Ep 463: 3 Copywriting Secrets | Dr. JJ Peterson Episode Recap

RV (00:03):
I want to share with you the three biggest secrets for writing. Great copy. Not just writing great copy, but writing a copy that converts, that performs. So what do I mean by converts and performs? I mean, coming up with the words that go on a page and that when you use these words, they cause the reader to take action to to actually engage in a certain behavior, which would be like where, where they are where they’re buying something or opting in for something or filling out a form and requesting information or downloading something, right? This is persuasive copy. So these are three of the most important secrets of writing. Great copy. Now, I wanna let you know that one of the things that we teach at Brand Builders Group is part of our formal curriculum is something called the 15 Ps of copywriting.
RV (01:01):
The 15 Ps is our proprietary unique methodology for how to write great sales pages specifically full offer sales pages when you’re trying to collect a credit card and all the elements that, that are needed. So I’m gonna cover two of those Ps here, which I think are two of the most important. And but before I do that, so let me just share with you, here’s the first secret of writing. Great copy. It is learning how to sell the destination, not the vehicle. So what do I mean by that? Well, if you think of going on a journey, right? There’s a starting point. You know, wherever you, wherever you leave from, let’s say San F let’s say San Francisco, you, and then you go, where do you end? That’s the destination. It’s New York. So there’s a starting point and an ending point, and then there’s a vehicle, right?
RV (01:49):
There’s some vehicle that transport you, it’s bike a car, and you know, a, a plane or whatever. Well, when you think about copywriting specifically for the purpose of generating sales, specifically for the purpose of creating conversions, inspiring behavior, you know, as if you’ve been following me for any amount of time, right? I explain it roy vaden.com, the four levels of influence, which is what I consider my actual personal expertise to be about is the stu the study of the psychology of influence. How do I define influence? Influence is the ability to move people to action. That’s it. So when we have to move people to action through the written word, that’s copywriting sometimes sometimes we describe this at Brand Builders Group that copywriting is selling through the written word instead of through the spoken word, okay? So whenever you’re doing copywriting, like for the purpose of influence and for selling, you gotta sell the destination, not the vehicle. And I’ll use a great example with my first book, take the Stairs, right? So my first book, take the Stairs is a book that’s all
RV (02:59):
About self-discipline, okay? And it’s basically teaching people how to use self-discipline to overcome procrastination so that they can achieve success in any part of their life. So therein in that phrase that I just said, are the three elements that matter that you have to like consciously be aware of, that you have to consciously bucket when it comes to marketing, right? Or selling through the written word. My book, take the stairs, or selling it as a speech, right? So I, I often do that program as a speech, right? Companies will hire me to come talk about that message, and I go, okay, how do I, how do I market my speech to meeting planners and companies to get them to book me to come speak at their national sales meeting or their leadership meeting, or their kickoff meeting or their customer service, like whatever, and talk about, you know, this, take the stairs methodology.
RV (03:53):
So what are the three parts that I’m talking about? Okay? Again, there is the starting, you know, there’s the, there’s the starting point then there’s the destination, and then there’s the vehicle. So if you just look at, take the stairs, my, my book and content, okay? Procrastination is the starting point. So the problem is the starting point. The destination is the payoff. So what’s the payoff? Success, right? Like, be be having anything you want in life. I mean, the, the subtitle of Take the Stairs is Seven Steps to Achieving True Success. So then we’ve got the starting point of procrastination. We have the destination, which is success, and then we have the vehicle, which is self-discipline. And if you were to read the My Take the Stairs book, or if you were to hire me to come speak to your group and, and you saw me speak at your event, you would see that I teach the psychology of how self-discipline isn’t as hard as we all think.
RV (04:53):
Once we know how to think about it the right way. And I talk about neuroscience and rewiring your brain so that you can make decisions in the way that ultra performers make. It’s all about self-discipline. But one of the biggest mistakes I ever made when I started my personal brain and when I started my company. So when I very first started my company my very first website was discipline dynamic.com, because I knew that my, my personal brand was gonna be all about, like, my early work I knew was gonna be all about helping people develop discipline. And so it was like discipline dynamic. And then there was this huge lightning crash and it said discipline dynamic. And that was a mistake. What was great about it was that I had clarity about what I knew would transform lives self-discipline, right? And as we later proved with the success of, you know, the Take the Stairs book, you know, becoming an international bestseller, is that it works and it does change lives.
RV (05:53):
And it is super duper powerful. The issue is that early on, nobody would book me and nobody would buy my stuff because nobody wants discipline. And this is a problem that mission-driven messengers make all the time. You have some secret, you have some, you know, discovery, you have transformed your own life through some methodology and, and you’re so passionate about it, right? And, and you’re like, oh my gosh, like I figured out how to lose weight just like walking or, or you know, I have this nutrition secret or something, something. And what you do if you’re like me, and if you’re like many, many of the clients that we work with at Brand Builders Group, when they first come to us, you’re so passionate about the vehicle that you’re marketing, the vehicle, you’re trying to sell people, the vehicle, you’re trying to say discipline will change your life.
RV (06:42):
Discipline is the key. Discipline is the secret. Discipline will transform you. And that’s exactly what I did. And that’s what most mission-driven messengers do because we are like these bleeding hearts. We wanna change the world. And so we were just like telling people like, this will change your life. The problem is nobody wants to buy it because people don’t really buy the vehicle, they buy the destination. And this is the, the, the, the first and perhaps the greatest secret of all copywriting is you have to market and sell the destination, not the vehicle. So what you should not write about, if I, if I were writing a sales page to get people to buy, take the stairs, or if I was writing a program, you know, description to get people to come to my, my speech I should not really mention self-discipline. ’cause Nobody wants that.
RV (07:34):
And it’s not exciting, even though it is the truth, right? That’s why the vehicle is the truth. The, the vehicle is what will actually change lives. But it’s not the thing that people, it’s not the thing that you market to promote. ’cause Nobody wants to buy it, right? What they wanna buy is the destination. So what I really would wanna do is I would wanna talk about what happens in your life if you incorporate discipline without even saying incorporate discipline, just going, if you follow the principles in this book, you will make more money, you will lose weight, you’ll have better relationships, you’ll have more free time, like et cetera, et cetera. That is the destination. Whatever success looks like. We’ll talk about this more in a second. That’s what I should be marketing and writing about and talking about. I should be promoting both the, the, the starting point and the ending point, but not the vehicle, right?
RV (08:24):
So I should be talking about the problem that people currently have and in my marketing and in my copywriting, and then where I can take them, what they can end up with. But I shouldn’t spend that much time marketing the vehicle. Part of the reason why is because in order to get, if that’s the case, in order to get someone to buy, they have to not only sign off and agree that they want the destination that you’re promoting, they have to buy off that they, they agree with and that they like the vehicle of your plan of how to get there. And that’s not really necessary, right? What, what changes lives is saying, here’s the transformation I can provide, I can help you with, and I have a way to do that. And I, you know, it’s a seven step process or whatever. They don’t have to know the nitty gritty of what it is in order, in order to buy it, right?
RV (09:09):
Like when I go to a restaurant and I order a meal, I don’t have to know every ingredient that’s in there. I don’t even have to know the recipe for how they make it. I just want the meal, right? Just bring me, just bring me the meal. And that’s kind of what this is. Okay? So that’s copywriting secret number one. Copywriting secret number two, you have to get great at writing what we call pain copy. What is, what is, what is pain copy. Okay? Pain copy is super simple. Again, this is one of our, so this is one of our 15 Ps of copywriting, one of our proprietary you know trade secrets if you will, of one of the, the, the techniques that we teach. But one of the 15 ps is P two, or excuse me, P three in the 15 Ps is called pain.
RV (10:00):
You have to write great pain copy. How do you write great pain? Copy is so simple to write great pain copy. All you have to do is describe a frustrating day in the life of your prospect as they currently have it now related to the thing you’re selling. So basically you just describe a day in their life as they have it now because of the absence of your solution. So let me go back to my trip metaphor. Remember we said, you know, there’s a starting point. There’s a destination and there’s a vehicle. Great pain copy is all about marketing and talking about and describing the starting point. Ironically, what is more likely to make somebody buy is not the vehicle. Even if you gave someone the secrets for free about how to change their life, that that’s not what’s gonna attract them and entice them to buy.
RV (10:58):
What is going to attract them is to describe the frustrations they’re currently experiencing in their life. How do you do this? This is pain copy. You simply have to describe what their life looks like now. So let’s say there’s somebody again, I’m just, I’m sticking with take the stairs ’cause it’s sort of ubiquitous and it’s simple and applies to me, right? So rather, if I wanted someone to buy the take the stairs book, rather than telling ’em how amazing all of these self discipline secrets are, what I want to do is spend time talking about the issue that they have. And so, for example, I do this in the opening of the book because I want people to actually read the whole book. And that’s part of why the book sells really well, is in the opening of the book, I talk about the three different types of procrastination.
RV (11:42):
There’s classic procrastination, which is consciously delaying the things you know you should be doing. Then I invented two new terms. There’s creative avoidance, which is unconsciously creating busy work for yourself to do as a way of avoiding, as a way of, you know, giving yourself an out where you can do that. And then the neuroscience of your, of the brain, right? The brain releases dopamine. And so you feel good because you accomplish something trivial even though it’s not the thing you needed to do. That’s creative avoidance. And then there’s priority dilution, which is the chronic overachievers procrastination, which is procrastinating, not because you’re lazy, but because of you allow interruptions to happen in your life, right? So if I am trying to get someone to hire me to speak, or I’m trying to get someone to buy the book, I don’t talk about how amazing discipline is.
RV (12:29):
I’m gonna talk about that when I’m there. That’s how I’m gonna change their life. Or that’s what you’re gonna read about in the book. None of you’re gonna buy the book now because I’ve told you, I’ve told you the vehicle and you’re not gonna be attracted to it even though you should. ’cause It will change your life. As you can see from Amazon reviews from Take the Stairs. But what I’m gonna market is procrastination. I’m gonna sell procrastination. I’m gonna be an ambassador of procrastination. I’m gonna say, if you struggle with distraction, if you struggle with interruption, if there’s things you know you should be doing that you don’t, but you don’t feel like doing, you can’t get yourself to do them. If you’ve ever set a goal and not followed through, if you’ve ever made a commitment and not been able to, to keep it longer than, you know, a week if, if you, if you know you’re capable of more things in your life, but you haven’t been able to achieve that potential, right?
RV (13:15):
That’s compelling. And what am I doing there? I’m not describing the vehicle, I’m describing the problem. More specifically, the pain, the way to write great pain copy is to describe a day in their life as it currently exists because of the absence of your solution, right? So if I describe that life, and then I say, but you know, if you, if you buy, take the stairs or if you bring me to speak, if I was gonna try to, you know, sell myself to, for a company to book me to speak, right? I just changed the narrative a little bit. I say, do your, do your employees ever struggle with procrastination? Do you think that people are struggling with a lack of productivity? Do they get discouraged? Do they deal with reject rejection? Do they, do they, do you think they waste time online or they waste too much time in meetings or they, they, they, they spend too much of their time on things that are trivial and insignificant.
RV (14:05):
If so, you should bring me in and I’m gonna be able to help them. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, which we’ll talk about in a second. And that’s why you need to book me and my signature program take the stairs, seven Steps to Achieving True Success, right? So I’m not selling discipline, I’m selling the problem, the starting point. And, you know, talking about the great pain copy, which leads me to the third greatest secret of writing all great copy. I can’t, I can’t even believe I’m giving these away for free. But he, here’s what it is. It’s called payoff copy. You have to be able to write great payoff. Copy. payoff is one of the other 15 Ps, right? So there’s 15 Ps. Two, two of them, I’m, I’m giving you here, pay is P three and then payoff is P six out of the 15 Ps.
RV (14:53):
So how do you write great payoff, copy? Well, simple payoff copy is the inverse of pain. Copy. If pain is describing a day in their life currently, as it exists in the absence of your solution, payoff copy is describing a day in their future life as it will exist once they have the presence of your solution, right? So if you struggle with procrastination, create avoidance, distraction, you know, time management, you’re, you’re busy, you’re burnt out, you’re overwhelmed. I have a, if you, if if you buy the take the stairs book or you bring me into your company to talk about, take the stairs methodology, I will help you be more productive, you’ll have more peace, you’ll, you’ll be more efficient, you’ll have more energy, you’ll have better relationships, you’ll make more money. And that is what this system teaches. So notice how the payoff is the in is the inverse of the pain.
RV (15:47):
Pain is the starting point. Payoffs are the destination, and then the vehicle, which is what we call the uniqueness or the message. But the, the, the, the, the message or the uniqueness is what I don’t wanna talk about or, you know, I might reference to it or talk about it quickly or briefly, but I don’t wanna talk about that in marketing or in my copywriting because that is not the thing that people buy. People buy the fact that you understand where I’m at, which is the pain, and you have a methodology or a vehicle or a system to get me to where I want to go, which is the payoff, which is the destination. If you want a great, if you want to write great copy, write more about the problems and pain of where they’re starting, the payoffs, the destinations and transformations of where you’re gonna go in them, take them where you’re going to take them, and stop talking about the vehicle and the thing that which, which you’re passionate about, right?
RV (16:41):
You’re gonna get to talk about what you’re passionate about once they hire you, once they book you to speak, once they buy your book, once they get into your coaching program. But if you don’t do these three things, you cannot have successful copy without these three things. If you do these three things right, even if you get the other 13 Ps wrong, you’re gonna be in a good spot. Now, hopefully, you’ll, you’ll request a free call with our team. We do free calls with everybody. You can request a free call at some point. We’ll do a free call with everybody, request a call, and hopefully we’ll be able to teach you how to do all 15 Ps. If you do ’em well, you’re gonna see increased conversions. But if you at least get these two right, that’s gonna get you started.

Ep 462: StoryBrand 7 Step Method with Dr. JJ Peterson

RV (00:02):
I am so excited to interview my, my good friend Dr. JJ Peterson. We’re gonna be talking about StoryBrand and the StoryBrand framework. I take credit for the success of the StoryBrand book because we did the book launch party at our house. Donald Miller, who was the original author, wasn’t gonna do a book launch. And we’re like, Don, are you crazy? We gotta launch this book. We launched it at our house, and I think it’s gone on to sell a million copies, or, you know, close to, if I think it, I think it sold a million copies. So that’s all because of where Don hosted his book, launch party. And that night I got to meet Dr. JJ Peterson, who now is the head of StoryBrand. He’s also the host of the Chart topping Marketing Made Simple podcast. And JJ is an amazing guy.
RV (00:49):
So he has a PhD in communication. He spent the last 20 years studying and teaching communication theory. He’s also an adjunct professor at the Owen School of Business at Vanderbilt University. And I mean, he’s, they, they, they’re, these guys are involved in so much with, you know, helping politicians and filmmakers and business owners and, and academia. I mean, StoryBrand has become mainstream. And it was like, I can’t believe we haven’t actually had you back on the show in such a long time. Never. J’s never been on this show. So we have to do this. Dr. JJ Peterson, welcome to the show, brother.
JP (01:29):
Oh my goodness. Well, thank you so much for having me. And yes, we still to this day absolutely give you 100% credit for that book, selling a Million . So
RV (01:38):
Yeah, we we’re gonna start charging a package. Like, if you just wanna sell a million copies host, you can host your book party at the Vaden Villa.
JP (01:46):
I will give you a testimony right now, , I will give you, we can record a testimony and make it happen. So,
RV (01:52):
I mean, obviously I, I feel like StoryBrand has become mainstream pervasive. It, it, it’s, it’s become a verb that people use. Like you got a story brand it, but if, if someone’s listening and they’ve, they’ve never heard of the book story building a StoryBrand, what is, what is StoryBrand exactly? Like, give us, you know, take us there.
JP (02:12):
Well, the, it kind of all goes back to when Donna Miller, who was a, you know, he was an author and had written a bunch of, you know, bestselling books, and most of them were memoirs. And he ended up putting on this conference where he was inviting people to come and kind of become the hero of their own stories to like, basically create these life plans, find purpose in their life. And, you know, he’d sold millions of books at that point. And so they were like, yeah, the conference is a no brainer. He rented out an auditorium for about 1500 people and sold 700 seats for the first event, and which was great, profitable, wonderful. And got great reviews. And then all of a sudden, the next time the conference came around, they’re like, well, we’ll sell out this time. And sold about 700 seats again, Uhhuh, and then sold about 700 seats again. And through the process began to realize that they weren’t able to actually articulate the value of the conference. Like people were coming. ’cause They knew Don they were coming because they’d heard from friends, just word of mouth. But it wasn’t growing because nobody could actually articulate the value or why people needed it or anything in the conference itself. So Don actually went off to a cabin to try to kind of figure out what his next book was going to be, as he
RV (03:38):
JP (03:38):
He, as he does, as
RV (03:39):
He just disappears to the cabin and comes out with another bestseller. Me off, like,
JP (03:43):
I’m, so, I know it’s a bit annoying. His genius is a bit annoying in that way. But he goes off and he kind of begins to, he gets distracted and starts watching movies and he, he tells the story, you know, and he really, he had been studying story for a while, been he had written a screenplay, and he began to realize that, you know, there really was formula to all movies, formula to all stories. Hmm. And in the moment, what he started realizing is, what if we could apply story frameworks, which really were, you know, the, the, like, they’re powerful mediums. You know, movies are making millions of dollars. Story has been studied for centuries, and there are rules to story. And he thought, well, what if we could take these rules and move it out of the screenwriting space and actually put it into marketing?
JP (04:34):
And through that position, the customer as the hero of the story, instead of what most businesses do is position themselves as the hero. And so he began to change his marketing for the conference and position the customer as the hero was able clearly to articulate how it worked clearly articulate how the conference was gonna benefit them, help them survive and thrive, all these things that you do in marketing. And the next conference did not spend any money on marketing. The very next conference sold out, then went to a bigger venue, sold out, went to a bigger venue, sold out. And he began to realize that when companies or thought leaders or authors were able to actually articulate the value of what they bring to the table in a way that through their marketing positions, their customers, the hero that both people win out.
JP (05:31):
Mm-Hmm. Because if a thought leader actually has something that’s gonna change people’s lives, or a business has something that’s gonna change people’s lives, then it actually, it does not serve the world if nobody under nobody knows why they need it or what they’re supposed to do with it when they get it right. And so he wanted to start helping people clarify their message using story as the foundational framework so that companies and thought leaders could actually communicate more clearly their value proposition. They could position their audience or their customers as the hero, and ultimately they could grow their companies. And so that’s kind of how it started. And since then, we’ve worked with thousands and thousands all over the world.
RV (06:14):
I know you guys do. And, and it’s, it’s funny because it’s like one of the toughest questions for people to answer. And, and I’ll say for mission-driven messengers, like for personal brands, right? Like, the people that we serve are these, like, oftentimes they’re almost like these bleeding heart. I, I wanna change the world, I want to help people. And then someone asks them, what do you do, ? And they just fall apart, right? It’s like, it takes 40 minutes to explain what, because they’re like, well, I have a nonprofit and I have this methodology that I’ve created and I’ve worked over here in this country. And, you know, I work sometimes with educational institutions that sometimes with corporate people and, and you know, like, because, or they just go I don’t know. Like, it’s, it’s so, it’s so much like, how do I communicate that quickly and, and succinctly?
RV (07:02):
And, you know, I remember the first time I read you know, I still have the, one of the galleys, one of the advanced reader copies of StoryBrand and Mark the whole thing up. And I, I, I called Don and I was like, dude, this is gonna be a game changer. Because it’s, I mean, why do you think we have such a hard time JJ communicating? Like when someone asks you, what do you do when you’re on a airplane, or, you know, you’re at you at a dinner party or whatever, a networking event, it was like, what do you do? Like, why do we fumble that up so much?
JP (07:34):
I think some of it, if, if I’m, if I’m really digging in, some of it is trying to be, it’s insecurity and also trying to be humble. Like, there’s two things in that. Like, there’s some insecurity about what you do, so you start fumbling through that, or there’s, you’re trying to be, you don’t wanna come across as cocky. Yeah. And so you’re trying to be humble in that. And what we’ve just found with all of that, and what I would say is that when you try to shrink in what you have to offer the world by not coming, you don’t wanna come across too cocky. You don’t like, you’re insecure about the fact that you can make a difference when you actually shrink in that moment, not only are you not serving yourself, but you’re not serving the world, you’re not serving your potential customers.
JP (08:17):
Because if you actually have experience, if you have things that you figured out along the way that can help pe make people’s lives better and easier, and you don’t know how to, and you lack confidence in your way of communicating that what you’re doing is by shrinking, you’re actually not serving people. And so we teach people how to explain that through through the whole StoryBrand framework really is there are seven talking points really that are essential to every good story. And these, like I said, have been studied for centuries. They go all the way back to Aristotle and Plato who argued that the best way to move people to action, the best way to change culture was through story. If you go back, you know, all the way to poetics it. Like,
RV (09:04):
No, you guys better be careful. I’m just afraid that Aristotle is going to bring a plagiarism lawsuit against Don here. And I, I don’t know if we should be sharing that. Well,
JP (09:13):
We, we cite him. We cite him. So we c him.
RV (09:15):
Him. Okay.
JP (09:15):
We cite him. Okay. So we definitely cite our sources. You
RV (09:18):
Tag him. Do you tag him on Instagram?
JP (09:19):
A hundred percent hash hashtag Aristotle Poetics hashtag Aristotle.
RV (09:22):
JP (09:23):
And , you know, and these, the, it’s, the formulas have been refined over the years, but really every good story has seven elements to it. Seven talking points, there’s a formula. And when you follow that formula, what you do is you ensure that your story actually is clear and compelling. That’s really what we’re looking for when we’re trying to create good stories, is it has to be clear and it has to be compelling. And so the seven elements, okay. Do you want me to go into those or
RV (09:53):
I, I, we are gonna, I do want to go into those, but before we do that, you know, you’ve touched on this idea that I think one of the big mantras of StoryBrand, and one of the thing that works really well, and one of the reasons why we believe in it and like we become such emphatic fans about it, is the idea that you as the business owner, as the mission-driven messenger, you as the marketer, you are not the hero. The customer is the hero. And I just wanna connect this back to what you were talking about shrinking. When people shrink themselves, or they wanna be humble, the reason they’re doing that is because they think the conversation is about them, or they’re making the conversation about themselves. And I think a huge, like the big central thing is to go, if, if the conversation’s not about you, if, if the goal of the conversation is not to impress the other person, but to simply help the other person to serve the other person, now all of a sudden there’s no reason to shrink. ’cause It’s like you’re showing up as like, the best helper in the world versus like the most important person in the world. And, and, and so I just wanted you to talk on that part a little bit. ’cause I think, you know, the tactics of StoryBrand are super practical and actionable. I wanna talk about the seven points, but to me, the real heartbeat is this idea that customer’s the hero.
JP (11:20):
Yes. And you know, you would never see, well, let, let me just say this. We all wake up pretty much every day as the main character of our own story, right? That just really is how it is. Like you’re the main character of your movie. I’m the main character of my movie. And so we’re all kind of walking through life that
RV (11:39):
Way. And in my head, I have abs that are more defined than what I actually see. But like, yes, I, I wake up, you know, I think of myself as like Brad Pitt, but you know, it’s not
JP (11:49):
Way Oh, you
RV (11:49):
Are, you’re, but I’m, but I’m, I I, I get what you’re saying. Keep kick your
JP (11:52):
. Yeah. Yeah. In my, in my version, I’m six two and I’m really five three . So you know, but we all are heroes of our own story. And what happens in good movies is that the hero, actually in most, in all movies, is actually one of the weakest characters in the story. And they have a lot of self-doubt. They make a lot of mistakes. They are up and they are down, and they’re insecure through the whole thing. They don’t actually become the strong hero till the end of the movie. That’s what the Hero’s Journey is all about, is becoming the hero. But in the beginning of the movie and the rest of the movie, they’re actually very weak and insecure and scared and Ill-equipped. But at some point in the movie, they meet in a good story. They meet a guide, they meet somebody who has been down the path that they’re trying to go down before they’ve, but they’ve also won the day.
JP (12:48):
So in Star Wars, Luke Skywalker is the hero, but he comes in contact with Obi one Kenobi and Yoda wi in Lord of the Rings. There’s Frodo, but then there’s Gandalf in Hunger Games. There’s Katniss. But then there’s Hamid. There’s always this older, wiser guide who comes along to help the hero win the day. And when thought leaders position themselves as the hero, and what I mean by that is when you start talking, quote unquote about just yourself making the conversation about you, what you’re actually doing is positioning yourself as weak. ’cause You’re positioning yourself as a hero in the story. The best people who are equipped to help other people win are always the guides and guides are confident. They are s strong, they’re actually the strongest character in any movie, right? Obi one, Kenobi, Yoda, Gandalf, strongest characters in the movie who are helping other people win.
JP (13:50):
Now, they’re not out there bragging about themselves. They’re not even talking a lot about their history. In fact, we usually don’t know a ton of their history in a movie. All we know about them is that they are equipped to help the hero win because they’ve been where the hero has been, and they’ve overcome the same obstacles. So when you’re a thought leader, or you’re in business, when you talk about yourself and just make it all about kind of your insecurities, or kind of shrink a little bit, you’re making yourself the hero of the story. And you’re actually positioning yourself as weak, which means you’re actually not able to help other people. But when you talk about yourself in a way that talks about how you’ve overcome the similar problems that the people in your audience or your customers have experienced, right? So if you say, look, say you’re a thought leader on finance, and you stand up in front of an audience, and you don’t have to say, look, I’m really good at finance all this stuff.
JP (14:46):
But if you get up in front of an audience and you say, Hey, I used to be overwhelmed by finances as well, I get it. I was actually depressed, I was really struggling. What you’re doing in that moment is you’re positioning yourself beginning to position yourself as a guide to your audience with empathy. So when you say, I get it, I was like, you, and then you say, but actually, I was able to figure out a system where I was able to budget and invest in a way that actually has made me a millionaire in the past 10 years. And I wanna share that with you. Mm-Hmm. , that’s not bragging. That’s positioning yourself as a guide to your audience or your customers. You are saying, I am like you. I’ve experienced what you’ve experienced, but I’ve also found a way forward, and I wanna bring you along in that journey. Mm-Hmm. that what say power
RV (15:33):
Is one of our, one of our flagship, you know, probably most repeated quotes at Brand Builders Group is your most powerfully positioned to serve the person you once were.
JP (15:45):
Yes. I love that.
RV (15:46):
It, it anchors to what you’re, it anchors exactly to what you’re saying here is to go. You, you can be the guide if you actually are teaching people and selling people something that you know something about because you’ve been there, it automatically, like the default is you are the guide, and it it sets, it sets you up, like in that position perfectly.
JP (16:09):
And because everybody’s the hero in their own story, they’re looking for a way to overcome their problems. They’re looking for a way to win the day. They’re looking a way to move forward. And so, again, going back to your initial question when somebody says, what do you do? And you start fumbling and you start kind of trying to shrink a little bit and going, well, it’s really complicated. Immediately in their brain, what they’re doing is, oh, I’m not sure this person has really anything to help me move forward. Not in a, like, not, not in a,
RV (16:39):
In a subconscious
JP (16:39):
Way. Yeah. But it’s very subconscious. They’re going, this person, it is not gonna help me move ahead. And quite frankly, they’re not interesting . And so you might go, oh, great, nice to meet you. All right. Hey, I gotta leave. I gotta go get a drink. You know, like, it’s the conversation’s over because the person being introduced is not making them curious about what they offer, curious about their product, curious about their thought leadership. And so the best way to answer that question, a very simple way to tell what I would argue is a short story, is the way that you wanna always answer the question. What do you do really is three parts. I mentioned that overall stories, when you create good movies and stuff, there are seven parts. But to tell a short story, there are actually three parts to it. It’s very formulaic.
JP (17:28):
All right? In order to position your customer or your audience as the hero, what you wanna do is the very first thing you wanna do. And somebody says, so what do you do? You don’t answer that question. You start with a problem that they or your customers are experiencing. So if you asked me, just like, jj, what do you do? I would start, I wouldn’t say I work at StoryBrand. I would start by saying, so many businesses and thought leaders have a hard time explaining what it is that they do in a way that can actually make them a ton of money. So I just start that like, people have a hard time explaining what they do to grow their business,
RV (18:06):
Articulate the problem,
JP (18:07):
Articulate the problem. What you’re doing in that moment is you’re actually making the story about the person you’re talking to, not about yourself. So you start with the problem, then you come in as the guide and position yourself as a solution. So I’ve said, you know, a lot of thought leaders and businesses have a hard time explaining what they do. So they’re actually missing out on a, on a lot of money. What we do at StoryBrand is come in and help people create a clear message using the elements of story. So now I’ve just positioned myself as a guide to, to you the hero. And then I finish out the story with my customer success. So then I say, when people go through this, they’re able to not only articulate what they do in a really powerful way, but they’re able to actually help more people and grow their business. So it’s what the, the three elements are problem, solution, success. That’s a short story. So I’ll just put it all together. I would say so many thought leaders and businesses out there have a hard time explaining what they do to people in a way that makes them money. We help people clarify their marketing and their message by using a story framework so that then they ultimately have a clear way of explaining their value proposition can help more people and grow their business. Mm-Hmm. .
RV (19:26):
Got it. So yeah, give us the seven points. I wanna make sure that we at least hit, hit high level on ’em. I know you, they go deep in the book and in the course. Yeah, yeah. And the training that you guys do. But like, walk us through the seven parts. ’cause, And I want for you listening, these are the seven parts of a story. But then this is also like a checklist for like how you would write out the copy of describing whatever it is that you do. So all right. Hit us, jj.
JP (19:53):
All right. So the seven elements of any good story are that in the first bit of the story, right at the very beginning, there is a hero. And that hero wants something in a movie within the first nine minutes of a movie for the story to be good. We have to know what that hero wants. And we could probably all think of movies where we just could say, oh yeah, the hero wants this. It should be very clear, it should be very obvious, and it should be really one thing. Jason Bourne wants to know his identity, but he can’t also open a cupcake shop and want to run a marathon. And all these other things has to be one thing, right? How that
RV (20:32):
Someone wants to get married, couple wants to have kids, somebody wants to be rich. Well, someone wants to find their dad. You know, finding Nemo wants to find their parents like Uhhuh.
JP (20:41):
Yep. Very, very clear. How that then applies to marketing is the principle is that companies need to, if you’re positioning your customer as the hero, companies need to be able to clearly articulate what they offer. And it actually has to be one thing. It can’t be 50 things. And that is what enters your customer into the story. So you have to be able to say, not just say like, I help people achieve a great life. No, no, no. What do you actually offer? And it needs to be clear. So you need to create talking points that articulate what you offer. ’cause That is really what your customer’s looking for. The second element of any good story is that once the hero, we know what the hero wants. A problem has to get in the way. The only way a story gets interesting is if the hero encounters a problem, right?
JP (21:32):
It’s like, if Liam Neeson’s daughter gets kidnapped for the eighth time, and he gets that phone call that says, you know, I have your daughter. And then all of a sudden she hops on and goes, just kidding. It’s a joke. Do you want to come over to Europe and we’ll just go shopping and look at colleges? And then the rest of the movie is about that very boring movie, right? We’re not interested in it. The hook of the story that makes the story interesting is the problem. The bigger the problem, the more interesting the story. How that applies to our marketing is the only reason people are paying attention to your marketing or coming to you to buy a product or service is because you solve a problem for them. So you have to clearly articulate what problem your customers are experiencing that is gonna hook them in the marketing.
JP (22:25):
These two pieces are the two biggest pieces when it comes to writing a good story and creating good marketing. If you don’t articulate what you offer and you don’t constantly talk about the problems your customers experience, then people won’t pay attention to you. And if you can get those two things right in a movie and in marketing, you’re gonna do great. But the story keeps going and gets even more interesting. So then the element comes in that we’ve already talked about. The third principle of the StoryBrand framework is that the hero meets a guide. Mm-Hmm. They meet somebody who comes along and helps them win the day. Mr.
RV (23:02):
Miyagi, here you come. Yes, here he comes. Daniel son, Mr.
JP (23:05):
Mgi. Yes, exactly. , yes. And so that say, we’ve already talked about this, but the really, the paradigm, big paradigm shift in the StoryBrand framework is you’re not the hero of the story. You’re the guide. So stop talking about yourself and talk about your customer’s problems and talk about how you understand them. You have empathy for it, and you have authority to fix it. You have, you kind of give evidence that you’ve solved it for other people, testimonies, awards, things like that. Then the fourth element of a good story is that the guide gives the hero a plan. In every movie, I actually wanna do like some dissertation research to see how many times or in how many movies, the phrase what’s the plan, or here’s the plan appears. Hmm, I bet I mean, you, if you think about it, it’s in every movie, and it doesn’t matter how complicated the plot is or how complicated the problem is, they’ll go, but here’s the plan, right?
JP (24:01):
And what that does in a movie is show the audience that there is a clear path forward, easy and clear path forward for the hero to win, right? Even in Oceans 11, they’re gonna rob the Bellagio, it’s never been done before, it’s impossible. And then they go, but here’s the plan, right? . And then they follow the plan. Nice. The principle for that in marketing is you need to show your customers that there’s a clear and easy way to do business with you. What are the three steps that you guide them through to either purchase your product or work with them? So it can be schedule a call, we create a plan, then we meet monthly to make sure that that happens. You know, something in your, you know, we do an intake session, you join a mastermind group, and then we meet one-on-one after that, right?
JP (24:50):
We just have three steps to show them this is how you win the day. Then the fifth element in a good story is that after the hero gets the plan, there’s a moment where they have to be called to action. They have to be either in or out. And so the, in a lot of movies, there is a ticking time bomb that is gonna force the hero to act, right? Like, it’s gonna go off in five minutes and they’ve gotta be in or out, they’ve gotta run towards it. Or runaway a tsunami’s coming to de destroy Los Angeles, and they’ve gotta get their daughter out of the city. You know, there’s all of these kind of this countdown that says you need to act or there may be consequences. The principle for that in the marketing is we actually need to have clear calls to action in our marketing, our heroes.
JP (25:40):
Our customers need to know exactly what they need to do in order to buy our product and service. There is a study that was done recently that said 70% of small businesses in America do not have a clear call to action on their website that people are losing money if they don’t know if, if your customers or your audience doesn’t know what they’re supposed to do next. If you’re a thought leader and you’re up on a stage, you better at the end of your talk have something that they’re supposed to do that will connect them to your products and services. What’s the next step they’re supposed to take in order to work with you?
RV (26:16):
Yeah. And I, you know, it’s interesting. It’s never really dawned on me the, the, the, the, the dynamic of the ticking bomb part of it, right? So there’s a clear action, but then, you know, obviously, like you know, we do a lot of copywriting, like sales copywriting, like to, you know, how do you create page that gets someone to pull out their credit card? And you know, urgency is like a really big part, is people, people always procrastinate. And I’ve never thought about that with the relation, like the connection to StoryBrand in movies, how it’s like, you know, he, he’s about to get on an airplane and leave your life forever, or you know, you better ask her out on a date before she like gets on the train That there, like that kind of a thing. So do you guys advocate kind of like deadlines and countdowns and that kind of stuff?
JP (27:07):
Absolutely. Absolutely. Because if you allow people to delay action, it often becomes inaction. So I, I say that a lot. Delayed action usually is inaction. And so when you, it’s always in a movie, like you said, it’s very clear, there’s a moment, right? It’s, it’s not kind of wishy-washy of what the hero is supposed to do. They have to go get the girl, they have to disarm the bomb, they have to hop in the helicopter. There’s something that they have to do. And all the sports very,
RV (27:35):
Very clear. Every i’ll I have the built in clock, like
JP (27:37):
Exactly. And if, if you’re saying, okay, so let’s say Tom Cruise is running through the airport to disarm a bomb, and all of a sudden he finds out it’s going off in a month, well, there’s no urgency for that action , right? He’s just like, what am I doing? I’m not gonna sprain my ankle doing this. There’s no urgency. So that’s why there’s so often like literally a ticking time bomb. So in calls to action, when you can create a sense of urgency that in, in your emails and on even on your webpage or on your social media, then absolutely. But even almost, I would argue more important than that is most people, their calls to action are often like, well, if you wanna learn more or it, or, you know, or, you know, Hey, let me know if you have any questions. No, no, no.
JP (28:21):
What you’re doing again, in that moment is you’re shrinking. And again, I’ll remind everybody, you shrinking does not serve your customers or the world . And so what you’re saying when you’re just like, well, you know, if you have any questions or blah, blah, blah, what you’re actually doing is saying, I’m not quite sure I believe in my product or what I’m willing to offer you. I don’t believe that it’s actually gonna change your life or make a difference. And our customers subconsciously feel that. So be strong, buy now, schedule a call, sign up. You know, any of those kind of things, you need to be very
RV (28:53):
Clear. And I think of it, you know, so like, as a parent of two toddlers, I go, if my son is about to pick up a marble and put it in his mouth, I don’t kind of politely say, Hey, you should maybe not do that. Or like, I reach over and I smack it out of his hand like now. Right? And so, mm-hmm, , when you have that, when you truly have that service centered mindset, there’s urgency on your part to create urgency on their part. Yes. And, and, and I think, I think a lot of people miss that, especially the mission driven messengers. ’cause It’s like, I just want to help everybody and I just wanna encourage ’em. And it’s like, yeah. And a part of that is giving ’em a freaking deadline. Yes. If you don’t give ’em a freaking deadline, they’re not gonna do your thing, which means they’re not gonna change their life, which means they’re gonna do exactly what they’ve been doing, which means they’re gonna continue to be a mess. So it’s like a part of a creating a service is giving people a deadline. Absolutely. That’s what you’re gonna change their life.
JP (29:54):
Absolutely. Clarity is kindness and showing people where they’re supposed to go, what they’re supposed to do is actually an act of service. So if, if , I would almost say literally, if you hear nothing out of this out of this podcast, make sure that your calls to action are clear on your website and your social media and in all of your marketing, that is actually a gift to the people you serve. The last two elements of the StoryBrand framework are what we call success and failure. These are what are really in a good movie, the stakes in the story, and they’ve kind of been forecast through the whole foreshadowed through the whole movie. We know what a happy ending looks like for a hero, and we’re rooting for that. But we also know what tragedy can look like for them. That, you know, they’re gonna win the day.
JP (30:42):
They’re gonna get the girl they’re gonna hit the home run, or that actually they’re gonna strike out and everybody loses. They’re gonna miss out on the girl and she’s gonna marry his brother. You know, like we know what the tragedy, what we’re pain we’re trying to avoid, and what success we’re cheering for. And it’s the same thing in marketing. You need to create talking points and value proposition around what their, your customer’s life will look like once they do business with you. That’s called success. So what, what are they gonna save time, save money? Are they gonna be more confident? Are they gonna be able to get ahead? What are the things they’re actually gonna be able to benefit from, from your product or service? And we need to write those out and articulate those, but we also need to articulate what they’re going to miss out on, or what pain they’re going to continue to experience if they don’t work with us, that they’re gonna continue to be tired, they’re gonna continue to be overwhelmed.
JP (31:38):
And that might get a little bit worse where they actually struggle with burnout, right? You can kind of forecast what can happen to them if they don’t work with you. And mainly it’s that their problems either are solved if they work with you or are not solved. If they don’t, and they either can get then a little bit better or a little bit worse. And those really are the seven elements of a good story. And a seven, the seven elements of good marketing. So what we actually do is then teach people how to create talking points for all seven of those elements so that you can make sure that on your website emails, when you’re giving keynote addresses, when you’re doing webinars, that everything you’re talking about is very clear. It’s positioning your customers the hero, you as the guide, and showing how you can make their life better if you work with them by giving them a clear call to action. Mm-Hmm,
RV (32:30):
. Yep. Yep. So I mean, on that note, jj, where should people go if they wanna learn more about you guys and all things StoryBrand and Donald Miller and like all, all the stuff you guys got going on?
JP (32:44):
Yeah, we actually have a little a little gif for everybody who’s listening is that you can actually go to storybrand.com/brand script. And when you go to storybrand.com/brand script, you’re actually gonna see what we call an online brand script where it has these different elements that I’ve just been talking about. And there are boxes to be able to create, start working on your own story, your company story, your entrepreneurial story, to try to create talking points around those pieces. So it’s actually like an online version of everything that I just talked about. So you can go there and practice creating your marketing and your messaging, and that’s storybrand.com/brandscript.
RV (33:27):
So Cool. Yeah, so we’ll link up in the show notes. And you know, I guess this last thing, jj, like, if, if someone is starting out, you know, right now and they’re hearing this and they’re going, oh my gosh. Like, you know, I, I I’m, I I I struggle with articulating what I’m doing and y you know, like, I don’t know, you know, I’m not a great writer, et cetera. I mean, you’ve given ’em some really great tools and, and stuff, but just kind of more like on the emotional side, you know, what, what’s kind of the encouragement or the reminder that you would want that person to hear?
JP (34:05):
Yeah, I think, you know, I, for me, for a long time, ’cause I’ve been in marketing and public relations and things for a very long time, and the thing that I struggled most with was I, I never wanted to brag about myself. I never wanted to elevate myself. And it, it meant much of that came from kind of a false humility. Truthfully, , it was like I was a little arrogant, but then I didn’t want people to think I was arrogant, . And so, you know, it was like, almost like a false sense of humility. And so I didn’t know how to talk about myself. And when I discovered the StoryBrand framework and realized that actually I am not the hero, I don’t want to be the hero of my own story. I want to be a guide for other people to help them win this, their story that changed everything for me.
JP (34:54):
And it actually lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders and allowed me to talk about myself and the things that I do in a way that really serves others versus serving myself. And so if you’re in that spot where you’re like, I don’t know how to do this. I’m, I, I feel weird talking about myself getting on podcasts or going, getting up and giving speeches ’cause it feels like, what do I have to say? Well, the first thing I would say is you have amazing things to say, everybody. A lot of times people think they don’t have anything new to offer the world. And I’m telling you, you may not have a new idea, but you have a new way of telling it because you’re the only person who’s ever experienced what you’ve experienced. So stand in that authority that you have that there is only one you.
JP (35:39):
And then the second thing is, stop thinking about what you do and start thinking about the problems that you solve for other people. What pain are people experiencing? What problems are they experiencing? And what wisdom do you have, or tools or tips or tricks do you have in your arsenal that can help them solve their problem? If you start just thinking in that way, the weight will come off your shoulders. You’re gonna get so much more excited about talking about what you do and selling your services because you are going to make the world a better place. People need you. They need your wisdom, they need your experience, and they need what you have in order to make their lives better and the lives of the people they serve. So,
RV (36:25):
JP (36:25):
Think about that and solve problems. Don’t talk about yourself. Solve problems.
RV (36:31):
Yeah. Amen, brother. Don’t, don’t be the hero. Be the guide. Dr. JJ Peterson, thank you for coming and for sharing your wisdom, brother. We love you guys. And we, we, you know, we always want the best for you guys, so keep kicking butt.
JP (36:45):
Oh, thanks. It’s such an honor to be here. Love you guys too.

Ep 461: What You Need To Start Building Your Speaking Business | Joe Heaps Episode Recap

AJV (00:02):
So speaker, you want to get booked on more stages. So I’m talking to you today that aspiring speaker, that early beginner speaker or even that moderately booked speaker who’s going, I want to make this part-time thing or this dream, my full-time gig. I wanna become a highly paid professional speaker. I wanna speak on stages. This is what I wanna do. This is my dream. How do I do that? All right. And so recently on the influential personal brand podcast, I interviewed Joe Heaps, who is the CMO, and he’s in charge of marketing and sales strategies for e speakers, which is an online speaker matching service with meeting planners. And so we had a conversation around some industry trends of like, what’s working to help get speakers booked in today’s market and today, I mean, 2024, and what do we need to know as speakers that will help us grow our speaking business?
AJV (01:00):
So I wanted to share some of those highlights from that interview and a more condensed recap version for you. So there’s just a few things I thought were really helpful that I wanna share with you to help you build that speaking business this year. So the first thing I thought this was really fascinating Joe mentioned, he goes the number one misstep that I see early beginner speakers make is they make all of their speaker press kits, even their demo videos all about their credentials versus what am I gonna do for you? Right? And I see this all the time too. In fact, I’ve made this mistake before where I start with the very first page of my speaker press Kitt is my bio, and it’s like, Hey, AJ Vaden is a entrepreneur, speaker, author, and it’s all about me.
AJV (01:48):
And it’s like, well, we can get to that, but what this meeting planner needs to know is right up front and that very first line, what are you gonna do for me? Right? So it’s what he calls the audience benefit statements. What are the payoffs? What are the takeaways that my audience is going to leave from your session, right? So you’ve gotta start with the audience in mind as well as the buyer in mind. In this case, the buyer is the meeting planner or the committee or whoever’s gonna book that speaker. But they need to know, it’s like, what are you gonna do for my audience? What are you gonna do for me? Not what are all of your credentials? And then I love what he said, he said. Then the, the second biggest mistake that I see that speakers make is that if they start with that, then there’s no transition.
AJV (02:32):
And they immediately go into, and I’m a, you know, New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, da da da, and there’s a complete disconnect between what were the benefit statements that we were just talking about and who I am as a speaker and as a person. He said, so as that transition happens from the audience benefit statements such as, you know, Hey, I am a engaging speaker who’s going to bring humor to the audience. So if you’re looking for entertainment value, dah, dah, dah, dah dah, then we need that transition statement to go, Hey, as a, you know, 20 year standup comedian, and use your bio as an actual part of the proof process to the benefit statements. Make sure that there is a natural transition of whatever you just said in the benefit statements about what they can expect from you as a speaker.
AJV (03:25):
What are the benefits that they’re gonna get from hiring you as a speaker, right? The takeaways, the what the audience is gonna leave with, make sure that’s the first thing that you talk about when you get to your bio. It’s not, hey and AJ is a, it’s like, no, we need to make sure that the very first things in our bio are giving the proof and the evidence from whatever we just said in the benefit statements of how our experience and our expertise gives us the right to talk about these things. And it’s the proof that I actually know what I’m talking about. Then you can add in all of those other credentializing things. And so the way to do that is just a very, very articulate way of going. We have to start with the audience in mind, the buyer in mind, IE the meeting planner, what do they wanna hear first?
AJV (04:16):
And then use our bio as a way to give proof to every statement that you just set. And that’s what they’re looking for on that very first page of a speaker press kit or the very first thing they see on the, about us on your website. But it’s like, Hey, it’s like, what are you gonna do for me? What’s the very first thing I wanna know? Is what kind of speaker are you and what are the benefits of your, your speech? Not the features. The features are all about you. The benefits are what are you gonna do for my audience? And I thought that was just a very good, simple way of thinking about it. Second thing and we talk about this all the time in different formats, but I loved his little take on demo videos. He said, honestly some, some meeting planners are gonna wanna see 30 minutes of stage footage, some 15 minute, you know, sizzle reel.
AJV (05:04):
You see those popular? He said, but I’ll tell you most often what most people are looking for is some sort of 32nd to two minutes that is so short, y’all 30 seconds, 30 seconds to two minute clips of you on stage. He goes, they’re not looking for testimonials in that two minutes. They’re not looking for where you’ve spoken, what media you’ve been on, there’s no voiceovers. It’s like, Nope, I need you right up front on stage doing the best thing that you do, right? So, and it needs to be on the content. And it’s like when you think about two minutes is not a lot of time, you can’t be fitting in all that other stuff in there. And there are so many different opinions on what makes a great demo video. Other people say it’s like, Hey, five minutes. And we do want that production value.
AJV (05:45):
We do want the credibility and the testimonials that Joe’s take on it. He goes, the very first thing they need to see is you on stage. And he goes, if you wanna add all that stuff after the fact, make sure it’s after the two minutes. But that first 30 seconds to two minutes needs to be you doing your thing with the best content you have. We need to see audience engagement, we need to see audience reactions, and we need to see you doing your craft. And that’s what we want those first two minutes. And then if you wanna extend it past that with testimonials and all the other stuff, that’s fine or make separate videos for that. But just give us two minutes of the best you’ve got on stage. And that’s what meeting planners wanna see. Thought that was super helpful and insightful.
AJV (06:29):
Last thing wanna share is just something about fees. ’cause That’s always coming up. And so I asked him, it’s like, what, what do you, what do you see as the best way to set fees? And there’s a couple of different things that he shared that I thought was really great. And he said, just remember if you’re a beginner, if you’re just starting out, just speak. If you get paid it’s bonus but speak because you wanna speak and you maybe get paid $50, $200, $500, he goes, just say yes. The more you speak, the more you speak, right? We say that all the time at Brand Builders Group, but if you wanna speak and you’re just starting out, you just say yes, you take the gig and then you take it again and then you take it again and you follow basic laws of supply and demand, and the lower the supply, the higher the demand, your fees go up.
AJV (07:16):
So as we’re talking about someone who is getting booked for speed getting booked for fees, and you are doing this, what are those early beginner set fees that you’re seeing most often on e speakers? And he said, what I would consider a beginner speaker who maybe doesn’t even have a demo video yet, but they have just some clips on stage. He said, maybe they’ve been doing this for a year or so. They’re not booked, but they’re getting booked. Sometimes he goes somewhere between $2,500 and $3,000 is where we see most people at a beginner level, regardless of what you set your fees at, I think that’s a, a probably an accurate picture of what it looks like as a beginner. He said, then we start seeing that supply and demand factor. The more you get booked, you know, the more demand you have, then those fees start rising up.
AJV (08:01):
He said, but I would say the average speaker on our site, which they’ve got more than 20,000 speakers, is between 70 $510,000. And those are people who’ve got systems in place. They’re doing this pretty frequently. This has become their full-time thing and those are their average fees. And he goes, and then what we’re seeing for us anyway is anyone above 10,000 is someone who is booked out, right? So they are rather booked out. They have had some sort of a content event. So their content has gone viral. They had a TED Talk, they had a bestselling book, they had some sort of what I would call life event. So they climbed Mount Everest or you know, they survived a plane crash where they have some unique life event, which is rare, or they’ve had some sort of content that has made them available to increase their fees to a certain level. And I just think following
AJV (08:54):
That as the basic guidelines, as you’re, as you’re setting out to build your speaking career and specifically over the next 12 months of just like, where am I at today and where do I wanna be of going? You just start speaking until you can get paid. And then the more you get paid, just know those beginner level fees. It’s very normal to start around $2,500. Even if you know you’re worth more than that you’ll get paid worth more than that. But the more you speak, the more you speak. So just a couple of insights around press Kids demo videos and fees as we set out into the year to help you build your speaking career. Hope that helps. If you wanna check out the full episode, it’s with Joe Heaps from e Speakers on the Influential Personal Brand podcast, and I’ll see you soon.

Ep 460: Helping Speakers Get Booked On More Stages with Joe Heaps

AJV (00:02):
Hey everybody. AJ Vaden here. Welcome to the Influential Personal Brand. I am super excited for today’s interview because I love when I get to do interviews around very niche topics like we’re gonna do today. And today we’re gonna be talking about the world of speaking and most specifically how to get booked as a speaker. And I have invited a newer friend of mine, but a good friend of my husband and a lot of the team at Brain Builders Group, Joe Heaps. And I’ll tell you a little bit more about Joe in a second, but I wanted to let you guys know what this interview is about and why you should stick around. And just before I hit record, Joe and I were talking about how, you know, there’s so much stuff on the internet, on social media about what it means to be a speaker and how you get paid as a speaker and how you get booked as a speaker.
AJV (00:53):
And the truth is, I think there’s a lot of value in some stuff that’s out there, and there’s no value in other stuff that’s out there. And so we’ve been on this kind of mission to help get some industry leaders in the speaking industry on this podcast to help create some clarity and expectations around if you have a dream, if you have a passion of becoming a highly paid professional speaker who is booked on stages because you have a message that you just feel called to share, right? There are some things you need to know that will prepare you and equip you to do that successfully, where you can take this dream and turn it into a very lucrative business. But if you think it’s gonna happen overnight, and you think it’s gonna happen by, you know, just posting some social media content, well, that may be where you’re a little off schedule, right?
AJV (01:45):
And so today we’re gonna have just an honest conversation of helping you build that dream of building your speaking business. So if you’re an aspiring speaker or even a speaker who’s getting booked, that just goes, man, I wanna get booked more. I do want this to be my full thing full-time thing, then this is the interview for you. So stick around get your pen and paper, take notes, because this is gonna be jam packed with tons of industry insights that’s gonna help you succeed in that endeavor. Now let me introduce you to the gentleman who’s going to help share some of these industry secrets. ’cause It’s not gonna be me today. I’m just going to be asking some questions. And quite honestly, I have my pen and paper too. ’cause I’m super excited to learn what’s new, what’s changing, what’s evolving. Because as a speaker myself, I have no doubt that Joe’s gonna share some tips today that I can put into practice in my business.
AJV (02:39):
So Joe Heaps is the managing partner and also the CMO at E Speakers, which you’re gonna learn all about. He is and why I think this is so helpful. He’s the one who’s responsible for all the sales and marketing strategies, which, you know, surprise, right? , if you are a speaker, you are in sales and marketing, right? Right. It doesn’t matter how you get booked, but you are in sales and marketing. So to have Joe come and talk about that, I think is a really fundamentally important part of this conversation. He is in charge of helping drive the vision of e speakers but also helping the the speakers who are part of e speakers improve their business and get booked and build a lucrative business, right? And that’s why I wanted to have him on the show today. And so Joe, as a, a part of the industry, I’m so excited to have you on the show. I’m so excited to learn from you. So welcome.
JH (03:34):
Thank you. Appreciate the invite.
AJV (03:37):
Yeah. And you know, as we’re kind of getting started and helping everyone learn about you and e speakers and why I got started, I just wanna start with like a little bit of background knowledge of like, what is e speakers and how did that even come about? Like how did you get started with that? Like yeah, tell us what it is and then why, why did it get created?
JH (03:55):
Yeah, you bet. Well first of all, our e speaker’s mission statement is we truly believe that the right speaker in front of the right audience can make a lasting, it kind of creates a magic. And and that right speaker in front of the right audience leads to like long-term improvement in organizations and individuals. And so the, the idea that a speaker can go out and just speak to anybody is false. I mean, you can collect a check, but we really feel like there’s a magic when the right speaker gets in front of the right audience and that change is made. And that’s really what this is all about. And I know any speaker that’s out there has felt that, like, you felt like maybe you just checked the box, you gotta check and you walked away and it really, you, like, you did your job, but you didn’t really connect with anybody.
JH (04:42):
And I know that people have been in the audience and done the same, but that, that change is really what’s important. And it’s what keeps a speaker getting booked, quite honestly, is if people in the audience feel their authentic self and they, they really connect with their content and they feel like they’re making a change in their life. And so our mission is to help speakers get on more stages and to make that change more often. Mm-Hmm. How we started was 24 years ago by a speaker named Art Berg, who Rory is a good friend of, I don’t know, AJ if you met r art before, or not he hasn’t. But art was a speaker he’s a quadriplegic and spoke, you know, over a hundred times a year, traveled the world. And that, and that at the time was a pretty big challenge, kinda like a a unique situation because he was in a wheelchair and traveling the world and on his own without any help.
JH (05:47):
And that, that’s a lot of work for a quadriplegic. And now there’s, there’s several more you know, and, and they do great jobs. But the fact that Art did that was a major thing that he tackled in his life to show that, you know, that wasn’t gonna stop him from making a difference in the world. And so one of the things that art he was really big on technology and how it connected with people. And he had this vision that through technology, his job could get easier and he could make the meeting planners, the buyers, the people that hire speakers, their job easier. And so he created a, a software with my business partner, Dave. And they started off with that technology. And the technology was really an event management tool that he could track all of his events in, in the calendar and everything.
JH (06:45):
And that he kind of gave a backdoor for speaker bureaus, which are kind of the in-between people that that book speakers off also, they’re kind of an agency. And those speakers bureaus kind of had a backdoor into the calendar. And at the time the cloud wasn’t really even a thing. Nobody knew of the cloud, and this was kind of a cloud technology. And so it, it allows people from their offices to be able to connect with speakers and be able to book them. Because at the time, you know, cell phones were just barely coming into the picture. No, internet wasn’t even around in the beginning. And so, you know, it just, it just blossomed from there. And unfortunately a few years into the Endeavor, art passed away. And but, and that’s when I joined the team and, and you know, that’s what Speers that’s where we started.
JH (07:38):
And really art art’s vision really is what we use every day to kind of keep us moving forward is just that idea of making speakers more readily available to book and giving them the tools and, and the things they need to be able to, to get booked. And then making it easy for meeting planners to connect with them and, and their job. And especially in this day and age, it’s you know, you can search the internet for any type of speaker and find something, right? But again, is it the right person and are, is it making it easy on the buyer? So that’s kind of what we have an event management tool that we can talk more about if you’d like. Or we have also have an arm of our business that is all about promotion and marketing of a speaker and specifically to those meeting planners or those buyers. So that’s kind of
AJV (08:34):
What we do. You know, I, I love that. And I know I’ve heard, you know, so many different great things about e speakers through the years and, you know, we’ve known of you guys since we’ve been a part of the National Speakers Association, but I mean, it has to be at least 20 years that I’ve known about you guys. So what did you guys start in the nineties?
JH (08:53):
99. 9 99?
AJV (08:55):
Yeah. ’cause I know it’s like, even in the early years of us being a part of the National Speakers Association, I remember seeing e speakers and, you know, I spent some time on the websites, you know, kind of getting up to date on the all the news speakers that you guys are featuring. And I think that’s and I think talking about both of those would be really interesting in interesting for our conversation today. But one of the things that I would love to start with since you are, you know, a huge part of like the sales and marketing strategy I’d love to start there of just going, like, when you think of a speaker and what assets, what, what tools they need to get booked as a speaker, right? So when you’re thinking of like, what do meeting planners need to make quick decisions, and what does speakers need to have readily available to supply? Like, what would you say are the most important marketing assets that a speaker needs today?
JH (09:46):
Yeah. Well I think probably the thing that we see that peop, that speakers stumble on quite a bit is what we call our audience benefit statement. It is it’s front and center on a speaker’s profile and the audience benefit statement. We tend to see speakers and they don’t really have that defined in, we’ve actually gone through your course Brand Builders course ourselves. And, and and so I know you, you know a lot about this as well, but really talking about the benefits of hiring you rather than in marketing. Marketing 1 0 1 talks about features and benefits of a product. Doesn’t matter what product it is. A good product is marketed with benefits. Like, it’ll help you do this, you’ll feel better doing this. It’ll, you know, and, and we give lots of examples of companies that do that in their advertising.
JH (10:38):
But the benefits of hiring a speaker are way more powerful than the features. So we see speakers lead with things like, I’m a New York Times bestseller, I’ve written these books. I’ve, I’ve talked to these people, I’ve presented to these groups, I have these degrees. I went to this school. You know, and that, that’s, that’s really, really common. In fact, seasoned speakers still tend to kind of slide back into that because speakers are unique in regards to a product because you do talk about yourself a lot, and you’re building your own personal brand as you know, right? And so that’s one of the things that causes some pain for speakers is they’re wondering, why am I not getting booked? And it’s because they’re leading with the features of the product. They’re the product and they’re leading with the features rather than the benefits. And the benefits are things like, why would somebody hire you?
JH (11:31):
What do you, what benefit are you going to bring to that audience? And so you need to lead with things like when I come speak to your group, we’re gonna identify these key things and your audience will walk away knowing how to do this, this, and this. Right? And so that’s really kind of the idea of a benefit statement. Yeah. And, and there’s a lot of different examples. I mean, if, if, if people wanted, they could go to our directory at e speakers marketplace and, and go through and search on a topic. And you can see, in fact, if there are speakers listening, I’d encourage you to do that. Put your topic in and, and see the reco the results that come up. And you’ll see some really good ones. We’ve tried to really work with people on that audience benefit statement, but some of ’em come up and, you know, they’re, they’re just, like I was talking about, in fact, they lead with their name.
JH (12:18):
Like, you know, it would say, Rory Vaden is a New York Times bestseller and speaker and author and trainer. Well, we have like 20,000 speakers in our database. And same thing, most of ’em are trainers, authors, and speakers, right? And, and could be New York Times bestsellers. So you know, that that type of, just getting that outta the way and the process of working through that audience benefit statement really sets the stage for the benefits. And then you take those benefits of hiring you and they become, you know, bullet points in your bio and they can become even programs like your speeches, right? And so that’s really the probably the biggest thing that we see. The other thing in regards to just, I mean, that’s the marketing side. I know that’s what you ask about. But the other thing that we see is speakers tend to struggle with systems.
JH (13:08):
And that’s where our tool really shines, is that, you know, a good system means that you can be away from the system. And, and our, we live in ACI in a world now that everything is connected, everything ties together, whether it’s through I calendar, whatever. And you have all these different ways now, even since the pandemic, zoom is the new thing, and, and everybody, you can zoom from an airport if you needed to, right? And, and on the road. But speakers are super busy. And you know, having a good system that keeps them on track mm-hmm. Is, is really important. And that’s one of the things that Art started in the very beginning is, you know, being, having such a demanding schedule with over like, you know, 200 presentations a year or whatever. One staff member, he found the value of systems and the, the freedom a good system gives you to like chart this course of success.
JH (14:07):
And so really that’s, that’s kind of what he harnessed in our tools and, and we see as a real big value. And it’s still a big struggle for speakers, is is having a good system. Could they be away from their business for a week and everything continued to run? That’s good. And, you know, that’s, that’s really not just, I mean, of course we expect speakers to take a vacation, right? But not just vacation. It’s, it’s being booked three times or four times that week. And just the intricacies of going to Nashville, going to Dallas, going to Chicago, flying to LA and you know, just don’t have time to keep up with things. And so having a good system is super important. So, oh, well I, that I’m not sure if I answered your question, but No,
AJV (14:49):
I think I have some follow ups, but I think that that systems part of the conversation wasn’t even on my radar. And the truth is, is most speakers, at least when they start out, they are the sales department, marketing department, operations department, billing department. Right? Right. It’s like they’re all the departments. And I don’t think if a lot, I don’t think a lot of people realize, it’s like, no, being a speaker is being an entrepreneur. It is a business. Yeah. You gotta do all the same things that you would do as a small business owner. You, and if you don’t have a good system, all of a sudden it’s like, it’s not so fun anymore. Yeah. Now it’s, it’s a lot of work. And you’re working all the time, traveling all the time on stages all the time. And it’s like, oh, all right. This thing I thought I wanted to do, I don’t wanna do it anymore. Yeah.
JH (15:34):
Well, and if people, if speakers only, if all you had to do is say, Hey, you have an event this day, show up at this address and speak on this topic, and that’s all you had to do then I think things will be a lot easier. But the truth of it is, is that it is literally a business. Mm-Hmm. . And you have to do the sales and the marketing and the accounting and the business development and, you know, clean the toilets and, you know, all that stuff too. You know, I mean, you, you all, everything. And you know, I, if you have staff you know, that adds another element to it where the staff now need to be connected to you and have a system that are connected to you. And so it gives you a little bit more freedom. And really what we try to focus on is, is systems really give you the freedom to work on revenue generating activities. It doesn’t mean you’re just gonna go, you know, set up on the couch and drink diet Coke and eat cake or whatever you wanna do, watch a TV show or whatever to relax it. It means that you’re gonna go focus on things that now generate money, right. And being in the business instead of, you know, work on the business instead of in the business. Right. And so that’s really what a good system will set up for you.
AJV (16:50):
No, I love that. And, you know, often I refer to speakers as artists, right? And it’s like, the reason most people wanna be a speaker is because they have this message that they wanna share and speaking is a, a craft that they want to get better at. And, and it’s like, but then you get kind of stuck with all you’re doing is sending out emails and proposals and, and contracts and, and all of a sudden all the things that you wanna do, the things that you love to do, you don’t, you don’t really get to do those anymore. And having a good system gives you the freedom to work on the message, hone the craft and do the revenue generating activities, be excellent on stage and do the pre-event calls. So I love that you brought that up. That wasn’t even on my radar for our conversation, but it’s such an important part of where most people get into something and then all of a sudden they’re like, I’m exhausted, right?
AJV (17:42):
I’ve got major burnout, I don’t know if I can keep doing this. And it’s because you didn’t have a good system to start with. So I love that part of it. Right. And I love the, the benefit statements. ’cause You’re right, it’s like most speakers start with, here’s, here I am, right? Like, these are my credentials. So I love that benefit start statements piece. But then you also mentioned a few other things like program descriptions and all of that. And so do you find that it is still necessary that speakers have like a media kit or a press kit, a demo video? Like what’s most important, what’s least important? How long should they be? Like, what are those things look like today?
JH (18:18):
Yeah, no, those are good questions and yes, super relevant. All of that is still needed. I mean, and just to give the listeners a, a kind of a blast from the past, the way this used to happen, I’m answering your question, I promise. The, the way this used to happen was quite literally, if any of you were old enough to remember how you used to order things over the phone instead of online, you’d open the JCPenney catalog and you would find the number and call ’em and say, Hey, I want x, y, z number. Well, the same thing happened with speakers. Specifically bureaus would print this big, like catalog of speakers and they would ship that out to all the buyers, all the meeting planners. And then the same thing happened. They call and they look through and say, Hey, these are the speakers I want.
JH (19:06):
And so it, it changed from that to then speakers had like individual websites and then social media came into it. And then people were still mailing VHS tapes and then CDs and, you know, all of that. And that media kit has graduated into this digital media kit now. And so yes, it’s still valuable, but, but different. And, and one thing that I think speakers need to know is that just because you have a website and everything’s there doesn’t mean that that solves the, the doesn’t make it easy for a buyer to hire you. They have to go find your website, they have to navigate that. And you have to give them things easy at their fingertips. And I mean, I, I haven’t seen the numbers on this lately, but seems like before the pandemic MPI, which is meeting professionals international, they’re a big group of meeting planners.
JH (20:06):
And they had listed being a meeting planner was in like the top five most stressful jobs in the US. And I’m still, it’s, I’m sure it’s probably still up in the top. But they have a lot on their plate. And if you just say, yeah, go here and do this, then that’s, that’s not easy. And we’ve become a society where we want things instant. Like we go buy something online and you want to actually see if they have those red shoes in stock. And if they don’t, you’ll go somewhere else where you know, they have it in stock. ’cause You don’t wanna wait. Mm-Hmm. , right? And so that’s how a meeting planner literally feels they wanna buy people. And that’s where we’ve kind of evolved into actually having an end-to-end process of hiring a speaker online through our directories. They can inquire with them, they can engage with them through you know, direct message through our platform.
JH (21:00):
They can narrow it down to one of ’em, hire ’em and and sign the contract and pay ’em all through online. And all of that is generated or has come about because of the, the type of buying that people are doing online. Right. That’s a new, and anyway, so my point is, is that that digital kit is so important and yes, have it all on your website, but that’s one of the reasons that our, our profiles, our online profiles have done so well is something we launched about 10 years ago. And we had, we saw this need where speakers were sending their kits out to all the speakers bureaus and all their meeting planners. And it’s a huge cost number one, ’cause you got to, it’s a big box, you know, then you’re shipping that out and then they have to then go through that and digitize the video or then take the video and put it on the website.
JH (21:56):
And it’s a lot of work for all those people to do that. And we heard from the bureaus that they have rooms to just boxes full of VHS tapes or CDs, right? And, and meeting planners have the same thing. People just send meeting planners random boxes of stuff and just say, Hey, I’m a speaker on leadership, hire me. You know? And so they just had a hard time processing all that. So the, the digital media kit is effective in the, in the sense that it’s one thing that you can send them and it has everything in it, and it’s easy for them to like save in a folder and, and share with people and things like that. And that’s one of the things where the profile, our profiles have really shined is on the profile itself. We have all the different marketing materials that, that are, we’ve found that speakers or the buyers want to know, they don’t have to leave the profile at all.
JH (22:49):
They have their bio, they have all their topics, their fees, they have videos, they have marketing materials, they have all their programs, their calendar, if they do virtual work, all of that thing. All of that is on one profile. And it, what it creates is a an a a better experience for the buyer. And they have everything they need right on that one page to make the purchase decision. And yes, they could go to the speaker’s website, yes. They could be go to the speakers social media, yes, they could look at this PDF, but you know, ultimately, like having one place where all of that is, is together is, is still valuable. So, yes.
AJV (23:28):
Yeah. I love that. And I think one of the things you said that really stands out to me, and which I don’t think a lot of speakers are probably doing when they think about their demo videos or speaker press kits is, am I building this to appeal to the, the buyer, right? Am I building this to attract them, make it easy for them? ’cause I see a lot of Prescott that are like 12, 13, 14 pages and it’s like, takes me forever to go through it. And I’m supposed to be doing that for our clients, right? It’s like, that’s really long. Or demo videos that are 20, 30 minutes. And I’m like, I don’t have time to watch this. So I’m guessing a meeting planner doesn’t either. So for, when you’re thinking about making it easy for this buyer, right? The meeting planner to make decisions, is there like a special recipe of like how short it is this? Yeah. Tell us about that. Yeah,
JH (24:16):
There is, well, specifically with programs, so we, let’s just talk about that audience benefit statement that it’s kind of your lead in, right? It’s what’s your, the benefits of hiring you. And then as you take that, you go into your bio and your bio should always start with an extension of that audience benefit statement. ’cause You don’t want ’em to all, all of a sudden go to your bio and now all of a sudden you’re talking about being a New York Times bestseller and all this stuff. And you said, Hey, I thought you were a leadership expert that could change the culture of my organization. And now all of a sudden you’re talking about this. So it’s kind of the segue paragraph. That first paragraph is the segue paragraph that really ties in your audience benefit statement into, now this is all about me. So you have that, that segue paragraph that talks about the benefits still and explains them in more detail.
JH (25:06):
And then the rest of the bio is all about you as a speaker. Sure. Say all those things that we talked about. These are the things I’ve done, books I’ve written places, degrees I have, or what makes you be able to support that. You, you can change culture in an organization because you’ve done all these things. Right? And then the, the next extension of that is in the programs, your speeches. So when you outline your programs, you always lead with the benefit, right? So this is the benefit of hiring, this is why you want me to speak to your group on this program. And then the format of that is always great to identify who this is good for. This is great for senior leadership, middle management, you know, salespeople, whatever. And so you identify kind of who it’s for and then the last thing you look, make sure you always have in the program description.
JH (26:01):
You have the program description and then the takeaways. Mm-Hmm. . So what are the key takeaways to, for that program? What are people gonna walk away with knowing how to do or how to implement or whatever, right? So that’s kind of the structure of a program. And it’s usually, oh, I don’t know, four, five paragraphs kind of in, if you were to look at four or five paragraphs, four paragraphs, it’s about that length. And you know, it’s obviously not all paragraphs ’cause you have bullet points and thing takeaways and all that. But you know, it’s a, it’s a little bit, I don’t know the character count, but it’s usually shorter so they can process it. Mm-Hmm. . And and then I’ve seen speakers do a really good job of doing like a one page that’s just on that program. Mm-Hmm. . And so it’s a little bit more so if say, Hey, that’s really great, tell me more.
JH (26:50):
And they can send ’em this PDF that’s a one page about how to create culture in an organization and kind of more about what you present. So that’s kind of the general gist of kind of the content that you should have on your profile, you know, really driven by the benefits. And then you asked earlier about the video and we find effectively that somewhere around 30 to 40 minutes of video total is like probably the most valuable. But we, we prefer really small segments. Hmm. So I wouldn’t ever put a raw video up there. It’s like 30 minutes of you speaking. ’cause That’s just boring Right? and nobody’s gonna make it through that. I mean, we’re lucky if they make it through 30 seconds of it. Right. So really it’s the, we find that the key like clip is between 30 seconds and like two minutes at the most.
JH (27:49):
Wow. And so, and, and really we found more success with short little video clips. So let’s say you know, a AJ or aj your speaker, right? Mm-Hmm. you speak. So you may have a topic of branding or leadership or business. And so what you would have is of a clip of your video. And it, and a lot of people say, I don’t have any clips of me on the stage yet. I’m brand new. And the truth is that you don’t really have to have, I mean, ultimately yes, you have to have the best video is you on the stage engaging with the audience, delivering some kind of content. And somehow we’ve got into this weird video sizzle reel thing that there’s this voiceover and there’s testimonials in it. And there’s, you know, like all these words on the screen that people are reading, they’re like, hold on, I wanted to just see ’em in action.
JH (28:48):
Like, what’s all this stuff? And so if that’s not, if they don’t see you on the stage in the first 30 seconds of the video, they’re out. Right? So I’d always lead, and I don’t have any problem with voiceover videos, but, you know, if you want to take the first couple seconds and say, Hey, this is AJ Vaden leadership expert, and then show you on stage where you’re delivering content, that’s where the value comes. And that’s really what they want to see. They want to see you delivering your content, how you interact with the audience, if they’re engaged with you less about the content itself and more how you’re working with the audience. And then secondly comes the content, right? And so that’s where, if aj, you’re a, a branding expert, they want to see the content. This is, this is AJ speaking on branding, it’s the video name.
JH (29:37):
And the next video might be, you know, AJ speaking on corporate culture or whatever, right? And they expect when they, when they listen or watch that, they’re going to hear a segment of your speech that talks about branding, about corporate culture or whatever, right? It’s not just somewhere in that 30 minute video or 15 minute clip. It’s, it’s in that two minutes. And you can obviously go longer than a two minute clip. But we found that we, in our system, you can have six topics, up to six topics. And so that would give you six individual videos that would show you delivering your content and with those particular topics. And that’s a really great way to do it. And then of course, you can also add other videos that would be like a testimonial video. So if somebody was interested in hearing testimonials, not just reading them, you can, you can go in and add those testimonial videos and, and of, and if you wanted to outta a sizzle reel. But in our system, you can set a primary video that always shows up on your profile and that particular one I, I don’t like making it anything other than something that you’re right up on the stage in the very beginning to catch ’em. So
AJV (30:52):
I love that. That’s what we, I think that’s really insightful about Yeah, it’s great to have a sizzle and it’s great to have testimonials, but that needs to be ancillary to the main thing being the main thing, which is you on stage, which is what this meeting planner needs to see first. Right.
JH (31:07):
And the interesting thing is that we’ve seen speakers do this and they create these little clips and you can be, so if you don’t have stage video and you can be just like, AJ is right here to me in the Zoom window, and and you can just say, Hey, my name’s AJ and I, I’m a, I’m a expert on corporate culture and when I come speak to you, we identify this, this, and this, and you audience will walk away knowing how to do this, this, and this. I mean, it’s just simple as that. Hmm. And it can be a video just like we’re on right now. And you know, it, it works out great. And and it’s something that can be shared on your own social media and on your own website and meeting planner really like that. And it can be even a marketing, we have a couple speakers that just did some marketing emails out about being an expert in whatever it was that they were an expert and that video was part of that email that they put out. So anyway, it just, there’s a lot of value in like, really specifically saying what you do and how you solve problems. You
AJV (32:08):
Know, I love that for the, the brand new speakers who are just starting out where, you know, so much of it as you hear, it’s like, you’re not gonna get booked without a demo video. And it’s like, well, you’re saying yeah, you can. Yeah. So I think that’s a, a really one hope inspiring for everyone who’s just beginning. But for those people who are just starting out going like, Hey, I’ve got my message. I know what I’m doing. I just don’t have any stage footage yet. I haven’t had that opportunity to get it filmed on stage. You really think doing something like this that’s just articulating what you talk about, how you do it, what the benefits are. You think that meeting planners are booking speakers that way?
JH (32:44):
Yeah. Well, a hundred percent. I know they are.
AJV (32:46):
That’s awesome. Yeah. That’s, I think that’s really hope inspiring for everyone out there going eventually you need stage footage, but you don’t have to have it to give back.
JH (32:57):
Yeah. Well, and the crazy thing is, is we all know people that have big names, celebrity figures, Malcolm Gladwell, Simon Sinek, whoever, AJ Baden, , you know, all those people. And and the truth is, is that those kind of, we call ’em celebrity speakers in the sense that they don’t really have to work super hard for new leads coming in. They’re, they’re, they have to actually work hard on turning down leads ’cause they’re requested so much. Mm-Hmm. . And that is a, a situation we all wish we were in. Right? and, and in fact, I think we tried to book Simon Sinek one time and they said, yeah, he’s a year and a half out. His next availability is a year and a half out because he just doesn’t book himself. He doesn’t overbook himself. Mm-Hmm. . And and I mean, luckily for us the pandemic hit and we were the first people to book him for a virtual job and which was, which was great.
JH (33:55):
And and anyway, but that, so that’s how we got him to get booked. But you know, the, the, the point is, is that that if you’re not a celebrity figure, which the majority of us aren’t then how do you get jobs? And it, it takes, it, it really takes the doing all the time. I think, oh man, I, I don’t remember who it was. It might’ve been I don’t know. I was listening to David Goggins I think one time, and, you know, he said to Grove something, you really have to do it. You have to be in doing it. And it’s all about the doing. And I’ve always remembered that as just like, it, you, you can’t, there, you can’t just like all of a sudden say I’m a speaker one day and not do anything to like build your business.
JH (34:46):
Right. You has, you have to do it. And so when you’re small, it means doing everything. And when you’re larger, it means you know, making sure that other people are doing everything right and that everything’s still happening and all the boxes are checked. So that’s, that’s what we’ve seen as we work with speakers and we’ve actually seen, I have literally seen speakers come and I’ve talked to that haven’t had one speech. They not even call them. Supposed they’re just learning about speaking to now they’re charging $20,000 a speech and they’re booked over a hundred times a year. You know, so it’s, it, it, it, it happens, it does happen, but it just ha you have to, you have to go and get in and do it. And that’s what people, they have to roll up their sleeves and get to work and it just doesn’t happen automatically. So
AJV (35:41):
Yeah. It’s, but it’s back to, it’s treating, speaking like a business, right? It’s like Right. Say you’re a speaker doesn’t mean anything’s gonna happen. Right. But you gotta put yourself out there and do the right things to get yourself booked, so. Right. All right. So I’m watching the time, and I know we have this a little bit longer, so I’ve got a few other questions here. So one of the things that I think we hear all the time at Brand Builder’s Group is how, how do you know how to set your fees? And so any insights around, doesn’t matter if like this is your first engagement, you’re just starting out, or you’ve been doing this a while. Is there any sort of thoughts, insight, or is there some magical strategy of how speakers should be setting fees?
JH (36:23):
Well, I’ve always heard this philosophy, it, it’s whatever people would hire you for is what your fee is. Right? And so it’s a sup, it’s a supply and demand thing. But in general we encourage new speakers to just get out and get experience, speak for free, get low paying jobs. You can start with like, rotary clubs are a great way, chambers of commerce are a great way. Like you can, you can really get out and get paid $50, a hundred dollars a speech just giving speeches. You just, you can’t I don’t know. I had a, I was talking to a guy recently that was a CEO at a company and he was transitioning over into speaking and, you know, he makes a good amount of money as a CEO and then came into speaking and felt like, well, I’m not gonna go earn a thousand dollars.
JH (37:16):
You know, it’s like, well, you have to then build your brand. You have to, you know, like you have to give, there has to be some reason that they would hire you for more than a thousand dollars. And so we kind of helped him recreate his what he was doing in a different approach and, and added more value to it by his experience as a CEO. And, but if you’re just starting out, that is obviously gonna be a lower fee. And so you just keep pitching it. And I’ve, I’ve heard this question a ton is when do I know when I can raise my fee? Hmm. And so that really comes when you’re getting booked enough of that fee that you feel like if I raised it, I’d still get booked and everybody’s different. There’s no secret sauce on fees. Unfortunately in my, in, from my experience start low, like if you wanted to start, like low range is, you know, 500 to a thousand, that’s really low range.
JH (38:17):
In, in our database of our speakers, you know, like a lower range would be like 2,500 to 5,000. That would be a good place to start. So if you, if you’ve spoken a bunch maybe for low fees and you’re trying to set some type of fee, you know, 2,500 is a good fee that p somebody would pay to get you to, to book you. And then like the 2,500 to five is a general good range. If you’re a, you know, if you’re like five to 75 is another good range, but like right around 10 is a, is a fee range that you see most speakers kind of ride around. You know, they’re, they’re booking 80 times a year 80 dates, and they have a pretty good business. And anybody above that, they either have some content or experience, they landed a plane on the Hudson River, they wanna race, they sold this business for whatever.
JH (39:13):
They have some reason that’s taking their fee, you know, to a higher level and or their content is just so valuable, right. You’re a Simon Sinek and you know, people will come just because of your content. Yeah. And that, and that’s a whole different thing, right? You, you know, those, those, those people are 50 to a hundred thousand a speech or not, or more. Right? And so it really depends where you’re at. But that’s, that’s that’s in general I think kind of the fee ranges that we see. And I really would just start with people, things like chambers of commerce and, and rotary clubs and, you know, volunteering free stuff. Just get some experience underneath you. ’cause You don’t want to go get somebody to say, yeah, I’ll pay you for 5,000 and you don’t have the experience delivering that speech and you don’t do a great job. And they’re like, yeah, not so great. You want all of your speaking experience, your, all of your bookings to build upon each other so that you can get references. Because that’s super huge in, in speaking as you want to be able to have testimonials to say, yeah, they delivered a great speech. And those also help in raising your fee.
AJV (40:28):
Yeah, I think that’s really, I think that’s really wise. And it’s, I think it’s interesting to hear, it’s like most speakers are around that $10,000 range. It’s like, if you’ve been doing it for a while, would you say that’s the most crowded fee range where that’s like, where it’s like, man, is there the most competition in that fee range?
JH (40:47):
In which one?
AJV (40:48):
The 10,000?
JH (40:51):
I would probably say five to 10,000 is probably the range, but probably more so there’s probably more people in the 7,500 to 10. They’re the, they’re the speakers that have figured it out. They have system in some place. They have they have a good database of, of contacts. They’re, they’re getting leads off the web. You know, they’re, they’re, they’re kind of well-rounded mm-Hmm. you know, they’re, they’ve got some good testimonials under their belt. So yeah, I would say that, you know, 10,000 is a good range. It just depends honestly, where you’re coming from and what kind of value. I know the people, a lot of the people you work with are brand builders, have established businesses and bigger names possibly. And so yeah, I would start them at a higher range. And it just all depends on where you’re coming from and every speaker’s a little bit different.
AJV (41:49):
Yeah. And I think that’s really helpful of just going like, Hey, starter fees, you know, it could be as low as $500, but somewhere between 520 500 if you don’t have like, a lot of name recognition or credibility or, you know, books or content that’s gonna set a higher precedent. I think even having that idea for everyone who’s listening of going like, okay, like I thought my fee was gonna be 10,000 . It’s like, no, it’s probably a little bit lower than that. At least to get started and then follow like basic laws of supply and demand and Right. It’s like as you get booked more and there’s, you know, less supply and more demand, then you increase the fees. And, and I love that too. It’s like as you’re getting, you know, 10,000, 15,000 and over, it’s usually because whether you’re getting booked so much that you can do that, or there’s something else has happened, rather your content’s gone viral. There was a bestselling book, or, you know, you climbed my Everest, or you know, you did some sort of like, things Exactly that’s gonna like position you in the marketplace.
JH (42:48):
Some of it’s exposure too. I’ll give you an example. A local speaker here in Utah I had a youth group activity in my backyard and I had him come speak and it was, I don’t even remember what the topic was. It was just probably about achieving your very best or something to that effect. And he came and did it for free. ’cause He was looking for experience. Right. He was just transitioning into it. And that was probably eight years ago, and I just ran into him the other day and his fee is 50 grand. That’s awesome. And it’s all because of exposure. He got, he, I, I always thought he was great. He’s the same great guy now that he was then he has the same content, he’s better at it. Yeah. But he literally has the more exposure, he got more people like, wow, where’s this guy come from? And he just, it just, it just ballooned from there and got bigger and bigger and bigger. And now, you know, he’s 50 grand of speech and that’s amazing. Right. And that’s about eight years ago. Eight, eight years of work, and now he’s going from zero per speech to 50, and he’s still booked, you know, 80 to a hundred times a year. So
AJV (43:59):
That’s amazing. You know, but, but my favorite sayings is the more you speak, the more you speak. Yeah. Right. And it’s like, you just gotta get out there and as you’re, as you’re in, you know, a beginner mode doesn’t mean you’re a beginner in business, but a beginner in the speaking world, it’s like you just say yes. Right? You take the gig. It doesn’t matter if it’s at the Chamber of Commerce or, you know, the, you know, networking group in the back of Applebee’s. Like whatever. Right. You just say yes because you never know who’s in the audience. Right. And that’s always been our take. It’s like you just never know who might be there that can lead to the next event and who’s gonna be there that lead can lead to the next event. All right. So I’ve got two last questions for you.
AJV (44:40):
That was I think super insightful, especially for those in that beginner range and aspiring of going, like, what is a moderate price to start with? All right. So two last things. Who would you say is booking most speakers today? Or what topics are getting booked the most? Like, are there any industry trends of going like, Hey, like education is just like booking everything or ced, or are, or are there any topical trends that you’re seeing of going, Hey, doesn’t matter what, you know, year we’re in culture’s always gonna be top. Because I know for a long time there was like this huge rise in social media speakers but I’ve also seen that really go down. And then there was like, you know, diversity and inclusion speakers was really high, and then it’s kind of dropped off. So are you seeing any trends with like, industry bookings or topical bookings that we should know about? Yeah.
JH (45:36):
Yeah. Well, let me ask you this first. This is a roundabout answer. What percentage do you think a speaker hiring a speaker is in all the things that a buyer does a meeting planner does? What percentage do you think, where did that rank?
AJV (45:55):
Oh, maybe 5%.
JH (45:58):
What, okay. What, what priority do you think? Yeah. Oh no, 5%. Five percent’s good. I mean, that’s a good guess. The truth is, is that we did a recent poll with our database of meeting planners, and it’s 81% of event organizers said it’s in the top three things that they do. Wow. Is hiring a speaker. 81. 81% said that. And so the, the thing I want to bring up is that you know, speakers always, it’s, it’s a small thing. I mean, like booking an event or scheduling an event, you book the space. Mm-Hmm. , you have to do all the food and beverage. You have to worry about attendance and how to get attendees to the show and exhibitors and sponsors, I mean, all those are huge things. But it was interesting for us to find that the meeting planners still a priority in the, it’s in the top three things of an an event is what speakers they hire. And so just realize that what you’re doing makes a difference and you’re important. And even when they negotiate with you and all these things, like you’re, you’re an important factor in that, the success of that event. Now I forget the actual question you gave me. Sorry.
AJV (47:10):
Just like, as meeting planners or, and I think that’s fascinating. ’cause It’s like, I would’ve thought it probably would’ve been further down because it’s like, my gosh, there’s so many logistics to do these big events. Yeah, yeah. But it’s like, are there any trending topics?
JH (47:24):
Oh, right. That’s right. Yeah. So knowing that, that they’re, they are hiring speakers. I’m going right to our live statistics right now on e speakers. And the top topic that’s being searched right now in our database is inspirational. Hmm. Inspirational healthcare humor health and nutrition customer service, leadership. Those are some of the big ones. Women in business. Those are some kind of trending right now. I do know that corporate culture is huge. I mean, we, we get a lot of re inquiries about that changing the culture of, and it, and it has been since the pandemic because it’s unique environment, right. Culture is a big deal. And, and diversity, even though it has dropped off a little bit in regards to our focus of it, it’s still one of the top things that people get booked for.
JH (48:24):
Diversity and inclusion, equity inclusion, it’s all, it’s all super important. And, and anyway, so I, I actually was at a conference for speakers in Canada for the Canadian Speakers Association, like NSA in December. And there was a speaker that spoke about how we need to do better jobs as speakers of being diverse in our presentations. And this is, this is one of those things that you don’t really think about as a speaker. It’s like, I don’t speak on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I speak on these other things, but really you do, because we live in a world where there’s so much diversity in the audience that the things you say matter make a difference. Right. They do matter the way you address people. And I’ve even, I I, I took this to heart and because I say you guys and hey, you guys, and hope you guys are doing well and all of that.
JH (49:26):
And I, I know that’s changing now, right? But you can’t just say guys, and you can’t even even say men or women or ladies and gentlemen even. And it’s, it’s very specific. And so it, you wanna make a difference. As a speaker, I’d really dive into that and, and address how you actually present to your audience and what you can say and what you can’t say and, and make a difference that way. Even if you don’t speak on Mm-Hmm. , diversity, equity, and inclusion. You can do a better job speakers, we can do a better job at being more inclusive in our presentations. And I’ve, I’ve just been thinking about that a ton since she gave that presentation as it’s not one of the topics that’s getting booked a lot as recently, like it was maybe a year ago. But I think maybe forward thinking or looking forward that’s going to be a super important thing for speakers to address in their presentations. Mm.
AJV (50:28):
Yeah. I think that’s wise. ’cause They’re like, you know, I thought that was interesting and I had jotted this on when you said it, it’s like inspirational as a top trending topic. But it’s like the truth is any speaker could make their topic inspirational. Right? Right. And it’s like, same thing with, you know, diversity, equity, inclusion. It’s like you could integrate some component of that into pretty much anything that you talk about. Right? Same thing with culture, right? And it’s like, same thing with customer service or experience. It’s like if you just focus on like, Hey, these are things that are important out in the business world today. These are what people are looking for, and learn how to integrate that into your message without changing your topic, then it really does make it a more well diverse option right. Across the board.
JH (51:12):
Yeah. And, and one of the things that we’ve seen where speakers are more successful is where they actually have an outcome that comes from their, their topic, right? So you’re solving a problem, there’s an outcome to your topic. And if you don’t already have that, if you don’t know what your outcomes are, then I would highly recommend that you look at that because you’ve gotta know what, what is the outcome that this buyer wants me to deliver on? What problem do they have and what outcome am I delivering? What am I solving? What problem am I solving? And if you don’t know that, and just say, I’m a speaker on this and, you know, hire me to speak, you’ve gotta talk about, you know, solutions and problems and you know, outcomes. And we’ve seen a, the speakers that focus on an outcome driven content Mm-Hmm. , they seem to connect really tight with their, with their meeting planners and those audiences,
AJV (52:08):
I love that outcome because
JH (52:09):
They’re actually solving the real problem. Right? What’s that?
AJV (52:12):
That outcome driven content. Yeah.
JH (52:15):
Yeah. They’re really solving problems.
AJV (52:16):
Yeah. And that is the hard work of making sure you know, the problem that you’re solving and are you speaking to that. And I, that’s all back to honing that craft of practicing that. And it’s like, sometimes you only figure that out because you’ve done this speech a hundred times, right? And sometimes it’s a hundred times for free, right. But the point is, is you’re getting out there, like you said earlier, and it’s like you’re doing the work whether you’re paid or not, you’re out there doing the work. Joe, if people wanna learn more about e speakers, where’s the best place for them to go?
JH (52:49):
Well it’s pretty easy. E speakers.com and there’s some dropdowns there for speakers on how you can learn more. You know, we you know, if you, if you contact us and tell us that you listen to this podcast, we can give you a free base account because we’re partners with brand builders and, and love these guys and they do great work and and we’ve gone through it Ourself has been amazing and, and they’ve changed some of the things and the ways we do things even so. But anyway, yeah, east speakers.com is where they can go and get a free profile and get started. And if you’re brand new, that’s a great way to kind of put a stake in the sand and say, Hey, I’m in the speaking industry. And if you don’t have a system in place and you are a successful speaker and if seasoned and you don’t have systems in place, we have great solutions for that and tie into a lot of the CRMs and financial software. And so we have, we have 24 years of business behind us, under our belt and most of the new features and system, the features that we work with and the benefits that we’ve come from or we’ve I guess that we, the benefits that we provide are driven by our customers, our speaker customers. They say, Hey, look, this is what I need to run my business better. And so we provide solutions and and tools for them to be able to run their business with them. So
AJV (54:17):
I love that. And that’s so super generous. So if y’all didn’t hear that, go to e speakers.com, mention that you heard about e speakers from this influential personal brand podcast with Brand Builders Group, and they will let you set up with a free account. So cool. So generous. Joe, thank you so much for being on here. And for everyone else, stick around, listen to the recap episode and then join us again on another episode of the Influential Personal Brand. We’ll see you next time.

Ep 459: 5 Steps for Coaches to Help Other People Create Breakthroughs | Michael Bungay Stanier Episode Recap

RV (00:00):

RV (00:43):
What does it take to be a great coach? How do you coach somebody else to create peak performance? How do you actually help another person have a major breakthrough in their life? That’s what we’re gonna talk about today. I’m gonna share with you my little five step formula for helping somebody else have a massive breakthrough in their life. And this comes from the fact that I have coached hundreds of top producers, top performers, ultra performers, some of the most influential people in the world, right? If you look at some of my one-on-one clients, I have coached people who are like the number one realtor out of 76,000 agents. I’ve coached people to the world championship of public speaking. I’ve coached New York Times bestselling authors, I’ve coached billionaires and, you know, multiple billionaires and several hundred millionaires. I have coached some of, of the elite kind of performers and business professionals on the planet.
RV (01:45):
And one of the things that I’ve learned, and I think a part of why I often get hired by these, you know, elite business performers or people who want to become elite, is because I have really over the years, learned a lot about the psyche of what it takes to create a breakthrough for someone else. And that’s just what I wanna share with you. So it’s really simple. The first thing before I get into the five steps, what you first must know is that the reason why most people don’t have major breakthroughs in their life is not because of logical or technical limitations. It’s because of emotional and mental limitations. Let me say that again. Make sure you get it right. The reason that most people don’t have big breakthroughs in their life is not because of logical or technical limitations. It’s because of emotional and mental limitations.
RV (02:47):
Meaning, if, if somebody is going to become an, an ultra performer, right? That’s my term that we use and take the stairs or a multiplier to use a term from my second book, there is somebody who has an exponential change in their results, an exponential change in their outcome. It usually doesn’t happen from learning a tactic. It’s not that they go, oh, oh, there’s some hack that I just needed to learn, and now all of a sudden my, you know, my results are gonna explode. It’s because of an emotional or a mental breakthrough that must happen. And so I’m gonna walk you through this five step process. I’ve never created a piece of content like this before, so I’m so excited to be sharing this with you because as I, as I, you know, listened to the, the interview with Michael Bungay Stanier, and you know, such a great interview.
RV (03:39):
And he, he’s such a, such a successful guy in the book. His book sells really, really well. And I was thinking going, wow, I’ve never actually talked about what are some of the things that I try to do to help my coaching clients create breakthroughs. And of course, this is something I try to do with myself as I coach myself as well. So, how do you have, how do you help somebody have a huge mental or emotional breakthrough or pivot or change that allows them to have the big breakthrough in their life? So here’s this little five step process. So number one, the first step is you have to listen for their limiting beliefs. Listen for their limiting beliefs. So you know, part of what I loved about this conversation with, with MBS, Michael Bunge Stanier that we had, and part of what I love about coaching in general, right?
RV (04:32):
The premise of coaching is interesting in true coaching. The true coaching model is to believe that not the coach doesn’t have the answer that the, you know, the student has the answer. And it’s sort of like Socratic ma method based on Socrates, which is that a great coach is supposed to ask questions, and that the, the answer is revealed to the student by the student as you sort of ask questions. And part of me really loves that and agrees with that. Part of me also goes, my coaching style’s not that way. You know, I ask a lot of questions and I try to help people get to the answer quickly. And if they’re not getting it, I, I wanna like tell ’em what it is. You know, if, if we can, if we can see it, and if, if we are, if something is revealed through the conversation that points to the answer, not that we have all the answers or that I have all the answers, but that we can see what their answer is.
RV (05:25):
And this is what is so key about coaching, which I don’t think people understand. It’s not that we have a one size fits all answer that we can just go, oh, tell me your problems. I’ll give you the answer. It’s not out of our expertise necessarily. Although in our particular area of personal branding and personal brand strategy, we have a very, very, you know, robust set of curriculum and content. But even inside of that, it’s not that we have the right answer. It’s, it’s all about finding the right answer for the client at that specific moment. And the best way to do that is to listen for their limiting beliefs. So how do you listen for somebody’s limiting beliefs? It’s very simple. First of all, you gotta understand what a limiting belief is. And then I’ll, I’ll share with you some triggers for this, right?
RV (06:15):
So what a limiting belief is, is their quote unquote true story. I’ll call this a true story. It’s not actually true, but in their mind it’s true. You’re listening for their, their true story about why they can’t do something or why they aren’t succeeding, right? Like, somebody, somebody. And, and so now let’s, let’s talk about that, right? So if, if somebody is talking, let’s say you’re coaching them and they say, yeah, you know, gosh, I would, I would love, I’d love to get in better shape this year, but it’s just like, it’s just not possible with a toddler. There’s just no way that can happen. So right there is, is I go, I can, I have this like, mental trigger that goes, ah, that’s their limiting belief. They just spoke it out loud. And people do this all the time. If you listen, you’ll hear when someone you’re talking to says out loud, they won’t hear it.
RV (07:13):
But if you have a keen ear, you have to train your ear for this is, you’ll go, ah, they just spoke their limiting belief. How do I know that? Because they just spoke out something that they believe is true about why they can’t do something else, right? They’ll say, oh, well, I couldn’t do what that person did because blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Oh, that’s a limiting belief. Or, you know, I’ve always been taught that you can never, you know, you can, you, you know, I’ll never be rich because I don’t believe in having debt. And, and everybody knows you need to, you need to take on debt to become rich. And it’s like, oh, so you’re listening for it, for you’re listening for their true story. It’s their rationalization, their justification, their explanation for why they can’t have something else. And that’s really key.
RV (08:04):
So you just gotta train your ear to listen for it, right? It’s their story. It’s something they believe to be true about why they can’t achieve something else. So that’s a huge, that’s like half of the battle right there is just being able to train your ear for it. Now, step two, in step two, I want you to call it out without singling them out. So what I mean by that is you want to, once you hear them say it, you wanna draw attention to it, but you don’t wanna make them feel stupid. You don’t wanna make them feel weak. You don’t wanna make them even feel wrong. So the the analogy that I think of for myself as a coach is I don’t wanna be a judge. I wanna be a mirror. I simply wanna hold up a mirror like a a, you know, a judge is determining right or wrong.
RV (09:03):
A judge isn’t a place of power. A judge is telling you you’re out of bounds. You know, you’re inbounds, you’re out of bounds. But a coach shouldn’t be a judge as much as they should just be a mirror to go, ah, let’s pause the conversation. Let me hold up, Amir, and I wanna reflect something back to you that I just heard. I just noticed that you said the reason you can’t do blank is because of blank. And so you just wanna reflect it back to them. And I want you as the coach to also encourage your client and for both of you to suspend whether or not that limiting belief is actually right. It might be true, right? It might be true that, you know, they, they literally go, oh my gosh, I’m involved in so many things. I just, I couldn’t, I couldn’t, you know, I can’t lose weight this year because I’m so busy.
RV (09:55):
‘Cause I have so many things. You know, that might be true, but it might not be true. It might be that they still watch 20, you know, three hours a night of Netflix, and that actually if they carved out 15 minutes from their Netflix routine, they actually could get in better shape. But you’re not in step two, your job isn’t to judge them. Your your job isn’t to render an opinion on whether or not this is right. Your job is to reflect it to them to call it out, but don’t s them out, right? Like singling them out is when you, you know, you, you kind of like embarrass somebody publicly. That’s not what you wanna do. You just wanna call it out to say, Hey, I just heard something interesting about what you said. The reason why you can’t blank is because of blank.
RV (10:39):
That’s a huge, huge important step. Now, number three, step three, step three is I want you to give them a new belief. Give them a new belief. So here again, you don’t necessarily need to tell them that what they believe is wrong, but I would use language like th this, I would say, Hey, I wanna invite you to consider a new way of thinking about this. And I just want you to try on, I love that language. I just want you to try on this idea for a second, try on for a second that it actually is possible to get wealthy without taking on debt. I just want you to try that on. It may or may not be true, but I just want you to try on that thought. I just want you to try on that mindset, I just want you to try on that belief, right?
RV (11:43):
That’s kind of like how you have to think about it is going, I notice you’re wearing an old outfit, and I just want you to try this on. You don’t have to buy it. You don’t have to own it. It doesn’t have to become your favorite thing. You don’t have to commit to wearing this, you know, out in public, but like right now, I just want you to try this on. And I want them to try on the idea to try on the, the the thought. So you want to give them a new belief. It’s basically like install a new operating system, give them a new way of thinking about a, a possibly a new way of thinking about, or just an alternate explanation of, or an alternate perspective for thinking about the thing that they currently think is true and set and defined in some other way, right?
RV (12:31):
So you’re gonna give them a new belief to try on. Then step number four, step number four is to fill them with encouragement. Fill them with encouragement. Here’s how you fill somebody with encouragement. And I’m gonna, I’m gonna take this to a biblical term. Now, you, you may not be a Christian, you may not be in the bli. The you may not believe in the Bible. By the way, if you don’t, I would really encourage you to check out my other, I have a podcast that I created called Eternal Life, seven steps, or excuse me. It’s called Eternal Life. Seven Questions. Every Intelligent Skeptic Should Ask About Jesus of Nazareth, where we look at the historical logical and academic accuracy and scrutiny of the Bible and the story of Jesus. You could check that out, but you know, you don’t have to be a Christian to, to appreciate, I think this concept, which is that the word inspire is actually a biblical term.
RV (13:32):
It means to breathe life into, and the, at least in the, the, the biblical account for the creation of, of humanity, of, of men and women, is that God s spoke the world into existence, and then he breathed life into, into man. So there’s this connection between word and life and breath, right? And so that’s where the, the word inspire comes from. It’s to use your words to breathe life into other beings or into things or into creation. That’s really a huge part of coaching. Again, even if you don’t believe in, you know, the Bible or whatever, hopefully you can, you know, grasp the power of that concept, that your words give life to people. They can give life to people. So how do you fill somebody with encouragement? What does it mean to actually encourage somebody? How do you use your words in a way that makes somebody feel inspired, that makes someone feel alive, that makes someone feel encouraged?
RV (14:36):
Well, it’s super simple. Tell them, like articulate to the person what it is about them that most impresses you. That’s how you inspire someone, articulate, you know, tell them what it is about them that most impresses you. You say, oh, I’m so impressed at how smart you are, or how sharp you are, or how fast, or how good you are at this, or, or how savvy you are at this, or your skills at doing this, or why I, the reason I love being around you is because of your energy, or because you’re funny, or, you know, because you always make me think differently. Or because you are you know, such a challenging you, you, you, you, you’re a critical thinker or whatever. That’s how you breathe life into people. And one of my favorite quotes is that Mark Twain said, each man is my superior in some way, or each woman is my superior in some way.
RV (15:34):
I really believe that. I really believe that all of us have something to learn from every other person. And so those are the things that I’m constantly looking for people. And when you want to breathe life into them, when you wanna fill them with encouragement, all you’re going to do is articulate what it is about that person that most impresses you, or what it is that you have learned from that person, or what it is about that person that inspires you. You inspire me to be a better parent. You inspire me to be, to read more. You inspire me to be a better leader. You inspire me to be better in excel. You inspire me to, to, you know, keep better track of my money. You inspire me to write more handwritten notes. You inspire me to be more spontaneous. You remind me to be more grateful.
RV (16:19):
Like whatever it is about the person, that’s what you articulate, and that’s how you fill somebody with encouragement. The reason that this step four is so important in helping somebody break through their limiting beliefs is that when you establish, when, when you’re helping somebody break a limiting belief, when, when you’re helping somebody break through this limiting belief, the neuroscience of this is that you’re forming a new neural pathway in their brain. Remember what I said about their, their limiting belief in step one? It’s their true story about why they can’t do something or why they aren’t succeeding. Why makes it true? What makes it true is not that it’s actually true. What makes it true is that they have told themselves that again and again, and again and again, and the human brain does not delineate between true and false, right or wrong. The, the human brain does not know right or wrong just by itself.
RV (17:18):
You have to teach it what’s right and wrong through programming. You have to teach it what is true and false through programming. So when somebody has a limiting belief, that’s an operating system that is running. Another metaphor that I sort of use for this is that imagine you’re going on a hike through the woods. Your neural pathways are like the path that’s been formed. The reason that path has been formed is ’cause you have walked that path several times. You have decided that that is true. You’ve reinforced it over and over again. So in your brain, literally there is a physical neural pathway that has been performed. And so it’s easier for your brain to think things that it has always thought, or it is easier for your brain to think things that it has already been thinking because the neural pathway has already formed.
RV (18:06):
When you get to step three in this, where you give them a new belief and you, you know, after you listen for the limiting belief, and then you call it out, and then you give them a new belief to try on. What you’re doing there is, is you’re trying to go off the path that they’re currently on, and you’re trying to form a new path. Literally, that’s what’s happening in the brain. A new neural pathway, a new set of synapses firing, you know, between like these neurons in your brain. And, you know, the illustration here is, think of it as you’re hacking through the forest and you’re, you know, you have like a machete and you’re like having to chop down trees. It’s harder to walk down a new path because the new path isn’t clear yet. The new path isn’t established yet, the new path, it’s also slower to walk down the new path.
RV (18:52):
It’s not as familiar and it’s not as cleared, right? So anytime you’re trying to create a new belief, a new mindset, a new pattern of thinking, it’s slower and it takes more time. That’s why you have to fill them with encouragement. You have to fill them with encouragement. And that gives them the encouragement is what keeps them going down the new pathway. And it’s, it’s saying, I, I believe in you. I know you’re smart enough to figure this out because you’ve inspired me to do blankety blank, right? I, you know, I, I, I know that you’re capable of doing this. And I, I know that you have, you are, you have all the characteristics of other people who have been successful in this journey. I know you have what it takes to do this. There’s evidence in your life that you have it because you impress me and you inspire me, and you want me, make me wanna be better, right?
RV (19:45):
So I’m filling them with that encouragement. And then step five, step five, and this will seem a little bit, counter to what I said earlier, give them what I call the 10% tactical. The 10% tactical. Now remember what I, I said at, at the very start of this, which I will hold true to, which is the reason most people don’t experience breakthroughs is not because of logical or technical issues. It’s because of emotional or mental, you know, limitations. But technical tips give people confidence. Technical tips, give people encouragement. Technical things make people feel like they have a new tool to try. And so that gives them sort of the you know, the, the willpower or the strength or the discipline or the motivation to actually take action and walk down the new neural pathway. So the 10% tactical is just saying, rather than giving them a whole bunch of things to focus on, give them the one thing, right?
RV (20:53):
So this is kinda like a 2080 rule, like the Pareto principle of, you know, focus on the 20% that creates 80% of the results, except it’s even more narrow than that, is I want you to give them the one tactical thing that they should focus on between now and, you know, your next encounter, your next meeting with them to go. If you just do this one thing, I believe that you will, this will create a 90% change in your results. One of the things that I think coaches do is they give people too many action items, too many things to do all at once, right? Give them the 10%, the 10% technical meaning, what’s the one technical thing that is a small, you know, tweak of their current behavior, only a 10% tweak of their current behavior that is likely to be responsible for a 90% change in their behavior.
RV (21:46):
You know, when, when I’m evaluating speakers, one of the things that you know we’re doing is, is I, I coach some of the best speakers, you know, in the world. And when I’m coaching very high profile speakers, it’s like, I don’t give them a hundred things to do. I try to give them like, you know, even in an hour long speech, I’m trying to give them two or three things. And really one big thing to go the next time you go out, I want you to focus on this one thing, because that’s the 10% tactical, the, the, the, the tiny little bit that they can focus on. But if they do that one thing, they’ll have a 90% change in their outcome or their results. So there you go. There you have it. This is my secret, never before shared formula on how to be a great coach and how to create breakthroughs in other people.
RV (22:32):
So step one is listen for limiting beliefs, right? Listen for their story about why they can’t do something. Step two, call them out without singling them out. Be a mirror, not a judge, but reflect back to them, Hey, I just heard you say the reason you can’t X is because of y. You’re reflecting it back to them. Step three, give them a new belief. Give them a new belief system. I just want you to try on for a second. What if you actually could do blank in order to get blank, right? And, and now open their mind up to actually, maybe there is a way to pull it off. Step four, fill them with encouragement. Tell them what it is about them that impresses you most. And then step five, focus on the 10% technical. Give them the one technical tip, the one technique change, the one skill thing, the one pragmatic or practical behavior change that you want them to focus on that will reinforce this new mindset.
RV (23:31):
If you do those five steps again and again and again, you will create breakthroughs in your clients like they’ve never experienced. And as your clients have breakthroughs, that’s gonna build your reputation. And as we know, reputation precedes revenue. That’s why we’re here at Brand Builders Group to help you turn your reputation into revenue. So if you haven’t yet requested a call with our team, I hope you consider doing that. So we could talk about helping you do that and generate more reput or generate more revenue from your reputation. You could do [email protected] slash podcast. That’s all we got for this time around. We’ll catch you next time on the influential Personal Brand podcast.

Ep 458: The Coaching Habit with Michael Bungay Stanier

RV (00:02):
I’m so honored to introduce you to someone who I have found to be a delightful human full of really deep wisdom and just someone who’s been a real joy to be around. We ended up meeting each other at this bestselling author meetup, just a private meetup of colleagues that happened just a couple months ago, and I’ve started following him more closely since then. And now I’m bringing him to you and you’re gonna love getting to meet him. So his name is Michael Bunge Stanier. And he is most probably most popular for his book called The Coaching Habit, which is probably the bestselling book on the topic of coaching this century. I followed his book long before I met him because here’s what’s very unusual about his book. It sells a lot every single week. , most books sell a lot at first, and then they kind of like trailed down, you know, from there.
RV (01:02):
Yeah. And this book has not done that for years. It has been. It’s just like super consistent every week in and week out. Michael also founded a Box of Crayons, which is a learning and development organization and company that’s trained thousands of managers to be more coach-like in organizations. So this is companies like Microsoft Te Gucci teaching their leaders how to become better coaches. And when I met him, I was just like, oh my gosh. We have to introduce you to our audience, both to hear the story of how you built your personal brand, but literally, like all of us are coaches in some form or fashion. So anyways, Michael, welcome to the show, buddy. Oh,
MBS (01:42):
Look, I’m super excited. That was an amazing gathering in Nashville, wasn’t it? There was so many impressive people there, . I was like, there’s so much to learn, and it’s such a supportive community. I mean, it’s a real insight around, part of the way you, you continue to elevate is you continue to hang out with people who are ambitious and doing smart things and, and are generous. And the the generosity in that room was really amazing.
RV (02:07):
Yeah. Yeah. I, I feel the same way. And I, you know, whenever I’m in a room like that with colleagues, I am you know, proud to be there, humbled to be there and, and, and then really blown away by a lot of the people because I’m, I’m a reader first. I’m a student first. I’m a fan first. Right. And so I’m, I’m fangirling over a lot of the, a lot of the people even these days. Like a lot of our clients, I’m like, you know, I’m, I’m glad that we’re helping them, but I’m also like, still so excited to like, get to know them and meet them. And so I think this topic of coaching Yeah. Is super relevant. And can you just like, talk us through the, the, the premise of the coaching habit and like that, not just the book, but the body of work and like what that’s all about?
MBS (02:57):
Yeah. You know, I I was really sure I was gonna be a coach early on. You know, it felt like one of those, the saying inspiration is when your past suddenly makes sense. When I discovered coaching, I was like, oh, look, my whole past aligns around that. When I was 17, I did crisis telephone counseling and helping kind of youth anxiety and youth suicide and stuff like that. And so I’ve been learning how to ask questions and stay curious and, you know, sink deeper into what was going on since I was 17. And I heard about coaching when I was working and living in London. And of course part of me is like, it’s a weird Californian thing. ’cause This is like in the 1990s before it really blew up . And part of me is like, intrigued and, and I’m in London where we’re, you know, skeptical about everything, but a part of me was intrigued.
MBS (03:44):
And then when I moved to the States and lived in Boston, I hired a coach and I started telling my clients, my consulting clients, I was coaching them, whether I didn’t know what that meant. And then when I moved to Toronto in 2001, I’m like, I’m gonna start a coaching practice. And I did my training and, and I found I didn’t love being a coach. Hmm. It was very confusing. I grew a practice, I had lots of people, I’m like, this isn’t quite right for me yet. But I’d been invited by a, a big multinational to help design a coaching training for them. And I designed other training on other topics before, and suddenly something clicked around this, which is, oh, I want to un weird coaching for busy managers and leaders, because coaching has this, it comes with baggage and there’s a lot of kinda woowoo ness around coaching.
MBS (04:38):
You know, it’s kind of like, oh, it’s mysterious, it’s touchy feely. Everybody’s wearing caf, dans and lighting incenses, . You know, there’s a kind of, there’s a, there’s a bunch of stuff that people are like a bit suspicious about it. And I’m like, I was really clear that I think coaching can be an amazing technology to unlock people’s greatness, help ’em have more impact in the world. I didn’t love how it was being taught in the, in the ways I’d seen it. And particularly I didn’t think it was being taught well in organizations where often life coach training was just brought in. And like, we’ll just tell the managers the same stuff. Yeah. So the origin of this was like, I want to un weird coaching for normal people. So even though, you know, I’m, I’m kind of well known, I guess in in coaching circles, the people I’m really trying to serve are people outside coaching circles, which are people like, I need, look, I’ve got a team. I’m trying to lead them. I’m tapped out in the leadership skills that I have at the moment. And I, I, I have a sense that I, you know, my organization’s telling me to coach them, and how do I do that? And I’m like, let me show you as best I can so that you can read the book or hear the book or whatever, and go, oh, if that’s coaching, I can do that. And that’s the impact I was really trying to have. Mm-Hmm. .
RV (05:57):
And I remember being in college, you know, when I heard the word coaching, I used to think of, you know, for me it was, it was athletic coaches. I did martial arts and I had basketball coach. Right. And I, I, I thought I thought of it very much as like instruction and teaching. And, you know, then I was in the world championship of public speaking and I had coaches that, you know, they were giving me feedback and they were critiquing. But then when I was, when I was in college, I took a class on coaching and I very vividly remember them saying, coaching is not teaching. It’s only listening. It’s only asking questions. And like, the foundational premise was that the, the client has all the answers. Yeah. And so it was like a very Socratic method of like, your job is to only ask questions. And so even to this day, I’m still a little unclear on like what the proper definition of coaching is. ’cause A lot of my clients call me a coach, but I teach them what to do.
New Speaker (07:02):
Like I tell them, you know, so I don’t know if that counts. I,
MBS (07:06):
I, well, I get, I think you can get really hung up on these kind of technical definitions of coaching. Sure. So I have a behaviorally based definition, which is simply this. Can you stay curious a little bit longer? Hmm. Can you rush to action and advice giving a little bit more slowly? Because I think coaching involves teaching. I think it is partly a, like I, look, I’ve got scars, I’ve got wisdom , I, I, I’ve got stuff. I can tell you this. You know, some of the answers are not waiting to be uncovered within because they’re technical stuff that you learn in a different place. And I’ve got that wisdom, and you don’t yet have that wisdom. So I think it’s ridiculous to say, oh, coaching, you can only ask a question. But equally, I think if you think coaching is just telling people what to do, you fundamentally misunderstood one of the powerful ways to help people learn.
MBS (07:56):
Mm-Hmm. . ’cause What you’re help, what you’re, the goal in coaching is to help people generate new insights about themselves and about the world. You can do that by asking questions. You can do that by offering up learning, teaching advice is to actually help them shift their behavior so they do something differently as a result of it. It’s helped them to notice the impact. So they get feedback from their new insight and their new behavior. And then it’s to help them then move to, now what’s the new insight? Noticing that. So insight, action impact. And that’s the cycle of coaching. And how you get there depends on the person, depends on the context. Depends on the moment.
RV (08:35):
Yeah. And you know, in inside that definition, and it’s like, I don’t, you know, like brand Mild’s group, I actually don’t define it as a coaching company, right? We are really a training company. We have curriculum, right? We’re putting people through processes exercises. Right. We’re certainly getting input, like to tailor it to what we’re doing doing, but it’s like, it’s not, and and to me that is very different from coaching of the idea of going ask questions to sort of help someone discover what Yeah. You know, their like I love the way that you said, I think the word that you, you said was it’s technical training. Yeah. Technical training is different from sort of a find the answer within type of a Yeah.
MBS (09:16):
Conversation. But there’s a, there’s a way that these two dance together. It’s not one or the other. I mean, if I was training you on, on your world championship speaking, you know, I, you could, you could give a talk and I could immediately jump in and go, right, Rory, let me, let me make some adjustments here. But it’s actually a more powerful lesson for me to go. So Rory, tell me before, I’ve got some ideas, but what do you think went well? What do you think your strength is? Where did you feel the weakness in, in the talk? What bit do you feel like you really need to focus on to kind of lift the level? And you figuring that stuff out is helpful for you. And it’s also then helpful for me to then go, right, let me take, I, I can figure out the advice that’s most useful for you.
MBS (09:59):
Like, even at the highest level of sport now, like the rugby world championships on rugby union. And if you, if you know it, you know, it’s a big thing. And if you know rugby union, you know that the New Zealand, all blacks are the team. They are the, they’re the most winningest team in sport. They have this unparalleled success record. They dominate this sport in a way that is incredible for coming from a tiny country. And the way these elite sports people are taught are part directed through questions. What are you noticing? What are you learning? What do you guys think we need to solve around here? And part technical intervention, which is like, here’s what we need to do differently around that. It’s both. And the bias that I’m looking to shift for people is start with curiosity and then know that teaching might be the thing that follows curiosity. ’cause That might be the most appropriate thing to do.
RV (10:55):
Mm-Hmm, . Yeah. And I think like you’re saying to the, to the context, I mean, there’s so much power in somebody realizing for themselves what, what, what the action is. I, you know, I also think about it in selling, you know when we teach like how to deal with objections, one of the things that we say is you are selling, if they’re talking, and that basically, it’s like, like the prospect. Your prospect only believes like 20% of what you say, but they believe a hundred percent of what you’re able to get them to say, .
MBS (11:30):
That’s great.
RV (11:31):
So if you, if you can ask the questions, if you can, if you can orchestrate the questions and engineer the questions in a way that the light bulb comes on for themselves as they’re talking, there’s, that’s like a, that’s a revelation that will be more influential than you just telling them what to, you know what to think. That’s
MBS (11:49):
Right. Because if you come in, if you lead with advice, and that’s what so many of us have kind of built in as our default, our default response. You know, somebody starts talking to you and after about 10 seconds, your advice monster comes up outta the dark and goes, oh, I’m gonna add some value to this conversation. Or just wait till they stop talking. ’cause I know what I wanna tell them. But if you, if you default to advice, the first thing you need to know is that the power in the relationship shifts. It’s like you go one up, they go one down. And when they’re one down, ’cause you’ve got the status, and they don’t, I know this answer. You don’t know the answer. People inherently resist advice sometimes even when they ask for it, they’re like, can you gimme some advice on that?
MBS (12:29):
Yeah. And yeah, , and I mean, just think of all the advice you’ve given and how little has been followed through on in your time. But if you can find a way for them to more specifically ask for it or figure some stuff out themselves, or for you to build on what they’ve already figured out, they’re just more likely to hear what you’ve got to say to them. So it’s not even, it, it’s like, it’s not even a, oh, I should always ask questions. It’s like, if I want my advice to land, leading with curiosity gives your actual advice a better chance of being more helpful and also acted upon. Mm-Hmm.
RV (13:02):
. Mm-Hmm. . Yep. It, it, it, there’s a part of it, like, especially I think when you’re managing quote unquote managing someone, right? I think it’s one thing if someone hires you to go, teach me a skill. Teach me, teach me Spanish. Right? Teach me how to do QuickBooks. Teach me, teach me how to paint. That’s very different from going, how do I manage my, my, my teammate to become a high performer? Or how do I have a conversation with my aunt, my aunt, aunt about how to change her life? Or how do I give advice to a friend who’s going through a tough time? And
MBS (13:43):
I think that’s true. But I’ll tell you this, Rory. You know, I, I’m, I am a teacher. Like I, you know, through my books and through my courses and the like, and something that, and knowing that there are coaches and teachers and, and people doing similar stuff who are building their own brand by building their own content one of my key design elements is what’s the least I can teach that would be the most useful. So part of that design philosophy is for me to not think that me just adding more value, more content, more information, more advice is actually helpful. Part of the discipline of being a great teacher is going, how do I strip it down to what’s essential? How do I give them the least of what I can do? And how do I create the most space for them to then interact with it, to play with it, to understand it, to deepen it? And one of the things that I see in less experienced teachers by teachers, you can be a facilitator or a coach or any other thing, is the sense of, I’ll just keep adding more content as a way of proving my worth. And the courage, the courageous act is to keep taking content out so that you shift you shift away to the audience’s interaction with your content. And it means you give up control, but you increase engagement and you increase learning.
RV (15:09):
Yeah. That reminds me of I’m pretty sure it’s Mark Twain who said that brevity is the essence of wisdom,
MBS (15:16):
Right? That’s right.
RV (15:19):
And it also takes, except
MBS (15:21):
He said it a little snappier than that. I’m kidding. As a .
RV (15:28):
But the, it, it also, it also, it takes more work to be able to say something concisely, but not to get away from your real point, which is to lead with, you know, to be curious, not necessarily to is So is being curious the same as just leading with questions?
MBS (15:46):
Well, I think, I think so. I mean, I think questions are the great, the great force of, of cur curiosity. So you know, it’s useful to understand that most of us have an advice monster, a driver to go look, the way I add value is I tell people stuff. And we have different things that, that advice monster feeds in us. Sometimes. It’s like, I like to just be the smart person, show my status, show that I have, prove that I’m adding value by the content I have. Sometimes it’s like, I like to be the person who rescues people. I like to save people. I like to be seen as a person who will protect everybody from everything and know everything. So nobody has to stress or worry. And sometimes it’s like, I just like being in control . And when I’m giving advice, I have the upper hand, I have control.
MBS (16:33):
But if you can understand that you’ve got a, a, a wiring and a bias to jumping in with advice, it’s deeply wired in your brain. Your brain loves certainty. And when you’re giving advice, even if it’s the wrong advice to solving the wrong problem, your brain is still going. But this feels quite good, . But when you ask a question, which your brain likes less, because it’s like when you ask a question, it’s a little more ambiguous for your brain. ’cause You’re like, is that a good question? Did they understand the question? Well, they have a good answer. What if they have a crazy answer that I don’t even understand? There’s a little moment of uncertainty, but then you shift the focus onto the person, you give them your full attention, it’s about them rather than about your status. And that’s when greatness gets unlocked.
RV (17:20):
And so is the, is the primary, you know, benefit of that, you’re saying to just that they’re more, they’re more likely to make a change in their life if they come to the realization themself? Is that the premise?
MBS (17:33):
Well, there’s a couple of premise behind it. The first is, if you leap in with advice too soon, quite often you’re not solving the real problem. You know, the one of the powerful questions in the coaching habit book is what’s the real challenge here for you? And the inside is the first challenge that shows up is not the real challenge. And when your advice monster is loose, you’re like, oh, that was the first challenge, and I’ve given you some advice that my work here is done. But your work here isn’t done because you’ve just offered up not very good advice to solve the wrong problem. So there’s, if you can become a, if you’re in a, in a leadership role, if you can become the leader who is known for figuring out what the real problem is, rather than having the fast answer, you become a much more revered, much more valuable person to the people around you.
MBS (18:23):
Because everybody’s got answers. Very few people have the discipline to say, what’s the real challenge here? What’s the hard thing? What’s the most important thing for us to solve? So part of it is like, can you figure out what the real problem is that that alone is, is gold dust? Secondly, it is absolutely true that if people figure out their own answers, they’re more likely to act on their own answers. So if you’d like people to do something differently, the more they can figure this stuff out themselves, the more they can make their own neural connections, you help them grow in competence and confidence and autonomy and self-sufficiency and all of that is good for them. But most of that can be really good for you as well, because you become more effective as a coach or as a manager or as a leader, because your people are like, I’m smarter. I’m more confident, , I’m better able to figure this stuff out myself. I mean, now less dependent on you as a leader, which means that you as a leader or whatever role you’re in, you can just get on with your own stuff.
RV (19:26):
So connecting this back to like, so I like, I I love this I love the application of this too, being a leader and a manager in Yeah. An organization. It, it, there’s also an element of this that to me feels like the more fam the the more familiar someone is with you, like the more, the closer you are in proximity, the more this feels important. Yeah. where it’s, it’s like your kids, right? Like they won’t, they don’t listen to you when you tell ’em to do stuff. They listen to somebody else. Yeah. Because you’re in such close proximity and, and the people you see every day that you’re leading on your team, it’s like eventually they just get tired of hearing you say the same thing over and over again. You know, when you look at it as, as being a coach that people hire, right? Mm-Hmm. And you go, they, they hire you. I think you, you, when you, you get into like the dance you’re talking about, about being curious, asking questions, but also typ, you know, I guess sometimes it’s like if, like for life coaching, I process this very much as like life, like a life coaching conversation. Yeah. If somebody is struggling, they don’t know why they feel blocked. They, they have low confidence. You know, a lot, lot of those are sort of these deep rooted issues.
RV (20:51):
If you look at like a different type of, you know, I’m a health coach or you know, something like that. Or like, I’m, I’m, I’m a, I’m an accountant who coaches people on their, on their, on their finances. Right?
MBS (21:07):
RV (21:07):
There’s always that part of it. Like, what’s the real driving? How do you get them to change their behavior? Yeah. Like you’re saying it’s a behavioral model. This, this is like the, the getting them to modify the behavior is the part of it. Teaching them the what to do is a, is also part of it. So anyways, just any any tips on finding that balance, finding that dance, if you’re a hired coach Yeah. In, in those different kind of types of roles.
MBS (21:35):
So the starting point for me is when you are a coach in that role and you’re hiring your clients and you’re trying to figure out who your ideal clients are. Yeah. ’cause That’s part of the quest for success, is who do I best serve? Sure. you have a conversation with them at the start going, what does good coaching look like or sound like to you? let’s, let me tell you what it looks like. And it sounds like to me, and you actually have this conversation going, how do we talk about how we work together before we plunge into the work? Because, you know, if you’re a health coach, somebody shows up at your door and you’re like, right, , I’m go, I’ve got so much to tell you. I’ve got stuff about weight management. I’ve got stuff about diabetes. I’ve got stuff about exercise.
MBS (22:20):
I’ve got stuff about blood pressure. My, my head is filled with amazing content. And you’re like, I, and I’m so keen to prove my worth to you and add value because I’m, I want, I want you as a client and I’m driven by purpose around helping the world be healthier. So you’ve got all this motivation to get into the work, but the thing to do is, before you get into that work, ’cause it’s, it’s calling you, but it can wait a moment. If you look at your client in the eye and go, look, when you’ve worked with people before around your health and it’s been really helpful for you, what happened? What did they do? What did you do? And what can we learn from that? And now let me tell you my, when I’ve worked with people and I’ve coached them around health and it’s been really successful, let me tell you what happened, what they did, and what I did.
MBS (23:07):
And you actually have a conversation where you actually figure out what’s the best expression of our working relationship together. And a couple of things are gonna happen. One is you get to start educating your client around, this is how I work. Secondly is you’re like, you get to fire your client. ’cause You’re like, it seems like we don’t have a good fit here, even though it looked like we did on content because you got this health issue. And I know stuff about that health issue, the way we work is not compatible. And secondly, you go, right. So I think I understand what the balance is between how much curiosity and how much advice that that is best to strike in, in this circumstance. So there’s no generic answer to this, Rory, other than to say there’s a place for curiosity, there’s a place for advice on balance lead with curiosity. Because that will mean that when your advice shows up, it’s better directed, it’s more specific and it’s more likely to be solving the right, the, the real issue. But primarily it’s like whenever you are working with anybody, sit down and go, how will we work together?
RV (24:16):
Mm-Hmm. . So I wanna come back to the management like inside of a company like organization. Like a lot of the work you do with companies for a second. Yeah. You know, and I’m thinking about our team at Brand Builders Group and like, you know, we’ve got, we’re growing so fast that we have basically like a, a, a mid, a mid-tier level of management that’s developing. Mm-Hmm. And some of those are people who started with us and, and you know, they’re fairly young, but they’ve done so good and now they’re getting promoted. And so they’re in this new world of like, how do I manage and, and, and lead other people? You said something earlier in our chat that basically a lot of times people in corporate, you know, they have like a stigma about coaching. Like, oh, that’s woo woo or whatever. But then you show them this other thing and they realize, oh no, if that’s what you mean, I could do that. Yeah.
MBS (25:04):
RV (25:04):
What is that switch there? What’s, what’s the thing, what’s the thing that they’re thinking now that gives them the stigma about coaching and what’s, what’s the way that they start thinking about it once they understand the coaching habit? Yeah.
MBS (25:17):
You know, in general there are five reasons why people resist coaching, certainly in organizations. So let me walk through the five points of resistance and offer a a counterpoint to those points. So the, the first is people go, I just don’t have time for this stuff. . I mean, I’d love to be coaching my people, but Rory’s a hard task master. I’ve got too much on my plate. My calendar’s already super busy. And you know, I know coaching is like this, what is it, 45 minute or one hour conversation. I can’t, I just, I mean, I’ve got a life. I can’t do that with my people. And I’m like, great. I agree. If you can’t coach in 10 minutes or less, you don’t have time to coach. So it’s like resetting this expectation around what coaching is. It can be a really fast conversation.
MBS (26:06):
In fact, at its best it’s five minutes or it’s 10 minutes. Hmm. And then the second point of resistance people go is, Michael still don’t have time to coach. Even if I could coach in five minutes or less , like my world is full and the gaps I’ve got in my calendar are for going to the bathroom, having lunch and doing all the other stuff that is urgent and important on, on my plate around this. I can’t add coaching to what’s expected of me in my company. And I’m like, great, if we’re trying to add coaching to what you’re already doing, we, we, we’ve lost. It’s just pouring water into a full glass. This is about transforming what you currently do so that you can be more coach-like in the way that you interact in your current interactions on email, in person, over Zoom, whatever it might be.
MBS (26:54):
It’s not adding it. You are not going, I need to now add coaching to everything I’m already doing. It’s like, be more coach-like in your current interactions. Then the third point of resistance people go is like, look, I don’t, look, I don’t wanna be a coach . I didn’t sign up to brand builders group to be a coach. I signed up to help people figure out what their essence was in the world, or help them drive their marketing or help understand their speaking position or help build their speaking business. You know, I’m a marketeer or I’m a sales person, or I’m a brand builder. I’ve got technical expertise that I’m working on. Don’t make me be a coach. And I’m like, great, I don’t want you to be a coach. There are lots of coaches who want to be coaches, but I want you to be coach-Like, it’s not a role, it’s a leadership behavior.
MBS (27:41):
We’re not, we’re not making you put on an uncomfortable suit, which is like, this is just an essential way to lead, be coach, like, love that. And then people go, this is, this is number four. Which is like, but I honestly, I’m not even sure what coaching is because like you, it’s like, is it sport? Is it executive? Is it life? Is it health? Is it a DHD? Is it, you know, there’s a thousand variations of coaching and I’m not sure what any of them are. And that’s that definition we’ve talked about. Really behavioral, can you just stay curious a little bit longer? Can you rush to action and advice giving a little bit more slowly so it’s got no woo woo or kind of outcome thing. It’s just a process, staying curious longer. And then the fifth and final point of resistance, Rory, is people going, okay, but what’s in it for me?
MBS (28:32):
Like, I can see why Rory wants me to be a coach, because that’s gonna help the people in, in the organization thrive and do their best and keep up with the, the growth we’re having as a business. And I can understand why the people who I’m leading would love me to be a coach because it’s a great leadership skill and I feel seen and I feel heard and I feel encouraged and I’d be become more competent and confident and capable and self-sufficient. But, you know, you’re asking me to shift my behavior. I’m pretty good at giving advice. what’s in it for me. And for me, I would say it helps you essentially work less hard and have more impact. So whether, you know, Rory, people are wired one of two ways. They either wanna move away from pain or they wanna move towards a reward. So if you’re a move towards a reward person, it’s like this allows you to do more great work, work that has more meaning, work that has more impact and those around you to do the same. But you, you get to do more great work. And if you wanna move away from pain, it’s like, this has means that my team is less dependent on me. It means that I’m less overwhelmed and it means that I’m more connected to the work that really matters. So
RV (29:45):
That, that one’s the one that, that jumps out to me. ’cause A lot of ways this is basically like, not ba but part of what this feels like to me is it’s the difference between fishing for a man and teaching a man to fish.
MBS (30:00):
RV (30:00):
Right. Like, if, if, if, if I train my team that I have the answers, I tell them what to do, I solve the problems, then they constantly come to me for every one of those things. The,
MBS (30:12):
The more you give them the answers, the more they come to you for the answers. The more they come to you for the answers, the more you give them the answers. And like before you know it. And this is coming from good intentions, like it’s exhausting. And you’ve built a team of vampires who are just draining your life. Like what? You guys are smart and capable and talented. That’s why I hired you. What has happened? And you’ve just built this system where they’re like, they’re like, I don’t feel I can come up with my own stuff. ’cause You wanna gimme the answer the whole time. So it’s a real shift in identity sometimes.
RV (30:44):
Yeah. I mean, one of the other things that you, I don’t think has come up in this conversation, but one of the other benefits of doing it this way is you actually learn a ton. Like you actually, I I’m shocked sometimes at the creative stuff that like a team or a client will come up with where I’m like, I never would’ve thought of that. Right. And by not launching into just like giving them the recipe, you, you have a chance to be like, there’s this beautiful discoveries that, that come out of it.
MBS (31:17):
Well, you haven’t hired the people you’ve hired to just come up with ideas as good as you can come up with. ’cause You’re like, I can already do that. I’m hiring you to have ideas better than I can do and take this business further than I can think of. You want their full brilliance. And this, this commitment to curiosity allows people to say, oh, I’m going to bring my best. You’ve given me the insight and the courage and the commitment to kind of like, try and be braver, be bolder, have better ideas.
RV (31:48):
Mm-Hmm. . Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. Well I I, I wanna, I wanna ask you one other thing before I do that. Where should people go, Michael, just to like, connect with you? I know that we’ll, we’ll put links to the Coaching Habit book and, and your other books and stuff too. But where should people go if they wanna link up with you? Yeah,
MBS (32:06):
The main website is mbs.works and that’s a hub for all the books, the coaching habit, the advice trap, the new one is called How to Work With Almost Anyone. And all of those books have, you know, free resources and stuff. So whether you want to download the questions from the coaching Habit book or see me hold a Keystone conversation from how to work with almost anyone, all of that’s accessible and available for people. Mm-Hmm.
RV (32:27):
. And so if, if, if somebody is kind of saying, all right, I, I want, I’m willing to give this a shot, whether, you know, it’s with a paying client or someone they’re managing or even a family or a, you know, a member or a friend. What’s, what’s kind of the first thing? I mean, I know the, the message here is just stay curious longer and you, you know any, any other kind of tips in terms of the first thing they should do or the, to focus on or like to shift in order to help them do that? Yeah,
MBS (32:59):
There’s a couple of places you might wanna start. One, one really interesting place to start is just start noticing how much advice you give during the day. how quick you are to jump in, often interrupt kind of how quickly you stop listening to the other person. ’cause The, the, the answer is already in your head. You’re like, we’ve only just met, we’ve been talking for 20 seconds. You’re telling me a complex situation about people I don’t know in a culture, I don’t know with a team. I don’t know, but I think I’ve already got the answer for you. So just start noticing how quickly you default to that. That’s one option. If you wanna get more specific. You know, staying curious longer is a really great overall mantra, but it’s unlikely to shift your behavior. So what I would do is get specific, this is just good habit building 1 0 1, which is like, who’s the person with whom you’d like to build a coaching habit and what’s the context in which you might be interacting with that person?
MBS (33:56):
And if you could ask, pick just one question to ask that person might be, what’s the real challenge here for you? It might be, and what else, you know, the best coaching question in the world. There’s always a place for, and what else it might be. What was most useful or valuable for you at the end of the meeting? You could just pick one question. What question would it be? You know, people abandon, have a building ’cause they try and take on too much at once. The smaller you can make it, the more likely it is that you’re gonna get that first rep, rep in. And once you get the first rep in, the second rep’s easier. So pick something specific, pick one question, one person, one context, and then commit to actually following through on that.
RV (34:39):
That’s great, man. Well, I I, I love it. I mean there, I, there’s no doubt that this can, if nothing else, this can improve our relationships with one another dramatically. It’s like God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. , that’s right. And is, you know, be be it’s kind of the like slow to speak, quick to listen, kind of a kind of a thought. So I really, I really appreciate this and love it. Thanks so much for being a part of this and sharing your wisdom and, and we’re cheering you on, man.
MBS (35:09):
Yeah. Thank you Rory. It’s been great.

Ep 457: 3 Simple Steps to Getting More Referrals For Your Business | Barb Betts Episode Recap

AJV (00:02):
All right, today we are talking about referrals. And there are three things that I wanna talk about today when it comes to asking for and receiving referrals. Number one, if you wanna get referrals, the number one thing that you have to do is be utterly and undeniably convicted in what it is that you’re offering. Doesn’t matter what product service it is, you have to believe in it so much that it removes all fear, all hesitation, all anxiety. Anything that would prevent you from not telling people about what you do has got to be erased. And that really does come from believing to your core that what it is you’re doing, what it is you’re offering, what it is you’re selling, because that is part of it, is so helpful for the right person, right? For the intended person. You’ve got to be so convicted and believe in what you do so much that you can’t not tell people about it because you, you’ve seen it change lives.
AJV (01:06):
You’ve seen it spark growth, you’ve seen it cause revenue growth, you’ve seen it cause income, growth, whatever it is. But you have to start baseline level one, step one, with going, I believe in what I do so much that I will not, not ask for referrals. It’s like, I believe that for the intended person, right? Your avatar, that this is so helpful, this is so necessary that I will ask because I do believe that the number one reason that people don’t ask for referrals is because they’re afraid, right? I think the second reason is they don’t know how to ask, which we’ll talk about in a minute, but I do believe the first reason is like, people are like, oh, I just wasn’t top of mind. And I’m like, if you believe you have a life changing product or service, how is it not top of mind?
AJV (01:50):
If you believe that you’re the best provider in your industry, or the best provider in town, or the best provider, you know, how is it not top of mind? And so when people go, oh, I just forgot. And it’s like, you forgot that what you do can make a monumental difference in someone’s business or family or relationships, I don’t think so. And so I think a lot of that starts with getting back in touch with what you do, who you do it for, why you do it, and what are the, the, the payoffs of what you do. Like what does it do for people, right? So that’s foundation, that’s step one, because I know that if you don’t have that underlying conviction, the rest of this conversation is just words. It’s not gonna mean anything. And so it’s like, if you’re at that place where it’s like, I’m not asking because I’m not really in love with what I’m doing, it’s like the rest of this little clip is not for you, right?
AJV (02:41):
And it’s like, you gotta start with going like, no, I know that what I do means something. It matters to someone. And if you believe that, then the rest of these steps are really gonna help you. So that’s step one, an efforts and an effort to help you get more referrals and build a referral based business. You’ve got to believe, you’ve got to be convicted that what you do has the power to help someone else. Okay? That’s step one. Number two is you have to know who that intended, who is, right? And I think this is not a reason why people don’t ask, but it’s a reason why people don’t get right. It’s, you’re not clear on exactly who you want to be referred to. So that makes it difficult for you to ask clearly. And it makes it difficult for me on the other end, makes it difficult for me to give you anyone when you go, Hey, anyone who’s in business is a fit for what I do.
AJV (03:32):
I’m like, I don’t know. I know a lot of people in business, and so I don’t know how to narrow it down. Like my brain is going like, well, I know tons of people, right? But if you said, Hey, I work with high growth companies CEOs who are experiencing monumental growth. They’re in their first five years of business who are in this industry and this geographic area, I’m like, binging, binging, binging. It’s like, I’d rather know someone or I don’t, but I’m not left going, let me think about it. Which means I have no idea, and it’s not a priority for me. So it’s like you’ve got to be clear both demographically and psychographically of who it is that you want to be referred to. IE your ideal client, the person that you know, if you refer them to me, I’m going to blow their mind.
AJV (04:16):
I am going to make a difference. I am going to make sure that I take care of them. And they are going to be thanking you for this referral. So step one, you’ve gotta get convicted, right? That your product or service is going to matter to this intended person. The second thing is, you’ve gotta get crystal clear who is that person? What title do they hold or position? Is there an income specification, a GE geographic specification, an industry specification? What are their psychographic challenges? Like, are they high growth? Are they struggling? Is it life? Is it professional? Is it family? Like, whatever it is, is like you’ve got to be clear and you have to be able to articulate that in about a sentence, right? And so it’s like when you go, Hey, I am, I am trying to work with people who blink blank.
AJV (05:00):
I’ve gotta go, I know someone. Yeah, here, here’s who they are. You’ve gotta paint a mental picture for me. So it makes it easy for me to go, I know someone, right? And then that brings it to step three, which is how do you actually get that referral? How do you ask? And I just did this amazing podcast interview with Barb Betts, and I thought this was such a powerful, simple formula of how to ask. So it’s like, if you’re convicted right in what you’re doing and you know exactly who it’s gonna benefit, then step three is, well then how do you actually ask? Because I think that is one of the other fundamental problems of why people don’t ask, is they’re like, I just, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what’s right. I don’t know how to ask. And so this is a very simple formula shared by Barb Betts on the influential personal brand podcast, which is, first thing you wanna do is say, Hey, I was hoping to ask you for a favor, right? So that’s the first thing is ask for help is
AJV (05:56):
Go, Hey, I have a favor to ask, or, I was hoping to ask you of a favor, whatever, whatever verbiage sounds good for you. But it’s, I have a favor to ask. I am really trying to get introduced or connected to people who blank. And that’s where you fill in your avatar. So the key to the first part is I’m asking for a favor, right? I need help. Second part is I’m really trying to, or I want to be introduced to, or I’d like to be introduced to, again, pick your words, but it’s introduced or connected. You’re not saying, Hey, I’d like to get referred to, or I’m trying to do business with, or send me some referrals. Or I’m looking for clients who it’s like, no, I’m really trying to get introduced to, or connected to people who are, and then fill in the criteria of your avatar.
AJV (06:45):
Do you know anyone that would be a good fit for me to be introduced to? Right? So then you actually have to ask, right? You can’t just leave it hanging of, Hey I’m really looking to get introduced to people, so, you know, let me know. It’s like, no. It’s like, Hey, do you know anyone who fits that criteria? ’cause I would love to meet them, right? So let me ask you a favor, right? Ask for help can I be introduced to or connected to? And that’s where you fill in Step two, you fill in your avatar, your ideal criteria, and then you actually have to make the ask, do you know anyone who fits that criteria? Do you know anyone like that that I could be introduced to? Do you know anyone like that that you could introduce me to? Right? So that’s where you get to soften the language and make it yours.
AJV (07:28):
But those are three simple steps that are gonna allow you to have the tools to go out and ask for referrals. Now, a quick other thing that I wanna share before I wrap this up is if you’re really struggling with all of this and you’re going, ah, formulas don’t work for me, steps don’t work. All this stuff is great, but I don’t know, here’s the simplest thing of all. If you want to get a referral, all you have to do is give one, right? And I’m not telling you to give referrals so that you get them, right? This is not a give to get thing. It’s like there is a, but there is a natural law of reciprocity at play that when you give freely, people wanna return it freely. And so if you’re struggling with like this whole process of building a referral-based business, which is the best way to build a business, by the way, then start with going, who do I know that I can refer you to?
AJV (08:19):
And just proactively go, Hey, I was talking to a friend the other day and they said they were looking for X and I immediately thought of you. Would this be a good contact for you? Right? Or just facilitate introductions. And at some pe some point, some the people are gonna say, you know what? Thank you so much. Is there any way I can help you? Is there anyone you’re looking to meet? And that’s when you need to be ready. So if this whole idea of asking proactively just isn’t your thing, I would encourage you to work on that. But if you’re in that boat right now, then the best next thing that you can do is just go, Hey, how do I open up my, my I almost said Rolodex. We don’t have
AJV (08:55):
Rolodexes anymore. I actually have never had a Rolodex. I don’t know why I thought about that, but I’m gonna open up my contacts and go, who do I know that I can start referring people to? How do I start facilitating connections? ’cause If you do that enough, people are gonna do it back to you in return. So again, the best way to get a referral is to be proactive and giving a referral. So here we are in a new year. It is time to build your business. And the best way to do it is through building a referral-based relationship-based business. And that is how you do it. You learn the art of giving referrals and asking for referrals, and it’ll become a business that you love.

Ep 456: Building Your Referral Based Business with Barb Betts

AJV (00:02):
Hey everybody and welcome to the Influential Personal Brand Podcast. So excited today to have a good friend, Barb Betts on the show. And before we get started, and before I introduce her like I always do, I wanna let you know why you should stick around for this episode and also if you should stick around if it’s for you. But today is one of those episodes where it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are in your personal brain journey, what your business is, if you’re a beginner, if you’re advanced, it does not matter. This is an episode for you. This is universal. It is applicable to every single human because we’re gonna be talking about the power of relationships. And if you do relationships well, how you can use those to grow your business through. My favorite thing in the world, referrals. And it doesn’t matter.
AJV (00:50):
I don’t care what business you’re in most business today, regardless of what you hear out there online is not because somebody found you on a Google search. It’s not because they heard you on a podcast or on Instagram. Most business still today, yes, in 2024 is still done by referral. It’s because someone said, I know who you should meet. I know who you should go to. And that is because you have a great reputation. ’cause You have a great business. And also mostly because you told people about what you do. And please tell your friends, right? Those are referrals. That is the power of it. But referrals only happen when you have great relationships. And so if you wanna grow your business without having to spend paid traffic, money, or advertising, and you wanna have some good freeway of growing your business, then today, right now, this is the episode that you want to listen to.
AJV (01:41):
So now let me introduce you to one of my favorite people. And I love when I get to interview people who are not only do I love and know personally, but who I got to meet through Brand Builders Group, because that gives me this inside track of knowing what their business is all about, what their content is all about. And in fact, I was so excited about what Barb is doing, that I actually had her come and do her referral training to our entire strategist team at Brand Builders Group. So after that happened, I was like, yep, gotta have her on the podcast. This was so good. It was so helpful, it was so actionable. And that’s why she is here on the show today. So Barb is a sought after keynote speaker. She is also a, a tenured and seasoned real estate expert.
AJV (02:27):
She is the CEO of re collective. It’s a boutique brokerage in Southern California, although I am trying to recruit her to Nashville, Tennessee. So we’ll see how well that goes . But she has been speaking on stages all over the country. You’ve got Woman Up, you’ve got the National Association of Realtors, you’ve got the Inman Connect, you’ve got Ram Builders Groups speaker there. But I think what I love most about her is that she actually does what she teaches. She is a practitioner of this art, of building relationships, not to get referrals, but building relationships. And as a byproduct of that, getting referrals. And that’s why I wanted to have her on the show today. So, Barb, welcome.
BB (03:08):
Oh my gosh, aj, thank you so much. I, I can’t tell you how much that introduction means to me. And I agree a thousand percent with every single thing you said. I love it when I’m actually talking to someone who gets it, and I don’t have to convince them to understand why they should listen to this message. So I’m so excited to have this conversation today.
AJV (03:27):
Yeah. You know, I think one of the things that I notice all the time even internally at Brand Builders Group, but also through a long time of doing sales training in my former life, is like everyone knows that getting referrals is a powerful part of your business. But yet there’s this hesitation, there’s this reluctance sometimes for people to do the hard work of asking for referral. And somehow we convince ourselves that meeting strangers on the street or on the internet is somehow easier or better than actually getting referrals from clients, friends, family, or whoever. And so I’d really love to talk to you about, like, as we kind of get started, is a a little bit about the mindset around, even if we know that getting and asking for referrals is one of the fastest ways to grow our business, why don’t people do it? Like, what’s the hangup here?
BB (04:19):
Yeah. Well, I love that. And it is, it is a thousand percent true. And I, you know, I’m in the middle of writing my first book, which I’m very excited about. And as I’m talking to these publishers, I’m telling them like, you know, every single business book out there, every single business book I’ve read, no matter what strategy hack, no matter what system they’re teaching somewhere in the book, it is bound to say at the end of a chapter. But you know what, it’s actually all about relationships. But no one actually tells you how to do it, right? Like, they all know that’s the foundation of every successful business, but very few know how to focus it and make it a priority and and really leverage those relationships. So to your question, what I would say is the issue is that people look at, well, if I’m going to leverage a relationship or ask for a referral from a friend or family member, I’m crossing that line.
BB (05:15):
I’m being salesy. I don’t wanna be pushy. And what I always say is, you will never be a pushy salesman if you’re making it about them. Number one, pushy salespeople make that about themselves. And the reason you are not comfortable asking for that referral, the reason you are not comfortable asking your friends and family is because you haven’t been given permission to do so by yourself. You haven’t built that relationship to a point where you have absolute permission to ask that referral. That’s really what it comes down to. Once you have that permission, once you’ve built up enough in that trust department with that person, you will have no problem calling up AJ and saying, Hey friend, I need your help. Can you do me a favor? And then it just becomes this natural byproduct. ’cause You know, you’ve built that relationship, a real relationship to the level where you get comfortable asking,
AJV (06:13):
Okay, so I love this. So I think this is really important ’cause I think a lot of people talk about building relationships in business, but no one really says, well, what do you mean by that? Like, what is a real relationship? And how do you know when you’ve crossed that threshold of now I have permission to go and ask for help, ask for referrals? Is it like a timeframe? Is it like, is there like some like checklist we can do here? like tell us what, what, what is that?
BB (06:40):
Oh my gosh, that’s so great. So first it starts with the foundation of what I describe as real relationships equal referrals, right? You’ve gotta have real relationships. What does real mean? Well, real is relatable. You engage, you are authentic and you listen. That’s how you build a real relationship. You’re relatable, you engage, you’re authentic, and you listen. And when you do that with enough people over time, you start developing those real relationships. I want you to think about any relationship you have right now, whether it be a friend, whether it be a family member, whether it be your best clients. You probably can go through that framework and go, wow, I’ve done all these things. I am authentic with them. I do engage with them, I do listen. And then it comes down to when you, when you talk about when are you ready to ask for that referral?
BB (07:31):
I like to te teach a simple framework that talks about how you have to make deposits before you make withdrawals. So I talked about that trust account. Right now, there’s no scientific formula, there’s no check the box, but it’s a feeling that you just know. It’s that feeling when you open up your phone and you’re not afraid to text AJ and check in on her and ask her for something or ask her for help, where you’re not afraid to pick up the phone and make that call to that person. And how you do that is you focus on making deposits. And once you’ve made enough deposits, it’s just like a good old bank account friend. You can’t go to the ATM if there’s no balance there to withdraw any money. And so that’s, it’s the same way with relationships. If you have not built up a balance in that, that relationship account, you can’t take any withdrawals.
BB (08:14):
You don’t have permission to ask. And it’s, it’s the, it’s the self-awareness we all need. I do it too, in my career that I came from, before I developed my keynote speaking career and my all my passions to do this, I would open up my phone to text a client and I would look and the last time I text them was a year ago. Hmm. So even if I wanted to ask that client to help me out with something I didn’t have permission to, and I knew it, versus my best clients who I engage with all the time, who I am there for them all the time, I have no problem. Again, calling up AJ and saying, Hey friend, I need your help. Can you help me with something? So really comes down to real relationships and building up that trust account.
AJV (08:58):
Okay. So this is a great topic ’cause I hear this all the time. It’s like, well how many people can you honestly do that with? You know? And it’s like, I even think about myself. It’s like, yeah, it’s like most of the people that I would probably go to to ask for referrals, I’m like, eh, it might have, it might be a minute since I’ve actually last engaged. You know? And so I think a lot of that is like, what are some tips of going like, Hey, here’s how you set up. Like these are the relationships you invest this amount of time in. Not, and again, not to get referrals, but it’s like, hey, these are vested relationships that I’m in gonna be intentional about. And what, how often should we be engaging and what does that look like? And, and then honestly just some ideas around efficiencies of going, when there’s so many things vying for our attention, how do we kind of put some blinders on and go, this is what I’m gonna do with this group of people.
BB (09:48):
I love everything you said. And it does come down to having a system, which is why I built the RELATE framework. And the relate framework starts with the relationship foundation, the relational mindset. It goes into establishing trust, leveraging your network, authentically engaging, taking thoughtful action, and then executing effective systems. That framework is the system. Now, we clearly in this short time in a podcast do not have time to go through the system, but I wanna focus on that LI wanna focus on how you leverage your network. Mm-Hmm. , right? Everyone has a network. You also can connect your network to be a database. A database in my world is a list of relationships. It’s not a mailing list friend. It’s people that you go down that list and you look at them. And if you ran into them in the grocery store, you might recognize who they are.
BB (10:36):
So these are not just a bunch of information you’ve compiled over time inside that network, you have a bunch of people. And you’re absolutely right aj. We cannot focus on all the people the same way. We can’t stay in contact with all the people in the same way. And I have lots of strategies where you can stay in consistent contact for those, if you will lower level people in your database. ’cause What I teach is a ranking system. I teach you to rank your database, rank your relationships, just like we rank restaurants on Yelp and open table and do reviews. And it’s a simple five star system. Hmm. So once you develop that five star system and once you rank those relationships, then I teach a frequency formula for staying in contact with them. Because let’s face it, if I am one of your best clients, you should be in touch with me frequently.
BB (11:26):
If I’m one of your best relationships, you should be in touch with me frequently. And so when I teach the five star system, I teach also a simple frequency formula of five star people. Those are your advocates. Those are your walking talking billboards. You are in touch with them at least once a month. And please understand, these are not five minute phone calls. These are not long drawn out messages. These are simply aj Hey, thinking about you today, how are you and Rory doing? I saw you went on a Disney cruise. How was it? Looks like it was a blast send. That is a connection. Point four star people. These are your raving fans. These are the people that really love you, but they’re just not quite those, you know, referring type people that are constantly sharing you everywhere. Those people you’re in touch with every 60 days, three stars.
BB (12:17):
These are the people that you’re connected to. Those people you’re in touch with every 90 days. Two stars and one star is, two stars are your acquaintances. Every 120 days. And then one star. You can’t have a mailing list. You can have a bunch of information you’ve collected over time from potential clients and customers, but you don’t really know who they are. Mm-Hmm. Those people. That’s your mailing list. That’s your drip campaign or whatever other kind of marketing campaigns. So if you follow that and those advocates, those people that are most likely to refer you if they’re hearing from you 12 times a year in an authentic way where you’re looking to connect and deepen the relationship and you’re making it all about them, I promise you, when it comes time and you need something, you’re gonna be comfortable asking.
AJV (13:03):
Yeah. I love that. And I, you know, it’s interesting because I read somewhere that you, you had mentioned it’s like most people aren’t comfortable asking for referrals ’cause they’re not comfortable with themselves.
BB (13:16):
AJV (13:17):
So, well, and I do think that’s true and a lot of, like, as I think through some of the people that I’m like, if you just asked for referrals, your business would be so much, you know, better in terms of how you feel about how things are going. It wouldn’t be so stressful. So what do you mean by that? It’s like when you think about if you’ve got a reluctance to ask someone for help, right? And in this instance for a referral, then there’s probably a disconnect with yourself. Like, can you walk us through that a little bit?
BB (13:41):
Yeah. It’s the r it’s the relational foundation and the, and the foundation of that is that you cannot have an authentic relationship with anyone else before you have an authentic relationship with yourself. And the reason I say that is because you have to know who you are. You have to know the value you bring to the table. You have to be confident in what you are delivering is something that people need. When people say, I don’t wanna ask my friends and family for a referral, I always turn it around on them in this way, let’s say you are an insurance agent and you don’t tell your friends and family that you need them to connect you to people who need honest advice, good, good plans, not gonna rip them off all the things. And then their friend goes and gets insurance from someone else and gets mistreated, isn’t well taken care of.
BB (14:36):
God forbid the accident happens and they don’t have the coverage they need that’s on you because you weren’t confident enough to ask the friend or family member to en you know, engage with you to deliver that referral so that you could take care of that person. So it all comes down to the confidence within ourselves and, and how we show up. And honestly, aj, most people are taught to show up as a salesperson. Hmm. They’re not taught to show up as who they are, which is why I love the work Brand Builders group does because it teaches people to understand who they are, to understand that they are their marketing department. It is your personal brand is the marketing of the future. And so you can’t have that be a strong marketing department if you don’t love who you are. Hmm. So it all starts with building that authentic relationship with yourself before you can start developing with others. It’s why the first chapter in the book is all about, we gotta shore up our house first, which is us before we can put any kind of system to work.
AJV (15:36):
Yeah. You know, that’s so true. And I can think of so many instances in my life where people have asked me for referrals, and it comes from a genuine place of I know I’m gonna do a fantastic job for them. Like, if, if you refer them to me, I will take care of them. Right. And it gives me a lot of confidence because, you know, the truth is, is people are asking for stuff all the time. Mm-Hmm. . Like, I actually, I’m on a listserv with my EO group, the Entrepreneurs Organization, where basically the entire listserv, does anyone know anyone who does blank? Does it, can anyone refer me someone who blank? It’s like the whole thing that we use it for, it’s like, because why we don’t want to trust a strange company that we found on a Google search. It’s like, no, I wanna know that you use them. And it’s like when you do a really great job, it’s easier for you. Well, and I guess too, it’s like when you believe that you’re gonna do a great job, right? Mm-Hmm. . And perhaps if you, if you’re listening and you’re feeling like, man, I I do not feel comfortable asking for referrals, then maybe you should ask yourself, do you feel comfortable in the service that you’re delivering? Do you feel like it’s a five star experience with what you’re delivering?
BB (16:45):
I could not agree with you more. It all starts with us. It all starts with what we’re doing, how we’re doing it. Loving yourself, knowing that you are really good at what you do, and that you’re gonna take really good care of people because that’s who you are. And then the rest just kind of falls into place from there. But we gotta fix who we are first. I went through a very, how I kind of stumbled honestly across this is I went through a very authentic journey with my hair. Go follow me on social media. You’ll see all about it. And the next thing I heard from everybody was, Barb, you’re so much more confident now all my friends, you’re so much more confident now. And I’m like, I didn’t just put this hair on my head and become confident overnight that person was in me, that I had to learn to love that person. I had to let my own walls down. And you know what? I am more confident calling people now. I am more confident walking into appointments. I am more confident on this podcast as a result. But it’s because I fixed my relationship with myself first. That frankly, I didn’t even know I had a problem with until I discovered it through this authenticity journey, which is why I’m so passionate about authenticity and showing up real.
AJV (17:47):
No, I love that. And I think that is for mo for the, for the most cases. And I bet for the majority of people, the reason you don’t ask for referrals is probably one of two reasons. One, you don’t, you’re not completely convicted and what you’re doing or how you’re doing it, right. Because if you were truly convicted then you would be like, I can’t not. Yeah. I can’t not. Yeah. And there’s so many examples. But you gotta do that deep work. And sometimes until you do the deep work, you’re like, oh wait, what I do is awesome. Yeah. What I do is amazing. And I think a lot of people don’t give themselves enough opportunity to go, no, I do a great job. I do a better job than most. And that means something.
BB (18:30):
Yeah. I, you know, it’s interesting you say that because when I think back to my sales career, there’s so many times early in my career where I’m like, I should be helping more people. I’m really good at what I do. Why am I not helping more people? And I realize it’s ’cause I’m not asking for business. You know, people aren’t lying awake at night deciding and wondering how I’m doing in my business. You think they are, but they’re not. And most people want to help you. That’s why I love in my dialogues, I teach, can you do me a favor? I don’t know anyone who would call me that. I have a real relationship with always that foundation where if they say, Hey Barb, can you do me a favor? Then I’m not gonna be like, absolutely. What do you need? How can I help
AJV (19:13):
Ask? That’s so true. So I think that is like, that’s probably half of the people and then I think the other half of the people genuinely just don’t know how to ask. Yeah. Can we talk about that for second? We absolutely can talk about that. Let’s say you’re that person who goes, I know I deliver a bombshell product or service. I feel great about it. But I don’t really know how to ask. So I don’t, it’s like I want to, but what do I do? What do I say?
BB (19:40):
Well, let’s start with one foundational principle that we haven’t talked about yet. When you are asking someone for business, you are not selling to them. You are selling through them.
AJV (19:51):
Mm. That’s good. Like
BB (19:52):
One thing I wanna talk about, because that’s another reason people are like, well Myer, whoever it is, I don’t want to sell to them. I don’t wanna be a salesperson. You’re not, you know where I came from? I came from the real estate world. I have plenty of friends, family, and clients who are never going to sell their home because they love the home they live in. I’m not calling them to get them to sell their home. I’m selling through them to leverage their network. So when you’re reaching out to that person, it’s, Hey friend, hey aj, whoever it is, and you use those magic words. Can you do me a favor? When you say, can you do me a favor? You instantly have their attention. You instantly have their wanting to help. Then you say something to the effect of, can you do me a favor?
BB (20:36):
You know, and tell them something about what’s going on in your world. Like tell them why you need their help. Tell them you have a great new product you need to roll out. Tell them that the industry is in need of this. And then say something to the effect of when you come across. Because then you’re not making it like, I need that referral right now because Right. How have you ever been in front of a financial advisor that are famous for this, where you sit in front of them and they have a piece of paper and at the end of the appointment they slide it over and say, can you give me three names and phone numbers of people that could use my services? ? No. I don’t even know who the heck you are yet. I’m not giving you three people. Right? That’s being a pushy salesperson.
BB (21:14):
Let’s not do that. But when you say, can you do me a favor? When you come across, insert what you want, you have to be specific about what you want. You can’t just say someone who needs insurance. You’ve got to be specific about what you want. When you come across someone who has a business and doesn’t understand how powerful their personal brand might be, who wants to leverage who they are, who wants to find out all the goodness about them, then I would love you. And then here’s the magic words. Don’t use the word referral. I have seen this time and time again where you say, I need a referral. And no one even knows what it means. How to do it. Like, do they have to be qualified? Do they have to be ready to go? Do they have to be ready to buy?
BB (21:57):
No. I just want you to introduce or connect me to them. Don’t say both words and pick one. I use them interchangeably. But the nice thing about saying, Hey aj, when you come across someone who needs blank, would you do me a favor and introduce us? And then give them a mechanism in a text message, in an email. Give them the way you want them to do it. And guess what? When you teach them how to refer you and you make it easy on them, they’re more willing to do it. And nine outta 10 times they’ll say something like, oh my gosh, I was just talking to a friend at work the other day about this. And all of a sudden you’re getting a referral instantaneously. Which is fantastic, but not always. And sometimes it comes down the road, but using the words, can you do me a favor? And using the magic words, introduce or connect me, have transformed so many businesses of business owners that I’ve worked with.
AJV (22:48):
. I love that. It’s so funny because after you did the training with our team, like half of our team was like, I love that we shouldn’t say the word referral anymore. and I, it really resonated with them.
BB (23:00):
I always like to be clear, a referral is when I teach and train, I use the referral. Every other word. A referral is what you want for sure. Internally, it’s
AJV (23:09):
Not what you ask for is
BB (23:10):
What you ask for. And can you use the word referral? Absolutely. There’s something now if you’re talking to another business owner, they’re gonna know exactly what to do. But when you’re talking to this everyday person in the street, they’re like, how do I do it? When do I do it? And the other thing is, some industries are very locked tight in their rules and regulations. Mm-Hmm. . And the word referral comes with a, what are you gonna do for me? Because it’s all over your doctor’s office. Everywhere you go, give us a referral, you get a hundred dollars off your next service. Some businesses can’t do that. So sometimes using a different word is very helpful in the outcome you receive.
AJV (23:41):
So do you think it’s best to get quality referrals? Do you think it’s best to do it like on a phone call in person? Do you think it’s okay to do it in a text, an email? Like what are some of the mediums that’s most successful?
BB (23:56):
Love that. It goes back to my philosophy of any way that someone can respond to you. Hmm.
AJV (24:01):
That’s good. Meaning.
BB (24:02):
So I call, so when I’m teaching people how to do their activities and how to do their, you know, connection, strategy and their frequency formula, I always say outgoing connections. You’ve got to use your telephone for what it’s meant to be. Outgoing messages. Like you initiate the phone call, you initiate the text message. But here’s the other great part. We have so many other ways in today’s day and age. We have Facebook messaging, we have Instagram messaging, we have video chats, BombBomb, like there’s a million different ways you can do it as long as they have a way to respond to you. So for instance, I’m a big personal note gal. I believe in handwritten notes. I believe in the power of them. It’s another strategy I teach where I teach take thoughtful action. But they can’t, I don’t ask for a referral in a note.
BB (24:46):
Mm-Hmm. they can’t, what are they gonna do? You know, open their mail, set it down and think I need to text her back. No, that’s not a way for them to engage back with you. So I believe you can do it all different ways. I don’t believe it has to be on the phone. I am, I believe that in today’s day and age, sometimes calling people is an interruption and you need permission to call somebody. Like they know you’re gonna call them so that they’re prepared for the phone call and can have a great conversation with you. So really it’s any way that they can respond back to you.
AJV (25:14):
I think that’s so good. And I think that’s true. It’s like if you call someone and you catch ’em completely off guard and they’re like, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m not ready for this. But I think again, all of that is just having a plan and a system which just takes some thought and some intentionality. Well,
BB (25:28):
It’s having a real relationship. ’cause You know them. So I always use the example of my best friend in the world as a kindergarten teacher. So if I’m doing my lead generation calls, if I’m doing my connection plan at Tuesday at 10:00 AM and I call her, she’s gonna answer the phone ’cause I’m her best friend and she’s gonna be like, are you okay? Because she would know that, why would I call and bug her Tuesday at 10:00 AM Mm-Hmm. . But a text message is not intrusive. She can answer that when she has time.
AJV (25:52):
That’s good. I think a lot of that she’s get, again, back to when you know someone, you know their communication habits and preferences and you know what works. Yeah. But I think that comes back to that real relationship of referrals aren’t technically from strangers, they’re from people, you know. So then here that leads to another question then. So if you don’t know someone exceptionally well that they’re a client or they’re a friend or a family member, like how do you go about generating, you know, potential referrals from those people? It’s like, do you have to be BFF with these people? Like do you have to be clients with them? So what’s kind of the dividing line there?
BB (26:32):
The dividing line is that that’s why you apply the connection strategy. When you apply the connection strategy. When you are being in consistent contact with them. You don’t ask them at that nine the first time you message them. You don’t ask them for a referral. You’re just simply trying to make their day. I have a mindset of your outgoing connection plan when you are doing your, if you will, see, to me, lead generation is not just asking for business. You’re gonna ask for business when the time comes and the time’s. Right? Mm-Hmm. . But there’s another strategy I teach. When you’re not comfortable with someone, you simply just check in on them. You do exactly what I said. Hey aj, you know, saw you went on vacation. How was it? You’re gonna likely respond back even if we don’t have a deep rooted relationship. You know who I am.
BB (27:10):
So you’re gonna respond back and be like, oh my god, Barb, it was so great. The kids had such a great time. And then you might say something like, Hey, how are you? Like, I always teach people, sometimes we are not taking the opportunity to ask when they’ve given us permission to mm-hmm. , right? The second someone says, how are you? They just don’t, they don’t just wanna know how your vacation was. They wanna know how you are. And this is your opportunity to ask for that business or to tell them what’s going on in your business to remind them what you do to remind them what’s going on in your industry. So you do not have to have that deep rooted relationship. Sometimes you’re given permission to now if you’re not, and if they just respond back and say, oh my God, it was great.
BB (27:49):
Thanks for checking in. Hope you guys are doing well. Great. You log that. I’m a big tracker of activity. I’m a big believer of you cannot measure what you do not track, which is what I teach in the effective systems category. You’ve gotta track what you do. And so you’re gonna track that as a connection. Great. You made a connection to aj. Then 90 days later, if you use a good CRM like I teach you to 90 days later it’s gonna pop back up and tell you guess what time to connect with AJ again. You’re gonna connect with AJ again and before you know it, you’re gonna start showing up in their life so that you get that permission to ask for the business. But layered in throughout that entire process and throughout your entire database is a concept of you’ve got to be marketing to them.
BB (28:31):
There is still good old fashioned marketing. You’ve gotta have valuable marketing in front of them that positions you as the best in your industry. Because I believe that people do not do business with you till they know you like you and trust you. Everyone knows that. But what people don’t understand is there’s a gap between like and trust. Just because someone knows you and likes you, they don’t necessarily trust you as a professional till you give them a reason to. So layering And it’s like, it’s like a layering plan. It’s like a farmer. They don’t just, you know, water and get, you know, crops. They have to fertile this. They have to create the soil, they have to aerate it, they have to lay the seeds, they Right. It’s a layering effect. Yeah. So this system, relationship marketing does not work overnight. It, that’s number one does not work overnight. But what I can promise you is you start doing this now and you do this enough over time, you will get to the point where you have to do nothing else. Which is when you know you’ve really made it. It’s when your business feels good, you love doing it. You love who you’re doing it with. And so you can get to that point with, with, if you will, I wouldn’t say strangers, but people that don’t know you as well as you might know your other people. Yeah.
AJV (29:41):
And I love that. And I think one of the things that I kinda wanna circle back to, ’cause so much of what you’re talking about is as the person who is trying to generate business, you really have to know exactly who you wanna be introduced to. Yes. You have to know who you wanna be referred to. Like everything you just said, it’s like you can get to the point where you love what you do all day, every day. And you love who you do it with. Well, you know what, you get to create that. Yeah. Like if you’re getting referrals from people that you’re like, man, I just want 10 more people like you or 20 more people like you. It’s like they likely know them. Yeah. So it’s like, but we gotta know exactly who it is that we’re looking for. And I don’t think most of us spend, spend near enough time going, these are the demographics and psychographics of my ideal client. This is who it’s easy for me to serve, it’s natural for me to serve. It doesn’t even feel like work. But then I think the other part is, I think often many of us have so much scarcity mindset that we take any lead, any referral off the street. Yeah. And then we’re miserable. Yeah. And we have built a business full of people that we’re like, man, I I I don’t love this. Yes.
BB (30:44):
Well, I always say when those people come up in your database and you like want to avoid them like the plague, they’re not a relationship. You need to move them down in your database. But you are so correct. You have to know exactly who you are talking to and exactly what you want and what you said about I just want 10 more of you. I use that all the time. I always say, you know what, good people, no good people. Mm-Hmm. . And you guys were incredible. This is what I usually do at like the closing or the you got the contract signed or they bought the service and just say, listen, it has been such a pleasure getting you to this point. I really love people like you. Like you guys light up my business. So I need you to do me a favor.
BB (31:26):
Can you duplicate yourself? Who else do you know that’s just like you? And I promise you that works. ’cause They do know good people just like them. And then they also know that the other people that they’re not gonna refer you to because they’re not nice humans. Right. And so I think knowing who you are, and that’s why I love the work that Brand Builders group does, is that it really does help you niche down to who that ideal client avatar is. And it doesn’t mean that you don’t serve people on the peripheral. It doesn’t mean that they, if they fit a little bit outside of the demographic that they’re not still gonna be great clients. But it does help you get laser focused in who you’re looking for and asking for. For sure.
AJV (32:05):
Well, and for the person who’s being asked, when you’re clear, it makes it so much easier for me to go, I know exactly someone that you need to meet. I know exactly who you need to talk to. I just, like, as you were talking, I was thinking about two recent experiences that I had in different, you know, business, you know, kind of association groups. And both of them happened probably within a few weeks of each other. And this one woman was doing like a general ask in like a, a group setting for referrals. And her business was hyp hypnotic weight loss. And she was talking about how it’s like, this could work with anyone who has had problems of, you know, historical problems, of trying all these different fad diets and they just don’t work. And she was like, so anyone that you know who was looking to lose weight, I would love, I would love to hear from you.
AJV (32:58):
And I thought to myself, I know like a thousand people who’d like to lose weight, but it’s like, I don’t know anyone that would probably be like hypnosis. I wanna try that . Right? And so I was like, I mean I probably do, let me think about it because my mind was going like, do I know anyone that if I referred them to a hypnotic weight loss clinic, but they think I’ve lost my mind? Then a few weeks later, it was in another like, business group setting and this woman stood up and she does I think it was like some sort of like emotional therapy around healing let’s be emotions then headed into weight loss. And she was talking, and I like, literally as she was talking, she was like, this is the person that I was born to serve. It is the woman who is most likely a mother.
AJV (33:47):
She has most likely put herself second for far too long. She is working and she is pulled in many directions. She has gone up and down with her weight for her entire life. This is someone who has struggled with it since childhood. She went on and on and on. And literally as she was talking, I was like, I know two people you have to meet. Like I have two people that I need them to meet you. And it was like Ashley was talking, it was like, I almost got emotional of going like, if you could genuinely help this person, I know it would be life changing for so many people in our lives. And the first one I was going, I mean maybe, but I don’t know. And this, and it was like, they were very similar conversations and they were both kind of non-traditional methods. But the second one, she was so clear on her and she, the way she described the person, it was like she was describing this person I know in my life. And I was like, how do I get them in touch with you? Like, what do I do?
BB (34:45):
She painted the picture in your brain. She painted the picture of someone that you know, and that you are absolutely crap. You have to be specific. You cannot be general. Because generality is going to get you nowhere because I’m not gonna be able to think of that person. I hate the word anyone. . Anyone. Anyone, anyone. So like this guy walking down the street in front of my house right now, like, you want me to go out, see if he needs a personal brand. ,
AJV (35:11):
Maybe, maybe. I don’t even
BB (35:13):
Know if he has a business. Right? Like yeah. It, it definitely being specific. And then again, this is all about planting the seed. This is all about, you know, the person may not know someone right now, but you’ve now planted that who in their brain so that when they do come across that person, they’re gonna be like aj. The number one thing that, again, the valuable marketing, developing the trust, everything else that I teach gets you to, is top of mind awareness. Yeah. You wanna be the first person they think of in the category you serve. If you can get to that point with enough people, you, I promise you will have more business than you know what to do with and when you can figure out, and this is a whole nother conversation for another day, but when you can figure out who those referring type people are, like barbettes, when you get enough of me in the world who’s a natural born referer and connector
AJV (36:00):
Promoter. Promoter, yeah. You need promoters. Listen,
BB (36:04):
I just have to know who you want and I will connect you with more people than you probably not can handle. ’cause We all want more business, but you’re gonna have a very successful, thriving business. And it gets down to my number one outcome I love to create for people. I always say that salespeople, people in sales, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a business owner, or just on a sales team, most people love what they do. They love serving the client they love providing the value and transforming someone’s life. I don’t know any salesperson that doesn’t love the product or the service they sell. Mm. Most salespeople hate how they have to do it. Mm. They hate the generating of the leads the way they think they have to do it. And when you start learning to love building relationships and having all of this communication and conversations and everything that I’ve talked about and you love what you do, then you have a business that you wake up to every day and you are ready to serve, you’re ready to go. You live a better life. It’s just a better way to do business. It’s a better way to live your life.
AJV (37:07):
I love that. You know, and one of the things that you said certainly earlier that you just made me think of is knowing how to ask of the medium. Like as you were just talking, it’s like I was literally putting myself in the shoes of how often I get asked for stuff. Like, Hey, do you know anyone who you know builds websites can do blah, blah, blah? You know, all the time. Right. And I, one, I’m a promoter as well. I love to refer good talent because I know it’s really hard to find really great talent. And you know, it’s like made me think about this story I just shared about like these two, you know, totally similar but polar opposite examples and the first one. So they were just like, yep, you just give me names, emails, and phone numbers. And I was like, probably not doing that.
AJV (37:51):
But the second one when she was like, Hey, and I, I literally approached her and said, I do know someone how, how do I connect you? And she goes, actually, it’s never good to just connect someone that you think needs to lose weight. And I was like, that’s great idea. Don’t, I should not do that. So what, what do you do here? And she goes, I have a great strategy. Just tell me who they are. I will connect them on Facebook. I will tell them how much you were talking about them today and say, I was so impressed with the way that AJ talked about you. I looked you up on Facebook and wanted to connect. I’m like, I am. It’s brilliant. And it made me think about when you really know what you do, love what you do, you’re convicted in what you do and you know who you’re meant to serve. It’s like you also know how to approach the person. And it took so much pressure off of me. All I had to do is give the name and say Yep, that’s the person on Facebook that that’s them. Yeah. And she said, I got it from here. I’ll let you know. Yeah. And I’m like, could not be easier in the world. And that’s, I think a part of it. You’ve gotta make it easy for me to give you a referral.
BB (38:52):
Yeah. It’s, it’s so, you’re so true. That’s why I love the introductions and I teach in my world, I teach people just, you know, introduce us in a group text message and I’ll take it from there. Right. It very simple. I’ll take it from there. Just open up your phone and say, Hey aj, hey Barb, you guys need to know each other. This is who AJ is, this is who Barb is. I’ll let you two take it from here and let me do my work from there. It’s my job to then take it from there. It’s not send ’em to a website, have ’em fill out a form, have ’em take a questionnaire and then blah, blah blah, blah, blah. No, it’s as simple as find the mechanism to make the introduction. And if it is something as simple, ’cause you know, weight loss I would agree is something very personal.
AJV (39:30):
BB (39:30):
It’s kind of like me texting AJ going, aj you know what? You really could lose some weight and I’ve got the person for you. I know that sounds awful . Like, don’t do that. Right.
AJV (39:40):
But I love that. It’s like, you know, it’s like it made it so easy and simple and I’m like, well that’s all I have to do. I probably could think of some more people. Right. And it’s like a lot of that is the easier it is that you make it, the easier it is for me to just go ahead and take action. Yeah. Right. And so I know that we’re almost outta time here, but there’s like two other quick things that I wanna talk about because I do think this plays a huge role and a lot of like how we just functioned today. And you mentioned it earlier when you said like, you know, Facebook and, you know, different social media. So how, how does social media play a role in the building, maintaining of relationships, but referrals? Like how does that all work together? What do you see?
BB (40:21):
Social media is the biggest gift given to anyone in sales in modern times. You’re just not using it effectively. Hmm.
AJV (40:27):
Love that.
BB (40:27):
First thing I recommend is you go through your list of relationships and you make sure you are connected to and following and friending every single person in your ecosystem. And then you start paying attention and then you start having conversations. I I, when I teach social media, I in the authentically engaged section of Relate, I always tell people there’s two ways to do social media. One is of course posting and posting reels and things like that. And that’s great to find people you don’t, stories is where you wanna live. For the people that you do know. Stories is the most effective way that I know that you can broadcast to your entire list of relationships in one conversation and stories, if they’re done correctly, start conversations. And I can’t tell you how many conversations, outgoing connections, dms I have done through stories. It is powerful because it’s the best way to stay in touch on, stay in touch with someone in their life.
BB (41:26):
‘Cause They’re sharing it and someone can stay in touch with you in your life and know what you’re doing on a daily basis. I always say the simple strategy of document your day, what do you do from morning to night? Four or five stories. It will start conversations you never could have imagined. So social media is a gift. It’s a gift if it’s used effectively. And it has to be a system. It has to be something you do consistently. Nothing that I have said is going to work if you do it one time. People are like, well, I did the referral thing, I did the introduction thing, I asked and I got nothing. I’m like, oh great. You did it one time. Yeah. I called them once a year. I haven’t called them in 13 months and they still haven’t given me a referral. I don’t understand why doesn’t work like that. .
AJV (42:10):
Well, and I love that too. It’s like, and I think there’s so much of this is such a mentality shift, right? It’s a mentality shift of do you believe that your product or service actually helps other people? And if you do, then it is a requirement of you to tell people about it. Right? It it like, and it’s like, I I think that’s a mentality shift. I think what you just said is a mentality shift of like, social media is a gift. I cannot tell you how many people I hear on a daily basis. Like, social media’s the devil, it’s the devil . I’m like, why do you say that? I’m like, and they’re, I’m like, devil,
BB (42:45):
Because how you’re using it, it’s,
AJV (42:46):
Yeah. And I love that. It’s like if you treat it like a business tool, then it will help your business. Right? And it’s like, if you’re only following a bunch of like horrible newsfeed, well then it probably does feel like the devil, right? It’s, but it’s like all about how you use it. And I love that this approach of like, it’s a gift. It’s a way to maintain relationships, stay in touch with people, start conversations. So I, I would love to hear from you like what are some effective things to be posting in this relationship maintenance kind of realm?
BB (43:19):
Yeah. Well, I always say back to what you were saying, people are telling you everything you need to know online. The question is, are you listening? Mm. Are you going to social media to listen and engage? Are you going just to social media to promote yourself?
AJV (43:33):
Love it. There’s
BB (43:34):
A huge difference there. So what can you post? Well, you need to make sure, and, and you’re gonna love this because this is all goes down to your personal brand. Social media needs to be 90% about you as a human who happens to do blank. Mm-Hmm. and 10% actual selling. Like 10% the content about what you actually do. If you make 90% of a about who you are as you go throughout your day. Which is why I love stories so much. Because in stories you should be working typically Monday through Friday, let’s just call it nine to five. That is not unusual for you to be doing your craft and talking about what you’re doing nine to five. So you can throw up, if you will, everything that you’re doing in your day and in your business because people expect you to be at work.
BB (44:23):
Yeah. And then when you get into the evening and the morning time, it’s a little bit more of your personal life. And when you start showing off what you’re doing in a thoughtful way, that’s when people start to get obsessed with what you do. And they learn very clearly what you do. And then if you a adopt a real strategy, and there’s plenty of really great social media experts out there and gurus that teach this, but if you adopt a real strategy where you’re actually creating content for your ideal client, now you’ve got this whole mechanism to generate other leads. ’cause I am not saying that relationship based marketing is the only way to do business and that you should drop everything else that you’re doing. I’m saying that you should get to the point where you don’t have to do mm-Hmm.
AJV (45:01):
a traditional, that’s good.
BB (45:02):
But everything in business works if you do it consistently. You just have to do it consistently. So if you do a real strategy to start attracting some other business, some if you will, cold, not really cold, but people you don’t know, strangers, to your point now you’ve got this really healthy balance of focusing on relationships and driving some attention to. ’cause If I promise you, if you jump into the reals world and you know who your ideal client is and you position it correctly, I’m seeing some significant growth in businesses using reels and social media and combining it with talking to the people that you already know.
AJV (45:38):
I love that. And I think, again, everyone who’s listening, it’s like if you, if you’re one of those people that’s like, oh, I hate social media, it’s like shift your mindset around though this is a business tool. So treat it like one. All right, last question and the, the last couple of minutes we have here, and I think this is I think this will be applicable to a lot of people, and I, and I hope that this is helpful, but one of the things that I hear a lot is, well, my business is new, so I don’t have any clients to ask for referrals from. So what do I do then? So what is your advice to the person who’s in a new endeavor? They maybe don’t have any clients yet, and they’re going, yeah, I’d love to have a referral based business. But they’re, I don’t have any of that tangible proof yet. I don’t have any longstanding clients. What’s your advice to them?
BB (46:30):
You absolutely do have a database. ’cause You have a list of relationships. I don’t want you in any way, shape or form to think anything I said is just for past clients. It’s for your list of relationships. It’s for the people who already know you and like you. So that’s the first thing you’re gonna do. You’re gonna create a database of people that know you and like you, I always tell new business owners, the best way to do this is think about your getting married or think about your daughters having a baby or whatever it may be, or your holiday card list. Like who would you send an important thing in your life to? That is your database. That is,
AJV (47:05):
That’s good. I love that holiday list tip. It’s like they’re on your Christmas card list and you’re on, they’re on your database. They,
BB (47:12):
You, you have, I hope you’re not sending Christmas cards to random strangers. That would be weird. So you have a list of relationships, start there. That’s a
AJV (47:20):
Great place to start.
BB (47:21):
And what I want you to do is simply rank those relationships by level of relationship even though that you have not done business with them. Just who do you know the best in your life Down to who’s like, eh, that’s my husband’s colleague at work, their family. Mm-Hmm. . And we met them at the barbecue three years ago. Okay. Rank them. And then you’ve got to do something in that gap. When I talked about the know, like, and the gap before, trust, trust, I want you to think of in two categories. I want you to think of it as personal credibility, show up on time, honest, trustworthy, and then professional competence. Good at what you do. You need to create a valuable marketing plan to start getting in front of people so that they learn that you, your new business, your new endeavor, you do know what you are doing.
BB (48:08):
Mm. But I promise you, the foundation of people that already know you and like you and love you as a human or loved you in your past life are gonna be the first people to trust you if you give them a reason to. But you have to start giving them a reason to. And you also need to call those people, those five star people and just be honest with them. Be honest with them. Hey, I need your help. You know, I’ve started this new business. This is who my ideal client is. When you come across someone, can you introduce, start asking the question. You’ll be amazed if they loved you for who you are. They’re gonna love you for what you do now. And some businesses that might take more time, don’t get me wrong. Some businesses you just became, you know got your series seven and you’re gonna be a financial advisor. Well, yeah, before I refer you, someone with a million dollar portfolio, that might take a little bit more time. Yeah. But if you start laying the foundation now, you will reap the reward in the end. But you’ve gotta start with that list of people that already know you and like you. And then remember what I talked about? The gap. That gap you’ve gotta close into trust.
AJV (49:09):
Yeah. This is so good. This is so helpful. And if you’ve been a hermit for the last three years, it’s time to come out of your shell. . Time to pick up the phone, get back out in public, right? Yes. It’s time to put on. You cannot
BB (49:21):
Be a secret salesperson. , you could not be a undercover agent. That does not work.
AJV (49:27):
I love this. Barb, if people wanna connect with you where should they go? And I know that you have this awesome lead magnet. We’ll talk about it in a second. And if you guys are like a lead magnet, it’s like, yeah, if you guys want to get some really awesome free stuff, you can sign up for that. It’s a free lead magnet. But before we talk about that, if people just wanna like, follow you, get to know you, like, where should they go?
BB (49:49):
Instagram’s my jam. I love Instagram. I’m on Instagram every day in the story. So just my name at Barb Betts, also Facebook, of course, LinkedIn. I’m on all the platforms underneath my name. I love new conversations. I love talking to new people. So as they say, I know this is, I gotta figure aj, we, we together need to figure out another way to say, slide into my dms. Like I cannot stand that, but I totally appear in my dms, surprise me in my dms. Oh, wow.
AJV (50:20):
Yes. That’s awesome.
BB (50:22):
But yeah,
AJV (50:24):
Well, I would second like, follow on Instagram. What’s your Instagram handle
BB (50:27):
At Barb Betts?
AJV (50:29):
At Barb Betts. And we’ll put that in the show notes. I follow you on Insta, so I, I would highly recommend it. And then as I mentioned, there’s also this awesome free resource that Barb has made available. And if you go to barb betts.com/authenticity you can sign up for this free, awesome resource. So, Barb, tell us what it is.
BB (50:51):
Yeah. So it starts with back to that first pillar of the foundation, of the framework, the relational mindset. And it starts with, you can’t have an authentic relationship with anyone else. So you have ’em with yourself. So it’s my authenticity blueprint that will get you on your way to building that authentic relationship with yourself and goes through my framework on how to do that. So you can start showing up as the real you and start impressing and infecting everyone with all your goodness so that they’re compelled to work with you.
AJV (51:16):
Love that. So go to bar beds.com/authenticity. This has been a fantastic conversation. All of you should have a little bit of a new renewed enthusiasm for getting out there and getting referrals. And a stick around for the recap episode. We’ll talk more about it there. And we will catch you next time on the influential Personal brand. We’ll see you later.

Ep 455: The Secret to Self-Worth | Erwin McManus Episode Recap

RV (00:07):
Hey, brand builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out this interview. As always, it’s our honor to provide it to you for free, and wanted to let you know there’s no big sales pitch or anything coming at the end. However, if you are someone who is looking to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and get to know you a little bit and hear about some of your dreams and visions, and share with you a little bit about what we’re up to, to see if we might be a fit. So if you’re interested in a free strategy call with someone from our team, we would love to hear from you. You can do that at brandbuildersgroup.com slash podcall brand buildersgroup.com/pod call. We hope to talk to you soon.
RV (00:52):
What a powerful conversation with the legendary Erwin McManus. I mean, this guy is one. He is, I think one of the wisest teachers that we’ve got in on the planet today. And just so honored to get to become his friend, you know, have him become a client, get to interview him here for you. And, and you can just, you can just see that there is a just a level of spiritual wisdom, like spiritual intelligence and, and emotional intelligence from knowing how the world operates and knowing how people operate and how, how we’re wired and what are the things that we do to self-sabotage, and what are the things that we can, we can do to increase the likelihood of our success. And so I wanna, I want to recap and, and extend a couple of the things that I learned from Irwin in that specific interview that are sticking with me.
RV (01:47):
And, and also, you know, when I think of the mindset shifts that need to take place, of course, we, you know, the interview was promoting his, his, his book mind Shift. And when I think of some of the key mindset shifts that need to take place for someone to build a great personal brand, be a great entrepreneur, and, and really maximize and achieve their God-given potential I wanna I wanna share three of those with you today that, that were kind of inspired by Erwin. So first one is, I loved when he was talking about don’t be a prisoner of praise. I really align with that. I think so many of us are playing for the applause of others. And in reality, I think the applause you should be playing for, first of all, for me, it should be your Heavenly Father, right? It should be this idea that when we get to heaven, he, he says, you know, job well done, right?
RV (02:48):
Like, you loved me, you loved others, and that’s it. Now, separate from that, I, I think it’s playing really for yourself and not meaning that you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re self-centered in the sense of like, you only care about winning yourself. But I think what, what matters is that you need to be proud of yourself. You need to be proud of yourself. It really shouldn’t make that much difference to you. I don’t think about how other people think of you. And I think some people go their whole lives trying to make like their, their alcoholic parent proud of them. And it’s like, it’s never gonna happen. And it has nothing to do with you. It has to do with them. And why are you spending so much energy and time seeking the approval of somebody else who caress about the approval of someone else? You know what?
RV (03:42):
You don’t need to be successful in life. You don’t need the approval of other people. What you need to be is proud of yourself and confident enough to step forward and do the thing that you feel called to do. Like in some places, there are certain requirements. In some places, there are certain prerequisites, you know, for, for steps that you can take seeking having other people’s approval often is not one of them. And specifically, you know, it’s like an ex-boyfriend or, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a bully in high school, or it’s, it’s like these people who we allow to control our lives by allowing their influence that they once had on us to hold us today stagnant and still stuck in a place of mediocrity when we should be pursuing and expanding and achieving our potential. So I want you to focus on being proud of yourself.
RV (04:39):
And part of being proud of yourself is, is why in my first book, take the Stares, right? We say all the time, like, put your self-esteem in your work habits, not in your results. Like, being proud of yourself is not going, oh, you know, I have a million followers, or I made a million dollars. It’s, it’s being proud of the work that you’re putting in. It’s acknowledging yourself for the things that you’re doing that nobody else sees. And that’s why you have to be your number one cheerleader. You’ve gotta be the person who goes, even if the results aren’t there yet, I’m doing the work, right? I mean, I remember when, when I was speaking 304 times for free at the, you know, in these Perkins restaurants and in these like, you know, trashy comedy clubs on a Tuesday night. Nobody was there giving me applause, but I knew that, I said, you know, if I’m doing this one day, I’m gonna be speaking on stages in front of arenas of people, and it’s, I’m paying the price now to earn that, right?
RV (05:39):
Right. Like when I was, you know, creating my first book proposal and I was writing out the manuscript no, nobody was leaving Amazon reviews saying, oh, this life, this book is life changing. Nobody was there cheering me on, right? Like, well, some, some people were right. I’ve been fortunate to have, you know, my wife, my, my family in very supportive environment. So I I, I have had people cheering me on, but the, the person that matters most is you. You gotta be the person cheering yourself on. When I was in college and people were slamming the doors in my face like I was going, well, that’s okay. I know that if I talk to enough people, somebody’s gonna buy, I’m gonna get paid for every door that is slammed in my face. If I just keep going, you gotta be the person cheering you on.
RV (06:21):
And that’s how you need to think about it. When I say put your self-esteem in your work habits, right? Like, one of the things that I did when I was in college was you know, my, my first summer when I was going door to door, I made like $17,000. And I figured out, you know, that I knocked on whatever it was like th like, there was like 3000 doors, you know, that I had knocked on. And there were like 3000 doors that had slammed the door on me, and we used to keep track of them, right? And so what I, what what I found out is like, oh, I made $17,000 and I, I knocked on 3000 doors, or that told me no, what most people do is they think of going, oh, you know, I had however many hundred, a few hundred customers, and those are the people who paid me.
RV (07:03):
But the game that I played, and I actually wrote a song about this so I’ll, I’ll I sing for you, is I figured out that I actually made $4 every time someone slammed the door on me. ’cause I made $17,000 total in the summer. I knocked on 3000 doors of people who told me no. So that is $4. So rather than thinking, oh, I make money when I make a sale in my, my second summer, I played this game, and whenever somebody would slam the door on me, I would sing the song. I would say, I make $4 because you holler at me, baby every time, every time I you holler, I make four more dollar for me rv. I make lots of money because you yell at me. Thank you for slamming the door on me. Woo-Hoo. Like, that was the silly song that I was singing, and I would actually sing it out loud between doors, right?
RV (07:58):
So if, if somebody had been following me, and every time I knocked on a door they handed me that every time someone slammed the door on my face, if someone handed me $4, I’d be like, that’s amazing. I’m gonna go knock on another door and see if they’ll slam the door on me too. And then here’s $4, here’s $4. That is how it was, right? That is how it is. You’re getting paid for every rejection you’re getting paid for every setback you’re getting paid for. Every time you fail, you’re getting paid for every time. It doesn’t work out. The problem is, there’s nobody standing there handing you the four bucks. You gotta be the one, right? You gotta be the person handing yourself $4. You gotta be the one cheering yourself on. You have to be your the number one cheerleader of your own life.
RV (08:41):
You gotta be reminding yourself, I’m getting paid for all of the work that I’m putting in right now that nobody else sees. If you can’t cheer yourself on, then you’re never gonna make it, because no one’s gonna be there to applaud you. No one’s gonna be there to cheer for you when you’re failing. The only person that’s gonna be there is you and God is. So you better learn how to cheer yourself on. You better figure out a way to play a game or have a mindset shift, or use affirmations or have a mental, you know, paradigm that says, I just made four bucks. I just made 20 bucks. Every time someone slams the door on me, every time someone tells me no, every time I don’t get booked for this, I don’t get invited to that. I’m getting paid. Like, and, and you have to be that person going, I don’t care if I’m not winning right now. I’m putting in the work.
RV (09:31):
I’m doing what it takes. And even if the results never come, I’m so proud of myself. I’m so proud of myself for working when nobody’s watching. I’m so proud of myself for hustling when there is no applause, I’m so proud of myself, right? And then, you know, one day I get inducted into the professional speaking hall of fame when I’m 37 and everyone’s clapping going, oh, you know how cute this guy is so young. And it’s like, dude, I’ve been getting, I’ve been getting rejected and slammed for 20 years, so I might be young in age time, but I’m old in stage time. I’m old in rejection, I’m old in setback. I’ve experienced massive failure and I just cheered myself on through it. And that’s what I would hope for you, right? Because at the end of the day, you won’t care about being in the Hall of fame or having millions of dollars, millions of followers, or been invited to this, that, or whatever.
RV (10:24):
What you’ll be, what you have for the rest of your life is you, you will always be there with you. And so how you think of yourself is what matters, what other people think of you that doesn’t matter. But how you think of yourself matters. You need to be your, your your number one cheerleader. You need, you need to be the person that whose praise that you’re seeking. I want you to work so hard that you become proud of yourself. So that’s a mind mental mindset, mindset shift that needs to happen. Number two, you know, I loved when Irwin said this. He said, at first, you always feel like a fake, right? Whenever you start something new, you feel like a fake. Here’s what you need to know. Here’s what you need to understand. If you’re, if you’re new to something, you’re not a fake, you’re just a beginner, you’re not a fake, you’re just a beginner, right?
RV (11:17):
The first time you pick up a camera to do a photo shoot or edit a video, and you’re like, man, I don’t know what to do. Like, you’re not a fake, you’re just a beginner. Or maybe you’re the person on the other side of the camera and you’re recording your first reel and you’re like, oh my gosh. Like, I don’t, I don’t look anything like Alex Hormoze or Tony Robbins or you know, Oprah. And I’m like, I feel like such a fake, you’re not a fake, you’re not a fake, you’re just a beginner. That’s it. And you can’t, you can’t look at a master and compare what they’re doing with you as a beginner, but just because you’re not yet a master doesn’t mean you’re a fake. They were that way too. I promise you, I promise. Every, every New York Times bestselling author once felt like a fake, every Hall of fame speaker once felt like a fake, every eight figure entrepreneur once felt like a fake ev.
RV (12:02):
Every actor once felt like a fake. Every celebrity once felt like a fake, especially the bigger the goals you’re pursuing, the more you feel like a fake, because the more impossible it feels, and the fewer people around you there are that have ever done that, right? Like you, you might feel like a fake. You’re not a fake, you’re not a fake, you’re just a beginner. You’re just learning. You’re just starting. Give yourself grace again. Be proud of yourself for trying and keep going and, and, and, and, and celebrate your own wins. Be your own cheerleader. Be proud of yourself. You’re not a fake, you’re just a beginner. And then the third thing, you know, Irwin brought this up, which, which I always love when people that are super successful and are like living legends when they talk about this, you know, Irwin said, take the posture of an amateur, take the posture of an amateur.
RV (13:01):
You know, the way, the way that I process that is to go, you have to be willing to always be a beginner. Be willing to always be a beginner. Probably my most famous quote from my first take the Stairs book is, success is never owned. Success is rented, and the rent is due every day. Part of why I said that success is never owned, it’s rented, and the rent is due every day is because it’s true. It’s like, even if you’re a master, you can still be a beginner, right? Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, like you, you hear the stories of how hard they practice. You know, you, you, you of about the amount of energy and time they are Steph Curry shooting free throws and shooting three pointers. Like, yeah, he is a master, and he’s still doing it every single day. He’s paying the rent every single day.
RV (13:50):
You, you, and you, excuse me. You see that behavior modeled by the most successful people in the world in all walks of life. The ones who continue to climb. They allow themselves to always be a beginner, be willing to be a beginner. Most people don’t wanna be a beginner because it makes ’em feel like a fake. That’s why it’s so important to realize you’re not a fake. You’re, you’re just a beginner. And it’s okay to be a beginner, right? When I, when I try to play the piano or the guitar, I feel stupid. I’m like, I don’t know what to do. I’m not, I I don’t get this right? Like, if I’m cooking in the kitchen, I feel stupid. I’m not stupid. I’m just a beginner. I just haven’t done it much. I’ve lent my time and my attention and my energy to other things.
RV (14:38):
And one of my all time famous, not famous quotes, one of my all time favorite quotes, and I believe it was Mark Twain who said this, this is who I attribute to it, is Mark Twain said, every man is my superior in some way. Every man is my superior in some way. That’s so true. And that gives you grace for yourself. And it also puts things in perspective when you meet other people and you go, wow, I really admire, you know, this person, they’re so funny, or they’re such a great leader, they’re a great speaker, or a great mom, or a great dad, or they’re a great cook. Or, or, you know, they’re in super in shape. And it’s like, doesn’t mean that person’s better than you, it just means that they’re, they, they are your, they are your superior in some way, but there’s other ways that they’re not right?
RV (15:26):
Like their marriage might be a mess, or their finances might be a mess, or they might be struggling with self-confidence, or they’re not as spiritually centered as you are, or they just, you know, they have different skill sets there. There’s not like a ranking system where we go one human is better than another in, in all things, but in, in some ways, they are right. Every man is my superior in some way. And you know what that also means? That likely means that you are superior to every other man in some way, right? There’s something that you do. There’s something that you, there’s at least one thing in your life that you know more about or you do a better job of than everybody else, a a around you. And so it creates this unequal, it creates this equal playing field by realizing that we all have unequal talents.
RV (16:12):
We have, we have non proportionately distributed talents. That’s called uniqueness. That’s called God’s divine design for your life. That’s called your, your, your blessing, that you were born to do something that only you can do. So lean into those things and realize, yeah, you, you might become a master, you might become an expert. There are some things where it’s like, I am a master. That there, there are just some things. And that’s why, you know, we try to, we try to teach the things that we’re really good at. And if you wanna build your personal brand, like, gosh, you’re gonna be hard pressed to find anyone better in the world that can teach it to you than us. Like we’re really good at this. Anybody who wants to become a speaker or an author, or a coach, or who wants to speak or write or teach as a way of generating leads for their business, I mean, we spend our whole life doing this, but if you want me to like, change your oil or cook you a meal, or like give you parenting tips, like I’m not the guy, I’m, I’m not the master in that every man is your superior.
RV (17:14):
Every woman, each is, is your superior in some way. So that should both help you put an appropriate level of, of praise on other people and an appropriate level of grace on yourself. And, and have a balance of both confidence and humility to know that each, each man is my superior in, in some way. But if you do those things right, a lot of this comes down to, to going, you gotta be proud of yourself. You gotta find a way to celebrate yourself. You gotta be the person who believes in you. You gotta be the person who cheers you on. You gotta be the person who says when, even when no one else is watching, when no one else is clapping, when no one else is paying attention. You go here by myself in this moment when I’m alone, I’m learning the things and I’m doing the work, and I’m surrounding myself with the people who are gonna help me do the things that I want do that I feel called to do one day.
RV (18:11):
And so if, and if building a personal brand is that thing for you, request a call with us. Will you please talk to our team? This is, this is something that we, we know something about and we’ve got a track record and we’re working with some of the most amazing people in the world, like Erwin McManus, and you know, just go to free brandand call.com/podcast, request a call, talk to someone on our team, and between now and then be cheering yourself on. Find a way to be proud of you. We’ll catch you next time on the Influential Personal Brand Podcast.

Ep 454: Mindset Shifts that Lead to Massive Success with Erwin McManus

RV (00:02):
Such an honor today to be able to introduce you to someone who I think is one of the most brilliant people on the planet. I think one of the most gifted communicators, one of the most intelligent people at creating distinctions that truly can transform your life and your business. And his name is Erwin McManus. And Erwin is the national bestselling author of this new book the book is called Mindshift. And Erwin has written several books. He sold actually over, well, well over a million copies worldwide. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages. He speaks all over the planet. He has spoken in 70 countries. I know that he speaks sometimes in stadiums, and he works with organizations like the NFL and the Pentagon. And he also has been a private coach to professional athletes, celebrities, world leaders, like billion dollar companies. And he just, I think, has a gift for helping people unlock their personal genius. And it’s been an honor to get to know him and work with him a little bit over the last year or so. And anyways, Erwin, welcome to the show.
EM (01:15):
Hey, thanks for having me, man. I, I, I, I’m impressed by the way you introduced me, but it’s, it’s not, it’s not quite that big, but it’s great. .
RV (01:24):
No, I mean, in, in all seriousness, it, one of the things that I love about you, Irwin, is like several of the most influential people that I, that are clients of ours and friends of ours. Mm-Hmm. . It’s amazing how many of them point back to you and say, Erwin changed my life. Irwin, Irwin changed my business. Irwin, Irwin changed the way that I, I think. And you know, I just, I, so anyways, I really, I really do believe it. But let’s talk about mind shift. , let’s talk about the, the, the, the, I mean, anything related to mindset right now, to me is super valuable and relevant because there’s so much turmoil in the world. There’s so much noise. I think there’s a lot of evil, a lot of negative programming and businesses, entrepreneurs, salespeople, authors, speakers, all of us have to protect our mind. And, and so gimme the premise behind Mind Shift. Why this book? Why now? The background?
EM (02:27):
Yeah. I mean, the premise of the book is written on an empty page with one sentence on it that says, the intention of this book is to destroy internal limitations. And Rory, one of the things that my life journey has helped me see is that no matter where a person is in their life stage, or what arena or domain they work in, they have the same internal struggles. I spent 10 years working with the urban poor, with with drug cartels, with street gangs, with wow people trapped in the world of drugs and prostitution. And I was super idealist, you know, in my twenties. And I thought if I could just remove all the external obstacles that are gonna thrive and break out of poverty and, and the lives are gonna change, and I began to discover to a, a really a, a very painful level that the real limitations for people who are trapped in poverty were the internal narratives, the, the mental structures that, that really ingrained poverty mindsets.
EM (03:28):
And I thought, okay, when I moved to LA start working with artists, creative celebrities, you know, the most talented and attractive people in the world, I’d have to develop new tools, exact same thing, the same internal mental structures, limited them, and really held them back and actually stole from them the joy of their success. And then the last, you know, decade or two, working with people in the hundred, millions, billions, people who have started companies from scratch and, you know, and have had immense success, people, the top of their fields, same exact mental structures. And so one of the things I really quickly began to discover is that you cannot get successful enough to fix your inner world. You actually have to do the work of developing mental structures for success. And one of the things that really highlight in Mindshift is most people try to prepare themselves to bear the weight of failure, but they rarely prepare themselves to bear the weight of success. And that success actually weighs heavier than failure.
RV (04:27):
So I wanted to ask you about that. ’cause You, I, that is one of the things you say directly in the book, you say, success weighs more than failure. It’s one of the questions I had prepared, . And since you, it was actually gonna be one of the last questions, but since you went there , like, talk about that. What does that mean exactly? ’cause I know you, you’ve been around and it’s unique. You’ve been around a lot of successful people Mm-Hmm. . But you’ve been around successful people in many different avenues. The political arena, the sports arena, the, the entertainment arena, business nonprofit. Like, you have this unique exposure. So with that was one of the things that caught my attention. So unpack that idea. Success weighs more than failure.
EM (05:14):
Yeah. Well just a little added caveat to that is the fear of failure weighs more than failure.
RV (05:22):
Oh, that’s good.
EM (05:24):
And, and so a lot of times what people think they’re being suffocated under as failure, but they’re not. It’s the fear of failure. Failure actually is not nearly as heavy as the fear of failure. When you fail, you realize, oh, I got this . I can, I can actually survive this. It’s, it’s the weight of the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of shame, the fear what others will say, that is what’s debilitating and crushing. But at the same time, the fear, the the weight of success is immense. And, and some of it is because there are things you lose when you gain success. You lose friends, you lose people who are cheering you on. It’s amazing how many people will cheer you on when you’re failing and will cheer you on while you’re trying to succeed. But when you succeed, the pause stops.
EM (06:17):
You actually move through what I would call a transitional loneliness. When people would ask me, in fact, I got asked this question a few weeks ago. Somebody said, so, is it lonely at the top? Is it true that it’s lonely at the top? And I said, first of all, I take it as a great compliment that you think I’m at the top . I, I’ve climbed a really small mid-size hill , and there are massive hill Himalayan mountains behind me and of opportunity. But if I’ve achieved any level of the top, I can tell you I’ve never had more friends in my entire life. I’ve never had, I’ve had a, a more tight-knit beautiful community in my entire life. Hmm. So if I’m at the top, it’s not lonely here, but you know, where it was lonely, every transition I’ve had in my life where I left a level of living and decided to elevate to a different level of living.
EM (07:08):
Because in that transition, you lose the friends you had, but you don’t have the friends yet you’re going to have, and there is a, there’s a, a massive weight of aloneness, which is a part of the weight of success. And then what happens is when you become successful, you, I, I was gonna say people assume, but no, we end up assuming that our success validates all of our internal structures, while we may actually have some incredibly dangerous internal structures for failure, and they become self-destructive. And that’s why you see so many people at the pinnacle, their success crumble, their marriages and their children are AMAs. They’re depressed and even suicidal. And even people with billions end up taking their lives because the weight of success was something they were not prepared for.
RV (07:59):
Yeah. I mean, that, and that blows, that always blows my mind. There’s so, there’s so many implosions that happen in, again, all these different arenas, doesn’t matter of sports, whatever. So what are some of these internal limitations, right? Like, what, what are some of the most common ones? And you know, I very much empathize with what you’re talking about here personally, of going, you know, I was raised by a single mom. My dad left me when I was young, never knew him. And I think a lot of my ambition for most of my life was just trying to prove to myself that I was worthy of not being left. Yeah. And, you know, in some ways I’m very grateful for that. ’cause I think it drove me really hard, which I’m grateful for what it has led to. But I very much empathize with what you’re saying, that no level of success ever actually fills that hole.
EM (08:51):
Yeah, absolutely. Because sometimes we don’t know if we’re running from something or running to something. Mm-Hmm. . And so oftentimes success is coming. ’cause We’re running from something, we’re running from poverty. We’re, we’re, we’re running from this struggle of self-belief that we have no value. We’re running from all the people who told us, we’ll, never amount to anything. You know, we’re running from the fear of failure of being what we were. And then we actually think we were running to something. And one of the, I think, really important nuances is that success, wealth, power, position, fame, they’re all wonderful consequences or benefits of life. They are terrible intentions. And so when success becomes a driving intention of your life, or wealth or fame or power, it actually leaves you empty because it’s a terrible intention. Hmm. It’s a great outcome. Like, I’m, I’m all for, you know, having success or gaining wealth, or having influence or, or, you know, act gaining power that you can use to make the world better.
EM (09:59):
It’s just that when those are the driving forces of your life, they leave you empty because they never satisfy. And, and someone asks me, what do you do when you’ve lost like your a hundred million dollar company? And, and so how do you regain your purpose? And, and I told him, I said, one, your purpose should have never been in your a hundred billion dollar company. Mm-Hmm. Your purpose should always be focused on who you’re becoming, not what you’re accomplishing. And if your intention is about who you’re becoming as a human being, no one can touch that. And success and failure are irrelevant to your intention. They’re just outcomes.
RV (10:35):
Yeah. Yeah. I, I, I think that, I love that idea that it’s more of, it’s a great, a great outcome, but a terrible intention. And when you, when you think about these shifts, you know? Mm-Hmm. one, one of the other things you talk about in the book is talent. Yeah. You said, you say talent is a hallucinogen.
EM (10:55):
I know. It’s a really hard thing to say that, that I, I shouldn’t have picked that word. I can’t even pronounce
RV (10:59):
It. Hallucinogen. It’s harder to spell than it is to say That’s true. I tried to spell it like 10 times. I was like, preparing, and I’m like, halluc, I, I don’t know. I can’t get it. But,
EM (11:08):
Well, you know, span Spanish is my first language. So hallucinogen is still a hard word.
RV (11:12):
There, . There you, there you go. But talk to me about the talent. You know, like, again, the book is called Mind Shift. Right? And that’s what I feel like that’s what you’re helping us do, is you’re helping us go almost like, don’t think this, think that. Yeah.
EM (11:26):
Why? So real quick, like, here’s some real quick summaries on my shift. ’cause Really my shift is 13 chapters of Red Bull. You can open up anywhere and you pop it open, you, you, you know, consume it quickly and it’ll explode in your brain. And one of the chapters that maybe the shortest chapter in the book is you are your own ceiling. It may be the shortest chapter, but it might also be the most important chapter. It’s about the mental shift from who is holding you back. And when we think that what’s holding us back is other people, the man, our past trauma, our parents, our, the abandonment we’re feeling you know, whatever it may be. Whenever you externalize blame for where you are in your life, you become powerless to change your life the moment you embrace. I am my own ceiling.
EM (12:13):
You know, I, I may not have wanted these things to happen, but I am powerful enough to respond to them. I’m in charge of my response. I’m in charge of how they shape me, and the person that I create myself to become. And then the moment you embrace that, it shifts everything you can. And you can listen to a person’s language when they’re always blaming someone else. They’re powerless to change their life. When they take responsibility for their life, they now are empowered to change. And then you mentioned the chapter Talent is the hallucinogen. Some people have the curse of talent. I did not have the curse of talent. I was not born with the curse of talent. But I know people who had the curse of talent. And my brother, I think, had the curse of talent in sixth grade. I think he was the fastest kid in the United States.
EM (12:59):
He was a, a superior athlete from day one. He was the high school quarterback, broke every conference record, had a full scholarship to play football. He’s also a brilliant, like a savant. He’s a genius. He and every arena, my brother was just naturally good at everything. So what happens when you have talent is people build external structures so they can actually access that talent. They don’t care about you. They care about the talent that’s inside of you. And so then you think you have the internal structure for success, but you don’t, you have external structures that actually protect that talent. So it can be accessed by those who want it. That’s why pro athletes, five years after they’re finished in the NFL, are divorced, drug addicted dead or bankrupt, because they were the most talented person in their schools from elementary to junior high to high school.
EM (13:55):
No one was as talented as them. So organizations built structures around them, access that talent all the way through college, all the way through the pros, the moment the structures are gone, wow, their lives collapsed. See, when you don’t have the curse of talent, you know, wow, I gotta find a different way to succeed. , you know, I don’t have natural talent. So you start working hard. You establish disciplines. You began to develop internal structures for success. Because I didn’t have any perceivable talent. I had to decide if I’m going to succeed, I have to take on certain patterns and disciplines that other people do not have. So what happened is that I created internal structures for success. And so when the world changes, when the environment changes, when the economy crashes, when you, you know, when a project goes south, I still have those internal structures.
EM (14:45):
And what I try to do in Mindshift is help a person realize, look, you may have talent, but talent is like a mirage. It makes you believe you will succeed without hard work. And so then when you fail, you move into a pattern of blaming rather than actually reframing. And when you understand that talent is just a hallucinogen, I’m so glad you have talent. I’m so glad you’re super intelligent, or that you have, you’re, you’re incredibly attractive, whatever it may be. But you need to realize you cannot build a sustainable future on talent. It has to be on the internal disciplines of, of mental structures.
RV (15:23):
Wow. Yeah. That’s powerful. That’s a, that’s a completely different, I mean, it’s a mind shift, a way of, of thinking of, of talent, you know, even as a, as a liability. You know, applying that specifically to the, to the people listening to this show that, you know, a lot of everyone who listens to this show is what we call mission-driven messenger. Right? Like, they have some calling to go, I wanna make the world a better place. And you, you are, you in many ways are, are what we aspire to become. You speak on the biggest stages with the most wealthy people in the audiences, the, you know, like the most in influential people. You mentor these folks. You’ve got books that are selling. What do you think are some of the mindset limitations, either that you’ve had to overcome or that you think other speakers and authors type, you know, coaches, consultants, that they have to overcome on their journey when they’re just starting out and they’re looking at, like, all the people on social media and all the bestselling authors and all the amazing speakers. Mm-Hmm. , what do you think are some of the, the mind set limitations in this space specifically? Yeah.
EM (16:35):
If you’re early on in the process, the two chapters you need to jump into right away are, you don’t need the applause. And no one knows what they’re doing. Those two chapters, I think are the most important chapters early on. And then I’ll talk about some other ones. But one, you don’t need the applause is really important. ’cause If you’re at the beginning of the journey, you, you need to make sure that your driving force is your own internal sense of accomplishment, rather than playing the game for the audience. Hmm. If you need people to celebrate you, if you need people to affirm you, if you need people to tell you you’re going to be awesome, you’re not going to succeed. And if I can put it in the book writing category, I can always tell when someone’s not gonna finish a book. Really? Yeah. It’s one thing.
RV (17:19):
Tell me
EM (17:21):
They write a page and they share it with everyone.
EM (17:26):
They write a chapter and they share it with everyone. Because you end up having the same endorphins of success when you share one page and people say, oh, I love the page. It was amazing. You such a great writer. Then you do when you finish the whole book, because now you’re living for the applause. You’re living for the affirmation of other people rather than this deep need to get this message out to the world. And so, one of the things I say right away is, do not become the prisoner of praise of applause, celebration. The other chapter, and there’s so much more we could talk about there, but I’m moving fast, is no one knows what they’re doing. You, you ever, ever,
RV (18:05):
Hold on a a second. I just before you, I can’t just let you go to this next one, . Just, I just, for, I have to feel, I feel like we have to just pause for a second. You said, do not be the prisoner. Say that again.
EM (18:17):
Oh, do not be the prisoner of praise. Yeah,
RV (18:20):
Man, that’s powerful. Irwin, like, because it’s like, praise is with everyone seeking. We’re seeking the likes, we’re seeking the shares, the comments, how many followers. And it’s like, we’re actually seeking the thing that makes us a prisoner. The, which means we, we perpetually are chasing after putting ourself in like a more strict jail cell, a tighter stronghold on our life that gets worse and worse and worse the more we achieve it. Because it’s like, we just become more and more, it’s like a high you get, you’re just chasing after it more and more and more.
EM (18:54):
By the way, that’s why incredibly famous people are so depressed. Oh. Because now, you know, when you were not famous, you were a prisoner of 10 people’s praise. But now you are famous and you’re the prisoner of millions of people’s praise.
RV (19:11):
Wow. I mean, that’s, that’s just, that’s powerful. I, I don’t, that’s just a, it’s a total mind shift to, to realize that maybe the very thing that you’re chasing could be the thing that you, is gonna make you a prisoner. You know? And for me, you know, I’m a hardcore bible thump of Jesus freak. Right. And so I’m always, I’m always internalizing things going. That could be God protecting you. Like the reason why he’s not giving you the fame is because he’s knowing like he might be protecting my, our hearts to go. You’re not ready to handle that. Like you said, that’s the weight, that’s part of probably the weight of success too. Anyways, so that’s really good. So yeah, the other one I love this is no one knows what they’re doing. And I totally, I’m a hundred with you on this. So like, tell, tell ’em about no one knows what they’re doing.
EM (19:58):
Well, whenever we start something new, we all feel like a fake , you know? And I mean, when I first started designing clothes, like my wife’s like, what are you doing being a fashion designer? You know? And, you know, what do you know about designing clothes? And I go, well, I know a lot about fabrics and I know a lot about textures and I know how things feel, and I know what they look like when they fall on your shoulders, just right. And I know what clothes looks like when it makes you look fat or fatter than you are. And when it makes you look slimmer than you are. And, and, and, but when I first started, I thought, what am I doing? Why am I doing this? I’m not Ralph Lauren. You know, I’m not Jerry Lorenzo. I’m not, you know. And so you always feel like you’re fake. You always, and you know, you don’t know. I’m going, I hope everyone knows I don’t know what I’m doing. You know? And, but I thought, I’m the only one doesn’t know. And I remember 10 years ago when I had a fashion company, I hired three guys that all had fashion degrees. And it took me about a year to realize they have no idea what they’re doing. And they have degrees, but they have less perspective, less sensibility. And I walked in one day and one of them was actually stealing all these patterns from another store.
RV (21:10):
Oh man.
EM (21:11):
And I, and I, and I go, oh, poor guy. He’s afraid to tell me that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Because as agree. And that’s why a lot of times we steal because we don’t know. We can create. And, and early on we have to go. Of course. I don’t know what I’m doing. You know, I, I’m learning. And when I started working in film, you can you imagine what it was like to be behind a camera as a director, going, I hope these actors don’t look at me and realize I have no idea what I’m doing. And, and very, very quickly realized, oh, directing is like, it’s like creating a culture. It’s directing is like being an orchestra conductor with human talent. And, and all of a sudden I discovered, oh, I, I love this. I like, I, I’m, I’m, I actually have like, skill.
EM (21:57):
There’s so many things that I’ve done in my life that when I started, I felt like a complete fake. I had this massive imposter syndrome until I realized no one knows what they’re doing. And so they do it, and it’s only when they do it. And that’s when I went nuts. Lemme tell you, I, I hired Navy Seals. I filmed under the ocean. I, I rented a helicopter. We took off the, the the door and filmed from the air on a scene. And I would just literally coach myself to do the most difficult things in the world. ’cause I thought the only way I’m gonna learn how to do it is by doing it. And it, it was so exciting to realize early on in my life, the best posture is being an amateur. Hmm.
EM (22:40):
Whenever you’re a novice, you’re just so fresh and it’s all so new, and you’re wide-eyed, and you’re curious and you’re teachable. And here I am now at 65, lemme tell you, I am a beginner. We were even saying that before we started the podcast. See, I, I just tell myself, Hey, you’re starting over again. You’re a beginner. You’re a novice. Start from, from scratch goes. You don’t know what you’re doing, but it’s okay. But no one knows what they’re doing when they start. And you only learn what you’re doing as you do it, as you step into it and as you fail. And that is the greatest freedom in the world when you’re starting. It’s, it’s just wonderful. You don’t know what you’re doing. Own it. It’s gonna be the only time in your life you’re gonna be this free from all the hardship of experience.
RV (23:22):
. Yeah. I mean, that’s one of my favorite quotes from and from Steve Jobs. And he says, your entire life changes the day. You realize the whole world is created by people who are no smarter than you. Mm-Hmm. . And like, that’s the freedom is to go. No one knows what they’re doing. Right? Yeah. Like, nobody, the first time they try to write a page in a book, and you’re like, I’m not an author. What am I doing? Writing? Like, I’m not a podcaster. I don’t even know what microphone to use. Like, and then all of a sudden you look back after just doing it and it’s like, I guess I am that
EM (23:52):
You know, where it’s most clear, Rory and more, most terrifying.
RV (23:56):
Tell me
EM (23:58):
We have one life. We get to live on this planet. Mm-Hmm. . And we didn’t get a warmup game. We didn’t have a preseason, we didn’t have training camp. We’re born into this world without any knowledge, and we only get one shot. And for me, when I realized, wow, the most important thing we have is life. And no one knows what they’re doing. You know, you’ve, you’ve never been five before, you’ve never been 12 before. You were never 16 before every single phase of your life. You were doing it for the first time without any practice at all. And that’s why it’s so important to develop mental structures that actually help you see life clearly. ’cause Every phase of life you move into, it’s your first time.
RV (24:51):
Yeah. Yeah. And y’all, this is, this is the handbook for this right. Mind shift. It doesn’t take a genius to think like one is the, is the subtitle. And that’s what I feel like Erwin’s given us this handbook for exactly how to get pa to, how to get past these limiting beliefs, how to defeat them, and how to install as an operating system, like a proper set of, of, of thinking that creates a paradigm that gives you purpose, that gives you clarity, that gives you confidence, that gives you the insight of, of knowing that you’re free to create. You’re free, you’re free to live, you’re free to love, you’re free to do these things. I do have one last question for you, Irwin. Before I give before the last question. Where do you want people to go to hook up, like sync up with you and learn more about what you’re doing?
EM (25:40):
Sure. the easiest place to go is erwin mcmanus.com. And there you can find out about what we do online with the arena, which is our online mastermind and find out about the books and all these other things we offer. Erwin mcmanus.com is the best place.
RV (25:53):
Love it. Okay. So we’ll link up to, we’ll link up to that. Obviously you can buy Mindshift, you know. Mm-Hmm. anywhere there are books. I did wanna let you go without talking about creativity and accessing our genius Mm-Hmm. , especially in recent years. I feel like you’ve talked more about this you’ve got other books on this, a lot of podcasts and stuff is what, what are some of the limiting beliefs we have to be able to move past in order to access our real creative genius in order to go to really build the things that no one else can build or to write or create the things that no one else can create? Talk to us a little bit just about how to get past that limiting belief on, on creativity and, and artistic genius.
EM (26:41):
Yeah. You know, I ironic, Rory, the first book I ever wrote is a book called An Unstoppable Force. I wrote it like 25 years ago. And in that book I argued that humans are intrinsically creative. That every human being is, is an artist, and that every human being has genius within them. So this actually isn’t a new conversation for me. Interesting. This has been my life long conversation. And I, and I fought it. I mean, I got fought really hard even within the, the world of faith. I had people telling me, Irwin, you’re telling everyone that every human being is creative. You’re putting undue pressure on people. I had one theologian telling me people, humans are like worker bees or worker ants, they just need a task and they’ll be happy. Mm-Hmm. You need to stop telling people that they’re creative. I was in New York at an event and I had someone in a Q and A get upset going, you’re trying to create anarchy if everyone believes they’re a creative who’s going to do the work?
EM (27:40):
And and I said, you know what? Ironically, that’s the same mindset that the slave owners had. If you set the slaves free, what’s gonna happen? And, and I said, really, we need to believe first of all, that every human being has intrinsic God-given creativity inside of them. That there is genius inside of every person. In fact, every study in the world lets us know that humans are extraordinarily adaptive at birth. And Rory, you probably don’t think of yourself as a linguistic genius. Like, you know, because I think you probably only speak English. And yet, mostly, mostly,
RV (28:20):
EM (28:20):
Mostly. But when you were two, you learned the most complicated language probably in the world because you had to, you didn’t even know English was hard. And if they had moved you to Japan, you would’ve spoken Japanese or to the Philippines. You would’ve spoken tagalo when you were two to five. You were a linguistic savant. You were mentally capable of adapting to any language in the world. And you could have learned multiple languages if they had moved you to multiple environments. But we convinced ourselves that we’re, we’re actually not that, you know, I’m not good at languages. No. You learned all the languages your brain believed you needed. Oh, I’m not good at math. No. You learned all the math your brain believed you needed. And the reality is that when you go, oh, I’m not a genius. Well that’s ’cause you convinced your brain. You didn’t need to be a genius to live the life you’re choosing. And what I’m trying to help people is to reawaken the full capacity within them. And I think that most people live a suboptimal life because they do not believe they have the capacity for more. And I wanna destroy that mental framework and help people see there’s a lot more in them.
RV (29:36):
Yeah. That is it. I mean, they live a suboptimal life because they don’t believe that they, they have the capacity for more. Yeah. So much of that is our internal thinking. So much of that is controllable mind shifts we’re creating. Go get the book, everybody. Irwin, thank you for your wisdom and for your insight and your distinctions. And I think you, you just are such a magnificent source of inspiration and creativity. And I just think profound wisdom and you’re one of my favorite communicators on the planet. And I just, what an honor to have you and to have this conversation, man. We will be cheering for you. Always, always, always. So thanks for being here.
EM (30:19):
Thank you so much. And Rory, thank you so much for believing in my shift for all the work you and your team did for helping us break barriers in in the launch. That wouldn’t have been possible without you. So we’re really grateful for you.
RV (30:31):
It’s our pleasure, man