Brock Weatherup comes to Smart Conversations via a simple backstory - he and I were both part of BlogPaws for a good many years. We operated in different areas of BlogPaws, but together, with the great team we built, BlogPaws became the powerhouse it was, supporting pet bloggers the world over.
Perhaps you've noticed a trend of late. I have had a few pet professionals and writers on lately and it's not an accident. I am a devoted pet parent and love being able to share all the amazing professionals I know in the pet space.
For now, it helps to know Brock is the founder, mentor, c-suite executive and passionate leader of high growth consumer businesses. He is currently the CEO & Co-Founder of Great Pet - a company focused on creating extraordinary value in the pet industry through innovation. He clearly feels a commitment to the pet community, which so many of you will appreciate.
Most recently he was the EVP & Chief Innovation Officer & Digital Experience at Petco and previously he was CEO & CoFounder of PetCoach (acquired by Petco) - revolutionizing the Pet Health Care experience.
And, Brock was SVP/Chief Digital Officer of Petsmart after selling Pet360 where he was CEO the prior 5 years. In his youth (perhaps when he reads that he will get a laugh out of it) he was CEO of Fathead and held several leadership positions with InterActiveCorp (Ticketmaster, Match.com, CitySearch, ReserveAmerica).
If you need to know more, he is a graduate of University of Colorado Boulder and father of two amazing girls and pet owner to his English retriever named...Boulder. I do miss Boulder. Boulder was the office mascot, back in the day. He would come by everyone's desk and wave that magnificent tail and give everyone wet nose kisses. It was delightful.
Brock says he didn't start out with an idea of working in the pet space, although they have always had pets at home. And his sister is an emergency vet at a clinic in Arizona. It just sort of happened. He was 'led' to it. By a dog, no doubt. Or, Fate dressed up like a dog.
He was a guest on Smart Conversations because he's a friend, was once a colleague, and because he has such a wealth of stories to tell about life, business, and the adventure of being in the pet space.
At first, we take a trip down memory lane for a bit, because Brock and I go waaayyy back, all the way to BlogPaws, and then we talk about life and pets and business. One of Brock's goals - successfully achieved, I might add - was and is to bring the digital experience of the pet world to pet parents everywhere. To build that emotional connection we have with out pets offline, into an online conversation, storytelling, product development, and community.
At one point, there is a story about his dad, and about Pepsi and Coke, and how you either love one or the other. Testament to the strong emotions people bring to the products they love.
I am humbled by Brock's compliment that I, and BlogPaws, taught him so much. He learned about concentrated enthusiasm (yes, pet bloggers have it in spades!), and how to celebrate the community built around the love of pets. Our conferences were so much more than a meeting place or a weekend of learning. The community came together to BE together, to share their pets (we were pet friendly, almost everyone brought a pet), and to be around their peeps. To be immersed in a world that understood them. To listen to and tell stories.
It's always the people, Brock says.
I say, it's always the stories the people tell.
Brock tells us that he remains committed to being in the pet space because in the end, we all have to get up and go to work, and he wants to love what he does. Isn't that true of all of us? If you love what you do, you're golden. In fact, he says in the video that other things "don't make him feel rich in life."
Lesson: Find something that makes you feel rich and life - and you'll always get up and go to work with a smile on your face.
If you're a new business in the pet space, or thinking about creating a new business in the pet space, Brock has great advice. He says:
One: understand the market - is the market you're in big enough to matter
Two: understand your idea: is it believable, do you have something interesting, is it going to make a difference
Three: Do you have the right team to carry it out.
In the end, he says, it really is about the people. The people and how they tell the story. And I want to say one thing here that I used to say during BlogPaws, people in the pet space, companies that make pet products, do it primarily out of a passion for pets. For the creatures who live with us, sleep with us, get those nibbles from the table, or some special treat bought at Great Pet. Pet companies, and definitely any company Brock is involved with, are trying to create a better world for all of us - the pet parents, the pets, and the products we buy.
We don't often hear the backstory, as you'll hear with Brock, but it's there.
Oh, and there is a bit of conversation about a favorite TV show, also. Anybody familiar with Shark Tank? Brock has some interesting thoughts about it. You should pay heed.
Now, watch the video and when it's done, get over to Great Pet to join that vibrant community of pet people. BTW, there's a Holiday Shop, too! Great stuff there! You know you want to click over and shop. Go on, do it. (I just hopped over and Oh MY! I can't choose just one thing! Mostly for the Grandpuppy as Emily doesn't really 'play' much these days, but...still...good stuff indeed!)
BTW, I went to Great Pet today to see what it had on vestibular disease in dogs, since Emily is experiencing that right now, and I got more information there than any of the places I had searched early on, last week, when this happened. Thank you, Great Pet for detailing the issue and helping me understand what is happening to Emily. I am now not sure my vet did enough the day we took her in.
p.s. Visit this page of experts and see at least two women who are in the Smart Conversations line-up (didn't I say Brock knows all the best people? Oh, I didn't say it here, it's on the video.)
Get to LinkedIn and Follow Brock - his content is some of the best.
Do some shopping over at Great Pet (maybe get some Great Poop?)
As always, subscribe to this YouTube channel for more stimulating, educating, and outstanding Smart Conversations with people just like Brock.