PR Brian | HubSpot


Founded by fellow MIT graduates Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah in 2006, HubSpot is an American developer and marketer of software products for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service. It is a modern software system that enables companies to transform the way they market, sell, and serve to match the way humans actually shop, buy, and consume. In this special INBOUND 2020 episode, Brian, its Cofounder and CEO, sits down with Adam Markel to talk about HubSpot’s beginnings and how, amidst the pandemic, the company has remained resilient.

Get the newest Conscious PIVOT Podcast episodes delivered directly to you – subscribe here. And, if you’re enjoying the podcast, please give us a 5-star rating on iTunes! For instructions click here.

DOING THIS for 10 Seconds Can Change Your Life! Click here to watch Adam’s Inspiring TEDx Talk!

Watch the episode here

Listen to the Episode Here



Read the Show Notes Here:

Developing Resilient Organizations Featuring Brian Halligan of HubSpot

Special INBOUND 2020 Episode

I miss the rain a little bit. Being on the West Coast, I don’t see the rain as often. Since COVID hit and we’ve been living on the East Coast, I’ve got to see it quite a bit. I forgot how much it’s cool to get a bit of a respite of a change. I’m never going to deny the fact that I love the sun and a sunny day is fine by me, even it can get monotonous after a while. I’m sitting here being present to the fact that variety is truly beautiful. Nature is beautiful, even when nature can be harsh and cruel. Sometimes when you’re setting up for a picnic and the rain or mosquitoes come, you can have a little fit about that.

I’m excited for a variety of reasons. I woke up feeling in a good mood for no reason, which is always great. I had a great cup of coffee. I get to have a conversation with somebody I’ve known for a bunch of years. A friend that is quite special. He’s doing amazing things in the world for a number of years. I thought I had a lot of plates spinning, that I had a lot of things going on in my life, and maybe even a lot of capacity until I met this guy. I was like, “I’m a slacker.” I’m going to read a bit of his bio and we’re going to chat a little bit about life, resilience, uncertainty and anything that comes up. Maybe even the grateful dead that you never can tell.

My guest is Brian Halligan. He’s the Cofounder and CEO of HubSpot. Many of you probably use HubSpot products. If you don’t, then you’re going to want to check that out. He has co-authored two books, Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs with his other Cofounding partner of HubSpot, Dharmesh Shah. He also wrote a book called Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead with David Meerman Scott and Bill Walton. He’s been exploring how businesses can generate self-propelling momentum by creating a disruptive customer experience.

He was named top-rated CEO by Glassdoor in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. Brian is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, where he teaches the Scaling Entrepreneurial Ventures. In 2017, Brian donated $1.6 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center for Jerry Garcia’s guitar. It supports two things that Brian cares deeply about, social justice and music. Around his hometown in Boston, his favorite charity is Camp Harbor View, serving more than a thousand kids from Boston’s at-risk neighborhoods through summer camp on Boston Harbor. Brian, it is great to have you with us. Welcome to the show.

Thanks for having me.

That’s quite a bio. I don’t know if you felt exhausted to all that stuff that’s going on in your world, but I want to know what’s one thing that’s not written in the bio that you would love for people to know about you.

People don’t know this. I have the world’s best dog. I know you think, “How dare you got the best dog.” I have him. His name is Romeo.

I’ve gotten to meet Romeo and he is quite the pup.

Leadership matters more in times of crisis. Share on X

I’ll tell you something else that a lot of people don’t know. I’ve gotten much better at this, but I have a terrible fear of flying. I had to medicate for years. I have worked my way through that over the last few years but for most of my life, that trip from Boston to San Francisco took a year off my life every time I do the trip.

Our second daughter gets nervous flying. She also lives on the West Coast. I grew up with a dad that had a fear of flying. We’re camped out here not far from you in the Northeast in Massachusetts. Growing up in New York, I got to learn about Massachusetts and all these beautiful places in Maine and all of New England because my dad was afraid of flying that he would never get on a plane. To go on a vacation, we had to drive. We did that Florida trip once and that broke everybody so we didn’t do that again. I had a conversation with one of your family members about that trip at your birthday party. I don’t know how that came up.

My brother had chickenpox on the way down, all of us had chickenpox on the way back.

Does it get any more brutal than that?

We rolled up all the windows and it was smoking the entire way.

Back in the day, my dad used to smoke cigars in the driver’s seat, but he had the window cracked because he had to be fair about that. The parents back then would probably all have been in jail if we were going by these day’s standards. All the kids would’ve gotten taken away and be wards of the state. Let’s dig into the belly of the beast, which is we’re right in the middle of a pandemic and you’re running a publicly-traded company. The shit hit the fan for everybody at the same time globally. Not everyone has fared as well. I want to use that as a way to leg into the conversation about resilience and how you build and develop resilient organizations. Tell us how HubSpot reacts and responds to the disruption that occurred.

We do a lot of stuff well. We do a lot of stuff poorly. It was one of our finer moments how we handled that. We were early on it and we were transparent about our thoughts and our plans on it. We took pretty aggressive action on behalf of our employees, our partners, and our customers to help them get through the storm. That word storm is interesting. I’m sitting in on Cape Cod and the way I would describe it in meetings and videos with employees is it’s like this hurricane came up the coast. It’s going to blow through eventually, but it’s going to sit over us for a long time. Each restaurant is like trees and we’re getting pushed hard. The key for each of us, HubSpot, our partners and customers is to bend, not break. Bend not break was our themes through COVID. The Black Lives Matters is another kind of storm in society. We made some changes around that and we woke up to what was going on there. It’s been a nonstop set of storms coming up the coast and it’s called for a lot of resilience. HubSpot has been super resilient. I’ve been proud of them.

If we’re going to put it into a formula, I know you teach at MIT, maybe we can use the chalkboard to create a formula for what resilience looks like at HubSpot. You can have a chalkboard behind you and not use it as my theory.

PR Brian | HubSpot

HubSpot: The key for HubSpot, its partners, and its customers is to bend and not break through all types of storms.


I don’t know the formula for resilience.

Let’s figure it out.

When I was at Sloan, they make you take some leadership courses. I remember rolling my eyes in having to take leadership courses. I thought, “This is a bunch of BS. Leadership is overrated.” I do think it matters so much these days. I look inside of HubSpot, very high performing organizations, and medium performing organizations. Sometimes you make the leadership swap there. It takes a little while but that organization changes, it becomes more resilient. One of the keys to resilience is that the people at the top of the org themselves are resilient. They are themselves able to handle stress in a way that’s productive. They are able to handle a lot of uncertainty and pass down very transparent, clear, spin-free clarity to its employees, partners and customers. That’s the key around resilience. Leadership matters more in times of crisis than times of calm.

For me, as a parent, my wife and I, we have four kids. I don’t think our kids ever listened to us. At least they don’t listen to me, but I will say this. From the time they were born, they have been watching everything we do. In many ways, whether you’re leading a family, an organization or your self-leading, it’s all about modeling. What you’re describing is an organization where people in leadership roles are congruent, where they’re modeling what it is that they’re saying is valuable. If you say it’s important in these times that you take care of yourself but you yourself is a workaholic. You’re always one thing away from being burned out. You’re easily angered or you’re physically out of shape and you don’t sleep well. If that’s who you are and that’s what you’re modeling for the people around you, what are they seeing? It’s like the parent who says, “Don’t smoke.” Meanwhile, they’re right out behind the garage smoking up when their kids aren’t looking.

An expression we use is, “Let’s not talk the talk. Let’s walk the walk.” In fact, let’s not talk the talk at all. Let’s walk the walk. Let’s not make a lot of noise in the short-term. Let’s make changes over the long-term. The two drums we’ve been beating during the last months have been bend not break and walk the walk. Those are the two things we’ve been hitting hard. One thing about myself is I feel like I’m much more a wartime CEO than a peacetime CEO. I’m a little bit energized in a crisis. I’m at my best during a crisis. I’m able to enact the most amount of change that I want to enact during a crisis. I try not to waste the crisis. I can get a little distracted in peacetime. I’m not as good at keeping the trains running on time and inspecting and managing in a way that’s best practice. I personally thrive in times of crisis. Some people are like that and some people aren’t.

Michael Jordan, for example, when you’re looking at The Last Dance, the ESPN documentary about him and the Chicago Bulls. He would create these disputes or if he didn’t create them, he magnified where it is that he thought he was being slighted by somebody or disrespected. That would be his internal motivation to turn it up to eleven on the amp and be what he had to do that night.

He was wartime. He played his best in the biggest games. For all those biggest games, either someone’s slighted him or he made in his mind that someone’s slighted him and used that as motivation. Karl Malone, who is a great player for the Utah Jazz. They were playing the Utah Jazz in the championship. He may be the nicest human being on the planet, a mild-mannered good guy. He won the MVP the year they clashed in the finals. Jordan was like, “I’m going to show Karl Malone.” That drove him.

Do you need a crisis to be at your best?

It's a lot harder to make changes when things are going well. Share on X

Unfortunately, I am at my best during a crisis. I have my most energy. I’m always the one making changes. It’s a lot harder to make changes when things are going well. People are like, “Tell me again, why you want to reorg this group that’s high performing?” I’m like, “It will be a little better.” “Is the juice worth the squeeze, Brian?” That is the question that people ask me all the time. Oftentimes, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze and I back down.

I got a theory about that for what it’s worth when I was a lifeguard at Jones Beach. A lot of the work that we ended up doing when we’re working with an organization on building resilience, I go to these stories and these experiences from when I was nineteen years old. In fact, I still keep on my desk this old lifeguard whistle. One whistle is how you get somebody’s attention. Two whistles, two sharp ones meant we’re going to make a rescue. There were lifeguards in the water who was going to save somebody’s life and letting the other lifeguards know that’s what’s happening.

Three whistles and I did blow three whistles at the start of a TED Talk years ago because it was something we never heard. It meant someone was missing or submerged. They were under the water and out of sight. At that point, we knew we’re probably going to have to gather the crew together and do a search and rescue, quick and right quick as well. When I was nineteen, those three whistles rang out. I knew what I was trained to do. I get to the main stand and take my orders from my captain who was the CEO of our beach.

He said, “It’s a search and rescue time.” It was at a field right next to us. It wasn’t our beach. We ran about 0.5 mile east and started the search path. We didn’t find this guy. It was a devastating event to see his family. I never forgot that, but we had to get back up in the stand that day and thereafter. Our own captain said, “We’ve got to learn something from this experience. We got to make some adjustments. There has got to be some changes made. We got to also watch out for each other.” I’ve got it on my shirt, “I got your back,” because I remind myself all the time how important it is that we have that support.

That was his definition of resilience. For seven summers that I worked at that beach, we didn’t lose anybody again. Our record was impeccable at that point. One of the things that we changed is what you described. We were constantly seeing how mother nature was changing. It was a great example of the change that’s constantly around us ever-present. You can be in the bubble of your company and thinking because things are working, everything is humming, and you’re in momentum, life couldn’t get any better and nothing’s going to disturb that. Yet, mother nature and the markets have a different thing going on. What we would do is we would self disrupt. We would constantly be looking at the water. When the water was changing, we would blow whistles and move people.

We used flags, buoys, surfboards, and everything to keep people out of these rip currents that were constantly forming and then disappearing. We used to call those sucks. It is very much like the rip currents and the sucks that are in the marketplace. You don’t even know that you can see them. Sometimes you can. We could visibly see them from the lifeguard stand, but you can’t always even see them. What I learned was when we were disrupting the environment before the environment was disrupting us, we had an easier time of keeping people safe. You still get pushback, especially when things are going your way. What is a thing that’s happening inside of you, in your head or in your heart that says to you, “We’ve got to make some changes even when things are seemingly going well?”

I agree with your analogy on the current slide. We’re in the CRM industry helping companies grow using the internet. It’s a pretty good size industry. Our industry is interesting. We compete with some giant companies like Oracle, Microsoft, and Things are constantly changing like Adobe buy some company or Microsoft buys a company. We have these huge competitors and we have lots of little startups. Things are constantly changing in our industry. Social networks and podcasting are changing. You name it.

We talked about modeling being one of those things that’s super important in terms of resilience. This idea of the market is changing rapidly. It’s similar to the currents in the water and the potential that those currents can be dangerous. You have this tendency to look at your business and disrupt things that other people question whether the juice is worth the squeeze.

PR Brian | HubSpot

HubSpot: Things are constantly changing in our industry; just trying to stay on top of all that stuff is key.


That’s a fair way to look at it. Capitalism is super-efficient. People talk about the invisible hand of capitalism. It’s not an invisible hand. It’s an iron fist. If there are profits, revenues or even users to be had, venture capital will flow in, companies and competition will be created. You can’t sit back and relax in any industry. I feel like if I sat back and checked out after three months off, a lot would change in three months. To that extent, you have to stay super engaged and super resilient because the market forces are changing. The environmental forces and economies are changing. Everything is constantly changing. As the CEO, I feel like you have to stay on top of all that in a way that you can’t sit back. You’ve got tough competition. You’ve got a lot of changes happening in society and it forces you to be resilient.

Can we call that self-disruption?


We’re talking about resilience equals but I was never good at math.

It equals paranoia.

We talked about modeling and self-disruption. This paranoia is this idea that we’ve got to disrupt things ahead of the curve.

The other thing I always think about is if you want to build a sustainable business that lasts for a long time, a lot of times, you have to take one step back so you can take three steps forward. If your business has always taken one step forward and never taken that step back and fix the dent in your product, your organization and your decision making, it’s going to be hard to scale over the long haul. You have to be pretty resilient to that idea because people are going to push back on that one step back. The investors, employees and board members are going to push back and that’s critical.

That’s interesting because United Airlines announced something pretty radical. I fly United Airlines. I have all my Miles with them or most of them because I started out with Continental and they had bought Continental. There are a lot of people who were former Continental people that can’t stomach United Airlines. Some of the flight attendants even call themselves ex-Continental employees. The company was not doing well. Their new CEO, Scott Kirby, comes in. He has been with the company since 2016 in a president’s role. He is known to be a numbers guy and brutal when it comes to how the business operates. He even did some things that are quite unpopular. He comes out with this email at 3:30 in the morning that says, “We’re going to do things quite differently. We’re going to get rid of all the change fees.” There are all kinds of things going on.

Match your culture to the way employees are changing. Share on X

He said, “We’ve been nickel and diming our customers. We took our eye off what built our brand or what builds great brands and that is to focus on customer experience on how to serve the customer. We got far away from that. We’re going to do something about it.” Those were the moments as you said. This was a major profit center for them and for a lot of these airlines, and now they’re going to take a step backward. We’ll see what the future brings but hopefully for them, it’s to be able to take those 2 or 3 steps forward or that leap forward because they were willing to do that. The thing that I hear from a lot of people is that this pandemic took people off guard.

They weren’t prepared for it. There are a lot of whining and bemoaning with the fact that it’s unfair on some level. It doesn’t make any sense, except nature isn’t fair from our limited viewpoint. As mere mortals, we can’t see the bigger picture perhaps. What I’m hearing you say is that the crisis is a thing that motivates you. You’re your best and you are a wartime CEO. Also, this idea that sometimes we have to take a step backward in order to take these giant leaps forward. This is a step backward for a lot of businesses.

I’m seeing it with our customers. We had a very good quarter and our stock price is up and all that. It’s ironic that so much bad stuff and suffering is going on, but the reality is companies that have been talking about digitizing their online experience, dramatically improving their online experience, moving from offline marketing to online marketing, from outside sales to inside sales, all that good stuff. They’re having been forced to do it. This crisis is moving the future forward and they’re getting their act together. Companies who are pining for 2019 and think the world’s going to go back and it’s going to look like that, that’s the wrong way to think about it. 2022 will look more like 2020 than 2019. A lot more people are going to be working remotely. A lot of the changes will stick. I don’t envision myself going back to the office every day. This is a wonderful way to work and I don’t feel like I lose a lot of fidelity by being on Zoom and Slack all day.

Thomas Malone wrote this book called The Future of Work in 2000 where he predicted exactly what we’re seeing many years later. Resilience, paranoia and modeling, now we’re adding to that the idea that you can utilize crisis. Don’t you think that resilient individuals and organizations are adept at utilizing crisis?

They never let a good crisis go to waste.

PR Brian | HubSpot

HubSpot: If you want to build a sustainable business that lasts for a long time, you have to take one step back to take three steps forward.


Maybe the last component of this recipe has a lot to do with you as an individual and everybody else. We’re all responsible for our own lives. I don’t think you can be there for anybody else if you’re not there for yourself, to begin with. Back to the airline’s old analogy about the mask dropping out of the ceiling. This is your greatest fear that the mask would come out and drop down from the overhead. They tell you to put it on your own face first for a reason. Let’s talk about rituals. I believe that the quality of our lives is equal to the quality of our consciousness. We created rituals that ultimately become our habits. What are some of the things that you do on a ritual basis to produce mental, emotional, physical, even spiritual resilience for yourself?

I will say one ritual that’s developed starting COVID was a group of tech CEOs got together. We get together every Thursday night for an hour. We talk about what’s going on with COVID, with our offices, with our business, and how we’ll react to this. Also, a little bit more about politics, about Black Lives Matter and all that kind of stuff. Things are changing amongst our employees and our customers faster than we can recall. That weekly group meeting is helpful to me. One misery does love company. We’re going through a lot of crisis and it’s nice to hear that other people are having a hard time with it. The other is oftentimes people have fought through with an issue or a problem in a way that I never considered.

Sharing the best practices is helpful. That’s been invaluable to me. When the crisis first hit, I thought, “This is going to be interesting.” I read The Splendid and the Vile, which is a book about Winston Churchill. It’s a terrific book. It reads like a novel. Reading that while all this was going down was very helpful to me in weathering the storm and trying to model behavior. I’ll tell you a little thing that helps me a lot is on my computer. When I log in, the screen is a big picture of Buddha and it says, “Keep calm.” That helps me if there’s a lot of stuff going on. The truth is in your brain, there are all these inputs and problems happening in your personal life and your work life. How do you keep that sense of calmness and stillness so that you don’t lose patients and make clear decisions? At times, I don’t but that little quick look before I log into my computer, see all the problems coming in, seeing Buddha and reminding myself to stay calm is a weirdly helpful thing for me.

It’s a reset. When we get those thoughts coming at us or it’s even taken out on an emotional level, we read an email, we see that there’s a problem where somebody doesn’t take care of something, we thought was being taken care of, you get that little feeling inside of your belly. It’s important to have something you can go to in an instant. What’s that reset phrase? Sometimes we’ll have people do that one exercise. Create a ten-second reset for yourself. It starts with I am. I am adept at creating powerful solutions. It is important that we can reset ourselves. As part of this, what I’ve heard you say and this recipe, both the concept of rituals are important and the mastermind.

This idea of getting together with other people from your peer group, people that you can commiserate with complaints and talk about best practices. That’s how we met, Brian. John Assaraf is a mutual friend who brought us together and we’re going to do some masterminding. As human beings and certainly leaders in companies, we crave that because it can be super lonely to be the founder, whether you’re the founder of your one-person startup. You and Dharmesh started this company with just the two of you at the beginning and it’s grown from there to here, but it can be lonely, especially if you don’t have people to talk to.

It certainly can be lonely. It’s helpful to have a cofounder. I don’t know how I could have started HubSpot alone. I picked a very good partner for HubSpot. We see the world in a similar way. The nice thing about Dharmesh is once in a while, I can get hung up in what’s going on this month and the goals for this quarter and stuff like that. He’ll reset me like, “We want to build a company that our grandkids will be proud of.” We think about in the future what’s this going to look like and what decision we make now, knowing that we can reframe it is quite helpful.

To me, one of the most important things you can do at the moment when you’re caught, where fear, anxiety, anger, or any of those things come up about something, we have to pause. There are three parts that I share with other people because I use it all the time myself. It is this idea of you pause, you ask, and you choose. Those three things are important at the moment. To pause is to get to neutral. That neutrality or neutralness allows you to look at something without the judgment. For a second, you can go, “I finally have a stick again.” I always had a stick, then I got married and I had a bunch of kids. The fact that the kids are out of the house now is I’ve got a Jeep and I got a stick. What’s cool about that is you can shift into neutral and not be in gear. You’re not in forward. You’re not in reverse. You could glide a bit and you don’t have to be in judgment.

If something’s not fair or unfair or good or bad, you get back to the principle of Buddhism, which is everything is impermanent, the Law of Impermanence. To get too worked up about anything when it’s all impermanent is foolish on some level, but we get heavily involved in our stuff. It is difficult to get out of it. Shifting into neutral is the way I think of it when I pause. Asking is about, “What’s the better question now?” The question my grandmother used to ask me was, “What’s the meaning in that?” She came from a generation that survived The Great Depression, the Holocaust, World War II, and many other things. At the time, women had far fewer rights than they have now. Equality wasn’t a thing that was given much credence. She probably would have been the CEO of the company that she was a secretary for. She was a woman who would do the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle in ink and could think. She would always say to me, “What’s the meaning? Find the meaning in that,” because we’re quick to judge something and think that something’s happening to us. That asking component is important.

I don’t think you can ask a question and not get an answer. There are cause and effect, but you just don’t know what the timing is. The third piece is choosing. All of our lives are products of our choices and decisions. What’s the creative opportunity? That’s the one question I want to always come to in those moments. I want to pause. I want to ask to find the meaning as Victor Frankl wrote about Man’s Search for Meaning. It’s important that we do that, that we can choose to see the creative opportunity. It sounds like that’s what HubSpot has been doing from the very beginning is that you see a creative opportunity. At that moment, you can mobilize around that creative opportunity. Even in the midst of COVID, this great pandemic of change and uncertainty, you guys are taking steps backward to take steps forward. You’re doubling down on how it is that you’re building your culture. I know that’s something you talk about a lot. I would love to get your sense of the relationship between resilience and culture. Is it important that you develop resilient cultures?

I think people naturally don’t like change. Resilient cultures are super important in this day and age. There is more change. I think companies have two products, the product they sell to their customers and the product they sell to their employees. The product they sell to their employees is called culture. You want to match your culture to the way employees are changing. Employees are changing a lot these days. They care about a lot of new and interesting things. The guy who I think has written some interesting stuff, I don’t love all of this stuff, but this is a guy named Jonathan Haidt, who wrote The Coddling of the American Mind and a bunch of other interesting books. He’s talking about how employees are changing and it’s been accelerated. Most employees joining your company now, unlike when you and I joined the workforce or even when we change ops years ago. They have their own personal brand, whether it’s on LinkedIn, TikTok or whatever it is.

When they join a company, it says something powerful about their brand and it needs to foot in with the brand. If the company’s brand is silent on certain issues, employees will demand that you take a stand on some of these issues. Employees are changing the way they think about their relationship with the company. The other thing is changing with employees is I thought initially when COVID happened in our industry, let’s say the tech industry. You think of the supply of talent and the demand for that talent. The demand dramatically outstripped the supply. There’s a very low unemployment in our industry. I thought, “This is going to change it. It’s going to be high unemployment.”

In our little corner of the world, it’s going to go the other way around where the demand is going to go up and the supply is going to stay constant. The thing that will change about that employee relationship with companies is everyone’s going to hire remote. Now the competitors for talent for us are companies around Boston. It’s Akamai and Wayfair. In the future, we’re going to compete with everybody, with Google, Zoom and Microsoft because everyone’s going to start hiring remotely. The good news is that it opens up the talent pool for companies. The bad news is employee turnover will go up because they’ll find the best opportunity. The culture as a product needs to shift over the next year to match the modern realities of what’s going on.

That’s probably a great separate conversation we could have because I don’t know to what extent you guys have started to architect what that will look like. It’s a little bit like hockey. Gretzky’s famous for that one. You don’t shoot the puck where your player is. You shoot the puck to where you expect that person to be. That is like leading somebody with a pass in football or whatever. I would love to get together and have that chat as well. I’ll pipe in on that to say, it’ll also increase the pool to be the world. The world is your employment pool. You’ll be able to hire people from Singapore, China, and wherever else you’re going to find your talent. That’s going to be quite interesting. Brian, I always enjoy our time. We didn’t get into Jerry Garcia. We’ve been a huge Grateful Dead fan since probably 1988 or 1989. It’s the first show I went to. My wife and I went to The Garden. We saw a bunch of shows there and I got hooked. I have never asked you what year it was that you got bit by the Grateful Dead or Jerry Garcia bug.

I remember it well. It was 1985. I was a house painter and I had a business partner. We were in high school. He was a huge Deadhead and we listened to bootlegs all day. I was liking them and he’s like, “There’s a show in Saratoga Springs, New York. Do you want to go?” We hitchhiked from Cape Cod to Saratoga Springs. I had a wonderful time. I liked the music, but I liked the culture around it. I liked the community around it. I got locked in at that moment and still am locked in.

It is a culture. When we were raising our kids and we were young. We got this CD called Not for Kids Only. It was Jerry Garcia playing with David Grisman. It’s the greatest kid CD. I am getting them all hooked on bluegrass and folk and good stuff. It’s such a culture for good reason, but not a bad model for what the culture can look like even.

One of the things I like about the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia is they were first principle thinkers. They didn’t necessarily care what The Who, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles were doing. They commit to a new genre of music, this jam band idea. They created their own record label. They created their own ticket distribution business. They created their whole new business model. They were the first principle thinkers and customer-focused. There’s a lot to learn from them as a business owner.

That’s true because the whole customer thing was people could bootleg right off the board. I’d never seen that before that. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it after. People just plugin and get their own bootlegs and they were cool with it because they knew people were going to do it anyway. Now, why don’t you get a good recording instead of the crap one that you’re going to get otherwise? The last thing I’ll say as we end is a reminder and our community’s familiar with this. To me, the most important ritual personally and it’s agnostic to business or anything. It’s just what feels good. It’s how I choose to wake up in the morning.

We all get the fact that when we go to bed at night and we put our head on the pillow, there’s no contract. You don’t have a contract. I don’t have one that says we’re going to wake up the next morning. We’re all on a level playing field, and then when we do get to wake up as we did, it’s meaningful. I know we take it for granted often, but it is not an ordinary event because there are people who did the same thing that didn’t wake up the next day. To me, the waking ritual is three steps. Consciously wake up every way you can think of it. Be grateful at that moment that you’ve taken that important step to utilize a new day, to be gifted a new day. Gratitude pays ridiculous dividends. It’s too much science to think about it.

We talked about the Grateful Dead. Thirdly, what’s the first word that come out of your mouth? We talked about that ten-second reset. What’s the thing that comes out of your mouth at the beginning of the day? I know when I was a lawyer for eighteen years, I would put my feet on the floor and feel some anxiety to start, a little angst. I would grunt and curse sometimes. Those are the first words that comes out of my mouth to start the day. Now, for the better part of many years, I put my feet on the floor and the first words that come out of my mouth are “I love my life.” Those four simple words no matter what. What are the first words that come of your mouth to start your day? That’s my question to everybody. Even for you Brian, when you begin the day, when you put your feet on the floor, what’s the first thing that you declare as you embark on a new day?

I like yours, I love my life. That’s a good one. Usually, my first words are, “Romeo, come on, wake up.”

It’s always great to see you. I am thrilled we got to spend this time together. Everybody out there, have a beautiful, peaceful, wonderful day. Leave a comment. If you haven’t subscribed or you know somebody that would love this kind of conversation, please feel free to share the love and we’ll see you next time.

I mentioned resilience a lot in this episode. We got a resilience assessment to find out where you are at mentally, emotionally physically, and spiritually. You simply have to go to to take the assessment. It takes about three minutes. You’ll get the answers and the resources, and it is entirely free. Have fun.

Important Links:

About Brian Halligan

PR Brian | HubSpotBrian Halligan is an American executive and author. He is CEO and co-founder of HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales software company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is also a senior lecturer at MIT. Halligan uses the term inbound marketing to describe the type of marketing he advocates.



Get the newest Conscious PIVOT Podcast episodes delivered directly to you – subscribe here. And, if you’re enjoying the podcast, please give us a 5-star rating on iTunes! For instructions click here.

DOING THIS for 10 Seconds Can Change Your Life! Click here to watch Adam’s Inspiring TEDx Talk!