Podcast Episode #170

Sell What You Believe in with Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki
Podcast Episode #170

Have you ever heard of a job title “Chief Evangelist”? It’s a pretty important role actually and in this episode, Troy talks to Guy Kawasaki, Ex-Chief Evangelist at Apple, author, speaker and now Chief Evangelist at Canva. Guy shares with us how he got his start, how he spends his time as an evangelist, and why he is passionate about making people’s lives easier.

Watch the Video

Show Notes

A Bit of Background

Guy rose to fame as Chief Evangelist at Apple, where he worked to show people all over the world how Apple products and software could make their lives better.

He was raised in a lower middle-class family in Honolulu and really had no idea what he wanted to be when he grew up. He was studying Psych at Stanford when his friend, Mike Boich, introduced him to the Apple I. So Guy went out and bought himself an Apple IIe which absolutely blew his mind.

Guy started his career in the jewellery business where he learned some valuable lessons about the importance of sales. Sometime later his friend Mike, who was an employee of Apple, hired Guy as Chief Evangelist.

Guy worked at Apple from 1983 – 1987 which was in the time where Steve Jobs left and came back. He has since been involved in many other ventures, including another stint at Apple from 1995 to 1997 where he helped to revive the Macintosh. However, his main endeavours over the years have been speaking, writing and consulting.

What is a Chief Evangelist?

Guy explains that an evangelist simply shares the good news about something with people.

He actually believes in the products he sells (Mac and Canva) so there is a purity to the marketing and sales. He truly believes in his heart that he is bringing good news and he gets paid to do that. Even from being on this podcast which gets listened to by around 3,000 people, those people try it, love it and spread the word.

He does a lot of social media and speaks 50-70 times a year, does around 25 webinars and a lot of podcasting particularly when a book is launching. He has Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, Skype – everything! He makes sure that he spreads the good news everywhere!


In 2014, he resurrected his chief evangelist role for Canva, which provides an easy online graphic design service. Canva’s goal is to democratize design and Guy is passionate about helping the little guy to have the chance to compete with the big wigs!

Guy said that he truly believes in Canva because he works a lot with social media. He wasn’t going to learn photoshop with its thousands of tools so he found Canva very empowering. Canva reached out to him and now it’s his job to get the message out there about how good it is.

Guys tells us about his version of the “golden touch” which is “whatever is gold, Guy touches”.  He says that the key to marketing and sales is to find or create something great. It’s so easy to evangelize for a great product.

Guy's Inspo

  • When you’re starting out, you need to pay your dues. Don’t have the attitude that you’re not going to do anything for free or on spec. When Guy started speaking, he spoke for free and that’s how you get known.
  • Your goal should be to have a valuable service that is unique. If it’s valuable but not unique, it’s always about price. If it’s unique but not valuable, nobody will be interested.
  • At the end of the day, the key is to do a good job. This is how you get referrals and differentiate yourself

Well, there you have it! Make sure you listen in because Guy is really funny and an engaging speaker! You can see why his Ted talks are so popular. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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