We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Ted Rubin. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Ted below.
Ted, thanks so much for taking the time to share your insights and lessons with us today. We’re particularly interested in hearing about how you became such a resilient person. Where do you get your resilience from?
My Dad, Sheldon Rubin (yes Sheldon/Shelly… the scene in “When Harry met Sally” didn’t make it easy for me to look at my Dad for a while, LOL), taught me the value of friendship, at all levels, and how important it is to be a friend first without expectation. This was the way he behaved in the business world, and with our family, friends, and people in our neighborhood, or anywhere else.
My Dad was always doing things for our neighbors… cleaning up, fixing things, helping out in any way he could, without expecting anything back in return other than friendship, a smile, or even just the knowledge to himself that he was helping. He was the guy who would pull over, anywhere, and clean up a turned over garbage can and place it back where it belonged… and now I am too.
My Dad was the one his Mom always counted on to be there no matter what, and he has always been there for my Mom, my brothers, and me… no matter what. I am certain the character and never say die attitude he taught me is in a big way responsible for my ability to stay the course and never (EVER) give up on staying a part of my daughters in my live’s, despite the roadblocks and challenges I have faced.
I see this character (being there for others, and never say die) in my daughter Niki, and delight in the knowledge that perhaps I have handed down the most special gift my Dad gave me simply by setting an example, always being “present” and letting my girls know every day that I will ALWAYS be there for them… no matter what obstacles are put in my way, or what happens in their lives.
“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Appreciate the insights and wisdom. Before we dig deeper and ask you about the skills that matter and more, maybe you can tell our readers about yourself?
My Personal philosophy and a quote I do my best to live by… “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
I have been a leading Social Marketing Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Business Advisor and Author, Connector… StraightTalk. In March 2009 I started using and evangelizing the term ROR, Return on Relationship™, hashtag #RonR…. a concept I believe is the cornerstone for building an engaged multi-million member database and engaged community, many of whom are vocal advocates for your brand. I built these for e.l.f. Cosmetics as the Chief Marketing Officer between 2008 and 2010, OpenSky where I was Chief Social Marketing Officer until the end of April 2011, and for Collective Bias (whose Advisory Board I joined in January 2011) where I became Chief Social Marketing Officer, and an equity partner, May 1st 2011. I worked closely with Collective Bias since it was founded by John Andrews who I met through the blogging community when he was leading Emerging Media at Walmart. I left his position as Chief Social Marketing Officer of Collective Bias on August 31, 2013n and remained an Advisor and principal shareholder until the November 2016 seven-figure acquisition by Inmar.
➡️ My comprehensive background here… LinkedIn.com/in/TedRubin ⬅️
In the words of Collective Bias Founder John Andrews… “Ted, you were the vision, heartbeat and soul of Collective Bias, thank you for building a great company. From innovations like cb.Socially to the amazing relationships you built with the blogger community, clients and employees, you drove the epic growth. You will be missed!”
With e.l.f. Cosmetics from 2008-2010, OpenSky from 2009-2011 and Collective Bias, I has become known for my active use of Twitter where I have in excess of 1,000,000 followers throughout my network, and grew 100,000+ followers for e.l.f. Twitter handles in 2009, over 200,000 for OpenSky in 2010, and well in excess of 2MM for Collective Bias in 2013… all with deep engagement and interaction.
Many people in the social media world know me for my enthusiastic, energetic and undeniably personal connection to people. I was the most followed CMO on Twitter according to Social Media Marketing Magazine; one of the most interesting CMOs on Twitter according to Say Media, #13 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, and number #2 on the Leadtail list of Top 25 People Most Mentioned by digital marketers, and most recently to the leadersHum Global Power list of the Top 200 Biggest Voices In Leadership for 2022. Return on Relationship, ROR, #RonR, is the basis of my philosophy… It’s All About Relationships!
My book, Return on Relationship, was released January 2013, How To Look People in the Eye Digitally was released January 2015 and The Age of Influence… Selling to the Digitally Connected Customer in 2017. Ted released his latest book in December 2021, along with business partner and Retail Thought Leader John Andrews, titled Retail Relevancy.
From an early age, my Dad instilled in me the value of being a giver. He led by example, always extending a helping hand to our neighbors, fixing things, and offering assistance in any way possible. His acts of kindness were not driven by any expectation of reciprocation; he sought only friendship, a smile, or the satisfaction of knowing he had made a difference.
A “Giver’s Gain” Philosophy…
In following his footsteps, I, too, have become the person who stops to clean up a turned-over garbage can and put it back in its place, regardless of where it happens. I believe in the principle of ‘Liking’ others first, without waiting for them to ‘Like’ me in return. This approach, rooted in enlightened self-interest, has simple yet powerful benefits. When you do good for others, they are more likely to do good for you in return.
The beauty lies not in seeking direct rewards, but in cultivating a reputation as a generous individual. In business, just like in life, your actions become your brand, while your reputation becomes what people remember and share. This approach yields dividends daily, and I noticed immediate rewards in the form of personal satisfaction and contentment… a Return on Relationship that is yours no matter what.
However, there is a boundary I draw. When it becomes apparent that someone is merely a taker, never giving back to me or others, I have to protect my own well-being and set limits on such relationships. Similarly, in the business world, if a company has the means to compensate me fairly but chooses to take advantage of the situation, I must draw a line to safeguard my interests.
My Dad taught me to never forget the people… and that advice will serve you well in business and your personal life. If you forget the people, you’re overlooking the most important part.
Your Brand is what you do, Your Reputation is what people Remember AND Share… Stand out by ‘Liking’ them before they ‘Like’ you!
I now work closely with companies that put the relationship first such as… Evergreen Trading, TheCouponBureau, Brand Innovators, and BeenThereDoneThat.
There is so much advice out there about all the different skills and qualities folks need to develop in order to succeed in today’s highly competitive environment and often it can feel overwhelming. So, if we had to break it down to just the three that matter most, which three skills or qualities would you focus on?
Career Advice I’d Give To My Younger Self…
– Be careful about looking back too much. Learn from your mistakes, but try not to second guess yourself too much.
– Surround yourself with friends you trust… A network gives you reach; a community gives you power!
– Some friends will be for when you just need someone to listen and offer comfort; some will be for when you need advice. Associate with people who will drag you out of your comfort zone.
– Model yourself after people you admire.
– To reinvent yourself: (1) Ask why aren’t you happy, why do I want to reinvent? (2) What are you passionate about — can you make it a career? (3) Once you make the decision to do it, go for it!
Stop worrying about the perfect plan. Try things and get immediate feedback (which you can do easily these days through social media).
– My biggest mistake: Giving up too soon and letting too much time go by before trying again.
*Relationships are like muscle tissue, the more you engage them, the stronger and more valuable they become.
Thanks so much for sharing all these insights with us today. Before we go, is there a book that’s played in important role in your development?
“How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie was recommended to me by my Dad at an early age. Like my Dad, Dale Carnegie taught me the value of truly connecting with people by valuing, and making it about, them. It has been the inspiration for all the relationships I have built over the years of my life and career, the communities I have used these relationships to build, and my ability to earn a living by reinventing myself multiple times during my life.
Read the book, I keep a copy on my phone, iPad, and on the shelf at home… and re-read it often. The one on my shelf is an early edition, printed in 1956 (the year before I was born) bought for me as a gift by a relationship I built across the Atlantic… thank you from the bottom of my heart Jeremy Waite, I will treasure it always.
Ted Rubin quotes…
“ROR: Return on Relationship™, #RonR… simply put the value that is accrued by a person or brand due to nurturing a relationship. ROI is simple $’s and cents. ROR is the value (both perceived and real) that will accrue over time through connection, trust, loyalty, recommendations and sharing.”
“Relationships are like muscle tissue, the more you engage them, the stronger and more valuable they become.”
“A Network gives you Reach; A Community gives you Power!”
“Networks Connect… Communities Care.”
“Your brand is what your business does, what you stand for, and how you approach your work. Your reputation is what people remember and share about you.”
“Belonging is the key to Community AND what empowers its Magnetism.”
“If you truly want to make an impact, aim to always put more energy and attention in your “give” column than in your “take” column.”
“Listen for “Moments” — and Make it Personal”
- Website: TedRubin.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/tedrubin
- Facebook: facebook.com/tedrubin
- Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/tedrubin
- Twitter: twitter.com/tedrubin
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@tedrubin
- Other: ReturnOnRelationship.com
John DeMato… Demato Productions. I have all rights to the photos, but it would be nice to throw him some credit… he is an awesome personal branding photographer. https://www.johndemato.com/