Peter Shankman held a Skype conference with our class because he knows we’ve got a room full of the smartest, most intelligent, and most driven university students on the face of the planet.
Our class is a select group of entrepreneurial students with the guts and gumption to build businesses to take over the world.
But we are pretty awesome and Peter did hold a Skype call with our media innovation and entrepreneurship class. We learned about Peter’s businesses, strategies, his Faster Than Normal podcast and went over some questions we had for him.
ADHD is what Shankman credits for his success and it is the theme for his Faster Than Normal podcast. He has learned to understand how his brain works, which allows him to facilitate a prosperous environment for his skills. His podcast aims to help young people with ADHD learn to take advantage of it.
A look at his past clients can tell you plenty about his media, public relations, marketing and entrepreneurship skills. According to his website, his clients have included American Express, Sprint, SAP, The US Department of Defense, Royal Bank of Canada, Snapple Beverage Group, Saudi Aramco, Foley Hoag LLP, NASA, Haworth, Sheraton, Walt Disney World, Abercrombie and Kent, The Ad Council, Discovery Networks, New Frontier Media, Napster, Juno, Dream Catcher Destinations Club and Harrah’s Hotels, among many others.
Clearly, Peter knows what he’s doing. But that’s only part of the battle. He explained to us how powerful his ADHD mind can be, using an example about how leftover pizza isn’t a thing for him. He let us use our imagination, but told us he also doesn’t drink anymore because he knows how his body works.
Instead, he’s competed in marathons, Olympic distance triathlons, half-Ironman Triathlons and a full Ironman Triathlon. Further explaining self-knowledge, he told us how important it is to focus on our own strengths.
Back on the business side, if we’re not good at managing people, then we need to hire a manager. If we aren’t adept at certain areas of what our company or startup needs to do, then we need to admit that and make the appropriate adjustments to maximize the efficacy of our team.
This self-knowledge applies to an earlier blog I wrote about how not everybody can just jump in and make a startup happen right away. Further connections to what we’ve learned include how you don’t need a full big picture million-dollar business idea right off the bat. You start with a smaller, more specific problem you can fix and do a good job fixing it. Then, if it’s done right, you’ll be able to keep building and growing it from there. Facebook didn’t start out as a global social media brand right off the bat. Uber and Lyft started smaller as well. The examples are out there, but as consumers we often don’t think about how small the beginnings really were for many of the quickly growing modern companies.