S1 E4: CHAD COLLINS - LEGO ENTREPRENEUR

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Chad Collins is the Founder of Open World Events, a producer of massive family events like BrickFest Live an official LEGO event and a flat-out hustler. To hear him describe a journey from idea to execution will potentially make even the most relentless of go-getters feel a little lazy.

A trip to the mall and, more specifically, a Lego store reignited Chad’s interest in the construction toy and the brand. He then introduced Lego to his daughter, and together they started a YouTube channel that essentially became a tutorial for Lego lovers. But then…the big idea: could we start an event where Lego enthusiasts could come to play, learn, and simply have fun? The answer was yes, and for anyone who has ever planned an event, you know how freaking tough that is.

In this episode, Chad takes us through the detailed story of how that event, known as Brick Fest Live!, succeeded and ultimately turned into an event production company that is growing fast and furious.

The Three Big How’s we took away from Chad are dense and rich. They are pertinent to creatives, entrepreneurs, and those who are curious about how you turn almost nothing into something. You know what else? Some of Chad’s points echoed things we’ve heard from other creatives who work in totally different spheres. Trends usually point to something. Here you go…

THREE BIG HOW’S

HAVE A CLEAR VISION OF YOUR DESIRED OUTCOME

What do you want your ultimate purpose or success to look like? By starting with the end in mind, you will be able to evaluate all of your steps, choices, and decisions along your path. When Chad envisioned Brick Fest Live with his partner Gabe, their desired outcome was this: attract as many Lego fans as we can into one space, and show them the best time ever! Seems pretty clear.

CREATE THE MILESTONES

Once you have the vision and desired outcome, you can start laying out the milestones that have to be achieved in order to make that outcome happen. Chad uses all kinds of tools to do this, including one lo-fi example that he swears by: Post-Its. Writing milestones on Post-Its is fast, efficient, and malleable…meaning he can create a roadmap with them that can be tweaked from time to time. This same technique—The Roadmap—was described by novelist Matthew Norman way back in Episode 1 of our podcast. You should probably look into it.

FIND THINGS TO MEASURE

Chad’s team sets daily, weekly, and monthly goals…and they track them daily, weekly, and monthly. Obvious? Yes. But still, not everyone does it. Along with this, Chad recommends documenting things that you try, along with documenting whether or not they work. You know, those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Anecdotally, people who work on complex projects always talk about how badly they need to do a post mortem when it’s over, yet that’s often the one meeting that never happens. Documenting and measuring are essential.

After talking with Chad, we are considering expanding our Three Big How’s to 10 or 20 Big How’s. There was so much info. From how his team uses technology to communicate to what the maxim “A Frog Must Jump” means, there’s so much in this episode. Please have fun…and take notes!

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