761: The Must-Have DNA For Every New Business w/ Peter Nguyen

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Peter Nguyen, Founder and CEO at Ad Exchange Group.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

Looking for a guaranteed way to create content that resonates with your audience? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients and let them choose the topic of the interview, because if your ideal clients care about the topic, there's a good chance the rest of your audience will care about it too. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary Vander truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing BB companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweetish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the CO hosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business. Will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just getting well. Maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the B tob growth show. This episode is sponsored by Directive Consulting, the B Tob Search Marketing Agency. Today we're joined by Peter when. Peter is the founder and CEO of Ad Exchange Group. He's won countless awards, including of every advertising and marketing agency. They have won the Gold American business award two years running. Peter, is a pleasure to welcome you to the show. Thank you for having me, Jonathan. Pleas it beer. I'm excited. We were, you know, we were just weird, weird Gim and on all these ideas before we started recording and we were talking about the sort of the winds and losses you've experienced. I mean you've got why? I know you've got something like over eight hundred employees across twenty plus companies right now. I mean you've just you just a wealth of information. But I think what we've landed on for today's topic is we're going to be talking about sort of what is the unique principle, the must have DNA for every new company that someone starts and I think it's going to be a very cool talk. But, Peter, before we do get into that, maybe you can tell it's just a little bit about yourself and what you and your team at add exchange group or up to these days. Sure, addict things. We've been around for five years. I've been not sneer for seventeen years now. Where the leading digital marketing firm for direct consumer products. And so we generated over one point five billion dollars in revenue for our clients and just the last five years alone. And you know, we have a full service of other services not beyond just digital marketing. We have a full sort of fullblown logistics company that sifts out up to fifty plus thousand products a day. We have a call all center with five call centers up to five hundred seats, then down customer support. We have a processing company, we have a chargeback management company, the two hundred people in India and past growing company there. I have another company that's what's you to go public sometime in the near future. Exposed too much about that. And and and and I've launched over fifty or sixty different product lines in the last seventeen years. All director consumer all soul on the Internet. That's fantastic. So obviously you know, Peter, your your resume is is sort of beyond question. You have you have seen an experience and grown across various industries. So one of the reasons that we did want to get you on the show today and because of that experience, because you have started so many companies. You've you've been through, you've seen a lot of trials and challenges and you've seen what works. We want to talk about sort of again. What are some of the unique principles this, this must have DNA for every new company that someone is starting. You know, Peter, take it away. Where are we starting today? All right, first...

I would say foundation, your partners. I'm a big believer and having partners in businesses. All My companies actually have at least a business partner. Sometimes I still in the majority of them, sometimes we're fifty, sometimes I'm a minority investor and more passive. But your partners to make up your entire blueprint in the your DNA, and so for me, the way I like at partners is the same way, similar way to how I like that my even my life partner, my spouse, where and there's two fundamental things, that principles that I live by in choosing a partner. Some were. One, do I trust that person that's like my wife, you know. So the kind of the snifth test is, if I were to die, would I trust that my partner would take care of my family like that level of trust, because I would expect the thinking to happen with my spouse, right. And the second one would be when I talk about my partner outside of them, like to other people, do I grow a do I am I excited? Do I can? I just speak so highly about them, like, do they have that bit faster about them? That's so incredible, right, just like I weigh with myself. And those are the two factors that list. I'm looking for ten out of ten. I don't settle for four feet, five out of ten or even seven out of times. I look like an out of ten people, you know, but even before kicking you know, just good people, a good partners. Right. The first thing I look at is, depending on what the company is, with the DNA of a company, so like if it's a tech company, what I look for is, okay, where are the key for five things that we as a as a company need to be above the pack on, like what do we need to like do better than the average or the rest of the and so and so, for instance, of a tech on me, I probably want, you know, a good Cteo or like it just insanely smart, ten out of ten guy who's a developer, who has this unique way of doing things in above everyone else. He's part of part of that, versus maybe less of that. And a logistic company, right, where tech is probably not as need unless you're doing some new in new top of tech with lassistance. Right. Yeah, I probably wouldn't need like a financial, you know, a accountant necessarily as a partner. I would hire them as an executive, right, because, and people make that mistake between and when you hire an executive and when you what do you have for partners? Partners are look for unique attributes and they have unique skill sets or values that that company needs more than just a paid employee, right. And so I looked at the four or five core things that that company needs to be the best at and then I look for partners who can fill that be the best in those things. And and what value do I bring? I mean, I better bring some value to R I don't deserves to be a partner, right, and sometimes it's for me. It's my strategic planning. Sometimes, obviously, my marketing distribution, which I know a thing or two about. Sometimes it's my resources and funding. Sometimes it's all of the above, right. So I know the value I bring. My leadership style as well, brings a different culture by to Naskity in motivating companies, you know, and and them strategic planning right, and my connections is also another value I bring, because I have a huge roll a Deux of people and resources, right, and so I know what I bring. What do the other people bring that's unique that I can't do myself? Yeah, so you have now two partners who are shoot too much exactually like that. That's your you don't want that either. And then the other thing is like in a partner, I look for like who are solid managers. I've had made them a stake too many times where there's just an amazing entrepreneur and sometimes that entrepreneur makes for a great partner and then make for a lousy executive later on you, if and when you do grow the company. So I've had too many times, even more recently, some my fastest growing companies, that same partner who helped the take it from...

...zero to fifty million dollars. I needed to buy him out or you know, get him out in order to bring a real executive, a real manager and, once we grew to certain size, to to help grow it. You know, fifty million too and above. You know and so and know that ahead of time. So for me, I'm a now I'm looking for, I've made them say, mistakes, where someone who can and it is rare to find both. Is honestly rare to find in any entrepreneur the same tenacity as a partner to grow company and to work twenty four hours seven and to have that eat, sleep and breathe. That's company right and at the same time, you know, have the management skills right to grow good culture as well. So that's that's something I look for. Yeah, that's that's the first part of the DNA. And then I would say, you know, from a strategic perspective, I always try and look for build a plan and it's like cliche. You unique selling positions from that. But what I would I care is actually a huge tip that I do almost with all my companies. I say who's Mike in Customer, right, and give the same advice to you know, if I'm giving dating a bite for use a lot of relationship things, because it works the same way with people, because at the end of the your client, or even if it's the be to be, they're people at the end of the day, right. So like for me, if I were to give advice to, you know, to I guy or a girl who says he's looking for their dream partner, their soul mate, right, I'll give the same advice. I said. First off, I said, so, who is your dream soulmate, right, and they'll say, well, you know, Jessica Alba or some other like that, some other right, right, and I said, okay, that's great, and they describe all these characteristics. But the first when I say the actually most people don't even know. Like more more majority of the people say, I have no idea. So literally, if your dream woman walks through that door, you wouldn't even know that it sh that was her first off. Right. So just know, know who your dream person is first. But let's let's the thing. Now. You figured it out who your dream person is, then this is where most people make this mistake. So they're like, okay, great, just I was your dream person, right, and then so. Now, now your dream person is this, and then now ask this question. Stuff too, is who's her because or her dream person, Dream, dream partner? Oh Huh, but do you fit that? Right, you have no shots. Sorry, you know. Right, so and then so. Then the second step is, what who's their dream person? And step three is, if that's not you, that's who you should aspire to be. HMM, Tho, some Raz you should be in order to deserve that dream. Sold me right, that dream partner? Yeah, yeah, that's I mean it's very interesting to turn that back on yourself. You know, look taking a look at well, you know, I'm so focused on trying to find what I want, but I'm I, you know, am am, I fitting that mold for that person. That's a really interesting perspective and and I realize that when I was like eleven years old, and I realize I was very far from deserving anyone like that. And so I spent literally fifteen years of my life, you know, oping and it wasn't about the money side. Like I met my wife before I had all of it, you know, and my wife I have the dream life because I what the of all the more important things that she meet, she's looking for. The moment my wife met me, we talked on the phone, not even in person. She literally said he's the one, the first phone call, because when you know, when you when you know you're it, when you have it all that they're looking for, they know it too. Right. And I use this example because when in business I use the same philosophy, which means who's your dream customer? I mean I'm talking about...

...the best of the best customer add exchange. We didn't want to have literally a thousand clients. No, we just wanted a hundred of the biggest ones. Right. We wanted it to be the black American stress card of the industry, right, because all my competitives had maybe thousands, of tens of thousands. was doing five cells or two cells or zero cells or ten cells a day with all their clients, and I mean that's just too much work. And they had, you know, a hundred or two hundred employees on both the law we did at first hundred million dollars with seven employees. Right. But I said WHO IS MY DREAM CLIENTS? And then I said how can we BE THEIR DREAM SERVICE? Provider, their dream company that they want to what and what is the market missing? And we became exactly that, and we do this for every one of our company. In today's grows stories about an enterprise all flash storage hardware vendor serving twenty percent of fortune one hundred companies. But here's the issue. They were struggling to engage with prospects across different territories. With a goal of growing their customer base, this hardware vendor decided to work with a partner on high impact direct mail delivered to over eight hundred profile leads across the UK, France, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. This resulted in a fifty four point four percent increase in total contract value. Wow. So who is the partner that delivered these results with direct mail? MRP politics. MRP politics is an insights, power to account based marketing platform with streaming predictive analytics baked into its core, integrating multi channel a vm execution on these insights, mrp politics triggers display, email, direct mail and global inside sales in real time, helping the largest marketing departments in the world deliver the right message to their customers at just the right time. So could MRP politics work for Youtube? There's a real good chance it could find out by visiting mrpfdcom or click the link in the episode description of this interview. All right, let's get back to the show. Well, I mean, and I just you know, I I love that you are able to think so almost abjectively critically about, you know, the the you know how to match and and, like you said, you've, I'm you've drawn a lot of parallels between the the the principles that have have guided you in your own life, that have guided you in your personal relationships, to the principles that have guided you in business and and in those business relationships. So, you know, it's a very unique perspective and and I think probably takes a lot of you know, it takes a lot of confidence to take a look at yourself and say this is you know, I'm not the right match. You know, this is who I want to match with, but I'm not the right match. What can I do? And you've like flip that a little bit so that you are having to grow and change and adapt yourself instead of, you know, instead of just complaining, well, why haven't I found why haven't I found my match. Why haven't I found my partner? So I think that's I think that's a really perspective, Peter. One of the things you know, you've talked a lot about finding the perfect partner, how that relationship can maybe change and involved. But I know also in another another part of sort of your success and and what drives you in something that you, I think, Bake into the DNA of these companies, as you also care for your people, and so one of the things you have talked about was certainly not just having a cool culture, but you actually care for the people and you've cared for them in some unique ways. Can we talk about that a little bit? Absolutely. This is something I've been preaching and speaking about within my company for well over a year now. Once I was able to kind of really understand what it is that I get kept getting asked or interviewed. People like, what is it? And then it's this...

...idea and and and I'm going to trademark this because I use it so often, but it's caring with a capital sea, and everyone in my company knows what I mean by that, and carrying with a couple of they let me give you an example of what I mean. By that, if you take the world's greatest people on the planet, whether it be Gandhi, Martin, Luther, King, Jesus, Jesus, Buddha, whatever you want to call right, even just great, right, the people that we all love and respected, who's changed the world, what do they all have in common? And it's not how, you know, handsome they were it was. It's not how much how wealthy they were. It wasn't how, you know, what ethnicity they were. What you know how even charismatic they were right, because they all were different personalities to keep from different times, right loss of life. But they all cared with a capital seat. That's the one thing that stood out from all of them, all the rest of the human beings of their time. They cared with a capital sea. And what I mean by that is like care is different than love. We talked about love too often. Love, I can say I love my mom and if my mom is in the hospital, I can send her love, but caring is actually coming and visiting her. HMM. Right, caring is the action, not just the feeling. Right, and caring is the doing and the being and and it's a culture that we've learned to do both as partners, executives, whether their managers or within each other. And we go above and beyond even that word care. Right, like the millennials have this care free attitude, but you don't want to have a care free attitude. You want to have more care right. You don't want to be careless. What is that upset you? More careful, because people who care with a capitalty pay attention to the details right, all the little things that make it make them great. Care with a capitalty is a level of excellence that matters and it's doing things that matter right. And there's purpose behind it all and it's everything. And every morning I wake up there's purpose behind us. And it's not as an entrepreneur. And what? Unlike most entrepreneurs, it's not about the money, because I've never ever been driven about the money. The money is just an energy of resource back into something of more important, of a bigger legacy that I want to leave on this planet. And when we we care about my I care about my partners the same way I care about my executives and same way I care about all my team members. There is that same way and this is we've created a culture where everyone gets that. You know, and so you know, I can tell you about this cool activity that we do or how we're results oriented work environment or how we have this intercompany bowling event or what any of that stuff. None of that stuf's per se manner. You make it yourself. But when people know, there's like that simple expression. People don't care what you know until they know that you care. Right. So, and I live and eat and breathe that. And when you go above and beyond what you what's the just check box that most people in corporations do, and do things different, do things that matter, through things that are truly fun and you know. And we have a culture that's not about surviving. Like what's that stuff about Corporate America? And actually hate it because I've hired enough executives from big corporations to come in our culture and and they and they bring that Corporate America craft into our culture and I literally have to let them go or have to have their come to Jesus moments like no, that you can't do that, that's not what we built. Like whatever, right and and and and and it's because corporate America, especially the big...

...companies, that's what they're doing. They're using fear and survival as a mechanism to motivate, and that's the wrong there's one to fear is the second strongest emotion. So that's a big driver that most corporate corporate America drives them on. It's better, you know fear is better use fear than you know, laziness or all the other emotions. Sure, but there's only one emotion that's greater, which is love. And that culture. Instead of surviving, it's thriving instead. Could if you're in survival mode the whole time, your body, the culture that everyone has, even when you pull out all the fires and there's no more bears, can spears created there? The only time we should be using spear as a human being is if there's freaking a bear in the room and you needed freaking survive. That's what it's that there is there for other than that. So let's just say your fire, you're firefighting the whole time in your hope and there's no more bears. Well, and you're still in that state of culture. You can't. You know, you're still going to constantly be in that frame, which is a lower vibrational frame where, however, thriving is easier it's putting your feet up and saying we're going to play this game to win, high fighting instead of putting fingers and that's the culture that we have and we lead by example. And a big thing about that I mentioned that didn't mention yet is in in the beginning, when you have your partners and your first initial court team. I'm a big, firm believer and I talked about care with Tepal C and I talked about the second thing, which is oneness. I'm a firm believer that we as a company need to be one and the moment a partner or a manager isn't one and I see like them acting like grade school kids and arguing, bickering and they're not on the same page, I'm like the oneness police. If anything I do half of the time it's like being the oneness police, and you guys better get along. You know, means like because we need to be on the same page. You have that commitment. Are we you know? Can we be on the same page? Can we look beyond that? Because a big thing that we do and that I preach, as well as lead your ego at the door. We're in this. When you're coming in the office and you're walking through this door and there is not even just walk into the door. We only call work life balance. We talked about workless integration in our companies, right, and whether it's in the door or not, we need to act as one and if you don't have that oneness, someone's got to go. Yeah, because it doesn't. Companies cannot be built unless they're all one and the people on the same page and you have one clear vision and and you have one clearer goal and you work as a team, as one, and that's an important part of our culture, right, and that's that's and and that's something that I've preached and that I see and at a thriving culture and out of surviving culture, it's of a love and sometimes love and it is not like we're seeing Kum Bay all all the time. When stuff happened, which it does in the business world, sometimes tough love needs to happen. Sometimes you need to speak truth to them, even though it's the harder thing to do than just ignore it, you know, and that's part of the tough love and love and care. But the capital see. Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense, Peter. I mean this has been definitely mean some some heavy but fantastic content. You know I mean. They're like, you know, when we're talking about, you know, the DNA of a new company. Obviously that's going to be a heavy subject. But you know, we've covered a myriad of topics, choosing the right partners, how that evolves, caring for your people, caring well, of course, with the capital. See, and this is all such fantastic information. Obviously you've you've been through this a time and time and time again. You've seen so much. You've seen what works, you've seen what...

...doesn't. We've even we even touched a little bit there on this idea of legacy, which is fantastic, one of the things we always love to talk about on the show. So, Peter, if anyone listening, they're interested in finding out more about you know what we've been talking about today. They want to connect with you, they want to find out about add exchange. You know what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Sure Lindin is probably the best one. I don't check it often, but when I do it I will hit to up my handle and Linkedin Peter Q. I middle on the show at my last name and guy, Peter Q and Guy. Yeah, fantastic enough. Of course, we'll make sure. Of course your the the link is right there in the show notes. If anyone wants to reach out, they'll be able to do it. Peter, again, thank you so much for coming on the show. It really was. It was a tremendous pleasure getting to interview you today. Welcome than if they don't them. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the bed 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 be tob growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time, I.

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