Cindy Gallop is the Michael Bay of Business. She's been blowing sh*t up for 30 years. Join us as we discuss marketing and tech disruption.
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Looking for more purpose, fulfillment, and professional and personal development?
Be a part of our LIVE podcast audience and end your week with Together Digital's Chief Empowerment Officer, Amy Vaughan as she hosts authentic conversations with women in digital who wish to see change or be the change within their industry.
THIS WEEK'S TOPIC:
We are ecstatic to be sharing some time with the incomparable Cindy Gallop to spend some time calling bullsh*t on what's happening in advertising, marketing, branding, and tech now.
Join us for a candid conversation on female tech founders, ageism, building your brand, and finding your voice. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn from the "Micheal Bay of Business".
Cindy Gallop Cindy Gallop is a graduate of Somerville College, Oxford, whose background is 35 years in brand-building, marketing, and advertising - she started up the US office of ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York in 1998 and 2003 was named Advertising Woman of the Year.
She is the founder and CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld, co-action software launched in beta at TED 2010 and subsequently written up and taught as a Harvard Business School case study, which enables brands to implement the business model of the future – Shared Values + Shared Action = Shared Profit (financial and social).
She is also the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn – ‘Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference’ - a social sex tech platform designed to promote good sexual behavior and good sexual values, which she launched at TED 2009, and for which she has raised $3 million to build out mlnp.tv as ‘the Social Sex Revolution’. She is a board advisor to a number of tech ventures and works as a personal brand/life/executive coach and a consultant on brand and business innovation for companies around the world, describing her consultancy approach as 'I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business.'
BusinessInsider named her one of 15 Most Important Marketing Strategy Thinkers Today, alongside Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin, and cited her as number 33 on their list of 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter, and number one on their list of Top 30 People In Advertising To Follow On Twitter.
Campaign named her number one on their list of Top 10 Trailblazers for both 2016 and 2017 and number two in 2018.
Together with Susan Credle of FCB and Margaret Johnson of Goodby, Cindy is one of three Campaign Review Committee chairs for the AdCouncil in the US, helping to make the work great.
Cindy is an outspoken advocate of diversity and inclusion in advertising, tech, and business - she was Jury President at CannesLions 2015 for the inaugural Glass Lion Awards, proposed by Sheryl Sandberg to celebrate advertising that shatters gender stereotypes in advertising, and in 2017 was turned by digital agency R/GA into a chatbot for Equal Pay Day that helps women ask for a raise
Cindy has partnered with AARP on their DisruptAging initiative to challenge and change ageism. Cindy has published ‘Make Love Not Porn: Technology’s Hardcore Impact on Human Behavior’ as one of TED’s line of TEDBooks.
Get In Contact
Speaker 1 (00:00:08) - Welcome to our Weekly Power Lounge, your place to hear authentic conversations from those who have power to share. My name is Amy Vaughn, and I am the owner and chief empowerment officer of Together Digital, a diverse and collaborative community of women who work in digital and choose to share their knowledge, power, and connections. Join the movement at www.togetherindigital.com. Let's get started. If you notice, I know those are all just listening
Speaker 2 (00:00:53) - To the recording after you can't see the big smile
Speaker 1 (00:00:55) - On my face,
Speaker 2 (00:00:56) - But you can probably hear it because we are ecstatic to be spending some time today with the incomparable Cindy Gallup and start calling out some bullshit on what's happening in advertising, marketing, branding and tech right now. Um, I had the pleasure of seeing Cindy speak back in 2012 at the 3% conference, and I still vividly remember the moment in the day that she climbed up on stage leather clad, started dropping truths and F bombs, and I thought, I have never heard or seen another woman get up on a stage and speak like this. And I just felt so drawn to her ability to disrupt. Um, so when she agreed to, uh, come and join us on the podcast, obviously I was very excited. She is a seasoned marketer. In case you don't know who Cindy is yet, I'm excited you're all gonna get to know her today.
Speaker 2 (00:01:46) - She is a seasoned marketer and brand builder of over 35 years of experience. She's, she's a graduate of Somerville College Oxford, and was named Advertising Woman of the Year in 2003. She's the founder and c e o of if We Ran The World, a coon software that helps brands implement business model focused on shared values, shared actions, and shared profit. She also founded Make Love Not Porn, a social tech platform that promotes positive sexual behavior and values, and has raised 3 million to build out MLP TV as the, uh, social sex revolution. Be sure to check that out again. Also unheard of for female tech founders raising that much. Cindy serves on the board as of an advisor to various tech ventures and works as a personal brand life and executive coach. She is known for her consultancy approach, uh, which involves blowing shit up as I mentioned earlier, and has earned the reputation as being the Michael Bay of Business.
Speaker 2 (00:02:44) - Cindy has also been a highly sought after speaker and has given talks on advertising and marketing at conferences worldwide. She's an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, advertising, tech and business, and was the jury president for the, the Cannes Lions 2015 Inaugural Glass Lions Award, which celebrates advertising that challenges gender stereotypes. Cindy has also partnered with the A A R P and Disrupt Aging Initiative to Combat Ageism, and she has published a book titled Make Gloves Not Porn Technology, hardcore Impact On Human Behavior, and has been recognized as one of 15, the 15 most important marketing strategy thinkers by today, by Business Insiders. As I mentioned, Cindy, I feel like it's been a long time coming. I love that I got the chance to be there and see you and hear you and not just there, but at subsequent conferences. And I'm just thrilled to have you here to meet the together digital community, um, and then get them, get them the chance to meet you. So thanks for joining us.
Speaker 3 (00:03:43) - Thanks for having me, Amy. I'm thrilled to be here.
Speaker 2 (00:03:45) - Awesome. All right, we've got some good questions and we've got our live listening audience here with us today, so thank you for joining us. I love everyone who's fangirling along with me in the chat. We will have time at the end for questions, I promise you. But first, Cindy, I wanna let everybody have a little bit more understanding and background of you and who you are, but for me, like the first and most important question was, I really wanna know where did you get your tenacity from? I, it's something I've admired from day one, seeing you, and I'm just kind of curious where did that come from?
Speaker 3 (00:04:18) - Honestly, um, you know, I d I don't know specifically, but, um, it's something I've had to build up over time, especially, um, given how challenging it is to build and operate, make love not corn. And so, you know, the thing that most motivates me, the dynamic that keeps me going through every obstacle is the one that I characterize as I'm going to fucking well show you mm-hmm. , you tell me it can't be done. I'm going to fucking well show you. You put an obstacle path, I'm gonna fucking well show you. I have to take all of the daily challenges and demoralization and depression that I encounter and challenge all into inspiration and motivation. So what keeps you going is I'm gonna fucking well show you.
Speaker 2 (00:05:07) - I love it. I love it. And then can you tell us a little bit more about your background and how you got started in brand building, marketing and advertising? Because I don't think even I've had the chance to really hear that.
Speaker 3 (00:05:17) - Sure. So, um, to be honest, everything in my life in Korea has always happened by complete accident. I have never consciously intentious without to do anything that I have very bizarrely subsequently found myself doing. Mm. And so how I came to work in advertising was, um, I readed Somerville College of Oxford University, and that was where I fell madly in love with theater because Oxford has a very thriving student drama scene. Mm-hmm. . So I, you know, did everything in, in theater. Oxford, I wrote actor, director, stage, managed. Um, but I knew I wasn't good enough to be an actress or director. And one of the things I used to do a lot when I was younger was draw. And so my friends in Oxford pulled me into designing theater posters for their shows, and from there I got sucked into selling their shows for them.
Speaker 3 (00:06:03) - And I really enjoyed doing that. So I became a marketing and publicity officer in theater in the uk and I worked for several theaters, um, until I got completely fed up with working 24 7 and earning chicken feed, which is what the theater is all about, sadly. And at, at time, um, I was the marketing officer for a theater called the Every Man in Liverpool in the uk. And part of my job promoting the theater was in, was giving talks about it. So I gave a talk to group of women in Liverpool, and afterwards one of them came up to me and she said, young lady, you could sell a fridge to an Eskimo
Speaker 2 (00:06:40) - .
Speaker 3 (00:06:41) - That is the universe telling me something, time to fill out, go into advertising. And so I did. And so that's how I ended up in the ad industry.
Speaker 2 (00:06:48) - Right. I think that's so important to say, because I feel like, and I'm so glad I asked that because I, I definitely relate. If you follow the talent and take the compliments, it it, it's not necessarily by accident, it is just actually listening to and following those two things. I was working in pharmaceutical and healthcare and fell in with the head of marketing and actually just learned I was a small town kid that, you know, moving to Chicago that, oh, you can do something other than be a doctor, teacher, lawyer, or stay-at-home mom. Oh, I can be creative and I can make a good amount of money doing it up, sign me up. So I went back to school, um, kind of after chasing down this idea of being a, a doctor or working in pharmaceutical. So I do agree, like letting people kind of call out the talents that you don't see and taking those compliments and, and going with them.
Speaker 2 (00:07:37) - I think that's excellent. I love that. I hope that's inspiring to those of you who are listening and maybe not giving your self enough credit for those talents and those skills that you have when other people do compliment you on them. I love that app. All right. You were named Advertising Woman of the Year and 2003. How that, like, how did that shape your career? I mean, that was kind of, what was it like in between that time of kind of working your way through marketing and advertising, and then how did that shift things for you after?
Speaker 3 (00:08:06) - Sure. So, you know, I, I want to share one thing with you and our audience, Amy, which is that, um, my successful career advertising was simply born out of luck. I was extraordinarily lucky. Mm-hmm. , I was lucky for two reasons. The first is that I was never sexually harassed in a way that ended my career. Right. And by the way, I was absolutely sexually harassed. Mm-hmm. , but never in a scenario this happened to so many women in the industry where there was retaliation, there was managing out of the agency, there was managing out of the industry. Mm-hmm. . So that's the first, you know, um, piece of luck mm-hmm. that helped me rise through the ranks advertising. And the second thing, um, that I was extraordinarily lucky to experience is that I can count on one hand the number of female bosses I had in my entire Korean advertising too.
Speaker 3 (00:09:07) - I always worked for men mm-hmm. , but I was lucky enough at every agency I worked at, um, Ted Bates, Jay Walter Thompson go his trot, and then Bartle, Bogel, Heggerty v vh where I spent most of my career, I was lucky enough at every one of those agencies to work for men who saw my potential before I did. Mm-hmm. , who wanted me to succeed, who championed me and gave me every opportunity. And I say I was lucky because that is not the experience of majority of women in our industry. Mm-hmm. . And so those are the two things I feel very grateful for, um, that, that are the reasons my success. And I really encourage women to think about both of those things, both in terms of do not let sexual harassment derail your career. Mm-hmm. absolutely speak up about it, um, because you may think that speaking up will derail your career. And I can tell you that not speaking up is what will really derail your, your career. And then secondly, look for champions. You know? Absolutely Look for the people who want you to succeed and will give you those opportunities. And so, you know, um, that was really what powered my rise through the ranks and I feel very, very fortunate. Mm-hmm.
Speaker 2 (00:10:23) - . Well, and you point out a good, there's an amazing point. We talk a lot about that within the together digital community as well. The difference between a mentor and a champion or a sponsor and how important, you know, mentors are incredibly important to help you navigate your career. But champions will be the ones that speak your name in the rooms that you're not in. They'll be the ones that give you the opportunities. And like you said, see the talent and the ability maybe even before you do, and kind of put you out there on that limb. And so I agree with you. I think it is incredibly fortunate and lucky, um, you know, to be able to career in that way. Go ahead,
Speaker 3 (00:11:00) - Expand on, on that detail for the benefit of our listeners, because as Amy says, you know, for decades I've said to women, strike the word mentor from your vocabulary and replace it with champion. Mm-hmm. . And the reason I say that is because inherent in the word mentor is touchy. Feel cha cry on. That's not what we need. We need champions because champions are people who make shit happen for you. We need what men get all the time, which is a champion prepared to go out on a limb for you and stake their own reputation on recommending you. A champion is somebody who behind closed boardroom doors, slams their fist on the table and says, there's only room in my budget for one pay raise. It's going to Jay, not John. Mm-hmm. . So actively look for champions, look for people who want to make shit happen for you and will
Speaker 2 (00:12:02) - Absolutely fantastic advice. Awesome. Alright. As an ad advocate for diversity and inclusion and advertising in tech, how do you see the industry evolving in terms of representation and equality? And what kind of work do you feel like there is still left to do?
Speaker 3 (00:12:21) - So the answer is whether it's advertising or tech, it's not, there is zero evolution happening. And I want people to be very clear about why that is. And again, I've been saying this for literally decades, but it unfortunately it's still true. So I still have to say it. The reason why nothing is changing is because at the top of every industry is a closed loop of white guys talking to white guys about other white guys. Those white guys are sitting very pretty. Mm-hmm. , they've got their huge salaries, their gigantic bonuses, their big cause of stock options, their lavish expense accounts. Why on earth would they ever want to rock the boat? Oh, oh, they have to talk diversity, they have to appoint Chief diversity Officer. Mm-hmm. They have to implement diversity initiatives. They have to say the word diversity a lot, especially in public, secretly, deep down inside, they don't want to change a thing because the system is working just fine for them as it currently is. It's like the old joke about the light bulb. How many therapists does it take to change light bulb? Only one. But the light bulb has to really want to change
Speaker 2 (00:13:40) - After
Speaker 3 (00:13:41) - Every industry. That light bulb does not really want to change. And so this is why we will not see change happen mm-hmm. within the existing system. And this is why what I say to every woman is start your own industry. And when I say that, what I mean is start your own business mm-hmm. , but I deliberately articulate it like that. Start your own industry. Mm-hmm. . Cause when you start your own business, you can make that business work any way you want it to. You know, you can design into your business, the workplace culture you thrive in. Mm-hmm.
Speaker 2 (00:14:24) - , you
Speaker 3 (00:14:24) - Design in the, you know, life work balance that you want, you can design in the business model. That means that you make money the way you want to make money. And when you do that, you are starting the industry that we all want to live and work in. And you know, there's, there's another very important reason that I'm exhorting women to do this because we have not even begun to see the opportunities for real reinvention, innovation disruption in every industry through the female lens. Mm-hmm. . And so my advice to every woman is take a long hard look around you at your industry and identify what you think should be there that isn't identify what you would love to make, use, solve that you can't because nobody's done it. What you could bring to the table that nobody else has. And then start that because that closely the white guys toy, the white guys about other white guys by definition cannot innovate and disrupt because homogeneity is the opposite of creativity. But they sure as hell can acquire and buy innovation disruption. And so when you start your own industry, when you create a venture that reinvents your industry through the female lens, all you have to do is operate it successfully for a reasonable period of time. And then giant company X will buy it from you for an absolute God on fucking shit ton of money. And that is the fastest path to wealth creation for women in any industry.
Speaker 2 (00:15:57) - Yeah, I hear you. And it's so funny because I remember you giving similar advice on stage in 20 13, 10 years ago. And you're right, it's the only way things are gonna change. I mean, it shows in the numbers. Um, I was reading something the other day that talked about how, you know, it's 30 to 40% of people who were hired for diversity, equity, and inclusion at major companies have been laid off or let go. And the role no longer exists. It was one of these things where it was definitely performative. It was in response to what was happening within our society, the murder of George Floyd and so many others, that these companies felt the need to do these performative actions. And then when it comes down to time to keeping those resources and keeping those initiatives alive, it doesn't happen. And then when you are in things like e r g groups, employee resource groups, and it's one of these things that drives me nuts because you're asking the marginalized people within the organization to create resources that they need for others for free on top of their work.
Speaker 2 (00:16:53) - But then the leadership doesn't take any ownership to change. And you're right, it's because there's too much at stake for them to lose by actually creating or making a significant change. They can't see, despite the numbers of increased innovation, increased retention, you know, increased profitability by having women at the top it all the numbers in the world, it it, it's not enough to take away the power that they have, the influence that they currently have. So all well said, Cindy. All right. Let's talk about make love not porn for a minute. Um, it is a very bold in pioneering, uh, platform that is promoting good sexual behavior and values. What inspired you to start it? And I mean, I'm sure there have been many, but what are some of the challenges that you've faced in its development?
Speaker 3 (00:17:42) - Sure. So again, you know, as with everything else in my life and career, make Loven Paul was a complete and total accident. It came about cause I date younger men. They turned men in their, in their twenties. And, and by the way, for the benefit, our listeners just, um, so you know, I am somebody who has never wanted married. I've never wanted children. Very glad I was, knew that as opposed to finding out the hard way by having them. I adore being single. I am not a relationship person. I cannot wait to die alone and I date younger men casually and recreationally for sex. I am deliberately very public about all of those life choices because we don't have enough role models in our society for women and for men by the way that demonstrate you can live your life very differently to the way that you are expected to and still be amazingly happy.
Speaker 3 (00:18:33) - And I'm one of the happiest people I know. So there I was 15, 16 years ago dating younger men. Um, when I began realizing that I was encountering what happens when two things converge and I stress the dual convergence because most people think it's only one thing aran I was experiencing what happens when today's total freedom of access to hardcore porn online meets our society's equally total reluctance to talk openly and honestly about sex when those two factors converge, porn becomes sex education by default in not a good way. So I found myself encountering a number of sexual behavioral memes in bed. I went, whoa, I dunno where that behavior's coming from. I thought, gosh, if I'm experiencing this, other people must be as well. I didn't know that because 15, 16 years ago, nobody was talking about this. Nobody's writing about it. This was me in isolation as a naturally actionized person going, I'm gonna do something about this.
Speaker 3 (00:19:36) - So 14 years ago I put up on no money, a tiny clunky website at Make Love not porn.com, that in its original iteration was just copy. The construct was porn world versus real world. Here's what happens in the porn world. Here's what really happens in the real world. I launched that Ted in 2009. I became the only TED speaker to say the words come on my face on the TED stage. Six times in session, the plot went viral as a result of course. And it drove this extraordinary global response to my tiny website that I have never anticipated. Mm-hmm. , thousands of people wrote to me from every country in the world, young and old, male and female, straight and gay, pouring their hearts out mm-hmm. and I realized I'd uncovered a huge global social issue. Yeah. So I then felt I had a responsibility I had to take, make love forwards in a way that would make it much more far-reaching, helpful and effective.
Speaker 3 (00:20:35) - Mm-hmm. . So I turned into a business designed to do good and make money simultaneously, which by the way, is what I believe the future of all business should be. So today we are the world's first and only user generated 100% human curated social sex video sharing platform. We are pro-sex, pro porn, pro knowing the difference with kind of what Facebook would be if it allowed you to socially sexually self-express, which it doesn't. The way to think about us is if porn is the Hollywood blockbuster movie, Mik Love not porn is the badly needed documentary. Mm. We are a unique window onto the funny, messy, loving, wonderful, comical, awkward sex we all have in the real world. Mm-hmm. , because what we're doing is we are socializing, normalizing, and destigmatizing sex, bringing it out of the shadows into the sunlight to promote consent, communication, good sexual values and behavior.
Speaker 3 (00:21:36) - We are literally sex education through real world demonstration. I designed Make Love Not Porn through the female lens to be the safest place on the internet because I designed around what everybody else should have. Nobody else did. Human curation. And by the way, as I share this with you, be aware that this is the future of the internet designed and built through the female lens, which is why it's outrageous. We we're not getting the funding that we need. So on Make Love Not Porn, there is no self-publishing of anything. Our curators watch every frame of every video from beginning to end before we approve or eject and we publish those videos. Nobody else does that. We review every post on every member profile. And by the way, on mate love not porn, your profile post can be as safe work or not safe words as you like, but we review them, we approve or reject, we publish them.
Speaker 3 (00:22:30) - No one else does that. We review every comment on every video before we approve or reject and publish it. No one else does that. We can vouch for every single piece of content of our platform in a way that nobody else can. And by the way, we're tiny bootstrapping. We have no money, and we've human created everything for 10 years. Imagine what Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube could do with their billions if they chose to. And I foresaw the crater economy 14 years ago when I designed Make Love Not Porn around a revenue sharing business model to democratize access to income. Our members pay to subscribe, rent and stream social sex videos. Half that revenue goes to our contributors and we call our make Love not porn stars. Mm-hmm. , I've fought a battle every single day for the past 14 years to build this venture and keep it alive.
Speaker 3 (00:23:23) - I've kept it alive for 10 years on just 3 million of funding, which is extraordinary feat. And so I'm now working to raise a serious round of funding 17 million to scale and optimize the core business and build out three product extensions. And by the way, everybody listening, you know, please do after this go to make Love not porn.tv, sign up, subscribe. It's only $10 a month, you know, subscription start at 10 bucks a month. Please support my startup because we need all the help that we can get. But you know, I have to tell you, as a unique venture, we have a unique capability. We have the power to change people's sexual attitudes and behavior for the better in a way that nothing else can. And you know what we hear all the time from, you know, young people who've learnt with us that porn is not sex.
Speaker 3 (00:24:16) - Mm-hmm. , you know, people who say, you save my marriage, you save my relationship. We've inspired communications breakthroughs between couples, you know, we've, um, made parents feel able to be more open about sex and educate their children accordingly. And in had a ton of parents and are buying their teenage and 20 something children subscriptions to make love not porn. They tell us, I want my kids to see what happy, healthy, loving look like. But you know, what is really interesting is, as with any disruptive technology, it's the use cases that emerge that the founder never thought of. So, you know, not porn does all the things I designed to do. It also does things that I never consciously designed to do. And one of those is we hear all the time from survivors of rape mm-hmm. Sexual assaults, sexual abuse, who tell us that make, and by the way, we hear from female, male, trans, non-binary survivors mm-hmm. Who tell us that m not not porn helped them reclaim their bodies. We help them feel able to be sexual again in a scenario where porn is way too triggering. Right.
Speaker 2 (00:25:26) - And we,
Speaker 3 (00:25:26) - We hear that not just from the people who view our videos, but also from our make love not porn stars. A number of them have told us that sharing themselves sexually in a completely safe space mm-hmm. has helped them to process and heal from sexual trauma. You know, and that's a use case I'll never envisage, but I'm so moved that we're able to do that.
Speaker 2 (00:25:47) - Absolutely. I mean, it's such an incredible and such a brief space to go into. And, um, I I was thinking that exactly. It's like, you know, what, what have we been, our young men have been so influenced by what they see in pornography. And it's, it's even like the chat's blowing up the amount of times that women have had to face situations where they're like, what do you think this is? Like, what do you think you're doing? Like, this is . This is not making love and we're not making a porno right now. So, you know, giving even men the right kind of education and understanding of what sex is, because again, when they're usually viewing it, they're underage. They haven't fallen in love, they don't have, you know, a relationship aspect to it. So when they are in love, then the way that they behave is what they see. You know? And so you're not just helping, um, women in that sense create that safe space, but giving men the opportunity to really learn what this is meant to be. Um, and how it can be go,
Speaker 3 (00:26:43) - What our impact on men is even more profound. Mm-hmm. , because, so I decide to make love not porn, to be fully diverse and inclusive. A and we are, you know, our members, our make love not porn stars are female, male, trans, non-binary straight L g BT Q, all races, ethnicities. A 10 years we've been operating, we've observed that make love not porn is especially a revelation to men. Yeah. More men write appreciative emails, leave grateful comments than anybody else because we are something that men will find nowhere else on the internet, which is a safe space where men can be and watch other men being open, emotional and vulnerable around sex. I
Speaker 2 (00:27:29) - That yeah.
Speaker 3 (00:27:29) - You would not believe the number of men who write to us. Cause this happens on a regular basis. And say, I just watched my first video make love porn, and afterwards I cried. Yeah. I've been saying for years I wish society understood the opposite of what it thinks is true. Women enjoy sex just as much as men and men are just as romantic as women. Yet neither genders allowed to openly celebrate either fact. We'd all be much better off. They were, I picked up a wonderful Twitter exchange between two men last year. The first man had tweeted, and this is obviously a joke, he tweeted, Hey guys, I've got this really weird fetish. I've got this kink. Well I wanna watch porn where people are honest, loving, loyal, decent, and really like each other. Hit me up in the hottest links please. And the man replied to him and he said, there's this website called Make Love not Porn, where you can see real couples making love. He said, I watched a video where the woman said to her, man, I love you while they're making love. He said, sincerely, I cried when I heard that we are one of the solutions to toxic masculinity.
Speaker 2 (00:28:36) - Yes, exactly. Uh, that's you nail on the head a hundred percent Cindy toxic masculinity. They see it. They think that's how they have to behave. That's what they understand and know. And it's, it, I also just see this as, as it grows and you have more of an audience that, you know, I just think about the amount of sexual harassment, uh, and assaults that happen because this is how they think they can and should behave to exude their dominance and things like that. And a lot of it is, again, how they're being taught or educated or what they're seeing a great documentary from many years ago now, um, called The Mask We Live In. Have you seen that? It was some of the
Speaker 3 (00:29:14) - Knew some is as a friend of mine, so yes. Yes.
Speaker 2 (00:29:16) - I love her stuff. It was such, and if you haven't watched it, everyone watch it. Please. It does talk a lot about toxic masculinity and it is, you know, this group together, digital is specifically for women and those who identify as women, you know, to create that safe space. But obviously, you know, we need to keep men a part of that conversation because there is so much that they are being taught that is, you know, unconscious bias and just lagging emotional issues where they don't have the opportunities to express themselves, to cry, to feel, you know, anything other than, you know, dominance. It's such a great, great, um, documentary. You all should watch it.
Speaker 3 (00:29:56) - context, Amy. You know, our mission at Makela porn ultimately is to end rape culture. Yes. We have 10 years of proof of concept. Mm-hmm. , we end rape culture by doing something incredibly simple that nevertheless nobody else anywhere is doing. Right. We end rape culture by showing you how wonderful, great consensual communicative sex is in the real world. Mm-hmm. , our social sex videos role model, good sexual values and good sexual behavior. And here's the important part, we make all of that aspirational versus what you see in porn and popular culture. Men leave comments in our videos like, you know, one man have to comment saying, this makes me want to be a better man in the bedroom and in life. Wow.
Speaker 3 (00:30:45) - That's why it is literally, and I use this word, it is literally criminal that we cannot get fucking funded. As I'm sure, as I'm sure not this audience knows. Last year only 1.7% of all venture capital went to female founders. The vast majority of venture capital went to predominantly white male founders who are building utterly trivial food delivery apps and ai this and crypto that. Okay. Um, as I said to you, please bear in mind when you hear me talk that what you are listening to is just the tip of a massive iceberg. That is what the future of the internet could be when it is concepted designed and built through the female lens. And the only thing holding us all back, everybody from benefiting from that internet, is lack of access to capital. Mm-hmm. , that's the one thing that we female founders do not have. And with it we could change the world.
Speaker 2 (00:31:43) - Absolutely. That was exactly my next question. I was gonna quote the same stat, you know, as you've been working through, you know, pitching for venture capital and things like that over the last several years, and you're going for that big number, what do you think needs to change in the industry to address the issue and ensure that women have equal access to funding opportunities?
Speaker 3 (00:32:04) - So, um, to answer to that, um, Amy, first of all, um, I've just speak to my own experience and make love not porn that I'm wanna speak to what I'm doing about the, the broader issue mm-hmm. . So, um, here's the, here's the challenge that, that I have raising funding. Okay. Um, and by the way, I, I have deliberately not been targeting venture capital because we are not a VC friendly venture. You know, we don't have the holistic growth and, you know, all of that. Mm-hmm. . Um, here's the thing. I know that my investors are out there and there are a ton of them. And by the way, there are a ton of them in every country in the world. Mm-hmm. , they are impossible to find by the usual means because they all have one thing in common. Your willingness to fund make love not porn is entirely a function of your personal sexual journey.
Speaker 3 (00:32:52) - Sure. It is a function of your personal lens on sex and sexuality that's being shaped by own experience. And I have no way to research and target for that. Especially because sex is the area where you cannot tell from the outside what anybody thinks on the inside. The people like they would totally get it. Don't mm-hmm. the people look like complete, prove, do investor finding strategy deliberately is I put what I'm doing out there all the time. Mm-hmm. , I promote make love not porn across all my social channels. I do every media into your master. I go on every podcast because I have to make synaptic connections happen that will attract those investors to me. Now, in theory, this is a long, slow, painful and highly inefficient process in practice, it works. I am frankly gobs snapped at the amount of incoming investor interest I have on LinkedIn.
Speaker 3 (00:33:53) - And by the way, if you had told me 10 years ago that one day, I would say to you, I'm all about LinkedIn. I've laughed in your face today. I'm all about LinkedIn, LinkedIn investors reach out to me on LinkedIn and go, I see you raising funding, I'd like to talk, you know, um, I'm intrigued. Tell me more. So I've been, I've been finding a ton of investors that way and I'm very optimistic and hopeful. And incidentally, I've just seen a question in, in the chat. Yes. I've asked about crowdfunding. Um, two points about that. Um, over the years, every single crowdfunding platform has been no adult content. Um, and every new crowdfunding platform when approached about this, suddenly discovers their no adult content. And by the way, they often operate very artificial demarcation lines, sex toys, fine people having sex or video. Not fine.
Speaker 3 (00:34:42) - But, but the bigger issue with crowdfunding historically has been, um, successful crowdfunding leverages the network effect. It requires people willing to very publicly go, I funded this and you should too, to their entire network. Mm-hmm. people tend not to want to do that with anything to do with sex. But, um, you know, what I've been doing for the past 14 years is, um, I've paralleled past two things, working to build, make love not porn and working to change the cultural context around it. Mm-hmm. , because when you have a truly world changing startup, you have to change the world to fit it not the other way around. And so I am seeing those barriers for that I've, I've made for. And so we will have something launching in the near future, which I will invite all of you to participate on along these lines.
Speaker 3 (00:35:34) - I can't see any more than that. But, um, to, to the person who asked about grants, the problem there is that grant making organizations, um, that should never say we're open to sex. You know, that they, they, they lay out parameters what they will and won't grant. Right. You know, and, and at the same time they say no unsu insisted applications. So, so that's difficult. Separate to the fact that the grant making process is a massively labor intensive one and then the grant applying process. Absolutely. You know, I have a tiny team of four employees. I've got one head of curation, two curators, head of sales, and I'm wearing 18 hats. You know, unfortunately we're not able to, we have to be very specific about where we spend our, our bandwidth. But, but, but as I say, I'm very optimistic cause I am finally talking to investors who get it.
Speaker 3 (00:36:24) - And then across a spectrum, high net worth individuals, impact investors who get we're the ultimate form of social impact. Yes. Funnily enough, venture funds, I have not been told to them, they've reached out to me. So, you know, that that may or may not go somewhere. But it's interesting that, you know, there are a couple of venture funds who actively want to, you know, have the dialogue and family officers where, where people can deploy their funds without, you know, um, too many partners and LPs, you know, inputing opinions. And by the way, you know, if I'm listening, if anybody knows any openminded investors, hook a system com .
Speaker 2 (00:37:02) - I love it.
Speaker 3 (00:37:02) - I'm optimistic. I'm optimistic.
Speaker 2 (00:37:04) - Well, and you ask, I think that's what's so brilliant. Part of what we do within our group is we, we talk about ask, give, grow, and just getting women to get comfortable with asking and being brave about asking. And that's, it's when you're, when you are proposing a venture that some might see as controversial as this, but it solves so many social issues, um, you don't, you don't find those people without opening up and asking. Cuz like you said, you're gonna detract the ones who aren't Right. And a good fit for you. But will hopefully over time attract the ones who are, and I do think social impact investors, which I is a growing space. I actually have a few in mind, Cindy, that I will hook you up with as well. Um, that are interested in, in not just knowing that it's about that three times return on their investment.
Speaker 2 (00:37:48) - It is about investing in the, the, the greater future. It's the longer play. So kind of coming at it from that angle of changing our attitude towards sex ending rape culture, I think it's so significant. And then on top of that, people just get to talk about, enjoy and express themselves sexually. So I also wanted to give a quick shout out before I move on to the next question. Um, there was a lot of women who also related with you when you spoke about being, you know, childless by choice and not married by choice. I will say that is another thing we talk a lot about within our group. How many of us get asked, you know, when are you having a baby? When are you getting married? And just trying to create, get something you've said in the past too, is see it, be it. I love how you are always saying that and sharing that and showing that because it's like, as soon as you said that, the whole chat for a live audience just lit up because so many of the women that are on the call today are in that space and it's really empowering for you to share something that seems small like that with them to know that they aren't alone. Um, and that we need to just stop asking women those kinds of questions. Cuz it's not necessary unless we're gonna start asking the guys too . And,
Speaker 3 (00:38:55) - And by the way, we should be asking the guys as well because honestly, as I said, everything I say about this also applies to men. Mm-hmm. , you know, men also are socially conditioned to think that's what you do. Get married for kids. I mean, you know, there is many men out there who should not be fathers as women who wish they weren't mothers, you know, and, and, and, and so, you know, this applies across the board mm-hmm. , as I said, we need many more role models for everybody. Yeah. To just make you stop and think what would really make me happy.
Speaker 2 (00:39:27) - Right. Exactly. Yeah. And then some people get deer in headlights analysis paralysis. What do you mean what would make me happy? I don't even know where to start. . Um, alright. You have been recognized as one of the most influential marketing strategy thinkers today. I wanna bring it back to a little bit of marketing and advertising. Um, what do you see as some key trends that are shaping the industry right now and over the next few years?
Speaker 3 (00:39:51) - It's very simple. Um, the female lens.
Speaker 2 (00:39:55) - Mm-hmm.
Speaker 3 (00:39:55) - , that is why I'm saying to him in start your own industry, because you know, the question I'm, I'm regular asked interviews is, since Cindy, what sexism did you encounter coming up some of the ranks and advertising? And my response is always a fish does not know what water is.
Speaker 2 (00:40:13) - Yes.
Speaker 3 (00:40:14) - Because Sexton was all around me as a young woman working advertising and I didn't even notice it because it was so normal. Yep. And I make that point because similarly, in every industry right now, there are brilliant women who think that the white guy, old world order model is the norm. And it's not. You have the power to break that paradigm and completely reinvent the future of your industry through the female ends with a business that will make you a shit ton of money. That, that's the marketing trend of the future. I want to see not least, because the enormous irony is that we are the primary target of all marketing and advertising because we as women are the primary purchases of everything and the primary influences of purchase. And yet our industry is male dominated. We are targeted and sold to through the white male lens. And to add insult to injury, that means it's the white men making all the fucking money out of us. I want us to make the fucking money out of us. Okay. I mean, I mean, that is why I've been exhorting the women of our industry for years to start ad Adtech Ventures. Mm-hmm. . Cause adtech is as white bro, Dominos advertising adtech, you know, and there is so much money to be made in adtech. So honestly, that is the marketing trend of the future marketing completely reinvented through the female lens.
Speaker 2 (00:41:37) - I love it. I wanna see it keep saying it. Keep summoning it. . All right. You are also known for being an immensely, obviously everybody here can hear it and see it and feel it. Um, compelling and inspirational speaker. Can you share with us some of the other topics that you are passionate about so others can go check out some of your other talks?
Speaker 3 (00:41:57) - Um, honestly, I mean, if you just, you know, Google video or YouTube, search me, um, you'll find my talks and, um, you know, um, here's the thing about my approach to speaking engagements, which, which is actually, um, depressingly, um, somewhat unique as well. So I, I can talk about anything anybody wants me to talk about and I can guarantee that I will do it in an enormously useful and inspirational motivational way. So, you know, when um, when I have a client reach out about a speaking engagement, um, I basically ask them what their business goals for that speaking engagement are and what they want the audience to leave my talk thinking, feeling and doing. Mm-hmm. and I then craft a talk specifically to achieve those outcomes. I am not one of those speakers who has a library of off-the-shelf talks, and I just give one of those mm-hmm.
Speaker 3 (00:42:55) - , I don't have a book where the only talks I give are promoting my book, you know mm-hmm. , I, I literally, you know, will research the hell out of your industry outta your company and I will write a presentation that delivers mm-hmm. , I'll ask, when I come to your conference, summit, whatever, I'll ask to be there from the beginning because I want to sit in the audience before I speak. I want to hear the previous speakers love it. I want to listen to the CEO of the company summing up the business landscape for the company. And, and, you know, cause I'm, I'm a confident speaker. I'm happy to tweak and au my talk up to the moment. I step on stage to take account of new facts and relevances that I absorb from seeing the audience I'm gonna be speaking to, hearing what concerns them from the speakers that come before me.
Speaker 3 (00:43:44) - And then I stick around afterwards. You know, cause cause I want to engage with the audience at the cocktail reception at the dinner. Mm-hmm. , you know, I, I was booked, um, this is some years ago, but I was booked a keynote at, um, Epsilon's, um, annual client summit and you know, save in afterwards. I remember, I remember the person next to me on the dinner table saying, oh my God, it's so nice to see you here. Usually the speakers just fly in, fly out, disappear. You know, and I don't do that. Um, so, so I have a very different approach. Um, and therefore you'll find me speaking about a whole range of things. Um, you know, and you can just, as I say, Google video search or YouTube search talks there
Speaker 2 (00:44:22) - And I think that's really served you well. We have a lot of aspiring speakers and current speakers within the organization and even some that are listening in right now. So I love that you talking about crafting and customizing based on your, your client needs. And I think that's what you do so brilliantly and so well, which gets that kind of demand for you to be a speaker, is that you don't just get up there and get on stage and do a talk. Like you create an experience for people. And that's really what it's about. Um, and I love the fact that you stay before and after. I absolutely noticed that. I think it was in 2013, um, , it's so funny. I brought, um, a young male intern with me to the, uh, 3% conference. I got an extra ticket to bring somebody and I invited him and we both got to meet you and we still like talk about how exciting it was and how fun it was to meet you.
Speaker 2 (00:45:07) - But the fact that you stayed and talked with people before, during and after, I always got a weird gross, icky feeling when I saw people fly in, fly out. You know, it's like, I want the chance to get to know the people that are up there on stage. And I understand everyone's busy and we all have lots to do, but it's like, if you've invested in your pa you're paid to be there for the day. Like be there. So even when I'm looking for speakers for our events, I, I want them to stay and show up and be a part of the day to really, like you said, read the room and understand like, what, now that I understand the vibe of the room, how do I, how do I build on this experience? How do I build on the others who have come before me? Um, because that's really what it's all about. So hopefully speakers, aspiring speakers, you're listening cuz that was some fantastic advice. Thank you. Cindy Coha is a new kind of shared work, social and family space built on community members get access to workspace, amenities like rock walls and sports simulators and more to live a fully integrated life that balances work, family, wellbeing, community, and giving back. Coha has 31 locations open or under construction nationwide throughout Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Visit www coha.com for more information.
Speaker 2 (00:46:34) - Okay. Uh, we've got 10 minutes left. Let's see. I've got two more questions. Oh, no. Wait, I had one more question. I will save my last question. Let's get to some of our listeners' questions. Let's see. Uh, Beth wants to know, are you offering coaching? My agency is operated through the female lens. Abso fricking lutely. Beth and I were fangirling about you earlier this morning and our accountability buddies meeting and it's fucking hard. And I need more Cindy
Speaker 3 (00:47:02) - Everybody. Um, I have a personal coaching practice mm-hmm. , so I absolutely do personal coaching. Um, email me as I said, Cindy, make love not porn.com and do spread the word, uh, because just so you know, you know, until I raise the funny, I'm looking for make love not porn, I have to support myself alongside my startup. And so I do that through paid speaking consultancy and personal coaching. So spread the word to everyone, you know, you know, um, to book me as a speaker, hire as a consultant, and absolutely, you know, book me as a personal coach and encourage, um, your friends and colleagues too as well because, um, I need the income , right?
Speaker 2 (00:47:43) - awesome. There's your answer. Beth Emailer as someone who is, this is from Sue. As someone who has never had a champion, how would you suggest a younger person in business seek out a champion?
Speaker 3 (00:47:56) - Well, um, the important thing about a champion is that, you know, they have to see you in action and appreciate you in action, be able to champion you. Mm-hmm. . So it is absolutely about looking at the organization you are working in or you know, if you have, um, side activities that where, where there is somebody who can see you in action in those mm-hmm. , um, that, that the key thing is just that they have to be able to see how good you are and then, and then you actively reach out to them and ask them about opportunities, you know, um, things they think you should be doing more of. You know, you can absolutely ask to be championed. Um, but the important thing is that you, you demonstrate that you are worth championing.
Speaker 2 (00:48:40) - Yeah. I think that that's fantastic advice and, and and recognizing when, when you are showing your best, acknowledging those people in the room, like I said earlier, that give you the compliments that acknowledge your good hard work. Like lean into those folks a little bit more because they're gonna continue to see and notice that good work, um, in that way versus maybe always trying to play placate and please the ones that will never be happy with anything you do, because it's more about their fragile ego than your work in a lot of instances. Um, so definitely like looking for and asking for those champions is another one. All right. Listeners, we've got more questions coming in. Oh, here we go. How do you move a bit towards the Cindy Moxie at work without shocking the systems is a question from Chris,
Speaker 3 (00:49:27) - Right? Well, well, what I would say, Chris, is that quite honestly, the system needs to be shocked, okay? Mm-hmm. . Um, so, um, I am, I live my own philosophies. I designed my startups around my own beliefs and values and philosophies. And one of my philosophies, and this is very much what informed my first startup, if we ran the world, I believe that change happens from the bottom up, not the top down. And what I mean by that is every one of us every day undertaking micro actions, micro actions are small, simple, easy to do actions so easy, why wouldn't you do them? Every one of us micro acting every day to change what we want to see change cumulatively adds up at scale to enormous impact. And when I talk about my philosophy of micro corrections, I explain to people that there is one single mic ion that everyone can start doing because it's very, very simple and easy to do, but it's the one micro action that will have the biggest impact on your career and your life going forwards.
Speaker 3 (00:50:35) - And this is the micro action. It doesn't need any training experience, whatever the micro action is. Very simply this, say what you think. No, really say what you really think because we don't, because every day we are man interrupted, man ling to talked over, not listened to, ignored not heard. And we get into the habit of not saying what we really think. Mm-hmm. say what you really think because it's a very useful filter. And I'm all about be your own filter. Your company hired you because of your unique perspectives and talents that you bring to the table. If you do not say what you really think in that meeting about that project, about whatever you're working on, you are not delivering your true value to the organization. But also if you say what you really think and your views and your perspectives are not welcomed and respected and appreciated and valued, get the fuck out. Yep.
Speaker 2 (00:51:41) - Yeah, 110%. I mean, it's served you well, certainly Cindy, and I feel like it's the same, asking the questions that nobody else wants to ask, saying the things that you're thinking that, you know, others are thinking in the room. It might feel like it gets you into some uncomfortable situations in the short term, but in the long term, it brings the opportunities in the ability for you to make these changes. I, I love that micro action. Say what you think. It sounds like such you said a small thing, um, but it could absolutely be impactful because you're, you're not just speaking your truth. There's somebody else in the room that that's their truth as well. So I love it. All right. I'm looking in the chat to see if there's any other questions before I ask my last question. Anybody, you can even come off of mute if you'd like to as well.
Speaker 5 (00:52:30) - I just figured out what my next tattoo is gonna be, so say what you think. Thank you,
Speaker 2 (00:52:35) - .
Speaker 3 (00:52:36) - Nice, nice .
Speaker 2 (00:52:38) - I love it. Absolutely. All right. Cindy, what is some of your, um, since we're coming to the end sly, what's, what is some of the advice that you would like to give? I said to young professionals in the question, but to any professionals looking to make a difference in their industry and create some positive change,
Speaker 3 (00:52:57) - Do you know? Um, you know, I already go back to what I said earlier, start your own industry, you know, because to be frank, if you really want to make positive change, that's the way you're going to make it. Mm-hmm. You know, and, and also, you know, I'm just a great believer that working for yourself is the only way to be. Too many people think a job is the safe option. It's not mm-hmm. cause in a job you are at the complete mercy of management changes, industry downturns, marketplace dynamics. Mm-hmm. , I would say, whose hands would you rather place your future in those, the large corporate entity who at the end of the day doesn't give a shit about you or somebody who will always have your best interests at heart, i e you. So
Speaker 2 (00:53:47) - Yeah, absolutely. Beth, was it you or your sister that said this, that uh, the money, the amount of money you can make, um, working for somebody else is finite. What you can make for yourself is infinite. I love that she said that to me before I became an entrepreneur when I was just toying with the idea. And that really spoke to me. I mean, I'm not super money driven, it's purpose as well. Um, but hearing that was definitely an eye opener. Right.
Speaker 3 (00:54:11) - And Amy, let me just push back on that because everybody, I want every woman to unashamedly set out to make an absolute goddam fucking shit ton of money. Yes. And I deliver, deliberately articulate that cuz that is how much money I want us all to make. Mm-hmm. and I want us all to make it not just for ourselves, but because when we make that money, we can use that money to fund other women, donate to other women, help other women support other women. Yes. We need to build our own financial ecosystem because the white male one is not working for us.
Speaker 2 (00:54:43) - A hundred percent. You're absolutely right. You're absolutely right. Thank you for the course correction, Cindy . All right, friends, we are coming at the hour. Thank you Cindy. As always. It's so great to always get the chance to hear you and see you and engage with you. And it's just an honor and a privilege to have you hang out with us for this hour in the Power Lounge. Super awesome way to end the week weekend, go into the weekend. So yeah, get out there and start blowing shit up everybody. Thank you Cindy.
Speaker 3 (00:55:11) - You enormously appreciate this. Everybody please go to make love not porn.tv, subscribe, but also please subscribe to my CK So I've started Dear Cindy, um, because I get a mail bag of through Make Love not porn, request for Sex advice, but a ton of questions about everything else. So dear Cindy, on CK is where you can ask me anything and each week I will answer a different question and you can sign up for free, but please do sign up page because again, the money goes to make love not pour to keep my startup going. So I would be enormously grateful if you would all go to Dear Cynthia and sign up. Thank you.
Speaker 2 (00:55:48) - Absolutely. The sub link is in the chat for our live listeners and we'll absolutely include it in the show notes.
Speaker 0 (00:55:56) - Terrific.
Speaker 2 (00:55:57) - Thank you again. Have a fantastic weekend.