7 Tips for Success from a PR and Connection Superhero
Justin Breen self-describes as “a Dad who happens to be an entrepreneur.” His own father died when Justin was just 13, so spending time with his sons, ages 8 and 10, takes precedence over all else.
Five years ago, Justin started his public relations company, BrEpic Communications, with zero business experience. After being a journalist for 20 years, Justin created his company for two reasons:
1. To create stories that people will understand and that the media wants to cover.
2. To get those stories out into the world.
Justin joined EO Accelerator and leveraged his global network to achieve success. He quickly qualified to join EO Chicago. As a connecting superhero for visionary entrepreneurs with an abundance mindset, he partners with numerous EO members.
In a recent EO 360° podcast episode with host Dave Will (EO Boston), Justin shared seven significant takeaways that will benefit every entrepreneur who wants to grow and scale:
1. Know your skill set
Justin says he excels in exactly two areas: “I’m a great dad, and I’m great at connecting people on a global level. I don’t care about revenue, office space or employee count. I do what I do, and the rest takes care of itself. I provide value to the right people, and then great things happen.”
Justin’s greatest skill is seeing complexities, simplifying them into patterns, and then acting on it. “I don’t overthink it,” he says. “I activate, maximize and achieve.”
2. Know your brain
Justin is a fan of strengths finders, specifically the Kolbe Index. “Your Kolbe score describes how your brain works,” Justin explains.
The Kolbe Index identifies four instinctual styles that identify how people activate in every situation:
- “Quick starters” who use trial and error to swing into action.
- “Fact finders” who require information and research.
- “Follow through-ers” who use a very methodical approach.
- “Implementers” who figure things out via model-building or other tools.
Justin’s personal Kolbe number shows high quick-start, high follow-through and high fact-finder scores. He takes action and does things rapidly rather than talking things through at length. “I just say it, do it, don’t overthink it —and it just gets done.”
Justin notes that many visionary entrepreneurs are great at ideation but not follow-through. That helps Justin tailor what he offers to high-level entrepreneurs: “I simplify their story into an immediate message and then introduce them to the right people in my global network. It causes a chain reaction, and awareness grows from there.”
3. Know your audience
Justin shares a unique view of his work: “I don’t compete with anybody; I just collaborate with people at the highest level,” he says. “I have a four-step process. I only partner with the .1% of people who live in abundance and who are visionaries that look at PR and connection as investments. If someone asks how much my services cost or what the ROI is, we’re not going to work together.”
While some people may think that limits his audience, Justin points out: “There are 8 billion people on the planet — 0.1% of 8 billion is 8 million. Those 8 million are the people who create the ideas that change the world. That’s who I work with.”
4. Know the formula for success
Justin’s formula for creating a successful global company is simple: See a problem, create a solution, solve the problem—and you have a successful global company.
He did it with his first company, and he’s doing it again with BrEpic Network, which he describes as LinkedIn without all the fluff. It’s currently available by invitation only, and it’s a high price point, high-opportunity platform.
“I was annoyed by platforms that let everyone in because, at the highest level, you don’t have time for people trying to sell you things. People at that level just want the connections. That’s what we provide.”
5. Know where to get heard
While the Wall Street Journal and Forbes came up in the conversation as places entrepreneurs gain PR exposure, Justin says that podcasts such as EO 360° and EO Wonder and Maestros del Escalamiento are far better platforms to share entrepreneurial stories. Here’s why:
- The host is an entrepreneur, not a journalist, so they’re coming from a place of abundance rather than scarcity.
- You get a deep dive and get to know someone for a full 45 minutes, not three to five minutes like on tv or radio.
- The audience may not be as large, but it’s a far more qualified audience who are interested in what high-level entrepreneurs have to share.
6. Know your value
While media opportunities are great, it’s how you leverage those connections that counts. For example, if you gain an introduction to a high-level entrepreneur who hosts their own podcast or has another platform, they may also become collaborators or potential investors.
Justin and Dave discussed that PR is not always about getting the word out to the masses. It’s about getting in front of the two or three influencers who are really significant to you and your product.
“The people I partner with understand the value of the connections with other high-level, visionary entrepreneurs. They see the long-term, long-game, building relationships approach, and know its value.”
7. There are no excuses
Though Justin didn’t have the benefit of a lot of years with his father, the eight or so years he remembers are significant. His dad taught Justin at least two lessons that he uses daily: The cream rises to the top, and there’s no tolerance for people who make excuses.
“As a result, I only partner with the cream that rises to the top—because they are the people who will do whatever it takes to make things happen,” Justin shares. “And just like my father, I have no tolerance for people who make excuses.”
“There are no excuses. Not at this level. If you have the right mindset, you’ll figure it out.”
For more insights and inspiration from today’s leading entrepreneurs, check out EO on Inc. and more articles from the EO blog.