Keepin’ it 100 with Malcom Smith, HackerOne

Keepin’ It 100 offers bite-sized tips and encouragement for revenue practitioners.

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The hosts:
Trinity Nguyen
Christian Kletzl

Our guest for this episode is Malcolm Smith, the Senior Manager of Sales Development at HackerOne

“You need to be consuming knowledge on a constant basis anywhere you can get it. At a certain point, you start to realize that your advancement in your career stops becoming what you do, and it becomes more of what you know.”

Malcolm shares his insights on how to level up in your career while providing actionable takeaways you can implement immediately. 

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At HackerOne, Malcolm is responsible for coaching, training and leading a team of Sales Development Representatives in the New York office. In this capacity he oversees all aspects of pipeline generation in the East Coast Mid-Market, Enterprise and Federal territories. He's always looking for a new #1; so if you are looking, send him an email to with the subject line “ [Your Name] is a champion”

Read Transcript

Nelson Gilliat: Hey everyone. And welcome to another episode of keeping it 100, helping revenue practitioners, better tackle a new role or project. I'm your host Nelson Gilliat and today's guest is Malcolm Smith, Senior Manager of Sales Development at HackerOne, a security software company that helps its folks test their security muscles, working in sales development, and living in New York City.

Malcolm is as tough as it gets in this episode. He'll spill the beans and how to change your mindset from an individual contributor to a manager, how you can build your brand, and how you can consume vast amounts of knowledge in as little time as it takes to share this podcast with your friends, family, and enemies, here's Malcolm's advice.

So you can be your best in key moments, right?

Malcolm Smith: The first 90 days of any new venture are critical. There's some general advice. I would give folks who are interested in leveling up their career. You want to be very organized. It's one of the things I've had to learn painfully, unfortunately, but what ends up happening is a lot of people who are interested in moving up in their career, they're usually pretty good at things.

And. They're the types of people more often than not, we'll sort of coast by on their own ingrained talent that stops working at a certain point. And you do really need to start having a system of organization to keep yourself honest and accountable, because at a certain point responsibility. Becomes more than just yourself.

So that's, that's huge. And one of the things I'm continuing to learn, I think in general, the first 90 days, if you're starting a new role as a, as a manager, for example, you want to try to learn as much as possible about the organization. A lot of people want to come in and make sweeping changes immediately and leave their Mark.

That's tempting, but it's a mistake because frankly, you want to come in and really understand, you know, the organization, the culture, the team, like, well, what's going on before you start. Making strategic decisions. And in pursuit of that, I think it's so important to establish relationships as soon as possible, whether you're in a supervisory position and you have individual contributors under you, or if you have a lot of cross-functional partners, you need to work with, it's so important to establish both a social and a professional relationship with the people you work with.

The reality is the way humans interact and the way communication takes place. It's going to be better for you. If people like you, that's just the reality. And the way you do that is you show vulnerability. You show your humanity, you show your true self and you demonstrate your professionalism. So I think that's absolutely crucial beyond that.

The other piece of advice I would share two things, really. I think number one, you need to read a, it needs to become. Part of you like breathing and sleeping like it, you need to be consuming knowledge on a constant basis anywhere you can get it. Uh, for me, I've been pretty brutal the last couple of weeks, I got this program called Blinkus, which is really awesome.

And I've been cramming down, uh, like summaries of books on two X speed. So it's intense. But you got to do it one way or the other, whether it's podcasts or articles that are relevant to your industry or books. I mean, there are so many greats that just have to read because that's how you sharpen your sword.

And again, at a certain point, you start to realize that your advancement in your career stops becoming what you do. And it becomes more of what do you know? And the only way you're going to get there is by absorbing this knowledge. My last piece of advice. This is a little bit different. I'm not sure if anyone's doing this to the level they should, but I highly recommend that when you get into a larger position or a more senior position, start keeping a journal, write down your daily experiences.

What happened to you? And more importantly than that, how you felt. Because this is something I've noticed. That's really helped me in my career. Whenever I come to a crossroads or I need to make a decision about something. If I write down what I was thinking about and what I was feeling during this process, when I come back later and I can look at it objectively, not only do I understand what transpired, but I understand the decision in the emotional context, and that helps me avoid making mistakes potentially, or.

Finding myself feeling a similar way and saying, Oh, okay, this is not the right way to feel about this situation. Of course. Right. Having a journal just it's good practice improves your writing. It's a, it's a good thing to habitualize, and I guess that would be my last piece of advice here is, is develop good habits.

The way human beings are in my experience. If you do something every day, You will be an expert in it before you know it, and it doesn't take too long to make a habit out of something, even if it's a little bit silly. So for me, I try to do a little bit every day and you know, if you would prove 1% a day, you will be 37 times better by the end of the year.

And compounding your talent is so important. And the earlier you start that, like anybody listening to this, if you're in your twenties, like. Do it now because you will be so good. You'll be so much farther ahead of your peers. If you really, really are, are diligent and disciplined about, 

Nelson Gilliat: Do you have a note of encouragement or insights to share email me and we'll get you on the show at