Neil BedwellNeil Bedwell


60 min

Local’s Neil Bedwell Featured on Hustle Sold Separately Podcast, Hosted by Matt Gottesman

How “Careers” Have Changed & To Rethink Their Whole Approach w/ Neil Bedwell (Entrepreneur & Founding Partner of Local Industries)

Neil Bedwell, Founding Partner & President

Neil met Matt Gottesman — founder and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ magazine, founder and host of Hustle Sold Separately podcast, serial entrepreneur, and new media consultant for intentional, purpose-driven companies — while speaking at SDX Interactive Day: Collide With Tomorrow in San Diego in May (now known as The One Club for Creativity).

The connection was instant as the passion each have for helping people be their best selves and helping companies take care of their people — their most important asset, without question — was pouring out of them and needed to be shared with the world.

And here it is — episode 268 of Hustle Sold Separately: How “Careers” Have Changed & To Rethink Their Whole Approach w/Neil Bedwell (Entrepreneur & Founding Partner of Local Industries)

Below is more information from Matt around the episode and all the places you can find the podcast, how to find and contact Matt on social media, and an automated transcript of the episode.

Big thanks to our man Matt for having Neil on! Here’s to more great things to come.


Wanna know how to rethink the word “career” all together? Matt @mattgottesman sits down with Neil Bedwell (Entrepreneur & Entrepreneur & Founding Partner of Local Industries) and they talk about why the word “career” doesn’t have the same meaning any more, why we’re more than one thing in this lifetime, the process of becoming and the changes we encounter in our professional lives as our personal lives and development transform us, being a part of a culture and in an environment that expresses yourself versus “fitting in a box” and much more.

The word “career” is an old word and according to my recent guest, Neil Bedwell (Entrepreneur, Founding Partner of Local Industries), it needs to be drastically redesigned.

The fact is, careers used to define a specific role with our work in society. Now we’ve become so ​​​​​​​much more than these roles.

Actually we spoke about a few things. First, some people are in the wrong role. Would it shock you to know that there’s a 90+ percentage of people in the wrong roles? Yep, that’s right.

Second, we’re not just one role any more. We’re expanding in so many ways and so are our responsibilities with different things.

Third, with the amount of side hustles taking place, people are simply taking on whole new meanings of what a “career” path looks like.​​​​​​​​​​

With that being said, here are a few topics that Neil and I spoke about that might resonate with you:

  • Why the word “career” doesn’t have the same meaning any more
  • Why we’re more than one thing in this lifetime
  • The process of becoming and the changes we encounter in our professional lives as our personal lives and development transform us
  • Being a part of a culture and in an environment that expresses yourself versus “fitting in a box” and much more..

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Matt: Welcome, welcome to the hustle sold separately. We are a weekly podcast dedicated to doers, creators, entrepreneurs, CEOs, innovators, hustlers, passion-driven artists, you name it, people in and around the world that are, they’re very driven by doing something different. They are in their vibe, they’re on their, their grind or they’re you know, going against the status quo of, of what is quote unquote the norm. And really exploring themselves. And every week we bring on guests that are also the same and we’re very fortunate that they will actually talk a little bit more about their journey of, of becoming, if you will. You know, I always say we don’t vote your feature. We don’t focus on end success and glamorize it and glorify it because it’s, it’s not, it’s not glamorous. It’s anything but glamorous. It’s actually quite the opposite along the way.

Matt: But more importantly, we’re all humans having human experiences. And what better way than to bring on guests that talk about what are they learning in real time while they’re building something that they truly believe in. Because you’re always on your journey in some capacity, one way or another. And and we’re very fortunate that we have this amazing global community. You guys are amazing and awesome. I really appreciate each and every one of you. The, the, you guys have been expanding. I mean the constant reaching out, the DMS and the commenting. I’m really truly grateful for all of it. And please continue to do so, especially with the people that come on our show. Please go interact with them. That’s why they’re here. And we have another incredible show. I met this individual in San Diego briefly when I was at San Diego interactive and sat next to one of his good friends.

Matt: And it was an amazing PR guy as well. And, and we were, we were talking a bit and then we all jumped on the phone and we went on a tear. And that was when I knew this guy is definitely coming on the podcast and couldn’t wait for him to get on soon enough. Neil Bedwell, he’s an entrepreneur and founding partner of local industries. We’re gonna talk a little bit about that. His bio here in his background. But the theme here that we want to talk a bit about is there is no such thing as a career and that’s going to rock a few of you guys because we’re going to get really raw about, you know, this word career. Now this is also coming from our experiences. I’m going to share that with Neil, our experiences because you know, a career signifies one thing and I bet for me, for me personally, I’d feel it signifies one thing and I literally just did a post on this yesterday.

Matt: We are more than one thing in a lifetime. We’re several things, sometimes were several things that at one time, not in an InVision way, just that we’re involved in multiple things and that, you know, times have truly changed. We’re going to talk a lot about that. But first I’m going to queue up Neil’s background cause it’s incredible. And it speaks to my heart and my soul because it’s a lot of my background and it’s nice to be able to geek out with somebody who understands me. So I always appreciate it. He’s a digital native and strategic leader with 15 plus years running work teams in businesses in London, Amsterdam and San Francisco. Now in Atlanta. He’s a founding partner at local industries and we’re gonna talk a little bit about that. He’s been lucky enough to experience life on the agency side as head of strategy and managing director at Isobar and as client and as a client leading digital strategy and content for Coca-Cola’s global content excellence group.

Matt: So to give you guys an idea, especially in like, you know, digital marketing and branding and media and that whole world that’s emerged over the last 15 plus years which I preach about all the time, he’s been fortunate enough to be on both sides, the client side and the agency side. That means that man knows how to run multiple projects at one time or be all all in on one huge, massive project. Okay. So gotta give this guy a lot of respect. His work included leadership of the digital program for the 2014 FIFA world cup in Brazil, developing new ways to create and publish content in real time across multiple social channels. Imagine global digital agency relationships that is not easy. I can speak for him on that. And then Neil is an advisor to multiple startups. General assembly assemblies instructor and regular Forbes agency council contributor and keynote speaker on employee engagement, brand building and marketing innovation, the social age with appearances at the Adobe summit South by Southwest IAB, Mexico, the economist, big rethink worlds a disrupt HR.

Matt: Ah, there’s a, I gotta get, I want to get all of them cause they’re amazing. Atlanta HR summit lead change as an 18 HR daily advisers talent and con 2019 interactive day San Diego. That’s where we met. And association of change management professionals, Atlanta and change management, review 10 name a few. He’s also contributed to handbook of advances and marketing in an era of disruptions, essays in honor of, I hope I get this name right, JV ish deg of that. Right. Which I dish Seth published by Sage publishing. He’ll tell me if I got that right. Neil, welcome to the show.

Neil: Hey Matt. Nice to talk to you. And I’ve got to say, as a British guy, I think any you need to do all the major introductions from now on. It’s like the opening of a movie for me, I’m dying smooth as smooth, rich voice, the American telling the story of all this stuff that I’d done. It sounds way better when it, when you, when you say it, then I did.

Matt: Right, right. Just a, you know, just tell me where I need to be in [inaudible] for a plane and I’m cool. Neil, you have an incredible background. The first time we spoke on the phone, we went on a tear. I, your background really resonates with me and I want to share that with the world because it was very honest and it was very you know direct about, you know, this, this amazing, it’s a both an amazing world as digital world, but it’s also been a transformational one for companies because it’s all new. And every year it’s, every year it’s new again. And it’s a constant, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re babysitting companies while at the same time we’re, we’re growing them because we want to see them embrace this amazing technological era that we live in. But you can go in any direction you want. I just, I wanted to walk everybody into like, how did we get here to today? And then this idea of, you know, cause that from there we’re gonna lead into like, you know, this idea of like, there’s no such thing as a career and kind of where our experiences of lettuce and why we’ve, we’ve gotten involved in so many things, but I’m going to let you take it from here.

Neil: Yeah, that’s a hell of a question. How did we get here? So I could start in a whole bunch of different places, but I’m gonna start with a gentleman called Ian. So if, if you and I were longtime friends, you’d know this about me, that really all I am is a mechanic. I’m a car guy. You guys call it a gear heads which means something really different in England. But as a, I’ve been obsessed with cars and racing since I was a little kid. My dad gave me a model of a Porsche nine 11 when I was maybe five. And so I did what every kid does and wants to be a racing drivers. I quit school the first minute that they could, which in the UK at that time is 16 years old. And I went and joined the Benetton formula one racing team helping to design and build race engines.

Neil: I had the course job in the world until I actually got there and realized that I’ve gone from a 16 year old wide-eyed kid you know, to a 45 year old working men in one day. And as I got sort of deeper and deeper into making this stuff, I realized that I’d, I’d, I’d straighten very far away from the thing that I actually wanted. What I want it to be was a racing driver. What I actually was was a draftsman drawing small components on, on very large pieces of paper and an engineer and a production guy in a set of overalls walking through a Foundry with flames and fire working through a machine shop with huge noise and, and people sort of working these 10 hour shifts six or seven days a week. Genuinely had a, what the fuck am I doing with myself moment.

Neil: After two years of this and my dad, my dad is an engineer. I’m from a small medium sized town in England called North Hampton, which is a lot of engineering firms out there. He’s very proud of me for becoming an engineer and following, following in his footsteps. But for me, after two years of doing it was the last thing I wanted to do. And I was scared shitless and there’s a gentleman called Ian, who was the guy this, this big engineering firm that I was working at making these engines. And so I sat down with Ian as part of my tour of duty around the facility just for two weeks and in two weeks he changed my view on what it meant to be part of this world that I love. I didn’t actually have to get my, you know, wake up at six o’clock in the morning and, and, and just make and build these things.

Neil: I could actually do something which felt more close to what I was doing. That felt a little bit more like the thing that maybe I was born with, which was was to actually communicate it, tell stories about it. And so over the course of the, that two weeks, this guy kinda lit a fire in me about all of the, all of the potential I might have to go and do something like that. There’s another bit as well, which is when you’re, you’re nearly 18 at this point. So I don’t know anything about the world, but I was looking at the engineer that I was working for and looking at the, and the marketing guy that was working for, and Ian had a call, a car. So the engineer drag a Ford sedan and the marketing guys were in portion 11. I was like, well, we need to go do that, don’t we?

Neil: So after tears and fights and, and deep discussions with family I walked out after three years of a four year deal, which by the way, I’d be 200 of the kids to get. So this was a big deal. I had my name in the local newspaper for getting this job and I walked out with nothing to go to other than the chance to join a, a, a low grade diploma in in London studying marketing. So that’s where it all started. And that is when I look back now at the sort of the journey that I’ve taken, it all comes from just that someone saying, you know what the thing you’ve chosen to do that, that you now don’t feel it was the right choice. It’s not, that’s not fixed. It’s not set in stone. You can go and do something else. So I’ve never actually seen that ever again since I was 18. But I would love to check him by the hand because he gave me kind of a view on the world that I’ve kept until this day. So that’s how I got here, how I got there. There’s many more stories like that along the way, but I thought we can get to them as we go.

Matt: Yeah, no. And, and, and I like, I like that. I think people get stuck from the commitment to something and then tying an expectation to it and then not auditing themselves and saying, it’s okay if this time is don’t. And you did that with the racing well

Neil: And the societal pressures, not just the pressure on yourself. Yeah. I’m letting I’m letting people down here. Yeah. and let’s see the story when having this conversation. That’s very cool. People at this big traditional engineering, the boss, the big boss of all of it. When I said that I was, I was leaving he said, so my job here is to convince you to stay because we’ve invested a lot of money. But I’m, I’m seeing here towards the end of my career and I’m saying, I use that word. I’m going to debunk that word in second towards the end of my working adventure. Let’s use that instead and saying with a smile. I’m so happy with the choices I’ve made and the journey that I’ve been on that if you, if I convince you to stay, do you think that you will look back at some point here? Like when say if only I’d have followed the other part and I said yes, I think I would. He said then you should go. You can get that. Think about that someone had the wisdom and also the, the, the, the self awareness to say, this isn’t just about what we need from this kid. Now this kid actually meets me. And that, that, those moments are as clear to me as, as, as yesterday, even though there were some odd years ago. So

Matt: I have chills when you said that. And it’s, it’s expanding because of the respect in that moment. It was a very selfless act on his part because he’s coming to the end of that run within that particular adventure and could have easily done the corporate thing. We’re going to convince you because you know, that’s the corporate thing to do and, and the selfish thing and instead said, you know, look, you have a long life ahead of you. Lots of choice that God willing to go. Lots of, lots of choices to make, you know

Neil: It is very easy. It is to scare an 18 year old kid into staying in a job. You could have done it in a minute. Yeah. Could have told me I’d never get another job because they told me that, that you know, that this was the biggest opportunity that I ever had and I’d never get anything else like this and if it would’ve saved him money, but instead he didn’t do that. He was self aware and selfless, like you said. And it cost him money. I mean, tens of thousands, maybe three years of a training course for, for including all of the, the time spent by all of his, his senior employees training me right. To give it all up. Yeah. It was a and I’m proud of myself for listening and I’m proud of myself for getting on my bicycle after that and cycling off and not, and not regretting it. So yeah, that’s, that, that for me is, is, is where it all started. And, and actually when we started to talk about this word, Korea is, well, the first realization of the, the over emphasis we have on that word as a society started to come into focus and, and it’s just gotten clearer and clearer with every step the day that I take.

Matt: Yeah. Let’s, let’s dive into that word career because, because it’s been cued up and now there was like that word, you know you know, and, and it’s, I, I wrote a, wrote a little bit about this yesterday. Careers are a funny thing because they’re very, in my opinion, they’re very one dimensional. And we are, we, we grow, we have so many experiences and especially the more self aware we become, we take our talents and our skillsets that we acquire or that have naturally we take them. And we can go into many different directions and do many different things with them and have many different types of impact. And that is counter intuitive to previous generations of you will be responsible, quote unquote, and do this one thing. And you know, that’s that was what was always instilled from a societal pressure for a long time.

Matt: And we’re seeing the results of people now not doing that. And it’s quite fascinating to watch, but there’s still a majority of the population that I feel is hung up on the career. And then I, I talked a bit about this and then I’m going to let you go on a tear. And I talked a little about this, this, this, the idea that if I’m somebody and I am trying Neo, what do you do for a living? Oh I’m a doctor, I’m a lawyer, I’m an engineer. Like great. I now know how exactly I’m, I fit in within your world. I now know, I now know how to understand you and better understand myself given your title. And I think it’s wrong. But I think that that’s the psychological, I think that’s the psychological nature of people is like I can now better understand who, what my place is in this world based on your title.

Neil: Cause I put you in a box cause I know, I understand that box, which means that everybody else who has the same title as the same as you, which is, which is politics and crazy cause the same. There’s no two people that are the same. So, so I, I’ll give you a couple of different ways into this. The first one is the tragedy of it. If you think of the traditional linear career, which is about promotional at promotion and advancement, it’s like you’re walking down a corridor and the corridor is getting narrower and narrower and the people that you’re walking with, again, kind of wedged and stuck and falling through doorways and you just want to be the last one standing at the end of the corridor, which, which is bonkers. And, and in so walking through that corridor, you didn’t get to turn around and look and see where else is around.

Neil: You just kept on walking forward. I actually think of it now and I guess, you know, tying gives you wisdom. It’s actually more like a, it’s like a gym sort of forest and you’ve got pathways to the left and the right. You’ve got obstacles to overcome and streams the cross and head. That was the set of stuff going on that you could go any way you want. And I find that people that I admire are the ones who find new ways through the forest, not the ones that just go down the corridor the furthest. And you think about all the, the heroes that we have, particularly today. And I think maybe this is something that has changed over time. You know, we, we used to think about the CEOs and that the, the guy added video and add industry thing, you know, the mail room guy, you who ascended to CEO over 40 years in one company.

Neil: I think that that was, there was some sort of heroism in perhaps some point, but most of the people we admire now are the ones that I’ve done lots of different things. It’s the diversity we love and that we get inspired by rather than the, the, the linear progression. And, and for me now being an employer as the, as opposed to an employee, we don’t wanna get into that trap. I mean, it’s, this is back to me being 16 or 18 again and having someone say it’s okay for you to step off and find another pathway. And wanting to do that. And we actually build that into, into our culture here at local. Everybody here, the core of, of our culture, the core thing that we want to know about each of our people is what do they want to be?

Neil: Where do they want to go next? And then every piece of training and guidance we give them is about that. And every one of those people we’re saying, not here. Where do you want to go? You want, do you want to be an entrepreneur? Do you feel like in your heart you’d like to start something? Let’s give you an idea of what it’s like to be one. You wanna you want, you’d actually like to be in a senior position in a large company, you know, managing a ton of people. Let’s get you with those people. And so I think that career is, is, it’s almost like career was a myth. I think it’s a trick actually. I’m good. And it’s, it’s too, it’s calling us to toe the line to keep filling the empty chairs as opposed to to create something new. I don’t think that that’s fulfilling.

Neil: And, and for me, I think depending on exactly how you cut it, I think I’m on Korean number four or five. And here’s what’s fun about, or this is, do you know what my actual ambition is for the, for the final step is to be a mechanic again. I still am in my spare time. I don’t want to be paid to do it. I did do it because I love it. I was never good enough to do it for for a big salary, but I enjoy it. And so to get a call all the way around to fix it, fixing up old cars, which will be this sort of the circular progression as I wander through the forest and ended up back in the same place where I started, but full of all the adventures I’ve had along the way, that would be great. And I think everyone needs to think in that way. I’m not surprised. I often run a really cool exercise in any kind of setting just on people. I always tell people, look back to when they were anywhere from about 14 till

Matt: About 21 and where was their natural curiosities at and where they constantly like working on or doing or with things with their hands or whatever it was that they were really, really ingrained in. Because you’re at your closest to birth, which is your closest and intuition in your soul. So you actually know what you want to do or what you want to be around. There’s something in there that’s it’s tied to at a very deep rooted soul level. 22 people tell you to start being responsible, quote unquote, and you should give up your dreams, quote unquote [inaudible]. You should go be responsible by doing a career. And the ones that didn’t listen, who kept going with it, like, and you can see this when people like Justin Timberlake, when he said no, I was always going to be a musician period and a story done, done like end. And he said they show when he was a child talking about this. Like, no, I’m going to be a musician. So, but most people will leave the, the dream. But it’s interesting, a lot of people who are very self aware, I have found make it back. They make it back to they’re 18, 19, 20 year old self. So I’m not surprised that you’re somehow inadvertently doing that, you know, and it’s part of your life. So it’s very,

Neil: I love that. Well initially you mentioned, you know, a superstar like Justin Timberlake, someone who has been able to follow a linear progression through, I mean with, I’m sure a bunch of hardship and a bunch of stuff he didn’t particularly enjoy doing to get there in terms of the, you know, the, the gigs and the travel and whatever else. But you can’t, most people who try to follow that fail and then what they’ll do is give up that dream entirely and then, and sort of forego any other opportunities for safety. And I think what we actually need to do is to, is to teach everyone that there is no, there’s not, there’s not a point in life where you stepped onto one. You guys, snakes and ladders, you care. I think you guys call it shoots and shoots and ladders that go where you’ve stepped onto one ladder that you can’t get off.

Neil: There’s not one point in life. And, and I think that they, that people feel like we’ve, maybe it’s the 22 year old moment that, Oh, I’ve gone too far down this path now. I can’t, can’t be calm, something else. And I don’t believe that at all. We just did a into, you’re catching me at the end of a, of a crazy month and the last two weeks traveling up and down the West coast meetings and summits and, and we did a charity ride, a bicycle ride down, big serve for the best buddies, charity. Anyone’s a cyclists out there, the most beautiful ride I’ve ever done in my life. And they do what every year down big Sur. So I fully recommend it. I’ll be there next year too. But at the, the trip culminated in attending worlds, the conference down in long beach and actually speaking with a gentleman from Coca-Cola.

Neil: He’s one of our clients. And talking about the future of work in the future of talent. And we did a live exercise, a crazy live exercise of that a hundred people in, in the room that we were in asking people to identify what function, the job title that you talked about, you know and, and the, the box to put them in. And then to tell us their superpower, you know, am I a a planner, a thinker, a builder, a gal aid, you know, a, a coach of people, things like that. And we, in so doing, we were able to S to show that the function that you’re in has very little correlation to the superpower or skillset that you, that is core to you. You know, you would say that all marketers should be storytellers. This was one of our superpowers and actually it was, it was a low percentage.

Neil: Most of the people there, you’ve used traditional wisdom were out of position, which is so telling that and we need that. You need a mix of different people in any team making anything. You know, I’m fascinated to know what a scientist would make of the work we do with culture and communications. We would learn something from that. And I think that if we start thinking about less about career and, and tours of duty, adventures, journeys in, in making, building, creating different things, using our varied experience to bring objectivity and insight into that, that new thing, I think we’d make a lot more cooler stuff, fun, you know, which is, which is a good thing. But more importantly, I think work would be more rewarding. I think we’d all feel like we made a greater impact because we were able to apply the richness in us to search to such a variety of things. And I think that’s really what I’m getting at with this career. Doesn’t allow you to do that.

Matt: No, I think it was, that was very well put. I mean, it’s it allows for a greater collaboration, greater impact, greater mental health, greater [inaudible], greater self-awareness you know greater efficiency. Eh, I mean all around, when you, when you, when you, instead of people trying to fit into roles, they’re trying to take talent into experiences and help collaboratively to create impact. And I think that that’s a massive difference of approach to business and to the customers. And then of course the world at large because now you’re, now you’re playing from it, you know, a different, a different playbook. You know, you bring in the son. And I, and I, I like that idea. Like, Hey, you guys, we’re doing marketing, but you know what, I want to bring in a scientist who had never thought about doing marketing, but what’s the most important part about marketing people and what’s the most important part about people understanding them and who’s going to understand them better?

Matt: Anybody, a data scientist who knows exactly the right questions to ask. So when you, when you start, when you start coming outside of the box and saying, you know it just asking the right type of questions and getting the right type of people based off of their experiences and their talents then the world becomes filled with tons more possibilities. Like literally you could go like into anything you could have, you know. And, and we’re fortunate enough that like you mentioned, you’re, you’re seeing more people do it now, but you see it all the time. You see like musicians who were ones athletes and are now going into fashion [inaudible] you know, they, they do like all these different things, but it’s sort of like listen, like I have an eye for details. So my eye for details and bringing good people together and making stuff happen and helped in sports helped me make my music career is now helping in fashion and, and beyond. You know? And, and I think that that’s where, that’s why I get so hung up on this word career cause it’s like, well that just implies that you’re going to just stay under like this, this title of one thing. We’re really, it’s the functionality you’re bringing to the title, which you can bring into anything. And in fact, the more you bring it in, in a mold with a multitude of different people, the more possibilities there really are. Right? I mean,

Neil: Oh, 100%. Now what you said about the artists and and fashion. Absolutely. But we have to do now that it, it, it’s limited to a few lucky people really in, in the grand scheme of things. How do you scale it? There’s so I’m happy to be an eternal optimist. And I do believe this when I say is that people are amazing. Every single person is amazing and is a couple of great quotes that I always lean into. The first one is, and forgive me, I can’t remember who, who said this, but we, but I love it. It is,

Neil: Everyone in the world knows something you don’t. And if you go through life believing that you’ll interact with others in an entirely different way. And, and the other one from Brian Solis is, is that no one wants, no one wakes up in the morning wanting to be mediocre. Right? We all want to make a difference. We all do. Now we’re not all able to, we don’t all have the access or the resources or the support or that say a musician or a fashion designer would have, but you know, the guy driving that delivery chock or pouring that coffee, they have so much more to offer than maybe that, that, that job allows or that career path allows. And how do you unlock that? I’m fascinated by the, the way that companies, but I’m going to pause there for a second. Cause I G I learned something just this last month or so from one of our very smart strategists here.

Neil: The, the actual origin of the word company is, is community people gathering to break bread corn. [inaudible] Huh. and so the, and I think we’ve forgotten that, like coming together to share something we’ve forgotten in incomplete. The majority of companies don’t let their people do that. Go see them go even further. And being marketers, you know, you and I, we get this, you said it just a minute ago. We want to learn as much about people as possible. We want to understand them because isn’t that, that’s the one unique sort of difference that you can have from one brand to another is actually a deeper understanding of your, your your audience, that competitive advantage. We know so much about con people as consumers these days out there in the world. You know somebody told me that the, the average number of, of data fields that our platform like Amazon or Alibaba or whatever, those would have, you know, it’s more than 10 channels and 10,000 things about me and 10,000 things about you.

Neil: Yeah. What’s the average number of things that we know about our employees? You know, if you’d taken a take an average company, you know, what that tenured salary role, function, you know, things like that. We don’t know anything about them. So how can we ever seek to bring in the, the, the, you know, this eclectic group of talented people together to solve a problem if we don’t know what makes them unique and individual, we just know them from for the job title that they had. And I think one of the biggest things that I would love for, for, to see change is an investment in the depth of knowledge of employees in companies at the same level that we, that you make an investment in the depth of knowledge of the customers. And it’s true because if you don’t know your employee and then therefore comp can’t reach them can’t extract the greatest value from them.

Neil: Carnival, get them to believe or care about what you do, then that’s going to blow straight back to the customer that you’ve spent all this time trying to engage. Always use this story. If I’m flying with a new airline, any of them, and I see the ad, you know, the super bowl spot or whatever it is and, and like, yeah, that’s the airline can be, I like how they talk, like how they look. I’m going to be, I want to fly with those guys. I download the app and the app has beautiful, seamless experience and Hey, they’re flying from my local airport to the exact place I want to go and they’re going on the time of the day I want and the price is good. Okay. Bingo. This is my online. I know. And then I arrive at the airport and the gate agent is miserable, rude or disinterested. My experience with that airline is negative even though they spent that money on all that other stuff. It’s, it’s gone in that moment. And the reason that that person is maybe miserable is not because that’s how they go through life, but because they’re not particularly happy with the job that they have or the way they’d been treated or the opportunities that they have fixed that. And then you fix the deficit in experience, which drives the customer value that everyone’s looking at.

Matt: Yeah. You know, it’s it, it’s so true. It’s interesting how, and you could see where, where cultures that do have this down, right. I was actually just talking about this with a friend the other night. Here in the States we have a, I don’t know how many different States we have it in, but it’s called quick trip. It’s a convenience store that really flipped the industry on its head and it’s like one of the fastest growing in the country. And I believe it has a very high cultural rate or like cultured group of people in terms of like the way that they, they feel. Eh, so QuikTrip is the basically on the countertop when you go to checkout, it has two sides. So they’re always handling two people at a time practically. Like they were moving from one to one.

Matt: They’re very, very fast. They’re very, extremely friendly and happy and like they get all these benefits from what I understand, they get all these benefits, they get all these like, you know, they just, they take care of their employees so well and the employees take care of the customers so well. And you see this trickle down effect of the culture being guided all the way through to you know, the customer’s end experience and so forth, whatever. But I think it’s, it’s, it’s interesting that when we choose brands and we ha, you’re right. We have this experience. It, it doesn’t, it’s, we’re, we’re not the only part of that experience. And I think that, that the employees, the relationship that they have to the company and the relationship they have to us, they’re like some of the most important, they are, in my opinion, almost, I guess they’re probably the most important conduit.

Neil: I think they actually are the biggest driver brand value now. Right? I think there’s a study that, you know, packaging design advertising is less impactful than the customer experience, but it’d be it by phone or in person. Yeah. [inaudible] yeah,

Matt: Absolutely. I mean, because they’re just literally you know, in, in dealing with you know, I mean not to get sued on that, that kinda rabbit hole, but then dealing with with the passing of my father a couple of months ago he, he set everything up so it was mostly great, but like I’m helping kind of close out some of his accounts and it’s been interesting to see how different brands in different companies handle different things, especially as sensitive as a loss of a family member. And man, like some you just want to, like, you feel like they’re hugging you through the phone and they’re just like, all about how can I take care of this? I can do to take of that. And some are just, they’re so automated and they don’t even understand the, the, the severity of the situation or able to help take care of it.

Matt: And you’re just like, wow. Like I would never want to deal with you guys ever again. You know? And it just goes to show you how much the, the impact has on the customers. Are the, the employees of, there are the conduit, you know, for the company. You’re right, they’re the, that brands assets that the brands, ambassadors are everything for the company. So it’s a, it says, and the other thing, by the way, that you also wrote up about people who sometimes they’re in roles where they may not even know it. Like in like a, and nothing wrong with the Starbucks role of course at all, but like there’s more that they want to be doing. And they’re just currently doing that. It’s been interesting. There’s been a couple times where I’ll run into either like a Starbucks employee or a whole foods employee, although I think they’re taken care of pretty well. And then like, or like a restaurant employee and man, they’re so good. They are so, like in their vibe, I don’t even know what their skill set is. And the first thought I have is I would hire you.

Matt: You know what I mean? Like if you ever have you ever, you know what I mean? You come across a wheel, like I don’t know exactly what it is. I’d have you do yet, and, or what your skillset is yet, but I would hire you, what do you, and then like, I’ll, sometimes I’ll even said to them like, right there in the restaurant, like, what do you really want to be doing? You know, and they’re just, eh, eh, but at general and the end, they don’t even downplay their current role because they take it with such pride. Those people I would hire all day long for the sheer fact that they are respectful and they do their work with pride and joy and love and respect.

Neil: You know, you, it brings us onto that wonderful awakening that we’re having around EQT versus IQ. You know, that we, we can’t, you can’t measure EEQ in a sort of a traditional test or on a resume. You know, somebody who went to an Ivy league university versus like me, let’s call. And there were 16, the EEQ could be higher on that, on that lever versus the, the very well educated person. And, and I think that what you’re sensing is EEQ. Yes. I actually had this experience myself hadn’t long moved to Atlanta doing what most you know, homeowners do. And I’m at home Depot and it was Lowe’s. I’m sorry, I’m just get that right. It was Lowe’s and the, the young gentleman helping me out he’s got an injured foot, so he’s kind of dragging this thing around and which I’m trying to buy shelving or there’s not much more that’s, that’s heavier than shelving in Lowe’s.

Neil: And we even with these injuries for, and even with me saying, please don’t, please don’t. I got this. He insisted on helping me out with the car with it. And we went at his pace and we got it out on the, on the trolley and into the car. And as we’d go in, I said, so what happened to your foot? And he was telling me this story about, haven’t been in an accident and he’d lost his job. And he just, now I’ve got back to this job to, to fill that to, to keep paying the rent for him and his new wife. And he was actually looking to try and start his career. I use that word because he used it in advertising. I was like, huh, I might know a couple of people. So we swapped numbers and it took a few months but we got him an internship at a big digital agency.

Neil: And yeah, that was a little bit of a favor. You can do that when you, you have a sort of client roles and when we’ll entertain that and say, yo, if this, if this kid is smart, you know, we’ll, we’ll give him a, a quick go over the summer or something. I said, that’s the most I can do. And three months later emailed me and said they offered me a full time job and I felt really good. That felt really good. I every year I try and help at least one person if I can like that. Cause I realize how hard it is to navigate the industry and, and Trump trying to be like the gentleman at the engineering firm that I was at and say, you know, I can, I can, I can be selfless and be self aware and invest the time even I get nothing back from it because it helps this, this person could just get seen and then it’s over to them, perhaps put them on the new path and then it’s up to them to walk. And it’s, it’s incredibly rewarding. So you really met, I’m going to hold you to this the next time this happens to you kind of have to hire them and we’ll, we’ll come back around one time. The next one. We do have these and we’ll see if you did it.

Matt: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. And by the way, I think it’s cool. Think about what that man who did that for you all those years ago. Think about now how his legacy is living on from his choices he made, because I don’t know who this individual is, but here we are all these years later, he’s now being talked about on a podcast. He shaped your life. You’re now shaping other people’s lives. And this is how our choices really do end up in dictating you know, legacies or, or ripple effects on an impact. And you never really hear anybody say that when somebody was acting like an asshole. [inaudible]

Neil: Exactly, exactly. I mean, it just, this, it comes down to, you know, if we’re all a little bit more selfless and a little bit more open forms would be better. And you know, the, the rabbit hallway we’re not going to go down is that, that, that the need for that in society right now is state will stay in our lane. But it is what’s needed. It is what’s needed. And then you can start with one person.

Matt: So here’s a great question that I know somebody listening would easily ask you right now in this case.

Matt: Yeah. What would you, what advice would you give to somebody if they were in it career mode, but it is just not resonating with their soul?

Matt: What would you say is the ripping off the bandaid effect that they should consider doing right now and getting to that core like, okay. And we should come to terms with not with that you’re in, you’re in co quote unquote career mode. It doesn’t resonate with your soul and there’s way more to you than you than you could possibly imagine. And they know that. What would you tell them to do right now?

Neil: It’s a great question and there’s some layers to it. So we’ll start the simple thing that everybody can do think which is to articulate clearly in a, in a way that you would tell other people, not just yourself, what it is that you actually feel you want to do. And I don’t mean a job, I mean the kind of value and impact you want to have. One other person on a group of people on the world in some form. And to articulate that as skills and value. You know, this is what I, this is what I love to do and this is what it can bring. And then when you’ve done that,

Neil: What, where it is that you, that you want to go in the future. You know, and I don’t mean, you know, by the time I get to 65, I would like to have two houses on the yard. I mean, you know, [inaudible] on a field. Like, because I’m, I’m a big believer in these journeys. What would you like the end of this next journey to be however long that that is, you know, w w what will success, what will, what will your contentment look and feel like? And, and the feeling by the ways, often more important than the, the physical or sort of rational articulation of the stuff I’m going to get is not, it doesn’t have to be about money. Do that. And then look at the job that you have and see how much of those things you either are doing or can do.

Neil: Sometimes you have somebody who’s in a job that isn’t actually applying themselves to the thing that they want because they don’t feel they can or they haven’t asked to do it. And some I’ve seen it happen where somebody in a particular job at that time can sort of reset themselves to, to, to, to re enjoy that job again, to, to be proud of that work again. And it may actually be sort of cultural forces on that team that, that have made them less interested or excited or happy with that role. To do that. And then if that’s not working and it’s easy to say, Oh, just quit and go start a company it’s really not that easy and really not always that, that doesn’t always make you happy. And the next thing to do is to look around. If you’re, are you happy with the company that you’re in but maybe not the role, where else could you go from there?

Neil: And keep doing that? Are you happy in the industry that you’re in or not? But do it with that picture of yourself instead of don’t look at other people. I’m sort of fascinated by what is happening. I wouldn’t use Instagram for this, right? So what we do today is we judge ourselves against each other. We’ve always done that, but we were able to do it sort of walking down the street, you know, so you see someone with cooler clothes than you’ve got and I’d love to have that or someone with a better car or whatever. Now we can just flip on Instagram and see the person with the perfect body, with the the, the most beautiful car that you have ever seen, which is, that’s what I ended up doing. The house you want, the boyfriend of girlfriend that you would love to have, whatever that is.

Neil: And then we create this goal of ourselves, which is a composite of all of those people. You know, it’s the, the face of George Clooney and the abs of whoever, you know, like, and so we, we at this person doesn’t exist in real life and he’s, it’s impossible to attain. So don’t do that, judge it on yourself. And then as you sort of, you draw those, those layers out that’s when the consideration, at least for me about starting my own business came from because I knew that I couldn’t find this thing, this thing I would only be sold for. This appetite would only be sated by actually building something. And so he comes back to the whole mechanic days. I love building. I just wasn’t particularly good or fulfill building that, but building a company in an industry that, that I’ve sort of grown up in, you know, the through various different forms that was more fulfilling and sort of, I finished with, with this piece of advice that I was given by someone with more experienced than me.

Neil: Looking back on, on time spent and she said, and I’m, I’m speaking here to anybody who is in a full time role somewhere wishing to be an entrepreneur or wishing to be freer and more in control. And she said that there is a but we believe that there is a security in full time work that is not there in freelance contractor or entrepreneurship. And it’s not true. That full time work can actually be fraught with as many sort of dangers or you know, curves in the road that you weren’t expecting. And freelance that actually you can make a good, comfortable, regular living working for yourself. And actually you can’t always do that in full time work because the nature of the world today is that you are to be laid off. Yes. You know, companies can, the reorg as it’s known is a constant state in most big companies.

Neil: So this, this sort of delusion of security in full time work and also this, this illusion or the delusion of insecurity in freelance. It’s just not there. I, I see some of the happiest people I know are not entrepreneurs with companies or employees, but individual freelancers writing their own path, taking, taking their own initiative and, and, and choosing, choosing the things you want to work on. And that for me, I think is something that more and more people are starting to realize and, and that fulfillment isn’t about just the creation of wealth, but actually just about the enjoyment of the journey along the way and finding out what it is that you need to, to enjoy that journey from a financial perspective, but also from a you know, a return on impact perspective. I can do more

Matt: Well the real ROI. That’s right. That, that whole, that whole segment right there that you just, I’m gonna, I’m gonna take that snippet and blast it everywhere and put it on repeat for a lot of people. It was so well articulated and and, and just truly it got to a very soul level. I really appreciate what you’re saying. I was actually taking some notes around that. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s first of all very interesting point about what you brought up about for people who they may actually fall back in love with their current role. Once you remove the perception that might be coming from, you know, especially in an Instagram plagued world where you’re looking online, you’re seeing people quote unquote living a life, you might have fallen out of love from a wrong place when technically what you do and you’re in a great environment with really people who are there to help make you flourish. If you kind of removed these expectations of what you think you should be doing and the grass is not always greener no matter where you go, that it’s work. So you have to, I liked the fact of you saying take a step back. Like do you like the work that you do and how that environment, and maybe it’s just about falling back in love with the process of where you’re currently at versus just looking at the greener grass on the other side. And then I,

Neil: Yeah, there’s a beautiful David Bowie quote is never played to the gallery. Yes. Always played for yourself. Yes. Yeah. And you can do that in any, any role.

Matt: Well, and, and you know, [inaudible] and I love that you also brought up yes. You know, we, the Instagram world is only is really only showing these, these highlights. But towards the end, what you were also saying about this idea of the, the delusion that some people have about entrepreneurship and then the entrepreneurship delusion that they have about, you know yeah, I that, that I actually, I stopped typing at that time, but it was just, it was, it was just very, it was very beautiful about how you know, we’re, I would say entrepreneurship is a gateway drug to self-help and self awareness because like you, you have to figure it out. No one’s going to do it for you. And, Oh, Oh, and this, you really hit my heart and my soul on this one. Security. I, I have hated that, that word from the matrix society where they say, you know, they talk about security, they talk about security, you know, and you know, it was interesting because I after I was divorced, I remember, you know, when I was dating and I was rebuilding some things and you know, people in partners, women would ask like, Oh, you know, well, you know, entrepreneur, like, you know, and just security and I get it, there’s nothing wrong with wanting security in your life.

Matt: You realize that security is something that you actually individually have to work for and that if you are relying on an outside worlds, like your job to save your hide over theirs, that’s not, you have no security on any given day. The company, the organization, the hospital, you are, I don’t care, whatever it is can say goodbye, see you later. You don’t have any control over that. There is no security that, that, that to me is a definitely a, a something that I have [inaudible] it’s a, it’s a pain point if you can’t tell. But it’s, it’s,

Neil: We, we, we may have to do another whole podcast on this because I want to ask the question to anyone who seeks securities, like security for what protection from what, what is it you’re scared of? You know, we don’t live in a world here at least where many of us are struggling to survive. I know that that’s still the case of so many people around around the world, but yet we’re the ones looking for security. And I think he’s actually it’s a proxy because we no longer have to worry about survival. So the security we want is actually the, the protection of a certain lifestyle that we aspire to. Yeah. I think we actually decoupled from that. Yeah. And, and so, well, shit, you know, lose my job was the worst that’s gonna happen. Right? You’re getting another one or maybe, you know, not get the new car this year.

Neil: Come on. You know, we would not, maybe we’d only out for a couple of months, you know, I know some people are in worse situations than that, but a lot of the people that I hear talking about that word security are actually fairly well protected already. You know, and, and, and, and have a lot of the things that, that we used to aspire to many years ago. So I think that’s the, the delusion it and, you know, do we really go to sleep at night? You know, saying, well, I didn’t enjoy today, but at least I’m secure. And I think that, don’t think that’s the goal. And I think if you look back, you know, older later in life, you’re going to go, well, well, there’s things I didn’t do and didn’t try just so that I could protect these things that I had. And, and there’s a trick, there’s a trick to that.

Neil: And I don’t think it’s particularly malicious. I think it’s just grown over time. It is in connection to this word career, which is career was become, we’re going to keep you safe in a job. We’re to keep you going to keep you here and in. So keeping in mind, if you stay here, you can have that new BMW every couple of years. If you save here, we will look after you. And, and I’m not sure that being looked after is actually what we want. I actually think that we want to go out there and strive for a bit more than that.

Matt: That’s true. So true. So I, yeah, we’ll, we’ll, we’re going to do round two on [inaudible] security, but, you know, but I just, I found that very, and I’m glad you brought it up because it, there’s you know, the freedom that does come up is that we, we, we learned that much more about ourselves, especially in entrepreneurial. We learned that much more about ourselves and you know, in this idea that reliability has to start first on relying on ourselves and our intuition and our gut and making good choices and then how that flows out from there. Right. Versus this reliability of like have rely on other people. You know, it’s funny because I remember for many years when, when I was younger and I’d talk about the journey and I’d send him and my mom like, you know, this whole security thing, this is actually years ago, this is, you know, but we talk about it and she said, you know, and it’s funny because she always helped my mother, my father’s a business. But she would say, why are they so secure? She’s like, you can adapt to any situation. Do you realize she’s like, if they lost their job tomorrow, what does that look like for them? What does adaptation look like? How does solving the problem in the moment work for them? She was like, it’s like deer in headlights. She’s like, don’t shortchange yourself. And I really appreciate that coming from a non entrepreneurial person,

Neil: That’s a very, it was very eye opening. That’s self awareness right there. We can all do a bit more of that, right? Yeah. I hundred percent agreed. So your mom’s a wise lady.

Matt: W so w question for you where, and thank you for that. Thank you. Where, where can people find out about you online and like what you’re doing with local industries. And if you wanna like real quick break down, like, you know, kind of what local industries is doing. We’ve got a lot of really great, you know, we’ve got everywhere from entrepreneurs all the way up to corporate CEOs that listen to this show. So you know, anything that you want to share with us, it would be great.

Neil: Yeah. Yeah. I’ll, I’ll, I’ll do the non-sales sales page for, for a minute. So we were a group of, we call ourselves reformed marketers, but we kind of field marketers we’ve all been through the agency and the client side where just like you, Matt, and had this realization that it doesn’t matter how great your idea is, if the culture of the company that you’re working either in or for doesn’t, won’t accept it for whatever reason, then it’s dead. And so we will experienced this with very large you know, the advertising campaigns, marketing campaigns kind of stuff. So that’s where we started. But over the course of the last three years or three and a half years or whatever, doing this, and we realize it’s not a marketing problem at all, that actually every leader in every discipline in a large and small companies, but particularly the larger companies are at the mercy there.

Neil: Their new initiatives are at the mercy of culture and no one is really empowered to help those ideas travel through that culture. And, and when I say that ideas, a new technology that you’re rolling out to manage workflow, a new platform for HR, a new process, it CEO, his vision values and anything, a new product, new brand new opening to a new market, any of those things, new ideas. Because you, you can’t create culture, you can only create the optimal conditions for positive culture change. And most companies don’t invest in creating those conditions. And so culture is actually created by the employees. It’s as Andrew, one of my business partners, we say it’s culture is basically this, the way people behave when there was liquid. And so if you think of of of a corporate culture where you have unhappy employees and the numbers are staggering, when you dig into the research, 70% of people are disengaged at work.

Neil: So that, that miserable, frustrated gay agent, is it a real thing? And those whole foods people that you mentioned or you know, when you have a positive interaction, we remember it because it doesn’t happen that often. It doesn’t happen every time. No one’s job is said is to, to help these very valuable but fragile new ideas, navigate the culture of companies and in effect to, to, to have them welcomed and adopted by the employees. That is the, the Genesis of local river strategic marketers that bring a communications team, design process design. But a approach to helping ideas travel through, through companies. You know, we’ve done large technology rollout for Coca-Cola and gamble learning programs, employee value propositions and working a lot, a lot with senior HR leaders and it leaders and marketing leaders. And our approach is, is really just a design change around employees instead of just around the company to involve employees in what’s happening, to help them understand it, to build belief around the, the, the, the positive value of a new idea, to help them understand how anything new helps them, helps them grow, helps them make an impact, helps them build relationships with their their colleagues, their manager.

Neil: Really it’s, it’s treating employees as internal consumers and with as much deference and care as consumers because they deserve it. And in so doing, helping that change be carried forward by them. Because truly that the only way that the, that that change really takes hold is if the employees in a company embrace it. And again, the numbers you up to 75% of, of transformation and change projects fail. And, and Gallup will tell you that 66%, I think two thirds of the reason for failure rate people in talent issues, yet we still don’t lean into that. So we’re ready. Consulting group that kind of operates like an agency. So we’re hands on sleeves, all that, making stuff like just delivering sort of you know, PowerPoint. And we all work with everything. Everybody from nonprofits to large fortune 50 corporates from high growth companies like Airbnb or eBay to hundred and 50 year old companies like Zurich.

Neil: If you, anybody wants to read anything more, we’re about to launch our new website where we, the cobbler’s kids when it comes to marketing ourselves. So we we take a long time to actually make stuff for ourself, but we’re about to launch that which will have a lot of new information about what we’re doing. We write, we speak. There’s a book in the works about this problem of, of, of, of the, the, the barrier and restriction to the impact that we all need at work. And really we just sort of passionate and driven group of people trying to help employees enjoy their daily life more and companies to engage with their people more so that all of the changes if necessary actually can maybe land. So that sounds, yeah.

Matt: Well, you’re going to get a lot of emails from a lot of employees. They’re going to either a say, placed me into one of your new companies that come to our company and, and make us have more fun again. But I think what you’re doing is a hugely, is a huge project a huge, massive undertaking and undeniably needed globally. And you’ll probably be kept very busy in places like the United States for sure.

Neil: It’s not too different back in, in my home country. Sure. We’ve got a couple of problems going on as well,

Matt: I’m sure. And I, you know, listen, I just, I truly appreciate having you on. You know, and I, and I’ve told you this before, but I always tell this to, to our guests on the show, you’re welcome back on, on any time. It is a journey driven podcast. So you know, your, to, to the point of what we’re talking about, that life changes, things change. We’re never more than one thing and there’s always more beautiful opportunities constantly happening and experiences. I’d love you to come back on, you know, a few months, six months, a year, whatever. We talk about a whole new set of topics or a whole new set of things that you’ve experienced or just some that we want to just go to town on. [inaudible] You were welcome back on anytime, man. Anytime.

Neil: Well now I loved talking today. Love what you’re doing. And honestly, I think that the concept that you’re bringing to people of the, it’s, it’s within them. It’s not so much about having some genius idea as the recognizing the potential in you to do something bigger and better, whatever that is. So keep doing what you’re doing. I’ll definitely come back and said there’s a book in the works if we can actually figure out the time to, to, to finish it. Maybe I can come and talk about that next year at some point, but until then I’ll be listening and thank you.

Matt: Absolutely, man. Thank you so much. You’ve been on it for everybody listening. You know, you can find Neil Bedwell on insert Facebook and all your usual places. I’m at Neil bedroll, N E I, L, B E, B as in boy, E D w E L L, check out local The site looks good, but they’re going to be redoing it. We owe, we all know how that goes. Every one of us knows how that goes. And you know, I want you guys to truly think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it and then whether or not you are happy, do not worry about all of the end outcomes and expectations that you place on yourself or that society places on you. Worry about your happiness. I am telling you right now, the more that you actually pay attention to your happiness and increasing it, the more the other things that you’re hoping to have in your life will come more naturally.

Matt: And so maybe not doing the quote unquote career that makes the most sense, but doing the life that does, that’s probably the direction that I would go in. So I wanted to close with that and, you know, really truly agree. Before, I guess, Neal Bedwell on today, again, entrepreneurial, founding partner of local industries, digital Maven and genius in his own you know, 15, 20 year plus career. And, you know, we’ll have him come back on and we’ll talk about more, more of these great topics in the future. For myself, Matt Gottesman and this show the hustle sold separately. We’re out.