing that you really want to make sure that we walk away with, from this entire interview today,
1 (22m 0s):
You don't know what life's gonna throw at you proof in point, you know, we talked about the pandemic, right? If you can get yourself comfortable with being uncomfortable. And what that means is you have the mindset that no matter what comes your way, you can handle it. And even more importantly, where we just were, which is the bigger, the challenge, the more significant, the growth opportunity on the other side of that challenge kind of doesn't matter what happens, right? Because you're ready. And with that type of attitude, there's basically nothing you can't do. And yeah, stuff stuff's going to come at you that you're not going to be prepared for, but if you're ready for it, and you're happy with being uncomfortable in the reframe that comes with throw chat, throw the word, problem out the door and replace it with challenge.
1 (22m 45s):
You're going to be good no matter what,
0 (22m 47s):
How can Fire Nation connect with you? Any call to action you have for us today. And then we'll say goodbye
1 (22m 53s):
To digital media solutions.com. We have a number of different ways. People can connect. We have our intranet and you know, I'm readily out there. It's Jay Marinucci. She had DMSgroup.com. If people want to email me directly, I respond to all the emails I get assuming that I see them. I do get a lot of emails, but I have an open door policy for everybody that works for me and just generally in life. So I'm happy to engage with any of the followers that, you know, find any of this content meaningful. They can just reach out to me directly through the company website or through the email address by,
0 (23m 25s):
And you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with JM and JLD today. So keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. If you just type Joe in the search bar, the show notes page will pop up with everything that we've talked about here today. And digitalmediasolutions.com is a great place to go to learn more. Joe, thank you brother, for sharing your truth, knowledge, you are value with Fire Nation today. For that we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side. It was a pleasure, John,
1 (23m 58s):
Have a great day and thank you. Fire Nation.
0 (24m 1s):
Hey, Fire Nation today's value bond content was brought to you by Joe and Fire Nation, successful entrepreneurs accomplish big goals. That's why I created the Freedom Journal to guide you in accomplishing your number one goal in a hundred days, and we're talking, step-by-step visit the FreedomJournal.com and I'll catch you there, or I'll catch you on the flip side. Have you ever thought about what it takes to make you profit by selling content online? Then you need to join amplify with Thinkific. This free event features 30 plus expert creators who will show you how to make revenue selling content online. Visit thinkific.com/amplify to RSVP for free. The My First Million podcast features famous guests, discusses how companies made their first million and brainstorm new business ideas based on the hottest trends and opportunities in the marketplace.
0 (24m 49s):
One recent app was all about how venture capitalists make money. Listen to My First Million, wherever you get your podcasts.
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