Austin Denison is a management consultant, author, and entrepreneur with the goal of helping businesses develop best practices in marketing, change management, and leadership. Austin manages multiple content platforms including his blog, youtube channel, and podcasts relating to entrepreneurship and personal/professional success. Austin is an expedited honors graduate from the University of La Verne with a B.S. in Business Administration and marketing. He has personally led a group of between 2 and 150 people in a professional setting, and has been a speaker and consultant in the Southern California Area.
Where did the idea for Denison Success Systems come from?
I originally founded Denison Success Systems as a life-coaching and personal development company. However, naturally, my passion for business and analytics seeped into my efforts and my organization transformed into a personal and professional leadership/consulting company. I still help individuals with their personal development, however, I am diversified enough now to offer help to those in a professional setting as well!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day consists of a heavy-set routine of content creation and marketing. I fully believe that the best way to find business is by making yourself the go-to option and relying on those organizations that need help to find you. Therefore, my free time is often focused on optimizing my website, blogs, vlogs, and podcasts around SEO, and networking on LinkedIn to find clients who may find true value in my services! I normally grab a cup of coffee and immediately write a blog post when I awake, then begin to manage my social media channels and create video content to share on youtube and to my website in particular. I maintain my productivity by carefully balancing my workload with free-thinking and creative time when I like to do nothing but create new ideas (good and bad) and act on the ones I’m most excited about!
How do you bring ideas to life?
I come up with my ideas by spending blocked bits of time throughout my day that are dedicated to creative thinking. My ideas come in all shapes and sizes: a new book I want to write, a new blog post, a new video topic, a new marketing technique, whatever it is, I write it on my whiteboard, and begin brainstorming the operational aspect of creating it. I start by forming a structure around the content I imagine as well as the potential benefits that it would bring me and others. This allows me to focus on creating value for others while simultaneously augmenting my own excitement for the project!.
What’s one trend that excites you?
My favorite thing to do in my spare time is content marketing. I find much more artistic enjoyment in the creation of content and art as opposed to the consumption of content and art. In fact, I commonly say that the difference between an average person and an influencer is whether they spend their time consuming or creating. A creator is somebody who finds meaning in the effort that goes into their own discipline and vulnerability. It can be scary to put yourself out there, but creators are those who do it regardless because they are engrossed in creating their vision for the world.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’d say that my best habit is thinking of the world in terms of possibilities as opposed to responsibilities. Those who view the world in terms of responsibilities only think of the work they must accomplish. The issue with this is that work becomes meaningless without the recognition of great possibility that follows the work. Put simply, following a passion and opportunity is what truly makes the work (the responsibility) worth the effort. And pursuing those passions is what makes people resilient and successful in adverse and trying times.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I spent the majority of my younger days thinking about the future. Although it’s a better thing to think towards the future than it is to dwell on the past, I also didn’t allow myself the ability to truly enjoy the moment. They say that anxiety is living in the future, and guilt is living in the past, but happiness is living in the moment. I wish I had spent more time taking in and enjoying the present than worrying about the future and all the responsibilities I had. In other words, life is about a journey and not a destination. Those who follow the destination of “happiness” will never find it. But those who learn to be happy with the journey become happy at any and all times in their lives.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Nobody seems to agree with me when I say that it’s better to pursue an unrealistic dream than realistic comfort. Comfort is the enemy of progress, yet most people say that all humans want is to be comfortable, but I don’t agree with that. I think what we want is a meaningful existence and actualization of our own potential. There is a reason why challenges are scary but rewarding once we complete them. Being comfortable provides no challenge, and therefore, no reward. I’d rather pursue a far-fetched and blatantly unrealistic dream than become tied and satisfied with the “average.” To me, nothing is more frightening than a life that isn’t remembered.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
This one may seem obvious but I think everyone needs to become creators. Everybody has something in which they are passionate enough to become creators. Whatever that thing is, most people are too afraid of being judged or “starting from the bottom” to do so, and therefore, never become creators to begin with. The single reason that this occurs is because these same people value the opinions of others over the opinions they hold of themselves. I guarantee you, by following your wildest dreams, you will be presenting a silent but obvious protest against the social norm, and doing so is enough to give a person a sense of purpose and individuality apart from the people who simply follow the masses and fall into victimhood.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
In one of Tony Robbins’ most famous books, Awaken The Giant Within, he mentions the importance of a “CANI” mindset. He stated that “CANI” stood for “Constant And never-ending Improvement.” I adopted this mindset, and it has helped me grow in droves. Essentially, this mindset forces you to accept and become ok with the idea that you will always have to adapt and improve to stay on top of your skill or craft. There can be no slouching or laziness once you achieve great heights, or you will lose everything. After hearing about this mindset, and employing it, I no longer accept or tolerate the mediocre attempts I make. “You only get in life that which you tolerate.” – Tony Robbins. Put simply, you must be ok and happy with the process, further proving the idea that I mentioned earlier that being happy with the process, and not only the destination, is what true success looks like in life.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I first started Denison Success Systems, I projected that the majority of my startup revenue would come from speaking engagements. I am a well-versed public speaker and purveyor of new ideas in public areas and I placed my early projections on the success of speaking engagements. Let’s see how this turned out: I started my organization in December 2019/January 2020, two months later, the country was in lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, meaning that no speaking engagements would occur. There went all of my projected income and security. So, I did the entrepreneurial (most people would say “stupid”) thing and invested in a camera so that I could begin a youtube channel with which to brand myself and my speaking online to others. This way, not only could I grow my audience, consumer base, and content channels/SEO, but I could also leverage these videos to get speaking engagements once the country is out of lockdown. Much of successful business is not thinking in terms of issues, but thinking in terms of the benefits and opportunities those issues provide when you implement creative and adaptive solutions. This way, It’s win-win, and I made the most of the issues I faced.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Here is an excellent business idea considering the times we are in: Due to the technology and proven efficacy of remote-workplace environments (due to COVID) creating a dedicated remote-workplace management software is an untapped market that is going to have TONS of proven potential in the following years. Apart from online communications (zoom, skype, etc.) create (or invest in) a software that combines real-time workflow and team-management capabilities in a simplified, easily navigatable way. You’re almost guaranteed to make money this way. That is, if money is all that motivates this decision, of course.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently spent roughly $100 dollars on a beta-reader for one of my books on personal development. This was a revelation to me due to the insight and suggestions I received for improving my manuscript with some simple but effective tweaks. It’s always useful to remain open-minded and gather feedback from people who aren’t biased and are not familiar with your work. Doing so allows you to improve and ensure the comprehensiveness of your work on a universal basis.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
As a content marketer, most of my software is dedicated to monitoring my SEO capabilities to ensure I am found and relevant in search engines. This way, when somebody needs consulting or coaching, they find me. I use tons of software, from Tubebuddy for my Youtube Videos to Yoast SEO for my blog posts. Doing so allows me to optimize content and make a bigger splash than I otherwise would. I strictly monitor keywords, competitive analysis, searchability, and other search analytics to ensure my posts stick out from the crowd and gather their own niche.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Other than mine (lol) I would 100% definitely recommend these few. As somebody who reads at a rate of two to three books a week, these are the ones I came across that hit home.
For spiritual and motivation: You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
Humorous, easy to follow, and amazingly digestable, this book is great for light readers who want to feel more empowered and meaningful in their lives.
For more scientifically empowering and motivating: Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins
This book covers not only the subjects of personal motivation, habits, and learning/reprogramming your neural wiring, but also provides more scientific and reasoning behind the concepts.
For strictly business: Start With Why by Simon Sinek
This business gem is founded upon the concept that organizations that function with a sole motivating purpose (other than making money) tend to take action and market themselves as industry leaders, innovators, and become amazingly successful. The reasoning being that these organizations stand out due to unique branding and innovation that innately comes from having a sense of communal purpose.
What is your favorite quote?
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present” – Jim Rohn
- Focus on becoming a creator, not a consumer.
- Success is finding happiness in the journey, and not in an ever-changing destination.
- Having the will to believe more in yourself, and less in the judgments and doubts of others, is the key to overcoming fear.
- The most frightening thing in the world is a life not remembered.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.