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Chris Adamo: Give and Collect Social Capital to Get Ahead in these Tough Economic Times

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

Conversation with Chris Adamo. Chris rose from store manager at CVS in NYC to executive at 1-800-Flowers as part of their rise from $500M to $1B. He then broke away to be a founding partner at Social Venture Partners Miami and become an investor in Epic Games, Acorns, Caribu, Binske, and currently an investor (alongside Jason Calacanis) at WhereBy.Us. In our interview we talk about the importance of knowing who you are, finding your purpose, increase your ‘helping curve’, and earn (and give!) more social capital to thrive in today’s world.

SPONSOR: Executive Launch ( – from corporate executive to startup founder

Full Episode (YouTube):

2:05 - Chris talks about why he has worn a Jams World Hawaiian shirt every single day since December 2016.

3:20 - Chris’ father lost his memory for several months and could only remember him by the colorful shirts.

8:10 - SPONSOR: Executive Launch ( - From corporate executive to startup founder.

10:45 - Chris describes WhereBy.Us ( and how they help create not only custom digital, monetized newsletters but an online community around your product or service.

17:50 - Early success in baseball playing for the USA Junior Olympic Team. Then cut twice from team in high school, transferred to ultimately get college scholarship for baseball - then cut again. Had to leave baseball behind.

20:30 - CVS Manager job, Times Square NYC - learned the pains of working retail. Retail and food service are the two hardest jobs.

22:20 - Joined his first startup with a friend, it failed miserably. Then recruited to 1-800-Flowers. This company was more progressive than most people realize, i.e. the first to do customer service over social media; understood SEO before it was a thing. But after 8 years, needed something new.

25:30 - Wanted to move from NY to Miami, convinced 1-800-Flowers to let him work from home one day a week in NY. Then it was an easier sell to move to Miami and work completely remote.

28:10 - Left his six figures job w/ 1-800-Flowers to a startup where he failed quickly. Took the chance but learned a lot about digital media/marketing.

29:05 - Allen talks about his recently published book “Quit To Start” ( on this subject - invites Chris to come back for his 'Quit Stories' podcast later this year.

29:50 - Went to North Carolina to do some re-thinking of his career and purpose, 'walked the woods'. What do I want to do - I want to build community. Back to Miami...

31:00 - When Chris was looking for his next gig - he went to lunch with someone new every day. (Spoiler alert: this was how he found the right job and culture)

31:45 - Chris invested in the company with all his personal savings. The importance of owning equity in a company you work for.

35:00 - Looking back, grew miserable in every job where his purpose and potential were not realized. These were scary freak-outs that had ripple effects across his life and relationships.

35:40 - Career decisions become much easier/clearer when you know your “why”.

38:45 - “Stop caring what people think about you, and be your authentic self”

39:20 - Moved away from the 'small town' in your brain to the larger universe of people, ideas, and possibilities that Internet gives us.

40:25 - Chris’ advice to people that lost their job, or are stuck in their job: Double down on your time outside of your day job and increase your social capital. Utilize your extra time to build on your skillset, interests, learn and grow your network.

42:50 - This is the best time to volunteer your time - offer to help someone (that you want to connect with or learn from or work for) for FREE.

45:00 - Very few follow up, but the ones that do, thrive. Be the person that follows up.

46:00 - Chris’s advice to startups in today’s economy: Take care of your team, conserve cash, re-evaluate your business and look for long term business opportunities that address the new struggles of today's/tomorrow's world. What can you capitalize on in the short term that will become an asset in the long-term.

48:30 - Some companies only have 6 months of money in the bank - focus, pick one or very few things to accomplish that will serve both your short and long term.

49:05 - Double down on your relationships with people - who do you want to work with in the long-term. And if you have investors and advisors, over-communicate with them, you may need them again later.

50:50 - Set specific tangible milestones right now. We use six week sprints.

52:05 - Chris wraps up by discussing how WhereBy.Us helps businesses and brands distribute content and add value to their customers. Sign up for the waiting list and you'll talk directly to Chris!

Full Episode (YouTube):


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