726: The CEO of Drift Shares His 3 Keys to Success w/ David Cancel

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to David Cancel, CEO of Drift.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

A relationship with the right referral partner could be a game changer for any BBB company. So what if you could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster than ever? Learn more at sweet phish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show, all right. So the episode you're about to hear was not actually recorded for this podcast. It was recorded for another one that it we're currently working to produce right now, called Boston success. So this interview is with David Cancel. He's the CEO...

...of drift. If you're listening to this podcast and you're in BDB marketing, you've you've you're probably well aware of drift and of David cancel. So just just recorded this interview and thought it was way too good to not share with our BB growth listeners as well. So I hope you enjoy this interview with David cancel. Welcome back. We are here today with the man, the myth and the legend himself, David Cancel, also known as DC. The DC is the CEO of drift and and they are just a rocket ship. I've been following drift for for a while now and I am extremely excited to have David on the show today. D See How you doing today? I'm doing fantastic, coming off of a hot father's Day, amazing time with the family, and today happens to be my daughter's birthday, so shout out to my daughter. I love it. Happy Birthday DC's daughter. So so, David, we this show is all about your your three keys to success. But before we get into that, I'd love for you to tell our listeners...

...just a little bit about your journey that has ultimately led you to doing what you're doing today. Sure, and so it's a long journey, so stop me, stop me if I gone too long. Okay, so you know I've been doing startups now. This my fifth company, Drift. My four companies before this I sold the last one I sold to coming to called hub spot when we were about they were about two hundred employees. Went there work for four around four years, almost four years, and left at the time we were going public to start drift, and so the reason that all of that is relevant is I didn't want to start another company to sell. Had done that or four times, and now we drift. You know, we're focus on building an enduring company, one that is this global brand and really helps other companies kind of transformed the way they they sell to other business this it's really the way that business is buy from other businesses. You know, I grew up in New York City and my both my parents emigrated to the...

US and so I grew up kind of typical immigrant household. You know, my parents work twenty, you know, seven days a week most of my life. You know, that was my normal and and so that kind of set the basis for a kind of my work ethic, which I think is one of my secrets. It's not a unique secret, but it is important and really set me on this path of this kind of entrepreneurial thinking, which wasn't a word, entrepreneur when I was growing up at least, and and really set me down this. Course I love it. I love it. So you've built a phenomenal brand. You and your team have built a phenomenal brand at drift and so it's interesting to hear you say what you just said about you know, I'm not building us to sell and building it for the long term. Do you feel that kind of that mindset DC has been like a secret ingredient, if you will, to to the brand that you guys have ended up building. Is it because of that mindset or there are a lot of different factors that a lot of other factors. I guess that led...

...to the brand that you guys have built in such a short amount of time. Yeah, I think it's it's one of you know, maybe a handful, maybe less than less than five around, probably like three or four other factors, but I think it's one of the most important factors. I think you know, when you take this approach to which I hadn't ever before. You know, it's funny to say I never had. You know, when you're starting company, you you're kind of fighting to survive, right. I want who started business knows this, lives this every day. You're fighting this vive. You're fighting for tomorrow and and it's hard to like, step back and, you know, have dreams about ten, twenty years down the line when you just looking to survive that you know, it's easy to have those things before you start the company or the business. It's hard to do it when you're actually in the business. And I think me taking this approach, along with my founders and everyone that's joined the team, because we've been clear about kind of what we're trying to do together, has really helped us really focus on brand, which is something that takes a long time to to deliver...

...right. It's not, you know, your quick fix like PPC, you know, paperclick ads or other kind of techniques out of the people will do just to optimize for today. So, yeah, it's made us comfortable with this long term thinking and I think it's, you know, top three reasons why we've been able to build the brand, at least so far, for the that we have a love it. So So, before we get into your three keys of success, bacally, I'd love for you to first can define for our listeners what success means to you. So could you, could you define success from from your perspective for us? HMM, that's a great I love that you ask that question first, because everyone rushes into success. Yeah, and for me, success, you know, is complicated. I think success is, you know, one being a great or being being as good, I won't use the word great, being as good a father and...

...husband and friend that I can be right and and I step back from saying great, because who knows what great is? And I think in some ways, now that I'm, you know, older, I kind of look back and say, I think, I think, you know, being really good or being as good a great is is really just it's about progression. It's about can you be better than maybe your parents were able to do right, and in your parents were better probably than their parents right. It's just like everyone's progressing and and it's only, you know, great for right now. And might I hope that my kids will be better parents and I then I will that I have been. So I think, you know, that's number one. Number two is like really leaving, you know, helping the world in my small way that I can write. One of the things that's important for me, that I didn't really talk about until recently, is that, you know, I've been lucky, very lucky in my life and so like starting drift, like it's not about getting, you know, if we happen...

...to be successful, which is a big, big, big, big, big, if it's not about getting another house or another car or another whatever. You know, I'm focused and on whatever upside, there is a drift to donate a hundred percent of that way. So that movies me right. I'm lucky. You know I can say that right, that's easy for me to say, but you know, it's still hard to do. But that's really motivates me because there are things that I want to give back towards and we give back now, but at a different scale, and so that motivates me. And then, you know, the third and the last is having an impact on and this is why I'm on this podcast and why we do the things that I do every day. I want to help a million entrepreneurs, you know who a million people who want to be entrepreneur, I should say become entrepreneurs, are at least discover, you know, maybe help them on their path to become an entrepreneur. So I want to touch a million people and that's why I do podcast or where we do our own podcast beyond...

...our business. I really am motivated by by helping to teach the vert the few lessons that I've learned and pass them down. So, with that being said, DC, I want to transition into into your three keys to success. So let's let's get started with the first one. Would you say is has been the number one Keyti to your success? I'd say number one has been gratitude and and I think that was kind of infused in me, but it would definitely was refused into me by my parents. And so, you know, I grew up. You know, now I would look at him be like very working class. Would Be, you know, fancy to say that I drew up. So I grew up, you know, with very little means, but I never felt that way my entire life. I always felt like I had everything that I needed. I never felt like I had I was lesser den or I had less than other people. And and it was really my parents that help me feel that way and kind of ingrained this sense of gratitude, being grateful for for everything, because I saw what they...

...went through to give me that. And so I kind of try to practice gratitude every day and I make it a daily practice. Every morning I write a couple things down. Of course, family is top of that list. But, like, I read a couple of things down every day to remind myself that I'm why I'm grateful for having this day, for, you know, for having having the ability to do the things that I do, because it is a, you know, extreme luxury. Yeah, and I think what an incredible habit to going back to your first point of like, you know, being as good of a dad and a husband as you possibly can be. I think having that practice of writing down what you're grateful for every day and having your kids see that, I think that's that's a really, really powerful discipline that that will be past the hopefully will be passed down to your kids just by them seeing you model that. I hope so. I hope that, you know, I helped. You know, US talking about it helps spread it, because I think it's a thing that is becoming rare. Not there and then, you know, I'm sure I suffered from it...

...myself at times and do suffer from amount of times, but I think we are living in this. If you're listening to the PODCASTS, you are amongst the luckiest people in the world, not because you're listening to us, but because you have this access to this, this which most people do not write. This steal ultimate luxury. And so you need to practice gratitude and I think so many of us suffer from, you know, entitlement and wanting to achieve wherever your version of success is or your version progression is without they want the secrets and that's why we're lured to the secrets without putting in the work right and it doesn't come that way. All right. So so key number one being gratitude. Would you say your second key to success? D See, number two is this kind of learning up section that I have. So I call it, you know, I take this from Charlie Munger, who's a warm buffets business partner here. He had this quote around being a curious learning machine. It actually is one of our leadership principles here at drift that we believe in it so much. But it's basically the idea is very simple.

It's like, you know, going to bed every day a little bit smarter in your domain than when you woke up. That's it, right, just a little bit, just improvement, whether your domain is sports or business or personal, you know, just trying to be incrementally better. And, as Charlie Munger says. You know, over the long term that adds. That makes all the difference in the world, and so I'm obsessed with learning, getting better progression in and and then putting that into practice, which I think is is number three, might slow key. Okay. So so let's let's elaborate on that third key. Okay. So my third key is bias for action, which is again another principle that we use internally here, but it's one that obviously has come from myself and my cofounder. So I have this bias for action. I think, you know, I had it came from early my life, like not really having lots of expectations. I really...

...didn't have anything that I needed to live up to in terms of, you know, people expecting me to do things in a certain way, right, and so I had this freedom. That freedom led me to have this contributed, I should say, to having this bias for action. And I like to learn. Learning is important, but that's like, you know, the twenty percent. The eighty percent is actually taking action and doing something. I think that's where that's what's really helped me, because I find that all of us freeze up right and overthink things and and don't take action because it's easier not to take action than it is and you may fail. When you take action, you will fail most of the time and and that's uncomfortable. And so I've had this bias for action and and really getting out there and doing stuff and you know, I try to help people, whether they're on my team or outside my team. You know, really lean into this third one and not to sit on the sidelines pontificating for too long, but actually takes some action, because it's in the action that you will aren't totally agree, totally agree. So so, DC, to wrap up, your three keys...

...are gratitude, being a constant learner and having a bias for action. I resonate with all three of those in a really powerful way. I want to transition to the last part of this interview and and it's really it's I call it the fast five. It's so it's five rapid fire questions. I'll start you off with a softball, DC, because this show is for Boston professionals. What is your favorite place to eat in Boston? Oh Man, this it's so funny. I ask this question of all New People. Started at our company meeting and then we all rate rate there their place. I think my favorite place right now is called Lone Star, which is fabulous Mexican place here in Boston, where we don't have many, but this one's great. I love it. All right. The the second one. What is the book that you find yourself recommending? The most made in America? Simple book by Sam Walton, the autobiography of Sam Walton, the creator of Walmart. Yeah, I think you. I've heard you guys talk about that on on seeking thosroom before. All right, what is what is the number one thing...

...that you're trying to optimize for in your life right now? Experiences? I love it. WHO's another local leader that our listener should be following? Paul English. He Co founded Kayak, which many of us use every day, and now the founder of Lola. Credible. All right. This last one, DC. What is the legacy that you want to leave? It's simple. I just want to leave things better than than they were when I got there. I love it. David, this has been amazing. Thank you so much for your time today. If somebody wants to stay connected with you and then want to learn, learn more about everything that you and your team are doing at drift, what's the best way for them to go about doing that. Just tea cancel everywhere. So my last name is se an Cel easy to find everywhere, so that David cancel. You can't miss me again, DC, this has been fantastic. I really appreciate your time today is thanks a lot. Thanks, brother. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the be tob growth community through this podcast.

But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, will talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BEDB growth dinner in a city near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be toob growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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