This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Greg Salsburg. Here’s the first line from his online bio: Greg Salsburg has been ostracized by society since birth and became a disappointment to his family and all those who came in contact shortly thereafter. His freakish nature, early adoption of donning loud footwear and love for all things “Seuss’ian” made him a pariah on the playground.
Intrigued? How could you not be?
Greg is the CEO and Founder of STiR Communications. STiR-communications is a business consultancy firm that leverages the ubiquitous channels of distribution to advance clients messages and bottom line objectives.
Greg’s success has spanned decades and is truly impressive working with everyone from Four Seasons to JP Morgan and even having Muhammed Ali and The New York Yankees as clients. He’s won countless awards and has been a 20 under 20 recipient, 30 under 30 recipient, and 40 under 40 recipient. How’s that for consistency. Although his forward facing role is directing STiR-communications strategic and creative forces, it’s his transformational work with business leaders behind the scenes; through his mindful practice and real word acumen, that has earned him the nickname the “Consigliere Consultant.”
But, for Greg it was not a straight up rise to success. He was a multi-millionaire who lost every penny and had to re-invent himself. He did this by embracing humility and seeking wisdom. It’s this journey and what he learned and put into practice to create his success 2.0 that I want him to share with you today.
Greg started off in news and sports in New York and with NBC TV and sports. He transitioned from there into marketing because it just wasn’t fulfilling. He met someone who was starting a business called Café Hollywood which was later changed to Planet Hollywood and became the worldwide director of marketing and public relations.
This changed the trajectory of his life. Greg had a unique ability to communicate, and it shined through. It was a leap of faith to go from journalism to marketing at a global level.
He was always very impressed with those that had an entrepreneurial spirit and could build and create something from nothing vs. seeing it and reporting on it from the sidelines. This eventually led to him creating his own marketing and PR company after his success and learning journey at Planet Hollywood.
At one point you had everything and were living a rockstar lifestyle, then lost it all. What happened and was there a moment or an epiphany that changed everything?
- When Greg was at Planet Hollywood, it was more than a restaurant – it like running a Hollywood studio and he was surrounded with stars and agents every day.
- He went on to work in Motown and run 6 Flags Amusement.
- He was in the right place at the right time, but felt he had a bit of imposter syndrome.
- He grew up with professionals that had very little failure, but not much risk taking.
- When he started to taste his first bit of adversity, he crumbled. He didn’t know how to handle it emotionally.
- He went from not having any failures, to having a larger one and the good money after bad to try and save it, but he was blinded by arrogance from his previous success.
- He went from great wealth to losing it all.
- Now, through the journey he has been on, he has gained it back “20 fold in all areas of life.”
What did you learn on the journey and what did it teach you?
- People tend to believe success is bi-fricated into power and wealth.
- The truth is that is a 3-legged stool and the greatest component is the “emotional balance” needed alongside the other two areas.
- If you are not in tune emotionally, it doesn’t matter how much power or wealth you have, it will never be enough.
- Your EQ cannot be out of balance as you cannot operate in a peaceful manner.
EQ is misunderstood and not thought about that much. Define it for us and then tell us more about the 3 areas we need to understand.
- When Greg was living the rockstar life, it seemingly was good and more was better. But, it was almost an angry position that it took to get it and maintain it.
- Emotions were never talked about and it was about the “grind.”
- There was a feeling that if you worked more and slept less, you were better or more successful.
- Any emotional talk was dismissed and repressed. It was not “manly” to talk about it as it meant weakness.
- Greg new this was wrong. He could feel it to be the missing piece, so he started to learn and study more about emotion and consciousness.
- He watched the towers drop on 9/11 from his balcony, he realized that the world would never be the same and how fragile life was and it was this realization that spurred him to change and help others in a bigger way with life mission. He pursued who he knew he should be.
- Consciousness is the key to living a good life and being your best self.
How do the 3 areas intersect with EQ?
- At the 21 min mark, Greg talks about “PE Ratio and what it really means and its impact.” It’s best to listen.
- With the pandemic, it caused people to have a reset, but the truth is that we’ve had a pandemic all along that has been widely ignored, which is an emotional disservice to ourselves and those around us. We have ignored the internal workings of ourselves. It is real and measurable and we need to do better.
- VUCA- Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. This is part of life in all areas, but how do we deal with it better?
- We offset volatility with a vision. Vision changes volatility.
- Understanding changes uncertainty and makes it easier. Take the time to truly understand.
- Clarity will help with the complexity.
- You need agility to offset ambiguity.
- ¾ of all health issues are caused from stress. People are not tuning into the areas of consciousness they need to deal with stress in a better way and leaders need to foster this.
- Feelings/emotions are personal to each person, but understanding them and learning to work with the better is key to a better life and leaders must take time to understand help people in this area and they have to start with doing this themselves in order to be effective.
- The CEO needs to also be the Chief Emotional Officer.
One of the things I like about your messaging is the blend being bold and audacious with a hint of sarcasm and comedy – is that the secret to standing out in today’s world?
- It comes from being authentic. Authentic is what helps you standout.
- You must find your honesty and authenticity and move it away from the center to the edges where the most excitement is.
Explain the significance of why STiR is spelled the way it is…
- Greg wanted to be the opposite and deliver a different product and stir things up in the marketplace
- But he did not want to make it about “I,” but “WE.” So he made sure the “I” was a lot smaller in the name because it’s not about him.
What are the elements of a great communication strategy?
- A great strategy is not a one-size fits all.
- The companies that have the best strategies are not trying to be like the others in their marketplace.
- Companies that stand for something and have a mission and weave that into everything in a deeper, more connected way with a smaller, devoted tribe win.
- Those that really tell a story and remove the hypocrisy of business.
- The medium (humor, seriousness, etc.) will be different for each one, but it all comes down to emotion and tapping into it.
Any company really doing it well?
- It was different pre and post pandemic.
- One that is doing well is Danny Meyer. They are doing an amazing job in hospitality post pandemic.
- Hospitality was hit particularly hard during the pandemic. Danny stood up for his people and go out and explain publicly why it was so important to get help for the industry and not lose the vitality and backbone it provides to the American economy.
- He was also on the front line in NYC helping businesses with way to keep going and stay in business.
- He believes people matter, caring matters, and showcases it throughout his restaurant group. When the chips were done, he put profits aside for people.
- It is conscious leadership at its best
What is the changing dynamic of business and important to understand post-pandemic?
- Retail has accelerated at least a decade in some ways to a demise, but others adapted in big ways where they had not or were not willing to do so.
- Consumers now have the power.
- The workers have much more of a say and much more power.
- It’s not a top-down approach anymore.
- With the ability to work from anywhere and now the proof that it works, the talent pool is now far great for businesses. But, it is also a much great flexibility for workers and consumers.
- The means leaders must be in tune with the areas that matter most with the people they deal with on a regular basis or they will lose them.
Best Quote: You must find your honesty and authenticity and move it away from the center to the edges where the most excitement is.
Greg's Misfit 3:
- Be a go-giver, not a go-getter.
- Your mind must be stronger than your feelings.
- You must hustle and work smart, but don’t just simply be grinding or you’ll be left with dust.
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