- Player: Matt Brown
- Company: Digital Kungfu
- What they do: Digital Kungfu is a strategic digital product development house that creates shareholder value by designing, building and deploying scalable digital products that disrupt traditional markets.
- The podcast: The Matt Brown Show has interviewed more than 60 South African entrepreneurs, billionaires and CEOs. Find it here.
Your podcast started out aligned with your business. Why did you then rebrand it to the Matt Brown show?
The show rebranded itself. It started out as a show about the world of digital, but after almost two years of interviewing billionaires, entrepreneurs and the CEOs of South Africa’s most successful companies, it really became all about entrepreneurship.
My listeners are dedicated and incredibly loyal, and they were asking for the rebrand. I gave in when I realised they were 100% correct.
The power of personal brands is that they speak for you in rooms that you aren’t in. Through the show I’ve learnt that highly successful entrepreneurs share this trait: They all have strong personal brands. People buy you first and then your products and services, so a personal brand goes a long way to helping you succeed in business.
Take Elon Musk for example: Space X and Tesla are great businesses, but without Elon Musk’s massive personal brand at the helm, they probably wouldn’t be the companies that they are today.
How have you selected guests for your show?
In the beginning, I had to hustle to get guests onto the show. Today it’s all through referrals from previous guests. That doesn’t mean I take anyone though.
I’ve learnt that in business, you can define what you do by what you say no to – not what you say yes to. Some things may be right, but not be right for you. I may get referred someone who has a great media profile, but they’re not right for my listenership.
Sometimes I get approached by entrepreneurs and businesses who are looking for PR; that’s not what this show is about. It’s about empowering entrepreneurs and growing entrepreneurship by sharing insights and lessons learnt by people who have been there and done.
You need to genuinely want to share your story to help others to be on the show. We’re here to help others learn – why make your own mistakes when you can learn from others?
What are you looking for each time you conduct an interview?
I’m looking for new perspectives on how to achieve success as an entrepreneur – both from an inner and outer game point of view. It’s about getting into the mindset of a billionaire and exploring and uncovering those little nuggets that you won’t find in a long-winded book about business.
Some listeners describe the show as one that’s about entrepreneur hacks, but others call it a show about technology and the future of business. At the end of the day, it’s all those things – there’s something for everyone. I’ve even people tell me how the show has ‘changed their lives’.
That wasn’t me – it’s the fresh perspectives that are shared about what is currently working in the business world for entrepreneurs and what might work in the future.
Why do you believe podcasts are such a valuable self-development learning tool for business owners?
We are living in an era of risk and instability and with disruptive technologies coming to the fore, today’s business environment is changing rapidly. Entrepreneurs need to stay on top of thing, or their businesses run the risk of becoming irrelevant.
Self-learning or the ability to self-learn is becoming the new competitive differentiator for entrepreneurs, and podcasts are a great conduit to doing that. We’re hard-wired for stories, so long-format shows like podcasts are great for storytelling and enable listeners to get a deeper and richer understanding of something that relates to entrepreneurship and the world of business.
Podcast content is ridiculously easy to consume – whether you’re driving, running on the road, working out in the gym or catching a plane – it’s always on and creates a ‘lean-back and listen’ content consumption experience.
Over the course of the interviews you’ve conducted, what anecdotes have really stood out for you, and why?
I like to unpack the motivation of a successful entrepreneur so, the one question I always ask guests is: “Why? Why do you do what you do?” and the answer is always about making a contribution: A need to make a difference to society and the greater world.
The lesson here is that if your ‘why’ isn’t big or strong enough, you probably won’t succeed. The answer to the question of why, is what will keep you going – not when things get tough – but when they get really, really, tough. These are the times when you think your business and your world is about to end.
When I was interviewing Vinny Lingham, he told me that perseverance is the single most important quality that any entrepreneur can have, and I totally agree with him.