Handle adversity. Embrace uncertainty. Never settle.
Oct. 4, 2021

663. From Broke to Billions & Back To Rock Bottom | Leading through a crises. How CEO Brian Chesky saved Airbnb

663. From Broke to Billions & Back To Rock Bottom | Leading through a crises. How CEO Brian Chesky saved Airbnb

Today Airbnb is used as both a noun and a verb. ("Let's Airbnb it!) But 10 years ago it sounded like the craziest idea ever. Imagine someone wanting you to invest in a business that rented a room or a fully furnished house to total strangers.

Uh, negative. Brian Chesky went from the worst idea to a $40 billion valuation...and then the pandemic hit. As told on the Jordan Harbinger Show, when the world shut down,  80% of Airbnb's business was wiped out.

"And we didn't know if we'd be around to service the other 20%," said Chesky.

Fortunately, because Airbnb was born in a crisis, Chesky leveraged his experience to yank his company from the jaws of defeat using 4 rules.

Thank you to Jordan Harbinger and Brian Chesky's conversation.

And a BIG thanks to you for tuning in to The Sales Life. (This episode marks 4 years 😍)

For more ways to connect to me, head over to www.marshbuice.com 

The greatest sale you will ever make is to sell you on you. You're more than enough. Never settle. Keep Selling. 


Imagine building a business that is so successful, that you're on the doorsteps to becoming a billionaire. And in just eight weeks, 10 years of your hard work, he's nearly vaporized today on the sales life, how co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky handled a crisis and yanked Airbnb from the jaws of defeat. If you're tired of settling, then you better get the selling. Welcome to the sales life. alright, TSL. Let's get it. Welcome to another edition of the sales life, I'm your host marsh BICE. And if this is your first time here, welcome, I've got a great show for you. And if you've been here a time or 10, welcome back. I got another great show for you. So let's get right into it. If you've never heard the inception story of Airbnb, let the CEO and co-founder himself, Brian Chesky tell you. On episode 5, 66 of the Jordan harbinger show. Today. Airbnb is so common that it's used as both a verb and a noun. But if you go back a decade, it sounds like the craziest idea for a business ever. I mean, imagine a friend of yours walking up to you saying, Hey bro, I got an idea for a business. All right, what is it? Well, check this out. People can rent out a room or. A fully furnished house to strangers, and they're going to pay us to list it. Dude. You think the guy just was Loco In just 10 years. Airbnb went from the worst idea to the best. And had a 40 billion Bubba with a B $40 billion valuation. And they were all set to go public. And then the pandemic hit in eight weeks. Airbnb lost 80% of their business. And Brian Chesky said, we didn't know if we were going to be around. To even handle the other 20%. And here's where I want you to lean in. Chesky said, although I couldn't predict the pandemic, I had an advantage over other CEOs. See, the only way to prepare for a crisis is to have gone through another crisis. And Chesky said that most CEOs had never been in a crisis. They just became CEOs and their tenure is so short that when things don't work out 3, 4, 5 years, They're onto the next show, but Airbnb was born in a crisis in the great recession where they couldn't pay rent and because they couldn't pay rent, they came up with this crazy ass idea to rent out their apartment with blowup mattresses on the floor, which became. Airbeds in breakfast. And the only way they kept the business afloat was they had this big binder full of credit cards. So every month they would just max out another card. And the crisis taught him four key rules that you can apply as a leader. Now, when I say leader, it doesn't mean that you got to have it printed on your business card because you're a leader in your home. You're a leader in your community and you're a leader on your job. So when handling a crisis, first rule be decisive. Chesky's words, even if you have four crappy options, choose one of them. For me. I've been a parent for 26 years and a sales manager for 23 of the 24. And I still don't have all the answers, but I'll tell you one damn thing. I will make a decision. It may not be the best of options, but you make a decision and you adjust along the way. When you're in a crisis, chesky said you also have to be principally oriented A principle is what's most important and Chesky asked himself if this all goes down in flames , how do I want to be remembered? Do I want to be the leader who snapped or instead? Do I want to be the leader where others look back and they say he didn't go down without a fight. The third rule in handling a crisis you got to communicate often more so than you're ever used to. I remember this in a recession. Every day. I will come to the door, not knowing if my key was going to unlock the door. We communicated often, because as a leader, you may not know how it's going to play out, but people need the assurance. That you're aware and that you're in control this is how we're going to get through the day. This is how the month's going to play out. And then you assess, and then you roll out with the next plan. So you go into your office, slamming the door, and then coming out once all of the smoke clears that ain't what a leader is. A leader is one. That you're in the trenches shoulder to shoulder with your people. Again, you don't have all the answers, but I'm with you all along the way. People need that we're in a crisis right now in the car business. We have a chip shortage. And so we have a fraction of the inventory. Our industry is getting rocked. My salespeople are scared. They don't have the luxury of having bloated inventories. There's demand, but there's no supply. And so it's caused them to have to get creative. And figuring out really, truly assessing a customer's needs and giving them alternatives for the customer to consider. Of course they're scared, but they'd be even more scared. If as a leader, I just went my office and slammed the door. No, it's keeping it real is letting them know, look, this month is going to be tough we don't have a lot of inventory, but neither does anyone else we're going to figure this thing out brick by brick, the fourth rule in handling a crisis and Chesky says is the most important. And I agree with. You have to manage your own psychology. Emotional regulation, man is key. Your people don't need you to be a soupy mess, but they don't need you to be stone cold either They're going to do what you do. And if you freak out, they're going to freak out. So you got to keep yourself together. That means that you got to eat foods that give you energy. You also have to exercise and keep yourself healthy. You gotta continue to read. And you also got to relate to your people. Lead with compassion. Understand what they're going. You got to stand in their shoes. It ain't all about, well, knuckle up, you know, I've been through this before and you have no idea. It was way tougher back, man. People don't want to hear that. . Just busting them upside the head saying you're not tough enough. It's just going to make the situation worse. Just be a few steps ahead of your people and lead the charge Chesky pushed through Airbnb went public, and it's not like it's going to be smooth sailing from here. There's going to be more challenges, and there's probably going to be a crisis or two in there too but he's battle-tested are you see, you got to go through to get to, you got to go through the valley. In order to reach the summits, great leaders are revealed in a crisis. So I hope this helps. Let me know how your progress is going special. Thank you to Jordan harbinger and Brian Chesky. For this interview, I'll. Leave a link to the interview and the show notes. That way you can hear the whole conversation. Would you recommend this show to someone else? This will show your support and also help grow this. Because I can't do this without you also, don't forget to go to marshbuice.com that's M a R S H B U I C E. It's spelled like juice with a B in front there you can find nearly 700 episodes of The Sales Life and just comb through all of those. And then the top right-hand corner, all the socials were hanging out as well as the YouTube channel. And recently I've been doing a bunch of YouTube lives. So I urge you to come by and check those out as well. And in the bottom right-hand corner is the microphone there. You can leave me a message. Love to hear from you hear what's going on in your life. And also if you got some suggestions for show ideas, I'm no hair, but I'm all ears. I'd love to hear from you and hear your thoughts as well so let's get out of here. Remember the greatest sale that you will ever make is a, so you on you because you're more than enough. Stay amazing. Stay in the sales life.