148: You Deserve the Best In Life: Get More Pleasure, Joy, and Creative Flow with Self-Improvement Guide and Multi-Orgasmic Living Expert Antonia Hall
Thoughts are information-carrying energy and Antonia Hall gives us the tools to use those thoughts to achieve balance, inner peace, find the joy zone, and even enjoy creative juiciness in every area of our businesses and everyday lives. You deserve the best in life! Antonia tells us how to use visualization to understand what you want and where your goals are, breath work for daily consistency and inner peace, and to treat yourself right to have enough downtime to reset.
- Antonia Hall: Official Website
- The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life by Antonia Hall
- Antonia on Twitter
Antonia Hall: Things are wonderful. How about yourself?
Robert Plank: Super fantastic. Looking forward to the cool weekend but also had a great week. Could you tell us about who you are and what you do and what makes you different and special?
Antonia Hall: I am an entrepreneur myself. I run a communications business and I am an award winning, best selling author.
Robert Plank: Awesome. About what?
Antonia Hall: Well, my book is the "Ultimate Guide to the a Multi-Orgasmic Life" and it's how to bring that joyful, creative juiciness that is there for the taking into every area of your life.
Robert Plank: How do you do that?
Antonia Hall: Well, you know, because your focused on entrepreneurs and it's wonderful. When you are an entrepreneur, it's ... hopefully, you're living your dream. You're doing what you love, you get to create for yourself, which is amazing. It also requires wearing a lot of hats and that can keep you super busy, so there are a lot of techniques in my book that help with balancing and mindset. Mindset and visualization are critical tools to use.
Robert Plank: I agree with that and I think, I don't know, I didn't realize how important the mindset stuff was, especially in working from home and setting your own goals and motivating yourself. I didn't realize how important that was until maybe a few years ago. I just thought that it was either built in or I just had to wait until the productivity and the flow state and all the kind of stuff would click. Could you tell us about that mindset stuff and what's important specifically for happiness and for flow state and all that kind of cool stuff?
Antonia Hall: Yeah, absolutely. For me, I find it so intriguing the physics behind it is that physicists have told us that the universe is comprised of a unifying substance of which we're all apart. The Eastern philosophy has told us that for thousands and thousands of years. That's important because thoughts are information carrying energy. David Bohm's hologram concept all tells us that every part of that whole is within each piece of us. We are apart of that and that means that if we can see ourselves as the co-creators that we are, you'll see how what you're thinking and what you believe to be true is mirrored in your everyday life.
Robert Plank: In what kind of way?
Antonia Hall: You've got to look at what's going right. There are a lot of things that can get thrown at you when you're an entrepreneur. Seeing those challenges as opportunities for growth will completely shift everything and put you back in the place of power.
Robert Plank: Can you give me an example of that? Either with maybe your self or someone else where maybe you or they were stuck in a certain kind of way of thinking or certain kind of state or just couldn't crack a problem, and then you used some of these tools to get them to where it needs to go?
Antonia Hall: Absolutely. If you have a mindset that tells you that life is going to be full of challenges, you're more apt to create challenges in your life. If you have the mindset that says even the little bumps in the road are just opportunities for growth, then you can shift the way that you see and perceive, everything is perception, the way that things come into your life. You can see it and say oh, hey. This is an opportunity for me to learn how I'm relating with people, for example. We can come into contact with people that have a negative attitude and that brings us down. Is that someone that we want to be doing business with?
Robert Plank: Okay. That makes sense. Is this the kind of thing that you've been using in your own life? Is this something that you use day to day?
Antonia Hall: Absolutely. It's so important to look at your own mindset and to use visualization tools. Top athletes paid experts to take them through visualization. Business managers have people use visualization tools because they work. Being able to see your end goal and stepping into it is a really, really good tool to have.
Robert Plank: Can you walk me through an example of this visualization thing?
Antonia Hall: Sure. If you know where you're going, you're more apt to be able to get there. Being able to everyday just spend a couple of minutes seeing your end goal, everything is created from the inside and it's reflected on the outside. That's our thinking and the way that we communicate with people. If we constantly are telling people oh, this isn't working, this isn't working, guess what? It's not going to be likely to work out. Being able to shift that is going to empower you to create what you want and knowing where you want to go is an important part of that.
Robert Plank: Okay. Say that my goal is to double my income or to maintain the same income with half the time or something like that. What would I do, specifically, as far as this visualization thing. Is it a daily thing every time I wake up in the morning? Is it multiple times a day? Do I have to create a dream board or a vision board? What do I do?
Antonia Hall: All of that is helpful. I would at least spend a couple of times a day going into your own mind and seeing yourself already there. What does that look like? What does that feel like? See yourself already in that accomplished goal.
Robert Plank: Then what?
Antonia Hall: Then take actions and know that you're going to get there. Know that the road may not look like what you think it should look like to get there but trust that you will get there. You got to have that success mindset within yourself.
Robert Plank: That makes sense. Is that the only tool? Is that the main tool? Is that one of many tools?
Antonia Hall: One of many tools.
Robert Plank: Okay.
Antonia Hall: I would recommend getting in touch with Breathwork. Breathwork is one of the most powerful underused tools because we think the body's breathing for me. I don't need to think about breathing, it's happening. If you're stressed out, some really slow, deep breaths will help bring that balance back and balance, especially when your entrepreneur, is really, really crucial. You've got to be able to stay in your point of power which is always in the present moment. Anchoring yourself in with breath ... it seems so simple, right? It's actually incredibly powerful.
If you are totally wiped out and you've hit that lull in the afternoon, using short, quick breaths in and out through the nose will actually energize you in a minute. Bam.
Robert Plank: If I'm hearing this right, as far as this breath work kind of stuff goes. If I want to ... if I breathe like the real fast nose breaths, that's to get me to alert, get me energized. What does the deep breaths give me? Does that calm me down or what is that?
Antonia Hall: Calms you down. You know how when you're all stressed out and people say take a few deep breaths?
Robert Plank: Oh yeah.
Antonia Hall: It works. If you're not in that chaos state of being tripped out, oh my God, all this stuff is happening right now. If you just stop and take a few deep breaths and say okay, this is what's happening. How can I deal with it? You're going to be able to deal with it much better.
Robert Plank: How do I, if I have these tools and things like that with the visualization and the breath work, how do I know if I can be at my best. I think that, I don't know, if I'm too relaxed or I'm too happy or I'm too chilled out then I won't be worked up enough to actually be productive but knock out the things that I need to knock out but then I feel like if I'm too productive for too long or too intense, then I get really unhappy and that hurts me over time. Have you come across something like that? Do you have a solution for that kind of problem?
Antonia Hall: What you're describing is really an important question we all ask ourselves when we're running a business. Those two energy's, the masculine and the feminine energy ... that masculine, out in the world, make it happen, do it, do it, do it and that feminine I'm happy, I'm relaxed, I'm trusting, I'm receptive. Being able to balance the two, of using that feminine wisdom and intuition place and the out in the world place of masculine energy is when you can blend the two, that's when you're going to be at your best.
Robert Plank: How do you blend those two things?
Antonia Hall: You have to continually come into balance with yourself and check in with yourself. Where is my mindset? Where is my body? What am I thinking and feeling right now? Is this of service to my end goal? Back to that visualization point, right?
Robert Plank: Right?
Antonia Hall: Knowing what you want and where you want to go and then asking yourself am I on that path or am I letting myself get tripped up over things.
Robert Plank: What do I do if I'm not on track? What do I do if I'm not where I want to be?
Antonia Hall: Right. Then you have to reset yourself and ask what's going on with the mental state? What am I believing? Where am I getting myself tripped up? This doesn't feel in balance. Where am I not trusting the process? It's so important to be able to trust yourself and the process, because you're not the boss. You're the ... right? That's part of entrepreneurship. It's now up to you.
Being able to trust yourself to get you there and trusting the process. Are you doing the best that you can? Are you working towards goals and then are you allowing for? That's that feminine energy again. It can't be all the masculine go go go. There has to be that balance of okay, I've put a lot out there and I'm going to trust that it comes back to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Robert Plank: Yeah. I think so. Just retaking inventory and reassessing, I guess.
Antonia Hall: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Robert Plank: Is there any kind of big secret or is it just a matter of using these tools and repeating this and doing the important things every day?
Antonia Hall: I think that it is ... the more tools you have in the tool chest, the more you're going to be able to live to your greatest potential. Then remembering to rely on them. We get so busy and in that accomplishment type space. Am I getting there? Am I getting there? That can throw you off balance if you're not giving yourself the self-care. Stopping and treating yourself right, because boy, when you're running a business, you can get so caught up in the doing, the do do do do, that you're not taking care of yourself and then you're really not going to have the long haul of getting to that end goal.
Robert Plank: That makes sense and when you mentioned that, it made me think to 10-15 years ago, when I was in college and I would have the college lifestyle. I would stay up all night, overnight and I would do homework assignments at the last minute. I thought I was having fun just flying by the seat of my pants but doing that and doing the business stuff, it really caught up to me after awhile. It was the weirdest thing because I always thought that if I just wanted to be productive or I wanted to power through some project, I could just put in 20 hours straight or put in over night straight.
I noticed that might of worked maybe when I was 20, but then now that I'm in my 30's, I've noticed that every time I try to do that, I might be able to do that all nighter or might be able to put in 12 hours at a time but then the next several days are just dead days, are just days where I'm just totally burned out and I have to almost work for 2 or 3 days afterwards just to get back on track. Then I calculate, if only I had put in 2 hours, 4 hours a day times x number of days, then I would've gotten to my goal or I would've finished what I needed to finish and it would have been more careful. It would have been more attention to detail and I wouldn't have felt like I had to go through this huge ordeal of pushing myself to hard, having to recover and then having to get back.
Antonia Hall: Exactly. It's so important to stay in balance with yourself and just stop and say alright, I've done everything I can for now and I need to go back to taking care of myself.
Robert Plank: Have you ... is this the kind of thing you work with entrepreneurs? Is that right?
Antonia Hall: I tend to work with visionaries and entrepreneurs, yes.
Robert Plank: With those people that you work with, what common problem are you seeing that they all have? What's the number one problem?
Antonia Hall: It's usually the lack of self-care. It's usually not stopping to do things that bring pleasure into your life. The reason that my book is based on, "The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life" on our sexuality is sexuality is one of the most potent energies that we can tap into. It's not just the one on one sexual or by yourself. It's tapping into pleasure through all of your senses. When you are able to go back to finding pleasure in the way that it feels when you're laying in a hot bath or when your in the shower. Instead of being caught up in how did that meeting go yesterday or oh my God, I have this meeting coming up and I hope, you know, whatever you're letting your mind trick go. Coming back to that present moment of taking care of yourself, of feeling the water on your skin and just being present with that is so powerful. Then, learning to bring your own energy up through your body, will charge and invigorate you because sexual energy is creative and it's juicy and the more you're moving it through your body, the more energy you'll have.
Robert Plank: That makes sense, especially like you mentioned there ... at the end of a long day and I'm having a bath, I need to kind of forget or put aside or just shrug off the baggage of the day. Those kinds of things help me to unwind, reset and reflect ... just kind of turn off all the outside crap.
Antonia Hall: Self-care. It is so underrate and it will ... the more that you give that to yourself. That moment of relaxation, like you just said. The moment of really being present with I'm eating this food and you're tasting it and you're there in that moment with it, the more you feel taken care of and the more energy you'll have to give to your projects in getting to those end goals.
Robert Plank: That makes a lot of sense and as I'm hearing you explain this, it's almost like the ... I might make myself blush or something here, but it's almost like if you're in a sexual moment, again if it's with someone else or with yourself, there's that really important factor or just being there and not being somewhere else and not letting whatever outside stuff or whatever stuff that's running in the back of your head distract you from the current situation in the same way that if I'm at the computer or I'm doing something that needs doing. Writing, programming, messing with a webpage, something like that, it's almost like there's that same quality that's required there of just having that 100% focus, be in the moment, not let the other stuff distract you. At least, that's how I feel.
Antonia Hall: Yes, Robert. That's so, so important and it will keep you in your point of power and the more that you stay balanced in that moment and just okay, this is what I need to do right now and trusting that it unfolds right, because mindset, again, is so important, the more that you're going to be able to get through things and find that it moves through faster and with greater ease.
Robert Plank: At first glance, when we first started talking today, it almost sounded like spiritual, almost hippie kind of stuff, but the more you talk about it, the more it makes sense. The more I'm hearing that it's this really important thing that a lot of people need to either do or discover for the first time or be reminded of. I just keep thinking back to all the times when I thought that things were okay or I thought that things were in balance. I thought that things were handled and so many times if things were just out of whack, I would think things would be okay in the moment but then I might have a whole week of just zero productivity or just feel really sad or feel really run down because of the lack of that self-care and the lack of fixing problems before they became problems
Antonia Hall: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Robert Plank: Can you tell us about this book? You mentioned it a couple times. You have this Multi-Orgasmic book. Ca you tell us ... it's different from our usual topics, but that's perfectly okay. Can you tell us what this book's about and what led you to create it.
Antonia Hall: I was living in Los Angeles and it's very crazy place to live. I was stressed out from all the traffic and that hurried energy around me all the time. I started trying to find tools to help me find balance and my inner peace because I knew that I was better if I was coming from that place. The more I started using these tools and learning about new ones, I was like how do people not know this? This is amazing. It's transformative. When I went back to Grad school, they said what do you want to study and I said I want to help people make peace with their sexuality and these tools around are inherent sexuality because it's a part of nature of which we're all apart, and give people these tools so that they can find that balance and joy and boy, it really puts you in the zone. I think we've, hopefully, all had experiences where we've gotten in touch with our sexuality and then we just feel so in the zone the next day. We're happy and we're in the zone and we're creative and we're juicy. That's there for the taking all the time. That's how I came up with the "Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life."
Robert Plank: Awesome. You have the book and then do you do any other kind of stuff as far as the business you've built? Do you do coaching and stuff like that?
Antonia Hall: I do sometimes do coaching. I just turned the book into an audio book so you can have me read the book to you, if you're commuting or something like that. It's very accessible. It's just a couple of pages and then an exercise, a couple pages, an exercise. It'll give you tools that the more you implement, the more it will empower you and help you get through this as a better version of you.
Robert Plank: Awesome. I know that's what I want and so, about some of the tools that you mentioned so far and that you mentioned in this talk, there's that visualization thing, there's the breath work stuff, the self-care. Is there any one last tool you want to throw there in to the mix so people have different tools or are those 3 things enough for now?
Antonia Hall: I think just remember that you deserve the best in life and you're creating it as you go along, so stay in your power and trust yourself and take care of yourself so that you can be at your best.
Robert Plank: Awesome. That's a good message and I think that as we were talking, what I was trying to think of is there have been times when I've been way to stressed out at home and then I go on vacation to Hawaii or to the beach and get really relaxed but then not want to go back or have a hard time getting back into the flow state. What you've described here is that maybe the problem was instead of letting things go get super bad so that we need a vacation or a break or a reset, to use these tools to have the balance and to manage things so that we can have everyday be one of those days that has not only the happiness but the flow state and the productivity as well. That complete fulfillment. Is that right?
Antonia Hall: Yes. That is absolutely right.
Robert Plank: Awesome. Glad to hear it and I like these tools that you shared with us. Could you tell us where people can find your book, find your audio book and find the websites that you create so they can find out more about you/
Antonia Hall: "The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life" at AntoniaHall.com.
Robert Plank: Perfect. Short and to the point and gets you there. AntoniaHall.com. Thanks for stopping by the show, Antonia ...
Antonia Hall: Thank you.
Robert Plank: ... and for telling us about not just how to ... I guess the multi-orgasmic component is for people to go and get your book but as far as the simple stuff to get back on that track to have a more self aware life, visualization, breath work, self-care and the book is "The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life." AntoniaHall.com and thanks Antonia for stopping by the show.
Antonia Hall: Thank you, Robert.
147: You Are Not Your Past: Use the Debox Method to Remove Self-Doubt, Anxiety, Shame and More with Mindset Expert Jay Roberts
If you want to change your results, then you'll need to either change your actions, or the way you THINK about those results, if not both! Jay Roberts, creator of the DeBox Method, has a new way to deal with struggles, knee-jerk reactions and those daily emotional reactions such as doubt, fear, anger, etc. Each of those potential problems are "boxes" that can be dealt with by leaning into that discomfort, staying with it, and stay with it until the box is empty. Feel the fear, use the fear, then move on with comfort.
- Debox Revolution Website
- Debox Revolution on Facebook
- Debox Revolution: THe Book
- Debox Revolution on Kickstarter
Jay Roberts: They're really good, Robert, thank you. Thanks for having me on.
Robert Plank: I'm glad you're here. Could you tell everyone who you are and what makes you different and special?
Jay Roberts: Wow, yes. Us English, normally not very good at sort of tooting our horn so to speak.
Robert Plank: You're all about the self-aggrandizing, right? Self-deprecation.
Jay Roberts: That's kind of our way isn't it, the Brits. We tend to hide behind screens a little more. My name is Jay Roberts. I am 44, currently as we're recording this. I'm married. I've got two children. A son who's nine and a daughter who is seven. I've kind of ended up in this field not by design actually, but I was in the home business field for a long time. The fact that you're kind of talking to home business owners resonates with me because I've done a lot of that stuff. Really, over the years, have ... I always kind of fell short. I was kind of pushing. I had some mini-successes, but kind of always fell short, like invisible shackles holding me back. It was that that lead me to kind of stumble upon this natural ability that we all have that's kind of changed everything for me in a short space of time.
Robert Plank: What natural ability is that?
Jay Roberts: We all have a natural ability to psychologically self-heal. An ability to remove the root cause of our emotional struggle. Let's face it, as home business entrepreneurs trying to make a go of it, the self-doubt, the naysayers, the peer group, the wife or the husband don't quite believe what you believe. There's always those elements of doubt where you just keep on doing yourself, almost like you're proving everybody right.
I think in the end when you're looking to try and to make a go of something, make a success, of course, we talk about mindset. The moment I used to hear mindset, I used to switch off. I don't know how you feel about like the term mindset. What do you feel about the term?
Robert Plank: It was something for where, I don't know, like five or ten years at least I would always hear about this mindset thing. I'd think, "Oh great, that's like Tony Robin stuff or there's going to be some guy shouting at me or telling me to jump up and down." As soon as I started listening to some of it a little bit, I didn't go crazy, I just kind of used it like every couple of weeks. If I felt like I was kind of in a little bit of a slump or could use a boost, it was crazy. I think that what I had to do was get to the point where I could accept all the ... almost like the borderline hokey stuff, the foofy-doofy stuff. Once I was able to kind of take that in, then it's something where I go back to that, not everyday, but every few weeks if I need either a boost or to get back to being a happy person I guess.
Jay Roberts: I think the problem is a lot of it ... like I call it woo-woo fluffy stuff. A lot of in this kind of law of attraction, thoughts become things. This whole genre that's kind of swept the home business, the network marketing or multilevel marketing, whatever you call it, the entire industry has become consumed by a lot of this mindset stuff that really for most people doesn't really make any difference. They end up feeling more frustrated. Of course, positive thinking. Research now proves that it actually does more harm than good for most people.
Robert Plank: Why is that?
Jay Roberts: Because you've got a conscious mind and an unconscious mind. The unconscious is where everything is stored, your past events, all the things that have affected you are stored in the unconscious. If those things are too big, you can't just positively talk over the top of them and expect it to take. It just doesn't work, so people are using affirmations, and then it's not really making them feel any better. There kind of this dialogue with themselves is, "Well, what's wrong with me? Why aren't I feeling any better? Why is this working for other people and it's not working for me?"
The truth of it is that most people are going out with an overly positive persona, and it isn't really working for them. They're just kind of pretending that it is and pushing through. The research now just shows that more people go backwards than they do go forwards when they're using positive affirmations because their unconscious baggage just doesn't believe what you're saying to it.
Robert Plank: It's like they have the anchoring wrong or whatever? They have the affirmations as maybe at first to kind of put a band-aid on the problem.
Jay Roberts: If you take a look at it, what I've learned is that we all experience lots of things. We're all born with a core box. Brené Brown did a fantastic TED Talk on vulnerability and another one on shame. What she did after eight years of research, she discovered everyone feels that same shame, feeling that they're not good enough and not worthy. We're all ordinary people are born with a core box if you will that says, "I'm not good enough. I'm not worthy." You're experiences, events, comments from parents, comments from peer group, losses on the sports fields, all of these things, these events, these negative events that support the core box delusion of not being good enough. Now they embed in your unconscious brain and they stay there. They continue to play you.
Over time, these things mount up and mount up. In the end, your belief in yourself just gets worse and worse. You keep trying to push through it, but you can't because these unconscious baggage boxes, they're going to stay there until you actually find out how you get rid of them. You can't just write over the top of them.
Robert Plank: Could you explain the box concept and how that works?
Jay Roberts: For me, I always found it difficult with a lot of personal development and therapy. I've had hundreds of therapy sessions over the years, couples and individual. Spent thousands of thousands of pounds. The thing that struck me was that nothing really seemed very easy to understand. It was very complicated. Psychologists used a lot of long terms. I found myself getting confused. In the end, you know what? I just wanted it simple.
What I wanted is I feel this way, I want to feel that way. How do I get there quickly and easily? I came up with the term of boxes. I wrote it down two years ago, the summer of two years ago on a single sheet of paper. Just what it felt like when I was letting go because I'd already begun letting go of these boxes. I was writing down what it felt like and how I visualized it. The visual for me was that my brain, my unconscious brain was made up of corridors, cupboards, and in each cupboard were boxes. In the boxes were stored past events that were continuing to affect my life.
You could find it ... Imagine walking down a corridor and you go into a cupboard. There's boxes there associated with insecure about your girlfriend or boyfriend, and then it's a way of actually releasing that emotion in those boxes. You then are free of the reactions that are linked to it. Boxes was just a way to make something more tangible and easier to understand, mainly for myself because I'm quite simple to be fair.
Robert Plank: I like simple. Nothing wrong at all with simple. Would you say that ... You have these boxes, and they're different issues to get rid of. Would you say that having all these things arranged in boxes helps you to have more focus. You could just solve just one of the boxes, solve just one of the problems, as opposed to trying to fix your whole entire self? Is that the advantage to it?
Jay Roberts: Yeah, you just kind of ... Once you kind of get the front end, I can cover that in a second, but your emotional reactions. This was the kicker, the bit that really like I worked really hard to find, the everyday way that we can just identify when we've got a box being triggered. What happened was that from experimenting on myself, and then sharing it with lots of other people is your daily emotional reactions ... A negative emotional reaction is linked to your boxes. Psychologists actually go as far to say that up to 90% or more of your emotional reactions are linked to your past.
I don't have a number. I don't know how they could necessarily quantify up to 90%. I just know that either a large portion or all of my reactions that were negative were linked to the boxes. That was kind of my direct line to get straight into them. You can go in now and literally ... Let's say you have a conversation with a friend on the phone. That friend says something to you. It annoys you. They kind of put you down, and it makes you feel a little bit anxious, a little bit annoyed at what they've said. Most people just kind of brush that off or have an argument or whatever, but what you can do now is just stop and say, "Hang on a minute. There's an emotional reaction. That's a box."
It's like you have this dialogue with yourself, so your consciously saying to your unconscious brain, "Okay, that's a box. Bring it on through." That acknowledgment that it is a box, it's kind of like letting the unconscious area of your brain say, "Okay, could you bring this up for me?" All of a sudden, it starts to come through for you, and then you get an opportunity to create a trigger release, which we can talk about in a second. Actually, then you can let go of the box or boxes that are associated to that reaction. When you've done that, you go back. If that friend does the same thing to you again the following week, you'll find that you won't be affected by it at all. You've removed the root cause of your reaction.
Robert Plank: Interesting, and I like that a lot because we were talking a few minutes ago about the mindset stuff. A lot of it is not very concrete, even like a lot of the law of attraction stuff. It's either not concrete or it's this so ... You've got to figure out all these terms and this whole kind of system. I like that, like you said, this whole box thing, it's simple. It's something where I can actually see like, "Okay, before I made this change, before I fixed this problem, I reacted in X way. After I ran through this process, now I reacted in Y way." That's kind of like I think with all this mindset stuff, there's like the intangible, the nebulous stuff, but then when it actually gets down to, here the couple of tools, now it's couple of tools. That's something that really helps me because now that's something that I could use over and over again, as opposed to just having some kind of vague idea there.
Jay Roberts: Exactly, and I think that's one of the other things is that it just makes something more tangible because you've got a reaction on one day. You've deployed Debox protocol, and follow that process. You create the emotional release, and then your system kind of reboots almost it feels like. You look where have my reaction changed? You suddenly see, "Wow, that actually worked. That actually got rid of that. I'm no longer feeling anxious about that particular thing or that particular even or what that person said to me."
Robert Plank: I like that. It's almost kind of like if you feel a certain way or you do certain things, it's tough to attack that problem because you have nothing to attack. As opposed to like if you said, "Okay, I feel a certain way. Now I'm diagnosed with this," then you say, "Now I know the thing that I have. Now I can attack it." Obviously, it's not the same thing. We're not talking about like a medical diagnosis, but that whole idea of there's actually a name for this thing. There's actually a pattern that I can identify of the way that I'm acting.
I know that I for sure have this. I'll have something random to me happen in a day, and it'll make me think back to like some random time when I was like ten years old, five years old when something happen. I end up kind of like having that resentment or whatever you describe. It's cool that now that I can kind of label it in a box. Now that's a thing that I can kind of attack.
You mention this trigger release thing. I hope it doesn't get too dirty, but what is this trigger release process?
Jay Roberts: The trigger is creating an emotional release. An emotional release for some may be crying. This has been an interesting one because of course for men especially, there's this kind of thing about men crying, but the good thing is that you can do this in a room on your own and no one needs to know. Actually, there's an art to crying. There's a way to do it that can bring about the removal of these emotional baggage boxes from the past. Brené Brown said in her talk, it's leaning into the discomfort instead of managing it and trying to positively override it. That's exactly true.
This is where it was counter intuitive. When I kind of stumbled upon it, it didn't make sense to me because everything I learned from being mentored by a psychotherapist for eight or ten years and all the sessions I had was that you kind of ... you didn't necessarily head into the big storms. By leaning into the discomfort, and then staying with the sobbing feeling, staying with it until it's completely emptied, what you're actually doing is getting rid of old trauma. That's one of the ways that you can create a trigger. Let me just ask you a question. Do you ever watch a movie and it moves you to tears, like you get a lump in your throat and watery eyes?
Robert Plank: Sure. Yes, sometimes, not often, but every now and then.
Jay Roberts: Here's the thing. If you're moved to tears by an event or something happening, this is where people need to lay down an preconceived ideas and just go with it, but tears, you being moved to tears, watery eyes, lump in the throat, that's boxes ready to come out. Movies has been amazing for me because I've been able to trigger so much baggage release by watching a movie that they movie me to tears. For anybody that remembers the '70s film, The Champ with Ricky Schroder and Jon Voight, that was one that just got me, father son stuff. Ended up being a fantastic trigger for me to get rid of quite of a lot of baggage that I was carrying around, feelings of inadequacy around my father when I was younger.
Robert Plank: You mention that, so like there's your father stuff. There's like you watch this sad movie and brings to light a box that you might have not otherwise known that was there. Is this the matter of kind of seeing what comes your way or is there like an inventory taking process where you figure out your boxes? Where do you start with all this?
Jay Roberts: The main thing is never try and figure it out on the front end. I've watched this so many times. The way that I can visualize it is our conscious mind, the thing that we do all our thinking with is like a pea, and the unconscious part of our brain where everything is stored, filed and hidden is like the galaxy. We can't figure out a galaxy issue with a pea brain. It's just not possible. I don't try and figure out what the issue is. To quote Bruce Lee, who's heavily influenced me and my life, it's kind of, "Don't think, feel." You follow the feeling. You don't think about what it could be. You're not trying to figure it out in the front. You just know you've been impacted. You know you've got an emotional reaction. You deploy box protocol. You follow the feeling. You look for the trigger to get the emotional release.
What often happens is as you're kind of having a bit of an emotional release, whether that be by sobbing or a bit of discomfort, it suddenly pops into your head exactly what it was about. Suddenly, it tells you on the way through. That's what that was. I found that when you try and figure it out in the front, you get caught in thinking, and you lose the speed and impact that you can actually get rid of this stuff with.
Robert Plank: When these boxes come in, is this just a matter of there's a box that you discover is there, you go through the process, you do the release. Is the box gone? Do some boxes take a while to go away? Is it end up being like a bunch of boxes? What happens there?
Jay Roberts: It could be one or two. It could be a whole stack of boxes. The main thing is is that when you've been moved into this emotional release, for most people, it does tend to be a little bit of either light crying or people can go into a real proper sob to let go. That's not the only way to release. I can talk about that in a second. The main thing is is that you stay with it. You stay with the feeling.
I think too many people kind of ... They may have a little bit of upset, and then they feel a bit better because they've released a little bit of the top pressure. They leave the cupboard and go on with their day. When actually, you want to stay with the thought. What created the upset? What created the trigger? You just give yourself half an hour, 40 minutes, an hour where you just sit with it and just let it keep coming through.
You'll find that each wave of emotion or each kind of reaction then it comes is kind of like one box. That's how I kind of found a way to count the boxes. If I had a little bit of discomfort and a few tears, then it stopped, that's one little box gone, but stay with the feeling. Stay with what triggered me. Keep thinking it over and over just laying on the bed, running it through my mind, and then I'd feel another one coming. There's a bit more emotion. It was kind of like they stack and rack sometimes. You get one release. It dies down for a few minutes, and then suddenly because you've stayed in the cupboard, up comes the next one. You just got to stay there until you feel it's all gone.
You do feel, suddenly, you kind of ... People talk about you feel like a weight's gone. That's what it feels like when you've got rid of the associated boxes to that particular event. It's like almost a breathe out and ... You feel a bit tired, but it's gone. You know you got it all because you will sleep like a baby that night. That's how you know you got all that cupboard out. If you have an anxious night's sleep, if you have a rough night's sleep, you didn't get it all. You need to revisit it.
Robert Plank: I keep hearing that from you that I guess the thing to keep in mind is to let it all happen. What it reminds me of is just like I think when I first got a cell phone, and I first got a smartphone in particular like an iPhone, I would just always be being interrupted constantly. I'd always be like, "Oh, phone's going off. Got to check a text. Got to send a text." For those few months, I didn't really feel much of anything in the way of emotions because I didn't have time to think. Every time that I started to have a thought about myself, something else would pop up to distract me. I think that what I've heard maybe five or ten times from you now is that you have to like keep going with that and keep letting it happen. Would you say that that's like a common problem that a lot of people they kind of just dip their toe in the water and they get a little bit of a result. They kind of back off and go into this safe, comfortable area?
Jay Roberts: Yeah, I think they do. I think also people like ladies, women more so than men, I think would admit to crying. They'll say they have a good cry and let it all out. They feel better for it. What it is is then they then leave the cupboard and don't stay with the feeling to actually get rid of the root of the issue. You've kind of got rid of the initial pressure, but not stayed with it.
I think it's people starting to get in-tune and understand their emotional reactions, and then starting to use your emotions in order to get rid of the root cause of the negative emotion. You reboot stronger. You're evolving inside. You're internal mechanisms are evolving and you're becoming freer with every cupboard that you remove. There's that popular phrase, "Fuel the fear and do it anyway." This kind of redefines that a little. It's like fuel the fear, use the fear, remove the fear, and then move on with comfort. I can give you a couple of examples of just that actually.
With phobias and things, they're passed on. If we have a fear of spiders or something, it's because we would've seen ... normally we've seen somebody that had a fear of spiders. They did it in front of us when we were younger, and suddenly, we adopted that fear.
Robert Plank: Makes sense.
Jay Roberts: I was in Spain. It would be the summer of 2014. No, 2015, sorry. There was a water slide. It was very high. It was a eight flights of stairs. It must've been a good 50, 60 foot up, big water slide. You come down on this kind of inflatable ring together, and then it kind of ... It's almost like a ... It goes up the other side like one sort of big kind of seesaw type of thing on this water slide. My son who was then seven said, "Should we go on that big slide, daddy?" My wife said to him, "You know Daddy's scared of heights. You'll have to go on your own."
I did. I had a massive fear of heights. I said, "Go on. You're going to go." He looked at me and he said, "No, I'm scared." I'm looking at my seven year old son and I'm right there. I'm like, he's going to take my fear because I've just put that in him. I've just put my box in my son. That would stay with him then. I'm like, "Right. Okay, no. I'm going to go." Natalie's asking, "Are you sure?" My wife said, "Are you sure?" I'm like, "No, no. I'm going to ..." If amplifying the sobbing releases the boxes, I wonder if amplifying my fear and my anxiety gets rid of the phobia.
We went. We got a couple of flights up the stairs. We're only sort of five or six foot off that ground. I'm holding my son's hand. I close my eyes. I imagine myself walking up to the top. I imagine myself leaning over the edge and looking down the 50 feet or whatever it was. I imagine myself hanging off of the end with one hand with just holding the bar. I'm pushing myself to the absolute extreme in my mind, but the anxiety I was feeling inside was exactly the same as it would've been if I was doing it. It's the great thing about visualizing is that it seems so real that the feeling is real.
I stayed with it. I just didn't try and calm myself down. I didn't try and, "I've got to manage." I just stayed with it. I let it just come through me and take me. All of a sudden, it started to die down. I felt a little pop like almost like it went from really amplified to like ... and then it dropped.
By the time I got to the top, bare in mind I've had this phobia since I was a little boy, it was about 50% less than it was at the start. We went down the water slide. We came around again, and I did exactly the same thing again. I felt, came through. I stayed with it, then it passed through, died down. Literally within 10 or 15 minutes and three goes on that water slide with my son, my phobia, by staying with the feeling and allowing it to come through me, I'd got rid of my fear of heights I've had for 37, 38 years. I got rid of it in 15 minutes. From that point on, I'd actually stopped that going into my son.
Robert Plank: It didn't just help you, but it helped your son too.
Jay Roberts: That's our responsibility as well. We're entrepreneurs, and we're trying to make a go of a business, a home business or whatever, but you're passing your stuff on unconsciously to your children. All of your unconscious behaviors, their unconscious is picking up on it, and they're taking it in. None of this, everyone's oblivious to it. It's no one's fault. It just is the way it is. The more you can kind of recognize this and get this connection with your two selves, your little conscious self and your huge unconscious self, and start to remove your emotional baggage boxes, then actually what happens is the great consequence of that is that you're not passing that stuff onto the people you love the most, your own children.
Robert Plank: That's some pretty powerful stuff. Could you tell us about ... I mean, we've been talking this whole time about this method, the Debox way and all of this kind of stuff. Could you tell us about how you've put this all into a book and about all that kind of stuff?
Jay Roberts: Yeah, sure. I mean, the book title, the book is called The Debox Revolution. I've got the book is just about finished. It's going to go for a release on October the 1st. I've got a coaching support form, so I can be there personally to help people get the idea and get them into this new level of emotional awareness, ultimately emotional self-reliance.
What I also wanted to do with the book is I wanted to kind of do good with it as well, and because Bruce Lee was a heavy influence to me, not just in the martial art, but in his philosophies, but his belief was ... He created his own fighting system that you should be able to win a fight really quickly. Be direct, no wasted energy, no fancy moves, just get the job done. Really, from a mindset personal development point of view, that's exactly what Deboxing is. It's that Bruce Lee. It's just win it quickly. Get the job done. Be direct.
I've actually partnered up with the Bruce Lee Foundation for book sales for the USA and the rest of the world. All of the book profits are going to be going to the Bruce Lee Foundation because they are dedicated to helping people become the best they can be and honestly express themselves. That's a perfect fit for me for somewhere to take the book profits.
Robert Plank: Could you tell everyone where to find that book and tell them about ... and if you have any other websites, all that good stuff?
Jay Roberts: You'll find everything now it's kind of come into one website. Literally, I've just finished, and I can take ... We're in beginning of September. I can take pre-orders for the book now. It's debox.co. That's debox like detox, so D-E-B-O-X, dot, C-O. You literally will find everything there. The book is there. I've got an online course with quizzes and everything coming within the next couple of weeks as well. The coaching forum is there. Actually, anybody can find anything out about me from that site.
Robert Plank: Debox.co, so thanks for coming by the show Jay. As we've said, I think we're both kind of on the same page about this. A lot of the mindset stuff like learning it, trying to go about and find out the old way of fixing your inner stuff kind of just for me and everyone else I know, it leads to this whole rabbit hole of confusion, just not really getting to the root of the problem as you say. I think that this Deboxing thing is a really cool life skill that everyone needs. The water slide example especially, that was super crazy. It all makes sense. I think that from what we've been hearing is just everyone is just afraid to let things play out and afraid to embrace the fear, embrace the anxiety, embrace the doubt, all that stuff, so this Deboxing thing, even though at first look it seems really simplistic, the more you get into it, it seems super powerful. Freaking awesome stuff. Debox Revolution, debox.co. Thanks for coming by the show Jay.
Jay Roberts: Thank you very much for having me. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
146: My Testimonial Engine: Get More Reviews and Get Better Reviews for Any Online (or Offline) Business with Doren Aldana
Doren Aldana from My Testimonial Engine tells us about an easy to use tool that will help any business (online or offline) get more reviews from customers on strategic review sites such as Yelp, Google+, Facebook, and more. This tool also cleans up negative reviews and even prevents bad reviews from happening as much as possible. Doren unpacks the ways he transforms 20% of any businesses' database into rave reviews and referrals using what he calls the "magic wand letter."
Doren Aldana: Hey, thanks so much for having me man. Appreciate it.
Robert Plank: I'm glad you're hear. Could you tell us about what it is that you do and what makes you stand out, what makes you different and special?
Doren Aldana: Yeah man. I'm a father of four, the fab four. I'm a husband. I'm an entrepreneur. I've got a couple of businesses. One we provide marketing solutions to mortgage professionals at MortgageMarketingCoach.com. Another, which I think we'll be drilling down into deeper, is the Testimonial Engine. It's a software by service and we help business owners, generally service-based business owners, but business owners in general attract more five-star rave views from their happy clients and to get them on review sites like Google Plus, Yelp, Facebook. You name it, we cover it. That almost keeps me out of trouble between the two businesses.
Robert Plank: Nice. Just enough to stay busy.
Doren Aldana: That's right.
Robert Plank: With this Testimonial Engine, how does it work? What's it all about?
Doren Aldana: It's all about the big problem that a lot of business owners are either consciously aware of or subconsciously aware of. That is it's generally a pain in the ass to get reviews from their happy clients. It's cumbersome. It's time consuming. They might send out an email and rarely will they get a response. They might chase them around with phone calls or send out something in the mail asking them to send it back, postage paid. Generally speaking, it's really not an easy feat to get clients, customers to submit reviews. We make that easy, breezy, lemon squeezy by putting the whole thing on autopilot. Essentially it's as easy as uploading their name, email, phone number, etc. into our system and then just set it and forget it.
The system does all the heavy lifting for them. It asks them for the review. It asks them to copy and paste that review onto other review sites that they want to build a reputation on. It just makes it much more expedient for the business owner to get positive reviews and to get those reviews on review sites as well as share them on social media, like Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter so all their fans and followers are seeing all these awesome rave reviews from their happy clients in the news feed. Of course, that's just another way to build their brilliant brand and to position themselves as the only logical choice, building their business at the speed of trust. Does that answer you question, Robert?
Robert Plank: Yeah. It answers and it kind of gets me off on a whole cool, fun direction, which is you mention in there that okay, getting reviews and stuff like that for any business is kind of a hassle, kind of cumbersome, kind of time consuming. A lot of people don't do it. How does your system get this done when just normally emailing them doesn't work?
Doren Aldana: Generally speaking, when you just send out an email asking them to submit a review on Google or whatever platform you happen to be using, if it's a review site like Google or Yelp or any other review site, Facebook, if the client does not have an account for that platform, generally they're not going to submit a review because in order for them to submit a review, they're going to need an account. You're going to alienate a big chunk of your database, your clientele, if you're doing that because there's always going to be a certain chunk of your database that doesn't use that platform and doesn't have an account for that platform. Generally speaking, the people who have the highest net worth, the people that are a little more seasoned in life, they tend not to be as active on social media and have accounts for these sorts of things. It's going to dramatically suppress response if you're going for the jugular and asking for a review directly on these platforms, one by one, or directly to one in particular.
Rather than doing that, the Testimonial Engine makes it way easier for your clients to submit a review because they don't need an account. It's just as simple as sending them an email, saying hey, thanks so much for your visiting or thanks so much for choosing Acme International, whatever your company name is. We'd be delighted if you could take a brief moment to submit a review. Let us know how we did. It only takes like 30 seconds. It would mean the world to us. It's really simple in your request. You can do this by text message as well right to their mobile phone. When they click the link in either context, it's going to send them to a place that allows them to submit a review without needing an account. That allows you to get a higher response because everyone is a position to submit a review and that means more positive reviews for your company, more trust being built in terms of your reputation.
Then after the review is captured, Robert, that's where we want to ask them to post that review onto the strategic review sites that you and your company want to build strategically online. There are a ton of them up there, but generally speaking, it's the Google, the Facebook, the Yelps and those sorts of platforms that help more prospective clientele find out about you and positions you as the only logical choice. That's kind of the secret sauce to getting more reviews and milking them for all they're worth, is being able to get more reviews by not requiring an account, and then asking them to share the love and share the news by posting them on strategic review sites. Does that make sense?
Robert Plank: Yeah. Well it makes sense and I'm kind of trying to picture this. Am I getting this right in that it's almost like a two-step process? They get an email and you ask how did we do. They click the link. They fill in the survey, but they don't have any other way of going on to Yelp or Facebook or Google until after they've filled that in. Is that right?
Doren Aldana: Bingo. On the thank you page, if it's indeed, that's where we're going to ask them to copy and paste it onto Google or Facebook or Yelp or whatever it happens to be. Usually three or four options, not ten or twenty because a confused mind generally says no, but if it's a negative review, we don't want to ask them to do that because it's going to corrode and tarnish your reputation online. It's almost impossible to remove the blemish once it's added.
We have a slick little system where if it's a negative review, three stars or below, it sends them to a damage control page where we're empathizing with them, saying sorry things didn't go as planned, or sorry you had a bad experience. If you'd be so kind as to share what went wrong and how we can fix it, we'll rectify this as soon as possible. When they submit that review or that feedback, it's 100% quarantined. It's 100% confidential and private, so it acts like a firewall. That negativity doesn't spew onto the web and corrode your reputation for years to come. It's quarantined and that way, you can do damage control, be all over it like white on rice, and hopefully turn them around.
Studies show that seven out of ten consumers will do business with a business again if their complaint is resolved quickly. Speed is the name of the game and that's why our system notifies you instantaneously in real time when any feedback comes through, whether it's positive and/or negative, so that you can stay abreast as to what's going on with your business in real time and hopefully turn them around if there's any negativity or any complaints coming through. Does that make sense?
Robert Plank: Yeah. That's pretty cool, that last thing you mentioned there where they get notified for a good or bad review, because someone can go and make a quick phone call, send out a quick post card, something cool like that.
Doren Aldana: Yeah, exactly. It always feels great. You gotta know when you're getting loads and loads of positive reviews and positive feedback coming through in your inbox or on your mobile device. You know you're feeling great. It's affirmation, it's confirmation. You're glowing from ear to ear, grinning from ear to ear, knowing you're doing a great job because all this praise is coming through. That gives you a little more pep in your step, a little more sparkle in your eye, a little bit more sense of your own purpose and on point. You're making a difference.
If it's negative, then you feel good that at least you're being able to rectify quickly and it's not just happening under the ground in the invisible realm, brewing and eventually, in many cases, when you allow it to brew like that, it spews out onto the web and that's after the fact. You can't do anything to rectify it because it's already on these review sites. Once they get on there, it's virtually impossible to remove it. This is a really important piece of the puzzle that most people aren't aware of.
Robert Plank: The way that you were explaining that, as you were in the middle of explaining it, my first thought was like oh no, this is kind of shady, but then once you finish your thought, it actually made sense where if someone wants to leave a good review, four stars, five stars, great. Let them do that, but if they have three stars or below, you stop them and try to fix it. At first thought, I was thinking oh man, that's almost kind of shifty, but the more I think about it, it's like well, if someone leaves a bad review, they usually had a problem and they want something fixed. Like you said too, it's really tough to go back and try to hunt that person down, if they a one star Yelp review, to try to get them to fix it. All these review platforms, to my understanding, don't like you to bribe someone to leave a better review. It seems like this catches the problem before it becomes a problem.
Doren Aldana: Well exactly. If you're really committed to excellence, you obviously will do whatever it takes to turn the client around and turn them from unsatisfied to satisfied, or at least satiated to the point where they feel like you did the best job possible to turn the situation around. You'll do that regardless of what kind of incentive, monetary or otherwise, you get because that's just who you are. That's what you're committed to. That's how you show up, but to be able to have that buffer where you're not having to deal with all the negativity that's now irreversible and irrevocable is huge because now you're able to turn the people around.
You don't have to worry about all the crap they spewed onto the world wide web that people are reading for years to come. Even though you rectified it, they may not know about that because in many cases, they're not able to see that you rectified it. That's just how these review sites are set up. It's kind of locked in stone in many cases. It's a really important buffer that's mission critical if you want to manage your online reputation and maximize your perception in the eyes of prospective clients and customers. The beautiful thing is the whole thing runs on autopilot so you don't have to sweat it. You just focus on what you do best, meeting with clients, cashing checks, or whatever it happens to be, and you get the best to do all the rest. That's what I'm all about, is helping people focus on their brilliance instead of dealing with all the minutiae. You with me?
Robert Plank: Yeah. Get to the exciting stuff.
Doren Aldana: Exactly.
Robert Plank: Why did you make this? Was this a kind of situation where you didn't see anything like this existed? Or maybe did you try some alternatives or did you need it for yourself? How did this come to be?
Doren Aldana: As I mentioned earlier, I've been working with mortgage professionals for quite some time. I started out being a general life coach, and then started to study marketing because I realized if I don't learn this marketing thing, I'm going to have skinny kids. I started to become a piranha for information on marketing and really honing my skills as a marketer. Then a client did really well with me in the mortgage space and he said dude, you should share the love with other people in the mortgage space because they could really use your help. That was way back in 2004 and I've been growing and going ever since, just specialize as a mortgage marketing consultant and providing all kinds of done-for-you solutions inside of that business.
Along the journey, this thing about testimonials just kept coming up. It was kind of the perennial topic that seemed to have relevance and mission-critical mass appeal for a lot of my clients. They were just thinking I need more testimonials but it's so dang hard to get them. We kept being confronted with the challenge of it. When I saw the opportunity to partner with my business partner and launch the Testimonial Engine, I was like man, this is just a hand-in-glove opportunity. I know that it's becoming more and more important with Google's algorithm now for local search becoming inextricably linked with the reviews, not just quality but also quantity, and being that I was working with people who are in the local space, mortgage professionals, it was just intuitively a yes for me. I knew this is the next big thing, so I pounced on it.
Robert Plank: Cool. What's awesome about this is that you built it for the, you started in the mortgage space and this works well in the mortgage space, but this works in any business. I guess if your business has zero customers, this doesn't apply, but if your business has one customer or more, then this is a useful tool.
Doren Aldana: Yeah. The other really slick thing is if you just want to get more reviews and have them on your website, not have to mess around trying to copy and paste them every time you get them or send them to your webmaster and go through the hassle of trying to get every single one of them manually transferred onto your website, you're going to love something like the Testimonial Engine because once you have your account set up and you get reviews, any positive reviews, which generally is four stars or above, will auto-feed right on your website. You just add a little bit of code on the site and it auto-feeds all your most recent positive reviews in real time right on your site. No extra headaches or hassle. It's just literally as I said before. Set if and forget it.
Robert Plank: That's pretty cool because that way, like you said, you don't have to hunt around five different sites to have all those reviews. You have it on a site where you can control it.
Doren Aldana: Bingo. You can also, any review you don't like, even if it shows up positive, if you just don't like how they wrote it or how they framed it, you can just go into your dashboard and press the suppress button. You can suppress it so it doesn't show up on your website. It's super easy to modify these too. The only thing you can't really suppress is when they hit your Google or your Yelp or those review sites because they control it. You don't control those review sites. They do, and that's why you need an account to submit a review on those sites. You get to control everything on the Testimonial Engine side, and that's why it's so important to make sure all the most positive stuff spills over onto the review sites so that you've only got glowing rave reviews that you're proud of on those platforms instead of stuff that tarnishes your reputation that you're not so proud of.
Robert Plank: Right. You said that you used this in the mortgage area. Can you tell us about someone's business you helped, either in the mortgage area or outside of mortgages, where they had a real problem with reviews, either bad ones or not getting enough, and then they used My Testimonial Engine to get a bunch more good reviews?
Doren Aldana: Absolutely. I got a hunting buddy here in Kamloops. I'm in BC, beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I'm in a very redneck town and one of the big things we love to do out here is hunt. I got a hunting buddy who has a spa. He's got 17 technicians working for him. He went from a franchise to being independent. Needless to say he had to start from scratch with his brand. He was virtually unfound on the web. He had zero presence whatsoever. We're starting him from scratch, from ground zero. I helped him set up his Yelp account and his Testimonial Engine account and his Google My Business account and all that good stuff. We uploaded his list of past clients. Then we did some ninja tactics to follow up with the people who weren't responding with some additional emails.
Within I think it was two months, he went from the bowels of cyberspace where no one could even find him, even if they wanted to, to being number one on Google for the three pack, which is fancy terminology for the top three listings in the local search where you have the flag on the map. I don't know if you've noticed that but they show up in threes in the top listing. He's number one in the three pack with more reviews than all of his competitors combined, plus he's also got his website because it's optimized with his positive reviews and his positive reviews are linked with those websites. His website is number one for organic search for his target keywords as well. We did all that within two months.
Robert Plank: Just by using that tool and by using some of those simple strategies?
Doren Aldana: Setting up the review sites, getting a whole whack of positive reviews on those review sites, and building up his digital presence with more reviews than any of his competitors. That was 98% of it right there.
Robert Plank: What are his competitors and what are a lot of people out there doing incorrectly with their reviews on their sites, aside from not using My Testimonial Engine?
Doren Aldana: This guy's competitors are like, the keywords are like Kamloops day spa, Kamloops manicure, pedicure, that kind of stuff. Frankly, his competitors for the most part just are clueless how important reviews are. Chances are they don't have a system. The keyword there is system, which stands for save yourself time, energy, and money. They don't have a system for getting reviews and getting maximum quantity and quality of reviews. That's really what the game changer was for my buddy, is we plugged him into the Testimonial Engine and he just roared past his competitors in short order and left them in the dust.
It wasn't really that he was any better, per se, although he would tell you, his unbiased opinion right? He would tell you he's better, but frankly, the game changer was not that he was necessarily any better. It was just that he knew how to take all that latent praise in his database and convert it into real, glowing rave reviews on the web. He didn't necessarily know how to do it. He just knew someone who did. That would be yours truly, and we did all the heavy lifting for him. It's about leveraging strengths. It's about leveraging technology. It's about leveraging his database and turning his database into a flood of rave reviews, and then positioning those in the right strategic places so that he can actually start getting more clients from it.
Robert Plank: Does your system have the ability for someone to dump in their whole database and is there a way for, for example, if you send out an email for someone to leave a review and they don't, does it have any kind of follow up?
Doren Aldana: Yeah. There's automated follow up if they don't respond. Then there's also the ability to send freestanding broadcast emails to people, either one-on-one or group via email using the Testimonial Engine. You could do additional follow ups beyond the automated. I think the automated just does two or three follow ups, depending on how you toggle it. You can send additional broadcast emails to the hard eggs to crack, you know the people who are just not responding for whatever reason. Then what was the other question you had? Sorry, you asked me two questions and one, and I forgot the other one.
Robert Plank: No sweat. The first question was can they import their whole database in there.
Doren Aldana: Right, yeah, yeah. For sure. They could do it onesies and twosies, so you can do them manually one at a time, or if you have a list, if you have a CRM and you're exporting from your CRM, you can just do a csv export. All we need is your client's name and email, or if you're using the SMS funnel and asking for reviews via test messaging, we'll also need your client's mobile phone number. Really easy to do. It's just a csv export from your CRM or your Excel spreadsheet. Then we import it to the system and then it just starts sending out the requests on autopilot.
Robert Plank: Awesome. As we're winding this down, something that always comes to mind, especially lately is how many, I'm always wondering how many business out there are already plugged in? How much competition is there? Off the top of your head, would you say that with the companies you deal with, what percentage even does something like this? What percentage even has some kind of review system in place, would you say?
Doren Aldana: That's a good question. I'm probably a little over-cynical because most of the people I talk to don't have jack in terms of a system, so I might be a little overly biased, but I would say, to be relatively as accurate as I possibly can and also conservative, I'd say probably about 5-10%, somewhere in that range.
Robert Plank: Dang, so one out of ten, one out of twenty.
Doren Aldana: Very, very few. Yeah.
Robert Plank: If any business just plugged into this, they would automatically be ahead of most other businesses out there as far as this kind of stuff.
Doren Aldana: Oh dude. This is a game changer, not just in terms of getting reviews, but also, we teach our clients how to convert at least 20% of their database into rave reviews, sometimes more, sometimes a whole lot more, but on average at least 20. If you got 100 people in your database, we got at least 20 glowing reviews for you within a matter of seven days or less with the Testimonial Engine, but we don't stop there.
Then we go one step further. Because I'm a marketing expert, I'm thinking to myself, how can we optimize the lifetime value of your clients so you're not just getting one transaction but multiple transactions. What we figured out is that the best people to send referrals, which by the way is the most profitable way to grow your business. It's five times less expensive, five times more profitable than getting clientele through paid advertising, studies show. You can get referrals from these people who are giving you positive reviews. Think about it. Who better to get referrals from than people who've raised their hand and sung your praises in the form of a rave review?
Robert Plank: Right.
Doren Aldana: There is no better, right? We now teach our clients how to strategically launch a dedicated referral attraction campaign to the rave reviewers, their happy clients who have given them four star or above. I developed this killer letter called the Magic Wand Letter. It goes out in the mail, snail mail, with a tangible toy magic wand enclosed, so your clients can't ignore it. They have to open it. Their curiosity gets the best of them. There's something lumpy. They gotta figure out what it is, right? They open up the mail. They open up the envelope. There's a toy magic wand in there and the headline says "I wish, I wish, poof, I could have more clients like you." I know it's cheesy as hell, but it works. It works really, really well. In fact, one of my clients sent out 50 of these letters and generated 18Gs in commissions from 50 letters, five-zero. It cost him $200, made him 18Gs. How's that for an ROI?
Robert Plank: Freaking amazing.
Doren Aldana: Yeah. It might be cheesy, but it'll put more cheese in your wallet. Would you like to be cool and broke? Or cheesy and rich? I don't know about you but I prefer the latter.
Robert Plank: Yeah. I'll take a little bit of a hit from my pride and my ego to get some money, for sure.
Doren Aldana: Absolutely.
Robert Plank: Great. This sounds amazing. The Magic Wand Letter and your Testimonial Engine sounds amazing. I understand that you have a free gift of some kind for us. Is that right?
Doren Aldana: I do, yeah. As we speak right now, I don't have the page ready. It'll be ready by the time this podcast hits the streets, but I've got a special domain that I've put together. It's for anyone listening, any of your peeps listening, Robert, who would like to get access to that Magic Wand Letter in a Word document so it's 100% customizable for your own respective business, as well as a bunch of tools and templates and checklists and swipe and deploy, proven and effective referral as well as review request letters and campaigns. It's all encapsulated inside of an awesome resource called the Ultimate Testimonial Toolkit. It's got a $97 value. I'm hooking your peeps up with this for free if they go to MyTestimonialEngine.com/robert. MyTestimonialEngine.com/robert, you just pop in your info, press submit, you're good to go. It'll be sent to your inbox within a matter of a few minutes.
Robert Plank: MyTestimonialEngine.com/robert. Is there any other web address you want to send people to? Or will just that one do it?
Doren Aldana: Yeah. If you want to learn more about the Testimonial Engine, you can go to MyTestimonialEngine.com. We have lots of information there, a blog, free demos, and a $1 trial. We've got a free course. There's lots of helpful stuff there.
Robert Plank: Awesome. MyTestimonialEngine.com and more importantly, MyTestimonialEngine.com/robert to get the Magic Wand Letter. Man, thanks for stopping by the show, Doren. This whole idea with the review stuff, it's such a simple idea, but it's something that a lot of people don't do. Within the idea, it has all these little clever twists which I really enjoy. I think that this is awesome strategy and I liked it, so thanks for stopping by and telling us all about it.
Doren Aldana: Hey, thank you. I love the work you're doing. You're doing a great job, so keep up the great work man.
Robert Plank: Cool, same to you.
145: Establish Your Brand, Build the Right Team and Live the Lifestyle You Deserve with Paul Potratz
What does success mean for you and your team? Paul Potratz from PPADV.com shares the unique way he runs his business and sets up his company culture where he encourages his employees to make their own decisions and mistakes (including the interview process for that). He tells us how to build a quality brand, get back to basics, and provide a "Nordstrom" customer service instead of a "Macy's" one. Compete based on your brand, not on price!
Paul Potratz: Good. Good. How about you Robert?
Robert Plank: Super fantastic. I see you're in upstate New York. I was there about a year ago. I fell and broke my ankle in two places there, so I don't think I'll be going back.
Paul Potratz: That's not the norm here. I mean it's a bunch of Italian food and senior citizens.
Robert Plank: May I just had to go to your exact city, not just the general area maybe.
Paul Potratz: That's probably what it was, yeah.
Robert Plank: In your general area of Schenectady, New York and wherever else the world takes you, what would you say that it is that you do and what makes you different and special?
Paul Potratz: We work with business owners, but we work with business owners establishing a brand and getting new clients. That's kind of it in a nutshell. That's our ad agency portion. In the last few months I've started to expand out of that because the agency does well. What I mean by expanding is working with business owners or future business owners of how to get their business going.
Robert Plank: Okay. Do you have any cool stories ... Do you have any cool, interesting, almost like cutting edge things that you're doing to help these businesses recently?
Paul Potratz: Yeah. Matter of fact I do. I'm asked that question a lot, what's cool, what's new, what's cutting edge? We can definitely talk about dynamic retargeting and gmail ads. We have workshops here at our office a lot and what I've done is I'm like let's go back to the basics, because with all the new technology and everything we forget about the basics of how to answer to phone, how to actually proof our emails, how to send emails, how to build an email data base ... To kind of take all that back, because there's so many things swirling through my head, it's all about brand. I feel like that's what people are missing because of all the online ... The digital marketing pay-per-click, is they don't establish a brand, and if you don't establish a brand all you have is sell by price, die by price.
Robert Plank: What should be people be doing to establish that brand?
Paul Potratz: You've got to decide what is it that you ... What is your product, what is your service and how does it improve one's lives. You've got to decide how does it really help someone. The workshop I was in a few weeks ago ... I was in Virginia and I was trying to get the business owners to understand how does your product or service improve somebody's life. I gave them a little test or a task to do to come up, work together in groups, and they just couldn't get out of the sales pitch. That's what they wanted to do, is pitch their product and not talk about how their product or service was going to help somebody save time, save money, improve their life.
Robert Plank: They were lacking what's in it for me then?
Paul Potratz: Exactly. You've got to think selfish. You've got to turn yourself around and not only in that negative, but you've got think why does someone want to do business with you other than price. Most business owners, they want to automatically go to price, and if you sell by price you don't ... The only way you can go is go down.
Robert Plank: Right. Do you have a case study where that kind of thing happened just to kind of reinforce the point home? Do you have anyone that you came across where maybe they were trying to compete on price and you changed their ways and made them market better?
Paul Potratz: Yeah. Definitely. Even ourselves, we were growing and growing and growing as an agency and we do an interview process with a prospective client and then we said we want to compete against these other companies, so we kind of lost our way. This was about a year and a half ago. We started competing on price, but we're not scalable for that, for price, and I definitely seen the result after doing that for about eight months. Granted we added a lot of clients, but the clients we added didn't stay with us as long.
That's been something that we've been talking about for a number of years with all of our clients. For example, I've got a good friend of mine, he started out as a client and now he's a really good friend. His name is Ryan. Ryan is in the market, he's a car dealer, and I'll talk about that because automotive can be very relatable to everybody. When we first started working together he was completing on price. Now he doesn't compete on price and his cars are on the average of fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars more than competing dealers in the market, but he's outselling them.
Robert Plank: What are you having him do specifically to outsell his competitors there?
Paul Potratz: It's all about the experience. What I mean by the experience, I mean ... I really talk about like Macy's versus Nordstrom. I'm sure a lot of your listeners have been into those two stores. You go to Macy's and it's ... You just don't get that help. You don't get that experience and they drop everything in the bag ... For example, you go, you buy a tie ... I go, I buy a tie, I pay good money or a tie. They take the tie, they just drop it in the bag. They roll it in half and they drop it in the bag, that's Macy's. Nordstrom, they take that tie and they're like, let me help you find a shirt, let me help you find a suit, let me help you find a pocket square, let me help you find socks, and so on and so forth. Then when you purchase the tie they fold it, they put it a box, they put it in a bag, they take your credit card, they say thank you, they walk around the counter and they hand you the bag instead of just shoving it to you across the counter.
Ryan being a car dealer, his team has been trained instead of when you come on the lot, "Hey, can I help you? What are you looking for? How much are you going to put down," those type of things. Even in their phone process and how they talk and how they have the discussion and the things that they deliver ... You fill in a lead form on his website, it's not all about price. It's to find exactly is that vehicle right for you. It's a discussion and it's helping. It's really more of a consultation than just how quick can I sell this to you and get you out of here.
Robert Plank: It sounds like lots of I guess little touches. Were those something that you thought of on your own or did you go and research the other car dealers? How did you settle on these specific things that Ryan, the car dealer, should have been doing?
Paul Potratz: It's definitely a partnership. Ryan is a big believer in making sure that he has the right team, the interview process. If you don't have the right team you will never be able to do it. My own experience ... How do we like to be treated when we go to spend money? It was a wake-up call to me. Some years back I was in Paris, France with my wife at the store named Charvet. Charvet is where the Kennedys used to get their shirts. It's custom made shirts and it's a very popular store. That was part of my whole ... When we go to Paris I'm going to go to Charvet.
I remember going in, and this place is really a dump. It's three stories of a dump, but their shirts are all custom made. I remember I went in and I met the woman and I said, "I want to get some shirts done." We're on the second floor and she's trying the different shirts on. They have the test shirts. I'm like, "Okay, this is the one I like." She's like, "No, no, no, it doesn't fit." I was like, "Yeah, it fits," because I wanted this shirt, because after you get a little older you realize that the shoulders have got to fit just right. I had a shirt, it was a sixteen in the collar, and she said, "No, that's too tight. You need a sixteen and a half," but when you go up to the next size the shoulders get bigger.
I'm like, "No, no, no, I want a sixteen. I'm losing weight." She's like, "No. I won't sell it to you." I said, "What? What do you mean you won't sell it to me?" I went into this discussion and everything. She said, "No, I'm not a sales person. I'm a consultant. I would not let my shirt go out of this store looking like that on you." She was actually not going to complete the sale. It was just the whole experience and the process that she took me through, and I was like wow, there's something to this, because I went in to get maybe one or two shirts and I ended up leaving with like ten, because I was told I couldn't do it and the experience was different and it was fascinating, which made me really start to study what is the psychology of when we're purchasing.
We talk about the Nordstrom effect, something like high end purses and how people will buy a high end purse even though the quality is not any different, it's just the whole mystique, the prestigious factor of it all. You can do that in any product, any service, regardless of the competition you have.
Robert Plank: Is this something that everyone should be doing, looking to I guess class up the process and make it less of a sales transaction and more of a consultation?
Paul Potratz: I think so. Definitely. Even today, I mean you kind of think about it. All of us are walking around with smart phones now, and when we go to purchase something generally we do research. We do research. Even if we're going to go buy a three dollar and fifty cent air freshener that you plug in the wall, we still want to do the research on it. If everybody is going online to do research, shouldn't you start being a consultative seller instead of just trying to sell by price? Granted there's going to be those salespeople and those business owners out there, that's what they think a call to action is, it's price, and that's what they're going to focus on. But if you want to be able to have loyal clients, and I use the word clients instead of customers, because customers go to Walmart. Clients, you're a trusted authority. If you want to have those repeat clients over and over and you want to build word-of-mouth and you want to build your brand, you need to become a consultant regardless of the product or service your selling.
Robert Plank: I like that. I like that idea. Kind of along those lines of you building this stuff up and having the right team and having the right process, I understand that you took a little bit of a road trip lately. Is that right?
Paul Potratz: I'm constantly taking road trips, so I'm not sure which one you're referring to since I've had a lot of them.
Robert Plank: Tell me about something. Tell me is this ... You take these road trips all the time. Is this possible because you've built up this good team and kind of a machine that runs without you, or what's the secret to having the successful business, but also being able to take time off whenever you want?
Paul Potratz: Yeah. I've definitely taken a lot of road trips, personal and business wise. When I started the agency, I started it ... I should have called it Dude and His Dog Agency, because I started in the bedroom with my dog laying at my feet and I was doing it all. I was doing copywriting, media buying, video production, account management, sales and everything. It's definitely been over the years, because when I started in 2003, the interview process and trying to find the right team members, and we've had some failures, but that's part of growing, and we've had some tremendous success. The agency pretty much ... I won't say it runs itself, but I've got a team of individuals that are dedicated and they run with it and they treat it like it's their own business.
We've definitely set it up ... For example, we have unlimited paid time off. If somebody want's to take a month off, take a month off, as long as you're hitting your key performance and your key result areas, it doesn't make a difference. The company pretty much runs on peer pressure, which allows me one of the trips that I took where I went out west and I spent a few weeks out west on my dirt bike and didn't worry about it. That's part of it. Are you the type of business owner that's working in your business or working on your business? I try to work on the business, which has allowed me to start another company since then, and the agency is more or less my retirement egg I guess you can say.
Robert Plank: Cool. Was it just a matter of like ... How did you get from the 2003 era to now? Was it just a matter of the combination of this peer pressure thing and trying different people out? How did you get the whole team and all that figured out and how did you get it to become a thing where you didn't have to always watch over it and micromanage?
Paul Potratz: It's a culture. The different places I've worked over they years, I would work for the manager, not a leader, that would just do stupid things. He wouldn't let people make decisions. He wouldn't let people fail. He wouldn't let people succeed. You had to do it his way. I worked in corporate American for a number of years and everything about corporate America, I was like it just doesn't make any sense. I don't like it and I don't agree with it.
When I started the company and I started adding employees I said how do I let people make decisions, and it's the little things ... Granted, you can read all the stuff in books, but that's what happens so many times. A business owner will read something in a book or they'll listen to a podcast or they'll go hear a speaker talk, but they don't put those things in action and plan their day out and making sure that they're doing that. When one of my team members come into my door and they're like, "Paul, I got a question," I'm like, "Okay. Great. What's your question?"
I always make sure when they come with a question that they'll say, "This is what I think I should do and I think this is going to be the result," and I'm like, "Okay. Great. Go try it. See what happens." People aren't scared to fail, they're not scared to lose clients or whatever the recourse is going to be because they know I'm always going to be there to support them. It's just pushing, you make the decision, and it's definitely grown. Granted we've had some people that haven't made very wise decisions, but then there always has to ... I'm not going to say there has to be a consequence, but what did you learn from that?
That's really what our business is built on, coming to work and having fun, making somebody's day, doing what's right, and not worrying about the money, because the money will follow if you do a great job.
Robert Plank: That's an awesome attitude. I like that idea of letting your people fail so that they'll learn the decision on their own. Did I hear that right, that when they come to you with a question they have to already kind of have somewhat of an answer packaged with that question? Was that right?
Paul Potratz: Yes. Exactly. Otherwise the company ... It won't ever grow on its own. If you've got to be a dictator and you're literally saying you have to do this, you have to do that, and people are scared to make decisions, how's your company going to grow? How is it going to scale? You're always going to have to be involved in the company, one of two reasons, either you didn't train your people or your people are scared to make decisions. Then if they're scared to make decisions or if you're not letting them make decisions, they're going to end up going somewhere else anyway, because if they're that type of personality and mentality that they want to be the decision maker, they're going to go somewhere where they can be that person.
Robert Plank: Right. Has this whole method of yours, has it ever failed really badly? Has it ever not worked?
Paul Potratz: Yeah. I have a belief, and I've proved it over and over and over again, that when people go to work, when they get up in the morning and they come to work, they don't come to fail. They come to succeed, but as a leader you've got to understand what is success for each individual? A lot of times we think we'll pay them more money. Money's nice, yeah, and they definitely want to make money and our team makes good money ... I mean we pay them more here in upstate New York than they can make in Boston or New York City, but it's not always money. There's so much more to it.
With that same mindset that people want to succeed and you've got to understand what is success for them, there's been a time or two or maybe a dozen times that I've given an individual too much leeway or let them I guess spread their wings too quick before they were ready and then they just kept on failing and failing and failing. Then they're like this isn't for me. It does take the right personality, which is great. Interviewing ... I don't have anything to do with interviewing here, and termination ... I have nothing to do with termination. That's a committee of the team. The committee decides who's going to be interviewed, who's hired and who's fired.
Robert Plank: Are you saying that if someone is on the team and they're kind of unpopular with everyone else they can get booted out?
Paul Potratz: Yes.
Robert Plank: Wow, that's crazy, but kind of interesting and kind of novel there too.
Paul Potratz: Think about it. We've had different people that would come in, whether it was a graphic designer or a video editor or somebody that just does new business presentations, if they're not doing their job, then that's more work for everybody else. If they're failing, then that's a reputation for the entire company. They're not pulling their weight and people are saying, "why am I not getting my bonus? Why didn't I get my quarterly bonus? Why didn't I get my year end bonus?" It's like, "You tell me. Why do you think you didn't get it? What happened? Did we have any issues?"
We had a direct mail that was done incorrectly. We had to send it again. That cost us fifteen thousand dollars. We had a Facebook campaign that was run incorrectly. That cost us eighteen thousand dollars, so I have them tell me why it's not happening. How did that happen? So-and-so did this and so-and-so did that. Okay, there you go.
Robert Plank: How did you figure all this out? Was this all trial and error or ... This all seems kind of weird, but in a good way. How did all this come about?
Paul Potratz: To be completely honest is I'm lazy. I hate doing paperwork. It's not my strength. I love the creative process and creative thought. If I'm lazy doing paperwork, I've got to find other people to do it. If I'm lazy doing finances, I've got to find other people to do it. I said why not empower the people here that really want to do it? That's where it really came. I guess that's a good explanation of what it is. There's things that I really like to do and things I don't like to do, and the things I don't like to do I definitely want to have other people doing that that enjoy it.
Robert Plank: I like that. It reminds me of the Bill Gates quote where he says something like if you want something done find a lazy person to do it because they'll find an easy and fast way to get it done.
Paul Potratz: Exactly. There you go.
Robert Plank: Cool. Can you tell me about these two businesses and what's happening with them and what's ... Tell us about them and where people can find out about them and all that good stuff.
Paul Potratz: Yeah. The agency name is Potratz. We're known as a digital agency, but my newest venture is my ... It's my website that's launching pretty quick, which is my first name and last name, Paul Potratz. There's a page that spins off of that that called The Growth Mindset. What I've done with The Growth Mindset ... Because when I started my company I really struggled. What bookkeeping system do I use? What do I need to have on my business cards? Do I need a slogan? Do I need a logo? What website do I use? All these questions. How do I hire new people? What should be a pay plan?
When you're starting a company, or even in business, people struggle with that. What I've done is I've gone all around the country and I'm on the lookout for smart entrepreneurs. I've said, "Why don't you join The Growth Mindset?" The Growth Mindset is a group of entrepreneurs. It's where we share bundles every week, so we have a new thing that comes out, it can be anything from how to use YouTube to market yourself or how to make sure that your financial statement is balanced correctly, whatever it might be. That's our newest thing that we're launching. It's coming out November 22nd and it's called The Growth Mindset. It's off of my website.
We do, like I said, bundles. Video is a part of it. We do webinars, so we have questions and answers, but it's for entrepreneurs who are wanting to grow their business. It's a membership website, but it's cheap. We're still figuring out the pricing, but it's going to be thirty and fifty dollars a month.
Robert Plank: Is that one at PaulPotratz.com?
Paul Potratz: Yeah, PaulPotratz.com.
Robert Plank: The website of your agency, is that PPADV.com?
Paul Potratz: That's it. Yep.
Robert Plank: Do you have any plans to make any kind of website that teaches people how to become a snappy dresser?
Paul Potratz: I put that out there and no one seemed like they were really interested in it. I don't know. I'll tell you what, I love putting ginghams and plaids and stripes together in different colors. It's just hard to find guys that are willing to wear that other than myself.
Robert Plank: Maybe you can keep all of the secrets to yourself then?
Paul Potratz: I'm more than happy to share everything I know, but it's just ... Then people are always like "Yeah, that looks good. That looks sharp. I just wouldn't be able to pull it off." I was like, "Yeah, you'd be able to pull it off. It's easy. Just throw some stuff together with some colors and some patterns and you're good."
Robert Plank: They just need more confidence.
Paul Potratz: Exactly. That's what it is. I think that's part of the branding thing. That was I point I wanted to make because I felt like so many people were dressing like me and I said I'm going to take it to another level.
Robert Plank: You might as well, right, if you're doing it anyway?
Paul Potratz: Yeah. Exactly. What the heck, why not?
Robert Plank: Cool. Along those lines, thanks for stopping by the show Paul. The websites are ppadv.com and paulpotratz.com. Thanks again for stopping by.
Paul Potratz: Thanks Robert. Have a great day.
144: Mental Illness is An Asset: Create Predictable Income Using Checklists, Life Mission Statements, and Tribal Connections with Mike Veny
Mental health speaker and drummer Mike Veny from TransformingStigma.com and Unleash Your Groove, who was hospitalized three times, expelled from three schools, and attempted suicide by age 10, gives us simple exercises we can use to become more focused, free up aggression, and become the person we really are. Mike has battled depression, anxiety, and OCD -- and talks to us today about how he's using drum circles to empower people connect authentically with each other and form a mission statement in life. He also tells us how he uses operations manuals and checklists to keep his businesses running smoothly.
Mike Veny: I'm doing wonderful. How are you Robert?
Robert Plank: Better than ever. Just getting kicked back on this Monday morning. Ready to do some of the entrepreneurial life style stuff.
Mike Veny: Cool, and hello to your listeners out there.
Robert Plank: I'm super glad that they're listening and that you're here. Could you tell us about yourself, Mike, and what makes you different and special?
Mike Veny: What makes me different and special ...
Robert Plank: Oh yeah.
Mike Veny: I'm Mike! That's what makes me different and special. No, I am a mental health speaker and I'm also a drummer and I have a very unique business that really helps people who are struggling with mental health issues, a big topic in this country right now. At the same time, I work with corporate America with drumming to teach adults how to work better together in the workplace like me.
Robert Plank: Interesting. Cool, so I mean out of all the stuff you've listed, the drumming sounds like super crazy and out there, which is something I love, so can you tell us about that drumming stuff?
Mike Veny: Well, I started playing drums in the fifth grade and the reason I started drumming was because I heard it on Sesame Street and I always just liked the sounds of the drums and for some reason I was struggling with mental health issues and behavioral health issues. In fact, I was hospitalized three times in a psychiatric hospital and expelled from three schools for behavior problems and actually tried to take my own life at age ten. Drumming was the only thing that calmed me down and made me feel good. It worked better than the other medication they were giving me. I decided to become a professional drummer, not just because it is cool. I mean, it is pretty cool if you're a drummer, but also because it was my medication. I'm thirty-seven years old and it's still my medication that I use and what I love about it is, I'm able to share it with others.
I do a very advanced form of what we call drum circles, and a drum circle is typically when you have people in a circle drumming and jamming along to grooves, but I have created a lot of activities and games for adults to use with drumming to not only play great music, but to learn some lessons about working with each other.
Robert Plank: That's awesome. Did I hear that right that you don't medicate or anything like that? It's all just these drumming exercises?
Mike Veny: Yeah and when it comes to mental health, and for any of you listening out there, seek the guidance of a doctor whenever you have any kind of issue. I worked with my therapist and just basically came to the conclusion that I was going to try what we call alternative medication, which is exercise, meditation, good friends and music.
Robert Plank: Cool, so instead of maybe like the short cut way, which seems easy, but seems to have these other side effects, you kind of found your own way to make this thing work.
Mike Veny: Yeah, can I say something about that? That we, as a society, are short cut people sometimes. If we're single and we want to be in a relationship, we can just quickly download a certain app and just start swiping away at different profiles and I'm learning more and more that in order to move forward in your life, sometimes things involve real difficult work and you have to see certain things as a process, not a destination. Such as building your business or building your career.
Robert Plank: Let's talk about that because you took us up to about eight to ten or so and you discovered this drum circle thing and I mean obviously it's been a couple decades since that. How did you get from point A to point B I guess?
Mike Veny: Well, in my mind, I think ... my vision when I was sixteen was that I just wanted to play drums in a jazz club with drunk people in the audience. That's what I wanted to do. I told my parents that and I think they really were very concerned, but they still supported me. They understood and supported me. When I started drumming and playing professionally, I also started teaching privately and there was an organization that asked me to come in one day and work with a group of kids. Said, "Can you teach drums to a group of kids," and I said, "Okay, I'll see if I can figure it out," and I did that and it worked so well that they started asking me to work with adults. I thought, "This is weird."
Then, more companies started asking me and I realized that I had a problem on my hands that I could either surrender to or run away from and a lot of times ... What I've learned Robert, is that when we have opportunities in life, sometimes we can surrender to them or run away from them, but if you let your ego get caught up in, "This is how I want to look to the world," and don't allow yourself to surrender to opportunities, sometimes that can be a lost career changing thing in your life. I surrendered to it and next thing I know, I was booked doing interactive drumming events around New York state and now I'm doing it around the country. In fact, I'm going to be in Haiti in October doing it with a company, so I'm loving it.
Robert Plank: That's awesome and I know that we kind of have two sides of the coin to talk about today. There's the part of the business that you've built and then there's this message you have and these techniques you have for solving this problem. The thing I like about that and I guess the common thread I keep hearing from entrepreneur after entrepreneur is that they kind of have some kind of an idea of what they want to do and they kind of like do it and they put all their energy into it and then it leads to this next logical step, it leads to this next logical step, but it's one of those things where it's like you wouldn't of ... like you said, you wouldn't of come across the becoming a public speaker or teaching this drum circle stuff to adults if you hadn't first just tried it with kids. Even that wouldn't of happened if you hadn't first had this dream of being a drummer and stuff like that. Is that right?
Mike Veny: Yeah, absolutely and I love that you just said that because it's like literally you take you and me right now. We're doing this podcast interview. Next time in California, I might ask you to meet up for coffee, we go to a really cool coffee shop and discover that you and I both want to go into the coffee business and building a coffee business that's even bigger than Starbucks. That's just kind of how life works, but you and I would both have to surrender to that at some level if it were to happen. The other thing I want to bring up is the importance of mission statement in life. Mission statement is a thing that sometimes, when people are building businesses, they see that little spot in the business plan and struggle to find powerful words that can go in there.
A mission statement is so important to life and it's something that you discover with time. It's nothing you can go out and get tomorrow. I discovered that my mission life was to empower people to connect authentically. That's, if you hang out with me as a friend, that's when I work on the mental health stuff. I'm empowering people to connect with themselves and when I do the drumming, I'm empowering people to connect. It's actually really just one theme that I basically express in several different ways.
Robert Plank: Is there a reason why the drum circle stuff works? Or do you have a theory on that? Is it a matter of like people having a way to express themselves? Is it some kind of a outlet? Is it the group aspect, is it a focus, is it in the zone aspect? What do you think makes this drumming thing work?
Mike Veny: Well, it's everything you just said actually. My initial thought was, "It's 'cause drumming is just cool!" That's why it works, but no, it works for several reasons. One of the things that I'm learning is that people are tribal. We all are tribal people and even if you're listening to this right now and you are an introvert, we still have a need, at some deep level, to be part of a group. When I do a drumming event, every single person involved is part of that group and we all get to bond. The other thing that happens is when you have people in a circle, it really allows people to take off their mask, their social shell and just be themselves. If you think about kindergartners, how they sit in a circle and do things. They get to just kind of be themselves.
Even twelve step programs like alcoholics anonymous are very successful because people are sitting in a circle. It makes everyone an equal and it immediately allows everyone to feel good. The other thing is the pent up aggression that we all carry. I mean all of us have stress, different issues that we're walking around with and to be in a safe environment where you can just hit stuff and make noise and act like a fool is something that people just never get to do at all. That's some of the short answer as to why I believe the drum circles are successful.
Robert Plank: Even when you describe that, it almost sounds like kind of with the drumming, it's almost like going back to that kindergarten kind of age when things were simpler or you were happier and all the weight of being an adult didn't kind of weigh you down. You know what that reminds me of? You know what I always wanted to try was that thing where you pay five bucks and you get to have a bat and you get to beat the crap out of a car. It's almost like that kind of thing-
Mike Veny: Yep.
Robert Plank: ... But safer I guess, because you're using drums.
Mike Veny: Yes, no absolutely and that's the thing. Think about the world we live in. With all the news around violence. How many people are living with pent up aggression that they need to let out in a healthy way? That's why I think it's just important for all of us, whether it's drumming or something else to find healthy ways to let out your aggression, especially if you're an entrepreneur building a business. Because you know what? It's a lovely thing to be an entrepreneur, but really difficult to get your project off the ground. Really difficult.
Robert Plank: Let's talk about that. What are your thoughts about that? What have you found that ... out of all your years of entrepreneurship, what do you think people need to be doing differently? Not just as far as like their actions, but also as far as their inner game and their inner voice and all that stuff. What should people be doing differently as entrepreneurs as opposed to just employees?
Mike Veny: Wow, that's a great, great question and I'm going to try to answer this as quickly as I can out of respect for everyone's time. There's two things. Number one, talking to the people who are listening, who are just thinking about starting a business or in that beginning phase. One thing I always suggest to people starting out is to not spend much time talking about your idea, but executing your idea. Because a lot of times in today's entrepreneurship world, people really just get caught up in the idea of just going to business plan competitions and just talking about their idea to their friends, but very little time on action. Action is uncomfortable, action is difficult. Action makes you feel vulnerable, you actually have to go out and sell whatever it is that you are trying to make. I think it's really important to do that.
For those that are in business like myself, one thing I suggest that has really helped me increase my income, is the importance of writing down all of the processes in your business into an operations manual. This way, you can run a business from a checklist. My business is very easy for me to run because I just go to the checklist. My assistant goes to the checklist. Everyone on my team has a checklist. This way if I'm not around, there's a predictable way for this machine to run and so a lot of people never get to that point because they say it feels too corporate or it feels like they're in the regular job that they were trying to leave, but that actually is one of the reasons that a business like UPS is so successful, because all of the drivers have a checklist for different things that they have to do. That's why they are, I'm going to say, predictable for the most part with delivering what they deliver. It's very important for entrepreneurs to hear.
Robert Plank: Do you have a specific checklist you can kind of walk us through that you use in your business?
Mike Veny: Absolutely. One of my favorite checklists to use is my budgeting checklist. Each month I have to deliver a budget for the upcoming month. I have to do this on the twenty-fifth and if it's not done by the twenty-fifth, believe it or not, my assistant has a checklist item to email me and remind me, because we have to upload that into Quick books because there needs to be a budget before the first of the month for the following month. Part of that checklist and making a budget includes listing all the income that I project coming in, but doing that on the conservative side. Because a lot of times when we project income, we get all excited and like to put what we hope the income will be and one thing I've learned, as a business owner, is it's really important to yes, have goals, but also be realistic.
At the same time, with expenses, be very aggressive looking at worse case scenarios and this has allowed me to make the finances of the business actually very predictable for the most part, which is a very important goal that I achieved.
Robert Plank: Instead of flying by the seat of your pants, you actually are treating it like a real business, a real machine, not just something where you're playing around as a hobby.
Mike Veny: Absolutely, absolutely. You have to treat it like a real machine. You know what? If you don't, you're not going to make money from it. One of the things that I've learned the hard way, and maybe you've experienced this too with people that are just starting out. A lot of people start businesses because they want to get out of the corporate world. They don't like feeling controlled or held down or like they have to be under someone else.
When they get into business, they get really excited, but they eventually discover that the only way to grow their business is to actually become more corporate like in the sense that you have to run things with predictable systems and processes and policies. That's just very painful, so for a lot of you listening, what I'm saying might be very, very painful, but I promise you, for those of you that really make an attempt to develop these processes, you are going to see an immediate change in your income.
Robert Plank: I think that that was a pretty tough lesson to learn. For me, it took many, many years to have that realization and I think that a lot of us, or a lot of people who are employees, they want to just quit and have the freedom and they just want to wake up and stay in their pajamas all day, click the button and the money comes out of the computer and it's like, if only it worked that way right? If only there was a way to do that. We both kind of laugh about it, but I think at some point or another, we have kind of all secretly hoped that was true right?
Mike Veny: Absolutely, and one of the reasons for that, I believe, is television and what we see in the media about business. There's so many shows out on television about business and Shark Tank. A lot of times, we are creatures of what we see in society. We develop skewed perspectives about what business is. One thing I always tell people, if you want to see one of the most successful businesses in the country, go down to your local laundromat. It's one of the most successful businesses in the country, is a laundromat, but most people don't even think of that because it's like, "Oh, that's boring." A lot of times we get caught up more in the sexiness behind the idea and our idea versus just running a solid machine.
Robert Plank: That's pretty powerful because if you think about it, it's like which would you rather ... The whole point of having your own business is to make money, so which would you rather have? A really sexy idea that makes zero dollars or a boring idea that makes a good amount of money.
Mike Veny: Yeah, I'm going to take the boring idea.
Robert Plank: Yeah and there's so many stories like that of people who they had a really good idea in the back of their head and they went ahead and created the money making business first and then they were able to go ahead and do the dream. You look at your Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk or something. They all kind of did the ... I don't necessarily want to say practical, but they did the, like you said, the unsexy path first and once they were able to get that running, then they could go and play around and have fun.
Mike Veny: Yes, no absolutely. Can I just actually circle back to the mental health thing for a moment?
Robert Plank: Let's do it.
Mike Veny: I still live with mental health issues. I struggle with depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. I actually struggle with it so painfully that my entire body is affected by it. Yesterday, I couldn't move practically because of the depression. I really wanted to move, but I just couldn't. I'm not being lazy, I exercise and all that stuff, but having the checklist in place made it so much easier to get certain things done when I was depressed. The beautiful thing about process is, is that if you're a person like me who struggles with mental health issues it actually makes it a lot easier to get your work done. Even if you're not in business for yourself and you're just working a regular job, creating processes for yourself is going to make your life easier.
Robert Plank: I love that and the whole thing about those checklists that I found is that as I'm creating them or if I do that, I feel like it's almost kind of a waste of time until those days when there's just so many things to do. Like my focus is so split or there's such a deadline where I have to get a bunch of stuff done. For those times when I'm in a rush, there's all those things that I intuitively think I could've handled, but I always end up missing steps or doing something in the wrong order. Or like you said, I think that's pretty cool that even if you can't show up or you don't show up on a certain day to get a certain thing finished, then someone else can just kind of pick up that checklist and do it for you.
Mike Veny: Exactly, exactly, and I agree with you so much too. Setting them up is a pain. I get stressed out setting up these checklists. It's like why am I wasting my time thinking through this? But when you have days where there's a lot of things going on, you will feel very grateful for this simple, ancient form of entrepreneurial technology. The checklist.
Robert Plank: Whoever invented it, I mean, they are centuries, thousands of years dead, but what a genius, whoever that person was.
Mike Veny: Yeah.
Robert Plank: Cool, so kind of along those lines of your business and checklists and stuff like that. Could you tell us about everything that you do from the ... I know that you do, you have like a podcast, you do speaking, you have some websites. Can you tell us about all that cool stuff you do?
Mike Veny: Sure, I have a podcast. It's called the Mike Veeny Show and it only has three episodes, but it's people like yourself that are inspiring me to get a little more disciplined in that. Actually, I need to revisit my process for that. Producing the podcast to make it a little smoother to fit my life. In addition, I write for a website called Health Central. I write a lot of mental health articles that are there to help people. I write for Corporate Wellness magazine and I also have two websites. One is called UnleashYourGroove.com. That is my interactive drumming website and the other for mental health is called TransformingStigma.com. I invite anyone to just reach out to me if they ever have any questions about any of this stuff.
Robert Plank: Awesome, they should definitely do that and I want to thank you Mike for coming by and telling us, in our little compressed window of time, first of all, how you were able to overcome this common and kind of scary and sometimes even life threatening problem. That was cool and also to tell us about just like your philosophy and this whole checklist thing and how you have the mission statement and operations manual. It was all very helpful so thanks for coming by and sharing all that stuff. One more time, just to make sure that everyone for sure 100% has it, where can they go, what website, to find out more about you? One more time.
Suzy Prudden from IttyBittyPublishing.com has been on Oprah and is responsible for many books becoming bestsellers. She tells us that your book is a business BUILDER, not a business card, and that you can create an "itty bitty" book in just 15 pages to market yourself.
Suzy Prudden: Robert, they are fabulous. They just keep getting better. The older I get the better they get.
Robert Plank: That's what I like to hear. Everyday is the best day of your life because every day is better than before, right?
Suzy Prudden: Yes. I had a friend of mine say to me one time we were are a party. I said to him "I'm having the best time ever." With annoyance, he said "You always say that." I looked at him and I said "Yeah, I do." Then he realized that it was the best time ever. It didn't mean that the other days weren't any good, it just meant that this was the best. If every day is a best day, you're having a best life.
Robert Plank: That sounds like an amazing message. Can you tell me- You sound like an interesting person- Can you tell me about yourself and what it is you do? And what makes you different? Besides the obvious. Where to begin?
Suzy Prudden: Do we have an hour? Do we have three hours? Basically, I started my career when I was 22 in 1965. What happened was, my mother told me I couldn't date the boy I was dating, so I ran away and married him. That was when I was 19 and then I had to support him because he went back to school. At 22, then I decided to have a baby. Nothing made any sense, you have to realize.
I started a fitness school because my mother was the nation's foremost fitness authority. I became extremely successful and I've written nine books on fitness, two books on body/mind. I've done television, I had my own show on NBC in New York as fitness reporter for the Today Show. Had an amazing career. In '81, I divorced him. In '83, I sold my business and I retired at the age of 40. Then I had to figure out what to do with my life, but I didn't know who I was so I became a workshop junkie. Then I started making up new thoughts, programs, and body/mind programs. I just kept making stuff up and it kept working. Then I became a hypnotherapist and a body/mind technologist.
Everything kept leading me forward to the place where I am now, which is taking all of my skills and helping entrepreneurs create seven figure businesses starting with writing a small book which we call Itty Bitty Books. Which started with when my sister took my name off of a book that we were writing. When I saw that my name wasn't there, it meant that I didn't have to write the book anymore, but I could have authors write books and that's what I'm doing now.
An author writes an Itty Bitty book, which is the 15 steps to whatever their expertise is. Then we help them create a business which will help them make between six and seven figures within three to five years. It's exciting.
Robert Plank: It sounds like it. That's a pretty crazy story. I love how one thing kind of lead to the next logical step as opposed to not necessarily drifting around, but one kind of thing ran its course then it transitioned you into whatever this next stage was.
Suzy Prudden: Then I forgot to mention that eight months after doing Oprah, I ended up homeless because I didn't pay attention to my money. I spent it all. I took ten months- I never lived in my car, but it was a very educational experience. I knew it would change my life and it did. This was in the '90s, 1990. It caused me to have a different viewpoint on life and the importance of paying attention, of being present. The secret tells everybody you can ... There's a genie out there, wish for something and it will come to you. Yes, that's true and only if you take action. If you sit back and wait for it, it's not going to happen.
I am an action oriented person. I get an idea and I act on it and that's why I'm successful.
Robert Plank: I like it.
Suzy Prudden: That's why my authors are successful. The authors that I have that take action and do what I tell them make a lot of money.
Robert Plank: Imagine that.
Suzy Prudden: Exactly.
Robert Plank: They realize that they are an expert in a certain area, but their skills might be limited. They go to you as the expert, listen to what an expert says to do, it works. Pretty simple.
Suzy Prudden: Very simple. I have three coaches. I spent the morning with one coach- I'm so excited about the stuff that I'm doing with this particular coach. I believe in coaches. When I lost everything, I didn't have a coach. I didn't have a team. I was kind of winging it. I was successful, but I wasn't strategically successful. It was hit or miss. Now I am strategically successful. I have a team. I have coaches. I have people who keep me on track, who support me. I'm going to tell you something funny. I actually have someone who comes in once or twice a month and cleans my desk because I hate to do that. I'm looking at my desk right now and it's piled high with books, and tapes, and files. She's coming tomorrow and we're going to spend the whole morning cleaning my desk because I will not do it.
A lot of entrepreneurs believe they have to do everything themselves and they don't. I don't clean my house, I have somebody clean it. I change the cat box because it's kind of awful if you don't, but I do have someone who cleans my house. I have someone who cleans my desk. I have someone who makes my appointments because I don't have time because I'm doing the appointments. I'm out there getting authors, I don't have time to then hound people to say "You gave me your card, do you want to talk to me?" I have someone else do it.
Entrepreneurs, it is extremely important that you delegate because if you don't, you can't run your business in a way that's going to garner you the kind of income that you want. You'll be working. If you are an entrepreneur and you do everything yourself, you really just created yourself a job that has more hours than if you worked for somebody else.
Robert Plank: You just end up overworked and burned out. How do you tell the ... How do you, first of all, get the right people on your team, and how do you know when to do something yourself and when to delegate it? Like you said that you know to somewhat delegate cleaning of the desk, but then something simple you know to clean the cat box. How do you figure out those two things? Who to have and which to do yourself?
Suzy Prudden: It's very simple how I figured it out. I won't clean my desk. I have not been able to clean my desk since my very first career, that was in 1965. I have not changed. I am not going to change, I'm 73 years old today- Day before yesterday, a few days ago.
Robert Plank: Happy birthday.
Suzy Prudden: I won't do it. Thank you. I won't do it. If you have something that you won't do and you keep waiting to do it, it's not going to get done so just pick someone to do it. When it comes to the cat box, I could wait for my housekeeper to come, but that could be one or two weeks because she doesn't come every day. She comes once every week or once every two weeks depending how much time I'm spending in my house and how messy I make it. If I wait two days to clean the cat box, it stinks and I don't like the smell so I clean it. It's that simple.
Robert Plank: Why make it more complicated than it has to be?
Suzy Prudden: I do my dishes too because I don't like leaving them in the sink. The night before my housekeeper comes, I don't do my dishes because she's going to do them the next morning. That's strategic. That's so simple, it's ridiculous. I also have someone who makes my calls. She just had surgery this week, so she can't make my calls. I'm finding time to make those calls because she can't. That's just common sense. You've got to bring in a lot of common sense to business. You have to pick up the phone. If you're in business you have to pick up the phone. You cannot not pick up the phone, the money's in the phone.
When I'm talking to people, I find out what they need and then I strategize with them to help them get it. And because I'm a hypnotherapist, if someone has a phone phobia, I just hypnotize them to stop it.
I have a wonderful new company which is able to help people get in front of people, it's called Itty Bitty Publishing. You can go online and take a look at it, www.ittybittypublishing.com, Itty Bitty Publishing. We take experts and help them write a 15 step book on whatever their expertise is. Then we have a business builder program, that we just started recently, to help them turn their itty bitty book into a business that will give them six or seven figures depending on where they are in the moment. Some people are not at six figures, so we help them get to six figures. Some people are already at six figures, so why not make multiple six figures? If you're at multiple six figures, why not then make a million? It's all doable. It's all strategic. You have to keep it simple, but you need help.
How do I choose the people to work? If they're good at their job, I keep them. If they're not, I let them go.
Robert Plank: Once again, super simple advice. Why make it anymore complicated than it has to be? I guess you have these people that you work with and you have somewhat of a period of time when you're just trying them out and seeing how well they do.
Suzy Prudden: Yeah. You really have to look at if it's a fit, it's a fit. If it's not, it's not. Usually it takes about three months to know for sure. Be very careful hiring friends, very careful. Don't hire family.
Robert Plank: Good advice.
Suzy Prudden: My business partner happens to be my sister, but I can't do what she does and she can't do what I do. It's a perfect combination.
Robert Plank: Your sister is a partner, not an employee of yours.
Suzy Prudden: Not an employee. She was an employee in my other company, I had to fire her. It's much easier for her to be a partner.
Robert Plank: I like the idea of this itty bitty book and this 15 steps. I'm looking at the site and there's 15 steps to weight loss, 15 steps to traveling, cool stuff like that. Could you walk us through a case study of one of these clients you had, one of the books you-
Suzy Prudden: I'll give you my favorite. I have two favorites right now. Anthony who wrote a book the Little Black Book of Sales. I met him at a conference last year when we were only a year old, our company is only a year old. We have over a hundred authors so far. I met Anthony at a conference, I talked about Itty Bitty at lunch. He said "Let me have an application." He signed up a lunch, I never saw him before, he got the concept, he wrote the book, and he said to us over and over it changed his life. His book- He signed the contract in March. His book came out in June of last year. He's probably close to half a million dollars. Because of it, he uses his book as ... He's a sales coach for the automotive industry for car dealerships. He goes into car dealerships, he'll give a presentation. They hire him for a year to help their salesmen. He's gotten contracts anywhere from $18,000 for the year to $54,000 for the year. They send him to Dubai this year to speak for two weeks. He's probably close to half a million dollars because he has an itty bitty book. It's positioned him as an expert in his field and creates him as an automatic authority. That's one favorite.
The other one is [Cat Bonback 00:14:05] who wrote the book on marijuana. This is one of my favorite stories. When I spoke to her last year, last summer. I think it was in August. I met her at a conference. When I called her and spoke to her, I said "What do you do?" And she said "Well, I'm a full blooded gypsy." I went "Okay." She said "I'm a disabled vet." I said "Okay." She said "I'm a spiritual coach." I said "Okay." "And I'm a marijuana dispenser." I said "Okay." She lives up in Washington state. I said "What do you want to write about?" She said "I don't know, spiritual coaching?" I said "Cat, what's the low hanging fruit?" She said "I don't know." I said "It's pot." She said "Really?" She told me later she was afraid to tell me that she was a marijuana dispenser, but she took a chance.
I said "Yes. How about you write the book, you're amazing marijuana book, 15 ways to use cannabis for healing?" She said "How did you do that?" I said "That's what I do. Your next book is going to be 15 ways to talk to your children about cannabis. Your next book is going to be how to use edibles correctly. You're going to create a coaching program and you're going to teach people how to teach people how to use cannabis so they use it wisely. Go find out if cannabis coach is available," it wasn't. I said "How about the cannabis coach," it was. I said "buy it." I said "Buy the cannabis, US cannabis coach, national cannabis coach, and cannabis coaching certification program." She did. Then she said "What about Mary Jane?" I said "I had forgotten Mary Jane was a term for marijuana." She said "I want to do Mary Jane parties. I want to do them like Tupperware parties where we sell cannabis paraphernalia at parties." I said "Go buy Mary Jane parties." She did.
She started teaching her cannabis coaching certification program this past March. She was in a conference recently where she sold 61 places in her cannabis coaching certification program. In one day they made $92,000. That's a nice day.
I just got off the phone with her this morning. She's going to be doing one in Los Angeles either late this year or early next year. I told her she had to raise the prices because my coach told me I had to raise my prices, so I told her she had to raise her prices. Instead of $1,500 to become a cannabis coach, it's now $2,500 to become a cannabis coach.
Now she will take this business and there will be 50 cannabis coaches who are doing Mary Jane parties. They have to be licensed through her, they have to be certified through her, she gets money. They do the parties, she hooks them up with all the vendors. The vendors make money, the coaches make money, and she makes override.
Robert Plank: That's crazy. Your model works in just about any niche it sounds like.
When I'm hearing about the Itty Bitty Book and the 15 steps, how big of a book are we talking about? 15 steps comes out to how many pages in this model?
Suzy Prudden: Every chapter is one page.
Robert Plank: Super short.
Suzy Prudden: It's an itty bitty book. Here's how to look at it. Dummies came out in the '80s and they were the quintessential what you need to know book, but they're 350 pages. You have to read a Dummies book with a yellow highlighter. Itty Bitty Books are the yellow highlights. What we've done is taken the information that people need and simplified it so succinctly that it takes 20 minutes to read an itty bitty book and you can mark the pages you need to reference. On page one of each chapter, it's the information. Page two of each chapter is a bullet point to more information that you can then send them your website, "To reach more about this go to here." Then you can have a white paper on your website or a workshop that you're doing. You're sending people from your Itty Bitty Book back and forth to your website, to your book, to your website, to your book. You're constantly creating streams of income from your Itty Bitty Book to your website, from your website to your webinar, to your seminars, to your products (whatever it is you're selling). Or you can send them to somebody else, or some other information, depending on what the information is that they need.
Yes, it's an Itty Bitty Book so you can handle it, but it's much bigger if you choose to go further. In other words, you don't have to weed through a lot of information to get to the piece you need. You get the piece you need and then if you want to expand on it, it has a link. If it's a digital it goes right to their thing. It's paperback, on Amazon then you have to put the information into your computer. All the Itty Bitty Books are on Amazon and they're on the digitals.
We've done nine best selling campaigns so far and we have nine best sellers so far. We have another best seller- A best seller campaign every month. Every Itty Bitty author has the opportunity to become a best selling author. It's so exciting, I get speechless with excitement because it's giving so many people an opportunity to do so much more with what they had in the past. Now they have a further reach. They're all of a sudden international because they have a book on Amazon. That can operate on a lead generator to their business. We also have a whole thing on our website where we have a directory for anyone around the world can sign up in our directory. We send them leads when people click on their information and put in their information that they want to talk to this person about whatever product or whatever service, like Anthony has sales. If someone wants to learn from Anthony, they can contact Anthony. Then we send Anthony the lead. It's very exciting.
Robert Plank: That's pretty cool. I'm looking at your directory right now and I'm looking at Anthony's listing and that kind of stuff. What I like about the way that you've laid it out is that these people that you come in contact with who have a really good idea, they can get the book done quickly while also excited about it. Maybe before they met you, they've been struggling. Maybe some of them have half a book made and they thought it had to be 300 pages.
Suzy Prudden: So many of them have been writing their books for the last eight years. This is what we do. When you say yes and you give us some money, because we are a pay to play house, we send you a how to write an Itty Bitty Book book. We send you an Itty Bitty Book and we send you the template. If you read the how to write the Itty Bitty Book and you write it the way we tell you to write it, and you use the template, we've had people write their books in two afternoons. We also send you an agreement at that time. Then we have a long conversation about the agreement so you have a legitimate publishing agreement where you own the copyrights, we own the publishing rights. It's your material, you can do what you want with it, you just can't do it in the Itty Bitty format. It opens the door for you to do more.
Then we also have on our site, you'll see there's a thing there that says "Tell your story." Let's say you have a story. You can write your story, you'll send it to us, we'll put it up. We'll send your link to your story and we won't charge you. We'll put it up on our website. We will send you the link to your story so you send your story now to everybody you know. You ask them "Please send my story to every-" Then you have them link back to you. It's a way for you to get your stuff out there, it's not an Itty Bitty it's like a page. People have stories they want to tell.
I have a wonderful story that I tell about ... I can't tell it now, it's too long. It's about an experience I had during the days where I didn't have my own home. It's a great story. It takes three minutes to tell on stage, it would take a page and a half to tell in a written. It's not nearly as compelling written as it is when I speak it. I could put that story up, send it to everybody. People go "What a great story, I think I'll send this out to my friends." Then they contact Suzy if you want to write a story. I've got an opportunity for a million people to write their stories on my website.
Robert Plank: Cool. Why make it anymore complicated than it has to be?
Suzy Prudden: It's not complicated, that's correct. Then I can send them to, if they want a website like my website, it's a phenomenal website. There's an opportunity for them to contact my web person and say "I want to talk to you about a website." She's amazing and not at all expensive. I would highly recommend speaking to her. She's totally amazing. I don't know how this happened, I honestly don't. It's like magic happened when my sister showed me that cover, and after my ego got up off the floor because she took my name off it, I saw it as a multi million dollar business. Now working with my coach who is in Myrtle Beach and I'm in California. I go there, not every day, not every week. We talk mostly on the phone. I probably go there like three times a year. My company is growing exponentially. I saw that that would happen when I was at a conference last May in Las Vegas. I went "Whoa, this is the company that's going to grow my business." And it is.
Robert Plank: I don't want to keep you for too long. As we're winding this down, could you tell us out of all the clients you deal with and the people you work with to make their Itty Bitty Book and to get their coaching programs set up and stuff like that- What's the big number one mistake you see all these people making over and over again?
Suzy Prudden: Not finishing their books.
Robert Plank: Pretty simple. You're saying that these people who maybe if they've tried publishing in the past, or if they've gone through all the run around and all that stuff. What they should do is instead of trying to make it complicated, get an Itty Bitty Book, hire you for coaching, and make one of these 15 page things that has all their knowledge compressed and simplified so that people who want to know about whatever topic. About websites, or about marijuana type of stuff, they don't have to read the 600 page manual. They just get the condensed cliff notes version.
Suzy Prudden: Get the condensed version that will give them more information if they want it. If you've got an idea- I don't take every idea. I will tell you ... I don't take every idea that comes to me because know that some ideas would not fit into this format. That it would not serve the person. I only want to work with people that I know that I can help them really expand their careers. I will work with people to massage it into something that will expand their careers, but if I see that this book would not do that, I won't take them as an author. That's doing them a favor.
Robert Plank: That's cool. I've noticed especially lately as books have had the ... Since books are now on Kindle and a lot of books have had these internet resources where they say on such and such page, if you want to know more about that go over to this website. I like that a lot more as a reader because now it's more of a choose my own adventure. Now I don't have to only go with one chapter, I can pick- I can get the whole big picture really quickly. On let's say Chapter four or page four, if I want to go and take that deeper, now I have the choice to but I'm not forced to.
Suzy Prudden: It's up to you. The other thing, I had an idea just a second ago. You very often hear people say your book is your business card. It is not. It is absolutely not your business card. Your book is your business builder. We tell our authors to have business cards that are ... Just a second, what's the word that I'm looking for ... They're like bookmarks. Your bookmark is your business card, your book is your business builder. I don't like it when people give me a book that I don't want. I am very respectful of books, so I don't throw it away. Now I have to find it a home because it's cluttering up mine. I don't want it. Give me a business card, don't give me a book. I'm clear about that because people have tried to ... Please don't give me your book. But it's a good book, I'm sure it is. Please don't give it to me. If I want it, I'll buy it.
Robert Plank: I like that mentality behind that where it seems almost like everyone has it backwards. The average person says "I'm Robert or I'm Suzy, I do this stuff. Let me make a book about that." What you're saying is it's better to have this book that solves a problem so people are actually looking to solve that problem, looking for that book. They get it, they solve the problem as opposed to just reading it for the heck of it.
Suzy Prudden: People won't read it. I've been to seminars where the author, the seminar person, has done what I have done in 2006. Which was buy 2000 of my book, now I have to sell 2000 books. You end up giving them away. I walk into a seminar and especially with compilation books, and I'll see on every seat is a book. That author doesn't know what to do with them so he gives them away thinking it gives him credibility. In my mind, and I'm a snob because I was a best seller before the internet, that's when you actually had to buy the book. You don't have to buy books anymore to be a best seller. You can do a campaign on Amazon, be a best seller. You don't have to sell a lot of books to do that. If you want to be a best seller on the New York Times now you hire a company, you pay them $135,000 and they'll make you a best seller. When I was a best seller, you had to go into the book store and buy the book. I'm a snob.
You want to use your book, as I've always said, as a business builder. You don't want to put it on every chair in your seminar because what if somebody doesn't want it. Now they have to do something with it.
Robert Plank: How bad would that look or how bad does that look if all the books laid on all the chairs, and after you give your talk and everyone's on break all the books are left in the chairs. That sounds like a disaster.
Suzy Prudden: It's a little embarrassing. There are places where speakers speak where the person who hired them to speak wants to give the books to their participants. That's a whole different thing. Then that speaker sells the books to the person who is putting on the talk. That person gives them as a gift. It's different than if you "Take my book. Take my book. Take my book.." I don't want to take your book. I know it's a good book, but I'm not interest in your topic. Don't give it to me. Give me your business card.
Robert Plank: There is a much better way. I really like your thinking Suzy. I like your business model and your structure, your template. Could you tell us about where people can find Itty Bitty Publishing along with any other websites you want to mention here?
Suzy Prudden: The best way to do it is go to IttyBittyPublishing.com and get all the information. For your listeners, if you want to send in your stories, send in the story. Robert, why don't you send us a story? We'll put it up.
Robert Plank: About what? What do you want?
Suzy Prudden: You. How did you start this? How did you start doing these interviews? What's the story behind your interviews? How has it helped your career? How has it helped other people's careers? You see what happens then is you send it out and other people want to contact you and be interviewed by you. Now your business grows.
Robert Plank: Simple but it sounds very effective.
Suzy Prudden: Very effective and then you'll be part of the Itty Bitty family.
Robert Plank: IttyBittyPublishing.com. Thanks for being on the show, Suzy. Thanks for sharing your unique but clever, and at the same time simple, insight on how everyone can get that book finished that might have been on their back for five or ten years. Then also some of these cool strategies for getting these books sold. Getting it all promoted. Thanks for stopping by.
Suzy Prudden: Thank you for the opportunity.
142: Creativity is Your Biggest Resource: Get Published, Find Your Flow State, and Prevent Burnout with Spiritual Business Life Coach Tracee Sioux
We all tell ourselves three lies: that we don't have time, that we're low on money or priorities, and that we're not good enough. Luckily, nothing could be further from the truth and Tracee Sioux from TraceeSioux.com stops by to set us straight. She tells us how her strategy of content creation (books, CDs, and workbooks) and an online platform (site, social media, and newsletter) has helped her and others build a list and land public speaking gigs.
She has some great advice for aspiring and successful writers including:
- write at the same time every day
- structure, deadline, and smaller pieces (you can't force your creativity)
- take time off to recharge
She won the Utah State Newspaper Association Best Photograph Award and the Utah State School Board Association Award for exceptional journalism and she's a featured essayist on PunditMoms, Mothers of Intention. How women and social media are revolutionizing politics in America. How are things today, Tracee?
Tracee Sioux: They're fantastic. How are you?
Robert Plank: I am better than ever. What are we talking about today? What is it that you do? What are you good at? What makes you stand out? All that good stuff.
Tracee Sioux: Okay. Well, I'm a spiritual business and life coach, and an author, and I own a publishing company called Sioux Ink, Soul Purpose Publishing. I help other authors publish their work that feels like their soul calling. That's pretty fun. I love it. What am I good at? Words. I love words, I love design, I love art. I really just get to play all day. It's pretty awesome.
Robert Plank: That's what we're all looking for right? The dream job that's not a job.
Tracee Sioux: Yeah. I believe you have to create your own dream job that's not a job. I help a lot of people do that through my business and life coaching. Yeah, I don't know that this ever was a profession, but it is now because I made it.
Robert Plank: Cool. Even if it did exist, why go the same path as everyone else. Why do the same, old, boring stuff? You've got to be your own person. You say you help people find the book that's within them or whatever. Could you walk us through a case study of someone like that who maybe they just needed some help and you helped them out?
Tracee Sioux: Yeah. I have a pretty full-service operation from concept to finish in terms of basically making a person a personality or an expert in their field. I have one client I've been working with for about 4 or 5 ... This is going to be the 5th year. When we started, she had a dream. She wanted to be a healer.
She was a massage therapist. She wanted to have digital products. She wanted to make a name for herself in the industry, and make money doing what she was gifted with which was energy healing. The first step we did was create a online platform. Websites, social media, newsletter, get the branding together, make sure that all of her marketing materials had all of her right information on it.
That was the first year. We established a platform. Then, we began creating content. We did a project over this year where she created basically 2 major content. One, books and CDs and that sort of thing. Audio books on Amazon, eBooks on Amazon, print books, work books, teaching program that we created this year. We're going to launch by Thanksgiving. We're going to launch her book and CD mediation set.
Then next year it's going to be publicity, publicity, publicity, publicity. It's gone through the whole entire process of getting a hold of her dream. What does she really want to do? What does she want that to look like? That's from a soul-deep level. I often find that people think they know what they want, but if you get deeper, it's something else that they're afraid to do.
We work to get what is that? What do you want it to say? What do you want it to look like? Who are you? Is this going to make you happy? Is this going to make you money? Let's put a business model around it so that you can make money at it. We start from there and then we begin to build a platform so that people will begin to know who they are. Social media, blogging, website.
Then we begin to create a significant amount of content that's good enough to be made into a book or a product, an audio product or a video product, that they can sell online at speaking engagements, which leads to, of course, more speaking engagements, more radio shows, more media, more press because now you've got this book that you can say, "Hey, I'm an expert in my field. I've written this book or I have this whole program or class."
Then you sell stuff at the back of the room. You sell it online, and you begin to really grow your tribe that way. My company does all of those things and along the way, there's a lot of spiritual business and life coaching.
What I work on with people a lot, especially ... Oh my gosh, entrepreneurs are so bad at this, is not being a workaholic, not letting your business eat your life. Making sure that you do have enough time to be this hyperproductive. It's a lot of work, but it doesn't have to take all your time and energy. There are ways to manage things and make priorities for yourself that matter.
You'll notice I didn't say, "And in one year, we created the whole entire website, all the branding, all the content, and the book," because that would just overwhelm any person and make them crazy and set them up for failure. We took it one step at a time so that it could be reasonably accomplished, very good quality, and still fairly quickly.
Robert Plank: Dang, so when you were saying that you do start to finish, you weren't kidding.
Tracee Sioux: I'm not kidding.
Robert Plank: It sounds like there's almost a lot like 3 or 4 parts to it right? There's the book part and then that leads to the speaking part, and then even like a little bit before that there's the getting deep down into their what they really want to say part and then there's all the content in between, I guess.
Tracee Sioux: Yeah, and the platform building is really important too. When people say, "What should I spend my money on?" You should spend it on your website. You should spend it on looking like an expert, looking like a professional. If you're going to just slap up a WIX page, people visit those pages and check out whether you're credible.
You should spend money on marketing and branding. Then it pays off in the end if you really do my plan. If you really follow through, miracle things can happen.
Robert Plank: Along those lines, as far as the building of the platform and making the content and stuff like that, one thing that I'm kind of curious about is ... I don't know. It's one of those things like if I write all these blog posts or I write a book myself and stuff like that, it's almost like it takes so much time.
I'm worried that I won't finish as opposed to anytime I've tried to do a shortcut, like I've tried to throw money at the problem and have someone else write the book like me, it doesn't sound like me. You're already laughing, but if I get it transcribed, I have a lot of cleanup to do. What are your thoughts on all that stuff?
Tracee Sioux: Blogs, I think, are different than a book right, unless you're making a blog compilation book. If you're reusing content, that's great, and it can come in a different format. What I tend to do is ... Oh gosh, that's a big question. You want to give yourself deadlines and you want to give yourself enough time.
For instance, this client that I recently told you about, she did sections of 11 ... It was like an 11-day meditation with chunks over the year. For 12 months, that's what she did. By the end of the year, we have 132 of those. That's a lot of content. That's enough for a book, like a journal, workbook meditation thing.
Then she's going to read those aloud and create an audio book. There's going to be several products brought up from that. She's going to get a book, she's going to get an audio book, and then we're going to get an email class that goes annually and delivers automatically through email. Thee ways to market that content.
She didn't sit down and write a book because she's just not the type of person who really could do that on a realistic ... It would just be too overwhelming to her. Often when I'm going to write a book, I make a goal like 1 chapter a day. Just write it. One chapter a day, it doesn't matter how good it is. It doesn't matter how bad it is, just get the one chapter a day on the page.
Then further down the process, it's one chapter a day of editing. Then you have broken it down into pieces that allow you to, every day, be like, "Hey, I did good. I did my one chapter today. I edited it or I proofread it or I wrote it." It's not like taking on this ginormous, intimidating, scary project.
Then also, I strongly suggest that people hire professionals. If you are publishing a book, you need a professional editor and you need a professional designer. For one thing, Amazon won't publish work that sucks. They won't publish work with excessive, grammatical errors. They won't publish work that has bad formatting, bad covers. They're a legit retailer which means they have a legitimate expectation for quality.
Also, if your name is going on a book and you're the writer, you need another set of eyes to look at that, give you suggestions, give you creative feedback, and fix whatever mistakes are in there. I've been writing as a professional for 20 years, but I have people edit my work before it goes out there.
Robert Plank: We all make mistakes. It's almost like if I'm looking at anything that I write, then I tend to skip over it because I think, "Oh well I've already seen this because I wrote it." It's like just having the other set of eyes helps so much, I think.
Tracee Sioux: Oh it's true. It's called, "Refrigerator blindness." When you open the fridge and you're like, "Where is the ketchup? Where is the ketchup? Where is the ketchup? Where is the ketchup?" It's right in front of your face.
Robert Plank: It was there the whole time.
Tracee Sioux: Yeah, and when you're writing, I don't care how good you are at writing, that's going to happen right? You're going to see it so just even when I proofread for myself, even before I get it to an editor, I've gone through 3 rounds of proofreading. Then by the time I get it ... One of the steps that I do when I'm proofreading is I take a break for a couple days.
I'll proofread it, I'll take a break, then I'll come back to it and I see new stuff. Then if you put it in different form, that's why you want to proofread a proof, a print proof, of your book because the second that it's on the page and it's not on a computer screen, you're seeing it totally differently and you're going to pick out even more mistakes.
Then by the time you get it to the third eyes, hopefully you've got most of it, but you won't have caught all of it, especially the third eyes are so important ... Or, third eye. Second pair of eyes is so important when looking at content, and flow, and structure. You may have a lot of really great ideas, but they're not put in a way that the reader can really grasp it.
One of the things that I'm constantly getting on my clients with is they're experts in their field. They have an incredible bounty of knowledge. They want to start where they're at. You can't do that if you're writing for an average reader.
You can't do that. My energy-worker client, she has this vast knowledge and she's just aching to deliver that vast knowledge. What I've really worked on with her, especially in the last content that we created, is not everyone's at your level. In fact, almost no one is. Let's break it down to what I call, "Kindergarten level," so that the beginning person in this can understand what you're talking about.
I have another client. Huge, spiritual, brilliant mind and he's writing a memoir spiritual scholarship piece. Same thing with him. I'm like, "Okay, I get what you're saying because I've done a lot of study in this and I understand the context, and I understand theology because it's also one of my hobbies. If you don't have that background, no one's going to understand what you're saying. We have to break it down."
An editor, a publisher, they're excellent resources to help you do that so that when someone picks up your book they're not like, "What? What? What is going on? What does that even mean? I don't understand that."
Robert Plank: Isn't it called, "The curse of knowledge" or something like that? I think that's an actual term. You know so much, it's like you have to stretch yourself to make it like 5-year-old level.
Tracee Sioux: It is a huge stretch for them and that's one of the things that I can do to serve them well, even in their marketing and their blogging. If you're just surfing the web and you're interested in spirituality or energy work, or whatever it is you're interested in.
I have one client who's doing Airbnb Investing. If you're just interested in it and you're not an expert in it, basically your target audience if you're the expert, the idea is that you know more than they do. You can't give them the information that you know now, you have to give them the information that you learned before.
That's really hard for people. It really is. One of my talents is to break that down for the average person. I have 20 years of journalism experience. What they teach you to do in journalism is write at an 8th grade level because that is the average reader's reading level. The average person walking around, that's their reading level.
The idea is to break complex ideas down into layman, approachable language which is one of my gifts. It comes in handy enormously with everything. With content, with branding, with writing books, with publishing books, with making eCourses, with the whole thing. If you are an expert in your field and you publicly want to be an expert in your field, that's critical.
Robert Plank: Thinking about all that kind of stuff, when any kind of writing's involved, I think a lot of people either get burned out or stuck or frustrated. Do you find yourself, even with all these years of journalism experience, do you sometimes get stuck in your writing mode?
Tracee Sioux: I never have writer's block, ever.
Robert Plank: Wow. I've got to hear the secret on this one then.
Tracee Sioux: The secret is that I've trained myself to get into flow. Flow is ... It's a state of being that you get into to where you're really just receiving information and letting your body serve as a conduit for it. If you think of these creative geniuses out in the universe and they're like, "Ooo, we found an open portal. Let's give her all these awesome ideas."
If you train yourself to do that ... In journalism, oh my gosh, you can't even believe how many blogs I've written about carpet cleaning, and tomato seeds, and pipe fittings, and newsletters. I have done this for a living for so long that I trained myself so that I can enjoy myself while I did all of that less-than-awesome work to just get in a flow and let it come through me so that I could have a good time.
If you are a writer, or a painter, or a dancer, you know what that feeling is. Even if you're writing computer code, you know what the feeling is because that's why you keep coming back to the work. That's why you love it is because you're reaching the state of flow. If you have writer's block, your job is not to make yourself, "Okay, now I'm going to push through." Your job is to learn how to get into flow instantly.
Some of the ways that you can do that is write at the same time every single day. Then your body, your brain, and the universe is trained to deliver at the same time every day. This is just what we do. It's a habit. We don't write when we feel like it, we write at 9 AM, after the kids go to school or whatever your plan is.
I believe that the structure is the key to creativity. Putting structure around your work with deadlines, with goals, breaking that down to smaller pieces and deciding, "Okay, I'm going to get into flow at this time every day."
That said, I do take periods of time off because if you are a creative person and you are pumping energy out of you to such a degree that you're like, "Oh my gosh, I just wrote a book."
I wrote a book in 2 days once and I was so flipping high and vibrating so fast when I did that, after I did that, it was like this incredible spiritual high, but it was also overwhelming. I had to bring myself down form that back to planet Earth back to walking through the planet with the mortal humans.
I had to go away for a little while and take a little vacation, and regroup, and get some grounding time. When you are an artist or a creator or an innovator, you have these bursts of energy. I believe burst working. I am a creative.
That's how I work. Most of the people I know that are creatives work that way. I will sit down ... This weekend I put together 2 books from content that I had already created. I sat down for the weekend and I did it. I was like, "Awesome, great."
I can't do that every day. I can't write a book in 2 days every day. There has to be some space between those kinds of huge, ginormous energy expenditures, or else you will burn out. We see artists all the time who burn out and they try to ground themselves with drugs or alcohol. They go a little off the rails. They get a little bonkersville. A lot of that is because they're not resting between their bursts of energy.
Robert Plank: It sounds like what I'm hearing from all of this is just like you can't force it. I'm glad you brought up the computer programming thing because I hadn't even made that connection. I'm a computer programmer and I get stuck the same ways. Any kind of writing, like I'm writing a blog post, book, whatever, it's the same kind of being stuck in the programming kind of thing.
It's like I can get jazzed up and I can have those long sprints where I get those things done, but you're right. If I try to sustain that every single day then it would just be this burn out that I don't think I would even see coming.
It would just kind of sneak up on me and next thing you know, now it's like all this extra work just to get back to that place that you could have gotten back to easier ... more easily if you'd just had a little better system right?
Tracee Sioux: Oh absolutely. I have burned myself out. I released a book called The Year of Yes in 2014. Man, for 6 months I worked my tail off like you would not believe. Guess what happened 6 months after that? For the 6 months after that book came out, I was exhausted, I got Leaky Gut Syndrome, I mean I was a mess. I finally went away with my kids to Mexico for a month to try and recover.
Burn out's a real thing. It is a biological response because that energy's flowing through you. If you're like in the zone and you're programming and you don't take a break until you finally break, you're going to pay for that later. If you say, "Okay, today I'm writing one chapter," or "Today I'm programming this piece." Then you're like, "Okay, and now I'm going to go hang out with my kids or go ride my bike or take a kickboxing class."
If you create the rest and you create the structure and the regouping period in that, just take a freaking nap man. A nap will change everything. A nap is a huge cure for creativity block and getting stuck. I think it's really important that you ... Here's how I think about it. I think about my creativity as my biggest resource. It is the thing that I make my money on. It's how I express myself, it's what I need for my sanity.
It is something I protect as the most valuable thing that I have. To protect that, I need to not burn it out. I need to make sure that I'm taking care of my body. I need to make sure that I'm keeping to reasonable schedules. I need to make sure I have a social life, that I have a relationship with my kids.
If I don't have those things, if I'm not getting enough rest, if I'm eating like crap, if I'm just working all the time, I'm going to burn out and then what have I lost? My most valuable resource.
Robert Plank: Interesting. I hadn't thought about that. It's like treating creativity like anything else. Normally we would think of it as some abstract concept, but you could think of creativity in the same way that you think of your blood sugar or your cholesterol or something like that right?
Tracee Sioux: Even your house. It's the most expensive thing that I own and I don't go around trashing it because it's the most expensive thing that I own.
Robert Plank: Without that, everything else falls apart.
Tracee Sioux: Yeah, without that, I've got no place to live and then what am I going to do? My phone and my MAC are huge resources because that's how I make a living. I don't go tossing my computer across the floor. I make sure that it stays in good condition and I handle it with care. You're creativity is the same thing. Even a child or a baby, you don't go throwing those thing around because they're highly valuable to you.
If you think of your creativity as the way you make a living, the way you live your life, the way that feeds your soul, the thing that is so valuable that without it you couldn't do those things, you're going to want to protect that. You're going to want to take care of that. You're going to want to nurture that.
Everything that you do that's self-care is going towards that, is going towards protecting and enhancing your creativity. I consider getting a massage like a business practice. Touch is critical and meditation is critical, and what better way to do that than getting an awesome massage. I consider that time, work time. It's like this is for my business. This is for my family. This is for my abundance to get this massage.
Same with kickboxing. I get so many great ideas when I'm kickboxing. It's great for my body, it's great for my brain. I consider that something like fundamentally critical that I do for my own success.
Robert Plank: Would you say that with your client that you help out, would you say that the ... Is there one big thing that stops all these people, that holds them all back? If there is, would you say, is it this burn out thing, is it the lack of having a life? Is it lack of structure? What would you say is holding back all these people that you're helping out?
Tracee Sioux: There are 3 things. There are 3 lies that your ego will tell you to keep you where you're at, to keep you stuck. My clients and everyone I've ever met, has one or all or some variation of these 3. Time, "I don't have enough time. I am too busy. I'll do that later. Some day I'll write that. Some day I'm going to do that."
Money, "I don't have enough money." We're the richest country in the entire world in the history of the world and I don't know a single person who is like, "Yeah, I've got enough money." It's like some kind of mental ... It's like a collective mental health problem that we all think that we're totally broke.
What I find with a lot of people, and this isn't true for everyone, sometimes people just really don't have enough money. For most people, they have money, but they're spending it wrongly if this is their priority.
If you have money, and you've got an iPad and a closet full of designer clothes, but you don't have enough money to write your book or hire a publisher or a coach, it's not that you don't have enough money, it's that you're spending your money in a way that does not support what you try to do.
"I don't have enough money, I don't have enough time," and the last one is, "I'm not good enough. Who am I? I need another certification. Who's going to read my book? No one cares what I have to say? My parents told me I would amount to nothing or my spouse doesn't think I'm good at this."
Those are the 3 things I see over and over and over and over. As we work together, that piece gets less and less strong because they have more and more experience to prove that that's wrong. At the beginning, I've got to tell you, I considered it a ginormous success when one of my clients went and visited her sick mother for 10 days.
The only way I could get her to do it is say, "This is an entrepreneurial experiment. What happens if you remove yourself from your business and actually let the people who work for you do the work?" She made more money.
Of course she did but she didn't believe that that was going to happen prior to the experiment because she had always believed, "I don't have enough time, and if I don't do this for myself, and not really allow the people who work for me to actually do their jobs, then my whole business is going to fall apart. This big catastrophe is going to happen. No one's going to call me anymore. Everybody's going to be mad."
I'm like, "Okay, it's 10 days. You could go on vacation, that's what they do. They go on vacation. You will pay these people. Let them do their job." When she came back, what she discovered was that her employees really, really, really appreciated being allowed to do their job and not have her getting all up in it and micromanaging it.
It's changed the way that she works. She works less. She makes more money. She's happier. That was a huge struggle for her, huge, enormous struggle for her.
Robert Plank: What I'm hearing, not only from that story, but from this whole call is that it seems like we all kind of wish that in a perfect world, that we could kind of turn on the switch, flip the switch, and always be in that flow state 24 hours a day and just be a workaholic, but it sounds like for you, what's really important is that time spent away from the computer, away from the business to get that clarity, the focus, the "Aha" moments, all that cool stuff.
Tracee Sioux: Yeah. Think about yourself. When you're programming, do you get your best ideas while you're doing it?
Robert Plank: Usually what happens is I'm stuck for 8 hours. I take a 10-minute-break and then I instantly figure out what's been blocking me for 8 hours.
Tracee Sioux: Now you know that, right? If you got stuck and then 5 minutes later you were like, "I'm going to go take a nap or take a walk around the block," your insight would happen faster, which would make you more productive right? You wouldn't have wasted that 8 hours. Long, lone, long time ago I realized that if I did not try to finish a deadline at 11 PM, I could wake up the next morning at 6:00 and I could jam that sucker out in 45 minutes. It would feel great and it would be good work.
I had already tired my brain out by 11 PM and I could sit there for 5 hours and just stare at that computer and not be able to create a coherent thought. If you know this, if you're like, "Hey, every time I run, I get great ideas," or "Every time I take a nap, I wake up and I know the answer." If I sleep on it ... That's why people say, "I'm going to sleep on it," that's actually extremely great advice.
When you sleep on it, your brain and your soul does all this stuff in there and then when you wake up you're like, "Oh, I don't know why I didn't think about that yesterday, but that's a great idea." Just do it before you waste the 8 hours. Just make it a part of your system.
Robert Plank: That's good advice and that's been a hard lesson. That's been kind of a slow road for me over the last few years to slowly retrain myself. As you said, it's not an overnight thing and it's almost like a blow to the ego almost.
It's like I tell myself, "But I have to put in these 8 hours of so-called hard work," when if it can all just be solved in 10 minutes, it's almost like ... You know what I'm saying? It's almost a blow to the ego that I thought it was supposed to take me 8 hours of suffering but then it turns out there's a 10-minute shortcut.
Tracee Sioux: Right. You're exactly right that it's the ego because in our culture our egos are trained to think that if we're busy we're going to get richer. Totally untrue. If we work all the time, then we're cooler and make more money, which is also totally untrue. If we get the Doctorate degree that we're going to make more money and get higher positions. Also totally untrue.
The facts do not bear these things out. We live in a culture that makes it really easy for the ego to make you feel guilty for finishing your work and going to the pool at 2:00 or taking a month off to go travel with your kids. I took my kids to New York City this summer and it took me about a week to stop feeling anxiety and guilt about getting away with it.
Like not having my business go to crap during this period of time was some kind of miracle. The thing is I have set my business up like that on purpose with intention. I've set up ... I've worked my tail off before. I work my tail off after. I met with clients over Skype. My business did not suffer one single bit. My family benefited. I benefited.
It took me a minute of doing it that I was like, "I can't believe I'm getting away with this. Is this even allowed in America? Should I be doing something?" It's training and it's ego. Ego loves to use that and it is a little bit of a challenge to get the ego to hush up so that you can enjoy the time that you're taking.
Robert Plank: What the heck else are you doing all this for?
Tracee Sioux: Yeah. That's kind of where I was at when I started taking these month-long vacations with my kids. Why am I an entrepreneur? I'm an entrepreneur so that I have the freedom to be able to spend with my family. I'm an entrepreneur and I don't have to go to an office every day. Well, why, why, why is that important to me? It's so that I can travel and go have some adventures right?
Robert Plank: Right. Work hard and play hard.
Tracee Sioux: Work hard and play hard. If that's not why you're working, we might want to have a conversation about why the heck you're working.
Robert Plank: That's a great place to kind of transition a little bit into if someone is out there and they need help. They realize that they need that extra set of eyes, or the third set of eyes, or the third set of the third eye. Even just someone to help them get to where they need to go, can you tell us about you and your websites and your coaching and your services and all that cool stuff?
Tracee Sioux: Sure, yeah. I'm very reachable at TraceeSioux.com. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll get right back to you and we can schedule an appointment to have a chat about where you're at and what you want to do, and how I can help you with my services, whether that's for coaching and getting clear on what you want and mapping out a path, or whether it's you need a marketing platform to create the brand that you are or whether it's you're ready to publish a book and let's get on it.
Robert Plank: Awesome. Whatever they need you give them the whole package. Cool. I'm excited for anyone who's headed your way and thanks for coming on the show, Tracee, to share what you have to say about ... It sounds like we talked about everything right? All the life stuff, all of the important stuff. Thanks for coming by.
Tracee Sioux: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. It's been great fun.
What does success look like to you? What if you had three wishes, how would your business change? What small wins could you experience in your business within the next 90 days or less? Scott Hansen from SuccessHackers.net and IWantMoreLeads.net tells us why he started his online presence, and how he's built up his podcast devoted to cracking the entrepreneurial code.
Scott Hansen: Ha-ha. Thank you, Robert. Great to be here, man. I'm fired up.
Robert Plank: Cool. I am, too. Could you tell us about who are you, what it is you do, and maybe, I don't know, is there some kind of area where you're the number-1 top dog?
Scott Hansen: Wow, now you're really putting me on the spot. I think my wife would say that I'm the top dog, but I don't know about anybody else.
Robert Plank: As soon as you step outside, all bets are off.
Scott Hansen: Yeah, exactly right. No, as you said in the intro, over the last 2-1/2, almost 3 years, I was able to quit my corporate job and pursue something that I always had a passion for, which was coaching and teaching and training and speaking and breathing life into people, I call it. As you mentioned, I work with entrepreneurs in 3 facets, helping them generate the leads they can handle. I help them increase their overall client base and, obviously, increase their sales and productivity.
That's more of the tactics and strategy side of things. A business owner will come to me and say, "Scott, I feel stuck. How do I get to that next level?" We coach them through that. Then, of course, a lot of it I call it the 75/25. Twenty-five percent of any business is strategy and tactic. The other 75 is mindset. That's what keeps a lot of people stuck where they're at, so we work on both facets in my coaching program.
That's who I help. I think that one of the things that separates me from a lot of people that do what I do, I guess, is I really branded myself, I think, in a pretty good way. I've been hustling my butt off the last 2 years to build the Scott Hansen brand. Like you mentioned in the intro, I've been featured in some pretty cool places. I also write for Entrepreneur magazine and have one of the fastest-growing podcasts in the business space called Success Hackers that I think we're about downloaded in 65 or 68 countries. We're doing a lot of cool things, reaching a lot of great people and trying to help and serve as many people as I can to really play bigger in life and business.
Robert Plank: Awesome. Is that how you would say that you differentiate with everyone else, that you focus on the mindset as well as the action? How do you stand out from everyone else who does the coaching and fixing people's businesses and stuff like that.
Scott Hansen: Yeah. Listen, there's a lot of great people out there, so for me to say that I'm the world's best at X would be a lie, because I think we all have our own niches and we have our own greatness. I think for me, one of the things that I do with my program is when I do work with business owners, my, I call it market-dominating position, is what, as you said, it's what makes you stand out from everybody else that does what you do as a personal, as a business, etc. For me, what I do is I help small business owners find at least $10,000 in untapped revenue in their business without them spending $1.00 on advertising.
Right off there, as you can hear, I separate myself from everybody that says that I just coach people. I actually go in and find them a boatload of untapped potential in profits in their business, and I do it in a very Ninja-like way, but it really opens some people's eyes to say, "Wow, how did you do that?" Then my close, my hard close in my coaching program is pretty simple., "I just was able to find you XYZ amount of money. Would you like my help implementing that over the next 12 months?" That's my big close. That's how I separate myself. A lot of people can't do that or don't have the tools or the strategies to do that. That's how I separate myself.
Then, like I said, a lot of people do a lot of cool things, but one of the things that I said was, when I got started, "How do I separate myself from everybody else that does that?" I started the podcast, which I mentioned, and I have a best-selling book. I've been featured on some of the outlets that you mentioned and write for Entrepreneur and been in Inc., etc., etc. To continue to brand myself and build my brand is also something that I take very seriously as well.
Robert Plank: Cool. I like that. That kind of got my interest going, that whole thing where you go to someone's business and you find $10,000 of untapped. Could you give us an example of that, some time that you did that?
Scott Hansen: Yeah, I do it every day. I literally do it every day. In addition to that, what I do is ... I'm also writing a book, a second book, and I'm actually working on case studies. For example, I will approach a business owner, a chiropractor, a dentist, etc., plastic surgeon, and I'll say, "Listen, you know, I'm putting together some case studies for my book, and I would love your help. Would you like some help with that?" Once I tell them exactly what the program is and how it works, most people are like, "Yeah, I would love that. I'd love to help you with that." In addition, then I help them back, because I actually showcase exactly what I did and then we uncover a boatload of money for them.
As you know, with a lot of business owners, the old saying is they're very good at doing their business as a technician, so a very good baker is a very good baker, a very good chiropractor is a very good chiropractor. A lot of times these small business owners, they get into business because they're passionate about it, but they don't know how to generate leads on a consistent flow, which then, of course, turns into clients, which then turns into revenue, which then, hopefully, turns into greater profitability. They don't know that aspect of the business, the business-building. That's when I can come in and do that and help them out.
Robert Plank: Nice. What you're seeing mostly is then, it's like a E Myth kind of situation where they're good at their craft, but they're not actually business people?
Scott Hansen: Yeah, and I'm glad you referenced The E Myth. It's funny, I'm reading that for the second time as we speak, and even the second time around, I'm gathering a lot more information. For any of your listeners, of course, The E Myth by Michael Gerber is like the bible for small-business mindset strategies. I'm not talking about woo-woo strategies. I'm talking about real life tactical strategies and how to think of your business differently than you're thinking about it right now. Again, what I love about it is it's stuff that I apply not only in my own business, but also towards my clients. Yeah, so to answer your question, that's exactly what I was talking about.
Robert Plank: Yeah, that's one of my probably top 5 books, and I haven't read it in probably ... I only read it once 5 years ago, and all the time I see little things and I think I need to go back and kind of read it again. You mentioned all these outlets that you're on, especially Entrepreneur magazine. How did that come about? It's just a matter of asking or knowing the right people or did you leverage the podcast or something else? How did that happen?
Scott Hansen: Yeah, great question. I'm a big believer in that when you're dialed in, when you're in a space that you feel really passionate about and purposeful around, whether you're a lawyer, whether you're a gardener, whether you're a mailman, whether you're a chiropractor, whatever business you're in, if you feel really good about what you do and then you take the necessary steps to open yourself up to receiving great things, great things come your way.
What I mean by that ... I know that sounds a little bit kind of fluffy, but it's the truth. I'm a huge believer in law of attraction, that what you put out comes back to you, but you can't just sit in the couch and then just meditate and hope that a million dollars falls in your lap or a new client falls in. You've got to go out and hustle, but when you're in that space, when you're on the track, when you're on the right path and you do open yourself up for more opportunity, to meet new people, etc., that's when it happens.
Funny enough, when I first created my podcast, I was actually in partnership with another company and in about 90 days after that, they didn't want any more part of the podcast, but in that interim, they introduced me to an editor from Entrepreneur.com. Met the editor over line and we talked a little bit and they basically offered me a contributing-writer type situation, and that's how it all came to be.
From there, I've been able to leverage ... It's interesting, because I know a lot of people that use a lot of their stuff as lead-gen. Maybe being a little bit naïve or just wanting to add as much value as I possibly can, I never took that as, "Oh, great, I'm a contributing writer for Entrepreneur. I'm going to leverage the hell out of this for business and for lead-gen." I just wanted to, and I continue to want to just give, give, give and serve, serve, serve to the highest level. When I write content for Entrepreneur, it's not about, "Oh, I can't want to see how many leads I get from it." It's me pouring my stuff into the article to say, "If one person takes this article and has a breakthrough, that was worth the entire thing." That's how I came to be a contributing writer for Entrepreneur, and it's been just absolutely great.
Robert Plank: Nice. It's a matter of you look at extending your reach not just in the mindset of gimme, gimme, gimme, but let me extend my reach and use it to help more people?
Scott Hansen: Yeah. I try as much as I can. Listen, everybody likes money. I like nice things. I like nice clothes. I like to take my wife out to nice dinners. If you're not focused on revenue and money, then you shouldn't be in business. Let's not confuse that, but in addition to that, I believe that if you have a servant mentality where it's how can I serve today rather than what can I get today, it's a completely different shift. It was a completely different shift for me over the last 6 months, where it was if I go out every day and I want to serve someone so highly, whether that's the person in line for coffee, whether that's one of my clients, whether that's writing an article, I don't know what happens, but it's a mindset shift. When I came from a place of, "I don't care to get. I come from a place of serving," the getting naturally started to happen.
Robert Plank: I like it. As far as getting in the mindset of the giving, that's cool, too, because then you're not waiting for anything to happen. I don't know, anyone who has that scarce view or that kind of take-whatever-I-can-get kind of mindset, it's almost like they say, "Well, I'm going to write my article and then I have to wait around for the leads to come in, and I've got to do something else and wait for that." What's cool about the giving, it's like, "Well, who cares about that?" You can move a million miles a minute and look back later and see what that produced, I guess.
Scott Hansen: Yep, exactly.
Robert Plank: It's cool, because then it turns into almost like a when-it-rains-it-pours kind of situation, sort of like how things worked out with the entrepreneur writing gig and stuff like that. Sometimes there'll be weeks where just all this crazy stuff happens, and I say, "Dang, where was this 5 years ago? Where was this 10 years ago?" You said this all happened because of the podcast. Could you kind of tell us what led you to making the podcast and kind of what's your strategy with that?
Scott Hansen: Yeah, great question. It's kind of a funny story. When I first built the bridge, if you will, made the leap, jumped out of the plane, whatever term you want to call it, into entrepreneurship and the coaching and speaking and the pod, one of my mentors said to me ... He at the time, which is a few years ago, he had a podcast at the time for about 7 years, and I think he had a half a million followers and just super successful guy and very charismatic and very passionate about developing the mindset around entrepreneurship and being an entrepreneur and living life on your terms, etc.
He said, "You know, ..." He told me about his podcast. I'm like, "Oh, that sounds amazing." He goes, "Yeah, and I get so fired up because I scream into my computer and I'm talking about leadership and mindset and the right strategies and it's just me. This is insaneness to me, and I get so fired up and inspired and I get the chance to inspire people." I'm like, "Oh, my God, that sounds amazing. That's exactly what I want." He goes, "Yeah, you should do it yourself," and I'm like, "Great. What's a podcast?"
Robert Plank: Nice.
Scott Hansen: He goes, "What do you mean you don't know what a podcast is?" Hand to God, I did not know what a podcast was. He goes, "Dude, you got to be kidding me." I'm like, "No." Literally, 2-1/2 years ago, I didn't even know what a podcast was. I started it, and I started kind of doing the same thing and I got really fired up and it was just me, and I met a gentleman who over lunch, who owned a huge company, he's like, "You know, I heard your podcast." I'm like, "Oh, I didn't even know you listened or I didn't know you were even online."
He says, "Yeah, I clicked on one of your links to your Facebook post and you're really good at what you do." I'm like, "Oh, I appreciate it." He goes, "You know ..." I won't name the company, but he said, "Our company needs to be in the podcast game." I said, "You know, I'd be happy to consult you on that and give you some feedback." He goes, "No, I don't think you understand. We want you to be the voice, the face, and the name of the podcast." Sure enough, he and I worked out some kinks and moved ahead on the podcast, which now he's no longer part of, and it's just me.
I share that story with you, Robert, and the listeners to simply say 2-1/2 years ago, as stupid as this sounds, I didn't even know what a podcast was, and here we are in 2016 and the podcast has reached 65, now 68 countries and listened to by over 230,000 listeners a month. We just got picked up by iHeartRadio, which has 3.5 listeners a day. Just a lot of really cool things happening. I share that with anybody in your audience. I don't care if it's podcasting, creating a video, starting your own business, learning how to speak, don't worry about where you're at today. Today absolutely matters, but focus on where you could be in 2 years, because you're listening to a guy right now that I mentioned a few times I had no clue what a podcast was and now we've had some pretty good success, not in 12 years, not in 15, in 2-1/2 years.
Robert Plank: That's pretty encouraging. They don't have to wait a good chunk of their lifetime for it to pay off. You kind of joked about yourself a little bit that you didn't know what a podcast was 2 years ago, and I'm sure that there are people out there that know every little nook and cranny and detail about podcasting that don't have their own podcast. I'd rather be the guy that doesn't know a lot or doesn't know everything but takes a lot of action.
Scott Hansen: Yeah. The old saying is, "I'd rather be," what is it, "ignorance on fire versus knowledge on ice." I was always the ready, fire, aim guy. Just hurry up and get out there, make things happen, and there's something to be said about taking action rather than to wait, but I always find that there's a middle ground that is really the sweet spot. There are people that get out there and they just start making things happen.
Then there's the other extreme, people like you said earlier, that just wait and wait and wait and wait and they never get anything off the ground. If you can find the middle ground where you have a little bit of both, where you have some clarity, when you have some things in place and then you take some action and then you come back to the drawing board and maybe tweak it, and then you do it again and then you fall on your face and you do it again, I would rather be that person than the person that just gives it great lip service about starting their own business or learning how to speak or getting on stage or whatever versus the person that just, like I say, just goes after it.
Robert Plank: Interesting. It's best if I take the best of both worlds. You don't want to be a student all the time, but you also don't want to be a full-of-chaos, flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, no-plan kind of person.
Scott Hansen: Yeah, because I was that person that you just mentioned in the latter, which is just go crazy and go do it and do a million things. Even though that's cool when you have a lot of stuff going on, but at the end of the day ... This is even like a coaching moment for me as I'm on your show, and I teach this to all my clients. It's so funny. I just met with a guy the other day that has all these cool ... and I'm doing air quotes ... all these cool things that he wants to do and he wants to have the Internet TV show and he wants to line up sponsors and he's got media partners and he's got the right lighting and the right camera and the right mics, and he's got all these different things.
I asked him one simple question. I said, "That's all great. That's amazing." He said, "Yeah, I want to have these thought leaders on here in my city, and even if it's not my city, we do it over Zoom and we have ..." Just like a lot of people are doing now, but he goes, "I want to really make it perfect and it's going to be amazing and I have all the sponsorship." I said, "That great." I go, "Have you thought about ... I just have one question for you." I said, "What about traffic?"
He goes, "What do you mean?" I said, "Well, that's all great that you have the greatest set and the greatest things and you sound great and you're taking all this coaching on how to be a better speaker and a better interviewer, etc., etc." I'm like, "What about traffic? Where is the traffic going to come from? Because if you have the best product in the world and no one knows you're out there, trust me when I tell you this, you will stop. You will be frustrated in less than 6 months, because it takes time and money." He was the same way.
I tell people all the time. I said, "Yeah, it's great that you want to build content and it's great you want to be on TV or on the Internet or do your own podcast or do your own this or do your own that, but before you do any of that, start with the end in mind." Most people don't want to go to this because deep down in their belly, they don't have a clue what the answer is, but I always tell people to reverse-engineer anything you do. I don't care what it is. Start with the end in mind. When it's all perfect ... Here's a coaching session for your listeners. When it's perfect in whatever you're trying to build, what does the end look like? Is it revenue? How much and how is it coming in?
Then you build from the back and move forward, and then you can do the nice lighting and the mics and the color and all whatever it is you're trying to build. Too many people, they get all excited about the sexiness, the appeal, the shiny objects, and the newness. Then what happens is they never think about the back end. The most important thing as a business owner is the obvious, revenue. You don't have any revenue, I don't care how great you are in front of the mic, I don't care how great you are in front of the TV camera. If you don't have people watching it or seeing the sponsorship for money, then you will fizzle in 6 months and then you're going to have to start from scratch.
Robert Plank: Kind of a scary thought, but also kind of a hard message that people need to hear, too. As you're describing it, it almost sounds like because there's no end goal, there's nothing that they're building towards. The procrastination creeps in, the fear of success creeps in, all that bad stuff and all the patting yourself on the back. I'm a computer programmer and I call that going down the rabbit hole. Right?
Scott Hansen: Yep.
Robert Plank: You say, "I just need to make a website. Oh, I got to figure out FTP." Oh, well which program you going to get? Oh, I'll upload WordPress. Okay, well, how do I unzip a zip file?" The next thing you know, it's like you've gone down this whole path of 200 different things. Then you're totally off track.
Scott Hansen: Exactly.
Robert Plank: Along those lines, would you say that what you just described there, is that the biggest mistake that you're seeing with your client or is there something even there?
Scott Hansen: Yeah, I think that that's part of it. I think that not having a plan on paper is part of the problem. Even though that sounds so obvious, "Well, yeah, I have a plan," it's funny. When I sit down with business owners that have been doing it for a long time, these aren't start-ups. These are people that have been doing it for 3, 4, 5, 10 years. I say, "What does success look like for you?" When I start working with a client, the very first thing that I will do, before we get into strategies and tactics and everything else, I will say, "You know what? What does success mean to you? Not to your husband or your wife or your kids or your mom or dad, what does it mean to you? If a genie were to literally come down and give you 3 wishes and those 3 wishes could materialize, what does your life, not your business, not your health, not your spirituality, what does your overall life look like from a success standpoint?"
"Well, I'm working 30 hours a week. I'm able to travel. I'm able to do things over Skype. I'm able to do this, this, and this. I have a team in place. I have virtual assistants." Okay, great. "Well, I don't have any of that yet, Scott." I'm like, "That's okay. That's okay. That's where we're building towards. Remember, I just said you're going to reverse-engineer it. Okay, so that's kind of the end goal. Now that you have what the vision looks like, then we continue to work backwards. In your mind right now, what is the dollar amount revenue you need to be produced on a monthly basis or a yearly basis in order to get the things you just described?" Then we spend some more time on that, and then we get crystal clear.
Then we continue to work backwards in the equation so that when we get to the tactics or the marketing or the sales conversion or the website or any of the stuff that's the tactical part of the coaching, then they're more excited because they can see that at the end of the tunnel, at the end of a year or 2, 3, 4 years, they're actually working towards something rather than just being a hamster on the wheel saying, "Every day, I wake up. I got 75,000 things coming at me. I get inundated. I get overwhelmed." Then the days, the weeks, the months go by, and nothing from a revenue and from an overall vision standpoint gets created.
That's what most small-business owners ... Like I mentioned a few times, they're so working hard in their business, the day-to-day stuff, they never stop and think to say, "Am I going the right way?" You live in California. I live in Chicago. If I were to fly out to you in California and you and I hop in your car and you're going to say, "You know what? Let's drive to New York." I'm like, "Yeah, that sounds great, Robert. Let's do it." I'm excited; you're excited. We've got everything packed and all of a sudden, I say "You know, do you have a map or a GPS?" You're like, "No. Hell, no, jut hop in. We're just going to go, man. We're just going to flow." I'd be like, "You know what? I don't think so."
Even though that sounds hilarious right now, you'd be so surprised as business owners, they don't have the GPS. They don't have a plan. Then they wake up 3 years later, 5 years later and they're kind of where they were 5 years ago, but now, now they're more frustrated and now they have more overwhelm. That business that they started 5 years ago ain't as sexy as it was 5 years ago. That's because our brain is like a heat-seeking missile.
When you give it something to do and a goal and a stretch goal, even though it scares the shit out of you, which it should, by the way, you're actually giving it a target. When your brain has a target ... Like Tony Robbins says, "The most successful people on the planet are the ones that are always progressing to something new." They're always in the mode of progressing, learning, growing, expanding. The ones that are frustrated, pissed off at the world, woe is me, my life stinks, are the ones that don't have a goal to go after.
Robert Plank: Like you said a few minutes ago, it seems to simple, but so few people do it. Even just in the last 4 or 5 days, what's been going across my mind is that it almost takes more brainpower to think in simple terms than in the complicated stuff. As you were saying what you were saying, it kind of brought me back to when I was a kid and I was in Little League and if we were doing a practice kind of thing, then usually the practice would be ... One of the coaches would just hit fly balls over and over again, hit grounders over and over again, just to get that mastery on the fundamentals and stuff like that.
The other thing that I've been hearing from your personal kind of coaching is that you're all about the quick win, not necessarily put a bandage on the problem, but it sounds like you're all about the get-excited-first. That way, it'll kind of carry you when times get tough later. Like you said, when you have a new client, you find 10 grand just laying around in the business of something they're missing and you have them make that plan. That way, later on when they hit a roadblock, they can kind of look back and realize what the plan is, what the goal is.
Scott Hansen: Oh, yeah, you bring up a great point. Think about it like this. Think about it as a cross-country runner or a marathon runner. Think about it like, okay, if you and I were to just start running like Forrest Gump, we just ran for days and days, I would look at you and I'd say, "What the hell are we doing? Why are we just ..." "Oh, no, no. We're just going to continue to run." "Well, what's the end goal?" "I don't know. We're just going to continue to run." That would suck. The marathon runner actually has a target, 26.2 miles, and my goal is to be the best, to be number 1, to do that. They have an end goal. They're not just running 26 miles just for the sake of running 26 miles.
As a business owner, for anybody who's an entrepreneur ... I don't care if you're in the corporate space, if you're a business owner, when you have a win, an end goal, a light at the end of the tunnel, that gets you way more excited than, "Well, I'm just going to go to the gym every day." "Well, why are you going to the gym?" "Well, because I want to lose some weight." "Well, how much weight do you want to lose?" "Well, I have no idea."
"Okay, do you have a succession plan?" "Well, no. I'm just going to keep going every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday." "Okay, great. What is the point of you going?" "Well, I want to lose weight eventually." "Okay, great. Well, how exactly are you doing that?" "I have no idea." "Oh, so you paid the $60.00 a month for your gym membership and you're going every day. You just spent $200.00 on a new outfit to go to the gym, but you, frankly, don't have an end goal." "Well, yeah, I want to lose weight." "But how are you going to do that?" "Oh, I have no idea."
That's why people get in this rut. They don't challenge themselves, whether it's through fitness, through health, eating the right things, relationships, business. When people set goals ... I don't want to sit here and sound like I set a goal for every frickin thing I do, because that would sound just boring, because I don't. I'll give you a quick example of what I'm doing right now in my life. I'm 43, going to be 44 in a few months, holy crap.
Now I've worked out in the gym and worked out since I was 17 years old, but you get older and things don't bounce back as quick as they used to, etc., etc. What I started to do was say, "Well, I don't have the time to spend an hour and a half in the gym like I used to, so what can I do differently to tighten my body and tone my body up?" I would just go down to the gym and I would just get on the treadmill and I would do some things and I'd come back home. That's just boring.
What I started to do was say, "You know what? In 90 days, here is my goal. I want to juice 4 times a week, have a juice drink 4 times a week, a healthy juice drink. Then I want to go to the gym at least 4 times a week, and here's the key. I don't want to spend any more time than 30 minutes; 30 minutes, I'm maxed out." In that 30 minutes, it's non-stop, high-impact training. You go down for 30 seconds, you stop for 30 seconds. Your heart rate is consistently through the roof, and it burns fat all day long. Guess what? I am so much more excited to now go to the gym because I have a whole new strategy and a whole new vision of what I want my health and my body to look like over a 90-day period rather than just showing up to the gym because that's something I have to do.
Robert Plank: That's awesome. I like that. Have a real concrete, maybe even like a number base goal or something that isn't some crazy pie in the sky, but does still kind of stretch you so that you have to kind of do better to get where you want to be.
Scott Hansen: Yeah, it's the small wins. That's where we get turned on by human beings. We get turned on by small wins, the attaboys. If I hit this revenue goal, then I get to take my wife or my boyfriend or my husband out for a dinner, or I get a chance to maybe buy those new Nike shoes I wanted that are 150 bucks. If I hit this revenue goal in the next 60 days, cool. All that kind of stuff. You'd be surprised, a lot of people think they have to set 3-, 5-year goals. That is so much of a myth. Forget about 3-, 5-year goals. How about setting a 90-day attaboy win or a small win, 90 days. If I hit this, I get to reward myself with that. You're going to be more apt and more excited to continue the journey that way than, "Well, in 3 years, if I hit this number, then that will be great."
Robert Plank: Nice. I like that. Yeah, instead of going for years ahead of time, just 90 days and, again, something simple, but so few people do that. I really like that idea there. Kind of along those lines and as far as the advice and the knowledge you have to give, could you tell us, Scott, about where people can find your podcast, where people can find your coaching, and whatever kind of websites, whatever kind of cool stuff you're working on these days?
Scott Hansen: Yeah, I appreciate it, Robert. It was great chatting with you, man. You're doing some great things in this world as well. I appreciate the opportunity. First of all, I would say that if someone wants to check out my podcast, SuccessHackers.net. Success Hackers is the site. We have a lot of really great guests on the show talking about big thinking and entrepreneurship. One of the things that I train on and teach my entrepreneur business owners is how to get more leads and generate more leads. I actually have a free video actually that I'll give to your listeners. All they have to do is go to iwantmoreleads.net. Just type in iwantmoreleads.net, and there's a free video. It's pretty awesome. It'll absolutely revolutionize your business.
That's about it. They can follow me. I'm on Twitter, Scott Hansen. Facebook, Scott Hansen, obviously. I always reach out. If someone hits me up, whether it's through the podcast or through my coaching or whatever, I'm always ... I know a lot of people have their virtual assistant answer their e-mails. I don't. I answer all my stuff, so I'm very in tune with my tribe and my audience. I would love to connect with anybody that wants to connect with me. If someone does want to connect with me, again, you can go to SuccessHackers.net. There's actually a way to connect with me via e-mail that way as well.
Robert Plank: Awesome. Yeah, like you said, SuccessHackers.net and iwantmoreleads.net. Lots of awesome stuff today. I appreciate everything that you shared with us, Scott. Thanks for stopping by.
Scott Hansen: Thanks a lot, Robert. Have a great day.
140: Find Fulfillment: From Invisible to Influence with Conscious Warrior and Freedompreneur Nick Pereira
How do you prevent burnout and enjoy everything you do? That's what Coach Nick Pereira (from HangoutWithCoachNick.com and the Freedompreneur Club on Facebook) stops by to answer for us. He tells us how to get into that flow state, start small and grow, PLUS go from invisible to influence with his five step model:
1. invisible (an idea in your head)
2. emergencence (cashflow and clients)
3. chaos (where you have more business than infrastructure)
4. systems (save yourself time and energy)
5. stability/influence (normal operations, scale)
Nick Pereira: Fantastic, Robert. Just an awesome day. Just got back from the gym so I'm feeling good.
Robert Plank: Awesome, feeling pumped and all that good stuff.
Nick Pereira: Yeah.
Robert Plank: Cool, I'm just coming in from a walk myself so not quite the same thing but same idea, right? This, that and all that stuff.
Nick Pereira: Yes
Robert Plank: Cool. Could you tell us about who are you, what you do and what makes you special?
Nick Pereira: Yeah sure. Well, those are loaded questions. As far as what I do, I help entrepreneurs become freedom preneurs which simply means helping entrepreneurs create their business in such a way where they can work when they want, where they want, wherever they want, whenever they want, with whoever they want doing the things they love to do. You know, as I know and any entrepreneur knows that if you're building a business, there's parts of that business that bring us so much joy or that are expressions of our joy. Then there's parts of the business that don't bring us joy and I help entrepreneurs create their business in a systematic way to allow freedom.
As far as what makes me special, I don't really know the answer to that but I think the best people to ask are the people that work with me. One thing that I would say that the Freedompreneurs club has done, what I think is special and what I think is done very well, is we've created a real community. We've created people so when I'm working with people I don't put people on contracts. I don't make anybody give me time commitments. That's one of the things I guess that's special is many coaches and trainers will ask for a specific time commitment. I don't ask for time commitments, I simply ask for value.
If I'm providing you value and you're getting value, you're going to stick around. It's a simple as that and I'm about to celebrate three-year anniversaries with certain people inside the Freedompreneur club and we have tons more that have already celebrated a year and two year anniversaries. I think what's special about what we're creating is people are sticking around, but they don't have to. There's no contract. There's nothing that says they have to, so we're truly creating a community of people that want to be there. I think that's what makes the Freedompreneur club really special.
Robert Plank: Awesome. Along what we're talking about and as far as, you said that you're all about like the whole package, I guess, not just the business part of it but also people having the lifestyle they want, live where they want and all that good stuff. What are your thoughts on like, I guess because there's two extremes on the spectrum. On one extreme, you and I have both probably been to events where people talk about lifestyle and time management and then the focus is on just taking time off, which I guess is okay but a lot of these people they just say, "Oh, I just took two weeks off, three weeks off."
I think, "Well, great," but what did you do for your business and the other extreme is like the Gary V and the Grant Cardone kind of stuff, which "Love what you do and hustle and do all this work and stuff," but then at the same time, I look at that side of the spectrum, and I'm just thinking, "That's way too much." What are your thoughts on that, I guess like the slacker side of things versus the workaholic side of things?
Nick Pereira: Yeah, yeah. I hear you with that and there is a lot of messages. I guess my thoughts are you got to find what works for you. What I have found that works for me is having a nice balance between what I'm doing, what I love to do and incorporating other things into my life. Now I guess here's the big distinction. I don't see a difference between my business life and my other ... I just see life as life, so for me, there is no distinction between "Am I working or am I playing?"
I love what we're doing right here, connecting, chatting. This is, I could do this all day long. So am I working right now or am I playing? I don't really know. I'm just living my life and what my life has become purposefully and consciously is just an expression of the things that I enjoy. I've learned to incorporate well-being into the Freedompreneurs club, entrepreneurship into the Freedompreneurs club, spirituality into the Freedompreneurs club. The Freedompreneurs club is truly an expression of just the different aspects of who I am. I've learned to do it in a way that's all-encompassing so I don't know where I sit on that spectrum other than live life in such a way where life pays you for being you.
Robert Plank: Interesting., but how do you go down that path and how do you kind of live the life that's meant for you without kind of going in a directional sort of way?
Nick Pereira: Yeah. Well, I think you're going to find a balance. Look, I've been the Gary V type, "Hustle, hustle, hustle. Get up, morning till night," and what I found is that I burned out because I wasn't doing it in the space of enjoyment, so I have nothing ... I could spend the entire day, my day yesterday was a day like that. From wake up to sleep, I was working and I was engaged in the Freedompreneur club and activities in the Freedompreneurs club so I worked really hard yesterday.
Today I'm doing this interview. I've got a few calls this afternoon and then tonight I'm hanging out with family, so it's just finding a flow that works for you and that, I believe, is going to work differently for everybody. I also believe that you start small and you grow, meaning even with Gary V, I don't know him personally, and I know his story just a little bit, but he didn't start off as who he is today. He started off with winelibrary.com, I believe, and he started it off as an Internet thing and he said, I believe I was listening to something, and he said, for 2, 3 years or however long time ... I don't want to, don't quote me on any of this. It's his life, but he spent just building his brand on social media and building the winelibrary.com.
I think now 10 years, 20 years, whatever it's been for him, he's evolved where he can get up because he's so well trained and oiled. I think that we should not lose sight, it's easy to watch someone from stage and I've met a lot of successful people who have spoken to thousands upon thousands of people and it's easy to look at them and say, "Wow, they get up from morning until night. They're just in that flow," but what we don't see is that they've spent 30 years getting to that point.
They didn't start that way. Many of them started off part-time jobs doing it on weekends, squeezing it on their lunch time so they definitely had a work ethic that was more than the average individual for sure, but from my experience and my interactions and associations meeting tremendously successful people, no one started that way.
Robert Plank: I agree with that and I think that the people that I talked to had all those ups and downs and ups and downs and they kind of had to like put in however many hours or however many weeks in a row just to get past all that stuff.
Nick Pereira: That's right. If Malcolm Gladwell, I believe it's his book "The Tipping Point" or "Outliers," I'm not sure which one, both of them are fantastic books. He talks about this idea of 10,000 hours to master anything or to become a master at anything is you have to spend 10,000 hours. If you broke down 10,000 hours into a five-day work week, eight hours a week, that's five years and then you're hitting about that 10,000 hours.
In entrepreneurship, there's that five-year hump. If you make it past the five years, you've got something so I think that anybody listening to this, wherever you're at in the journey, especially if you're more at the beginning stage of the journey, just remember that there's no such thing as overnight success. Overnight success is 5 to 10 years minimum, and I think that we forget that and also remember that everybody starts at different points and under different circumstances and situations.
Where I started my journey and where you started your journey is two different places, so for us to say that there is one singular way of being in a business that creates success, I think that's very limiting. I think a more realistic way to look at this is to say, "You as an individual must find the path for you. You must find what is success to you."
Gary V's life is, from his videos, seems awesome but that's not my path. That's not success for me. Success for me is much different than what he's saying. Now, I like Gary V. I'm not saying, and I listen and I take the lessons and the business lessons and I apply them to my business and to my life but I also have enough wisdom and everybody should have enough wisdom for their own selves to decide for themselves what is success for you. That's freedom preneurship. That's what we're talking about inside the Freedompreneur club is we as a club don't define success for you. You come to the club and say, "This is what success," and then we say, "Great. Let's support you to get that."
Robert Plank: Nice. I like that. Everyone has their own path and I agree with that about a trillion percent. Right now, at your point in life, you have a lot of stuff figured out, you have it together, but was it always that way or did you have a starting point? Did you have like a point where things got so bad something had to change? What's the journey been for you?
Nick Pereira: Oh my goodness. Most of my life has been rough. Not really, I say that. I say that, but I laugh because I'm like, "Not really." Look, I come from a great family. I come from, I'm a very blessed to come from loving parents and a great family and I lived in a safe neighborhood, so many of life's challenges that are presented to certain, to other people, I didn't have that but I have my own challenges and for sure. There's times in the entrepreneurial journey, I dove headfirst. I didn't start part time.
I quit my job and I said, "I'm going to do this without really even having a business," so I did it that way, which caused tremendous amounts of pain and suffering because there was myself and Sarah, my girlfriend of seven years now, she's been with me through the whole journey, we have times where we didn't eat or it was $.99 noodles. I remember the first time we bought a $10 meal. It was a big deal. It was like, "Wow. We're living it up."
Absolutely, everybody has a story. Everybody has struggles and that's another thing that I really want to share with people is that we look at all, whether it's Gary V, Tony Robbins, whoever it is, we look at these successful people and we think, "Oh, wow. That's so nice," but we don't know them personally. I don't know Gary V personally. Look, I shoot videos too. I don't know what his life is actually like. I know what he's telling us his life is like, and I know that I can tell that he obviously is very knowledgeable, has tremendous amounts of material success and has reached certain insights.
I think we can all learn from that, but I also don't know him personally so I make no judgment of whether his life is successful or not. I just simply listen to the information. Same thing for me, listen to the information. Yes, I've had tremendous amounts of struggles and pains and failures of businesses. Most of my businesses haven't been successful and it's only in the last 3 to 4 years and I would even say in the last year and a half that we've really hit a stride that has created a lot of success and that's growing and it's fabulous the way it's growing but it doesn't mean that I don't wake up every morning like everybody else with some little anxiety about this or little worry about that.
Over time, what I'm noticing is that those anxieties, it's a process. Over time, those anxieties, those worries, those doubts are being replaced by that faith, that optimism and that realistic thinking or that, what I call, clarity so I'm not positive, not negative, but just clarity. This is what it is and once we can discover that this is what it is, then we as individuals become much more equipped to navigate through the world.
I think that should be everybody's main focus. My main focus is in building a big business. It's creating my own well-being and becoming better me, a better version of me them. I say "better version" no different than a seed blossoming into a flower. Well, a seed has all the potential of being that flower but it needs to be nurtured. It needs to be put into the good environments. It needs to have the right amount of sunlight and the right amount of water so that's what the Freedompreneur club, that's what we are. We are the right food, the right water, the right nutrients, the right associations to allow whatever is meant to come out of you to blossom.
That can take five years, that could take 10 years, that could take a lifetime. Depending on your belief systems, it could take multiple lifetimes and with that knowledge, there is no destination, there is no success. There is simply growth. Am I expanding or am I contracting? As long as I'm expanding, then things are going well. I hope that answers your question.
Robert Plank: Yeah, it does. It's like all this like really deep stuff. It's almost like I'm talking to the Buddha about enlightenment. With all that and stuff, would you say that what's ... Is there any one thing that's helped you the most? It it a matter of just like the consistent daily action like you're talking about or is it the right mindset or tools or this community? Would you say it's one thing that's helped or is it a collection of small things?
Nick Pereira: Definitely a collection of small things. It's a process, so with ... There has been moments of transformation, so whether that's, I've done many seminars, courses. I've gone to many healers. I've spoke to many different mentors and coaches and so all of them have added into my life. Just like coaches and mentors, just like what you're doing with this show, you're adding into people's lives. I've listened to tons of podcasts and things like this as well and all of it is compounded into a thought process with the moments of transformation but don't strive for those moments of transformation.
Those moments of transformation happen when the timing and the environment are right. We don't know when they're going to happen. You talk about the Buddha. The Buddha didn't know when enlightenment was going to happen for him. It was just, he put in the work. If you know the story of the Buddha, Siddhartha, he put in 11 years of living as an aesthetic studying from spiritual masters, living as a Yogi doing all of these sort of extreme sort of practices to find enlightenment and still couldn't find it and it was only when he sat under the Bodhi tree and he surrendered to the moment and said, "I'm not leaving here until I know the truth," did he then receive his enlightenment.
I say he received it because he himself didn't cultivate it. He put in the work and then it was the right time, the right energies, the right situation where he could then pop. No different than again, I'll use the example of a mango tree, so a mango tree is growing and if you didn't know it was a mango tree, you would just see a tree. In fact, if you took some bark from that mango tree and tried to bite it, you would be like, "Uck, this is nasty. This is bitter," but what you don't see is inside that mango tree is striving. It's putting in the work. It's getting the nutrients from its environment and it doesn't blossom in the winter because it's not the right time but the right time comes along in the spring and all of a sudden, there you go. You have mangoes and you have sweetness and you have beauty and you have all of this.
That was a process, so nothing just happens. Everything is a process and I think that the more that an individual understands that, the more they can be free in their life because they don't put this unrealistic expectations on themselves about, "What's going to happen tomorrow?" or "I got to make something happen today." Don't make anything happen today. Just simply cultivate yourself as such a way where making things happen becomes easy for you.
Robert Plank: I like your way of looking at it, especially because the conversation we've been having as far as like, "Should I be working super hard or just relaxed and let it happen?" I remember when I first got started, I was thinking, "Okay, what's the line graph going to look?" I was thinking, "Is it going to be like shoot straight up, like win the lottery almost or is it going to be like this slow, slow, slow rise," and it seemed like for me, and I think for you and I think a lot of people, it seemed like it was a matter of these milestones.
We had those first couple of tough years but then the light at the end of the tunnel was that it's not always going to be that way. You put in the time there and then the way that you've been kind of relating this to your group and the stuff with the tree and stuff, it's almost like, "Well, most of it is out of your control," and these things will happen to you, but you have to be almost ready to accept it because it's not just like, "Okay. Well, if my business is going to take five years to take off, I'm not just going to wait five years. I'm going to be working my tail off five years so when that opportunity comes along or that joint venture or the stars align or I get the traffic figured out or a good launch, then now I'm prepared for it, I guess." Is that right?
Nick Pereira: Yeah, that's exactly it. Even think about what we're doing right now. If we were born 50 years ago or 100 years ago, the timing for us to do this, we would find different means in different paths, but the timing, you see, the environment has allowed certain new expansions to happen with the rise of the Internet. We now, everybody has their own media channel. Everybody can have a voice. Everybody can share their expression much easier than it was 100 years ago, so that's what I mean by the timing of it is that the world is shifting and right now the world is shifting in such a dramatic way, in such a fast way, that it's almost impossible to predict what it's going to be like in five years, so I don't know what the world is going to be like in five years.
I don't know what the Freedompreneurs club is going to be like in five years, but what I do know is what I'm going to be like. That's all I have control over. What am I going to be like in five years? Well, I know that I'm going to be joyous, happy, peaceful and abundant. Why? Because that's the commitments I've made to myself and that's all I work on is the commitments that I've made to myself and those commitments then have a natural result to it, so if you're thinking, "Oh, man. How much ..." if it's like, "How many hours do I gotta put in," don't count the hours.
If I counted the hours, I probably would may be depressed. I'm not saying I don't work hard. I want to make it very clear to everyone listening. I work hard. I have just found a way to work where it doesn't feel like work because work, if I could just chalk up to what feels like work is when I have to knock something off my task list. Work is a task list that I have to get through. Work is something that we have to get through and that's why it doesn't feel good.
However, if you become more of an expression of a creation where I'm not just getting through the Freedompreneurs club. It's not something that I'm just going to check off my list. "Okay, created the logo. I'm done." No, I'm creating it like an artist would create it like "Oh, how can we do this? Oh, doesn't that look beautiful? Let's make it like this," and you see, there's no timeline for me. There's just simply a creation process and as time goes on, it is evolving and growing and it's becoming more than even what I thought it could be because that's just the natural process of things.
Understanding how things grow, then you can apply that same knowledge to your business and understand how your business is going to grow. In fact, I've got a model that I take everybody through that works with me. It's called the "Invisible, the influence model". It's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I'm looking at it, so it's six steps in this model. The first step is "invisible," so take that as it's an idea in your head. If you're listening to the podcast right now and you're thinking, "I've got a business idea," well, great. You're in the stage of invisible.
Then eventually you're going to launch out. You're going start your Facebook page or website, whatever it is. You're going to launch out. You're going to get a few customers on the go and now you're in the emergent stage, meaning you're merging in the marketplace. In the invisible and emergent stage is you're still thinking a lot about cash flow. You're still probably in the mindset of, "I need more clients. I need more cash flow," which is a natural process.
Most businesses fail within their first year. We know this. Why? Because they don't understand the process. They think, "I've been doing this a year. What's going on?" A year is nothing. A year is like you're still like a little idea in the womb. You're not even a real thing yet, so basically you got to move through the process. You go into emergence and then what we call "chaos" comes next, and chaos in this context is not a negative thing. It's actually quite positive. It's where you begin to go, "Holy smokes. I have more business than I have infrastructure, meaning I can't handle the amount of business that I have," which creates a whole new stress.
By the way, when we hear stats, about 90% of businesses fail within the first 10 years, this is the stage of the process where they normally fail, chaos. The reason they fail or what I think is even worse is they never get past this stage is because it is a different way of thinking to get you to the next steps and processes so entrepreneurship provides a way to think differently. Chaos, you get through chaos by implementing systems and systems stands for "save yourself time, energy, money."
All of a sudden, through creating income, you get to buy back your time through the investment of infrastructure and systems. Then you move into stability or normal operations and when you're hitting this stability and normal operations, then you can scale your systems up, leveraged to abundance and then influence, so your Gary V's, your Tony Robbins, your whoever, whoever you're looking at. These people are in the stage of influence because they're 30 years in the game. They've got systems. They've learned the skills. They've learned the mindsets. They've put themselves in the right environments. They've connected with mentors, teachers and coaches and now, they're sort of enjoying the fruit. They're the mango now, right?
Robert Plank: Right. They planted the tree and it finally grew. Now all these years later, they can use it.
Nick Pereira: That's right. Right, so I like to share that with people so that you understand, first of all, identify where you're at in the process. Am I in invisible? Am I emergence? Am I chaos right now? Am I in stability? Stability, a lot of people in stability actually draw a boredom. They become bored with their business because it no longer challenges them, and this could be a dangerous place because I've seen many business owners that are in stability put themselves back in chaos because it's more exciting for them.
Always remember that a business is not a place to go to fulfill your needs. A business is there to for you to grow to provide value and to provide a life for yourself and for family and maybe causes or whatever it is that you're into. Stability, in that stage, you see a lot of business owners never go beyond that stage simply because they don't recognize that they're still in the growth process. For me personally, I don't know. I don't strive to be at the top of the ladder. I just continue to follow the process of where I'm at today.
Robert Plank: Interesting. With all that, how do you ... We're starting to run short on time but with all that, how do you avoid the 1 foot on the brake kind of thing? You kind mentioned that trap a little bit there, how some people get to the part where everything is kind of calm and running smoothly and they have everything in place and the tendency is with entrepreneurship is to throw that out and start over. How do you avoid the getting complacent and stagnant and not reaching your full potential?
Nick Pereira: I think you only, if you're in the mode of creation, then there's no end to that so therefore there's no breaks. I know what you mean because I've done that. I've put the brakes on myself, "Okay. All right. Too much," and that type of thing is coming from more of a deep-seeded fear that may be going on, the fear of success, the fear of what it means and the fear of change. If you truly move through the process, your life is going to be different. Your life is actually going to be different. Your relationships are going to be different. The interactions you have with people are going to be different. Who you're hanging out with is going to be different. What you're engaged in is going to be different and often we fear that change. If you notice that, "Oh, I'm putting the brakes on," then I would go a little underneath that and ask, "What are you scared of?"
Robert Plank: Interesting. This is a pretty cool system you have here about going from invisible, emergent, chaos, systems and then stability and it sounds like there's there somewhat of a minefield where a lot of people either if they don't have a plan or they don't have any kind of course correction, there's always these little ways to get stuck on something silly, something silly can get a lot of us stuck and waste years and stuff like that. I really like how you've grown this community, like you've said, and you have your blog and your podcast. Can you tell us about what it is that you have set up and your websites and this club and all your cool stuff like that?
Nick Pereira: Yeah, sure. What we've set up, if you go to HangoutWithCoachNick.com, it's a central place where you can connect to everything that I'm involved with there. Also, if you just look up Freedompreneurs club on Facebook and you can ask to be part of our private Facebook group where a lot of our interactions happen. It's a great way to connect with other Freedompreneurs, connect with myself and other like-minded people and other people doing some pretty cool stuff on the planet.
That's a great way to connect with me and inside the Freedompreneurs club, there are different levels so there's a free membership and then there's a paid membership. The free membership, you get access to the Freedompreneurs club Facebook group, you get access to all the trainings and stuff that are available to get you started. Then the paid membership has access to our 52-week e-learning system and this is our curriculum. This is the recipe that we've put together in collaboration with other coaches and trainers that help people become a freedom preneur.
We have applied this system to coaches, to trainers, but as well as brick-and-mortar businesses. Right now currently I'm supporting a mechanic shop, I'm supporting a cleaning supply company, a network marketers, speakers, trainers, a preschool and they're all using the Freedompreneurs system and they're just tailoring the system to their business. What we really teach is the foundations and the principles and the marketing principles that work and then we help you through our support system to gear it and tailor it to your specific business.
Robert Plank: Awesome. That's a bunch of cool stuff and could you state one last time, or one more time, the URLs just to make sure everyone has it.
Nick Pereira: Yeah, absolutely. You go to HangoutWithCoachNick.com and you could check out my hang out show and different things that I've got going on there and on Facebook you can just search Freedompreneurs club and you can ask to be a member and we'll bring you in and you could check out all the things we've got going on right now. Our club has grown. We had, it's a brand-new club as far as the Facebook aspect of it, like we're really bringing it out to people in a bigger way now. Just this week alone, we've had 50 new people join so right now we're exploding.
There's a lot of great momentum and there's a lot of great opportunity to network and to meet other entrepreneurs that are doing again, some really cool stuff. Inside the club, I believe we represent 11 different countries right now, Tokyo, Bhutan, Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, places in the UK, US and Canada are all represented with active members, so we're a global club and we truly believe in global community.
Robert Plank: Awesome. It sounds like every entrepreneur, every business owner needs this kind of stuff. It's cool how the way you've explained this today, it all connects the business and the life part. I want to thank you so much Nick for being on the show and sharing all your wisdom with us.
Nick Pereira: Thanks so much, Robert. I so appreciate it.
139: The Wisdom of Walt Disney: Live a Great Story and Control What You Can Control with Jeff Barnes
The expert on everything Disney, Jeff Barnes from TheWisdomOfWalt.com and author of "The Wisdom of Walt: Leadership Lessons from the Happiest Place on Earth" tells us how to live a great story. He shares how Walt Disney succeeded despite all odds, previous failures and existing competitors to create a superior product and experience.
Jeff Barnes: Hey, Robert. Things are great. How are you?
Robert Plank: Super fantastic. I feel like I should say it's magical or wonderful or whatever the proper Disney term is, but I have to admit I know almost nothing about Disney despite living in California.
Jeff Barnes: We're doing the interview on a Monday, so let's just go with "happy, magical Monday."
Robert Plank: Perfect. Happy, magical Monday. I'm going to start using that one every Monday.
Jeff Barnes: Exactly.
Robert Plank: Is there one of those for like every day of the week or am I just stuck with the one day of the week?
Jeff Barnes: "Magical Monday" is pretty popular. "Have a terrific Tigger Tuesday" is another one that you'll hear every now and then. I like "wonderful Wednesday," which sort of goes back to the Wonderful World of Disney. Yeah, I mean, if you're really, really deep, you've got one for every single day of the week. I typically stick with "magical Monday" and then trust the rest of the days to take care of themselves.
Robert Plank: Okay. Yeah, they'll all fall line after that.
Jeff Barnes: Exactly.
Robert Plank: Cool. It seems like there is this whole crazy, like subculture that's really cool, brands called ... this Walt Disney stuff that you happen to be in the middle of, so can you tell us about that and about yourself and all that good stuff?
Jeff Barnes: Sure. 33 million people a year in the United States alone, Robert, go to Walt Disney or Disneyland and, within that pocket of 33 million, there are people who are just fanatics and obsessed and cannot get enough of it. Within Southern California, there is a love and a passion for Disneyland as a local park that beats almost anything I've ever seen to include love for a sports team, love for one's city, town, community, you name it, and part of that is the 61-year history of the park here in Southern California. I think a lot of it has to do with, in Southern California, everybody's from everywhere and there isn't any central place in Southern California, to include downtown Los Angeles, and so, over the years, Disneyland has sort of evolved into the public square for Southern California, and it really is the one place that all of us share together and, sort of like a narrative thread, it becomes the 1 place that sort of holds us all together as well.
Robert Plank: What's pretty crazy about all this Disney stuff, because it's seems like there's no dark side to it, there's no one, anyone like saying anything bad about Disney the same way that like a sports team or any kind of usual theme park like your Great America or your Magic Mountain or something like that?
Jeff Barnes: Disney is not perfect and they certainly have made their mistakes over the years, but, by and large, people are in because they love it and it is something very special and very magical and it really echoes back to I think a connection that starts in childhood. As I have gone around Southern California and really around the country in the past year promoting the wisdom of Walt, I meet people. Their family moved to Southern California in 1956 and all they could think about was, "Wow, we're going to get to go to Disneyland," or you meet someone else and their dad worked on the construction crew that helped build the park in 1954 and then you meet other individuals, their first date was at Disneyland and then, fast forward to now, you've got an entire generation that grew up with Disney in their home by way of the video cassettes, whether it was the classic films, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, you name it. They have that sort emotional connection and, now, they're bringing up and raising their own children and they just keep coming back over and over and over again.
Robert Plank: What did Disney do right that no one else seemed to do right? Was it a lot of little things? Was it good marketing? What was it?
Jeff Barnes: First of all, the whole idea for Disneyland started when Walt took his 2 young daughters, Diane and Sharon, to what was a local amusement park in Griffith Park near the studio in Burbank and, as they were riding a merry-go-round, he's sitting on this park bench and he begins to dream of a place where parents and children could have fun together. It took him some 15 years before he began to actually take action on that particular idea and that particular dream, but it sort of grew into this thing that no one had ever seen or heard of before which, ultimately, became a theme park.
As he began to talk to other amusement park operators and they heard he was going to spend all of this money on this theme park and all of this money on landscaping, he was going to have a single entrance in by way of Main Street and a single exit out, and they thought he was absolutely nuts. They literally thought he had lost his mind, but as Walt was going around to all of these amusement parks around the country and around the world, he was really learning what not to do because he genuinely sensed that the American people in 1955 were ready for something new and radically different in outdoor entertainment. He knew what we wanted before we even knew what we wanted.
You talked to a single person who was there on opening day, they'll tell you 2 things. One, they'd never seen anything like it anywhere in the world and then, secondly, they had never walked into a public place that was so impeccably clean, which I think is fascinating because, when he went home on that Saturday in the 1940s, having spent the afternoon with his daughters and he said to his wife, "Lilly, honey, we're going to build an amusement park," she thought he was nuts and said, "Oh, Walt, no, we, we don't want of those. Why, why those places are filthy." He kept it impeccably clean really as a promise to Lilly who never believed in his dream.
For me, the whole core idea is he's got this vision. He has this dream and he has enough courage to actually take action on it even when everybody around him thinks that he is nuts, thinks that it's crazy and thinks that it will never work.
Robert Plank: How did that work out, because, as you're describing that to me about this really smart guy who goes around and sees, like you said, sees what's not working everywhere else and has a better solution and goes and has all this attention to detail? I can't help but think about all these like Las Vegas casinos where they just pour in all kinds of money, have this huge vision and then it would just completely flop. I mean what's the difference there?
Jeff Barnes: Walt was very attentive to quality. When they opened the park, it was in fact a failure. July 17th, 1955, which we celebrate some 61 years later as Disneyland's birthday, was actually a day Walt never really wanted to remember again because everything that could go wrong actually did go wrong. The press, which had predicted it was never going to work to begin with, when they saw the disaster that was that black Sunday, they were labeling it "Walt's nightmare," or "Walt's folly," but he took responsibility for every single thing that didn't work and he ignored the elements like, for example, there was like a 105-degree heatwave the day that they opened the park. There wasn't anything he could about that. He couldn't change it, and so he focused on what he could control and changed it and fixed it and upgraded it, and the things that were out of his control he simply ignored them and moved on.
Over time, it just grew into the dream that he had always envisioned that it ultimately would be. Again, it took time. He didn't just step up from that bench and get to work on it immediately, and it wasn't an immediate, overnight success. He had to stay true to that dream and true to that vision and stay attentive to it and focused on it until it ultimately became what we know it to be today.
Robert Plank: With all that, how did he make it all function, because I mean it's 1 thing to say, okay, he has ... He focuses in all of these things or he controls what he can't control, but I mean I can't even imagine like a park like Disneyland how much it costs to run it every day, how many people have to be involved? I mean, what's the secret there?
Jeff Barnes: He built a phenomenal organization. He had people who were willing to literally go through walls for him because he had this insatiable, contagious vision, and that was true for Micky Mouse back in 1928, it was true for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was the world's first full-length animated feature film in 1938 and, now, it's true all over again when it comes times to build Disneyland. Even though Walt liked to control things, he wasn't a micro manager, and so he empowered his team to help make his dream come true.
I think, first of all, he was smart enough to hire people better than himself. This was true when it came to artists and animators and it became true when it came time to build Disneyland and, ultimately, when it came time to run Disneyland. He hired a gentleman out of Texas who had done training in the aerospace industry, and he said, "Look, we're going to build something very unique, very special and very different here. I need you to be responsible for the training," and, ultimately, this would come to be known of as Disney University. The training really only consisted of 2 core elements. First of all, Walt said, "I don't want to deliver the same, you know, shoddy service that I get everywhere else," and then, secondly, he empowered that trainer and, ultimately, every single cast member to create happiness.
People ask me all the time, "What's the secret? What's the magic? How do they get the pixie dust?" as if it's more difficult than it actually is. Walt's mantra was "treat people the way you want to be treated and empower the folks that you hire to actually make that happen." That is still true even till today. We'll go to Disneyland for dinner and someone, for whatever reason, stuff happens and our reservation gets lost. Rather than going through policies and procedures and managers, the cast member on the spot is empowered to say, "Hey, we're really sorry about that. We're seating you 5 minutes later than scheduled. Um, pick an appetizer. Pick a dessert anywhere off the menu. It's on us."
I think there's a real business lesson there. Hire the right people and then trust them to do exactly what you need them to do.
Robert Plank: I've heard of little tidbits like that. As I keep saying, I'm not a very knowledgeable Disney guy, but I've heard something maybe like a couple of years ago about something like there are these little touches on like, for example, Main Street where there ... I guess there's no garbage cans or like, the cast members, there's something where they have to pick up any piece of garbage or something like that just to make sure it's super clean. Is that a real thing?
Jeff Barnes: Walt paid attention to people and he figured that, on average, will walk about 30 steps before we have to get rid of the trash that's in our hands, and so they made sure that there was a trashcan themed to the environment because they don't want to break up the narrative or the story. There's a trashcan approximately every 30 feet in Disneyland. They make sure that the restrooms are cleaned spotlessly every half hour, and then, when it comes to cast member training, like Walt never wanted to be called anything but Walt. He didn't want to be called Walt Disney. He didn't want to be called Mr. Disney. He only ever wanted to be called Walt.
He really was, Robert, the very first undercover boss, if you will. He'd get up on a Saturday morning and he would walk every inch of that park, making sure that it was ready for the guests, and then he would stand in line just like everyone else and would experience the attraction just like you and I were experiencing them, always taking notes and encouraging his leads and his executives and his cast members to enjoy the experience so that it was something that we would go home as guests and rave about.
Even today, when Disney hires executives, whether it's a CEO, a president, a vice president, one of the first things that he'd do is set them loose in the theme park and they have to go around and pick trash.
Robert Plank: Nice. That's pretty cool. It sounds like, as far as Walt's attitude, he was very, very ... trying to look through things from the point of view of that customer even to the point where ... I mean, just knowing to clean the bathrooms every half an hour and not every 2 hours, not every 20 minutes, knowing that it's 30 steps to every ... before you need to get rid of the trash, not 40, not 50. It sounds like that's a pretty good eye for detail without getting too bogged down in the details I guess.
Jeff Barnes: Yeah. There's this great story. He was working with one of his Imagineers who helped build the park, a fellow by name of John Hench. They were up at the studio and finishing out what would become the very first attraction installed at Disneyland, which was the old frontierland stagecoach line, and John could not the leather strapped on that stagecoach right to Walt's liking and, finally, in frustration, John threw the leather strap up in the air and said, "Walt, it's a stupid leather strap. No one is ever going to notice. No one is ever going to care," and Walt stopped him and said, "John, you're underestimating people, but he will notice. They will care. Every time they come to Disneyland, they're going to see something that they've never seen before, and that's what's going to keep bringing them back over and over and over again." Some 61 years later, some 650 million of us have come back over and over and over again.
Robert Plank: I'll hear a little bit about something like that. Every now and then, I'll just see some list on the Internet or something that'll say like, "Did you know there were these hidden whatevers in the, you know, on the ground or these hidden things and whatever?" I think that's pretty cool that there's always some kind of Easter egg to find on any return trip.
Jeff Barnes: Yep.
Robert Plank: Let's talk about you a little bit. It sounds like you have a lot of, I mean, so much knowledge, so many stories about Disneyland and Walt Disney. What got you into all of this stuff?
Jeff Barnes: I actually grew up in Florida, and I can remember I was 10 years old and we took a family vacation to Walt Disney World in 1974. I knew, Robert, the second that I stepped on the Main Street, I was just blown away. I was like, "Wow. This place is super, super cool." As I grew up, whether it was middle school or high school, if we were going back to Walt Disney World either as a family, band trip, Boy Scouts, you name it, I was typically the kid who was most looking forward to it. I was typically the kid who was counting down the days until we were back at Disney World.
It actually wasn't until 1988 when I was a grad student up in the Bay Area of California that I made my first trip to Southern California and my first trip to Disneyland and, truth be told, I write about this in the book, I hated it. It wasn't what I remembered from Florida and I think, worst of all, we got up on a Sunday morning in August and took our time getting there, arriving on Main Street at 10:30-11:00 in the morning. Back in 1988, the big, new E ticket attraction was Star Tours. We walked down Main Street. We turned right into Tomorrowland.
The good news is we were in the right place for the ride, but, unfortunately, in the wrong place for the line, and so a cast member directed us back to the start of Main Street, and it wasn't until 3 hours later that I had finally experienced my first Disneyland attraction and, of course, by that point, it's the middle of the afternoon, it's hot, it's crowded. By the end of the day, I was done. If you had told me, "Look, you're going to fall in love with this place. You're going to end up teaching a college course on its history. You're going to write a bestselling book about Disneyland," I would have said that you're absolutely crazy.
Fast forward 3 years later, I was bringing a group of young people back down and we were going to Disneyland again. By that point, I'd lived in California long enough to know, wow, these people are really into this thing called Disneyland. I must have missed something. That's when the historian in me came out. I started doing the reading and the research, and that's when I discovered, just like you and me, Walt wasn't born successful. He certainly didn't start out as a success. In fact, he went bankrupt in Kansas City at the ripe old age of 21 and, even when it came to Disneyland, he didn't just speak the magic words and his magic kingdom would appear out of an orange grove in Anaheim. He faced all sorts of adversity and all sorts of obstacles to make his dream come true.
It was in learning that story that I came to realize, wow, that is the ultimate example for each of us in terms of how to make our own dreams come true, and so I brought those young people back and I fell in love with it and I've been in love with it ever since.
Robert Plank: Yeah, it sounds like there's all kinds of little life lessons and business lessons and all kinds of little things that I'm picking up from you when anything about Walt Disney or abuot Disney in general kind of comes up. I understand that you have, like you mentioned, this bestselling book out called The Wisdom of Walt. Is that right?
Jeff Barnes: Correct.
Robert Plank: Can you tell us about that a little bit?
Jeff Barnes: I can. To back up a little bit, I am dean of students success at California Baptist University in Riverside California, which is about 33 miles from Main Street, USA. We've lived here for about 5 years now. My wife and I, we've been to the park 350-plus times in the last 60 months. Again, we really, really, really love it. Along the way, early on, I had this idea of, wow, our college students don't know anything about Walt and they don't know anything about the history of the park. They just think it's always been here because, in terms of their lifetime, it always has been, so I started dreaming of a course that would teach students about Walt and about Disneyland, but, most importantly and most significantly, we'd use Walt and use Disneyland as a vehicle to inspire and motivate those students to see their own dreams come true.
I sat on that idea for a while because I didn't want to be the faculty member who lost his job for pitching such a Mickey Mouse idea. Finally, I got the courage to go in and talk to the chair of our history and government department and, because he had worked as a cast member 30 years earlier, which I didn't know, the idea of teaching a course on the history of Disneyland, he loved it, and so, for the next year, we did the curriculum and the syllabus, the textbooks, guest lectures, field trips, you name it, and I gave the very first lecture on what had become my dream course, the history of Disneyland and then, Robert, the very next day, I was actually diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Robert Plank: Oh, no.
Jeff Barnes: The neurosurgeon said, "It's life-threatening, It's got to come out. Today is Friday. I want you back for surgery on Tuesday even if it's not cancerous," and I'll tell you now, fortunately, it was not, but, because of the evasiveness of the surgery, even if it's not cancerous, you're going to be out of work anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. 6 to 8 weeks means I'm not going to get to teach my class. 6 to 8 weeks means my dream of doing a college course on the history of Disneyland dies, and I realized Disneyland tells great stories, but I also believe that it's challenging us to live a great story. All of us have conflict in our life. The conflict is there for a reason. It's enabling us to live a better and greater story. The bigger the dragon, the better your story.
This brain tumor happened to be the biggest dragon that I'd ever faced in my life. We put the surgery off for 2 and a half months, which, trust me, the neurosurgeon was not happy about in any way, shape or form. The idea that I would risk my life so I could teach a stupid college course about an amusement park seemed completely ridiculous to him. Again, I was in that instant that it became my passion because, again, 33 million people a year go to Disneyland or Disney World and rather than it being a place to escape, rather than it being the place where dreams come true, I genuinely believe we can make it the example, the example that it's showing us how to make our own dreams come true.
We taught the course. We had the surgery. I'm healthier now than ever. Because of the popularity of the class, we wanted to make the material accessible to as many people as possible, and so we turned it into what has, fortunately, become a bestselling book, The Wisdom of Walt: Leadership Lessons from the Happiest Place on Earth.
Robert Plank: Awesome. Yeah, I don't know about you, but like whenever I ... I don't know, when I'm looking for something new to read, I always come across like the business stuff and it's always just like, oh, here is more of the same stuff, yet another story about Steve Jobs or something. If I'm just looking for like some kind of creativity or guidance, the same kind of deal. I'm like, "Okay. Great. What's Oprah recommending?" or, "What's the, you know, the latest, latest Chicken Soup book."
I like this book. I like the idea of it in that, like you said, there's business stuff in it, there's life lessons in it, and it's all kind of disguised behind the entertainment factor. Right? There's all kinds of reasons to check this book out. You also get all these amazing, wonderful side-effects, byproducts from it.
Jeff Barnes: Robert, I didn't want to write another Disney business book because there's already great ones out there and I didn't really think the marketplace needed another one. Walt most wanted to be remembered as a storyteller. He built the park for the purpose of telling stories. I wanted to write a personal development book that told Walt's story, that tells the story of Disneyland, that explains the stories that we experienced when we're at the park, connect it to some of my stories and then, hopefully and ultimately, connect it to your own story as a source of motivation and a source of inspiration to see your own dreams come true.
I'm really proud of the fact that I managed to write the book that I truly dreamed of writing. A year later, I mean, I get 2 or 3 emails a week from readers thanking me for having written The Wisdom of Walt and they're working on this dream or they're working on that dream because the book did exactly what we set out for it to do.
Robert Plank: Awesome, so there's a bunch of layers to it, and just like how we can go back to Disneyland again and again and see something new, people can read your book over and over and get new thing from it.
Jeff Barnes: Yes. One of the favorite features for readers is every chapter has what I call a souvenir stuff. If you think about when you're on vacation or if you're at Disneyland, you always go into the stores and you want to bring something home, you want to take something back that reminds you of your trip to the park. Every chapter has a souvenir stuff, and those are your take-home lesson. These are the points that I want you to remember from whatever the lesson in that particular chapter was. It plays out sort of like a workbook. Whether we're talking about how the park teaches us to focus or how it challenges us to live a great story or how we can do a better job taking care of the teams that we're working with or we're working for, there's places to apply all of that again to your own life, your own dream, your own family and your own business.
Robert Plank: Awesome. That sounds amazing. Where can people go to find the book and to find out all about you and everything else that you're doing?
Jeff Barnes: Sure. Like all good books, it's available on Amazon these days. You can get hardcover, softcover, Kindle eBook, as well as an audio book. If you're looking for a personally signed hard copy, you can also find me at TheWisdomOfWalt.com. I also travel the country doing inspirational, motivational speeches. We also have leadership training programs as part of The Wisdom of Walt as well.
Robert Plank: Awesome, so all kinds of good stuff. I really like everything that you had to say here today, Jeff, not just the Disneyland stuff in general, but your story and your scary brain tumor thing and just everything that you've done to I guess get your knowledge out and get the word out from not just ... A lot of people have idea that they don't implement, but you have the course, the book, the speaking, all kinds of cool stuff, so TheWisdomOfWalt.com..
Thanks for being on the show, Jeff.
Jeff Barnes: Thank you, Robert.