From Ashes to Industry Influence: Matt Brown’s Journey of Entrepreneurial Resilience and Success

Have you ever wondered what it takes to rise from the ashes of failure and soar to the heights of entrepreneurial success? Our latest guest, Matt Brown, takes us on a compelling odyssey from his early days in apartheid South Africa to the pinnacles of the music industry in London, and beyond. Matt's candid reflections on the rollercoaster of startup ventures reveal the resilience needed to navigate the treacherous terrain of business, offering potent lessons for those daring enough to embark on their own entrepreneurial quests.

Venture with us into the heart of what makes a business model thrive as Matt shares the underestimated might of specialization and the art of refining existing concepts. The power of a simple, focused business plan shines through our discussion, emphasizing the monumental impact of credibility and influence in today's marketplace. Whether it's authoring best-selling books or hosting a titan of an industry on your podcast, these tools can propel your venture into the limelight, but not without the careful balance of sharing knowledge while valuing your time.

As we peer into the crystal ball of the future, we grapple with the impending wave of artificial general intelligence (AGI) and its anticipated disruption of the creative industries. Matt provides insightful forecasts on how AGI could revolutionize content creation in self-publishing and music, urging entrepreneurs to stay nimble and innovative. His parting words serve as a clarion call to listeners: engage with evolving technologies and claim the untapped opportunities that lie ahead. Join us for this riveting session that arms you with strategies to not only reflect on past triumphs but to also shape a successful future.

Episode Transcript

Anika Jackson 00:01

Welcome to your Brand Amplified, the podcast where we interview marketers, publicists and brands to learn their stories, what makes them tick and tips and tricks that make a difference. Today, I have the honor of having Matthew Brown on the show of the Matthew Brown show. Also multiple-time Amazon bestselling author, but even bigger than that, matt you are a veteran founder of 14 companies across 25 years with multiple successful exits. So I’m Anika Jackson, the host of your Brand Amplified, and, Matthew, it’s such a pleasure to have you on today.

Matthew Brown 00:37

Thank you. Thank you, Anika, for having me on and just to clarify, I also had a lot of businesses die on me.

Anika Jackson 00:44

Well, yeah, I mean, one of your books to that point is Secrets of Hashtag Fail, and I think that’s the dirty secret that we don’t talk about. People see, like any industry, right, whether you’re an athlete, an actor, a singer or a successful entrepreneur, people look to the successes, but they don’t realize all the lessons that you learned on the way. So before we get into that, I’d love for you to talk about your journey. We’re talking a little bit about your origins in South Africa before you came to the States. But what propelled you into the world of business? And I know you do a lot of other things now that we’re going to get into in this interview but I took you from Africa, and South Africa specifically, into the United States.

Matthew Brown 01:23

Yeah, thank you. I lost the ground to Kavaral trying to be concise. So my father was an entrepreneur and I watched him be successful, but I also watched him fail. And during apartheid was like 1994, there was a political activist called Chris Honey and he was really the voice of the resistance and anti-apartheid the system and the government and that stuff. And my father at the time he owned a firearms shop. He was selling guns and one day Chris Honey got assassinated at the front of his home in Johannesburg and basically the country just went into like this meltdown and a lot of the sort of the affluent people they went and they bought guns because South Africa was literally on the brink of civil war. Nelson Mandela was still in prison at the time and so he was incarcerated and so basically the country just freaked out and they all went and bought guns.


And my dad’s business at the time just made a lot of money. I mean, he was taking like six figures a day over the counter. You know it was crazy. There were riots in the streets and I was 14 years old I didn’t really understand what was going on, but I saw what was happening and so my dad was successful pretty quickly through this gun shop of his and anyway, thankfully South Africa didn’t go into civil war at the time. But what I did see was how my dad wasn’t able to scale that business and also, by the way, that business eventually died. It failed Well. And so I was watching this and you’re like, how can you be so successful? I mean, I mean, if you think about the market timings, having the right business just at the right time, okay, there’s obviously a very South African context, but how do you make so much money? And then how can that business die on? You Like I don’t understand that.


And then, for me personally, I had two passions in my life. You know, as I grew a little bit older, like 18, 19, I had two passions. One was music, the other one was business. And I moved to London and I founded a record label, and so at the time the whole industry was changing, it was moving from vinyl to digital downloads, and so I founded a record label called Voodoo Vinyl and I created something called the Voodoo Vinyl Remix Network. And so basically, what I was doing was I was preying on an old paradigm and old idea that if you were a creative artist, that you needed to have a record label to release your music for you, and so Napster was happening at the time. Now I’m showing my age, but Napster was like you know people were downloading piracy music and Metallica. It was freaking out and it was just like a really disruptive time. Social media was just starting and Facebook had maybe been founded and anyway, long story short, I was able to buy the master recording rights of original music for nothing.


So, my cost of acquisition was really low, and I was able to do that on the promise that you give me your master recording rights for free and I’ll release your music around the world through digital downloads. We had an online store, and so anyone around the world could come and buy our music, but what we would give you access to is a whole bunch of remix artists and Frankie Knuckles at the time had just won the World Space Remixer Awards on the MTV Music Awards Like it was now a thing remixing, what was that? And you had all these major artists that would pay these creative people to remix. They would create like Kylie Minogue would pay an artist to create a Ha song, as an example, and so this is the whole context at the time, and so we were releasing like 120 digital albums a year globally and my artists would remix these original songs, right, and we would just create this network. So you would basically have the opportunity to have other people make new music from your original, and so that was basically the business, and that started to scale and eventually I sold that.


And then I was 26 suddenly and I was in London and I thought I could walk in water. You know, your first, your first business, and you know you started so lucky the universe was going to fix all that for me because the next one failed, and so that’s pretty much been my journey. You know, like founding companies, you know selling companies I build and sell if I can scale them, but it’s hard. You know 99% of startups fail in the first four years, so to get through that period is a real achievement. And you know I started the map round show 10 years ago and what I’ve been looking to do is make a difference to entrepreneurs. You know, having very important conversations that I feel are relevant, like failure as an example and influence as another example, but just using my platform to make a difference, you know and so that’s what’s brought me to the US.

Anika Jackson 05:41

Fantastic. Well, first of all, I don’t think we talked about the music connection previously and I used to be a club promoter and launched a magazine called Revolution in the year 2000, which was a dance music magazine that came with a CD every month back when we had moved to CDs and I used to get digital music all the time when I moved from like people sending CDs in the mail to promote stuff to then the record label sending like a digital playlist. So my iTunes is still full of music that I don’t even know if I’ve ever listened to, because I just immediately downloaded it back because that’s what you did back then. You didn’t have the streaming capabilities of now. So I definitely remember the days of MySpace and Napster and then Friendster, before we all jumped to Facebook and all on and on and on.

Matthew Brown 06:24

So you know, that’s awesome, that’s cool. It would have been awesome if we had met back then.

Anika Jackson 06:29

I know right.

Matthew Brown 06:30

Yeah, I know.

Anika Jackson 06:32

Yeah, I was hanging out with like masters at work and winter music connoisseurs. We had parties with them at a winter music conference and doing all that kind of stuff.

Matthew Brown 06:39

No, I think you were probably more successful in the music industry than I was. Oh, no, no, no, no, I was more of the DJ producer, dj yeah.

Anika Jackson 06:49

Yeah, that’s amazing, and I think that when you start I find this often when people start from the music business particularly there’s a just organic skill set that you learn that you then can apply to so many other industries, and so I’m interested in you know if that was true for you as the label maker.

Matthew Brown 07:08

Yeah for sure, man. I mean, if you find any company and you’re creating, I mean it’s weird, right. But I look back at all my successful businesses, it was always the same formula that executed in a different context, you know. So there was obviously Boudou Vinyl, which was music, then digital kung fu was lead generation or pipeline generation for technology companies like Microsoft and stuff, but it was basically the same three things. It was like strategy, content and systems. You know, that’s it and you’re solving different problems, of course, and position differently. But it’s funny how that skill set of yours I mean even my current business show works media. It’s almost the same formula but executed differently.


And I think to your point, if you can figure out, if you listen, no one’s starting a new business. That’s completely novel. Do you know what I mean? Like no one’s doing that, like it’s basically an improbability and it’s like 99.9% of businesses are not novel. What they are doing is they are taking existing things and making them better. Right, they’re making them more efficient Artificial Genitive Intelligence, in our case, for self-publishing books, for CEOs of tech companies, you know. But it’s all about doing things in a more efficient manner and that’s what creates value, because everybody wants value faster, right.


And so if you can figure out your own formula for success and then you just map it to something that you’re passionate about, and that’s very important, because if you wind up building a business like my Li-Jian business that you don’t love, it’s a horrible thing to be successful and not for false. I think that’s the ultimate failure. And so when you figure out your own success formula, just do it again. You know, sell your next company for more money.


You know what I mean, and I’ve spoken to CEOs, entrepreneurs, that are like you have these multiple time exits, you know, like they’re just seeming me always successful, and the reason for that, I believe, is because they have this formula, like they’ve done it before, and all they then do is the same thing, maybe in a different industry, but they do it bigger and they do it better Because they’ve now learned okay, well, that works. I’ve got a $10 million exit. How do I get to $100? And even then they do it faster, right? So when it took five years or 10 years to do a $10 million exit, they’ll do a $100 million exit in five. And it’s because of this idea of mapping your own success formula to something that you know works, that maps to your skill sets and that you just rinse repeat.

Anika Jackson 09:30

You make it sound so easy. It’s not.

Matthew Brown 09:32

It’s so, not, you know, it’s not, and I don’t mean to create that perspective at all. It’s very rare to find entrepreneurs that do this, like one of my clients, shannon Scott. He runs an HR technology group and what he does is he buys companies with EBITDA profits, right, and he just adds more companies to his portfolio. Because if you have 10 companies doing you know $10 million a year in EBITDA, what does the collective value of that portfolio look like to a PE firm? Well, they’re going to pay you a 20 times multiple on that. So if he’s buying 10 companies and he spends you know a million dollars or $10 million, or, let us say, $100 million on each, he’s going to make a billion dollars off a PE firm who wants 10 years of future cash flow for their limited partners, you see? So then he does that. Now what? Well, he buys more companies, and you know what I mean. And the thing for him, and like many of us, is that if you work within a particular industry like HR tech, right, you suddenly know everybody, you know who’s building what and you know who would buy HR tech, in terms of which PE firms, or maybe you know IPO, the whole group, I don’t know.


But if you niche into a specific thing, you start to see everything starts to become clearer. You know, and niching to your point like what makes it successful, like you, make it sound so easy. What’s? Because, again, if you, the one of the formula that will the steps in the formula, is choose a niche like choose a niche like choose to be for someone, because when you do that, doesn’t matter who it is, you know. Everything becomes clear. Your competitors become clear, your pricing becomes clear, your product solution becomes clear, your go to market becomes clear and suddenly you no longer invisible because you were for everyone. You see what I’m saying. Yeah, so now you for this thing only, and so you have to choose. But when you choose, all those things become clear and then your success formula becomes clear, you see, but it’s definitely fraught with with uncertainty and a whole lot of failure.

Anika Jackson 11:31

Well, and I think also you’re touching on so many things that people need to understand when they’re going into business for themselves. A lot of times people want to be all things to all people and they don’t think about those specific customer personas and avatars. To your point, they don’t niche down enough. And then the shiny object syndrome. So somebody comes along and says, well, you’re having a lot of success with this, can you also do this? And we’ll pay you X amount of money. And so then you go oh, maybe I should add that service, even though it’s not necessarily in your skill set or in your perfect avatar range. And so I think those are two things that I see a lot when I’m working with businesses on their communications and strategy and branding is they want to be all things to all people. Or they they’re like oh, but they’ll offer us funding if we do XYZ. And I’m like but that’s not what you’re good at. How do you combat that?

Matthew Brown 12:19

Well, this is the problem with visionaries. You know they all want to chase the new and they’re romanced by the shiny new staff, when all they should be focused on is two things the more and the better you know. And so here’s what happens when you choose the new all the time, like to your point, like you work with these clients or have you and they want to add to their services. You know, because if you add another service, then you can effectively unlock another revenue streams. Let’s just say you’re a digital advertising agency and typically what you would do is you would create content. The social do. Social ads and that’s always been your bread and butter, you know will help you to reach a million people a year, whatever. And you know we’ll put 10,000 people on your website, generate your needs. Ok, and then to your point what about PR? Well, let’s add PR into that. We’ll also do a digital PR for you. That’s a fundamentally different discipline. But then what if we added a technology product that could track, like an online reputation management tool? Let’s, let’s add that in as well. So now you’ve added in these two additional services, but your whole ambition is to scale your company. So this is what happens Now you’ve added these two extra services, who’s going to deliver that?


And it was like, oh, I didn’t thought about that. Well, we’ll hire someone. Ok, cool, so you’re going to hire someone. What’s that going to do to your profit and loss statements every month? That’s going to add an expense, yes, but then we’ll also we’ll add margin and we’ll charge a price that allows us to absorb that cost. Ok, who’s going to sell it? Now I need a salesperson also. Ok, so now you need a salesperson also. So now you’ve added two new people, but then you need a manager to manage those two people. Then you’ve got to have an ops person. That then is going to create the systems and processes and standard operating procedures to deliver on that. And so now, what have you actually done? Well, you’ve added maybe some margin, but really you’ve added a whole bunch of complexity to your whole business, right, and so your opportunity to scale right, to become successful, is actually reduced.


So the trick I’ve learned is to say no more often. There’s a book that I’m writing and now it was coming out in February called Million Dollar Principles or Secrets of Million Dollar Success, where I talk about the power of saying no because you know. Going back to the romance of new. It is not always better, it really isn’t, and so you define yourself not by what you say yes to, but by saying no Like. What can you say no to?


And I think that I think the best businesses are the simple ones, and the more simple you can keep your business like from a proposition to who delivers it and whatever the more it’s going to be successful. I mean car washes, the most simple business in the world. I mean I think it was like Andrew Tate or something like that. He has probably not him, but there was a media guy I saw on the news the other day, and so his car wash business makes two billion dollars a year in the US. There’s another billionaire that I know, my network, and when I met with him, Jordan Zimmerman he’s got loads of cash, and so I said, you know, we’ve got chatting, and he’s like. I said, like, so what do you do with your money? He’s like well, you know, I buy caravan parking spots all around the US. In fact, I own 60,000 of them and it’s the most profitable, simple, cash flow, positive business like ever. Like he doesn’t have to think about. It’s literally concrete, some means with, like, you know, a charging station for your RV or whatever. You know what I mean, and you have 60,000 of these things all over the US, make some shit, tons of money, but it’s the most simple business in the world, you see? Yeah, and so I mean.


The challenge, though, is to choose. You know, you have to actually choose to do this. For us, last year, we were doing all these like influence, so much stuff around, influence in this net and then we’re like well, what’s the one thing that actually drives influence the most? Well, it’s becoming a bestselling author. Ok, cool. Well, let’s do that. Ok, so now we’ve got a system right, because it’s simple, but we have a system not like all these things that require all these people to deliver. We have a very simple system, so we can deliver a bestselling book 300% faster and a 50% less cost than anyone in North America.


My gosh, no-transcript. Everyone else is taking six months. So that’s what I mean is a competitive advantage, but it’s literally the simplest thing. Dude, you want to become a best-selling author? Yes, okay, why aren’t you one? I don’t have the time? Great, well, we can do it all for you. Do you know what I mean? And so we can solve all those problems, but it’s a simple thing. It’s a simple thing and that you know. So I hope that all helps, but just keep some.

Anika Jackson 16:51

No, that helps so much. And I will say I’ve been guilty of this as well. When I moved back to Los Angeles in 2019, I was just going to focus on PR. Now, when I lived in Houston, I had other businesses. I had a retail store, I had a social club. I did other things, you know, and I was like I’m just going to do PR. In fact, I need my agency, anika PR.


But then I found that people needed other services and I know marketing because I started in marketing. I know some digital, I know a little bit of this and that, and I started adding team members and I definitely fell prey to that scope creep and made those decisions and started bringing more people on and all of that stuff. And so I love that you’re talking about the power of saying no, because it’s something that so many of us are bad at, especially, I think, women in business. Often we want to be their nurturers, we want to take care of everybody, we want to say yes to everybody, and it’s something that I have to combat every day and learn to say no. And this is kind of my year of saying no, stepping back and stepping into my power and saying this is what I’m really good at and what I love doing, and that’s all I’m going to focus on. So I think this is a really important message for the audience to hear right now, because this is one of those things.


You know, as we’re teeing up, I feel like I’m doing a slow roll into 2024. And this is the month of really everybody needs to level set and figure out what they want to do and who they want to be and what that’s going to look like. So your advice is very actionable and appropriate, and your expertise of not only your own businesses but talking to so many super successful business owners Now, when you started your podcast, there weren’t really a lot of podcasts at that point. I mean, podcasting is 20 years old. At this point, I think really during the pandemic is when people started getting on the platform a little more. So what was it like being one of the first people out there? I don’t even know if you consider yourself in that vein.

Matthew Brown 18:40

I certainly would say I was probably like one of the early adopters of the medium. I think I was certainly first in like literally as in like the one or two you know number one and number two in Africa, because people didn’t even know what podcasts were right back then. And obviously it’s happened. And then I was like I think all the podcasts are the US is where it all started and I was at the time I was head of strategy for TV WA and Africa and so I was just looking for trains, like digital trains. I was like what’s this thing’s called a podcast? I was like, well, cool, let me start one, and what I’ll do is I’ll do three episodes only. I just want to have some content for a product launch. But I had no intention of, like you know, doing it for as long as I have and not having done so many episodes like it’s an 850 thing. But it was lonely. That’s what it was like. As you know, when I published my first episode, like I went to bed and super pumped to see how many like thousands of downloads I got. You know, when I woke up the next day and when I logged on, I was fascinated to see the fact that I had failed massively where there was only one download and it was me from the day before. So so you know that it was lonely. But I do believe sometimes, like the medium chooses you versus you choosing the medium. And even at the time it wasn’t even called the map round show, it was called the digital kung fu show.


And as I started to get you know, 50 episodes in, and then suddenly I was like damn, like I’ve stopped scripting everything and I’m actually not leading conversations with all the sharks from the shark tank, the TV series, you know, and, by the way, like they’re all just like me, you know what I mean. Like you have this imposter syndrome, like oh, he’s on TV, so he’s obviously better than me, you know. And then when you meet them you’re like yeah, actually they’re pretty much the same. You know there’s no real difference. They’ve just, you know, built something successfully, right, right. And then one day, a friend of mine, rich Mulholland. He’s a professional speaker. I was now like episode 100 and I’ve got partnerships with entrepreneur magazine and my profile starting to grow, and so now I’m like Dan, there’s actually a lot of ROI and podcasting. And Rich was at an entrepreneur’s organization meeting and the question was asked in the chapter like what are your favorite podcasts? And he said, well, it’s the digital kung fu show. And he was like why is it called the digital?


So you phoned me and he said, dude, like I don’t understand why you don’t call it the Matt Brown show, like why is it called the digital kung fu show? And I was like, no, I can’t have my name in it. You know, you’re a judgment, this kind of thing. And eventually I was like, yeah, fuck it, I’m going to rebrand it. And I did. And it was the best thing ever, because then that’s when things really kind of took off, because people were like, oh, actually I listened to his show because I want to hear what Matt has to say, you know, and so that’s kind of where it. And then we got into live podcasts, so you know, doing shows in front of live audiences and things like that.


And I covered the crypto space in 2019, sold out dozens of live shows. I had media partnerships with CNBC. They were broadcasting my events to like 50, 60 countries around the world, and so then I was like, damn, there’s a lot of ROI and podcasting, you know. But it was lonely in the beginning. But you know, like anything, if you just persevere, like success can happen at any moment. Like I’ve had so many moments where I phoned my producer, maverick he’s been with me since the beginning and I say, dude, I don’t want to do this anymore. And he’s like why? And I’m like well, because I’m bored, I’m tired of talking to people, you know like how many?


business conversations can you have in your life? Then he’s like no, just keep going, like, do another one, like a final, do another one. You know what I mean. And then it’s like, oh, I really enjoyed that conversation. And so you know it’s very up and down being a platformer and it takes a lot of time, like you know, and most people quit. You know there’s a little graveyard of could have been podcasts. The one thing for me is just like I don’t quit. You know I’m a sucker for punishments.

Anika Jackson 22:27

You can, I can tell. But what took you from those initial three podcast interviews to decide to continue with this platform?

Matthew Brown 22:35

I was just starting to enjoy the process. You know like that, the process of being a host you know, and the reason for that really was because I’m an introverse.


I don’t actually like people. I like people I know and trust, right, but if you send me off to dinner party with a bunch of strangers, it’s like my idea of hell. And so when I was meeting all these CEOs, I was like really uncomfortable with the process, like I should talk to a stranger for all our, especially a CEO of this listed company and I’m going to hold my own and this and that. But every time I had another conversation I learned something, you know, when I was like, damn that’s, that’s changed my own life or the way that I think about a certain thing. And, by the way, that certain thing was usually about how I was thinking about myself, because once I’d interviewed all the sharks from the shark tank and I was like, yeah, there’s no difference between name and me, suddenly I was like, well, I’m thinking more confidently, you know. And so the show was really a transformational tool that you know I used to transform my own inner game, like the way that I thought about myself first and foremost, and then also the way that I felt about the world, and so that whole piece externally was really about perspective. So cool. If you’re rich in perspective, you can always generate wealth, but if you’re poor in perspective, you will always be poor. And so I believe that I have a very, very wealthy perspective on the world of business and leadership, because less than 0.2 percent of podcasts actually get past 700 episodes. That’s a stat that was shared by me, like last year. So, if you like, in the top 0.1 percent are people who have had more conversations with more business leaders than anybody else.


Where does that put your perspective? And so that’s what I mean. That that’s why you keep doing it right Is because you might learn something or you might unlearn something, and then you’re able to make a more informed decision about your business. So should you keep it simple? Maybe you should make it complex, you know.


So I don’t really do the show or the world. I really do it first and foremost for me, because I enjoy it, and my superpower is unlocking secrets from these super successful people. And then, as a consequence, you know, if one person anywhere in the world you know benefits from that conversation or that story or that lesson or that insight or that tip, then I’m winning. You know I’m saying so. That’s what I mean by influence. It’s. It’s about elevating others, you know, and so it makes me feel good. You know, I think people get into whatever they do podcasting because they want to generate a need or make money, and I’m like that’s why you, you’re not going to be doing it in six months time. You’re trying to be. You’re looking at self enrichment rather than contribution.

Anika Jackson 25:17

Yes, this has been a big topic of conversation lately and a lot of groups I’m in is making sure that you’re pouring more into people than you’re taking away, because then it does come back to you and obviously, with over eight hundred and fifty episodes, you’ve done a lot of that and a lot of adding value for other people and be amenable to pick up and listen to episodes and learn from the best of the best.

Matthew Brown 25:39

Yes, yes, exactly, but you know people have to be careful, because people will want everything for free if you give it. So you just have to be careful about how you approach spending your time on something like this.

Anika Jackson 25:54

Well, I’d love to talk now about your current company, showworks Media. We touched on it a little bit earlier, but you know I’ve talked to a few people before on the podcast about the world of publishing books and how it’s changed so much and when you see a book that’s a New York Times or Wall Street Journal best seller, it means something, but it doesn’t always mean what we, as a consumer, would think it would mean.


And so let’s talk about the world of self publishing. So you’re saying that this is a trend that’s continuing and that is a great way for people to show that they are a thought leader, they have influence and that they’re the one that you want to work with.

Matthew Brown 26:31

Yeah, exactly so if I write about this in my book Secrets of Influence, I call it the ultimate business card that you can ever have as a best selling book. If you have three or four, you know then that’s even better. And so people want to do business with people they trust. Okay, so what drives trust? Credibility, what drives credibility more than any other thing? A podcast, maybe. Podcast worth 850 episodes, better. A podcast owner worth three best selling books? Yeah, okay, I’d like to see the. What drives credibility. So you know like I can get into any boardroom or network in the world or the story around and the reputation and the credibility around the show. And oftentimes, going back to the Jordan Zimmerman one, he said when you arrived on the show, he said to me dude, I don’t do interviews, but when I saw that you had done 850 episodes and you were a three time best selling author, I knew I wanted to spend this time with you and that’s a billion.


So the thing for me is like it’s all about what will people do people find when they search your name. So if they Google your brand Amplified or Anika Jackson, what are they going to find? Right, and, by the way, people are doing this for your competitors too? Yeah, so if you are, as an example, in a, you know, complicated markets or competitive markets where you’re selling something complex like a software of self, software as a service backup solution, whatever, you’re in a competitive market and so these buyers of your products and services, they also have a lot of choice, and so money is not necessary. Like, the commercial offer is important, of course, but it’s not the only reason. They want to know that you have solved this problem better than everybody else, like you genuinely built something novel and unique, and so what they will do is they will search for your competitors’ names and they will search for yours, and whatever they find there on the social web, the digital blueprints or whatever you want to call it, you know, is going to be influencing their decision on whether to take a meeting with you, whether to pay a higher premium, because they believe you’re the one with the best solution.


You see what I’m saying. Oh, yeah, and we did this with one of our clients, haiku, and met Simon Taylor through my show. They literally are the software as a service data backup business fastest growing in the world, actually, and when I met Simon he said dude, what do you do? And I said no, I just know influence, blah, blah, blah, blah, et cetera. And he said should I actually need this? And when I asked him why, he said well, we have to do a massive amount of education globally to chief information security office CIOs, ceos, et cetera, because they don’t actually know they have the problem that we solve. So if we can’t tell them that or explain to them or get them to grasp the fact that most ransomware attacks come through vendor software as a service applications, and they don’t have their data backed up, they will never buy the solution that we sell. So now it comes into what show works does.


So basically, here’s the problem with self publishing If you write 500 words a day, seven days a week, it’ll take you six months to write a book. What CEO of a firm scaling up has the time to do that? And I wrote my first book. I saw it never do it again and I haven’t. So what I’ve had to do is then look at well, what are some of the other issues here? So, because you don’t have the time to write the book, what do you look for? Ghost writers, right, okay, cool. So what’s a ghost writer going to cost you Minimum $50,000, sometimes upwards of quarter of a million dollars, depending on the seniority and stuff. Guess how much time they’re going to need? Six months, okay, that’s fine. And then you still don’t even have a launch campaign for your book. That’s a problem If you have to invest in that too. And then most self-published books are something like 90% of them don’t actually create any form of commercial value. Yeah, that’s a major problem.


So we looked at all of this as a team and we’re like no, in fact, we need to change all of this. So what we actually now do and there’s three things that drive a book now where we can deliver it 300% faster. So the first thing is strategy. You need to know what your influence strategy is Like. What is the story we’re going to tell? Why are we doing it now? Who are we trying to influence? Why are we trying to influence them? You know blah, blah, blah. So we have a process that we use, but from that influence strategy we create a video production plan, not a book production plan. We’re just saying and the reason for that is because you need content to launch your book, so we will shoot videos based on the storyline that we want to tell, and there’s a framework that we use, especially in B2P, that works like as bullet proof, but basically it’s called the P3 framework.


I write about this in my book, but it’s basically the problem, the product and the proof, and you shoot videos based on that narrative or that structure of story. So you land the problem and you really get into it. Like why is 52% of ransomware all coming through SAS? Why don’t you know about this problem? Though, like issues and here’s what happens with a ransomware attack actually comes to reality, like hospitals get shut down, kids on life support, don’t get those machines working, blah, blah, blah, great. So what’s the solution or the product that you’ve built? Ok, well, here’s what we’ve done in SAS Solves, prom.


And then you get into the proof Well, where have you solved this before? Well, iq solved it for the Boston Red Sox. We interviewed the Boston Red Sox film, that whole thing. So now you’ve got an amazing proof. So then we take that body of work and then we repurpose it into like a year’s worth of content. So now you’ve got a whole year’s worth of content to market the shit out of your book. And then what you do is you take the transcripts from those videos and you run that through artificial genitive intelligence. There’s prompts that we’ve designed for this Nice. They were able to produce a manuscript in eight hours. So six months was the old way, eight hours is the new way. If you’re a business CEO of a tech company, as an example and you’re evaluating other competitors ghost writing agencies or whatever who are you going to shoot?

Anika Jackson 32:09

Yeah, there’s no comparison.

Matthew Brown 32:11

There’s not even a comparison. So then you launch all that stuff and we guarantee, like number one Amazon, best selling positions. We do that by giving away your Kindle version for free for the first 48 hours. We have partners that we work with to just massively hack the algorithms, but now you’re in a number one status. We put you on a podcast tour and the whole thing takes 30 days. Yeah.

Anika Jackson 32:32

I’m floored. I’m floored right now.

Matthew Brown 32:35

That’s what I mean by keeping things simple, because none of that would be possible if we were trying to add other things. Or we’ll also manage your LinkedIn page and we’ll also do this and this and next. Well, that’s about the formula. You figure it out and then you just hammer that formula until you reach a number that you’re happy with.

Anika Jackson 32:54

So you’ve talked about a few things strategy and content. Best selling book as content to position you appropriately as the thought leader and the expert in your field, but also video, and so I think that’s something we’re also seeing. Everybody wants video, even YouTube. Now you can do YouTube shorts, you can put podcasts on YouTube, you can have long form videos still, and every social media platform is trying to figure out how to utilize this, and it sounds like you’ve really created an infrastructure to get people there so much more quickly. And it reminds me of speaking to AJ Kumar of the Limitless Company, and he worked with Neil Patel on his social and he’s worked with a lot of other people, and his entire strategy is strategy content shoot a lot of video and have a lot of content. How long does it take you to get that year’s worth of content?

Matthew Brown 33:43

You can do it in like a day. Again, I think people misunderstand just how much things have changed now with the AGI. Like artificial intelligence intelligence Like people are going to GPT and going writing me a thought leadership article. People seem to think that’s thought leadership, by the way, which it isn’t. If you’re using GPT to create articles and stuff like that, it’s not thought leadership. The reason for that is because it’s trained on all thinking that already exists. If you want to be a thought leader, you cannot be saying the same things that everybody else is saying. So, again, I write about this in my book. But if you’re going to be seen as a thought leader, you have to do original, non-obvious, evidence-based thinking. That’s what it’s about. So it’s not an opinion. It’s not like.


I spent 10 years as a CMO for a fortune 500 company, and here’s five things that I learned. You know what I mean. Click Betty stuff no one gives a shit about that. Now, bullshit radars are so fine, you’re tuned. Now Like if you’re doing that, you’re just wasting your time. You really are, and so the opportunity, though, is to think differently about well, how could we change or significantly improve the gain for a prospect or a particular niche by using artificial genesis of intelligence.


The applications are huge and everyone is just thinking about create a social media post. It’s rubbish. It’s rubbish, I mean. Another example of this. Right, this one’s very cool, I’m super pompous. So, people on LinkedIn they’re always marketing the problem or the solution, but they forget to actually market their value. So, as an example, let’s take the map round show. Let’s say that the problem is this, the year of CEO, and you need to get your story out to 100 countries around the world. Great problem solution I’ll interview you for 60 minutes and you can promote the shit out of your business and products and services solution. But is that really my value? No, it’s not. What’s my value? Well, my value is actually in the 850 interviews. You know, the four books, the whole. Like all the content, all the audience that you built up. Yeah, 100% man, 100% like that’s the value. Because none of those like the content from the interviews don’t exist in GPT. Right, they don’t, because they sit on my podcast again.


So then here’s what we built. This is true we built. It’s basically map brown AI. So you can get access to it now on my website, You sign up for the community. You get access to this AI web app. So basically, what it’s been trained on is literally all the transcripts from all the interviews from the super successful dudes and women, all the books like you just a whole massive body of work.


And now what I’m able to do and, by the way, it’s pretty cool Imagine you could access the minds and the stories and insights, the data points and all these and the lessons from the super successful people, but do it at a fraction of a second, because who has got time to listen to 850 interviews? Nobody. But you want access in the knowledge, right. So you build a custom AI app, right, gpt app.


And now I can do language translations. I’m able to now like into whole new countries. It’s China, right, you know Chinese business entrepreneur guy was Spanish and he’s sitting in Latin America, but you don’t speak English, it’s not your first language, so you would never listen to my message, you would never care about all that content. And so now I’m able to do all of that. Like, my team was weird. They sent me an artificially generated map brown, like an avatar, like I was speaking on camera, but it wasn’t me. It was very weird. So now imagine you have Mac Brown, the avatar speaking Spanish. Yeah, you see.


So now I’m able to massively amplify my influence to millions of entrepreneurs all around the world. So it’s no longer just a podcast. But none of that was possible 18 months ago, these feet, and everyone’s still like oh well, I must find a AGI platform to repurpose my concept for the podcast. It’s like yeah, that’s one use case, fine, you need it. That’s more like a vitamin than a headache pull, you know. And so that’s what I mean. Like just really fundamentally thinking differently about like, well, what is now the value? Not like the problem I can solve and the solution, but like what is the real value that I cannot go to market with right, so that I can take to the world, because that’s what true Influence is by innovating others, right?

Anika Jackson 38:02

Yeah, absolutely. And If to your point earlier, if you influence one person around the world because they listen to an episode To do something differently in their business, that equal success for them, then you’ve changed a life, or multiple lives. So cool.

Matthew Brown 38:17

So yeah yeah, and also it’s weird, right, I’ve had this. People, people listen to your staff and you don’t know about it.


Yeah like it’s really weird and people underestimate it. There’s a random story. So our, when I was to try left for the state, so I phoned a CEO so wanted to obviously make it with clients. But I went, hey, my name’s Matt, I’m the you know RNC of digital community, saying I said, are you Matt Brown? I’m like yeah, you the guy that’s always going live on LinkedIn. Oh, just like yeah. And the podcast? Like yeah, I recognize your voice. Just like I don’t know who this guy is. Like was he download 967? Or like Like you don’t know.

Anika Jackson 38:59

And it’s awesome, you know, to think that when you reach 10,000 people, organically like someone’s actually Listening to what you’re saying, you know well, yeah, okay, so you have the Matt Brown show, you have show works media and I believe we have an offer for our listeners that they can get 20% off their first best-selling book with show works media.

Matthew Brown 39:19

Yeah, do they?

Anika Jackson 39:19

need to have a special Code, or just we jumped you and said they listen to say, hey, just How’d you have an offer?

Matthew Brown 39:27

It’s fine. I mean, could Jackson?

Anika Jackson 39:30

super easy. You’re making it very easy for people. And then you also have your new book coming out in February. And tell us more about that book.

Matthew Brown 39:38

Yes, it’s called our secrets of million-dollar success. So, basically, these are like principles. I’m a great believer in like principles. Principles are they truly do stand the test of time. So, like, if you think about perseverance or saying, no, we’re having a lion mentality, or whatever you know, these are principles that you can really easily understand, and they kind of been, you know, battle-hardened Improvement. And so the insight, though, for why a million dollars? Right, because I had a small business loans marketplace Platform and I was doing research during COVID on the impact of COVID on small business loans. I found this SBA reports, where they literally showed a pyramid and they showed the distribution of Businesses by revenue sites. I was like I was shocked to see it, but this is true if you build a business that’s generating a million dollars in revenue, okay, yeah, you’re in the top 10 percent of all businesses that exist.

Anika Jackson 40:32


Matthew Brown 40:33

I was like shit, and if you think about it it’s like cool. Well, that’s actually an achievable goal for a lot of people like you know. If you like 100 billions, like no, you just need a million dollars. Because if you you know again have a business that’s doing a million dollars in revenue, you could pretty much live whatever last, all you want. Well, it’s true, right, it’s true. And yes, you like, have ambitions to be connor McGregor, but for everybody else, a Million dollars is a very cool business.


To say you have a business generates a million and you don’t need a. You know, scale it and had go through this whole ambition thing. You can be successful, good and great, you know. And so what I wanted to do, having bought and sold multiple million dollar businesses, I wanted to just give these principles, you know, stuff that’s like here’s what I know to be true, you know. So how do you get there? Well, you need these, whatever, these 25 principles. And then each principles is shared with the story, right, that I’ve personally had to go through to reach that million dollar levels. That’s the whole context for the book.

Anika Jackson 41:36

Yeah, and this makes me go back to the beginning of our conversation, where you’re saying you’ve had successful companies, but you’ve also had companies that were not as successful. Really and where there are things that you did differently in those companies that do not follow your blueprint. That made that. You know that got you to the million plus for the successful exits.

Matthew Brown 41:55

Yeah, I think ambitions are double-edged sword. You have to be very careful with your own ambition. And I remember, you know this, digital confidia just doubled revenues every year for three years and then had this opportunity to move to the States. And I was like, well, you know, I’m gonna go scale it. And I went to my mentor and I said, listen, you know what do you think you know? He’s like, well, you said to me, you said to me, I know guys to bigger businesses than you, I have more money than you that went to the US and failed. Why do you think you’re gonna be successful? And I was like that’s a very good question, let me think about that. Because it’s like, oh shit, yeah, you know what if it doesn’t work? And so then he said to me we’ll sell it. And I was like, no, why would I sell it? I just, you know, super successful. Like no reason to sell it, you know. And I was like, damn. But the story was really amazing. We’d won Africa’s best tech startup. We were just hammering everybody, I was cleaning up the markets and I was just like, nah, I’m gonna sell it.


18 months later, covid happened, all will changed. And then I was like, snap. So what if I did sell it? What then would I have been able to do? You know, I would have had massive runway for the US. You know, I could bought to, bought a business with customers, you know, with proven product services, and then go and scale that, take all the risk out of Starting a company again. You know, and that’s what I mean by ambition, you see. So what I should have done was listen and sold the company, because I would have made a shit ton of money and I would have been able to start again.


You know, however and I’m, by the way, like this whole story around market timing has come up so many times in my podcast companies that have been around for two decades, you know, multiple businesses, loads of EBITDA, and then something changes, yeah, and then they missed that opportunity for an IPO, like we’re talking to an acquirer and the choir had got cold feet because something changed.


They had one bad quarter, and so one bad quarters all an acquirer will need to justify not paying you what you think you were, and so you know again, these are all the stories and, by the way, this is a principle actually in the book around market timing. You know, know when to sell and know what kind of you know found entrepreneur? Yeah, because I don’t believe. Especially today, especially now at AI like most businesses are not gonna survive. You know they’re just not. And so if you’re going to think about being financially free, right, and you build something where there is EBITDA there and you have a good story, seriously consider what would your life look like if you sold, rather than you know you’re gonna hold this thing for 50 years, because that’s not gonna happen.

Anika Jackson 44:40

Interesting. I’m definitely interested in hearing more about this because I know a lot of people said AI might take away some jobs, but it’s going to create other jobs. So, I’d love to hear a little bit. I’d love to unpack that a little bit more. Why do you think AI is going to make such a big difference to the world of business and companies being able to continue or fade away?

Matthew Brown 45:01

Yeah, the reason for that is because AI is evolving. So we’re thinking about it’s just chat GPT today, but you know, in three years time, even in the self-publishing space, you’re gonna have like true AGI is gonna come along and it’s gonna be able to write, you know, the next Harry Potter? Yeah, without any human. Yeah, you know what I’m saying, right? What does that then mean? So, self-publishers what happens to that whole thing? Wow, they’re publishers, traditional ones, you know. Or what about AGI that can truly create, like the next Drake album, without any Drake, but it sounds like Drake, mm-hmm.

Anika Jackson 45:40

We saw that with the.

Matthew Brown 45:41

Beatles recently yeah man, yeah man, exactly, we always underestimate what’s going to happen. Yeah, and that’s why you have to Truly be quit like only the paranoid will survive, truly that, as you said, there are opportunities, that if you’re thinking differently about problems with AGI and AI and stuff, then you will be able to create commercial value and you actually can create a business at scale much, much faster than before, because that’s how big opportunities will present themselves. And the ones that see them and then they commercialize them and they find the right business model for that and they just go full in on that like fully aggressive, like how hard can I hit this thing? Those are the guys that are gonna win, yeah.

Anika Jackson 46:25

Well, we’ll definitely have to thank you back on in another. You know, six months to a year, yeah, man, yeah, the world’s changed and how your new books doing. But I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. Thank you, matt, for offering your wisdom and your expertise to my listeners. It’s meant a lot to me and, I know, to them as well because, like you said, I love interviewing people because I’m meeting people I wouldn’t have met and I also am learning things along the way, so along right along with my audience.


So thank you for being here and thank you to the audience for coming to another episode of your band, amplified. Whether you’re listening to us or watching us on Tremors TV or YouTube, I’m so excited to be here with Matt Brown. Matt Brown show will have information in the show notes with how you can reach his offer and join his community, listen to his podcast, all of the great things he’s putting out there, and I’ll be back again in a few days with another amazing expert to share their best practices and wisdom with you. Want more? Check out or follow me on socials at @amplifywithanika.

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