‘Cult Status’: Tim Duggan’s 7-step guide to building a business of the future

It’s no secret that millennials are the next generation of consumers, and that they do things differently. They are more likely to purchase from companies that aim to make a difference or are transparent in their approaches – even if they’re more expensive. Out of this new wave another kind of business model has emerged, the type that will be most likely to have lasting success. These companies have mission statements, aren’t afraid to engage in politics or support social issues, and their media accounts have humanised them to their audience.

Tim Duggan, co-founder of Junkee Media, has captured this in his debut book Cult Status. He explains that businesses with ‘cult status’ have a “passionate and dedicated group of fans who identify strongly with their mission.” This achievement is essential to having a large community that’s consistently engaged with the company’s products and image, making their entire business profitable.

tim duggan Cult Status

Cult Status is the perfect book for anyone who’s interested in new age business, consumerism, or how the market will change as it caters for emerging generations.

Duggan explains in his introduction that Cult Status is for people who want to grab opportunities to “create businesses that will have meaningful impact in the future”, to “create businesses that will have meaningful impact in the future”, and “whose customers are dedicated fans of what they do”. According to Duggan, this book is for anyone who wants to build something with their creativity that will make the world a better place – and last for decades to come.

Aimed at emerging and future entrepreneurs, Cult Status is split into seven parts, each section acting as a step along the road to cult status. What’s refreshing about Duggan’s writing is that it doesn’t read like a typical lecture from a teacher that drones on endlessly. Instead, you feel as though you’re merely discussing his secrets over a pub lunch. By using anecdotes and examples from 21st century companies with cult status in each step, this pub-lunch-friend sounds like he knows exactly what he’s talking about – it’s easy to listen intently.

At the end of every section, there’s something called ‘IRL’ – millennial speak for “in real life” – which is a compilation of exercises to undertake to execute his advice. There are also summaries at the end of each step, so if you’ve finished reading the book and need to go back to something, there’s a glorious set of notes anyone would envy. Furthermore, there’s a website to accompany his notes with further worksheets to complete.

The theme surrounding all seven parts is that focusing on profits should take the backseat where a company’s purpose should take the wheel. Duggan explains this is necessary for actually making money, and asks his reader to throw out old thinking in favour of new thinking, providing the example that focus statements like “I want to sell 1000 products” should be made redundant for ones like “I want to help 1000 people”.

His encouragement of a holistic approach to building a business that balances purpose, supporting the community, and profit strategies is perhaps the best takeaway from Cult Status.

Duggan praises the new generation for being more conscious consumers that are aware of the “bullshit” brands try to pass off as necessary and fact. He explains that transparency, honesty, and community impact are the bait that makes millennials bite, not flashy ads. By defining what’s important to the emerging consumer groups, Duggan has cleverly given businesses the secret weapon to unlocking a lasting presence in society.

So, if you’re a budding entrepreneur, someone who wants to re-energise their business, or you’re simply fascinated by how consumerism will change over the following decades, then Cult Status is the book to pick up off the shelf.


Cult Status is out now. Visit Pantera Press to grab your copy.