Be value driven. A lot of entrepreneurs are thinking about how they can benefit themselves. I’ve learned in this journey if you can create real value for people, things come naturally.
As part of our series about how to become known as a thought leader in your industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Olumide Gbenro. Olumide, also known as The Globopreneur™, is a marketing consultant. He has consulted with global companies in fields from blockchain to music and entertainment. He is a location independent entrepreneur, filmmaker and social media influencer who creates content to inspire and engage the global minded world citizen.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Olumide! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
In my adult life I have had the chance to do marketing for globally recognized companies across Europe, Latin America and South East Asia, all while traveling the world full time. Before becoming a “digital nomad” and starting Digital Nomad Summit, I consulted with and did marketing and community building for startups that have now scaled into multimillion dollar valuations. I’ve built a powerful network of influencers in various fields across the world and I’ve had even had the privilege to meet and advise some mega celebrities along the way.
Can you briefly share with our readers why you are an authority about the topic of thought leadership?
I have been traveling since 2012 while in college and non-stop as a location independent entrepreneur the last 3 years. When I started traveling more I noticed there were different needs for this transient population now called ‘Digital Nomads’ from mental health to practical products and services for people who are used to living in a new country every few months. I have been working non stop as a leader in this movement to create initiatives and campaigns that address these needs.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
For me it is always adjusting to becoming recognized by people I don’t know. I’ve extended my network and been featured on the social media accounts of some notable micro to macro influencers in business and although I don’t have a huge following, people will still say “hey you’re The Globopreneur right.” I take it as humbly as I can but it makes me laugh every time.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
One of the funniest mistakes I made traveling as a digital nomad was booking one way tickets. Certain countries across South East Asia require to show a round trip ticket. The first time it happened I had to buy a ticket on the spot. I really learned how to plan my trips better ahead while still living this global citizen lifestyle!
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define what a ‘Thought Leader’ is. How is a thought leader different than a typical leader? How is a thought leader different than an influencer?
I think being a thought leader is being brave enough to try something first. You really have to believe in your ethics. An influencer to me is just someone that has a lot of attention, a thought leader is someone who understands the deep responsibility they have to make a positive impact in their arena and embraces it head on.
Can you talk to our readers a bit about the benefits of becoming a thought leader. Why do you think it is worthwhile to invest resources and energy into this?
I totally think it is. When I started traveling the world to document the digital nomad lifestyle and share the stories of people from around the world on my instagram and Youtube I spent so much of my personal funds to make it a reality. Now it’s paying off as Ì was the first foreigner to be featured as a digital nomad on national cable television in Bali, Indonesia.
Let’s talk about business opportunities specifically. Can you share a few examples of how thought leadership can help a business grow or create lucrative opportunities?
Thought leadership has allowed me to be featured on national cable television in Indonesia and I’ve been approached by various businesses around the world to consult me on my marketing skills. I’ve also been able to build a respectable coaching business showing others how to become location independent digital nomads. Also many notable companies have reached out to partner with me on the upcoming Digital Nomad Summit.
Ok. Now that we have that behind us, we’d love to hear your thoughts about how to eventually become a thought leader. Can you share 5 strategies that a person should implement to become known as a thought leader in their industry. Please tell us a story or example (ideally from your own experience) for each.
- Know thyself. I really think self awareness is the key to everything. So many do things without understanding what they want out of life. Once you figure out who you are you can figure out how to help make an impact on the planet.
- Be value driven. A lot of entrepreneurs are thinking about how they can benefit themselves. I’ve learned in this journey if you can create real value for people, things come naturally.
- Create a community. The importance of building a community and an audience in now no longer an option. To be successful you have to embrace building a personal brand. But remember to build a personal brand based on value as I previously mentioned.
- Take risks. Do not be afraid to try new things and explore areas that interest you. Stick to your strengths but try things that will keep you engaged and have fun with it!
- Plan for the long term. This is so key. Gary Vaynerchuk always reminds us it’s not too late in the game even if you are 60 years old but I think the message is you need to be ready for the long game. Things don’t happen automatically and you have to be patient in your impact and influence.
In your opinion, who is an example of someone who has that has done a fantastic job as a thought leader? Which specific things have impressed you about that person? What lessons can we learn from this person’s approach.
Elon Musk is a clear example. He simply leads the charge on the most important issues that face humanity for eons to come. I am most impressed by his constant attitude for problem solving and belief that nothing is impossible. I think we can all learn that there is no failure unless you quit and that’s how I live my life.
I have seen some discussion that the term “thought leader” is trite, overused, and should be avoided. What is your feeling about this?
Not true, I think we need this to distinguish real impact. It is also up to the people to decide themselves on positive influences rather than just accepting a blanket term for leaders in our global society.
What advice would you give to other leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?
Take rest and sleep, don’t think a deadline will kill you. If you believe it, it just might. I used to stay up all hours of the night thinking the “hustle”would be beneficial, but it was not. When I moved to Bali and reduced my stress load, my businesses as a whole grew 5x. I was optimizing!
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My goal is to inspire a new generation of global citizens that embrace self education and personal growth and pursue their passions within environmentally conscious communities around the world.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My biggest quote is probably “follow your heart” Ok so I know this is very cliche but it’s been so true in my life. This has been so relevant as it has freed me to pursue what I really love despite the opinion of others, which is building communities and globally impactful companies.
We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Will Smith, because he’s a real entrepreneur despite his main entertainment persona. I’ve seen many high level thought leaders but I especially like him. His unabashed way of living with joy across family to business ventures astounds me. Lunch with him would be a hilariously beneficial experience.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
If you are looking to learn about the location independent lifestyle be sure to follow me at @Globopreneur on Instagram where I post most of my content and value driven videos on my Youtube. You can also search my name “Olumide Gbenro.”
Thank you so much for your insights. This was very insightful and meaningful.
It’s a real pleasure and I’m grateful for the opportunity.