This story is a part of Hacker Noon's Meet the Writer series of interviews. The series is intended for tech professionals contributing the most insightful Hacker Noon stories to share more about their writing habits, ideas, and professional background (and maybe a hobby or two).
Well, firstly, thank you for taking the time to feature me. I’ve been an avid reader of Hackernoon for some time now, and to graduate from writing articles to being interviewed is an absolute honor. My name… Scott D. Clary, adding the D because you can find me on social that way, and I don’t need to compete with the Olympic Swimmer Scott Clary. I’m a career sales and marketing exec. I’ve worked with large Fortune 500, early-stage startups, and everything in between.
In my spare time, I write (duh), both for publications (like Hackernoon) and for my own newsletter, ROI Overload as well as host a podcast (Success Story), that’s part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. Basically, I create content, on any medium possible, that focuses on sales, marketing, business, startups and entrepreneurship. In my most recent 9-5, I worked as CRO at ExciteM, an early=stage startup focused on SaaS broadcast tech, which was recently acquired by Grass Valley.
My latest Hackernoon top story was about OnePlus, a startup that grew to compete with Samsung and Apple through product-focused growth, commitment to customers and a variety of highly effective, creative marketing strategies. I broke down their growth story and strategy that helped them gain traction against behemoths like Samsung and Apple.
I do usually write about similar topics. I love unpacking the stories, playbooks and strategies of high-growth companies that have “made it”. For me, a quick shortcut to career (or startup) success is learning from people who have done it before.
When you look at the strategies of companies who have done it before, you can really expedite your learnings and hopefully increase the likelihood of trying and implementing things that have been proven to work before.
Because I am an operator and work in companies that are trying to market, sell, scale and grow, I respect how hard it can be for someone trying to navigate all the different things you can potentially do to try and be successful at selling, building, scaling or growing whatever your widget, product, service or software is, so I try and make business a little “simpler” through the case studies I put together
I do a lot, so for me, I need to time block and focus. If I don’t set time aside to research and write, I’ll get distracted by emails, calls, family, errands and everything else under the sun. This means that every Sunday I shut myself off from everything in the morning or afternoon and research and write.
I spend about 4-6 hours total between researching and writing, completely devoid of all distractions (really trying to achieve flow state), and then I have a finished piece which I submit to Hackernoon, and also use as a script for a podcast episode, YouTube video and to act as a case study I can include in my weekly newsletter.
The biggest challenge I have with writing now is committing to doing it and time blocking time in my week to getting it done.
It used to be the creativity required for writing, but I’ve learned that if you have a creativity problem, simply write more.
When you sit down and do not let yourself get up until you’re finished writing, you’ll be shocked at how creative you get. So to get over any creativity issues aka writers block, force yourself to sit down and not allow yourself to get up or get distracted or check your phone until you have written.
The first few drafts will be subpar, but after writing out all the bad ideas, you’ll stumble upon the good ideas, and then everything else will start to flow.
After my latest exit, I would like to grow my own personal brand and double down on growing my audience, newsletter subscriber base and podcast audience. I’ll always enjoy working as a growth operator in some capacity in high growth tech companies, however, I am a firm believer in the power of your personal brand, building an audience or tribe and doubling down on investing in your own name.
I never want to stop helping companies scale, but as I have more career successes (exits and acquisitions), building a strong personal brand will only compliment whatever projects I want to take on or companies I want to align with.
I don’t know which direction I should take this, but I’ll go with the first thing that pops up in my mind.
I mean, it’s not the worst thing in the world, but after being locked down for 2 years, and not moving around that much… it definitely has its negatives when you enjoy it too much,
Most of my non-tech hobbies are sports hobbies. Like tooooons of sales people I know, (I’m not sure why this seems to be a trend), I played every sport under the sun growing up.
Hockey, tennis, rugby, football, soccer, etc. Now, my non-tech hobbies involve playing some sort of sport (hockey is preferred), going to the gym, or just being active in some way, shape or form.
I’ve found that having some type of daily activity is the single most important hack to maintain energy levels, creativity, and mood when working hard at work, on a side hustle in an isolated, remote environment.
I haven’t decided what companies I’ll cover next. I usually start down the rabbit hole when researching my next company growth story / case study, by reading a founders’ origin story. If it piques my interest, and it’s a company that has achieved some measure of relative success, I’ll dive into the strategy they’ve used to grow and hopefully pull out some useful insights and actionable tactics for readers!
If anyone has any recommendations for companies they’d like me to research and cover, shoot an email (hopefully my contact info is included somewhere - [email protected]), and I’ll break down their growth, sales, marketing & scaling strategy.
Many people who I speak with about writing say that they don’t want to write, or that they aren’t great writers, or that they always run into writer’s block.
I may not be Seth Godin, but I do know that whatever writing talent I’ve accrued over my career is only because I’ve practiced again, and again and again. It’s as simple as that.
There is really no trick to writing better (of course there are courses you can take), but even if you take a course to expedite the learning process, there will never be a supplement for practice.
And to quote Seth Godin, “People with writer’s block don’t have a problem typing. They have a problem living with bad writing, imperfect writing, writing that might expose something that they fear.”.
So get out of your own head, realize everyone starts from level one, and just start writing.