Lessons Learned – How to live right

Roger Holzberg – Lessons Learned – Health & Life lessons on how to live right.

I’m going to do a couple of health and life lesson first.

On the life side:
It took me way too long to learn the difference between work and life and the fact that they are not the same. It probably took me a cancer diagnoses and so as a personal piece of advice work is not the same thing as your life. You have to learn to figure out which is which and learn to give yourself the space and have a life because your health depends on it.

As a creative person:
Learn to love the blank page and learn to connect emotionally. So the greatest lesson I learn while at Disney was literally in studying Walt Disney’s talks that he gave to Wall Street, which were amazing. So what Walt Disney taught, as a story teller was if you connect someone emotionally it opens their heart and after the heart opens the pocket book follows.

Marzena: You’ve done a great job in this interview because I keep choking up.

So if you can open someone’s heart you will often open their pocket book and their investment as well.

Marzena Kmiecik: And their commitment to you, in a sense, to your vision.

Yes, and if you are creating from a place that is in your heart, it’s got truth to it. For me I’m always challenge by people who, when my truth meter veers to the red, that’s not a product I will follow or adhere to.

So working for the Walt Disney as a creative person was a dream but my work / life balance was out of wack. In terms of starting a company Re-Imagine Well started by someone who is principally creative and someone who is principally a visionary doctor.

We were great at coming up with a treatment and we sucked at putting together a business plan, and the right way is to monetize it, so as a word of advice upon that level partner with all of the disciplines required.

We’ve been very fortunate in that our product sells itself pretty well. So we’ve been able to launch and to this point build the company on the backs of funding project. We really want to scale now and fortunately we’ve got some business people involved with us who can now begin to think through how we might do that but I think it might have been helpful to bring those people earlier along but I’m not sure.

This gave us, by building our company on the backs of projects, it gave us the run way to not have to deliver or rely immediately on the first quarter in whatever. The other thing that I think American entrepreneurialism has suffered from dramatically since, don’t crucify me, the advent of the MBA, is the idea of generational brand building.

So Walt Disney was a generational brand builder. He knew that if he emotionally brought people into his brand when they were 4 years old and they then, when they got into their 20s still felt an emotional connection to the brand, they would bring their kids into that brand. He knew he would build a company for decades and decades and decades on the emotional resilience of what I called generational brand building. Steve Jobs knew it, There are very few people, Elan Musk gets it. He is building product and building brand for generations.

There is a realm of thinking in business today that unless you’re making certain hurdle for your ROI by the next quarter you’re not successful and you’re done. The long term visions that build the iconic companies in America didn’t happen that way and we need to think longer term.