EP 265: Leading Differently With MicroConf Co-Founder Rob Walling

Feb 18, 2020 | Community, Culture, Podcast

Tara McMullin is a writer, podcaster, and producer who explores what it takes to navigate the 21st-century economy with your humanity intact. Click here to support this work.

The Nitty-Gritty:

  • What values are woven through Rob Walling‘s many ventures
  • Why he started MicroConf and how it’s a direct reaction to so many communities & events for founders
  • How Rob sees his role as a leader of a rapidly growing community
  • How he turns his values into policies, systems, and operating procedures no matter one business he’s working on

“Different is better than better.”

That’s what Sally Hogshead says. Sally is a brand expert and the creator of the Fascination Advantage Assessment, which helps entrepreneurs and leaders discover what’s naturally fascinating about themselves.

What she means is that better is fleeting. It’s uninspired.

“Better,” she says, “keeps you chained to the same way of working as your competition.”

Being different, on the other hand, helps you stand out. Being different helps you gather the right people around you—because they immediately see what you’re about.

Different helps you win on your own terms.

So how do we arrive at “different?” How do we build our brands, our ideas, our businesses to be different?

Different is a result of operationalizing our values.

This month, we’re working our way through a series of conversations about leadership. Specifically, I’ve been talking to small business owners about how they lead with their values and how those values pop up in their businesses in their systems, policies, and operating procedures.

Today, my guest is Rob Walling and Rob is committed to doing things differently.

Rob is best known for his leadership in the world of bootstrapped software-as-a-service businesses. He is the founder of Drip, MicroConf, and most recently TinySeed. He’s also the host of Startups for the Rest of Us and the author of Start Small, Stay Small.

Rob has chosen, from the beginning, to do things differently—and the reason is his values. His values led him to realize that he could build a business without playing by everyone else’s rules—and that’s made him a leader for thousands of others who are looking to do things differently too.

I talk with Rob about the throughline that weaves his different ventures together, the values that define his work, how his community and events are a reaction to the “standard” in his field, and how he views his role as a leader. Plus, I ask him how he’s ensuring his values continue to play out as his community rapidly expands.

Now, let’s find out What Works for Rob Walling!

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