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Mentorship as Marketing

“Pay attention to who you’re pissing off. “

This advice is from Doug Stewart, a Director of Retail Training for Resident by day, and a TedX presenter, Dale Carnegie facilitator, and author by night. 

On today’s episode, Stewart co-hosts alongside Mark Kinsley and Adrienne Woods and explains how being a mentor to those around you, beneath you and above you can translate into a marketing strategy. Doug highlights a piece of advice given to him by an unnamed executive at Tempur-Pedic which was “pay attention to who you’re pissing off because people push away from you for certain reasons and you need to know what those reasons are.”

Good or bad, you need to be aware of your influence and how that directly translates into the people around you and the brand you represent. 

Listen and learn as Doug discusses:

  • How to talk to customers (and what turns them off);
  • How to give and receive constructive feedback;
  • Identifying good leaders by the questions they ask, and
  • How to remain agile in an ever evolving industry.

Go Deeper: What’s one piece of advice you would give to a newcomer or a younger employee in this industry?

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Mark Kinsley: How is mentorship marketing? We have the man, the myth reality. Doug Stewart is on the show today and the fan marketing show starts right now.

Mark Kinsley: If you don’t have a copy of Doug Stewart’s book, you better get one five and a Half Mentors. It’s been out for a while, but there are gems of wisdom inside of it.

Doug Stewart, you’re with Resident, you’re a TEDx speaker. You’re an author, you’re a friend of the fam. You’re not a friend of the fam, you are part of the fam, You

Adrienne Woods: are a part of the fam

Mark Kinsley: You’re,

Doug Stewart: you’re the, uh, in the wake of Mark Kinsley and Mark Quinn for a lot of years.

Adrienne Woods: I can understand

Mark Kinsley: that I’m there. All of a sudden Doug comes jetting across and he jumps the wake and somehow he’s driving the boat.

Adrienne Woods: what did you, what did you tell me, Doug, at Dream Camp? I mean, this is a PG 13 show, but what are you, Mark’s other, Do you remember what you leaned over to me at dinner and told me about Mark?

Doug Stewart: Oh yeah. I’m, I’m Mark’s, I’m, uh, Kinsley’s, uh, Mistress.

Adrienne Woods: Yeah, he’s the other woman. He leaned over to me. You and Quinn are given your like, really big like accolades to everyone.

And he leans over and he goes, Quinn just doesn’t wanna admit that I’m, I’m Kinsley’s other woman. And I said, Well, that might be true. Yeah.

Mark Kinsley: I do love you guys. I really do. and, and I love having you on the show. Like we’ve, people don’t know this, but Doug and I have done a significant number of podcasts together that have been shelved.

Like at some point we might blow the dust off those and put ’em back. Wide world of podcasting. But yeah, we’ve done a lot of podcasts together. Actually, Adrian, Doug and I maybe have done more podcasts together than you and I have here on the fan marketing show.

Adrienne Woods: I would not doubt it, and I’ll tell you, I know a really great producer that could, you know, bring those puppies out of, out of storage and relaunch them if you ever make it happen.

I’m just saying.

Mark Kinsley: Hey Doug, for people that don’t know tell, I know I gave you a little tee up on who you are. What you do, but tell people who you are, what you do, um, and you’re more than just the, the other woman .

Doug Stewart: Um, yeah. Okay. So cool. So, I’m Doug Stewart. I grew up in, uh, in this, in industry that I, that I love furniture and furniture.

Es uh, In the retail space, family business, my grandfather made me start dusting furniture as soon as I could walk. Started making me sell furniture when I was 12. And, um, I’ve had, I’ve had the, the, the benefit to be on almost every side of the business. Right now I’m at, I’m a resident, um, in the, in the, um, digital, digital brand space, which is, uh, a really fascinating place to be.

And, uh, really lucky to bump into Kinsley in like 2000. 15 or so, Um, and got invited and got, uh, adopted I guess into the, into the fam and now I’m like the 24 year old kid in the basement that won’t leave

Mark Kinsley: We love it. We don’t know what he’s doing a hundred percent down there all the time, but there’s some weird noises and there’s smoke sometimes. Uh, there seem to be weird experiments. Kinda like that song. What’s he building in there by Tom Waits. If you haven’t heard that, it’s really freaky around Christmas time.

That that’s pretty much. And Doug. Perfect. You wrote a book called Five and a Half Mentors, and we’re gonna talk about mentorship as marketing. I think it’s kind of an unexpected topic. It’s so unexpected in the fact that I have no idea what’s gonna happen. But before we get there, , we have a trivia question.

We gotta kick it off with the trivia question. Don’t answer. We’re gonna say the answer to the end of the show.

Adrienne Woods: That is true. So, Here’s the deal because in honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, I thought I would change up the trivia just a little bit and make it a theme with the current holiday. So without further ado, what city is home to the oldest Thanksgiving Day parade?

So I’ll give you three options and then at the end of the show, so be thinking about it. If you at home are listening and you think you know the answer, send us a text. Was it, or is it New York City, Philadelphia, or Miami? Hmm. Okay. You’s the

Mark Kinsley: oldest Thanksgiving Day parade. Yeah, a couple situated up there in the New England states, and of course I’d be thinking, Hey, that’s, you know, Plymouth Rock.

That’s where the, uh, you know, the Mayflower landed, but I, mm-hmm. , I don’t know Miami. You might be on the Mac. Doug, you’re currently weathering an actual storm in Fort Lauderdale I saw at your window and, uh, it’s, it’s pretty tropical there at the moment.

Doug Stewart: It is, it is a little, it is a little breezy here, but you know, when, when, uh, when City Furniture has a vendor conference, you know, you, you don’t, um, you don’t stay away no matter what the, what the weather is.

So, uh, you know, you fly down in, in storms to see people like, uh, Andrew Kanig and Kevin Split and the rest of City, The city fan. Yeah. Well, the city, you’re a hotel or you

Adrienne Woods: mm-hmm. is that, uh, the background

Doug Stewart: behind you? Yeah, no, my office, I, I designed my office to specifically look like a Marriott.

Adrienne Woods: Well, I, Hey, I’m headed to like a Marriott this afternoon.

I have to go to Little Rock, which is our state capital, and they all look the same, but there’s no paintings on the wall in the background. So I just thought maybe you were subtle

Doug Stewart: in your decor. No, you know what? At least get some nice, not, not, it’s not like a 21 C in Bentonville. You know what I mean?

Mark Kinsley: Well, that, that sounds very dreamy. Keep Bill Bo. Sounds like a place I’d wanna camp as well, so a hundred percent. Well, Doug, uh, man, as you write out the storm here, uh, I wanna talk about, you know, creating a different type of weather, you know, and it’s creating a climate where mentorship is marketing. And it’s, it’s such an off the beaten path thing to think about, but in your book, five and a Half Mentors, you know, the subtitle is How to Learn, grow, and Develop from Everyone and everything.

It’s a great book. I highly recommend you pick it up. So when you think about mentorship as marketing and you’re zoomed out, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Doug Stewart: You know, uh, the first thing that comes to mind is something that, that I taught for a long time, particularly when, when I’m coaching TEDx present.

Um, which was something Del Carnegie said. Uh, so he said, if the audience is thinking about themselves, which I naturally will, and the presenter is thinking about themselves, then there’s never any hope for real connection. Right. And so, you know, one of the things that I think sometimes we can get backwards is we can think, you know, I need to make my audience, the people that I’m marketing to.

Like me, want to buy my thing, believe in me, instead of saying, you know, what is the real gift that I can give them and what I can, what can I learn from them and how can I best serve them? So instead of trying to attract people, attention giving, the attention, learning, developing, changing at it, iterate, um, and, and make it more of a, let’s say, a relationship than, uh, than, than, than begging for.

Eyes and attention. Hmm. That’s,

Mark Kinsley: that’s deep. That’s really deep. But you’re right. I mean, you think about, one of the first questions a great marketer is gonna ask is, who is the audience? Mm-hmm. . And whenever you think about who is the audience, a lot of times you’re going through demographic information. Is it, you know, female 35, 54 makes $75,000 plus household income, lives in this area, drives this type of car, has this many.

May be the wrong question to ask, cuz when you think about who is your audience? You, you, you’re starting to think about who is, what does this audience member need? What not what do I need from them? What can I give to them as a, as a business, as a marketer, as a marketer, um, just as a human being. Do you think there’s been that type of shift in the world where people understand the value of that approach?

Or what do people need to know and learn about that type of

Doug Stewart: approach? Yeah, no, I mean, I think there’s for sure been a, been a shift. You know, that, that. There’s, there, there are people that are still doing a poor job of that and still being successful. You know, it’s like, it’s, it’s, it’s not like the people that are being successful are all doing that, but there’s certainly a lot of people that are, that are turning to.

In our industry, and I think, you know, the, the emergence of, you know, the digital brands over the last handful of years have, have shown some of that, right? You, you find the people who are, who are already looking, um, and then you give them, you know, you give them opportunities to engage, engage with the brand.

You know, I think there’s a direct correlation between, um, you know, one on one, uh, present, uh, communication or group presentation. And, and marketing, you know, like we have to know who is the audience, right? So it’s like, what would the audience want? So, um, and as corny as this is, one of the ways I think about it is you, you, a presentation is you give a present patient, right?

You give a gift to the, to your audience. So you gotta know who they are and what they like, what they don’t like, what they need, what they don’t need, um, and, and sort of where they are in their, let’s say in their journey. But then you gotta know what’s the. So what’s the purpose of communicating with this audience?

And then the, the last part of that is really what’s my message? Um, some of the best advice I got from, from anyone, and I’ll, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll spare the, the name because I haven’t, I haven’t asked permission to talk about this publicly. Uh, but when, back when I was at Tempur-Pedic, I, I asked, um, one of the, one of the people in leadership who I really wanted to be like, like I, I aspire to like their, their level.

And so I said, If, if you could gimme one piece of advice that would help me get kinda from where I am to eventually where you’re one day. Like, what’s one piece of advice? And so his advice was this, make sure that you’re paying attention to who you’re pissing off, because there should be people that are, uh, that are, uh, that are that, that push away from you for certain reasons, and you should know what those reasons are.

So the example he gave was, you know, people that lack integrity should not. You know, people that, people that want to cheat the system should not like you because, because you having integrity and you doing the right thing should make them uncomfortable. And I think there’s a direct correlation between that.

Uh, and in how we talk to our customers and how we, how we market is that there are some types of customers that are naturally not gonna like us. And you know, Or naturally not want the products that we, that we sell or how we position it. And that’s completely fine. And so sometimes knowing the, the, the, the, the profile, let’s say, of people that are not in love with you or your brand can, can help direct and even more closely focus you.

And getting comfortable with that, I think is, uh, it seems to be a real competitive, competitive advantage.

Mark Kinsley: You know, when you talk about paying attention to the people that you’re pissing. It is a very layered conversation to have because number one, if you don’t piss somebody off, then you’re operating in this milk toast middle, and nobody’s paying attention to you, and you’re just kind of gliding by, and that goes for whether it’s in your career or whether it’s in your marketing message, because if you don’t get some sort of reaction, like a love or hate reaction, you’re living in the middle and the middle is.

So you have to be bold enough in demonstrating your values and telling people who you are unashamedly, because only then when you fly that flag really high, are your pirates gonna come get on your ship and you are going to make people mad. And you’re right. If you make the right people upset, then you’re, you’re gonna be a magnet for more of the people that do become your ambassador.

I love that. Pay, pay attention to the people that, that you’re pissing off.

Doug Stewart: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And, and I think it’s, it’s important to note that, you know, it’s like, it’s not, it’s not that you go out looking for it, you know, So, so the advice was to pay attention to it, not to create it. Right? So not to create, you know, the environments where, where that would happen.

Um, but, you know, all, all truth require requires the, let’s say all truth, requires the risk of. So anytime that you’re gonna, that you’re gonna say something or stand on a thing, it requires you to take a risk that you might rub somewhere wrong or insult them, or that they may not like it. That’s the only way you can really, you know, if you’re not, if you’re not moving around enough to bump something over every once in a while, you’re probably not moving around enough.

Mark Kinsley: You gotta live a little, you gotta get up there and live a little. Yeah. You know, we’re, we’re, we’re talking to Doug Stewart with resident. Brands might recognize Nectar Dream Cloud, Awar, um, and Doug, you know, residents such a, such a cool company in terms of driving foot traffic into the marketplace for retailers and some of the really creative marketing the company’s done.

Um, and, and I love your approach to, I’m taking away two things that I jotted down when you think about mentorship and marketing your audience. Can be your mentor if you let them. And your book is all about finding mentorship in all these different wonderful places. So your audience can be your mentor, let them be your mentor, and then seeking mentorship to deepen your understanding of who you are.

And whenever you’re clear on who you are, your purpose and your values, whether that’s you as a human being or your. That mentorship, like the gentleman or the person who said, you know, pay attention to who you’re piss off. Um, those are two really key things because, you know, a lot of times when things go wrong, they go wrong at the beginning.

So you gotta know who you are and you gotta know where to go to find good answers. Yeah. And

Doug Stewart: it’s, it’s one of the things that really attracted me to, to resident as an organization. You know, I, I don’t, I don’t know that I’ve ever. Or, or at least have rarely seen, like CEOs like Ron and Eric, who, who, who really listen and they pay attention and they’re, they’re always.

The quality of a leader’s question really tells you the quality of the leader. Um, and that’s one thing that the resident does exceptionally well is, you know, we, we, we listen, we change, we iterate. And, um, and things are, things are always moving around. You know, there’s, there’s, there’s not the complacency that we’ve got it figured out.

It’s that tomorrow is something else to solve. And, you know, as, as, as trends change, as people change, you know, there, there are adjustments made and the thing that never changes are those things that are, you know, there’s things that are written in sand, right? That, that we, that we might erase and we might rewrite and we might change.

But then there’s some things that are written in stone. And that’s, you know, the, the, our, our integrity, our, uh, our mission, our purpose. Um, and, and having, having the distinction between those two things is, is something that’s, you know, it’s really exciting to be a part of, uh, or an organization that does that.

You know, and, and then being able to align to other places in the industry. Like, you know, we, we, oh, you know, we know. Is going on with, uh, with, with Keith and Dreams For All, and very similar there, what, what’s happening here at the fam? Very similar there. And so there’s a, there’s a lot of people out there that are, that are doing those things.

Um, and you know, it is beautiful to, to see the communities that are, that are developing. Where, you know, we’re learning from each other. Um, but we’re also learning from, you know, the, the people on the, out, the, the outside of that, that are doing it, uh, doing it a different way. So there’s always somewhere in someone, you know, Seneca said that, um, uh, in, uh, no matter where I go, Or, or every person that I come across is in some way my superior.

And in that I learned from them, which is a paraphrase. Um, but even someone like Seneca believed that no matter who he was talking to or communicating with or what he was trying to do, there was something that, um, that he could learn that he didn’t know before. Um, and I think taking that as a general attitude is, is perhaps one of the greatest.

Skills as a, as a marketer and, and really as a, as a person that you

Mark Kinsley: can have, being able to pay attention, being able to deconstruct something, apply it in your own life. Uh, it’s all mapping back to mentorship. And I’ll tell you, you touched on it, there’s a big community of mentors in this industry that can help you with your marketing and.

And Doug, I put you right up at the top of that heap, and we appreciate you so much, your wisdom, your guidance. I, I gotta put you on the spot. You coming back on the show? Will you come back? Of course,

Doug Stewart: please. Yeah. I mean, Adrian was asking before you got on, Adrian was asking if, um, if I could just be your, your replacement.

So I, I worked on the, I worked on the, the hair this morning. I’m not sure I’m quite there, but The hair swish. Yeah, the hair. Wait, did I leave too quickly? Oh yeah. There you go.

Adrienne Woods: I’ll have, you know, Doug, I was the one, I was like, Hey, Mark. I, I asked him, I said, What about having Doug? And he was like, I mean, okay.

So it took some convincing, but I think you did a great job, .

Doug Stewart: We gotta, we gotta close the loop though. Can’t get rid.

Mark Kinsley: Okay guys. He’s that

Adrienne Woods: crazy uncle. Bring it. Bring it back around. Okay. What city is home to? The oldest Thanksgiving Day parade? Was it New York City, Philadelphia, or Miami? So Doug, you’d be the guest, The first guest.

Doug Stewart: Philly.

Mark Kinsley: Okay. Kinsley. I’m going New York City. Okay. One of you is right. It’s than Macy’s Thanksgiving

Doug Stewart: Day Parade, right? A hundred percent. It’s true. Okay. A

Adrienne Woods: hundred percent. I. The Doug is correct. So the Philadelphia Gimbal Brothers Department store parade happened in 1920. It had 50 people, it only had 15 cars and it had a fireman dressed as Santa Claus.

Um, that gave way to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, which started four years later in 1924 in New York

Mark Kinsley: City. Okay. Dropping some

Doug Stewart: history on, And they were the same Sano, the New York one, as they did for the first one in Village the whole time.

Adrienne Woods: And now it’s vintage. There

Mark Kinsley: you go. Mm-hmm. . Now you know. Oh my gosh.

You guys are some Thanksgiving Day parade Savan here. Like you guys really know your history. Okay, there you go. Yeah. Gel

Doug Stewart: infuses.

Adrienne Woods: Now he’s just making stuff up, but he said it with confidence, so you believe it. That’s, that’s the key right there. .

Mark Kinsley: Hey, he was a fireman. He probably had an FR sock on there, right?


Right. Adrian, take, take us out and, uh, because I don’t have, I don’t have a script in front of me so I can just make something up. I know that we say things like, uh, for example, text us. I go to and text us if you have a, a show idea or a marketing tip, or if you want us to get you in touch with Doug, we can that for you.

Adrienne Woods: Never miss an idea that could make you a

Mark Kinsley: Doug Stewart wannabe.

Adrienne Woods: I was gonna say mentor, but that works too. and, and then, and tune in. Subscribe wherever you get your podcast and never miss an idea that could make you a, call it a mentor. BAM. Marketing show.

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