In conversation with Steven Bartlett: Bossing at Business!
At 31 years old, Steven Bartlett is an engaging and likeable personality as an entrepreneur, author, and investor.
Steven is the host of the UK’s No.1 podcast ‘The Diary of a CEO’ introducing listeners to honest and open conversations with “behind the scenes” stories about the world’s most popular people, experts, and influencers.
For the final Saturday session, Steven walked into a full auditorium of applause for the conversation, moderated by Black Business Show founder Raphael Sofoluke. This is what we learned:
- Steven is the youngest of 4 kids, born in Botswana to a Nigerian mother and British father. Steven moved to the UK when he was a baby and grew up in Cornwall. When asked what ignited his desire for business, Steven recalls it was a huge void of independence as a teenager to get the things he wanted and to fit in with his peers.
- Steven believes the best wisdom he learned from launching his company ‘Social Chain’ is a simple lesson people often overlook. Companies are just groups of people. So, assemble the best group of exceptional people you can and unite them with one vision. It can be the difference between success and failure.
- The biggest lesson he has learned from recording his podcast is that vulnerability is a magnet to draw people in. In the beginning, he feels it was an experiment to let go of an ego and build a bridge to open up and connect with people through relatable experiences. To be honest. It’s a doorway to creating a connection so we feel like we are all in this together.
- Steven remembers the surreal moment when he got the call to join the panel for the hit BBC TV show Dragon’s Den. He watched the show at 12 years old and fondly remembers pausing the TV to pretend he was the sixth dragon to give his verdict. His reason for joining the show is to get more black entrepreneurs into the den.
7 things to take away from his speech:
- Culture in a company is important and it comes with a certain set of behaviours that helps us to achieve a mission. To understand and create a company culture, first consider behaviours, and next, create the values of the company. Next, look at the systems and processes you need and finally hire people who fit the values you set.
- There’s a journey entrepreneurs go on. You have an idea; you launch the business and things go wrong so you have to change when new evidence presents itself. Every business goes through chaos- it’s normal and isn’t evidence of inadequacy.
- When pitching for business, always remember to tell emotional stories. The brain cares about stories more than facts and figures.
- Being a new start-up business keeps you closer to the learnings in a small team in the early stages.
- Put yourself outside of your zone of comfort. Failure equals feedback. Feedback equals knowledge and knowledge is power. This mindset will take you to wherever you want to go to believe you can do it.
- Ask yourself, are you the type of person who leans into change? The next new industry for untapped potential is AI. Steven feels that AI is changing our lives in profound ways because it’s the biggest opportunity of our lifetime.
- Steven spoke about some of the attributes that attract him to invest in a business. He said he looks for values in the person running the company: humility to change, resilience, perseverance, intelligence.
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Written by Louise Chandler
Two-time award winner Louise has created interactive and downloadable PR and marketing toolkits to help you with communications!
Louise is a media, marketing and communications specialist with over 20 years experience working in TV, Radio, print and online media for BBC and Commercial brands, businesses, and services.
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