Michael Gruen Talks Failure, Success In Entrepreneurship: ‘If They Hate You, They Nonetheless Know Your Title’


Michael Gruen is an American entrepreneur, avid angel investor, consultant and media personality.

Gruen is described by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy as “one of the most mysterious, disgusting and interesting people who have ever lived in the world” and is known for his network of celebrities.

In an interview with Benzinga, Gruen spoke about its origins and tips on scaling networks for brand growth. The following is part three of an exclusive series on green.

Stay real: Getting to the truth quickly is of the utmost importance when running a business.

According to Gruen, it is difficult for stakeholders to make changes based on second-hand accounts.

“I always want people to hear things from the source,” said the young entrepreneur.

“‘I heard this from X person’ is not as powerful as hearing it from the person who says it.”

For example, in a discussion about effective ways to deal with criticism, Gruen spoke about the implications for progress among media agents and talent.

“Agents Always Go”[the] Company said no because X, Y and Z. ‘I’ll show them the emails in which the company said no. I want them to see because that is how they will improve – if you verbally tell them they will never learn. “

Recognition versus conversion: Too often, media personalities get a feel for the number of their followers. This is because a high number of followers can symbolize popularity and leverage.

For Gruen, however, the number of followers is not that important.

“It is important to me who follows me. If I make the list of people who follow me and it’s one of the greatest leaders in the world, that’s important, ”said Gruen. “I don’t care if I have 100,000 or 500,000 followers – it doesn’t matter.”

Instead, conversion is more important: motivating followers to act or make changes.

“I have friends who have 1 million followers and who convert better than friends who have 20 million followers. It’s about who is following you and doing your stuff. “

His approach has paid off. Whenever Gruen makes an introduction or motivates them to act, the response is positive.

“When I do an intro, everyone answers,” he said in a reference to a conversation with Anthony Scaramucci, a mentor.

“I asked why [he responded] and he said, “When Michael texts me, I drop everything I do because it’s always crazy and funny.”

Always close: Human psychology can make it easy to confuse movement with progress.

In a tweet last week, Gruen expressed the importance of time management: “Many young entrepreneurs think that a busy call calendar means that they are ballers. This (usually) means that you cannot delegate / do not have the appropriate resources.

“The most successful people I know have considerable flexibility in planning.”

The result of short-term “ego bumps,” said Gruen, is a delusion of success.

The important thing is to identify a vision and work feverishly on it. Mistakes are okay too, he said, as long as they make a difference.

“The real trick? Never leave a room where the other person has no opinion, ”he said.

“When they hate you, they still know your name and still remember you and think of you. If you have no control and walk away, they won’t know who the hell you are. “

When in doubt, Gruen adds, crack some jokes. do something to get noticed.

“People don’t forget me because I do things that are unforgettable, both good and bad. Being memorable is so important in networking because you have a chance, as Eminem always said. “

Just do it: If you’re ever at a yes or no point, the answer should be yes.

“People often miss opportunities out of fear. If you are around a celebrity and want to take a picture, do so because you don’t know how long that moment is going to be. “

That method unlocked access to high-level conversations, Gruen said.

“I met the Winklevosses when they were walking outside a restaurant,” he said. “I never kept in touch, then I started working with them a year later and they were like, ‘Aren’t you the guy we met a year ago?'”

The Winklevosses remembered Gruen because he was memorable and fearless to make an impact and build a network that converts, he said.

“The biggest thing is not being vanilla … I had a call to a pretty large production company and they were trying to reach a celebrity friend. I did an intro right away and they said, “This never happens,” he said.

“Doing it quickly makes the biggest impact.”

In part four of this exclusive series, Benzinga will unpack wild stories from Gruen’s past.

Photo: David Mazouz, left, with Michael Gruen.

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