Tim Salau: The American Dream | E90
#90: THE AMERICAN DREAM WITH TIM SALAU
How will you thrive in the future of work?
This week, we’re talking with Tim Salau, aka Mr. Future of Work, who is CEO and Co-founder of the Guide app,
a B2B Learning & Talent Development app helping remote teams and knowledge workers learn anytime, anywhere, on-demand.
Tim is an author, investor, accomplished international keynote speaker, product leader and tech influencer. Before founding Guide, he led product and innovation with 4 global Fortune 500
companies: Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and WeWork, coaching CEOs, executives, and government leaders on how they can transform their workforce to thrive in the Future of Work.
Tune in to learn how Tim’s childhood experience as an immigrant from Nigeria helped shape him into the man he is today, and how he stayed on a straight path while growing up in the worst part of Houston. We’ll also cover how to advocate for yourself in your career, the difference between good and bad company culture, and Tim’s signature P.I.E. principle to build your brand community.
Follow YAP on IG: www.instagram.com/youngandprofiting
Reach out to Hala directly at [email protected]
Follow Hala on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/htaha/
Follow Hala on Instagram: www.instagram.com/yapwithhala
Check out our website to meet the team, view show notes and transcripts: www.youngandprofiting.com
01:56 – Tim’s Childhood & Immigration Story
05:25 – Why Community is so Important
09:15 – How Tim Rose Above Adversity in Houston
13:52 – The Reason Tim Turned to Basketball as a Child
17:59 – Why Being Competitive Isn’t Necessary
22:56 – Purpose Behind Tim’s Dual Degrees
26:10 – How Tim Landed a Google Internship
33:17 – Tim’s Story with Microsoft and How to Advocate for Yourself
36:53 – How Companies Can Improve D&I Strategies
41:34 – Good Culture vs. Bad Culture
44:47 – What is a Legacy Project?
49:15 – The PIE Principle
54:20 – Tim’s Secret to Profiting in Life
Mentioned in the Episode:
Tim’s Website: https://www.timsalau.com/
Guide: guideapp.co Big Black Tea: https://bigblacktea.com/ Tim’s
#90: The American Dream with Tim Salau
[00:00:00] Hala Taha: [00:00:00] Hey everyone. This is Hala from Young And Profiting podcast here. Before we get started. I just want to share that I have some amazing news. Today, I checked my charitable ranking for the first time in a while, and I realized that Young And Profiting is number 50 in the education category in the U S and number 74 globally on Apple podcasts.
So this is a huge deal to me. We've been a top 10 podcasts and the how to subcategory for some time now, but this is the first time that I broke the top 100 and a main category. And so now I can officially say I'm a top 100 podcasts on Apple, which is huge. So I'm super happy. I'm overjoyed. And I want to take a moment to give a shout out to my young and profiting team.
I've got a team of 27 members. They're all super talented, super motivated, super passionate. And without them. This accomplishment wouldn't be possible. So I hope my team gives themselves a pat on the back for this amazing milestone that we've achieved. And I'm so thankful to have [00:01:00] so many loyal, motivated team members working with me on Young And Profiting podcasts.
I feel like the sky's the limit. I'm so happy and so thankful. Obviously I'm in the mood to celebrate. And so for everyone listening out there and everyone who supports the Young And Profiting podcast to help us celebrate, please write us a review on Apple podcasts. If you don't have access to Apple, write it on your favorite platform.
And if you do, I'll find it and I'll shout you out on the next episode. Thank you so much and I hope to see your Apple podcast review. You're listening to YAP, Young And Profiting podcast. A place where you can listen, learn, and profit. Welcome to the show. I'm your host, Hala Taha. And on Young And Profiting podcast, we investigate a new topic each week and interview some of the brightest minds in the world.
My goal is to turn their wisdom into actionable advice that you can use in your everyday life. No matter your age, profession, or industry. [00:02:00] There's no fluff on this podcast and that's on purpose. I'm here to uncover value from my guests by doing the proper research and asking the right questions. If you're new to the show, we've chatted with the likes of ex FBI agents, real estate moguls,
self-made billionaires, CEOs, and best-selling authors. Our subject matter ranges from enhancing productivity, how to gain influence, the art of entrepreneurship, and more. If you're smart and like to continually improve yourself, hit the subscribe button because you'll love it here at Young And Profiting podcast. This week on YAP, we're talking with Tim Salau, aka Mr.
feature of work. Tim is the CEO of Guide, a B2B learning and talent development app, helping remote teams and knowledge workers learn anytime, anywhere on demand. Tim is an author, investor, accomplished international keynote speaker, product leader, and tech influencer. Before he founded Guide, he led product and innovation at four global fortune 500 companies, [00:03:00] Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and we work.
He coached CEOs, executives, and government leaders on how they can transform their workforce to thrive in the future of work tune in to this episode to learn how Tim's childhood experience as an immigrant from Nigeria helped shape him into the man he is today and how he stayed on a straight path while growing up in the worst part of Houston, we'll also cover how to advocate for yourself and your career.
The difference between good and bad company culture and Tim's signature pie principle to build your brand community. Hey, Tim, welcome to Young And Profiting podcast.
Tim Salau: [00:03:36] Hey, Hala. Thank you so much.
Hala Taha: [00:03:39] Of course. Tim, I know that your parents are over proud of you in so many different ways. You are the American dream and the perfect example of why immigrants fight so hard.
To get here. You moved to the USA from Nigeria in 1996 with your parents. And since then you've achieved, you've went on to get a college [00:04:00] degree. You've got a master's of science. You interned at Google. Your first job out of school was Microsoft. You were the first chief evangelist at WIWORK and you're a keynote speaker.
You've launched your own startup called guide. And this is all a very impressive journey. And I, I did the math and I think you were around 30 years old, so that's pretty young, major kudos to you. Yeah,
Tim Salau: [00:04:22] I'm 27.
Hala Taha: [00:04:23] You're younger than 30. Oh, wow. Wow. I apparently have very poor math skills, but that's young.
You've you? Done so much. And you have such a big following and such a great name behind you. I can't even believe that you're 27. That's amazing. So your parents immigrated from Nigeria. They sacrificed their careers. They had to learn brand new careers to give your family a better opportunity. I can totally relate.
My parents came from Palestine. I grew up, I was born here, they immigrated and had to adapt. And when you got here, you were six years old, you're in a completely new land. Your peers looked at you as [00:05:00] the other. I think you didn't have such an easy time transitioning and fitting in. So tell us about what it was like immigrating to the U S and trying to fit in when you were growing up and how that experience really shaped your character.
Tim Salau: [00:05:15] I'm sure you can relate to this. I think when you immigrate into a new country, Hala is tough because you are the other, and people are often looking at you very different. Accustomed and get oriented to how things are done in the United States and the biggest thing. And you touched on this in my background story is my parents came here to sacrifice.
They literally came here, they were wealthy and well off in Nigeria, but they literally reset their entire lives and careers to just give me access to a better education. And that's something that's always going to be a part of my life. My identity. Also our family's story. So for me, I've always been, yeah.
I grew up in a culture with my family, where I was focused, that I stayed disciplined. I stay focused on the long-term. I stay focused on how do I [00:06:00] continue doing good for the welfare of others, because we're a very communal culture in Nigeria and within my family. And for me it's helped me realize that
as far as being a leader, the biggest thing you can do is make sacrifices, right? And sometimes that's taking risk and building a venture and other times it's finding ways to better everyone else and not just you. So my mom and my dad have been really inspiration. And showing me the guidebook, or the path to, how do how should one approach character, how should one approach leadership? And I think it's their very same principles and their sacrifices that has led me to doing the work that I now do. What are your thoughts?
Hala Taha: [00:06:38] I completely relate, like I know what it's like to grow up around parents who, my dad actually came from Palestine and he wasn't wealthy in Palestine.
He was the son of a farmer. And all he had was the light on his walk to school to study, but he ended up getting a scholarship. He ended up going to med school. He ended up becoming a surgeon and he really [00:07:00] is like the epitome of the American dream. He was so proud too. Like he actually recently passed away and he was so proud to be American.
Like he loved being American and he was so thankful that, we were in this country and accepted and we all had these opportunities. And one of the reasons why I give back now and why for the past two years only now I've been monetizing this podcast. I was investing in it and basically using it as a tool to give back and pay things forward, because I feel like, compared to other people, I probably grew up a lot more privileged just because, I didn't grow up super poor or anything like that.
So I can totally relate in terms of seeing parents adapt and thrive in America and how that can really instill really great work ethic and inspiration into their children. So totally relate there. So you are an expert at building brand communities. I think the first time I ever heard of you was on LinkedIn and you're like all over LinkedIn, you've got over 250,000 followers.
I think that's how I first found out about [00:08:00] you. And I know that your African heritage really influenced you in terms of your values when it comes to community and why community is so important to you. So can you talk to us about that and about your dad and how his involvement with the church really influenced you in terms of your values with community?
Tim Salau: [00:08:17] Yeah, no, thanks. Wow. You really did your research and I really appreciate that. A lot of people, no, my dad's a pastor, so I really appreciate you recognizing that. So for me, growing up in a home where, you know, my dad, so I'm actually not. So I don't follow one religion. I'm actually honest. I follow a lot of different religions and I pick and choose where I find true.
And recognize everyone for whatever their belief system is. But I grew up in a home that was super Christian, God centric and oriented, but one of the things I think I take away from seeing my dad build a church and seeing how a lot of the moral compass that comes with leadership and kind of leading people, it really starts with
realize what our [00:09:00] interests, where our interests connect and all we all share in terms of our value systems and our belief systems. And often I think there's a parallel between that and how you grow successful brand communities. And that may not just be around a certain 80 or religion, but fundamentally around the things that people love to do.
It could be running. It could be podcasting. It could be speaking, even for our company is around education because we're building a bite-sized video training platform for remote teams. And I think that building a group is just building a group. Anyone can build a group, a whole bunch of people in the same space, online or offline, but building a community around people to have space, create space for each other.
And feel as if there's a level of synergy and alignment where they want to go as a nation or a community of people. And I think a perfect example here and not to get political is just the United States of America and how the last four [00:10:00] years things have been really tough. We've grown more divided as a country.
And that's because the type of leadership has been in the helm as created that kind of division and hatred, but even now with the fact that we have new leaders we see a little bit, bit more people feeling more United and that's because we have leadership now that is focusing on driving a sense of community, shared vision unison and whether or not what party you're affiliated with.
I think we need more of that title. I work and vantage point as a nation because that's what creates me. That's what's, that's what allows us to create space for each other and actually listen, no matter what side you want and what your belief system are. And I'm really big on for me as we even go to our company and we go to our membership community and showing that everyone feels as if they are
like our members feel connected. Our partners feel connected and more importantly, our people, the talent in our company, they feel as if we're moving towards our vision together.
Hala Taha: [00:10:57] I think that's really interesting and you've built [00:11:00] so many communities that I want to dig into later and you've got this amazing principle called the P.I.E principle.
I think it stands for Purpose Influence and Experiences. So I definitely want to dive into that later on in the interview, really dig deep and try to understand that gives some, a real life examples to my listeners. But first let's stick on your upbringing. Let's stick on your younger years. So you actually grew up in the poor section of Houston.
You had a really loving home. Yeah. Yeah, or really loving home, but you saw like really bad stuff growing up, you saw drug addiction, you saw gang activity. So how did you actually stay on the straight path? Because from my understanding you were a good student, you played basketball. Like you stood, you kept on a straight path.
So how did you do that? Even though your environment was so negative?
Tim Salau: [00:11:46] Yeah, it's so powerful too, because I would love to get your thoughts, being an immigrant and having to, I don't know if you landed in and why or the east coast when you first moved out here, but we'd love to get your kind of background and take.
But for me, I think. [00:12:00] I had a moral compass growing up. Cause I had my father, I had my dad and my parents, I grew up gratefully in a home where I had two parents, a mother and a father. And we actually had a family. The family dynamics were good, even though we were living in bad circumstances cause we just immigrated.
But my parents worked their butt off, build wealth and then take us from the hood to the suburbs, to living knives and allowing me to be able to afford an education. Create my own pathway. So I was always at, I was in a home and I was in a family that worked hard. We took care of each other. We had a community of people, whether it be an Nigerian community or friends, and my parents made it at work.
And at the end of the day, I did have equal access to create my own opportunities in school and make good grades right. And hang out with the right people. And I think for me, I grew up in a home where it molded me to have a good moral compass, and I always realized. I wasn't interested in the traditional things people were like, I remember in high school, there were people who, [00:13:00] like I was always different.
Like I never, there was, I never fit it. Like I would play basketball, still didn't fit it. Cause was still just skinny. But that love. That was really smart. I was cool with everybody, but I read a lot too, like you can play ball, but he's just not a jock. Oh. And he's really good at AP English or, and he's really good at AP history, man, this guy is really smart.
Oh. And he talks really well, like right by, I always didn't have a certain type of group that I was stuck to, and I wasn't one dimensional. Like I was really, I was much more of a, I was already building that I'm really creative. So I was always always interested in people and always learning.
So I think that curiosity and that moral compass always led me to believe that, you know what, I need to carve my own path. Like I, everyone can do whatever they're doing. People in high school could be smoking, doing drugs or all that kind of stuff that gets them in trouble. But I'm not really interested in that.
Like a lot of what interests me as a person. This is even me now, even when I was a kid I'm really curious about people and I'm curious about how people make things happen. Like I'm curious [00:14:00] about what makes people tick and it's actually why I went to school for psychology and I do the work I do now even to a degree in building my company and building something for people.
And for me, that's been a common thread. I'm more interested in people and the things that we make in design as a society versus just like doing the things that everyone else is doing. Because I think everyone is unique in that sense. So I would say just no growing up in a good family and, having a strong, moral compass and then being more curious about where can we take the world?
What are people doing? What can I contribute to versus just, what everyone else is doing? But what are your thoughts?
Hala Taha: [00:14:36] I'm technically not an immigrant. I was born here. I'm the baby in my family. So by the time my parents came here, my, my parents actually came here pretty young.
They were like 24, 25. My dad finished medical school here. So they came here pretty young and I feel like I had the advantage of, they were. In the nice town. When I was born, they were like my brothers, I think out a little different, how did a little different, but for me, I grew up where [00:15:00] I was in a good town already in a good environment, had really good parents.
And so I was really lucky in that regard. But for you, like when you were first trying to fit in I was listening to some other interviews. My good friend is Mark Metry. I know you went on his podcast a couple of years ago, and you were talking about how you played basketball because you wanted to fit in and you were also talking about how you regretted doing that because you wish that you spent your time really pushing the back that you were a Nigerian, that you were unique, different, maybe motivating other African Americans in your school to learn more about their history and culture.
And so looking back. Do you regret anything about it trying too hard to fit in? Or do you feel like you did stick to your values and was like your own unique person?
Tim Salau: [00:15:47] Yeah, I think at that time this is a powerful question that you're touching on that for me, you a product of your environment. And it's true.
You're often a product of your environment in a sense of, I played basketball to fit in because all I [00:16:00] saw was black people playing basketball in the hood, and that's what allowed you to be recognized. And I thought that could even be my out in terms of creating my success long-term but the reality is that I was great at basketball.
I'm actually really pretty good and people don't really know that about me, but for me, I'm actually more of an intellectual. I'm a designer. I'm great at technology. I'm great at learning. Like I'm great with people and. Yeah, I don't regret it, but I could have been more focused on creating the exploring technology, meeting people, mentors who could roam me around that.
And I, the only, the thing that I look back on at that time is that I only thought basketball was the only one. You know what I'm saying? I didn't think, I didn't think that, oh, you could pursue being in stem or you can pursue building your digital literacy or you can pursue writing a book of poetry.
I didn't realize that, oh, there are all these other outlets for me. Are much more, if anything productive and I can be recognized and seen as a Laureate, an artist, [00:17:00] a scientist, right? I didn't know that. And so I played basketball because I thought that's just one part of a role where me as a person can be recognized, can feel a sense of success and achievement.
And I think what I often tell young kids and just students is create the life that you. So I wish, back then when I was young, but we're all young, we learn as we go. I wish I realized that, you know what, there's a lot of different roles in this world and there's a lot of different things that you can do to stay more multi-dimensional and just create your own lane.
Like you don't have to fit into these norms, given your circumstances that you're just an ass. Or, you're just a podcaster or, you're just a speaker. Cause for me right now, like I have multiple revenue streams. I got to do multiple things. Like just one thing, right? We are very multi-dimensional as human beings.
And I think we often have to start seeing our lives and realize that you're not a product of your circumstance. You're not a practice product of your environment or what you mold your environment to be. And you can [00:18:00] really design your life. If you put more effort into it. What are your thoughts on that?
Hala Taha: [00:18:04] I think that's amazing advice.
I totally agree that, you're, everybody is multi-dimensional. You can have multiple talents and nowadays having multiple income streams and having multiple skills that actually can provide you some financial value. Really, the way of the future. That's the future of work. You are Mr.
future of work and you know that, the gig economy having multiple income streams, that's reality. Now it's actually really risky to have just one job nowadays. So sticking on basketball a little bit. Is it true that you were actually really competitive when you were younger?
Tim Salau: [00:18:41] Incredibly competitive when it comes to basketball.
Absolutely. Yes. True.
Hala Taha: [00:18:45] Okay, cool. Cause my research team, I didn't hear it myself and I wanted to not make sure I didn't have incorrect information. So you ended up deciding later on in life that you were going to unlearn being a competitive person, you decided that being competitive, actually wasn't [00:19:00] the healthiest way to success.
So tell us about why you feel that being competitive isn't the best way towards success and what's your alternative.
Tim Salau: [00:19:08] Because everyone always thinks about life from who am I going to kill to get this job? Or how am I going to, out toward the one to do this, right? Who are we competing with?
Even in business, it's all about competition, but I got through a horrible and very traditional way and very masculine, dominated way. The thing about business for me, I had to learn the fact that everyone is like everyone you're someone's perception of you is not your yet.
Everyone often thinks that we all people all want what they have. So it's that crabs in a barrel mentality. Like I'm in this bucket and I want to get out. So in order for us to get out, I have to pull you down so we can escape. But the reality is that the more we do that to each other, neither of us will escape this bucket, this circumstance, right? If we use crabs, I'll put our hands together and try to find a way to [00:20:00] lean the bucket over. We'll just crawl out right. Versus trying to pull it, push each other out one by one. So there's a difference in mindset that you have to have in life. Because when you look at the most successful organizations where you look at the most successful people, when you look at the most selective collective movements, whatever it is.
There's one thing in common, right? It was done through people working in alignment and vision together around one common goal and where they want to go. So for me, I had to learn throughout my life, from, growing up, being a hothead, being a young man, growing up in the hood, seeing life in the suburbs going to school.
Where, in, in school, it's very encouraged for you to think in a competitive manner. I got to get the best grades cause I'm trying to be a suma cum laude but then once I graduated, I don't even have a job anyway. I have to re I realize that's not life, the most successful people in life.
They work together, they partner, they collaborate. They find other people to [00:21:00] create with, they live together and that's unique, right? Because the most successful people and the most successful organizations that do that they'll have to worry about, I think because they nurture good relationships and they fundamentally create success where not only do they win, but the other people who are they're in line with who they believe in them.
So you create reciprocity and synergy. And through that, you can an abundance in the work that you do. And, that's just the mindset I've I've primed in terms of how I operate and even how we build our culture within our company.
Hala Taha: [00:21:33] I can relate so much to that. I agree with everything you said. I love the crabs in a bucket analogy.
I'm going to have to use that, as I go on different interviews and talk about this topic too. So like I totally agree. And something that I just want to add to that is you never want to hoard your network. So me as a podcaster, I always say collaboration over a competition. And I get sponsored all the time now from different podcast apps because of my [00:22:00] podcast is becoming bigger and bigger.
And I have a community of podcasters that I actually, we have a WhatsApp chat. I host a monthly mastermind call. And now what I do after I get a sponsor, I have them demo their software or whatever their product is on our next call. And I open up the opportunity to all my podcaster friends. A lot of whom are much more up and coming than I am.
And I know that right now, I'm the one kind of leading the charge. I'm having the most success with my podcast, but I'm not worried about it because I think that if I elevate other people, as they expand and grow their show, They're going to throw opportunities my way. And they're going to engage on my stuff.
They're going to support me. They're going to, talk good about me behind my back and things like that. And I think all those things matter when it comes to your brand, your reputation. Yeah. Hopefully, but I just think that it's so funny. Some people hoard their network. I was talking about this with Jordan Harbinger when he came on my show.
Some people hoard their network. And that's the worst thing you can do. You want to introduce your network to other people, give other [00:23:00] people opportunities and grow your network. That's how you have a, a life of abundance like you were talking about. So I completely agree. And I think, you gave some really good insights.
Tim Salau: [00:23:10] Yeah, no, Hala that a 100%. I love that philosophy.
Hala Taha: [00:23:14] Yeah. So let's talk about college. So you got two degrees, they're very different. You got a degree in psychology and then you went to graduate school for a master's degree in information science. Was that calculated? Did you always know you wanted to do both?
How did you decide that you're gonna, get those dual degrees and what was the purpose behind that?
Tim Salau: [00:23:32] In many ways it was calculated because when I got my psychology degree at Texas Tech University and then got my UT Austin degree and information studies, I actually was coming from getting my degree at Texas Tech University in psychology, and then realizing, what.
I actually do not think I want to have a career as a psychologist or a therapist. Like I'm not interested in that. I'm really interested in how psychology applies [00:24:00] to how people interact with technology, because I'm really interested in how people engage with themes, such as what we're engaging with right now.
And what are the dynamics of that? Where's that going? Is it intuitive? How do people think about products? So I was very calculated saying, you know what? After getting my feet wet and user experiences, While I was at Texas Tech University. I had internships that really grew me, I need to move up and, find a grad program allows me to work on more projects, build my network a little bit more and then use that same leverage, that same credibility to eventually go into the workforce.
And, I don't regret it. I think that, for me, it was a calculated decision has paid off because it allowed me to, I think, differently than people when it comes to products and when it comes to human behavior because of those degrees. And I only don't apply them to the space of psychology.
Also apply to how I think about business and building culture and creating community. And that's why I'm a huge [00:25:00] advocate and would love your thoughts on this, on the importance of humanities. Because the people who study humanities are really effective at building relationships. And I think understanding how to create things.
So I not just be a consumer, but be a creator similar to what you do.
Hala Taha: [00:25:17] totally. I totally agree. I wish that I got a psychology degree. I think that I'm lucky where I interview a lot of people about behavioral psychology and really have gotten basically my own college education from this podcast, interviewing people like Robert Green, chase use like ex FBI agents and stuff.
So I've been lucky to have just learned it in the streets. So to say, but I wish that I got a psychology degree because I agree that knowing why people are motivated and why they do things is so important when it comes to selling and business and understanding people like how to build a community and things like that, which we'll get into in a bit.
So you just mentioned internships. You mentioned that you had several internships and my research team tells me that you [00:26:00] applied to hundreds of internships. A lot of nos and it wasn't until Google, which is, if you're talking about internships, that's like cream of the crop actually accepted you as an intern.
And that was your foot in the door. And then that's how you got to Microsoft. And we work and had the, credibility to get other jobs in the future. What was the difference between your application with Google and all the other intern applications that you send out? Did you do something different with Google and what would you recommend to people in terms of getting themselves like their foot in the door in a company that they're really interested.
Tim Salau: [00:26:33] First of all nods off to your research team y'all is amazing research team, amazing work. She needs to pay y'all double what she does.
What was unique about my Google was I had a referral. And I reached out to people that actually went to UT at the time we worked with Google and I actually put the referral down in my application, but I don't think that was what actually made the difference. You could like [00:27:00] there's many people who apply to Google with a referral and they get the job.
What actually made them different. And I want to be very frank with you was I took a risk. I take a risk and said I can get this role at Google. And more importantly, I have the skills I had the credibility. It's doable. And I went through the process and I was fortunate enough. I was chasing the opportunity and it happened for me, a gratefully.
I had the referral, but that's actually not what did it, because I also had to interview with a UX researcher at the time and ask her questions about, how would I approach UX research? What would I do differently? Why am I a fit for the role? Like I have to be ready. I have to be competent enough to get this role with Google.
And I was a life-changing role for me. And it allowed me to see things. At a really high level on how to build organizations, things that I still remember to this day, allow me to apply on how I build our building, our company. I'm thinking about our movement. And I feel as if for me, what I did different was I take the risk because the reality is that most people, a lot of people apply to Google.
They get a lot of applications. Very few people realize that they [00:28:00] always often treat themselves as a commodity when they apply to these places. They just think that, oh, they're taking like Google for chance on me, but really you're the team. You're the asset. If you're applying to Google one that says a lot about you and your confidence and your conviction, but they need you, like it's not, you're just not a commodity. And I just think this recent realizing, I know I've definitely, if not prepared for this growth opportunity, right? And I think that's the mindset shift that allowed me to take that risk and then realizing the upside of it was tremendous because I got Google on my resume.
I learned a time I built some good relationships and I've moved on with my career since then. And I think a lot more people need to think about their career like that. I think Google is an amazing brand. A lot of these are amazing, but you have to change the way you even now in the future of work as
you have to change the way you think about your career. Like you are the asset, you're the talent. So take the risks the right way, find cultures that work for you. And if anything, create those opportunities that give you the most upside [00:29:00] in your career.
Hala Taha: [00:29:02] So I can totally relate. I totally agree with everything that you're saying in terms of confidence and needing the confidence first, before you actually land the job, it's you need to internally work on yourself.
Some of you guys who have been listening to show, if you've listened to my life story, you know that in high school and middle school, I would fail at everything I never got on the cheerleading team. I never got a lead in the play. I like would always try out for things. Be president of my student council.
I'd never get anything. I never got anything until college. And the first like big break I got was an internship at hot 97. And the thing that changed. I actually got that internship and that really kicked off my love for radio and everything that I am today was really based on that internship at hot 97, which is like a number one radio station.
It was because I found the law of attraction. And before that, I had no idea about the law of attraction. I got super into it. I was totally changed my mindset. Totally changed the thoughts that were in my head and the narrative that [00:30:00] went in my head, where I would tell myself every day. I'm great. I'm smart.
I'm talented. I'm beautiful. Before my thoughts in my head were so negative and I'm sure that showed on my face, on my aura, the way that I approached people. And of course they didn't think that I was good enough to be, the lead in the play or the captain of the cheerleading team, whatever it was, because I didn't feel that way.
And I didn't trust myself and I didn't believe in myself. And so I totally agree that it's like an inside job. You need to believe in your first, you need to really own your value so that when you do go to the interview, you crush it because you're just so confident. Now I crush every interview I've ever been on.
Since I've had that mentality shift, people are approaching me for opportunities. It's never I'm never the weak person in the situation. It's always people fighting for me to be on their team. And so I can totally relate that it's an inside job really. And you would be surprised once you believe in yourself, how much other people are going to believe in you too.
Tim Salau: [00:30:55] You're so right. You're so right. And you gotta be wary of people who try [00:31:00] to who try and make you feel small around them. Those are the worst type of people to be around because they're often struggling. And they feel small in themselves and they crave status and power in order to make others feel small.
And, that's often some of the things I've observed in my career and life where you often, a lot of people who should think bigger than they, than their circumstance who should operate bigger than their circumstance are afraid to because they work with people or they have people in their lives who often try to make them feel small and relegate them
to talk commodity and not an asset. I, for one think that's unhealthy and toxic relationships and there's cultures like that. And in workplaces and in families and you should never, you should definitely run away from any culture like that. If you're listening or watching and you've ever felt like.
Hala Taha: [00:31:49] Let's touch on that for a moment, because I knew that, your first job or one of your first big jobs was at Microsoft and you actually did not like the culture there. You actually did not like [00:32:00] that boss and felt like he wasn't aligned with your career goals and really wasn't on your side and you weren't really digging that culture over there.
So tell us why you felt that way. I know that when you left, you actually talked to your manager about how things were going and how you felt about the culture and you stood up for yourself. So tell us about that culture and also like how, and when you should advocate for yourself.
Tim Salau: [00:32:22] Yeah. So for me, while I was working with Microsoft and I was working in a culture like that, where, I saw upfront the fact that someone toxic was hurting the culture.
I remember that I went into my bosses, literally his office one day. Yeah. White walls. You sit in front of his desk on a windows computer. And literally he turns to me as I walk in, I sit on a brown chair and he's looking at me with a brown shirt and black glasses. And I look at him straight in the space and I tell him, look, I'm not happy here.
I don't feel like you're doing enough to grow me, although I was killing it. All right. My [00:33:00] teammates loved me. I was good for the culture. I just didn't feel as if I was being developed. And he looks me dead in my eyes and he says, it's not my job to grow you. It's not my job to coach you and all of that.
And then that's when I realized, great manager, but an awful leader, right? He's a great at delegating work, getting work done, making sure milestones are met, but he's not leader. And for me, I felt as if I deserved better because I was a leader. I and I carried myself in high stature.
And I think that a lot of people need to run away from these environments. That are toxic like that, by a lot of people, often they stay in an environment where they're not wanted and they don't feel wanted and it's killing them. I have friends in my life in environments like that, and they're like, I'm tired of my corporate job.
And it's I encourage them do something about it, right? If you have enough saved, if you feel as if you have an opportunity, you can create another opportunity. You're talented. Why not seek something else? Why do you feel as if you have to relegate yourself to only working with this one employer?
And as we mentioned earlier, that's [00:34:00] really, or not A's right. Because we were relying, just one revenue stream. So I think that to answer your question. We need to one have leaders creating more healthy organizations, filled with love and trust and compassion. And we need people realizing that they're just not their circumstance.
Hala Taha: [00:34:20] Yeah, I totally agree there. Something that I want to touch on, which is really good thing to discuss right now, especially with all the black lives matter movement, the protests that have been going on. I think, I would be missing out if I didn't ask you about this and about this topic. And so a lot of people, especially a few months back when there was George Floyd and everybody was mobilizing around that.
All of these corporate companies they emailed their employees statements but then they didn't really back it up with much action and a lot of the black employees that I'm friends with and coworkers, they feel that in general, there was a [00:35:00] lot of talk and not much doing. And so from your perspective, What can companies do to actually, not just talk the talk, but also walk the walk when it comes to diversity and inclusion and supporting their black employees through this really tough time.
Tim Salau: [00:35:14] It's tough for those organizations, right? Because they're so big and they didn't grow up in a time where they have to think about inclusion first. So one of the things I would recommend organizations do to walk the walk and talk to them. It's really understand where the world is going.
I'm a big app. There's certain things that I'm building within our culture guide. They're completely counter-culture to how we think about work. We offer 30 hour work weeks were thinking inclusive from the ground up and how we're building our venture and our in our software platform. We engage with diverse vendors
definitely. When it comes to who are sourcing projects from an outsourcing even. Yeah. In addition to that, we wouldn't immensely believe and equity based leadership. We offer our employees equity and more [00:36:00] importantly, we educate them on how to build wealth and their financial literacy.
We do it. We, I do my best as a leader to make sure I'm there for our team, even in the early days. And, lastly, we're really focused on making sure that we evangelize, those type of leadership we believe in, right? Like we believe in leaders, we're compassionate, we're humanistic. And at the end of the day, who want to see everyone win, it's not just about one type of white male, right?
Like we want to see everyone went in society. So I think inclusion what it looks like for companies, it varies, but they fundamentally has to have to ask themselves in your organization, are you thinking about, not just hiring, but are you thinking about belonging in an inclusive manner? Because a lot of companies start with hiring, whereas the pipeline, there is no pipeline problem. One number two, fundamentally, it's not you're hiring that's ineffective. It's actually the culture. And what the belonging looks like, and the people you have executive roles and board roles are more [00:37:00] even having as the CEO, they don't really have the empathy for a multicultural world or a multicultural organization.
And you see it in how they make decisions, because they're only thinking about it in a myopic of a point of view. How will this affect people who are my kind, so they're biased. So that's why I often encourage leaders and organizations to see, look at your advisory board of, for your company. Look at your board of directors for your company.
Look at your executive team for your time. God, dang it. Look at your shareholders. Are you pulled, are you sourcing capital from diverse firms that have invested in your business? All of these things influence and impact. How does one thing about inclusion within a company's culture now in the venture capital world?
I'm an investor I invest in. You're seeing a rise in firms that have a diversity thesis and focus on investing in diverse women, black, brown, and LGBTQ founders. And there's a [00:38:00] reason for that because there hasn't been firms in the past focused on those types of founders who are building the next generation of companies.
And we are looking at a world now in 10, 15, 20 years, where in the ecosystem, you're going to see much more multi-cultural founders diverse founders who are building amazing companies and leading amazing movements right around whatever it is that they're doing. And I think that's important because we haven't seen that in so long.
And what we saw in the last 10 20, 30 years of business is this idea that we need to only continue pushing capital towards white males who are building companies and we're not living in a world that's going to be a white majority in the future. We're living in a world that's going to be, it's going to be minorities that are the majority.
So you want to be, you want to invest for that type of world. And more importantly, you want to invest in a culture within your organization that nurtures that type of inclusion and cultural movement in mind.
Hala Taha: [00:38:58] Yeah, I think that's [00:39:00] solid advice to business owners in terms of how they can have a more diverse culture.
So let's talk about the difference in culture. You were the chief evangelist at we work and then you you are also at Microsoft, which wasn't a great culture and you also have guide, you were just talking about your app. So contrast the difference between a good culture and a bad culture for us.
Tim Salau: [00:39:23] Oh, I could do this in a good culture, seriously, you see something that's called psychological safety, right? People aren't afraid to share their ideas, ask questions, help each other out in terms of sharing, what's going on in a different division? And in a bad culture, it's doggy dog, right? I'm not going to tell you what I'm working on, because I feel like you're going to steal my idea.
Like you're going to compete with me. I'm not going to tell you what I'm working on, because I want to be the person to be recognized for that promotion. I'm not going to tell you what I'm working on because I want all eyes on me. It's very masculine in terms of tropes [00:40:00] and themes. It's all about me. I, and really good cultures. It's more about weed. It's more collectivist. It's more about you have ownership. I have ownership. Let's get it done together. And I want to be very frank with you. Those types of cultures are much more effective than very masculine. I dominate cultures. And I see in my company right now in terms of how we're growing how we think about our company the conversations I have with our team and also the energy that we give to our members and the people who believe in our vision, right?
Like we wouldn't exist if we didn't have customers we wouldn't be going if people didn't believe in what we're doing. And I think we're going to move towards a world where the companies that are successful, that the ventures are successful in the next 5, 10, 20 years are companies who truly lead with inclusion and they lead with a we mindset versus a high mindset.
What are your thoughts on that?
Hala Taha: [00:40:53] Now? I totally agree. So I came from HP, which was at the time Meg Whitman was the CEO and the culture [00:41:00] there was totally different. I was allowed to do whatever I wanted. I like, I was given leadership positions, even though I was so young, they trusted me. I could work.
I could have an idea and just work on it and, make a difference, not like that. At other companies, not every company is like that. And so I think it's really important when you're younger to really explore different companies because every culture is different. And you might think that it's always the same in every company and it's not.
Every company is totally different. And so you do want to take your time and see what the culture is like, because it will impact your day to day you'll impact your mood, your productivity, and your fulfillment at work, honestly. I totally agree with everything that you were saying. Okay. I have a quote from an Instagram post from October 1st, you said, invest in legacy projects, do things that you won't regret in 10 years.
What do you mean by that?
Tim Salau: [00:41:54] Yeah, a lot of people, they, when they build anything, it's always that they want [00:42:00] instant gratification. Like they want it, like they want to have, for example, they want to have revenue in a few months. Or they want to, they want everyone to recognize them for their craft, who they're working like, and they just started learning the software, this technical program where they just started podcasting.
A lot of people do things almost for instant gratifying. We have a friend mutual friend of Mark Mentry. He's been doing his podcast for years now. You've been doing your podcast for quite some time. Now it took work like you putting a lot of time in it and you will continue putting a lot of time into it.
It's a, it's almost a legacy project for you, right? And the same goes for what we're building with guide for us as a legacy project. It's a moving asset. We've raised capital. We are, we are venture backed and we've invalidated because we now have customers. Anything that's great, takes time. Even in the early days of it, it takes time. It doesn't happen overnight. Even now people are really recognized what we've been doing, but we've been doing it for years. I've been building community for years and now it's being manifested in a way where wow, like [00:43:00] people are seeing the success, they're seeing the opportunity, they're seeing the promise.
And that's why I believe in this whole notion. And I'm sure you can speak to this. How is that? There is no such thing as an overnight success and legacy product. Things that you are invested in for 10 years. Those are the things that truly matriculate into your legacy. They truly matriculate into what people will remember you for and hopefully what the world wants.
Don't just invest in it. Don't just build a startup, go to legacy project. Build something that you committed to because you're solving a problem that you're passionate about, for us, COVID-19 causes us to pivot our business. Pre COVID-19, we were focused on life skills training for high school students, but then when COVID-19 happened for our business, it actually changed the game for us in a big way, because it pivoted us into a bigger market.
We raised money. And now so many people are seeing the potential and the promise and where we're going as a company. And for me, if a founding, a CEO or someone that has been committed to this for three years now, it's the greatest thing to see people [00:44:00] supporting us the movement and realize, oh, this is why this company needs to exist.
And for me, I, I see myself doing and building our company for years to come because I love our problem and what we're solving for. And that's what I meant by that post it's invest in legacy projects because what people are going to remember you for.
Hala Taha: [00:44:17] Yeah. I think that's so powerful because it's so true.
And I think anybody who does that, they're the people that people look up to people like you, and not to toot our own horns, but me and you, for example, like I am putting my energy into something long term, I'm not just trying to get rich quick or do a quick scheme in order to make it's hard work and it's year over year.
And you also, I think thinking about 10 years out, is this something that's gonna, that I'm going to be, look back and feel proud of, or is this something I'm going to feel embarrassed about? It's a good litmus test in terms of where you spend your time and how you spend your time. So I think
that's really cool stuff. Thank you for sharing. So I want to get into brand communities before we go. We're running out of time here. So I definitely [00:45:00] want to talk about brand communities. You've got some awesome principals, like I said, you grew your LinkedIn to 250,000. How many users do you have on your guide app?
I think it's like 300,000, at least a community of people that you train. Correct.
Tim Salau: [00:45:12] We have a huge community. We have a huge coming in the product right now. We have, we're still we're only, still supporting our early the adopters and building the platform from the ground up. But I remember me is 300,000. Yes.
Hala Taha: [00:45:23] Amazing. So you obviously know how to build a community. It's no small feat to have 250,000 followers on LinkedIn. I have 65 and everybody thinks I'm an influencer, crush that. So it's no small feat. You obviously know how to connect people, know how to bring people into your brand. And you talk about this thing called the P.I.E Principle a lot, and it stands for Purpose, Influence and Experiences. So tell us more about this P.I.E principle and later on, I'd love for you to give us some real examples. I know you talk about the civil rights movement and Martin Luther king and his involvement and how like the P.I.E Principle
relates to everything that he did. I'd love to actually get some real [00:46:00] life examples as well.
Tim Salau: [00:46:01] Yeah. Yeah. It's so funny. Cause I haven't shown him about that principle in quite some time. So the P.I.E I think the P.I.E Principle is pretty important and you shared it. Perfect, Influence in the E stands for Experiences, right? So that's powerful in a sense of purpose, influence and experiences.
So I think a lot of organizations, they lead with purpose. They try to be influencers in terms of, hopefully taking a stance on issues, but very few of them create experiences for their communities. So a great example of this is Apple. They have a very clear purpose. They really believe in, quality creators and really empowering people with their devices.
Right? Influence, Apple takes a lot of amazing stances on privacy, the importance of privacy. If you look at their product. Oh my goodness. It's I trust Apple because they're so focused on user privacy versus other technology companies. And then think about experiences for Apple, right? In this framework and experience with Apple is standing in line waiting for the new iPhone.
[00:47:00] Because there are so many people who meet new people who are fans of Apple, just do that experience. They get to, they take pictures like people celebrate when a new iPhone launches or Apple does anything amazing. And they wait in line and it's almost like an event in itself to wait in line and experience the brand and all of its members.
So purpose, influence, and experiences right there. That's why Apple has such a big P.I.E in the marketplace and like the company, because they really live it through their brand. And when you think of your company like that, like you actually start realizing, wow, we can do so much to engage and empower our people and really declare why we exist to the world.
And I think the most successful companies similar to Apple do that.
Hala Taha: [00:47:45] Yeah. And I think it's important to bring people along the journey, make sure that they're actually involved. I think there's a lot of brands out there that really talk talk, and they don't engage anyone. They don't bring them in.
They don't make people feel [00:48:00] connected or feel like what they're doing is meaningful. They're just promoting. And I feel like the P.I.E Principle is all about bringing people along the journey from my understanding at least.
Tim Salau: [00:48:10] A hundred percent. You gotta bring people along to the P.I.E.
Hala Taha: [00:48:14] Yeah. So do you have any other examples in terms of how to use P.I.E? I think maybe Google is an example you've used in the past or the civil rights movement. Yeah.
Tim Salau: [00:48:23] Yeah. I think a super relevant one right now. I think what we saw with the elections, and I want to give a good example in terms of how the democratic party, they led with an, a really great narrative the conquer, the, to reclaim the soul of a nation, that was the purpose of their campaign.
That's what they led with influence Kamala's influence in terms of on culture. They relied on cultural leaders, such as LeBron, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, cheer to post on buying the hairs on her IG. They really tapped into the culture to try to get as much attention to reach, same power people to vote.
And then lastly [00:49:00] experiences, how did they create experiences? They went on campaign, right? It created events and they had everyone. Who's a part that was donated. And I was a part of that movement in the vine Harris. They had them really rallying them right and campaigning. And that's what led, Joe, in my opinion, to, to win the election.
And a lot of people don't often realize, I think when they think about democracy and they think about us electing leaders, that's pretty much it, a lot of marketing and branding. It's a lot of marketing and branding to really do that. Yeah. Build a movement and get people inspired and then also get donations.
And I think that the Biden heroes campaign did an amazing job with how they thought about the brand, how they thought about positioning Kamala and as well as Joe and also how they really, I think how they rallied people to unite versus create disparity. And I think those are the types of narratives that inspire us to build a more progressive, better world, inspire people to do better for their collective communities.
So that's another example of of P.I.E there. So I love the framework because it scales and, I even using [00:50:00] myself and how we build our company.
Hala Taha: [00:50:01] Amazing. So the last question that I ask all my guests is what is your secret to profiting in life?
Tim Salau: [00:50:09] Wow, that's powerful. My secret in profiting in life is I think about what I can give first, not what I can take.
I focus on giving. I focus on finding where can I add value versus where can I take it? And when you think from an mindset what can I invest in? Whether it be my time or my money, or who can I share my resources with? You're much more likely to profit. You're much more likely to grow in your career and be a better person in life.
Hala Taha: [00:50:40] I hear this from so many successful people that come on our show, it's all about service, providing value, giving more than you take really great advice here. And where can our listeners go to learn more about you and everything that you do.
Tim Salau: [00:50:53] Yeah. So follow me, mrfutureofwork.com. Make sure you check out bigblacktea.com as well.
If you want some tea [00:51:00] and follow our movement with our guide movement guideapp.co. So mrfutureofwork.com, bigblacktea.com. If you want some tea, if you want the tea and check out guideapp.co to see all of the things, yeah, things are going and be a part of our early access early adopters.
Hala Taha: [00:51:17] I got to ask you what is a, I saw something briefly in my notes about the big black tea.
Tell us about that really quick. What is that all?
Tim Salau: [00:51:25] Yeah. That's the tea brand that we launched for our guy community. And that's because as we built the software platform, building software, it takes time. And a lot of people don't realize this. It takes a lot of time to build quality software. And we we launched the tea brand just to hold our community off.
And you have our members from tea because we believe tea's really amazing creating peace and cultivating committee. And, it's been amazing. We've had amazing luminaries, such as mental hearts, Jonathan writing towel, as well as Jamie Schmidt who were really influential in their respective spaces of really leading around diversity equity, inclusion, [00:52:00] smart cities, as well as consumer product goods.
They've all bought the tea and we only continue to have more people buying the tea. For us, that. It's a billion dollar product line in the future. So we've been really, we've been excited to see so many people buying the tea and more importantly, our guy community buying the tea and seeing the power of our movement and where we're going.
Hala Taha: [00:52:19] Wow. That's so unique to have a tea in a software business and somehow make it work. Very cool stuff. So thank you so much, Tim, for coming on the show, it was a pleasure having you. Thank you so much.
Tim Salau: [00:52:30] Thank you Hala for having me. It was a pleasure speaking with you, and I hope that be back on the show today.
Hala Taha: [00:52:36] Thanks for listening to Young And Profiting podcast. If you enjoyed the show, please write us a review or comment on your favorite platform. Nothing makes us happier than reading your reviews. We'd love to hear what you think about the show, and don't forget to share this podcast with your friends, family, and on social media.
I always repost, reshare and support those who support us. You can find me on Instagram [00:53:00] at yapwithhala or LinkedIn, just search for me. It's Hala Taha. Big thanks to the YAP team as always. This is Hala signing off.
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