RV: Hey Brand Builder. Welcome to this special three and three recap edition of the influential personal brand podcast. I’m joined by my wife and the CEO of brand builders group, AJ Vaden. We’re breaking down our top three each. Our top three highlights of the most recent interview. This one with none other than the extraordinary and remarkable Dennis Rodman. I’ll let AJ first start by critiquing my performance on the podcast. She has something that she wanted to share with [inaudible].
AJV: No, I didn’t. I just said that you were really awkward…the whole time. Why is he being so weird on this interview? It’s like you didn’t know you were starstruck or
RV: A little bit. I was a Rodman. I mean, I was a Chicago Bulls. I mean, I grew up in the 1990s Chicago Bulls era, man!
AJV: For all of us listening, it’s the most awkward of all the interviews on Rory’s part. Not necessarily on Dennis Rodman’s part.
RV: Yeah. Well, thanks for pointing that out. So that’s good to know. If you want to hear me being awkward, go back and listen to the interview. If you wanted to get some valuable insights though.
Let’s talk about those all start off. You know, one of the things that he said was just, you know, it’s not necessarily super profound but a great reinforcement and it’s interesting to hear it from, from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, cause he said you always have to find new ways to keep people interested and keep people’s attention. And it, it really hit me deeply on the interview when, when he said that he, he said he was one of the first personal brands and that really hit me in a, in a big way because I never realized that before. I mean, think about it.
Dennis Rodman was one of the first non-musicians to build a massive personal brand and following off, you know, offset or off, you know, off-camera. And he really was one of the first people that ever did that. So that was a big thing for me was that you’ve got to just be thinking of new ways. No matter who you are, no matter how big you are or how well known you are, you always gotta be thinking of new ways to keep people interested. So I thought that was, that was good.
AJV: Yeah. I think one of the things that I thought was really interesting is he talked about even, you know back then, which is this is like what 20 years ago, kind of crazy. It’s 20 years ago or more. It’s like in addition to being the all-star NBA player that he was, he also wrote a book, he’s a New York Times bestselling author until prepping for this. He was in movies, he was in that was it all-star jam movie (animated). Anyway, but he was writing books, he was in movies and he was still a star player that he was in his field of practice, which is basketball and it’s like you really think about it. He was also one of the first to do that. I was like, he was really amazing on the court, but he was doing so many other things off the court, which increased his interest in his following.
AJV: And I think he was using part of his uniqueness to do all of these things. I mean he was fascinating, which encouraged people to follow him. And I think that was what was really interesting because I think so many people today, at least people we talk to, one category of people that we do a ton of work with are people who have built a really amazing online following. But that’s it. They don’t have a way of monetizing it. They don’t have a book, they’re not speaking, they’re not training, consulting, coaching. They don’t have a course. They don’t do all of the things that are necessary to actually make your following valuable and monetary capacity for yourself.
And I think that his point was really amazing. It’s like you can’t just do one thing and expect everyone to know you. And we were talking about that after and I said it’s true because even though I’m not a huge basketball fan, I know who he is,
RV: Right? Yeah, you were. Because it was like how many basketball players could you actually name?
AJV: And there were three and, and here’s what I said, it’s like I would recognize him regardless and I would recognize Michael Jordan. I think the other one I said, I was like, yeah, thanks. The other one with Larry Bird, but I couldn’t tell you who he was. Have you paid me
RV: From back then? Okay. All right. Just one LeBron. We love you. If you would like to come on the show, we’d be willing to have you. Or if you would like some consulting on your brand strategy and LeBron James. We’re, we’re big fans.
AJV: Yes. Is, but it’s like, and I know Steph Curry, so the two that I know today, but again to the point, like he stands out and he’s memorable and he’s lasted the test of time in terms of people in our generation. Do you know who he was from 20 years ago? And I think that’s just really amazing. I think it’s because he was doing more than just one thing.
RV: Yeah. And ESPN just released the 30 under 30 which was, it was just Epic. I’ve heard it was Epic. I haven’t sat and watched it, but several friends watched it and Darren Prince was one of our brand builders group clients. That’s how we met Dennis Rodman. You know, their team’s been working on that and, and Dennis is out in the media a lot right now to help, help promote that. So it was really amazing.
One of the things I wanted to underscore, which Aja just said, which was also one of my top three highlights, was that you have to be willing to put the work in or that he was willing to put in the work on the court. And that gave himself the right to, to express who he was off the court. And I think, you know, that’s really important is just always, you know, even though there was a lot of things that he was doing that might be viewed as like distractions, he was still dominating the whole time that he was playing.
I mean, he was the rebound King, like he made rebounding popular he and defense. Right. And, and that’s another thing that I love about Dennis Rodman. You know people, when they think of Dennis Rodman, they think about how flamboyant he is off the court, but on the court man, it was as like nitty-gritty and discipline and fundamental and basic and unexciting and rebounding and defense like the two things that nobody, everybody wants to shoot and pass and score and dunk and he just rebounded a defense.
I just hought that was powerful to hear him say that he was intentional with building his personal brand and his influence off the court, but make no mistake about it. His number one focus was to keep the main thing, the main thing and you should do the same and I should do the same and we have to do the same thing, which is in whatever your lane is, right?
RV: Like at Brand Builders, we call it your uniqueness. Once you figure out your lens, you’re the problem you solve in your uniqueness, you have to dominate that thing. You have to go deep into that exploration. You have to become like one of the world’s true experts in that thing. And then that is what opens the door to so many other things. It’s another parallel was she hands wall about breaking through the wall? Rodan and broke through the wall in basketball with rebounding and with defense, and then he expanded that into all those other things. So, so make sure you master your craft.
AJV: And I think to kind of elongate that conversation, it’s like he did that through his skills, but he also did it through his uniqueness scene. The bro stood out, right? The colored hair, the tattoos, the earrings. It was like you stood out and it was really interesting. As we were talking to him, everybody was asking, I’m like, well how much did you do that intentionally? And he was like, I didn’t do it intentionally. I was just being me and I was, you know, unashamed
RV: Tattoos were popular right back then. It was like, still pretty rare to see like,
AJV: I’m going to have to start, I’m going to carry a ruler around with me. And every time that already interrupted. [inaudible]
RV: We’re going to, we’re going to score. We’re gonna S we’re gonna do a time
AJV: For all of you who are watching, who don’t know. We are married and we do like each other.
But I think that that’s really fascinating. It’s like he wasn’t trying to be intentional of letting me do this to get this attention and let me dress this way. It’s like, no. He said I was just unashamed to be me. And that meant dressing in drag or getting tattoos or doing his hair or doing all of the things that were very uncommon or very kind of awe, shocking back then. It was like, wait, you do what in the NBA now? It’s super common. Then it wasn’t, but
I love the whole point of he was, I wasn’t trying to do it to get attention. He goes, I was just really comfortable being me. And that got attention because it was so outside of the norm. And I think that’s just to living into your uniqueness and what it did for him in addition to being a massive expert at his field. It also made him stand out from everybody else. And that is why we still know and recognize him today even though he hasn’t been playing the game for almost 20 years.
RV: No, I think over 20, over 20 years that we don’t, we don’t so another, that was a similar, a highlight for me. My third one was that he said that you have to love what you do so much that you’re never afraid to share it with the world. And I think it’s just being convicted in what you do that to where you don’t have this resistance.
I heard Dean Graziosi talk about this one time that we don’t know Dean, but I heard him talk about this at an event. Has he said, you know, like everybody likes talking about their thing until it comes time to like actually ask for money and then they all, every, we all kind of like shrink and tower and like just disappear and he’s like, that’s when you need to activate. Like that’s when you need to light up. That’s when you need to like play big and be confident is because you’re so convicted and in both what you do. And in Rodman’s case who you are, that you just, you’re not afraid to share it. And that’s hard to do. Like it’s easy to say be yourself, but it’s, it’s actually hard. Like it takes a tremendous amount of security and constant
AJV: Cause you know, you’re going to get the haters.
But to that point, I think it is really important. It’s like you better be so secure in who you are that it doesn’t matter what the haters say, you’re just being your true and authentic self. And that is, that is hard. It’s like that really, you know, can be a blow to a lot of people’s self-esteem. And it’s like, Hey, here’s the deal. If people don’t like you, tell them not to follow you. Like not everyone’s going to like you. That’s just the truth, right?
Not everyone’s gonna like you and they don’t have to like what you have to say. But that doesn’t mean you should change who you are and that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak your truth. That just means you have to be so confident and so secure in it. It doesn’t matter. And I think that is what he did and what he’s doing still today.
AJV: Yeah. All right. My last one, and I thought this was just a testament to what all of the other people have been saying too, and he said in that little bit of a different way and he said, man, if social media would’ve been around when I was at the height of my game, I would have been a billionaire.’
And I think that’s true, but here’s the thing that really stuck out to me. He goes if it was around then, but it’s, it’s about the test of time of who got in and who has stayed in, who’s been consistent, who is doing it because it is so cluttered now you have to post more, be loud or be more unique, be more of yourself because there is so much to cut through, which is why I think when there are new pieces of technology coming out there, you better know what they are.
AJV: And this is your profession of choice is this. If this is what you feel like your calling is, then you have to know how to reach people. And when the most popular platforms like Instagram they announce new things. Like it’s giving you the opportunity to get in in the beginning, right? The big thing right now is IgE TV, right?
You’ve got all the things they’re wanting you to, they’re directing you towards video and now it’s live video. But it’s like, even though you weren’t in the beginning, you know, however long ago, was it go college, was that 1516 years ago with Facebook. That doesn’t mean you don’t have the opportunity to get on new platforms and new mediums today, but many times they’re the micro pop forms within that bigger platform and I think that’s a lot of what he was saying.
It’s like, man, if I would’ve been, if that would have been around back then, I would have been a billionaire and that just like hit me in a way. But you have that opportunity today. It just looks a little different. So don’t let it slide by. Don’t be like, well this is how I do it. And it’s like, no, it’s actually your job as a part of this industry to be on the cutting edge of how do you reach people.
RV: Yeah. I love that. I love that. I’ve not thought about a new feature is almost like a new platform. I really love that insight. And, and like Jay said, it is your job. Like, remember the reputation formula. And if you, if you don’t know what we’re talking about, if you, if you actually go to Roy Vaden, blog.com there’s a free video course that explains the reputation formula, but it’s results times reach equals reputation. And hopefully, you have good results. Hopefully, you’re good at what you do. Hopefully, you develop your expertise in your neat uniqueness. These are things we talk about a lot, but a part of your job is to also work on your reach.
People have to know about you, if they don’t know about you, that can’t do business with you. And so with that, it’s like AJ doesn’t even have to give her own quotes. I talked so much, I can give her quotes for her and I don’t know if that counts as my time or her time, but it’s good stuff that you need to know. So build your reach, be it unique, be yourself, be more of who you are. That’s what we got for this [inaudible].
AJV: And then don’t forget to go out and check out the full the full interview with the one and only Dennis Rodman.
RV: Thanks everyone. See ya.