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Kareem Mostafa is the co-founder of Tribetactics - a bootstrapped content creation company which helps businesses maximise their efforts in producing compelling content across a wide range of media and platforms.
Naturally, our conversation gravitated towards the importance and value of having a solid content production and distribution processes. We went behind the scenes of how Kareem and his brother, with whom he co-founded Tribetactics, work to deliver valuable and contextually-relevant content to their clients. Furthermore, we touched on how one big piece of content can turn into multiple smaller pieces that can fuel your content plan for a month. We also talked about the importance of speed over perfection, financing the business, managing client expectations, business lessons from hip hop and much more.
As usual, you can find a bunch of resources mentioned in this episode with links below, as well as the main topics we covered in the episode.
When we asked Kareem if he had a question for you, he came up with this ask instead: “Create daily documentaries!”
Topics we cover in this episode:
01:36 - Who is Kareem and what is Tribetactics
02:30 - How the Tribetactics content machine works
03:20 - What is the GaryVee content model
05:18 - Behind the scenes of the Tribetactics process
06:35 - How to know when it's time to do something fresh
07:30 - How Kareem and his brother decided to work full-time on Tribetactics
10:07 - Managing and setting client expectations
12:55 - Breaking down the asset delivery process
13:55 - Working with clients overseas
16:12 - Working with a co-founder who is also a family member
17:27 - Thoughts on funding and bootstrapping the business
20:18 - The biggest lesson Kareem learned since starting Tribetactics
21:23 - What's the biggest challenge Kareem is having at the moment
25:06 - Speed vs Perfection
27:50 - Deploying the content model to market the business
30:02 - How Tribetactics attract their customers
34:35 - Business lessons from hip hop
36:25 - Plans for the next 6-12 months
37:48 - Ask of the day from Kareem "Create daily documentaries!"
Useful Resources and Links:
Connect with Kareem - LinkedIn
Check out Tribetactics
"Oversubscribed" by Daniel Priestly
On working with a co-founder:
M: What's your experience working with a co-founder, especially a co-founder who's a family member as well? Can you talk us through that...the positive sides, the challenges of doing that and eventually, how do you find the best way to work together?
K: I think the reason why is that he's the only one who said "yes" to me. But I think as well at the very start we had this agreement where we say "Everything we approach we are going to approach very objectively. Everybody's going to have their own set of responsibilities, their own set of people they'd be working with" and so on and so forth. You know, we have certain ways of holding each other accountable. They are tied to specific KPIs and specific deliverables. And because no one is reporting to the other, you know, we kind of consult with each other, but we also take each other's advice, but we also give each other advice. And, you know, we just, as long as we are keeping it objective, I think that's where we're most productive and most effective.
On working full-time on your business:
We realised that no matter how much you "learn" and "experience", once you start to do your own thing full time, not like weekends - full time, you realise like sh.., that's a whole other world and there's so much stuff I wasn't faced with, until I actually started to do this. It's very lonely. It's very scary. But it's also one of the most rewarding things you will ever do, one of the most educational things that you'll do because you're not just learning how to build a business, but you're also...you're adding value to others, obviously, which is great. But you're also learning all these things that people don't talk about. You learn about like discipline, you learn about gratitude from the free food you used to get from your company, and stuff like that, that's applicable. But yeah, you learn about, you learn about being a... following a process and sticking to it because you have no other choice. It's not like "Oh yeah, I have my job anyway". This is the job! You know what I mean? Especially when there are other people depending on you. A lot of this stuff like kind of like wakes you up and it really helps you to focus on the here and now, to focus on where you are and what step you need to take to do the other thing.
The biggest lesson learned:
The importance of that everything is your fault at the end of the day. So everything is my fault and my co-founder’s fault. Any time we come across a hick-up or anything that doesn’t go well, and this, you know, these are things are inevitable - it’s not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of “when”. You know, we can point fingers and come up with excuses and things like that. And even if those excuses are so-called valid, one of the most, I think, just, useful things to do is to recognise that, or just go into the mindset of saying that “hey, ultimately everything is our fault”, because this is actually relieving in a way, because now that we know it’s our fault, we also know that we have the opportunity to be able to fix that into the future.
Business lessons from hip hop:
It's just interesting that so many lessons in... in hip hop, whether people even like the music or not... just the way that, you know... the way that... I just think there's a ton of amazing business lessons over there. Our favourite one is the fact that people are always collaborating together on tracks. Another one is whether you know... this is probably very famous by now.., For example, Kanye West, he released an album which was just released but after a while the titles I think changed or the orders of them changed. So it was kind of an album that was co-created with the audience, or at least updated and reiterated with time. And I think this is very clever, you know. Traditionally people would work very very hard to create like one so-called perfect album and leave it there. But the fact that he came out, you know, as a visionary and did all this, like, this different take on what an album can be and it evolves with time, that's also another great lesson. And I think it ties with the point that you guys made earlier of like how perfect should something be before you ship it out? I think Reid Hoffman said that if something is too perfect you're probably too late - I'm paraphrasing a little bit. But really people should just put out their content, put out their story, put out their truth and it's going to get better with time, I would say.