This month’s Spotlight Interview is with Scott Eddy, a man who does not fit into boxes and does not ascribe to labels if he can help it. He travels the world, lives outside of traditional societal structure, and is wicked good at business, working with people, and pretty much doing it all, and doing it well. An ex-Wall Street suit whose life was shaken by a few unexpected bumps, Scott’s life took a dramatic turn, and he rose like a phoenix. No doubt a social warrior on the road to daily self-transformation, he is one to admire and follow. It was a pleasure to catch him during his travels overseas for this interview – a must read from an inspiring, successful, “un-influencer” influencer (he hates the word).
Enjoy this one!ZJ: From stockbroker to social media influencer – tell us about what prompted this transition, when, and how you made the jump?
SE: Well, I was working as a stockbroker for ten years, then they sold the firm I was with, I resigned, took a trip overseas to Thailand…..the rest is history.
ZJ: As an entrepreneur, what businesses have you started or been a part of?
SE: I have had four different marketing companies in Thailand, and have done consulting in 5 different countries.
ZJ: When did you get on the social media train and begin building your “influence”?
SE: I started building my personal brand in 2009.
ZJ: Was there any particular industry niche that you focused on at the beginning of your social media life/ career?
SE: I have always focused on travel, because my primary goal in life is to meet as many people as I can all around the world, and this industry allows me to do that.
ZJ: You are seen in a lot of media like Bloomberg and other popular spots around the world for interviews. To date what has been your favorite appearance?
SE: Bloomberg was cool, but when I was on Power Players with Grant Cardone, that was cool, what he does is truly amazing to me.
ZJ: Tell the truth – what’s your secret to success?
SE: Be nice and remember the manners that your parent taught you growing up, those apply BIG TIME in the digital world.
ZJ: When did you first consider yourself a digital nomad (still sometimes perceived as a “dirty” word or vocation in the traditional American workforce)?
SE: The traditional American workforce is designed to handcuff you in life and make the people at the top of the company rich, most of those people are very unhappy. After I was overseas for six months, I knew I would never have a real ‘home’ again, and definitely never do a traditional 9-5.
ZJ: So true and I feel that. Great insight early on, Scott. I’m wondering, given that this realization is spreading, where do you see the evolution of the digital world and influencer marketing moving over the next 5-10 years? How do you see it shaping our workforce and consumer-based marketing?
SE: Good question, but I don’t think anyone has the answer to that, they are all just guesses. I think that everyone wants to use the word influencer these days – I absolutely hate the word – but there is not another word out there that ‘simply’ describes what I do. I think the influencer marketing world will be turned upside down in the next few years, washing out a lot of the time-wasters and fakes.
ZJ: How has your father’s premature death affected or shaped your life and career?
SE: It shapes me every single day, if that would have not happened, I would never be doing what I am doing today, I would be a policeman.
ZJ: Who do you most admire in the world and why?
SE: I admire those that go against the grain in life and are just genuinely nice people on a daily basis.
ZJ: What has been your favorite brand to work with, and why?
SE: Well, Singapore Airlines is my absolute favorite airline, so when they came calling, I was like……WOW!
ZJ: At what point did you start gaining massive amounts of followers, and what did you think?
SE: About three years ago is when the serious growth started happening. I still can’t believe that on a daily basis this many people are interested in what I am doing on a daily basis, lol.
ZJ: Haha, I can appreciate that, but it’s really cool, and you are doing amazing things worth following. What kind of advice would you offer to your followers who might be thinking about getting into social media influencing?
SE: Be consistent, reply to everyone, give first and ask later. WORK YOUR ASS OFF!!!
ZJ: What would you advise against, or caution people before getting into this industry?
SE: If you think it’s fun all the time by chance, you are mistaken. There is a lot of hard work behind the scenes and if you are not ready to hustle 24/7, find another profession.
ZJ: True that. Anything that you discovered about working as an influencer that has come as a surprise?
SE: Everything, I am definitely not from this world. I find that many of the big accounts have big ego’s to go along with them, I try to stay as far as possible from them. Having said that, I have met, and continue to meet, some amazing people in this world. Like anything else, you take the good with the bad.ZJ: General words of wisdom you live by?
SE: Give first, ask later.
ZJ: Why do you think people find you or follow you?
SE: I am super, super active, especially on Twitter. I find the more active I am; the most opportunities come my way.
ZJ: After the announcement that Twitter-owned Vine was shut down last week, do you think Twitter could be next and if so, what would that mean for your brand and business?
SE: I personally think that Twitter won’t shut down, they are still sitting on a lot of cash, they will eventually be bought by someone, they are WAY too important to the media industry. The best scenario for them (and for me lol) would be if Google bought them, ‘tweets’ would become much more valuable to brands. Even though most brands don’t even know that tweets show up ‘real-time’ in tweets right now.
ZJ: What is your favorite thing to do outside of your life in social media?
SE: Meet new people, when I meet someone interesting online (if possible) I try to meet them in real life as soon as possible.
ZJ: Tell me about a time when you really impacted someone’s life with your social media content. What was the result?
SE: I try to give back as much as I can online, I don’t know any specific stories, but I feel it’s an important part of my life.
ZJ: What is your biggest dream in life?
SE: I don’t really have any, I try to become a better person every day, try to improve on everything. If you’re not moving forward, you are moving backward.
ZJ: Favorite quote?
SE: Ideas are easy, execution is everything!
ZJ: Do you have any upcoming events or announcements you wish to share?
SE: I am launching my new site, new look in a few weeks.