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Ryan Gill

Forward Thinking Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer

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Seeing A Future Where Success Is How Much You Give

With Ryan Gill, c
o-founder of Cult Collective

Courtesy of Cult Collective

Ryan Gill is one of Canada’s most forward thinking entrepreneurs, a digital marketer, and two time author. He’s the co-founder of Cult Collective and chairman of The Gathering, an annual conference known for its amazing speakers and content.

Ryan’s first company, Suitcase Interactive, was a consistent best-digital-agency award winner. His success continued with Cult, one of North America’s first true engagement agencies. In 2012, he founded The Gathering, one of North America’s premier annual marketing conferences. These conferences introduced Cult to brands like Keurig, Converse, Airbnb, UFC and Red Bull.

All of these successes began because of Ryan’s dream to buy a hockey team. He has many lessons to share from his firsthand experience in marketing, from the importance of finding a mentor, to not letting your ego get in the way of business, to the importance of having more than one main client. 

His latest project is Communo, a platform for marketing professionals, and an unprecedented business development engine. It’s an innovation of a whole new operating model for marketers.

Ryan spearheads Cult’s ongoing monthly commitment to Ronald McDonald House, and continues to lead the international relief organization Project Smile. He has managed to find time to co-author three editions of Fix: Breaking The Addiction That’s Killing Brands, Cult’s thought leadership book that’s changing the way CEOs and CMOs see the marketing function.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How a promise to buy a hockey team motivated Ryan to start his first business.
  • How Ryan built three businesses: Cult Collective and Communo.
  • Key lessons, such as ego getting in the way and making mistakes.
  • Why “one” is the worst number in business.
  • How you need to convince your employees to buy your product before the world will.
  • How to succeed at playing the long game and get your following to come to you.
  • Tough advice, such as finding a mentor and the reality of building and flipping a business.

Transcript

Dan Lok: Welcome to another episode of Dan Lok show. Today we are in actually New York City, and I’m with John Henry. Now John not only is an entrepreneur, but also a real estate investor as well as owns a venture capital company.

John Henry: That’s right.

Dan Lok: Now before we even talk about John’s story, I want to talk a little bit about this space.

John Henry: Let’s talk about it.

Dan Lok: Let’s talk about this space. Like what makes this space, co-working space, so special?

John Henry: First things first, thank you for having me on.

Dan Lok: Welcome man, welcome.

John Henry: Appreciate you. And look, what makes this space special is this is the proof right here. Like you’re on a one day trip, you came, you interviewed with Faiza, this content, that content lined up. We connected and it’s central in the city, a lotta energy here, there’s six floors.

Dan Lok: You can feel the entrepreneurial spirit.

John Henry: That’s right.

Dan Lok: The minute you walk in you can feel the hustling.

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Dan Lok: Welcome to another episode of Dan Lok show. Today we are in actually New York City, and I’m with John Henry. Now John not only is an entrepreneur, but also a real estate investor as well as owns a venture capital company.

John Henry: That’s right.

Dan Lok: Now before we even talk about John’s story, I want to talk a little bit about this space.

John Henry: Let’s talk about it.

Dan Lok: Let’s talk about this space. Like what makes this space, co-working space, so special?

John Henry: First things first, thank you for having me on.

Dan Lok: Welcome man, welcome.

John Henry: Appreciate you. And look, what makes this space special is this is the proof right here. Like you’re on a one day trip, you came, you interviewed with Faiza, this content, that content lined up. We connected and it’s central in the city, a lotta energy here, there’s six floors.

Dan Lok: You can feel the entrepreneurial spirit.

John Henry: That’s right.

Dan Lok: The minute you walk in you can feel the hustling.

John Henry: That’s right, and there’s a lot at WeWork’s, obviously, and this is … this, though, is billed as like the OG space, and there are a lot of veteran New York entrepreneurs here. There are several accelerators and several funds and stuff, and so yeah, I’m fortunate to be part of this community.
So we’re in Alley right now. Yeah, and that’s where we find ourselves.

Dan Lok: That’s awesome.

John Henry: Welcome to New York, man.

Dan Lok: Thank you, I love New York. The cold, it takes a couple of days to get used to. The minute I arrived, the airport, like wow! This is cold. I know New York, it’s cold. But this is cold!

John Henry: This is very cold.

Dan Lok: This is very cold. So John, take us back. How did you get into entrepreneurship?