33voices interviews Jeffrey Hayzlett
The Mirror Test
I’m really excited to get the word out on, not only your book but also on some of the ideas that you’ve been advocating. Not only when you were CMO of Kodak but more importantly, I’ve seen you personally speak on video four or five times. As I mentioned to you, I heard a lot about your work. But I haven’t seen you having as much fun as you are promoting your work currently. I have to ask you, what is creating all this excitement for you? Is it bottled up Kodak moments or is it just something that you’re passionate about now?
I’ve always been like this. I’ve been a cowboy since I’ve gotten started all the way from South Dakota. That’s the way we make things out there. We make them big and fun and powerful and exciting. That’s what it’s about.
You know the real energy comes off the people. How can watching people change - by watching people grow, and get to their potential, not inspire you. That’s what I get to do. My book is called the Mirror Test. I get to hold up the mirror to people and ask them questions. From that, we have some great truths that come out of it and then we have great growth and change and transformation.
I did that at Kodak as a Chief Marketing Officer which I was so lucky to be able to get the call and go and serve for four years. And then, my time was done and it’s time to get back to my roots and my roots are always about entrepreneurs and starting businesses. That’s what gives me the energy to keep going. I’m, as you said, having more fun now than I’ve ever had in my life. I can’t wait for the next chapter.
You’re inspiring a lot of other people Jeff to have a lot of fun. I know you speak of the role of a CMO. Prior to us starting this call, I mentioned to you that when you look at entrepreneurs in particular most of them don’t have the luxury of having a CMO. If you were to give advice to an entrepreneur who doesn’t have the luxury to have Jeff on his team as a CMO, but you want to inspire that level of thinking, where should they start?
Well, I mean, they can pick up books. They can watch videos. They can get out there and go to conferences. I mean, first of all, you have got to be doing that. I read a book or two a week. Some of them are more cerebral books and then the others are more books about marketing or about subject matter or expertise that I don’t necessarily have or I want to gain. That’s the first thing they should do.
Aside from that, why don’t you form your own little board of directors or a group of advisory council that can give you that kind of experience and get somebody and be willing to pay somebody a few dollars for that expertise because they’ll mentor you through it. That’s a great way to do it.
I did that on my own business in South Dakota where I didn’t have the expertise but I got people. I write about them in my book, The Mirror Test about how I still, to this day, I’m beholding to those people who helped me find a better way of doing things because I didn’t know.
Most of us, we don’t know what we don’t know. The best way to find that out is by asking questions and getting other people who do know. So go find those people and seek them out; stalk them if you have to but get them on your team.